Tag Archives: zNorth Carolina

Freedom Fries

As always, I have Brad and Britt on the radio for the morning commute.  I listen because they are local and because I need to convince myself that I listen to both sides.  As such, I normally am shaking my head at the discussion and the mind-set I get from Greensboro.

This morning was different.  The subject was France and whether or not it’s better to live in France or the USA.  Normally, the left says that the French model is better but given the choice, they don’t wanna live there.  As if they subconsciously understand that you don’t get both the “good life” France offers and the freedom and benefits of such that America offers.

Brad and Britt both agreed that it is much MUCH better to live in America than France.  Again, this isn’t surprising, this follows the leftist road map.  But as the conversation continued, I was pleasantly surprised at WHY they would not like to live in France.  For example, they idea of “strikes and riots when the price of milk goes up a by a nickel” was pure genius in its simplicity in capturing the French culture.  But it got even better.  When describing the summer break, Britt correctly wondered “who is gonna do the work?”.  And not to leave Brad out, he weighed in with this “given the chance to make a life in America vs being taken care of but tracked, I would take America ANYDAY!”

This was just a wonderful way to start the morning.  It gave me hope that we ARE a center-right nation.  That we know the chance, the opportunity, to strike out and make our way is a fundamental and uniquely American principle.  That we get freedom.  That being provided for has its price.

Yet it’s this wonderful news that frustrates me from the marketing side of me.  I am convinced that a conservative approach to finance and economics is the way to prosperity and advancement.  But the right is SO poor at spreading the message that we get painted as greedy industrialists.  And we never EVER learn from that.  No one wants to hear that minimum wage laws should be abolished.  “How greedy can you get?  Slave wages for the poor!”  It resonates.  It sticks.  Never mind that unemployment goes up, cost of goods go up and innovation and choice are restricted.

And who doesn’t wanna provide less expensive yet better medical care to everyone?  We ALL do.  The problem is, there is a wrong way and a right way.  Restricting that market is the wrong way.  Opening it up is the right way.

But we never get the message out.  We just sit back and “can’t be bothered by that”.  It’s the same reason you never see serious economists enter into debate about the most commonly accepted financial principles; because it is so basic and understood, that to debate it is beneath all serious members.  It would be akin to debating that 2 is greater than 1.

Anyway, Brad, Britt….well said.  And welcome to the center-right society!

Michigan to Overcome California Soon

My only hope is that these Leftist States lead us out of darkness by their example fo what NOT to do:

Flint, Mich.

Michelle Berry runs a private day-care service from her home on the outskirts of this city, the birthplace of General Motors.

Ms. Berry owns her own business—yet the Michigan Department of Human Services claims she is a government employee and union member. The agency thus withholds union dues from the child-care subsidies it sends to her on behalf of her low-income clients. Those dues are funneled to a public-employee union that claims to represent her.

A year ago in December, Ms. Berry and more than 40,000 other home-based day care providers statewide were suddenly informed they were members of Child Care Providers Together Michigan—a union created in 2006 by the United Auto Workers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union had won a certification election conducted by mail under the auspices of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission. In that election only 6,000 day-care providers voted. The pro-labor vote turned out.


This woman, and thousands like her, are putting it on the line every day.  They are working.  They are sacrificing.  They are, in short, DO’ERS.  And yet, somehow, the moochers and the looters have arranged a deal in Michigan where these business owners are getting screwed.

I mean, for a sec, just for a bloody second, think about what is going on here.  Ms. Berry is the OWNER.  And she is supposed to pay into a Union?  If there were a union/employer relationship present here, it would be HER that the Union would organize against.

California or Michigan.  Michigan or California.

Which one is going to give us the clearest example of what NOT to be?

Que Pasa

It would appear that ruling is much much different than campaigning.  Mr. Obama has failed to deliver on many of the promises that he made while he was on the trail.  However, ones concerning International Diplomacy make me giggle the most.

See, things like the economy and health care, these are things that can be “seen”.  That is, they are not secret, kept under tabs or otherwise covered up.  But this diplomacy thing?  Please.  It’s ALL secret.  And he should have know that.  Which either make him naive or those who voted for him naive.  I mean, just look at Cuba:

Rebuffed this month by skeptical lawmakers when it sought finances to buy a prison in rural Illinois, the Obama administration is struggling to come up with the money to replace the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Officials now believe that they are unlikely to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer its population of terrorism suspects until 2011 at the earliest.

I mean, come on.  This man RAN on promises and hope.  What else Ought we expect.  He didn’t run on a body of work that he could call upon and say “I have done this and that, so therefore it is reasonable that you can count on me.”  No.  He ran on HOPE.  And it is becoming more and more clear that we can only hope.  Hope for change.  This guy is a disaster.

When MSNBC is Bashing the Leftists…..

In a sign that the shine is wearing off I am beginning to see a change of tone in the selection of stories on some major news outlets.  For about 2 years, the only things we saw on such leftist sites as msnbc were stories that painted the liberal agenda.

However, in the last few months I have started to see more stories that are less than complimentary of the left.  This one included:

Automakers are promising that affordable plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be available in the next couple of years, but a new report contends that it will be decades before the fuel savings and lower emissions make up for the high cost of batteries.

