Please see my and others comments here http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/08/rand-paul-is-dead-wrong-milton-friedman-would-have-supported-the-feds-bond-buying/comment-page-1/#comment-304270
There are some very frightening aspects to the horrific decline of the Cypriot economy and reputation. I visited the Island almost 15 years ago and even played Rugby against the RAF team based there. It was truly an idyllic, blessed, historic and welcoming place. It had the Cypriot Pound, which were worth about $3 US but a Pint of excellent beer was C£0.50 and a 3 course meal C£.5.00 including wine. And I am talking a sit down silver served feast not Burger King. So what the heck happened to the fantastic place I remember?
So to put this in context some latest news. This week the EU demanded as part of an Euro10Bn bailout, yep another one, the Cypriot government set a levy of between 9-10% of bank deposits. For those who don't understand that's the government taking/seizing 10% of all the money you have in savings, your checking account and bonds etc. Taking! This is not Tax BTW, people will have already paid tax at source on their earnings. It's also not capital gains which takes a % of the money you make on, but not the capital it is derived from. OUTRAGEOUS I hear you say...I say its a warning as many of the Cypriot governments failings are seen in Obama's reckless "Bet to Win" financial strategy.
Over the last decade Cyprus spent huge amounts of money on infrastructure, public sector employment, Greek like state pensions and retirement benefits based on the assumption membership of the EU would produce unsustainable and unrealistic growth in its GDP. The EU was quite happy, as complacent as ever, and smiled benignly on the prolific mismanagement. Why? Because it's essentially a left wing statist organization. Big government is their dream model. Big government and Keynesian theory works until it all grinds to a halt as tax revenues and GDP fail to reach targets, banks stop lending and other countries stop taking your checks. Cyprus essentially utilized Obama's spend our way out of recession theory and bet/borrowed money on future growth.
If you want to see the disaster we risk read about Cyprus, about families losing everything. The poor, the supposed who's cause the Democrats defend inevitably, are the ones who have nothing. When the government goes bankrupt welfare stops. The slaves stop getting checks. Then Obama declares a totalitarian state and seizes all funds to save the country.....to save the poor!
10 DAYS TO FISCAL CLIFF-No deal is better than a bad deal. Here is what a good deal looks like with a straight line trajectory to 2020>Reduce Federal spending from current 24% of GDP down to 18% of GDP by 2020 which is more the norm in the US outside of a world war. This means the Federal budget must decline by roughly 25% (6%/24%) which equates to .25 x $3.9 trillion current budget=$975 billion over 8 years. This means the spending must be reduced by $975 billion/8 years = $122 billion additional each year to 2020. To reach a balanced budget, that means $1.2 trillion deficit -$975 billion spending cuts = $225 billion of new taxes over 8 years or a phase in of $28 billion of additional taxes each year.
For those of you who excelled in math the above will all fit together. The one thing that also needs to be part of the deal is a Balanced Budget Amendment so the Nation can get off its spending binge since there is no single person (ie Federal CEO) managing the budget unlike every major corporation in the world. It's just been a free for all in DC the last 4 years. RZ UVA Econ (3.9 GPA) '76 High Honors
From the Desk of the Exceptional Conservative
It is good to know that Mayor for Life Marion Barry, Council Member for Ward 8, has a plan. Some may believe it is a plan to overcome the dramatic population loss in Ward 8. When Mr. Barry was Mayor in 1980, Ward 8 had a population of 93,358. As Ward 8 Council Member, Barry oversees a population of 70,712. Maybe it is a plan to restore Ward 8 families from poverty to prosperity. Mr. Barry as Mayor in 1980 witnessed 27% of Ward 8 families in poverty. Today, as Ward Council Member, over 35% are in poverty. Whether as Mayor or Council Member, the Father of the District's Socialist Democrats (His ardent support of the civil rights movement earned him the nickname "Shep", in reference to Soviet propagandist Dmitri Shepilov.) has never witnessed single District unemployment in Ward 8 amongst adults or teens. In fact, the number of female headed households with children has risen from 67% in 1980 to 74% today. Yes, three quarters of all children raised in this East of River Utopia have no FATHER in the home. Ken, you are being to hard on the man. Socialism and government dependency works, Ken. It just takes time. While Obama is known as the food stamp President, his success is merely a powder mirror image of