December 16th, 2012 § § permalink
My 5 favorites from John Hawkin’s Right Wing News – The 40 Best Political Quotes For 2012 (Fourth Annual):
27) A 2,700-page law is not a “law” by any civilized understanding of the term. Law rests on the principle of equality before it. When a bill is 2,700 pages, there’s no equality: Instead, there’s a hierarchy of privilege micro-regulated by an unelected, unaccountable, unconstrained, unknown, and unnumbered bureaucracy. It’s not just that the legislators who legislate it don’t know what’s in it, nor that the citizens on the receiving end can never hope to understand it, but that even the nation’s most eminent judges acknowledge that it is beyond individual human comprehension. A 2,700-page law is, by definition, an affront to self-government. — Mark Steyn
24) That’s to say, the unsustainable “bubble” is not student debt or subprime mortgages or anything else. The bubble is us, and the assumptions of entitlement. Too many citizens of advanced Western democracies live a life they have not earned, and are not willing to earn. Indeed, much of our present fiscal woe derives from two phases of human existence that are entirely the invention of the modern world. Once upon a time, you were a kid till you were 13 or so; then you worked; then you died. That bit between childhood and death has been chewed away at both ends. We invented something called “adolescence” that now extends not merely through the teenage years but through a desultory half decade of Whatever Studies at Complacency U up till you’re 26 and no longer eligible for coverage on your parents’ health-insurance policy. At the other end of the spectrum, we introduced something called “retirement” that, in the space of two generations, has led to the presumption that able-bodied citizens are entitled to spend the last couple of decades, or one-third of their adult lives, as a long holiday weekend. The bit in between adolescence and retirement is your working life, and it’s been getting shorter and shorter. Which is unfortunate, as it has to pay for everything else. This structural deformity in the life cycle of Western man is at the root of most of our problems. — Mark Steyn
19) If you tried to hold a series of potluck dinners where a majority brought nothing to the table, but felt entitled to eat their fill, it would probably work out badly. Yet that’s essentially what we’re doing. In today’s America, government benefits flow to large numbers of people who are encouraged to vote for politicians who’ll keep them coming. The benefits are paid for by other people who, being less numerous, can’t muster enough votes to put this to a stop. Over time, this causes the economy to do worse, pushing more people into the moocher class and further strengthening the politicians whose position depends on robbing Peter to pay Paul. Because, as they say, if you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can be pretty sure of getting Paul’s vote. — Glenn Reynolds
6) The real story is that our social safety net was supposed to be like one of those, ‘Take a Penny, Leave a Penny’ tills that depend on the honor and neighborliness of a community. And we don’t have that community. What we have is a fragmented mess of givers and takers who are not the same people. — Daniel Greenfield
4) The thing we adore about these dog-whistle kerfuffles is that the people who react to the whistle always assume it’s intended for somebody else. The whole point of the metaphor is that if you can hear the whistle, you’re the dog. — James Taranto
Read all 40 here.
March 4th, 2012 § § permalink
Indeed, Carbonite still advertises on the show of Ed Schultz, who makes unhinged attacks on the Tea Party and conservatives daily, and called conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham a slut (for which he later apologized).
President Obama looks down on drilling almost as much as he does on people clinging bitterly to their guns and religion.
At a recent campaign event, he mocked Republicans for their alleged three-point energy plan, every point of which he said is a call for more drilling. When the hilarity died down, he assailed all this prospective oil and gas exploration as “not a plan,” but “a bumper sticker,” a cynical and witless attempt to demagogue soaring gas prices. Pity the fools who propose such asininity and the simple-minded souls who believe it.
In practically his next breath, though, the president bragged that “under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.” The “under my administration” is particularly rich. It implies that the lights have been on late at night at the Energy Department — compact fluorescents, no doubt — figuring out how to make America a pin-cushion for the great and good work of those much misunderstood oil companies.
Afterward I thought again of something that has been on my mind the past five years or so. Longer, actually, but more so with time. In a way the argument between conservatives and progressives is that for the left, everything is about politics. Because they seek to harness government and the law in pursuit of what they see as just and desirable ends, everything becomes a political fight. Conservatives fought that narrow, constricted, soulless view of life: “We are not only political, we have other spheres, we are human beings.”
Make no mistake: America is in a media war. It is an extension of the Cold War that never ended but shifted to an electronic front. The war between freedom and statism ended geographically when the Berlin Wall fell. But the existential battle never ceased.
When the Soviet Union disintegrated, the battle simply took a different form. Instead of missiles the new weapon was language and education, and the international left had successfully constructed a global infrastructure to get its message out.
