Now hear this!I heard something I really liked when listening to my podcast of Jim Quinn‘s radio show last night as I was walking home. This morning, as I was listening to the next day’s podcast, I heard Quinn repeat his comment from the day before. Quinn read something written by Walter Williams back in 1997 that is well worth rebroadcasting here:

Capitalism is relatively new in human history. Prior to capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man.

Apparently this recently appeared on Rush Limbaugh’s show, too. And Rush does a great job of showing the difference between capitalism and socialism. Quinn, after quoting Williams above, further explained on his show the difference of capitalism and socialism this way:

The problem is that pleasing your fellow man requires creativity and hard work. Looting and enslaving can be done by any thug with political connections. So what’s the purpose of Socialism then? Well, Socialism allows these same elites and losers to return us to the days of looting and enslaving, but while presenting it as a moral imperative sanctioned by the government. So I guess we can say that Socialism is a system of economics that allows men to loot and enslave other men while claiming the moral high-ground.

But not everyone likes and agrees with this quote by Williams. Case in point, Williams has an entry in the Daily Kos wiki that engages is some typical libtard bashing. It quotes Williams and then finishes off with “What Williams cannot say is that the African slave trade operated as a global capitalist market for centuries.”

Attention Daily Kos mind-numbed robots: the African slave trade was not capitalism. Capitalism is the free exchange of goods and services from one to another. The African slave trade was part of the “looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man” that was and is so common in mankind’s existence. And it is what Socialism will bring us back to if we allow it.

Williams finishes up his article with this very true statement:

Despite the miracles of capitalism, it doesn’t do well in popularity polls. One of the reasons is that capitalism is always evaluated against the non-existent utopias of socialism or communism. Any earthly system pales in comparison to utopias. But for the ordinary person, capitalism, with all of its warts, is superior to any system yet devised to deal with our everyday needs and desires.

When it comes to economics, I’ll take reality over fantasy every day.

The turkey has been well brined, and now it’s in the oven. I’ve also assembled a green bean casserole with fried onions. The rest is up to the wife, because that’s the way I roll. [And I didn't poison him because that's the way I roll. --TPK] It should be a good Thanksgiving for us here, but we almost didn’t have a first Thanksgiving. John Stossel does a good write-up of these circumstances at RealClearPolitics:

Every year around this time, schoolchildren are taught about that wonderful day when Pilgrims and Native Americans shared the fruits of the harvest. But the first Thanksgiving in 1623 almost didn’t happen.

Long before the failure of modern socialism, the earliest European settlers gave us a dramatic demonstration of the fatal flaws of collectivism. Unfortunately, few Americans today know it.

The Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share the work and produce equally.

That’s why they nearly all starved.

When people can get the same return with less effort, most people make less effort. Plymouth settlers faked illness rather than working the common property. Some even stole, despite their Puritan convictions. Total production was too meager to support the population, and famine resulted. This went on for two years.

“So as it well appeared that famine must still ensue the next year also, if not some way prevented,” wrote Gov. William Bradford in his diary. The colonists, he said, “began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length after much debate of things, (I) (with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land.”

In other words, the people of Plymouth moved from socialism to private farming. The results were dramatic.

“This had very good success,” Bradford wrote, “for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many.”

Because of the change, the first Thanksgiving could be held in November 1623.

It’s a simple element of human nature that people have a strong drive to work hard when they benefit from their labors. It’s been proven over and over again. People can either accept this fact and tailor their lives around harnessing that power, or they can try to work against it and be perpetually disappointed at the results. Whenever leftists propose another communal system, the fact that such a system has failed every time it has been tried does not appear to faze or deter them. THIS time it’s going to work because they’re in charge. But it will fail, just as it has failed every time every hubris-soaked powermonger has stepped up to the plate to change history.

I don’t care how smart or talented or thoughtful or powerful you are; you can’t alter human nature to suit your system. At best you can tailor your system to suit human nature, and harness the raw potential of every human being.

So happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Even in the darkest of times, we have so much to be thankful for. And today, among many other blessings to count, I’m thankful that I will have a yummy turkey feed in about 2 hours.

The Drudge Report linked to a Reuters news report about the response to the recent Arizona law against illegal aliens.

