Category Archives: Capitalism

Hopenhagen Socialism: "Change the f***ing system"

One would think that the agenda for most of the activists at COP 15 (the UN Climate Change Conference) was to “save the planet” from “global warming”.  However, that’s not why tens of thousands gathered to protest on December 12, 2009.  For the leftist activists, COP 15 and the protest was about changing the system (aka ending capitalism). Climate change is merely an excuse to collapse capitalism and switch to socialists economic systems.

You don’t have to take my word on this…  I’ll let you hear it straight from the lion’s mouth.  This video was taken during the protest in Copenhagen.  WARNING: this video does contain some graphic language.


The chant “Take action, take action, and change the f***ing system” could be heard from several groups during the protest.

Many of the mass distributed posters had sayings such as “CHANGE THE POLITICS NOT THE CLIMATE” and “PLANET NOT PROFIT” showing the true purpose of the global warming movement.


If that wasn’t enough, the “Never Trust a Cop” crowd posted the following video.  “Never Trust a Cop” was made up of mostly members the Black Bloc – an extremely radical (and violent) group (these are the people that got arrested during the protest).  They believe that COP 15 actually promotes capitalism! More on this group in future posts.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Capitalism, Climate Change, The U.S. Economy

Chet Edwards Town Hall–August 26

From our perspective, the town hall was an enormous success. Even though printed signs and recording devices were banned, we made signs in line at the event and ensured that the voices of those who do not want the government to take over our healthcare system were heard. The questioning was carried out fairly and honestly; by our count, of the twenty questions asked, 13 were explicitly against the H.R. 3200 bill, 5 were for it, and two were undecided or asked questions that were not directly related to the bill.

Obama supporters hold up supposedly banned printed signs

Obama supporters hold up supposedly banned printed signs

Congressman Edwards himself showed up right on time but was not greeted by a standing ovation as has been reported elsewhere. It is true that many supporters stood to greet him, but they were the minority of those attending. In the minutes leading up to the event, our group and other concerned citizens held up signs and a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. These signs ranged from criticisms of “Chedwards” to criticisms of the reform package in general (“Obamacare is assisted SEIU-icide”). Edwards answered most of the questions as we expected: he dodged many, twisted some statements into things they were not, and used the entire thing as a campaign event. He must have mentioned the VA clinic in Bryan that he has “saved” after every election about ten times. When asked whether he saw himself as a delegate or a trustee, he answered that he was a “representative.” He kept his cool until near the end, when he was visibly angered at the accusation that he was “allowed” by Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders to vote against Cap & Trade. While we would like to take him at his word, it is very suspicious that he was the second to last person to vote on the bill. Had the bill’s passage rested on his vote, would he have voted differently?

Chet Edwards insists that he has not yet decided how he will vote on this bill. He also made it clear that he had not yet read it during the town hall. Now is the time to make calls and pressure him to vote now. You can call his Brazos Valley office at (979) 691-8797. Make it clear that if he votes for this monstrosity, you will not vote for him in November of 2010.

Obamacare is Assisted SEIU-icide

Obamacare is Assisted SEIU-icide

Leave a comment

Filed under Abortion, Capitalism, Government Control, Liberal A&M Professors, Obama, The Conservative Movement

Three Myths About Health Reform

One thing all Americans can agree on is that it is important for health care to be affordable and accessible to the maximum number of people. Since the Obama Administration and Congress began work on health insurance reform, there has been a vigorous debate about the best way to cover the maximum number of people. Many facts and ideas have been advanced by both sides that have little basis in reality; here I attempt to find the truth about three issues in this important national conversation.


47 million uninsured Americans?

According to the Census Bureau’s 2008 figures, the number of Americans who do not have health insurance is now 47 million(1), an amount that has been steadily rising over the past few decades. Many proponents of reform point to this number as evidence of a serious health problem in this country, but it does not tell the whole story. Over the past ten years, 90% of the growth in the number of uninsured has been among non-citizens, mostly illegal immigrants(2). Furthermore, it has been estimated that 25% of America’s uninsured are already eligible for existing public coverage (ACORN should really work on signing these people up) and 20% are able to afford health insurance but choose not to buy(3).

We cannot assume uninsured noncitizens, who account for 9.7 million of the uninsured(4), do not fall into either of the two above groups. This means that there are really anywhere between 16.2 and 25.9 million uninsured US citizens who do not have access to coverage.

Health insurance is a necessity?

One often repeated fallacy in this debate is that in order to be healthy, one must have health insurance. This is not the case. If a person has enough money to pay for any health issue that arises, he should not have insurance at all. On an infinite timeline, a person will pay more to an insurance company than will be spent on his own health, since the company wants to make a profit. Even the government, which does not work for a profit, will have to spend extra money on administrative costs. We buy insurance because, in the real world, most people do not have that kind of money and only have 78.1 years to live(5). An insurance company spreads the risk of a catastrophic accident among a large group of people so that, instead of a few paying exorbitant sums for chance occurrences, everybody pays a guaranteed smaller sum. Unfortunately, modern health insurance has moved away from that concept and toward total coverage of all health expenses, even routine doctor visits. By definition, an expense that is “routine” should not be covered by an insurance company! This would be like having car insurance that paid for the gas bills.


