Connect with us

Opinions

Socialism isn’t fair

Published

on

President Trump was right. On Tuesday when he spoke in front of the UN General Assembly he said, “The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.”

There is a common retort which comes from the Left when a socialist regime collapses. It is something along the lines of, “The [Soviets] just didn’t implement it quite right, but socialism is still superior because it’s fair.”

There are two questions that need to be answered about socialism if we really are doing an honest comparison. One, is it more fair, and two, does it work?

Is it more fair?

The moral idea behind socialism is that making sure everyone has the same amount is the most fair. Even in theory this is flawed because people simply are not equal. Some people are really smart, while others are really good at basketball. Therefore, any attempt to make them equal results in inequality. As Jim Peron of the Institute for Liberal Values explains so eloquently:

“Not everyone can be a nuclear physicist or a physician. And no amount of education will change that. So how do we achieve equality of results – if that is our goal? The only method left is to tear down the great. Those who are intelligent thus become victims of the mob violence of the least intelligent in their society.”


Related reading…

This is EXACTLY what socialism is:
Part 1 of 2
 by Paige Rogers

http://noqreport.com/2017/08/10/this-is-exactly-what-socialism-is-part-1-of-2/Socialism is a macro-philosophy (lacking specifics, inadequate in guidelines). Since socialism lacks details, socialists have been able to swim around in perpetual fluidity, skirting any and all responsibility for peddling a mortiferous ideology. Thus, it is important to measure how “socialist” a country is against the philosophy of Karl Marx, the communists’ god. Read more…

Part 2 of 2

In the Communist Manifesto, the socialist bible, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels lay out 10 planks (10 processes/methods) through which the Proletarian Dictatorship will demolish every last trace of the capitalist system. Since socialism is not an exact science, each plank will be accomplished and carried forth at varying times, in varying ways and in varying degrees until, finally, a new world a born.. Read more…


Does it work?

In practice, socialism is flawed because when you force the most successful people to pay unreasonable percentages of their earnings, they lose the incentive to work. This understanding is crucial for the comparison between socialism and capitalism.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, there were entire socialist libraries devoted to the confiscation and division of wealth, but barely even an article on how people were motivated to create wealth. Socialists do not know how to make a society work, nor how to prevent the producers (aka job creators, aka Atlases) from quitting or moving to a new country. Mark my words: If you force them to surrender such large portions of the fruits of their labor, the Atlases will shrug.

The implementation of socialism is nothing more than the suppression of human nature and human diversity. It’s not just the implementation of socialism that is flawed, but the ideal as well. Don’t ever let anyone get away with saying that the ideal is fair. It is not.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entertainment and Sports

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs would be terrible if the Coen brothers didn’t make it

Published

on

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs would be terrible if the Coen brothers didnt make it

Directors often get too much credit for making movies great. That’s not the case with the Coen brothers. In their latest release, their presence in the director’s chairs and behind the writing desks took what should have been a mediocre Old West anthology and made it clever enough that most viewers will enjoy it. Others, like me, will hate it despite their presence.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a Coen brothers film made for Netflix that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is why 91% of critics reviewed it favorably on Rotten Tomatoes. But the thumbs-up/thumbs-down approach by Rotten Tomatoes makes the rating a bit misleading. Many of the “positive” reviews I read were essentially homages to the Coen brothers. There were many complaints about the six-part anthology that were followed by “… but it’s the Coen brothers, so…”

That’s the big plus in the movie. The Coens were able to tell the six stories the way only they could with such attention to detail that I almost watched it a second time even though I hated it. The critic in me detested what the movie tried to do. The fan in me loved how the Coens tried to do it.

Unfortunately, that means the only valid reason to watch it is to see the Coens do their thing. That’s enough of a reason if you’ve already seen all of their other extraordinary works. If you’ve missed any of them, I’d start there before using The Ballad of Buster Scruggs as a filler to get you through until their next masterpiece.

I normally don’t do spoilers. In fact, I make a point to not even spoil important components like mood or tone. Since this is a case where I’m not only going against the grain of other reviewers but I’m also trying to dissuade certain people from seeing it, I’ll go ahead and warn that there are spoilers ahead.

As noted already, this movie doesn’t take itself seriously. There are six completely separate stories tied together by two things: death and the historical Old West. We’ll deal with the death aspect shortly, but one good thing I can say about the movie is that I’ve never seen one capture the beauty of the period like this one. Even on a small screen, the sets are stunning. It’s a shame that such amazing cinematography will have so few see it on the big screen.

