Sunday, January 06, 2013
The West IS racist
The Democratic party was the party of slavery
A New Hampshire Democrat legislator wants laws to chase away conservatives
If that's fair, why not have laws to chase away fat and ugly old ladies?
A New Hampshire legislator wants her constituents to know that she feels conservatives are the "single biggest threat" her state faces today, and she wants to use her powers to legislate to "pass measures that will restrict" the freedoms of Granite State conservatives.
In a blog post made last month on the left-wing site Blue Hampshire, 3rd District State Representative Democrat Cynthia Chase advised her fellow legislators to use their positions to make New Hampshire less welcoming to any conservative or libertarian planning on moving to her state—not to mention those already in residence.
For those unaware, a conservative project of sorts has been underway in New Hampshire since 2001. The idea is that Americans of conservative ideals are to move to New Hampshire, gather in communities, run for office, and work to drive the state toward libertarianism and conservatism. It is called the "Free State Project" and adherents are called "Free Staters."
These Free Staters figure that the state’s motto, “Live Free or Die,” should really mean something and it is these citizens whose freedoms legislator Chase wants to oppress.
In her December 21 post, Chase wrote that, "Free Staters are the single biggest threat the state is facing today."
"In the opinion of this Democrat, Free Staters are the single biggest threat the state is facing today. There is, legally, nothing we can do to prevent them from moving here to take over the state, which is their openly stated goal. In this country you can move anywhere you choose and they have that same right. What we can do is to make the environment here so unwelcoming that some will choose not to come, and some may actually leave. One way is to pass measures that will restrict the 'freedoms' that they think they will find here. Another is to shine the bright light of publicity on who they are and why they are coming."
Of course, it is one thing to be a proponent of laws that might have the unintended consequences of restricting others' freedoms. If one truly believes in such policies, well, they may be disastrously wrong, but at least they'd be honestly wrong. A fine point, to be sure.
But here we have a legislator that doesn't just want to pass laws that are tangentially restrictive. She wants to purposefully use her powers to write laws to target individuals with whom she disagrees, take away their freedoms and liberties, and all in the hopes that the citizens she is oppressing might move away from her state. As New Hampshirite Steve MacDonald notes, "this sounds like tyranny."
Imagine if a legislator had written a blog post targeting the freedoms of gays, or women, or some other minority? One would think that the media would go wild with such a story. But here we have an elected official suggesting that government be used in the United States of America to eliminate freedoms for certain citizens in order to gain political control and the media is silent. Sounds like tyranny, indeed.
'Forward' just a disguise for central planning
The political slogan "Forward" served Barack Obama well during this year's election campaign. It said that he was for going forward, while Republicans were for "going back to the failed policies that got us into this mess in the first place."
It was great political rhetoric and great political theater. Moreover, the Republicans did virtually nothing to challenge its shaky assumptions with a few hard facts that could have made those assumptions collapse like a house of cards.
More is involved than this year's political battles. The word "forward" has been a political battle cry on the Left for more than a century. It has been almost as widely used as the Left's other favorite word, "equality," which goes back more than two centuries.
The seductive notion of economic equality has appealed to many people. The pilgrims started out with the idea of equal sharing. The colony of Georgia began with very similar ideas. In the Midwest, Britain's Robert Owen – who coined the term "socialism" – set up colonies based on communal living and economic equality.
What these idealistic experiments all had in common was that they failed.
They learned the hard way that people would not do as much for the common good as they would do for their own good. The pilgrims nearly starved learning that lesson. But they learned it. Land that had been common property was turned into private property, which produced a lot more food.
Similar experiments were tried on a larger scale in other countries around the world. In the biggest of these experiments – the Soviet Union under Stalin and Communist China under Mao – people literally starved to death by the millions.
In the Soviet Union, at least 6 million people starved to death in the 1930s, in a country with some of the most fertile land on the continent of Europe, a country that had once been a major exporter of food. In China, tens of millions of people starved to death under Mao.
Despite what the Left seems to believe, private property rights do not exist simply for the sake of people who own property. Americans who do not own a single acre of land have abundant food available because land is still private property in the United States, even though the left is doing its best to restrict property rights in both the countrysides and in the cities.
The other big feature of the egalitarian left is promotion of a huge inequality of power, while deploring economic inequality.
It is no coincidence that those who are going ballistic over the economic inequality between the top one or two percent and the rest of us are promoting a far more dangerous concentration of political power in Washington – where far less than one percent of the population increasingly tell 300 million Americans what they can and cannot do, on everything from their light bulbs and toilets to their medical care.
This movement in the direction of central planning, under the name of "forward," is in fact going back to a system that has failed in countries around the world – under both democratic and dictatorial governments and among peoples of virtually every race, color, creed, and nationality.
It is one thing when conservative leaders like Ronald Reagan in America and Margaret Thatcher in Britain declared central planning a failure. But what really puts the nails in the coffin is that, before the end of the 20th century, both socialist and communist governments around the world began abandoning central planning.
