American Elephants

Democrats Are So Predictable by The Elephant's Child

Leftists are so predictable. President Trump announced that he wanted to cut the corporate income tax, and the sky immediately started to fall. “Tax cuts for the Rich” Charles Schumer cried. And so the battle was formed. Republicans insisted that the tax cut would more than pay for itself by increased economic activity. Democrats countered with the claim that Republicans were just trying to give taxpayer money to their richest friends.

The Leftist Tax Policy Center which mainstream-media outlets refer to as “nonpartisan” is full of former Obama economists.

Kevin Hassett, newly appointed to head the Trump Administration’s Council of Economic Advisers was having none of it. In his first official speech he accused the Tax Policy Center’ of using false assumptions on tax details that have never been published and “manufacturing income-redistribution  and deficit numbers that don’t even exist.

Kevin Hassett is the new face at the highest economic level of the Trump administration. But he’s no neophyte. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He has spent time on the staff of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. He taught at Columbia Business School. He was a long-time economic-policy director at AEI.  …

“Economists who have studied the effects of taxes over time have discovered a consensus,” he said. “Lower marginal tax rates and a broader base increase the rate of economic growth and well-being.” …

During his TPC speech, Hassett noted that “for the median household in the U.S., the top corporate marginal rate cut from 35 percent to 20 percent would boost wage growth almost four-fold.

Democrats don’t like corporations, with the exception of those who donate to Democrats, and they don’t like corporate leaders, with the same exception. And they plan to continue permanently their particular need to claim that any tax cuts will benefit only the wealthy.

President Trump’s tax proposals are intended to end the Obama administration’s war on business, and get the economy back to work.It is clearly picking up steam, the stock market is way up, and Democrats are warning that a massive recession is imminent. Of course.

A tax on a business goes on the corporate ledger as a cost of doing business. If business taxes go up — so does the cost of the products they make. If the cost of doing business goes down, they can invest that money in new machinery, new products and new innovation. Those expenditures create more business, which is a direct benefit to the wage-earning middle class.


Where Did These Violent Protests Come From? by The Elephant's Child

How did we get here? Democrats have lost elections before, and engaged in some mild excess, but now they seem completely deranged. We had a brief hiatus from the dramatic evidence of the failure of our schools and universities to acquaint our students with the Constitution and the meaning of free speech, let alone manners and deportment. Faculty have exhibited themselves as instigators and the administrators have established that they are not only not the adults in the situation, but it didn’t occur to them to mete out punishment for wretched excess.

In my day, which admittedly was a while ago, miscreants were promptly sent home, and I do mean promptly. And good luck about returning.

So — How did we get here? Is this stuff contagious? In a way, it is.

Democrats have lost power in a very big way, and seeking power is at their very essence. They’re old. Their ideas are not only stale, but they don’t work. Their former president, who did massive damage to the country, is not retiring graciously to let the next president have his turn, but actively and admittedly trying to destroy his successor.

Each loudmouth, and there are many in Hollywood and on TV, oddly enough many are “comics”— seeking the limelight and an audience — readily available in the form of our very partisan media, ready to celebrate every and any disturbing word. Surely you have noticed that if you removed the “he said”, and “she said” from the news, there wouldn’t be much of anything left.

Comics get brownie points for saying something rude, which gives permission to the next person at the microphone to top that, which in turn gives more permissions and so on, and so on. So you have Kathy Griffin holding up a bloody facsimile head of the President of the United States supposedly chopped off as ISIS might do, and the poor thing doesn’t even understand that she has committed an unforgivable faux pas that will be talked about and reviled for years to come. She’s back in today’s news congratulating Kaepernick for “his activism.” They never learn.

It’s Can You Top This time. Permission has been given. Black Lives Matter, a Marxist bunch, attempts to make The Racism, Sexism, theme the top priority, and Antifa goes for violence. Even speech that disagrees with you is not “hate speech.” Invited Conservative speakers are shouted down and attacked because it is too much for tender ears to hear “hate speech” which is defined as anything conservative, because Conservatives are known to be racist, sexist, homophobes etc, etc.

