The Feel Good Philosophy of Banning Plastic Bags

People, get a bug up their butt to ban something they see as detrimental to society.  It could be drugs, it could be prostitution, or it could even be something as simple as a plastic bag.  As a free market capitalist, banning these things makes absolutely zero sense to me.  There are unintended consequences that sometimes override the supposed benefits of the feel good ban.



This utopian worldview and feel good philosophy has many unintended consequences.

So what are the unintended consequences of banning plastic bags?

First, increased crime:

The plastic bag ban has caused more crime.



Second, it causes increased disease

From the Article:

“A reusable grocery bag left in a hotel bathroom caused an outbreak of norovirus-induced diarrhea and nausea that struck nine of 13 members of a girls’ soccer team in October, Oregon researchers reported Wednesday.”

The free market and reality are going to make plastic bags, irregardless of your feel good policies trying to ban them and save the world.  Just like with drugs, banning something only increases demand and lowers the supply.  Just like with other items banned the unintended consequences end up worse than the problem they were trying to fix.


The data clearly shows the plastic bag ban is killing and hurting people.

It would also be extremely educational to understand how oil is cracked.  No matter what a refinery does today, they are going to end up with the material to make plastics.  It doesn’t use less oil to ban bags, that poly material will be cracked no matter what.

This one is seriously under taught to our youth and politicians.  The question is what will the oil refineries do with that material?  Now that these dystopian mindsets are trying to make the world a better place by banning something that exists naturally as part of cracking a barrel of oil.



In conclusion, we would be well served to not so quickly ban something for the sake of trying to make the world a better place.  What can you do?  Get involved in local politics.  If the city you live in proposes banning plastic bags, present the facts to them.

Healthcare.gov…Most Expensive Website Ever?

404-care-obamacare-glitch

I was rambling over on Twitter this morning, and stumbled upon a question that needs to be answered.

Is the debacle that is the website Healthcare.gov possibly the most expensive website creation of all time?

The question is a complicated one.

First, you have to eliminate all ‘intranet’ systems; in other words, platforms that were built only for internal use.  Systems such as those built at the NSA and CIA probably cost more, but we would never know because such information is top-secret.  Additionally, they have security requirements that nobody else would ever have.

Second, how much did Healthcare.gov actually cost to create?  Originally the website had $93 million budgeted.  That number has clearly ballooned, and the most common number used today is $634 million.  That number may be overstating the reality.  Based on this website accounting government spending, the actual number may be closer to $463 million that was actually spent after the ACA became law.  Still, that is an astronomical amount.

It is very difficult to compare this to the private sector, but let us try.  From Digital Trends:

Facebook, which received its first investment in June 2004, operated for a full six years before surpassing the $600 million mark in June 2010. Twitter, created in 2006, managed to get by with only $360.17 million in total funding until a $400 million boost in 2011. Instagram ginned up just $57.5 million in funding before Facebook bought it for (a staggering) $1 billion last year. And LinkedIn and Spotify, meanwhile, have only raised, respectively, $200 million and $288 million.

If you want to compare to other government health care sites around the world, the United Kingdom’s National Healthcare Service site cost around  £21m….still a fraction of the Obamacare site.

Of course, like most things in the Federal Government, we will never really know what it costs.  Once you build a black hole in government, it sucks up material and costs without any discretion.  But to claim that Healthcare.gov, a site that in some respects cannot even create user passwords and has barely been able to complete even a small percentage of its total tasks so far, is among the most expensive web portals in internet history is probably not unreasonable.

 

 

What is Wealth, really, and why is the Left so Obsessed with Taking It from You?

The Left would have us believe there is only a finite amount of wealth and that wealth is tied directly to the monetary supply of the world. This is, of course, entirely false, but it is critical for Conservatives to be able to understand what this argument means, and how to disarm it.

The distinction between wealth and money is subtle, but it is clear. Wealth is the accumulation of material and immaterial things of value within a societal construct. Money is a system through which a currency is used, in varying values, to be bartered with in order to obtain items associated with wealth. Money in and of itself can be an item of wealth, and the accumulation of it is generally accepted as a means of measuring the wealth of an individual within a societal construct.

Human beings have an inescapable compulsion to measure everything around them. We are unable to ignore that there are those with more wealth and those with less. We’re also involuntarily predisposed to compare one another to the whole of society, and individuals against other individuals. These measurements create divisions within a society. Divisions create a basis for jealousy, and when jealousy is allowed to fester these divisions create fissures that can demoralize and destabilize regions, markets, and eventually the entire economic system of a society.

