Free traders: Capitalist champions of unfair competition

nike

Do you like and/or approve of unfair competition? If you’re an advocate for free trade you do, whether you realize it or not. You may call yourself a capitalist, but if you approve of free trade, you approve of unfair competition within the capitalist system you propose to support.

What’s worse than an unfair system is when the system is tilted toward benefiting foreign producers over our own. That is exactly what the American version of free trade has done for the last 40 years: grant economic advantages to foreign producers that our domestic producers don’t enjoy.

Here’s a real world example. American-owned New Balance makes about 25 percent of their shoes in the United States. American-owned Nike doesn’t make any shoes here. Neither does German-owned Adidas or German-owned Reebok.

New Balance is required to observe minimum wage laws, tax laws, labor laws, family leave laws, environmental and pollution controls, paid vacation and sick leave benefits, and pays 7½ percent of the 15 percent tab to Social Security for each American worker (the American workers pays the other 7½ percent).

Get Roger Simmermaker’s advice firsthand, in “How Americans Can Buy American” and “My Company ‘Tis of Thee.”

Any wage that Nike pays in the foreign countries in which they produce is much less than in the United States. There are few if any of the above laws and regulations in China and Indonesia. And Nike doesn’t have to pay an equivalent of 7½ percent of the salaries of foreign workers to America’s Social Security Trust Fund.

I don’t know what it costs for New Balance to make a shoe in the United States, but let’s say it is $15. And I’m not sure what it costs Nike to produce a shoe in Indonesia, but let’s say it is $5. These numbers mean that New Balance has three times the production-cost burden to “compete” for the spending dollars of the American consumer. Is that fair? Of course not.

Economic trade is the only form of competition on the face of the earth where two competitors play by a different set of rules. If your favorite Major League Baseball team played a team from Indonesia, you would find it odd if the Indonesian team had a more favorable set of rules, like batters getting four strikes before they can be called out instead of three, or walks to first base after only three balls instead of four for the American team.

How about if it took four outs to retire the side for the Indonesian team and only three outs for your favorite American team? You would surely cry foul (no pun intended).

Nike probably pays a small import tariff when their shoes enter the United States, but the tariff rate is nowhere near what it would have to be – 300 percent – to make things fair for both competitors.

Why 300 percent, you ask? Simple math. New Balance’s production-cost burden is 300 percent higher than that of Nike. That means to equalize production-cost burdens, we would have to impose what could be called an “equalizing tariff” of 300 percent on Nike shoes to bring their $5 per shoe production-cost burden up to New Balance’s $15 per shoe-production-cost burden.

Now I know that 300 percent sounds high, but we should be more concerned with what it accomplishes. It makes trade fair and it makes sure all players are playing by the same set of rules, just like we would advocate in any other competitive activity.

Actually, my 300 percent tariff scenario is quite conservative if you take one of the studies by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) into account. The NAM is a free trade leaning group, by the way.

The NAM study found that it costs 22.4 percent more to make a product in the USA compared to our nine largest trading partners (to pay for things like Social Security taxes, etc. listed above). The capitalist view is that all production-cost burdens must be recovered in the price of the product. If that’s true, then a domestic tax has the same effect as an import tariff, so we can easily call an import tariff a tax. And if tariffs are taxes, the NAM says we are imposing a 22.4 percent tariff on our own production, while imposing a 3 percent tariff on Nike shoes.

At the same time, through trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), our government is trying to lower import tariffs even more, while continuing to saddle domestic production with ever more regulations and other cost burdens.

Regulations can be a good thing. No one wants a dirty domestic factory to emit cancer-causing chemicals into the atmosphere that can kill the people who breathe it. I get that.

What I don’t get is allowing China to do it (their challenges with polluting their own atmosphere have been well-documented) and allowing them to undercut American production on price because we cannot and should not.

In short, those who abide by and absorb the cost of American laws deserve protection from those who don’t. We have the most lucrative consumer market in the world. Everyone wants to sell to us, so we should be able to dictate the terms surrounding how goods enter into our American market. And if anyone gets an advantage, it ought to be us, but it’s not.

Capitalism? Yes. Common-sense regulation? Yes. But free trade? No. It’s unfair, unjust, and it has put way too many Americans in unemployment lines who didn’t deserve it.

