The Canadian Provincial Governments are ever Vigilant in Cutting High Taxes and Costly Regulations

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 14th, 2012

Week in Review

How’s this for government?  A government that has a reputation of low taxes and sensible regulatory policies is attacked.  Not for raising taxes or passing more costly regulations.  But not being aggressive enough in cutting taxes and rolling back costly regulations.  How refreshing.  And how un-American of late (see Can Alberta regain its entrepreneurial advantage? By KATHERINE SCARROW posted 4/13/2012 on The Globe and Mail).

“At one time, Alberta was clearly a leader, whether it was tax reform, cutting red tape, or any other key issue affecting entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, in the past few years, the government has been stuck in neutral, as other provinces closed the gap.”

To restore the so-called ‘Alberta Advantage,’ Mr. Truscott proposes the following steps:

1. Long-term tax relief. He acknowledges that Alberta business owners have it pretty good overall, especially since they do not have to collect and administer provincial sales tax for the government. But But the fact that the other three Western provinces reduced their small business income tax rate leaves Alberta with a higher rate, eroding any advantage it may have had previously. “Staged reductions” in the small business income tax rate would go a long way, he suggests.

2. Commitment to cutting red tape. The province used to be a pioneer at ensuring rules and regulations made sense, and didn’t burden entrepreneurs, but the government has become complacent, emphasizing that the next leader must make regulatory reform a priority.

In Canada they understand that high taxes and excessive regulatory burdens on businesses hinder job creation.  And even though the tax burden on business owners was pretty good overall it still needs to be lowered.  Because other provinces had lowered their taxes.  In America those on the Left say that our taxes aren’t too high.  In fact they want to raise them further.  And cite the high taxes in Europe as their justification.  Instead of seeing it like the Canadians.  Who see NOT having the lowest tax rates is a disadvantage in job creation.

And while the Canadians worked at cutting red tape and worried about the affects of rules and regulations had on businesses the Obama administration has buried American small business under regulation after regulation.  The biggest one, of course, being Obamacare.  Which is scaring business owners out of hiring new employees.

It would appear the provincial governments in Canada understand business.  And the American federal government does not.  At least not the current one.  Based on its actions.  And its record.  So it’s no surprise that the Canadians have emerged from the Great Recession while the Americans still suffer in it.


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The Canadians have a Healthy Economy and Housing Sector thanks to Energy Resources they Bring to Market

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 14th, 2012

Week in Review

The United States still wallows in recession.  For all the talk of the improving economy more people are out of work than ever before.  The Democrats blame George W. Bush for this.  Like they blame him for everything.  But President Obama is about to close out his 4th year in office.  And if you count the 2 years Nancy Pelosi and her Democrats controlled both houses of Congress that’s 6 years of Democrat control of the economy.  Which means the last time anyone can blame George W. Bush for things economic was 2006.  So you can’t blame the last three and a half years on Bush.  Unless President Obama wasn’t the president for the last three and a half years.  But the last time I checked he was.  So is it Obama’s fault?  Or is it simply beyond anyone’s control to fix this economy?  Perhaps we should ask the Canadians (see Resources fuelling B.C. economy and housing demand: economist by Gerry Kahrmann posted 4/11/2012 on The Vancouver Sun).

The resources sector is not only fuelling British Columbia’s economy but also its housing market, the Vancouver Real Estate Forum heard Wednesday…

It’s true that house prices have gone up much faster in Canada than in the United States, where prices are still 25- to 30-per-cent lower than when the recession began, Jestin said…

“Why is the Canadian market red hot? Record levels of employment, lifetime lows in interest rates, more confidence that the Canadian economy can continue in a buoyant way over the next few years,” he said…

“The resource story translates very very clearly into the gains in the housing market,” Jestin said. It’s those provinces too where economic growth will be the greatest over the next few years because of continued demand for resources, he said.

The resources sector covers things like mining, natural gas, oil and other energy and mineral extraction.  Such as all that oil the Canadians are fracking out of their shale deposits.  A nation that, although green, is not stupid.  They know the world runs on energy.  As does a modern economy.  So they are bringing their energy resources to market.  Creating jobs.  Saving the housing industry.  And giving people confidence.  None of which they’re doing in the United States.

