American Elephants


It’s About The Spending!!! by The Elephant's Child
April 8, 2010, 9:42 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Taxes | Tags: ,

Just a quick reminder.  The Liberals in Washington are concerned about more taxes,  bringing in more income,  finding new things to tax and new ways to tax. Taxing wheelchairs seems more than a little crass.  Taxing Tanning Salons seems silly, a VAT is terrifying, but anything is better than having to cut spending.

The British Government’s response to the financial crisis is to pay no attention, the Irish Government is taking quick decisive action. Ireland had embraced policies of low taxation, and transformed from one of the poorest countries in Europe to one of the richest.  Financial services had become a huge part of Ireland’s economy— leaving the country vulnerable.

The world recession has hit Ireland hard.  Finance Minister Brian Lenihan rejected resorting to a rise in taxes, saying “We will not create jobs by increasing the penalty on work and investment.”

Perhaps we could embroider that line on little samplers and send them off to Congress.

Highly paid public sector workers face 20 percent pay cuts, the Taoiseach is taking a huge cut in salary.  Everyone else gets their salary cut,  in decreasing amounts as salaries get smaller.  Only pensioners do not get a cut.

Meanwhile, back in England — The voters say “Don’t raise taxes, cut spending,” and give Tory leader David Cameron an 11 percent lead.



Changing World Terrorism One Euphemism at a Time. by The Elephant's Child

Wasn’t it Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, who came up with the memorable phrase “Man-Caused Disaster” to cover such events as the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers? Then there was the Fort Hood Massacre, and the Christmas Day airline bombing attempt. A full one-third of radical Islamist attacks on the United States have occurred in 2009, on Obama’s watch.

We’re back to improving our vocabulary. President Obama’s advisers plan to remove such terms as “Islamic radicalism” from national security strategy documents. New euphemisms will emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations “through the lens of terrorism.” Obama apparently believes that the previous administration based that relationship entirely on fighting terrorism.  Goodness, we certainly don’t want to offend.

The previous document that outlined the strategy of the Bush Doctrine states that “The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century.” This possibly had something to do with radical jihadists who are ideologically motivated to slaughter Americans and shout “Death to America and Death to Israel.”

Obama’s Global Engagement Directorate, a 4– person team, is pursuing a “new beginning” in the relationship that will invest in Muslim businesses, study global warming, combat polio and support scientific research and health care. When officials from NOAA returned from Indonesia , the NSC got a rundown about research opportunities on global warming. Well, they’re a little too late on that one.  I didn’t know we had “Directorates” here.

Most Muslims are not going to strap on bomb belts, nor plant roadside bombs, but the number who approve of such action is larger that those who take action.  The Mullahs in Tehran continue to pursue nuclear weapons, they cheerfully execute their own citizens who dare to dissent, and  they fund terrorists all over the world who will attack the West or America or Israel.

Changing the dialogue from terrorism to cooperation  is a significantly unserious approach to foreign policy.  Renouncing nuclear weapons will please the anti-war left and do nothing to improve American security.  Sounds more like the effluence of a late-night gab session in a college dorm than serious efforts at National Security.

There’s a reason why everyone laughed at “Man-Caused Disaster.” Iran’s nuclear ambitions are unchanged, the world is a dangerous place, and Obama appears tone-deaf.  The Obama Team insists that they do too take terrorism seriously.  It’s just not very apparent.



You’d Like to Work for Free, Just to Get Your Foot in the Door? Nanny Government Says No. by The Elephant's Child

Unemployment is still high, but for younger workers it’s really bad.  In the last year, the unemployment among workers age 20 to 24 has risen to almost 16 percent, and among teenagers to 26 percent.

You might think there would be a federal effort to encourage employers to give unskilled youngsters a chance.  Well, no.  The Labor Department has instead decided to start a campaign to crack down on unpaid internships that regulators claim violate minimum wage laws.

If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law,” the Labor Department’s Nancy J. Leppink tells the New York Times.

The Times quotes Trudy Steinfeld, director of New York University”s Office of Career Services, regarding opportunities for unpaid internships. “A few famous banks have called and said, “We’d like to do this,” said Ms. Steinfeld.  “I said, No way, You will not list on this campus. ”

It used to be a way for a young person to get a start at marketable skills.  They were willing to trade their labor for a change to demonstrate what they could do and have  something to put on their resume, for the next job.  It’s bad enough when politicians have so little understanding of beginning workers that they hike the minimum wage up in the illusion that the minimum wage supports families.  Raw beginners with no marketable skills aren’t worth a lot to an employer. They have to be taught a lot, which takes time, and time costs money.

Minimum wage workers seldom remain at minimum wage for long, once they have skills they can move up.  Letting young people take unpaid internships is not exploiting young people.   Once again the Nanny state chimes in, making it illegal to work for free.




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