Even the Communist Chinese Think Canada’s Socialist Healthcare Is Dumb

So some Chinese government officials wanted to learn a bit about Canadian healthcare. It seems they were baffled by the stupidity of our system.

Becky Akers writes:

Ah, Canadian medicine! Single-payer, socialist paradise, totally “free” (sic for “paid for by others”)! As American communists continue their attempts to nationalize the entire medical industry, not just the insurance companies that pay for it, they insist that Canada’s method is the world’s best.

Alas, “Chinese government officials” who know a thing or two about totalitarianism disagree. A group of them visited our northern neighbors because they were “interested in learning about Canada’s health care system.” “…[O]ne of British Columbia’s regional health authorities … had only begun outlining” how things work there, yet “already his guests seemed confused.”

He started explaining the basic principles again, in even simpler terms: The government decides what are medically necessary procedures and those procedures are covered by universal health insurance, free at the point of delivery.

…Residents cannot go outside the system and pay for their own medically-necessary treatments, unless they want to travel to another country.

“Stop there,” the translator said. “It’s that last part that is confusing the delegation. They think you’re saying that Canadians cannot spend their own money on medically-necessary health care.”

Yes, he assured them, that’s right.

The translator pressed him: “You mean to say that if you’re sick and want to pay for treatment, that you aren’t allowed to? Even though it’s your own money and there is a doctor willing to accept it?”

Yes, that’s right.

There was a pause as the translator relayed the answer to the delegation and the delegation conferred among themselves. Finally, the translator spoke up: “They say that even the Chinese communist system is not this restrictive!”

And this potentially fatal authoritarianism is many Americans’ ideal, the scheme they hope to inflict here.

— Thanks to LRC

[Chart]: The Federal Reserve Is Deflating

After QE3, the Federal Reserve began holding the monetary base fairly steady at around $4 trillion.

In the last 12-months the Fed seems to have begun unwinding some of its holdings. monetary-base

It helps to show the monetary base with a “zoomed out” chart in this case because it makes the signs of a deflationary trend more pronounced when you can see the 2008 crisis and the steep climbs with each round of QE.

This is truly uncharted territory, but it tells us two things: the next president, whether it’s Clinton or Trump, will face a big recession. People will blame the presidency instead of the Federal Reserve, and we will have only a one-term Trump or Clinton presidency.

It also tells us that we might want to stock up on some US dollars.

Why Do We Get Such Bad Leaders?

Why Bad Men Rule
By Hans-Hermann Hoppe

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One of the most widely accepted propositions among political economists is the following: Every monopoly is bad from the viewpoint of consumers. Monopoly is understood in its classical sense to be an exclusive privilege granted to a single producer of a commodity or service, i.e., as the absence of free entry into a particular line of production. In other words, only one agency, A, may produce a given good, x. Any such monopolist is bad for consumers because, shielded from potential new entrants into his area of production, the price of the monopolist’s product x will be higher and the quality of x lower than otherwise.

This elementary truth has frequently been invoked as an argument in favor of democratic government as opposed to classical, monarchical or princely government. This is because under democracy entry into the governmental apparatus is free — anyone can become prime minister or president — whereas under monarchy it is restricted to the king and his heir.

However, this argument in favor of democracy is fatally flawed. Free entry is not always good. Free entry and competition in the production of goods is good, but free competition in the production of bads is not. Free entry into the business of torturing and killing innocents, or free competition in counterfeiting or swindling, for instance, is not good; it is worse than bad. So what sort of “business” is government? Answer: it is not a customary producer of goods sold to voluntary consumers. Rather, it is a “business” engaged in theft and expropriation — by means of taxes and counterfeiting — and the fencing of stolen goods. Hence, free entry into government does not improve something good. Indeed, it makes matters worse than bad, i.e., it improves evil.

