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Old 02-03-2020, 06:22 PM   #256
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"crying wolf on impeachment"
the whole affair was a series of major fouls. The best outcome is a speedy acquittal.

By kimberley a. Strassel
jan. 30, 2020 6:58 pm et



the impeachment trial of donald j. Trump is coming down to one big question: Will democrats, by crying wolf, drown out the more legitimate republican cry of foul?

“foul” has served as the gop’s most powerful and honest argument from the first days of these impeachment maneuverings. Democrats broke every standard of due process, transparency and fairness in their house investigation, making a mockery of their constitutional duty.

They hid the identity of the original accuser, denying republicans and the country the ability to judge his motives. They held secret depositions, barring more than three-quarters of house members, as well as the press and the american public. They called 18 witnesses, but blocked the president from calling any in his defense. The white house legal team was excluded from the proceedings—prohibited from cross-examining witnesses, denied the ability to introduce any evidence that spoke to the central question of the president’s focus on ukrainian corruption.

House intelligence chairman adam schiff secretly obtained and published the communications records of the president’s private attorney, a member of congress and a reporter. Democrats withdrew their court challenge to compel a key witness, depriving the white house of the ability to defend its executive-privilege claim in court. And the legitimacy of the first portion of the house inquiry—including numerous subpoenas—is in doubt, since it was conducted before the house voted to open it.

Democrats approved two articles of impeachment that failed to identify a crime. Senators are instead asked to render verdicts on a vague “abuse of power” claim and on a “obstruction of congress” charge that is the result of the house’s own decision not to litigate its demand for testimony. Those articles were passed by a partisan vote with no serious expectation of conviction, simply to make a statement: “he is impeached forever,” speaker nancy pelosi said this month.

Foul, foul, foul. The democratic affront to basic norms and standards is why most americans continue to reject impeachment. And it is why republican senators remained on solid ground in moving toward a quick acquittal. Substantively, they have rightly asserted it is their duty to reject a partisan and procedurally defective impeachment. Politically, they remain on the side of the majority of americans who oppose removing this president from office.

Yet now come democrats and the press insisting it is senate republicans’ job to call yet more witnesses on their behalf, namely former national security adviser john bolton. Mr. Schiff and senate minority leader chuck schumer claim the failure to do this will result in a rigged trial, a “coverup,” an assault on the constitution. Cue republican jitters.

Relax. This is a false alarm—and for all the reasons republicans have articulated to date. Calling mr. Bolton wouldn’t remedy a fatally flawed proceeding. It wouldn’t erase the secret hearings, or fix the failure to settle “contempt” in the courts, or restore due process. Mr. Bolton’s testimony would add nothing. His supposed big reveal is that mr. Trump tied the withholding of aid to ukrainian investigations of corruption. And? Mr. Trump’s defense team has spent the week highlighting his focus on ukrainian corruption that goes back to 2018. It has also documented completely separate reasons for the aid delay.

Everyone understands that mr. Bolton’s testimony wouldn’t change a single republican vote on acquittal. The only merit to calling him would be the opportunity it would provide to reopen the investigation, to allow the president’s team an honest defense with its own full roster of witnesses. But how many senators have the stomach for the months this duty to fairness would require? How many republicans think weeks and weeks more of this torturous process is beneficial to their re-election? And who thinks that this is the senate’s job anyway?

Republicans who hope a vote for witnesses will protect them from democratic assault are in denial. They are surely savvy enough to know that even testimony from mr. Bolton wouldn’t stop cries of “coverup.” any assertion of executive privilege—any refusal to answer any question—would be cast as concealment. Democrats would claim dozens of other officials were muzzled. They can’t afford ever to concede that mr. Trump was acquitted in a fair trial.

Far better for republicans to shut down the whole circus. The whole affair was a series of major fouls. Get acquittal in the history books and roar out with a renewed condemnation of the democratic abuse of a serious process. Go about reminding voters of the merits of republican governance versus the theatrics of the partisan “resistance.” move on to the true way americans are meant to settle political differences in this country—the november elections.

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Old 02-03-2020, 07:34 PM   #257
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Quote:
JANUARY 18TH, 2020
KLAVAN: The Culture War Is The War
By Andrew Klavan

One evening this week, I was rereading Lord Byron’s great poem “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,” and came upon a startlingly accurate description of Cancel Culture. Writing in the early 1800s, Byron describes a civilization that has ceased to search for truth but weighs everything in “custom’s falsest scale:

“Opinion an omnipotence, whose veil

Mantles the earth with darkness, until right

And wrong are accidents, and men grow pale

Lest their own judgments should become too bright,

And their free thoughts be crimes, and earth have too much light.”


