Friday, July 31, 2009

Free kibbles

The US economic decline continues, but once again the news tries to put a positive spin on it by pointing out the decline slowed. At this rate, we'll collapse slightly later than we would have collapsed at last quarters rate. That makes me feel better. At least Bloomberg isn't sugarcoating the news. It reports that the US economy has shrunk over twice as much as earlier estimates predicted. Of course, even earlier estimates predicted no recession at all, so I'm not surprised these so-called experts are wrong again. Now Bernanke is reinflating the numbers with destructive inflation.

Imagine if you woke up tomorrow, and everybody in the world had two dollars for every dollar they have today. People would be buying and investing like crazy. Stock prices would double. Commodity prices would double. Home values would double. GDP would double. All overnight. The numbers would look fantastic. The government would be telling us it's a miracle recovery. But it's meaningless because nothing would have changed except the dollar would be worth half as much. Prices would quickly double. That's what Bernanke is doing right now. That's why some numbers are improving, but jobs are not. A jobless recovery is an illusion created by inflating the money supply.

But it's worse than meaningless. It's destructive. The inflated money doesn't reach everybody at the same time. The government and banks get it before prices rise. The way the government calculates inflation is intentionally designed to hide the inflation the banks and government profit from. They get the advantage. You and I have to pay higher prices before the new money reaches us. We get burned. It's as if Bernanke was lighting the money in our pockets and savings accounts on fire on the one hand and handing out new money to the politicians and the banks with the other.

Apparently I'm not the only person pointing out that the cash for clunkers program is an example of the broken window fallacy and ridiculing aristocrats for being surprised when people take seemingly free money. Of course, Mises pointed it out the broken window fallacy aspect first the other day.

Bronson Arroyo injects some much needed context into the baseball steroids discussion.

Mises scholar analyzes the Pope's treatise.

Murray Rothbard on Jefferson and his struggle with Hamilton, a struggle that Hamilton is winning handily in the modern world.

75 percent of Americans favor auditing the Fed and making the results public. Wow. If I can't trust monetary policy to Congress, and I can't, why in the world would I trust it to some unaccountable bureaucrat? In what world does it make sense to give power to unaccountable individuals that you can't trust to Congress? Too bad nobody asked Bernanke why we should trust monetary policy to him.

Sex doll for dogs. Somebody's going to make a lot of money off of this.

Is this justification for taking this baby from its parents?

House health care bill has numerous "limitations on [judicial] review". That silly court system always messes up Congress's wonderful work anyway. I'm surprised Congress hasn't tried to abolish it.

Cato agrees with me that compromise and bipartisan are four letter words in this health care analysis:
"The "compromise" health-care reform being negotiated by six members of the Senate Finance Committee is shaping up as a classic warning of the dangers of bipartisanship without principles: It looks like they'll keep the worst features of other ObamaCare bills — but simply change the names."
That's how the two parties team up to harm us all.
"The proposed bill is forthright on still containing many of the worst aspects of ObamaCare. It would mandate that all Americans buy insurance — and not just any insurance, but a specific government-designed set of benefits, even if that package was more expensive or contained benefits that you didn't want."
Mandate is the diametrical opposite of freedom, and that's why the two parties love mandates.
"It would impose costly new regulations on insurance that could drive up premiums, especially for younger and healthier Americans. It would set the stage for government interference in how doctors practice medicine. It would extend subsidies for health care well into the middle-class, making millions more Americans dependent on government. And it would pay for all this with huge tax increases on American workers and businesses."
Obama must be salivating at the opportunity to make quality of care worse for every American than it already is for veterans and Medicare and Medicaid recipients, make the costs of health care skyrocket, put a huge number of Americans out of work, turn millions of Americans into criminals and control all our lives. Cato goes on to explain that the so-called health care co-op isn't a co-op at all. It's just the public option by another name.
"[A]s Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put it, "We're going to have some type of public option, call it 'co-op,' call it what you want.""
The compromise bill also disguises the employee mandate but doesn't get rid of it. Thanks Democrats and Republicans. Cato's done a heck of a job analyzing this health care oppression debate.

Despite government interference, market forces are working slowly to correct the housing market.

Cato slaps down Greenspan, exposes the myth of the global savings glut and declares that the Fed was responsible for the mortgage meltdown all in one essay. Nice.

The Adam Smith Institute acknowledges the Austrian economists for correctly predicting this recession.

Now that Obama's poll numbers are tanking, Obama's cheerleaders at NBC tell us that poll numbers can be misleading. These guys crack me up.

What in the world are three US tourists doing hiking the Iraqi border with the lawless northwest of Iran? I suppose tourists really could be that stupid, but I doubt these are tourists.

I'm skeptical of Beck's conclusion about this warning on the cash for clunkers site that claims if you access it, your computer and all its file are considered government property. This sounds like the work of an overzealous staffer to me. I expect this will be pulled down and somebody will apologize soon. But the thing is, if the people aren't on alert for stuff like this, precedent makes it real. I wouldn't be surprised if Obama directs his administration push this insidious stuff everywhere in an attempt to desensitize us so that in the future this stuff will become law.

The US bullies Switzerland to turn over information on Americans who bank there. I hope the Swiss stand their ground. If the US is really concerned about tax evasion, it should change its tax and spend policies so people don't try to hide their money from the IRS.
"[T]he Swiss have this crazy notion that their own laws – not ours – should apply in their own country."
Great quote.

I think it's pretty obvious that Ben Bernanke is a collectivist - an enemy of freedom.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Free kibbles

Support for Obama's health care oppression plan continues to collapse. Knowing that, Democrats go behind closed doors and make agreements that get the bill moving again in the House. Some Republicans are compromising in the Senate. Democrats understand the plan will never survive the August recess, so they're pushing for an earlier vote. The president has sent knee-breaker Rahm Emanuel to make it happen. To lower the phony price tag of the bill, another $100 billion in costs were pushed to the states so they would be invisible in the flawed CBO analysis of the bill. Democrats believe the will of the people must be thwarted at all costs so that the aristocrats can have their historic power grab. Leftists are unhappy with the compromise and vow to fight it. Thank goodness. They recognize if they don't grab all the power right now, it might be a long time before they get another opportunity, like it's been a long time since they failed in 1993.

House votes to deny power to allow government to use comparative medical studies to ration and deny health care. This may seem like a big deal, but don't fall for it. It makes the bill more palatable now, which means it's more likely to pass, but as soon as cost skyrocket, which will be immediately, this provision will be passed to control them.

Barney Frank admits the goal of the public option is to usher socialized medicine.

Republicans finally present their "alternative", a big-government health care plan slightly less bad than the Democrat plan. The guy I saw on TV today was proud of all the commonality his plan had with the Democrats' plan. He was proud he spent $200 billion less than Democrats (i.e. his plan is slightly less expensive at $800 billion compared to the Democrats' $1 trillion). These Republicans really are nearly as stupid as Democrats, and they think we'll accept their slightly less terrible plan. The solution to our health problem is to end all government spending on health care. The solution to our health care problem is to cut hundreds of millions in spending from our budget, but Republicans choose to increase spending by $800 billion. This is exactly who the Republicans are. Their strategy is to be slightly less terrible than Democrats and gain power that way. Just like the Democrats PR, it sounds wonderful until you really look at the details.

