Archive for the ‘Capitalism’ Category

When Gov. Walz initially issued his shelter-in-place order, he made a big deal of the model, aka science, he was using. It was apparent that he’d gotten trapped in Greg Gutfeld’s “prison of 2 ideas.” That’s since been confirmed because, apparently, there are only 2 options. In Gov. Walz’s thinking, one option is shutting Minnesota’s economy down except for groceries and medical prescriptions. The other is no mitigation whatsoever.

Why hasn’t Gov. Walz selected another option? Is he aware that other options exist? Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota implemented the CDC’s mitigation standards without shutting down any businesses. Then again, I’d expect more from her. She’s a Republican. Walz is a Democrat.

The model that Minnesota is using is essentially worthless. Last week, Gov. Walz said that it wasn’t being used much for its accuracy as it’s being used for giving him direction. That’s word salad on steroids. If the model is off by orders of magnitude, how can you trust that it’s pointing you in the right direction?

That’s like putting a magnet next to a compass, then expecting a legitimate reading. The only reading you’ll get is of the needle going around and around into infinity. Thus far, Gov. Walz has only talked about medical supplies and not running the hospital staff into the ground. That’s the least of Gov. Walz’s worries. We’re nowhere close to using up our ventilators, PPE, N95 masks, etc.

It’s like Hawaiians buying parkas, then worrying about not having a parka when you need it. At this point, it’s becoming obvious that Gov. Walz isn’t the right man to handle a crisis. He’s made one terrible decision after another:

The Governor is apparently not paying attention to or doesn’t believe the results of his own modeling, which is supposed to be incorporating all this expert advice. And he has his reasoning completely backward, the number of infections and deaths isn’t determined by the amount of health resources, whether you have enough resources is determined by the number of cases you project. His current best projections are estimating a level of cases and deaths that the health system can handle. I would note in particular that while the original modeling said there were only around 235 ICU beds in the state, by the time of the reforecast that number had grown ten-fold. And the reality is the health system could handle more cases than the peak need now projected. So he can just stop using the weak excuse that we have to build health resources for a peak that isn’t coming.

Gov. Walz isn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier. This is proof of it:

Mayo Clinic has unveiled a plan to cut $1.6 billion in pay, withdraw nearly $1 billion from its financial reserves and save another $700 million through a hiring freeze to counteract a $3 billion loss inflicted by the coronavirus. A large portion of this loss was the result of Governor Tim Walz’s ban on non-essential procedures that has cost Mayo up to 75% of its business in some areas.

Way to go, Tim. By the 4th of July, you might kill Minnesota’s economy to the point that it won’t recover until the twenty-second century. Either that or until we get a principled Republican as governor. This should get Gov. Walz’s attention but likely won’t:

In both 2018 and 2019, the Clinic recorded a $700 million operating financial margin, meaning that it has reported this amount in profit. However, in the last week of March alone, Mayo says it lost $162 million, reports the post. Meanwhile, the Rochester campus is running at about 35% patient capacity and performing only about a quarter of the surgeries it normally would. This is because the majority of the procedures the world famous hospital provides have been forcibly canceled by Walz’s executive order prohibiting non life saving treatments.

At this rate, Gov. Walz will kill more businesses than COVID-19 will kill people. That’s a frightening thought. What’s more is the thought that Gov. Walz still thinks he’s doing the right thing. Might this be Gov. Walz’s destiny:

Time will tell but he’s off to a great start.

Recently, AOC peddled some socialist BS, talking about how “the country” must “strip profit motive out of our decisions and reprioritize for the public good.” That’s the fastest path to poverty invented in human history. Isn’t government prioritized “for the public good”? How often is government the source of our problems rather than the source of our solutions?

Let’s be clear about this. If a bureaucrat fails, what’s his/her incentive to improve? Better question: is there an incentive to improve? If schools fail, isn’t it guaranteed that EdMinn will simply insist that it’s a funding problem? There’s currently a crisis within the MN Department of Human Sacrifices Services. It’s been a crisis since the Dayton administration. Apparently, there isn’t an incentive to fix the problem because the problem persists.

There’s been a problem for about 5+ years with MNLARS. It was ‘only’ supposed to cost $10,000,000-$15,000,000 total. It’s supposedly getting fixed. The total cost to Minnesota’s taxpayers has been approximately $186,000,000 as of May 1,2019. It’ll certainly cost Minnesota’s taxpayers another $100,000,000 or more.