The Obama administration is a green administration, also.  But a childlike naive one.  Unlike the Canadians.  That refuses to accept that the modern economy requires energy.   And that America has energy resources.  As proven on private lands where energy jobs are a plenty.  Where they’re fracking oil out of our shale deposits like there is no tomorrow.  And so much natural gas that it’s dirt cheap these days.  Which is what happens when you flood the market with these energy resources.  But they shut down that industry on all federal land.  And in the Gulf of Mexico.  Foolishly believing that windmills and solar panels will power a modern economy.  Not understanding what it takes to move a train or an airplane from point A to point B.  Oil.  Fossil fuels.  Energy resources.  For no amount of wind or solar energy will get a fully loaded 747 off of the ground.  

So, yes, it’s President Obama’s fault.  And his foolish naive green energy policies.  For if we brought our energy resources to market like the Canadians we could have a healthy economy like the Canadians have.  But no.  We have to pour billions of dollars into green energy initiatives and watch them go bankrupt.  Sort of like putting parsley on the people’s plates.  Just so the people can through it away.  And that concept bothered Fred Flintstone.  He got it.  And he was from the Stone Age.  Pity President Obama didn’t get it.  For he will continue to put tax dollars into failed green energy initiatives.  Just so these people can through it away.


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Joe Biden says the War on Women is Real and Personal

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 14th, 2012

Week in Review

It’s on.  The war on women.  If a Republican is elected our next president he will force everyone’s daughters into some back alley for an abortion one day (see Biden: ‘War on Women’ is Real, Will Intensify by Devin Dwyer, ABC OTUS News, posted 4/12/2012 on Yahoo! News).

Vice President Joe Biden said tonight that what he called a Republican-led effort to rollback the rights of women is “real” and will “intensify.”

“I think the ‘war on women’ is real,” Biden told MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” deploying the politically-charged phrase for the first time on the national stage.

“And look, I’ll tell you when it’s going to intensify – the next president of the United States is going to get to name one, possibly two or more, members to the Supreme Court,” he added…

My entire career as a senator and the vice president is to get to one point: when my daughter is able to make whatever choice she wants and no one question it,” he said.

Poor old Joe Biden.  He sure has a knack for putting his foot in his mouth.  He starts off saying that if the Republicans win the next election that they will appoint judges to the Supreme Court that will not legislate from the bench.  Then he insults his daughter. 

Anytime a Democrat talks about Supreme Court appointments it’s code for the Republicans will overturn Roe versus Wade.  The Supreme Court ruling that made it legal to have an abortion even though there is no abortion law on the books.  Just a broad interpretation of due process and the right to privacy.  That is, legislating from the bench. 

And why is this so important?  Apparently without having legal abortions available it would prevent his daughter from making whatever choice she wants.  And he’s worried, I guess, that she may end up like those other ‘lazy’ stay-at-home mothers that the Democrats seem to hate these days.  Like Ann Romney.  This mother of 5 who apparently doesn’t know what real work is like.  According to the Democrats.  Who just seem to hate women who refuse to abort their babies.  Like Sarah Palin.  Who had five children of her own.  Including one with Down syndrome.  Who she refused to abort even though she knew about this diagnosis before he was born.  Another reason for the Left to hate her.  For bringing an ‘inferior’ baby to term.

For a party who supposed to support women the Democrats seem to hate a lot of them.  These uterine Americans.  Who use their uteruses to have babies.  And then stay at home to raise them.  The kindest and most nurturing and the hardest working women in the world.  Who are, of course, worthy of scorn and resentment.  Though I don’t understand why.


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With no Successful Record to run on Team Obama ramps up War on Women, attacks Mitt Romney by Comparing him to Womanizing Don Draper

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 14th, 2012

Week in Review

You know a campaign is grasping at straws when they have to compare their rival presidential candidate to Don Draper on AMC’s Mad Men.  They don’t talk about their job creation.  Or how much better off you are than you were 4 years ago.  Primarily because President Obama lost more jobs than he created.  And except for the rich and connected few are better off than they were 4 years ago.  No.  Instead, they go to Don Draper (see The Draperizing of Mitt Romney by JONATHAN MARTIN and MAGGIE HABERMAN posted 4/13/2012 on Politico).

