Archive for the ‘Welfare State’ Category

Countering the Counter-Revolution: It’s Not the Dress

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Brutal Frankness

The progressives never declared a counter-revolution.  Instead, they merely attacked and conspired to undermine our nation until all that now remains of constitutional republicanism is a facade made up of our constitution and our alleged devotion to it.  For the twenty-five percent of the population that knows what has been done, it is difficult to convey to the roughly fifty percent of their disengaged countrymen who do not see it and who may welcome some parts of the counter-revolutionaries’ progressive reforms, not understanding the relationship of specific measures to the cabal against the whole.  If we intend to turn the tide against the counter-revolutionaries, we must explain their purpose and their true identity, but also ours.  Many formerly-disengaged Americans have begun to realize the nation is leaning only now toward collapse finally under the weight of the statists’ agenda.  Their quiet coup against our constitutional republic has been under way for more than one-hundred years, but to rescue our nation, we will be compelled to expose them along with their collaborators.  While there may be differences among us, we must unite in commitment to the proposition that to restore our dying, fading republic, the blunt facts and deferred truths must finally be told.

The constitutional republic we inherited had fallen into disrepair.  Too many years of bending to pragmatic surrenders of liberty had already taken their toll.  Too many shoddy reinterpretations of the definitions of words on which it relies had been at first permitted and then accepted.  Simple concepts all too common to our republic’s framers have been sullied, misrepresented, and discarded as antique, obsolete, or primitive.  One might wonder how successive generations of Americans had allowed this to happen, but the answer is ever the same: We and our forbears who ought to have risen against it were often beguiled into acceptance or even into open support because of political calculations about the practical nature of the issues.  For eighty years, we have accepted the lie that Roosevelt had saved the country, when we know he helped only to finally wreck it.  For a century, we have accepted the premise of Wilson that America should make the world safe for democracy.  For all of my life, we have permitted the statists to continue a lie of gargantuan proportions about the efficacy of the welfare state for fear of being labeled as compassion-less.

We must become truth-tellers about all of it. We must dare even to tell the truth about the parts of it in which we may have participated.  We must tell this truth to the young, because they ought to know it from us.  It starts with a single confession:  There exists no cause that will not precipitate an effect; there are no causeless effects.  This simple truth applies to everything we understand about our world, but most particularly in this context to every human endeavor.  Money does not fall as pennies from Heaven, and there is no free lunch.  For every thing some person consumes, somewhere, in some fashion, payment will be made.  The plotters and the schemers of the statist counter-revolution know this, but it has been their desire to disguise it, and too often, we have permitted them to propagate outright lies about it, or to reduce it to an emotional artifice upon which facts have no bearing or relevance.

I am reminded of an old joke about a wife trying on new dress.  Asking her husband plaintively, she already has an answer in mind when she queries: “Does this dress make me look fat?”  It is assumed in our culture that the man must answer in a particular fashion to soothe the vanity of his wife irrespective of reality by answering in the negative, but if true, what an honest husband must answer is: “No. It’s not the dress that makes you look fat.”  It is this second clause of the answer, the one that defines the real problem, that we have abandoned as a culture.  It is this second form, telling the whole truth, that we have permitted ourselves for the sake of immediate comfort to abandon.  While doing so may be a suitable approach to marital relations in the estimations of many, such a fraud will not permit a country to live and thrive.  What we have adopted is the cultural form of the expected answer for which the wife in this old joke had been hoping to soothe her vanity.  This then must be the form of our answer in full, but applied to our cultural and political context: “It’s not the dress that makes you look fat. It’s the fat that makes you look fat.”

That sort of brutal honesty is a thing most are not now willing to adopt for themselves, never mind to profess it publicly.  This basic shading of the truth by redirecting the question of effect to unrelated causes is the heart of our collapse.  The statists rely upon it in so many issues and policies that I doubt I could name them all. It’s not a lack of contraception that makes women pregnant.  It’s not the lack of a job that makes a person unemployable.  It’s not a lack of any particular material thing that makes a person poor.  It’s not a lack of money that makes a bank robber. It’s not the widespread availability of axes that makes axe-murderers possible.  It’s not a lack of social programs that makes persons income-insecure in their old age, disability, youth, or at any other point in their lives.  All of these are artifices, and all are contrived to permit us to avoid the unpleasant necessity of relating cause to effect.

Whatever we do, if we are to have any hope of reversing our decline, we must be truthful about its cause.  When the professional protesters of statists’ instigation arrive to demand this thing or that thing, all assumed to alleviate their current state of discomfort, we are right to reject their bankrupt appeals, but more, to state flatly our judgments of the proximal cause of their “plights.”  We must also state these truths about ourselves.  We will not capture any solid proportion of the youth if we hide from the facts behind platitudes or pragmatic politics.  The young people in this country are being sacrificed, and we are permitting it. We are.  We’re permitting is because we don’t believe they’re worth the effort, and because we are consumed with hanging onto so much as remains of our own ambitions, goals, and long-range prosperity.

Our founders risked everything to carry out a revolution against that era’s preeminent manifestation of the state.  They did not hide behind platitudes.  They did not construct flimsy artifices and swallow them whole.  They dared to name the truth of the matters at hand, and they did so knowing they might not survive to bear their revolution’s fruits.  What truths will we risk?  When we bounce our grandchildren upon our knees, taking delight in their precious smiles, at what point will we consider them old enough to know the truth about the world we are bequeathing to them?   When our children near adulthood, will we have armed them with the facts, or will we permit them to struggle against or for the wrong cause, having unlinked the true cause of the effects they must now suffer?  It is our silence that will kill them.  It is the collection of artifices we have accepted that will annihilate their futures.  Dare to look them in the eyes and tell them all the excuses, and that it hadn’t been your fault.  After all, you didn’t choose this. You didn’t consent to this.

That shame we feel at having let this befall them must be given a voice.  Since there are none but us to find it, we must gather our courage to say it.  The statists did not alone impose this upon us.  They had collaborators.  Until we are willing to name them by confession, our silence is purchased and we are the root of the problem.  Even now the Republicans who had opposed Obama-care with varying levels of ferocity only now to accept its miserable implementation as grudging convicts accepting the lashes for a secret guilt.  Our progeny may now become slaves to our guilt, because for the sake of what we hope to scrounge in a dimming future, we won’t tell them the truth lest they discover our complicity.  This conversion to rampant statism could not happen without our participation, or at least our silent assent.  The establishment Republicans in Washington and elsewhere are those who had known better but said nothing out of fear that upsetting their apple-cart would cost them, too.  We are the people who had accepted this as “leadership,” and who took a few of their crumbs offered as bribes for our silence.

Time is running short for this fading republic, and if we are to make a true effort for restoring her, we must state our case, including the confessions of every deceit we’ve accepted.  It is not as though we hadn’t known.  When we accepted the income tax, we knew where that would lead.  When we accepted debt as money, we could not have believed it would be a solid foundation.  When we accepted the programs with their ever-increasing eligibility, we must have known what it would birth.  When we decided that we could “have it all” without the corresponding effort required to truly have it, we knew we were short-cutting.  Let us then embark if we will upon a single premise that we often mouth without commitment to its meaning: “Freedom isn’t free.”  It is now time that we clean our messes and bear its costs.  If vanity leads the wife to ask a question for which she wants only a dishonest answer, what character defect in the husband permits him to satisfy the request?  This is the central question that lies at the heart of our national morass, and until we answer it truthfully, there can be no restoration.  We cannot hope to stave off the counter-revolutionaries by soothing their egos, and in so doing, satisfying a few of our own indulgences. The time for truth is now.

It’s not liberty that makes socialism unworkable…

Change: We “Need” – Governed By Necessity

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Do Needs Trump Rights?

One of the most abused and over-used words in the English language is “need.” In all its forms, including “necessity” and “necessary,” there lurks a cruel despot willing to plunder, murder, and enslave any person at any time for almost any imaginable reason. “Need” in all its forms has been the excuse of tyrants throughout history.  It is used to seize those things that the needy want or wish, but cannot or will not themselves provide.  Once America accepted the cult of “need” as a driving rationale for government, it was inevitable that we would see the demise of our nation.  Now we have a President who has elevated the claim of “need” to supersede the assertion of rights.  Ours has become a nation of needs. Let me be clear to all those who use “need” as a bludgeon against your fellow man: You’re monsters, and your self-serving claims of “necessity” will not be forgotten, or forgiven.  “Need” is not a legitimate claim to anything, and until Americans understand this, there will be no chance to restore ours to a nation of rights.

I “need” a million dollars, or so I might claim. You might ask me for what purpose, but if I can’t tell you, or if the purpose is unsatisfactory in your estimation, it won’t matter at all so long as I can get some body of politicians to agree.  The framers of the constitution left in a number of loopholes through which despotism could slither, gaining direct access to our liberties in order to strangle them, one by one.  Your property?  It’s not yours if the government or some favored concern decides it “needs” your land, your chattel, or your money.  The political process now exists solely to rationalize and legitimize some person’s concept of “need” so that once codified in the laws of the land, it will become an unchallenged, irreversible claim for all times upon all persons residing within the nation.

One might claim a “need to eat.”  Everybody needs to eat, right?  Nevertheless, my “need to eat” doesn’t entitle me to walk next door to my neighbor and threaten him with bodily violence unless he feeds me.  His right to his property trumps my alleged need. It doesn’t matter whether I’m a starving bag of bones or a gargantuan tub of lard.  In any civilized society, where the rights of property are observed, a person making such a claim at gunpoint would be considered a criminal and prosecuted as such.  Why then do we permit a third party that profits from the robbery to carry it out without respect to property rights?  The government takes from your wallet, and places it in the empty wallets of others while taking a cut for its administrative troubles, all based on the generalized claim of need: “Everybody needs to eat.”

One might claim a “need to medical care.”  Here, the robbery goes farther and deeper, because the monetary costs of this “need” are not the only thing being redistributed.  Doctors and nurses have their pay capped under such a paradigm because the government claims the bargaining power of aggregated millions.  It can set the price for medical services at any level it likes, and the only choice those who are professionals in the field may do is to simply refuse to participate.  Worse, because government sits atop the heap in judgment of who is most needy or most “deserving” of the redistributed loot, government becomes the arbiter of who will live or die.  Death panels are not imaginary, but are instead a fact of life in a system that is permitted to pay for necessities while determining what those necessities may be.

Let me be perfectly blunt in explaining my position: Your need for a thing, whether goods or services, is not a legitimate claim upon my wallet.  Redirecting your need through a third party charged with meeting your needs at the expense of my bank account is no less evil.  One can claim anything as a need, but spreading the burden of such needs around doesn’t diminish the moral failure, but as Rand famously wrote, merely “multiplies the number of victims.” Rather than taking your whole monthly grocery bill from a single neighbor, you take some tiny fraction of a penny from millions of neighbors, with government at the enforcement arm of your protection racket.  Every person compelled by law to pay for your meal, your education, your medical care, your housing, your “Obama-phone,” or your utilities is right to view you and every person like you as a collection of mobsters, while seeing  government as the enforcers of a vast organized-crime syndicate made up of thugs.

Naturally, the concept of “need” isn’t restricted to individuals or classes of individuals. In 2008, when George W. Bush began the bail-outs that Barack Obama finished, it was all on the basis of a claim to need by vast corporate entities that had become “too big [to permit] to fail.” When Obama bailed out Chrysler and GM, again the claim was that the “need” had been great, and that we would trump the rights of millions of Americans to their wealth for the sake of a “need” by large corporations and trade unions.  The claim of necessity has ever been the tool of thugs and tyrants, and it has always served their interests first, and foremost.  At each instance, the claim of a critical need has been the driving force behind the actions, but it seems too few are willing to demand in response: “Need? By what right?”

It is easy to claim a need. Every person “needs” something.  The question must be: “By what right does one’s need confer a positive obligation upon others to fulfill it?” Unless and until the American people come to see “needs” as “high priority wishes,” the country will continue the moral cannibalism we now practice until such time as it devolves into the literal form.  This will require Americans to ask themselves some extremely consequential and deeply introspective questions about their own behaviors, and if there’s one thing our nation lacks, it is the will among its citizens to strictly critique themselves.  As Americans, our response to any claim of “need” by any person great or small should be met with a question: “By what right do you impose your needs as a claim upon others?”

Ours can be a nation of needs or rights, but it may not long suffer while attempting to be both.

Another Bite at the Apple: The Desperate Need for Welfare Reform

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Insensitive?

In the immediate aftermath of the election, I suggested to readers that the key driver in Barack Obama’s re-election was one particular sub-group of the electorate in which Romney got creamed.  I pointed to single mothers as the key group that killed any chance of a Romney victory, and the reason I suggested was simple enough to understand: “Free stuff.”  In short, this particular segment of the populace views big government as a “sugar daddy,” and by extension, it’s chief advocate, Barack Obama was the chief beneficiary of this view.  I had known that the number of programs and benefits available to women who fit that description was quite amazing, but I had no idea the extent to which this is true. The simple truth of the matter is that unless and until conservatives devise a method by which to change this formula, they are going to lose national elections.  The problem they will face in so doing is the screed of the left about a “war on women,” but apart from weak-kneed leadership, afraid of such attacks, if something doesn’t change, the country is already lost.

The following image is a chart put together by James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute, and it demonstrates how a single mother is subsidized by the state, or how Eve, once tempted from her pedestal, became a ward of the state:

The first thing that should strike you is that a single mother of two earning only $29K is subsidized to the extent that she has the same effective lifestyle as a similar woman, unsubsidized, earning $69K, because net, the two have around $57K in income and benefits.  Effectively doubling her meager gross by virtue of the welfare state’s programs, the woman earning $29K is in pretty good shape.  People have lamented to me over the years about people who use foodstamps, but who also load their groceries into awfully nice cars, and the question had been: How can this be? Here’s part of the answer, inasmuch as relieved of the costs of food, medical care, and a tax burden, among other welfare-state benefits, what income is present is freed-up for the purchase of that nicer car.  It’s no wonder she has an iPhone 5, because under this construct, she can afford it, since taxpayers are subsidizing to some degree virtually everything else.

