Wednesday’s Words

The big topic in the media these last few days is “immigration reform.” First let’s lay out the facts. It’s not about immigration and it’s not reform—it’s AMNESTY! It’s just another attempt to defraud the American public into believing more liberal lies—with the conscious assistance of some ‘Pubs, Marko Rubio for one.

Rubio made the conservative media rounds yesterday, Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin and others presenting his side of the issue.  The problem is that it isn’t Obama’s side. Rubio stated that security must come first. Good, I’m glad he said that. Unfortunately, it’s a fantasy. It doesn’t mean that border security will actually happen.  There was supposed to be an electronic fence built on the US/Mexican border. It, too, was a prerequisite in the last immigration reform bill. I’m still looking for that fence. From what I’ve been able to determine, only a few miles of the fence was ever built before the whole project was abandoned.

Rubio said the criminal immigrants would be excluded. Evidently he’s forgotten the definition of “illegal.” All those who are here illegally are criminals and they continue in that criminality by staying here. By Rubio’s logic that would mean that all aliens currently living in the US illegally would be excluded. I don’t think that is what he meant.

Legal immigrants, as a condition of being given a Green Card, sign a statement pledging that the immigrant will not accept any public assistance, nor public monies for a period not less that five years—no welfare, no Medicaid, no food-stamps, nothing.

Under Rubio’s plan, there are no similar prohibitions. The illegals would be given social security cards, driver’s license, and be eligible for welfare, food-stamps, Medicaid, plus—the Earned Income Tax Credit—a negative income tax if they earn below the poverty level. Many (most?) of these illegals do live below the poverty level. They will receive money from the government in the form of a tax-refund, a refund on taxes you, not the illegal, paid.

I’m against the whole plan. I would prefer we enforce existing law. We wouldn’t have to round up the illegals if we made it impossible, perhaps just difficult, for them to be parasites on the American public.  They’d soon leave for easier pickings. There is a reason why they are called ILLEGAL aliens.

Here is a LINK to other writers with opinions on this so-called immigration reform.

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I just heard on the radio that a Missouri legislator is pushing for gun safety classes in schools. It is the NRA’s Eddie Eagle project. A number of Missouri schools already have Eddie Eagle classes. This legislator, Dan Brown, wants to make it mandatory for all Missouri schools. The radio newsitem triggered another memory from my childhood.

I previously blogged about guns in schools in my posts, PROTECTED, and MR. HELFRITCH. There was another instance when guns in schools was the topic of the day.

When I was in the third grade, as I remember, one of the local farmers shot himself in the leg with a .22 rifle while climbing over a fence.  It was the talk of our rural community. My father was on the school board and the incident was mentioned. One of the board members suggested that we have a gun-handling session for the schoolkids to make sure they all knew how to cross fences safely and were taught general gun safety procedures. Mr. Helfritch was nominated and after a quick phone call he agreed.

A week later, all the school kids, from the youngest in the first grade through those in the eighth grade, boys and girls, and all the teachers, gathered at the rear of the school yard where an old rusty fence separated the school yard from a field. It was a small school. There were only around 80 pupils in attendance in most years.

Mr. Helfritch taught three grades at a time showing how to check to see if the rifle was empty, how to unload it if it wasn’t, to empty and place the rifle on the other side of the fence before crossing and to only cross when those steps were finished.

Cooper’s Rules hadn’t been written at that time, but Mr. Helfritch wrote some of his own that closely matched those later created by Col. Jeff Cooper. He spent another hour with everyone reviewing his rules, why they are important and some examples of the consequences of failing to abide by those rules. There were some parents present during this class and I remember one saying that he’d learned some new things during that class.

I don’t know why the classes didn’t continue. Perhaps, with the exception of the incoming first graders, all the students had been trained. But time passed. Mr. Helfritch left for another teaching position, there was a new school board—my father didn’t run again and there was a new Principal with different priorities. I do know that none of those students trained by Mr. Helfritch ever had a gun incident or injury.

Liars figure and figures lie

The big news this morning is the the “unemployment” rate dropped to 7.7%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also said that Hurricane Sandy had NO effect on unemployment or employment.

Bull.

