Saturday, February 21, 2009

Can Our Nation Survive?

Skeptics have predicted that a democracy can only survive until a majority of the voters realize they can vote themselves someone elses money. Margret Thatcher said the problem with socialism is that eventually they run out of other people's money. We in the United States are doing both. In the long run such behavior is self destructive, but few people think about the long run. Will our nation as we know it survive? Many political systems lasted much longer than our 200 plus year history and then failed. Will the skeptics prove right?

The Democratic Party strategy has always had a stealth socialist agenda. They recoil at the word socialist, just as they do at the suggestion that the media is biased in their favor, but so does everyone who employs the big lie when trying to deny a self-evident truth. The tag line for their approach to political success is tax and tax, spend and spend (creating a loyal voter base), elect and elect.

The US has moved more slowly towards socialism than Europe, and has had more prosperity as a result. The Senate is the key difference. For example giving Wyoming the same two Senate votes as California (with two percent of the population) has allowed rural voices to be disproportionately loud, and rural people are less dependent on government. In Europe there is no such retardant to this socialistic creep. But beware.. this Senate "equalizer" will not last long. The Democrats have successfully expanded government and infected more and more rural people with their unholy drug of government largess. We are moving smartly.... in the wrong direction.

With the new socialist wish list (aka the stimulus bill) Democrats have once again expanded government, but this time at an unprecedented rate. The number of people with an increased dependency on government is alarming. Bailouts for businesses, longer and bigger benefits for the unemployed, benefits for homeowners, re-instituting welfare (as we used to know it- undermining the success of Clinton's welfare reform), larger subsidies for colleges, more businesses depending on government contracts to survive, political groups supporting a radical Democratic left wing agenda (ACORN for example), etc. have all been funded with staggering amounts of money. Will we ever recover? Once someone has been given something for nothing, it is unlikely that he will ever give it up or vote for meaningful change.

Many big businesses are as guilty as anyone for sucking at the teat of government and gaming the system. GM and the banks are guilty, but at least their actions are the last gasp of dying corporations. They are already the walking dead. But what about a seemingly healthy company like General Electric (GE)?

A book was written separating the Robber Baron's of the 19th and early 20th century into two groups- those that made fortunes by providing a better product at a cheaper price, and those that used government influence to help create and protect their monopolies (Rockefeller and Standard Oil being one). GE clearly falls into the latter group.

CNBC was granted the first interview with the new President, and the on air commentators were joking about how the station had arrived as a prominent force in media. They pondered why the Presidency bestowed such an honor on them. Let's see. NBC, MSNBC and CNBC are all owned by GE. NBC political coverage was so slanted it could only be described as an unpaid Obama advertisement. MSNBC was worse. It was a continuous 24 hour Democratic infomercial. CNBC's political corespondent, John Harwood, is a devoted Democratic supporter. Do you wonder why Obama gave that interview to CNBC?

Any large corporation has to kiss the butt of the political class. Politicians hold vast power, and prudence dictates they had best be catered to. But why does GE have such a vested interest in the Democrats? After all, isn't it the Democrats who tax corporations so onerously, regulate them, impose nonsensical environmental restrictions, labor restrictions, and generally try to control them wherever possible?

One reason might be GE's interest in alternative energy and climate change. GE sees opportunity in alternative energy, and produces equipment to reduce greenhouse gases. The historian Paul Johnson pointed out that climate change is one of the three great frauds of the 20th century (the other two are Marxism and Freudian psychology). All three claim to be based on science, but they are no more scientific than taro card reading. GE understands climate change is a fraud, but they see profits in the scam, and so they are on board. They employ the PR power of their networks, as well as massive lobbying dollars to promote this silliness.

Jeff Immelt (Chairman of GE) was just named as one of Obama's economic advisers. GE also has received TARP money, controls several of the larger medial outlets, and does billions of dollars business with the federal government. Am I the only one who see a conflict here?

I won't speculate exactly why countries drift to the left (contrary to their own interests), but they do. Colonel Augusto Pinochet took over the Communist government of Chile by force in the early 1970s. He threw out the collectivist economic model of his predecessor and implemented a free market model developed by University of Chicago economists called the Chicago Boys. At first a bad economy under the communists became even worse, but within a few years things changed and Chile became the economic miracle of South America. Their GDP skyrocketed, currency stabilized, unemployment went way down, wages went way up, and they even developed a successful system of private retirement accounts, something the rest of the world should be imitating. Economic prosperity usually is accompanied by greater life expectancy, a cleaner environment, and many other improved measures of society. I point this out because in spite of their amazingly successful transition to capitalism, and given the stark contrast with their past economic failure, it makes one wonder why politically they are moving to the left. The false promise of something for nothing (aka government assistance) must be irresistible to too many.

Is this all really hopeless? I can't say. But the battle against socialist Democrats and the GE's of the world is uphill at best. Our republic, our American tradition of rugged individualism, and our uniquely American optimism have served us well. Will they continue to?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Religion of Peace

The founder of a New York State TV company, designed to show moderate Muslims in a positive light, was arrested last week for beheading his wife.. Ummm.. I wonder what a violent Muslim is like?

And if you think I am a racist for pointing out the differences, answer me this.. What is a racist? Is it a bad thing? It seems to me that comparing one race with another, or assigning certain characteristics to a race is hardly bad or unethical.. If I compare neighborhoods, am I a neighborhoodist? If I compare ice creams, am I an icecreamist..This is an idea I took from, (and expressed humorously by) David Stove. So by saying blacks are better dancers than whites, or better athletes, am I a racist. What if I say Muslims are more likely to commit acts of terror than Christians, am I a racist then..or religionist? And if I am, is that a bad thing? You decide.

