As President Obama rolls out his poorly-named “Promise Zones” (sounds like something a male adolescent would come up with to name a body part), progressives around the nation are simultaneously pushing for higher minimum wage — places like New York, Detroit, and SeaTac have recently had protests and/or legislation passed over higher minimum wage, just to name a few. And the U.S. Senate has mentioned a “$10-ish” federal minimum wage. By the way, it’s not just progressive liberals pushing for it — in Washington state, a self-described Republican is pushing for $15/hour minimum wage. The article calls him a “conservative”, but we all recognize his progressive ideology.
“Income inequality” is shaping up to be the big 2014 liberal campaign platform. The progressives want to re-frame the debate as a humanitarian rather than an economic one. Democrats hope they can ride this horse to victory, and probably even keep riding it through 2016. Never mind the fact that they are essentially admitting to buying votes.
In any free market system, the cost of labor is an input which impacts the final price of goods sold and services rendered. By artificially inflating minimum wage, Democrats promise us a better life for those at the bottom of the wage scale, but the tradeoff a higher cost to produce goods and services. This increase in cost will work its way into the economy in one of three main ways:
- Higher prices for consumers to obtain a good or service (essentially a hidden tax on consumption)
- Less innovation and production and employment growth, due to more business resources being allocated to existing labor
- Lost jobs due to companies moving production overseas, or in the case of business that can’t move overseas, more automation or just plain lower quality of service
Additionally, when minimum wage goes up, it tends to drive all wages up across the board. This exacerbates the above outcomes across the entire economy.
When fast-food workers in 100+ cities went on strike a few weeks ago, they probably never thought their jobs were replaceable. After all, how do you make food without humans? May I present to you, the robot that makes nearly 400 burgers an hour:
The title of this article is polarizing and I expect to get in trouble for writing it. As a homeschooling parent I’m not supposed to think homeschooling superior to institutionalized education. I’m supposed to take the stance that all choices are equal in the effort not to offend anyone who prefers public schooling. It’s a hot topic in the mommy circles and one that most homeschooling moms want to avoid. We all encounter the same comments and exclamations like, “How do you do it? When are you going to put them in real school? You must be crazy! How long do you plan to do this?” or my personal favorite, “I could never do that!” This article is a response to all the times I’ve wanted to answer truthfully but held my tongue in order to preserve peace.
Disclaimer: Let it be understood that I believe in the freedom of individuals to choose how to raise their own children how they see fit. This does not prevent me from having an opinion as to the nature of public school and what state-run education inflicts on American children. This is based on personal experience and years of study and research. Further, many of you will argue that none of the examples in this article have ever happened to your child in your school. My answer is, not yet. I warn you, if you are a public schooling advocate and you continue to read this article you may become unhappy with your current choices and find yourself at a homeschooling conference and facing disapproval from your social circle. Read at your own risk.
On August 2nd the House released an investigative report on Solyndra, the failed solar energy company, which shows beyond a doubt the Obama administration abused taxpayer dollars for political gain.
Solyndra received a $535 million loan, straight from our pocket, as part of Obama’s “green jobs” strategy. Indeed, Solyndra was considered one of the jewels in Obama’s green recovery crown. When Obama visited the plant in 2010, he highlighted Solyndra as an example of the “right thing to do for the economy,” claiming the plant would employ at least 1,000 high paying jobs.
As is so often the case with lofty oratory, the reality never lived up to the rhetoric.
First, the Obama administration pressured federal reviewers to sign off on Solyndra despite misgivings about the viability of the company and of the government’s loan model. Emails released by the investigators show the Office of Management and Budget responding to White House requests by saying “We would prefer to have sufficient time to do our due diligence reviews.” The loan was ultimately approved, clearly under political duress as an OMB staffer remarked “given the time pressure we are under to sign off on Solyndra, we don’t have time to change the model.”
Solyndra’s CEO at the time hailed the “Bank of Washington” for coming to their aid.
It quickly became clear that Solyndra was in peril as it began to miss payments on the loan. A government analysis warned that the company would run out of money in September of 2011 and recommended that the government simply cut its losses. Instead, the government chose to restructure the loan, ultimately wasting MORE of our tax dollars than if they had simply allowed Solyndra to fail.
