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Scrap Socialism: Part I

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Scrap Socialism Part I

The collectivist ideologies have left a trail of death and destruction for centuries, isn’t it time to be rid of them as a viable form of government?

“A society based on the freedom to choose is better than a society based on the principles of socialism, communism and coercion.” – Milton Friedman

Why the economic slavery of Socialism, etc. need to be eliminated

Since the Socialist-Left insists on recycling the absurd idea of abolishing the economic liberty of the Free-Market [Or their pejorative terminology ‘capitalism’] why not consider the reverse position of abolishing the economic slavery of Socialism? The means scraping it’s dizzying array of alternate labels which all can be included ‘collectively’ as: Socialism, etc.

We will make the case for the abolition of theses ideologies and the keeping of economic liberty. This will be built upon three main parts. The first will be an examination of the age of experimentation of governance and why the best forms should be kept and the worst rejected. The second will be a brief overview of the history of the collectivist ideologies and why its variations of failure make the case for their abolition. Finally we will examine the sins of socialism, etc., as a basis for humanity rejecting collectivism.

The age of experimentation of governance

It could be argued that the past few centuries since the dawn of the industrial revolution have been a crucible for the refinement of how people can govern themselves. Agriculture had originally made it more advantageous for people to live in groups and governments were instituted to protect property and bring order out of chaos. The industrial age saw the creation of new forms of governance with some being far more successful than others. Now is the time to consider which of these should be utilized and which should be relegated to the ash heap of history.

The origin of collectivist ideologies could be traced back to ancient times exemplified with the expression of the ideas in the works of Plato. These were followed centuries later with Thomas More’s seminal work ‘Utopia’ published more than 500 years ago in 1516.  Even the Marxists have acknowledged that this 500 year old tome was the first ‘genuinely socialist position’.

The collectivist fantasy world envisioned in the book didn’t have to accede to the flaws and foibles of the reality of imperfect human beings, thus it could be a perfect society. This tendency to assume that fanciful theoretical constructs can work the real world is a common denominator with the Socialist-Left. This is partially how they can explain away the repeated failures of their base ideology down through the centuries. Since there can never be a melding of the real world and the theoretical, they always have a ready made excuse for why it’s never worked.

These Utopian fantasies are postulated on the idea that human beings can be made perfect and thus can be the basis of a perfect society. History should teach us that this is an impossible task because people will always have flaws and imperfections. Collectivists of the past have tried to reform people into perfect beings through various means and have always failed. Governmental systems that take into account that people are imperfect are far more successful.

While the Socialist-Left would like people to think that it’s tired old concepts are ‘fresh’, ‘scientific’ and the wave of the future, the plain fact is that they are centuries old with a consistent history of incessant failure. This contention is rather ironic given that experimentation in the collectivist forms of governance were some of the first new forms and prevalent within the historic record of the past few centuries.

It is also supremely ironic that the first trial runs of the failed collectivist ideologies took place in the Americas, given that these ideas are now thought of as new and originating in Europe. The first colonies in the new world of Jamestown and Plymouth practised a disastrous form of collectivism that saw the first vestiges of death that has plagued that ideology since it’s inception. The fruits of everyone’s labour were placed in a common store, and since there was no advantage to work the results were pitiful and the people starved. It was only after the protection of private property whereby people were able to keep their earnings that the colonies flourished.

Of course, the rest of the story was that the colonies formed a nation and won their independence. Thankfully, the founding fathers were learned men and they studied what works and what does not and brought forth the best form of government ever created. Their study of the works of John Locke and Charles de Montesquieu taught them to restrain the government and ‘provide new guards for their future security’.

The representative republic they created is the best form of governance by far, and it’s track record speaks for itself. The Socialist-left is constantly disavowing it’s string of past failures with repetition of the lie ‘that wasn’t real socialism’ or that ‘Socialism has never really been tried’. No one has ever said that about a representative republics, that alone should point to that form of government being the best and that the collectivist ideologies being the worst.

The true genius of the founding fathers was that they understood the basic forms of government and selected the best for the new nation. Thomas Jefferson wrote the following encapsulation of the three types of government in a letter to James Madison, in 1787:

“Societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence, as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our states in a great one. 3. Under governments of force: as is the case in all other monarchies and in most of the other republics.