Now, yes, I know I can’t enlist Byron — who used to refer to the more conservative William Wordsworth as ‘Turdsworth’ — as a spokesman for conservatism. But in this moment when the left insists that all disagreement with their orthodoxies equals bigotry and evil, when speaking simple truths like “a man is not a woman” can cost you your reputation or your job, who can fail to recognize a world in which “men grow pale lest their own judgments should become too bright and their free thoughts be crimes”?

This week alone, the left renewed its attempts to vilify the Oscar-nominated film Joker as somehow racist, which it’s not. When a Bible that was used to swear in commanders of the new Space Force was blessed in a ceremony at Washington National Cathedral, an anti-religious group called the blessing a “shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy, dominance, triumphalism and exceptionalism.” Even Stephen King, one of our great storytellers and a reliable anti-Trump leftist, was attacked when he said he would “never consider diversity in matters of art” but would only judge it by its quality.

These attacks are relentless and can often be costly. Writer Chadwick Moore, a gay former liberal, says he has been repeatedly banned from Facebook for not towing the homo-leftist line. His latest thirty day expulsion was for posting an article he wrote entitled “Rednecks Are the Least Racist People in America,” based on his own experiences bolstered by research by Thomas Sowell and historian Colin Woodard.

And much worse. In Australia, a young gay conservative who protested Drag Queen Story Hour at a library in Brisbane, committed suicide after being viciously defamed by the so-called LGBTQ Community.

Conservatives tend to treat the fight against such leftist bullying as a side skirmish compared to such major battles as who wins the 12th district in Ohio. They may roll their eyes and tweet their tweets — but at the same time, they teach themselves to watch their words lest they lose their social media platforms or their sponsors or their jobs.

Which, of course, is the whole point. In order to funnel power away from the individual and into the central government, the left is selling a utopian fantasy based on utterly false ideas of human nature and human enterprise. The greatest danger to that fantasy is any expression of the simple truth. Silencing that expression is what political correctness and Cancel Culture are for.

And any conservative who thinks the political fight to save the country from leftism can be won without confronting those devices is an idiot. The fight against Cancel Culture is not a side skirmish. It’s not even a major battle. It’s the war.

In the first two weeks of this year, President Trump eradicated a major terrorist, faced down the evil regime in Iran, made a new trade deal with China and had the new NAFTA-style deal ratified in a bi-partisan vote — all while the economy soared to new heights and low- and middle- class workers of all races saw their wages finally begin to rise. Indeed, lower income households have seen their net worth increase by 47 percent since the president took office.

And yet, the RealClear Politics polling average has Trump’s approval rating at 44.3 percent. About half the people want to see him impeached and removed from office.

Well, why not? Trump is himself the victim-in-chief of Cancel Culture. He is repeatedly and relentlessly portrayed as racist, sexist and otherwise phobic by a news media that gives him 93% negative coverage, according to the Media Research Center. The stone lie that he said there were “very fine people” among white supremacists continues to be shamelessly repeated — this week by the New York Times’ Charles Blow. And Democrat candidate after candidate declares the American economy serves only the rich, unchallenged by their poodle press.

If we cave in to leftist bullying, if the relentless political correctness of social media and the press goes unchallenged and Cancel Culture thrives because “men grow pale lest their own judgments should become too bright, and their free thoughts be crimes,” then the American public will ultimately follow a leftist fantasy straight into leftist reality, which is another name for hell.


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Old 02-11-2020, 01:09 PM   #258
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Quote:
"democrats want a prophet, not a president"
they’re increasingly rigid and orthodox, even as republicans have shown a new flexibility.
By bobby jindal
updated feb. 10, 2020 7:06 pm et


the democrats have turned religious. Not in the sense that they espouse a belief in an omnipotent and benevolent creator or eternal and universal moral principles. They are religious in the sense that they hold dogmatic beliefs that are impervious to contradiction by logic, evidence or experience, and cultivate a moral superiority toward unbelievers. The party that loudly prides itself on tolerance and diversity is increasingly intolerant in at least three areas.

First, democrats have moved beyond traditional environmentalism, with its emphasis on regulation, technological innovation and market incentives to achieve incremental progress, toward a radical vision grounded in an unshakable belief in climate apocalypse. Both parties once cooperated to protect endangered species and clean the air, water and soil. Today’s democrats demand bans on fracking and new oil and gas leases on federal lands, and endorse the elimination of all fossil fuels and decarbonization of the economy in unrealistic time frames. Rather than aspirational moonshots, intended to inspire the public and private sectors to work together, democrats use these impossible goals as rationales for completely restructuring how americans live, work, commute and even eat.

