Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Freedom, Politics, The Constitution | Tags: Donating to the Romney Campaign, Improper Use Of Government Power, The President's Enemies List
I have mentioned Idaho Conservative Frank VanderSloot several times, but he is undoubtedly neither a familiar name or a familiar face. He had the misfortune to be the very first entrant on President Obama’s reelection campaign’s “enemies list.” His sin? He donated to the Romney Campaign. He was called “disreputable” by the president, and it was suggested that he had a bad reputation. How absolutely outrageous.
In the United States of America you have a Constitutional right to dislike the President of the United States and say so. Mr. VanderSloot was investigated and audited by the IRS, his business was audited and investigated, his cattle ranch was investigated by the Labor Department in a classic example of using the power of the government to intimidate a citizen. This isn’t yet the Soviet Union, and here you have to lawyer up. Cost Mr. VanderSloot a reported $80,000 to escape the clutches of a government on attack.
Published on May 30, 2012 by the Heritage Foundation:
Frank VanderSloot grew up a poor kid in rural Idaho. His father made $300 a month. His clothes came from the Salvation Army. Yet through determination and hard work—and with the help of America’s free-enterprise system—today he’s the successful CEO of a global supplier of wellness products.
VanderSloot said his life changed forever on April 20. That’s when President Obama’s campaign created the first presidential “enemies list” since the Nixon era. Eight private citizens were singled out for their donations to Romney. They committed no crimes, sought no attention, and yet they became the subject of Obama’s scorn.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Health Care, Law, Media Bias, Politics, Statism, Taxes | Tags: Imperfect Human Nature, Liberal Illusions, The Internal Revenue Service
Perhaps it all starts with a childish whine “It isn’t fair.” Some mothers respond that life isn’t fair, and set their offspring on the path of conservatism, and others ignore the whiny brat or give the kid a hug and a cookie (rewarding the child for the whine) and tell him yes, that’s really too bad and raise a little liberal. That may be a bit fanciful, but what is clear is that a goodly portion of young people have grown up with the idea that America is not fair, and needs fixing.
Irving Kristol once wrote “In every society the overwhelming majority of people live lives of considerable frustration and if society is to endure, it needs to rely on a goodly measure of stoical resignation.”
Liberals have never been ones for stoical resignation. They want to fix things. Republicans are inclined to oppose Big Government, and ascribe most of our country’s problems to Liberals’ fondness for Big Government. I think this is incorrect. Liberals want desperately to be in charge. They want to win. They want to defeat Conservatives utterly and so completely that they will never again be strong enough to annoy or compete. But Big Government or burgeoning bureaucracy is a result of their policies, not their initial aim.
I saved this quote from a 1999 Wall Street Journal editorial.
The error behind all these failures is the liberal faith in the perfectibility of politics. Liberals believe that the next law, or next federal agency, will somehow make up for imperfect human nature. But America’s founders understood that politics could never be perfected precisely because men weren’t perfect. So they designed a system with a minimum of bureaucratic and legal control in which disputes could be settled by political debate. They did not want to rely on lawyers or experts who could maneuver around or through a maze of campaign and ethics laws. It’s taken us twenty years of picking through the ruins of liberal reform to relearn how right they were.
The next law will make up for imperfect human nature. One of liberals’ most persistent desires is to eliminate poverty. They worry a lot about the gap between the rich and the poor. They have earnestly tried to fix that ever since Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and his War on Poverty. We have spent $15 trillion of other people’s money and currently have more people on food stamps than ever before in the nation’s history. The EBT card is a combination of food stamps and cash benefits. The Tsarnave brothers apparently bought their bomb supplies with their EBT cards. We could give each person in poverty a yearly check for $69,000 and save money.
We need fixes for fat people, fixes for standard lightbulbs, fixes for cars not getting high enough mpg, or just using gasoline, fixes for home appliances, fixes for fat kids, fixes for unaffordable college, fixes (again) for infrastructure, fixes for bullies, fixes for transgendered people’s bathroom needs, fixes for women who don’t want to pay for their own contraceptives, fixes for people who try to capture rainwater, fixes for farm dust. So many, many annoyances.
