Free Markets, Free People
Walter Russell Mead points to something that is a good indicator of our “favored victim” form of politics. If you’re not among the favored victims, well, no one really gives a crap:
Since 1979, inflation-adjusted hourly wages fell 20 percent for men ages 25–39 with only a high school diploma, while wages for their female counterparts rose by one percent. In the same timeframe, the number of male high school graduates with jobs fell by nine percent and rose for women by nine percent.
Part of this is due to the evaporation of jobs in industries that were previously filled by less educated men, like manufacturing and construction. But women have adapted much more quickly to a world in which a bachelor’s degree is increasingly important for landing a job. In 2010, among 35 year olds, women were 17 percent more likely than men to have attended college. Lower- and middle-class men lag behind women in their social class in education, employment, and wages.
If the gender roles were reversed here and a generation of women has suffered huge setbacks, we would have a great hue and cry with blue-ribbon panels, academic roundtables, and a lot of national soul-searching. But men’s problems don’t seem to interest anyone much, not even men.
Because, you know, men are brutes and white men, well they’re the worst kind (you see they “enjoy” white privilege – never heard of it? It’s on all the liberal websites).
The point, of course, is the media nor the left (but I repeat myself) has any real interest in the struggles of men, because it is a article of faith among the left that all the ills of the world can be traced to a single source. Men.
A caveat – if you are a “less educated” man, that’s your freaking fault. And if that lack of education has you in this situation, unless the problem of getting such an education was beyond your control, I have no sympathy for you.
That said, while I agree with Mead’s point, I’m thankful that we aren’t involved with costly “blue-ribbon” panels, etc. We’ve seen how effective government has been in the economy for the last 5 years. Lord knows we don’t need to give them any excuses to meddle even more. That could actually cause women’s job rates to drop and there we’d be, knee deep in “blue-ribbon panels, academic roundtables, and a lot of national soul-searching.”
And we know who’d be paying for it, don’t we?
Obviously my heart and condolences go out to those who were killed and injured in the cowardly bombings in Boston yesterday, and, as with everyone, I stand with the people of Boston. However, that all said, I have to tell you that when I heard what had happened yesterday, I had a sinking feeling that hasn’t dissipated yet.
I know, as usual, we’re going to over react. Well, perhaps not “us” as in you and I, but our betters in positions of elective power will. It is as sure a bet as the sun rising in the east.
Prepare yourself for more restrictions on you liberty and freedom. That’s a given. The only answer government has, in reality, is to clamp down even further on our ability to interact freely without it monitoring those interactions. How else, it will tell us, can it work toward ensuring another Boston doesn’t happen?
And, of course, this will manifest itself in the form of even more laws and restrictions all in the name of safety and security. Prepare for more justifications to intrude on your privacy. More laws that will restrict you from purchasing certain items. More scrutiny when you travel. In sum, less freedom and more government.
I’d love to believe that won’t happen. But it will. It’s not even in doubt. Just as we have seen government over-reaction in the aftermath of Newtown, CT, you can count on the same thing happening when the carnage is so much more.
Part of that will be driven by the usual media overload, the result of the 24 hour news cycle combined with “if it bleeds it leads” and the partisan talking heads who simply don’t know when to shut up. Chris Matthews, among many others, is an example of that ilk. And, of course, it will all boil down to opposing political agendas with the freedom and liberty lobby taking the usual beating.
We’ll also see a substantial portion of the population laud these new restrictions and laws, still not understanding who it is that pays no attention to (or figures out ways to circumvent) them. Instead the law abiding will live with the loss of liberty, while the terrorists and criminals will ignore the government’s “solution”.
We’re a nation without the ability to put events like this in context (thanks in part to the saturation coverage by the media and the alarmism by politicians). We’re a nation that has run scared for years.
It’s time to suck it up and stand up. These things are going to happen. None of us like that or find it acceptable. But what should be equally unacceptable and unliked is the continuous bleeding away of our liberties.
Free nations should understand that with that freedom comes risk. And, as we have seen, no matter how many laws and restrictions we put in place, these things still happen. I’m not saying we should be vigilant and take precautions. I’m saying we shouldn’t over-react like we constantly do.
Boston is a terrible tragedy. We don’t need to compound it by taking away more of the freedoms we have apparently taken for granted in the past.
