Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category
First, I’ll stipulate that Newt Gingrich is a flawed man who’s paid a hefty price for his mistakes. Next, I’ll state what I emphatically believe: that Newt Gingrich the visionary isn’t just the right tonic for what’s ailing the GOP. He’s the perfect strategist to lead Republicans to victory. Newt’s speech at CPAC this year is a perfect illustration of what I’m talking about:
The reason why Newt’s got the right strategy is because his speeches aren’t about politics. They’re about improving life with a political twist. Check out this part of Newt’s speech:
NEWT: We must stop being the opposition movement. We must become the alternative government movement that will help make the life of every American better so that they would understand what we would do that we would do right, not just what the left is doing wrong.
The biggest thing that conservatives can do to guarantee the best shot at victories this fall is telling the American people that a) we’re the solutions party and b) we trust families and small businesses to make great decisions.
That necessarily means trusting people with lots of options. If we trust families, we should be the party whose health care reform legislation gives families tons of options to fit their families’ needs. By doing that, Republicans will highlight the difference between Harry Reid’s and Al Franken’s one-size-fits-all plan, aka the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and Republicans’ legislation that trusts families.
That’s a perfect segue into another major point in Newt’s speech:
The smartphone will be the leading public health device of the 21st Century. It’ll be the leading learing device. It’ll be the leading management tool. Congressman Dr. Michael Burgess has a smartphone that has 8 medical applications on it. He can do an electrocardiogram with his smartphone. Now the Food and Drug Administration, seeing the dramatic rise in applications that improve your health, now wants to take over approving applications for smartphones.
Now if you want to see a fight where we can be on the side of young Americans and the left is hopeless, you just go out to any college campus and you say ‘how would you like Washington bureaucrats slowing down the number of new applications you can get, most of them, by the way, are free’?
The party of excessive government can’t control its appetite for controlling people’s lives. Young people naturally love lots of options. In that fight, Democrats lose bigtime.
If Republicans become the party that trusts small businesses to innovate and make families’ lives better, they’ll win decisively because people of all demographic backgrounds will want what we’re selling.
If conservatives return to Reagan’s and Kemp’s and Thatcher’s belief that great ideas that make families’ lives better also makes for great politics, then conservatives will win decisively.
The point isn’t about sounding more conservative or more moderate. It’s about who has great ideas. I’m not advocating for moderation. I’m advocating that makes families’ lives better through entrepreneurship and innovation. Conservatives will jump all over that because it’s from the private sector. Apolitical people will jump all over it because their lives will be improved by the innovations that’s only possible through entrepreneurship.
Watch Newt’s entire speech if you want to see how to win the future. You’ll want to hear Newt’s connecting the dots between the Bakken and defeating Putin. Newt’s speech isn’t getting the buzz like others’ speeches. It’s just the blueprint that’ll make the GOP the dominant party again.
Technorati: CPAC, Newt Gingrich, Party of Solutions, Ideas Party, Michael Burgess, iPhone Apps, Limited Government, GOP, Al Franken, President Obama, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, One Size Fits All, Democrats, Election 2014
The DFL’s hostility towards businesses has been frequently documented. Tax the Rich became their mantra in 2008. It’s still part of their mantra today. Unfortunately for Minnesotans, Gov. Dayton and the DFL didn’t just ‘tax the rich.’ They dropped a ton of taxes on the middle class and the working poor.
Speaker Thissen officially went on the record at a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce event that the DFL will raise the minimum wage and that it’s likely to be closer to $9.50 per hour than $7.75 per hour:
Tuesday’s Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Session Priorities event may have been full of literature, displays and speeches promoting business interests, but House Speaker Paul Thissen wasn’t shy about telling business leaders that they won’t be getting some of the biggest items on their wish list.
For starters, the highest income tax bracket is not going away, the DFLer from Minneapolis predicted. There will be a minimum wage hike, and that new minimum wage will be closer to the high end than the low end, he said.
“Quite frankly, I think this is the right direction for Minnesota to go. I know that’s going to disappoint a lot of the people in the room, but I think it’s where we should head,” Thissen said at the RiverCentre in St. Paul, where 1,650 tickets were sold to the annual event.
