The Roofer’s Union calls for the Repeal of Obamacare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 20th, 2013

Week in Review

Be careful what you ask for.  For you may get it.  And realize you don’t want it after all (see Roofer Union Calls for Repeal of Obama Health Law by Janet Adamy posted 4/16/2013 on The Wall Street Journal).

A labor union representing roofers is reversing course and calling for repeal of the federal health law, citing concerns the law will raise its cost for insuring members.

Organized labor was instrumental in getting the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, but more recently has voiced concerns that the law could lead members to lose their existing health plans. The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers is believed to be the first union to initially support the law and later call for its repeal.

The reason why people want to join unions is for those pay and benefit packages.  And those benefits include some of the finest health insurance plans a worker will ever see.  And now Obamacare could put an end to that.  The unions didn’t see this coming.

The ultimate goal of Obamacare is to put America on the path to national health care.  The Holy Grail to those on the Left.  But not necessarily to the unions.  On the one hand who wouldn’t like offloading expensive health insurance?  But on the other hand if everyone had national health care the unions would become less attractive to join.  And do they want to do that when a union stronghold like Michigan passes right-to-work legislation?  Probably not.

The unions liked being the privileged few.  They had no problem having with the wealth gap between them and the non-union workforce.  Yes, they liked organizing some of them.  To pull them up to their privileged status.  But they never dreamed that their president and their party, the Democrats, would pass legislation pulling them down to their level.

This was not supposed to happen.  Now one union is calling for the repeal of Obamacare.  Will other unions join them?  Time will tell.  One thing for sure, though, this is the last thing President Obama needed during his second term.  Could the singular achievement of his presidency fracture his base?  Perhaps even losing the Senate in 2014?  Perhaps Obamacare WILL return the Senate to Republican control.  So they can do what the unions want.  What only one so far has stated publicly.  The repeal of Obamacare.

Perhaps we’re seeing the reemergence of the Reagan Democrats.

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The EU will have to find another way to Confiscate Private Sector Wealth because the ETS is Kaput

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 20th, 2013

Week in Review

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was the European Union’s (EU’s) way of combating global warming.  By making carbon emitters pay for their carbon emissions.  But Europe is mired in recession.  And the Eurozone is suffering a sovereign debt crisis.  Which hasn’t helped to pull Europe out of recession.  And it appears that the economic reality in Europe is dooming the ETS (see If Carbon Markets Can’t Work in Europe, Can They Work Anywhere? by Bryan Walsh posted 4/17/2013 on Time).

But the ETS—and carbon trading more generally—is not doing well, and its problems are taking some of the green shine off of Europe. Since its launch the ETS has struggled, with the price of carbon falling as the 2008 recession and overly generous carbon allowances undercut the market. In the ETS business are given free allowances to emit carbon—too many free allowances mean they don’t need to reduce their carbon emissions much, which erodes the demand for additional carbon allowances on the market and causes the price to drop. Prices fell from 25 euros a ton in 2008 to just 5 euros a ton in February. There was a way to fix this—take 900 million tons of carbon allowances off the market now and reintroduce them in five years time, when policymakers hoped the economy would be stronger and demand would be greater. As anyone who’s taken Econ 101 would know, artificially reducing the supply of carbon allowances in such a drastic way—something called “backloading”— should force the price back up.

But on April 16, the European Parliament surprised observers by voting down the backloading plan. In turn, the European carbon market collapsed, with the price of a carbon allowance falling by more than 40% over the day. “We have reached the stage where the EU ETS has ceased to be an effective environmental policy,” Anthony Hobley, the head of climate change practice at the London law firm Norton Rose, told the New York Times. The ETS is a mess.

Backloading failed because even in very green Europe, economic concerns seemed to trump environmental ones. European Parliamentary members worried that any action that would cause the price of carbon to rise would add to European industry’s already high energy costs.

This should make China happy.  For there was no way no how they were going to pay for the carbon emissions from their airplanes entering European airspace.  In fact they warned they would cancel their Airbus orders and give them to Boeing if the Europeans tried to force them to help bail out the Eurozone in their sovereign debt crisis.  For this was what the ETS would ultimately do.  Transfer great amounts of wealth from the private sector to the public sector.  Which would have gone a long way in helping the Eurozone to continue to spend money they don’t have.

The ETS was nothing but a new tax on business.  Cloaked in the guise of making the world a better—and greener—place.  But the EU is suffering economically.  A large part of the sovereign debt crisis is due to having less economic activity to tax.  So the EU needs to improve the economy.  So they can generate more tax revenue from the current tax rates.  But increasing taxes on the carbon emitters will not help businesses.  It will only increase the cost of business.  Increasing their prices.  Making them less competitive in the market place.  Reducing their sales.  And killing jobs.  Which will generate even less tax revenue from the current tax rates.

