How the Good Intentions of a Left-Wing Economist Lead to Bad Results

•May 26, 2016 • Leave a Comment

By Con George-Kotzabasis May 19, 2016

The following is an unconsummated reply to professor Andrew Leigh’s lecture with the title, “Markets Monopolies and Moguls…” held at Melbourne University, on May 19, 2016. This was due to the chairman’s instruction that only a sprinkle of questions would follow the end of the presentation and there would be no debate

I’m overly distrustful of people who use scarecrows, in this case the “mogul” Richard Pratt, to make their argument. Moreover, it is a term associated with sinister practices and easily tantalizes and incites the feelings of the crowd to purge the evildoers. But more dismally it is wrong in your case, as it is an exercise in a fallacy of composition: Just because there are few rotten apples in the cart it does not mean that all apples are rotten. The unprecedented prosperity of capitalism was not engendered by rottenness but by the creative, innovative, and dynamic spirit of entrepreneurship.

The great economic historian, Fernand Braudel, depicts the shifts of capitalist centres and their entrepreneurial moguls, from Venice, Genoa, Antwerp, Amsterdam, London, to New York, spreading boundless prosperity to these metropolises and their environs by means of the ceaseless division of labour, international trade and the capitalist dynamic ethos of entrepreneurial creation. It was the sun-king of entrepreneurial capitalism that had pulled millions of people out of the sunless caves of poverty into the sunlit vistas of capitalist plenitude, heightening their standard of living, for the first time in history, on ever-higher plateaus.

(The scientific writer, Arthur Koestler, contends that the great discoveries of science were motivated by ambition, competition, and vanity, which happen also to be the inherent characteristics of capitalist moguls.)

You have mentioned a lot of negatives about “bigness” and market concentration but not the fact that they rather have a short life since there is no blockage of entry in a competitive economy to other entrepreneurs into these concentrated areas. One example, the entry of the innovative entrepreneur ALDIS into the food-chain services and its reduction of the prices of its products in comparison to other chains, not only attracted many consumers to its stores but also forced the other two major super markets of SAFEWAY and WOOLWORTHS to reduce their prices at the feel of the competitive pinch of the newcomer. Competition does not discriminate between big and small but it equally affects both.

But to deal with your argument that inequality should be a major consideration in competition policy, and regulating mergers and prices would be beneficial to the consumer. The competitive market in itself, without the need of regulation, spreads its cheaper products to an ever-greater number of consumers and therefore decreases inequality. The competition of Telstra and Optus is an example. The same applies to iPods. Ride a train, a bus, or a tram and you will see even the lower classes fully equipped with these cheaper gadgets of a competitive technology and once again the line of inequality is lowered down for the less wealthy consumer.

It is not the business of government to regulate mergers and pricing. This is the bailiwick of entrepreneurs who decide if such a merger will be profitable, whether it will be able to compete with an already established corporation producing the same product, and setting its price on such a level that it will attract consumers to buy its product en mass. Furthermore, as far as the regulation is close to the estimates and interests of the entrepreneurs it is superfluous; and as far as it is distanced from these estimates and interests, it is destructive. No businessman will invest his money in a venture where profit is unattainable. Hence, your regulation, that aborts the setting-up of a merger that would produce cheaper products for the consumer, by depriving the latter from having these goods, increases the inequality of the mass consumer. Not surprisingly, as often happens, good intentions lead to bad results.

Therefore, your proposal of government dirigisme as a panacea in regards to competition and regulation is inutile, fanciful, and fallacious, and more perniciously may turn out to be a destructive force.

I rest on my oars: Your turn now

 

 

 

Dangers Lurking in Having a Big Heart for Refugees of Muslim Origin

•May 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment

By Con George-Kotzabasis

It is most unwise to have a “big heart” for refugees indiscriminately as one might finish-up with no heart for refugees at all, as Europe has presently shown by closing its borders. This is because its foolish politicians never asked the crucial questions, i.e., what is the cultural and religious background of these refugees and whether they would be assimilable to Western culture.

Presently, the heart of Europe is mortally threatened by two great implacable foes: By the peaceful enemy of demographics and by the bellicose enemy of Islamist terror. Just two examples: In Holland, 33% of children under the age of fifteen are Muslim; in the welfare bliss of Norway, there are Muslim enclaves where indigenous Norwegians are persona non grata. And one must not delude oneself that Islamist terror is an ephemeral threat or a rivulet within the Muslim mainstream; on the contrary, it is a powerful current that determines the course of the mainstream. Thus European humanitarianism in an adolescent rush of romanticism, embraced its beloved refugees only to find out that it had embraced its own destroyer.

