The show this week was great! Thanks to callers and listeners alike. Who knew the European Debt Crisis could be so much fun? To tell you the truth, the truth is so horrible that ya gotta laugh at it or you’d cry! Central economic control and the socialist state are as much a failure in Europe as they were in Russia and North Korea, and as I’m sure we will find, in China, yet Europeans continue to double down by betting again on socialism (in France) and communism (in Greece) in the elections of last week. What are they crazy? (Actually, maybe they are: check out my video preview of the show and the article I reference in that post: 40% of Europeans are reported to suffer mental illness!)
European Debt Crisis
If you haven’t been following the European Debt Crisis, the upshot is that the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece & Spain) are already effectively bankrupt and other countries, including France, are not far behind. Despite this, France replaced it’s “conservative” President Nicolas Sarkozy with a socialist, Francois Hollande, as Hollande promised to spare the French people austerity and still somehow spare them bankruptcy. I don’t even think Hollande believes this is possible, but he will raise taxes in a last ditch effort to placate the masses that he’s doing everything he can to get them their free lunch.
Austerity vs. Liberalization
Frankly, although I am the most fiscally conservative person you could imagine (I think government expenditure should be $0!) I don’t think the austerity they are talking about in Europe would work anyway. For the most part, Germany is calling for the PIIGS to cut government spending in order to qualify for bailouts to help kick the can down the road. The problem is, the austerity is just cutting wages and perks on government workers as well as raising taxes on the few productive individuals left in these zombie economies. Austerity reflects the fact that government controlled economies make the pie smaller and therefore everyone’s slice must be smaller. This will do nothing to solve the real problem of failed central economic dictatorship and cannot result in enough surplus to pay back debt accrued based on the relatively vibrant economies of yesteryear much less the corpses of today–these entities are simply way over-leveraged.
Even the “privatization” these austerity plans call for is mostly a plan to sell government-owned real estate and lease it back to continue to house all the government operations that are taken as a given over there (and more and more here!) What they need over there is not austerity and sale-lease-backs but liberalization: they need to return economic functions to the private sector, from medicine to utilities. If these countries would simply return to strict respect for property rights and personal and economic liberty, investment and prosperity would follow. Until then, there’s no hope. Meanwhile, don’t feel too bad for them–they’re average work-week is 35 hours in Europe and average vacation is four weeks per year!
We’ll wish we were merely turning Japanese
Sadly, the lesson to the US should be to turn back the tide of socialism–and I think the voters here are getting the drift–but the politicians continue to lead us down the road to serfdom. Unfortunately, the political system is so biased toward the big government parties–Republicans and Democrats–that any hope of a return to personal and economic liberty merely by voting is futile. On the one hand Obamacare was thrust upon us without a mandate and on the other hand, the Republicans take the massive social democracy we have become as a given so that even our most fiscally conservative politician, Paul Ryan gives us a budget that doesn’t balance for 28 years, and the supposed Conservative Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, argues that he will cut Medicare by less than Obama will!
No, I don’t fear the we will turn Greek because we will default on our debt (Bernanke and his magic printing press will solve this problem the hard way without asking anyone’s permission). I fear we will turn Greek because we will view “smaller government” not as returning some economic functions to the private sector but as demanding that the dependent citizenry be happy with the scraps from the socialist table no matter how meager they become.
Should the US Bail Europe Out?
I played this clip of Jim Cramer asking Ron Paul “Surely we shouldn’t just let Italy fail????” This was six months ago or he would have had to say “…or Portugal? or Ireland? or Greece? or Spain?” and six months from now he might have to add “…or France? or Germany? or….”
Oh, and PS, Jim Cramer is actually delusional enough to say “I’m on the front lines of the stock market,” as if he’s the London Whale and not just a histrionic entertainer. Give me a break!
Great Calls AND Tweets!
I got some great calls last night and some informative ones too. John suggested interested listeners check out the blogs Krugman in Wonderland and Tax Cuts Increase Revenues, and Darryl directed us to the book by Sheldon Emry, Billions for the Bankers, Debt for the People.
Finally, Brett called in saying that it is not the Constitution that failed us it’s us who failed the Constitution.
My argument is that the Constitution is a piece of paper that requires the constant vigilance of the people to sustain it, at the same time it gives all the power–the power of defense, the power of coercion, the power of taxation and even the power to resolve disputes not only between citizens but between citizens and the government–to a monopoly government! With that kind of monopoly power in the hands of government ultimately citizens will lose their liberties regardless of the good intentions of the Founders. And taking the position that not only Brett expressed on the air but also Wilhelm and James expressed on twitter (much respect to all) that it is we who have failed the Constitution and not the other way around misses the lesson to be learned–the American Experiment was the greatest experiment in using government to ensure individual liberty that it would be possible to devise and it failed–the notion of coercive monopoly government being used to restrain government is a utopian fantasy. Human nature dictates that establishing such a seat of power will always result in an abuse of that power. In the immortal words of the great Lysander Spooner
But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
I admit my view is radical–I am an extreme Libertarian, a private law anarchist, an anarcho-capitalist (StevetheRawMan on twitter suggests I’m the only female of my kind!)–I believe just government can only be achieved privately. As the quote by William Graham Sumner at the top of my website always says
Gentlemen, the time is coming when there will be two great classes, Socialists, and Anarchists. The Anarchists want the government to be nothing, and the Socialists want government to be everything. There can be no greater contrast. Well, the time will come when there will be only these two great parties, the Anarchists representing the laissez faire doctrine and the Socialists representing the extreme view on the other side, and when that time comes I am an Anarchist.
I believe Europe’s willingness to cling to socialism to the death demonstrates that this ultimate choice is closing in on us. You know where I stand! Do you know where you stand?
I hope you enjoyed the show! If you missed it, check out show archives on wsbradio.com.