Leftists and those of the moderate middle wonder why we conservatives claim that such programs are a disincentive to work, but the facts make it clear.  What is the point in bettering oneself if it actually can be a detriment to income, as the chart above makes perfectly clear.  At certain thresholds, by earning the next marginal amount, benefits available drop off to the extent that it’s punitive to earn more.  This explains well why in certain lines of work, we have the phenomenon of women roughly matching the description, who quit or get themselves fired once they’ve been there a certain period of time, and it’s because they need to keep earning, but they also need to prevent themselves from crossing these thresholds, or “welfare cliffs.”

The challenge to conservatives is to reverse this without being accused of waging a “war on women.”  The first thing we need to admit is that such a situation is a travesty, both to the women trapped by this process, and to those who are working outside the blanket of this lavish welfare state.  It should never be the case that our people are faced with the choice of placing reason in adversity to morality.  Let me try to explain it this way: If you’re that woman earning $29K, you’d be nuts to earn enough money to push you over the cliff.  It would diminish and damage your lifestyle, and the lives of your children.  At the same time, you would [hopefully] know that to continue to languish on these programs is wrong, but when you look around, you notice everybody around you is doing it, so how wrong can it really be?

This dichotomy is the difficulty we face.  We have provided this system, and it is entirely socialistic.  Viewed from a big-picture perspective, it’s constructed precisely to create a very socialistic outcome: The net wages and benefits are flat from wage or salary levels of $29K to nearly $70K. The woman who earns $29K is the economic equal of the woman who grosses $40K more.  This is an astonishing revelation to many people, who had no idea how thoroughly perverse with socialism this system had really become.  Is there any wonder that welfare-to-work initiatives have failed in recent years, to the largest extent?  Is there any wonder that job training programs seem to have been largely fruitless?

It’s easy enough to identify the problem once you have the facts before you, but then the question becomes: Whatever shall we do about it?  If Congress simply slashes these benefits, they fear they won’t be re-elected, but if they don’t do something soon, they won’t be re-elected anyway because this will have become the daily reality for far too many people to ever reverse it.  The problem is that if we don’t reverse it, it’s going to bankrupt us, and that day is coming all too soon. All of this subsidization is being accomplished with borrowed money, and it simply is not sustainable.  It’s always difficult to convince people that their best long-run interests are better served by giving up a little in the shorter run, and the evidence is quite obvious when one examines how few people ever put money away for retirement or savings in any form. Part of the reason they’re unable is because the money they’re earning today is being taxed to subsidize others, so that the total effect of this problem is much worse and much more widespread than the superficial conclusions one might draw.

We need a real, thorough examination of our welfare state, but under the current administration, we’ll be lucky if we can merely restrict its growth.  This administration knows where its bread is buttered, and it’s not going to yield any ground on this without a brutal fight.  The truth may be that this has already doomed us to a financial and monetary collapse of epic proportions.   When that happens, it won’t matter any longer because this will come to a screeching halt, and both the single mothers in this scenario will pay a terrible price along with every other American.  The left has worked very hard to dissociate any stigma previously attached to such subsidies, so we’re going to need to make more than a financial argument, because this is a problem in largest measure of desperate moral concern.  We need adults in the room, but right now, Congress is acting as the elves in Obama’s portrayal of Santa Claus, and the states have become the sleigh, Rudolph, and his eight four-legged friends. It must stop, but in truth, one way or the other, it will stop.  The question is whether it stops in a sudden crash, or instead because we decide wisely to apply the brakes. The choice is still yours.

For now.

The One Failed War Leftists Won’t Quit

Friday, November 16th, 2012

War Without End

I was born in the 1960s, just as Congress and Lyndon Johnson launched a new war.  The war raged on, and the amount of money spent was unprecedented. Never before had so much money been thrown at a war, but the enemy refused to relent.  Money bled out of our treasury, and the futures of so many young Americans were wrecked.  The cost to the nation was measured in its tragic affects on our culture, as well as our financial standing, and since that war commenced, America has never been the same.  In most cases, the left can’t wait to shut down a failed war once it’s taken up by Republican Presidents, but this war was different.  This was a war they would continue to wage, despite all of the evidence that they were making no ground against an intransigent and intractable enemy. Failure didn’t matter.  Nothing mattered.  Infiltrations?  No matter.  Destroyed morale?  Just another burden to be borne by the American people.  Ladies and gentlemen, no war in history has cost so much or produced so little as the war commenced in earnest by President Johnson, and yet no war in American history has seen such a commitment of resources.  Naturally, I speak not of Vietnam that ended in the 1975, but instead of the counterproductive “war on poverty” that continues to this day, with no hint of success in sight.

In the five decades of the declared “War on Poverty,” there hasn’t been a President who hasn’t spurred it along, and there hasn’t been a Congress that did not act to expand it.  We have spent money in the range of some $15-20 Trillion on the various means-tested entitlement and welfare programs over that period.  It’s fair to say the number is at least on par with our current national debt, and yet for all the screaming by Democrats over the cost of the war in Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan, neither approach the colossal sum poured into the welfare systems and programs of this nation.  In fact, you can combine the total of defense and war spending over that same period and not arrive at an equal sum.  My question for Democrats, as well as for “compassionate conservatives” is simply this:  When do you admit that this war had been a complete and utter failure, more fruitless than any you’ve enlisted our country to fight?

At this late date, we have more people in poverty, and enrolled in these poverty programs than ever before.  If the purpose of these programs had been to give people a “hand up,” how long ago should we have expected them to take it?  One in six Americans is receiving food-stamps.  One in six!  One in seven is enrolled in Medicaid.  More than half the nation’s children receive free or reduced-price lunches and breakfasts at school, all funded by federal dollars.  The number of people living in government-furnished or government-financed housing is outrageous.  If the United States had been involved in a war stretching across the span of a half-century, yielding no improvement in the state of our security, the leftists in this nation would be terminally apoplectic.  We can’t so much as deploy troops to battle terrorists without the left losing its collective hive-mind.

If one were to view warfare as an investment in the future of a county, one could justify the first Gulf War on the basis that it at least restored the free flow of oil at market prices that permitted the nation to enjoy most of a decade of relative prosperity.  If you evaluate the so-called “War on Poverty” by the same criteria, a serious economist would note that it had only made the nation poorer.  In real terms, we have more people in poverty, and a system that is designed to increase the number who will languish in that state.  In truth, most of the people receiving the bounty of the welfare state are living as well as people who earn 150% of the poverty level, and we now provide hand-outs of every description to so many people that they have begun to outnumber producers.

If it is the standard policy of Democrats and their cohort leftist groups to abandon a failed war, why are they not protesting on the streets?  Why are they not screaming and chanting and having die-ins on the streets, not wearing the garb of massacred civilians, as is their usual ploy, but instead wearing the clothing of all those who work for a living?  That’s who they’re killing.  The people being rewarded by this system are not the people who’ve earned it.  Instead, the people who earned the bounty that is being redistributed are being victimized by the Democrats, but also by their friends who are the self-described “compassionate conservatives” in the Republican Party.  Is their compassion with the money of others so thoroughly blinding that they are now unable to see what it is they have wrought?  Rather than elevate people from poverty, giving them the needed “hand up,” what they have accomplished is to create a permanent underclass that largely only fits that definition to the extent of their earnings, but no longer by their standard of living.

The wretched tragedy of this failed War on Poverty might be forgiven if one were to believe it had been the accidental consequence of good intentions, but it is not.  No rational person can evaluate the failed results that have characterized our national effort to reduce poverty, ten years in, twenty years in, or thirty years in, somebody ought to have recognized that this is not working.  It can’t work, in fact, but if you support programs of this sort after you’ve watched their perennial failures for the span of a half-century, one can scarcely conclude that the advocates of such a system had been motivated by benevolence.  While the “War on Poverty” has been a thorough failure, their other war has been a rousing success:  The entirety of this system is part of the extended political warfare against the American people.  The idea is to break us, and it’s working, so that at long last, they have succeeded in making us vulnerable to every conceivable threat.  If the real goal isn’t to cure poverty, but instead to impoverish the American people both in material and liberty, the war of the statists against America has been a rousing success.  We believed they were fighting a war on poverty, but the lengthening line of economic corpses tells another story. There will be no flag-dropped coffins in this war, and no one will salutes its victims, eventually to be measured in the tens or hundreds of millions in shattered dreams and wasted lives.   Too generous and trusting to perceive the objective of their attackers, most Americans didn’t understand that all along, it had been a war for poverty.

Theirs.

Establishment Pundits Miss The Point

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

There is a simple reason Mitt Romney lost:  Free stuff.  Free phones. Free contraceptives.  Free healthcare.  Free food.  Free housing. Rampant illegitimacy.  There exists a broad segment of Republican establishment punditry today arguing approximately: The Republican party failed to attract Hispanic voters, but while there may be some truth in that, only one party has perfected the act of reaching into one citizen’s pocket to deliver goodies into the hands of those who wish to be kept. That’s it.  The GOP establishment is stating that it’s about Hispanics.  It’s not.  They’re suggesting it’s about amnesty and immigration.  It’s not. It’s more about the fact that too many Americans expect to be provided every necessity of life, and so long as you will sign away your liberties, Barack Obama is only too happy to oblige.  How did we get to this point?  How did we arrive in this bastardized America?  What is the leading demographic change that has affected our fundamental make-up to the extent that Barack Obama’s giveaways are effective?  It’s certainly true that the culture has changed in fundamental ways, lending to the viability of the “free stuff” approach of Obama and Democrats, but it’s much less to do with race or ethnicity than some Republicans would have you believe. My wife called it as we watched the election returns:  It has everything to do with sex.

Once upon a time, a man smarter than me alleged that all human conflicts come down to money, power, and sex. I don’t know if that’s absolutely true, but what I do know is that 60% of children in the country are being born out of wedlock.  We don’t talk about this gloomy statistic much any more, as we’ve so thoroughly normalized the behavior that we don’t utilize the term “illegitimacy” any longer because we dare not offend any who might have contributed to the stats.  Looking at the demographic break-down of the election, what I notice is that married women broke for Romney by almost 20%.  Single women, particularly single mothers, broke for Obama in a big way.  Why?  Because, as my wife observed, he’s daddy.  That’s what it is.  That’s all it is.  For all the hype about feminism, what this election reveals is that a large segment of single women want to be taken care of, but they want the illusion of independence provided by an absence of husbands and a boat-load of freebies from government.  As my wife wryly observed as the election returns came in, many are in search of a sugar daddy to whom their faithfulness is signified only with a vote.

If single mothers/women had broken roughly on par with the general populace for Romney, he’d have won.  They were instead so thoroughly lopsided in Obama’s favor that there was no chance for Romney.  Hispanic votes wouldn’t have mattered.  The whole matter of race would have been moot.  Naturally, the GOP establishment leaps to immigration policy and other pandering measures aimed at Hispanics because amnesty is something they believe they can “give away” like free stuff.  Our problem is much more intractable than this, besides which remains the fact that Obama has beaten them to that punch. Until we come to understand how thoroughly our culture has collapsed, we’re not going to win.  Sure, we are going to win elections here and there, but the trend is wiping us out, but this entire meme about bringing in Hispanics is all about JEB and his electoral aspirations in 2016.  Period.

Our culture has changed, in part by demographic measurements, but in larger measure by the moral bearing that drives the statistics.  Young men don’t want families and responsibilities, and young women don’t want them except for transitory purposes.  Yes, that’s painting with a very broad brush, and I am well aware it’s not universally true, but I am talking about the cultural trends.  My notion here is not to blame women, lest you misunderstand.  My point is that women have become the chief source of the difference between the two sides of the electorate, because we have a welfare state that entices them with all of the benefits of marriage with none of its alleged institutional drawbacks.  There is nothing I know that can reverse this trend, and stalling tactics like giving ground on immigration will only buy a little.  The problem is that in order to fix this, it’s going to need to get ugly.  How ugly?  Pre-industrial ugly.

Conservative talk-show host and Breitbart blogging phenomenon Dana Loesch tweeted this morning, and I responded:

We cannot be Santa Claus.  We cannot be a more thorough sugar daddy than Barack Obama.  We cannot give away the country in order to rescue it.  I think the first thing we need to do is to prepare our people for the worst.  I think we need to ready our families and our neighbors for the inevitable collapse.  The Obama-voting electorate is going to discover all too soon that Santa Claus has delivered them only a lump of coal, and prohibited them from burning it for heat besides.  As I tried to explain to Loesch, it’s more than a tough fight.  It’s nearly impossible, because it’s built upon a base of people that continues to grow, while the pool of those who do the provisioning continues to shrink as a group.  It’s a cultural issue, and like most such problems, no policy can fix it.  It’s gone too far.  What will fix it will be when the inevitable collapse occurs, and the well runs dry, and as I covered when Sarah Palin wrote last year over the debt ceiling debacle, the Sugar Daddy has run out of Sugar.

Unfortunately, thanks to the Republicans led by John Boehner, the truth is that the sugar hadn’t run out.  If the Republicans were to stand a chance of defeating Obama in this election, they should have hardened up and cut off the sugar more than a year ago during that debt ceiling debacle.  Instead, they went wobbly, and as you will remember, it was in part at the insistence of Mitt Romney or his campaign staff. They didn’t want any boat-rocking. One more postponement in order to attempt victory one more time, and once again, we found it was too little, too late.  The Republican establishment set will tell us they need one more chance to try to give something away.  It’s won’t work. We can’t out-giveaway the statists.

The problem we face is one of culture.  Until we grasp the fundamentally corrupting influence of our welfare state, and the fact that our alleged compassion leads only to further depravity and destitution, we will not get the country back on track.  It may take a horrible economic collapse for that spigot to run dry, much worse than anything any of us have known in this country.  When that happens, we’ll be going back.  Way back.  The culture will ultimately correct itself, just as one empire gives way to the next when it falls into moral disrepair.  Frightening?  Yes, of course, and thoroughly so.  I don’t know how we will find any other way to convince the people that their moral choices are killing their country, until it happens. Naturally, by then, it will be far too late.  This is why I don’t want to hear from GOP establishment pundits, because they still believe there is some way to buy our way out of that.  There isn’t. We will either lead and teach, or we will be subsumed into the great cesspool of historic collapses, leaving the teaching to history. We must choose our new course, but we must not permit a lack of clarity.  We must, or we’re finished.