The media are demonstrating their partisanship or general ignorance, I’m not sure which. Remember Ben Rhodes description of his regular contacts with the media for the Obama administration:

“Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

It is catching. Each excess gives permission to do the same only better, bigger, more excessive. So now we have corporate CEOs talking their political views as the top official of their company. Not smart. Why a business would want to offend at least half of their customers is a mystery, Stock down. Sales down. CEOs gone.Half the American people no longer interested in the business or their products. Some business reporters could not understand why any CEO would be willing to serve on an advisory council with the hated President of the United States. (Probably because President Trump was interested in cutting taxes for business and removing troublesome regulations?)

Sports teams managed to offend a large percentage of the American people. Unnecessary if they had done their homework. Real damage to their sport. In fact most of these excesses arise because of the ignorance of the people committing the error.

The remedy? Courses in the United States Constitution. Nobody seems to be familiar with the document. A familiarity with the Declaration would be in order too, after Chuck Todd proved on Meet the Press, for all to see, that he was completely unfamiliar with the “all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator” line.

College administrators need to grow backbone, and administrate. That’s what the big salaries and honorifics and outrageous tuitions are all about. Sports millionaires will quickly learn about their mistakes, as many endorsements depart. Professors who are urging the miscreants on—just stop it. Try to prepare students to be decent citizens.

Turning to My Favorite Author for Guidance by The Elephant's Child

I frequently say that Leftists don’t understand the free market — that’s why they are Leftists.

Kathy Shaidle remarked a while back: “None of this should surprise anyone. Contrary to what they tell you (and tell you and tell you) Progressives don’t have principles. Rather they have faddish opinions that are highly unstable and often contradictory.”

Here’s John Steele Gordon from An Empire of Wealth:

The willingness to accept present discomfort and risk for the hope of future riches that so characterized these immigrants and the millions who would follow over the next two centuries has had a profound and immeasurable effect on the history of the American economy. Just as those who saw no conflict between worshiping God and seeking earthly success in the seventeenth century, those who sought economic independence in the eighteenth had a powerful impact on the emerging American culture.

And this:

People with an economic advantage, however “unfair” that advantage may be, will always fight politicians as hard as they can to maintain it. Whether the advantage is the right to another person’s labor, or an unneeded tariff protection, or an exemption from taxation makes no difference. And because the advantage for the few is specific and considerable while the cost to the disadvantaged many is often hidden and small, the few regularly prevail over the many in such political contests.

and one more:

Masterpieces created by a committee are notably few in number, but the United States Constitution is certainly one of them. Amended only twenty-seven times in 215 years, it came into being just as the world was about to undergo the most profound – and continuing– period of economic change the human race has known. The locus of power in the American economy had shifted from sector to sector as that economy has developed. Whole sections of the country have risen and fallen in economic importance. New methods of doing business and economic institutions undreamed of by the Founding Fathers have come into existence in that time, while others have vanished. Fortunes beyond the imagination of anyone living in the pre-industrial world have been built and destroyed. And yet the Constitution endures and the country continues to flourish under it.

A Beacon of Liberty For The World by The Elephant's Child

Illegal immigration was down sharply after Donald Trump was inaugurated, with his commitment to building a wall and cutting back on illegal immigration. As the talk of amnesty for the DACA group has grown, immigration has been increasing sharply—up by 22% in August (a 100% increase from April). It has doubled in just 4 months. There are no overall statistics, but those apprehended by ICE and the Border Patrol give a rough estimate for the total flow.

Among those apprehended, there are lots of family groups—parents and children. So we can expect that we have another bunch of “childhood arrivals” Do they get to stay too? If not, “cruel”, and “no fair.”

Most parents have no real guide to parenting beyond how they were raised, what their friends are doing or not doing, and what they read in the news.What most moms learn gradually and often painfully, is that “Well just this once” is a very bad idea. If you have rules, then they have to be rules and obeyed, otherwise they are only a sham.

