Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Don’t believe the Brexit prophecies of economic doom

 

There are plenty of reasons to reject the consensus that Brexit will be costly to the UK’s economy, says Isaac Tabner.


The shock and horror at the Brexit vote has been loud and vociferous. Some seem to be revelling in the uncertainty that the referendum result has provoked. The pound falling in value, a downturn in markets – it lends credence to the establishment’s claims before the referendum that a Leave vote would lead to economic Armageddon.

Clip1But there are plenty of reasons to reject the consensus that Brexit itself will be costly to the UK’s economy. Even though markets appear stormy in the immediate aftermath of the vote, the financial market reaction to date has more characteristics of a seasonal storm than of a major catastrophe.

We were told that the consensus of economic experts were overwhelmingly opposed to a Brexit. Lauded institutions – from the IMF, OECD to the Treasury and London School of Economics – produced damning forecasts that ranged from economic hardship to total disaster if the UK leaves the EU. Yet 52% percent of the British electorate clearly rejected their warnings.

Something that my professional experience has taught me is that when an “accepted consensus” is presented as overwhelming, it is a good time to consider the opposite. Prime examples of this are the millennium bug, the internet stock frenzy, the housing bubble, Britain exiting the European exchange rate mechanism (ERM) and Britain not joining the euro. In each of these examples, the overwhelming establishment consensus of the time turned out to be wrong. I believe Brexit is a similar situation.

Downright Dangerous

The economic models used to predict the harsh consequences of a Brexit are the tools of my profession’s trade. Used properly, they can help us to better understand how systems work. In the wrong hands they are always downright dangerous. The collapse of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management in 1998 and the mispricing of mortgage-backed securities leading up to the 2008 financial crisis are just two of many examples of harmful consequences arising from the abuse of such models.

The output of these often highly sophisticated models depends entirely upon the competence and integrity of the user. With miniscule adjustment, they can be tweaked to support or contradict more or less any argument that you want.

The barrage of dire economic forecasts that were delivered before the referendum were flawed for two main reasons. First, they failed to acknowledge the risks of remaining in the EU. And second, the independence of the forecasters is open to question.

Let’s start with the supposed independence of the forecasting institutions. While economists should in theory strive to be independent and objective, Luigi Zingales from the University of Chicago provides a compelling argument that, in reality, economists are just as susceptible to the influence of the institutions paying for their services as in other industries such as financial regulators.

Peer Pressure

Another challenge faced by economists is presented by the nature of the subject matter. Economics is a social science which, at its heart, is about the psychology of human social interactions. Many models try to resolve the difficulties that human subjectivity causes by imposing assumptions of formal rationality on their models. But what is and is not rational is subjective. In further recognition of this difficulty the sub-discipline of behavioural economics has evolved.

When you put the current level of volatility in context of other shocks, market conditions are not as bad as they might seem.

Herding is a concept that has been used to rationalise financial market bubbles and various other behaviour. It describes situations in which it seems rational for individuals to follow the perceived consensus. Anyone who has found themselves in a position where the majority of their company has a radically different view to their own will have experienced the difficulty of standing out from the crowd.

In 2005-06, various people (including myself) presented the view that UK house prices would crash. While some audiences were sympathetic, the majority view at the time was both hostile and derisory. Challenging the received wisdom exposes you to feelings of isolation.

Received wisdom among academia has been that the EU is a force for good that should be defended at all costs. Respected colleagues are incredulous that anyone with their education and professional insights could think otherwise and remain part of the academic “in” crowd. In such an environment, it is very difficult to challenge this orthodoxy.

I – and the bulk of the UK population – might have been convinced by the pro-Remain economists if they had been a little more honest about the limitations of their models, and the risks of remaining inside the EU.

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Market Reactions

Despite reports of markets crashing following the Brexit result, when you put the current level of volatility in the context of a wider time period (above) and of other shocks, market conditions are not as bad as they might seem. The FTSE 100 is still higher than it was barely two weeks ago and the more UK-focused FTSE 250 is currently higher than it was in late 2014. This is the kind of volatility that markets see two or three times a year.

The volatility index for the US S&P, known as the VIX or the “fear gauge”, is what is widely used to measure how uncertain global financial market participants are about the outlook for stocks. When the Brexit result was first announced, the VIX moved sharply, but has since settled in the mid-20s. To put this in context, the all-time average is 20.7, the all-time closing low is 8.5 and the all-time closing high on Black Monday in 1987 was 150. More recently during the financial crisis, it reached a closing high of 87.2 in November 2008.

VIX volatility chart. CBOE

Other financial indicators also moved rapidly as the referendum results came through. On the face of it, the Japanese market suffered a severe shock falling almost 8%. However, the 8% fall in the Japanese stock market is almost exactly matched by an 8% gain of the Japanese yen relative to the pound. Therefore, the net effect for UK-based investors in Japanese equities is close to zero.

The fall in the value of the pound following the Brexit result is also not as bad as it may first appear, not when seen in a wider context. The size of the fall was exacerbated especially by the previous day’s assumption that Remain would win, by the scare-mongering that was put about by the Remain team before the vote – and by the six-month high the pound hit in the week before the vote…

Brexit

There is also precedent for a dramatic fall – after the ERM crisis – which proved beneficial for many British exporting companies and arguably helped sustain the economic recovery of the 1990s.

A lower pound benefits companies that add most of the value to their products inside the UK, and companies that sell their produce on international markets. This includes exporters like pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, drinks company Diageo and technology company ARM – all of which saw stock price gains on the morning after the vote. Companies that rely on imports or who add little value within the UK will be hardest hit in the short term as they adapt to the exchange-rate volatility.

There will undoubtedly be winners and losers from the UK’s decision to leave the EU. [Winners and losers who would not be so in a system of fixed-exchange rates* – Ed.] But indexes for volatility are already lower than they were in February this year, suggesting that (unlike those who comment upon it) these markets are not abnormally worried about the outlook, and UK government borrowing costs are at an all time low. This is further reason to reject the pre-referendum consensus that Brexit would bring economic doom.


Isaac Tabner is a Senior Lecturer in Finance at the University of Stirling.
This post previously appeared at FEE, where it was reprinted from The Conversation.


* F.A. Hayek: “[F]lexible exchange rates preclude an efficient allocation of resources on an international level, as they immediately hinder and distort real flows of consumption and investment. Moreover, they make it inevitable that the necessary real downward adjustments in costs take place…in a chaotic environment of competitive devaluations, credit expansion, and inflation…
    “I do not believe we shall regain a system of international stability without returning to a system of fixed exchange rates, which imposes on the national central banks the restraint essential for successfully resisting the pressure of the advocates of inflation in their countries — usually including ministers of finance.”