These fissures are why the Left wins the argument when posing these sorts of  notions to their Low Information Voters. The idea that wealth and the monetary supply aren’t directly tied to each other, and that the monetary supply can be increased without action from the Government is often too complex a concept to be grasped by those who are easily sated by handout legislation or promises thereof. Its easy to coerce someone into believing there is only a given amount of money in the world, and that the rich have so much of it that the poor will never be able to rise above their situation to claim their share because the class warfare concept incites jealousy against those who have more than another. This is the core premise behind wealth distributive socialism; the rich will never give up their share of the wealth so as to allow the poor to prosper, so Government must take that wealth from the rich and distribute it evenly to the poor. The Left will never concede that the rich gained their wealth through the creation of wealth which didn’t exist before they became successful; allowing for the idea that wealth can be created independently of Government interaction (i.e.: the printing of money or the regulation of markets) destroys the entire belief system the Left would have their voting base subscribe to. Their premise is that that any accumulated wealth was stolen from the whole of society at the time the wealthy became successful, and that their (the Left) just and righteous leadership is the only means of ensuring the playing field is level again.

Another point to make is that the Left sees and portrays the world in terms of “fair share”. This is a fallacy as well, as it implies that there is only so much energy that an individual can expend to influence their livelihood, and since there are those who have taken more than their fair share of that energy from the system the only just and right thing for them to do is give back what they don’t use. Success isn’t directly tied to the value of the possessions and/or wealth one consumes throughout their lives. Instead, mistakenly, wealth is directly associated with material accumulation above and beyond what is necessary for a “middle class” family to survive. Note, I didn’t say “thrive”, but to simply survive. The “middle class” is generally defined as those working class individuals who, through the progression of their working lives, have been able to develop enough personal purchasing power that they are able to take time away from work in order to enjoy that purchasing power. Simply put, if you are not living from paycheck to paycheck, forever tied to an occupation, regardless of its fulfillment and enrichment of your life, and you can take time off without a penalty to your quality of life, you are considered “middle class”. This creates a general societal hatred from those who haven’t been able to leverage their labor output into a career that supports an ability for the pursuit of leisure toward those who have, and even more so, toward those who have leveraged their careers into something more lucrative than a “middle class” existence.

Class warfare is something we, as Conservatives, are generally unable to defend ourselves against. Conservatism typically doesn’t recognize class warfare as a relevant argument when discussing economics because, in the economic systems we support, there are no barriers to upward mobility for those who find themselves at the relative bottom of the economic food chain, as it were, nor are there barriers to failure for those who find themselves at the top. The CEO of Apple today can find themselves unable to pay their mortgage due to failures on their part next month in a truly Free Market Capitalistic economy, the same as the janitor the Apple CEO used to employ could find themselves the CEO of their own billion dollar corporation as time progresses.

The Left has utilized the instruments of Government to reward their friends and punish their enemies. The primary tool is the Progressive Tax Code, which is specifically designed to levy a heavier tax burden on those whose incomes are above certain benchmarks. The argument supporting this type of system is “the rich have enough money, so they are better able to afford to pay their fair share of the Government’s obligations.” That sounds all well and good, unless you’re wealthy. Then it sounds like you’ve been singled out for your success, which is what has generated the money you have access to. According to the Left, if you make more you can afford more, so you should pay more. This ignores barriers that your income creates should you choose to attempt to access many of the Government social safety net systems that your wealth is being confiscated in order to fund. As a wealthy individual, your income taxes are all that the Left are interested in. Your access to means tested wealth redistribution programs designed solely to support those without your means is irrelevant, regardless of the language used to motivate the voting base to cast ballots that condemn you to a lifetime of supporting systems that do not support you.

Jealousy is such a strong emotion. The Left is able to show the stark disparity between the haves and the have-nots by creating a rift between their definition of the socioeconomic lower class and the classes they’ve designated above the poor, thus winning the argument. All the while they’ll hide the truth about what wealth creation really means, because to allow for their Low Information Voter base to understand the true power they hold is to risk the possibility of those voters realizing they do not need to support the Dependency State. The Left’s goal isn’t to tell the truth about how wealth is created, but to mislead the Low Information Voter into conceding their individual rights to the greater whole in return for a promise of normalcy and equality.

Obama Fails The Civility Test…Again

Just think back to January 2011, after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a maniac outside a grocery store in Arizona.  President Barack Obama had some deep, meaning comments at the remembrance ceremony following that tragedy:

“Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together. … Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.”


The country was moved by Obama’s remarks, and his poll numbers after the speech showed the public appropriately reacted.

