Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Global Warming, Humor, Junk Science, Politics, Progressivism, Science/Technology | Tags: "Environmental Justice", Environmental Protection Agency, Ferguson Missouri
There is always an answer for every problem. In the case of Ferguson, Missouri, everyone has been searching for the cause of this summer’s violence. We just weren’t looking in the right place. The violence was clearly caused by climate change.
350.org Strategic Partnership Coordinator Deirdre Smith wrote:
To me, the connection between militarized state violence, racism, and climate change was common-sense and intuitive. Oppression and extreme weather combine to ‘incite’ militarized violence.
Smith explained that poor minority communities have fewer resources to deal with the impacts of climate change, but that “people of color also disproportionately live in climate-vulnerable areas,” which makes climate change a race issue.
The 350.org Strategic Partnership is behind the big climate march this weekend at the UN Climate meeting that everybody important is skipping. And of course, their real interest is the doctrine of “environmental justice,” a notion used by the EPA whenever it seems to be helpful in their legal arguments.
The EPA defines “environmental justice” as the “fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies,” according to the EPA website.
That makes it a civil rights issue, which brings in a whole different body of laws and regulations. It suggests that power plants or “excessive” car exhaust can be considered civil rights violations — if they occur in poor or minority neighborhoods. The object is not to improve anyone’s life, but control, which is accomplished with a maze of regulation and red tape, and gigantic fines for those who offend the EPA.
Climate, which is a statistic representing worldwide temperatures, affects everyone equally, and since in the last one hundred years it has only warmed by about one degree, we can all adapt fairly well, even the folks in Ferguson. Weather can affect some people more than others because of where they live—in Tornado alley, near the beach where Hurricane Sandy hit. We just had a small earthquake yesterday, but earthquakes are not climate or weather. This one was only a .4 and we didn’t feel it at all.
The National Weather Service says the St.Louis area was not noticeably warmer this summer than it has ever been. At 80.3 degrees F. this August’s average temperature was only the seventh-warmest of the last 20 years, substantially cooler than the high of the last two decades of 83.9 in August of 1995. It got up in the 90s here in the Seattle area as it usually does once or twice a year.
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Election 2014, Freedom, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, The United States | Tags: Americans Want Growth, Economic Growth and Jobs, Not Reducing Income Inequality
“A prominent Democratic polling firm has found that voters don’t view reducing income inequality as a top priority. Instead, they want economic growth.”
(emphasis added) WSJ columnist William Galston has the story:
Surveys of 3,000 Americans conducted between January and March of 2014 by the Global Strategy Group found that fully 78% thought that it was important for Congress to promote an agenda of economic growth that would benefit all Americans. Support for policies that help the middle class and bolster equal opportunity for everyone were also highly rated. Strategies to spread wealth more evenly and reduce income inequality received the least support. 53% believe that fostering economic growth is ‘extremely important,’ compared with only 30% who take that view about narrowing income inequality.” (emphasis added)
Well, well, well, well. But I thought that reducing income inequality was the bright shining goal of all Democrats. This is a leftist polling group! The results didn’t receive much attention when they were released in April, nor since. James Freeman suggests that “the findings would have rudely interrupted the months-long media celebration of Thomas Piketty and his error-filled and widely unread book on income inequality. And the survey data suggest that the core message of President Obama and his political outfit Organizing for Action is off target. From increasing the minimum wage to forgiving federal student loans to mandating more pay for women, the Obama economic message is all about redistributing wealth, not creating it.”
Specifically, Mr. Galston notes that by “a remarkable margin of 64 percentage points (80% to 16%)” voters “opt for a candidate who focuses on more economic growth to one who emphasizes less income inequality.”
Trouble is, there is a deep secret on the Left. Democrats do not know how to create growth. The basic idea behind this version of the Democratic Party is that all good things are done by government, and only by government. All the stuff that Obama has done to benefit his cronies — the wind farms, the solar arrays, the rejection of the Keystone pipeline extension, the rejection of private enterprise are meant to create growth, but to reward Obama’s bundlers and supporters first. Cast your mind back across the Obama administration’s efforts at progress. Any rapid economic growth there? Anywhere?
