Tag Archives: capitalism

NPR: The Secret Document That Transformed China

NPR has a fascinating report on China which involves collectivism and the virtue of the profit-motive. From the report:

In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China’s economy in ways that are still reverberating today.

The contract was so risky — and such a big deal — because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village’s collective farm; there was no personal property.

“Back then, even one straw belonged to the group,” says Yen Jingchang, who was a farmer in Xiaogang in 1978. “No one owned anything.”

At one meeting with communist party officials, a farmer asked: “What about the teeth in my head? Do I own those?” Answer: No. Your teeth belong to the collective.

In theory, the government would take what the collective grew, and would also distribute food to each family. There was no incentive to work hard — to go out to the fields early, to put in extra effort, Yen Jingchang says.

“Work hard, don’t work hard — everyone gets the same,” he says. “So people don’t want to work.”

They defied the system and made a secret contract to practice capitalist principles.  The result was fantastic. “At the end of the season, they had an enormous harvest: more, Yen Hongchang says, than in the previous five years combined.”

Their self-interested work was creating abundance and prosperity; The Communist Party took notice.

Click here to read the fascinating report.


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Filed under Capitalism, History

Commented on a Story on Mysticism and Rain

I commented on a report that tribesmen in northern Mindanao are doing mystical rituals to “appease nature” and prevent rainstorms.

My comment: “It is better drainage systems, stronger structures, and effective communication, that the provinces need to better deal with rainstorms. These tribesmen should throw away their mystic beliefs, and instead embrace reason, science and capitalism.”

Besides my writing for TOS and other publications, I’ve been doing a lot of commenting lately on websites. I think more pro-freedom people should go out of their way—within the context of their life (time, priorities, etc)—to firmly and politely advocate for reason and capitalism.


Filed under Capitalism, Philosophy

Antitrust Suit Against Microsoft is Immoral and Un-American

First published in The Objective Standard Blog, December 10, 2011.

Bill_GatesNovell inc. is suing Microsoft because Microsoft did not include Novell’s product, WordPerfect, in Windows 95. Bill Gates testifying in court said WordPerfect was a “bulky, slow, buggy product” that would “crash the system” and that Microsoft Word was “far superior.” These are certainly good reasons not to include a product in one’s innovative new program, but that’s beside the point.

A company should be free not to include or support a product for any reason or no reason at all, unless it has voluntarily entered into a contract that says otherwise. But Microsoft had no contractual obligation to include WordPerfect in its system. For Novell to sue Microsoft for not including its product is ridiculous on its face. But that such a suit can be filed at all in the U.S. legal system—forcing Microsoft to spend time and money defending itself in court—is worse than ridiculous; it is morally outrageous.

What makes such a suit possible? Antitrust law. Antitrust holds essentially that businessmen do not own their businesses and that they may not make even the most minute or mundane decisions, such as whether or not to include a competitor’s product in their own product. Antitrust effectively gives the government totalitarian power over every business, granting bureaucrats a blank check to harass them at whim.

Not only should Novell’s case against Microsoft be thrown out; the entire obscenity known as antitrust law should be repealed. This law is immoral and un-American.

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Oil Companies Have a Right to Their Profits

This is an excellent LTE by David Holcberg.

Lightmatter_oilrigs“Oil companies have a right to their record profits.

The oil companies earned their profits honestly, and have a right to keep them. Their profits are a just reward for decades of investment and production.

If politicians are really concerned with the effect on the public of high oil and gas prices, they could do many things about it. They could cut gasoline taxes, eliminate regulations mandating gasoline blends, and free energy companies to drill at will. These measures would increase the supply of gasoline and reduce its cost–without violating the property rights of oil companies.

Oil companies, in pursuing their own profit, provide us with an invaluable product, without which our modern civilization would suffer immensely. We should be grateful for their good work, and our government should protect–not expropriate–their well-deserved profits.”

Copyright © by the Ayn Rand Institute. Reprinted with permission.

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No to ADB’s Tax Increase Proposal

By Joshua Lipana

The Agence France-Presse recently reported that the Asian Development Bank is championing higher tax rates in Asia.


Asian countries need to increase taxes and improve their collection systems if they want to raise enough funds for much-needed social welfare programmes, an ADB study released Tuesday said…

“The review of tax policy… makes it clear that there is ample margin for higher tax levels in Asia through more direct taxation, especially private income tax,” the report by economics professor Jorge Martinez-Vazquez said.

The ADB’s advocacy for more confiscation of wealth is immoral and contrary to prosperity.

It is entrepreneurs and businessmen that drive economic growth, to confiscate what they’ve earned is an injustice and will hamper their ability to expand their respective ventures, thereby lessening job creation and productivity.

Asian countries, like all countries, should have the lowest possible tax rates.

This is because a low tax rate encourages foreign investment, creates a better environment for job creation, encourages businesses to expand, and most of all it allows people to keep more of what is rightfully theirs; the fruits of their labour.

I, without any reservation, oppose this call for more confiscation of wealth.


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Ecow-nomic Models

This was a really funny thing that a good friend of mine sent me a while back. Found it in my archives and couldn’t help but share it.


Ecow-nomic Models:

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away…

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public then buys your bull.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called ‘Cowkimon’ and market it worldwide.

You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.


You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive…


That last one in particular, hahaha.

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Ortigas Center Skyscrapers

I used to live in the suburbs not 10 minutes away from this beauty. The picture above is the Ortigas Center. A testament to one of the beauties that Capitalism has created in the Philippines. The one below is the same place during a full moon.

[Photo deleted]

I can still see this wonder from my new home. Which is also a bastion of Capitalist wonder.


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