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Who Will Win the War Against Income Inequality? January 17, 2014

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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From each according to their ability to each according to their need was the hollow promise of the Soviet Union.  It was long known to be merely the cover for a ruthless Communist Party that pretended to build a worker’s paradise while in fact enslaving a nation for its own gain.

Today this infamous lie has been resurrected in America as the war against income inequality.

The war on poverty has failed.  After decades of propaganda, trillions of dollars, and tens of thousands of regulations there is no less poverty in America than when LBJ sounded the charge of the contrite brigade. Of course it was a shell game all along.  The idea that you could take money out of one pocket and put it in another while dropping some along the way aptly describes the effort to tax the rich to alleviate poverty.  If all the money that has been expropriated to end poverty had been given directly to the poor we would have ended poverty.

However this isn’t what happened.  It was never what was intended to happen.  It will never happen because instead of a direct wealth transfer the loot is filtered through politicians, programs and bureaucrats who all siphon off enough to make sure the pennies that eventually dribble out of the welfare pipeline have little resemblance to the dollars that went in. They certainly don’t want to actually eliminate the poor since their campaign slogans and their jobs would evaporate with them.

Anyone who has ever stood hat-in-hand at a welfare office knows the scorn dished out with the meager fare always makes the meal a little less satisfying than imagined.  Jesus told us that “The poor will always be with you.”  Yet somehow the political savants who hold sway are always able to convince the low information voters that they will end poverty, or as we call it today, income inequality.

The only equality that is compatible with freedom is equality before the law.  By this I mean that whenever society, as expressed through government, makes rules they should apply to everyone the same.  In other words if a millionaire commits murder and a homeless person commits murder they should both stand before the same tribunal charged with the same crime.  Or if a tax is passed everyone should pay the same percentage.  We know that in the first case the difference between a dream team of lawyers and a public defender may mitigate the equality just as in the second case a progressive tax system will distort it.  However, this goal of equality before the law is the only one where actual equality is what is required to make it work.

All other types of equality, of income or opportunity or outcome require inequality.  If this sounds like circular thinking don’t be surprised; it is.

Since people are obviously not equal in talents, abilities, resources or nature the only way to make everyone start in the same place and end up in the same place is to treat them differently.  Some must be slowed down and some must be artificially pushed forward.  Some must get less than they earn so that some can get more.  This is the dirty little secret hidden behind the campaign slogan to end income inequality.  In reality it is just another way to describe income redistribution or as our president calls it, “Spread the wealth around.”

Those who make their living selling these illusions are supported by those who make their livings distributing the loot and by all those who think they will get something for nothing.   Unfortunately after generations of Progressive education, incremental socialism, and the sloth that is the bread by the bread and circus culture of the couch potato this may now be a majority of the votes counted.

Having sunk beneath the contempt of the Russian people and drown in the red capitalism of the Chinese it seems as if the infection of class envy co-joined to state power has emerged from the faculty lounge and fastened its death grip on America.  In the 2012 election the campaign slogan, “GM is alive and Bin Laden is dead” trumped a devastated economy to re-elect the inspiration of the IRS and the excuser of Benghazi.  If the war against income inequality proves the media enhanced key to return Nancy Pelosi to the Speakership and retain Harry Reid as the agenda setting leader of the Senate the Progressives will know they have two years to seal the deal.

We will still call it the United States of America.  We will still tell ourselves we are free, prosperous, and powerful however we may all be whistling in the wind.  Our politicians may win their war to end income inequality as they seek an American version of a worker’s paradise.  The comatose voters may even notice that things aren’t quite like they used to be, but then half-time will be over and that will be that.

Look at the results of the 2012 election.  GM is moving overseas after ripping off the American tax payers.  Al-Qaeda is marching to victory.  Think about the pledge that gained passage for Obamacare, “If you like you plan you can keep your plan.  Period.”  Reflect on this swindle and ask yourself how equal will anything be if we swallow the next big lie: ending income inequality.  Ask yourself who will win the war against income inequality.  The answer is those who distribute the loot will keep the lion’s share.

 

As an added bonus this war against income inequality as a campaign tool to fool the masses is leading us further into the unconstitutional waters our president has sailed for so long.  Brazenly saying, “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.”

