Archive for the ‘Economic freedom’ Category

It would seem that no advanced civilization has yet developed without a government which saw its chief aim in the protection of private property, but that again and again the further evolution and growth to which this gave rise was halted by “strong” government.

Governments strong enough to protect individuals against the violence of their fellows make possible the evolution of an increasingly complex order of spontaneous and voluntary cooperation.

Sooner or later, however, they tend to abuse that power and to suppress the freedom they had earlier secured in order to enforce their own presumedly greater wisdom and not to allow “social institutions to develop in a haphazard manner” (to take a characteristic expression that is found under the heading ‘social engineering’ in the Fontana/Harper Dictionary of Modern Thought (1977)).

- F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism

Hayek

He begins this discussion in Chapter 2 of the book and references classical antiquity and the trading societies surrounding the Mediterranean as a prime example of nations that went through that rise and decline, but as noted, modern society is going through much the same thing.  The Anointed, to borrow Thomas Sowell’s phrase, know better and begin to “nudge” society where they want it to go.  As Jonah Goldberg noted, American totalitarianism and government control comes with a smiley face, though they’re making pseudo-erudite academic arguments for more outright thuggery.

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”

- Thomas Jefferson

Beretta has already noted there “There always seems to be a problem with Maryland“, and now Beretta is coming up with solutions to their Maryland problem.

Written by Ugo Gussalli Beretta in the Washington Times:

My family has operated our business from the same small town in northern Italy for 500 years. This means that when we make a commitment to a local community, our hope is to do so for decades, if not centuries, to come.

We apply this same philosophy to all of our factories and locations throughout the world. Such a commitment is not a one-way street, though.

Ugo Beretta makes the point that Beretta brings not only jobs, but makes firearms for the US military and citizens to defend themselves… and yet they’re treated poorly.

Our business has grown in recent years, and because of that, we needed to expand production in our U.S facility, located in Accokeek, just outside of Washington, D.C., in the Maryland suburbs.

Unfortunately, as we were planning that expansion, Maryland’s governor and legislature voted in favor of new regulations that unfairly attack products we make and that our customers want.

These regulations also demean our law-abiding customers, who must now be fingerprinted like criminals before they can be allowed to purchase one of our products.

And Beretta stands up for their people and their customers by voting with their feet and their dollars.

…because of these new restrictions and the pattern of harassment aimed at lawful firearm owners we have seen in Maryland over the decades, we decided to expand our facilities in a state that shows more respect for citizens who exercise their Second Amendment rights.

We chose Tennessee for our new facility expansion. Our plans for that location are extensive and long-lasting.

We chose Tennessee because the governor and legislators in that state understand what it means to support businesses (such as through job recruitment and training programs) that improve employment in the state without treating companies as a necessary evil.

We chose Tennessee also because the vast majority of its residents and their elected officials have shown that they respect and honor the American tradition of personal freedoms, including the right to bear arms.

Just like Magpul left Colorado, Beretta is moving away from Maryland and moving towards Tennessee.

Political decisions have consequences.

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I wonder if Beretta is still making the fairly well-regarded 96D?

beretta 96dNot a huge fan of the safety on the slide… but I gotta give credit for a company taking a stance like that.

Maybe I’ll just look into a 92FS instead just to see how the great 80s action movie handgun would hold up in a pistol competition.  Yippie-kay-ay indeed.

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Minor addendum here, but Beretta also currently owns SAKO and Tikka, two Finnish rifle manufacturers who make some of the best guns on the market.  Beretta’s stance for citizens’ rights makes one of those Tikka T3s that much more attractive.

tikka t3 liteIn fact, coupled with another pro-2A business, very, very attractive.

The Kronies

Posted: January 24, 2014 by ShortTimer in Economic freedom, Government, Humor
Tags:

Via HotAir, whoever’s made these parodies has gone to some trouble to hide their tracks.  Their fictional business site Chimera Global Holdings is also a parody.

Big G:

Bankor the Profit:

Ariel Stryker:

Parts & Labor:

Kaptain Korn:

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Update: The creator is John Papola of Emergent Order.  What follows was speculation as to who it was before Papola revealed himself.

