Monday, February 28, 2011

Capitalism Magazine - Senator Rand Paul’s Morality and the Welfare State

A recent article about Senator Rand Paul in unintentionally reveals a lot about why the GOP has failed to make the proper case against the welfare state and in favor of constitutionally limited government.

In the article, we see some admirable stances from Sen. Paul, such as wanting to cut $500 Billion in spending (as opposed to the mere $50 Billion that the GOP has proposed), wanting to shut down the Department of Energy, the Department of Education and ending all foreign aid. But the same man advocating all these also goes on to say:

"As a Christian, we are our brothers' keepers and we do have a moral obligation to take care of them."[1]

Sen. Paul is championing economic freedom while at the same time championing the morality that prevents it from existing. If one holds the philosophy that "we are our brothers' keeper," which means our life must be devoted to serving others, than the natural political expression of this would be the welfare state. The welfare state ties us all to each other, forcing each man to be each other’s "keeper." That maxim represents the morality that gave birth to the welfare state.

Capitalism Magazine - Senator Rand Paul’s Morality and the Welfare State

Friday, February 25, 2011

On Teachers and Others - Victor Davis Hanson - National Review Online

Teachers are right that the crisis transcends compensation. Yet why, others might ask, would teachers’ unions oppose merit pay? Why should someone who did not join the union still have to pay its dues? Why should the state have to collect the dues from employee paychecks on behalf of the union? Moreover, when these questions are posed amid a landscape of teachers skipping classes to protest, urging students to join them, and soliciting fraudulent doctors’ notes to cover their cancellations of classes — while their supporters in the legislature hide out to prevent a quorum and thereby subvert the democratic process reaffirmed last November — the public becomes further estranged from their cause.

On Teachers and Others - Victor Davis Hanson - National Review Online

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The American Spectator : It's Not Its Business

More evidence that the Right is coming to accept libertarian arguments against government's involvement in marriage, when an argument such as this even gets published in the socially conservative American Spectator!

It is thus entirely possible that a couple of the same sex might very well be better suited to marriage than a couple of the opposite sex. Undoubtedly, there are many who would consider such a notion abhorrent and blasphemous. But Congress cannot legislate morality. Government cannot make you a good person. Marriage and family are important parts of our lives. Perhaps even the most important part of our lives. As such it is a part of our lives far too important to be left to the whims of Washington.

The American Spectator : It's Not Its Business

American Thinker: Madison and the Schoolkids

The writer asks an interesting question:
Why must some people be subjected to reality while others live like it doesn't exist? The reality of Wisconsin is that unemployment is around ten percent. My home state of Wisconsin is facing a projected $3.6-billion budget deficit. That's bigger than New York's deficit, and they have ten times more people than we do. We don't even have enough money to pay for $137 million's worth of this cycle's budget, which ends on June third.

In the real world, companies facing this proposition have few alternatives outside bankruptcy. Yet we all know that reality never affects the government, right? Wrong! Not anymore in Wisconsin. We have reached the point where we can either follow Greece into the future or make tough decisions now. We can no longer afford to pay 100% of government union pensions. Even if my union neighbor pays 5.8%, as the governor has requested in his recent bill, the taxpayer of Wisconsin will continue to pay for the rest of it.

Imagine that you are now a unionized government employee. The missing Democrat senators are found, they are escorted back to WI, and the governor's bill passes. Because the governor has asked unions to pay twelve percent (and in some situations, a few points higher) of their health care premiums, you get a call from your insurance agent. He informs you of an outstanding balance of $1,000. Thanks to Scott "Stalin" Walker, you now have to pay $120 of that balance. Your neighbor, the taxpayer, will have to pay only the remaining $880 instead of the complete $1,000.

Now you're back in the real world. Where in the nearly destroyed private sector can you get a health care premium like that?

Deny Collective Bargaining Rights?

Is the Wisconsin deal basically about denying workers collective bargaining rights?

The Governor and legislature could certainly just accept the public sector union's position, that of a willingness to accept a very modest rollback for the current year.

While doing that might solve the immediate problem for the current year, it would not solve the problem created by the unbalanced situation that exists where one side has most of the power, i.e. the public sector unions, that can basically hold the state hostage to whatever it is they want in the long term.

No level of government can make a budget if the unions can call in an outside negotiator and then demand this and that and the political subdivisions must accept the demand.

The proposal on the desk is to limit the power of public sector unions to negotiate certain things--not wages--as well as requiring that unions undergo re-certification each year, meaning workers would have the opportunity to choose whether to continue paying in huge union fees, which are now collected by the state using force--no choice is allowed, and worker's union dues then go to support Democrats and union bosses.