Obama Supporters All About the Freebies

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Obama Phone?

If you want to know the sort of America President Barack Obama is building, check out this video.  This woman appeared among a number of protesters at a Romney event outside Cleveland, Ohio, on Wednesday.  Ladies and gentlemen, viewing this video, it is hard to understand why Republicans in Congress have refused to put a stop to some of the hand-outs, and what this woman is contending is true: There are government subsidized phones, but in truth, this actually goes all the way back to Bill Clinton, and was continued under George Bush. Still, this woman believes it is an “Obama-phone” and quite obviously, it is one more reason she supports Barack Obama.  I wonder how she would feel if she were informed that this could also be called a “Bush-Phone?”

For Mitt Romney to win the presidency, this is the mindset he will need to defeat, but sadly, it’s growing and spreading like a cancer across this nation.  Can anybody defeat this? Have we passed the tipping point whereby people who share this woman’s mindset will simply vote to install one dictatorial monster after another into the White House?

Time will tell, but if you want to know how the country is being destroyed, start with this video.

Our founding fathers must be turning in their graves.

 

Staring Down the Barrel of a Gun We Loaded

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

We Loaded It...

I’ve written and re-written this piece a number of times, in part because I don’t wish to cause undo angst, but also in part because I don’t wish to cause too little.  You can blame Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Congresses past and present, or Ben Bernanke and his predecessors for all it matters, because in the context and scope of your life, it won’t make much difference.  We are headed for a complete collapse, and the collapse is no longer some vague notion in some nebulous, faraway universe of remote possibilities.  At least one analyst has concluded that by 2014, at the latest, this country is going to enter a period of economic turmoil that will make the Great Depression of the 1930s look like a garden party.  The media won’t tell you this, whether CNN or the New York Times; neither FoxNews nor the Wall Street Journal.  We are staring directly at the muzzle of a colossal gun, and it’s aimed at the heads of every American, but neither the current President nor the current Congress will tell you how bad it has become.  For two generations or more, the hand-writing has been on the wall, but unlike ordinary ink that will fade with the passage of time, this bit of script has become bolder, heavier and finally, indelible.  There will be no avoiding it.  There will be no escape.  This time, we will go down, and we may well never stage a comeback. The gun is aimed at our heads, and we loaded it.

To understand this will take a little time, although regular readers of this site will know most if not all of the gory details.  For a brief primer on what will soon confront us, please take a look at this report on Hyperinflation at John Williams’ Shadow Government Statistics website.  It’s lengthy, but it is information every American should learn and know, because while it is a bit of a reading chore, particularly for those whose eyes glaze over at the first hint of economic and financial terminology, it is nevertheless important information, and Williams does a remarkable job of not allowing the material to become overly dry. His report really doesn’t need any dressing-up or embellishment to be terrifying.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news beyond the international developments of the last few days, you will not have missed the fact that today, the US credit rating was again down-graded again by Egan Jones.  You should expect this trend to continue for some time, but this downgrade, like the last round of them a little more than one year ago, really doesn’t tell us anything we should not have known: Our currency is on the verge of collapse, and our ability to repay debt is becoming more challenged, but the fools in Washington DC don’t tell you about it because they’re afraid if you knew how bad it really is, you might react badly.  In the movies Armageddon and Deep Impact, the governments portrayed did their best to keep their respective impending disasters secret for as long as possible.  The thinking was: If it’s inevitable, such that all we can do is make things worse between now and the impact(s) by disclosing it in advance, we should say nothing until the last possible moment.  Another way of looking at this is the question I once posited:

“The government is spending like there’s no tomorrow. What if there isn’t?”

The fact is that we don’t need Hollywood or the Mayans to provide apocalyptic scenarios to fulfill this role in our immediate future.  Our Federal Reserve(hereafter, simply “the Fed”) in concert with our Federal government have created something nearly as disastrous, and potentially, every bit as deadly.  As Ben Bernanke uses his powers as Chairman of the Fed to undertake another round of quantitative easing.  As you’ll remember from previous rounds of this same tactic, this amounts to money printing, a way to inject more cash into the market in the attempt to stimulate lending and business activity.  The problem is that each time this is done, what actually happens is that the value of the dollar falls versus commodities such as oil, or other energy sources, and the cost of everything increases.  When this happens, it makes it harder for business to operate, harder for consumers to spend such cash as they may have, and otherwise has precisely the exact opposite effect, all while driving us closer to the brink.  Bernanke is trying to drive us away from a deflationary cycle that could result if the economy stalls too steeply, but the problem is that he’s going to cause what will be infinitely worse.

At the same time, our Congress and our President have added to the problem, because each time they borrow money, the Fed is printing it into existence.  In short, both our fiscal and monetary policies are rigged in favor of inflation, and with all the money-printing, it is only a matter of time before the dollar becomes completely worthless in the world market.  Any small displacement in the market could lead to our economic demise.  Williams’ report for 2012 goes so far as to suggest that you concentrate on bare survival strategies, and defending yourself in the face of complete political and social disintegration.

I know that you’ve been reading about a “financial cliff” somewhere in the distant and murky future, but what I’m telling you to do at this point is that the veil of fog is beginning to lift because that future is no longer distant.  Williams’ report explains thoroughly the main causes of our impending doom, and this isn’t some conspiracy nut.  When he published this update earlier this year, his warnings sounded eerily like my own, and also those of a few other people who have been sounding the alarm, including some in talk radio, in conservative media, and notably, Governor Palin.  At the time of the announcement of QE2, Gov. Palin did a rather bold thing:  She announced to the world the dangers and the certain results.  Naturally, since her evaluation was based on sound economic understanding, her conclusions might well have seemed prophetic in light of all that has happened since.  The truth is that she was merely telling you what must be based on the immutable laws of the universe: There are no free lunches…or anything.

I believe this is one of the reasons the Republican leadership in Congress has done nothing to substantially obstruct President Obama’s agenda.  It is true that they would have faced some political consequences, but what’s more the case is that they are every bit as aware of the impending collapse as anybody in the executive branch.  One might view Congress cynically, and suppose they are “getting while the getting’s good,” and there’s no doubt that some of that goes on, but it’s also true that the problem is so gargantuan that they do not see how they can correct it without throwing the country into complete chaos, and since that’s what’s coming anyway, they see no point in hurrying the matter.

Some have concluded that Bernanke is taking this up now in order to try to help Obama’s re-election, and while there may be some truth to it, the fact is that the situation has been and remains much worse than you’re being told by the media.  We have been in a bottom-bouncing depression since at least 2009, and nothing has animated us very far from the floor.  As I have written many times, they stimulate via the printing press and the deficit, and we get a brief improvement, but then the increased costs in the market come home to roost, and we’re set back to a place no better than before as the costs, driven in large measure by the inflationary effects of the stimulus that quickly act as a brake upon the alleged “recovery” that never materializes.

Elsewhere on Williams’ site, you can find a detailed examination of his treatment of unemployment, and the numbers will shock you.  Add to this the tidbits about the deficit and inflation, and you will begin to understand how you’ve been misled, not only by the media and the administration, but also by decades of shoulder-shrugging politicians in both parties.  By Williams’ assessment, it may be impossible to rescue our nation any longer.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have been urging you since the inception of this blog to make preparations to the best of your abilities.  I hope you’ve been diligent.  Check out Williams’ Hyperinflation report, and think it through carefully.  The evidence of your own daily lives has been telling you all of the happy-talk about “economic recovery” had been a farce.  Like the approach of a colossal asteroid, the government’s ability to hide the impending disaster or disguise the seriousness of our worsening situation has begun to fail.  That is really the only significant meaning of the latest downgrade.  They can’t hide it much longer.  The Piper will be paid.

Some are choosing to ignore all of this in the hope that a change of administration might give us one last chance at a way out, but irrespective of the outcome in November, the chances that our currency survives three more years in its current form is probably fewer than one in ten.  The possibility that we will survive as a nation may be somewhat less.  Fixing this problem will require the institution of spending cuts on a scale that may cause complete social collapse.  Do we expect John Boehner to take on such a monumental chore?  Even if the Republicans take the Senate, Mitch McConnell isn’t exactly the picture of courageous and vigorous leadership.

Saving our nation is no longer simply a political problem in the sense of replacing certain politicians.  It’s a cultural and economic crisis as well, and with all that is going on abroad, it may come down to a matter of literal survival.  It’s time that we begin to face up to this, because our politicians aren’t going to address the  problem until it no longer matters, at which point, they’ll do nothing, but we’ll pay the price.  We always do.  People have asked me what we could do to remedy the problem, but when I tell them, they look away, because they don’t want to face the implications that attend the proposed actions.

At present, we have an annual published deficit of around $1.3 Trillion.  As Mr. Williams’ report makes plain, if the government were forced to use GAAP(Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) in their accounting, the actual annual deficit is in the neighborhood of $5 Trillion. The added $3.7 Trillion consists of new future obligations that the government does not pay, but has promised at some future date.  Many refer to these as the “unfunded liabilities” of our government, but they add up to a staggering amount, in the range of $80 to $120 Trillion dollars in promises.  When one makes promises on this scale, it is sure to affect one’s creditworthiness, never mind one’s credit rating.

Consider the fact that our government collects approximately $2.5 Trillion in taxes, fees, and the like throughout the year, but that this is still well short of the $3.8 Trillion it spends, and then propose cuts in response.  Here’s a dirty, ugly secret the DC crowd won’t point out to you: If you cut everything that is not an entitlement program or debt service, you would still have a deficit.  That’s right, if you eliminated every bureaucrat, soldier, judge, roads project, education expenditure, and all of the other things that government does apart from pay interest on its debt or send payments to individuals through entitlement programs, you could not balance the budget.

What this makes clear is that the problem exists not on the “discretionary” line of the ledger, but entirely on the “non-discretionary” lines in the book.  Leftists will argue that the problem is the lack of revenues, but that’s an absurd hoax. Anything done to increase revenues at this point will actually cause them to decline.  Increased tax rates?  People will earn less to avoid the taxes.  Even those who want to earn more won’t be able to because there will be insufficient demand in the marketplace to provide the commerce needed to generate the revenues we have now.

The only answer to this problem is sharp cuts in government spending, combined with a cessation of Quantitative Easing.  The entitlement programs have become such a massive anchor on our economy that it cannot recover, and they have squeezed out all other spending.  This is why people look away when you explain to them the problem.  They know what it implies about all of our sacred cows in the entitlement sector of government.  As with the old lament, everybody is in favor of massive government cuts until we arrive at their favorite Federal program.  At that point, you are given a stack of excuses, complaints, and ultimately: “Never mind.”

I have news for you, and it’s not pleasant:  These programs will end.  Virtually all of them.  None of them will survive in their current form, if at all.  We are like Greece, only worse, and much larger.  The question our elected leaders have not faced is whether to break the news to us now, while there is some small hope of recovery, or whether they shall just “get while the getting’s good,” and make off in the dark of night after the collapse, leaving us to figure it out.  The fact is that I can’t blame them for opting toward the latter, because we will be worse than Greece in every dimension and measure, both in size, but also in degree, and I believe when a responsible politician ever tells this truth, he will be pilloried, at first in media, and then later by mobs.  Paul Ryan has had just the first taste of this.  Sarah Palin was mocked for such warnings to an extent I’ve never seen for simply stating the dangers of QE2 and all the money-printing.  She was right, naturally, as is Paul Ryan on the matter of entitlements.

The problem is now that it may be too late for any sort of remediation.  The problem has become too vast, and it is as late as that.  What we can do as individuals is to grasp the reality laid out before us.  We can prepare ourselves and our families.  We can vote accordingly.  We can make noise about it.  In the end, we may be forced to watch our nation slide back into the pre-industrial, pre-republican muck from which it emerged.  It’s been a long decline, and we’ve mostly done little but to urge it on as a people.  We’re peering down the loaded barrel, and it’s been our finger’s twitch upon which we are waiting.

One false move… A hiccough… One little lurch…

What Should We Do About The Poor?

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Given my unyielding stance against the welfare state, I am frequently the recipient of emails asserting that I am cruel, greedy, harsh, heartless, rotten, and selfish.  The character of the emails is ever the same, and they tend to consist of two parts, the first being a lengthy critique of my alleged lacking of human compassion, the second being a persuasive attempt to corner me with foolish propositions that have no basis in fact, or ignore the Laws of Nature.  The question is always some form of:  “All right, you cruel heartless so-and-so, what would you have us do about the poor?  Step over their corpses in the gutter?  You who claim to hate so-called death-panels want all of government to be one giant death panel and discontinue assistance to the poor, like unplugging a person from life-support.  You’re a complete hypocrite!”    With some form of that shrill rebuke, they go on their indignant way, never to be read again. I often take the time to answer these emails, not because I expect such stunted minds to consider what I’m saying, because they generally will not even if they are able, but because in the name of all that is right, they ought to be told the truth.  I had thought that if I were to address it here publicly, there would be some chance to clear things up, so let me begin by asserting to those who surround it with insults, the problem is that you are asking the wrong question.  The first matter to be addressed is not what we should do about the poor, but instead whether we should do anything about them at all.

Many people recoil at the suggestion implied by my question, and yet it is a question we must ask in earnest.  The great object of all the indignant sneering at the question is to obfuscate its answer.  Before we can consider what is to be done, we must examine if anything should be done at all, and if so, by whom and under what circumstances.  The great fraud of the safety net is and has been to impose on the wider society the responsibility for bearing the burdens of all the misfortunes and bad choices of their neighbors.  Let me state bluntly that if you wish to devote some portion of your earnings and wealth to the care of the poor, I believe you should be free to do so with your money as your conscience dictates.  There should never be a time in which we prohibit the gifting of goods and money to people in poverty, or for any other cause that the owner of said wealth should decide proper. Here, however, is the ugly trick of their question:  I don’t ask what we shall do, but instead say “you may do whatever you like with your resources.”

