Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

So, imagine if you will, the CEO of a top Fortune 500 company.  A long-standing leader in the industry, with satellite branches in other countries and significant influence across the globe. Thousands of employees, hundreds of divisions, involved in everything from pharmaceuticals to oil refineries to high-tech research and development.

Now, imagine that this company is plagued by scandals.  An overseas plant is caught using child labor.  Another facility is shown to have falsified safety reports.  Low-grade medicines being pawned off as premium quality with high prices.  The more the problems that come to light, the more people start digging, and things just keep getting worse.

Now, imagine that time and again the CEO’s response to each new revelation of wrong-doing, oversight, or unethical business practice is, “You can’t blame me, I only found out about this when I read about it in the Wall Street Journal!”  And even as his corporation begins to crumble around him, he continues to go on golf outings with his rich buddies, takes his extended family on numerous overseas vacations on the company dime, and continues to try and divert attention from his problems by pointing fingers at everyone else but himself.

Now imagine millions of customers and consumers of this corporation’s products – who might otherwise hate big business – turning a blind eye to evey misstep and instance of malfeasance on the part of the CEO…because he’s black.  And then attacking his critics as racist for daring to impugn the character of this fine, upstanding member of the community!

In the real world, just how long do you suppose that this CEO would remain the CEO?  How many more instances of incompetence, disconnectedness, and destructive business practices would the clientelle endure before the stockholders got fed up and had him fired?

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

So say, for example, that you take your car to a mechanic.  The car’s not running all that great, and you’d like to get it a tune-up.  Your mechanic takes on the job, and promises you that your trusty automobile will soon be running better than ever before.

You pick the car up later that day, and drive off, expecting great things.  Funny though, something isn’t quite right.  Now it’s got a clank and a shimmy it didn’t have before.  So you take it back the next day to have it looked at again.

Noooo problem, insists the mechanic.  We just need a little more time with it.  Soon it’ll be like new.  You’re somewhat skeptical, but the mechanic seems confident, competent, so you entrust your family wagon to him one more time.

Later you pick up your vehicle, accompanied by the smiles and assurances of the maintenance staff that all is well.  You drive off with a renewed sense of confidence and optimism.

Funny though, now not ONLY does it have a clank, and a shimmy, but the radio doesn’t work and it stalls at stop lights.  You’re a bit miffed, and limp it back to the dealership to demand that the mechanic set things aright.

The mechanic clucks and sighs, and shakes his head, and informs you that you just have to be patient with him.  These things are complicated, they take time.  It might even appear to get worse before it gets better, but really, he’s the mechanic and you’re just the driver, so you need to trust that he’s doing what’s best for you.

Properly humbled, you entrust your sole mode of transportation to this august, if slightly condescending professional and hope for the best.  Later, you pick your car back up, and the mechanic’s beaming smile assures you that all will be right, no really, this time he means it. 

But, as you go to pull out of the parking lot, the muffler falls off, the tires blow out, and the engine catches fire.  You bail out of the burning wreck of what was once a perfectly serviceable automobile, and storm up to demand an accounting from the so-called “mechanic” who trashed your car.

It’s not my fault, he insists.  As a matter a fact, it was the old mechanic you had that caused all the problems.  There was too much wrong with it to fix in the time you gave me.  You should blame him, not me.  As a matter of fact, wouldn’t it be better if you just rode the bus?

Now, at some point in this scenario, wouldn’t you figure out that this so-called mechanic had no real idea what he was doing, had no idea how to actually fix your car, and was really just pretending to repair things in order to soak you for the cash you kept paying him to “fix” these problems, many of which HE HIMSELF CAUSED?!

That said, WHY, oh WHY do we keep looking to Pres. Obama and his administration to somehow “fix” the economy?  Every time he’s tried, he’s given us back something worse that what we started with.  Why do we overlook behavior in a President that we wouldn’t stand for in a mechanic?

We really, really, REALLY need to find a new pit crew.

Imposing economic policies that force millions of people to lose their jobs and begin relying, perhaps for the first time in their lives, on welfare subsidies, then turn around and brag about how many people your social programs are helping!

See how effective our program is?  We are helping millions now, where before we were only helping a few thousand!  What a smashing success!

If you haven’t seen it already, the UK Sun does a great job of breaking down how much actual money is a “trillion” dollars:

72 years to print a trillion dollars

The US Bureau Of Engraving And Printing produces 38million notes a day, so printing one trillion new notes from scratch and working seven days a week would take just over 72 years.

If the world’s leaders spent the one trillion dollars at the rate of a dollar a second, they would still be spending it in 31,689 years. On the other hand, if they want to get through it all within ten years, they would need to spend 3,169 dollars a second.