Schools. Newspapers. Network news. Art. Music. Film. Television. . . .
If the political left weren’t so joyless, humorless, intrusive, taxing, overtaxing, anarchistic, controlling, rudderless, chaos-prone, pedantic, unrealistic, hypocritical, clueless, politically correct, angry, cruel, sanctimonious, retributive, redistributive, intolerant—and if the political left weren’t hell-bent on expansion of said unpleasantness into all aspects of my family’s life—the truth is, I would not be in your life.
If the Democratic Party were run by Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh, if it had the slightest vestige of JFK and Henry “Scoop” Jackson, I wouldn’t be on the political map.
If the American media were run by biased but not evil Tim Russerts and David Brinkleys, I wouldn’t have joined the fight. . . .
If America’s pop-cultural ambassadors like Alec Baldwin and Janeane Garofalo didn’t come back from their foreign trips to tell us how much they hate us, if my pay cable didn’t highlight a comedy show every week that called me a racist for embracing constitutional principles and limited government, I wouldn’t be at Tea Parties screaming my love for this great, charitable, and benevolent country.
I am a reluctant cultural warrior.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Mr. Speaker, there’s really no way for you to get enough delegates before the convention, so this, as you said, could be a long fight if it’s going to be successful for you. When we have seen this happen in the past — 1952 for the Democrats, 1976 for the Republicans, 1980 for the Democrats — it means that party loses in the general election. Are you worried that this kind of long fight is going to put your nominee at risk?
GINGRICH: No. George, I’ll be glad to swap history credentials with you. Four years ago, I believe it was, that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton went all the way to late June before their race ended. And yet that seemed to actually be more advantageous to then-Senator Obama than Senator McCain having gotten the nomination early. So I think it all depends on which year you’re talking about and how it evolves, what happens.
February 18th, 2012 § § permalink
What do you call it when someone steals someone else’s money secretly? Theft. What do you call it when someone takes someone else’s money openly by force? Robbery. What do you call it when a politician takes someone else’s money in taxes and gives it to someone who is more likely to vote for him? Social Justice.
Victor Davis Hanson:
The average Californian, like the average Greek, forgot that civilization is fragile. Its continuance requires respect for the law, tough-minded education, collective thrift, private investment, individual self-reliance, and common codes of behavior and civility — and exempts no one from those rules. Such knowledge and patterns of civilized behavior, slowly accrued over centuries, can be lost in a single generation.
The Founding Fathers provide a framework and an “operating system” which allowed the country to prosper. These hearty men were wise, courageous and noble. They understood the nature of man and the danger of power. They established a system designed to protect people from both. They designed a form of governance to accommodate imperfect and less than honorable men. Their primary focus was on limiting the role and power of the federal government.
Not only is liberty a system under which all government action is guided by principles, but it is an ideal that will not be preserved unless it is itself accepted as an overriding principle governing all particular acts of legislation.
Where no such fundamental rule is stubbornly adhered to as an ultimate ideal about which there must be no compromise for the sake of material advantages—as an ideal which, even though it may have to be temporarily infringed during a passing emergency, must form the basis of all permanent arrangements—freedom is almost certain to be destroyed by piecemeal encroachments. For in each particular instance it will be possible to promise concrete and tangible advantages as the result of a curtailment of freedom, while the benefits sacrificed will in their nature always be unknown and uncertain.
If freedom were not treated as the supreme principle, the fact that the promises which a free society has to offer can always be only chances and not certainties, only opportunities and not definite gifts to particular individuals, would inevitably prove a fatal weakness and lead to its slow erosion.
February 3rd, 2012 § § permalink
January 14th, 2012 § § permalink
That his Republican rivals, of all people, have brought this charge is actually an unintended gift. If Romney becomes the nominee, Democrats will escalate the assault. Romney now has the chance to defuse these attacks — or show that he can’t. Defending his economic views in today’s anti-Wall Street climate will test his political skills as little else.
So now the question is, will America, Inc. ask this former turnaround CEO to prevent the bankruptcy of U.S. Government, Inc.? Isn’t a Bainful turnaround exactly what America needs?
Monty Pelerin’s World – 24 Numbers Behind The So-called Recovery”
#21 The number of Americans on food stamps continues to set new all-time records. Just check out the following progression….
October 2008: 30.8 million Americans on food stamps
October 2009: 37.6 million Americans on food stamps
October 2010: 43.2 million Americans on food stamps
October 2011: 46.2 million Americans on food stamps
People are less dissatisfied by what they lack than by what others have. And when government engages in redistribution in order to maximize the happiness of citizens who become more envious as they become more comfortable, government becomes increasingly frenzied and futile.
