Tag Archives: current-events

What to do about college loans

So Biden is again talking about college loan forgiveness, there is once again a lot of buzz about reducing or outright excusing college loans, and both sides are providing feeble arguments.

So, just upfront on this, let me state that there are, at present, no government college loans in my name. I have paid off everything in that department, so while I know people whom this will affect, nothing here affects my credit report or bank account one way or the other.

So I think the best way to go over this is to go over some of the bad arguments.

Bad Argument 1 (from the Right): “You took out a loan; it is your responsibility to pay it back.”

This argument wants to treat a college loan as it is entirely equivalent to a small business loan or a mortgage.

Let’s test this out.

Okay, first, college costs have risen drastically over the last few decades because (1) Government subsidies and loans have allowed colleges to jack up their prices (2) Government has been less than accommodating to the expansion of colleges, either cracking down on institutions with low standards with the intent of shutting them down rather than working with them to improve their standards or conversely not caring at all and letting the low standard places grow like weeds (depending on which side is in power it’s on of these extremes or the other…no moderate way of regulation to offer incentives to improve) (3) government has all but shut out private loans except at the most usury stakes.

Does this compare to a traditional loan? Well, in the way that the government has had a hand in creating the housing bubble through their encouragement of the sub-prime market, there is a comparison, and indeed, some cities with their NIMBY nonsense have instituted a similar lack of competition. But this is where the comparisons cease.

It should also be noted that as it is the government who is responsible for the price increases, it’s hard to say, “here we jacked up the price you pay for it.”

But unlike a lot of those loans, where you could declare bankruptcy if can’t pay your loans, you can’t declare bankruptcy for most college loans. Now you might think that is a good thing because people shouldn’t have to pay back what they borrow, realize that one of reasons why Congress is granted the power to set laws on bankruptcy is because that even in the 1780s that saddling people with life long debt is the surest way to stifle an economy. Even in an era where they understood next to nothing about economics, they knew this. People need to get out from debt sometimes and shouldn’t be punished for their entire life for a bad decision…and the way we treat college loans throw that out the window.

Bad Argument 2 (from the left): Education should be free

No. No, it shouldn’t. Things cost money. Whether medical care or education or anything else, the dimwitted progressives who think it is a right simply because they want it. Things cost money. You have to pay people to perform these functions. Teachers need money to live. Building requires capital to be built and be kept up to code. There need to be administrations to make sure the whole thing runs well, and there need to be regulations and thus regulators to ensure that standards are met from an outside perspective. And all that costs money. Hence it cannot be free.

And just having the government pay for it isn’t free because people pay taxes to provide that government money and history shows that things that the government pays for are usually wasted. For instance, the highest-paid government figure in almost every state is a college basketball or football coach… significant investment of taxpayer funds right there. All of it wasted on the the most useless of expenditures.

And before the crazy left says tax the rich…please remember that your beloved Nordic countries tax the rich at a lower percentage than the US does. That’s right; it’s the middle class that gets their pockets picked in your beloved Sweden and Norway. Stop saying you want to be like Sweden until you admit that would require driving up taxes on the middle class and the poor—which personally I would rather avoid as the middle class is traditionally where innovation comes from.

Now, what is a fact is that college should not cost as much as it does. And the government could have a hand in that. College textbook prices are the definition of a cartel designed to create monopolistic price controls. Justice Department could get on that. The government could also state that it would only supply specific percentages of funds for individual colleges that do not meet the criteria of cost-saving measures. Maybe cut the useless taxpayer-funded sports programs at all public schools. The rest of the world runs sports by the free market; perhaps we could try doing the same thing.

Bad Argument 3 (from the Right): It’s wrong to make taxpayers pay for this.

While things should not be free, it is not like this is not something that has a high rate of return for taxpayers. The fact of the matter is, for most people, the better the economy does, the better they do in the aggregate. The more people who are educated, the better the economy does, especially right now if we focus that kind of education in STEM fields.

We are burdening the portion of our society with the most potential with ridiculously high loans on the very thing that made them have high potential.

It is hurting economic progress, which is something we very much need. While the stock market has been going up, more meaningful metrics like worker productivity and innovation have been stagnant for the last decade. And while I’m sure there are more than a thousand causes for this, probably the fact that the people most likely to come up with innovations that will breathe true life into the economy have a college loan to worry about and thus can’t afford to open the next Apple or Amazon might have something to do with it . Keeping this segment of the workforce burdened hurts the economy and therefore hurts taxpayers who didn’t get a college degree because their life is not being made better by the educated as it should be.

Now the question really should be which method would most benefit the average person, but neither side wants to deal in this kind of technical and rational debate about models of investment. But this is more egregious when the argument that comes from the Right, which was supposed to be the side that understood investment and prosperity.

Bad Argument 4 (from the left): everyone should go to college

Wouldn’t that be nice? Maybe someday.

But right now, not everyone is up to that. Indeed, probably more people need to invest in trade skills, and we should likely expand what loan programs exist to more readily include such options. But not everyone is capable of handling college-level work, and right now, the Flynn effect isn’t exactly working fast enough to make me think that this will change at any point in my life. However, we should put more investment into vocation and trade school training for rising markets.

But let’s make something clear.

The future is people with a college education.

If you think you can have a nation that survives on people without education, you are looking for a nation that will quickly join Rome, Byzantium, Athens, the Tang Dynasty, the Gupta Empire, and Carthage in the dust bin. Every year machines and computers do more and more work and nothing is going to change that. All those great jobs that you look to vocational training programs to provide workers for…well, guess what, they’re going to be gone sooner rather than later.

Now here are some good arguments:

The government, through their ill-thought-out loan program, has incentivized colleges to jack up prices, they have helped create a monopolistic market, viler than any trust they have broken up, that forces people to choose between not having an education and, ergo, not having economic security later in life and or having an education and debt. There are many people to blame for this, but the federal government has a great deal of blood on its hands in this situation.

So should the government forgive loans? Perhaps, they caused this, and they should foot the bill to some degree, but they should do so in a way that stops this death spiral of inflation and unacceptable loans.

Biden’s proposal for a 10K across the board forgiveness is probably a good start; it is relatively neutral in forgiving loans that people have no matter what economic bracket they’re in. It vastly improves the economic outlook of the group of people, educated adults, who having more financial security will translate that security into more innovation and investment in the economy at a time that we desperately need such things. And this will have economic effects that benefit even those who don’t have college loans. But the Biden administration or whoever comes next should work further on some other issues.

1. They should offer a further 5-10K reduction for students who go to or went to colleges that agree to a governing set of cost-cutting measures. Things like getting rid of sports programs which only waste money and do nothing for education; reducing funding for unnecessary extracurriculars (student unions can charge more on a voluntary basis to find some way to pay for their activities through market means); encouraging programs that put lower-level courses into online systems that can serve more students with less overhead costs.

2. Federal and state governments should work to change all funding for education from the current model where schools own the children to a completely voucher-based program where every American citizen from the age of 3 to 21 gets a voucher that can go to any accredited school program, or their parents can spend it on approved homeschooling resources. This will encourage more people to get their first two years of college done at a community college (as a state voucher would probably cover a community college but not a typical four-year institution). The aftereffect of this is that more resources don’t have to be wasted on programs for freshman and sophomore undergrads. It would also, coupled with strict state and federal standards, and making vocational and trade schools more open to people. Further, this would encourage more gifted students to—rather than going the AP/IB route in high school— to simply get their GED in their mid-teens, then go to a community college in the space that would usually be filled with their Junior and Senior year and then use the remaining years of the vouchers for paying a for a good portion of the rest of their undergrad.

3. To further encourage the growth of community colleges that can offer the same education that the first two years of any four-year university can, we need to admit that having a Master’s degree does not make you a better teacher (at least not in non-STEM fields) and that good teacher are what we need in these community colleges. Thus we have to come up with a program designed to accredit people who want to teach at a higher level than just high school but who may not want to go through all the bizarre theory classes that are usually (A) so specific they don’t come up the content for a community college course and (B) so detached from reality that they don’t make better teachers.

4. We need to encourage private loans to be the primary choice before federal loans for college. There have been several options, such as allowing loans to take a percentage of income for the first 20-30 years off a person’s income. This places a more significant market force on college education as people will be driven to loans with better rates, and those rates will be based on likely earned income by profession. Yes, as an English major, it might seem a little hypocritical of me to suggest we should put in a system that encourages more and more STEM majors and fewer humanities majors—but STEM is typically more valuable to society in terms of immediate quality of life. However, the fact is that most loaning institutions will probably quickly realize that double majors (one in STEM, one in the humanities) are the best investments, and they will encourage people to be as broadly educated as possible—a true liberal education that encompasses all fields of learning.

5. Another possibility is for states to offer tax credits for companies to pay for their employees to get further education that will be fully vested after so many years of education. * The private sector needs more educated people; they can pay for it. All they need is the legal coverage to say that if an employee leaves before they get their investment back, that they can require the employee to pay them back on a reasonable timetable and at an affordable interest rate. This would also make employers far more invested in providing a positive workplace because the only way they will really get their money’s worth is to have the employee stay.

If all of these items, along with others I probably haven’t heard of, were put in place, it would reduce debt by individuals, minimize government interference in colleges, and improve the economy and quality of life for the American people.

*I say the states because if I had my way, there would only be one federal income tax rate, same rate for all income brackets, only individuals, no married or single distinction, and corporations pay the exact same rate on their profits. There would only be a single deduction for all individuals, and most costs for businesses would not be taxed. The last thing I want is more loopholes and incentives in the tax code as, even for the best reasons, such efforts at the federal level always lead to more disaster and corruption. States can be far more responsive and adaptive for the best policy in this matter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Education

The Private Sector Should Handle Social Issues, Not Government

This was a weird week. I actually saw supposed libertarian Rand Paul talk about “fair” in a Senate hearing. This was weird because traditionally, libertarians have been all about what is true, right, or just—these terms, while still not exact, are far more meaningful in an adult life than the concept of fairness. The libertarian position for decades has been, “Children whine about fair. Adults care about what is just.” And this is because we were all told that “Life is not fair” as children, or, at least, I thought we were. But there is some other odd things about these actions from the supposed libertarian.

To put this in context, these comments came during the hearings for Secretary of Education nominee Miguel Cardona. Paul asked if it was fair to have biologically male transgender students compete in athletics against female students. Cardona pointed out that not allowing students to compete can be equally unfair, politely held to the Biden administration line of enforcing discrimination laws for this aspect of public education, and Paul kept hammering on this being unfair.

Now to be fair, this is not the easiest situation. In an ideal world, biology would never mix up and make the brain set for one gender and the body for another. But life isn’t fair. Nor in a perfect world would people be ignorant and need education. But, again, life isn’t fair. And these aren’t things we can’t fix with the wave of a magic wand. We can, however, in addition to attempts of medical solutions, mitigate some of the hell of having your brain and body not agree by trying to be tolerant and accepting of people and judge them only on their character and merit.

But instead, we choose to argue should the government force transgender girls to not be allowed to compete against biological girls or will the government force natural girls against transgender girls. Either way, the government is forcing something.

