President Obama is Exasperated with the Republicans for not giving him Absolute Power

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 6th, 2013

Week in Review

Barack Obama promised in the 2008 presidential campaign that there weren’t any blue states or red states, only purple states.  That he would be the president for all Americans.  And that they would all work together.  Democrats and Republicans.  After the election (and the Democrats won the House and Senate) Eric Cantor (Republican) met with President Obama to work together on the stimulus bill.  When discussing the merits of a small business tax cut President Obama had had enough and said, “Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.”  And because he had won the election the Republicans could go [deleted expletive] themselves.

Okay, so elections have consequences.  And the winners can do whatever they please.  Apparently.  Well, the Republicans won enough elections to hold the House in the 2012 elections.  So they don’t have to bend willingly to the executive branch of government according to the Obama doctrine.  Which really annoys the president (see Obama Says He’s Exasperated With House Republican Faction by Roxana Tiron, Kathleen Hunter & Michael C. Bender posted 10/2/2013 on Bloomberg).

President Barack Obama, declaring himself “exasperated,” said he won’t negotiate with Republicans on the U.S. budget until they reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling without conditions…

Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said negotiating after Democrats get what they want is “not much of an offer…”

Both sides are jockeying for the political high ground in the standoff. Democrats said the nation was being taken hostage by the Republicans’ Tea Party faction, while the Republicans faulted Senate Democrats and Obama for being unwilling to negotiate over any proposal to delay or curtail the health-care act, which opened for insurance enrollment yesterday…

The U.S. budget deficit in June was 4.3 percent of gross domestic product, down from 10.1 percent in February 2010 and the narrowest since November 2008, when Obama was elected to his first term, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from the Treasury Department and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The House of Representatives is the people’s house.  It’s not the king’s Privy Council.  Or an extension of the executive branch.  Exasperated?  Sorry President Obama.  You are not a king.  You do not wield absolute power.

Since President Obama took office he has run record deficits.  And raised the national debt to record levels.  That’s one of the reasons for the Republican opposition to Obamacare.  The nation can’t afford it.  Because it won’t be deficit neutral.  The CBO has revised the cost of Obamacare to be three times what the Democrats said it would originally cost.  To sneak it by the people.  Lying to them that they were going to get more for less.  When in fact they’re going to get less for more.  The people understand this.  Which is why they are mad as hell and are urging their representatives to do everything to prevent Obamacare from both destroying the American health care system and bankrupting the United States.

Exasperated?  It is the American people who are exasperated with a president that continues to govern against their will.

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Politically Active Celebrities perform for People with Records of Human Rights Abuses

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 30th, 2013

Week in Review

The biggest names in the entertainment community are mostly liberals.  Why?  Because they are more enlightened than most, of course.  Liberals revel in being smarter and more informed than those knuckle-dragging Neanderthal Republicans.  Who are just so stupid.  As anyone is who votes for them.  Yet these smart people are often surprised to learn that something they did wasn’t all that smart (see Lopez sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to Turkmenistan head by Nekesa Mumbi Moody posted 6/30/2013 on Yahoo! News).

Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to the leader of Turkmenistan during a show, but her representative said she wouldn’t have performed there at all if she had known there were human rights issues in the country…

Lopez’s publicist says the event was vetted by Lopez’s staff: “Had there been knowledge of human rights issues any kind, Jennifer would not have attended…”

In 2011, Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank profusely apologized after attending a birthday party for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who had been accused of torture and killings; she said she didn’t have a full understanding of the event.

Beyonce, Nelly Furtado, 50 Cent, Mariah Carey and Usher were paid handsomely to perform at parties linked to the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. All later announced plans to donate their performance fees to charity and said they hadn’t known the leader was connected to terrorism.

Granted, most Americans probably could not find Turkmenistan on a map.  But they should know that it’s one of those former Soviet republics in central Asia.  The crossroads of ancient history.  And beyond.  Thousands of years of history.  And thousands of years of past wrongs to right.  Because of this some of these former Soviet republics don’t exactly have stellar human rights records.  Staunch advocates of human rights (as most of the entertainment elite are) should know that there is some bad stuff happening in the area.  And should at least look up the country they’re going to on Wikipedia.

Chechnya is a hotbed of Islamist activity.  And one of the more brutal places in the world.  Islamist separatist militants fighting for a free Chechnya occupied a Beslan school in a hostage crisis in 2004.  Ending in the death of 186 children.  Chechen Islamists also were responsible for the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis.  With the demand that the Russians leave Chechnya.  That ended with the Russians pumping in some gas into the theater to subdue the terrorists.  Which it did.  But the gas also killed about 128 of the hostages.  Incidentally, the Boston Marathon bombers had a Chechnya connection, too.  The fighting in the area can be brutal.  And the human rights can be lacking.

How anyone cannot know that Moammar Gadhafi was a sponsor of terrorism is beyond me.  One of the greatest acts of terrorism was the Libyan sponsored bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland.  Which was in retaliation for Ronald Reagan bombing Libya.  Which he did in response to Libya’s bombing of a German discotheque frequented by American service men.  Gadhafi was a thorn in the America’s side during the Eighties.  And he was still sponsoring terrorism until he renounced terrorism after George W. Bush invaded Iraq following 9/11.  He was right up there with Saddam Hussein and the State of Iran when it comes to America’s greatest enemies.  Yet these people had no idea he was connected to terrorism.

