Critical Thinking and You ..Part Deux

Little over three years ago I wrote a blog post about critical thinking and the lack thereof in our culture. It’s right here —–> link if you wish to read it. Well, three years later, it seems the problems have gotten worse not better. Let’s start with what I said about oil back in 2012.

Back in April of 2012 gas prices were sky high and everyone was going bats*** crazy and screaming at the oil companies about unfair profits. As I said back then, the oil companies have little to do with the price of oil.  The price is determined by supply and demand, and the perceived or real threat to that equation.This is not unique to oil, it applies to everything in an economy in one way or another.

Noticed how much the price of eggs have risen lately? Ever wondered why, of course you did. A bird flu epedemic struck most of our chicken flocks and millions and millions of chickens had to be destroyed to protect the rest. Millions fewer chickens laying eggs during a period of sustained demand for eggs , equals higher egg prices.

Back to oil, at the time demand was at or just above supply levels thus prices were very inflated. Record profits by oil companies wasn’t a conspiracy to gouge us, it was simple math. It doesn’t matter what the price of oil is because the same technology is used to extract it. That technology costs X amount of money to operate per barrel of oil extracted, this includes cost of labor etc. So, if oil has to be at say 30 dollars a barrel in order for it to see a profit. Then how is it unfair if that company’s profits increase if the market value of oil increases beyond that level? It’s costs remain the same.

Many people here in the states quickly realized this and an oil boom hit here in the U.S. At those higher prices, it was finally profitable to use new (more expensive) technologies to extract oil. This led to an increase in supply, enough begin to get ahead of demand. At the same time, economies around the world began to slow, China chief among them. This led to decreasing demand for oil around the world, prices began to fall. This began to seriously cut into OPEC’s profits.

They saw our increasing oil production as an economic threat to them. ( rightfully so ) So they decided to play hardball. Instead of reducing output they left production levels the same. Combined with what our drillers were doing, an oil glut is now upon us, thus prices have dropped. This has led to many U.S. companies closing, that’s how the market works. That’s just how it works. No conspiracies, no inherent unfairness or nefarious actions. Just simple math and free market forces working properly..just like I said back in 2012.

This is what critical thinking is all about. Taking what you are told and then taking into account all factors involved and reaching a well thought out and reasoned conclusion. This is not taught , or if it is, it’s brushed over and not emphasized. As a result we have people falling for all forms of B.S. being spewed by both sides on any given “news item” Oil companies are greedy, Republicans hate -insert latest “transgression” – , whiny college kids represent the majority of college kids, the scourge of Political Correctness, etc etc. Listening to media spin will prevent you from gaining all the needed facts to draw a proper conclusion. Learn critical thinking skills, question everything, even claims by your own side. If you don’t, you’re just another sheep to be led around by your nose towards the goals of someone else.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Disappearing Police Enforcement

Today the Director of the FBI gave a speech talking about crime rates and how they have risen recently. He said, after speaking with a group of police chiefs from around the country, that part of the rise in crime rates is due to what he calls the Ferguson Effect. Basically what he’s saying is that since Ferguson , police officers have become reluctant to do their jobs for fear of being falsely accused of some “heinous” act. Granted, there are some bad cops, it’s statistically impossible for any group to not have a few bad apples. But the way all police are so broad brushed today is unreal. While I understand that the police have never really been everyone’s favorite profession because you rarely encounter them to just talk about the weather or yesterday’s score in the game., they are not the bad guys here…the Bad Guys are the bad guys, not the cops.

Groups like Black Lives Matter, and people like Al Sharpton claim police are targeting black people and have a racial animus towards anyone not white. They somehow miss the fact that large percentages of police officers are , you know…not white. We hear statistics that state blacks represent a higher percentage of stops than whites.  But does anyone stop to think about it in this way, or are there any statistics that show this? If you look at stops in a given neighborhood, I would bet a dollar to a doughnut that you are going to see rates of encounters closely matching the racial makeup of that neighborhood. If it’s majority black, then you’re going to see more stops of blacks than say, Asians. That’s not racial animus, that’s called doing their job. However, if you use data for an entire city, you’re going to get a somewhat different result. This doesn’t show racial bias of any sort, though it does imply statistical bias. Policing isn’t about making sure we arrest people based on their races’ percentage in society, it’s about stopping or deterring crime regardless of skin color.

