American Elephants


I Can’t Believe They Released This Video! Ouch! by The Elephant's Child

You may have seen this excerpt from Hillary’s speech to a labor union group. It’s not one of her finer moments, but the attention all goes to her harsh yelling, and not to what she is saying. Of course she is opposed to “Right to Work” laws. Democrats depend on generous donations from labor unions made possible by forced unionization and forced dues. Democrats have always been far more interested in big donations than in individual freedom. Here’s Robert Barro, a professor of economics at Harvard and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution:

Labor unions like to portray collective bargaining as a basic civil liberty, akin to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion. For a teachers union, collective bargaining means that suppliers of teacher services to all public school systems in a state—or even across states—can collude with regard to acceptable wages, benefits and working conditions. An analogy for business would be for all providers of airline transportation to assemble to fix ticket prices, capacity and so on. From this perspective, collective bargaining on a broad scale is more similar to an antitrust violation than to a civil liberty. …

Here’s James Sherk, Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics, the Heritage Foundation, testimony to the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Labor and Government Reform, last year before Wisconsin’s passage of Right to Work Laws:

Research confirms that unions pay more attention to their members in right-to-work states. Union officers earn substantially greater salaries in states with compulsory dues, even after adjusting for costs of living. When union officers must earn workers’ support they spend less money on themselves. …

Right-to-work laws have economic benefits that go beyond protecting workers’ freedom. Union contracts make businesses less competitive. One recent study compared companies whose workers narrowly voted to unionize with those who narrowly voted against unionizing. It found the unionized firms were 10 percentage points more likely to go out of businesses within seven years.

Here’s a paper from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, explaining the changing nature of work, and regulatory barriers to success.

ud-rtw-and-wages-chart-1-600
The facts of economics or the way things really work are often counter-intuitive — Hillary shouts that Right to Work is “wrong for workers and wrong for America,” but that is Democrats usual emotional response, and the basis on which they control and regulate. Financial support trumps the concerns of ordinary workers every time. Workers and businesses do far better in Right to Work states, as does the state’s economy.  Right to Work laws do not prevent anyone who wants to belong to a union from belonging — it only prevents unions from forcing membership and expensive dues upon anyone who does not wish to join. Usually thought of as free choice, or free people.

Public sector unions are even more pernicious, for the people who have to pay for higher demands and benefits are the taxpayers, yet they have no say at all in the bargaining process, and politicians who benefit from union support and money aren’t, as you may have noticed, all that careful with taxpayer money.



Can the Government Really Run the Economy? Steve Forbes by The Elephant's Child



“Political” Medicine vs. Real Medicine by The Elephant's Child

At Powerline, Steven Hayward addressed the difference between “political” medicine and real medicine:

From Russell Baker’s review of Joseph Lelyveld’s new book His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt in the current issue of the New York Review of Books:

Everybody seemed aware that the president had a medical problem of some sort, but nobody knew precisely what it was. Political medicine differs from medical science because news of a physical sickness may quickly produce a terminal political ailment.The usual treatment in FDR’s day was to lie about it, and if that was impractical, to pretend it was merely a trifling seasonal ailment, a touch of bronchial discomfort perhaps, left over from last winter’s touch of flu. “Good as new in a day or two” was a common prognosis from doctors too scared to speak truth to ailing politicians.

Gosh, why does that sound familiar just now…



What Precisely IS Social Justice? by The Elephant's Child

Justice is what is embodied in our Constitution and our body of law, as it is administered by the courts. Calling redistribution of wealth “justice” is a little hard to take. May be a rallying cry for the self-interested (who did you think was going to do the redistributing?)

The people (Progressives) who shout the loudest about “social Justice” are those who want to be in charge, and have no interest or intention in having their wealth redistributed. They want to feel virtuous by taking the wealth of the rich and giving it to the poor. How about a world in which we try to improve conditions for all, which is what we have been doing successfully for several hundred years, or did you think that the world’s dictators had a better idea?



Hillary Clinton Puts Her Stunning Ignorance of Economic Reality On Display by The Elephant's Child

wwwmoney
From Labor day on, we are in the purely political world. “In her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, presidential nominee Hillary Clinton insisted that the economic performance of the preceding eight years was ‘much stronger’ than it was during the Bush years. More than fifteen million private sector jobs were created  under President Obama, she said, many more people are now on health insurance, and the automobile industry is booming.” That, said Richard Epstein, seems to be her argument that progressive policies led to economic growth.

The day after her big speech, the Commerce Department reported that the slowest economic recovery since 1949 was getting slower still. The Gross Domestic Product growth  was down to 1.2 percent. Well, nothing to do with the success of Progressivism. It’s the decline of the middle class, or rising levels of inequality that are the problem. The FED just said that we have full employment, though I just mentioned yesterday that Obama had put 83,000 coal miners out of work. It’s no wonder people get confused. Who can you believe?

The U.S. Department of Labor unemployment rate (U-3) defines the unemployment rate as those who are jobless but actively looking for work. But there are five other measures of labor underutilization. U-6 refers to not only the unemployed, but also the marginally attached who are neither working or looking, but want to and are available and have looked in the past year, and the people who have a part-time job but want to work full time. That rate at it’s peak was 17.1 percent but is now down to 9.7 percent. That’s still a lot of discouraged people.