Make no mistake, a change such as is proposed will put an effective end to the corrupt system we have in so many states and that has led them to bankruptcy. Democrats who derive their main support from forced union dues will suffer. But that, in my opinion, is a good thing.

Workers in any case are protected by Wisconsin's civil service laws--the strongest in the country.

If the unions win this contest, then the Governor will have no choice but to begin firing public sector workers to make up the shortfall. The unions are on record as having no problem with firings. The Governor, however, does have a problem with firing state workers. Let's not forget, the state is facing financial catastrophe. Either we get a budget or we fire workers. That is the choice, unless we have reforms.

I should hasten to add, despite all the Democrat and liberal propaganda, the proposal does not address itself to private sector unions. We are talking about reforming a deeply corrupt system so that taxpayers will be put back in charge of spending. It's as simple as that.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Capitalism Magazine - Pass a Law! Liberalism to Its Ultimate Conclusion

Most people want the supposed benefits of a welfare state; nearly everybody welcomes something for nothing. But increasingly, it's apparent to all involved that you can't get something for nothing. And when you force others to give you something of theirs for nothing, you end up with unintended consequences -- such as less of everything, for everyone! Case in point: Western Europe, especially Great Britain, where the welfare state is collapsing within itself. Case in point: California. And New Jersey. And now Wisconsin.

Capitalism Magazine - Pass a Law! Liberalism to Its Ultimate Conclusion

Abolish Public Sector Unions

There can be no justification for public employees to be in unions, since the employer is the government, not a private business. Government employees have no right to strike against the public, since the public has no alternative to the government. It's not as if the public has an alternative government to provide the services required.

More than this, we have a hugely corrupt system where unions, as in Wisconsin, have the government collect union dues from each employee and then the state funnels those huge amounts of money to the union bosses who then, in turn, support Democratic politicians. Those same politicians then offer cushy benefits to the unions in exchange for union political support. It is an unholy alliance between Democrats and public sector unions that cannot be economically sustained.

It amounts to nothing less than financial rape of the public and the taxpayers, and the public has voted, overwhelmingly in Wisconsin, to make a fundamental reform of this corrupt system which can only lead to economic catastrophe for the state.

In the elections of 2010, we had a vote. In Wisconsin, the voters elected the Republicans to do what they are doing, and the votes expect them to perform and get the system in order.

This is a movement toward fiscal responsibility that is occurring in other states as well, such as Ohio, where there is legislation that essentially outlaws public sector unions.

Public sector unions are an abomination and a threat to our democratic institutions, a point well understood by George Meany, President of the AFL-CIO, and FDR himself, who opposed public sector unions. All responsible public officials should oppose public sector unions for the reasons stated.

The only way we shall have fundamental change in this country is by eliminating the long-term threat to our political and economic institutions by abolishing, or severely reigning in, the monopolistic power of public sector unions.

Even the voters of Wisconsin understand this, finally. Those in California apparently do not and will suffer accordingly.

And what about all those 14 Democrats who have abandoned their jobs to represent the people in their districts in Wisconsin? They have a moral and legal obligation to come back to the legislature and vote.

They will lose, but as President Obama has said over legislation he has favored: "We won the election." Precisely. In Wisconsin, the Republicans won, overwhelmingly. In 2012, the voters will get another chance to change their opinion, if that's what they want to do.

The Republicans will win, if they actually do what they've promised to do. Governor Walker is doing exactly what he said he would do. No surprise there, and the public supports him.

Capitalism Magazine - The Moral Crime of the "Religious Right"

The religious right insists that the American decay comes from abandoning the Christian principles of a "Christian country." Principles have been abandoned, but they were the principles of the Revolution. America fought tyranny in order to shape a country where men lived their lives for their own sake, not at the expense of others. What is needed is a proper understanding of individual rights, which Madison artfully articulated and fully comprehended.

At a time when America is working to rejuvenate itself, why haven't Madison's "Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments" been injected into the national discussion? Especially when it comes to the proper role of government. Surely someone like Glenn Beck, with his profound respect for history and the founding of America, would have stumbled across such a profound document. For the religious right, the only principles that matter are those that God and Jesus Christ have laid forth. Glenn Beck violates Madison's rule of adulterating principles when he argues that the only way to save the country is to mix reason with faith.

Mixing reason with faith is about as healthy and productive as consuming a drug cocktail with marijuana and cocaine. Building a belief system with contradicting principles is the farthest thing from a belief system. It is a method for making a human being defenseless against tyrants and incapable of recognizing reality.

Capitalism Magazine - The Moral Crime of the "Religious Right"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Capitalism Magazine - Oprah and Obama

Unfortunately, the new Republican House of Representatives isn't getting it right. Perhaps they mean well, but you cannot accomplish great things merely by meaning to do so.

