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Tag Archives: Politics

Four Economic Mandates Examined: Mortgage Modification

I caught a small portion of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  He had Robert Reich as a guest.  Robert Reich is the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and was the Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration.  On the Daily Show, Mr. Reich proclaims that “investments” need to be made in infrastructure (even creating an “infrastructure bank”), education, research and development in the sciences, and “job creation”.  And, says Mr. Reich, government is the only entity to do these things.

To set the baseline of discussion and skew the issue in the “big spending” camp’s favor, Mr. Reich calls Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal “wildly regressive”.  In truth, the Ryan plan is moderate at best.  According to the Ryan Plan’s own numbers, the federal government will run a fiscal deficit until 2038.  So even taking the estimates at face value, the Ryan Plan will not actually balance the budget for almost 30 years.  I am not sure, exactly, what “wildly regressive” means at Berkeley, but if we are in a debt crisis and facing a second downgrade, does it seem like we have 30 years to get to a point when we can start PAYING off our debt – ever increasing for the next 30 years?  I do not have a degree from Berkeley, but “wildly regressive” seems misleading at best.  But hey, I am not the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy either. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Consumption, Production, Capital, and Wealth Redistribution

This article developed during a discussion with Rainbow Camouflage and his post.  It was his post and the ensuing discussion that spurred my research and inspired the below post. I hope it is cogent and that my many references are integrated in an understandable fashion considering this post was by no means a linear creation.  Thank you.

I recently read an article titled “Raise Taxes on Rich to Reward True Job Creators”, by Nick Hanauer.  In his piece he makes the argument that rich people do not create jobs but it is the middle class that creates jobs.  What he is claiming is that the demand the middle class has for consumer goods is what creates jobs and that the top 1% of income earners should pay more in taxes in order to help the middle class spend more on pants, shirts, shoes, TVs, and all manner of disposable consumer goods.  While I agree that in a free market the consumer is boss I think it is short-sighted to focus only on the middle class consumers when in it comes to the overall economy.  If you want jobs and the middle class to have more disposable income, the only long-term solution is to grow the economy. 

I think the author has missed a key ingredient that has got our economy to where it is today – Capital accumulation.  There is no doubt that in a free market economy, the consumer is boss. That is a great thing and something we should all be protecting.  That is also what is plainly obvious.  There’s more to the story. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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A World with Only One Color

In a world where everything is red, it sure is hard to explain blue.  And so it is with liberty.  In our world today where government has assumed so many roles and responsibilities, it is sometimes very difficult to explain a world where true liberty, void of government intervention, could exist. 

Today’s political toy of the minute is the payroll tax cut.  The Democrats say that we must pass this tax cut and “pay” for it with a small increase in taxes on the wealthy.  The Republicans say that is fine as long as we get this oil pipeline passed so that we can “create jobs”.  The premise of both arguments is all red.  Red, red, red.  No concept of blue.  Perhaps they should not be arguing over these trivial matters of how much money they are going to take from people but should instead be arguing whether they should be taking our money at all.  Red and blue.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Clearing Up Some Misinformation, Part 2

In Part 1 of my commentary, called Clearing Up Some Misinformation, Part 1 ,I wrote about some of the incorrect characterization’s in President Obama’s speech about free markets and the policies of the 1920s as he addressed Osawatomie High School on December 6, 2011.  I focused on some general terms, such as ‘markets’ and ‘economy’ and I also focused heavily on the government policies of the 1920s and how they were not laissez –faire.  In part two, I will focus on the 1950s and 1960s and see how the President’s characterization stacks up to historical accuracy.  The President said in his speech: 

Now, it’s a simple theory [free market economics]. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker.  But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked.  It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade.  I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Clearing Up Some Misinformation, Part 1

President Obama gave a speech at Osawatomie High School on December 6th, 2011 where he declared freedom and free markets a dead idea and that they have never worked before and will not work in the future.  He claims this “theory” of free markets has been tried before and that it has failed.  The President claims that free people making decisions about how to allocate their labor and resources (the free market) is a simple theory that appeals to our rugged individualism, but that it does not work and has never worked. 

… there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes — especially for the wealthy — our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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What’s Law Got to do with It?

This essay is about a great book called “The Law”.  I only scratched the surface of the ideas contained in the book and I hope I have not detracted from the brilliance of Bastiat’s writing.  Enjoy.

In present times, it seems almost impossible to keep up with what laws the Federal government is passing, what laws the State governments are passing, and what laws our local governments are passing, so it seems a natural enough question to ask, “What is law?” and “What do I expect the law to do for me?”

Frederic Bastiat, a nineteenth century French economist, philosopher, and author, wrote a book first published in June 1850 titled “The Law”, addressed these very same questions. He did his writing before, during, and after the French Revolution of 1848 which makes this all the more relevant since there are major concerns about the path the governments of the world seem to be on and how it relates to socialistic ideas.  Bastiat wrote:

What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The New York Times has Jokes

The New York Times, in their editorial “The Republican Wreckage”, makes an almost humorous claim:  “House Republicans have lost sight of this country’s welfare.”  Don’t be confused, there’s not a whole lot of difference between an establishment Republican and an establishment Democrat, however in this entire, sad situation, the House Republicans actually voted on and passed “Cut, Cap, Balance”.  Apparently, Mr. Boehner dismissed the President’s “plea” for compromise.

And why is compromise such a good thing?  According to President Obama, Republicans are violating the country’s founding principle of compromise.  Again, if this wasn’t serious I’d be laughing my butt off.  Here’s the irony:  In order to stick to the principle of compromise (which isn’t really a founding principle in my opinion), we must compromise every other principle this country was founded upon.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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