About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

And The Oscar Goes To: Lynn Bari, Best Portrayal Of A Big Band Singer

Lynn Bari is one of my favorite actresses from the black-and-white era. She played a Big Band singer in three movies: "Sun Valley Serenade" in 1941, featuring the Glenn Miller Orchestra; "Orchestra Wives" in 1942, again featuring the Miller big band; and "Sweet and Low-Down" with Benny Goodman in 1944. In all three she was the prototypical, sexy, Big Band singer/temptress. She didn't sing in the movies herself, but she had the moves down oh so well.

From Wikipedia:
Lynn Bari (December 18, 1913 – November 20, 1989), born Margaret Schuyler Fisher, was a movie actress (usually in B-movies) who specialized in playing sultry, statuesque man-killers in over one hundred 20th Century Fox films from the early 1930s through the 1940s.[1]

In "China Girl," a favorite of mine, she plays the hard-edged woman of the world. Very, very uncomplicated. Here, from "China Girl," is a favorite scene of mine. The dialogue is stereotypical '40's, when men were men, Americans were Americans and Lynn Bari was all woman. The script was written by Ben Hecht, one of film's best screenwriters. Lynn Bari plays Captain Fifi, who along with her supposed husband, Major Bull Weed, are Japanese agents. George Montgomery plays Johnny Williams, a fast and loose American photographer/fortune hunter who is constantly on the make. Gene Tierney plays Miss Haoli Young, a "China Girl" (of Chinese/American parents). Tierney is no slouch herself when it comes to American womanhood, but it is Bari who steals this fun scene. Pay close attention to the 40's slang, the sexy banter and Johnny's description of Fifi as the woman who has "everything."
(In the hotel bar. Johnny approaches Fifi who is sitting alone at a table having a drink.)
Johnny: Sittin' up for me?
Fifi: Yeah...Momma was worried.
Johnny: Where's the Major?
F: Strolling.
(Johnny sits down with Fifi.)
F: Well, how did the romance turn out?
J: Flied out to center field.
F: Ah...you weren't yourself. What a shame. Care to tell momma about it?
J: Next Tuesday...Momma got any cash on her?
F: A little.
J: I like a girl who's solvent...Waiter! Bottle of rum! (To Fifi.) You look a little sad. You aren't homesick, are you?
F: Homesick! For where?
J: I don't know. Where you from?
F: What does it matter?
(Johnny pours a drink for himself and Fifi. She stares at him, giving him that "I like what I see and I'm available" look. He raises his glass to her.)
J: Here's to when we were young and had answers for all the questions.
F: (Dreamily) That was a nice time.
J: Yeah...Ever been up in the Wango country?
F: No.
J: They got snakes up there with great big green eyes just like yours.
F: I've done most of my crawling in warmer places.
J: I like you.
F: Snake fancier, huh?
J: No. I like you because you're everything a woman should be...a hundred and fifteen pounds of crookedness and kisses with a laugh for a finish.
F: You've got a fine sales talk, Mr. Williams.
J: Yeah. There's only one thing about a dame that's real.
F: (Leaning toward him) What's that?
J: This! (Kisses her hard)

(The two leave the lobby and head upstairs to his room. Once inside, they start getting comfortable.)
J: The principle rule is no lectures. You start that, I walk out.
F: Have it your way. (She kisses him hard. As they are kissing, he notices something in the shadows.)
J: Hold it, baby. We got a stowaway!
(Miss Haoli Young is shown lurking in the shadows.)
Young: Good evening.
J: Well! You get around a lot for a Vassar girl.
F: (Gritting teeth) Isn't this the little lady in center field?
J: Yeah, the same.
F: Outside, princess!
Y: That is for Mr. Williams to say, I think.
J: Now what is it that's on your mind, Miss Young?
Y: I want to apologize to you.
J: Is that so! For what?
Y: For letting you go.
J: (Smiles excitedly, gives Fifi a quick peck on the lips and tells her....) My duty is plain. (He turns to Miss Young and pulls her toward the door.) Come on!
F: (Angrily) True love wins, huh?
J: Yeah, something like that! (He steps through the door and into the hall with Miss Young in tow. He turns to Fifi.) Oh, give the Major my best regards, and tell him how I acted like a man of honor in a pinch!
F: (Angrily follows Johnny and Miss Young into the hall. As they flee, she growls at them.) You bore me, Mr. Williams! (She picks up the bottle of rum, hurls it at Johnny, but misses.)
J: (Tugging Miss Young as they run away) Come on, Baby! She may get the range!
 Priceless! It's the reason I love old movies.

Lynn Bari's authorized biography, written by Jeff Gordon (no, not that Jeff Gordon), called "Foxy Lady," is reputed to be one of the best ever written in the genre. It's well worth the price tag. 

Here's Lynn Bari as the torch singer, Vivian Dawn, in "Sun Valley Serenade." She's mouthing the words to "I Know Why." Pat Friday dubbed in the vocal. The intro is "Moonlight Serenade." By the way, that is the man himself playing his trombone, Glenn Miller, along with his band.

Here's Ray Eberle and Lynn Bari, as the wife-stealing torch singer, Jaynie, singing "At Last" fronting the Miller band in the film "Orchestra Wives." (An excellent movie, by the way!) At least Eberle is singing. Pat Friday is again dubbing the Bari vocal.

Not limiting herself to Miller, here's Bari as Pat Stirling, fronting the Benny Goodman Orchestra in the movie "Sweet and Low-Down." Yes, that is Mr. Goodman himself. Lynn's lip-sinc-ing "I'm Making Believe." This time it's Lorraine Elliot dubbing the vocal. That intro tune is Benny's theme song, "Let's Dance." And that dark-haired beauty dancing with her father is Linda Darnell. 

What a glorious era! I'd give my right arm to be there now in a 40's night club listening to Benny and Bari...and dancing with Linda Darnell!

Here's Bari again with Goodman in "Sweet and Low-Down," singing "Ten Days With Baby." 

Bari, again, in "Orchestra Wives," belting out "Serenade in Blue." If you don't like this, you are not breathing.

Cat fight!! Lynn stirred this mayhem up among the "Orchestra Wives." She doesn't appear in this scene, but it's fun anyway.

A couple of Lynn's other vehicles.

And now it's eye-candy time. Lynn Bari was a very beautiful woman and a classy dame!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

More Sunday Night Whimsy

Cyd Charisse and Leslie Caron...