RELATED POSTS:

  • "The political and financial establishments of Europe and the United States were taken by almost total surprise and sent into apparent shock when 52 percent of the voters in the United Kingdom chose for their country to leave the European Union (EU). But it is not the end of the world as we know it, and can be a positive sign and example of opposition to unrepresentative and centralized bureaucratic control over people’s lives."
    The Future of the UK After Leaving The EU: Capitalism or Socialism? – CAPITALISM MAGAZINE
  • “The EU grew out of attempts that began in the 1950s to establish a free-trade zone among a number of western European countries.  But soon the free-trade idea was superseded by various interventionist programs for intergovernmental planning of agriculture and industry, and for a welfare-state social safety net.”
    The European Union and the Interventionist State – Richard Ebeling, FEE
  • “Rather than engaging with those who voted to leave the ‎EU‬, young people, and their sad cheerleaders among middle-aged Remai‬n journalists, have sought to demean and degrade a large section of the voting public not just for disagreeing with them, but also for being old.”
    After the referendum, the ugly scourge of ageism – Ella Whelan, SPIKED
  • “The Brexit vote was not ‘anti-immigrant,’ racist, or xenophobic, the Brexit vote was all about: ‘an internationalist, global Britain, a more deregulated Britain, a freer Britain, and a more Democratic Britain, one that is interested and engaged with the affairs every continent, including Europe.’”
    Brexit: Prelude to A Freer, More Democratic, More Internationalist Britain – Roger KImball, PJ MEDIA
  • “So the debate is between a cuddly "soft exit" and a bracing "hard exit" from the EU. I'm hoping for the former. It's entirely doable given the will. In the meantime, I'd like the UK to adopt unilateral free trade and get deals in place with the likes of Canada, Australia, NZ, US, etc. Time to crack on, be confident. Also, the divisions are opening between those (like me) who want the UK to adjust its relationship for genuinely liberal, pro-enterprise reasons, and those who did so for nationanlistic, protectionist ("keep out those foreigners and save `our NHS'" types). This is arguably the fault-line in UK politics that will be the main one to watch in the years ahead. We may even see new political coalitions and parties. It reminds of when the Corn Laws were abolished in the 1840s, paving the way for the eventual rise of the Liberal Party under Gladstone.”
    ~ Tom Burrroughes
  • “"The first is the press’s peculiar belief that the “Leave” side won because its voters are stupid and impetuous, and because they don’t know what’s good for themselves – an attitude that has been well illustrated by the insistence that British voters took “frantically” to googling “what is the EU?” once the results had become clear. From the start, the implication of the coverage has been that, devastated by the news that they had actually prevailed, the moronic advocates of Brexit elected finally to do some reading.
        "In truth, this whole line is nonsense. As 538’s Ben Casselman has pointed out, people also googled “who is Mitt Romney” after he lost to Barack Obama in 2012. Should that be taken as a sign of regret? Hardly, no. Not only do we not know who is doing the googling (it could be Remain voters, it could be Leave voters, it could be non-voters; nobody knows), but, as Gedalyah Reback of Geektime notes, this is what voters do in the wake of momentous political events. Moreover, it turns out that the supposed “frantic” “spike” in interest was caused by just 1,000 people.”
    The Media’s Disgraceful Brexit Meltdown – NRO
  • "To people who think that the sky is falling for Britain, consider this from George Friedman of Geopolitical Futures:
    "The EU, Not Britain, Is the Weaker Player.’
        “Obviously, nothing will happen in the immediate future. But it is not clear to me that there will be any real economic blowback. The UK is not Greece. Attempting to shun the British carries heavy potential consequences. Anything imposed on the British will resonate on the Continent. And Germany—which gets almost 50% of its GDP from exports—is not likely to let anyone hinder that trade."
    This week in geopolitics – MAULDIN ECONOMICS
  • “The message is that the EU promise of a unified collection of states, under one market and one currency, has morphed into a failed centralized bureaucratic political system, mired in red tape and red ink. If Britain goes, the power base of the EU might follow.”
    Don’t be bamboozled, Brexit creates huge opportunities for the U.K. – Terence Corcoran, FINANCIAL POST
  • “The BBC’s desperate shilling for Remain will come under increasing scrutiny as we exclusively reveal that the supposed ‘popular petition’ for a second referendum – wholly illegal and unworkable, and unprecedented in British history – is a prank by notorious sh*tposters 4 Chan.”
    Brexit ‘2nd Referendum Petition’ A 4 Chan Prank: BBC Report It As Real – HEATSTREET
  • “The leftist media (which is 95% of the so-called mainstream media), and their crony politicians and intellectuals are whining that Britain’s decision to leave EU is a massive disaster for the entire human race. These supercilious know-alls are completely wrong.
        “On the day of ‪#‎Brexit‬ news, I had predicted in a comment in this group that Britain leaving the EU is actually very good development for the markets, and that the markets will recover in less than 15 days.
        “Well, the markets seem to have recovered already from the so-called #Brexit results. So my prediction was spot-on. :-)
        “
    #Brexit is not a disaster. How can freedom from a socialist organisation like EU, which is full of climate change charlatans and is being led by an expansionist Germany, be a disaster?
        “The ‘real’ investors understand that Brexit is a good thing for the markets, because now that Britain is free from EU, it has better chances of reforming its economy. Hopefully Britain’s exit will inspire other EU countries to set themselves free, and the final unravelling of the EU will put an end to the proposal for creation of such entities in other parts of the world.
        “Stock markets can fall again, but they will never fall due to #Brexit.”
    ~ Anoop Verma, post to FOR NEW INTELLECTUALS

Immigration: The four arguments

 

The four biggest arguments I hear regularly here from commenters opposed to the right of free association as it applies to immigration (always the same  non-reading, unthinking zealots commenting I might add) are

  1. …but welfare!
  2. …but Muslims!
  3. …but assimilation!
  4. …but low wages!

1. The welfare argument is as quicky dismissed as it is raised, as it was yesterday: “Let’s fight to shrink the welfare state and to liberalise labor laws, not to prevent people from exercising a basic right.” Let’s recognise nonetheless that even in today’s context, the evidence shows that in New World countries like ours, immigrants of all persuasions don’t migrate for welfare and generally use less welfare than locals. And in the meantime, call for both the “Australia Solution” – i.e., restrict migrants’ eligibility for benefits, as Australia does with NZers – and the “Canada Solution” – i.e., allow folk to sponsor and take full responsibility for other folk coming as migrants and refugees.

