Free Market Capitalism is the Best Way to keep Workers from Bathing in the Milk we Buy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 29th, 2014

Week in Review

Competition makes everything better.  If there was only one restaurant in town they could serve pretty bad food.  Because if the people don’t have time to cook for themselves where else are they going to go?  This restaurant could use ingredients past their ‘use by’ dates.  Meats discounted by stores because they passed their shelf life date.  They could use canned goods they heat up in a microwave.  Using the cheapest ingredients that can be cooked the least amount of time by the fewest people.  To keep costs down.  It can work.  Until there is competition.

If a restaurant opened next door that cooked only with fresh ingredients and did not use a microwave oven their food is going to taste a lot better.  And people will stop going to that other restaurant to enjoy the better quality next door.  This is why competition makes everything better.  Because people choose what’s best for them.  And if a business continually strives to exceed a customer’s expectations their customers will keep coming back.  If they don’t people will just take their business elsewhere.  And businesses will run tight ships.  To make sure no one brings harm to their brand.  Because if they didn’t something like this could happen (see Russian dairy plant closed after workers bathe in the milk by Sergei L. Loiko posted 3/28/2014 on the Los Angeles Times).

A Siberian dairy plant was temporarily closed Friday after its workers had been found bathing in milk, a Russian consumer oversight agency reported.

Trade House Cheeses, a dairy producer in Omsk, about 1,600 miles east of Moscow, was closed for 90 days by regional authorities for an urgent inspection after complaints resulting from photographs and a video posted by one of its employees on a Russian social network.

In the photographs and video clips posted on New Year’s Eve by worker Artyom Romanov, a group of undressed employees relax in a container of milk as part of their celebration. While still partly undressed, they then demonstrate cheese making in a clownish manner…

After the video appeared on NTV, a federal television network, many residents of Omsk refused to buy products made at the plant, an NTV report said this week…

“For five years Russia has been languishing in a so-called experiment of practically exercising no control over consumer production after a law was introduced limiting inspections of such facilities to only once every three years,” said Yanin, the board chairman of the Russian Confederation of Consumer Societies, a Moscow-based group…

The average salary of a sanitary inspector is equal to $500 a month, but instead of raising that, the government decided to try to prevent the inspectors from taking bribes by in effect seriously curbing their ability to control production norms and practices, Yanin said.

Of course, this is the wrong conclusion to draw from this. The problem isn’t lax inspections by underpaid inspectors.  The proper conclusion is in a previous paragraph.  That conclusion is why we don’t have these problems in the United States.  Or if we do they are very rare.  The same goes for other capitalistic societies based on free markets.  Unlike the communism they once had in Russia.  Or the crony capitalism they now have in Russia.  Because communism and crony capitalism are corrupt systems.  Government establishes and maintains monopolies.  Either by force under communism.  Or by bribes and kickbacks under crony capitalism.  Which, of course, eliminates competition.  And THIS is the problem here.  As the residents of Omsk identify.  Who refused to buy an inferior product.

You could get rid of all the inspectors in the United States and this problem would not be any more prevalent than it is now.  Why?  Because of competition.  Especially in the age of social media.  For business have lost sales for just appearing to think ‘incorrectly’ on social issues.  Just imagine what would happen if a video like this came from an American dairy.  The backlash would be the worst conceivable.  And this would happen before any government action.  That backlash would spread to every store throughout the nation.  Nay, to every capitalistic country based on free markets in the world where that brand sells its products.  People would pause as they reached for a product from this dairy on their supermarket shelf.  And move to the left or to the right.  And pick up a product from another dairy.

This is what keeps American dairies clean.  And every other established brand.  For with competition consumers can reach for another product on the shelf.  And once they do because they lost faith in a brand for any reason (such as cleanliness) it could take a very long time for that brand to reestablish the trust of the consumer.  Costing it billions in lost revenue.  This is why food businesses are cleaner in capitalistic countries based on free markets.  Because of competition and profit.  The two best protectors a consumer can have.

