Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Summary: while it's true that GDP experienced a respectable 3.2% growth from 1993 (the year Clinton enacted his tax increases), real wages saw almost no growth at all. It wasn't until 1997, when the Republican-led Congress lowered taxes on both income and capital gains that GDP growth went up a full 1% from 1997-2000 to 4.2%, and real wages grew 6.5%.
$200K? I thought it was $250K? Of course, not to be outdone, Biden upped the ante:
$150K? So what is rich, gentlemen? 250K? 200K? 150K? $43,000, perhaps?
"The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato's and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense."
All land was held in common (no private property), and all the products of labor was to go into a common store, to which each person was entitled to one share. Bradford saw the folly of this, ended it, and distributed a plot of land to each family to hold privately and work privately. Immediately, productivity soared:
"This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content."
Once again, socialism is demonstrated to fail, and capitalism to succeed, hundreds of years before Marx was even born. Don't take my word for it: read Bradford's words for yourself, "Of Plymouth Plantation."
Monday, October 27, 2008
Me: I copied this from What I Think You Should Read. Rather than just link to it, I think it bears repeating.
This is a very interesting article by Benjamin Franklin for the London Chronicle in 1766…it’s actually a timely read. My favorite quote, however, and the reason I am posting this is his view on the poor saying, “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. — I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.” The full paragraph on poverty is an amazing read. I put the full passage in bold if you’re as challenged for time as I am…
On the Price of Corn, and Management of the Poor
For the LONDON CHRONICLE.
To Messieurs the PUBLIC and CO. I am one of that class of people that feeds you all, and at present is abus’d by you all; — in short I am a Farmer.
By your News-papers we are told, that God had sent a very short harvest to some other countries of Europe. I thought this might be in favour to Old England; and that now we should get a good price for our grain, which would bring in millions among us, and make us flow in money, that to be sure is scarce enough.
But the wisdom of Government forbad the exportation.
Well, says I, then we must be content with the market price at home.
No, says my Lords the mob, you sha’n't have that. Bring your corn to market if you dare; — we’ll sell it for you, for less money, or take it for nothing.
Being thus attack’d by both ends of the Constitution, the head and the tail of Government, what am I to do?
Must I keep my corn in barn to feed and increase the breed of rats? — be it so; — they cannot be less thankful than those I have been used to feed.
Are we Farmers the only people to be grudged the profits of honest labour? — And why? — One of the late scribblers against us gives a bill of fare of the provisions at my daughter’s wedding, and proclaims to all the world that we had the insolence to eat beef and pudding! — Has he never read that precept in the good book, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn; or does he think us less worthy of good living than our oxen?
O, but the Manufacturers! the Manufacturers! they are to be favour’d, and they must have bread at a cheap rate!
Hark-ye, Mr. Oaf; — The Farmers live splendidly, you say. And pray, would you have them hoard the money they get? — Their fine cloaths and furniture, do they make them themselves, or for one another, and so keep the money among them? Or do they employ these your darling Manufacturers, and so scatter it again all over the nation?
My wool would produce me a better price if it were suffer’d to go to foreign markets. But that, Messieurs the Public, your laws will not permit. It must be kept all at home, that our dear Manufacturers may have it the cheaper. And then, having yourselves thus lessened our encouragement for raising sheep, you curse us for the scarcity of mutton!
I have heard my grandfather say, that the Farmers submitted to the prohibition on the exportation of wool, being made to expect and believe, that when the Manufacturer bought his wool cheaper, they should have their cloth cheaper. But the deuce a bit. It has been growing dearer and dearer from that day to this. How so? why truly the cloth is exported; and that keeps up the price.
Now if it be a good principle, that the exportation of a commodity is to be restrain’d, that so our own people at home may have it the cheaper, stick to that principle, and go thorough stitch with it. Prohibit the exportation of your cloth, your leather and shoes, your iron ware, and your manufactures of all sorts, to make them all cheaper at home. And cheap enough they will be, I’ll warrant you — till people leave off making them.
Some folks seem to think they ought never to be easy, till England becomes another Lubberland, where ’tis fancied the streets are paved with penny rolls, the houses tiled with pancakes, and chickens ready roasted cry, come eat me.
