God is a Capitalist

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Socialists’ Attack On “Greed” Is Really Concealed Envy

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Gordon Gekko in the motion picture Wall Street regurgitated what socialists have been saying for a century: capitalism is based on greed. Here is part of his monologue:
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed -- for lack of a better word -- is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

Greed, in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed -- you mark my words -- will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.
As I wrote recently, the definitions of greed are confusing. Even the poorest in Western countries are guilty of egregious greed if we adhere to dictionary definitions. The writers who put those words in Gekko’s mouth appear to agree. But if greed is to remain an evil, should we call the self interest that Adam Smith identified as the motive of business people? Is loving one’s family and wanting them to live more comfortably greed? Is trying to produce a better mouse trap greed? Is striving to have enough to give to charities or churches greed?

Socialists see only two evils in the world today: white people and greed. If they could get rid of both, the U.S. would finally be exceptional and a city set on a hill that conservatives claim it is. But what happened to envy? According to Helmut Schoeck in Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior, envy was considered the most terrifying of the seven deadly sins through history. He uses Chaucer’s “The Parson’s Tale” in the Canterbury Tales as an example: (finish at Townhall Finance)

The U.S. Is Not Capitalist

Source: AP Photo/Russell Contreras

Is the US the vanguard of capitalism for the world? Is the US even capitalist? For most media pundits the answer is obvious: Yes! Everyone knows that! After all, the U.S. has always ranked high on the indexes of economic freedom.

At least one conservative writer suggests that the US may not be the capitalist champion that people think it is. In The American Economy Is Already Too Far Left for Comfort — or Prosperity, Martin Hutchinson wrote, “Americans already are living in a socialist society.” As evidence, he points to the size of the government: “First, the state sector is unimaginably larger than in Marx’s day, around 40 percent of GDP in the United States, when federal, state, and local governments are included, even if that number is smaller than many other economies elsewhere in the West.”

Hutchinson doesn’t mention it, but the US tax system is more socialist than those of Europe because the US taxes the middle class and poor at lower rates than European nations. Economists tend to underestimate the financial benefits of not being taxed. (finish the article at Townhall Finance)

Democrats Willing To Kill 90,000 COVID Patients To Discredit Trump

Source: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erwin Jacob Miciano

The number of patients who have died from the COVID-19 virus will have topped 175,000 by the time you read this. A vaccine is at least a year away. So far, the only treatment approved by the FDA and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is Remdesivir, which does nothing but slightly reduce the length of suffering and does not save lives.

Meanwhile, Fauci and the FDA are preventing doctors from using a treatment that shows the potential to reduce deaths by 50%. There is good evidence that 90,000 people died because Fauci and others questioned the studies that claim to prove the treatment works.

That treatment is the infamous Hydroxychloroquine, which often goes by the initials HCQ. Norman Doidge, a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and author of The Brain That Changes Itself and The Brain’s Way of Healing, details the history of the use of HCQ against the virus and the debates over the studies in “Hydroxychloroquine: A Morality Tale.” According to the best studies, HCQ could cut the virus’ ability to kill in half. Yet, Fauci and the FDA have decided to block its use and fine or imprison any doctor who gives it to a patient. And he is doing the same thing with another widely used treatment, plasma from patients who have recovered from the virus, which is championed by the Mayo Clinic.

Fauci’s has one beef with studies showing the effectiveness of HCQ and plasma: they haven’t gone through randomized controlled trials (RTCs). For Democrats, an RCT means the researchers give one group of patients the treatment thought to be effective and lie to the other group, telling them they got it but didn’t. They call the deceived the placebo group. RTCs are the gold standard of medicine, but they have problems of their own. They’re expensive and time-consuming. COVID-19 victims lack both. And it usually takes several RCTs over multiple years to please everyone in the medical field.

In addition, RCTs are not the gold standard Fauci proclaims. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported in 2014 that 35% of the results of RCTs could not be replicated. That means they were junk science.

Some doctors think RCTs are immoral. Dr. Didier Raoult, from l’Institut hospitalo-universitaire in France, introduced the West to HCQ with azithromycin as a treatment for COVID-19 in its early days. Raoult is the most highly cited microbiologist in Europe. He has published over 2,000 papers. He has been given the French Legion d’honneur.

And he refuses to conduct RCTs. He said, “We’re not going to tell someone, ‘Listen, today’s not your lucky day, you’re getting the placebo, you’re going to be dying.’” Dr. Doidge wrote,

“The randomization conflict almost always exists in serious illness, because we don’t generally study treatments on dying people that we think have no chance of working. Any clinician-researcher deserving the name knows that being a researcher does not cancel out the clinician’s Hippocratic oath to do no harm, or give them permission not to do what is best for the patient."