India and China are the biggest examples. In both countries, cutbacks on government control of the economy were followed by dramatically increased economic growth rates, lifting millions of people out of poverty in both countries.
The ultimate irony is that the most recent international survey of free markets found the world's freest market to be in Hong Kong – in a country still ruled by communists! But the Chinese communists have at least learned, the hard way, a lesson that Barack Obama seems oblivious to. We are going "forward" to a repeatedly failed past, following a charismatic leader, after a 20th century in which charismatic leaders led countries into unprecedented catastrophes.
The war did NOT end the Great Depression
It just concealed it. It in fact made living standards worse
In this article, we ask whether the U.S. economy during World War II can be meaningfully described as having “recovered” from the Great Depression. Our work builds on the earlier contribution to the topic by Robert Higgs (2006c, originally published in 1992). Higgs argues that the traditional macroeconomic measures of economic performance are inappropriate for wartime and that they overstate people’s real economic well-being during the war. We review his contribution in more detail as we proceed. Our contribution complements Higgs’s by examining a number of archival sources to explore how the wartime economy affected individuals and households. Rather than looking at traditional economic statistics, we explore newspapers, diaries, and other primary sources to discover the variety of ways in which the wartime economy actually amounted to a retrogression for many families because they had to supply additional labor, accept inferior goods, and do without many goods altogether as resources were diverted to the war effort and wartime controls constrained the market process.
This question was first explored in a rigorous way by Robert Higgs (2006c), who argues that the economy did not fully recover until after the war was over—in other words, that the war itself did not end the Depression. According to his analysis, the war effort distorted economic metrics such as GNP and unemployment figures because of factors inherent to producing goods that would be used destructively and the significant intervention into markets required for governments to gear all economic activity to the war effort. An economy in which resources are devoted to producing outputs that will kill others or destroy their property and in which priceand-wage controls and a military draft are dominant features is not an economy whose health we can assess by using the standard tools.
Nearly all factories producing consumer durable goods were shifted to production of munitions. This shift forced a change in lifestyle for the American public. For example, new appliances were unavailable, so Americans were forced to maintain old refrigerators and stoves beyond their usual lifespan. Even though GNP statistics signaled a massive increase in production, the American consumer in fact had fewer purchasing options available. Higgs (2006c) offers a number of powerful arguments for his claim that a standard reading of the standard macroeconomic measures vastly overstates the economy’s health during World War II. He points out that unemployment statistics during wartime also deserve critical scrutiny. It is very easy to reduce the unemployment rate through a military draft that removes millions of men from the labor market, and the same processes of creating war materials that boosts GNP also require labor to complement the capital converted to wartime uses.
In view of the draft of 10 million men and the enormous demand for workers to build tanks, guns, and ships, it is no surprise that the war drove down the unemployment rate. Like the increase in GNP, however, this drop in unemployment did not translate into improved standards of living or a genuinely recovered private economy.
Higgs also argues that economies subject to wage and price controls are more difficult to judge in terms of GNP and related indicators. GNP uses market prices to measure the value of final products. If those prices are capped by law, market prices do not reflect the actual value to consumers, and GNP is accordingly distorted. To the extent that such controls cause surpluses and shortages, the deadweight losses and costs associated with nonprice forms of competition (for example, queues, rationing schemes, and side payments) are not captured in standard measures. Because GNP measures only the flow of resources regardless of the uses to which those resources are put, they do not allow us to make a leap from observed changes in GNP to inferred changes in consumer welfare.
Expenditures to blow up a city and rebuild it count the same as expenditures to create new goods and services that add to consumers’ wealth or utility. Therefore, Higgs argues, we should view wartime GNP figures with much skepticism.
The war was referred to as the “people’s war” in newspapers, and everyone was forced to make adjustments (Fleming 1942, 17). Shortages became common as the government tried to manage production and limited the use of many everyday products. During the war, “Americans had less money with which to buy fewer goods.” As one historian asks, “How can this be called anything but economic retrogression?” (Woods 2004, 27). The greatest example of economic retrogression during the war was a return to self-sufficiency. Even with rationing, food supplies remained scarce, and many Americans were forced to grow their own food. Although “victory gardens” did help to supplement purchased food, their cultivation was a major step backward in terms of the economic benefits created through the division of labor. Harvested fruits and vegetables were canned or dried as women sought to ensure a stable food supply through the winter months (Thomas 1987, 104). Rural households might have been able to survive on a diet of home-grown foods, but urban populations often did not have the space or know-how to grow their own food, so the latter were generally affected more by rationing than were rural populations.
The great period of economic advance that occurred during the century preceding World War II was characterized by industrialization. The U.S. economy was transformed from a country of farmers and craftsmen to a nation of massive industrial production. Consider the improvements that were realized following the Civil War. Trains, typewriters, electric lights, manufactured clothing, and automobiles all made products cheaper and life easier for ordinary Americans. With industrialization came greater specialization. This division of labor made workers more productive. Instead of handcrafting an entire product from start to finish or growing a variety of crops to feed a family, the expanding and deepening of the division of labor allowed people to use their talents and knowledge more efficiently on a narrower stage of the production process.