The question here is, “Will anyone in the House have the courage to do something about it?”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Why I am No Longer a Conservative Republican May 3, 2013

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Maybe it’s just me but I’m tired of the same old same old in our politics.  The big-box monopoly parties have morphed into two sides of the same coin, two heads on the same bird of prey.  Today our choice boils down to the Conservative Republican tax and spend, infringe personal liberty, and outsource or sovereignty policies or the Liberal Democrat tax and spend, infringe personal liberty, and outsource or sovereignty policies.  But of course, since we don’t want to throw away our vote we must vote for one of the big boys.   Conservative?  Liberal?  Tweedle Dee Or Tweedle Dum?

As a voter I’ve had my Damascus Road experience, the scales have fallen from my eyes, and I have reached the point where I would rather throw away my vote voting for someone who might actually try to find a different way to operate our government besides taxing like the Sun King and spending like a drunken sailor.  (By the way, do you know the difference between how a drunken sailor spends and how the Republicrats spend?  The drunken sailor is spending his own money.)

And what might this different way be?   How about this for radical: let’s return to constitutional government?   WOW!  what a concept.

How did we arrive at the current situation?  James Madison in his speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788 said, “There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.”  We didn’t get here all in one jump.  First the camel said, “Can I just stick my nose in your tent to stay warm?” and finally the generous man found himself out in the cold as the camel settled down for a nice warm nap, one inch at a time.

The compassion of our people built a safety net for those who needed help, and the greed of the lazy have turned it into a hammock.  America, the Land of the Free has turned into America, from each according to their abilities to each according to their need. The willingness to share our heritage has led America to welcome more immigrants each year than the rest of the world combined, and the abuse of our generosity has turned into a migration invasion that threatens to overwhelm us and destroy the future of our children.  Taxes imposed to meet the ever-swelling demands of government have turned into a blatant wealth re-distribution program that makes most pyramid schemes look fair.  Sometimes I think our government looks at a productive citizen as merely a source of residual income.  Or as the ads promise, our leaders lay on the beach of self-importance and our checks just keep pouring in.  We are no longer respected as Citizens.  Instead, we are coveted as consumers, or human capital.

Albert Einstein said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

If we want a different world we have to start at the only place we have the absolute sovereign ability to make a change, we must start with ourselves.

I quit the Republican Party once it was obvious that the Republican majority in Congress I had spent my entire adult life working for was just a change in leadership and not a change in direction.  I quit calling myself a conservative after the second Bush debacle made it obvious that the conservative movement had been hijacked by the neocons and I realized that you can’t defend a captured position.  You can’t conserve what has already been lost.   I realized that we as a people, we as a federation of States need to find a different way.

One thing I know, no one person can do this alone.  No one group can do it.  To make any headway in the face of the electoral monopoly held by the party of power the many third party groups are going to have to coalesce into en effective opposition.  We can’t let divisions divide us any more, egos will have to be suppressed, and we will have to bond together with everyone dedicated to limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.

None of us can roll this big rock up this steep hill by ourselves.  However, together we can.

Winston Churchill said, “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival.  There may be a worse case.  You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

Looking at the increasing speed with which the Progressive regime is building its command and control structure, the future is invading the present at an ever accelerating pace.  Their living document has made the Constitution a dead letter.  Their mixed economy has as many people on the dole as on the job.  The Fed’s printing press is burying us, our children, and their grandchildren taking out a mortgage on lives that haven’t been lived and spending money from taxes on work that hasn’t been done.

We must unite if these United States are to once again become the land of the free and the home of the brave instead of the land of the free lunch and the home of the knave.

Quoting  Ben Franklin, “We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.”

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

Is the Inertia Greater Than the Momentum ? August 2, 2012

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The causes of our problems are not hard to see.  Americans aren’t obese because evil restauranteers are forcing them to eat fried butter on a stick.  We are bulging at the seams because we eat too much and exercise too little.  Americans aren’t trapped in upside down mortgages because evil bankers waylaid us and forced us to sign up for a house that was too big and cost too much.  We’re living in homes we can’t afford because we wanted them and thought we deserved them even though we didn’t have an income that could support them.  Americans aren’t buried in personal debt because credit card companies mailed us credit cards.  We carry an average of $14,517 household debt because we wanted what we wanted when we wanted it and couldn’t wait until we could pay for it.  And America isn’t drowning in national debt because we did anything more difficult to understand than electing people who bought our votes with entitlements we didn’t need and couldn’t afford.

