Tag Archives: economics

“Everything Seems Upside Down!”

A friend lamented to me recently, “The whole world seems upside down. What should be considered bad is now good, and vice versa.” He went on to detail how laws of economics are violated domestically, expecting an outcome different than the natural law of cause and effect would dictate. I concurred with him, and found myself reflecting on some of the wisdom of yesteryear that is ignored, thought impertinent to a new “enlightened” era, or not applicable to our advanced society.

UnknownCertainly some of the challenges facing our nation and our society currently can be seen through the lens of proven wisdom. In this light I thought I’d pick a few of those nuggets of anecdotal verity that have been validated by history to provide a little sagacious insight for the context of what our politicians have been inflicting upon the nation.

Winston Churchill once declared, “For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” With 20 new taxes added with the passage of Obamacare, and the significant increase of six other taxes with the passage of the “fiscal cliff” Continuing Resolution two years ago, it seems our government is attempting what Churchill described, with incredulity. Even the great communist Vladimir Lenin understood this principle. “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

For a quasi free-market economy, we’re stuck in a moribund GDP growth rate that is constrained by the yearly removal of over $3 trillion of capital from the citizenry. The surefire way to reduce activity is to tax it, which not only stifles the respective economic activity (such as the investment of capital) but removes significant assets from the private sector. In light of government’s spending and taxation excesses of the past few years, Churchill’s statement seems, well, “Churchillian.”

quote-government-s-view-of-the-economy-could-be-summed-up-in-a-few-short-phrases-if-it-moves-tax-it-if-ronald-reagan-151737The “great communicator” Ronald Reagan, observed the practices of government, and summarized, “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” If that doesn’t capture the mindset of our government over the past several years, I don’t know what does. The spendthrift ideology that gave us a decimated Detroit, a nearly bankrupt California, and bankrupt cities across the nation, has sought to impose the same centralized governmental control on a national level in the name of “social justice,” with devastatingly destructive results. If America is to return to financial greatness, it will be by reversing the expansive trend of economic fascism, where government has control of the means of production.

The brilliant Austrian economist, Friedrich Hayek understood this threat. Said he, “While an equality of rights under a limited government is possible and an essential condition of individual freedom, a claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.” The best thing government can do is create an environment that is conducive to growth, with reduced taxes and a regulatory environment that facilitates private sector growth. That is far from our present reality.

George Bernard Shaw, although a self-avowed socialist, was nonetheless bright enough to observe, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” That is until Paul runs out of money, as Margaret Thatcher’s logical postulate avers, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” Since economic fascism is just a few steps removed from socialism, the outcome is only separated by a few degrees of economic ruin.

In his inimitable cynical style, writer and journalist P.J. O’Rourke once wrote, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free!” Although Obamacare fell short of the drafter’s goal of a single-payer plan, we’re observing the results of our massive step toward it. As the Washington Times reported in October, “The Affordable Care Act was supposed to make health care more affordable, but a study of insurance policies before and after Obamacare shows that average premiums have skyrocketed, for some groups by as much as 78 percent.”

quote-government-big-enough-to-supply-everything-you-need-is-big-enough-is-big-enough-to-take-everything-thomas-jefferson-370415Thomas Jefferson warned over 200 years ago, that, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.” It appears increasingly that’s the kind of government we’re headed toward. He further warned, “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” This bodes ill for us all with the increasingly strident notion that the government should regulate every aspect of our lives, from what we drive and what we eat, to how much energy we consume.

Perhaps the best idea for governing was uttered over 2000 years ago by Cicero. He said, “The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” I wonder if Roman leaders wish they would have listened to him.

My friend was regrettably correct; the whole world does seem upside down. If we fail to learn from history, and the wisdom of yesteryear, are we destined to repeat the failures and collapses of history? It’s entirely up to us!

Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].

Moving Left Isn’t Right

Written in a time filled with the gasps and death of the Soviet Union, and its satellites’ declarations of their independence, I found Alvin Rabushka’s “The Failure of Socialism in China” capturing my attention. In it, the author mentions the method that Mao Zedong attempted to use to incite the communist Chinese economy to grow – namely central planning. The author also illustrates why the planning did little to anything at all on its own in the way of economy-building or growth.

As many economists critical of socialist governments point out, central planning heavily relies on a number of measures, so that it can claim to function better than alternative forms of economies. Among the measures are: constant inflows of information to allow tweaking of quotas, difficulties in procuring that data, lack of a labor market, little or no incentives to produce, little or no entrepreneurship, wasted resources, and political interference in the economy. These measures were to blame for the anemia and failures of so many socialist countries in the late 20th century.

While at times, the failed states may have appeared healthy, much of the time it was due to support from other socialist patron states, like the Soviet Union and China. Although the patrons may have propped up the subordinate states, the goods provided were sub-standard quality and in lesser quantity than those produced in the west. Once the patron states collapsed (like the Soviet Union), countries like Cuba found themselves in dire situations.

China was a bit of an anomaly, however. Despite the numerous five-year plans, and massive instruction directed by Mao, the Chinese economy did not really begin to grow until 1979 – after Mao’s death. What finally jump started the Chinese economy, and led to growth never seen before in the period from 1957 until then, were economic reforms, led by Deng Xiaoping.

So, what were these reforms that led to so much growth? Deng modified regulations after he witnessed what occurred in his home province with modified rules. Allowing Chinese peasants more input and freedom in carrying out measures and surpassing their quotas, produced increases in production, foreign investment, and per capita income. How was that possible? What were these “magic” modifications?

Simply, the communist party, and Deng in particular, saw that providing incentives for work led to: harder working peasants, peasants who were more engaged in their work, and peasants who cared more about meeting the quotas and exceeding them. Simply put, the Chinese system changed from the stick as a simple cudgel, to a stick with a carrot on the end of it.

Those who ignore history…

Now, the part that the American government, and Obama and his administration in particular, should pay close attention to, are the measures that Deng found worked to create an energetic and engaged citizenry. Allow the people to strive to meet their potentials. Do not be so unwise to think that a leader, who believes he sits above his people to delegate the actions of those people.

Deng lowered taxes (in some cases on livestock to nothing), set quotas for the citizens (but refused to dictate how they should be met), and retreated from the heavy hand of government, allowing goods/crops produced above the quota to be sold for the peasants’ own income. The land leased to peasants was also made inheritable, building trust in the peasants, that the central planners would not arbitrarily confiscate lands. Even the urban citizens saw benefits – real urban per capita incomes grew by 40%! Overall, the new policies of the central planners in China led to more growth between 1979 and 1985, than the country had seen between 1957 and 1979!

One small group of planners can in no way successfully guide millions of citizens to reach a satisfactory conclusion. The more the leaders attempt to guide the masses, the more the masses will resist, and the heavier the weight of the planners’ guidance will feel to them. It is unfortunate that the current American administration seems to be moving retrograde to successful outcomes. They continue to plan, and guide, and swear that they know how to fix this economy. Despite their protestations, the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding, so far, has been rotten.

The lies of free trade proponents

In his SOTU speech, Barack Obama announced that his Administration is (unconstitutionally and thus illegally) negotiating trade agreements with the EU and countries of the Pacific Rim. Free trade proponents – including Iain Murray of the pseudoconservative American Spectator – applauded him, as they are ideologically aligned with him. In defense of their (and his) free trade agenda, they have regurgitated their standard litany of lies about trade.