The short-term effect of raising the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour is that fewer teenagers will find jobs if the minimum wage is raised. In this sluggish economy, employers will have an additional excuse not to hire teenagers for summer jobs.
What’s most disturbing is that Thissen thinks that Democrats think this is the right direction to head in. It indicates that the DFL doesn’t understand what creates prosperity. One of Thissen’s top lieutenants, Rep. Ryan Winkler, repeatedly says that raising the minimum wage doesn’t hurt hiring. He’s both right and wrong. There’s sufficient proof that raising the minimum wage during good times isn’t tragic for businesses. It isn’t helpful but it isn’t catastrophic.
Likewise, there’s sufficient proof that raising the minimum wage during a struggling economy hurts hiring, especially with young people looking for their first job.
Finally, it looks like the warehousing services sales tax and the farm equipment repair sales tax will be repealed. Two weekends ago, SEIU Local 26 President Javier Morillo-Alicea tried spinning the repeal of these taxes as DFL tax relief. That’s the most deceitful spin I’ve heard in ages.
The DFL legislature passed a Tax Bill that raised too many taxes. After a lengthy public outcry, they’ve decided that it’s in the Democrats’ political self-interest to repeal their mistake before voters punish them this November. This isn’t about the Democrats realizing that their tax increases will hurt businesses.
It’s important to remember that these taxes were in Gov. Dayton’s initial budget. They were stripped from the Democrats’ Tax Bill thanks to an intense lobbying campaign by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. On the final weekend of last year’s session, the DFL put the tax increases back into the final bill.
Simply put, Democrats thumbed their noses at the Chamber. The DFL only changed directions when they noticed how upset the Chamber was with these tax hikes. Thissen is especially worried because the Senate isn’t up for re-election. That means all of the Chamber’s anger will be directed at House DFL legislators.
That isn’t automatically catastrophic with a statewide candidate, though it can’t help. It’s likely to have the biggest impact in House races where a well-funded challenger can defeat a vulnerable incumbent. That’s why Thissen is rightfully worried.
Technorati: Paul Thissen, Mark Dayton, Tax Increases, Warehouse Services Sales Tax, Farm Equipment Repair Sales Tax, Ryan Winkler, Minimum Wage Increase, DFL, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Election 2014
Karl Rove’s last column tells how tough of shape red state Democrats are in. This information is especially tough for these Senate Democrats:
Then there is the nonpartisan Congressional Quarterly’s summary of last year’s legislative voting patterns. The four red state Democratic senators running for re-election gave Mr. Obama’s policies almost perfect support, led by Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu and Alaska’s Mark Begich at 97%, followed by North Carolina’s Kay Hagan at 96% and Arkansas’s Mike Pryor at 90%.
They are now trying to distance themselves from the president. Mr. Begich says he’s “disappointed” in the State of the Union address and promises to “push back” if Mr. Obama signs objectionable executive orders. But Dan Sullivan, the former Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner and the likely Republican candidate, can make hay all day long with the senator’s voting record.
Ms. Hagan refused to appear with Mr. Obama when he visited North Carolina Jan. 15. Her likely GOP opponent, state House Speaker Thom Tillis, can cite this to show that she was rock-solid reliable when it came to advancing the Obama agenda but now that she has to face voters, she’s ashamed.
This morning, I’m predicting that those Democratic senators will be among the first victims of the Obama Millstone Effect. The floundering economy, combined with their votes for the Anything But Affordable Care Act and their consistent support of President Obama’s policies, will sink them.
Frankly, they’ll have earned the voters’ disgust.
Unfortunately, those aren’t the only difficulties that these Democrats face:
The president’s average approval in these seven Senate states is roughly 36%. If that’s the case on Election Day, he will likely sink his party’s candidates, who probably cannot run more than five points ahead of Mr. Obama’s rating.
Even if they ran 10 points of Obama’s current approval rating, they’d still likely be sunk. That isn’t the position where they’ll need to be. Most, if not all, of these senators should start writing their concession speeches.
Get out the butter, they’re toast.
