Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The New Deal was (and will be) a Raw Deal

It drive me crazy that some people still love the New Deal despite how it will soon bankrupt our society. And an Obama administration will expand it. The only way to "spread the wealth" as Obama claims to want is to encourage massive economic growth. Taxing those companies and entrepreneurs who are the very engine of growth will not accomplish that.

Check this article out:
The purpose of New Deal legislation was not, as commonly thought, to restore economic growth but rather to freeze the economy in place at a time when it seemed locked in a downward spiral...These policies did break the downward spiral. But, as Amity Shlaes points out in The Forgotten Man, they failed to restore growth.

Lower Corporate Taxes!

It's pretty funny. When designing employee incentive packages, you need to reward those things that are good for your business so the employee will want the same things as you. But sometimes, there are unintended consequences.

A software company wanted its programmers to find and fix bugs in the program and they gave them a bonus for each bug they fixed. Sounds good, right? Except the programmers fixing the bugs were the same ones who wrote the software. They purposefully wrote bugs into the software to increase their bonuses on the back end. The result was buggy software and lots of bonuses for the programmers.

The same thing is true in government and taxes. If the government wants to decrease a particular activity, they tax it. Tobacco and alcohol are an example of this. (Except they don't really want these to go away because they are cash cows for the government. They tax enough to maximize revenue without making them go away.)

Companies that make products that have a good substitute and high taxes will go out of business. Just look at when Congress wanted to tax the rich and placed a massive tax on yachts. Over 7000 jobs were lost in New England ship building areas.

The US has the second highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. The only logical conclusion is that Congress doesn't want new startup businesses, job growth, business expansion, higher wages, or stronger imports and exports. The only thing higher taxes does is increase the size of government. Oh, wait, that is what government wants: bigger government.

(h/t NRO)

Monday, October 27, 2008

From Ezra Taft Benson

I ran across this remarkable discussion on the proper role of government. It is especially important viewing the 2001 interview where Obama said he wants to shred the Constitution. Obama said that
he is frustrated that the Warren Court "didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution."
Here are some of the money quotes from Ezra Taft Benson, former Secretary of Agriculture and Mormon Prophet: (This ended up lots longer than I expected. Sorry. It is all worth the read though.)
- Unlike the political opportunist, the true statesman values principle above popularity, and works to create popularity for those political principles which are wise and just.
- I support the doctrine of separation of church and state as traditionally interpreted to prohibit the establishment of an official national religion. But I am opposed to the doctrine of separation of church and state as currently interpreted to divorce government from any formal recognition of God. The current trend strikes a potentially fatal blow at the concept of the divine origin of our rights, and unlocks the door for an easy entry of future tyranny.
- If "A" has no proper power to take "B's" property, can he delegate any such power to the sheriff? No. Even if everyone in the community desires that "B" give his extra horse to "A", they have no right individually or collectively to force him to do it. They cannot delegate a power they themselves do not have.
- I believe we Americans should use extreme care before lending our support to any proposed government program. We should fully recognize that government is no plaything. As George Washington warned, "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence - it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master!" (The Red Carpet, p.142)
- It is well to remember that the states of this republic created the Federal Government. The Federal Government did not create the states.
- A category of government activity which, today, not only requires the closest scrutiny, but which also poses a grave danger to our continued freedom, is the activity NOT within the proper sphere of government. No one has the authority to grant such powers, as welfare programs, schemes for re-distributing the wealth, and activities which coerce people into acting in accordance with a prescribed code of social planning. There is one simple test. Do I as an individual have a right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish this goal? If I do have such a right, then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise on my behalf. If I do not have that right as an individual, then I cannot delegate it to government, and I cannot ask my government to perform the act for me.
These two just blew me away after the Obama quote that surfaced this week:
- [O]nce government steps over this clear line between the protective or negative role into the aggressive role of redistributing the wealth and providing so-called "benefits" for some of its citizens, it then becomes a means for what he accurately described as legalized plunder.
- [A]s history has proven, each class or special interest group competes with the others to throw the lever of governmental power in their favor, or at least to immunize itself against the effects of a previous thrust. Labor gets a minimum wage, so agriculture seeks a price support. Consumers demand price controls, and industry gets protective tariffs. In the end, no one is much further ahead, and everyone sufffers the burdens of a gigantic bureaucracy and a loss of personal freedom.
- [N]o government in the history of mankind has ever created any wealth.
This one sounds a lot like where Pelosi, Reid, and Obama will take us:
- The Soviet constitution reflects this philosophy in its emphasis on security: food, clothing, housing, medical care - the same things that might be considered in a jail.
- As Henry David Thoreau explained:
"This government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. IT does not educate. THE CHARACTER INHERENT IN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAS DONE ALL THAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED; AND IT WOULD HAVE DONE SOMEWHAT MORE, IF THE GOVERNMMENT HAD NOT SOMETIMES GO IN ITS WAY. For government is an expedient by which men would fain succeed in letting one another alone; and, as has been said, when it is most expedient, the governed are most let alone by it." (Quoted by Clarence B. Carson, THE AMERICAN TRADITION, p. 100; P.P.S.N., p.171)
(Caps in original)
- Economic security for all is impossible without widespread abundance. Abundance is impossible without industrious and efficient production. Such production is impossible without energetic, willing and eager labor. This is not possible without incentive.