Since man is as man is, in every society people who covet others’ property exist. Some people are more afflicted by this sentiment than others, but individuals usually learn not to act on such feelings or even feel ashamed for entertaining them. Generally only a few individuals are unable to successfully suppress their desire for others’ property, and they are treated as criminals by their fellow men and repressed by the threat of physical punishment. Under princely government, only one single person — the prince — can legally act on the desire for another man’s property, and it is this which makes him a potential danger and a “bad.”

However, a prince is restricted in his redistributive desires because all members of society have learned to regard the taking and redistributing of another man’s property as shameful and immoral. Accordingly, they watch a prince’s every action with utmost suspicion. In distinct contrast, by opening entry into government, anyone is permitted to freely express his desire for others’ property. What formerly was regarded as immoral and accordingly was suppressed is now considered a legitimate sentiment. Everyone may openly covet everyone else’s property in the name of democracy; and everyone may act on this desire for another’s property, provided that he finds entrance into government. Hence, under democracy everyone becomes a threat.

Consequently, under democratic conditions the popular though immoral and anti-social desire for another man’s property is systematically strengthened. Every demand is legitimate if it is proclaimed publicly under the special protection of “freedom of speech.” Everything can be said and claimed, and everything is up for grabs. Not even the seemingly most secure private property right is exempt from redistributive demands. Worse, subject to mass elections, those members of society with little or no inhibitions against taking another man’s property, that is, habitual a-moralists who are most talented in assembling majorities from a multitude of morally uninhibited and mutually incompatible popular demands (efficient demagogues) will tend to gain entrance in and rise to the top of government. Hence, a bad situation becomes even worse.

Historically, the selection of a prince was through the accident of his noble birth, and his only personal qualification was typically his upbringing as a future prince and preserver of the dynasty, its status, and its possessions. This did not assure that a prince would not be bad and dangerous, of course. However, it is worth remembering that any prince who failed in his primary duty of preserving the dynasty — who ruined the country, caused civil unrest, turmoil and strife, or otherwise endangered the position of the dynasty — faced the immediate risk either of being neutralized or assassinated by another member of his own family. In any case, however, even if the accident of birth and his upbringing did not preclude that a prince might be bad and dangerous, at the same time the accident of a noble birth and a princely education also did not preclude that he might be a harmless dilettante or even a good and moral person.

In contrast, the selection of government rulers by means of popular elections makes it nearly impossible that a good or harmless person could ever rise to the top. Prime ministers and presidents are selected for their proven efficiency as morally uninhibited demagogues. Thus, democracy virtually assures that only bad and dangerous men will ever rise to the top of government. Indeed, as a result of free political competition and selection, those who rise will become increasingly bad and dangerous individuals, yet as temporary and interchangeable caretakers they will only rarely be assassinated.

One can do no better than quote H.L. Mencken in this connection. “Politicians,” he notes with his characteristic wit, “seldom if ever get [into public office] by merit alone, at least in democratic states. Sometimes, to be sure, it happens, but only by a kind of miracle. They are chosen normally for quite different reasons, the chief of which is simply their power to impress and enchant the intellectually underprivileged….Will any of them venture to tell the plain truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the situation of the country, foreign or domestic? Will any of them refrain from promises that he knows he can’t fulfill — that no human being could fulfill? Will any of them utter a word, however obvious, that will alarm or alienate any of the huge pack of morons who cluster at the public trough, wallowing in the pap that grows thinner and thinner, hoping against hope? Answer: may be for a few weeks at the start…. But not after the issue is fairly joined, and the struggle is on in earnest…. They will all promise every man, woman and child in the country whatever he, she or it wants. They’ll all be roving the land looking for chances to make the rich poor, to remedy the irremediable, to succor the unsuccorable, to unscramble the unscrambleable, to dephlogisticate the undephlogisticable. They will all be curing warts by saying words over them, and paying off the national debt with money no one will have to earn. When one of them demonstrates that twice two is five, another will prove that it is six, six and a half, ten, twenty, n. In brief, they will divest themselves from their character as sensible, candid and truthful men, and simply become candidates for office, bent only on collaring votes. They will all know by then, even supposing that some of them don’t know it now, that votes are collared under democracy, not by talking sense but by talking nonsense, and they will apply themselves to the job with a hearty yo-heave-ho. Most of them, before the uproar is over, will actually convince themselves. The winner will be whoever promises the most with the least probability of delivering anything.”