These are not the most informed people in the world.  Yet they are treated as if they are.  And when they make a political endorsement people will listen to them.  Even if they have no idea what’s going on in the world of foreign policy.  But they will tell people who to vote for to run the nation’s foreign policy.  And the sad thing is that these people probably don’t understand economics any better than they understand foreign policy.  Yet they are making political endorsements.  Which people are listening to.  Because they sound so enlightened and smart.  And nothing at all like those knuckle-dragging Neanderthal Republicans.

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The Government would not provide for the Apollo 11 Astronauts’ Families in the event of their Deaths

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 1st, 2012

Week in Review

President Obama told small business owners, the people who built their businesses, that they didn’t build their businesses.  His defenders say he was taken out of context.  That he was talking about the roads and bridges that made their success possible.  But he also said that these small business owners weren’t smarter than other people.  And that there were a lot of smart people.  Implying that these small owners either just had dumb luck.  Or it was the road and bridges that made everything possible.  For government is the great prime mover.  And the great nurturer.  Everything good happens because of good government.

They love to point to the space program.  Putting the first man on the moon.  How it was government that made that happen.  Even though private companies built it.  North American Aviation built the command/service module.  Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation built the Lunar Module.  Boeing, North American Aviation and Douglas Aircraft Company built the Saturn V launch vehicle.  NASA contracted this work out.  And paid these private contractors with our tax dollars.  But these private companies built it.  Interesting, the actual government part, the astronauts, the people the government hired, train and paid was also the government’s least impressive part.

This was where the government did not nurture very well.   Where the government truly failed to provide.  For our brave astronauts.  Who were doing something so dangerous that they couldn’t afford the cost of the life insurance policies to take care of their families.  Not on their meager government salaries (they were meager back then).  In case something went wrong.  So with the government choosing NOT to help their families in case something went wrong these brave men did what they could should their mission serving their country end in their deaths (see Neil Armstrong Couldn’t Afford Life Insurance, So He Used a Creative Way to Provide for His Family If He Died by Robert Johnson, Business Insider, posted 8/31/2012 on Yahoo! Finance).

After all the danger, glory, and fame it’s easy to forget that at the end of the day astronauts are federal employees subject to the same General Schedule (GS) pay scale as everyone from typists to CIA agents.

Unfortunately, a federal salary wasn’t enough for Apollo 11 astronauts to purchase life insurance…

So about a month before they were set to go to the moon, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin were locked into a Plexiglas room together and got busy providing for their families the only way they could — they signed hundreds of autographs.

In what would become a common practice, the guys signed their names on envelopes emblazoned with various space-related images. The ‘covers’ would, of course, become intensely valuable should the trio perish on the mission. They’re now often referred to as ” Apollo Insurance Covers.”

And to ensure the covers would hold maximum value, the crew put stamps on them, and sent them in a package to a friend, who dumped them all in the mail so they would be postmarked July 16, 1969 — the day of the mission’s success — or its failure.

The government didn’t build it.  And they paid our astronauts poorly.  Refusing even to take care of their families if the government killed them in their space program.  Yet this is the example the Left likes to point to about how great and wonderful the government is.  What a disservice to the private contractors that actually built it.  And those brave astronauts who flew in what they built.  No.  Government should be ashamed of itself for making these brave astronauts sign collectibles that would only gain sufficient value if they died on the job.  Their celebrity in death would have been the only way they could have provided for their families.  Because the government wouldn’t.  How sad.  And macabre.  And this is what the government points proudly to today as a government success?  Cold, cruel detachment?  No, this was not government’s finest hour.  It may have been NASA’s.  The private contractors.  And the astronauts.  But it wasn’t government’s.  Because the government didn’t build it.

God bless Neil Armstrong.  May his spirit soar through space.  Back to where he first set foot on the moon.  Where he can look upon the earth and see it as so few have seen it before.  And smile.  Like it was 1969 once again.

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The American Left likes the Government that takes Children away from their Parents to Earn Olympic Gold

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 4th, 2012

Week in Review

The American Left has long attacked the competitive spirit in America.  They stopped keeping score when their kids played in sports matches.  They awarded participation ribbons to everyone participating instead of first place, second place and third place trophies.  They’ve altered the educational system to grade on effort more than on being right.  To protect the students’ self-esteem.  And yet it’s these same people that want to model America after the communist Chinese.  To have a powerful central government managing the economy.   A government so powerful that it can do things for the people’s own good without having to deal with elections.  Or an ungrateful electorate too stupid to know what’s good for them.   They yearn for a strong China-like government.  Even when that same government would never hand out a participation ribbon (see Family kept grandparents’ deaths secret from Chinese diver until she won gold medal by Martin Rogers posted 8/1/2012 on Yahoo! Sports).

Chinese diver Wu Minxia’s celebrations at winning a third Olympic gold medal were cut short after her family revealed the details of a devastating secret they had kept for several years.

Wu’s parents decided to withhold news of both the death of her grandparents and of her mother’s long battle with breast cancer until after she won the 3-meter springboard in London so as to not interfere with her diving career…

The story of Wu’s family secret has generated huge discussion in China, where the pursuit of success has been chased by the government-backed sports national sports program with unshakeable zeal over the past two decades…

Now there seems to be a backlash against the win-at-all-costs mentality after the revelations about Wu followed fierce criticism from a national newspaper when a 17-year-old weightlifter failed to medal.

In China, athletes are often taken away from their families at a young age and placed in specialist training schools where they practice for hours every day. Wu began training daily at a diving camp at the age of 6. By the time she was 16, she had left home to be installed in a government aquatic sports institute…

The Chinese government’s attitude towards the performances of its athletes is now coming under greater scrutiny than ever before. Messages of congratulations from the government to athletes through the state news agency have been sent only to gold medalists, not those winning silver or bronze.