Wacky idea. Why don’t we stop the government from forcing people to do things? Why don’t we stop paying for this crap in general?

Hear me out here.

In the great lands of socialism known as Europe, sports are pretty much a private venture. Yeah, there’s some basic P.E. education in school, and I’m sure there’s an exception somewhere, but all actual sports like football or rugby are clubs paid for by those who participate or by revenue from fans. I know it’s weird, in America, supposedly the land of capitalism, where we taxpayers pay to train the players in high school and then college and then pay to have stadiums built in our cities (and there are other ways taxpayers are bilked by professional and non-professional sports)…but in most other countries it’s the private sector that pays for sports. I realize that the U.S. has a long way to go to be number one on a listing of economic freedom, but this is just so egregious that it boggles the mind.

So why don’t we do that? Spin-off all competitive sports away from taxpayer-funded schools and rather let the private sector handle it. Private league and clubs would be formed. And not only would they cost less because suddenly it’s not the haphazardness of spending other people’s money, but every league spending its own hard-earned money. I’m sure there would be leagues that allow transgender athletes, and I’m sure there would be ones that wouldn’t, and I’m sure there would be ones in between that regulate hormone levels in the blood or something. And I most certainly trust that the leagues that are filled with bigots would not be popular and not get private funding and die very quickly because as we’ve seen by Parler’s death and a certain moron’s twitter account, the private sector can be a more effective in squashing hate than the government can. We as the public just have to let them know that we support businesses that have nothing to do with hate.

It’s a shame there wasn’t a libertarian there to bring this up.

Now some people are hating the private sector right now. And wouldn’t trust a set up like this. But they also hate that a private company is telling them what they can and can’t trade on that private company’s app. They hate that some companies are telling them what they can’t post on that private company’s program. There are still the fools who hate if a business decides if they want to bake you a cake or not.

They’re all wrong.

We should be praising private companies for being able to decide how they want to do business.

This last couple of weeks has shown that there are huge problems with some of these trading apps and that they allow idiots hellbent on burning the system down. Still, we also see that the apps and brokerages in question quickly responded in ways that would prevent them from having to declare bankruptcy (and probably to avoid being considered a co-conspirator) in what the SEC may decide is malicious and illegal market manipulation. The government would just have let a company they rango bankrupt and then bail it out with our taxpayer money (the names Fannie and Freddie come to mind for some reason).

While the government doesn’t understand that speech has to be free except when it presents a clear and present danger to public safety (specifically when you have a party that wants to silence companies that don’t agree with them while at the same time telling a crowd of lunatics to engage in a coup). Social media companies finally realize they can shut idiots up, and they don’t have to host them. And as it’s not the government, they can do that.

But while you might not be personally thrilled with the policies Robinhood, Facebook, or Twitter, you have to admit that if the government was in charge of these, they wouldn’t be a tenth as effective or a millionth as responsive.

And most importantly, those companies followed their terms and services. No one will be able to sue Robinhood or Facebook, or Twitter because we all agreed to their terms and conditions. What they did was all there to see if we looked.

And that is probably the one thing the government should be forcing other private companies to do.

If you’re a baker who doesn’t want to bake gay wedding cakes, it is better for people to see out front of the store on a large sign.

If you’re a private Christian school that doesn’t want to hire a homosexual teacher, that better be in the big, bold letters in the want-ad.

If you’re a private sports league that doesn’t want transgender athletes, you have to make it clear in the paperwork that the public can see and decide if they want to do business with you or not.

And once you announce you are a bigot you will lose business and once you announce you are against bigotry you will be in a safe place and only have to worry about the usual economic issues.

And I’m more than happy to not only make that kind of disclosure be public…but to make the violation of this not just some sort of fine for breaking a civil code or something you can be sued for…no let’s make not publishing this kind of thing fraud. A full-on criminal violation. So people will have three choices engage in the market and sell or work with people you don’t like, announce you’re a bigot (and hopefully go out of business), go to jail. The only government force here is ensuring truth in the market place, one of the actual functions that any libertarian would approve of.

But again, why would we ever look to the free market to fix things when we can go round and round in pointless squabbles for the camera.

Leave a comment

Filed under politics

An open letter to Joe Biden

Thank you for helping to remove Donald Trump from office. The last four years have probably been the most dangerous since the Civil War. And I think I can speak for everyone when I say I support your call to be the President for everyone, free from all parties, not just there for the people who voted for you.

However, if we’re going to start restoring correct political norms that will benefit everyone, one of the first norms from the public has to be that we can not give in to a cult of personality and that we have a duty to oppose those in power, and especially those whom we voted for.

I voted for you, not because I agree with much of the policies you proposed, but because you seem to be a decent human being and that is what we need right now (I’d prefer a decent human being who has the correct policies, but I didn’t have that as an option this time). And I think that many of the people who voted for you are in the same camp. We are moderates, a few practical Libertarians, and Never Trump Republicans. We didn’t vote for you to expand the ACA or tax the rich or bring about the Green New Deal, but because we needed someone to restore sanity to America. And that milquetoast victory speech that was more boilerplate than substance is not a good start—I can admit that a victory speech may not be the best time to pick a fight and it might be a tactical choice to wait until January 20th before picking fights, but there did seem some missed opportunities there, but again, I will write it up as a tactical choice.

Now, I hope that you are looking to be what we hope you would be, but I’m going to state what I think most of us believe, and hope that at least the ideas presented here will reach you in some form.

First off you need to bridge the gap with conservatives, real conservatives, not the populist hacks that have taken over the PR functions of the party. That means there should be three to four Never Trump Republicans in your cabinet. Just one token Republican in the Department of Transportation won’t do it. You need to make a sincere effort to reach across the aisle and find the best people for every position. It might be a bit too much to hope that you put Paul Ryan in as Secretary of Treasury, but something that blatant is needed. Further, you need to reject BOTH extremes, obviously the Trump wing of insanity must be rejected, but so must the Warren/Sanders/AOC wing of your own party—if you want to heal this nation then these illiberal extremes must be given exactly zero power—the illiberal left is just as dangerous as the illiberal right. To embrace the far left is just as bad as Trump’s embrace of populism, it is an illiberal philosophy that has no place in America and if you tolerate it, then your words of hope, opportunity, and healing are only words. Also, if you’re going to go after Trump and work on reforming the police through legal federal means, you’re going to need a Republican AG to avoid making it look like a liberal crusade—I have no idea who, but a conservative AG would deflect most the criticism from all but the Alex Jones crowd (and there was never any hope of getting their support).

Second, you need to calm the worries over the Supreme Court. The left is justifiably angry over McConnell’s court-packing and the right is worried about court-packing from the left (whether that’s rational or not, that’s what governing for all side is, you have to calm as many fears as possible, even the irrational ones). My suggestion is you go to Justices Thomas and Alito, who are both in their 70s and might want to enjoy the end of their lives instead of dropping dead waiting for another Republican president. Come up with a list of Libertarian/moderate justices who believe in abortion and LBGT rights but in limited government in all other things (those first two are about limited government as well so it would be looking for actually consistent justices) and work with them to find a pick they can agree that they will retire if you appoint that pick. This calms the left and the right, defends the most important right you care about, and restores faith in the Court for all sides.

Now let’s come to your goals. First and foremost you need to re-establish our place in the world. That means a heavy use of diplomacy, of not just reestablishing free trade but pushing it (rejoining TPP, ending the Jones Act, quickly getting a new trade agreement with the UK, rolling back all of Trump’s tariffs, and challenging China in the legal format of the WTO). Free trade is an absolute good, and it needs to be encouraged no matter how much the illiberal sides of both parties hate it. And while Trump has done a lot of stupid stuff, don’t compound the stupid by just reversing his idiocy—for instance moving the embassy to Jerusalem was silly, moving it back would be just as silly and petty. Don’t be petty. And while we need to re-establish our relationship with the world let’s not be groveling and begging forgiveness. The world wants the US to be the world cop and the stable one in the room they can all look to for support, that does not involve going around and groveling (like your former boss did). We can admit that Trump was wrong without acting like America is always in the wrong.

Next, you must establish limits on the Executive branch. You need to push for a Department of Internal Affairs that can investigate every president and every elected official and which is free from partisan politics. Presidents are not above the law and this needs to be made clear. A president who breaks the law needs to know that he or she can be arrested and hauled out of the Oval Office in handcuffs. If you don’t push for some kind of way to limit criminal behavior in the executive then you’ve missed what the mandate you were given was.

Further, you need to limit the capricious dictatorial power of the Presidency. A president who refuses to work with Congress and just says “I have a pen and a phone” and rules by fiat is not a president but a wannabe tyrant. This can no longer be tolerated from either side. You are the president, if Congress is being obstructionist, you have the bully pulpit and your job is to convince the people to push Congress to act. Now, part of this must be using that bully pulpit to push Congress to return power to committee created legislation and not just letting the House and Senate being the fiefdoms of the Speaker and Majority Leader respectively. I know full well this is a long-term project that you will not see the end of, but it has to start sometime, and the sooner the better.

In terms of economics, again: Free trade. You’re not going to bring manufacturing jobs back, because even if a company moved production back to the US it would be done by machines. But what you can do is open up more trade which will create more opportunities in new fields. I’m fine with more investment for vocational training and retraining but we are never returning to a 1950s manufacturing economy, and I have to hope your rhetoric on this point during the campaign was simply a pragmatic realization that right now you weren’t going to win without that voting bloc. But now act in that voting blocs best interest and bring them jobs for the future, not lying to them about bring back the past.

In terms of taxes. Don’t raise taxes. Just get rid of the myriad of stupid deductions that exist. You know all those loopholes that Trump uses to avoid taxes. Get rid of all of those. The smaller the tax code the better. And if the upper and upper-middle class can’t just deduct all their income then tax revenues will increase.

It goes without saying that immigration needs to be reformed. But it needs to be said again and again that there is no power given to Congress to regulate immigration. NONE. Any laws that try to limit immigration are unconstitutional along with evil and economically idiotic. ICE needs to be ended and the borders need to be opened.

The CIA needs to put anything they can into Putin’s water that will speed up his Parkinson’s.

Finally, there needs to be a return to a semblance of honesty, reality, and humility. Real daily press corp briefings, hold the White House Press Correspondents dinner and demand they do a full roast of you (I get there is a pandemic, but this is a norm that needs to be restored).

Of course, there is a plethora of other things that need to be dealt with, but let’s focus on these.

Now, Mr. President-Elect, you could be all talk, and like your former always willing to give into bitter partisanship, always foolishly throwing gas on a culture war fire, always only looking to play to the most infantile of your base…but I, and I think most of America, is hoping you’ll be better than that.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Long-Term Case for Optimism

“The past can teach us, through experience, how to accomplish things in the future, comfort us with cherished memories, and provide the foundation of what has already been accomplished. But only the future holds life. To live in the past is to embrace what is dead. To live life to its fullest, each day must be created anew. As rational, thinking beings, we must use our intellect, not a blind devotion to what has come before, to make rational choices.”—Wizard’s Seventh Rule, The Pillars of Creation, Terry Goodkind

So, in a bizarre way to treat optimism let’s first look at how bad this is going to get. That may seem very counterintuitive but go with me on this for a minute. “Of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme,” says the Buddha as he calls for an awareness of death (maranasati)…and some research shows that there are emotional and intellectual benefits to contemplating our death. When you have faced the worst end, analyzed it, accept it, and moved on, you are no longer bounded by the fears of the the worst-case scenario.