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Lee Harvey Oswald is the Godfather of Today’s American Left

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 24th, 2013

Week in Review

The assassination of JFK ruined this country.  Because it gave us LBJ and his liberal agenda (see If Kennedy lived: Imagining a different fate for JFK (and Johnson) 50 years later by Jeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps posted 11/20/2013 on Yahoo! News).

Historian Jeff Greenfield imagines how history would have changed if Lee Harvey Oswald hadn’t been successful in firing a fatal shot to Kennedy 50 years ago. It’s the latest alternative history from Greenfield in his new book, “If Kennedy Lived: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy.”

Greenfield, who re-examined the political realities that were present prior to the assassination, told “The Fine Print” he believes that Kennedy’s survival would have likely meant the demise of then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson’s political career.

“The moment John Kennedy was shot, quite literally, LIFE Magazine — a very important medium back then — was launching a huge investigation into how this public servant had accumulated a $14 million net worth, and the answer wasn’t pretty,” Greenfield said of Johnson. “It had to do with radio and TV licenses, and something close to extortion.”

The investigation was halted once Kennedy died, Greenfield said, “Because it would’ve been too much of a shock to the system.” But in Greenfield’s alternate history, the investigation grows into a scandal for Johnson, and Kennedy ultimately replaces him in his second term.

So who gained the most with JFK’s assassination?  Liberals.  For in JFK’s December 14, 1962 speech to the Economic Club of New York he sounded more like Ronald Reagan than LBJ.  Where he championed private spending, not government spending.  He favored tax cuts over tax credits to stimulate the economy.  He talked about increasing consumer spending via personal tax cuts.  And using corporate and personal tax cuts to increase investment and profits.  Yes, he talked about businesses making more profits.  So they would hire more.  Something no liberal would say.

Instead of the Ronald Reagan-like JFK we got one of the most corrupt politicians ever to become president.  LBJ.  According to LIFE Magazine.  And the greatest explosion of the welfare state since the New Deal.  The Great Society.  Turning the U.S. away from capitalism and towards European-style social democracy.

This is the great tragedy of the JFK assassination.  Thanks to that anti-capitalist, Cuba-loving, America-hating assassin who had once defected to the Soviet Union.  A nation long admired by liberals since the day of Joseph Stalin.  This is the great tragedy the leftist communist Lee Harvey Oswald gave us.  Lee Harvey Oswald gave us LBJ, the Great Society and the rise of state-capitalism in the United States.  Everything liberals want.  And conservatives eschew.  Making Lee Harvey Oswald the godfather of today’s American left.

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The IRS targeted 100% of Conservative Groups filing for Tax Exempt Status but only 30% of Progressive Groups

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 30th, 2013

Week in Review

Many were shocked that President Obama won reelection.  What with the horrible economy.  And the Benghazi scandal.  But what was even more shocking was why Mitt Romney lost.  And it wasn’t because of the Hispanic vote.  It was because conservatives sat at home on election night.  Instead of voting.  Baffling many.  Especially with the huge conservative turnout during the 2010 midterm elections.  Thanks to the Tea Party movement.  Which seemed strangely quiet during the 2012 campaign.  Now we know why they were quiet during that election.  Because the IRS was actively silencing their voice.

Whoa, whoa, said the Democrats.  Now hold on a minute.  The IRS is politically neutral.  And the fact that 95% of the policy-makers at the IRS donated to the Obama campaign doesn’t make the IRS politically biased.  Besides, progressive groups were targeted just as much as conservative groups.  So there.  Of course, the Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration begs to differ (see Treasury: IRS targeted 292 Tea Party groups, just 6 progressive groups by PAUL BEDARD posted 6/27/2013 on the Washington Examiner).

Refuting Democratic suggestions that progressive groups were also swept up in the IRS probe of the tax status of Tea Party organizations, the Treasury Department’s inspector general has revealed that just six progressive groups were targeted compared to 292 conservative groups.