Murray falsely claims that:

“The benefits of free trade are many, and accepted by virtually all economists. They include reductions in the cost of living, greater choice and increased quality of goods, higher incomes on both sides, economic growth and, perhaps most important in an increasingly corporatist America, a reduction in the effectiveness of lobbying. Protectionism provides the reverse in all of these cases, and would be just as foolish now as when the Smoot-Hawley law deepened the Depression. (…)

However, that last benefit in the list I just provided has not escaped the eye of special interests. Indeed, most of the free trade agreements which America has negotiated in recent years have been heavily influenced by lobbyists, not only from industry, but also from the environmental and labor organizations. They have consistently insisted on inserting measures into the agreements that maintain protections for their interests and reduce the scope for the full benefits from free trade.”

All of his claims are blatant lies.

There are NO benefits from free trade. None whatsoever. It is protectionism that brings about the benefits he claims, not free trade.

How do we know it? From the facts – from the results of real life, not theoretical theses put forward by Murray and others living in their academic ivory towers.

Increased quality of goods? Don’t make me laugh. The goods that the US imports from China and other “developing” countries are of abysmally low quality, made from weak materials in a poor fashion, breaking down after little time of use, and many of them – including toys and food – are poisoned with lead (toys) or melamine (food). The problem is so grave that one American mother raised that question in a 2007 GOP presidential debate. Virtually anyone who has bought anything made in China will attest to the poor quality of Chinese goods.

Reductions in the cost of living? Rising incomes on both sides? Is that a joke? Since the ratification of the first “free trade” deals in the 1990s, the real wages and real income of low-income and middle-class workers has remained flat in inflation-adjusted dollars. The only Americans who have seen their incomes rise since then have been the wealthy – the CEOs of large corporations who are happy to ship jobs overseas (mostly to China).

Greater choice? China’s price-dumping, flooding of the US with extremely low quality goods, and refusal to implement any environmental or labor standards has undercut and undermined American companies and to the flooding of store shelves with Chinese products, leaving Americans with little choice other than these low-quality products.

Reduction in the effectiveness of lobbyists? Don’t make me laugh. It was precisely lobbyists – and no one else – who wanted and secured the passage of all free trade deals ratified by the US, from the WTO to the GATT to NAFTA, to Most Favored Nation status for China, to the disastrous KORUS FTA.

American workers and voters did not want these disastrous free trade deals. Indeed, they vehemently protested against them and urged their Congressmen and Senators to vote against them (especially against the KORUS FTA).

It was the greedy CEOs of large multinational corporations and their lobbyists on Capitol Hill who campaigned for and secured the passage of these disastrous (for America) deals.

Economic growth? That’s the most idiotic claim Murray has made. Free trade has done nothing but stymie US economic growth. Historically, the US economy has grown fastest when operating under protectionist (economically nationalist) policies: protective tariffs.

Indeed, this is what all history – of all countries – shows. It proves that protectionism is what brings about fast economic growth, while “free trade” (i.e. being a dupe who borrows money to buy foreign products and destroys his own industry) leads to economic stagnation.

Protectionism (economic nationalism) is the trade policy of ascendant economic powers; free trade, the policy of descending, declining ones.

EVERY country which ever became an economic power became one by protecting and nurturing its industrial base – England under the Acts of Navigation, France under Jean-Baptiste Colbert and Napoleon Bonaparte, Britain until the mid-19th century, Prussia under the Customs Union (1834-1871), unified Germany under Bismarck and his successors, the US from 1861 to the 1960s, postwar Japan, China today.

NO country ever became an economic power by indulging in free trade, which is only for dupes and idiots and leads to economic disaster.

The US became the world’s economic superpower – indeed, was once the economic envy of the world – because from 1861 until at least the 1960s it protected and nurtured its industry with tariffs that effectively barred most foreign products from the US and protected its industrial base while not hampering competition between domestic producers in any way (and antitrust legislation ensured that such competition would stay alive in the US).

Thus, the US became a world producer of everything, an economically fully self-sufficient country, supplying not just its large population but the entire world with all sorts of products, from alloys, to cars, to planes, to everything else. By the 1940s and the early 1950s, it accounted for 50% of the world’s industrial production, partially due to the damage WW2 inflicted on Europe but partially due to the protection of the American industry (which was indispensable in winning that war by producing weapons for the US and its allies).

This was because, from its founding until at least the 1960s, the US followed the preceipts of the Founding Fathers, especially Alexander Hamilton: Trade surpluses are preferrable to trade deficits. It does matter where things are produced. There is no free lunch. Manufacturing, not finance, is the nation’s economic muscle.

But today, the US hardly manufactures anything and has become dependent on foreign countries – especially China – on all sorts of products, including the necessities of life.

“Free trade” has been a total disaster for the US. Since 2000 alone, thanks to free-trade policies, over 55,000 factories across the country have been closed and relocated overseas, mainly to China, and 6 million good, well-paying manufacturing jobs have been shipped – mostly to China. The only reward is the dubious privilege of buying low-quality Chinese goods.

Before NAFTA’s ratification, the US had an annual trade surplus with Mexico; since 1993, however, it has had a trade deficit with that country every year and the 2012 trade deficit was the largest between the two in history. After ratification of the KORUS FTA, America’s trade deficit with South Korea jumped threefold in April 2012 alone. Our trade deficit with Japan is the largest ever between us.

America’s trade deficit with China is the largest ever between any two countries in human history: $300 bn in 2012.

Not just between the US and China, but the largest between any two countries on God’s green Earth in all recorded human history!

And yes, trade deficits do matter. A lot. They decrease the country’s GDP while increasing the GDP of the country you’re buying from. This is not surprising to anyone who knows economics 101: to be able to buy something, you have to earn the money to buy it – or borrow it. If you borrow money, you’re driving yourself deeper into debt. If you buy it with the money you’re already have, you’re transferring your income to the other guy. He earns money and you lose it.

If he sells you more than he buys from you, he makes more money at YOUR expense than YOU do at his expense. In other words, on net, he earns money at YOUR expense: he takes money from you, while you lose money.

Producing goods creates jobs (all goods have to be made by someone). If you buy goods from a foreign country, you’re creating jobs in THAT country rather than yours, and increasing the income of THAT country rather than yours, while you lose money and jobs (or, at minimum, the opportunity to create jobs at home).

That country gains and you lose.

If you buy more from abroad than you export, you’ll have to borrow money to buy those things, thus driving yourself deeper and deeper into debt.

Those “economists” who support free trade clearly don’t even know Economics 101, or the Basic Facts of Life 101.

Free trade has also been a political disaster for Republicans. They’ve been complicit in its making, indeed often leading the campaign for it, and helped destroy most of American industry. Might the wiping out of most factories in the Midwest and the Northeast have had anything to do with Republicans inability to win those states and their foolish advocacy of free trade?

Illinois and Michigan haven’t voted Republican since 1984; Pennsylvania, not since 1988; Ohio, not since 2004.

By contrast, from 1860 to 1924, Republicans – then known as The Party of Protection – put 12 presidents only in the White House. The Democrats put only 2.

In short, the claims of Iain Murray and other free traders – none of whom have ever built a great nation – are blatant lies.

Free trade is for idiots

For decades, globalists and libertarian free trade ideologues have been telling us that free trade has been “good” for America, that it’s a traditional conservative/Republican policy, and that any suggestion that America should protect its industry – i.e. protectionism – is a Big Government policy and a betray of “free market principles”. Free trade is the religion of the CATO Institute, the Mercatus Center, the Heritage Foundation, and the so-called Club for (Corporate Profits) Growth, which should call itself the Club for Corporate CEOs’ Greed).

But they are wrong. Protectionism, not free trade, has traditionally been the policy of conservatives and Republicans, and it is the policy on which nations ascend economically; they descend on free trade.

Every nation which ever became a great power – from England under the Acts of Navigation, to Colbert’s France, to the US from 1861 to 1945, to postwar Japan, to China today – became such because it protected its economy (especially its industry).