We know the pattern now. Statistics are released favorable to Obama and within days, those figures are quietly revised, bit by bit, until the next report is released. It’s a well established pattern.

So, unemployment is now 7.7% with 146,000 new jobs created. Really? Let’s examine those numbers.

  • New jobs: 146,000
  • Number dropping out of the labor force: 540,000.

Take a look at those numbers. 146,000 jobs were added but the work force dropped 540,000. If you calculate the unemployment rate by the size of the workforce, the unemployment rate will go down. If you can’t create new jobs sufficient to drop the unemployment rate, decease the labor force so those “new” jobs appear to be more significant. I expect those “Sandy” figures to change that unemployment rate upward as soon as this becomes old news.

Quietly.

Oh, and where were those dropping off the radar coming from? Those lost jobs? The private sector, of course. The public sector unemployment rate was 3.8%. The actual number of unemployed people changed little.

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This comes under the category: Who’d’a thunk it?

Right-to-work law has passed the legislature in…Michigan! Home of the UAW!

Right-to-work bills pass in Lansing

By Karen Bouffard and Chad Livengood, Detroit News Lansing, December 7, 2012 at 9:35 am

Lansing — The birthplace of the nation’s modern-day labor movement moved closer to becoming the nation’s 24th right-to-work state after bills Gov. Rick Snyder vowed to sign into law passed their first hurdles in the Republican-controlled Legislature on Thursday.

The House and Senate each passed bills on the same day they were introduced that give private and public sector workers the right to avoid paying union dues in an organized workplace. Only police officers and firefighters would be exempt.

The historic legislation passed over the thunderous chanting from thousands of workers who descended on the Capitol, resulting in at least eight arrests and a temporary lockdown of the building by Michigan State Police. Democrats in both chambers staged walkouts and procedural maneuvers to stall passage while workers protested in and outside the Capitol.

When the votes are against dems and their stooges, they revert to their norm and riot. They tried that tactic in Wisconsin and it backfired. Now they’re trying it in Michigan. I expect it won’t work in Michigan, either.

***

In case you haven’t been watching, “law” enforcement organizations want to dissolved more of your 4th Amendment rights. How? By removing the requirement of a search warrant to monitor your text messages and to seize your call logs.

EDITORIAL: Texting away your freedom

Nosy bureaucrats want to boost their snooping powers

By THE WASHINGTON TIMES – The Washington Times, Thursday, December 6, 2012

Modern communications are making the world smaller and, in many ways, better. The electronic devices that bring consumers a constant stream of information are, at the same time, increasingly capable of relaying back a record of their activities, shrinking privacy. Americans need to take action if they want to keep Uncle Sam from spying on their smartphones.Law enforcers are looking for the power to read through everyone’s text messages, the oftentimes frivolous missives Americans launch back and forth among friends and family. A coalition of police groups that includes the Major Cities Chiefs Association has asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine a plan to mandate that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and other wireless providers save their customers’ texts for two years so the local constable can read through them as desired. The association has characterized the proposal as an attempt to bring the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 in line with 21st-century technological capabilities, according to CNET. Some wireless firms store texts for short periods, while others do not. Presumably, access to text records still would require a court warrant — though the pro-surveillance lobby has been agitating to break down that barrier as well.

Another troubling high-tech development could allow outside eyes and ears to zero in on activities inside the home. Verizon is seeking a patent on a detection system that uses infrared cameras and microphones installed in digital video recorders (DVRs) to sense the number of people in a room and the nature of their conversations. The patent, titled Methods and Systems for Presenting an Advertisement Associated With an Ambient Action of a User, would use the information to tailor personalized TV commercials, thereby maximizing chances for subsequent purchases. For example, detection of an “ambient action” such as “cuddling, fighting, participating in a game or sporting event,” according to the patent application, could prompt a related televised sales pitch.

More snooping, less privacy, no need for warrants, less liberty, less freedom; makes Orwell’s 1984 more real every day.

Like Thieves in the Night.

First an update on yesterday’s post. The mediation talks between Hostess Brands and the Baker’s and Confectionery Worker’s union failed—as expected. Why? Because the union didn’t want a resolution. The union biggies who attended the mediation had no reason to agree to anything. Their jobs weren’t in danger. No, just those of the rank and file. Apparently the union…still…expects someone to bail them out and rehire all the union workers. They still don’t get it. Why would anyone pay to inherit someone else’s problems and troublemakers. Nope, not going to happen.

