Tag Archives: capitalism

Elections Have Consequences

For the past year it has become the public mantra of Democratic Party politicians: “Elections have consequences.” Whether they were talking about bailing out large corporations or taking over the banking, auto, and health care industries, that simple phrase has been their fallback position.

To some extent, that is true. When the nation elects a leader such as Barack Obama, the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, it has definitely sent a message. A majority of the citizens of the United States spoke up in November of 2008 and sent the message that the direction the country was headed during the Bush years was not one that they wanted to continue following.

The American electorate sent a clear message for ‘change’ to Washington politicians at that point. The problem, however, and it is a big one for the Dems, is that the voters quite obviously wanted ‘change’ with a small ‘c’, not the “Change” that marked the Obama campaign’s signature slogan.

What Obama was trumpeting was “fundamental change“, a message that he banged home time and time again. The mass electorate heard those words and decided that he meant a simple change in direction, something they wanted indeed. What he actually meant was to change the very nature of what it meant to be America as a nation.

After winning election, Obama got his house in order, got his Democratic Party leadership organized, and then set out down the path towards that fundamental change from a democratic, capitalist society to a full-blown European-inspired socialist one. The American ‘system’ that had made us the envy of the world for generations had somehow “failed” in is words and needed to be almost completely trashed.

Problem was, the American public didn’t go along for the ride. As the depth and scope of Obama’s vision of change came into view and practice, as Dem national leaders like Nancy Pelosi in Congress and Harry Reid in the Senate began to push the legislative agenda, it became crystal-clear to Americans that socialism was the order of the day.

The Democrats were making a fundamental political mistake, one that the Republicans had made a couple of times in the last couple of decades. They assumed that their election to power now gave them a mandate for major changes to America, and they began to institute those major changes.

Quickly, the American public began to voice their concerns. In every major public opinion poll, the public shouted at the top of it’s lungs for the Dem leadership to slow things down. Some changes were needed to the system, yes. But almost no one wanted socialist restrictions and control to replace democratic capitalism’s freedom and liberty.

Socialism has failed everywhere that it has every been tried on earth. The reasons are quite simple. Taking away incentives from individuals to work harder, to dream bigger, to achieve more results in less production. Citizens come to rely on their government to provide for them. Eventually, the government can no longer do so, because it simply lacks the resources.

You cannot possibly tax individuals and businesses enough to sustain government control. And let’s face it, that is the only place that government gets it’s money. Government is, in fact, you and I. We pay into the system to keep it functional. We elect people to run things as our representatives. In a socialist system, those representatives just keep raising and raising our taxes to take on more and more control over our everyday lives.

Eventually a system such as the Obama administration is attempting to install will collapse on itself because it is economically unsustainable. But before it does, society will degenerate into a mess of ennui and disillusionment, or worse. If those who have control in a socialist system see that control slipping away, their response has often been to use force to remain in power. They change the laws and keep themselves in the life boats to protect their own interests as the ship sinks around them.

Many Americans did understand that this would be the direction that Obama and the leading Dems would take once in power. Those are the tens of millions who voted against them. They are now being joined by the millions ‘in the middle’, those Americans who wanted the small ‘c’ of ‘change’, not the capital ‘C’ of Obama’s socialism.

Yes, Democrats, elections have consequences. However, what you are failing to remember is the lessons of politicians and Parties past. That there is always another election coming. This November, Americans will again go to the polls. All signs point to the Dems losing control of Congress, which will seriously cripple Obama’s ability to continue his agenda.

Obama and Pelosi and Reid have led America down this path of ‘Change’ at full speed, recklessly disregarding the public’s wishes time and time again. Reid and many of his Dem leadership co-horts will undoubtedly pay the price in the Fall of 2010. They will pay that price because, despite their election victories in 2006 and 2008, they are now ignoring the American electorate in 2010.

Now is a time of opportunity for the Republican Party to reassert itself, but it must be willing to return to basic American principles of democracy, capitalism, and traditional exceptionalism in order to take full advantage. The Republicans must reflect core American values, pledge a change in direction to fiscal sanity and responsibility, and to fully and effectively preserving and defending our nation and it’s founding principles.

In the fall of 2010, the Democrats will be reminded that elections do indeed have consequences. When they lose their control over Congress, their control over the purse strings and the power and the direction, then they will cry and wail and moan. They will blame one another, point fingers, and become disgruntled. And they will have no one to blame but themselves, because elections do indeed have consequences, the next one as strongly as the last one.

Your Fair Share

There are a surprisingly large number of people in America who sincerely believe that they are not getting and so want their ‘fair share’ which leads to the question: what is your fair share?

