Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Inequality in America is a personal choice

It is beyond disgusting to hear Democrats and their supporters complain about inequality in this nation.  Opportunity is here for the taking.  No nation on earth has produced as many millionaire entrepreneurs as the United States.  No nation on earth provides the strong economy and freedoms through which even poor immigrants have continued to achieve success not even dreamed about in their home countries.

So why do so many Americans complain about inequality? We could attribute their actions to the sin of envy, and blame it on temptation of the devil. IMO, though, Americans who complain about their economic failure simply lack the courage to look in the mirror and accept that their poor decisions and their lack of drive is what caused their personal "inequality".

It is truly amazing that people who are such cowards, so afraid to face up to their singular role in their personal situation, believe they can make the rest of us feel guilty enough to "make them equal".

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Increasing the minimum wage will increase unemployment

To the left-wing fools who recently advocated that Congress increase the minimum wage to $9.80:

Where have you placed your heads that you can no longer observe reality? Have you not seen what has happened to unskilled jobs in America?

Increasing the marginal cost of unskilled labor may or may not not immediately reduce employment. But it will definitely make elimination of workers more feasible.

Fifty years ago, gasoline service stations employed young men who filled up everyone's gas tanks. No more.

Thirty years ago, McDonald's and every other hamburger chain employed a worker to cook french fries. It's all done automatically now.

Twenty years ago, WalMart and other retailers had zero self service checkouts. Now they take up a third of the check out lines and they're increasing.

Unskilled labor is constantly being replaced by machines. Increasing the minimum wage just increases the rate of replacement.

How many low-skilled jobs have been offshored over the past five decades? Does anyone actually believe increasing the marginal cost of low-skilled labor will keep the remaining jobs here?

Rasing the minimum wage is absolutely stupid.

Again, to those of you who advocate minimum wage increases: get your heads out of those dark places and look at what has happened to low-skilled jobs in America.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Four men who refused to be disabled

As a nation, we’re giving a free ride to far too many who refuse to find work.  Too many in America now believe they’re entitled to the fruits of the labor of others.  It wasn’t always that way. My father’s generation, and my grandfather’s generation, did everything possible to take care of themselves and their families.

In May of this year, 8.7 million Americans received federal disability payments – that’s 1 for every 16.3 workers in this nation.  By contrast, in 1992, the ratio of disabled to workers was only 1 to 35.5. The workplace in America didn’t become more dangerous.  The roads and highways didn’t become more dangerous. Why do we have so many more potential workers collecting disability payments?

From thirty years ago, I remember four courageous men who refused to believe they were disabled.

Mr. C. was a cerebral palsy victim.  You could see that by watching him struggle to walk across a room.  But Mr. C. did not let his physical difficulties stop him.  For forty years he was the government documents librarian at a small southern university.  Mr. C. received a number of awards for the books and articles he authored – not because he was disabled but because of his expert knowledge.

Mr. J was blind from birth.  I met him at an Ivy League university, where he was simultaneously earning an MBA and a law degree.  Where the rest of us studied by sunlight and lamp, Mr. J toiled away in darkness.  He “read” the textbooks and law cases which his wife and friends had dictated onto cassettes.  I haven’t kept up with Mr. J., but I certain he is a top-notch lawyer.  He would never have let his lack of eyesight block his path to success.

Mr. P was born without fully formed hands.  His stubby fingers seemed to grow out of the ends of his wrists.  That he could barely hold a piece of chalk didn’t stop Mr. P.  He was an excellent engineering professor.

Mr. D was also blind from birth.  When I met him, he was just starting his career as a computer programmer in the early 1980s.  As a programmer, I had often struggled to remember variable names as I read through pages of code. I don’t know how Mr. D was able to listen to his computer speak back output, one character at a time, and make sense of what was in code. Mr. D was not some charity case worker, but a talented professional.  His talents were recruited by other employers over the years.

