Is ‘Stakeholder Capitalism’ Newspeak for Economic Fascism?

The changes favored by the ‘Great Reset’ movement would force businesses to serve the interests of ruling elites and leave true stakeholders out in the cold.

Leaders of the World Economic Forum are seeking to implement a Great Reset of capitalism whereby “global stakeholders” cooperate to achieve “shared goals.” In the true spirit of not letting a crisis go to waste, they see the COVID-19 pandemic as presenting a unique opportunity to push their agenda.
“The level of cooperation and ambition this implies is unprecedented. But it is not some impossible dream,” World Economic Forum Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab recently observed. “In fact, one silver lining of the pandemic is that it has shown how quickly we can make radical changes to our lifestyles.”
Of course, when they say “our lifestyles” they mean your lifestyle, not their own. Their preferred vehicle for achieving their goals is other people’s businesses. In short, what they want is for private businesses to serve the interests of their own curated list of stakeholders rather than (as they see it) concentrating on returning profits to business owners. They want governments to pass laws and tax regimes to cajole businesses towards their favored ends. Since this arrangement still involves a modicum of private ownership of the means of production, they call it “Stakeholder Capitalism.”
It is important to recognize the subversive use of language here. Such a system is all about sidelining the true stakeholders, and undermining capitalism. This is Orwellian Newspeak at its best, since it misuses the word “stakeholder” and is actually closer to economic fascism than capitalism.

There is one reliable way to know if a business is serving the needs of stakeholders: profit and loss. Absent any government bailouts or monopoly privileges, the higher the level of profit, the greater the degree to which stakeholders’ needs have been balanced and served.
Profit means value has been created for all stakeholders, by turning resources into finished goods that people value more highly than the resources used to make them. Losses indicate that scarce resources have been wasted and value destroyed, turning out finished goods that are worth less than the resources that went into them.
In order to please customers and generate profits in a world of uncertainty, companies need entrepreneurial insight to decide what to produce and in what quantities and varieties. They also need to attract good employees, material suppliers, a management team, and financial resources, all on favorable terms. Any failure will result in losses. Under this arrangement – which could be called unhampered capitalism – a company does not need to be told by some outside expert who their “stakeholders” are.
The profit and loss system offers them the information they need and reveals any mistakes. As Ludwig von Mises explained:

Profits convey control of the factors of production into the hands of those who are employing them for the best possible satisfaction of the most urgent needs of the consumers, and losses withdraw them from the control of the inefficient businessmen. In a market economy not sabotaged by the government the owners of property are mandataries [servants] of the consumers.

When those who seek to modify capitalism speak of “stakeholders” they will often include customers, employees, suppliers and shareholders on their list, to at least give some context. But invariably the aim of these reformers is to extend the list to include nebulous collective entities like “societies” and “communities” or even “global” stakeholders. Since these collectives cannot speak with one voice, these social reformers are all too happy to speak on their behalf and lay out the demands.
Imagine a pizza restaurant, Joe’s Pizza. They exist in a society, which includes:
A: people who enjoy eating Joe’s pizzas
B: people responsible for supplying the pizzas (at all levels of the supply chain)
C: everybody else
It is easy to see who the stakeholders are. Group A profits in pizza, which they prefer over the money they offer for it; Group B profits through remuneration which they also prefer. The entrepreneur, being the residual claimant, profits only if they do. Meanwhile, Group C is unaffected, being left alone to do other things they prefer above eating or producing pizza at the prices offered.
It is possible there exists a fourth group:
D: those who suffer a negative externality, such as neighbors who put up with bad smells or rats coming from Joe’s bins.
This fourth group ought to have a legal right to compel Joe’s to properly deal with their waste. Assuming this group has their property rights protected (thus joining group C), “society as a whole” is definitively better off from this endeavor, since all actions involved were voluntary. People either benefited from Joe’s, or were left no worse off. It is the job of entrepreneurs to coordinate this socially beneficial process, and profits or losses indicate success or failure.
Nobody serves “all members of society” directly. Yet all members of society, including group C, are benefited indirectly through this process, even those who cannot afford the products of the firm.
A highly profitable activity indicates an urgently felt need of consumers that is being underserved. The entrepreneurial process impels other entrepreneurs who see this profit signpost to move additional resources into this area. Alternatively, the reporting of losses becomes a signpost to avoid further destruction of value, freeing up resources for a more urgent need.
Through this process, consumer goods become increasingly more affordable, exhausting fewer resources in the process, and people’s productive efforts become increasingly valued.

When global re-setters insist that “all” stakeholders should be represented, what they really mean is “I neither eat pizza nor help to produce pizza… but WHAT IS THE PIZZA SHOP DOING FOR ME?!”
It is a boldfaced attempt to substitute the interests of non-stakeholders for the interests of stakeholders, using surreptitious language to blur the line.
“Society as a whole” has no unified goal, and if it did there would be no way to ascertain what it was. So those who try to install “society” as a stakeholder in the activities of corporations, are eager to insert their own goals and interests.
Murray Rothbard puts it well:
Whenever someone begins to talk about ‘society’ or ‘society’s’ interest coming before ‘mere individuals and their interest,’ a good operative rule is: guard your pocketbook. And guard yourself! Because behind the facade of ‘society,’ there is always a group of power-hungry doctrinaires and exploiters, ready to take your money and to order your actions and your life. For, somehow, they ‘are’ society!
A better way to understand society is the sum total of all voluntary interactions between individual people. Voluntary activity is pro-social, while use of coercive force is antisocial. Those who want to hyphenate capitalism invariably prefer the use of government force over voluntary interaction.
It is important to understand how those who claim to represent the interests of non-stakeholders (by holding out their hand for a piece of the action) are actually doing social harm. If companies end up masking their level of profitability in order to appear more ‘ethical’ and placate the mob, the process of market alignment that indirectly benefits everybody is hampered. Resources that ought to be moved into an underserved area of production are not, as the ‘profit signal’ has been obscured.
Elsewhere, further resources are wasted as the ‘loss signal’ is cloaked by bailouts.
“Critics may consider eliminating the profit motive the equivalent of giving the Tin Man from Oz a heart; in fact it’s much more like Oedipus’ gouging out his own eyes,” as Professor Steve Horwitz put it rather brilliantly.
As this Wall Street Journal article explains, profits and losses keep corporate leaders honest, whilst a so-called stakeholder view allows them to be opaque or even corrupt. So our “great resetters,” in order to substitute their own interests for the interests of others, need to destroy the profit and loss system, leaving only their own will backed by force to guide productive efforts.

Let’s now turn our attention to the second weasel word in “stakeholder capitalism.” If you are confused about whether national socialism (a.k.a Nazism) is indeed a form of socialism, you should read this article and this one and this one.
Socialism means the abolition of private ownership of the means of production in favor of mythical “collective ownership,” but the brutal reality is that it is a system of forceful centralized control.
In the same vein, “for fascism the state is absolute, individuals and corporations [are] relative” said Mussolini. Either way, the holders of centralized power, by controlling production, control your life. They become the solitary “stakeholder” in all decisions involving material resources.
As Ludwig von Mises showed, without real private ownership there is no buying and selling and therefore no market price system, so the planners have no way of knowing what people value. They are flying blind, creating chaos in place of economic coordination. For his scathing but inescapable insights Mises had the honor of being intellectual enemy number one of both the Nazis and the Soviets.
In what Mises called Russian style socialism, the owner of the widget factory would be shot or sent the gulag, to be replaced by a party apparatchik, often with no background in widget production at all. Not only would there be no way of knowing whether widgets were socially beneficial, but you wouldn’t get very good widgets anyway.
Under what Mises called German style socialism, the former owner of the widget factory would be left nominally in charge, but made into a party apparatchik, using as much coercive pressure as necessary to force him to serve the interests of the state. This ownership in name only, is why people sometimes confuse national socialism with capitalism rather than correctly identifying it as another path to socialism. Resources are de-facto nationalized by different means.
Under this system, there is also no way of knowing whether widget production is socially beneficial, since the widget factory is following state orders rather than responding to consumers. But nevertheless, by retaining knowledge from the past, things would still get produced, whether they are goods or “bads.” This is why Germany was able to produce abundant planes and other war machines in World War II – by harnessing private expertise for state ends; by the “merger of state and corporate power.”
Under German style Socialism, Mises explained, even before the outbreak of war, former capitalists were reduced to the status of “shop managers”, and:

No German capitalist or entrepreneur (shop manager) or anyone else is free to spend money on his consumption than the government considers adequate to his rank and position in the service of the nation… Nobody is free to buy more food and clothing than the allotted ration. Rents are frozen; furniture and all other goods are unattainable… Travel abroad is permitted only on government errands… German corporations are not free to distribute their profits to the shareholders. The amount of the dividends is strictly limited according to a highly complicated legal technique… For many years German business has not been in a position to replace its equipment… Warring Germany lives on its capital stock, i.e., on the capital nominally and seemingly owned by its capitalists.

This is a picture of “stakeholder capitalism” made manifest. To varying extents, all governments adopt these kinds of policies during wars or pandemics using what Robert Higgs calls the ratchet effect. This is why groups like the World Economic Forum view the COVID-19 crisis as a great opportunity.
I am not suggesting that Klaus Schwab and cadre aim to produce Messerschmitts and mustard gas. But whatever their goals are, if they were socially beneficial then no force and no “great reset” would be required to achieve them – people would voluntarily cooperate toward those ends. By contrast, the apparent need to overturn market cooperation using government coercion indicates their agenda is one that suits the elite, to the detriment of the voluntary society.
A system that replaces the goals of true stakeholders with the iron will of ruling elites, which retains nominal private ownership, but uses government force to pressure firms to serve centrally determined goals, looks and smells an awful lot like economic fascism.

Mark Hornshaw

Mark Hornshaw is a lecturer in Economics, Entrepreneurship and Management at The University of Notre Dame Australia.
RELATED ARTICLE: Biden Ignores His Own Mask Mandate on First Day. ‘Bigger Issues to Worry About,’ Says WH Press Secretary
EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

New Research Debunks Claim That a $15 Minimum Wage Would Not Reduce Employment

A new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds a “clear preponderance” of evidence that minimum wage laws reduce employment.