Cyd in "Singin' In The Rain"

Leslie in "Daddy Long Legs"

Cyd in "Meet Me In Las Vegas"

Cyd and Ricardo Montalban

Cyd in "Party Girl"

Leslie in "Daddy Long Legs"

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Fallacy Of Progressive Interventionism

As Ludwig von Mises reasons, in a capitalistic, free market economic system the consumer is sovereign, i.e., consumers decide which particular goods and services satisfy their most urgent demands. The dollars consumers spend on these goods and services find their way into the hands of entrepreneurs who produce them most efficiently. Those dollars determine whether a particular entrepreneur will succeed or fail, whether he will earn a profit or suffer a loss, whether he will remain a small business in a tiny niche of the market or grow into a big business with a huge market share.

Mises points out that this process is continuous. Past success is no guarantee against future failure. The big successful business of years past often becomes today's bankruptcy because of its inability to keep up with the changing tastes and demands of the consumers.

Progressives intervene in the marketplace for a single reason: they disdain the choices made by the sovereign consumers. They use the coercive power of government to limit or change consumer choices. They pass laws which impose regulations and restrictions on consumers and producers alike. As a result, some goods and services which the consumers wish to buy are forced out of production while others, which the consumers do not want, are forced upon them.

When asked why they intervene into the free marketplace, Progressives offer a host of reasons: to guarantee public safety, to protect human health, to ensure public morality, to save the environment, to lower the price of politically sensitive goods and services, etc., etc. Progressives justify all of these interventions by arguing they are in the "public interest" or that they are for the "common good."

However, such justifications are absurd in light of how the capitalistic system of private property and free markets operates. In the system of private ownership of the means of production and consumer sovereignty, traders are absolutely free to exchange goods and services with whomever they wish on their own mutually agreeable terms. This freedom to trade or not to trade with any particular individual implies that when a trade is made both parties to the trade expect to benefit from the trade. If both parties do not expect to benefit, then the trade would not take place. This is obvious, common sense.

Consider an enormous free market with trillions of trades taking place every day between billions of buyers and sellers. The lack of government coercion in such a market ensures that all traders expect to benefit, i.e., each trader expects to be personally and subjectively better off and more satisfied after his particular trade than before. Does intervening in such a market in order to preserve the "common good" or protect the "public interest" make any sense at all? How can the "common good" or the "public interest" be interpreted as anything superior to the expected satisfaction of all?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Night Whimsy

Some of my favorite dance scenes from movies they're not making anymore...

Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen in "White Christmas"

Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell tap dancing in "The Broadway Melody of 1940"

Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds in "Holiday Inn"

Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth in "You Were Never Lovelier"

Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in "The Band Wagon"

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in "Roberta"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Coming, Great Progressive Depression

The Great Depression of the 1920's, 30's and 40's was one of the most traumatic economic downturns in the history of the world. The mere mention of the Great Depression conjures up images of insufferable poverty and a complete breakdown of society and the division of labor: soup kitchens, unemployment lines, agricultural dust bowls, hobos eating mulligan stew, stock market suicides and Hooverville shanty towns for the homeless.

Various schools of economics continue to argue about what caused the Great Depression. Whether Monetarist, Keynesian, Austrian or Marxian, all schools agree that the Great Depression was caused by interventionism -- either too much or too little. In his book, A Critique of Interventionism, Ludwig von Mises defines interventionism as "a limited order by a social authority forcing the owners of the means of production and entrepreneurs to employ their means in a different manner than they otherwise would."

The idea that interventionism caused the Great Depression is reasonable. No one -- not even the staunchest Marxist -- has ever argued that the economic structure of the United States during the time of the Great Depression was unfettered, free market capitalism. Therefore, it follows that whatever went wrong during the Great Depression was due not to unfettered capitalism properly understood, but to the vain attempts by the "social authority" at the time (the federal government and the Federal Reserve) to force capitalists to act "in a different manner than they otherwise would."

Economic reasoning inexorably demonstrates that each trading partner in a voluntary exchange must always benefit. Voluntary and unfettered exchange of private property is capitalism properly understood. Is it therefore reasonable for interventionist critics to argue that unfettered capitalism contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction, or some fatal flaw that leads men to voluntarily create the economic hell known as the Great Depression? This is, after all, why interventionists intervene. If capitalism did not contain some fatal flaw that must be remedied by forcing individuals to act in ways other than they would voluntarily act, what reason would interventionists have to intervene?

The notion that capitalism, properly understood, is fatally flawed is obviously preposterous. In order for this notion to be otherwise, interventionists justifying their own interventions would have to prove that individual capitalists engaged in voluntary exchange either do not always benefit mutually, or that these capitalists perversely define "benefit" as hunger, poverty and homelessness. One would think that the interventionists, unable to prove either, would quietly fade into history, but such is not the case. Indeed, interventionism today is far more prevalent than it was in the time of the Great Depression. This leads me to conclude that there is coming another Great Depression, this one far worse than the one experienced almost a century ago. In fact, we may be experiencing the beginning of this coming, Great Progressive Depression.

Why do I reach this conclusion? Because the modus operandi of modern Progressivism is interventionism, interventionism and more interventionism. The Progressive argument for interventionism today is no different than the argument of the interventionists of yesteryear. Unfettered capitalism, the Progressives say, is fatally flawed. However, like their predecessors, these modern day Progressive interventionists cannot coherently define, find or even describe this flaw.

So they point to empirical American economic reality. They observe that in America some people are more prosperous than others. They observe that the disparity between the incomes of the very wealthy and the very poor is wide. They blame capitalism for this disparity, never conceding that capitalism, properly understood, still does not exist in the United States, and never acknowledging that interventionism is far more prevalent than it has ever been. Foolishly, they set out to correct the flaw they perceive in capitalism by prescribing and installing more and more interventionism on an unprecedented scale.

Another flaw Progressives perceive in capitalism, which calls for the correction of interventionism, is corruption. No matter how productive and beneficial voluntary exchange may be, traders are wont to cheat their peers, exploit the economically weak, collude with each other and corrupt authority. To back up their assertions, the Progressives again point to the reality of the American economy. Everyday it seems government prosecutors indict liars, con men and thieves in big business and big government. But is it reasonable to ascribe the existence of these nefarious individuals to unfettered capitalism? Especially since the economic structure in which these characters thrive is not unfettered capitalism, properly understood, but omnipresent interventionism?

Ludwig von Mises had the answer:
To be sure, public opinion is not mistaken if it scents cor­ruption everywhere in the interventionist state. The corrup­tibility of the politicians, representatives, and officials is the very foundation that carries the system. Without it the sys­tem would disintegrate or be replaced with socialism or cap­italism. Classical liberalism regarded those laws best that afforded least discretionary power to executive authorities, thus avoiding arbitrariness and abuse. The modern state seeks to expand its discretionary power—everything is to be left to the discretion of officials. 
Since massive interventions caused the last Great Depression, it seems reasonable to believe that even more massive interventions today are bound to cause another: the coming, Great Progressive Depression. 

