Horrible economic decisions

Jordon Cooper links to your typical defence of mercantilism in the business section and concludes with despair:

I read this and I can’t help but think that the United States is going through a massive societal reordering because of horrible economic decisions made because of globalization…

I am not sure if the payroll tax increase is that big of deal but you get the point that stagnate wages are hurting America’s middle class who are leaving behind middle class stores in favour of deals online and in retailers like Wal-Mart which in turn hurts them even more as more and more of their products are made elsewhere. It’s a vicious cycle that could take decades to run its course.

Cooper works to help the poorest of the poor in this city, and he’s a great resource in highlighting the struggles found on the streets.

Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise, however, that he sees these great economic changes as being a problem rather than a net benefit to society, particularly to the poor.

Yes, the traditional business model is changing, and those who are not able to adjust effectively will lose business. But the consumer is the beneficiary, particularly the poor. With the changing business model comes lower costs, better quality, increased choice, more convenience or some combination of these.

There have been some horrible economic decisions made, but globalization isn’t one of them. It is the increased level of trade from around the world which has insulated our economy from being even more disastrously damaged by narrow, myopic government decision-making than we would have endured otherwise.

The alternative to this is economic stagnation. Does he truly believe that change is inevitably for the worse?

The cliche is worn, but Cooper might as well lament the demise of buggy-whip manufacturers.

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Freedom vs. Force

Harry Binswanger:

The question is: in the messy mixture of government controls and remnants of capitalism, which element caused the Great Depression and the recent financial crisis?

By raising that question, we uncover the fundamental: the meaning of capitalism and the meaning of government controls. Capitalism means freedom. Government means force.

Suddenly, the whole issue comes into focus: Obama is saying that freedom leads to poverty and force leads to wealth. He’s saying: “Look, we tried leaving you free to live your own life, and that didn’t work. You have to be forced, you have to have your earnings seized by the state, you have to work under our directions–under penalty of fines or imprisonment. You don’t deserve to be free.”

As a bit of ugly irony, this is precisely what former white slave-owners said after the Civil War: “The black man can’t handle freedom; we have to force him for his own good.” The innovation of the Left is to extend that viewpoint to all races.

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Deep Optimism

Matt Ridley learns you a lesson:

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Snow job

With all due respect to the mayor, this should not be his first concern:

Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison wants to look at reducing speeds on the city’s freeway bridges after a car plunged off the Circle Drive North bridge and into the South Saskatchewan River.

A 23-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle while heading east on the bridge and her car jumped over the guard rail that had a window of snow built up around it. [emphasis mine–ed.] She escaped from her vehicle and was rescued off ice in the river, only suffering minor injuries in the process.

The guard rail didn’t build up the snow. City workers built up the snow along the guard rail, which changed a safety device into a ramp of death.

This unnamed woman should sue the city and any government ministry which implemented and enforced environmental regulations giving rise to this hazard.

She is lucky to be alive, no thanks to short-sighted government bureaucrats.

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A Clockwork Envy

As the earth swings around the sun, so the anti-capitalist grievance-mongers drum up yet another predictable “report” on “inequality” from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

I wrote about this annual report a couple of years ago, so I won’t go into great detail here because it’s just as stupid now as it was then.

The numbers in this report have annual compensation at roughly 177 times that of the “average” worker, while the 2012 report was at 189 times. Therefore, according to this highly objective and passionless reporting metric, inequality has actually gone down. But there is no mention of the year-over-year trend of these results found here.

Why do supposedly reputable journalists repeat this gossip-column trash without any, you know, actual journalism?

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Be better, Do something

Great advice as you write out your New Year’s resolutions:

Name five impressive things about yourself. Write them down or just shout them out loud to the room. But here’s the catch — you’re not allowed to list anything you are (i.e., I’m a nice guy, I’m honest), but instead can only list things that you do (i.e., I just won a national chess tournament, I make the best chili in Massachusetts). If you found that difficult, well, this is for you, and you are going to fucking hate hearing it. My only defense is that this is what I wish somebody had said to me around 1995 or so.

Read the whole thing.

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Happy tyrannical birthday, Cuba!

NEW YEAR’S Day marks the 55th anniversary of Cuba’s communist revolution. It is the only full-blown dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere. As Human Rights Watch noted in April, no other country in Latin America is ruled by a regime that “represses virtually all forms of political dissent.” More than half a century after Fidel Castro seized power with the promise that “all rights and freedoms will be reinstituted” — and more than seven years since Raul Castro succeeded his brother as tyrant-in-chief — Cuba is consistently rated “Not Free” in Freedom House’s annual index of political and civil liberties worldwide…

There is only one dictatorship in the Americas. On New Year’s Day it turns another year older. Cry, the beloved island.

The Castros are thugs and Guevara was a psychopath. The good people of Cuba deserved better these past 55 years.

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