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Economics 102 February 22, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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3 comments

People avoid silence because they’re afraid of what they might hear.   Although we value our freedom of speech, polite conversation in America is subject to one crushing rule, “Don’t talk about religion or politics!”  Most of us were raised with this stifling warning in our ears.  The purpose was to avoid arguments at the dinner table but the result is a population unconcerned in the two subjects affecting life the most.  I can only talk about the weather for so long which displays the wisdom of memorizing sports stats and watching American Idol.  With the two biggest topics off the table we’re faced with either trivial pursuit or silence.  Bored with the weather and having neglected my memorization and viewing options I propose a topic to stimulate vigorous conversation without causing any bickering: economics.

Barry, Harry, and Nancy knew they had to take us through-the-looking-glass in four short years.  With no effective break on their power for the first two years, Congress moved so fast their yesterday became our tomorrow.  That tomorrow is now today.  The ruling party rammed their agenda through without one opposition vote.  Every revolution needs an emergency to justify radical surgery and the economy is the emergency available. Consequently, these descendants of FDR and LBJ shoved a raw deal down the throat of a great society.

Almost everyone is in agreement that the first stimulus failed.  According to MSNBC, “In January, Obama’s economic team predicted unemployment would rise no higher than 8 percent with the help of $787 billion in new government spending.”  However, according to the LA Times the unemployment rate in May reached a 25-year high of 9.4 percent.  The President may see glimmers of hope but Say-it Ain’t-So Joe said he couldn’t rule out a second stimulus telling us the administration which ran on the slogan, “The worst economy since the Great Depression” misread how bad the economy was.  How bad is it?  What’s worse than the Great Depression?  What’s their answer to this baddest of bad economies?  What’s their Plan B?  Try Plan A again, and again, and again?  I think what our leaders need as they drive the largest economy the world has ever known over the cliff is Economics 102, Macroeconomics or how an economy works.

Most people, including the best-government-money-can-buy, look at the economy as if it were controlled by magic having no idea where the rabbit goes or where the doves come from, and since I doubt I’ll convince any of our all-knowing leaders to enroll in freshman macroeconomics I want to offer a crash course in Economic Reality.

  1. Government regulations distort markets and inflate bubbles.
  2. Every generation experiences at least one bubble and at least one bust.
  3. Every bubble bursts.
  4. Every burst bubble is followed by a panic.
  5. Panics inspire economic regulations.
  6. Economic regulations reflect political ideologies not economic realities.
  7. Economic regulations always regulate the excesses of the last bubble.
  8.  Economic regulations are always blind to the excesses of the next bubble.
  9. Since consumption is the purpose for production any economic regulation that ignores this fact always leads to the misapplication of resources and the misdirection of effort.

10. Depressions are recessions with government help.

11. It is impossible to spend yourself into prosperity.

12. It is impossible to tax yourself into prosperity.

13. Higher taxes lead to smaller revenue and black-markets.

The New Economy leads straight to the Second World, from freedom to conformity from capitalism to Obamanomics.  Instead of a fair race with the rapidly transforming economies of Asia, America runs hobbled like a child in a three – legged race strapped to the stiff-legged ideas of collectivism.

Why would our leaders want us economically hobbled?  What would they gain if we fall into the swamp of poverty engulfing most of the world?  Wouldn’t they be right there with us?  Go to any Second or Third World country and you’ll see the rich and powerful behind walls in gated-communities where they live in the First World while everyone else sits in the dust eating leaves.  In America, we avoided this fate with the growth of a massive middleclass.  Under assault with stagnant wages, rising prices, and disappearing jobs the middleclass is being outsourced.  How is this being accomplished?

Remember the mantra of the Clintons?  “It’s the economy stupid!” That’s still the Liberal’s strategy, riding like a flea on a rat cradle-to-grave social engineering in the guise of economic policy.  The Progressives drive the economy into the ditch all the while saying it is someone else’s fault and shrieking that we need more of what is causing the problem: bloated government and runaway spending.  A lack of basic economic understanding is destroying the greatest economy ever forged.  A zero sum game causes divisions and arguments about who gets what when we used to all strive for the same thing: success.

America is splintering as the melting pot becomes a smelting pot.  What is its cause?  The divisiveness of class-warfare encouraged by the only people who win through America’s split between red and blue, rich and poor, us and them.  Who are they?  If it isn’t us I guess it’s them.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

A World Filled With Strangers Keeps Getting Stranger July 11, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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3 comments

Some people believe in the Six Degrees of Separation Theory: the idea that everyone in the world is separated from everyone else by six links.  Some people believe all of us are in this thing together, and that diversity is our strength and I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

Even if we are all connected in ways we cannot know I believe the world is filled with strangers.  Take a ride and as you pass through country, town, and city you are constantly presented with the faces of people you will never know, and all of whom have lives and families that will never know you or your life or your family.  Every day we see people we have never seen before and will never see again.  They rise out of the mist beyond the pale of our personal knowledge and immediately are submerged again never to rise again.  Our only connection will forever be that one fleeting moment when we moved through a single frame of the separate sagas which are our lives.