More-radical activists regard eating meat, driving suvs, having children, flying and using plastic straws as akin to mortal sins. During last week’s primary debate, tom steyer went so far as to declare that climate change, not terrorism or a resurgent china, is the “biggest problem that we face internationally in the world.” democrats are increasingly willing to sacrifice allies—such as union workers in extraction and construction—to scramble after unreachable climate targets. Sen. Bernie sanders denounced the u.s.-mexico-canada agreement, endorsed by the afl-cio, because it was silent on climate change.

Green purity trumps all competing goals. Democrats divide the world into progressive fellow travelers and climate-change deniers. The latter are to be mocked and shunned. They’re certainly not to be tolerated in respectable places like newsrooms, classrooms or corporate or government offices. Moderates don’t exist in the democratic vision of the world.

Zero-emissions nuclear energy, cleaner burning natural gas and energy-efficiency initiatives are suddenly no longer positive interim steps. The left even views celebrating cleaner air and declining co2 emissions as undermining the urgency necessary to overhaul the u.s. Economy through policies like the green new deal.

Second, democrats have moved beyond their support for keeping abortion “safe, legal and rare,” as president clinton put it in 1992, to denounce anyone who views abortion as regrettable or proposes any limitation on it. The party seems determined to run out its few remaining pro-life members, such as rep. Dan lipinski, who scraped through a primary battle against a progressive activist in 2018. “the fact that a deep-blue seat is advocating for many parts of the republican agenda is extremely problematic,” rep. Alexandria ocasio-cortez said of mr. Lipinski last fall.

Excommunications are the order of the day. Democrats are increasingly willing to sacrifice catholic social-justice voters and others attracted by the party’s populist attacks on the power of large corporations and economic inequality. On the campaign trail, mr. Sanders declared saturday that “being pro-choice is an absolutely essential part of being a democrat,” while self-styled moderate pete buttigieg twice ducked a question in an iowa town hall last month asking him to affirm a party platform that would include pro-life democrats. The mayor was willing only to restate his own position “a woman ought to be able to make that decision.”

there was a time when moderates could find common ground on measures like conscience clauses to protect health providers from being forced to violate their religious beliefs, the hyde amendment to keep taxpayers from subsidizing abortions, and restrictions on late-term abortion. Now, abortions must be celebrated in all places and times, planned parenthood must be funded without restriction or supervision, and dissenters must be treated as heretics.

Third, democrats have moved beyond demanding legalization of same-sex marriage to insist on rearranging social norms based on the belief in “gender fluidity.” what was once a civil-rights movement focused on marriage has moved on to demands for individualized pronouns, access to opposite-sex bathrooms and violations of parental rights. Sen. Elizabeth warren declared last month that she would have her pick for secretary of education vetted by a “young trans person.”

democrats have no patience for former allies left behind by their rapidly leftward-shifting views. Tennis legend martina navratilova faced a fierce backlash when she questioned the fairness of transgender athletes competing in female sports. Traditional feminists who spent years fighting for equality of the sexes and against the notion of female inferiority now find some of their former fellow combatants declaring that sex is a social construct with no inherent meaning or value.

While democrats have become more dogmatic in the trump era, republicans have demonstrated a new flexibility. To get the deregulation and judges they value, many have jettisoned orthodoxies on free trade, immigration, small government and entitlement reform. That may frustrate traditional conservatives, but it’s proving popular with voters increasingly disenchanted with both parties. It has been easier for republicans to attract new voters, such as moderate midwesterners, by modifying their traditional economic positions than for democrats to tone down their social views. The left simply can’t compromise.

While democrats may be able to harness intense anti-trump sentiment to paper over their differences in the short term, republicans are better positioned to meet voters where they are. Democrats will find it harder to build a winning coalition as long as they continue to treat disagreement as a moral failure. That may win plaudits in editorial boards and faculty lounges, but it won’t attract many new voters.

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Old 02-21-2020, 08:26 PM   #259
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The Moral Crisis of Skid Row

https://www.city-journal.org/skid-row-los-angeles

The piece is too big to paste here but it's what you won't see in the media.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:25 AM   #260
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It's Easy to Believe AOC Has an Economics Degree

02/21/2020 Ryan McMaken

It has become something of a tradition in the free-market corners of social media to express shock and dismay over the possibility that New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) — an avowed "democratic socialist" — has an economics degree from Boston University.