This Peggy Noonan article dovetails nicely with Glenn Reynolds’ excellent column about “Irish Democracy”, which I wrote about in this post. First, here’s Dr. Reynolds’ explanation of the foundation of Irish Democracy:
In his excellent book, Two Cheers For Anarchism, Professor James Scott writes:
One need not have an actual conspiracy to achieve the practical effects of a conspiracy. More regimes have been brought, piecemeal, to their knees by what was once called ‘Irish Democracy,’ the silent, dogged resistance, withdrawal, and truculence of millions of ordinary people, than by revolutionary vanguards or rioting mobs.
Simply put, people refusing to buy insurance through the Anything But Affordable Care Act’s exchanges are putting the ABACA in impossible financial straights. This was made necessary when Senate Democrats and this administration wouldn’t listen to the American people. In Ms. Noonan’s opinion, they still aren’t listening:
As the president made his jaunty claims and the senators and congressmen responded semirapturously I kept thinking of four words: Meanwhile, back in America…
Meanwhile, back in America, the Little Sisters of the Poor were preparing their legal briefs. The Roman Catholic order of nuns first came to America in 1868 and were welcomed in every city they entered. They now run about 30 homes for the needy across the country. They have, quite cruelly, been told they must comply with the ObamaCare mandate that all insurance coverage include contraceptives, sterilization procedures, morning-after pills. If they don’t—and of course they can’t, being Catholic, and nuns—they will face ruinous fines.
In this instance, it isn’t just that the Obama administration isn’t listening to the American people. It’s that they’re ignoring the Constitution, too. That’s before considering the fact that this administration made exceptions to the ABACA for its well-connected friends.
The message sent to the nation is exceptionally straightforward: Well-connected friends of Barack Obama get special privileges. People whom this President despises get the shaft. (That’s right. I didn’t forget about the bitter clingers.) President Obama’s disdain for blue collar people isn’t news. It’s just disgusting. That’s why people have turned their back on him.
Meanwhile, back in America…
Meanwhile, back in America, conservatives targeted and harassed by the Internal Revenue Service still await answers on their years-long requests for tax exempt status. When news of the IRS targeting broke last spring, agency officials lied about it, and one took the Fifth. The president said he was outraged, had no idea, read about it in the papers, boy was he going to get to the bottom of it. An investigation was announced but somehow never quite materialized.
If ever there was something that got the masses fuming, it should be the thought of a politically ruthless administration using the IRS as a weapon to eliminate its political enemies. And yes, this administration has used the IRS as a weapon against TEA Party activists and other conservative organizations.
In less than 3 years, we’ll have the opportunity to wipe the memories of this administration from our memory. It’s imperative that we accomplish that. It’s imperative that we elect someone that will listen to the American people. That means electing a pro-reform governor that respects the Constitution, preferably Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich or Mike Pence.
I didn’t include Jeb Bush or Christie in that bunch. They don’t respect the Constitution. People want politicians that don’t think of themselves as being above the Constitution or the rule of law. Bush supports Common Core, which wants to strip away local control of education. That’s certainly anti-constitutional. Christie supports gun control, something totally at odds with the Constitution.
It’s time we elected a president that’s run things and accomplished things that’ve helped families. Bobby Jindal fits that description. While campaigning, he listened to parents who hated the education options their children had. That’s why he pushed for school choice. Thanks to his listening, school choice legislation was signed into law in Louisiana.
John Kasich fits that description. He fought for the same union reforms that Scott Walker did. He also cut taxes while eliminating Ohio’s deficit. Thanks to Gov. Kasich’s popular pro-growth agenda, Ohio is headed in the right direction.
Scott Walker listened to Wisconsinites’ cries for lower property taxes. He pushed union reforms that stripped them of the right to hold school districts hostage by saying that they had to buy health insurance through the teachers union’s insurance company. As a direct result, health insurance costs to school districts dropped dramatically…until the ABACA was semi-implemented.
Whether you call it the TEA Party movement, Irish Democracy or whether it’s just doing what President Reagan believed in, it’s time for conservatives to elect someone that actually wants the people to decide what’s best for them. We don’t need another administration that thinks it’s supremely qualified to tell families what’s best for them.