The investigators released emails which clearly indicate the decision to restructure the loan – which inexplicably put taxpayers LAST to recoup losses – was made for political reasons. One government analyst remarked that a Solyndra failure “would likely be very embarrassing for DOE and the Administration.” Another commented that she was “vastly confused by DOE’s decision to negotiate away their senior position in this transaction.”
The final insult came when White House Chief of Staff Jack Yew, perhaps sensing that Solyndra was beyond saving, decided to wash his hands of any further involvement in the Solyndra restructuring. Let me say that again to be sure it sinks in:
Despite the administration’s self-proclaimed “quite active interest” in securing the loan for Solyndra, just months before it failed, the White House distanced itself from any further decision making.
No doubt so that when it finally failed, they could blame it on OMB / DOE / Bush (which is exactly what they tried to do).
Still undetermined is exactly what role Obama bundler Robert Kaiser played in securing Solyndra’s loan in the first place. Emails show Kaiser “advised associates” on how to secure federal assistance for Solyndra. As it turns out, Kaiser’s family also had a “substantial” financial stake in Solyndra. Coincidence?
This is an example of Chicago Politics at its finest. We have a choice in 2012. Are you voting for four more years of cronyism and abuse of our wallets? “Bank of Washington” my ass… it’s the Bank of We the People. I say we shut the damn doors. #ABO2012
If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
So said President Obama in a particularly revealing address on Friday. Obama has been blasted lately for going so negative, and the full speech reads mostly like the “Hope and Change” he ran on in 2008. I have to wonder if this and other remarks were the result of an unfortunate TOTUS malfunction. It always seems Obama is most revealing when he is unscripted.
In any case, there is no doubt that Obama meant this as a shot at those who consider their success to be of their own making. The overall theme of his speech was that nobody is successful without some kind of help, especially help from the government. Unfortunately, Mr. President, somewhere around 24 million small business owners may disagree.
Throughout his speech, Obama reveals an obvious bias against pro-business economic theory, not to mention an unprecedented level of ignorance on the requirements of successful entrepreneurship. Here are some examples:
And on their side, they’ve got a basic theory about how you grow the economy. And the theory is very simple: They think that the economy grows from the top down. So their basic theory is, if wealthy investors are doing well then everybody does well.
Obama is displaying his reliance on demagoguery by willfully distorting the economic theory most conservatives refer to as “Reaganomics.” The so-called “top-down” or “trickle-down” theory has very little to do with wealthy investors, and everything to do with the production of value to the consumer.
Think about it this way: do business owners get rich just because they open a business? On the contrary. Most small businesses require a minimum of tens of thousands of dollars of investment to start — often financed in whole or in part out of the owner’s pocket — and at least one-third of them fail within 2 years. Anybody can open their own business, but that alone does not translate into success or wealth.
Unless you have powerful friends in Congress who can subsidize ineptitude, your success in business can only be achieved by creating a value proposition which entices consumers to purchase your good or service. Even then it requires many years of tireless labor and painful sacrifice to achieve success. 40 hour workweeks? Hah! Try 60+. 2 weeks paid vacation? There’s no such thing when you’re the owner. When you own a small business, you’re chained to it for the first several years. Some people never break those bonds.
So why would anybody ever want to own a business? It is the promise of future wealth which entices people to start (and stick with) a business. In the mean time, though, the owner is busy buying materials, producing products or services that people want to buy, and creating jobs. As economist Thomas Sowell has observed, “Reaganomics” is actually not “trickle-down” in practice. The money goes to the suppliers and employees and the value goes to the consumers BEFORE the owner get wealthy — if they ever get wealthy at all! Only after years of successful enterprise will the typical business owner ever truly enjoy above average wealth.
Obviously, this economic theory has nothing to do with wealthy investors as Obama characterizes. It has everything to do with producing value to the consumer, and the presence of a profit motive on the part of the business owner. Unfortunately for all of us, Obama and his progressive cabal seem woefully incapable of comprehending this relatively simple idea.
Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
Apparently, Obama is saying that being hardworking and smart is not sufficient for achieving success, which makes me wonder, what exactly is Obama’s measure for success? Surely there are millions of Americans who are not business owners and not “wealthy” who can nevertheless be considered successful by most standards. What kind of message is the President sending about success?