What is it exactly that you are owed? And who owes it to you?

The first thing that we need to do before we can determine what your particular fair share is would be to define exactly what it is we are talking about.

What is it that you are missing out on that others are getting and that you deserve?

Tops on most people’s list would be, of course, money. Are you getting your fair share of money? And if you don’t think so, then why are you not getting your fair share? Who are you comparing yourself against? What do they do for a living? What do you do? Why do you deserve as much or more?

One area where you hear many folks complain about what others are earning is athletics, or entertainment. Why should a ball player or a singer or an actor make millions while you struggle every day at your difficult job and make five figures?

Well, first of all, how much do you generate in income with your production at your job, and how easy would it be to replace you right now, or in a short time?

Could you get up on a movie set and act as well as Denzel Washington or Meryl Streep, get up on a stage and sing as well as Mariah Carey, step up to the plate and hit as well as Derek Jeter?

So the answer is a resounding “no”, and you are willing to admit that. But you still sweat and toil, and wonder why they get paid so much more. Well, for one, tens of millions of people all over the country and from around the world are willing to pay their own hard-earned money to watch or listen to these performers. Is anyone willing to pay anything to watch you work?

Because of these individuals God-given abilities they have separated themselves from the rest of us with skills that many of us are willing to enjoy watching them perform. These talents and abilities generate vast sums of income for their studios, teams, and production companies, and a portion of this goes to the performers.

The easy solution would be to not go to any games, buy any music, view any movies, etc. However, the majority of your fellow citizens will not join you in this reclusive lifestyle, and so your protest will effectively be wasted and worthless, except to you, of course.

The exact same income-generation scenario plays out in other forms of salaried positions, from executive boards to law offices to surgery rooms people make money because they have specific talents, or have become educated in and mastered specific skills and professions.

Police officers in the career that I have chosen make more money than clerks in the banking industry that I left behind. The police work outside in all types of weather conditions, have to physically confront dangerous individuals, wear at least one weapon everywhere they go and may need to use it at any time. These and many other skills and job hazards lead to the discrepancy.

In today’s America, and for decades now, the old arguments about equal opportunity no longer exist. There will be race-baiters, women’s liberation holdovers, and other excuse makers who will try to play on the liberal conscience and make you believe differently, but the fact is that in the vast majority of circumstances in this country, anyone who wants to can succeed.

Recipes for success vary wildly, from taking advantage of some natural talent or ability, to concerted efforts at higher education, to plain-old hard work. If you don’t have a natural talent, you can outwork that perceived disadvantage by staying in school and studying, taking low level jobs and working your way up, and so on.

Now some people put roadblocks in front of any success by their own actions involving personal behavior, substance abuse, criminality, and many other activities which cause them to miss opportunities, or have those delayed. This is nothing more or less than their own decision-making process effecting these opportunities.

If you don’t want to work hard, or study hard, or conform to regulations, procedures, rules, and norms set up by society or professions, then that is your choice. But then don’t blame anyone else for your lack of success either.

Some people complain that they have made all the right choices: never made poor personal choices, stayed in school and studied hard, and went out to work and worked hard, and yet still the big opportunities never came along.

To the young who fit into this category all I can say is that competition is rough, and you may need to evaluate specialty education or skills. Keep plugging away, keep looking for opportunities, be willing to stretch yourself, stay on the right path.

To older individuals, you can take the same advice and make it work, but you need to realize that the older you get, there will be some opportunities that begin to close on you. This is a simple fact of life, and if you don’t plan on making yourself valuable and diverse while you are young, you may never be able to make that up as you get older. You simply need to try as hard as you can while remaining realistic.

This is not to say that there are no people who need and deserve help. There are some who, because of physical or mental disabilities not of their own making, or because of unusual extraneous circumstances absolutely deserve assistive services in providing at least a certain level of opportunity. This is simple compassion. But no one deserves a check for sitting home and doing nothing when they could be out working and have the opportunity to do so.

This is also not to say that there are not employers who have historically taken advantage of workers by not paying them a ‘fair’ wage. This happens when business owners in particular fields or businesses ‘collude’ to construct a salary structure that does not allow for competition.

In such cases, limited intervention may be necessary such as salary arbitration, minimum wage laws, etc. But a fine line needs to be walked between protecting salaried workers and profit-seeking businesses so that neither ends up suffering.

The bottom line here is that the only ‘fair share’ that any of us is entitled to is that which we actually earn by our actions. The person who goes out to work at a low-skill job deserves more salary than the healthy person who sits home on the couch. The person who gets educated and gains experience in a field deserves more than the low-skilled worker. The naturally gifted talent that others are willing to pay see perform deserves more than this educated and experienced person.

