American Elephants

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.

Regulators Gone Wild, Destroying Small-Business Profits! by The Elephant's Child
August 14, 2011, 7:13 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Law, Statism | Tags: , ,

People in business, in the private economy, complain about the effect of excess regulation and how it is damaging their businesses.  Here is a wonderful illustration of a nanny state regulation designed to solve a problem that isn’t really a problem.

With all the chatter about obesity in America, the nannies, naturally, want to do something about it, but what?  Force everyone to exercise? Make some products like Big Macs (always mentioned as a leading cause) illegal?  They settled on Section 4205 of the national health care law (PPACA)— “Nutritional Labeling of Standard Menu Items at Chain Restaurants.” As Nancy Pelosi said, “we have to pass the law to find our what’s in it.”

So it takes time just to read the law and grasp just what it requires.  This is another  telling  example of the sweeping regulations imposed without understanding  just what they will mean in the marketplace. They never think things through, never understand unintended consequences, nor look at evidence in the real world.  They just fall for an idea.

The law specifies that the number of calories in a food product must be printed directly next to the item on the menu. Many fast food chain restaurants have their menus on large, already crowded signs, rather than ordinary paper menus.

There are more than 34 million ways to order a Domino’s pizza. Because of President Obama’s health care law, the chain’s franchisees may have to spend more than $5 million trying to squeeze calorie data next to every one of their menu items. Their website already provides nutritional information for people who order online or by phone. The stores have pamphlets for customers who request that information.

I believe I have seen studies that show that people don’t pay any attention to nutritional information in that venue at all.  Even if Domino’s complied with all the new rules, the only way they could fit calorie information on the menu signs is to provide broad ranges.  A large “Feast” pizza cold range from 1,840 calories to 3,740 calories depending on choices of 4 different crust types and 6 different varieties. A slice of a large deep dish pizza contains 420 calories and there are eight slices in a pie. Did they think the customer would stand there subtracting olives, subtracting cheese, working their pocket calculator?  Good grief, it’s pizza!  People know they’re splurging.

If a franchisee wanted to introduce a new item, he’s have to replace all the signs in all of his stores. That’s a big chunk out of the profits, and a lot fewer employees.

So there you are — the excitement of being able to tell other people what to do. There’s a cost to thinking that you’re smarter than everyone else.

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