But returning to the core point, the President is right that there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. While hard work can create success for employees, hard work alone is not sufficient to create success for a business owner. Studies have proven what successful business owners already know — the secret to great success goes beyond just dedication, requiring higher levels of sacrifice as well as focused improvement.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.
I’m not going to bash teachers. Teaching is tough, often thankless work. But if all that was needed to be successful was having a “great teacher somewhere in your life,” there would be virtually zero unsuccessful people in this country. At some point in their lives, almost EVERYONE has had a great teacher. I remember having undisputed “great teachers” in high school and college, but not everyone got A’s and not everyone who went through their classroom ended up being successful.
Don’t get me wrong. Most accomplished people do have some person or some event to thank for planting the seeds of success. But the cultivation of those seeds into something fruitful is another story entirely. I can say that my own success had very little to do with my education and a whole lot to do with my work ethic and my business savvy. I can thank my parents for planting the seed, but it took hours upon hours of hard work well beyond a 40 hour workweek to bear fruit
Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges.
I always love when liberals give the government extra credit for performing the basic duties with which the government is tasked. But even this argument this is spurious.
Giving the government credit for successful commerce because they build roads would be like Wal Mart giving their building contractor credit for selling me a DVD. Roads weren’t conceptualized by the government. We The People chose the government to be responsible for our road building. If not the government, We The People would find some other way to have roads built because roads are essential to our lives.
The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
False. Actually, the government was one of the main sponsors of a project by MIT called ARPAnet, which is widely (but incorrectly) considered the original Internet. However, an “internet” is a connection of multiple networks, whereas ARPAnet was simply a single network. The MIT research was responsible for some of the underlying technology, but comparing ARPAnet to the Internet is like comparing oil lamps to LED light bulbs.
At the time ARPAnet was being created, other institutions were already researching ways to connect computers together across short and long distances. ARPA got there first, possibly due to a larger influx of capital; at the time, the U.S. government was worried about being technological underdogs after the Soviets launched the Sputnik project. Nevertheless, anyone who says the Internet would never exist were it not for the government is certainly wrong.
Most objective observers agree that it really wasn’t until the government got out of the way, thereby opening the Internet up for private investment, that the World Wide Web was truly born. This is illustrated by the fact that the government’s own standards agency (OSI) actually tried to shut the door on the very same network communications protocol standards (TCP/IP) which are in use by all of us using the Internet today. They believed the technology would never work.
Beyond that, consider the underlying infrastructure supporting the Internet. Data travels across a huge network of fiber optic cables. Cables conceptualized and fabricated by private corporations, installed and maintained largely by private corporations, and funded by well over a trillion dollars of private investments, primarily from Wall Street.
At the very most, we could say the government accidentally helped encourage some of the basic technology of the precursor to the first version of the Internet while throwing money at any project that might have military application to counter the Soviets. After that, it’s at least plausible that the government’s role actually inhibited the development of the Internet we know today.
More to the Story?
By now, Obama’s ideological proclivities should come as no surprise. But reading his remarks, I am suddenly struck by another thought:
Consider his argument; the U.S. has the greatest system in the world, yet even here, people cannot be successful without help from the government. “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” What does that say about this country, this world, and humanity in general? Not much faith in mankind there!
Does Obama’s speech reveal something deeper, something on a personal level? What kind of life experiences must a person have to hold such a belief? Is Obama telling us that his own successes are owed to others? Did he accidentally reveal that he was the beneficiary of some government initiative, perhaps affirmative action? Or maybe that someone else, like Bill Ayers, wrote Dreams From My Father?
Thanks to Alert HillBuzz Reader Indy for the heads-up.
The headline should really read “It’s T day for Holder” because today is the day that our lying and devious attorney general goes before the congressional committee to testify (once again) about Fast and Furious. Remember when he last testified before the committee, back in May, he told everyone that he had only heard about Fast and Furious a “couple of weeks” before but information discovered since his testimony suggests that he knew about it way before that. According to sources close to the investigation, the committee doesn’t exactly have a “smoking gun” piece of evidence that says that Holder is behind the whole thing but they do have a mountain of circumstantial evidence and conflicting testimony from other witnesses that points to the fact that Holder is either lying through his teeth (and thus committing perjury) about whether he knew about this scandal or he is the absolute most incompetent Attorney General ever for not knowing what his underlings were doing down on our border with Mexico. Either way…many on Capitol Hill think he should go.