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Suspects for who created these parodies go across a broad political spectrum.  AP notes that with the inclusion of “Labor”, it’s probably not a leftist group.  The Kaptain Korn part seems rather anathema to the left, as they’re big fans of ethanol to fight against Manbearpig, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.  Plus the general theme is one of government influence and cronyism (duh) creating wasteful spending and crushing small businesses, and the Chimera Global Holdings website includes a dig against Obamacare.  Maybe Reason or Gillespie, maybe Malkin, maybe Gutfeld or TV’s Andy Levy.  Or maybe it’s Ariana Huffington and her creative team just got a little overboard.

Some folks are suspecting Emergent Order, who were part of the folks behind the very well-produced Hayek & Keynes rap battles.

I’m gonna go with a long shot and suspect that after a few crazy commercials years ago leading to a slow, subtle return to social media with a new team, this could be Herman Cain.

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Or, my last guess, is that it’s part of a viral marketing scheme for a movie remake… where the original included parody commercials:

An excellent piece from Jeffrey Tucker at the Laissez Faire Club (from a year or so ago):

…Soap doesn’t work. Toilets don’t flush. Clothes washers don’t clean. Light bulbs don’t illuminate. Refrigerators break too soon. Paint discolors. Lawnmowers have to be hacked. It’s all caused by idiotic government regulations that are wrecking our lives one consumer product at a time, all in ways we hardly notice.

It’s like the barbarian invasions that wrecked Rome, taking away the gains we’ve made in bettering our lives. It’s the bureaucrats’ way of reminding market producers and consumers who is in charge.

Surely, the gas can is protected. It’s just a can, for goodness sake. Yet he was right. This one doesn’t have a vent. Who would make a can without a vent unless it was done under duress? After all, everyone knows to vent anything that pours. Otherwise, it doesn’t pour right and is likely to spill.

It took one quick search. The whole trend began in (wait for it) California. Regulations began in 2000, with the idea of preventing spillage. The notion spread and was picked up by the EPA, which is always looking for new and innovative ways to spread as much human misery as possible.

An ominous regulatory announcement from the EPA came in 2007: “Starting with containers manufactured in 2009… it is expected that the new cans will be built with a simple and inexpensive permeation barrier and new spouts that close automatically.”

The government never said “no vents.” It abolished them de facto with new standards that every state had to adopt by 2009. So for the last three years, you have not been able to buy gas cans that work properly. They are not permitted to have a separate vent. The top has to close automatically. There are other silly things now, too, but the biggest problem is that they do not do well what cans are supposed to do.

This was news to him, because he had to use a gas can.  It’s not news to people who’ve been using them for a while.  There are a lot of folks already explaining workarounds.

The first minute talks about the differences between new and old gas cans, then explains a workaround.

Toilets have been wrecked for over a decade.

Three years ago we moved into our newly built home in Grand Blanc, Michigan. The whole family was excited.

While all new houses have some problems, I was not expecting the toilets to be among them. How could this be? After all, these toilets were brand new. As it turns out, that was precisely the reason they weren’t working. You see, I am the not-so-proud owner of three federally mandated environment-friendly, but consumer-unfriendly toilets. The primitive 3.5-gallon toilet, which worked, was outlawed by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1992 in favor of the politically correct 1.6-gallon toilet, which doesn’t work.

Pulling the lever on the 1.6-gallon toilet has become an anxious game of chance for all members of the family. Will it work as advertised? Will it require two or more flushes to get the job done? Will it clog up? Or, heaven forbid, will it overflow? Contrary to the assurances of consumer groups, environmentalists, and politicians, these new toilets are still not working as advertised. For the longest time my youngest daughter would not flush the government toilet for fear that it would overflow.

What was the end result of the government’s demand for 1.6 gallon toilets that “save water”?  People flush more.  A lot more.  The rule for the last decade or so, excepting those super loud jet pressure toilets, has been “one splash, one flush”.  They’re just built not to work, because some idiot in government decided it would be wonderful to “save” water by eliminating your freedom to choose.

What’s wrong with this scenario? Why don’t I have the right to choose? Isn’t this pro-choice America? If I want to buy a gas-guzzling environmentally unfriendly sport utility vehicle (SUV), that is—as of this writing—my choice. I can water my lawn all day and wash my car in the driveway. However, because of this government decree I am not allowed to choose a 3.5-gallon toilet. I am forced to buy a toilet that, in theory, saves 1.9 gallons of water per flush (this assumes no double or triple flushing) and saves me $50 per year, again in theory. For peace of mind, I am willing to forgo the mythical $50 savings. Unfortunately, I don’t have a choice.