So here we are in the middle of one of the worst medical catastrophes in recent world history. People are dying by the thousands every day. What is Fauci’s response? He demands that doctors allow patients to continue to die until several years later when we have had enough lengthy RCTs to prove conclusively that the treatments work.

Meanwhile, Fauci promotes hand washing, masks (after first telling us they did no good) and ventilators, none of which have passed through the hallowed halls of RCTs. Eighty percent of patients put on ventilators die, but Fauci doesn’t demand that doctors quit using them. And the drug he promotes, Remdesivir, will do nothing but shorten the length of the illness by so little that most people won’t notice.

The studies showing HCQ and plasma to be effective are known as observational studies. In those, some doctors give the treatment to their patients while other doctors don’t for their own reasons. Researchers analyze the data using statistical techniques to control for other factors that may affect the results, such as age, weight, severity of the illness, how early the treatment began, and others. Economists use the same techniques in econometrics because they can’t do RCTs either. Then they compare results. Doidge wrote,
“Raoult opted for observational studies, in which as many patients as possible are treated. This is not a matter of choosing a design that is ‘fatally flawed,’ it is a matter of choosing a design that is not unnecessarily fatal to the patients. It’s is not sloppiness (as some of his critics would allege), but being true to the study question as he saw it: How can we save as many lives as possible…

“A lot of people have gone crazy,” says Raoult, “claiming that we were dealing with the most dangerous drug in the world, when almost 2 billion people have already taken it.” HCQ, he points out, has been given safely for decades, even to pregnant women, but is being made to look dangerous. […] “It is bizarre, but it is part of something, you know, that people are completely turned mad about one of the medics [sic] that have been most prescribed medications in the history of humanity.”"
What about the studies in Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine that claimed HCQ caused cardiac arrhythmias and a 30% increase in deaths in COVID-19 patients? The mainstream media trumpeted those stories. But those same media outlets refused to run a story a month later when both journals pulled the articles and accused the authors of fraud. Two of the best medical journals in the US were suckers for unsophisticated con men.

In the middle of an emergency, it’s criminal to withhold from dying people the only treatments that have shown some success in preventing death. There is a problem with HCQ: it’s in short supply because every country in the world but the US is giving it to their people. Dr. Fauci has nothing to offer.

Dr. Fauci isn’t stupid, so what motivates him? Dr. Doidge believes it’s politics:
“We live in a culture that has uncritically accepted that every domain of life is political, and that even things we think are not political are so, that all human enterprises are merely power struggles, that even the idea of “truth” is a fantasy, and really a matter of imposing one’s view on others. For a while, some held out hope that science remained an exception to this. That scientists would not bring their personal political biases into their science, and they would not be mobbed if what they said was unwelcome to one faction or another. But the sordid 2020 drama of hydroxychloroquine—which saw scientists routinely attacked for critically evaluating evidence and coming to politically inconvenient conclusions—has, for many, killed those hopes.”
Not to mention, killing people. Apparently, Fauci and the Democrat experts who support him would rather watch 90,000 people in the US die than give any credibility to President Trump in an election year. And the Democrat-controlled media and politicians support him.

First published at Townhall Finance   

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

How Capitalism Suppresses Greed

Source: AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Mention capitalism and the average person will fire back with, “What about greed?” They assume that capitalism is founded on greed and couldn’t survive without it, or that it rewards greed so that people are much greedier under capitalism than under socialism. The mere accusation of greed is intended to shut the mouth of anyone who dares to defend capitalism. But these indictments rest on faulty foundations.

What is greed? Webster defines it as “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (such as money) than is needed.” Synonyms for 'greedy' include: acquisitive, avaricious, avid, coveting, covetous, grabby, grasping, mercenary, money grubbing, rapacious. The Oxford dictionary says, “Intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.”

The Merriam-Webster web site claims, “To decide which words to include in the dictionary and to determine what they mean, Merriam-Webster editors study the language as it's used. They carefully monitor which words people use most often and how they use them.”

Obviously, the next question becomes, how much do we need? If we took the dictionary definitions literally, anyone who aspires to more than what a native in the bush of Zambia has would be avaricious because even the poorest African living in a one-room hut with no electricity, toilet or water has enough food to keep him alive, shelter from the weather and one set of clothing.

