Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Socialism

Tracking Freedom’s Decline in America

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 17, 2015:  

Fraser Institute

A recent spate of reports, analyses, and indexes continue to confirm the decline of personal and economic freedom in the United States. The Fifth Annual report from the Fraser Institute, “The Human Freedom Index” published last month shows the U.S. falling from 17th place worldwide to 20th in the areas of personal, civil, and economic freedom.

Ian Vasquez, one of the report’s authors, wrote:

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Hyperinflation Imminent in Venezuela From Socialist Reforms

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 4, 2015:  

Estimates that price inflation in Venezuela is running between 10 and 20 percent a month are too low if one looks at the black market there. By putting price controls on essentials such as personal care items and medicines, President Nicolas Madura (pictured), a protégé of Marxist Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s previous president, has guaranteed at least two things: shortages and rationing. A healthy but very expensive black market has sprung up to meet consumer needs for items such as chickens, medicines, and toilet paper.

In that black, or free, market, Venezuelan women were shocked to find that the price of tampons and other sanitary supplies jumped

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United States Falls Further in the Human Freedom Index

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 24, 2015:  

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957

The fifth annual report from the Fraser Institute, “The Human Freedom Index,” showed the United States falling further in a global measurement of personal, civil, and economic freedom, from 17th place in 2011 to 20th in 2012 (the latest year for which reliable data is available). Ahead of the United States are Canada in 6th place and the United Kingdom, in 9th place. The United States barely edges out the Czech Republic and Estonia, in 21st and 22nd places respectively.

Wrote Ian Vasquez, one of the report’s co-authors:

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“Gig” Economy Ending Lifetime Careers, Opening Opportunities

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 5, 2015:  

Lending Club headquarters in Redwood City, Cal...

Lending Club headquarters in Redwood City, California.

According to the Financial Times — referring to the “gig” or contractor/freelance economy — the “new world of work is both more exciting and less secure.” And an increasing number of former employees are celebrating that new world by participating in it, leaving collectivists and statists gasping and wondering who will pay for the benefits they have promised if everyone starts working for himself?

The number of independent contractors is growing. And not just in the United States, either. London’s Financial Times reported earlier this week that

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Cuban Athletes at Pan Am Games Defect

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 27, 2015:  

At the end of the soccer game between Cuba and Guatemala at the Pan Am Games in Toronto last week, star midfielder Ariel Martínez  began weeping in the middle of the field. Many felt that he should have been celebrating, since Cuba bested Guatemala in the contest 1-0.

But Martínez was crying because he had made his decision to defect to the United States, and would be leaving everything he had known behind: family, friends, teammates, and ties to his country. But the opportunity to pursue his dream overcame them all:

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Is Alexis Tsipras Greece’s Pericles?

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 13, 2015:  

In making his case that socialism is like a cancer that, if not surgically excised from the body politic, will kill its host, Robert Welch told his audience:

For the whole point is that the Greek civilization was at least many centuries old – that is, many centuries removed from its pioneer days – before Pericles started it on the road to death, at the very height of its glory, through making the government increasingly responsible for its citizens, instead of its citizens being responsible for, and watchdogs over, their government.

Greek’s present Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, sounds awfully like Pericles. He had the audacity to

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The Root Cause of Greece’s Problems: Socialism

This article was published online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 13, 2015:  

English: Alexis Tsipras in a press conference ...

Alexis Tsipras

Returning to Brussels with an austerity program eerily similar to that just rejected by Greek citizens a week ago, Prime Minister Alex Tsipras hoped to obtain another bailout in exchange for debt forgiveness by the European Central Bank (ECB). Tsipras is desperate: His government must make a $7.8 billion payment to the ECB next Monday, and another $13 billion by the middle of August.

Instead, following marathon sessions lasting into the wee hours, those EU officials upped the ante, passing even more stringent demands before granting Tsipras his lifeline. It told Tsipras, in essence, either to paint or get off the ladder:

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Greece to the EU: NO!

This article was published online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 6, 2015:  

In an astonishing blow to the European Union’s credibility, Greek voters, fed up with five years of austerity, continuing recession, 25-percent unemployment, and severe cuts in pension payouts, strongly said “No!” at the ballot box Sunday. The 68-word ballot question, rejected by 61 percent of the voters, reads (translated into English):

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Who Is Bernie Sanders?

