BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Socialism

My Interview with Keith Hanson on President Trump’s 2017 UNGA Speech

I dissect President Trump’s 2017 UNGA speech and discuss the ironic backlash to the Kirkpatrickian philosophy of “principled realism” that backed it during the below interview with Keith Hanson on WNTK beginning at 2:53:

‘Dancing on Graves:’ Talking Barack Obama’s Disastrous Legacy on Dennis Michael Lynch’s DML Unfiltered

CPAC Media Hits: Politics With Glenn Beck, National Security With Frank Gaffney and Academia With Sandy Rios

During my time at CPAC 2016, I had the opportunity to go on-air with several personalities. Below you can find my appearances:

With My Old Boss Glenn Beck Talking a Republican Contested Convention, Rule 40B and More [Begins at 1:36:55]

With the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney Talking Progressive Foreign Policy, Counterjihadism and the 2016 Presidential Election

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‘Inequality’ Does Not Cause ISIS, Or How Our Western Materialist Worldview is Killing Us

Recently, world-renowned French socialist economist Thomas Piketty proffered the argument that “inequality” is the cause of ISIS.

While it may not be surprising given that Piketty’s life work has been dedicated to studying inequality (and arguing that to eradicate it we ought to tear down the capitalist system), Piketty revealed a critical insight about the Western elite: It believes global jihadism is attributable to materialist factors.

I challenge this thesis in my latest piece over at the indispensable City Journal titled Did Inequality Cause ISIS?, and argue that in order to effectively combat the global jihad, we must look at the world through the same prism as Islamic supremacists, not the materialist one apparently subscribed to by our entire foreign policy Establishment, including but not limited to the Obama administration (see “jobs for jihadis”).

Also, the great Dan Bongino spoke about my piece during his Conservative Review podcast. Listen starting at 21:13 below:

 

Featured Image Source: LiveLeak screengrab.

Venezuela Isn’t Cooking The Books Under Mass Inflation. It’s Lighting Them On Fire.

America’s government has gradually watered down its economic data over time, thereby painting a rosier picture of conditions on the ground than actually exists. Consulting economist John Williams has dedicated his life in fact to exposing its manipulation of economic data and backing into the real numbers.

But you will know when America has really hit full on panic mode when the feds stop printing figures altogether, and the only way to measure price inflation is through tracking the daily price increase of say, cronuts, or some other confection.

This is the position sadly but all-too-predictably in which Venezuela finds itself today. Writes the Wall Street Journal:

On monthly trips to his native Venezuela, Miguel Octavio heads to the same restaurant for the cornmeal cakes he enjoyed as a boy known as arepas, which are a staple here. The price, however, is never the same.

Over nine months, the Miami-based financial analyst and blogger has recorded a fourfold increase in what he calls his Hyperinflated Arepa Index, a yardstick he created to trace soaring consumer prices in this economically crippled country.

President Nicolás Maduro’s government stopped publishing monthly inflation data last December when the level hit 68% annually, the world’s highest. With the Venezuelan economy worsening and the ruling party facing tough congressional elections this December, the central bank hasn’t reported inflation, balance-of-payments or gross-domestic-product figures all year.

That has prompted economists and analysts like Mr. Octavio to compile their own indicators, basing calculations on everything from anecdotal evidence to federal tax revenue to banking-sector loans.

We know that central planning fails, but in Venezuela the not-so-benevolent dictators must have done so on an epic scale if they are no longer cooking the books but rather lighting them on fire.

Why has Venezuela’s economic decline been so sharp?

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If Hillary Clinton Wants to ‘Topple’ the One Percent, She Should Start With Herself

Hillary Clinton, without a hint of irony, has reportedly called for “toppling” the 1 percent. So the putative favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination intends to target those who — like herself, her husband and the benefactors of her family foundation — are the wealthiest of the wealthy.

If Mrs. Clinton is seeking to upend a system that pays off a select group of elite insiders who profit by undertaking cronyistic, anti-free market acts, I applaud her. But if Mrs. Clinton is rather seeking to punish the few who have amassed great wealth by producing goods and services for their fellow man, Hillary ought to be pilloried.

Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Any national conversation convened by Mrs. Clinton on disparities in wealth should begin with a long look in the mirror. Hillary and Bill Clinton have obtained their wealth not by meeting a true market demand, but by transacting in the political marketplace of power and influence.

Distasteful as we might find this, one cannot blame them – at least to the extent to which they were not effectively compensated for fulfilling or seeking to fulfill their end of a bribe.

For though an extreme example of successful political entrepreneurs, the Clintons are a mere symptom of a problem created by government itself, which like all institutions seeks to protect, preserve and enrich its own.

People like the Clintons, Eric CantorDeval Patrick and thousands of other well-connected “public servants” find highly remunerative work while out of office because political access and protection are prized in the marketplace.

Political power is only prized by the marketplace because there is something to be bought. Political payoffs, to our nation’s detriment, are simply seen as the cost of doing business.

Stated differently, because we have a hyper-regulatory state today that is all-intrusive and all-powerful, currying political favor may be the difference between life and death, endless riches and cataclysmic failure.

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

20 Signs You Are Living in a Progressive Utopia

It can be said that progressivism at its core seeks to turn the world upside down.

It is an ideology and a tactic of modern-day Sophists who seek to replace facts with narrative, justice with injustice, morality with immorality and virtue with vice — but it does so with a smile on its face.

Consequently, in order to identify whether one is in fact living in a progressive Utopia, one merely needs to identify instances in one’s society, economy and political system, themselves a natural outgrowth of the culture (itself an outgrowth of the ideas that a people has imbibed), in which facts, logic and history have been shoved aside in favor of the whims of the wise collective.

Here are 20 signs that you might be living in such a blissful place:

1) When the executive branch has effectively become the legislative branch

President Obama has been pushing executive actions as a means of working around Congress in 2014. (Image Source: heartland.org)

President Obama has been pushing executive actions as a means of working around Congress in 2014. (Image Source: heartland.org)

2) When the notions of secure borders and national sovereignty are considered thinly-veiled euphemisms for racial hatred

3) When justice means determining a person is guilty before seeing any evidence, then rioting, looting and destroying property when said person does not even make it to trial

4) When those who riot, loot and destroy property are considered freedom-fighters, and those who peacefully assemble are considered radical extremists

In this June 19, 2013, photo, Tea Party activists attend a rally on the grounds of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 19, 2013. (Photo: AP)

In this June 19, 2013, photo, Tea Party activists attend a rally on the grounds of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 19, 2013. (Image Source: AP)

5) When criminals advise law enforcement on how to do its job

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

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