The Daily Caller obtained an advanced transcript of Holder’s testimony and as predicted by many…he’s going to push for tighter gun control measures in the US because of Fast and Furious and he’s going to blame the local authorities for cooking up the misguided scheme.
Here’s a little preview of what he is supposed to say today…
“Today, I would like to correct some of the inaccurate — and irresponsible — accusations surrounding Fast and Furious,” Holder’s prepared testimony reads. “Some of the overheated rhetoric might lead you to believe that this local, Arizona-based operation was somehow the cause of the epidemic of gun violence in Mexico. In fact, Fast and Furious was a flawed response to, not the cause of, the flow of illegal guns from the United States into Mexico.”
In his testimony, Holder also advocates for new gun-control laws that he says would have halted, or at least prevented, Operation Fast and Furious. Holder echoes California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s comments from last week, when she argued that stricter gun laws would have stopped law enforcement agents from facilitating the sale of guns to Mexican drug cartels.
Wait a minute….is he actually going to say that we need tighter gun control laws so that the ATF can’t pull off another debacle like Fast and Furious? In other words, we need to revise our 2nd amendment to protect ourselves from our own ATF?
Will the insanity ever stop?
I knew that someday soon, the illegal immigrants would use the “fear” card as a reason for staying in the US. That day has come. As the new and tough immigration law kicks into action in Alabama, many illegal immigrants are claiming that they can’t go back to Mexico because they are scared of the escalating violence among the Mexican drug cartels. Illegal parents are signing powers of attorney to legal US citizens …giving them temporary custody of their children…should they get deported. Instead of keeping the family intact, they are willing to give up custody of their children (who, of course, were born here illegally so they could be US citizens) to acquaintances.
(AP) Cristian Gonzalez, 28, said she has informally asked the manager of the rental property where she lives to take care of her 10-year-old daughter should she and her husband be arrested because they are illegal immigrants. The girl, a U.S. citizen who has medals for making good grades, needs to finish school in America and is deeply rooted in Alabama, she said.
Gonzalez said their other three kids are too young to remain and will go back to Mexico with her and her husband even though they are U.S. citizens.
“We’re afraid to go back to Mexico because of the drugs, the cartels and the killings,” Gonzalez said. “And we are afraid to stay here because of the law.”
Mexican authorities have struggled in the fight against drug cartels known for carrying out brutal killings as they try to tighten control over territory. Authorities say that country’s drug war has claimed thousands of lives.
Hmmmm…it’s convenient that Mexican drug lords are now so well armed with US assault weapons. Of course the illegals are scared to go back to Mexico. It’s a bloody mess south of the border thanks to Eric Holder and his crew. He’s created a nightmare scenario so that….
1. He can justify pushing for the elimination of our 2nd amendment right and…
2. Illegal immigrants can seek asylum here in the US for fear of falling victim to Mexican drug cartels.
It’s called killing 2 Obama birds with one assault rifle.
Sorry about the football reference. I’m a big Bama fan.
Fox is reporting that the Department of Justice, at the request of Obama, has filed an appeal to block Alabama’s new immigration law.
The Obama administration asked an appeals court on Friday to block the enforcement of Alabama’s strict immigration law — widely considered to be the toughest in the nation — arguing it invites discrimination against foreign-born citizens and legal immigrants and is at odds with federal policy.
What federal policy? You mean the one that the government won’t enforce? Oh, they must mean the federal policy that is to “look the other way and allow millions and millions of illegal aliens to flood over our border so that they can take advantage of our country and push us to the brink of bankruptcy.”
Alabama is ignoring the appeal. Woo Hoo!
The Justice Department’s appeal said parts of the law conflict with federal rules, and that “attempts to drive aliens `off the grid’ will only impede the removal process established by federal law.” It also said the legislation could impact diplomatic relations with foreign countries.”Alabama is not in a position to answer to other nations for the consequences of its policy,” it said. “That is the responsibility of the federal government, which speaks for all the states and must ensure that the consequences of one state’s foray in to the realm of immigration law are not visited upon the nation as a whole.”
