price control

Smackdown: Keynes vs. Hayek

July 8th, 2010 11:49 am  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Debt, Economics, Economics/Banking/Money/Debt, Federal Reserve, Free Market, gold standard, government spending, inflation, Liberty, Money, national debt, price control, price controls, Taxes  |  Comments Off

An interesting discussion is ongoing at Daily Kos over the merits of Keynesian economic thought.

VA Classical Liberal writes:

If John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek got into a fight, who’d win?

If it was a real knock-down, drag-out brawl, my money would be on Keynes. At 6’ 6”, he’s got the size, the weight and the reach. Hayek couldn’t lay a glove on him.

But what if they were cutting heads and throwing down rhymes? Then, Keynes could have a real fight on his hands.

You can read the rest of the discussion, and comment, here.

Boss Hogg

February 23rd, 2010 10:32 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Health Care, Investing, Market Regulation, nationalization, Obama, Politics, price control, price controls, Socialism  |  13 Responses

In Barack Obama’s latest health care plan is a proposal to give the Health and Human Services secretary the power to block price increases in premiums by health insurers. That power, on its face, would be subjective and political. However, it would complete the take-over of American companies by this increasingly relentless socialist administration.

Look at the facts, these days government dictates how to make a product, the government dictates what to put in a product, the government dictates shipping methodology if the U.S. Postal Service is used, the government dictates working conditions with OSHA, the government dictates minimum pay for employees and who to hire with EEOC laws, the government dictates salaries and bonuses for management in some industries, and, at the end of the day, for its efforts, the government will be on hand to collect its fair share of the company’s profit through taxation if a company is fortunate enough to make a profit on its transactions.

Now the government wants to dictate to companies what they will charge for their products. 

What decision making is left for a company under this administration? Helping pick the color of tablecloths in the company mess hall?

This proposal will be the final nail in the de facto take-over of American business. And it neatly avoids the messiness and expense of actually having to buy or run companies ala General Motors or AIG. Free companies! What socialist politician wouldn’t be giddy with excitement over the prospect?

You just gotta admire that crazy Capitalist Socialism.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: The Ultimate Gold Hoarder

September 22nd, 2009 12:20 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Federal Reserve, gold, gold standard, inflation, law, Liberty, Market Regulation, Money, Politics, precious metals, price control  |  3 Responses

As part of the New Deal, Franklin D. Roosevelt confiscated all privately-owned gold and made it illegal to own the shiny metal, and fixed its price.  Jim Powell of the Future of Freedom Foundation goes through the history of the disastrous actions taken by FDR and the aftermath.

Roosevelt understood that he must apply the full force of federal power to suppress the natural desire for gold in troubled times. The Emergency Banking Act, signed into law March 9, amended the Federal Reserve Act by adding a new subsection (n), which empowered the secretary of the Treasury to demand that all Americans surrender their gold and receive paper money. The following day, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6073, which made it illegal for Americans to take gold out of the country.

In his first “fireside chat,” delivered on March 12, Roosevelt didn’t say a word about his backstage maneuvering to seize gold. He remarked that “hoarding during the past week has become an exceedingly unfashionable pastime.”

Less than a month later, on April 5, 1933, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6012, which expropriated privately owned gold. He ordered Americans to surrender their gold to the government by May 1, 1933. Violators would be subject to a $10,000 fine or as many as 10 years in prison.

Read the article here.

Are free market prices and government rationing the same thing?

September 3rd, 2009 2:50 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, DownsizeDC.org, Free Market, government spending, Health Care, Liberty, Market Regulation, Politics, price control  |  1

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

Quotes of the Day:

American Colonel: “How dare you relax our rationing system, when there’s a widespread food shortage?”

Ludwig Erhard (German economics minister):“But, Herr Oberst. I have not relaxed rationing; I have abolished it!”


If you tell someone that government-controlled healthcare will lead to rationing, they may respond by saying, “Healthcare is already rationed, by prices. If you can’t afford a treatment, you can’t get it.”

This seems like a powerful argument, but it isn’t. Here’s why . . .

* Free market prices are flexible, negotiable, and respond to consumer choice
* Prices set by the government are inflexible, non-negotiable, and respond only to back-room lobbying, or to the whims of the bureaucrats who set the prices or do the rationing

Free market price send signals to produce more or less of things, according to consumer demands. By comparison, government rationing only reflects what the politicians want.