In view of the inability of Progressives to find a fatal flaw in the logic of unfettered capitalistic theory and in view of the fact that interventionism has time and again proved a practical disaster, why do Progressives continue to advocate interventionism?

Moreover, why do populist "economists" like Paul Krugman and Alan B. Krueger advocate Progressive interventionism on a massive scale as smart public policy? Krugman is a Nobel-prize winner and op-ed columnist at the New York Times. Krueger is President Obama's Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.

Is it any wonder popular entertainers and celebrities, like Bruce Springsteen, publicly advocate that America become a social welfare, interventionist state "like Sweden?" Springsteen can be excused for his woeful ignorance of economics. Like most celebrities and politicians -- indeed, most Americans -- Springsteen is uneducated in economics. His statements advocating interventionism do not originate from a reasoned understanding of interventionism. They are the regurgitated nonsense of quacks like Krugman and Krueger.

Anyone interested in a reasoned explanation of the futility of interventionism will find it available online free of charge from the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Mises' argument is clear, concise and impeccably logical. No economist -- not Krugman, not Krueger or any of their Progressivist peers -- have ever attempted to refute Mises' logic. Interventionist policies, says Mises, inevitably result in a lower standard of living for the very individuals the policies were designed to benefit.

Still, despite this certain knowledge and a wealth of empirical failures of interventionist measures, Krugman and Krueger, not to mention Springsteen, continue to blithely recommend them. Why?

Krugman and Krueger should know what Springsteen does not. As Mises puts it:
By its very nature, a government decree that “it be” cannot create anything that has not been created before. Only the naive inflationists could believe that govern­ment could enrich mankind through fiat money. Govern­ment cannot create anything; its orders cannot even evict anything from the world of reality, but they can evict from the world of the permissible. Government cannot make man richer, but it can make him poorer.  
Progressive critics will be quick to shout that this is pure hogwash, merely the racist and bourgeois opinions of an economic quack whose real goal is to keep the masses downtrodden. I suppose fair is fair. If I can call Krugman and Krueger quacks with impunity, progressives should be able to label Mises a quack as well. However, this privilege is not independent of argument or the truth. There is a difference between science and quackery, just as there is a difference between truth and untruth. One must read and critique the argument in the light of logic in order to judge between quackery and science. This neither Krugman or Krueger are wont to do. They prefer to shill for the interventionist status quo which greatly benefits them, both financially and psychologically, at the cost of the prosperity of the rest of us.

When the vacuous Nancy Pelosi stands before the nation and proclaims that extending unemployment benefits will create 600,000 jobs or that giving federal food stamps to the needy benefits the rest of us, she knows that her blatant economic stupidity will not be challenged either by the illiterate press or by Krugman, Krueger and company. Why would Krueger challenge Pelosi? His economic understanding is virtually the same as hers:
In his prepared remarks, Chairman Krueger said: "The rise in inequality in the United States over the last three decades has reached the point that inequality in incomes is causing an unhealthy division in opportunities, and is a threat to our economic growth. Restoring a greater degree of fairness to the U.S. job market would be good for businesses, good for the economy, and good for the country."

With only weak challenges presented by "far right" newscasts and knowledgeable economists on the internet, Pelosi's words -- and Krueger's -- gain the ring of truth among the rabble, like Springsteen, who know no better.

The unvarnished truth is that governmental intervention in the free market produces effects in the real world that are contrary to the stated intentions of the interventionists themselves. Government unemployment compensation and unionism results in less efficient production, capital consumption, lower wages and permanent and significant unemployment among American workers.

I am not going to flesh out the irrefutable logic which leads immutably to these conclusions. Mises has already done so. Unbiased individuals interested in economic truth will study and critique Mises' words. But be warned! Economic reasoning is not easy. Conclusions are not as conveniently supplied after thirty minutes as the finale of a television sitcom. However, the truth is there for all who want to fathom it.

For the last time, then, why do knowledgeable Progressives continue to advocate Progressivism? The simple answer is self interest. Mises puts his finger on it:
Surely, no one can doubt that the freedom achieved by classical liberalism paved the way for the incredible development of productive forces during the last century. But it is a sad mistake to believe that by oppos­ing intervention classical liberalism gained acceptance more easily. It faced the opposition of all those whom the feverish activity of government granted protection, favors, and privi­leges.
So, after all is said and done, the motive for this sad history of destructive interventionism that has plagued the world for the last 100 years, that has caused one Great Depression and is about to cause another Great Progressive Depression, turns out to be simple greed, avarice and selfishness -- the selfsame vices ascribed to the hated capitalist traders. The circle of hypocrisy and arrogant self-righteousness is thus closed on the interventionists themselves. 

Lastly, do not underestimate the damage to all of us that a hundred years of wrongheaded interventionism has wrought. As Mises observes:
Anyone defending interventionism with such arguments is undoubtedly seriously deluded regarding the extent of the productivity loss caused by government interventions. Surely, the adaptability of the capitalist economy has ne­gated many obstacles placed in the way of entrepreneurial activity. We constantly observe that entrepreneurs are suc­ceeding in supplying the markets with more and better prod­ucts and services despite all difficu1ties put in their way by law and administration. But we cannot calculate how much better those products and services would be today, without expenditure of additional labor, if the hustle and bustle of government were not aiming (inadvertently, to be sure) at making things worse. We are thinking of the consequences of all trade restrictions on which there can be no differences of opinion. We are thinking of the obstructions to produc­tion improvements through the fight against cartels and trusts. We are thinking of the consequences of price con­trols. We are thinking of the artificial raising of wage rates through collective coercion, the denial of protection to all those willing to work, unemployment compensation, and, finally, the denial of the freedom to move from country to country, all of which have made the unemployment of mil­lions of workers a permanent phenomenon.
Deluded and economically illiterate interventionists like to think their ideology means constant, step-by-step progress toward prosperity for all. Hence, they label themselves "Progressives." In fact, the abhorrent practice of "Progressivism" means constant, step-by-step progress toward certain impoverishment and the coming, Great Progressive Depression.

But there is another meaning that can be ascribed to the label: the Great Progressive Depression. I'm talking about the mental depression suffered by knowledgeable economists who realize that the vast damage wrought by interventionists over the last 100 years or so cannot be easily reversed and mitigated.

The following Mises quotation from "A Critique of Interventionism" is lengthy, but well worth anyone's contemplation. It should be of special interest not only to self-assured "Progressives" themselves, but also to political conservatives and libertarians who naively think prosperity will return to America immediately upon the election of a new, non-Progressive President:

Etatists and socialists are calling the great crisis from which the world economy has been suffering since the end of the World War the crisis of capitalism. In reality, it is the crisis of interventionism.