President Joe Biden is pushing a federal $15 minimum wage in his sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, and the policy is only gaining steam in progressive circles. But newly released research undercuts the main argument progressive economists make in favor of minimum wage increases.
new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research surveys the body of economic research on minimum wage increases and rebuts the notion that empirical data show no impact of increases in minimum wage hikes. The authors find that of all the available research on the subject they reviewed, there is a “clear preponderance” of findings that show a job-killing impact. The documentation of job losses is even more pronounced for teenagers, young adults, and the less-educated.
“[The] body of evidence and its conclusions point strongly toward negative effects of minimum wages on employment of less-skilled workers, especially for the types of studies that would be expected to reveal these negative employment effects most clearly,” economists David Neumark and Peter Shirley write.
This research is a direct rebuttal of one of the most popular pro-minimum-wage-hike arguments offered by progressive economists. They rarely engage directly with the ironclad theory of supply and demand in competitive labor markets that proves the minimum wage causes unemployment just like any other price floor creates surplus.1
Many advocates simply pivot to empiricism and handwave about “the data” not showing any impact.
“There’s just no evidence that raising the minimum wage costs jobs, at least when the starting point is as low as it is in modern America,” economist turned left-wing New York Times  columnist Paul Krugman has argued. (Reversing his own former position). Similarly, economist and former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen recently reversed her prior position during a confirmation hearing for her political position as the Biden administration’s Treasury Secretary. Now, she argues that the research suggests a “very minimal” impact on employment from minimum wage increases.
The same argument has pervaded through much of academia.
“The last decade has seen a wealth of rigorous academic research on the effect of minimum wage increases on employment, with the weight of evidence showing that previous, modest increases in the minimum wage had little or no negative effects on the employment of lowwage workers,” reads a letter signed by prominent pro-minimum-wage economists in 2019.
But this new research, after surveying the field of empirical evidence, finds that reaching these progressive economists’ conclusions “requires discarding or ignoring most of the evidence.”

When the government mandates a price for labor—aka a minimum wage—that exceeds the market rate, employers will inevitably purchase less labor. It’s just like consumers would purchase less soda if the government arbitrarily mandated higher prices for it than what it’s actually worth to people. In fact, that’s the exact point of  “soda taxes” passed in the name of public health; they reduce soda consumption. The same thing happens with labor.
The lucky workers who end up being able to keep their jobs may benefit from the artificially high wage, but many others will not find work at all. As far a federal $15 minimum wage is concerned, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would eliminate 1.3 to 3.7 million jobs altogether.
This was before the COVID-19 pandemic. Layoffs would likely be much worse now, with so many small businesses already on the brink of collapse amid lockdowns and a struggling economy.
No amount of empirical squirming can eliminate the reality of trade-offs. Minimum wage proponents bury their heads in the sand in order to argue that you can simply pass a law to miraculously make everyone richer without any consequences. You can’t.
“There are no solutions, there are only trade-offs,” economist Thomas Sowell once observed, “and you try to get the best trade-off you can get, that’s all you can hope for.”
“Economics teaches you that making a choice means giving up something,” economist Russ Roberts has similarly explained.
The job losses that come with minimum wage hikes are a fundamental economic reality. This latest research offers yet another reminder that, no matter how much wish-casting progressives engage in, there’s no escaping trade-offs in public policy.

  1. Some progressive economists engage with supply and demand theory by arguing that if a business has a labor monopsony, aka they are the only employer for that type of labor, then minimum wage increases will not cause unemployment. But this makes little sense, as the types of employers who hire minimum wage workers, such as restaurants, retail stores,  fast food, coffee shops, and so on, have nearly innumerable competitors for other places that will hire workers at the minimum wage.)


Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Opinion Editor at the Foundation for Economic Education.
RELATED ARTICLE: Why a One-Size-Fits-All Federal Minimum Wage Makes Zero Sense
EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Biden Pumps out Orders, Not Oil

Here’s a sentence you’ll never see on CNN:

“President Joe Biden, hoping to stack his first 100 days with as many achievements as possible, has relied heavily on the use of executive orders.”

Or this:

“While the orders have run the gamut from immigration to federal lands, they all offer Biden a key benefit: the ability to tout wins without going through the arduous legwork of working with Congress to pass legislation.”

But, when you switch out the names, CNN did write it about President Trump. And they are true about Joe Biden. The crucial difference is that Trump signed 29 executive orders in his first 100 days, while Biden has signed 21 (and counting) in his first week alone. In fact, he’s signed more executive orders in his first week than any president ever — quadrupling the next closest competitor (Barack Obama with five).
It sure is a funny way to achieve the national unity and the return to America’s democratic norms that President Biden promised in his inaugural address.
Unlike President Trump with his executive actions, President Biden is costing American jobs and angering our allies. He has hamstrung the oil and gas industry with an order to halt drilling and exploration on federal land, including Alaska’s north shore, as well as revoking the permit for the Keystone oil pipeline. Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis joined me on Washington Watch to discuss the impact these policies will have. “It will raise energy prices,” she said.
Biden’s actions have a direct cost in jobs lost — high-paying blue-collar jobs, at that — and an indirect cost on the jobs that would follow them. That’s not to mention the higher energy prices Americans will pay to heat their homes and drive their cars, or the higher food prices that result because farmers have to pay more to run their machines. These costs will have an outsized impact on those Americans who have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and accompanying lockdowns. This is hurting the very people the Democratic Party says they want to help.
But the impact goes beyond the individual household; states with large oil and gas industries, from Pennsylvania to New Mexico, will suffer as well. Lummis pointed out that, since the federal government owns half the land in Wyoming, Biden’s order will be a serious shock to the state’s economy and tax revenues. “The hit to Wyoming schools and infrastructure is profound.”
President Biden’s defenders might try to argue that there are important environmental reasons to move away from oil and gas, and the economy will eventually recover. Lummis’s commonsense, American response was, “what we need to do is innovate our way out of this climate issue, not regulate our way out of the climate issue.”
But no reason that puts the interests of America first can outweigh the importance of national security. For the first time in fifty years, America achieved energy independence under President Trump’s watch. That means that oil-producing nations like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela could no longer threaten America’s energy supply, as they did in the 1970s, to bring us to our knees. But President Joe Biden has put an end to that; America will once again be beholden to foreign “bad actors” simply because they produce the energy we refuse to produce for ourselves.
From a policy perspective, President Biden’s executive actions to kill jobs and block energy production don’t make any sense. But they are “a political payback to his radical Left base,” said Lummis. Indeed, President Bid60 has yet to make good on his inauguration promise to unify America. Rather his actions are unilaterally further dividing America.
EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action column and video are republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Arizona Is Now a High Tax State Thanks to Prop 208

Do you remember when people were flocking to Arizona? When new employers, entrepreneurs, and families found our state attractive because of its low taxes?

It wasn’t that long ago. Here’s just one example from 2019, when the state’s top marginal tax rate was 4.50% — one of the most competitive in the country!

But all of that has changed thanks to Proposition 208.

With the passage of this disastrous piece of legislation in which voters were misled, Arizona’s new rate was raised dramatically to 8%. This gives Arizona the ninth highest small business tax rate in the nation! Of course, the teacher unions and out of state special interest groups behind Proposition 208 said this wouldn’t happen—that it would NOT tax small businesses. Clearly that was a lie.

And now, with Arizona already having the 11th highest sales tax rate and the 20th highest business property tax rate in the country, we are officially a high tax state for small business.

That’s not exactly something we’d want to advertise to those who may consider moving here. After all, a recent study from the Cato Institute found that American citizens are leaving high tax states for lower tax states. Certainly, that’s not much of a surprise. But Arizona used to be ones of the desirable states to move to because of its low taxes. Not anymore.

And while the media and the Left continue to push the myth that the people of Arizona are undertaxed, just ask small business owners their experience since Proposition 208 passed. If the taxes were so low, then why are many of them picking up and leaving the state?

The fact is that Arizona has now joined the ranks of other high tax states that have experienced decades of decline. You probably know some of them: Illinois, New York, California. Each of these states are dealing with high taxes, distressed economies, and people fleeing to other states to find greener pastures.

Just look at California, where an estimated 13,000 businesses left between 2009 and 2016. In fact, during the economic boom years in 2018 and 2019, 765 commercial facilities left the “Golden State.

But this begs the question: If the economy was booming throughout the country, why did these businesses leave? The answer is quite simple: high taxes.

Is that what we want here in Arizona? We certainly hope not.

But thanks to Proposition 208, Arizona has now lost the tax-competitive advantage that once made it so special. And that means we can expect other nearby states like Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Texas to have the upper hand when it comes to attracting small businesses and creating new jobs.

It’s time for our state legislature to take swift, aggressive action to fix this problem. Proposition 208 has made Arizona a high tax state, crushed small businesses, and done irreparable harm to the state’s competitiveness. And if our legislature doesn’t do something soon, we’ll end up in an endless cycle of decline—just like our neighbors in California.

This article from the Arizona Free Enterprise Club was originally published on January 25, 2021 and is republished with permission.

Backers of the (Arizona) Corp Comm Green New Deal Think That Legislators Are Too Stupid to Handle Energy Policy

Supporters of the Arizona Corporation Commission’s plan to impose the Green New Deal and ban all fossil fuels are up in arms this week. The reason? The legislature has decided to exert their constitutional authority and make it clear that they are in charge of setting energy policy for the state.

This week the Arizona House and Senate are hearing HB 2248 and SB 1175, legislation that would prohibit the Corp Comm from adopting any policy or rule regulating distributed energy without legislative authorization. Several interest groups and Green New Deal activists have signed in against the bill, and they have coalesced around one argument: legislators aren’t smart enough to handle energy policy. This is a topic that should be left up to the “experts” over at the ACC.

Just a cursory look through the comments submitted to Request to Speak, the legislative system used to register support or opposition to a bill, catalog dozens of statements ranging from condescending to insulting.

