Tag Archives: Barack Obama

What Constitutes A Fair Share?

As the president’s State Of The Union speech came and went, we were again reminded how he feels that everyone should get their “fair share;” he brought it up twice.

I couldn’t agree with him more; each person does deserve their fair share. But here’s the rub, he isn’t actually promoting policies that would garner us citizens our fair share.

Your fair share consists of two things: that which you have earned and that which you are entitled to.

What you have earned is simple enough, you work forty hours, you make $20 an hour, you’ve earned $800 of your employer’s revenue stream that week.

If you want more, you must either negotiate for more, find an employer willing to pay more, or start your own company and make more, but you agreed to $20 an hour when you were hired, so that’s all you can rightfully lay claim to.

What you’re entitled to however, is any amount people have voluntarily directed towards you, or which you are owed; a somewhat more complex amount to explain, as there are many possible examples.1151px-Wounded_Warrior_Project_logo.svg[1]

If you’re a soldier who has lost a leg in battle for instance, and you were to contact the Wounded Warrior Project for help, you would be entitled to your fair share of what the WWP receives in donations, since helping soldiers like you is their raison d’etre.

If you own stock in a company that pays dividends, you’re fair share are the dividends your shares in that company earned.

But one example I think is most egregiously violated by government would be if a relative gives you what they earned or inherited, either through death or good will. It was their property, and they wanted you to have it. Yet Uncle Sam, via death taxes, feels that they are entitled to a portion, which is upsetting since this money was already taxed when your benefactor earned it.

So what isn’t your fair share? Despite Obama’s best efforts to convince us otherwise, what someone else has earned or is otherwise entitled to. That is their fair share, not yours, and you have no reasonable claim to it.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

When Obama suggests people aren’t getting their fair share, he’s actually proposing legislation to equalize shares. He wishes to close the gap between the richest and the poorest under the guise of compassion. While this is a noble goal, so long as people are inherently different in intellect, skill, luck, and motivation; this type of equality can never fairly exist.

Statists feel that definitions of “fair” and “equal” are synonymous. But equal implies a like amount, fair applies an amount that you can fairly lay claim to. So why does Obama use the word fair instead of equal?

As I pointed out in my last post, tests with Capuchin monkeys showed that humans aren’t the only animal with the innate understanding of a fair share.

These monkeys were trained to give the researcher a piece of granite. In return for this bit of “work,” they were given their “pay;” either a cucumber, or a grape. The grapes being significantly more preferable than the cucumbers to the monkeys, were effectively the “greater” share for purposes of the experiment.

As you can see, when the monkey’s weren’t given their “fair share,” they reacted as anyone else would act—they were furious. They did equal work, but didn’t get equal pay.

What Obama’s doing by using the term fair share, is appealing to that sense of fairness instilled in our genetic code. But he’s doing so behind a fallacious argument.

If I were to walk up to you, put a gun to your head, and demand you give your money to the person next to you, whether they are poorer or not, it’s a felonious crime. Yet somehow, when we vote for government officials to do that exact same thing (the IRS is armed after all), it’s miraculously, and rather contrarily, deemed compassionate.Statism-c-c[1]

There is no feasible argument one can make to explain away this blatant hypocrisy by statist-minded politicians and their supporters—ideology has tainted their sense of reason here.

I don’t profess to know what is in Barack Obama’s mind. Maybe he feels that “equal” and “fair” are synonymous, and therefore isn’t purposefully being misleading.

While the experimenters tested the monkeys for their concept of fairness, they didn’t test to see if the monkeys have statist instincts. But, do you believe that the monkeys, if given two grapes for their work, would just give one of the grapes to a random third “Welfare-monkey,” who could have done some work, but chose not to? I doubt it.

But wouldn’t giving money to the needy help them and therefore make society better as a whole? That’s the argument being made.