One thing that came through last night’s SOTU Address is that President Obama is feeling defeated. Here’s where that first appeared:
And in tight-knit communities across America, fathers and mothers will tuck in their kids, put an arm around their spouse, remember fallen comrades, and give thanks for being home from a war that, after twelve long years, is finally coming to an end.
Tonight, this chamber speaks with one voice to the people we represent: it is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong.
Conspicuously absent from that riff is a mention that we’re bringing troops home after defeating the terrorists. I wrote in 2006 that Democrats talked about ending the war, not defeating the terrorists. That hasn’t changed since the days that Code Pink ran the Democratic Party.
Conspicuously absent was talk that his policies had made life better for families. Families, he said, are what makes America strong. He didn’t say that his policies were strengthening America’s middle class. In fact, in the most bizarre riffs from a SOTU Address, he seemed to admit that his policies had failed:
Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by – let alone get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all.
He’s been president for 5 years. The first budget Congress passed in 2009 was his economic blueprint. That President Obama is admitting that “wages have barely budged”, that “upward mobility has stalled” and that “too many still aren’t working” is a stunning, if inadvertent, admission. Couple that with Cathy McMorris-Rodgers’ statement that more people quit looking for work than there were jobs created last month and you’re starting to see that President Obama’s economic policies have failed.
The thing that’s keeping things going is the Federal Reserve pumping $1,000,000,000,000 of liquidity into the economy a year. That doesn’t have anything to do with President Obama’s policies. That means the economy is growing in spite of President Obama’s policies, not because of them.
This part was downright deceitful:
Now, one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy. The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades.
That’s shameful. Most of the growth in energy production have come on lands where federal permits aren’t needed. That’s indisputable fact. President Obama had as much to do with the Bakken explosion and the natural gas rejuvenation in Ohio and Pennsylvania as Al Gore had to do with creating the internet. That being said, President Obama is totally to blame for the EPA killing coal-mining jobs in West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.
Arrogant Barry showed up to make this declaration:
Now, I don’t expect to convince my Republican friends on the merits of this law. But I know that the American people aren’t interested in refighting old battles. So again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, and increase choice – tell America what you’d do differently. Let’s see if the numbers add up. But let’s not have another forty-something votes to repeal a law that’s already helping millions of Americans like Amanda. The first forty were plenty. We got it. We all owe it to the American people to say what we’re for, not just what we’re against.
What’s disappointing is that Arrogant Barry didn’t even admit that 3 Republican senators, Burr, Coburn and Hatch, have submitted a bill that says what Republicans are for. In fact, Jay Carney dismissed it outright on Monday.
Another thing that’s disappointing is that President Obama insists on listening to the American people…when they agree with him. If they don’t agree with him, then he won’t hesitate in ignoring them. The American people have been saying with a passionate, consistent voice that they don’t like the Anything But Affordable Care Act. They like the provision that prevents people from not getting insurance if they have a pre-existing condition. They like keeping their childen on their health insurance policy until they’re age 26. They like not having lifetime caps.
After that, they’d cheerfully applaud seeing the Anything But Affordable Care Act disappear.
Last night’s address was painful to watch for a bunch of reasons. First, it was painful to watch President Obama take credit for the oil and natural gas booms that happened because they didn’t have to deal with the federal government. Next, it was painful because President Obama sounded like a dejected, defeated man last night. Finally, it was painful because Republican governors, not President Obama, are making things work.
It’ll be nice when one of those talented Republican governors gives the SOTU in 2017. That can’t arrive soon enough.
Yesterday, I wrote this post highlighting Paul Thissen’s reaction to my post about how unions didn’t build the middle class. The activists in the MOB, aka the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers, aren’t unlike NATO in that, an attack against one is an attack against all of us. When they saw that Speaker Thissen had taken issue with my post, Mitch Berg and the Lady Logician jumped into the discussion. Here’s how the Lady Logician responded to Speaker Thissen’s tweets:
You misrepresent the smaller gov’t policy stance to mean no govt & that is simply NOT what small gov’t ppl want. No one is arguing against roads & education but when govt gets in2 the minutia of telling ppl what lightbulbs 2 buy or what HEALTHCARE to buy or whether or not they can own a specific type of dog, then we are going to argue.