During the war, the opposite movement occurred. As manufacturing was refitted for war production, there was a reversal in the trend toward specialization. Those remaining on the home front were forced to produce for themselves what they had previously been able to purchase. The household again became a center of production rather than consumption alone. The pressures of wartime meant a clear loss in productivity for those forced to engage in the more difficult processes of growing and canning their own food as well as sewing and resewing clothing to make it last longer. Women had less time to spend caring for their children as other household tasks, such as saving cooking grease or tin foil, consumed their time. Although manufacturing continued throughout the war and even increased, it was concentrating heavily on producing war supplies and munitions rather than consumption goods, especially consumer durables.
Every region and community dealt with the changing reality of the wartime economy differently. A study of the wartime experience of families living in El Paso, Texas, makes clear the degree to which rationing affected everyday life, uncovering the advantage enjoyed by those who lived on the U.S.–Mexico border. Richard A. Dugan describes how El Pasoans were largely able to maintain their desired level of consumption by supplementing what their ration books enabled them to buy with goods that were readily available at market prices across the border and that did not require using up any ration tickets (2000, 56). This resort might seem to be an effective way to purchase more without taking more than what the Office of Price Administration (OPA), the agency in charge of the rationing process, considered to be one’s “fair share,” but the OPA quickly spoke out against this conduct, declaring that El Pasoans were not participating in our “shared national sacrifice” and maintaining that the “benefit of location” should not be exploited
Many Americans, in particular those living in cities, did not have this advantage and hence felt the ration program’s full force. Even those who could avoid rationing were able to do so only by incurring significant transaction costs. Not only were various consumer items unavailable, but those that could be found were of inferior quality. Substitute goods were of substandard construction and were often uniform, precluding consumers’ choice of styles, shapes, and sizes. The reduction in variety and precision of sizes is yet another form of economic retrogression, and the consequent welfare losses for consumers are difficult to quantify in traditional measures. Living with shoes a half-size too big or being unable to get the cut of meat one prefers surely entails a reduction in well-being, even if it is not captured in GNP.
As the OPA tightened rations on particular items or items became completely unavailable, consumers turned to clearly inferior substitutes. Several products still sold today became widely accepted as substitutes during the war, including margarine as a substitute for butter. Boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese became popular during the war because they were provided at a two-for-one discount per ration ticket (“World War II Rationing” n.d.). Spam also became a substitute for those craving meat. Other substitutes included “honey for sugar, corn oil for olive oil, cotton or rayon for wool, paper containers instead of tin; and wood furniture instead of metal” (“Making Do With Less” n.d.). The effects of these changes in consumption cannot be measured easily by economic aggregates but were the reality for families during the war. Even if household income remained the same or even increased, Americans were forced to live poorer lives during the war owing to the reduced quality, quantity, and variety of products available.
Shopping became a bureaucratic nightmare. Because there were more ration coupons than supplies, grocery shopping often required women to visit several stores to find needed supplies. These larger transaction costs associated with finding goods to purchase, regardless of the drop in quality of what would eventually be purchased, represent an economic loss owing to the war. In many cases, stores facing both food and labor shortages had to shut down (Thomas 1987, 103). These conditions created an extreme hardship especially for working women: “After eight or ten hours of riveting or welding or soldering, these wives and mothers had to stand in long lines in the stores and cope with rationing. By the time they reached the market at the end of their workday, the limited supplies were often depleted—unless they were fortunate enough to have a grocer who looked out for them, saving a good cut of meat or slipping a package of cigarettes into their grocery bag” (Gluck 1987, 13).
In January 1943, the Women’s Club of Mobile, Alabama, petitioned the OPA to adjust rationing quotas. Because municipal population at the time of the most recent census determined distribution quotas, changes in population had left some areas with less tn their fair share (Thomas 1987, 103). In the absence of market-clearing prices, goods had to be distributed according to criteria other than willingness to pay, and various forms of nonprice rationing outside of the official rationing system emerged, including a great deal of favoritism based on “who you know.” Price controls were put in place to allow all Americans to have equal access to goods during the war, but they created instead a system of payoffs, back-room deals, and black markets that benefited only those with a comparative advantage in exploiting the system rather than those who could best provide demanded goods at low prices and those who needed the goods.
Much more HERE
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena . GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a war criminal. Both British and American codebreakers had cracked the Japanese naval code so FDR knew what was coming at Pearl Harbor. But for his own political reasons he warned no-one there. So responsibility for the civilian and military deaths at Pearl Harbor lies with FDR as well as with the Japanese. The huge firepower available at Pearl Harbor, both aboard ship and on land, could have largely neutered the attack. Can you imagine 8 battleships and various lesser craft firing all their AA batteries as the Japanese came in? The Japanese naval airforce would have been annihilated and the war would have been over before it began.
Posted by JR at 2:04 AM