The Chinese may govern like the American Left would like.  But the Chinese are not a bunch of namby-pamby pansies like the American Left.  They’re tough.  And are very competitive.  So much so that they will take children away from their parents.  Steal their childhood.  All so they can earn a gold medal for China.  And if they fail they heap abuse on them.  This is the strong central government that the American Left so admires.  Which makes the American Left a true enigma.  They want a strong central government that can rule against the will of the people while being a bunch of namby-pamby pansies that just shrink away from harsh words of criticism.  Like, “Sorry, Johnny, 2+2 is 4.  Not 5.  You’re wrong.”

They’re either enigmas.  Or they’re just not that bright.

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Charter Schools outperform Public Schools in America and Britain

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 8th, 2012

Week in Review

Public education today is more about politics than education.  Which is why charter schools often outperform public schools.  Because the charter schools focus on education.  While the public schools focus on politics (see A 20-year lesson posted 7/7/2012 on The Economist).

FOR decades too many educationalists have succumbed to the tyranny of low expectations, at least when it comes to those at the bottom of the heap. The assumption has been that the poor, often black, children living in some of the world’s biggest and richest cities such as New York, Los Angeles and London face too many challenges to learn. There was little hope that school could make any difference to their future unless the problem of poverty could first be “solved”, which it couldn’t.

Such attitudes consigned whole generations to the scrapheap. But 20 years ago, in St Paul, Minnesota, the first of America’s charter schools started a revolution. There are now 5,600 of them. They are publicly funded, but largely independent of the local educational bureaucracies and the teachers’ unions that live in unhealthy symbiosis with them.

Charter schools are controversial, for three reasons. They represent an “experiment” or “privatisation”. They largely bypass the unions. And their results are mixed. In some states—Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana and Missouri—the results of charter pupils in maths and English are significantly better than those of pupils in traditional public schools. In others—Arizona and Ohio—they have done badly.

Yet the virtue of experiments is that you can learn from them; and it is now becoming clear how and where charter schools work best.  Poor pupils, those in urban environments and English-language learners fare better in charters (see article). In states that monitor them carefully and close down failing schools quickly, they work best. And one great advantage is that partly because most are free of union control, they can be closed down more easily if they are failing…

It is pretty clear now that giving schools independence—so long as it is done in the right way, with the right monitoring, regulation and safeguards from the state—works. Yet it remains politically difficult to implement. That is why it needs a strong push from national governments. Britain is giving school independence the shove it needs. In America, artificial limits on the number of charter schools must be ended, and they must get the same levels of funding as other schools.

It remains politically difficult to implement because public education has two goals.  Generate union dues that can fund the Democrat Party.  And to produce Democrat voters.  The proof of the latter is that the youth vote goes to the Democrats.  There’s a reason for that.  And it’s the same reason why school kids hold picket signs with their striking teachers.  These kids don’t understand life, politics or economics yet.  They only know what their teachers tell them.  Who are not exactly unbiased when it comes to their politics.  Or their salary and benefit packages.  Which they put before their students.  At least, based on the success of the charter schools over the public schools.

There are a lot of great teachers in the public school system.  But they aren’t all great.  And it’s all but impossible to get rid of the bad teachers.  Or to close the bad schools.  And it’s impossible to pull the politics out of the educational curriculum.  Kids today can barely name the Founding Fathers or explain what republican government is but they know everything about global warming.  And everything bad America ever did as a nation.  Which just doesn’t prepare students today for the high-tech economy.  

Even the liberal elite admit public education is a failure by the fact that most of them have their kids in private school.  And these are the people responsible for the failure of public education.  They implemented their progressive views.  Because they knew better than we did.  Knew what was best for our kids.  Yet when it comes to their own kids they don’t want anything to do with the train wreck they made of public education.  If there was ever a vote of no-confidence for public education this is it.  They don’t like.  Want nothing to do with it.  But it’s not only okay for our kids but it’s necessary to rescue our kids from our bad parenting.  Because if the public schools weren’t there to make Democrat voters how can they trust parents to do that most important job?

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An Ivy League Professor says their Ivy League Government Policies have killed the American Dream

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 10th, 2012

Week in Review

The Ivy League has long had an influence over government policy.  Administrations have been filled with Ivy League graduates.  Where they have been advising lawmakers and writing policy.  Much of the economic mess we suffer from these days goes back to the progressive views of the Ivy League.  Where they think the private economy will work better when smart and enlightened thinkers like themselves tweak it. 

And over the years our capitalist free market has been slowly morphing into crony capitalism.  Where those businesses with like minded ideas as those in government (as advised by their Ivy League intelligentsia) get preferential treatment by the government.  And those who don’t think right are hit with excessive regulations and taxes.  Or as they would say in Columbia, being fair.  Because fair is whatever they say is fair (see The ‘American Dream’ Is a Myth: Joseph Stiglitz on ‘The Price of Inequality’ by Aaron Task, Daily Ticker, posted 6/8/2012 on Yahoo! Finance).

In his latest book, The Price of Inequality, Columbia Professor and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz examines the causes of income inequality and offers some remedies. In between, he reaches some startling conclusions, including that America is “no longer the land of opportunity” and “the ‘American dream’ is a myth…”

For example, just 8% of students at America’s elite universities come from households in the bottom 50% of income, Stiglitz says, even as those universities are “needs blind” — meaning admission isn’t predicated on your ability to pay…

“What I want is a more dynamic economy and a fairer society,” he says, suggesting income inequality is ultimately detrimental to those at the top, too. “My point is we’ve created an economy that is not in accord with the principles of the free market.”

