Friday, June 14, 2019
Did you know that in Santa Barbara, CA, a waitress can go to JAIL for serving a plastic straw that wasn't requested, and that throughout the state this “crime” is subject to a fine originally supposed to be $1,000. (See bit.ly/2Wtx5uj and bit.ly/2ZcrN38.)
Did you also know that, despite all the claims that it never goes away, plastic can actually be dissolved in a pretty common chemical: acetone, which is the main ingredient in nail polish remover. (See bit.ly/2MtsMdJ)
So here’s a suggestion for the California Legislature: Instead of fining people or letting them be thrown in jail for this “crime,” each of you who voted for this bill should go to the beach with a little pail and shovel.
You should gather up all the straws, soak them in acetone, and then go house to house and drinking place to drinking place and gather up all the remaining straws throughout the state and soak them in acetone. This would be a job commensurate with your level of intelligence, common sense, and compassion.
Maybe you’ll like this job so much, you’ll want to keep on doing this kind of work and never run for public office again.
What makes this legislative outrage so significant is that it may very well be a sign of what's to come. The Green-Left is on the edge of a meltdown. As they see it, the time to the end of the world is running out. With each passing year, less time remains to reduce CO2 emissions
This implies a need to reduce them all the more drastically in the reduced time that remains. This is what the “Green New Deal” is all about.
Now if they’re ready to throw people in jail over a plastic straw, what will they be ready to do to stop people from crossing the Left’s alleged "tipping point" leading to the “destruction of the planet”?
I envision public executions—scenes out of China under Mao, or North Korea. They’ll make people kneel in the street and shoot them in the back of the head for having used gasoline or electricity, indeed, for having exhaled.
It’s no joke to say that we’re dealing with a lunatic fringe. They are virtual lunatics. And they are very close to coming to power. All they have to do is beat Donald Trump in the next election. And they might very well do that.
They almost certainly will do that if a new financial crisis develops before the 2020 election day (and then before the 2024 or 2028 election days.)
In preparation for that possibility, I hope enough people will realize that even a great depression under Trump (or his “right-wing” successor) is better than a reign of terror under the Green Left, and full employment in chain gangs.
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Friday, May 10, 2019
Posted yesterday on Twitter at @GGReisman
Socialized Medicine is a mailed fist in a velvet glove. The velvet glove is the promise of “free” medical care. The mailed fist is the reality of medical care limited to what the government deems it can afford while prohibiting you from spending your own money on your own care.
The prohibition of people spending their own money on their own medical care is implied in the very expression “Single-Payer System.” Those words mean that the government is the only payer. The individual citizens are prohibited from being payers.
Indeed, the government cannot leave people free to spend their own money on their own medical care, because their doing so would draw resources from the socialized system. The better doctors and hospitals would cater to those with higher incomes and greater spending power.
Here is a temporary, compromise solution for medical care. Let the government continue to provide financing for the care of the indigent. Let everyone else have access to the government’s system at rates that cover, or more than cover, its costs, if such care is what they prefer.
At the same time, allow the development of a new medical system that will be free of all government regulation or control. This system will be exempt from licensing requirements, FDA approval, whatever. Those frightened by such freedom can take refuge in the government’s system.
Expect radical cost reductions, bringing more and better medical care within reach of more and more people.
Friday, May 03, 2019
Monday, January 07, 2019
Marxism/Socialism... I. 1. The Essential Nature of Socialism: The Need for Armed Robbery to Establish It
Copyright ©2018 by George Reisman. All rights reserved, except that this post may be reproduced and distributed electronically, but only in full, including graphic(s), and with notification to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(Previous Post: Introduction)
PART I. THE GIST OF MARXISM/SOCIALISM AND ITS REFUTATION
I. 1. The Essential Nature of Socialism: The Need for Armed Robbery to Establish It
First of all, it must be realized that there is no such thing as socialism without government ownership of the means of production. That is the essential, defining characteristic of socialism. Second, there is only one way to establish socialism. And that is by means of armed robbery on a massive scale. Even a democratically elected socialist government would have to send armed men out through the country to seize the means of production. For there is no other way that it could obtain ownership of them. (The fact that it was democratically elected would be of as little significance as the fact that, compared with its victims, a lynch mob typically constitutes an overwhelming majority.) Unlike the case of nationalizing an isolated industry here and there, in which the government can pay meaningful compensation to the owners, by means of raising taxes on the rest of the economic system, the government has no way to compensate the owners of means of production as a class, for there is no source of wealth outside the economic system. Furthermore, insofar as socialists believe that capitalists are thieves living off profits stolen from the wage earners, they do not want to compensate the capitalists, even if they could.
In these circumstances of total loss, many capitalists will resist the theft of their property. They will forcibly defend what is theirs.
At this point, a newly installed socialist government is put in the position of a would-be street robber who must make a fundamental decision. If the street robber wants to take someone’s wallet, it is not enough for him to approach his victim and say something like, “Please, Sir, give me your wallet.” The intended victim may give him a punch in the nose instead. If the robber really wants the wallet, he needs to come with a gun, to threaten the victim’s life if he does not turn over his wallet. That is what the socialist state must do if it wants the capitalists’ property. It must come with enough force to overcome the armed resistance of its victims, which entails its’ committing murder on a large scale, very possibly on the scale entailed in the civil war it may provoke.
What this means is that to establish socialism, what is required are the communists! The communists are armed robbers prepared to commit murder. They are the true champions of socialism. They alone can openly establish it.
Next Post: I. 2. The Social Democrats Should Stop Calling Themselves Socialists Socialism can also be established through fraud, under the outward guise and appearance of capitalism. This is the case when the government controls prices and wages and decides what is to be produced, in what quantities, by what methods, and to whom the products are to be distributed. In this case, the government exercises all of the essential powers of ownership and is thus the de facto owner of the means of production. In the words of Ludwig von Mises, this is socialism on the German or Nazi pattern, in contrast to the open, de jure Russian or Bolshevik pattern of socialism.