[Recycling] certainly isn’t economically rational. Unlike commercial and industrial recycling — a thriving voluntary market that annually salvages tens of millions of tons of metal, paper, glass, and plastic — mandatory household recycling is a money loser.
When materials are worth recycling, markets for their reuse naturally arise. For materials with no natural markets for their reuse, the benefits of recycling are less than its costs – and, therefore, government efforts to promote such recycling waste resources. …
Markets promote conservation when it’s worthwhile; government promotes it when it’s wasteful.
“Leftism at its heart holds that a small percentage of humans have a vastly superior understanding of everything compared to ordinary people. The point of leftism is to empower these superior individuals to impose their superior understanding upon society by the force of the state. Leftists must be viewed by themselves and others as superior human beings if they are to have a claim to power and status.”—Shannon Love (via nomosshere)
In order to reduce the nation’s deficit, we’ll almost certainly need to cut entitlements. But an ever-growing percentage of Americans—about 45 percent in 2010—pays no taxes. And the number of people who receive government benefits is growing too. Not surprisingly, then, when you go looking for public support for cutting those entitlements, you don’t find much. Voters tend to voice general support for cutting spending, but don’t respond well to the idea of cutting benefits that affect them.
I’ve mentioned this before. This has been the Left’s plan all along: foster “urges of dependency and entitlement, the core principles of their pernicious ideology and the cyclically self-fulfilling source of their enabling power.” Like George Bernard Shaw once said: “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”
Politicians argue for increased stimulus spending, as opposed to spending cuts, on the grounds that it would speed up economic recovery. This argument might have it exactly backward. Indeed, history shows that cutting spending in order to reduce deficits may be the key to promoting economic recovery. …
Economic history shows that even large adjustments in fiscal policy, if based on well-targeted spending cuts, have often led to expansions, not recessions. Fiscal adjustments based on higher taxes, on the other hand, have generally been recessionary.
Nick Gillespie, writing at the NY Post, explains that it’s the spending, stupid:
So now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is lobbying for what she calls “Obama middle-income tax cuts” as a way to goose the struggling economy. At the same time, she insists that past cuts for higher earners “only increased the deficit.”
She says we can afford $3.2 trillion a year in “Obama” cuts, but not $70 billion in “Bush” cuts. …
Contrary to claims made by people bashing the Bush tax cuts, those reductions didn’t starve federal coffers. In the first six years of Bush’s presidency, federal revenues rose in all but one year, climbing to more than $2.5 trillion in 2007 before leveling off in 2008 and then dipping due to the recession.
Unfortunately, spending under Bush jumped far more…
Also, a key point to remember when arguing with Lefties/Keynesians about tax cuts: we don’t pay for tax cuts. Despite what Pelosi recently claimed, we don’t subsidize the rich when “granting” them tax cuts. Tax cuts don’t cost money; government programs do. If a mugger decides to steal 40% of your money instead of half of it, he did not give you that 10%. The entitled left think that the government has more of a right to your property than you do.
When a woman consistently messes up her relationships, her therapist doesn’t just tell her to wear a new dress and change her lipstick before her next date; s/he asks her to do some real soul searching. But a new dress-and-lipstick combo is pretty much what an agency charged with reviewing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control’s (IPCC) procedures in the wake of the GlacierGate mess recently recommended.
The success of American Indian [Charter School] is due to the no-holds-barred management and academic culture created by its former principal, Ben Chavis, and now perpetuated by the principals to whom he passed the baton following his retirement in 2007. Ben brought this school from last in Oakland to 4th in the state, and his successors have raised it to #1.
[T]here is no obvious relationship between marijuana arrests and marijuana use. Although arrests have more than doubled since the early 1990s, the number of pot smokers was no lower in 2008 than it was in 1990 and perhaps somewhat higher, even allowing for methodological changes that seem to have boosted self-reported drug use after 2001.
California is so broke it is being compared to Greece. But the Orange County Board of Supervisors gave away 4.3 million dollars [in a back room settlement] to an illegal Mexican alien, who is also a child molester, [for his having been beaten by other inmates while serving his sentence].