The fact that some people oppose open borders, oppose DACA, and want a wall is presumed to be clear evidence that they are white supremacists and their opposition to illegals is racist, because some Central and South Americans have brown skins. Has nothing to do with the fact that the average cost of deporting someone was $10,954 in 2016. Or the crimes and drugs brought along with illegal aliens. Or the families who have lost a loved one, murdered by an illegal alien. Nice people have sanctuary cities, to keep criminal illegal aliens from being deported.

I think I may speak for millions of Americans who believe that American citizenship is something special, and should be difficult to reach, because you prize something more if you have to work hard to get it. Our Constitutional freedoms are unique in the world and require constant defense from those who prefer a welfare state that gives you stuff. We seem to have brought forth a generation that has no understanding of the rarity and importance of being able to say out loud what you believe in, and to publicly challenge your government when it has gone astray. It’s very easy for our elected officials to come to think that they are the important ones and forget that they work for us, and can be dismissed.

*This 2014 cartoon by Michael Rameriz captures the idea perfectly

Good Advice. Print Out And Tack on Your Bulletin Board. by The Elephant's Child

“The Constitution is a model of flexible law that can evolve with changing times and unforeseen circumstances. This remarkable document, shorter than the EPA’s benzene rules, gave us three branches of government and a Bill of Rights built on vague principles like ‘due process’.”
……………………………………………………………The Death of Common Sense
Philip Howard

“Fredrich Hayek, the Austrian-American economist and Nobel Laureate devoted much of his brilliant career to describing how rationalism could never work. How can anything good happen, Hayek asked, if individuals cannot think and act for themselves? Rules preclude initiative. Regimentation precludes evolution. Letting accidents happen, mistakes be made, results in new ideas. Trial and error is the key to all progress. The Soviet system of rules and control planning is doomed to failure, Hayek stated fifty years ago, because it kills the human faculty that makes things work.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,………………………………..The Death of Common Sense
……………………………………………………………Philip Howard

“Capital will go where it is wanted and it will stay where it is well treated. It will flee from manipulation or onerous regulation of its value or use and no government power can restrain it for long. ”
……………………………………………………………The Twilight of Sovereignty
……………………………………………………………Walter Wriston

“Our American economic system, like our political system, is untidy—it offends those people who like tidy, predictable societies. We make a lot of mistakes in this country, we have a lot of failures. Some people see only the failures;they cannot seem to grasp the fact that the failures are the price we pay for the successes. It’s as though they wanted to have “up” without “down”, or “hot” without “cold.”
……………………………………………….,,………….’The Twilight of Sovereignty
…………………………………………………,,…………Walter Wriston

“The error behind all of these failures is the liberal faith in the perfectibility of politics. Liberals believe that the next law, or the next federal agency, will somehow make up for imperfect human nature. But America’s Founders understood that politics could never be perfected precisely because men weren’t perfect.

So they designed a system with a minimum of bureaucratic and legal control in which disputes could be settled by political debate. They did not want to rely on lawyers or experts who could maneuver around ou through a maze of campaign and ethics laws. It’s taken us 20 years of picking through the ruins of liberal reform to relearn how right they were.”
……………………………………………………………..Wall Street Journal Editorial
Feb. 25, 1999

“In fact, the destiny of this land, of any land, is exactly and inevitably determined by the nature and abilities of the children now in school. The future simply has no other resources. And, an even more dismaying fact, because it tells of us, not them, this land as it is today is the exact and inevitable result of the nature and abilities of the school children that we were. And the things that you think important, everything from the politics to the rapes and murders and fires, are what they are and have the meanings that they have precisely because of what we were.”
……………………………………………………………..The Graves of Academe
……………………………………………………………. .
Richard Mitchell

“A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.”
………………………………………………………………Milton Friedman

“The very fact that economists sweat over statistics purporting to demonstrate economic inequality in America proves that there is, relatively speaking, not much of it.”

………………………………………………………………Irving Kristol


Is Google Being Run by Human Resources? by The Elephant's Child

We seem to have a society being run by the Human Resources Department. At least that’s what the flap at Google appears to be about. Diversity and inclusion. But just what is diversity, and why is it important? It clearly is the correct mix of skin color and ethnic origins, and gender too, of course. More complicated now as we seem to have increasing numbers of possible genders, since gender is no longer attached to your natal distinction, but rather to what you feel like today.

