Tag Archives: Commanding Heights

How well is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s socialism working out in socialist Venezuela?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has some ideas about proper economic policy
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says Socialism loves you, and has a wonderful plan for your life

Well, it looks like young people are getting more and more exciting about the prospect of voting in socialism. We have a $22 trillion debt, we’re running $1 trillion plus deficits, and now’s the time for the government to take over the economy and give everybody free everything!!! Well, trouble is, that’s actually been tried… in Venezuela.

The Daily Wire reports:

Once considered the wealthiest country in Latin America, Venezuela has become a socialist hellhole where girls as young as 14 are selling their bodies in exchange for a few bucks a “service” and heterosexual men are prostituting themselves out on the gay sex market. These desperate souls are trying to escape the economic policies advocated here in United States by the Left’s increasingly mainstream Bernie Sanders/Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing.

A Fox News report from journalist Hollie McKay exposed the socialism-induced horror show on the trail from Venezuela to neighboring Colombia. “Thousands upon thousands of Venezuelans pour into Colombia over the crowd cross-country bridge, their faces gaunt, carrying little more than a backpack. Rail-thin women cradle their tiny babies, and beg along the trash-strewn gutters. Teens hawk everything from cigarettes to sweets and water for small change,” McKay reports.

Malnourished girls and women are selling anything they can, including their bodies, breast milk, and hair, to survive, reports McKay. Females as young as 14 are receiving a reported seven dollars on average “per service”; a woman’s hair might be sold in exchange for a measly $10-30.

And as desperate Venezuelans hand over their papers and identification to “pimp types,” sex trafficking has become the norm. Men are selling themselves, too: straight men, some being trafficked, are performing gay sex acts in exchange for money.

Well, is it really that bad to let strangers with STDs rape you in exchange for food? That sounds like a sex-positive socialist paradise to me!

But wait! There’s more socialist paradise:

Last year, The Daily Beast reported that starving Venezuelans had resorted to killing pets and zoo animals for food while dictator Nicolas Maduro and his fellow chubby elites maintained access to everything they need. “One morning in August at the metropolitan zoo in the torrid city of Maracaibo, workers were shocked to find the bones of a buffalo and some wild pigs inside their cages with clear signs of mutilation. Thieves allegedly stole the meat to eat what they could and sell the rest on the local market,” said the report.

Back in Venezuela, suicide is up, particularly with children and teens, health care is basically nonexistent since an estimated 55% of the nation’s medical professionals have fled the country, and at least 70% of the population are estimated to be suffering from acute malnutrition and starvation.

Wow, talk about animal rights. They’re so far ahead of us that they stopped keeping animals in cages! Yay, animal rights. And think of how good all these suicides are for the overpopulation problem? Venezuela has global warming on the run. After all, dead people can’t drive cars and emit greenhouse gasses. Everything is awesome when socialists rule. We should definitely elect people who want us to be like Venezuela. And Cuba. And North Korea.

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UK police threatens those who disagree with NHS starvation of sick child #AlfieEvans

UK Police enforces the decrees of the government-run NHS
UK Police threatens anyone who dares express disagreement with the NHS

By now, everyone has heard about how an NHS hospital has essentially kidnapped a sick child from his parents, and they are trying to kill the (born) child through asphyxiation, starvation and dehydration. And it’s being performed by the government against the will of the child’s parents.

The parents want the child back so that they can take the child to a country that has modern healthcare facilities and skilled, moral medical personnel. Italy has volunteered to provide these things, and has even sent an air ambulance to transport the child. But the NHS instead wants to kill the child, because they have decreed that the child is unfit to live, i.e. – “life unworthy of life“.

The judge who initially ruled against the parents of little Alfie previously ruled that a patient in a minimally conscious state be starved to death, according to Life Site News. The appeals court judge also ruled against the child because the parents were hostile to the NHS. So, the NHS can’t release the child because his parents are “hostile to the NHS” after the NHS kidnapped and starved their child. This is the kind of legal reasoning that you can expect from the judges in the UK.