However, Mr. Obama has never lived up to those lofty standards.  He seems unable, or more likely unwilling, to criticize persons on his side of the aisle when their behavior crosses the line.  He has no problem complaining about his political opponents, however…even when their actions pale in comparison.  In other words, he is making sure that his choice rhetoric originates from the “usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.”

The labor riots in Lansing, Michigan over the new Right to Work laws in that state were a perfect moment for Mr. Obama to step up and be the true moral leader he proclaims to be.  This is not about crushing dissent; there were many union protesters that behaved decently and went about their business opposing the law, as is their fundamental right under the First Amendment.  But for those that attacked opponents, with direct violence (including Steven Crowder, shown below in the video being punched by a union worker), there should have been no cover from Presidential criticism.




However both the White House in general and President Obama in particular passed on the opportunity to call for a civil discourse.  And this is far from the first time

I for one do believe we need more civility in public discourse, but this President is responsible for creating less civility and more discord by his silence at times.  If you cannot tell your friends (in this case, the unions) that they are behaving badly, why should those opposing you ever take you seriously?

Mr. Obama has never elevated his actions to the level of his lofty rhetoric.  And for that, America is worse off. 

The Truth About Taxes

While all the wrangling in Washington about tax rates is important to our wallets, when it comes to government revenues, it is absolutely meaningless.

The fact is, our tax code has become less about raising revenue and more about buying votes, creating class tensions, and control over the lives and behaviors of US citizens.

As far as the federal government is concerned, it doesn’t matter what the tax rates are, nor does it matter how much money comes into the treasury. Congress will spend every single dime of it. And when our tax dollars inevitably run out before the year does, they will borrow or print more money and keep on spending.

Keep that in mind as our fearless leaders debate over the upcoming Fiscal Cliff.

(“Fiscal cliff.” I hate that phrase. This is no cliff…we’ve been flirting with the edge of the abyss for years. We’re just closer to it now, our president says, “Forward,” and the only response from House leadership is, “How fast?”)

I’ve been over a Cliff. It wasn’t fun. We’re nearing another. Do we go over?

When I was very young, around 5 or 6 years old, my brother and I were left alone in a 1980 Chevette at the top of a driveway. The driveway faced away from an unprotected cliff; one could walk right up to the edge and see down every inch of the 75 foot drop to the parking lot below.

My brother, wanting to play race car driver (in a Chevette? Really?), jumped into the driver’s seat, while I sat in the hatch back, one of my favorite places to sit while being driven around. It was quite a different time than we’re in now.

My brother had managed to knock the car out of gear, and we started rolling backward toward the cliff. I was the first to realize what was going on, but unfortunately I was also privy to front row seating to what may very well have been the end of the world for my brother and I.

So, it turns out, our worlds didn’t end. My brother and I survived what looked like almost certain death with very little injury at all. I’ve some scars, my brother’s one scar healed and disappeared over the years, and neither one of us remembers the event.

Now I hear there’s another cliff approaching, and it makes me wonder if we’re in all that much trouble, seeing as how I’ve been over one before. Having experienced danger and survived nearly unscathed often makes one braver in the face of the same danger, but also more wary. There’s a lot of talk of a cliff in the news these days, and I, for one, am very wary of what’s coming.

The United States, in its rise through its Industrial Revolution, two World Wars and several other scarring events, including the indelible marks of terror in Oklahoma City and on 9-11, has weathered every one of these events with courage and resolute dignity. It may be that we’re unable to see the danger associated with our present condition due to our ability to withstand our past tragedies, but, based on what I’m reading and hearing from those who take our Nation’s fiscal condition very seriously, we will not be able to weather this “Fiscal Cliff” and continue to be the United States we’ve known.

There are two directions being discussed to address our Nation’s fiscal condition, but neither one of them actually addresses the problem. As a doctor will treat the cause of the symptoms instead of simply medicating away the symptoms, so must Congress and the President address the cause of our fiscal destruction instead of simply salving the symptoms. Our Nation can ill afford to continue failing to meet its obligations in a way that doesn’t expose our citizens to the irresponsibility of passed Congressional malfeasance.

We’ve spent our way into a sealed tomb. While the “Full Faith and Credit of the United States Government” still means something, we need to cauterize the wound that bleeds our Nation out, address how to pay for our previous largess, and bind our Nation’s financial future to a balanced budget that will only allow for borrowing in times of dire need, instead of using borrowing to fund the majority of our Federal Government’s activities, many of which are not legitimate in terms of our spending is concerned.

