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The biggest difference between Democratic socialism and progressivism is the spelling of the words. According to Wikipedia’s definition of Democratic socialism, Democratic Socialists “hold that capitalism is inherently incompatible with the democratic values of liberty, equality, and solidarity; and that these ideals can only be achieved through the realization of a socialist society.”

By contrast (?), progressives believed “that progress was being stifled by vast economic inequality between the rich and the poor; minimally regulated laissez-faire capitalism with monopolistic corporations; and intense and often violent conflict between workers and capitalists.”

During his prolific life, Milton Friedman vehemently disagreed with both economic philosophies. In fact, he wrote a book about it titled Capitalism & Freedom. In the book, Dr. Friedman argued that “with the means for production under the auspices of the government, it is nearly impossible for real dissent and exchange of ideas to exist.”

In this interview, which I’ve posted often, Friedman schools Phil Donahue on the virtues of capitalism vs. socialism:

The point behind this is that Democrats are trying to pretend that they’re progressives, not socialists. Is there a difference between single-payer health care of Bernie Sanders and the “universal coverage” of Tim Walz? I wouldn’t bet on it. If there is a difference, it’d be miniscule.

The other point I want to make is that the economy is running strong right now. Why screw it up? That’s what a Speaker Pelosi would do. I know that because that’s what she did the first time she was Speaker. It didn’t take long for the economy to shrink. It took only a little longer for President Obama’s Democratic Socialists to implement Obamacare.

Thankfully, the American people came to their senses and got rid of Obama’s and Pelosi’s stupidity. Now, the economy is growing, people are finding the jobs they want and their 401(k)s are growing, especially if they’re invested in the NASDAQ.

One doesn’t have to read much of this article to figure out why Heartland voters treat Democrats like aliens from another planet. The Democrat writing this article disparages Christians in a totally disrespectful way.

For instance, the article contains a paragraph that says “New York has taken to Chick-fil-A. One of the Manhattan locations estimates that it sells a sandwich every six seconds, and the company has announced plans to open as many as a dozen more storefronts in the city. And yet the brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism. Its headquarters, in Atlanta, are adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet. Its stores close on Sundays. Its C.E.O., Dan Cathy, has been accused of bigotry for using the company’s charitable wing to fund anti-gay causes, including groups that oppose same-sex marriage. ‘We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation,’ he once said, ‘when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ The company has since reaffirmed its intention to ‘treat every person with honor, dignity and respect,’ but it has quietly continued to donate to anti-L.G.B.T. groups.”

It’s one thing to disagree with Chick-fil-A’s religious beliefs. That’s fair enough. It’s another to treat Chick-fil-A like they’re weird. For years, Democrats knew how to relate to devout Catholics and Jews. Those days are definitely in the Democrats’ past.

This emphasis on community, especially in the misguided nod to 9/11, suggests an ulterior motive. The restaurant’s corporate purpose still begins with the words “to glorify God,” and that proselytism thrums below the surface of the Fulton Street restaurant, which has the ersatz homespun ambiance of a megachurch. David Farmer, Chick-fil-A’s vice-president of restaurant experience, told BuzzFeed that he strives for a “pit crew efficiency, but where you feel like you just got hugged in the process.” That contradiction, industrial but claustral, is at the heart of the new restaurant—and of Chick-fil-A’s entire brand. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Cows.

This writer might want to pay a little more attention to what he wrote. Specifically, he should pay attention to this:

One of the Manhattan locations estimates that it sells a sandwich every six seconds, and the company has announced plans to open as many as a dozen more storefronts in the city.

Mayor de Blasio called for a boycott of Chick-Fil-A. Here’s how New Yorkers responded:

I definitely won’t put those people in the undecided or opposition categories.

Its arrival in the city augurs worse than a load of manure on the F train. According to a report by the Center for an Urban Future, the number of chain restaurants in New York has doubled since 2008, crowding out diners and greasy spoons for whom the rent is too dear. Chick-fil-A, meanwhile, is set to become the third-largest fast-food chain in the nation, behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks. No matter how well such restaurants integrate into the “community,” they still venerate a deadening uniformity.

If I had a saying for this writer to live by, it’d be ‘Lighten up, Dude.

The indisputable fact is that Chick-fil-A identified a market, which has helped them make tons of profits while developing a loyal customer base. If that isn’t the definition of success, I don’t know what is. Perhaps it’s time for Democrats to figure it out that they’re losing voters, congressional districts and states because they’re too hard-hearted.