Nike CEO Phil Knight once said the reason his company used low-wage Indonesian labor was because “Americans don’t want to make shoes.” Really? Tell the American workers at New Balance that.

 

Disney World yanks Cosby statue from park

(ORLANDO SENTINEL) — A Bill Cosby statue is being removed from Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park, a Walt Disney World spokeswoman said Tuesday evening.

The statue was to come down Tuesday night after the park closed. Disney did not have further comment.

The bronze bust’s removal comes after court documents unsealed Monday revealed that Cosby testified in 2005 he had obtained Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to women with whom he wanted to have sex. The Associated Press had gone to court to get the documents released.

Why Ludwig von Mises Admired Sigmund Freud

By Jeffrey A. Tucker

Sigmund Freud has been dead 76 years. Still, his ideas are daily in the news — debated and denounced — and yet so much a part of how we think. Defense mechanisms, Freudian slips, projections, talking cures — these phrases and ideas are all part of our lives. Even that we freely speak of PTSD as a mental and not physical problem speaks to his influence. We take his massive contributions all for granted now.

Few people know of the link between the most famous psychologist and most famous free-market economist of the 20th century.

Sigmund Freud was 25 years older than Ludwig von Mises, but they were two of the most significant figures of the interwar Viennese intellectual milieu. Mises cited Freud’s books and adopted many of his analytical concepts to make his case against socialism and for a subjectivist understanding of economics.

When Mises wrote his stunning treatise attacking socialism in 1922, he turned to the work of Freud to make a case against women’s subjugation, for freely chosen gender roles, and for traditional family structure. Against the socialists who wanted the state to raise all children, Freud argued that taking away children from parents leaves permanent scars. And against the advocates of “free love,” who do not believe in partner attachments, Mises cited Freud’s view that civilization requires the channeling and maturation of the sexual instinct.

Mises called Freud a “genius” for having these insights.

Freud despised group-think politics and political leaders generally.

Mises might have also felt a deeper political connection to Freud. Freud despised group-think politics and political leaders generally. He saw collectivism as a false therapy for underlying psychological maladies. His book Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego critiques military-style organization of society and exposes the lie that political leaders can bring about equality and collective consciousness. For his liberalism, and possible libertarianism or even anarchism, Freud’s books were burned in Nazi Germany. Freud’s Vienna apartment — just like Mises’s — was ransacked by Nazi soldiers, forcing him into exile.

It wasn’t just that Mises deeply appreciated Freud’s own contributions. Mises often mentions psychology and psychotherapy as significant scientific advances, ones that contributed to the cause of human liberty.

I’ve always longed for the opportunity to query Mises further on his views on these matters. After all, Freud is one of most influential and nearly universally criticized intellectual figures of the 20th century.

Beyond the attack on socialism, what did Mises think Freud had contributed to his and our own understanding of the human sciences? So far as I knew, Mises never elaborated in any depth on this point.

It wasn’t until a couple of days ago that I came to understand the larger picture.

In 1952, Mises gave nine lectures at the San Francisco Public Library, mostly covering socialism and Marxism. Bettina Bien Greaves was there and took careful, perfect shorthand notes — talk about a lost skill! Half a century later, she gathered these notes and edited them into beautiful essays in a book called Marxism Unmasked: From Delusion to Destruction. These were published in 2006, but, as far as I can tell, they were not widely read or discussed. (They’ve also finally been published online at FEE.org.)

A delightful feature of this book is how the essays reflect a spoken prose, not highly formalized academic work. So the entire narrative provides extra insight into Mises’s own personality. It is in these lectures that Mises defends Freud in some detail.

Mises begins his discussion of Freud by remarking how completely “mixed up” are the people who link Marxian materialism with Freudianpsychoanalysis. For one thing, Freud was not a socialist. More than that, Mises said, Freud and his contemporary Josef Breuer actually fought against materialist thinking and opened up a completely new way of understanding the astonishing power of the human mind.

Before psychology and psychoanalysis, Mises says,

It was the generally uncontested assumption among all doctors that mental disabilities were caused by pathological changes in the human body. If a man had something that was called a nervous or mental disease, they looked for some bodily factor that brought about this state of affairs. From the point of view of the doctor who deals with the human body, this is the only possible interpretation. However, sometimes they were absolutely correct when they said, ‘We don’t know the cause.’ Their only method was to look for a physical cause.

