August 31, 2006

Economics For Idiots

Captain Capitalism;

You mean a bunch of uneducated, leftist, professional activists with no real education, job, work ethic or life experience who now currently head up the Bolivian government are not financially savvy enough to run a multi-billion dollar industry???? Let alone have the engineering know-how to maintain and run has fields???

How can that be???

"Rantings and tirades of a frustrated economist." - A great find.

h/t to reader "Karen".

Posted by Kate at August 31, 2006 9:43 AM

I think it's great to see these leftist idiots popping up, it simply showcases stupidity in Government. The left here is just as dumb but they have to mouth sensibility or none of them would ever be elected. At lease the leftwing electorate here is a step above peasant mentality, I think. Give those dumb South American leftist idiots enough time and they’ll starve to death in the supermarket.

Posted by: Western Canadian at August 31, 2006 10:30 AM

Your giving the commies way to much credit WC. If it was up to the jack latte crowd we would all be starving to death equally. If they ever achieve power the only difference between Bolivia and here will be the climate.

Posted by: FREE at August 31, 2006 10:37 AM

Morales, Bolivia.

Chavez, Venezuela.

It will all end in tears.

Or a hail of bullets.

Notwithstanding all the sterling efforts of a few countries like Chile, Argentina and Brazil to get a grip on themselves and act like grown-ups, it's the traditional South American way.

Posted by: JJM at August 31, 2006 11:08 AM

The good news in democracies (including Bolivia for the sake of discussion) is that electorates get to live with the consequences of the majority's election choices.

The bad news in democracies is that most people in the electorate are historically and economically illiterate and also have the attention span of gerbils. Therefore, most people learn little if anything from the experiences of these electoral consequences.

So, they so frequently make the SAME MISTAKES:
(electing left-wing socialist governments that throttle or destroy the economy while fostering collectivist encroachment on liberty),
(enhanced capitalist prosperity and civic freedom).

Isn't that the definition of stupidity?

Posted by: Dave at August 31, 2006 11:24 AM

how silly to nationalize their wealth. much better to let americans control things. it's worked out great for the iraqiis.

Posted by: jeff at August 31, 2006 11:28 AM

Captain Capitalism's page is excellent.

I just wish he'd give up on the white-on-black-background format. It is soooo unpleasant.

Posted by: Wimpy Canadian at August 31, 2006 11:29 AM


You don't nationalize wealth, you nationalize poverty.

Posted by: Warwick at August 31, 2006 11:38 AM

jeff - what a great analogy, you must be really smart.

Posted by: Western Canadian at August 31, 2006 11:51 AM

Jeff is SO right! The Iraqi people were so much better off under Saddam!

Mass grave sites were a huge growth industry. Political prisons, torture chambers, rape rooms provided steady employment for so many. People didn't have to bother their little heads reading a free press or listening/viewing a free broadcast system. They only had one choice on the ballot, a great time and thought saver, that one.

And what a government Saddam provided! Repeatedly starting wars that cost hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead and destruction of their economy. But, hey, the UN and French oil companies loved Saddam. They're what count, right?

And the Iraqis had Law and Order under Saddam! Any Shia rebels found themselves shot and literally steamrolled under asphalt roads. Any Kurd disturbers-of-the-peace, especially those dangerous, nasty Kurd women and children, found themselves nerve gassed. Taught them a lesson!

Yes, Jeff is SO insightfully right, SO informed, SO possessing of moral clarity!

Posted by: Dave at August 31, 2006 11:54 AM

Aaaaargh! Don't feed the trolls.

Truly, they go away if you don't get caught responding. Frankly, I find a quick "you're off topic, find a different thread" the most effective way to cut it off.

BTW, did you ever wonder how illogical someone could be to take a thread about Bolivia and use it to bash the Americans about Iraq?'s not worth your time.

Posted by: Ham at August 31, 2006 12:05 PM

Why does everybody just point out the bad things about poor Saddam. After all, he built at least ten beautiful palaces, and I'm sure he invited the poor people of the land to dine in them regularly!

Posted by: Al at August 31, 2006 12:18 PM

Capitalists are so mean-spirited.

Which in Liberal-speak is way, way worse than being even mad dog mean. /s

The government in Manitoba has brought us a "spirited energy" while Albertans tend to go more for the real thing.

Albertans must be fat cats who dine on kittens. Fat cats understand that even in a socialist-commie paradise like Cuba, skinny cats still need to buy fuel to cook their monthly ration of rice and red beans. Rice and red beans are just a little too chewy if they are eaten raw.