Again, when there isn’t a cost to the worker for failure, failure is inevitable or, at minimum, highly likely. It sounds good to move away from a profit motive — until you realize that profits drive markets and that markets drive innovation. The best explanation of this comes from legendary economist Milton Friedman:

Justin Haskins’ question nails it perfectly:

Just ask any parent with a teenager whether people who don’t have to work spend money as wisely as those who must earn it for themselves!

I’d think that’s more of a rhetorical question than anything else. A politician friend of mine talks about OPM, aka Other People’s Money. My friend says that spending other people’s money is addictive without the requisite character, to the point that it’s as addictive as another addictive drug, aka opium. Either way, it’s pronounced O-P-M. Then there’s this:

Omar, another far-left member of the “Squad,” was perhaps even more direct about her socialist demands in her video, in which she directly called for the federal government to nationalize key industries. “And so, it is important for us to nationalize the supply chain, it’s important for us to take action in nationalizing our health care system,” Omar said.

Does nationalizing industries promote accountability? It hasn’t happened yet that I’ve heard of. It’s produced tons of thuggery but it hasn’t produced accountability.

Joe Biden’s staff must’ve written this op-ed on life after COVID-19 for him. It’s impossible to picture him empathizing with young people like that. In the op-ed, Biden wrote about the need for social distancing and how life wasn’t fair to young people. Then he spoke to people aged “20-54.”

But based on recent data from the Centers for Disease Control, it’s also clear that adults of all ages, including younger people, need to practice social distancing and self-isolating for their own personal protection. Of the cases in the U.S. thus far, almost 40 percent of COVID-19 infections that required hospitalization were among people aged 20-54.

That statistic is worthless by itself. How many of those young people who were hospitalized had compromised immune systems? What percent of those that were hospitalized were near the upper end of that age range? A 20-year-old’s immune system isn’t as compromised as a 54-year-old’s immune system.

That paragraph is mostly there to frighten people. It isn’t there to inform people. To inform people, there needs to be greater specificity. That’s missing from Biden’s op-ed. What isn’t missing from Biden’s op-ed are scare tactics:

People under the age of 60 are not immune to coronavirus. Young people are not assured to only experience a mild case if you catch it. There are no guarantees that you will not die from it. Increasingly, we are hearing heart-rending stories of deaths from people in their 20s and 30s.

That’s why we all have to follow the CDC guidelines to minimize the risk of our own exposure to the virus, and to slow its spread to others. Wash your hands. Stay at least six feet away from other people at all times. And yes, stay home. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family and neighbors. Do it to save the lives of those you’ve never met.

Thanks, Joe. We’ve been doing that for over a month. Leadership is about telling us what we need to do a month+ after we need to do it.

This is like Sleepy Joe accusing President Trump of xenophobia when President Trump shut down travel with China on January 31. According to Dr. Fauci, that decision saved lives and bought the US time. Next, Biden plays the con-job card:

This virus is already threatening economic impacts that could rival the Great Depression, and we are going to rely on the energy, the innovative spirit, and boundless capacity of our young people to help rebuild our economy when it’s over. We’re going to have to figure out how to get more help to folks who were left out of this bill. For example, I support forgiving at least $10,000 in student loan debt per person right now to provide meaningful relief. It’s the responsibility of all those in Congress to act now to ensure that our young people get a fair shot.

It isn’t just young people who have the gift of innovation. Smart people of all ages participate in innovation. What’s required is capitalism and competition.

A few Fridays ago, President Trump brought together CEOs of major companies in the Rose Garden at the White House to talk about ramping up testing for COVID-19. CEOs and presidents of companies like CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Target and other companies pledged to donate parts of their parking lots to do drive-through testing so they didn’t need to tie up space in clinics. About 15 minutes into this video, multiple CEOs spoke about their companies’ contributions:

In other words, President Trump did 2 weeks ago what Joe Biden is just thinking about today. In a crisis, time matters. Peter Navarro has coined a new phrase that’s appropriate for this. He’s talked about doing things at “Trump time.” In other words, getting things done faster than government is used to moving. Amen to that.

Let’s implement Trump time. Let’s vanquish Biden’s scare tactics.

