Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How liberals define the word ‘Investment’

I swear Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is nothing more than an automaton. Her only, ahem, skill is to take the Administration's talking points concerning the economy and regurgitate them ad nauseum. Her economic expertise is not even one question deep. For your reading pleasure I give you her statement in an interview yesterday on Fox News as she tries to push the President's American Jobs Plan porkulus II (emphasis mine):

"At the end of the day, we have to make sure that we don't continue to deepen our problems by laying off more teachers, firefighters and police officers. We have to make sure we put construction workers back to work like the American Jobs Plan would do by investing in the infrastructure we need, and we have to make sure that this is paid for by folks who are not paying their fair share now, making sure that the wealthy and more fortunate step up to the plate, and that's how we're going to get this done."

Ok, just for giggles let's take a look at what the definition of the word investment is:

in·vest·ment [in-vest-muhnt]
1. the investing  of money or capital in order to gain profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.
2. a particular instance or mode of investing.
3. a thing invested  in, as a business, a quantity of shares of stock, etc.
4. something that is invested;  sum invested.
5. the act or fact of investing  or state of being invested,  as with a garment.
Okay, deconstruction time. First of all it is NOT the federal government's responsibility to maintain state and local public servants (i.e. teachers, police, firefighters etc.). This notion of investing in these 'jobs' is absurd in the extreme. Ultimately, what she is advocating here is to reward bad behavior at the expense of other communities who do balance their budgets.

But what just kills me is that she sees state and local bailouts as - wait for it - an investment. What she does not understand is these jobs, while necessary, are cost centers for the country NOT wealth generators. Her idea of 'investment' is to take capital away from those who have the ability to actually invest in wealth/job generating activities, and award it non-wealth generating activates.

I am certainly in favor of have safe roads, Police, teachers and firefighters, but these are necessary leakages from any economy. And these necessary entities should never, ever be confused with wealth generation. Roads in and of themselves do not generate wealth, only short-term jobs; there is no return on investment here. Whereas Wasserman-Schultz would have us believe the construction of roads will magically give the taxpayer a dividend once it is complete.

This brings us to how erroneously Wasserman-Schultz and her liberal friends view the U.S. economy. She is convinced that if she takes money away from the evil wealthy (those making $200,000 a year) and flush it down the Keynesian toilet we can lower unemployment. While public sector jobs are 'created', at the expense of the private sector, absolutely NO wealth or long-term INVESTMENT is crated. Debbie please, please, please do yourself a favor and dust off that old Econ 101 text book and see exactly what the role of the federal government is. Here is a hint, it is not to create jobs - it is to get the hell out of the way so those who know what they are doing can.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Labor Day - RIP

E. J. Dionne wrote a Labor Day piece that I meant to get to earlier but the day job kept getting in the way. In his article Dionne tries to make the case that Americans have given up on 'honoring' the worker as the real creators of wealth in the country. Dionne's premise seems to be that capital could not exist without the righteous and noble efforts of the entity called Labor. While I agree with the statement on the surface - that is that capital is reliant upon labor - one could just as easily say that capital, in a candy factory, is reliant on sugar. But oddly enough we do not celebrate Sugar Day.

This mythos surrounding the 'Labor' movement, and the levels that liberals go to canonize labor, is of course self-serving. We all know how it works. The liberals support the 'labor' (read Union) agenda and when election time comes around the Unions stuff the Democrat's campaign coffers from the dues they collect from their members.

But the point I want to make here is that for all their posturing and vitriolic language, labor will always be nothing more than a commodity. Always have been and always will. But Labor leaders have to keep up the myth that labor is something other than a commodity to keep the monetary merry-go-round funded. But lately, the mask has slipped a bit. The Unions overreached in Wisconsin, and the Boeing debacle in South Carolina rising to national attention has endeared them to no one. As the labor movement become more and more irrelevant, expect to see them self-destruct even further..

