This is a rather long lecture by Milton Friedman on the issues of government in medical care. As it is so long I’m not going to write a lot, but you should watch it because, despite being over 3 decades old, every word is still very relevant.
Category Archives: Tyranny
So a friend shared with me this gruesomely titled article, “Top Democrat Pushing For “One Child” Population Control In America.” Now, the Democrat in question is Michael E. Arth, a failed Democratic candidate for the governor’s mansion in Florida. So I’m not sure if I would say “Top Democrat” is completely accurate…but he’s certainly up there…but his statements are actually rather typical for liberals and their insane fear of overpopulation.
Here are some fun highlights:
Now, thanks to the one-child policy – to which there are many exceptions, by the way – China’s ageing population will probably not grow much more from now on, as long as they don’t remove the restrictions.
China, and the rest of the world, would be better served by a choice-based marketable birth license plan, or “birth credits,” that could stop or reverse population growth on a dime. Birth credits allow people to have as many children as they desire and can manage and reward people who are willing to give up that right.
The limit to individual freedom is where the exercise of an individual right begins to infringe on the rights we hold in common.
If you feel like vomiting, I can’t blame you.
Liberals seem to think that the world is heading to an apocalyptic scenario where every part of the world is crammed with people stacked on top of each other while simultaneously the Malthusian nightmare of perpetual famine, war, pollution and death. And of course the only way to solve this problem is the same answer liberals have for every single problem in the history of human existence*: more government regulation. To a liberal we of course need the government to limit how many children we can have, license who can have children, punish those whom we don’t like having children, and provide free ways to dispose of those nasty little bastards when you don’t want to have them.** I think we’ve all joked, upon seeing the inept wretches out there that have children, that there should be licensing to have children…but we also all agree that the idiots who run the DMV with such efficiency, the NSA with such high moral standards, and Treasury with such common sense and restraint, are quite literally the most unqualified people to issue such license, and are in fact the people whose births we hoped would have been prevented by such regulation. I think we can all agree Joe Biden’s mother made a terrible, terrible mistake in deciding to keep him. Now you may think I’m exaggerating, that it’s only a few kooks…but no. A search of the terms Overpopulation, Sustainability, Carrying Capacity yield articles from CNN, MSNBC, Salon, and of course this one from the UN itself on the horrific terror that overpopulation brings. And there is a plethora of even less reputable sources. Granted I may not always view these as the most accurate of sources, but it does show a mentality that thinks that overpopulation is a problem…and for them it is a problem related to all their whiny fake environmentalist hysteria, and just general hatred of the individual who makes their own choices.
You can see this hatred is for the individual in Arth’s words:
The limit to individual freedom is where the exercise of an individual right begins to infringe on the rights we hold in common.
There is no such thing as “rights held in common.” Only individuals have rights. ONLY INDIVIDUALS. Groups do not hold rights. We can talk about balancing the needs of the whole versus the rights of one person, we can talk about practicality, but never make the mistake that the call for pragmatism in policy has anything to do with the rights of groups. Only individuals hold rights, because only individuals can make the choices to exercise those rights. When people talk about group rights held in common, they are only saying that a government task master will be the one exercising control and choice over the sheep they control. And what greater control could there be than to say who can and cannot have a child and when they can or can’t. This coming from the party that says government has no right to say what you do in the bedroom or with whom.
There is of course one tiny little problem. US population is dropping, European population is dropping, Hell, world population may be dropping. If it wasn’t for immigration it would be even more evident. And even if it isn’t dropping, you could actually fit all 6.9 billion people in Texas if you packed them in at the population density of New York City…doesn’t exactly sound like there is no room for anyone else. Now for liberals who statistically live in crowded cities, it may seem like there is no room left, in reality there is A LOT of land left.
Part of the problem is they hold Malthus’s ideas as gospel. For those not familiar with them, here is the short, short version. Malthus believes that technology increased food production arithmetically (10, 12, 14, 16, 18…all plus 2) while population grew geometrically (2, 4, 8, 16, 32…all times 2) over a certain period of time. So when you start and there is food for 10,000 people and you only have 2,000, you’re all good…but after a while you have food for 16,000 and a population of 16,000…still good until the next generation when you don’t have enough food to feed 14,000. This leads to wars over food, famine from lack, disease from malnutrition (modern liberals would add pollution from over farming habits) and just suffering in general. The problem here is that Malthus understood nothing about the coming effects of science, technology, innovation, mass production, the industrial revolution, and of course capitalism. ***
Overpopulation is a lie. It is not a global problem. Like so many things it is merely a tool of fear, an excuse to expand the power of those in control over the rest of us.
However, I would like to say that this does not mean that the opposite is completely true as some foolish conservatives seems to claim. Overpopulation isn’t a global problem…but it is a problem in certain areas. The third world has a major problem with over population. Yes capitalism and all the benefits it brings make Malthus’ predictions pointless…but without capitalism everything Malthus feared goes on in the third world with deadly accuracy. And overpopulation makes it worse because it actually works against creating capitalism. The most egregious example is of course parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. There you see overpopulation continue in a way that actually prevents capitalism from taking root. It keeps the population just malnourished enough to prevent them from really having the energy to find the entrepreneurial spirit. It keeps any attempt to build the infrastructure necessary for the modern economy just out of reach because once you plan, invest, and create infrastructure for one level of population the population has grown just enough to make that level of infrastructure inadequate. It prevents the growth of a middle class and hampers mass education since so much time must be spent looking for what resources there are that must be spread out among the whole. Malthus wasn’t wrong about what happens, he just didn’t know you had to add the caveat “unless you have capitalism.”
And there is no easy answer here. Because the government controls vile idiots like Arth propose would only make it worse. Don’t believe me, look at what wonders they did in Detroit…do you really want to let liberals have control over a place that’s already doing badly. Of course helping promote capitalism in these area might not stop the suffering immediately but it will promote the long term prosperity.
But despite the fact that overpopulation may be a problem in certain areas due more to lack of economic infrastructure than actual population, overpopulation, is not, has never been and will never be a global problem.
*Unless it involves narcotics or regulation the health standards of abortion clinics. The liberals are quite dead set against government even acknowledging such things exist beyond your absolute right to use such things.
**I’m prochoice, but the way the left defend the absolute right of any woman to abort a fetus the day before her due date is just a tad disturbing. Like most rational prochoice people I find little problem with abortion in the first trimester, but anything after that starts getting ethically iffy…although, conversely, if you’re so unspeakably stupid that you haven’t made up your mind by 20 weeks, you may not be qualified to have children.
***I’ll attack the idea, but honestly, I have a hard time really blaming Malthus who wrote around 1800. He wasn’t that far off for his time. Yes there had been many technological advances over the 2,000 years before him…like crop rotation, and how to make really bad steel, and gun powder. But in the grand scheme of things the 2,000 years before Malthus saw almost no advances when compared to the 200 years that followed him. Yeah we can look to the Renaissance and see where the groundwork was laid for modern science and technology, but almost none of it had materialized into anything practical when Malthus wrote. They were still using chamber pots. Bleeding was still a popular medical technique, and in terms of practicality quantum mechanics has more meaning to your life than electricity had for Malthus. So I really can’t blame him for not seeing how much technology driven by capitalism (also a new idea in Malthus’s time) could radically change the way people lived. He had no way to foresee the massive upheaval of technology that would follow him
The great Milton Friedman on the ethics of capitalism.
Capitalism is the only system that has been shown to raise people out of poverty. It is the only system that benefits the rich, the middle class, and the poor. It is the only system that can bring a nation out of destitution. It is the only system that works long term. It is the only system compatible with human nature. It is the only system of economics that is ethical. It is the only system of economics that is sustainable because only capitalism creates and encourages the innovation and imagination needs to deal with the constant slew of problems that life brings.
You can either be in favor of Capitalism or you can be an idiot who knows nothing about economics, history, psychology, philosophy, ethics, human nature, politics, reason, logic or facts.
Let me say again…You can either be in favor of Capitalism or you can be an idiot who knows nothing about economics, history, psychology, philosophy, ethics, human nature, politics, reason, logic or facts. That is all.