Government-run healthcare in practice

In the UK, the government runs a massive health care delivery system called the NHS. The NHS takes your money through taxes and then decide how to spend it according to their own priorities. The less they spend on healthcare, the more they can pay themselves in salary, benefits and pensions. Naturally, it’s very tempting for the NHS to kill their patients in order to cut costs and reduce their workload.

The NHS administration actually pays NHS hospitals “bounties” if the hospitals kill more patients by withdrawing treatment.

The UK Telegraph explains:

Hospitals are being paid millions of pounds to reach targets for the number of patients put on a controversial pathway for the withdrawal of life-saving treatment, according to data based on Freedom of Information requests.

The NHS regularly starves patients to death. Health care is a lot of work, and this is government. Would you go to the Post Office for health care? That’s what people are doing when they go to the NHS.

The priorities of the UK police

The UK police tweeted that they are busy monitoring Twitter for speech critical of the NHS. You might think that they have better things to do, like cracking down on sex-trafficking of underage British girls which happens in many, many UK cities. But it’s not politically correct to enforce laws against underage sex-trafficking, because it makes the UK’s far-left immigration policies look bad.

The UK Telegraph explains what happened in the most recent underage sex-trafficking case:

The newspaper’s probe alleges that social workers were aware of the abuse in the 1990s, but that it took police a decade to  launch Operation Chalice, an inquiry into child prostitution in the Telford area in which seven men were jailed.

It is also claimed that abused and trafficked children were considered “prostitutes” by council staff, that authorities did not keep details of abusers from Asian communities for fear of being accused of “racism” and that police failed to investigate one recent case five times until an MP intervened.

In several other underage sex-trafficking cases, the police also failed to act because it was not politically correct.

The UK police also thought that it was a good idea to arrest a 78-year-old pensioner for defending himself against a burglar who invaded his own home. That’s law enforcement, UK-style.

What does the NHS do instead of healthcare?

Here is an example of what the UK spends health care money on instead of spending it on sick children:

Josie Cunningham checked into a clinic last week to get rid of her unborn child, enabling her to create the face she believes she needs to be a porn and glamour model.

A series of doctors had told her the cosmetic surgery was too risky.

Josie, who terminated the unplanned pregnancy at 12 weeks, told the Sunday People: “I’m having this nose job no matter what gets in my way.

“Pregnancy was a major obstacle and an abortion was the answer to it – so that’s what I did.

[…]She had a £4,800 boob job and botox on the NHS, smoked and boozed while pregnant and ­admitted she had planned to abort her youngest child ­because she had a chance of going on Big Brother.

When government takes over control of healthcare, their ambition is simple. How can we use the money we are collecting for health care to buy votes from the voters so that we can get elected? A sick little child is useless to them, but an escort who wants to be a porn star has great value. She can vote for higher taxes, more government and better salary, benefits and pensions for the NHS employees. So, what she needs is therefore called “health care”. But what the parents of a sick child wants is not health care.

That’s what it means to go to a single payer system. You pay all your money to the government in taxes, and then they decide how to spend it to achieve their goals of buying votes and winning re-election. If you need an abortion, a sex change, breast enlargements, botox, or IVF for single women who can’t be bothered to marry, then the NHS has “health care” to trade for your vote. But if you have a sick child, then you are out of luck.

Fortunately for the NHS, their screw-ups can apparently be covered up by the judges and by the police. No American could accept such restrictions on liberty, security and prosperity. We are not slaves.

The Alfie Evans story might make you recall last year, when the NHS killed a sick child named Charlie Gard. This is not a rare occurence. I have covered literally dozens of NHS horror stories over the past 9 years. You can take a look at some of them here. The conditions in NHS hospitals are absolutely appalling, and the people who work there are lazy and incompetent. The politicians, administrators, judges and police all work together to cover up the failures, so that they can keep giving themselves exorbitant salaries, benefits and pensions at taxpayer expense.

