The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

26 November 2011

Ten things we Evil Capitalists really think...

...That is, true laissez faire capitalists...

Let's see if Mr Hannan and I cannot help some OWS protesters to define their terms a bit more precisely:

Verbatim post

Dan Hannan, Conservative Party, UK, Member of European Parliament, writing in the Telegraph:

Chatting to some Occupy protesters this morning, I was struck by how wide of the mark were the beliefs they attributed to me as a Right-winger. In the interests of deeper understanding, here are ten things which – trust me – most of the Tory scum I hang around with think. Obviously, I don’t expect to turn my Leftie readers in a single post; still, they might get a clearer idea of what we actually believe.

1. Free-marketeers resent the bank bailouts. This might seem obvious: we are, after all, opposed to state subsidies and nationalisations. Yet it often surprises commentators, who mistake our support for open competition and free trade for a belief in plutocracy. There is a world of difference between being pro-market and being pro-business. Sometimes, the two positions happen to coincide; often they don’t.

2. What has happened since 2008 is not capitalism. In a capitalist system, bad banks would have been allowed to fail, their profitable operations bought by more efficient competitors. Shareholders, bondholders and some depositors would have lost money, but taxpayers would not have contributed a penny (see here).

3. If you want the rich to pay more, create a flatter and simpler tax system. This is partly a question of closing loopholes (mansions put in company names to avoid stamp duty, capital gains tax exemption for non-doms etc). Mainly, though, it is a question of bringing the tax rate down to a level where evasion becomes pointless. As Art Laffer keeps telling anyone who’ll listen, it works every time. Between 1980 and 2007, the US cut taxes at all income levels. Result? The top one per cent went from paying 19.5 per cent of all taxes to 40 per cent. In Britain, since the top rate of income tax was lowered to 40 per cent in 1988, the share of income tax collected from the wealthiest percentile has risen from 14 to 27 per cent.

4. Those of us who believe in small government are not motivated by the desire to make the rich richer. We’re really not. We are, in most cases, nowhere near having to pay top rate tax ourselves; our most eloquent champions over the years have been modestly-paid academics. We believe that economic freedom will enrich the country as a whole. Yes, the wealthy might become wealthier still, but we don't see that as an argument against raising living standards for the majority.

5. We are not against equality. We generally recognise the benefits in Scandinavian-style homogeneity: crime tends to be lower, people are less stressed etc. Our objection is not that egalitarianism is undesirable in itself, but that the policies required to enforce in involve a disproportionate loss of liberty and prosperity.

6. Nor, by the way, does state intervention seem to be an effective way to promote equality. On the most elemental indicators – height, calorie intake, infant mortality, literacy, longevity – Britain has been becoming a steadily more equal society since the calamity of 1066. It’s true that, around half a century ago, this approximation halted and, on some measures, went into reverse. There are competing theories as to why, but one thing is undeniable: the recent widening of the wealth gap has taken place at a time when the state controls a far greater share of national wealth than ever before.

7. Let’s tackle the idea that being on the Left means being on the side of ordinary people, while being on the Right means defending privileged elites. It’s hard to think of a single tax, or a single regulation, that doesn’t end up privileging some vested interest at the expense of the general population. The reason governments keep growing is because of what economists call ‘dispersed costs and concentrated gains’: people are generally more aware the benefits they receive than of the taxes they pay.

8. Capitalism, with all its imperfections, is the fairest scheme yet tried. In a system based on property rights and free contract, people succeed by providing an honest service to others. Bill Gates became rich by enriching hundreds of millions of us: I am typing these words using one of his programmes. He gained from the exchange (adding fractionally to his net worth), and so did I (adding to my convenience). In a state-run system, by contrast, third parties get to hand out the goodies.

9. Talking of fairness, let’s remember that the word doesn’t belong to any faction. How about parity between public and private sector pay? How about being fair to our children, whom we have freighted with a debt unprecedented in peacetime? How about being fair to the boy who leaves school at 16 and starts paying taxes to subsidise the one who goes to university? How about being fair to the unemployed, whom firms cannot afford to hire because of the social protection enjoyed by existing employees?

10. Let’s not forget ethics, either. There is virtue in deciding to do the right thing, but there is no virtue in being compelled. Choosing to give your money to charity is meritorious; paying tax is morally neutral (see here). Evidence suggests that, as taxes rise, and the state squeezes out civic society, people give less to good causes.
Well, there you go, comrades. I don’t expect the tents outside St Paul’s to fold overnight. But perhaps we might at least engage honestly on some of these issues rather than talking past each other. ¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Remember: it's not Capitalism that is the problem. The problem is Corporatism: Crony businesses and banks in bed with, and receiving protection from government power.

Check your premises: Who benefits?

"If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater the effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders--what would you tell him to do?"

"I … don't know. What … could he do? What would you tell him?"

"To shrug."--Ayn Rand , Atlas Shrugged, 1957


Socialism is a system where the government directly owns and manages businesses. 

Corporatism is a system where businesses are nominally in private hands, but are in fact controlled by the government.

In a corporatist state, government officials often act in collusion with their favored business interests to design polices that give those interests a monopoly position, to the detriment of both competitors and consumers. --Ron Paul

Now contrast the idea of corporatism with true competitive laissez faire capitalism:

"Inasmuch as the formula of Rearden Metal is my own personal secret, and in view of the fact that the Metal costs much less to produce than you boys can imagine, I expect to skin the public to the tune of a profit of twenty-five per cent in the next few years."

"What do you mean, 'skin the public', Mr. Rearden?" asked the boy [reporter-HM]. "If it's true, as I've read in your ads, that your Metal will last three times longer than any other and at half the price, wouldn't the public be getting a bargain?"

"Oh, have you noticed that?"

