An Outstanding Assessment

A very insightful piece from Simon Black.  I cannot add to this but to say, Mr. Black is spot on with his assessment of Americans today.

https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/new-poll-record-number-of-americans-want-more-government-in-their-lives-21388/?inf_contact_key=bca43013ae3658dd22297fe0e5837999bd3b2e4d6f6b2a81a9955af064c21ad9

April 24, 2017
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

In a poll conducted a few days ago by NBC News / Wall Street Journal, a record 57% of Americans responded that they want MORE government in their lives, and that the government should be doing more to solve people’s problems.

That’s the highest percentage since they started asking this question in 1995.

In fact, 57% is nearly double what people responded in the mid-90s.

Furthermore, the number of Americans who feel the opposite, i.e. responded that the government is doing too many things that should be left to private businesses and individuals, fell to a near record-low 39%.  

Bottom line: people want more government.

It’s hard to even know where to begin with this.

First- more government is nearly an impossibility.

As I’ve written several times in the past, the US federal government already spends almost all of its tax revenue on mandatory entitlements like Social Security, and interest on the debt.

They could literally cut nearly everything we think of as government– national parks, Homeland Security, even the IRS– and still not make a dent in paying down the national debt.

According to the US government’s own financial statements, their net operating loss in 2016 was an unbelievable $1.05 TRILLION.

Think about that– they lost more than a trillion dollars in a completely unremarkable year.

They weren’t waging world war, funding a major infrastructure project, or dealing with an economic crisis.

It was just business as usual. And they STILL lost over a trillion dollars.

More government is going to cost even more money that they don’t have… which means even more debt and even more pain in the future.

The usual refrain is to pay for more government programs by raising taxes on the rich, or big corporations, or whoever the evil villain du jour is.

Anyone who thinks this actually works needs to study history.

Simply put, RAISING TAXES DOES NOT RAISE TAX REVENUE.

I wish every Bernie Sanders voter could understand this very simple fact:

Since the end of World War II, US federal government tax revenue as a percentage of GDP has been nearly constant at 17%.

In other words, while the actual dollar amount of tax revenue goes up every year due to inflation and economic expansion, the government’s slice of the total economic pie is 17%.

Yet during the previous eight decades, actual -tax rates- have been all over the board– sometimes rates were higher, sometimes rates were lower.

Back in 1963, for example, the highest marginal tax rate on individuals exceeded an unbelievable 90%.

I’m sure there are plenty of Americans who would love to see the wealthiest citizens paying 90% again.

Yet in 1963, even with rates that high, the total amount of tax revenue that the US government collected was 16.7% of GDP.

In 1988 when the highest tax rate was slashed to just 28% under Ronald Reagan, total tax revenue 17.3% of GDP.
 
It doesn’t matter if tax rates were high or low– the actual tax revenue that the government collects stays constant at around 17% of GDP.

This raises a point that these socialists never seem to understand:

If the government’s slice of the pie never seems to change no matter how high or how low tax rates are, shouldn’t they focus on making the pie bigger?

Duh.

And it seems intuitive that higher taxes obstruct economic growth (i.e. make the pie smaller) because there’s less money in people’s pockets to spend and invest.

Then, of course, we have to touch on the issue of competence.

It’s absurd to want a government that has a nearly interminable track record of overreach, waste, and failure, to be even MORE involved in people’s lives.

We’re talking about the same institution that wastes taxpayer money to study monkeys on treadmills…

… or spent $1 billion to destroy $16 billion worth of perfectly good ammunition…

… or $2 billion to build a website.
 
It’s extraordinary that these people are already in charge of educating our children, regulating our savings, and now our medical care.

It’s even more appalling that given such dismal performance people want more.

As the old saying goes, the classic definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

A final point I’ll mention is that it’s concerning to see people in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave expect the government to solve their problems.

What ever happened to self-reliance? The pioneering spirit? Good ole’ American can-do ingenuity?

In truth there are countless ways for a motivated person to solve problems. Or at least to make forward progress.

