Early Warning on Bernie

Featured image Item: I am aware of at least one early head-to-head poll, not yet public, that finds Bernie Sanders running best against Trump out of all the Democratic field—even better than Biden. Item: Sanders has hired the guy who wrote this story to work on his campaign: »

The uses of socialism

Featured image When it comes to the creation of wealth, socialism is worse than worthless. It is a great destroyer. For the promotion of equality by immiseration of the people who suffer under it, socialism is a powerful tool. But as a means of social control by the ruling elite, it is unparalleled. Yesterday’s long New York Times story by Nicholas Casey — “‘It Is Unspeakable’: How Maduro Used Cuban Doctors to »

Taxation, or Confiscation?

Featured image Time for another helping from Ludwig von Mises century-old book Socialism, many parts of which read as though he had Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and AOC specifically in mind. This time, on the idea for high income tax rates and wealth taxes: Not for one moment does it occur to the advocates of this popular taxation policy that direct taxes and taxes on trade may start a chain of events »

Caracas goes dry

Featured image Bloomberg has a vivid story on one of the incidental effects of Venezuela going dark: it’s going dry too. Its water system, designed to run on electricity, has now become at least intermittently inoperable. Bloomberg quotes Norberto Bausson, the head of state utility Hidrocapital in the 1990s. “As of this morning, this system hasn’t been restarted yet,” Bausson said yesterday. “The supply of water for the city is at risk.” »

Socialism and “The “Experts”

Featured image New York magazine has produced a list of the “best books to understand socialism” that is so stupefyingly inane that you wonder if this is intended as satire or a really big put on. But no—they are quite earnest about this list, because it was curated by “experts.” Among the best books to understand socialism, according to NY mag, are several by Marx himself (fair enough, if you really want to »

Venezuela Goes Dark

Featured image You probably have read that the lights have gone out in Venezuela. It isn’t really a surprise: a regime that can’t drill oil also can’t maintain and operate an electrical grid. Marco Rubio posted this extraordinary photo of Caracas at night on Instagram. It is reminiscent of the satellite photos you probably have seen of Asia at night, with bright lights everywhere, except that North Korea is entirely dark. Common »

Socialism as Deliberate Destruction

Featured image The economic illiteracy of liberals should never surprise us, despite repeated experience seeing liberals impervious to empirical findings about the perverse results of many liberal policies such as rent control and the minimum wage. It took me a while to see that when you point out to a liberal that a higher minimum wage has the effect of reducing the hours and income of low-skill workers especially at fast-food restaurants, »

Venezuela Is No Joking Matter

Featured image Two of my favorite jokes about socialism come to mind with today’s news out of Venezuela that the electricity is out. The regime is claiming “sabotage,” and they may ironically be correct: the “sabotage” has a name, and that name is socialism. Ronald Reagan loved telling a joke about the Soviet Union that he claimed was one the Soviets told themselves. One person asks another—”Is this it? Have we finally »

Tax the Rich, Feed the Poor. . .

Featured image There are days when I note that I was way ahead of the Progressive curve. For example, six years ago I mused here twice about why liberals should advocate for a wealth tax ( here and here), noting in the first post: An excise tax of 1 percent on Buffett’s assets would yield something like $350 million a year.  Throw in Gates, the founders of Google, Apple, and Facebook, and the »

This Week @ Yale: How “Progressive” Is Progressivism?

Featured image This Thursday I’ll be returning once again to Yale for the eighth lecture in my ten-part series for the William F. Buckley Program, this time on the topic in the headline above. I notice that Kamala Harris has freshly declared that she is not a socialist, but a “Progressive Democrat.” So it is timely to consider once again the nature and legacy of Progressivism in deforming America’s political life for »

In Venezuela, the End Game Approaches

Featured image The last few days have seen an escalating crisis in socialist Venezuela. That country’s economy has virtually ceased to exist. Millions have fled rather than starve. Venezuelan currency has become worthless. The U.S. and 50 or so other nations have recognized Juan Guaido, President of the National Assembly, as interim president of Venezuela. (He has declared himself interim president, and has a colorable right to do so under Venezuela’s constitution.) »

Catch Me On Whiskey Politics

Featured image I’m not crazy about politics, but it is better when mixed with a little whiskey. Which is more or less what Dave Sussman does on his Whiskey Politics video podcast. Earlier today, I joined Dave for a fun half hour that covered the gamut from Bob Mueller to Jussie Smollett to Ilhan Omar, and generally through the rogues’ gallery of contemporary politics. It was a fun conversation that elaborated on »

Americans are breaking out of middle class; liberals, media hit hardest

Featured image In 2000, the percentage of wage earners making more than $150,000 per year was 0.8, according to the Washington Post. In 2018, the percentage was 4.2. Even allowing for inflation, this is a good news. It suggests that plenty of folks are moving on up from the middle class. However, the Post isn’t writing a success story. Instead, it’s fretting about income inequality and the inability to measure it. The »

Dissecting the Green New Deal

Featured image This evening on Fox Business I talked about the Democrats’ Green Red New Deal, and how it replicates the disaster that is socialist Venezuela–a point that was made eloquently by Daniel Di Martino, and Venezuelan teenager who is now a college student in the U.S., in USA Today. His theme is: socialism ruined my country. Don’t let it ruin yours. The Clear Energy Alliance is preparing a series of videos »

Trump: “The twilight hour of socialism”

Featured image President Trump has rejected the status quo ante in American foreign policy. He has rededicated the United States to the support of Israel. He has withdrawn the United States from the disgraceful deal with Iran. He has tightened the sanctions regime with the intent of disabling the mullahs. He has shaken up matters with the North Korean regime in the interest of putting their nuclear weapons program on the path »

I Disapprove of Dismantling Monuments, But…

Featured image …if we are going to destroy, remove or deface monuments, this one to Karl Marx–a horrible person in just about every way, whose legacy has meant death, suffering and poverty for hundreds of millions–is a good place to begin. Reuters reports: A memorial to Karl Marx at a cemetery in North London has been defaced for the second time in less than two weeks. This time, vandals splashed the monument »

What is socialism?

Featured image George Will takes up the question. He notes that socialism once stood for state ownership of the means of production. Then, it stood for state ownership of the economy’s “commanding heights” — its most important entities. Now, says Will, it stands for the proposition that “the government [shall] distribute, according to its conception of equity, the wealth produced by capitalism.” To this, I would add that the government shall exert »