It also costs 6.4 cents to print each note – so it’s a good job the massive sum will be passed on electronically.

Otherwise there would be a 64billion dollar black hole in the leaders’ historic bailout package, which would rather defeat the point.

Pretty disturbing, all in all.  How many tons of paper, gallons of ink?  In a way it’s too bad that most of these transactions take place electronically.  If Obama had to print it all off, the environmentalists never would have let the thing pass.  It would have killed too many trees!

UPDATE:

A trillion dollars in $1 bills would weigh approximately 1.1 Million TONS!

A Nimitz-class aircraft carrier weighs in at around 97 thousand tons.

So, doing the math, $1 Trillion dollars in $1 dollar bills would weigh more than 11 aircraft carriers!

Keep in mind that Obama’s Spendulous deficit is forecast to be as much as 7 TRILLION or higher.  So, 77 aircraft carriers stacked up.

That’s a helluva lot of money.

Or, how about this:

If we figure that 1 ton of uncoated virgin (non-recycled) printing and office paper uses 24 trees, and figuring that since money is printed on some pretty high-end paper that this is probably a fair equivalent, that means that, printing off 1 trillion dollars in $1 dollar bills would require 26,400,000 trees!

 Well, since the “Cap-n-Trade” Bill, code named H.R. 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, aka the Waxman-Markey contribution to national decline has passed into law, thanks quite literally to the eight Republicans who voted for it, Republicans who it will be shown, I’m sure, to have some sort of financial interest to gain, I thought it my duty to sully the shiny venier of this thing a bit by giving you some of the background of the philosophy behind this movement.

It’s called “Agenda 21.” As early as 1992, the UN passed a resolution called the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.  This was the framework around which the much more detailed and ambitious “Agenda 21” was constructed.  Though it is the form of an “advisory” resolution, bearing no legal weight with non-signatories, its content and verbiage are clearly reflected in a great deal of the “green” legislation still being forced on American citizens over 15 years later.

Below are some of the “Principles” of the Agenda in which I think you might be interested (all emphasis mine):

Principle 2

    States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, {{and here’s the “but”}}and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or ontrol do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

Which can, of course, be taken to mean almost anything, because under current definitions, any “greenhouse gas” emissions affect global climate, and so anything you “emit” affects “other states.  So this clause is in effect, self-nullifying.  You can can do whatever you want as a nation, as long as you can guarantee that your pollution won’t cross national boundaries. Right.

Principle 5

    All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, in order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world.

Because the “disparities” in standard of living are somehow “unfair.”  What this fails to consider is that one absolutely essential elements of eradicating poverty is dragging people kicking and screaming into the 21st century, not returning us to the stone age through misguided and counterproductive environmental do-goodedness!  You notice it says, “decrease the disparities.”  I doesn’t mention which direction you should move to close the gap!  Make the poor rich by making the rich poorer, and we’ll meet somewhere in the middle.  Doesn’t this sound like Obama’s “spread the wealth around” idea? Gee, I wonder where he got it?

Principle 13

States shall develop national law regarding liability and compensation for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage.

Look at that for a sec.  We are encouraged/required to codify into national law procedures for compensating “victims of pollution.”  How delightfully vague!  So now we move beyong hate crimes, to environmental crimes.  Or maybe that’s now redundant, eh?

Principle 15

    In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities.  Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

BINGO!  Lack of scientific certainty shouldn’t stand in the way of passing a whole boatload of environmental policies designed not so much to save the environment, as to generate cash for social programs and politicial agenda setting.  Is this sounding oh so vaguely familiar, when our POTUS appoints an “environmental” czar with no scientific training, but lots of financial experience?  With the “global warming” scare being debunked by more and more of the scientific community, and yet still being ramrodded into law by a compliant legislative branch?

Principle 21

    The creativity, ideals and courage of the youth of the world should be mobilized to forge a global partnership in order to achieve sustainable development and ensure a better future for all.

AmeriCorps anyone?  Mandatory service in exchange for tuition?  This ringing any bells?

Here’s a nice one:

4.22. They should also encourage the emergence of an informed consumer public and assist individuals and households to make environmentally informed choices by:

 (a) Providing information on the consequences of consumption choices and behaviour so as to encourage demand for environmentally sound products and use of products;

 (b) Making consumers aware of the health and environmental impact of products, through such means as consumer legislation and environmental labelling;

Think about how everything you hear these days is about “being green.”  It’s green construction, and green products, and green this and green that.   It’s not merely a reflection of a growing social consciousness about these issues, it is a carefully managed and orchestrated campaign to INSTILL this “consciousness” in society.  What, don’t you care about the environment?  Well, then, give up phosphates in your dishwashing detergent, hater!

