Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Free Markets, Freedom, Politics, Regulation, Taxes, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: Economic Mistakes, Praeger University, Steve Forbes
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Free Markets, Freedom, Progressives, Regulation, Taxes, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: Hillary's Economics, More Obama Economics, Progressives
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:
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.”
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Election 2016, Energy, European Union, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Immigration, Iran, Law, National Security, Progressivism, Regulation, Taxes, Terrorism, The Constitution | Tags: Free Markets / Free People, Regulation and Control, Separation of Powers
“This is the most important election of my lifetime,” unfortunately, that is a statement you hear in every election. But then, sometimes, it’s true. So do we worry most about — ISIS? The plight of Europe as they can increasingly not cope with the flood of migrants, many of whom are ISIS fighters? Or do we worry about terrorist attacks in our own country? Is it the Zika Virus? Or is it the economy which after over seven and-a half long years has shown little sign of a real recovery. This is really not the new normal.
Republicans are more apt to recall what they learned in school about separation of powers and federalism. Democrats have decided that they are far more interested in controlling the peoople, and that is a problem.
President Obama has maintained a steady course of increasing new regulations, more spending on”infrastructure,” more spending on the chimera of global warming, and through his unconstitutional executive actions, he has backed federal mandates on business, closed a lot of small businesses, increased taxes and in the strange interest of making America just one among the many countries of the world, made America weak. And then there’s the Iran Deal.
The executive actions are a big problem. All presidents do some, but President Obama has carried it to an extreme, and Congress has found it hard to cope. This is the first time we have had a president, schooled by Saul Alinsky, determined to change the country to something that is more in line with his personal vision of social justice, and unconcerned with following custom or the rules.
Republicans are inclined to believe that there is no such thing as “social” justice — that justice is what is embodied in our courts, our body of laws, our Constitution and the constitutions of the several states.
Democrats have had a degree of success with “social justice” and the associated ideas of an unjust minimum wage, income inequality, racial injustice, “white privilege,” a War on Cops, excessive incarceration of black perpetrators, too many blacks in prison, thousands of Syrian “refugees” who cannot be vetted are put ahead of those who have waited patiently in line as legal immigrants, and of course “crumbling roads and bridges.” You will notice that most of these are rallying cries in the Democrat campaign.
I continually get the sense that Democrats operate with talking points handed down, and thus do not have to study issues, read, or think seriously about history or the world, or about whether their issues are right or workable or even make sense. Or maybe that’s just Hillary.
They seem to be fixated on an improved version of socialism that will be socially just, totally different from all those other socialisms, and will fix all the dreadful problems of America — as it is. They find the old buildings and their peeling paint and the antique cars in Havana charming, and can’t get it through their heads that it is “charming” because that’s all they have. They completely ignore the devastation in Venezuela where the people are dying from lack of the simplest medicines, and plain starvation. They broke into the zoo to kill a horse to eat, but the animals in the zoo are starving to death too.
Hillary wants to raise taxes on the rich, who already pay most of the taxes, and on corporations, capital gains, death taxes and stock transactions, without the slightest understanding that will simply deliver more stagnant growth, falling wages and declining productivity. But then, that’s what her economic plan promises. More of Obama’s “success.”
What makes economies grow and prosper are free markets and free people who can work to come up with new ideas and bring them to fruition in their garage or small town or big city. Freedom works small and big miracles every day. Tried and tested for 240 years.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Crime, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, History, Media Bias, Politics, Taxes, The United States | Tags: Hillary Clinton, Pandering and Promises, Warren Michigan
Here is Hillary’s Warren, Michigan economic speech. It’s not fair for me to have the privilege of watching if I don’t share. It is 47 painful minutes long, very persuasive, and really quite a powerful speech. Many will fall for the B.S. She clearly feels your pain, she grew up in a home where her father had a little business just like many of you do, and they had to struggle, and her grandfather worked in a factory! She didn’t go into the struggle she and Bill had when they left the White House dead broke (A little history: Harry Truman left the White House with no pension except his $112.56 Army pension, and Congress corrected that so no future president would ever have to struggle. Do click on that link. )
If you can’t resist watching this debacle, try to keep in mind that Obama has added more than six trillion dollars to the national debt and that has accomplished exactly what? Keep asking yourself “how do we pay for this?” See US Debt Clock.org. Or how to become Venezuela in a few easy lessons.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Education, Energy, Free Markets, Freedom, National Security, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Taxes, Unemployment
Why would anyone getting ready to go to bed start pounding their head on the wall? (Simile.) Someone mentioned Hillary’s big economic speech on Thursday in Warren, Michigan, and I thought I ought to watch it so I would know something about her economic plans. I didn’t expect much, but I was still taken aback.