The most evident case is, of course, the best health care system in the world. It must be fixed because government regulation is driving up the cost. (Never mind that the cost was declining). The British have National Health Service, which is socialized medicine. Horrible system, but it’s “free” at the point of service, and people are afraid to lose it and apt to continually vote for Labour to keep it. Note the important phrase. So they kill off a lot of their older people with neglect and denied care, but it’s “free at the point of service.”
Lots of new regulations, so providers have to expand their bureaucracies. And on top of the expanded health care system, comes a vast federal bureaucracy to control, deny, regulate, manage and expand. Liberals look at this diagram of the needed new bureaucracy with thousands of highly paid, unionized employees, and are absolutely convinced that President Obama’s promises about keeping your own doctor if you like him and keeping your own insurance and it will all cost less— “bend the cost curve down” was the phrase— are absolutely true and will come to fruition just as he says. It is and was an enormous lie.
So Democrats don’t go into a political campaign saying they want bigger government. Republicans accuse them of it, but it is obviously not true. We will get Big Government because that is the inevitable result of liberal faith in the perfectibility of politics. You have the perfect example before you this week in the machinations of the Internal Revenue Service. Mark Steyn recounts the travails of Frank VanderSloot, whose offense was that he decided to donate money to the Romney campaign. After audits of his return, his business return, and a Department of Labor investigation of his cattle ranch , the government could find nothing on Mr. VanderSloot, but it has cost him $80,000 in legal fees to fend off the bureaucrats. A big bureaucracy thinks it’s fine to demand that an evangelical group report in writing what they pray about. Anybody have relatives running for office?
It has often been said that every Liberal has a tyrant inside, struggling to get out. They don’t like studies. They’re uninterested in consequences and baffled by the idea of incentives. They need to be in charge so they can fix the things that aren’t fair.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy | Tags: The Principles of the Democratic Party, What Do You Stand For?, What is Winning for?
Democrats have no principles. That’s not me, running down the opposition. Democrats themselves say that they have no principles. They keep searching for some and can’t find any. In the wake of all the scandals, there are some obvious wiseacre remarks to be made, but I will refrain. Perhaps you remember — sometime after the 2000 election, and 9/11 the Democrats were whining that they had no ideas. They needed ideas and they needed a think tank like the Republicans have. George Soros bought them one. they called it The Center for American Progress, and put John Podesta in charge. The trouble has been that since they have no principles, their think tank has been devoted to winning elections, and developing talking points to help them win.
Republicans care about America as a Constitutional Republic, about individual liberty, free speech, free markets, free trade, our Constitutional rights, the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and that’s without getting into things like foreign policy, education, the military, defense, and so on. Principles to argue about and affirm.
Democrats’ goal is to seek power and to win elections, so they have power. Once they gain power then they want to do important things like transform the best Health Care system in the world into an imitation of the worst — the NHS, because the Brits keep voting Labour in over and over, because they won’t give up their “free” health care. Never mind the old folks dying uncared for. Or they want a solution to ending poverty:
Chris Hayes is what passes for a progressive intellectual at MSNBC. Which makes his simple-minded and manifestly mistaken proposal that much more maddening. Making a peek-a-boo video-clip appearance on [Sunday]‘s Melissa Harris-Perry’s show, which focused on finding solutions to poverty in America, Hayes was seen holding up a hand-written sign with his solution, reading “Giving people money: It’s actually that easy.”
They’ve been working on this for some time. Since LBJ’s catastrophic “War on Poverty” began in 1964, the federal government has given people over $15,000,000,000,000.00 that other people worked for. This has done nothing to alleviate poverty, nothing at all. If you want more of something, you subsidize it. Our government taxes wealth creation and subsidizes poverty. The results are predictable. No principles. I rest my case.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Health Care, History, Immigration, Law, Politics | Tags: 12 Million Unemployed, 867 Pages too Long, A Surprisingly Bad Bill
The Senate “Gang of Eight’s” Immigration bill is one of those massive conglomerates of a bill that attempts to do everything all at once and get the issue over and done with. The title of the bill alone is enough to sink the law of its own weight. It is the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization act of 2013,” and it clocks in at 867 pages. This is not the way to make law.
Immigration is complicated. The present immigration rules are not only ignored by a goodly portion of the immigrants, but the president has ordered the Border Patrol to release any illegal immigrant under the age of 31, even if they are guilty of a crime. Executive order. Congress refused to pass the “Dream Act” which gives the children of illegals the opportunity to live here and become citizens and vote for Obama, but Obama wanted the Dream Act anyway, so he issued an Executive Order. He doesn’t like that separation of powers stuff.
