Heinlein On REAL Banana Republics, 1953: The Peruvian President In The Colombian Embassy

The recent Biden Administration /FBI raid on Trump’s home at Mar-A-Lago, has prompted numerous comparison to the lawless ”banana republics” of South America.

Mark Steyn writes:

For almost a decade and a half now, the American ”republic” has been decaying to the defining condition of a one-party state—that is, the total merger of the ruling party and the state. Last night, the dirty stinking rotten corrupt US Department of Justice signed off on a raid on Mar-a-Lago, so we’ve now moved into hardcore banana-republic territory: the regime’s cops are busting into the home of the opposition leader…

Here’s a interesting story from the history of Peru, in which this kind of thing happens all the time.

In 1953-54, Robert A. Heinlein took a round-the-world cruise, almost entirely by ship. An account of this under the title of Tramp Royale was published in 1992 by his widow, Virginia Heinlein.  Visiting Lima, Peru, he met local critics of “McCarthyism,” i. e., Senator McCarthy’s investigation of Communist infiltration of the U.S. government.

This is from Chapter 2, South to the Southern Cross:

We then drove through miles of magnificently gardened, ultra-modern-style homes to the country club. We passed several of the embassies, among them the Colombian Embassy where Señor Victor Raul Haya de la Torre was at that time still a prisoner of asylum, and still was to be so for several months to come. Mr. Haya’s story is well known through the newspapers and has been fully covered in his own words in Life magazine (3 May 1954); we will omit details, except as they throw light on the striking differences between political life as we know it and the brand practiced south of us. Mr. Haya is the leader of the APRA party of Peru, which is left of center but not communist. He was charged with attempting a coup d’état against the government, but—and this is a South American twist hard for us to follow—the charge was brought against him by a later government, which had itself come to power by overthrowing the very government Haya was charged with attempting to overthrow.

 The nuances of Peruvian politics are too complex for me and I doubt if any outsider could gain a real understanding of them without a long, hard apprenticeship. All of the nations south of us are constitutional republics with liberal constitutional safeguards similar or usually equivalent to those found in our own constitution, yet with the shining exceptions of Chile and Uruguay [which would later cease to shine], their political records seem to us to be an endless list of coup d’état, bloody revolution, unelected provisional presidents, political admirals and generals, states of siege, states of public emergency, exiles and refugees, outlawing of opposition parties, liquidation of opposition leaders, suppression of free speech, free assembly, and free press.…

The point of this aside while our party drives through beautiful new Lima is that the political institutions of another country are hard to understand. Outside the United States very few people comprehend the nature of a congressional investigation and it is almost impossible to explain it to them. They have it mixed up with the Inquisition, with Senator McCarthy having all the functions and powers of Torquemada. The idea that a private citizen can answer or refuse to answer a series of questions put to him by a senator, such that the record shows clearly that the citizen being questioned is now or has in the past been actively engaged in treason against the United States—and then get up and walk out a free man—is so foreign to most other people that they simply cannot believe it.

Furthermore, if they did believe it, they would be even more contemptuous of us for being so soft than they now are for ”McCarthyism” as they comprehend it, i.e., which they conceive to be a policy of take-him-away-and-lock-him-up-I-don’t-like-his-politics. Our extreme leniency, if they understood it, would strike them as preposterous, asinine.

 The institution of political refuge as practiced in South America is almost as hard for us to understand. It is as if Adlai Stevenson had found it healthy to hole up in the French Embassy immediately after election day in 1952, for this is approximately what Señor Haya did. He ducked into the Colombian Embassy and stayed there for five years. The Peruvian government never gave up its contention that Haya was a common criminal charged with a capital crime; Colombia, which itself passed through three changes of government by revolution during the five years, never swerved from its determination to give asylum even though the various Colombian governments were not in sympathy with Haya’s politics. But, bitter as the issue was, Peru never attempted to remove the refugee by force from the utterly undefended embassy; the principle of asylum was too precious even though Peru declared that Haya was not entitled to it.