History has taught us that the second type is the best form. It should also be clear that the collectivist forms fall into the third category given that they depend on force to impose collective instead of individual rights.

The collectivist ideologies depend on force to redistribute property.

Force and coercion are the only way to control people and properly redistribute their wealth. At some point the guns have to come out to pay for all the free-stuff promised by the Socialist-Left, that is the ugly truth of Socialism, etc. and the collectivist ideal. It is also the reason the Socialist-Left has to couch it’s ideology in terms of ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’. But just like it’s pretence of creating a perfect society, those two concepts are incompatible.

“Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The Takeaway

We need to recognize the true genius of the founding fathers in what they created. The government they formulated has served us well for over 240 years. No government or society can ever be perfect, because they are based on imperfect beings. The collectivist forms are based on the arrogant but impossible idea that people and societies can somehow be perfected. History teaches us that these beliefs will lead to simple failure in the best case scenario, and concentration camps and mass murder in the worst. This is why these ideologies need to be eliminated as viable forms of government.

Differential equations teaches us that one can use the initial conditions of the present to extrapolate events in the near term balanced with the knowledge of the past. The interaction of technological advances and the march of history is fascinating. History can inform those willing to listen as to what will happen in the future because the laws of human natural are as immutable as the elegant equations of Newtonian physics.

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Economy

House bill will rein in Trump’s abuse of trade powers

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As much of the nation focused yesterday on the Supreme Court and who Trump would nominate to fill the seat being vacated by Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) was busy working on a bill that would limit Trump’s authority to levy tariffs.

Under Gallagher’s bill, Congress would reclaim its constitutional authority by requiring the president to obtain congressional approval before levying tariffs “in the interest of national security.” This bill is in response to Trump abusing his power to levy tariffs under a provision in the law that allows him to do so on an emergency basis when national security is threatened.

Gallagher’s measure is a companion bill to a Senate measure co-sponsored by Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Mike Lee (R-UT) designed to “rein in the executive branch’s power to impose (tariffs)” and to empower Congress to “assert its Constitutional responsibility and lead on trade policy.”

The recessionary/depressionary consequences of Trump’s self-declared trade war are beginning to take their toll. US companies in various industries are making plans to move operations overseas to avoid the financial impact of tariffs while others are laying off employees due to skyrocketing prices on steel.

To be fair, tariffs haven’t been all bad, especially if your name is Trump.

Trump managed to leverage his tariff threats against China to haul in over $500 million to finance Trump golf courses and hotels in Indonesia and secure trademarks for his and Ivanka’s business interests in China. And Ivanka’s questionably ethical payday has continued as we have just learned that her clothing empire—exclusively manufactured in various Asian countries because MAGA™–is exempt from Daddy’s recent 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of imported Chinese goods.

It looks like Trump won’t be backing down anytime soon. It was last week that we learned that Trump is working on a bill he hopes Congress will consider that would shift ALL tariff power from the legislative branch to the executive branch. Known as the U.S. Fair and Reciprocal Trade Act (FART Act), Trump’s proposal would give him Emperor-like power to levy tariffs anywhere anytime and for any reason.

Would Congress ever pass such a law? Who knows?

A few weeks ago, the Senate Finance Committee grilled Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross over Trump’s trade-war strategy in light of the administration’s kid-gloves handling of China and of retaliatory tariffs against the US by Canada, China, Mexico, and the EU. It’s tempting to get excited when Republicans get fired up and appear to be doing their job, unfortunately Mitch McConnell always shows up to throw water on the flames, turning the excitement into ashes.

As the election draws near and with the GOP officially rebranded as the Party of Trump, I find little reason to hope that efforts to rein in Trump’s abuse of power will succeed.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Economy

Emperor Palpatine would love Trump’s U.S. FART Act

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Ever since Trump officially launched his self-declared trade war earlier this year, countries around the world have been lining up to retaliate against his arbitrary use of tariffs—the Senate Finance Committee recently called it “knee-jerk impulses”—in his pursuit to advance his anti-free trade, protectionist agenda.

