Monday, January 31, 2011
This is just the beginning of the 'unintended consequences' of Democrat control of our government. Even though history has proven over and over again that socialism doesn't work, the Democrats bring it back every time they are in power.
Food Inflation Knocking at the Door
here we go again - just when we all thought it was very clear that the climate brain dead had lied about everything, they are back to lie some more. And just who will believe this new lie? Well, the media and millions of Democrats.
It is widely being reported that, based on surface-temperature data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 2010 was tied for the warmest year on record. What is not so widely reported is that those surface temperature data have been so shamelessly manipulated by climate alarmists that they are entirely unreliable. For a short course in one of the great scientific scandals of all time, go here.
There are a number of things wrong with the data produced by NOAA and NASA, but one of the most basic involves the urban heat island effect. It it commonly understood that cities are warmer than the surrounding countryside; you see that every day in weather reports. Thus, weather stations located in urban areas, as many of them are, tend to show increasing temperatures as urbanization and changing land use make the immediate area of the weather station warmer. One study indicated that even a tiny village of 1,000 people can warm temperatures by up to 3.8 degrees F.
NOAA and NASA used to acknowledge the urban heat island effect and try to correct for it, but that didn't produce the sort of alarming temperature increases that warmists are looking for. This is how NOAA depicted US temperatures from 1880 to 1999, as posted on NASA's web site in 1999; click to enlarge:
James Hansen, the head of NASA's climate unit and one of the worst of the alarmists, said truthfully in 1999:
The U.S. has warmed during the past century, but the warming hardly exceeds year-to-year variability. Indeed, in the U.S. the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934.
That didn't get the warmists where they were trying to go, so they have now changed the data by eliminating or drastically reducing the urban heat island effect. NASA now shows very different data for the period 1880-1999 from what it published in 1999. This animated GIF shows how the alarmists changed their own data to create the false impression of a climate crisis:
You probably assume that NOAA and NASA have made their raw data available to independent researchers, along with explanations of the adjustments they have made. But no--those agencies have resisted Freedom of Information Act requests for the original, raw data. One of the most important things the new Congress can do is to force these government agencies to level with the American people and explain the manipulations to which they have been subjecting weather data for years.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
We all knew this before the bill became law. And it just won't be some Medicare recipients that get dumped from their insurance plans - it will be millions of taxpayers that have individual plans where the premiums will rise to a point where they can't afford them any longer, and so be forced into a government plan and premature death. promises
Health Care Law Unlikely to Fulfill Promises
Source: "Medicare Actuary Doubts Health Care Law Will Hold Down Costs," FOX News, January 26, 2011.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Obama's pay freeze is a joke - he increased pay to federal workers by more than 20% of the private sector over his first eighteen months in office - so why not freeze wages where they are now? But federal workers still complain about the freeze even though they are getting more money and benefits. They are just like the teachers, the more they are paid to do a 'good job' the more they want to continue to do that 'good job'. No amount of money would be enough, the need is always for more.
Do Federal Employees Deserve a Raise?
Source: Andrew G. Biggs and Jason Richwine, "The Real Gap," American Enterprise Institute, January 20, 2011.
Federal employees are still smarting over President Obama's two-year pay freeze, but for some Republicans a mere freeze is not enough. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, promises to eliminate tens of billions of dollars from the budget, and federal workers will not be immune, say Andrew G. Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and Jason Richwine, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.
Meanwhile, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) argues that feds actually deserve a raise, not a pay reduction.
OPM's 2010 annual report says federal employees earn less than their private sector counterparts, noting the pay gap grew from 22 percent in 2009 to 24 percent in 2010.
Why is this research so inconsistent with claims that federal workers are underpaid? Because economists compare similar workers, while OPM looks at similar jobs.
Economists use statistical techniques that account for differences in workers' age, education, experience, gender, race, marital status and other characteristics. Those studies generally have found a federal pay premium in the range of 10 percent to 20 percent, according to the 1999 Handbook of Labor Economics.
A private sector worker earning $50,000 per year, for example, might receive $55,000 to $60,000 per year as a federal employee. The largest premiums are for lower-skilled employees, with smaller benefits as education increases.
Using the Census Bureau's 2009 Current Population Survey, the authors calculated an average federal pay premium of 12 percent over comparable private workers.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Remember what Obama said before the election, 'under my policy of cap and trade, coal fired plants will have to make changes that will drive cost up to their customers and necessarily make electric rates skyrocket'. This isn't exactly what he said but close enough to get the point across he will drive out conventional sources of energy production though regulation and mandate. And as Europe has proven, 'Green Energy' does not provide the necessary power needed for contemporary demand.
This is exactly what has happened in France. It will happen here if we don't pay attention.
France's Solar Bubble Pops
Source: Carl Shockley, "France's Solar Bubble Pops," National Review Online, January 20, 2011.
Two years ago, the French National Assembly adopted a solar "feed-in tariff" -- a misnomer for a mandate that forces utilities to buy expensive renewable electricity at ridiculously high prices. The legislature set the price at 546 euro ($745) per megawatt-hour, almost ten times the market price of 55 euro ($75) that customers pay for electricity from other sources.