You deserve a ‘fair share’ dictated by your own efforts, your talents, and your ability to generate income for others. There is no legitimate system in the world that works any other way.

All systems of Communism and Socialism that attempt to take hard-earned money from true workers and disperse it among everyone eventually have collapsed or deteriorated into systems of pure political patronage.

In the end, the only ‘fair share’ that we deserve is in opportunity. If we waste away our time and our opportunities while others are working hard to make their dreams a reality, then those others deserve more than we do.

Many Americans have simply become their own worst enemy, and the only path to success for them will never come from some political ‘change’, but only through personal change.

Capitalism: A Love Story

Michael Moore is a maker of documentary films for liberal values and anti-American causes, and his latest titled “Capitalism: A Love Story” is going to be no exception.

In this film, slated to be released in early Fall, Moore will attempt to portray capitalism as the root cause of the American and global financial meltdowns over the past couple of years, calling it “the biggest swindle in American history.”

Let’s give credit where it is due, Moore is good at his craft. He knows how to push all the right buttons, slice all the right video clips, edit all the right sound bytes, and basically tell a story in the way that his political views and values want that story told. You need a propaganda documentary made? Michael Moore is your man.

This is all well and good as long as you understand going into the theatre that this is what you will be paying your money to see: propaganda. One side of a story, told from a slanted view, through a tinted lens.

The fact is that greedy corporate tycoons and misguided politicians, flawed human beings, have been the problem, not our capitalist economic system.

Now if what you really want is the truth of the matter, explained in depth, with examples and in complete historical and political context, then what you want to do is pick up a copy of a book called “How Capitalism Saved America” by Thomas J. DiLorenzo.

In reading this enjoyable and educational book you will find out why DiLorenzo says “Free-market capitalism, based on private property and peaceful exchange, is the source of civilization and human progress.”

In his book, DiLorenzo fully explains the overwhelming evidence which indicates that exactly what Barack Obama and his Democratic Party cohorts are doing right now: more regulations, taxes, government-run industries, controls, protectionism, and other forms of intervention, the poorer a country will be. These interventions will cause higher unemployment, higher prices, shortages of goods and services, and many other problems.

In his great work on capitalism titled “The Wealth of Nations“, Adam Smith explained it’s most important elements: the division of labor, social cooperation, and free exchange.

The idea of serving one’s fellow man is central to capitalism. As DiLorenzo puts it “In a capitalist economy the primary means of improving one’s standard of living is giving others that which they want.”

It is precisely because of capitalism that “the average American working person today lives better in many ways than kings did serveral hundred years ago.” Capitalism is pure democracy. People decide how they wish to spend their hard-earned money, in effect voting with their dollars, and everyone’s dollar vote counts the same.

Key to capitalism, and indeed the key to overall freedom and economic prosperity, is private property rights. The absence of such rights has been the major cause of poverty around the world.

Since the 15th century creation of commercial property law and commercial law courts designed to enforce and protect property rights, capitalism has grown and flourished, along with every nation that has adhered closely to it’s principles.

You see it already with attacks on the tobacco industry, the health industry, and many more to come. The Obama administration is clearly anti-capitalist, couching the control of money and power in public interest rhetoric. They will destroy jobs and economic freedom, all in an effort at socialist control. And now Moore will actually attack the very idea of capitalism itself.

Have there been those who have abused the capitalist system? Absolutely. As long as there are living, breathing human beings behind any form or system of government or economic power there will be greed, misuse, and corruption. That is what our justice and legal system is supposed to be for, to weed out criminals and make them pay for their crimes.

What America needed was a change to closer scrutiny in business practices and harsher public punishments for those who abused and manipulated the financial and economic system. It also needed a far more realistic home ownership policy. It needed to tweak capitalism, not trash it in favor of corporate bailouts, tax-payer funded stimulus plans, and socialism.

DiLorenzo states at the end of his book, that “capitalism has been America’s great blessing.” I might rather put it that our relationship with God since our very inception has been our actual great blessing. The intellectual ability to formulate and put into practice our system of capitalism has been one of His great gifts to us.

The question before us now is, will Americans allow 2 1/2 centuries of greatness to be destroyed by the emergence of political socialism here in the United States? Do yourself a favor before you decide that Obama and socialists might be on to something. Read “”How Capitalism Saved America” – you’ll thank me, and yourself for having done so.

Tea Parties Signal New American Revolt

On the night of December 16th, 1773, American colonists who had grown weary of British taxes on all sorts of goods boarded three ships in Boston harbor and dumped crate loads of taxed tea into the harbor waters. This protest against ‘taxation without representation’ became known down through history as ‘The Boston Tea Party’, and is considered a defining moment as the colonists moved towards declaring their Independence just two and a half years later.

