Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

 

“This government—our government—is worse than the apartheid government.”—Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize.

South African voters are headed to the polls this week for the fourth national election since 1994, when Nelson Mandela was elected president after the end of the apartheid regime.

Their country represents epic history in our lifetimes. After a decades-long struggle against brutal, state-run racial segregation, the black liberation movement emerged victorious in the early 1990s. Led by the transcendent figure of Mandela, South Africa swiftly dismantled the apartheid apparatus and, defying dour predictions of a bloody race war, peacefully transitioned to majority rule. Mandela’s government ushered in pluralistic democracy on a continent long-defined by colonialism and autocracy. State officials established remarkably robust constitutional protections for individual rights.

Black South Africans would finally be afforded the economic and social opportunities they’d been denied for so long.

Or so everyone had hoped.

Two decades later, Mandela’s promise of renewal has largely gone unfulfilled as Mandela’s party, the African National Congress (ANC) has maintained its huge electoral majority. The beautiful dream animating the South African experiment is crumbling amidst ongoing corruption, violence, and failed economic policies. As Nobel Peace Prize recipient Desmond Tutu has said of the current regime, “This government—our government—is worse than the apartheid government.”

“Life After Liberation,” directed and hosted by Rob Montz, details the role played by political monopoly in South Africa’s post-apartheid decline. The documentary shows how the ANC has grown corrupt and complacent—and how widespread resentment of the ruling political class is now fueling the rise of a populist demagogue, Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters, who is pushing precisely the sort of Mugabeist socialist policies that have ruined so many other African countries.

via Life After Liberation: Triumph and Tragedy in South Africa – YouTube.

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The Philosophy of Liberty

The Philosophy of Liberty The PoL is a flash animation based of what is now the epilogue of Ken Schoolland’s book, “The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible.” It began in 1992 as a Russian translation of the book was being published. The publisher Dmitry Kostygin informed Ken that few people in Russia even knew what ‘property’ or ‘taxes’ were, and Ken responded by writing an introduction that described the philosophy of his book. It became so popular that it now appears as the epilogue in every language edition 40+ and counting, and it inspired Kerry Pearson aka Lux Lucre to turn it into a flash animation. Kerry passed away in 2004, however the animation has continued on, being translated into numerous new languages and converted to video to make it as easy to share with as many people as possible.

If you like The PoL, please share it with others. Make a DVD and play it for friends and family, submit it to video streaming sites, or share it any other way you can think of!

via The Philosophy of Liberty – YouTube.

If you don’t may I suggest you make her acquaintance? This poised young lady, who speaks well in front of a crowd, in a high stress appearance, is a Texan. She is Amanda Thatcher, Lady Maggie’s granddaughter and it appears to me that backbone can be inherited. I don’t know her politics yet, but if I were you I’d be finding out.

Amanda Thatcher reading at Margaret Thatchers funeral ceremony – YouTube.

Prompted by:
The Laffer Curve Wreaks Havoc in the United Kingdom
in which was written:

I’m more mystified by the behavior of economists. Let’s look at a couple of examples. Justin Wolfers and Mark Thoma recently cited some survey data to claim that the Laffer Curve was universally rejected by the profession.

But as James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute explained, the survey actually showed just the opposite, with economists by a margin of nearly 5-1 agreeing that lower tax rates could boost GDP (and therefore taxable income).

Those economists did say that a reduction in tax rates, based on current levels, would not cause taxable income to jump by a large enough amount to fully offset the revenue-losing impact of the lower tax rate. But the Laffer Curve says that only happens in extreme circumstances, so there’s zero contradiction.

So why did Wolfers and Thoma create a straw man in an attempt to discredit the Laffer Curve?

OK. First Let’s review what the Laffer Curve is:

I have a couple of quibbles with that video, but nothing important and it’s short and clear.

Now probable reasons for economists disdain:

1. Lowers demand for “erudite economic opinion” involving tax policy
2. Adoption of a “Flat” or better* still a”Fair Tax” would make optimizing the balance between growth and revenue so simple that the institutionalized obfuscation of who pays what by 80,000 pages of political favours in the laughingly referred Tax Code would be tossed out, robbing the politcrats of much of their power to reward or punish selected groups for political advantage (also #1 again).
3. No one can state they “know” where the optimum rate is except by simplification of the code and experimentation with the rate to observe where market forces place it. That takes us back to #1. Theory is much more fun (and lucrative) than experimenting with “messy” market forces and simply observing results to influence rate changes.

* The “Fair tax”, because it is collected at point of sale is more responsive, thus we wouldn’t have to wait very long for the market forces to show us where we were on the curve and whether we could safely raise tax percentages or should lower them. It would also build in a guage of whether we are encouraging or stifling growth by our tax rate. A Twofor!

UP OR DOWN? – YouTube.


MSNBC’s Chris Hayes says he’s “uncomfortable” with calling fallen soldiers “heroes.” Elon Musk just flew a module to the Space Station. Bill uses these two Memorial Day weekend examples to show that decline, like progress, is a CHOICE. Which will it be? Up or Down?

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Sloganeering was discussed as the way to motivate and control the unthinking, unreasoning mob in Gustav le Bon’s “The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind” in 1897 and refined by Edward Bernays’ “Propaganda” in 1928. Josef Goebbels considered these books indispensable to his work for the National Socialists in Germany. Should it be any surprise that American socialists use a tried and dependable method to manipulate their mob?

She was born under Hitler, raised under the USSR’s sovereignty in East Germany, and came to America as a young adult. LISTEN to her.
Vodpod videos no longer available.