Electricitie de France (EDF), the national utility, was obligated to buy from all comers, covering the costs with a special levy on other customers, says the National Review Online.
The result was an avalanche of expensive rooftop projects.
Whereas EDF had received only 7,100 applications a year for such connections before 2008, by last December it was fielding 3,000 per day.
Now costing 1 billion euro ($1.4 billion) per year, the program does not expire until 2017 and has put the utility in trouble, says the National Review. EDF's stock declined 20 percent last year, compared to only a 3.7 percent decline for the rest of Europe's Stoxx 600 Utilities Index.
The utility is now 57 billion euro ($78 billion) in debt, and plans to upgrade its aging fleet of 53 nuclear reactors -- which provide 75 percent of France's electricity -- have been thrown into doubt.
The utility has been forced to raise the renewables levy on other customers from 4.50 euro ($6) to 7.50 euro ($10) per megawatt-hour, but financial analysts say they will have to pay up to 12.90 euro ($18) -- almost 25 percent above the market price -- for EDF to break even.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
That the Conservatives are just trying to stop the nightmare of government intrusion in the public financial arena by have investigations into Fannie and Freddie, seems to have some effect on the markets. It seems to have an effect on people as well believing we might have a chance to save ourselves after all.
But don't hold your breath, once the gorging begun, it tough to get them away from the trough.
Taking the Government Out of Housing Finance
Source: Peter J. Wallison, Alex J. Pollock and Edward Pinto, "Taking the Government Out of Housing Finance: Principles for Reforming the Housing Finance Market," American Enterprise Institute, January 20, 2011.
Implicit in most of the proposals for reforming the housing finance system is the idea that institutional investors will not buy mortgage backed securities backed by U.S. mortgages unless they are issued by a government sponsored enterprise (GSE), a U.S. government agency, or are otherwise guaranteed by the U.S. government. There is, however, a robust alternative to government support of the housing finance system, say Peter J. Wallison, Alex J. Pollock and Edward Pinto.
An alternative approach is to ensure that only prime quality mortgages, which comprise the vast majority of U.S. mortgages, are allowed into the securitization system.
The very low delinquency and default rates on prime mortgages will be attractive investments for institutional investors and enable the housing finance system to function effectively with no government support. This will eliminate the potential for additional taxpayer losses in the future, and allow the eventual elimination of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The current interest in replacing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provides another opportunity to adopt reforms that will prevent a recurrence of another financial crisis in the future. The four central principles to make this work are:
The housing finance market -- like other U.S. industries and housing finance systems in most other developed countries -- can and should principally function without any direct government financial support. To the extent that regulation is necessary, it should be focused on ensuring mortgage credit quality.
All programs for assisting low-income families to become homeowners should be on-budget and should limit risks to both homeowners and taxpayers.
Fannie and Freddie should be eliminated as GSEs and privatized -- but gradually, so the private sector can take on more of the secondary market as the GSEs depart.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Who voted for this guy? Please stand up and tell us all! Be proud of your decision.
Think about this - one person has the power to destroy our entire economy, and it's not just the president. The EPA? The DNR? The Interior Secretary? An appointed czar? This is crazy!
Obama's War on Coal
Source: "Obama's War on Coal," Investor's Business Daily, January 18, 2011.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revoked the coal mining permit for Arch Coal's Spruce Mine -- No. 1 in West Virginia's Logan County. The EPA said it was acting under the authority of the Clean Water Act, saying the mine employed "destructive and unsustainable mining practices that jeopardize the health of Appalachian communities and clean water on which they depend."
But the EPA did not think so four years ago, when a Section 404 permit was issued, suggesting the extent to which this administration has politicized science, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).
West Virginia is the second-largest coal producer in the United States.
The maligned fossil fuel provides $26 billion for the West Virginia economy annually, supports 60,000 jobs and pays $1.2 billion in wages for West Virginia families.
All this and much more nationally, is in jeopardy since coal provides half of America's electricity.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The United States now sends over seas more than 700 billion dollars to obtain petroleum products, oil and gas. I wonder how this would affect the deficit if we didn't have to spend this money over seas for products that we have here in abundance?
With demand growing by more than 8 percent per year for more petroleum products, it certainly makes sense for us to stop producing more oil or natural gas, right? Why would we do this in the face of such problems with energy production in our country?
Could Offshore Drilling Reduce the Deficit?
Source: Robert Bluey, "Could Offshore Drilling Reduce the Deficit?" Texas Insider, January 20, 2011
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) wants the Obama administration to provide Congress with data on the federal government's offshore drilling revenue -- information that would show just how much President Obama's antidrilling policies are impacting the budget, says the Texas Insider.
Based on recent projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, production in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to drop this year by 220,000 barrels per day.
With oil currently at $90 a barrel and the government's royalty rate at 18.75 percent, that equals $3.7 million in lost federal revenue each day.
