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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Socialism and the Totalitarian State

I have a fourth and last installment coming on socialism in Sweden, but before I get to that I wanted to return to a conceptual discussion regarding socialism. In yesterday's article I suggested that:

Socialism refers to economic redistribution, i.e., the welfare state, its spending programs and its progressive taxation;

Statism refers to other government intrusions into private life, such as regulations, excessive policing (beyond what is needed to protect life, liberty and property), and other restrictions on individual and economic freedom.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Socialism in Sweden, Part 3

My first two articles on socialism in Sweden have sparked some interesting conversations, one of which centered in on the concept of socialism itself and how it relates to the size of government overall. The discussion centered in on the relation between "socialism" and "statism", an important issue I will return to in more depth with a separate article. For now, let me suggest:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Socialism in Sweden, Part 2

Yesterday I published my first article on the ridiculous idea, thrown around by pop-tart libertarians and opining college professors that Sweden is not at all a socialist nation, but a robustly capitalist, libertarian country. I am still scratching my head trying to figure out why Sweden has suddenly become the object of libertarian worship, but I will not spend my time trying to get inside the heads of those pundits. Let me instead explain what Sweden actually looks like. It will take a few articles, but it is worth it.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Socialism in Sweden, Part 1

For some reason, Sweden has become a hot topic in American politics, especially on the right. I am baffled by this, and even more so by the uninformed nonsense being produced with great intensity by "libertarians" and others on the right. 

Here are two of the most pathetically uninformed examples thus far. In a recent video, pop-tart libertarian Johan Norberg claimed that Sweden is not socialist and its economy is great. 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Raising the Debt Crisis Alarm

I have repeatedly discussed the debt-crisis problem, both on this blog and elsewhere:
  • My last two books discuss the origin of the structural debt crisis in modern welfare states; and
  • Last year I wrote a two-part paper for the Center for Freedom and Prosperity on the potential for a Greek-style crisis here in the United States.
I am far from alone raising the alarm about a U.S. debt crisis, but our voices do not seem to be able to penetrate the sound-proof walls of Congress.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Paid Leave: One Step Closer to Industrial Poverty

Never bark at the Big Dog. The Big Dog is always right.

Since my book Industrial Poverty in 2014, I have repeatedly explained that once a welfare state grows past a certain size, economic growth tanks permanently. The benchmark is that the welfare state spends 40 percent of GDP; it is not the size of spending per se that grinds the economy to a halt, but the invasive nature of a government of that size. At 40 percent, that invasion reaches a critical mass that the private sector simply cannot accommodate.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Is Your Life Worthy of The State Budget?

The point with the American constitutional republic is to let people live their lives without government interference. The state is supposed to be limited to its minimal duties: the protection of life, liberty and property. Unfortunately, as government grows it breaches these limits time and time again.

Until it gets so big it starts destroying what it was supposed to protect in the first place. 

Do Not Invest in Greek Debt

This has got to be one of the most boneheaded government-debt decisions in recent history. From the Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2019 (p.B1, print edition):
Greece said it plans to issue the first 10-year bonds in nearly a decade, as the eurozone's most indebted country emerges from grueling bailouts and taps brad investor appetite for risky debt.