The problem isn’t that we don’t know the answers.  Instead it’s that we don’t want to face up to the fact that the free ride has to stop if we’re going to get off before we land in Athens.  America’s economy is beginning to resemble one of those increasingly ridiculous action movies where the hero gets blown up, shot, stabbed, and hit with a brick only to jump up ready to roll.  Every time a bubble bursts instead of allowing the economy to bottom out and correct itself the Government spends as it borrows from foreign countries and the Fed creates money out of thin air to pay for it.  It’s time our leaders learn we have learned that blowing up a bubble to take the place of the last burst bubble is not building an economy.

As boom and bust turned into boom to boom to boom we have inevitably made our way to KABOOM!!!

The coming crash in this double dip dilemma is going to be a double whammy.  We are currently blowing up a new financial bubble providing Fed funds at near zero % that the banks then loan out at 3-4% pumping more and more money into the system.  And in a reprise of the 2000 dot.com crash the social media bubble is once again giving us billion dollar companies that aren’t making any money for anyone except the gamblers in the stock market casino.

The Federal Government keeps inflating bubbles to avoid the real crash so they can continue to buy votes with entitlements and pay for them with funny money.  This postpones paying the piper, but it increase the bill when it finally comes.

Today the government Leviathan is devouring America’s income.  In 2012 it’s estimated that the central government will consume 24 % of GDP kicking back 4% to the States and localities, the States will swallow 10% of GDP, and the local entities will inhale 11%.  Subtracting the 4% Federal to State shell game and the governance of America is today costing us 40% of America’s production.  On top of that the regulatory burden grows heavier every day until everyone everywhere is in violation of something.  And we wonder why industry isn’t expanding?  When you eat your seed corn and make impossible to follow guidelines for planting you can’t expect a bumper crop.

With money pouring out of a 5” hose how can anyone take the politicians promises to cut the deficit and reduce the debt seriously?  The most draconian plans suggested so far, such as Representative Ryan’s doesn’t balance until 2040 and that is only if future politicians decide to play nice and not buy votes with free goodies which is about as likely as a dog with fleas not scratching.

That’s the problem: a dysfunctional government made up of kleptomaniacs writing phony checks on the future and a population addicted to easy money and unfunded entitlements.

What’s the solution?  We as a people must kick the entitlement habit.  Like any addiction our national addiction to freebees has debilitated us.  It has made us dependent on the outside stimulus.  Where once families and churches took care of the needy we have been taught for generations that Uncle Sugar will do it, so we have let Uncle Sugar do it.  How has that worked out?  Ever since the government bureaucrats have stepped between the givers and the receivers welfare hasn’t been well and it isn’t fair.  Many of us know people who need help who are denied and people who should be helping themselves who are riding in their Cadillacs to spend their food stamps.

After more than 15 trillion dollars and four decades of a war on poverty the percentage of Americans below the poverty line is higher than it was when we started.  There are more people on food stamps, more on disability and more that have just dropped out of the work force than ever before, and the only answer Washington seems to have is we haven’t spent enough yet.  That’s like telling the heroin addict who almost died last night of an overdose that the problem was he didn’t shoot up enough junk.

How do we stop spending?  How do we balance the budget?  This is like the question the backslider always asks, “How do I get back to God?”  The answer to the backslider is, “You get back to God.”  The answer for the nation is, “we stop spending more than we bring in.”  The politicians have a way to make that solution work: raise taxes until income matches outgo.  This brings up another problem: we can’t eat the goose that lays the golden egg and expect to collect more eggs tomorrow.  In any country that robs Peter to pay Paul eventually everyone changes their name to Paul.  Case in point, we now have more people qualifying for disability each month than people finding jobs.

Yes, this is a call for austerity.  Yes, this will cause major dislocations.  Yes, when drug addicts quit taking the poison their bodies have come to crave they get sick.  In time drug addicts recover and once again becomes normal people able to stand on their own without the chemical prop of a debilitating drug.  In time if we as a nation will kick the habit of cheap money and government handouts we will once again learn to stand on our own two feet, hold our head up high, and proudly say, “This is America the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

If we will do this the last half of the twentieth century will be but a prelude to the American Century.  If we don’t, the sun will set on the American dream as we devour ourselves in an orgy of hedonism and self-gratification.