Does the number of skin colors have to match the skin colors of the world, or only the country or the city in which you operate? And, for example, if you have Asians represented, is that enough or do you need each Asian country represented? There aren’t all that many Mongolians in our country. But what does any of this have to do with skills, and abilities, information, education, personality, politics, temperament and the ability to do the job required? When you start actually having to explain the meaning of diversity, it all begins to fall apart.

Victor Davis Hanson’s column “The Problem of Competitive Victimhood” gets right to the heart of the matter.

Many working-class voters left the Democratic Party and voted for a billionaire reality-TV star in 2016 because he promised jobs and economic growth first, a new sense of united Americanism second, and an end to politically correct ethnic tribalism third. …

Recent scholarly studies, here and abroad, have found that the aggressive effort to win government preferences for particular ethnic and religious minorities descends into “competitive victimhood.” In other words, such groups battle each other even more than they battle the majority.

After all, who can calibrate necessary government set-asides and reparations for a century and a half of slavery, for ill-treatment of Native Americans, and for descendants of victims of the Asian immigration exclusionary laws, of segregation, of the unconstitutional repression of German citizens during World War I and of Japanese-American internment during World War II?

In another paradox, immigrants came to and stayed in America because they saw it as preferable to their abandoned homelands. Romanticizing a forsaken culture that one has already decided offered far less opportunity and security than America is incoherent.

Democrats have largely pinned their hopes on competitive victimhood. Nancy Pelosi is fundraising on “Trump’s Immoral Border Wall.” It seems that protecting our border is immoral. Sanctuary City Portland was attempting to prevent ICE from deporting the illegal immigrant accused of raping a 65 year old woman after being previously deported something like 20 times. He stole her car as well. Others attack little kids of 10 or 12. Sanctuary Cities attract illegals. Leftists want the extra population when it’s time for the census, which will get them another representative in Congress. Concern for the victims doesn’t measure up to political needs.

So diversity seems to be one of those noble goals — stamping out prejudice, and all that — that doesn’t hold up to closer inspection. It’s just another round of politically correct nonsense.  Sounds good on a list of goals for Human Resources though.


Why Politics and Business Don’t Mix by The Elephant's Child

I don’t know about boycotts, I don’t think about joining some kind of boycott, nor of mounting the barricades. But if businesses get all political, I can certainly take my business someplace else. That’s basic economics. The market speaks louder, or at least more firmly than any soapbox.

Starbucks had five straight quarters of decreased sales, and they know exactly why their sales had fallen. It’s not a softening of the market but abandonment by Conservatives. Wall Street agreed. Financial analysts blame Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz’ repeated attacks on Conservatives and leftist activism.  Started when they took “Merry Christmas” off their holiday cups in November 2015. There was the message to customers to “please don’t bring your guns into Starbucks”, the backing of gay marriage, and the change the world with messages written by a barista on your coffee cup “Race Together”, so you will stop being racist, and “Come Together” to get partisans to rethink their opposition to their opponents. Baristas became “partners,” and Schultz pledged that the company would hire 10,000 refugees over Americans to protest President Trump’s executive order on immigration. That one did it. Americans are not in favor of increased immigration or open borders. They have since backed off with an effort to hire veterans.

Kevin Johnson has become President and chief executive officer. Howard Schultz has left the company, and is reportedly considering running for president.

Some are convinced that taking political positions helps a company show their responsibility, but I suspect that is simply partisan-speech. I may or may not like your product. If you expect me to buy your product and your political views, forget it.

Now we have Google asserting their leftist political views and firing someone who had the nerve to speak up. The monoculture at Google is not to be trifled with.

It is extremely difficult for lefties to grasp the nature of free speech. According to California law, you cannot fire someone for their political beliefs, but in Silicon Valley, on the other hand, you apparently may not disagree. I’ve already received a long message with alternatives for everything Google.

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