When Johnny Carson interviewed Ronald Reagan on the Tonight Show With Johnny Carson in March, 1975, Reagan told Carson about a study called “The Demography of Happiness.” According to that study, which cost taxpayers $249,000, young people are happier than old people, healthy people are happier than sick people and that people who earn more are happier than people who earn less.

Reagan summarized by saying that it didn’t take a government study to figure out that people “who are rich, young and healthy are happier than people who are poor, old and sick.” I can’t argue with that statement.

Reagan said something else during that interview that I thought was profound. In fact, I’ve remembered it literally for more than a decade. Reagan said “If the American people would take a little inventory and take a look around, if you triple our troubles and were better off than any other people on earth.”

Let’s be honest. Despite all the whining from leftists, Americans are far better off than most nations. While it’s true that the rich in our nation make more than the poor, it isn’t because the poor are in terrible trouble. It’s because our top income-earners are that well off. Put differently, our poor would be considered rich in many industrialized nations.

Further, the truth is that many industrialized nations’ systems hold people in place. They don’t let lower income people rise. It’s explained in Friedrich Hayek’s classic book “The road to serfdom.” In that book, Hayek explains that “the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning.”[1] He further argues that the abandonment of individualism and classical liberalism inevitably leads to a loss of freedom, the creation of an oppressive society, the tyranny of a dictator, and the serfdom of the individual.”

I suspect that Reagan would’ve agreed with most of Hayek’s thoughts. That’s because President Reagan wasn’t afraid to see what he’d seen.

The biggest difference between Democratic socialism and progressivism is the spelling of the words. According to Wikipedia’s definition of Democratic socialism, Democratic Socialists “hold that capitalism is inherently incompatible with the democratic values of liberty, equality, and solidarity; and that these ideals can only be achieved through the realization of a socialist society.”

By contrast (?), progressives believed “that progress was being stifled by vast economic inequality between the rich and the poor; minimally regulated laissez-faire capitalism with monopolistic corporations; and intense and often violent conflict between workers and capitalists.”

During his prolific life, Milton Friedman vehemently disagreed with both economic philosophies. In fact, he wrote a book about it titled Capitalism & Freedom. In the book, Dr. Friedman argued that “with the means for production under the auspices of the government, it is nearly impossible for real dissent and exchange of ideas to exist.”

In this interview, which I’ve posted often, Friedman schools Phil Donahue on the virtues of capitalism vs. socialism:

The point behind this is that Democrats are trying to pretend that they’re progressives, not socialists. Is there a difference between single-payer health care of Bernie Sanders and the “universal coverage” of Tim Walz? I wouldn’t bet on it. If there is a difference, it’d be miniscule.

The other point I want to make is that the economy is running strong right now. Why screw it up? That’s what a Speaker Pelosi would do. I know that because that’s what she did the first time she was Speaker. It didn’t take long for the economy to shrink. It took only a little longer for President Obama’s Democratic Socialists to implement Obamacare.

Thankfully, the American people came to their senses and got rid of Obama’s and Pelosi’s stupidity. Now, the economy is growing, people are finding the jobs they want and their 401(k)s are growing, especially if they’re invested in the NASDAQ.

One doesn’t have to read much of this article to figure out why Heartland voters treat Democrats like aliens from another planet. The Democrat writing this article disparages Christians in a totally disrespectful way.

For instance, the article contains a paragraph that says “New York has taken to Chick-fil-A. One of the Manhattan locations estimates that it sells a sandwich every six seconds, and the company has announced plans to open as many as a dozen more storefronts in the city. And yet the brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism. Its headquarters, in Atlanta, are adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet. Its stores close on Sundays. Its C.E.O., Dan Cathy, has been accused of bigotry for using the company’s charitable wing to fund anti-gay causes, including groups that oppose same-sex marriage. ‘We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation,’ he once said, ‘when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ The company has since reaffirmed its intention to ‘treat every person with honor, dignity and respect,’ but it has quietly continued to donate to anti-L.G.B.T. groups.”

It’s one thing to disagree with Chick-fil-A’s religious beliefs. That’s fair enough. It’s another to treat Chick-fil-A like they’re weird. For years, Democrats knew how to relate to devout Catholics and Jews. Those days are definitely in the Democrats’ past.