So it becomes very clear from the State of the Union either due to incredible arrogance and idiocy or just vile evil Obama and his ilk are out to destroy this nation. Yeah let’s raise the minimum wage, that only ever lowers employment and hurts the economy. Let’s spend more and tax more, because that always works. Let’s pay only lip service to the problems abroad. We’ve got problems in education let’s throw money at it, that always works. Even his best example, the return on the Human Genome Project, has a bizarrely overblown number attached to it…and oh, that’s right, the private sector did better on spending and results in their concurrent research. And gun control I’m sure that will make us all safer. Either intentionally or through idiocy, it really doesn’t matter, Obama’s plans seem to be putting us on a one way course for economic ruin, the expansion of tyranny the world over, and the contraction of freedom and prosperity everywhere.
Some people, clearly not the masses of idiotic liberals, but some rational people are worried about this. There is a lot of depression out there lately. From the people who see a coming economic collapse (but the stock market is really high…yeah because a lot of long term investors just got out and this bubble is being fuelled by day traders and emotional buyers…you know just like it does before every crash…when you look at the fundamentals we’re in for some pretty bleak moments) to those who are seeing a revolution coming (not a desirable outcome by any stretch of the imagination but certainly one that will happen if this idiot were to actually make the move against private ownership of guns he seems to be suggesting). Any honest look for the long term outlook of this nation is worrisome. And many are worried.
But I’m not.
I know liberals, and probably libertarians as well, have a problem with this, but there is something truly special about this nation.
This nation has been knocked down over and over again. This nation has not just beat but defied odds, defied likelihood, defied certain destruction. We have come so close to death so many times, and each time like a Phoenix risen from the mess we have created.
“Some people believe that our Declaration and Constitution were written by very brilliant men, others believe that they were divinely inspired when they wrote it—I believe it was a bit of both.”
The documents were written by men, albeit brilliant men, but men nonetheless, who were capable of error and thus you could not claim absolute perfection in their documents…but also the beliefs and ideas in these documents represented an immeasurable leap forward in human society and that at some level the hand of God was present. Name for me a time when you would have an Adams, a Jefferson, a Washington, a Franklin all in the same room together. History provides few men of such insight, intelligence, and character (not that they were perfect, but they were certainly ahead of their time by massive steps); occasionally you get two of them together at the same time; at very special moments you get three together at once…at both the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention you had whole rooms of these men. Please tell me of another time in history when you had such a grouping (and to see it happen twice in one generation). To a group of men who believed in ideals of right and true being more important than their personal fortunes (a good portion of the signers of the Declaration went broke, many were tortured all of them suffered for signing that document…not one recanted their signature.) How do you not see the hand of providence in that?
If more divinely inspired words have been written, I do not know about them.
How do you not see it in:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Please tell me which passage of the Tanakh, the New Testament, the teaching of Buddha, the Gita, the Tao or any other holy book surpasses that passage in its understanding of the relationship between God and man (that we are given free will and liberty by our creator with the expectation that we will use them), that understands the teleology, the purpose, the end of life (to achieve Happiness), and how men should treat one another (not violating the rights of others, but setting up a society to protect them from those that do seek to violate those rights). The heart of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics answered correctly in one sentence. And you don’t think God had anything to do with that? Do you see the hand of God in anything?
And then you look at our history. Time and time again, if Vegas odds makers had existed from the 1750’s to today, you would have bet against the survival of the U.S. over and over again. Yet somehow we’re still here. The history of America is often the history of convenient accidents. Convenient in that reinforcements were mistakenly diverted from helping General Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga, letting the Americans win when they most needed a win. Convenient that when Lee, a general of unquestionable skill, was a week’s march from capturing D.C. he has the 3 dumbest days of his life at a little town in Pennsylvania. Convenient that all of our carriers were out of harbor on December 6. Convenient that we found the Japanese Navy almost by chance at Midway. To name a few, there are so many others. In science, in economics, in politics, we have been blessed with having the right people in the right place in the right time over and over again. You can believe in chance, I don’t.
I don’t believe in chance and I don’t believe we get all these lucky breaks just because…
We make mistakes, and dear God have we made some abhorrent ones. Liberals love to point out all the evil things we have done, ignoring that at anytime in history, we didn’t even rank in anything but the top third of what the rest of the world was doing at that time. Oh and I know pointing that out is wrong, because that’s their culture. Oh that’s right anyone else does something worse than America and it’s racist to hold them to the same standard…but we have to hold America to the standard of perfection (which, ironically, shows that even liberals believe in American Exceptionalism, otherwise why hold it and it alone to such a standard). We’re not perfect, no one is. But we have always been the beacon that sings to the best in humanity, not the example that speaks to the worst.
We’re the nation that fought to create a republic where the haves and have nots gave equal measure. We’re the nation that fought our own citizens to free slaves. We’re the nation that pioneered capitalism and law that gave liberty and opportunity and progress to more people than any other country in history. We’re the place where “tired, the poor, the huddled masses” come to be energetic, successful and stand on their own feet. We’re the country that conquers whole nations so that others may be free then tries to rebuild them and then leaves without tribute or power. If you don’t think we’re the “shinning city on the hill” you don’t know history, philosophy or human nature. We’re not perfect, we’re not always right, but we are consistently the nation that calls for the best in humanity to put down the worst.
Too often I think people forget that this is a nation where people still regularly risk their life to get to. America-or-die isn’t a slogan it’s a fact of existence. Whether you were born here or came here you should take more than just a day out of every year to remember what a blessing this country is. Of course there are some ignorant jackasses out there, who don’t seem to understand this blessing who say “I didn’t sign up for a country that’s the rest of the world’s police, I just happened to be born into it.”
And these ideas are important. This is a nation founded on the purest, most noble ideas yet to grace the face of the Earth and even though we waver we always come back to them. And that is why I think we see the hand of Providence, yeah I said it, in our history. This country should have fallen by now, but it hasn’t and one or two times you could put it up to the American nature of not giving up and our ingenuity. But time and time again everything has lined up just right for us, in ways I can’t see for any other nation in modern history.
For some reason we have been pulled back from the brink, and I believe it is because of the truth and righteousness of our ideals. And we haven’t lived up to them yet. We haven’t spread them over the world. We haven’t finished being the shinning city on the hill. So I can’t see why we would have been pulled back all those other times and simply let go this time.
I have faith that some higher power has a purpose for America that has still yet to be completed, so I am not worried too much over the next few years. Yes I know they will be terrible, but I know that something better is on the other side. That what I fight for and strive for is not in vain and that I will not witness the end of this nation and its ideals, but rather see them rise again, stronger, brighter, more just and right than they ever have before.
And yes you can whine about how I’m believing in faith, and God, and something you don’t believe in. But odds are you’re one of the people I’m fighting against, so I don’t really care for anything you have to say about my faith.
And for those of you who do have faith but are having a hard time to have hope…do you really believe that the ideal this nation stands for would be abandoned after all this time? I doubt it.
In amongst all of this brouhaha, there are some claims that we can all agree on “common sense gun control.” And this sounds reasonable. More strenuous background checks, preventing the mentally ill from getting guns, and the like. Of course all of these measures must be implemented by the government. You know the same government that gave the very guns it’s now claiming should be banned to Mexican Drug Cartels. I’m sorry but I would give a schizophrenic a gun before I give a gun to drug cartels (with the schizophrenic you might have a 50/50 chance they won’t do anything, with the cartels you have a 100% chance that mass murder will occur).
But I do believe in common sense gun control.
I believe in common sense gun control…but common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense spending, which means you do not spend more than you have. You do not believe that you can spend your way out of debt or into prosperity. Common sense requires that you ignore everything idiots like Krugman, Bernake, Geithner, Lew, and Keynes have ever said because common sense tells you their ideas are harmful and idiotic. Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense spending.
Common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense taxation. It means you recognize that raising taxes on the rich will not solve anything, that if you raised taxes on the rich to 100% it wouldn’t begin to make even a dent in our year to year budget (let alone the complete national debt). Common sense taxation would show that the entire code is far far too complicated. Common sense taxation requires that you recognize that taxes only hurt the economy and never help, that they must all be cut and cut drastically if we are to get out of our problems. Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense taxation.
Common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense regulation, which means understanding that regulations only harm, and that a government that has the best interest of the people and the economy in mind will only have the bare minimum amount of regulation. Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense regulation.
Common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense foreign policy which means understanding that isolation is both foolish and immoral…and that the only thing more foolish would be to engage in getting rid of the bad guys without a plan (Bush) or being the ally of the very nations which are out to kill us (Obama). Thus using common sense you would never allow lunatics like Hagel, Kerry, Brennan near our foreign policy infrastructure. Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense foreign policy.