This is how it works: AOC makes a statement that is notably anti-market, pro-socialist, or generally clueless about general concepts from the field of economics.

Her critics then post responses questioning whether she actually has a degree, or that she must have not been paying attention in class, etc.

Here are a few examples:




But why is it so hard to believe that she has a degree in economics? It seems far too many people have rather inaccurate ideas about what is taught in economics programs nowadays.

The truth is there is little emphasis on understanding markets in economics programs, and little emphasis on the value of markets. The emphasis is now on using economics to justify state action in the economy. And any bias that may have once existed in favor of unhampered markets in these departments is vanishing.

The idea that economics is the dispassionate study of understanding how hiring is affected by an imposed price floor (i.e., minimum wages), or how opportunity cost affects consumer choices, is rapidly becoming hopelessly outdated.

Sure, twenty years ago, that sort of thing could still often be observed. But microeconomics of that sort is now about as fashionable as other relics of that time, such as the Backstreet Boys.

Basic principles that were once a given — i.e., the notion that making labor more expensive means employers buy less of it — are now out the window.

But this trend didn't start yesterday. For decades now, economics has moved further and further away from teaching microeconomics and how firms and households work. Instead, by the late 1990s, economics was well down the road of constructing elaborate and purely hypothetical mathematical models that had little bearing on everyday life. These model builders claimed they could predict the future, but of course, they completely missed the huge financial crisis of 2008.

Another trend in recent decades has been toward conducting an enormous number of studies that produce statistical correlations. But as the correlations can be interpreted any number of ways, they often end up being used to support whatever policy the researchers prefer. Out of this has come the drive to make economics into a discipline that depends on tinkering and trial and error. Some now insist we can't really guess what the results of a policy might be until we "test" it using methods from the physical sciences.

This is now what's fashionable, and a December article at Quartz tells us, "the new era of big data ... has led economists to revisit the wisdom of some long held assumptions."

Those old "assumptions" are what many people wrongly think is a focus of economics instruction. Last year, for example, Vox happily reported that in a new introductory economics course at Harvard, "[t]here’s little discussion of supply and demand curves, of producer or consumer surplus, or other elementary concept.." Moreover, it's getting easier to get through an economics program without any knowledge of economics because economists are increasingly less interested in economics proper.

As I noted here at mises.org last year, economists nowadays seem to spend a lot of time ripping off the insights of historians, sociologists, psychologists, and political scientists. They then slap some new labels on the research and give it names like "behavioral economics."

In the sorts of "economics" classes that focus on such topics, one learns that government planning is what gets a poor country out of poverty. They learn that people can't be trusted to make decisions for themselves. They learn bailing out billionaires in the financial sector again and again has no real downside, morally or otherwise.

There's no reason to believe that a student with an economics degree is going to graduate with a deep understanding of how government intervention distorts markets or impoverishes consumers. The theoretical foundations behind such things are mentioned, of course, but at many institutions they are most certainly not emphasized.

Far more likely, one learns in these programs that central banks can be relied upon to fix almost any economic problem faced in the course of a business cycle. And if a certain problem becomes especially difficult, the answer surely lies in giving the central bank even more power.

Moreover, economics students believe all sorts of fantasies that most normal people would easily identify as obvious nonsense were they not told otherwise by "wise" economists. Only economics students, for example, are naive enough to think that central banks are "independent" and non-political institutions. This is why the most revealing research on the Fed as a political institution is conducted primarily by political scientists. (For example, see John T. Woolley's "The U.S. Federal Reserve and the Politics of Monetary and Financial Regulatory Policy.")

So, it's entirely plausible AOC took any number of economics courses and came out with good grades after learning virtually nothing accurate about entrepreneurship, wages, money, or consumer choice. What she did learn on these topics was likely built on the premise that the state ought to be intervening and tinkering with all these things.

AOC appears to have the same beliefs as many economics grads.

Meanwhile, AOC's critics make fun of her for being a bartender. But they're getting things backward. Being a bartender is possibly the best thing on her C.V. These snide remarks one often sees about "the bartender AOC" seem to assume bartending is some sort of disreputable line of work that only idiots pursue. It's not. "Serving" in Congress is much less impressive. Besides, tending bar is likely one of the more instructive thing AOC has done as far as understanding markets goes. There's certainly no reason to assume the economics faculty at BU was any help in this regard.

https://mises.org/power-market/its-e...onomics-degree
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:32 AM   #261
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Looks like I have to post 2 good ones from Mises today...