One real solution to rising health costs would be to encourage plans that only cover catastrophic expenses. A young, healthy student who does not smoke might only be charged $29 per month for such a plan(6). Of course, the plan would have a very high deductible, but it would encourage people to shop for the best deals in primary care and routine visits without having to worry about going bankrupt after being diagnosed with cancer. Indeed, many doctors’ offices give lower rates to people who do not use insurance because they do not have to spend time filing with the insurance companyvand because patients can negotiate for lower rates(7).


Incidentally, the House health reform bill would make all individual, private insurance plans, including high-deductible, catastrophic care plans, illegal(8).


Tort reform will decrease costs?

In conservative circles, the establishment of caps on the award judgments from medical malpractice lawsuits, also known as tort reform, has been advanced as a solution to high health costs. In some ways, this is a good idea. Civil courts exist for the sole purpose of the redress of grievances; to include punitive damages in malpractice judgments unfairly skews the court system in the favor of plantiffs. If a doctor does damage to a person that costs a million dollars to repair, the doctor (or his insurance company) should pay a million dollars to the plantiff, plus court costs. It would be unfair to award the plantiff three million in punitive damages, but it would also be unfair for a law to limit the judgment to $500,000.


While common sense would dictate that low award caps would decrease the cost of medical visits since doctors have to charge more to cover malpractice insurance, experience shows that this is not the case. The cost of medical malpractice suits only comes to half a percent of overall health spending(9). According to the Congressional Budget Office, only 1.5% of cases of negligence even lead to a claim, and there is “no statistically significant difference in per capita health care spending between states with and without limits on malpractice torts”(10). The real problem with torts is the high legal expense. The most effective reform would be a “loser pays” rule: it would discourage people from filing frivolous lawsuits, but decrease awards by allowing lawsuit winners to keep the entirety of their awards.

Sources:

  1. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/567737

  2. http://www.ebri.org/pdf/notespdf/EBRI_Notes_08-20081.pdf

  3. http://www.healthaffairs.org/RWJ/Dubay2.pdf

  4. http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2009/07/20/daily34.html

  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

  6. http://www.studentdoc.com/affordable-health-insurance.html

  7. http://www.insure.com/articles/healthinsurance/haggling.html

  8. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2009/07/16/ibd-individual-private-health-insurance-illegal-under-house-bill

  9. http://www.slate.com/id/2145400/

  10. http://www.justaskourdoctors.com/statistics-detail.asp?id=11

1 Comment

Filed under Capitalism, Government Control, Obama, The U.S. Economy

Where Efficiency Meets Elegance

Competition is beautiful.  With initial thought, you might think differently, but competition is really where efficiency meets elegance.  Picture a soccer game of twelve-year-olds in a regional championship game.  Whoever wins will not receive any media recognition.  They will not move onto a state championship because there is none.  They will not even receive any money.  All they will receive is a measly 5-inch trophy.  Despite the lack of awards, the kids play their hearts out and finally a winner is decided.  Now, backtrack over the previous few months preceding this game.  Each team put in hours on hours of sweat, grass stains, and sprints to get to where they were at the regional championship.  Even though there was only one final winner, both teams benefited.  Both rose to a level of skill that surpassed others, just as the other teams in the league did the same to surpass other teams.  Moreover, the spectators, who have not had to labor like the soccer players have, benefit as well by watching one amazing soccer game.  Now, anyone who does not agree with such a prospect should perhaps consider acquiring some common sense.  Needless to say, many people who would agree with the above text will without hesitation totally disagree with the following.

And that is that competition in the marketplace is also where efficiency meets elegance.  Still agree?  Good.  But consider this.  Because of the very nature of competition, most, if not all, of common and accepted tax and regulation within the United States economy imposed on by the national government should be abolished.  Ah yes, now you disagree.  Let me explain.  Nothing works better for ALL parties in an economy than true free market competition.  Competition allows both the consumer and producer to benefit.  Take televisions, for example.  LCD TV prices have dropped dramatically since their introduction to the marketplace.  In fact, according to WitsView’s 1Q09 LCD TV retail price survey, mainstream LCD TV prices have dropped 7.5% over the last quarter.  The dramatic drop is not due to some government agency imposing a mandate that TV manufacturers reduce their prices or else.  Quite the contrary, competition is all to blame.  There are at least a dozen mainstream TV manufacturers out there all trying to get you, the consumer, to buy their TV.  What do they have to do to convince you?  They improve their picture quality, increase the number of features, increase the size, decrease the size, improve the form factor, and of course, reduce prices.  They all do this because they must.  They simply cannot survive if they don’t, and time and time again, we see companies that don’t compete well against other companies, whether the reasons lay behind inferior products or inferior prices, and with due time, we never see the companies again (Circuit City ring any bells?).  This is the essence and the beauty of competition.  We all benefit.  The company with the best TV will get the most business, and in turn, the most profit, while we will get the best TV with the best price, and as soon as the other companies come out with better TVs, they will also see the benefits.