Here’s Mitch’s response to one of Speaker Thissen’s tweets:
The evidence is, in fact, that gov’t research *follows* corp. innovation. Ditto education. Not other way around.
Mitch wasn’t done schooling Speaker Thissen. Here’s the rest of Mitch’s tweets to Speaker Thissen:
So did gov’t build roads out of pure goodwill? Or did biz pay for them? You’re saying government is the only body that can give us clean water? Record shows that’s untrue. Most municipal water systems in the US *started* as private enterprises. Nearly a quarter still are. The “gov’t brings us all riches” argument is the black/white one. Markets, not politics, deal well with nuance. Either is “private enterprise is lost without government”. Or rather it’s a fallacious place to start the conversation. At best, it’s “assisted” by gov’t. But the idea that prosperity follows infrastructure is utterly ahistorical.
That’s a typical Mitch-slap. Spoeaker Thissen probably didn’t realize conservatives were this principled about free markets and limited government. The reality is that Speaker Thissen didn’t address why he thinks government is equipped to run a complex online health insurance business for the entire state. That’s essentially what MNsure is. (That isn’t just my opinion. It’s what Jim Nobles said on Almanac last Friday.)
Was government responding to free markets when they passed legislation that specified what types of lightbulbs could be used? Why did government inject itself into the discussion as to what dogs were legal in Minnesota? Was there an outbreak of dog violence against people? Or were they just inserting themselves into an issue because they were reacting to one of their special interest allies? I’m pretty certain it’s the latter.
Speaker Thissen’s tweet that questioned whether people could get to their jobs or companies could move their goods without public roads dovetails with President Obama’s now-infamous statement that entrepreneurs didn’t build their companies, that government did. That’s BS. Mitch is right in saying that government might assist entrepreneurs but government isn’t what makes businesses thrive.
The Anything But Affordable Care Act is a perfect example of how twisted leftist thinking is. I wrote here about how MNsure made things worse for one Minnesota family:
This Minnesota family is a young married couple with three children. Until ObamaCare and Dayton’s MNsure came along they shared the cost of their Blue Cross-Blue Shield family health insurance policy 50/50 with the father’s employer. Thanks to ObamaCare, the cost of that policy sky rocketed and is no longer affordable to the family. After endless hours of working with MNsure, here is what resulted.
Without the parent’s consent, MNsure jammed their three children onto government insurance. The children are now covered by Medicaid at no cost to the family or employer, but 100 percent cost to the taxpayers. The father had to go with a single insurance plan from his employer and purchase a separate new policy for his wife. Because of the confusion and disarray at MNsure, neither he nor his wife currently has health insurance ID cards for the insurance they have already paid for.
That’s why limited government conservatives complain about government overstepping their constitutional authority. Additionally, this shows government isn’t capable of running a business.
In other words, government should get its claws out of the things it isn’t qualified to do and focus on the things that constitutions limits it to. Limited government conservatives don’t hate government, even though that’s the propaganda that ABM and other leftist propaganda organizations spread. It’s that we understand that the best decisions for families happen at a family’s kitchen table.
It’s time Speaker Thissen figured that out.
Technorati: Paul Thissen, Nanny State, Anything But Affordable Care Act, MNsure, Transportation, Water Treatment Facilities, DFL, Limited Government Conservatism, Free Markets, Entrepreneurship, Capitalism, MNGOP
Earlier today, I wrote this post about whether unions deserve most of the credit for building America’s middle class. Apparently, the DFL is feeling more than a little defensive about what I wrote. It’s apparent because Paul Thissen, the Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives, responded with 3 defensive-sounding tweets to my post. Here’s Speaker Thissen’s first tweet:
Do innovative cos take advantage of govt basic rsch? Do business & employees benefit from a broadly educated populace?
Here’s Speaker Thissen’s second tweet:
do workers get to jobs and companies move product without public roads? Do middle class economies exist without clean water?