President Trump's Pardon of Michael Milken and Murray Rothbard

02/19/2020 David Gordon

President Trump's pardon of Michael Milken would have delighted Murray Rothbard. Milken, who was famous for his "junk-bond" takeovers of various companies, served twenty-two months in prison for federal crimes that involved market trading. Murray Rothbard thought that Milken was a hero. As he explained in an article written in 1989:

During the 1960s, the existing corporate power elite, often running their corporations inefficiently—an elite virtually headed by David Rockefeller—saw their positions threatened by takeover bids, in which outside financial interests bid for stockholder support against their own inept managerial elites. The exiting corporate elites turned—as usual—for aid and bailout from the federal government, which obligingly passed the Williams Act [named for the New Jersey Senator who was later sent to jail in the Abscam affair] in 1967. Before the Williams Act, takeover bids could occur quickly and silently, with little hassle. The 1967 Act, however, gravely crippled takeover bids by decreeing that if a financial group amassed more than 5% of the stock of a corporation, it would have to stop, publicly announce its intent to arrange a takeover bid, and then wait for a certain time period before it could proceed on its plans. What Milken did was to resurrect and make flourish the takeover bid concept through the issue of high-yield bonds (the "leveraged buyout").

The new takeover process enraged the Rockefeller-type corporate elite, and enriched both Mr. Milken and his employers, who had the sound business sense to hire Milken on commission, and to keep the commission going despite the wrath of the establishment. In the process Drexel Burnham grew from a small, third-tier investment firm to one of the giants of Wall Street.

The establishment was bitter for many reasons. The big banks who were tied in with the existing, inefficient corporate elites, found that the upstart takeover groups could make an end run around the banks by floating high-yield bonds on the open market. The competition also proved inconvenient for firms who issue and trade in blue-chip, but low-yield, bonds; these firms soon persuaded their allies in the establishment media to sneeringly refer to their high-yield competition as "junk" bonds, which is equivalent to the makers of Porsches persuading the press to refer to Volvos as "junk" cars.

People like Michael Milken perform a vitally important economic function for the economy and for consumers, in addition to profiting themselves. One would think that economists and writers allegedly in favor of the free market would readily grasp this fact. In this case, they aid the process of shifting the ownership and control of capital from inefficient to more efficient and productive hands—a process which is great for everyone, except, of course, for the inefficient Old Guard elites whose proclaimed devotion to the free markets does not stop them from using the coercion of the federal government to try to restrict or crush their efficient competitors.


https://mises.org/power-market/presi...urray-rothbard
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:12 AM   #262
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Good stuff this AM Baron.

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Old 02-22-2020, 10:37 AM   #263
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I have been arguing on moral grounds of Milken's innocence since he was arrested. He was completely railroaded.
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Old 02-27-2020, 06:31 AM   #264
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Not an Op-Ed but an outstanding deep philosophical look into the foundations of Authoritarianism from a friend.

It's only 17 minutes long but there is so much packed into it.

https://youtu.be/dpt1YU2GckQ
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Old 02-27-2020, 06:54 AM   #265
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This is the great one.

Now this is how an article should be written with deep, deep sources and understanding of the topic.

I am in awe of this 2 part and very long article from another friend but it is so worth the time and the he deserves the clicks.

The detail and arguments are exceptional.

The Morality Of Moneylending

Quote:
The prevailing view that emerged in the late sixteenth century (and that, to a large extent, is still with us today) is that money is not barren and that usury plays a productive role in the economy. Usury, however, is unchristian; it is motivated by a desire for profit and can be used to exploit the poor. It can be practical, but it is not moral; therefore, it should be controlled by the state and subjected to regulation in order to restrain the rich and protect the poor.

This Christian view has influenced almost all attitudes about usury since. In a sense, Luther and Calvin are responsible for today’s so-called capitalism. They are responsible for the guilt many people feel from making money and the guilt that causes people to eagerly regulate the functions of capitalists. Moreover, the Protestants were the first to explicitly assert and sanction the moral-practical dichotomy — the idea that the moral and the practical are necessarily at odds. Because of original sin, the Protestants argued, men are incapable of being good, and thus concessions must be made in accordance with their wicked nature. Men must be permitted to some extent to engage in practical matters such as usury, even though such practices are immoral.

In spite of its horrific view of man, life, and reality, Luther and Calvin’s brand of Christianity allowed individuals who were not intimidated by Christian theology to practice moneylending to some extent without legal persecution. Although still limited by government constraints, the chains were loosened, and this enabled economic progress through the periodic establishment of legal rates of interest.
https://newideal.aynrand.org/the-mor...istory-part-1/

Last edited by johnlocke; 02-27-2020 at 08:20 AM..
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:36 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by johnlocke View Post
This is the great one. Now this is how an article should be written with deep, deep sources and understanding of the topic.