--Hank Rearden at a press conference, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

25 November 2011

Southern Music break: Simple Man

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say
And if you do this it'll help you some sunny day

Oh, take your time don't live too fast
Troubles will come and they will pass
Go find a woman you'll find love
And don't forget son there is someone up above

And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won't you do this for me son if you can?

Forget your lust for the rich man's gold
All that you need is in your soul
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you my son is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won't you do this for me son if you can? Oh yes, I will

Boy, don't you worry you'll find yourself
Follow your heart and nothing else
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you my son is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won't you do this for me son if you can?

Baby be a simple, be a simple man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man

Europe: Combine socialism and then add economic austerity, this is what you get: this case the Catalan state within the Spanish nation...

Catalonia is not Spain! Notice the Bonnie Blue Chevron?  Sorry...shameless plug for secession...couldn't help it.

And this is what you get when you combine socialism, socialized medicine, central planning, and then run out of money:

Among other things...Rationing (read: death panels)...brain drain of doctors leaving for greener pastures...and awfully disappointed, nay, really mad  "constituents".

To the Democrats of the United States: Still think it's a good idea raising people's hopes of universal health care as a "right"? That is a right to loot others. Eventually, you run out of other people's money...

"Folks, this political game of lie, lie and lie some more cannot go on forever. Eventually the waiter appears with the check and you either pay it, wash dishes, or get arrested for theft." --Karl Denninger,

24 November 2011

Good feelings and inspiration to start the holiday season: The Franz Family

Incredible talent, beautiful song, delivered in high Southern style.

How did they get so good? Gd given talent, a lifetime of practice, great parents, and homeschooling:

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

23 November 2011

Lesson for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs beware: Never get into a project unless you are able to deal with positive or negative contingencies.

Case in point:

Rachel Brown, who runs the Need a Cake bakery in Reading, Berkshire, launched an offer via the money-saving website (Groupon) in the spring in which she offered a 75 per cent discount on 12 cupcakes, which normally cost £26.
However Mrs Brown vastly under-estimated the popularity of the deal and was besieged by 8,500 people who signed up for the £6.50 bargain.
She ended up losing between £2.50 and £3 on each batch she sold. She also had to pay £12,500 for the extra costs of hiring staff and sending the products out, wiping out profits for the year for her business.
Mrs Brown, who had only expected a few hundred orders, said that the experience was “without doubt, the worst ever business decision I have made”.
“It's been an absolutely nightmare,” she said.
Link to the Telegraph.

Thanks, Groupon!

The lesson goes for most professions, actually. In the hospital once, I heard a radiologist who had done a breast biopsy, calling for a surgeon to do skin stitches for him when he inadvertently vacuumed the skin into the biopsy device, resulting in a hole in the patient's skin that couldnt be closed by the usual butterfly bandages. 

The surgeon fumed to him: "Never do a procedure unless you know you can deal with the complications of that procedure!" 
(Not to mention simple stitching is usually learned in med school...)

21 November 2011

Smith Enterprise's Vortex Flash Eliminators

No night flash visible to the naked eye, very suppressed with night vision.


Comes in 9 mm, 6.8/6.5, 5.56, 7.62 x 39, 7.62 x 51, and 50 BMG.  

It's a 2006 news report, so it costs more than $31 now:
for the AR it's $60, for .308 it's $90 on Brownell's.

Play TSA Bingo! Everybody pick a card!

via very good website, Homeland Security Theatre by cartoonist Bill Forster, who suffered through being a TSA employee at LAX, now blogs about it, and how ridiculous the TSA is.  

Letter to the SPLC from a Montana "Extremist"

by Brandon Smith of

I’ll be the first to admit, people who refuse to compromise their principles under any circumstances can be utterly terrifying. Defiance, in its purest form, requires fearlessness; a brand of fearlessness we have little experience of today. For many in our society, fearlessness in the face of immeasurable opposition is unthinkable, and (unjustly) considered a sign of “madness”, or of “extremism”. To go against the tides of a culture, a collective, and point out its crimes and inconsistencies, is so counter to what they have been conditioned to expect, any sign of dissent triggers in them feelings of confusion and fury.

The Liberty Movement, and all it’s more specific and specialized branches, represents a resurgence of the immovable ideal. We refuse to set aside the truth. We refuse to relinquish our freedoms. We refuse to be silent. We refuse to negotiate. Regardless of the consequences, and despite contrary impositions of so called “national security”, we simply will not go away. This kind of philosophy is a serious obstacle for any establishment system which seeks to maintain or even expand its base of power. If you cannot buy off a person, if you cannot co-opt a person, and if you cannot frighten him into compliance, then all that is left to do is to demonize his public character, lock him up, or kill him. Men of conscience force the agents of centralization to expose their inherent tyranny before they are ready for the citizenry to know who they really are. Frankly, the Liberty Movement is a considerable pain in the neck for those who would see the American dynamic distorted to the benefit of a select few.

We wear this distinction like a badge of honor. If we were not a threat to the globalist corporatist strategy, then they would not consistently go out of their way to attack us. They attack us, because we are doing something right.

Link to the rest of the article at, which I am very pleased has published such a document. Their readership is in the tens of thousands per day, at least.

20 November 2011

The last viable ballot box solution to our economic problems and reverse the Police state

If you don't vote for Ron Paul, chances are you're voting for a Statist. Don't punish the current Statist in chief by voting for someone who will keep the Nation/Empire going in the same direction.  Vote for the Constitution. Here's your only chance to vote for a return to the Constitution in 2012; watch the whole thing:

About 9 1/2 minutes in, listen to Huckabee's Lincolnist/Collectivist comeback to Paul. The other Republicans care about the State, not the Individual. The government, not the People.

This is a powerful video, one worth propagating.