Now, let’s deal with death. It’s the overarching theme throughout, and it’s noteworthy that none of the reviews I read seemed to catch onto the specificity of the deaths. In order from first to last, the deaths are whimsical, ironic, undeserved, deserved, and tragic. This is done in a very particular order to keep the audience engaged. It’s an emotional ebb and flow that the Coens have mastered over three decades of filmmaking.

The opening story shares its title with the movie itself. It’s a live-action cartoon with stunning aspects that make the viewer laugh, marvel, and finally scratch his or her head. Buster Scruggs’ death is as quick and unexpected as the death the character dishes out throughout his story.

The second story, Near Algodones, demonstrates the inevitability of death for one who chooses a life of crime. Both times the lead character is captured and set to hang are comical and ironic, as if saying Death won’t be cheated by death. His final scene is the last real laugh we get in the movie.

As is common for the Coen brothers, there’s no attempt to ease in to a drastically changing mood. From beginning to end, Meal Ticket makes us feel melancholy and turns it up near the end of the third story. The only temporary relief is seeing an orange chicken mesmerizing a simple-minded crowd with its ability to do basic math on command, a not-so-subtle allusion to President Trump and his adoring fans.

The star of the anthology is the fourth story, All Gold Canyon, as Tom Waits delivers on multiple connections. He touches nature as both an intruder and its defender. He talks to his goal, “Mr Pocket,” like a friend about to deliver the good news of riches heading his way. The best line of the movie comes out in a dialogue between Waits and the pocket of gold when he says, “I’m old, but you’re older.” All of this combines for a deep connection we’re able to feel with his character. We may like or dislike other characters, but we actually connect with this one. Any of the stories could be fleshed out to be a standalone film, but this one would probably yield the best one.

The fifth story, The Gal Who Got Rattled, is another one that could easily expand. It made me think someone could make an interesting series about life on the Oregon Trail that followed the guides back and forth in their exciting journeys. Instead, we get a glimpse at the trail, another glimpse of irony surrounding an annoying dog that survives both of its masters, and then a fleeting glimpse of real action as Grainger Hines fearlessly takes on a group of Commanche who want his scalp and the young lady he’s protecting.

The Mortal Remains rounds out the movie. It’s the only story that doesn’t end in death, though it’s predicated by death; two of the five characters in this story are bounty hunters with the body of their most recent prey strapped to the top of the carriage they’re riding.

There are different interpretations for this segment of the movie. Some say the self proclaimed “reapers” are taking the souls of the other three passengers to their resting place. This theory lends to the apprehension and dread they demonstrate when they finally get there. Others say they simply fear that death may come to them soon, which is why they hesitate to enter the hotel. I lean towards the first interpretation. The three in the carriage with the bounty hunters/reapers died normally while the body on the roof had to be hunted down, which is why he has to be carried to his final resting place instead of walking there like the other three.

Who knows? The Coens.

The stories in this movie were accumulated over 25 years. It’s very possible that there is a much deeper underlying meaning to all of this that the Coens may or may not ever reveal. It could be personal, like their own private joke about Hollywood; watching Meal Ticket definitely lends itself to the notion that the highest level of art can’t be as popular as a counting chicken. There may be nothing to it at all. The Coens know, and unless they’re changing their style, they aren’t telling us their secrets.

An uncanny number of reviews I read noted a variation of the idea that the whole was less than the sum of the parts.

The bottom line: Lots of people loved this movie for everything the Coen brothers bring to the table. Some, like me, hated it because it’s six stories that individually could have been great but compressing them into one movie didn’t do them justice.

Continue Reading

Economy

To those who don’t care about the national debt, consider this

Published

on

To those who dont care about the national debt consider this

The national debt has been growing dramatically for decades. It’s so great that most Americans seem to dismiss it altogether; if we haven’t been harmed by it already, it obviously can’t hurt us, right? This sort of “head in the sand” thinking is why lawmakers refuse to tackle it. As long as the people don’t seem to care, why should they?

It’s time to care. It’s been time to care for a while but the collective ignoring of it has brought it to the level that now, in 2018, we are nearing the point of no return.

Why? Because the astronomical interest is now going to noticeably affect how the government operates. We’ve spent years pretending like the interest isn’t a big deal even though it was growing to unsustainable levels during the Clinton administration. Now, we’re seeing it reach levels that are tangible. Why? Because the cost to cover it is now great enough that other areas are going to need to be cut.