 Asylum is a necessary part of politics as practiced in South America. When bullets are used as commonly as ballots it is comforting to know that, if you find yourself out of power tomorrow, there are a couple of dozen safe spots right in your own capital where your successor’s soldiers cannot arrest you, or possibly shoot you while ”attempting to escape.” This is as ameliorating an influence as our own Fifth Amendment.

 (By the way, I have never heard of one of Senator McCarthy’s so-called ”victims” choosing to take refuge in the Russian Embassy.)

 But why should politics in South America be such a rough and sometimes deadly game? I will spare you a 10,000-word essay on historical background, racial types, traditional institutions, and so forth, and admit that I do not know. But I do know that our northern political attitudes cannot readily be exported to South America. Our Latin neighbors are unanimously agreed on one point: they do not want Uncle to tell them how they must behave. Most South Americans are both intensely patriotic and fiercely individualistic. Most of them do not dislike us—we are probably better liked and for less reason in South America than anywhere else in the world. But while they will accept United States capital, products, and engineering, if offered with decent respect for their dignity, they will not accept any ”do-gooding” from us in internal politics. They hate Yankee intervention much more than they hate their political opponents.

I suggest that in this they may be right. It took us a long time to achieve political stability; there are those alive [in 1954] today who remember the fratricide of 1861-’65. Political philosophy is still a long way from being a science, revolution is still the refuge and the natural right of the oppressed, and I contend that it is very hard to be sure who are the ”baddies” and who are the ”goodies” in any overturning of a government south of us . . . at least at the time it takes place. Chile and Uruguay are proof that they are not incapable of achieving stability without our busybody help. In the meantime, a policy of hands-off combined with a warm willingness to help when and how they want help seems to me to be the best we can do.

As we passed the Colombian Embassy we saw two armed soldiers on guard outside. Señor Haya was not in sight, but he was there; his long wait for safe conduct to exile had still four months to run.

As recently as 2000, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, though born in Peru, was forced to seek voluntary exile in his ancestral homeland of Japan, to avoid trial for ”human rights violations,” i. e., fighting terrorism. A convoluted attempt to return to Peruvian politics got him jailed anyway.

How long before Trump (or Ron DeSantis) has to hide in Washington’s Ecuadorian Embassy  (like Julian Assange) to avoid being prosecuted by President Kamala?

Link to original article here: Heinlein On REAL Banana Republics, 1953: The Peruvian President In The Colombian Embassy | Blog Posts | VDARE.com

Low-Skilled Workers Flee the Minimum Wage

What happens when, in a country where workers are free to move, a region raises its minimum wage? Do those with the fewest skills seek out the regions with the highest wage floors?

New minimum wage research by economist Joan Monras of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) attempts to answer that question. Monras theoretically shows that there should be a close relationship between the employment effects of raising the minimum wage and the migration of low-skilled workers.

When the demand for local low-skilled labor is relatively unresponsive (or inelastic) to wage changes, raising the minimum wage should lead to an influx of low-skilled workers from other states in search of better-paying jobs. On the other hand, if the demand for low-skilled labor is relatively responsive (or elastic), raising the minimum wage will lead low-skilled workers to flee to states where they will more easily find employment.

To test the model empirically, Monras examined data from all the changes in effective state minimum wages over the period 1985 to 2012. Looking at time frames of three years before and after each minimum wage increase, Monras found that

  1. As depicted in the graph below on the left, those who kept their jobs earned more under the minimum wage. No surprise there.
  2. As depicted in the graph below on the right, workers with the fewest skills were having an easier time finding full-time employment prior to the minimum wage increase. But this trend completely reversed as soon as the minimum wage was increased.
  3. A control group of high-skilled workers didn’t experience either of these effects. Those affected by the changing laws were the least skilled and the most vulnerable.

These results show that the timing of minimum wage increases is not random.