Here is just a small sample of the vitriol sent their way:

Lawmakers Are Too Dumb to Understand Energy Policy

“The ACC is independently elected to make energy decisions because they are more knowledgeable than legislators!”

“ACC, not state reps, have focus & expertise to determine energy issues.”

Apparently legislators are competent enough to decide tax policy, create the state’s budget, criminal code, and legislate on other complex issues, but when it comes to energy policy our elected legislative body is not qualified enough.

Will of the Voters! Except for the Steyer Initiative, That Doesn’t Count

“This bill proposes to disrespect the will of the voters who strongly supported Clean Energy”

“The ACC Rules being considered have been properly vetted and have strong public support. This bill is legislative overreach.”

It was only two years ago when Arizonans overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 127, a ballot measure that would have imposed Green New Deal energy mandates very similar to what is being proposed by the ACC. Voters have spoken on the issue, and it wasn’t to have the Corp Comm install a sweeping energy plan that will raise utility prices and cause rolling blackouts in the state.

Arizona Should Adopt California-Style Energy Mandates

“Clean energy is good for Arizona. It keeps electricity costs lower, consistent, predictable and reliable over the long term. Being a solar leader gives us more energy independence and control. This is not the Legislature’s job.”

California tried the same plan, and what was the result? After weeks of rolling blackouts Governor Gavin Newsom was forced to beg residents to limit the use of their appliances and turn up their air conditioning thermostats. It got so bad that Newsom suspended the closure of several natural gas power plants that were scheduled for closure.

The Legislature Needs to Butt Out and Let the ACC Run Wild


While the constitution does say that the Corp Comm “may prescribe… and make and enforce reasonable rules, regulations, and orders for the convenience, comfort, and safety, and the preservation of the health, of the employees and patrons,” it also makes it clear that the Legislature has the final say. In the recent Johnson Utilities court decision, Arizona Supreme Court unanimously held that the legislature’s authority over the public health and wellbeing of Arizonans “is paramount” to that of the Commission’s on matters of policy.

As HB 2248 and SB 1175 move forward, it will be interesting to see how lawmakers respond to being told that they are stupid and should stand in the corner while the Corp Comm attempts to set energy policy for the state. Hopefully it will stiffen their resolve to do the right thing: stopping the Green New Deal in Arizona.

This article from the Arizona Free Enterprise Club was originally published on January 20, 2021 and is republished with permission.

Rudy Giuliani Sued by Dominion Voting Systems for $1.3 Billion

Giuliani sued by Dominion Voting Systems for $1.3 billion

By Associated Press
Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit on Monday against Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who led the former president’s efforts to question the validity of the 2020 election.
The lawsuit seeks more than $1.3 billion in damages for the voting machine company, a target for conservatives who said it was part of a massive election fraud scheme, blaming it for Trump’s loss and alleging that its systems were easily manipulated.
Dominion’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in the District of Columbia, is among the first major signs of fallout for the former president’s allies and the ultimately unsuccessful effort to question the results of the 2020 election.
“For Dominion — whose business is producing and providing voting systems for elections — there are no accusations that could do more to damage Dominion’s business or to impugn Dominion’s integrity, ethics, honesty, and financial integrity,” the lawsuit says.
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“Giuliani’s statements were calculated to — and did in fact — provoke outrage and cause Dominion enormous harm.”
The suit is based on statements Giuliani made on Twitter, in conservative media and during legislative hearings where the former mayor of New York claimed the voting machine company conspired to flip votes to President Joe Biden.
Dominion provided machines for the state of Georgia, the critical battleground that Biden won and which gave Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.
“Dominion brings this action to set the record straight, to vindicate the company’s rights under civil law, to recover compensatory and punitive damages, and to stand up for itself, its employees, and the electoral process,” the lawsuit read.
Giuliani did not respond to a reporter’s message seeking comment.
During an episode of Giuliani’s podcast, he charged that “Dominion had stolen the election ‘technologically,’” the lawsuit alleges, and warned listeners that cybercriminals could steal the titles to their homes online.
Dominion has also sued Powell, who claimed that the company was created in Venezuela to rig elections for the late leader Hugo Chavez and that it has the ability to switch votes.
The lawsuit also alleges Giuliani’s statements about Dominion and the election being stolen helped lead to the breach on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.
“Having been deceived by Giuliani and his allies into thinking that they were not criminals — but patriots ‘Defend(ing) the Republic’ from Dominion and its co-conspirators — they then bragged about their involvement in the crime on social media,” the lawsuit states.

Brave, ethical lawmakers continue investigation into extensive evidence of widespread voting fraud
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Carlsbad, California Says No More Lockdowns. May It Be A National Model!

“I’m not willing to give up without a fight — I’m just not.” – Annie Rammel, Carlsbad, CA restaurant owner.

It’s been said off and on over the decades that California is a bellwether of sorts. What happens there is a preview of what’s going to happen elsewhere in the U.S.

In the late 1970s the passage of Proposition 13 foretold a national tax revolt. Californians used a referendum to limit the tax power of grasping politicians in the Golden State, and the pushback eventually went national.

A different, more local revolt began last weekend in Carlsbad, CA, a town just north of San Diego. Its restaurant and bar owners decided they’re weren’t going to take it anymore. They’re no longer going to allow witless politicians to destroy what they’ve worked so long to build. They’re going to open their businesses to eager customers.

Some will ask what California legislators right up to Governor Gavin Newsom will say. Ideally the mini-revolt will wake these sick people up to the extraordinary damage they’re doing, but if not it’s worth reminding everyone that the very individuals in government who are presently limiting your right to work, operate your business, and live your life as you desire, used to not be in government. Some even used to have regular jobs in the private sector. The main thing is that they’re not experts on medical matters, nor are they abnormally smart. They just happen to be good at politics. They’re in no position to tell us how to live, or operate our businesses, or whether or not we should have a job to go to. They’re just people who want power, prestige and money, only they want it the easy way.

This is worth remembering as businesses, jobs and life as we know it vanish thanks to politicians imposing their force on us. Why allow them to do that? People should be free to do as they wish with their property. Period. This includes Twitter and Facebook if they choose to censor comments and commenters. If Amazon chooses to not do business with certain people or companies, that’s its right. If bakers choose not to bake cakes for events that offend their personal morality, that’s their right. Business owners who want to meet the needs of willing customers while a virus is spreading should be free to open up as they see fit.

Interesting and happy about scenic, seaside Carlsbad is that in a state that is largely locked down, in a state where most restaurants can’t even serve customers outside, Carlsbad is open. Its restaurants and bars are open outdoors and indoors. Some of the bars are packed. Please learn more about this happy story of protest against what is ridiculous. Please support it.

Of course, the owners of the bars and restaurants in OPEN (!!!!!) Carlsbad are far more diplomatic than yours truly. They’re calling their exercise of their property rights a “peaceful protest.” And peaceful it is. Nothing could be more peaceful than operating a business that can only succeed insofar as its patrons are pleased for having patronized it, only to come back over and over again.

Furthermore, the protest is one lodged under desperate circumstances. These businesses can’t not be open. If they remain shuttered by decree, or limited in their ability to serve their customers by decree, they will close for good. Though some business owners may have political leanings, this is not political. It’s about survival, and it’s something all who consider themselves decent should cheer. This includes those who’ve not been out in public or inside a public venue since March. Freedom is its own virtue.

Arguably the most important supporters of the beautiful story unfolding in Carlsbad would be other business owners. They must open if they feel inclined to re-open. The simple truth is that the power-mad can’t arrest everyone. If restaurants and bars open en masse in California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and every other city and state overseen by authoritarians, what can the authorities do? There aren’t enough jails and handcuffs, and there aren’t enough guns to subdue a mass, nationwide, owner, employee and customer protest against a tragic lapse of reason.

Crucial about what’s happening in Carlsbad, and that should happen everywhere, is that there’s nothing violent about it. It’s much more than just a “peaceful protest.” It’s reasonable. It’s common sense. It’s businesses, workers, and customers exercising their right to operate, work, and live as they want. They’re not forcing their values on others. Businesses that choose to stay closed should do just that. Worried employees should stay home. The people fearful of the virus should similarly stay home.

For the rest of us who feel inclined to resume living, it’s time for us to do that. Again, those who are sickeningly intoxicated with power can’t incarcerate us all. As for the businesses terrorized by the political class in Carlsbad, they decided they no longer have any choice. Given the choice between going out of business and defying politicians, they chose the latter. Good for them.

Let’s again support what’s happening in Carslbad, including purchasing gift certificates from its restaurants and bars. Let’s also emulate them. May Carlsbad be a national model!


John Tamny is editor of Real Clear Markets.  This article was published on January 22, 2021 by The American Institute of Economic Research,  AIER and is reproduced with permission.

VIDEO: Florida Patriots Rally in Support of My Pillow Guy!

We told you the other day that the cancel-culture was busy at work and had pressured major retailers to drop My Pillow from its shelves because of Mike Lindell’s support of President Donald Trump.
Fight back!
This is the kind of peaceful protest we all need to be doing more of!
From Steve Bannon’s War Room: Karyn Turk on censorship and disparagement of patriot Mike Lindell

Patriots Rally in Florida for My Pillow

Karyn Turkreports live from the rally to support My Pillow in Boca Raton, Florida where patriots are standing up against Big Tech oligarchs and the left who are trying to cancel Americans.
Turk says the key is for patriotic Americans to unite together. “The left does a very good job of sticking together, we as conservatives need to do the same…and say we’re not going to tolerate this.”
Mike Lindell’s completely American-made business is under attack from the left since he has been an outspoken voice against the fraud that occurred on Nov. 3. Big Tech tyranny has led to My Pillow being dropped from Bed Bath and Beyond, Wayfair, Kohl’s, and Kroger. [Kroger is new to the list since I reported on the mean trick being done to Lindell–ed]
The War Room has contact phone numbers, so go get ’em.
Here is what I did today.  I took one of the many 20%-off flyers I get from Bed, Bath and Beyond and sent it back to the company with a note—told them I will never shop there again because of their political views and what they did to Lindell.
By the way, I put my post the other day on my Refugee Resettlement Facebook page and got a great response. See it here. (And, I don’t monitor comments there, so join in!).


EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

3 Harmful Consequences of Biden Killing the Keystone XL Pipeline

From CO2 emissions to jobs to investment, the president’s move will have the opposite of its intended effect.

President Joe Biden wasted no time after Wednesday’s inaugural ceremonies before getting to work. He signed 17 executive orders and memorandums—by far the most in history on a president’s first day—one of which halted construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would have carried crude oil from Canada through the US.

“Construction on the long disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline halted Wednesday as incoming U.S. President Joe Biden revoked its permit on his first day in office,” the Associated Press reports. “The 1,700-mile (2,735-kilometer) pipeline was planned to carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.”

This is just the latest—but likely final—development in a long fight over this project. The Keystone pipeline was first commissioned in 2010, but this part of it, the XL pipeline, was blocked by the Obama administration in 2015. Then, President Trump reversed course in 2017 and, after lengthy legal challenges, finally paved the way for it to proceed. But sadly, Biden’s latest decision is likely the end of this years-long fight.

“We will begin a safe and orderly shut-down of construction,” Keystone XL President Richard Prior said.

Biden’s rationale for shutting down the project is clear. He believes that carbon emissions and climate change pose a grave threat to the environment and the economy. Thus, the president hopes to block more use of fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions by thwarting this project.

“The Keystone XL pipeline disserves the U.S. national interest,” Biden wrote in his executive order. “The United States and the world face a climate crisis. That crisis must be met with action on a scale and at a speed commensurate with the need to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory.”

“Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives,” the president concluded.

Biden’s “solution” here is to use the power of the federal government to spike a massive economic project years in the making. His benign intentions will not ameliorate the lasting fallout from the many unintended consequences this intervention will surely bring.

Here are three key ways Biden’s move to block the Keystone pipeline will backfire.

Blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline May Actually Increase CO2 Emissions

Even those who share Biden’s goal of reducing CO2 emissions shouldn’t support his move to block the pipeline. Blocking its construction will, most likely, lead to higher emissions, not a reduction.


Well, Keystone had already promised to use green technology and eliminate all CO2 emissions from its operations by 2030. And it’s not as if blocking this pipeline will actually mean the oil doesn’t get transported. It will just have to be transported by more costly, less efficient measures like rail shipping.

“The Obama State Department found five separate times that the pipeline would have no material impact on greenhouse gas emissions since crude would still be extracted,” the Wall Street Journal editorial board explains. “Shipping bitumen by rail or tanker would result in 28% to 42% higher CO2 emissions and more leaks.”

Ironically, this unintended consequence will likely mean that more carbon gets emitted—the exact opposite of Biden’s goal.

Any time the government steps in and squashes economic investment, job losses are sure to follow. Biden’s blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline is no exception.

If allowed to go through, the pipeline project would have created 11,000 jobs and $1.6 billion in wages, according to Fox Business. These gains will all now be lost. Biden regularly says he wants his environmental policies to create good-paying, union jobs— but what the president just did will accomplish the opposite. This is why even left-wing elected officials like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau oppose Biden’s decision.

Regulatory Uncertainty Will Discourage Future Business Investment

If there’s one thing that’s bad for investment, it’s uncertainty. And that’s exactly what Keystone has faced thanks to the federal government’s knee-jerk reversals and regulatory whiplash.

Yes, you can build it. Wait, no you can’t. Yes, actually you can. Wait, never mind, now it’s blocked again.

“It is impossible for American businesses to make big, long-term investments in a political environment in which every project is up for renegotiation — or summary economic execution — every time the White House changes hands,” the National Review editorial board wisely warns. “Surely, in a continental nation as vast as ours, with an economy as complex as ours, it shouldn’t be possible for one man serving a short term in a temporary elected office to undo years of work and billions of dollars in investment. This is pure foolishness, and it will cost us.”

Biden says he wants to promote economic growth and investment. But if this kind of whipsawing regulatory reversal pervades the new president’s tenure, businesses will—quite understandably—end up reducing their investments to account for such uncertainty.

The Big Picture: Big Unintended Consequences Will Always Plague Big Government

Even the smartest and most brilliant bureaucrats and elected officials will never be able to issue sweeping economic diktats from offices in Washington, D.C. without incurring massive unintended consequences. It’s simply impossible for any centralized authority to have enough knowledge of vast industries and complex situations across the continent to effectively account for all variable and potential outcomes.

“Every human action has both intended and unintended consequences,” economist Antony Davies and political scientist James Harrigan explain. “Human beings react to every rule, regulation, and order governments impose, and their reactions result in outcomes that can be quite different than the outcomes lawmakers intended.”

The Biden administration’s decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline will, no doubt, provide a poignant example of when big government goes wrong. But it would be a mistake to think these shortcomings are specific to President Biden, environmental policy, or oil pipelines.

Central planners will always end up missing the nail when they swing the hammer—because they’re working while blindfolded.


This article was first published on January 21 2021 by the Foundation for Economic Education, FEE and is hereby reproduced with permission.

The Checkmating of America

We’re now learning why our Founders placed freedom of the press and freedom of speech—among other key rights—in the First Amendment in our Bill of Rights. For it is the chicanery, sabotage and subversive propaganda of the American media that has landed us where we are today.
To prove this point, let me illustrate what our mainstream press—say the New York Times—should have been trumpeting as soon as the theft of our election became evident:
First paragraph: President Trump has been proven right—the 2020 election was stolen in a flagrant act of treason by both Democrats and their globalist allies. This coup d’état to take over America was part of a Soros-funded “Color Revolution” revolving around a contested election, with the aim of turning America over to Communist China under the Davos elites’ plan for One World Government.
Anyone see that headline in the Paper of Record? In any of our mainstream press? On MSNBC? How differently do you think your friends and family members who are loyal, unquestioning Democrats would be viewing world events and our present crisis if the Gray Lady had vouchsafed articles like that?
But perhaps you’ll find that headline hyperbolic, so let me explain why I believe it expresses the very real situation in the last weeks of Trump’s presidency.
We’ve been under attack by enemies foreign and domestic for quite some time, as the Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations were primarily about enriching high level office holders—e.g. Hillary, Biden, Obama—the kleptocrats in Congress, fueling wars overseas, and selling out our jobs and our country to China. That’s why Trump won in 2016—he stands for the opposite of all that corruption. But let’s focus on the past year and the multi-pronged war being waged against us.

The Plandemic’s Attack on Our Middle Class

We remember only too well the mysterious flu virus that struck China in December 2019 and January 2020. We saw videos of people apparently dropping dead in the streets, and bizarre “lockdowns” turning huge cities into empty ghost-towns seemingly overnight. What we didn’t know then:

  • Those videos were psy-op propaganda to condition us to follow suit and shut down our own cities, businesses, economic engine, and systematically weaken our nation and our people.
  • The virus had been engineered in a Chinese bio-weapons lab.
  • Even though the “novel coronavirus” was a bioweapon and intentionally spreading it to the U.S. was therefore an act of war, it turned out to be essentially no more lethal than the seasonal flu, which also kills many people every year—especially the elderly.
  • The Globalist Cabal was behind the psy-op, and got plenty of help from China, the UK, Bill Gates, Italy, the corrupt media in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, so it seemed to most people to be legit. After all, how could a conspiracy this big take place?

Answer: with massive planning, billions of dollars, and evil genius.
This is why those who are wide awake call Covid-19 the “Plandemic” or the “Scamdemic.” If we forget about the eensy weensy virus narrative and just look at the results, this is what we see: China and the domestic enemies of America—the radical Progressive Dems and RINOs—have weakened America nearly to the point of no return, by wiping out at least half of our small businesses or more, which means they’ve decimated our once thriving middle class. And the middle class is America! Most countries have a small, superrich oligarchy on top, and masses of poor people beneath them. Only in America can everyone potentially thrive as members of the middle class pursuing their happiness. That happiness has been largely destroyed by our America-hating enemies, both foreign and domestic.

The Theft of Our Election

Anyone with functioning brain cells must have recognized that Biden was a sure bet to lose the 2020 election, and Trump, as both the incumbent and a yuugely popular President who campaigned like a human dynamo, was a sure bet to win. I feel sorry for the gamblers among us who lost their very safe bets on POTUS. Yet, as it turns out, there was plenty of dirty money on Sleepy Joe.
In fact, Wayne Allyn Root, a Republican-conservative syndicated columnist, best-selling author, and renowned political commentator who has also been a Las Vegas odds maker and sports gaming expert for decades, offers a unique analysis of election night. We all knew Trump had won his re-election that night, but were shocked when Fox News called Arizona for Biden at 11:20pm, with under 60% of the vote in, and nearly a million ballots still uncounted. Wayne Root points out that immediately following that premature call, all the swing states stopped counting. That was unprecedented. And when the lights came back on, Trump’s 8-to-1 odds of victory had plummeted to 2-to-1, which Root calls not just fishy, but impossible. He believes the Arizona early vote call was both a signal for the Dems to pull out all the stops in their cheat-machinery, and to tip off crooked insiders to place bets on Biden at that moment to capture the 8-to-1 odds in favor of Trump which made Biden the long-shot who’d pay off big time. He explains it this way:
It was as if someone had decided in advance to give Arizona to Biden- whether he won it, or not. It was as if the secret code was known to only a few billionaire gamblers, ‘Fox News awards Arizona to Biden.’ Six magic words. Someone was ready for that call. Someone waited until Trump was a prohibitive 8 to 1 favorite, then knew to bet millions of dollars on Biden at the longest odds of the night. Someone knew the fix was in. Someone made a fortune.
The only way the odds could have fallen so precipitously in a few hours would have been due to massive betting on Biden while the counting was stopped. Just think—with those odds, a complicit globalist billionaire bets 10 million on Biden and walks away with a cool 80 million as a sure thing, adding insult to America’s injury.
We all know what happened next, as we awakened to bewildering, gut-wrenching news: the winner of the 2020 election was absentee candidate Quid-Pro-Joe. I don’t need to recite all the anomalies or the fact that all indicators, including that of bell-weather states and counties pointed to a clear win for Trump. We are, however, blessed by the hubris of the cheatin’ Dems who failed time and again to accurately assess Trump’s popularity with the voters. The first time, in 2016, they cheated aplenty for Hillary, but not enough to score. This time they were bound and determined to win…at any cost. So they created a vote-switching algorithm sure to push Basement Biden over the finish line. Only once again, they underestimated our remarkable President. But this time, just in case, they had another of their famous “insurance policies”: hundreds of thousands of fake, never mailed out ballots, hidden away in suitcases or ready to be trucked from state to state as needed.
Luckily for us, their overconfidence in their unscrupulous vote-flipping algorithm resulted in their desperately and openly conducting the rest of their fraud as we’ve seen in videos and testimonies of firsthand observers.
So we have both homegrown cheating: use of vote harvesting, dead people voting, felons and illegal aliens voting, people from out of state voting, and pristine mail-in ballots counted—even multiple times.
But they also used more sophisticated techniques that involved other nations. In fact, this time round, we really did have “foreign interference in our election”—the Dems’ battle cry after Trump won in 2016.

