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Sorry, Bernie, but you’re a liar. My short trip through the Communist USSR told me all I needed to know.

 

Sanders reported his trip to Russia many years ago. It was filled with “wondaful” tidbits about the tranquil life of the people who lived in peace and harmony in socialist utopia.

 

Sanders is full of shit right up to his socialist, Manhattan ears.

 

My trip started in Austria, in a rental car. As anyone can tell, Berlin is a long way from the Austrian border to the south. Contrary to what people think, it was easy to get into East Germany. The wall was to keep people in, not out.

By easy, I mean you didn’t have to climb the Berlin Wall.

 

They unraveled everything in our suitcases. They looked in our shoes, opened my camera. All in all, it took well over an hour and my rudimentary German was worthless. Whatever language they spoke, it wasn’t the same as the Western side.

 

East Germany was, to us a single word, a “shithole.”

 

The “autobahn” that connected Austria to Berlin was a double lane stretch of asphalt that had no lines, no guardrails, to warning signs and no mileage signs.

 

The rest stop was revolting.

 

In fact, so revolting that my traveling companion wouldn’t go inside. (Keep in mind, this was a rest stop on an autobahn!) There were 4 or 5 tables with no matching chairs. The floor was broken tile, the walls, filthy and the bathroom disgusting.

 

There were a few people, locals, sitting at tables drinking a German soda called Africola. At that time, Germany had three drinks that were like ours, Africola, Bluna and ZIT. They were like our Coke, 7-up and Orange Crush, but in East Germany they were luxuries. This is what the Soviets called a hard currency store, where they sold products not available to anyone in the USSR. There were Toblerone chocolates, a few bags of, if I remember correctly, Lays potato chips, and couple other “hard currency” items.

 

The food looked like somebody regurgitated it onto plates.

 

The kitchen, which was in the dining room, looked like something out of the 40’s and was covered in grease.

 

The only way I can describe the trip itself was that it was a step back in time to the twenties.

 

This was especially evident coming from the ultramodern, tourist mecca of Austria. On the Austrian side we say old style stucco and beam chalets. On the USSR side, we saw the same, but they were dirty, not painted, and falling apart. East German towns, there were but a few, looked like they did when the Russians arrived in 1945.

 

The autobahn was lined with farms.

On Communism

 

We drove by many farm workers. Dressed in bleak dresses, (It was January) they stood on the sides of the highway and grinned at us toothlessly. They were all middle ages women, in groups of 6 or 7 and none had a hat or gloves.

 

There was no sign of farm equipment, no buildings, and no bathrooms. There were only open fields of 50 acres or so, with 20-foot watch towers in the middle.

 

The worse things, though, were the other vehicles.

 

My short trip through the communist USSR was all I needed. I was driving a Volkswagen gulf. The rest of the cars and trucks looked like something from a 40’s gangster movie. They were all black, though a few of the trucks were gray.

 

The pollution was horrendous!

 

Thick, black smoke spewed out of the backs of even the small cars. They drove slowly, not more than 50 mph and, as there were no lines in the road, not that they would have paid attention if there were, so passing was near impossible.

 

In, fact, I tried to enter the preceding evening but wasn’t allowed in. It was easy to see why. There was no chance one could have driven that highway at night. It would have been impossible to stay on the road, with its black pavement, no lights and no reflective signs.

 

Bernie Sanders can kiss my capitalist ass.  

 

One hour into the trip, I had a headache as if someone had put a trash can on my head and beat it with a bat. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a bitch. Driving into West Berlin was like going from a ghetto in Detroit into Disney’s magic kingdom.

 

Berlin is one of world’s most spectacular cities, with its wide promenades, gorgeous, and seemingly endless museums, spectacular zoo, churches and the Reichstag building, at that time a Museum, sitting majestically by the river. I could have easily lived there even though it was surrounded by a wall.

Then there was the wall.

 

Kristie and I did the tourist gig. We walked to the Brandenburg Gate and to a spot where a set of stairs led to an observation deck.

From there, you could look over the wall and see Mordor. East Berlin.

 

I raised my camera and zoomed in on an East German soldier guarding the wall. As I focused, I could see him raise his rifle and aim in at me. I dropped my camera, and dropped his rifle, waved lazily and laughed. I waved back and laughed with him. It was a joke, like the wall, itself .

 

I felt a deep unease though, and profound pity.

 

I was a soldier once. It sucks. You throw away your rights so you can be lapdog for some worthless narcissist who thinks your life is worth less than his opinion.  He didn’t want to guard that wall any more than I wanted him to.