In a letter to congressional Democrats, the inspector general also said that 100 percent of Tea Party groups seeking special tax status were put under IRS review, while only 30 percent of the progressive groups felt the same pressure.

The Wednesday letter to the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee punched a huge hole in Democratic claims that progressive groups were targeted as much as the Tea Party groups from May 2010-May 2012, the height of the Tea Party movement.

The letter from the Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed that there just weren’t many progressive groups who even sought special tax exempt status. A total of 20 sought it, and six were probed. All 292 Tea Party groups, meanwhile, were part of the IRS witchhunt.

Well, well, well.   The IRS influenced the 2012 election by suppressing the Tea Party’s ability to raise money to pay for political ads.  As some in the Tea Party suffered onerous IRS audits in response for their tax-exempt status request.  While others wanted to avoid an onerous IRS audit.  By keeping their name off of any Tea Party fundraiser list.  Resulting with a subdued Tea Party voice in the 2012 election.  Allowing the IRS to prevent a repeat of the 2010 midterm election.  By abusing the power of their office.  And getting the man they supported with donations 95% of the time return to office for a second term.  But the IRS isn’t politically motivated.  For they are politically neutral.

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IRS Supervisor confirms IRS Scandal was not Isolated to Rogue Agents in Cincinnati

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 22nd, 2013

Week in Review

The IRS abuse of conservatives was not politically motivated.  Because the IRS said so.  Even though the scandal was not isolated to a few rogue agents in Cincinnati.  As we have recently learned (see IRS supervisor in D.C. admits to overseeing ‘tea party’ targeting by David Sherfinski posted 6/17/2013 on The Washington Times).

An IRS supervisor working in Washington told congressional investigators that she personally reviewed applications from groups for tax-exempt status, in testimony that appears to show the agency’s scrutiny of conservative groups extended beyond the confines of the office in Cincinnati.

Holly Paz, who was a supervisor in the Internal Revenue Service’s tax-exempt status division, indicated during an interview with congressional investigators that she did review such applications, but indicated that she believed “tea party” meant political advocacy in general — not necessarily conservative groups.

Ms. Paz said she did not believe any overt political motivation was causing the delays in applications for groups from 2010 through 2012, and that she knew of liberal groups that were heavily scrutinized as well.

Really?  Funny that it appears to be only conservative groups that have come forward reporting this extensive scrutiny.  And that it was only conservatives who were muzzled during the 2012 election.  As they couldn’t collect anonymous donations like those liberal groups could.  As a list of the conservative donors somehow found there way from the IRS to liberal websites.  And the fact that 95% of the policy-makers at the IRS donated to the Obama campaign doesn’t make it political, either.  No.  There’s nothing political going on at the IRS.

So the IRS scandal goes all the way to Washington.  Will the people learn this?  Will the people even care?  Conservatives do.  But those more preoccupied with social media could care less about things not covered in the mainstream media as little more than an afterthought.  But when the networks, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert hammer away at another GOP ill-informed comment about rape?  That enters social media.  So the people know this.  And care.  Which is why they don’t seem to care about abuses against conservatives.  Because based on what they learn from watching the networks, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert they just assume they deserve it.  Because they are so intolerant.  Unlike them.  Who are so tolerant that they don’t mind the intolerance of others attacking those they don’t agree with.

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The Policy Makers at the IRS are 95% Partisan and Don’t Need Orders before Taking Partisan Actions

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 15th, 2013

Week in Review

Did the IRS follow orders to harass Tea Party groups?  Is there a smoking gun?  Probably not.  Because there doesn’t have to be.  Not when the policy makers of this ‘nonpartisan agency’ clearly think just like President Obama (see Most IRS, government lawyers donated to Obama campaign by Ashe Schow posted 6/14/2013 on The Examiner).