Today is April 15th, and it is also the deadline for American citizens to file their income tax returns. All across the country, a new revolutionary movement has been building for months, and it will continue in over 500 locations across all 50 states with today’s nationwide ‘Tea Party’ protest events.

What has ignited this grass-roots, web-based fire storm is the unprecedented turn towards a more massive government structure with greatly increased tax burdens for all American individuals and businesses. It is a bipartisan effort battling the situation that began with President Bush’s $168 billion dollar ‘stimulus’ that has been taken to even worse levels by new President Barack Obama.

As was posted by The Heritage Foundation, “Americans have grown more and more wary of the ever expanding size and scope of the federal government.” 

Obama’s supporters continue to send up the smoke screen message that his plans will cut taxes for those making under $150,000 per year in income. What they fail to tell people is how the vast majority of those making just over that figure are small business owners: bar owners, dry cleaners, restaurateurs, gift shops, diners, hair cutteries, and many more.

They will all see their taxes rise, which means that their customers will see their prices rise, or these businesses will reduce services and/or employee jobs, or all of these eventualities. Some will even have to close their doors for good, further worsening the jobs situation.

What lies behind the Obama tax cuts for the lesser income individuals, which include myself and my family as well, are not any desires to help us out. What lies behind them is an effort to expand government control of a greater and greater portion of our everyday lives. They hope to do this by forcing us out of self-support, out of dependency on jobs in the private sector, and into a process where we look to the federal government for our support.

Force some companies out of business with tough tax policy, then make those remaining take federal ‘bailout’ money to remain in business, with the condition of yielding power to the government to regulate those businesses as they see fit. The government, not private industry, becomes the vehicle that drives the nation.

This is, despite what Obama and Democratic political administration officials whine, pure and simple Socialism. President Ronald Reagan himself said it best when he stated that the nine most frightening words in the English language are: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” 

Making individuals reliant on the government kills wide-spread and large-scale innovation. History has proven this time and again.

Capitalism is the vehicle which drove the world to it’s greatest technological, medical, and societal heights over the past two centuries. Freedom was the fuel for that capitalist vehicle.

History has also proven that the way to overcome financial problems is to lower taxes, loosen regulation, and allow the market to readjust itself. When you try to control the markets, you only accomplish one thing – control. It is that political control and power that Obama seeks.

Millions subordinate to the government, reliant on it for their very subsistence, and indebted to politically support it in order to sustain those new ‘benefits’. All the while, the cost to all of us will be reduced quality in services, and reduced overall benefits to society due to a decrease of innovation.

With all of the spending that the Obama administration has embarked upon with their reckless ‘stimulus’ and ‘bailout’ packages, not to mention the numerous and incredibly substantial programs that they intend to implement, it is only a matter of time before they will be forced to raise taxes on that middle class whom they now say will get a break.

At some point, these bills will have to be paid, and at that point, as the website hotair.com says, we in the middle class “will get hammered.” Today’s wide-ranging ‘Tea Party’ events will attempt to begin to spread that message more widely.

The mass media has largely ignored this grass-roots movement to date, solely because it flies in the face of the Socialism that the newspaper industry needs in order to remain viable and alive financially.

Newspapers all across the country are dying because their ultra-liberal editorial sections and news coverage have driven the masses to other sources. The same goes for television news rooms, most of whom have seen their ratings drop precipitously in recent decades for the very same reason. These industries blame the internet and cable television for their demise, failing to acknowledge that it is conservative and moderate websites and cable news programs that have flourished.

The fact is that the ‘silent majority’ in America remains traditionalist, if not conservative, and it is these individuals who are growing the Tea Party concept and other movements. President Barack Obama has significantly overplayed his hand, and we can only hope that ‘We the People’ can stand up and attempt to minimize the damage until we can get him out of office for good.

In the aftermath of the original Boston Tea Party, Samuel Adams wrote that the acts were not those of a lawless mob, but was instead a principled protest and the only remaining option the people had to defend their constitutional rights. The same momentum is building today, and the Tea Party is just one step in this new American revolution.

AIG: Angina-Inducing Greed

For those of you who may have just read the headlines and listened to the featured story blurbs on the news regarding insurance giants IAG with passing interest, I will try to give you a simplistic version.

Let’s start with the basics. Who or what exactly is the American International Group?

Well, AIG is by their own information “a world leader in insurance and financial services” and “the leading international insurance organization with operations in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions.”