Unlike Hamilton, Clay, and Lincoln, the free trade ideologues at the forementioned organizations never built a great nation.

Republicans won their first presidential election in 1860 (while also capturing the Senate) running on a pledge to institute tariffs to protect the industry. And they did. This nearly insulated America’s (or rather, the North’s) growing industry, allowing it to become the envy of the world. Successive Republican Presidents and Congresses continued these policies, shielding American industries with protective tariffs, thus allowing these industries to grow and leading America to overtake Britain (and the rest of the world) by all measures of industrial production (including coal mining and steel production) by the 1890s.

Protectionist tariffs on foreign products also allowed Congress to keep the books balanced and pay Civil War debts quickly while keeping taxes on Americans and American companies low. Before 1913, there wasn’t even any federal income tax.

America thus became the greatest industrial power on Earth, the envy of the world.

I said “successive Republican Presidents and Congresses”, because a protectionist economic policy proved itself to be not only economically successful, but also politically popular. From 1860 to 1924, the GOP – then known as the Party of Protection – put 12 presidents in the White House, versus only 2 Democrats.

By 1945, America, partially thanks to its protectionist policies and partially due to the destruction that WW2 inflicted on Europe and Asia, accounted for 42% of the world’s industrial production.

But then, something happened.

American political elites (including, increasingly, Republicans) caught the free trade virus and indulged in suicidal “free trade” economic policies.

The US joined the WTO organization, where it doesn’t have a vote, signed the GATT, and signed free trade agreements with many countries, opening its markets to their products while they kept their markets firmly closed to American goods and services.

Thus, the US stopped posting trade surpluses and, starting in 1971, began to run trade deficits which, since 1971, have been growing almost nonstop.

Big corporations, always greedily lusting for more profits and bigger salaries for their CEOs, began shipping jobs overseas.

By the 1980s, the situation was so dire that Ronald Reagan recognized the problem and asked the Congress to institute protective tariffs.

Yet, America’s slide towards the abyss on the skis greased by free traders was only slowed down, not stopped. In 1992, the US, at President Bush’s behest, suicidally signed NAFTA, opening its market to cheap Mexican products. In 1993, Republicans saved NAFTA from defeat by voting for it together with the pro-free-trade wing of the Democratic Party. Republicans literally rescued NAFTA from the dustbin of history (where it belongs) by voting for it – and thus own it.

The result? Millions of good-paying industrial jobs were lost, as factories were shipped to Mexico. Before 1993, the US had a trade surplus with Mexico. Since 1993, it has had a trade deficit with that country every single year.

In 1994, China began, on a large scale, its campaign to maximize its exports while closing its market to imports, and thus to steal Western industries, by devaluing its currency by 45%. Simoultaneously, tariffs on foreign products were hiked, and export rebates to Chinese exporters began to be provided, similarly to how they are provided in Japan.

(Japan has a 15% VAT rate on products sold on its soil, but it provides a rebate to its exporters for every product they sell abroad. So cars exported to the US face no American tariffs and are even rebated by the Japanese government, while American cars exported to Japan are taxed 15% as soon as they arrive at the Yokohama docks).

Yet, despite Chinese cheating on trade, the Congress – dominated by Republicans – gave China Most Favored Nation trade status, thus absolving Chinese products of most tariffs (while China did not reciprocate). In 2001, the Congress gave China that status permanently. In 2002, a Republican President allowed China to join the WTO. Thus, Chinese products enter America almost free of any tariffs or duties, but American products shipped to China are subject to steep tariffs.

Yet, Republicans, instead of learning from their mistakes, doubled down on their “free trade” policies. They gave Vietnam Most Favored Nation status in 2007. They gave President Bush an unconstitutional unilateral “expedited” negotiation authority to negotiate even more one-sided, unfair free trade agreements for dupes. They supported the FTAs Bush signed with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea late in his term.

In the 2008 election, all leading Republican candidates – McCain, Romney, and Giuliani – ran on free trade platforms.

The eventual Republican nominee, John McCain, even scaremongered people about “the siren song of protectionism” and went to a closed Ohio factory (which was closed because its owner shifted production overseas).

It didn’t endear him any voters, however. In the 2008 election, proud free trader John McCain was crushed 373-165, by the biggest margin of any Republican candidate since Barry Goldwater, losing even longtime Republican states like North Carolina, Indiana, and Virginia.

The election of Barack Obama probably gave some Americans hope that he would uphold his campaign promise to withdraw the US from NAFTA and to protect the US industry. He didn’t. He has barely been willing to impose tariffs on imported tires to save the tire industry.

With their own free trade mistakes costing them politically and the country economically, Republicans should have had, by 2012, learned that they were wrong and should have proposed a better policy, right? Wrong. Most Republicans continued to cling to their free trade ideology, as did the 2012 Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, who lambasted Obama for not signing any new FTAs for dupes (as if that were a bad thing), pledged to negotiate new FTAs, and firmly embraced free trade ideology. And although he pledged to designate China a currency manipulator if elected, and to enforce intellectual property laws, he wasn’t willing to do anything more than that, and even these half-measures earned him the ire of free trade ideologues such as the think-tanks and organizations listed above.

So, as the year 2012 begins to draw to an end, let us take inventory of 67 years of “free trade policies”.

They have destroyed the greatest industrial base the world has ever seen.

They have caused 55,000 factories to be closed and production to be shifted to countries where people work for slave wages and where there are no real environmental protection laws.

They have caused tens of millions of Americans to lose their well-paying manufacturing jobs and middle class worker wages to stagnate, in real terms, for over 2 decades.

They have brought about disastrous consequences for national security, as America is now dependent on foreign countries for essential things, even things essential for defense, such as Rare Earth Elements and the products made from them.

They have cost the Republican Party successive Congressional and Presidential elections, as former industrial powerhouses such as Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia – formerly red states – have turned against the GOP and become blue or purple states. Republicans have not win Michigan since 1984 and have lost both Ohio and Virginia in both of the last 2 presidential elections.

The GOP’s reputation as the Party of Protection has been tarnished and replaced by the reputation of a party that kowtows to big businesses and outsources jobs overseas.

America, formerly self-sufficient and producing everything in the world, now imports virtually everything it needs, from textiles and simple products to cars and Advanced Technology Products like computers and cell phones.

America lost her crown as the biggest exporter in the world to Germany in 2003, which itself was overtaken by China around 2010.

America’s trade deficits with Mexico, Japan, the EU, and the world at large are the highest they have ever been.

America’s trade deficit with China is the highest ever between any two countries.

And what were these trade deficits paid for with? Borrowed money. America is now the largest debtor in world history.

And to pay for lost revenue from abolished tariffs on foreign products, taxes are being hiked on Americans and American companies.

Can America be rescued? Yes, it still can, but there isn’t much time, and it will require a complete break with the free trade ideology and policies of the free trade ideologues running the CATO Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Mercatus Center, and the Club for Corporate CEOs’ Greed. The US should:

  • Immediately implement the Export-Import Certificates proposed by Raymond, Howard, and Jesse Richman. This means that no country would be allowed to export more to the US than it imports from America.
  • Immediately impose a 25% tariff on all Chinese products imported into the US. China will then have a choice between letting American products into its market or financing the US Pacific Fleet.
  • Strictly enforce intellectual property laws.
  • Write, and strictly enforce, product quality standards on all imported products.
  • Terminate the useless Export-Import Bank.
  • Withdraw from NAFTA, the WTO, and the GATT.
  • Abolish all loopholes in the taxcode and use the resulting revenue (as well as the revenue coming from tariffs on Chinese products) to cut taxes across the board for all Americans and all American companies. The corporate income tax rate should be no higher than 12.5% (it’s 35% today).
  • Designate China as a currency manipulator.