The problem in the EU is not global warming.  Or insufficient tax revenue.  They have a spending problem.  This is what caused their deficits.  That gave them their soaring debt.  Just like every other nation that ever suffered a debt crisis.  Including the U.S.  Trying to fix a spending problem with more taxes just doesn’t work.  Only a cut in spending can fix a spending problem.  It’s not like the old chicken and egg question.  Excessive and unsustainable spending always comes before a debt crisis.  Always.

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The Obama Administration was lying about the Success of the Stimulus Bill

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 20th, 2013

Week in Review

President Obama promised us that if Congress passed his stimulus bill the unemployment rate wouldn’t rise above 8%.  Because million of people would go back to work immediately thanks to all of those shovel-ready jobs.  Well, the president signed it into law on February 17, 2009.  In October of that year the unemployment rate topped out at 10%.  And the president joked that those shovel-ready jobs weren’t as shovel-ready as they thought.  Still, they claimed it was a success.  And bragged about the millions of jobs they created or saved.  All the while the economy remained mired in one of the worst economic recoveries of all time (see Did Obama’s stimulus bill really work? Not even the gov’t knows by Sean Higgins posted 4/15/2013 on The Examiner).

Reason magazine’s Peter Suderman has a lengthy but eye-opening examination of President Obama’s 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — aka the stimulus bill — and why even after spending $833 million through it the economy continues to suck.

The article is a top-to-bottom dissection that exposes the many layers of folly involved. Several passages stand out but this one in particular is worth noting because it points out the central flaw in reports that argue the stimulus was a success: There is literally no way to measure those claims.

“According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office,” says Recovery.gov, the Obama administration’s stimulus website, “the Recovery Act supported as many as 3.5 million jobs across the country.” As the stimulus ran its course over roughly three years, the capital’s top newspapers kept printing similar, supportive-sounding figures from the budget office. “CBO Says Stimulus May Have Added 3.3 Million Jobs,” a Washington Post headline trumpeted in 2010. “CBO: Stimulus Added Up to 3.3 million Jobs,” declared a Politico headline in 2011. Senate Democrats touted the estimates as proof of ARRA’s success. So did the vice president…

The CBO estimated that the stimulus created or saved up to 3.6 million jobs. But CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf has also noted that if the real-world results were different — if the law created 5 million jobs, or if it created none at all — the agency wouldn’t know. At a March 2010 presentation, Elmendorf characterized the CBO’s follow-up reports as “repeating the same exercises we did rather than an independent check.” At the same event, Elmendorf was asked, “If the stimulus bill did not do what it was originally forecast to do, then that would not have been detected by the subsequent analysis?” His response: “That’s right. That’s right.” (Emphasis added.)

You may not be able to measure how many jobs you saved but you sure can measure one thing.  The labor force participation rate.  The percentage of those who could be working who are actually working.  Which shows the true economic picture unlike the official unemployment rate.  Which just doesn’t count people if they leave the labor force.  Because they can’t find a job.  You see, for them to count you in the unemployment rate you have to be looking for work.  And if you gave up looking for work after a year or so of not finding work they don’t count you.  Which lowers the unemployment rate.  Even though more people are unemployed.

So how did the labor force participation rate respond to the stimulus bill?  Not good.  It suffered its steepest decline the year they passed the stimulus.  And continued in the longest and steepest free-fall during the Obama presidency.  These numbers show the stimulus was an abject failure.  And any talk contrary to this was nothing but wishful thinking.  Or outright lies.

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Girls who are Recreational Drug Users are More Likely to be Victims of Sexual Assault

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 20th, 2013

Week in Review

Here’s another reason for girls to listen to their mom and dad when it comes to drug use.  Not only will the drugs harm them but other bad things can happen to them while they’re under the influence (see One in five recreational drug users ‘taken advantage of sexually’ by James Ball posted 4/18/2013 on the guardian).

One in five recreational drug users in the UK has been taken advantage of sexually while vulnerable after alcohol or drug use. The finding is one of the starkest results from the 2013 Global Drug Survey, conducted in partnership with the Guardian, Mixmag and GT magazine, which polled more than 7,000 users…

In the survey, 20% of drug users said they had been taken advantage of sexually after alcohol or drug use; in an answer to a separate question 14% said they had been given alcohol or drugs by someone they believed had the intention of taking advantage of them sexually; and 2.4% had said they had had sex without giving their consent as a result of being drugged without their knowing.