The only thing preventing the American Dream today is progressive government policies.  Immigrants used to come to this country with nothing but loose change in their pockets and went on to start a business.  Today there are so many taxes and fees and regulations that require a lawyer to understand.  This is what’s killing the American Dream.  Government.

More millionaires are self-made middle class people with a good idea.  They became entrepreneurs.  And succeeded despite the obstacles government put in place.  For no one ever heard an entrepreneur say he or she wished there was more government involvement in their industry.

The only people stuck in their class are the elite rich who own the Ivy League institutions and restrict admissions to their friends and family.  And the poor who are the victims of government programs that are supposed to help them.  Implemented by government on the advice of those Ivy League graduates who fill the ranks of policy makers in Washington.  Which perpetuates a permanent underclass for government to take care of with ever expanding government programs.

He is right, though, about the economy not in accord with free market principles.  President Obama hates capitalism and has taken active measures to oppose it.  Shut down oil exploration on federal lands and in international waters within our exclusive economic zone.  Not approving the Keystone XL pipeline.  Strong-arming Obamacare through Congress with backroom deals to pass a bill the American people didn’t want.  Subsidizing green energy companies like Solyndra that fail.  Attacking private equity.  And so on.  Helping like-minded people.  And hurting those who think differently.  This administration has become the model of crony capitalism. 

The land of opportunity and the American Dream will return this November.  It will take a while to undo some of the damage done these past 3 years or so.  But opportunity is still there.  If government would only get out of the way.

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Al Gore’s Current TV about to become another Liberal News Outlet Failure

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 7th, 2012

Week in Review

A lot of people on the Left hate Rush Limbaugh.  And Sean Hannity.  Because they have a lot of people listening to their radio shows.  Numbers one and two in the market.  Something liberal talk radio could never do.  Which is why the Left hates these two guys.  Because the Left always fails going up against conservatives.  Even on cable TV (see Exclusive: Low ratings could end cable deal for Gore’s Current TV by Peter Lauria posted 4/5/2012 on Reuters).

Al Gore’s Current TV has bigger problems to deal with than a potential lawsuit from fired news anchor Keith Olbermann – namely not getting kicked off Time Warner Cable for low ratings.

According to three sources with knowledge of the situation, Time Warner Cable Inc’s carriage agreement with Current TV stipulates that, if the left-leaning political news network fails to meet a minimum threshold for overall viewers in a given quarter, financial penalties such as Current TV being required to increase marketing and promotion spending on the cable operator’s systems are triggered.

If Current TV misses the audience benchmark in two consecutive quarters, another clause is triggered that would allow Time Warner Cable to drop the channel. The condition was built into the most recent distribution pact between the two parties, which was signed in 2010…

If it was not for Olbermann’s show, which averaged a total of 177,000 viewers per night, Current TV likely would have missed Time Warner Cable’s viewership benchmark, said one of the sources.

When you’re the party of decriminalizing drugs and providing birth control and abortion you’re appealing to the baser instincts of people.  People who enjoy pleasure more than deep philosophical thought.  Which is who the Left appeals to.  Especially in their courtship of the youth vote.  And these people who want to party and enjoy the now to the fullest aren’t going to tune into any program talking politics.  They’ll participate in the Occupy Wall Street and other protests because protesting is fun.  As is the sex and drugs in their little tent cities.  Just like it was back in the Sixties when the hippies created the sex and drugs scene.  But they don’t want to hear their parents or people who may be friends of their parents talking politics.

This is the consequence of dumbing down society.  It’s easier to buy votes.  But a large portion of your political base will be uninformed and unaware.  And not get involved in politics.  Unlike the conservative opposition.  Who take great offense of the dumbing down of society.  And the societal decay.  And they will tune into programs talking politics.  Especially the ones in opposition to the thing they blame for that dumbing down and societal decay.  Liberalism.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #86: “Smug, all-knowing condescension camouflages a vacuous philosophical basis.” –Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 4th, 2011

Did the Ivy League make George W. Bush an Idiot?  And, if so, is Barack Obama also an Idiot?

Have you ever been belittled by a liberal?  After getting pulled into a conversation, say, about George W. Bush?  Or Ronald Reagan?  I have.  And often.  So often that I avoid these debates with liberals anymore.  Because you can’t debate with liberals.

I remember after George W. Bush won reelection.  Two liberals were having a discussion near me at work.  They just couldn’t believe how stupid the American people were.  One was a fifty year old hippy who still dressed like she was 20.  The other had a love affair with France.  Even loved Napoleon.  Funny.  As she hated George W. Bush for waging war.  And he didn’t wage half the war Napoleon did.

Anyway, I piped up.  I said why are Americans so stupid?  For reelecting George W. Bush?  They said because George W. Bush was an idiot.  I asked them to elaborate.  They did not.  Apparently, there was nothing more to say.  No specific examples.  No discussion of underlying philosophies.  Just that George W. Bush was an idiot.  Case closed.  An idiot, I might add, that was educated in their beloved liberal Ivy League.  The same Ivy League that educated Barack Obama.  And the majority of the power players in Washington.