So how many immigrants do you let in and from where? What about their wives, husbands, parents, aunts and uncles,and grandparents? This is called chain migration and it can be unending. About half of the illegal immigrants here came over the border, and about half have come here legally, but have overstayed the time they were allowed.
What do you do about the resorts in Tucson, for example, who welcome wealthy pregnant Latino women to come to their resort and have their baby in a Tucson hospital and give the baby American citizenship as a birth gift? Do we want to limit immigration to “your tired and poor, huddled masses yearning to be free,” or do we want highly educated people who are bringing special skills and the desire to build a great company? Or the wealthy person who already has a great company that he wants to bring to America? Democrats want reliable Democrat voters.
Congress voted in 2006 to build 370 miles of triple-layered fence and 500 miles of automobile barriers. It is now 2013, and we have 36.3 miles of border fence. As I said in an earlier piece, we keep doing the same thing over and over.
Senator Schumer (D-NY) persuaded Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to be the public face of the immigration bill because he is the son of immigrants, close to the immigrant community, a Republican, and very popular. He has been everywhere, selling hard.
Politicians and the media are obsessed with two issues: gun control and illegal immigration. Guess what? According to a new Gallup Poll these two issues are at the bottom of a list of 12 priorities for Congress and the president to address.
Illegal border crossings peaked in 2000 and are down my more than 70% since then, net migration from Mexico is currently zero. Anecdotal evidence suggests that illegals are streaming over the border because of so much talk of “amnesty” in the news, and they want some of Obama’s amnesty. The people, and you won’t be surprised, want lawmakers to focus on job creation (86%), economic growth (86%) and making government work more efficiently (81%).
Lawmakers may face some real objections when the people discover that in spite of 12 million Americans who want a job, and countless employed people who have just been dropped to part-time because of ObamaCare — our lawmakers want to invite all sorts of new immigrants. The technology companies want a lot more H-1B immigrants with technology skills. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) points out that we have way more trained STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) graduates than there are jobs. We are scheduled for a massive shortage of physicians when ObamaCare takes full effect next year.
Heritage warns that the new benefits that go to new immigrants, made legal, are hugely expensive. Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and workmen’s compensation. Means-tested welfare benefits add up to $900 billion a year. Public education at a cost of $12,300 per student, and additional civic services like police, fire and so on. The Hoover Institution says additional H-1B workers would add billions to GDP and Federal Tax Revenue, but they’re in Silicon Valley.
So far, 300 amendments have been offered for the Senate immigration bill, but none of the amendments removes the $3,000 incentive it gives to some employers to hire a legalized immigrant over a U.S. Citizen.
Senator Rubio has a spot on his website where he asks citizens to read the bill and suggest things that are wrong and ways to fix them. Just go to Senate.gov, and scroll down to Senator Rubio’s page.
I would like to see the bill broken up into parts to be passed separately. Part One is securing the border. If we cannot secure the border, all the rest of the rules are useless. Part One should be passed, and the border secured, fenced, controlled, and border patrol agents and ICE agents allowed to do the work that they took an oath to do. At present ICE agents are suing Homeland Security because they are not allowed to do the job they swore to do.
Part Two is reforming out assimilation process. It is broken. New immigrants are not learning what it means to be an American. The melting-pot is broken. Fix it.
When those two things are fixed, finished, complete — and if there is the will to do so, it need not take years — then we can decide who gets to come and what the rules are. I welcome immigrants. They bring new skills, new ideas and even new food to our country. I just don’t want to keep doing this over and over and failing to complete the project because of partisan politics.
Simple. It might even pass.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Military, Politics | Tags: "Only Words", Previous Statements Don't Matter, Speeches Intend to Please
One of the best posts of the day, from Victor Davis Hanson:
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Health Care, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: Obama's False Claims, Obamacare, Unaffordable and Unworkable
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law what he billed as a triumphant reform of America’s health care system. Two days later in a speech at the University of Iowa, the president declared:
From this day forward, all of the cynics, all the naysayers — they’re going to have to confront the reality of what this reform is and what it isn’t. … They’ll see that if Americans like their doctor, they’ll be keeping their doctor. You like your plan? You’ll be keeping your plan. No one is taking that away from you. … It wasn’t Armageddon.”
