Saturday, August 1, 2015

"21st Century Socialism" devastates Venezuela

Venezuela supermarket looting leaves one dead, dozens detained - Yahoo News

CARACAS (Reuters) - One person was killed and dozens were detained following looting of supermarkets in Venezuela's southeastern city of Ciudad Guayana, the state governor said on Friday, amid the ongoing food shortages in the recession-hit OPEC nation.  
Shoppers seeking scarce consumer staples including milk, rice and flour broke into a supermarket warehouse on Friday morning, leading businesses in the area to shut their doors, local newspaper Correo del Caroni reported. . .  
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Obamanomics. The Worst Expansion Since World War II

Eric Morath, WSJ.  An excerpt . . .

The economic expansion—already the worst on record since World War II—is weaker than previously thought, according to newly revised data. 
From 2012 through 2014, the economy grew at an all-too-familiar rate of 2% annually, according to three years of revised figures the Commerce Department released Thursday. That’s a 0.3 percentage point downgrade from prior estimates. 
The revisions were released concurrently with the government’s first estimate of second-quarter output
Since the recession ended in June 2009, the economy has advanced at a 2.2% annual pace through the end of last year. That’s more than a half-percentage point worse than the next-weakest expansion of the past 70 years, the one from 2001 through 2007. While there have been highs and lows in individual quarters, overall the economy has failed to break out of its roughly 2% pattern for six years. . . 
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Dodd-Frank is a Failure

After Five Years, Dodd-Frank Is a Failure An excerpt

 The law has crushed small banks, restricted access to credit, and planted the seeds of financial instability. . .  
Too-big-to-fail institutions have not disappeared. Big banks are bigger, small banks are fewer, and the financial system is less stable. Meanwhile, the economy remains in the doldrums. . .
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Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Unaffordable Care Act

Premiums are spiking around the country. Obama is in denial. WSJ. An excerpt,

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to make insurance, well, more affordable. But now hard results are starting to emerge: premium surges that often average 10% to 20% and spikes that sometimes run as high as 50% or 60% or more from coast to coast. Welcome to the new abnormal of ObamaCare. 
This summer insurers must submit rates to state regulators for approval on the ObamaCare exchanges in 2016—and even liberals are shocked at the double-digit requests, or at least the honest liberals are. Under ObamaCare, year-over-year premium increases above 10% must also be justified to the Health and Human Services Department, and its data base lists about 650 such cases so far. . . 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Democrats Want Socialism

Nearly 10,000 people turned out to hear Bernie Sanders in Wisconsin. Why? Apparently, many Democrats want socialism.  
An excerpt.  Sanders is the Vermont senator who is running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  
Sanders calls himself a "democratic socialist," not to be confused with New York City mayor Bill de Blasio's preferred label, "social democrat," but both believe that more power and wealth in the hands of government (and less in the hands of free people and the free market) is a good thing. They just don't want you to think they're dictators like Stalin. They may institute terrible economic policies, but they'll have the backing of voters.  
More Democrats say they plan to vote for Hillary Clinton, but she's already sounding more socialist to ward off the Sanders challenge . . . 
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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hillary Plays The Victim in CNN Interview

Hillary Clinton still comes across as guarded, quibbling, and pokerfaced under the TV lights. - Lloyd Grove - Daily Beast.  An excerpt . . .
Widening her eyes and nodding at times like a bobblehead doll—occasionally emitting a percussive laugh—Clinton dodged one policy question after another, pretended Sanders barely exists, and proclaimed her “total respect” for the pesky press—the same press that her campaign aides actually lassoed with ropes in the middle of a New Hampshire street in order to keep them away during a July 4th parade. 
“I’m not running my campaign for the press. I’m running it for voters,” Clinton explained to Keilar, an edge to her voice. That at least sounded truthful. But then Clinton added, with apparent insincerity: “I totally respect the press, and what the press has to do.”

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Renewable-Energy Fantasy

Decarbonization using today’s technology is beyond astronomical Rupert Darwall - WSJ An excerpt,

There is no objective cost-benefit analysis that could justify the president’s target for renewable energy. . .  Recently Bill Gates explained in an interview with the Financial Times why current renewables are dead-end technologies. They are unreliable. Battery storage is inadequate. 
Google engineers came to a similar conclusion last year. After seven years of investigation, they found no way to get the cost of renewables competitive with coal. “Unfortunately,” the engineers reported, “most of today’s clean generation sources can’t provide power that is both distributed and dispatchable . . .  If Mr. Obama gets his way, the U.S. will go down the rocky road traveled by the European Union. . .
There is no rational justification for policies favoring renewables. In 1972 environmentalist guru E.F. Schumacher wrote “Small Is Beautiful,” taking as his guide what he called Buddhist economics, which he’d discovered in Burma. . .
Mr. Obama’s renewable target is a triumph for Shumacher’s Buddhist economics—which amounts to being poor and staying poor. It does not produce jobs, growth or prosperity. 
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