In their eternal quest to regulate, the left continually misses the boat on larger picture issues.

I mean, how do you miss the obvious:

The per-mile cost of running an electric vehicle has been estimated at about a quarter of the equivalent cost for gasoline, which has led some experts and consumers to see plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEVs, as the cure for what ails America’s energy economy.

The research council’s report, however, estimates that it could be 2028 or later before the fuel savings outweigh the additional up-front cost for plug-in vehicles.

When it comes to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, the report said regular hybrid vehicles such as the present-day Prius might well be more environmentally friendly — unless power companies start phasing out the use of coal and other fossil fuels for electricity generation.

Slow down.  Take your time.  Get it right.

Where the Left Falls Down

I came across this horrible story last week, a woman was raped and murdered.

A former mental patient has been charged with raping and murdering a Los Angeles woman…

The man was abducted and arrested.  The part that has me confused is this:

Three counts of murder were filed Thursday against 22-year-old Boneetio Washington.

Huh?  Three?  But I don’t understand.  How is he being charged with 3 counts?  Ahh, I see it now:

A former mental patient has been charged with raping and murdering a Los Angeles woman and her unborn twins

The woman was pregnant.  With twins.  And they, of course, also died in the attack.  So, what is it?  Are those babies people?  With rights?  Can you be charged for murder if that which you murdered didn’t have rights?  Well, maybe the twins were of such an age that they were considered people.  Even by the leftist crowd?

Police believe he randomly targeted Kang, who was four months pregnant.

16 weeks.
Of course the law is getting this one right.  Mr. Washington did take the lives of three people.  That night, 3 people perished.  Why the Left can’t be consistent is frustrating.


This I can understand.  I may not agree as to the degree, but I can understand it.

Thomas L. Friedman has an op-ed article in the NY Times.

When I see a problem that has even a 1 percent probability of occurring and is “irreversible” and potentially “catastrophic,” I buy insurance. That is what taking climate change seriously is all about.

But if we don’t prepare, and climate change turns out to be real, life on this planet could become a living hell. And that’s why I’m for doing the Cheney-thing on climate — preparing for 1 percent.

This I can understand.  This I can accept.

See, there is a chance that I am going to get into a car accident and perhaps die.  Maybe just become paralyzed.  I get that.  And to that extent, I do –I really DO–  buy insurance against that.  To protect against my car and my health.  Heck, I even protect against my income; even my death.  ALL of this is understandable to every one of us.

Well, NOT every one of us.  I mean, there are still people out there who refuse to buy even the most basic health insurance and then, when they DO become sick, expect me to go to work for them in order that I pay their bills.

But I digress. Each of us can understand the concept of insurance.  And we innately have a sense of the chances of bad things happening to us and then of how much we are willing to sacrifice in order to protect against that.

With that said, I am not aware of a SINGLE person who wouldn’t acknowledge that the world is warming right now.  And that, further, it could be caused by or contributed to by humans.  Key word could.  The question now is, how much are you willing to pay for that insurance policy.

Me?  Well, let’s just say that I continue to get in my car, with my kids, at LEAST twice a day.

Risk Gain

I’m not sure that Government understands risk:

State officials said they believe Dell also should give back about $6 million in tax breaks the company received between 2005 and 2007, but a Dell spokesman said the company is entitled to keep the money since it was operating at the time.

“Our belief and our understanding is that we met the performance thresholds required for those incentives during those years, and are not obliged to repay those,” spokesman Jess Blackburn said.

The state of North Carolina negotiated with Dell to open a plant here.  To incent the company to do so, we offered them tax breaks and grants, both locally and at the State level.  It was understood that if Dell left or closed, that money would have to be returned.

Well, Dell did leave, the plant did close and:

…the company agreed to repay more than $26 million in local grants and $1.5 million in state grants, acknowledging that it didn’t live up to its end of the deal by not keeping a specified number of jobs in Forsyth County.

So.  What is all the hullabaloo about?

Turns out that the State of North Carolina is in a bit of trouble financially.  And they could use any money they can wrangle out of the evil capitalists.  And why not, the Feds are doing the same thing with great success.  So our good Govna is going out, bad mouthing Dell and demanding that they pay money back:

“I will fight them if they want to fight about this,” Perdue said. “They made some agreements. We offered some incentives. The locals offered some incentives, and they need to live up to their side of the bargain. If that means going to court, I guess we will.”

Turns out, however, that the money she wants to get back is money that Dell “saved” while they were in business and operating.  This isn’t money that we paid to Dell, it was simply money that they didn’t pay to us while they employed our people.

House Minority Leader Paul Stam issued a statement Tuesday saying the dispute could have been resolved long ago. Lawmakers defeated an attempt to include language in the state incentives package that would have required Dell to forfeit all credits it received from the state if it didn’t have at least 1,200 employees at the computer plant within five years, said Stam, R-Wake.

So not only is Purdue going after money that Dell doesn’t really owe us, she is poisoning the well in doing so.   Who in the world is going to wanna open a business here when they get treated like this?

