Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Predictions for 2013

 
Someone once said, "An economist is someone who can explain to you tomorrow why the predictions he made yesterday did not come true."  I don't know who that someone was, but he/she was a genius.
 
Having a job where you get paid to tell people what they can expect to see happen to their economic lives and then get paid to tell them why that did not happen is a really good gig.
 
So, let's get to work on the crystal ball for the next year.  And since economists work in many areas other than money, lets not limit the predictions to mere monetary matters, o.k.?
 
Here goes...
 
1.  The "Fiscal Cliff" - that combination of "we hate rich people, and we want to balance the budget on their backs even though there are not enough of them to tax to balance the budget of Mongolia" and cuts in government spending that, according to the Democrats will force poor children to roast rats at the bus stop every morning for breakfast, will be narrowly avoided as Democrats hammer weakened, and weak-kneed Republicans into submission.  Expect higher tax rates only on the evil rich (soon to trickle down to use middle-income folk in the form of less growth and fewer jobs) and no change in entitlement spending other than the announcement of a bi-partisan commission on how to reduce the number of people on food stamps from 46.1 million to 46.09 million by the year 2027.
 
2.  The Houston Texans will not win the Super Bowl.  This is because they will lose to the New England Patriots who will lose to the Denver Broncos who will face the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl.  This is the game where Peyton Manning matches his little brother with his second Super Bowl title and regains the right to push his brother's face into a bowl of mashed potatoes while at the next family gathering.
 
3.  Also during the month of February, during which America has a month-long celebration of the contributions of African-Americans, expect the unemployment rate for African-Americans, which is higher than when Mr. Obama took office, to remain high. 
 
4.  In March, the National Hockey League lockout will come to an end, just in time for the NHL to have a 15 game season - much like my 12-year old son has each year.  Yet, to create fairness, every team in the NHL will be allowed to play in the playoffs which will begin in April and end in 2015.
 
5.  In April expect the Boston Red Sox to announce "Jack Chambless Day" honoring me for being the first to predict that the manager they hired last year, Bobby Valentine, would turn out to be the worst decision made in Boston since the British ran away from George Washington in 1776.
 
6.  On April 15th the IRS will announce that "mysteriously" tax revenue from the hated, evil, how do we even let them live amongst us? rich, have fallen, not risen.  The same day expect banks in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland to be having a party with all of the profit from the "mysterious" money arriving from Americans who are under the warped, selfish perspective that, like, you know, "It is my money."

6. part b.  In April or May the United States of America will "celebrate" the 100th anniversary of BOTH the creation of income taxes (see the 16th amendment) and the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank.  Given our current leadership, I am sure there will be parades in every city, paid for by money printed by the Fed to be paid back in the future by my children in the form of higher income taxes. 
 
7.  In May Hostess will announce that the last 1,000 packages of Twinkies will be auctioned off on eBay or sold to Michael Moore, whichever amount of money is greater.
 
8.  In May, the government will announce that henceforth Memorial Day will now be known as, "It is too bad you wasted your life fighting for a bunch of lazy, welfare-addicted losers who do not even know what D-Day or Bunker Hill was all about Day"
 
9.  In June as temperatures in Arizona rise about 96 degrees expect a new major announcement on global warming and how rising temperatures in Arizona, in June, proves that we must invest even more billions into companies like Solyndra and also tax gasoline at $5 per ounce in order to make sure that polar bears - who would like to eat us if they could - have 6.38% more ice by the year 2051.
 
10.  In July, on the fourth, I will once again not celebrate "National Hypocrites Day"  My children will not wave flags or pop firecrackers.  Instead we will sit in a dark room and stare catatonically straight ahead wondering if Thomas Jefferson could have ever known how much ink he wasted.
 
11.  That night my wife, over my protests, will allow my kids to burn some sparklers on the deck.  The kids will leave their trash on the deck and I will deduct from their bi-weekly earnings my cleanup costs.
 
12.  In August, I will ask my wife, if hell could be worse than Florida.
 
12.  She will say, "Yes, now go finish mowing the yard and I will check on you to make sure you are not lying face down in the grass every three hours or so."
 
13.  Also in August, millions of parents will send their kids back into their local government schools, proving that child abuse is indeed a worse problem than global warming or Justin Beaver or Beeby or whatever his name is.
 
14.  In September, as the new budget for the new fiscal year is about to be fought over, and our new recession is in its third of fourth month, caused by a crash in investments by businesses and massive layoffs all over the country, Mr. Obama will announce that we have not done enough to get "our fair share" from rich people who are selfishly laying people off just because they have less money, and therfore we will now push for an expansion of the eminent domain laws where anyone who has a house more than 4,201 square feet in size will be forced to allow the first 17 food stamp recipients who arrive at their door to live in their house rent free for the next two years or until global temperatures have fallen by one degree.
 
15.  In September I will come out of my seven months of sports pergatory and will once again be watching football.  I will foolishly believe that the Miami Dolphins have a chance.  By week two of the NFL season I will realize that, once again, I am closer to death than the Dolphins are to winning a Super Bowl.
 
16.  In October the Boston Red Sox will defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games to win the World Series.  The Yankees will announce, that after losing 113 games, they are firing everyone in their front office and are suing Alex Rodriquez for impersonating a baseball player.
 
17.  Also in October, my Oklahoma Sooners will once again destroy the Texas Longhorns, proving yet again that the slogan, "Don't Mess with Texas" is a really funny joke.
 
18.  On Halloween the biggest selling costume will be that of a hobo carrying an empty tuna can.  That is because the economy is going to be so bad by then that many people will look like hobos with empty tuna cans.
 
19.  In November, on the first Tuesday, millions of Americans will look in ther mirror and say, "I am really, really stupid.  I am really, really stupid...."
 
20.  On Thanksgiving, road-killed buzzards (which don't cost money) will surpass turkeys as the number one dish served by the millions of really stupid Americans who voted for .....you know who... last November under the grand, greed-driven illusion that you know who would create jobs by taxing the people who really create jobs.
 
21.  Black Friday will feature massive sales on cardboard houses, do-it-yourself cannibalism kits and riot guns.
 
22.  Santa Claus will announce that due to the methane-gas put out by his reindeer, the new EPA regulations designed to fix global warming have ended his traditional delivery methods.  Instead, he will drive around in a Prius with an Al Gore bumper sticker on the back.
 
And finally.....
 
Life will go on.....

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This Christmas I am thankful for Ronald Reagan

This is a very busy time of the year for me.  Not because of last minute shopping (see two blogs ago) but because I have an eBay store that keeps me hopping.
 
This month I managed to buy some new ice hockey helmets on the cheap and have been re-selling them in my store.
 
Within the last week I have sold one to someone in Russia, one to a fellow in Belarus and one to a hockey player in....wait for it...Kazakhstan.  Kazakhstan!  I mean, do they even have ice rinks there?  I know they have ice, but....come on, man..
 
