Tag Archives: economics

Straw man of the year: The “So you say you hate taxes?” list

As if we needed more evidence that Liberals literally fail at basic economics, this anti-Tea Party piece is floating around Facebook as if it actually proves something: So you say you hate taxes? … well here is the solution.  Here’s a sample of the 102 items listed (they really put a lot of work into this logical fallacy!):

1. Do not use Medicare.

2. Do not use Social Security

3. Do not become a member of the US military, who are paid with tax dollars.

4. Do not ask the National Guard to help you after a disaster.

5. Do not call 911 when you get hurt.

I imagine that most of you will quickly spot the straw man fallacy: The Tea Party never claimed to want taxes to be zero.  Never.  They even used the “backronym” of Taxed Enough Already.  Therefore, the “but taxes pay for good things” argument is meaningless.  It proves nothing.  It was just an extended-play, petty vehicle to demonize one’s ideological opponents.

And you’ll probably realize that just because we need taxes for some things — and the Tea Partiers agree that some taxes are necessary — it doesn’t mean:

  • That taxes should be raised
  • That the current tax proceeds are being used efficiently and effectively
  • The tax proceeds are being spent in Constitutionally correct ways
  • That increasing tax rates will increase revenues.  For example, lowering the corporate tax rates would keep more jobs here, resulting in more personal income and Social Security tax receipts.

Side note: The commenters on the Facebook page included the typical “tea bagger” pejorative.  It occurred to me that the anti-Tea Party people must be real homophobes.  After all, why would they consider it to be such an effective insult to refer to Tea Partiers by a term describing a gay sex act?

Our financial crisis is your fault!

You should have elected a luckier President.  See Obama Creates His Own Luck (emphasis added):

Today in Iowa, Barack Obama proved once and for all that he does not understand how the economy works:

At a town hall meeting on his campaign-style tour of the Midwest, President Obama claimed that his economic program “reversed the recession” until recovery was frustrated by events overseas.  And then, Obama said, with the economy in an increasingly precarious position, the recovery suffered another blow when Republicans pressed the White House for federal spending cuts in exchange for an increase in the national debt limit, resulting in a deal Obama called a “debacle.”

“We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again,” Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa.  “But over the last six months we’ve had a run of bad luck.”  Obama listed three events overseas — the Arab Spring uprisings, the tsunami in Japan, and the European debt crises — which set the economy back.

If the issue wasn’t so serious you could just laugh off this childish leader who blames everyone but himself.  Corporate CEOs would have been fired by now for the lack of results and the lack of personal responsibility.

Why “soaking the rich” doesn’t work

They are remarkably waterproof.  Game the rules all you like and they will find ways around them, or just move their capital to an environment that isn’t so hostile to it.  Politicians endlessly create and exploit loopholes but arrogantly assume that no one else is as clever as they are and will do the same.

Driven by a combination of bad planning, a lack of understanding of  basic economics and plain old coveting*, California is now doomed to fail.

See Californians flee to red states at Haemet.

In the five-year period from 2005 to 2009, 870,000 people left California.  Most of them went to red states, like Arizona and Texas, wherein jobs are more plentiful, taxes are lower, and housing prices are lower.

Problematically for California, the type of people who leave a failing state are the ones that a state most needs.  The educated, the wealthy, and the ambitious are the ones who will pack up and move, taking their human capital, their assets, and their earning capacity to other states.  Most of the people who stay are the ones who need the strong and able to carry them.  California is on its way to a death spiral, wherein everything it will need to do will only exacerbate its problems.

This why we need simplified tax structures.  Yes, some will take advantage of them, but they always will.  Having a tax code multiple times the size of the Bible is doomed to fail.  It just increases bureaucracy and wastes money.  We also need to get rid of public-sector unions and radically cut back the welfare state.

* Remember that one?  It made the top 10 list.

Did he really say that?!

As if we needed more evidence that Liberals Liberals fail at basic economics, we have the President of the United States saying this:

There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.  Barack Obama

That is an epic FAIL on so many levels.  It isn’t a structural issue, it is a foundational and wonderful element of our capitalistic economy.  The unemployment rate didn’t nearly double because of ATMs (and despite wasting a trillion dollars trying and failing to keep it below 8%).  It is a pathetic attempt for him to avoid responsibility.

Why is a “progressive” like Obama so opposed to progress?  Does he think that his beloved teleprompters pre-dated agriculture?  No, they exist because people took risks, worked hard and were rewarded for creativity and automation.

He should be embarrassed, and the media should mock him until their throats (TV and radio) and fingertips (print) are raw.  Using his “logic,” we’d have higher employment if it weren’t for advancements like ATM machines.  Ignoring the jobs of those who make, install, maintain, and write software for these machines, does Obama think that other countries won’t continue to automate even if we stopped?  If businesses don’t automate then costs go up compared to other countries and we lose even more jobs.  You could require that all cars be made by hand, but would anyone ever buy a U.S. car over an inexpensive and higher quality foreign model?