Of all forms of incentive - the freedom to attain a reward for one's labors is the most sustaining for most people. Sometimes called THE PROFIT MOTIVE, it is simply the right to plan and to earn and to enjoy the fruits of your labor. This profit motive DIMINISHES as government controls, regulations and taxes INCREASE to deny the fruits of success to those who produce.

Therefore, any attempt THROUGH GOVERNMENTAL INTERVENTION to redistribute the material rewards of labor can only result in the eventual destruction of the productive base of society, without which real abundance and security for more than the ruling elite is quite impossible.
- On the surface this may sound heartless and insensitive to the needs of those less fortunate individuals who are found in any society, no matter how affluent. "What about the lame, the sick and the destitute? Is an often-voice question. Most other countries in the world have attempted to use the power of government to meet this need. Yet, in every case, the improvement has been marginal at best and has resulted in the long run creating more misery, more poverty, and certainly less freedom than when government first stepped in.
- In reply to the argument that a little bit of socialism is good so long as it doesn't go too far, it is tempting to say that, in like fashion, just a little bit of theft or a little bit of cancer is all right, too! History proves that the growth of the welfare state is difficult to check before it comes to its full flower of dictatorship. But let us hope that this time around, the trend can be reversed.
- The abundance which is ours, the carefree existence which we have come to accept as a matter of course, CAN BE TOPPLED BY THESE FOOLISH EXPERIMENTERS AND POWER SEEKERS.
This republic seems ready to implode economically. I have supported Bush overall when he has done things that I felt were wrong (farm bills, prescription drugs, NCLB, profligate spending, etc.), but these bailouts have set a dangerous precedent. If Obama wins, as it looks like he will, there will be nothing to stop the destruction of the American Entrepreneurial Spirit. It will not die overnight, but the best and brightest will seek greener pastures. At least I don't live in a blue state to be oppressed by the state AND federal governments. And Obama's teacher union controlled educational policy will prevent the development of a new generation of the best and brightest.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dividing Church and State

I sometimes feel weird ranting about politics and having my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the same page. In order to more appropriately delineate between the sacred and the profane, I have created a new blog to store items of a religious nature: Next Year In Zion.The name comes from a motto Joseph Smith adopted after the Saints were expelled from Jackson County, Missouri.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Stealing Elections - Continued

To continue from before: The Barack Obama campaign is perpetrating one of the most elaborate frauds in the history of this country. The Campaign Finance Reform law which John McCain created is going to cost him the election. There is a loophole where details of donations under $200 don't have to be reported. The idea was to allow private citizens to make small donations to their favorite candidate. Ok, fine.

Obama took the Democrat nomination partly on the strength of his online contributions. So now it turns out that simple fraud detectors have been intentionally turned off by the Obama people. The invaluable Mark Steyn points out:
The gentleman who started the ball rolling made four donations under the names "John Galt", "Saddam Hussein", "Osama bin Laden", and "William Ayers", all using the same credit card number.
If Obama supporters can make thousands of small donations and still fly under the radar, this election is meaningless. Between fake voters registered by ACORN and massive fundraising fraud, there is no chance McCain could win this election.

Is there any way to challenge the results of an election when Obama is a cheater? Oh, wait. Obama has the trial lawyers all on his side. I feel pretty confident saying that 2008 is the year the Constitution was shredded.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Temporary Nature Of Most Church Callings

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is no paid clergy. We each have responsibility to look after each other. Some may serve as bishop, as Elders Quorum president, as Relief Society president, or as teacher of a class. Each of these responsibilities is temporary. Once a person has served for some time period, the are released and another is called in their place.

In my observation, there are three callings that never go away - at least as far as the elders go: home teaching, helping people move, and stacking chairs after meetings.

