Venezuela’s Default Disaster

Socialism always promises heaven and gives hell.
In the early hours of Thursday, November 2, the Maduro regime certified its latest failure with what they promised would never happen: technical default. With his usual arrogance, Maduro issued a ‘decree’ demanding ‘the refinancing and restructuring of the debt as of November 3.’ That is, default.
The bad news for investors or high-yield hunters is that the likelihood of being swindled again is almost 100%.
Chavez once said ‘put me oil at zero and Venezuela will not suffer,’ and Maduro stated that ‘a revolutionary government with economic power as the one I preside has plans to surpass any situation arising from any price of oil.’ Reality has now kicked in.
Venezuela was not destroyed by low oil prices, but by high socialism.
Socialism has led Venezuela to an unparalleled economic disaster . No, it’s not ‘the price of oil.’ Venezuela is the only OPEC country that has fallen into default, depression, and hyperinflation. It’s not oil, it’s socialism.
The management disaster is spectacular and the greatest example of the devastating effect of socialism is the state-owned oil company. PdVSA, the national oil company, has gone from being one of the most efficient and profitable twenty years ago, to end up importing oil.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on 11/20/2017.

Obamacare Rage: One Family Of 4 In Virginia Is Faced With Paying $3,000 A Month For Health Insurance

Could you afford to pay $3000 a month for health insurance? Previously, Ian Dixon had been paying $900 a month for health insurance for his family of four, but thanks to changes in the Charlottesville insurance market, a similar plan will now cost him more than $3,000 a month. When I first came across this story on Zero Hedge, I have to admit that I got angry. I was angry at the Democrats for destroying our healthcare system in the first place, and I was angry at Republicans for failing to repeal Obamacare even though they have had almost a full year to do so. Obamacare is financially destroying hard working families all over the nation, and Congress must take action immediately.
Originally, Ian Dixon was excited about Obamacare because he thought that it would mean that he could continue to provide health insurance for his family once he left his full-time job. But now that he is facing a bill of more than $3,000 a month, all he is feeling is ‘rage’…
Ian Dixon, who left his full-time job in 2016 to pursue an app-development business, did so because the ACA guaranteed that he could still have quality coverage for his young family, he said.
But when the 38-year-old Charlottesville husband and father of a 3- and a 1-year-old went to re-enroll this month, his only choice for coverage would cost him more than $3,000 a month for his family of four, which amounted to an increase of more than 300 percent over the $900 he paid the year before. And this is for the second-cheapest option, with a deductible of $9,200.
‘Helpless is definitely a good word for it,’ Dixon said. ‘Rage is also a good word for it.’

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on November 19th, 2017.

OBAMACARE PREMIUM SPIKES IN 2018 NOW GREATER THAN TWO THIRDS OF A FAMILY’S WAGES IN SOME AREAS

Just as in 2016, Obamacare could remain one of the major hot button topics for voters going into the 2018 mid-term elections.
And unless the Congressional Republicans can hammer out some form of repeal, replace, or adaptation of the Healthcare Act before the end of 2017, then premiums are expected to once again skyrocket for the majority of American families next year.
And how high might some of these premiums go? Well in an example from one family in Virginia, their monthly premiums are going to be greater than two-thirds of the average household income for the entire state.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on NOVEMBER 18, 2017.

“Helpless, Raging” Charlottesville Families Shocked By These 2018 Obamacare Premiums…”It’s Horrific”

Over the past several months, Democrats have jumped on every opportunity possible to blame the Trump administration for yet another year of staggering Obamacare premium increases. Ironically, despite arguments from the Left that Trump’s defunding of Obamacare’s marketing budget would cause 2018 signups to plunge, as Politico recently noted, they’re actually up in 2018…which begs the question: was the Obama administration just wasting $100 million a year in taxpayer money for nothing? Shocking thought, we know.
Meanwhile a fresh barrage of outcries from Democrats, most notably Ms. Nancy Pelosi, came after Trump’s decision to cut federal subsidies, an action which the CBO insisted could result in devastating premium increases of up to 20%.
Of course, if Trump is responsible for 20% of Obamacare’s premium hikes in 2018, then perhaps Nancy Pelosi should explain to the Dixon family in Charlottesville, VA precisely who is responsible for the other portion of the 235% premium hike they just received.
As the Washington Post points out this morning, the Dixons, a family of 4 in Virginia, were shocked earlier this month to find that their Obamacare premiums were going to surge from roughly $900 per month in 2017 to over $3,000 per month in 2018.
Ian Dixon, who left his full-time job in 2016 to pursue an app-development business, did so because the ACA guaranteed that he could still have quality coverage for his young family, he said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.

