American Elephants

Compassion is the Moral Sea in Which We Swim by The Elephant's Child

In one of her appearances on her international whine tour, Hillary suggested that the reason (among the multitudes) that she lost the election was that she was a Capitalist, while most of the Democrats were Socialists, which I found highly amusing. It’s nice to have a Democrat admitting that most Democrats are Socialists because you now have a witness, Hillary, defining them so. But what kind of a capitalist would hang out with a bunch of socialists? Another bit of evidence that Democrats just don’t understand economics at all.

Democrats operate on feelings. Compassion. William Voegeli, in his marvelous book The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion remarks on how “as politicians have made the Democratic Party increasingly liberal, liberals have turned it into the pity party, committed to doing good socially and thereby doing well politically. People have interests, of course, and a political party that promises that the government will give things to them and do things for them will never lack for a constituency. But people also have pride: they desire approval, including self-approval… The term “compassion”—or “empathy,”or even “kindness”—is routinely used not just to name a moral virtue, but to designate the pinnacle or even the entirety of moral excellence. Precisely because this moral conviction is ambivalent, with so many Americans taking for granted that moral growth requires little else than feeling acting, and being more compassionate, it’s an important  yet difficult subject to analyze. Compassion is the moral sea we swim in, which works against our awareness of it, much less efforts to chart its depth and currents.”

This explains how Democrats are always willing to help someone out with welfare payments, but unwilling to help them get off of welfare or to become independent. As long as they remain dependent, Democrats can continue to feel compassionate, and get their votes as well. Republicans want to get people off of welfare and self-supporting so they can stand on their own two feet, and take part in the economy like everyone else.

Economic growth has always had its detractors. “Among those who view it as fundamentally good, most conservatives are inclined to treat growth as a necessary and virtually sufficient condition for improving human life, while the disposition to regard it a necessary but far from sufficient condition increases with one’s political liberalism. Here Voegeli turns to Economist Dierdre McCloskey who calculates that in “the countries that most enthusiastically embraced capitalism some two hundred years ago, real, per capita economic growth has increased by 1.5 percent annually. Owing to the miracle of compound interest this increase has meant a 19-fold increase in living standards over the past two centuries, which , she contends, is a “change in the human condition” that “ranks with the first domestications of plants and animals and the building of the first towns.” McCloskey argues that this enormous economic result had a cause that was cultural rather than economic. Humans did not suddenly become more acquisitive or creative. Rather, “when people treat the marketeers and inventors as having some dignity and liberty, innovation takes hold.” The new respectability of bourgeois life, the belief that the creativity of capitalism’s creative destruction more than offset its destruction, was the decisive attitudinal change that rendered human life in the past two centuries decisively different from what it had been throughout  the preceding millennia.”

“An economically dynamic society is likely to be a good place to be poor not only because there will be many opportunities, but because the habits of thought and action conducive to creating those opportunities are also directly beneficial to the aspiring.”

Great Good News, So Of Course the Left Is Out Protesting by The Elephant's Child

The Obama administration wanted business to boom, or at least improve, so instead of getting out of the way and making it easier for businesses to do what they knew how to do, they loaded on the regulations—do it this way.  In the interest of the health of older folks, the feds decided that a doctor’s appointment with a Medicare patient should last for 7 minutes. In concern for the health of obese Americans they decided that Pizza Parlors should not only list all the ingredients in a pizza, but the calories added by each ingredient, on that big sign behind the cash register. The federal government thought they could do a better job of training people for jobs. And they did not understand why business did not improve.

People (including congressmen) read in the business press about the seemingly astronomic salaries paid to corporate CEOs, and are incensed. In most cases, the corporate board pays the CEO in relation to how successfully he helps the business to make a profit. Lengthy terms in office are not all that common. Democrats are astonished to learn that the Federal Government runs a deficit.

