Socialism at Work in the PRP

That’s the Commonwealth People’s Republic of Pennsylvania again. You might be tempted to imagine that our overseers are drunk with power; they may well be, but the rest of us are sober in its shadow. Interesting fact: The state’s PLCB (Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board) is the largest purveyor of alcoholic beverages in the world. One might think such a huge purchaser would have great bargaining power when buying its line of goods and offer good prices to its customers. Anyone with real world experience, of course, knows that, since the bored board have no ‘skin in the game’, much better prices can always be had by just driving across the state line to a private establishment in an adjacent state. In its munificence, a few years ago, the Commonwealth even decriminalized that particularly odious, antisocial act – comparison shopping across state lines! This generosity was merely a sop to groups who had been ardently trying for 40 years to privatize the stores.

Early in his term, our Democrat governor, Wolf, vetoed the first privatization bill to finally reach a governor’s desk (I wonder which candidate the PLCB employees’ union supported?). This is the same governor who ordered the stores closed for our ‘safety’, unlike any of the surrounding states (which now require proof of residence to purchase alcohol in their states; they don’t ‘want foreigners’ to bring virus across state lines). As I write, the local news is touting today’s PLCB press release claiming they have increased the number of allowable online sales to a whopping 6500 per day. That’s right, 6500 sales for shipment in a state with a population of nearly 13 million inhabitants. The PLCB’s website allows random access (for ‘fairness’) to 6500 requests per day. It has nearly 600 stores and 5000+ employees throughout the state, BTW. So, they are patting themselves on the back for managing to take 10 whole orders per store (for up-to-six-bottle purchases). That comes out to slightly more than one order per employee per day! I can hardly wait till these guys (with post office and DMV as consultants) are running the ‘single-payer’ health ‘care’ system.... [Read More]


Bankruptcy Socialism: A Dystopian Tale

Bankruptcy SocialismIn September, 2008, with the financial crisis of that year triggered by the collapse of the mortgage-backed securities bubble shaking the foundations of financial institutions world-wide and an election in the U.S. looming which had the prospect of electing the most explicitly left-wing president in the country’s history, I wrote a Gnome-o-Gram titled “The AIG Takeover and Bankruptcy Socialism”, in which I introduced the term “bankruptcy socialism”.  I have appended that original article, unmodified, to this post so you can see what I was thinking at the time and how things evolved subsequently compared to what I envisioned.

Although I wish for nothing more earnestly than the kind of optimistic outcome from the present disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken to deal with it, such as those sketched by TKC 1101 in his post “So What Is the POTUS Strategy?”, I also believe it is wise to look at other, darker strategies which may be put into place by those with agendas very different from the swift and complete recovery from the present troubles for which I, and most people, hope.... [Read More]


Modern Progressives: The Early Days

I posted the following some time ago at the legacy site. It seems timely now. Since it’s behind the paywall, I copy/pasted it rather than linking to it. Surprisingly, the old links in the post still work.

Over the last decade or so, liberal has been replaced by progressive as a descriptor of the modern American Left. I had the opportunity to witness the some of the low-level discussion and planning of this rebranding in 2010.... [Read More]


Bernie Sanders in 1987: “Medicaid for All Would Bankrupt the Nation”

“If we expanded Medicaid to everybody—if everybody had a Medicaid card—we would be spending such an astronomical sum of money that, you know, we would bankrupt the nation.”

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Book Review: Stalin, Vol. 2: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941

“Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941” by Stephen KotkinThis is the second volume in the author’s monumental projected three-volume biography of Joseph Stalin. The first volume, Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928 covers the period from Stalin’s birth through the consolidation of his sole power atop the Soviet state after the death of Lenin. The third volume, which will cover the period from the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 through the death of Stalin in 1953 has yet to be published.

As this volume begins in 1928, Stalin is securely in the supreme position of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and having over the years staffed the senior ranks of the party and the Soviet state (which the party operated like the puppet it was) with loyalists who owed their positions to him, had no serious rivals who might challenge him. (It is often claimed that Stalin was paranoid and feared a coup, but would a despot fearing for his position regularly take summer holidays, months in length, in Sochi, far from the capital?)... [Read More]