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Month: October 2009

Rewarding Failure And Punishing Success

Yesterday on his radio show, Michael Graham was discussing how some people were whining that the New England Patriots shouldn’t have won by so many points (59-0) over the Tennessee Titans, and that Tom Brady shouldn’t have been allowed to throw so many touchdown throws in one quarter. Graham brought up how in so many schools now, teachers and administrators are either stopping keeping score when it reaches so many points in sports, or just not keeping score altogether. Losing makes kids “feel bad.”

Unfortunately, what these goofballs are doing is taking the value of learning and benefitting from failure and loss away from the kids. It’s a self-destructive attitude. How could Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan have succeeded so much had they not had the benefit of learning from their earlier failures? You learn from failure and  make changes towards being more successful. That’s the value of failure.

When kids lose a game, they do certain things differently or improve on their weaknesses with the goal of scoring more points. Regardless of what the whiners and nincompoop parents and teachers believe, there is also a psychological benefit from achieving. Winning a game is a corrective experience from the failure of losing.

That whining nonsense goes with what has become an attitude of rewarding failures and incompetence (giving kids a “B” or an “A” when they should be getting a “C” or a “D” and then not knowing what’s going on in the next grade; banks lending to people who don’t qualify for loans, etc.) and punishing success (burdensome taxes and regulations, etc.). It comes from the resentment and envy by those who either can’t achieve or don’t try, towards those who do work hard and are successful and rewarded for their work.

The society is all backwards now, with rewarding failure and punishing success, where “ignorance is strength, war is peace, freedom is slavery.”

Ruining Our Country To Save The World

George Washington foresaw that “foreign entanglements” would be against America’s self-interests, and he meant US governmental foreign entanglements with other countries’ governments, although he encouraged Americans to engage in free trade with people in other countries.

Unfortunately, it may take a Lyndon Johnson-like Obama for supporters of our invasions, wars and occupations abroad to realize that military Big Government Statism not only goes against America’s integrity and Constitution, but goes against America’s own self-interests, those being protecting and preserving our freedom and prosperity.

40,000 more troops, 100,000 more or 500,000 more troops will not promote security or freedom in the Middle-East or in our country, in the long run, despite the fantasizing of the neocons and followers of the “Bush Doctrine.”

Whether we’re still fighting Al-Qaeda or the Taliban or whether we’re nation-building, our governmental and military intrusions abroad are intrusions. When we use governmental and military powers to “spread democracy,” those powers will be corrupted by special interests, and our presence in that region only incites more violence. People don’t like their territories being occupied. The only reason the “surge” of 2007 “worked” was that it pushed the terrorists back into Iran, Egypt or Saudi Arabia, or over to Pakistan, as we have seen now. We are not protecting America from terrorism.

How can we “spread democracy” abroad when the US has a one-party system of Democrat/Republican legally-protected political monopoly that locks out other parties and individuals from getting elected to public office?

We have been occupiers for many years in the Middle-East because of our dependence on their oil, and I am reiterating my suggestion that the states declare their Ninth and Tenth Amendment Rights and drill for oil and gas, and build nuclear power plants, and ignore all Federal laws and regulations regarding those activities.

America really has two choices. We can continue the path of self-destruction by continuing our governmental  “foreign entanglements” and campaigns abroad and risking further terrorism here, as well as growing our Big Government, Big deficits and Big Debts while further taxing ourselves to death and digging a grave for our freedom. Or we can go back to the Independence, Freedom and Prosperity we once had–that the professional politicians and bureaucrats have been stealing from us.

I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.

—Mark Twain, New York Herald, Oct. 15, 1900

Labor Has Value

Obama Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg is demanding that Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis receive no salary nor bonus for 2009, and will also have to repay the bank the $1 million he’s already earned. Granted that BOA was one of the large financial institutions that received TARP Bailout money, and that the takeover by BOA of Merrill Lynch (for which Lewis had strong reservations) was quite controversial, still, the very idea of a “Pay Czar” is very fascist in nature, like many of President Obama’s policies and proposals. There’s little doubt that it will go from applying to companies receiving TARP money to all businesses, and this kind of government intrusion into the private sector only comes from the resentment and envy of the Left, and control-freak politicians.

A private business, no matter how large, has a right to pay its CEO and top executives what the owners and shareholders think their labor is worth. Many people don’t see what the executives do as “labor,” but that concept includes intellectual as well as physical labor. A CEO doesn’t just sit there at his or her desk looking out the window, but makes very important, sometimes stressful decisions. A lot of pressure, for example, was on Ken Lewis when he was testifying before Congress regarding his misgivings on the Merrill Lynch acquisition. Just one decision by a company CEO can affect millions of people, and billions of dollars. Most business owners and shareholders think that their CEOs’ labor is worth their high salaries.

