The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. – unknown
What if we could have an experiment to compare the two systems? Wait – we already did.
Experimentation is a major tool in the scientist’s arsenal. We can put the same strain of bacteria into two
Petri dishes, for example, and compare the relative effects of two different antibiotics.
What if we could do the same with economic systems? We could take a country and destroy its political
and economic fabric through, say, a natural disaster or widespread pestilence – or a war. War is the
ultimate political and economic cleansing agent. Its full devastation can send a country back almost to the
beginning of civilization.
We could then take this war-torn country and divide it into two parts. It would have similar people,
similar climate, similar potential trading partners, similar geography – but one part is rebuilt using
capitalism as its base, while the other rebuilds using socialism and its principles. We’d let the virtues of
each system play out and see where these two new countries would be after, say, fifty years.
Don’t you wonder what the outcome might be? Well, as it turns out, we have already performed The Experiment.
It’s post-war Germany.
Following the devastation of World War II, Germany was split into two parts. The German Federal
Republic, or West Germany, was rebuilt in the image of the western allies and a capitalist legal-political-
economic system. By contrast, the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany, was reconstructed
using the socialist/communist principles championed by the Soviet Union.
The Experiment pitted the market economy of the West against the command economy of the East.
On the western side, considering what’s being taught in our schools, one might expect that “greedy
capitalism” would create a state where a few people became the rich elite, while the vast majority were
left as deprived masses. Socialism, by contrast, promised East Germany the best that life had to offer,
through rights guaranteed by the state, including “human rights” to employment and living wages, time
for rest and leisure, health care and elder care, and guaranteed housing, education and cultural programs.
So the Petri dishes were set, and The Experiment began.
In 1990, after just 45 years, The Experiment abruptly and surprisingly ended – with reunification back into a single country. How did it work out?
In West Germany, capitalism rebuilt the devastated country into a political and economic power in
Europe, rivaled only by its former enemy, Great Britain. Instead of creating a rich 1% and a poor 99%,
West Germans thrived: average West Germans were considerably wealthier than their Eastern
counterparts. The country developed economically, and its people enjoyed lives with all the pleasures that
wealth, modern technologies and quality free time could provide.
By contrast, East Germany’s socialist policies created a state that fell woefully behind. Its people were
much poorer; property ownership was virtually non-existent amid a collectivist regime; food and material
goods were scarce and expensive, available mostly to Communist Party elites; spies were everywhere,
and people were summarily arrested and jailed; the state pretended to pay its workers, and they pretended
to work. A wall of concrete, barbed wire and guard towers was built to separate the two halves of Berlin –
and keep disgruntled Eastern citizens from defecting to the West. Many who tried to leave were shot.
By the time of reunification, productivity in East Germany was barely 70% of that in West Germany. The
West boasted large, vibrant industries and other highly productive sectors, while dirty antiquated factories
and outmoded farming methods dominated the East. Even staples like butter, eggs and chicken – abundant
and affordable in West Germany – were twice as expensive in the eastern “workers’ paradise.”
Coffee was seven times more expensive, while gasoline and laundry detergent were more than 2½ times
more expensive. Luxury items, like automobiles and men’s suits were twice as expensive, color
televisions five times more costly. About the only staple that was cheaper in East Germany were potatoes,
which could be distilled into vodka, so that lower caste East Germans could commiserate better with their
abundant Russian comrades.
Environmental quality was also far better in the Western sector. Moreover, state-guaranteed health care in the East did not translate into a healthier society. In 1990, life expectancy in the West was about 3½ years longer than in the East for men, and more than 2½ years longer for women. Studies found that unfavorable working conditions, psychological reactions to political suppression, differences in cardiovascular risk factors and lifestyles, and lower standards of medical technology in East Germany were largely responsible for their lower health standards.
The socialist mentality of full employment for everyone led to more women working in the East than in
the West. This pressure resulted in better childcare facilities in East Germany, as mothers there returned to
work sooner after giving birth and were more inclined to work full-time – or more compelled to work, to
put food on the table, which meant they had to work full-time and run the household. This also meant
East German children had far less contact with their parents and families, even as West Germans became
convinced that children fared better under their mothers’ loving care than growing up in nurseries.