Charles Murray on America’s new upper class:
The members of America’s new upper class tend not to watch the same movies and television shows that the rest of America watches, don’t go to kinds of restaurants the rest of America frequents, tend to buy different kinds of automobiles, and have passions for being green, maintaining the proper degree of body fat, and supporting gay marriage that most Americans don’t share. Their child-raising practices are distinctive, and they typically take care to enroll their children in schools dominated by the offspring of the upper middle class—or, better yet, of the new upper class. They take their vacations in different kinds of places than other Americans go and are often indifferent to the professional sports that are so popular among other Americans. Few have served in the military, and few of their children either.
Worst of all, a growing proportion of the people who run the institutions of our country have never known any other culture. They are the children of upper-middle-class parents, have always lived in upper-middle-class neighborhoods and gone to upper-middle-class schools. Many have never worked at a job that caused a body part to hurt at the end of the day, never had a conversation with an evangelical Christian, never seen a factory floor, never had a friend who didn’t have a college degree, never hunted or fished. They are likely to know that Garrison Keillor’s monologue on Prairie Home Companion is the source of the phrase “all of the children are above average,” but they have never walked on a prairie and never known someone well whose IQ actually was below average.
November 26th, 2011 § § permalink
From Monty Pelerin’s World:
# 1. In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. — John Adams
# 2. If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. – Mark Twain
# 3. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself. — Mark Twain
# 4. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. — Winston Churchill
# 5. A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. — George Bernard Shaw
# 6. A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. — G. Gordon Liddy
# 7. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. — James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)
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October 16th, 2011 § § permalink
From the WSJ’s Notable & Quotable:
America has enjoyed 22 months of uninterrupted economic recovery. But recovery is not enough. If we are to prevail in the long run, we must expand the long-run strength of our economy. We must move along the path to a higher rate of growth and full employment.
For this would mean tens of billions of dollars more each year in production, profits, wages, and public revenues. It would mean an end to the persistent slack which has kept our unemployment at or above five percent for 61 out of the past 62 months—and an end to the growing pressures for such restrictive measures as the 35-hour week, which alone could increase hourly labor costs by as much as 14 percent, start a new wage-price spiral of inflation, and undercut our efforts to compete with other nations.
To achieve these greater gains, one step, above all, is essential—the enactment this year of a substantial reduction and revision in Federal income taxes. . . . [A] net reduction in tax liabilities . . . will increase the purchasing power of American families and business enterprises in every tax bracket, with greatest increase going to our low-income consumers. It will, in addition, encourage the initiative and risk-taking on which our free system depends—induce more investment, production, and capacity use—help provide the two million new jobs we need every year—and reinforce the American principle of additional reward for additional effort.
June 15th, 2011 § § permalink
America has a looming rendezvous with destiny. You can’t tax your way out of it, you can’t inflate your way out of it, you can’t quantitively ease your way out of it. The only door that leads anywhere is the one marked “Massive Government Cuts”. There is not enough money on the planet for what the Permanent Governing Class is doing. If Americans decline to grasp that central truth, this country will die.
The NLRB decision and what they are saying to an American economy as to where and how they can do business is outrageous. This is not the Soviet Union circa 1970s or 1960s or ‘50s,
The idea that we have a federal agency telling an American business in a supposedly free market that it can’t grow a business or start a business in another state is one of the most outrageous things I have seen.
The Light Bulb Police - Wall Street Journal Editorial:
Fluorescent lights also carry their own environmental risks because they contain small amounts of mercury and other toxic materials. The EPA website contains three pages of consumer directions about what to do if you break a CFL bulb in your home: “Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more. Shut off the central heating and air conditioning system. Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with a metal lid.”
The economic miracle that has been the United States was not produced by socialized enterprises, by government-unon-industry cartels or by centralized economic planning. It was produced by private enterprises in a profit-and-loss system. And losses were at least as important in weeding out failures, as profits in fostering successes. Let government succor failures, and we shall be headed for stagnation and decline. via Monte Pelerin’s World
March 27th, 2011 § § permalink
Public policy plays an important role here — one that’s especially relevant as state governments seek to cut spending and reduce the power of the public employee unions that seek to raise spending and prevent accountability.
The lesson is that high taxes and strong public employee unions tend to stifle growth and produce a two-tier society like coastal California’s.
The eight states with no state income tax grew 18 percent in the last decade. The other states (including the District of Columbia) grew just 8 percent.
The 22 states with right-to-work laws grew 15 percent in the last decade. The other states grew just 6 percent.
