The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble
Speaking truth to old-stream media bias.
This is just ridiculous!
The unemployment rate has just fallen one-tenth of a percent, from 9 percent to 8.9 percent. Of course, it is indeed progress, and it is being celebrated in the White House as such. But the celebrations bring to mind what a wit once said: An "acceptable" level of unemployment means that the government economist to whom it is acceptable still has a job. Today, as we move into the third year of the Obama administration, we do not have anything resembling even such an "acceptable" level of unemployment. Far from it. As of this month, 14 million Americans can't find work.
When Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1980, he hung the Misery Index around Jimmy Carter's neck. It consisted of the sum total of unemployment and inflation. Today, we have a different set of ailments. Instead of unemployment coupled with inflation, we have a toxic blend of unemployment, debt, home foreclosures, and bankruptcies. Their sum total is what we can call the Obama Misery Index. It is at a record high; indeed, it makes even the malaise of the Carter years look like a boom. Unemployment has fallen, but it's fallen to a level that is still, by any historical marker, a national disaster. To suggest it as an achievement is to engage in what Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously called "defining deviancy down."
Where should we go from here? Having spent my career in the private sector, I know a thing or two about how jobs are created and how they are lost. The most important lesson I learned is that there are three rules of every successful turnaround: focus, focus, and focus. Turnarounds work when the leader focuses on what's most important. President Obama did just the opposite: he delegated the jobs crisis to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and he went to work on his own priorities, like cap and trade and government-run health care.
I hope we don't have to wait two years for a new president to fix things, but I fear we might. What the occupant of the Oval Office needs to do, and do now, is focus on getting Americans back to work.
Take taxes. Our employers pay the highest rates in the world, tied with Japan, and higher than such societies top-heavy with government as Italy and France. Our small companies are hit particularly hard. If employers are going to start investing and hiring, we must reduce the burden. We can offset the lost revenue by ruthlessly eliminating corporate loopholes and the special deals that reward political influence and punish productivity. We also need to stop taxing companies that make money overseas if they want to bring it home. Encouraging companies to keep money abroad makes zero sense. As much as one trillion dollars kept abroad may be at stake; a sum that size invested here would create hundreds of thousands — or even millions — of good, permanent, private-sector jobs.
Our out-of-control fiscal policies are also impinging directly on the labor market. The failed stimulus program cost around $800 billion. Obamacare is going to cost another trillion. The denizens of the White House appear not to know it, but employers and entrepreneurs worry a good deal about the federal deficit and the federal debt. They look at the future and see that the government's spending binge will mean higher taxes, higher interest rates, and a much weaker dollar.
All these things are the direct enemy of long-term investment. The climate of uncertainty they create has an indirect but no less damaging effect on confidence. Historically, federal spending has ranged between 18 and 20 percent of GDP. Today it has soared to near 25 percent. If we want our politicians to end their free-spending ways, we need to establish an iron-clad ceiling on federal spending, setting it at a fixed percent of the GDP.
These proposals may sound wonkish, but let's keep in mind what is at stake. Behind the unemployment statistics is a lot of heartbreak. Unemployment means children who can't go to college; marriages that break up under the financial strain; young people who can't find jobs and start their lives; and men and women in their fifties, in the prime of their lives, who fear they will never work again. Then there are the job fairs where thousands of people are showing up to compete for a few openings that probably are not as good as the jobs they held two years ago.
Unless President Obama changes course, these job fairs, with their day-long lines of unemployed seeking nothing more than a chance to earn a living, are going to be seen as his Hoovervilles. "I'm the only person of distinction who has ever had a depression named for him," President Hoover once ruefully complained. Obamanomics, which at extraordinary cost has accomplished extraordinarily little, is earning our president his own dubious place in our history books.
Let's say 1,000 people steal your photos or your songs. Calculate the costs of suing each one considering lawyer's fees and your time. I can guarantee you that you wouldn't have a single second to create another picture or song, since you would be totally consumed with everything BUT your art.
The solution of "just suing" everyone in sight is simply no solution. Filing a lawsuit in general is no trivial matter and not something to be entered into casually. The courts are always a last resort to solve any business issue. Only those that never sat in depositions, waded through pages of testimony, calculated strategy with attorneys, dealt with the potential legal fees vs. the chances of winning a lawsuit, and faced the prospect of proving/disproving an assertion would ever believe this to some proverbial walk-in-the park or an answer to any problem. Suiing anyone is always a last resort and to be avoided at all costs - especially for an artist of limited means who would rather be spending his/her time creating music, photos, paintings, etc.
Freedom doesn't mean an absence of laws or regulations. The Uniform Commercial Code of our law, far from being restrictive, fosters commerce since people can trust that they can conduct business and be assured of the expected responsibilities of each party and the assurance that if there are violations, they can have a reasonable chance to recover any money and/or damages. The same goes for contracts. There is both a restrictive and enabling aspect of them relative to the behavior they support and discourage.