At the root of their question is an assumption about who must act, and who needn’t.  They use “we” to mean “everybody but me,” in most cases, because they don’t actually intend on participating in the gifting.  It’s generally the assumption of those who make such a claim that only people of means should be compelled to contribute, but those of modest means ought not.  The part they leave unstated in their plaintive demands for our collective actions is the notion that only some people, however distinguished by their wealth, ought to bear the burdens of the problems of every other living soul.  Whether it’s health-care or clothing; food or shelter; Internet service or auto insurance, they can build a case to dip into the pockets of others on the basis of some “basic need” they have assumed we all share, and in payment for which we all ought to share.  By their grim formula, your exertions on behalf of your fellow man, managed of course by these “compassionate” souls, would never end because in all the world, there will always be somebody slightly more needy than you.

At every step along the way, the entire argument is constructed so as to hide from your view one basic concept that they abhor most of all:  Free will.  They assume the right to deprive you in all cases whatever of your volitional disposal of your assets according to your plans, goals, aspirations, and conscience.  It is ever their assumption that you will pursue your own ends first, and only share what you consider on your own to be your excess wealth, and they believe they have the right to tell you the line of demarcation between necessity and excess.  This is born of their pathological disrespect for the most basic concept of civilization: Property.

Without the concept of property, even your lunch is not your own.  Your person is not secure, because you wouldn’t own even your life.  They who hypocritically complain about “warrantless searches” have no problem with the IRS having unfettered access to the accounts and affairs of those who they decide “have enough,” and even for those who may not, they don’t mind, since they assume some would be able to hide how much they really have otherwise.  No, we mustn’t have any wealth sneaking away.

What none of these will admit is that the naked motive explicit in their demands is to be sure they are always cared for in every conceivable way, without respect to their ability or willingness to pay.  Sure, they bleat on about the elderly, lamenting the problems of poverty, but none are more greedy than they who want to have a “safety net” in which to land on the day they decide they no longer wish to have responsibility for their own lives, whether that date arrives in two decades or two days.

The answer is what it had always been before the eruption of the welfare state in the progressive era of the early Twentieth Century.  We cared for our poor, but we generally made them participate in their own care, and we did it to scale of our own consciences and to the extent our own senses of discomfort permitted.  Under this arrangement, we had many fewer in desperate poverty, because in the main, those in poverty saw the utility in improving their own lot by industrious efforts.  Even when being cared-for by a church or a community group, they were active participants in the [re]construction of their own lives.

This approach worked, and the country grew, and yes there were hard times, just as there are hard times now, but the difference is that among the broadest population, there was every incentive to move again forward and upward.  In our current malaise, too many of our citizens have no vested interest in improving their own lots, since they now subsist in part or in whole on the efforts of others.  Why get out and help to push the wagon, when it is so much more comfortable lying in it?  Sure, one can’t afford the finest things the world may offer, but after all, free is free, right?

The most important reason that the left hates the notion of private, volitional charity and prefers the all-powerful, coercive, compulsory welfare-state is that they consider it “more fair,” because of its general uniformity.  Our welfare state doesn’t ask the applicant for Aid to Families with Dependent Children how they came to be in their plight.  “Fill out the form. Sign here. Next!”  In this way, no judgment is ever made about the manner in which a person came to be in their “disadvantaged” state.  We mustn’t attach any stigma, after all, because we don’t want any to feel badly about themselves, you know.

In contrast, private charities can and do, for reasons of moral import, and also simply in order to actually help people recover from their state of poverty by constructive means.  A private charity might require the people they help to submit to drug counseling, or similar, but the welfare state does not.  It is very much a “come one, come all” affair, and it pays the same whether an applicant is truly the victim of a string of tragic misfortunes, or the victim of their own self-destructive decisions.  The welfare state doesn’t care whether you arrive at its door because through no fault of your own, your world collapsed around you, or instead because of your own mindless sloth.

This is why the question is always shifted to the collectivized context of what “we” had ought to do about the poor.  Once it’s “we,” who are you as an individual to pass judgment?  Once it is compulsory, there is no question of your volition, and any lingering matter of your moral objections are erased and nullified out of all existence.  In addition to collectivizing the effort, the expenditures, and the responsibility, it is critical to remember that they always collectivize the poor too, as if every person in poverty is interchangeable with any other, all having arrived in their state by morally equal means.  These are the shoddy lies inherent in their question, constructed to hide from your mind the real questions you ought to ask before you’re goaded into submission.  Their efforts at collectivization are the product of a single motive:  They seek absolution for the day when they will demand your help, and they have every reason to anticipate that they will.  Whenever I am confronted by those who demand to know “what we should do about the poor” in accusatory tones, my answer is always the same: “I will do what I judge proper, and you may do the same.”

 

Republicans in Congress Shafting Us Again

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Mmmm, Pork!

We shouldn’t even be having this conversation.  It shouldn’t be possible that with all our efforts in 2010 that the Republican majority in the House is even considering this bill.  We wanted Congress to get the spending under control, but instead, it seems as though many of the members we elected on the basis of getting the nation’s financial house in order are instead using the occasion of the Obama administration’s spendthrift ways as cover for more of the same.  The new farm bill is a scorched-Earth policy that heaps new debt upon the nation, reaching forward a whole decade(as if somebody could possibly know what will be needed in farming ten years in the future,) and makes pay-outs of subsidies invisible to the public.  In addition, it locks in Obama’s Food-stamps spending at nearly $80 billion per year.  Why would any Republicans, never mind alleged “conservatives,” go along with this? H.R. 6083 promises nearly one-trillion dollars in spending over ten years.  As an excellent article on Breitbart details, we’re shafted if this is the answer of Republicans.

Agricultural subsidies are popular in farm states, so that it’s easy to understand what’s going on.  This is the same sort of welfarism that the Democrats employ, and it’s clear that no small number of the farm state Democrats will join in the vote in favor of the bill. It’s also clear that a large number of Democrats will vote for the bill due to the locked-in SNAP/Food-Stamps spending levels.  For those less than perfectly familiar with the sort of thing government does in agriculture, consider the ethanol subsidies as one, but also consider the crop insurance program as another.  Both are harmful to our general economy, and both take from tax-payers to redistribute to others, but what they do most of all is to make our farmers dependent upon big government. More, by tying it up with the Food-Stamps/SNAP program, it Congressional “leaders” help to assure easy passage.

The crop insurance program is designed to basically pay farmers if the invest in planting subsidized crops that are ruined by weather, drought, or other natural condition that prevents them from recovering their investment in the planted crop.  This is a terrible idea because it does something nobody else in the market can rationally expect: It removes all risk from the activity, and actually encourages extraordinary risk-taking.  Fields that perhaps shouldn’t be put in production, or should be planted in something else are instead planted with a crop that the farmer may even expect to fail, but is indemnified because it is one of the insured crops.  Worse, the crop “insurance” isn’t really insurance, since in actuarial terms, the small “premium” isn’t near what the mathematics would demand in a free market for such an “insurance” if that were to be its actual goal.  It’s a scam, and the biggest beneficiaries are agricultural giants and politicians.

The effect of this program is to confound the free market, results in higher prices for consumers, and generally causes an expenditure of government funds that is not necessary or proper in any respect.  At the same time, other programs like the ethanol subsidy drive more corn into ethanol production, rather than into food production, meaning that consumers who want a can of corn or a sack of corn-chips are going to pay much more for them because the government is subsidizing the conversion of the food crop to fuel.  It’s extraordinarily wasteful, and yet if you tour those states and poll the farmers who benefit, you will have the virtues of ethanol extolled in such a manner that you will be led to believe it’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and it is, for those in the program.  For tax-payers and consumers, it’s an unmitigated disaster.  Add to this the fact that the supposed driver for ethanol, “environmentally friendly fuels,” is nothing but another inefficient scam and what you have is a program with no factual merit, even if it were permissible under our constitution, which it is not.

As a farmer myself, I raise a non-governmentally-preferred crop, and as a result of various government tinkering in the marketplace as I’ve detailed elsewhere, it’s making my farm an untenable proposition.  While I and other non-favored farmers pay taxes, other farmers of favored variety consume them, and borrow from the future besides, as they join other welfare moochers at the government teat.  Of course, like any other welfare program, there is no pay-back, ever.  Temporary assistance becomes permanent subsidy becomes a way of life.  Now, so ridiculous has it become that in this bill, they are actually going to make the recipients secret so you can’t know whose bread is being buttered from the public trough.

I don’t know about you, but ladies and gentlemen, if this is the kind of country we want, we will soon have it in full as this is nothing more or less than naked socialism.  Some will hang upon the strict definition of the term, arguing that government doesn’t own the means of production.  Don’t they?  It seems to me that the most important features of ownership are use and disposition, and that responsibility follows naturally along with the two.  If the government takes all risk away, alleviating responsibility, and it chooses how the resources will be subsidized, effectively determining their use and disposition, though the deed to the farm may be in some citizen’s name, who is in fact running the farm?

Farmers were once a proud and independent lot, but many of them are now merely proud without the independence to support the pride they fiercely claim. Don’t get me wrong: There are still many farmers who produce unsubsidized crops, and who take their lumps accordingly, but that number is shrinking as the number of unsubsidized crops gets smaller and the number able to stand against the leviathan withers.  More, large agri-businesses are lined up at the trough, feasting more thoroughly than any, and there are interests now buying up huge swaths of land along and in flood-plains so they can profit from the crop insurance too.  Why do you think this is being made secret?  Do you think it’s so that Farmer John’s little claim isn’t public?  No, it’s so that Congressman So-and-so’s claim won’t be revealed, and so that Corporate Agriculture’s take from the system won’t be seen publicly.  If you wanted crony capitalism combined with the welfare state, you now have it in full even in agriculture.

That Republicans you elected in 2010 to fight all of this are now supporting it is terrible enough, but when we see freshman members like Kristi Noem(R-SD,) herself a rancher, joining hands with Democrats to further such legislation, you must know we are in terrible shape.  I can’t imagine how a person can campaign for office as a constitutional conservative, but then immediately ignore that when it comes to their own pet subsidies.   Doesn’t the hypocrisy bother her?  Dr. Susan Berry, writing for Breitbart, wrrote:

“A more constructive task for Rep. Noem, and other House Republicans, would be to work out a way to disentangle the food stamp program from the agricultural policies, and then begin to promote free market principles in agriculture. “

This may be optimistic because  the fact of the matter is that none in Congress want the matter disentangled.  By having it entangled and inseparable, members are able to seek cover behind their pet portions of the bill while swallowing the rest.  It is precisely the goal of these sorts of “bipartisan” acts of Congress to create a voting bloc larger than any particular interest in order to get them all through.  Welcome to “compromise,” DC-style.  Conservatives should be livid, and the large number of ostensible conservatives in the agriculture fields should be raising Hell, but many will not because they want to be able to queue up at the trough in secret too.  In 2010, or in 2012, if this is the answer our Republican Congress provides, I’d just as soon have Democrats.  At least they don’t pretend to be conservative.

It’s True: Bush Did It; Obama’s Finishing the Job

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

He Signed a Lot of Liberal Laws

As Senator Jeff Sessions(R-AL) made plain on last Thursday’s Mark Levin Show, George W. Bush in 2002 signed into law an act that made foreign nationals from Mexico eligible for food-stamps. That’s some damned-good “compassionate conservatism,” don’t you think?  What this reveals is more evidence of what I’ve been arguing right along:  What is killing our country is the unwillingness of conservatives to stand on strict principle, and the intentional undermining of conservatives by establishment Republicans at every turn.  I listened to Dr. Levin launch a tirade aimed at the policies of the former President and those like him, as well as at the government of Mexico for several minutes.  He was right in virtually every detail, and he was right to feel betrayed and put-upon by the people who are supposed to be on our side, but with all due respect to the radio giant and conservative beacon, he missed a few things.  I do not intend here to criticize Levin, but I want instead to show conservatives how he had erred, not in his appraisal of the facts, but instead regarding what we ought to do about them.  Dr. Levin’s error is the inevitable result of the contradictions too many conservatives accept,  even those with the intellectual clarity to have known better:  There is no compromise possible between liberty and tyranny, whatever one’s excuses for the latter.

Here’s the clip:

Alternative content

Nearing the conclusion of his justifiable tirade, Dr. Levin began to speak of Mitt Romney.  He offered:

“I sure as Hell hope that if Romney is elected President, that he doesn’t pull these stunts.”

As Dr. Levin said this, in my own mind, there issued a challenge to the Great One:

“What if he does pull these stunts, Mark?  What will you do?  Not vote for him in 2016?”

Yeah, right…

You see, this is emblematic of why we conservatives have lost much(if not all) of our power within the Republican party.  They’ve called our bluff too many times, and on far too many of those occasions, we have gone along despite our protests.  We always rationalize it in terms of “saving the country” from this liberal demon or that leftist monster, but the fact is that when it comes down to it, we are the ones who have blinked, time and time again.  Anybody who had been confused about the matter should see it plainly now:  Conservatives have been neutered in this manner because we have largely demurred from carrying out our threatened walk-outs.   We lose our spines, the walk-outs never materialize, and therefore, we are seen by the party establishment as mere paper tigers to be managed, but never respected, let alone feared.

You might say to me “but Mark, really, we simply must win, because we won’t survive four more years of Barack Obama. The country won’t survive.”  You may be right, but then again, you may not be.  It could be argued that the country is already dead in constitutional and cultural terms, and Levin is among those who has effectively articulated that very argument.  In 2000, I was assured by establishment Republicans that if Al Gore won the presidency, the country would be over, but I told the person with whom I argued that if George W. Bush was elected, it wouldn’t be much different.  Yes, Gore would have pushed the enviro-fascist agenda harder, but then at least the Republican Congress would have opposed him.  Yes, Gore would have tried some of the same tactics of executive fiat that Obama has tried, but again, at least the Republican majority in both Houses of Congress at the time would have been more inclined to do battle with him.  They didn’t oppose George Bush as he extended the power of the presidency through ever more extra-constitutional power grabs.  Instead, we had a Republican President who had a majority Republican Congress for six of his eight years, and he did immeasurable damage to our republic, whether you’re willing to acknowledge it or not.  Yes, he defended the country after 9/11, and yes, he commanded honorably in his role as commander-in-chief, but he had many failings, and the weight of those failings multiplied by the gargantuan multiplier of Obama now smothers us.