What? Did they just say that this legislation could impact the diplomatic relations that we have with foreign countries? Really?
Did Eric Holder and Obama worry about diplomatic relations when they authorized Fast and Furious…allowing hundreds of assault weapons to walk into Mexico so that Mexican citizens could be murdered? I bet that did wonders for our relationship with Mexico.
You would think that the Justice Department would want to lay low right now and NOT get involved with anything Mexican but I guess this is the obligatory liberal pro-illegal game plan so Holder has to get involved.
God forbid a rogue state like Alabama would actually want to try and defend it’s sovereignty.
Go Bama Go! We’re with you 100%
The effects of Alabama’s new strict immigration law are starting to be felt. Since a federal judge upheld many of the laws key parts last week, law enforcement agents will begin enforcing the law this week. This means that officials can start checking the immigration status of any child enrolled in school. This has caused a rather large exodus of Hispanic families from the state. Late last week, schools were reporting Hispanic students mysteriously absent from class. Some of the families actually came into the school offices to officially withdraw their children from the schools. This has caused a panic among teachers and businesses that employ Hispanic workers. Alabama has a large agricultural and poultry industry. I’m interested in which state these families are migrating. Will they all head in the same direction? I wouldn’t think it would be Georgia since it also has passed a fairly strict immigration law. Possibly Mississippi or Tennessee? Will other states follow Alabama’s lead? The court system will be tied up for years from all the appeals.
So… if this is happening in Alabama, it stands to reason that if the United States enforced the laws that are already on our books then there would be a mass exodus of illegals back to Mexico….but we all know that will never happen because there are too many law makers (on both sides of the aisle) that are very happy to continue to support the illegal market.
So…for all of those people that are part of Alabama’s 10% unemployed, the Alabama poultry and farming industries are now hiring.
I really find this story unbelievable. I used to live in Marietta, Georgia…which is in Cobb County. It’s a VERY RED county….in a solidly RED state so this just goes to show that public education today is run by the same type of people everywhere….liberals.
Why would middle schoolers need to be taught about polygamy? Maybe a brief explanation about it when discussing different cultures but this material presents it as the best thing since indoor plumbing and goes on to expound on the virtues of wearing a burqa (abuyahs). It’s all presented as an innocent letter written by a 20 year old Saudi Arabian girl….
(an excerpt from the material):
“My name is Ahlima and I live in Saudi Arabia. … Perhaps two differences Westerners would notice are that women here do not drive cars and they wear abuyah. An abuyah is a loose-fitting black cloth that covers a woman from head to toe. I like wearing the abuyah since it is very comfortable, and I am protected from blowing sand. … I have seen pictures of women in the West and find their dress to be horribly immodest. … Women in the West do not have the protection of the Sharia as we do here. If our marriage has problems, my husband can take another wife rather than divorce me, and I would still be cared for. … I feel very fortunate that we have the Sharia”
Wait….did she say that if their marriage has problems then her husband can take another wife rather than divorce her? What happened to “a girl can be anything she wants to be whether she’s married or not.” ? Don’t parents teach their daughters that they shouldn’t need to rely on a man to support them?
WHERE ARE THE WOMEN’S LIBBERS?
WHERE’S THE ACLU SCREAMING ABOUT RELIGION IN SCHOOLS?
Ms. Ahlima neglects to point out that she will be beaten if she dares to speak to another man that’s not a relative and will probably be decapitated if she ever tries to leave her husband.
If I were a parent of a child in this school, I would be livid! You can bet that my child would march back into school the next day and let this teacher know exactly what our family thinks about Sharia…in no uncertain terms.
I’m not saying that children shouldn’t learn about Middle Eastern culture but there are ways to present it that are more appropriate. This material is not appropriate. Sharia law should never be presented positively. I think we should let the Georgia state superintendent of schools know how we feel about teaching children that polygamy is a good thing. I think he should reconsider the curriculum because you can bet that Christianity isn’t presented this in depth or with a positive spin.
Here’s Mr. Barge’s contact info:
Dr. John D. Barge
State School Superintendent
2066 Twin Towers East
205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
This homework assignment intends to teach our children one thing…
Islam and Sharia are good….America and the West are bad.
I’ll get off my soapbox now.