In 2001 essay on health care Milton Friedman explains one of the fundamental problems of what he calls our partially socialized health care system that seems to be absent from the current debate:
"The high cost and inequitable character of our medical care system are the direct result of our steady movement toward reliance on third-party payment. A cure requires reversing course, reprivatizing medical care by eliminating most third-party payment, and restoring the role of insurance to providing protection against major medical catastrophes."
It's just that simple. A single party payer system is a monopoly third party payer system - the worst possible system. Friedman also explains why the experience of developing health care has been significantly different that with other high tech advances:
"A key difference between medical care and the other technological revolutions is the role of government. In other technological revolutions, the initiative, financing, production, and distribution were primarily private, though government sometimes played a supporting or regulatory role. In medical care, government has come to play a leading role in financing, producing, and delivering medical service. Direct government spending on health care exceeds 75 percent of total health spending for 15 OECD countries. The United States is next to the lowest of the 29 countries, at 46 percent. In addition, some governments indirectly subsidize medical care through favorable tax treatment. For the United States, such subsidization raises the fraction of health spending financed directly or indirectly by government to more than 50 percent."
That last number today is 60 percent. That's why costs have skyrocketed since Friedman wrote this.
"The effect of tax exemption and the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid on rising medical costs from 1946 to now is clear. According to my estimates, the two together accounted for nearly 60 percent of the total increase in cost. Tax exemption alone accounted for one-third of the increase in cost; Medicare and Medicaid, one-quarter.

Now consider a different breakdown of the cost of medical care: between the part paid directly by the government and the part paid privately. Government’s share went from an eighth of the total in 1919 to a quarter in 1965 to nearly half in 1997. The rise in the government’s share has been accompanied by centralization of spending—away from state and local governments to the federal government. We are headed toward completely socialized medicine and are already halfway there, if, in addition to direct costs, we include indirect tax subsidies."
This illustrates how much government increases the cost of health care, and his analysis doesn't even include the cost of government regulation, mandates, bureaucracy and trade barriers between the states (Friedman gets to them later). This is the consequences of that government interference.
"To illustrate, in 1946, seven times as much was spent on food, beverages, and tobacco as on medical care; in 1996, 50 years later, more was spent on medical care than on food, beverages, and tobacco."
Friedman documents the consequences of regulation and bureaucracy:
"From 1946 to 1996, the number of beds per 1,000 population fell by more than 60 percent; the fraction of beds occupied, by more than 20 percent. In sharp contrast, input skyrocketed. Hospital personnel per occupied bed multiplied ninefold, and cost per patient day, adjusted for inflation, an astounding fortyfold, from $30 in 1946 to $1,200 in 1996. A major engine of these changes was the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. A mild rise in input was turned into a meteoric rise; a mild fall in output, into a rapid decline. Hospital days per person per year were cut by two-thirds, from three days in 1946 to an average of less than a day by 1996.
Expected longevity went from 47 years in 1900 to 68 years in 1950, a truly remarkable rise. From 1950 on, expected longevity continued to increase but at a much slower rate, reaching 76 years in 1997. For our purposes, it is of fundamental importance that, whatever its source, the increase in longevity did not have any systematic relation to spending on medical care as a fraction of income."
Government interference in health care is stunting our life expectancy growth. Man, I miss Milton Friedman. He writes about economics in policy in such a clear and easy to understand way for everybody. It's also nice to have him confirm everything I've been saying about reforming health care.

Why isn't the media blowing this idea that Obama will force insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions out of the water? How stupid is that. The whole point of insurance is to be prepared when something happens. It's not insurance if you can buy after something happens. Imagine having a car wreck then being able to buy car insurance to pay for it. Imagine having a home fire then being able to buy home owners insurance to pay for the damage. It's just stupid. Why would anybody ever buy insurance until they had a health problem?

China fiscal policy is creating an economic bubble there too.

10,000s of thousands of Iranian protesters clash with security at martyr's memorial. This is similar to what happened before the revolution in 1979.

Obama's plans for an American civilian security force through Americorp are working wonderfully. Obama's policies are designed to put people out of work, but he's dramatically increasing the funding for Americorp. His plan is to seduce huge numbers of workers onto government payrolls so they'll vote Democrat forever and do whatever he wants. The burden will help collapse the economy faster. It's working. Right now there are five applicants on average for every Americorp position in America.
"AmeriCorps pays the members a living stipend of $11,000 to $13,000 a year while also providing them with health care benefits and monetary awards toward a college degree."
This is a huge scam - government indoctrination on a massive scale. Obama's Americorp scandal. There is no greater service a man can do for his fellow man than give him a job creating wealth. This government service crap is bad for everybody. It sucks wealth out of the economy, making us all poorer. The highest calling of a humanitarian is to become an entrepreneur and create jobs that create wealth and make every American richer.

Mises scholar explains that child labor laws are not what they appear to be.

Barney Frank threatens finance companies if they don't save more home owners from foreclosure. Fascism is spreading fast.

The welfare mentality meets health care reality in UK. Democrats want to bring it here ASAP. Why taxpayers pay this woman a dime is beyond me. This is a must read to see how western civilization is committing suicide.

John Stossel explains the consequences of the minimum wage.

States are changing taxes to increase revenue. Hawaii to tax gross winnings in Las Vegas instead of just net winnings.

I love this idea of giving homeless people a one-way ticket to go live with family. Family always has been and always should be the foundation of the safety net.

Asking if home schooling is a right is the wrong question. The right question is does government have the authority to take kids from parents by force for school. What if government wanted to keep them for a week at a time? How is that different than taking them for a day? In America, people are not supposed to have to justify rights. Government has to justify powers. If a state puts it in its Constitution, I'd have a hard time seeing why that wouldn't be legal, though we should never allow that. I'd like to think parents have a natural right to raise their children and therefore home school them, but in the absense of a Federal constitutional amendment, I see no practical way to make that law.

Every time one of these cash for clunkers is destroyed, America gets poorer by the value of the car, which means every American gets poorer. If the destruction of cars could revive our economy, why stop at destroying clunkers? Why not destroy all cars instead? Think of the boom in the car business that would create, but nobody would seriously argue destroying that wealth would be good for America. No honest, thinking person would argue that the cash for clunkers program is good for America either. Its an example of the broken window fallacy. Politicians love programs like this because it's easy to see the new cars purchased and jobs created. What we can't see is the greater number of lost jobs that fund the program. For every $40,000 in cars destroyed, America loses one $40,000 a year job because of the lost wealth. Additionally the misallocation of resources from profitable ventures to the destruction of the cars and the production and sale of new cars cost more in wealth and jobs for the profitable ventures than it creates in the new ones. It's funny that people are surprised it's popular. Who doesn't want seemingly free money?

Wolfram Alpha attempts to expand copyright to the output of software. That would be ugly. Maybe this will backfire and lead to the end of copyright for software.

Take back the beep.
"[T]he "mandatory 15-second voicmail instructions" from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and others is earning those companies something near a billion dollars a year in charges."
I always wondered why those messages were so long.

Test uses mosquitoes to deliver malaria vaccine. Can you predict the unintended consequences?

We've entered the murderous phase of the America's collapse under collectivism

As Friedrich Hayek explained to us in The Road to Serfdom, the failures of collectivism always and inevitably lead to the empowerment of demagogues, what Hayek called the strong man, who demand that individuals die for the good of the collective. This is inevitable because collectivism of any flavor - communism, socialism, fascism or progressivism never solves the problems it's intended to solve. Instead it creates worse problems which demand more forceful, collectivist solutions. Then the cycle repeats, with ever more force demanded from government. The downward spiral continues until finally demagogues who demand the deaths of individuals for the benefit of the collective rise to power.

The extreme failures of communism led Mao to starve about 65 million Chinese, led Stalin to kill about 50 million Soviets, empowered Hitler to murder 6 million Jews and others and led Pol Pot to murder 3 million southeast Asians. I could go on with the murders committed by communists, socialists and fascists in the last century, but I don't think that's necessary.

What terrifies me is that we've reached that point in America. The US has progressed to the point where the failures of collectivism have led to the empowerment of demagogues who demand the deaths of Americans. Leftist demagogues like Tom Daschle, Barack Obama and their powerful allies claim the elderly have a duty to die for the betterment of the collective. They try to make it sound reasonable and seductive by calling it "death with dignity", but it's nothing more than amoral demagogues, strong men, demanding the sacrifice of lives for the failures of collectivism.

