Tag: socialism

Nincompoop democracy

OUR PRESIDENT-ELECT, a fellow best known by his initials, AMLO, and who takes office in about a week, won in a landslide* on July 1. I did not vote for him.

copy6-1307210385-free-stuff2He is a “man of the people,” which is why so many people voted for him. He crushed the opposition on his third run for the presidency. He came close the other times.

Like Bernie Sanders above the Rio Bravo, AMLO is fond of promising “free stuff.” He’s promised free healthcare like “they have in Canada,” even though the Mexican healthcare system is already excellent and offers various low-cost or free options to anyone who wants to sign up for them.

He wants to give all students scholarships and all graduates employment. This sounds swell, of course, if you disregard the matter of who’s paying for the largess.

How do you promise jobs? You can’t unless you make everyone a bureaucrat.

One of his worst ideas is putting major economic plans to a plebiscite. This has already happened at least twice around the country even though AMLO still is not president.

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Don’t underestimate ignoramuses

“The people know best,” he opines, though they rarely do, of course. “The people” usually are ignoramuses.

The first plebiscite took place quickly after his election win.

The topic was the new Mexico City airport, which is sorely needed due to the current one’s having long since outgrown its britches. The new airport is already partially done, and was scheduled to open in 2020.

“The people,” in all their brilliance, voted against it. Wiser minds in the business community called the plebiscite “Mickey Mouse” and illegal. How this will play out remains to be seen.

Just this week, a senator in the president-elect’s Morena Party presented a bill that would require mining companies to get permission of indigenous people before opening mining operations. Common sense says indigenous people will always say no to such a thing unless a huge payoff is included.

Stocks in Mexico’s two major mining firms plummeted, a loss of $1.6 billion U.S.

Earlier this month, the Morena Party proposed another law to curb bank fees. That sent bank stocks into a nosedive, and it took much of the Mexican stock market with it.

Mexico’s economic growth prospects are looking questionable, thanks to AMLO. But not to worry! We’re gonna give all students scholarships and guaranteed jobs on graduation. And free healthcare all around, just like Canada!

And AMLO has not even been inaugurated yet. By the way,  he’s invited Venezuelan despot Nicolás Maduro to the festivities.

ALMO is telling those invasion caravans from Central America who are passing through Mexico to stay here. He’ll give them jobs too! Latino solidarity, one supposes.

The mind reels.

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Felipe voices his opinion

I voted in a plebiscite on Saturday, which I happened upon by chance on our main plaza. There was a table with two ladies, ballots and a box to drop them into.

I flashed my voter identification card, in color, with photo, something Mexico requires to vote, as should all nations.

I opined on various topics. A Yucatan tourist train, yes. Doubling pensions for people over 68, yes.  (I’m way over 68!) Scholarships to everyone, no. Free healthcare to everyone, no. Some other stuff, mostly yes to my surprise.

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Hold onto your sombreros!

AMLO takes office Dec. 1, and the term lasts for six years. No re-election is allowed, but since the Morena Party is the majority, they could change that. I’m sure AMLO would love it just as much as he loves himself, which he surely does.

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* Universal suffrage is a dreadful idea. Only certain segments of the population should have the right to vote. There should be educational limits. No one without a high school degree should be able to vote. Voters should be property owners too.

Fleeing to freedom

PEOPLE RUN AWAY from Cuba when possible, usually afloat. People flee Venezuela when they can, across the border to capitalist Colombia.

Great Britain voted to leave the European Union. And now sensible Americans are dumping the Democrat Party. All are fleeing dismal collectivism.

There’s a YouTube campaign, #WalkAway, that also has a website. It’s devoted to the ballooning quantity of people who are dumping the Democrat Party.

All of the above — Cuba, Venezuela, Brexit, the Democrat Party — involve people seeing the light and exiting collectivism stage left. No one is swimming from Key West to Cuba nor moving from Colombia to Venezuela nor chomping at the bit to become a part of the European Union nor shifting allegiance from the GOP, thinking Democrats have a better way.

It’s a one-way boulevard, 100 percent. The movement is toward capitalism and freedom, away from collectivism and oppression.

owensAnd this week, political phenomenon Candace Owens kicked off the Blexit Movement, blacks exiting the Democrat Party, leaving the plantation, as they accurately phrase it.

All of the above puts a smile on my face. It should put one on yours too.

Cool rain and the dismal science

IT’S BEEN RAINING a lot recently, and that’s cooled things down nicely. Even though it’s raining, I still head downtown most afternoons to sit at a sidewalk table with a nice café americano negro and my trusty Kindle.

It’s a good way to live.

My current book, and I’m just about finished with it, is Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics. It came recommended by young Ben Shapiro, a brilliant, conservative guy in spite of his not being a fan of President Trump.

Ain’t nobody perfect in this troubled world.

They don’t call economics the dismal science for no reason. Trying to get a good grip on the subject is a dismal undertaking, especially for someone like me who grapples with simple arithmetic.  But Hazlitt makes it pretty easy.

The book was first published in the late 1940s and updated in the late 1970s, but it’s quite relevant today because some things don’t change.

Hazlitt simplified things for me, and I’m going to make it even simpler for you:

A free market, unfettered by government meddling, works best 98 percent of the time. That’s the core message. But there’s more.

If government meddles in the free market, it should do this: 1. Look not at the immediate, desired effect of a policy, but at its long-term effects. 2. Look not just at the people a policy is designed to benefit, but at everyone it affects.

It’s quite common that a policy will help one group of people while doing harm to other, larger groups of people. And it’s common for a policy to right a perceived wrong today while creating greater wrongs over the long haul.

Hazlitt points out that most laymen do not take this into consideration when favoring something, and even professional economists can fail to take into account the long-term effects.

Speaking of professional economists, I cannot resist mentioning Paul Krugman’s prediction the stock market would tank if Trump became president. Of course, it did quite the opposite. One must chuckle.

On to the Irony Department, Starbucks, about as vocally leftist an outfit as you’ll find, is closing 150 stores in the United States due to minimum-wage increases and government regulations, putting scads of SJW employees out of work.

Nailed by their beloved socialism.

Minimum-wage increases is one of the things Hazlitt touches on at length as being an example of short-term vision. Government steps in to help “poor people,” but fails to realize the broader effects of a high minimum wage.

The higher salaries is money that comes from somewhere else. It is not pulled out of thin air. Starbucks sees that now. One must chuckle even more.

Hazlitt’s book is just 220 pages. I recommend it to you.

Obviously, it was not raining in the above video, which was taken a year ago, but it was raining in the video below, which was taken four years ago. Rain looks the same from one year to the next.