The 16 states where collective bargaining with public employees is not required grew 15 percent in the last decade. The other states grew 7 percent.
President Obama (via Mark Steyn):
That’s why building this international coalition has been so important. It is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions that are important not only to us, but are important internationally.
Over the years, our current President has demonstrated an adherence to three important philosophical schools of thought. For one, he would clearly appear to be a proponent of economic collectivism, the assumption that the overall economic wellbeing of everybody – “the group,” if you will – is more important than the economic rights and liberties of the individual.
Milton R. Wolf:
The free market is the most powerful engine of human prosperity in the history of mankind and today’s Democrats stand desperately in its way to appease those who are enriched by big government at the expense of everyone else.
You will not be surprised to hear that the events in Japan have changed my view of nuclear power. You will be surprised to hear how they have changed it. As a result of the disaster at Fukushima, I am no longer nuclear- neutral. I now support the technology.
A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features was hit by a monster earthquake and a vast tsunami. The electricity supply failed, knocking out the cooling system. The reactors began to explode and melt down. The disaster exposed a familiar legacy of poor design and corner-cutting. Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.
For two years now, I have been arguing . . . that President Obama’s economic policies were a throwback to the 1970s, and so were going to produce the same result as the 1970s—the worsening cycles of inflation and recession known as stagflation. With last week’s reports regarding the Producer Price Index and the Consumer Price Index, those results are now here.
This follows a long-term trend that has been flashing red for inflation for quite some time now. First gold started to rise, eventually to record highs. Then the dollar started to fall, now near record lows. Then commodity prices started to soar, with oil now zooming over $100 a barrel.
March 6th, 2011 § § permalink
According to the Department of Labor, most union members today work for state, local and federal government. Close to 40 percent of public employees are unionized. As such, they represent a powerful political force in elections. If you’re a candidate for governor, mayor or city councilman, you surely want the votes and campaign contributions from public employee unions. In my view, that’s no problem. The problem arises after you win office and sit down to bargain over the pay and working conditions with unions who voted for you.
Put simply, public employees have some major advantages over their private-sector counterparts. They are guarded by generous civil-service protections—the most significant of which predate public-sector unionism, having been put in place, ironically, to combat the inclination of urban political machines to use the public sector as a powerbase. And most government employees work in non-competitive fields where their employer has a monopoly, so their jobs are not threatened by competitors, and are not dependent on their ability to work efficiently and so keep their employer competitive.
When they organize—merely as an interest group, quite apart from formal collective bargaining—they have several more immense advantages. By leveraging their numbers and resources, their organizations can become major players in politics. At election time, public employees can therefore play a large role in choosing their own employers or bosses (by getting certain people elected and not others), which of course no private-sector union can do. At all levels of government today, public-worker unions are among the biggest political donors. Between elections, they can use that political power to influence those elected officials and the political process more generally to improve their pay, benefits, or conditions, and also to increase demand for their services through legislation that increases the size or role of government or that prevents competition. In all these ways, public workers have enormous powers that private workers could not dream of, and all without actual formal collective bargaining.
This is why Franklin Roosevelt said that “collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” It is why George Meany (the first president of the AFL-CIO) said it was “impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”
Number of healthcare reform law waivers climbs above 1,000
The conservative think tank said the average annual compensation for a Milwaukee Public Schools teacher would exceed $100,000 in 2011. As of July 1, 2011, according to the school district, that figure will be $101,091.
MacIver’s claim is True.
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February 27th, 2011 § § permalink
First, the Democratic Party is the party of government, not only because of its extravagant sense of government’s competence and proper scope, but also because the party’s base is government employees. Second, government employees have an increasingly adversarial relationship with the governed. Third, Obama’s “move to the center” is fictitious.
Big Unions fund Big Government. The union slices off two per cent of the workers’ pay and sluices it to the Democratic Party, which uses it to grow government, which also grows unions, which thereby grows the number of two-per-cent contributions, which thereby grows the Democratic Party, which thereby grows government… Repeat until bankruptcy. Or bailout.
More importantly, it’s not as if Big Labor is balancing out the rest of “big money.” Does Krugman know that all of the top ten industries contributing to the 2010 elections gave more money to Democrats than to Republicans? That’s right: Lawyers, Health Professionals, Securities & Investment, Real Estate, Insurance, Lobbyists, Pharma, Government Unions, Entertainment, and Electric Utilities all favored Democrats in 2010.
One of the great 21th century presidents was against unions for public employees who have civil service protections. No, not Ronald Reagan. It was Franklin Roosevelt who said, “Action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.