We all know that it takes money to make money. You give Warren Buffett $100,000, he will very likely double it in seven years or less. You give a career welfare earner the same amount, you will likely find that they’ve spent it on frivolous items that will eventually lead to them no longer having $100, nevertheless $100,000.

Don’t believe me? In 2010, researchers from Vanderbilt published a study showing that people who won between $50,000 to $150,000 were far more likely to file for bankruptcy than those who won lesser amounts, such as $10,000 or less.

What does this show? Even if you take money from earners and give it to the non-earners, that money will eventually just find its way back to the earners, because…they are earners.

Removing those who are truly disabled for purposes of this discussion, the only way to help the non-earners of society is to force them into a sink or swim situation where they are forced to either be productive or face societal banishment, shaming, isolation, and possibly death. Much like electricity and water, people will choose the path of least resistance. Give them something they didn’t earn, and they often won’t bother to earn for themselves.

Income redistribution is not fair, it does not advance our species, nor is it logical. So I am all for fair share, I just wish Obama and his supporters understand the term better.

 

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72 Dolphins—no longer undefeated

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

As any NFL football fan knows, the 1972 Dolphins are the NFL’s only team to go a full season without a loss. It was a pretty amazing accomplishment. However, at the time of their perfect season, it was not yet a common practice for the sitting president to invite the Super Bowl winning team to the White House. Then again, maybe Nixon was just a Redskins fan.

Nonetheless, Barack “The Cool President” Obama decided that it was better late than never and invited them now, 40ish years later.72DolphinsObama

Never mind the irony that a man hell-bent on penalizing the wealthiest Americans for success and giving what the successful have earned to the not-so-self-reliant, decided to bring a team to the White House that is the most successful NFL team in history. Maybe they were invited so he could force some of them to give their Super Bowl rings to the then 1-13 Houston Oilers? Seems plausible.

However, some Dolphins who aren’t so thrilled with the president’s policies opted not to attend. Among them, Hall of Fame center Jim Langer, former offensive lineman Bob Kuechenberg, and Manny Fernandez.

While I agree with these players in principle, I feel this reflected poorly on their part not to attend. The inviting of a team to the White House is a highly non-political event. Since I can’t really think of some evil socialist ulterior motive Obama might have had in doing this (The Super Bowl ring thing was a joke), I will give the president the benefit of the doubt that this was simply a nice gesture to give them the White House visit they never got.

If you’ve read my blog, you know that I disagree, often vehemently, with about 90% of what this president has championed and done. But if the blog fairy came and granted me fortune and fame resulting in an invite to a golf outing with the president, I’d go without hesitation, and I’ve even be thankful and respectful doing it. Then again, I do really love to play golf.Obama-golfing[1]

All kidding aside, Barack Obama is a human being as far as I know. When he’s not in front of a TV camera bashing Republicans and the upper class, he may be a reasonably nice guy. I have some Democrat friends, and although it pains me to admit it, my mother is a Democrat too; although she hasn’t voted since the 70’s as I understand it. While their policies seem to defy logic and ignore the history of socialism in one fell swoop, on occasion, Democrats can still be pretty good people to hang out with.

If the conversation were to get around to policy, I would do my best to be respectful to the man, logically laying out where I think he’s going wrong, and simply voice my displeasure with his performance, sharing my ideas for how I’d like to see him preside over our nation. The White House is likely a very lonely and isolated place where the president, surrounded by other politicians and advisers, gets mostly 2nd hand information about what the people are feeling. I doubt he’s supped with the random John Q. Public very often. So an opportunity for us constituents to chew on the president’s ear should not be wasted.

While I don’t care to debate with someone who appears to be ignorant to the point that they simply can’t intelligently debate me, I’d certainly sit down and hash it out with the man holding the veto pen. If I could change one heart and mind just a bit, who better than his?

If you have a policy issue, new idea, or are simply disgruntled, the worst thing you can do is remain quiet and say nothing to those who oppose you, especially if they were elected to serve you. Sure Obama hears the complaints from largely right-wing media outlets, but it can’t hurt for him to hear it face-to-face from the people he was elected to serve as well.

