Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Education, Free Markets, Freedom, Heartwarming, Media Bias, Politics, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: Charles G. Koch, Koch Industries, Youth Entrepreneurs
The reliably far left Puffington Post had a long article on the evil doings of the notorious Koch Brothers. It seems that Charles Koch is attempting to give some poor kids a path out of poverty and into prosperity.The Koch brothers are the source constant attacks from the left because they have the temerity to support free market capitalism, and though they are Libertarians, they occasionally donate to Republican causes. They are also generous and prominent philanthropists, donating wings to hospitals, hundreds of millions to cancer research, for example. They help fund some some organizations and foundations, some purely educational, some partisan, none Progressive — and that’s the problem.
In this particular case, they were encouraging the predominately poor students at Highland Park High School in Topeka, Kansas to enroll in a new, yearlong course “that would provide lessons in basic economic principles and practical instruction on starting a business. Students would receive generous financial incentives including startup capital and scholarships after graduation.” How scary is that?
In some ways, the class looked like a typical high school business course, taught in a Highland Park classroom by a Highland Park teacher. But it was actually run by Youth Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit group created and funded primarily by Charles G. Koch, the billionaire chairman of Koch Industries.
The official mission of Youth Entrepreneurs is to provide kids with “business and entrepreneurial education and experiences that help them prosper and become contributing members of society.” The underlying goal of the program, however, is to impart Koch’s radical free-market ideology to teenagers. In the last school year, the class reached more than 1,000 students across Kansas and Missouri.
Intrepid reporters acquired lesson plans and class materials. They are teaching the kids such subversive things as low taxes and less regulation allow people to prosper, raising the minimum wage hurts workers and slows economic growth. Public assistance harms the poor. Government, in short, is the enemy of liberty. Good Lord! Did you ever hear anything so subversive? Even the headline says “How the Koch Brothers are Buying Their Way Into The Mind of Public School Students.” The Left really hates the Koch Brothers.
Apparently Charles Koch had a hands-on role in the design of the high school curriculum directly reviewing the work of those responsible for setting up the course. (Since he was paying for it, hardly surprising) The goal, the group admitted, was to turn young people into “liberty-advancing agents” before they went to college, where they might learn “harmful” liberal ideas.
The reporters astonishment at the deeply partisan ideas of liberty and free markets is interesting. Clearly they have not had much familiarity with such ideas. Here’s a good example complete with plentiful scare quotes.
They aimed to “inoculate” students against liberal ideas by assigning them to read passages from socialist and Marxist writers, whom they called “bad guys.” These readings would then be compared to works by the “good guys” — free-market economists like Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises.
The Koch Foundation is doing some good work. It’s hard to rise if you cannot see a path ahead. The free market is what has made America not only free, but prosperous. The astonishment and negative attitude of the reporters tells a sad story of the many schools run by the social justice warriors. Corporations are evil, and all good things must be done by the power of government.
Here’s a list from the article of the wrongheaded ideas of these subversive billionaires.
In late 2009, the Koch group made a list of “common economic fallacies” that they believed should be repudiated. These included:
- Corporatism v. Free-market Capitalism
- Deregulation is what caused recession in 80s, Economic problems of today
- Rich get richer at the expense of the poor
- FDR/New Deal brought us out of the depression
- Government wealth transfer programs help the poor
- Private industry incapable of doing functions that public sector has always done
- Unions protect the employees
- People with the same job title should be paid the same amount
- Minimum wage, “living wage,” laws are good for people/society
- Capitalist societies provide an environment for greed and materialism to flourish
- Socialist countries do just fine, people have great lives there (using this as proof that socialism works).
Shocking! Giving kids a boost up with lessons in free market capitalism. Do read the whole thing. It is a vision of the leftist mind at work.
NOTE: This post has been revised since first posted. Somehow when I posted it, it lost the first two paragraphs — I was still sleepy I guess.
Filed under: Capitalism, Crime, Economy, Employer Bonuses, Energy, Immigration, Media Bias, National Security, Progressivism, Regulation, Taxes, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: Lost Words Replaced, Obama is Poisonously Boring, The SOTU Speech
I did not watch the State of the Union speech last night. I’m not up for the hectoring, lecturing tone of Mr. Obama’s speeches. He long ago forgot the idea that he works for us — if he ever recognized it. I did, however, print out the prepared speech from the White House website under the assumption that it might offer a clue to what is coming for the coming year. I did, it does, and it’s not encouraging, but easily summed up as more of the same.
I wrote a fairly lengthy piece about it, and when I was nearly done — it vanished. Dunno what happened, it wasn’t in the trash, help from WordPress on how to recover lost posts didn’t help — just gone. Probably all for the best. Critical pieces abound, and mine will not be missed.
Mr. Obama is a Progressive, and lives, as I recently said, in an alternate reality. He finds America unsatisfactory and wants us to stop meddling in the world and turn the funds to making more people completely dependent on governmental largess, well, taxpayer largess, and take from the rich who are undeserving and give to those who are deserving. Social Justice and all that. American businesses and American people need more regulation, so they will behave better. The federal government, which is much better at regulating things, will tell businesses how to operate, raise the minimum wage, reduce obscene executive pay, give workers more time off and more say in their working conditions, and create more job training programs for those who can’t find a job.