Heady stuff, right? I mean, we are talking about the worldwide leader in insurance services and one of the largest financial services organizations on earth as well. We are talking here about the real money. Not just big money, but ‘real’ money. The kind of money that moves governments and shakes nations.

The folks at AIG are just one of many financial services companies that have undertaken huge losses and faced dire straights as the American economy has gone into reverse over the past year. They blame their particular problems largely on what are called ‘credit default swaps” (CDS) in the industry.

Now a CDS is basically a financial instrument representing the exchange of risk, that some entity will default on their debt.

For instance, you own company ‘A’ and it is at risk of defaulting on its debt payments because the economy is turning sour and your business is drying up.

Now some other company ‘B’ owns a bond investment in your company. They see you are in bad shape, and they want to hedge their risk against you going belly-up. So they go to the operator of a ‘hedge fund’ and basically purchase insurance, that CDS, against you defaulting.

A ‘hedge fund’ operator is someone who takes on the risk of a company defaulting in the hopes of making a profit, since most companies over time have historically not ended up actually defaulting. They obtain that profit when the managers of company ‘B’ pay interest to the hedge fund operators.

Should your company ‘A’ never actually default, then the hedge fund loses nothing and gains all of the interest it has been paid by that ‘B’ company. If you do actually default, then the hedge fund loses because they have to pay the full amount of the CDS to company ‘B’ covering the loss in their investment with you.

The worse position that your business ‘A’ is actually in, the higher the interest rate that the hedge fund will demand from company ‘B’ for that CDS insurance.

So with the AIG situation, there were huge amounts of actual defaults, massive losses, and they would collapse without government intervention. This would mean the loss of one of America’s and the world’s major suppliers of capital and insurance funding, and what some said would be a major blow to the national and world economy.

Of course there are many others who dispute this, who believe in the free market system, and believe that if you run an operation poorly or with risk that is too high, then you pay the price when you lose just as you make great profits when things are going well.

The theory is that even if you do collapse and disappear, someone will emerge to step into the breach and take over that business need. But those of us free market individuals are not in charge right now. The power in America has shifted to a more socialist viewpoint espoused by new President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

Rather than allowing AIG to collapse and pay the price for its risky business, they decided to give it a ‘bailout’, or what was spun in positive terms as part of a ‘stimulus’ package. The government basically gave AIG the money to cover its losses and stay in business.

But then AIG kept adjusting the amount that is said it had lost, and the government ended up bumping up the payments twice, until our government had given AIG a total of $180 billion dollars.

Listen to that in the voice of Doctor Evil: “One hundred and eighty billion dollars!” From the government. That means from you and me, because the government gets its money from us in the form of taxes to begin with.

So now you and I, ‘We the People’, literally own approximately 80% of the American International Group.

So when AIG got all that money to prop up their business and stay afloat, what did they do with it? Begin to invest it safely back into their operations and the markets, making them and the entire system stronger? Put it out into the world financial system and kick-start a recovery?

Uh, no. Within days of receiving their first government funds, AIG sponsored a little company weekender bash at a swank California hotel with a price tag on the soiree’ of nearly a half million dollars.

Now this is a direct slap in the face to the American people, but it wasn’t nearly the worst of AIG’s greedy spending spree. The company then began to dole out hundreds of ‘bonuses’ to individual employees totaling approximately $165 million dollars.

Bonuses! Most them going to employees in their financial products division, the exact same people with oversight of the very products that allegedly drove AIG into this mess in the first place.

Now correct me if I am wrong, but people usually get a bonus for doing something good for the company? Something profitable? The theory being that any bonuses are coming out of that increased profit, right?

Okay, just wanted to make sure that I did actually understand what a bonus was supposed to represent.

So that is what has been happening in all the headlines that you have been seeing and hearing regarding AIG. On finding out about these bonuses, politicians and the media have shown righteous anger.

You should care, and you should be angry as well. Because it is into your pockets that President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party cohorts are about to dig in order to get the money to pay for all of this ‘Socialism’, the government takeover of what should be private industry business.

If you voted for Obama because you wanted ‘Change’, I hope that you knew exactly what that meant. It didn’t just mean a change from Bush, who you hated. George W. Bush was leaving office anyway, his term was up, there was going to be change in any event.

But the type of change you voted for was to change the very fabric of America, from a world-leader in a capitalist system to just another experiment in socialism, which has always failed everywhere it has been tried.

The people at AIG are simply greedy and were looking to get nice chunks of your money out to their top executives as quickly and quietly as possible. They likely felt there was so much floating around that no one would really notice.

We did notice, and now we should demand that at the very least the ‘bonus’ portion of the monies be returned to us. Of course this whole thing could have been avoided had we just not given them the money in the first place.