Amazing.  I also failed to mention the two pairs of ice skates I sold to a lady in Mongolia.
 
All of this got me to thinking about a whole lot more than the miracle of using a phone with an eBay App somewhere in Belarus to order a helmet from a stranger, while paying through satellites hovering the Earth that safely transfer money from his bank to mine.  That is mind-numbing in and of itself.
 
No, what I have been thinking about is how great it is that someone in the former Soviet Union is allowed to do business with me at all and that I go to bed every night wondering if someone in Moscow will send me money in the middle of the night rather than wondering if someone in Moscow will send a nuclear missle down my chimney.
 
For this, I am truly grateful to our 40th President, Ronald Reagan.
 
For you youngsters out there, let me tell you something important.  When I was a college kid there was a very real threat that my life was going to be snuffed out by World War III.  When I saw the original movie Red Dawn, you could hear a pin drop when it ended.  Every teenage boy in the theater that night left wondering if this was our fate.
 
The story of how Reagan bankrupted the Soviet Union and sped up the rate at which the "Evil Empire" would die is one that is well known.  His vision for a world free of the fear of nuclear war led him to make bold overtures to the Russians, who eventually caved in, gave up on communism and began the process of moving towards an economy where people could afford really nice hockey helmets.
 
It is also nice to go to bed at night knowing that if President Obama gets his way before January 1, 2013 the top marginal income tax rate will be 39.6%.  In 1981, when Reagan was sworn in, the top rate was 70%.  That's right.  If you worked hard, served your fellow human beings effectively and made a ton of money, you kept 30 cents on the dollar.  By the time I left for college the top rate was 50%.  When I graduated in 1988 the top rate was only 28%.
 
Tonight, as I go to bed, I know that if I keep working hard, thanks to Reagan, I will not pay 70, or 50% of my money to the IRS.  He so fundamentally changed our view of taxes that Mr. Obama is fighting just to get it back to just under 40%.  If he said he wanted 50 or 70 people would storm the gates of the White House.  I would have to sell them hockey helmets as protection from the army.
 
So, here I sign off, in a world that has Russians doing business with me and my government leaving most of my money alone.
 
Thank you, President Reagan.  Thank you, indeed...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Santa Claus Economics

I thought I was going to take a break until 2013.  Silly me...

As we inch closer to that day where a mythical fat man rides around Earth giving away free stuff, I wanted to share with you some parenting advice (if you have little kids or plan on creating some) and a video that shows Santa Claus economic philosophy that existed decades ago in our country.

First, the parenting stuff...

When my oldest son was a little fellow he came to me one day and said, "Dad, my friend __________ told me that there is some guy named Santa Claus who rides around in the sky on Christmas and gives us presents under our tree."

I looked down at this cute little dude and replied, "Boy, let me tell you something.  There is nobody flying around giving you anything.  Every gift you will see under our tree came from my getting up and going to work to make the money to buy them."

He seemed appreciative and relieved that his dad is generous and that he would not be woken up by reindeer stomping on our roof.

Which brings me to Santa Claus as politician. 

Say what you want about President Obama.  He fails miserably as the "Great Provider" when his openly stated beliefs are matched up with Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

Take a look at this brief clip from a speech FDR gave in 1944.


There you have it.  The Founders said we have a God-given right to life, liberty and property.  They could not add a fourth right without abrogating the rights of one person to give the fourth right to another.

FDR then and Mr. Obama now are of the grander view - the Santa Claus view - that we all deserve so much more - even if someone else has to pay for it.

Sometimes I wish Santa Claus was real.  At least he wouldn't tax me for my toys...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday: A Capitalist Tradition that I really, really dislike

This morning I got up, made some coffee, built a nice crackling fire and enjoyed a quiet hour or so reading the newspaper and visiting with my youngest son.
 
I spent this afternoon playing in an airsoft gun war in my backyard with both of my boys and their good friend from down the road.  After airsoft we played football.  After football I went up into my game room, watched some college football, took a really peaceful nap and then spent the evening playing ping pong and visiting with my family some more.
 
Oh, I also ate some great leftovers - compliments of our dear friends here in our little town - watched some Andy Griffith Show reruns and...well, you get the idea...
 
What I did not do was join the complete and total insanity that is called "Black Friday".  Let me be clear...
 
Living in Florida, where people would just as soon shoot a gun or their middle finger at you on a normal day, is just about the last place in the world you want to be when Wal-Mart is having a sale on DVD players.
 
I saw on the news today where some complete idiot got arrested for leaving his infant child in the car while he joined in the trampling and steep discounts at some electronics store.  I saw other upteen thousand people storm into a store like it was the running of the bulls.  In this case it was the running of the credit cards.
 
Assuming that there were very few atheists, Muslims or Jews mingled in with the herds of shoppers, it would be safe to assume most of these folks were stomping on each other, kicking and screaming in preparation of the celebration of Jesus' birth.
 
How painfully ironic, isn't it?  The man who taught the world about modesty, giving, love and sacrifice now has to watch as Americans all over the place try to kill one another in order to save 22% on some doll dressed like a prostitute.
 
I never - I mean NEVER - go Christmas shopping after about July 1st.  I have in a large room in my house some storage bins marked "gifts"  (don't try to steal them, they were mostly garage sale finds...) and a clipboard hidden from my family that is neatly broken into the names of family and friends, their birthdates and the occasion on which their name will be checked off and their gift given.
 
I look for bargains - community garage sales (where I am the first one into the gated community to buy the stuff spoiled rich people get rid of), thrift stores, Ebay, Craigslist, relatively clean dumpters and the occasional store that I buy only when prices are 80 - 123% off the normal discounted price.
 
Right now, on my clipboard, is one gift marked for my oldest son.  The heading above the gift?  Christmas 2016.  That's right.  I have projected his height and weight and have a jump start on Christmas 1,200 and something days from now.  He will be quite pleased, I am sure.
 
One horrible thing about Black Friday is that it gives people who hate capitalism (see Obama voters) some incredible room to say, "See, these dirty, profit grabbing, selfish, rich so and sos are making their workers come in to work on Thanksgiving and forcing people to leave their cranberry sauce early in order to fight like animals in the African plains to save money on Chinese pajamas"!!!
 
Hmmm...  Do they have a point?
 
One thing you learn early as an economist is that supply creates demand.  That means that first, the executives at stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy sit around in their nice suits and say, "Hey Chuck, do you think people would like to come in to our store and buy horror movie DVDS for their pre-school children at 8PM Thanksgiving, rather than wait, with their kids in the car, until Midnight"
 
"Gee, Bob, it is worth a shot, isn't it?  Let's give it a try!!"
 
"Chuck, what about our employees?  Do you think they will mind working Thanksgiving night?"
 
"To H.... with them!  If they want a job, they will show up."
 