Another way to look at this is to realize that over 90% of blacks murdered in this country die by the hands of other blacks, not police officers. This is never brought up by Black Lives Matter, gee , wonder why? Could it be that they can’t generate a racial divide by fighting to stop this atrocity? No money in it for them? If Black Lives Matter, which they do, along with everyone’s lives, then why does this group not march to stop that? No, all they march about is how unfair it is that they’re picked on by the police. They chant slogans of death to cops, kill whitey, etc( oh so helpful when trying to bridge a racial divide by the way)  Who is it that is calling the police in minority neighborhoods? Do white people sneak into the neighborhoods at night and randomly call the police to report a crime or ask for help? No, other minorities are calling the police for help. Are those people racist for calling the police on the bad guys, or is it only the police that are racist for arresting them?

Enough of this! Police officers are people like us. They have families that love them and they try their best to do a shitty job. The majority of police are decent people , but look at what they deal with on a daily basis. They are not typically encountering the best our society has to offer. Even the kindest person will eventually weary of the constant drumbeat of repeated contacts with the less than stellar members of our society. This makes many of them quite jaded, but that does not mean they turn into racist monsters that can’t wait to go out and shoot or arrest some minority.

Just watch, as more and more police back down, mainly for their own safety in this super charged environment, we will see crime rates rise dramatically and there will be cries from the people that we need to do something about all the criminals running rampant in our streets. Which communities will suffer the brunt of this? You guessed it, minority communities. The cops aren’t welcome in those neighborhoods these days, who is going to come when innocent people in these neighborhoods call for help and none arrives? Cops don’t arrest people because of their skin color, they arrest you because you broke the law. Don’t want to get arrested and or sent to prison? STOP COMMITTING CRIMES, get a job or go to school but stop blaming the police when they catch you doing something wrong. Do we really want a society without police?


Filed under Uncategorized

Random Thoughts

Just a few things bouncing around in my noggin.

When you hear politicians, mostly on the left but a few on the right, talk about immigrants and how we have to help immigrants. They’re not talking about legal immigrants. They’ve stopped distinguishing between legal and illegal immigration. It’s a word game they hope you don’t notice. Listen to what the presidential candidates on the Democrat side are saying about immigration. They speak of how the Republicans don’t like immigrants for instance. This is a flat out lie, but they get away with it by not distinguishing between the different types of immigrants. Don’t be fooled by this, when they say Republicans don’t like immigrants, what they mean is we don’t want illegal immigration. No one, and I mean no one of any stature on the Republican side has any issue with legal immigration. It’s disingenuous to claim we are trying to kick immigrants out of the country, as Debbie Wasserman Shultz , DNC chairwoman said the other day in an interview. We simply want people to come here legally and not sneak into the country. That’s not racist, or anti immigration or anti immigrant. It is actually pro immigration, legal immigration.

Recently, here in California, Sea World was seeking a permit to greatly increase the size of the enclosure for Killer Whales. The permit was allowed, but with one condition. The condition was brought on by PETA and other environmental groups protesting Sea World. They’re citing such things as Blackfish etc. Blackfish has been proven to be completely fabricated, none of it is true. Anyways, the condition the Coastal Commission put on Sea World was that they couldn’t breed Killer Whales at the San Diego park. This smear campaign against Sea World has got to stop. They do so much good for marine animals and they most certainly don’t mistreat their animals. Blackfish is a lie, the allegations being made about Sea World aren’t true, and the Coastal Commission is on shaky legal ground in denying Sea World the right to breed its Killer Whales…the sure to be ensuing court case will tell the tale. But it got me to thinking, who is going to be the lucky person that gets to tell the KILLER WHALES, they can’t have sex????? Talk about cruel and unusual punishment…..