In short, we are being brainwashed.  According to a plan, and a schedule.

The clincher is right here in paragragh 4.25, labelled “Moving towards environmentally sound pricing.”  And I quote:

4.25. Some progress has begun in the use of appropriate economic instruments to influence consumer behaviour. These instruments include environmental charges and taxes, deposit/refund systems, etc. This process should be encouraged in the light of country-specific conditions.

Cap & Trade, as billed and promised, is a mechanism whereby we force consumers to consume less by imposing “environmental charges & taxes” on both products and the means of production.  Obama wasn’t kidding around when he said, quite clearly, that he intended to destroy coal-based electricity in this country.  Captain Trade is certainly powerful enough to do it!

You owe it to yourself to read up on Agenda 21, and the other UN-”mandated” programs that are behind all this green mania.  If it doesn’t shock you, then you are one of “them.”

Bill Clinton tried to push through the Kyoto Protocol, but Congress was at least semi-conscious enough at the time to see what a nightmare that thing would have been economically for our country.  Now Pres. Obama has managed to push through the Waxman Cap & Trade nightmare, which will accomplish much the same thing.

If your realize nothing else from this post, realize that all that is being promoted under the auspices of “enviromentalism” has, at its core, the goal of compliance with global mandates designed to bring us more and more under the authority of organizations like the UN. 

Locally, as in, in this country, it’s also about using a mechanism against which they’ve already made it hard to argue, and nearly impossible to oppose, in order to generate new revenue streams for funding socialist welfare programs like the “health care plan” and all the other things rolled up in the stiumulous packages.

You were wondering how they were going to pay for all that?  Here ya go.

These people care far less about preserveing the environment than they do about getting their hands on your money.  What little they will leave you.

THIS IS NOT ACCIDENTAL.  This is a premeditated, long-running agenda.   And it is Euro-style marxist dialectic to its core.

To sum up:  It is the stated intention of the marxist environmental movement which is slowly ruining this country to pass legislation and impose fees and fines to the point where goods and services become so expensive that you are forced to use less.  The money made from all these extortion schemes will then be funnelled to the “poor” countries via mechanisms such as, you guessed it, the United Nations…the very organization pushing these agendas.  A rather suspicious conflict of interest, wouldn’t you say?

And all those companies poised to make millions trading in carbon offsets.

This is what a Democratically controlled congress gets you.

Cap and Trade in all it’s glory. Hello $5 a gallon for gas, and double or triple your electricity bill in the next 10 years.

Bastards.  We are so phuq’d.

In the run up to the second Iraq war, there came to light a document which came to be know as the “Downing Street Memo.”  The crux of this document is that it reflected the author’s concerns that the culture in the White House at the time was such that there was only one right answer, and that answer was war with Iraq. 

Intelligence estimates and analysis were feared to be colored by this culture, tuned and filtered or “cherry picked” to give the most damning possible indictments of Iraqi weapons programs, even if the evidence did not fully support such a view.  To quote, “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy“.

 Dissenting opinions were hushed up or buried, and the view seemed to be that since Pres. Bush had already decided in his mind to use military force, that the discussion was over, and efforts should cease to be about finding the truth, but rather, become oriented towards supporting the pre-established conclusion.

This document is often spoken of as a “smoking gun,” potential grounds for impeachment, and/or a clear revelation of the “rush to war,” demonstrating a resolve to take one certain course of action, regardless of what alternatives some naysayers might have suggested.   Sadly, a great deal of this seems to have been true.

The mindset, the policies, the actions reflected in the Downing Street Memo have been used by Pres. Bush’s many ardent critics and enemies as justification for their outrage, often bordering on hatred.  How COULD he just ignore evidence which didn’t support his view!?  How can we trust an administration that shows itself deaf and blind to any information save for that it wants to hear!?

Fast forward to 2009.

Many quite rational and sane voices on the “Right”, and now increasingly from all walks of scientific and political life, have become open sceptics about the “incontrovertible” nature of the “evidence” supporting global warming.   The science is weak, the evidence lacking, and the prophecies of doom and gloom wholly unsupportable.  Yet, despite the growing volume and number of protests, there still seems to be a prevailing culture of there being only “one right answer” in many circles.  There is a culture of implicit acceptance of all things global warming…as long as they paint a dark and terrible picture requiring immediate and expensive action.  More and more is seems that the available intelligence is being “cherry-picked” to support the pre-established conclusion, and that which doesn’t is ignored. To quote, “the intelligence and facts [are] being fixed around the policy“.

