02/13/2018

The Pyongyang Olympics

The Wall Street Journal

The winter Olympics are under way in South Korea, and the big winner is . . . North Korea. Thanks to an appeasing government in Seoul and a gullible Western media, the prison state in Pyongyang is getting a public-relations makeover worthy of the 1936 summer games in Berlin.

“ Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics,” said an actual headline on CNN Saturday. The story was an encomium to the heretofore undetected charms of North Korea’s first sister, who is the North’s lead emissary to the games.

“With a smile, a handshake and a warm message in South Korea’s presidential guest book, Kim Yo Jong has struck a chord with the public just one day into the PyeongChang Games,” said the story. “Seen by some as her brother’s answer to American first daughter Ivanka Trump, Kim, 30, is not only a powerful member of Kim Jong Un’s kitchen cabinet but also a foil to the perception of North Korea as antiquated and militaristic.”

Ah, the North Korean Ivanka. What’s she wearing—Armani Privé? How does she keep that youthful, glowing complexion on a starvation diet?

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In Search Of History

4,000 Years Of Price Control

Tablets, said to be 200 years older than the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi ... show that the ancient kingdom of Eshnunna had wage control and price control. The news ought not to have come as a surprise. For the code of Hammurabi itself (unearthed in 1902), which was promulgated earlier than 2000 B.C., fixed prices, wages, interest rates, and fees. This makes price control at least about 4,000 years old. ...

 

Ironically, it is those who now wish to return to this ancient totalitarian device who are fondest of calling themselves “progressives.” They are also fond of saying that those who believe in economic liberty “are living in the nineteenth century.” These controlists have yet to learn that they themselves are still living, as the discoveries in Babylonia attest, in the nineteenth century—B.C.!

-- Henry Hazlitt,

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  • Unemployment:
    FreeMarket Central BLS: 4.05%
    FreeMarket Central Shadow Stats: 21.5%
  • Inflation:
    FreeMarket Central July Year-to-Year: 2.87% (CPI-U*)
    FreeMarket Central Shadow Stats: 9.9%

*[cpi-u is the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation rate for all urban consumers]

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