Have you not noticed that whenever the subject comes up, Obama starts talking about roads and bridges or infrastructure—apparently with no recognition of the fact that such governmental projects require layers and layers of permissions and plans and approvals and fundraising that would put any such project off for at least five years, probably more with the usual environmental lawsuits. Any jobs involved go only to union workers, but that is by design. Jobs for ordinary people seem not to be involved. Who listens to the people anyhow?
War on Women. ObamaCare. Minimum Wage. Renewable Energy. Building from the Middle Class Out. More Government Job Training. Economic Patriotism.
Their new focus on “economic patriotism” is exactly the problem. They cannot conceive of allowing American companies to escape any taxes by moving, and the only solution is to devise laws to prevent their doing so. I rest my case.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Liberalism, Regulation, Taxes, The United States | Tags: Free Market Capitalism, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, World's Highest Corporate Tax
The Treasury Department could act as early as next week to stop companies from moving their headquarters out of the United States for tax purposes. “Economic Patriotism.” Where is these companies’ economic patriotism? Representative Sander Levin, ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax issues warned that “They’re preparing to act and they’ll act as soon they are ready.”
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Levin on Wednesday that he would not necessarily wait for Congress to go home before he would take unilateral action. Wonder where he learned that trick?
With his brother Senator Carl Levin, (D-MI) Sander Levin has written legislation to” tighten the rules restricting so-called tax inversions, which are tax maneuvers in which U.S. businesses buy a company in a low-tax country to move their headquarters there.”
It’s the Burger King deal with Tim Horton’s Coffee Shops, and the move of their corporate headquarters to Canada, where total tax costs will be 46.4 percent lower, that has driven Democrats to start writing more confiscatory laws immediately. Burger King will continue to pay taxes on business done in the United States.
The Obama administration and Congressional Democrats have raised the alarm over possible consequences to the U.S. tax base. Republicans have been suggesting for some time that they should lower or eliminate the corporate tax, because the U.S. corporate tax is not only the highest in the industrial world, but the U.S. also taxes income earned abroad —which no other country does.
There is a long history going back to Martin Van Buren, of administrations that helped an economy to recover from a recession by cutting taxes. Cutting taxes allows companies more confidence in the future, and they are more apt to grow, expand, and hire — creating a better business climate— which in turn grows the economy. Canada’s corporate tax was 43 percent in 2000, and is 26 percent today, and their economy is booming.
Democrats are fundamentally unable to grasp the idea that cutting taxes could produce more income and make the economy grow. It simply does not compute. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew trained as a lawyer, but has simply moved through the corridors of government as a bureaucrat in one office or another. He got all huffy about the Burger King move, in a video at Bloomberg, mentioning all the advantages the U.S. provides —roads and bridges (you didn’t build that) and infrastructure!
So far as I can tell only 9 companies have actually done a tax inversion. A number have started to and backed out after being threatened.
Speaker John Boehner and Senate Finance Committee ranking member Orrin Hatch have warned that any Treasury measure that would be effective would likely lie beyond Lew’s authority.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, History, Politics, Regulation, Taxes, The United States | Tags: America's Corporate Taxes, Republicans v. Democrats, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew
Here’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans —clear and simple.
President Obama has nattered on about “Economic Patriotism” and what they call “Corporate Tax Inversion.” Some corporations are finding it to their advantage to locate their headquarters in a country with significantly lower taxes. Medtronic is acquiring the Irish company Coviden and moving its corporate headquarters to Ireland.
The problem is American corporate taxes — which are the highest, at 35 percent, among the advanced economies in the world. Not only that, but the U.S. also taxes the income that American corporations earn overseas — something no other country does.
Democrats are up in arms. How dare they pick up and move? It’s not even patriotic to not pay taxes in your own country. Democrats intend to make “Economic Patriotism” a major issue in the fall campaign. (Good Democrats all hate big business).
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who should know better, has advocated “anti-inversion legislation.” Democrats are afraid that if a few companies do this it will open the floodgates and all sorts of American companies will locate abroad. Corporations who operate in the United States would still pay taxes on all the income earned in the U.S. but they won’t be paying double taxes to a foreign country and to the U.S. That gets very expensive, very fast.