After considering the check being written by me to the scumbags that run this joint, I’m not in a particularly good mood. They’ll waste it as we all know. There are millions, if not billions of items or programs or, well you name it, that government has no business even being near that they’re up to their rear ends in. And, as we’ve said a million times, government’s have no money … they can only tax it or borrow it. At this very moment, while they’re taking an obscene percentage of what I worked very hard to make last year, they’re planning on borrowing even more to spend on crap like this and tell us it’s “necessary.”
Anyway, this is as good as it gets today.
See you tomorrow.
Orwellian, in that his claim is as follows:
President Obama is marketing his new budget by saying it has “more than $2 in spending cuts for every $1 of new revenue.” Is this true?
In a word, no.
In fact, his spending increases and advertised spending cuts cancel each other out—leaving only a massive tax increase.
Here’s a graphical representation of the point:
Yeah, I know … big surprise.
A politician lied again.
Apparently President Obama is sure his newest budget proposal is so good there’s no room or need for negotiation. Or so a senior White House official says:
“We don’t view this budget as a starting point in the negotiations. This is an offer where the president came more than halfway toward the Republicans,” a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity to detail the forthcoming document.
“So this is our sticking point,” the official said. “And the question is: are Republicans going to be willing to come to us to do serious things to reduce our deficits?”
Obama is proposing a $3.78 trillion dollar budget. Estimated tax revenues for 2014 are $3.22 trillion. Yet, this is being touted as a “budget cutting” budget and the White House claims it is exactly what the Republicans have wanted.
What … another deficit?
By the way, I don’t want “reduced deficits”. I want NO deficit. I.e. any budget that begins with an amount higher than the estimated tax revenues for the year is Dead On Arrival.
And that’s precisely the declaration this budget (like all the other budgets Obama has submitted) deserves.
Apparently Marshall Poppin Fresh is still mouthing off about war. Now his state run media has issued a warning to “foreigners” in South Korea:
North Korea issued its latest dispatch of ominous rhetoric on Tuesday, telling foreigners in South Korea they should take steps to secure shelter or evacuation to protect themselves.
The unnerving message, announced by state-run media, follows a warning from the North last week to diplomats in
its capital city, Pyongyang, that if war were to break out, it would not be able to guarantee their safety.
North Korea has unleashed a torrent of dramatic threats against the United States and South Korea in recent weeks, but many analysts have cautioned that much of what it is saying is bluster.
It appears what we’re likely to see is some missile tests in lieu of “war”. Why? Well the WSJ says:
While a missile launch would be seen as a major provocation, South Korean and U.S. officials have repeatedly said there are no signs that North Korea is preparing for any kind of attack. Instead, a missile test and possibly a new nuclear test by the North are seen as efforts to keep tensions high, hone the isolated state’s weapons technology and send an internal message of military strength.
Trust me, we have the means to know and we certainly know what “war prep” would look like. Massive mobilization
and extensive troop movements would be easily spotted. Apparently none of that is happening.
In fact, we may find war to be less of a threat the more belicose they are, if you want to believe the experts and the NORK record:
Experts and officials say that while the current period of harsh language and provocative behavior still carries a risk of accidentally spilling into military confrontation, North Korea’s record shows it poses more of a threat when it is not making warlike statements.
“I worry more about North Korea when they are not rattling the saber,” said Scott Snyder, an expert on North and South Korea at the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S. think tank.
Acts of aggression from North Korea, experts note, are almost always surprise attacks designed to cower South Korean administrations that have taken a tough line with the North or that aren’t providing sufficient aid.
Note the last phrase. In fact, all of this may be North Korea simply establishing a bargaining position.
Well, not really. Not when it comes to things like union membership. It would rather you not have a choice. Because when you do, you do stuff like this:
More than two years after Scott Walker’s showdown with organized labor in Wisconsin, the official numbers for the state’s public sector union membership are in — and they are down. Way down.
According a Labor Department filing made last week, membership at Wisconsin’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 40 — one of AFSCME’s four branches in the state — has gone from the 31,730 it reported in 2011, to 29,777 in 2012, to just 20,488 now. That’s a drop of more than 11,000 — about a third — in just two years. The council represents city and county employees outside of Milwaukee County and child care workers across Wisconsin.
Labor Department filings also show that Wisconsin’s AFSCME Council 48, which represents city and county workers in Milwaukee County, went from 9,043 members in 2011, to 6,046 in 2012, to just 3,498 now.
For the left, “choice” is selective. I.e. they get to decide when you should have a choice. For instance, you should have choice concerning “reproductive health” and the “right” to have someone else pay for it (those paying have no choice you see).