the infamous man who gave every DC voter a summer job. As his Mayor-ship ended, Ward 8 residents that obtained food stamps numbered 24,389. Today, the number has risen to 35,423. Yes, my Occupy DC Marxists, more than half of the adult population in Ward 8 depends upon the District and Federal government for their food! Well, Ken, maybe the rich have gotten richer in Ward 8 and that's why the poor have gone without. For the POOR, we need to tax the RICH Ward 8 residents more to pay for their education, their healthcare, their food, their shelter and their general welfare. The RICH have gotten richer? In 1979, the average family income (in 2010 $) was $46,902. Today, that number has FALLEN to $44,076. In the neighboring East of the River Ward 7 communities, the numbers are starkly equal or worse. Legislative Utopian Yvette Alexander oversees a Ward 7 population has fallen from 92,841 in 1980 to present 71,068. The poverty rate has risen from 22% in 1980 to 26% in 2010. The unemployment rate has risen from 8.6% in 1980 to 19%, today. Of Ward 7 families, 40% live in poverty, one-third (1/3) receive food stamps and average income has fallen from 1980's $58,619 to present $54,677. Let's just make it plain, DC's Marxist, Socialist Economic Policies have not improved the financial lives of the citizens of either Ward 7 or Ward 8.
You have patiently waited. So what is Mayor for Life Barry's Plan?
Marion Barry, towering figure of D.C. politics, has discussed bringing his four decades in public life to an end by kindling a family dynasty.
Barry, 75, has long been reluctant to acknowledge a District without himself in power. But in recent conversations with political associates, the former four-term mayor has openly considered his
political legacy, pondering whether the Barry brand — tarnished in many
corners of the city, but sterling in his home ward — might span another
In those conversations, Barry (D) has outlined plans to run for a third consecutive term as D.C. Council member for Ward 8 but serve only part of that time, backing his only son, Christopher Barry, to fill his seat.
It is the depressing KGB response to economic deprivation and social disdain that Ward 7 and Ward 8 residents have become accustomed. There's no redress for the vile 40 years of absolute rule by Socialist Democrats in the Nation's Capital. Milton Friedman once asked, "Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?" Liberals that have never run from sourcing a noble cause with taxpayer's dollars and the cry for higher taxes see no insult in deigning a citizen's political seat an ornament of nobility for a family lineage. Damn the poverty, full speed ahead! It makes a hardened Democrat, like Ron Moten, find religion and run as a "Civil Rights" Republican. What's a people to do when a government demands, without hearty protest, that it be served rather than serve? What does an Urban American do when his governors adhere to the "laws of men" rather than the "rule of law"? Thomas Jefferson and Our Founding Father's gave instruction on the most just cause:
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
Or maybe The Joker said it best, "This town needs an enema!"
Kirk Russell wrote that "a conservative is not, by definition, a selfish or stupid person; instead, he is a person who believes there is something in our life worth saving." The District of Columbia needs to be saved. If not the District of Columbia, those that least afford to live under the Despotism of the DC City Council--East of the River Citizens. There is a time and a need for a declaration amongst men to be proclaimed in all of the Earth: "Set the citizens and residents free of the economic malfeasance of the Democrat controlled White House, US Congress, Mayor's Office and DC City Council. Allow the East of the River families to live under the august proviso that all men are created equal with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Yes, allow those that have been beaten into the submission to poverty to pursue the course of prosperity rather than to the Road to Misery. Socialism and Marxism have not worked and will not work for those that need prosperity the most--the POOR. The benevolent actions of a few with good intentions have led to generations of impoverished and undereducated persons seeking the rewards of equal outcomes and reaping the harvest of entitlement and dependency. Allow the East of the River communities to pursue equal opportunity over the next 4 years with the same vigor that Socialist Democrats pursued poverty over the last 40 years. Let the next 4 years be years of creation rather than destruction. Let us not see another generation die off in the hopes that racism and the protections of our differences will save us. in order that one city may know unity and prosperity, let this be the season that we place our trust once more in the innovation of man rather than the rut of government.
