Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spread the wealth

On a national level, the idea that wealth should be shared and spread around so that everyone can benefit seems likes a moral thing to do. However, it flies in the face of human nature. We are not the same. Our talents are all different. Our strengths and weaknesses are different. Our ability to adapt and prosper differs. This is why capitalism works better than any other system. It allows for all of this and actually enhances individual productivity. At the same time, seeing as we are all different, it only stands to reason that some would actually prosper in a more hostile environment, such as a dictatorship or a centrally planed economy. It would only be reasonable that they would see less freedom as being good because it IS good for them and the skill sets they posses. I am afraid that I have known some personally. Spread the wealth would fit into their skill set very well.

An extreme example:

Everyone has heard about the ‘mountain man’ who hoards food and water and medical supplies as if the world economy is going to sink tomorrow. I don’t know any personally, but I would imagine that they would have to spend a fair amount of money. I would also think that they would have to spend a fair amount of energy and time planning. The items would take up space, so they would have to provide for this as well.

Lets say that a famine or natural disaster occurs that disrupts enough of the area to actually begin starvation and all of the disease that are the direct result of starvation. In the military, in those situations an accounting is held and all supplies are accounted for and allocated based upon apparent need. What about the civilian sector? Would the government have the right to go into this ‘mountain mans’ home and/or property and take what it deems the man does not need for the betterment of the rest of the people?

Historically, since the foundation of our country, the answer would have been ‘NO’! But ‘spread the wealth’ ideology would insist that everyone should get an equal chance to eat. But what about the fact that this guy lived for years as a laughing stock and gave up time, energy and resources in the effort to protect himself from something like this? Capitalism would say that if this man has any extra, he would be well within his rights to sell off any excess at any price he can get. Heck, he can even burn it all if he wanted to.

This is the crux of the balance of freedom of economy and political freedom. “Spread the wealth” sounds like the ‘level the playing field argument’. It sounds like a good thing to do. However, it is easily turned into a source of power. I suspect that more people are motivated here for political and personal gain as opposed to some noble cause. This is precisely why capitalism works better than ANY other economic system devised by man. It channels the drive for gain into productive and constructive endeavors. Government does not do this nearly as effectively or efficiently. Government is a ‘one size fits all’ that will not go away when installed. “Spread the wealth” is another term for ‘destroy wealth’ because that is what it ultimately does. Some do benefit, but the majorities are out of luck, just like the old Soviet Union.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Health Care debate (Or lack of it)

I would like to thank Anonymous for so many contributions in these discussions. (I am assuming that the recent comments by Anonymous were made by one person. In any case, thank you.)

Anonymous left the following comment earlier this week:

data directly from the Congressional Budget Office sited on the blog.

The republicans (I am including Clinton in the economic arena) have been in power for over 30 years. Our national debt has increase from under 1 trillion to just over 14 trillion. Why would we possibly want to repeat history? And why would change not be welcomed?

Evidence suggesting there was not passage of the Affordable Health Care Act against the will of the people:
CNN poll 2010:Of ten polls conducted just prior to the passage of the bill, three found about equal opposition and support, five found a plurality expressing opposition, and two found a majority expressing opposition.[109] The differences could have been caused by context and phrasing of the questions; for example, support for mandates was 56 to 59% when subsidies were mentioned for those who could not afford insurance but 28% when penalties were mentioned.[109] Some ideas which showed majority support, such as purchasing drugs from Canada, limiting malpractice awards, and reducing the age to qualify for Medicare, were not enacted.[109]
Polls conducted for CNN probed the reasons for opposition to the bill and found that while many people opposed the bill for being too liberal, a number of people opposed the bill for not being liberal enough. In March 2010 a CNN poll of 1,030 adult Americans probed opinions about the bill and its relative liberalness. It found that 43% of respondents opposed the bill for being too liberal, and 39% supported the bill and 13% opposed it on the grounds that it was not liberal enough.[110][111] The identical question when asked in December 2010 found that 37% opposed the bill for being too liberal, 43% supporting the bill and 13% opposing it on the grounds of being not liberal enough.[112]

March of 2011:A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation in March 2011 found that repeal was favored by 39% of the public and opposed by 51%.[125] Supporters of repeal were divided almost evenly over whether the law should be replaced with a Republican-sponsored alternative. Among opponents of repeal, three-fifths wanted the law expanded, while two-fifths wanted to keep it without change.[125]

This bill was not passed against the will of the american people. If anything it was a split. After passage and people found out what was actually in the law the numbers against repeal have gone up consistently. Moreover, there are a fair amount of people who wanted more (public option).