This is the natural evolution of collectivism everywhere including America. Government owns 90 percent of hospitals in America. That's socialism run amok. Government pays 60 percent of health care payments in America. That's fascism run amok. The failures of those collectivist ideologies have have created so many problems we have empowered the demagogues who want to force Americans to die for the good of the collective. This should make every American sick. This should make the light bulb go off. This should make every American wake up and take our government back from these two collectivist parties that have brought us to the point of the destruction of our country.

Barack Obama wants to be the strong man Hayek warned us about (though a worse strong man will likely follow, probably a Republican next, when Obama's collectivist policies fail and the people demand harsher strong man policies), and he's surrounded by demagogue allies that are demanding the deaths of elderly Americans to satisfy the needs of the failed collectivist ideology that is collapsing our country. The American people are fighting back, but there's still a good chance the demagogues will win on this issue. It's not like 1993 when Americans crushed Hillary Clinton's socialized medicine plan. The ongoing damage from collectivism has pushed us to be more accepting of it today.

This demand for human sacrifice reminds me of the human sacrifice of native cultures. It's driven by a superstition that thinks a higher power, central planners, can improve our collective lives just as surely as ancient superstitions about gods improving our collective lives drove human sacrifices of old. It's driven by a false sense that central planning gives the individual power over his environment that he doesn't have in the cruel world of individualism, when in fact all it does is give his power over his own life to the government aristocrats. It's devolution back into the monstrosities of ancient, superstitious cultures on a scale those dwarfs the ancients.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Free kibbles

21 things staff can't say to President Obama after a news conference.

How dumb is this? Texas passes law allowing police to use force to evacuate people during hurricanes. Don't the people and police have enough to worry about before a hurricane? How many people are police going to beat up, handcuff and drive 8 hours to safety? What was the problem with allowing people to ride out the storm and suffer the consequences?
""If the hurricane is arriving here, we’re going to be doing the best we can to hunker things down, to make sure we have as many special-needs patients evacuated, to prevent crime and looting,” Corpus Christi Police Cmdr. Mark Schauer said. “We’re going to have a hard enough time preventing crime, let alone arresting people who don’t leave."

County Judge Loyd Neal agreed that arrests for ignoring orders are unlikely.

"I don’t have a jail big enough to put 20,000 people in,” Neal said. “You have to hope people will use good sense. The majority of people usually do.""
So they put another law on the books that won't be enforced. Apparently legislators dont' realize that undermines the rule of law. And like somebody is going to stay home and risk their lives riding out a hurricane but leave because of a new law.

Anybody who believes that government won't interfere with Chrysler and GM directors is hopelessly naive. Sure, as long as the directors do exactly what Obama wants, he might leave them alone, but as soon as they do something different, wham! But it's worse than that. You can bet 535 congressmen and senators have them on speed dial. And of course, the union leadership will do most of the dirty work of manipulating them. The UAW didn't even bother to show up to testify before an oversight committee. It must be nice to be politically powerful like Goldman-Sachs and the UAW.

British politicians are pushing financial companies from London to Switzerland. Oppressive government does that.

Anti-gun writer makes a good point. If Congress and other aristocrats are going to hide behind metal detectors, why shouldn't guns be banned everywhere? If Congressmen, legislators and judges need protected from irresponsible people carrying guns, then why doesn't everybody need protected? The only protection anybody needs is a well armed populace. Take the the government metal detectors down. Gun ownership is supposed to provide the ultimate check on government power, but those metal detectors tremendously mute the effect. Tell me that aristocrats wouldn't significantly change their positions in favor of the taxpayer if they had to worry about angry taxpayers with guns in their throne rooms.

House Democrats are circling the wagons to give Obama a victory on health care that blue dogs can survive. This will put pressure on Senate Democrats to do the same. This is not going to be good for us, and we'll have to work twice as hard to derail this bill. UPDATE: According to Special Report, this deal has melted down and Democrats are negotiating behind closed doors without Republicans.

Obama to require health insurance to include weight reduction plans. Most Americans don't need that, but it will drive up the cost of their health insurance, just like Obama wants.

Rassmusen reports:
"23% [or respondents] believe passage of the reform legislation will lead to lower health care costs. Most voters (53%) say it will lead to higher costs, while 18% expect prices to remain about the same."
Why isn't this turd dead yet? I forgot. Democrats want power.

Cato explains that the US doesn't have the resources to supply the highest level of health care to all citizens.
"If health care reform is not based on accepting the fact of scarcity, we will increase the level of tragedy in the years ahead. Government will make promises it cannot keep. In the process of trying to keep impossible promises, we will add bureaucratic costs. We will use bureaucratic denials and queues to ration care. We will extend the use of price controls in a futile effort to stretch government resources, with the result that we will reduce supply and suppress innovation."
You can just hear Democrats demagoguing this idea of scarcity to our detriment.

Obamacare as Trojan horse for socialized medicine.

Microsoft and Yahoo agree to search deal to compete with Google.

Delphi hopes to re-emerge after four years of bankruptcy.

House to vote on government power grab to veto compensation packages at financial firms.

My Ohio Senator Voinovich claims Republicans can't get any traction because southern Republicans are RINO enough like him. Boy does he have that bass ackwards.

Barack Obama bible bag. I'm sure there was something similar for Bush. Government continues to assume the role of church.

Reason explains that the president is not nearly as powerful as people tend to think. This is true. Congress passes laws and are the real power in domestic policy. The president's greatest power isn't granted by the Constitution. It comes from the ability to get people to support him and his policies. That's why presidents keep presenting themselves as religious figures and the people keep rewarding him for it.

Democrats are claiming jobs that last less than a week as jobs created by the stimulus. If this stuff wasn't so destructive it would be funny.

Obama is pretending to be a budget cutter.

I can understand why the GAO would add the post office to its high risk list of government agencies with management problems, but what I don't understand is why our entire government isn't on that list.

Chicago is experiencing its coldest July in 67 years. Apparently the people of Chicago don't emit greenhouse gases.

Cato details the soap opera that is the potential succession possibilities in North Korea.

I don't think focusing on mortality rates tells the whole story of the problems with obesity. Obesity is a factor in diabetes, which raises health care costs. I also think if you looked at different reasons for death, i.e. if you took out deaths from activities that heavy people don't perform like climbing, swimmng or playing sports, the mortality rates for obese people would probably be worse. Saying that people shouldn't be active because there's a chance of death is stupid.

Drug czar uses bogus data to make it appear that we're winning the war on cocaine.

I agree with Reason that the case of the black Harvard professor and the white cop is not about race. It's about abuse of police power.
"By any account of what happened—Gates', Crowleys', or some version in between—Gates should never have been arrested. "Contempt of cop," as it's sometimes called, isn't a crime. Or at least it shouldn't be. It may be impolite, but mouthing off to police is protected speech, all the more so if your anger and insults are related to a perceived violation of your rights. The "disorderly conduct" charge for which Gates was arrested was intended to prevent riots, not to prevent cops from enduring insults. Crowley is owed an apology for being portrayed as a racist, but he ought to be disciplined for making a wrongful arrest."
Exactly. This essay has tons of links about police abuse of power and is a valuable resource.
"This deference to police at the expense of the policed is misplaced. Put a government worker behind a desk and give him the power to regulate, and conservatives will wax at length about public choice theory, bureaucratic pettiness, and the trappings of power. And rightly so. But put a government worker behind a badge, strap a gun to his waist, and give him the power to detain, use force, and kill, and those lessons somehow no longer apply."
What a fabulous observation. Cops are bureaucrats with badges and guns, making them significantly more dangerous than regular bureaucrats (who are plenty dangerous already), and therefore we must hold them to a significantly higher standard of conduct. Giving them the benefit of the doubt is counterproductive. We must demand police give the citizens the benefit of the doubt, and that they must protect our rights at all times or lose their jobs and suffer prosecution.
"Verbally disrespecting a cop may well be rude, but in a free society we can't allow it to become a crime, any more than we can criminalize criticism of the president, a senator, or the city council."
Absolutely. If police don't like that, they can go get wealth creation jobs in the private sector which will really help reduce crime.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Free kibbles

Texas suffering worst drought in 50 years. Wow. I remember a bad drought there 15 years ago. It lasted for years, but one spring/summer it didn't rain for months, and the evening it finally did, people ran outside and danced in the rain.

