Monday, April 21, 2014

A Black Conservative's War On Poverty

Excerpts Wall Street Journal Opinion Page April 19, 2014

Robert L. Woodson Sr. is a no-nonsense black conservative who heads the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise and knows a thing or two about that culture, the nation's inner cities and Mr. Ryan.
Zina Saunders
Mr. Woodson attended the White House announcement in February of the president's My Brother's Keeper initiative, which is aimed at helping disadvantaged young black men. White House concerns about the president's black base of support may be behind this newfound interest in the poor, Mr. Woodson says, "but I don't care. If someone is doing something for political advantage, but it has the consequence of helping people, I don't think we should be critical."
Mr. Woodson was pleasantly surprised by what he saw and heard: "The president had the kind of people I deal with up there with him. He was introduced by a young man who was recently robbed on his way to school. I was also glad to hear him say that there must be a nongovernment approach to the problem, and he assembled private-sector funders."
But optics and rhetoric notwithstanding, Mr. Woodson is skeptical that much will come of the initiative. "My worry and my fear is that the money and resources will go to the same racial grievance groups, the same members of what I call the poverty Pentagon. They'll give it to Al Sharpton and the others to do what they've been doing for decades, to do what doesn't work—what in fact is making things worse."
Mr. Woodson says that many poor communities don't need another government program so much as relief from current policies. "For instance, a lot of people coming out of prison have a hard time obtaining occupational licenses," he says. Aspiring barbers, cabdrivers, tree-trimmers, locksmiths and the like, he notes, can face burdensome licensing requirements. Proponents of these rules like to cite public-safety concerns, but the reality is that licensure requirements exist mainly to shut out competition. In many black communities, that translates into fewer jobs and less access to quality goods and services.
Mr. Woodson sees an opportunity here for the GOP to do right by the poor without abandoning its conservative principles or pandering. He points to the successful outreach efforts of former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, two Republicans who worked with local minority communities to push market-driven urban redevelopment and were rewarded politically by blacks for doing so.
To illustrate the difference between his approach to community activism and a liberal's, Mr. Woodson tells me about a pastor in Detroit who wanted to build 50 new homes in a ghetto neighborhood but couldn't find financial backing or insurance. "If he had gone to someone on the left for help, they would have gotten their lawyers to sue the insurance company and the bank for redlining or something. What I did by contrast is arrange a meeting between the insurance executives and the pastor. They saw what he was trying to do, the people in the neighborhood he was employing. They saw someone developing human capital." The insurance company got on board and a bank followed. With financing in place, the homes were built, as was a new restaurant currently run by a man who did 13 years in prison.
"I'm optimistic," says Mr. Woodson, noting that his organization has trained some 2,500 grass-roots leaders in 39 states. "We have the platform. We need the investment. My challenge is to get more conservatives to understand that there are many people who arein poverty but not of it."
Mr. Woodson is irked that Republicans aren't more entrepreneurial in their outreach efforts, citing Mr. Ryan's mentor, the late Congressman Jack Kemp, as a model. Kemp, a former housing secretary for George H.W. Bush, distinguished himself as a proponent of low-tax urban "enterprise zones" and more privatization of public services.
"The other thing that annoys me," Mr. Woodson continues, "is that too many Republicans, as [economist] Walter Williams has said, abandon old friends to appease old enemies." In the 1990s after black Congressman J.C. Watts denounced Jesse Jackson as a race hustler, House Speaker Newt Gingrich apologized to Mr. Jackson and invited the reverend to join him at President Clinton's second-term inauguration. "Despite all the help we provided Newt Gingrich, he turned his back on us and invited Jesse Jackson into his booth," says Mr. Woodson. "Conservatives have to stop validating these people."
But Mr. Woodson saves his most passionate disdain for those on the black left who all but abandon the black poor except to exploit them. "Around 70 cents of every dollar designated to relieve poverty goes not to poor people but to people who serve the poor—social workers, counselors, et cetera," he says. "We've created a poverty industry, turned poor people into a commodity. And the race hustlers play a bait-and-switch game where they use the conditions of low-income blacks to justify remedies"—such as racial education preferences—"that only help middle-income blacks."
A majority of black parents always opposed this social engineering and said they wanted better neighborhood schools, "but the civil-rights leadership pushed busing for the poor. Of course, none of their kids were on the bus," says Mr. Woodson. To this day, the left's obsession with the racial composition of a school trumps its concern with whether kids are learning.
A recent study from UCLA's Civil Rights Project criticized charter schools for being too racially segregated. Never mind that many of these charters outperform the surrounding neighborhood schools and that excellent all-black schools have long existed and predate Brown. Liberals remain convinced that black children must sit next to white children in order to learn. The Obama Justice Department currently is trying to shut down a Louisiana voucher program for low-income families on the grounds that it may upset the racial balance of public schools in the state.
Mr. Woodson frowns on attempts to dismiss antisocial black behavior as a product of white racism or a biased criminal justice system. "It's cynical and patronizing, and I'd rather be hated than patronized," he says.