Mises gives an example that obviously had a profound impact on his thinking:

It happened in 1889, just a few years before the first book of Freud and Breuer was published. An eminent man in France committed suicide. For political reasons and because of his religion, the question was raised whether or not he was sane. His family wanted to prove that it was a mental disease. In order to prove his mental disease to the Church, they had to discover some physical cause.

In the absence of a physical cause, the only option was to assume some moral problem, or that he was exaggerating symptoms for effect (“malingering”). Thus, the man who committed suicide without obvious physical maladies could not be buried on church grounds, for example. Mises further notes that “The case of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, who committed suicide at Mayerling, raised similar issues.”

Mises gives another example: a lady who was paralyzed physically but with no apparent physical cause. Her paralysis was entirely in her mind. Psychology imagined, perhaps for the first time and in a significant way, that the causation could run from the mind to other physical and biological manifestations. The way we think, the things we imagine, the dreams we have, the attitude we take toward ourselves and others, can have a profound effect on us and on the physical world. Freud, like Mises, believed in the primacy of thinking as a causal agent in the course of human life.

To have discovered that what we think and believe can have definite effects on the human body was, Mises said, “a radical change in the field of the natural sciences; such a thing had never happened before.… This was something that all the natural sciences had denied and contested before.”

Before Freud, Mises explains, mental illness was seen as either a purely physical problem or a moral problem. Leeches or the confessional made up the possible range of therapies. With psychoanalysis, we see a third possibility: that the core problem, whether or not it has physical manifestations, is a pathology of the mind, and that implies a different approach to therapy as well.

The humanitarian implications of this possibility — and hence the implications for liberty — are profound. It means having a great sympathy for the afflicted and having a method of dealing with the problem that is neither physically coercive (via the state) nor spiritually manipulative (via the church) but still scientific. Freudian psychoanalysis was a new science of the mind.

Further, Mises said in his lecture,

Freud was a very conscientious and cautious man. He didn’t say, “I have completely discredited the old doctrines.“ He said, “Perhaps one day, after a very long time, the pathological doctors will discover that ideas are already the product of some physical external bodily factor. Then psychoanalysis will no longer be needed or useful. But for the time being you must at least admit that there is a temporary value in Breuer’s and my discovery and that, from the point of view of present-day science, there is nothing that confirms the materialist thesis that every idea or every thought is the product of some external factor, just as urine is a product of the body.”

“Psychoanalysis is the opposite of materialism,” said Mises. “It is the only contribution to the problem of materialism vs. idealism that has come from empirical research in the human body.”

To have found this lecture is a beautiful thing. It elucidates why Mises had such deep affection for Freud’s work, not only as a tool for refuting the crazed plans of free-love socialists, but also for heightening the role of individuals and the ideas they hold as the driving force of history.

It makes sense if you think about it. Mises was the great champion of subjectivist economic theory, with its radical observation that the whole shape of the world of economics is ultimately traceable to values residing in human minds. Freud did the same for the discipline of medicine and therapy. They both went beyond materialism to find explanatory power in how and what we think. Both highlighted the awesome power of the inner life of the individual mind.

To be sure, Mises recognizes all the criticisms that can be justly leveled against later developments in psychology, particularly its use by the state. He has no interest in defending that. But as for Freud himself, Mises maintained his celebration of Freudian psychology all through his life, from his earliest work until these 1952 lectures, at which point Mises himself was 71 years old. That’s a long and enduring relationship between one great intellectual and another. 

Imagine a Political Party That Really Supports Equal Rights

By Lawrence W. Reed

Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.


Death from yellow fever complications claimed journalist William Leggett at the tender age of 38, days before he would have assumed his first political office. President Martin Van Buren had just named Leggett US ambassador to Guatemala. In the early 19th century, as temptations were rising to divert Americans’ constitutional framework toward bigger government, Leggett (to borrow a phrase from 20th-century journalist William F. Buckley) stood athwart history yelling, “Stop!”

Leggett’s fame is inextricably intertwined with the term Locofoco. Here’s the story.

Imagine a political movement that says it’s committed to “equal rights” — and means it. Not just equality in a few cherry-picked rights but all human rights, including the most maligned: property rights. Imagine a movement whose raison d’être is to oppose any and all special privileges from government for anybody.

When it comes to political parties, most of them in recent American history like to say they’re for equal rights. But surely the first lesson of politics is this: what the major parties say and do are two different things.