To have signed into law a bill that provided for food-stamps benefits to illegal alien Mexican nationals was a crime against every tax-paying citizen in this country, and to all those who will be forced to pay for it over the next several generations, assuming the country survives as a political compartment.  He expanded other social programs as well, created vast new bureaucracies, and otherwise set the stage for everything Barack Obama has done to further the damage ever since he assumed the presidency in 2009.  One might argue that Bush had been well-meaning, but as you know by now, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and it doesn’t much matter whether they’re born in the mind of somebody with an “R” or a “D” after their names.  This is perhaps the single greatest contradiction faced by conservatives like Dr. Levin, who also have good and honorable intentions, and who usually are able to see the folly in pursuing them.

Levin lamented the fact that this isn’t a mere safety net any longer.  He implied that it was instead something monstrous, and he’s right, but let me say to the good Dr. Levin, certainly one of the most talented advocates for our constitution:  There is no rational place in which to draw a line once you begin to build a publicly-funded safety net.  The march of Progressivism throughout the 20th and 21st centuries has proven it, if you needed evidence.  In the early days of our republic, some of our early Presidents drew a firm line when Congress would undertake to create some compassionate measure intended to provide relief to this class or that, always on some construction of the concept that somehow, it could be limited, and that it could be justified in moral terms.  I am here to tell you that it cannot be true that safety nets can be limited and specific, because the primitive nature of pre-humanity is to seek the path of least resistance, or to exercise the least possible discomfort for the greatest comfort available at ease. At its founding, America had the greatest prospects in all of the world precisely because this notion was frowned-upon, and banished in a socially scathing manner, and we tended to consider the purveyors of easy money and easy solutions as con artists and frauds.

Social Security began as a program for widows and orphans.  How long did it remain as such?  The space of a generation had not elapsed before it was extended to wider and wider groups of recipients.  The entire welfare state, from the first bits of Medicaid and Medicare, to AFDC and Food-stamps have all undergone similar transformations, at first for a very limited group, to a broadened eligibility that encompasses vast segments of the American people.  This is what happens, always, once this chain of destruction commences.   It works this way: I say there should be no public safety net. Dr. Levin admits there should be a small, limited one.  His argument is based on his own subjective evaluation of what is the proper level of compulsory compassion.  George W. Bush comes along arguing for food-stamps for foreign nationals.  Levin cries foul, but after all, why is his subjective limitation on compulsory compassion any more valid than the one proposed by President Bush, or President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or some future statist politician? Simply, it is not.

This is how it gets out of control, and it’s really quite elementary: Once it begins, there is no way to reduce it for long.  You might curtail it a little here or there, but eventually people will come to power who will advance it again, and then still more.  This is why our earliest Presidents, fresh from our post-revolutionary travails, did all they could to oppose the encroachment of any of this redistribution under the guise of “compassion.” James Madison, eventually our third President, and the man thought by many to be the father of our constitution, offered this, as he served in Congress debating a bill providing for some sustenance and relief for French refugees from the Haitian revolution.  He said:

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” -3rd Congress, Annals of Congress

This makes the matter plain.  There is no room in that statement for a public safety net of any description or purpose, and being one of the authors of the Constitution, one would suspect he understood its intended limits.  Madison would not be the last to make this sort of delineation, and subsequent Presidents actually stated the same sentiment in vetoing legislation proposing various forms of relief for this group or that.  It was not until the rise of the Progressives, in both parties in the early 20th Century that the first great transgressions of this principle began in earnest.

I would argue that Dr. Levin is right insofar as his evaluation of the Bush enactment of the law permitting the provision of food-stamps to illegal alien Mexican nationals, but I must also suggest in the strongest possible terms that Dr. Levin, and those like him of apt reverence for the constitution ought to consider the contradiction implicit in their protestations on behalf of any public safety net. Once it begins, it will not easily be stopped, and usually terminates with the death of the country in the upheaval of bloody revolution.  Only by rapidly undoing it all are we to avoid such mortal discomfort, though the time-frame to undo it all needn’t be overnight, still it mustn’t exceed much more than a half-decade.  We are living with the necessary result of the contradiction explicit in trying to create some firm boundary along the lines of flexible, subjective criteria, perpetually open to reinterpretation by whomever holds the reins of power. Our constitutional principles are fixed, but it is only our adherence to them that has been flexible.

In a letter to Edmund Pendleton, James Madison also wrote:

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.”

Is this not now the state our republic has attained?  We have undergone precisely the reversal here-described by James Madison, and it will be our undoing.  I am certain that a constitutional scholar with the precision and vigorous intellect of the sort made plain by Dr. Levin’s long history in service to that document and to the republic it had authored must see and be convinced of the fatal dangers of this contradiction harbored so widely, even among our greatest minds.  It is time that we decide if we are going to live in a constitutional, representative republic, or if we prefer instead to be subject to the indefinite power of a colossal government.  It is the choice made plain in the great book Ameritopia, and as a complete work in defense of our liberty, one would expect that with the fullness of time, its author will ultimately embrace the full wisdom of that which he so magnificently defends.

For we conservatives, it is long past due that we should embrace the meaning of Madison’s admonishments.  He didn’t offer exceptions to the principle, but it is only because no exceptions are rationally feasible.  The danger implied was grievous enough that Madison would not countenance its passage, despite surely being as compassionate and charitable a man as any.  He understood that the only manner in which to draw this line was to make it absolute.  He also understood that any less a proscription would lead inevitably to the national turmoil into which we are now sliding.  This is our true challenge as conservatives, because we mustn’t merely begin the already seemingly impossible chore of diminishing the size and scope of the festering blight of the welfare state, but we must begin the process of excising it from our country altogether.   This may seem a fantastical, practically impossible proposition, and yet if we are to restore the republic to the land of possibilities it had been at its beginning, no less will do.

We must undo Obama-care, rolling it back to 2009, but we must roll back to 2002, and then to 1982, and eventually to 1964, and to the 1930s.  We must keep going until it is gone, replacing government with private, volitional charity of the sort that had permitted us to take care of the truly unfortunate persons among us, but that left no room for graft of any sort at taxpayers’ expense.  One-hundred-forty-four million or so Americans now rely upon the welfare state in all its various forms.  That number is exploding, and will soon top half our population, and when it does, there will be no rolling it back, and surely no salvaging of our republic.  Our desire to help others must be restrained from the realm of government.  The contradiction explicit in attempting to have a system that regards the wealth of citizens as one part private property and one part public loot must be abolished, even if there is some temporary pain.  It’s our last chance, time is quickly running out, and I dare say time is a good deal shorter now than any of our public officials dare admit. It’s time to draw an indelible, solid line.

Government Gone Wild!

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Bing Results

GovernmentGoneWild has put out a new video, detailing what happens if you surf over to your favorite search engine and watch what it auto-suggests when you begin to type:

“how do I qualify for”

It works, and the video is right.  What’s stunning is that in the top ten suggestions, I don’t see:

“how do I qualify for a job?”

There’s really not much I need to add here.  The video says it all, and it’s not good.  I urge you to watch this and send it to your friends and family.  You may wonder why our country is in decline, but  if you want to know one of the big reasons why our country is mortal danger, this video holds the answer. (H/T CutiePi2U on Twitter)

 

Can Romney Win on Fears Over Higher Taxes?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Do Enough Voters Care?

I’ve heard it said in a number of places, by countless commentators, so much so that I think it’s become part of the script.  It goes along with those who tell us that the Roberts treason has a silver lining, because it makes plain that Obama is imposing new taxes all over the place.  This, along with the economy, is said to be the reason Mitt Romney can win.  I have given this a bit of thought, because it’s been conventional wisdom for so long that most now accept it as something of a truism.  Mitt Romney, they say, now has the biggest tax increases in history against which to run, a veritable “taxmageddon,” they’re calling it, scheduled to being hammering tax-payers in 2013.  The so-called Bush tax-cuts will expire, and of course, all of the new Obama-care “taxes” will begin to phase in.  The problem most Republicans seem not to have noticed, and the reason Romney is in far worse shape than many understand:  Many don’t care that taxes are going up.  As Joe Biden might say, “BFD!” It may not matter if taxes were doubled.  It may not matter how much the Federal Government under the leadership of Obama raises taxes. Taxes may no longer matter as an election issue, and there are two compelling reasons to take this seriously.

The first glaring reason that many voters won’t take this seriously is that even among the few who pay attention, they’re accustomed to hearing outrageous claims by campaigns against their opponents.  Most of the claims boil down to some form of “If you vote for my opponent, a plague will descend upon you, and your children will be carried off by the bogeyman, and the country will melt into the fires of hell and there will be starving people in the street, and you’ll be homeless, naked, and penniless.”  Voters have heard this from both sides so often that whether one side or the other may actually speak plainly about it for a change, most of the relatively low number of voters who pay attention only within the six weeks preceding the election(at best) will feel as though they’ve “heard it all before,” and chances are, they’re right.  The problem is that politicians inflate things all the time.  It’s the norm.  The last time a presidential nominee explained the facts and had no need to embellish, and could merely point to the complete disaster at hand was Ronald Reagan, because all the evidence supported everything he said.  People were living it.

This ought to weigh in Mitt Romney’s favor, and it would, if we were living in 1980 America.  The problem is, we are living in 2012 America, and it’s a very different country.  Consider that we have millions who have spent 99 weeks on unemployment.  Consider that we have roughly fifty million people receiving foodstamps.  Consider that we have a total adult workforce that constitutes fewer than one-fourth of the total population.  We may have passed that critical point at which more people are now beneficiaries of big government than are paying for it, and if this is the case, the economy could become a good deal worse, and it wouldn’t matter because Mitt Romney’s tax arguments, if he were to make one, would fall on the deaf ears of those who have a net tax rate less than or equal to zero.  If we’ve passed that tipping point, Romney can make the tax argument until he’s blue in the face, but it won’t matter to the outcome.  More, with Obama-care now uninterrupted in its implementation by the court, there is now one more inducement to the non-workers, and that is why Democrats were willing to walk the plank in 2010 when the law was passed: They knew once it was in place, we would never be rid of it without revolution.

Of course, it’s not as though all tax-payers will side with Romney, because you can count on the unions to show up and support Obama.  You can bet that the education establishment will support Obama.  The trial lawyers will be there.  In short, all of the usual Democrat constituencies, even those who actually earn a living, are likely to support Obama over Romney because they are either doctrinaire leftists, or because they’ve accepted the language of class envy.  Either way, Romney doesn’t stand a chance in hell of getting their votes.  When you consider this together with the legion of dependency-bound persons who live in large measure or entirely from the system, without effort, you’re looking at what appears to be a majority of voters, or something very close to it.  Romney is going to need to become creative, and find other ways to convince voters, because I no longer have confidence that taxes are a winning issue with the majority of the electorate any longer.

After all, if you say to the millions upon millions of government dependents that you will now reduce the size of government, what they hear is “I’m going to cut your subsidy.”  That’s a disaster they can believe in, and it’s the only one they are inclined to see as relevant.  After all, they’re not paying the bills, and they don’t have any moral compunction whatever about robbing those who do.   Romney can’t rely upon this as his line of attack because for so many voters, it’s now ineffective.  Not only are they carefree about taxes because they’re not paying them, but also because they know that the taxes are supporting them through various federal programs.  Romney’s fifty-nine point economic plan is irrelevant to many, because apart from siphoning off the economy, they’re not participants in it, and have no intentions of changing that sad fact.  Knowing this, I’m not certain why anybody makes the argument any longer, but in Romney’s case, it may be even less effective, as Democrats now make the case that he sheltered millions offshore.

Taxes have sadly moved into the same realm as the deficit and the debt as election issues.  Everybody pays these the appropriate lip service, but the truth is that our system of taxation has become so lop-sided that too many Americans don’t care.  There are simply too few with “skin in the game,” as Barack Obama would say, because they simply don’t pay for any of the government expenditures, and probably never will.  Our massive welfare-state needs a massive overhaul, but we may have passed the point at which we could expect to have popular support to do it.  Mitt Romney may campaign with taxes as his prime issue with which to drive support at the polls, but it seems as though it may no longer be enough as the traditional Republican strategy loses effectiveness.  This is made worse by the fact that for many of those who have heard this talk, and actually want something done about it, they may have low expectations that Romney or any establishment Republican would do the first thing about it.  They have every reason to be doubtful.

Dr. Williams Asks: Should We Obey All Laws?

Friday, July 6th, 2012

 

Blunt Talk

Walter E. Williams, columnist, economics professor, and occasional guest-host for Rush Limbaugh penned an article a few weeks back, and at the time, it was based on the possibility that the Supreme Court might uphold Obama-care.  As we now sadly know, this has come to pass, but what Dr. Williams asked in his article is whether we should disobey this law, and effectively nullify it.  Substituting for Rush Limbaugh on Thursday, he proposed that American soldiers would not willingly act to enforce a law on the American people if the people had decided to disobey en masse.  More, he proposed that since some Governors might be inclined to disobey the law, that we could see a vast backlash against the Supreme Court decision, unlike 1861, because in this case, most Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act.  Williams is provocative as ever, but his point is right in line with what I have been suggesting: This can be stopped, all of it, when we find the intestinal fortitude to tell our Federal government “No!”

Who’s up for that?  Are you ready to tell the government to bugger-off?  Dr. Williams asserted that we have become a “nation of wimps.”  Is he right?  This adds to the discussion I began earlier on Thursday. The difficulties are awesome.  One of the callers Dr. Williams spoke with was a woman who was concerned about his view on Social Security.  He calls it theft, a blunt assessment of the actual function of the program, rather than the program that politicians had promised upon enactment.  Sound familiar?  The lady was flabbergasted by Williams’ questioning, and it boiled down to this: “Who is going to pay for it?”  Her ultimate answer?  A shameful “I don’t care.”