Tens of millions of jobs will then be created and production will be shipped back to the US – because then, in order to sell products in the huge American market, you will have to produce things in the US. And foreign countries wishing to export to the US will have to open their own markets to American products on the basis of reciprocity.

Hippienomics

The spirit of free love — and free stuff — has hit the United States, and let’s all wallow in the glory of an economy where that’s the only thing one can afford to do is love. The spiritual masturbation of sitting around in a circle smoking a peace pipe and slapping tambourines, imagining everyone’s needs get magically met by wealthy “others,” represents the nadir of a civilization that had given it a good run, but was ultimately defeated — by hippies.

The Dionysian orgy of intersubjective social stuff that was the 1960s led to a lot of great music, fed by mind-altering drugs that made anything seem possible. Growing a ponytail could cure world hunger and sitting around naked in the mud smoking pot and discussing Khalil Gibran could open up an interdimensional rift sucking out all the negativity in the world. The possibilities were as endless as the stream of government handouts that would make them possible.

As the great political philosopher Steve Miller put it:

Feed the babies, Who don’t have enough to eat, Shoe the children, With no shoes on their feet, House the people, Livin’ in the street, Oh, oh, there’s a solution.

Who would do this? Always the government — the “man” whom the radicals purported to be fighting, and the “power” whom the left purported to be speaking “truth” to. From Rebels without a Cause to “Causists” without a Rebellion — how did these drug-addled hippies go from job-duckers to goose-steppers?

The intolerance of tolerance ultimately led the left into a non-conformist conformity that made the hippies easily manipulable by the state. The politically correct notion is that if one is for living one’s own life and being left alone by the government, then one isn’t interested in the left’s social justice program of liberating minorities from not having more money. Opposing the left automatically makes one a latent racist or sexist or homophobe.

In other words, being for freedom and individuality automatically makes one dialectically opposed to the left’s collectivist viewpoint of “helping” racial, ethnic and gender minorities. Where the money to help these minorities is assumed to come from is through taxation of the “racist” folks who are opposed to them. Since capitalism is held out by the hippies to be structurally bigoted, since de facto people are equal and should have equality of means, that means “the white man” (not just particular individuals, mind you) systematically oppressed minorities to get into this position of “cultural hegemony.”

The state is meanwhile wrongly dismissed by these beatnik finger-snappers as its own interest, since we supposedly live in a “democracy.” This means that any majority the left can cobble together would automatically have “right” on its side — an obvious fallacy. Meanwhile, the morals of the nation are undermined through relativism, and the floodgates to illegal immigration are opened, while the introduction of foreign ideals and lifestyles (which are unerringly statist and collectivist) is lubricated by “cultural diversity.” The point is that the state-sanctioned looting of the capitalist system until its collapse is supposedly justified by opposing the racist, bigoted, sexist economy and the nation’s seemingly corresponding history — which was purportedly altered only by the radicals and progressives who championed the little guy (by building state power over his life).

Now, the history of the United States has been one of the systematic and predictable liberation of minorities, according to the internal logic of the founding documents. The original Declaration of Independence condemned slavery and this was supported by the great majority of colonies. The Constitution’s “three-fifths” clause actually undermined the southern states’ representation in the Congress. Not to mention that slavery is completely un-capitalist, because it is fundamentally opposed to property rights, individual rights, and economic freedom. One owns one’s own labor and can dispose of it as one sees fit; but this does not mean that one can enslave others to one’s own wants and needs through the government.

But because of the state income tax and progressive taxation, passed by the virulently racist Woodrow Wilson, the government not only has the license to control all the money in the economy, but can penalize producers and reward non-producers. Because of the central bank, the systematic destruction of the economy can be forestalled to some unseen, unknown date in the future, and the fingerprints for the predictable demise framed to be those of the rational opposition who try to halt the madness just prior to the inevitable collapse.

The reaction of the radical libertarians, whom Ayn Rand called the “hippies of the right,” has been to oppose state power to the utmost — seemingly for its own sake. Often unstated is the moral case for capitalism and the sanction for state power used for ethical purposes, such as to defend private property and make the case for individual rights.

The key to our nation’s implosion is the destruction of reason. As the great polemicist P.J. O’Rourke wrote of hippies:

Everything. You name it and I believed it. I believed love was all you need. I believed you should be here now. I believed drugs could make everyone a better person. I believed I could hitchhike to California with thirty-five cents in my pocket and people would be glad to feed me. I believed Mao was cute. I believed private property was wrong. I believed my girlfriend was a witch. I believed my parents were Nazi space monsters. I believed the university was putting saltpeter in the cafeteria food. I believed the NLF were the good guys in Vietnam. I believed Lyndon Johnson was plotting to murder all the Negroes. I believed Yoko Ono was an artist. I believed I would live forever or until twenty-one, whichever came first. I believed the world was about to end. I believed the Age of Aquarius was about to happen. I believed the I-Ching said to cut classes and take over the dean’s office. I believed wearing my hair long would end poverty and injustice. I believed there was a great throbbing web of psychic mucus and we were all apart of it somehow. I managed to believe in Ghandi and H. Rap Brown at the same time. With the exception of everything my mom and dad said, I believed everything.

This explains the view of the left-wingers today, who don’t feel compelled to pass something as trifling as a budget, stare unblinking at unending trillions in deficits and shrug, and believe that mankind itself is a toxic scourge that must be environmentally controlled by a necessarily totalitarian state.

The starkest contrast was provided of late between the fledgling tea party and Occupy Wall Street movement, and the cultural elites chose to demonize the former (apparently for their corny tee shirts and habit of leaving public spaces cleaner than when they found them) and lionize the drug-using, syphilis-spreading, criminal syndicate of smelly tramps and trust-fund free-loaders agitating for an omnipotent state. In other words, former hippies endorsed their own and ridiculed their targets. No surprise there.

But at some point, the enablers turn their backs on the parasites — Atlas has to shrug. Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping

President Obama Decrees 19 Laws of Economics

President Obama decreed the following 19 laws of economics:

  1. Everyone should get everything for free without paying for it.
  2. Anyone should be able to demand that other people work to pay for his wants and needs.
  3. Making people work to support their own lives is mean and is therefore unnecessary.
  4. If someone forces others to work for him, it shall be known as slavery. If citizens force others to work for them through democratic government, it shall be called “social justice.”
  5. If someone wants to keep his own money, it shall be labeled “greed.” If some with less money want to take away from those with more money, that shall be called “fairness.”
  6. Politicians know more than the people themselves what are their wants and needs.
  7. Healthcare is a right, so anyone can demand that another citizen provide him free medical treatment on the spot and it is illegal to refuse.
  8. Housing is a right, so if you don’t have a home, force your neighbor to build one for you.
  9. Wages are arbitrary, and therefore, everyone deserves a raise.
  10. Debt is irrelevant, so we’re just going to pretend it’s not there.
  11. If you don’t feel like working, just retire, because it doesn’t matter how many people are supporting your needs.
  12. It doesn’t matter what country you’re from, we will give you money, whether or not you put anything into the economy.
  13. A job is a right, so everyone is now officially working for the government.
  14. All monopolies are outlawed, except for the government, which has a monopoly of coercion.
  15. If a citizen takes something by force, it shall be known as theft. If the government takes something by force, it shall be called “redistributive justice.”
  16. Taxing the rich will pay for all of our wants and needs forever.
  17. Success shall be punished, and failure rewarded.
  18. Hard work and talent shall be compensated with higher taxes, and mediocre work and idleness shall be compensated with government handouts.
  19. The only thing one must do to sustain these laws of economics is to continue voting Democrat.