In 2017, the interest on our debt was $263 billion. That’s 6.6% of federal government spending. We’re on track to spend more on interest than Medicaid in 2020 and more on interest than defense by 2023. Let me repeat that:

By 2023, we will spend more in interest on the national debt than we spend on national defense.

Normally, we can take CBO predictions with a grain of salt because they’re usually off (see Obamacare predictions for CBO’s epic failures) but this one relies on simple math. Even in a humming economy with the best case scenarios in play, you can’t overcome interest without paying down the debt.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans have any intention of paying off the debt. This is why candidate Trump went from promising to pay off the national debt in eight years, then ten years, then paying part of it off, then finally proclaiming himself the “king of debt” – all within the period of one month on the campaign trail.

To get the national debt in line will require an ironclad commitment backed by irrevocable legislation that spans two- to four-decades. It means entitlement reform, budget limits, cutting entire agencies and possibly even departments, and commitments to rein in all forms of discretionary spending.

In other words, the only way to get the national debt to a manageable level – not even getting it to zero but somewhere much lower than it is – would require commitments by politicians that none of them are willing to make. Oh, there might be a couple of Senators and a handful of Congressmen who would embrace such measures, but even those ones won’t buck the system to the point that they’d push hard for it without a mandate by voters.

We are the only hope for the very near future. If Americans don’t care that our tax dollars are being used to pay interest on the mountainous debt that has been accumulated in recent years, let alone the debt that preceded it, then we shouldn’t expect politicians to care, either. This can has been kicked down the road for decades, but the road is coming to a very abrupt end soon. It’s beyond unsustainable. We’re on the verge of collapsing under the weight of our own mistakes.

As long as voters ignore the national debt, neither party will pay attention to it, either. We will drown in our own ignorance if we don’t act soon. In the past, they said the debt will affect our children and grandchildren. Now, the debt is starting to affect us.

Continue Reading

Opinions

Orange County didn’t turn blue because of Trump. It turned blue because of fiscal irresponsibility.

Published

on

Orange County didnt turn blue because of Trump It turned blue because of fiscal irresponsibility

The “angry suburban backlash” against President Trump is what many analysts and commentators blame for the reversal in control of the House of Representatives. It’s partially correct, but there’s a bigger challenge for the GOP: red-leaning population centers like Orange County that seem to be shifting blue as well.

The suburbs may have the voters the Republicans need, but heavily populated affluent areas like Orange County have the money Republicans need.

Orange County just went from mostly red to totally blue in the House of Representatives. It has as many or more congressional districts than over half the states in the country. And until this year, four of them could be counted as “leaning-” or “solid-Republican.”

Now, they are all blue.

Democrats Complete Sweep of Orange County, Once a GOP Haven

https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/democrats-sweep-orange-county-once-a-gop-strongholdWith Democrat Gil Cisneros’ victory in California’s 39th District, Democrats have defeated all four Republicans in Orange County, an area former President Ronald Reagan once referred to as the place “where the good Republicans go before they die.”

Cisneros, a Navy veteran and lottery winner, defeated former GOP state Assemblywoman Young Kim in the increasingly diverse 39th District. He had garnered 50.8 percent of the vote compared to Kim’s 49.2 percent when the Associated Press called the race nearly two weeks after Election Day. He won by roughly 3,500 votes.

This is a bigger deal than most realize and has national implications. It demonstrates two things quite clearly. First, the organizational structures of the party in California and the local area are abysmal. They have been for a while, but Orange County survived their bumbling because the GOP held a favorable fiscal reputation here. Second, President Trump’s influence is limited in areas where higher education and income levels make up the bulk of voters.

Tax cuts weren’t the big winner in places like Orange County because they weren’t accompanied by spending cuts. Fiscal responsibility is more important in areas like Orange County than other Republican strongholds. Local publications lambasted Congress and the White House when they passed spending bills that would make President Obama blush.

In California, we live with a state government that spends incessantly. We don’t want a federal government that does the same.

If the GOP doesn’t start acting like the party that wants lower spending, they have no chance of regaining a foothold in areas that are less concerned about kneeling football players and more concerned about budget deficits and the national debt.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement Donate to NOQ Report

Facebook

Twitter

Trending

Copyright © 2018 NOQ Report