End comment

Prior to passing the Health Care bill, the American public was learning more about the bill as time went on. And it was becoming more and more against it as information began coming in from when discussion began in July of 2009 until passage in February of 2010.

At that point: "We have to pass this bill so that we can find out what is in it." It was obvious the bill needed more study simply because the sponsors COULD not know what the implications of the bill are. How could they? They did not even know what was in it. The Health Care system of the United States is calculated to be about 17% of entire private sector of our economy. The bill was passed because they knew that time was not on their side. This is why it was pushed through. This is responsible government? Not even knowing what the implications of what it is doing in order to accomplish its political goal? The ends justify the means? And we are speaking of just under 1/5 of our entire economy. Not exactly a small issue.

On top of this, the Democrats also knew that once passed, it would be virtually impossible to repeal. It will take just about dictatorial power to completely get rid of it. Go ahead and attempt to fire the people who have been hired already. Any organization that can’t fire people is going to have serious fiscal problems. And don’t tell me that they do not know this. February of 2010 was their best chance and they took it. And it is a one-way trip that was not fully understood? This is why I say that the American people were against it.

The backlash from this has not even begun yet. You fight wars over this type of stuff. This has opened a door that can easily jeopardize the republic. I never thought it possible that I would see the loss of the republic in American. I figured we were still a hundred years off. Now it IS possible. Why should Republicans not do the same with their pet projects like privatizing Social Security? They don’t even have to know what they are doing! How about getting rid of it altogether? And it certainly will not stop there.

By the way, you place too much faith in government accuracy. The IRS is one of the most respected branches of government. (I suspect because of the power it wields) The OFFICIAL word is that you can expect to get an accurate answer only 60% of the time. I am certain that you know that the IRS is not accountable for ANY agent’s answers!

If any business were run like that, they would be broke before the week was out. I don't trust business all that much either, but the good thing is that when they screw up, they go bankrupt. That is how they are held accountable. Remember Anderson Consulting? Try doing this to ANY government agency for a mistake or screw up. So the results you rely on have a 60% chance of being correct. Not very convincing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Flaws within Islam

One of the laws in Islam is the penalty for leaving is death. This law has been enforced since the beginning of Islam. It is still a powerful influence today. In 2007 we saw in Afghanistan a man whom had converted to Christianity was sentenced to death. His execution was not enforced because of his ‘mental health’. Please research to confirm how entrenched this overall concept is. It does not stop here.

The overall idea is that once something is Muslim, it cannot revert back. This applies to land as well. This is why Israel is ‘occupying’ all of the land it sits upon. This is why the U.S. is ‘occupying’ Iraq and Afghanistan until we leave. This is why the U.S. was ‘occupying’ Saudi Arabia even though the Saudi government invited our troops in. This also extends into an attitude of general intolerance against anything non-Islamic, including other religions.

Islam recognizes NO other national entity EXCEPT itself. This places it in conflict with the parent government even where Islam is dominant and most of the laws are in agreement with Islamic law. Because Islamic law is so specific and rigid, many points of disagreement exist that can become issues as divisive as slavery during the U.S. Civil War. This combined with the penalty for leaving the faith cause divisions within Islam that cannot be easily resolved, if ever. (The Sunni and Shiite division is a classic example)

Islam is so totalitarian and suppresses so many natural human drives that anger is about the ONLY acceptable emotional outlet. Frustration is rampant throughout the Islamic world for many of these reasons. This can only turn to anger over time, as the inability to change and adapt can find no other outlet. While anger is an important part of courage, it can easily become counterproductive when not controlled. Mistakes are easily made when angry and can lead to violence.

The overall point is that Islam has some major structural flaws that lead to divisions that are not easily overcome, if ever. Because of these flaws, Islamic culture is prone to anger, which cause mistakes, counterproductive activity and violence. In addition, Islam does not mix well with its neighbors. Other national entities are constantly being attacked, in many ways. This cannot help Islam make anything but the most shallow of allies.

Islam has a good side as well, but these flaws are so important and pervasive that from an outside view, they overwhelm most if not all of the favorable aspects. From an internal viewpoint, these flaws prevent Islam from ever actually becoming the ‘house of peace’.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Anonymous commented on my post about Chris Matthews.

Anonymous said...
"His idea of freedom apparently does not extend to economic freedom." Crazy talk. Specific examples please.

My reply:

Crazy talk? Do you mean to say that President Obama does NOT want to restrict private business? Or that President Obama does NOT believe that the government can allocate the national resources better than the private sector? And that by doing so, NOT restricting economic freedom?