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Health Care, Law, Progressivism | Tags: Celebrate Achievement and Risk-Taking, Progressive Economic Policies, Supply Side Economics
Over the past five years we have been engaged in a test of progressive economic policies. The media happily tell us that we are recovering and offer up the 165,000 payroll jobs that were created in April. This is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Establishment Survey, or the U-3 unemployment report which showed the rate declining by 0.1 percent to 7.5 percent. So that sounds good.
The Household Survey numbers looks a little deeper into the economy, and that’s where it gets a little more uncomfortable. Also known as the U-6 rate the unemployment figures increased by 0.1 percent. While total employment rose by 293,000 during April, part-time jobs increased by 441,000, meaning that full-time jobs actually declined by 148,000. The April jobs numbers describe a mass replacement of full-time workers with part-time workers, and a drop in the length of the average workweek. Which means that the BLS report was bad news, not the happy day portrayed by the media. And the results of the roll out of ObamaCare are as expected, as more full-time employees are reduced to part-time hours.
But wait, it gets even worse. During April, the Full Time Equivalent jobs ratio fell for the fifth month in a row, and to statistics-watchers this hints of a new recession.
Progressive economic policies involve Keynesian fiscal stimulus (intentionally increasing government spending to boost domestic “demand”), monetary stimulus (deliberate action to weaken the dollar in order to increase demand for our exports), higher marginal tax rates on “the rich” (they can afford it), and increased regulation to control more of just about everything. They have also expanded alternatives to actually working, including Social Security Disability, Food Stamps, and extended unemployment benefits.
What you get with progressive economic policies is pessimism. America is just in decline, not going to get better, everything is changed, we need to be more like every other country and stop thinking we’re something special. No exceptionalism here.
Supply-side economics has specific steps as well. Tight monetary policy, a strong dollar, incentive cuts in marginal tax rates, and a reassertion of American optimism and creativity with confidence in what government policies will be.
Jared Bernstein, who was Vice President Joe Biden’s economic adviser, wrote in the New York Times about the slowly improving job market (?) that persists in spite of ‘an economic expansion continuing since mid-2009.’
For decades in postwar America, the maintenance of full employment, defined as an unemployment rate below 5 percent, was enshrined in law, beginning with the Employment Act of 1946 and revisited in 1978 in the Humphrey-Hawkins Act. It was a central goal of the Democratic Party, labor unions and advocates of social and racial justice.
And it usually worked. While conservatives and businesses pushed back — tight labor markets meant more worker bargaining power, higher wages and less profitability — between 1949 and 1979 the market was at full employment over two-thirds of the time.
I’m not an economist, but Mr. Bernstein’s nostrums don’t pass my common sense smell test. The problem is those darn ATMs that are replacing bank clerks (?), our large trade deficits have exported too much demand (I thought trade was by definition always in balance. If we sell them too many apples, we get the money), the sequester, which he calls “austerity”and the “economic version of medieval leeching.” (can’t cut back on the increase in the budget from last year?), and the Federal Reserve continues to apply high doses of monetary stimulus (which is why the stock market is doing well). We need more investment in “the areas where clean energy intersects with production.”And we need a new subsidized jobs program. (The WPA returns). The Great Recession continues to imitate the Great Depression.
I have no confidence in progressive economic policies. They didn’t work for FDR, and they have not worked for Obama, nor are they going to. It’s scary to start a new business, and you need, at the most basic, confidence in what the government will do next, and the belief that government is on your side — encouraging start-ups . A country that celebrates achievement and risk-taking is likely to see more economic success than one that does not.
History shows that the money that individuals and businesses invest and spend, if left alone to do so generates far more wealth and new jobs than any government-directed spending. The most successful cities and states dedicate their resources to creating the kind of conditions that attract private investment, rather than pouring public money into centrally planned visions of economic development.
………………………………….Brian C. Anderson: City Journal
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Capitalism, The United States | Tags: Free Markets and Innovation, The Index of Economic Freedom, The Failure of Big Government
What are the new inventions and innovations of your lifetime? The things that you take for granted now that were inventions and innovations of their day? What were the innovations of your parents and grandparents lives?