Home teachers are asked to visit each family in the Church to share a gospel message and look after their needs. These visits are to be done monthly.

There is no moving company that can compete with the efficiency of a Mormon Elders Quorum. And the price tag is usually a few pizzas.

There is no counting how many chairs a man in the Church will set up and take down over his lifetime. It may be as many as there are stars in the heavens.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Divide That Government!

I personally dislike the idea of an Obama presidency because that will give Pelosi and Reid unchecked power. I don't think I can afford what they will do with my money. I have not been happy with the results of the recently ended Republican control of Congress and the Presidency. Frankly, I thought they acted too much like Democrats. Recent history would suggest that a divided government is the best for the American People.

I suppose it is sad that one of the more persuasive arguments to me for a McCain presidency is a divided government. I do like his policies better overall, but he has a long history of making me want to pull my hair out.

Orson Scott Card Is Right On

He writes this letter to all "journalists" who have buried stories of Obama and his fellow Democrats' corruption for causing the current housing/financial crisis. This is a pretty stern indictment:
...right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie -- that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad -- even bad weather -- on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth -- even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.
Sadly, there is no honor in journalism today.

Friday, October 17, 2008

If McCain Loses, There Is Always Comedy

This had me rolling. Part two is great as well.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stealing Elections

It is interesting to remember complaints in 2000 about Bush stealing the election even though election law and all recounts showed Bush won. Lately I have been learning about the group Obama did his community organizing with - ACORN. This group goes around registering as many voters as possible; living, dead, felons, six year olds, cartoon characters. Apparently the whole Dallas Cowboys roster has been registered to vote in several places.

Not to mention Obama's illegal fundraising. McCain-Feingold has a loophole where campaigns don't have to report donors who give less than $200. So people who support Obama just give over and over under the name Good Will. There are hundreds of thousands of dollars Obama has raised illegally. There should be massive investigations and prosecutions from all the illegal activities the Obama people have been doing.

It strikes me as really strange, too. Obama is likely to win anyway, but his people are still cheating. I have heard a few people mention the idea of using purple dye on fingers - like in Iraqi elections - to prevent voter fraud. That sounds pretty appealing. If the people actually choose Obama, so be it, but the last thing I want is to have a very undesirable president force on my country by a bunch of cheaters.

If the constitution ever is to hang by a thread, illegitimate election results sounds like a pretty quick way to get there.

Update: This is a pretty good summary of ACORN activity that I just found. A couple of highlights:
Then there's Lake County, Indiana, which has already found more than 2,100 bogus applications among the 5,000 Acorn dumped right before the deadline. "All the signatures looked exactly the same," said Ruthann Hoagland, of the county election board. Bridgeport, Connecticut estimates about 20% of Acorn's registrations were faulty. As of July, the city of Houston had rejected or put on hold about 40% of the 27,000 registration cards submitted by Acorn.
The Justice Department needs to treat these fraud reports as something larger than a few local violators. The question is whether Acorn is systematically subverting U.S. election law -- on the taxpayer's dime.
All I can conclude is that community organizing is a fancy phrase for breaking the law and stealing elections.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Called Out

After being called out specifically, here it goes:

Quirk 1: I respond to blog posts at 12:16 AM, even though I have class and a trip to Dallas tomorrow.

Quirk 2: I love making home teaching visits, but I hate setting them up. It is really bizarre. I genuinely hate calling people on the phone. Specifically people I am not real close to. Once I arrive, I love teaching. You would think I would get past my phone dislike to get to teach more. (I did actually get 100% last month, but it has been over a year since that has happened.)

Quirk 3: I yell at the TV when watching political debates. Both sides usually say things that drive me crazy. I try to watch them alone or not at all. (The not at all has been easy lately, I don't have a TV at my house right now.)

Quirk 4: I have no patience for studying. Odd that I am in grad school, huh? Ask Kyle about that business class final exam we took. We got bored and went to throw a baseball in the IPF at BYU.

You didn't think I could possibly leave the Church or politics out of my response, did you, Michelle?

This list is by no means exhaustive. You either have lots of quirks (which have kept you single) or you develop them over time when you have been in student wards in various locations for 7 years.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Democrats Are Dirty For Destroying The Economy

They should be run out of town for their corruption. This is infuriating. Every politician that supported FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC should be voted out of office. If McCain doesn't take these people down, he doesn't deserve the presidency. Democrats ran opposing the "Culture of Corruption" 2 years ago. They DEFINE the culture of corruption.