Liberals know Everything and can Say Anything no matter how Silly and Asinine it Is

Of course, it didn’t end there.  Because I didn’t accept ‘he’s an idiot’ as an intelligible response to my question why were Americans so stupid, guess what?  I was stupid.  I was one of the great uneducated masses who should not be allowed to vote in their preferred world.  Then the ridicule came.

Their only response to my question was name calling.  Of the president.  And the American people.  No ideological discussion whatsoever.  And they laughed at me with that all knowing condescension.  They were liberals.  They knew everything.  And could say anything.  No matter how silly and asinine it was.  And because I question them I hated the poor.  I was a warmonger.  And a fascist.

The last was rather amusing.  Because I was a conservative.  Still am.  And conservatives hate fascism.  Or corporatism.  Big time government involvement in the private sector economy.  Like they want.  Making them the fascists.  Not me.  From what I could glean they were in favor of the state redistributing wealth.  Taking from the rich to give to the poor.  Like the hippy protestors of the Sixties.  They just wanted to stick it to the man.  Have sex (the old hippy had a bumper sticker saying something about being proud to be an ex-porn star.  I don’t think she was.  She just liked being provocative.  And having lots of sex.  Based on the conversations she had within earshot).  And, of course, decriminalize pot.

Liberals hate Corporations, Bankers and Republicans

They were your quintessential liberals.  Ignorant.  They hated Republicans because they want to take their freedoms away.  Because it’s Republicans that keep drugs illegal.  It’s Republicans that want to criminalize abortion.  Take away your welfare.  Who refuse to raise the minimum wage to a living wage.  Who let people get rich.  And refused to confiscate rich people’s wealth when they get rich.

They hate Republicans because they are too friendly to corporate America.  Who think more of their shareholders (the corporation owners who hire people for the express purpose of making a profit for them).  Than the American people.  And enslave the American people to maximize profits.  By charging high prices for expensive goods.  Charging interest on loaned money.  And tricking American people into living beyond their means and accumulating debt.  That they charge interest on.

Liberals hate corporations.  And Republicans.  They would like to abolish interest.  And all debt.  From sovereign debt.  To credit card debt.  Just make it go away.  And let the evil bankers just write it off.  They would like to have free health care for everyone.  And a minimum living wage for everyone.  Whether they work or not.  That’s their kind of freedom.  Of course, to have it they’ll have to bring back the institution of slavery.

Liberals Created an Aristocracy for themselves by Taxing the Productive People to Excess

Yes, you heard right.  Their freedom is another’s slavery.  For they want a welfare state.  Where the poor get everything they could ever want from cradle to grave.  And how do you pay for all of this free stuff?  By taxation, of course.  Before the government redistributes any wealth someone has to create it first.  People with jobs.  Or who own businesses.  People that have value that trade with others who have value in the free market economy.  We are traders.  And you can’t trade with someone who doesn’t produce anything of value.

Money came into being as a way to make this trading things of value easier.  People traded their things of value (goods and/or services) for money.  Then traded that money for other things of value they wanted.  It made going to the market a whole lot easier.  You didn’t have to find people to trade with who had what you wanted while having what they wanted.  You simply found what you wanted.  And paid for it.  With the money you had from selling your things of value.

Government grew from taxing these productive people.  At first just enough to provide the public goods of society.  Then liberals created an aristocracy for themselves by taxing the productive people to excess.  For liberals don’t create anything of value.  They get worthless college degrees and get worthless jobs.  In the public sector.  Or in the private sector that survives on public sector funding, i.e., crony capitalism.  They are parasites.  Living off of the productive people.  Who pay for the welfare state.

Houses are Built when Productive People Trade different Sets of Skill for Money

So let’s play make believe.  Let’s say the liberals get their way.  Like the old hippy and France lover.  Let’s say they take all the wealth from the rich.  They abolish all debt.  Make it a crime to loan money.  What will that do?  Make home owning a thing of the past for one.  Because most Americans could never buy a house without a mortgage.

Wait a minute, the liberals will scream.  That won’t happen.  Because government will just give houses to the people.  Really?  But who will build them?  If people can’t get a mortgage to pay a builder, how will the builder pay the carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, etc., who build these houses?  People don’t work for free.  You see, these skilled trades trade their skills (carpentry, electrical, plumbing, etc.) with builders.  Builders trade their skill (financing and construction management) with skilled trades.  Banks trade their skills (mortgage banking) with builders.  This is how people build houses.  Productive people trade different sets of skill for money.  The end result is that people can get a mortgage and buy a house.  With the money they earn from trading their skills.

So if the liberals get their way and get rid of the things they hate then there is only one way to build houses.  Slavery.  Forcing carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc, to work for the state.  For free.  Like a slave.  So the state can redistribute their wealth (i.e., their skill) to others.  Because people won’t willingly give their skills away for free.  That’s why they join unions.  To get the best deal they can get for their skills.  Which is another thing liberals will have to get rid of to live in their utopia.  Unions.

Liberals are about as Ignorant as they Come and have no Understanding of Basic Economics

Liberals have a smug, all-knowing condescension for people who don’t share their views.  In their minds they are brilliant people.  Because they parrot what other liberals say.  Because in their minds they think that makes them sound brilliant.  But they’re not.  They are about as ignorant as they come.  They have no understanding of basic economics.  And their pretentious airs only camouflage a vacuous philosophical basis.

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Obama’s Economic Policies have Failed because they’re Keynesian Economic Policies

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 2nd, 2011

Government Spending and Easy Monetary Policy haven’t created any Jobs 

The new jobs report is in.  It’s not good.  Surprise, surprise (see ‘No confidence’ sparks rush to safety by Blake Ellis posted 9/2/2011 on CNNMoney).