Republican in Obama administration threatens to cut off stimulus funds for Arizona because Arizona senator questioned the effectiveness of the funds. Aristocrats in action. It doesn't matter which party they belong to. Just ask Specter.

Conservatives outnumber liberals 2 to 1 in America but we're suffering under the most radical leftist presidency and probably Congress in history. This is the fault of George Bush, Republicans and the conservatives who keep voting these terrible Republican aristocrats back into office just because they're slightly less evil than Democrats. This is exactly the government you get when you consistently vote for the lesser of two evils. It will continue getting worse until conservatives stop voting for the lesser of two evils.

More evidence showing that the current American health care system is much closer to socialized medicine than a free market which is why health care is so expensive.
"In a 1992 study published by the Hoover Institution, entitled "Input and Output in Health Care," Friedman noted that 56 percent of all hospitals in America were privately owned and for-profit in 1910. After 60 years of subsidies for government-run hospitals, the number had fallen to about 10 percent. It took decades, but by the early 1990s government had taken over almost the entire hospital industry. That small portion of the industry that remains for-profit is regulated in an extraordinarily heavy way by federal, state and local governments so that many (perhaps most) of the decisions made by hospital administrators have to do with regulatory compliance as opposed to patient/customer service in pursuit of profit. It is profit, of course, that is necessary for private-sector hospitals to have the wherewithal to pay for healthcare.

Friedman's key conclusion was that, as with all governmental bureaucratic systems, government-owned or -controlled healthcare created a situation whereby increased "inputs," such as expenditures on equipment, infrastructure, and the salaries of medical professionals, actually led to decreased "outputs" in terms of the quantity of medical care. For example, while medical expenditures rose by 224 percent from 1965–1989, the number of hospital beds per 1,000 population fell by 44 percent and the number of beds occupied declined by 15 percent. Also during this time of almost complete governmental domination of the hospital industry (1944–1989), costs per patient-day rose almost 24-fold after inflation is taken into account.

The more money that has been spent on government-run healthcare, the less healthcare we have gotten. This kind of result is generally true of all government bureaucracies because of the absence of any market feedback mechanism. Since there are no profits in an accounting sense, by definition, in government, there is no mechanism for rewarding good performance and penalizing bad performance. In fact, in all government enterprises, exactly the opposite is true: bad performance (failure to achieve ostensible goals, or satisfy "customers") is typically rewarded with larger budgets. Failure to educate children leads to more money for government schools. Failure to reduce poverty leads to larger budgets for welfare state bureaucracies. This is guaranteed to happen with healthcare socialism as well.

Costs always explode whenever the government gets involved, and governments always lie about it. In 1970 the government forecast that the hospital insurance (HI) portion of Medicare would be "only" $2.9 billion annually. Since the actual expenditures were $5.3 billion, this was a 79 percent underestimate of cost. In 1980 the government forecast $5.5 billion in HI expenditures; actual expenditures were more than four times that amount — $25.6 billion. This bureaucratic cost explosion led the government to enact 23 new taxes in the first 30 years of Medicare. (See Ron Hamoway, "The Genesis and Development of Medicare," in Roger Feldman, ed., American Health Care, Independent Institute, 2000, pp. 15-86). The Obama administration's claim that a government takeover of healthcare will somehow magically reduce costs is not to be taken seriously. Government never, ever, reduces the cost of doing anything."
If we get the government out of health care, we'll have improved quality of service (even though we already have the highest quality health care in the world, freeing the system from government will improve its quality even more) at tremendously lower prices. This is a great essay. I was tempted to quote the whole thing.

Why when people are talking about obesity, why don't they explain that a third party payer health care system is a major cause of obesity? When people don't have to pay for their own health care, they don't bother with prevention. It's far easier to just have somebody else pay for the cure than it is to exercise and eat right. Our nearly socialized medicine system encourages us to be obese. Ending that system of subsidies, regulations and mandates will make people care about prevention again, and Americans will become healthier.

Sections of the House health care bill instruct the CBO not to count that spending when determining the cost of the bill. Democrats are not only hiding costs by pushing off on the states, health care providers and health insurance companies, but hiding them in the bill itself.

Everything is wrong with the health care bill.

10 questions I would like to hear Obama answer about his health care oppression plan.

House Judiciary Chairman Democrat Conyers says it's no use for congressmen to read the health care bill unless they have two lawyer interpreters.
"What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?"

Not to be outdone in the incompetency department, Republicans still haven't published an alternative health care bill. Democrats won back power by attacking only and never offering anything constructive. I'm not surprised Republicans will take the same tact. For the entire course of the Bush presidency, I railed against Democrats for vacating the field of ideas, creating a policy and power vacuum that Republicans raced to the left to fill, winning more policy victories for liberalism than Democrats ever won on their own. Now Republicans are doing the same thing, and Democrats are racing to the right to fill the power void as exemplified by the Democrat mutiny on health care. This is insane. Our government has devolved into a bunch of dumbasses in power proposing absurd, damaging laws and the dumbass minority party doing nothing useful except attacking them from an extremist position, then when power flips, the cycle reverses. But we're the stupidest people of all for continuing to empower these two destructive parties.

I have the best health care reform plan of all: Adopt the FairTax and knock down trade barriers to health insurance between the states. It's just that simple.

Sure, I write an essay about bringing Cuban health care to America (to be posted next week), and somebody one ups me by saying they're jealous of Rwanda's health care system.

Compilation video of Ben Bernanke from 2005 to 2007 shows that Bernanke is absolutely clueless about our economy in stark contrast to compilation video of Peter Schiff predicting the current economic crisis while being ridiculed. Bernanke is the guy people are trusting to get us out of the crisis he caused, but he still doesn't admit he caused, and that he never noticed and that he downplayed while it was occurring. This is guy calling for fiscal irresponsibility and unprecedented flooding of the market with dollars. But trust him, he won't let inflation harm us. This is the most powerful central planner in the world. It doesn't surprise me that Bernanke is a Harvard and MIT alum. The Ivy league takes smart economics students and brainwashes them into morons. I'm sure it does the same for all social science students. Mises scholar comments on the video.

Website to support Ron Paul's bill to audit the Fed. End the Fed website. Bernanke doesn't want to be accountable to Congress. His claim that he gives Congress all the information it wants is ridiculous. The Fed's meetings are secret. The Fed publishes no minutes. Bernanke refuses FOIA requests and Congress's requests for details on his balance sheet. The inspector general of the Fed doesn't even know. Bernanke is a dangerous megalomaniac, even more so than Greenspan it seems, and he's the most powerful central planner in the world. As Hayek explained, it's inevitable that the most dangerous person possible gains power in central planning schemes.

I didn't know we had slavery on the east coast.

Boortz publishes another catchy title: Entitlement Mobsters.

Iraqi forces raid Iranian exile camp.

Nice essay by John Hawkins identifies seven differences if McCain had become president. They're not all good by any means. For example, tax and trade would be law by now. As I wrote before the election, I'd rather have a Republican party united against Democrats and Obama than a Republican party divided and a Democrat party united in its agenda limited only by liberal John McCain's unreliable veto.