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I was listening to Dave Ramsey this morning and one of his comments struck a cord. It was the revival of the federal Death Tax. The democrats are about to raise that tax from 35% to 55% and lower the $5M exemption to $1M.

Many aren’t concerned about this. Their estates aren’t that big and for them it’s true. No, the ones who are affected are small businesses and family farms.

Family FarmFor farmers, just the land, whether it’s tillable or not, is enough to kick them over the limit. It’s easier for farmers to reach that tax threshold when you add equipment, farm buildings and livestock.

For the small business, it doesn’t take long to reach that limit as well. A building, equipment, inventory, can reach that limit easily. For example, let’s say a businessman owned a small concrete business. He builds curbs and driveways, small business parking areas and the like. He also owns some concrete trucks that he uses to transport concrete to his and other sites.  Those concrete trucks with their supporting equipment and some raw material could kick his estate over the limit.

When it comes time to pay the death taxes, it usually means the farm or the business must be sold just to pay the tax. Another business gone. Another farm gone. The city, county and state loses a tax revenue stream. No one wins…except for the FedGov…one time.

The irony of this is that these assets, the business, the farm, has already been taxed. The money used to build or buy the land, the equipment, has already been taxed. The Death Tax taxes the family and the inheritors; stealing the birthright of those inheritors.

Like thieves in the night.

In this case, the thief strikes boldly in full daylight. No matter how you paint it, it’s still theft.

The Daily Caller has this column about the Death Tax.

The Senate Democrats’ outrageous death tax hike

There is no more vivid or offensive example of the “you didn’t build that” philosophy on the books than the federal death tax, which supposes that when you die a hefty portion of everything you built up over a lifetime ought to go to government. It’s a vestige of the feudal days when all property was owned by the king.

That’s probably why the death tax is the “worst tax — that is, the least fair” according to polling by the Tax Foundation. And it’s also why our founders thought the idea of seizing an estate at death so outrageous that they prohibited it as a penalty for treason in the U.S. Constitution (Article III, Section 3). And yet now, seizing more than half of it as a penalty for accomplishing the American dream is the preferred policy of Democrats in the United States Senate.

You’re born. You work hard. You pay your taxes all your life. Maybe, you build something along the way. But when you die the IRS can tax you again.

This year, they can take 35 percent of everything above $5 million. Senate Democrats announced yesterday that as of January 1, they want to raise that to 55 percent of everything above $1 million. And because the $1 million is not indexed to inflation, over time this confiscatory tax would hit almost everyone who achieves some success and wants to pass it on.

That means family farms and businesses will be forced to shut down when the founder dies just to pay the tax bill.

Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin estimates that the Democrats’ 55 percent death tax would destroy as many as 1.5 million small-business jobs, walloping an already weak economy. That’s the problem with taxing “the rich” — even after they die — the real pain is suffered by the people they employ, who lose their jobs.

Unfortunately, rather than seize the moral high ground by advocating full repeal of the death tax, Senate Republicans have included a compromise position in their alternative tax package: they want to keep the tax at its current 35 percent rate. The study from Holtz-Eakin found that would destroy 857,000 jobs — which can only be described as “less bad” than the economic damage Democrats are proposing.

Senate Republicans are compromising even though they know the right position is full repeal because they fear the political implications of advocating full repeal at a time when the media and left-wing agitators are even more obsessed than usual with class warfare and the politics of envy.

Continue reading here.

The column continues. It would be worth your time to read it all and then contact your US Representative and Senator. It may be too little and too late but perhaps we can minimize the damage.

Maybe.

It Ain’t Fair!!!

Life. It’s not fair, nor will it ever be.

I came across a column by John Stossel titled, “Making it Fair.” In his column, he quoted a Michael Moore interview where Moore declared…

Filmmaker Michael Moore took this notion about fairness to its intuitive conclusion during an interview with Laura Flanders of GRITtv, saying of rich people’s fortunes: “That’s not theirs! That’s a national resource! That’s ours!” As is typical, Moore was confused or disingenuous. In our corporatist economy, some fortunes are indeed made illegitimately though political means. The privileges that produce those fortunes should be abolished. But contrary to Moore, incomes are not “national resources.” — Washington Examiner.