We have cell phones that are small personal computers, drones smaller than hummingbirds, giant wall size TV screens that are on the way to putting the movie theaters that were the innovation of an earlier day out of business.
In an earlier day, few people settled far from where they were born. Children grew up to do what their fathers did. Innovation and invention were rare. And then came the Industrial Revolution, and the discovery of the energy to drive it, Communication and transportation. How is it possible to look at the history of Socialism wherever it has been tried and not grasp the inevitable failings of central planning?
Michael Cox, former Chief Economist at the Dallas Federal Reserve and a professor at Southern Methodist University points out the loss of economic freedom throughout the world.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Health Care, History, Immigration, Progressivism, Statism | Tags: 12 Million Missing Jobs, 63.3% Participation Rate, Regulatory Burden on Business
The preliminary April jobs number has come in at +165,000, on expectations of +140,000. March numbers were revised upward from 88,000 to 138,000. This brought the unemployment rate down from 7.6% to 7.5%.
The number of unemployed — 11.7 million — didn’t change over the month, and the labor participation rate remains flat, only 63.3% — the lowest since 1979. This is the sour spot in the jobs picture.
The rate at which entrepreneurs create new jobs is down significantly. The U.S,lost 8.8 million jobs during the ‘great recession’, we have gained back about 6.8 million leaving a gap of about 2 million. Even if job gains average 180,000 a month to reach a high in about a year, private sector jobs will still be way below the 1990-2007 trend line. That shortfall is nearly 12 million missing jobs.
The numbers of those involuntarily employed part-time increased by 278,000 to 7.9 million. That’s a direct result of ObamaCare. President Obama’s health care reform law is hurting full-time, high-wage employment.
National Journal expresses concern about the “missing workers”:
So, who are these “missing workers?” Frustratingly, no one knows exactly who they are, why they left, and if they’ll ever return. The size of the pool there and the gap between the potential labor force and the actual working force represents a huge loss of potential productivity.
The answers also have deep political and policy implications over the next decade for the economic and budget outlook: Do we want to pay for the missing workers through programs that help to spur job growth, or through an increased cost in federal benefits?…
Political leaders and policymakers must weigh the economic implications versus the budgetary ones. If no one attacks the jobs crisis with gusto and addresses the issue of the long-term unemployed and the missing workers now, the United States essentially consigns people to rely on government benefits. That will only hurt the budget.
And, if lawmakers decide to attack the problem of the missing workers now, they’ll need to spend more money on job-training programs or infrastructure projects—anything that puts people back into a job, even a temporary one.
Regulatory costs skyrocketed during the first term of the Obama Administration, which added nearly $70 billion to the already excessive annual burden of government do’s and don’ts. Every aspect of American’s lives is controlled to a varying extent by regulation, including how we light our homes, wash our clothes, fuel our cars, feed our families, and obtain our health care.
That’s 131 new major regulations. $1,800 has been added to the average cost of buying a new car. In 2012 alone, we added $23.5 billion to the burden on business with 25 new major rulemakings. Only two rules last year decreased the burden, in spite of initiatives to weed out unnecessary regulations. There are hundreds of rules in the pipeline from Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform and from ObamaCare.
The small business organizations have told us over and over that uncertainty is the villain. Nobody knows what the government is going to do next, or how they are going to cope with the added costs, and the added regulations. The federal government does not understand the effects of their grasp for power. The EPA is the source of most of the regulation and most of the cost, yet they have said specifically that they have no need to consider the cost or effect of their rulemaking. When uncertainty is this high, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are more reluctant to take on the risk of a new business, or a major expansion.
The National Journal reporter above quite accurately portrays the leftist response. What new program should government issue? What new job-training programs should we try— if I remember correctly there are some 45 job-training programs duplicating each other and managing to be totally ineffective. What the government needs to do is get out of the way. Stop raising fees, issuing rules and regulations and drastically raising the cost of doing business.
Central planning does not work now, nor has it ever worked. Those “experts” doing the central planning are not expert but just the same old political hacks. They don’t know what they are doing, and they are making a mess of things. Just stop!
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Law, Politics, Statism, Taxes | Tags: How Unions Hurt Workers, Individual Liberty, The Ugly Side of Labor Unions.