Read the entire article - http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304441304579481593325577488?mg=reno64-wsj

Sunday, April 20, 2014

America - Under Attack From Within

By Dennis Prager April 15, 2014
In his column last week, Charles Krauthammer crossed a line. He declared the American Left totalitarian.
He is correct. Totalitarianism is written into the Left’s DNA. Krauthammer wrote about a left-wing petition “bearing more than 110,000 signatures delivered to the [Washington] Post demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming.”
He concluded:
I was gratified by the show of intolerance because it perfectly illustrated my argument that the Left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition. The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian.
America is engaged in a civil war — thank God, a nonviolent one, but a civil war nonetheless. We are as divided now as we were during the Civil War. The issue then was slavery — a huge moral divide, of course. But today, the country is divided by opposite views on morality, politics, society, religion, the individual, and the very nature of America.
The Left seeks to, as candidate Barack Obama promised five days before his first election, “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” That is what the Left is doing. There is almost no area of American life in which the Left’s influence is not transformative, and ultimately destructive.
Beginning today, I will periodically devote the space of this column to exposing that transformation and destruction. This is necessary, I believe, because most Americans, including more than a few Republicans and more than a few Democrats, simply do not know what the Left is doing to their country.
So, here is some of what the Left has done in the last week or two.
The left-wing directors of Mozilla, the parent company of the browser Firefox, compelled their CEO, Brendan Eich, to resign after he refused to recant his support for maintaining the man-woman definition of marriage. Even though his gay employees acknowledged that he had treated them fairly individually and as couples, the mere fact that he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman rendered him unacceptable as an employee of Mozilla/Firefox. (For more details, see my column of last week, “Uninstall Firefox.”)
The Wall Street Journal condemned Mozilla. The New York Times has not taken a position.
 Brandeis University rescinded its invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, perhaps the world’s foremost activist in behalf of women in the Islamic world. Hirsi Ali, an African woman born into a Muslim family and raised Muslim, now teaches at Harvard; she was scheduled to receive an honorary degree at the forthcoming Brandeis graduation ceremony. Brandeis rescinded its invitation after protests led by a Muslim student and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an Islamist organization. Hirsi Ali’s detractors were outraged about comments she has made criticizing the appalling treatment of women in many parts of the Muslim world.
The Wall Street Journal condemned Brandeis. The New York Times has not taken a position.
 The University of Michigan canceled a showing of the documentary Honor Diaries. The film features nine women who are Muslim or who come from a Muslim country. They speak about honor killings, female genital mutilation, forced marriages at young ages, and the denial of education to women in Muslim communities. They praise moderate Muslims. But the University of Michigan canceled the film lest a non-moderate Muslim organization, CAIR again, label the university “Islamophobic.”
 Six weeks ago, a University of Wisconsin student released a video he had made of a guest lecturer in the freshman general-education course “Education 130: Individual and Society.” The lecturer, the political and organizing director for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 150, delivered a diatribe, with obscenities, against conservatives, whites, and Republicans. Last week, when confronted with the evidence that classrooms at their university were being politicized, the faculty of the University of Wisconsin reacted with indignation — at the student who made the video. And then the faculty passed a resolution demanding that the university ban recording any of its classes.
It’s hard to blame the faculty. Given the intellectual shallowness and the left-wing politics that pervade so many liberal-arts classes, the University of Wisconsin faculty has every reason to fear how the public might respond if it knows what professors say in class.
 Today is the cutoff date for public reactions to the proposal by the California Supreme Court’s ethics-advisory committee to forbid California judges from affiliating with the Boy Scouts, which the Left deems anti-gay. Given the Left’s animosity to traditional value-based institutions, it is not surprising that it loathes the Boy Scouts. What is remarkable — actually, frightening — is how easy it has been for the Left to make it illegal for a judge to be a leader in the Boy Scouts. This is the now case in 22 states. It will soon be the case in California as well.
This was just one week — and only selected examples — in the Left’s ongoing transformation of America.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Don't Hurt People - And Don't Take Their Stuff!!