To the collectivist, what is your is his, and in the case of Moore and others like him, what is theirs, is theirs.  In reality, they’re a pack of thieves. Fairness, to them, is taking the assets, hard earned assets, of others. Fairness, to such as Moore, is equal outcome…as long as that same rule isn’t applied to them. I haven’t seen Moore, nor any of the Hollywood libs, donating their fortunes to those in need.

Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.

Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals. — NY Times.

When we examine the differences between the “fairness” liberals preach, and the “fairness” liberals practice, we discover that liberals really do not believe in fairness.  No, they’ll do whatever they can to insure “fairness” is biased in their favor.

Liberals complain that conservative principles and actions are unfair. In Obama’s last State of the Union speech, he mentioned “fairness” at least nine times.  Why is there such an emphasis on “being fair” by the libs? One possibility is their inability to understand that there is no fairness in life.

Life is not fair. There is no guarantee of fairness. If life was fair, no child would die through accident or illness. Pediatric diabetes would disappear. Every mother, father and child would be happy and healthy.

But life is not fair. Some families are not happy while others are. Some children die in accidents, such as the man and two children who died in a fire this week as the mother, who had just returned home from work, watched.

If life is not fair, why are conservatives, when interviewed, judge themselves happy more often than liberals?  In an exchange on PBS Newshour host Jeffrey Brown, correspondent  Paul Solman, Lori Sanders of the American Enterprise Institute and others, the topic was happiness.

PAUL SOLMAN: How happy are you, scale of one to four, one not at all happy, four very happy?

LORI SANDERS, American Enterprise Institute: I’m a four.

PAUL SOLMAN: A four?

LORI SANDERS: I’m very happy.

PAUL SOLMAN: Lori Sanders works at the conservative Washington think tank the American Enterprise Institute. A few blocks away, Occupy D.C.er Eric is on the more liberal end of the spectrum.

What number would you give yourself?

MAN: A one.

PAUL SOLMAN: Are you unhappy, do you think, because of the inequality, economic inequality in this country?

MAN: Well, yes.

PAUL SOLMAN: Study after study, it turns out, finds conservatives happier than liberals.

Yale social psychologist Jaime Napier has a theory as to why.

JAIME NAPIER, Yale University: Economic inequality really does affect people’s subjective well-being.

PAUL SOLMAN: Napier’s work has convinced her conservatives are happier than liberals because they think there’s equality of opportunity in America.

JAIME NAPIER: One of the biggest correlates with happiness in our surveys was the belief of a meritocracy, which is the belief that anybody who works hard can make it. That was the biggest predictor of happiness. That was also one of the biggest predictors of political ideology. So, the conservatives were much higher on these meritocratic beliefs than liberals were.

PAUL SOLMAN: Liberals like the folks we found at Occupy D.C., who don’t think the opportunities out there are equal these days. Their message is clear: The system is not fair.

WOMAN: Everybody here at this Occupy movement is here because they have had enough. So, they’re angry. And chances are, you know, people here are very unhappy with the way that our society works.

WOMAN: I believe that things should be equal, or people should have more of an opportunity to become closer to the 1 percent, because, right now, it’s like the 1 percent is the 1 percent, the 99 is the 99, and we kind of don’t stand a chance.

PAUL SOLMAN: The conservative AEI staffers, on the other hand, think we do.

How many of you, on average, think Americans get what they deserve they deserve economically?

Reza Jan, who grew up in Pakistan, believe in Horatio Algerism for all, sort of.

REZA JAN, American Enterprise Institute: I would say not everybody is able to pull off those kinds of success stories. But, in this country, more than any other, for the work you do, you are able to better yourself.

PAUL SOLMAN: That’s true no matter who you are, said Jesse Blumenthal.

JESSE BLUMENTHAL, American Enterprise Institute: The “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” notion works here more than really anywhere else in the world.

PAUL SOLMAN: Now, optimism alone doesn’t determine contentment. Religion boosts happiness. So does marriage. But Napier’s research accounted for that.

