American Elephants


How Dare You Disagree With My Ideas? by The Elephant's Child

Hopes are high for Representative Gabrielle Giffords, though it is too soon to know.  The big question after the horrific shooting in Tucson was, according to Maggie’s Farm, “whether the mainstream media was going to blame Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, the Tea Party, Bible-thumpin’ gun clingers everywhere, or simply Republicans in general.”

Question asked, question answered:” The mainstream media should be ashamed of themselves.  They don’t even think, but simply speak with one voice.

We published, on this page, a couple of pieces making gentle fun of Nancy Pelosi.  We do not hate Nancy Pelosi, nor do we wish her ill in any way.  We wish for her not to be Speaker.  We disagree with her ideas.  We think her tactics in the 111th Congress were tacky.  And we wish she would take a course in economics.

Cannot Democrats defend their ideas without wanting Republicans dead?  I have heard the most vile  and venomous insults from Liberals wanting to find the words to say something so nasty that — what? they will win the prize for nastiness?— it is as if they were in a contest for who can top whom with the most unacceptable comment.

What I have NOT heard, are Liberals defending their ideas, explaining why their ideas will work, why their ideas are better for the country, why their ideas will help ordinary Americans.  I can only conclude that they cannot defend, and that’s why they turn to the venom. It’s truly sad.



Who’s to Blame for the Job Picture? by The Elephant's Child
January 9, 2011, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Statism | Tags: , ,

When Barack Obama accepted his party’s nomination at the 2008 Democratic convention in Denver, Obama triumphantly proclaimed: “I’ll invest $130 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy — wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can’t ever be outsourced.”

As Max Schulz wrote in “The Green-Jobs Engine That Can’t” in City Journal, Obama became the proponent of a common economic fallacy:

One version hold that the Second World War and its aftermath were a boon for the American and European economies, since militarizing in America and rebuilding Europe spurred much-needed economic activity.  Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman peddled another version when, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, he suggested a possible silver lining: the destruction of the World Trade Center would require new construction and therefore reinvigorate economic activity downtown.

The nineteenth-century French economist Frédéric Bastiat made an invaluable contribution to modern economics by demolishing the notion that a broken window is a good thing inasmuch as it provides work for the glazier.  As Bastiat observed, the money that goes to pay the glassmaker would, had the window never been broken at all, have supported some other productive enterprise.  Society as a whole winds up poorer, even if the glassmaker profits.

“With his promise of 5 million new green jobs,” Schulz says, “Barack Obama heaves a brick straight through Bastiat’s window. Yesterday’s glazier is tomorrow’s solar-panel installer.”

Obama’s energy policy promotes greater efficiency and development of new energy technology to reduce dependence on imported energy and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

This sounds good, but — the effect is to replace low-cost energy with high cost energy while attempting to maximize employment instead of minimizing the cost of employment.

The results so far are a significant reduction in oil imports which is due to a weak economy and high unemployment rather than any improvements in vehicle fuel economy.  The reduction in greenhouse gases is unrelated to wind power or light bulb replacement, but from the recession and the growth of  natural gas from shale.

Traditional U.S. energy policy has promoted cheap and abundant energy to sustain economic growth.  We are ffocusing our efforts on small-scale solutions that are very high cost.

The Petroleum Industry just released the ” State of American Energy.” They list a few of the possibilities:

— Developing U.S. oil and natural gas resources currently off-limits in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the Rockies could create 530,000 new jobs by 2025.

— Expanding Marcellus Shale natural gas development could add 280,000 jobs over the next decade.

— Greater Canadian oil sands production could create more than 240,000 new jobs in the United States alone.

So Obama has, with moratoriums, off-limits designations and regulations, done almost everything he can to shut down the petroleum industry.  He has spent vast sums to train the unemployed to do “green jobs” already being done by independent contractors in the private sector. He has added all sorts of new regulations for business, insulted the Chamber of Commerce,  increased the estate tax (which will force many small businesses and farmers out of business), refused to sign free-trade agreements, Added a health-care bill that is a real job killer, and consistently degraded the relationship between the business community and the White House.

President Obama has steadily claimed that the global operations of U.S. companies harm the economy because they drain the American economy of jobs.  He has consistently denigrated companies that “ship jobs overseas.” Unfortunately his rhetoric is at odds with economic evidence about how globalizing firms affect the American economy.

When American firms grow abroad, they also grow domestically.  The data do not support the notion that firms either invest abroad or at home.  Ten percent growth in U.S. firms’ foreign investment is associated with 3% growth in domestic investment. When firms grow abroad, their domestic operations and their R&D efforts grow more.

Some global markets are growing at four or five times the pace of the U.S. economy.  Foreign operations are often considerably more profitable than domestic operations would be, and American CEOs must compete with other companies that are based, and invest, all over the world.

Obama has instead chosen to subsidize high cost energy; restrict low-cost energy; favored  labor unions at the expense of business; favored rent-seeking corporations with corporate welfare; and created the greatest uncertainty for business they have ever faced.   When his efforts to raise taxes on those who potentially create jobs and add equipment were thwarted, he promised to return to get them in just 2 years.  If President Obama wants to learn what is keeping the economy stalled and business reluctant to hire, he has only to look in the mirror.



Go Ahead, Watch it Again! by The Elephant's Child
January 9, 2011, 1:56 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Sports, Television | Tags: , ,


In case you just wanted to watch Marshawn Lynch just once (or twice) more.



Sounds Like a One-Term Presidency. by The Elephant's Child

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifying before the Senate Budget Committee on Friday:

“The projection submitted by the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, showed that notwithstanding forecasts of increased growth in 2011 and 2012, most participants expected the unemployment rate to be close to 8 percent two years from now. At this rate of improvement, it could take four to five more years for the job market to normalize fully.” (emphasis added)



Republicans Introduce Bill to Eliminate Czars. by The Elephant's Child

A group of House Republicans introduced legislation to do away with the informal, paid advisers President Obama has employed over the past two years.  The legislation, was introduced in the last Congress, but was not allowed to advance under Democrat control. It would do away with the 39 czars Obama has employed so far during his administration.

The bill defines a czar as “a head of any task force, council, policy office withing the Executive Office of the President, or similar office established by or at the direction of the President” who is appointed to a position that would otherwise require Senate confirmation.

It would probably advance in the House now that the Republicans control the chamber.  The Senate would be a more interesting question.  Harry Reid has so far made it clear that he does not have cooperation in mind, and of course the President has a veto.

The appointment of czars, particularly in such numbers, of candidates who could not have been confirmed by the Senate, is a clear evasion of the intent of the Constitution.  It is the duty and privilege of the U.S. Senate, under the enumerated powers, to advise and consent to the President’s nominations.

How senators — even Democrats  who are squawking about the reading of the Constitution — feel about the President’s effort to evade Senate hearings is an unknown factor.  The late Senator Robert Byrd was outraged.  Perhaps the reading of the Constitution will remind the Senators that their lawful role is being ignored.




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