Current Affairs


Reading through their agenda, I conclude its the same old crap. More government control, rules, and bureaucracy. And, the results will be the very results they say they are trying to fix. For example, their first issue complains about special interests and so-called the rich getting the benefits of government largess. But, any legislation or regulatory change involves the input of special interests. In fact, Democrats welcome special interests to provide expertise in writing legislation. They are the experts and that’s why they’re involved. The Democrats invite the special interests that fit their agenda to help who then tilt the legislation to their benefit. The result is more bureaucracy and more complexity in the lives of the middle class they say they are trying to help. How much record-keeping do we already have for taxes, medical care, and on and on? Well, that is the result of the very government Democrats are pushing.

How about this:

Our plan for A Better Deal starts by creating millions of good-paying, full-time jobs by directly investing in our crumbling infrastructure and prioritizing small business and entrepreneurs, instead of giving tax breaks to special interests.

How are they going to “creating millions of good-paying, full-time jobs” Well, that crumbling infrastructure is located in states that have been run by Democrats, with an occasional Republican elected such as NY, NJ, CA, IL. The fiscal problem at the state level is that government employee pensions, public education, and Medicaid have consumed their budgets, leaving little budget dollars left for infrastructure. Having the federal government spend on infrastructure relieves the state governors, legislators, and judges of being responsible for the infrastructure in their states. No real reform here.

Next, “prioritizing small business and entrepreneurs, instead of giving tax breaks to special interests.” is funny because “small business” and “entrepreneurs”, from a political perspective, are special interests. “prioritizing” means giving special treatment to special interests. Democrats just hide it from the public by burdening firms with the rules then we get ticked off at the firms for acting the way they do.

Here’s another: “We will crack down on monopolies and the concentration of economic power that has led to higher prices for consumers, workers, and small business”. The monopolies in the economy are the federal, state, and local governments. Further, firms cannot raise their prices. The prices of products and services that are rising faster then general inflation are those with heavy government involvement such as college tuition and public education.

Another problem with their approach is that all this activity interferes with the peaceful, voluntary actions of the American people interacting with each other and others across borders. That interference tilts the playing field because that is how the Democrats view everything. In Progressivism, someone must lose for someone else to win.

Next, their plan “provides new tax incentives to employers that invest in workforce training and education and make sure the rules of the economy support companies that focus on long-term growth, rather than short-term profits.” That means more paperwork, meetings, and time taken away from concentrating resources on doing the work for the customers of the firm. As well, firms have strategies for the short, medium, and long terms. They may not be completely filled out, but that is not possible because the future is unknown. The details get filled in as more information is available and more knowledge acquired. That’s why 10 or 20 years plans are nonsense.

The funny thing is, if a firm invests for the long-term, the results might pay off in government antitrust action against it, see Amazon.com. They invested for the long-term by keeping the retail prices low to build market share. But, Democrats want congressional hearings on its proposed acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. So the people at Amazon.com invested for the long-term and they get rewarded with congressional hearings. That makes no sense unless of course the hearings are for show and graft. Ahhh, graft. Squeeze a firm so its employees make financial contributions to the party.

And let’s not forget the mess the Democrats created in the health insurance market with Obamacare — monthly premiums higher, deductibles, higher, insurers leaving markets. So all in all, the Democrats are pulling the same stunts they always do.

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NY Post:

Costumed characters in Times Square are giving the finger to attempts to rein them in, refusing to stay in designated areas and continuing to curse in front of kiddies and threaten passers-by for dough. . . .

At any given moment on two recent afternoons, only half of the two-dozen tip-mooching characters stayed behind the blue lines of Times Square’s “Designated Activity Zones,” or DAZs, the city-mandated areas created last year as their boundary for posing for photos and asking for tips.

The local government (mayor, city council) created the DAZs. Aside from whether you approve of the DAZs or not, the mayor and city council have to make it work so it doesn’t repel visitors.

