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.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Glimpse Into America's Future

A government-sanctioned looter flees a Venezuelan department store, protected and escorted by Venezuelan police.
One of the main goals of ObamaCare, according to Nancy Pelosi, is "holding insurance companies accountable." Holding capitalists "accountable" is progressive-speak for burying businessmen and the free market under mountains of suffocating and destructive regulations. In 2010 President Obama, Pelosi and Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid succeeded in passing ObamaCare. The chaos Americans are experiencing today in health care and health insurance is a direct result of ObamaCare holding these industries "accountable." Substitute doctors, nurses and hospital beds in the picture above in place of the looted electronics and you will see what America will shortly look like.

And when things really get bad -- as bad as they are today in Venezuela -- Obama and company (or Hillary Clinton and company, or whatever progressive is currently in charge of Washington, DC) will kick it up a notch. Holding business accountable will rise to the next level: price controls, profit controls, exchange controls, confiscatory taxation and nationalization. The wreckage left by these policies will be catastrophic. What little goods and services surviving in the country will settle into the underground economy. Anything abandoned above ground will be rationed, i.e., distributed by armed, government troops to meek, law abiding citizens, standing in endless queues, or these last remaining legal goods will be fought over by ruthless outlaws and looters.

Just how bad could things get in the U.S.? That depends completely on the aggressiveness of the progressives in charge and the passiveness of the American public. Will Americans stand in long, motionless lines for days for their weekly ration of bread and eggs? Will they be so fearful of the future that their brains will stop working? That they will believe the lies of the progressives in charge who will say that the country's troubles are due to profiteering businessmen and industrialists? Will American citizens encourage the progressive government to restore order by means of crackdowns, inspections, arrests and imprisonments?

A recent headline describes the way things are today in Venezuela: "Venezuela jails 100 'bourgeois' businessmen in crackdown." It seems the new President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has declared war on the country's "capitalist parasites." Maduro, the hand-picked successor of the Marxist ideologue and tyrant Hugo Chavez, "has arrested more than 100 'bourgeois' businessmen in a crackdown on alleged price-gouging at hundreds of shops and companies since the weekend...." Stepping into the shoes of Chavez, Maduro is being granted "decree powers" by the Venezuelan congress. He says he "needs" these powers in order to "fix the economy."

Sound familiar?

Why does the economy need fixing?

Inflation is running at 54% annually. Everyday commodities like food and toilet paper are in short supply. According to reports:
The army has been sent into toilet paper factories, fights for basic foodstuffs have resulted in several deaths and new, multi-million dollar oil tankers are sitting idle in dock. And, despite sitting on the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela’s socialist government can’t quite manage to keep the lights on.
Sound familiar?

Socialist "revolutions" have ended badly wherever and whenever they have been tried, still the Venezuelan people allow Marxist ideologues like Maduro to try and try again. Why? Because Maduro blames the country's economic woes on "unscrupulous" capitalists who exploit the public with high prices and unfair profits. Maduro's "fix" of the economy includes flooding shops and factories with federal "inspectors" and price and profit fixers. Maduro is fixing to limit the profits of business to between 15 and 30%:
"Goodyear has to lower its prices even more, 15 percent is not enough, the inspectors have go there straightaway," Maduro said in his evening address, sending officials to check local operations of the U.S.-based tire manufacturer.
What could go wrong?

Maduro blames the big, bad USA for many of Venezuela's problems:
Last week Mr Maduro was forced to turn to a well-worn answer for his country’s woes, blaming a US plot to “sabotage the electrical system and the Venezuelan economy” and kicking out Washington’s envoy to the South American country. “Out of Venezuela!” he railed on state television, adding in English: “Yankees go home!”
Sound more familiar?

Why do Venezuelans put up with such time-worn nonsense? Some of them are wising up...maybe:
“This country is a thousand times worse than it was six months ago”, said Pedro Sosa, a Chavez supporter who voted for Mr Maduro but now regrets having done so.
Sound even more familiar, especially to Americans who are hearing Obama voters complaining about losing their health insurance and paying higher prices under ObamaCare?

How bad can it get in America if Obama, Clinton, Pelosi and Reid continue to run wild and fulfill their dream of creating a progressive, socialist, European democracy right here in the good old USA? Look south to reports from Venezuela:
The desperate scramble for necessities is increasingly spilling over into violence. At the end of last month, a lorry driver was crushed to death by looters as they scrambled to steal his cargo on a Caracas motorway. In the eastern city of Ciudad Bolivar, a man died as a mob clamoured for a bottle of oil and a loaf of bread at a state-run supermarket.
Listen to a Venezuela mom who knows Marxist progressivism first hand:
“I have to go to four or five supermarkets to do a complete shop”, said Carmen Rodriguez, 49, a mother of three. “The queues are the biggest they’ve ever been. But if you don’t wait in line, you don’t feed your family”.
Think, people. For once in your life, think, before it's too late!

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