The same is true of any terrible situation.
So, let’s deal with the worst that this could possibly be. COVID 19 at worst has a fatality rate of 4%, and we will probably have a second round of it next cold and flu season. That is upwards of 8% dead. In the US that is 26.4 million people. Worldwide that is 624 million people.
That is beyond tragic. That is over four times more than communism killed in its entire existence. That is somewhere between 56-100 times the deaths of the Holocaust. It is nearly everyone you know over 65, parents, friends, certainly grandparents, and depending on who is reading this, possibly you. A new word might need to be invented to deal with death at these levels.
I want everyone reading this to take a few minutes, maybe even days to consider this, and let it sink in. It will be horrible.
It’s okay, it’s worth crying over, worth being horrified by, and worth being revolted that more could not be done.
Let it sink in.
Okay? If not, maybe this is a time to stop reading and think about why you’re still not okay with this. Do you need to make amends with people who might be gone or who might lose you? Then why are you still reading and not doing that? Didn’t accomplish all you wanted in life? Again, if that’s what is really bothering you, you might want to deal with that while you have time. Didn’t’ go on that trip or buy that car or retire to that beach…you know these are the kind of moments that are supposed to make it clear that life isn’t things, and you may need to think about what is bothering you.
Okay, have we come to terms with this worst-case scenario?
Now let’s move on.
This is unspeakably terrible, but there is one thing it is not. It is not the end of the world.
The Black Death killed 50 million people in Europe. That sounds like a lot less but it was closer to 35-65% of the population of Europe. (Data on what it did in Asia is a little harder to get, but over the course of centuries it probably did a bang-up job there too). And you know what happened? Europe survived. Possibly two-thirds of the population gone. Two out of every three people dead. And Europe survived. This is a disease that strikes hardest at the elderly, which was a disease that was indiscriminate to age. And they survived. We will survive 8% of the population dying.
Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t’t care about the people who die, not do every reasonable and even a few unreasonable efforts to save them. But understand this will be tragic deaths of people we love—it will not be the end of the world. If a bunch of illiterate peasants who are civilized only by the barest of definitions can survive two-thirds of their civilization, we will survive. *
This is not the end of the world.
Let that sink in.
Really, let that sink in because to get to the optimism for the future this might come off as a little callous if you haven’t accepted the previous points.

The plagues that struck Athens which led to their conquest by the Spartans led to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. The Black Death was followed by the Renaissance. The Napoleonic Wars led to the Industrial Revolution on the European Continent, and the Civil War was followed by the Industrial Revolution in America. WWI and the Spanish Flu were followed by the Roaring ’20s. And the post-WWII economics was nothing short of miraculous. The universe has a way of balancing great tragedy with a spectacular moment of growth economically, intellectually, and spiritually. I’m not saying that everything about these periods was great, but the good certainly outweighed the bad. And granted, not every great tragedy is followed by prosperity. But assuming we get better at what we’re doing (either by toughing it out until January, or maybe blessedly COVID will walk down Pennsylvania Avenue) and learn that the free market with light direction is often a better innovator to our problems, and then hopefully set the groundwork for prosperity when this passes—and this too shall—then we will rise from this better than before.
That might not seem logical, but consider that we’re already coping remarkably well. Restaurants are still serving people via delivery and so while they won’t be in a great situation come to the end of this, they will still be there and ready to grow again. Companies will find that most people can be more effective from home, and will probably find out that 30 hours from home (so long as they have support from the corporate office) will be more effective than 40 in the office for a lot of jobs, which will not only help bring about a new jump in productivity but hopefully give vast new hours for people to spend on pet projects, artistic endeavors, and side business possibilities. This is giving us the opportunity to put in a lot of automated systems that unions and regulation had previously stood in the way of, which will raise the quality of life for numerous people and drop the costs of products worldwide. I’m sure we will see a massive increase in the money for self-driving cars and drone delivery to help reduce human to human transmission of the COVID, which will have an unspeakably massive drop in transaction costs of almost every economic transaction. We have been on the verge of a change as great as the change from an agrarian culture to an industrial one—and it promises to be a world where there is far less poverty and institutional injustice, and it’s sad this is the price we may have to pay for that change, but it is a better world on the other side of this.

And if you’re still not convinced, let me be exceptionally coldly rational here. The average person over the age of 65 in the US has an average net value of over a million dollars. In the worst-case situation, you’re looking at 20 million senior citizens dead. I hate to be callous but, that’s $20 Trillion being pumped into the economy. Granted a good deal of that is in housing, which that kind of glut on the market will radically drop housing prices (but that is affordable housing that isn’t bad) …but that’s still about $10 Trillion being pumped into the economy in the next year and a half. This is terrible, but it relieves a huge strain on our safety nets which can give us the opportunity to fix them properly without having to cut the benefits of those who depend on them while we fix them to be sustainable.
If we think long term here and amidst trying to save as many as possible, but we also need to work to set the groundwork for the world that comes after. And that world is better with less government (which I think we can easily see how stupid and short-sighted government is), with more guardrails in government to prevent the idiotic and unethical from achieving power over anyone, with more efforts put into the technologies and innovations that can make our lives better, and by using the time to reflect on how much we do need human connection in our lives and how we need to re-establish a greater sense of community with others in our lives after this.

What I am not saying is that we should help those who are vulnerable to this disease, who are suffering from it, or who are afraid. We most certainly should be there for them in any way that we find we are able to without going further than we feel comfortable doing.
That we need to understand that it was globalization that gave us exposure to so many diseases before this that we had better immunities and that this will only be, at worst, 8% and not 20% or 70%.
We should take time to ask if this is the best plan to save the most people unlike right now which only cares about deaths from COVID ignoring that the economic harm we’re causing will also cause death from more suicide, accident, stress, domestic violence…and the fact is that I can’t find anyone seriously asking which will have more death, it would likely be COVID is the greater danger, I would just love to know somebody looked toward the long term…you know in a way the government never does.
That science and free markets are working hard to find solutions while governments dither and sputter in incompetence.
And that life is a mixture of good and bad, and we shouldn’t give up on the good just because of terrible, but undeniably momentary, bad.
The world on the other side of this is easily a better one than behind us. Take comfort in that.

*A caveat. I know there are some older parents out there who are worried that they might not be there for their children. I wish I could transfer my faith that the universe is an ordered place, and that they will not be challenged with anything more than they can take, and any loss they endure will be a loss they knew about coming into this life and that it will give them the opportunity for growth. But I can’t transfer that faith. I can only advise that you seek some reconciliation with your own beliefs. But I understand that logically there is probably nothing I can do to ally your fears.

Leave a comment

Filed under Capitalism, Election 2020

Health Care is Not A Right

So Republicans in typical fashion are trying to shoot themselves in the foot with their “Defund Obamacare push”  (hint the liberals want the GOP to win on this one so they don’t have to have Obamacare hanging around their necks in 2014 and 2016, so they can keep the White House and take back Congress just long enough to make sure no one can ever take Obamacare out…if you want to get rid of Obamacare, really, really get rid of it, you need to make people see, and unfortunately feel, the misery they voted for. The point here is to get rid of the idea that government is the answer, not just a temporary reprieve on one horrific law.  The Defund Obamacare group is looking to win the battle, possibly at the cost of losing the war).   But while this is going on, Democrats are spending billions just to advertise Obamacare (if a law is so bad you have to advertise it, that should tell you something).  And to top it all off, a couple days ago Obama made his one of his typically brain less statements.  “Because in the United States of America, health insurance isn’t a privilege – it is your right.”

Why do I bring all of these different groups up in the same paragraph? Because they’re all idiots. They are all predicated on the idea that the government has to do something (less idiotic for the Republicans, but they seem to have given up the idea of full repeal, the only real answer, because they seem to acknowledge the lie that government needs to provide something). At best this belief is idiotic. At worst it’s just plain evil. (On another side note evil people are very rare, but evil ideas are all too common, and morons have a long history of latching onto evil ideas with the best of intentions. So please understand I’m not calling the people supporting Obamacare evil–unless their name is Harry/Nancy/Barrack/Michelle–merely their idea is). Why is it stupid/evil? Well, let me be as clear as I can possibly be:

YOU DO NOT HAVE A !@#$%^& RIGHT TO HEALTHCARE!!!!

Like the right to property, and the right to pursue happiness, you have the right to earn a living and to use that money as you see fit, perhaps by buying healthcare or healthcare insurance, but you have no natural right to healthcare.

Sorry, Barry, but just because you want something, it’s not a right.

I know I am about to repeat things that I have said before, but I feel I need to. I feel everyone needs to until this country learns that rights are not entitlements, rights are not things given to you but opportunities to be taken care of, and to exercise your rights does not require the acts, intentions, or contribution of anyone else.

A natural right as conceived of in the theory of natural rights and in the Declaration of Independence is something you would have without the presence of government or even society. It’s what does Robinson Crusoe have when he’s on the island before he decides to violate Friday’s natural right to freedom. Well, if you find yourself trapped in a bad episode of “Lost” you have the right to life, liberty, property, and to pursue happiness. A lot of what the original Bill of Rights includes is also there (speech, religion, assembly, arms, and self-incrimination) but notice that if you’re on an island by yourself you don’t have medical care. You have the right to take care of yourself, but islands in the middle of nowhere are not staffed with hospitals and doctors just waiting for you to get sick. So it’s certainly not a natural right.

But we don’t live on an island in the middle of nowhere. The upside to this is that we don’t have to engage in a philosophical war with a black cloud; the downside to this is that we do have to deal with other people. And while most people are rational and good intentioned, there are the random people who don’t respect your rights and try to take what isn’t theirs. Because of these random few who ruin everything, and because, we want complex things that we can’t do without laws and someone being in charge (like roads) we turn to the necessary evil of government. Now good government is a skill and it took us a while to realize that limits need to be put on it because just following the guy who can kill you or the guy with the best bullshit may not have been the best choice in the beginning, even though it’s what historically happened. So we had to come up with a whole new set of rights (quartering, due process, equality under the law). But notice all these other rights limit what the government does. Nowhere have you been given anything. You were either born with your rights, some of which you gave away to ensure protection against stupid people violating your rights, and other “rights” were restrictions placed on the government on top of which your natural rights were completely off-limits. But still no right has been given to you that you already didn’t have. And again, you didn’t have the right to health care if you were stuck in the state of nature.