The great Islamist scholar Bernard Lewis, predicts, that if this sinister trend of demographics does not change, Europe will be Muslim in seventy years, if it is not destroyed first by suicidal fanatics.

Australia also faces the same predicament, perhaps even in a more exacerbated form. With 250 million Muslims on its north and a sizable and ever increasing Muslim Diaspora on its land, and the possibility in the near future of a military conflict with Indonesia, it would become a lethal fifth column. In such a situation, Australia will hardly be able to prevent its decapitation by the myrmidons of fanatic Islam.

A grandmother warned that one had to be very careful where one put his loyalty and his genetic organ. It is advisable that humanitarian policy-makers on open-door non-discriminatory migration take notice of this grandmotherly precept.

 

 

Marx and his Reincarnation Continue to be Hotbed of Gross Errata

•April 17, 2016 • Leave a Comment

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following is a very brief reply to professor of economics Kostas Lapavitsas, and former member of Parliament with the Party of Syriza, to his thesis, that Greece can achieve its national sovereignty only by going back to its own currency, i.e., the drachma, delivered at the Ithacan House, Melbourne, on April 15, 2016. The three first paragraphs were omitted from my response as I assumed regrettably wrongly, that the time allotted to the questioners at the meeting would be too short and hence I did not include them.

 

Professor Lapavitsas, allow me to make a short comment before I come to my question, as at the start I want to point out what I believe to be the roots of your erroneous proposition.  

Dialectical materialism even in its modern reincarnation of neo-Marxism, which you espouse, is a hotbed of gross errata, not to say terata (monsters), and hence a fallacious doctrine.

Yet the ghost in the machine of Marxism, despite its irreparable breakdown, continues to churn-out apparitional panaceas for the ills of global capitalism. One such quack panacea is your own proposition.

My question is: Show us one country in the world hit by absolute poverty, which, your implied return to the drachma entails, that by adopting your proposal has achieved national sovereignty and kept it; If you cannot show us such a country, then your proposal is a mirage, a will-o’-the-wisp, an occult fancy.

But what is more worrisome is that you are asking the Greek people, after the botched Tsipras-Varoufakis experiment, to be also the guineapigs to your own theoretical experiment which has hardly better odds of success than the Varoufakian one.

National sovereignty is the result of prosperity not of poverty.

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Suspicion toward Muslim Women Hidden Behind the Veil of Victimisation

•March 17, 2016 • Leave a Comment

The following is a would be reply to Dr. Shakira Hussein’s talk at Readings in Carlton, on March 15, 2016, with the title “From Victims to Suspects”…, which I was not allowed by the chairperson to elaborate, as she considered my questions hostile and uninteresting towards Muslim women.    

In the mad world of the Taliban, ISIS, and suicidal Islamist terror, it is not difficult for sane people to become “paranoiacs”.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

You are attempting to hide suspicion behind the veil of victimisation whose presumed agent is Islamophobia. The real agent, however, is your own religion that classifies women in comparison to men as second–rate beings.

As long as Muslim women cannot attain true femininity and banish the burqa and the hijab, symbols of their absolute bondage to Muslim male supremacy and its sex morals, they will have a cloud of suspicion hanging over them. As most Muslim men, if not open supporters of Jihad, are at least justifying the actions of Jihadists, since they believe unswervingly that all actions, no matter how atrocious, against the Great Satan America and all other Western Nations that are in league with it and are responsible for all the ills that have been fallen upon Muslim countries, are justifiable. A very thin line separates justification from Jihad and it takes only one step to be on the other side. And since Muslim women are submissive and docile to their men, they have to abide to the beliefs and actions of the latter. Hence, potentially, they can become active participants in this Holy War against the West. Hence, there are solid grounds for suspicion.

Only Muslim women who have the moral and intellectual fortitude, like the brave and great Somalian, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to renounce and liberate themselves from the rigid tenets of the Koran can remove the shadow of suspicion that are enshrouded in. And no professed adherence to Multiculturalism and human rights can bail out either Muslim men or women from this suspicion. What human rights would the devotees of the Koran give to the offspring of Satan? And don’t reply to me with the platitude that you can make distinctions among the people of the Western world. For how can you distinguish good infidels from bad infidels?