As the education system in East Germany was deeply rooted in socialism, the state ran an extensive
network of schools that indoctrinated children into the socialist system from just after their birth to the
university level. While it’s true that today East Germans perform better at STEM (science, technology,
engineering, math) studies than their Western counterparts, that may be explained in part by the influx of
numerous poorly educated immigrants to former West German areas, and the extensive money invested in
the eastern region since reunification.
However, schools of the East were not intended to establish creative thinking, which results in creativity
and innovation. Rather, they were authoritarian and rigid, encouraging collective group-think and
consensus ideas, rather than fostering outside-the-box thinking, novel philosophies and enhanced
productivity. Thus, East German technology was slow to develop and students were often overqualified
for available jobs.
Did the East gain any advantage? Nudism was more prevalent in the East, if that was your thing.
Personal interaction was higher too, because telephones and other technologies were lacking. But even
though East Germany was much better off than other Soviet satellite countries (a tribute to innate German
resourcefulness), East German socialism offered few advantages over its capitalist western counterpart.
In fact, in the years since reunification, homogenization of Germany has been slow, due largely to the
legacy of years lived under socialist domination, where any work ethic was unrewarded, even repressed.
Freedom was the single most important ingredient that caused West Germany to succeed. Freedom is the
elixir that fuels innovation, supports a diversity of thought, and allows people to become who they want
to be, not what the state demands they must be. When the government guarantees equality of outcomes, it
also stifles the creativity, diversity, ingenuity and reward systems that allow people and countries to grow,
develop and prosper.
The Experiment has proven this.
These days in the United States, however, forgetful, unobservant and ideological politicians are again
touting the supposed benefits of socialism. Government-provided health and elder care, free tuition, paid
day care and pre-school education, guaranteed jobs and wages are all peddled by candidates who feel
government can and should care for us from cradle to grave. They apparently think East German
socialism is preferable to West German capitalism. Have they learned nothing from The Experiment?
A friend of mine believes capitalism is greedy and evil – and socialism, if “properly implemented,” will
take us forward to realizing a better future. I counter that The Experiment proves society is doomed to
mediocrity at best under autocratic socialism. Indeed, those who turn toward the Siren call of socialism
always crash upon its rocks.
But my friend assures me: “Trust me, this time it will be different.”
That’s what they always say. Perhaps Venezuela and Cuba are finally making socialism work?
David R. Legates, PhD, CCM, is a Professor of Climatology at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. His views do not represent those of the University of Delaware.
I’m slow to defend corporations these days because so many of them have built their business models around government-granted privileges and are free markets’ worst enemies. However, for all the perks they get from governments, they also fall victim to their own government. And sometimes the shakedown is done by multiple governing authorities.
A few weeks ago, the European Union’s antitrust regulator demanded that Ireland get back $14.5 billion in taxes from Apple Inc. At the heart of the issue are legal tax arrangements between Ireland and Apple passed in 1991 and 2007, which allow the company to pay an annual tax rate of roughly 1 percent on its European profits channeled to Ireland.
According to the European commission, if a country doesn’t tax a company as much as the bureaucrats in Brussels want it to be taxed, somehow that’s equivalent to giving the company a subsidy or a handout. So even though Apple followed the rules in Ireland and what it did is legal in both Ireland and the United States, the EU retroactively changed the rules and is now demanding lavish sums of cash from the company.
Forget about the Irish government’s right to set its own taxes; when the EU wants your cash, tax sovereignty goes out the window. As you can imagine, the Irish government isn’t pleased. It said it would appeal the decision in order “to defend the integrity” of its tax system.
Good luck with that, says Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute. An appeal requires that Ireland persuade one group of European officials to overturn the decision of another. He explains, “Given the long-standing hostility in Brussels to Ireland’s tax system, that’s an uphill climb — particularly since European bureaucrats have set themselves up to be judge, jury and executioner on these issues.” Also, considering the amount at stake through this Apple tax grab and the tax grab looming over other American multinational corporations, the EU is unlikely to change its mind.
Now enter the United States. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew complained in The Wall Street Journal about the EU’s behavior — calling the move “unfair” and “contrary to well established legal principles” and noting that the move “threatens to undermine the overall business climate in Europe.” True. But don’t be fooled; the only reason Lew has opposed this EU move is that he would rather be the one grabbing that money.
Under the current punishing system, U.S. companies doing business abroad and repatriating their foreign earnings home get tax credits for the taxes paid to other governments before being hammered with a ridiculously high 35 percent tax rate. The more taxes companies pay offshore the less is left for Uncle Sam to grab. So if the tax payments to the EU qualify as a tax credit, that’s potentially $14.5 billion less tax revenue in the U.S. tax chest.
