LRC Blog

Ocasio-Cortez Embraces the Nazi Party Platform of 1920

Mike Rozeff reports that the clueless communist congresswoman from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has decided that her latest attack on economic freedom would be an attack on Total Wine and Spirits, a great store that sells every kind of alcoholic beverage (and food as well) much cheaper than your typical mom-and-pop state-regulated cartel liquor store.  After costing her district thousands of good-paying jobs with Amazon by scaring them away with threats of tax and regulatory harassment, she now opposes the opening up of Total Wine in her district, costing it even more jobs and protecting the local government-regulated-and-controlled liquor cartel.

Her hatred of large retailers is nearly identical to one of the 25 planks of the Nazi Party Platform of 1920, officially called the “Platform of the National Socialist German Workers Party.”  Plank #16 of the Nazi “platform” said:  “We demand . . . the immediate communalization [i.e., government takeover] of the large department stores, which are to be leased at low rates to small tradesmen.”  The general theme of the Nazi Platform, stated near the end, is that “we fight against the Jewish materialistic spirit,” i.e., capitalism.  To the Nazis the Jews were symbols of German capitalism which, as good socialists, they wanted to destroy (and they did).

At least we now know where Ocasio-Cortez’s wealthy Silicon Valley financiers and puppet masters are getting some of their ideas.  One wonders what her Jewish constituents think of this.

9:50 am on September 22, 2019

Democratic Tyranny Taking Over the Democratic Party

Elizabeth Warren is way ahead in the Predictit market. If she hadn’t taken the lead, it would have been one of the other losers. They’re all democratic tyrant hopefuls.

The prediction market named Predictit has Elizabeth Warren #1 at 44 cents and Joe Biden #2 at 28 cents, her biggest lead to date.

Prediction markets incorporate all information and polls through the pricing of a candidate’s prospects. They can be wrong, as happened in the Brexit and Trump cases. Most of the time, they are right.

The candidates in the rest of the field are all long shots. Bernie Sanders is #3 at 11 cents. Yang is 9 cents. After that fall the rest, starting with Buttigieg at 6 cents and Harris at 5 cents.

Warren’s ahead in Iowa too. She’s 52 cents to Biden’s 19 cents, so she’s predicted to be the winner.

In a Trump-Warren matchup, Trump is at 42 cents and Warren at 32 cents. The rest of the Democratic field is taking up the remaining 26 cents.

Warren’s programs, if ever implemented, would set Americans back severely. She’s a confirmed anti-capitalist/fascist/socialist/statist/totalitarian (in alphabetic order) with a government power play for every human evil, ill and problem, real and imagined.

The clear meaning of her lead and her program is that the Democratic party has moved even further toward democratic tyranny, i.e., a centralized, all-powerful government that’s elected using the machinery of democracy as a cover.

8:03 am on September 22, 2019

‘An Antiwar Conservative’ – Rep. John Duncan, Jr.

At Ron Paul Institute’s Washington Conference last month…

3:18 pm on September 21, 2019

Enemies of Freedom

In Queens, a borough of New York City, small liquor retailers are mounting an offensive against Total Wine & More, an alcoholic beverage superstore. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is against the superstore.

Competition is bad, freedom is bad, and free markets are bad, according to this proponent of socialism, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. Better, according to her, is for government power to maintain in operation small, high-priced and inefficient retailers with limited selection of beverages. She favors forming and supporting a loose cartel of small retailers that prevents free entry of large retailers.

Ocasio-Cortez wants a combination in restraint of trade that’s government-created and government-supported. She wants cartels. She shares this position with Italian fascism of the 1930s. (See, for example, “The Development of Italian Cartels Under Fascism”, by Fausto R. Pitigliani, Journal of Political Economy, June 1940, pp. 375-400.) The New Deal also sought to cartelize the American economy.

Ocasio-Cortez is an enemy of freedom. She has allies. New York State law is one such enemy. “New York state law prohibits giant liquor store chains from applying for a state license to operate alcohol branches here, which helps protect neighborhood merchants. But it does allow entrepreneurs affiliated with national firms to apply for a sole license for an individual store under a different corporate name.”

If Total Wine & More has itself found advantage through government subsidies, remove them; but its enemies have not charged the company with that. Ocasio-Cortez complains instead about the company’s efficiency:

“I am deeply concerned about the potential impacts that MCT Fine Wine & Spirits would have on the local small business community. As a large retailer with ties to a billion dollar nationwide chain, Total Wines has access to resources and economies of scale with which smaller retailers could not compete.