Here’s the sequel to Obama’s “Life of Julia,” the poor soul who is utterly dependent on the government for life. Or rather, an invitation for you to become dependent, so the wise people in government can help you until you can go to work for the government. A sad tale of the loss of individual liberty and a wasted life.
Julius is a fictional character like Julia, but his aspirations, hopes and values are shared by every American. He wants opportunity and economic security. He wants his years of hard work to mean some level of comfort in his retirement. As Iain Murray writes:
Unfortunately, labor-union bosses, and the politicians and laws they support, continually frustrate Julius’s prosperity in ways both large and small, both obvious and subtle. Labor unions have a political stranglehold on the economy in hundreds of ways that affect every single worker, whether they are union members or, like Julius, never belong to a union in their entire life. …
What we’ve tried to do with ”The Life of Julius” is to illustrate how the way unions are run today hurts workers at every stage of their working life — even if they are never a member of a labor union.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Education, History, Media Bias, Statism, The United States | Tags: Cultural Marxism, Gender-Neutrality, Politically Incorrect
I’m so embarrassed. Washington State is in the news again, and the lightweights in the state capitol in Olympia, having nothing better to do in a time of economic downturn and vast unemployment, have secured our new governor’s signature as the final piece of a six-year effort to rewrite state laws using gender-neutral vocabulary. No more crass use of terms such as “fisherman” to describe those hardy souls who head off for northern waters to bring in a load of our iconic salmon. They are now “fishers”, the gender-neutral replacement.
Our colleges and universities will no longer have “freshman classes”, but only “first-year students.” Elementary schools will no longer teach “penmanship” but only “handwriting.” That last is a lie, because our schools aren’t teaching handwriting either. Now that computers are ubiquitous, our education establishment has concluded that cursive writing is no longer necessary, and once kids can print they abandon the penmanship effort entirely. You have probably noticed if you’ve been around kids — they can’t write.
“There’s no good reason for keeping our legal terms anachronistic and with words that do not respect our current contemporary times,” Kohl-Welles, the 475-page bill’s sponsor, told Reuters.
They won’t change “airman” or “seaman” because of objections by the state’s Washington Military Department. They couldn’t find substitutes for “man hole” and “man lock”. We apparently have a 40-
man person Washington Code Reviser’s Office to get all such vocabulary changes into the Washington State Code. The people will go on using the same vocabulary they’ve always used.
This, of course, has nothing to do with “sexism” or “gender-neutrality,” it is political correctness run amok. Or even more accurately — it is cultural Marxism, an effort that has been going on since World War I. It is a tale of the perpetually discontented, the victims in our world. The victims are feminists, gays, blacks, Hispanics, and they rewrite history, invent statistics, embroidered with lies and demands. Americans must be fearful of what they say, of what they write and what they think. If they use the wrong word, they may be denounced as offensive, insensitive, racist, sexist and/or homophobic.
The United States Air Force Academy removed words that stood at the base of a ramp that cadets walked up on their first day at the academy — a symbolic threshold between an old life and a new one. The words had stood for 39 years; 10 letters, each of them two feet tall” “Bring Me Men” — the first words of a poem written in 1894 by Sam Walter Foss, “The Coming American” — “Bring me men to match my mountains, Bring me men to match my plains, Men with empires in their purpose, And new eras in their brains.” Those words were taken down in 2003, so the academy could be more “gender-neutral.” Uni-sex bathrooms? Women in combat? It is all of a piece.
John Steele Gordon recently wrote about the politically correct effort to remove Christ from the calendar and replace the terms AD and BC with CE and BCE. CE stands for ‘common era’ and BCE for ‘before common era,’ since roughly half the world’s population is non-Christian, we shouldn’t use loaded terms such as AD (Anno Domini) and BC (Before Christ).
Mostly we just laugh at this stuff, or are embarrassed when some guy in the office is hauled down to Human Resources for a lecture because he had the nerve to compliment a woman. Or a first-grader is suspended from school for chewing his Pop Tart into a shape that resembles a pistol. The examples are all around us. Officialdom descends on us and tells us that we are — offensive, insensitive, racist, sexist and/or homophobic. Police have been called to deal with little kids that have water-pistols or plastic army-men. People are fired for being politically incorrect. Then it’s no longer a laughing matter.