The EU shakedown of Apple will soon become the EU shakedown of Amazon.com, McDonald’s and many other U.S. companies, so the U.S. Treasury proceeded to put in place its own shakedown mechanism. It’s issuing new rules to restrict how corporations can use tax credits on their foreign tax payments to reduce their U.S. tax bills. The explicit goal of these rules is to avoid suffering a huge tax loss as a consequence of U.S. multinationals having to pay billions of dollars in taxes to the EU version of the Soprano family.
In other words, no matter how you look at it, U.S. corporations are in for a large shakedown from the EU and from the United States. It’s sad, considering that the best solution to this mess would be for the United States to reform its corporate income tax by lowering its rate and moving to a territorial tax system. Such reform would guarantee that U.S. firms operating abroad would not park so much money abroad and subject themselves to arbitrary tax changes by foreign governments. It would also increase U.S. competitiveness and trigger economic growth. But if you think that scenario will happen soon, don’t hold your breath.
Source: Patriot Post
Recently, Hillary Clinton issued a challenge that even people who like her(I am told that such people do exist) simply cannot ignore in this November’s presidential election.
“‘Why aren’t I 50 points ahead,’ you might ask.” Clinton shouted during a disquieting manic attack on the campaign trail as reported:
To be perfectly honest, that particular question has never crossed my right-wing conspiratorial mind. Rather, I have been haunted by wondering how in the hell it is that Hillary Clinton is not in federal prison, or in a holding cell for the criminally insane!
Putting aside that more pertinent question for the moment, I voluntarily took on the task of answering Clinton’s rhetorical question. In doing so, I categorized Mrs. Clinton’s voluminous and sordid history of “Deplorable” behavior into the following categories:
Treason and Capital Offenses against United States of America
High crimes and misdemeanors(Impeachable Offenses)
Corruption and misappropriation of Influence and Resources
for personal gain While Holding High Political Office
Lesser Felony Crimes
Deceit, Deliberate Lying & Perjury
Miscellaneous Character Flaws
Through meticulous culling and re-culling of hundreds of pieces of incriminating facts, I was finally able to identify the Top 10 reasons why Hillary Rodham Clinton is not 50 points(or more!) ahead of Donald Trump in the election polls.
To wit, Hillary Clinton is not the overwhelming choice of the American people to succeed Barack Obama in his diabolical plot to destroy America for the following 10 major, but hardly exclusive, reasons:
1. Deaths of four US Diplomats in Libya, Benghazi;
Cover up of Benghazi fiasco and killings to facilitate re-election of Barack Obama;
3. Willful violation of national security regulations & misuse of E-mail & Information Technology;
4. Incompetence & lack of integrity directly related to foreign policy failures(Arab Spring, etc.);
5. Perjury & Obstruction of Justice in Dealing with Congress and Government Investigators;
6. Enabling spouse in sexual exploitation of vulnerable female subordinates;
7. Obfuscation of facts concerning her serious health issues and qualifications to serve;
8. Corruption of Clinton Foundation, including providing special access and favors to Foundation donors;
9. Guilt by association—she is still betrothed to William Jefferson Clinton!;
10. Irrefutable reputation as a “Congenital Liar”
Without question, this list is but a fraction of the logical, sound reasons why Hillary Clinton should not be allowed on the White Grounds, much less in the Oval Office!
God willing, these facts will help Americans in search of the truth avoid the trap of voting for the dishonorable, deplorable, disgusting Hillary Clinton!
We must do this to survive as a great nation!
At the Pearly Gates
Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore were in an airplane that crashed.
In heaven, they found God sitting on the great, white throne. He addressed
“Al, what do you believe in?” Al replied, “Well, I believe I won the
election in 2000, but it was your will that I did not serve. I’ve come to
understand that now.” God thought for a second and said, “Very good. Come
and sit at my left.”
God then addressed Bill. “Bill, what do you believe in?” Bill replied, “I
believe in forgiveness. I’ve sinned, but I’ve never held a grudge against my
fellow man, and I hope no grudges are held against me.” Again, God thought
for a second and then said, “You are forgiven, my son. Come and sit at my
God then turned to Hillary and asked, “Hillary, what do you believe in?”
She replied, “I believe you’re sitting in my chair.”