The election is coming fast.  Survey your choices and find people who have the courage to lead us in a return to fiscal responsibility before we face the coming collapse of the world we have known.  For if we cast our bread upon the water it will return to us after many days, but if we sow the wind we will reap the whirlwind.

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 a Widget Worth? April 29, 2011

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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What’s a widget worth?  Who determines the price of widgets?  Is there an answer to the escalating cost of widgets?

How much is a widget worth if there is only one widget?  What about if there are on hundred widgets?  Or one million?  What if there are trillions upon trillions and they are being produced at the rate of 514 million per day?  The obvious answers to these questions aren’t lost on a normal four year old.  Observe such a child in the sand box.  If there’s only one shovel they’ll kick and scream to keep it.  If there are 1,928 billion of them the child probably wouldn’t notice if someone else used a few billion here or a few billion there.  Unfortunately the wisdom that’s normal for any four year old doesn’t seem to exist in Washington.

President Obama publicly laments the rise in fuel prices.  Of course when the teleprompter isn’t guiding his every word and he doesn’t realize his every public word is public he says that high gas prices really aren’t a problem they’ve just happened too quickly.

Could this precipitous rise in energy prices be tied to the precipitous fall in the value of the dollar?   The devaluing of the dollar appears to be a policy that shows no sign of slowing.  Even pro-administration sources such as MSNBC say the dollar is approaching record lows as compared to other currencies.  There is a real possibility of a credit downgrade due to the inability of Washington to address the ever-growing debt.  A leading Hedge fund manager says panic has set in and people are beginning to dump their holdings in dollars.

Could this escalating rise in energy costs be government policy?  Mr. Obama’s Energy Secretary Steven Chu believes that Americans should pay for gas at the same rate as Europeans which at the time of his statement was seven to nine dollars a gallon.   Consequently to the central planning enthusiasts who’re working to transform America it isn’t the current high prices that are the problem it was our previously lower prices which were an impediment to the accomplishment of their goal.   What we must realize is that their goals are not our goals.  Looking at our current leaders it appears as if they see their mission as managing the decline of the United States and everything they’ve done since gaining power has furthered the reality of their vision.

Why is the price spiking ever higher?  This isn’t a supply problem.  In the face of a spiraling price rise the Saudis who usually boost production to stabilize markets have instead cut production because there is currently a worldwide surplus.   The main reason for the current spike is that the dollar is worth less every day.  And as the debt ceiling approaches the vultures are circling.  Articles and commentaries constantly equate a refusal to raise the debt limit with a default.  But the two are not synonymous.

While Federal officials cry the sky is falling Senator Pat Toomey (R PA) proposes to protect the “full faith and credit” of the United States by legislatively making interest payments the Federal government’s top priority.  In an opinion piece Senator Toomey shows that the necessity of a default is shown to be instead a choice by the reality that “if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling, the federal government will still have far more than enough money to fully service our debt. Next year, for instance, about 6.5% of all projected federal government expenditures will go to interest on our debt, and tax revenue is projected to cover about 67% of all government expenditures. With roughly 10 times more income than needed to honor our debt obligations, why would we ever default?”

Yet administration spokesman such as Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner continue to use scare tactics predicting that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised the government will default and our credit will be ruined. In addition, the largest banks using the default straw man are pressuring the perpetually elected to raise the debt ceiling lest they miss a moment at the Federal trough.

All these theatrics about raising the debt limit is reminiscent of the weekly re-runs of the Continuing Resolution Show that we endured earlier this year.  The spendthrifts in Washington cannot conceive of their ability to mortgage our great grandchildren’s future to pay for whatever it takes to buy enough votes to stay in power forever.  Whenever anything appears on the horizon that threatens to rain on their perpetual parade to penury they begin chanting their mantra spend, spend, spend, elect, elect, elect.

What can we do about this problem which is causing prices to rise?  How can we possibly avert the looming insolvency?  How can we end this mad rush to fiscal collapse?

Stop the presses!  Stop the deficit spending, balance the budget, and pay off the debt.  Don’t raise the debt limit and force the Federal government to live within its means.  It makes no sense for us to tighten our belts so that our leaders can continue their spending binge.

What’s a Widget worth?  Ultimately everything is worth what you can get someone to pay for it.  If you’re paying in U. S. dollars the price just went up.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

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