Instead, policy makers tend to raise minimum wages when low-skilled workers’ real wages are declining and employment is rising. Many studies, misled by the assumption that the timing of minimum wage increases is not influenced by local labor demand, have interpreted the lack of falling low-skilled employment following a minimum wage increase as evidence that minimum wage increases have no effect on employment.

When Monras applied this same false assumption to his model, he got the same result. However, to observe the true effect of minimum wage increases on employment, he assumed a counterfactual scenario where, had the minimum wages not been raised, the trend in low-skilled employment growth would have continued as it was.

By making this comparison, Monras was able to estimate that wages increased considerably following a minimum wage hike, but employment also fell considerably. In fact, employment fell more than wages rose. For every 1 percent increase in wages, the share of a state’s population of low-skilled workers in full-time employment fell by 1.2 percent. (The same empirical approach showed that minimum wage increases had no effect on the wages or employment of a control group of high-skilled workers.)

Monras’s model predicts that if labor demand is sensitive to wage changes, low-skilled workers should leave states that increase their minimum wages — and that’s exactly what his empirical evidence shows.

According to Monras,

A 1 percent reduction in the share of employed low-skilled workers [following a minimum wage increase] reduces the share of low-skilled population by between .5 and .8 percent. It is worth emphasizing that this is a surprising and remarkable result: workers for whom the [minimum wage] policy was designed leave the states where the policy is implemented.

These new and important findings reinforce the view that minimum wage increases come at a cost to the employment rates of low-skilled workers.

They also pose a difficult question for minimum wage proponents: If minimum wage increases benefit low-skilled workers, why do these workers leave the states that raise their minimum wage?

Corey Iacono

Corey Iacono is a student at the University of Rhode Island majoring in pharmaceutical science and minoring in economics. He is a FEE 2016 Thorpe Fellow.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

Gun Shop Owner Stands to Challenge Obama on Second Amendment

Homeland Insecurity Status AlertsCreating conflict. It’s what politicians do. Pointing the finger at the supposed boogeyman and saying “HERE! THIS IS THE CAUSE OF ALL YOUR WOES!”, and crying out for more power under the rubric of “safety”.

“I just came from a meeting today in the situation room in which I’ve got people who we know have been on ISIL websites living here in the United States…and we’re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun,” Obama said.

Do you see the problems with the above quotation? Let me spell it out for you:

1) They can add you to a no-fly list simply for visiting a website. This means that without being accused and convicted of a crime, you can lose your right to travel unmolested by government. That is exactly the opposite of rights expressly spelled out in the Constitution.

2) The NRA is painted as the bad guy simply for insisting (in a court of law) that the Federal Government be subject to the limitations placed upon it by the Constitution and specifically the 2nd Amendment. Somehow “they” are the evil ones.

Where does it end? Where does it ever end? 100 new laws? 1000? 10,000? When will the slew of laws, regulations, licenses, mandates, executive orders, fines, penalties, restrictions, public humiliations, etc., etc. ad nauseam, bring about the perfect society?

And when will the American People grow tired of electing demagogues who promise everything and deliver nothing of value?

Source: Gun Shop Owner Stands to Challenge Obama on Second Amendment — Listen Closely to the President’s Response | Video | TheBlaze.com

Don’t Be Fooled by the Political Game: The Illusion of Freedom in America

The shaping of the will of Congress and the choosing of the American president has become a privilege reserved to the country’s equestrian classes, a.k.a. the 20% of the population that holds 93% of the wealth, the happy few who run the corporations and the banks, own and operate the news and entertainment media, compose the laws and govern…

Continue Reading:

Source: Don’t Be Fooled by the Political Game: The Illusion of Freedom in America – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Seymour Hersh: Everything Obama said about the Bin Laden Raid is a Lie!

Puppet Masters

When I first heard about the so-called raid, it turned my stomach. When I was excoriated by an enthusiastic public for not supporting the mission, or the methods, I was called “unpatriotic”. Now it turns out I was right. Anything originating with this Whitehouse is Kabuki Theater, designed solely to manipulate you and keep you passive.

