Venezuela and Santa Claus vs Thomas Sowell and the Little Red Hen | International Liberty

In the short run, though, the Venezuelan government gets to play Santa Claus. At least for 2016.

But it won’t have that option in 2017. And because the nation’s kleptocratic government is running out of victims, it’s just a matter of time before the system collapses, at which point the government either gives up power or launches a brutal crackdown.

Hopefully the former.

Though it would remain to be seen whether the leftist thugs who currently hold power are able to escape the country with all the loot they’ve stolen, or whether they get the Ceausescu treatment.

They deserve the latter.

Earlier this year, I borrowed from Dante’s Inferno and created the Five Circles of Statist Hell. At the time, I suggested that Venezuela was on the cusp of moving from the third circle (̶…

Source: Venezuela and Santa Claus vs Thomas Sowell and the Little Red Hen | International Liberty

Immigration Controversies – Thomas Sowell

Sowell

Thomas Sowell

Despite controversies that rage over immigration, it is hard to see how anyone could be either for or against immigrants in general.

Both in the present and in the past, some immigrant groups have made great contributions to American society, and others have contributed mainly to the welfare rolls and the prisons. Nor is this situation unique to the United States. The same has been true of Sweden and of other countries in Europe and elsewhere.

Sweden was, for a long time, one of the most ethnically homogeneous countries in the world. As of 1940, only about one percent of the Swedish population were immigrants. Even as the proportion of immigrants increased over the years, as late as 1970 90 percent of foreign-born persons in Sweden had been born in other Scandinavian countries or in Western Europe.

These immigrants were usually well-educated, and often had higher labor force participation rates and lower unemployment rates than the native Swedes. That all began to change as the growing number of immigrants came increasingly from the Middle East, with Iraqis becoming the largest immigrant group in Sweden.

This changing trend was accompanied by a sharply increased use of the government’s “social assistance” program, from 6 percent in the pre-1976 era to 41 percent in the 1996-1999 period. But, even in this later period, fewer than 7 percent of the immigrants from Scandinavia and Western Europe used “social assistance,” while 44 percent of the immigrants from the Middle East used that welfare state benefit.

Immigrants, who were by this time 16 percent of Sweden’s population, had become 51 percent of the long-term unemployed and 57 percent of the people receiving welfare payments. The proportion of foreigners in prison was 5 times their proportion in the population of the country.

Source: Immigration Controversies – Thomas Sowell

Is Anybody Shocked that Higher Minimum Wage Mandates Are Resulting in Fewer Jobs? | International Liberty

While economists are famous for their disagreements (and their incompetent forecasts), there is universal consensus in the profession that demand curves slope downward. That may be meaningless

jargon to non-economists, but it simply means that people buy less of something when it becomes more expensive.

And this is why it makes no senseto impose minimum wage requirements, or to increase mandated wages where such laws already exist.

If you don’t understand this, just do a thought experiment and imagine what would happen if the minimum wage was $100 per hour. The answer is terrible unemployment, of course, which means it’s a very bad idea.

So why, then, is it okay to throw a “modest” number of people into the unemployment line with a “small” increase in the minimum wage?

Source: Is Anybody Shocked that Higher Minimum Wage Mandates Are Resulting in Fewer Jobs? | International Liberty

Nine Key Takeaways from Brexit | International Liberty

What an amazing vote. The people of the United Kingdom defied the supposed experts, rejected a fear-based campaign by advocates of the status quo, and declared their independence from the European …

Source: Nine Key Takeaways from Brexit | International Liberty

The Recipe for Job Creation: Less “Help” from Washington | International Liberty

The entire video was very concise, lasting less than four minutes, so it only scratched the surface. For those seeking more information on the topic, I would add the following points.

  1. Businesses will never create jobs unless they expect that new employees will generate enough revenue to cover not only their wages, but also the cost of taxes, regulations, and mandates. This is why policies that sometimes sound nice (higher minimum wages, health insurance mandates, etc) actually are very harmful.
  2. Redistribution programs make leisure more attractive than labor. This is not only bad for the overall economy because of lower labor force participation. This is why policies that sometime sound nice (unemployment benefits,food stamps, health subsidies, etc) actually are very harmful.

The American economy is in the doldrums. And has been for most this century thanks to bad policy under both Obama and Bush. So what’s needed to boost growth and create jobs? A new video from …

Source: The Recipe for Job Creation: Less “Help” from Washington | International Liberty

Ce qui est vu et ce qu’on ne voit pas

I find it fascinating, if not reassuring, in the struggles for economic liberty that the same feeble arguments against free commerce and in defense of statism, even 166 years ago in post-revolutionary France, were peddled as progressive and as our salvation from the evils of commercialism on society .  It was a lie then, just as it is today.  

Robert Nelson

Bastiat.2That which is seen, and That Which is Not Seen; by Frederic Bastiat

On Intermediaries:

While the exaggerated development of public services, by the waste of strength which it involves, fastens upon society a fatal sycophancy, it is a singular thing that several modern sects, attributing this character to free and private services, are endeavouring to transform professions into functions.

These sects violently oppose what they call intermediates. They would gladly suppress the capitalist, the banker, the speculator, the projector, the merchant, and the trader, accusing them of interposing between production and consumption, to extort from both, without giving either anything in return. Or rather, they would transfer to the State the work which they accomplish, for this work cannot be suppressed.

The sophism of the Socialists on this point is showing to the public what it pays to the intermediates in exchange for their services, and concealing from it what is necessary to be paid to the State. Here is the usual conflict between what is before our eyes, and what is perceptible to the mind only, between what is seen, and what is not seen.

It was at the time of the scarcity, in 1847, that the Socialist schools attempted and succeeded in popularizing their fatal theory. They knew very well that the most absurd notions have always a chance with people who are suffering; malesuada fames.

Therefore, by the help of the fine words, “trafficking in men by men, speculation on hunger, monopoly,” they began to blacken commerce, and to cast a veil over its benefits.

“What can be the use,” they say, “of leaving to the merchants the care of importing food from the United States and the Crimea? Why do not the State, the departments, and the towns, organize a service for provisions, and a magazine for stores? They would sell at a return price, and the people, poor things, would be exempted from the tribute which they pay to free, that is, to egotistical, individual, and anarchical commerce.”

The tribute paid by the people to commerce, is that which is seen. The tribute which the people would pay to the State, or to its agents, in the Socialist system, is what is not seen.

In what does this pretended tribute, which the people pay to commerce, consist? In this: that two men render each other a mutual service, in all freedom, and under the pressure of competition and reduced prices.

Dry Rot in Academia – Thomas Sowell

tom_4bToday one can literally go from kindergarten to becoming a graduate student seeking a Ph.D., without ever hearing a vision of the world that conflicts with the vision of the left.

Conservative critics who object on grounds that the views of the left are wrong miss the point. Regardless of whose views become a monopoly, education suffers. John Stuart Mill understood this back in the middle of the 19th century.

Source: Dry Rot in Academia – Thomas Sowell