JAIME NAPIER: We adjusted for education, for income, for marital status, religion, people who lived urban vs. rural, all kinds of things. So, you know, on average, just your ideology alone is an independent predictor of your subjective well-being.

ARTHUR BROOKS, American Enterprise Institute: It is true that conservatives tend to be less concerned about income inequality.

Arthur Brooks, president of the AEI, and the author of “Gross National Happiness,” agrees with Napier about the conservative happiness edge.

ARTHUR BROOKS: Conservatives think that fairness is one in which outcomes are based on merit and people start with more or less equal opportunities, or at least we’re working for equal opportunities. If you believe those things, and you see that some person makes more than others or the top 1 percent is breaking away than the bottom 99 percent, that’s not going to affect your happiness very much at all.

Look closely at that last statement. “Conservatives think that fairness is one in which outcomes are based on merit and people start with more or less equal opportunities, or at least we’re working for equal opportunities.”

That is the primary difference between conservatives and liberals.  Conservatives take action—personally, to better themselves. Liberals wait for someone else to take action so they can take advantage of the results. The conservative governs, through his own actions, his life. The liberal subordinates his life to the governance of others.

No, life isn’t fair. No one in touch with reality believes that. Fairness and happiness is what we create for ourselves.

Pseudo-science in the news and other stuff

I was listening to the radio this morning when an ad was played for one of our local TV stations.  To summarize the ad, it said, Fracking! We’re all gonna die!!!!”

Yeah, another liberal scare tactic to block a technology in use for domestic oil drilling.  Call it, “Global Warming, Redux,” or the Gulf spill that was supposed to kill all sea-life along the Gulf Coast…only it didn’t, no thanks to Washington, FEMA, the EPA, and the Coast Guard.

I expect they will interview some little known “expert” who will have a couple of studies on hand to support the station’s bias.  Of course, they will ignore all the other studies that indicate Fracking is safe and presents no extra hazard than those expected when drilling for oil.

I’m not going to get into the pros and cons of Fracking. That is not the intent of this post. My question to that TV station and all the others across the country, Why should we believe anything you present?  Your history of inaccuracy, your history of falsifying data to support your viewpoint, your history of creating a crisis where none exists, your history of ignoring contrary data that refutes your story, all that history is more than sufficient reason why we should not believe anything your broadcast.

Why don’t you just stick to factual news instead of presenting a story laced with pseudo-science? Why don’t you investigate KC Mayor Sly James?  It seems his son is getting a free pass by the KC Police?  How many times has the boy been in bar fights and let go? He was a witness at a shooting but not taken in with the rest of the witnesses.  Why is that?  Or why don’t you investigate Congressman Cleaver’s tax problems? You know, that car wash that he used to get a million dollar loan but now Cleaver claims the property is worth much less and he should pay less.  What’s all that about?

Or how about Congressman Cleaver leasing, for $1900 a month, a vehicle here in KC at the taxpayer’s expense? Doesn’t Cleaver own a car?  Why should we pay for one here at home?  If he travels on business here in his district, why doesn’t he just use his own car and charge mileage at the standard government rate? If it’s good enough for other government employees, why not Cleaver? I admit this last lease was cheaper. Before this current $1900/mth lease he was charging taxpayers $2900 a month.  What about that, Kansas City media?

I guess it’s too much to expect from the KC media outlets.  That’s why the KC Star continues to lose subscribers and continues to lose money.  And, as cable use spreads, I wonder just what the ratings of the local KC stations are?  Last I looked, a year or so ago, they were dropping right along with the KC Star.

I used to run a series of posts under the label, “Dinosaur Media Watch.”  The demise of the media continues. when they continue to lie and manufacture news, the slide will continue, too.

When the KC Star and the other local media outlets fade away, I can guarantee you, they won’t be missed.

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I ran across this article this morning. Abolish the TSA.  As far as I’m concerned, it not a moment too soon.  And while we at it, Homeland Security as well. Both agencies ignore basic constitutional rights and act more like the Gestapo of old.

I refuse to fly anymore.  The last time, a number of years ago on business, was enough.  Now, if I can’t drive there (and I can drive quite a ways,) I’m not going.