Here’s Speaker Thissen’s final tweet:
your black & white, either/or world view may serve you rhetorically but no one in real world operates by it.
First, let me address the subject of whether “workers get to jobs and companies move products without public roads.” They do in Indiana. While government funds the building of highways through gas taxes in Minnesota, it’s indisputable that that’s an archaic way of funding highway maintenance. Indiana, not Minnesota, is the future of highway funding. PS- Privatization works in improving highways. Indiana’s proof of that.
Next, Speaker Thissen apparently thinks, like many leftists, that Republicans oppose all forms of government. That’s silliness. They’ve read too many of ABM’s smear campaign messages for their own good. (Then again, the DFL are puppets. ABM is their puppeteer.) Minnesota’s Constitution requires funding of public schools so there’s no question about whether taxpayers will fund government schools.
Third, isn’t it possible that Speaker Thissen is living in an either/or, black or white world? Based upon his past actions, there’s no question that Speaker Thissen thinks that the nanny state isn’t intrusive enough. He’s voted for higher taxes on the richest of the rich. He’s voted for middle class tax increases, too, as recently as last May. Those are indisputable facts. He’s voted for legislation that would prohibit people from owning certain types of dogs in Minnesota.
It isn’t that Republicans hate government. It’s that we’ve seen government expand into areas that government shouldn’t intrude into. We’ve seen the DFL elitists in the Twin Cities tell people in northern Minnesota that they don’t have the right to make a living even if they live by Minnesota’s environmental regulations. Yes, that’s what Conservation Minnesota is pushing. Here in central Minnesota, another of the DFL’s environmentalist allies, the Sierra Club, is pushing for shutting down of the Sherco power plants.
There’s no question whether Speaker Thissen will defend these special interest organizations. There’s no question because he’s defended them in the past. Considering his ambitition to succeed Gov. Dayton as governor, and his need for substantial campaign contributions from environmentalists, there’s no question Speaker Thissen will continue defending these black or white organizations.
Finally, let’s cover Speaker Thissen’s question about whether middle class economies exist without clean water. Not that we’d want this but yes, middle class economies have existed without clean water. Ohio’s and Pennsylvania’s middle class thrived with some of the nastiest water in the nation.
Like I said, however, that shouldn’t be the goal we shoot towards. The linkage between clean water and robust job creation is questionable at best. There’s no disputing whether those things can co-exist. They’re co-existing right now. What’s equally indisputable is that the DFL’s special interest allies love moving the goalposts on industries, especially the mining industry, by increasing the regulatory restrictions on Minnesota’s biggest industries.
Last year, Speaker Thissen didn’t hesitate in pushing a bill that limits silica sand mining even though it would kill Minnesota jobs. Here’s what Rep. Pat Garofalo said about the bill:
You’re gonna actually tax an industry out of existence with a tax on silica mining. I actually had a liberal activist say to me they thought that by raising taxes on silica mining, they would somehow impact the fracking in North Dakota. (Laughter in background) Spoiler alert. They’re gonna get the sand from other states. Doesn’t matter. It’s gonna have no impact whatsoever on other states’ ability to do fracking of natural gas and oil but it will kill jobs here. And it’s not business groups saying that. It’s not small businesses saying it.
We’ve heard from the local 49ers. We’ve heard from the local unions. In fact, members, this is how totally delusional this tax increase is: Mark Dayton actually labeled the House DFL silica sand tax “ridiculous.” So when a tax increase is so high that Gov. Dayton labels it ridiculous, you know you’re checked out for lunch.
Speaker Thissen, the question isn’t whether government will exist. The question is whether the DFL will continue to insist on limiting Minnesota’s economic growth through their abuse of Minnesota’s regulatory system. At this point, there’s little disputing whether the DFL will tell the environmentalists no every once in awhile. They won’t.
The only question is whether Minnesotans will reject the DFL’s vision of ever more intrusive government. Let’s hope they answer that question with an emphatic yes this November.