Boeing. You will be unable to convince me that restriction of the choice of which state you can build a plant and do business in is NOT a restriction of economic freedom. If I wish to do business in New Jersey, that is my choice. If I wish to live in Kansas, that is my business.

This issue with Boeing is only one off the top of my head. The past 2 years is full of this type of stuff. I posted on the more general topic in my previous post.

Economic freedom

Back in the late 1980’s I remember seeing that tax freedom day was May 15th. This was the date of the year that you had paid your FEDERAL tax. In other words, you have worked all year up to May 15th paying your federal tax. For the rest of the year you can work for yourself. OH! Forgot about State and local taxes! Counting State and local taxes, the freedom date was determined to be about one month later. In percentage terms, 44% of the average income was taxed. In the year 1900, this figure was less than 1 percent.

The Health Care system in the United States IS the last great economic engine our country has. We have led the world for over a century in innovation and technological breakthroughs. This system is calculated to be about 18% of the private sector economy of the United States. Combined with the actions of the Federal government concerning the automobile industry and the banking system, the percentage of the private sector of our economy that was taken over by the government within the two year period of 2009 and 2010 totaled more than 47%. Naturally, this takeover is not complete nor is it immediate. It will be decades before the full effect of this will be felt.

The takeover of the health care system of this country by the government is a severe restriction of economic freedom. Don’t think so?

My Mother-in-law is 86 years old. Over the past 5 years, she has had both hips replaced. Her mobility and life have taken a huge jump for the better. Do you really believe that the Health Care system that is going to go into effect over the next 5 years or so would actually spend that kind of money on a 86 year old woman? They will supply her with painkillers and dope her up. This is what we have to look forward to. And when we get there, it will be far too late to reverse.

I do not know what the tax freedom date is today. I can tell you this: If things remain as they are today, the Federal government takeover of so much of the private economy can only severely reduce economic choices that U.S. citizens enjoy today. Economic freedom is what made America great. This is why we revolted from England in the first place. Taxation without representation was THE major issue. The overriding of the U.S. public resistance to government takeover of the health care system is placing our republic in jeopardy in more than one way.

What can stop the Republicans from privatizing Social Security once they obtain a majority that Democrats enjoyed in February 2010? Better yet, just repeal it. How about repealing Medicare and Medicaid? Why do we need to listen to the American public anymore now that they don’t understand what is good for them? The passing of the health care bill over the wishes of the American people is responsible. We can expect far more extreme actions from our government against our wishes. This is NOT freedom.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chris Matthews

This afternoon, (6/9/11) Chris Matthews stated that the Republicans should publicly state that “Obama is just as American as you and I.”

First thing was that Chris Matthews did NOT say PRESIDENT Obama. Chris Matthews said only his last name. President Obama is the President of the United States and should and WILL obtain the respect that the office holder deserves. Republicans understand this better than Democrats do. Just look at how Democrats have mocked past Republican Presidents.

Second: Why is it necessary for ANY Republican to say this? I suspect that Chris Matthews is requiring this statement because of what President Obama is. I disagree. I believe that the question of President Obama being an American is being called into question because of what President Obama is doing. Just because Christ Matthews agrees with President Obama and believes that the state should control the economy and the fact that this concept is NOT American? (In fact, opposite) Or perhaps because President Obama is shunning our allies and embracing our enemies overseas that we conservatives question his patriotism? Or is it because President Obama has provided so limited data about himself, including his birth certificate? Or is it possibly because of so many incidents where President Obama is apparently not respectful of the U.S. flag and other symbols of the U.S.? Or can it possibly be because of all of this?

I question President Obama’s commitment to values that we Americans have held since our inception. His idea of freedom apparently does not extend to economic freedom. He disagrees with me, fine. But it is not just disagreement that is the problem. I disagree with plenty of people and get along with them. Those individuals do not hate me. President Obama is prejudiced against people like me. “I do not know all of the facts, but the police acted stupidly.” I must admit, I do hold my own prejudices. (I am a BEARS fan) But I do not hate him because of what he is. I hate what he is DOING. And I certainly do not need to state that PRESIDENT Obama is as American as you and I. I do not need to state it simply because he is the PRESIDENT of our country. Something that Chris Matthews does not seem to understand: Respect for the holder of that office.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fairness doctrine

I understand why the desire to have a ‘level playing field’ is so prevalent in U.S. society. We Americans like to believe that anyone can rise to his/her highest level of ability if given the opportunity. A major problem with this ideology is that life is not even, nor is it fair. Not that we can’t live in a society that offers more opportunity than any other and that this system can’t be improved. However, to make anything but the most basic attempts is foolhardy as it goes against human nature. We are NOT equal. None of us are. I would like to take this to an extreme.