In a static economy there may be idle land, but no unem­ployed capital or labor. At the unhampered, market, rate of wages all workers find employment. If, other conditions be­ing equal, somewhere workers are released, for instance, on account of an introduction of new labor-saving processes, wage rates must fall. At the new, lower rates then all work­ers find employment again. In the capitalist social order un­employment is merely a transition and friction phenomenon. Various conditions that impede the free flow of labor from place to place, from country to country, may render the equalization of wage rates more difficult. They may also lead to differences in compensation of the various types of labor. But with freedom for entrepreneurs and capitalists they could never lead to large-scale and permanent unem­ployment. Workers seeking employment could always find work by adjusting their wage demands to market condi­tions.

If the market determination of wage rates had not been disrupted, the effects of the World War and the destructive economic policies of the last decades would have led to a de­cline in wage rates, but not to unemployment. The scope and duration of unemployment, interpreted today as proof of the failure of capitalism, results from the fact that labor unions and unemployment compensation are keeping wage rates higher than the unhampered market would set them. Without unemployment compensation and the power of la­bor unions to prevent the competition of nonmembers will­ing to work, the pressure of supply would soon bring about a wage adjustment that would assure employment to all hands. We may regret the consequences of the anti-market and anti-capitalistic policy in recent decades, but we cannot change them. Only reduction in consumption and hard la­bor can replace the capital that was lost, and only the forma­tion of new capital can raise the marginal productivity of la­bor and thus wage rates.

Unemployment compensation cannot eradicate the evil. It merely delays the ultimately unavoidable adjustment of wages to the fallen marginal productivity. And since the compensation is usually not paid from income, but out of capital, ever more capital is consumed and future marginal productivity of labor further reduced.

However, we must not assume that an immediate aboli­tion of all the obstacles to the smooth functioning of the cap­italist economic order would instantly eradicate the conse­quences of many decades of intervention. Vast amounts of producers’ goods have been destroyed. Trade restrictions and other mercantilistic measures have caused malinvest­ments of even greater amounts that yield little or nothing. The withdrawal of large fertile areas of the world (e.g., Russia and Siberia) from the international exchange system has led to unproductive readjustments in primary production and processing. Even under the most favorable conditions, many years will pass before the traces of the fallacious poli­cies of the last decades can be erased. But there is no other way to the greater well-being for all.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Night At The Movies: "This Land Is Mine"

This is a moving and ominous film made in 1943. I made reference to it in my post of a few weeks ago, Vichy America. Wikipedia calls "This Land Is Mine" a "propaganda-tinged war film." I call it prescient. The story rings true for many Europeans who survived the Nazi occupations of WWII. Charles Laughton is brilliant as the timid main character, Albert Lory. Maureen O'Hara was 23 years old.

Inflation = Capital Consumption = Falling Wages

Take a look at the chart below which was published on The Economic Collapse blog. According to the author:
It is a chart that shows the level of wages and salaries as a percentage of GDP in the United States since the late 1940s.  As you can see, the slice of the pie being taken home by American workers has been dropping like a rock since about 1970....

It just so happens that President Richard Nixon closed the gold window in 1971. This action effectively took the world off the gold standard. As of that date, world currencies were free to inflate -- including the dollar.

The result?

Inflation and capital consumption, resulting in less capital per head of population and falling wages.

Exactly what Ludwig von Mises predicts in his many writings which I have quoted frequently that past couple of weeks.

Here's a relevant quote from Mises' Anti-capitalist Mentality:

All pseudo-economic doctrines which depreciate the role
of saving and capital accumulation are absurd. What constitutes
the greater wealth of a capitalistic society as against
the smaller wealth of a noncapitalistic society is the fact that
the available supply of capital goods is greater in the former
than in the latter. What has improved the wage earners'
standard of living is the fact that the capital equipment per
head of the men eager to earn wages has increased.
It is a
consequence of this fact that an ever increasing portion of
the total amount of usable goods produced goes to the wage
earners. None of the passionate tirades of Marx, Keynes and
a host of less well known authors could show a weak point
in the statement that there is only one means to raise wage
rates permanently and for the benefit of all those eager to
earn wages-namely, to accelerate the increase in capital
available as against population.
If this be "unjust," then the
blame rests with nature and not with man.
When the dollar was tied to gold, the federal government could not inflate the currency at will without paying the consequence of a run on gold. Gold tied world currencies together. It acted as a backstop to willy-nilly monetary expansion.

When Nixon ended dollar/gold convertibility, the dollar became a fiat currency, as did all world currencies pegged to the dollar. What followed was unrestrained printing of currencies (mainly to finance government spending and keep interest rates artificially low) and steady price inflation. When a currency is inflated and interest rates are kept artificially low, as they are today, there is a disincentive to save, i.e., to accumulate capital. Money saved loses its value. There is an incentive to spend capital. Thus, capital is consumed and wages fall.

We are living today with the dire consequences of Nixon's 1971 decision to end dollar/gold convertibility.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Couple Things I Don't Understand

1. The volatility of polls. One day a poll comes out and President Obama's approval rating is in the tank. Today we are told that "his approval rating hit the crucial 50 percent barrier in two new polls." What's that all about? According to the same article:
There were also signs that strengthening jobs growth and a quickening recovery were improving his standing in several key states the president will need to capture if he is to win reelection in November.
Are Americans really so fickle that their opinion of Mr. Obama's performance in office and his political philosophy can change on a dime from one day to the next? Mr. Obama's redistributionist tax-and-spend progressivism has been on display since his arrival on the national scene several years ago. All of his actions as President give tangible evidence to his big government, nanny state philosophy, from the bank bailouts, to the auto bailouts, to ObamaCare, to foreign oil subsidies, to restrictions on energy production, to the latest flap regarding taxpayer paid contraceptives and his advocacy in Milwaukee of a new World Tax.

Yet, in the face of all this evidence, we are to believe that Americans will change their opinion of Mr. Obama based on "signs" of a "strengthening jobs growth and a quickening recovery." Please!!

If this were true, we are indeed in a world of trouble. I refuse to believe Americans are as shallow as the polls imply. But then, I truly don't understand.

2. The daily news reports of stock market activity. At the end of each business day, newscasters report that status of the stock market as compared to the day before. Sometimes it is unchanged. Sometimes the Dow Industrial Average goes up a hundred points. Some days it falls a couple of hundred points. Never mind. The intrepid reporter is always quick to provide the explanation for the fluctuation.

"Today the Dow was up on news of rising home prices." Or, "Today the Dow plunged on news of the failed attempt to bail out the Greek economy." Please!!