This emphasis on community, especially in the misguided nod to 9/11, suggests an ulterior motive. The restaurant’s corporate purpose still begins with the words “to glorify God,” and that proselytism thrums below the surface of the Fulton Street restaurant, which has the ersatz homespun ambiance of a megachurch. David Farmer, Chick-fil-A’s vice-president of restaurant experience, told BuzzFeed that he strives for a “pit crew efficiency, but where you feel like you just got hugged in the process.” That contradiction, industrial but claustral, is at the heart of the new restaurant—and of Chick-fil-A’s entire brand. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Cows.

This writer might want to pay a little more attention to what he wrote. Specifically, he should pay attention to this:

One of the Manhattan locations estimates that it sells a sandwich every six seconds, and the company has announced plans to open as many as a dozen more storefronts in the city.

Mayor de Blasio called for a boycott of Chick-Fil-A. Here’s how New Yorkers responded:

I definitely won’t put those people in the undecided or opposition categories.

Its arrival in the city augurs worse than a load of manure on the F train. According to a report by the Center for an Urban Future, the number of chain restaurants in New York has doubled since 2008, crowding out diners and greasy spoons for whom the rent is too dear. Chick-fil-A, meanwhile, is set to become the third-largest fast-food chain in the nation, behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks. No matter how well such restaurants integrate into the “community,” they still venerate a deadening uniformity.

If I had a saying for this writer to live by, it’d be ‘Lighten up, Dude.

The indisputable fact is that Chick-fil-A identified a market, which has helped them make tons of profits while developing a loyal customer base. If that isn’t the definition of success, I don’t know what is. Perhaps it’s time for Democrats to figure it out that they’re losing voters, congressional districts and states because they’re too hard-hearted.

California once was called the Golden State. Since the influx of illegal immigrants started, California’s image has suffered mightily. Homelessness has risen dramatically. The middle class have started leaving the state. Income inequality has risen despite Gov. Moonbeam’s sticking to the progressives’ script to a T. It’s gotten so bad that the LATimes is writing about California’s homeless crisis.

It’s stunning to read that “next year, the state expects to spend $700 million on homelessness.” The more California follows the progressive checklist, the more they’ll experience income inequality, the more they’ll trigger the middle class flight that they’re experiencing and, eventually, the more that they’ll increase homelessness.

The only way to fix California’s multiple crises is to return to capitalism and the rule of law. Right now, California’s calling card is a chaotic society. That won’t attract people. It’ll repel them. Reports like this won’t attract people:

It’ll just tell them that California’s economy is rigged in favor of Silicon Valley and Hollywood. It says that the American Dream is only alive for the well-connected. You won’t attract people with that image.

Give Hostess credit. At a time when a blizzard of companies are paying their employees bonuses, raising their wages or improving their benefits, Hostess conceived of a great idea for their bonuses. According to this article, “The company produces bakery snack cakes such as Twinkies, Ho Hos, Zingers and Sno Balls. Each week this year, a representative from one of the company’s bakeries will choose a different product, which employees will take home in multi-packs, according to Bloomberg. Workers will receive the monetary bonus in the form of $750 in cash and a $500 contribution to their 401k.”

I’m just wondering when some liberals will criticize Hostess for contributing to America’s obesity problem.

It must frost Democrats to read “Hostess is the latest in a string of companies who have said they will use the large corporate tax cut in the new GOP tax law to invest in their workers. Starbucks, Disney, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase and others have announced wage raises, one-time benefits or other bonuses for employees.”

After reading the article, I posted this tweet:

Later, someone replied:

It’s fun watching socialists, aka Democrats, pull their hair out watching Trump’s tax cuts work. The socialists, aka Democrats, aren’t upset that the tax cuts, aka capitalism, are failing. Democrats are upset because capitalism is succeeding.

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Michael Goodwin states “The cash-in-the-pocket benefits are great news to many families, but the boom is doing something else too: It’s giving the millennials a firsthand lesson in economics. Following eight slow-growth years under President Barack Obama and an election where their favorite candidate, Bernie Sanders, railed against the wealthy and promised free stuff for everybody else, many young Americans were taught that socialism is their friend and capitalism their enemy. Now they are getting proof that the opposite is true. They are eyewitnesses as capitalism provides more opportunities and financial security to more people than any other system.”