The Labor Department reported that the economy added no jobs in August, while the unemployment rate remained at 9.1%. That was the worst reading since September 2010, when the economy lost 27,000 jobs.

Economists had been expecting a weak report given the recent debt ceiling gridlock, plunging consumer confidence and the downgrade of the United States’ credit rating in August. But what they got was even worse than expected.

These Keynesian economists have been predicting every kind of wonderful they could with every new Keynesian policy.  But government spending and easy monetary policy haven’t created any jobs.  If they did we’d have them.  Jobs.  But we don’t have them.  After close to 3 years of trying.  I mean, the economy is so bad that oil prices are falling.

Since a healthy economy typically spurs demand for oil, fears that another recession is around the corner are causing traders to worry about waning demand, said Flynn.

“Crude oil is looking at demand destruction right now,” he said. “With a lack of people going back to work and economic data as a whole as it is, it’s just not a supportive environment for higher prices.”

So the Obama administration has spent the U.S. to record deficits.  And record debt.  But because so many people are unemployed demand for oil is destructing.  What a terrible tradeoff for cheaper oil.

Oil is the lifeblood of a healthy economy.  So you know an economy is not healthy when people aren’t buying oil.  In a country where chronically insufficient domestic supplies once raised the price of gasoline to over $4/gallon.  Now any spikes in gas prices seem to have more to do with a depreciating dollar (thanks to all that easy monetary policy) than demand.

Keynesians see no Downside to Excessive Government Spending or Inflation

Still there are some who say the problem is not excessive spending.  But spending that was not excessive enough (see Fatal Distraction by Paul Krugman posted 9/2/2011 on The New York Times).

Zero job growth, with unemployment still at nosebleed levels. Meanwhile, the interest rate on 10-year US bonds is down to 2.04%, and it’s negative on inflation-protected securities.

Aren’t you glad we pivoted from jobs to deficits a year and a half ago?

Krugman is a Keynesian.  So by ‘jobs’ he means government spending.  And by ‘deficits’ he means responsible government.  He sees no downside to excessive government spending.  Or inflation.  As if the 1970s never happened.

A lot of People hate the Rich and Successful, especially Ivy League Elitists

But the 1970s did happen.  And we had double-digit inflation at the end of that decade.  Didn’t help.  It didn’t make a dent in the unemployment numbers.  Yet there are those who want to take that very dangerous road again (see View: Inflation Is Easy to Free, Hard to Control by the Editors posted 9/1/2011 on Bloomberg).

…But now, a growing number of voices, mainly on the left wing of the Democratic Party but also in the Federal Reserve, are calling for what is in effect default in slow motion. It goes by the name of inflation.

Inflation decreases the value of debts, like the $14 trillion owed by the federal government to lenders such as the government of China (and a lot of ordinary American savers, too), and it increases the value of assets, like houses. Thus it helps all debtors, from the federal government to individual homeowners who can’t pay their mortgages. Inflation has been running at an average of 2.4 percent over the past decade. After a couple of years of, say, 6 percent inflation, that $14 trillion would be worth closer to $12 trillion in current dollars. A $400,000 mortgage would be worth about $350,000.

Some may say, shrinks debt?  Increases asset value?  Well where’s the problem with that? 

We call it class warfare.  Of the worse kind.  Creditors versus debtors.  The poor versus the rich.  The poor hate the rich because they have to borrow from them to buy a house.  And they would love to not pay them back.  But if you start doing this eventually the rich won’t loan their money anymore.  So there will eventually be no more home ownership.  Except for the rich. 

It’s a story as old as time.  And the U.S.  The states were passing debtor laws.  Favoring debtors.  Harming creditors.  And destroying legal contracts in the process.   Which a nation built on the rule of law could not have.  For if there are no contracts there is only force.  Where the most powerful get what they want.  And those not powerful enough to fight them off simply lose what they have. 

This is one of the reasons why the Founding Fathers called for the Philadelphia Convention in 1787.  To save what they just fought 8 years to get.  A nation where no man is above the law.  And contracts are legal binding.  Still, there are a lot of people who hate the rich and successful.  Who think contracts are merely suggestions.  Especially Ivy League elitists who have no ability but arrogance and condescension.  Who could never become rich and successful on their own.  Preferring privilege over hard work.  And have no problem trampling over people’s contract rights.  Or Constitutional rights, for that matter.  But that’s another story.  For another time.

As it happens, a couple of years of 6 percent inflation is exactly what the leading economist advocating this approach — Kenneth Rogoff at Harvard — recommends. He is joined by Paul Krugman and by a growing number of economic journalists and commentators. Some of these people have been saying that inflation is no threat worth worrying about, because it has not appeared despite circumstances that ordinarily would have produced it. Now they say inflation is no threat because a little of it would actually be a good thing.

At Bloomberg View, we think that doing anything to encourage increased inflation is a very bad idea. People who advocate it are either too young or too old to remember our last adventure with inflation, in 1979 and 1980…

You can’t easily pencil in two years of 6 percent inflation and then go on your merry way. Inflation is self-feeding and takes on a life of its own. And it works only by surprise. If lenders all know that the government is going to induce or at least tolerate something like 6 percent inflation, they will demand something like 8 percent interest from borrowers. There goes the grease on the wheels. And it’s not just lenders: Labor negotiators will have their backs stiffened if they know that any dollar figure they negotiate will buy less and less. Manufacturers who know their inputs are going to be getting more expensive, in dollar terms, will raise their prices in anticipation, thus making inflation a self-fulfilling prophecy. Long-term planning becomes difficult to impossible.