Common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense legislation. Common sense legislature would not include bills longer than Russian novels or being told that you have to pass something to know what’s in it. Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense legislation.
Common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense immigration. That would include things like real border security, real reform that allows workers to come in as guests, professionals to come in with an easy way to Visas and citizenship, stopping anchor babies and allowing immigrants to take handout from entitlements. Lots of things. It would not include amnesty and Dream Acts via illegal executive order. Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense immigration.
Common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense welfare. That would mean work and education requirements. Time limits. Working to roll back the rolls not expand. Working to make more people get off welfare not get on. You can’t praise the life of the utterly indefensible Julia and you can’t roll back work requirements. Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense welfare.
Until then there is no such thing as common sense gun control because even the most reasonable proposals will be carried out by over paid, over educated, life long bureaucratic idiots and will always be carried out to a very non-common sense, illogical and harmful extreme.
Common sense gun laws wouldn’t depend on gun free zone which we all know don’t work.
It wouldn’t be championed by people from the most violent cities with the strictest gun laws that show beyond a doubt that gun laws don’t work. (Oh and before you begin with that, but they get their guns in places without those gun laws arguments…one needs to ask why isn’t the crime just as high in those places with the lax laws? Oh maybe because in those places criminals know people will shoot back).
Common sense gun laws may sound like “we’re not going to take away your gun if you’re a law-abiding citizen.” But let’s be honest here, is anyone a law abiding citizen anymore? With all the federal, state, local laws, regulations, statutes and judgements are you sure you haven’t broken any of them? Can a human being even be expected to know all of them? But that might be the point.
But really that might be the point….Anyone remember this scene?
“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against – then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
Common sense gun control would be to enforce the laws you have, not have prosecutions go down 45% from the previous administration.
And common sense has nothing to do with 23 executive orders that create commission and spend more money but do actually nothing.
Or let’s try this bit of common sense. Countries like the UK and Australia that don’t allow hand guns have higher violent crime than the US (much much higher). States and cities with stricter gun laws have more violent crime than those that don’t. There has never been a mass shooting at an NRA meeting or a gun show…there are lots of shooting in gun free zones. Common sense and statistics tells us that John Lott was right, “More guns, less crime.” But that would just be common sense.
So don’t talk to me about common sense gun laws until you have a government that can enforce common sense gun laws. Until then I, and you, are safest when we are armed and able to defend ourselves.
But maybe we should just listen to the inherent argument for gun control and why it isn’t needed for to protect us from the government.
(1) Our government would never ignore the rights enumerated in the Constitution so we don’t have to worry about needing guns to defend ourselves against the government
(2) Therefore we don’t need guns.
(3) Since we don’t need guns the government should confiscate them, to hell if it’s a right enumerated in the Constitution, ignore it.
(4) What do you mean you see a contradiction between points 1 and 3? I can’t hear you LALALALALALALALALA!
“Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of angry men. It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again.”
Les Mis a movie for conservatives?
But let’s first talk about the qualities of the movie apart from political or philosophical points.
The High Points
This is the play in all its glory. And the play is a truncated version of one of the most moving books ever written. All the passion, all the empathy there. You will cry for Fantine. For Eponine. For Gavrouche. For the revolutionary Friends of the ABC. For Javert. And of course for Valjean. Bring tissues this is movie that you will cry at, a lot.
And this movie has a few truly wonderful scenes that supply motivation that was missing in the play. For instance it has Javert arrive on the same day that Fantine is dismissed from her job, which gives a reason for Valjean not taking a more serious interest in her case.
The movie also supplies little moments from the book that were never in the play, like Grantaire standing by Enjolras at the moment of execution.
I think director Tom Hooper created something truly genius with the live singing way this movie was made…however it appears in the early scenes that there was certainly a learning curve involved in using this technique (I wish this wasn’t the first movie to do it so Hooper could have had something to reference). But for any inconsistency it brings up at some moments, it adds deeply to the rest of the film and emotional impact of the songs.
Anne Hathaway deserves an Oscar.
And Russell Crowe’s singing was a pleasant surprise. He added more humanity to Javert than any actor I have previously seen.
The Low Points.
I feel there was a lot that got left on the editing room floor. At 2 hours and 37 minutes this was pushing it for most movies nowadays and I’m pretty sure if all the little things that were taken out were put back in it would be well over 3 hours. And since Hollywood has no intention of returning to the idea of an intermission (to me this makes no sense as most of the money comes from concessions and if there is a break at an hour and a half we would be more willing to buy soda since we wouldn’t have to worry about running out to the rest room and we would buy food at the halfway mark as we would be hungrier by that point…but at least it seems that way, real data I’m not privy to might show otherwise) they were probably forced to make some heavy cuts to the movie. This creates some odd pacing issues, where certain parts feel a little rushed.
Also, and it may be a personal issue that others may not have a problem with, I was not overly impressed by Jackman’s singing. It wasn’t bad, but I’m used to a deeper more sonorous voice for Valjean.
On the technical points, the movie is one of the best of the year, the acting and visual work was spectacular. The editing needs work (or at least a director’s cut DVD…please.) and the directing while exceptional still could have been just a little better (I think the high cost of production may have prevented doing reshoots that other films might have done)…Hooper gets an A not A+.
The Political/Philosophical Points
Did you know this was Ayn Rand’s favorite book? It was. Kind of puts any thoughts that Les Mis is liberal out of the “obviously” category doesn’t it.
Okay let’s look at some of the points. On their own merits.
“I am the master of hundreds of workers, they all look to me. Can I abandon them, how will they live if I am not free. I speak I am condemned, if I stay silent, I am damned.”
Jean Valjean is a convict, yes. But while that’s all that Javert sees, we’re supposed to see more. We’re supposed to see the successful businessman who not only created a whole industry in a town, bringing it out of poverty and into an economic renaissance, but who also out of Christian charity (not guilt, it should be noted that if you read the book Valjean is motivated by a desire to be a better person, not by guilt about his prior actions) creates hospitals and schools for the poor. In a day and age when lesser writers like Dickens would just recycle the terrible image of the robber baron, Hugo gave us a noble businessman as an example of what others should be. It should also be noted that in a very Atlas Shrugged kind of way, Hugo has no illusions that once Valjean is forced to run the industry and the town is not able to survive in its thriving state without Valjean’s leadership. The book to a great degree, with touches still in the movie, shows that prosperity is driven by captains of industry.
“Take my hand I’ll lead you to salvation. Take my love, for love is everlasting. And remember the truth that once was spoken: to love another person is to see the face of God.”
Further it should be noted what a deeply religious story this story is. It is God and the Bishop of Digne, not government that redeems Valjean. God and faith permeate all levels of this story. Faith ironically is what drives both Valjean and Javert. And it never condemns any form of faith, showing that all those fallen (except sadly Javert, whom I’m sure Hugo would have placed there) together in heaven.
The novel, the play, and now the movie praise faith. It’s a rarity these days in serious well produced films. And given the desperate need for spirituality in our modern world, something like this must be embraced.
“Let us die facing our foe […] Let others rise to take our place until the Earth is FREE!”
And dare we forget that much of the second half of the story is taken up by an uprising by Republican revolutionaries, seeking a return to law and not the capricious whims of a king.
“But, but, but” some liberals will complain. The book is about helping the poor, and how unjust the criminal justice system is. Those are liberal issues. And what they fail to realize is that these are different times and different issues. The poor in 19th century France were starving (a problem with accuracy is that even the slums of France look too pretty in this movie…honestly we wouldn’t have felt comfortable actually watching what the “The Miserable” of 19th century France looked like…it wasn’t quite Nazi Concentration Camp, but certainly not as pretty as this film depicts it), the poor in 21st century America are suffering an obesity epidemic. Hugo critiqued those who were lazy and those who felt entitled. Poverty of the kind Hugo witnessed in France was what he wanted us to feel empathy for, modern poverty would not likely bring as much empathy from Victor. And he would be horrified by the lack of the churches and religion in the government welfare that modern liberals champion. And don’t even get me started on the fact that you can’t compare the legal system that punished Valjean for 20 years and hounded him for life for stealing a loaf of bread to our modern system…yes we have problems, but we have the kind of problems Hugo would have only dreamed of.
“Then join in the fight that will give you the right to be free.”
Of course for me one of the most revealing passages in Les Miserable is when Hugo takes a moment to critique communism.
