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AOC’s Latest Rant About Billionaires Is Totally Off Base

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Say what you will about left-wing darling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but she knows how to get a message across on social media. One of the youngest members of the House of Representatives, the New York Democrat and socialist boasts 8.1 million Instagram followers.

It’s a shame that Ocasio-Cortez has once again used her talent for going viral to spread misleading narratives that ignore basic economics. This time, in one of her ask-me-anything Instagram stories, the congresswoman was asked about her position that billionaires shouldn’t exist. “The question of billionaires is less about being a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ individual and more about the immorality of a system and economy that not only allows abuse of everyday people, but financially rewards the powerful who profit off not paying workers a living wage, keeping medicine expensive … or otherwise hoarding unthinkable levels of wealth for the very few by denying basic dignities of life for the many,” she wrote.

Ocasio-Cortez continued, “Billionaires are a symptom of a society that does not afford people basic elements of dignity,” concluding, “If people want we can revisit the billionaire question when everyone has healthcare, climate change is addressed, [and] people have actual dignified standards of living.”

There’s one glaring problem with Ocasio-Cortez’s impassioned tirade: Economics is not a zero-sum game. Her argument is predicated upon the idea that in the process of achieving great wealth, a billionaire had to take that wealth away from someone else. This simply isn’t how a free-market economy works.

When you voluntarily buy groceries from the local market, you and the store owner are both made better off by the transaction. You get goods that are worth more to you than the money you’re spending on them (or else you wouldn’t make the purchase) and vice versa for the store owner.

So, in pursuing his fortune, a billionaire supermarket chain owner would have to enrich millions of customers by creating opportunities for mutually beneficial transactions. The only way to obtain great wealth without doing this would be to lobby the government for crony regulations or subsidies to get an artificial monopoly (the kind of programs Ocasio-Cortez often supports).

With her latest anti-billionaire tirade, Ocasio-Cortez is engaging in the zero-sum fallacy of poor economic thinking. “The fallacy here is the implicit assumption that there is a fixed pie of wealth and that what market activity does is just allocate that among individuals, households, or nations,” economist Steve Horwitiz explains. “It ignores the way in which wealth is created through production and exchange,” he continues. “One of the most fundamental insights of economics is that exchange is mutually beneficial and therefore wealth-creating.”

In fact, economist Deirdre McCloskey estimates that successful entrepreneurs only see about 2% of the total wealth created by their innovation. Take the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, for example. He died with a net worth of $10 billion, making him one of the evil billionaires Ocasio-Cortez wants to regulate and tax out of existence. Yet, he didn’t achieve this great wealth by defrauding people or taking opportunities that could have gone to others.

Rather, in order to become a billionaire, Jobs had to spark the creation of 2 million jobs across the United States, nearly 450,000 through suppliers and roughly 1.5 million more indirectly through a retail ecosystem. Moreover, Jobs had to oversee the development and distribution of products that have improved all of our lives immeasurably.

Of course, Ocasio-Cortez and her supporters could argue that they simply want to address the end state of billionaire-ness by taking that wealth and redistributing it to those in need. But any policy to achieve this goal, such as the congresswoman’s favored 70% top tax rate, would destroy the incentive structure that allows entrepreneurs to keep climbing. To put it simplistically, Jobs would likely have stopped after the first iPod if he’d faced confiscatory levels of taxation on any future successes.

So, were you to game it out, the natural result of this fallacious narrative would not be the social justice utopia Ocasio-Cortez imagines. It would be an America where we’re all a lot poorer.

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a Washington Examiner contributor and host of the Breaking Boundaries podcast.

Author: Brad Polumbo

Source: Washington Examiner. : AOC’s latest rant about billionaires is totally off-base

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FBI Knew Russia Collusion Story Was Bogus

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Senator Lindsey Graham, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has released several hundred more documents from his committee’s investigation into the origins of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign for president. Included in the document dump was the transcript of closed testimony given last June by former Justice Department official Dana J. Boente.

Boente was acting deputy attorney general in charge of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation for several months in 2017 and told the committee that he was briefed on the program at least six times.

Washington Times:

“I felt that it was important to know something about it,” said Mr. Boente, according to a transcript. “I don’t know if and when I was told that. I think — I recall being told at some point, maybe not February, between February and April, because thankfully my involvement ended in April, that there was no evidence of collusion with the Trump campaign.”

The FBI not only didn’t shut down the probe, they expanded it.

During this time, the FBI also won a judge’s approval for continued wiretapping of campaign volunteer Carter Page. The FBI’s affidavit was based almost exclusively on evidence provided by a Democratic Party-financed dossier prepared by ex-British spy Christopher Steele and sourced to the Kremlin.

The FBI learned in January that Mr. Steele’s main source, Russian-born Igor Danchenko, had told agents his information was unconfirmed hearsay. But the FBI continued to rely on the dossier.

Graham was obviously upset when he spoke of what was in the transcripts.

The Sun:

In a statement, Graham said: “I believe that Crossfire Hurricane was one of the most incompetent and corrupt investigations in the history of the FBI and DOJ.”

The senator added the committee had released “as much material as possible” – but said some material had been withheld as it was still “classified”.

Graham slammed the leadership of the FBI under James Comey and Andrew McCabe, saying it was either “grossly incompetent” or they “knowingly allowed tremendous misdeeds”.