[T]ea partiers, who may not all agree on gay marriage or birthright citizenship, are united behind a couple of sound goals: curtailing the cost of government and refusing to live at the expense of future generations. Those are goals that, for eight years, had many rhetorical supporters in Washington, but few authentic champions. …
The tea partiers were dismayed to see these [so-called GOP] penny-pinchers replaced by poll-driven insiders with an appetite for earmarks. That’s one big reason hard-right candidates have scored so many upsets in recent GOP Senate primaries—including Rand Paul in Kentucky, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller in Alaska, and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.
They didn’t get nominated because they look and sound like the popular image of a savvy, experienced, well-informed, practical-minded U.S. senator. They got nominated because they don’t.
Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel audits ARRA stimulus spending by two important city agencies and finds that the American people have spent $111,450,000 to retain or create a mere 54 jobs in La La Land.
U.S. Citizens Have No Obligation To Answer Questions. Ultimately, the cops let me go, because there was nothing they could do. A returning U.S. citizen has an obligation to provide proof of citizenship, and the officer has legitimate reasons to investigate if she suspects the veracity of the citizenship claim. A U.S. citizen returning with goods also has an obligation to complete a written customs declaration. But that’s it. You don’t have to answer questions about where you went, why you went, who you saw, etc.
Of course, if you don’t, you get hassled.
But that’s a small price to pay to remind these thugs that their powers are limited and restricted.
When President Obama announced a new $50 billion stimulus plan Labor Day weekend, conservatives scoffed, and rightfully so. Who does this guy think he’s fooling? After a $700 billion dollar TARP bailout, the auto-manufacturer bailout, and an $800 billion dollar stimulus, does this president actually think a comparatively measly $50 billion is successfully going to turn around an economy where greater sums have failed? But the president and his party always have a ready reply for such naysayers–”imagine if we did nothing.” This open-ended question will undoubtedly continue to provide cover for stimulus-loving liberals, no matter how much conservatives insist that their constant government intervention simply doesn’t work.
Conservatives have an opening to make an uncluttered argument—using the empirical data of a terrible economy—that less spending, less regulation, and less government is the way to create more prosperity. Dragging Third World colonialism into it—and I can say this with near certitude—is a bad idea on a number of levels.
Almost every day, something in the NY Times makes me happy to no longer work at ABC News.
At ABC my colleagues acted as if they were steeped in the Times, like tea bags. They got their entire view of the world from the Times. Anything different was “wrong” or “right wing.” It drove me crazy. Today, I’d have to be institutionalized, were I still at ABC, because the Times is particularly irritating.
As the price of something drops, the demand increases. For a growing share of Americans, government services are effectively “free,” so they are demanding even more and policymakers are giving it to them.
As the following chart shows, federal payments to individuals as a share of the economy have reached an all-time high after seventy years of steady growth:
George Bernard Shaw said that “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul.” In order to head off the coming fiscal train wreck, Paul is going to need to be convinced that robbing Peter is no longer in his best interests. However, by foisting a larger share of the burden of government onto a smaller and smaller group of taxpayers, policymakers will make it more and more difficult for Paul to see the error of his ways.
Jones’s threat to burn the Koran was ugly and offensive. It deserved to be reviled as an affront to civility, to American values, and to the millions of good Muslims who stand with us in the war against the radicals. But it is never right for the president or his aides to pressure US citizens into silencing themselves or stifling their liberties in order to conciliate violent zealots. If the years since 9/11 have taught us anything, it is that jihadists must be resisted, not appeased.
From Part I (rent control, gun control, war, social justice):
Seventeenth century philosopher Thomas Hobbes said that words are wise men’s counters, but they are the money of fools.
That is as painfully true today as it was four centuries ago. Using words as vehicles to try to convey your meaning is very different from taking words so literally that the words use you and confuse you.
More: Part II (health care, taxes, rich/poor), Part III (liberal/conservative), Part IV (disarmament, nuclear weapons).