“Total Wines has a history of loss leader pricing — selling alcohol at or below cost in order to sell high-end products at a generous margin. Our small businesses would not be able to compete with such practices and it would be devastating to the largely immigrant community that is currently employed at many of these stores.”

None of these charges or criticisms justifies abrogating the freedom of this company to set up a store in Queens.

The time is long overdue when we get rid of all such laws inspired by anti-freedom philosophies like fascism, socialism and the New Deal. For a discussion of earlier anti-trust laws and laws like the Robinson-Patman Act, see here.

8:57 am on September 21, 2019

Who Ran Out of Cash?

Who’s insolvent? One or more big financial companies have run out of cash to pay bills they owe.

A key interest rate (over night repo) spiked up this week, into the 5-10% range. Historically, this signals a panic in the money market. Some players were willing to pay up to get cash they needed right away.

The FED was forced into lending $75 billion (on collateral) in order to prevent a panic. It is still lending this amount over night for the 4th straight day. The FED says that it will continue doing this until Oct. 10 and after.

The FED is bailing out some players who have played it so close in chasing higher interest income that some loans have gone bad or payments have been delayed, and now they’re scrambling to get the cash to pay their own obligations.

One or more financial institutions ran out of cash! They could have been ordinary banks, primary dealers or investment banks. Someone didn’t receive the cash they counted on. The FED has moved into the breach.

Banks as a group are sitting on immense amounts of reserves. Reserves are cash. There are particular institutions, however, that need the cash at a particular time; and no one was ready and waiting to lend them that cash in the overnight market at a low rate like 2%. So rates spiked up.

Sooner or later, we’ll find out which institutions were troubled (insolvent). Blaming “technical” factors is not good enough, because the big guys know all the rules of this market. The fact is that some players drained their reservoirs of cash and ran out of money.

FED and government oversight has again failed to detect these insolvent players beforehand and stop them from running out of cash. The same thing happened in 2008. The system encourages players to borrow short and lend long and thereby raise their risks of insolvency. They know that the FED is their backstop in a pinch.

In the old days, cash mismanagement of this sort led to sharp interest rate spikes and liquidation of the weaker players.

This event tells us that the long expansion has reached a point where at least some players have fragile balance sheets. If they fail, it will weaken the balance sheets of stronger institutions. But even this event alone without any failures and with the FED’s emergency loans will cause greater caution among financial institutions.

2:40 pm on September 20, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard Blasts “Locked and Loaded” Donald of Arabia

1:37 pm on September 20, 2019

Useful Idiots of Hire Edyoukayshun

Scream and shout stupidities to shut down a lecture on climate science by a non-communist, non-hysteric, real scientist at Georgetown University. (One of the speakers was with the Institute for Energy Research, which our friend Bob Murphy is affiliated with).  At the end of the video in the link the “students” who were “protesting” are shown sitting on the floor with coloring materials making more elementary schoolish signs.  No sign of a book in anyone’s possession at this $55,400/year school (just for tuition).

1:16 pm on September 20, 2019

Ted Talk

From: M
Sent: Saturday, August 24, 2019 10:34 PM
To: Walter <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Check out this TED Talk!

Dear Prof. Block:

What is your opinion of this Ted talk?

Ping-pong and the riddle of victory (Pico Iyer | TEDSummit 2019)

https://www.ted.com/talks/pico_iyer_ping_pong_and_the_riddle_of_victory?utm_source=tedcomshare&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tedspread

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4:38 pm on September 19, 2019

Commie Anarcho-syndicalism Gets Too Much Credit

From: A
Sent: Saturday, August 17, 2019 10:59 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Updates and libertarian question

Dear Walter,

Thanks a lot! I will think about it! My impression is that as long as the state exists, Chomsky definitely wants the state to do all sorts of things that violate the NAP, but if his ideal world of anarcho-syndicalism is realized, I am not sure if it would violate libertarianism. I am not so familiar with anarcho-syndicalism, but would it just consist of groups that get together voluntarily and organize themselves in a socialist fashion?

Cheers, A

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4:37 pm on September 19, 2019

What Determines Wage Rates?