Why didn’t the FBI and Justice drop a bogus investigation into a sitting president of the United States? Graham said: “The only logical explanation is that the investigators wanted an outcome because of their bias.”

But the FBI would never let their biases interfere with their professional judgment, right?

Author: Rick Moran

Source: PJ Media : Newly Released Testimony Shows the FBI Knew the Russia Collusion Story Was Bogus

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Biden Signing Exec. Orders, Travel Ban, Paris Agreement

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Big changes are only days away

President-elect Joe Biden will sign about a dozen executive orders on his first day in the White House, reversing several key policies enacted by the Trump administration.

Biden’s transition team revealed on Saturday that the incoming administration would sign executive orders regarding climate change, immigration, student loans, and the coronavirus pandemic.

Incoming Biden chief of staff Ron Klain sent a memo to his staff on Saturday, outlining a 10-day plan of action. Included in the memo to the new White House staff, the Biden administration declared it would address “four overlapping and compounding crises: the Covid-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis.”

“All of these crises demand urgent action,” Klain wrote. “In his first 10 days in office, President-elect Biden will take decisive action to address these four crises, prevent other urgent and irreversible harms, and restore America’s place in the world.”

Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday when he will reportedly sign a number of executive orders. On day one, Biden will allegedly sign executive orders to return the United States to the Paris agreement on climate change, which President Donald Trump withdrew from in June 2017.

“The bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States,” Trump said at the time of the withdrawal, adding that it provided China and India a competitive advantage.

The incoming administration will also rescind Trump’s controversial travel ban of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, and certain government officials from Venezuela.

Biden will reportedly introduce a “groundbreaking legislative package” addressing immigration reform, and provide a pathway to citizenship to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States.

The Biden administration will allegedly sign executive actions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic that will “change the course of the COVID-19 crisis and safely re-open schools and businesses.”

Biden will purportedly introduce the “100 Day Masking Challenge,” which will implement face mask mandates on federal property and for interstate travel.

The president-elect will reportedly extend the pause on repayment of and interest on student loans, and continue restrictions on nationwide evictions and foreclosures.

“Between Jan. 25 and Feb. 1, Biden will sign more executive actions, memoranda and issues additional Cabinet directives, including ones addressing equity and support in communities of color and underserved communities, and criminal justice system reforms,” USA Today reported.

Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, and the swearing-in of the 46th president of the United States will feature an unprecedented security presence of up to 25,000 troops. The largest security force at an inauguration in U.S. history stems from the storming of the Capitol building on Jan. 6, and the subsequent threats of violence thereafter.

Author: Paul Sacca

Source: The Blaze : Biden to sign a dozen executive orders on day one in office — reverse Trump’s travel ban, rejoin Paris Agreement

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Trump Plans Unprecedented Military Farewell Event With 21-Gun Salute, Military Band

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Trump plans to leave town early so he can use call sign “Air Force One” on trip home

President Trump wants to go out in style.

Trump, who has announced he will skip Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president and plans to leave Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning, is reportedly planning an unprecedented farewell event at Joint Base Andrews, an Air Force base in Maryland where Air Force One is hangared.

“Officials are considering an elaborate send-off event reminiscent of the receptions he’s received during state visits abroad, complete with a red carpet, color guard, military band and even a 21-gun salute, according to a person familiar with the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement,” The Associated Press reported.

Leaving while he is still president will allow Trump to use the presidential plane and use the call sign “Air Force One” for his flight to Palm Beach, Florida. If Trump were to leave Washington after Biden was sworn in, he would have to ask Biden for permission to use the plane for his trip home.

“Trump told people he did not like the idea of departing Washington for a final time as an ex-president, flying aboard an airplane no longer known as Air Force One,” CNN reported. “He also did not particularly like the thought of requesting the use of the plane from Biden, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

“Final plans for Trump’s departure were still being laid a week ahead of time, but Trump has expressed interest to some in a military-style sendoff and a crowd of supporters, according to a person with whom he has discussed the matter,” CNN reported. “Whether that occurs at the White House, Joint Base Andrews or his final destination — Palm Beach International Airport — wasn’t clear. Trump is expected to be ensconced in his Mar-a-Lago club or his nearby golf course by noon on Inauguration Day, when his term officially ends.”

But Defense One, a military website, said the Pentagon will offer no farewell ceremony for Trump.

“The Pentagon, in a break with recent tradition, will not host an Armed Forces Farewell tribute to President Donald Trump,” Executive Editor Kevin Baron wrote in a commentary piece.

“It’s a shame, but not a surprise. Trump will leave office in disgrace, one week after the House voted a second time for his impeachment, two weeks after his supporters staged a deadly siege in the Capitol Building, six months after he dragged his Joint Chiefs chairman into a political firestorm, and after four years of nonstop assaults on truth. One of those disgraces is how he is ghosting the U.S. troops that he commanded,” Baron wrote.

The city is locked down after the violent riot that broke out at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Thousands of National Guard soldiers are in town to make sure violence doesn’t spark again.

Biden’s inaugural parade has been canceled to limit crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers announced the decision earlier this month, saying that a “virtual parade across America” will be held instead.

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

Author: Joseph Curl

Source: Daily Wire : Trump Plans Unprecedented Military ‘Farewell Event’ With 21-Gun Salute, Military Band: Report

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