Last fall Vitter asked the Interior Department to share revenue figures, but Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ignored the request. Now, Vitter is taking his case directly to the White House.
Exactly what will all of us do when we are told we aren't worth the cost when we get sick or injured? Why should we care if there aren't enough doctors in our town to see the sick and prescribe a cure? Why shouldn't just leave all these question to answered by people in Washington that are a lot smarter then we are?
The Coming Doctor Shortage
Source: Herbert Pardes, "The Coming Doctor Shortage," Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2011.
Recently, the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform proposed cutting Medicare funding to train doctors by $60 billion through 2020. If this cut is enacted, the current doctor shortage would get far worse, says Herbert Pardes, president and CEO of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Already, 30 percent of hospitals lose money, according to the American Hospital Association, and even more barely break even.
Health care reform will add an estimated 32 million people to the ranks of the insured, driving them to seek medical attention that in the past they may have avoided due to expense.
The aging population will also create much greater demand: The number of seniors who need more medical care is expected to soar to 72 million by 2020 -- nearly double today's number.
But doctors are aging, too: Almost a third of doctors in the country -- about 250,000 -- are over the age of 55.
According to a 2010 report by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the increased demand means that our nation will need an additional 130,000 doctors, both general practice physicians and specialists, 15 years from now. That's about 20 percent more doctors than we have currently.
Right now we train roughly 16,000 doctors a year. To keep pace with demand, this nation will need to train an additional 6,000 to 8,000 each year for the next 20 years, but without Medicare reimbursements, many hospitals will not be able to afford to maintain critical training programs, says Pardes.
Monday, January 24, 2011
There has never been a government program that has saved money. History has proved this. Why would anyone want to believe that another entitlement that is even bigger than Social Security not cost us our very souls!
Health Care Repeal Won't Add to the Deficit
Source: Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Joseph Antos and James C. Capretta, "Health Care Repeal Won't Add to the Deficit," Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2011.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would increase the deficit by $230 billion over the coming decade and by a modest amount in the decade after that.
A close examination of the CBO's work and other evidence leads to the exact opposite conclusion, according to Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the CBO, Joseph Antos, former assistant director at the CBO and James C. Capretta, former associate director at the Office of Management and Budget.
If the CBO is right, 32 million people will be added to the health entitlement rolls at a cost of $938 billion through 2019, and growing faster than the economy or revenues thereafter. How, then, does the ACA magically convert $1 trillion in new spending into painless deficit reduction?
Through budget gimmicks, deceptive accounting and implausible assumptions.
For starters, $1 trillion is a low-ball estimate, covering only six -- not 10 -- years of subsidies that do not begin until 2014.
Over 10 years of full implementation, it's more like $2.3 trillion.
The deepest spending cuts in the ACA are in Medicare. No doubt Medicare needs real reform, but the ACA's cuts are illusory. Medicare's payments to health care providers would fall below those of Medicaid. The network of hospitals and physicians willing to care for Medicaid patients is notoriously constrained, say Holtz-Eakin, Antos and Capretta.
About 15 percent of the nation's hospitals would have to stop seeing Medicare patients in just a few years to stem their losses. What's worse, ACA's advocates are double-counting this fictional savings, claiming it can pay both for the ACA's entitlements and Medicare solvency too.
The truth is, these cuts cannot be relied upon to pay for anything.
So, even if the CBO's analysis were flawless, the authors of the ACA guaranteed a misleading bottom line. Their legislative prescriptions were written to create deficit reduction only on paper -- not in reality.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
How can this be? Is this fake? Are these shots photo shopped? Would people that say they are Americans do this on purpose?
What is their motivation? Why wasn't this covered by the media?
January 18th, 2011
This rally was sponsored by the NAACP and they said that they covered the statue because they “didn’t want to offend anyone”. Really? George Washington is the father of this nation. How is he offensive to anyone? Can you imagine what would happen if we covered the statue of Dr. King on President’s Day? Of course, this disgusting display of anti-Americanism wasn’t covered at all by the national media. It has been covered a little by the blog-world and I think the word needs to get out to the general public that this is what the NAACP is all about…..militant, hateful and racist.
What if someone had boxed-in MLK on President's Day?
Many blacks view George Washington, and all of the founding fathers, only as slaveholders. Public schools emphasize this in their limited teaching of American history as part of their campaign to de-legitimize American society. Anything else these men did (like create our Country) is meaningless.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Green energy will not be a factor in the near future but the eco-insantiy of the progressives, less than twenty percent of the population, seem to win out over common sense and the majority.
Why is that?
Clean Energy Can't Compete
Source: "Solar Power Eclipse," Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2011.
The solar company Evergreen announced last week that it is shutting its Massachusetts plant and will lay off 800 workers. That's the same plant Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick had state taxpayers fund in 2007 to the tune of $58 million in grants, loans and land and tax incentives -- one of the largest investments in a private company in Bay State history, says the Wall Street Journal.
Evergreen blames its plant closing on competition from subsidized Chinese manufacturers. However, Evergreen has also been subsidized in the multiple ways that federal and state governments favor solar power, says the Journal.