In American history, no such group has ever been as colorful and as thorough in its understanding of equal rights as one that flashed briefly across the political skies in the 1830s and ‘40s. They were called “Locofocos.” If I had been around back then, I would have proudly joined their illustrious ranks.

The Locofocos were a faction of the Democratic Party of President Andrew Jackson, concentrated mostly in the Northeast and New York in particular, but with notoriety and influence well beyond the region. Formally called the Equal Rights Party, they derived their better-known sobriquet from a peculiar event on October 29, 1835.

Democrats in New York City were scrapping over how far to extend Jackson’s war against the federally chartered national bank at a convention controlled by the city’s dominant political machine, Tammany Hall. (Jackson had killed the bank in 1832 by vetoing its renewal.) When the more conservative officialdom of the convention expelled the radical William Leggett, editor of the Evening Post, they faced a full-scale revolt by a sizable and boisterous rump. The conservatives walked out, plunging the meeting room into darkness as they left by turning off the gas lights. The radicals continued to meet by the light of candles they lit with matches called loco focos — Spanish for “crazy lights.”

With the Tammany conservatives gone and the room once again illuminated, the Locofocos passed a plethora of resolutions. They condemned the national bank as an unconstitutional tool of special interests and an engine of paper-money inflation. They assailed all monopolies, by which they meant firms that received some sort of privilege or immunity granted by state or federal governments. They endorsed a “strict construction” of the Constitution and demanded an end to all laws that “directly or indirectly infringe the free exercise of equal rights.” They saw themselves as the true heirs of Jefferson, unabashed advocates of laissez-faire and of minimal government confined to securing equal rights for all and dispensing special privileges for none.

The Locofocos saw themselves as the true heirs of Jefferson, unabashed advocates of laissez-faire and of minimal government.

 

Three months later, in January 1836, the Locofocos held a convention to devise a platform and to endorse candidates to run against the Tammany machine for city office in April. They still considered themselves Democrats: rather than bolt and form a distinct opposition party, they hoped to steer the party of Jefferson and Jackson to a radical reaffirmation of its principled roots.

“We utterly disclaim any intention or design of instituting any new party, but declare ourselves the original Democratic party,” they announced.

The “Declaration of Principles” the Locofocos passed at that January gathering is a stirring appeal to the bedrock concept of rights, as evidenced by these excerpts:

  • “The true foundation of Republican Government is the equal rights of every citizen, in his person and property, and in their management.”
  • “The rightful power of all legislation is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us.”
  • “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all the law should enforce on him.”
  • “The idea is quite unfounded that on entering into society, we give up any natural right.”

The convention pronounced “hostility to any and all monopolies by legislation,” “unqualified and uncompromising hostility to paper money as a circulating medium, because gold and silver are the only safe and constitutional currency,” and “hostility to the dangerous and unconstitutional creation of vested rights by legislation.”

From affirmative action to business subsidies, today’s Congress and state legislatures routinely bestow advantages on this or that group at the expense of others. The Locofoco condemnation of such special privilege couldn’t be clearer:

We ask that our legislators will legislate for the whole people and not for favored portions of our fellow-citizens, thereby creating distinct aristocratic little communities within the great community. It is by such partial and unjust legislation that the productive classes of society are … not equally protected and respected as the other classes of mankind.

William Leggett, whose expulsion from the October gathering by the Tammany Democrats sparked the Locofocos into being, was the intellectual linchpin of the whole movement. After a short stint editing a literary magazine called the Critic, he was hired as assistant to famed poet and editor William Cullen Bryant at the New York Evening Post in 1829. Declaring “no taste” for politics at first, he quickly became enamored of Bryant’s philosophy of liberty.

He emerged as an eloquent agitator in the pages of the Post, especially in 1834 when he took full charge of its editorial pages while Bryant vacationed in Europe. Leggett struck a chord with the politically unconnected and with many working men and women hit hard by the inflation of the national bank.

In the state of New York at the time, profit-making businesses could not incorporate without special dispensation from the legislature. This meant, as historian Richard Hofstadter explained in a 1943 article, that “men whose capital or influence was too small to win charters from the lawmakers were barred from such profitable lines of corporate enterprise as bridges, railroads, turnpikes and ferries, as well as banks.”

