The Wudge Report: Snippets and Headlines from the Wall Street Journal

Benefits Run Out for Spain’s Jobless

Spanish unemployment benefits of $2,000 per month for workers with two children only last 24 months, compared to three to five years in some European countries.

Euro Zone Economic Data Point to Gloomy Year-End

0.2% is the lastest quarterly growth reported for the euro zone. Third quarter activity is expected to slow.

For Ordinary Greeeks, Bailout Adds Up to Years of Hardship

“Andreas Papandreou…the father of modern Greek socialism.”

“Ms. Visvardis says, ‘I’m not one to blame the troika”, referring to the committee of EU bailout inspectors widely seen here as the principal architects of austerity. ‘We’re to blame.'”

Mr. Papadopoulos says, “We’ll live poor but we’ll have our freedom and we’ll decide what to do.”

Comment: The Greeks are like the Boy Scout, who spent all of his $40 spending money on the first day of the trip, then pouted when he didn’t have any money later. Greeks spent their money! Now they are mad it’s gone. They borrowed money. Now they’re mad the lenders want it back.

Chinese Drop Tax After Riots

Photo caption: Armed paramilitary police patrol  a busy street of Zhili township, part of the city of Huzhou in China’s Zhejiang province on Friday.

“Workshop managers were being charged between $48 and $96 for each machine used.” Called the sewing-machine tax.

How Harrisburg Borrowed Itself Into Bankruptcy

Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, is drowning in debt. Projects of dubious value. The city even borrowed money to buy a money-losing minor league baseball team. It spent some $39 million on a National Civil War Museum that opened in 2001. It has struggled for years to attract crowds.

Notable and Quotable excerpts Michael Caine’s autobiography about communism, free love and redistribution. LOL.

Income inequality

Between the years I was three and twenty-two,China’s promoters of income equality protested capitalism, the propertied class and wealth. They appealed to fairness. They scorned and looted factory owners and landlords. They opposed capitalism and right-wingers. Their policies killed 60 million through freezing, starvation, prison camps and executions.

Occupy Wall Street protesters despise income equality, wealth and capitalism. Capitalism, to them, is insufficiently equal.

Anti-rightists, capitalist roaders, occupiers

Today’s Wall Street Journal had a book review of a book about Deng Xiaoping.

China’s “anti-rightist” campaign of 1957 and its Cultural Revolution of 1966, which purged “capitalist roaders”, share lineage and doctrine with this month’s Occupy Wall Street movement.

The anti-rightist campaign targeted “those intellectuals who appeared to favour capitalism and class divisions and [who were]against collectivization.” (Wikipedia).

Rightists were in favor of capitalism, accepted wealth inequality and opposed collectivization. They were persecuted, imprisoned, purged, snuffed out, looted, intimidated, harassed  and bullied.

A “capitalist roader” favored capitalism. They “would eventually restore the political and economic rule of capitalism; in other words, these forces would lead a society down a “capitalist road”. (Wikipedia) “Capitalist roaders suffered the same murders and indignities as “rightists.”

Two good books about the horrors that ensued from Chinese egalitarian impulses are Wild Swans and Red Scarf Girl.

Estimated number of deaths due to China’s egalitarians: 60 million.

Belgium Agrees to Stay Together

Wall Street Journal Today:

Belgium Nears Deal

BRUSSELS- Belgian leaders formally presented constitutional changes that move their country closer to a Swiss-style confederation, and said stabilizing the euro zone’s third-most indebted country helps address the Continents debt crisis.

After 485 days of talks, representatives of Dutch-language Flanders, Francophone Wallonia and multilingual Brussels on Tuesday said they have agreed to give regional governments new responsibilities from setting speed limits to paying state child allowances.

“It’s as if the U.S. federal government turned over bunch of its powers to the states,” said Andre Flahaut, president of the Belgian Parliament.

We’ve allowed him to misapprehend the U.S. federal model. The people of the states gave powers to the federal government at the Founding.

American and European Softness

President Barack Obama  said the U.S. has lost some of its competitive edge and gotten a “little soft.”

Vaclav Klaus says Europe is permissive, anti-market and redistributive, that they’ve “forgotten the ideas on whichthe greatness of Europe was built.”

He noted huge economic problems and undemocratic centralization.

Europe is “seemingly people-friendly, non-demanding and paternalistic,” and insufficiently economically productive.

“This system, with its generous social benefits, weakened motivation, shortened working hours, prolonged years of study, and lowered retirement ages,” led to very slow economic growth.

“Massive regulation from above and an ever-expanding welfare system” burden business.

He recommends that America not follow this model but turn back toward freedom.


These quotes are found in Imprimis, July/August 2011

1980 and Occupy Wall Street

R.R. Reno wrote of his brush with revolution in 1980 in his book, “Fighting the Noonday Devil.”

Sounds like quotes from Occupy Wall Street.