How To Help Millenials: An Interview With Former Labor Department Official

The July 2012 jobs report was released on August 3rd 2012, and major news outlets have been reporting that the US economy added 163,000 jobs.  While the debate  rages on about the accuracy of the real number of jobs created or lost, the economic impact on young Americans has been lost in the fervor.

Paul Conway -former US Labor Department chief of staff & current president of Generation Opportunity

The jobs report revealed some startling and terrifying numbers about how the 18-29 demographic is struggling in the American economy.  To get a firm grasp on exactly how dismal the economy is for young Americans – and what can be done to reverse this trend – Conservative Daily News spoke with Paul Conway, the former US Labor Department chief of staff and current president of Generation Opportunity.

Generation Opportunity – or simply, “GO” – is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that is “committed to addressing and working toward solutions on immediate challenges, such as the lack of job opportunities, as well as the broader underlying issues, such as debt and federal spending, that impact our economic future and sustainability.”

—-

QFirst of all, I wan to thank you for talking with us today, Mr. Conway.  Why do you believe that the media is not including the figures from the household survey in their reporting?

A – “Well, you hope the ideal would be accurate reporting, but let me put my hat on as a former Labor Department chief of staff.  Here’s the thing about the household survey, I don’t think it is inaccurate.  I do think that some of the media want whatever the best picture is.”

 

Q – I have reviewed the full jobs report, and it is rather comprehensive.  Are there other pertinent aspects about the report that the media, and other outlets, are ignoring, or simply not reporting?

A –“I think sometimes the media will look at that monthly number, and that is the one thing that they will fixate on.  What they miss is the story behind the number and the people involved.  And on the larger terrain, what are the other significant factors that policymakers usually pay attention to before coming to conclusions and making decisions?

“There are some things out there that you can not ignore.  One of them is the household survey.  Also, another one is, out of the number of jobs created last month, how many of those were not full-time jobs?

“Yet another thing that can not be ignored is, of the jobs being created, how many of those jobs are going to older workers versus younger workers – which the majority of them were last month [June], and again this month [July].

“Also, the rate of new job creation.  In order to significantly take down high unemployment numbers, it takes between 250,000 and 400,000 jobs per month; depending on who you talk to, and there’s a great economic research team at the University of Maryland.”

 

Paul Conway at CPAC

QDo you think the media and policymakers fixate on that positive monthly number in order to further their own agenda, or to keep the public calm and prevent panic?

A – “That’s a very interesting question.  I think there are some that will look at the number and see if it fits a particular narrative, and I don’t think that is a good thing.  Whether there is a sincere effort by some to do that, I would say absolutely.  People will look at that [jobs report] and say ‘wow, look at that, let’s celebrate 160,ooo jobs!’.

“I saw one report where the uptick in job creaton number basically turns in to 35 new jobs per major city across the U.S. last month.  So if you created 35 jobs in Manhattan, is that a success?  No, it’s not.  What you need is a sustained period of job creation at the multi-hundred thousand level, just to start moving the unemployment number down.”

 

Since it will take a significant number of jobs to begin a recovery, of sorts, what sector of the workforce in the July jobs report is the most affected, or which demographic will require the most jobs?

– “If you look at the unemployment number for young adults – we had 8.3% come out [overall] – let’s take a look at the hardest hit demographic.  No one really wants to talk about it, and those are young Americans.  That [unemployment] number is 12.7%.”

What people don’t like to talk about is that there are an additional 1.7 million young adults who are no longer counted by the federal government.  If you take those 1.7 million young adults, and add it to the 12.7% that were counted, and we have 16.7% unemployment among young Americans.  What do you think the public would do if they knew that among adults aged 18-29, almost 17% of them were unemployed?

“This is a national issue, but people only want to talk about 8.3 percent, and somehow that’s normal.”

 

Q – Being in the 18-29 demographic myself, do you believe that having more than one-sixth of us out of work will be a hindrance to young Americans becoming entrepreneurs?

A – “Absolutely.  When you look at some of the best innovation that has come out of our country, they actually come from the folks who are young and took a risk.  This question is great because of how you are looking at it, and that is long-term.

“With almost 20% of young adults sitting on the sidelines of the American economy, all of that creativity, drive, and initiative; what does it do for American competitiveness in the face of China and India in 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years from now?  It’s a much different story when you look at it in the context of the bigger picture of the world stage and the U.S.”

 

Q – As president of Generation Opportunity, your organization focuses on helping my age bracket.  With Generation Opportunity’s “Call The White House Initiative”, do you think that making our voices heard in the White House would be more effective than calling the policy-makers who can draft and pass legislation that benefits established businesses and would-be entrepreneurs?  Or would calling both be best?

A – “What you are looking at is actually a series of tactics and initiatives that we are rolling out, and you are in the midst of watching it come out in full force.  What you will be seeing more of in the next several weeks is an aggressive campaign for young adults to make their voice heard in Congress, as well.  You can sign up on our website and it will allow you to find out who your legislators are, what the current issues and bills are, can also contact their representative and senator, as well as various committee chairs.

“So you are actually watching the emergence of several different tactics and initiatives, and ‘Call The White House’ is just one of those.  This is just the opening round.”

 

Q – I ran for US Congress in 2010 – starting my campaign at age 25.  Does Generation Opportunity have any plans on supporting actions to get young adults into public office in order to get that creativity, energy, and personal initiative – which you mentioned previously – into policy-making positions?

A – “When we put together our plan, we looked at what our long-term objective was, and what we wanted to do.  The long term objective for us is to serve as an education platform for young Americans, and to provide a tremendous about of resources for them.

“As far as candidate endorsement, we decided that we would not do that because it is better for us to serve as a vehicle for long-term education.  As an organization, we feel that in the long term is is better to identify with principle rather than a personality.”

 

Q – What principles does Generation Opportunity identify with, or espouse, as an organization?

A – “We organized on three principles.  Those three principles are, number one: Greater economic opportunity for all Americans.  The second is, advancement and defense – and I emphasize defense – of individual freedom: especially in the face of the federal government whose policy tries to dictate what the size and scale of liberty is.  The third is the size and scope of government

“Those principles have given us access to a very broad spectrum of people who are frustrated and want to make changes.  Our principles have attracted conservatives, libertarians, disaffected Obama supporters, and many more.  We have provided a large number of materials and resources on our website already, such as training guides and links to policy, so that people can become more engaged in the process.”

 

Q – Mr. Conway, unfortunately, it seems that we are out of time for today.  I want to again thank you for joining us, and I hope to speak with you again in the future.

A – Certainly.  It was a pleasure.  Thank You.

###

 

 

 

To learn more, please visit http://www.GenerationOpportunity.org

 

 

 

 

___

Moody’s Downgrades Pennsylvania

With Harrisburg already bankrupt and Scranton on the verge, Moody’s has decided to downgrade the state’s credit rating from Aa1 to Aa2.

Citing unfunded pension liabilities, high debt and slow to moderate growth the rating agency also changed it’s outlook for Pennsylvania from negative to stable.

On the upside, Moody’s says that the Government has improved with “two consecutive timely budgets, significantly reduced reliance on non-recurring resources, and a demonstrated willingness to balance revenue shortfalls early in the fiscal year”

Of the state’s economic outlook they cite “Diverse, broad, and relatively stable economy, with wealth levels slightly above the national average, buttressed by its large health and higher education sectors.”

As for what could lead to further degradation of the state’s credit rating Moody’s says “Further economic deterioration that leads to worse-than-expected revenue performance. Higher-than-budgeted depletion of reserves in the near term or an inability to restore budget stabilization fund over the medium term. Further liquidity decline that results in increased external cash flow borrowing, deferred payments, or other cash management tools, and growth in long-term liabilities, increase in fixed cost pressures, or additional deferral of pension costs.”