By Matt Kibbe - FreedomWorks
Two days before I was born, a faceless, grey-suited bureaucrat, typing away in the bowels of the FBI, wrote an internal memo.
It was August 29, 1963. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had delivered the speech of his life in front of some 250,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial the day before.
The memo read: "We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this Nation."
And so began the coordinated attack on an American citizen simply for his decision to petition his government for a redress of grievances, to peaceably assemble, to speak freely.
A cabal of powerful government bureaucrats proceeded to stalk, threaten and smear MLK, a man they viewed as an enemy to their interests.
They wire tapped his personal phone and the lines of his organization.
They went after his donors and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a nonprofit organizer of the March on Washington. The IRS started auditing people.
Imagine activist bureaucrats in an agency of the federal government singling out citizens, based on their political ideology, and effectively stifling their political speech. Sound familiar?
Led by Lois Lerner, the IRS isolated and administratively sabotaged the nonprofit applications of local conservative and libertarian groups.
Targeted groups were instructed to disclose hundreds of pages of private information, including the names of volunteers, donors and even relatives of volunteers; resumes for each governing group member, printouts of websites and social media contents, and book reports of local clubs' suggested reading lists.
Even the content of members' prayers was scrutinized.
IRS Bullies
According to National Public Radio, only 46% of the conservative and libertarian groups requesting tax-exempt status in 2012-2013 were approved, with many more never receiving a response from the IRS. In contrast, 100% of progressive group applications were approved.
In fact, IRS agents recently confirmed in congressional testimony that their agency did not scrutinize progressive groups based on their political beliefs.
Stan Veuger at the American Enterprise Institute estimates that this selective targeting on Mom and Pop organizers cost Republicans "as many as 5-8.5 million votes" in the 2012 election.
Has it ever made sense to give so much unchecked power and authority to unelected and virtually unfireable government bureaucrats? Can we trust them to be better than the rest of us? Can we trust them to know better than to use their positions of power to advance their personal agendas?
I say no, but progressives' answer is to find the "right" bureaucrat, the "right" politicians. They hope these people are better than us, and smarter than us. They hope they won't abuse the power when they second-guess our personal choices.
But time and time again, the hope of change proves, in practice, to be a bloated, selectively abusive, and very expensive nightmare.
It was then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy that authorized the wiretapping of Dr. King's phone. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover ordered the installation of microphones in the hotel rooms that Dr. King was staying in. They used recordings of private conversations to intimidate, blackmail and silence King.
Bipartisan Abuse
President John F. Kennedy used the IRS to target conservative non-profits and other political foes. Republican President Richard Nixon was impeached in part for using the IRS to selectively punish his enemies. George W. Bush and Bill Clinton weren't above abusing the powers of the IRS, either.
There is no such thing as a perfect politician, or a bureaucrat without bias or an agenda. After all, they're only human like the rest of us. That's why the political philosophy of liberty is based on the rule of law, not the arbitrary rule of man.
Everybody should be treated the same as anybody else, and it should never matter who you know in Washington, who your parents were, where you choose to worship or what the color of your skin is. It's that simple.
We are at a tipping point.
The agency alphabet soup that now exerts so much selective authority over us — whether it's the IRS, FBI, NSA, BLM or the HHS — is out of control.
It used to be well understood that they worked for us. Today, this army of government employees acts like an immensely powerful special interest, and behaves as if we work for them.
It's no longer about Republicans vs. Democrats, or the Tea Party against the GOP establishment. It's not about good government vs. bad government.
It's about limiting our runaway government's monopoly on force and unleashing the freedom to try, to choose, to take responsibility and to make things better for our families and communities.
We should be left free to speak our minds and pursue our own dreams, as long as we don't hurt other people, or take their stuff.