What type of freedom would you have as an artist who had absolutely no assurance that you could benefit from your craft and attempt to earn a decent living without being ripped off by unscrupulous people - unless of course, you intended to spend the bulk of your time in court? It may seem like some affront to have to get a release form for a copyrighted photo, but if such an action discourages at least some theft of intellectual property, I might say it is having some positive effect. I would suggest taking it one step further, and have an online database indicating someone's ability to grant such privileges, much like an encryption key for software. I don't know how to make it work practically, but I suspect someone will figure it out.
BTW, if thieves could sell their pirated goods to a local Retailer, and the police could not catch them in the act, would you be ok with the Retailer selling the contents of your house that the thieves walked off with? Would you expect the Retailer to not deal in stolen goods? If the Retailer said, "Sorry, - it is not my business to enforce your rights to own/keep your property"? The notion of "Property Rights" is one thing that sets our nation apart and a key aspect of our Founding Fathers' vision for our nation. Diminish that and you weaken everything you claim to support...
This is just a discussion on the merits of making every single citizen an enforcer of artists rights.This package does not maintain a digital signature. There are others like it that do not.If a crook comes to your house, who's fault is it you are robbed?
- the crook?
- a bystander who saw him walk up to your door and go in?
- the police?I say the crook is at fault. Why should a business have to enforce your rights?If a crook really wants to steal, they will go out of their way to do so. They need only use a program like the above which won't maintain that signature.
This is just a discussion on the merits of making every single citizen an enforcer of artists rights.
If you include as unemployed those people who applied for a job in the last six months rather than just the past four weeks, discouraged workers, and people working part time who wish to work full time, the real unemployment rate is not the headline rate of 9 percent, but almost double that: It approximates 18 percent.
Wow, what a glittering jewel of colossal ignorance:
From the letters-to-the editor section of The Naples Daily News. Here's a gem from yesterday's paper. Sit down before you read this:
Editor, Daily News:
Until I read Jack Tymann's guest essay, I thought the $4.94 gasoline price had absorbed every available erg of popular anger.
Tymann's defense of the oil companies should warrant an explosion of outrage.
Unfortunately, here in Naples we appear to have an acquiescent and oblivious public. In Florida and across the nation it is inevitable that there will be a public revolt. Nationalizing the oil industry abolishes the economic power of the oil companies. It will enable the government to provide for the common welfare. Presently the oil companies are exploiting the people and their profits seem like thievery.
The oil companies constitute a clear and present danger to democracy and must be put under state control. Nationalizing the oil companies means hiring managers at fair salaries, not the average
$10 million annually for each CEO. Take the profits and revenues from their private pockets and use them for the public good. Use their profits to pay teachers and provide for state budget health-care needs.
Make the oil companies non-polluting energy resources to deal with global warming. Now they are responsible for the destruction of the environment and the reason for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the militarism of this country.
Some will rage socialism or worse. But nationalization is in the tradition of democratic and capitalistic countries everywhere.
— H.H. Hermann
Worldwide market forces are causing the price of oil and gasoline to raise. In the USA, stimulus, QE1 and QE2 are causing inflation, thus commodities are pricing much higher. Look no further than Big Government to see why prices are high.
Now I get it.
The Obama reelection campaign is raising money off of the controversy surrounding President Obama's birth certificate.
The Obama reelection campaign is selling a T-shirt (above) to anyone who donates at least $25.
With a donation of at least $25 to the Obama campaign, donors can get a long-form birth certificate T-shirt.
The "limited edition" T-shirt on the front proclaims, "Made in America" beneath a picture of the president. On the back, is a picture of the long-form birth certificate.
The president released his long-form birth certificate on April 27, trying to put an end to the conspiracy theory that he was not born in the United States. (For the record, again, the president was born in Hawaii.) Obama trumpeted the release of the birth certificate in a video that accompanied is stand-up routine at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
In 2008, the Obama campaign often used merchandise as a way to raise money/build its donor base. After all, anyone who donates $25 for this shirt is a potential donor who can give more money during the election cycle.
I guess the leftist editor of the New York waste of Times must have been asleep...
A quote from a book on H.L. Mencken ... "Mencken: The American Iconoclast" by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers:
"By the mid 1930's, thanks to the New Deal, all that self-reliance had changed prompting Mencken to declare: 'There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them.' Despite the billions spent on an individual, 'he can be lifted transiently but always slips back again.' Thus the New Deal had been 'the most stupendous digenetic* enterprise ever undertaken by man …. We not only acquired a vast population of morons, we have inculcated all morons, young or old, with the doctrine that the decent and industrious people of the country are bound to support them for all time. The effects of that doctrine are bound to be disastrous soon or late."
Check out the answer Mencken gave to someone who asked him "But Mr. Mencken, what would you do about the unemployed?" His answer? "We could start by taking away their vote."