For example, to all these kids that have their hands out demanding free university education, I always ask the same questions:

How many books did you read in the last twelve months?

How many FREE online courses from Harvard and MIT did you take?

Are you actually doing anything to help yourself? Or are you just whining on social media about how no one is giving you anything for free?

America was founded as a place where people take responsibility for themselves.

But this now seems to be an outdated, minority view.

The Land of the Free is truly becoming the Land of Getting Free Stuff.

 

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black

Founder, SovereignMan.com

I was wrong, some places in America are totalitarian already

Leftist-statist fascism is in the news daily and there is no more non-tolerant place than American college campuses. These left leaning institutions have always supported state control of the economy and redistribution policy however, since the 2016 election, the statists have moved to a proscription against speech and freedom of association.

This contagion has spread beyond the traditional east and west coast statist bastions to small lower tier educational institutions in the Midwest.

A story on ZeroHedge,  Conservative Students “Violently Threatened” At Lutheran College

spoke of a situation that could have been reported in 1930s Nazi Germany.  This story is upsetting to any freedom loving American but it gets worse. There is a strong move among these same statists to create an economic crisis by not paying their obligations and then, get taxpayers to foot the bill for their obligated student loan debt.

Students Demand “Sanctuary” From Immigration Laws, Student Loan Debt, And Finals

The First Crack: $270 Billion In Student Loans Are At Least 30 Days Delinquent

Next Mega-Bailout On Deck: White House Studying “New Bankruptcy Options” For Student-Loan Borrowers

At 108 US Colleges, More Than Half Of Students Haven’t Paid Even $1 On Their Student Loans

The Student Loan Write-offs Have Begun: 78,000 Students File For Debt Discharge After Corinthian Closures

24% Of Millennials “Expect” Student Loan Forgiveness

“Cancel All Student Debt” – The Petitions Begin

To correct this we must remove the state from any and all influence in higher education and enforce the rights expressed in the US Constitution. Failure to do so will result in a loss of freedom and a very large tax bill to bailout students by paying off their debt.

America is moving towards totalitarianism

The days of freedom are fading fast in America. Our access to information will be further filtered by the government via a statist supported corporation. Lest you believe this libertarian is over reacting, please consider the announcement by Google today.

Google adds tool to flag ‘offensive’ search results

What any freedom loving American should be afraid of is the following:

The review teams — comprised of contractors known as “quality raters” — already comb through websites and other content to flag questionable items such as pornography. Google added “upsetting-offensive” in its latest guidelines for quality raters. Google declined to comment on the changes, which were reported in the blog Search Engine Land and elsewhere.

This begs the question, who decides what is “upsetting-offensive”?  One will have to be quite naïve to think the new filters will not favor statist information and positions over facts and free thought given Google’s connections with the state.  Look at this dated article and shudder, it is likely even more connected to the state today. In a old 2010 piece on techeye.net, the links between Google and the state are immense.

Google’s connections to the Federal Government listed

Some background. Google’s DC office contains 30 employees, nine of whom are registered lobbyists. In addition to this, Google has hired six to seven lobbying firms. Four management-level Google employees have accepted positions within the Obama Administration, and Eric Schmidt, CEO, and John Doerr, Board Member, served as Obama appointees on a key advisory board.

Given this, please support libertarian candidates even if they are lacking in purity.

 

 

Beware – statists strike again

In their misguided attempt to ‘help’ low wage earners, statists have increased the minimum wage to the point where Wendy’s, the Dublin based fast food company, is reducing their purchases of minimum wage labor and  instead, adopting automated Kiosks where customers can place orders to reduce labor costs. These Kiosks will likely replace many minimum wage workers and will spread beyond Wendy’s.

“Last year was tough — 5 percent wage inflation,” said Bob Wright, Wendy’s chief operating officer, during his presentation to investors and analysts last week. He added that the company expects wages to rise 4 percent in 2017. “But the real question is what are we doing about it?”kiosk

Wright noted that over the past two years, Wendy’s has figured out how to eliminate 31 hours of labor per week from its restaurants and is now working to use technology, such as kiosks, to increase efficiency.1

When will statists ever learn basic economic principles? If labor costs rise and the business owner cannot raise their prices to offset the rise in their costs, they will cut costs.