Here’s what real US-Russian collusion looks like

The late great author and researcher, Antony Sutton (1925-2002), labored for many years to unearth US-Russian collusion at the highest levels. That’s why Sutton was censored by mainstream news and academic institutions.
The Best Enemy Money Can Buy (1986), and his three-volume classic, Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development, published between 1968 and 1973, exposed the deep historic relationship between US and Russian power players.
The recent Clinton Uranium One scandal, which gave Putin control over 20% of American uranium, should be viewed in the context of a much larger history.
Sutton meticulously documented the transfer of key technologies from the West to the USSR.
Why would the Rockefellers, Armand Hammer, and others take the lead in such a covert transfer program, over the course of decades? Because: money and profits, on one level.
On another level, bolstering the Russian Communist/Socialist State was part of the elite Rockefeller plan to expand socialism, in many forms, across countries all over the world.
Under the phony guise of helping the downtrodden establish a new and better world for all, the socialist goal was, as usual, top-down control. The theoretical foundation (Marx) was modern; the tyranny was as old as the hills.
Further, supplying Russia with vital technology it sorely lacked would eventually produce the Cold War. That mighty stand-off was a gigantic money maker. It was also created as a threat to Europe, which justified the rise of the European Union – another major Rockefeller/CFR/Bilderberg plan to extend the covert agenda of Socialist Globalism. The EU IS a regional face of Globalism.

This post was published at Jon Rappoport on Nov 15, 2017.

The New York Times and the “Lost Cause” of Bolshevism

A century ago this week, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia ushered in a century of mass murder, starvation, summary execution of millions of people, destruction of ancient social institutions, wars, a vast network of death camps, and the evisceration of liberty, at one time, of a third of the planet.
According to the New York Times, we should be mourning the passage of this era and all of its promises of a better life for all.
You read that correctly.
For the past few months, leading up to the centennial of when the followers of Lenin and Trotsky overthrew the Provision Government of Russia and established ‘all power to the Soviets,’ the Times has run a series of op-ed articles by people mostly mourning the ‘Lost Cause’ of communism and all of its promise. We have learned that Bolsheviks were wonderful parents, that women under communism had great sex, Mao liberated women(when he wasn’t murdering them), that Bolshevism promoted a pristine, clean environment and we should all be communists if we want environmental purity (except that the communist bloc had much worse pollution problems than the so-called polluted capitalist West), and that the revolutionary fervor of communism can lead to a glorious socialist future.
As one reads these articles, it becomes clear that to the NYT, the end of communism as we knew it – except for a few backwaters like North Korea and Cuba – really was the end of hope for a better life, the end of hope of liberation from the slavery of capitalism, and the end of hope that the state could forcibly destroy human institutions from marriage to religion and replace them with peace, love, and brotherhood. If only.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Nov 14, 2017.