Leggett railed against such privilege: “The bargaining and trucking away of chartered privileges is the whole business of our lawmakers.” His remedy was “a fair field and no favor,” free-market competition unfettered by favor-granting politicians. He and his Locofoco followers were not anti-wealth or anti-bank, but they were vociferously opposed to any unequal application of the law. To Leggett and the Locofocos, the goddess of justice really was blindfolded. His relentless rebukes of what we would call today “crony capitalism” are well represented in this excerpt from an 1834 editorial:

Governments have no right to interfere with the pursuits of individuals, as guaranteed by those general laws, by offering encouragements and granting privileges to any particular class of industry, or any select bodies of men, inasmuch as all classes of industry and all men are equally important to the general welfare, and equally entitled to protection.

The Locofocos won some local elections in the late 1830s and exerted enough influence to see many of their ideas embraced by no less than Martin Van Buren when he ran successfully for president in 1836. By the middle of Van Buren’s single term, the Locofoco notions of equal rights and an evenhanded policy of a small federal government were reestablished as core principles of the Democratic Party. There they would persist for more than half a century after Leggett’s death, through the last great Democratic president, Grover Cleveland, in the 1880s and 1890s. Sadly, those essentially libertarian roots have long since been abandoned by the party of Jefferson and Jackson.

Upon Leggett’s untimely death in 1839, poet William Cullen Bryant penned an eloquent obituary in which he wrote, in part, the following tribute:

As a political writer, Mr. Leggett attained, within a brief period, a high rank and an extensive and enviable reputation. He wrote with great fluency and extraordinary vigor; he saw the strong points of a question at a glance, and had the skill to place them before his readers with a force, clearness and amplitude of statement rarely to be found in the writings of any journalist that ever lived. When he became warmed with his subject, which was not unfrequently the case, his discussions had all the stirring power of extemporaneous eloquence.

His fine endowments he wielded for worthy purposes. He espoused the cause of the largest liberty and the most comprehensive equality of rights among the human race, and warred against those principles which inculcate distrust of the people, and those schemes of legislation which tend to create an artificial inequality in the conditions of men. He was wholly free — and, in this respect his example ought to be held up to journalists as a model to contemplate and copy — he was wholly free from the besetting sin of their profession, a mercenary and time-serving disposition. He was a sincere lover and follower of truth, and never allowed any of those specious reasons for inconsistency, which disguise themselves under the name of expediency, to seduce him for a moment from the support of the opinions which he deemed right, and the measures which he was convinced were just. What he would not yield to the dictates of interest he was still less disposed to yield to the suggestions of fear.

We sorrow that such a man, so clear-sighted, strong minded and magnanimous has passed away, and that his aid is no more to be given in the conflict which truth and liberty maintain with their numerous and powerful enemies.

If you’re unhappy that today’s political parties give lip service to equal rights as they busy themselves carving up what’s yours and passing out the pieces, don’t blame me. I’m a Locofoco and a fan of William Leggett.

For further information, see:

Capitalist Theory Is Better Than Socialist Reality

By Sandy Ikeda

Tell someone on the left that crony capitalism is not the same as the free market and they’ll often respond that capitalism as it really exists is crony capitalism. They will say that there has never been an instance of capitalism in which government-sponsored or government-abetted cronyism didn’t play a substantial role — either through war, taxation, or slavery — in a market economy. As a result, the failings of crony capitalism — corruption, privilege, oppression, business cycles — are simply the failings of capitalism itself.

One correct response is to show that the less intervention there has been, the less corrupt, privileged, oppressive, and unstable the socioeconomic order also has been. Many would simply reiterate that, historically, laissez-faire capitalism has never existed, nor could it exist, without interventionism. They simply will not or cannot distinguish the free market from state capitalism, corporate capitalism, or other forms of the mixed economy.

Which is perhaps why some on the left have adopted the term “neoliberalism,” a perfectly good word that has come to represent an imbroglio of vaguely market-cum-corporativist views. They can’t imagine how markets could work without some form of state intervention holding it all together. And that’s probably because they reject what economist Peter Boettke calls “mainline economics,” or economics in the tradition of Adam Smith, Frédéric Bastiat, and Carl Menger, among others.

It’s frustrating, but there are two points I’d like to make. The first is that in our libertarian critiques of collectivism, we often make an argument that sounds similar to the one people on the left make. But, second, if libertarians are careful, they may be more justified in doing so.