If the House leaders really wanted to change the direction of American politics and government, they would propose boldly. For example, they'd propose eliminating entire Cabinet departments, such as Education and Commerce. They'd propose this as only a start. They wouldn't squirm and argue amongst themselves over whether or how to return spending to 2008 levels. Returning spending to 2008 levels implies that the Bush Administration and the Congress of his era were right about spending -- the exact opposite of what they claim to believe.

Capitalism Magazine - House Republicans Use a Shovel When a Bulldozer is Needed

Capitalism Magazine - Oprah and Obama

Of course Obama has a hard job. He's trying to do the impossible -- and the immoral. He's trying to turn America's semi-socialist/semi-capitalist democracy into a mostly or totally socialist nation. In his first two years in his office, he went about this as decisively and calmly as anyone in American history has ever done. By the standards of expanding socialism in the United States, Obama has been quite competent. This is precisely why his opponents oppose him. Oprah is either too stupid or too evasive to respond to the real reason that so many Americans don't like Obama: They resent, or even despise, his ideas and his policies. To speak in the language of Oprah: Oprah doesn't get it.
Oprah is doing what liberal partisans typically do. They bypass ideological issues and respond with personal ones. Oprah relies on people assuming that both parties are more or less the same, and that you get more or less the same thing when either one is in office -- so it's merely a matter of personality, style, competence and patience.
Sadly, this is all too true. Republicans have been expanders of and tax collectors for the welfare state no less than the Democrats, for many decades now. But none of this changes the fact that widespread opposition to Obama has come from people who oppose conventional Republicans just as much, for their enabling of the massive socialist, authoritarian democracy America has slowly become.

Capitalism Magazine - Oprah and Obama

Capitalism Magazine - The Battle of Wisconsin

The battle between the governor of Wisconsin and his state employees illustrates the case for capitalism -- and against government-run monopolies. Government employees hold a monopoly -- or at least a strong advantage -- in the provision of certain services. Over time, they get comfortable. If you have only one school system -- the public school -- or one garbage collector, or one snow removal office, well then, the employees in these monopoly businesses can pretty much do and demand whatever they want. For years, even decades, they sit pretty and they're "fat and happy." They might not become millionaires at their jobs, but they're guaranteed income and retirement, in ever-increasing portions, for all of their lives.

Capitalism Magazine - The Battle of Wisconsin

Arvada Police arrest 11-year-old over 'inappropriate' stick figure drawing - KDVR

The parents were outraged, I am outraged, and every decent human being should be outraged at this sort of totalitarian mindset that has been engendered by political correctness--specifically Left Wing Progressivist attack on free speech, and the equation of speech with behavior. This is no different than that the sort of irrational nonsense that began on elite college campuses with "speech codes" and has filtered throughout higher education and enforced by Left-wing college professors and administrators. When one speaks of the fascism of the Left, this is precisely the sort of thing we are talking about.

One sees the phenomenon all throughout the culture. Recently, for example, we have the left-wing conventional mainstream media report favorably on the union thugs demonstrating in Madison Wisconsin carrying signs attacking the Republican Governor Walter as "Hitler" yet the media says nothing about that, even though such vicious signs are quite prevalent. Had the demonstration been a Tea Party affair, something the media loathes, then you can be sure the Madison demonstration would not be represented favorably, but as a riot of "racist right-wing vigilantes". I hope you see what is obvious to me, the complete double standards of the news media. If the media favor the demonstration, it's all sweetness and light. If they don't, then the demonstrators are racists.

It's interesting to note how the media liked to point out there were so few blacks among the Tea Party demonstrators, but said absolutely nothing about the fact that there were hardly any black people in the Madison union demonstrations.

Another egregious example of bias, corruption, and dishonesty in the national news media. The only news organizations that fairly reported the demonstrations was FoxNews, so oftentimes attacked by the left-wing zealots who call it "FauxNews." It's clear to me and to any fair-minded person that the only news organization that still reports news rather than straight propaganda is Fox News.

Did you notice the difference in how CNN reported how doctors who are committing fraud by excusing teachers on sick leave are reported as just doing a nice favor, when in fact, the doctors are helping the teachers commit fraud? Only FoxNews reported this story accurately in this contest between the people on the one side, who just hired their new Governor, doing what he was elected to do, and these left-wing public sector union thugs whose only object is to keep getting union dues to support their power and influence in the Democratic Party?

Arvada Police arrest 11-year-old over 'inappropriate' stick figure drawing - KDVR

Monday, February 21, 2011

» Left Re-embraces Hate and Vitriol in Wisconsin - Big Government

Now that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is on the road to recovery, labor unions and others on the American left have pulled out all the stops in blocking spending cuts in D.C. and across the country. Since the left has no substantive, intellectually-honest arguments to offer in defense of the insane levels of government spending, they are once again resorting to hate, vitriol and downright nastiness as its political weapons of choice.