Labor Unions have waned since their heyday in the 50's and they have waned for a reason. They have, due largely to their own efforts, become irrelevant. They have gone from an advocate of their members to nothing more than extortionist. Making companies and taxpayers pay more than the market should bear for their commodity. This eventually creates a situation where they price themselves out of the market. But, rather than correcting this, they simply demand for more and more, effectively killing the company they work for (GM, Chrysler, local governments). Time after time, non-Union shops outperform Union shops. Right to work states outperform pro-Union states. The only option the Unions have left is to rely on entities like the NRLB to take up their cause, because they simply cannot compete in the marketplace anymore.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

If a tree fell in the forest, and nobody was there, would it make any noise?

Ok, sometimes I am a bit put out with Speaker Boehner but this is just, well priceless. He has made his best decision in his tenure as speaker by choosing NOT to have an opposition response to the President's much anticipated (at least by him) 'jobs' speech on Thursday. I swear, if you don't know what being played like a fiddle feels like, just give a call to the White House and they will fill you in on the gory details.

The best part? Oh I just love this.. Nancy Pelosi indicated that it is unpatriotic NOT to respond to the president's vaunted speech (and I guess, thereby giving it relevance):

"The Republicans' refusal to respond to the president's proposal on jobs is not only disrespectful to him, but to the American people,"

Tell you what Nancy, let's let the American people decide what is patriotic shall we. To be honest, I just love this decision. And to be fair, President Obama has no one to blame but himself here. He built this speech up by teasing the country that he had a plan; an outline of a plan; an outline of an outline of a plan to deliver after his Martha's Vineyard vacation. Then he chooses to dispense his incredibly, stupendously, same-ol-same-ol Keynesian nonsense IN A JOINT SESSION CONGRESS the same night the GOP debate is on.

Well first, the Speaker made the President move the day from the same night of the GOP debate TOOOOO the kickoff of the NFL season, ouch! And not just any game - the last two Super Bowl champions to boot. And then.. and then… get this, the Speaker has the unmitigated gall to… hehe, NOT EVEN RESPOND to the Presidents campaign speech. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.

And now the Dems are ticked that not even the opposition cares what the One has to say anymore.

Well played Mr. Speaker! Well played indeed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What planet does Wasserman-Schultz live on?

Does she even listen to herself? This from Debbie Wasserman-Schultz on MSNBC's Morning Joe (emphasis mine):

"Well, the Republicans who think the Recovery Act (stimulus) didn't work are simply wrong. The Recovery Act, as of the beginning of this year, created an additional 3.6 million jobs. We have -- the Recovery Act had a direct impact on making sure the teachers, firefighters, police officers were able to remain in their jobs. It begun -- it helped begin to turn the economy around. 50% of it was tax breaks to small businesses and to the middle class. So every economist you would talk to that is worth their salt acknowledges that without the Recovery Act we would not be continuing on the upswing.

3.6 million jobs? Where? Oh, there it is teachers, firefighter and police. And what do all of these jobs have in common? Right, public sector jobs. Which by the way are NOT the responsibility of the Federal Government rather they are the responsibility of state and local governments? So she is arguing that the Orwellian named Recovery Act simply bailed out the unbelievably mismanaged local governments. Wow money well spent. And if said local governments don't right their fiscal ship (like Governor Walker did in Wisconsin) I suppose the taxpayers will simply bail them out again? Madness!

I also love her "it helped to turn the economy around" bit. Really, last month there were exactly zero jobs added, consumer confidence hasn't seen its current level since - well, since Obama took office. Wow what a turnaround Debbie!

Message from the DNC Chair: Don't believe you lying eyes.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mad Max(ine) is at it again

The distinguished Maxine Waters (D-CA) had this to say on Meet the Press on Sunday (emphasis mine):

"I'm talking about a jobs program of a trillion dollars or more. We've got to put Americans to work. That's the only way to revitalize this economy. When people work they earn money, they spend that money, and that's what gets the economy up and going,"

I just.. I mean.. wha.. um, are you (fill in the bad word of your choice here) KIDDING ME? The only way to revitalize the economy is a $1,000,000,000,000 plus 'jobs' program? Is it just me or did we try this already and failed miserably?

I can only assume that the Honorable Congresswoman has never had an economic course in her life. Her degree is in Sociology after all, whatever the hell that is.