Obama will empty Guantanamo, sending detainees back home with the insistence that they must behave better. He will continue releasing non-violent felons who are only drug dealers (dealers, not users) but arrested with illegal weapons, into free society, with the insistence that they must behave better. No one will be allowed to ask about a criminal record, so they will be able to get good jobs, become good citizens and vote Democrat in gratitude. The crime rate has been going down dramatically for a number of years, but Progressives do not understand the relationship between more crooks in prison, and a reduction in crime. Too complicated.
Obama will promote equal pay for equal work — which has been the law since 1963, but is ignored in the White House and in Hillary’s campaign.
Everybody needs a college education, so we will have to fork over for college tuition and room and board for everyone.
“We have the spirit of discovery in our DNA,” he said, because we built the space program, so now we need a new moonshot — America can cure Cancer. He is putting Joe Biden in charge of mission control. (not a joke)
America, which meddles too much, is the most powerful nation on earth. “No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin. Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office.” A little awkward when Iran just grabbed 10 of our sailors, two Navy small craft with all of their equipment, photographed them all in a humiliating kneeling position with hands over their heads in direct conflict with Article 13 of the Geneva Convention, and forced the female sailor to don a hijab. Humiliating for the administration. Great propaganda for the Mullahs, who will use the pictures to show how Iran humiliated the Great Satan.
Secretary of State Kerry groveled abjectly, apologized, did his doormat act, and the Iranians released the sailors — whether with their 2 ships and equipment, I don’t know.
Obama said “That’s why we built a global coalition, with sanctions and principled diplomacy, to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. As we speak, Ian has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war.” See how simple it all is?
This was dashed off a little more quickly than the previous lost and unrecoverable piece, so I may have missed some of the excitement. Sorry about that!
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Crime, Domestic Policy, Economy, Election 2016, Law, Media Bias, Police, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, The Constitution, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: Heather MacDonald, President Barack Obama, The Fox Butterfield Effect
You can understand just why President Obama is so angry with Republicans. They not only fail to appreciate all the great things he has done for the country, but insist on criticizing him for doing them. No wonder he is angry. Some even claim that he is trying to make America a socialist country. Socialism is defined as any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.
Liberals have realized that they don’t need to own the means of production and distribution of goods, they can just regulate it all, and so the president intends to advance “fundamental transformation” by decree. The Wall Street Journal summed it up under the headline “Happy New Regulatory Year:”
Unofficially, Mr. Obama’s Administration has once again broken its own record by issuing a staggering 82,036 pages of new and proposed rules and instructions in the Federal Register in 2015. We say unofficially because Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who tracks these regulations, warns that the final number will likely come down by a few hundred pages when the official National Archives tally is released, without the blank pages that sometimes appear in daily publication.
He told us early on that he wanted to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” which is probably the only thing he has come close to accomplishing — in an accomplishment-free administration. I shouldn’t say that. He is a champion at limiting economic freedom and the 94,446,000 working age Americans who have given up looking for work can attest to that.
Today he announced his executive orders on gun control, with a long list of mass shootings: Fort Hood, Binghamton, Aurora, Oak Creek, Newtown, the Navy Yard, Santa Barbara, Charleston, San Bernardino. Not any one of these mass shootings would have been prevented by any of President Obama’s executive orders. But then his climate control efforts, which resulted in an unenforceable agreement to limit CO2 emissions, would have no effect on the climate of the world at all — even over the next 100 years.
The gun control efforts would accomplish not much of anything at all, but are not a particularly big intrusion on gun rights either. So why? Obama is extremely dogmatic. Once he has an idea, it is set in stone, and he does not change his mind. It is of a piece with his orders on rules of engagement for military personnel which got so many of our troops killed, both at Fort Hood and in Afghanistan.
Obama also just commuted the sentences of 95 drug dealers convicted of non-violent possession with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, and some 20 of them for illegally possessing firearms. I’m inclined to believe that selling illegal drugs is a violent crime.
California, the home of the San Bernardino killing, has the most restrictive gun laws in the country. Chicago, also a city with very restrictive gun laws has a record number of gang shootings. Australia has seen a spike in gun crime in spite of an outright ban on guns. Paris has extremely strict gun laws, and has had two dreadful examples.
In the United States, we have had a 50 percent drop over the past two decades as a direct result of good policing, and of putting more of the bad guys in prison. The “Ferguson Effect,” blaming the police in spite of grand jury investigations, has meant a drop-off in policing. Recruitment for the police academies has declined, and more cops are quitting the service. They don’t need to risk their lives every day to protect the people, and be unfairly accused of racism, or of murder when defending themselves. They are more reluctant to patrol dangerous neighborhoods, and there is an uptick of 11% in homicides in 25 of our 30 largest cities. In spite of the uptick (which is significant) today’s murder rates are still at all-time historic lows.