So they open at 8PM, their $8 per hour workers leave their Thanksgiving dinner early, or eat it earlier, and customers (not me) prepare to stampede one another four hours earlier than last year.  If it is a success, next year it will be 7PM.   20 years from now Black Friday will be a week before Halloween.
 
Before some of you think I have gone over to the dark side and joined whining Socialists everywhere, let me say this.
 
First, the stores have a right to open whenever they want.  Private property, dude.
 
Second, the workers don't have to keep working at Wal-Mart.  They could go to work at some store that closes on Thanksgiving every year.  Pursuit of, not guarantee of, happiness, o.k?
 
Finally, if this is so terrible then customers have to be the ones to say, "Enough!"  If they love shopping more than eating their third plate of mashed potatoes, so be it.  Freedom, remember?
 
Fourth, you will never see me partake in this awful illustration of Capitalism at its best/worst.  I will be at home, relaxing and shaking my head at the maniac I just saw on Youtube hitting someone with a chair in order to get the next kid's toy that he will give to celebrate Jesus's birthday.
 
Have a great December!  With God's blessing I will be back next year - just in time to fall off the "Fiscal Cliff" with all the rest of you taxpayers...
 
Cheers.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I am truly grateful and thankful for.....Clarity

I was on the phone with my mother the day after President Obama won re-election, congratulating her for her candidate winning another four years.  It was a hard thing to do for reasons that I have clearly spelled out in this blog, in my classes, in my home, on the street, in the wilderness (to any animals that might have voter registration cards..) and pretty much anywhere else ears might be perked up by a discussion on the nature of liberty and limited government.
 
I told my mother that much to my complete surprise I was actually relaxed and happy the day after America voted to re-hire the man who has inspired millions to dream of an America that does not look like anything we have ever witnessed before.
 
My happiness, I told her, came from this analogy.
 
Suppose you spend almost 25 years of your life pursuing a relationship with someone whom you are very passionate about.  During that 25 years you notice glimmers of hope that the person you are pursuing might be interested in you, but you also see signs that they might not like you very much.
 
Finally, one day the person looks at you and says, "Look, I hate you.  I want nothing to do with you and I never want to see you again."
 
Rather than being crushed after hearing this, you might find yourself completely relieved to finally have clarity in this relationnship so that you do not have to so desparately pursue them anymore.
 
I told my mother that I felt like America said (on election night), "Jack, to people like you, who share your peculiar zeal for the views of dead white guys from the 18th century, you can all go to hell because we don't agree with anything you believe in."
 
My mother's response?
 
"You are right, Jack."
 
And there it is...
 
As we head into Thanksgiving tomorrow I have been in the best mood imaginable for the past two weeks.  It is not because of the weather, or some time off with my family (although those things are always a treat), but rather because, for the first time in my 25 years as an economist and preacher of all things liberty, I have clarification about where I live - and whom it is that lives around me.
 
I finally know that unlike years past, where if the economy was garbage and the government was too big the American people would get around to saying, "Enough!!"  Today, we live in an America where if you look at someone on the street and tell them that unemployment is going to remain high for years to come, that our economy is not going to improve much over the next decade, that taxes are about to rise, that we are facing Greece-style bankruptcy within 20-30 years, that we no longer own ourselves for the purposes of making health care decisions, etc. etc., the average American will look at you and say, "O.K., but will my welfare check still arrive?  Will I still get food stamps?  Will Obamacare give me Medicaid that I did not get before?  Will I get Aid to Families with Dependent Children?  Will the government go after rich people to take there money and give it to me? 
 
My dad used to tell me back in the 1970s that too many Americans want, in his words, "Something for nothing."  He was right.
 
I am grateful that I finally realize how right he was.  Now I can go about my job, run my small business, write my books, give a few speeches, take care of my family and enjoy - with greater passion - everything I have to be thankful for, because I no longer feel obligated to desparately pursue people with this message of liberty.  Teach liberty?  Of course.  Give myself migraines and disrupted sleep every night over it - when I know that I am outnumbered by the masses of folks who want my property?  No way.
 
So, to all of you Americans who told liberty-lovers like me to "Go to hell", I thank you.  You have given me a gift of clarity that will add peace and tranquility to my life.
 
Happy Thanksgiving (even if I paid for your turkey...)
 
 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How the Pilgrims discovered Property Rights

The Tragedy of the Commons  by John Stossel
 
Every year around this time, schoolchildren are taught about that wonderful day when Pilgrims and Native Americans shared the fruits of the harvest. "Isn't sharing wonderful?" say the teachers.
 
They miss the point.
 
Because of sharing, the first Thanksgiving in 1623 almost didn't happen.
 
The failure of Soviet communism is only the latest demonstration that freedom and property rights, not sharing, are essential to prosperity. The earliest European settlers in America had a dramatic demonstration of that lesson, but few people today know it.
 
When the Pilgrims first settled the Plymouth Colony, they organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share everything equally, work and produce.
 
They nearly all starved.
 
Why? When people can get the same return with a small amount of effort as with a large amount, most people will make little effort. Plymouth settlers faked illness rather than working the common property. Some even stole despite their Puritan convictions. Total production was too meager to support the population, and famine resulted. Some ate rats, dogs, horses and cats. This went on for two years.
 
"So as it well appeared that famine must still ensue the next year also, if not some way prevented," wrote Gov. William Bradford in his diary. The colonists, he said, "began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length after much debate of things, [I] (with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves. ... And so assigned to every family a parcel of land."
 
The people of Plymouth moved from socialism to private farming. The results were dramatic.
"This had very good success," Bradford wrote, "for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. ... By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many. ... "
 
Because of the change, the first Thanksgiving could be held in November 1623.
 
What Plymouth suffered under communalism was what economists today call the tragedy of the commons. But the problem has been known since ancient Greece. As Aristotle noted, "That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it."
 
When action is divorced from consequences, no one is happy with the ultimate outcome. If individuals can take from a common pot regardless of how much they put in it, each person has an incentive to be a free rider, to do as little as possible and take as much as possible because what one fails to take will be taken by someone else. Soon, the pot is empty and will not be refilled -- a bad situation even for the earlier takers.
 
What private property does -- as the Pilgrims discovered -- is connect effort to reward, creating an incentive for people to produce far more. Then, if there's a free market, people will trade their surpluses to others for the things they lack. Mutual exchange for mutual benefit makes the community richer.
 
Secure property rights are the key. When producers know that their future products are safe from confiscation, they will take risks and invest. But when they fear they will be deprived of the fruits of their labor, they will do as little as possible.
 
That's the lost lesson of Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How an Obama Voter sees Thanksgiving Dinner

I had to come downstairs from my study to post this in order to keep from screaming.....
 
I am grading exams (always a miserable experience) this week.  This particular exam involves supply and demand analysis.
 