It is not just IRS employees who donated to President Obama in 2012, but lawyers working for the federal tax agency as well. In fact, lawyers at the IRS (and in every other government agency) overwhelmingly donated to Obama during the last election…

…the lawyers for that particular federal agency donated to Obama by an astounding 20-to-1 ratio, according to Robert Anderson, associate professor of law at Pepperdine University School of Law…

…Lawyers are relevant because they are the ones taking the lead in writing regulations, litigating cases, and making delicate legal judgment calls in borderline cases…”

Of the IRS lawyers who made contributions, a whopping 95 percent gave to Obama. And if you think that’s a high percentage, 100 percent of the lawyers at the Department of Education, the United Nations and – no surprises here – the National Labor Relations Board (you know, the pro-union agency that sued Boeing) contributed to the Obama campaign.

So there you have it.  A nonpartisan agency that clearly is partisan.  Well, at least 95% of them are partisan.  Making a smoking gun irrelevant.  For the president didn’t have to give any order for the people who support him and his policies to know what to do.  Because the president delegates authority.  Like all presidents do.  They put in people that support his vision.  And then let them do their partisan work.  And for President Obama that holds true even at the nonpartisan IRS.

There’s a piece by Herbert Meyer in The American Thinker creating a lot of buzz (see The Smoking Gun in Plain Sight by Herbert E. Meyer posted 6/3/2013 on American Thinker).  Getting a lot of traction on talk radio.  And in the conservative blogosphere.  Because it compares the IRS scandal—and President Obama—to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.  About as provocative as you can get these days.  Especially when you throw in the Holocaust.

Very few people are aware of this, but there is no document — not one — linking Adolf Hitler to the Holocaust.  Why not?  Because Hitler didn’t need to sign a document ordering the slaughter of six million Jews.  All he needed to do was to demonize his enemy in speeches at the Reichstag, on the radio, and from one end of Germany to the other — then hire thugs like Herman Goering, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Eichmann, and Josef Goebbels.  They knew what der Fuhrer wanted, and der Fuhrer knew he could trust his henchman to get the job done — no matter how, no matter what may be the law — and to not bother him with the gory details.

Reader, take a deep breath.  Nowhere in this essay will I suggest, or even imply, that President Obama plans the mass murder of his opponents the way Hitler murdered his.  That’s absurd.  I am merely pointing out that President Obama has been going about the business of demonizing his political enemies, and then hiring thugs to destroy them without regard to the law, in precisely the same way that Hitler and his fascists did it in Germany.  This isn’t an accusation; it’s an observation.

Look at the record: From the moment he took office in January 2009, President Obama has spoken before Congress, on television, and at countless rallies across the country describing his political opponents in terms we haven’t seen before in the United States.   Time and again he’s insisted that Republicans aren’t merely wrong, but evil…

His rhetoric heated up fast after the Tea Party movement gave the GOP enough oomph to win back the House of Representatives in 2010, and as the president geared up for the 2012 election.  He urged Latino voters to help him “punish our enemies and reward our friends.”  He told his supporters at one rally to think of voting for him as “an act of revenge.”

So there probably isn’t a smoking gun.  For when 95% of the policy-making people at the IRS are like-minded and in lockstep with the president they don’t need an order from the president (or from anyone in his administration) to act.  There may be someone who gave an order.  But when you’re that partisan you don’t wait for orders.  Because you want what your president wants.  And you know your president will approve of your actions.  No matter how legally questionable they may be.  As long as the president has plausible deniability.  And when you don’t sign any orders you have plausible deniability.

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President Obama praised Whistleblowers…but only in the Bush Administration

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 19th, 2013

Week in Review

President Obama said his administration would be the most transparent one.  For he has nothing to hide.  Right.  Pull the other (see Obama Has Rarely Or Never Praised Whistleblowers by Matt Sledge posted 5/18/2013 on the Huffington Post).

In more than four years of office, President Barack Obama has frequently praised the idea of whistleblowing. He even signed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act into law in 2012. But has he actually praised any whistleblowers by name..?

“Sad to say, we can’t think of a single one,” Joe Newman, director of communications for the Project on Government Oversight, said when asked if Obama had ever praised a whistleblower.