Is healthcare different? It is not. Healthcare responds to free market prices, or to government dictates, in exactly the same way as all other goods and services. Consider . . .

* America’s half-socialized health care system is already having trouble maintaining an adequate supply of primary care doctors. Many of them are quitting their practices because the prices they’re paid by government programs, or by government-distorted insurance policies, aren’t worth it.

* Meanwhile, America’s half-free-market health care system still leads the world in medical innovation. Americans have won 11 Nobel Prizes in Medicine in the last 10 years, 26 in the last 20 years, and 39 in the last 30 years. No other country even comes close to this. What’s left of free-market pricing in America is keeping the health care of the entire world afloat.

* Healthcare procedures not covered by government programs, or by government-distorted insurance policies, show us that true free market pricing could give us ever-improving care at ever-lower prices.

In addition . . .

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Obama’s “public option” is still on the table — it’s just that now it’s called a “co-op”

August 19th, 2009 10:42 am  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, congress, DownsizeDC.org, fascism, government spending, Health Care, Liberty, Market Regulation, Politics, price control  |  1

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

Quotes of the Day:

“You could theoretically design a co-op plan that had the same attributes as a public plan.” — Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services

“Well, I think in theory you can imagine a co-operative meeting that definition.” — President Barack Obama


The Big Government health care bill doesn’t have the votes in the Senate and it’s taking a beating in public opinion. The latest Rasmussen Report shows that 54% of Americans now think passing no health care reform at all is better than passing the current plan.

The President and Congressional leaders have responded by appearing to surrender.

President Obama claims the so-called “public option” (tax funded health insurance) isn’t crucial. They would settle for something called a co-op instead.

Beware of politicians appearing to surrender. They’re almost always “Greeks bearing gifts.” The co-op alternative to the “public option” is a Trojan Horse.

Michael F. Cannon sums it up perfectly:

“On a practical level, it makes no difference whether a new program adopts a “co-operative” model or any other. The government possesses so many tools for subsidizing its own program and increasing costs for private insurers, and has such a long history of subsidizing and protecting favored enterprises, that unfair advantages are inevitable.”

So let’s update the formula we’ve been using to describe where all this will lead . . .

Co-op = public option = single-payer, tax-funded health care = health care decisions made by bureaucrats = no consumer choice or free market competition = declining health care.

We also want to repeat our warning . . .

It will take years for the public option/co-op to bring about a politically controlled single payer system, but it will happen, as surely as night follows day.

It’s also crucial to understand that . . .

* The small amount of consumer choice and free market competition that still exists in America is what drives improved health care not only for YOU, but for the whole world.

* The more socialist systems that exist elsewhere are fundamentally dependent on the INNOVATIONS created by the small remaining sliver of American free market health care.

American health care is the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg. Kill that goose and the whole world will suffer.

We must not be fooled by the politicians’ Trojan Horse surrender. We must only accept unconditional surrender. We must demand that . . .

* Every aspect of the Big Government health care bill be defeated
* Concrete steps must be taken to restore consumer choice and free market competition (including, but not limited to, an expansion of Health Savings Accounts and an end to government mandates that drive up the price of health insurance).

Please use DownsizeDC.org’s Educate the Powerful System (sm) to tell your Congressional employees what you want.

Use your personal comments to say that the co-op plan is just as bad as the public option, and must be rejected.

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Will YOU be nationalized next?

May 12th, 2009 10:28 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, congress, Constitution, DownsizeDC.org, fascism, Free Market, government spending, law, Liberty, Market Regulation, nationalization, Politics, price control, Socialism  |  Comments Off

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

Quote of the Day: “A centralized democracy may be as tyrannical as an absolute monarch.” — James Anthony Froud (1818-1894) British author and historian Source: Short Studies on Great Subjects, 1872


The federal government is nationalizing and centralizing in all directions, including…

* Banks
* Insurance companies
* Car companies
* And, as we reported yesterday, they now fund the majority of state government expenditures

But it isn’t just companies and state governments. The Feds want to nationalize YOU too.

It’s important for our new members to know that Congress is weaving a net that will ensnare all of us in a centralized database that could not only track where you go and what you do, but also . . .

What YOU spend on health care, and the kind of treatment YOU receive.