 

Like any 22-year-old, he wanted to find a girl, have a beer, live an honest life. Simple things. Things you can’t have under socialism.

 

Socialism is death by a thousand pin pricks. All socialism gives you is misery.

 

So, fuck you Bernie. You’re a fucking liar. You all the leftist liars who preach socialism so they can win elections. I hope you all rot in hell.

For a great espionage novel, click here. To read the first chapters, click on the image below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Or, why Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are clueless.)

 

 

 

Not only will wealth taxes destroy America, it will happen in a matter of months.

There are 100 reasons to tax wealth, and only one reason not to, but the reason not to is the only one that matters. Wealth taxes destroy wealth. For all the populist clap-trap about redistributing wealth, one fact rises above all.

If you must sell something, the price will collapse.

Wealth is not income. In fact, the actual income return, (interest, dividends and flow through gains) on American assets has never been lower. The cost of buying an income stream is in the stratosphere.

Market economies are designed to market (sell) consumables. If you go to a grocery store and buy tomatoes, they are replaced with new tomatoes. If there’s a shortage of tomatoes, the price goes up and farmers produce more. If the price falls, farmers produce less.

Stocks are, for the most part, not consumed.

If you sell them, they’re not replaced by new stocks and they don’t get eaten. All they do is change hands. When a person buys a share of stock, money goes from one account to another and stock goes from that account to yours.

In other words, no new money enters or leaves the system.

If a person has to sell assets to get money to pay taxes, money leaves the system, and this causes the market to collapse. This is why wealth taxes will cause the economy to collapse. It’s true of every asset market and every system. Consider residential properties.

In suburban New York, property taxes are extremely high yet in some of the richest areas in America, property taxes as a percentage of property values are extremely low. The tax on a $300,000 house in Western New York is about the same as the property tax on a $800,000 house in Natick, Massachusetts.

This is because property taxes take money from the system.

In Western NY, property tax is the equivalent of 3 ½ percent annual interest on a buyer’s mortgage. In Natick, it’s closer to 1 ½ percent. So, the Natick buyer can afford a higher priced house with the same income.

Populist politicians don’t think about this. They don’t care. They’re just trying to get elected. Once they get elected, it’s your problem.

Now, this is where it gets really weird. The building and buying of houses actually adds money to the system

You have to put your thinking cap on for this. Banks do not lend money, they create it. Imagine you go to your banker and say, “I want to sell my house to my friend Jorge, but he hasn’t any money.” What does the bank do? They create a mortgage.

Tell Me Again How Pizzagate And Comet Ping Pong Is Just A Conspiracy Theory

Tell Me Again How #Pizzagate And Comet Ping Pong Is Just A Conspiracy Theory

Posted by Morpheus on Monday, January 8, 2018

What that means is the bank takes title to your house.

In return, they tell you that you have the right to the value of your house, and we call this right, a checking account deposit.

So, now you have a $300,000 balance in your checking account and what do you do? You start writing checks. And what happens to those checks? They get deposited into banks and so on and so on. In other words, it may not be at your bank but it’s in some bank. It’s in the banking system.

That money ONLY leaves the system if you take it in currency and put it in your mattress.

As Jorge pays off his mortgage, the bank writes down the value of the mortgage on their books. It’s a zero-sum transaction. Nothing is gained, nothing is lost.

In property taxes, the financing comes from your INCOME and it depresses your home value. But in the stock market, the situation is worse and why wealth taxes will destroy America.

No one pays their property taxes by selling a bedroom. The stock market is different.

Imagine we put a wealth tax on Bill Gates of say, 3% per year. You might think, “that’s nothing. Bill Gates is worth $100 billion.” But that $3 billion is money leaving the system to pay a tax bill. The money has to leave the stock market and go into another market.

To the US government, $3 billion is like a fart in a wind storm.

But multiply this by the tens of thousands of people that would have to be taxes to collect any real money, and you’d send the stock market into total freefall.

Well, guess what? You own Microsoft! Almost every stock mutual fund on the planet owns Microsoft. And when Bill Gates net worth collapses, yours is going along for the ride along with every other stocking in the market.

 Property taxes are a form of asset confiscation. In America we tax the gain on the sale of assets, not the asset itself.

In communist countries and some dictatorships, they confiscate assets. This has a crushing effect and is whjy wealth taxes will destroy America.  First, it reduces the value to zero, wiping out the wealth of the private owners. Second, it takes away the relationship between the assets price and income it produces.