“I’m not aware of him ever praising a whistleblower, or apologizing to a whistleblower who was wrongfully prosecuted,” said Jesselyn Radack, national security and human rights director for the Government Accountability Project…

As a candidate in 2008, Obama praised instances of whistleblowing as “acts of courage and patriotism” that “should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration.” But since his election critics have repeatedly called into question his record on supporting whistleblowers, pointing to several individuals who have not only not been praised, but were prosecuted.

The whistleblower of my enemy is courageous and patriotic.  The whistleblower in my own administration is a no good dirty rat fink.  Now there is a slight difference between these two whistleblowers.  If you don’t pay attention closely you might miss it.  If the whistleblower helps President Obama then he or she is courageous and patriotic.  If the whistleblower hurts President Obama then he or she is a no good dirty rat fink.  The difference is very subtle.  But it’s there.  If you look closely enough.

This explains why it took so long for those whistleblowers to come forward on Benghazi.  Because they know what happens to no good dirty rat finks.  The people they whistle on do everything within their power to make life unpleasant for them.  Which is a strong disincentive to whistle blowing.  And to hammer that point home President Obama made it very clear how he feels about people squealing on him.  For he hasn’t praised a single whistleblower.  While prosecuting a few.  Basically warning potential whistleblowers ‘not in my administration’.

This policy on truth-tellers is telling.  For it suggests there is a lot of truth not being told.  Case in point Benghazi.  Fast and Furious.  The IRS targeting ‘enemies’ of the administration—conservatives.  And, of course, the Associated Press.  Which looked more like a fishing expedition than a targeted investigation.  It makes one wonder how much truth the Obama administration is not telling.  And why.

And the credibility gap widens.

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Green Energy Insiders pocketed most of the Stimulus Money

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 4th, 2012

Week in Review

According to the Left it’s the Republicans who enrich their friends in corporate America.  But it wasn’t the Republicans that passed a near $1 trillion stimulus bill to enrich their friends in corporate America.  No.  That was the Democrats.  And they really enriched their friends.  Their friends in green energy.  Those corporations that were supposed to create the jobs of the future.  That created no jobs (see Examiner Editorial: Insiders get rich on Obama’s green energy stimulus posted 10/31/2012 on The Examiner).

According to a Washington Examiner analysis of publicly available data, corporate insiders at the 15 publicly traded green energy companies that received federal stimulus subsidies pocketed tens of millions by selling their stock after the government’s money poured in and before their companies’ values plummeted.

The Obama administration gave more than $700 million in grants and guaranteed an additional $500 million in loans to publicly traded green energy companies through its 2009 stimulus package. If Obama had invested all that money in a Standard & Poors index fund of the top 500 publicly traded companies, his investment would have seen a 73 percent return since he took office. In contrast, the Obama “green energy” stimulus portfolio has fallen by 78 percent — performing about five points worse than green energy companies that didn’t get subsidies.

The insider trades by officers and directors of these companies tell us still more. They cashed out a net $63.9 million in stock gains before their companies’ stock prices collapsed…

This analysis does not include some of the best-known Obama energy failures. Solyndra, for example, blew through more than $500 million in taxpayer-guaranteed loans before it could even go public. Another high-profile failure, First Solar, is not included because it sold off much of its $3 billion in federal loan guarantees to third parties before it laid off 30 percent of its workforce and its stock price declined by more than 90 percent from its 2011 high. The company’s head, Michael Ahearn, has extracted more than $329 million in stock sales since 2009 all by himself.

The problem with green energy is that it’s not economically viable.  Few investors put their money in these ventures because investors are smart and know how to invest money wisely.  Which is why the government is pouring money into these companies.  Because no one else will.  For these are not wise investments.