Protest organizers said on Wednesday outrage over the Arizona law — which seeks to drive illegal immigrants out of the state bordering Mexico — has galvanized Latinos and would translate into a higher turnout for May Day rallies in more than 70 U.S. cities.

“The marches and demonstrations are going to be far more massive than they otherwise would have been,” said Juan Jose Gutierrez, a Los Angeles rally organizer who runs an immigration assistance company.

First, May Day, among other things, is a celebration of socialism. And socialism isn’t anything that makes this red-blooded American feel like celebrating. I’m old enough to remember the May Day demonstrations of Soviet military might parading through Red Square. And I’m certain I’ll see plenty of socialist / communist flags and demonstrators mixed in with the other demonstrators in favor of illegal aliens.

Confused Protestors

Yes, even illegal aliens have rights. They have the right to live in their own country. They have the right to legally visit and even work in the United States. But they do not have the right to illegally enter this nation, just like we don’t have the right to illegally enter another nation.

And as I have pointed out before, Mexico treats their illegal aliens harshly. In fact, an AP report shows that the Mexico law is far harsher today in Mexico than the new Arizona law even thinks of being:

Central American migrants are frequently pulled off trains, kidnapped en masse, held at gang hideouts and forced to call relatives in the U.S. to pay off the kidnappers. Such kidnappings affect thousands of migrants each year in Mexico, the report says.

Many are beaten, raped or killed in the process.

At present, Article 67 of Mexico’s Population Law says, “Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal … are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues.”

Here in the U.S., and even after the Arizona law goes into effect, people of any origin, legal or not, will still be able to attend school, go to the emergency room, and call the police. Under the new Arizona law a police officer may question the legal status of people if they suspect that they are here illegally. Under the current Mexican law, all authorities must ascertain the status of the person before doing anything else. I recall recently reading the parable of the mote and the beam that applies to the Mexican complaints of the new Arizona law.

Besides, what is it about illegal immigration that these demonstrators just don’t understand?

And now for some inadvertent comedy hidden in a survey of Republicans:

Americans who suggest Barack Obama should rot in hell are apparently deadly serious.

Nearly a quarter of Republicans believe the Democrat president ‘may be the Antichrist’, according to a survey.

Who actually asks these sort of questions? I do like the weasel word “may” in the quote, as in “Obama may be an American,” or “Obama may be the offspring of a Martian sheep pimp.” There’s lots of wiggle room in “may.” Anyway, any prominent person “may” be the antichrist, but we’d have to look at his actions and words to know. And as it says in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, the antichrist “sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Can you think of a prominent politician whom people see as God?

An even greater number compared him to Hitler.

The corollary to Godwin’s law should have stopped this poll right there.

More than half of the Republicans quizzed by Harris Poll, 57 per cent, believed the president was secretly Muslim, something he has consistently denied.

His favoritism to Muslim nations and his antagonism to Israel surely doesn’t indicate anything. Nor does the time Obama mentioned “my Muslim faith.” George Stephanopoulos was quick to correct him. It was a simple mistake, and one I make all the time as mistakenly call myself a Hindu instead of Christian.

And 67 per cent of Republicans who responded believed Obama was a socialist, despite his central leanings.

With the passing of socialized medicine, I believe the answer should be closer to 100% now.

Cheered on by the success of socialism in taking over the health care industry, liberal radio talk show host, Ed Shultz explains clearly the next on his socialist agenda (h/t to Brian Maloney):

SCHULTZ (30:58, initially responding to caller claiming “virtual war” between Dems and GOP): It is a cultural war that’s taking place in America, you’re exactly right. And it’s being played out over the airwaves of America. And I hope the Democrats now turn to the Fairness Doctrine.

It’s time now for the Democrats to consider the Fairness Doctrine when you’ve got Rush Limbaugh out there saying, it’s, we’ve got to defeat these bastards. He is now openly admitting that he is going to work against and campaign against the Republican, against the Democratic Party and campaign against Obama, and he is motivating people with the microphone and he’s electioneering. Keep on talking, Rushsky! Hell, maybe I’ll get on 600 stations too, or how many you own or whatever.