I propose the Four Pillars of Prosperity that will lead to economic renewal and jettison many families out of the maze of poverty and into the open fields of success. The Pillars are: (1) Create the Walter E. Washington Stakeholders Leadership Team; (2) Create the East of the River Power Zones; (3) Create a Free Market School Reform; and (4) Create a Free Market Health Care Reform. Friedman opined, "Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another." There are many that will read this and ask, "Then, what will happen to the government if you are successful with your Four Pillars?" My answer is simple. The DC Government will shrink from lack of need, will improve in the humility of servant leadership and will prosper in serving those isolated by greatest unmet need and surrendering those with desires unmet by dependency and bureaucracy. Friedman said it this way, "So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system." Not all men want to be free. However, all free men eventually serve with greater efficiency, more resources and unlimited ability those in bondage to their oppressors. The East of the River Communities and all other Urban Communities would greatly improve and present the greatest evidences of the land of liberty and home of the brave if their governments would merely free the people to do what is ingrained in them since conception: PROSPER!
Create the Walter E. Washington Stakeholders Leadership Team. It would be comprised of free market advocacy groups, entrepreneurs, community groups, churches and private sector organizations. The first person that recommends "government" as a solution to any community cause is expunged. The purpose of this group is to identify barriers to economic development, present free market legislative proposals and promote economic activity in East of the River Communities. Can you imagine a Pastor preaching to you on Sunday about how you came through for your community rather than how government came through for the community?! The Stakeholders will develop plans and initiatives that will incentive state authorities and agencies and fellow stakeholders that lessen government dependency and reduce barriers to economic growth. The organization will monitor poverty levels, unemployment levels, educational attainment and all other economic measures and take personal responsibility for success and failure. The Stakeholders will report all successes and failures and compare outcomes with remaining 2/3rds of the city (Transparency? Who thought of That in DC Gov?) via a "Power Zone" website.
With the approval of the US Congress and the White House, the DC Government will create a new "Goshen". Not Biblically based on the ideals of dependency to a benevolent tyrant. This Goshen will be built on the principles of the free market and capitalism. This Goshen would be composed of the East of the River Communities of Wards 7 and 8. The purposes of the "Power Zones" are to maximize economic activities and opportunities through the implementation of conservative free market initiatives that reduce the role of government and increase the earning power of the individual. This area of the City would be liberated from the irresponsible mandates of the federal and state governments for example, the Bag Tax. The goal of the Zone is to reduce the tax rates and expand the tax base. The District charges a tax rate of 4% for incomes less than $9,999, 6% for incomes between $10,000 and $39,999 and 9% for incomes above $40,000. A Minimum Wage worker earning $15,000/year pays $900.00. A worker earning the median salary of $45,000 pays $4,050.00. An upper class worker earning $100,000/year pays $9,000.00. Under the Power Zone, there would be only two (2) tax rates: 4% for incomes less than $9,999 and 5% for incomes that are $10,000 or more. A Minimum Wage worker earning $15,000/year saves $150.00. A worker earning the median salary of $45,000 saves $1,800.00. An upper class worker earning $100,000/year saves $4,000.00. In an age where East of River residents have become accustomed to losing income, the Power Zone increases income and buying power. The Flat Tax Rate for all Long Term Capital Gains and all Food and Prescription Drugs purchased from East of the River Businesses would fall to 0%. All East of the River Businesses will pay a 5% tax rate rather than the City's 9.98% rate. The Vendor Discount would be Raised to 5% on the First $2,500 of Sales Per Month. This will make this Power Zone the most attractive in the US for businesses. Energy Star Products will have their own Tax Holiday in the Power Zone. Each May, Appliance Purchases up to $2,000 in East of the River Businesses would be Tax Free. This will drive individuals to become entrepreneurs and businesses to establish themselves within the borders of the Zone.