In 2004, Barack Obama criticized Bush and Republicans for pushing legislation quickly through Congress with no debate. Republicans are criticizing Obama and Democrats for the same thing. As soon as they get back in power, they'll do the same thing again. Then as soon as Democrats take back power, they'll do the same thing again. Our lives are just a game to these destructive aristocrats. They might as well be playing chess with us as pieces.

Speaking of protectionism, Barney Frank wants to force foreign banks to get certified by the Treasury Dept. or be excluded from doing business with the US.

Brett Favre says he's going to retire. No really. He's going to retire. This time it's for real. He's not going to be on the sports news every minute of every day trying to make sure he's the most important story in people's lives. Thank God.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Free kibbles

The movement of people who don't believe that Obama is a natural born US citizen, birthers, is gaining steam. Press Sec. Gibbs was forced to refute the claims again today, but every time he does so, he gives the movement more credibility. Gibbs claimed that Obama has proved his citizenship multiple times and had released an official document on the internet proving his citizenship. Both comments are lies. The unofficial document posted on the internet by Obama proves nothing. If Obama had nothing to hide, he could have produced an official document for judicial and expert review. Obama either refuses to do so or cannot do so. He's offered no other evidence of his citizenship except hearsay comments from allies. Obama is hiding something. I don't know what it is, but it's devastating to him. Congress should pass a law demanding all national candidates in all future elections prove they meet the constitutional requirements for office. Note to Gibbs: there is no more important issue in the US than following the Constitution - the rule of law.

Hawaiian official claims Obama's birth certificate is real, but in doing so forces Americans to wonder why Obama won't produce it. His statement is meaningless. We have no idea if he's lying or has been mislead or misinformed. Producing a certified copy of a birth certificate for examination by experts would end this discussion, but Obama won't do it.

Darth Hammertime.

Barack Obama: Putting the Rx in Marxism. How funny. I don't know where this came from originally, but I got it from Boortz along with a great quote explaining why our health insurance is so expensive:
"David Gratzer, a physician and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, says that regulation is in fact our biggest problem with healthcare. Here's a peak:
"Take two very different states: Wisconsin and New York. In Wisconsin, a family can buy a health-insurance plan for as little as $3,000 a year. The price for a basic family plan in the Empire State: $12,000.
The stark difference has nothing to do with each state's health sector as a share of its economy (14.8 percent in Wisconsin as of 2004, the most recent year for which data are available, and 13.9 percent in New York). Rather, the difference has to do with how each state's insurance pools are regulated.
In New York State, politicians have tried to run the health-insurance system from Albany, forcing insurers to deliver complex Cadillac plans to every subscriber for political reasons, driving up costs. Wisconsin's insurers are far freer to sell plans at prices consumers want.
The gulf in insurance-premium prices among American states is a sign that too much government intervention--not too little--is what's distorting prices from one market to the next."
It's just that simple. The solution to the problem of high insurance rates and the large number of uninsured Americans is to get government payments, subsidies, regulations and mandates out of our of health care business. Knocking down trade barriers between the states, the barriers to competition that keeps prices so high in big government states like New York, would make this health insurance issue a non-issue. We should go further and than that though, and completely extract government from our health care business to obtain the highest quality care at rock bottom prices.

Boortz also breaks down the ranks of the uninsured. Many are illegal aliens. Many are young people who think they are immortal. Many are between jobs. Many are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Few are people who want insurance but can't afford it.

Great essay by John Stossel highlights the arrogance of lawmakers who think they can redesign one sixth of the US economy by August. Redesigning our health care sector isn't hard, but it will work a lot worse. Making it work better through central planning is impossible no matter how much time it takes.

Pelosi thinks she has the votes to pass Obama's health care oppression plan. Fortunately the Senate doesn't.

As usual, stupid Republicans are trying to compromise on health care, i.e. team up with Democrats to take our money, our rights and our power from us. With leaders like this, who needs enemies? I'm glad Hatch withdrew, but why was he trying to compromise in the first place? You can bet those two Maine senators are involved.

House health care proposal included provision for lawyers to file suit against third parties in injury cases on behalf of the government without permission from the government. That's the opposite of tort reform.
"It gets worse. Language in the bill would permit the lawyers to file at least some sorts of Medicare recovery actions based on "any relevant evidence, including but not limited to relevant statistical or epidemiological evidence, or by other similarly reliable means." This reads very much as if an attempt is being made to lay the groundwork for claims against new classes of defendants who might not be proved liable in an individual case but are responsible in a "statistical" sense. The best known such controversies are over whether suppliers of products such as alcohol, calorie-laden foods or guns should be compelled to pay compensation for society-wide patterns of illness or injury."
This is amazing. Fortunately Republicans stripped this provision from the bill for the time being.

Contrary to Obama's lies, his health care plan will harm small businesses.

Regulator on congressional mailings is censoring Republican mailings to favor Democrats.

Peggy Noonan offers and insightful analysis from a political point of view of why Obama's health care oppression is failing. Too bad this quality from her has become so rare.

Thomas Sowell describes how Obama uses distractions to mislead the people into supporting bad policies.

CNNMoney (yeah that CNN) lists 5 freedoms Americans would lose under Obama's plan including the freedom to keep your own plan and the freedom to choose your own doctor. That's health care oppression, not reform.

Robert Murphy predicts that government spending will double as a percentage of GDP over the next decade. He predicts monetary policy will be worse. What a disaster.
"If fiscal policy is a disaster, monetary policy is even worse. Unfortunately, the issues here get very complicated, and so it’s difficult for the layman to know whom to trust. Not only do left-wingers like Paul Krugman say that we need more inflation, but even (alleged) right-wingers like Greg Mankiw are saying the exact same thing. With all due respect, those guys are crazy."
How's Krugman's monetary policy working out for Zimbabwe?

St. Louis Fed president wants plan to control inflation, but Bernanke and the others aren't interested.

Cato calls for Bernanke's ouster, which is great, but spouts nonsense about the global savings glut. Global savings is a great thing because it provides a pool of money for investment. Low interest rates resulting from high savings are not our problem. Artificially low interest rates coupled with irresponsible fiscal policy are our problem.
"[Bernanke's] obsession with slaying the Great White Whale of Deflation provided intellectual cover for the Fed's ignoring and contributing to the housing bubble."
That's for sure. It's like Bernanke wanted to create a crisis so he could go down in history as having saved us from that crisis. At best, Bernanke's crippled by fears of deflation like the Bush administration was by fears of another terrorist attack. At worse, Bernanke's evil, and he's trying to burn the country to the ground. Either way, I doubt it will end well for him or us. It's unfortunate this essay implicitly supports the Fed and it's role as central planner of our economy coming from a supposedly libertarian think tank. This is hugely important observation:
"That is not ambiguous is that the Fed, under Bernanke, has transcended monetary policy and bank supervision and gone into the world of fiscal policy. Over the course of the financial crisis, the Fed more than doubled the size of its balance sheet, from under $900 billion to over $2 trillion. Just as important, the Fed greatly shifted the composition of its balance sheet, from almost exclusively Treasury securities to a mix of various assets, including over $500 billion in mortgage-backed securities. Congress has over the years established a variety of lending and loan-guarantee programs, from mortgage insurance to small-business lending programs. Every one of the Fed's 14 new lending facilities could have been created by Congress and administered by an executive-branch agency. Unlike the panic-driven bailouts of AIG and Bear, these lending facilities were not created as one-off responses to fix a single crisis."
Under Bernanke, the unaccountable Fed has become a parallel government. Think about it. Congress need never pass a bailout law again. The FDIC is obsolete. No need for silly political battles, finding a consensus, following the will of the people and accountability. Like a good tyrant, the Fed does it all without the muss and fuss. Don't forget that the Fed chief can remove the management and boards of financial firms if he wants, as we learned when Paulson threatened to have Bernanke remove Bank of America's management and board if it didn't buy Merril Lynch like Paulson ordered. We need to kill this monster.