The right to healthcare is a ridiculous, idiotic and borderline evil idea called a “positive right.” A negative right means something that no one has the right to take away from you–like your life, your liberty, or your property. Those are things you’re entitled to, thus no one has any right to reduce your rights to them. A positive right on the other hand means something that you have a right to expect to be given to you. If you’re reading that last sentence a few times because it seems to make no sense, good, that means you’re sane. Healthcare is a positive right. It is the idea that just because I showed up you have to give me healthcare. Just because you’re alive other people have to give something to you? Well I know that really egocentric people act like this, but to actually portray this as a theory of government is insane. And while virtues of love and charity say that ethically we should give people more than they may deserve, it doesn’t work in the opposite way where you have the right to demand people give you more than you serve—that’s not ethics it’s also insanity.

But more than insane it’s wrong. You can’t give a piece of property or a service without taking it from someone else–i.e. theft or slavery. Now while I believe the capitalist system isn’t a zero-sum game that always creates more and more, theoretically having no limit to how much wealth it can create, the kind of property transfer that the government deals in is a zero-sum for whatever moment it exists in. The government stealing things and giving it to others, transferring wealth from one person to another, not only harms the ability to create more wealth, but given government inefficiency, it actually creates less wealth (especially given the government’s addiction to spending money it doesn’t have). The government can’t just give people drugs without stealing it from drugs companies…if it pays for those drugs then it can only do that by stealing hard earned wealth from the taxpayers. Either way it’s theft. A person can’t be guaranteed healthcare without doctors being forced to treat them. After all either the doctors are paid (and if the government’s involved it’s paid with stolen taxpayer money) or simply forced to work as a slave. And you’ll find most doctors will not want to work in that system which will cause the greatest healthcare system in the world, the US, to become one of the worst when all the doctors leave or simply retire.

But some idiots (Alan Colmes to name one) say that the government has a right to help the people under the actual Constitution. They quote Article I Section 8:

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and
Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general
Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be
uniform throughout the United States;”

And then they point to the part that says “General welfare” , isn’t providing healthcare promoting the general welfare? Well one that would first depend on the government being able to do anything well, which it can’t, but more importantly it is a gross misunderstanding of the meaning of “general welfare.” Even if you took the most liberal meaning of the phrase at the time the Constitution was written the term general welfare does not mean helping people like our current meaning of welfare–it means providing improvements to the whole of the country that affects everyone (roads, bridges, communication systems, in other words – infrastructure). The key is the word general. It needs to be something that can be used by everyone. I can’t take your doctor prescribed drugs after you’ve taken them, so there is nothing general about a system that helps individuals. (And don’t even give me that bullshit about their being able to provide for society if they were healthy…if they were providing for society they would have a job with which they could afford healthcare).

The government isn’t there to protect you from yourself or from nature. It’s there to protect you from other idiots. Your bad living habits and your genetic disposition toward a disease, while unfortunate, is not the government’s responsibility. But given that the government has stolen and inefficiently used the money that people who might have been able to charitably donate to your healthcare, the government is not only destroying their rights it’s destroying their ability to help you.

The government destroys all it touches–it can’t help it, it’s its nature. Especially when it tries to give you things you don’t have a right to. And you don’t have a right to healthcare!

2 Comments

Filed under Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Conservative, Constitution, Economics, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Health Care, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics

Overpopulation, another liberal bout of baseless hysteria…

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.

 

 

World Birth Rate

See all the blue…that is areas that is going to experience a very large population drop within a generation…the green will be lucky to stay at current levels.

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.”

 

onechild

All I can say is that I think we should all feel very lucky that the government isn’t in control of every aspect of our medical care…oh wait…well crap…

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

 

3 Comments

Filed under Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Evils of Liberalism, Fear, Government is corrupt, Natural Rights, politics, Tyranny

Ron Paul is championing home schooling…God help us all…

I think we are all very happy that Rand has not inherited his father's raving lunacy.

I think we are all very happy that Rand has not inherited his father’s raving lunacy.

I believe so strongly in the homeschooling movement that I have just announced my own curriculum for homeschooling families. Please visit this revolutionary new project at http://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com.–Ron Paul on the-free-foundation.org

Ron Paul is championing home schooling.

 

Usually I would say this is a good thing.  Homeschooling can be one of the most rewarding forms of education around (so long as the parents are involved and also willing to put in the time and effort needed).  For instance I always recommend The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer for anyone considering homeschooling… it is a reasoned, balanced, and in depth curriculum for homeschooling that stresses critical thinking and reading primary sources.

And at first glance the program Ron Paul is pushing seems to be that…what with things like:

  • It should be an academically rigorous curriculum that is tied to primary source documents — not textbooks. Textbooks are screened by committees. They dumb down the material.

  • If your child completes the entire curriculum — which runs from K through 12 — here is what he or she should be able to do, again quoting.

  • Speak in public and speak confidently

  • Write effectively

But then you see things like:

“It should provide a thorough understanding of Austrian school economics.”

And I think as a Chicago school monetarist, isn’t that just as bad as Keynesian indoctrination…maybe teach them Keynesian, Chicago, and Austrian principles and trust that reason will work…(and then I remember that if we’re trusting reason, that would lead them to the Chicago school, and those Austrians can’t have any of that).

But it gets worse….

  • It should teach the Biblical principle of self-government and personal responsibility, which is also the foundation of the free market economy.

Ummm… am I the only one that remembers the self-government things can more be traced to Athens, and Aristotle, and the Enlightenment?  Certainly many of the ethics of the Bible lead to the ethics or capitalist democratic-republics…but the Bible wasn’t enough for republican limited government—there were other parts involved.

So this leads one to take a closer look at the person actually in charge of the project that Ron Paul is championing?  Well on the page of instructors is this guy named Gary North.

And this is where it gets fun.  And by “fun,” I mean unspeakably terrifying.  I pulled this quote off of Gary North’s own web side, garynorth.com

So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we trak up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God. Murder, abortion, and pornography will be illegal. God’s law will be enforced. It will take time. A minority religion cannot do this. Theocracy must flow from the hearts of a majority of citizens, just as compulsory education came only after most people had their children in schools of some sort. But religious anarchy, like  “democratic freedom” in ancient Greece, is a temporary phenomenon; it lasts only as long as no single group gets sufficient power and accepted authority to abandon the principle.

I’m going to give you a few seconds to re-read that.  Several times.  Because I’m sure you’re thinking he can’t actually be advocating a complete theocracy that will destroy all opposing religions.  But yes, yes he is. This guy wants a Christian Caliphate to wipe out all the non-Christians.  This guy makes Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum’s rhetoric look stable (I’m not sure if Ricky is stable, I suspect he may be in favor of this, but at least he has the good sense not to say it aloud).  Gary North is the psycho-Christian that the entire left thinks all Republicans are.  This is the Taliban of Christianity.

And this is the guy Ron Paul wants to create a home schooling system for the next generation.

Take a moment to think about this.  If the Paulbots had had their way, Gary North might have been Secretary of Education.  Even though Ron Paul never stood a serious chance, that he even came as close as he did, that should scare the shit out of you.

Now what is more frightening is when you consider how many Paulbots there are who follow the word of their master blindly (I mean they overlooked the racism and the anti-Semitism).  We have enough issues in this nation trying to fight the left without also having to fight blindly following groups of libertarian-theocrats (yes I know, those terms should be opposed to each other just on the face of it, but let’s be honest here, in real life, people are a mass of contradiction).  Think of it Paulbots, but now they’re also motivated by religious fervor—if this gets any traction, it is possible it could be more insane than Westboro.

I’m not saying everything this man is going to put out is wrong, nor should homeschooling not be considered if you have the time and resources…but I don’t think anyone should blindly follow whatever program Ron Paul and Gary North put out.

Ron Paul is brining his insanity to education

3 Comments

Filed under Anti-Semitism, Education, God, Long Term Thinking, Teaching

Drop the meaningless phrase “Judeo-Christian Values” and other ways for Conservatives to win

Okay so several times I have asked what the phrase “Judeo-Christian Values” means and how it is different from the values of other beliefs and religions.  I haven’t received many good answers.  Yes there are certainly differences between them in the nature of God or in the rituals and the structure of the community…but in terms of values there is little difference…everyone regards the soul as divine in some way* and proper understanding of any of these religions lends one to a virtue based ethics in line with the Classical Realism of Aristotle and Plato.  In fact, when you look at most religions there are some pretty strong parallels in all the virtues—some may be more detailed than others in some areas and less in others, but they seem to focus on the same general virtues.

virtue

Granted there is not a point for point comparison between the virtues that I am showing here, and there are shades of difference and meaning, often caused more by culture and period of time they were written in, but in terms of broad swaths, every religion believes in the same general set of virtues. Also this chart could be much more inclusive of a variety of religions and still hold true…but I think you get the point.

So the term Judeo-Christian values, which supposedly would mean the virtues and ethics this group holds to be good and right and true is just the same as the virtues of every other religion, then it’s not that meaningful a phrase.  Yes there are differences between Judeo-Christian beliefs and other religions, but none of these differences have anything to do with the political context of how the phrase “Judeo-Christian values” is used.

The phrase is meant to draw a contrast between spiritual/religious values and those of the secular, progressive, fascist, fanatical sections of society that actually don’t share either a belief in virtue based ethics or have some very radically different values.

So why is this an important point to bring up?

Well because it makes a pretty clear distinction between those who follow Judeo-Christianity and everyone else.  Including people of lots of different faiths who were not intended to be alienated.  Is this relevant?

Well first off I think it’s a fair statement that the term Judeo-Christian values is primarily used by conservatives.  Second I would assume we want to win.  We lost the last election by 3.9% points.  A 3% shift of the vote would have given Romney the popular and Electoral College vote and about 6 Senate seats (i.e., complete Republican control).  So it then becomes a question, is there 3% of the electorate who is religious and spiritual, not already voting Republican, that is not in the Judeo-Christian bracket?

Let’s look at the polls.

Trends in Religion PewPew does a major poll every year looking at the trends in religion in America.  It’s a sample of 17,000 people so it’s fairly accurate as polls go.

So of the “other” religion we have 6% of the nation and of the “nothing in particular” group we have 13.9% of the population.  Together they make 19.9% of the population.  Common sense alone says that if you have 20% of the country, two-thirds of whom are voting against your party, then maybe if you stopped alienating them with an us vs. them term (or at least picked a new term) you could pick up a few…maybe?

So let’s look at the 19.9% a little more closely.  Okay so we can discount about 1% of the “other” group as they are the “religion of peace” and their fairly fascist beliefs are moderately antithetical to conservative principles and the values/ethics being promoted.  So we’re down to 18.9% up for grabs.

Now the let’s look at how the remaining 5% of the “Other” and the 13.9% of “nothing in particular.”  Now a flaw of this report is that they lump the ““nothing in particular” in with Atheists and Agnostics under the heading of Unaffiliated (but for Trend in Religion by party Pewthe purpose of this let’s just assume the numbers are about the same throughout all the unaffiliated, it doesn’t make a terribly large difference anyway).  From the data we can see that only about 57% of the Other group and 69% of the unaffiliated are voting for Democrats (trust me the math works).  So give or take (you know there are some independents we’re not taking into account) that’s about 12%.  12% that probably share the values of the Christian voters who lean toward voting Republican, but for some reason aren’t voting Republican.  Do you think that term “Judeo-Christianity” might have something, even a small part, to do with it?