Mainstream Economists Whitewashed the Evils of Communism

To ‘commemorate’ the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution in Russian, I’ve been sharing a series of columns on the evil of communism.
On October 30, I looked at the death toll resulting from communist tyranny. On November 5, I discussed the shameful actions of communist apologists. On November 7, I shared some amusing mockery of totalitarian communism. Today, I’m going to target my profession.
But I’m going to bend over backwards to be fair. I’m not going to condemn the economists back in the 1920s and 1930s who were sympathetic to central planning. They were horribly wrong, but that was before economists from the Austrian School prevailed in the ‘Socialist Calculation Debate.’ So we’ll give them an undeserved pass.
And we’ll even excuse the wrongheaded thinking of economists who sympathized with communism in the first couple of decades after World War II. After all, maybe they were just naive when they blindly accepted and regurgitated statistics from the Soviet Union (just as I think some people today are being somewhat gulliblewhen they accept stats today from Beijing).
But there’s no excuse for any sentient being – especially an economist – to have praised the decrepit communist economic model by the time we got to the 1980s.
Yet some very prominent economists were guilty of whitewashing the sins of communism. I condemned Paul Samuelson two years ago (albeit only in a postscript) for his Pollyannish assessment of the Soviet economy. There was absolutely no excuse for him to write that, ‘…the Soviet economy is proof that…a socialist command economy can function and even thrive.’
Especially since he made that claim shortly before the Berlin Wall collapsed. That takes a special type of ignorance.
But Samuelson wasn’t the only academic economist to disseminate nonsense. Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution shares some additional examples of mal-education.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on 11/10/2017.

Blame Game Over Obamacare’s 2018 Premium Surge Reaches Feverish Pitch, Will It Matter In 2018?

As Americans head to the exchanges to purchase their Obamacare plans for 2018, many are experiencing a bit of sticker shock. As the Wall Street Journal points out this morning, folks in Deaf Smith, Texas can expect their premiums to surge 87% next year while those in Clinton, Iowa are looking at a sickening increase of 171%, with monthly premiums surging from $288 to $781.
In Deaf Smith, Texas, for example, a 40-year old single individual who earns too much for federal aid will see premiums jump 87% – from about $290 to $540 – according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of prices for a popular, midprice health plan. Only people who make less than 400% of the poverty level – about $48,000 in most states this year – are eligible for federal aid.
In Clinton, Iowa, premiums will rise from $288 to $781, an increase of 171%, for the same plan.
‘There is unquestionably a growing divide in affordability between lower-income people who qualify for premium subsidies and middle-income people who do not,’ said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
AnnMarie McIlwain, a patient advocate in Summit, N. J., pays $1,087 a month for a family policy, and her premiums next year are going up 39%. With their deductible, the family’s annual health costs could surpass $20,000.
‘I find it outrageous. I think there’s going to be a huge outcry,’ said Mrs. McIIwain, 56. ‘They have gone up year over year, but never like this.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 9, 2017.

Disaster In Red: The 100th Anniversary Of The Russian Socialist Revolution

November 7, 2017, marked the one hundredth anniversary of the Russian (or Bolshevik) Revolution in Russia that happened on that date in November 1917, which lead to the communist ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ and ushered in an epoch of totalitarian tyranny and mass murder both in Russia and in every other country where socialism was put into practice.
***
Historians estimate that as many as 150 million people, if not more – innocent men, women and children – were killed in the name of building the collectivist utopia.
They were shot, tortured, worked or starved to death in prison cells, in interrogation rooms, in labor camps, or just in the places where they lived.
‘Socialism-in-practice’ created a chamber of horrors in which the individual was reduced to a mere expendable ‘cog in the wheel’ to serve the collective good, or made into ‘enemies of the people’ to be eliminated as the prelude to building the ‘bright, beautiful communist future.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 9, 2017.

Woman Who Flipped Off Trump’s Motorcade Was Fired For Her Behavior

The woman made infamous for flipping off president Donald Trump’s motorcade says she was fired from her job for her childish behavior. Juli Briskman said the marketing company bosses called her in and gave her the boot.
But, nonetheless, the 50-year-old says she has no regrets about flipping off the president’s motorcade. Briskman was cycling in Virginia last month when she offered the gesture in what she described as a ‘gut reaction’ to Donald Trump’s policies. ‘He was passing by and my blood just started to boil,’ she told the Huffington Post. ‘I’m thinking, DACA (aka, ‘dreamers,’ children of illegal immigrants who were allowed to stay in the United States) recipients are getting kicked out. He pulled ads for open enrollment in Obamacare. Only one-third of Puerto Rico has power. I’m thinking, he’s at the damn golf course again.’
A photographer traveling with the presidential motorcade snapped Briskman’s picture and the image quickly spread across news outlets and social media. Many hailed Briskman as a hero, with some saying she should run in the 2020 election; while others called her disrespectful, emotionally driven, and childish.

