The Four Phases of Fascism

Brian M. Lucey

So, Austria has in large numbers, voted right. Far right. Ally this to the Jobbik thugs in Hungary, the toxic religio-nationalist rhetoric of the Slovaks, the bubbling threat of the Golden Dawn, the slipping towards legal autocracy of Poland, the rise of Alternative for Deutschland, the rise of xenophobic politics in the UK (for that, at heart, is what drives Brexit), the rise everywhere of anti-migrant feeling, and one wonders – is fascism in all its varieties an endemic virus in most european countries? For all its many problems Irish politics has been remarkably resilient to the siren calls of the far right, for which we should be thankful.

A point that needs to be made is that the modern fascist doesn’t, mostly, wear snazzy Hugo Boss designed uniforms, but suits; doesn’t have an army of thugs, but of astroturfers; cloaks the vileness in honeyed words to avoid the anti-fascism…

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Just 40 light years from Earth, three planets might host life forms adapted to infrared worlds

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Artist's impression [credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser] Artist’s impression [credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser]
From Phys.org:
Is there life beyond our solar system? If there is, our best bet for finding it may lie in three nearby, Earth-like exoplanets.

For the first time, an international team of astronomers from MIT, the University of Liège in Belgium, and elsewhere have detected three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star, just 40 light years from Earth.

The sizes and temperatures of these worlds are comparable to those of Earth and Venus, and are the best targets found so far for the search for life outside the solar system. The results are published today in the journal Nature.

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Martin van Creveld looks at our military white elephants

Fabius Maximus website

Summary: Today Martin van Creveld looks at one of the most exceptional aspects of US defense policy, our weapons. A naïf would describe it as quite mad, unaware of the lavish salaries and great corporate fortunes created by tapping the almost limitless flow of taxes from the apathetic and credulous citizens of America.

“In the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared by the Air Force and Navy 3-1/2 days each per week except for leap year, when it will be made available to the Marines for the extra day.
— One of Augustine’s Laws.

Augustine Law of aircraft costs

White Elephants

By Martin van Creveld
From his website, 28 April 2016

Posted with his generous permission

At least since 9/11, and possibly since the First Gulf War back in 1991, it has been clear that the most immediate threat facing…

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Tyler Cowen on Peter Bauer

Australian Politics – The Australian Labor Party Is Signing Australia Up For An International Rort In Carbon Offsets

PA Pundits - International

Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

The Australian Labor Party will open us up to being rorted blind by carbon credit shysters trading in hot air.

Here is Labor’s plan:

Global Warming PoliticsLabor’s Climate Change Action Plan will … create new opportunities for Australian firms to trade and engage with other ETS [emissions trading scheme] jurisdictions – already 40 per cent of the world’s economy.

Labor’s plan [is] for an Emissions Trading Scheme with access to international carbon offsets…

Here is New Zealand’s latest experience with such schemes which allow business to buy a certificate from people overseas who claim they’ve cut their own emissions by so much that their certificate allows the buyer to emit a little more – at a modest charge:

The New Zealand government may have participated in major climate fraud through the use of dodgy “hot air” carbon credits issued by the Ukraine and Russia, according to a new…

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Darwin awards (Wingsuit Flight Through 2 Meter Cave division)

The Vice Fund (now the Barriers Fund) continues to outperform S&P 500

image

Source: VICEX – USA Mutuals Barrier Fund Investor Class Shares Mutual Fund Quote – CNNMoney.com

The Vice Fund has outperformed the S&P 500 since 2004 as shown by the green line. This mutual fund invests invest in sinful stocks as its managers describe it:

Designed with the goal of delivering better ​risk-adjusted returns than the S&P 500 Index. It invests primarily in stocks in the tobacco, alcohol, gaming and defence industries. Vice Funds believes these industries tend to thrive ​regardless of the economy as a whole.

The Vice Fund is now known as the Barrier Fund because it extended out of sinful stocks into industries with high barriers to entry. Minimum Investment is $2,000.

The Barrier Fund primarily invests in the following industries: Aerospace/Defense, Gaming, Tobacco and Alcoholic Beverages. These four industries were chosen because they demonstrate one or more of these compelling and distinctive investment characteristics:

  1. Natural barriers to new competition
  2. Steady demand regardless of economic condition
  3. Global Marketplace – not limited to the U.S. economy
  4. Potentially high profit margins
  5. Ability to generate excess cash flow and pay and increase dividends

The Barrier Fund  believes numerous investment opportunities in these industries which have been largely overlooked by other funds.

The Fund has high management fees of 2%. Americans can buy Vanguard’s or Fidelity’s index funds and pay only 0.1% in expenses.

Cost to Develop and Win Marketing Approval for a New Drug Is $2.6 Billion

The $2,558 million figure per approved compound is based on estimated:

  • Average out-of-pocket cost of $1,395 million
  • Time costs (expected returns that investors forego while a drug is in development) of $1,163 million

Estimated average cost of post-approval R&D—studies to test new indications, new formulations, new dosage strengths and regimens, and to monitor safety and long-term side effects in patients required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a condition of approval—of $312 million boosts the full product lifecycle cost per approved drug to $2,870 million. All figures are expressed in 2013 dollars.

Source: PR Tufts CSDD 2014 Cost Study | Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development

 

More proposed market interventions to control drug costs

Truth on the Market

Last week, the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP)—whose membership includes health insurance companies and other health payors, health providers, and consumers—proposed various reforms aimed at addressing the high costs of prescription drugs. CSRxP declares that their proposals will improve the functioning of the pharmaceutical market by increasing pricing transparency, promoting competition, and enhancing value. Although there are some good ideas in their list of proposals, others will negatively affect the pharmaceutical market, and ultimately, consumers.

The first set of proposals is aimed at increasing transparency in drug pricing.  I’ve previously commented on the likely negative effects of transparency reforms: they impose extensive legal and regulatory costs on businesses and risk harming competition if competitively-sensitive information gets into the wrong hands. CSRxP proposes that manufacturers disclose the price they intend to charge for a drug as part of the FDA approval process and, after approval, report price changes to the…

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Driving Taxes for the 21st Century

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