So where’s the outrage?  The stimulus bill was greater than the money spent under TARP.  The program to bail out all those troubled assets.  Those toxic mortgages.  That infuriated the masses so much they showed up outside some bankers’ homes with pitchforks and torches.  Spawning the Occupy Wall Street movement.  And the whole 99% against the 1%.  But these green energy scandals?  You can almost hear the crickets chirping as you read about them in the few papers that write about them.  Why?

That’s a rhetorical question.  We all know why.  Except for a very few exceptions the media is liberal.  And will actively support Democrats.  And attack Republicans.  That’s why a larger financial scandal gets less coverage than a smaller one.  And the smaller one only got that coverage because in that coverage they failed to tell the whole story.  It wasn’t the bankers that forced these borrowers into subprime mortgages.  It was the government who forced the bankers to approve the unqualified for mortgages or else.  Basically saying their lending practices were discriminatory and that if they didn’t change they would find themselves out of the mortgage business.  So how do you qualify the unqualified for mortgages?  With subprime lending.  Which they did.  And kept doing after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought those toxic mortgages from them and unloaded them on unsuspecting investors.  Which is the part they don’t tell the people with the pitchforks and torches.  That it wasn’t the bankers who were responsible for the subprime mortgage crisis.  It was the government.

And this is why the media doesn’t care about the green energy scandals.  They can’t revise the facts to blame them on the Republicans.  So they just ignore them.

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Democrat Political Cronies profit well from Energy Department Loan Guarantees and Stimulus Spending

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 29th, 2012

Week in Review

Thomas Jefferson did not want the federal government to have money.  This is where he parted ways with Alexander Hamilton.   Hamilton wanted to give the federal government money to spend to jumpstart American industry.  To make it an empire to rival the British Empire.  But Jefferson looked at world history and saw nothing but examples of corruption whenever money and government intertwined.  This is one reason why Washington D.C. is where it is.  Because the big financiers were in New York City.  Which in those days was on the other side of the world from Washington D.C.  Something he hoped would keep money out of the hands of the federal government.  For awhile at least.

Fast forward to today.  Where we have a bloated federal government the size of which would have sickened Jefferson.  And seeing the amount of money it spent would have killed him.  The Department of Energy guaranteeing loans?  And a trillion dollar stimulus bill?  Had he lived he would have suspected some heinous Hamiltonian plot.  For neither would have happened in a Jefferson presidency.  For he knew it would only lead to corruption.  Like it has (see Solyndra, Cronyism, and Double-Dipping on the Taxpayers’ Dime by Nancy Pfotenhauer posted 7/23/2012 on U.S. News & World Report).

Solyndra became the poster child of spectacularly poor political and policy judgment when it filed for bankruptcy, laid off a thousand employees, and left taxpayers holding the bag on $535 million in loan guarantees. In testimony Thursday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the other shoe dropped. Apparently, many of the companies that received loans under the auspices of the same infamous program were well-established entities that essentially double-dipped to grab as many taxpayer dollars as possible…

According to Mercatus scholar Veronique de Rugy’s testimony, approximately 90 percent of the [Department of Energy’s Section] 1705 program loans went to subsidize power plants often backed by big companies with extensive resources…

Now comes the double dip: Companies such as NRG Energy Inc.—closely linked to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid—not only received $3.8 billion 1705 loans (almost a quarter of the total), but three subentities of the same company received a total of at least 39 grants under the stimulus law…

While happily House Republicans are moving to end the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program, the Export-Import Bank, reauthorized in May in a rush of bipartisan irresponsibility, was part of the double-dipping in a particularly distressing manner.  According to de Rugy, First Solar raked in $646 million in 1705 loan guarantees through partner Exelon and landed another $547.7 million of the same from the Ex-IM bank…

…Some of the Ex-Im money went to a Canadian company named St. Clair Solar, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Solar. St. Clair Solar received a total of $192.9 million broken into two loans to buy solar panels from First Solar. In other words, the company received a loan to buy solar panels from itself.  (emphasis added)