School Reform will be one of the central conservative cores of Revitalization of the Power Zone. It will allow Parents of the “Power Zones” to use $10,000 to fund the choice of private education for their children. The Vouchers will hold harmless private institutions from the legal attachments of the city in providing education services to students. The students are not the property of the DC Government and should be encouraged to perform with excellence in the sphere of influence that will best promote their success. The Voucher program will maintain the integrity of the schools that will educate the children and give parents in distressed learning communities the opportunity to educate their children in better performing schools. The DC Public Schools per pupil rate is $16,408 per annum. The Power Zone Voucher will allow the DC Government to save $6,408 per pupil. If 150 East of the River High School students obtained vouchers, the city would save nearly $1 million ($961,200) and reduce classroom crowding. The School Reform would allow District Individuals and Corporations a dollar for dollar donation deduction of up to $10,000 for direct contributions to “Power Zone” DC Public Schools. This initiative would be known as the “Power Donors” Program. Allowing the free market to pierce the four borders of public education allows public schools with union entrenchment to compete against "sleeker" learning institutions that prepare the child for success in and out of classroom, that compels the parent to actively particpate in the future and encourages teachers to remain traditional in the values taught and modern in its delivery.
Finally, Health Care Reform must be at the center of all reform. The choice is simple: Individual or Government. In an age where centralized management is preferred over the patient's natural inclination to choose what is best for him or her, the greatest cost savings in this entire free-market social experiment would be found in this activity. The cost is liberty and freedom. Once gone, there is no hope of repurchase. Repeal the Certificate of Needs (CONS) Requirement for East of the River Communities. Since new hospitals cannot be constructed without proving a "need," the certificate-of-need system grants monopoly privileges to already existing hospitals. Consequently, Alaska House of Representatives member Bob Lynn has argued that the true motivation behind certificate-of-need legislation is that "large hospitals are... trying to make money by eliminating competition" under the pretext of using monopoly profits to provide better patient care. In a large minority population with a large contingency of poor, the certificate of need is detrimental. It prevents needed medical providers from liberally selecting a marketplace. This legislative barrier prevents such medical providers from meeting the needs of the most distressed. Removing this burden will allow providers to build new surgical and urgent care facilities in the Wards, seed more providers and serve more citizens at a cost savings to the City. Secondly, Eliminate all licensing requirements for medical schools, hospitals, pharmacies, and medical doctors and other health care personnel within the “Power Zone”. Members from voluntary organizations as the American Public Health Association, the American Cancer Society, the National Foundation, the American National Red Cross, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and others will comprise an independent Board that will assure the Public of the viability of every medical provider in the “Power Zone”. I assure you that Medical Physicians and other Scientific Entities would come from miles around to build offices and centers in the Zone. Construction creates jobs (especially if you elect a Congress that will repeal the Bacon-Davis Act and the City Council repeals the Living Wage and Minimum Wage Laws). I say to Washington and the World, after 40 years in the desert and desolation, What could possibly be Lost? Creation and Empowerment are the Last Hopes of Urban America. It is time for Urban America to declare its Independence from the Noblemen of the Left.
How the Democratic party is intentionally destroying this country economically and why:
The Marxist Socialist Progressives in this country are now, like cockroaches, infesting every home in this country through their infiltration and take over of the Democratic Party, the educational system, the unions as well as the media. They now constitute the single greatest threat to this Republic’s future since December 07, 1941.
They have for the past 170 years. Starting in Europe and slowly migrating west they have crept behind the walls of society. They have had many “intellectual” spokespersons in the form of : Karl Marx / Friedrich Engels / E.T. Kingsley / George Bernard Shaw that use economics as the primary weapon of destroying free market economies and countries from within. Karl Marx’s Das Kapital is the classic work that formed the basis of all of John Maynard Keynes future findings in Keynesian economics.
The leaders of Socialist Marxist movements have created and used this economic unrest to create political unrest and social disorder, leading to chaos, in turn turning the working classes against the producer classes and have successfully over-thrown governments and monarchies. From the 1790’s France to 1970’s Cambodia to today in Venezuela and the Congo and Sudan these countries and many more where democratically elected governments or monarchial society’s or any local form of government has been supplanted with far worse using a “better life” as their rallying cry. They have all led to dictatorships that have been genocidal nightmares with hundreds of millions of the people they used to take power murdered or imprisoned. From Robespierre to Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, Moa, Pol Pot, Guevara, all of them recognized how the use of current downturns in economic conditions to insight and implement political gain through mobilization of the masses.
Every single instance above started where we are now beginning, this is intentionally being done to ferment and fester this countries population. The Marxist Socialist Democrat’s are creating the demise of this country to empower their party and subjugate the population to a singular rule of law. It is blatantly obvious that for more than 100 years since Teddy Roosevelt lost to Woodrow Wilson and his progresssive Bull Moose party that split the Republican party, the Democrats have held the majority of power. The following tables reflect the party percentage from 1867-2001. They are used with permission from their author: Prof. David L. Roper from Party Control of U.S. Government by L. David Roper (email@example.com)
The graphs below shows the Democrat Control Index and the Democrat Control Variable for the years 1867-2000.