Barbie Latza Nadeau, Rome Bureau Chief for The Daily Beast:

The Vatican police showed up to find an orgy in progress, with an untold number of naked men allegedly writhing around the floor with Capozzi and his cohorts, who were apparently under the influence of hard drugs according to the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano which broke the story that a host of Italian and international media have since picked up.

Here.

 

From AlternativePAC, a pro-Gary Johnson SuperPAC. Only two minutes, five seconds of your time. Some quotes:

“There’s been a fundamental paradigm shift. Power has been lifted from the elites and split between the people, through the internet. What do Uber, AirBnB, and Lyft all have in common? A way for the average user to maneuver around this top-down approach of rulers and rule-makers, legislators and regulators.”

“In the world of politics, mainstream media no longer controls the content. We use Twitter and blogs and Periscope to create context.”

“The internet has taught us the insider control the process”

“Liberty is real transpartisanship”

“Let’s unite liberty with community”

here.

Several reasons, all of them are not obvious. Re-building helps people get back to even — to where they were before the disaster.

Physical capital was destroyed. Cars, buildings, etc.  These structures can no longer be used to generate income. People cannot get to their jobs if their cars were destroyed. Maybe they’ll get paid, maybe they won’t.  Either way is only part of the problem.  The work they intended was not worked on.  As well, they will now have to divert their income from what they had it planned for to replacing or fixing the vehicle that was destroyed or disabled.

Commerce was halted. Businesses small, medium, and large closed. This deprived the owners and employees of income. Customers were unable to buy the things they sought.

Existing processes were disrupted. People could not get to and from work, parents could not bring their kids to schools or other activities. Supply chains to brings goods to market were disrupted and so the goods could not be delivered. Retailers and other recipients of those goods could not sell them or had to take orders for future delivery at best. But, often, stuff is bought on-the-spot. If it’s not in stock it cannot be sold. People sat home and could not work or attend to other activities that promote commerce. Sure, there was some temporary activity to fill the gap but that is money diverted from its intended purpose.

Jeff Jacoby on Frederic Bastiat’s That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen:

The fatal flaw in that thinking, Bastiat wrote, is that it concentrates only on “what is seen’’ – the glazier being paid to make a new window. What it ignores is “what is not seen’’ – that the shopkeeper, forced to spend six francs on that, has lost the opportunity to spend them on better shoes, a new book, or some other addition to his standard of living. The glazier may be better off, but the shopkeeper isn’t – and neither is society as a whole.

(Reuters) – Hurricane Irene sent East Coast shoppers into stores to stock up on essentials this week, instead of the clothes, notebooks and other supplies that retailers were counting on selling as children get ready to go back to school.

Chains such as Home Depot Inc (HD.N) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) were doing brisk business on Friday, selling water, flashlights, batteries and other goods in states standing in Irene’s potential track from the Carolinas to Massachusetts.

A list of firms and their employees here.  Notice how they respond to their particular situation based on their local knowledge.  Who can get to work, what should they stock up on, should they increase staff, should close or reduce staff such as Tiffany’s.

Today, there are three great blots on the American Dream. Unsurprisingly, in all three areas, the state, at various levels, calls most of the shots, either through straight-up racketeering or by rigging the rules in a way that makes it nearly impossible for people to escape.

Americans, ever inventive, keep constructing elaborate workarounds to circumvent the tired regulations that support these three vast empires of concentrated political power.

But it’s time to stop sneaking out windows and creeping through back doors. Forget “winning the future” — if America has any hope of winning the present, it’s time to confront head-on our profound problems with education, health care and retirement.

The specific paths to improving each area are different, but the problems stem from a single dynamic: A tightly controlled, politically operated system created to address the issues of the past is at odds with current and future needs and demographics.

We are personalizing and tailoring everything else in our lives to our different needs. Yet, despite their centrality to our lives, education, health care and retirement offer us considerably less choice than we have at the 7-Eleven soda fountain.

Here.

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