What Is the Turnabout?

Most socialists today have abandoned their earlier claim that socialism generates greater material prosperity, but many on the left still insist that under a pure collectivist system, greater justice and equality would prevail. Socialism, in other words, is a far more humane socioeconomic order than capitalism.

How do libertarians respond to such a claim?

Sometimes we react with contempt or with disbelief that anyone could be so stupid or so evil or both as to argue such a thing. I hope no reader of the Freeman would react that way, although I’m afraid some do. Sometimes we react with slightly more civility by aiming our dismissive contempt not at the person but at the leftist ideas she holds. I will only say that we should take to heart what John Stuart Mill wrote in On Liberty about so-called bad ideas and opinions:

Every opinion which embodies somewhat of the portion of truth which the common opinion omits, ought to be considered precious, with whatever amount of error and confusion that truth may be blended.

There are other responses to the claim that socialism is more just and humane than capitalism, but I would like to focus on the one that I’ve often used: socialism in practice has always and everywhere tended to lead, to the degree that it is consistently applied, not to freedom and material well-being, but to tyranny and want. In other words, while socialism in theory may be all good things to all good people, the more government has practiced collectivism and central planning to achieve its goals of justice and equality, the farther it has fallen short of those goals. (And if you think countries such as Sweden are the exception, you might read my March 2013 Freeman article, “The New Swedish Model.”)

How is that different from the left’s position that legal privilege, oppression, and other problems are part and parcel of capitalism in practice? Each side seems to be arguing that the historical failings we’ve witnessed in each system are necessary to that system and not exceptions — features, not bugs.

Each side seems to be arguing that the historical failings we’ve witnessed in each system are necessary to that system and not exceptions — features, not bugs.

 

A Possible Resolution

Clearly, the die-hard socialist and the die-hard libertarian argue from different fundamental principles. While there are many varieties of socialism, all are suspicious to a fairly high degree of private property, prices, and profit as the central ordering forces of society. Libertarians, too, are diverse, but I believe we all share strongly opposite views to those on the left on private property, prices, and profit as necessary (and for some libertarians, mistakenly I believe, sufficient) for a civil and prosperous society.

Socialists and indeed interventionists of all stripes also seem confident that the intentions of government authorities (especially those who have been elected) are virtuous enough and their knowledge reliable and complete enough to succeed in promoting the general welfare. In this, I think, it boils down to the underlying economics.

As a rule, libertarians use mainline economic theory to reach their conclusions about socialism and the perverse dynamics of interventionism. (There are, of course, ethical and philosophical approaches, as well.) And while interventionists and perhaps even some collectivists may believe that mainline economic theory does an okay job of framing some questions and of finding some answers to those questions, they also believe that mainline economics is far too limited to address a significant proportion of economic issues.

But the problem with such a view is that there’s no principled way to say in what circumstances mainline economics has failed. Sure, no theory of the economic system, mainline or otherwise, gets it right in every instance. We then have to look to historical evidence to clarify when, under what circumstances, and to what extent mainline economics holds up. And the historical evidence is indeed on the side of the libertarian interpretation of what collectivism and various degrees of central planning are, and of what laissez-faire capitalism is.

Indeed, the historical evidence overwhelmingly shows that social mobility, innovation, prosperity, per capita income, and per capita wealth are all tightly and positively correlated with economic freedom. And contrariwise, to the extent that economic freedom is lacking, social and economic stagnation, want, and shrinking civil rights have followed. (See, for example, the most recent publication of FreetheWorld.com.)

Someone might retort that correlation is not causation, and they would be right if there wasn’t a causal theory linking economic freedom with all those great things. But libertarians do have such a theory, and it’s called mainline economics.

Those on the left, however, don’t have a coherent theory of the mixed economy. Indeed, no such theory exists. There are several theories of so-called “market failure,” but they do not together constitute a coherent theory. What does exist is a critique of the mixed economy that is based on the realization that the ordering principle of the free market and the ordering principle of collectivist central planning are logically incompatible. One is based on open-ended entrepreneurial competition, the other on some form of constraining central planning. Interventionist approaches that attempt to combine them aren’t really systems at all. They are literally incoherent, and what makes them incoherent is the absence of a consistent ordering principle.

(My contribution to this volume [PDF] delves into this topic more deeply.)