I am in awe of this 2 part and very long article from another friend but it is so worth the time and the he deserves the clicks.

The detail and arguments are exceptional.



https://newideal.aynrand.org/the-mor...istory-part-1/
I look forward to reading this when I'm not at work.

I glanced at it briefly, so what I am about to post may actually be in the article.

Christians, Jews, and Muslims all considered usury to be a sin. However, the Jews interpreted it as applying to usury from one Jew to another, and therefore making loans at interest to others was not a sin.

So, the Christians would go into the Jewish ghettos, and borrow money, from the money lenders who had benches set up there to make the deals. These benches were called "banco" in Italian, and from that derives the word "bank" and "banker".

Later, the Knights Templar adopted something similar, where a pilgrim could deposit money in, say, Rome to the Knights Templar, travel without fear of being robbed, and then withdraw their money in Jerusalem with an interest deduction, a fee for service in exchange for safe travel to the Holy Land.

This made both the Jews and the Knights Templar rich over time, and led them to suffer very similar prejudices and fates later, at the hands of those indebted to them monetarily, but with enough political power to eliminate the debt by killing off the lenders.
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Who is this self-important instigating douche-bag, anyway?
Dude, Baron has been a valued member of this forum for quite some time.
Peace, Prosperity, Liberty, Human Rights, Natural Rights, Civil Rights, Property Rights, Sound Money, Free Markets, Sovereignty, the Constitution, the Republic.

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Old 02-27-2020, 08:18 AM   #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Samedi View Post
I look forward to reading this when I'm not at work.

I glanced at it briefly, so what I am about to post may actually be in the article.

Christians, Jews, and Muslims all considered usury to be a sin. However, the Jews interpreted it as applying to usury from one Jew to another, and therefore making loans at interest to others was not a sin.

So, the Christians would go into the Jewish ghettos, and borrow money, from the money lenders who had benches set up there to make the deals. These benches were called "banco" in Italian, and from that derives the word "bank" and "banker".

Later, the Knights Templar adopted something similar, where a pilgrim could deposit money in, say, Rome to the Knights Templar, travel without fear of being robbed, and then withdraw their money in Jerusalem with an interest deduction, a fee for service in exchange for safe travel to the Holy Land.

This made both the Jews and the Knights Templar rich over time, and led them to suffer very similar prejudices and fates later, at the hands of those indebted to them monetarily, but with enough political power to eliminate the debt by killing off the lenders.
Good call. Yes, this is addressed.
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:48 PM   #268
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Good call. Yes, this is addressed.
What Baron Said, the killing the lenders part, does Hillary's family tree take us in this direction?

Cheers
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:49 AM   #269
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what baron said, the killing the lenders part, does hillary's family tree take us in this direction?

Cheers
rofl
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:29 PM   #270
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"Sweden’s Lessons for America"
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By Johan Norberg

When asked if he can mention a single example of a country where socialism has worked, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I‑VT) says yes but indicates that it’s not the Soviet Union of his honeymoon or any other country where the government actually owns the means of production. Instead, he says, “we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway.” Likewise, Rep. Alexandra Ocasio‐​Cortez (D‑NY) fiercely rejects any suggestion that she wants to turn the United States into Venezuela. Apparently, she prefers to turn it into a big Sweden or Denmark.

Sooner or later, American socialists always return to Sweden and other Nordic countries. There’s a good reason for that. For some reason, the countries that socialists originally tout always end up with bread lines and labor camps. But there’s always Sweden: decent, well‐​functioning, nonthreatening, and with impeccable democratic credentials.

There is just one problem: Sweden is not socialist.

If Sanders and Ocasio‐​Cortez really want to turn America into Sweden, what would that look like? For the United States, it would mean, for example, more free trade and a more deregulated product market, no Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the abolition of occupational licensing and minimum wage laws. The United States would also have to abolish taxes on property, gifts, and inheritance. And even after the recent tax cut, America would still have to slightly reduce its corporate tax. Americans would need to reform Social Security from defined benefits to defined contributions and introduce private accounts. They would also need to adopt a comprehensive school voucher system where private schools get the same per‐​pupil funding as public ones.

If this is socialism, call me comrade.