It is the policing revolution of the 1990s that succeeded in calming urban violence. President Obama has rejected angrily any suggestion of a “Ferguson Effect.”
“He accused FBI director Comey of ‘cherry-picking data’ and ignoring ‘the facts’ on crime in pursuit of a ‘political agenda,’ noted Heather MacDonald. The idea that the president knows more about local crime and policing than the nation’s top law-enforcement official is absurd. Yet after DEA chief Rosenberg threw his weight behind the Ferguson effect, the White House lashed out again, petulantly claiming that he had no evidence.”
Do read Heather MacDonald’s article “In Denial About Crime” linked here, and above. She is truly an expert, and current trends are worrying.
The president has had conflicting ideas about how to help the black community. On the one hand he has emphasized children’s need for fathers, which is a great good. On the other hand he has unfortunately suggested that police officers are racist. With his commutation of sentences, largely of drug dealers, he has suggested that it is somehow unfair for so many black men to be in prison. What is unfair is for so many black men to be dealing drugs. Here is the list of the most recent list of 95 prisoners whose sentences he commuted. He commuted another 45 earlier in the year. Reportedly 6,000 prisoners are to be released in his final term.
Much of this is ideological prejudice expressed in the Fox Butterfield Fallacy of misidentifying as a paradox, that which is a simple cause-and-effect relationship. New York Times reporter Fox Butterfield remarked on the drop in crime, led by a drop in murder, and asked why is the number of inmates in prisons and jails still going up? The typical New York Times reporter disapproved of sending people to prison because they think it is racially discriminatory. It is a common belief on the Left.
Mr. Obama remains angry with Republicans, angry with Congress, and determined to get his way by ignoring the Constitution, and accomplishing what he can by executive orders, and de facto rules as “notices” or “guidance” that are ignored by businesses at their peril. The Supreme Court has encouraged this abuse by affirming that federal agencies have wide latitude to issue “interpretations” of federal laws and even to change those interpretations without going through the formal exercise of rule-making. Clearly, Congress needs to restrain their habit of passing rule-making on to federal agencies.
The federal government does not understand the effect on business of their busy-rule making nor of the effect on the American economy.
This year administration plans to issue new or final rules restricting legal arbitration, mandating overtime pay for millions of workers, punishing payday lenders, further regulating financial advisers, limiting methane emissions from oil and gas drilling and further reducing silica dust exposure in the workplace.
It will accomplish little, damage our damaged economy further, and impose more costs on every American. Some accomplishment!
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Energy, Environment, Freedom, Global Warming, Intelligence, Junk Science, Media Bias, Politics, Regulation, Science/Technology, The United States | Tags: Fundraising Drives, Lies and Hype and Myths, Scare Stories
More myths, old stories, rumors, hype and prevarications. Ever hear of the “Great Garbage Patch” in the middle of the ocean? Doesn’t exist. We are not “choking the ocean with plastic.” A post at Watts Up With That explains how many of our scary stories “come from the interaction of actual science with activist scientists and clickbait-seeking journalists. It is an example of how real problems become masked by myths, leaving us divided and unable to respond.”
I have written several times of how plastic bags became an endangered species in Democrat run cities. They believe in the great garbage patch, they believe that it must be caused by plastic grocery bags, and they want you to buy and use cloth bags, which are dangerous if not washed between uses, for meat drippings and drippings from moist vegetables can become a source of E-coli or other illnesses. The orgin of the story was very complicated, but the pursuit of a big tax on plastic bags is just cities trying to raise a little extra money.
Did you see the pictures of the great walrus haulout this last year? It was supposed to be a great environmental catastrophe, except when the wildlife biologists spoke up, apparently walruses like to do that every so often, and it’s not a big deal. They do it all the time.
The polar bears have gotten most of the hype. They are beautiful creatures living in a remote and frozen environment, their cubs are adorable, and they have become the fundraising image for a good many environmental fund drives. Surely you saw the bear costumes in Paris and at other big climate whingdings. At the urging of the Greens, the bears have been considered “threatened” which makes their funding more urgent. However, the bears are doing just fine. Their numbers are increasing, and have been doing so for years.
Environmental activists have learned that they can stop most any project with a claim of “endangered species” needing that particular patch of ground. The sage hen is the current threatened or endangered species, but you never know whether it is true or not. The threat is easy, the proof that the “endangered” category is unnecessary is harder to get. On the other hand, the wind farms are killing raptors at a tremendous rate, and songbirds as well, and although bird lovers are outraged, “natural” wind energy trumps wildlife, because the Greens have a bigger investment in wind.
Carbon Dioxide, CO2, is not a pollutant. It is what we exhale every time we breathe, and your little dog too. The trees absorb the CO2 in a process called photosynthesis, which we all learned in high school biology, except President Obama was busy with his “Choom gang” at the time and missed the whole discussion. CO2 is a natural fertilizer for plants and helps to feed a hungry world. More CO2 in the atmosphere would be a good thing. Greenhouses have way more CO2 in their atmosphere and we haven’t had any noticable deaths of nurserymen yet.
And don’t get me started on the Keystone Pipeline.