What I Mean When I Talk About the Economic Crisis

If you’ve asked me what bills were proposed to stop the economic crisis or why I say Democrats were responsible for it, this video does a pretty good job of summing it up. And will give you far more sources for the info than I have.

Disregard the last 15 seconds or so. I think this video would’ve been enough to speak for itself. But the content is backed up and well sourced.

I Debated Whether or Not to Post This…

…but it scared me too much not to. Or maybe it just made me sick. I’m not sure which. If you’ve seen the incredible German film Good Bye Lenin! and have done any reading from the WWII era or into the cultural and political climate in Europe countries post-WWII and through the Cold War (pre-Berlin Wall falling) this might strike you similarly.

But it certainly didn’t rest easy with me. Even if this had been made for John McCain I would shun it, because it seems like an exploitation of children to me, as well as minor deity glorification or idolatry.

There was a response (which I didn’t watch until after I saw the original) that puts it into (albeit right-leaning biased) perspective. Regardless, that really does rub me the wrong way.

Some Economic Tidbits

We certainly don’t need a system based on the wholly implausible proposition that, in the end, government knows better than people. We should resist at all costs the historically challenged claim that politicians, or the officials they appoint, can possibly know better than free, liquid, well-informed markets in which, every day, hundreds of millions of people put their own money on the line to choose their own future.

- Gerard Baker, Times Online

I really like Gerard Baker’s viewpoint. First off, he’s a Brit in the US. Second, he’s got tons of foreign experience. His perpective is often different than everything I see in the media.

This particular piece he’s written is intelligent and, I think, pretty accurate.

What We Need

This is fantastic.

I wish more ads were like this these days.

Ego Massage or Malice

This political season is rife with strong emotions, irrational judgment, heated arguments (no debates yet, that I’ve seen), and loads of name calling. I guess the only thing different about this election year over any other is that I am no longer in college and am engaged in the action across the country via the internets.

As I’ve posted issues and ranted here on the good ‘ol blog, I’ve seen something happen. And I’m sure this is normal, but I still don’t like it. Friends turn into enemies, normally rational people turn into spin-spewing maniacs, and kittens die. Okay, maybe not that last one. But as my wife has put it, talking through these things with some people either brings an ego massage or malice. There are very few people with whom there is middle ground to talk about current affairs, especially elections. I know of one who is a friend and we have very level, extremely unbiased and rational conversations. And I think it’s because he is able to separate any and all emotion from the rationale he needs to make an informed decision.

So, in an attempt to reduce my stress (because it’s taken its toll) and keep friends, I am no longer going to argue via this blog. I will post issues that I am concerned about, but comments will be moderated. This is my blog so if it’s going to be a platform for anyone’s thoughts, it will be mine. Responses are great, but any full on attacks will be deleted. If you want to attack me, do it on your own blog.

Now I’m going to go back to reading about the Cold War.

How I Feel

Thanks to Flopping Aces for providing a hilarious summary of the political cartoons out this past weekend. Here are some of my favourites. Make sure you hit their site for the full list.

A Bit of a Manifesto (and live blog)

I’ll be working out some thoughts here and responding to the so-called “debate.”

Barack Obama said we can measure our economic fundamentals by the middle class? Like… the proletariat? Okay…

“Because of the lax regulation…” – are you kidding me? When the Democratic Congress blocked bills calling for this? HIS party was directly responsible (given there were Republicans that did the same), and he’s shifting the blame.

“We’d all like to lower taxes on everybody…”

Obama deflects the charge of his earmark requests to the charge of McCain cutting taxes from the richest (who by the way put a good amount of money into taxes as it is).

“Closing corporate loopholes” – is supposed to bring in all of this money to pay for 800 billion in new spending for social programs… but those numbers haven’t been proven. On either side.

McCain – “There’s the issue of responsibility.” – right on. And he talks about Eisenhower. Shows he *knows* Eisenhower’s middle name. He sees the need to hold people accountable. I like responsibility. Obama’s socialistic plans skirt that.

I’m happy for fiscal responsibility and conservativism as well.

Lower taxes on large corporations so they can make jobs!!! It’s true! Look at history.

I love how apparently oil companies are the devil.

Obama’s “energy independence” plan is going to take 10 years. He says it’s something that must be done. Except in 10 years. Not quite fast-tracked right?

Why does college need to be affordable for everyone? So that everyone can get a mediocre education? I mean, I’ve been told by people how lousy a bachelors is today. The exact phrase was “A masters is what our parents’ bachelors was.” Great idea Obama.

HE’S NOT ASKING BUDGETS BARACK! He wants to know if you’re going to change your overall strategy and policies based on the market crisis.