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 1, 2015: 

In his remarks announcing his decision to campaign for the Democrat Party’s presidential nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (shown) fired a warning shot at those either disparaging or belittling his intentions:

People should not underestimate me. I’ve run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates…. [My] message that has resonated in Vermont is a message that can resonate all over this country.

Polls show Sanders running more than 50 points behind Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton while journalists have emphasized his inability to raise large amounts of cash for his campaign. Others have said he has little name recognition outside of Vermont, and that his stage presence lacks Hillary’s practiced homilies and faux sincerity. Even the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Sanders isn’t going to be president,” claiming that he only wants to redirect the political conversation more to the left, forcing Clinton to clarify stands about which she has been both opaque and obtuse.

Observers should know that Sanders has been

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Latest Poll: Vast Majority Oppose Gas Tax Increase

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 17, 2014:

A new poll from Benson Strategy Group confirms not only that most Americans don’t want an increase in their gasoline taxes but that they’re afraid Congress will enact one anyway. Coming on the heels of Republicans joining with Democrats to pass a pork-laden CRomnibus bill earlier this week, the poll’s results show that two out of every three Americans don’t want to pay more at the pump. 

Those polled are likely also concerned that the recent precipitous drop in the price of gas will be seized by the Congress as an opportunity to raise the tax with minimal initial pain to drivers. 

An early attempt by a safe-district liberal Democrat from Oregon, Earl Blumenauer, a year ago to raise gas taxes by 15 cents a gallon failed to gain any traction, with just one co-sponsorship coming from a House member who knew he would be retiring this year. 

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The New Republic Magazine: New Format, Same Old Socialism

English: Chris Hughes Website

Chris Hughes, The New Republic’s new owner

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, December 9, 2014: 

 

The announcement late last week by top staffers at The New Republic (TNR) magazine that they were resigning to protest its “new direction” was met with rejoicing on the Right and consternation and anger on the Left.

In his subscription newsletter, Gary North called it “great news,” noting that the magazine had “always been a mouthpiece of the American left.” Wrote North:

The disappearance of The New Republic is part of a trend. Part of the trend is the shift from printed to digital communications. The Left has not made the transition. The other part is the shift away from traditional American liberalism.

On the Left, establishment journalist Dana Milbank, a graduate of Yale University (where he was a member of Skull and Bones), and later the author of a polemic biography of Glenn Beck, took it personally. He attacked TNR’s new owner, Chris Hughes, calling him “a dilettante and a fraud.” He explained the reason for the mass exodus: 

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The Great Thanksgiving Hoax

This article was written by Richard J. Maybury and appeared a the Mises Institute’s website, Mises Daily this morning, November 27, 2014:

"The Embarkation of the Pilgrims from Del...

“The Embarkation of the Pilgrims from Delfthaven in Holland” (1844) by Robert Walter Weir (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each year at this time, schoolchildren all over America are taught the official Thanksgiving story, and newspapers, radio, TV, and magazines devote vast amounts of time and space to it. It is all very colorful and fascinating.

It is also very deceiving. This official story is nothing like what really happened. It is a fairy tale, a whitewashed and sanitized collection of half-truths which divert attention away from Thanksgiving’s real meaning.

The official story has the Pilgrims boarding the Mayflower, coming to America, and establishing the Plymouth colony in the winter of 1620–21. This first winter is hard, and half the colonists die. But the survivors are hard-working and tenacious, and they learn new farming techniques from the Indians. The harvest of 1621 is bountiful. The pilgrims hold a celebration, and give thanks to God. They are grateful for the wonderful new abundant land He has given them.

The official story then has the Pilgrims living more or less happily ever after, each year repeating the first Thanksgiving. Other early colonies also have hard times at first, but they soon prosper and adopt the annual tradition of giving thanks for this prosperous new land called America.

The problem with this official story is that the harvest of 1621 was not bountiful, nor were the colonists hard-working or tenacious. 1621 was a famine year and many of the colonists were lazy thieves.

In his History of Plymouth Plantation, the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years because they refused to work in the field. They preferred instead to steal food. He says the colony was riddled with “corruption,” and with “confusion and discontent.” The crops were small because “much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable.” 