Isn’t this just a call for political correctness?  No.  The idiocy of political correctness is saying you have to watch everything you say because it might hurt someone’s feelings.   And it is for all levels of life, from the public and political to the personal.  I am not saying you have to adjust your personal language or beliefs.  This is merely a political reality.  We as conservatives have certain values and policies we know will work and better the lives of everyone.  Politics is as much about emotion and perception as it is about facts and plans, probably more so. Political Correctness has nothing to do with practical ends, which is why it has to be enforced by the left so viciously else reason would drive most people to that end anyway; what I am talking about is something very different than being PC, I’m talking about selling an idea with very real consequences.  A term like “Judeo-Christian values” is loaded from the get go, it creates an us vs. them mentality, at a time when we need more of the people in the “them” category to vote for us.  If we switched to using the term “spiritual value” or “God centered” more often, it would mean the exact same thing in terms of everything relevant to politics and ethics, and it wouldn’t emotionally alienate those we are trying to win over.  You can still use “Judeo-Christian” if you really feel strongly about it, but do it knowing you’re hurting the chance to actually see your goals accomplished.

Is this stupid?  Yeah.  It’s silly and ridiculous to think we should have to be this nitpicky about our language and terms to win people to our side.  But, the last time I checked we already had reason, logic, facts, truth, plans, and vision on our side.  Didn’t notice that doing us any good.  Oh, wait this is politics. Stupid thing like word choice do matter.  Is it stupid?  Yeah, but it’s something you have to do.

New Age beliefsBut should we end our discussion of this group of “nothing in particular” with just this term?  Well that might work towards making in-roads with maybe 1% of those 12%, in-roads that would allow the rest of our arguments to make a difference, and that 1% we get to follow reason would be a third of the way we need to go, but it’s still not enough.

Let’s take a look at some of the actual beliefs of this group.  Namely that 25% of them believe in reincarnation (If you assume that all the atheists and agnostics do not believe in reincarnation then it’s actually about 35% of the “nothing in particular” group…or about 4% of the general public.)  Further while there is nothing in this year’s report, previous year’s reports showed that a belief in reincarnation was more popular with women, minorities, the young, Democrats, liberals, moderates, independents, and Christians who attend church less often (i.e., the people we need to win over).

So it is safe to assume that most of those in that 4% are not voting Republican.

But they should.

A belief in reincarnation by its very nature lends to long term thinking—the policies I put in place today won’t just affect my children and grandchildren, they’ll affect me over and over and over again.  Thus anyone who believes in reincarnation has to believe in plans that aren’t as concerned with momentary problems, but with building long term systems that self-perpetuate and offer prosperity to the most people for the longest time with most chance of growth…that would be the capitalism and republicanism officered by real conservative belief.  This is an argument I’ve made before, extensively in Republicans & Reincarnation, and one that we should all make to anyone who holds this article of faith in reincarnation.  If you actually approach them on their own terms, and showed that the logical consequence of their beliefs is conservatism, we could get another 1% of that group…which means of the 49% left we only have to convince another 1% and given the abysmal failure of a second Obama term, that should be easy.

You don’t have to agree with people on faith. But you’re not going to convince them on politics if your stance is mine is the only religion worth following by using terms like “Judeo-Christian value.”  Say “spiritual values” instead, it means the same thing, it still separates you from the secular liberal base you are trying to show a contrast with, and it may pick up a few votes. And if you’re arguing with someone who doesn’t agree with your religion or your politics, you’ll never convince them to give up a faith because of reason, it just doesn’t work (even if you do show contradictions and put them on the path to agreeing with you spiritually, it will initially only dig in their heels more on every other topic against you)…but if you approach them on their terms spiritually and show them how their beliefs do dictate a conservative point of view, then you at least get something.

*The only two exceptions to this are followers of the religion of peace (Sufis excluded) and atheists.

3 Comments

Filed under A Course in Miracles, Aristotle, Atheism, Bhagavad Gita, Capitalism, Conservative, Economics, Education, Evils of Liberalism, Faith, Free Will, God, Individualism, Long Term Thinking, New Age, philosophy, politics, Problems with the GOP, Religion, Spirituality, virtue

Basic economics lesson #4: Ricardo’s Law and why we should drop Social Conservatism

republicans

If we don’t start having a unified message we will keep losing time and time again.

It’s amazing how quickly I’ve seen the god-awful resurgence of social conservatism.  Somehow the fact of the combination of social conservative Santorum undercutting Romney at every chance, social conservative Akin and Mourdock undercutting the whole party with their mentally handicapped statements, and more instances of voter fraud than I know what do with, all led to the downfall of Romney…the social conservatives have taken from this that just running on economics doesn’t work and we need to focus on social issues.  It must be interesting to live in the Bizarro universe where social conservatives being part of the reason we lost is a reason why we should focus on social conservatism—but I don’t live in that world, I live in reality.

(…stay with me here it’s going to take a little while to get back to social conservatism…)

And in reality we have this economic principle called Ricardo’s Law or the Law of Comparative Advantage.  While the best explanation of this law is found in P.J. O’Rourke’s Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics (best books on economics ever) I’ll quickly sum it up here.  If you can do two things for a living, let’s say be a carpenter or write computer code you should do what you do better….even if you’re above average in both.   It doesn’t matter if you’re good at both, when you split your time between two things you’ll end up producing less, even though in either field you’d produce more than anyone else could.  Just trust me that the math works out that everyone should do what they’re best at to create the highest yield of goods.*

When you split your time between two things you always get less of things you’re looking for.  Focus on what will give you the highest yield of what you’re looking for and only that.

So what does this have to do with social conservatism?

Well, most social conservatives in the Republican Party are probably also fiscal conservatives (certainly not all, Rick Santorum for instance never met a tax, a regulation, or moment of crony capitalism that he didn’t love) but for the most part the vast majority of social conservatives are fiscal conservatives.  Now basic level common sense might seem to suggest that, as a party (ignoring that the party is actually made up of social conservatives, moderates, and liberals) we should try a dual attack of both social conservatism and fiscal conservatism and thus try to get the most voters to come in.

And this is one of those rare times where science/math/economics actually don’t converge with what may seem like common sense.

We can focus on two narratives (that are not always in agreement) trying to pick the most voters, or we can devote all of our time and money into one narrative, which if we apply Ricardo’s law to this situation, and find even greater results than working on both. (Yes it’s always dangerous to apply principles from one field to another, but if you stay with me here you’ll see it does work).

So which narrative should we focus on?
Well let’s look at social conservatism first.   First off social conservatism holds a very small appeal (only 18% want abortion completely outlawed, and only 44% consider themselves Pro-life , and the majority of people also favor gay marriage).  Further, while you can make excellent arguments for the corrosive effects of low marriage rates on society or this or that point, the issues of social conservatism will, probably more than any other field of public debate, come down  to deal entirely with emotion and faith.  You can’t argue emotion or faith.  You can have the grandest proof in the world, with all the stats and figures and charts you could ever want…still won’t have any effect on emotion and faith.  Would any argument convince you to be in favor of abortion?  I doubt it.  Why do you think the other side will be different?  Listen to the stories of people who changed their minds on this issue, it’s not because of some argument, it was because of some personal, emotional experience.  Arguments of the social conservative kind only rally those who already believe, the do not attract more voters.
Next let’s assume, by some miracle you win with that argument and that argument only.  And just looking at, say abortion, let’s say somehow Roe v. Wade is overturned by a new court (and the problem with that is that conservative judges hate overturning precedent, they hate it, so the likelihood is very low)…guess what, it’s still not going to matter.  Why? Because the federal government, while it may have to power to prevent laws, it can’t outlaw things that don’t cross state lines—thus without Roe it just becomes another state’s rights issues.  And guess what you may win a few states in the South and a few in the midwest, but with 52% saying they support abortion to some degree and another 28% want it legal in all cases, you would be lucky to get 20 states to outlaw abortion…and they won’t be the states where most of the abortions are occurring already.  So for all that work, it will pretty much be the same as it is now.  The results are similar for just about every other social issue you can think of.  To have the federal government do ANYTHING directly about social issues would require us to ignore the 9th and 10th Amendments (which as good conservatives, we never could).

And let’s just ignore how many people the social conservatism pushes away.

Few votes, few results for a lot of time and effort.

Doesn’t seem like a good result.

Now what if we just made the case fiscal conservatism.  Well if you just made the argument for fiscal conservatism (taking a good, conservative, social issues are at best a state’s rights argument and have no place in a federal election)  what happens with votes.  We gain the real libertarians (ignoring the anti-war leftists who have invaded the party) and moderates who are primarily fiscal conservatives and social moderates.  Figure a 6 point gain in the voting for conservatives.

Would wining be the only advantage?  No.  If you got conservatives in both houses of Congress and in the White House…and I do mean conservatives not wishy-washy RINOs like McCain and Bush…and what will happen.  Well the economy will boom as regulation, bureaucracy, red tape and taxes go down.   This part we know.

And what else? Welfare will also get reformed, shrunken and possibly sent entirely to the states.  And then a funny thing happens.  As taxes are no longer written in such complicated ways as to discourage marriage, as welfare no longer incentivizes single parenthood to a brood you can’t afford, strangely enough people will start turning to more socially conservative practices in their own lives.  When you take away the incentives to stay single and remove the disincentives to marriage more people will get married.  When you take away the incentives to be pregnant for as long as possible before getting a government-funded abortion strangely fewer women will have abortions. When you don’t reward having enough children that you could start your own sports league people will have fewer people having litters they can’t afford.  People at all levels of society are terrible at long term planning, but they’re also very good at understanding short-term consequences and rewards.  If we remove the perverted set of incentives put in place by the New Deal, the Great Society and Obama you will not only have economic prosperity you will have far, far more people acting in the pattern that social conservatives praise.

And as icing on the cake, as numerous studies have shown, married people are more likely to be conservative as they have less of a need for a government to take care of them, so fiscal conservatism will breed socially conservative practices which will create more fiscal conservatives.

Social Conservatism does not lead to economic growth (France is very opposed to gay marriage, all the economic good it does them, dozens of nations are socially conservative, it does nothing for them).

Fiscal conservatism leads to people making the choices that social conservatives like because it makes good economic sense.

And the only people the economic conservatism is likely going to offend is a few wacky social conservatives who, in addition to social issues think the government should also be in charge of financial ones.  A small minority in the Republican Party indeed.

And here’s the point of why I brought up Ricardo’s law. Making the social conservative argument only alienates people, and gains nothing long term…it only helps the left.  So any mixture of the two arguments actually works against the goals of social conservatives.

Scream to the heavens all you want about abortion.**  It won’t help you win.  But discuss how low taxes and low regulation can help the poor, how less bureaucracy can increase opportunity, and how capitalism increases equality not the other way around and you can actually win people.  And in that win you create the habits that you actually wanted to see in people.