Now I turn to oil companies.  Those nasty, greedy, selfish oil companies.  When we were constantly hearing about the record taxes they were paying, oh wait, I mean the record profits they were earning, I could have thrown up.  All I heard was how the oil companies needed to be taxed more and needed tougher regulation.  First of all, what is wrong with a business making money?  Oh, right, right, because it’s money we can’t have.  But besides that, and bear with me here, what if we actually reduced the taxes that the oil companies have to pay and reduced the regulations that they must abide to.  And I don’t mean just a little, I mean big time.  Just imagine if the oil companies’ taxes were slashed by 75% and regulations were cut drastically.  Uhh… they’d earn even more profit, and we’d lose even more money….  WRONG!  Oil companies, just with all companies, are looking for business.  Right now, they can only invest so much to improving their product and the efficiency at which they produce their product because they must pay an outrageous corporate tax.  With more money to invest, imagine what, for example, gasoline prices would look like?  Do you really think that the companies would continue to keep their prices high, even though they would have lower tax rates?  Just think if that were the case.  One oil company would realize that more people will buy their gasoline if they simply lowered their prices under the competing companies’ prices.  All of a sudden, the other companies that chose to keep their prices high would realize that they should lower theirs as well if they want people to keep buying their gasoline.  Suddenly, what you would have is a domino effect where all the oil companies would continue to strive to make their prices as low as possible (through increased efficiency in the refining process, shipping, etc.) in order to convince you to buy their gasoline.  Again, every single person involved benefits.

This same concept can be applied to anything and everything that exists in the economy, from pencils to credit cards to health insurance.  As long as there is competition, companies will continue to improve their products or services and make profit while the consumer will continue to sit back and enjoy the benefits.  The problem continues on with a tremendous and ridiculous corporate tax rate that discourages competition, as well as erroneous regulations set by bureaucrats over companies that only want to provide the best product for their consumers.   All you have to do is look at countless examples where competition has benefited everybody, like the computer market, internet market, cosmetic market, food market, retail market, sports merchandise market, automobile market, insurance market, furniture market… I could go on and on.  Every single one of those examples contain the most powerful and self-regulating forcethat powers our economy and benefits everyone involved–competition.

Competitively,
Samuel Congiundi ’12

Leave a comment

Filed under Capitalism, The U.S. Economy

Capitalism: A Victim of Its Own Success

You know, maybe Marxists are right about one thing: capitalism is self-destructive, though not in the way they conceive of it.

Capitalism is so good at solving (or mitigating perhaps) so many problems that later generations of people come to feel entitled to easy and infinite abundance of everything without a full recognition of what it really takes to have prosperity. Moreover, a people cut off from their own history and heritage cannot possibly have a sense of perspective and gratitude for what the market system has accomplished in the West.

Capitalism is so effective sometimes that in virtually eradicating some problems it creates or brings to light lesser problems that were not there before or were not taken as seriously. And then the political left uses these lesser problems to indict capitalism and expand the power of government, all the while failing to mention the great scourges that capitalism has eliminated or mitigated. These lesser problems must be transformed into “crises” through political smoke and mirrors to make the people forget about the benefits of the market.

For example, capitalism has largely solved the problem of hunger and starvation in the Western world. Food is relatively cheap and abundant and hardly anyone starves to death (unless you’re on a feeding tube and your husband wants to be rid of you). Of course, the negative side-effect is that of obesity and other health concerns. So now we have government at all levels clamoring to tell us what we can and cannot eat (e.g. trans fats).

Health care provides another example. People today complain about the high cost of health care, but that is because the market given us more ways to spend more money on our own health. Would you rather have miraculous drugs and procedures at a high cost or none of them at all? Medicine is a time, energy, and capital intensive industry. If medical professionals are not allowed their just monetary rewards for the sacrifice of their time and energy to gain and apply their expertise, we will soon cease to have any such professionals. Moreover, as the market is allowed to work, prices almost always tend to come down because of competition and innovation. Many health conveniences that we take for granted today were once too expensive for anyone (e.g. heart transplant). We must allow innovation its expensive reward at first if we are ever to see it come down in price.

Again, many people complain about how many manufacturing jobs are being shipped overseas, but with this trend has also come the expansion of the service economy. More and more Americans are moving into service sector jobs that are more pleasant, safer, and less physically laborious. Yes, we need an education system to meet our service/information economy, but the loss of lesser skilled job opportunities does not reflect badly on the U.S. economy.

The examples are endless…. Behind every pseudo-crisis of the left, there is a market success story that is being ignored, denied, or distorted. Let’s have some farsighted and thorough historical perspective and sense of proportion before passing moral judgment on capitalism.

Leave a comment

Filed under Capitalism, The U.S. Economy