In the harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622, “all had their hungry bellies filled,” but only briefly. The prevailing condition during those years was not the abundance the official story claims, it was famine and death. The first “Thanksgiving” was not so much a celebration as it was the last meal of condemned men.

But in subsequent years something changes. The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, “instead of famine now God gave them plenty,” Bradford wrote, “and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God.” Thereafter, he wrote, “any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.” In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.

What happened? After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, “they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop.” They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that “all profits & benefits that are got by trade, traffic, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means” were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.” A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take only what he needed.

This “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that “young men that were most able and fit for labor and service” complained about being forced to “spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children.” Also, “the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak.” So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of the famines. 

Many early groups of colonists set up socialist states, all with the same terrible results. At Jamestown, established in 1607, out of every shipload of settlers that arrived, less than half would survive their first twelve months in America. Most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men, the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites. In the winter of 1609–10, called “The Starving Time,” the population fell from five-hundred to sixty. Then the Jamestown colony was converted to a free market, and the results were every bit as dramatic as those at Plymouth. In 1614 Colony Secretary Ralph Hamor wrote that after the switch there was “plenty of food, which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure.” He said that when the socialist system had prevailed, “we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty men as three men have done for themselves now.”

Before these free markets were established, the colonists had nothing for which to be thankful. They were in the same situation as Ethiopians are today, and for the same reasons. But after free markets were established, the resulting abundance was so dramatic that annual Thanksgiving celebrations became common throughout the colonies, and in 1863 Thanksgiving became a national holiday.

Thus, the real meaning of Thanksgiving, deleted from the official story, is: Socialism does not work; the one and only source of abundance is free markets, and we thank God we live in a country where we can have them.

America’s Welfare State is Thriving

Margaret Thatcher

Cover of Margaret Thatcher

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 30, 2014:

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s famous dictum, “The only trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money” isn’t factually correct, nor is it complete. Lazy thinkers assume from this that eventually the welfare state will just fade away like a bad cold or a nightmare, and that everything will be okay in the morning.

Here is what Thatcher actually said during an interview in 1976:

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Is the Dingell Dynasty in the House Over?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 7, 2014:

The encomiums poured in following the announcement by John Dingell (D-Mich.) last week that he wouldn’t be seeking a 30th term in the House. Tweeted Gary Peters (D-Mich.): “Today we honor the service and legacy of Michigan’s greatest Congressman. His accomplishments will never be forgotten.” Such praise would reasonably be expected from a hard-left progressive like Peters who

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Age and Acrimony End Dingell Dynasty in the House

Born in Colorado Springs in 1926, John Dingell (D-Mich.) took over from his father as a Representative from Michigan in 1955 and has never stopped promoting his father’s progressive agenda. On Monday, February 24th, Dingell announced that he would not seek a 30th term partly due to

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Establishment Republicans cave, give the President Unlimited Spending Power

Following Tuesday’s passage of a “clean” debt ceiling bill in the House of Representatives, the Senate approved it on Wednesday and sent it on to the president who is expected to sign it without delay. The bill allows the president unlimited spending authority until well after the November elections so that Republicans can focus instead on the failings of Obamacare to leverage their chances in that election. It also neatly

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WTO celebrates its first global agreement in 12 years

With tears in his eyes, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Roberto Azevêdo announced on Saturday the successful culmination of days of difficult negotiations to arrive at the

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Tracking America’s Decline

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 30th, 2013:

For years, both the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation have published studies purporting to measure just how much freedom countries around the world enjoy, based on a number of indices. Heritage tracks how closely countries hew to the rule of law, how they apply principles of limited government, how onerous the regulatory state is, and how extensively open and free markets are embraced.

Cato, on the other hand, looks at how much personal choice each country’s citizens enjoy, how free they are to engage in voluntary exchange, and how secure their rights in private property are.

Both have recently published their results for 2013, based on the latest available data. The news isn’t good. In some cases, it is

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Why are Republicans Leaving the GOP?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 12th, 2013:

 

The Frontier Lab just published a study entitled “Switching Behavior” based on in-depth interviews with some former Republicans that explored why they left the party. Their conclusions are revealing:

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The Modern German Economic Model is a Myth

Dessau, a small and steadily shrinking town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt in what used to be East Germany, is doing the best it can. Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the anticipated “miracle” enjoyed by West Germany following World War II failed to materialize for Dessau and so it is in the process of

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.