The Case For Free Enterprise

What is Free Enterprise? Is it moral? What about sharing the wealth? Isn’t that more fair?

Arthur Brooks from the American Enterprise Institute created a short video arguing the moral case for free enterprise. The clever use of hand drawn characters will keep the interest of those raised in the video age.

Watch it and then share with your younger friends, especially those who think sharing the wealth is the best economic plan.

VOODOO Food Economics

The USDA, in trying to increase participation in the SNAP or food stamp program, claims that for every dollar transferred to beneficiaries a dollar and seventy-two cents in economic activity is generated.

If we were to follow this mushy thinking to it’s logical conclusion, then if we all quit our jobs, closed our businesses and went on the program, we would live in a prosperous nation.

To illustrate this thinking, and expose it’s fallacy, suppose you have ten dollars to spend on food. The government takes one of those dollars from you, and gives it to someone else to spend on food. Now you only have nine dollars to spend on food, and someone else has one of your dollars.

It gets worse. It costs money in governmental bureaucracy to transfer your dollar to someone else, so by the time the recipient receives your dollar, it is only eighty-four cents. Now you have nine dollars to spend on food, and someone else has eighty-four cents.

Still it gets worse. Suppose instead of your original ten dollars, you only had nine dollars and sixty cents. The government takes your sixty cents, and borrows the other forty cents from China, at 3% interest, and gives you the bill. Now you have nine dollars to spend on food, but you owe China forty cents plus 3% interest on the forty cents, and someone else has eighty-four cents to spend on food.

The Chinese are better off by $0.012 (the interest on the forty cents borrowed in your name), the government is better off by $0.16 (administrative costs), but you are worse off by $1.012

Now instead your original $9.60 to spend on food, you only have $8.588 and the person your money was taken to help has $.084, making the total amount to spend on food $9.428

Wouldn’t it be better to improve the job outlook by putting into practice the recommendations of Obama’s own Jobs Czar Jeff Immelt, who told CNN in September of 2011 the way to create jobs in America was to create a stable and predictable tax environment with lower corporate rates and closed loopholes to be competitive with other countries, smaller government, reduced debt and deficit, a trained workforce, a friendlier regulatory environment, and more certainty on health care costs and regulations.

Will Obama Learn From Sweden?

 Have you ever heard of Anders Borg? He has a ponytail and wears an earring. He is an economist. He is also the finance minister of Sweden. When Sweden’s prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt became party leader in 2003, he made Borg his right-hand man.

Since becoming Sweden’s finance minister, Borg reduced the size of government and cut taxes. His ‘stimulus’ was a permanent tax cut. Borg’s actions, to his critics, were fiscal lunacy. They called it the ‘punk tax cutting’ agenda. Borg, however, thought lunacy meant repeating the economics of the 1970s and expecting a different result. Borg cut taxes and cut welfare-spending to pay for it. He even cut property taxes for the rich to lure entrepreneurs back to Sweden. For Borg, economic recovery started with entrepreneurs – if cutting taxes for the rich encouraged risk-taking, then it had to be done.

And guess what! Today (May 10, 2012) Sweden has no deficit – and economic growth. While the Euro started to melt down, most countries in Europe borrowed massively, Sweden and Borg did not. Though not officially not in the Eurozone and it does not use the Euro, Sweden is still part of Europe.

Borg said, “Everybody was told ‘stimulus, stimulus, stimulus’,” referring to the EU and IMF urging a debt-fuelled spending splurge. But when we look at Spain, Portugal, or the UK, whose governments were arguing for large temporary stimulus, it’s clear who was correct. What even Borg did not expect was that his tax cut would increase economic growth so much that it has almost entirely paid for itself. Borg had created something that British MP and the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s critics say does not exist: a self-financing tax cut.

Sound economics is part of the government mission in Sweden, but not in Britain, which has no such economic luxury. British Prime Minister David Cameron once observed that no one “gets up in the morning thinking ‘I wish the state was smaller’.” That sentiment is perhaps true in London, but not in Stockholm.

So the question is: Will Obama and his economic advisors learn from Sweden? Or will they continue along their present path, one that has proven not to work?

But that’s just my opinion.

Cross-posted at RWNO, my personal web site.

The End is Near

Welcome to the beginning of the end of the economic recovery. On Tuesday diesel fuel was $4.49 per gallon along interstate route 81 in New York State!

The price of fuel is rapidly approaching what Malcolm Gladwell would call the “tipping point”. Diesel fuel hit a peak of $4.72 per gallon in July of 2008. That took a huge toll on the American economy. Housing bubble notwithstanding, the high price of diesel contributed to the economic crash of 2008.

Consider that everything you buy is on at least two trucks before it gets to the store where you purchase it. Not only that, but all of the raw materials used to make whatever you buy are shipped to the manufacturer by truck. Every nickel rise in the cost of diesel fuel adds one penny to the cost of each and every mile of truckload freight. That might not sound like much, but when you think about the number of miles freight is carried in our country, and how many times something is on a truck before it gets into your hands, it is easy to see the extra cost add up. If you watch the price of milk in the grocery store, you will see very quickly that it mirrors closely the cost of diesel fuel at the pump.

What happened in 2008 was that available freight dropped off quickly as diesel fuel approached $5.00 per gallon. With profit margins already slim, companies were forced to pass these added costs on to the consumer. As consumer prices rose to cover transportation costs, customer purchasing dropped. Companies shipped less freight. This caused a temporary excess in available trucks, which put downward pressure on freight rates. Despite the high cost of fuel, carriers were forced to take less for their loads, or park some trucks. This balanced out at the cost of small trucking companies being forced out of business, and drivers losing their jobs; about 200,000 of them by early 2009.

At a time when the nation’s economy is slowly crawling out of a disaster, rising fuel prices pose the most serious threat to our recovery. In 2007 tractor-trailer trucks carried freight a record 184.2 billion miles. By 2009 that figure had dropped to 167.8 billion miles.

Diesel fuel hit its low point of $2.09 per gallon in March of 2009, and we entered a slow recovery. Freight has been steadily increasing since, and trucking companies began hiring again in 2009. By late 2011 hiring was in full steam, and companies are continuing to hire drivers. If fuel rates are sustained at current levels, or if they continue to rise, the same squeeze will happen again, and relatively quickly. The closer diesel fuel gets to $5.00 per gallon, the closer we get to another recession. We have now reached the tipping point for fuel prices, which seems to be about $4.50 per gallon. If we sustain these prices for very long we will see the recently encouraging economic numbers do a rapid about face and the 8.3% unemployment number the President is so proud of will begin to rise.

US Energy Policy: Why It Failed & How To Fix It

THE FACTS ABOUT UNITED STATES ENERGY 

One of the biggest drains on the American economy is, undoubtedly the importation of energy.  In the early 1970’s the United States was the world’s largest producer of Oil and Natural Gas.  If we still remain near the top of the world’s list of producers – #3 according to the CIA Fact Book – how is this a problem?  The problem is that we are the world’s #1 Importer of oil at 10.27 Million BBL/Day – which is 4.541 Million barrels per day higher than China, who stands as the #2 importer.

What about natural gas?  Surely we recover the losses, right?  Not so fast.  The US is still the world’s #1 producer of Natural gas.  But here’s he problem –  we are also the worlds #1 consumer AND importer of Natural Gas.  Once again, we are in an upside-down scenario in regards to energy.

US Oil Production, by year

How can a country, much less an economy, expect to sustain stability, strength or longevity with such a huge disparity when it comes to such a valuable and important commodity?

.

