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Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cutting off Chicago’s nose to spite its face

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George F. Will: The price of moral grandstanding

Politics becomes amusing when liberalism becomes theatrical with high-minded gestures. Chicago’s government, which is not normally known for elevated thinking, is feeling so morally upright and financially flush that it proposes to rise above the banal business of maximizing the value of its employees’ and retirees’ pension fund assets. Although seven funds have cumulative unfunded liabilities of $25 billion, Chicago will sacrifice the growth of those assets to the striking of a political pose so pure it is untainted by practicality.

Emulating New York and California, two deep-blue states with mammoth unfunded pension liabilities, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) has hectored a $5 billion pension fund into divesting its holdings in companies that manufacture firearms.

I know I would be thrilled if my employer was playing politics with my retirement fund. Wouldn’t you be?  Isn’t it worth a little, or more likely a lot, of poverty in your old age so that a politician can act self-righteous?

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Written by BornLib

February 3, 2013 at 11:05 am

Now this Kickstarter project is cool

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Via Helen’s Page: Milton Friedman for kids? Absolutely! An economic adventure book series for kids (ages 6-12)

The Kickstarter project page: Under the Staircase – An Economic Adventure Series for Kids

There will be both ebook and dead tree versions.  I’m already backing it.

Written by BornLib

February 1, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Economics, Video

How Thomas Paine is being completely taken out of context

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This image and quote from Thomas Paine is being circulated around the net by leftists who are still trying to do damage control from Obama’s “You didn’t build that” attack on business owners.

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That quote was taken from a pamphlet Paine wrote during the time of his support of the French Revolution titled, “Thomas Payne à La Législature et au Directoire. Ou la Justice Agraire opposée à la Loi Agraire, et aux privilèges agraires. Prix 15 sols. À Paris, chez la citoyenne Ragouleau, près le Théâtre de la République, No. 229. Et chez les Marchands de Nouveautés.” Gutenberg.org has it here.

Here is the context that was omitted by the left when they started this meme.  From the introduction of the pamphlet, emphasis mine:

Liberty and Property are words expressing all those of our possessions which are not of an intellectual nature. There are two kinds of property. Firstly, natural property, or that which comes to us from the Creator of the universe,—such as the earth, air, water. Secondly, artificial or acquired property,—the invention of men. In the latter equality is impossible; for to distribute it equally it would be necessary that all should have contributed in the same proportion, which can never be the case; and this being the case, every individual would hold on to his own property, as his right share. Equality of natural property is the subject of this little essay. Every individual in the world is born therein with legitimate claims on a certain kind of property, or its equivalent.

This is a direct refutation of everything Obama and the left stand for.

Written by BornLib

September 2, 2012 at 8:42 am

Obama administration ends welfare reform by fiat

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Washington Examiner: Romney hits Obama move gutting welfare reform

While the Obama campaign goes all out attacking Mitt Romney’s business history, the Romney campaign is looking carefully at a new Obama administration policy that could become a significant part of Romney’s case against the president.  In a quiet move Thursday — barely noted beyond the conservative press — the Obama administration “released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare reform law of 1996,” according to Robert Rector, a welfare policy expert at the Heritage Foundation.

They keep using that word, “progressive.”  I don’t think it means what they think it means.

The directive — which some Romney aides found stunning — allows the Department of Health and Human Services to waive the work requirement at the heart of welfare reform.  That reform, originally vetoed but later signed into law by President Bill Clinton, is widely viewed as the most successful policy initiative in a generation.  Under it, the growth in welfare rolls was reversed and millions of people moved from welfare to work.

People working? Less government spending?  This shall not stand!

Despite its success, however, many liberals remain opposed to reform.  For example, in the years immediately after passage of the law, Barack Obama himself pledged to do all he could to undo it.  Now, he has.

This move perfectly encapsulates this administration.

Ignores the law and does what he wants?  Check!

Spends more?  Check!

Expands dependence on government?  Check!

So here is what we’ve got:

Romney: ”You know, let me tell you, no no, look, look let me tell you something. If you’re looking for free stuff you don’t have to pay for, vote for the other guy. That’s what he’s all about, okay? That’s not, that’s not what I’m about.”

Obama: Yeah!  What he said!

Edited to add for further reading:

Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post: Obama to Clinton welfare reform: Drop dead

President Obama is the chief executive, obligated by the Constitution to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Obama, however, seems to have — by executive order — altered that to read “take Care that the Laws [which he likes or wished Congress had passed] be faithfully executed. The list of laws he won’t enforce or is unilaterally amending is getting long: Defense of Marriage Actimmigration laws,voting laws, and anti-terror laws. He won’t even enforce all the provisions of his signature legislation as we’ve seen in the bushels-full of Obamacare waivers. The latest and most inexplicable gambit is his decision to undo bipartisan welfare reform.