2. The “Muslim argument” is hardly as complex as the zealots might think either. The right to free association is a right pertaining to peaceful people only – so we those meaning harm have no moral right of entry. But nor do they try: nearly without exception, those who carry out atrocities are young, deluded and homegrown (going against their own parents teachings, as Maajid Nawaz frequently points out, and making you wonder what is in the west’s water when the wish to destroy it is what they imbibe here.)
    And as Steve Chapman points out, the overwhelming majority of immigrants who come to the west, by both legally and illegal means, are not criminals (they are even less likely than the native-born population to commit crimes) and nor are they terrorists (Muslim Americans for example are more likely to reject violence than many othergroups). They emigrate to create a better life for themselves and their families, not to make yours worse. Your enemies are also theirs: keep them onside and they will and do point out the bad bastards. ("American Muslims are responsible for identifying and turning in over 90% of the lone wolves who would have committed terrorist attacks on this beautiful land of ours over the course of the past 15 years,” points out American Muslim Oz Sultan. “We love this country and in order for us to show our love we need to start being looked at as the last line of defense and not the enemy.”)
    In fact, as US attorney James Valliant argues, the only way to actually prevent terrorists from slipping in is to legalise as much "illegal immigration" as possible. “If one is looking for a needle in a haystack, as the saying goes, one has a hell of job. Finding that needle on a relatively clean floor, however, presents an achievable goal.  If every person who wanted into America in order to find work was legally permitted into America, I'll bet they'd be happy to stop by the front gate, show some ID,get checked against a terrorist watch-list, etc. Only those with criminal records, or reasons to flee justice, those with contagious diseases, and, well... terrorists would have any reason to "jump the gate" at all.”
    As he points, this would concentrate resources on those who actually do pose a threat to the country, while giving the residents of the country all the real benefits that immigration does bring.
    “Sure, some might slip through,” recognises Benjamin Powell, “but right now terrorists could sneak into the country illegally while hiding among more than a million other illegal immigrants crossing the border in the desert. If a more open immigration policy were established, the legitimate workers could come through check points, freeing existing border-control enforcement to focus on finding the terrorists”—while keeping onside your genuine allies

3. And while there are many things to be said about assimilation, perhaps the simplest is to point out that all the demographic arguments raised by American anti-immigration zealots, to take just one example, are best represented by one single state of the US: their favourite: Texas! (The Alt-Right's "Demographic Nightmare" Is... Texas 2016).

4. So, what about the argument that too many arrivals from too many low-wage countries simply lowers our own wages? This can only be held or argued by someone who has never read the data, and never understood Say’s Law.
    A survey of the economics literature on immigration concludes that “[d]espite the popular belief that immigrants have a large adverse impact on the wages and employment opportunities of the native-born population, the literature on this question does not provide much support for the conclusion.” This is the way academics tell you gently you’re talking out of your arse.
    How is this possible when the laws of supply and demand seem to suggest the opposite? asks Benjamin Powell.  Answer: because those laws operate within the context of Say’s Law and the expanded division of labour created by the new immigrants. You see, new immigrants are not just mouths to feed; they are productive.  “Those immigrants who increase the supply of labor also demand goods and services, causing the demand for labour to increase.” That demand is bought of their own increased production, by virtue of which the whole scale of production increases, lowering marginal costs, and real wages are increased (i.e., there is more to buy with the same wage packet).

Second, immigrants don't simply shift the supply of labour. Labor is heterogeneous. When the immigrants have different skills than the native-born population, they complement the native-born labour rather than substitute for them. Many of the immigrants … are either extremely highly-skilled or very low-skilled. Yet most native-born labour falls somewhere in between… To the extent that immigrants are complementing native-born labour, they increase, rather than decrease, the wages of the native-born.
    Third, even for the unskilled, there is the issue of price sensitivity. If demand for workers is perfectly elastic in the relevant range, then there also need not be any effect on wages.
    Finally, as
Adam Smith pointed out centuries ago, specialisation and the division of labour are “limited by the extent of the market.” Bringing more immigrants into [our given geographical area] expands our market and allows for greater specialisation. That makes each of us more productive and able to earn higher wages.   

In short, then:  

If you are looking for a threat to [the west]'s long-term prosperity and tranquillity, do not look toward immigrants. Look into the mirror instead.

I’ll add some further reading below. But I guarantee the zealots won’t read a word of of it, any more than they’ll read any more than two of the words above.

They remind me of Gary Larson’s famous dog.

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[Cartoon by Gary Larson]

FURTHER READING:

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Funding your own lobbyists

 

The biggest beneficiaries aren’t just those who suck off the taxpayer’s tit with their benefit – which, frighteningly, now describes nearly 1 in 2 NZ households.

Some of the biggest beneficiaries in the country inhabit the Beehive and places around it, sucking furiously for both power and money.

And shockingly, some of the other big beneificiaries are loobyists – not just cronies seeking favour but (which amounts to dishonesty in a democracy) activists and advocacy organisations paid by government the taxpayer to promote their own chosen causes.

This is not just wrong, it is utterly dishonest. “There should be no funding for advocacy.” 

The good news is that Anti-Smoking Hysterics (ASH) and their fellow busybodies faces closure as “total funding for national advocacy has been cut from $1.7 million to $450,000.”

The bad news is that funding lobbyists continues.

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Daniel Hannan: EFTA 4 UK

 

MEP Daniel Hannan has just worked hard to get himself fired. Here he explains that Europe needs free trade, not the EU – and Britain can join with those states who already agree.

 

NB:And this morning he clarifies:

Three times now I have had it put to me by TV interviewers that I have changed my position on immigration or somehow backtracked. For the record, I said the same thing throughout the campaign, reiterating the position set out in my book Why Vote Leave: Taking back control of our borders does't mean ending all immigration. Outside Remainers' imagination, it never did.

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“You’re not laughing now” - Farage

 

NB: No, this blog does not endorse everything he says. But he’s entitled to gloat just for a few minutes. And they’re entitled to be heckled, and to heckle back themselves.

 

 

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Immigration Is a fundamental human right

 

Imigration is a hot topic. Again. [And it’s arguably even more important post-Brexit – Ed.]

In 1927 the great Austrian economist and classical liberal, Ludwig von Mises, had this to say about it:

The liberal demands that every person have the right to live wherever he wants. This is not a "negative" demand. It belongs to the very essence of a society based on private ownership of the means of production that every man may work and dispose of his earnings where he thinks best. [...] When liberalism arose in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it had to struggle for freedom of emigration. Today, the struggle is over freedom of immigration. [Emphasis added]

That’s from his book, Liberalism, which should be required reading for all freedom-loving people. Here, Mises uses the term “liberal” in its earlier, non-interventionist or “classical” meaning. This is how I’m using the term “liberal” in this essay.

A basic tenet of liberalism is that every person, regardless of what country she happens to live in, has the same basic human rights. If it doesn’t apply to everyone, everywhere then it can’t be a basic human right. And among those rights is the right of free association.