From: J
Sent: Friday, August 16, 2019 9:27 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Question about wages and average worker productivity

Hello Dr. Block,

This is J. I’ve emailed you a handful of times before with questions about Austrian economics and libertarian theory. I’m grateful for the patient and informative responses that you’ve given me. Another question has come up and I figured I’d send it your way, as with my previous questions. Here is my attempt to keep it brief and to the point:

As best as I understand it, the Austrian explanation is that wages in a free market are determined, in general, by the supply and demand of labor. More specifically, it is a worker’s marginal productivity that dictates his/her wage level. An increase in a worker’s marginal productivity facilitates an increase in his/her wage, and vice versa.

I’ve come across some data that would suggest that there is a (relatively) recent deviation between this principle and the economic reality in the USA. Specifically, data appears to suggest that from about the 1940’s to the 1970’s, average wages and worker productivity increased in proportion with each other. However, starting in the mid 1970’s, worker productivity appears to continue its increasing trend while average wages increases trail off significantly in comparison. The data that I am citing can be found at:

https://www.epi.org/productivity-pay-gap/

If you are willing to share any insight into an Austrian explanation of wages and worker productivity diverging, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks again for all of your generous advice.

Sincerely, J

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4:37 pm on September 19, 2019

The Moral/Political Corrosion Of Negative Interest Rates, With Guest Jeff Deist

12:57 pm on September 19, 2019

Let’s Not Debate Whether or Not to Bomb Iran

Just Do It, as the Nike slogan — and guests on Sean Hannity’s TV show — said tonight.  I just watched a “former” CIA analyst and a neocon member of Congress discuss WHERE in Iran our bombs should drop.  That’s apparently the Big Debate in Neoconistan tonight — not whether to bomb Iran but where in Iran to start the mass murder.

9:59 pm on September 18, 2019

Hitler The Progressive


Peter Hitchens boldly speaks historical truth to power in this searing essay.

9:38 pm on September 18, 2019

Tibor Rubin


SERVICE U.S. Army RANK Corporal DIVISION Company I, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division CONFLICT Korean War YEAR OF HONOR 1950 BORN Hungary

CITATION

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Corporal Tibor Rubin distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period from July 23, 1950 to April 20, 1953 while serving as a rifleman with Company I, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division in the Republic of Korea. While his unit was retreating to the Pusan Perimeter, Corporal Rubin was assigned to stay behind to keep open the vital Taegu-Pusan road link used by his withdrawing unit. During the ensuing battle, overwhelming numbers of North Korean troops assaulted a hill defended solely by Corporal Rubin. He inflicted a staggering number of casualties on the attacking force during his personal 24-hour battle, single-handedly slowing the enemy advance and allowing the 8th Cavalry Regiment to successfully complete its withdrawal. Following the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter, the 8th Cavalry Regiment proceeded northward and advanced into North Korea. During the advance, he helped capture several hundred North Korean soldiers. On October 30, 1950, Chinese forces attacked his unit at Unsan, North Korea, during a massive nighttime assault. That night and throughout the next day, he manned a .30 caliber machine gun at the south end of the unit’s line after three previous gunners became casualties. He continued to man his machine gun until his ammunition was exhausted. His determined stand slowed the pace of the enemy advance in his sector, permitting the remnants of his unit to retreat southward. As the battle raged, Corporal Rubin was severely wounded and captured by the Chinese. Choosing to remain in the prison camp despite offers from the Chinese to return him to his native Hungary, Corporal Rubin disregarded his own personal safety and immediately began sneaking out of the camp at night in search of food for his comrades. Breaking into enemy food storehouses and gardens, he risked certain torture or death if caught. Corporal Rubin provided not only food to the starving soldiers, but also desperately needed medical care and moral support for the sick and wounded of the POW camp. His brave, selfless efforts were directly attributed to saving the lives of as many as 40 of his fellow prisoners. Corporal Rubin’s gallant actions in close contact with the enemy and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

9:24 pm on September 18, 2019

Lindsey Graham of All People?!

Lindsey Graham speaking like this?! Probably all hogwash, but nonetheless, he has committed the greatest sin in the neocon doctrine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBEaKlM-CMw&t=220s

3:13 pm on September 18, 2019

Trump Names New National Security Advisor – Bolton Without The Mustache?

12:29 pm on September 18, 2019

Ban Plastic Guns On Airplanes?

From: T
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:56 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Banned?

Consider I have a 3-d printer capable of making guns that are non metallic, fully automatic and untraceable because I cover my trails, not even the shit xerox does with sn, model, etc., usually done in yellow so as not to be detected crap. Ban the printer? software? knowledge? It’s not mass destruction but extrapolate the consequences of any tech and there are roadblocks. Peace.