Cyber Warfare

The brilliant attorney and great patriot Sidney Powell undertook a Herculean task of documenting the fraud conducted internationally that handed Trump’s win to Beijing Biden. She released the Kraken—including a 270-page document filled with factual evidence of the theft of this election. You’d think this would have been enough to save the day, but the Swamp is deeper and wider than anyone knew, having long since seeped into our judicial system.
And just this January, information has come to light that an IT worker in Italy had been instructed to ratchet up the failing algorithm in the wee hours of the morning on November 4th, so he could send the pro-Biden-skewed results from Italy’s Leonardo SpA satellite to the servers in Germany where the votes resided prior to being sent back to the U.S. Here’s a quote from his attorney, Prof. Alfio D’Urso: “Arturo D’Elia [former head of the IT Department of Leonardo SpA] has been deposed by the presiding judge in Naples and in sworn testimony states on 4 November 2020, under instruction and direction of US persons working from the US Embassy in Rome, undertook the operation to switch data from the US elections of 3 November 2020 from significant margin of victory for Donald Trump to Joe Biden in a number of states where Joe Biden was losing the vote totals.”
Anyone see that bombshell breaking news in the New York Times? Me neither.

“A Republic, if You Can Keep It!”

Assuming Italy did indeed take part in fixing the race, we can tally the international interference thus: Italy (though manipulation of the computing algorithm), Germany (through sending faulty, manipulated data to the U.S.), Switzerland (home of Scytl software), Spain (where the votes are counted), the UK (MI-6 allegedly involved in the scam), Canada (home of Dominion voting machines), along with Trump’s—and America’s—sworn enemy: Communist China. In fact, John Ratcliffe, the Director of National Intelligence, had this to say in a signed statement, “the People’s Republic of China sought to influence the 2020 U.S. federal elections.”
Watching one’s country go down in flames through a Chinese Communist and Soros-funded globalist Color Revolution is a tragedy of gigantic proportions. We’ve seen it happen to other countries around the world, but never imagined it could happen here. In fact, most Americans who actually voted for Biden have no idea that it has happened here.
We the People may have thought we were merely witnessing a presidential election as we do every four years, when what was actually transpiring was an international cyber-warfare attack on the sovereignty of America by toppling a legitimately elected and hugely popular President. This is why I believe we should acknowledge this coup d’état against our nation as World War III—fought in cyberspace and through psy-ops instead of with bombs and bullets. The stakes were astronomically high—the fate of the world hanging in the balance.
And sadly—make that tragically—we’ve just lost.
Coming out of the hall in Philadelphia where the Constitution was written, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman who’d been waiting nearby, “Sir, what have you given us?” “A Republic, ma’am—if you can keep it!” Today our question is, after letting it slip through our hands, can we get our Republic back?
© Cherie Zaslawsky. All rights reserved.

Biden Admin To INCREASE Drug Prices – Reversing Trump Policy Designed To Lower Insulin Prices

President Trump’s policies continue to reveal what destroyers and enemies of the people the Democrats are.
President Biden has been reversing or pausing some rules put in place under former President Donald Trump this week, including one designed to bring down the price of insulin.

Biden admin freezes Trump HHS rule meant to lower insulin prices

The rule has been put on hold for 60 days pending review
By Brittany De Lea | Fox News January 23, 2020:
Is Biden’s rush to reverse Trump policies in nation’s best interest?
FOX News Washington correspondent Rich Edson details the foreign policy concerns on ‘Special Report’
President Biden has been reversing or pausing some rules put in place under former President Donald Trump this week, including one designed to bring down the price of insulin.
The Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday announced that the directive would be put on hold among a number of other measures that were passed under Trump, but are not yet in effect.
The measure, signed off on in December, aimed to require some community health centers to deliver savings to low-income patients for insulin and epinephrine in a bid to bring down unaffordable prices.
The rule was scheduled to go into effect on Friday but has since been delayed until March 22.
On Wednesday, White House chief of staff Ron Klain directed agencies to pause orders signed towards the end of Trump’s term so they could be reviewed.
The order directs the administration to immediately withdraw rules that have been sent to the Office of Financial Research but not yet published in the Federal Register. For those that have been published, but are not yet effective, members are directed to “consider postponing the rules’ effective dates for 60 days.”

EDIOTRS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

China Loves Coal Far More Than Wind

We have all heard about China building a lot of coal plants, but the central role coal plays in their booming economy is amazing. It is a big reason they are the world’s leading manufacturer. China generates almost twice as much electricity as the U.S. China generates more from cheap coal than we do from all sources. This makes them very competitive industrially.

China has some wind power but they are smart enough not to let it get in their way (unlike us). Renewables are driving our power costs through the roof, while China wisely wallows in cheap juice.

By way of scale, not too long ago the U.S. burned about a billion tons of coal a year to make electricity. We generated about 2,000-gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity from coal, roughly half of our total 4,000 GWh. The foolish war on coal has reduced that to around 600 million tons, with further reductions scheduled.

By a strange coincidence, just the time when coal use switched from growing to shrinking, about 12 years ago, America’s use of electric power also stopped growing. It has remained at about 4,000 GWh ever since. Perhaps new energy-intensive industrial developments were all switched from America to China in anticipation of the US juice price increases that followed.

China on the other hand now generates a whopping 7,500 GWh of electricity, or just under twice what America does. That’s right, they produce almost twice as much power as we do.

Even worse, less than 25% of our electricity goes for industrial uses, while a reported 70% of China’s juice use is industrial. That is roughly 1,000 GWh in America versus 5,000 in China, or five times as much industrial use of electricity. Small wonder that China makes most of the products we use (and pay them for).

Moreover, most of China’s vast power generation is from coal. Of their 7,500 GWh just about 5,000 GWh, or fully two-thirds, is powered by cheap coal. By coincidence, they equal their entire industrial use. Or maybe it is not a coincidence; it may be how they remain so competitive in the global economy.

In any case, China is generating more electricity with coal than America is from all sources combined. That is a lot of coal juice. China’s booming economy basically runs on coal.

When it comes to wind power the story is very different. China does have some, in fact, they produce about 400 GWH from wind or around 5% of the total. This may be just a token amount, although it is growing, as are all forms of power generation.

What is most interesting is the reported “capacity factor” for wind power. The capacity factor (CF) is the ratio of how much power is produced in a year to how much could be produced if the generators ran full power all the time. The latter is called nameplate capacity, so CF equals power produced divided by nameplate, expressed as a percentage.

Because wind is intermittent its CF is pretty low, typically 30 to 35% in the U.S. But China reports a wind CF of less than 20%! The reason is an important part of China’s economic success. Unlike us, they wisely do not curtail coal fired power production just to make room for wind power when the wind happens to be blowing.

So China uses wind power if they need it, but not otherwise. We on the other hand actually throttle back our coal and gas-fired power plants, when wind power is there, which is really stupid.

China is generating almost twice as much electricity as America and two-thirds of that juice is coming from coal. The wind is a token generator at 5% and is not allowed to interfere with coal power. Anyone who thinks China is going to phase out coal for wind is simply green dreaming. Coal is central to China’s power.

This article was first published by CFACT.ORG on January 11, 2021 and is reproduced with permission.

Economic Ignorance On Full Display

In 2009, my California cousin was here in Atlanta for the filming of the Sandra Bullock movie, “The Blind Side.” Before retiring a few years ago, he traveled the world working long hours as a set worker on many of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster films.
While he was here, he complained bitterly about unequal pay in the motion picture industry, citing as an example the $17 million he said Reece Witherspoon was paid for starring in a movie he worked on:

“I put in just as many hours as she did, yet she got $17 million!”

To put it in medical terms, my cousin’s anguish was caused by an acute mental disorder known as stage 4 economic ignorance.
As I patiently explained to him, Reece Witherspoon was paid $17 million because she is one of the few franchise stars in Hollywood whose name on the marquee is guaranteed to attract millions of ticket-buyers, whereas his name wouldn’t draw flies. Instead of bellyaching about people like her, my cousin should drop to his knees and thank God for Hollywood’s highly-paid superstars. Without them, he’d have had no job.
Widespread economic ignorance is why so many of otherwise intelligent Americans have been seduced by the scourge of socialism. Below is another article with economic information people of all political persuasions should know.