The fact is, look, it’s not a level playing field when it comes to the audio culture of the country. Ownership has its privileges. When you own, I will be honest, if I owned 500 stations, the drugster wouldn’t be on any of ‘em. And that’s just where it’s at right now. But maybe we have reached the point where the Congress needs to equal it out. Equal out the audience.

SCHULTZ (32:51): Just keep in mind, there aren’t any poor people with microphones.

SCHULTZ (33:56): And so, I think that, you know, hell, if we’re going to be socialist, let’s be socialist all across the board.

But for some reason, they don’t like being called socialists. Huh. This is the same Ed Schultz who said the following about the special election in Massachusetts the resulted in Republican Senator Scott Brown being elected:

I tell you what, if I lived in Massachusetts I’d try to vote 10 times. I don’t know if they’d let me or not, but I’d try to. Yeah, that’s right. I’d cheat to keep these bastards out. I would. ‘Cause that’s exactly what they are.

Cheat during an election? Obviously, he misspoke, right? He didn’t really willing admit that he’d violate federal election law did he? When given the opportunity to clarify, he did so in his next broadcast: “I misspoke on Friday. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I meant to say, ‘If I could vote 20 times, that’s what I’d do.’ ” Real class act here.

Doing a quick count on his website, I see Schultz broadcasts from 78 stations. That’s not bad considering the leftist Air America program failed, and he was the most successful of all the hosts. But in the free market, he still can only convince one station to carry him for every eight that carries Rush Limbaugh. That’s the free market for you.

But if you hate the freedom to listen to the person you want, and you want government to step in to force stations to carry a lesser light, then you are a socialist. And socialism is all about taking away your freedoms in the guise of being fair, or compassionate, or looking out for the greater good.

It’s funny how the greater good always benefits the socialists, no?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what are 28 minutes of video worth? Well, there are worth posting about!

The first video is produced by YouTube user HowTheWorldWorks as a rebuttal to the video that YouTube user engio posted titled, “Why We Need Government-Run Universal Socialized Health Insurance.”

The second video is by Steven Crowder titled, “ObamaCare Yay Or Nay? The Truth About Canada!” In this video, Crowder heads out to Canada to see in person what socialized medicine has done for our neighbor to the north.

Joe Wurzelbacher has rocketed from obscurity and into the media’s baleful gaze after Senator Obama answered his question about Obama’s stated plan to tax Americans making $250,000 a year or more. In case you missed it, here’s a snippet of the exchange as discussed on Fox News:

Both Senators McCain and Obama talked about Joe the Plumber during their last debate, leading some people to declare Joe the winner of the debate. Since the video of their discussion hit the media and Internet, Joe Wurzelbacher is getting his 15 minutes of fame, and good for him. But there is a darker side to his vault into fame — the left is directing its efforts at finding out everything it can about who Joe is.

It’s already apparent now, but just continue to watch — you’ll notice that more and more reports will come out of the media about who Joe is, all in an effort to tear him down. You may even hear some of these attacks repeated at work or by friends. You could discuss each attack one by one, but there’s no need. You only need to repeat one phrase:

The messenger is not the message.

It really doesn’t matter who Joe Wurzelbacher is. What matters is the question he asked, the answer that Senator Obama gave him, and the clear insight into Obama’s politics. And doesn’t it strike you as odd that the political left is focusing so heavily on the questioner, when it is the answer that really matters?

UPDATE (10/18/2008 9:11:09 AM): As I expected, Joe the Plumber was addressed on the open discussion whiteboard at work. One person started listing talking points, and another pointed to them and wrote that with problems like that, “he shouldn’t be allowed” to discuss taxes.

Not allowed? Not allowed?!? It’s called Freedom of Speech, folks. Look it up, if it doesn’t sound familar to you.

It's Schadenfreude Man!Schadenfreude is a German word that means the enjoyment that comes from watching other people suffer some misfortune. Which is why Schadenfreude Man is standing there with a grin on his face in the Dr. Fun comic to the right (click to expand).

Which brings us to the current American financial woes. Names like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman, and AIG are big in the news, and socialists who hate capitalism are overcome with schadenfreude. To illustrate the point, I offer up an article published on the Spiegel website by Marc Pitzke titled, “The World As We Know It Is Going Down.” The title comes from a broker by the name of James Allroy as quoted in the article. If you have nothing interesting to do or need help sleeping, read the almost 1,300 word article in its entirety; for the rest of you, let me point out two sentences. The first leapt out at me from the twelfth paragraph:

In fact, it really does look as if the foundations of US capitalism have shattered.