Adapted from Matt Kibbe's Book:  Don't Hurt People - And Don't Take Their Stuff

Leadership Vacuum

By  April 9, 2014
The President of the United States is known in all corners of the globe as the leader of the free world.  This means that President Obama is supposed to be the leader not just of America, but the entire free world; a fact that proves the maxim that an individual can be in a leadership position but not be a leader.  While President Obama has been the leader of the free world—at least in name—the size of the free world has shrunk.  A leader is an individual who: 1) has a vision,2) is able to inspire others to commit to the vision, and 3) can rally people to work together to achieve the vision. This is not a description of the man who has been America’s president for the past six years.
If President Obama has a vision for America, I don’t know what it is unless it is to undermine our nation and transform it into a second-rate, globally-subservient has-been that is economically and morally bankrupt.  If this is his vision, he has supporters: radical liberals and so-called progressives. Of course, it took no convincing to get these groups on board with his nefarious vision—it was their vision too even before Barack Obama became president.  As to rallying people to work together toward achieving his vision, President Obama has done nothing but divide the American people and unite America’s enemies.  Clearly, America’s current president could benefit from a short course titled Leadership 101.  To prime the pump, I have used this column to provide five brief leadership lessons for the president.
Lesson 1:  Well Done is Better than Well Said
For leaders, words are nice but action is better.  Ultimately, leaders are judged by what they do not what they say.  In addition, leaders inspire others to commit to their vision and rally others to help achieve the vision more by their actions than their words.  Words can help, but actions speak louder than words.  This is a lesson President Obama would do well to learn.  He is comfortable standing behind a podium and reading from a teleprompter, but he appears to believe that having said something is the same as having done it.  To him words are action.  They aren’t.  Vladimir Putin is teaching Barack Obama this lesson right now all the way from the Crimea.
Lesson 2: Unite Your Allies and Divide Your Enemies
Every leader has allies and enemies.  A leader’s allies are those who support the vision and want to help ensure it is achieved. A leader’s enemies are his or her detractors who do not buy into the vision and who work overtly or covertly to prevent achievement of it.  Since taking office as president, Barack Obama has done just the opposite of this: He has divided America’s allies (as well as the American people) and united our enemies.  This is why a comparatively weak country such as Russia can invade the Crimea and force a point-of-the-gun election while the United States is forced to sit back and listen to its president make idle threats that Vladimir Putin knows he can ignore.
Lesson 3: Lead by Example
How many times over the past six years have you heard President Obama express sympathy for Americans who have experienced a natural disaster or some other form of trauma or loss and then leave the next day for a vacation?  When residents of the Northeast were left without power, food, water, and homes by a devastating hurricane followed by a freezing winter storm, President Obama showed his empathy by taking a multi-million dollar vacation to Hawaii.  This type of self-interested, self-serving behavior is the opposite of leading by example.  A president who leads by example would have suffered along with the storm victims in New York by at least cancelling his Hawaiian vacation and spending some time in the trenches with them. President Obama visited the devastated region long enough to stage a photo op for the press, then he headed to sunny Hawaii.
Lesson 4: Inspire, Persuade, and Influence, but Don’t Coerce
Leaders are often in positions to force people to do their bidding, but this is misleading not leading.  Good leaders inspire, persuade, and influence.  Building the relationships, providing the example, and earning the respect necessary to be able to inspire, persuade, and influence others to rally around the vision takes time and effort.  Coercion requires nothing but being in a leadership position.  President Obama has not invested the time or effort needed to build the relationships with key Congressional leaders or the American people necessary to inspire, persuade, or influence them to rally around his agenda.  Because of this he has formed an unfortunate habit: ruling by executive order.  Putting aside the fact that a weak-kneed Congress allows him to get away with this, rule by executive fiat has no place in a Republican Democracy.  It is tyranny and antithetical to how the Founders established our nation.
Lesson 5: Be Willing to Admit You Made a Mistake
Because leaders are people they are fallible.  Being that they are imperfect, leaders make mistakes.  Consequently, it is important that leaders be willing to admit it when they make a mistake. Leaders must be able to say “mea culpa” and reverse course when it is obvious they made a mistake.  President Obama forced the misnamed Affordable Care Act (AFA) through a partisan Congress with not even one Republican vote.  Even those Americans who agreed that the healthcare system needed to be reformed sensed that Obamacare was not the answer.  Then the rollout of Obamacare proved that their misgivings were valid.  Since that time some new problem with the ACA turns up every day.  In spite of this, President Obama keeps changing the rules, delaying implementation, and putting on a happy face for the American public, but refuses to admit that the ACA was a mistake.  He is unwilling to admit that although America’s healthcare system needs to be reformed, the ACA is not the answer.  Like those who are better called misleaders, President Obama clings to the fiction that the ACA is  worthy legislation for the sole reason that it was his idea.
Vladimir Putin may be a tyrant and a bully, but the people of Russia know where he stands.  He has a vision for re-establishing the Soviet Union and he has rallied the Russian people around that vision.  Further, he is taking action while America’s president takes vacations and continues to mouth empty words.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