Instead, what you’re left with, given the cognitive limits of the human mind and the spontaneous complexity of real-world systems, is expediency. Each problem is addressed not on the basis of principle, but in ad hoc fashion according to the prevailing interests of the moment. In the case of capitalism, while opportunism and cronyism do constantly pull in the direction of expediency, the force resisting that pull is entrepreneurial competition. That’s because cutting corners opens opportunities for one’s rivals to do a better job.  Moreover, that competition operates more effectively to resist and absorb all forms of intervention, crony or otherwise, the less interventionist the system is.

So while the form of the critiques of the left and of libertarians may sound similar, they are vastly different in substance.

Trump: ‘Infectious disease pouring across border’

(THE HILL) — Donald Trump doubled down on his controversial comments about illegal immigration from Mexico on Monday, saying that “infectious disease is pouring across the border.”

Trump issued a lengthy — nearly 900 word — statement invoking the death of a San Francisco woman shot and killed last week by a suspect who had previously been deported to Mexico five times.

“This is merely one of thousands of similar incidents throughout the United States,” Trump said Monday. “In other words, the worst elements in Mexico are being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government.”

Obama disappears, abandons press corps

(WASHINGTONEXAMINER) — President Obama disappeared abruptly without the press pool after spending Sunday golfing at Andrews Air Force Base.

He took former Hawaii school mate Mike Ramos, pal Marty Nesbitt, the co-CEO of the Vistria group, ESPN’s Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser with him to the links for approximately six hours of golfing, before abruptly taking off without the waiting press pool.

Obama left Andrews AFB at 2:48 p.m. and according to a White House official, returned to the White House at 3:04 p.m.

The press pool exists so that news organizations can pool resources and send reporters to events where large number of journalists may not attend. An assigned reporter follows the president and sends out a pool report to the member news organizations.

Remaining childless – selfish or noble?

Reasons not to have children

Forget the old feud between working moms and stay-at-home moms. The latest chasm to open among women is those who want kids, and those who don’t.

The reason for wanting children is as old as humanity. It is so biologically innate it seldom requires explanation. But when women not only consciously choose not to have children, but justify this choice with excuses ranging from the generous to the snarky, the debate can become fiery.

A recent Huffington Post piece encapsulated and justified the decision not to become mothers with the article 270 Reasons Women Choose Not To Have Children.

“Far too often,” begins the article, “women who choose to be childfree are asked to defend their ‘immature,’ ‘selfish’ lifestyles. They’re told that motherhood is the ‘most important job in the world’ and face accusations of living ‘meaningless’ lives.”

HuffPost asked child-free readers to discuss the reasons they chose not to have kids and gathered 270 responses. These were divvied into five categories, and women could choose more than one category:

  • I want to prioritize my career
  • I don’t like children
  • I have a bad relationship with my parents
  • I don’t want the financial responsibilities
  • I like my life as it is

The vast majority of responses were career-driven:

  • “I am a flight attendant on a private aircraft. I have been flying for 16 years. For me, flying and having children are just not compatible.”
  • “I have been working my entire life toward my career. I am driven and always working toward my next goal. I can’t imagine getting to a point where I feel I can “tap out” of my career aspirations.”
  • “I enjoy my life and my career. Being on active duty in the U.S. Navy would make it hard to prioritize my career while prioritizing my child. It’s not easy to do both. I love my job and things are great just the way they are.”
  • “Being a performer and instructor in the circus means I prioritize training my body over a LOT of things. Children included. Just thinking of taking 9 months off the trapeze makes me cringe, let alone it would potentially be career-ending.”
  • “I am very career driven and know I would resent them if they got in the way. I enjoy being able to live how I want and not worry about little people’s needs.”

Some of the reasons involved a lack of maternal instinct:

  • “I’ve just never felt the need for children. There are plenty of kids in the world that don’t have loving parents, and I’ve surrounded my career around this need. I also have plenty of kids to love in my life; I don’t have the need for my own.”
  • “I want to focus on my career. As a young child I knew I did not want to be a mother. I never played house, or played with baby dolls, I was too busy playing nurse!”
  • “I’ve never had a motherly instinct, whenever I see kids, I just feel ambivalence.”
  • “My husband and I have been together since high school and knew from the beginning that neither of us wanted children. We were both determined to get as many degrees as possible and have successful careers.”
  • “I’ve never really felt that pull to have children. When my parents divorced I became very protective of my two younger brothers. I guess that was enough parenting for me.”
  • “I never saw myself as a mother and don’t really have that natural maternal instinct. I also wanted to have freedom in my life to choose how to spend my time.”
  • “Apart from never having the “maternal instinct,” I feel happy and fulfilled in my life as it is. My career and social life give me more happiness than a child could. Neither me nor my partner want children, so it seems like the logical conclusion.”

