There are many misconceptions standing in the way of informed consent on the part of the American Electorate.
Bugbears and villains and bogey-monsters are trotted out each election cycle to herd the voting populace into the desired frame of mind.
One of the common scape-goats (ab)used by many is the spectre of “Big Business”. And not merely content to blame big business, the abusers often employ shake-down tactics when they need additional revenue.
After all, nobody likes their boss, and everybody knows businesses are endless sources of greedy men with far too much money, right?
Sticking it to “the Man” is the favorite sport in much of America, and it’s bred and grown in an environment free of logic and fact into a monster few can avoid.
Well, here’s one shot.
Business does good for people.
It’s not that they hold your hand and sing Kumbayah, or even that businesses that contribute financially to causes we agree with are good.
This is a blanket statement without conditions: The average business in America does good.
What is good?
Good is a quality of action or intent that brings about, supports, encourages some reasonable benefit to another.
Me winning the lottery is not good. Yes I get tons of money, but that money to one not capable of handling it wisely will with great consistency, harm me and cause me greater damage than were I not to have such largess.
Me working and earning a reasonable wage is good. I earn the money and therefore know its worth to me. I use that value to trade for other things of value which have greater good to me.
Now what just occurred? Each of the players in that last paragraph exchanged something for something else.
What is that called? It’s an economy.
Let’s look at it closer: The business I work for values my work more than a certain amount of money, so we trade. My work for their money. But I can’t live eating money or in a house made of money, so I trade the money for other things I consider more valuable than the actual cash, usually with other businesses such as landlords, grocery stores, utility companies, etc.
Each of us has something we can trade for something else and it is the constant trading and exchanging throughout America that creates the immense wealth we have.
If you think you have little and you live in America, you’re most likely very, very wrong. And this pernicious lie, that we have little, that helps fuel the constant badgering that businesses ought to do this and that and owe us one thing or another.
There are plethora ways the government inhibits business, and in each and every situation where regulation and restriction purport to keep businesses playing “fair”, it is the consumer, you and I, who are hurt most.
In order for you and I to survive we must efficiently and effectively trade what we have for what we need, hopefully increasing the value of what we have in order to trade it more efficiently and for more.
Education is one key way to increase our value. By increasing our skill, our versatility, our ability, through learning and practice, we increase our value to those we’d trade our abilities to. We make a higher wage when we have more skills.
Looking at our small economy described above, government inhibits the economy, making exchanges more difficult, by taxing. By taking away percentages of the money value being used in the trade, they lower the value of our abilities. When we give a business our labor in exchange for an agreed-upon amount of their money, government takes a significant percentage of that money given to us in the form of income taxes.
They also tax the business itself, not just our wages. In fact, America has some of the highest business tax rates of the industrialized world. The government takes around one-third of businesses reported Net Profit.
Do you want to know why businesses try to write off so many expenses? Because for every dollar they cannot right off as a valid business expense, the government will take 30 cents.
What would happen if the government took 30 cents of your pay check? Well, unless you’re making very little, the government very well may be.
So maybe a better question is: What if you made 30 cents MORE for every dollar you currently make?
Let’s say you make 40 thousand dollars a year now. What would you do with 52 thousand? $12,o00 extra per year would add up significantly. A house payment in just a few years, the kids in private schools (or home schooled, grin), a new business you start yourself.
Instead, the government takes it.
I don’t begrudge the government a fair share of money. After all, government is necessary in a fallen world. And government has reasonable and rational expenses. And they are immense, relative to each of our individual budgets.
But when the government tells us it knows, better than we ourselves do, how to do things which could either be left well enough alone or by private industry and a knowledgeable populace. Then coerces us into giving it an exorbitant amount of money to perform those services. That is not right. And it hurts us.
A business must, by nature, make more money than it spends. It must be profitable in order for it to stay in business. When people talk about windfall profits and how we ought to tax businesses making more than there fair share, they illustrate only how imbecilic their own level of understanding is regarding the economy.
When a business operates effectively and efficiently and makes an immense profit, those large profits entice other businesses into the same market. When multiple businesses operate in the same market, they must give reason for their consumers to choose them over their competitor.