Likewise, the NFL (in the news a lot this week) values the labor of dog-fighter/dog-executioner Michael Vick and that’s why the NFL hired him back, although fans have been split on that. That reflects more on the decline of values in America in recent years. But Vick’s labor is valued.

When or if the government takes over the entire medical care system, the value of doctors’ and nurses’ labor will decline, along with the quality of care. Already we are seeing doctors planning to retire early or college students deciding against that profession if the government takes over. Those less skilled but who don’t mind being servants of the state will enter the profession as government doctors. The good doctors now are usually those who prefer independence, and who value the confidential relationship between doctor and patient. Doctors and nurses will be paid what government officials, not markets, decide their labor’s value is worth, hence the decline in quality.

We can see how things get devalued when controlled by government bureaucrats. Just look at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And look at the products of government-run (aka “public”) schools.

A further example of that has been the Cash For Clunkers program, with more people trading in their clunkers for foreign made vehicles, because of the decline in the value of American-made cars. That isn’t just because of the government takeover of General Motors, but in large part because the quality of American-made cars has declined over the years, as the labor unions’ workers compensation and benefits packages have greatly increased.

And that situation isn’t because their employers put a higher value on their labor, but because of the unions’ strong-arm tactics and pressures on the auto makers. In contrast, the Americans who work at Toyota plants in the United States, for example,  are payed less and, with the exception of at only one plant which is closing next year, are not unionized. Toyota pays American workers the value of their labor, calculated much more accurately according to buyers in the free market and the employers, not an organized labor union.

The value of labor and the products of labor are promoted by freedom and free markets, and downgraded by mobs and government intrusions.

Trade In Keynesian Clunkers

September-October 2009

There have been so many suggestions for new things for government to do (to us): the medical fascists want the government to take over the entire health care and insurance industries, and the environmental control freaks want to impose much stronger restrictions and regulations and higher taxes on us. We need to go the other way and reduce government’s control over our daily lives, and take our freedom back.

Now that the “Cash For Clunkers” program is in the junk yard, here’s a better idea: Let’s trade in Washington’s clunker Keynesian policies of excessive taxation, deficit spending, debt expansion and foreign nation-building campaigns. Given that most of the politicians in DC are themselves big buckets of bolts, let’s trade them in, too.

Last year we traded in the 2000 Bush Wagon for the 2008 Obamobile, while John McCain puttered and crashed his GOP Edsel into a ditch. Now some people are asking of President Obama what was asked of a president 37 years ago: “Would you buy a used car from this man?”

Some of Obama’s voters are joining his critics who don’t want more of the same clunker policies that have caused our country’s ills in the first place. They do not want to be lemmings for lemons. (Sorry.)

Obama promised “change,” but he has kept George W. Bush’s Keynesian policies, as well as the same Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, who promoted the socialist Wall Street Bailout that will further burglarize our future generations’ piggy banks.

No “change.” Just more of the same and worse, and certainly less “hope” for our posterity.

The federal government has rapaciously been taking over whole industries, in addition to its other insatiable intrusions into our private lives. That is backfiring against our country.

In the 1994 elections, the people traded in many clunkers for politicians promising more freedom and less government. Unfortunately, many of those politicians became entrenched and got stuck in the mud of Big Government.

Throughout America’s first 100 years or so, we saw the greatest expansion of freedom and prosperity in human history. This was not caused by government mechanics. Rather, it was achieved through individual human initiative, innovation and invention, and made possible by freedom.

Unfortunately, the government that the American Founders created has expanded in its size and intrusiveness, a phenomenon against which the Founders had warned us.

Contrary to the tales of the mass media and government officials, the truth is that the Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression were driven by stupid and intrusive government policies, and not by private markets. If only government would stop interfering, it is private markets and freedom that can save America.

The Founders’ vision of “limited government” was corrupted by the Federal Reserve, the “Military Industrial Complex,” and society-planning programs that have stuck a big STOP sign into the road of economic growth, and greatly diminished our freedom.

Centralized government has been driving America the wrong way and uphill towards Soviet America Boulevard. Medical fascism and “cap and trade” will demolish America.

The citizens of the former Soviet Union traded in their big centralized government clunker for freedom, and Americans must do the same with Washington.