So why is it that so many people associate Sweden with socialism? For the same reason they associate it with ABBA and free love: their perceptions are stuck in the 1970s. At that time, it was reasonable to say that Sweden was moving toward socialism. But that was an aberration in Sweden’s history — an aberration that almost destroyed the country.

In the 1970s, many outsiders took a serious look at Sweden for the first time, and they were astonished to find a country that combined massive government intervention in the economy with a very high standard of living. Sweden seemed to have squared the circle. But it was like the old joke: How can you end up with a large fortune? You start with a larger one.

As early as 1950, Sweden had become the fourth‐​richest country in the world, and there was nothing mysterious about its progress. Sweden was also the fifth‐​freest economy at that time, according to an analysis by Robert Lawson and Ryan Murphy at the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. In 1950, taxes were just 21 percent of Sweden’s gross domestic product (GDP), lower than in the United States, and roughly 10 percentage points below the level in countries like Britain, France, and West Germany.

SWEDEN’S LIBERAL REVOLUTION
This era of smaller government was the result of a much earlier transition. In the mid‐​19th century, the Swedish government had been taken over by a group of classical liberals led by the minister of finance, Johan August Gripenstedt, who credited Frédéric Bastiat with having opened his eyes to the superiority of free markets. In a short time, these liberals abolished the guild system, tore down trade barriers, deregulated business and financial markets, and started to dismantle the legal discrimination against women. They also implemented open immigration and emigration, which instantly led to Swedes lining up for any ship that could take them to America. There, they picked up ideas about human liberty and business organization that would inspire their compatriots back home even more.

Gripenstedt had promised that his reforms would help to turn his desperately poor country into one of the richest in Europe, but he was widely mocked when he left government in 1866. Conservative critics called him a coward for leaving just when people would begin to see how his policies had destroyed the country. Critics insisted that dismantling government controls would wreak havoc on the economy and that foreign competitors would leave Swedish industry in ruins.

But Gripenstedt was proven right. The reforms kickstarted Sweden’s industrialization. From 1870 to 1913, Sweden’s GDP per capita increased by 2 percent annually, 50 percent faster than the rest of Western Europe. And during this period, public spending did not surpass a tenth of GDP. Then Sweden sat out two world wars, while keeping markets open and taxes low and expanding the size of the government more cautiously than others.

The Social Democrats quickly became a pragmatic party after they came to power in 1932, and some Social Democrats were in fact more consistent free‐​marketeers and free‐​traders than many on the right. The party knew that large, multinational companies brought in the goods, so they provided very hospitable conditions and generous deductions for capital costs. Swedish socialists let the market stay free to create wealth and settled for redistributing part of that result — but not so much as to threaten wealth creation.

More than other countries, Sweden held on to free trade, and international competition made sure that businesses kept restructuring and innovating. The trade unions allowed old sectors such as farming, shipping, and textiles to go gently into that good night, so long as new industries were born to replace them.

A century after Gripenstedt’s resignation, his widely mocked hopes for Sweden had been fulfilled. It was now one of the freest and richest countries in the world.

It also happened to be the perfect place to experiment with socialism.

THE SOCIALIST EXPERIMENT
Gunnar and Alva Myrdal, the two leading Swedish Social Democratic thinkers of the 20th century, thought that Scandinavian countries were uniquely suited for a generous welfare state. They were wealthy countries with competitive businesses that could fund it all. They also had homogenous populations with a strong work ethic, noncorrupt civil services, and a high degree of trust. If it did not work there, it would be difficult to believe it could work anywhere.

Slowly but steadily, the Social Democrats intervened in education and health care and created social security systems that provided pensions, unemployment, paternal leave, and sick leave benefits. Most benefits were proportional to the amount paid in so that the middle class would have an interest in supporting the system.

But soon, with coffers filled and riding on an international socialist wave, the Social Democrats accelerated their takeover of business and civil society. Between 1960 and 1980, public spending more than doubled, from 31 to 60 percent of GDP, and taxes skyrocketed. The government started regulating businesses and the labor market in detail. The Social Democrats even began experimenting with a system to socialize major companies, “the wage earners’ fund.”

This is the version of the Swedish model that came to the world’s attention, and the version that Bernie Sanders remembers. At the precise moment that socialism attained its highest international prestige, here was a small, democratic country that seemingly proved that socialism and wealth could be combined.

But it was like taking a snapshot of Elvis Presley at the same time and concluding that the way to become the king of rock ‘n’ roll was to eat banana and bacon sandwiches with prescription drugs. The way Sweden behaved when it reached the top was the opposite of what had got it there.