What’s going on here? While the government says it will not dictate what we can or cannot do in the bedroom, the same is not true for the bathroom. Here, intrusive laws are permissible. Manufacturers who are caught selling or distributing toilets that work will be fined $100 (per toilet). In addition, new homes, or older homes with remodeled bathrooms, will not be able to pass inspection if any working toilets are found on the premises.

As a reminder, the same people who mandated toilets that don’t work are now running your health care.  More unaccountable bureaucrats who literally do not know shit, and ruin everything they touch.

It would almost be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

sigh charlie brown

From the New Yorker:

For decades, business owners have resisted higher minimum wages by arguing that they destroy jobs, particularly for young people. At some theoretical level, high minimum wages will distort job creation, but the best empirical evidence from the past decade is aligned with common sense: a minimum wage drawn somewhat above the poverty line helps those who work full time to live decently, without having a significant impact on other job seekers or on total employment.

Except it’s wrong, ignores the loss of jobs that are never created and the subsiziding impact of welfare and low-income benefits that also siphon funds away from job creation and into government redistribution.

I’ll let Orphe Divounguy explain it again:

(For example, a study of pairs of neighboring counties with differing minimum pay found that higher wages had no adverse effect on restaurant jobs.)

Of course, he doesn’t cite the study, the amount of difference in pay, or an analysis of what jobs were lost, not created, or where these counties were.

Even so, a federal minimum wage of ten dollars or more will not solve inequality. It will not stop runaway executive pay or alter the winner-take-all forces at work in the global economy.

And here we see the true intentions.  The objective is to make equality of outcomes.  The ideology is a belief that executive pay is “runaway” and that the economy is a “winner-take-all” scenario, rather than one of mutual cooperation for benefit.  Apparently the New Yorker’s Steve Coll doesn’t understand where pencils come from.

Coll continues:

Yet it will bring millions of Americans closer to the levels of economic security and disposable income that they knew before the housing bubble burst.

No, it won’t.  It will artificially increase wages, which will then result in employers increasing their expenses to customers.  There will be a transfer of wealth from the many to the few.  There will be a visible result of a handful of people with minimum wage jobs making more money, but it will result in a less visible loss of wages by everyone who uses those services, by employers whose payrolls will be adjusted in favor of old employees versus new ones – meaning jobs that would be created will not be created, and it will result in overall economic loss.

Coll starts his piece by talking about increases in wages for baggage handlers at SeaTac airport, where the minimum wage was bumped from $10/hour to $15/hour by a ballot initiative.  Businesses spent money pushing against it, and Coll celebrates that leftists emerged triumphant, that the “grassroots left, which seemed scattered and demoralized after the Occupy movement fizzled, has revived itself this year—with help from union money and professional canvassers—by rallying voters around the argument that anyone who works full time ought not to be at risk of poverty”.

Union money was sent in by union people who can now look forward to extracting union dues from those $15/hour workers at a higher amount than when they were $10/hour workers.  Professional canvassers are leftist marxist agitators and professional shit-stirring revolutionary groups who serve no function but to create conflict that they exploit for their own personal profit.  The businesses involved opposed it as best they could, but the leftists in Seattle & Tacoma voted for it.

What that means is that the expenses against the airport have gone up, and they’ll have to come up with something to balance it out.  That may mean layoffs, it may mean no new hires, but most likely it will mean increased rates and fees to customers.  The customer is hurt at the expense of the visible aid to the fictional oppressed proletariat.

…life on fifteen thousand a year is barely plausible anymore, even in the low-cost rural areas of the Deep South and the Midwest. National Republican leaders are out of touch with the electorate on this as on much else, and they are too wary of Tea Party dissent to challenge their party’s current orthodoxies of fiscal austerity and free-market purity.

Life on $15,000 per year is not something that someone manages alone.  First off, there are massive government handouts to those of that low income group; second, as Orphe explained, a lot of times, those workers are entry-level workers just getting started – like teenagers.

The Tea Party is composed of people who understand how economics work – that you can’t just arbitrarily say “we’ll make your employer pay you more” without that money coming from somewhere.  Again, Margaret Thatcher’s famous quote comes to mind:

thatcher socialism

Coll finishes with this bleeding heart plea:

The case for a strong minimum wage has always been, in part, civic and moral. Minimum wages do not create new “entitlement” programs or otherwise enjoin the country’s sterile debates about the value of government. They are designed to insure that the dignity of work includes true economic independence for all who embrace it.