Until we do something about our Government’s insatiable appetite for our money, present and future, borrowed and otherwise, there will be no way to back away from the “Fiscal Cliff”. There will be no way to build a bridge far enough to get us over the chasm, and there will be no way to keep us from seeing the suicide of the greatest experiment in self governance humanity has ever known. Our founders knew this day would come, and they told us as such during the Nation’s founding. Why have we failed to heed their warnings?

A better question… How much longer will we be allowed to ignore their warnings before things are so far gone we’re not able to recover?

Why Conservatism Matters

Three words: Richard Milhous Nixon.

In 1970, Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency–one of the most destructive government agencies there is–by executive order. That same year, he also signed the Clean Air Act of 1970 into law, which “greatly expanded the federal mandate by requiring comprehensive federal and state regulations for both stationary (industrial) pollution sources and mobile sources. Federal enforcement authority was also significantly expanded.”
Richard Nixon
In the same year, Nixon signed a bill creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” While everyone wants a safe work environment, an expensive, overreaching federal agency is not the way to make it happen.

Nixon was a Republican. According to Wikipedia, Nixon favored a “New Federalism,” defined as “the transfer of certain powers from the United States federal government back to the states.” That all sounds great on paper. However, the legacy he left with OSHA and the EPA alone tell a different story.

Bottom line: “Republican” does NOT equal “Conservative.”

Why Are We Conservatives?

Paradigm shifts. New beginnings. Dramatic change.

All of the above should lead one to revisiting their belief systems. With the re-election of Barack Obama, the conservative movement in America faces all of the above, and should take a long, hard look at what we stand for.

Since 1980, we have theoretically (if not practically) been the party of smaller government, lower taxes, and strict constructionist view of the constitution. The questions that face us therefore are quite clear: do these positions make sense in what appears to now be a center-left nation?

The role of government has been integral to our political debate from the beginning. The original Democrat, Thomas Jefferson, wisely said,

“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.”

Pretty unlikely to hear that from any Democrat in this day and age. In actuality, Democrats of today sound more like Jefferson’s opposition. Just one note, from Alexander Hamilton:

A government ought to contain in itself every power requisite to the full accomplishment of the objects committed to its care, and to the complete execution of the trusts for which it is responsible, free from every other control but a regard to the public good and to the sense of the people.
–Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 31, January 1, 1788

This debate largely frames where the two parties were in 1789, and are still today. We are simply in a new iteration of a two and quarter century struggle between a stronger, more centralized federal government, and a more diffuse, more localized government.

In the past decade, the philosophical shift has been toward more Federal power, culminating in Obamacare, the largest expansion of Federal power in decades. With President Obama’s re-election, and following the Supreme Court’s affirmation of Obamacare’s constitutionality, the momentum to greater and greater centralization of the role of government is quite clear.

So in that environment, what are conservatives to do? Are we even relevant? We all know what liberals would prefer: They would prefer conservatives largely disappear. That is why their onslaught of trying to marginalize the entire movement with steady claims of bigotry, misogyny, and tyranny will continue.
But the country deserves better. Conservatism is just the newest incarnation of the belief in a true federal system, with both states and the central government playing co-equal goals in achieving public prosperity, best outlined in the 10th amendment. This amendment has been the bane of liberalism, and they have been successful in marginalizing its relevance over a long period of time. Liberalism will continue to try to marginalize those facets of the constitution and law that limit federal power, because to liberals, that is the primary hindrance to achieving all the glory that can be achieved by an all powerful central government. Liberals may not view the world in the way I describe, but ultimately, what is factually erroneous about that description?

But history teaches us a clear lesson: the pendulum swings both ways. In much the way that liberalism became the laughingstock of American politics after Reagan’s ascendance, conservatives have become the extremists and demagogues of our time. All the major social pillars of the country, whether you talk about the political sphere, the entertainment industry, or the mainstream media portray us in that light.
It is within that environment that we fight a rear guard action against the overbearing expansion of federal power that stands before us.

So why are we conservatives? Why not admit defeat and move on? Simple: America’s founding ideals, namely engrained in the Constitution, drive us to keep the fight alive. In the truest Jeffersonian sense of American, we fight for less centralized government, greater state and local control, and above all else, the rights of the individual over the presumed rights of the masses.

So the difficult fight goes on, because it must. An America without conservatism is not much of an America at all. The political balance that has maintained individual freedom from the time of the Founding to this day relies on the fight for limited government versus those fighting to expand political power. From our founding, it has been an integral part of what we are. So that is why we are conservatives…not to enrich ourselves, but to allow the Republic to endure, to focus on its core ideals, and prevent progressive extremism to take us to a place our Constitution never intended.