Loaning money to a company so it can buy from itself?  That just isn’t right.  And $3.8 billion going to a crony of Majority Leader Harry Reid?  No wonder the Democrats are all for green energy initiatives and stimulus spending.  They get to take care of their friends.  Get some of that money in return.  And live very well courtesy of the taxpayers who they are stealing from.  Of course they will deny this.  Saying people (i.e., rich people like them) will eventually spend this money in the economy.  That when they and their friends buy expensive cars, private planes, large houses, expensive wines, vacation junkets, etc., they are creating jobs in the economy.  Generating economic activity.  Which is what a stimulus is supposed to do.  And they will say this with righteous indignation.  But what they won’t say is how much middle class economic activity their high taxes kill in the private sector.  And how much their deficit spending adds to the national debt.  Which has already lowered America’s debt rating once.  Which is just a sign of the devastation their reckless spending will cause us.  And our children.

We should follow Jefferson’s advice.  And limit the amount of money government can spend.  Defense spending?  Yes.  Intervening into the private economy?  No.  Because loan guarantees and stimulus spending don’t help anyone but those spending the money.  Our politicians.  And their cronies.  For Jefferson was right.  Nothing but corruption comes from intertwining money and government.

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Study finds that the Liberal Policies Like that Favored by President Obama make People Unhappy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 8th, 2012

Week in Review

Money can’t buy happiness.  A new study proves it.  For it’s not buying the richest country in the world happiness.  So there is something else apparently that leads to a people’s happiness (see Canada among the happiest countries in the world by Tavia Grant posted 4/2/2012 on The Globe and Mail).

It finds the world has, broadly speaking, become a “little happier” in the past three decades, as living standards have risen. (One exception is the United States, where life satisfaction has not improved).

Interesting.  Life satisfaction in America hasn’t improved.  I wonder why.  And what are the things that make people more satisfied in life.  Here are some of those things according to this study.

•Happier countries tend to be richer ones. But more important for happiness than income are social factors like the strength of social support, the absence of corruption and the degree of personal freedom.

•Unemployment causes as much unhappiness as bereavement or separation. At work, job security and good relationships do more for job satisfaction than high pay and convenient hours.

•Behaving well makes people happier.

•Mental health is the biggest single factor affecting happiness in any country. Yet only a quarter of mentally ill people get treatment for their condition in advanced countries and fewer still in poorer countries.

•Stable family life and enduring marriages are important for the happiness of parents and children.

•In advanced countries, women are happier than men, while the position in poorer countries is mixed.

•Happiness is lowest in middle age.

Liberal Democrats are all for bigger government.  Continuously raising taxes to pay for it.  The federal budget has exploded as a result.  As has the debt.  For despite the vast wealth they’re taxing out of the private sector it isn’t enough.  And as it is anywhere where people manage large piles of money there is corruption.  The bigger the pile the bigger the corruption.  And so it is with government.  Just look at the billions thrown away on pork barrel spending on worthless projects like the Murtha Airport.  This kind of out of control corrupt pork barrel spending makes people unhappy.  Apparently they would be happier with a government that lives responsibly within their means like they have to.  At least, according to this study.

High taxes and onerous regulatory compliance costs are squeezing small business.  Millionaire entrepreneurs of yesteryear say they couldn’t do what they did today.  The explosion in new regulatory law just squashes innovation.  It’s simply too costly and too complicated to go into business.  There are so many laws that it impossible to know them all.  Unless you’re a lawyer.  And lawyers are about the only ones who understand these laws.  Or, at least, understand them enough.  So they can sue any business for violating some obscure law the business owner is unaware of.  And they do this all the time.  It’s legal extortion.  For business owners find it cheaper to settle out of court just to make the lawyers go away.  As a result this active interventionist government pushed by liberal Democrats is a drag on job creation.  Whose answer is more benefits for the unemployed rather than helping the job creators.  This tenuous job environment makes workers feel less secure in their own jobs.  And less happy.  According to this study.