If a person believes in their ideas like I do, they should never be afraid to defend them in the face of a contrarian. If the ideas are sound, they will stand on their merits. I would think men who spent their professional lives relentlessly beating on one another for an hour would not be afraid to discuss politics with the president, but on this day, the president was only met with like or ambivalent minds.

It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing. On this day, some of history’s mightiest athletes, chose the path of least resistance, and I say that as a result, the 72 Dolphins were handed their first loss. If you feel it, don’t be afraid to speak it. As much as he may not seem to appreciate it, along with every other government employee, he is a servant to the people, and should be treated like one.

 

Let’s not play Monopoly!

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

Most people know that monopolies are illegal, but not everyone understands the history of antitrust and collusion laws or why they exist at all.

As a libertarian, I basically support free market capitalism and laissez-faire, but why do we libertarians and other liberty minded people support this? Because free people who run free enterprise are free to innovate and this innovation brings us a superior product. Competition among innovators also drives down the price as they seek to gain market-share. It’s why you can get a miracle of modern technology like the iPhone or Droid for a mere pittance—with a 2-year contract anyway.

U.S. Steel - Youngstown Ohio
U.S. Steel – Youngstown Ohio

But if we look at the history of monopolies here in America, Standard Oil and U.S. Steel were the most popular in our history, and what transpired was not good. Thus making the case for some semblance of government oversight.

I am often berated by anarchist-like libertarians for championing even the most minor government regulations in our marketplace, ensuring they compete and that they don’t violate our rights, but these people are ignoring historical evidence to promote an ideal I agree with, yet know doesn’t work if left unchecked. History has already proven it. Just because none of us were alive during that era, doesn’t mean we don’t have the documentation to know what happened when we had market-anarchy.

Standard Oil Common Stock
Standard Oil Common Stock

Prior to antitrust and collusion regulations, the quality of goods from these trusts was poor, the working conditions were so atrocious that workplace deaths and injuries were quite common, and the cost of what came off the production lines wasn’t cheap. Why would it be? If you’re the only game in town, providing a quality product, safe work environment, and competitive pricing and wages, simply aren’t needed. Just as absolute power in government corrupts, absolute power in business corrupts too. The moment a business owner needn’t fear people buying from his/her competitor because no competitor exists, corruption can, and likely will, be born.

Anarchists argue that if workers don’t like it, they can go work somewhere else. But where do you propose people go work? The very definition of a monopoly is that it’s the only business in an industry. Thus, there is nowhere else to work. If an enterprising person attempts to go into business for themselves, they’re either forced to sell to the monopoly, or crushed by it if they don’t. These are not wild conspiracy theories I’m floating, it’s historically documented evidence.

The design of free-market capitalism, is not dissimilar to socialism or anarchy. In a perfect world, they would work as intended and yield the desired positive result. History has proven however, that they also have the same flaw. There will always be sociopaths among us who don’t have the power of empathy or value the benefits of being societal. The only decent way mankind has ever dealt with these people is via rule of law. Such people have no qualms about taking advantage of others and doing them harm for personal gain. Our Constitution is designed to prevent these people from corrupting our government, and competition should prevent them from corrupting our markets. So ensuring competition is vital to our society, our rights, and our economy.

Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D Rockefeller
Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, and Andrew Carnegie proved that there’s a point at which if you do something right, you can control an industry to such an extent that no one else can compete. These men were likely decent people who considered themselves altruistic and good, but the unfettered power they eventually wielded corrupted them in such a way that they became consumed with winning and had little issue engaging in immoral practices to accomplish this goal.

So aside from protecting our rights to life, liberty, and property, in my opinion, government should justly be ensuring our markets stay competitive and uncorrupted.

So now that we understand, and hopefully agree with regulations preventing monopolies, I’d like to point something out:

Government is a monopoly!