The survey used “being taken advantage of sexually” as specific wording on its questions in this area to include behaviour ranging from sexual assault up to and including rape…

“Intoxication can also impair a person’s ability to give informed consent, remove themselves from a risky situation or to take safe sex precautions…”

Women were three times more likely to report sexual assault as a result of drug use than men, while younger respondents were at significantly more risk: 16- to 20-year-olds were twice as likely to have been taken advantage of sexually than 21- to 30-year-olds, and seven times more likely than those over 30…

… around one in seven (14%) of respondents said they had, in the last twelve months, taken a mystery white powder without knowing what it was – a similar level to last year, when the phenomenon was first examined. Among recent users of cocaine, speed or MDMA, this figure doubled to 28%. Alcohol was a huge factor contributing to people’s willingness to try a mystery drug: 78% said they were intoxicated when accepting the powder. But perhaps most disturbingly for those worried about the consequences, 39% accepted the powder from a stranger or someone they did not know well.

People go to bars to meet other people.  And they relax over some alcoholic beverages to loosen up.  To have a good time.  And it’s been a time-honored way for adult men and women to meet each other and end the evening with sex.  They drink to impair their better judgment.  And the judgment they’re trying to impair is the level of physical attraction a person requires to say ‘yes’ for an evening of sex.  A lot these people go to the bar with the object of sleeping with someone that night.  The alcohol just hastens the selection process.  And this is how people have fun grownup style.  At least those who haven’t escaped the dating scene through wedded bliss.

But it’s different when underage people are drinking.  When a boy’s hormones are racing.  And he’s thinking of little else but having fun grownup style.  Even though he’s still a kid.  All the while we’re bombarding him with messages of safe sex, birth control and abortion services.  Which, of course, tells him that there must be nothing wrong with giving in to those hormonal urges.  Especially when high schools hand out free birth control.  And allow a girl to get an abortion without telling her parents.  Why it’s as if the schools are telling him to give in to those hormonal urges.  Because there are no consequences.  Which is where the alcohol and drugs come in.  For despite how much they may want to have consequence-free sex some of the girls are listening to their parents.  So they turn to alcohol and drugs.  Not to get these girls to say ‘yes’.  But to get them to stop saying ‘no’.

This is the unintended consequences of getting young women to vote Democrat by empowering them to become sex objects for boys.  The Left warns them that if they don’t vote Democrat that Republicans will force them into loveless marriages where they will become nothing but baby making machines.  Filling their days with nothing but raising babies, cooking and cleaning.  But if they vote Democrat they will keep all of their reproductive rights.  Free birth control.  And access to abortion.  So they can have all of the consequence-free sex they want.  A message, sadly, these boys are receiving loud clear.

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Capitalism puts People First while Socialism puts the State First

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 20th, 2013

Week in Review

SeaWorld is going public.  In the initial public offering (IPO) filing they discuss the unpleasant business of their animals potentially killing people.  Which has happened in the past.  Of course, they don’t want their animals to kill people.  For it will adversely impact the bottom line (see SeaWorld: Our Investors Should Know That It’s Bad For Business When Our Killer Whales Kill People by Matthew Boesler posted 4/18/2013 on Business Insider).

This incident and similar events that may occur in the future may harm our reputation, reduce attendance and negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

A lot of people think that if government doesn’t regulate businesses they will wantonly put their customers at risk.  Even killing them with dangerous products or unsafe conditions.  People in government believe this with every fiber of their body.  So they can keep growing the size of government.  Creating ever more government jobs.  And they try to scare people whenever anyone talks about cutting the funding of government.  Saying people will die from these ruthless businesses putting profits before people if they are not there to regulate them.  Which is preposterous.

The SeaWorld’s IPO shows that if you harm your customers you will lose your customers.  And if you lose your customers you will make fewer profits.  Which means the profit incentive makes customers safe.  Because a business knows the more customers they have the more profits they can make.  So they have a financial incentive not to hurt their customers.  Something they didn’t have in the state-owned business of the former Soviet Union.

There was no fear of losing customers in the former Soviet Union if they killed their customers with faulty products.  Because there was no competition.  Just layer upon layer of bureaucrats.  And no one sued the ruling communists in the Soviet Union.  They may sacrifice the occasional bureaucrat if the outside world was aware of some incident.  But it was just another tragedy in the Soviet Union and life went on.  The people just had to put up with substandard quality.  And accept the occasional deaths.

Why?  Because in socialism where they put people before profits they actually put the state before the people.  Where bureaucrats protect themselves.  And other bureaucrats.  Because their state jobs are all that matter.  While in a country where there is capitalism the profit incentive puts people before the state.  Because any person felt mistreated by a business could simply take their business elsewhere.  Which forces businesses to bend over backward to please their customers.  Something you just don’t experience while renewing your driver’s license.

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