The case for strong minimum wage laws has been couched in some people’s idea of what other people are entitled to.  If you pay the neighbor kid $5 to mow your lawn, it’s not moral for the neighborhood to tell you that you MUST pay him $20.  The result will be that the neighbor kid goes without the $5 and you mow your own lawn.  There’s nothing moral about dictating to people how much a worker has to sell his labor for or how much an employer has to pay for that employee’s labor – because it destroys entry-level jobs and harms the community.

The tut-tutting busybody who wants to put the government’s gun to someone’s head and make them do what they feel should be done is not moral.

Minimum wage laws inflict an entitlement by force.  The dignity of work comes from what people put into it – and earning a paycheck, not having the government hold a gun to your employer’s head – leaving you either paid more than you’re worth or unemployed entirely.

There is no “true economic independence” for a $10/hour job, a $15/hour job.  Idle rich and trust fund babies have “true economic independence” – and even they can lose it if economies change.  Economic independence comes from having one’s own skills that are marketable in different job environments.

If Coll and clowns who publish his Marxist drivel want to provide “dignity” and “true economic independence”, why not mandate a $100/hour minimum wage?  If people made $8000 every two weeks, they’d be doing pretty well.  Why not a $1000/hour minimum wage?  Or a $10,000/hour minimum wage?  You could work for a day and pay off student loans and buy a new car all in one.

If he’s got intellect greater than that of a grapefruit, he’d respond with “but businesses can’t afford to pay $10,000/hour.”  And just the same, they can’t afford to pay any other artificial minimum wage without modifying their business model.  Some businesses could handle $10,000/hour minimum wages, but it would harm them severely and result in cutting many employees, hiring no more employees, and passing costs off to customers.  Some businesses can handle a bump to $15/hour minimum wages, but it will harm them as well, it will harm future employment, and the business will pass costs off to their customers.

He wonders why the Midwest and South have a lower cost of living – and that is due in no small part to not having to deal with wage inflation – those costs are passed on to businesses, which pass them back on to us.

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Update: Some leftist union organizers have decided to stage strikes for higher fast food wages across the country.  When they get the government to force their employers to pay them $15/hour, they’ll find that those businesses can’t stay open because no one wants to pay $17 for a Whopper or $13 for a Big Mac.  They won’t be able to afford the Taco Grande meals they make.

The fast-food effort is backed by the Service Employees International Union and is also demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without the threat of retaliation.

It’s like I should just write “the usual suspects are at it again”.

Beating a dead horse – if they’re not worth the pay, they’re not worth the pay.  That’s not a measure of their value as a human being, just their respective value in their chosen job.   Demanding more wages because you’ve chosen to make an entry-level job a career is a problem with the individual’s ambition and drive and desire to sit on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, not a question of whether their employer is a greedy robber baron capitalist pig-dog.

Previously.

Now, some more choice quotes.  From a Yahoo piece titled “Health Care Shoppers Aren’t as Dumb as Obama Thinks“:

Jim Stadler is one of the “5 percenters”—the 5% of Americans with health insurance policies they purchased on their own—who got notified recently that their carrier was canceling coverage because it didn’t meet the tougher new minimum requirements of the ACA. Stadler, a freelance writer who lives outside of Charlotte, N.C., was laid off from a full-time job at an ad agency in 2009, at which point he became a freelancer and bought individual health coverage for him and his two kids.

Under Stadler’s expiring policy, his premiums are $411 a month, for coverage that always seemed adequate to him. “It’s not a substandard policy,” he says. “I thought it was a great deal.” The premium for the new policy offered by his insurer will be $843 a month, with coverage that’s more or less the same as far as he’s concerned.

Since Stadler’s family’s income is too high to qualify for federal subsidies, he’s considering putting his kids on the policy his wife, a teacher, gets through her job. But that would be expensive, too. “The thing that gets me,” says Stadler, who voted for Obama in the 2012 presidential election, “is I thought Barack Obama was the only guy I could trust in Washington. He ended up lying to me because he said, if I like my insurance, I could keep it.”