I grant that there are some investors who make decisions based on world financial events. But do the big boys on Wall Street actually bid stock prices up based on the latest jobs report or housing price data? Every stock broker I've ever talked to counsels "investing for the long term." Their constant advice is "don't try to time the market." Yet, here is that news reporter telling me that brokers across the country have doubled down because a few Greek unionists are rioting in the streets.

OK, let's assume some brokers invest based on daily CNN news broadcasts. My question is: How do the Wall Street news reporters know this? How can they know which particular bad piece of news was responsible for the Dow's tumble, or which piece of good news caused prices to shoot up? Does Rick Santelli scurry around the floor of the New York Stock Exchange asking the frenzied traders from minute-to-minute what world event has now got their undies in a bunch?

Every day we are bombarded by hundreds of news events. They don't wear convenient labels of "good" or "bad." Somebody has to decide. If the stock market happened to move substantially on the news of Whitney Houston's death, who can say the two events are connected by cause and effect? Well, actually, anyone can say the market went down on news of her death...or up. Opinions are a dime a dozen.

But those newscasters sure sound like they know for sure. If their ear is that close to the cause-and-effect rail, maybe I ought to let them manage my investments.

I just don't understand. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jeanne Crain!

During World War II, what kept the guys going was pinups of the girls. Pinups were plastered everywhere. Every guy had his own favorite. Here are a few of the most famous and popular:

But the girl the guys wanted to come home to was Jeanne Crain!

Jeanne was a sweetheart, the "good" Catholic girl next door. She was one of the most popular screen stars of the '40's, starring in such wartime films as "Winged Victory," "State Fair" and "Leave Her To Heaven." After the war she continued to win the hearts of American men in movies like "Margie," "Apartment For Peggy," "A Letter To Three Wives," "Cheaper By The Dozen" and "People Will Talk." 

Crain was unflappable, wholesome, every man's notion of the perfect wife -- and a Republican! She and her films were nothing less than Americana. The United States was a different country then. Jeanne Crain has no peer in today's cinema. She was truly one of a kind. Rest in peace, Jeanne.

Here is a beautiful YouTube tribute...
Uploaded by on Feb 6, 2010
This video is dedicated to Jeanne Crain. She was born on May 25,1925 & died on Dec. 14,2003. She is one of my favorite actresses & my favorite movies of hers are "State Fair", "Apartment for Peggy", "Margie", "A Letter to Three Wives" , "Home in Indiana" & "Leave Her To Heaven". I just love her movies!!

Here is a mini biography of her life:

Jeanne Crain was born in Barstow, California, on May 25, 1925. The daughter of a high school English teacher and his wife, Jeanne was moved to Los Angeles not long after her birth after her father got another teaching position in that city. While in junior high school, Jeanne played the lead in a school production which set her on the path to acting. When she was in high school Jeanne was asked to take a screen test to appear in a film by Orson Welles. Unfortunately, she didn't get the part, but it did set her sights on being a movie actress.

After her high school career, Jeanne enrolled at UCLA to study drama. At the age of 18, Jeanne won a bit part in Fox Studio's film entitled The Gang's All Here (1943) and a small contract. Her next film saw Jeanne elevated to a more substantial part in Home in Indiana (1944) the following year, which was filmed in neighboring Kentucky. The movie was an unquestionable hit. On the strength of that box-office success, Jeanne was given a raise and star billing, as Maggie Preston, in the next film of 1944, In the Meantime, Darling (1944). Unfortunately, the critics not only roasted the film, but singled out Jeanne's performance in particular. She rebounded nicely in her last film of the year, Winged Victory (1944). The audiences loved it and the film was profitable.

In 1945, Jeanne was cast in State Fair (1945) as Margie Frake who travels to the fair and falls in love with a reporter played by Dana Andrews. Now, Jeanne got a bigger contract and more recognition. Later that year, Jeanne married Paul Brooks on New Year's Eve. Although her mother wasn't supportive of the marriage, the union has lasted to this day and produced seven children. Her 1947 was an off year for Jeanne as she took time off to bear the Brinkman's first child.

In 1949, Jeanne appeared in three films, A Letter to Three Wives (1949), The Fan (1949), and Pinky (1949). It was this latter film which garnered her an Oscar nomination as Best Actress for her role as Pinky Johnson, a nurse who sets up a clinic in the Deep South. She lost to Olivia de Havilland for The Heiress (1949). Jeanne left Fox after filming Vicki (1953) in 1953, with Jean Peters. She had made 23 films for the studio that started her career, but she needed a well-deserved change. As with any good artist, Jeanne wanted to expand her range instead of playing the girl-next-door types.

She went briefly to Warner Brothers for the filming of Duel in the Jungle (1954) in 1954. The film was lukewarm at best. Jeanne, then, signed a contract, that same year, with Universal Studios with promises of better, high profile roles. She went into production in the film Man Without a Star (1955) which was a hit with audiences and critics. After The Joker Is Wild (1957) in 1957, Jeanne took time off for her family and to appear in a few television programs. She returned, briefly, to film in Guns of the Timberland (1960) in 1960. The films were sporadic after that. In 1967, she appeared in a low-budget suspense yarn called Hot Rods to Hell (1967). Her final film was as Clara Shaw in 1972's Skyjacked (1972).

Jeanne died of a heart attack in Santa Barbara, California, on December 14, 2003. Her husband Paul Brooks had died two months earlier.

I hope you enjoy my video!!
God Bless!!
Song: Stardust By: Artie Shaw & his Orchestra

And another...

And another...

Lastly, here she is appearing on live radio, hosting "Command Performance," a "weekly wartime 30 minutes of star-studded fun" made to entertain the troops...
(Featuring Harry James, Kitty Kallen, Gene Krupa et. al.)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Evening Classics

Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven & Bolero by Maurice Ravel.

Romney Vs The "Sluggish Masses"

Let's face it. The American voter is possessed of an anti-capitalist mentality.

Among those on the left, this biased mindset against capitalism is obvious. However, even everyday individuals -- the infamous middle class, independent American voters -- are suspicious of capitalism and capitalists. The prevailing viewpoint is that capitalism is inherently immoral and must be bridled by government lest greed and ruthless profiteering impoverish us all. Even some "conservatives" regard capitalism as a necessary evil, a wondrous horn of plenty that supplies us all with prosperity provided its baser instincts are held in check by stern, Christian moral codes, again, enforced by government.

Ludwig von Mises wrote extensively about this in his book The Anti-Capitalist Mentality. As Mises explains it, the anti-capitalist bias stems in large part from ignorance of economics. The average American, whether blue collar, white collar or even an entrepreneur, does not understand the crucial role that free market economics and capital accumulation play in creating prosperity.