To really, truly implement ‘fairness’, we will need to supply all other countries and organizations the equipment and training that our armed forces receives. This would come much closer to making the battlefield a more ‘level playing field’. So we would lose far more personnel in any future war than we would otherwise because we fight ‘fair’. That type of self-sacrifice is admirable, if it were not so stupid. Clearly, fairness must have limits.

Today, we have the most extreme President that has ever held the office. One of his most ambitious goals is to remake American society so that it is more ‘fair’ and has a ‘level playing field’ for everyone. From what I have seen of his foreign policy, I believe that he is attempting to do this with the rest of the world as well. The result can only be a massive deterioration in the position of the United States relative to the rest of the world. I am certain that our President does not see this as being bad. It is actually just and will ‘level the playing field’ to everyone’s advantage. The thinking goes that maybe some will not be so well off in the near future, but the overall effect will eventually be to the majority’s benefit.

Would you give away all of your assets to help in this cause? I am sorry, but no way in hell will I agree to any such thing. This goes against human nature and certainly punishes those who have exceptional gifts. You can’t treat everyone the same, because they are NOT. This is like attempting to make all sports teams equal. It can’t be done all that well and to do so defeats the purpose of the game itself. Attempting to Make everyone and everything equal is inviting disaster. This applies to all levels of human interaction, be it social, economic or political.

I just hope that we can get through the next 2 years without paying the full price for the folly of our President and his leadership.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu was heckled during his speech to Congress and replied that “This is democracy.” He added that no nation in that region allows for this type of expression except for Israel. He also said:

“You don’t need to do nation building in Israel, it is already built. You don’t need to export democracy to Israel, we already have it. You don’t need to send U.S. soldiers to Israel, we DEFEND ourselves.”

This is a statesman. I wish we could pick leaders like this. (We used to be able to)

Can we get him a Hawaiian birth certificate? (A friend passed this one to me, I could not pass it up)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

This says it all

More on REWARDING GOOD FOR EVIL: 16 Important Facts About Jews, Arabs and Israel ...
* Posted by Terminator Girl on May 22, 2011 at 9:23am in General, Town Hall

1. Israel became a state circa 1030 B.C., more than two millennia before Islam.

2. Arabs from Israel first began to be called “Palestinians” in 1967 by Yasser Arafat and other Arab leaders, two decades after modern Israeli statehood.

3. After conquering the land in about 1250 B.C., Jews ruled it for more than 1,300 years and have maintained a continuous presence there for 3,300 years.

4. For over 3,000 years, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital. It was never the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even under Jordanian rule, (East) Jerusalem was not made the capital, and no Arab leader came to visit it.

5. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the Bible, but not once is it mentioned in the Qur’an.

6. King David founded Jerusalem; Mohammed never set foot in it.

7. Jews pray facing Jerusalem; Muslims face Mecca. If they are between the two cities, Muslims pray facing Mecca, with their backs to Jerusalem.

8. In 1948, Arab leaders urged their people to leave, promising to cleanse the land of Jewish presence—some 70% of them fled without ever being ordered by Israel to leave, most of those without ever having seen an Israeli soldier.

9. Virtually the entire Jewish population of Muslim countries had to flee as the result of violence and pogroms.

10. Some 650,000 Arabs left Israel in 1948, while about 850,000 Jews were forced to leave Muslim countries.

11. In spite of the vast territories at their disposal, Arab refugees from Palestine were deliberately prevented from assimilating into their host countries. Of 100 million refugees following World War II, they are the only group to have never integrated with their coreligionists. Most of the Jewish refugees from Europe and Arab lands were settled in Israel, a country no larger than New Jersey.

12. There are 22 Arab countries (with 800 times the land mass of Israel), not counting the Palestinian territories. There is only one Jewish state. Arabs started all five wars against Israel, and lost every one of them.

13. The Fatah and Hamas constitutions still call for the destruction of Israel. Israel has agreed under several proposals to cede most of the West Bank and all of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, and even supported the arming of its police force after the Oslo Accords in 1993.

14. During the Jordanian occupation, Jewish holy sites were vandalized and were off limits to Jews. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian holy sites are accessible to all faiths and maintained in good order at Israel’s expense.

15. Out of 175 United Nations Security Council resolutions up to 1990, 97 were against Israel; out of 690 General Assembly resolutions, 429 were against Israel;

16. The U.N. was silent when the Jordanians destroyed 58 synagogues in the old city of Jerusalem. It remained silent while Jordan systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, and it remained silent when Jordan enforced apartheid laws preventing Jews from accessing the Temple Mount and Western Wall (Kotel).