American Elephants

Hot,Thirsty? Too Bad. There’s a Crackdown on Lemonade Stands! by The Elephant's Child

In the past few months, police have put children’s lemonade stands out of business in Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Little kids are learning about America.

You cannot, in spite of the Obama administration’s purported enthusiasm for entrepreneurs, be an entrepreneur in modern-day America without permission from the bureaucrats. Have to teach the kids a lesson.

There’s a dandy map here showing the extent of the crackdown, the fines, the permits and licenses and government requirements. The bureaucrats aren’t fooling!

They have removed all the fun from playgrounds. They have cracked down on “violent” games like tag.  They are indoctrinating your kids in school to be sure that they grow up to be true believers in environmental activism. It’s a lot harder to be a kid these days, and a lot less fun.

Federal Government vs. The American People: The Battle Lines Are Drawn! by The Elephant's Child

President Obama has once again promised a new effort to spur job creation, as he portrays himself as a voice of reason in the face of ideological overreach.  He has been hampered, you see, by the Japanese earthquake, the situation in /Europe, Arab Spring and the Arab Spring’s effect on the oil crisis.

To that end, he is planning to embark on a bus tour of the Midwest the week of August 15 to show his commitment to reviving the economy in important battleground states, undoubtedly dropping in at electric car factories and battery manufacturers.  The Tatler at Pajamas Media lists some of the previous times that Obama has turned his full attention to the problem of jobs.

  • February 2009: Obama says his economic plan will be focused on jobs
  • November 2009: “This is my administration’s overriding focus.”
  • January 2010: “What they can expect from this administration …is that we are going to have a sustained and relentless focus over the next several months on accelerating the pace of job creation, because that’s priority number 1.
  • April 2010: After health-care, Obama goes on “Main Street” tour stops to talk about jobs in April and May.
  • June 2010: The beginning of Recovery Summer.
  • December 2010: “We are past the crisis point in the economy, but we now have to pivot and focus on jobs and growth.”
  • January 2011: The State of the Union focuses on jobs and makes a big jobs push, (Egypt distracts) launches “Startup America.”
  • August 2, 2011: USA Today —”Though his presidential hours have been crowded by Libya, Japan and other foreign policy challenges President Obama returns today to what he calls his top priority job.”

This post from a couple of weeks ago “Obama Has Created an Intolerable Business Climate say America’s CEOs” is a reminder of what business wants from the president. They want him to get out of the way and stop creating “helpful” government programs.

Here’s Startup America as of January 31, 2011,  The federal government has developed eleven programs for Entrepreneurs, Three programs for Investors, and four programs for Communities.  Since January— more layoffs, the unemployment rate increased to 9.2%. More funding for those who are doing things the government likes such as entrepreneurs in clean technology., streamlined rules for funds that invest in low-income communities, new funding for concept centers. and so on and on. They’re just trying SO hard!

What’s wrong with this? Aren’t these good things?  It’s the mindset.  There is nothing here about government getting out of the way— it’s all about government choosing winners and losers, government hoops to jump through, forms to fill out, qualifications to confirm, government instruction and government rules. Who the hell  wants a government supplied mentor?  Austan Goolsbee was so excited about the program that he quit.

The Foundry at the Heritage Foundation asks “Is the President Serious about Jobs and Economic Growth?” If he is, he’d rein in Lisa Jackson and the EPA. 

Air-purifier Jackson is unable to recognize that the air and water in America are generally clean, and  pursuing ever more minute particulates in the quest for absolute purity is costing jobs and businesses.  A “Boiler MACT”rule at a cost of $20.7 billion will regulate 187,000 boilers and cost a potential 338,000 jobs.

A “Utility MACT” rule $17.8 billion per year could cost 175,000 jobs. More stringent ozone standards will hit manufacturing and poser plants with nearly non-existent benefits $90 billion per year, 7.3 million jobs at risk. Coal ash regulation and new standards for cooling water intake structures. Cost $22 billion to $110 billion.  Tens of thousands jobs. Greenhouse gas regulations will reduce capital investment by tens of billions of dollars per year and cost 476,000 – 1.4 million jobs.

Is it possible to make Big Government true believers understand that big government is the problem? That even if said true-believers have degrees from all the ivy-league schools put together, they don’t know enough to tell an independent  entrepreneur how to run his business.

Individual freedom is the hallmark of America,  I know you big government types are a little weak on history, but we fought a war over too much government interference.

Barack Obama, Engineering Genius, Outstanding Businessman! by The Elephant's Child

Jonathan Last says that he has a Volt in his neighborhood, and there’s a Volt that parks in his garage at work, so he sees almost 0.1 percent of all the Volts in America on a daily basis.

Chevy sold 281 Volts in February, but that was a good month. They sold 125 in July. Nationwide!  All together they have sold close to 2,700 Volts. GM claims that the reason the Volt isn’t selling is that they can’t keep enough cars on the lot, so they are going to increase production to 5,000 Volts per month  to keep up with the raging demand. Obama has ordered the government to buy lots of Volts for government fleets, so perhaps that’s where the increased production is going. You thought that when you didn’t buy one, you wouldn’t have the pay for one. Surprise! You get to pay for a very large fleet.

Obama’s environmental allies, in this case Ceres — a collection of public employee pension plans, green activists, churches, green investors and government officials—is running a radio ad that claims that a 60 mpg EPA vehicle mandate will actually make the auto industry more profitable.

“A recent study found that under strong fuel efficiency standards, the auto industry would see increased profits — most of which would go to Big Three automakers,” intones the ad, timed to coincide with Obama’s introduction of new mpg rules this morning.

In 2007, Candidate Obama, a Harvard Law trained social activist, came to Detroit to lecture automakers on how, if elected, he would change their “failed” business model:

For years . . . whenever an attempt was made to raise our fuel efficiency standards, the auto companies would lobby furiously against it, spending millions to prevent the very reform that could’ve saved their industry,” he lectured. “Automakers still refuse to make the transition to fuel-efficient production because they say it’s too expensive. The auto industry is on a path that is unacceptable and unsustainable – for their business, for their workers, and for America. And America must take action to make it right. That’s why my first proposal will require automakers to meet higher fuel standards.

“The facts are clear, a 60 mpg standard will restore American automakers to a place of global leadership” says the Ceres ad.

The theory is that engineers have the battery technology to make a 60 mpg SUV — but Big Auto hides it in a back room to favor the oil companies over their customers.

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