Okay, let's help her here, think back to Econ 101 and see if we can't enlighten her congressionalness:

You have businesses on one side - households on the other. Businesses need resources to create and sell their products. Households have recourses they willing sell to businesses (human recourses/rent etc). In this (bizarre) scenario, firms compete for resources to create products and services driving prices down and selling to consumers more efficiently.

Households get money in the form of wages and rent that they can then spend on goods and services of their choice. This generates more investment in businesses as they expand to meet consumer wants and needs in the market. Sweet! Everybody wins right? Well everyone but the big-government liberals.

For Maxi, this is evil free-market nonsense is just - well unacceptable. You see in her world, the unwashed masses just can't make the right decisions. Free-market is just not enough. According to her view of the world, we need to add another element to 'boost' the economy. And that of course is intervention by the federal government. The only answer (her words not mine).

So her solution is to take 1/14th of the entire U.S. Economy from those who are best suited to create jobs (and thus deliver us from our economic doldrums), and simply transfer it to non-market driven goods and services. So who wins here? Well the Feds of course. By circumventing market forces, she gets to pick the winners and losers. And I am sure that those winners will be disproportionately distributed to those entities (unions) who have consistently stuffed the democrat's coffers.

In her defense I am certain that she couldn't string two coherent sentences together defending Keynesian economics. So we might cut her a break here. That being said she was not even challenged on Meet the Press on this absurdity. Par for the course I guess.


This just in: Water is wet

I know this will come as a great shock to everyone here, but there are academicians who believe that Tea Party members are, wait for it… Racist! Yes, yes I know, I know not a big surprise here but it does get better. Apparently, at the American Political Science Association convention in Seattle this week, everyone is a -flutter about several papers out indicating that the Tea Party are more racist than the average American. Here are a few of the remarks that PROOOVE the Tea Party folks are sheet wearing - cross burning racists:

But it is clear that the movement is more appealing to people who are unsympathetic to blacks and who prefer a harder line on illegal immigration than it is to other Americans, (Gary C. Jacobson, University of California at San Diego).

Um, gee, the Tea Party wants what? Secure boarders? An even playing field for all Americans not just those who can access the treasury by voting for the democrats?

It continues:

Using his own survey data, he concluded that tea party supporters were more likely than the general public to believe speech should be free of restrictions and were just as likely to support indefinite detention of suspected terrorists, but were more willing for police to use racial profiling to stop crimes. (Christopher S. Parker, University of Washington)

Wow, free speech for all? Insanity. Use statistics to prevent crimes? Shudder at the thought! Keeping enemy combatants off the battlefield? Crazy man, that's just crazy!

There were few others who thought different:

Other academics saw other mechanisms at work. Emily McClintock Ekins, a graduate student at the University of California at Los Angeles, said tea partyers have more faith in the fairness of (gasp) capitalism, which she said could explain their attitudes on race.
"This makes it less surprising that nearly all Tea Partiers believe that hard work, rather than luck, drives success. This might also explain their lower levels of racial empathy, as they are less aware for how opportunity may be different for particular groups of people," she wrote in a working draft paper.

Ms. McClintock almost got there but she couldn't resist implying that what is misleading the Tea Party folks is their lack of understanding of how opportunity differs from group to group. REALLY, after 50 years of the disastrous 'war on poverty', somehow the Tea Party is still in the dark? Years of racial quotas, trillions of dollars of transferred wealth? And they somehow don't know?

Maybe just maybe the Tea Party understands more than you think. It is NOT racism from conservative groups that are keeping the black community down. It is the racism from the left that has utterly destroyed the black community by making a disproportionate number of them completely dependent upon the government. Why, because in their heart of hearts the left does not think the black community can stand on its own because they are inferior. And Black leaders feed into this nonsense because it makes them rich. Without constantly playing the race card, the left's house of cards will certainly come tumbling down.

By the way, here is Mark Meckler (co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots) response to this academic nonsense:

"This is good. You're making my day," said Mark Meckler. "Statistics show that the vast number of folks that are in the world of academia are liberals," he said after collecting himself. "Liberals don't like the tea party movement. I don't think that's news. From my perspective, they've literally become a caricature of themselves," he said of the academy, adding that there are a "few exceptions."