As for reforming the TSA, I’ll accept whatever I can get.

Rand Paul Launches Campaign to End the TSA

New legislation would abolish government involvement in airport security

Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars.com, Thursday, May 3, 2012

Senator Rand Paul has issued a press release in which he vows to lead the charge to “end the TSA” and put a stop to the needless and humiliating groping of toddlers and grandmothers.

Earlier this year, Paul was detained by the TSA after refusing to submit to an invasive pat down after already having passed through a body scanner. The incident prompted national headlines and caused the Senator to miss his flight.

“It’s time to END the TSA and get the government’s hands back to only stealing our wallets instead of groping toddlers and grandmothers,” says Paul in the statement.

The accompanying article sent out to Campaign for Liberty members encourages recipients to sign a petition in support of Rand Paul’s ‘End the TSA’ bill.

The legislation would forcibly privatize the TSA and kick government out of airport security entirely. A recently passed bill actually allows airports to replace TSA screeners with private security but they have to go through a complex TSA permission process to do so, meaning only a handful of small airports have applied to evict the TSA.

Financial contributions are also being sought to launch a “full, targeted media campaign to convince representatives and senators to either get on board or be held responsible for this continuing outrage.” A previous ‘End the TSA Money Bomb’ started by Congressman Ron Paul following his son’s treatment at the hands of the federal agency has already raised over $1.6 million dollars.

The email points out that the TSA’s invasive and dangerous body scanners have been proven to be completely useless, most recently by engineer Jon Corbett who was able to fool the device by simply sowing an object into a side pocket.

The email lists a handful of recent TSA outrages amidst the deluge that occur on a weekly basis.

  • A TSA agent patting down a young girl at New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport in 2011. The video shows a cooperative family, and when the girl’s mother asks, “Can’t you just re-scan her?” the agent replies, “No” and proceeds to grope the poor child;
  • A cancer survivor in Charlotte was forced to remove a prosthetic breast;
  • A young mother of a two-week-old infant in Florida was harassed to open the bottles of baby formula she was traveling with on her flight, which would have spoiled the only food available to the infant;
  • Detroit TSA officers ignored a man’s warning about a colostomy bag, breaking it and forcing him to board a plane covered in urine.

I heard another story yesterday. A middle-aged woman approached the security gate with a box of cookies. She’s diabetic and prefers cookies to hard candy.  The last time she flew the TSA threw her hard-candy away.  Once again, the TSA refused to allow her to keep the cookies, when she asked why, she was told to shut up or she’d be arrested!

I personally watched an elderly lady nearly stripped of her clothing in the Milwaukee airport a number of years ago.  This was before the days of the body scanner.  The woman had a metal hip replacement.  She set off of the metal detector and was set aside to be wanded.  Nothing new there, it had happened to me. The rivets in my jeans set off the detector.

This woman, however, kept getting buzzed around her hip. She told the TSA agents, grown to four or five by this time, she had a replacement hip.  She was ignored.

Then they told her to take off some clothes. She was wearing jeans and a blouse as I remember. She has already taken off all her jewelry, her shoes, belt, glasses. Now they wanted her to drop her jeans!.

She refused.

When we boarded and the plane pulled away from the gate, she was still there, surrounded by TSA agents. I don’t know what happened after that but I suspect she didn’t arrive at her destination on time.

Bye-Bye, TSA. Ye won’t be missed.

Repost: "Did Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Lift the United States Out of the Depression?"

I do a lot of reading. Most of it is fiction I admit, but not all.  A couple of years ago, I read a book by Thomas Woods titled, “33 Questions about American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask.” After I finished, I wrote several reviews on segments discussed in the book.  One of those was about the myth that FDR saved America from the Great Depression.  To my Father, this myth was gospel.  My studies of that portion of history when I was in college lead me to believe otherwise.  Woods affirmed my opinions.

Here is that  review again.  With Obama in the White House, it’s pertinent to review the mistakes and errors of the past. This was originally posted on May 21, 2009.

I’ve posted previously about some of the historical myths debunked in this book. For the previous posting, go HERE. This time, I’d like to address the myth: “Did Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Lift the United States Out of the Depression?”