Turns out Putin is doing the jobs Americans don’t want to do. While our Dear Leader waffles away and worries about his handicap, chaos is going on in the Middle East. Yes, that’s kind of redundant, but it’s really bad this time. Obama’s strategy is a joke, and worthless at best. Into this vacuum steps Putin, he comes in, is beating the living shit out of ISIS in Syria and it’s barely been two weeks. How long has Obama been trying to disrupt and degrade ISIS? Putin is making us look weak , and ineffective, and frankly , we are. It’s not because we can’t do the job, but because we have a weak leader.

Unemployment numbers have been distorted for years, well not the numbers themselves per se, but the way they are reported gives a false impression. There are 6 classifications of unemployment as far as the Bureau of Labor Statistics is concerned, U1- U6. The U3 number is the one that is always reported and is considered the official unemployment rate which today stands at 5.1% The real reflection on the job situation is the U6 number. This one shows umemployed, people working part time that want full time work, and those marginally attached to the workforce(basically unemployed but get a job once in awhile) The current U6 number is 10% according to the BLS. This does not show a growing economy, or a rosey job picture. This, among other factors, shows an economy sputtering along, not going strong, as you hear government officials constantly claim. The percentage of working aged people in the workforce( Workforce Participation Rate) is at a 40 year low. It is approx 62%, that means 38% of the working aged people in this country are not working. The reason the U3 number is going down is due to how the BLS calculates unemployment. If a person on unemployment doesn’t find a job by the time their unemployment runs out, they are not counted as unemployed anymore. In fact, they’re not counted at all, this is why the unemployment rate appears to be dropping. Smaller group sampled, smaller percentage of people counted as unemployed.  If these people were counted, the unemployment rate would be through the roof. You can see why they manipulate the numbers now, don’t believe it when you hear the unemployment rate on the news. Look at the U6 and the Workforce Participation Rate for the real picture. This isn’t secret or hidden knowledge, the government puts out this data monthly for all to see.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

What’s With all the Uproar over Planned Parenthood

In the early 1900’s a woman named Margaret Sanger founded an organization called Planned Parenthood. But who was Margaret Sanger and what was her motivation for founding this organization? In the early 20th Century there was a movement called the Eugenics Movement. It was a belief that we could breed out undesirable characteristics from the human species. This took various forms in societies around the world , including sterilization of the mentally handicapped to outright extermination of groups of people…think the Jews in Nazi Germany.

Margaret Sanger was a leading voice for this movement here in America. She was outspoken in her desires to purify our race to “save” us from undesirable people. Who were considered undesirable in her mind? Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, the handicapped etc etc. Basically anyone that wasn’t white. She started Planned Parenthood basically as a front to further her goals. She targeted blacks because, to her, they were the largest group of undesirables in this country at the time. She sold it as a health clinic for the poor and underprivileged women in the country. She enlisted the help of black preachers and others to promote her services. But the real goal was elimination of undesirable races/groups. This is the woman many supporters of Planned Parenthood laud as a hero for woman’s rights and healthcare in this country.

Fast forward to today. Since Roe v Wade, it’s estimated that 55 million abortions have been performed in this country. Not all from Planned Parenthood, but they are the leader by far. Of those 55 million abortions, approximately 17 million of them were African Americans. That equates to about 36% of the abortions since Roe v Wade. Add another 20% for Hispanics and you have well over half of the abortions in this country being minorities. To put that in perspective, African-Americans represent about 12.5% of the population, Hispanics about 17% , yet they represent around 56% of the abortions since Roe v Wade.By contrast,whites make up roughly 67% of the population and represent approximately the same percentage of abortions as blacks. Can you see how the math is working out here? Pretty stark numbers right? So why are we as a nation still funding this when there are other options available to us? Planned Parenthood performed almost 400,000 abortions last year by their own numbers. This doesn’t count abortions performed elsewhere around the country. According to these statistics, we know that well over half of those were black and Hispanic babies. Sounds to me that ole’ Margaret’s vision is coming to fruition and they’re doing it to themselves.