What Millennials don’t get about America’s economic pie

Fed a steady diet of economic lies by anti-capitalists in our society, the Millennial generation has been tricked into believing that the wealthy get rich only by stealing an oversized slice of America’s economic pie. By taking more than their fair share, the narrative goes, greedy corporate CEOs leave little but crumbs for everyone else. Such fallacious thinking is referred to as the zero sum theory of economics, the idea that there’s only one finite-sized pie to go around, and that one person taking a large slice means someone else will go hungry.
In truth, America does not have a finite economic pie. Rather, it has a virtually unlimited supply of ever-evolving economic pies of varying sizes waiting to be made by enterprising people of every race and every income group.
The biggest such pies are made by high-profile capitalists like Warren Buffet, a Democrat, and Charles Koch, a Republican, both of whom generously share their self-created economic pies not only with a myriad of charitable organizations, but also with hundreds of thousands of well-paid employees who eagerly work for their thriving corporate empires.
Millions of other economic pies are made by less famous job creators, those whose small businesses provide more than 80% of America’s private sector employment. Still more economic pies are made by the 160 million people who comprise the backbone of our economy, men and women who earn a slice of their country’s widespread prosperity simply by getting up and going to work so they can provide for themselves and their family by working hard and learning to live within their means.
Unfortunately, there will always be some who habitually make bad decisions, financial or otherwise. Frustrated that self-created problems have kept them from participating in the American dream, they bitterly complain that someone else made off with their share of the pie. With nothing but crumbs on their plates, these economically ignorant people are prime targets of the party whose election success depends upon inciting class hatred, the means of gaining political power outlined in an 1848 manuscript titled The Communist Manifesto.
A new poll commissioned by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that 70% of Millennials are likely to vote for a socialist candidate in 2020. Since socialism-loving Millennials are so obsessed with wealth disparity, here are a few questions for them:

  • If wealth disparity is a bad thing, can aggrieved Millennials explain why so many obscenely rich Democrats—Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Oprah, Al Gore, the Clintons, the Obamas, et al—selfishly cling to the lion’s share of their enviable fortunes, rather than giving away, say, 80% of what they have to the poor?
  • Can Millennials explain how corporate CEOs are any more to blame for wealth disparity than the obscenely rich Democrats named above?
  • Can they explain how society is hurt when wealthy job creators like Warren Buffet and Charles Koch use their accumulated capital to create even more good-paying jobs?

If Millennials troubled by wealth inequality reflect on those questions, they will (1) stop blaming others and get to work on a plan for earning a share of their country’s bountiful prosperity, and (2) realize that the party telling them that socialism will make their lives better is playing them for fools.
Socialism is doomed to fail wherever it is tried, because it is in eternal mortal conflict with the basic human instinct that those who work harder, educate themselves, employ their ingenuity and risk their capital have an inborn expectation to do significantly better than those who don’t. That is an immutable human trait that will never change.
©John Edison. All rights reserved.

LET THEM EAT CAKE: Buttigieg Says Tens of Thousands Of Keystone Workers Need to Get ‘Different’ Union Jobs

Every Democrat action is an attack on Americans. Every action is anti-American.

Buttigieg acknowledges Keystone workers may need to get ‘different’ union jobs

By Fox News, January 21, 2021
Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg claimed Thursday that President Biden‘s decision to block the Keystone XL Pipeline is part of a broader plan that will end up being a net positive for employment, despite union outrage based on the loss of more than a thousand jobs.
Biden revoked a necessary cross-border permit for the pipeline in an executive order on Wednesday, one of more than a dozen actions he took during his first hours in office. Construction on the project had stopped earlier in the day in anticipation of the move.
“Environmental ideologues have now prevailed, and over a thousand union men and women have been terminated from employment on the project,” North America’s Building Trades Unions said in a statement following Biden’s action.
Asked about this at his confirmation hearing by Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Buttigieg was optimistic that these losses will be offset by new positions created as the new administration shifts towards climate-conscious goals.
“I believe that the president’s climate vision will create more jobs on that,” the former mayor of South Bend, Ind. said. “And I think it’s going to be very important to work with him and work with Congress to make sure that we can deliver on that promise too. That on that, more good-paying union jobs will be created in the context of the climate and infrastructure work that we have before us than has been impacted by other decisions.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pressed Buttigieg on what this actually means.
“So for those workers, the answer is somebody else will get a job?” Cruz asked.
“The answer is we are very eager to see those workers continue to be employed in good-paying union jobs, even if they might be different ones,” Buttigieg said.
The Keystone XL Pipeline project was initially proposed in 2008 and has volleyed back and forth as the fossil fuel and industry and climate activists battle over energy policies. President Barack Obama rejected the project in 2015, but President Donald Trump gave it the green light shortly into his tenure in the Oval Office.


RELATED ARTICLE: Report: Biden Killed 52K American Jobs On Day 1 In Office

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

Why corporate America loves the Left

The leftward drift of many American business executives is driven by dubious economic calculations as well as cultural and political pressures.

Amid the political ads with which we are bombarded during every election, one theme emphasised by progressive candidates concerns the evils of business. Corporate America is especially singled out for allegedly not paying enough taxes, underpaying employees, under-serving customers, and exploiting ordinary Americans.
Yet the same political candidates are among the biggest recipients of financial support from those who lead and manage the corporate sector. Take, for instance, Wall Street. In the third quarter of 2020, Joe Biden and a Democratic Party whose base has shifted to the left crushed Donald Trump and the Republicans in fundraising from Wall Street executives. This is despite the Trump administration’s lowering corporate taxes and Biden’s stated intention to raise taxes on high earners and to increase corporate tax rates.
This isn’t a new phenomenon. Back in 2008, Barack Obama comprehensively outraised John McCain among the same demographic. Mitt Romney reversed this somewhat in 2012. But the money dramatically shifted back to the left in 2016 when Hillary Clinton easily won the bulk of donors from the financial sector.
Some of this is attributable to circumstances. Senator McCain’s evident unease when discussing economic issues just as a major financial crisis was engulfing America in 2008, for instance, did not inspire confidence among business leaders. There are, however, other reasons why much of America’s business community has politically moved leftward. While some of these concern economic and demographic calculations made by many CEOs, others reflect pressures that have little to do with markets.

The economics of wokeness

One explanation for many company executives’ public embrace of progressive causes is that they want to preserve and expand their customer base. Younger Americans are more socially liberal, we’re told, and want their buying choices to reflect their politics. Economic self-interest, the logic goes, compels businesses to adapt to these realities by sounding as progressive as possible.
Sometimes this takes the form of organisational changes, such as creating positions like “Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion.” Few individuals with such jobs seem especially interested in promoting a plurality of political views within their companies. On other occasions, it involves vocally and financially supporting various progressive causes, or signaling that you disdain customers with more conservative views.
There’s little doubt that many Americans want their buying choices to reflect their politics. One reputable consumer survey, for example, indicated that 66 percent of respondents believed that it was important for companies to take political stands. Breaking this down further, it turned out that this view was held by 78 percent of liberals but also by 52 percent of conservatives.
This means that companies that portray themselves as committed to progressive activism risk losing their more conservative customers. The fact that more Americans consistently identify as conservative rather than liberal should cause company executives to pause before imagining that being assertively progressive is the gateway to greater profits.
In fact, there is evidence that promoting progressive ideas doesn’t increase (or, for that matter, undermine) profits. Study of the economics of wokeness is relatively new, but in his carefully framed analysis of several prominent cases, Vincent Harinam concluded that:
woke corporate policies do little to positively or negatively impact a company’s bottom line. While financial gains are possible, they are minimal. In other words, woke capitalism is, for the most part, financially inconsequential relative to other higher-order factors, be they store closures or increased production costs. The market is the market. It is unpredictable, volatile, and based on trillions of hard-to-model data points. As such, woke capitalism doesn’t move the needle. Going woke won’t make you broke, but it won’t line your pockets either.

Demography isn’t destiny

If this is the case, why do businesses get woke?
Harinam suggests it’s at least partly about demographics, an area to which executives and managers pay close attention. Millennials, Harinam notes, are (at least according to Pew Research) the only more or less consistently liberal generational demographic. For some companies, this matters because millennials are or will be one of their major consumer markets.
More generally, Harinam maintains that going woke is a relatively cost-effective way of placating the activist left and reassuring consumers that the company is socially responsible. Sometimes, he points out, this spectacularly backfires, as businesses like Gillette and Pepsi have discovered. The general calculus, however, is that corporate wokeness is one way of getting ahead of the demographic curve.
The flaw with this strategy is that demography isn’t always destiny. Looking at the 2020 election results, for example, some progressives have observed that the left is losing its grip on specific groups, such as black and Hispanic Americans, as younger members of these groups question and turn away from their parents’ political leanings. Once upon a time, most American Catholics regularly voted Democratic, while Episcopalian was a synonym for Republican. Neither has been the case for decades.
Put another way, people change their minds. Sometimes the trigger is a major event like a pandemic, recession, terrorist attack, or Supreme Court decision. Consider how Roe v. Wade eventually turned millions of Catholics and Evangelicals against the Democratic Party, or the ways in which the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession soured large numbers of millennials on capitalism. More mundanely, many once-liberal individuals get married, start families, begin regularly attending church or synagogue, see their taxes grow, read a little economics, or simply get tired of being told they should act and vote in particular ways because of their skin color, sex, religion, or ethnicity.
Taken together, this indicates that business executives should be careful before assuming the static nature of any group’s social, political, and economic preferences. Perpetually posing as more progressive than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may, at some point, result in companies’ losing touch with or even alienating significant segments of their markets.