Ouch, indifference is the greatest insult of all, Mr. Meckler. Well done sir, well done indeed.



Sunday, September 4, 2011

File under: Knock me over with a feather

Responding to questions concerning Obama's upcoming Jobs speech a White House aide had this to say:

"I don't want to downplay the speech [next week]—it's going to be substantial. But the idea that this is the be-all and end-all is wrong."

REALLY? Not going to be and end-all. Who would have guessed? Once again we see the ineptitude of this administration. Before leaving for Martha's Vineyard, Obama set expectations so high that there is no way he will meet them. He further complicated the issue by setting the venue of the speech to be in a joint session of congress, a move usually reserved for State of the Union addresses or declaration of war.

What will he say? The usual Keynesian nonsense of course: More 'investment' in education, infrastructure etc (read spend-spend-spend). Evil millionaires must pay more (read class warfare). Blame Bush/Congress (Not my fault). More regulation (grow the federal government). If there is anything else not related to Keynesian economics I will be stunned.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

This just in: Social-engineering fails again

I am sure you have all heard that Solyndra has shut its doors. Companies go bankrupt all the time, but what makes this one different is that this company was given a $535 million loan from the federal government (read: taxpayers) to help them, ahem, expand their operation just last year. The reason the company closed its doors? Industry insider, Peter Lynch had this to say to ABC news (emphasis mine):

"Here's the bottom line," Lynch said. "It costs them $6 to make a unit. They're selling it for $3. In order to be competitive today, they have to sell it for between $1.5 and $2. That is not a viable business plan."
Okay, I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box, but I do know that if it cost you more to make your product than you can sell it for the company will not be around very long. But the broader point is that there had to be a cost accountant on staff that would point out this slight problem, right? I own a small business and am very conscious of costs vs. revenue. Call me old fashioned, but that's just the way I was taught in business school. Make your product for X, apply a reasonable mark-up and see what the market says. If enough consumers find my product compelling enough then we got ourselves a business otherwise - back to McDonald's.

Solydra could be called many things, but a viable business is certainly not one of them, at least not in the old-school sense. No, Solydra is apparently following the new and improved the business model brought to you by the same knuckleheads who bought the taxpayers a automobile company. And, in this case, just like the auto industry, the administration has an idea of just how the world should be molded. So rather than allowing the markets to find equilibrium they just gotta muck wid it! And why? Because it's just in their nature. Honestly, I don't think they can help themselves. They live in a world where all the country's energy needs are like food in the Garden of Eden, where all we have to do is sprinkle a bit of pixie dust around that will magically allow you to harness the wind and sun and live happily ever after.

We now know that this is all bull-$#%^ of course. If these "green' energy sources were ready for prime time, some clever entrepreneur would have already brought it to market without the aid of the federal government. The truth is these 'green' sources of energy are nothing more than the play things of the liberal elites and always will be.

So why flush over a half a billion dollars down the drain and not think anything of it? I can think of a few reasons. The first is that liberals take satisfaction in their efforts regardless of the result of their attempts to manipulate the market. In their minds - 'They tried' - is all that really matters to them and they pat themselves on the back regardless of the disastrous unintended consequences left in their wake. Second, the $535 million bucks they flushed they see as their money and not taxpayers, so no big deal.

Lastly the way Obama and the autocrats around him approach the business environment is deeply flawed (newsflash I know). It is painfully evident that none of these folks have never had to sign the front of a paycheck. They have never run a business, and therefore do not understand that throwing money at a particular pet project does not insure success. Do you think anyone in the White House actually looked at the Solyndra's business plan? Probably not, and even if they did would they even understand what they were looking at?

Eventually, somebody has to buy the (unsubsidized) product for the business to work, otherwise it's just another form of welfare.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Liberals attack on America’s Exceptionalism

Margaret Wente has a column in the Globe and Mail discussing our Canadian friends' attempt forcing electric cars on Canadians today. In the article she talks about how impossibly impractical electric cars are and how they will be so for some time now.