See the generous selection of parenting books in the WND Superstore: Child Training Tips: What I Wish I Knew When My Children Were Young; Bringing Up Girls; Bringing Up Boys; and much more!

Some of the reasons were environmental:

  • “I do not like what the world has become. I would feel guilty bringing another human being into this world.”
  • “The environmental issues, the state of the economy, the cost of education, and other cultural /social factors lead me to believe it would be highly difficult, at best, to raise a child.”
  • “I have a hard time ever imagining raising a child in this world. I certainly would never spawn my own with all the overpopulation issues.”
  • “The world is already overpopulated. Having a child so that I can carry on my legacy is selfish.”
  • “Overpopulation and vulgar consumption of goods and products is not lessening. I do not want to contribute another individual into that cycle. I feel that taking a stand and refusing to buy into breeding is entirely unselfish, and I have given it a lot of thought.”

It’s women vs. babies, and people want to know “Who Killed the American Family?” Answers are here, in Phyllis Schlafly’s new analysis of the nation.

Some of the reasons behind not having children are sad:

  • “My childhood was horrendous, and children trigger my trauma.”
  • “I had a horrible childhood living in poverty with two very dysfunctional parents. They taught me how to be the worst kind of parents. I wanted school, career and financial independence. I can not and will not hurt a child. The cycle stops with me.”
  • “Being forced by my mother into undergoing an instillation abortion at the age of 16 probably contributed to my aversion to childbirth, as I had to endure a night of labor pains in the hospital.”
  • “I’m afraid I would screw the child up. I didn’t come from a very stable background. I also have an illness that has no cure and it can be passed on to my kids. I wouldn’t want them to have this illness. It is not easy, at all.”
  • “I’m working in the social work field where you see child after child abused. It is not only heartbreaking, but it really makes you question whether or not you’re fit to raise someone else’s life.”
  • “I was raised by people that never wanted to have children and really had no right to procreate. I was a clear burden and suffered various forms of abuse. I have aggressive tendencies due to being raised in that environment.”
  • “I was sexually abused as a child. My mother beat me and told me the abuse was my fault. I will never ever bring a child into this messed up world.”

Some of the reasons have to do with an honest dislike of children:

  • “Big pregnant bellies, continuous snot and poop mixed with urine and tears, no sleep, no money… I don’t get the appeal.”
  • “I don’t like the thought of being around small people I have to raise to be productive citizens of the world while cleaning their boogers and snot and poop. No thanks.”
  • “They are gross, destroy your free time, drain your money, and are generally selfish and egotistical through most life stages. Plus, there are 7 billion people on this planet. It’s time we stopped breeding like wild rabbits, the planet is ruined enough as it is.”

Some of the reasons were blunt:

  • “Because I don’t want them.”
  • “There are enough of us already, don’t you think?”
  • “I don’t want children, because I don’t want them.”
  • “Why do I need to explain ‘I don’t like children’? What part of that comment is unclear?”
  • I like to take naps.

And some of the reasons border on bizarre:

  • “You can’t reason with them. They are not rational.”
  • “I could never love something that caused me that much pain. I love plenty of other people and animals in my life who have not violated my body.”

In the end – selfish or not – it’s a personal choice for a woman whether or not to become a mother. The general hope is she doesn’t achieve this status by killing any babies she “accidentally” conceives.

Illegal who killed SF woman deported 5 times before

(Fox News) The man arrested in connection with the seemingly random killing of a woman who was out for a stroll with her father along the San Francisco waterfront is an illegal immigrant who previously had been deported five times, federal immigration officials say.

Further, Immigration and Customs Enforcement says San Francisco had him in their custody earlier this year but failed to notify ICE when he was released.

“DHS records indicate ICE lodged an immigration detainer on the subject at that time, requesting notification prior to his release so ICE officers could make arrangements to take custody. The detainer was not honored,” ICE said in a statement Friday afternoon.