California once was called the Golden State. Since the influx of illegal immigrants started, California’s image has suffered mightily. Homelessness has risen dramatically. The middle class have started leaving the state. Income inequality has risen despite Gov. Moonbeam’s sticking to the progressives’ script to a T. It’s gotten so bad that the LATimes is writing about California’s homeless crisis.

It’s stunning to read that “next year, the state expects to spend $700 million on homelessness.” The more California follows the progressive checklist, the more they’ll experience income inequality, the more they’ll trigger the middle class flight that they’re experiencing and, eventually, the more that they’ll increase homelessness.

The only way to fix California’s multiple crises is to return to capitalism and the rule of law. Right now, California’s calling card is a chaotic society. That won’t attract people. It’ll repel them. Reports like this won’t attract people:

It’ll just tell them that California’s economy is rigged in favor of Silicon Valley and Hollywood. It says that the American Dream is only alive for the well-connected. You won’t attract people with that image.

Give Hostess credit. At a time when a blizzard of companies are paying their employees bonuses, raising their wages or improving their benefits, Hostess conceived of a great idea for their bonuses. According to this article, “The company produces bakery snack cakes such as Twinkies, Ho Hos, Zingers and Sno Balls. Each week this year, a representative from one of the company’s bakeries will choose a different product, which employees will take home in multi-packs, according to Bloomberg. Workers will receive the monetary bonus in the form of $750 in cash and a $500 contribution to their 401k.”

I’m just wondering when some liberals will criticize Hostess for contributing to America’s obesity problem.

It must frost Democrats to read “Hostess is the latest in a string of companies who have said they will use the large corporate tax cut in the new GOP tax law to invest in their workers. Starbucks, Disney, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase and others have announced wage raises, one-time benefits or other bonuses for employees.”

After reading the article, I posted this tweet:


Later, someone replied:

It’s fun watching socialists, aka Democrats, pull their hair out watching Trump’s tax cuts work. The socialists, aka Democrats, aren’t upset that the tax cuts, aka capitalism, are failing. Democrats are upset because capitalism is succeeding.

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Michael Goodwin states “The cash-in-the-pocket benefits are great news to many families, but the boom is doing something else too: It’s giving the millennials a firsthand lesson in economics. Following eight slow-growth years under President Barack Obama and an election where their favorite candidate, Bernie Sanders, railed against the wealthy and promised free stuff for everybody else, many young Americans were taught that socialism is their friend and capitalism their enemy. Now they are getting proof that the opposite is true. They are eyewitnesses as capitalism provides more opportunities and financial security to more people than any other system.”

Despite the prosperity that’s becoming increasingly clear, Democrats still won’t admit that the Trump/GOP tax cuts are working. Prominent Democrats like Nancy Pelosi “likened them to cheese on a mouse trap. Former party boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz told a crowd that ‘I’m not sure that $1,000 goes very far for almost anyone.'”

This must drive Democrats nuts:

The contrast with Trump is striking. His “America is Open for Business” spiel at Davos was consistent with his promise to get the economy roaring. Never a shrinking violet, he is most convincingly authentic when cheerleading for jobs, jobs, jobs.

He starts his second year in office with the dividends piling up. As The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, the tax cuts are “rippling through” the economy and leading all kinds of firms to explore expansion and some to consider new plants and acquisitions.

Many companies also are increasing their charitable contributions, with JPMorgan Chase saying it will boost its community-based philanthropy by 40 percent, to $1.75 billion over five years. That, too, is unique to capitalism, people and businesses freely giving away their money.

Trump is the modern-day version of economist Milton Friedman, a salesman for capitalism par excellence:

As the tax cuts kick in and as businesses continue handing out bonuses and pay increases, Democrats will be put into the difficult position of explaining why every Democrat in the House and every Democratic senator voted against the tax cuts. To this day, that’s one of the most stunning political mistakes in modern political history. Truthfully, it’s inexplicable, foolish.

A good friend of LFR sent me a video of this weekend’s episode of the Wise Guys. This week, host Bill Bennett invited panelists Alan Dershowitz, Ollie North, Ari Fleischer and Steve Wynn into an intelligent debate about a wide range of subjects. The video is almost 42 minutes long, though it feels like it’s a 10 minute video. That’s because, in my opinion, these gentlemen spoke past the shiny object BS that we’re weighed down with. Instead, they spoke about the fundamentals that built this nation. Ari Fleischer spoke about how our political system, over the long sweep of history, fixes itself. Professor Dershowitz asked Steve Wynn how he deals with the jealousy so prevalent in today’s society. Hint: Wynn’s reply to that question was both refreshing and bold. Ollie North said he didn’t fear the future the way Professor Dershowitz did because he thinks that tomorrow’s leaders will come from colleges, not the Ivy League.