Political Correctness is cultural Marxism, or Marxism translated from economic terms into cultural terms. It is a totalitarian ideology, and nowhere is the totalitarian nature of political correctness revealed more thoroughly than on our college campuses, where speech codes triumph and legal organizations have been created to protect the civil rights of students and faculty (F.I.R.E.).
Cultural Marxism says that all of history is determined by power, by which groups are defined in terms of race, sex, etc, and have power over other groups. Nothing else matters. Power? When a white student is denied admittance to a college in favor of a black or Hispanic who isn’t as well qualified, the student is expropriated. When a contract is denied to a white-owned company because the contract is reserved for a company owned by a Hispanic or a woman, that’s an example of power. When a bankruptcy denies the legal rights of bondholders to first claim on a company’s assets and instead gives a third of the ownership of the company to the unions (whose excessive benefits were largely the cause of bankruptcy) — that’s power, and the goal of political correctness, gender-neutrality, deconstruction of our great books, and the last obstacles to the creation of a Marxist paradise — the end of capitalism and of Western civilization itself.
An Accuracy in Academia address by Bill Lind explains the origins of political correctness clearly and in depth. (It’s not long) Or Bill Whittle explains it, he calls it “the narrative,” in the following video.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Freedom, Law, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: Economic Policy Uncertainty Index, Killing Growth With Interference, Regulation and Uncertainty
“Unexpectedly” U.S. economic growth expanded in the first quarter at the sluggish annual rate of 2.5 percent, the Commerce Department said on Friday, missing economists’ forecast of a 3.2 percent growth rate. The fourth quarter nearly stalled at 0.4 percent. This is all before the sequester went into effect.
The recession (“the worst recession since the Great Depression”) officially ended in June, 2009. The stock market is soaring, hitting record levels, the rich are getting richer — and the poor are getting poorer. What’s happening? Why is there no recovery? Economies, the results of millions of transactions in a free market, like to recover. When an economy is thrown off track by some major error — in this case the housing debacle — once the downturn stops going down it usually recovers fairly swiftly. So what’s going wrong?
Many small businesses and companies are in good shape and have money to spend, but they are not pumping capital back into the economy. In today’s Wall Street Journal Bill McNabb, chairman and CEO of the Vanguard Group says:
Quite simply, if firms can’t see a clear road to economic recovery ahead, they’re not going to hire and they’re not going to spend. It’s what economists call a “deadweight loss”—loss caused by inefficiency.
Today, there is uncertainty about regulatory policy, uncertainty about monetary policy, uncertainty about foreign policy and, most significantly, uncertainty about U.S. fiscal policy and the national debt. Until a sensible plan is created to address the debt, America will not fulfill its economic potential.
I’m certainly not an economist, but I’ve noticed that every time there is a positive move by the administration or Congress that should encourage growth, the administration is either issuing major new regulations, attacking an industry, raising some tax, raising the cost of energy. To be at lest partly fair, I don’t think the administration understands the consequences of many of their actions.
When the administration forces coal-fired power plants out of business, it raises the cost of electricity. Low cost electricity powers our economy. Increased prices affect everything. Approve the Keystone pipeline. Don’t raise taxes until the economy recovers, not even little taxes. Stop playing sequester games. Back off. You’re taking in more revenue than ever before.
Concern about the national debt, and about excessive spending, are heightened by the president’s refusal to consider any reduction in spending and his demand for more taxes. The President is creating the uncertainty himself, that is holding the economy back.
The economists who measure uncertainty point out that both parties blame each other, and each sees the other position as false.
- Republicans are blaming the President and Congressional Democrats for creating regulatory uncertainty and introducing harmful regulations.
- They further accuse the Democrats of failing to face up to the main long-term drivers of rising debt and press for the reform of social security, Medicare, Medicaid and other social insurance programs.
- Democrats, in turn, accuse Republicans of obstructionism, political brinksmanship and an obsessive focus on tax and spending cuts.
- They fault Republicans for a lack of meaningful detail on their healthcare reform proposals, and for failing to embrace a mix of both spending cuts and tax hikes in order to respond to US fiscal imbalances. ( click to enlarge)
It doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t some mysterious economic trick. Knock off the regulation. You have enough regulation to govern every action for the next century. It’s just a compulsion to tell other people what to do, and you don’t know enough about running a business to tell anyone what to do. Just leave them alone. They do know how to run their businesses, and how to grow.