Barack. That is not the question. Answer the questions. The lesson of Iraq is not “Should we have even gone to war in Iraq?” It predates what you could have learned.

Why does Obama get so pissy?

“Uh Jim, lemme just make a point. I’ve got a bracelet too. From Sergent… uhhhhuh… from the mother of uh Sergent…” – nice way to stumble. And he’s just said that the President gives meaning to the solider’s death… are you kidding me?

Barack says McCain is right a lot. But he also keeps saying it’s the same thing as the last 8 years but doesn’t actually explain what that is. Quit with the hollow language.

What powers does Obama think the President has??? The President isn’t a monarch or a czar (though it seems that could happen soon).

Thoughts On Our Rights
A lot of people in my generation (many people I work with, went to school with, am good friends with) have a socialistic view of how society should work. In many ways it’s pretty utopian. It says that we need to give our money to the government so that the government can serve as mother to the populace.

In the terms of healthcare, the idea is that we need mandatory insurance coverage for everyone. It’s sort of like car insurance in a lot of states. It’s mandatory for everyone with a car. Except that the government doesn’t help me out with that.

It seems similar to the idea that if I haven’t written a check then I haven’t paid for it. We want to pay for everyone to have mediocre healthcare instead of making healthcare cheaper.

From the National Review:

The health-care debate has centered on the uninsured. That so many people do not have health insurance is a consequence of foolish government policies: regulations that raise the price of insurance, and a tax code that ensures that most people get their insurance through their employer. If you don’t work for a company that provides health insurance, you’re out of luck. People locked out of the insurance system still have access to health care. But they often end up in emergency rooms because they did not receive preventive care.

For most people, however, it is another aspect of our employer-based health-care system that causes the most trouble: the insecurity it creates. People worry that if they switch jobs, they will lose their health insurance. They worry that their company will cut back on health benefits. Universal coverage is not necessary to address these worries. Making it possible for individuals to own their health-insurance policies themselves, rather than getting them through their companies, would solve the problem. It would also reduce the political momentum behind socialized medicine.

Most universal-coverage plans accept the least rational features of our health-care system — its reliance on employer-based coverage and on “insurance” that covers routine expenses — and merely try to expand that system to cover more people. Republicans should go in a different direction, proposing market reforms that make insurance more affordable and portable. If such reforms are implemented, more people will have insurance.

Some people, especially young and healthy people, may choose not to buy health insurance even when it is cheaper. Contrary to popular belief, such people do not cause everyone else to pay much higher premiums. Forcing them to get insurance would, on the other hand, lead to a worse health-care system for everyone because it would necessitate so much more government intervention. So what should the government do about the holdouts? Leave them alone. It’s a free country.

I would also suggest reading this article. Need some more reading? 1 2 3 4 5

See, while there is this overlying idea that all of these government programs are going “help people” what they are doing is infringing on liberty and destroying American freedom. I am now required to have healthcare? What if I want to choose where I go? Oh wait, but this is about the minority populace percentage that doesn’t have healthcare. We need to give up our civil rights (which, by the way, many have fought and died in the past to gain for themselves, or to preserve for others) in order to give them a value-added service.

Or we could make healthcare cheaper. Make it affordable. And spend taxpayer money on creating jobs and job training and preparation and training for that small percentage. That would provide them with upward mobility and the opportunity to become middle class or higher.

And we still would keep civil liberties!

Now, the question has been posed to me in this comment:

p.s. the constitution doesn’t mention education either — do you disagree that that’s a right?

No. I don’t think it’s a right. In fact, I agree with Mr. L that most public education is lousy and is most likely due to it being generic and government run. Obama’s campaign has put forward the idea to make college accessible and affordable for everyone. College and University then becomes another High School.

I attended public school from 2nd grade through 6th grade in Southern California. I have experienced the good and the bad. But when, in 7th grade, I was sent to a private Christian school, I found out how far behind I was in the curriculum.

When I graduated from private high school and went to a private liberal arts college I was shocked to find how far ahead I was. Taking general education classes such as Intro to Arts (Fine Arts requirement), Western Civilization (History 101 requirement) and Research and Writing (English 101 requirement) I found it hard to concentrate because the material was so basic. Things these college freshman and sophomores should have learned in high school just weren’t there.

I worked at Old Navy in West Virginia just after getting my bachelors. It was the only job I could get right out of college that wasn’t sales or telemarketing. I quickly moved up the ladder and won over my bosses. One day I had the opportunity to meet the district managers and one of them, a guy in his late twenties, asserted that today’s Master’s is to us like a Bachelor’s was to our parents. And I believe it’s very true.

American citizens are required to pour money into mediocre programs that just barely get by, whether they agree with it or not. And that is an encroachment of civil liberties.