Bay State taxpayers are now stuck with the losses. Mr. Patrick says he intends to claw back some of that $58 million, but Evergreen says it does not owe more than $4 million.
Taxpayers will also be thrilled to know the state is so worried about getting a new tenant for the manufacturing site that it may let Evergreen keep its sweetheart $1-a-year lease -- allowing the company to sublet it at a profit.
All of this adds up to one more case study in the perils of politically allocated capital.
Like President Obama, Mr. Patrick has advertised the illusion that governments can nurture new companies, even whole new industries, with targeted taxpayer "investments." This is the entire premise of the "clean energy" industry, most of which wouldn't exist without subsidies because it can't compete on a market basis, says the Journal.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Proof was evident when Ronald Reagan took office, cut taxes and when George Bush cut taxes which brought about over 7 million new jobs. Britain is losing jobs and revenue!
How a Tax Hike Increased the Deficit
Source: Allister Heath, "How a Tax Hike Increased the Deficit," City A.M., January 13, 2011.
Figures out last week confirm yet again that crippling tax hikes are driving people and economic activity away from Britain. Rather than raising extra tax receipts to plug Britain's budget deficit, there is growing evidence that the raids are actually reducing the amount of money collected by the taxman, thus inflicting even greater debt on the rest of the population, says City A.M.
When in April 2008 the Labour Party introduced an annual levy of £30,000 (about $47,650) for those who had claimed non-dom status for seven years, pundits dismissed the tax as too low to make a difference. The number of non-doms living in the United Kingdom collapsed by 16,000 in 2008-2009. Non-doms are people who originated overseas and pay U.K. tax on their U.K. earnings but no tax on their foreign income.
The Treasury says 5,400 non-doms opted to pay the fee. This means that the taxman raised an extra £162 million ($257 million). The Treasury would not or could not give any more information, so City A.M made a few guesstimates to work out the net cost of the tax raid:
Being over-generous to the government, it might be that half the missing non-doms are now full taxpayers.
Assuming they are paying an extra £15,000 ($24,000) in tax each,that would make another £120 million ($190 million) in tax, taking the total to £282 million ($448 million).
Let's then assume that the 8,000 missing non-doms would have paid £50,000 ($79,000) each in U.K. income tax, capital gains tax, value-added tax and stamp duty.
The gross loss jumps to £400 million ($635 million), which means that the Treasury is £118 million ($187 million) worse off.
In years to come, Britain's short-sighted stupidity will be used as a case study in introductory economics courses. In the meantime, the rest of us will have to pay even more tax to plug the deficit, says City A.M.
This is just common sense, something that was totally lacking in the past congress.
Repeal and Replace: 10 Necessary Changes
Source: John C. Goodman, "What Most Needs Repealing and Replacing," National Center for Policy Analysis, January 17, 2011.
The National Center for Policy Analysis and four other think tanks are conducting a Capitol Hill briefing today to discuss 10 structural flaws in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The briefing will be shown live on C-SPAN at noon Eastern. Below are five of the 10 flaws and solutions.
An impossible mandate.
The ACA requires individuals to buy a health insurance plan whose cost will grow at twice the rate of growth of their incomes.
Solution: Repeal the individual and employer mandates and offer a generous tax subsidy to people to obtain insurance.
A bizarre system of subsidies.
The ACA offers radically different subsidies to people at the same income level, depending on where they obtain their health insurance.
Solution: Offer people the same tax relief for health insurance, regardless of where it is obtained or purchased.
Perverse incentives for insurers.
The ACA creates perverse incentives for insurers and employers to attract the healthy and avoid the sick, and to overprovide to the healthy and underprovide to the sick (to encourage them to leave).
Solution: Instead of requiring insurers to ignore the fact that some people are sicker and more costly to insure than others, adopt a system that compensates them for the higher expected costs.
Impossible benefit cuts for seniors.
By 2020, Medicare nationwide will pay doctors and hospitals less than what Medicaid pays.
Solution: Medicare cost increases can be slowed by empowering patients and doctors to find efficiencies and eliminate waste.
Lack of portability.
The single biggest health insurance problem for most Americans is the lack of portability.
Solution: 1) Allow employers to do something they are now barred from doing: purchase personally-owned, portable health insurance for their employees;
2) Give retirees the same tax relief now available only to employees; and
3) Allow employers and employees to save for postretirement care in tax-free accounts.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
This is an eye opener on just how China looks to the future.
China, High Speed Rail and Mobility
Source: Samuel Staley, "China, High Speed Rail and Mobility" Reason Foundation, January 13, 2011.
Many in the United States point to China as an example of why investment in rail transportation makes sense here. Unfortunately, that is not really the lesson from China we should learn. While it is true that China's investment in high-speed rail is making it a world leader in this technology, it is not true that this is a model that should be emulated by the United States or other developed countries, says Samuel Staley, director of urban and land use policy at the Reason Foundation.
China is investing in all forms of transportation to match unprecedented growth in income and the demand for mobility.