Essay question #3 asked my students to grapically illustrate and explain what the market for turkeys will look like this month and whether or not it would make sense for the federal government to impose a national lottery on turkeys so that "everyone could enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner."
 
Of course, many of you know that when government uses "non-price rationing" like a waiting list, waiting line or lottery, this causes two simple laws to kick in.  The first is called the law of demand.  Pushing down prices causes quantity demanded to increase.  The second is called the law of supply.  Pushing down prices causes suppliers to reduce their quantity supplied.  The result, of course, is a shortage and black markets. 
 
So, what did one student think about a turkey lottery?  Here is her answer, word for word, with no editing...
 
"I think it would make sense for the federal government to create a national lottery for turkeys simply because, the holiday is to really give thanks on what you have but not everyone could receive, some people didn't have the time to go to the store, or didn't have the money.  If the government were to do such a thing I think pigs will fly, for them to make sure every family receives a turkey or have, some kind of drawing so that someone or more than one could win.  It would make sense for them to do it because everyone deserves to eat, and be thankful for life, but you can put a strain on the market for turkeys.  Supply will be up but numbers of buyers will decrease, which makes prices decrease, but can cause for demand to increase because prices have decreased."
 
As I now go back upstairs to continue grading I am truly thankful that I live in a country where I am not expected to grade exams while I am eating my Thanksgiving dinner.
 
 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Republicans must embrace concepts they hate - like evolution

What follows is my Op-Ed piece in today's Orlando Sentinel.  Enjoy...


As a registered Libertarian, I do not often find myself voting for Republicans in presidential races. I do, though, often scratch my head and wonder why the Republican Party seems determined to arrive on the political endangered-species list.

I will confess that on Tuesday, for the first time in 12 years, I voted for the GOP to run the country. I am, after all, a free-market economist, and President Obama has not represented anything close to a belief in, or understanding of, simple freshman-level economics.

What Obama does understand — all too clearly — is that America has changed, and with it, the political landscape. The president perfectly unfolded an even larger tent to cover the folks the Republicans scare away.

Let's look at it.

First and foremost, there is the idiotic stance Republicans have taken on the issue of immigration. When will they ever learn how to do math? It is simple. Hispanics now make up 13 percent of the country and, for the first time ever, accounted for 10 percent of the voters.

The GOP keeps thinking, "OK, Hispanics are largely family-oriented Catholics who oppose abortion, so we should be attractive to them."

No, Hispanics are human beings who want jobs and opportunities to take care of their families. They have decided that they cannot do this in their native lands, so they rationally head for America — legally and illegally.

When Hispanics see how mean-spirited many Republicans and tea party folks are about their arrival in America, they naturally conclude that the Democrats will create a more favorable environment from which they can economically flourish.

Second, America has changed socially faster than Republicans can comprehend.

The country cares less and less about gay people getting married. Americans are not that bent out of shape over children born to single mothers. Abortion rights are popular as is the notion of legalized marijuana.

Moreover, when Republicans scream about national defense, the nation largely yawns. In essence, the voters told Republicans, "Osama is dead, and we aren't too concerned about the safety of Israel, but we do not have a job."

Finally, there is the long-awaited arrival of what we economists call the tipping point. The fiscal tipping point is when 50 percent of a population no longer pays income taxes, and 50 percent receive some form of taxpayer benefits every month.

Once a nation arrives at those key points, it becomes virtually impossible to get people excited about tax cuts or spending reductions.

We are now at the famous 47 percent mark on taxes and just more than 44 percent of Americans receive money from the forced confiscation of other people's money.

Yet, with all of this in front of them, Mitt Romney and other Republicans continued to talk about the self-deportation of Hispanics, the threat we face from Iran and tax cuts.

It is time for members of the Grand Old Party to wake up and embrace another concept they hate: That is Darwin's theory of evolution.

The political ecosystem has radically changed in our nation. If conservatives do not adapt to this change, they will face extinction in election after election.

Toward that end, I suggest some simple, common-sense modifications to their platform. Embrace immigration, shy away from radical proposals to the social-welfare network, and stop talking so much about social issues. This will be hard for them, I know.

Losing elections is harder. Isn't it?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

America's new National Anthem

As a post-script to my last blog entry I thought I would offer up a suggestion for a new national anthem for the United States of America.  Here it is.....


Perfect, right?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

America Deserves Barack Obama: Republicans are Facing Extinction

As I am writing this, the country is in the process of re-electing Barack Obama as President of our dying republic.
 
Now is a good time to let you know that I will be taking a break from my blog for awhile.  Like many of you, this election season has been very stressful for me and I could use some time to decompress.
 
Before I go, I would like to point out two immutable facts concerning what has just happened in America.
 
First, we need to establish a clear picture of just who voted for Barack Obama.  Then, we need to understand why the Republican party is now officially on the endangered species list.
 
Obama voters:
 
1.  Hispanic-Americans who were turned off by the Republican view of immigration.  Hispanics are the fastest-growing group of Americans.  Hispanics made up ten percent of the national vote for the first time and killed Romney in Florida, Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina.
 
2. Young female voters who want to reserve the right to end the life of the unborn.  The Republican platform scares them.

3.  African-Americans who, according to The Wall Street Journal supported Mr. Obama with 97% of their votes.  In 2008 Mr. Obama won 95% of the African-American vote.  It is very much worth noting that African-American unemployment is higher now than in 2008.  It is not real clear exactly what Mr. Obama did to give black people a clearer path to good jobs over the past four years, but it did not matter to 97% of black voters.
 
4. Public sector unions.  This means public school teachers and other folks (not as much police officers) like utility workers, firefighters and more.  These folks want the right to retire young and live off of budget-busting pensions with no regard to the taxpayers who they think owe them something just because they chose to teach young people or put out fires.
 
5. Private sector unions.  What overpaid, underproductive member of our nation's unions would ever want to see a right to work-type businessman running our country.  Just because Toyota produces better cars than General Motors with non-union, less-expensive labor this does not mean we should adopt this model for other industries, does it?  I mean, why mess up a system where union workers in the Northest and upper Midwest can demand ever increasing pay and pensions and health care benefits even if it is no good for their companies or the nation?

6. Welfare recipients. During his first four years, Obama made it easier to collect food stamps, public housing assistance and 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. Fewer Americans are looking for work than at any time in the last several decades. Bastiat was right when he said, "In our natural state, man seeks to avoid pain and will live at the expense of someone else if he can." People on welfare see Obama as their collector of private property from the bank accounts of the greedy rich. This includes an inordinate number of women. 40% of American babies are born with no dad around. To these women, President Obama is the financial daddy to their offspring
 
7. Over-educated liberals.  Listen, I work with people like this.  The latte-drinking, New York Times reading elitists who have all the economic common sense of a tree stump.  These people actually drive nice cars, eat good food and wear nice clothes without a clue as to where these items come from.  They think that government is wonderful and that there should be more of it even though everything they own comes from the private sector. 
 