As you can see that in the 144 years including the last 10 years not shown on this graph the Democrats have been in control 110 of those years. But it has not been this Marxist Socialist one rule party until LBJ and his Great Society. This was their first step in strengthening their political base with outright government funded taxpayer paid bribes. They insured the black vote this way and by rewriting history they have manipulated the facts that the Democrat Party was the party of the minorities which is factually an outright lie. Lincoln and most abolitionists left the Whig party and formed the new Republican party.
The current makeup of the Democrat party shifted from the original roots of Thomas Jefferson into the current Socialist Progressive composition today. The fight was over economic ideas and fiscal policies of Alexander Hamilton used to create what is now the Federal Reserve banking system one of the chief architects of our current and previous fiscal demise. The original party was against it. They are now by policy and action the chief supporters of it and the uncontrolled government expansion into every facet of our lives. All you have to do is pay attention to the legislation they have passed and the regulatory choke hold they have on us.
They have controlled our government 76.4% of the time and during that period the government has expanded by adding just since 1964 1500+ agencies. YES as of today there are 1909 government agencies compared to approx. 400 before the Socialist Marxist infiltration of our government by the Democrats. ( I looked for the exact amount but it is beyond my reach requiring federal approval to download the archived documents which they will never release to me). To what purpose would such massive government oversight serve? What Else!
They are responsible for the last 46 years of this countries fall, delivering us into the hands of this Marxist Socialist dictatorship we are now ruled by. When 2/3’s of our elected officials ignore the will of the people, it is no longer a representative form of government but an Autocracy a form of tyranny.
And now we stand on the precipice of history and we show that the majority of Americans are pushing back against their plans, they are going to fight or destroy this country before they give it up. They are clawing for their very existence with only one thing in mind: Take control of this country at all costs! Why else would they refuse to pass a budget in 818 days, insist on taxes in the middle of a recession and yes we have not left it never did. The lies about our economy from the government now showing GDP numbers of .04 and 1.5% will once there is real accountability restored be shown as what they really are : NEGATIVE!
And that is part of why they are going to take this far past every previous attempt to socialize this country, they have lied and invested in those lies their entire future as a party and its entire support mechanisms such as the unions and the main sewer media et.al. The NWO, the Bilderberger Society, the George Soros’ etc. have never before infiltrated this deep into our government through their political manipulations.
They will not give it up easy or without a fight and destroying our free market economic system is the first step, by creating inflation through devaluing our currency. It goes all the way back to removing us from the gold standard in the early 1970’s when our $$$ were backed by the value of gold, if that were in place today the value of our money would correlate to its percentage weight of gold's current value above $1600. think of the purchasing power and the removal of inflationary dollar devaluing. Just the last 2 quantative easing’s by the Fed. have cost us over 20% of our dollars value causing fuel and food costs to skyrocket, with fuel up 135% since Obama took office alone and since the Democrats ran everything from 2007 till 2011 real inflation (not the BS they feed us) is 55% when you count food, fuel, and the other necessities they conveniently leave out of the equation. If you factor in the gold valuing, our dollar has lost potential purchasing power growth of over 1300% as a direct result of the Democrat party and its legislation.
For what gain you may ask , when it is 1960’s Soviet Union where everyone waits in lines miles long for the necessities and only the Socialist Ruling Class Elites have access to the luxuries in life you will be too concerned with survival then revolution. It took the live of millions of Russian Patriots to win back just a little freedom and gain a small step towards autonomy. They are now where this government and their real masters intend for us to be before it is all over. And their hand is being played right in front of you and you suffer more every day.
They sell our children, grandchildren and their legacy into fiscal bondage they cannot repay so when default comes and it will if they are not stopped now, they finish the job. Their latest attacks on the Tea Parties and their representation is proof positive that they will not tolerate the truth in any form and dissent will be vilified: Imprisonment soon to follow?
It is time to rise up in Freedom before it is too late: Impeach them all NOW!