Now the poor lady can be forgiven since it’s probably the sole source of her income, or at least a goodly portion of what she expects to receive in order to subsist, but the real problem is precisely that which Williams detailed:  The program is not sustainable indefinitely, and it’s already running in the red, so there’s no getting around the fact that money will have to be taken from younger workers they will never recover in any form, since the program is the world’s largest Ponzi scheme.  To steal from the young is immoral, and what the lady’s sole concern seems to have been is that she would be among the last suckers when the Ponzi scheme goes bust.  That’s how all Ponzi schemes end, as the thing goes bust and people are not able to get the payments out of it they had been promised.  Those final suckers are always the ones to take it hardest, and it likely will fall to my generation, those now with roughly one to two decades until retirement age.  We will have been compelled at gunpoint to pay into this system our entire lives, and it will absolutely not be there for us, assuming the country survives as such given the other onrushing fiscal calamities approaching our doorstep.

All of this, along with the current matter of Obama-care begs the question Dr. Williams has posed:  Should we obey all laws, simply because they are law?  Should people of my generation and younger continue to pay into a system that is designed to rob us blind?  Why?  What legitimate claim could one make to argue for the authority to commit theft on this scale?  This is a question I would like you to consider.  Let me pose it as it is, without the veils erected before our eyes by inserting a third party:  What would I be if at the advanced age of 67, I walk into my own child’s home, without regard to her rights to her property, and demand of her and her husband at gunpoint whatever I might need to maintain my subsistence?  What would you call me, were I to do such a thing?  A criminal? A monster?  A villain?  What would you call the man who could do such a thing to his own daughter?  Would it be made better if I sent a collection agent in my place? Would it be made better were it another man’s daughter and son-in-law?

These are the sorts of moral questions you’re going to need to answer, if we’re to have any chance to save this country.  It’s hard.  It’s rough.  It’s unpleasant, and causes pain.  That doesn’t relieve us of the responsibility to consider it.  On Thursday evening, I listened to the highly specious assertions of Bill O’Reilly talking about “health-care justice,” as I paused briefly on Fox News, flipping through the channels.  I sat there in stunned silence, as I realized that I had just witnessed another step in the completion of our “fundamental transformation.”  O’Reilly is now fully aboard with temporarily soft tyranny, and Fox News isn’t too very far behind him.

My question remains: Why does anybody expect that any sane, self-respecting rational mind would follow such a law? Any such law?  Ladies and gentlemen, there can be only one way:  Force or the threat of force.  Once you understand this, you understand the key to all statist dogma:  They will get you to accept a little force for an ostensibly good cause, say the “care of widows,” and before long, they will have you accepting slave camps in which you are a permanent resident with no hope of parole.  It is your fear upon which all of this rests.  Fear of death, fear of discomfort, and fear even of inconvenience.  Let me break it to you gently, as I feel as though I’m revealing a secret truth about Santa Claus: We all die.  On the way to death, most of us will experience at least some discomfort, and no shortage of inconvenience.  Knowing that, and knowing that we must all face that day, eventually, who will offer the excuse that they fear the inevitable so much that they will do evil to others to delay the arrival of that day?

Should we obey all laws?  No.

 

 

 

 

Will the Patient Live?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Will our Republic Endure?

The Republic that is our constitutional, representative form of government stands upon a precipice.  We have a President who has undertaken to set aside the constitution at every turn.  We have a Congress divided, split between a Senate controlled by a maniacal shill for the President, and a House of Representatives led(and I use that verb very loosely) by a Speaker who is unwilling to do battle with the President, unwilling to attempt even the most basic defense of our Constitution, and incapable even of holding an outrageous Attorney General to account  without much hand-wringing and waffling.  We have a United State Supreme Court that has most recently ruled that States have no sovereignty to speak of, and not even the authority to protect its own citizenry.  We are told by the presumptive Republican nominee that he will repeal Obamacare, despite implementing a similar program in the state he governed, while his various mouthpieces talk about “replacement.”

Do you think we face long odds?  Do you believe our Republic can survive or recover?  The decision expected from the Supreme Court on Thursday will either re-shape our country forevermore, or allow us one more opportunity to restore it.  Make no mistake about it:  If the court upholds the Affordable Car Act, the Republic is dead.

I have given this a good deal of thought, busy as I have been these last two months, and as we’ve all waited to see what tomorrow will bring, I’ve decided that if the Supreme Court of the United States upholds this legislative abomination, a de facto state of war exists between the United States Federal Government and the people whose rights it had been constituted to defend.  Those who will perceive this as true will be branded enemies of the state, in one fashion or another, and the decline of this Republic will accelerate at a breathtaking pace. There can be no recovery of the Republic if this law is allowed to stand, and the urgings to repeal it from we citizens, with platforms large and small, will fall on the same deaf ears that have ignored our pleas for more than two years.  If this law stands, there is no constitutional, representative republic.

If the law is overturned, even then, our jeopardy will only have begun, because this President will ignore the ruling of the court, as he has done repeatedly, and as he has done remorselessly.  He will attempt to impose his program anyway, and even should our  milquetoast House of Representatives act to impede him, he will turn to incitement, outright.  He will attempt to raise a mob, and force his will by virtue of threats and violence.  He will do everything in his power, and many, many things beyond their legitimate exercise in order to create chaos.  Barack Obama will not rest, and none of the looters or moochers who ride upon his coattails will allow this to be overturned. We may see what can only be termed a civil war, and it will be bloody.

This is the direction in which this nation has been lurching for generations, since the so-called “progressives” took over both parties.  We have been led into a box canyon, from which none may escape unscathed.  Today, idiotic former Democrat Congressman from Rhode Island, and latest family ne’er-do-well, Patrick Kennedy warned:

“If the Court upholds the law, dangerous Tea Party extremists will go on a rampage.”

We should be so lucky.  The truth is that if the court upholds this law, Tea Party types will not go on a rampage, because they are not dangerous, although they probably should have been.

Rampage or not, civil war or not, this piece of legislation and all that has followed in its wake serve to demonstrate how fragile our Republic has become after a century of unceasing statist agitation.  In the 1930s, we could have sustained this condition had our court exhibited such staying power as to have overturned all of the New Deal legislation, because the American people were still a moral people by a vastly overwhelming majority.  By “moral,” I mean specifically in the sense that they respected the notion of property rights, the idea of self-sufficiency, and the concepts that once buttressed our constitutional foundation.  Who now can claim this description would apply?

I spent most of the first decade of my adult life serving under an oath by which I swore to uphold and defend the United States Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  I have never yielded on my oath, neither for comfort nor for ease; neither for the sake of a false unity nor for the sake of familial peace.  Sadly, many of my countrymen no longer even understand what principles that oath had been constructed to honor, and to protect, but still, I observe it, while our Supreme Court ignores it, our President demolishes it, and our Congress abandons its defense.  No branch of government seems interested in upholding it any longer, and by this procedure, they have slowly stolen our Constitution from us.  Thursday, we will learn if we shall have even one more chance to resurrect our Republic, but if we are given that chance, we must neither squander it nor revel too long in our temporary reprieve.  “Rampage?”  Indeed, we of Tea Party orientation must rampage at the polls, where we must not permit even the most thuggish brigands of the President to deter us from our electoral duties.  We must now walk back the entire statist menu, or watch our Republic perish.  If the Supreme Court does not present a sentence of death, we must make the most of any temporary stay. We must undo it all, or be undone by it.

If Obama-care Is Overturned, Then What?

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

What Happens After They Rule...

The  question has been asked here on this site, and on others what will become of the state of health-care if Obama-care falls.  I’ve heard the gnashing of teeth among those who think we need some kind of health-care reform, and while I agree, I doubt most would agree with my own prescription. Cold-hearted.  Selfish.  Greedy.   These are all the terms that would be used by statists to describe my own visions of health-care reform.  Even a few alleged conservatives can’t quite bring themselves to endorse my view because at heart, they’re not free market capitalists.  You shouldn’t be surprised, as there are many self-proclaimed “conservatives” who are really nothing of the sort, and who would just as readily inflict and impose their vision of “fairness” as any left-wing socialist radical.  The difference is that they claim to be motivated by other ideas, or beliefs, but what remains universally true is that to impose them, they too must destroy liberty.  I oppose any such plan, plot, or program, irrespective of the source, and I think it’s time we had this little talk lest there be some confusion: I don’t support government involvement in any aspect of healthcare.  None.

The first thing one must know about the free market is that it is destroyed the moment government becomes involved.  If you want to destroy innovation, efficiency, and industry within any segment of any market, introduce government as a buyer.  This is because government is a terrible consumer because it is not spending its own money, but instead yours.  It’s also because the government has undue leverage in a market where it is not the ultimate consumer.  Of course, there will be those of you who will demand to know the fate of the poor, with the stabbing of a pointed finger against my chest, since the poor, by definition, don’t have a good deal of money with which to purchase health services.  As ever, those who wish to control others rely upon the poor to furnish the excuse for their power.  The question is not “what should we do about the poor,” as Ayn Rand famously observed, but “should we do anything about the poor?” This is where the compassion-fascists show up to berate free-marketeers, claiming that the advocates of this viewpoint are heartless and mean-spirited and greedy.  Balderdash!

In order to have any sort of system in which various “necessities” are provided, it is first necessary to obtain them.  Once government is placed in this role, it is inevitable, and in fact a prerequisite that the government employ cruelty against others, from whom the necessities (or the money to purchase them) will be taken.  Ladies and gentlemen, there is no escape from this, and when I observe statists of either left or right political persuasion making this argument, I remind them first of the inescapable, inexorable moral breech:  Government has only force and on that basis, government becomes a murderous villain in the hands of a statist.  Pay, or die. There are those who enjoy shading the black and white behind a curtain of gray fog, but the simple, undisguised fact is that for any such program to exist, government must become evil.  That’s right, I wrote it: Evil.  I take it as an act of evil whenever one initiates force against another, or threatens force, in order to make material (or other) gain.  If one is an advocate of a government-funded, implemented, or regulated healthcare system by any name, one must admit from the outset that one is in favor of robbery through an agent.

Call it third-party theft.  Call it whatever you will, but when government, on the behalf of some citizens, extorts money from the pockets of other citizens, government  has assumed the role of a mafia protection racket.  One can dress it up in all the Sunday’s finest of “compassion,” or “brother-love,” but what one is doing is to attack one person for his wealth on the basis that it should be provided to others on the basis of their needs.  That’s Marxism, and if one supports this in any measure, he or she is  not a conservative. One can claim it.  One can prefix it with words like “compassionate” all one pleases, but the simple fact is that to threaten one’s fellow man with injury and death; violence and expropriation; robbery and slavery is as abominable and un-Christian as one can be.  There is no mitigation.  There is no excuse.  There will be a long line of those accustomed to robbing their neighbors who will come forth to claim that they possess some right – yes, they’ll actually claim a right – to do through government what they would never consider doing themselves for fear of eating a shotgun:  Robbing their neighbors willy-nilly, and with abandon.

Yes, this is the ugly nature of statism, and it’s why I cannot support any health reform that doesn’t get government out of the health-care business altogether.  It is at this point that some will ask me: “But what of veterans?”  To the degree veterans have been injured in the performance of their duties, just as with any worker injured or maimed on the job, the employer must carry that cost, and since we are the employers of soldiers, yes, it is proper for us to pay for that healthcare necessary to make them well, to rehabilitate them, and to compensate them for permanent loss/injury.  That does not mean we need a vast and inefficient system of providing care to veterans.  While it is true that certain afflictions and injuries are not common in the civilian sector, nevertheless, to the degree we can, we should job this out through private providers.  Speaking as a veteran myself, and having seen what have been deplorable conditions at VA hospitals when I’ve volunteered my time there, I cannot but think that most of the veterans I saw would have been better served in the private sector.

Everybody else?  You’d better figure it out.  One has no entitlement, natural or otherwise, to the contents of his neighbors’ wallets.  Since the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, too many Americans have adopted the notion that it is okay to steal from one’s neighbors, or to steal from one’s grand-children so long as government acts as the agent and instrument of that theft.  To steal remotely, through a third party is no less a theft, but it is at once doubly cowardly.  Imagine walking next door to one’s neighbor, and demanding a meal, or an aspirin, or a dollar, or to move in.  In any civilized society, one making such demands would be laughed at, and if he tried to obtain his demands by force, he would be short-lived indeed.  For many millions of Americans, this has become the all-too-common procedure, except that they have the middle-man of government doing their dirty work, never casting the first thought in the direction of the absolute tyranny they’re inflicting on their neighbors, or dismissively concluding that “everyone does it,” which is not only a falsehood, but also a psychological confession of one’s ill intent.

As Rand explained more eloquently, and succinctly, one can do anything one pleases for the poor, out of one’s own pocket, and out of one’s own sense of charity or compassion, and there is naught but good to be born of that approach, be it food, clothing, healthcare, housing, or education.  What one must not do is force others to do one’s will in terms of charity or compassion, because it becomes neither, it breeds contempt, and it is a grave evil of its own in the first instance, for which there can be no ethical justification, despite endless rationalizations born of statist delusion.

I’ve been asked what we should replace Obama-care with, if it’s overturned.  My answer is simply:  A system in which government has no say, and no money in the distribution or provision of health-care, of any sort, as an entitlement for citizens who have done nothing more than breathed.  It is only because of governmental involvement that such shameless thugs as the current dictator of New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, can claim to be acting in the public interest when he bans soft-drinks larger than 16 ounces, or table salt in restaurants, or any of the myriad other tyrannical dicta he puts forth, all “for your own good.”  That sort of monstrous conduct by a public official is just the beginning, and it’s also why I wait along with millions of other Americans to see whether the United States Supreme Court will do its duty, or whether it will enable the advance of tyranny.

There are those who argue that Obama-care must be replaced by something, and my answer is that it should be: The US Constitution.  There exists no entitlement to the wealth of others, whether that wealth is to be taken in order to finance beans and rice or blood transfusions and open heart surgery.  Some will ask where is my compassion, but I maintain that my compassion is with those whose property and wealth is expropriated in the name of the compassion of others.  Unless and until the United States returns to the rule of Constitutional law, the country will continue inexorably downward.  There is no compromise between good and evil, yet what all of this redistributionism endorses is plainly evil.  None of my readers would walk next door and demand from their neighbors such provisions as they might from time to time need, but too many Americans are all too comfortable sending a government agent in their stead.   That’s not liberty.  That’s not freedom.  That’s not right.