The federal government competes with no one. State and local governments may seem to compete with each other, but if you live in Ohio and don’t like the service the Ohio government provides you, you can’t choose to do business with the Virginia government unless you move to Virginia. It’s quasi-competition at best where states compete to lure residents and businesses, but it’s certainly nothing like Apple versus Microsoft or Ford versus Chevrolet.

So when people like me beg and plead voters to elect more libertarian-like officials, it’s because we know that they’re the only politicians who intend to rebuke and regulate away power bestowed to their predecessors once they inherit it. In doing so, lowering the possibility of corruption, because the smaller government is, the less opportunity for corruption to occur. In the face of the IRS, Benghazi, and press scandals committed against the AP and Fox News, I sincerely hope you understand why we libertarians have been right all along, and are starting to feel vindicated for making these arguments so many seem to laugh away not long ago.

Do you remember Barack Obama making this commencement address speech at my beloved Ohio State University about a month ago?

The irony of this speech that occurred as all three conspiracies started to break into the mainstream media is chilling. It is exactly why we must only trust a politician who tells us not to trust him/her, not to grant them authority, and not to give up your freedom to their ideas of how we should be ruled.

“Experience has shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
― Thomas Jefferson

What makes a terrorist a terrorist?

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

As I watch the news about the latest incident in London, I couldn’t help but notice David Cameron didn’t hesitate to call it a terrorist act. When Obama refuses to call similar acts terrorism here, you wonder why? The media have often made a big deal of whether or not something is referred to as terrorism by our political leaders, and I find this semantics argument somewhat nauseating. People are dead because of a senseless act, or at least senseless to those of us not mired in dogmatic ideology anyway. Does it really matter what words we use to describe it? What we call it doesn’t change the nature of the act, but merely changes our attitude about it.

Dog Giving Birth To A Terrorist
Dog Giving Birth To A Terrorist

Being a peaceful agnostic/atheist, I think killing in the name of religion is just as senseless as killing for any other personal reason. Unless that person was about to kill you, your loved ones, or was otherwise threatening to infringe on your rights, you have no reason to use deadly force against them. Per Greg Gutfeld’s public request, I’ve attached a proper picture of a terrorist being born, so as not to give fame or infamy to the real terrorists.

Nonetheless, it seems clear that Obama avoids using the word for two likely reasons:

  1. He doesn’t want to offend Muslims at home and abroad.
  2. He doesn’t want to admit that maybe his administration is vulnerable to terrorist attacks more so than his predecessor, since he was so vocal in criticizing Bush’s handling of this issue.

I find both of these reasons pathetic, and anti-leadership in nature, but Obama seems to relish the idea of somehow being a leader who doesn’t lead.

As far as I know, there has been no official definition that we can apply to decide whether a murderous act should be called murder versus terror. I feel like I know it when I see it, but defining it with words is difficult.

To me, I feel it has something to do with sending a message. Murder is just killing someone because you have an issue with them and you want them dead, or in the case of some serial killers, because you simply enjoy the rush of killing.

Terrorism however is killing someone so that it serves as a message to others to not cross the person or party committing the act—thus spreading terror to others.

Nonetheless, since many seem to want to differentiate between murders & serial killers versus terrorists, I’ll throw it to you, my readers and people who just accidentally stumbled here via a Google search for something quite possibly completely unrelated.

How would you define terror versus murder? What quality or qualities do you think one has that the other doesn’t? Does it matter to you what the president calls it so long as he vigilantly pursues the people who commit such acts? What say you?

Great leaders make results, not excuses. Reagan v Obama

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

For many, an interest in politics, who our leaders are, and which political side we’ll choose to stand on is sparked by single events. For me, as a pre-teen adolescent, it was the Iran hostage situation. I could not fathom how one of the world’s two superpowers was allowing a little 3rd world country to hold our people hostage. It was troubling, and I detested Jimmy Carter for not sorting it out. To be fair to Carter; being so young, I was blissfully ignorant of the behind the scenes actions that were being attempted—all I saw was the big picture.