(It should be noted the terms Socialism and Communism at the time do not have the same meaning now…what he calls Communism would be more in line with modern European Socialism…the term Capitalism was first used in 1854, 8 years before Hugo published Les Miserables—it took him nearly 20 years to write—and its usage as a economic system did not begin until Marx used it in 1867, 5 years after Les Miserables was published. So he could never expect to hear him use the term capitalism even thought that seems to be what he’s calling for. He certainly did not have the term cronyism which describes the economics of 19th century France better than anything. So pay attention to the systems and practices he is referring to, not the titles, as he had no access to the title we currently use.)
“The reader will not be surprised if, for various reasons, we do not here treat in a thorough manner, from the theoretical point of view, the questions raised by socialism. We confine ourselves to indicating them.
All the problems that the socialists proposed to themselves, cosmogonic visions, reverie and mysticism being cast aside, can be reduced to two principal problems.
First problem: To produce wealth.
Second problem: To share it.
The first problem contains the question of work.
The second contains the question of salary.
In the first problem the employment of forces is in question.
In the second, the distribution of enjoyment.
From the proper employment of forces results public power.
From a good distribution of enjoyments results individual happiness.
By a good distribution, not an equal but an equitable distribution must be understood. The highest equality is equity.
From these two things combined, the public power without, individual happiness within, results social prosperity.
Social prosperity means the manhappy, the citizen free, the nation great.
England solves the first of these two problems. She creates wealth admirably, she divides it badly. This solution which is complete on one side only leads her fatally to two extremes: monstrous opulence, monstrous wretchedness. All enjoyments for some, all privations for the rest, that is to say, for the people; privilege, exception, monopoly, feudalism, born from toil itself. A false and dangerous situation, which sates public power or private misery, which sets the roots of the State in the sufferings of the individual. A badly constituted grandeur in which are combined all the material elements and into which no moral element enters.
Communism and agrarian law think that they solve the second problem. They are mistaken. Their division kills production. Equal partition abolishes emulation; and consequently labor.
It is a partition made by the butcher, which kills that which it divides.
It is therefore impossible to pause over these pretended solutions. Slaying wealth is not the same thing as dividing it.
The two problems require to be solved together, to be well solved. The two problems must be combined and made but one.
Solve the two problems, encourage the wealthy, and protect the poor, suppress misery, put an end to the unjust farming out of the feeble by the strong, put a bridle on the iniquitous jealousy of the man who is making his way against the man who has reached the goal, adjust, mathematically and fraternally, salary to labor, mingle gratuitous and compulsory education with the growth of childhood, and make of science the base of manliness, develop minds while keeping arms busy, be at one and the same time a powerful people and a family of happy men, render property democratic, not by abolishing it, but by making it universal, so that every citizen, without exception, may be a proprietor, an easier matter than is generally supposed; in two words, learn how to produce wealth and how to distribute it, and you will have at once moral and material greatness; and you will be worthy to call yourself France.”
You will notice he is proposing such things as universal education, due process of law, and property rights. He condemns any attempt for everyone to have their fair and equal share and envying the wealthy. He proposes that people be paid just wages for their work (which was an issue then, not so much now). He proposes to make every man his own master, that everyone may earn wealth. I can’t speak with certainty what political path Hugo would take in the modern world, but I can be fairly certain that if a modern day liberal went back to see him, Hugo would try to slap the stupid out of the Occupy trash. I can also be mildly sure that Hugo might encourage the building of a few barricades against some of the government overreaches of the modern world.
All in all, the story is one of the value of liberty, of the individual, of redemption through works and of God. Those are conservative themes if I ever heard them.
“Do you hear the people sing, lost in the valley of the night
It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light.
For the wretched of the Earth there is a flame that never dies,
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.
We will live again in Freedom in the garden of the Lord.
We will walk behind the plowshares. We will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken and all men will have their reward.
Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing, say do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that we bring when tomorrow comes!”
Okay so I needed to reflect on the election for some time before I wrote anything meaningful on this. Quick statements just to fill air time have over the past couple of weeks mainly been ignorant, self-serving or just stupid.
Why I was wrong
I was wrong because I made the incorrect assumption to trust that polls like Rasmussen would continue to be the most accurate.
I was wrong because I made the incorrect assumption to trust equally respected polls that showed huge Republican enthusiasm which would usually mean that the Rasmussen polls were off in favor of Republicans.
I was wrong because I simply assumed PPP polls would continue to hack partisan polls that were never all that close.
I was wrong because I assumed Democratic cheating wouldn’t be as effective as it was.
I was wrong because I, even I who have a very low opinion of people, couldn’t possibly conceive of people being so fucking dumb that they would reelect this idiotic wanna-be-despot. I really couldn’t believe America could be that dumb.
Why We Lost
First off, between counties that had over 100% turnout, military ballots being sent out at wrong times and then going missing, programmers saying every electronic machine was rigged, and buses of immigrants showing up to vote out of the blue, the fact is that there appears to be a heavy amount of cheating going on by the Democratic party. I’d say I’m shocked but I’m not. This is what democrats do. Now is every accusation of cheating real, doubt it, and fewer still are provable, but you’re living in la-la land if you think elections have been on the up and up when it comes to Democratic votes…it’s how they’ve won elections ever since Joe Kennedy bought the election back in 1960.
But I was expecting cheating and fraud…which means either the Democrats have gotten even better at it, or, as I’m more afraid is the truth, people were kind of dumb on November 6th. The fact that cheating was enough to sway the election means that we have problems because this shouldn’t have even been close, this should have been a landslide against Obama and yet it wasn’t. So that can’t be the only problem. What else went wrong?
We can also blame the media. Almost every reporter on the Romney trail and most of the major outlets were trying to find gaffes and slip ups. They were actively trying to portray him in the worst possible light. And they were conveniently ignoring everything about Obama and his record, including, low and behold that Obama let 4 Americans die through his depraved indifference because he thought going in might be bad for his reelection. But we can’t lay full blame on the media, because as annoying and biased as they are, there’s Drudge, there’s FOXNews, there’s Breitbart and the Blaze and Twitter and NewsBusted and the Washington Times and the Heritage Foundation and a 101 other sources. The information was there if people just listened.
Well apparently the ground game was abysmal from the GOP and great from Obama’s side. Now part of this is that Obama used his obscene huge data mine to play his usual game of divisive politics (more on this later) Part of the problem is also that Romney’s system which was supposed to help make sure all GOP voters got to the polls, ORCA, failed on election day—hmmm, an online system to help conservatives failed…I’m going to offer 50/50 odds that the terrorists known as Anonymous might have had something to with this. But whether they did or not, I have to ask where was the ground game for the GOP House, for the GOP Senate, from local state parties? As usual the entire party disappoints me. We had a terrible ground game and did not do enough to get people to the polls.
Now many idiots (Santorum, Gingrich, Levin, etc) want to blame Romney. This is beyond wrong because Romney didn’t do anything wrong. As Ann Coulter points out Romney wasn’t the problem. Romney was a conservative’s conservative. Now I think Romney was not as much of a fighter as he could have been…but I don’t think that would have made a difference because every time he tried to hit the worthless jackass hard the media spun it as Romney was a terrible person…so is it Romney wasn’t a fighter or is it that Romney just knew to avoid a fight he couldn’t win?
But even with all of that why did we lose? Well because Romney was right. There is a portion of this country that thinks they’re entitled to shit and Obama targeted specific groups and pandering to them by giving them gifts.
Oh before you dare complain about that statement, let’s look at a few facts.
According to the exit polls here are the groups Obama did really well with (I’m defining really as over 10%) Women, those under 30, non-white voters, those with a high school diploma or less (he was +29 with those with no diploma), the LGBT crowd, those people who never get out of academia known as the post graduate crowd, those making under 50K, people who do not go to church very often.
Hmmm let’s look at those groups again.
Women…pandered to with the fake war on women and Fluke’s endlessly whining.
Under 30…pandered to with promises of more college money (by the way you do know he’s cutting Pell grants right?)
Those without education and making less than 50K pandered to food stamps and welfare and a whole lot of other entitlements. As Dennis Miller points out you can make close to 45K just by living off the dole these days.
And those with Post Graduate degrees (already being fairly clueless of how the real world works) he pandered to with promises of more teaching jobs.
The LGBT crowd with promises of gay marriage (then turned around and said it wouldn’t be a priority for him).
And the largest group with the non Caucasian crowd, Latinos, he gave that Dream Act amnesty with the implication more was on the way.