And so I leave you, ironically, with a liberal lion’s words: “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

The Educational Meltdown

This is what I see when I think about higher education in this country today:

Remember the housing meltdown ? Tough to forget isn’t it. The formula for the housing boom and bust was simple. A lot of easy money being lent to buyers who couldn’t afford the money they were borrowing. That money was then spent on homes with the expectation that the price of the home would go up and it could easily be flipped or refinanced at a profit.  Who cares if you couldn’t afford the loan. As long as prices kept on going up, everyone was happy. And prices kept on going up. And as long as pricing kept on going up real estate agents kept on selling homes and finding money for buyers.

Until the easy money stopped.  When easy money stopped, buyers couldn’t sell. They couldn’t refinance.  First sales slowed, then prices started falling and then the housing bubble burst. Housing prices crashed. We know the rest of the story. We are still mired in the consequences.

Can someone please explain to me how what is happening in higher education is any different ?

Its far too easy to borrow money for college.  Did you know that there is more outstanding debt for student loans than there is for Auto Loans or Credit Card loans ? That’s right. The 37million holders of student loans have more debt than the 175million or so credit card owners in this country and more than the all of the debt on cars in this country. While the average student loan debt is about 23k. The median is close to $12,500. And growing. Past 1 TRILLION DOLLARS.

We freak out about the Trillions of dollars in debt our country faces. What about the TRILLION DOLLARs plus in debt college kids are facing ?

The point of the numbers is that getting a student loan is easy. Too easy.

You know who knows that the money is easy better than anyone ? The schools that are taking that student loan money in tuition. Which is exactly why they have no problems raising costs for tuition each and every year.

Why wouldn’t they act in the same manner as real estate agents acted during the housing bubble? Raise prices and easy money will be there to pay your price. Good business, right ? Until its not.

The President has introduced programs that try to reward schools that don’t raise tuition and costs. They won’t work.  Right now there is a never ending supply of buyers. Students who can’t get jobs or who think that by going to college they enhance their chances to get a job. Its the collegiate equivalent of flipping houses. You borrow as much money as you can for the best school you can get into and afford and then you “flip” that education for the great job you are going to get when you graduate.

Except those great jobs aren’t always there. I don’t think any college kid took on tens of thousands of dollars in debt with the expectation they would get a job working for minimum wage against tips.

At some point potential students will realize that they can’t flip their student loans for a job in 4 years. In fact they will realize that college may be the option for fun and entertainment, but not for education. Prices for traditional higher education will skyrocket so high over the next several years that potential students will start to make their way to non accredited institutions.

While colleges and universities are building new buildings for the English , social sciences and business schools, new high end, un-accredited, BRANDED schools are popping up that will offer better educations for far, far less and create better job opportunities.

In the past, as a manager, I wanted the best prepared and qualified employees. I could care less if the source of their education was accredited by a bunch of old men and women who think they know what is best for the world. I want people who can do the job. I want the best and brightest. Not a piece of paper.

The competition from new forms of education is starting to appear. Particularly in the tech world. Online and physical classrooms are popping up everywhere. They respond to needs in the market. They work with local businesses to tailor the education to corporate needs. In essence assuring those who excel that they will get a job. All for far far less money than traditional schools.

The number of people being prepared for the work world in these educational environments is exploding.

You would think traditional university educators would take notice. Beyond allowing some of their classes to be offered online, they haven’t. They won’t. Its the ultimate Innovators Dilemma. They don’t believe they should change and they won’t. Until its too late. Just as CEOs push for that one more penny per share in EPS, University Presidents care about nothing but getting their endowments and revenues up. If it means saddling an entire generation with obscene amounts of school debt, they could care less. This is how they get their long term contracts and raises.

It’s just a matter o time until we see the same meltdown in traditional college education. Like the real estate industry, prices will rise until the market revolts. Then it will be too late. Students will stop taking out the loans traditional Universities expect them to. And when they do tuition will come down. And when prices come down Universities will have to cut costs beyond what they are able to. They will have so many legacy costs, from tenured professors to construction projects to research they will be saddled with legacy costs and debt in much the same way the newspaper industry was. Which will all lead to a de-levering and a de-stabilization of the University system as we know it.

And it can’t happen fast enough.