The thing is that Progressives don’t really do economics. They are opposed to the free market, they believe that business and industry need to be heavily regulated, and that government should be big enough to manage the whole economy. They find the idea that government doesn’t need to manage the economy, but to leave it alone — completely absurd. The idea of small government, or disposing of some agencies altogether gives them a case of the willies.

Some things are not important to a Progressive. Obama has cut funding for the military by $265 billion over 5 years. They are opposed to war, so prefer not to fund it — which can be awkward when your enemies start to see you as very weak, human nature being what it is. But then Progressives don’t really believe in human nature either. Economist Mark Perry at AEI gives us the Venn Diagram of the day:

vennapplewalmartnew

You see the problem. The official national debt is at $19 trillion and climbing, but the real debt is much higher. Need proof? Nancy Pelosi, declared that “the best way to stimulate the economy” is through food stamps and unemployment insurance. The more people who get free food, the more prosperous we become?

Hillary wants to spend $1 trillion more on government works programs, free day care and free college education and expanded entitlements. She will pay for all this by raising taxes on everybody, but especially the undeserving rich, the top 1% who already pay 38% of all federal taxes paid.

Hillary attacked Donald Trump saying “While he may have some catchy sound bites, his statements on the economy are dangerously incoherent. They are deeply misguided, and they reflect an individual who is temperamentally unfit to manage the American economy.” Well, yes. Cutting taxes and turning loose the economy is, to a progressive — dangerously incoherent.

Obama has added over $7 trillion to the national debt all by himself, and if you remember back when he started off so confidently to create lots of jobs with repairing our crumbling infrastructure — exactly the same thing Hillary is promising. Except Obama had to sheepishly admit that “there don’t seem to be any shovel-ready jobs.”



“It’s Because She Lies About It!” by The Elephant's Child

hillary-clinton-staircase-600

Roger Simon was asked why Hillary’s health is an issue? He said “It’s because she lies about it.”

She has blamed her inability to remember about the classification of her emails, or whether she had any instructions about the security of emails or much of anything else about her emails. And she told the FBI that she didn’t recall, but I remember Rush’s long ago parody song— “I can’t remember, my mind’s like a blender, it’s jello, jello” Was that about Whitewater, or the cattle futures? I can’t remember.

I’ve always regarded lying as a particularly offensive trait. I had a boss for a while who was a compulsive liar. I caught on before senior management did, but they did discover it, along with some funny business with expense reports, and he was gone.

An excellent book about lying is Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life by Sissela Bok, that covers all the basics and all the excuses.  Recommended. Only 1¢ + shipping for used copies. Might be useful in the current context.

The thing is, if someone lies to you and you believe them, and you act upon that information — it is a pretty big deal.  And it is a big deal in the current political  campaign. The current administration has lied to us extensively, one department after another. The EPA, the IRS, if I had to list them all this post would be far too long. People are noticing, and they don’t like it, they don’t like it at all. Here’s Hillary:

Why? What does she get out of it?



Obama Keeps His Promises: 83,000 Unemployed and Lots of Misery –All for Nothing. by The Elephant's Child

Headline in The Daily Caller: “Obama Kept his Promise, 83,000 Coal Jobs Lost and 400 Mines Shuttered.” On Labor Day weekend, America has 83,000 fewer coal jobs and 400 fewer coal mines than it did when Obama was elected in 2008. Following through on his promise to “bankrupt” the coal industry. That represents a lot of misery for communities and unemployed workers, which will accomplish nothing, nothing at all — except the misery.

Before he headed overseas, President Barack Obama made a stop at Lake Tahoe to talk climate change, spending and environmental regulation, and exposed his lightweight understanding of all things climate along the way.

He asserted that climate change is “manmade” as a dogmatic fact. But climate has been changing for centuries. It has been far warmer in the past, and far colder as well. He insisted that “during the first half of this year, carbon pollution hit its lowest level in a quarter century.” Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant — it’s what we exhale every time we breathe. It is a natural fertilizer for plants and the very slight increase in carbon in the atmosphere has meant a greening world, and bumper wheat crops are helping to feed a hungry world, except Venezuela, of course.

Back in the 1960s Entomologist Paul Erlich declared that “the population bomb” would lead to mass starvation by the end of the 1970s. His close associate, John Holdren agreed, and here we are with famine and starvation becoming rarer and rarer, thanks to the slight increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. John Holdren, of course, is Obama’s science advisor.

Fracking did not cause the earthquake in Oklahoma. Oklahoma state regulators ordered 37 disposal wells used by frackers shut down because the Greens were out full force claiming that the technology that fueled America’s oil and natural gas boom naturally causes earthquakes.  U.S. Geological Survey seismologist William Ellsworth said he agrees with the research council that “hydraulic fracturing does not seem to pose much risk for earthquake activity.”

“The mixture used to fracture shale is a benign blend of 90% water, 9.5% sand and 0.5% of chemicals like sodium chloride (table salt) and the citric acid in orange juice. Drinking water aquifers are generally only a hundred feet deep. Shale formations in which fracking is employed are thousands of feet deep.”

Fracking itself is in fact saving the environment by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases the greenies hate. It does not slice and dice birds, including endangered species, en masse like wind turbines, nor does it fry them to a crisp like solar panel farms have done. And it does not cause major disastrous earthquakes.

The flood in Louisiana was not caused by global warming either.




%d bloggers like this: