The Goal of Progressive Government is Control

In the U.S., the Democratic party is the party of government and fully embracing of progressivism. The Republican party’s message is muddled. They say they are for smaller government, more freedom, and constitutionally limited government, but they too crave control.

Politicians, government employees, political insiders crave control, certainty, and stability. You hear them talk about stability of financial markets, of job markets, of domestic social and global situations. When they complain about “market fundamentalism”, the break-up of the family, wealth disparities, etc. they are making a play for control over the lives of the citizenry.

With that in mind, view any issue from the perspective of politicians. Growing a government bureaucracy is one way of maintaining control. The people employed in government agencies hold jobs in the bureaucracy. They are voters as well, but they are just as self-interested in their job security, money, respect, social acceptance, celebrity, and public adoration as anyone else. You see, money is not the only form of recognition. So when anyone cites something other than money when they are recognized for some achievement, they are seeking recognition by other means — as I listed above. They may feel good about themselves for avoiding recognition via cash payment, but they, nonetheless, are still seeking something. They are not selfless.

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Castro’s Revolution on Its 60th Anniversary

Vincent Geloso examine’s the results.

I’ll quote one observation about Cuba’s supposed superior health care.

However, many researchers have pointed out important discrepancies in the data regarding infant mortality. They have showed that doctors often reclassified early neonatal deaths (before the 7th day of life) as late fetal deaths (before birth). Because late fetal deaths are not included in infant mortality calculations while early neonatal deaths are, this reclassification artificially reduces the infant mortality rate. . . .

This type of reclassification also has an effect on measured life expectancy because late fetal deaths are not counted in the life tables that are used to calculate life expectancy at birth. In research recently published with Gilbert Berdine and Benjamin Powell in Health Policy & Planning, I show that, in Cuba, this practice has reduced life expectancy at birth for men by somewhere between 0.22 and 0.55 years.

Bureaucratic manipulation of statistical data skews the results. Clever.

China—Americans’ Economic Bugaboo du Jour

Bob Higgs:

I am old enough to remember when almost everyone believed that the Russians were, as Khrushchev put it, going to “bury” us. Even leading economists such as Paul Samuelson were taken in by such nonsense. Of course, no such burial occurred, because just producing vast quantities of concrete, steel, and H-bombs is no evidence that anything of genuine value is being produced. Later Japan became the Godzilla that was going to eat the U.S. and European economies with its bureucratic setup for picking and subsidizing “winners.” Before long that setup too collapsed in a heap and gave way to perpetual stagnation. Now almost everyone quakes in his boots while beholding the mighty Chinese economy. Again the hysteria has no firm foundation. An economy shaped and guided by government bureaucrats and Communist bigwigs by means of tariffs, subsidies, state-controlled credit, and state-owned industries cannot be a real growth miracle for long. This too shall pass.

And when it does Americans will learn nothing from their most recent mistake. If people really understood sound economics, they would not continue to make this same mistake again and again.

 

Yes, that’s right. First it was the Russians, then the Japanese, now China. Russia and Japan are faltered under the weight of central planning. China is doing that, too.

Can the Democrats Really Win 2020 with a New Green Deal?

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) is at it again:

“This is going to be the New Deal, the Great Society, the moon shot, the civil rights movement of our generation,” . . . “We can use the transition to 100 percent renewable energy as the vehicle to establish economic, racial and social justice in America.”

Where does she get this nonsense from? Maybe she’s channeling the vision of Data for Progress. Ronald Bailey:

By their lights, the feds should aim for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 by shuttering all natural gas and coal-fired generation plants. All fossil fuel emissions should be ended by 2050. All new passenger automobiles for sale in 2030 should be zero emissions vehicles; all rail, vehicles, and aviation should be totally fossil-fuel free by 2050. Other parts of the Green New Deal include reforesting 40 million acres of public and private land by 2035, greatly expanding mass transit systems, upgrading local water supply and management infrastructure, expanding federal regulation of the waters of the U.S., and requiring that all materials be recyclable by 2040.

The financial cost is only one part of this stupidity. This will not be a peaceful transition; more like the equivalent of an-all out shooting war in its destruction. Imagine all the destruction, destitute, hollowing-out of towns, cities, suburbs, and entire swaths of the U.S. All the shuttered power plants, and discarded trains, subways, automobiles, jets, bridges. Imagine, millions of government bureaucrats invading your neighborhood, ordering the bulldozing of everything in sight. Think you’ll be safe in your home? Fagetaboutit. Midnight raids on your home if you resist. “This must be done!” Quartering of workers and soldiers in your house. Attempts to violate your rights will be commonplace, all to impose this “vision”, but really a nightmare.

All to finally, ultimately, and for good, “achieve economic, racial and social justice in America”. How quaint, how. . . just.

Whole thing here.

Taxes, Spending, France – Again

Following up on my post yesterday about France being the top taxed country in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), the ever resourceful fiscal economist Dan Mitchell dives deeper into the data, including a table that compares the taxes AND spending as a percentage of GDP.

The US ranks in the lower percentages than most countries on both scales. Lower means lower tax and spending levels as a percentage of GDP. This is a positive development in my book because the government wastes a lot of resources and is less efficient. Dan also explains that. How does a government provide necessary services efficiently and effectively but keeps the politics and feeding of bureaucracy?

Macron caves in to French protesters – too late, they say

The French government caved in after Paris’ worst rioting in decades and delayed an increase in energy taxes Tuesday — but it was seen as “too little, too late” by many protesters whose anger seems increasingly focused on embattled President Emmanuel Macron.

The grievances widen:

The protests began Nov. 17 with motorists upset over the fuel tax increase, but have grown to encompass a range of complaints — the stagnant economy, social injustice and France’ tax system, one of the highest in Europe — and some now call for the government to resign. . . .

One unifying complaint among the leaderless protesters, who come from across the political and social spectrum, has been the anger at Macron and the perceived elitism of France’s aloof ruling class.

Me: taxes are the most visible expression of government control by greedy politicians and bureaucrats. But these same people are playing a con game. They convince the general population into thinking they are helping you by taxing and regulating some trumped up, anonymous, evil person or corporation. But, those same taxes and regulations come back to bite you because those regulations and taxes trickle down to you in the form of reduced choices and higher prices. This time, the French people caught on. But remember, regulations work the same way but are less visible, so don’t sign up for that. And, a tax on one is a tax on all.

Read it all.