Could This Turn Out Any Other Way?

Look, there are over paid people in this world.  Athletes.  Movie stars.  Middle managers at large corporations.  Sure.  I get it.  And to a l ot of people, people who really work and work physically, the money that some of the people make is gross.  That being said, the market adjusts pretty well and compensates those people fairly well.

Is shoveling horse manure more physically demanding than running a large Fortune 50 account?  Yup.  Are more people suited to shoveling manure than managing said account?  Just as sure.  Hence, the value of the skill is different and the compensation changes.

Which just makes this news predictable:

Anastasia Kelly, general counsel of AIG , Rodney Martin, head of one of AIG’s international life insurance businesses; William Dooley, who runs the financial-services division including AIG Financial Products; Nicholas Walsh, vice chairman and head of the international property and casualty unit; and John Doyle, who runs the U.S. property and casualty division, said in written notices Dec. 1 that they’re willing to leave by the end of 2009…

In October, Feinberg cut 2009 compensation for AIG’s top 13 employees by 57%, including limiting most base salaries to no more than $500,000. Another 12 top employees had already left before the review began, according to the WSJ.

Now, you can argue that execs are overpaid.  And you might even be able to convince some people of that fact.  But what you CAN’T prove is that THESE execs are overpaid in relation to their peers.  These people, in theory, are among the best in the world at what they do.  There might be only a few hundred who have the ability to rise to the positions these people have.  And that is among billions of people.  They SHOULD be paid well.

Now they will, just not at AIG.

Where a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I like this picture:

National Job Approval" Barach Obama December 8, 2009

Partly because it’s showing the shine is wearing off and America is starting to understand what many of us saw at the outset.  But also because this is a “poll of polls”.  Go to the site and see for yourself.  Each dot in the graph shows the results of an independent poll.  USToday, CNN, Gallup and so on.  And, in short, the survey SAYS!


The World Compared to the States

Ben Hoffman is having another monster conversation describing Common Right-Wing Lies.  Ben’s post begins by talking about what he considers lies:

  1. right-wingers claim Obama promised that unemployment would not go above 8 percent if the stimulus was passed. Eric Cantor claimed: “We were promised. The president said we would keep unemployment under 8.5 percent (if the stimulus passed).”
  2. Lie: Reagan’s tax cuts resulted in increased revenues.
  3. Lie: Obama’s spending has resulted in a huge budget deficit.

And then he refutes that by claiming the “Fact”:

  1. The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan report included a graph that projected unemployment rates without the stimulus would peak at 9% and with the stimulus at just under 8%. That is not a promise; it is a projection, an estimate, a prediction. Claiming it was a promise is crazy talk.
  2. Reagan’s tax cuts resulted in decreased revenues. His tax increases resulted in increased revenues.
  3. Obama is responsible for only a small sliver of the deficit.

Now, there is a whole board full of comments on the subject; stop over for the debate.

However, during that debate, we began to take on the role of Government and really what it means when the Government creates public programs; Libraries, Parks, Beaches, Zoos and Police/Fire Stations.  I contend that when the government uses public money to establish and run these organizations, it is the equivalent of robbing one neighbor at gun point only to take that money and give it to your other neighbor in the form of a library, museum or zoo.

Of course this is a Libertarian point of view.  And maybe taken to its extreme, is a bit untenable.  But I do maintain that if a government is going to set up public works programs, it should be as local to the people as possible.  There is very little argument that can be made that would support taking money from citizens in North Carolina to support a Federal program giving money to an Art District in California.

Anyway, during the debate, one of us, Arbourist, made a comment stating that Socialist States are alive and well in the world:

Of course not, libertarianism has not ever been implemented, nor will it ever be implemented. It is not a practical way to run a society, unlike socialism which has many practical applications, and is doing great in many locations:Cuba, Venezuela, Nigeria, Canada, Sweden, Norway, […].

This got me to thinking.  So, I went out and grabbed some data here and here.  Put it down and paper and came up with this:

GDP per Capita

This is a graph showing the GDP per Capita of the World’s richest 50-60-70 nations, some interesting nations not in that group and then the list of nations quoted by Arbourist.  Further, I have compared these nations to the States of the United States of America, just to see where they rank.

Check out some interesting notes:

  1. The top 4 nations all are financial destination countries.  Their rankings might be skewed as such.
  2. Of the nations mention by the Arbourist, only 1, Norway, ranks ahead of the United States.  The 5 remaining rank below the United States.
  3. Of the 5 that rank behind the USA, two rank ahead of the European Union.
  4. While Norway ranks ahead of the USA in total, if Norway became a State, it would only be the 5th richest in our Nation.
  5. If Canada and Sweden were to become States, they would be the 40th and 43rd richest States respectively.
  6. And finally, if Venezuela, Cuba and Nigeria were to become States, they would immediately be the poorest States in the Country; their combined GDP per Capita not even equaling that of Mississippi–currently the poorest State in the Nation.

No, the fact remains.  The United States of America is the single richest Nation ever in the history of the world.  And we are so rich because we try to maximize the free market and the flow of capital and the driving motivation of profits.  The freer the market, the better off her citizens.