Where are the majority of Planned Parenthood clinics located? In poor and minority neighborhoods aren’t they? Starting to see a pattern yet? Eugenics has been a discredited philosophy for decades. And whether intentional or not, it lives on in Planned Parenthood. Look at it another way, what if those 17 million blacks had not been aborted(plus the offspring of those 17 million)? Think of how much more political clout the black community would have these days. Many of the issues going on now might not have happened, or perhaps have been less severe.

On top of all of that, we have the videos. Yes they were edited, they have something like 30+ hours of raw footage. The constraints of time require them to edit that video so it fits on news broadcasts etc. It’s a common practice in the entire movie/TV industry. It’s nothing odd or unusual, so for detractors to claim oh it was “deceptively edited” is frankly insulting. The organization put out ALL the raw footage for anyone to see if desired. They were doing more than just covering costs for “tissue”. If they were just recovering a fee, it would be a listed price, not part of a negotiation. The very fact they negotiated costs suggests they were making money…on baby parts…selling parts of aborted …Babies…as if they were some sort of commodity to be bought and sold…Baby body parts. Let that sink in just a bit.

But, you say, it’s being used for medical research to help Mankind. Yes, Dr. Mengele said the same thing about his research in Nazi Germany.The Japanese used the same logic in Camp 731 where they conducted “medical research” on live humans, prisoners of war for instance.  Whether or not they are conscious of it, the people engaged in this practice are furthering the goals of Eugenics. They have reduced a human to a simple commodity. For crying out loud some people get apoplectic when people do research on animals. Human babies? Eh, nothing to see here. Humans are not commodities to be bought and sold for any reason. There are other ways to do research without reducing a human being to “a mass of cells”

But, Planned Parenthood does a lot of good too right? Yes and no. They claim to have performed X amount of mammograms each year for instance. They’ve performed a grand total of Zero. THEY , don’t perform mammograms they do breast exams yet advertise mammograms. They refer women to local clinics for the mammogram. Why not just have us pay that clinic to begin with? We’re already spending the money but might actually save money by cutting out the middle man, i.e. PP.

But they hand out free birth control, and medical services to poor women. It’s not free, we the taxpayers fund up to a third of their budget. The money can be spent more wisely.  The good they do, does not in any way absolve them of the bad things. We as a nation should not be giving this organization one penny. The 5-600 million dollars we give to Planned Parenthood can be redirected to other clinics offering the same health needs. No woman has to go without proper care, the money will still be there to help them. We just won’t be funding the lasting sad legacy of the Eugenics Movement and all the pain that has caused the world. If the rich abortion rights people want to put their money where their mouth is, they can help to fund PP.

Lastly, I’m not some rabid anti abortionist. I do believe there should be some exceptions. What we have now is simply out of control and needs to be reigned in. It is so out of control that the concept of humanity has been all but abandoned. Who are we as a society when we’ve become so numbed to death that selling baby body parts seems like a logical next step? Do you see how this sort of thing stems from the views and practices of people like Sanger, the Nazis, the Japanese during WWII and countless others? Abortion is not birth control, it is not about women’s health, it is killing another human being. Granted, there are instances where sadly , it is necessary, but it’s still killing another human and should not be taken lightly.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Corporate Welfare

A recent conversation spurred me to write this post

A person I know asked me if conservatives support corporate welfare. Well, the short answer is no, of course not. The long answer is a bit more complex.

No, conservatives do not support corporate welfare, at least this one doesn’t. I certainly don’t agree that companies like GE had enough tax breaks last year and the year before to effectively pay zero taxes to the federal government. Yes, just like us, even with deductions you still pay taxes over the course of the year. The problem arises when companies like GE , that are extremely profitable all on their own, get favored tax status from the federal government ostensibly to spur growth, or to give them incentive to hire workers. If their product is good enough and priced fairly enough that should be all the incentive they need to stay in business and expand. I am using GE as an example but this applies to many industries in this country.

Know why sugar is so expensive? The feds use protectionism in the form of subsidies to protect domestic sugar growers from having to compete with cheaper sugar produced in foreign countries. This has led to the increased use of high fructose corn syrup in many of our products. It’s cheaper than sugar and therefore allows companies to stay price competitive in the marketplace. High fructose corn syrup is not as good as sugar for a variety of reasons, but it’s cheaper , so it is used instead of sugar.

