Steven Spielberg: Castro stooge and political bigot

Some people think I treated Steve Spielberg unfairly by lumping him with Hollywood’s mad left. But Spielberg’s sympathies for the sadistic Castro are no secret. Despite the fact that Castro’s record  of murder, terrorism, torture and anti-Semitism is well documented the proudly progressive Spielberg still idolises him. Continue reading Steven Spielberg: Castro stooge and political bigot

Now for something different: Hollywood’s America-hating left

The nauseating spectacle of Hollywood celebrities prostrating themselves before Obama highlights the hypocrisy, ignorance and outright stupidity of these celluloid intellectuals, of whom George Clooney is a particularly nauseating example. As Hollywood’s most prominent celluloid intellectual — the equally imbecilic Ron Howard is a very close second — he probably thought he was being profound as well as smart when he declared that “We are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood. I think that’s probably a good thing”. A not unexpected statement from a man who seems to credit Hollywood with saving America from fascism and racism. Continue reading Now for something different: Hollywood’s America-hating left

Prices, inflation and growth: our economic commentariat get it wrong again

A few days ago I had an exchange with another brilliant product of one of Australia’s economics departments. This rather conceited young man argued that a little bit of inflation is necessary to maintain economic growth. I tried to get it across to him that inflation is as about as healthy as leprosy. Nevertheless, this young man’s dangerous belief is shared by most of our economic commentariat and this is why one still hears it.

One of those commentators is the renown Terry McCann, no less. This brought to mind his statement of belief that “inflation is not only desirable in its own right. It’s the absolute foundation of sustained growth in the economy and of living standards” (Herald Sun, The prices are right, 9 March 2007). As I recall, McCrann seemed to be coming from one of two positions. The first one was the nonsensical belief that a ‘modest’ rate of inflation is necessary to promote spending and investment. Therefore, without inflation prices would fall which would then curb spending and investment and so depress economic activity. But the idea that any rate of inflation can fuel genuine economic growth is utterly absurd, unless one believes in the ‘beneficial effects’ of “forced saving”.

Jeremy Bentham was, I believe, the first economist to outline the forced saving doctrine (the process of using inflation to restrict consumption in order to raise the rate of capital accumulation)  which he called “Forced Frugality”. (A Manual of Political Economy, written in 1795 but not published until 1843, p. 44). Thomas Malthus, his contemporary, pointed out the dangers and injustice of “forced savings”. (Edinburgh Review, February 1811, pp. 363-372.)  John Stuart Mill described the process as one of “forced accumulation” and condemned it with the statement that accumulating capital by this means “is no palliation of its iniquity”. (John Stuart Mill, Essays on Economics and Society, University of Toronto Press 1967, p. 307). Continue reading Prices, inflation and growth: our economic commentariat get it wrong again