8.  The elderly who don't care much about their posterity.  I hear older Americans say, "I am just getting back what I paid in" when it comes to Social Security and Medicare.  Hogwash.  Many empirical studies prove that today's seniors, in less than five years on average, get back all of their taxes, adjusted for inflation, in retirement and health care benefits.  Everything after that is simply a transfer from their children and grandchildren.  Transfer is another word for welfare, which another word for stolen property.
 
9.  Young people with limited life experience and even more limited brain power.  Look, when you are 18 you are naturally pretty dumb as to how life works.  You have lived with Mommy and Daddy for 99% of your life so you are used to a form of government providing you with security.  You don't own much property, pay little to no taxes, do not own a business, do not have a mortgage or kids, etc.  Therefore, when some slick, American Idol candidate like Barack Obama asks for you vote in a smooth voice and radiant smile, you get really excited because he makes you feel good.  Then, when he does nothing to help your chances of having a job for the last four years, since all you do is text, mess around on Facebook and play videogames, you still do not have enough sense to figure out that the pretty guy with no economic knowledge whatsoever is still not going to help you for the next four years.
 
10. Crony capitalists.  Farmers, alternative energy companies and other companies that line their pockets with taxpayer dollars are also Obama voters.  Why should someone who picked corn farming vote for Romney, who might tell them, "Hey, sometimes it does not rain."  Why would a windmill company in Iowa tell its workers to vote for Romney after Romney says that if wind is a great source of energy, windmill companies don't need subsidies.  As more and more companies line the halls of Washington, D.C. to get your money, they won't want to see a real capitalist elected.
 
11.  Special interest groups who want special considerations, or money.  Gay people want government to leave them alone if they decide to engage in something they call marriage.  Global warming alarmists want government to push us towards wind-powered bicycles.  Drug addicts want an expansion in Supplemental Security Income.  Add to this group animal rights activists, rich actors and actresses, assorted athletes and Warren Buffett and you have the perfect ingredient for Obama's re-election.
 
12.  The ignorant, lazy masses. Ben Franklin said that the moment voters realize that they can vote for themselves money from the public treasury, it would "herald the end of the Republic".   Our country has simply decided that we want to live off of one another.  We want freedom without responsibility.  We do not care about the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, the meaning of true liberty and we do not understand economics and what it takes to make an economy grow.  We envy those who have worked hard and demand their property through legalized plunder.  We demand fairness without caring about unfair acts imposed on our fellowman.  We have, in short, become a nation of ignorant, selfish individuals who could care less about what our nation was supposed to be.
 
Now for the part on why the Republican party is facing extinction.
 
See 1-12 above.
 
 

Monday, November 5, 2012

America's Destiny?

A former student emailed me with a link to the following 1 minute clip on Youtube.  If you are an undecided voter, watch this clip before you vote.  If you are thinking about not voting, watch this, then vote.  If you know others who are undecided, or apathetic, have them watch this, then encourage them to vote.

Will Evangelical Christians help Destroy America's Future?


In the past several weeks I have spoken to, or heard others speak about many people in the Christian community who do not plan to vote tomorrow because, in their words, "Mitt Romney is not a Christian" or because, "God is in control and whomever he wants in office he will put there."
 
Just in case there are any of you out there reading this - or know people who might be interested in reading this - who share the aforementioned sentiments, I would like to say one thing to you if I may be so bold...
 
You are making a big mistake.  A mistake so big that you could help destroy the very liberty that God wants all of us to enjoy.
 
Please go back and check your Bibles.  God wants us to be happy, free and prosperous while we are on this Earth.  He does not desire for us to live under growing tyranny, taxation and liberty-stifling rules.  The Bible is filled with verses that make this quite clear. 
 
If you do not vote because you think Mormons belong to a cult or because God does not care you are condemning your posterity, our posterity, to a future where the chains of big government will be riveted to their wallets, their choices and their pursuit of happiness.
 
Debate all you want about whether Mormons are "real Christians".  I know many Mormons from my years in the classroom and I find them to be exceedingly humble, kind, loving and great believers in human liberty and dignity.  They also tell me that they are Christians.  From the fruit I see in their lives and from my own ignorance of their faith, who am I to tell them they are not? 
 
Mitt Romney spent many of his years in mission work and ministry.  Barack Obama, a Christian according to him, spent his youth doing things that were far from mission work and ministry.  So did the evangelical Christian, George W. Bush.
 
Bush, with his unconstitutional wars and Obama with his unconsitutional socialism, strayed far from Christian principles while serving under an oath that said they had to defend our Constitution.  They even swore to God they would do it before killing 100,000 innocent Iraqis and forcing all of us to adhere to liberty-violating health care laws, taxes and regulations.
 
For my money, Mitt Romney is what he says he is.  I think he would govern in a manner consistent with his faith, which at this point I trust more than Mr. Obama's beliefs in what God would have him do.
 
If you Christians out there really care about our nation - a nation formed by mostly Christians who knew about sacrifice and honor and real liberty - you will get up tomorrow and go vote for a government that respects our rights to life, liberty and private property and you will vote in a way that ends 12 years of Republican and Democratic soft tyranny.
 
Don't blow it now....the stakes are too high.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why must so many Republicans be so stupid?

While having my morning cup of coffee with my local newspaper in hand, I read today where many conservative commentators have called New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie, "Judas Christie".  Rush Limbaugh called Christie "fat and a fool".
 
That is pretty harsh - if these folks were talking about Democrat governor Chris Christie.
 
The problem is Christie is a Republican.
 
The dustup that has led to criticism of Governor Christie (a leading supporter of Mitt Romney) is over his reaction to President Obama's early "handling" of the post-Hurricane Sandy disaster.
 
Christie has been very complementary of the president, saying, "I cannot thank him enough..." while being seen warmly accepting Mr. Obama in hard-hit New Jersey.
 
Could you Republicans please tell me why so many of you must be so mean, heartless and stupid?
 
For crying out loud, one of the worst storms in our nation's history has left the Northeastern U.S. in serious trouble and all you can do is ride the governor New Jersey for being grateful to President Obama?  Do you people realize what this makes you - and other Republicans look like?  Did you know that human beings - including undecided voters - are emotional creatures and might be (will be) offended by your heartless display of partisan politics?  Rush Limbaugh...if you are reading this... do you really think you have helped Mitt Romney by saying such moronic things?
 
I have said for many years that Republicans just don't get it when it comes to relating to people on a level that common sense suggests - and decency demands - they should.  Ronald Reagan excluded (he had a huge, giving, gracious and bipartisan heart), Republicans these days more often than not come off as mean-spirited Scrooges.
 
I have a suggestion for you nitwits out there.  First, shut up.  Let the President show up in hiking boots with this disaster out there to deal with.  Sure, it helps President Obama look presidential and might help his vote total.  So what.  He is supposed to show that he cares and is expected to show leadership in the aftermath if this storm.
 