Unlike Cain I do believe we are our brother’s keeper, and unlike Scrooge I believe we should help our brothers in need instead of seeing them boiled with their own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through their hearts.  However, unlike the rhetoric of Marx, Lenin, and President Obama I do not believe that life should operate on the basis of from each according to their ability to each according to their need, or as we say in America today, spreading the wealth around.  In other words, I am not a socialist.  I believe in personal liberty, individual freedom, and economic opportunity.  Sadly I find myself out of phase with the Progressive Clique which has successfully maneuvered its way to power using the education system, the media, and uninformed, uninvolved, and emotional voters.

Out of phase or not, I believe in the equality of opportunity which gives everyone a shot at success as opposed to the equality of outcome which our Leader and his fellow travelers wish to foist upon us, and which gives everyone the assurance of mediocrity.   No matter the consequence, no matter the sacrifice we must stand up for what we believe or we will stand by while our nation is transformed into what we won’t be able to believe is still called the United States of America.

Day by day the bean counting pencil pushers who make up the nameless faceless bureaucracy grind out rule after rule and regulation after regulation.  President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, Obamacare, is already churning out thousands upon thousands of pages of federal requirements all meant to fill in the blanks in a 2600 page bill that we had to pass to find out what was in it.

Hope and change has become bait and switch.  Mr. Obama isn’t even trying to win votes from those who disagree with him.  He isn’t trying to change minds. He is trying to buy votes.  He is betting that generations of entitlements have finally birthed the lumpen proletariat that his theories of government proclaim must exist for History to reach its summit.  He is betting his second term on the belief that there are now enough people dependent upon the government that they will vote for a handout instead of voting for a hand up.  He is betting that America has been dumbed down enough and bribed enough to trade our heritage of freedom for the yoke of a guaranteed something instead of the opportunity for everything.

Class warfare, penalizing success, dividing America into interest groups and voter blocks this is the strategy Mr. Obama thinks will win as he works to build a coalition of leftist intellectuals and those convinced they are disenfranchised.  Looking at the polls it appears he has the solid core of 40+% who will vote for a Democrat even if he is the devil himself.  The question is will the unengaged and uninformed voters who should at least hope he will change when combined with the illegals and the dead who at least get to vote in Chicago be enough for him to win?

Can you imagine what a second Obama term will look like won on the basis of a promise to double down on social democracy, a complete disregard for the balance of power, and a desire to totally transform America?  What will be left of the America we have known?  How would we ever get back to where we came from?  No entitlement once enacted has ever been repealed.  The size of government never shrinks.  The power it usurps from the people and the States is never surrendered.

A world filled with strangers keeps getting stranger all the time.  No matter how many degrees of separation we should never be as divided as our Dear Leader tries to portray us.  We are Americans, and we can do better than this.  Reject the siren song of free entitlements which are never free, and embrace the liberty our forefathers won for us.  Let us renew the great experiment in human freedom and strive to see our nation rise again to be the last best hope of man that it is meant to be.  The shining city on a hill that can light the way to a future worthy of free men and women held together by unity not united in our separation.

Even if it takes more than six degrees of separation to connect to others what does it matter how connected we are to people around the world if we are in terminal disagreement with our fellow Americans?  As a nation we are divided between those who want to strive to achieve and those who thrive because they receive.  The Progressives have bred generations of passive takers who believe they are entitled to the fruit of others’ labor.  They pay no taxes so they don’t care how high taxes go.  They have no conception of paying for what you have, so they don’t care about the national debt.  They see America as a vending machine, so they don’t believe in our unique place in History.  They desire a shabby world of bread and circuses based on equality of outcome, so they don’t long to be all they can be..

Those of us who want America to be what America has been and what it should be, the home of the brave and the land of the free, can’t let divisions divide us anymore!  We must unite to save liberty or we will stand alone at the end of the day.  We may be strangers to one another.  We may not know each other but if we are fellow believers in the personal liberty, individual freedom, and economic opportunity we must unite over what connects us to save what has always made us E PLURIBUS UNUM.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

 

What’s Mine is Mine What’ s Yours is Negotiable May 17, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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5 comments

The economy is scheduled to plunge off a cliff in January.

Back in the first two years after the Progressive’s November Revolution of 2008, the big government party enacted tax increases not scheduled to take place until after the 2012 elections. They also passed Obamacare which carries within it multiple tax increases, which are also scheduled to take affect after the 2012 election.  Combine these with previous tax rollbacks scheduled to expire in January 2013 and we are looking at the major economic crisis the progressives have worked so hard to create so they can then work so hard to solve.