Oil companies get subsidies from the feds too. I am pro oil, our OWN oil and very pro becoming energy independent. However, at the same time, there is no logical why we taxpayers should give any tax breaks to these multi-billion dollar industries. These are just a few examples , there are many more, too many to mention.

What do these subsidies/tax breaks do for us? Nothing good, that’s for sure. All of these things in general skew the market and directly affect prices we pay and not in a good way for us as consumers. Why are they there? Because this is how politicians on both sides of the aisle gain favor from these industries. This allows politicians to play favorites with this or that industry, Green Energy is yet another example of this problem. It is not up to the government to decide for us which way our economy is headed. That is for us to decide on our own as consumers. If company A makes a better product than company B, then company A will be more successful. That is how  free market works. To be clear, I support green energy, so long as it can replace our need for oil and in a cost-effective way. As of now, it can’t and our government throwing billions of our dollars at it , doesn’t change that one bit.

You might say, but, but , if we take away all of these incentives prices might go up, or some people could lose their jobs. Yes, both of these might happen, but if they do, other companies will come along to offer us a better and cheaper product or service. People that lost their jobs in company B will be able to find work at company A since company A is making a better product and thus increasing their need for additional workers. Like it or not, the Free Market will work out the kinks on its own. When the government gets involved it screws things up and makes it worse for the rest of us, not better.

All of this is basically an argument for abolishing our current tax system in favor of a Fair Tax or Flat Tax system. This allows all of us to “pay our fair share” while preventing the politicians from playing favorites and spending our money like drunken sailors, no offense to drunken sailors. I don’t fault companies for taking advantage of these tax breaks. There is nothing nefarious about them doing so, despite what you hear from our politicians. These are legally available to them. If you want to blame someone, blame Congress. They write the tax code, they are the ones that offered these tax breaks to these companies and they are the same people who get up in front of the cameras and claim it’s not fair that the “rich” are using tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share.

Take all of this into account the next time you hear some politician complain about this or that industry and their tax breaks. Ask them, Well, if you’re not happy with their tax breaks, why do you not change the tax code to address the issue? When you hear liberal groups or conservative groups complain about the unfairness and evilness or this or that company or industry ask them…Who wrote the tax code? Who is it that is making it possible for this company to do the things you say are unfair? Don’t blame the companies, blame the morons in Washington DC.



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Logic of Legal Gun Ownership and the Fallacy of Gun Control

Quite a few of the people I know think I’m a one or two issue person, if any of you have been reading my rantings over the years you know this to not be true. That being said, yes I’m going to talk about guns in this post.

On guns: This country has a long , long history of guns and gun ownership. Having read many of our founders’ writings on this subject , I’m quite clear on what they meant by the Second Amendment. Frankly, it had nothing to do with hunting as many would have you believe. It had everything to do with self protection and keeping the government honest and well behaved.

Thomas Paine said this in regards to the people owning arms

“The supposed quietude of a good mans allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside…Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them

This speaks to the basic human right to be able to defend ones self , family, and property from those that would do us harm.

George Washington said this in regards to the people owning firearms and the importance of this basic right

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good”

What is it that gun control people don’t understand about this basic human right we have to defend ourselves? I’ve heard all the arguments in favor of gun control. They all come down to one basic premise…Need. Why do you need more than ten rounds in a magazine, why do you need this type of gun, why do you need this or that. Last I checked, the Second Amendment is not based on need, but on rights. It’s not for a politician, Hollywood actor, or anyone else to determine whether or not I need a certain amount of ammo, or a certain type of rifle or pistol. That is the entire point of the Constitution, it’s not the government’s business to determine our needs. None of this means I, or any responsible gun owner believes there should be no laws in regards to guns. That has never been our position and it never will be our position.