 

 

Mitt Romney’s Sorry Excuse for Romneycare

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Helping Obama Socialize America

Mitt Romney has repeatedly insisted that the Tenth Amendment and the principles of federalism forgive Romneycare.  Many question this assertion, but to date, Romney has dodged and evaded it.  While the media continues to talk about contraception, Rush Limbaugh, and every evasion they can imagine, but none have asked Romney any question in opposition to this premise.  I want to know when the media will finally get around to vetting this, but it seems they have bought the lie that since Romneycare happened at the state level, it’s somehow different.  That’s not the case, and it never will be, but for the willing media that simply refuses to address this issue. In order to make this plain, I am going to explain once more why Romneycare is not excused and may not be forgiven on the basis of federalism.

The principle of federalism exists because of the way in which our nation was formed.  Our constitution is best compared to a contract in partnership among the several states.  In this sense, the states are superior to the Federal government they created, in precisely the same way that the individual retains sovereignty even after entering into a partnership.  A contract of marriage is another similar concept.  On the grounds of the marriage compact, one spouse does not gain the authority to coerce the other to an action.  When such things occur, there’s generally a dissolution of a partnership or a divorce in marriage.  Of course, the Civil War set a precedent in this regard with respect to the states, but the principle is sound even if our observance of it has not always been the most faithful.

What Mitt Romney argues with respect to his health insurance reform plan in Massachusetts(hereafter: Romneycare) is that the state of Massachusetts is eligible to do to individuals that which the Federal government may not.  The problems with this argument are many, but let us focus on just a few.  First, the Tenth Amendment doesn’t offer protections solely to the states, but also to the people.  In fact, one could also argue that  the Ninth Amendment, also applies. Here are the Ninth and Tenth Amendments:

  • Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

These are important parts of our Constitution, and while many of our children will study the First, Second, Fourth, and Fifth, sadly, the others are frequently neglected.  The Ninth simply states that just because a right wasn’t specifically addressed in the  Constitution does not mean it does not exist.  In effect, citizens could rightly claim all manner of other rights under the auspices of the Ninth, and they have.  The Tenth is considered to be a strong pro-federalism Amendment, reserving power over all matters not specifically mentioned to the States, or to the people.  What this means is that the Federal Government cannot come along and create whatever laws it wants, without respect to the sovereignty of the individual states, or to the individual people residing in them.

To be perfectly frank about this, if we applied the Tenth amendment more strictly, as should have been the case, many Federal laws now in existence would be tossed out as violations.  That said, what Romney claims is that the State can do to individuals that which is forbidden to the Federal Government.  Again we return to the Civil War as a precedent, but we needn’t go that far. We need only go back to the 1960s, when Kennedy sent the Feds to enforce the rights of individual citizens against the State government in Alabama, led by Governor George Wallace.  Notice that the Tenth Amendment had no application there, since the rights being protected were recognized by the Federal Government, and disparaged by the State.

Here starts the trouble.  Romney argues that unlike the Federal Government, that must abide by a commerce clause that forbids the Federal Government from interfering in intrastate commerce, by enumerating interstate commerce alone, the state of Massachusetts is under no such restriction, and in fact is merely exercising its authority over intrastate commerce.  Romney, his shills and his supporters all claim that this is just like automobile insurance.   Most states in the United States mandate some form of auto insurance, but this is a deception too.  The states may not compel anything beyond liability insurance.  They cannot force drivers to purchase collision insurance, comprehensive insurance, road hazard insurance, or anything of the sort.  They may only compel the purchase of liability insurance(and most states permit a liability bond of self-insurance,) and only because the vehicles to be operated are to be operated on the  public roadways.  On your private property, the state has no such authority.  Therefore, the authority of the state to compel the purchase of insurance(or posting of bond) is contingent upon your use of the public roadways, but their ability to compel is limited to liability insurance.

Once you understand this, the argument of Mitt Romney evaporates.  The mandate in Romneycare compels the individual to purchase insurance that he may never use, but most importantly, insurance to cover his own injury or loss.  This is the equivalent of forcing you to insure your lawn-mower against losses that only you might incur(damage, theft, etc,)  or insuring your car against yourself with a sledgehammer in your driveway.  The State cannot compel the purchase of such insurance, and the reason is simple:  The government has no interest in it, and thus no standing.  The claim of Romney and other statists is that the state does have an interest, by virtue of the fact that you might show up and demand healthcare irrespective of your ability to pay.

This is a result of the legal requirement by the Federal Government that an emergency room cannot turn persons away for lack of ability to pay. Effectively, what Romney and those like him argue is that because the hospitals may be coerced to take non-paying patients, that this then gives the state the authority to compel all to insurance.  This is like arguing that because some people commit robberies, we ought to be compelled to purchase pre-paid legal services, one and all, or that because some people may be bitten by rattlesnakes, we all ought to carry around a snake-bit kit, and redistribute the costs on a uniform basis.

This is absurd, and in fact, this is the root of the Romneycare scam, and what you have is really the result of an unjust law that requires some people to provide services to others irrespective of their ability to pay.  Imagine somebody walking into the grocery store and filling their cart or basket and then walking out without paying on the basis that everybody needs to eat.  Of course, we’ve short-circuited this too through the foodstamps program. In truth, with medical care, we’ve short-circuited this with Medicaid and Medicare, and much of the unpaid medical bills are generated by people who find themselves uncovered by situation.  All of it is really socialism, writ large, and Mitt Romney’s attempt to pretend otherwise is a shame, but the fact that the mainstream media permits him to evade the subject with talk of federalism and “states’ rights” is a damnable scandal.

Inviting Government Into the Bedroom

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Does the Government Belong Here?

When you invite the world into your bedroom, don’t expect the world to withhold comments.  When you invite government to fund healthcare, there will be no holding back the ultimate encroachment into personal privacy.  There’s no ambiguity here.  When Sandra Fluke testified before Congress, she invited this, but more importantly, when leftists shoved government healthcare down our throats, beginning in the 1960s, and culminating finally in “Obamacare,” the whole question of privacy was suppressed with a finality that most people simply won’t like:  The government is involved in your healthcare.  By definition, it is no longer private information.  You cannot bring government into the matter of contraception without inviting it ultimately into your doctor’s office, your bathroom, and your bedroom.

People who are defending Fluke are ignoring the simple fact that when you make your sexuality and things related to it a matter of public record and government interest, you’re holding the door open for public judgments.  Your reproductive health, but also the health of your  kidneys is subject to governmental review.  Do not offer that you haven’t understood where this would lead.  Fluke wants others to be compelled to cover her contraception.  What did she expect would happen?  If you come to me and say “hey, pal, I need you to pay for…my kids to eat,” you can expect that I will soon ask you why you have so many children.  As long as people are going to try to redistribute their private burdens onto the public account, there should be no claim whatsoever that the demand-makers  can avoid public judgment. They’re inviting them.

What do you think is the meaning of the implementation of the various state EBT cards, so that at the grocery check-out, those living off of the rest of us can avoid any alleged stigma previously associated with food-stamps?  They want the dignity associated with the appearance of paying their own way without the necessity of actually doing so.  Such people are frauds, but their first victim is always themselves.  Before they can fool the rest of us, they must first pretend to themselves that this procedure is fine, and that there is no shame in any of it.  I won’t permit it. I’m not going to let charlatans parade around as though they are anything other than what the facts reveal.

If you’re a college student, or anybody else for that matter, and you wish to avoid pregnancy, but cannot afford your own contraceptives, there’s a simple answer, and as Foster Freiss might offer, it may involve an aspirin.  As a member of the paying public, my first response when you demand free contraception is:

Nothing is free. Why do you think I should pay for it?”

What can you answer?  What is your moral premise?  What is the basis for your claim against my wallet? There are two important principles here, and the first is that to Ms. Fluke and any like her who demand contraception funded by others, the only rational answer must be “No.”  It’s an important word, and just as it applies in this context, where I do not give my consent, Ms. Fluke and all those like her should consider adding the word to their own vocabularies, in which case contraception might no longer be such a pressing necessity.

I don’t know anything about Fluke’s sexual habits, and I don’t really care.  I simply don’t wish to pay for them, and I don’t want government compelling coverages on faith-based institutions, including the university at which she is a student.  Her sexual life became a matter of public concern when she made it one.  She is not a victim of Rush Limbaugh, or anybody else.  She’s a victim of her own desire to put a gun to the heads of people of faith who will be coerced under the auspices of Obamacare to cover her contraceptive needs.

This is the truth of this issue, and when you consider what Obamacare will actually impose, from death-panels to medical records databases, and access to your financial records, it’s clear that there will be no effective protection of privacy.  I don’t know how any rational person can believe that they can get somebody else to pay for something on their behalf, and still maintain privacy.  You have a heart condition?  The government will know.  Diabetes?  The government will know.  Herpes?  The government will know.  They will know everything about you including the weight you register when you step on the scale in your doctor’s office.

What do you think has been the meaning of the “war on obesity,” the “war on bad eating habits,” the “war on smoking” or the “war on salt?”  Wait until this system begets a “war on sexuality” or some such thing.  It’s only a matter of time, because in the hands of politicians, it will be unavoidable.  There will be no privacy.  You will face inevitable judgments if you rely upon government directly or indirectly to meet or mandate the fulfillment of your needs.  Sandra Fluke complains that she’s going broke paying for contraception, and that may be the case, but life is full of choices, and it’s time for her to grow up and make them, or sustain the judgments heaped upon her for demanding others carry the burdens those choices impose.

 

Disability: The New Welfare

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Giving You All You Want

This has been the trend since the end of the 1990s, when “welfare reform” was enacted by a Republican Congress and President Bill Clinton.  Rather than remaining stuck in a system that pays in commodities and benefits, more and more people have been moved into a permanent welfare class defined by disabilities.  Some are legitimate disabilities, of course, but as I suspected then, much of it is trumped-up nonsense.  One of the biggest has been the growth among psychological disabilities, with vast numbers of people receiving benefits on the claim of ADD/ADHD.  This has created whole families who receive monthly stipends, each, as individuals, and a whole cottage industry of attorneys specializing in winning these claims has come into being.

According to one Fox News report, the number has ballooned even more in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008. In fact, according to the source article in the New York Post, many people are applying for disability just as their unemployment benefits are running out. This is simply another case of people seeing the public trough, and figuring out ways to get access to it.  Sure, there are certainly disabled people, but the numbers now applying for benefits as permanently disabled people defies credulity.  This has become the new permanent welfare subsidy, and most of the people who now receive it are able-bodied, but claim disabled minds.  If you wonder how the Obama administration is managing to bring down unemployment, this is part of the formula.  As people’s claims to the Social Security administration are approved, they drop off the roles of jobless, thus rigging the numbers a bit more in favor of the Obama administration.  All the while, disability claims have hit a record $200billion, as of January.

Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but I’ll gladly tell you mine:  I’ve said since the early 1990s that had I been born three decades later, I’d have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and pumped full of Ritalin, if my parents would have been gullible enough to fall for it.  Most of the kids diagnosed as such are just normal kids who need a little stern discipline, and while there will be those of you who will argue I am a Neanderthal for the suggestion, I’ve seen this up close, and I know what nonsense lies behind most of it.  Now, that diagnosis is being carried over into adulthood, and adults are likewise being newly diagnosed with these dread afflictions of the psyche.

Let me tell you the truth: Most of the people thus diagnosed as adults actually suffer a different affliction, and it’s called “Needaswiftkickaritis.”  In short, they’re children in the bodies of adults who are avoiding responsibility for the conditions of their lives, and passing on the duty to fund their materials needs to those of you who work.  I know a person who is part of this profile, right now, not one mile away, and that’s only because he brags about it.  He knows he’s scamming the system, and he’s actually proud of it.  Somebody at the SSA actually challenged his claim, I believe denying it, and then he went out and found himself one of the ambulance-chasers who specializes in these matters.  Bingo!  He won the lottery, and now, at 26 years of age, he will spend his days being fed, clothed, and housed by you because he “won’t hit a lick at a snake,” as goes the central Texas colloquialism.

This is one more instance where a big government program has been taken from its early intended purpose to something it was never intended to do, and we wonder why we’re going broke?  Where I work, we’ve even had people who came in, applied, went through our extensive training program, and then as they should commence work, announced that they would not be working for us after all, because their claims of disability have been approved.  Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot permit this sort of thing to go on.  When we reformed welfare in 1996, we failed to reform other programs to close loopholes that were even then being habitually abused.  Many of those who went off the welfare rolls in the intervening period have merely found another teat on the giant sow of government at which to nurse.  It’s time we wean some of these piglets, as they’re now milking the sow to death, and us with her.

Santorum Becomes Media Punching Bag

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Is He Really a Neanderthal?

Of the remaining GOP candidates, I am inclined toward supporting Newt Gingrich, so I don’t really want to be told I’m in Sen. Rick Santorum’s corner, except that in this case, I am.  The media has been trying to make the Obama administration’s contraception mandate into something other than an attack on religious liberties, and by the middle of the week, they saw an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.  They portrayed Rick Santorum unfairly as wanting to impose his personal views on contraception on the rest of the nation, but this is a bold-faced lie.  He actually went out of his way to say that he wouldn’t  impose his values through law, but instead that it is proper to raise the issue as a matter for national discussion.  For this, we should throw him under the bus?

That Santorum has reason to believe contraceptive measures each imply risks for women is really not so controversial as the media pretends, and frankly, I’m a bit tired of the licentious view of human sexuality that says “anything goes,” without respect to the consequences that are frequently ignored until they are realized.  That Santorum is willing to speak to this issue is no crime.  There is no need for me to rattle off the litany of solid science that supports Santorum’s view, but then again, in our current culture, some of this may be news to some of you. You are free to site all the opposing science you want, but the truth is that the following are irrefutable:

  • The best and most effective way to avoid pregnancy is to abstain from sexual intercourse.  There.  I said it.
  • The best and most effective way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases is still to abstain from sex.  There.  I said that too!
  • The best way for a child to avoid a life of poverty is to be born into a two-parent household in which the parents are both married and monogamous.  Yes, I said it.  Don’t like it?  Tough.  It’s true, and remains so irrespective of your personal feelings on the matter.