This is what happened in the Seventies.  It’s why there were double-digit interest rates.  Inflation was depreciating the dollar so fast that it took near usury rates before anyone would loan money.  It was great for people with money to loan.  But horrible for people who had to borrow.

There is no Record of increasing Taxation and Regulation increasing Economic Activity

This is not just a condemnation of the Obama economic policies.  This is a condemnation of Keynesian economics as a whole.  They only lead to a bloated federal government.  That grows at the expense of the job-producing private sector (see Needed: A Reagan Moment To Stop Our Decline by Lawrence Kudlow posted 9/2/2011 on Investors).

During the Bush years, the federal government increased from 18% of GDP to 21%. The debt went up $2.5 trillion, from roughly 32% of GDP to 40%. And now, during the Obama period, spending has moved even higher to at least 24% of the economy, while total federal debt has ballooned near 100% of GDP.

It’s almost a mirror image: The expansion of the public sector and the decline of the private sector. This is completely inimical to the American peacetime experience…

And all while jobs, the economy and stocks slumped over the past 10 years, the dollar dropped 37% and gold increased by nearly 500%, from $250 to nearly $1,900 an ounce.

We don’t have the kind of inflation today that we experienced in the 1970s. But it is certainly worth noting that a collapsing currency and a skyrocketing gold price are key barometers of a loss of confidence in the American economic story.

But the Keynesians aren’t worried.  Mr. Paul Krugman belittles those ‘responsible’ people who worry about phantom demons like inflation.  When it comes to spending, their constant refrain is to flame on.  And only worry when inflation is burning white hot.  Then they can simply tap their monetary breaks and make everything good again.  Or so they think.

But there is a bigger problem.  This ‘limited’ government of the Founding Fathers is growing into a leviathan. 

My key thought is that the U.S. in the last decade has adopted a wrongheaded policy of government expansion — primarily spending and regulating — financed by ultra-easy monetary policy and rock-bottom interest rates.

Tax rates haven’t moved much. But the whole tax system is badly in need of pro-growth flat-tax reform and simplification. However, the expansion of spending and regulating is robbing the private sector of its entrepreneurial vitality. Here’s the new fear: More big-government spending stimulus from Obama’s jobs plan. More EPA. More NLRB. More Dodd-Frank. More ObamaCare.

And as the policy mantle for growth has swung to Federal Reserve stimulus, we are learning once again what Milton Friedman taught us 40 years ago: The central bank can produce new money, but there is no permanent production of jobs and growth from that pump-priming.

Big government financed by easy money is a lethal economic combination. It must be reversed. We should be reducing the regulatory and spending state while keeping money predictably stable (and even re-linked to gold).

The supply-side nostrum that worked so well for 20 years, beginning with Ronald Reagan, was low tax rates, light regulation, limited government, and a hard dollar. Gold collapsed between 1980 and 2000 as stocks, jobs, and the economy roared. The last ten years? We’ve gotten the policy mix completely backwards. The results show it.

And that’s something that the Keynesians can’t point to.  When they had full legislative power (as they had since the Democrats won the House and Senate back in 2006), they can’t point to a historical record of success.  Like the tax-cutting supply-siders can. 

JFK cut taxes and saw economic growth.  Reagan cut taxes and saw economic growth.  George W. Bush cut taxes and saw economic growth.  But there is no record of increasing taxation and regulation increasing economic activity.  You know why?  Because it doesn’t.  If it did the economy would be booming now because the government has never spent or regulated more.

Let’s hope the Keynesians Concede Failure while there is still an Economy to Save

How many bad economic reports will it take before the Keynesians will finally concede failure?  When will the Ivy League elitists stop hating people who are more talented and successful than they are?  And when will the people that put them into power see that it’s only the power they’re interested in?  Not the economy.  Or our well being?

I hope these people come to their senses soon.  While there is still an economy to save.

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LESSONS LEARNED #77: “Liberals only call for bipartisan compromise when they’ve lost majority power and can no longer dictate policy.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 4th, 2011

The Liberal Ruling Class hails from the Ivy League

Liberals hail from the Ivy League.  Where they’re taught important life skills.  Arrogance.  Conceit.  And condescension.  It is here at these universities that they learn to hold everyone in contempt.  Yes, there are some out there with true liberal bona fides that didn’t go to the Ivy League, but they are the exception.  Not the rule.  These people may bleat the liberal line as well as the Ivy Leaguer, but they are not going to ascend to the Ruling Class.  And though they won’t admit it, the Ruling Class holds most of these liberals in contempt, too.

Amassing wealth and power in a few, elite hands is nothing new.  Even in early America.  The Planter Elite of the Deep South were a small minority of the population.  But they held the wealth and power in the Deep South.  And they wielded it during the Philadelphia Convention.  They held the founding of the new nation hostage.  Unless the land where all men were created equal had slavery there would be no new nation.  So there was slavery.  And the Ruling Class of the Deep South gave themselves extra political clout in the new federal government.  Thanks to the Three-Fifths Compromise.  The minority planter elite were able to inflate their numbers by counting 3/5 of each slave.  Thus inflating their numbers in the House of Representatives.