There is, of course a very simple solution. You cut the corporate tax rate back to a rate more in line with other nations — or, gasp, even below. Yes, this is a Republican thing. Republicans like to cut taxes. The result would be a burst of activity from business, hiring, expanding, growing. The economy might even actually recover. It is how we have recovered so quickly from past recessions when Republicans are in charge.
Burger King has purchased Canada’s Tim Horton chain of coffee and donut shops, and plans to move their headquarters to Canada, where tax costs will be 46.4% lower. Canada has lowered their corporate tax rate from 43 percent in 2000 to 26 percent today. How much tax revenue did Canada lose by the dramatic reduction in their corporate tax rate? None. The lower tax rate raises more money.
For Democrats, this simply does not compute.
Secretary Lew said the corporate tax moves would mean that “all other taxpayers —including small businesses and hardworking Americans—will have to shoulder more of the responsibility of maintaining core public functions that everyone, particularly U.S. businesses, depends on.” Sigh. This man is the Secretary of the Treasury!
Lew’s remarks, delivered at an event hosted by the Tax Policy Center in Washington, came the same day Bloomberg News reported that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) will soon introduce a bill that would slash the amount of interest an inverted firm can deduct from its U.S. income from 50 percent to 25 percent.
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Law, Regulation, Taxes | Tags: All The Wrong Policies, Ongoing Failure, The August Jobs Report
Didn’t we just hear Obama making a speech in which he extolled how well the economy is doing — that was in Minneapolis at the “laborfest,” in which he celebrated his “middle-out economics.” Over the past 53 months, he said, our businesses have created nearly 10 million new jobs, and in the last six months we have created more than 200,000 jobs each month.
But in August there were only 142,000 jobs, for the first time since January. Participation in the labor market was 62.8 percent, the worst since the 1970s.
Those who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks is high at 2.963,000 — 31.2 percent of all unemployed. Those who are working part-time when they would prefer to be working full time dropped a little to 7,277,000. If you add the under-employed to the unemployed, the broader unemployment rate is 12 percent.
This is a slow, sluggish recovery because of government action. Recessions are nothing unusual. There is a business cycle. When the signs turn positive businesses start to grow and expand and hire. The more things improve and the more they start making money, some enthusiasm is going to go too far. Over-expansion, a little greed, too much enthusiasm, and first thing you know there are some bankruptcies, and people get laid off, expansion plans are put on hold and a lot of marginal businesses go out of business.
We have a long record of recessions and recoveries and how they happen. Swift, short recessions happened because the administration clamped down hard on spending, cut the budget, cut taxes (especially on business) and eliminated unnecessary regulation.
The Obama administration believed that more money circulating in the economy (Keynesian economics) would somehow boost the economy just by moving around. (magical thinking, doesn’t work).
They believed the extra money circulating from government food stamps would somehow boost the economy, neglecting to notice that money came from the pockets of taxpayers. Obama invested enormous amounts of taxpayer money in solar energy and wind turbines, which observation of Spain’s disastrous history with renewable energy should have dissuaded him. And of course business had to be controlled more. Americans were getting fat, and Michelle had just the remedies — more regulation. The auto companies couldn’t be allowed to go through a normal bankruptcy, but required a special government effort.
The Keystone pipeline would have created 20,000 jobs right off the bat in pipeline building with thousands of spin-off jobs in servicing the project. The Greens objected, end of project.
But perhaps the most notable example of government stupidity was the Great Gibson Guitar Raid. On the vague possibility that the tiny bits of ebony or rosewood used for guitar frets might have been imported without proper papers, Gibson was raided with an armed Swat Team, business shut down, raw materials and finished guitars confiscated. Huge losses from inability to conduct business. Gibson had the necessary permissions from all the countries involved, but the feds weren’t about to be embarrassed. Do you think that businesses pondering whether to expand a little didn’t notice that? Or the Sacketts who were irrationally accused by the EPA of attempting to build a house on a “wetland” on an ordinary subdivision overlooking a lake? That’s regulation gone bat-excrement. Business put their plans on hold, waiting for a better business climate.