IMHO, the biggest problem the economy has is the enormous student debt new college grads and those leaving college find themselves with. In the past leaving college meant getting a job and getting a used car and/or an apartment with some friends. Yes there was student debt, but it wasn’t any where near your car payment. You could still afford the car and the apartment. Now its the exact opposite. Today, the minute you graduate college you face the challenge of debt against a college education whose value is immediately “underwater”

As a result spending habits have changed dramatically. Now when you leave school you move back home. You take public transportation or borrow your parents car. The only thing new you buy is the cheap work outfit you need. Savings ? Forgettaboutit. It’s not happening. Your entire focus is on hitting your monthly nut for school debt , credit card and maybe a car or apartment. The crush of college debt has taken an entire generation of graduates, current and future out of the economy. Which is exactly why the economy hasn’t grown and won’t grow beyond microscopic growth rates we have seen so far.

So until we get the meltdown in college education, don’t expect much improvement in the economy. Who gets elected won’t make a dang bit of difference.

Update: Let me add some clarification here based on some of the comments. I include the Online For Profit Mills that live off of the government delivering student loans as part of traditional education. Phoenix, Strayer, etc, they are not the new generation of Branded Education I am referring to. They are a big part of creating the bubble. i should have gone into more depth here. I will save it for another post.

As far as the purpose of college, I am a huge believer that you go to college to learn how to learn. However, if that gaol is subverted because traditional universities, public and private, charge so much to make that happen, I believe that system will collapse and there will be better alternatives created.

Online video classrooms with lively discussions don’t need a traditional campus to teach kids how to learn. Discussion groups built around Khan Academy like classes don’t require a traditional campus to teach kids how to learn. I’ve seen better discussions and interactions o
n twitter than in some of the traditional classrooms I have visited. The opportunities for online interactive video classrooms is going to grow quickly and will be far more cost effective than traditional universities.

Leave the for profit online schools that create more employment for debt collectors than their students out of the equation and we still have an enormous bubble in Higher Education that is having a horrible impact not just on the economic life of their students, but on the economy as a whole as well.

The Higher Education Industry is very analogous to the Newspaper industry. By the time they realize they need to change their business model it will be too late. Higher Education’s legacy infrastructure, employee costs /structures and debt costs will keep them from being able to re calibrate to a new generation of competitors.

~Salvum fac Republic

Post Election Thoughts – Reactions One Week Later

I wrote this on Wednesday, 07NOV12, the morning after waking to find out President Obama was going to have another four years in office. BOLD TEXT indicates my reflecting on my feelings nearly two weeks ago:

Here’s what I’m seeing from what happened last night:

1. The American people have spoken. Although I do not believe Conservatism is a minority mentality in America, what is exposed through the evidence from yesterday’s election is that Conservatives are not well represented, and thus will not be able to well represent Americans in its political endeavors  This needs to change if America is going to become a powerful leader on the world stage again, instead of a complicit follower.

2. Americans, as a whole, do not understand the damage that has been done to our ability to sustain ourselves as a Nation. We’ve forgotten what self reliance means, and have traded hard work and dignity in for revenge politics a la Valarie Jarrett, David Axelrod and President Obama. America, to our dismay, has shown that the sensationalism of the dirty political game is what makes them happy.

We continue to see this represented in what happened last week with the Hostess bankruptcy proceedings. Even in the midst of corporate failure the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union’s public euthanization of Hostess (their leadership knew that Hostess wouldn’t be able to meet their demands, and held firm anyway, regardless of the need to work for their employees) represents a failure of the Left to realize that corporations do not exist to provide work, benefits and pensions for employees. The private sector is about the creation of wealth, not the creation of jobs. One begets the other, but without the former the latter simply cannot exist. The BCTGM, in what they called “good faith” for their workers, intentionally destroyed a cornerstone of American culture for the last 82 years. Their disregard for the livelihoods of the families of the 18.5k employees that are now out of work due to their actions is appalling, and should shown as such by our media. Instead, Hostess is being vilified by the media and by those in Leftist circles. The news doesn’t indicate the truth of the matter. Instead this is being portrayed as a story of revenge made good. Hostess failed to properly care for its working class employees, instead giving lavish bonuses to its executives while the company was in the throws of bankruptcy. How else can anyone see this but as a story of the bourgeoisie getting over on the proletariat? Hostess was faced with unfunded liabilities that were going to crush it regardless of an agreement with the BCTGM. When the company reached an agreement with the Teamsters Union last week it was hopeful that the BCTGM would see there was a way to save the jobs of the employees if they  would simply allow for Hostess to work through bankruptcy in a way that would make the company profitable again. The BCTGM didn’t blink, calling bluff where none existed, and now 18,500 people are out of work, along with the entire support apparatus that existed to enable an 82 year old company to be viable. Entitlement. Business does not exist to create jobs, but to create wealth. The creation of wealth necessitates the creation of jobs because wealth creation requires labor. Hostess wasn’t cheating their workers. The company was bleeding money out of its union negotiated benefits and pension packages and needed a way out. The executives that sought bankruptcy were rewarded for their efforts to save the company, and would have been regardless of the union’s efforts to destroy the company in what seemed like their proving a point. I wonder if the 18,500 BCTGM employees out of work now understand what that point is?