[T]here is no successful example of Keynesian economics. It didn’t work for Hoover and Roosevelt in the 1930s. It didn’t work for Japan in the 1990s. It didn’t work for Bush in 2001 or 2008, and it didn’t work for Obama. The reason… is that Keynesian economics seeks to transform saving into consumption. But a recession or depression exists when national income is falling. Shifting how some of that income is used does not solve the problem.
This is why free market policies are the best response to an economic downturn. Lower marginal tax rates. Reductions in the burden of government spending. Eliminating needless regulations and red tape. Getting rid of trade barriers. These are the policies that work when the economy is weak. But they’re also desirable policies when the economy is strong. In other words, there is no magic formula for dealing with a downturn. But there are policies that improve the economy’s performance, regardless of short-term economic conditions. Equally important, supporters of economic liberalization also point out that misguided government policies (especially bad monetary policy by the Federal Reserve) almost always are responsible for downturns. And wouldn’t it be better to adopt reforms that prevent downturns rather than engage in futile stimulus schemes once downturns begin?
When the [leftist] mainstream media dominated the airwaves, Americans who were against race and sex quotas were made to feel as though they were racists and sexists. Americans who were against big government were portrayed as mean-spirited and uncaring. What talk radio and the massive expansion in non-traditional media have done is not only end the isolation, but more important, the silence amongst ordinary Americans. …
While America’s [leftist] elite have not reached the depths of tyrants such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Hitler, they share a common vision and, as such, differ only in degree but not kind. Both denounce free markets and voluntary exchange. They are for control and coercion by the state. They believe they have superior wisdom to the masses and they have been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. They, like any other tyrant, have what they see as good reasons for restricting the freedom of others.
Their agenda calls for the elimination or attenuation of the market. Why? Free markets imply voluntary exchange. Tyrants do not trust that people behaving voluntarily will do what the tyrants think they should do. Therefore, they seek to replace the market with economic planning control and regulation.
Why [leftism] has become an ugly sight… is because more and more Americans have wised up to their agenda.
In the Roman empire, it was treason to insult or make fun of the emperor, to “injure his majesty.” This is true in all unfree countries, to protect the state and its head, and as the American empire becomes ever more authoritarian, here too. Not that this is anything new in the US context. John Adams’s Sedition Act of 1798, under which Americans were fined and jailed, was of this ancient and evil tradition, as was the Apostle Woodrow’s Sedition Act of 1918. Recently, an English teenager sent an insulting email to Obama, and the praetorian guards, FBI division, have banned the kid for life from ever visiting the Homeland, by mere edict.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius [sent a] threatening letter to health insurers who dare to tell their enrollees about how much ObamaCare is costing them. … Sebelius knows that ObamaCare’s largest premium increases are yet to come… [she] may be intimidating insurers now to prevent them from blaming those much larger premium increases on ObamaCare.
One sign of the tea party movement’s success is that the term “tea party” is becoming an all-purpose smear term for any more-or-less right-wing person or activity that [your typical, leftist MSM] writer doesn’t like. In fact, I think “Tea Party” is replacing “neocon” as an all-purpose word for “the people I hate.”
Like Christopher Walken’s character in the famous SNL skit, a music producer whose solution to make songs better is “more cowbell!,” the left’s solution to all of life’s maladies and inconveniences is always “more government!”
The [NYT] suggests that we must recognize a new “life stage” known as “emerging adulthood,” in which people who are adults but have not yet fully matured must engage in “identity exploration” and embrace their “sense of possibilities.” You know: Anything but finding a steady job, a good mate, and starting a family. It’s basically an excuse to put off adult responsibilities until after you’ve turned 30, gussied up by people with Ph.D.s.
… [This] “emerging adulthood” could cost the public dearly because behind the discovery of this “life stage” is a call for [lots of new] federal spending.
The Left: forever fostering urges of dependency and entitlement, the core principles of their pernicious ideology and the cyclically self-fulfilling source of their enabling power.