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November 7th, 2010 § § permalink
Victor Davis Hanson:
At the root of that truth is simple human nature—that people wish to further their own interest more fervently than the more abstract public good (e.g., why the renter does not wash the rental car, or why the public restroom is treated differently from its counterpart at home), and can be encouraged to invent, create, and discover which helps the less fortunate, lucky, healthy, or talented.
When Charlie Gibson pressed presidential candidate Obama on his desire to hike capital gains taxes when historically such policies have decreased aggregate federal revenue, a startled Obama insisted that the punitive notion, not the money, was the real issue, “Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”
Barack Obama has done quite well without understanding how and why American capital is created, and has enjoyed the lifestyle of the elite in the concrete as much in the abstract he has questioned its foundations. Does he finally see that the threat of borrowing huge amounts to grow government to redistribute income through higher taxes risks greater impoverishment for all of us, despite the perceived “fairness”? That suspicion alone explains why trillions of dollars sitting are on the sidelines despite low interest, low inflation, and a rebounding global economy. In short millions of profit-makers believe not only will it be harder to make a profit but far less of it will remain their own—all the while the president will deprecate the efforts of those who simply wish do well.
Dennis Prager: Why I Now Vote Party, Not Individual
There is a third reason to vote Democrat: More and more Americans are employed by the government, and more and more Americans receive significant material benefits from it. So one does not have to have left-wing values or believe in the demonization of conservatives to vote Democrat. All one has to do is vote according to where one’s livelihood comes from.
As we head to the polls, it’s a good time to recall the wisdom of Milton Friedman. “There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government.”
We should never lose sight of the fact that not every Russian was a Communist and not every German was a Nazi. But enough of them were, so that tens of millions of innocent people died before the reigns of terror ended. And just because a Muslim isn’t cold-blooded enough to be a killer of women and children doesn’t mean they disapprove of those who are. Otherwise, why have so many of them cheered on Arafat, bin Laden and Ahmadinejad, and why have so few, even here in America, spoken out against the butchers who act in the name of their religion?
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October 17th, 2010 § § permalink
When Democrats got control of Congress in 2007 they acted to save the planet from the incandescent light bulb, banning it come 2014. For sheer annoyingness, that matches Congress’s 1973 imposition of a 55 mph speed limit, which was abolished in 1995.
Nothing did more to energize conservatism in the 1970s than judges and legislators collaborating in the forced busing of (other people’s) children to achieve racial balance in (other people’s) schools. This policy expressed liberalism’s principled refusal to be deterred by the public’s misunderstanding of what is good for it. Obamacare is today’s expression of liberalism’s kamikaze devotion to unwanted help for Americans, the ingrates.
Chris Christie sure has a knack. The New Jersey Governor keeps shocking the political class on behalf of taxpayers, most recently by terminating work on a new passenger-train tunnel that was supposed to run under the Hudson River into Manhattan. To govern is to choose, or ought to be. And the reason New Jersey and so many other states can’t afford new “infrastructure” is because the politicians who’ve been running the state have blown the budget on everything else. For years, Democrats in Trenton have steered ever-more state revenues to government employees and their pensions, while squeezing state spending on the core purposes of government such as roads. Mr. Christie is telling them that the jig is up, and that a government that tries to do everything ends up doing nothing well.
The tunnel flap is a microcosm of the crowding out of public works caused by liberal governance around the country.
The tragedy here is that the U.S. does need better roads and more modern public works. Many such projects would be worth the money by contributing more to general economic efficiency and growth than they cost. But they’ve been crowded out by the liberal vote-buying politics of transfer payments and government union payoffs.
Here’s a modest proposal that Mr. Christie might consider making to his many liberal critics. If Democrats in Trenton and government unions will agree to his recent pension reforms, then he’ll go ahead with the tunnel. Liberals need to choose between their dreams of an endless welfare state and the more basic obligations of government.
Sen. Tom Coburn: For Republicans, the Moment for Reform Has Arrived
For Republicans, the most important question leading into November is not how many seats we might gain, but what will we do if we gain them. Having lived through the rise and fall of the 1994 Republican Revolution I’m convinced that if the Republican Party does not reform itself this time, it will die. It will no longer exist and I won’t be a part of it.
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October 4th, 2010 § § permalink
Meg Whitman is representative of an emerging Republican type — what you might call the austerity caucus. Flamboyant performers like Sarah Palin get all the attention, but the governing soul of the party is to be found in statehouses where a loose confederation of über-wonks have become militant budget balancers. Just as welfare reformers of the 1990s presaged compassionate conservatism, so the austerity brigades presage the national party’s next chapter.
Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana who I think is most likely to win the G.O.P. presidential nomination in 2012, is the spiritual leader. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is the rising star. Jeb Bush is the eminence. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rob Portman, a Senate candidate in Ohio, also fit the mold.
Elizabeth Powers writing in The Weekly Standard, Sept. 27:
The processor of my husband’s iPad . . . is designed by Apple in Cupertino, California, and manufactured by South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co. Another South Korea-based company, LG Display and Japan’s Seiko Epson Corp. make the LCD display while Taiwan-based Wintek Corp. makes the glass overlay necessary to detect touches of users’ fingertips. . . . For the amazing integration of production and markets to work and bring an iPad to your local retailer, all a country needs are the legal protection of property rights (including intellectual property or shares in a corporation), the outlawing of monopoly protection, a good internal transportation and communication system, secure labor, supplies, and customers. Not to put too fine a point on it, is it any wonder that there is probably not a single component of any high tech product owned by readers of this review that was made in South America or (excluding Israel) the Middle East?
Progressives want to raise taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year because they say it’s wrong for the rich to be “given” more money. Sunday’s New York Times carries a cartoon showing Uncle Sam handing money to a fat cat. They just don’t get it.
As I’ve said before, a tax cut is not a handout. It simply means government steals less. What progressives want to do is take money from some — by force — and spend it on others. It sounds less noble when plainly stated.
That’s the moral side of the matter. There’s a practical side, too. Taxes discourage wealth creation. That hurts everyone, the lower end of the income scale most of all. An economy that, through freedom, encourages the production of wealth raises the living standards of lower-income people as well as everyone else.
A free society is not a zero-sum game in which every gain is offset by someone’s loss.
Compulsive micromanagement became the style of the Democrats. The same thing happened with the 1980 Eagle Claw rescue mission planned to free the American embassy hostages held by Khomeini’s “students.” Obsessive tinkering and interference by Jimmy Carter and his aides helped delay the mission, assuring that it ended in failure. One classic line was uttered by Warren Christopher . When told by a Special Forces officer that his men would burst into the embassy and kill any armed man they saw, Christopher responded, “Couldn’t you shoot them in the shoulder or something?
September 5th, 2010 § § permalink
Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.):
“I want to congratulate Joe Miller on his remarkable victory tonight and offer him my full support,” said Senator DeMint. “He pulled off the upset victory of the year because he ran on principles and because Alaskans, like all Americans, want to stop to the massive spending, bailouts, and debt that are bankrupting our country.”I applaud Senator Murkowski for gracefully conceding this race and for doing her part to help Republicans in Alaska move forward.
If you think it’s offensive for a Muslim group to exploit the 9/11 atrocity, you’re an anti-Muslim bigot and un-American to boot. It is a claim so bizarre, so twisted, so utterly at odds with common sense that it’s hard to believe anyone would assert it except as some sort of dark joke. Yet for the past few weeks, it has been put forward, apparently in all seriousness, by those who fancy themselves America’s best and brightest, from the mayor of New York all the way down to Peter Beinart.
Marc A. Thiessen
Much attention has been paid in recent days to a poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showing that 18 percent of Americans incorrectly believe that President Obama is a Muslim. But the results of another Pew poll on religion released last December were far more shocking. It turns out that 36 percent of Democrats claim to have communed with the dead, and that 19 percent believe in casting a curse on someone using the “evil eye.” Think about that: According Pew, more Democrats believe in the “evil eye” than Americans believe Obama is a Muslim.
The fact is you can find 20 percent of people anywhere who believe in almost anything. As The Post’s Aug. 22 Outlook section noted, 20 percent of Americans believe that space aliens have made contact with humans on Earth.
An Israeli saying (now decades old) captured the essence: If the Palestinians were disarmed tomorrow, there would be no conflict. If the Israelis were disarmed tomorrow, there would be no Israel.
Milton Friedman (maybe)
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’s be a shortage of sand.
As we try to cut through the confusion, we would do well to take a cue from Lee Iacocca, former President and CEO of the Chrysler Corporation, who once said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
Here is the thing: A number of Western governments have contracted more fiscal obligations than they can conceivably cover. It is this immense burden of government debt that will drive global economic events in the years to come.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds:
Filthy. Parasites. Disgusting, overbreeding candidates for sterilization and extermination. Possessed of false morals and a “breeding culture.”
Hitler talking about the Jews? Nope. This is Discovery Channel hostage-taker James Lee talking about … human beings. Compared to Lee, Hitler was a piker, philosophically: Der Fuehrer only wanted to kill those he considered “subhuman.” Lee considered all humans to be subhuman.