I say without exaggeration that I’ve taught Junior Achievement classes to 7th graders who understand basic economic principles better than him.  There was an exercise asking if you should automate your bike factory to save money and improve quality, even though it would reduce jobs.  Many kids initially opposed this because they forgot about the other bike makers.  When I pointed out that without automation everyone would eventually lose their jobs, they realized the benefits of progress.

As Stacy McCain adds in Pointing Out the Obvious: They Don’t Teach Economics at Harvard Law School : The Other McCain:

The president is attempting here to offer a simplistic explanation of the difference between cyclical unemployment and structuralunemployment. As important as that distinction is, however, it fails to explain many obvious things about this recession.

Unemployment isn’t at 9% because of out-of-work bank clerks and airline ticket agents. Unemployment is most severe in construction trades and other housing-related sectors. Whatever else Obama’s policies have done, they have not led to a meaningful recovery of the housing market and, one might easily argue, have made things much worse. Why? Because for two years, the administration and Democrats in Congress did everything possible to impede the foreclosure process, to keep deadbeats in homes they can’t afford. This has slowed re-sales, prevented mortgage lenders from cutting their losses on bad loans and, in general, hindered the kind of price “re-set” necessary to making the housing market efficient again.

Something else: The recession is not equally bad everywhere. Why is unemployment nearly 12% in California but less than 6% in Oklahoma? Don’t people in Oklahoma use ATMs and automated airline ticket kiosks?

I could go on and on, but it is such a shooting-fish-in-a-barrel topic.  If only the Left could see how intellectually bankrupt and counterproductive Obama’s economics are.  The youth who voted for him are starting to see it (their vision seems to be better when standing in the unemployment line rather than at his “hope and change” speeches).

—–

If you want to see something delusional, watch the head of the Democrat National Committee claim that Obama has turned the economy around.  Uh, yeah, sure, 9.1% unemployment, skyrocketing deficits and debt, gas over $4 a gallon (which was Bush’s fault when he was in office but apparently a good thing when Obama is in power, because it reduces global warming blah blah blah), etc.

Also see Obama Puts Unions Ahead of a Healthy Economy, Free Trade for an example of why it is hard to believe he even wants to reduce the unemployment rate.

Atlas Shrugged, the movie

This should be interesting.  I’m not a big movie fan but I may go see this– Atlas Shrugged Part 1 Trailer.  I finally got around to reading the book last year.

Mini-review: Ayn Rand did a magnificent job of identifying the failure of Liberalism and how destructive it is.  If I wasn’t so familiar with the people represented by the characters she skewered I would have accused her of creating straw men. But many decades later the same horrific thinking dominates academia and much of politics and “religion” (the fake kinds).

Her solution is better, but far from good enough.  Ironically, she was ahead of her time in identifying the intellectual bankruptcy of postmodern thinking but fell prey to a bit of it herself.  Even if her economic worldview was better than her ideological enemies — and it certainly was — she still had no universal grounding for her ideals.  And of course I oppose her pro-legalized-abortion stance, though I wonder if she would have changed her views if she had seen how abortion rights played out after Roe v Wade.

I hope that the movie stimulates discussion about the key economic concepts that it rightly advances.  And I do know of one blogger who has probably purchased multiple advance tickets to the show . . .

Dear Illinois, Do you think you can keep raising taxes with no ill effects? Think again.

See Governor Christie is actively courting Illinois businesses to move to New Jersey (and he is not the only Governor to take advantage of Pat Quinn’s chronic stupidity) – Ah, the free market at work!  That pesky law of unintended consequences will get you every time.  Make your state difficult to do business with and people and companies will leave.

This works on the national level as well.  If you raise taxes and raise barriers to effective commerce, capital funds will go elsewhere and take their jobs with them.  And that lowers tax bases that further erode employment, and the spiral continues.

These are basic economic principles that a 7th grade Junior Achievement student can grasp yet these highly paid politicians cannot.  Like horrible chess players, they can’t think one simple move ahead.  And more and more people will suffer for their ignorance.

False teachers profit from poverty

First, let me be clear that I care a lot about the poor.  I’m pretty sure I donate more to help them than false teachers like Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie (unless his giving is 20x the typical Liberal politician).  I taught Junior Achievement classes for 13 years.  I support CareNet, which provides life skills training in addition to saving the weak (the ones Chuck thinks it is OK to kill).  And so on.

But as usual, the types that cause the poverty make their living off “curing” it.

Half of Americans state that someone in their close family is poor, and over 50 million Americans are living in a household struggling against hunger. We need your help now more than ever to build a grassroots movement to cut poverty in half in 10 years.

via : “Tell Congress Not to Scrooge the Jobless This Holiday Season!”.

These “grassroots movement” types don’t understand what reduces poverty: Jobs!!  They fight for job-killing legislation like the Cap and Trade nonsense and ridiculous ventures like ethanol that only help people like Al Gore.

They will never be able to help the poor in the long run because they are Democratic shills and glorified poverty pimps.

It has been proven that Liberals fail at economics.  They don’t know how jobs are created.

