Welcome to another installment of Swamponomics: Liberty Nation’s dive into the week’s morass of top news stories and the stream of economic fallacies that have been accepted as conventional wisdom by swamp creatures for years.
Socialist Squad Selling Shirts
The Socialist Squad, as LN’s Jeff Charles described the quartet of far-left congresswomen, is trying to profit off of its meteoric ascent to the top of national headlines. Despite promoting a diverse array of socialist schemes and repeatedly lamenting the supposed evils of capitalism, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) are using the marketplace to fund their campaigns.
For $25, you can visit ActBlue, a left-leaning small-dollar fundraising platform, and purchase “We Are The Squad” t-shirts. You can get this apparel in black or white. The money will be evenly distributed between the four ladies to use for their campaigns.
According to the description:
“The Squad has never been just four people. Our Squad is everyone who recognizes the cruelty and bigotry of this Administration, and is committed to advocating, legislating, and working every day for a more just and equitable world.”
Only in a capitalist society can you sell socialism to a gullible public and make a profit. Whether it is hypocritical or nonsensical, watching this happen is hilarious because it shows the free market may not be as bad as this group regularly pontificates.
Mnuchin Munchin’ on Amazon
Speaking in an interview with CNBC, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took aim at Amazon, accusing the online juggernaut of destroying the US retail industry and limiting competition.
He told Squawk Box:
“There’s areas where they’ve really hurt small businesses, so I don’t think this is a one-size-fits-all, and I don’t have an opinion going in other than I think it’s absolutely right that the attorney general is looking into these issues and I look forward to listening to his recommendations to the president.”
But is the website really affecting retail and capping competition? Hardly. This is a myth that has been accepted as truth.
Now, you could present the case that Amazon contributed to the demise of the brick-and-mortar business model, but this was inevitable based on consumers’ shopping preferences. They ostensibly like purchasing items on the computer and receiving these products within a couple of days.
While Amazon controls between 4% and 8% of the national retail market, the e-commerce behemoth has assisted tens of thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to generate as much as $1 million in sales. On the job front, nearly one million jobs have been created outside of the company because of the Amazon Marketplace.
Indeed, the company has an impressive ecosystem that other businesses take advantage of to attract attention, boost sales, and pad their bottom lines. When you assess Amazon’s logistics, it can be concluded that it is a facilitator of SMBs, not the harbinger of their doom.
In the same interview, Mnuchin revealed that he will not advocate for a weak dollar policy in the near term. Well, do you know what else is helping the dollar maintain its strong purchasing power of the last few years? Amazon. The company is an inflation killer. With very little overhead costs, Amazon can undercut prices and allow customers’ dollars to go further.
Working in the Yang Clan
Andrew Yang‘s policy proposals are not the most conservative or libertarian, but when everyone else in the Democratic presidential race is calling for trillions in free stuff and believing there are racists hiding under their beds, his ideas are not too extreme. Case in point, his stance on occupational licensing.
Yang plans to encourage mobility across states, which is important to America’s dynamic economy, by increasing state-by-state recognition of occupational licenses. He also proposes a $1,000 tax credit for moving expenses to boost state migration flows; there used to be a similar deduction in the tax code, but it was eliminated in the 2017 tax cut bill.
Ultimately, Yang’s goal is to assist low- and middle-income professionals in relocating to parts of the country with better job prospects. American professionals are stuck in their respective states because other jurisdictions might not recognize their licensing, which would force them to go through the entire process again. As a result, 36% are less likely to move, and they are losing out on more than $700 million in additional earnings. It is important to note that licensing is not only an issue for a few service-sector jobs; one-third of all professions require some form of approval from the state.
Occupational licensing is increasingly becoming one of the few bipartisan issues as both sides are learning how ridiculous state-mandated licensing has become, whether it is for braiding hair or interior decorating. Of course, statists will contend: “But without the government, who will protect consumers from smalltime entrepreneurs poisoning their customers as they tell their fortune?” Yes, there is a push to regulate fortune tellers!
The businessman’s policy proposal is a step in the right direction. It would be better to abolish occupational licensing altogether, but this is a state issue, not a federal one. It is too bad that Yang’s idea will not garner too much attention in the 2020 race because the objective in the Democratic primary is to concentrate on abortions for men, segregation-era bussing, and trillions in free stuff.
Government < Market
It is entertaining to witness politicians promote big government and then rail against many components of the Leviathan. It is equally amusing to watch socialists embrace the capitalist model. It is about time that people holding or seeking public office, particularly of the leftist persuasion, concede that the market is superior to the state in every regard. The government is only a hindrance to even greater free market innovation, consumer satisfaction, and prosperity.