Cap3Free association simply means that Jack is free to peacefully associate with Jill, as long as Jill wishes to peacefully associate with Jack. Indeed, Jack can’t exercise that right unless Jill can also, which is another characteristic of a basic human right. It applies broadly to all forms of association, related but not limited to political activity, religious observance, and commerce.

It does not imply that others are obliged to pay Jack’s and Jill’s costs of associating with each other and it does not imply that we are obliged to associate with others if we don’t want to.

If the government dictates that I may live and work only in the North Island, for example, that’s a clear violation of my right of free association and my right to property. It’s merely a difference in degree, but still a violation of my basic rights, if the government dictates that I can live and work anywhere except in the North Island.

It’s makes no fundamental difference if, instead of the North Island and the rest of Australasia, the restriction applies to North Dakota, Northern Ireland or North Korea.

Again, the difference between keeping people from entering these islands and keeping people from leaving North Korea is one of degree and not in the principle involved. Moreover, excluding immigration violates the right of free association of those who already live here people who wish to associate those who wish to immigrate here. If you want to hire or rent an apartment to a person who lives outside the borders, and government prevents you from doing so, your rights have been violated.

Arbitrary political borders

Let’s suppose that a street divides the city you live and work in along its central north-south axis. You reside on the west side of that street while your job lies on the east side. One day the government passes a law that forbids anyone living on the west side from crossing over to the east side, and builds a wall (at your expense) along the central street to strictly enforce that law.

There are at least two important consequences of this policy, one economic the other moral. In economic terms, it would tend to make everyone materially worse off. Under the circumstances, you would be worse off, since an option for employment, presumably the best you could find, is no longer available. Your employer is worse off because you were presumably the best worker she could find.

CaptureAnd consumers are worse off because your employment on the east side was presumably the most productive there compared to anything on the west side. But as bad as these economic implications are, the moral implications are far worse.

That’s because such a law would clearly violate the basic human right of free association. As long as your employer is able and willing to pay you a wage that you are able and willing to accept, you should be free to work for her regardless of where that is, as long as you do not violate anyone else’s basic rights by doing so.

The same goes for every other personal transaction involving homes, businesses, friendships, personal relationships, education, recreation, and so on.

But welfare!

There are many issues of varying complexity surrounding the debate over liberalizing immigration. Many other writers have ably addressed the false claim that immigrants, legal and illegal, take jobs away from incumbent Americans, for example, or concerns over changes that might occur to “American culture.” There are also labour laws – as in France where legislation has made it extremely difficult to hire and fire workers that greatly exacerbate the situation.

There’s a very popular argument, made by some libertarians, against liberalising immigration that I’d briefly like to address here. It’s that doing so would add tremendously to government spending and taxes, as ever more immigrants means having to provide them with ever more government goods and services, especially welfare transfers.

To this, economist Bryan Caplan offers one surprisingly straight-forward response:

Countries with lavish welfare states have more to worry about [from liberalizing immigration], but there is a cheap, humane alternative to exclusion: restrict migrants’ eligibility for benefits. Creative approaches abound: For example, immigrants could be ineligible for government transfers for their first 10 years of residence, or until they’ve paid $100,000 in taxes.

While for a time this would privilege incumbent residents over new immigrants, from the liberal perspective, it’s much less of a rights violation than forbidding people their right of free association. It may not be the best way to handle the problem, but it’s at least a way of doing so that avoids a infringing on a basic human right. [And look – this has been precisely the way Australia treats NZ immigrants! – Ed.]

Is it delusional?

Conservatives and even some “libertarians” have characterised this as delusional, arguing that the left-progressives in government would do everything in their considerable power to resist excluding immigrants from any redistributive programs. But is this idea any more delusional than the liberal position that it’s a worthy goal to shrink the overall scope of government authority – a belief on which FEE and organizations like it were founded?

CaptureCaplan’s proposal denies privileges to only a subset of the entire population – immigrants, legal and even illegal – that the current law already (whether you agree with it or not) excludes from certain government privileges, such as voting.

But if that’s what’s really behind their reluctance to liberalise immigration, then what hope could they possibly hold out for shrinking the redistributive state at all?  How delusional must it seem to such opponents of liberalising immigration that we could think of limiting or even rolling back welfare privileges for everyone?

The state did not create the freedom of association; free association is prior to the state and prior to the state’s artificial boundaries. As liberals, that’s something to remember and celebrate.

Let’s fight to shrink the welfare state and to liberalise labor laws, not to prevent people from exercising a basic right.

 


sandy-ikeda-pictureSandy Ikeda is a professor of economics at Purchase College, SUNY, and the author of The Dynamics of the Mixed Economy: Toward a Theory of Interventionism.

A version of this article first appeared at FEE.

‘Intellectual Yet Idiot’

 

Nassim Taleb posits a new political term that represents the opposite of PJ O’Rourke’s “earnestness” (being “stupidity sent to college.”) This is Intellectual Yet Idiot (IYI):

Intellectual Yet Idiot: semi-erudite bureaucrat who thinks he is an erudite; pathologises others for doing things he doesn't understand, not realising it is his understanding that may be limited; imparts normative ideas to others: thinks people should act according to their best interests and he knows their interests, particularly if they are uneducated "rednecks" or English non-crisp-vowel class.

He has more.

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Thatcher on EU increasing its powers…

 

“… No. No. No.”

A shame that even her own side weren’t listening.

[Hat tip Steve Kates]

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Nearly half of the country is on the mooch

 

Tax 001

So how many New Zealand households are on the mooch? Answer, just in: More than 40 percent of them. Nearly half!

The fact is that hordes of Kiwis pay no net tax at all. Maybe yours?

    • 3 per cent of households pay 24 per cent of all income tax.
    • Meanwhile 40 per cent of households pay less tax than they receive in cash benefits.
    • Thousands more are neutral contributors, or are close to it.

Nice for some.

Do you think it is possibly sustainable?

[Cartoon by Nick Kim]

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Context, Brexit, context! [updated]

 

“The markets” are crashing post-vote?

Context is all…

GBP-BREXIT   13528775_1346865455327895_9183187821192566613_n

[Hat tip Jonathan Drake]

PS: And compared to real money?

image

  .And com

The How House, by Rudolph Schindler

 

Schindler-How001

Austrian architect and former Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice Rudolph Schindler built several beautiful small homes around Los Angeles after leaving Wright’s emply, this one –built in 1925 for a man nicknamed “the Millionaire Hobo” – helping point the way perhaps towards Wright’s Usonian Homes starting a decade later.

by_default_2016-06-25_at_2.26.31_PM.0

This historical masterwork is considered to be one of RM Schindler’s greatest achievements because of the evolution of ideas it engendered, not only for the balance between the interior and exterior environments, but also for his revolutionary method of framing its magnificent structure. Schindler found that the standard system was not suitable for contemporary dwelling and developed the ‘Schindler Frame’ by cutting off all studs though-out the house at door height, “to create a continuous visual and structural horizontal line.”

by_default_2016-06-25_at_2.32.52_PM.0

Built of poured concrete, glass and cedar boards and windows, all laid to a horizontal grid, the house was for LA a very early modern open plan making full use of its site – it is built on the slop to leave the level part of the site to become the front yard.