American Exceptionalism Defined - Part 2

KISS on stage - honoring our troops!! - no matter how many times you have seen this - it is always worth another look!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

EPA Regs Aimed At Eliminating Coal-Fired Power Plants: Real World Impact On Consumers -

This notice received today from our local electrical power provider:

"As member–owners of your electric cooperative, your help is needed in sending a message to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington to reconsider regulations that they are proposing to eliminate coal as a generation fuel. Coal is the most economical source of power for South Carolina and many other states.

If Santee Cooper, our power supplier, were forced to close ALL of their coal-fired plants and replace them with a mix of nuclear and natural gas, the average monthly cooperative electric bill would increase 54%. For the average electric bill that would mean a $79 increase."


Obama's Friends - Beginning To Articulate What Has Been Obvious To The Entire World


Saturday, March 22, 2014

American Physical Society Panel - Balanced View - Climate Change

Investors Business Daily - "Junk Science"
Climate change "deniers," as global warm-mongers call those who think empirical evidence is more reliable than computer models, may soon count among their number a 50,000-strong body of physicists.
At the risk of being accused of embracing what alarmists call the flat-earth view of climate change, the American Physical Society has appointed a balanced, six-person committee to review its stance on so-called climate change that includes three distinguished skeptics: Judith Curry, John Christy and Richard Lindzen. Their credentials are impressive.
Christy is director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and was a lead author of the 2001 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Curry is a professor and chairwoman of the School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Lindzen, an Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at MIT from 1983 to 2013, is currently a distinguished senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute.
A question the American Physical Society panel will address is one we ask repeatedly: Why wasn't the current global temperature stasis, with no discernible change in the past 15 years, not predicted by any of the climate models used by the IPCC, part of the United Nations?
The APS announcement lists among its questions to be answered: "How long must the stasis persist before there would be a firm declaration of a problem with the models?"
In a nod to the likelihood that nature, not man, calls the shots, another APS audit question asks the panel: "What do you see as the likelihood of solar influences beyond TSI (total solar irradiance)? Is it coincidence that the stasis has occurred during the weakest solar cycle (i.e., sunspot activity) in about a century?"
The other three American Physical Society members, reports Quadrant Online, maintain that climate change is real, disaster is imminent and man is at fault. They are long-time IPCC stalwart Ben Santer (who in 1996 drafted, in suspicious circumstances, the original IPCC mantra about a "discernible" influence of man-made CO2 on climate), IPCC lead author and modeler William Collins, and atmospheric physicist Isaac Held.
The APS, to its credit, is addressing the chasm between computer models that cannot even predict the past and actual observations suggesting that warming is on hold and largely influenced by natural factors.
Computer models are simply not adequate to address the infinite number of variables, natural and man-made, that contribute to climate, often leading to wild-eyed predictions.
One such prediction noted that summer in the North Pole could be "ice-free by 2013." That was what former Vice President Al Gore insisted in his 2007 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, a call that was off by about 920,000 square miles of ice.
In an article on the website Hockey Schtick, APS panelist Christy says he analyzed the "tropical atmospheric temperature change in 102 of the latest climate-model simulations covering the past 35 years" and found that "102 model runs overshot the actual temperature change on average by a factor of three."
Panelist Curry thinks computer models place too much emphasis on current CO2 levels and not enough on long-term cycles in ocean temperature that have a huge influence on climate. She suspects we may be approaching a period similar to 1965-1975, when there was a clear cooling trend.
Climate is affected by an infinite number of variables, the relative importance — and complexity of their interactions — of which aren't fully understood.
Put too much weight on one and not enough on the other, and you have the computer phenomenon known as GIGO — garbage in, garbage out.
The American Physical Society hopes to take out the garbage. If it succeeds, climate alarmism and its mythical consensus, not the ice caps, will melt away.