Second, have a brain and realize that Governor Christie needs to be nice to Mr. Obama since Mr. Obama holds the FEMA checkbook.  Should Mr. Christie (a politician, remember?????) show New Jersey residents that he cares more about shunning a Democrat president than he cares about helping them? 
 
Third, if you care about Mitt Romney you will let Governor Christie continue to show that some Republicans are nice guys who can be polite to Democrats.  This is helpful to your party and your cause.
 
Fourth, shut up.
 
 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

An Idiots Guide to Plunder - and the Fatal Flaw of Obamanomics

My former students out there will tell you that one of my favorite economists of all time is the French genius, Frederic Bastiat.  Bastiat's most famous work, The Law provides a brilliant insight into the moral case for peace between all people.  The opposite of peace is a world of plunder. 

Please take 3 minutes of your life to watch this Youtube lesson with your kids, your friends, coworkers, members of your congregation or gang and anyone else you can think of that might be helped with some basic instruction on the foundations of freedom.



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

An Obama Win = Recession in 2013

Today's headline in The Wall Street Journal reads, "Weak Earnings Spark Selloff". 

Of particularly dire news is the report that the fourth quarter of 2012 is projected to have even weaker earnings for major corporations around the world and greater layoffs - on top of the planned layoffs mentioned in the WSJ today.

It is time for people to wake up and realize that President Obama is in over his head and has been since he had the thought of running for president.

Don't get me wrong.  I know he is a smart guy.  I believe he thinks he is doing what he needs to do to live up to his 2012 slogan, FORWARD. 

The problem is that forward in this case means moving into another four years of economic malaise, with even deeper problems than we have been battling since 2009 when the last recession "officially" ended.

In 2013 we will see one of the largest tax increases in our history - if Mr. Obama is re-elected.

In 2013 we will see Obamacare cemented as policy with massive new taxes, fines and regulations imposed on businesses and individuals - if he is re-elected.

In 2013 we will see certainty replace uncertainty and a large spike in layoffs.  Businesses are now sitting on whatever cash they have waiting to see if a former businessman or former community organizer/professor will take the oath of office in January 2013.  If it is the current president, businesses who currently have some hope that the much-reported 'fiscal cliff' will be avoided, will know that there is no stopping the Keynesian, anti-capitalism philosophy that has dominated the White House since 2009.  Once the fog of uncertainty is lifted and businesses clearly see that they cannot be saved by quantitative easing, cannot be saved by European debt management, cannot be saved by a slowing Chinese economy, cannot be saved by wind farms, electric cars, tax hikes on 1,200 rich families, 55% estate taxes, 30% Buffet Rule capital gains taxes, higher taxes on dividends, forced health care purchases and more.....they will then make rational choices about what to do next.

That choice will be to avoid as much risk as possible.  That means not spending money to expand, not spending money to hire and not spending money to keep the workers that are currently on the bubble.

If you are an undecided voter you better pay close attention to the facts.  President Obama cannot repeal the laws of supply and demand.  He cannot spend his way, tax his way, regulate his way and preach his way to a brighter future for America.

We have 13 more days to decide if we are going to keep moving towards France and Greece or begin the process of turning our economic Titanic around.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

In case you didn't notice, Joe Biden is a Jerk

I wanted my sons to watch the Vice-Presidential debate tonight because I have been telling them for two years that they might get to vote for Paul Ryan for President of the United States someday.  I did not know that by having them watch most of this event it would set in motion an mini--war in my home.

About half-way through the debate I asked my lovely wife to get the boys ready for bed.  They all walked from our game room across the yard to the house and were fighting like cats and dogs before anyone even brushed their teeth for bed.

My oldest son could not get the remote to work to quickly check the Yankees-Orioles score.  My youngest son had taken the batteries out of the remote in order to put them in a video game consule.  Older son gets mad at younger son.  Younger son now mad at older son.  Mom is now mad at both and all three are fussing.  Then.....in a moment of singular clarity they all simultaneously realized why they were stressed, angry and fighting.

It is because Vice-President Joe Biden is a complete jerk.  There, I said it and would love to say it to his face and to all of the Chicago-area political advisors who told Biden, "Look man, the President got exposed for ineffective president that he is in the last debate, so you need to go out there and jump on that kid from Wisconsin like a pit-bull on a piece of meat."

And he did.

It is really tough to say who "won" this debate, isn't it?  I mean, Biden showed that he is much more experienced in this political venue than Ryan.  Ryan seemed like a young college student getting yelled at and humiliated by an crotchety old professor over his midterm exam performance.

Biden, if you did not know much about anything related to economics and foreign policy, seemed to know more than Ryan and was more convincing in getting his points across.  Ryan was more polite, respectful and genial when trying to explain his sides views. 

Yet, unless the world of Youtube, Facebook, American Idol and reality television means nothing, one could argue that in our "Do you like this person" superficial society, Ryan was the clear winner.  First, of course, he is younger and more handsome.  I don't care about that but other people (97.3% of Americans, probably) do. 

Second, he was a gentlemen and never took the bait Biden kept throwing in front of him to fight back like a rude person would.

Third, Biden could not have been more impolite with his mocking, interrupting, laughing and snide remarks to Ryan and the moderator. 

If personal appeal means anything, I can see many undecided voters thinking, "Man, Ryan seems kind of young but he could grow into the job over time.  Biden......Really?  I want this rude dude sitting down at the table negotiating nuclear weapons or trade with China?   What is he going to call them?  Will they understand what a mocking smile means?"

Heck, in some cultures his behavior would probably start a war.

It did in my house.  But at least my sons went to bed knowing a little bit more about what Mr. Obama is like.  After all, Obama picked Biden.

Good night.

Why I should be the next Manager of The Boston Red Sox

I would like to interrupt this election season - and my normal blogging topics to throw my hat into the ring to be the next skipper of my beloved Boston Red Sox.  This is not a joke.  I really believe Sox management should hire me without interviewing anyone else for the job. 
 
Let's look at it. 
 
First, this season the Red Sox finished in last place with something like 60 or so wins.   It was their worst performance since 1965.
 
This from a team that fired their manager, Terry Francona the year before.
 
In case you missed it, Francona managed the team to its first World Series championship in 86 years!  For crying out loud, that means World War I was ending as the Red Sox last won anything.  In 2004 Francona found his team down three games to zero to the Yankees in the American League Championship Series.  In game three the Yankees scored 19 runs!  It looked like the Sox were done, but no.
 
Miraculously, Boston won the next four games in a row, two of which came in New York and went on to win four more in a row vs. St. Louis.
 
I have been a Boston fan since 1978.  Rick, "The Rooster" Burleson was my favorite player.  I cried, literally, when Boston lost in 1986 (Bob Stanley's fault).  That means I waited 36 years to see my team win it all.  That is nothing compared to how long others waited or how much they suffered.
 
