Archive for the Economics Category

The Chinese Connexion

Posted in Asians, Economics, Libertarianism, Politics, Race with tags , , , on August 20, 2010 by capitalistrevolutionary
I have noticed a lot of libertarians have absolutely ignorant ideas of what China is like, which they accept
basically without question from the liberal and conservative media. They’re authoritarian, repressive, socialist, etc. The stupidest complaint I’ve ever heard was from Cato, who argued that because China is not democratic their growing economy makes them a threat, which is just the Beltway Libertards Sucking the Cox Populai as usual.
In response to a typical spiel about how Chinese wealth is illusory from a Conservative over at AEI I said:
China’s cost of living and economic fundamentals are better than the USA. They have very low regulations, practically no welfare, tax evasion is near universal and their central government is very weak.They do suffer from nepotism and some protectionist policies, as well as inflation, but overall they’re superior to the USA in economic policy. They just happen to be much poorer as it is.
Also, you are far less likely to be harassed by the police in China, including for making black market transactions (except drugs). Prostitutes are easily obtainable in hotels, and the cops don’t even look twice at you as you buy pirated software on the street corner and get picked up by a cab run by the mafia (these cabs are cheaper than the state-licensed ones).
You can start a business there with very low capital, doing damn near anything you want, and unless you make a lot of money nobody asks for permits, licenses, building codes, etc. etc.
So, no, China isn’t wealthy – they are poor. But they’re a lot more likely to become wealthy than the US is to remain wealthy.
Aside from the economic points it is the case that far more Chinese accept the ‘free enterprise’ system as the model for the future than the United States or Europe, and that you are far less likely to ostracized for what you say or think in China – the only thing that’s really illegal is political organization; and I can’t see why a libertarian should think that mob intimidation and populism should be anyways. The central government is incredibly weak, and has really no power over the people in the countryside and never has – the mass killings in even Maoist China were grass-roots, not Soviet-style. As I said, tax evasion is nearly universal, and almost never prosecuted.
According to numerous studies and surveys, far more Chinese were open to free-markets and trade, and a reduction of government intervention, than in any of the European or American countries. At the same time Economics in One Lesson is a best-seller in China. These Chinese have very low-to-no debt, save an incredible amount of their money, tend to own or lease their properties (except for city workers), and quite frankly are harder working and more intelligent than Europeans and Americans. They’re far more socially integrated and very few of them buy into the Progressive/Democratic propaganda that the United States insists everyone in the world be converted to accepting by force.

American Exceptionalism

Posted in American Revolution, Conservatism, Economics, History, Intellectual History, Libertarianism, Politics with tags , , , on August 19, 2010 by capitalistrevolutionary

Conservatives often assume the U.S. has a higher per capita income than Europe due to its less interventionist policies. However, this really isn’t necessarily true at all. The U.S. also wasn’t the battle field for the two greatest wars in human history, and relative to its number of combatants and civilians suffered very low casualties and damages. Furthermore after WW2 the American Imperialist financial and banking system funneled in wealth while simeaultaneously retarding the progress of economic development in other parts of the world. I don’t really see much evidence that the American government has been less interventionist than Germany since WW2; and given the total devastation and the fact that half of Germany was ruled by Communists for 40+ years the fact that Germany is so close to us in per capita income it is may indicate that Germany was in fact LESS interventionist in many key areas.

Likewise, American conservatives often assert that the United States was ‘infected’ with various liberal, Progressive and socialist doctrines which came to America from the Continent. The real fact of the matter is that America thought up most of these doctrines and exported them to Europe where they became more radicalized. This has been true since the American Revolution, if not earlier.

American Exceptionalism – ideologically – is largely a myth; the U.S. – taking into account the damage wrought by social engineering and military expansionism – is in many ways worse off than many parts of Europe, and in areas where it is better it isn’t by a lot.

American Exceptionalism – industrially and economically – has basically been dead or at least  in serious decline since at least WW1. It just so happened that some other countries declined ever faster.

On the other hand given how bad the American government has been, it is a surprise that it isn’t worse. But as Bismarck said, “God has a special providence for fools, drunkards and the United States.”

Conceived in Liberty

Murray Rothbard’s Ideological History

Claiming there was some sort of libertarian consesus in the colonies (much less the mother country) is highly unsustainable – especially among the populace, who were either motivated by basically theocratic or agrarian-populist motives. Rothbard confuses Puritan radicalism and propaganda with the sort of libertarian propaganda he promotes. Just because someone argues for ‘property’ or ‘natural rights’ doesn’t mean they have in mind the doctrine of laissez-faire, which would have been anachronistic. In my opinion the American Revolution did far more damage to market-and-property societies than any advantage it ever conferred.

On top of that not a single one of the Founding Fathers had views that could be descriped as substantially libertarian; even folks like Jefferson and Paine had so many interventionist, democratic and proto-socialist leanings that their system never would have been anything like anarcho-capitalism if they had been free to exercise it. The notion that the American Revolution was libertarian, even in theory, is sheer mythology.