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5:13 pm on September 17, 2019

Debate Over The Minimum Wage Law

S and I are both boyhood chums of Bernie Sanders. S has a Ph.D. in economics. We discussed this issue on the phone, but came to no conclusion. So, I attempted to convert him to the one true faith on this matter via e mail exchange. He didn’t respond. I get a lot of that from people I try to convert to sensible economics and/or libertarianism.

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5:12 pm on September 17, 2019

The Difference Between Austrian Economics (A Positive Science) and Libertarianism (Normative Studies)

(read from the bottom up; Z is a Jesuit Priest)

Letter 8:

Dear Z:

Let me comment, only, on what I think to be the core of your interesting note:

How should people act?

From a libertarian point of view, I can answer that: do NOT murder, rape, steal, engage in fraud, commit arson, trespass, or, in any other way violate rights of person or property.

From an (Austrian) economic point of view: I have no answer. None whatsoever. Economics is an attempt to understand the causes and effects of human (commercial) action, and this question falls way outside of the realm of the dismal science. Even non Austrian economists would agree with this. Well, pay lip service to it.

Best regards,

Walter

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5:11 pm on September 17, 2019

The Theory of Perfect Monopoly

There are many “firms” but they all produce the exact same thing (“homogenous products”), charge the exact same price (“homogenous prices”), and the people running these “firms” are omniscient (“perfect information”).  Sounds exactly like the U.S. Postal Service, doesn’t it?  Or the Department of Motor Vehicles. Or the pubic school monopoly. Or “Medicare for All,” God forbid.  Especially the assumption about how supposedly wise and smart the managers are.  Many locations providing the same crappy, super-expensive “service.”

Actually, these are the key assumptions of the economics profession’s theory of perfect competition, devised in the early 20th century.  It is Exhibit A of why so much of “mainstream economics” is useless, and the reason why Nobel laureate economist F.A. Hayek wrote that “in perfect competition there is no competition.”  Hayek and the Austrian School economists never accepted this nonsense.  The theory of “perfect competition” is in reality a theory of perfect monopoly.  I believe the scientific wording for such a phenomenon is “ass-backwards.”

3:58 pm on September 17, 2019

Credibility Crisis: No One Believes Iran Attacked Saudi Arabia

12:42 pm on September 17, 2019

Joey Rothbard

Today would have been Joey Rothbard’s 91st birthday. She was Murray Rothbard’s “indispensable framework. ” She was a scholar in her own right, but she devoted her life to helping Murray. She was a wonderful friend, and I miss her very much.

8:58 am on September 17, 2019

‘Locked And Loaded’ – Will Trump Attack Iran?

12:26 pm on September 16, 2019

White Guilt and Brainwashing

Joe Biden is #2 at 28 cents and Warren is #1 at 38 cents on Predictit. That’s her largest lead yet. This is after Joe Biden’s Birmingham racial speech. One can place zero reliance on media interpretations of his speech from MSNBC and its ilk. MSNBC called it powerful and significant.

When Biden invokes racism, slavery, sin, white supremacy, violence, etc., it’s nothing more than waving the bloody shirt.

Biden’s speechifying on race is terrible, terrible, morally reprehensible. He’s simply trying to get votes and power off of raising the level of emotion about race. White on black racism is dead in America as a mass movement, as a criminal enterprise and as a legal movement. Keeping racism alive by rhetoric, incitement, accusations and exaggerated interpretations of crimes is an awful thing to do. It’s despicable. It’s untruthful. Biden, running second against Warren’s widening lead, is simply trying to stay in the contest.

Today’s white Americans as a group are NOT GUILTY of ANY race crimes. White guilt is being manufactured and spread by repetition, laws, teaching and indoctrination. It’s a political strategy based upon evil use of psychology.

WOKE and white guilt are being spread by techniques related to brainwashing, even if the methods do not involve imprisoning people and depriving them. Success at inducing guilt doesn’t necessarily require physical pressures.

According to my 1962 Britannica edition, a superb encyclopedia, classic Chinese Communist brainwashing “involves the removal of social and perceptual supports; the weakening of the ego by physical pressures; the coercion of guilt-provoking behaviour that then requires rationalization; the destruction of the person’s self-image by humiliation and revilement; etc.” The idea is the “creation of an atmosphere in which redemption and freedom were completely contingent on successful reform”.

