Liberalism explained

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957
Remove economic freedom, this goes too

Let us now take note of liberals of old vs. those of now, in the words of economist and social philosopher Ludwig von Mises:

“Those who call themselves ‘liberals’ today are asking for policies which are precisely the opposite of those policies which the liberals of the nineteenth century advocated in their liberal programs.

The so-called liberals of today have the very popular idea that freedom of speech, of thought, of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from imprisonment without trial — that all these freedoms can be preserved in the absence of what is called economic freedom.

They do not realize that, in a system where there is no market, where the government directs everything, all those other freedoms are illusory, even if they are made into laws and written up in constitutions.”

Yes. They speak of economic freedom as if it’s on another, parallel track, which it is not.

The Joker

Joker (comics)

Richard Bove on Kudlow: Who’s funding WikiLeaks? He raises this question, wonders if W-Leaks is basically market manipulation, a new form of inside trading. This in light specifically of new threat to expose a U.S. bank, with signs pointing to Bank of America. It would be an attack on the U.S. financial system.

Which name comes to mind as bankroller of W-Leaks? The man who hijacked the British money system a few years back, the Batman villain-Joker-like George Soros.

It’s the name I thought of. Silly?

You want to help? Get smart.

A Rothbard book

Now and then a great notion this way comes:

“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”

Murray Rothbard said it here.

Readings for bishops

Social Justice Foundation Logo
Yo, there's a foundation for it.

Not so sure about these bishops and how they toss about “justice,” here substituting it (making it a stand-in) for charity. (Actually, citing the pope on this philosophical issue.)

They should read Hayek on the point, specifically on “social justice,” which he called a “mirage.”

Have we got a plan for you!

Cover of "The Road to Serfdom: Fiftieth A...
I'd read this if I were you

From Discover the Networks:

One Nation Working Together (ONWT), a huge coalition of the American Left’s leading organizations, prepares to stage its own March on Washington on October 2. At its root, ONWT advocates a massive expansion of government, and an ever-greater infusion of taxpayer dollars into the public sector.

Which is the road to serfdom, as Hayek explained.

The Zell man speaketh — 2

More from Sam Zell on Obama and the national problem — of what he said 9/17 at U of Penn:

Zell at Penn

Obama’s America: “We have a political situation in the U.S. today that for the first time in my life represents a challenge to the entrepreneur… to the freedom that our society has created. This never has been a society of people who aren’t striving, who aren’t trying to make a difference. What has made America different is our individualism…

“I’m very concerned that the current political environment and current situation is geared toward making the entrepreneur an endangered species.”

What Obama should do: “Obama could start by announcing he’s going to do nothing for the next 24 months… If I were President Obama I would repeal health care, I would repeal the Dodd (bank reform) bill, I would go back to where we were in January ’09.”

What he wrote to Obama aide Rahm Emanuel when Obama took power:  “Dear Rahm, I met you in 1992. At the time you were working for the Clinton campaign. You sat me down and said, ‘Sam, understand, the theme of the campaign is, ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’ Well, guess what? It’s the economy, stupid, and you ought to do nothing more than focus on jobs and the economy.

“He wrote back, ‘You want to delay healthcare, you want to delay cap-and-trade?’ I said, ‘You bet…'”

The slow economy: “The economic ‘malaise’ is the result of the fact that people who have the ability (to invest), both resources-wise and emotionally, are uwilling to take the risks because there is no certainty, there is no conviction, on the part of the government, to leave us alone. Every time you turn around, the government has a new 2000-page bill” that limits business. “That’s going to destroy America.”