Competition drives prices lower, as this is the most visible way to differentiate ones product. Competition also drives quality up, as a second, very visible differentiation.
So because a market was allowed to become lucrative, the consumers have better access to cheaper and higher quality products. Sounds great to me.
And it’s not just looking on the outside, at the balance sheets of the business and on the store shelves, at the price tags.
Those businesses that make more profit are able to employ more and more skilled workers to further improve their products.
Sure, this is a sunny picture. But in the market, averages work out in favor of the sunny picture. Your job may indeed suck, but have you tried looking for one that doesn’t?
It may not be the best time, in the present economy, with government ham-handed handling of the economy stifling the recovery and prolonging this downturn. But there are still companies looking for workers.
Maybe leaving the big city, with is stifling regulation on top of already onerous federal meddling causes most businesses to fail or move away, to a smaller city which is more willing to lower it’s regulation and encourage businesses to build and hire is what needs to occur.
But when you hear a politician or government bureaucrat tell you that businesses must pay “their fair share”, remember that business may be employing you with the money the government wants to take.
And what the government takes, it does not give back readily.
Business Friendly means employee friendly.
Employee friendly means you have a job. A good job. One where the employer has the means to take care of you and compensate you well.
As for me, I’m already paying my fair share and more, and I’m getting fed up.
All I need is a pipe:
This was yesterday evening. I was actually reading Anna Karenina, not Tolkien’s Silmarillion. But the Tolkien book was better for the picture.
No Goliath (or GM) is too large to fail. Large things have extreme difficulty staying on top of the market when the free market is allowed run. When they stay nimble and able to anticipate demand, it’s good. But when they fail, they must be allowed to fail.
Any harm done in the failure of massive entities is more than undone in the growth allowed in the smaller upstarts in the newly opened market
Hundreds of people who spend years telling us their so smart we should trust them with our money and our futures, and then they can’t balance a budget on a geographic plateau with all the money they coerced out of us.
There should always be a combative attitude between producers and takers. Tax payers should never be accepting of the amount the tax takers try and take. And when people in position to take taxes have shown they will actually not pay their taxes when it serves them not to, they ought to be thrown out.
Or kept in so people like me can make a big stink about it.
In our increasingly government-controlled (-manipulated, -throttled, -ridden) economy, we get to see how people who do not believe in the free market expect the engines of American capitalism to run.
It’s not like we haven’t been able to see this before. After all, the 20th century is littered with the corpses of Command and Control Economies.
But this is the first (second: FDR tried really hard too with the alphabet soup of government agencies he successfully wielded to lengthen the Great Depression far beyond what it should’ve been) time we get to see what happens when our own beloved economy is ridden by the government to extremes we’ve not seen before.
Exhibit A is GM. Now bankrupt and after accepting huge loans from the government, the government will shortly own a majority of this company.
And now the revisionist history begins.
Today’s Bloomberg report on the bankruptcy, paragraph 1:
General Motors Corp. won court approval on its first day in bankruptcy to sell assets as soon as next month after collapsing under $172.8 billion in debt and failing to adapt to consumer demands for smaller cars.
All well and good except for one thing: Consumers are not necessarily demanding smaller cars.
Google “best selling cars” and you get a pretty consistent picture: trucks are selling well, and so are full-size sedans. The only compact cars in the top 10 of any list are the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, and they’re in the middle of the list. In the worst 10 selling lists are bloated SUVs such as the Hummer. No surprise there.
Green machines (hybrids and ultra-compacts) have always been a lethargic segment of the auto sales and they’ve suffered as much as anybody else with the economic issues.
The Bloomberg article was reworded shortly after initial press this morning and has dropped the bit about demand for small cars. (you can still find the original wording at this splog (spam blog) site that rips headlines to create content for itself. Not actually linking to prevent follow spam: http://itsp.info/index.php/2009/06/02/gm-bankruptcy-judge-approves-asset-sale-on-first-day-bloomberg.html).
One of the major plans of the now government owned GM is to increase production of one of the most lethargic segment of vehicle: ultra-compacts and small hybrids. From Bloomberg again:
One idle GM facility in the U.S. will be retooled to make small, fuel-efficient cars as part of an agreement with union workers, GM said May 29.