A Dutch film maker named Geert Wilders produced the documentary Fitna (I urge everyone to see it), a movie which asserts that the Koran is the source of Muslim violence. It condemns Muslim religious teachings for inciting violence, rather than condemning just the individuals committing the terror.

Wilders was invited to speak to Parliament about terror, but Great Britain's Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, refused him entry into the country. She said his presence would induce violence by the Muslim community. Ironically, her action underscores the very premise of Wilders film, that the Koran teaches and permits violence, and that Muslims are much more likely to be violent than members of any other religion..

Known terrorists and terrorist fund raisers, people who unlike Wilders really do advocate violence, are routinely allowed into the country under the free speech banner. Yet here, someone who never in any way advocated any sort of violence, was not allow to speak.

Once again we see where on the left freedom of speech is limited to speech with which liberals agree (college campuses being a prime example). But that is a subject for another day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wrong Politically..Wrong for America

Everyone must see Milton Friedman in this two minute clip.

You have to feel sorry for Tom Daschle. He paid $134,000 in back taxes he never would have paid were it not for his job application, and he still wasn't hired. Oh well..he already made 5 million dollars since getting voted out of congress by using all that acute business expertise he developed while championing socialism.

The so called stimulus package is sailing through congress with the support of two imbecilic senators from Maine and Senator Specter from Pennsylvania (a RINO-Republican In Name Only). Senator Specter's ship never had a flag flying, but what he's doing here is almost as bad as when he helped stop the Robert Bork nomination to the supreme court. I predict that a conservative challenger for the nomination will unseat him in the 2010 primary.

It was interesting to hear John McCain complain about the defections in that he did exactly the same thing, repeatedly, on a whole series of issues- global warming, campaign finance reform, tax cuts, drilling offshore, drilling at Anwar etc. Those defections, often with his being the only Republican, allowed the congressional Democrats (and the press Democrats) to claim bipartisan support.

The Republicans have ceded an astounding amount of territory on this so called stimulus package, and it will come back to haunt them. They talk as if the "correct" stimulus would help the economic crisis, and that all we really need to do is change the bill. Instead they should argue against any stimulus other than tax cuts. Spending of any kind won't help us with the economic crisis, but what the Democrats are passing doesn't even qualify as spending under their definition. The bill is no more than a socialist wish list, brought to us under the false banner of a stimulus to save an economic meltdown. Infrastructure etc. is about 10%, whereas pork and entitlement expansion is 90%. Nothing the Republicans can do will deter them, but they should still go on the record opposing all of the spending. Sure, some infrastructure spending might be OK, but expanding government in a permanent way, which this bill is guaranteed to do, will certainly do permanent damage.

Instead of arguing for changes in the bill, the Republicans should be challenging the Democrats to point to one instance where, anywhere in the world, such a policy has worked. It certainly has been tried. Roosevelt tried and failed. We came out of the depression well after he unleashed his massive spending, and that was because of saner monetary policies and the second world war. Even his Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, said that we tried stimulus and it didn't work. In the 1990s Japan used massive spending trying to stimulate their economy and failed. Their government debt ballooned from 45% of GDP (gross domestic product) to 170% of GDP. In doing so they created an unmanageable bureaucracy and their economy has stagnated ever since.

Tax cuts would help, and Obama is claming the Democratic bill includes tax cuts. He even has the nerve to claim 42% of the bill is tax cuts. No no! Calling a pig a beauty queen will not win any blue ribbons. Here, Obama is renaming welfare payments as tax cuts. He did the same thing during the campaign and the press ignored it. 45% of Americans pay no taxes, even though he promised to cut taxes on "95%" of Americans. What the stimulus bill does is give more money to that 45% who don't pay taxes. They may call it tax cuts, but it sure sounds like welfare to me. The press has concealed this and I expect it, they will lie cheat and steal to support Obama. But why the Republicans are not pointing it out, letting him get away with it, boggles the mind.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Two's Company

Tom Daschle became the third on a match. Supposedly, during World War Two, the third soldier to light his cigarette on the same match could be shot because the enemy had sufficient time to see the flame, aim and fire. It seems that today that Daschle, not a soldier but the third tax cheat, got shot.

Charlie Rangel (congressman from Harlem) was shown to have cheated on his taxes for years, yet nothing was done to him. Tim Geitner cheated as well, but was approved as the Treasury Secretary. Tom Daschle didn't fare so well. I suppose his compatriots thought the public might see a pattern there. He withdrew his name today as the HHS nominee. I guess three cheats and you really are out. btw.. None of the three paid a penny in penalty when the taxes finally did get paid.

The press (aka the right arm of the Democratic Party) has allowed all three to claim without contradiction, inadvertent oversights. While it is true that with the complexity of the tax code many oversights are legitimate, in these cases that dog don't hunt. They didn't simply take an aggressive stance in classifying their income or deductions..that is perfectly reasonable. They just didn't pay taxes when money was clearly due. But the fourth estate could care less. Right now they are lionizing Daschle. I listen to the main stream media and all I hear is how this "simple mistake" sank a respected, much loved, public servant.. Respected by whom, loved by whom? I always found him to be an extreme partisan who had difficulty with the truth, constantly hammering away with a velvet glove..Oh's just another day in the socialist/ MSM / Democratic complex.