Carter Era Gas Shortage Sign
Carter Era Gas Shortage Sign

The long lines at gas pumps, thanks to Carter’s poor handling of OPEC, were hurting adults trying to make a living as well, but as a kid, I simply didn’t understand economic issues yet, so it didn’t really affect me like the Iran hostage situation. As we all know, Ronald Reagan took office, and our hostages came home. From then on, I was a Reaganite.

One of the things that upset me this past election was the notion that the economy was still so horrible because of what Obama inherited. While we all mostly agree he did inherit a poor economy, four years later, is it really an acceptable excuse?

 As Reagan took office, he inherited a misery index of 20.76. It was the highest recorded misery index in history going back to that statistic’s inception in 1948—it hasn’t been to a higher level since either. Carter may have been a nice man and a brilliant scientist, but as a president, he failed miserably at maintaining America’s economic strength, much less growing it.

By comparison, Barack Obama inherited a misery index of 9.65. Less than half of Carter’s benchmark. While I agree G.W. Bush’s handling of the economy at the end was poor, it was a far cry from the disaster Carter presided over.

So approaching the “Inherited a poor economy” argument, let’s see how Reagan and Obama handled what they inherited:

After four years under Reagan, the misery index improved from the aforementioned 20.76 to 11.81—a significant improvement. After four years of Obama, it went from 9.65 to a slightly worse 10.15. Reagan wins this battle; one point for the Gipper.

But let’s delve further. If we look at GDP numbers, at the end of the Carter administration, dividing our total GDP by our population, we have approximately $11,433 per person in 1979. After 1983, that number improved to $15,171; an improvement of 25%.

Now let’s look at Obama. In 2008, the average GDP per capita was $47,363. At the end of 2012, that number grew to $49,494; an improvement of 4.3%. Reagan wins again; two points for the Gipper.

1984 Election Results
1984 Election Results

All that being said, one of the fairest tests of a president in a democratically-elected contest is how he is judged by the people he governs during a reelection. After four years of Reagan, he resoundingly beat Walter Mondale 49 to 1 states—Minnesota the lone stand out. He won 525 electoral votes compared to 13 for Mondale, and a popular vote of 58.8% vs 40.6% (54,455,472 to 37,577,352 votes). This means that a Republican actually won the left-wing bastions of California and New York! It was the greatest election defeat in history.

Barack Obama against Mitt Romney on the other hand was 26 to 24 states; 332 to 206 electoral votes; 51.1% to 47.2% with 65,910,437 votes to 60,932,795. We’ll call that an easy Reagan victory as well—three to nil; the Gipper.

Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan

It was a long time ago, but when questioned about the state of the economy, I don’t remember Reagan blaming Carter his complete first term; he was too busy making his case for the future. He lowered the top-tier tax rate from 70% to 28%, gave people their money back, and just as planned, the economy took off like a rocket. So well in fact, that we reduced the world’s superpower population by half as Russia crumbled while attempting to compete. It was capitalism versus communism; capitalism won.

So why am I promoting Ronald Reagan if I’m a libertarian? Because not only do I believe that the GOP should be the libertarian party, I believe Ronald Reagan was my generation’s closest thing to a libertarian president, and this excerpt from a 1975 interview with Reason Magazine should illustrate why:

If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to ensure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are traveling the same path.

One of the constant knocks against Reagan by libertarians and liberals was his massive spending on defense—a criticism he fairly leveled at himself. But people seem to lose sight of the fact that for all of Reagan’s spending on defense, every succeeding president has put more troops in harm’s way than Reagan did. Contrary to belief, he avoided conflicts as well as any president could.

What he did do however, was ensure that America was deemed to be so powerful, that any nation endeavoring to threaten us would understand it would be assured destruction. And with the exception of Russia, it wouldn’t be mutual. He referred to it as peace through strength.