In the last 20 years, China has built a national expressway network larger than the one that connects the European Union and almost equivalent of the U.S. Interstate Highway System in order to improve access between provinces and metropolitan areas. Air travel is also expanding rapidly -- in 2009, 166 airports were open to civilian transportation; this number is expected to increase to 260 by 2015.
So, China's investment in rail is not necessarily seen only as a substitute for other means of traveling between cities and provinces; rather it is diversifying, becoming more layered and taking advantage of the sheer scale of a national economy expected to add 400 million more people to its cities by 2025.
In a culture and economy with a history and legacy of riding trains, the high-speed component is a logical complement to the network. This is fundamentally different from the United States, where our high degree of wealth and well developed transportation infrastructure already provides an unprecedented level of mobility and access through highways and air travel, says Staley.
This is so cool and so unexpected if you have any idea what drives a wild animal - given that this beach is off the beaten path so the animals really don't have an opportunity to become afraid of humans, it still is amazing how this one sea lion became fascinated with the human.
Ya' have to love this one - a feel good video for sure.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Millions losing their individual insurance as they can't afford the increases in premiums and employers dumping the workers off their insurance rolls as it is cheaper to have the masses us the government option.
Now tens of millions will have health care that will be no better than what the liberals have held as the best in the world, the Cuban health care system. When you get sick, too bad! Come back when you feel better.
Can We Stop Calling Them "Consumer Protections" Now?
Source: Michael F. Cannon, "Can We Stop Calling Them 'Consumer Protections' Now?" Kaiser Health News, January 10, 2011.
Supporters of the health law are lamenting how the nickname "ObamaCare" has achieved wider purchase than the law's official title. More egregious, though, is how supporters have successfully misbranded ObamaCare's health insurance regulations as "consumer protections," says Michael F. Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute.
"Consumer protections" already in place limit the percentage of revenues insurers can spend on administrative expenses and prohibit them from turning away children with pre-existing conditions. Who could object to such rules? As it happens, an awful lot of people.
These supposed consumer protections are hurting millions of Americans by increasing the cost of insurance, increasing the cost of hiring and driving insurers out of business. Such mandates force consumers to divert income from food, housing and education to pay for the additional coverage.
Mandates can also force employers to reduce hiring, leaving some Americans with neither a job nor health insurance.
In addition, the ban on discriminating against children with pre-existing conditions has caused insurers to stop selling child-only policies in dozens of states.
The list goes on. ObamaCare now forces insurers to spend no more than 20 percent of revenues -- 15 percent for large employers -- on administrative expenses. Similar state laws have done nothing to slow the growth of premiums. Consumers, insurers, employers, unions and state officials are begging for protection from these so-called protections. Sebelius has so far issued 222 waivers, which raises the question: if these were really consumer protections, why waive them?
Monday, January 17, 2011
Oh wait, who's in control here? The worker, the union or management? It is about control, isn't it.
Don't Reform Labor Laws—Eliminate Them
Restrictions on work don't protect employees—they just take away their rights. WSJ 1-14-2011
By JAMIE WHYTE
David Cameron this week announced a plan to reduce the legal obstacles to firing employees within two years of their being hired. He hopes that, by reducing the risk involved in hiring new staff, it will happen more often. Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport Workers union, does not like the idea. He thinks it will strip workers of their "hard-earned rights."
This is a peculiar complaint. An employee's rights are specified in his employment contract. He can negotiate any rights he wants, including obstacles to swift dismissal. Of course, his employer will seek compensation for agreeing to such burdensome terms, probably by paying a lower wage. Nevertheless, the low-risk, low-pay deal may suit some employees. Others will prefer a higher-risk, higher-pay deal. And they too are free to negotiate such a contract.
Or they would be if laws of the kind Mr. Crow likes did not restrict employees' freedom of contract. What Mr. Crow calls a right is really an obligation for employees to accept certain kinds of deal. Why would a trade unionist seek to limit his members' ability to negotiate deals that suit them?
To see why, note that, in the labor market, employees are the suppliers and employers are the consumers. Employers buy the labor offered for sale by workers. Labor laws are thus a kind of product regulation. Product regulations usually impose minimum standards. When it comes to labor, however, they impose maximum standards.
Among other restrictions, labor laws prevent workers from selling labor that functions on more than a certain numbers of days a year, that continues uninterrupted for more than a certain number of hours in a day, that costs less than £6 an hour or that can be terminated easily and at short notice.
In short, labor laws prevent workers from offering a product that exceeds certain standards. And that is precisely why trade unions support them. Regulated maximum standards are required by suppliers attempting to fix their prices above the market-clearing price.
Consider a different example. Suppose you manufactured a basic type of bicycle. If the most efficient bike-maker could produce such a bike at a cost of £100, then this would soon be its market price. In a free market, competition between suppliers drives the price of goods down to the cost of producing them. This is nice for consumers but not for suppliers. How might you avoid this unpleasant consequence of competition?