In January, Trump lobbed the first economy-killing grenade when he imposed tariffs on imported solar panels and residential washing machines. Weeks later Trump launched a second round of attacks with across-the-board tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

Following the second round of attacks, Trump’s trade advisor Peter Navarro appeared on FOX Business Network to assure America that Trump knew what he was doing and that fears of a trade war were misplaced because no country would dare retaliate for Trump’s tariffs.

Obviously, with retaliatory tariffs being leveled by Canada, China, Mexico, and the EU, Navarro was not only wrong in his conclusion, but we now find ourselves in the throes of a trade war, with casualties here at home such as we witnessed recently with Harley Davidson’s announcement to move some production overseas to avoid tariffs.

Additionally, the price of steel has doubled, causing layoffs and possible business closures for smaller businesses. For example, last week Mid-Continent Nail announced layoffs for 60 of its 500 employees and may be forced to relocate to Mexico to survive Trump’s trade war.

But don’t worry. Trade wars are “good” and “easy to win.”

Already guilty of abusing his authority to level tariffs—he can only do so as a matter of national security—and in true “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” fashion, Trump is working on a bill he hopes Congress will consider that would shift tariff powers from the legislative branch to the executive branch.

The U.S. Fair and Reciprocal Trade Act would give the president power to level tariffs anywhere, anytime, and for any reason. Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci refers to Trump’s proposal acrostically, calling it the U.S. FART Act because it “stinks.”

Personally, I think a better nickname for it is the Emperor Palpatine Act because it gives Trump…

I would like to believe, as the editorial board of National Review does, that Congress would never consider surrendering its Article 1, Section 8 power to “lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imports, and Excises” to any president, especially Trump. But when you consider that they already allow Trump to abuse his authority to impose tariffs—national security, remember?—not to mention that efforts to rein him in have been shot down by Mitch McConnell and other Republicans sold out to Trumpism, I’m not so sure FART wouldn’t fly if given its wings.

Case in point: We need only remember how Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) successfully led the charge to surrender the Senate’s Constitutional authority to approve treaties to Obama during the Iran deal to know just how feckless Republicans can be when dealing with unpopular issues.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Economy

What do Democrats and Obamacare have in common with Republicans and tax cuts?

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During the Obama administration, the most obvious example of the disastrous consequences of making laws in this fashion is Obamacare—legislation negotiated behind closed doors and so full of special interests that Nancy Pelosi famously stated that Congress had to pass the bill before we could find out what was in it. Obama also provided cover for Obamacare before and after its passage with his now-famous repeated lie: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

Trump and the GOP have created an Obamacare moment of their own with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

Like Obamacare, TCJA was so massive and contained so many special interest considerations—mostly to corporations and donors—that it was hammered out behind closed doors, and under McConnell’s Pelosi-inspired instructions, TCJA could not be read by Senators until after it passed the Senate. And just like Obama before him with Obamacare, Trump kept the details of the tax cut plan hidden while spreading the lie that it would provide “the biggest tax cuts in history.”

The folks at InfoWars.com said that Trump’s promise had an Obama-esque “if you like your money, you can keep your money” ring to it.

The similarities between Obamacare the Trump tax cuts don’t end there. In the same way that much of the damage from Obamacare wasn’t known until after it became law, the damage from Trump’s tax cuts are now being revealed.

A previously unnoticed change to the tax code included in the TCJA has been discovered that imposes newly created taxes on churches, synagogues, and other non-profit organizations of 21 percent on employee benefits like meals and parking, forcing these organizations, regardless of size, to pay taxes for the first time ever. This is a costly burden when you consider that many nonprofit organizations operate with small and/or volunteer staff.

Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX), who is apparently one of those who didn’t read TCJA before voting for it, is trying to fix this “oops” moment, but House Ways and Means Chairman and Trump loyalist Kevin Brady (R-TX) is defending the stealth-like tax grab because it will provide “parity”—GOP-speak for fairness—regarding taxing employee compensation.

Parity has nothing to do with it. From day one, Republicans targeted charitable deductions as a source of income to offset the massive tax breaks they were giving big business and special interests. Failing to get as much as they had hoped from adjusting deductions, the GOP went after the recipients of those donations.

This is why the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was created behind closed doors, why nobody could read it before voting, and why Trump lied to protect it. It’s also a sign that our great Republic is quickly approaching its end.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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