So for the first 50 years or so of the new nation the new federal government spoke with a decidedly southern accent.  And often dictated policy in the new nation.  And for those 50 or so years the Deep South was happy to be part of the union.  Because they sort of ran the show.  Then all that immigration into the north started to change the balance of power in the House of Representatives.  Which left the presidency (where they did whatever they could to make sure the president would be sympathetic to southern views and willing to compromise to save the union).  And the Senate.  And to maintain power in the Senate they had to hold on to slavery. 

The Planter Elite used Slavery to Concentrate Wealth and Power in their Hands

The Ruling Class, the Planter Elite (approximately 5% of the Southern population), used slavery to concentrate wealth and power in their hands.  It was truly an old-school aristocracy in the Deep South.  The ‘landed aristocracy’ in these states owned these states.  And up to the mid 19th century they took this disproportionate power to Congress.  They advanced and blocked legislation to protect their slaveholding interests.  To maintain their minority rule.  Their power.  And their wealth.

As immigration began to tip the balance of power away from them they turned their focus to the Senate.  Each state got two senators.  Population numbers didn’t matter.  What mattered was that there wasn’t more ‘free’ states than ‘slave’ states.  And that there was no prevailing antislavery sentiment.  As there was throughout the northern states at the time.  Not only did they eschew slavery, they weren’t even returning runaway slaves to their rightful owners.  So while they could the Planter Elite would use the power of the federal government to override any state law they felt counterproductive to their interests.  And dictate policy to these recalcitrant northern states.

For you see, slavery is a lot like socialism.  It doesn’t work well when those trapped in it can escape it.  And that was a problem for the Deep South.  Their slaves were escaping to these northern states.  And these uppity northern state governments refused to return this southern ‘property’.  Not only were they taking a financial loss on these runaway slaves, but this northern sanctuary was encouraging more slaves to run away.  This would not do.  So they passed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 compelling them to return these slaves to bondage.  Or be fined and/or jailed.  This did not go over well in the North.  And it placed the country on the road to civil war.

The Civil War was a Battle between Privileged Aristocracy and the Equality of Self-Government

All during the run up to the Civil War, the Ruling Class, the planter elite of the Deep South, participated in the democratic process.  Because for a long time they were free to dictate a lot of U.S. policy.  From a stacked deck (thanks to the Three-Fifths Compromise).  And repeated threats of secession if they didn’t get their way.  Politicians on both sides of the slavery issue made compromise after compromise to keep the union together.  But that all changed with the election of Abraham Lincoln.  A Republican.   Which was the party taking a moral stance on the issue of slavery.  This did not bode well for the Ruling Class. 

South Carolina seceded first.  Then the rest followed.  The planter elite in these states led their states out of the union.  And into civil war.  Arguing that Lincoln’s federal government was going to infringe on their states’ rights (in particular their right to continue the institution of slavery).  They called it the War of Northern Aggression even though they fired the first shot at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.  And they told their brave soldiers to fight these Yankee invaders to protect their country (i.e., state), their families and their way of life.  And they did.  Some 300,000 dying in the process.  But not to maintain the institution of slavery.  For 95% of all Southerners didn’t own any slaves.  They fought to protect their country, their families and their way of life.  Most of which was a life of backbreaking labor on a small patch of land they called the family farm.  That was in no way threatened by the North.  But the Ruling Class lied.  To protect their interests.  Their wealth.  And sacrificed a generation of their own people.  Because to them, they were as expendable as the slaves on their plantations.  Actually, they were more expendable.  For Confederate soldiers didn’t show up on their balance sheets.  But slaves did.

The Confederate soldier fought valiantly.  But lost.  In what was a battle between the Old World.  And the New World.  Between the privilege of aristocracy.  And the equality of self-government.  Between the Ruling Class.  And ordinary Americans.  The balance of power shifted.  Away from the Deep South.  But, alas, not to the people.  Instead, to the North East.  To the Ivy League.  Where another Ruling Class would rise.  And take over the reins of government.  Keeping class warfare alive and well in the United States.

Tea Party Republicans are Decidedly Anti-Ruling Class

The players may change but the Ruling Class lives on.  Those who feel entitled to an elevated position because of their birthright.  Or wealth.  Most often both.  Which is what you need to get into the Ivy League.  And you have to think correctly.  Which isn’t too much of a problem for they make sure you do so in their curriculum.  Which is heavy on liberal progressivism.  And light on staying out of other people’s business.

Case in point, Obamacare.  Universal health care.  The holy grail of liberalism.  The people didn’t want it.  Based on the polling.  And the town hall meetings.  They didn’t want the government intruding into their health care.  But they had both houses of Congress.  So they could do just about anything they wanted.  Dictate policy.  And sneak things through in the dead of night.  Which they did to make Obamacare law.  Strictly along pure partisan party lines.  Some of their members paid the ultimate price and lost in the following election.  But they take care of their own.  The Ruling Class.  Though out of office, they’re never out of power.

That is until a bunch of uppity freshmen Republicans descended on Congress.  Tea Party Republicans we call them.  And decidedly anti-Ruling Class.  And they’ve become a problem.  For they won’t accept the established order.  They can’t be bought.  And they don’t care if they get reelected.  The boobs.  All they care about is keeping their campaign promises.  Which is anathema to the Ruling Class.

And soon the shoe was on the other foot.  The Ruling Class lost the House in the 2010 midterm election.  And had to deal with obstructionism.  And by obstructionism I mean responsible governing.  Per the will of the people.  From that contemptible Tea Party.  For they are interfering with the natural order of things.  That is, letting liberals do whatever they want.  So now the liberals cry foul.  And demand bipartisan compromise.  Until they can dictate policy again.  They way it should be.  According to the Ruling Class.

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