— Thanks to LRC — 

Canadian Universities Are Like Puppy Mills

The business model of Canadian universities has evolved to take in any doofus with cash, acquiesce to their ridiculous sense of entitlement to keep the tuition cheques coming, and churn out a glut of low quality (useless?) graduates. Oh yes, and devour tax money while they’re at it.

Professor Peter Bowal writes:

In more than 30 years of experience as a university professor, I have observed that threats and unsettling behaviour by students have not only increased in the last decade, they also seem to be more tolerated by the administration. The fact that universities are now opening their doors to anyone who wants a degree means that more and more students who may not be well-suited to a traditional academic environment are being welcomed.

Professors are commanded to quietly grant students the accommodations they ask for. As competition for Canadian post-secondary students has ramped up, institutions now view students as steady revenue-producing customers. Teachers are supposed to give them what they want and keep them happy.  Annual enrolment and retention targets are to be met. Discernment, rigour and discipline belong to another era.

Post-modernism and humanism have washed over our educational institutions, so that today, we cannot even agree on what inappropriate student behaviour is, much less who, if anyone, is responsible for it, and what we might do to curtail it. I offer just a few examples from my own recent experience of behaviour on by students that would not likely be considered acceptable off campus.

— Read more at National Post

Ottawa Introduces “National Energy Program: The Sequel”

Trudeau’s carbon tax.

Canada’s Import Laws and Taxes Are Dumb

At least that seems like a reasonable conclusion when it takes the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, a Federal Appeals Court, and the Supreme Court of Canada to figure out… whether this or that tax applies to imported hockey gloves.

This all revolved around the question of whether hockey gloves are gloves or “other articles of plastic.” Because despite the pretence of “free trade”, these categories of goods are taxed differently

Only in a country with dumb laws and dumb taxes is such a costly and ridiculous decision-making process possible for such a dumb issue.

— Read more at National Post — 

 

House of Saud Quickly Going Broke?

In Saudi Arabia, 70% of the civilian population works for the government. This is a problem because the Saudi government is facing major financial strains due to low oil prices.

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The great Patrick Cockburn writes:

…today the cuts are for the first time hitting public sector workers who are Saudi citizens, 70 per cent of whom work for the government. So far the austerity is limited with lower bonuses and overtime payments and a 20 per cent reduction in the salaries of ministers, though those close to political power are unlikely to be in actual need.

There are political dangers in this move. In the oil states of the Middle East there is a trade-off between the spectacular wealth of a corrupt and autocratic elite and an extensive patronage system through which much of the rest of the native population plugs into oil revenues. Some $120 billion, or half of government spending, went on salaries, wages and allowances in 2015.

With a Saudi budget deficit of $100 billion in 2015, this haemorrhage of cash may not be sustainable but will also be difficult to rein in. Great construction companies like Oger and Binladen are having serious difficulties getting paid by the government with Oger alone reportedly owed $8 billion. South Asian construction workers, who once saw Saudi Arabia as an El Dorado, are going home after waiting for months for pay cheques that never come.

The woes of foreign workers, and even of the native public sector employees, are not necessarily going to destabilise an absolute monarchy like Saudi Arabia that mercilessly crushes dissent. The fall or destabilisation of the House of Saud has been forecast for decades with no real sign of the prediction coming true. What makes the present economic stresses more significant is that they come at a moment when Saudi political influence is visibly under strain in the region and the world.

When Saudi Arabia’s patronage system fails, there will be a major meltdown in the Kingdom — a bottled-up “Arab Spring” on the Arabian Peninsula.

Trudeau might be worried that the Canadian military-industrial complex will lose the evil House of Saud as one of its biggest customers.

— Read more at CounterPunch

 

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