Defeat not Degrade ISIS Correct Strategy

•January 17, 2016 • Leave a Comment

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Brief reply to: An Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) First Strategy

By Robert Bunker Small Wars Journal August 30, 2014

One has to make a clear distinction between real existent hostility (ISIS) and potential hostility (by other uncertainly defined actors), so one has to be decisive in one’s choice which hostility to confront first. Robert Bunker is correct in stating, “an Islamist state has to be considered more dangerous than a secular autocratic state.” The latter is “ideologically bankrupt” whereas the former because of its “spiritual ideological component” has “a very real expansionist potential” and therefore is “more dangerous.” According to this logic therefore, one has primarily to confront and eliminate this danger emanating from ISIS and not merely weaken the latter for the purpose of maintaining it as a force that would prevent other forces inimical to the United States from filling the “political and institutional vacuum” left by the decimation and total defeat of ISIS. First, ISIS in its short reign, other than verbally and ceremonially as true believers of the Koran, have hardly established a “political and institutional” framework that with its ousting would be occupied by other belligerent and hostile forces. The area upon which its so called Caliphate was established, from which thousands of people fled to save their lives, will once again, with the total defeat of ISIS, revert back to its original occupiers, Syrians, Kurds, and Iraqis, who with the exception of Syrian supporters of Assad, the latter two groups are hardly enemies of the USA.

The defeat of ISIS by American airpower and by forays of its Special Forces and its allies of Kurds and Iraqis on the ground will be a decisive blow to all Islamist terrorists, including those of al Qaeda. And it will put an end to the flow of its recruits from internal and external sources. I would suggest therefore that to achieve this great victory one must adopt the strategy that will defeat and eliminate ISIS and not the strategy that will degrade and weaken it.

Continue reading ‘Defeat not Degrade ISIS Correct Strategy’

Zeroing In on the Enemy Within

•November 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

In view of the murderous attack in Paris by members of the fanatical “state” of ISIS, I’m republishing the following article for the readers of this blog.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

I’m republishing this article written on July 2005 and published originally on my blog Nemesis as a result of a report of the Australian today that all five of the arrested would-be terrorists were regular prayers at the Preston Mosque in Melbourne where the Mufti of Australasia Sheikh Fehmi Naji el-Imam presides. Also as a result  of the violent Islamist demonstration in Sydney  on the pretext  that a video made in the USA by a Coptic Christian insulted  their prophet Mohammed. In this demonstration Muslim children between the ages of four and eight  were carrying placards that demanded the beheading of infidels.

It’s about time that Australia lost its innocence, so it will not fall a victim to the cunning, deceitful, and sinister foe of Muslim fanatics who are in our midst. As I’ve been writing since September 11, a terrorist attack by the enemy within the metropolises of Western civilization was always on the cards, as the bombings in Madrid and London have exemplified. Insightful and responsible governments must no longer shilly-shally about what is to be done, against this imminent internal threat of holocaustian dimensions that is embedded in the West.

The Government must immediately pass emergency legislation (even retrospective legislation) that would enable it, either to deport or jail fundamentalist imams, and all their suspect fanatical recruits. One must have no illusions. All bearded Muslims are potential terrorists. It’s the “emblem” by which they proudly display and flaunt their belief in fundamentalist Islam– such as Sheik Mohammed Omran from the Brunswick mosque who propagates openly or by stealthy means the ideology of fanaticism among his ten thousands followers, and praises the acts of terror as being fully justified against the infidels of the West and their governments that are fighting terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, to prevent, and nip in the bud, any possible backlash that could arise among Muslim communities in support of these imams, such legislation should encompass that anyone who supports these imams, would also be liable for deportation.

Furthermore, this emergency legislation should eschew the intricacies and procrastinations that are involved in legal due process, so it could deport these imams and their recruits post haste. Additionally, the Government should immediately cease all funding to Muslim schools, unless the latter introduced in their curricula a no-leaks-assimilation to the mainstream culture of Australia, where the families of the children who attend these schools have freely chosen to settle in. Under no circumstances should these schools and mosques continue to nourish themselves on the teat of government largesse in the name of multiculturalism. The majority of Muslims do not believe in multiculturalism, as they are inveterate monoculturalists believing that their culture is superior to any other culture, and they sneeringly laugh behind the back of multiculturalism while they use the latter for their own sinister purposes. It’s timely that the Government put an end to this joke that is played upon Australians, by abandoning the disastrous policy of multiculturalism, to paraphrase John Stone. Even the most fervent supporters of multiculturalism in Europe, especially in the Netherlands after the murder of the film-maker van Gogh by a Muslim fanatic, are presently considering its abandonment.