When America was founded, there were many superpowers—we weren’t yet even one of them. But by the end of 1988, in no small part thanks to Reagan, we were the only one left standing, and remain as the only one still today.

If you lead by example, others will follow. America was a leader 200+ years ago in adopting a principle of liberty, and as a result of our success, there are free nations all over the world who followed our lead; including the monarchies we rebelled against so many years ago. Sadly, they may never give us credit for inspiring them, but true greatness doesn’t need acknowledgement, it’s content in the knowledge it is great.

 

Can I be GM’s new CEO?

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

In 2009, a very bad thing happened. GM went from being General Motors, a privately held and operated corporation, to General Motors, a majority-share government-owned corporation. After a Chapter 11 filing, in order to save a company deemed too big to fail, the government bought out 864 million shares of the available 1.4 billion. While it was not a hostile state takeover that would make Fidel Castro proud, let’s look at some of the highlights here.General Motors

  • In 2008, GM began losing money, partly due to a crippled economy. However, this could have been managed if not for unreasonable and unwavering demands from the UAW. GM executives at the time, headed by then CEO Rick Wagoner, had decided that bankruptcy would likely be the solution. This would allow GM to terminate and renegotiate new, more manageable union contracts, enabling GM to survive into 2009 and beyond.
  • December 19th 2008: Then President George W. Bush approved TARP which in total, gave $17.4 billion to General Motors and Chrysler in an effort to prevent such a bankruptcy.
  • February of 2009: GM makes it known that the bailouts had not solved their solvency issues and bankruptcy still seems to be the most likely option.
  • March 29, 2009: In a deal we will likely never know the details of, current president Barack Obama ousters CEO Rick Wagoner in hopes of preventing a bankruptcy that would ultimately harm the UAW. It was stated that Wagoner “agreed to step down,” which we all know is code for “He was offered something to step down and shut up so that we didn’t have to fire him publicly and have him tell people what actually happened.” There can be no doubt Wagoner did not want to step down, he was turning GM around. Obama then replaces him with Fritz Henderson.
  • July 2009: Federal government buys a controlling interest in the new General Motors after bankruptcy.
  • November 2010, Government sells approximately 358 million of its 864 million shares back to private investors, thus relinquishing a controlling interest, but losing $11 billion dollars of taxpayer money doing so.

    Rick Wagoner
    Rick Wagoner

I understand that Bush and Obama felt GM was too big to fail, and certainly had GM closed its doors, it could have seriously hurt the American economy. But no one was proposing that, nor even reasonably insinuating it would happen. The intent was to reorganize and draft more manageable UAW contracts, not close the doors.

As this debate raged on, I watched a labor union rep say in an interview that GM’s issues had nothing to do with labor unions; that it was purely about the economy. Interesting argument since the facts were that non-union automakers, with significantly lower labor costs, while hurting from the economy, were still quite solvent. Such lies and/or delusions are quite common among the UAW ranks.

In a properly free market, as GM sales were down, GM should have had the flexibility to cut staff, lessen benefit expenditures, reduce hours, or whatever it took in order to insure the solvency of their organization; something labor unions simply won’t allow. The idea that the UAW weren’t contributing to the problem is absurd.

However, the UAW isn’t the only villain. Since Obama is a friend to the unions, he felt it was his duty to intervene and protect them as best he could from the bankruptcy Wagoner would have negotiated. So Rick Wagoner was forcibly removed from office so that Obama could bring in new CEO Fritz Henderson; one who would manage such a bankruptcy if it occurred, in such a way as to benefit the UAW the greatest.

Fritz Henderson
Fritz Henderson

The problem? Any contract GM signs should be done with the best interests of GM in mind, period. The UAW conversely should negotiate the best deal for themselves. But when both sides are working for the betterment of one side over the other, that’s not a negotiation, that’s corruption.

And so it was, the UAW got a fully loaded Cadillac, and the taxpayers and General Motors got a driveshaft in the rear entrance. You can read about this UAW inspired, Obama approved corruption here.