You could try collusion. Create the British Association of Bicycle Manufacturers and, at your annual conference, agree that no one will sell bikes for less than £200. Or lobby the government to set a minimum bicycle price of £200.
Alas, a minimum price will not work on its own, because it does not stop competition on quality. If everyone must sell bikes at £200, and your competitors' bikes are worth £100, then you can get an advantage by producing better bikes at a cost of £110. Your competitors will then retaliate with a yet better bike that costs £120 to make. This process will continue until you are all making bikes at a cost of £200, and no one is better off than when they sold for £100. To keep the benefits of our minimum price, you also need to restrict the quality of bikes. You need maximum standards.
Trade unionists are devoted to keeping the price of labor higher than its market value. So they must also stop the suppliers of labor from competing on quality. The endeavour is corrupt in principle—indeed, it would be illegal if the product were anything except labor—and futile in practice. The laws they favor do not eliminate competition between workers; they simply benefit some at the expense of others.
I recently managed a team of two consultants. They were of roughly equal value. John was brighter but Don worked harder, often violating the Working Time Directive. If I had stopped him, who would have benefited? Not Don. He would have been unable to achieve as much as John and his chance of promotion would have been reduced. A ban on long working hours benefits not those who work "too hard" but those with other qualities to offer. It rigs the competition in their favor.
It is impossible to eliminate competition between the suppliers of labor. Rule it out in one respect, such as effort, and it will merely shift to something else, such as talent. Rule it out in all economically relevant respects—allow no price or quality competition—and it will shift onto irrelevant preferences of the employer. A bigot might employ foreigners if they come at a discount. But why would he otherwise? Immigrants do better in America than in France, not because Americans are less racist, but because their labor market is less regulated.
Labor laws are intended to protect employees from employers. But no such protection is needed. Feudalism ended long ago, and the labor market is not a monopsony, with only one purchaser. No one is forced into any particular job. Indeed, unemployment benefits mean that no one need work at all.
Labor laws do not provide "hard-earned rights" for workers. They simply limit our freedom to negotiate contracts that suit us. David Cameron is wrong to trim some of them. He should eliminate them all.
Mr. Whyte is a management consultant.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
This is about stopping free speech by the far liberal left Marxists, make no mistake!
Top radio talker Rush Limbaugh, meanwhile, reported on his show that activist Al Sharpton visited with FCC officials in the aftermath of the incident to pressure the agency to rein in free expression on the airwaves.
“What I see is the Democrat Party, its representatives and its supporters on the American left, attempting to take a genuine human tragedy, and their first instinct is to politicize it, and that desire, their political desire, is to silence, to quiet people who they consider their opposition,” Limbaugh told listeners. "If that is not attempting to profit off murder, I don't know what it is.”
Wisconsin past governor, 'Diamond Jim' Doyle, saw business as just a source of revenue. No tax was to high to get all of their money. He did not care what happened to the state as long as he was able to support his friends that helped him get reelected.
My how things have changed! The voters aren't as stupid as the Democrats thought.
Illinois Exit Fee
Source: "Illinois Exit Fee," Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2011.
Jubilation has broken out in the Midwest -- or at least in Wisconsin and Indiana, now that Democrats in neighboring Illinois have rushed their tax increase into law, says the Wall Street Journal.
Late Tuesday night, Democrats in the Illinois House and Senate rammed through Governor Pat Quinn's 67 percent hike in the state income tax and a nearly 50 percent jump in the state corporate tax. The increase will add $1,400 to the average family's tax bill, and will not likely help job creation in a state that has lost 374,000 jobs since 2008.
New Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker immediately rolled out a press release inviting Illinois businesses to decamp to the Badger State, contrasting his agenda to reduce taxes and welcome business with the Illinois increase. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels added: "We already had an edge on Illinois in terms of the cost of doing business, and this is going to make it significantly wider."
Illinois' small businesses will pay the new 5 percent income tax rate, up from 3 percent, and the effective corporate tax rate will rise to 9.5 percent, which, when combined with the federal rate of 35 percent, will make the Land of Lincoln one of the most expensive places in the world to conduct business.
Democrats say the higher rates will raise $7 billion to help close an estimated $14 billion budget gap, though tax hikes rarely raise the revenue that politicians promise.
Rather than fix the state's $150 billion unfunded pension problem, the bill also authorizes nearly $4 billion in new debt to fund the state's pension payment this year.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Krauthammer will not be this closely watched or scrutinized on his opinions. He is given a pass as most of the media believes what he says due to the fact Krauthammer was educated at the same universities that most of the elite media attended. Plain, on the other hand, went to a small school that no ever heard of, and had to work summers to make it through the next year. Big difference.
Little wonder then why the media, and a lot of the 'educated chattering' classes, hate Sarah.
Palin/Krauthammer debate on Elitism
Michael Medved - SRN Insider
It’s healthy, even natural, for Americans to feel populist resentment against elites that base their status through inherited wealth and family connections. But it’s toxic, misguided and profoundly stupid to focus public hostility on leaders who achieved their positions through education, diligence and ability.