He may not drink or cheat, and he lacks the fictional ad-maker’s charisma, but Democrats, despite the potential perils of such a strategy, remain determined to paint Romney as a throwback to the “Mad Men” era — a hopelessly retro figure who, on policy and in his personal life, is living in the past…

To be fair, Romney’s governmental record, as well as his campaign, generally reflect gender inclusion. His gubernatorial chief of staff and campaign senior adviser, Beth Myers, is female, as are his deputy campaign manager and communications director. In 2003, Romney’s first year as governor, Massachusetts ranked number one among all states for the highest ratio of women policy leaders appointed by governors, according to a 2004 study by the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society. The suggestion that Romney’s world is cloistered from women is not a fair one.

Don Draper.  The guy women want.  And the guy men want to be.  So Mitt Romney is like that guy and will take us back to the Fifties?  Interesting as Mad Men is set in the Sixties.  At the beginning of the women’s liberation movement.  For if you’re not familiar with the show here are a couple of tidbits.  Don Draper promoted the first woman to a ‘man’s job’ at his agency.  He promoted his secretary to copy editor.  And not because he was sleeping with her.  For she was one of the few women Don didn’t cheat on his wife with.  He promoted her because he saw her talent.  And in the latest season he hired the first black woman into the firm as his secretary.  When others made some snarky remarks he said with annoyance, “Come on.  She was the most qualified.”

The Democrats said the Republicans have a war on women.  And that stay-at-home moms don’t know what real work is like.  Something I think most stay-at-home moms will take issue with.  But that’s their strategy.  Because they got nothing else.  Especially a good record.  So they portray Mitt Romney as Don Draper.  The bad boy that women love.  Men want to be.  And the guy who has hired more women and minority women than any other at his make-believe firm.  Apart from the womanizing and infidelity, then, yeah, Mitt is just like Don Draper.  Successful.  Confident.  And as bad he is outside of the office he is all business inside the office.  Hiring women and minorities not because of affirmative action (which there wasn’t any back then).  But because he respected their talent.  Just like the real life Mitt Romney.  Whose record of hiring women is even better than President Obama’s.

Comparing Mitt Romney to Don Draper?  Bring it on.  Unless there is some strange plot twist in the current season, the Don Draper comparison may only make him more favorable to women.  Smart, handsome, confidant, successful, feminist – apart from the womanizing and the infidelity he’s the perfect man.  Which just happen to be the last two things you’d expect from Mitt Romney.  Making him indeed the perfect man.


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The Left still attacks Free Market Capitalism and the Invisible Hand despite the Left’s Record of Economic Failure

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 14th, 2012

Week in Review

No matter how many times their policies fail those on the left never give up.  The free market capitalism that gave us the Industrial Revolution was not as good as the mercantilism it replaced.  The free market capitalism that won World War II was not as good as Nazi Germany’s National Socialism.  The free market capitalism that won the Cold War was not as good as the Soviet Union’s communism.   No, any economic system that doesn’t place smart people in the government (and from our most prestigious universities) in charge is an inferior economic system.  At least, according to those on the Left (see There Is No Invisible Hand by Jonathan Schlefer posted 4/10/2012 on the Harvard Business Review).

One of the best-kept secrets in economics is that there is no case for the invisible hand. After more than a century trying to prove the opposite, economic theorists investigating the matter finally concluded in the 1970s that there is no reason to believe markets are led, as if by an invisible hand, to an optimal equilibrium — or any equilibrium at all. But the message never got through to their supposedly practical colleagues who so eagerly push advice about almost anything. Most never even heard what the theorists said, or else resolutely ignored it.

Interesting.  Using the economists of the Seventies as the authoritative position for government interventionism into the economy.  Why, that would be like having the captain of the Titanic being the authority on how to miss icebergs in the North Atlantic. 

The Seventies were the heyday of Keynesian economics.  Where the government was aggressively intervening into things economic.  And the results of their policies were so bad that we had to create new words to describe it.  Like stagflation.  A heretofore unheard of phenomenon.  And something that just wasn’t supposed to happen when the Keynesians used inflation to lower unemployment.  But it did.  Even though you weren’t supposed to get inflation and high unemployment at the same time.  Stagflation.  Like we did.  In the Seventies.

Believing far too credulously in an invisible hand, the Federal Reserve failed to see the subprime crisis coming. The principal models it used literally assumed that markets are always in instantaneous equilibrium, so how could a crisis occur? But after the crisis exploded, the Fed dropped its high-tech invisible-hand models and responded with full force to support the economy.