The left does not understand cutting taxes. They do not understand cutting regulation, because business must be controlled, or who knows what would happen? We have fairly large numbers of members of Congress who have never done anything else but government. Who believe firmly that good people do government and make nice benefits for the people, which will make the members of Congress feel good. Only bad people who are greedy work for private business, and they must be controlled. That’s where we are, and why.
As you have noticed, he’s not doing too well with foreign policy either.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, History, Law, Regulation, The United States | Tags: America Drops to 17th, Economic Freedom in the World, The Largest Reduction
The Fraser Institute, a British Columbia think tank in Vancouver, studies economic freedom in the world, and regularly ranks countries in order of the economic freedom they grant. Between 1980 and 2000, the United States has ranked third behind the two city states of Hong Kong and Singapore.
In the latest survey, the United States has fallen to 17th out of the 152 countries the Fraser Institute has surveyed. Seventeenth! The survey’s authors suggest the legal system of the U.S., protection of property rights, freedom of international trade and increasing regulations are stifling economic freedom in the United States. Worse, the US has tied Venezuela (which comes in dead last —152nd — for the largest reduction in economic freedom ratings.
The Fraser Institute study said “Unless policies undermining economic freedom are reversed, the future annual growth of the US economy will be half its historic average of 3%.”
The Top Ten Economically Free Countries Are:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- United Arab Emirates
Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain have tumbled down the rankings over the past thirty years. Switzerland fell to 4th from 2nd, but the U.S. decline from 3rd to 17th was one of the largest — except for Greece which fell from 33rd to 78th, Italy fell from 49th to 70th, and Luxembourg fell from 6th to 25th.
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom (from 17th up to 9th), have all markedly improved.
The Bottom Ten
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Central African Republic
- Republic of Congo
Countries formerly colonized by the United Kingdom have done better than countries colonized by other European colonial powers, which the authors attributed to the English common law system left behind by colonial administrators.
The English common law system provides for greater stability and protection under the law than French civil law. Under English common law legal changes occur as a result of precedents derived from judicial decisions rendered by judges. This leads to more gradual changes and greater constraint on the ability of political decision-makers to alter the law. No such check is present under civil law. Former English colonies had a higher mean per-capita income of $4,415 compared to others $3,725.
The object of the Left is always more control of the economy. And they just controlled us into the biggest drop, a tie with Venezuela, in the entire study. President Obama frequently remarks that excessive regulation has nothing to do with business. Nothing to see here, just move along. Of course over-regulation puts a damper on business, and on entrepreneurship. Who wants to start a new business when they don’t know what might be regulated next? There is a reason why so many businesses are sitting on hoards of cash. Business keeps telling the administration, and the administration keeps ignoring the problem. That’s what they are talking about when they speak of “the business climate.” High taxes and over-regulation adds up to a bad business climate.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Africa, Capitalism, Economy, Foreign Policy, Humor, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Russia, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Inability to Face Facts, Michael Raimirez, The National Threat
I find it truly interesting that Liberals are so much less concerned than Republicans are about the threat of terrorism, of militant Islam, of the actual threat to the United States, and why this should be so.
Liberals care about power — theirs. They don’t like mass democracy (in spite of their party name), middle class capitalism, the individual businessman’s pursuit of profit as well as the individual citizen’s self-interested pursuit of success. They care about being in charge, about the administrative state. Liberal social programs don’t work, they are not as good at administration as they like to think, and their experts aren’t all that expert — but the next program will surely work. Liberals have no foundational principles, but react to events on a case by case basis as they occur.
They essentially bypassed the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by lumping them under their hatred for George W. Bush, and didn’t learn much of anything about the countries, the wars, the people or the threats, and their only interest was in getting past it. It has left them dreadfully ill-prepared to understand foreign policy and national power and its needful uses. Nor, lost in a mush of political correctness and tolerance, are they even able to call mass murder and genocide — terrorism. They are simply unprepared to grasp the potential threat that faces us, nor able to plan how to treat with it. We are easy prey.