If these four men could make it in the world without disability payments, why can’t everyone?  Certainly some people are truly disabled.  But anyone who can type intelligent sentences on a social networking website should be capable of doing some work in this nation.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Taking my property to fund your moral imperative is not charity - and not moral

Redistribution of wealth - taxation to pay for universal health insurance, for food stamps, for welfare payments, and all other gems of the liberal mind - is simply the forceful theft of property.  Self-titled "progressives" often argue that such theft must be moral because all the civilized world does so.
Consider slavery. Slavery was a common, almost global practice a few hundred years ago. That didn't make it right.

Or consider women's suffrage. I don't know of any country which allowed women to vote in the 19th century. That didn't make it right.

The majority of the U.S. population currently believes it is acceptable to force productive citizens - and only productive citizens - to be charitable. That doesn't make it right.

Libertarians and like-minded citizens are trying to change this nation, just as abolitionists changed the nation in the 19th century and suffragists did in the early 20th century.

Charity - voluntary transfer of property to someone you deem unfortunate - is admirable and has existed for denturies if not millenia.  But what moral argument can support the belief of "progressives" that it is acceptable to force some of the population to be charitable?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Obama Lies! We did build our businesses!

Barack Obama’s weekend message to America’s entrepreneurs: “'If you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Actually, he may not be lying.  Hussein Obama may actually believe that small businesses couldn’t exist without government’s control and guidance.
The truth, as every small businessman knows, is that government is a significant and annoying obstacle a small business owner must overcome.  Consider how government makes it harder for us:
As Nicholas Owen noted recently in the Wall Street Journal:
 “As of 2008, small businesses faced an annual regulatory cost of $10,585 per employee, according to an SBA regulatory impact study published two years ago. “
A recent survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealed that 80% of small businesses say that the taxation, regulation and legislation from Washington makes it harder for their business to hire more people.
In a 2010 USA Today column, Chip Mellor and Dana Berliner pointed out the obstacles government erects:
“Cities and states stifle new small businesses at every turn, burying them in mounds of paperwork; lengthy, expensive and arbitrary permitting processes; pointless educational requirements for occupations; or even just outright bans.”
Kmele Foster, entrepreneur and president of America’s Future Foundation, recentlty provided some important insights about government and small business:
“Right now, there are roughly 170,000 federal business regulations currently on the books. Written in fine print, single-spaced and double-columned, they fill about 150,000 pages of text. In 2008 alone, regulations cost the U.S. economy $1.75 trillion, according to a report from the Small Business Administration. That's equal to a whopping 14 percent of the nation's gross domestic product. Add that to the nation's tax burden, and it's easy to see how the federal government is stifling businesses, undermining employment growth and handicapping America's global competitiveness.”
Obama has it backwards.  We did build our businesses.  Government was not a partner but rather an obstacle in our road to success.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Student loan forgiveness? Of course not.

About that “crushing” student loan debt liberals want to unload on taxpayers: government is the problem and government cannot be the solution.
Why do more college graduates each year find themselves with tens of thousands in student loans but without skills the market wants to employ?  The answer is simple: government interference in the free market.
Consider what the lending situation would look like without government guaranteed student loans. What lender would have provided tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars a young man or woman who wanted to pursue a bachelor’s degree in history or journalism or anthropology or film studies? A prospective student seeking a loan would need to provide the same thing a prospective business entrepreneur would have to provide: a realistic business plan.
So what has guaranteed student loans done for the young person? Allowed him to completely waste the four years of his life when his capacity for learning is at its peak.  And then saddled the student with the so-called crushing debt his mistake has cost him.  He didn’t get the wise counsel of a lender who had skin in the game.  No, the young man or woman learned the glowing benefits of his major from the very academic whose own salary depends on the guaranteed loans for food and shelter.
Will student loan forgiveness solve the problem?  Of course not.  Forgiveness would send a terrible message to the student and to future students – that taxpayers will bail out your mistakes. Student loan forgiveness just kicks the can down the road.
Government interference caused the student loan “crisis”.  The only solution is to allow the free market to function.