Source:

  1. Malone, J. D. “Wendy’s to install ordering kiosks in 1,000 stores this year.” Columbus Dispatch. N.p., 28 Feb. 2017. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

2nd law of thermodynamics

In the study of physics and thermodynamics, one is exposed to various laws.   The second law of thermodynamics comes to mind when looking at today’s political situation.

The law itself is complex however, it can simplify to:

Heat always flows spontaneously from hotter to colder bodies, and never the reverse, unless external work is performed on the system.1

or politically stated, the second law of thermodynamics can simplify to:

Angst within the American political system caused by Obama’s statist failures generated a great deal of heat. This heat or dissatisfaction within our nation flows spontaneously from its source, the statists, to colder bodies, defined as anyone coming out against the statist status quo. Today, that colder body is represented by president Donald Trump.

The colossal failure of the last administration generated the heat within our nation and now that heat or dissatisfaction of our current system is flowing to president Trump. According to Gallup, team Obama’s average popularity was lower than that of Richard Nixon.2  Looking back to president Nixon’s time, there was a great deal of heat or angst within the system but today, Obama’s failures have caused even more heat and danger to our system.

Finishing this metaphor shows the second law of thermodynamics states that this heat will flow to a colder object within the American system unless external work is performed on the system.  This work would have to be significant and take the system to either a totalitarian state or to liberty as envisioned by our nation’s founders. I personally hope it is the later.

  1. “Second Law of Thermodynamics.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2017.
  2. Jones, Jeffery M. “Obama Averages 47.9% Job Approval as President.” Gallup.com. N.p., 20 Jan. 2017. Web. 29 Jan. 2017.

Government and food

The following graphic clearly shows how entrenched the state is in everyday life.1  They currently provide some level of sustenance to over 43 million people. How much more can the state become involved in Americans’ life; this is food, an essential for the maintenance of human life, that is being doled out by the Federal Government to its subjects.

The growth of the number of Americans participating in SNAP has risen significantly since the ‘so-called end’ of the Great Recession. This is preposterous and violates common economic principles.

A few simple questions come to mind as one tries to understand the need for growth in this behemoth, $70B, state sponsored program in non-recessionary times.2

Question 1: If the Great Recession has ended, why did the SNAP program continue to grow?

Question 2: If the answer to question number one is that the Great Recession is not over is the Federal Government lying to the American people about the condition of the economy?

Question 3: If the Great Recession has ended as the Federal Government has stipulated, is the growth in SNAP due to the statists’ desire to create dependence and thus control over its citizens?

As in the case of most issues, the truth is likely found in the middle ground.  The Federal Government’s economic numbers are often fraudulent or at a minimum, do not reflect reality. Additionally, the state must force dependency upon its citizens to continue to survive.  Simply put, the economic conditions in American are not all that great as they are purported to be and the state, in order to grow its control over its citizens, wants more people dependent upon the state such that they will be forced to choose the state over economic freedom and personal liberty.

Sources

  1. “Food-Stamp Recipients Can Now Order From Amazon, Other Online Retailers.” Zero Hedge. Judicial Watch, 16 Jan. 2017. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.
  2. United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General. “3.10. Administrative Costs.” (n.d.): n. page. US Department of Agriculture. United States Government, Sept. 2016. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.

Lost liberty

Americans must awaken from their slumber, jump out of the boiling water, remove themselves from the slippery slope or whatever metaphor you so desire to really understand that we are losing our liberty.

Another example of government overreach was reported today. A Roseville, Michigan man was actually ticketed for warming up his unattended automobile.  This was not the case of a car being left unattended on a public street idling while its owner was nursing a beer at last call. No, this auto was in the man’s own driveway. This so called crime cost him $128 for the ticket but more importantly, this theft of personal liberty demonstrates how intrusive our government at all levels has become.

To see the story, please go to the WXYZ TV website.