The Federal Reserve deserves more authority like an arsonist deserves more matches.

Fred Barnes made an interesting observation Special Report tonight. Obama has united Republicans in a way nobody thought they could be united this quickly, and he's divided Democrats. Just like Bush did on the other side. We keep electing the worst possible candidates.

On a related note, Romney and Huckabee are leading Republican potential candidates. These are two big-government Republicans, neither of whom supports freedom, in the mold of George Bush. The two parties are the most anti-American organizations in the country. We'd be better off if the communist party was running against the anarchist party because neither are dominated by aristocrats.

On another related note, the majority of the country feels we're going in the wrong direction. The majority of the country felt we were going the wrong direction during the Bush era too. The people were right then, and they're right now because both parties are parties of big-government and enemies of freedom, personal responsibility, severely limited government and the tremendous prosperity that accompanies that.

I still can't get over Obama's idea, leaked by Clinton, to allow Iran to develop a nuclear bomb, arm our so-called allies in the Middle East in response and extend our nuclear umbrella over those countries. If you wanted to instigate a nuclear war in the Middle East, this plan would be about the best way to do it.

As if they haven't done enough damage to Michigan especially minorities, state Democrats want to raise the minimum wage to $10 and put even more people out of work.

Ailing couple married 54 years commits suicide together.

I don't see the big deal between intelligence agencies briefing the entire intelligence committees or the gang of 8. This isn't a case of "shut up and trust the executive branch." The gang of 8 are briefed. What exactly what does Cato think will be gained? It hints that it fears the gang of 8 might not blow the whistle on illegal activities, but it bases that on the bogus claim that Bush's CIA did illegal interrogation. We have no evidence to support that claim, and there's no reason to believe that briefing the entire intelligence committees would improve the operations of the CIA, but there's ample evidence that more intelligence would be leaked to our enemies because that's happened many times before. I would love to see every congressmen briefed, but those idiots can't be trusted to keep the information from our enemies. Cato also makes the bogus claim that the president had no power to wiretap suspected terrorists even though the declaration of war against al Qaeda gave him that power.

I never liked data mining emails, but that's been going on since the Clinton administration at least. And the debate should be honest. You can't blame just Bush, and you can't claim email is private. Every email is immortalized on computers all across the country. So what's the argument for stopping the government from data mining it? I also don't understand the secrecy about CIA operatives assassinating al Qaeda leaders. Killing the enemy is the goal of war. Why should that be secret? I'm sure al Qaeda was aware American forces were trying to kill them, so that was being kept secret from Americans, not al Qaeda. Cato should recognize the Constitution does not divide power to wage war. It places that power solely in the hands of the president, and everything discussed here is about waging war. Cato conveniently neglects to mention that.

Any intellectually honest libertarian criticism of the war on terror must call for revoking the president's Constitutionally granted war powers, not pretend they haven't been invoked or are limited by Congress.

Obama's failure of leadership on trade policy is allowing the US to slip toward protectionism.

Cato breaks down the numbers on not very high speed rail, and we don't want to pay $1,000 per taxpayer for somebody else to ride 58 miles.
"Not only will you pay $1,000 for someone else to ride the train, that someone probably earns more than you."
And these trains are bad for the environment:
"The Department of Energy says that, in intercity travel, automobiles are as energy-efficient as Amtrak, and that boosting Amtrak trains to higher speeds will make them less energy-efficient and more polluting than driving."
Like everything else government does, this isn't about transportation or the environment. It's about power. It's about taking money from us by force for aristocrats to buy votes.

I never understood how the White House could claim its visitor logs were private. That house is the people's house.

Obama staffer accuses the CBO of overestimating costs and underestimating savings. Yeah. Show me one instance where the CBO overestimated the cost of a government program.

Taxing gold-plated health insurance plans. What a lovely idea. If you make enough money to buy something nice, something special, you get to pay a nice, special tax. That'll make people want to work extra hard to get rich. This is robbery. These crooks are so shameless, they actually publicize their theft.

So now taxpayers are paying for the pension plans for the UAW's Delphi workers.

Obama eases lobbyist restrictions. This is another distraction anyway. The lobbyists are not our problem. The aristocrats are our problem. The aristocrats are selling our money and our power to the highest bidders. Naturally, when money and power is for sale, buyers will appear to buy it. When we take back our money and power from the aristocrats, they will no longer have it to sell, and the lobbyists will go away.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Free kibbles

No normal person would want to go to school.

The Federal minimum wage just jumped to $7.25 an hour. Unions are happy. People who thought raising the minimum wage was a really great idea until they got laid off are not.

Health care vote in Senate months away. Obama's poll numbers should keep dropping, so that will help, but I hope the people don't lose the fire to stop Obama's health care oppression.

It seem to me there are ways for police to determine if a person in a house is a home invader without forcing a home owner to show ID. For example, they could check with a neighbor. They could stake out the house. Complaining about this on racial grounds is stupid. No man in his house should be forced to show ID to the police regardless of skin color. This is a police abuse of power against all Americans, not just blacks. Apparently Obama stepped right in this.

When coming from government capitals, the words bipartisan and compromise are four letter words. Those words tell us that the two parties have agreed to team up and stick it to us twice as hard. It tells us that neither party is sticking up for the rights and power of the people. That's why I have no interest in Bobby Jindal's big-government bipartisan health care plan. Any compromise will cost us more money and make health care worse. The only health care plan I'm interested in is one that will improve our system and that means one that extracts government from our system.

Our tax dollars are overwhelmingly supporting Al Gore's global warming fraud:
''The US Government has spent more than $79 billion of taxpayers’ money since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, administration, propaganda campaigns, foreign aid, and tax breaks. Most of this spending was unnecessary."
But of course liberals scream bloody murder if Exxon funds a couple million dollars of research. Talk about the pot calling the microscopic spot on the stove black.

Wonderful woman calls for the US to stop apologizing for global warming and draws a powerful distinction between the way Obama and Clinton hide from Islamic terrorism but go out of their way to attack the US on global warming. Man, this is a powerful essay. Nice job.

Socialist does his best to convince Americans that Obama is not a socialist. Then he licks his lips, climbs into Obama's lap, curls up and asks for kisses. The US Constitution and institutions won't allow an immediate transformation to socialism. Obama understands that and is working as hard as he can to collapse freedom in America and usher in socialism through the back door as quickly as possible.

Obama's tax and trade legislation, after farmers took control of it, benefits farmers. Who would have guessed? But this is bad news for Americans in general. Farmers are a particularly protected special interest group, and it will be hard to overcome them.

91 percent of terrorist trials led to convictions. I bet 99 percent of jaywalking trials led to convictions. That's not a good thing. All that shows is that juries are enthralled by government charlatans like rats are to a snake.

It's good to see that the British press is no longer playing lap dog to Obama. Obama's socialist policies and Marxist foreign policy are hurting his popularity.
"The problem about a mega-hype like the Obama scam is that when it goes pear-shaped it will crash and burn like nothing we have seen since that other hot-air powered marvel, the Hindenburg."
I feel for him. Like I feel for a starving tick.

The (inevitable) consequences of fixing the price of coffee in Venezuela.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Free kibbles

Because most economic data collected by government are a function of the money supply, printing money can make those numbers look better, but nothing really changes. It's like putting lipstick on a pig. It's a way of manipulating the numbers, like GDP and stock prices, to mislead the public and make it look like a recovery is in progress. But since nothing has really changed except an increase in the money supply, businesses aren't hiring. The result is a "jobless recovery." I've heard that term many times and never known the cause. Now I do.
"If the key to economic growth is an increase in demand, then poverty world-wide would have been eradicated a long time ago."
That single sentence destroys Keynesianism.