The subprime mortgage crisis was a government-made crisis.  Precisely because government refused to allow the Invisible Hand to guide the market place.  Instead they stepped in.  Forced lenders to make risky subprime loans to people who couldn’t qualify for a mortgage.  With tools like the infamous Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM).  And then they had Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy those risky mortgages.  To get them off the lenders’ balance sheets so they would make more risky loans.  Then Freddie and Fannie chopped up these risky loans and repackaged them into ‘safe’ investments to unload them to unsuspecting investors.  Getting these toxic mortgages off of their balance sheets.  (In case you don’t know, Fannie and Freddie are Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE).  Which are for all intents and purposes the government.)  This house of cards imploded when the Fed raised interest rates.  After keeping them below what the Invisible Hand would have set them at for far too long.  The government created the real estate bubble.  Then blew it up when those higher interest rates reset all the AMR mortgage payments beyond the homeowner’s ability to pay.

There are many economists in the world.  And the consensus of economic thought tends to be one that supports large government intervention.  Which proves the economic consensus is wrong.  For if history supported this consensus the Soviet Union would have won the Cold War.  East Germany would have absorbed West Germany.  China would not be experimenting in ‘Invisible Hand’ capitalism.  And Cuba wouldn’t be experimenting with a little capitalism themselves to fix their broken government command economy.

All these market failures economists like to point to aren’t market failures.  They are the unintended consequences of government intervention into the market.  As the subprime mortgage crisis clearly proved.  Which never would have happened in the first place if the government didn’t try to be smarter than the Invisible Hand.


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The Chinese reject the Obamacare Model, Prefer Private Health Care over State-Provided Health Care

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 14th, 2012

Week in Review

When Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations it set the Western World on the path to dominance.  It’s why the British and the Americans led the world into the Industrial Revolution.  It defeated the Axis Powers in World War II as no one could match America’s Arsenal of Democracy.  And it’s the weapon that Ronald Reagan used to win the Cold War.  For the Soviet Union could not even feed her own people without food aid from her arch nemesis.  The United States.  It’s no contest.  Capitalism wins.  And even while the Americans drift further away from it one of her communist nemesis embraces it more ever day.  China.  And of all places China is now embracing to fix their ailing national health care system (see The good midwife of Sichuan posted 4/7/2012 on The Economist).

The Angel hospital in Sichuan’s capital is part of a wave of privately owned hospitals, catering to patients fleeing crowded state clinics.

The patients here are well-off locals, paying from 20,000 yuan ($3,200) for a Caesarean delivery and the latest drugs…

The roots of private health care in Communist China go back to clinics that treated venereal disease. In other respects, the taint of private care has gone, and foreign investment is encouraged. Over 30 joint ventures have been approved; many more are in the pipeline. The country’s new five-year plan endorses private-sector investors as part of the solution to the country’s shortage of affordable health care. Health spending has soared in recent years and is set to top 700 billion yuan by 2015.

The authorities also think the private sector can serve as a model for public hospitals dogged by poor administration, demands for patients to pay cash up front, and bribes by pharmaceutical companies to prescribe their drugs. Liu Shuyan, the Angel’s chief doctor, talks of “patient pathways” and “mother-centred care”: the kind of jargon that accompanied the drive for health reform in Britain a decade ago…

The population over 65 will rise by 8m a year for the next five years, so nursing homes will become an increasingly tempting business. For all the constraints, China looks set for a larger dose of healthful capitalism.

Well, well, well, what’s all this, then?  For those on the American left China can do no wrong when it comes to state-capitalism.  With the emphasis on the ‘state’ and not the ‘capitalism’.  Their only beef is that they’ve veered too far from their communist past.  Back in the good old days when they put capitalism in its place.  Making it a crime against the state.  And, instead, having the state provide tender and compassionate care only a government can give.  And the occasional famine (thank you Chairman Mao).  But here they are, that communist bastion, embracing capitalism to fix what ails her.  Again.

So, state-provided health care has overcrowding, long waits and soaring costs.  Huh.  Who’d a guess?  Except, of course, every critic of Obamacare.  And yet we’re heading down that path.  And, interestingly, the Chinese communists are passing us by going the other way.  You know if the Chinese communist embrace private health care that something has to be wrong with the state-provided variety.  In fact, they’re trying to reform their health care system.  As are the British.  The Canadians, too.  I think there’s a message here.  And if I were to hazard a guess of what that message is from our state-provided health care friends I think it would go something like this.  “Don’t do it.”  And, “Obamacare is a mistake.”


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