Part of what Santorum suggests is that our culture promotes a sort of narcissistic mindset that ignores all of these facts, and that various forms of contraception, never mind abortion, give too many people a false sense of security that all too frequently leads to one or more of the negative alternatives to the truisms listed above.  You may not like it.  You may not want to be told that, and it is understandable that you wouldn’t necessarily want Rick Santorum imposing his views on this through law, but since he’s specifically said he has no such intentions, and since his voting record in Congress supports that claim, the only reason to hold this against Rick Santorum is that some would rather not hear it.

Why?  It’s simple, isn’t it?  People hate to be told they are wrong, or that they are making bad choices, particularly when they are in the midst of making them, and especially when they have made the same bad choices repeatedly.  In listening to Karl Rove running his mouth on Friday night’s Hannity show on Fox News, he said that social conservatives shouldn’t “appear to be judgmental.”  What?  I suppose that’s the preferred position when you’ve divorced your wife and had Dana Perino handling the press on the occasion, but part of the problem in this country is that all too frequently, we’re not judgmental enough.  We didn’t arrive at a situation where sixty percent of births are to unwed mothers because we were too judgmental.  We didn’t arrive in a situation in which we now honor with lowered flags those who died at their own hands because we are too harsh in our judgments.  We don’t have an all-encompassing welfare state because we were too harsh in our pronouncements about the idle poor, or the causes of their condition.  Our prisons aren’t packed to overcrowding with repeat-offenders because we punished first-time offenders too harshly.

This country isn’t suffering from an surplus of judgment.  While some may part company from me on this point, I actually find it refreshing that a candidate is willing to speak to the moral decay of our country.  I heard the Tea Party Patriots’ Mark Meckler being interviewed by Mark Levin on Friday, and he said that we have a distinct advantage over our founders in that they created the framework upon which our efforts to restore our country can rely.  While I understand his meaning, I couldn’t help but think that if I had to choose the framework of law embodied in our Constitution, or the moral character of our people circa 1790, I would choose the latter because they were able to construct and abide by the former.  I see little evidence for hope that the inverse postulate is true, and that by some magic, people who have neglected their constitution will suddenly re-adopt it and thereby be improved in all measures.  It was the character of the nation and her people that created the US Constitution, and not the reverse.

While the media goes on to tell us why Rick Santorum is too judgmental, I think it’s time we consider what it is that the “bully pulpit” of the presidency is intended to be, and while it certainly isn’t the proper platform from which to ceaselessly castigate the American people for our various moral failings, it is the proper venue in which to gently chide people to return to the better angels of our nature.  Thus far, what I’ve heard from Rick Santorum on these issues doesn’t resemble the former nearly so much as the latter, and I am quite satisfied that he knows the proper boundaries.  Of course, the Romney crowd in establishment media is helping to drive this theme against Santorum, so it’s really not surprising to see theses criticisms rising in volume, but I think it’s fair to point out that much of this criticism is undue.  In a culture in which casual sex has been normalized, out-of-wedlock-births comprises a clear majority, and the welfare state raises more children than do parents, it may be time that we begin to discuss these issues, not as a matter of legislative priority, but as a matter of judgment.  That Rick Santorum seems willing to do so against the tide speaks well of him even if the media won’t.

Obama Phones to Illegals

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

The Western Center for Journalism is reporting that the so-called “Safety Link” program, known widely as the “Obama Phone,” that provides a phone and some number of free minutes to those on various “safety net” programs is now also providing them to illegal aliens in what is clearly a move to buy votes. This is the reason for Obama’s whole “Dream Act via executive order” that is intended to revisit the pending deportation cases of more than three-hundred-thousand illegals now in process.  This is a sickening abuse of our tax-payer dollars for what is clearly a partisan political goal, and it should be stopped, but it seems that the only way it will be discontinued is if this president is ushered out of office in January 2013.

From the article:

“A source contacted me saying she translated Latino publications, and they are urging Hispanic illegals to be sure to get their work permits, so they can get drivers’ licenses, so they can register to vote. In the Chicago way, are we seeing the Obama campaign begin now to pad their Democrat voter lists by providing illegals incentives to vote for Obama by paving the way to sidestep those onerous voter ID rules about 35 states have enacted?”

I would encourage you to see the rest of the article, as it is an eye-opening bit of serious journalism that reveals how far down the rabbit-hole we’ve already traveled.  Obama is going to use every device of tyranny to overthrow the coming election, and if he has to employ illegal immigrants to do so, he will.  He’s taking no chances, and if we ever manage to get him out of there, and restore our constitutional system of government, this guy and his henchmen need to face charges.  It’s well beyond dereliction of duty at this point.

Mitt Romney Is Anti-Capitalist

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Another "Mastermind"

Something is wrong with Mitt Romney, and it’s fundamental to his understanding of capitalism.  Here we have a man who governed what is arguably the most liberal state in the union, and he surely didn’t do so as a conservative, but now he’s demonstrating why liberal Republicans like him cannot win, and it comes down to the simplest of economics.  Thursday, Mitt Romney explained how he would index the minimum wage to automatically keep pace with inflation, proving that he has no Main street experience, but worse, that his alleged business sense is more about making deals than understanding economics.  Mitt Romney is no conservative, and by this pronouncement, we now know that neither is he a capitalist.

While it may appeal to some of the more ignorant in the electorate, and to the leftist intelligentsia, the simple truth is that a conservative who understands capitalism would be talking about eliminating the minimum wage laws.  Proving his expressions of Wednesday were statements of his true beliefs – that he is “not concerned about the very poor” – Romney advocates a system of wage controls that is economically inefficient, and immoral, but most importantly, in the context of his remarks Wednesday, actually disadvantages the poor, condemning them to perpetual poverty. Before you break out the torches and pitchforks to occupy my front porch in anger, let me explain to you the truth of the matter, and why it is that a minimum wage actually punishes the poor, but setting up a system to perpetually raise it guarantees increased unemployment and corresponding poverty.

In a free market unhampered by government mandates, wages are determined by negotiations between employers and employees.  That which sets the price is their mutual agreement to mutual advantage: Each believes he is getting the better of the deal.  In fact, in a free market, this is how all exchange is characterized, and it is the best determining factor available, because everybody walks away happy provided that the conditions on both sides of the deal are satisfied.  This requires no government involvement, and it requires no government coercion.  More, it is morally correct because it permits each party choice.

You might argue that the employer always wins, since he controls the purse strings.  I contend that this is not so, and cannot be, so long as men are free to choose.  If an employer makes unreasonable offers in payment for labor, he will be refused, and refused again, and this acts as the market’s signal to him.  If he does not respond, the labor will go undone, and he will lose the profit he might have made.  Since he is doubtless working for a customer, the impetus will be to complete the job to satisfy the deal he’s made with somebody else, and eventually, he will raise the wage he’s offering to get sufficient labor to fulfill his customer’s demand.

You might say “but he will only raise it enough to get a warm body,” and this could happen, but if it does, it may cost him more in the long run, because the labor will be poorly done, and perhaps have need to be re-done, or it might not be completed on time, or some variation on this general theme.  This too will act as a signal that higher wages are needed, and the under-performing employee will be dismissed and a higher wage paid to his replacement.  Notice that in this whole process, nobody has been coerced.  This is the moral superiority of the free market.

What Mitt Romney and the statist, anti-capitalist phalanx demands is a short-circuiting of this natural process.  What he contends more than anything is that you should not have the right to negotiate your own contracts in labor at a price you are willing to pay, or a wage you are willing to accept.  Imagine Newt Gingrich’s example of the kids who are paid a trivial wage for trivial chores at a school rather than to a full-time janitor at a much-inflated union wage.  That sort of thing mustn’t be ignored, because the janitor who is likely over-paid by the education bureaucracy in many jurisdictions probably produces less actual labor than the aggregate labor of the squad of wage-seeking children would accomplish in the same period.

Once upon a time, in a universe far away, as a young teenager, I got my father to co-sign with me on a contract.  It was my first crack at entrepreneurship, and it was with the local home-owners’ association to mow grass around the facilities made available to the residents by annual subscription fee.  Basketball courts, tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and a swimming pool, along with a fishing pond were all surrounded by acres of grass.  The bids were solicited on a per-cutting basis, with the President of the association to monitor and decide the frequency of the cuttings.  I came in at a bid that was a gold-mine to me, but far below any competitors.

Doing the math on how many hours it took me to complete a cutting, it was clear I was beneath the minimum wage even in that day.  Had they been forced to pay the minimum wage on an hourly basis, I would not have been able to compete, but because it was a per-job basis, I was able to bid what I thought was the minimum I could accept for my time.  I won the bidding, and that year I cut grass as my legs and arms and back muscles grew stronger under the beating sun. Mitt Romney wouldn’t understand this by any measure, but applying the minimum wage to that situation would have driven me out, because if you have to pay a minimum wage, who’s going to hire a fourteen year old rather than an adult?  One of the few virtues I had to offer apart from my eagerness had been that my low price allowed them to take a risk that at a higher price they could not have taken.

Under a minimum wage, the employee isn’t permitted to accept a lower wage so that the employer will take a risk on an inexperience though perhaps eager worker. This is the flip-side of the argument Frederic Bastiat would have called “that which is not seen.”  I don’t believe it is any government’s right to prescribe the upper limit of what I may earn, or the lower limit of what I will accept in payment for my labor.  That’s none of government’s business, and they ought to get out of it.

It has been shown repeatedly that a minimum wage increases unemployment by the process of making it too expensive for employers to try out new employees with little or no experience, or to take them on in a capacity to effectively serve as apprentices or trainees, but this is the leg up millions of Americans had used to obtain skills, prove workplace diligence and reliability, and otherwise promote themselves in an act of economic self-efficacy that fueled the growth of our nation.

These facts are well-known to economists, and well-known to all students of capitalism, and yet somewhere along the way, Mitt Romney has managed never to learn them, and I will tell you that it springs from the same place as his desire to “reform and strengthen the safety net:” A sense of collectivized charity rather than the honest desire to promote dignity of people in lifting themselves out of poverty.  The Club for Growth has taken on Romney’s suggested auto-indexing of the minimum wage on much the same basis.

The idea that Romney claims to be a capitalist has now been proven false. A capitalist would know that the minimum wage does more damage than good, and that the longterm result is inflationary pressure combined with increased unemployment among the young and the disadvantaged. Frankly, Romney should be ashamed of this pandering, but he needn’t fear because so many people suffer in economic ignorance that his tyrannical, big government idea will be seen as “compassionate” as it sentences more people to perpetual reliance upon the safety net he’s much too willing to strengthen.  Romney isn’t a capitalist, or a conservative, and he’s actually no better than Obama, and in some ways worse, because while I expect this sort of thing from a man who is not so ashamed to be tagged as a socialist, it is unforgivable from a man who claims he is not.

Romney Still Doesn’t “Get It”

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

"Safety Mitt"

In Romney’s response on CNN Wednesday morning, in which he said he wasn’t “concerned about the very poor,” he went on to make another remark we ought to examine.  I realize what he was trying to say, but what his full statement revealed is that he doesn’t understand why the country is on the verge of total collapse.  In stating his lack of concern, he mentioned that “we have a safety net” and that if it’s broken, he’ll “fix it.”  This is the problem with Romney:  We don’t need to “fix” the safety net.  Instead, we need to dismantle it.  What his reflex reveals is what conservatives have known about Romney from the outset:  He is a big government Republican who wants to “patch” the system, but he has no vision for overhaul of a welfare state that dehumanizes, and converts Americans into a permanent underclass, rather than to help them restore their dignity.

Conservatives understand that the welfare state “safety net” cannot be maintained in its current form because it functions too well as a hammock, but not so much as a trampoline. This difference is something Gingrich well understands, and was at the heart of his rebuke of Juan Williams in the Fox News Debate in South Carolina two weeks ago. Taking the approach of Gingrich was a stunningly successful rebuke of the leftist talking points that will predominate in the general election when the Republican nominee squares off against Barack Obama.  Romney doesn’t seem to grasp this, and it’s because he’s part of the Northeast liberal Republican establishment that tends to view the underclass as the object of their own well-intended welfare statism.  They think that people in poverty cannot lift themselves, and they concede the matter by collaborating on the growth of the welfare state with all the other liberals.

It is this fact that should worry you about Mitt’s alleged “electability,” and it further demonstrates why Mitt simply doesn’t get it.  He can’t identify this thinking, because his blue-blooded reflexes are in agreement with lefties’ views of the poor.  He sees them as the inevitable victims of life’s lottery, and not as people who should be launched into productive, self-sustaining lives of prosperity.  In effect, he sees them with the same underlying contempt as liberals actually feel, and expects them to remain a perpetual burden, with no hope of re-training, education, growth, development, or anything that would lead them to an earned prosperity.  If you want to understand the failings of Mitt Romney, it is here you must begin your journey, because what this small slip-up helps you to understand is that at his fundamental root, he suffers all the same moral and philosophical failings of a leftist.  He is one of them.

This is where his tendency toward allegedly benevolent big-government programs is born, and it is here that he aborts conservatism.  In his first reflex, when it counts most, his response is to push people toward a safety net built not of voluntary private actions by citizens in outreach to others among their own number, but to reckless big-spending government programs that convert individual poor people with momentary life issues into a permanent, institutionalized underclass that will never escape, and can never prosper, and must forever be a burden to their fellow men.  It is a hopeless, wilting view of humanity that surrenders to the notion that some people are helpless, from birth, by virtue of their environment, or both.  It assumes that people may be left in such circumstances until doomsday, with no expectations that they will ever lift themselves from that condition.

This giant hole in Mitt Romney’s understanding of conservatism is one of the larger reasons he cannot win in November 2012, because what it admits is a view of the poor much in line with Barack Obama’s, and it pays homage to the same faulty preconceptions about those who languish in our welfare system, where opportunities are seldom recognized, much less pursued.  It explains his inability to connect with conservatives too, because in this view of the poor, Romney prescribes precisely that which will not help those so-afflicted.  He’s admitting that he will be another governmental enabler, like the government programs in which the methadone substitutes for other chemicals, keeping the user strung out in lifelong stupor, but yielding no rehabilitation, either in addiction, or dignity. This is Mitt Romney, and it’s why after more than a half-decade in pursuit of the presidency, he still doesn’t “get it.”