*Yes this doesn’t take into account things like the needs and wants of the economy, or that in reality you should do what makes you happiest, not what gets you the most money (although that’s really just Ricardo’s Law looking at ethical goods not monetary ones), and a lot of other variables.  Economics has a great term for this, “all things being equal,” if all other variables are controlled for you should do what you do best at, and only that.

** Just give up on gay rights.  It’s going to happen.  There’s nothing to stop it.  On the other hand without liberal funding in education and other various forms of funding the crazy extreme of homosexuals will no longer have the pulpit, and the vast majority of gays who are as boring as the rest of us will take over.

war

In a war the goal should first and foremost should be winning. Social conservatism isn’t a winning message.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books for Conservatives, Budget, Capitalism, Conservative, Economics, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Mitt Romney, politics

Progressives want more fair pay acts to create equality…that will be neither fair nor equal…

So the latest pointless legislation to come from idiots on the left is the  ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’:

Mikulski and DeLauro said the Paycheck Fairness Act would also allow women to seek punitive damages for pay discrimination, establish a grant program to strengthen salary negotiation and other workplace skills and require the Department of Labor to enhance outreach and training efforts to eliminate pay disparities.

Oh great more laws to enforce “fairness” between wages because of the myth that women earn less than men.

Yes because government programs, grants, Federal involvement in negations, and regulations will result in far more equal pay.  This equal pay will of course come in the form of more unemployed people because grants, programs, regulations and overreach tends to result in the contraction of the economy.  And everyone is equal when you don’t have a job.  But don’t worry we have the Obama and his Jobs Council to help find those people new jobs…oh, wait, we don’t.

But at least we have the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to protect us.  Obama said so in his inauguration.

Okay let’s first talk about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act…or as I call it bullshit.  What is it really?  It’s a bone to the trial lawyers who now have legal cover to sue for perceived injustices that are decades old.  It’s the exact opposite of the tort reform we so dearly need.   Because it has nothing to do with equal pay.

But back to the myth that men make more than women.  It’s only true if you ignore all relevant detail.  It’s like saying that people in their 40’s make more than people in their 20’s and blaming age discrimination.  Factually the wage gap is true, but it ignores all the relevant reasons as to why it’s true.

Did you know that women in their 20’s make more money than their male counterparts in the same field? 

Did you know that when you correct for experience and education and the job then women of any age earn more?  (See Thomas Sowell’s book Economic Facts and Fallacies for more on this) It’s just that women take these large swaths of time off from their careers…the Obama administration can find no explanation but sexism for the time women take off from their jobs.

Since women in their 20′s are making more than men in their 20′s, actually if you had equal work for equal pay it means most men should be making more…hmmm…..oh wait because we’ve put in card check and unfair practices at the federal labor board everyone will be in a unions with a few year whether they want to be or not.  Thus we will all be getting paid the same, irrespective of education, work, merit, seniority or skill.

Or consider the fact that 93% of all workplace fatalities are men.  Did anyone want to talk about workplace equality for this?  Or did anyone want to consider this suggest that men are statistically taking more dangerous jobs which pay more for the risk, thus accounting for the discrepancy between wages when you consider ALL MEN and ALL WOMEN.

Yes when you consider all men to all women men make more.  But when you look at the same job for two people with the same education and years of experience, women make more.

Women you want to make more?  Take jobs that pay more and don’t take off time to have children.  That’s all you have to do, value income more than a job you may enjoy and value income more than having a family.  Statistically that’s all you have to do and you will make more than your male counterparts.  You don’t need legislation.

real war on women(Of course if we took that route we might have to acknowledge things like Obama’s economics have hurt women more than men, or that Obama is funneling guns and combat jets to countries that treat women as little more than slaves, or that one of the few places women are paid less than men is Obama’s Administration, or that the real war on women might be gender selective abortions pushed by Planned Parenthood and defended by Democrats*)

In the end this is just another BS law by the left using government to infantilize people and make them feel entirely dependent on a government to protect them and take care of them.

*I’m pro-choice but I think even pro-choice people can admit that gender selective abortion are really sick…although ironically the people who would have such an abortion are the last people I would ever want to raise a child–it’s the sad irony of all abortion.

***t

Leave a comment

Filed under Capitalism, character, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Natural Rights, Obama, Obama Ceasar, People Are Stupid, politics, Unions

The Call For Common Sense Gun Laws & Other Such Silliness

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.

406015_10200475871483856_1186033546_nI 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.

Reagan Guns

If only his whiny and worthless excuse for a conservative press secretary could have had as much character.

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!

14 Comments

Filed under Civil Liberties, Conservative, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Long Term Thinking, Natural Rights, Obama, Patriotism, politics, Tyranny

In Defense of the Common Core Standards for Education

There is a move on the right to hate the upcoming common core standards.  And it’s not without justification.  No Child Left Behind partly due to the additions liberal Ted Kennedy made to the bill, and partly due to ineptitude on implementation by the Bush administration left a foul taste in a lot of people’s mouths over any federal reach into the education field.  Also there is understandable mistrust with the Obama administration trying to take the lead in the common core.  And there is the fact that the standards aren’t high enough.

That being said, the Common Core,  which are being adopted by the majority of the states in the union are a step in the right direction.

Why?

Well let’s deal with them in terms of their more common complaints.

Inaccuracy 1: The first is that this is a move by the federal government.

That is not entirely true.  The Common Core was originally endorsed by the National Governors Association.  It was originally a move by states in coordination with one other, without a great deal of help by the federal government.  The NGA may have announced the implementation of the Common Core in 2009  but most of its development occurred in 2008 before Obama was even elected.

Now the Obama administration has made adoption of the Common Core a requirement for certain grants.  And I’m sure that Obama would love to rewrite them in his own image. But that does not change the fact that these standards were not a move by the federal government, but rather by the states working together (i.e. that federalism we conservatives love so much) and if the states continue to drive this and not let the federal government dictate their wording this federal overreach will be halted.

Inaccuracy 2: That it will cut literature out of the curriculum, changing it all to non- fiction technical documents.

This probably is the most egregious claim.   The claim goes “A new school curriculum which will affect 46 out of 50 states will make it compulsory for at least 70 percent of books studied to be non-fiction, in an effort to ready pupils for the workplace.”

Now very technically this is true.  However what you’re probably thinking it means is that 70% of the things read in an English course are to be non-fiction.  This is not correct.  The Common Core calls for 70% of all of student’s reading in a year to be non-fiction.  Ignoring electives courses, every student should probably be taking an English, a Social Studies, a Math and a Science course in a year.  That means that the English course only takes up 25% of year…so actually the assumption here is that somewhere in the Math, Science, and Social Studies courses is where you would find that extra 5% of literature (probably mostly in Social Studies where literature helps illustrate a time period).  That’s not even mentioning good English courses do include at least some non-fiction reading.

Or in the dense wording on the Common Core Website:

The percentages on the table reflect the sum of student reading, not just reading in ELA settings. Teachers of senior English classes, for example, are not required to devote 70 percent of reading to informational texts. Rather, 70 percent of student reading across the grade should be informational.  

Further this claim goes that the Common Core calls for the elimination of classic works of literature.  Again wrong on two points.  The first is that all of the articles I’ve seen include that classic titles like Catcher in the Rye and To Kill A Mockingbird will be eliminated from the curriculumOn page 107 of the suggested literature title list you see, low and behold To Kill A Mockingbird (also keep in mind it says suggested, not required titles, the reading list makes it quite clear it is only a suggested to list to give an idea of where the quality of each year’s reading should be). Also I have issues with calling Catcher, a story of a self important whiny teenager bitching about how terrible life is, a classic.

 common core

Also take a look at some of the information texts suggested by the Common Core.

My god, what a collection of liberal tripe!  Common Sense! The Declaration and the Bill of Rights!  How dare we suggest students should read those!

Go and actually look at the reading list.  There are speeches by Reagan, plays by Shakespeare, novels by Hawthorne and Bronte, poetry by Whitman and Eliot.  It’s183 pages of suggestions!  It’s not exactly a limited list.  And by no means does the Common Core not suggest you should go off list.  Teachers are encouraged to, just so long it is on par or superior to the suggestions.

Keep in mind there are teachers out there who think Lovely Bones and Twilight are acceptable reading for high school courses! They’re not. This at least puts in writing a nation wide bare minimum.

Inaccuracy 3: This will only encourage teaching to the test.

Inaccuracy 4: The standards are not high enough.  

These two are tied together.  There has been for years the idiotic statement that teaching to the test hurts education.  Bullshit.  Good teachers teach.  And if you’re teaching appropriately then high quality education, in any subject area, will teach a student how to pass a test—especially low end tests like the ones that all states give.  If you teach them to read, to think, and to know the subject matter they’ll pass the test.  It’s people who only teach to the test that have their students fail.

“But,” teachers complain, “testing takes up time in class.”  Well, to do your job, and teach you need to test to see if students are learning the material.  You need to test. The complaint is that now you’re taking up time with two tests, the test for the state and the test for your class.  Trust me, there is overlap between those two, a good teacher uses the state testing to see how their students are doing in their own class and not retesting them on the same material.  But you know that would require actually looking at the test, and test results and actually doing your job of taking the time to see how best to teach your students.  And, sadly, so many teachers nowadays aren’t really there for teaching, they’re there for a job that pays them for 12 months but only requires that they work 8 and a half.  A good teacher teaches above the test, and their students pass.  A bad teacher complains about teaching to the test because that’s a bar they usually don’t try to reach, and their students don’t do as well.*

The other complaint is that the standards are not high enough.  This is partly correct.  However it ignores that standards in this sense are supposed to be a bare minimum bar—a point that should be met by even the worst teacher.  States can have standards above the common core, and teachers should go beyond that.  These standards are there to correct for the fact that a high school diploma is only worth what the bare minimum that it takes to get it.  And yes these standards are low.  But guess what a lot of the previous state standards were EVEN LOWER.  I live in Arizona where the previous state standard for High School English is more or less the standards for Middle School English under the Common Core.  There are numerous examples in other places.  This does nothing but raise the low end of the bar.  Good teachers must still go above that bar; anyone who just remains at that bar is a terrible teacher.

Would I like to see the Common Core standards be higher?  Yes.  Would I like to see less federal and more state input?  Yes. Would I like a lot of things that the Common Core doesn’t do?  Of course.  But it raises the minimum bar from where it currently stands and if states hold the line (as many seem to be doing in a lot of other aspects) and don’t allow the federal government to take over then this is a step in the right direction.  It doesn’t solve all the problems we face, but it does solve a couple of them.

What everyone needs to remember is that standards and testing exist in this field because there are bad teachers.  If teachers wanted to mercilessly purge their own ranks of inept teachers, if they wanted to act like professionals and not rely on unions to protect the incompetent, if they wanted to work in such a way as to be worth more than 40K a year, then maybe we wouldn’t need to bicker about standards and testing.  But teachers do not police their own.  They protect and defend the worst. They make the issues about money and benefits rather than address their failings.

*This in no way negates the importance of the student in this.  Responsible students who care about their education will pass even with the worst teachers.  However, strangely most students are children, it’s odd how that works, and it is the requirement of good teachers to drag immature people across the finish line.  That does not negate the responsibility of the students to choose to succeed.  And of course there is parental responsibility in all this as well.

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Long Term Thinking, politics, Teacher's Union, Teaching

Reflections on the Election: Why I was wrong, Why Obama Won, and what the GOP needs to do. Part III

It’s been a month since the election…and as you can tell from the limited number of posts, I’m still kind of depressed Obama won, America Lostabout this (and overworked at work, but that’s another story).  I’m still shell-shocked that people could be that stupid—even I, who believe the masses are idiots, can’t fully comprehend that people are so fucking stupid as to vote in a tyrant not once but twice.  It baffles the mind.  If you care about only what you can get you should have voted for the guy who would guarantee a higher chance at raises and better jobs: Romney.  If you cared about other people you should have cared about the guy who would have done the most to improve the middle class: Mitt.  If you care about character it would be the guy who personally does charity whenever he can: Willard Mitt Romney. Intelligence, that would be the guy who got his J.D. and MBA in the same 4 years: The Governor.  Experience, class, vision, leadership, surrounding himself with qualified people.  On every criteria you can come up with it’s a no brainer, but, but, but…

People are really fucking short sighted, envious and dumb.

But are we just powerless to do anything? Are we at the mercy of party leadership to pull us out of this tailspin the country has voted itself in (dear god that’s a depressing thought)?  Luckily no.  Unfortunately I’m not promising anything easy either.

So what can we as individuals do?

Well first I would like to turn back to the exit polls.  Now looking at ethnicity or gender or even age is pointless because there is nothing we can do to change that.   People are what they are.  (Yes, age changes, but it’s not like we have any actual control over it).

2012 exit polls education

Now education can change (complete shocker that Obama the no intelligence/no high school bracket and the no real world experience/postgraduate bracket) but unless you’re a parent most of us can’t really affect people’s education.  If you are a parent, I might suggest that you state you’re not paying for any kind of college education unless they get a degree in the Math/Science area and thus have marketable skills (if they want to get a dual major and have a liberal art as well, well you can negotiate) but parents do not pay for Sociology degrees they are worthless and breed dumb liberals.

2012 exit polls single

Next we turn to gender and marriage status.  A lot of to do was made about women in this election, but as you see it wasn’t really women so much as single women.  And I have seen conservative writers talk about how the single women pose a threat to liberty as they seem to look to the government for the security nets…but it if you look at the data single men are also pretty dumb. The conclusion I’m drawing here isn’t that women are liberal, it’s that single people on the whole are liberal and need to be stopped.  (Yes, I as a bachelor, may not want to throw stones in a glass house, but I’m not as dumb as my fellow singles who voted for Barry…but if you are or know any single, intelligent, conservative, spiritually open women in the Phoenix area…well…my email address is posted…).  Now does this mean we should all go out and get married without standards or relationships, that marriage is an end unto itself. No.  One of the reasons we have a high divorce rate is that people don’t take the time to plan and make sure they’re making a right choice.  So really unless you want to start playing matchmaker which some of us are more qualified than others (this would certainly not be a skill of mine).

2012 exit polls religion

And then we see that Obama did well with the non-religious crowd* and Romney did well with the religious crowd.  Let me put these last two points in context. It doesn’t have as much to do with faith or companionship.  For a lot of people it is an issue of safety.  If you have a spouse, if you have an active church community you have someone you know you can fall back on if things go bad, if you don’t have these things, then the psychology of most people is to seek something you can fall back on: the government.  Now I would rather people evolve and see themselves as their fallback (or at least maybe God) but if we’re going to get there we first have to have an economic system that allows people to take care of themselves (i.e. we need to get rid of liberals and progressives at every level).

So what does this have to do with religion?  Well it means that if you’re a member of a church you need to encourage, push for, and if necessary demand, that your church be more active in the community—charity, public works and improvement projects, fundraisers not for the church but those honestly in need. This should have nothing to do with demonization or dogma.  Only about helping the community and strengthening the bonds of community.

If you’re not in a church, say a New Ager, it couldn’t hurt to find a non-pushy church out there and see if they would like help with those charity projects.

If you’re in a church that does do these kinds of charity projects then see if you can invite people you know to help, don’t proselytize, don’t make it about belief, only about helping others.  (Also may I suggest making your charity functions known to the local middle and high schools—students, especially college bound students, are more and more looking for community service on their resumes—and let them know their parents are invited as well).

This has nothing to do with dogma, it has to with a core tenet in every religion I can think of, charity, community, compassion.

Show people that government isn’t the only source that they can fall back on.  Look at it this way, the way people talk about others often shows how they themselves think.  I call it the “I am the world” fallacy, and I’m guilty of it myself sometimes, we all are.  We tend to make assumptions about the way people act based on our own habits and thoughts.  Conservatives naturally tend to think that the government isn’t needed because we ourselves are more generous and just assume everybody does the right thing.  Liberals assume others are avaricious, cruel, irrationally selfish, and miserly not because they’re saints and know everyone else is stingy, but because they themselves are not compassionate at their heart—they fear they will have no one to fall back on because in their heart of heart they know they won’t help other either.  (Liberals give to charity less than conservatives and they volunteer a hell of a lot less than conservatives, see Who Really Cares by Arthur C. Brooks).

But if we get people who might not usually attend church to come to charity events we can show them that people do care for people and that we don’t need government to care for us…and maybe we can even show them there is personal joy in compassion and charity.  Trust me, a person who does charity out of the joy it brings them never votes liberal, liberals give out of guilt not joy.

So get your church (or any other group that has the resources) involved in the community (if you’re not doing at least 3 events a month, it’s not enough), invite people to come just for the charity aspect, and watch their belief that the government is the only one looking out for them disappear (also with more human contact and larger social circles we might fix that single problem listed above).

Also this process will help destroy that one thing that Obama did well in “He cares about people like me.”

2012 exit polls key points

Charity and a strong community teach us that we are capable of caring for people who aren’t like ourselves.

But that can’t be all we have to do.  Liberals have done a great job with controlling the media.  News, movies, TV shows, you name it there are liberal messages.  But we cannot give in on this.

So there are a few things we can do.  The first is that we can try to pull their funding.  Here at the Conservative New Ager we’re going after that Goebbels style propaganda wing MSNBC.  We encourage people to write to their advertisers and pull their ads.  It works.  If a company just gets a hundred letters asking them to make sure the shows they are advertising on are only reporting the truth, they will either pull the ads or they will use the power their money buys them to get results.  We have already heard from P&G and UPS.

The next thing is that we need to expose people to the truth.  I would recommend everyone use all the social media they have to expose their friends to the truth.  Now you don’t have to repost a thousand articles every day, but don’t be afraid to share something for fear of losing a friend.  For everyone you lose you’ll likely help push a two or three that much closer to the truth.  (And if you’re like me you don’t have many liberal friends left anyway, it’s the middle we’re trying to win, not the ones beyond hope).

Also if you get a real newspaper (there aren’t many left: The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times…if it uses AP articles don’t bother) take it to work and leave it in the break room every day.  It can only help expose people to the truth.

But on that note we need to share the media that is conservative we need to focus on the stuff that isn’t the news and isn’t explicitly political.  Liberals have tried to infect every book, every movie, every show with liberal messages and just habituate people into thinking in liberal terms.  The problem is that most good literature is more conservative in its themes.  Self sufficiency, rational thought, ethical behavior, connection to God.  These subtle themes are in literature everywhere, even when it’s written by artists who are liberal themselves.  George Orwell was a socialist, but 1984 and Animal Farm are scathing critiques of the very state Orwell would likely have supported.   Given time, the truth will out, as a conservative writer once put it. What conservatives make the mistake of doing is trying to give people Atlas Shrugged and Ann Coulter and Thomas Sowell.  It doesn’t matter that we enjoy those, those books only preach to the choir.  If someone isn’t open to those ideas, if they’ve been indoctrinated to think conservatives are evil, Rand was psychotic, Coulter is vicious and Sowell is an Uncle Tom, it doesn’t matter if the facts are there, their emotional reaction to those works will prevent them from seeing the facts.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t share books and TV shows with friends, family, acquaintances. I’m sure we know lots of people who are not conservative but if they were introduced to those ideas the logic and reason of it would come out.  That is why I am putting together a list of books, movies and TV shows that depict the conservative themes and that we agree with, without being explicitly conservative.   The Individual, reason, ethical behavior, long term thinking, the truth.  These are things that bring people close to conservatism.  I would take a look at this list (and keep coming back as I hope to keep adding to it).  Lend these works out to people who you think might be open to them.  Give them as gifts for any holiday and any excuse you can.  And then discuss them with the person after they’ve read or watched it (never give out something you’re not familiar with already!  You don’t want to get caught where they make some silly liberal interpretation and don’t have a comeback for it).  It seems silly but ideas have power, and once they’re in a person’s mind they spread not just to affecting the other ideas of that mind but in the way they behave to others and the way they influence the ideas of others.  And if they get more conservative in their thoughts introduce them to the more explicitly conservative works…but don’t start with those, they’ll just shut people down.

Finally it’s the old stand-bys.  Write a blog or letters to editors.  Donate to organizations that promote your beliefs (right now I would focus on Heritage and Freedomwork because they do not seem overly obsessed with the social issues which are dragging this party down and giving the left too many easy targets), volunteer for campaigns, get involved.  We have four years where we can do next to nothing to save the economy or well being of our allies across the sea.  Nothing.  We have this idiot tyrant in charge and he will wreck the place as much as he can through a combination of stupidity and malice.  Focusing too much on that will be somewhat fruitless for us as individuals—but as individuals we do have the power to influence those around us and help bring them to our side.

*Also Obama did exceedingly well with people who aren’t not affiliated with any religion but are spiritual  you know, the kind of people the Republicans and Reincarnation was written specifically for.  If you know some of these people, could it hurt to give them a copy?

3 Comments

Filed under American Exceptionalism, Art, Ayn Rand, Books, Books for Conservatives, Books for New Agers, Capitalism, character, Charity, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Education, Election 2012, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Faith, Fear, Free Will, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Individualism, Literature, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Movies, Natural Rights, Obama, Patriotism, People Are Stupid, philosophy, politics, Popular Culture, Republicans and Reincarnation, Spirituality

Obama did say, “You didn’t build that” and worse…Part III

 

“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

So just to recap, Obama did actually say that government is responsible for all of your success and this is perhaps the dumbest idea in history.

Liberals will try and deflect from this by pointing out that Romney said the following at the Salt Lake Olympics:

Hand it to liberals to take a quote out of context…and still miss the point of what they’re taking out of context.

Well first off this, unlike the “You didn’t build that” comment is slightly out of context.  But before we get to context let’s just deal with the quote the liberals chose…as even that isn’t the same thing as Obama’s dipshit statement.

Let’s see what words does Romney use in that quotes.  Encouraged.  Guided.  None of which is equivalent to “You didn’t do that others did that.”   “All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them up.”  Which of course brings us back to the quote I have started each part of this series with: “but we stand on the shoulders of giants, so we can see farther.”  Those who stand on the shoulders, on the groundwork others have built have done something those people couldn’t.  They have done something that almost no one else could.