It was a powerful-sounding speech, promising to solve everyone’s problems and the problems that had never occurred to them. Jobs, lots of them, how? — Infrastructure! Why is it always infrastructure? If you remember, Obama was going to create all sorts of jobs in Infrastructure — “crumbling roads and bridges” — all sorts of promises of what they were going to do, and eventually Obama admitted that there didn’t seem to actually be any “shovel-ready jobs.”
The interstate highways are federal business. State and county roads are the state’s and county’s business. You can’t just pick a piece of land and start to build something. First, all sorts of jurisdictions have to agree to the project. Then there are the environmental impact statements, and the plans need be drawn up, soil testing, legal challenges, eminent domain. I probably have the order wrong and have left out many steps, but that’s the general idea. All that stuff can take years, and usually does. The people who do those tasks are already on staff. There will be no new jobs until construction starts, and construction jobs only last until the project is done, which may be 10 or 20 years down the road. Construction jobs are temporary. That’s why Obama said there weren’t any “shovel-ready jobs.” We went through all this before, but Hillary wasn’t paying attention, or else she doesn’t care because it sounds good.
She promised a lot of clean energy jobs too, and lots more clean energy. Installation is done by skilled workers from the company that manufactures the turbines or solar panels, and there aren’t many jobs there. She babbled on about Germany and China, but those countries are already getting out of the “clean energy” business. I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming that she doesn’t know any better and is not just pandering to the rubes. Obama tried the clean energy jobs bit too, and we got Solyndra and Ivanpah.
She’s dragged out every tired old cliché that worked for the Left in past elections — “trickle-down economics” is the pander for an opposition who promises tax-cuts, which is how you get an economy recovering. Leftists just don’t get it. They cannot conceive of a world where they are not increasing their control and forcing people to do what they want. That is how you build a brave new world. (I think someone used that phrase before.) Increasing the minimum wage makes the economy grow. what? She promises a manufacturing renaissance, economic revitalization, free college for the middle class, free trade school, With her $10,745,378 income last year, she has a lot in common with you, and knows just how to make life better for you hard-working Americans — a job with dignity and equal pay, not everybody needs to go to college, the trades are fine too, broadband for everyone, infrastructure bans, a cleaner power grid. $25 billion government seed money, $10 billion to make things in America, lots of tax credits, deductions for child care, blah, blah, “better together.”
It was painful. If you want an economy to recover, you have to reduce taxes so people can save and invest and create. Raising taxes, and Hillary’s economic plan would demand huge tax increases on an already damaged economy — just prolonging the decline for another 4 years.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Education, Foreign Policy, Health Care, Immigration, Law, National Security, Progressivism, Regulation, Taxes, Unemployment | Tags: The Failed Leftist Policy, The Progressive Media, Truth and Lies
This is possibly the weirdest election year ever, though there have been some pretty disturbing ones in the past. We have candidates in each of the major parties who were not only not my choice, but far from it. We had our primaries and conventions, and this is what they came up with. We have two equally impossible candidates in the two minor parties.
The earth has shifted, and much has changed — and we are beginning to wake up to it. First, consider the news. The world of information as we knew it consisted of the news (solemn, reasonably accurate, and fairly non-partisan), and opinion — partisan, but you could identify those on your side and decide who among them to pay attention to. The news came on at 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. A good percentage of the American people also got a daily newspaper, some even got two, and maybe some magazines. Where do you get your news today?
The powers that be do want desperately to divide us into classes — the upper class. middle class, working class and the poor — they have other names for the “upper” class, and the “they” clearly represents those who want to be considered “upper.” Charles Murray wrote:
Harvard economist Robert Reich was the first to put a name to an evolving new class of workers in his 1991 book, The Work of Nations, calling them “symbolic analysts.”Reich surveyed the changing job market and divided jobs into three categories; routine production services, in-person services, and symbol-analytic services. In Reich’s formulation, the new class of symbolic analysts consisted of managers, engineers, attorneys, scientists, professors, executives, journalists, consultants and other “mind workers” whose work consists of processing information. He noted that the new economy was ideally suited to their talents and rewarded them accordingly.