Recent sniping between Sarah Palin and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer highlights the crucial distinction between rebellious attitudes that attack unfairly arrogated power and privilege and a trendy neo-populism that attacks brains.
When Krauthammer dared to suggest that the former Alaska governor looked less than “presidential” while shooting caribou with Kate Goselin on her hit TLC reality show, Palin told Bill O’Reilly: “Well, bless his heart, he’s probably used to those in the political beltway who perhaps aren’t out there workin’, but they’re talkin’ and they’re meeting people, and they’re out there doin’ their ‘strategery,’ whereas I’m workin’ and havin’ a great time doin’ it.”
The irony in this attack involves the fact that Governor Palin is currently “workin’” in precisely the same way Charles Krauthammer does—by writing and making media appearances. The key difference is that Palin earns many times Krauthammer’s income by focusing on her own ebullient personality rather than policy and ideas.
Yes, Krauthammer would have to plead guilty to what Palin would deride as “high-falutin’” educational credentials: he studied at Oxford and earned his MD at Harvard Medical School. But in what sense does this paraplegic, Canadian-raised son of struggling Eastern European immigrants qualify as representative of some perceived establishment that excludes a former governor, Vice Presidential nominee, certified TV star and number-one-bestselling author? Only in terms of intellectuality, not wealth or influence or celebrity status, could a Krauthammer qualify as more “elitist” than a Palin.
Former White House speechwriter David Frum (another Canadian-born US citizen with Ivy League credentials) makes the interesting point that “American populism has almost always concentrated its anger against the educated rather than the wealthy.” He classifies contemporary politics as “a class struggle between those with more education than money against those with more money than education.”
Unfortunately, this sort of battle over brains undermines the most potent and valuable thrust of traditional populism: the opposition to an arrogant, hereditary establishment that closes off access to money and power to even the most gifted products of ordinary American families.
Friday, January 14, 2011
America must be reduced to third world status to make amends for past crimes. Crimes such as stopping Hitler, freeing Kuwait, stopping communists from overthrowing free countries and the like. Policing the entire world against tyrants and mass killers. Obama sees this as a problem?
Obama does see this country as the problem in the world. He is determined to reduce us to poverty by spending us into economic ruin. Little wonder then we have fallen into 9th place on the 'Economic freedom scale' world wide.
This is beyond the pale for our country. But then we should expect this from socialist progressive Democrats.
The U.S. Loses Ground on Economic Freedom
Source: Terry Miller, "The U.S. Loses Ground on Economic Freedom," Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2011.
Riots in Greece and France! An IMF bailout for Ireland! The Euro under threat! Tea parties in America! Is it the end of capitalism? Many were predicting just that last year. The Heritage Foundation's 2011 Index of Economic Freedom tells a different story, says Terry Miller, the director of the Center for International Trade and Economics at the Heritage Foundation.
The Index records countries' commitment to the free enterprise/capitalist system by measuring 10 categories of economic freedom: fiscal soundness and openness to trade and investment, government size, business and labor regulation, property rights, corruption, monetary stability and financial competition.
The good news this year? One hundred and seventeen countries, mainly developing and emerging market economies, improved their scores, and the average level of economic freedom around the world improved by about a third of a point on the Index's 0 to 100 scale.
Economies that stuck to the principles of economic freedom are recovering more quickly from the recession and financial crisis, and growing faster than countries whose governments tried to spend their way out of trouble. There's an amazing 4.5 percentage point difference in average growth rates between the big spenders and those governments that kept their budgets under control.
For the United States and the United Kingdom, the Index of Economic Freedom confirms what those countries' voters already knew, that there is an urgent need for real change, says Miller.
The United States dropped to 9th place in the 2011 Index, with its lowest economic freedom score in a decade, and the United Kingdom fell all the way to 16th place.
Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand dominate the top of the economic freedom rankings -- economic growth rates in those countries averaged 6.8 percent in 2010.
I wonder just who will benefit most from this mandate? Who paid who to get this through? This is just insane. What next?
Pennsylvania Builders Unhappy with State-Imposed Sprinkler Mandate
Source: Caroline May, "Pennsylvania Builders Unhappy with State-Imposed Sprinkler Mandate," Daily Caller, January 10, 2011.
This year marks the beginning of a new government mandate in Pennsylvania requiring that all new one- and two-family homes have an automatic fire sprinkler system -- a feature that costs thousands of dollars. Home builders say they have no problem installing sprinklers, but that the decision should be left up to the consumer, and with the economy struggling and business down, the added cost will be exceptionally burdensome, says the Daily Caller.
According to the Pennsylvania Builders Association spokeswoman, Melissa Etshied, "It is a private property issue, it should be the consumer's choice, not a government mandate."
Advocates for the mandate argue it is a safety issue. "It will make everybody safer," according to Bill Gault, president of Local 22, the Philadelphia Fire Fighters' Union. Gault added that even though home builders fear the increased cost, sprinklers could help lower the cost of home insurance. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), that decrease could be up to 10 percent.