Technorati: Paul Thissen, Special Interests, Conservation Minnesota, Environmental Extremists, Environmental Regulations, Nanny State, DFL, Metrocrats, Transportation, K-12 Education, Public Safety, Limited Government
Ken Braun’s article contains a history tutorial that questions whether unions built America’s middle class. Here’s the heart of Mr. Braun’s argument:
Criticizing highly paid union officials for taking lavish trips on the backs of their dues-paying members is often met with a predictable counter-criticism about supposedly “overpaid” CEOs. But there’s an important difference: Unlike labor leaders, the jobs of workers don’t exist without the CEOs.
Executives are necessary at any large corporation. They are either the actual owner (and sometimes founder) of the company, or they are the representative of the ownership (shareholders.) Whether an outsider agrees or not with CEO pay is immaterial. The pay is set by the ownership and based on the creation of profits which make jobs possible. No profits, no company, no jobs.
The UAW doesn’t build cars, and it isn’t necessary to build cars. As recently as 2007, the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency reported that non-union Americans working at U.S. assembly plants owned by foreign automakers built more than one-third of the planet’s American-made cars.
UAW president Bob King recently proposed a hefty 25 percent dues hike on his members. Unlike the financial decisions made by the CEOs of the Detroit Three automakers, King’s plan isn’t going to improve profitability, build a single car, or create auto jobs.
This post isn’t an attempt to vilify unions. It’s putting things in the proper historical perspective. Certainly, there isn’t a credible argument that people, acting in their own self-interest, can’t determine their financial course through life. They’re the people that think they’re commodities, important assets that can market themselves as people who can change the financial trajectory of a business.
People who think like that attract higher wages. The key is whether they create products that add value to society. If they don’t, the market will tell them. If they’re creating things of value, the markets will reward them for their ingenuity.
Here’s another important part of Braun’s argument:
The War itself substantially blasted away the manufacturing spine of the rest of the globe, leaving American manufacturers and their workers in an historically absurd position of super-dominance. With or without a UAW, disproportionate prosperity was going to flow to American workers for decades afterward as the rest of the world recovered from the rubble.
As a result of WWII, the US, specifically Detroit, had the industrial infrastructure to build products that the world needed. Russia, Germany, Japan and other nations simply didn’t have that infrastructure. Industrial infrastructure, skilled labor and a strong work ethic build things. Good intentions don’t. Eventually, Japan rebuilt. After they rebuilt, they became competitive on the world stage again.
Unions didn’t have anything to do with Japan rebuilding. Now that they’ve moved parts of their operations stateside, they’re locating in right-to-work states. Predictably, right-to-work states’ populations are growing. That’s because people love a) the stability of never going on strike, b) lower state income tax rates and c) warmer climates.
This paragraph is a fitting finish to Mr. Braun’s article:
From here forward, middle class jobs will come from smart decisions made by the leaders of American free enterprise – entrepreneurs and executives at companies large and small. Exploitation of workers is most likely to happen when Big Labor bosses cash in the dues money and go to Disney World.
In other words, free markets will reward great ideas.
Only in Washington, DC would people praise Sen. Schumer as being a top strategist. This morning, Schumer will deliver a speech that essentially disparages the TEA Party:
“There is a glaring weakness, one very weak link in the Tea Party’s armor, which is an inherent contradiction within the Tea Party that I believe can be exposed to greatly weaken their hold on the policy debate,” Schumer will say, according to excerpts of his remarks.
“The fundamental weakness in the Tea Party machine is the stark difference between what the leaders of the Tea Party elite, plutocrats like the Koch Brothers want and what the average grassroots Tea Party follower wants,” he will say.
First, it’s interesting that Sen. Schumer doesn’t have the foggiest clue about the TEA Party and why people agree with their principles. TEA Party activists are foreign to him because he’s a wealth redistributionist and they’re capitalists. Let’s have Sen. Schumer debate someone who actually knew what he was doing. Sen. Schumer, the wealth redistributionist, thinks that it’s essential that we tax “the rich.” Here’s the counter to that:
Sen. Schumer thinks that government is the solution to our problems. The Anything But Affordable Care Act is proof of Sen. Schumer’s belief in that philosophy. Our ‘guest philosopher’, like most TEA Party activists, thinks otherwise:
Our ‘guest philosopher’, like the TEA Party activists, thinks tax reform is essential:
Thanks to our guest philosopher’s policies, the US economy experienced the longest economic recovery in our history. Thanks to the policies championed by President Obama and Sen. Schumer, we’ve had the longest economic stagnation since the Great Depression.