In the case of public service unions in Wisconsin, when finally given a real choice, about a third of those who had been forced to be members have opted out because the value they receive for the money taken isn’t worth it to them. And, now, to keep the rest of their members and because they’re now answerable to them, union bosses are going to have to actually preform.
Oh, wait, that’s good right?
Funny … despite all the impediments the Obama administration has put on oil production on public land, the private sector – the market – has pushed us into a position we’ve never been in before in terms of output of oil and gas. We’ve passed the Saudi’s in output:
In spite of the Obama Administration’s hostility to carbon-rich energy, private actors with private capital deployed on private (and state) land have launched a game-changing revolution in domestic oil and natural gas production.
A scarcely reported milestone conveys the magnitude of this turnaround in the global energy landscape.
The U.S. passed Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest petroleum producer in November 2012, according to recently released data of the federal Energy Information Administration.
Now, imagine where we’d be if we didn’t have an obstructive administration bent on punishing those producers in that market via high taxation and regulation. Or slow-walking permits for drilling on public land. Or any of a myriad of other things this administration does to try to prevent oil and gas production. Well, other than taking credit for the rise in production when they had nothing to do with it.
Had they gotten out of the way, had they helped us take advantage of these new finds, Saudi Arabia would have been in our rear view mirror a long time ago and my guess is, gas wouldn’t cost what it does today.
Two-thirds of Democrats now believe Obama’s health care reforms will either hurt them personally or have no effect on their daily lives, a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows. In comparison, just 27 percent of Democratic respondents said the reforms would help them.
As for the rest?
Just 3 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of independents believe the president’s overhaul will help them personally, the poll shows. Even worse for the White House, 68 percent of self-identified Republicans and more than a third of all independents said the reforms would hurt them personally.
But a Democratic Congress rammed it through anyway, didn’t it? And a sell-out Chief Justice found it to be “Consitutional”, so now we have to live with it – at least temporarily.
Yet most of the country believes it won’t do what was advertised and will instead cost them more. And most of them have believed that (rightfully so) since the beginning.
Yet we still have it.
How anyone, even Democrats, believed that adding layers of government regulation, taxation and bureaucracy could possibly make the health care system less expensive remains one of those mysteries of life. Well, not really. It’s call delusion. And in this case, it was something they wanted to believe badly and facts and reality just got in the way of that belief. And now what has their secular faith brought us?
Another in a long line of disastrous and costly government programs that we can’t afford.
And now they want to bitch.
Because, you know, we’re in a (perpetual) recovery and stuff like this isn’t supposed to happen:
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits hit a four-month high last week, the latest suggestion the labor market recovery lost some momentum in March.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 385,000, the highest level since November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Economists, who had expected claims to drop to 350,000, said while part of the rise reflected difficulties adjusting the data during the Easter and spring breaks, there was no doubt the pace of job growth had eased.
“What we do know is that the growth momentum has slowed, employment has slowed. The question is how much?” said Millan Mulraine, a senior economist at TD Securities in New York.
How much? Well let’s consider something shall we? What has recently and finally gone into full effect to the point that employers can now finally make some plans with reference to it as to how many they plan to employ (or continue to employ)?
Oh, yeah, ObamaCare. The taxes and penalties kick in this year and – not saying this is the only reason – companies and corporations are finally put in the position of executing their plan to avoid the prohibitive costs and penalties imposed.
That’s right – “avoid”. Again, as is usually the case, the left has ignored Human Nature 101 as they usually do. You have to remember, the purpose of their utopia is to change human nature once and for all from a self-interested and independent being to a hive worker enslaved to the state, er, an enlightened being who thinks of others first … yeah, that’s the ticket.
And when their utopian plans meet human nature, well they call the result “unintended consequences”. We who study human nature call them “entirely predictable outcomes”. They seem surprised by these “unexpected” developments. We simply shake our head at their studied stupidity.
The problem, of course, is they presently have the power of the state in their hands. What that means is they will continue to try to drive the square peg of their utopia into the round hole of human nature and use the power of government to do so.
What that means is at some point, when they’re finally out of power, we’re going to have to pick up their pieces of what they’ve destroyed and try to piece it together in some form or fashion, if that’s possible.
And all the while that’s being attempted, we’ll have to listen to them whining and complaining that what is being done isn’t “fair” or “equitable”.
Well, what you’re suffering now is a result of “fair and equitable” nonsense that ignored Human Nature 101. Maybe it’s time to figure that out if you’re on the left.