» Left Re-embraces Hate and Vitriol in Wisconsin - Big Government

» Madison Madness: Taxpayers Have Had Enough - Big Government

Nationwide, state and local government unions have a 45 percent total-compensation advantage over their private-sector counterpart. With high-pay compensation and virtually no benefits co-pay, the politically arrogant unions are bankrupting America — which by some estimates is suffering from $3 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

» Madison Madness: Taxpayers Have Had Enough - Big Government

The American Spectator : Liberalism Is Dead

They have the nation's librarians, most of the professoriate, students so long as they remain relatively untaxed, labor leaders, and career Democrats. After that it gets tricky. Conservatives accounted for 42 percent of the vote in the recent election, maintaining roughly a 2-1 margin over liberals, which has been true for decades. In the last election, the independents, the second most numerous group, voted with conservatives. They were alarmed about the economy, and will probably remain alarmed for a long time.

The American Spectator : Liberalism Is Dead

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Capitalism Magazine - ObamaCare: Gone Today, Here Tomorrow

ObamaCare needs to be voided, but for the right reasons. It needs to be voided because people's minds and bodies belong to themselves, not to the state. There is no "health care system" which belongs to "us" -- meaning politicians and other power-hungry monsters in Washington DC. My health care does not belong to my neighbor, and his does not belong to me. Boundaries, people! We're each free and responsible for purchasing and securing our own medical care, and we all have an equal right to be free to do so on an open, unregulated market. Without such a free market, by the way, there will be no innovation or competence -- and therefore no medical care much worth having.
With "friends" like Judge Roger Vinson, advocates of capitalism and individual rights don't need enemies. It's a shame, because we already have so many of them. The biggest losers in all this are anybody who is, or who one day may be, a patient undergoing medical care.

Capitalism Magazine - ObamaCare: Gone Today, Here Tomorrow

We Stand FIRM: Ryan At The Summit

I've been making precisely this point for years:

The GOP needs to more explicitly challenge the moral argument for ObamaCare, rather than concentrating on secondary issues such as costs.

They need to make the argument that government-run "universal health care" is morally wrong and that free-market health care is morally right.

Americans are very moral people and they passionately want to "do the right thing". So if they accept the premise that it's supposedly right for the government to (somehow) make sure that everyone has guaranteed health care, but gosh this particular way just happens to be too expensive, then the statists will eventually win by proposing some plan that doesn't look too costly.

Whatever statist plan is eventually adopted will inevitably either cost more than originally promised or lead to rationing (or likely both). But sooner or later, Americans will buy into such a plan -- if they think that it is "the right thing to do".

But if Americans can be persuaded that government-guaranteed health is fundamentally wrong on moral grounds, then they'll reject all proposed variants regardless of the specific financial details.

With respect to moral and/or philosophical arguments, Republican sometimes say things that sound promising, such as Ryan's "We don't think the government should be in control of all of this. We want people to be in control."

But they never consistently defend the underlying principle of individual rights, the concept that individual rights are essential to human life in a social context, or the morality of a limited government which leaves honest men free to peacefully pursue their lives and their self-interest.

Hence, the Republicans leave themselves constantly vulnerable to statists claiming that there is a "moral imperative" to implement some new entitlement program, whether it be guaranteed health care, a jobs program, or a Medicare drug benefit. The most they can do is object to the costs of a particular program (or to some other specific implementation details) -- but not to the worthiness of the underlying goal.

In other words, the Republicans often argue that socialized medicine is impractical (or the closely related "it's too expensive"), but they rarely if ever argue that it's immoral.

We Stand FIRM: Ryan At The Summit

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

American Thinker: Judge Vinson Also Smacks Down Crony Capitalists

Judge Vinson's individual mandate ruling is seen -- properly -- as a defeat for ObamaCare and a win for individual freedom. And it is all of that, of course.

But there's more. Perhaps almost as pleasing as the affirmation of individual freedom and the dismissal of a government run-society is the smack-down Judge Vinson's ruling gave to the concept of "crony capitalism." And that may be just as important in the long run.

After all, no government-run society is even possible without corporatists and crony capitalists eager to jump into the sack with the statists who will design laws to force unwilling customers to those corporations. This is something the statists will do under threat of sending IRS and other bureaucrats to harass every unwilling business or individual. You do remember that it was sixteen thousand new IRS agents -- not sixteen thousand new doctors -- that ObamaCare has plans to employ, don't you?

Gee, you think maybe ObamaCare was about control and not health care?

American Thinker: Judge Vinson Also Smacks Down Crony Capitalists