So the money Bush approved in order to prevent bankruptcy was a waste. It obviously didn’t work; GM filed for bankruptcy anyway. The sale of GM stock later by the government, another big loss. Whether we lose on what we still own—only time will tell.

In my opinion, the problems don’t end there though.

President Obama knows that the people frown on government directing a private company, but he’s not exactly known for his humility. He has demonstrated he will do what he desires to do, then figure out a way to present it to the American people in such a way that they’ll accept something they would otherwise not support.

So a man who has zero private sector experience, zero automotive experience, zero management experience, and zero business administration experience decided that in an ultimate show of hubris, he somehow knew what was better for America’s largest corporation than its current CEO who had a significant amount of experience in all the aforementioned areas.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

Imagine if Obama decided he could perform surgery better than a practicing physician who may have just lost a patient. Then he gives medical advice to this doctor’s patients contrary to what the doctor prescribed. Whether the doctor is sub-par or not, Obama would have absolutely no business doing this—it would be a serious breech of ethics.

As a person who spent over 20 years of my professional life involved in both the sales and service management of new and used automobiles, I literally have infinitely more experience in this arena than Obama. Anything times zero is infinity before you accuse me of hyperbole. The only difference? I’m smart and humble enough to know that I’m not qualified to run General Motors.

When Dr Rand Paul weighs in on medical issues, he knows what he’s talking about. When Obama weighs in on legal issues, he knows what he’s talking about, even if he’s not a practicing lawyer. But nothing qualified him to make a single decision regarding the management of General Motors.

We expect our presidents to be strong, confident, even a little arrogant on occasion. Maybe it’s the same phenomenon of implied danger that drives good people to date bad people. But if America is to have an effective leader, that person should have the humility to understand their duties are to protect our rights, not drive a market which has a nearly infinite greater wealth of experience than any one person could have.

This boondoggle cost us taxpayers billions, and we are no better for it. Much like the false belief that Roosevelt saved the American economy after the great depression, Obama didn’t save the auto industry either.

The president represents the state, and state-run markets are never good—there’s more than enough history in this world to know free-markets are always better. If GM manages to achieve success again, it will be despite Obama and the UAW, not because of it.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_Chapter_11_reorganization

http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg959.aspx

http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/march-29-president-obama-fires-ceo-general-motors-132056452.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123836090755767077.html

Entitlements are the seeds of socialism; sociopaths are the fertilizer

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

Disclaimer: This article is not about everyone who collects entitlements; many of whom are good and honest people who truly need help. So before I get accused of attacking all of those who collect entitlements, I am only assailing the programs themselves, and those who abuse them.


During one of President Obama’s speeches, he made a statement that was patently false. He stated:

“Nobody wants a handout. Nobody wants something for nothing.”

obamabill1[1]In an ideally moral world, this would be correct, but America is not Utopia. Some people are burdened with a conscience, others simply are not; a basic form of sociopathy.

I saw the videos of a woman; overwhelmingly giddy, saying she couldn’t wait for her Obama money. I personally know people collecting various entitlements even though they are capable of being self-sufficient. These people aren’t urban legends, they’re just the Lazyburg population behaving as if they hit the lottery, and they are out there in droves. So Obama is either ignorant, delusional, disingenuous—or a combination of all three.

Sociopaths and psychopaths are often believed to be the same; these terms are somewhat loosely defined. But in general and for our purposes, we’ll define psychopaths as violent sociopaths, whereas sociopaths are simply people with little or no capacity for empathy, but non-violent. They know what society considers to be morally right and wrong, but only comply to avoid imprisonment or retaliatory assault; their compliance is not out of any sense of morality. They live a life that is exclusively self-serving.