The second sentence came four paragraphs later:

The only thing that is certain is that the era of the unbridled free-market economy in the US has passed — at least for now.

I can’t speak for you, but I can easily imagine Pitzke rubbing his hands with delighted schadenfreude at the idea of America’s free-market economy tanking. And if free-market capitalism doesn’t work, then what other options are there? Well, people love Karl Marx’s ideas of communism and communism lite, also known as socialism. Neither one makes me happy, but I’m neither a communist nor a socialist.

Are America’s current financial problems proof that an “unbridled free-market economy” has failed us? You could make that argument if you believed that the free market got us to this position, but it didn’t. Government intervention got us to this point.

To trace this problem, we have to go back to the days of President Carter. The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 (sometimes mistakenly called the “Community Redevelopment Act”) specified that financial institutions had to “meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate.” It was designed to help minorities and the poor buy homes by keeping banks from denying them home loans. Turning down a loan request would be taken as prima facie evidence of racism, and the government would come down on the bank like a ton of regulatory bricks. In other words, the federal government required banks to give loans to Joe CreditRisk, ignoring Joe’s spotty job history, spotty credit record, and spotty credit payment history. Is it any wonder that there were more high-risk loans?

In 1995 President Clinton pushed for, and got, a stronger CRA. Thanks to this update, subprime mortgages for Joe CreditRisk were secured by CRA loans, leading to another increase in high-risk loans. Between 1993 and 1998, CRA loans grew by 39%, while other types of loans grew by 17%. Did this growth occur because the free market ordinarily rewards people who are proven bad credit risks? A truly free-market bank would be very hesitant to make lots of loans to people who would be unlikely to pay them off. But thanks to government intervention, the banking industry was no longer truly free-market. As a banker, you either danced to the government’s tune and offered risky loans to people who were unlikely to pay them back, or the feds would be knocking at your business doors to close you down, you horrible racist, you.

So what was the end result of government’s heavy-handed control over risky loans? Well — duh — lots of risky loans. But as long as housing prices continued to grow and grow, the banks and lending institutions could use the good deals to balance out the bad ones. But then the housing bubble popped, and high-risk debtors turned out to be — surprise, surprise — bad at making their loan payments. Having created the problem in the first place by messing around with the free market, the government stepped in to “fix” the problem with massive buyouts (with taxpayer money) for some, and giving a middle finger to others.

Is the banking crisis evidence of the collapse of America’s free-market capitalism, as Marc Pitzke maintains? No. It is the obvious result of government mucking around where it shouldn’t be. What we have here is the obvious result of a government-controlled market. In other words: Marxism sucks, and how!

There is some dismaying news coming out of England, that land often held up as a socialized medicine success story.

Falling numbers of state dentists in England has led to some people taking extreme measures, including extracting their own teeth, according to a new study released Monday.

Others have used superglue to stick crowns back on, rather than stumping up for private treatment, said the study. One person spoke of carrying out 14 separate extractions on himself with pliers.

More typically, a lack of publicly-funded dentists means that growing numbers go private: 78 percent of private patients said they were there because they could not find a National Health Service (NHS) dentist, and only 15 percent because of better treatment.

Scarcity is what you get with socialized medicine. When there is no obvious cost to visiting the dentist or doctor, people will seek out medical care for stuff fixed with an aspirin. Miss V has twice complained about her head hurting just before she went to bed. And in both times she said she wanted to visit the doctor. Doctors have the same magical property as bandages. For Miss V, any owie can be made better with a bandage, and just visiting the doctor will make any pain or illness go away better than aspirin. It’s magic! And speaking of flights of fantasy, she has no understanding of the costs of visiting the doctor because she doesn’t pay anything for it. Because she doesn’t pay for it, she’d be willing to visit the doctor for every headache and stomach upset she gets.

