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Blaska's Blog: Hooray for creative destruction

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The big-government Capital Times continues its bizarre quest to influence the Republican U.S. Senate primary in order to derail the nomination of Ron Johnson with a weaker candidate. Any Republican who would listen to "Dane County's Progressive Voice" should be in an SNL skit.

Johnson has "staked out a particularly bizarre position" on U.S. economic and trade policies. So says CT associate editor John Nichols, one of those who won't be happy until someone to the Left of Dennis Kucinich is in the White House.

Ron Johnson, you see, is a businessman. No, wait, he's a "multi-millionaire" businessman, according to the CT. To some of us, that means he is a successful businessman. To our friends on the professional Left, that means trouble. In John's account [CT: 8-19-2010], the Republican candidate says:

"In a free-market capitalist system, there are always winners and losers," preached (!)Johnson. "It's creative destruction. That just happens. It's unfortunate. But let's face it, if it weren't for that we'd still have buggy whip companies."

Of course, associate editor Nichols has been plumping for taxpayer subsidies for failing newspapers like the CT, so you know where he is coming from.

No risk, no reward

It is possible that the CT has not read economists other than Marx? They obviously have not read Joseph Schumpeter, who described creative destruction. I will resort to Wikipedia here:

Creative destruction is an economic theory of innovation and progress, ... the force that sustained long-term economic growth, even as it destroyed the value of established companies and laborers that enjoyed some degree of monopoly power derived from previous technological, organizational, regulatory, and economic paradigms.

Think Steve Jobs and the personal computer, which made museum pieces of your old Smith-Corona typewriter. If Capital Times-style protectionism were in place, Wisconsin farmers would never adapted to dairying in the late 19th Century after wheat farming failed. For that matter, 90 percent of us would still be tilling the soil (compared to 2.5% today), most of us at subsistence levels. In fact, Wikipedia offers a clue as to why The Capital Times hates creative destruction:

Other examples are the way in which online free newspaper sites such as The Huffington Post and the National Review Online are leading to creative destruction of the traditional paper newspaper.

The alternative to creative destruction is the command (not consumer) economy - top-down, non-competitive, state-owned, sclerotic, paranoid and subsidized. Think North Korea. With the loss of economic choice comes the loss of political freedom. Such societies build walls around themselves to keep people in. The U.S., at least on its southern border, builds walls to keep people out.

Let's hope the CT reports its latest contribution to the Feingold campaign to the Government Accountability Board. Oh, wait, they're exempt.

Name that tune ... um, Act of Congress

Peter Theron has a puckish sense of humor. Theron notes the official title of H.R. 1586 is the "______ Act of ____".

That is the $26 billion bailout of profligate school districts and state governments that Congress passed without an actual title. [See the Cato Institute's What Do Prince and H.R. 1586 Have in Common?]

Theron, Republican candidate for Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District, is introducing "Bills on Tape", a service for busy legislators who do not have time to read bills before they vote to approve them. He cites the 1,200+ pages of ObamaCare as another example.

"This effort will distribute the burden of reading across the entire population. It will truly be CitizensReading Incumbents' Bills that Not One of Them Even Skimmed (C.R.I.B. N.O.T.E.S)." Theron wants to tape citizens reading sections of the health-care bill. He'll post these videos on his website,

Theron is also picketing at the intersection of Blair-Williamson in Madison on Friday, August 27, from 4 to 6 pm to protest the proposed high-speed and commuter rail crossings there.

Speaking of trains, you got to love it. The City of Oconomowoc asked too many questions about the high-speed train from Madison to Milwaukee so the DOT scratched it off the itinerary. Wigderson's Library and Pub has the story. Moral of the story: do not ask too many questions!

Today's chuckle

Ivan had waited in line all day for a loaf of moldy pumpernickel. When, finally, it was his turn at the counter he was informed that they were out of bread. Ivan began to yell and curse until a tall man in trench coat and sunglasses approached, pointed his finger at Ivan's head, and made a motion like pulling a trigger.

"That's what we would have done in the old days, comrade," said the man in the trench coat.

"My goodness," Ivan exclaimed. "It's worse than I thought. Not only are we out of bread, now we're out of bullets, too."

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