This is a myth long perpetrated by democrats, liberals, statists and the unions. The depression began in 1929 with the famous stock market crash. The root cause was the indebtedness of some key corporations (sound familiar?). When they could no longer service their debt and declared bankruptcy, that action triggered other bankruptcies when those debts went unpaid. The fact was that for some time, credit had been extended far in excess to the assets used for collateral for that debt. (Ring any bells? Can we say “sub-prime” mortgages and the credit extended to those who wouldn’t have qualified for those mortgages without the arm-twisting of the financial industry by Congress? Fanny Mae? Freddy Mack?)

The popular thinking of the time was Keynesian Economics and that theory was adopted by Herbert Hoover. The gist of the theory was that there was insufficient spending and cash in the economy (just like the current stimulus bills passed by our democrat congress.) The remedy chosen by Hoover was wage supports. Needless to say, this didn’t work and the depression deepened and Roosevelt was elected.

For you history buffs, there was another depression in 1920 just after WW1 with a crash just as severe as the one in 1929. However, that time there was no government interference and the economy recovered in less than a year.

When Roosevelt entered office, he continued all the programs created by Hoover but changed their names. Roosevelt and congress enacted two new programs, the National Industrial Recovery Act and the National Recovery Administration. The purpose of these two acts was wage and price controls. An idea copied from Benito’s Mussolini’s Fascist government.
This was the beginning of the “New Deal”. The New Deal wasn’t a single piece of legislation but a series of acts creating new bureaucracies, regulations, additional central control of industry and the economy that collectively were the components of the New Deal.

The basic premise of the New Deal was that government could control the economy better than natural capitalistic economic forces. As an aside, if you review all the depressions that have occurred in American history, you find that governmental meddling either caused the depression or delayed the recovery of that depression.

From Woods…

If the word fascism seems over the top, consider that NRA head Hugh Johnson (who once referred to the administration he led as a “Holy Thing…the Greatest Social Advance Since the Days of Jesus Christ [1]” gave Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins a copy of Rallaello Viglione’s The Corporate State, a book that looked sympathetically on Mussolini’s policies in Italy.[2]

The National Industrial Recovery Act and the National Recovery Administration were later declared unconstitutional, fortunately for us. Post-analysis found that the policies enacted by the NRA during it’s short life deepened the depression and weaken the economy by blocking the free enterprise forces that would have created a better business environment and would have lead to the end of the depression. In short, the early components of the New Deal stopped the recovery from the depression and actually caused the depression to continue and get worse!

Again, from Woods…

Each New Deal program had its negative effests, but the collective effect was also substantial. Ohio University economists Richard Vedeer and Lowell Gallaway summed it up: “The Great Depression was very significantly prolonged in both its duration and its magnitude by the impact of the New Deal programs. The impact of all these multitudinous measures—industrial, agricultural, financial, monetary and other—upon a bewildered industrial and financial community was extraordinarily heavy. We must add the effect of continuing disquieting utterances by the President. He had castigated the bankers in his inaugural speech. He had made a slurring comparison of bankers in a speech in the summer of 1934.” That the private sector could survive and even show early signs of recovery “in the midst of so great a disorder is an amazing demonstration of the vitality of private enterprise.

Re-read that last paragraph of the events of Roosevelt first year in office and compare it with the actions and works of Barack Obama since his inauguration in 2009. You would think they both had the same speech writer.

The New Deals admirers assure us that FDR’s massive spending projects provided jobs and economic stimulus. True, government make-work projects benefit those who get the jobs. But we need to take the analysis further than this single obvious step. When considering the likely outcome of some economic policy, we cannot focus only on the short-term effects on its alleged beneficiaries. It is necessary to think about the long-term effect on the entire economy.

 

These programs did not simply divert jobs from some people to others, or capital from some projects to others, in a zero-sum game. They destroyed wealth and made society worse off. In the private sector, resources must be employed in line with consumer preferences if entrepreneurs wsh to see a profit. If they do not employ resources according to consumer desires, they make losses and must either change their business plans or see the rest of their capital slip out of their hands.