Dr. Keith C. Westbrook Ph.D.
And what is the economic foundation for understanding that destruction brings no blessings? All economic good beyond mere survival is based upon surplus (a.k.a. “profit”) and the main effect of destruction (beyond death, dismemberment, severe injury and full-blown inconvenience) is always destruction of surplus. Even if no one gets hurt and insurance covers everything 100% we’re talking about destruction of the insurance companies’ surplus and in some cases destruction of the insurance companies themselves and all the jobs that they provided. And then again there’s always all those irreplaceable items like photos and keepsakes that are destroyed or lost as well . . . so talk about your “fundamental transformations,” Obama the grand critic of capitalism is criticizing all economic good.
The President quipped last week that part of the reason why his stimulus plan didn’t work was “the shovel ready jobs weren’t as shovel ready as we thought.” Since Obama has no business experience and hasn’t ever created a free market job, he’s totally befuddled why none of his economic plans are working. Even the President knows we are slipping into a double dip recession. He’s doing his best to still blame George Bush but even Debbie Wasserman Schultz admitted that the Democrats now own the economy.
The root causes of the economy continuing to swoon are the Progressive and Keynesian policies that Obama has implemented in the last two and a half years. Poor Barack. He doesn’t even realize that he sabotaged his own re-election. He took all the liberal economic classes in college, and he listened to all of his leftist professors and mentors. He believes the ruling class in the government should be able to dictate a recovery through amping up government spending and implementing regulations that will force business and consumer behavior into triggering an economic recovery. Obama believes if the peasants would just do what the ruling class says to do, we’ll be just fine.
Sorry Baaaarack. We’re not sheep. That’s why Liberal government policies and Keynesian economics don’t work. Progressive expect the working class to follow orders from the bureaucrats and to behave the way the Liberal rules and regulations dictate. In fact, the Progressive policies are dependent upon people not adapting their behavior to work around the rules to pursue their own self-interest in spite of the new government dictates and regulations. If the working class isn’t willing to be dependent upon the government, Liberalism fails. Continue...
You can tell that someone feels threatened by you when they publicly degrade and poke fun at you. Given that standard, the Tea Party has been under the skin of Democrats from the day that it sprung to life a little more than 2 years ago. As recent as the current budget battle, Harry Reid blames the Tea Party for not allowing Republicans to compromise on the Federal budget and perpetuate the excessive government spending. Thanks Harry. That’s the nicest thing you’ve said about the Tea Party in recent memory.
But why does the Democratic leadership actually fear the impact of the Tea Party? Yes the Tea Party is on the other side of the ideological spectrum from the Far Left wing of the Democratic Party. Clearly the Tea Party is fiscally conservative, believes in constitutionally limited government, and favors free market solutions. However those positions are an accurate description of most conservative voters’ beliefs so that isn’t what is under the Democratic leaders’ skin.
The average Tea Party member is over 35 years old. That fact aligns with the typical conservative voting demographic that includes individuals over 35 years of age with a skewing of the population to those 55 and older. So the Left’s concern isn’t caused by the fact that the Tea Party is a threat to the Left’s hold on older voters. The older voting population has always been split between the left and the conservatives. The older Americans with a taker mentality are liberal, and those with a builder mentality are conservative.Continue...
President Reagan is probably best known for three major accomplishments: rekindling the American spirit of entrepreneurship, defeating the Soviets in the Cold War leading to the eventual collapse of the USSR, and creating the most robust peacetime economic expansion in American history. In this posting, we’ll focus on topics more applicable to Reagan’s economic accomplishments. Reagan’s economic philosophy has been referred to by many names including Reaganomics and Supply Side Economics.
Arguably Reagan was dealing with a much more complex economic environment in 1980 than we have today. Reagan was faced with high unemployment, high inflation, high interest rates, a slow-growing economy and a high government deficit as a percentage of GDP. Today we primarily have high unemployment, a slow-growing economy and a high government deficit. However over the last two years the policies implemented by the Obama administration have not significantly reduced unemployment, have dramatically increased the government debt and have started to increase both inflation and interest rates. Note that inflation and interest rates were not a problem when Obama entered office. Continue...