In other words, it destroys the incentive of profit.

Bernie Sander’s argument is, like almost everything Sanders says, childish. Sanders demagoguery is so pathetically juvenile, and so mindlessly stupid, he isn’t worth arguing with.

But to a frustrated single mother with two kids and a beat-up minivan, it’s total ear candy.

One thing that all communist countries have in common is they are poor. They’re all poor for the same reason. If you look at the oil industry, the countries that nationalized their oil companies are all, with the exception of two that have huge oil deposits and tiny populations, dirt-ass poor.

Countries that try to live off assets eventually collapse.

Saudi Arabia needs $85 a barrel oil to balance their budget. Oil is $57. Mexico, Venezuela, Iran and Libya are a disaster. So are Nigeria, Russia and Iraq. When Canada nationalized Dome Petroleum in the 80’s they ruined it. In fact, Canada has a long and storied history of ruining its asset values.

The situation with farmland is even worse. 

The Soviet Union, Zimbabwe, and now South Africa due to asset confiscation, and is why wealth taxes will do the same thing here, destroy America.

In a market system, asset values rise and fall based on the income streams those assets produce, which is based on the quality and price of the products that asset (or company) produces.

In Sanders based economy, assets are bled down and finally, because a constantly cash starved government can’t afford to lose them, they’re artificially propped up. New products and innovations never appear and black markets, that is, real markets emerge.

The only difference between a 3% annual tax and flat out confiscation is the time it takes. The effect is the same.

Poverty.

 

Socialists are morons, part 87,531  

This particular episode of Socialists are morons is part 87,531, which helps keep things in perspective.

 

The inspiration came from my stupidly clicking on a Tucker Carlson interview on twitter with a Dutch history professor. I know… what the fuck were you thinking?

 

This professor went on to explain that it’s all about taxes, and we need to get the federal rates back to where they were under Eisenhower. 70-90%. It’s one thing when a professor doesn’t understand tax policy. It’s quite another when they don’t know history.

It’s true that the US economy flourished in the 50’s and 60’s.

(College professors love the word flourished… it sounds so gay.) It was because of Lackawanna. Lackawanna was where I grew up. We had this massive steel plant.  Although I wasn’t alive in 1941, I have it from eye witnesses that Lackawanna wasn’t bombed in WW2. In fact, I’m fairly certain Cleveland, Binghamton and Detroit weren’t either.

Unfortunately, 90% of the rest of the non-communist world was.

In Lackawanna, no one cared what the tax rates were because nobody else could make steel. The unions went on strike every year and everybody was swimming in zlotys.

But, all good things must come to an end, and just like the wild wood weed, so did the salad days.

By 1965 the fat lady was singing her 12th encore. It was over. That’s when people started to realize that only an idiot would work 60 hours a week to be in a 70-90% tax bracket. Our professor buddy on the Tucker Carlson show didn’t know that because… well, as I said, he’s a moron, Unfortunately, neither did Tucker.

By the late 70’s, every weird, off-the-wall “investment incentive” was in high gear.

There was accelerated depreciation in real estate, tax free royalties in oil and gas, decontrol of the gas industry, mining credits and my favorite, horse breeding. This is when we started to realize that 90% of our investors had no ass because they lost it stimulating the economy.

Were that not enough, the Russians had us by the cojones.

They had us tossed out of Iran, Vietnam and Greece. They staged battlefield nuclear weapons in Cuba. (oops, did I let that secret out) and were sending MIG fighters to Nicaragua.

Then came that nightmare to all the professors of the world, Ronald Reagan.

Reagan was, of course, stupid. (According to the professors) He cut tax rates in half, (1) made it illegal to run a losing business solely for tax deductions, beat the Russians in the cold war, and cut the price of oil by 2/3, setting off the largest economic boom in the history of the world.

His wife took advantage of this boom to buy new plates and cutlery for the White House since under those great 90% tax rates years, we couldn’t afford it.

 

(You know, the dishes Hillary used to throw at her husband for getting head of state in the oral office,)

 

 

Geeks Notes:

 

Reagan didn’t cut taxes, he cut tax rates. The bill was designed to be revenue neutral. A few years later, he, along with Daniel Moynahan enacted the largest and most regressive corporate tax bill in history, a doubling of the Social Security tax and imposition of the Medicare tax. Today, corporations pay more in payroll taxes than they do in Corporation taxes.

 

(1)  House as H.R. 4242 by Dan Rostenkowski (DIll.on July 23, 1981

(2) The foreign policy of the Ronald Reagan administration