You can pick it up for a lazy $2.5 million.

schindler_how_3

Read much more about the house at architect Steve Wallet’s site:

  1. RM Schindler's How House, 1925: Part 1 of 4, Introduction
  2. RM Schindler's How House, 1925: Part 2 of 4: A change in orientation
  3. RM Schindler's How House, 1925: Part 3 of 4, Many interesting things
  4. RM Schindler's How House, 1925: Part 4 of 4, Form

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[Pics by Curbed.Com, Kilmer Design, Steve Wallet Architect, WarrenLawson1,

howhouse1 (2)    howhouse2

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Monday, 27 June 2016

Quote of the Day: On Brexit howling

 

“One doesn’t have to be an expert on European politics to instinctively understand that if the governments, the central banks and all their connected crony capitalists are howling there will be Armageddon if you do X, it is virtually always in your best interests to do X.”
~ Tom Mullen, from his post ‘Brexit: Hated By All the Right People

[Hat tip Australian Libertarian Society (ALS)]

 

RELATED POSTS:

 

 

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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Brexit Wins: Why That’s Great News for Europe, Too

 

During its Industrial Revolution, Britain was a beacon of domestic liberty and economic progress that stimulated liberal reform on the European continent. An independent Britain in the 21st century can could play that role again, argues Dan Sanchez in this guest post. In doing so, Britain would help Europe outside the EU far more than it ever could on the inside.

Brexit Wins: Why That’s Great News for Europe, Too
by Dan Sanchez

British voters have elected to leave the European Union in a national referendum. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage declared Friday Britain’s “independence day.” That is quite a statement given British history. A little over two and a quarter centuries ago, America had its own first Independence Day, and the British Empire was the super-state from which Americans declared independence.

It must be noted that independence is not isolation. This is the key distinction that is intentionally blurred by the “Better Together” rhetoric of the “Remain” camp. When they scaremonger about “leaving Europe,” it conjures images of Britain putting up the shutters and abandoning Western civilisation. But the European Union is not the same thing as Europe. Exiting a mega-state in defiance of an imperium is not withdrawing from civilisation. In fact, such an exit is propitious for civilisation.

Small Is Beautiful

Advocates of international unions and super-states claim that centralisation promotes trade and peace: that customs unions break down trade barriers and international government prevents war. In reality, super-states encourage both protectionism and warfare. The bigger the trade bloc, the more it can cope with the economic isolation that comes with trade warfare. And the bigger the military bloc, the easier it is for bellicose countries to externalise the costs of their belligerence by dragging the rest of the bloc into its fights.

A small political unit cannot afford economic isolationism; it simply doesn’t have the domestic resources necessary. So for all of UKIP’s isolationist rhetoric, the practical result of UK independence from the European economic policy bloc would likely be freer trade and cross-border labour mobility (immigration). Political independence fosters economic interdependence. And economic interdependence increases the opportunity costs of war and the benefits of peace. (Not to mention how taking one of the EU’s two big bill-payers from the checkout will help concentrate the minds of every European welfare project they’ve been paying for.)

The Power of Exit

Super-states also facilitate international policy “harmonisation.” What this means is that, within the super-state, the citizen has no escape from onerous laws like the regulations that pour unceasingly from the EU bureaucracy. But with political decentralisation, subjects can “vote with their feet” for less burdensome regimes. Under this threat of “exit,” governments have incentive to liberalise in order to compete for taxpayer feet. Today's referendum was a victory both for Brexit and the power of exit. That's good news for European liberty.

During its Industrial Revolution, Britain was a beacon of domestic liberty and economic progress that stimulated liberal reform on the European continent. An independent Britain in the 21st century could play that role again. In doing so, Britain would help Europe outside the EU far more than it ever could on the inside. Brexit may be a death knell for the European Union, yet ultimately a saving grace for the European people.


Dan Sanchez is the Digital Content Manager at FEE, developing educational and inspiring content for FEE.org, including articles and courses. His articles are collected at DanSanchez.me. This post first appeared at FEE.

Friday, 24 June 2016

EU v liberty: It’s all about the law

 

Why does the Brexit result matter to Britons? Because, says Andrew Bates in this Guest Post, the form of law imposed upon Europeans is vastly different to the common law that grew up in Britain. And that is the difference that makes the difference…


For me, every political issue comes down to this question: "what does this do to advance the liberty of the human individual?"

For me, liberty is the key. It's the safeguard of the principle that every individual is an end in himself and may not be treated as the means to another's (or many others') ends (by coercion). When every individual's liberty is upheld, then all interaction between adults occurs 'by mutual consent to mutual benefit.' Fix liberty firmly in her place and - accompanied by courts and parliaments of reason and not the mystic proclamations of various religionists - we can resolve all the problems that ail us (and drive us to ale ;-)) by debate, persuasion and negotiation. There have been some beautiful words written about liberty, and it's impact on the workings and prosperity of society.

So what does that all have to with the Leave / Remain question? Well, Britain has been governed (and well served) by the Common Law for over 700 years, while Europe's dominant legal systems are, and have long been, various civil law systems – based on things like the Justinian Code and the Napoleonic Code.

So what? Well, this is not just some potato-potahto matter, or even Slovenia-Slovakia matter (as Harry Redknapp would put it). They are fundamentally different systems, in their presumptions about the citizens/subjects, their rights, and their capabilities.
The Common Law holds that we're free to do whatever the hell we like so long as (a) it's not been banned (i.e. rape, murder, theft, fraud, etc.); and (b) we take responsibility for our actions and are liable for the damages our actions may cause others.

The Civil Law presumes no such freedom. The opposite in fact. It presumes we are only free to do that which we have been expressly permitted to do by law. (It is no accident that both Justinian and Napoleon were dictators.)

Stop and think on that for a minute. What does each say about the citizen/subject governed? To me it seems clear that only the British system treats people as adults, and only the British system is appropriate to a free people. The other system is appropriate only to a people living under slavery, people who live by the caprice of their rulers - be they bureaucrats or whatever.

It is a system that could only be favoured by those who favour social engineering, not liberty.