This post was published at shtfplan on November 7th, 2017.

John McCain Confirms: Tax Reform Is “DOA In The Senate”

Note how the latest GOP tax plan has converged with that proposed weeks ago by Goldman Sachs pic.twitter.com/rcmczAFPWH
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) November 6, 2017

It’s official: The Republican tax reform bill is dead on arrival in the Senate now that John McCain has become the third Republican senator to confirm that he plans to vote against it.
What’s worse for the Trump administration, McCain reportedly wants the bill to receive input from both parties – a criticism that he cited as his reason for voting against the Trump administration’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. This is particularly problematic because there’s approximately zero chance that any Democratic lawmakers will break ranks to vote with Republicans, despite President Donald Trump repeatedly saying that he expects to win a modicum of bipartisan support.
McCain reportedly confirmed that the bill in its current form is effectively DOA during an interview with Fox Business’s Charlie Gasparino.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 6, 2017.

Failed Former MSNBC Host Keith Olbermann Downplays The Crimes Of Osama Bin Laden And ISIS In Sickening Attack On Donald Trump

During an appearance on ABC’s ‘The View,’ former ESPN and MSNBC broadcaster Keith Olbermann doubled down on a recent Tweet in which he ludicrously declared that Donald Trump has done more damage to the country than supposed 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden and ISIS combined.
In an shocking example of what has become known as ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’, Olbermann took to Twitter on November 1st to respond to a Tweet by Donald Trump Jr. that wondered if the left would ever care as much about a terror attack as they do about those who expose socialism.
Olbermann, apparently triggered by Trump Jr’s message, went straight into batshit crazy mode, openly declaring that President Trump had done more damage to the country than the man that many believe was behind the worst terrorist attack in the history of the United States as well as the most brutal terrorist organization seen in modern times, ISIS.


This post was published at shtfplan on November 3rd, 2017.

How The DPRK Riddle Is Freaking Out The US Establishment

The 19th Party Congress has made it very clear that ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ – as codified by President Xi Jinping – is China’s road map ahead. Not only does the strategy graphically eschew those much-lauded ‘Western values’; it will, in Xi’s own words, offer ‘a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence.’
Xinhua even dared to venture, ‘the 21st century is likely to see capitalism lose its appeal while the socialist movement, led by China, rapidly catches up’.
To say this won’t go down very well in the West, especially in the US, may be the understatement of the century – even considering that the Chinese system is more like ‘neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics.’
It’s enlightening to crisscross what happened in Beijing with what was happening in Washington on the eve of President Trump’s trip to Asia, when he will visit China but also Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines. Discussion of virtually all the key issues in Asia-Pacific will be on the table.
Asia-Pacific is where the real action is – geopolitically and geoeconomically. And once again, the number one issue in the intractability stakes will be the DPRK.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 2, 2017.

Stealth socialism: follow the money

‘If I fund you, I own you.’
‘No you don’t.’
‘Want to see what happens if I cut off the funding flow?’
‘No.’
‘I’ve made my point. Case closed.’
In ‘classical’ socialism, the government owns the means of production. It owns all business and companies and corporations. It decides what is produced, where it is distributed, who benefits, who suffers.
This classical definition allows an escape hatch. ‘Look at America. How many companies are actually owned by the federal government? How many are in private hands? America isn’t even close to being a socialist nation…’
Now let’s get real. In actual practice, socialism means the central government controls increasing chunks of the economy by funding them.
The government doesn’t literally have to own thousands of businesses. Government can FUND businesses. With contracts. In that case, what these companies produce is flowing from government money. ‘I don’t literally own you. But I bankroll you. If I removed that money, you would be in a great deal of trouble…’
That IS a covert form of government owning the means of production.
In 2014, the US federal government budget was $3.5 trillion. What did it do with that money (besides hiding and stealing some portion of it)? It spent it. It spent it by giving out contracts to private companies and government entities.
Government was so obsessed with spending it, the budget went into the red to the tune of $484 billion.