Now what kind of business is run by making cars for which there currently isn’t a real market?
Especially for a company emerging from bankruptcy, this kind of action is pointless and worse.
Unless the leadership of that company is aware of changing market conditions well beyond the awareness we’ve seen to date, or they know something we don’t.
Unfortunately for what appears to be the deepest desire of most the leadership in the Obama administration: you cannot control demand so long as there is choice.
The only way communist countries control demand is by controlling the entire market. And even when presented with only one option, they still usually get to choose whether or not to take it.
Because the government will very likely own 60% of GM, they will be very interested in one or both of these two options: running the company according to the ideology, and making a return on their investment.
The ideology of the current government makes those two options almost completely exclusive. You cannot control the market and demand in what is still, essentially, a free market.
My prediction: GM will continue hemorhaging money. Lots of money.
Our tax dollars will continue to be poured into the black hole of stagnating demand segments and poorly made vehicles.
Until the price fixing monopolistic unions are torn free and GM is free to hire talent at wages the market supports…
Until GM recognizes the necessity of meeting the market where it is instead of where it ought to be according to some Command Economy wet dream…
Until the free market is allowed to destroy those who do not adapt and innovate…
…We will continue to be force to send good money after bad. And we’ll be told we like it.
Americans should look carefully at the anti-politician, anti-government mood exhibited in California last week.
This vote is the second great signal that the American people are getting fed up with corrupt politicians, arrogant bureaucrats, greedy interests and incompetent, destructive government.
The elites ridiculed or ignored the first harbinger of rebellion, the recent tea parties. While it will be harder to ignore this massive anti-tax, anti-spending vote, they will attempt to do just that.
Voters in our largest state spoke unambiguously, but politicians and lobbyists in Sacramento are ignoring or rejecting the voters’ will, just as they are in Albany, N.Y., and Trenton, N.J. The states with huge government machines have basically moved beyond the control of the people. They have become castles of corruption, favoritism and wastefulness. These state governments are run by lobbyists for the various unions through bureaucracies seeking to impose the values of a militant left. Elections have become so rigged by big money and clever incumbents that the process of self-government is threatened.
Albany is even more corrupt and dysfunctional. The special interests that own the legislators in both parties have been exploiting New York for two generations. They have impoverished the Upstate region to the point where it is a vast zone of no jobs and no opportunities. Their predatory tax and bureaucratic union behavior is beginning to cripple New York City. More and more successful New Yorkers are leaving the state. In the face of multiple crises, Gov. David Paterson has shown himself incapable of carrying out reform.
…the machines don’t care because all they want to do is own the wreckage.
…look again at the 62 percent-plus majority in California in favor of smaller government and lower taxes.
In the great tradition of political movements rising against arrogant, corrupt elites, there will soon be a party of people rooting out the party of government. This party may be Republican; it may be Democratic; in some states it may be a third party. The politicians have been warned.
Read all about it: States have become castles of corruption
But Dan Walters, in the Sacramento Bee, says we shouldn’t be as upset as we are:
When… new taxes expire in a couple of years, Californians’ relative tax burden could also drop further – but if the economy is rising by then, it could also mean a surge of revenues even when the increased rates disappear.
If nothing else, these data indicate that while income and sales tax rates may make a difference, the economy is the biggest factor in how much tax Californians pay in aggregate.
When the economy rises, so do tax collections, and when it falls, revenues fall with it.
Walters asks if Californians taxes are too high or too low.
It’s not that the taxes are too high or too low, it’s the socio-political philosophy which supports such confiscatory policies and uses the money to pad pockets and entrench power.
H1N1 (swine) flu isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Gee, it’s just aweful when the bugbear doesn’t live up the trumped up claims the media seems to want us to believe.
The Illinois Public Health Director has not drunk the koolaid:
The Illinois Department of Public Health director told state lawmakers Tuesday that it’s important to remain vigilant in the face of the H1N1 flu virus, but fears of a pandemic flu are overblown.