The Fire Administration reports that in 2009 there were 377,000 residential fires, 2,590 civilian fire deaths, 13,050 civilian fire injuries and $7.8 billion in property damage. The agency argues that sprinkler systems could have alleviated the damages. Yet, the Pennsylvania GOP House Policy Committee notes that data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System shows that there is a 99.7 percent chance occupants will survive a fire with an operating smoke alarm.
Pennsylvania is the second state after California to impose a statewide sprinkler mandate, says the Caller.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
More lies are laid bare!
Better Model, Less Warming
Source: Patrick J. Michaels, "Better Model, Less Warming," Cato-at-Liberty.org, January 6, 2011.
A newer, more sophisticated climate model has lost more than 25 percent of its predicted warming. The change resulted from a more realistic simulation of the way clouds work, resulting in a major reduction in the model's "climate sensitivity," which is the amount of warming predicted for a doubling of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide over what it was prior to the industrial revolution, says Patrick J. Michaels, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute.
And to what do we owe this large decline in the modeled climate sensitivity? According to a new paper by Masahiro Watanabe and colleagues in the current issue of the Journal of Climate:
Avastly improved handling of cloud processes involving "a prognostic treatment for the cloud water and ice mixing ratio, as well as the cloud fraction, considering both warm and cold rain processes."
In fact, the improved cloud scheme -- which produces clouds that compare more favorably with satellite observations -- projects that under a warming climate low altitude clouds become a negative feedback rather than acting as positive feedback, as the old version of the model projected.
Instead of enhancing the carbon dioxide-induced warming, low clouds are now projected to retard it.
Is the new model perfect? Certainly not. But is it better than the old one? It seems quite likely. And the net result of the model improvements is that the climate sensitivity, and therefore the warming projections (and resultant impacts), have been significantly lowered.
Much of this lowering comes as the handling of cloud processes -- still among the most uncertain of climate processes -- is improved upon. No doubt such improvements will continue into the future as both our scientific understanding and our computational abilities increase, says Michaels.
Who's been in control for the last 4 years in the US congress, and the last two years of the White House? The progressive! Little wonder they have to spin the numbers on unemployment. Misinformation is a way of life for the liberal progressive, but what is really sad is that it works.
Spinning the Data
Source: "Spinning the Data," Investor's Business Daily, January 7, 2010.
There are lies, damned lies and government unemployment statistics. Friday's drop in the jobless rate -- to 9.4 percent from 9.8 percent -- reflects the last point, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).
The decline has been hailed by some in the media and even some on Wall Street as good news. Sadly, it isn't. The only reason the rate dropped is that 260,000 Americans stopped looking for work entirely in December.
Today, the labor force is actually smaller than it was when the recession began. The economy created just 103,000 new payroll jobs in December, well below the 150,000-plus most economists had expected. This is the slowest recovery since the 1930s.
Businesses beset by the highest corporate tax burden in the world and the looming presence of ObamaCare and cap-and-trade regulation are simply marking time in an uncertain future, says IBD.
Of the more than 14.5 million people out of work in December, more than 6.4 million have been out six months or longer. The mean length of time the unemployed have been out of work rose a third straight month to 34.2 weeks, the third highest level ever.
Add in those who've stopped looking for work or who are working part-time but want to work fulltime, and the number of unemployed climbs to 26.1 million -- for a jobless rate of 16.7 percent.
Jobs will not be created by high taxes, bailouts, subsidies and government's buying of car companies. They'll be created by cutting taxes and regulations permanently and letting loose the entrepreneurial dogs.
Sheriff Dupnik’s Culpability
by Bill Hennessy on January 10, 2011 ·
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According to an internal Department of Homeland Security memo, Jarod Lee Loughner’s mother “works for Pima County Board of Supervisors.”
In the memo, obtained by Fox News and posted on Greta Van Susteren’s blog, the DHS agent openly speculates about undue internal influence. That’s because Loughner’s arrests don’t all end with reasonable closure, if you will. Here’s exactly what the DHS report says:
suspect’s mother works for the Pima County Board of Supervisors* the suspect has multiple arrests … But no criminal record? Intervention by someone?
It’s not unreasonable to assume that that “someone” is Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.
On Saturday evening, Dupnik took to the airwaves to create a sensation. He accused the people of Arizona, talk radio, Sharon Angle, Sarah Palin, and the tea party of complicity in murder, effectively. The sheriff did so without evidence.
If Dupnik was involved in springing Loughner after one of the murderer’s many arrests, then Dupnik had strong motive to manufacture a bogeyman. If Dupnik helped keep Loughner stay out of the state psych system, then his motive doubles. There’s mounting evidence that Dupnik is guilty of both.
We already know that Dupnik refused to uphold Arizona’s SB1070. We already know that he holds the people of Arizona in the highest contempt. A law enforcement officer who despises the people he’s sworn to protect and who refuses to enforce the law he’s sworn to uphold is unfit for office.
If I were Arizona’s Attorney General, I’d be asking putting together a case for some warrants.
But, as Dennis Miller would say, that’s just my opinion; I could be wrong.