Every action of the New Deal was aimed to hinder free enterprise and those engaged in free enterprise. The purpose was to create agencies of central control to force economic trends in the direction they thought would benefit them and their acolytes. Free enterprise and capitalism is the mortal enemy of those who favor state control, the statists, socialists, Marxists who cannot abide a free and open economy and personal liberty.

The Myth:
Franklin Roosevelt lifted the country out of the Depression and saved American capitalism from its own internal flaws. At the very least he gave people hope at a time of despair.

The Truth:
As a growing body of scholarship continues to show, the New Deal actually prolonged the Depression and crippled American capitalism.

In all honesty, the Depression did not end until the advent of World War 2 when much of the available work force was inducted into the Military services and took them out of the job pool. In fact, the Depression continued for a year after the end of the War as the returning veterans re-entered the job pool. But that is another story.

[1] On these conferences, see Shaffer, In Restraint of Trade; see also Eisner, From Warfare State to Welfare State, 128-33.

[2] For a critique of this system and its spiritual cousins, the medieval guilds, see Thomas E. Woods, Jr., The Church and the Market (Lanham, Md.: Lexington, 2005).

Kansas CIty Schools: Then and Now—no difference

The local KC fish-wrap, the KC Red Star, is all atwitter.  The Kansas City School District has lost its accreditation. So what else is new?  The St. Louis School District lost theirs too.

JEFFERSON CITY | Time finally ran out for the Kansas City School District.

The state’s decision Tuesday to strip the district’s accreditation spiked a community already absorbed in saving its schools with a mixture of new fears and heightened resolve.
“Our district now faces a critical test of one of the most important lessons in life — a test of our resilience and persistence,” interim Superintendent Steve Green said. “We can, and we will, bounce back from this setback.”

Kansas City isn’t alone.

The state previously has intervened in the Wellston School District in suburban St. Louis and in St. Louis public schools. — AP 

School districts on opposite sides of the state have failed to meet state academic performance standards.  The sad fact is that the KC district met only three of fourteen areas required by the state.

The district met just three of the state’s 14 performance standards — those covering advanced courses, career education courses and career education placement. It failed to meet standards in areas such as math and communication arts, graduation rates and college placement.

Provisional accreditation calls for school districts to meet at least six performance standards and full accreditation calls for meeting nine standards. — AP
The Kansas City School District has been in turmoil for nearly fifty years.  For decades, in the last century, the district was under the control of a liberal federal judge, Russell Clark.  Over the decades, more than $6 Billion dollars was spent in the Kansas City District—money diverted by court order from the rest of the state to improve education in KC.  We now see the results of the “throw more money at it,” solution imposed by the liberals, a liberal court, and the NEA/AFT at the local, state and federal level. 
They all failed. Kansas City schools is the poster child for failed liberal policies and agendas.
For decades critics of the public schools have been saying, “You can’t solve educational problems by throwing money at them.” The education establishment and its supporters have replied, “No one’s ever tried.” In Kansas City they did try. To improve the education of black students and encourage desegregation, a federal judge invited the Kansas City, Missouri, School District to come up with a cost-is-no-object educational plan and ordered local and state taxpayers to find the money to pay for it.
Kansas City spent as much as $11,700 per pupil–more money per pupil, on a cost of living adjusted basis, than any other of the 280 largest districts in the country. The money bought higher teachers’ salaries, 15 new schools, and such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student-teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.
The results were dismal. Test scores did not rise; the black-white gap did not diminish; and there was less, not greater, integration.
The Kansas City experiment suggests that, indeed, educational problems can’t be solved by throwing money at them, that the structural problems of our current educational system are far more important than a lack of material resources, and that the focus on desegregation diverted attention from the real problem, low achievement.

Money And School Performance: Lessons from the Kansas City Desegregation Experiment, by Paul Ciotti

The situation in Kansas City isn’t really any different from the situation in Washington.  There, too, liberals believe that government spending controls the economy. They believe that issues can be resolved simply by throwing more money at it.  A prime example is Johnson’s Great Society and War on Poverty.  We are still throwing money at poverty and it is higher now than when Johnson was President.
When we come to the next series of elections, elections at the local, state and federal levels, let’s remember the lessons ignored by the liberals and the democrats.  The country can no longer sustain these failed policies and social theories.  They, like their supporters at all levels of government, must go.