3. We, as a Nation, are in for a devaluation of the dollar as a world currency. The world, as we know it, will begin to stop trading commodities in our currency and we will begin to see a downward spiral into banana republic status as we continue to try to print our way out of the obligations Keynesian fiscal policies will create for our progeny, and theirs. America will see its credit rating dropped from the As and we will become the biggest Greece this world has ever known. The rest of the world will be forced to cut us off for fear of our failure taking us down with them.

4. Because the House remained in GOP control and the Senate did not change control we will see a perpetual Continuing Resolution built on a 2009 budget baseline that included over $1T in spending that was intended to be temporary. Instead of what President Obama promised in a reduction of our National Debt and reduction of our Deficit Spending we will see at least $5T more added to our debt with $1.3T/yr deficit spending per year until Obama leaves office.

President Obama has expressed confidence that Congress will give him the $1.6T tax increase over the next decade he feels he needs to reduce the deficit. This is a useless statement, however. The President first ran for office on a promise that he would reduce the deficit starting on day 1, but the Super Majority in Congress, held by Democrats until 2011, refused to pass a budget, instead passing continuing resolution after continuing resolution, every single one containing the full balance of the first stimulus package from 2009. This effectively ballooned the deficit to over $1.3T per year over the last budget passed by President Bush. Obama blamed Bush for the deficit, but has shown absolutely no interest whatsoever in pushing Congress in the direction of passing a budget that doesn’t include $1.3T more spending than our Nation is able to generate in tax revenue. His only plan to change this dynamic is to raise taxes. When asked about reducing spending he evades the question, talks about how he’s commissioned a committee or some such study to help identify waste in Government, and then ask for the next question. In every instance where waste in Government has been indicated as something that can be cut the conversation is evaded or Obama indicates that he takes the suggestions of his committees very seriously and will consider their input in due course. Little is said about the fact that the budget recommendations made by his commissions have been rejected by his Administration, and every single budget proposal he’s made has been rejected soundly. If the Obama Administration had any intention of decreasing the deficit the President would have vetoed the Bill authorizing the stimulus and requested Congress change the language to exclude this addition to 2009’s expenditures from 2010’s baseline budget. This simple change would have eliminated over $4T of the deficit, and debt, President Obama has racked up in four years.

5. There will be continued attacks on the non-governmental institutions that have helped define what it means to be an American. The Constitution will see attack after attack as Justice Ginsburg retires and two more lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court are appointed by President Obama and Harry Reid. These appointments will be divisive, have defined designs on their personal interpretations of the Constitution and what it means in terms of how the Government can control the individual and the individual entity. We will see an increased fervor from those already in our Government for Command and Control governance, where the regulatory state will determine your outcome regardless of the legal ramifications of your actions within your state of residency. If you wish to succeed it will be at the behest of the Government, not because of your desire to do so.

6. Iran and radical Islam will be emboldened by our inability to throw off the shackles of tyranny which bind us to our fate. Ahmadinejad and others will see this election as akin to what happened in 2009 in Tahrir Square through violence and unproductive demonst
ration against a totalitarian regime, and recognize our unfulfilled will to oust a dictatorial despot as further evidence that we do not possess the means to prevent him from developing a nuclear device. Iran will reach that goal or Israel will be forced to stop them, 
or Israel will be attacked from another aggressor, and they will have to protect themselves on their own. This will spark the powder keg that is the Middle East into what could very well become the catalyst to WW3. Under President Obama we will not be prepared to protect ourselves or our allies, and we will not be prepared to feed and power ourselves without the rest of the world’s resources available for our purchase because the Command and Control state will not allow for continued domestic energy and agricultural development.