The World Bank claims that 700 million people live on $2 per day or less. That they are alive indicates they have enough to get by. Do we really want to say that they are greedy to want more? I don’t think that is what most people in the West mean when they accuse others of greed. After all, those in the poorest quintile in the US are among the wealthiest people on the planet and in history. Is everyone in the West guilty of greed?

Finish the article at Townhall Finance

Why Are People Still Socialists?

Source: AP Photo/Charles Krupa

As Democrat politicians across the country from mayors to Congressmen and Senators openly demand socialism for the U.S., capitalists should wonder why free market economics hasn’t survived the onslaught of socialism for the past 150 years? Laissez-faire reigned in the Dutch Republic from 1600 until Napoleon crushed it, and it dominated the UK and U.S. throughout the 19th century.

Capitalism has enjoyed brilliant defenders: Frederick Bastiat in France and Francis Wayland in the U.S. as well as the great British and French economists of the 19th century. In the 20th we were blessed with Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, Murray Rothbard and many more. More recently we’ve enjoyed the luminous books of Drs. Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. All presented overwhelming evidence that socialism impoverishes and brutalizes the people while free markets enrich and liberates. But they have failed to convince a majority.

Why is it that socialism can fail miserably everywhere it has been tried for 150 years and still hold such an attraction for most people? It’s not just the lies that socialists tell, claiming none of those failed attempts were true socialism, that real socialism has never been tried. Intelligent people can see through the lies.

The failure is tactical. Defenders of capitalism have relied on economic consequences to persuade: capitalism works; socialism doesn’t. Socialists have won because they appeal to morality. The great poet T.S. Eliot understood this. Russel Kirk wrote in Eliot and his Age that for Eliot, “Economics must recognize the higher authority of ethics.”

Continue reading the article at Townhall Finance.

Even Angels Couldn’t Make Socialism Work


Source: AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Before the collapse of the USSR, Russian workers would say, “We pretend to work and the government pretends to pay us.” Today, people who favor free markets often say that socialism would work if humans were angels, pointing to the incentive problem.

Hayek argued that socialism is necessary for small groups, such as families. In fact, applying capitalist principles to families would destroy them. Hayek believed socialism could work in small groups, like communes and churches, where everyone knows everyone else. Many theologians think the early church in Jerusalem practiced communism, although the context and Greek indicate they didn’t.

However, all communes from the Pilgrims to the kibbutzim have failed because of the incentive problem. Kibbutzim have continued to exist in Israel but have changed radically from the original design. It’s human nature to quit working when the diligent see the lazy getting the same rewards.

All socialist intellectuals understood the incentive problem but insisted that the widespread adoption of socialist principles would transform human nature, returning it to a state of innocence and eliminating the incentive problem. When that didn’t happen in the U.S.S.R. and China under Mao, socialist leaders turned to punishment, then execution for those who refused to emerge from their capitalist cocoons as redeemed socialist butterflies. North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela carry on that venerable tradition.

Continue reading at Townhall Finance

The Left Sells Socialism With Race


Source: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Read the history of the early days of socialism in Hayek’s masterpiece, The Counter-revolution in Science, and you’ll notice that socialism began life as a substitute for Christianity. They offered their own version of the doctrine of original sin: people are born innocent and turn evil only because of oppression and property is the greatest oppressor. Their “gospel” said that socialism could redeem mankind from evil by ending property and distributing wealth equally. At the same time, it would make everyone wealthy.

Marx added little to the original socialism of Saint-Simon. However, by the time he came along economists had begun to lob devastating critical Molotov cocktails at socialism and Marx couldn’t respond. So, he invented a silly idea that the bourgeois and proletariat had different systems of logic, what Mises called polylogism, then claimed that was the reason the bourgeois couldn’t understand socialism, let alone embrace it. In other words, the evidence and reasoning of economists were merely fabricated tools of the bourgeoisie to keep themselves in power.

He foolishly promised that capitalism would impoverish the working classes then cause them to revolt and drag onto the world stage international socialism. Later, he determined that the capitalist had beaten down workers so thoroughly that workers could not respond to their misery. So, it would take armies, guns and massive death to rescue them.

Socialists and capitalists debated the economic rationale for socialism throughout the 20th century until the collapse of the Soviet Union and its puppet states in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and 1990s. The quick collapse of socialism surprised and dismayed its sycophants. Without the promise of wealth, they had to find a new camel to sneak the burden of socialism into the capitalist tent. Right away, they kidnapped the environment as the excuse for a socialist takeover.