It’s very hard to get people to understand that corporations don’t really pay taxes. If doing business costs more, they make the box size a little smaller, let some workers go, reduce the quality of a lesser component—and as a last resort, raise the price of the product. But there are limits to how far they can go. If a business does not make a profit, it no longer has a reason to exist and goes out of business. It would be really helpful if the Left would learn something about economics, but buying your favorite Leftist an economics book won’t work. As the old saying goes “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

Democrats are interested in control, not economics. You need a lot of taxes to support controlling everything.

P.S. If you took in taxes every bit of the income (all of it) of the people who earn $100,000. a year or more, it still would not be enough to run the country.

Will 2016 Be An Improvement, Or Just More of the Same? by The Elephant's Child

And a very happy New Year to you all! And goodbye and good riddance to 2015, a remarkably rotten year. Surely we can do better. Here’s some of what is is the news around the web:

— From Forbes: A peer-reviewed survey finds that the Majority of Scientists dispute the claimed global warming crisis, but may really be the majority. Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis. A strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that the recent warming is natural and/or that future warming will not be a serious problem.

—From Investors Business Daily: The latest revised numbers for GDP growth tell us we’re still stuck in a 2% growth rate, middle class wages ISSshrt_150104.png.cmsare flat, and median income is exactly where it was at the end of 2007. Some recovery! That’s eight years of essentially zero economic improvement — the worst economic recovery ever. The Reagan expansion gave us a growth rate of 34% over the first 25 quarters. The people of working age who have given up looking for work is stuck at 94,446,000.

— Possibly that has something to do with the fact the Obama has flooded the U.S. job market with foreign competition. Now he is attempting to admit another 100,000 foreigners to work here when labor market participation is low. It is not in the interest of American workers. This time he plans to award work permits by executive order to 100,000 foreign college grads (including deportable aliens) to compete with American workers for jobs. Foreign workers are able to work cheaper, and most carry no student loan debt. Tech companies welcome cheaper workers, and Obama wants to dilute American culture.

—The District of Columbia has ended 2015 with a 54% spike in homicides. Crime levels are still down from the 1990s, but 162 homicides is a big jump. A good deal of the credit goes to the Black Lives Matter campaign, which blames the police for any death in an encounter with the police. Policemen risk their lives every day, trying to keep Americans safe, and they don’t need that. More officers are quitting, and new applications are way down.

—The numbers of children who live in traditional, “nuclear” families have declined from 50% in the years of the Baby Boom, to just 14% in today’s world. In 1960, 9 percent of children lived with single parents. Today it is 26%. For black kids under age 18, only a shocking 4% live in traditional “nuclear” families.  Asian children are most likely to live with a stay-at-home mom and a working dad at 24%, another 47% live with their parents, but not with the mom at home. 18% of Hispanic kids live in a traditional household and 15% of white kids. The majority (54%) of black children live with single parents. If you believe that traditional families are the best resource for raising the next generation — this is a disaster.

— Americans are beginning to understand a little about the burden of regulation. To a progressive, their superior education and singular brilliance literally declare that it is important for them to decide just how American should live their lives. It has often been said that inside the liberal mind there is a small tyrant demanding to be let out. America is no longer, as civics book describe us, a representative democracy, but it is becoming a regulatory dictatorship.

In his seven years in office, Obama signed 895 bills into law. Over the same period, federal regulators issued 24,478 rules. The regulatory state has grown so fat that the government doesn’t even know how many regulatory agencies there are.ObamaCare law says that if you hire a 50th worker, you have to apply ObamaCare regulations and mandates to every one of your workers. Guess how many employers are capping their staff at 45 to 49 workers. If you hire someone for more than 30 hours a week, that is considered a full-time employee. You have to provide benefits. This does have something to do with the 94,446,000 people of working age who are no longer looking for work.