Vox Popoli: The banality of US evil

Vox Popoli: The banality of US evil

Eric Garner died in a New York minute because “soft despotism” turned hard enough to kill him in cold blood. There was no anger there, no hate; the police simply failed to grasp the moral disproportion between the “crimes” he wasn’t even committing at the time and their use of force. And an investigating grand jury did no better.

Vox Popoli: The banality of US evil.

For Pot, Inc., the Rush Begins – and so does the Crony Capitalism

Basic economics dictates how the market can be controlled by politicians and big business to benefit the few at the expense of the many, and that’s exactly what’s happening as New York begins the process of legalizing medical marijuana. Who are the few that will reap the biggest rewards?

In order to implement market controls (note: this is NOT free market capitalism), you must restrict access. From the New York Times story (emphasis mine):

The State Health Department, she said (State Senator Diane J. Savino who was a sponsor of the bill passed last summer), had not yet written guidelines for the medical marijuana program, and the licenses available for companies keen to participate would be few and costly.

That way, only the most well-connected and wealthy can participate.

You tax it heavily:

We can probably take in a couple hundred million dollars a year, minimally,” she said, referring to potential tax revenue.

Um… who do you think is paying those taxes? Consumers who have medical needs. How considerate!

You restrict supply to artificially inflate prices:

When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act in July, it gave the Health Department 18 months to come up with regulations and choose up to five companies to grow and dispense medical marijuana.

Application costs alone could run to several hundred thousand dollars; start-up costs could top $20 million.

Oh, and did I mention price fixing?:

New York’s health commissioner will set the price of the drug, probably based on the street value.

Which of course means that the street value will adjust dynamically to keep as many black-market customers as possible, and the centrally planned and controlled pricing will never catch up due to bureaucratic lag. This means the black-market will continue to thrive whilst the “legal” market will be strangled and uncompetitive. Capitalism is responsive to market drivers, such as demand vs. price. Socialism (central control by so-called authorities) abstracts the supply from the consumption, which means critical market indicators are disconnected.

And the cronies are all lined up:

Now, for the state’s would-be growers, private equity investors, labor unions, lawyers, lobbyists, consultants, branding firms, suits, stoners and hucksters, the rush is on.

This is the moment when old-guard legalizers meet a new breed of capitalist.

Yep! That new breed? Crony-capitalists!

  • Patrick McCarthy, a lobbyist & once an aide to Gov. George E. Pataki and executive director of the New York Republican State Committee
  • Dean Petkanas, was chief financial officer at Stratton Oakmont
  • Derek Peterson, a former senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (who hired Senator Harry Reid’s son Rory as a lobbyist)
  • The Governor of NY

    Richard N. Gottfried, a Democratic state assemblyman cited an unwritten formula of government regulation:

    “When you make a statute very restrictive — and the governor did that in the last hours — you raise the stakes and create a need for more lawyers and consultants

  •  Cannabis industry cash has begun to flow into New York. Ms. Savino said her campaign donations from out-of-state growers were “around $10,000 or $15,000 — not much.” (But it’s the thought that counts, right?)
  • Unions have also claimed a share. In New York, all licensees will be union shops, a result of two years of lobbying by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

And one last big crony-capitalist play – use government regulations to control unwanted competition:

…at the Cannabis and Hemp Association meeting, the aspiring moguls had a regulatory request for Ms. Savino. They wanted more regulation, not less (talking about over-the-counter remedies being sold as non-psychoactive hemp oil or CBD oil)  … Such products are largely unregulated and sell for as much as hundreds of dollars for a small amount. Could the state crack down on them?

Most telling quote in the whole article:

Ms. Savino pulled a bottle of something called Green Cures CBD Oil from her purse, eying it skeptically. “People believe what they want to believe,” she said. “It’s hard to protect people from what they think will help.”

And people thinking that this crony-capitalist “legalization” will help anyone in New York will find that in the long-run it helps no one except those who exploit the voters, tax payers, and consumers, such as politicians, lobbyists, bankers, and union bosses.