There's just one problem. The fantasy that electric cars are right around the corner doesn't survive even the most cursory reality check. As Dennis DesRosiers, a leading auto consultant, points out, consumers simply won't pay a $20,000 premium for a vehicle that doesn't go very far, isn't very convenient, and runs out of juice as soon as you turn on the air conditioner.

The article got me to thinking about why liberals are always trying to accomplish the impossible and dragging the rest of us with them in their illusionary fantasies. Other examples include: High speed rail, solar power, wind power, electric cars etc. What do all of these things have in common? Abject unmitigated Impracticality. None of these technologies are even remotely feasible and have no chance of ever replacing current cheaper more reliable technologies.

Now this is true no matter how many speeches the president gives about subsidizing creating millions of 'green' jobs. Further, you have to believe even he, and his other like minded liberals, know this to be true. So why, pray tell, do they insist upon spending billions of dollars on technologies they know are doomed to failure? I think the answer can be found in liberalism's core beliefs. Specifically, that America is not exceptional in the world. Shelby Steele puts it much better than I (emphasis mine):

Mr. Obama came of age in a bubble of post-'60s liberalism that conditioned him to be an adversary of American exceptionalism. In this liberalism America's exceptional status in the world follows from a bargain with the devil—an indulgence in militarism, racism, sexism, corporate greed, and environmental disregard as the means to a broad economic, military, and even cultural supremacy in the world. And therefore America's greatness is as much the fruit of evil as of a devotion to freedom.

Now back to the automobile as an example of this way of thinking. The Automobile industry was founded and developed over time to reflect the American culture. Think about the cars made in the 40's through the mid-70's. Big, bold, and gave the owner freedom to roam form sea to shining sea without regulation or interference from anyone. In the minds of liberals this way of thinking is simply unacceptable. They can't have individuals choosing to do exactly what they want to do, when they want to do it. And nothing exemplifies that notion of freedom better than the automobile.

It is my opinion that this is why they want to destroy the auto industry. Because by doing so, they destroy yet another building-block in America's exceptionalism.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bush League

I hope all of you saw Jay Carney's performance yesterday as he told the press corps with a straight face that he was stunned that everyone was getting all in a tither about Obama scheduling his Jobs speech on the same day as the GOP debate on NBC.

I don't know about you, but this is simply fraught with danger for the President on several counts:

First, given the One's past performances, he is long on rhetoric and demagoguery and very short on specifics. If NBC will only move the debate back by an hour, it will give the GOP hopefuls virtually unlimited material to blast the president. Instead of the GOP response being from a relatively unknown representative from Hay Seed, Kansas, they will have all the GOP candidates giving the president broadside after broadside for 90 minutes.

Second, it just looks petty. The GOP debate was scheduled months ago. The American public has been waiting for the president's, ahem, plan for 30 months. A plan that should stand on its own with no distractions. By scheduling the address on the same day as the GOP debate simply manufactures a distraction. Honestly this looks like yet another unforced error by the rookies around at the White House.

Third, it distracts from the message (assuming there is on). I would like to give the president the benefit of the doubt here, but my guess is that we will hear more Keynesian nonsense. You know, balanced approach (raise taxes), invest in education (teacher's union), invest in infrastructure (spend, spend, spend), Green jobs! Etc. but for just a moment let's say he has something new that he wants to communicate to the American people. By creating this kerfuffle with the GOP debate, he runs the risk of diluting whatever message he wants to communicate.

Fourth, the President runs the risk of looking like everyone is subservient to him. On the heels of vacationing at one of the most exclusive communities in the world, unemployment remains above 9%, he comes back to Washington and declares that he will have his speech in front of the joint houses and on the day of the GOP debate. Obama may be accused of many things but being humble in not among them.

Why oh why would he put all of these negatives in play just to be spiteful?

Update: President 'caves' and moves jobs speech to Thursday.

Wow, what an unforced error. Exit question: How much grief will he get from the left for caving? Exit question 2: Will anybody be watching him given the first NFL game will be opposite his speech?

What an unforced error