Obama is expected to order a new wave of regulations in 2016, Among other things the federal government will decide how much company executives can be paid. The Left is opposed to any economic effort that they do not control. You are surely aware of the extent to which they hate corporations. Companies will be required to compare the paychecks of their top executives with company performance. Unfortunately, federal bureaucrats are completely unfamiliar with the workings of the free market, from which all national wealth derives. Restraining federal pay for federal executives is, however, not on the program. Federal pay has long since passed pay scales in the private sector significantly. The head of the VA has admitted that he can’t reform the agency, the culture of corruption is too deep. The power of making laws belongs to Congress alone. It’s easier to just turn the details over to federal agencies, but Congress needs to take the power back, promptly.

Putting the Cart Before the Horse. by The Elephant's Child
November 30, 2010, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Conservatism, Economy, Freedom | Tags: , ,

Consumer demand is a consequence, not a cause, of economic growth.

Why We Like Rudy! by The Elephant's Child

Rudy Giuliani

American Elephants likes Rudy Giuliani! Let us count the ways:

First, remember that Rudy was the mayor of a city larger than the entire state of Massachusetts. When he inherited NYC, the Big Apple had an astronomical crime-rate, declining school performance, oppressive taxation,  a suffering economy and a bloated government packed with hostile political adversaries.

Rudy developed a philosophy of government completely at odds with New York’s political culture.

…the former prosecutor had fashioned a philosophy of local government based on two core conservative principles vastly at odds with New York’s political culture: that government should be accountable for delivering basic services well, and that ordinary citizens should be personally responsible for their actions and their destiny and not expect government to take care of them. Giuliani preached the need to reestablish a “civil society,” where citizens adhered to a “social contract.” “If you have a right,” he observed, “there is a duty that goes along with that right.”

He followed through on his conservative principles, no matter how much he upset the elites, no matter how many threats were made against him. Total crime dropped by more than 64 percent and the murder rate dropped by 67 percent. Giuliani proposed cutting the city’s huge budget deficit entirely through spending cuts and savings and even a modest tax cut. As crime dropped, tourism soared. The city gained around 430,000 new jobs, personal income soared and the unemployment rate was cut in half.

He revived the largest city in America when everyone else said it was impossible. And he did it all in the face of bitter opposition. It’s an inspiring story.

Rudy has the only Healthcare plan of any candidate that will actually make healthcare more available and more affordable. It rejects public entitlements and tax hikes and embraces private property and tax incentives to extend health coverage overall — private coverage that people would own, control, and transport throughout their careers like they do with home or life insurance.

His blueprint for homeland security, The Resilient Society, shows that Rudy really understands the problems and issues facing national security. Its a long piece, but worth reading in full.

Rudy has proposed not only the largest tax cut in modern American history, but also a dramatic simplification of the tax code. He would give every tax-payer the option of using a one-page “Fair and Simple Tax Form.” There would be only three rates 10%, 15% and 30%. Deductions for mortgage payments, state and local taxes and child tax-credits would be preserved. Taxpayers who prefer existing forms would be free to do so. It is the best and most pro-growth proposal of any of the candidates.

But, “isn’t Rudy pro-abortion?” you ask. He has said that he, as a man, doesn’t think he has the right to tell a woman that she can’t have an abortion. But he is opposed to partial-birth abortion and is in favor of parental notification. He has pledged to appoint strict constructionist judges, and since he has chosen Ted Olson as one of his advisers, this seems very likely. And it is strict constructionist judges that are precisely what is needed to overturn Roe. Rudy Giuliani is the only candidate we are convinced will appoint true conservatives to the bench.



American Elephant Adds: I would also point out that Rudy has been extremely disturbed how activist liberal judges are endangering the country with their unconstitutional meddling in the war. Unlike John McCain who has talked about “consensus nominees” for far too long to be beleived, and who is unlikely to appoint anyone who would endanger McCain/Feingold, and unlike Mitt who says all the right things, but strikes us as a man who will compromise once he is in office, Rudy Giuliani is the only candidate who will insist on conservative justices, and he will fight Democrats and the press to do it.

Also, there are some who complain about Rudy’s divorces. I would remind them that Ronald Reagan was also a divorcee, and he turned out pretty darn good in my book!

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