Leading the world in a “Peace through Strength/Strength through Leadership” mentality is a foreign concept to this Administration. For the last four years we’ve done nothing but capitulate and appease our aggressors and the aggressors of our allies, to our detriment. Palestine has been attacking Israel for decades, but since the election we’ve seen a dramatic increase in these attacks. There isn’t anything this Nation, under its current leadership, is willing to do to stem the tide that is building against Israel. Our President has indicated that Israel has the right to defend itself, but has said nothing about whether or not he will stand with them in their defense. It has been discovered (surprisingly after nearly two weeks of shelling) that Hamas has been supplied with weapons from Iran. Egypt’s new Islamist regime has expressed solidarity with Hamas in their attacks on Israel. Our media has shown they’re also tied to Hamas in their reporting of the events as they unfold, calling Israel’s response to being brazenly attacked “assassinations” instead of retaliations. There have been political cartoons in newspapers across the United States trivializing the attacks from Hamas while at the same time implying that Israel’s responses have been overblown and uncalled for. World wide, news organizations have been showing images and video of grieving families crying over children that have been touched by the violence, conveniently leaving out the fact that the Palestinian children being shown were killed by poorly maintained Hamas munitions that detonated prior to deployment, or missed their mark entirely, while Hamas militants have hidden the evidence of a Hamas fired rocket or missile having caused the damage and the family crying out for the annihilation of Israel. Demonstrably, the mainstream media in the United States, and worldwide, has a bias against Israel.

7. Because the President and those in the Senate will see their continued status in power as a mandate from the people for them to lead us to their designs of what this Nation should be we will see massive increases in taxes for the wealthy and what is known as the upper middle class. Those who have means will leave this country for nations friendlier to their wealth, and those who do not have means will suffer at the hands of a Nation that does not value their productivity as much as it values punishing it through wealth redistributive measures. Those who are in the so-called middle class will find it harder to succeed, and those who are poor will become poorer still. There will be a rash of selling of stock and a retraction from the market by those who have capital but are unwilling to spend it in anticipation of the increased taxation that will come beginning in 2013 and continue with the implementation of ObamaCare.

Already there has been a shrinking away from capital markets as businesses with much to lose are preparing for their tax liabilities beginning in 2013. Many companies have begun to publicly indicate what their plans for 2013 will mean to their workforce, and the picture they’re painting isn’t very pretty. There will be a new 29.5 hour work week for non-salary employees (read: wage earners, mostly below the poverty line, and many below several multiples thereof). This change in many labor practices will be in direct response to the mandate in ObamaCare that businesses with over 50 employees SHALL supply every employee working over 30 hours in a single week (hence to be referred to as “full time”, a ludicrous thought process) with Government approved health insurance. Businesses with low profit margins, relying on shift labor to churn through volume consumption will increase headcount and reduce hours to make up the gap while at the same time dodge the requirement AND the tax/fine associated with not providing health insurance to their employee. Those working in low skill employment will find their hours cut from 8 hours a day/5 days a week to 4 hours a day/5 days a week, with no tolerance by the employer for over clocking, and no options for overtime. Hourly employers will hire twice the headcount, get the same amount of work out of two employees that they would have otherwise had one employee accomplish, and both employees will slide further into poverty as they’re forced to work three or four jobs in order to feed their families. Again, entitlement. Business exists to create wealth, not jobs. Obama and the Left has made the conversation about ObamaCare not about the impacts to the economy, but about the health care that everyone will have. They fail to mention that you’ll have to lose what health insurance you may have once had to obtain ObamaCare, and you may not be able to feed yourself while you’re waiting in line for your Government mandated minimal care at the hands of overworked, under staffed medical professionals who will be leaving their jobs in droves due to the increased burdens ObamaCare places on them in terms of patient to provider ratios. Simply put, you cannot add 39M patients to what will have been known as MediCare/MediCaid without adding doctors. The Administration has indicated they see a need, due to ObamaCare, for at least 52k more private practice doctors in the coming years to deal with the increased patient load ObamaCare will create. They haven’t really paid much attention to the fact that MediCare has reduced payments to doctors who take Medicare patients steadily over the years, so much so that it will eventually be impossible to make a profit as a private practice doctor in the United States. That’s alright, though. Everyone will have insurance, right?

We’re in for a very rough four years, everyone. If you measure our Nation’s success in terms of the unemployment numbers and GDP, both are in store for a respective downturn as those who produce begin to find new markets to move their productive activities into. War will not become a thing of the past, and we will see many more instances where the controversy in Libya, and the failures of our Nation to adequately deal with the aftermath will become the norm.

We have been shown to be the moral minority. That doesn’t need to be our death knell, but at present it will be discouraging. Do not despair. When confronted with the truths about Conservatism in the face of the lies of Liberalism and outside of the echo chamber that is the mainstream media, the American People invariably choose the former over the latter. We have to find a way to cleanse the GOP of those less than upstanding examples of who and what we stand for, and better educate those who are willing to listen. Our message is clear, but the minds of those receptive to it are not, and the hearts of those who would co-opt our souls for avarice and power are all too common.

This is not the end, everyone. It is a beginning. Eventually Americans will realize what they’ve done to themselves. Once they do, we will be there to help guide them out of the dark and into the light that is Freedom, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.