Liberals attack religion and their moralizing.  They attack conservatives and their moralizing.  Liberals instead prefer fewer restraints placed on life.  For who is to say what is right and wrong?  So they favor relaxed drug laws.  Free contraceptives.  Abortion on demand.  And as much consequence-free fun as they can have.  In public places.  And in quiet neighborhoods.  Where property damage is just kids blowing off a little steam.  I mean, who hasn’t done a donut on a neighbor’s lawn because they told them to be quiet at 2 in the morning?  Well it turns out people prefer having quiet church-going people for neighbors.  Who treat people with respect and behave well when in public.  These are the people that make other people happy.  According to this study, at least.

LBJ was a big liberal Democrat.  His Great Society was a bonanza of welfare benefits for the poor.  Especially for single mothers.  The government said to these single moms, “Look, you don’t need a husband in your life.  We will provide for you and your children.  We’ll even provide public housing for you to live in.  So you don’t need a husband.  And your children don’t need a father.  We can be all of that for you.”  Well, the worse place to live was in public housing during the Seventies.  Where crime and drugs use was rampant.  With no stable family structure kids of single parents turned to the street.  And crime.  Taking that behavior into their schools.  Spreading the trouble.  Having the government take over the role of family was like introducing a cancer into a healthy being.  And it spreads still to this day.  The idea that family isn’t important.  And that government can provide.  But more government has only made people less happy.  At least, according to this study.

The policies of liberal Democrats encourage irresponsible behavior.  Consequence-free fun.  They’ve attacked religion and tried to remove it from everyday life.  To the point that people today have very little if any moral compass.  Young women have babies out of wedlock.  Some of these mothers sacrifice everything in a herculean struggle to raise their children.  Working and sacrificing everything for their children.  Even a happy family life with a husband and father that would have made children rearing easier.  Some single mothers are superheroes.  Some are not.  And neither as are happy as a family with two parents providing for and nurturing their children.  And having time to spend with them in their childhood because they’re not working a second or third job.

So this is why America has not improved in the area of life satisfaction.  Because of the extraordinary growth of liberal Democrat policies.  The very things that lead people to be less happy.  At least, according to this new study.

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Three Members of the EBT Card Commission going Rogue, Try to Ban EBT Card use for Strip Clubs, Booze, Cigarettes and Scratch Tickets

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 7th, 2012

Week in Review

When it comes to battles between conservatives and liberals the battle lines they draw often concern welfare benefits.  The conservatives want to take away milk for children while liberals want to make sure welfare recipients still have their dignity.  And can enjoy strip clubs, booze, cigarettes and scratch tickets (see Pundit: EBT card overhaul puts Hill bigs ‘in the hot seat’ by Chris Cassidy posted 4/5/2012 on the Boston Herald).

Outraged lawmakers trying to prevent taxpayer-funded EBT card abuse are putting the political screws on House and Senate leaders, who will face election-year pressure to place real reforms on the floor for an up-or-down vote, a GOP pundit told the Herald…

Three members of the state’s EBT Card Commission, formed to clean up the program, yesterday announced details of a bill to crack down on abuses, after last week slamming the commission’s failure to come down hard enough.  The rogue group’s bill would ban the use of EBT cards at such places as strip clubs, rent-a-centers, gyms and gun shops; banning card use outside New England states; and restrict how much cash can be drawn. The reform efforts followed Herald reports of welfare recipients spending benefits on booze, cigarettes and scratch tickets.

This is politics.  And, sadly, politics as usual.  Buying votes versus responsible governing.  For both conservatives and liberals know of these welfare abuses.  The difference is that conservatives want to reform the system to stop the abuses.  And liberals want to allow the abuses for the votes these abuses buy.  For they need those votes as few people will vote to raise their taxes to pay for poorly run welfare programs.  But if you’re the recipient of those welfare programs, well then, that’s a different story.  Your votes are for sale.  Which is why liberals fight to make sure welfare recipients can enjoy strip clubs, booze, cigarettes and scratch tickets.  As long as these people remember who it was that allowed them to enjoy these things in the election booth.

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