(It's important to note that this difference in legal systems both reflects and reinforces the cultural differences between Britain and Europe. It is why the British resile more than all the others at the screeds of regulations pouring forth from Brussels; they see it as an unwarranted affront to their liberty in a way the Europeans have never conceived. It is common to us Kiwis and you Aussies, and to the Yanks, and to a large extent even the Canadians (it's the French influence, you know) and it's also why we should be pursuing more trade with India, of all the BRICs - but I digress... This is also why Britain is a poor cultural fit in the EU, and will always be a square peg in a round hole there.)

Now clearly, the mainland Europeans have done much to expand the things they are allowed to do and Britons have lost much of their liberties to regulation – for both better and worse and the liberties permitted by both systems have tended towards each other both as their ideas and laws have affected Britain’s (for the worse) and vice versa (for the better). And the drug laws in Portugal and here in NL are more enlightened and free than in the UK.

(And as I said above, generations and indeed societies are not politically homogenous, so there are those in Europe who favour more British-style liberty while there are those Brits among us who favour more European-style intevention, but we can still draw broad - wait for it - generalisations about the British culture as distinct from the European cultures.)

But with every “integration” of European law with Britain’s, and with every new regulation passed, the edicts of the EU civil law system are trampling the principles of our common law system and with it, necessarily, our liberty. We can only restore our liberty by restoring the sovereignty of our common law system – and we may only do that by leaving the EU.

I am not saying we will become the freest nation on Earth in the immediate aftermath of Brexit (if only that were the case!), nor that we won't lurch further towards collectivism in the future, but if we do vote to leave the declining EU and seek greater integration with the world we will at least have a chance of changing our trajectory.


Andrew Bates is an Enzed living in Britain.

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The EU explained in one pic [updated]

 

NZers may be bemused at talk of Brexit or non-Brexit – of Leave or Remain.

What exactly is it with the EU? With what exactly was it that folk were voting to Leave or Remain?

Perhaps this will make it easy:

EU

[Hat tip Tom B.]

UPDATE: And right on cue, just as the vote closes – and against everything said by David Cameron and EU flunkies through the course of the campaign about how Britain will renegotiate if it remains in the EU….

There will be no further renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the EU after the referendum, European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker has said.

Because that’s how the EU rolls.

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UP

Brexit: I’ve seen more subtle propaganda coming out of North Korea [updated]

 

Democracy is a system in which heads are counted regardless of their content.

Nonetheless, it is the system EU voters suppose that they have with the EU. Not so, says Simon Black in this guest post.


On November 11, 1947, Winston Churchill, then ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, rose to speak at a debate in the House of Commons:

“Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise.
    Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time;
    but there is the broad feeling in our country that the people should rule, continuously rule, and that public opinion, expressed by all constitutional means, should shape, guide, and control the actions of Ministers who are their servants and not their masters.

This may be the perfect summation of what democracy is supposed to be.

And western nations-- particularly the US and UK-- have been champions of ‘democracy’ around the world (though they typically mean ‘republic’).

Now, today the voters of the United Kingdom go to the polls to decide whether or not their country will remain in the European Union.

This is about as democratic as it gets-- direct voting by the people to choose their fate.

Or so they claim.

In reality, each side has had a long, drawn out campaign to influence the outcome.

The ‘leave’ leadership has been scaring voters with horrific stories of evil foreign-looking people who will infiltrate the United Kingdom should the country remain in the EU.

I mean, I’ve seen more subtle propaganda coming out of North Korea.

Meanwhile the ‘remain’ side has been threatening eternal economic damnation and financial Armageddon.

Most of the political and media establishment falls in the ‘remain’ camp, so this is where the propaganda becomes painfully obvious.

The IMF, for example, published a report recently suggesting that Britain leaving the EU would permanently lower incomes in the United Kingdom.

Really? Permanently?

So if voters choose to leave the EU, then the UK, which traces its sovereignty back more than 1,000 years and once had an empire so vast they ruled the entire world, will never be able to recover forever and ever until the end of time…?

We’re honestly supposed to believe that a few decades within the European Union has irrevocably thwarted Britain’s 1,000 year history in being able to achieve economic growth independently?

Or that Iceland (not a member of the European Union) can do it, but the UK cannot?

Or that a bunch of IMF bureaucrats can see decades, let alone centuries into the future with 100% certainty?

This is such blatant scaremongering, they’re not even pretending to be professional and unbiased. And this is direct from one of the top financial agencies in the world.

Clearly these people truly love democracy and embrace the idea of voters independently determining their own fate.

The British government (firmly in the ‘remain’ camp) has been using taxpayer funds to support its cause, which is really bizarre when you think about it.

If you’re British, even if you want to vote ‘leave’, the government has been using your money to influence your vote in the other direction.

One of the most absurd scare tactics has been telling people that they’ll lose visa-free travel rights to the European continent if the UK leaves the EU.

This is completely absurd.

Nicaragua has visa-free travel to Europe. Paraguay has visa-free travel to Europe. Are we really supposed to believe that Brits will be shut off from the continent?

They’ve rolled out every possible threat, every human emotion, every celebritythey can find, to influence voters.

In fact, these people love democracy so much they even had Barack Obama fly in to explain to British voters why they should remain in the EU.

(Because, of course, Mr. Obama would willingly hand over US sovereignty to a pan-American political commission based in Mexico City…)

Whichever side wins, it’s clear that no one in power gives a damn what voters want.

Despite having waged wars in foreign lands to ‘make the world safe for democracy’ and despite all the song and bombastic speech about your freedom, they have no respect for your right to self-determination, or even their own electoral system.

All they care about is getting their own way.

And they’re willing to engage in the most vile propaganda and blatant manipulation to do so.

This is a pitiful excuse for the democracy they claim to love so much.

And I’m not sure how long a road it is from here, to how Josef Stalin was quoted in his former secretary’s 1982 memoirs:

“Comrades, you know,” said Stalin, “I think that it’s totally irrelevant who votes, and how they vote. It’s extremely important who counts the votes, and how they’re counted.”

I suppose we’ll find out in a few more hours.

