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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“When something is free, only the well-connected get much of it.”

George Gilder, The Scandal of Money.

12 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Indeed.

    And it’s always a game-changer when normies realize that artificially low interest rates from the Federal Reserve means lots of nearly-free money for mega corporations and Wall Street and very little nearly-free money for everyone else.

  • bobby b

    Back to what I’ve noticed earlier: Home mortgages are cheap, but no one can get them.

  • staghounds

    It has always surprised me that no one seems upset by the fact that they have to pay to borrow their own money* from the bank.

    * I know it’s newly printed fake money, but once it comes into existence it has to be paid for by taxes. In theory.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Loosely related to the excellent George Gilder quote, but continuing the same theme, the BBC has a story today about five people from foreign countries to whom the UK government has applied anti-corruption sanctions: “Michael Jackson superfan among those sanctioned by UK”. Understandably the BBC concentrates on the most eye-catching individual of the five, vice-president of Equatorial Guinea and Michael Jackson fan Teodoro Obiang Mangue, a kleptocrat of traditional type. But it is noticeable that all the others acquired their spectacular riches from state programmes intended to “give” some free benefit (land or money) to the poor:

    Among the other four targets was Zimbabwean businessman Kudakwashe Regimond Tagwirei, who the UK said was profiting from misappropriation of property in a way that led to accelerated deflation and increased the price of essentials.

    In Venezuela, Alex Nain Saab Morán and Alvaro Enrique Pulido Vargas were accused by the UK of exploiting two public programmes for poor citizens.

    And a provincial governor in Iraq, Nawfal Hammadi Al-Sultan, was accused by the UK of misappropriating public funds meant for reconstruction efforts. Al-Sultan is currently serving a combined five-year prison sentence in the country.

  • Fraser Orr

    @staghounds
    It has always surprised me that no one seems upset by the fact that they have to pay to borrow their own money* from the bank.

    How do you figure that? People are borrowing other people’s money, and paying a fee for it, I see nothing wrong with that at all.

    However, FWIW, what I just said is not generally true now. The large majority of mortgages are underwritten by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, which basically means “the government”. Banks just service the loans. The mortgage industry, in a secret, hidden way, has been almost entirely nationalized, federalized in the USA. The large majority of consumer debt that isn’t mortgage is student loans, which are also, almost entirely, underwritten by the government. These two facts — that we have a socialist debt industry — seems largely unknown.

  • staghounds

    And, as I said, it always surprises me that people don’t get upset by that.

    It’s been the standard since 1916, but it’s just fundamentally crazy.

  • pete

    The same applies to things which are lucrative.

    BBC jobs for example. Or jobs at charities, the ‘arts’ and quangos.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Air is free! And I’m not paying for it!

  • Lee Moore

    Among the other four targets was Zimbabwean businessman Kudakwashe Regimond Tagwirei, who the UK said was profiting from misappropriation of property in a way that led to accelerated deflation and increased the price of essentials.

    Wow ! I never thought I’d live to see the day on which deflation and Zimbabwe were linked in the same sentence.

  • It’s been the standard since 1916, but it’s just fundamentally crazy.

    Assuming you’re talking about the Federal Reserve Act, it was passed by the 63rd United States Congress and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on December 23, 1913.

    It has singularly failed to preserve the value of the US dollar, but then again, only a fool, a pleb or a taxpayer would expect that.

  • Exasperated

    Hah, here is a quote from me.

    “They privatize the gain, but socialize the pain”.

    They get all the gain, but they offload the pain, by shifting the cost of their failures and misadventures onto the public.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    “They privatize the gain, but socialize the pain”.

    But is that not the intention, in order to protect their own privileged positions?

    A public largely indifferent to the distinction between free-market capitalism and corporate capitalism, is thereby soured on the idea of capitalism altogether by a society that seems to “privatize the gain, but socialize the pain” and is sympathetic to political leaders who promise to rein in the ‘fat cats’. And yet their solutions never seem to rein in the ‘fat cats’ but have instead the consequence of reinforcing their position still further, with measures that make it more difficult for a potentially game-changing competitor to emerge to undermine them.

    Why else would ostensibly private corporations make donations to left-wing political parties?

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