Mises writes:

The emergence of economics as a new branch of knowledge was one of the most portentous events in the history of mankind. In paving the way for private capitalistic enterprise it transformed within a few generations all human affairs more radically than the preceding ten thousand years had done. From the day of their birth to the day of their demise, the denizens of a capitalistic country are every minute benefited by the marvelous achievements of the capitalistic ways of thinking and acting.

The most amazing thing concerning the unprecedented change in earthly conditions brought about by capitalism is the fact that it was accomplished by a small number of authors and a hardly greater number of statesmen who had assimilated their teachings. Not only the sluggish masses but also most of the businessmen who, by their trading, made the laissez-faire principles effective failed to comprehend the essential features of their operation. Even in the heyday of liberalism only a few people had a full grasp of the functioning of the market economy. Western civilization adopted capitalism upon recommendation on the part of a small élite.


The terms capitalism, capital, and capitalists were em­ployed by Marx and are today employed by most people—also by the official propaganda agencies of the United States government—with an opprobrious connotation. Yet these words pertinently point toward the main factor whose operation produced all the marvelous achievements of the last two hundred years: the unprecedented improvement of the average standard of living for a continually increasing population. What distinguishes modern industrial conditions in the capitalistic countries from those of the precapitalistic ages as well as from those prevailing today in the so‑called underdeveloped countries is the amount of the supply of capital. No technological improvement can be put to work if the capital required has not previously been accumulated by saving.

Saving—capital accumulation—is the agency that has transformed step by step the awkward search for food on the part of savage cave dwellers into the modern ways of industry. The pacemakers of this evolution were the ideas that created the institutional framework within which capital accumula­tion was rendered safe by the principle of private ownership of the means of production. Every step forward on the way toward prosperity is the effect of saving. The most ingenious technological inventions would be practically useless if the capital goods required for their utilization had not been accumulated by saving.

Mises also reminds us that capitalism -- the private ownership of the means of production -- would be impossible without the societal institutions of equality under the law and private property. When property became sacrosanct all individuals could save, could accumulate capital, without fear that those savings would be seized by the king. Ironically, these very principles of equality under the law and private property are under attack today in the United States. As these attacks succeed, the result is diminished incentive to save, capital consumption and an inexorable tendency towards general impoverishment.

In America today the "rich" are treated differently under the law than other Americans. Their income is taxed at confiscatory rates. The government yearns to tax their income off of savings and investments at confiscatory rates as well. Generally, the American public supports the government's yearning. In this country "rich" is a four letter word. The average American only respects capitalists like Warren Buffet who are guilty about their success and are willing to selflessly share it with their secretaries. On the other hand, the public despises retired, capitalist robber barons like Mitt Romney who live in luxury by doing "nothing," i.e., cashing interest and dividend checks. The public never realizes that it is savings and investments that provide the capital which results in its own prosperity. The doltish public doesn't understand that if each "rich" man held all of his savings in his wall safe instead of in stocks and bonds, we would all be the poorer for it.

Setting aside economics, Mises also explored the psychological basis of this American anti-capitalist mentality. He recognized that in our competitive capitalistic society the bias against capitalism is rooted in envy, humiliation and the fear of failure.

It is quite another thing under capitalism. Here everybody’s station in life depends on his own doing. Everybody whose ambitions have not been fully gratified knows very well that he has missed chances, that he has been tried and found wanting by his fellowman. If his wife upbraids him: “Why do you make only eighty dollars a week? If you were as smart as your former pal, Paul, you would be a foreman and I would enjoy a better life,” he becomes conscious of his own inferiority and feels humiliated.

The much talked about sternness of capitalism consists in the fact that it handles everybody according to his contribution to the well-being of his fellowmen. The sway of the principle, to each according to his accomplishments, does not allow of any excuse for personal shortcomings. Everybody knows very well that there are people like himself who succeeded where he himself failed. Everybody knows that many of those whom he envies are self-made men who started from the same point from which he himself started. And, much worse, he knows that all other people know it too. He reads in the eyes of his wife and his children the silent reproach: “Why have you not been smarter?” He sees how people admire those who have been more successful than he and look with contempt or with pity on his failure.

What makes many feel unhappy under capitalism is the fact that capitalism grants to each the opportunity to attain the most desirable positions which, of course, can only be attained by a few. Whatever a man may have gained for himself, it is mostly a mere fraction of what his ambition has impelled him to win. There are always before his eyes people who have succeeded where he failed. There are fellows who have outstripped him and against whom he nurtures, in his subconsciousness, inferiority complexes. Such is the attitude of the tramp against the man with a regular job, the factory hand against the foreman, the executive against the vice-president, the vice-president against the company’s president, the man who is worth three hundred thou-sand dollars against the millionaire and so on. Everybody’s self-reliance and moral equilibrium are undermined by the spectacle of those who have given proof of greater abilities and capacities. Everybody is aware of his own defeat and insufficiency.

Mitt Romney is a very rich, artistocratic man running for President. As a result, Mitt is at a severe disadvantage: the average American voter hates his guts. But Romney is far from an innocent victim of this unreasonable hatred. He faces an additional problem of his own creation: his aristocratic lifestyle. Mises describes this problem as follows:

If a group of people secludes itself from the rest of the nation, especially also from its intellectual leaders, in the way American “socialites” do, they unavoidably become the target of rather hostile criticisms on the part of those whom they keep out of their own circles. The exclusivism practiced by the American rich has made them in a certain sense outcasts. They may take a vain pride in their own distinction. What they fail to see is that their self-chosen segregation isolates them and kindles animosities which make the intellectuals inclined to favor anti-capitalistic policies.

Average Americans rightly despise aristocrats. Many immigrants came to America to escape the rigid European system of caste and class. They yearned for a socioeconomic system wherein wealth was earned instead of inherited, and success was based on achievement rather than bloodlines and state favoritism.

The problem is our American aristocracy has become tainted by the stench of caste and class as well. We can no longer assume that the "rich" in this country came by their wealth honestly. A good many American aristocrats became "rich" solely because of political favoritism. These individuals are not free market capitalists in the Misean sense. They are merely cronies of big government, the favored recipients of governmental subsidies, grants, protective rules, regulations and legal status. Many are tagged with the special governmental imprimatur of "too big to fail."

How many bankers and Wall Street financiers are "rich" because of their free market prowess? How many are "rich" because of their incestuous relationship with Washington power?

Once these individuals become "rich" they choose to ensconce themselves with their "rich" brethren, far removed from the great unwashed. They hole up in huge mansions in gated enclaves of high society and ostentation. Rightly or wrongly, the public regards all the residents of such enclaves as the privileged aristocracy.