“We have to keep these things in perspective, look at them rationally, know what the threat is and deal with it in a rational way. We know right now that this virus is acting very similarly to the regular seasonal flu,” said Dr. Damon T. Arnold, head of the state public health agency.
“At this juncture, this virus seems to be in a mild course,” Arnold said. “We’re recommending now that for routine cases you take care of yourself at home as you would for seasonal flu.”
As ShatteredChina wrote here earlier, fear is not a reasonable response to this flu.
Yet fear is a powerful tool. Those desiring power desire a fearful populace. When someone tells you to fear, they are seeking to gain power over you.
Fear not, we are told.
An unfearful populace is a strong populace. The Christian following the most frequent admonition of God is a person who cannot be lead by whim or desire of the power-hungry.
And the kids can go back to school now.
And big brother wishes we’d die younger.
Two reasons: It’s a sure fix for the Social Security cesspool, and they can adjust the artificial, age-graded stratifications of service wherein those with greater potential determined by mathematically “fair” judgments of age and expected longevity.
Just a few of the many benefits of the new socialized medicine system President Obama and the Democrats laid the groundwork for in the big spending bills they’ve been forcing us tax payers to swallow since he entered office:
- Reducing costs by “guiding” doctor decisions
- Doctors surrendering autonomy and learning to operate less like sole proprietors
- Establishes the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, whose goal would be to slow down new medications and techniques because these drive up costs
- Forcing the elderly to accept the realities of aging and surrendering certain advanced treatments
It’s being sold as the solution to our current health care system. But with our current system, if the old were forced out of treatments that would improve their lives, there would be an uproaor. If the government says they can’t be treated, who is there to turn to?
It always starts as something good:
As elsewhere, the combination of an aging population and the increasing cost of new technologies has started to put immense pressure on the French health system. But the French system of compulsory insurance – something for which many Democratic leaders are calling in America – acted as a Trojan horse, allowing the government to seize control over increasing areas of health care.
When costs became a political issue, the government mounted a cost crackdown. But instead of eliminating inefficiencies through greater individual responsibility, broader choice and more competition, the French government did precisely the opposite: It sought to control costs by fiat – that is, by piling on more bureaucracy.
But don’t worry: the Obamessiah will look out for each of us with the personal care of his omnipotent eye.
Oh, and it’s also why Obama is for lawful, government funded, unlimited and unrestricted abortion: fewer of us the government has to support.
President Obama bowing to the Saudis
His handlers ought to be shot, and he ought to go back to Junior High. Seriously, do the people he’s chosen to help him lead the greatest nation on God’s green earth have THIS little sense?
An iPod for Queenie
Same thing. Whoever allowed such an imbecilic, puerile gift to even make it on Air Force 1 ought to have their head checked. Against a wall. By a good hockey player. Repeatedly.
The amount the US is paying is skyrocketing and I’m going to be paying less. This doesn’t add up.
Having a son
Projects I’m working on
The CEF Chicago website: www.cefchicago.org
And a new website for my old church: (not done enough to show)
Something I’m frustrated about
That the Chicago Tea Party is being co-opted by (kinda conservative) radio station WLS for the political benefit of their own Dan Proft, a beneficiary of no-bid contracts in Cicero, a recovering corrupt town, with aspirations of being governor of Illinois.
This is turing from grassroots to gasroots.
In The Know: Should The Government Stop Dumping Money Into A Giant Hole?
From the Onion, Hat tip: Red Bits of Ephemera
Is it just me, or are people really not listening to our political candidates. I can understand people not listening to John McCain. He has nothing to say and has been using the same lame attacks for about three weeks now. However, why aren’t people listening to Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden. They have a ton to say. In fact, the more they talk, the more they reveal themselves. Here is one example and here is another example.
Some general talking points from these audio clips include:
- The Constitution doesn’t say what the federal government must do on my behalf. (Actually it does. It says that the federal government is to protect me and create an environment for me to prosper in. However, it condones little else.)
- The Supreme Court is wrong for not addressing the redistribution of wealth or the economic injustice in this society (My goodness, keep the courts out of this. If they courts [especially the Supreme Court] are supposed to interpret the Constitution, why would they even touch this issue seeing as it is not addressed in the Constitution.)