Despite the prosperity that’s becoming increasingly clear, Democrats still won’t admit that the Trump/GOP tax cuts are working. Prominent Democrats like Nancy Pelosi “likened them to cheese on a mouse trap. Former party boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz told a crowd that ‘I’m not sure that $1,000 goes very far for almost anyone.'”

This must drive Democrats nuts:

The contrast with Trump is striking. His “America is Open for Business” spiel at Davos was consistent with his promise to get the economy roaring. Never a shrinking violet, he is most convincingly authentic when cheerleading for jobs, jobs, jobs.

He starts his second year in office with the dividends piling up. As The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, the tax cuts are “rippling through” the economy and leading all kinds of firms to explore expansion and some to consider new plants and acquisitions.

Many companies also are increasing their charitable contributions, with JPMorgan Chase saying it will boost its community-based philanthropy by 40 percent, to $1.75 billion over five years. That, too, is unique to capitalism, people and businesses freely giving away their money.

Trump is the modern-day version of economist Milton Friedman, a salesman for capitalism par excellence:

As the tax cuts kick in and as businesses continue handing out bonuses and pay increases, Democrats will be put into the difficult position of explaining why every Democrat in the House and every Democratic senator voted against the tax cuts. To this day, that’s one of the most stunning political mistakes in modern political history. Truthfully, it’s inexplicable, foolish.

A good friend of LFR sent me a video of this weekend’s episode of the Wise Guys. This week, host Bill Bennett invited panelists Alan Dershowitz, Ollie North, Ari Fleischer and Steve Wynn into an intelligent debate about a wide range of subjects. The video is almost 42 minutes long, though it feels like it’s a 10 minute video. That’s because, in my opinion, these gentlemen spoke past the shiny object BS that we’re weighed down with. Instead, they spoke about the fundamentals that built this nation. Ari Fleischer spoke about how our political system, over the long sweep of history, fixes itself. Professor Dershowitz asked Steve Wynn how he deals with the jealousy so prevalent in today’s society. Hint: Wynn’s reply to that question was both refreshing and bold. Ollie North said he didn’t fear the future the way Professor Dershowitz did because he thinks that tomorrow’s leaders will come from colleges, not the Ivy League.

First, here’s the video:

Here’s Professor Dershowitz’s question on jealousy and Steve Wynn’s reply:

PROF. DERSHOWITZ: We have a man, Steve Wynn, who is a multibillionaire and the American Dream. He earned it all the hard way from nothing and yet, when they see the kind of wealth you have, there are people who resent it. I don’t think they have the right to resent it. I think they have the right to demand a safety net. I think they have the right to demand a decent life but they have no right to take their wealth away. That’s jealousy and it destroys one of the most important engines of capitalism but the perception of the disparity of wealth has become greater than it’s become before because of the media and it is a real problem. So I wanted to ask Steve how do you deal with this in your personal life? How do we deal with it institutionally?
STEVE WYNN: In fact, I don’t. Because I can’t do anything about what other people think. My counterpoint to jealousy or envy is the only constituency that a successful businessman has is the jobs he’s created, the people that work for him and the opportunities for a better life it gives to the people who are involved in his business family. The fact of the matter is the distribution of wealth on this planet is outrageously imbalanced. The 5 of us at this table are part of a group, Americans, who sit in one-tenth of one percent of the almost 8,000,000,000 people who occupy this planet. Just being in this country, we’re privileged beyond any fair measure of meta-distribution. It has always been so…

Finally, Wynn nails it, saying “the only thing that’s ever created a better life for a human being in the history of humanity is the demand for their labor. The more there is, the better the life.”

First, if you have the time, watch this video. If you don’t have the time, watch it, too. Watching Alan Dershowitz and Steve Wynn, both registered Democrats, discussing the role of government and the successes of capitalism was fascinating. Watching Wynn talk about not worrying about other people’s jealousy towards his wealth, then pivoting to talk about his obligation to make his employees’ lives better, was inspirational.

Government’s role in the economy is to make sure everyone has a fair shot at prosperity. Special carve-outs stifle fairness and make prosperity for all difficult to achieve. This discussion was inspirational because it focused on foundational things rather than paying attention to click-bait things.

It’s time for Republicans and Democrats to stop focusing on shiny objects and to start focusing all of our attention on foundational things.