This is the problem Mitt Romney faces when he attempts to portray himself as one of us. The truth is, he is not one of us. He has never been one of us. And by his own chosen lifestyle, he has exiled himself from us.

Whether Mitt Romney is an honest capitalist or a dishonest crony aristocrat is almost beside the point. The fact is he is wealthy and an ex-capitalist living in the lap luxury. That is enough for many of the anti-capitalist mentality to vote against him. Moreover, over his lifetime he has chosen to disavow the very individual on whom his political future now depends: the ordinary, middle class, American slug.

All I can say is: Good luck with that, Mitt.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wanted: Common Sense And Moral Courage

More wisdom from Ludwig von Mises' Planned Chaos:

The planners pretend that their plans are scientific and that there cannot be disagreement with regard to them among well-intentioned and decent people. However, there is no such thing as a scientific ought. Science is competent to establish what is. It can never dictate what ought to be and what ends people should aim at. It is a fact that men disagree in their value judgments. It is insolent to arrogate to oneself the right to overrule the plans of other people and to force them to submit to the plan of the planner. Whose plan should be executed? The plan of the CIO or those of any other group? The plan of Trotsky or that of Stalin? The plan of Hitler or that of Strasser?

When people were committed to the idea that in the field of religion only one plan must be adopted, bloody wars resulted. With the acknowledgment of the principle of religious freedom these wars ceased. The market economy safeguards peaceful economic co-operation because it does not use force upon the economic plans of the citizens. If one master plan is to be substituted for the plans of each citizen, endless fighting must emerge. Those who disagree with the dictator's plan have no other means to carry on than to defeat the despot by force of arms.

Does anyone disagree that what Mises says is just plain common sense?

Would grocery shopping remain a peaceful activity if government were to mandate that individuals could no longer shop for themselves and their families, but that all grocery shopping would henceforth have to be done by neighborhood bureaucrats acting collectively through a neighborhood shopping authority? Suddenly food shopping would become a highly argumentative, political and controversial activity. Individuals would argue among themselves about which particular foods the neighborhood authority should buy and about how these foods should be fairly distributed among neighborhood residents.

Americans would have to be absolute idiots to endorse such a foolish plan. Yet, Americans long ago adopted such a plan with regard to educating their children. Now we argue over which textbooks our official neighborhood schools should mandate, what subjects their unionized public teachers should teach, what extra-curricular activities their official sociologists should allow, whether they should allow boys and girls to compete in the same athletic contest, what holidays the school administration should allow our children to observe... The list is endless and it will remain endless and contentious so long as we insist that our society's educational system be organized on a dictatorial, one-size-fits-all, public basis.

In the last two years Americans, through their governmental representatives, decided that health care and health insurance in America be organized as a dictatorial, one-size-fits-all public authority. Is it any wonder that every second since this controversial decision was made political infighting, rancor and vitriol has ruled the day? Now the government mandates not only that we must purchase health insurance, it also mandates which procedures are essential and which are not, which procedures are "covered" and which are not, who is eligible to receive treatment and who is not. And the politicization of the medical industry which we have experienced so far is only the tip of the iceberg. Yet, for various stupid, dictatorial or selfish reasons, a good portion of Americans want the government to continue its massive intervention in the medical market.

Government planners and politicians tell us that education and medicine are unique fields of human endeavor, that the problems and issues in these fields are scientific in nature and are best solved by technological experts. They say the same thing about environmental and nutritional issues. The risk to the planet of global warming is far too great to entrust to the personal whims of common individuals in the marketplace. Scientists and technical experts must decide for us what type of energy is best to produce, which kinds of cars are best to drive, what kinds of crops are best to grow. "Best" is not a subjective value judgement but an objective, scientific fact.

By this logic what is "best" for us to eat cannot be an issue of personal taste. Professional experts and dieticians know which foods are healthy for us to consume and which are not. They lobby for Congress to ban sugar, salt, fast foods, candies and a whole spectrum of forbidden fruit. Will it be long until the long arm of the federal government DOES mandate that our food shopping be done by neighborhood experts rather than individuals?

Have we lost our common sense?

Mises continues:

The problems of society's economic organization are not suitable for light talk at fashionable cocktail parties. Neither can they be dealt with adequately by demagogues haranguing mass assemblies. They are serious things. They require painstaking study. They must not be taken lightly.

The socialist propaganda never encountered any decided opposition. The devastating critique by which the economists exploded the futility and impracticability of the socialist schemes and doctrines did not reach the moulders of public opinion. The universities were mostly dominated by socialist or interventionist pedants not only in continental Europe, where they were owned and operated by the governments, but even in the Anglo-Saxon countries. The politicians and the statesmen, anxious not to lose popularity, were lukewarm in their defence of freedom. The policy of appeasement, so much criticized when applied in the case of the Nazis and the Fascists, was practised universally for many decades with regard to all other brands of socialism. It was this defeatism that made the rising generation believe that the victory of socialism is inevitable.

It is not true that the masses are vehemently asking for socialism and that there is no means to resist them. The masses favour socialism because they trust the socialist propaganda of the intellectuals. The intellectuals, not the populace, are moulding public opinion. It is a lame excuse of the intellectuals that they must yield to the masses. They themselves have generated the socialist ideas and indoctrinated the masses with them. No proletarian or son of a proletarian has contributed to the elaboration of the interventionist and socialist programmes. Their authors were all of bourgeois background. The esoteric writings of dialectical materialism, of Hegel, the father both of Marxism and of German aggressive nationalism, the books of Georges Sorel, of Gentile and of Spengler were not read by the average man; they did not move the masses directly. It was the intellectuals who popularized them.

The intellectual leaders of the peoples have produced and propagated the fallacies which are on the point of destroying liberty and Western civilization. The intellectuals alone are responsible for the mass slaughters which are the characteristic mark of our century. They alone can reverse the trend and pave the way for a resurrection of freedom.

Not mythical "material productive forces," but reason and ideas determine the course of human affairs. What is needed to stop the trend towards socialism and despotism is common sense and moral courage.

Despite Mises' warning, individual Americans seem perfectly at ease allowing their future to be mapped out for them by powerful, intellectual elites planning what is best for all at Washington cocktail parties and in smoke-filled rooms at political conventions. Individual Americans would rather cede authority to the intellectuals, the politicians and the scientists than fend for themselves.

Who is left among us with the "common sense and moral courage" needed to resist this "trend towards socialism and despotism?"