Lee was a nut, an eco-freak who said he was inspired by Al Gore’s environmental scare-documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” His badly written “manifesto” underscores his craziness. He hated “filthy human babies.”
August 30th, 2010 § § permalink
Another neo-socialist, Representative Barney Frank, placed love for statism in the proper euphemistic context. He summarized the Byzantine and corrupt practices of the Leviathan with the mundane utterance: “Government is the name we give to the things we choose to do together.”
If you believe that, then you’ll buy that printing money results in economic stimulus. Rep. Frank is wrong, however. Government is the name for the things our elites do to us.
It is no coincidence that those who imagine themselves so much wiser and nobler than the rest of us should be in the forefront of those who seek to erode Constitutional restrictions on the arbitrary powers of government. How can our betters impose their superior wisdom and virtue on us, when the Constitution gets in the way at every turn, with all its provisions to safeguard a system based on a self-governing people? To get their way, the elites must erode or dismantle the Constitution, bit by bit, in one way or another. What that means is that they must dismantle America.
Wall Street Journal’s Notable & Quotable. – On the inherent unfairness in life.
I want to say something. I know this is not going to go down well among those who have knee-jerk reactions and I know this is not going to go down well among people who have this notion that fairness is the overriding objective of any society. I’ve made the point throughout my career, the undeniable truths of life, many monologues on this program, that life is not fair by definition. Life isn’t fair. I mean, it just isn’t, and there’s no way that you can change certain aspects that make life unfair to make them fair. Life is not equal. Sometimes people earn more than others. Some people have children when other people can’t. There’s nothing unfair about that. That’s just the way it is.
Unspeakable tragedies happen to some families; they don’t happen to others. Some people live a long time; some people don’t. There’s no explaining any of this. Nobody’s in charge of this. There’s no government that can change this . . . the vast majority of things that occur in the process of living life are unequal and unfair.
Victor Davis Hanson:
The wages of atheism and socialism that one sees in a shrinking, entitled, and static Europe so far have not taken over here. When people protest in the United States it is more often about too much federal spending, not too few entitlements, as is true in Europe.
It is always the task for conservatives to insist that money does not grow on trees, that government programs must be paid for, and that promising unaffordable benefits is reckless, unjust and a long-term threat to maintaining free institutions.
Warner Todd Huston:
As the 3,000 postal workers marched against proposed cuts in the U.S. Post office, tucked at the bottom of the Detroit Free Press piece was a quote by post office employee Kim Sauceda, of Tallevast, Florida.
People have gone from being very confident and sure that this is a lifetime career to now not being so sure.
August 17th, 2010 § § permalink
For those of you who believe in a Market Economy, check out The American Thinker web site.
Here’s a great sample:
The Case For Capitalism By Sally Julian
Wherever people are dependent and unable to work for themselves, the human spark that desires private property is killed, and life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Enough time as a dependent, and the human becomes degraded and abased. After the fall of the Soviet Union, CNN filmed what had happened in one of the Soviet collective farms. Anyone there was offered a farm of his own. Only one family, who must have had some distant memory of what private property meant, took them up on the offer. They worked from dawn to dusk. The rest of the collective farm members were often drunk and slept until noon while the tractors rusted in the field. The motivation to work collectively vanished. The expectation in these communities to share everything went against human nature.
A market economy based on private property, buttressed by the rule of law, is truly the best environment for mankind. People will work harder and with ingenuity if they know they have earned rewards from that labor. When the rewards are given to them for nothing, there is frustration and despair. Capitalism benefits more people than any other economic system. To work for oneself and reap the rewards is a basic human aspiration.
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of its blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of its miseries.
“We have been ruled by men who live by illusions … the illusion that there is some other way of creating wealth than hard work and satisfying your customers.”
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. … You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down … you cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.
July 4th, 2010 § § permalink
Victor Davis Hanson:
We know now there is no shelf life to “Bush Did It”. If unemployment hits 12% two years from now we will be told we are lucky to have Obama saving us from the 20% rate that would have otherwise followed from the Bush legacy. It will be as if in 2006 Bush was still blaming Clinton for eight years of appeasement that led to 9/11. It will never cease; we accept that now. In 1944, FDR was still running on the Hoover depression of 1929. So it shall be again.
The Pentagon report on the Fort Hood shooter runs 86 pages with not a single mention of Hasan’s Islamism. It contains such politically correct inanities as “religious fundamentalism alone is not a risk factor.”