Shifting the goalposts

While economic and demographic assumptions (however mistaken) help explain the leftward shift of parts of the American business community, other less economic factors are also at work.
One is the cultural pressures to which all of us are subject. Like other Americans, many business leaders have studied at colleges that, for all their diversity-speak, are monolithically progressive in their outlook. CEOs and higher business managers also live in a media environment in which conservative voices are token or stigmatised. There is no reason to assume that business executives are any more resistant to intensifying progressive influences than anyone else.
That applies to the way they think about economic issues as much as about social questions. It’s an error to assume that all business leaders are gung-ho free-marketers. In fact, many prefer to seek favours from governments and regulators rather than trying to out-compete their rivals in the marketplace. Some of these executives have also surely worked out that PDWs (Public Displays of Wokeness) are one way of enhancing their ability to play the crony game. If a company wants to secure privileges from a heavily liberal legislature, it can’t hurt to emphasise the business’s commitment to woke causes.
More generally, many people consistently prioritise their political beliefs over their economic self-interest. While incentives to focus on the economic bottom line may be greater in commerce, it’s not uncommon for business leaders to decide that supporting particular progressive political causes matters more than profit, whatever the consequences for shareholders and customers.
Lastly, there is the ongoing impact of the stakeholder movement on the business world. Few events symbolise how far such thinking has penetrated America than the Business Roundtable’s 2019 decision, endorsed by 181 CEOs, to commit itself to leading “their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders — customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders.” Six months later in December 2019, the World Economic Forum produced a manifesto stating that companies needed to shift away from “shareholder capitalism” and embrace “stakeholder capitalism.”
For many people, such words may seem innocuous, not least because stakeholderism reflects a certain truth about business. To the extent that stakeholderism holds that businesses should treat their employees and customers fairly, honour contracts, obey just laws, respect the environment, etc., it is unobjectionable. In such cases, it’s simply another way of articulating well-understood responsibilities of business.
Business leaders meet these obligations every single day by facilitating choice in goods and services for consumers, providing wages and benefits to their employees, repaying loans to banks, providing returns to investors and shareholders, paying just taxes, and, above all, creating economic value that benefits the wider community in seen and unseen ways in the present and into the future.
That truth, however, has steadily been twisted in ways that distract business leaders from their core responsibilities, diminish the legitimate commercial liberties of the companies they run, and allow executives of publicly traded companies to insulate themselves from accountability to investors and shareholders. This is apparent in what is called “pluralistic stakeholderism.”
Among other things, this school of thought holds that companies must consider the effects of their choices on potentially infinite numbers of stakeholders, even to the point of requiring businesses to consult with, if not receive approval from, numerous constituencies before making any significant decisions. In this scenario, shareholders and customers are just one of a plethora of entities to whom business executives must answer.
If followed through systematically, such forms of stakeholderism would marginalise attention to profit-making in many business leaders’ decision-making, thoroughly muddle lines of accountability within companies, and undermine a basic foundation of competitive market economies by prioritising virtue-signaling over the workings of price signals. And this, I’d suggest, is precisely what that large segment of the political left that has never reconciled itself to free markets actually wants.
That is what is ultimately at stake with the leftward drift of so many American business leaders. Seeking to appease activist progressives might help alleviate some immediate pressures on companies. It may even seem like good public relations. But like all forms of appeasement, this is counterproductive over the long term insofar as it will significantly undermine the capacity of business executives to generate profits, create jobs, and build and invest the capital that fuels long-term growth for entire countries.
In such a world, all of us — not just business — will lose.
This article has been republished with permission from The Public Discourse.


Samuel Gregg

Samuel Gregg is Research Director at the Acton Institute and a Fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. More by Samuel Gregg.
EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden’s First Act is Economic Insanity

Everyone wishes success to our incoming President. Unlike the crowd that hated Trump, Republicans will not be sitting with their voodoo dolls sticking pins into them in hopes of Biden falling on his face. As much as I would like to applaud Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, it would be an act of economic insanity to do such. Let me explain why.

First and foremost, Congress just passed a $900 billion bill to stimulate the economy. Virtually none of that has been spent. Some people have received stimulus checks, but the vast majority of the law is still being dissected. Why would we commit an extensive amount of new funds when we have not even spent the recently approved funds? It is unclear that all the monies were spent from the Cares Act in March 2020. The answer is this is not really economic relief. This is a Democrat hodgepodge of a wish list along with union mollification. That is not for reasons of economics.

One would also expect that Biden’s economic team would have a handle on what is going on in our economy.  The facts are common knowledge – they do not need to get transition briefings from the Trump team. Americans made $1 trillion more in the period of March through November 2020 than they did in the corresponding period of March through November 2019. Some of that was stimulus money, but many people are doing well.

Americans also significantly reduced their credit card debt by over $100 billion dollars. Part of this was that there were fewer places to spend money – no movies, baseball games, restaurants or concerts to attend. The other part was people used their stimulus checks to retire debt.

Americans bought homes at the highest rates we have seen since the 2007 crash of the real estate market.  The homeownership rate is at a 15-year high.  There is very little inventory of residential housing to sell.

There are certain areas of the economy that are suffering, but this bill does nothing to address them. Congress has already passed Save Our Stages Act, of which very few people are aware.  Apparently, neither does the SBA because they have no program to get at the $15 billion offered which addresses problems with concert and play venues and their need to stay afloat while they are closed. The Biden bill does nothing to focus on other hard-hit areas of the economy.

Certainly two areas hardest hit are restaurants and hotels and neither is addressed here. But let us review some of the things that are addressed.

If you remember there was the Unity Task Force which this column analyzed in its entirety, a detailed six-part wish list. This bill is an amalgamation of all the ideas in that report. Many proposals are picked straight out of the report. Though the bill is stated at $1.9 trillion no one knows how much it really will cost.

For example, they want to hire 100,000 health care workers across the United States. Nearly every health care worker is actively employed; it will cost billions to train these people. The new employees will really work for local governments. How long will the Feds pay the cost of these employees before it is shifted to municipal governments? There is no explanation. The entire program is amorphous and has a questionable purpose.

New Stimulus Payments – This proposes another $1,400 per taxpayer and additional sums for children of taxpayers. Though this is limited to people with income below a certain level it still does not make sense. It is based on 2019 taxable income. We don’t know if people above the line had their incomes plummet in 2020 and they actually need money. And then there are people who received checks whose income went up. This program is based on outdated data which makes it significantly inefficient.

$15 national minimum wage – This is a payment to their union supporters who want to use this as a base for their next contract increases. There is no consideration of the fact that a large number of these employees are at restaurants that cannot even open because of government edict. Cities like Seattle and San Francisco lost a significant number of restaurants before COVID because of the $15 minimum wage.   How well will this work in Peoria or Bangor with their lower cost structure? Also, many states have wage reductions for tipped employees. They want to trash that which makes no economic sense. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the increase in the minimum wage would decrease employment by 3.7 million jobs. No wonder the Biden plan includes an increase in unemployment benefits and food stamps.

The rest of the proposals in the bill can be broken down as follows. Those available to average citizens – they must go to a governmental entity and plead for or jump through hoops to obtain. One program in the most recently passed bill is the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). The ERC was in the Cares Act but was ignored because it was a choice between a PPP loan or the ERC. That has been revised, but the calculation of the credit is so complex you must hire an outside consultant. There are many programs that look nice in this bill, but will only be available if you can wiggle your way through the maze.

Those going to unionized government workers who will do nothing to get the money and really don’t deserve it. They are getting the funds as payback for their support of the Democrats.

The second category has two programs in particular that are sizable and annoying.

There is the $130 billion to reopen public schools that don’t need that money. The schools’ primary reason for not opening is the public school teachers and their unions have refused to show up for work yet remain being paid. Private schools are open and parents are using other home-based means to educate their children. There are studies that show extremely small COVID exposure for the teachers or the students. This $130 billion will end up as a boondoggle and probably in teacher retirement funds. We will never know how the money is spent.

Second, there is $350 billion for state and local governments. It refers to keeping “front line public workers on the job,” but we all know funds are fungible. There are no stated requirements for these funds.  Rest assured the governments will not have to jump through the same hoops as private businesses do to get funds because public employee unions will end up with the money. We do not even know if these governments have lost revenue.

Here is a suggestion. To get a second PPP loan businesses must show they have a 25% reduction of revenues in any one quarter from 2020 over 2019. Why don’t we have a similar test for the governments but do it on their annual receipts? If the state, county, or city has not had a 25% reduction in receipts from 2020 to 2019 then they cannot receive funding. The governmental entity will have to cut some of their non-essential workers (i.e., most). This is too good an idea, so it will never happen.

We can go on and on because there is so much here. It is a Democrat grab bag. If passed, many of these proposed ideas will likely be added to the next budget and make that annual budget even more out of whack.

Other than the money for vaccinations – which have been forestalled by incompetent or negligent state and local governments – not much is worthy of consideration here, especially with $900 billion still to be spent. Mayor Lightfoot of Chicago says it will take her 18 months to vaccinate the people of Chicago.  Giving her more money will not make her more efficient.

This is just as effective as the Obama stimulus that wasted almost a trillion dollars. Can anyone say “shovel ready jobs”?


This article first appeared in Flash Report on January 20, 2021, and is reproduced by permission of the author.


Censorship Movement Turns to the ‘Loophole’ of Podcasts

The Associated Press, always a reliable source of establishment policy messaging, has a new target for the censors: Podcasts. An article released by AP on January 15 entitled “Extremists exploit a loophole in social moderation: Podcasts,” posted on countless news websites, expresses frustration that the censors can’t easily get at podcasts.
This doesn’t mean podcasters are invulnerable. Most podcasts rely on only three companies to gain exposure, if not the actual platform, for their podcasts: Apple, Spotify and Google. And these companies are coming under increasing pressure to censor podcasters. A spokesperson for the Anti Defamation League is quoted in the article:
“Podcasts filled with hatred and incitement to violence should not be treated any differently than any other content. If you’re going to take a strong stance against hate and extremism in the platform in any way, it should be all-inclusive.”
The difficulty with monitoring podcasts is their long form and audio format makes it hard to identify brief episodes of “misinformation” (or whatever) that could be buried within hours of otherwise innocuous content. But speech recognition algorithms are fast approaching the level where that barrier goes away. In the meantime, orchestrated complaints, a word from groups like the ADL, or even just an inquiry from the Associated Press can cause a podcast to get cancelled.
A few days earlier, on January 12, the Podcast Business Journal ran an article entitled “Censorship Abounds. Should Podcasters Be Worried?” Taking the form of an interview with “the podcasting industry’s favorite attorney for answers,” the responses were not encouraging.
The interview led off with the same “it’s a private company” nonsense we’re still hearing from brain dead libertarian purists. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Apple dominate their markets. Rather than break them up (which would be justifiable under anti-trust law), and rather than take away their Section 230 exemption, just require them to adhere to Section 230! That would mean if these platforms want to keep the exemption, they can’t ban anything that’s not violating the First Amendment.
This expert attorney then makes an astonishingly naive claim: “I don’t think podcasters need to be ‘careful’ about anything but being truthful and presenting things fairly. It’s OK to have an opinion, even an unpopular one, but to clothe it in language of fact is deceit, and shouldn’t be tolerated.”
He is missing the big picture entirely. Requiring honest “facts” and prohibiting anything that is “intentionally misleading” as a condition of avoiding censorship is a slippery slope. Who decides what is factual? Who decides whether someone was just wrong, or was intentionally misleading? Do people have a right to be wrong? One would hope so. If this becomes accepted practice, how many topics will become priorities for “factchecker” censors? Shall we be censored if we disagree over climate change, or systemic racism? The election fraud issue is just a wedge.
One note of balance in the AP article, something that unfortunately won’t get much traction, is their quote from Jillian York, an expert at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who said “the [censorship] tide is against the speech of right-wing extremists … but tomorrow the tide might be against opposition activists.”
EDITORS NOTE: This Winston84 Project column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

3 Glaring Problems with Joe Biden’s New Multi-Trillion COVID Package

On Thursday night, Joe Biden rolled out a sweeping proposal for $1.9 trillion more in COVID-19 relief and stimulus spending.