Until this afternoon… 

Simon Black

Founder, SovereignMan.com


UPDATE:

Why Today is a Great Day for Democracy – Brendan O’Neill, SPIKED
Yes, Pandora’s Box has been opened. Let’s keep it that way.
Today is a really good day for democracy. For British voters have been entrusted to make a real decision. A decision that could have a massive impact on both British politics and the global order. Where in recent years voting in General Elections has come to feel routine, and possibly even a little pointless, given you couldn’t squeeze so much as a beermat between the policy programmes of the main parties, today’s vote feels heavy, solid, like we’ve been given real democratic responsibility. I know that when I cast my ballot early this morning — for Leave — I felt powerful in a way that I didn’t on the two occasions I’ve voted in General Elections. I felt like a true democratic citizen, making a choice that could make a ripple in history itself, and make the future look very different to what we have today. It felt good.
    This is what we at spiked have found most exciting about the referendum campaign. Even though the debates have been lame, and both sides have plumped for the politics of fear, still there is something stirring about being asked: ‘Do you want to change Europe’s political order?’ The radicalness of that question has — quite by accident, given that the referendum’s architect, David Cameron, is hardly a democratic firebrand — served as a brilliant reminder of what it means to be a member of a demos. Too often today, it can feel like we are technically enfranchised, with all over-18s enjoying the right to vote, but politically disenfranchised, as more and more of the big, society-shaping issues are taken off the political agenda. But with today’s vote, we’ve been properly enfranchised, properly entrusted, to decide the fate of our nation, and of the EU itself, to rearrange the world order, if we like.
    It is precisely the hugeness of this decision that we the people have been entrusted to make that has made the political and media elites look upon the referendum with fear and loathing. They despise the referendum, openly…

Read on.

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Thursday, 23 June 2016

The European Union: A critical assessment [updated]

 

Guest post by Marian Tupy

The European Union (EU) is a culmination of a long process of economic and political integration among European states. The EU started as a free trade area and a customs union. Over time, it has become a supranational entity that resembles a federal state and is governed by a byzantine bureaucracy in Brussels. The EU claims to have brought about prosperity and stability in Europe, but those claims are increasingly at odds with reality. Europe is becoming worryingly unstable and is falling behind other regions in terms of economic growth. The EU model, which is marked by overregulation and centralization, seems increasingly out of place in today’s world. What European countries need in the coming decades is openness, rather than regional protectionism, and flexibility, rather than overregulation from Brussels. Above all, what European governments need to do is to reconnect with their increasingly restless electorates, rather than ignore the latter for the sake of the unwanted goal of a European superstate.

Continue to full version

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  • “Britons voting in the referendum to leave the EU should be reminded that leaving the EU does not mean leaving Europe… Britain is already outside both the monetary union and Schengen agreement on free travel (making the Brexit vote nothing at all about immigration), while countries both inside and outside the EU are outside and inside both.”
    From what exactly would Britain be Brexiting? – NOT PC
  • More ignorance put to the sword than a Martin Bradbury blog post being fed through a very sharp shredder.
    NZ Herald wrong about EU referendum – LIBERTY SCOTT
  • “I don't delude myself that Britain is suddenly going to become a paragon of individual liberty if a majority votes for Brexit next Thursday…
    “A win for Leave [however] will be a small step on the way back to the truly liberal society Britain once was. A vote for Remain will be the very end of the road for that great tradition.”
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    Brits: Make this politician redundant – NOT PC

Get your effing hands out of my car!

 

The Automobile Association says GPS devices could be installed in every Auckland car, tracking where and when the driver goes around the city, as part of governent moves to introduce a form of road tolling in the city.

You know what: fuck you.

AA principal adviser Barney Irvine said the system would not be a road toll as we traditionally know it, but would cover the whole Auckland region and replace the fuel tax.
    Motorists would receive a bill based on the number of kilometres they travelled on which roads and at what times.
    "This is a very different proposition to what we saw come out of Auckland Council last year with a proposed motorway user charge," Irvine said.

The idea is that stealing from Auckland drivers as they travel around the city, or try to, will “manage demand” and make it easy to get around – and, not incidentally, to make a pile of money out of mototists at the same time (because anyone who believes this would replace a fuel tax should be immediately removed of the power to vote on the grounds of  being too simple to understand how politics works.)

However, there were numerous issues to consider, Irvine said. [You think? – Ed.]
    Fitting every car in the city with a GPS device would be a big job.
    "It's no easy task when you consider the average age of our fleet is 13-14 years old. It would be a stretch for a lot of people."

It would be a stretch even getting one into my car, which like many classic cars is well over 14 years old and entirely devoid of electronics, thank you very much.

There were also privacy concerns, he said. [You think!? – Ed.] "There's no precedent here for something as ubiquitous as this that spans the whole city and all drivers."

My immediate reaction is this: Keep your effing hands out of my car!

And you know what? After some thought, that’s my considered response as well. We roll over on this stuff far too easily.

You want a toll network, that’s a whole different question. And we can have that discussion if you wish. We can talk about choosing to use toll roads; about choosing to install a reader for those roads; about the increasing importance of making these roads private to keep our private information about how and where we’re getting around away from Big Brother.  But to blandly suggest ongoing govt surveillance simply for their pricing convenience shows how little respect is left for privacy and property. Because to quote from the blogger at No Right Turn, who mercifully lives miles away from this increasingly-congested place:

A GPS in every car, tracking you everywhere you go? This isn't a toll system - its a fucking surveillance network.
Again, once the information is collected, it is useable by other government agencies. The police can already access toll-road records through the production order system (or
simply by asking); this would let them get everywhere you have ever been. And they wouldn't even have to pay for the tracking device - you'd have to buy it for them in order to be allowed to drive.
    Fuck that shit. Lets keep our privacy. Lets say "no" to spy-roads.

Yes. Let’s.

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Alan Duff on the “bone-headed” Harawira

 

What do you call a "leader" with no idea to where me might lead his followers, or what he might lead them into? Answer, says Alan Duff of Hone Harawira: "bone-headed."

After a career of non-achievement, Harawira has just announced another "comeback," another effort in another election to lead “his people” who knows where. Another from “the bone-headed fighter? No thanks,” says Duff.

Duff, author of Once Were Warriors and co-founder of the tremendously successful Books in Schools programme, recognises Hone as just another blowhard who sees politics itself as the only game in town – a game where you seek out failure as a route to power without ever offering a solution of your own to bless it.

A man with a hero-complex is not what Maoridom needs. They - our people - do not need someone pandering to our lowest common denominator, telling them their failures are not their fault but the fault of rich white people, greedy capitalists, a stacked system, government, all on the assumption these people are incapable of helping themselves.
    Not once have we heard offered a solution to "poor" people's woes, to "poverty." He came up with no ideas on creating employment. Nor use of Northland Maori land.
    No ideas on instilling an education ethos in the outlook of the very culture of those he claims to be fighting for. His ideas were and still are zilch.
    He hasn't demonstrated by a single gesture that maybe he should take a less hardline stance. Oh, no. Not Hone. He's the self-described "fighter." Whoopee, that's gonna put a lot of Maori into their own homes and give them jobs, lift us up to the educated, aspiring middle class, a scrapper representing us.

Hone is not alone in seeking political power with no particular end or goal but the political power itself. Just the most obvious.