Now, via Michelle Malkin, I wonder if we are finally being provided with Global Warming’s version of the “Downing Street Memo?”

EPA plays hide and seek; suppressed report revealed

From Ms. Malkin’s article:

The free market-based Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington (where I served as a journalism fellow in 1995) obtained a set of internal e-mails exposing Team Obama’s willful and reckless disregard for data that undermine the illusion of “consensus.”

Sound familiar?

Later on, quoting senior supervisor Al McGartland of the Environmental Protection Agency with regards to a subordinate’s report that didn’t support the desired findings:

“The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision… I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”

Read the rest.  It’s really quite disturbing.  For all the frothing fist-waving and chest-beating of the vocal left about the Evil that was BushCheneyRumsfeldSatanHitler, for all the demands for impeachment and talk of war crimes, for all the hearfelt insistence that Bush “lied us into war,” what, I wonder, will be the response by the Left to this EPA whitewashing of evidence countering their own carefully nurtured global warming hysteria?

How many millions and billions will we spend “fighting an unjust war” against global warming?  Is Barack Obama lying is into this war?  Is there only one right answer in the Obama administration with respect to global warming? 

The screaming Progs have long lamented the “irresponsible deficit” inflicted on the American people by Bush’s war for oil.

Yet, how many trillions of dollars are we being forced to swallow in Obama’s war AGAINST oil?

How many people will die of starvation because we are using 1/3 of our corn crop to produce ethanol rather than export as food for hungry nations?  What will happen to our economy when the cost of houses doubles as they must be built to new, and very expensive…”green” standards?  When our electricy costs triple because we have outlawed efficient coal-fired energy plants and refuse to embrace nuclear energy?  All in the name of “complying” with an ill-considered and unsupportable global warming policy?

Many would suggest that Iraq didn’t pose a threat to the US, and so our war was illegal and immoral.  I’d like to suggest that the “war on global warming” is even more unjustified, illegal, and immoral, and poses a great threat to our country than Iraq ever did, or that global warming itself ever will.

Well, on CNN, the Tea Party protests got only one link, but amazingly enough, the article was balanced, fair, and by no means a hit piece.  I encourage you to read it.  It lays out the basics of what the protests are about, and even seems to paint them in if not a positive light, then at least in neutral terms.

Nationwide ‘tea party’ protests blast spending

However.

Let us compare that article to this one from that bastion of journalistic objectivity, MSNBC.

 Anti-tax ‘tea parties’ being held across U.S.
Obama aims to ease dread of deadline day, vowing ‘simpler tax code’

Notice how they manage to toss a puff for Obama into the Headline?

Also notice that the Page Title in the HTML actually says, “Anti-tax ‘tea parties’ vent anger across U.S.”  The anger part becomes important pretty quickly. I’ll just highlight in bold all the fun, inflammatory terms and polarizing language:

Whipped up by conservative commentators and bloggers, tens of thousands of protesters staged “tea parties” across the nation

Whipped up. As in, into a frenzy.  At least they didn’t downplay the numbers, got to give them that.

Protesters even threw what appeared to be a box of tea bags over the fence onto the White House grounds, causing a brief lockdown at the compound before the package was declared not dangerous.

The assumption being, of course, that something the protestors threw over the fence would be dangerous.  Which, if it “appeared to be tea bags”  would, I propose, be a bit of stretch, wouldn’t you think?  Unless of course it fits your narrative.

Shouts rang out from Kentucky,

Looks a bit like “shots rang out,” doesn’t it?

“Frankly, I’m mad as hell,” said businessman Doug Burnett at a rally at the Iowa Capitol, where many of the about 1,000 people wore red shirts declaring “revolution is brewing.”

That’s right.  Angry, red-shirted Iowans warning of revolution.  Hey, maybe that DHS report was right!?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry fired up a tea party at Austin City Hall with his stance against the federal government, as some in his U.S. flag-waving audience shouted, “Secede!”

Not just revolutionists, but successionist as well!  The way this is worded, does it not give the impression that Texas Gov. Rick Perry might tacitly approve this sentiment, as it is “HIS” flag-waving audience?  Not THE audience, but HIS audience.  A subtle but grammatically significant difference.

Other protesters also took direct aim at Obama. One sign in the crowd in Madison, Wis., compared him to the anti-Christ.

Don’t forget rabid, fundie Christians.   “Taking direct aim” at Obama.  I believe they use to call this sort of thing “yellow journalism.”  Now they just call it, well, MSNBC.

