Archives For Politics

I read the following story in the Nov. 2 issue of Forbes. It was in a piece by Amity Shlaes:

BACK IN THE 1980s a man who sat on the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission told a story about a Christmas ham he’d received from a local cemetery, Forest Lawn.

“My first Christmas as commissioner–when I received the ham–I tried to return it at once, though for the record, I did not, since no one at Forest Lawn seemed authorized to accept hams.” A year later another ham from Forest Lawn arrived, and this time the commissioner gave the ham to a worthy charity.

The third year the officer gave the ham to some worthy friends, who were hosting a party. The fourth year the commissioner held his own worthy party and served the ham. The commissioner recalled what happened next: “In the fifth year, about the tenth of December, I began wondering, where is my ham?”

This is why the public is so distrusting of politicians.

I like this:

I discovered Arthur Brooks back when he came out with his book, “Who Really Cares?” His latest book, The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America*,
will be out next week. It looks like an interesting read.

Mr. Brooks was interviewed in this week’s WSJ. I liked what he had to say. Here are a couple of quotes for those of you who are not WSJ subscribers:

When he was a child, Mr. Brooks notes, one of four people lived on less than a dollar a day. Today, though we still have far to go, the advance of trade and a globalized economy has shrunk that figure to one of 20.

The liberation of hundreds of millions from desperate poverty ranks among the greatest success stories in history. But it’s a story that remains largely untold and mostly unheralded. In his new book, “The Conservative Heart,” Mr. Brooks puts it this way: “Capitalism has saved a couple of billion people and we have treated this miracle like a state secret.”

AEI aims to change that. “We should be shouting it from the rooftops,” he says. “If Beethoven were alive today, he would dedicate the ‘Ode to Joy’ to this miracle. In the very first verse of that poem—which inspired Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony—we hear, ‘Beggars become Princes’ brothers’! If this is so, it is because of free enterprise.”

Few today would deny the market’s success in literally producing the goods. For some, however, this is a paradox. It’s a paradox because, in this way of thinking, socialism has the higher ideals but fails in practice, while capitalism succeeds in practice even though it is based on greed.

Mr. Brooks believes these critics are limited by materialistic assumptions about wealth and its production. Capitalism, he insists, succeeds not because it is based on greed, but because the freedom to trade and do business with others is in harmony with our God-given nature. So he has no patience for those who fear the moral argument.

I wish we could get back to a country that emphasizes education and concentrates on teaching people HOW to succeed instead of constantly telling them that they can’t succeed without the government’s (the taxpayers) help. The pessimism is rampant, thanks to social media. Flip through a Flipboard magazine on the topic of Capitalism or Income and you’ll see what I mean.

*Affiliate link

A Black Box in Your Car? Some See a Source of Tax Revenue

Charging drivers by the mile.

Anyone who lives outside of New York City or any other big metropolitan area, will not like this idea.

I loathe any idea that adds a new way to tax people. Why? Because the old taxes rarely get done away with. There is a gasoline tax already. There are also lots of toll roads that charge by distance driven. WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER WAY FOR GOVERNMENTS TO GET MORE TAXES.

The above article mentions that this is necessary because the roads are in need of repairs. Wasn’t TARP supposed to be for roads? We have zero accountability in how the government spends the money it receives.

From today’s WSJ (How Government is Making Solar Billionaires):

Welcome to SolarCity, SCTY -0.59% the latest booming green company that has never recorded a profit. The startup’s stock price has soared by 600% since its IPO last December—it closed on Monday at $57 a share—and spiked after the company announced a couple of weeks ago that it expects business to grow by 70% to 90% next year. Yet the company, based in San Mateo, Calif., and specializing in deploying rooftop panels, ended the first six months this year $61 million in the red.

Ordinarily, that sort of number might disconcert investors. But SolarCity’s business model is powered by government subsidies, which also fueled the 500% stock run-up and turn to profit this year of the electric-car maker Tesla. Steering both companies is Elon Musk.

In addition to being the chairman of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla, Mr. Musk is the largest shareholder in both companies. The increase in their stock prices has raised his net worth by more than $5 billion over the past year.

Isn’t that lovely?

Yes, I am aware that the government also helps other industries. The point is the government really should get out of all business creation and promotion. The government should not be deciding who is or is not successful. If your idea cannot succeed in the market place on its own, then you need a different idea. Mr. Musk has the U.S. taxpayers to thank for his wealth.

Discuss among yourselves while I go paint the master bedroom…

PS – If you can’t read the link, email me (JLP – at – and I’ll get you a copy.

From today’s WSJ:

The Obama administration plans to block the construction of new coal-fired power plants unless they are built with novel and expensive technology to capture greenhouse-gas emissions, according to people familiar with a draft proposal.


The person and others briefed on the rule said such stringent limits would ban new coal plants, which generally release about twice as much carbon dioxide as the proposed limits. Even the newest, most advanced coal-fired power plants in the world would fall far short of that revised standard, they said.

Someone stands to make a lot of money installing all this new technology. That’s what this is really about. It’s not about the environment.

The American people should be allowed to vote on things like this. There should be a rigorous objective study done that will show how much these proposed changes will add to our monthly electric bills. Then, we should vote on the bill. Better yet, it should be a STATE ISSUE!

Have a great day, everyone.

Big surprise:

Forever 21 Caught in Obamacare Controversy

President Obama creates Obamacare. He makes 30 hours a week “full time” and forces employers to provide health insurance for “full time” employees. Employers respond by slashing hours below 30 hours per week.


What did the Obama Administration expect would happen?

People can gripe all they want but businesses and people operate on incentives. Politicians tend to forget this.


Perhaps the Obama administration expected exactly this would happen in order to pave the way for…

A single-payer system.