Patterson, a 58-year-old unemployed insurance broker, pays $500 a month for insurance now, plus about $100 in co-pays for three brand-name medications used to treat chronic migraines. She might qualify for subsidies under the exchange that would help lower her premiums, but she worries that her out-of-pocket costs for drugs will skyrocket. “I had a really good plan,” she says. “My main problem now is uncertainty. It has me sick. I don’t know whether or not I’ll have health care and I don’t know what it will cost me.”

They canceled my insurance, then said, ‘Hey go get yourself some insurance, and if you don’t, we’re going to fine you,’”says Nate Quarry, a 41-year-old former mixed martial arts fighter who lives outside of Portland, Ore., and whose insurance will expire at year-end. Quarry was happy with the $650-a-month plan that covered him and his daughter. He doesn’t qualify for subsidies, so he’s been looking for a new individual policy similar to the one he’s losing.

And there’s this story from Breitbart, where some NJ college students are losing low-cost catastrophic insurance that isn’t “good” enough for Obama:

New Jersey built up a relatively extensive network of junior colleges in the 1970′s and 80′s. Now, ObamaCare is forcing them to drop cost effective insurance programs they had previously provided to students.

Many students have found themselves in health care limbo this semester. Community colleges in New Jersey used to offer cheap health insurance for hundreds of dollars a year but they had to drop the practice because Federal Law prohibits the sale of bare bones policies.

Via HotAir, from the Chicago Sun-Times a former Dem staffer who forced Obamacare on you, now has it forced on her:

I spent two years defending Obamacare. I had constituents scream at me, spit at me and call me names that I can’t put in print. The congressman was not re-elected in 2010 mainly because of the anti-Obamacare anger. When the congressman was not re-elected, I also (along with the rest of our staff) lost my job. I was upset that because of the health care issue, I didn’t have a job anymore but still defended Obamacare because it would make health care available to everyone at, what I assumed, would be an affordable price. I have now learned that I was wrong. Very wrong.

When Klinkhamer lost her congressional job, she had to buy an individual policy on the open market.

Three years ago, it was $225 a month with a $2,500 deductible. Each year it went up a little to, as of Sept. 1, $291 with a $3,500 deductible. Then, a few weeks ago, she got a letter.

“Blue Cross,” she said, “stated my current coverage would expire on Dec. 31, and here are my options: I can have a plan with similar benefits for $647.12 [or] I can have a plan with similar [but higher] pricing for $322.32 but with a $6,500 deductible.”

She went on, “Blue Cross also tells me that if I don’t pick one of the options, they will just assume I want the one for $647. … Someone please tell me why my premium in January will be $356 more than in December?

The sticker shock Klinkhamer is experiencing is something millions of individual policyholders are reeling from having gotten similar letters from their private insurers.

“I am a Democrat and I believe in health care for all,” she said.

And I was excited that previously uninsured people could now get insurance on the open market. But this is not affordable to me.

The Democrat party’s chickens are coming home to roost.

A few choice quotes.  The first from the LA Times:

Thousands of Californians are discovering what Obamacare will cost them — and many don’t like what they see.

These middle-class consumers are staring at hefty increases on their insurance bills as the overhaul remakes the healthcare market. Their rates are rising in large part to help offset the higher costs of covering sicker, poorer people who have been shut out of the system for years.  …

Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude surprise this month when the company said it would cancel her policy at the end of this year. Her current plan does not conform with the new federal rules, which require more generous levels of coverage.

Now Harris, a self-employed lawyer, must shop for replacement insurance. The cheapest plan she has found will cost her $238 a month. She and her husband don’t qualify for federal premium subsidies because they earn too much money, about $80,000 a year combined.

It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else,” said Harris, who is three months pregnant. “This increase is simply not affordable.”

Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, said she received a recent letter from a young woman complaining about a 50% rate hike related to the healthcare law.

She said, ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,’” Kehaly said.

…many are frustrated at being forced to give up the plans they have now. They frequently cite assurances given by Obama that Americans could hold on to their health insurance despite the massive overhaul.

All we’ve been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it,” said Deborah Cavallaro, a real estate agent in Westchester. “I’m infuriated because I was lied to.

Cavallaro received her cancellation notice from Anthem Blue Cross this month. The company said a comparable Bronze plan would cost her 65% more, or $484 a month. She doubts she’ll qualify for much in premium subsidies, if any. Regardless, she resents losing the ability to pick and choose the benefits she wants to pay for.