Once the white guilt is induced by instilling a persuasive set of stories that make people feel they’re responsible for things they didn’t do, then they’re ripe for re-programming in order to clear their consciences. That’s the way in which they can redeem themselves, remove their sins and pay off on their debts.

The reprogramming means adopting the WOKE agenda, and this includes reparations and the progressive left agenda. It includes a range of coercive political measures that aim at equality. It includes a sexual agenda. It includes measures aimed at eliminating non-existent racial discrimination.

9:07 am on September 16, 2019

The Secret History of Fort Detrick, the CIA’s Base for Mind Control Experiments

Read this powerful article by Stephen Kinzer, “The Secret History of Fort Detrick, the CIA’s Base for Mind Control Experiments.”

“Today, it’s a cutting-edge lab. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was the center of the U.S. government’s darkest experiments.”

Stephen Kinzer’s new book is Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control.

9:10 pm on September 15, 2019

Publik Skoolz Hiztury


Publik Skoolz Hiztury

8:29 pm on September 15, 2019

The Chain of Obedience


Read The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, by Etienne de La Boetie (especially the excellent introduction by Murray N. Rothbard), and Stanley Milgrim’s classic, Obedience to Authority.

“The death squads and concentration camps of history were never staffed by rebels and dissidents. They were were run by those who followed the rules.” 

(Thanks to Robert T. Murphy)

8:11 pm on September 15, 2019

The Key To Understanding The State

As an instructor on government to today’s high school youth, I am always on the lookout for insightful explorations of this important topic. It was to my delight that I came upon the thoughts of a learned professor of jurisprudence and politics of Princeton University in his treatise, The State:  Elements of Historical and Practical Politics. In this densely packed 656 page analysis he begins by noting:

For purposes of widest comparison in tracing the development of government it would of course be desirable to include in a study of early society not only those Aryan and Semitic races which have played the chief parts in the history of the European world, but also every primitive tribe, whether Hottentot or Iroquois, Finn or Turk, of whose institutions and development we know anything at all.  Such a world-wide survey would be necessary to any induction which should claim to trace government in all its forms to a common archetype.  But, practically, no such sweeping together of incongruous savage usage and tradition is needed to construct a safe text from which to study the governments that have grown and come to full flower in the political world to which we belong .  .  . The main stocks of modern European forms of government are Aryan.  The institutional history of Semitic or Turanian peoples is hardly part of the history of European governments:  it is only analogous to it in many of the earlier stages of development.

Ah ha!  So there is the essential key to unlocking the essence and nature of government — the fundamental positive contributions of the Aryan race to European civilization, in contract to the marginalized or spurious Semitic notions. And who is the distinguished author of this decorous academic study — Woodrow Wilson —  the same Woodrow Wilson who later as president, presided over the exhibition to his cabinet and their families of the notorious pro-Ku Klux Klan filmThe Birth of a Nation, in the White House.

Based on the novel, The Clansman, by his Johns Hopkins classmate Thomas Dixon, the movie included a slide quoting Wilson’s History of the American People in defense of the Klan, and another citing how “The former enemies of North and South are united again in common defense of their Aryan birthright.” It leads one to ponder the impact Woodrow Wilson’s scholastic works had on Adolf Hitler in the drafting of his own Mein Kampf.

7:36 pm on September 15, 2019

The Pantheon


Edward SnowdenGlenn GreenwaldChelsea ManningJulian Assange, William BinneySibel EdmondsKaren KwiatkowskiGary WebbDanny CasolaroJohn StockwellRalph McGeheeMichael Ruppert, Joe DarbyDaniel EllsbergMike GravelA. Ernest FitzgeraldWhitaker ChambersBenjamin Gitlow, Richard F. Pettigrew, and Smedley Darlington Butler are heroes and heroines in the pantheon of whistleblowers who put their conscientious dedication to first principles ahead of a pretended allegiance to duplicitous cabals within a criminal state which had betrayed the fiduciary trust and essential liberties of the people. Their courageous stories and historic legacies and examples should be celebrated in every classroom from coast to coast as models of integrity and conviction for our younger generation fixated on narcissistic faux celebrities and sports figures with the nihilistic ethical standards of alley cats and gutter rats.

7:09 pm on September 15, 2019

Donald Trump 2020


Trump Ford Commercial Parody of the old Denis Leary commercials

5:59 pm on September 15, 2019