First, here’s the video:

Here’s Professor Dershowitz’s question on jealousy and Steve Wynn’s reply:

PROF. DERSHOWITZ: We have a man, Steve Wynn, who is a multibillionaire and the American Dream. He earned it all the hard way from nothing and yet, when they see the kind of wealth you have, there are people who resent it. I don’t think they have the right to resent it. I think they have the right to demand a safety net. I think they have the right to demand a decent life but they have no right to take their wealth away. That’s jealousy and it destroys one of the most important engines of capitalism but the perception of the disparity of wealth has become greater than it’s become before because of the media and it is a real problem. So I wanted to ask Steve how do you deal with this in your personal life? How do we deal with it institutionally?
STEVE WYNN: In fact, I don’t. Because I can’t do anything about what other people think. My counterpoint to jealousy or envy is the only constituency that a successful businessman has is the jobs he’s created, the people that work for him and the opportunities for a better life it gives to the people who are involved in his business family. The fact of the matter is the distribution of wealth on this planet is outrageously imbalanced. The 5 of us at this table are part of a group, Americans, who sit in one-tenth of one percent of the almost 8,000,000,000 people who occupy this planet. Just being in this country, we’re privileged beyond any fair measure of meta-distribution. It has always been so…

Finally, Wynn nails it, saying “the only thing that’s ever created a better life for a human being in the history of humanity is the demand for their labor. The more there is, the better the life.”

First, if you have the time, watch this video. If you don’t have the time, watch it, too. Watching Alan Dershowitz and Steve Wynn, both registered Democrats, discussing the role of government and the successes of capitalism was fascinating. Watching Wynn talk about not worrying about other people’s jealousy towards his wealth, then pivoting to talk about his obligation to make his employees’ lives better, was inspirational.

Government’s role in the economy is to make sure everyone has a fair shot at prosperity. Special carve-outs stifle fairness and make prosperity for all difficult to achieve. This discussion was inspirational because it focused on foundational things rather than paying attention to click-bait things.

It’s time for Republicans and Democrats to stop focusing on shiny objects and to start focusing all of our attention on foundational things.

This week, President Obama tried taking credit for what Maria Bartiromo has titled “the Trump Boom.” The truth is that President Obama’s policies have nothing to do with the reinvigorated economy. In fact, businesses are saying the opposite. According to Ms. Bartiromo, “Corporate earnings have risen and corporate behavior has changed, measured in greater capital investment. Businesspeople tell me that a new approach to regulation is a big factor. During President Obama’s final year in office the Federal Register, which contains new and proposed rules and regulations, ran to 95,894 pages, according to a Competitive Enterprise Institute report.”

These businesses certainly know why they’re doing what they’re doing. What they’re saying with their actions and their words is that President Obama’s regulatory policies stifled growth, not entirely but significantly, by adding tons of regulatory compliance costs. When capital formation shrinks, job creation shrinks, too.

Others have noticed that there’s been a change and have adjusted accordingly:

For the first time in a long time the world is experiencing synchronized growth, which is why Goldman Sachs and Barclays among others have recently predicted 4% global growth in 2018. The entire world benefits when its largest economy is healthy, and the vibrancy overseas is reinforcing the U.S. resurgence.

This paragraph is especially enlightening:

Much has changed this year. Companies from Broadcom to Boeing have announced they’ll move overseas jobs back to the U.S. American companies hold nearly $3 trillion overseas and may soon be able to bring that money home without punitive taxation. Businesses have begun to open up the purse strings, which is why things like commercial airline activity are rising substantially as executives seek new opportunities. Companies are looking to invest in growth.

Investing in growth requires employees participating in the rewards. When corporations get into ‘merger and acquisition mode’, employees suffer. It’s easier for companies to merge with foreign corporations, then get taxed at lower rates. Democrats can whine about them doing that but it’s their own fault. It’s easier to work with corporations than trying to punish them. The government never wins in those match-ups.

