Communists Make Point: Poverty Too Serious To Be left To Government

Communists Make Point: Poverty Too Serious To Be left To Government

Ah, yes. What a difference a quarter makes.

We started off the year with economists and liberal apologists—same-same—talking about how great the economy in the U.S. finally was.


“At this moment,” said Obama in his State of the Union address on January 20th, “with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production – we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.”

Um, well maybe not.

Because just 99 days later on April 29th, 2015 the Bureau of Economic Analysis released it’s first of estimate of economic conditions for the 1st quarter of 2015 with 0.2 percent annual increase rate in GDP. That means that had we used the same calculations for GDP that we had used prior to last year, the economy would have been in contraction. The same can’t be said for some countries that many consider not as as “free” as the United States apparently is under Obama.

Because if we take Obama at his word and use economic strength as the measure of freedom, there are a number of countries much “freer” than the United States, Europe and Japan.

In India, for example, the country will post a +7 percent increase in GDP for the first quarter 2015, despite being “shackled” by interest rates that are at 7.5 percent.

US interest rates by contrast are at 0.25 percent.

In Kuala Lampur, Malaysia reported GDP of 5.6 percent on May 14th, 2015 for the first quarter of the year, despite central bank interest rates of 3.25 percent. And in a most cruel cut, the economy of Vietnam– a country that just celebrated the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon to the communists in 1975 (who still reign there)– enjoyed economic growth of about 6 percent for 2014. Ironically the anniversary date of the fall of Saigon came just one day after the U.S. released its first quarter GDP data. Vietnam achieved the growth despite Vietnamese central bank interest rates that are at 8 percent.

And how did Vietnam achieve this growth?

Sounding more like Herbert Hoover than Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese prime minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, explained, according to the Vietnamese News Service, that “the national poverty alleviation programme… needs to focus on motivating people to get out of poverty on their own.” Really. He said that.

Now imagine a Republican saying that.

He then asked the media to report instances of people getting out of poverty on their own so that it could inspire others.

Who knew that Vietnam—and South East Asia in general– would take to heart George H.W. Bush’s exhortation to become a 1,000 Points of Light while the U.S. would mock it?

But don’t worry: Help for the U.S. is on the way, we are assured.

“Consecutive gains in orders for capital equipment signal American factories, and the economy,” says Bloomberg Business, “are starting to crawl out of a first-quarter slump.” Oil prices have gone up to be sure, which according to conventional wisdom is a good thing, but count me skeptical.

Home sales have rebounded a bit, but not enough to make up for a very poor first quarter. And if we ignore defense spending, aircraft and other areas that artificially boosted GDP the second half of last year, the economy isn’t as poor as it was in the first quarter—but only by a little.

“Without question, this is an extremely strong report, if you think about how the year started,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York according to Bloomberg. “You’re looking at a pretty nice profile for growth.” Translation: Things aren’t as crappy as they were.

Indeed, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow tool, about the only forecasting that got first quarter GDP right, says we are only growing at about 0.8 percent per annum for the second quarter.

So let’s just say our markets still aren’t free to better write our own future than any other nation on earth; not nearly so.

And the only proof you need is to see that things are so much better in South East Asia, where people are free to get out of poverty on their own.

And that’s because poverty in South East Asia is too serious a topic to be left only to the government.

Even communists know this, even if Obama does not.

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