Yes how terrible of Romney to point out that that Obama’s giving out things and making promises to specific groups was giving out things and making promises to specific groups. How dare he pay attention to the man behind the curtain and not just fall in line with the typical intentional ignorance of what is going on?
Obama divided people into groups, played on the most base impulses and fears of any individual and treated them as he sees them, only as groups. And this worked for him because education, media and the government have treated people only as groups for years. And we lost because of that.
Now the knee jerk reaction might be to start playing their game of identify politics, as some have suggested. But this is a losing strategy. The only way to win identify politics, to say that this group values things that other group don’t, is Obama’s way to give out gifts. We are conservatives, we believe in ideas, in values and in individuals, and to treat people as only members of groups is to betray our values and forget everything that makes America, America. Now there are things we need to do, and I’m going to go into more detail on that soon, but we must realize we lost because for years they have been playing this game of divisiveness and hatred and that we haven’t confronted it head on is the reason we lost.
[I had a request to turn a comment I made on a previous blog into a blog of it’s own…so if this seems repetitive…that’s why…]
Recently a commenter left the following post:
I was really hoping to find a softer side of Conservatism here. I can’t seem to find that wherever I look. I also can’t understand how you can call yourself a New Ager and harbor so much anger? Completely hypocritical, as is most of the right… New Age = Love
It’s not hypocritical at all, and I’m sorry you feel that way.
New Age belief does not encourage or require that I turn off my brain or reason…and reason has a way of getting outraged when confronted with policies and actions that hurt others–you see it in the actions of Christ whipping the money changers, of Krishna telling Arjuna to slaughter his unjust relatives, in Lao Tzu talking about war needing to be conducted with the aim of peace, and in the actions and words of numerous other saints and enlightened beings in religions all over the world.
Yes New Age belief does believe in unqualified love of the soul…but not of the actions of the ego which hurts that soul. Those actions and the ideas that create them must be challenged both in ones own soul, one’s mind, and outside in the physical worlds. I cannot love the soul, and support the left which hinders the growth of the soul. And I cannot say obsequious appearance of concern for someone in the transitory moment is love, even thought the left tries to say it is. Love is caring for the true nature of the person, which is the soul and the soul’s journey to enlightenment.
May I ask you what you would consider “the softer side of Conservatism?” because is seems like all that term means is “a conservative who is willing to give in on any and every point, sacrifice any value, and capitulate on any policy just so liberals like you can be happy.”
If you’re repeating the liberal line about social conservatism, you’ll find none of that here. Social conservatism is simply liberal desire to control others by another name. As for my unwavering defense of capitalism and liberty, which parallel the New Age belief in free will, my support of charity over welfare, which parallel’s the New Age belief in spiritual growth…any moving from these points (other than in terms of practical compromise) to appear “softer” is to give into the manifestations of the ego in the physical world. I can’t be true to my beliefs in the New Age and not support them, defend them, and advocate for them. Yes I’m a little overzealous, (if you’re a New Ager you know it’s a habit of Indigoes to be passionate in the extreme)…but is there anything wrong in zeal for what is right and true?
But I would like to challenge your comment of “Completely hypocritical, as is most of the right…”
New Age belief believes in the free will. To support the leftist belief in government over the individual, entitlement over personal charity, control over choice…that would be hypocritical to support.
New Age belief believes that life is spiritual journey of learning. To support the left’s call for over-regulation that seeks to keep people from making mistakes takes away the ability to learn…that would be hypocritical of me to support.
New Age believes that every soul must make it to enlightenment on its own…thus the left’s call to force equality holds back individuals, and thus retards the day when all will make it to enlightenment…that would be hypocritical of me to support.
New Age belief believes in the quality of life, not the quantity…the left’s concern with income redistribution and entitlements of physical things places the focus on life on the wrong thing…that would be hypocritical of me to support.
Almost every point of the left in economic and foreign policy is opposed the principles of New Age belief. And every belief of the left on social policy takes the correct idea to an illogical extreme. (I disagree with the social conservatism…but if you actually read a bit of my blog you would see that there are more than enough articles opposing that).
Is the right perfect. Nope. But it supports the individual. It supports choice and freedom and liberty. It supports my ability to grown and learn and develop. These are the bedrock principles of New Age belief as I understand them.
I am tired of Obama claiming that he inherited this mess, that he prevented us from falling into another Great Depression, or that we can’t go back to the failed policies of the past as if it wasn’t his party instituting the failed policies that are actually to blame. All of these lines are lies.
So let’s take these one at a time.
The first is that he inherited a bad economy. The truth is that he helped cause it.
Now how do I justify that?
Well think about the nature of what we say caused something. For instance if someone has HIV and dies, it’s not as simple as saying they have HIV and it killed them. It’s that they have HIV, which caused AIDS, which allowed a flu virus to wreak havoc on their body, caused pneumonia which causes their lungs to fill with water stress the cardio vascular system and either die from drowning or heart failure.
The economy works in a similarly complex way. The Great Depression wasn’t caused by a single point. The terms of the Treaty of Versailles weakened the international economy, caused gross inflation and many nations to default on loans, which hit at the same time as the bust in the natural boom and bust cycle of the US economy. Now if this were the only problem the late 20’s would have seen a strong recession but little else. Rather the US Congress in its usual stupidity considered the grossly idiotic Smoot-Hawley Tariff which would further depress the economy if implemented. Businesses seeing that the tariff would be passed and not being idiots, prepared for worse economic times and pulled back on labor and investment. This is what businesses do when they see bad times ahead, they cut, they save, they batten down the hatches so that they are lean enough and have enough reserves so that they can survive the bad times and still be around for the good times when they come again. (Remember this point I’m going to come back to it). This pullback to survive the coming bad times, combined with being at the height of an investment bubble, some bad banking policy, and the press overhyping the seriousness of the stock market, resulted in Black Tuesday. Now the government turned a moderate recession into a bad one with just the rumor of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff…but then they did two thing that were even worse. The first was that they actually passed the stupid tariff which further hurt trade and then the Federal Reserve, whose almost sole point during this period was to provide short term funds to get us out of emotional portions of panics and economic down turns, didn’t just not provide the funds which they were created to provide, but clamped down on funds and drastically pulled back on funds reducing the stock of money (the opposite of their intended purpose) which caused even more panic*, runs on banks, foreclosures and a whole host of other ripple effects which we call the Great Depression. (This was then further exacerbated by FDR’s policies which turned a depression of a couple years into a decade of suffering). (Am I simplifying here? Yeah. But let’s be honest you were already bored, you don’t want me going further into technicalities).
The point of these two examples is that there are structural problem (HIV and AIDS in the medical example; the boom and bust cycle, issues with banking structure, and the economic problems caused by Versailles in the economic one) and there are inciting incidents that cause the underlying problems to come out with a vengeance (contracting the flu or just considering the Smoot-Hawley Tariff).
How does all of this relate to Obama being the cause of the mess he said he inherited?
Well let’s deal with the structural problems in 2008. High debt (caused by both Democrats** and Republicans over spending), the government forcing banks to make bad loans via the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (all Democrats to blame there) which caused a housing bubble, the threat of taxes being raised (Democrats to blame as they wouldn’t allow the Bush tax cuts to be permanent), energy price problems (mainly Dems to blame), corporate welfare weakening the fundamentals of businesses (most Dems, but also the GOP to blame), and over regulation getting in the way of commerce (again mostly Dems to blame).
But these had been issues for years so what was the inciting cause, the thing that made the bubble burst, and more importantly that prevented the usual kind of recovery we generally see in a boom and bust cycle?
Well we could probably find the cause by looking at how business reacts to changes in the political field. As I said before, businesses aren’t stupid, they make long term predictions based on likely outcomes so that they can survive the coming disaster. Under this assumption you would likely see them cutting the fat in their business within a month or so of a development that bodes poorly for the economy (I say a month because it takes about that amount of time for a corporate structure to decide which investments to cut and how many employees they need to shave off the rolls).
So let’s take a look at the job losses in 2008.
Now from this it is clear 2008 starts off bad but most of that initial loss you would usually see in a stagnant economy as those are the losses from seasonal jobs. What we actually see are two major changes: one in March where we shift from just mild trimming of the fat to full on cuts, and another in August which starts off a major firing phase. So if it takes a month to respond to what happened in February and July of 2008? Well in February Romney dropped out of the race telling businesses they were going to get stuck with center left Clinton, liberal McCain or socialist Obama…none of these good options. And in July it became obvious to everyone that Obama had the election. Amazing that every time that Obama went up in the polls losses grew. It’s almost as if business hearing the socialist shit he was peddling knew they were in for very long economic hardship…oh wait that’s exactly what they did.