But is thanking someone equivalent to you didn’t do that?  No.  Look at the front or back of any book there is a long list of thanks and acknowledgements by the author to the people who helped them.  But just because people may have helped in deep and meaningful ways, it is the author’s name on the dust jacket because they’re the one who did the vast majority of the work, they’re the ones who created something out of nothing, they’re the ones who poured their soul out, worked long hours, fought the impulse to give up and created something.  And this is true of ANY entrepreneur, any Olympian, any person who accomplishes anything. They may have help and they should thank those individuals who helped them…but no sane person mistakes the kind of help individuals offer to one another for the actual accomplishment itself.

But ignoring that there is even a massive gulf between the two quotes out of context, let’s look actually at the full quote and see how while “You didn’t build that” wasn’t taken out of context, the Romney one kind of is.

“Tonight we cheer the Olympians, who only yesterday were children themselves,” Romney said. “As we watch them over the next 16 days, we affirm that our aspirations, and those of our children and grandchildren, can become reality. We salute you Olympians – both because you dreamed and because you paid the price to make your dreams real. You guys pushed yourself, drove yourself, sacrificed, trained and competed time and again at winning and losing.” …

“You Olympians, however, know you didn’t get here solely on your own power,” said Romney, who on Friday will attend the Opening Ceremonies of this year’s Summer Olympics. “For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them. We’ve already cheered the Olympians, let’s also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities. All right!.”

Remember how the full context of Obama’s statement was that it doesn’t matter if you’re smart or worked hard because lots of people are smart and lots of people worked hard…and I guess the implication is that they all fail if government isn’t there to decide who wins and who loses. Everything preceding Obama’s statement was “You are not good enough.  You cannot do it on your own.  Your intellect and drive are worthless unless government decides you should win.”  Well notice the context of Romney’s quote.  He starts off telling the Olympians they did do that.  “We salute you Olympians – both because you dreamed and because you paid the price to make your dreams real.”  (And don’t even get me started on how Obama wouldn’t understand the idea of paying the price for your dreams…he is a man who has had everything in his life handed to him without effort…which is why he believes you didn’t build that, he didn’t.)

“We salute you Olympians” Did Obama anywhere in his speech say we should salute the businessman who create products and services for us to buy or whose business creates jobs and wealth?  Does he say anywhere we should applaud them for taking a risk that could have lost them everything?  Does he say we should be in awe of them sometimes, like now when they’re keeping their businesses alive when they have a piece of shit President doing everything in his power (both through legal and illegal means) to try and destroy them?  Nope he doesn’t.  Romney starts his speech acknowledging that it is the individual who accomplished something that deserves credit first and foremost.  Obama doesn’t even understand that this should be anywhere on the list.

“You guys pushed yourself, drove yourself, sacrificed, trained and competed time and again at winning and losing.”  Romney recognizes that it is the individual who chooses to push themselves and the individual who works to achieve their goal. The greatest parents and coaches in the world in the best facilities in the world can’t do a thing if the person isn’t willing to drive themselves.  Compare that to “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.”  In Obama’s world you don’t push yourself to achieve, you’re “allowed” to achieve because government, all powerful government, deigns that you may achieve at their sufferance.

So in answer to question that some truly idiotic liberal put on that picture above “Why is it ok for Mitt to remind elite athletes that they didn’t do it alone, but when Obama says the same of business people, the Right throws a hissy fit?”  Because what Mitt and Barry are saying are not equivalent.  Because there is a difference between you had help in achieving your dream and you didn’t do it, the government did it for you.  Because one embraces what the individual is capable of and one denies the ability to shape your own life.  Because one glorifies what man is capable of and one denies he is capable of anything.  Because one is the basis of a system that provides freedom for the individual and one is the basis for the slavery of the collective.  Maybe that’s why we’re getting into a “hissy fit” as idiotic liberals put it (intelligent people might call it justified righteous indignation). Because we can tell the difference between ideas and recognize their consequences.

1 Comment

Filed under American Exceptionalism, Capitalism, character, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Corporate Welfare, Debt, Economics, Education, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Happiness, Individualism, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Natural Rights, Obama, Patriotism, philosophy, politics, Taxes

The Outlook on Control of the Senate

The time has come the Walrus said

To speak of many things

Of Senates—Of races—and filibusters—

Of polls—and vicious slings

And why Harry Reid still reigns–

And whether liberty rings…

Now as I’ve said before the Electoral College seems to be leaning to a Romney win, but that win will mean nothing if the Democrats remain in control of even a house of Congress.  Keep in mind Obama is already blaming Republicans for doing nothing in Congress when it is the Senate under Harry Reid that is not bringing  any bills up for vote even though House has passed bills that the Senate needs to vote on (but remember, in defiance of all facts, the Republicans are obstructionists). 

So, while the presidency isn’t a sure thing (although the odds are in our favor) it might be best to look at the Senate races before we start ushering in a new era of conservatism with Romney.  (I’d look at the House but with the economy, the lack luster coattails of Obama and the threat of putting Nancy Pelosi back in charge, I don’t think we’re likely to lose the House).  Granted what we would really like is 60 votes to ensure we always have cloture on votes (we can get them voted on).  But I always figure there are seven or eight blue dogs (or at least a few Dems who have to run in 2014) hanging around so we’ll probably be in decent shape if we can get to 53 votes in the Senate. 

So where do we stand right now?

Well According to RealClearPolitics, based on current polls we are at 47 safe or leaning  Democrat seats and 45 safe or leaning Republican states (when you count the seats not up for a vote) and 8 tossups.

 

But as with all things there is always a deeper level. RealClearPolitics, like any news agency survives on advertising, and as such makes money the more it brings you back to their site. If they declared that the Senate was going to swing Republican and there is nothing you can do about, no one would bother to keep checking the Race for the Senate seats more than once a month.  Non-battles don’t get press….so it is in their best interest to have a wide definition of toss up so as to get more people looking for information.  It’s not lying but, it’s also not a straight reporting of the facts.

So let’s look at some of these Toss-Up States.  (Keep in mind I’m working off limited data here).

First a word.  Now with the Electoral College I’ve been using the assumptions that in the end undecided voters tend to break 2 to 1 against the incumbent.  This logic doesn’t always apply here.  There are several seats that are open. Further, will people be voting against the incumbent Senator or the incumbent party (i.e., Democrats)?  Now if the incumbent is a Democrat it might be easier to assume that the undecided vote will break for the challenger, but I can’t be sure of the 2 to 1 ratio.  Whereas as of right now, with the limited data I have, it might be safe to assume that if the incumbent is a Republican the undecided vote is probably going to split pretty evenly. 

You have Wisconsin.  Now the Wisconsin Republican Primary hasn’t been held for the Senate Race but currently it looks like Thompson is ahead by double digits and will likely face off against Baldwin…at which point Wisconsin continues to favor Republicans like Scott Walker and Thompson will win, possibly by double digits, in “toss-up” Wisconsin.  Dems 47-GOP 46.

 

Next we have Nevada, where Heller is consistently up even in heavily biased PPP polls. Granted, there’s nothing terribly recent in terms of likely voter polls…but I get the feeling that so long as we aren’t running a Palin picked candidate (liberal at heart Palin can sure pick losers) Nevada is probably tired of Democrats constantly insulting their state and hurting business.  Dems 47-GOP 47.

 

North Dakota comes next.

Yes in a more recent Mason-Dixon Poll the Democrats are up, but given that it’s within margin of error and given that it is currently controlled by a Democrat (hence the undecided vote will go against the Democrats), the anti-Obama feelings will likely push N. Dakota into the red column.  I’ll admit this is a weak prediction, but I don’t have a lot of data to work with here.  Dems 47-GOP 48.

 

We follow this with Missouri.

Now Missouri is a tad trickier…the GOP primary hasn’t taken place yet and there is no clear winner yet.  However, given that all three candidates outdo the sitting Democrat, it’s probably a safe call to say that Missouri is going to switch to the GOP.  Dems 47-GOP 49.

 

And to round off 50 votes we have Montana where Republicans lead in legitimate polls and hold their own in BS PPP polls.  Dems 47-GOP 50.

At this point with 50 votes the GOP would control the Senate as Romney’s VP (oh please let it be Ryan) would be the tie breaking vote.  But let’s look at the other races.

In Massachusetts we have Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth “Dances with Bullshit” Warren.  As Warren continues to dig herself a deeper and deeper grave with the Pow-Wow Chow, while still up in the air, I think Brown, with the help of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, should be able to pull out a win.  47-51.

 

Turning down South we hit Florida, the source of so many election headaches.

Now technically the polls show the Democrats up in all of the polls, but notice that one is PPP, which can just be thrown out, and the others are registered voter polls, which means move the final number two or three points to the right.  Another close Republican victory…assuming we don’t have a rigged recount Dade county again.

 

And of the toss up states all we have left is Virginia…which I have no idea. The most recent polls has the GOP up…but it’s one poll in a sea of polls having the Democrat up (much older polls) but I have no reason to not believe this most recent one is an outlier…time will tell.  So with Florida and Virginia we could be as high as 47-53 (but that is could, not will unless we dedicate time, energy and money to all of these).

 

Now let’s talk about some long shots.  Now Connecticut and New Mexico are close, not spectacularly close, but not out of the realm of possibility to see a shift. Depending on how much the GOP wants to spend and how much time Romney spends in these states (New Mexico especially, it’s a weaker state for Obama) I would not be surprised to see one of them turn (keep in mind the Connecticut seat is the one being vacated by conservative-Democrat Joe Lieberman…a liberal Republican could stand a chance).

 

 

And last but not least I want to talk about three really long shots. Ohio, Washington and California.  Ohio has Democratic Sherrod Brown defending his seat.  This is a man who has railed against the correct Supreme Court Citizens United decision since the day it was passed because it doesn’t allow him to have the advantage union money used to give him.  This corrupt piece of shit deserves to go down in whatever the political equivalent of the phrase “to the pain” is.  It is unlikely that he will lose his seat, but I would be very happy to this man go.  As for the two west coast states with a Senator up…they’re pretty safe…except that even liberals are getting tired of their rhetoric…and we could manage to pull off a Romney landslide (not impossible) that is if it is clear Romney will win hours before the California and Washington polls close that might be just enough to discourage liberals from coming out to vote and swinging those seats in our favor…long shots, but stranger things have happened.  My point with these last three are if you have some spare cash and want to make a long shot investment…look to the GOP senators in the West.

Overall we are looking at a safe bet of taking back the Senate…not have the 60 votes necessary to push everything through without making deals, but back in control to where we let things come up to vote.  But we are close enough that this is not a hopeless fight…we are close enough that giving all we have for every last vote will actually lead to results.  Now again this should not be taken as a call to relax…no, with every vote closer to 60 we get in the Senate, more and more conservative proposals can get through without Democratic compromises.  We need to get as close as possible, and time, energy and money will get us there.

1 Comment

Filed under Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Laws the GOP should pass, Mitt Romney, politics