PALME’S HELL
This was a moment of Swedish glory only in American and European newspaper reports. In reality, it was Sweden’s Atlas Shrugged moment. Talent and capital stormed out of Sweden to escape taxes and red tape. Swedish businesses moved headquarters and investments to more hospitable places. IKEA left for the Netherlands and Tetra Pak for Switzerland. Björn Borg and other sports stars fled to Monaco. The famous novelist Vilhelm Moberg, who had settled in Switzerland, complained that the Swedish government was a “monster without morality or sense of poetry.” The legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman left for Germany after having been falsely accused of tax evasion.

“This is hell,” Prime Minister Olof Palme said behind closed doors, referring to the wage earners’ fund that he couldn’t even get himself to believe in. The Swedish economy, which had gotten used to outpacing all the other industrialized economies, now started lagging behind them significantly. In 1970, Sweden was 10 percent richer than the G7- group of wealthy countries on a per capita basis. In 1995, it was more than 10 percent poorer. During that period, not a single net job was created in Sweden’s private sector.

The bottom line is that socialist policies didn’t even work in Sweden, despite Gunnar and Alva Myrdal’s hopes. Massive government intervention had undermined not only productivity and innovation but also the very foundations that made Sweden look like the best place to experiment with it. The celebrated work ethic remained intact for those who had grown up under a system of free markets and personal responsibility, but it was eroded in new generations who had only experienced high taxes when they worked and generous benefits when they didn’t. The people were turning into “a population of cheats,” exclaimed a disappointed Gunnar Myrdal.

The share of Swedes who said it is acceptable to lie to obtain public benefits increased from 5 percent in 1960 to 43 percent in 2000. After generous sick leave benefits were implemented, Swedes who were objectively healthier than any other population on the planet were suddenly “off sick” from work more than any other population — suspiciously often male workers during hunting season and big, international sport events.

For a while, a debt‐ and inflation‐​fueled boom kept the economy crawling along. But when that ended in 1990, Sweden suffered a spectacular crash. Unemployment surged and the budget deficit soon reached 11 percent of GDP. For a few days in 1992, the Central Bank tried to defend the Swedish currency with an interest rate of 500 percent.

THE COUNTER-COUNTERREVOLUTION
By this time, one spectator had already concluded that Sweden’s experiment with semi‐​socialism was “unsustainable,” “absurd,” and “rotten and perverse.” This was not the view of an ideological opponent of the project but of someone who spoke from bitter experience: the Social Democratic Minister of Finance Kjell‐​Olof Feldt.

He concluded: “That whole thing with democratic socialism was absolutely impossible. It just didn’t work. There was no other way to go than market reform.” And this was the conclusion of people across the political spectrum. A center‐​right government under Prime Minister Carl Bildt from 1991 to 1994 implemented a radical reform agenda to get Sweden back to its classical model. But Social Democrats also embraced many reforms.

They reduced the size of the government by a third and implemented a surplus target in public finances. They reduced taxes and abolished them on wealth, property, gifts, and inheritance. State‐​owned companies were privatized, and markets in financial services, electricity, media, telecom, and others were liberalized. Sweden also joined the European Union to get tariff‐​free access to its most important markets. In Brussels, Sweden became a leading voice for fiscal restraint and deregulation.

Sweden implemented choice and competition in the public sector and created a school voucher system. And, to the disbelief of foreigners, Social Democrats and center‐​right parties agreed to end the pay‐​as‐​you‐​go system in social security and replace it with defined contributions and private accounts. Now pension payments are dependent on the development of the economy, not on politicians’ promises.

It was transformational. Between 1980 and 2000, Sweden improved by 2 points on the 10‐​point scale of the Economic Freedom of the World Index, compared to 0.5 for the Reaganite United States and 1.8 for Thatcherite Britain. Of course, Sweden started from a lower level, but it was still a fairly steep climb.

Since then, the Swedish economy has once again outpaced its neighbors. Even though the reforms were painful for many sectors and groups, they were a boon for the general public. Between 1970 and 1995, when the world thought of Sweden as a worker’s paradise, inflation ate almost all their wage increases. Since 1995, on the contrary, real wages have increased 65 percent.

“The Social Democrats’ success formula is socialist rhetoric but center‐​right policies,” as Björn Rosengren, a Social Democratic minister of industry summarized.

Public spending and taxes are now down to normal West European levels. Social spending is 26 percent of GDP, compared to 29 percent in Belgium and 31 percent in France. But it is still much higher than in the United States. The Swedish government provides citizens health care, childcare, free colleges, and subsidized parental and medical leave...
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