Obama is the inciting incident that like the Smoot-Hawley Tariff sparked all the problems in the system to come to fruition. These were structural problems that for the most part existed for all of his predecessors as well, but only he brought out the worst in this situation. He didn’t inherit a mess, he created one. He took an unstable situation and was the very thing needed to make bad, worse. Yes others others, many others, are to blame for creating the structural problems (Bush included for being so weak willed and liberal in his attitude to the economy), but that doesn’t change the fact that Obama is the touchstone that set the whole mess aflame. And as we’ll see it was Obama who took this bad situation and made it much, much worse.
Now I know I still have to deal with his claims that that he prevented us from falling into another Great Depression, or that we can’t go back to the failed policies of the past as if he wasn’t already instituting the failed policies that are actually to blame…but this blog is already 4 pages long and the most common complaint I get is that these blogs are too long…so I’ll deal with them in follow up blogs.
*Nowadays the Fed has gone to the other idiotic extremes and instead of providing limited amounts of short term funds to help get through the emotion driven lows, they’re pumping money in by the boat load which is as disastrous and idiotic as pulling back.
**And when I say Democrats I’m including RINOs who will always turn on their supposed conservative beliefs just to get their own pork projects…Ron Paul and John McCain come to mind.
Paul Krugman is at it again. After having to make up lies to try and face off against Senator Rand Paul (He claimed the federal workforce is down under Obama…as blatant a lie as you can get…state and local employment is down, federal employment is up, way up) he further shows off his idiocy with a brand new rant of lies and desperation to keep Obama in power.
In “Obstruct and Exploit” he makes the rather farcical claim that the economy is not the fault of the Democrats (the Democrats who control the Senate and refuse to pass the budget) as good people and the Republicans are evil obstructionists.
Actually he makes several bizarre claims…like that Romney is a Keynesian who wants to use military spending to create jobs. Paul, I know you’re a dimwitted hack, but do you know how to listen to speeches or how to read policy papers? Romney is concerned primarily about defense spending because with Chinese expansion in the Pacific, a resurgent al-Qaeda from the Arab Spring, and Putin wanting to reestablish the Soviet Empire you’d have to be as dumb as Ron Paul or Neville Chamberlain to not see that maybe we might need an American military to deal with problems that are obviously coming. The fact that cutting defense would cut jobs merely tangential to the discussion, but true. The goal of Romney’s policies with defense spending are to protect America and Classical Liberalism in general, not to create jobs. But you’d have to actually read his statements to know that.
But let’s actually deal with the heart of his argument. You can’t blame Obama because his ideas have been stopped at every turn (let’s ignore that Obama had a Democratic Congress for two years and only did things that ruined the economy…yes I’m sure Obama would have suddenly come up with good ideas if his party was still in power…). For instance Obama has the American Jobs Act, which Krugman implies would have saved America. (Again let’s ignore that not all of Obama’s Democrats voted for the bill.) As Krugman points out “Obama proposed boosting the economy with a combination of tax cuts and spending increases,” (and let’s ignore the 5.6% tax increase on the wealthy that was in the bill so we can’t call it a tax cut, chalk another lie up to Paul Krugman). I’m personally stunned just at the statement lower taxes and raise spending…cause the raising of our debt even further is a bright idea how Paul? Show me cut taxes and cut spending and cut regulation and then you might have a plan that would work.
But let’s go over the AJA to see what it has in it. That Krugman in his infinite idiocy thinks would work…and for fun let’s compare the points from the Romney plan.
So here are the points of the bill according to the White House web page (and keep in mind this bill may be dead, but these are Obama’s ideas and this is what he will have in a second term so it is relevant even if this bill died).
- Cutting the payroll tax in half for 98 percent of businesses:
- A complete payroll tax holiday for added workers or increased wages
- Cutting payroll taxes in half for 160 million workers next year
So let me get this straight here, further making Social Security unsound is a good thing? Yes I love having more money, and I would love if we were to privatize the whole thing, just paying off on benefits for everyone who is going to be on Social Security in the next 10 years…but that’s not what this is. It’s keeping the same Ponzi scheme but simply making it more insolvent. Good plan genius. You know I like the extra money, and I hate social security…but under this plan it will cost me and future generations more in the long run.
Meanwhile the Romney plan offers real tax cuts that will actually spur growth of business (i.e. job growth) and actually end up putting more money in your pocket. (All points of Romney’s are taken from his 59 point plan and are italicized…Romney has a lot more than that plan…but I’m trying to be fair here and compare one bullet pointed plan to another…if I actually compared substantive proposals of Romney to what passes as substance from Obama it would just be more embarrassing for the President and Krugman)
Eliminate taxes for taxpayers with AGI below $200,000 on interest, dividends, and capital gains
Eliminate the death tax
Pursue a conservative overhaul of the tax system over the long term that includes lower,
flatter rates on a broader base
Reduce corporate income tax rate to 25 percent
- Extending 100% expensing into 2012
- Reforms and regulatory reductions to help entrepreneurs and small businesses access capital.
So we’re going to force more banks to make more bad loans (probably to Obama cronies like every other Obama “investment”) and we’re then going to let them write off the investment they made with money that banks were forced to give them (and if every other Obama venture is any indication they’ll be allowed to pocket the money, declare bankruptcy and have the loans forgiven by Obama). And as icing I’m sure Obama will blame the banks again for the effect on the economy.
And instead of regulations designed to help Obama supporters, Romney has real regulation reform in his plan that will help every business.
Repeal Dodd-Frank and replace with streamlined, modern regulatory framework
Amend Sarbanes-Oxley to relieve mid-size companies from onerous requirements
Initiate review and elimination of all Obama-era regulations that unduly burden the economy
Impose a regulatory cap of zero dollars on all federal agencies
Require congressional approval of all new “major” regulations
- A “Returning Heroes” hiring tax credit for veterans
Again picking winners and losers, not what the government should be doing. Not improving the economy to actually create more jobs, we’re just going to make it a good call for businesses to fire their existing employees, hire new ones (probably at a lower rate) and a tax write off for it. (Now the good news is most businesses won’t behave in this terrible fashion…except, you know, the kind of bastards who pay off Obama for crony connections).
Screw helping this group or that group, Romney has the reform that will kill the single biggest killer of jobs there is:
- Preventing up to 280,000 teacher layoffs, while keeping cops and firefighters on the job.
- Modernizing at least 35,000 public schools across the country, supporting new science labs, Internet-ready classrooms and renovations at schools across the country, in rural and urban areas.
Yeah that’s it, we need the federal government getting involved in local and state matters. Oh, and given the spectacular behavior of teachers in Chicago, getting an average of $76,000 a year (before benefits) to get 80% of students to learn nothing…it’s clear that what the education system needs is new facilities and keeping all the current teachers…and not, you know fire all the union pieces of shit who offend the very profession of teaching by daring to call their pathetic behavior teaching.
You really want to help workers and really want to get better hiring practices for not only government but all employees try these points from the Romney plan:
Appoint to the NLRB experienced individuals with respect for the rule of law
Amend NLRA to explicitly protect the right of business owners to allocate their capital as they see fit
Amend NLRA to guarantee the secret ballot in every union certification election
Amend NLRA to guarantee that all pre-election campaigns last at least one month
Or maybe let states deal with their own problems.
Give states authority to manage retraining programs by block granting federal funds
- Immediate investments in infrastructure and a bipartisan National Infrastructure Bank
Oh great because the Fed wasn’t enough, you need a new bank to fund your own bad behavior even more.
You can talk infrastructure build up…or you can reduce the regulations that prevent the private sector from building that infrastructure, like in the Romney Plan
Establish fixed timetables for all resource development approvals
Create one-stop shop to streamline permitting process for approval of common activities
Implement fast-track procedures for companies with established safety records to conduct pre-approved activities in pre-approved areas
- A New “Project Rebuild”,
I’m sure that project is shovel ready and won’t be a waste like every other thing you’ve done.
I’ll take not killing a project that will actually create jobs and improve the economy over Obama’s shovel ready BS.