In 2010 the voters got a chance to let the central planners know what they thought of what had been done with the power entrusted to them in 2008.  However, with only one house of Congress in Republican hands they were unable to reverse any of the changes made in the first two years of the Obama administration, so come January we hit the wall.

This manufactured economic crisis will be used by the triumphant Progressives as proof that capitalism doesn’t work.  Then following their play book, since too much government wrecked the economy we need more government to fix the economy.  They will tighten the already strangulating regulatory straight jacket.  If Obamacare is upheld and implemented, within a few years it will kill the private insurance industry as company after company figures out it is cheaper to pay the fines imposed than purchase the insurance required.  The flight of paying customers from the private insurance companies will force them into bankruptcy.  Remember even if they used deceptive language at the moment of passing the bill President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid were on the record many times saying what they were aiming at was a single payer European type healthcare system.  And we can all see how well that is working out for the Europeans.

They will also use the failure of the insurance industry as more proof that capitalism doesn’t work.

As President Obama travels around the country inciting class warfare with his constant attacks on the millionaires and billionaires which he tells us aren’t paying their fair share he continues to accept vast amounts of money from those same millionaires and billionaires.  While his administration imposes regulation after regulation that every day makes it harder to start new businesses, maintain or expand small businesses he turns a blind eye to the continued casino like atmosphere at the largest banks: the ones that are too big to fail and which should be too big to bail.

The largest bank in the country, J. P. Morgan Chase just lost another couple of billions in risky credit derivatives that their own chairman says were ill-conceived, poorly executed, and not managed very well.  This is the same bank that President Obama says is one the best run banks in America and the same chairman who has visited the Whitehouse at least 18 times since 2009..  The Chairman of the Board Jamie Diamom, the one in charge when all the poor execution was going on was just voted 23 million dollars in compensation while the stockholders take it in the wallet.

Crony capitalism, where the public takes the risk and bears the loss while the cronies who contribute money to the politicians reap the benefits is alive and well.  Favored corporation such as GE whose chairman, Jeffrey R. Immelt serves on the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness makes billions in profit and often pays nothing in taxes.  Personally I believe there should be no corporate taxes since they are in reality double taxation but taxing some while exempting others is the worst kind of Corporatism and the President merely uses this system to reward donors and then turns around and attacks this pay-to-play system as an example of the rich not paying their fair share.

There is a con game going on.  Straw men are being set up only to be knocked down.  Our fellow Americans who get their news from Jay Leno and the Daily Show have no idea what is being done.  They swallow the party line as belched out by the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media and troop to the polls to vote for the same party their fathers and grandfathers voted for.  But the major parties today aren’t ideologically, organizationally, or in practice the same parties America has known.

Neither party stands for smaller government, individual freedom, and economic opportunity.  At one time they both stood for these fundamentally American concepts.  Operating like the twin heads of one bird of prey, both major parties expand the government and add to the regulatory burden which is changing America from the Land of the Free into a totalitarian morass that is stagnating its way from the first world to the second world.

From the beginning of the primary process it was obvious that Romney was the anointed choice of the establishment Republicans and the media.  Now that he has been all but chosen it is time for the Democrats to scare up a third party somewhere somehow.  President Obama’s record of socialist accomplishments is so stunning it has even aroused enough of the politically comatose to push him back to the 40+% of the electorate who would vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for anyone except a Democrat.  He has lost the independents and the undecided.  His only chance for victory is a third party, so there will be a third party even if the Democrats have to invent it and pay for it themselves.

As the big day, the day when we as voters will get a chance to reverse the November Revolution of 2008, watch as a third party emerges, well-funded and well prepared.  This third party will say all the right things.  They will come across as conservative ideologically and economically.  They will probably even try to portray themselves as the organized expression of the thousands of independent Tea Parties across the country.

No third party has won a presidential election in America since 1860.  The rules have been rigged, and so many people vote instinctively for the party their fathers voted for the odds of a third party winning are close to the odds of winning the power ball.

If the progressives win one more election they will cement in their transformation of America from a land based on equal opportunity to a land of based on equal outcome.  Everyone gets the same thing except of course for those who divvy up the swag.  Those who divide what they take from the producers to give to the non-producers always seem to end up with everything while everyone else gets just enough to get by long enough to produce something else that can be expropriated by an all-powerful central government.

The Progressives who have taken control of America act as if all the money we earn is theirs and the only debate is about how much they will let us keep.  And they constantly remind us that the government can’t afford to leave us with too much money.  If they did we wouldn’t be dependent on them.

Maybe we should change the motto from E Pluribus Unum to What’s Mine is Mine What’s Yours is Negotiable.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

 

 

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