American Elephants

A Little Story About a Revolution Across the Pond. by The Elephant's Child
September 4, 2009, 9:54 pm
Filed under: Economy, News of the Weird, Taxes, United Kingdom | Tags: , ,

Here’s an unusual story from the town of Doncaster in England.  The newly-elected Mayor, Peter Davies, has some curious ideas.  Davies is one of only eleven directly-elected Mayors in England.  Most mayors are selected by the local council.  Not only that, but he is a member of the English Democrats, not Conservative, Liberal or Labor.  But, as you will see, of no relation whatsoever to our Democrats.

His first act was to reduce his own salary from £73.000 to £30,000 (from about $110,000 to about $48,000 per year) and to get rid of the mayoral limousine.  Then he ended the “sister city” arrangement with five other cities around the world, saying that it was just an excuse for “people to fly off and have a binge at the council’s expense.”  He abolished the town’s diversity policies, and ended funding for the Gay Pride Parade, on the grounds that whatever one’s sexual preferences, there was no reason why they should be paraded at taxpayer expense.

He has driven the green lobby into a panic by building parking places encouraging people to shop downtown.  He is trying to reduce the council from 63 members to just 21.  He said  “If Pittsburgh can manage with nine councilors, why do we need 63?”  And to top it all off he is abolishing all council “non-jobs” like the “community cohesion officers.”

He is doing just what he was elected to do: reducing the size and reach of government, and with the savings, reducing taxes.  Not everyone will approve — 42 city councilors for example, and an unknown number of community cohesion officers, and the green lobby as well.  But if he has accomplished so much, so far, the man has a great deal of courage.

He seems to believe that the job of a Mayor is to administer the public’s business efficiently and effectively.  Isn’t that refreshing!  We hope he receives loads of publicity and serves as a sterling example to all, even our Democrats.

(h/t The Heritage Foundation)

The Economy Will Recover Eventually. We Shouldn’t Make it Harder Than Necessary. by The Elephant's Child
September 4, 2009, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Taxes | Tags: , ,


When the stimulus bill was passed, the President promised the American people that he would create 4.1 million jobs by the end of 2010.  According to his plan, the nation’s unemployment rate would be below 8% by this August.  This is the standard that Barack Obama set for himself.   According to the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Stimulus has been a complete flop.  BLS reports that the number of unemployed persons increased by 466,000 in August, raising the rate to 9.7%.  This is not good.

Other data indicates that job creation has fallen sharply.  In February, the new hire rate had fallen to 3.2%, and by June (the most recent data) job creation had falled even further to 2.9%.  So why has private sector job creation fallen so sharply?  The recession, of course.  But business owners hire when they have confidence in the future of the economy.  Congress spent tens of billions of dollars on highway projects, but this does nothing to encourage business owners who do not build highways, that their investment will pay off.  Billions of dollars spent to bail out overspending state governments does not encourage an entrepreneur to start a small business.  Government spending programs do not encourage the investment and risk taking and innovation that jump-start lasting job creation.

The future seems to hold massive tax increases, vast changes in the rules, new mandates, attacks on free trade and massive hikes in the cost of energy.  The federal deficit will reach $2 trillion this year and will only increase in the years ahead, doubling the national debt in just 5 years.  The Health Care bill, as it is known so far, is a job killer.  The Waxman-Markey climate bill is a job killer in increased energy prices, and failure to accomplish anything whatsoever.  Until things change, there will not be much job creation.

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