Support construction of pipelines to bring Canadian oil to the United States
- Expanding access to high-speed wireless
Holy shit, when did Internet become a right? You want Internet you buy it or go to Starbucks like everyone else…I am not subsidizing everyone’s ability to access porn on high speed wifi
I’ll take energy over wifi any day
Open America’s energy reserves for development
The most innovative reform to the unemployment insurance program in 40 years:
Because people need more incentives not to go find a job.
A $4,000 tax credit to employers for hiring long-term unemployed workers
Again, trying to get businesses to just create jobs isn’t going to work. You need to improve the fundamentals of an economy to create growth (which would include lowering taxes, lowering regulation, lowering government, lowering the deficit, strengthening the dollar, and getting free trade agreements—none of which this administration has done).
Or maybe you can be responsible for your own life
Facilitate the creation of Personal Re-employment Accounts
- Prohibiting employers from discriminating against unemployed workers
So you mean I can’t take into account whether a person was fired or not in deciding whether they’re going to be a good employee…like every other form of “discrimination” legislation in the last 30 years this is just a pay off to the trial lawyers and will result in even less growth and less jobs.
Or instead of making more bad lawsuits you could have real Tort reform.
Reform legal liability system to prevent spurious litigation
- Expanding job opportunities for low-income youth and adults through a fund for successful approaches for subsidized employment, innovative training programs and summer/year-round jobs for youth.
“Subsidized employment.” You’re kidding right? You’re going to pay people to hire people. (And keep in mind Obama was touting this plan as including tax cuts…so where exactly is the money for this coming from? Oh I forgot Obama won’t be happy until the debt is three times the size of the GDP.)
But how about rather than subsidizing hiring people but actually making a climate where you can actually hire good people.
Support states in pursuing Right-to-Work laws
Reverse executive orders issued by President Obama that tilt the playing field toward organized labor
- Allowing more Americans to refinance their mortgages at today’s near 4 percent interest rates
This would be a choice for the banks, not the government…which means the President is planning to control the banks even more and force them to do more stupid things…you know the behavior that got us into this mess.
There is no exact counterpart to this, but the fact is that Romney will not rule by fiat, like some people.
- 5Fully Paid for as Part of the President’s Long-Term Deficit Reduction Plan. To ensure that the American Jobs Act is fully paid for, the President will call on the Joint Committee to come up with additional deficit reduction necessary to pay for the Act and still meet its deficit target. The President will, in the coming days, release a detailed plan that will show how we can do that while achieving the additional deficit reduction necessary to meet the President’s broader goal of stabilizing our debt as a share of the economy.
The humor of this part speaks for itself.
But Romney does have some real plans on how to deal with the insane size of government
Immediately cut non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent
Reform and restructure Medicaid as block grant to states
Align wages and benefits of government workers with market rates
Reduce federal workforce by 10 percent via attrition
Cap federal spending at 20 percent of GDP
Undertake fundamental restructuring of government programs and services
Pursue a Balanced Budget Amendment
The fact of the matter is that Paul Krugman putting up Obama’s abysmal American Jobs Act as the better part of his proposed legislation shows you how unspeakably stupid Krugman is and how bereft of any real ideas Obama is. Romney has real plans not just platitudes that have some conception of how the economy works. Now I’ve breezed over a lot of Romney’s plans, I do this intentionally, I want you to go and do the research on your own and see for yourself that his plans are
But this is really just the tip of the iceberg.
Because Obama makes statements like this:
I said, I believe in American workers, I believe in this American industry, and now the American auto industry has come roaring back. Now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.
Dear God in Heaven! EVERY INDUSTRY!
So we’re all supposed to run businesses like GM
Bloated union salaries. CEOs that are answerable not to boards and shareholders but to czars and wanna-be dictators. Practices that violate the bedrock principles of capitalism and screw shareholders out of their investment. No really the stock is in near free fall. Run your company to near bankruptcy by building overpriced green death traps that explode and that no one wants to buy. Lose your government investment somewhere in the realm of 25 Billion Dollars. A company that while going under is investing 600 Million in a British soccer team…??? And that is just a highlight of the problems with GM. This company has become so dysfunctional from top to bottom that the millisecond government help stops it will crumble like a house of cards in a hurricane.
God help us. If we ran every company in the nation like this cluster!@#$ the Dark Ages would look advanced by the time Obama was done.
So why does Obama want to run every industry like GM…hmmm…let’s see. That would mean that the government would own a large portion of the every company and the president would have the ability to fire every CEO and would have the power to appoint his people to run every industry.
Hey what do you call that where the government owns and runs every business?
It starts with an S….um…shit for brains…serious deluded…senseless…stupid…all good answers…but no, I think the word I’m looking for is SOCIALISM.
His words, not mine.
Now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.
He wants to do the same thing he did with the auto industry, a complete government take over and revoking of basic principles, with every industry.
Go on, I really want to hear from liberals how that isn’t a textbook definition of socialism. Government ownership and control of every industry.
Granted you could go with he’s a blithering idiot and doesn’t know what the hell he’s saying, which I fully am willing to buy…but that is just as much an argument against him being allowed to go back for four more years.
But while I do believe Obama makes Forrest Gump look like Sherlock Holmes, I believe he meant and understood (well as well as Obama’s limited mind can understand anything). He wants to control everything. I don’t know if it’s because he believes he can make it better (to hell with the lack of evidence) or because he wants to destroy the whole system. It doesn’t matter. He does want to be in control of everything, of every aspect of government and industry. And just ignoring the horrific despotic and unconstitutional overtones of that idea…let’s not forget that he has wrecked GM and it will go down within the next few years, only it will be worth less when we sell off the parts to other car companies, it will have hurt every taxpayer who has to eat the loss, and this whole debacle will have delayed real growth and real recovery. (And all of this ignores that eventually the courts will find that the Obama administration broke numerous laws in screwing over the bond holders which will cost the government a massive bundle of cash to boot).
This is true of GM and of industry Obama has or wants to get his hands on. This is true not only of Obama but of government in general. And Obama wants more government.
To hell with just “You didn’t build that” he wants complete socialism.
And half the country doesn’t see a problem with this?
A final point. Even though Obama is clearly a socialist (and an idiot, and an asshole, and a wannabe tyrant…and worse), many conservatives are still clamoring and screaming about the fact that Romney isn’t going to war against Obama, about him being too cowardly or being too nice and calling Obama out as the socialist he is. Yeah because Reagan won the election calling Carter a communist anti-Semite whose utter lack of intelligence makes you question how much inbreeding is going on down in Georgia…oh wait, no, Reagan ran a quiet campaign on the issues. Romney is running an intelligent campaign to win by a landslide, not a campaign to make the base feel good about itself; he’s running to make sure conservative ideals become policy, not to just spout conservative platitudes. He’s sitting quietly right now raking in cash, while Obama burns through his entire reserve just to keep the polls static. Romney will spend his money in the last months when it will actually have an effect on Election Day, while Obama will be broke by October. Besides with Obama saying crazy shit like this, why would you need to campaign, Obama’s mouth is already the best campaigner for Romney there is.
“”They might be giants, and we might be pygmies; but we stand on the shoulders of giants, so we can see farther.” Attributed to Sir Isaac Newton
It’s terrible because it shows us exactly what Obama thinks. He thinks that without an activist government you cannot survive. That without an activist government there is no progress. That without an activist government there is no growth.
Intellectually, factually, morally and ethically he could not be more wrong.
Now some very, very stupid people trying to sound reasonable might say something like:
“Neither private sector nor public sector are sufficient. Both are necessary.”
Now in a grander sense, yes, this is true. The necessary evil of government is necessary to provide a system of laws, a police and military force, and a court system for prosecution of crimes and arbitration of disagreements, a handful of various other services. Not a single Classically Liberal or capitalist philosopher, be it Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, or F.A. Hayek, would ever argue that government is not necessary to a successfully run economy and society. Capitalism is just as opposed to anarchy as it is to socialism and tyranny. But every Classically Liberal and capitalistic philosopher will also point out that government’s function are there to provide rules, protect others from violence and fraud, serve as arbiter, and provide those few services that the private sector cannot easily provide. And also, while many of them hadn’t seen the monster of an overgrown federal government, most would argue that where government does need to step in it should as locally controlled and locally funded as possible.
Now what is an example of a function that only the federal government can do. Well you have the army and navy. You have the post office in the early days of the Republic (although nowadays you could cut the Post Office down to 10% of it’s current size and FedEx, UPS, and local companies could more than pick up the slack at lower prices and higher efficiency). I’m sure a private mail carrier could have made money in the early days of the Republic, but the Founding Fathers realized how useful the committees of correspondence were, and how communication is one of the most deadly tools against tyranny, and thus had to make sure there was always an option for communication that could not go bankrupt (as there exists with any private company)…which is also the reason I advocate drastically cutting the USPS but not completely destroying it.