Murray, in The Bell Curve, called this new class “the cognitive elite,” and said that currently when he uses the term new upper class, he is referring to a fuzzy set of people who run the nation’s economic political and cultural institutions, and at the top are those who have risen to jobs that affect the nation’s culture, economy and politics. So if you are one of those who mumbled about all of us working for a living, there you are.
So where do you get your information? Note that we no longer have a “news” class — it’s all opinion. Brief rants on Twitter are as apt to make the “news” as the latest from the wire services. (Are there still wire services?) Count up the sources you have for information — takes a heck of a lot more than two hands.
We are all human beings, including those we send to Congress as well as those we send to the White House, and to judges chambers, and those currently serving time. Oddly, the new upper class, who need so badly to think well of themselves, usually forget that—possibly because being human means we don’t know as much as we think we do, we make mistakes, some of us lie, commit fraud and are false to our best ideals — and worse. We are told that we must commit to lifetime learning, but when you come home at the end of the day, an old movie seems more enticing. Those who run for political office have an extra gene for public speaking and imperviousness to criticism, and of course ego. Don’t expect too much.
In the meantime, the Left has changed dramatically. Kim Holmes has written a fascinating book to explain the changes that have taken place.
For most of the 1980s and 1990s, leftists worked, if not underground, then certainly below the political radar. They were still operating in a Reagan or post-Reagan era. They inhabited universities and activist organizations that had existed on the fringes of American liberalism since the 1960s. This marginal existence ended in the 2000s under the presidency of George W. Bush. Progressive activists launched a movement against the war in Iraq, and eventually the Democratic Party broke with the moderation of the Clinton years. Energized and radicalized, Democrats moved left and began to take on the old liberal establishment, much as the New Left had done in the Kennedy and Johnson years. The result is a far more aggressive liberal party. This cause triumphed with the election of Barack Obama, a quintessential postmodern leftist, to the presidency in 2008.
The new Left is better characterized by groupthink and intolerance. Hillary has disavowed her husband’s accomplishments in office, but her only real ambition has always been to get very rich and be the first woman President of the United States. She hasn’t given much thought to what would be good for the country as is easily evidenced by her claim to make college and university free to all. (And how do we afford that?) She has arranged the rich part through the worst kinds of graft in pubic office, and ‘the first woman part’ seems fairly absurd in the wake of women presidents and prime ministers and heads of state around the world, not to mention long history of queens who headed states. The Big Whoop has pretty much gone out of it. Nobody cares.
We are stuck with 4 candidates that we mostly don’t like very much. We need to stop blaming it on the uneducated in backwoods districts, and realize that this is all entirely the work of the far left press. We had 17 candidates, too many, but the Republicans have a big bunch of extraordinarily successful governors. All were left desperately trying to get some attention while the press was only interested in what Donald would say next.
Most people don’t spend a lot of time on politics, and aren’t all that familiar with policy. They just know when things are not right and their lives are being turned upside down. They may not know all that much about government, but they revere their Constitution, their freedoms, and the idea that we have a system for immigrants that has, through the years, done an excellent job of welcoming immigrants and turning them into American citizens. So there you are.
Donald Trump blurts out whatever occurs to him — apparently in the vein of Obama’s statement “If they bring a knife to the fight, you bring a gun.” Hillary is a crook. She is not just untrustworthy, or lies occasionally — she has used the high office entrusted to her to enrich her family Clinton Foundation by responding to donations by doing federal favors for the donors. That is called graft. Or selling out your country for cash. Trump says things he shouldn’t say. Hillary does things that are very, very illegal and very damaging to our country.
Gary Johnson is the Libertarian candidate, a successful governor and a “pot entrepreneur,” and is for drug legalization, and other unacceptable views. Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate, a doctor of internal medicine, a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard and Harvard Medical School, and a complete environmental nut who expects the United States to be underwater by 2030 or so, and is an environmental activist, sit-ins and protests too many to measure.