Then, as if one title was not enough, Francona led Boston to another World Series championship in 2007! 
 
O.K., forgive me for hyperbole here, but if you manage two Red Sox teams to World Series titles, you not only are named manager of the team for life but you get to be emperor of the city of Boston as well.
 
For this, four years later, the geniuses who run the Red Sox fired Francona after his teams underperformed in the playoffs or narrowly missed them.
 
This year, Bobby Valentine - who is by many accounts, shall we say, difficult to play for, was hired to lead Boston.  He did.  Right into last place with a July player mutiny to boot.
 
Now the Red Sox need a new leader, which brings me to why they should give me the job.
 
First, as I mentioned, I have a long history of devotion to the Sox.
 
Second, I know the game of baseball.  I played college and semi-pro baseball and managed a semi-pro team made up largely of former professional (including major leaguers) baseball players to two championship series.
 
When I started managing my sons we had teams appear in three championship games out of four seasons and last year my team....wait for it.....THE RED SOX won the Winter Garden Little League Championship.
 
So, that is six seasons of playing for the title - in both mens and kids baseball. 
 
Are you listening, Red Sox management?
 
Then there is this.  Valencia has a sabbatical program which would allow me to leave for a year with no pay, so I am available.
 
When it comes to compensation, I would take the helm of the Red Sox for half of whatever anyone else would do it for, a huge savings there.
 
As for entertainment value, imagine a five foot six and three-quarters inch economics professor arguing with umpires.  My wife claims that my sarcastic facial expressions alone would be worth t.v. ratings gold.
 
Finally, and this is the best part - if I am hired and Boston finishes in last place that would mean that I was no worse than Bobby Valentine, but would be cheaper, funnier to watch and worth millions of Twitter and Facebook rants by people who want to kill Red Sox management for hiring some Little League manager from Central Florida.  You can't buy that kind of publicity.
 
It is up to you, Boston.....make the case for me to run our team. 
 
It can't get any worse than it is....

Sunday, October 7, 2012

7.8% Unemployment Illustrates the Failure of Obamanomics

After remaining stubbornly above 8% for over 3 1/2 years, the nations unemployment rate finally dipped to 7.8% last month. 
 
President Obama hailed this milestone in his presidency to claim that the American economy is finally growing as a result of his policies that saved us from Great Depression II, starvation, locusts and famine.
 
Mr. President, with all due respect, we are no where near where we could have been at this point because of your failed economic theories.
 
To wit - you told us in 2009 that if your stimulus bill passed we would see strong economic growth and unemployment in the 5-6% range by now.  You borrowed $862,000,000,000 from China and other sources, spent the money on wind-energy companies, corporate subsidies, municipalities (for teachers and firefighters) and other Keynesian-inspired projects.  You told us that without this spending, if the government did nothing, unemployment would remain above 8%.
 
Nine months after your bill passed the unemployment rate was still 9.8%.  Three years and six months after your bill passed the unemployment rate was still above 8%.  That means if we had not spent the money, according to your projections, we would have ended up exactly where we are now, but without the massive debt my children and their children's children will be forced to pay for.
 
You told us that 'Cash for Clunkers' would be a huge boost to the economy.  Look at the analysis of this program.  All it did was encourage people to purchase cars earlier than they would have otherwise, while reducing the supply of functional used cars, which caused used car prices to rise for poorer people whom you claim to care about.
 
As a result of the lack of transparency created by Obamacare and your carbon-tax plans, businesses are refusing to hire new workers while they sort out how much they will owe in fines, taxes or rising health care premiums in the years to come.  Meanwhile, I have had my premiums increase by over $200 per month because your health law added burdensome regulations to insurance companies.  That is $200 less I have to spend in the economy you claim to be saving.
 
Since you took office, over 75,000 pages of new regulations have been added to the Federal Register.  Regulations now cost American families over $10,000 per year in higher prices - more than we pay in taxes.
 
You are telling us that in 2013 our income, dividend, capital gains and estate taxes will all rise.
 
Mr. President, to show joy that one month before the election our unemployment rate is now below 8%, while failing to mention that the underemployment rate is nearly 18% (when counting people who have simply left the labor force because they can't find a job, or who are sweeping the floors at a Burger King 17 hours per week because they cannot find a full-time job), is pathetic.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal ran an article that shows most economists expect another recession next year as a result of your tax plans.

Enjoy your 7.8% unemployment rate while you can, Mr. President, because it may be a long time before you see it that low again.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Why Mitt Romney won the First Debate

I just finished watching the first debate on economic issues between President Obama and Mitt Romney.
 
If this had been a heavyweight prize fight it would have looked somewhat like the Buster Douglas - Mike Tyson fight from long ago.
 
In short, Mitt Romney knocked out Barack Obama.
 
For those of you who are new to my blog I must first let you know that I am a registered Libertarian and rarely vote for Republicans who are running for president.
 
You should also know that I have been sharply critical of Mitt Romney in public speeches, lectures to my students and on this blog.  He is no Ronald Reagan.  He has flaws in his persepective on health care, energy and trade with China.
 
Yet, tonight he illustrated why President Obama's presidency was a wonderfully impossible fulfillment of what America could be if we looked at a man without race in mind but ended up a dismal failure by any measure.
 
Mr. Romney was masterful in pointing out what should be painfully obvious to any American who has even an inkling of common sense.  That is that under President Obama we have seen the economy remain stagnant, government debt explode and the promise of achieving the American Dream die for millions of young people. 
 
Mr. Romney clearly illustrated that he understands the fundamental principles that create economic growth - leaving people and their wallets largely alone so they can chart the course of their own lives - while government largely remains on the sidelines.
 
He was not perfect and as I said, I have some serious concerns about some of his economics.  But...I have been an economist for 24 years now.   In those 24 years I have watched as George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush took us on a path that violated the principles of free markets and limited government.  I have watch President Obama make things even worse by arrogantly claiming that business people - of which I am one - did not create our businesses and that "Obamacare" (a phrase he loves) must be imposed on unwillingly emancipated adult human beings.
 
Mitt Romney gave a performance tonight that reminded me of what I felt when I watched the Reagan-Carter debates in 1980.  I was only a kid then but I knew Reagan was on to something.  So is Mitt Romney, if he can keep it up.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Watching Football as a Father

I am having a rough start to what is normally my favorite time of the year.  From the end of the Super Bowl each season until the start of the new football season in September I go through the sports-viewing equivalent of hell as seven months of NASCAR, golf, tennis, 6-hour long baseball games, lacrosse and every other boring event is put out for my viewing displeasure.
 
I must say, I would rather read the vomit bag during a flight to Afghanistan than read the sports pages during this miserable 210-day ordeal.
 