We can all agree that by definition, criminals don’t follow laws right? I, and many others have said this many times, but it bears repeating once more. How do gun control people think that making more laws in regards to guns will keep guns out of the hands of people that wish to do us harm?  The vast majority of crimes committed with guns are done by people that never once followed any law in acquiring their gun/guns. Statistics and studies have shown that in areas with higher legal gun ownership crime is reduced. Conversely, in areas that have low rates of legal gun ownership, or excessive limitations on such, crime increases.

Why are mass shootings committed in Gun Free Zones? When a person stops and thinks about it for a few minutes , it becomes clear why this is the case. Criminals are humans, with a human desire to continue living. Despite everything else they are, they all have the desire to stay alive. In areas where more people are armed , criminals run into a greater chance of encountering an armed person and thus a higher risk of being injured or killed in the commission of their crime. Thus it is really no surprise to see why places like Chicago and Washington DC  have some of the highest gun crime rates in the nation and why Gun Free Zones are popular targets of mass shooters. They have the most restrictive laws in regards to legal ownership of guns and in the case of Gun Free Zones, no guns. Criminals aren’t stupid ( in a general sense ) and they realize that the likelihood of them running up against an armed citizen is much lower in these locations. Another observation  is that despite these restrictive laws in regards to guns, the bad guys have no trouble whatsoever in acquiring guns. All these laws will do is put more law abiding citizens at risk, while doing nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

I can fully understand the emotional need , in the wake of school shootings etc, to do something to end the carnage. But emotion and laws do not mix. Rushing to just do something in the wake of these tragedies leads to idiotic thinking and poorly thought out laws. For instance, the assault weapons ban proposed by Diane Feinstein. First of all, to be clear, an assault weapon is a fully automatic weapon. These weapons are owned and used by the military. You can apply for a special permit to own one yourself but it is extremely difficult to obtain. This effectively prevents true assault weapons from being prevalent in society.

What people call assault weapons are semi-automatic weapons, i.e. an AR-15. Despite what it looks like cosmetically, it is no different than any other semi-automatic rifle on the market in operation or lethality. AR-15’s shoot .223 caliber rounds, the same exact rounds many hunting rifles use. Yet, the only rifles that would have been banned by this assault weapons ban were the ones that looked scary, i.e. AR-15s. They do look like military weapons, but they are not military grade weapons. Your typical hunting rifle can shoot just as many rounds in the same amount of time as the AR-15 , but they were not part of the ban. Where is the logic in any of this? The point is, there is no logic in any of this. It was an emotional response to a problem, and therefore an ineffective solution.

On the limitation of rounds in a magazine. This too is illogical when you stop to think about it. Where is the logic in limiting how many rounds I should be allowed to have in my gun? Was there ever a law proposed to limit the number of rounds in a criminal’s gun? That, in a nutshell , is the proof of the fallacy that limiting the number of rounds in a magazine will make us safer. The magazines are already out there, the criminals already have access to them. Does anyone think that preventing law abiding people from owning larger magazines will somehow make us safer from the bad guys? How is that argument even remotely logical? The logical solution is to allow law abiding people the means to defend themselves on equal terms with the bad guys.

This reminds me of a shootout in L.A. many years ago. Two brothers suited up in body armor and many high powered rifles. The robbed a bank and began a running gun battle with police in the streets of L.A. Up until this shootout police didn’t carry very powerful weapons. The officers had their sidearms, and maybe a shotgun or two in their cars. The police quickly realized they were more than out gunned by these two guys. If I remember correctly a couple cops were killed and it took the SWAT teams with their more powerful weapons to finally take them down. Since that time the L.A. police dept and many other jurisdictions re-thought how they arm their officers. Now many squad cars carry high powered rifles on par with the types they could face in the course of their day to day duties. The police didn’t limit the rounds that their officers carry, they didn’t ban the use of semi-automatic rifles by their officers. They logically concluded that they needed to upgrade their firepower to meet the threat they were facing. The same logic applies to legal gun ownership in this country. The police can’t always be there in time to protect us. More often than not it is up to us to defend ourselves and hope the police get there in a timely fashion.

