Drudge linked to this Pravda story yesterday, and some talk radio guys brought it up today as a very telling point.

Putin in 2009 outlined his strategy for economic success. Alas, poor Obama did the opposite but nevertheless was re-elected. Bye, bye Miss American Pie. The Communists have won in America with Obama but failed miserably in Russia with Zyuganov who only received 17% of the vote. Vladimir Putin was re-elected as President keeping the NWO order out of Russia while America continues to repeat the Soviet mistake.

After Obama was elected in his first term as president the then Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January of 2009. Ignored by the West as usual, Putin gave insightful and helpful advice to help the world economy and saying the world should avoid the Soviet mistake.

Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them. He gives speeches of peace and love in the world while he promotes wars as he did in Egypt, Libya and Syria. He plans his next war is with Iran as he fires or demotes his generals who get in the way.

Now, it’s important to point out that this is Pravda, which dishes out just slightly less propaganda than MSNBC, and that they’d be saying something derogatory along some lines no matter who the President was.  Unless it was Putin.

But it’s very much worth noting that Pravda is hyping Russia’s successes by Putin taking their economy away from Soviet policies rather than towards them.  Putin is a ruthless strongman, but he’s neither stupid nor infected with stupid ideologies.  He knows how power works, but he also knows how the Soviet economic system didn’t work.  The man is not a fool.

Pravda’s condemnation of the US as an illiterate society is one that’s a very sharp criticism, though, and one that isn’t without merit.  Consider the Curley Effect (HT/Andrew Wilkow), from Mark Hendrickson at Forbes earlier this year:

It’s hard to think of anything more perverse in American politics than the Curley effect. The Curley effect historically has been an urban phenomenon, but President Obama seems bent on taking the entire country down this wretched path.

As defined by Harvard scholars Edward L. Glaeser and Andrei Shleifer in a famous 2002 article, the Curley effect (named after its prototype, James Michael Curley, a four-time mayor of Boston in the first half of the 20th century) is a political strategy of “increasing the relative size of one’s political base through distortionary, wealth-reducing policies.” Translation: A politician or a political party can achieve long-term dominance by tipping the balance of votes in their direction through the implementation of policies that strangle and stifle economic growth. Counterintuitively, making a city poorer leads to political success for the engineers of that impoverishment.

Here’s an example of how the Curley effect works: Let’s say a mayor advocates and adopts policies that redistribute wealth from the prosperous to the not-so-prosperous by bestowing generous tax-financed favors on unions, the public sector in general, and select corporations. These beneficiaries become economically dependent on their political patrons, so they give them their undivided electoral support—e.g., votes, campaign contributions, and get-out-the-vote drives.

Meanwhile, the anti-rich rhetoric of these clever demagogues, combined with higher taxes to fund the political favors, triggers a flight of tax refugees from the cities to the suburbs. This reduces the number of political opponents on the city’s voter registration rolls, thereby consolidating an electoral majority for the anti-wealth party. It also shrinks the tax base of the city, even as the city’s budget swells. The inevitable bankruptcy that results from expanding expenditures while diminishing revenues can be postponed for decades with the help of state and federal subsidies (“stimulus” in the Obama vernacular) and creative financing, but eventually you end up with cities like Detroit—called by Glaeser and Shleifer “the first major Third World city in the United States.”

The Curley Effect is a vile strategy to destroy populations in order to rule them.  Like Obama’s former chief of staff and current dictator-for-life of Chicago famously said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”  The Curley Effect is to create the crisis in order to profit from it.  That anyone could consider a crisis “good” speaks volumes by itself, but this is more about the practical and less about the downright morally villainous.

Putin doesn’t have to use the Curley Effect to gain power.  He has it already.

Obama and the Democrat party are using the destructive Curley Effect to increase his own power nationwide.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

– Attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville

Obama’s operation is to create and exploit that crisis and ride it down as he becomes the new socialist leader, the indispensible man with the cult of personality surrounding him.  He’s already Jamie Foxx’s god, lord and savior.  Obama and his acolytes are believers in their own ideology, that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for”, and at best their idealistic naivity will lead them down a road to hell, at worst, and most likely, as they aren’t all fools, they intend it.  Again, consider that someone can find a crisis, in which there is human suffering, a “good thing” that shouldn’t be passed up as an opportunity to be exploited for further expansion of political power.

This isn’t “never let a mistake by a totalitarian regime that can be exploited to preserve or restore individual freedom go to waste”.  A lot of people could get on board with that one.  Probably not Putin or Obama. though.

