Tag Archives: conservative philosophy

Science Proves Leftists Are Wimpy

Obama voter prepares for the beach.

Obama voter prepares for the beach.

Sometimes a story just sounds too good to be true. A study published in Psychological Science has found that girly–men are more likely to support a cradle–to–grave welfare state and “share–the–wealth” economic policy than more robust male specimens. This sounds reasonable to me and the fact it appears the research wasn’t paid for by tax dollars is a bonus.

“Psychological scientists” Michael Bang Peterson, of Aarhus University in Denmark, and Daniel Sznycer, of the University of California, found that conservative or right wing beliefs are strongly correlated with physical strength.

The researchers studied bicep size, socio–economic status and political views from participants in the U.S., Argentina and Denmark. Selecting participants from the U.S. and Denmark is not surprising, since that’s where the researchers are based, but why Argentina? Juan Perón was a famous Argentine strongman, but his appellation had nothing to do with muscularity and everything to do with being authoritarian socialist.

One wonders how specific participants were selected and the interviews conducted. Possibly they visited gyms and offered to spot the weightlifters if they could ask questions between sets. It would have been interesting to eavesdrop on some of the conversations researchers had after removing the calipers from the bicep.

You certainly wouldn’t want to ask a politically sensitive question of someone who was benching 300 lbs.

According to the hypothesis established before the testing began, Dirty Harry should be a reliable Republican voter, while Napoleon Dynamite will be supporting Barack Obama until he can afford to hire a personal trainer and release his inner Tarzan.

But the data according to what the Mail Online reported didn’t support the hypothesis. “The data revealed that wealthy men with high upper-body strength were less likely to support redistribution, while less wealthy men of the same strength were more likely to support it.” Had the hypothesis been accurate personal wealth should not have affected support for socialism as long their pecs were equally ripped.

Once the scientists stopped collecting data and started pumping up the results, they proved they know more about the motivation for feeling the burn than they do about the desire to “share the wealth.”

Professor Petersen concluded, “‘Our results demonstrate that physically weak males are more reluctant than physically strong males to assert their self-interest – just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation among small numbers of individuals, rather than abstract electoral dynamics among millions.”

That conclusion gets it exactly backwards and leads me to believe the Peterson and Snzycer need more work in the gym. When “weak males” support “share–the–wealth” politicians the weaklings realize they are too feeble to make it on their own. So instead they support policies that encourage the government — which hires those buff IRS collectors — to do the strong-arm stuff for them. Force those who have made it on their own to, in the words of our socialist–in–chief, “spread the wealth around.”

This goes a long way to explain why male art history majors are such strong Democrat supporters.

The only disappointing information contained in the study applied to women. There was no link between upper body strength and conservative views among the fairer sex.

They only question left unanswered is: Do women, regardless of their own strength, who prefer strong men also prefer conservative economics?

CPAC 2013 Stands With Rand

Sen. Rand Paul gives hope to the curly–haired.

Sen. Rand Paul gives hope to the curly–haired.

The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held this week in National Harbor, just across the river from Washington, DC, did not appear to be a depressed gathering of Republicans and conservatives still reeling from last November’s presidential loss. There was friendly rivalry between supporters of Sen. Rand Paul (R–KY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R–FL), but I saw no evidence of divisive infighting and vicious internal attempts to gain mainstream media publicity at the expense of fellow party members.

But then again an impressive contingent of off–duty police officers was probably more than enough to keep John McCain and Lindsey Graham from attending the conference.

The opening day of CPAC 2013 evolved into a faceoff between two potential Republican presidential candidates: the aforementioned Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

Judging by the crowd’s reception, Paul was the winner.

Rubio — America’s foremost spokesman for regular hydration — did not address immigration, the issue he’s been most associated with this year. Instead the bulk of Rubio’s speech, once we got past the H2O jokes, was fairly standard — although he did touch on the call for a remodeled Republican party.

Rubio said the goal of the Republican Party should be to “create an agenda to apply our time–tested principles to the challenges of today” because average Americans are asking, “who is fighting for them?”

Specifically, Rubio believes the US should be the best place in the world to create middle–class jobs and to facilitate that the country must solve the federal government’s debt and spending problem. Republicans should stress pro–growth energy policies that include both oil and gas. On the home front, he wants every parent to have an opportunity to send their children to “the school of their choice.” And we need real heath care reform that empowers Americans so they can buy insurance from any company, regardless of where the company is headquartered.

The young senator also addressed leftist critics and predicted they will downplay his speech and claim that he didn’t offer any new ideas. “We don’t need a new idea. The idea is called America and it still works,” Rubio responded as the audience applauded.

It would have been the best conservative speech of the day, if Rand Paul had not made an appearance.

It was a standing–room only crowd that anticipated Paul’s appearance and it erupted in applause as he brandished the binders he used during his drone filibuster in the Senate and declared, “I was told I only had ten measly minutes, but just in case I brought 13 hours worth of information.”

Paul — who gives hope to the curly–haired since no one will ever call him ‘blow dried’ — began by explaining that the motivation for his filibuster was to question whether presidential power has limits: “We want to know will you or won’t you defend the Constitution?”

As an audience member called out, “Don’t drone me, bro!” Paul explained that the president’s good intentions are not enough. “No one person gets to decide the law,” he said. And that’s his philosophy in a nutshell: leaders must defend and abide by the Constitution even when it’s not convenient.

Paul then moved to compare his conservative philosophy with that of Obama’s, which has proven to be you can have your cake and eat your neighbor’s, too. He quoted Ronald Reagan who said, “As government expands, liberty contracts.”