 Had Hone opened up by saying yes, he's making a comeback, now let's start with the awful fact that yet another Maori has murdered a child. Followed by ideas on what to do about it. A book on parenting skills, perhaps, Hone? Nah. Too hard. …
    He wants to lead. Not as in heading a large number of Maori into the Promised Land.
    He just wants to be a heroic figurehead yet don't dare subject him to scrutiny or criticism…

When you do scrtch that surface, you don’t find a warrior – you find only the crybaby underneath.

Maoridom doesn't need tough-guy rhetoric, or protest for its own sake, a ceaseless outpour of negativity and blame-laying…
    He could
try sitting down with people who are reasonable and come up with solutions to end Maori poverty and all our other problems….

Yes, he could try. But he wouldn’t be interested. Too few headlines. Too little interest. Because those who pursue political power are not about solutions. That’s because if the problems they go on about go away, so too, they think, does their powerbase. They feed on misery like flies on dung.

Such sham redeemers love poverty—of course, poverty of others. They remind me of Ayn Rand’s ‘Fountainhead.’ In this novel, Rand has beautifully delineated the personality of the socialist art critic Elsworth Toohey, a key character in the novel:
“You’re a maggot, Elsie,” she [his aunt] told him once. “You feed on sores.” “Then I will never starve,” he answered.
Nor will the NGOs. They feed on sores, wounds, lacerations—the more the merrier. Wherever there are sores and wounds, they ensure that the wounds are not healed, so that they can, like maggots, feed on them.

Politicians feast on misery.

Hone is just another politician.

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

60 Policies from One Year of Donald Trump

 

It's been one year of Trump already; let's review his top suggestions to “make America great again.”

Guest post by David Bier


One year ago, Donald Trump thrust his bizarre, erratic, and incomprehensible campaign on the world. Much has been said since about Trump’s "rhetoric" during his campaign — the racism, sexism, incivility, and much else besides — but rhetoric is not what makes a Trump administration a unique threat to the country. It is his policy proposals that should receive our closest attention and concern.

Below is a list of nearly 60 “policies,” if you can dignify them with such a title, that Trump has proposed during his campaign. The list drives home how truly frightening a Trump presidency would be for the country and the world. Skimming the surface of Trump’s stream of consciousness brings out some particularly disturbing aspects of his agenda: notably, the way he singles out specific businesses and individuals for targeting by the government, as well as his obsessions with China, Mexico, Muslims, and immigrants.

Perhaps worst of all, Trump’s proposals expose how broad he thinks the powers of the presidency are: virtually infinite. There is never a glimmer of understanding that the government is bound by the Constitution, that the federal government has limited scope and authority, or that president is just one of three equal branches of the federal government.

Instead, it is Trump, and Trump alone, who will transform American laws, government, and society, from the top down. Trump will bomb and invade countries,Trump will steal their oil, Trump will kill deserters, torture suspects, bypass courts, ban Muslims, break treaties, and have the military do things like mass executions with bullets dipped in pigs' blood — all while getting Americans to say “Merry Christmas” again.

Well, all I can say is Merry Christmas, America. Here's what the primaries brought us this year.

KEY:
Bold:
attack on individual or business.
Italics: attack on Mexico or China.
Underlined: attack on immigrants and/or immigration.

June 2015

  1. Make Ford Scrap Expansion Plan in Mexico
    August 2015
  2. Deport 11 Million Immigrants
  3. Triple Number of Deportation Agents
  4. Force Cities and States to Help Deport Immigrants
  5. Force Mexico to Pay for Wall on US Border
  6. Strip US Citizenship from Babies Born to Immigrants
    September 2015
  7. Use FCC to Fine His Critics, Rich Lowry
  8. Place 35% Tariff on Ford Cars Made in Mexico
  9. "We Will Break" North American Free Trade Agreement
  10. “Government Will Pay” for Health Care for “Everyone”
    October 2015
  11. Deport Syrian Refugees Legally in the US
  12. Soldiers Who Desert Should Be Shot
  13. Spend Tens of Billions on Border Wall
  14. Keep Troops in Afghanistan
    November 2015
  15. Kill TPP Free Trade Agreement
  16. Get Americans to Say "Merry Christmas"
  17. Create Special Deportation Force to Remove Immigrants
  18. “Bomb the S***” Out of Syria
  19. Close Mosques in the United States
  20. Create Database for Muslims
  21. Bypass Courts in Mass Deportation Plan
    December 2015
  22. Restart Warrantless Surveillance, Metadata Collection
  23. Kill Family Members of Terrorists
  24. Washington Post Is a "Tax Shelter" for Amazon, Jeff Bezos
  25. Ban All Muslim Travel to US
  26. Shut Down "Parts" of the Internet
  27. Issue Executive Order Mandating the Death Penalty for Killing Police
    January 2016
  28. Impose 45% Tariff on Chinese Products
  29. Throw Bowe Bergdhal Out of a Plane in Afghanistan
    February 2016
  30. Tells Supporters to Knock Out Protesters
  31. Use Eminent Domain for Economic Development
  32. Tax Carrier-brand Air Conditioners Made in Mexico
  33. Force Apple, Tim Cook to Break into iPhone for FBI
  34. Keep Obamacare’s Individual Mandate for Health Insurance
  35. Praises Mass Executions of Captured Soldiers with Bullets Dipped in Pigs Blood
  36. Threatens Donor for Giving to Opponent’s Campaign
  37. Prosecute Hillary Clinton
  38. Proposes “Trade War” with China
  39. “Open Up Libel Laws” to Sue Critical Press
    March 2016
  40. Force Apple to Make iPhones in US, not China
  41. Force Military to Follow Illegal Orders
  42. Prosecute Ed Snowden for "Spying" for Russia
  43. “Torture” Terrorism Suspects
  44. Increase Military Spending
  45. Steal Iraqis' Oil
  46. “Pause” Legal Immigration
  47. Send 20,000 or 30,000 Troops to Middle East
  48. Trump Could Envision a Nuclear First Strike
  49. Appoint Supreme Court Justice to Investigate Clinton’s Email
    April 2016
  50. Raise Taxes on the Wealthy
    May 2016
  51. Threatens Pfizer, Carrier, Ford, and Nabisco With 35% Tariff
  52. Increase Minimum Wage
  53. “Go After” Amazon for Anti-Trust and Taxes
  54. Bomb Libya
  55. Threatens “Mexican” Federal Judge Trying His Case
    June 2016
  56. Threatens PGA for Moving Golf Tournament from Trump's Resort to Mexico City
  57. “Keep Business Out of Mexico”
  58. Ban All People from Countries with "History of Terrorism"
  59. Surveillance of US Mosques
  60. Ban Guns for People on Secret "Watch Lists"
  61. Imprison People Who Don't Inform on Their Neighbours


David Bier is an immigration policy analyst at the Niskanen Center.
He is an expert on visa reform, border security, and interior enforcement.
This post first appeared at FEE.

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