Jim Adams of Selma carried a sign that showed the president with Hitler-style hair and mustache and said, “Sieg Heil Herr Obama.”

Must have changed the name on one of the Code Pink signs, I guess.

To be honest, I can’t tell if the penner of this AP piece was simply trying to present a sense of the moral outrage of the participants, but I doubt it.    The use of such charged terms as “whipped up” and “shouts rang out” do more than convey intensity…the suggest a frenzy, the possibility of violence.  Which is at odds with the vast majority of other reporting on the events out there.

The movement attracted some Republicans considering 2012 presidential bids.

Really?  Like who?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich planned to address a tea party in a New York City park Wednesday night. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal sent an e-mail to his supporters, letting them know about tea parties throughout the state. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford attended two tea parties.

These three have all expressed interest in running in 2012?  Who knew?

To me, giving cherry-picked statements from isolated firebrands equal time with the more common tone of frustrated but motivated political activism in the name of “balance” really isn’t.  It makes it appear that this undercurrent of revolutionary fervor was a common theme, which it is not.

The TEA Parties are really just about getting the government back on track, under control, and accountable to the people again.  Rather than the other way around.

Folks, all you have to do is look at the pictures from the various Tea Party rallies, and then compare and contrast the pictures over at ZombieTime from a series of Lefty proteests, to see what a fallacy it is to be so cautionary against “conservative” activism.  The Radical Left long ago cornered the market on crazy.

Found this quote over at Carin’s place:

 it is wrong to give them (ed. – that would be YOU) unilateral power to decide whether their taxpayer-subsidized donations should go to, say, well-heeled operas or lavish care of pets rather than to organizations that meet more pressing communal needs (my emphasis)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Liberal Political Theology in a nutshell.  It is WRONG to allow wage earners to be the sole determiners of how their income is spent, because at some point, some where, they utilized a government funded resource or utility in the earning of it, and thus they “owe” that “taxpayer-subsidized” money back to….someone.

And since you can’t be trusted to spend that money wisely, you know, like buying a pedicure for Fifi instead of shoes for a homeless guy, it is the responsibility, nay, the OBLIGATION of the government to step in and make those kinds of sticky decisions for you.

Because, you know, the Government is so much wiser, so much more altruistic, and so much more caring than you are.  Just remember that the next time you are waiting in line at the DMV.

This is the mindset against which we struggle:  That people can’t and shouldn’t be trusted with how to spend their own money, because they will inevitably make the “wrong” decisions, and so the more of that money that the Government takes, then the better off everyone will be.  Until, one glorious and liberating day, every freakin’ cent you make goes right into the government coffers to be wisely and graciously distributed as handled by the benificent Higher Beings knows as “Politicians” and “Civil Service Workers.”  You know, the ones running the Post Office and the IRS.  Can’t you just see the clouds parting and the light shining down now?  What a utopia, no?

You know what happens when you arbitrarily decide that as long as there are poor people, then discretionary spending on things like pedicures or facials, or latte’s or pinstriping on your car or a new TV in the game room is “irresponsible?” 

Pretty soon the pet salon and the latte stand and the electonics store and the auto detailing shop GO OUT OF #$%@&* BUSINESS!!!!

And TADA, now you’ve got more unemployed homeless people for the government busybodies to take care of.  Do people really not understand this?

These are the people who aren’t raising more of a stink about what Obama is doing, because they agree with what he is doing and how he’s going about it.  They genuinely want our economic system to fail and be completely retooled into textbook Marxist socialism.

Stupid, meddling bastards.

UPDATE:

RightWingSparkle has the proof in the puddin’.

And Patterico.

We all seem to understand the perils of this trend.  Those that don’t, fail to do so because they want it to happen, not based on any practical understanding of the issues or long term consequences, but rather, because they are operating out of emotive idealism liberally intermixed with a dash of retribution and “revenge thinking” promoted by the vocal, hard-left Alinsky-ites who seem to get most of the press time in this country lately.  The “hate the rich” meme that has become the social buzz, even among the Lefty rich!  Bizzarro world.

Winter storms stretch to New England

The storms have cut power to tens of thousands of homes, glazed roads and been blamed for at least five deaths.

Thus, of course, further emphasizing the desperate need for drastic measures to combat global warming, such as spending millions of the creation of the position of  a global warming “czar”, with the requisite increase in bureaucracy by creating a new “federal department” to develop a national global warming strategy.

So, do you spend money to create a panel of “experts” to study a nebulous, ill-defined bugaboo called global warming…?

Or…do you instead “spend” that money in the form of reduced taxes on heating oil to provide real help to real people freezing their collective arses off?

I guess it depend on how “progressive” you are.