Humans have evolved as social beings. Our ancient ancestors fought off and hunted larger and more dangerous predators and prey by virtue of our intellect and our social interaction with each other—strength in numbers. Being kind to one another is evolutionarily beneficial; a point Dr. Michael Shermer eloquently makes here. But while sociopathy is an anomaly in humans, it isn’t inherently bad, nor even all that uncommon. Scientific American published a great article outlining the silver linings of sociopathy; it’s interesting reading.

The purpose of going into all of this psychobabble is to point out that most entitlement programs are built under the false assumption that people generally do the right thing, but for a much larger portion of the population than these bureaucrats care to admit, this isn’t true. Most logical folks know there are a great number of people who will often fail to do the right thing.

Here are some examples:

  • Disability: Imagine someone hurts their back and can no longer lift anything heavy. Instead of learning a less physically demanding new career, they often opt for disability. The fact that they are living off their neighbor’s tax dollars doesn’t bother them. Why should they work if we’re willing to pay them not to?
  • Welfare: Imagine a woman having multiple children; collecting more from welfare for each one. By paying her more per child, we are assuring she’ll never have to work again. To her; being a baby mill is more desirable and profitable than working or at least finding a supportive spouse and creating a typical family unit. Why should she work when we’ll pay her not to?
  • Unemployment insurance: Imagine someone collecting UI until that perfect opportunity comes along instead of taking a lesser job to get off the government dole sooner. Why should they take a job “beneath” their skills when you’ll pay them to wait until they find something better?

In each case, many of us would see these examples as morally wrong. To the sociopath, it’s merely the path of least resistance. As such, it is quite natural. The questions I asked at the end of each one, are the questions they rhetorically ask to justify this existence.

Beggar_Saint_Elisabeth_Group[1]I do believe that many serial entitlement-collectors wouldn’t have the courage to go to a town gathering, look people in the eye, and ask for money personally. The guilt of knowing they are asking for something they don’t need nor deserve would be too much for most. But with government entitlements, they don’t have to. They can do it behind the anonymity of a government worker, or worse yet, by simply filing an application online or via snail mail. While some may have some semblance of a conscience and are not complete sociopaths, the anonymity shields what little moral fiber they have from any social pressure whatsoever.

So am I saying people shouldn’t get help? Of course not. Most Americans are generous, and willing to help one another. For instance, the Mormon Church is legendary for being the first on scene when a crisis occurs. As tragedies happen around the world, American charities easily out-donate the next most generous country. Charities designed to help unfortunate Americans abound as well. So the idea that Americans wouldn’t help each other if government doesn’t, isn’t backed by any data. Good people who truly need help would often get it, whereas the scammers would be rightfully quashed.

Government caseworkers are charged with preventing fraud, but it’s nearly impossible when they rarely, if ever, meet the claimant. But small social circles know each other. My ex-roommate for instance was someone prone to find a host, pay rent a few months, then fabricate a reason why he can’t find a job, and as such, can’t pay rent. I put a stop to his all-expenses-paid vacation by simply evicting him. But if I were the government, booting him would have been significantly more difficult, lest they be accused of unlawful bias and then sued accordingly.

As the left push for more assistance, I wish to point out that one cannot fraud a program that doesn’t exist in the first place. If we continue to offer free money based on a simple set of criteria, and that money is enough to support a lifestyle, ingenious sociopaths will find a way to meet that criteria, regardless of whether they actually need assistance. It’s the path of least resistance, a phenomenon all of nature generally and understandably adheres to. These people aren’t evil, they’re just not encumbered by social pressure like the rest of us.

when-the-people-find-they-can-vote-themselves-money-that-will-herald-the-end-of-the-republic[1]America is the land of the free, and as heartless as it seems, freedom means being allowed to fail as well. Charities, churches, social groups, and loved ones will find a way to help the truly needy. That was never something this government was intended to do. I say that entitlements are the seeds of socialism, but Benjamin Franklin said it best:

When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.

We cannot let quasi-socialists redefine our love for freedom as heartlessness. Good people will almost always help other good people. They just need the government to stop stealing the money they would otherwise have to do so.