God is a Capitalist

Monday, April 15, 2019

Socialists Redefine Envy As Justice

Source: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Socialists claim they just want justice. That casts capitalists as opponents of justice. But capitalist have always insisted they value justice as much as socialists. Both can’t be right. What’s going on? How can both honestly be in favor of justice?

Untangling the knot is simple: each side operates from different definitions of justice. Capitalists derive their ideas of justice from the Bible: people have rights to life, liberty and property; those who violate the rights of another are evil doers (Romans 13) and should be punished. Christian notions of justice built Western civilization.

Cold Weather Did Not Create The Modern World

The birth of Christ was the most important event in human history. Second to it was the hockey stick growth in per capita GDP (standards of living) that began with the creation of the Dutch Republic in the late 16th century. Most know it as the Industrial Revolution, which socialists claim impoverished and enslaved mankind, but it was much more than that. It was a revolution in culture, including the laws, government, religion, social structure and attitudes toward business.

Economists call it hockey stick growth because a graph of per capita GDP for the world would be almost perfectly flat from pre-history until 1600 when for the first time in human history the average standard of living began to rise. It caused a continuous increase in average wealth in the Dutch Republic, England, the US, Australia, Canada and eventually all of Western Europe. It ended poverty and the Malthusian cycles of famine with mass starvation in the West and made us 30 times as wealthy as our ancestors who launched it. Since WWII similar prosperity has spread to Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and finally China. The World Bank estimates that slightly freer markets in India and China cut the worst poverty in half in just the past generation.

Millennials Want The Big State To Fix Problems Which It Caused

Source: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

We free marketeers are talking past millennial socialists. We tend to replay old film footage of the horrors of the USSR, China under Mao, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela, hoping to frighten them out of their puppy love with socialism. Millennials respond by saying they don’t want to repeat any of those disasters; all they want is for the rich to share their wealth with others, like the Nordic countries. It won’t lead to tyranny. What’s wrong with that?

Some millennials find just the existence of billionaires disgusting and want to euthanize the class. Those whom envy consumes I can only recommend that they learn to love their rich neighbor as they love themselves. Those who think that billionaires have caused poverty by taking from the poor need to learn real economics.

Friday, March 22, 2019

‘Progressive’ Christianity Is Actually Regressive Medievalism

Source: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

The religious left refers to their ideology as “progressive Christianity,” even though their economic ideas regress to the middle ages and most deny the fundamental truths of Christianity that Jesus is God and he rose from the dead. Still, the left covets the power that the name “Jesus” holds on real Christians and wants to use it to lure them into their socialist dark web.

A recent venture in the tradition issues from an Anabaptist blogging as the Hippie Heretic. Anabaptists tried to create a communist city during the early 16th century in the Netherlands, another example of regression.

The Cult Of The MBA CEO

The MBA degree turned 111 this year. How is it doing? Great for those who hold the degree from top business schools; not so much for the businesses they run, according to a study by the Institutional Investor. The cult of the MBA CEO has led to huge increases in executive pay but not profit gains:
According to data from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, average CEO compensation at the largest firms rose from $1.8 million per year in the 1980s — roughly in line with the previous 45 years — to $4.1 million in the 1990s. By the early 2000s, it had risen to $9.2 million. And those numbers are after adjusting for inflation...
We found no statistically significant alphas — despite testing every possible school with a reasonable sample size. MBA programs simply do not produce CEOs who are better at running companies, if performance is measured by stock price return...

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Conservative/Libertarian Shotgun Wedding And The Trump Divorce

What is wrong with conservatives? Daniel McCarthy, editor of Modern Age and an editor for The American Conservative, has joined Tucker Carlson and Abby McCloskey in trashing free markets and demanding greater state intervention. McCarthy whines about a lot of things and blames then all on globalization. But at the core of his complaints sits the hollowing out of the middle class in the US.

I’m not sure there is a hollowing out of the middle class because it’s hard to define. For most of history, the middle class was the group of independent small to medium size business people that socialists called the bourgeoisie. It made up about 5% of the population until the class exploded in size during the industrial revolution. At some point in the 20th century the term was redefined to include workers whose income was in the middle between the rich and poor, mostly factory workers without a college education. So the decline of manufacturing jobs as a percentage of the total workforce terrifies conservatives and socialists.

Socialism Is Not About Sharing – It’s About Killing

When I comment on articles about socialism on Facebook or web sites like Christianity Today or Patheos, I often get the response that socialism is just sharing and I wonder where they got such an idea. After all, if you read the writings of the followers of Saint-Simon, Marx, Lenin, Stalin or Mao, none of them mention sharing.

So where did so many US citizens get the idea that socialism is just about sharing? I think the answer lies with “milk cow economics.” Starting in middle school, most social studies classes eventually get around to it. Here is a typical example from one of the many sites that popped up in a search of the term:

Socialism: You have two cows. You give one to your neighbor (share).

Communism: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk.

Fascism: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk.

Nazism: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you.