We’re at a crossroads. We can tolerate President Obama’s failed redistributionist economic policies and see our economic standing in the world disappear or we can embrace President Reagan’s pro-growth economic policies that led to the greatest economic expansion in US history.
At this point, that isn’t a difficult choice.
Technorati: Chuck Schumer, President Obama, Wealth Redistributionists, Anything But Affordable Care Act, Great Stagnation, Democrats, Ronald Reagan, Tax Reform, Capitalism, Prosperity, TEA Party, Conservatism
Each time that the jobs report is released, the White House posts its spin about what it means. This is from the most recent post about the jobs report:
As our economy continues to make progress, there’s a lot more work to do. Though December’s job growth was less than expected, we continue to focus on the longer-term trend in the economy – 2.2 million private sector jobs added and a 1.2 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate over the course of 2013. Today’s numbers are also a reminder of the work that remains, especially on one of our nation’s most immediate and pressing challenges: long-term unemployment.
What’s interesting is that chronic unemployment doesn’t happen during robust economic recoveries. This chart will cut through the Obama administration’s spin:
According to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve’s statistics, the increase in GDP for the 17 quarters after the 1981 recession was 23.1%. For the 17 quarters since the end of the recession in Q2 of 2009, the gain in GDP has been 10.3%. You can’t see the 17-quarter gain for the Reagan recovery because the growth literally went off the chart.
This isn’t a nostalgia post. Quite the contrary. It’s a comparison between President Reagan’s pro-growth, low taxation, low regulation policies and President Obama’s policies of crippling regulations and major tax increases. The statistics speak for themselves. This chart speaks for itself, too:
According to that graphic, the annualized GDP growth under Reagan topped 7% for 5 straight quarters, with a high of 9.3% for Q3 of 1983.
At the same time during the Great Stagnation under President Obama, annualized growth rates were 3.9%, 3.8%, 2.5% and 2.4%. In short, the Great Stagnation’s statistics indicate that economic growth has been pathetic. President Obama won’t face the voters again but the people who voted for his economic policies will face the voters next November. Every person who voted for the Obama budget is a Democrat. They can talk all they want about preventing another Great Depression with the stimulus but that’s speculation at best.
The recession Reagan inherited was deeper and had more perils to be fixed. America’s industrial infrastructure was crumbling. People were speculating whether the Big 3 automakers would forever trail the Japanese. Those same people wondered if Japan and Germany would be the new economic superpowers.
The Kemp-Roth tax cuts included capital gains tax cuts, which helped Detroit rebuild their assembly lines. In less than 3 years, Detroit was humming with activity.
That was only part of America’s problems. They faced high unemployment and even higher inflation. Thanks to President Reagan’s pro-growth tax and regulatory policies, millions of jobs were created. The unemployment rate dropped dramatically because people got great jobs, not because people quit looking for work. Inflation dropped, too.
Five years after the banking crisis, the economy is still struggling. The jobs being created are mostly part-time jobs. Median household income has dropped. Regulatory burdens are adding crippling compliance costs. Instead of using their profits to create jobs, small businesses are spending that money complying with Washington’s insane regulations.
Reaganomics worked because it gave businesses an incentive to take chances. That’s the only time-tested method for lifting people out of poverty and for turning the middle class into entrepreneurs. President Reagan understood that. President Obama doesn’t.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, these graphs and charts are worth a few chapters in a book because they show which policies worked and which policies are failing.
Technorati: Reaganomics, Kemp-Roth Tax Cuts, Regulation Reform, Economic Growth, Industrial Infrastructure, Capital Gains Tax Cuts, Big 3 Automakers, Republicans, President Obama, Tax Increases, Compliance Costs, Unemployment, Great Recession, Great Stagnation, Obamacare, Overregulation, Democrats, Socialism