Posted by: concrete at August 31, 2006 12:28 PM

Now to make a more appropriate comment. Middle -wing-Wack comments that the young have not yet become cynical, and still feel the injustices of the world strongly, and that this can be a good thing; (another way of saying they are unable to prioritize?). Unfotunately, when these people actually become leaders or strongly influential, especially in the face of a weak government (the last liberal government), the country goes running off in a hundred different directions, or even worse, in the wrong direction based on the loudest protest group. Captain Capitalism is truly a good read.

Posted by: Al Wilke at August 31, 2006 12:37 PM

I too am delighted to be led to another good blog, this one by a qualified economist. I've always thought one of the major differences between left and right is their concept of economics:

The right: economics is "the dismal science", a cold harsh realistic science with strong mathematical fundamentals.

the left: economics is purely political.

Which is the intelligent, honest, and practical view?

Posted by: calgarian at August 31, 2006 1:01 PM

That's excellent, and it describes California pretty well too. Thanks for the link to the Captain.

Posted by: DirtCrashr at August 31, 2006 2:05 PM

Oh, this guy's going to be addictive:

Favorite quote (thus far):

"Now, take some spoiled brat kid whose parents had the "my child is an honor student at the school for freaking retards" bumper sticker. This kid never had to work, never accomplished anything, but was taught to believe that he is great and destined for great things by his parents and feel-good-touchy-feely-teachers. Take that ego and combine it with the kid's desire to belong to a group, feed his ego, yet expend minimal effort, and when given the choice;

"Hey kid, you can bat this shuttlecock back and forth and belong or...

"Fly out to Seattle against insurmountable odds to protest in an epic and never-ending galactic battle against the evil, villainous forces of Capitalism in a desperate attempt to save no less than THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD from Capitalism's evil clutches!"

Posted by: Henry at August 31, 2006 6:18 PM

how silly to nationalize their wealth. much better to let americans control things. it's worked out great for the iraqiis.

Jeff, Iraqi oil is nationalized, and that is one of the reasons why Iraq is screwed up. Whether Iraq is better off with or without Saddam is TBD - if their major industies remain in the hands of the government, and if their government insists on serving them the whole socialist tamale of public schools, free universal health care, etc. then I don't think it will matter in the end.

I think that the entire Middle East conflict, from Algeria to Libya to Egypt to Arabia to Iran - is mostly about nationalized industries, especially oil. If Islamic extremists had to live off of donations and out of their own pockets, they would soon go broke and go back to their jobs and families. But a heavily nationalized and socialized economy means that (a) a huge prize of billions of dollars of loot is waiting to be seized by whoever is the meanest, toughest and most ruthless; and (b) even if one doesn't aspire to grabbing the loot, there are very few jobs to go back to.

Posted by: Justzumgai at August 31, 2006 9:51 PM

Hey Jeff

Nationalization worked so well for the Chinese, the North Koreans, Cubans the Rusians, etc....
Many fine examples to choose from.

Posted by: missing link at August 31, 2006 10:35 PM

Bolivians are being taken for a ride by smooth talking socialists, and they will pay a steep price for it.

Posted by: philanthropist at September 1, 2006 1:58 AM

Check out Captain Capitalism's site and his post of August 31. This link seems to have had an impact! For those of us who are economists, it's great entertainmant.

Posted by: Andy at September 1, 2006 1:35 PM

I've never heard of an economist that knew anything about the economy. Most of them couldn't teach a cat to take food off the table. Harper and Devine are economists. That's proof enough for me. To me it's like a degree in Philosophy or fine Arts. You have the degree but it really doesn't count. An investor advised my dad not to buy Potash shares when it was privatized. I told him to buy lots. Who was right? Me or the economist?? My dad made a lot of money. A friend of mine was advised by an economist not to invest in Gold when it was lower priced than now. About 5 years ago. My friend didn't listen to him,he bought a pile of shares with some inheritance he got. He made a small fortune. Economist try to forsee the future which they are not too good at. They have education but no brains. They are as much in the dark as the rest of us.

Posted by: ok4ua at September 2, 2006 12:15 AM

Thanks for the link, Kate.

Posted by: Jema54 at September 2, 2006 2:55 PM

Communism that works?? Hutterites. Right under our noses in the prairies.

Posted by: ok4ua at September 4, 2006 12:38 AM