I say, when you are sure you have got a good principle, stick to it, and carry it thorough. — I hear ’tis said, that though it was necessary and right for the M —— y to advise a prohibition of the exportation of corn, yet it was contrary to law: And also, that though it was contrary to law for the mob to obstruct the waggons, yet it was necessary and right. — Just the same thing, to a tittle. Now they tell me, an act of indemnity ought to pass in favour of the M —— y, to secure them from the consequences of having acted illegally. — If so, pass another in favour of the mob. Others say, some of the mob ought to be hanged, by way of example. — If so, —— but I say no more than I have said before, when you are sure that you have got a good principle, go thorough with it.
You say, poor labourers cannot afford to buy bread at a high price, unless they had higher wages. — Possibly. — But how shall we Farmers be able to afford our labourers higher wages, if you will not allow us to get, when we might have it, a higher price for our corn?
By all I can learn, we should at least have had a guinea a quarter more if the exportation had been allowed. And this money England would have got from foreigners.
But, it seems, we Farmers must take so much less, that the poor may have it so much cheaper.
This operates then as a tax for the maintenance of the poor. — A very good thing, you will say. But I ask, Why a partial tax? Why laid on us Farmers only? — If it be a good thing, pray, Messrs. the Public, take your share of it, by indemnifying us a little out of your public treasury. In doing a good thing there is both honour and pleasure; — you are welcome to your part of both.
For my own part, I am not so well satisfied of the goodness of this thing. I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. — I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavours to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen? — On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependance on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness. In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty. Repeal that law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday, and St. Tuesday, will cease to be holidays. SIX days shalt thou labour, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.
Excuse me, Messrs. the Public, if upon this interesting subject, I put you to the trouble of reading a little of my nonsense. I am sure I have lately read a great deal of yours; and therefore from you (at least from those of you who are writers) I deserve a little indulgence. I am, your’s, &c. ARATOR.
The London Chronicle, November 29, 1766
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Summary: California Rep. Brad Sherman (D), CA-27, introduced legislation that would effectively end "right-to-work" laws in the 22 states that have them. This would allow unions to do to states like Texas that they've done to Michigan and Ohio. Thanks, but I'll pass.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
About me: I am an engineer, a husband, and a father. I own my own home, and borrowed less money than I qualified for to buy it. I remember communism, and heralded its fall. I am an Army brat. I do not suffer fools lightly. I enjoy making do computers what I want them to. Should someone one day bestow upon the title of 'hacker', I would not mind. I refuse to call the modern American Left "liberal". Thomas Jefferson was a liberal. Hamilton and Madison were liberals. The modern American Left is a collection of socialists and communists who can't really admit to what they are for fear of losing power (and they're right on that). The astute among you will recognize the difference between classical liberalism and modern American Leftism.
For those who don't get the programming reference, Static Void Main is the first piece of code executed by a C program, or the "entry point". Coincidentally, it's also the exit point. Beginning and end.
The rules: feel free to comment, but have the spine to at least use your real first name. I have. Obvious astro-turfing and mindless spouting of talking points will be met with swift deletion (see above).
First comment: why socialism fails, and why America is in trouble if Sen. Obama is elected.
Socialism, and by extension any form of collectivism, fails because it fails to address one of the most basic of human drives, that of self-interest. Humans are by nature individuals, and act individually. To get people to act in a coordinated group for any lengthy period of time requires harsh training to break down the individual (witness U.S. Army Basic Training) or force and coercion applied oppressively and over a long period of time (the Soviet Bloc, what developments we are aware of in Venezuela). Conversely, capitalism thrives when people act in their own self-interest.
If Sen. Obama is elected, he will govern (and I use that word loosely) unopposed. Both the House and the Senate will have liberal majorities, and some are predicting a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Should this happen, I predict a return to the Carter-era trifecta: high interest rates, high inflation, and high taxes. Obama will have no problem defining down "rich" until those even the most left-leaning economist would define as "middle-class" will be paying high taxes. Why wouldn't he? He's demomstrated on a number of occasions, the most heavily publicized being his exchange with Joe Wurzelbacher of Ohio, that he is very much in favor of income redistribution. Leftists can justify it however they like: a rose by any other name still has thorns.