“I believe we have a moral obligation,” Biden said during a speech in Delaware announcing the plan. “In this pandemic in America, we cannot let people go hungry, we cannot let people get evicted, we cannot watch nurses, educators and others lose their jobs, we so badly need them. We must act now, and we must act decisively.”

It’s a massive proposal, and any final legislative text based upon it would no doubt be hundreds of pages (if not thousands). But here are some of the package’s main provisions:

  • An additional $1,400 in “stimulus” checks to most Americans, upping the recently-passed $600 payouts to $2,000
  • Renewal and increase of the expanded unemployment benefits that extend payouts to many new classes of workers through September 2021. Biden’s proposal would add $400 a week in federal payouts on top of existing state-level benefits
  • Expansion of the child tax credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Increase in food stamp benefits
  • A nation-wide $15 minimum wage
  • Extension of the federal government’s eviction moratorium
  • $350 billion for local, state, and tribal governments
  • $160 billion for vaccine distribution and other COVID health measures
  • Paid leave for millions of workers, much of which would be paid for by taxpayers

Biden’s proposed spending splurge comes in the context of the federal government already having spent an astounding $3 trillion and counting on COVID-19 relief and stimulus efforts. Many of the government’s various economic initiatives have proven ineffective and rife with fraud, but Biden’s plan would simply double-down on this approach and pour more money into it.

Of course, advocates would say that the government has a moral and prudential duty to step in and steer the economy out of the red. “This [plan] gets money quickly into the pockets of millions of Americans who will spend it quickly,” Biden said.

But here are three key problems with Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar proposal.

1. Ignores the Root Cause of Our Economic Distress

Despite ostensibly being a COVID-19 relief bill, Biden’s proposal largely ignores the root cause of our economic distress: government lockdowns and restrictions on the economy. Major economic centers like California and New York remain in large part locked down, with businesses shut down and people largely confined to their homes. (Despite the ample and growing evidence that harsh lockdowns are not an effective COVID containment tactic).

The unfortunate truth is that the federal government could pass a $100 trillion stimulus bill and it still couldn’t revive an economy that is chained down by local government restrictions.

“If states would lift draconian lockdowns we wouldn’t have to keep revisiting conversations about stimulus spending,” Republican congresswoman Lisa McClain argued. “We need more jobs, not more government bailouts.”

One might understandably assume that a COVID relief bill should promote work and job growth, not kill it. But Biden’s proposal upends this assumption.

At the same time the president-elect is promising to steer the nation to economic renewal, he is proposing the expansion of an ultra-generous unemployment benefits system for the next 7 months. It’s Econ 101, and an intuitive matter of basic incentives, really, that government programs that make unemployment more attractive—in many cases this expanded program would pay close to or more than people’s regular job—hurt job growth and prolong unemployment.

Economists Casey Mulligan and Stephen Moore estimate that the Biden bill would destroy at least 4 million jobs due to the work disincentives it would create. How’s that for “stimulus?”

And the inclusion of a federal $15 minimum wage is equally counterproductive.

Even setting aside the objection that such a partisan priority shouldn’t be slipped into a COVID emergency package, the policy on its merits alone would crush small businesses. A recent survey found that almost 60 percent of small business owners said that they don’t expect their enterprise to survive through June 2021. Hiking their wage bill—often an enterprise’s biggest expense—would no doubt deal the killing blow to many of these businesses.

“If you actually wanted to create more jobs during this pandemic, then why would you impose a costly $15 minimum wage on small businesses?” Republican congressman Greg Murphy asked. “This is just another example of progressives trying to pass their liberal agenda under the guise of COVID relief.”

A federal $15 minimum wage would also hurt workers directly by killing millions of jobs. It’s basic economics that when the cost of a service goes up, less of it is demanded. So, it’s no surprise that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has projected that a federal $15 minimum wage would eliminate an estimated 1.3 million to 3.7 jobs.Any legislative package intended to revive the economy shouldn’t include policies projected to put millions out of work.

Any legislative package intended to revive the economy shouldn’t include policies projected to put millions out of work.

Another glaring flaw plaguing Biden’s package is that so much of its expenditure would not go to the needy or those actually impoverished by the COVID-19 crisis and lockdowns, but to affluent or well-off Americans. Consider the president-elect’s stated desire to send out increased “stimulus” checks, for example.

We can safely assume that Biden would use the same or similar eligibility requirements as the House Democrats did with their bill to send out $2,000 checks. Under this scenario, taxpayers would be on the hook for billions sent to wealthy families. As economist Peter Jacobsen and I previously explained for FEE:

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s Marc Goldwein examined the House Democrats’ proposed boosted stimulus checks legislation. He reports that a single adult with a $100,000 salary would get $750 courtesy of the US taxpayer—even if their (rather sizable) income hasn’t been disrupted at all. A married couple with 3 kids with a household income of $200,000 would get $7,500 (!!!) in taxpayer money.

These are just two examples. But it’s true, broadly speaking, that these proposals would spray billions of dollars—funded by our taxes and debt—to well-off people whose employment has not been adversely impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns.

In a similar vein, Biden’s package allocates hundreds of billions in taxpayer money to bail out poorly-managed state and local governments.

“This is a bailout package for blue states for their bad policies, for their lockdown policies,” Republican congressman Michael Waltz, who represents Florida, explained. After all, in stark contrast to Waltz’s home state, in California and New York draconian lockdown policies have caused a budget crisis. (What they have not caused is much amelioration of the pandemic, which is far worse in California and New York than in Florida.)

“They have to fill that hole,” Waltz said. “States have to balance their budget, the federal government doesn’t. So AOC and now Joe Biden are going to the big piggy bank in the sky that prints nonstop money.”

Suffice it to say it is neither fair nor prudent to force federal taxpayers to bail states out of the consequences of their poor decision-making. The relief such states truly need is relief from the impoverishing policies of their governments.

Biden’s new stimulus plan may be intended as an opening salvo in negotiations. Many of the above provisions might not make it into the final bill Congress ends up considering. But the president-elect’s sweeping proposal still offers the public a glaring example of a timeless principle: Politicians will always exploit a crisis to expand their power.

This is the danger economist Robert Higgs identified in his seminal work Crisis and Leviathan as “the Ratchet Effect.”

Higgs showed how throughout history, crises have been used to excuse government power grabs. After each crisis, the government lets go of some of the power, but never all of it. As a result, the federal government’s power (the Leviathan) has ‘ratcheted up,’ crisis after crisis, throughout the last hundred years.

So, Americans must not treat Biden’s COVID stimulus proposal like an app’s terms and conditions of service and simply accept it after a brief skim. We must guard against big government power grabs and radical economic interventions foisted on us in the name of crisis response.


This article first appeared in FEE Daily on January 15, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from the FEE, Foundation For Economic Education.

Beijing Biden to KILL Keystone XL Pipeline

America didn’t vote for this. Biden’s energy polices will cripple the U.S. energy sector.
The $9 billion project, which would move up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the province of Alberta to Nebraska, has been delayed by legal issues.
In a lengthy statement posted to Twitter, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he was “deeply concerned” by the report, arguing that the move would “kill jobs on both sides of the border, weaken the critically important Canada-U.S. relationship, and undermine U.S. national security by making the United States more dependent on OPEC oil imports in the future.”
He also warned that Alberta would work with TC Energy Corp. to use “all legal avenues available to protect its interest in the project.”

Biden to end Keystone XL pipeline early on: source

Posted January 17, 2021
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is planning to cancel the permit for the $9 billion Keystone XL pipeline project as one of his first acts in office, and perhaps as soon as his first day, according to a source familiar with his thinking.

RELATED ARTICLE: Dangerous, Dumb, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Proposes Funding to Deprogram “White Supremacists”
EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

Paypal BLOCKS Christian Crowdfunding Site GiveSendGo

The US is imploding…..

Paypal says it blocked Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo

Digital payments processor confirms account closed for event organizer Ali Alexander, report says
Paypal says it blocked Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo
Digital payments processor confirms account closed for event organizer Ali Alexander, report says
By Kanishka Singh, Reuters, January 17, 2021:
PayPal Holdings Inc said on Monday it has blocked the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo after it helped raise funds for people who attended last week’s event in Washington when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.
The digital payments processor also confirmed to Reuters that it closed an account held by Ali Alexander, one of the organizers of the gathering. The news was reported earlier by Bloomberg, which cited an unnamed source.
Supporters of Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, trying halt the certification by Congress of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
PayPal Holdings Inc said on Monday it has blocked the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo after it helped raise funds for people who attended last week’s event in Washington when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.
Trump, who has without evidence challenged the validity of Biden’s election win, initially praised his supporters but later condemned the violence.
Bloomberg reported last week that PayPal had closed an account held by Joy In Liberty, one of the groups that paid for supporters of Trump to travel to Washington where mobs stormed the Capitol.
Representatives of GiveSendGo, which describes itself as “A place to fund hope. A place to work together with the body of Christ around the world to make a difference,” could not be reached immediately for comment.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.