After the Boston bombings , the police had finally closed in on the suspects. During this manhunt , the suspects and police exchanged hundreds of rounds in running gun battles. Where is the logic in the government telling us that we only NEED ten rounds in a magazine to protect ourselves if there is a possibility you could face a criminal with larger capacity magazines? You’ll be out of rounds long before they will and then, you’ll be dead.  Of course there is no guarantee that if  someone has more than ten rounds in their gun they could fend off a potential invasion. But, the more rounds you have access to, the better chance you have of holding off or stopping multiple attackers.

As I said before, the Second Amendment does not speak to need, it speaks to rights. We have the right to defend ourselves , loved ones, and property. An armed citizenry is also a deterrent to an overreaching and oppressive government. It is not up to our politicians or government to decide for us whether or not we need a gun, or how many rounds we decide to load in to that gun.Even though I have shown a clear need for law abiding people to own guns, the fact remains that we do not require a need determined by the government to own firearms. Until we can prevent bad guys from possessing guns or the will and means to use them against us, there is no logical reason to restrict legal access to guns for the rest of us.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

A Tale of Two Philosophies

In Two days we will be going to the polls to choose a president. A few words about what we are facing this time around.

We are facing a choice in this country between two diametrically opposed political philosophies. One a proven failure, the other a proven success.

The current administration has tried to carry out a European style economic model for the past four years. It has made an already bad situation much worse. Big government is not the answer to our problems, it is in fact the cause of many of them. Now I’m not saying that all that is going wrong now is exclusively due to the current administration. It took many years to get to where we are and many administrations. However, throughout our history as a nation , we have faced similar down times and we have always recovered faster than we are now. The only exception, and a lesson for what is going on now would be The Great Depression.

The reasons behind this anemic recovery stem from the fact that government can not stimulate an economy, period. For the government to “invest” trillions of dollars in the economy to stimulate it, it has to first Take that amount of money out of the private sector. The government has no money of its own. The only money the government does have comes from us, the taxpayers of this nation. You can’t take a trillion dollars out of the private sector, then give it back and expect it to stimulate anything, that’s not how things work. If you take money out of the private sector, then give it back, it’s a wash, you haven’t added anything to the total. In fact, you’ve actually retarded growth by removing money that would have otherwise been spent improving businesses, giving people raises, companies investing in Research and Development and so on.

A perfect illustration of this in action is Europe and their big government model. These countries are facing a real fiscal cliff and some have already fallen off, Greece for instance. This is because , for them, the government has become king. They have excessively high taxation rates, onerous regulations, and overly generous benefits for their citizens. Well beyond what can realistically be given due to their economic output. The way to create more money in a country is for that country’s economy to expand. You can’t do it by constantly increasing taxes and fees, eventually you run out of people to tax. You increase the pool of money in a country by an expanding economic output. This leads to more products being made, more people working, and thus more taxpayers, paying taxes. If an ever-expanding government were the answer to economic success, then Europe should be the largest economic powerhouse on the planet, but they are not. They are an economic mess and it’s only getting worse as more and more people realize the gravy train has derailed. I direct you to the riots in Greece and a couple other European countries in the past year as proof.

All of this has a name, it is called a Keynesian Economy. Wherein the government controls economic output and provides for everyone’s needs. This is the failed political philosophy that the current administration is advocating and exactly the reason it needs to be rejected on November 6th. The core of our problem is not enough government, it is too much government in our lives. There are countless examples of this throughout our history. The New Deal from FDR actually prolonged The Great Depression, it did not shorten it. Massive government spending took money out of the private sector and re-tasked it to what the government thought would be a better way to spend it. It is telling to note that after WWII almost all of what FDR had put in place was removed and it led to a boom time in our country. Taxes were slashed, regulations were removed, government was reduced. When government gets out-of-the-way our country prospers, when it grows, our country declines.