Second update:

And just when I thought I could not be more disgusted…

From Mickey Kaus at The Daily Caller: Make Ignoring Work Pay

The Obama Department of Agriculture has pulled the radio”novelas” that urged Spanish-speakers to wise up and get on the dole. (“In one of these, an individual tries to convince a friend to enroll in food stamps even though that friend declares: ‘I don’t need anyone’s help. My husband earns enough to take care of us,” says GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions, describing the novelas. “The first individual replies back: ‘When are you going to learn?’”)

Written by BornLib

July 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Posted in Economics, Liberalism

Remember when Greece was a shining example of public health care?

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Bloomberg: Greek Crisis Has Pharmacists Pleading for Aspirin as Drug Supply Dries Up

The reasons for the shortages are complex. One major cause is the Greek government, which sets prices for medicines. As part of an effort to cut its own costs, Greece has mandated lower drug prices in the past year. That has fed a secondary market, drug manufacturers contend, as wholesalers sell their shipments outside the country at higher prices than they can get within Greece.

Strained government finances only make matters worse. Wholesalers and pharmacists say the system suffers from a lack of liquidity, as public insurers delay payments to pharmacies, which in turn can’t pay suppliers on time.

“Wholesalers simply do not have the money anymore to play bank to the pharmacies,” Heinz Kobelt, secretary general of the European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies, said in a telephone interview.

To quote a great lady, “Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money.”  Unfortunately for the Greeks, the Socialists managed to mess up a lot more than just their finances.

Written by BornLib

January 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Posted in Economics, Liberalism

So that’s why they’re called the stupid party

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About two weeks ago I was feeling good about how Obama had managed to hand the GOP a way out of the Payroll Tax trap they had found themselves in by given them a completely daft ultimatum about the Keystone Pipeline.

Well House GOP lawmakers decided they were not to be out-dafted and threw away the opportunity.

Via Ace of Spades HQ:

WSJ: The GOP’s Payroll Tax Fiasco

House Republicans yesterday voted down the Senate’s two-month extension of the two-percentage-point payroll tax holiday to 4.2% from 6.2%. They say the short extension makes no economic sense, but then neither does a one-year extension. No employer is going to hire a worker based on such a small and temporary decrease in employment costs, as this year’s tax holiday has demonstrated. The entire exercise is political, but Republicans have thoroughly botched the politics.

Ed Morrissey at HotAir asks what I think is the essential question here:

I have a question — do Republicans on Capitol Hill bother to talk to one another?  If this package was so objectionable, why didn’t Boehner work with Mitch McConnell to force the demanded compromise in the Senate?  Only ten Senators voted against this bill, which means that the overwhelming majority of the Republican caucus gave it the thumbs-up.  Under those conditions, Reid’s anger is entirely legitimate.  He and McConnell worked out a compromise in which Republicans got the pipeline in exchange for a short-term extension that will get Congress through the holidays, but allows the GOP to push for more in later negotiations. Bear in mind that both parties have taken the same approach on budgeting matters — as they did last year in that bout of brinksmanship.

Written by BornLib

December 21, 2011 at 9:13 am

Posted in Economics, Liberalism

How to go from lose-lose to win-win

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HotAir: Boehner to Obama: Thanks for the veto threat!

The short version is that Obama has been putting pressure on Congressional Republicans to temporarily extend his fairly useless payroll-tax cuts (useless mainly because they are temporary).  Republicans have been resisting it, because like all of the President’s stimulus measures they have succeeded only in spending money we don’t have, which put them in a position where Democrats could demagogue them as wanting to raise taxes on the middle class while preserving tax cuts for the “rich.”

It was a nasty pickle, to be sure.  Then, our glorious leader said this:

Any effort to try to tie Keystone to the payroll-tax cut, I will reject.

So now Obama has painted himself into a corner.  All Republicans have to do is call his bluff.  If he vetoes it, it’ll be him who killed the payroll-tax cut.  If he doesn’t, not only will he be diminished by having to back off from his threat but America will get oil and jobs.

Maybe it’s all reverse psychology and the President secretly wants both the payroll-tax cut extension and the oil pipeline, and is trying to use the Republicans to screen him from the environmentalists fighting the pipeline, and is willing to take the hit to his stature that caving on a veto threat would bring to accomplish this.  Given the size of the man’s ego, I doubt that’s the case though.

Update: Here is a an even better reason to discard that theory.  Straight from the President himself:

However many jobs might be generated by a Keystone pipeline, they’re going to be a lot fewer than the jobs that are created by extending the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment insurance.

So yes, not only does he believe paying people to not work creates jobs, but creates more jobs than a private enterprise that transports oil to the United States.  To think, if I had gone to Harvard I could have learned stuff like this as well.

Written by BornLib

December 9, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Posted in Economics, Liberalism