How did Obama’s plan to let government run student loans work out?

Obama nationalized student loan administration in 2010
Obama nationalized student loan administration in 2010

I’m a free-market capitalist, so I believe that economic decision-making is best done by the people it concerns, not the people in government. If it is a decision that affects the family, let the family decide. If it’s a decision that affects the business, let the business owner decide. Obama has a different view – he thinks that government should make all of the decisions, even though government earns none of the money.

Here is an article in Investor’s Business Daily about his policy of letting the government take over student loan decision-making.

Excerpt:

A report from the Department of Education notes that the net cost of the federal government’s direct loan program is quickly heading into the red. This program, mind you, was supposed to be a moneymaker for the government, as students paid back federal loans with interest.

But as it turns out, borrowers have been flocking toward various loan forgiveness programs, by which the government will lose money, erasing gains from other loans. The report shows that the direct loan program went from a $25 billion surplus in 2012 to less than $5 billion by 2015.

A separate report says that this program ran a $36 billion deficit last year, up from $8.4 billion in 2016.

This is not how this federal loan program was supposed to work when President Obama launched it eight years ago.

In 2010, President Obama effectively nationalized student lending by cutting banks — which had been offering government-backed loans to students — out of the equation and having the government make the loans itself.

“By cutting out the middleman, we’ll save the American taxpayers $68 billion in the coming years,” Obama said when he signed this change into law. “That’s real money.”

As a result, federal student loan debt shot up from $154.9 billion in 2009 to $1.1 trillion by the end of 2017.

As everyone knows, under Obama’s big government leadership, the national debt skyrocketed from $10 trillion to $20 trillion in only 8 years. Obama ran up as much debt in his 8 years as ALL the other presidents, combined. Why? It’s simple. Because government isn’t as careful with other people’s money as people are careful with their own money. People make better decisions than government because they care about the money more – they earned it. The right people to solve an economic problem are the people in the families, and the people at the local bank branches nearby. When government takes over economic decision-making, they use other people’s money to buy the votes of people who make poor decisions.

We shouldn’t be allowing students to take 4-year vacations at taxpayer expense, so that they can learn English or Women’s Studies and then stick taxpayers with the bill. Some of those taxpayers had to study hard things like engineering and pay their own way. Some of those taxpayers had to get jobs in the trades as electricians and plumbers to pay for the bad decisions of these spoiled brats. Student loan administration should not be something for big government to control. When government decides who gets loans, students feel no pressure to study subjects and get credentials that will allow them to pay back what they borrowed. I want the banks to make the lending decisions and loan out their own money, so that they can deny people who are studying nonsense that won’t get a return.

That’s why we should never have elected a big-government liberal to be president. They make a lot of promises about how great they are with money, but it never works out. Big government is never the answer to problems that are outside of what the Constitution describes as the boundaries of government.

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Treasury Department threatens private companies for responding to Obamacare incentives

Investors Business Daily reports on how the Treasury Department is threatening private companies who lay off employees because of the costs imposed on them by Obamacare.

Excerpt:

In what may be considered an ObamaCare loyalty oath, the Treasury Department orders employers to attest that any employee layoffs are not due to its imposed costs under penalty of perjury.

The first rule of business is to stay in business, something which is accomplished by doing what government is incapable of doing — controlling costs and making a profit by giving customers a product or service they need or want.

ObamaCare is obviously a product neither business nor the individual wants, so coercion is necessary under penalty of law.

Enforced by the Internal Revenue Service, individuals must enroll in government-approved plans or be fined.

Individuals are not allowed, despite presidential promises, to keep the plans and doctors they like and can afford.

Instead, they must accept plans they don’t like and can’t afford, some getting subsidies extracted from other taxpayers or China. They must grin and bear their reduced health care choices and higher costs.

Even though ObamaCare’s employer mandate has once again been illegally and unconstitutionally extended by the president who would be king, business still faces ObamaCare’s punitive cost increases down the road and its own form of government coercion.