Now , the other philosophy is the philosophy that has always worked throughout our history. Smaller government, lower taxes and less regulations. It worked in the 1920’s, it worked after WWII, it worked when Kennedy did it, when Reagan and GW did it. Doing these things did allow us to prosper as a nation. Tax revenue increased, business increased , jobs increased, our nation’s economic output increased. This is a proven method to recover from down times. This is not , helping the rich, or whatever other class warfare B.S. you hear about these days. Everyone prospered during these times not just the rich. The facts are undeniable, less government in our lives equals a more prosperous nation where everyone benefits. When more people are paying taxes you increase revenues to the government. When taxes are low and loopholes are reduced or in some cases eliminated , more people pay their taxes. There is a chart and explanation that explains how this all works. It is called the Laffer Curve. In short it shows that there is a decreasing return on revenue the higher the tax rate rises. This is due to human nature. The more taxes rise, the more people find legal ways to avoid paying them. Economists can make charts showing how if you increase taxes X amount revenue will thus increase.However, people aren’t charts, they are humans with desires and dreams and goals. The majority of people are willing to pay some tax , to “pay their fair share” as people like to say these days. The Laffer Curve explains how to achieve the optimum tax rate for the greatest gain on taxes. It is fact that the higher tax rates go, the less revenue the government receives.

The problem with increased revenue to the government is that people who ascribe to the Keynesian economic philosophy start spending the money on all sorts of programs to “help” everyone. Thus negating the benefits of increased revenues. As Reagan often said, we don’t have a tax problem we have a spending problem. Congress sees all this new money and goes on spending sprees which then burden our finances for generations to come. People come to expect these so-called entitlements and begin to demand that government do more for them. This began during The Great Depression and continues to recur periodically since then. It was stopped in the 1950s and we prospered. It happened again in the late 60’s under LBJ and we began to decline to how bad it was when Jimmy Carter was in office. Regan came along and put us back on the path to economic success and we once again prospered as a nation. His legacy lasted well into Clinton’s administration. For all his faults, Clinton knew a good thing when he saw it and co-opted this philosophy and joined with Republicans in continuing many of the programs originally put in place by Reagan. This all came to a screeching halt on Sept 11, 2001. Our economy was once again plunged into the abyss, except this time it was not due to overspending by Congress. However, the solution was the same as if it had been caused by an increase in government. Bush and the Republicans slashed taxes and regulations and viola , revenue skyrocketed to the federal government. But then Congress, this time both Republicans and then in 2006 Democrats went on a spending spree. It all came crashing down in 2007-2009. This is when the current administration took over. Instead of using tried and true methods to spur economic growth, this time the government decided to go all in on Keynesian economics. This is why we are still floundering as a nation economically. Why we have barely 1.5% GDP, why unemployment is stagnant. This is why we are not growing and prospering as a nation.

Four more years of this will not solve our problems , it will only make them worse, just as in The Great Depression 80 years ago. Increasing taxes on “the rich” will not solve our problems. If 100% of their money was taken in taxes it would only fund the government for barely a week. We can’t tax our way out of this. We can’t stimulate our way out of this because like I said earlier, in order for the government to inject money into the economy,it has to first take money Out of the economy to do so.

I’m not some rabid Romney fan. He was not my first choice to be president. But he is the one we have now. And it is time to give someone with his experience, a chance to fix things. I don’t believe everything any politician says, I’m long past that naivety. But one thing I do know is that without someone new in office things are not going to get better. With a new leader we have a chance that things might turn around. Ignore the class warfare B.S. you hear these days, it is a smokescreen to keep you from seeing how bad things really are. We Americans have always celebrated success and successful people. We have striven to be like them. We do not denigrate success or claim they aren’t paying their fair share. When the top 5% of income earners in this nation pay close to 50% of the taxes in this country, I would say that they are paying “their fair share” We don’t have a revenue problem in this nation, we have a spending problem. Obama advocates more and more government spending to solve the problem ( Keynesian) Romney advocates less government and to get out of our lives and let our natural talents help us succeed and prosper ( Free Market ). I’ve shown how each one has led to either failure or success. On Tuesday November 6th we have a choice to make. Do we become Europe? or do we once again lead the world as the economic superpower that we have been in the past. The choice is ours to make in two days. Think real hard before casting your ballots.

1 Comment

Filed under Politics