Another Mencken quote:
"As democracy is perfected, the office of the president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
Study: Obama's Stimulus Cost 595,000 Jobs: IBD
"We agree on reforms that will finally reduce the costs of health care. Families will save on their premiums; businesses that will see their costs rise if we do nothing will save money now and in the future. This plan will strengthen Medicare and extend the life of that program. And because it gets rid of the waste and inefficiencies in our health care system, this will be the largest deficit reduction plan in over a decade."
The 2011 annual report from the Medicare Board of Trustees casts doubt on the ability of the ObamaCare health reform law to achieve significant health care costs a reduction, stating it is "very uncertain" whether the sweeping reform will succeed in reducing health care costs.
The report, released Friday, said that an improved financial outlook reported for Medicare depended on the ability of ObamaCare's cost-savings experiments to bear fruit – an outcome the Trustees found unlikely.
You said yesterday that you've been using logic lately.
Economists Timothy Conley and Bill Dupor have studied the effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the purported stimulus bill) with great rigor. Earlier this week, they reported their findings in a paper titled "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Public Sector Jobs Saved, Private Sector Jobs Forestalled." The paper is dense and rather lengthy, and requires considerable study. Here, however, is the bottom line:
Our benchmark results suggest that the ARRA created/saved approximately 450 thousand state and local government jobs and destroyed/forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs. State and local government jobs were saved because ARRA funds were largely used to offset state revenue shortfalls and Medicaid increases rather than boost private sector employment. The majority of destroyed/forestalled jobs were in growth industries including health, education, professional and business services.
So the American people borrowed and spent close to a trillion dollars to destroy a net of more than one-half million jobs. Does President Obama understand this? I very much doubt it. When he expressed puzzlement at the idea that the stimulus money may not have been well-spent, and said that "spending equals stimulus," he betrayed a shocking level of economic ignorance.
This chart, from Conley and Dupor's report, shows how goods-producing industries have completely failed to benefit from ARRA and the Obama administration's other misguided policies; click to enlarge:
Via Greg Mankiw.
Under the 2011 budget, every hour of every day, the United States government spends ...
Medicare and the Social Security trust are running out of money sooner than the government had projected. Social Security will now run a permanent yearly deficit.
Senator Rand Paul's Interesting Point: If health care is a right, then are doctors slaves?
I wonder why the MSM is hiding this story? Is Google also their darling?
There's just not enough money from the 'Rich' to take.
By Neal Boortz
Democrats just won't give up on this; especially during an election year. They know that people who might easily be talked into voting Democrat are, economically ignorant. The newest idea? A 3% surtax on all earned incomes higher than $1,000,000 per year.
There are about 139,960,580 tax payers with positive AGI in 2010. Only 0.2% of taxpayers earn a million dollars or more, meaning that there about 279,921 households will be target with this wonderful new bash-the-rich surtax. Let's assume that all of these households earn pretty much around the $1 million mark (because let's face it, there are a lot more people earning close to a million than close to a billion). With a 3% surtax on $1 million, that comes out to $30,000 for every household -- assuming they earn $1 million – and that's not considering any tax breaks that might get in the way. Multiply the number of households earning a million (279,921) by the surtax ($30,000) and you get 8,397,630,000 … so about $8 billion. How fast do we spend money does our bloated federal government spend in a day? Try $3.7 trillion dollars. That turns out to be about $10 billion per day, and that means that the wonderful 3% surtax on the evil rich would bring in enough money to operate our government until just about dinner time on only one day.
Let's really give the left a wet dream … let's just tax all AGI above $1,000,000 at 100%. After all, nobody really "needs" more than a million a year, right? And after all, with the Dear Ruler in office, it's all about from each according to their ability and to each according to their need. So let's just take it all. And just how long would that run our government? About three days.
You should also consider the fact that many taxpayers will magically change their earning habits to bring that total under $1 million in order to escape the extra tax. But this isn't about funding government … this is about stirring up class envy and trying to convince the dumb masses that what were facing is not a spending problem .. it's simply a taxing problem, and all we have to do is get the evil rich to "pay their fair share" and everything will just be fine.
What if we just taxed the billionaires …. Not just taxed them but took away everything that they earned and made them sell all of their assets? From Investors Business Daily:
According to the Forbes 400, America has 400 billionaires with a combined net worth of $1.3 trillion. Congress could confiscate their stocks and bonds, and force them to sell their businesses, yachts, airplanes, mansions and jewelry. The problem is that after fleecing the rich of their income and net worth, and the Fortune 500 corporations of their profits, it would only get us to mid-August.
Also consider that the top 1% of taxpayers earned $1.6 trillion in 2010. These are households earning over $380,000 a year. Even if we took all of their wealth earned in 2010, we would be unable to fund our government for one year, as we will spend $3.7 trillion.