The Ring of Power Only Fits on ONE Hand.
Today, Mises.com reprinted The Fallacy of Collectivism: something worth reading, as it points out the (in this era, explicitly materialist/naturalist) desire to make a god out of men.
“But a mass of men don’t have a single voice, or a single will! What’s the use of a silent, meaningless god?”
“That’s where I come in,” smiles the People’s Leader.
Many Christians, hating the Law and hating the Scriptures, prefer to have God silent. “Preferably forever.”
But, ten seconds after they have tuned out the God of the Bible, they start looking for a Leader Among Men.
“The People’s Voice must he heard!
The People’s Voice must be obeyed!”
Power Over Truth
While there is certainly a place for deductive reasoning — from premises to conclusion — we should also keep inductive reasoning at hand, reasoning from observations to conclusion.
When you see no real challenges, it’s easy to slip to fallacy reasoning: just pointing to Authority or the Majority or the Tradition as your basis of judgement. This saves time, and improves the spread of smug superiority to all of the right sort within the Party of the Rich and Powerful: which at this moment (and for the last century or so) are the Progressive Democrats.
“The People Who Always Win. Always.”
Mainly, this is because the other side has no great problem with the victory of lies… so long as they get theirs. Every good Republican today would have been a centrist Democrat 20 years ago, and a delusional maniac 40 years ago.
Truth Over Power
Christians must be able to think and reason from the evidence. Merely shouting “The Science” or “Racist” isn’t good enough.
Merely pointing to the flaws of the enemy isn’t good enough. We must do better.
We must fight something, not with mere whining, but with something better.
Our Betters need not think: merely sticking with the herd is good enough.
We can’t. We must think. We must gather the evidence. We must lay down new roads, to go to a different destination than Our Betters have planned for us.
From the Mouth of Babes
From Mises.com, Baby Formula: Thank Protectionists and the FDA for the Shortage by Ryan McMaken
For parents who rely on baby formula—whether by choice or due to medical necessity—the nationwide baby formula shortage has become increasingly difficult to ignore. According to the Wall Street Journal, Walgreens, Target, CVS, and Kroger have all begun rationing supplies of formula.
Covid lockdowns, combined with a product recall by formula manufacturer Abbott Nutrition has created a very real shortage in a product that is key for proper nutrition in many children.
With the shortage has come the usual half-baked bromides about “evil corporations” and how baby formula companies are supposedly not regulated enough. Throw in a few references to “late-stage capitalism” and you’ll get a good taste of the usual “blame capitalism” narrative that accompanies every bout of shortages or rising prices.
Formula Is Heavily Regulated and Subsidized
In reality, federal government intervention in the formula market is rampant. Thanks to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), formula companies are heavily subsidized by voucher programs which mean that the US government is “provid[ing] more than half of the formula that is used in the US.“
Within this voucher programs, funds are funneled to select corporations through programs that grant a formula company “the exclusive right to have its formula provided to WIC participants in the State.” In practice, this means the largest companies with the most lobbyists are able to dominate the subsidized portion of the market. Since the subsidized portion of the market is so huge, that usually means those companies dominate the market overall. This makes it harder for newcomers to break into the market and offer any real competition. This means the marketplace becomes reliant on a small number of large firms.
[Read More: “Why Are the Feds Subsidizing Baby Formula Companies?” by Ryan McMaken]
The anticompetitive nature of federal WIC policy is just one aspect of how little the formula market has to do with anything we might call “the free market.”
Protectionism Prevents Access to Foreign Formula
Another major and important factor is the restriction on foreign imports enforced by federal law.
The US regime overall is very protectionist when it comes to dairy products in general, and formula is certainly no exception. As one pediatric medical journal states flatly “Infant formula in the United States is highly regulated.” This can be seen clearly in protectionist trade law imposed on formula in the guise of protecting consumers.
As Derek Thompson at The Atlantic notes, Food and Drug Administration “regulation of formula is so stringent that most of the stuff that comes out of Europe is illegal to buy here due to technicalities like labeling requirements.”
These bureaucratic requirements fall under “nontariff barriers,” which in many cases present even greater barriers than tariffs.
[Read More: “Thanks to Nontariff Barriers, ‘Free Trade’ Isn’t very Free.” by Ryan McMaken]
But tariff barriers are significant as well. Thompson also notes that
U.S. policy also restricts the importation of formula that does meet FDA requirements. At high volumes, the tax on formula imports can exceed 17 percent. And under President Donald Trump, the U.S. entered into a new North American trade agreement that actively discourages formula imports from our largest trading partner, Canada.
However, those products that jump through all those hoops face further restrictions. The FDA mandates that even qualifying formula manufacturers must wait ninety days before marketing any new formula.
As a result, not surprisingly, 98 percent of all formula consumed in the United States is produced domestically. Moreover, if that supply is ever endangered—as it has been by lockdown-induced logistical problems and corporate recalls, American consumers have few other options.
Trade restrictions function to prevent reliable lines of importation of foreign formula. Thanks to that ninety-day delay on marketing, foreign suppliers can’t introduce new products to the market quickly, either.
So, if you have adopted children, a double mastectomy, or some other reason for needing formula for your baby, you can thank advocates of tariffs and other trade restrictions for shortages.
Protectionists and Their Excuses
Naturally, the baby formula protectionists have plenty of excuses for why their preferred form of central planning and big-government intervention in the marketplace is “necessary.” They’ll insist that FDA regulations are necessary to protect children—as if European baby formula is not already heavily regulated. European infant mortality also tends to be lower than US infant mortality, so the claim that protectionism is “for the children” is clearly baseless.
These facts, however, don’t prevent Trump-style protectionists from claiming government regulations are good “because China.”
Secondly, the protectionists are likely to claim that government control of formula—and all other dairy-based imports—are important because they “protects jobs.” What protectionists are really saying is that you and your family must just do without essential goods in order to protect a small number of corporations that dominate the formula marketplace thanks to US regulations.
Protectionism Means Punishing Entrepreneurs
Finally, there is little doubt that if the federal government actually allowed some true degree of freedom in the formula marketplace that entrepreneurs would step in to import formula to meet the need quickly.
This, of course, can’t happen because these entrepreneurs don’t want to be jailed, sued, and otherwise destroyed by federal bureaucrats. After all, protectionism must be enforced by federal police and federal courts, and that means fining and jailing any importers who run afoul of the law. Protectionism is fundamentally about using violence against Americans who try to bring goods to market in ways that the protectionists don’t like.
Once again, the anticapitalist “fair trade” advocates and advocates of WIC corporatism who caused these shortages will likely escape unscathed. Formula industry lobbyists will deploy and ensure nothing is done to endanger the protection-induced profits at the dominant firms. Welfare-state leftists will ensure that the federal government continues to subsidize these corporations as well. Rightwing protectionists will continue to insist that foreign goods must be kept out to make America great.
Somehow, this is all capitalism’s fault.
Note that plenty of right-wing humanists, loving State Power far more than the individual, the family, or the ordinary importer/businessman, exalt protectionism as the Way to Protect the People.
When it’s really a way to tax and cripple the ordinary family, in favour of politically-connected financial interests.
Christians must operate under the One Law principle, with equal justice for the native and the foreigner.
As this pleases God, this is the way to prosperity, and a good reputation around the world.
Liberty for the self-governing man is better than unBiblical levels of power in the hands of the Leader and the State, the ones who would presume to govern us all.
“You shall have no other gods before Me,”
says the Lord of Hosts.