Friday, March 21, 2014

America and Sweden - On Different Paths

 By David L. Goetsch  March 20, 2014
Perhaps President Obama and liberals in Congress should pay better attention to what is happening in Europe.  Interesting things are happening in Sweden, things that have a direct bearing on the direction Obama and his minions have set for the United States. Following World War II, Western European countries set themselves on the path of socialism.  By the 1960s, they had arrived.  Western Europe quickly recovered from World War II, but not because of socialism.  France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the other war-ravaged countries of Western Europe were able to quickly recover from World War II because of the foresight and generosity of the United States in implementing the Marshall Plan.  In other words, the shattered nations of Western Europe accepted $billions from a free-market nation that, at the time, steadfastly rejected socialism.  These countries then used the money to transform themselves into bastions of socialism.  And so things have remained since the 1960s.  However, change is in the air.
Sweden has become the first of the Western European nations to take a major step away from socialism. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), “Sweden spent years as a statist economy, with marginal tax rates above 90 percent.  With nationalized healthcare and welfare programs, Sweden had a budget deficit worth 13 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 1993 and a government debt at 71 percent of its national output.”  These deficit and debt levels should sound familiar to anyone paying attention to what has happened to America’s economy over the last several decades and particularly during the first six years of the Obama administration.
In the 1990s Swedes began to realize what socialism and statism were doing to the quality of life in their country.  As a result, they elected Sweden’s first conservative government since the end of World War II.  Knowing precisely what needed to be done to pull their nation back from the abyss of economic ruin, Sweden’s new conservative government quickly went to work cutting taxes on businesses and individuals.  Things began to change for the better almost immediately.  Consider the following improvements Sweden has enjoyed since beginning the long, hard road back from socialism and statism (data provided by the NCPA):
  • Between 1993 and 2010, Sweden’s GDP growth exceeded that of the rest of Europe by one full percentage point.  Further, by 2010 public debt had dropped to 37 percent of GDP and taxes on businesses had been decreased to 22 percent (compare this with the 36 percent rate in the United States).
  • Sweden’s political leaders transformed the nation’s retirement pension system from a defined-benefit system into a defined contribution system, thereby saving it from inevitable insolvency.
  • The Swedish Fiscal Policy Council was established and empowered to independently monitor and evaluate government fiscal policy.  The Council’s most current recommendation is that Sweden raise its retirement age to protect the long-term solvency of the nation’s retirement system.
These and other free-market initiatives have resulted in an upturn in entrepreneurship in Sweden.  For example, Skype (the VolP service) and Spotify (the music streaming program) both got their starts in Sweden.  Saab, best known as an automaker, is also excelling in the aerospace and aviation industries.  In fact, according to the NCPA Saab has beaten out Boeing for aviation contracts in the past several years.  In a move that should be watched closely by America’s airlines, automakers, and other unionized industries, SAS—the Scandinavian airline—finally posted a profit after six straight years of losses by negotiating with its union to cut pay and retirement benefits.  The rationale of SAS executives in asking for the cuts and the rationale of union leaders in accepting them was simple:  It is better to get a little less than you want than to get nothing when the airline goes bankrupt.
Sweden has not yet weaned itself completely from socialism, but it has made excellent progress.  Socio-economic change is difficult in a democracy.  It typically happens in fits and starts, but as Sweden has shown, it can happen.  What Sweden began in the 1990s is what America will need to begin in 2016.  But, as it did in Sweden, this will require electing a conservative government.  Let us hope and pray that the American electorate will show the good sense shown by its counterpart in Sweden.
Editor's Note: Sweden's Maximum Corporate Tax Rate - 22%: USA 38%; Sweden's Individual Maximum Marginal Tax Rate; 57%; USA - 56% (Federal and State); Sweden Minimum Individual Tax Rate: 29%; USA: 0% 
Every American who earns income should pay some income tax - how about 1%!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Two Americas - Income Inequality: The Real World!!