Obama recently said that President Trump doesn’t have an answer for how he’ll get the economy growing. Either Obama is an economic illiterate or he’s intentionally lying. President Trump’s answer is to lower taxes and reduce regulations. That facts speak for themselves. Economic growth has virtually doubled under Trump’s watch. Consumer confidence is soaring. Companies are moving back from overseas. Contrary to what President Obama said, this isn’t a coincidence:

Finally, there’s this:

The Federal Register page count is down 32% this year. Mr. Trump says red tape becomes “beautiful” when it is eliminated, and people who manage businesses certainly agree.

I’m not alone in thinking that Trump’s policies are working. I’m predicting that President Obama’s policies will be discredited within another year.

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This LTE explains in very personal terms why tax simplification is required. A few paragraphs into the LTE, it says “But the tax reform proposal introduced by the U.S. House could undo much of that success. It breaks a bipartisan deal agreed to at the end of 2015 to phase down the wind energy Production Tax Credit by 2020. House lawmakers are looking to re-write the rules in the middle of the game, and that puts our economy and U.S. workers at risk.”

There’s no disputing that the new tax legislation will put some businesses at risk. Entrepreneurship requires taking risks. Why should a renewable energy business not face risk but farmers live with the prospect of getting wiped out every minute of their lives?

It’s time that the federal government got out of the corporate welfare business. If a product is a quality product and it’s essential to enough people, it will succeed. If it isn’t that essential, people might ignore it, in which case the company will soon be bankrupt. That’s capitalism and it’s the best economic model in the history of mankind. Here’s what Milton Friedman thinks of capitalism:

Congress developed the PTC to help wind developers gain access to the private investment capital they need to build wind farms. That in turn keeps U.S. factory workers busy making new wind turbines, and it keeps construction businesses like ours stay busy installing them. Our workers depend on these orders, and the PTC has helped keep our construction queue full.

What this company is apparently lobbying for is lower corporate tax rates and corporate welfare, too. Taxpayers shouldn’t shoulder the burden on whether a company succeeds or fails.

This is crony capitalism at its worst. For the foreseeable future, companies will introduce studies that highlight the benefits of corporate welfare:

That’s why American wind power added jobs nine times faster than overall economy last year, and keeping the investment policies stable will create an additional $85 billion in economic activity through 2020, according to Navigant Consulting. It will also grow an additional 50,000 American jobs, including more 8,000 jobs at U.S. factories, by the end of President Trump’s first term.

With all due respect, we don’t know that. I’m certainly not willing to trust a self-serving report. Companies that commission these types of reports frequently can’t survive without corporate welfare.

It’s time to cut this cord.

Headline of the day? This headline might get unanimous support from the Fraters crew:

Wisconsin Man Locked in Beer Cooler Cited for Drinking

The headline is great. The article is pretty good too.

Apparently, this nation has undergone a significant transformation from being a confident nation that loved free trade to being a nation that thinks the middle class gets screwed over by every free trade agreement. It’s sad to see the Party of Reagan getting duped into believing that we’re a nation that can’t compete by our party’s nominee.

Let’s unclutter this argument. Do you trust Donald Trump more than you trust Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman? That’s what this comes down to. Ronald Reagan took over a struggling economy, cut taxes and dramatically reduced regulation while negotiating trade deals. As a result of President Reagan’s economic policies, the US economy created over 20,000,000 jobs in 8 years. In September, 1983, the economy created 1,100,000 jobs.

Compare that with Donald Trump’s record of failed businesses and bankruptcies. That’s right. That isn’t a comparison. That’s more like Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn. It isn’t much of a fight. That’s before getting into Milton Friedman’s lecturing Phil Donahue on the virtues of capitalism and free trade:

Here’s what Milton Friedman told Donahue:

In the only cases in which the masses have escaped the types of grinding poverty that you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, and where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.

Anyone that thinks that Trump knows what’s best compared to President Reagan and Dr. Friedman isn’t dealing with reality. The biggest reasons why jobs have moved overseas are the overtaxation and overregulation, the increase in regulatory compliance costs here in the United States and the lowering of marginal tax rates in other countries. Add into that Obamacare and this administration’s war on cheap energy prices (think Solyndra and Hillary’s statement that she was going to shut down coal plants) and it isn’t surprising that companies are leaving.

Without question, we’ve hesitated to call trading partners out when they’ve broken the agreement’s provisions. That’s proof of political spinelessness. It isn’t proof that trade agreements are counterproductive.

Anyone that trusts a man who opened a casino in flush economic times, then saw that casino go bankrupt, more than they trust the greatest president of the last 125 years and one of the most accomplished economists in modern history is a blithering idiot. I’ll trust President Reagan and Dr. Friedman over Donald Trump any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

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