I just won’t have health insurance because I can’t pay this increase,” she said.

And from the San Jose Mercury news:

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.

Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.

Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.

“I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,” Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.

“I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”

Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

The hardcore leftists who believe in collectivism and destroying the individual for the common good still say it’s a good thing, of course:

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said the state and insurers agreed that clearing the decks by Jan. 1 was best for consumers in the long run despite the initial disruption. Lee has heard the complaints — even from his sister-in-law, who recently groused about her 50% rate increase.

People could have kept their cheaper, bad coverage, and those people wouldn’t have been part of the common risk pool,” Lee said. “We are better off all being in this together. We are transforming the individual market and making it better.”

Translation: “We are doing this to you.  We do not approve of your choices.  We will force you to change.  We will transform the market into what we want it to be.”

And when it doesn’t work, as it always doesn’t, they’ll start looking for people to blame and more people to squeeze money from, just like happens in every socialist/communist utopia.

“The rates aren’t going up because insurance companies are pocketing more money,” Lee said. “That is what it takes to pay the claims and deliver the healthcare.”

That would be bad if those people with the cheaper “bad” coverage wouldn’t be part of the collective.  So they are forced into the system in order to force them to pay for what liberals and leftists want to do with your money.

Gary McCoy / Cagle Cartoons

The same collectivist totalitarian logic would say that good cars are good, so everyone needs to drive a Cadillac.  Thus Kias will be made illegal, and anyone not buying a Cadillac will be taxed for a Cadillac until they buy a Cadillac.  Don’t need a Cadillac?  Well then you’re one of the stingy people with cheap, bad coverage who doesn’t know what’s best for yourself, and who’s a greedy selfish asshole who won’t pay for litte Billy’s Cadillac.  You must be punished because  you resist the collective.

“We believe the prices are higher than they should be,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica advocacy group. “This is giving a bad name to the Affordable Care Act.”

Socialism gives socialism a bad name every time.  Communism gives communism a bad name every time.  That’s why socialists and communists always lie and say that socialism and communism work, that every time they were historically used “that wasn’t real socialism/communism”, and other such lies.

We’ve talked about the push for an internet sales tax before, and some effects it’s going to have.  And now we’re seeing some more of those effects:

From the Miami Herald, about KC MO:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Online retailer Amazon is severing ties with its online associates in Missouri because of a new state law that subjects their transactions to sales taxes.

Amazon Associates write blogs or product reviews then link to Amazon.com, and collect commissions — between 4 percent and 8.5 percent — if people use that link to buy something on Amazon’s site.

Amazon is blaming a new Missouri new law that takes effect next week subjecting those online transactions to sales taxes for its decision to sever the ties, the Kansas City Star (http://is.gd/X0XZdE ) reported.

It’s worth noting that Amazon is for a federal internet sales tax, because it will be used to crush competitors.  Here they don’t like it because it bothers them.

The end result is that small internet companies are destroyed, the taxes that the government wants to wring out of the citizen vanish with the companies, and peoples’ livelihoods are harmed.  Those same citizens who owned the now dead companies now have less to spend in their own communities, and won’t pay state sales taxes or income taxes on income they no longer earn.  The community is now poorer.

From the Fiscal Times:

The Internet sales tax is hitting consumers like me in the gut – literally.

As someone interested in keeping my weight down (who isn’t), I order a supply of low-calorie pre-packaged meals from a food-and-lifestyle website – and have it delivered each month without so much as a keystroke if there’s no change to my existing order.

The company is based in Maryland, but that’s been irrelevant. The convenience of receiving the order at home in New York without thinking about how far the food travels has been hard to beat.

Recently, however, this polite but scary note hit my in-box – and by the way, when companies are this polite in an email you know it’s not good news:

“We wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that we will begin collecting and remitting sales and use taxes on all Internet sales where applicable as of September 1, 2013. The sales tax will be visible during checkout as part of the overall breakdown…

“Our decision to join other major Internet sellers in the collection of and remittance of sales and use taxes is in response to the growing instances of states legislatures and revenue agencies seeking the enforcement of Internet sales tax. We expect to see more measures enacted aimed at enforcement of sales and use tax collection.

He basically sums it up by saying he probably won’t be buying from the same company, since he’ll be paying more.  And he may simply change his buying habits altogether, and he wonders what kinds of taxes he’ll have to pay on that.