WHERE GOVERNMENT FAILED

It is my firm belief that our current economic tensions with the Middle East and OPEC began with the “oil policy” of President Jimmy Carter when he signed Presidential Directive 63 on January 15th, 1981.  PD63 stated that the US will protect its interests in the Middle East “by any means necessary, including military force.”

Also under the Carter Administration, the US Department Of Energy was created (in 1977).  Since then, Congress has passed a swath of energy-focused legislation that was supposed to make our nation more energy efficient, independent, and strong.  A very small sampling of legislation are as follows:

  • 1978 – Power Plant and Industrial Fuel Use Act – Restricted new power plants using oil or natural gas. Repealed in 1987.
  • 1978 – Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act – Opened electric markets to alternate power producers
  • 1978 – Energy Tax Act – Taxed gas-guzzlers, gave income tax credits for alternate fuel use
  • 1980 – Geothermal Energy Act – Created Synthetic Fuels Corporation to market fossil fuel alternatives
  • 1980 – Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Act – Provided loan guarantees for biomass and alcohol fuels projects
  • 1992 – Energy Policy Act – Required alternative fuel vehicle use in some private/government fleets
  • 2005 – Energy Policy Act – Provided tax incentives for conservation and use of alternative fuels
  • 2007 – America COMPETES Act  – Increased fuel economy requirements, phased out incandescent light bulbs, encouraged biofuel development
  • 2009 – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – Renewable energy tax cuts

Furthermore, the federal government has spent Billions of dollars – if not Trillions – over the last three decades fighting wars in the Middle East to “protect our interests” in their oil.  Imagine the infrastructure that could have been built in America for alternative fuels, solar energy, hydroelectric power, bio-fuels, and more.  Perhaps American energy independence wouldn’t be a mere policy and plan – but instead a reality.

As time progresses, it is becoming more and more apparent that Congress continues to extend the present energy crisis (yes, crisis) in this country.  In doing so, they are also expanding our National Debt with the growing protection of and importation of foreign fuel sources.  Let’s not forget how much influence has been bought with money from the oil industry.  Oil & gas companies have donated huge sums of money to politicians to maintain the energy status quo:

oil and gas companies have donated $238.7 million to candidates and parties since the 1990 election cycle

.

The question still remains: How Do We Solve This Problem?

.

THE SOLUTION – Look South

The answer to many problems is often right under your nose – American Energy is no different.  We must look South to Brazil.  The Brazilian model for energy independence is showing gigantic signs of success.  Brazil is producing more energy than it consumes, and, according to one Brazilian energy mogul, 48% of Brazil’s current energy comes from renewable sources.

The following charts show clear evidence that the Brazilian model is working:

Click for larger view

WHAT SHOULD THE US GOVERNMENT DO?

The first step in reversing our current failed energy policy is to eliminate and remove ALL subsidies for corn-based ethanol production.  The use of corn-based ethanol has an effect on food prices, not just in the US, but globally.  Corn is a valuable commodity as a food product, and should remain a staple in that regard.

One suitable alternative to corn is sugarcane – as Brazil is showing – but there are many more options available including bagasse, miscanthus, sugar beet, sorghum, grain, switchgrass, barley, hemp, kenaf, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, sunflower, fruit, molasses, corn, stover, grain, wheat, straw, cotton, and more.  Surely with the variety of crops from which ethanol can be derived, corn can be replaced, subsidies eliminated or reduced, and the United States can begin to produce vast amounts of Ethanol to ease our dependence on foreign oil.

Even another alternative to crop-based ethanol is Algae.  It is being shown that Algae can produce ethanol with a greater yield and efficiency over corn and even sugar cane:

Algae produces more Ethanol per acre than Corn or Sugar Cane

Algenol’s process is very different in that the algae are not cultivated. Instead, algae produce ethanol in gas form that is siphoned off from the bioreactor tubes and condensed to a liquid, Woods explained.

He claimed that the system can produce 6,000 gallons of ethanol per acre per year, far more than corn’s rate of 370 gallons per acre per year or sugar cane’s at 890 gallons per acre per year.

The Mexican site is located a few miles away from a power generation station. By pumping carbon dioxide from the station into the algae bioreactors, the saltwater algae farm can boost production to 10,000 gallons of ethanol per acre per year, he said.

Exploring these alternatives are the first step in eliminating our dependence on oil imports.  The second step is domestic Oil Production.  Yes, that old saying “Drill, baby drill!” is coming back.  The United States has 20.68 BILLION barrels of proven oil reserves.  We also have 7.716 Trillion Cubic Meters of Natural Gas reserves under our boots.

With our proven energy reserves, and the massive potential for ethanol, hydroelectric, and other renewable sources – what logical reason is there for the US to NOT be energy independent by 2020?  Diversifying our energy sources is not only good for National Security, it is sound economics and it will create JOBS for Americans.  Couple this energy policy with real, logical tax reform (I personally support The Fair Tax), and the United States would lure back manufacturing and other sectors in massive droves.  This would lead to the USA becoming the economic hub of the world once again.

 

Bottom line:  A sound policy geared towards Energy Independence will affect the entire US Economy.  A strong economy makes a strong country.  So in 2012, let’s elect members of Congress who will seriously approach US Energy Policy.  Vote for prosperity, not party.

___

Repeat After Me: “I am a Marxist Puppet Preacher from NYU.”

      NYU Economics Professor, Preaching Marxism at OWS

 

Watch this short video. Is it any wonder these many of these college age student-bots you see here can not get a job in the real world?

 

 Meet professor Richard D, Wolff,  (preaching at OWS above) who[supposedly] teaches college students economics at NYU.  Mr. Wolff believes he has come up with a new plan to promote Marxist ideology from within the United States educational system. Mr. Wolff, like all Marxist professors, is trying to re-write the history of Marxism in an attempt to make it more appealing to America’s youth under the guise of “ a new approach to the political economy.”

This tired retread of Marxist ideology/propaganda is being pushed as “new and improved” under the title,  Rethinking Marxism. For a glimpse of just what this NYU professor is teaching college students today, I point one chapter of “lessons” from the  Re-Treading Marxism  page linked above, by Mr Rick Wolff:

From Economic to Social Crisis: Deficits, Debt and a Little Class History by: Rick Wolff

Throughout its history, capitalism never succeeded in preventing recurring economic cycles or crises.  That’s right kids, evil capitalism is the reason you can’t get a job with your college degree in the liberal arts of Zimbabwe.  Not everyone can be a fluffed up, lazy, overpaid-for-producing-nothing-but-anti-American-rhetoric-academic like Mr. Wolff .  Here is what you get from these career college kids/academics like Mr. Wolff-  All fluff and no production, as in never worked a job in his life. He started out with a degree in History from Harvard, to Economics degrees from Yale, and Stanford, to a PHD in economics from Yale, all of them acquired in the 60’s when preaching Communism was cool, just as hordes of dope-smoking hippies and wanna-be Communists at the OWS protests are now parroting.

Combining economics with history studies can be a valuable combination, especially when you are attempting to cloud the true poverty-inducing history of Marxism as they do in Rethinking Marxism.  To quote Mr. Wolff: ”  The world is being held back by the capitalistic system.”  Do away with the evil “board of directors” he says, yet it is these very same types of evil boards of directors that have approved his lifetime of making money for his speaking engagements and being a visiting professor of economics around the country and abroad, such as when he was in France.  ( albeit for a very short period of time in 1994) Again, I emphasize that this Marxist professor has never done an honest day’s work in his life. He has never applied all of his supposed economic brilliance to actually earn a living, in say running a manufacturing company or an investment firm. What he has made a lavish living at is student indoctrination and societal manipulation, just as his apparent lifelong mentor, the Socialist revolutionary Carl Marx did.