But is infrastructure something that only the public sector can provide?
No it’s not. And this is a self evident truth. Governments were building infrastructure before they started using dimwitted Keynesian tactics of spending money they didn’t have. Logically this meant that they were getting money from commerce to build infrastructure. Commerce and business predated infrastructure, their success is not dependent on it…it is the reverse that is true, that infrastructure is dependent on business success.
Look at the entirety of U.S. history and you will see this. In terms of transportation, stage coaches, ferries, and even railroads started out as private sector industries that did not have government funding (yes railroads became the transcontinental giants with government help…but they also became inefficient, monopolistic, corrupt and low quality when government money got involved). Most of the infrastructure that raised Britain to an economic powerhouse in the Industrial Revolution was privately built. I recall that a good portion of Hong Kong’s early infrastructure post-WWII was more privately funding by booming business more than by the hands off government of the colony. Even in now uber-liberal California, we should all remember the completely private Red Car system provided efficient and cheap transportation (using it’s own infrastructure) to most of Southern California for nearly 4 decades before being taken over by the state.
Yes the interstate highway system is wonderful and has been a great boon to commerce…of course Ike built it as an easy way to move the military in the Cold War, the economic benefit was secondary so you don’t get to claim that it was built for the purpose of the economy. However even if the highway system should have originally been a federal project to ensure that all states are connected…it no longer needs to be federal—at this point states are more than capable of up keep of their own roads as they need them to stay economically competitive (i.e. they won’t let them just fall apart) and the local control will keep overhead, graft, and inefficiency down (at least it will be far less than what a distant federal government would create). So even the highway system isn’t an argument that Obama has. Yes does the system of roads and bridges need work? Yeah, it does. Of course if it was such an important function why didn’t you get it done in the first 4 years Barry? And why did you saddle the debts with such massive future debts via Obamacare so that they couldn’t deal with the problem themselves?
But maybe we’re not just talking about roads for infrastructure. Electricity maybe? No, that was originally built by private companies…and the modern government controlled national grid is such an unmitigated disaster that even liberal Thomas Friedman of the New York Times went off on what a joke it is in his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded.
Communication? No. Private company AT&T built the original infrastructure and controlled it so well that the government felt the need to unjustly break the company into the baby bells…which was really dumb because within only a few years the private built cell phone infrastructure made AT&T’s land-line infrastructure about as important as your appendix.
But the internet! Oh I love this argument. So the military builds a communication network and does nothing for over a decade (beside being a plot point in 2nd rate Matthew Broderick film…Shall we play a game?) and then private industry built on computers (which was also built on computers the government had been working on for years to no avail. Government had silicon chips since the 1960′s but it took a Steve Jobs to create the personal computer.) and suddenly makes use of it. Trust me if the network the military (and Al Gore) built hadn’t been in existence there would have been some genius on par with Gates, Jobs or Ellison, who would have created a network that would have allowed computers to speak to each other easily.
Everyone seems to forget that the empty cities in China or Detroit have lots of infrastructure that does nothing for them. However there are literally hundreds of towns in this nation where a factory was built first and then the infrastructure and growth followed…if you look at the world and the joys of globalization and outsources (which makes life better both for America and the country work is being outsourced to) the examples reach thousands. Business success always precedes infrastructure in a sane system. To say the opposite is to say the cart pulls the horse.
The fact is that business has traditionally built the infrastructure it needs to grow if it is not already present. Private companies wanted to build high speed rail back in the early 90’s but were stopped over and over again by environmental regulators in the government…and unlike the BS high speed rail Obama and California want to put in that doesn’t really go anywhere, the plans in the 90’s were for things like LA to Vegas…you know rail that would have paid for itself and paid for further expansion.
FedEx was stopped by government regulation and bickering from creating a second hub in its distribution infrastructure in the 90’s.
Private airlines where hampered in their growth early on by government regulation (usually taking off from fields that the airlines had built with their own money in the early days).
I could go on.
You would have to be a brainless troll or an idiot of the highest caliber to not see that industry builds the infrastructure it needs with its own money (often cheaper than the government) and has more often has had its growth hampered by government than it has been helped by it.
You can build all the infrastructure you want. It won’t create business. It will help business…but it’s not like the business isn’t paying for that infrastructure (through income, corporate, sales, and a myriad of other taxes). If the government doesn’t provide the infrastructure business will create it themselves or someone else will find some way to provide the service that infrastructure would provide, often at costs less than the inefficient government creation. Government created infrastructure is never NECESSARY for business success. Government laws and protection against harm are necessary, but not infrastructure.
Now some claim that we need government infrastructure to provide things like TVA giving electricity to rural communities…to which I respond, when did electricity become a right? My grandparents lived quite contently in a house until the late 80’s, in California, without public electricity (they had a wind generator that they built)…it didn’t harm them. If there is no economic reason to have electricity in an area, then it probably shouldn’t be there…and if you don’t like it, it’s a free country, move to an area that has those services or create a business that makes it feasible to bring those services out there. Arguing we have to provide things to people where there is no financial reason to provide it to them is the mentality of building bridges to nowhere and repairing roads no one drives on it. It is the mentality of government waste. And that is the kind of infrastructure that Obama is touting…or do you think the man who thought Solyndra was a good idea knows more about infrastructure?
Everyone likes to point to highways, the internet, the advance of the space race….but everyone forgets these were military ventures with military goals, not economic ones (those were merely unintended side effects)—I bring this up because which area of spending do those who tout infrastructure call on most to be cut?* And this leads to the reason why I have repeatedly said one of our biggest mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan was not spending more time on building infrastructure. I wanted the communication and military benefits of modern infrastructure as a counter to the insurgency (which are getting their own benefits provided by other countries). Yes such projects put the cost of a system that would benefit commerce on those countries on the US taxpayer instead of the Iraq or Afghani businessman, but I believed in the long term the military benefit would pay for itself (if you think we’re not going to have to go back to Afghanistan within a generation because we botched it so badly this time, you’re crazy).
But back to Obama’s “You didn’t build that” quote.
In context he is referring to the businesses. But even if you take his reading that it was government provided infrastructure you built your business on and you couldn’t have done it without that infrastructure…it’s still a bullshit statement.
With only a small exception in education, everyone has equal access to the benefits of infrastructure. Everyone has access to the roads. Everyone has access to the electric system and all the other utilities. From the things that only government can provide (police, courts, health control, an income safety net**) to those things that government and the private sector and justifiably provide (roads, schools, post service, electricity and water) to those things which the only private sector should be providing but the government can’t keep it’s stupid hands out (green energy, wifi, medical services) everybody pretty much has equal access to all of these benefits and all of this infrastructure. And yet some build great businesses and some don’t. Because some had the intelligence and the work ethic and the drive to succeed and some didn’t. Because some people built that for themselves. This is why there is that quote at the beginning about standing on the shoulders of giants…everyone is standing on the same giant but some choose to see further and some don’t. Now success for many may not be building a business but doing something else…but it is because of their drive, their intelligence, their work, and their choices that makes them successful or not, not because of government.
Now I did bring up that education is not always equal. Its not. And education can be a greater equalizer in terms of access to opportunity than any road or Internet hub…and our system of education in America is screwed up. But notice also in this most important of things the government provides it is Obama preventing growth, preventing change, preventing charters and vouchers and experimentation, and wholeheartedly backing the vile teacher’s union which seeks to maintain the status quo. So in the one thing he could really affect to help give people more opportunity to build their own lives, he doesn’t actually want to improve that system.
Nothing in infrastructure determined who would succeed and who wouldn’t (except for education) it is will, intelligence, and work that does.
It is those things which build infrastructure.
And it is those things which Barack Obama is most opposed to and most wants to destroy.
*Not that that I don’t think the military couldn’t lose quite a bit of fat from its budget…however much of its waste is in Congressional pork projects that can’t be cut without Congressional approval…if you just cut the military’s budget the DOD doesn’t have the authority to cut those pork projects, only needed things like troops and body armor.
**Even Friedman and Hayek believed you need some form of income safety net, and they were right, you do…they were also right it needs to be for the lowest of the low (like the bottom 5%) not the for a third of the nation.