Cuban Health Care. NHS doesn't change sheets. Walter Reid scandal.

Obama is on course to double our national debt from the last 233 years in 10 years.

Cato explains that Obama's public health care option harms competition and choice. Expert predicts public plan would seduce roughly 118.5 million people off of private insurance onto the public plan. The US has 1,300 insurance companies. Rationing and "die with dignity" in House bill.

I don't buy this smartgrid idea. I think it's just a way for government to control us by controlling our electric usage. It seems to me we should just have a well connected electric grid with distributed supply points. The only thing stopping us for having that is government. I think these mini nuclear reactors would work great for that.

This is an excellent video from Mises University about money, banking and the Fed in US history.

California aristocrats are expecting the next round of red ink. It's their own fault. They still have onerous taxes, including their new carbon tax, driving businesses out of the state.

Victor Davis Hanson explains that never in US history have we simultaneously experienced such massive tax hikes and massive deficit growth (from massive spending increases). Meanwhile, in his private room in the White House, Pharaoh Obama does his impersonation of Dr. Evil's laugh because his plans to collapse our economy are working tremendously.

I think Gingrich has missed the boat here. Yes, we're vulnerable to terrorist attack, but it's impossible to defend against every kind of attack. The terrorists would love that because we'd be broke. Not to say we couldn't do some things better, but we could spend our entire GDP on security measures, and we'd still be vulnerable. Sure, we should do a better job of protecting our ports and borders, but we do not need the military to respond to terrorists attacks on US soil. Our first responders do that. What we need most of all is to empower our first defenders - the American people - to respond to and overwhelm terrorists. Airlines should secure airplanes. Airports should secure airports. Ports should secure ports. Shipping companies should secure ships. Railroad companies should secure trains and tracks. As in every problem, the American people are best equipped to provide security for themselves, and the private sector is best equipped to provide security for its operations. Gingrich may have identified the problem, but as always, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is our problem.

The president has a duty to ignore unconstitutional legislation. Congress is not the boss of the president. They are co-equal branches of government. But naturally Obama attacked Bush for doing the same thing.

Obama's anti-Commerce Sec. says that Americans must pay for some of China's CO2 emissions. That's the theme of the entire Obama administration - Americans must pay.

Comparison of president's approval ratings. Jimmy Carter had higher ratings than Obama after 6 months. Ouch! Look how different Clinton's rating is. His numbers start off low then rise after Republicans take over Congress. I wonder if Clinton ever thanks Gingrich for giving him a decent legacy. Funny how the two Bushes have the highest numbers on the chart, and they basically tie for the lowest with Democrats and Nixon. The Bushes really know how to ruin a good thing.

So now they can build wind turbines that don't kill bats. What about birds?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Free kibbles

Here we go again. Obama wants to spend $4 billion we don't have on charter schools. He's trying to take control of them too. It's tempting to think he's tone deaf or that he just doesn't get it. Wrong. He's trying to collapse our economy. The more money he can suck out of the private sector, the more likely he'll succeed, so he's going to continue pushing higher taxes and more spending until the country collapses or we get him out of office. He also keeps pushing these proposals like machine gun fire to distract us from stopping the ones currently being debated on Congress. He's trying to overwhelm us with programs and debt in order to defeat us. Funny how between Bush and Obama, $4 billion sounds like nothing, but it's still a huge amount of money.

Robert Samuelson at Newsweek trashes Obama's health care oppression plan, explaining that what Obama calls reform isn't reform at all, but more of the same, bloated, wasteful, corrupt federal programs that do so much damage already. He exposes Obama as a liar to boot.
"The most misused word in the health-care debate is "reform." Everyone wants reform, but what constitutes reform is another matter. If you listen to President Obama, his reform will satisfy almost everyone. It will insure the uninsured, control runaway health spending, subdue future budget deficits, preserve choice for patients, and improve quality of care. These claims are self-serving exaggerations and political fantasies. They have destroyed what should be a serious national discussion of health care.
Judged objectively, reform may do exactly the opposite of what Obama says. It would bloat spending, not restrain it. But because the president is so well spoken, he has the ability to make misleading statements sound reasonable or sophisticated. Still, they're misleading.
He offers the illusion of reform while perpetuating the status quo of four decades: expand benefits, talk about controlling costs."
While Samuelson has a reputation for impartiality, Newsweek does not. The bloom is off the rose. Even his liberal cheerleaders are turning on him. Better late than never, I guess. I think this health care debate will end the radical Obama presidency. He'll either have to evolve like Bill Clinton did or become irrelevant. It'll be much harder for a lifelong dangerous demagogue like Obama to evolve than it was for self-serving Bill Clinton.

Democrat infighting blocks health care oppression bill. It would be easy to think some Democrats had scruples or that they were really conservative, but that's not true. It's just that after voting for Obama's stimulus boondoggle and his energy oppression plan, some Democrats fear losing their jobs because they come from more conservative districts. Thank goodness. All the aristocrats of either party care about is their own power.

Supreme Iranian tyrant Khamenei orders President Ahmadinejad to fire his moderate vice-president.

Lawfully ousted ex-president of Honduras symbolically crosses back into Honduras. It seems to me all this shows is he's ousted, undeterred by the rule of law and desperate to stay relevant. Obama, Chavez, Castro and Noriega combined can't save their fellow radical leftist tyrant wannabe from the rule of law in Honduras. Maybe I should move to Honduras. We used to call Honduras a banana republic. Now Honduras is the champion of the rule of law and the US is a banana republic.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Free kibbles

Two mayors, a current and former legislator, and rabbis among 30 people arrested in New Jersey arrested for corruption. Government breeds corruption, and big government like New Jersey's breeds big corruption.

There's so much wrong with this headline: VW Prepares to Take over Porsche.

Dow tops 9,000. That seems so last decade.

French Army shelling sets Marseille suburb on fire. What's the French Foreign Legion doing on French soil? I thought that wasn't allowed. Or were they bombing from the sea?

Obama drags health care operative, formerly director of the CBO, into the political fray. That was inevitable. Why would Obama have hired him except to make him a political operative with the pretension of lack of bias?

Article tells us who will get hurt by Obama's health care oppression bill. What about the elderly? While I appreciate the details, this is inaccurate. All Americans will get hurt by this bill because of higher prices, lower quality care, rationed care and the inexorable loss of the little bit of freedom we have left.

Senate refuses to engage on health care until after August break, contrary to Obama's wishes. That's great news for Americans as they will have more time to kill this oppressive program before it becomes law.

One example of how government indoctrinated a child into pushing its values on the rest of us.

We all know that minimum wage laws exclude young, minority and unskilled workers from the market, but there are additional, hidden costs.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Free kibbles

Mises scholar explains that the cash for clunker program is another example of the broken window fallacy and along with other market perversions will immediately increase the price for clunkers to just under $4,500, excluding poor people from being able to buy much needed personal transportation.

Senate sustains filibuster of bill allowing Americans to carry concealed weapons across state lines.

Functional, artificial human brain will be built within in 10 years.

Hillary Clinton threatens severe consequences if Iran and North Korea don't stop developing nuclear weapons. What's she going to do, tongue lash them a second time? That didn't even stop her husband from philandering. I'm sure the mullahs and Kim Jong Il are quaking in their boots. What's this crap about extending our nuclear umbrella to Persian Gulf countries? These aristocrats are dumber than dirt. I have a foolproof plan to stop nuclear proliferation in its tracks. Bomb North Korea's nuclear facilities into dust, and make it clear to Iran we'll do the same to its facilities if it doesn't allow full access so we can verify it isn't developing weapons.