Certainly not the young. Most young people are empty-headed products of the very public school system mandated by decades of educational "experts." They are self-absorbed, celebrity-enthralled sycophants with the attention span of a gnat. They don't think, they chant. They are chronic complainers who spend their time and resources soothing their paranoia and satisfying their ego with sex, drugs, and social idolatry. Those under 65 overwhelmingly voted for Obama's dictatorial, one-size-fits-all agenda in 2008.

Certainly not the old who either have learned too late or have given up the fight.

Certainly not "single moms" who are probably the individuals in America most dependent on federal government largesse.

Certainly not those privileged by government subsidies and grants. Certainly not the thirty-somethings who flock to law schools and then to Washington to become part of the elite and those who cling to those in power. Certainly not the Wall Street financiers and corporate insiders who sleep with federal power in order to wield it and, in the process, enrich themselves and their snot-nosed, silver-spooned progeny.

Who then? Who then is left with the necessary "common sense and moral courage" to carry on the resistance against tyranny?


Friday, February 3, 2012

Progressivism = Totalitarian Socialism

Progressives will chastise me for making such a politically incorrect statement. "You're name-calling," they'll say. "You're inflaming passions. You're lying! Absurd! Nothing could be further from the truth!"

Many advocates of interventionism are bewildered when one tells them that in recommending interventionism they themselves are fostering anti-democratic and dictatorial tendencies and the establishment of totalitarian socialism. They protest that they are sincere believers and opposed to tyranny and socialism. What they aim at is only the improvement of the conditions of the poor. They say that they are driven by considerations of social justice, and favour a fairer distribution of income precisely because they are intent upon preserving capitalism and its political corollary or superstructure, viz., democratic government.

What these people fail to realize is that the various measures they suggest are not capable of bringing about the beneficial results aimed at. On the contrary they produce a state of affairs which from the point of view of their advocates is worse than the previous state which they were designed to alter. If the government, faced with this failure of its first intervention, is not prepared to undo its interference with the market and to return to a free economy, it must add to its first measure more and more regulations and restrictions. Proceeding step by step on this way it finally reaches a point in which all economic freedom of individuals has disappeared. Then socialism of the German pattern, the Zwangswirtschaft of the Nazis, emerges.
Ludwig von Mises, Planned Chaos, 1947
Let's review this week in the news and see what our little, progressive tyrants were working on:

Obama announces new housing refinance plan
Our Maximum Leader was hard at work devising a plan which forces us to pay for our neighbor's mortgage. I can see that. Why can't you?

Obama To Homeowners: "Programs We Put Forward Haven't Worked At The Scale We Hoped"
By the way, this week's plan wasn't Maximum Leader's first attempt and it won't be his last. As Mises writes: "If the government, faced with this failure of its first intervention, is not prepared to undo its interference with the market and to return to a free economy, it must add to its first measure more and more regulations and restrictions."

Obama: I Want An Economy "Where We're Making Stuff And Selling Stuff And Moving It Around"
Notice the operative words in this tyrannical headline are: "I want." Totalitarian socialists know what is best for you and, by God, Maximum Leader is going to see you get it! Good thing totalitarian socialists are benevolent and wise!

Treasury ups auto bailout loss estimate
Oops. Maybe not that wise, just benevolent. We must give credit where credit is due. Maximum Leader did save some jobs which we all realize is Job Number One of Maximum Leaders. It's just a coincidence that the jobs saved were those of UAW union thugs who make a hundred grand a year and regularly vote for Maximum Leader.  

Ener1, Parent of Obama-Backed Green Company, Files for Bankruptcy
Double oops! What happens when one of Maximum Leader's favorite crony businesses stops "making stuff and selling stuff and moving it around?" You the taxpayer are strong-armed into picking up the tab, that's what!

Drip, Drip, Drip: Yet Another Green Energy Stimulus Recipient Hits the Skids (the third this week!)
Triple oops! If this keeps up the stupid among us may finally realize that this totalitarian socialist is neither benevolent nor wise... ...Naw. Maximum Leader has a blank check from the stupid to fight man-made global warming because it's surely going to be our Waterloo, right?

Signs Of Strengthening Global Cooling
Wrong. What's a Maximum Leader to do in the face of such earthly confusion?

ObamaCare’s latest assault on freedom
Go on to bigger and better things. Like forcing Catholics to do his bidding (offering contraceptive and abortion services) regardless of their personal and individual beliefs. Or how about changing the subject...

Sugar Should Be Regulated As Toxin, Researchers Say
How long before Mrs. Maximum Leader is raiding your pantry? Can't happen, you say!

Sugar Tariffs Cost Americans $3.86 Billion in 2011
You're probably right. Banning sugar while at the same time subsidizing its domestic production would even be too nutso for the little sub-Maximum Leaders in Congress, right? There IS one thing consistent in all this craziness: You, the American taxpayer, are being forced to foot the bill!

Bernanke urges caution in overly rapid deficit cutting
Even though Maximum Leader is omniscient and omnipotent, he can't be expected to rule all by himself. He has little mini-totalitarian socialist bureaucrats to help him out. Bernanke is the dictatorial elf in charge of our money. His chief responsibility is making sure that it doesn't lose its value. How much has the price of bread and milk gone up the last few years? ...Really? Gee, maybe that's because for the last few years we've engaged in "overly rapid deficit cutting." Come on, folks. Use your head!

The Great Divorce
We have smart intellectuals in this country to help us do just that: use our head! In this inspired piece of work, David Brooks, the guru savant at the NY Times, gushes about a new book by Charles Murray: "Coming Apart." You remember Charles Murray? The author of "The Bell Curve?" The guy who thinks Jews are more prosperous than blacks because they're naturally smarter?

Brooks says he'll be "shocked if there’s another book that so compellingly describes the most important trends in American society... ...Murray’s basic argument is not new, that America is dividing into a two-caste society."

Brilliant! No wonder Maximum Leader relies on the likes of David Brooks to educate us stupid masses. In classic, totalitarian socialist fashion Brooks puts his finger on what Maximum Leader needs to do next in our best interests: "force" the two castes to be friends:

[W]e need a National Service Program," Brooks writes. "We need a program that would force members of the upper tribe and the lower tribe to live together, if only for a few years. We need a program in which people from both tribes work together to spread out the values, practices and institutions that lead to achievement.If we could jam the tribes together, we’d have a better elite and a better mass.

You see, you stupid numbskulls in flyover country, what this country needs more than anything else is "better" tribes. The way to accomplish this is at gunpoint. Maximum Leader should force all us tribal natives -- those from Yale as well as those from the ghetto -- to spend a few years making nice together on the same playground. Brooks probably wouldn't go so far as to call these playgrounds re-education camps, but what the hell? If it works, who cares what they're called?

So what do you think, boys and girls? Is equating Progressivism with Totalitarian Socialism really jumping the shark or what?