False teachers and bad politicians cause poverty then pretend they can reduce it

False teacher Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie‘s text made about as much sense as the blog title: The Rev. Chuck Currie: President’s Leadership Needed To Cut Poverty By 50% Over Ten Years #poverty @fpwf.

We are fortunate to have in the White House a president who once worked as a community organizer – a job that had him working in neighborhoods and churches to fight poverty at the local level.  Perhaps no president in modern times has such intimate knowledge or obvious commitment to this issue.  It is also clear that the White House staff shares the president’s deep concern about poverty.

Uh, you call that fortunate?  I think it is rather unfortunate that the President’s top job before becoming a Senator was being a community organizer.  What business did he ever run or even work in?  Does he know how real jobs are created or sustained?

Theological Liberals like Chuck can’t even get the basics of Christianity right or even run a successful Liberal church in a Liberal denomination in a Liberal town. And Liberals fail at economics.  But he thinks we should listen to his economic ideas?  Yeah, we’ll get right on that.

Jobs!!! Part 3

The final piece of this short series . . .

If you had to blame the recession on one person, who would it be? — The Wintery Knight rightly picks Barney Frank, who along with his fellow Democrats insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were fine and the concerns over a housing bubble were unfounded.  Oh, and they resisted the Republican calls for regulation.  Watch the videos.  Facts are pesky things.  If only they got reported by the mainstream media we’d all be in better shape.

And guess what party the top 5 recipients of Fannie/Freddie contributions belonged to?  Hint: It starts with a “D.”

We need more Junior Achievement classes in all grades.  They are proven to reduce drop out rates and they provide excellent training in basic economic and money management principles.

Intel CEO Otellini: The Democrats Are Destroying our Economy — this is basic stuff to people who know anything about business.  You shop at businesses that treat you better and have lower prices, right?  What makes you think investors won’t do the same?  If you charge higher prices (i.e., taxes), offer lousy service and demonize your customers then don’t be surprised when they leave you.

The most disturbing part of Otellini’s comments is that he says nothing groundbreaking, nothing unexpected, and nothing that we have not heard many times before. Otellini talks about regulation, taxation, litigation and transparency – all issues that have been cited by business leaders for years. But our ‘leaders’ in Washington ignore these concerns, and instead pile on more taxes, more regulation, more litigation costs, greater uncertainty about the climate going forward. And they do all this while claiming to be ‘pro-jobs.’

Will Congress and the White House ever realize that business leaders are telling the truth? As our government continues to make it more difficult to do business in the US, companies must increasingly look to more favorable climates abroad. If Washington really wants to spur job creation here in the US, they should repeal the health care overhaul, reduce spending, cut the corporate tax rate, give up on cap and trade, and reform litigation. Instead we have been treated to an extended experiment in government control – one that is obviously not producing new wealth, new jobs, or any real hope for the emergence of the industries of the future.

As noted in the first part, it is proven that Liberals have a very poor understanding of basic economic principles.  They should not be in charge of the economy.  Get out and vote this November, people!  Republicans have their flaws, but their policies result in having employed people complain about them rather than unemployed.

Jobs!!! Part 2

Continuing a three-part series on jobs . . .

Roxanne explores the vast misunderstandings about job creation in Failing Capitalism (and common sense) 101.  Read it all.

Whether or not you ascribe to that  particular ideology, you should understand the theoretical basis of the reigning ideology of your country.  So, if you live in the Western world, you should have some idea of what capitalism is all about.  That is, you should not write things like:

“Creating jobs is not about intelligence or education. It’s about having enough money to pay someone to do something. And :drumroll:…. having money is not exclusively a function of being educated, intelligent, good-smelling, or anything else, really. Of course, if we argue that wealth is solely a function of merit (as measured by education, which we assume is a function of intelligence), then yeah, it’s pretty much axiomatic that a more educated populace will create more jobs.”

Then Marshall asks, “Who would hire?  Who could?”

This article from Investor’s Business Daily lists ten reasons for the poor job situation in this country: (Hat tip–Wintery Knight)
-Executive orders and regulations promoting compulsory unionism.
-Obama’s forced restructuring of GM.
-Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 (ObamaCare).
-Extension of unemployment benefits to 99 weeks — almost two years!
-American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009.
-Minimum wage laws.
-Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.
-Moratorium on offshore oil drilling.
-Expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
-Obama’s runaway spending.

Not surprisingly, people with no business experience don’t know how to create jobs. Obama’s cabinet has the least private sector experience ever, by far.

Is the media helping educate people on the problem? Of course not. As Rich Karlgaard of Forbes notes, editorial after editorial blames business for the problem but never talks to the business people. I guess they must be omniscient and don’t need to actually interview the people in question.

Also see Obama’s Washington: No experience necessary

Wonder how Recovery Summer turned into Wreckovery Bummer?  How an administration ginned up its entire economic strategy into one stimulus bill and has done nothing since, even as the economy disintegrated?  Marty Robins advises his readers to check the CVs of the people in charge in Washington to understand just how incompetence has triumphed — and not just Barack Obama’s . . .