The similarities between Marx and Wolff can be seen in the following short biography about Karl Marx:

Karl Heinrich Marx (5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, sociologist, economic historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist who developed the socio-political theory of Marxism. His ideas have since played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement. He published various books during his lifetime, with the most notable being The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Capital (1867–1894), many of which were co-written with his friend, the fellow German revolutionary socialist Friedrich Engels.  Mr. Wolff relies heavily of retreads of Karl Marx’ book Capital in his current Rethinking Marxism propaganda campaign. If you look at the bio of Mr. Wolff here, you can see stunning similarities between his “career” and that of Karl Marx.

The last time I saw anything that parallels  the above video showing numerous adults parroting Marxism and anti-capitalism rhetoric was when I was in the second grade learning our pledge of allegiance:  The teacher would say repeat after me:  “I pledge allegiance to the flag…”   That example is of six-year-olds learning the words to our pledge of allegiance through repetition. Mr. Wolff is shown to be using the same form of “teaching” ( reprogramming is a more apt word for it) on ADULTS at the OWS protests to spread Marxist propaganda. How pathetic is that?  What is even more saddening is the fact that not one of those supposed adults listening to this bunk had the guts to call out the “esteemed professor.”  I know for a fact that if he had attempted this type of anti-American indoctrination at a Tea Party rally, he would have been denounced after the first Marxism-promoting line that came out of his mouth. The last thing Tea- Partiers are ever going to put up with is some self-important academic telling them, ” Repeat after me children, I hate America”  This is the difference between the Occupiers and the Tea-Partiers, and it is right out there for all to see. One group has a Patriotic love for America and the freedom she stands for and the other simply wants to tear her down and create some form of Socialist Utopia. Do you know which group is which?

 

Bloomberg TV is an Actual Channel: GOP Economic Debate Recap

Tuesday night saw the latest GOP debate as the Washington Post teamed up with Bloomberg TV (it’s a channel; I looked it up) to present the first exclusively economic debate of the primary season.  Charlie Rose was fairly benign as the moderator of the literal round table debate.  The candidates sat at a large table and spoke face to face instead of the typical podium format.

Conservatives and Republicans across the nation were paying particular attention to this debate for several reasons.  This marked the first debate for Herman Cain as a viable frontrunner since his explosion in the Florida Straw Polls nearly two weeks ago.  Many were anxious to see how his newly minted “top-tier” status would change the dynamics. This promised to be Cain’s strongest debate, as many recognize he is quite experienced in matters of business and economics.  Cain did not disappoint.  As predicted, his economic shorthand was appealing and seemed to resonate in the crowd – or at least as much as one can tell, since Rose and company refused to allow the crowd to clap or cheer.  Why does Bloomberg TV hate fun, I wonder?  Cain’s 9-9-9 plan has come under some fire in recent days as impractical, but the beauty of that plan is its simplicity and sound-bite ready alliteration.  It’s a slogan -something voters and viewers can remember easily.  Cain managed to mention 9-9-9 twice in the opening thirty seconds of the debate.  He took every opportunity to mention it thereafter.  Other candidates mentioned the plan.  Cain even had the moderators saying “9-9-9”.  Now that’s branding!  At one point the whole debate began to seem like the 9-9-9 show, which I thought was rather brilliant on Cain’s part.  He may not have the political experience and temerity of a Romney, but as the former CEO of a pizza company, Cain knows the importance of branding.

Mitt Romney had a typically strong showing.  It is obvious Romney knows what he is doing.  He is extremely politically experienced, he understands the primary circus and he knows the rules and how to play the game.  He is almost a campaign machine, but without the outward mechanics of a Jon Huntsman.  There was nothing particularly moving or interesting about what Romney had to say in the debate.  His answers were pretty standard Romney fair, but the ease with which he answered every question and every challenge was almost disturbing.  His strategy was nearly flawless.  Clearly Romney understands Perry is falling and Cain is surging.  He chose not address Cain directly, but vaguely targeted Cain’s tax plan and economic focus.  The one opportunity he had to ask a question to another candidate, he used to address Michele Bachmann.  One might have expected him to take it to Cain, but Romney seemed to understand to do so would only serve to acknowledge Cain’s legitimacy and give him more time to highlight his own plans.  Well played on Mitt’s part.  I’m sure his hair was proud.

Perry did nothing to improve on the dismal performances of the last two debates.   It seemed a round table discussion might suit him more, but faced with very little time from the moderator, Perry seemed to wither.  His answers were warmed over and repetitive and he looked almost lost at times.  Perry has waned in the debate process.  The best President isn’t always the greatest debater, but Perry may not have a chance to prove that if he continues to slide.  He’ll need to show significant improvement next week if he wants to win over new support.

Michele Bachmann was in her element as she spoke about Obamacare and the crushing regulatory burden small businesses face.  Her background as tax lawyer for the IRS informs her opinion of the economic crisis we face and it shows.  She is rightly passionate about the need to repeal Obamacare and the horrors that are actually outlined in the bill.  Both she and Newt Gingrich took the opportunity to point out that the “Death Panels” concern is very real and should be taken very seriously.  That being said, every time Bachmann spoke she continued to make it clear why she would make a better fighter in the House.  Nothing is more important to the health of this country than the repeal of Obamacare and Bachmann knows more about the legislation than almost any politician out there.  Conservatives seem to recognize that.  Although Perry has dropped significantly, Bachmann hasn’t yet earned back the voters he siphoned off in the first weeks of his candidacy.  It would be surprising if her campaign survives until the first primaries in January.

Newt Gingrich is the smartest man alive.  Even his jowls are smarter than most people.  He should be working in any administration that comes to pass in 2012.  He adds a sense of gravitas and accountability to the GOP field.  He is not a great Presidential candidate, but he sure is a joy to watch, and I think it’s been good for conservatives to have him present during this process.

After a great showing in the last debate, Rick Santorum was once again relegated to the redheaded stepchild status.  He was hardly heard from and had to fight his way in once or twice to even be seen.  Santorum is fantastic on social issues and clearly he is a committed conservative.  He was the only candidate to (rightly) point out that the breakdown of the American family is one of the biggest reasons for economic failure in this country.  It’s hard to imagine Santorum fairing well in a general debate against Obama.  He is not nearly strong willed enough.  He’s nice.  He seems like a good man.  He does not seem like a strong personality, and that will be vital in the upcoming elections.  Still, he always makes good points and the crowds seem to enjoy his perspectives.

Jon Huntsman was there.  I’m tired of talking about him and his robotic candidacy.  This guy is not anywhere close to any Republican’s dream candidate.  He’s about the only person in the race who would hands down lose a head to head election against Obama.  I’m sure he was a good ambassador but he’s a terrible candidate and he needs to take his tools and his software package and his IT doctors back to Utah.  He has a record there.

Ron Paul hates the Fed.  Also, Ron Paul loves Austrian economics.  Ron Paul is raising a lot of money as I type this.

It seems that Mitt Romney is the man the mainstream media has anointed as the next Republican candidate for President.  While there is a raging debate among conservatives as to the validity of that position, one thing is for certain – the man knows what he is doing.  He is nearly unbeatable in the debate setting.  He is unflappable and even charming at times.  It will be very, very difficult to beat Romney on the debate floor.  Those vying for his status will need to find other ways to challenge him.   Romney wins the Post-Bloomberg debate.  Cain comes in right behind him.  And for as confident as Romney looked Tuesday night, there can be no doubt that he is looking over his shoulder at the tea party candidate, Herman Cain.

Bloomberg TV gets an honorable mention tonight for proving to the public that it actually is a real channel.  You can find it on cable…somewhere.

 

 

« Older Entries