And that’s what you get whenever the cost is hidden from the people using the service. If the out-of-pocket cost of visiting the hospital’s emergency room were $100, people would go only when there is an emergency. If the out-of-pocket costs were reduced to zero, people would visit for every sniffle, headache, and skinned knee. The increased use of the emergency room would increase the hospital’s costs of supplying health care to the people. That bill will be passed to the government who turns around and taxes the people. At some point the government will push back to the hospital and refuse to increase funding. The hospital will then turn around and refuse services to the people, commonly in the form of slower processing of patients. That is why we hear of long waiting times for patients in Canada. Are you anxious to have 5+ week waiting times to see your doctor only to spend another 6+ weeks waiting for the specialist? Long lines are what you get with Socialism.

But in addition to the way socialized medicine slows down service to hold down costs, socialized medicine also places a cap on medical salaries. When you limit the pay for a job, you discourage people from entering that field. Why would someone spend the years of medical training to become a dentist or a doctor when there is a limit on the salary people could earn? The end result is “[f]alling numbers of state dentists in England.”

Socialism sucks, and socialized medicine is Socialism. It’s no wonder that socialized medicine sucks.

There isn’t a nice way of saying it, so I’ll just blurt it out — Socialism sucks.

But that doesn’t stop people who are enamored with Socialism from advocating it, as Senator Hillary Clinton did recently:

Presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined a broad economic vision Tuesday, saying it’s time to replace an “on your own” society with one based on shared responsibility and prosperity.

The Democratic senator said what the Bush administration touts as an ownership society really is an “on your own” society that has widened the gap between rich and poor.

“I prefer a ‘we’re all in it together’ society,” she said. “I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none.”

That means pairing growth with fairness, she said, to ensure that the middle-class succeeds in the global economy, not just corporate CEOs.

“There is no greater force for economic growth than free markets. But markets work best with rules that promote our values, protect our workers and give all people a chance to succeed,” she said. “Fairness doesn’t just happen. It requires the right government policies.”

Boy, it sure is great that we have the honorable Senator from New York to make life fair for us. And how does the Senator in all her wisdom propose to make life fair for everyone? Why, with government action, of course! After all, fairness doesn’t just happen; it requires government policies. And now for some more pearls of wisdom from Sen. Clinton:

“We have sent a message to our young people that if you don’t go to college … that you’re thought less of in America. We have to stop this,” she said.

Beyond education, Clinton said she would reduce special breaks for corporations, eliminate tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas and open up CEO pay to greater public scrutiny.

Clinton also said she would help people save more money by expanding and simplifying the earned income tax credit; create new jobs by pursuing energy independence; and ensure that every American has affordable health insurance.

Beyond education, Clinton said she would reduce special breaks for corporations, eliminate tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas and open up CEO pay to greater public scrutiny.

There is a word that accurately identifies Sen. Clinton’s plan, and that word is Socialism. It sure is a national tragedy that we have existed for over 200 years without the sage-like wisdom of Sen. Clinton and her love affair with Socialism. All during this time, life hasn’t been fair because she wasn’t around to make it so for us.

But I’m being facetious. I have long since realized that life isn’t fair; in fact, I wrote about it over three years ago:

Is life fair? I guess that depends on what you mean by “fair.” Is it fair that my hair started falling out when I was 17? Is it fair that I am not taller than my older brother? Is it fair that I don’t have Orlando Bloom’s good looks and hefty bank account? Is it fair that both my parents are alive, while my wife’s father died while she was a child? Is it fair that I was born an American and not an Armenian? Is it fair that I have wants far exceeding my ability to supply them? In each and every one of these cases, it is quite clear that life is not fair. But who promised you that life would, should, or even could be fair?

To answer that last question, it is Sen. Clinton who claims life should and could be fair. All we have to do is everything she says, and then life will be fair. Let’s get those government policies going right now!

There’s a problem with the Senator’s plan: Socialism sucks, and how! Can you identify a single place on earth where Socialism has worked to ensure both freedom and happiness? Socialism has sucked generations of life from the Soviet Union. Socialism has sucked the “get up and go” from hard-working Scandinavia. Socialism has sucked freedom from every nation where it has been implemented by oppressive governments. Socialism sucks out joy and replaces it with bureaucracy. A rather poor trade, that.

No, life is not and never has been fair, but it is a fool’s errand to try to enforce fairness through the ham-fisted bludgeoning of government policies.