Where to invest: Even smart investors lose if they don’t pay attention to “what risks they’re taking. I’m buying (U.S.) distressed debt (because) I don’t have any confidence in tomorrow for what the U.S. is going to do. “

“On the other hand, I’m buying equity outside the U.S. where it’s much clearer where we’re going. Confidence is the No. 1 ingredient. This administration… by bashing the business community… by destroying Las Vegas, by destroying the meeting business in this country (by limiting bankers’ travel junkets during the bank bailouts)… those are all stupid gratuitious acts that have materially impacted the confidence level in this country…”

How to get more people working: “Unemployment will only be solved by the private sector. As soon as you see this administration get its foot off the neck of the private sector, you will see growth returning in the United States.”  [Posted by Joseph N. DiStefano at the Inquirer and Daily News’ Philly Deal$ blog]

The Zell man speaketh

Cover of "Death of a Salesman/ Private Co...
"Nothing gets bought, everything gets sold"

In the middle of a fascinating exchange with U. of Penn. students in Phila., Sam Zell offers this on Obama (HT Chicago Daily Observer, quotes pulled together by Joseph N. DiStefano):

“I’m from Chicago. Barack Obama came to my house for dinner. He’s a brilliant man. But he’s an ideologue. When you’re an ideologue you don’t see (business reality).  There’s no question he doesn’t see it.”
It’s a zinger, to be sure, a bull’s-eye.  But see what Zell means when someone’s “brilliant,” followed by that “but” condemnation, even dismissal, as ignorant, hopelessly so.
It means potential, nothing more: Obama is a guy wearing blinders, and that’s the most charitable thing you can say about him.  He’s also a know-it-all, the kid you can’t tell anything.  That too is relatively benign.  Cocky, incredibly so.  Makes me wanna holler.
That said, Zell is marvelous in this series of quotes.  For example:
Innovation: “Build a better mousetrap and the world will come to you? That’s a crock… There are many examples of (simple) products that have done much better than truly better products. It’s all about being easy to execute…

Business education: “Econ 101, Supply and Demand… Nothing else really matters.”

Liberal arts: His fellow University of Michigan graduate Arthur Miller‘s play, Death of a Salesman, did a “disservice” to American business: “He demonized the salesman as a womanizer, a drunk, as somebody staying in these dingy motel rooms and attempting to pitch his wares.. Truth of the matter is, nothing gets bought, everything gets sold, and an entrepreneur has to be a salesman… advocating ideas.”

Give me an entrepreneur any day.  He cuts through stuff, as here:
Who needs a degree: “There’s a lot of people in college today that shouldn’t be there.” At one of his firms, Anixter International, “we make complex fasteners, we can manufacture them right outside of Chicago and be competitive with China. We’re running two shifts. If we could, we would run three shifts. Except we can’t find enough people in the Chicago area who know how to read plans, who can work in a manufacturing scenario… So we’re going to set up a program at a local junior college to solve that.

“Here we are, 9% employment, or maybe 16%,” depending on how you count, “and I’m sitting here with 300 jobs we could fill tomorrow” if there were trained candidates. While recent college grads go unemployed.

Read it.

Not a chicken-and-egg proposition

Rahm Emanuel (right) and Senator Dick Durbin (...
Jan with two accomplices

Dem Congresswoman Schakowsky: The Right to Abortion Creates Obligation For Tax-Payers to Fund Them

Actually, Madam Schakowsky, it’s the other way around. We have obligations and therefore the right to what we need to meet them. Like private property. It’s a right because without it we can’t meet our responsibilities as free children of God.

Think about it.

The intermingled state

Cover of "The Old Regime and the French R...
The book in question

How we are like France before the revolution:

“The number of persons having monetary dealings with it, subscribing to its loans, living on wages paid by it, and speculating in government-sponsored enterprises [!] had enormously increased.  Never before had the interests and fortunes of private individuals been so closely bound up with those of the State.  Thus the mismanagement of the State finances, which formerly had affected only the administration, now brought ruin to many homes.”

Alexis de Tocqueville said it in his The Old Regime and the French Revolution (Trans. Stuart Gilbert) (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor Books, [1858] 1955), p. 179.

Cafe Hayek has it.