We must trade in our clunker politicians for those who have actual knowledge and understanding of history and the US Constitution, and who do not live in a Keynesian fantasy world. We must trade in self-destructive policies for the freedom and common sense that made America’s first century of prosperity and progress possible.

Here’s hoping for a change for the better, but don’t forget to kick the tires first.

Our Health Care Rights

Here are our health care rights:

You have a right to keep your private health matters private. You have a right to be free of any government or legally-imposed intrusions into your private health information. If it’s none of your neighbors’ business, then it’s none of the government’s business.

You have a right to care for yourself. You don’t have a right to demand that society (your neighbors, etc.) care for you. In a free, civilized society such as ours, there will be plenty of charitable, giving individuals and groups who will care for those who can’t care (or afford to care) for themselves. However, when those activities are then assumed by government, with its officialdom and police power, especially with the power to confiscate private wealth (which it shouldn’t have the power to do), over time those who were charitable and giving reduce their charity with the assumption that the government will take care of the needy. The business of taking care of the needy then becomes dysfunctional, as it is now, because such endeavors have been distorted by laws and force. No one has a right to demand that their neighbors care for them or pay for their care.

You also have a right to not care for yourself if you choose not to. However, even (or perhaps especially) in those circumstances, you don’t have a right to demand that others care for you or pay for your care. Especially if you smoke like a chimney, drink like a fish or eat like a pig. Under those circumstances (and there are a lot of people living in those circumstances), a truly honest and genuinely civil society would not allow for people’s neighbors (the “government”) to be forced to pay for your heart attacks, high cholesterol, clogged arteries, lung cancer, etc. self-inflicted or otherwise. I say otherwise because I know there are people with health problems and diseases that are of no fault of their own. That still gives no one the right to demand care from their neighbors.

You have a right to see a doctor and a right to choose your doctor (as long as the one you choose is mutually agreeable to that). You also have a right to not see a doctor if you don’t want to. And laws or governmental mandates interfering in the relationship or association between a patient and one’s doctor is a violation of their right of association, right of contract, and their freedom in general.

You also have a right to have health insurance if you want it, and right to not have health insurance if you don’t want it. Any law or governmental mandate forcing people to have insurance or to do anything involving their private life is a violation of their rights and their freedom.

Health insurance and medical care would be much, much, much less expensive if government and laws would get the hell out of it. As Ronald Reagan said, government is the problem and in fact the cause of these problems, not the solution. People who see MORE government as some kind of solution to all this are ignorant of history, economics, and the actual reality of human relationships. Or they are just corrupt. (Or both.)

Repeal all mandates, regulations and other government intrusions in the medical industry, require people to live more responsibly and undo all the taxes and expensive, unnecessary bureaucracy so that medical providers and insurers can bring their costs way, way, way down (and they will!) so people can afford to see a doctor or have a medical procedure if they have to.

H1N1? Don’t Panic! Overreacting Government Bureaucrats? PANIC!!!

Is it really a good idea that the government mandate things like flu vaccines or H1N1 flu vaccines or any vaccines? No, it’s not a good idea. People have a right to choose what medications to take or what chemicals get injected in their bodies.

With the H1N1 flu this year and Federal and state governments’ overreactions, suggestions of martial law have been made, and these kind of threats of intrusions, along with the intrusions  health care fascists are threatening in the proposals for government medicine, is why we should be alarmed.

This news story here is about health care workers protesting mandatory H1N1 vaccines for lack of testing and/or reliability and safety, and also notes the overreaction of the government is similar to overreaction of the government in the past, such as in 1976 when more people were killed by swine flu vaccine than swine flu itself.

This news story is about studies questioning the effectiveness of the regular flu shot. And this article is about why the flu vaccine doesn’t really work.

Parents in New Jersey have been protesting the state’s mandating of flu vaccines for preschool children, and given how past government mandates of vaccines, such as that of HPV which caused deaths, as explained here by Karen De Coster, the parents have good reason to be angry.

First, people have a right to be left alone. They have a right to be presumed innocent, and presumed “in good health,” and otherwise left alone, especially by government. Sweeping mandates that affect everybody is not going to protect the public from any flu. ADVISING people of the best way to keep themselves healthy and to prevent colds, flu, H1N1 etc., is a good idea, but not forcing something on people, especially vaccines that have potentially dangerous chemicals that could be more harmful than the actual virus itself.

Hysteria and panic are emotions that can cause people to behave irrationally, and, given the irrationality of the Obama Administration in just about every policy it wants to force on us, as well as the Deval Patrick Administration in Massachusetts, we can do without it.