In the past, I’ve referred to leftists as inflicting suffering on the public like Munchausen by proxy.  Ideologically, the do-gooder planner types who are true believers in leftist causes are so deluded they can’t see what they’re working towards.  They can’t see that they’re making people dependent through welfare or handouts or bailouts, and they refuse to believe it.  They can understand why the Forest Service says “don’t feed the bears”.  They can’t understand why making people dependent on others is a bad thing, though.

Thomas Sowell has written extensively on how the black community went from improving and doing well into a hellish spiral of failure especially because of LBJ’s “Great Society” that incentivized self-destructive behaviors.  LBJ understood the Curley Effect, and used it to great effect.

“I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” — Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One according Ronald Kessler’s Book, “Inside The White House”

LBJ was promising other people’s money, LBJ did plenty of downright reprehensible things while he was in the White House, and all of those are looked at as “good things”, though they so often had the exact opposite effect of what they were sold as.  They hurt people, but they elevated the redistributor in government to that of indispensible hero to the lower classes (and there became a greater distinction, and more people in the lower classes as well.)

More from the Forbes piece:

Everything Obama has done has been designed to strengthen Democratic constituencies (e.g., stimulus spending steered predominantly toward unions and strategically allied state and municipal entities; waivers from Obamacare for unions; a hefty 23 percent increase in the Index of Dependence on Government during Obama’s first two years) and to weaken Republican constituencies (e.g., making small business formation more difficult by impeding venture capitalists; refusing to amend Sarbanes-Oxley; using Dodd-Frank regulations to discourage loans; fewer waivers from Obamacare; proposing lower tax rates for large corporations, but not on the “S” corporations that are the preferred choice of small business owners; constant efforts to raise taxes on the “rich”—which means, as we’ve seen in Detroit, California, and other Curley effect victims, higher taxes on the middle class).

Obama’s smash-mouth, Curley-like politics is all about choosing winners and losers. Reread his State of the Union address from January, and you see a parade of proposals to take from A to give to B, to encourage businesses to do C and discourage them from doing D. Indeed, Obama seems incapable of suggesting a single economic policy that does not redistribute wealth from his political opponents to his political allies. The message is clear: He wants Americans to be dependent on the government; consequently, he is hostile to the private sector, because a vibrant private sector enhances economic independence and self-reliance.

The idea of a multi-tiered class system is almost wholly communist as well, as communism needs class warfare to exist.  America is supposed to be a classless society.  We don’t need more upper, middle, or lower class people.  Americans are given the freedom to choose where they want to be in life.  Vicissitudes of life often mean that one starts off worse off, or one may have worse luck, or one may have better luck or simply work harder and make their way better – but the fundamental difference is that everyone gets a shot, and gets to work to where they want to be – and where they want to be is dependent only on how hard they work and how intelligently they work towards where they want to be.

The idea of income redistribution in order to create “a level playing field” or to make sure the rich have “skin in the game” is wholly unAmerican.  The rich, as well as those with middle incomes, already have a lot of taxes paid in, and therefore have “skin in the game”.  The poor who receive government handouts, don’t have skin in the game.  They’re simply mooching, and using their need and communist rhetoric to demand more.  “Leveling the playing field” and such nonsense is possibly even more destructive than simple redistribution.  The idea of raising taxes on high income earners is a political winner because those who’ve earned their priviledge are viewed through communist lenses as worthy of scorn and persecution.

But what it really does, especially when parroted by dirtbags like “the sage of Omaha” Warren Buffet, is to crush those coming up.  It’s a barrier to entry for small businesses by taxing them higher, so it protects big businesses.  It’s a class barrier against new people who are improving their lot, and it crushes the small businesses that pay the wages and salaries of those who are middle and lower income earners who are working their way up.

This is very similar to how the Congress and Senate often come up with new investment laws and “windfall profit” taxes after they’ve made their money in a given industry (CA Senator Boxer is known for her oil investments, for example).

All of it leads to a permanence of class – the socialist redistributor upper class with their favored businesses, the “middle class” serf who works to pay the socialist, and the serf who lives on handouts taken from the “middle class” serf and redistributed by the indispensable socialist.

Even Pravda can see that’s stupid.

  1. […] unrelated to the previous post on the Curley Effect, this is just for […]

  2. […] then there are those Democrats who avidly use the Curley Effect to create new voters, who know that increased taxes mean it’s often financially better for […]

  3. […] for the slow, ongoing Balkanization of the US is that there are politicians who benefit from the Curley Effect (Democrats) and encourage it.  The reason someone from one part of an inner city never meets […]

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