Well, the answer is screw you, citizen, because the government will wring every last dime out of you so it can fund more perpetual Democrat voters on the welfare plantation and buy them new Obamaphones.  You being free to choose what you like is a problem, because they need that money to fund their bigger and bigger governments, and you need to be nudged into the slot they want you in.  The Ruling Class will do as it pleases, and it will do as it pleases to you.

Elections have consequences, and the power to tax is the power to destroy.

From the KC MO story:

Amazon’s email to its associates in the state called the new law unconstitutional. LaFaver said the legislature did not hear from the company when the bill was being debated.

If you understand how the market works, then you know that raising taxes creates a cost on businesses.  Those costs will be passed on to customers.  In the meantime, the businesses may have to eat the cost until they can shift it to their customer base (which will shrink as a result of higher prices), and many businesses simply don’t want to deal with that.

Amazon previously said it was in favor of a national sales tax, but that’s because it’s used there as a barrier to competition that will crush their smaller competitors that can’t afford to comply with new rules.  Amazon can slowly creep towards monopoly by having the government crush its competition with regulations.  That’s cronyism.

Here, Amazon looked at the increased costs in one market and decided to cut off some business partners because that’s what the bottom line favored.

Of course Democrat LaFaver couldn’t possibly have forseen that an increase in taxes would result in harm to businesses.  He’s a Democrat, and therefore can’t understand that actions in the marketplace by government have consequences.  He seems to think you can just raise taxes and more money will magically appear.  But the private sector doesn’t have Ben Bernanke and can’t run on IOUs.

From Free Enterprise (last year):

Tis the season to give thanks. And for the last 80 years, the federal government has required raisin producers to “give thanks” for the privilege of selling their raisins nationally by requiring them to fork over up to half of their raisins – for free. A lawsuit raising a constitutional challenge to the program has now made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case is Horne v. Department of Agriculture.

The program, operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has a rather Orwellian-sounding name – the “Raisin Marketing Order.” In a nutshell, under this program, every year, as a condition for “letting” farmers sell their raisin crops in interstate commerce, the federal government has taken up to 47% of the farmers’ raisins – often for no payment at all, or below the cost of producing the raisins. The program has its origins in Great Depression efforts to fix the prices of agricultural crops. Don’t care much for raisins? Similar programs cover a variety of other agricultural products, such as walnuts, almonds, prunes, tart cherries – and cranberries! That’s something to chew on as you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal tomorrow.

From Free Enterprise (a few weeks ago):

The Supreme Court overruled a decision that allowed the federal government to attempt to strong-arm raisin farmers, Marvin and Laura Horne, into giving up half their raisin crop.

…When the government told the Hornes to hand over the raisins or their cash equivalent, the Hornes fought back.  Their legal fight began over a decade ago and the federal government has levied almost $700,000 in fines against them.  Today, Marvin and Laura won their Supreme Court case.

In today’s decision, the Supreme Court held that the raisin farmers could use the Constitution’s Takings Clause to defend their property rights in the enforcement proceedings the government initiated after the Hornes refused to hand over their raisins.  (The Constitution’s Takings Clause says that the federal government must provide just compensation when the government takes a person’s private property.)

It’s nice to see SCOTUS pushing back against the government and the government’s regulatory oppression of businesses.  The problem is the government wanted to keep their $700,000 in fines and then make them file again to get the money back that the government illegally took.  Thieves with the force of law.

Worland, Wyoming.  Photo by ShortTimer.

From Breitbart:

We’re not broke.  There’s plenty of money, it’s just the government doesn’t have it.

The government has a right… the government and the people have a right to run the programs of the United States.

He’s arguing for a transaction tax, basically a VAT for the financial sector.

Yes, he claims the government and the leftist communist “people” has a “right” to take whatever it wants in order to run programs that they’ve decided to create and do unto you with.  The government, representing the mob, can take from the individual, because the government and the mob have a right to take from the individual and give to themselves.

Government has no rights.  Governments have authority granted to it by the consent of the governed.  Governments and government autocrats that declare they have a “right” to your property and livelihood (because your hours of labor create your property) because they want to do what they want to do are plundering every individual’s pockets to line their own Ruling Class nests.

Tyranny justifying itself, and government claiming it is the most important thing in the world, and wholly ignoring how and why it was created.

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Also, there isn’t enough money.  That’s why Ben Bernanke keeps making more.