With that in mind he proposed a five–year plan to balance the budget. Paul’s blueprint cuts the corporate income tax in half, creates a flat personal income tax of 17.5 percent, erases the regulations “strangling American business” and eliminates the Department of Education entirely giving the power and the money back to the states.

Paul observed without mentioning names that the GOP “of old has grown stale and moss–covered.” His new GOP will need a big tent because it will “embrace economic and personal liberty. Liberty needs to be the backbone of the Republican Party and I ask everyone who values liberty to stand with me.”

And the crowd did, giving him a standing ovation that easily eclipsed the response to Rubio’s earlier speech.

Constituent Service Gone Wild

Toll Road pay upFootball fans everywhere are indebted to Virginia Delegate Joe May (R–Leesburg) whose invention of the electronic first down marker added much needed precision to watching the game on TV. Unfortunately, May’s understanding of the free market is much less precise and is in danger of throwing taxpayers for a significant loss.

According to Liz Essley in a series of stories from Washington Examiner, May wants the state to buy the privately–owned, 14–mile–long Greenway toll road located west of Washington Dulles Airport. He is joined by Randy Minchew (R–Leesburg) and David Ramadan (R–Prince William), who also confuse the role of constituent service in conservative governing philosophy. It’s a troika of Republicans who should know better.

May wants the Commonwealth to issue hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bonds to buy the Greenway from the Macquarie Group. Joe contends this would be good news for commuters because he believes the state will be reluctant to raise the tolls, which is not been the case with private ownership where peak period tolls can run as high as $5.80.

And why not? The government body that runs the Dulles Toll Road doesn’t even bother to bill 90 percent of the drivers who use their pavement but refuse to pay. Let them annex the Greenway and commuter’s troubles are over, as the taxpayer’s are just beginning.

Plus everyone knows overall operations for a government–run toll road will be so much more efficient than in the free market. Just look at the pioneering work done at Metro. During the past twenty years the Metro bureaucracy has discovered that escalators installed outdoors without protection from the elements have a tendency to break down and need replacement. Metro’s study of the effects of failing to conduct even routine maintenance on subway infrastructure led to the discovery that the system will become unreliable and subject to unpredictable shutdowns and track work that will consume most of the coming decade.

And don’t overlook the Smithsonian parking lot where attendants stole over $1 million in parking fees with management none the wiser.

And of course government involvement means low prices, which is why the IRS estimates the lowest priced insurance policy under Obamacare will cost a family of five $20,000 a year. If you want a policy that lets you see an actual doctor, as opposed to a Jiffy Lube professional, that will cost extra.

So what could go wrong with Virginia buying the Greenway? If it becomes too expensive to operate without raising the toll, they can just shut it down on Saturday, like the Post Office wants to do with mail delivery.

Del. Minchew echoes May, “I really want to protect our citizens from having tolls reach higher amounts than they should,” he explained.

And Ramadan wanted to try something called “distance–based tolling,” but says Macquarie was not interested.

And there it stands, constituents complain about the price they pay to speed their commute and they want government to “do something!” Followed to its logical conclusion, this type of activist, meddlesome thinking regarding the role of government lead us to the door of Nancy Pelosi’s office. Conservatives do not rush to meddle in a situation the market is uniquely qualified to handle.

The Greenway has been a troubled project from its inception with wildly inflated traffic estimates justifying too much spending. Fortunately, government wasn’t involved, so the first set of owners took a financial bath on the project and sold the tub, ring and all, to Macquarie.

The cost to taxpayers was zero.

Average daily trips on the Greenway peaked in 2005 with a bit over 61,000 with the average toll was just over $2.00. Proving the economic demand curve is alive and well and living in Virginia, as the price for tolls has gone up, traffic volume has gone down. Until in 2012 average daily trips are about 46,500 and the average toll is $3.93.

Yet with traffic down 24 percent, Greenway management was still able to increase average daily revenue by almost $61,000. So the toll is obviously not too high. Otherwise market forces would mean fewer drivers AND less money. Now the price is obviously too high for at least 14,500 drivers because they are now taking another road to work.

And that’s how the market operates; consumers balance cost and benefit and make their choice. Democrats and confused Republicans run to government and plead with them to intervene.

I wonder if any of the esteemed troika members has priced a rib roast at Wegmans lately? Driving on the Greenway is mere transportation, but eating is life itself.

I haven’t had a rib roast in the last year, because they are too expensive and the Philistines at my house can’t tell the difference from a pot roast anyway. But if the state buys the Greenway, I may start talking about the cattle cartel at the next town meeting.

And what makes those particular Greenway drivers so special? How about, God help them, Metro riders? Or Virginia Railway Express passengers? Everybody has a gripe about something.

Del. May is “optimistic we’re going to find a deal that works for both sides” and believes buying the Greenway could cost Virginia nearly $1 billion (which is $21,500 per current trip or 14 years worth of toll charges), making the road green in more ways than one. Hard–bargain Joe’s $1 billion is an interesting figure, because according to TollRoads News the owners carry the Greenway on their books as a net liability of $490 million dollars, meaning the road is worth almost half a billion dollars less than it cost.

As the reporter points out, Macquarie could PAY Virginia $450 million to take the road off its hands and have the books come out $40 million to the good.

It’s time to throw the challenge flag in front of Del. May. Having the Commonwealth buy the Greenway is a bad idea, bad economics and profoundly anti–conservative. In this case what’s private sector should stay private sector.