Layoffs are an unfortunate but sometimes necessary means for a business to control costs and stay in business.

On Monday, a Treasury Department unconcerned with the necessities of the free market said that businesses will need to “certify” that they are not shedding full-time workers simply to avoid the mandate and its costs.

Officials said employers will be told to sign a “self-attestation” on their tax forms affirming this, under penalty of perjury.

What happens when a government passes regulations that make it harder for employers to lay off workers if they are forced to? Well, companies stop hiring workers, and expand their operations elsewhere. That’s exactly what has happened in countries like France, where the government makes it nearly impossible to get rid of workers, even when circumstances warrant it. So the net effect of policies that reduce the freedom to hire/fire as needed is to raise unemployment.

Here’s the economist Aparna Mathur of the American Enterprise Institute to explain.

Excerpt:

Labor market regulations often take the form of employment protection rules that govern the hiring and firing of workers. These were originally introduced to enhance workers’ welfare; for instance, by reducing unfair dismissals. The same provisions that protect employees, however, translate into cost for employers, leading an employer to think twice (at least) before hiring a new employee.

Theoretical economic models have shown that, in general, the effect of such laws is to reduce job flows (broadly, the sum of jobs created and jobs destroyed). In my paper, I show that these reduced job flows could have negative effects on investments in education because they reduce the expected returns on a job search; and they lower the value of education as a signaling device.

Under rigid labor market regulations, employers have a stronger disincentive to create new jobs, so there are fewer available jobs on the market. As a result, one’s likelihood of earning a productive wage is reduced. Moreover, firings under a system of strong labor market regulations are less frequent than they would be otherwise, so even workers with jobs expect to face fewer opportunities to search for re-employment. As a result, they will have less use of education as a signaling device to secure their next job.

With flexible labor markets and higher job mobility, these conditions are reversed. Job flows are higher, leading to more vacancies per unemployed worker. This yields a higher expected return on a job search for educated workers since the likelihood of finding a job is higher. Further, workers are either fired or they quit more frequently (i.e., job destruction is higher), leading to a greater use (or need) of education as a signaling device.

Put simply, imagine a developing country with rigid labor markets leading to few vacancies. For a low-income worker, the cost of getting educated may outweigh the prospective benefits since the likelihood of finding a job in this scenario is fairly low. On the other hand, for the same worker, if the likelihood of finding a job goes up when labor market restrictions are removed, the incentive to invest in education may be higher since the returns to investing in this costly activity are higher. Countries such as France, Germany, and Italy, which consistently have strict labor regulations, would do well to heed these results (see figure). It is also true in general that developing countries have stricter labor regulations than the OECD economies.

All these regulations sound so good, but we have to think beyond stage one in order to see the real results of the happy-sounding speeches. These things are understood by economists, but we didn’t elect an economist.

CNN: Obama administration bullying insurance companies to not criticize Obamacare

From the (normally) radically leftist CNN, of all places.

Excerpt:

White House officials have pressured insurance industry executives to keep quiet amid mounting criticism over Obamacare’s rollout, insurance industry sources told CNN.

After insurance officials publicly criticized the implementation, White House staffers contacted insurers to express their displeasure, industry insiders said.

Multiple sources declined to speak publicly about the push back because they fear retribution.

But Bob Laszewski, who heads a consulting firm for big insurance companies, did talk on the record.

“The White House is exerting massive pressure on the industry, including the trade associations, to keep quiet,” he said.

Laszewski, who’s been a vocal critic of Obamacare, said he’s been asked by insurance executives to speak out because they feel defenseless against an administration that is regulating their business — and a big customer.

[…]Insurers, he said, warned the White House that the regulations would lead to discontinued policies.

“One of the things I think is clear here is the Obama administration has no trust in anything the health insurance industry is telling them about how to run a health plan,” Laszewski said.

Newsbusters has the video and transcript from CNN.