So, this month should mean great joy for me.  College and NFL football is in full swing and the temperature here in Central Florida has fallen to a downright crisp 90 degrees.
 
And yet, I am not happy.  In fact, my stomach hurts and some of my thoughts about football are going through a painful evolution.
 
This is because, for the first time, one of my sons is playing organized football.    This is not his first time playing football, but for the past several years it has been confined to the backyard or some other field where he and his friends play a friendly game of tackle football.
 
Now he is the starting quarterback for his school's junior varsity team.  He is still playing on real grass.  He is still playing tackle football.  But....it is not very friendly.  In fact, it is often downright ugly.
 
Some of you might be thinking, "What a wimp you are!"  After all, football is supposed to be violent.  I know this.  I played six years back in Oklahoma and was good enough to get a couple of small college scholarship offers.  I was a running back and I loved the contact - all of it - even when it was brutal.
 
Yet, yesterday I stood there watching my son take a helmet-to-helmet shot that caused his arms to go numb.  He laid on the ground for what seemed like an hour before wobbling back to the bench.    He did not tell his coach about the hit to the head so the next thing I know he is back in the game.  I was not about to be one of "those parents" and yell to pull him out.  He had told me on the sidelines that he felt "o.k" and I figured he was done for the day. 
 
Three plays later he is on the ground again with an injured ankle.
 
Meanwhile, the other players during the game against a ......hold on to your seat....Christian school  were repeatedly flagged (and sometimes not) for late hits, unsportsmanlike conduct, facemask penalties and more.  They celebrated these late hits and then had the nerve to pray after the game.  Perhaps they were praying that they would not be struck down by lightening for being hypocrites.
 
Anyway, that night I was out in my game room flipping back and forth between the Ravens - Browns NFL game and the Stanford-Washington college game. 
 
More than once I saw huge hits - players getting "blown up" and the crowd went wild.
 
For the first time in my life I found myself looking at these fans and saying, "What are you celebrating?"
 
Maybe this is a bit of an overreaction but in some ways I wonder if we are not much different from the people who sat in the stands watching lions eating some unlucky fellow.
 
I welcome your thoughts...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Say it again, Mitt!!!!

In case you missed it, today Mitt Romney is in trouble for something he said about Obama supporters.  The clip is provided below.


Now that this video is out there for all to see, today's newspapers are filled with Mr. Romney's crawfishing.  He is now attempting to argue that his words were not well thought out or were not "elegant" - whatever that means.

To that I say, "Please stop it!"

Mr. Romney, it is time for you to realize that you are most likely going to lose in November.  In football language, it is fourth and 21, you are at your own 13 yard-line with 8 seconds to go and you are losing by 7 points.  It is time to throw a Hail Mary and see if you can pull out a miracle.

The miracle in this case will be convincing Independents out there that your words, captured in this Youtube clip, are what you believe. 

To be honest with you, as a Libertarian, I needed to hear these words.  I have not been excited about your candidacy for one minute.  Now, if what you said here is what you believe, and if it suggests a manner in which you would run the country, I am more inclined to vote for you instead of writing down "Ron Paul" once again.

So, on behalf of those of us who are not excited about you, please keep saying this.  Do not apologize.  In fact, you need to say it more, say it louder and say it in a way that people like me will actively support you and try to convince others to do the same.

Remember, Mr. Romney, you told the truth so do not apologize for this. 

Embrace it and throw the Hail Mary!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Obama worshippers need a history lesson on economics

I thought you might enjoy my Op-Ed from the September 15th Orlando Sentinel

____

On Thursday, Rollins College adjunct professor of international affairs Stephen W. Day informed us in his Sentinel guest column why we cannot ask the question, "Am I better off today than I was four years ago?"

 
Day joined the long list of liberal apologists who teach in America's colleges and universities by selling the flawed notion that President Obama inherited an economy that he could not possibly save in just four years and that our president is doing great things to ensure long-run prosperity if he can only finish the job we allowed him to start in 2009.
 
Incredibly, Day compounded this flawed argument by lecturing Sentinel readers on the dangers of American selfishness. In his words, "Voters today understand that we endure the Great Recession together, so we must find our way out of this mess together. ... We must stand as a nation, united behind a president who has an effective economic plan…"

Hogwash.

Like Day, my fall classes began a couple of weeks ago. Unlike Day, my students are hearing something completely different.

I disagree with Day's reasoning that we have gone through such a horrific economic crisis that no president could turn things around in four years. Must we be constantly reminded that the period from 1973 to 1980 was worse than the recent Great Recession? During that time, oil supply shocks, income-tax rates as high as 70 percent and growing government spending and regulations led to a new word — stagflation — in the economics dictionary.

Stagflation, the combination of unemployment and inflation, is the worst reality any economy can face. During the post-Arab oil embargo through 1980, the U.S. experienced near 20 percent stagflation rates. For 1979-80 it was more than 20 percent. At the height of the recent 2007-2009 recession, we never came close to 15 percent.

In 1981, President Reagan passed the Economic Recovery Tax Act, which lowered income taxes up and down the income scale by nearly 30 percent. At the same time, Reagan supported Fed Chairman Paul Volcker in his efforts to fight inflation as Volcker pushed interest rates to historically high levels.

After a severe recession in 1982, caused by a prime interest rate of more than 21 percent, Reagan's major income-tax reform, combined with accelerated deregulation of American industry, the American economy roared back to life. It grew by historically high rates from November 1982 until the fall of 1990. At that time, this was the longest peacetime recovery in our history.
It should be noted that Reagan's policies were similar to those taken by John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s and Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Kennedy's income and corporate tax cuts remain, as a percentage of the GDP, the largest in history and were followed by a booming economy in the 1960s.

I show my students that the last six years of Bill Clinton's presidency — with large cuts in capital gains taxes, the creation of tax-friendly investment vehicles, welfare reform, controlled government spending and brilliant international trade polices — helped the 1990s become the most prosperous decade in our history.

Day fails to understand that we did not go into the Great Recession together. We went into it as individuals. My personal economic picture has nothing to do with him. Changes in my income, alterations in the value of my home and the decisions I have to make to help guide my family through tough economic times are all personal decisions. I do not belong to a group that must share in good and bad times. I am not compelled to work with my fellow man. I am only obligated to serve my fellow man. If I serve him well, my personal economic fortunes will reflect that. If I fail, it is not on Day to pull me out of what I created.
 
I would invite Day to explore further the real evidence of Obama's economic policies and those of his predecessors who were successful in guiding meaningful and substantial economic growth.
The facts are clear. When you ask the men and women of America why they are not creating more jobs, you will not find anyone saying, "Well, this has just been too big of a recession to end quickly." You will find them saying that Obama's plans to increase personal and investment income taxes, his costly health-care legislation and the rising tide of regulations have made it nearly impossible to make any plans that include job creation.

The sooner we all learn this, the faster we can make the necessary changes in Washington, D.C.