Of course it is. Indeed, Islamist fundamentalism is not only a risk factor. It is the risk factor, the common denominator linking all the great terror attacks of this century — from 9/11 to Mumbai, from Fort Hood to Times Square, from London to Madrid to Bali. The attackers were of various national origin, occupation, age, social class, native tongue, and race. The one thing that united them was the jihadist vision in whose name they acted.
Cynthia Tucker (at 5:15) – she seems to always, always and only, to see issues through race:
Michael Steele is a self-aggrandizing, gaffe-prone incompetent who would have been fired a long time ago were he not black. Of course the irony is he never would have been voted in as chairman of the Republican party were he not black.
A leader is perhaps most impressive when he changes minds. NJ Governor Chris Christie may be the nation’s most prominent spokesman for an increasingly potent idea — that public-sector unions are ripping us off.
One of the world’s oldest stories is playing out before our eyes: The Jews are being scapegoated again.
Two overarching reasons explain the failure of Obamanomics. First, administration economists and their outside supporters neglected the longer-term costs and consequences of their actions. Second, the administration and Congress have through their deeds and words heightened uncertainty about the economic future. High uncertainty is the enemy of investment and growth.
Even when the state tries to steer only part of the economy in the name of the “public good,” the power of the state corrupts those who wield that power. Hayek pointed out that powerful bureaucracies don’t attract angels—they attract people who enjoy running the lives of others. They tend to take care of their friends before taking care of others. And they find increasing that power attractive.
To change our fate, the best possible solution is real reform that improves incentives and inspires confidence—worlds different from today’s sterile debate about whether a conspicuous short-term deficit encourages or inhibits recovery. Fed Governor Kevin Warsh put it nicely in a speech in Atlanta this week, when he cited veteran Washington economist Charles Schulze to the effect that “it is not the wolf at the door but the termites in the walls that require attention.” Tackle the termites and jobs and growth will return.
June 18th, 2010 § § permalink
Obama is dreamer in chief: He wants to take us to this green future “even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we don’t yet precisely know how we’re going to get there.” Here’s the offer: Tax carbon, spend trillions and put government in control of the energy economy — and he will take you he knows not where, by way of a road he knows not which.
That’s why Tuesday’s speech was received with such consternation. It was so untethered from reality. The gulf is gushing, and the president is talking mystery roads to unknown destinations. That passes for vision, and vision is Obama’s thing. It sure beats cleaning up beaches.
Hillary Clinton should be Obama’s vice president.
Memo to Secretary Rodham Clinton: Do you find yourself of a quiet evening with a strange craving for chicken dinners and county fairs in Iowa and New Hampshire, maybe next summer? Need one of those relaunch books to explain why you’re getting back in the game in your country’s hour of need?
“It Takes A Spillage.”
We should not be sending people to Washington to fix America’s big government. We should be sending them there to dismantle it. We will never be well again until we realize that Leviathan cannot be tamed. It must be slain. You fix government by dismantling it, not by reforming it.
June 13th, 2010 § § permalink
Many Americans are beginning to pick up the strange vibe that for Barack Obama, governing America is “an interesting sociological experiment”, too. He would doubtless agree that the United States is “the place on Earth that, if I needed one, I would call home.” But he doesn’t, not really: It is hard to imagine Obama wandering along to watch a Memorial Day or Fourth of July parade until the job required him to. That’s not to say he’s un-American or anti-American, but merely that he’s beyond all that. Way beyond. He’s the first president to give off the pronounced whiff that he’s condescending to the job – that it’s really too small for him, and he’s just killing time until something more commensurate with his stature comes along.
The deficit is not the problem. It’s a symptom. The disease is government spending. No administration or Congress dominated by Democrats has any chance of diagnosing this disease, let alone treating it effectively. There is some chance the Republicans will do better, but only if we keep on top of them.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Interview.
Q: You believe there is no such thing as moderate Islam. If that’s true, why do so many Muslims in the West say they’re horrified by violence perpetrated in the name of Islam?
A: I haven’t heard anybody say they’re horrified. Just to compare, many Americans, Canadians and Europeans protested the war on Iraq; they gathered themselves, they sent lots of emails, there was a lot of activism, they marched against this war. I haven’t seen that kind of thing from Muslims saying, “We’re against the numerous terrorist attacks all over the world carried out in the name of Islam.” No marches, no organizations, nothing. There are individuals, like Irshad Manji, like me, born into Islam, who stand up and say, “Hey, we don’t like this.” But we haven’t seen any kind of institutionalized protest by Muslims.
To sweeten the story, if Mrs. Clinton were to become vice president in the second term, Mr. Obama almost certainly would select Joe Biden as his secretary of state.
We will remember that our highest laws were written to restrain the government, not its citizens.