President Reagan was a strong advocate of Peace through Strength. Essentially he believed that foreign powers were less likely to engage with the United States militarily if they were certain that they would receive immediate, disproportionate punishment from our armed forces. It’s the same philosophy that most of us were smart enough to learn in grade school: Bullies don’t pick on the strong kids. They pick on the weak kids. If a bully picks on you, punch them really hard in the nose. Not only will they go away, they will probably not pick on you again. They will slink off and look for a weaker target.
Along with Peace through Strength, Reagan had several other beliefs that guided his thinking regarding protecting America from foreign enemies. First: there is good and evil. Second, in facing evil, it is justified to use military force. Third, if we are going to use force, use overwhelming force. Fourth, nation building works if you have a nation to begin with. Fifth, technology and innovative tactics both help overcome manpower or military imbalances. Finally, always leave your enemies guessing how extreme your military response might be.
There is good and evil. There is right and wrong. Reagan clearly would have seen both Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda as evil and threats to the citizens of the United States. Continue...
The other day on a Southwest Airlines flight back to Houston, I saw him, Cooter. He was one big dude, and he was making his way down the aisle of the plane carrying his duffel bag and his hardhat. As usual, his hardhat was decorated with stickers from most of the plants where he had worked. Since Cooter does contract work, he had a lot of stickers! The row I was in was full. It just so happened that Cooter’s traveling companion, Bubba, was seated in the window seat of my row. So Cooter put his carry-on in the overhead and sat in the row behind me.
Ok, I didn’t really know if his name was actually Cooter, but I know a lot of Cooters. Cooter is a slang name for a group of working people across the United States. Cooter builds cars in Tennessee, raises cattle in Kansas and installs cat crackers in refineries in Texas. Cooter is good at what he does. He takes pride in his work, his family and his yard. You wouldn’t want to make Cooter mad if you were another man. However, he loves babies and little kids.
Cooter voted for Carter, Reagan, Clinton and George W Bush (the first time). He didn’t vote at all in the 2008 election because he was disgusted with the candidates. Cooter often chooses not to vote unless something has him fired up. He can get fired up about anything that he thinks impacts his family. Continue...
- A. What government taxes you get less of. Tax energy profits more there’ll be less energy profits.
- B. “Profit” is not an evil word. Profit keeps the doors of a business open. Profit keeps the company from becoming a bailout candidate. Profit creates jobs. Tax energy profits and we’ll not only see fewer energy jobs from the real economy; we’ll see far fewer jobs across the entire economy.
- C. Government interference in the free market is the chief cause of the booms and bust cycles in those markets.
Has Fidel Thrown Open the Path
for Raul to Discard Communism,
Embark upon Economic Reforms?
Following the publishing of a recent Atlantic magazine article, Spanish-language blogsites went absolutely crazy today. Rajjpuut’s translation and interpretation of a couple of them follows:
Ex-Cuban president Fidel Castro stunned readers of American magazine Atlantic and the whole Hispanic world as well when he admitted in an interview (which he’d apparently plotted for all along), “The Cuban economic model no longer works and never did work.” Speculation on numerous Spanish-language blogsites zeroed in largely on just one probability . . . . that Fidel was leaving the road open for his replacement, his brother Raul, to embark upon economic reform of Cuba and lead it away from communism. Among the most interesting features of the interview was the description of an apparently resurrected Fidel putting his recent brush with death aside and showing a return to some of his past vigor.
Among those most shocked by recent events were exiled Cubans, particularly Cuban entrepreneurs in Miami, greater Florida or elsewhere across the United States. Reading about the Jeff Goldberg interview with Fidel in Havana excited Florida Cubans tremendously, “This is NOT a regrettable attack of senility, Fidel Castro is really calling his regime “un fracaso” (a failure) and . . . he seems to really be talking about deep changes . . . not just superficial ones . . .” said Miami University Communications professor F. Rafael Lima. But Cuban-Americans unlike most of us, while shocked have more understanding of the situation. Most of them have been hoping since 1997 that Raul Castro’s trip to China and his exposure to China’s nascent capitalism would bear some sort of fruit. Of course, state-sponsored capitalism in China is not necessarily a harbinger of capitalism or greater freedom in Cuba, but right about now, most changes, hell, any change is considered a good thing for Cuba and potentially for Cuban-Americans.
Ya’all live long, strong and ornery,
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