Australia presently, is involved with its allies in a total war against global terror. Total war by definition is an unconditional, no holds barred war not only against a mortal enemy, but also against all the allies and supporters of the latter, such as the regime of Saddam Hussein was. Nations which profess to be involved in a total war, such as the U.S.A and its allies claim to be against global terror, cannot avoid from exercising the imperative and remorseless demands of such a war against their enemies. No nation can claim that it’s fighting a total war against an enemy whilst leaving a lethal fifth column among its midst. And no nation can claim that -by an even astronomical increase in the resources of security against terror – it can effectively protect its citizens from a terrorist attack, without at the same time destroying and uprooting the source of terror, the madrassas – wherever they happen to be in the East or in the West – which breed these fanatic recruits of terror.

As I’ve written in my book titled, “Unveiling the War against Terror: Fight Right War or Lose the Right to Exist”, the times are not for irresolute and Hamletinesque leaderships. Historians will aver that George Bush, Tony Blair, and John Howard, by their limpid awareness of what is at stake in this war against global terror, and by taking the firm and remorseless measures against this mortal foe, have entered the club of statesmen. In this historic clash between Western civilization and the terrorist barbarians, this triumvirate of statesmanship must now deal ruthlessly and remorselessly, by taking and exercising ‘the stern laws of necessity’, to quote the great historian Edward Gibbon, against the enemy, that lurks like a poisonous snake, within the gates of civilization.

CARPE DIEM QUAM MINIMUM CREDULA POSTERO

Open Letter to Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis

•October 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

By Con George-Kotzabasis October 14, 2015-

The Tsipras Government’s performance since its ascension to power on January 25 can be described by its three basic characteristics, infantilism, naiveté, and insouciant irresponsibility, which, as its finance minister, you embodied to the highest degree. Don’t expect to be treated kindly, at least by me, for the most unkind cut you inflicted upon the Greek people. Within the short time of six months you managed to destroy the economy by closing the banks and bringing in capital controls, and nipping in the bud the positive results of the Samaras Government that slowly but decisively were pulling the country out of the crisis. For the first time after the long economic stagnancy and recession, growth was recorded to be 0.8% and expected to be 2.5%-2.9 of GDP for the years 2014 and 2015 respectively, according to the IMF ; also, unemployment was prevented from rising to 35%, as was predicted by eminent analysts, and indeed, had fallen by 2%, from 26% to 24% by the end of 2014. And all these heartening results happened within two and a half years under the prime ministership of Antonis Samaras. But you, like a revengeful immortal Olympian god full of envy for these mortal achievements of the Samaras Government, destroyed them with ambrosial delight. Your ludicrously eccentric policies and your barren and inflexible arrogant stand in your negotiations with the European Union brought the country back into recession and you capped this with a bill to Greece of an extra 90 billion to be paid to its creditors, which would come from the pockets of future Greek taxpayers. This was your enviable success story in contrast to the real success story of Samaras.

And yet blind and callous before this stupendous calamity that you delivered upon Greece, you proudly and insensitively claim to be “sitting on top of the world.” (I would add in your first word “sitting,” an h, so to make it a better fit to your ravishing pleasure: It must have been a relishing sensation to you, almost an aphrodisiacal one, defecating on “top of the world”.) You should be instead sitting in a dock charged with high treason for the great hurt and harm you afflicted, with such insouciant irresponsibility, upon the ordinary people, whom with unheard hypocrisy you claim to represent. And no wonder that your European confreres were not listening to the bullshit you were emitting in your negotiations with them on the Memorandum, and their justifiable rebuke of your crank economic policies delivered to them in the form of lectures, in an aura of omniscience.

You claim to be a “liberal Marxist.” But you seem to be oblivious of the dismal fact that “Marxism” with any epithet before it, is “a skull that will never smile again,” to quote the ex-Marxist Polish philosopher, Leszek Kolakowski. You are not a denizen of the real world but a denizen of the phantasmagorical world of Marxism whose legacy left behind not the Eden of Marx’s polytropos, many-sided, man, fishing in the morning, playing the flute in the evening, and writing poetry at night, but the police state of the NKVD, Gulag Archipelagos and Killing Fields.

In a footnote of the history of the twentieth-first century you will be described as a crank economist, a cowardly chicken gamester–taking risks not with your own but with other people’s money– and intellectual highjacker, who filched the writings of Marx and Keynes for the purpose of making your hybrid mulish economic doctrine, on whose back, as finance minister, you carried Greece to perfidious treasonable economic and political destruction.

 
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