- Civil Rights movements didn’t break free from the constraints of the Constitution. (No, it redefined the Constitution to protect all citizens of the United States. It was not supposed to give give people the liberty to steal the money of hard working Americans.)
- The Constitution is actually a list of negative liberties. (Darn right it is. The Constitution was supposed to be a restraint on Government and all its dealings, not on the citizens. Remember where the founding fathers came from? Yah, they didn’t want an oppressive government.)
- The civil Rights movement didn’t do enough to bring about a “redistribution of uh, um, uh change” (you wanted to say wealth, right?)
- Redistribution of wealth is an administrative responsibility. ( Keep your butter finger government hands out of my pocket. You are supposed to do a good enough job for us to want to give you money, or at least not mind paying our taxes. That is the administrative role. Do a good job, earn our respect. Earn our dollar. Then manage the money to OUR advantage. But, since you can’t properly manage the redistribute halfway legitimate taxes [anyone remember Social Security], why would I want to trust you with the stealing and redistribution of my money.)
- The Constitution reflects “The” fundamental flaw that continues to this day. (What, the lack of a redistribution of wealth to the lazy or the down right racism that is rampant in all parts of the United States? Guess what, I have news for you, the majority of the U. S. is color blind now. Take a trip to California. It is hard to find racism there, unless it is directed at Mexican-Americans [and the African-Americans are the primary proponents of that racism]. However, Mr. Obama, you will find racism if you look for it. I mean, just look at the fact that estimates say that 95% of African-Americans will be voting for you.)
And here are a couple gems from this article.
People had a way of hearing what they wanted in Mr. Obama’s words. Earlier, after a long, tortured discussion about whether it was better to be called “black” or “African-American,” . . . According to Mr. Ogletree, students on each side of the debate thought he was endorsing their side. “Everyone was nodding, Oh, he agrees with me,” he said.
[In a Robotic Tone] Yes Master . . . Lead on oh Great One . . . The world will bow before your superior rhetoric . . .
But mainly, Mr. Obama stayed away from the extremes of campus debate, often choosing safe topics for his speeches. At the black law students’ annual conference, he exhorted students to remember the obligations that came with their privileged education. His speeches, delivered in the oratorical manner of a Baptist minister, were more memorable for style than substance, Mr. Mack said. “It’s the inspiration of the speech rather than the specific content,” he said.
Yes Great One . . . another great showing . . . your superior speaking ability sent shivers down my spine . . .
a mouse infestation at the review office provoked a long exchange about rodent rights — as well as some uncertainty about what Mr. Obama himself thought about the issue at hand.
In dozens of interviews, his friends said they could not remember his specific views from that era, beyond a general emphasis on diversity and social and economic justice.
Yes master . . . you listen to my needs . . . you know who I am and what I want . . . you will give me my deepest desire . . . All will see you as our Savior from . . . um, uh, um . . . What can you save us from, I didn’t hear that part?
In interviews, Mr. Obama was modest and careful. (In a rare slip, he told The Associated Press: “I’m not interested in the suburbs. The suburbs bore me.”)
Here’s to my blogging buddies across the ‘sphere…
To Neil from 4Simpsons:
Tax and free trade basics: Taxes affect behavior. You get less of what you tax. More tax on investments = less investments. More tax on businesses = less businesses to tax (and less employees to pay taxes and more people needing welfare).
To Wes at AnimateMatters:
Truth: I saw a bumper-sticker, today, that said:
“If Hillary Clinton is the answer, then it must have been a stupid question.”
Barb from XerraireArt:
Strange Bedfellows – Friends of Obama: “Life is partly what we make it, and partly what is made by the friends whom we choose.” ~ Tehyi Hsieh
Keeping the heat on everybodies (in Illinois) (least) favorite governor: The BloggingOnBlagoBlog:
Admitting you’re wrong is not easy – especially if you are running for Congress: Looks like once again Majority Leader Halvorson was able to slip by without any questioning as to why she personally stalled the previous ethics package for more than a year as Senate Rules Chairman, allowing Rod Blagojevich to continue raising money from state contractors.
More to come tomorrow.