President Obama is trying to pressure the head of the Congressional Budget Office to be biased. Obama already knows the suggestions the head of the CBO have to cut health care costs. He doesn't need an unprecedented invitation to the White House to find that out. This meeting has to be about intimidation.

Walter Williams discusses good intentions.

Thomas Woods writes a great essay describing the Austrian theory of the business cycle and how it applies to our current crisis. Video explanation from Thomas Woods of why there was no great depression in 1920 - government didn't intervene.

Banks used TARP money to pay off debts, invest and buy other banks, which they weren't supposed to do. Government breeds corruption.

SEIU sighting again. Apparently Obama's green building upgrade program is more payback to this union.

Nancy Pelosi knows the honeymoon is over so she's pushing for a vote on health care oppression next week.

Boortz provides a list of 13 onerous facts about the proposed health care oppression bill with references to back up each one. I like the one about our taxes being higher than every major western country but Denmark.

Obama is just an unbelievable liar. He says that we government needs to take more control of our health care sector to reduce deficits. He's claiming more government spending will reduce deficits. He's right about out of control Medicare and Medicaid spending, but that just shows that government is our problem, not the solution to our problem. I believe the American people will see through this. They will think he's either a fool or a shameless liar. I'm hoping like crazy this ends Obama's presidency.

I just watched a few minutes of Chris Mathews on MSNBC, the guy who gets tingles up his leg when he listens to Obama, and they think Obama failed to make his case tonight. That's great news. If the cheerleaders at MSNBC aren't excited about Obama's speech, nobody else will be either. Howard Fineman, another Obama cheerleader from MSNBC and Newsweek, calls the speech "lackluster". In fact, Fineman blast Obama pretty good in this essay:
"His prime time press conference was worse than a waste of time. He spent an hour (with the aide of a soporific White House press corps) pouring sand (one grain at a time) into the already-slowing gears of the machinery of health-care reform."
On the same subject, the New York Times is running article with the headline "Experts Dispute Some Points In Health Care Talk". That's amazing critical from the New York Times.

Apparently I'm not the only person who thinks if this health care push fails, Obama's presidency is over. Some Republican Senator called a health care failure Obama's Waterloo. Nice analogy. I was the first to mention it though, at least as far as I know. Understanding this should give Republicans extra motivation to stop this disaster before it happens.

Obama's health care plan isn't socialism yet. It's fascism with the goal of transforming into socialism.

I completely agree with Bill Kristol's suggestion to kill Obamacare and start over. As I posted the other day, Republicans would be making a horrible mistake if they compromised.

While Britain is headed to the right, the US is headed to the left. But these different directions are no surprise. Liberals were in power in Britain when the collapse hit and Republicans were in power in the US a long time until right before the collapse hit. Americans blamed the Republicans. The British blame the liberals. It just goes to show that their policies are so similar that both are terribly destructive to freedom and prosperity. But don't be fooled. Britain's conservative aristocrats don't want to shrink government any more than Republican aristocrats want to do it here. I'm going on record saying if Cameron cuts spending at all, it will be by at most a token amount just to make the claim he did it.

This is a nice mini-review of Google Wave.

It shows you how boring the moon is when a new rover is going up to explore an Apollo landing site.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Neither Superman Nor Messiah, Just Marxist

Neither Superman Nor Messiah, Just Marxist

by Mark Luedtke

Being CEO of General Motors used to be a full time job. Same with being CEO of AIG and Citigroup. But President Obama is CEO of all three. He's also CEO of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He's CEO of dozens of banks, not to mention Amtrak. He dictates how much money corporate officers can make. Obama wants to become CEO of America's energy and health insurance companies. He wants to look over the shoulder of every teacher and stand between every doctor and his or her patients. That's just the new powers Obama has grabbed or is trying to grab.

The president is ultimately responsible for every power of the Federal government. He dictates what kind of shows we watch on TV. He dictates what can be said on the radio. He dictates what kind of cars we buy. He dictates what food, drugs and hair products we can buy. He dictates where companies can drill for oil or build nuclear power plants. He dictates who can and can't buy houses and get other kind of loans. He dictates what business deals Wall Street firms make. He dictates what art we buy, what science we fund and what charities we support. He dictates that we plant trees in some places and prevents us from cutting down trees in others. Pretty soon Obama will dictate what flavors of ice cream we can buy, if he allows us to buy ice cream at all. We have a name for government leaders who dictate to the people – dictators.

The president also conducts foreign policy and is commander-in-chief of the military. In Obama's case, that makes him the world's America-basher-in-chief. It's also his job to take our earnings from us by force then beg and borrow money from China and Saudi Arabia to fund all his powers. Then there's the biggest presidential responsibility of all – funneling trillions of dollars of our money to his constituents so he and his party can remain in power. Obama's doing that with a record amount of our money from his stimulus boondoggle and other programs. During the campaign Obama even promised to take responsibility for stopping the rise of the oceans and for making everybody in the world love us. No wonder he doesn't have time to secure our borders. Apparently even Superman the Messiah has limitations.

By naming an army of Russian tyrants and faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats to assist him, Obama has centralized more power in the White House than any president in history, but in the end, ultimate responsibility rests with the president. Can you imagine anything stupider than giving one man all that power and responsibility?

This illustrates the fatal flaw of central planning. It's impossible for one or 100,000 or 5 million men – pick any number smaller than the population - to solve the problems of 300 million individuals as well as the 300 million individuals can solve their own problems. It's impossible for central planners to understand the needs, wants and means of every individual and family as well as each individual and family understands his own needs, wants and means. As Ayn Rand said, "Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others." Every government interference in the economy makes us poorer. The world is too complicated to put power in the hands of a few politicians. We need every American empowered to remain on top.

Every dictate from government also divides the people. You may want to buy a giant SUV, and your neighbor may want to buy a tiny hybrid. In a free country, you each do what pleases you, and everybody is happy. But if President Obama dictates that he's going to take money from Americans by force to subsidize the hybrid, that benefits your neighbor at your expense. It divides us. The more powerful government gets, the more divided the country becomes.

Dictates from even the most benevolent, intelligent and wise dictator make the people poorer, unhappier, unhealthier and more divided. But Barack Obama is neither benevolent, intelligent nor wise. Everything we know about Obama tells us he's a blind ideologue who is intentionally harming us and our country.

Obama spent 20 years sitting in Rev. Wright's church, even subjecting his children to his mad ravings. Obama eventually became a leader of black liberation theology, a mixture of Marxism, religion and victimization philosophy. According to Wikipedia, the founder of the movement claims the goal of the black intellectual is to “aid in the destruction of America as he knows it.”

Domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and his staff chose Barack Obama to be Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Annenburg Challenge (CAC) to radicalize students and parents. Ayers didn't pick Obama because he had a different vision. They undoubtedly share the same communist vision they worked to advance at the CAC. According to Stanley Kurtz, who poured through the records of the CAC, during this three year partnership, Ayers and Obama funneled $100 million, half of it our tax dollars, into radical leftist and black supremacist organizations. One of the organizations the CAC funneled money through was ACORN.

According to, Acorn was founded by Wade Rathke to implement a strategy defined by Richard Cloward and Frances Piven “to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.” That sounds frighteningly like Obama's agenda. That's because Obama was involved with ACORN his entire adult life. He worked for ACORN. He trained ACORN operatives. He payed ACORN to get him elected. Obama is ACORN's, Ayers's and Wright's man in the White House working for their shared agenda of collapsing the remnants of capitalism in the US.

America isn't suffering because of too much on Obama's plate. It's suffering because Obama and his powerful allies are trying to destroy our way of life and replace it with national slavery – Marxism. Worst of all, none of this is new information. This information was available to any voter who took his vote seriously before the election. We have nobody to blame for our plight but ourselves.