Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Value of Property Rights in Society

Recently, Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul made quite a stir in suggesting that a portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was misguided.

His comments have caused an enormous flurry of misrepresentations in the mainstream (left-wing) media.

Paul made a couple of interesting points that were completely missed by the unthinking left.

First, that government policy was a driving force behind discrimination. From "separate but equal" to the fact that most of the KKK leadership were elected Democrat party officials, government was a large contributor to segregation and other discriminatory evils.

Second, that markets ultimately will do a much better job at ensuring equality of opportunity, justice, and fairness than the government. For example, why did Apple, Microsoft, HP and IBM start providing spousal benefits to their gay employees? Because government made them do it? NO. Sure, there are laws TODAY in some cities and states today that mandate this, but the whole movement started with high tech business who were competing in the market for scarce resources. Apple for example took a lot of heat in some states (like Texas, where they had sales offices)for leading this, but they stuck to their guns and did it anyway.

What do you think would happen to a business today if it refused to service some demographic segment? Their competition would put them out them out of business very quickly. (Yeah sure, there would be a few backwaters where these types of small businesses might survive, but they are largely irrelevant in the grander scheme of freedom, so who cares?)

Paul's reflections had nothing to do with racism. His comments were all about the value of property rights in creating and sustaining a free, prosperous, and decent society. Of course, the brain dead left just doesn't get it because they have never understood why property rights are indispensable to freedom. This is why the left always fails.

That's the bottom line.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fed Audit and Greece Bailout

The Senate passed a bill calling for a one time audit of the Federal Reserve to scrutinize the $2 trillion in emergency loans that the Fed provided to some of the nation’s biggest banks.

The bill was a very watered down version of bill that passed in the House, which would have enabled the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit every item on the Fed’s balance sheet, including all credit facilities and all securities purchase programs. An amendment to expand the Senate bill to match the House's failed to pass. Still, this is a good first step as it would enable the GAO to audit at least some Fed actions for the first time in history.

The government's bailout of Wall Street points to a huge problems in our financial system and even larger problems with the control that Wall Street has over politicians in both parties.

Conceptually, Wall Street exists to support the needs of other businesses. When businesses need capital to start up or expand, they can get the money in one of three ways: A.) from their own savings, B.) through borrowing (debt), or C.) by selling a portion of the business to others (equity).

What does this have to do with derivatives, credit default swaps, or even the whole concept of "selling the market short"??? The short answer is nothing whatsoever. All of these things are nothing more than gambling. Goldman Sachs and their ilk have turned our financial system into Las Vegas. Like Vegas, the system is rigged so that the House wins 98.5% of the time.

The one difference between Las Vegas and Wall Street is when a casino in Vegas goes belly up, Washington doesn't rush in with our money to bail them out.

Unfortunately, the situation is about to get even worse. The U.S. government is taking part in the $1 TRILLION Greek bailout both through the IMF and also through the Federal Reserve, which is shipping dollars to Europe to help stabilize the Euro. Of course the money won't be used to put the country on the right path. Instead, it will be given to lazy union members who'd rather sit arounding sipping Ouzo, while bad mouthing America, than work.

I've been to Greece a couple of times. It's a beautiful country that has been completely destroyed up by decades of political corruption.

Why is it our responsibility to pay for their mistakes? Oh, because the country might "melt down". GOOD. The country SHOULD melt down because maybe then the politicians will be forced to confront their problems and eliminate the costly welfare state that has been sucking the life blood out of their country.

We have our own problems too. They are on a much grander scale than Greece's.

17% of our workforce is unemployed or under employed. Our official debt has reached $13 trillion, which is a whopping 90% of GDP -- almost as bad as Greece's. Unfunded entitlements in Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, and government pension plans top $130 trillion -- more than $438,000 per person. Government spending at all levels is approaching 40% of GDP, which is not far behind "socialist" France at 44%.

With all of these problems confronting us, how dare the politicians hand our money to Greece. How dare they?

Greece and the rest of the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) caused their own problems. It's time for them to deal with it.

We created our own problems too. It's time for us to boot the SOBs out of office who are making things worse.

The Incumbent Purge is Underway!

Over the weekend, three term Republican Senator Bob Bennett failed to win a spot on the GOP primary ballot in Utah. Yesterday, Congressman Alan Mollohan failed to win the Democrat nomination in West Virginia. Over the next few months, at least a dozen additional incumbents could lose their seats in the primaries. Among them are three Senators -- Blanche Lincoln, Arlen Specter, and John McCain.

Specter typifies what's wrong in Congress. The guy has been locked away in the District of Columbia for 45 years. The world was a very different place when Specter got to Congress in 1965. At this point, he's completely clueless about most everything. He also doesn't have any philosophical foundation or moral center. All he cares about is hanging on to power.

McCain is so scared that he recently released a disgusting, disingenuous, and pandering television ad about the border, in which he completely reversed his long held positions on illegal immigration. JD Hayworth is currently behind McCain in the polls, but fortunately the Arizona primary isn't until August. By then, McCain's famous temper will have torpedoed his campaign.

In Kentucky, conservative-libertarian Rand Paul holds a double digit lead over the establishment hand picked candidate Trey Grayson in the GOP Senate primary. Grayson used to be a Democrat, who supported Bill Clinton. That didn't stop former Vice President Dick Cheney, Senate leader Mitch McConnell‎, and much of the rest of the GOP establishment from endorsing him. Why? Because they are scared to death that Paul will be an independent voice who will not go along to get along.

The slaughter in the general election in November is likely going to be much larger. House Republican Leader John Boehner claims that as many as 100 House seats are up for grabs. I'm not a big Boehner fan, but I agree with him on this -- there is an anti-incumbent furor that could result in as much as 20% of the House turning over this year. All of the losses won't be on the Democrat side.

If unemployment stays around 10%, there will be another slaughter in 2012. This isn't only bad news for Barack Obama. Establishment types like Mitt Romney will likely be causalities as well.

This is all great news. The voters are finally waking up and throwing the bums out.

Unfortunately, Americans usually don't pay much attention to the goings on in the District of Columbia. They are this year and they did in 1994, but generally they don't.

In the absence of a diligent electorate, we need term limits. Unfortunately, regardless of who controls Congress, elected politicians are not going to pass a law, let alone a Constitutional amendment to limit their power in any way. That's the big problem.

I for one am looking forward to seeing large numbers of incumbents in both parties being booted from office this year and in 2012. Those that remain will be so scared that they will clean up their acts and do what we want -- at least for a short period of time.