This post was published at Jon Rappoport on October 29, 2017.

JFK Files: The CIA Planned To Murder American Citizens In Miami And Blame It On Cuba During Operation Mongoose

As reporters have began to sift through the thousands of newly revealed government documents relating to the assassination of President Kennedy and subsequent investigation, we are starting to see some stunning revelations concerning not only JFK but the overall mindset of the CIA at the time in their all out war against Communism.
One of the more scary revelations to come out so far details a copy of a paper on ‘Pretexts’ for war with Cuba that described a plan, under Operation Mongoose, to conduct false flag terror attacks in Miami, to be blamed on Cuba but actually carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency.
‘Operation Mongoose’ was the operational name for the CIA’s plan to topple the Castro government which we now know included purposefully killing our own citizens.
The time was 1962, the same year that brought us the now infamous Operation Northwoods, which was also a plan to kill American citizens as a pretext for war with Communist Cuba.
‘On April 12th, 1962, General Lansdale forwarded to Maxwell Taylor an ‘advance copy’ of the Joint Chiefs paper on ‘Pretexts’ stating, I am informed that the Chiefs approve of this,’ reads the document.

This post was published at shtfplan on October 28th, 2017.

In Remembrance of the October Revolution

Communism: An Unmitigated Disaster
This October marks the centennial anniversary of the Bolshevik takeover of Russia and the establishment of Soviet-style Communism which tragically, for the Russian people, would last for some seventy interminable years. Not only did the Soviet regime liquidate and imprison millions, but its idiotic system of central planning impoverished the country, turning it into an economic basket case, the effects of which reverberate to this day.
Just as bad, the Bolsheviks murdered the last Czar, Nicholas II and his family, brutally ending nearly five hundred years of monarchical rule of Russia. Within a year of the demise of the Russian aristocracy, two other of Europe’s venerable royal houses – Germany and Austria – met the same fate, all three casualties of their insane decision to participate in World War I. The end of the German Court and especially that of Austria came at the vengeful insistence of then President Woodrow Wilson, who brought the US into the conflict on the pledge to make the ‘world safe for democracy.’

This post was published at Acting-Man on October 26, 2017.

The plot to overthrow America – oh, that’s just a fantasy

Socialism for the good of all, sponsored by ‘the people?’
Please. If you buy that one, I have beachfront condos for sale on the dark side of the moon.
I continue to expose the expansion of socialism – ‘the revolution by and for the masses,’ which is in fact a plot of ultra-rich monopolists.
Echoing across 45 years, here is an excerpt from Gary Allen’s 1971 classic, ‘None Dare Call It Conspiracy’:
‘What we are witnessing is the Communist tactic of pressure from above and pressure from below, described by Communist historian Jan Kozak as the device used by the Reds to capture control of Czecho-Slovakia. The pressure from above comes from secret, ostensibly respectable Comrades in the government and Establishment, forming, with the radicalized mobs in the streets below, a giant pincer around middle-class society. The street rioters are pawns, shills, puppets, and dupes for an oligarchy of elitist conspirators working above to turn America’s limited government into an unlimited government with total control over our lives and property.’
‘The American middle class is being squeezed to death by a vise… In the streets we have avowed revolutionary groups such as the Students for a Democratic Society (which was started by the League for Industrial Democracy, a group with strong C. F. R. ties), the Black Panthers, the Yippies, the Young Socialist Alliance. These groups chant that if we don’t ‘change’ America, we will lose it. ‘Change’ is a word we hear over and over. By ‘change’ these groups mean Socialism. Virtually all members of these groups sincerely believe that they are fighting the Establishment. In reality they are an indispensable ally of the Establishment in fastening Socialism on all of us. The naive radicals think that under Socialism the ‘people’ will run everything. Actually, it will be a clique of Insiders in total control, consolidating and controlling all wealth. That is why these schoolboy Lenins and teenage Trotskys are allowed to roam free and are practically never arrested or prosecuted. They are protected. If the Establishment wanted the revolutionaries stopped, how long do you think they would be tolerated?’

This post was published at Jon Rappoport on October 25, 2017.