January 2014 - Bob Lonsberry, a Rochester talk radio personality on WHAM 1180 AM 

The Democrats are right, there are two Americas.  The America that works, and the America that doesn’t. The America that contributes, and the America that doesn’t.  It’s not the haves and the have nots, it’s the dos and the don’ts.

Some people do their duty as Americans, obey the law, support themselves, contribute to society, and others don’t.  That’s the divide in America.

It’s not about income inequality, it’s about civic irresponsibility.

It’s about a political party that preaches hatred, greed and victimization in order to win elective office.

It’s about a political party that loves power more than it loves its country.  That’s not invective, that’s truth, and it’s about time someone said it.

The politics of envy was on proud display a couple weeks ago when President Obama pledged the rest of his term to fighting “income inequality.”   He noted that some people make more than other people, that some people have higher incomes than others, and he says that’s not just.

That is the rationale of thievery.  The other guy has it, you want it, Obama will take it for you.  Vote Democrat.

That is the philosophy that produced Detroit.   It is the electoral philosophy that is destroying America.

It conceals a fundamental deviation from American values and common sense because it ends up not benefiting the people who support it, but a betrayal.

The Democrats have not empowered their followers, they have enslaved them in a culture of dependence and entitlement, of victim-hood and anger instead of ability and hope.

The president’s premise – that you reduce income inequality by debasing the successful – seeks to deny the successful the consequences of their choices and spare the unsuccessful the consequences of their choices.

Because, by and large, income variations in society is a result of different choices leading to different consequences.   Those who choose wisely and responsibility have a far greater likelihood of success, while those who choose foolishly and irresponsibly have a far greater likelihood of failure.   Success and failure usually manifest themselves in personal and family income.

You choose to drop out of high school or to skip college – and you are apt to have a different outcome than someone who gets a diploma and pushes on with purposeful education.

You have your children out of wedlock and life is apt to take one course;  you have them within a marriage and life is apt to take another course.

Most often in life our destination is determined by the course we take.

My doctor, for example, makes far more than I do.  There is significant income inequality between us.  Our lives have had an inequality of outcome, but, our lives also have had an in equality of effort.   While my doctor went to college and then devoted his young adulthood to medical school and residency, I got a job in a restaurant.

He made a choice, I made a choice, and our choices led us to different outcomes.  His outcome pays a lot better than mine.

Does that mean he cheated and Barack Obama needs to take away his wealth?  No, it means we are both free men in a free society where free choices lead to different outcomes.

It is not inequality Barack Obama intends to take away, it is freedom.  The freedom to succeed, and the freedom to fail. 

There is no true option for success if there is no true option for failure.

The pursuit of happiness means a whole lot less when you face the punitive hand of government if your pursuit brings you more happiness than the other guy.

Even if the other guy sat on his arse and did nothing.  Even if the other guy made a lifetime’s worth of asinine and shortsighted decisions.

Barack Obama and the Democrats preach equality of outcome as a right, while completely ignoring inequality of effort.

The simple Law of the Harvest – as ye sow, so shall ye reap – is sometimes applied as, “The harder you work, the more you get."  Obama would turn that upside down. Those who achieve are to be punished as enemies of society and those who fail are to be rewarded as wards of society.

Entitlement will replace effort as the key to upward mobility in American society if Barack Obama gets his way.   He seeks a lowest common denominator society in which the government besieges the successful and productive to foster equality through mediocrity.

He and his party speak of two Americas, and their grip on power is based on using the votes of one to sap the productivity of the other.   America is not divided by the differences in our outcomes, it is divided by the differences in our efforts.   It is a false philosophy to say one man’s success comes about unavoidably as the result of another man’s victimization.

What Obama offered was not a solution, but a separatism.  He fomented division and strife, pitted one set of Americans against another for his own political benefit.  That’s what socialists offer.  Marxist class warfare wrapped up with a bow.

Two Americas, coming closer each day to proving the truth to Lincoln’s maxim that a house divided against itself cannot stand.