This scheme started with the so-called REAL ID Act, which would standardize state drivers’ licenses to make a de facto National ID card. You’ll need this card to cash a check, hire a baby sitter, board a plane, or engage in countless other activities. You’ll need it TO BE A PERSON.

Now that may not sound so different from today. You already need a driver’s license and a Social Security number to do many things. But your drivers’ license isn’t centralized at the federal level, and that makes all the difference. Here’s why . . .

The federal government has a huge problem with the Medicare program. They’ve made trillions of dollars in promises they can’t keep. But they have a plan to control costs . . .

* All of us will have REAL ID cards, issued by the states, but tracked in a centralized database
* The Feds will then force us to have electronic medical records too (this process is underway now)
* Your electronic medical records will be connected to the centralized REAL ID database
* The government will then start dictating which medical treatments you can receive and which you cannot

This last stage in the process is also being planned now. The supposed purpose is to protect us from ineffective treatments, but the real purpose is to control costs. In effect, the politicians will turn the entire country into a giant HMO. Do you want your health care needs being dictated by the same Keystone Gang who passed . . .

* The misguided lead regulation?
* And the self-defeating fossil fuels bill?

Well, here’s where all the threads tie together to create a net that will eventually strangle you. Twenty two states have refused to comply with the first step in this disaster scenario, the REAL ID Act. But how long do you think they’ll hold out now that . . .

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How is Congress spending its time — and your money? (Part 15)

March 26th, 2009 10:29 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, congress, Constitution, Environment, Foreign Policy, government spending, Gun Control, Liberty, Market Regulation, Politics, price control, Socialism, Taxes  |  1

With forty-nine new bills introduced in Congress yesterday, one must wonder how many are really necessary, and more importantly, how many are Constitutional.  Answer: very few.  In fact, the vast majority are unconstitutional intrusions into private industry, adding layer upon layer of regulation and bureaucracy.  Here are a few of the more obvious examples:

  • HR1690 – To amend the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 to authorize the Secretary of Commerce to make grants to coastal states to support voluntary State efforts to initiate and complete surveys of coastal waters to identify potential areas suitable for the exploration, development, and production of renewable energy, and for other purposes.
  • HR1691 – To require that health plans provide coverage for a minimum hospital stay for mastectomies, lumpectomies, and lymph node dissection for the treatment of breast cancer and coverage for secondary consultations.
  • HR1684 – To preserve the rights granted under second amendment to the Constitution in national parks and national wildlife refuge areas.  [Why do we need a bill to repeat what the second amendment already says?  Simply hang (for treason) all those who violate their oaths to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution.]
  • HR1692 – To amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act to exempt ordinary books from the lead limit in such Act.
  • HR1693 – To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the coverage of marriage and family therapist services and mental health counselor services under part B of the Medicare Program, and for other purposes.
  • S-672 – A bill to amend the Natural Gas Act, the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, and the Federal Power Act to modify provisions relating to enforcement and judicial review and to modify the procedures for proposing changes in natural gas rates.
  • S-674 - A bill to amend chapter 41 of title 5, United States Code, to provide for the establishment and authorization of funding for certain training programs for supervisors of Federal employees.
  • S-675 – A bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to prohibit the sale of dishwashing detergent in the United States if the detergent contains a high level of phosphorus, and for other purposes.
  • S-677 – A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require wealthy beneficiaries to pay a greater share of their premiums under the Medicare prescription drug program.
  • HR1677 – To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend and expand the benefits for businesses operating in empowerment zones, enterprise communities, or renewal communities, and for other purposes.
  • HR1678 – To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a bad debt deduction to doctors to partially offset the cost of providing uncompensated care required to be provided under amendments made by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act.
  • HR1680 – To authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to promote professional retrofit installation of fire alarm detection systems and other fire detection and prevention technologies in nursing homes, hospice facilities, and other appropriate facilities.
  • S-678 – A bill to reauthorize and improve the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, and for other purposes.
  • S-679 – A bill to establish a research, development, demonstration, and commercial application program to promote research of appropriate technologies for heavy duty plug-in hybrid vehicles, and for other purposes.
  • S-680 – A bill to limit Federal emergency economic assistance payments to certain recipients.  [Such a Bill should not be necessary.  No person or entity should receive emergency economic assistance.  Read Davy Crockett vs. Welfare.]
  • S-681 – A bill to provide for special rules relating to assistance concerning the Greensburg, Kansas tornado.

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