Archive for the ‘economy’ Category

Congressman Shadegg

Sunday, January 15th, 2006

Congressman John Shadegg has entered the Republican House Majority Leader race. Why?

“For the past several days, I have spoken with members all across our Conference,” Shadegg said. “Based on those conversations, I believe that a majority of Republicans in the House understand the need for real, thorough reform. We must renew our commitment to the principles that won us a majority in the first place: fiscal discipline, smaller government, lower taxes, a strong national defense, returning power to the states, and greater personal freedom.”

He is part of the class of 1994. He announced he was giving up his current leadership position, Policy Chairman, as a matter of principle.

“I personally believe it is not appropriate to try to retain one position in our elected leadership while running for another. Therefore, I am resigning my position as Policy Chairman. My campaign is based on reform, and reform should begin with an open process.”

Contrast this with Congressmen Roy Blunt. Congressman John Boener’s press release on Shadegg’s entry is an indirect attack on Blunt.

John is an important member of our Conference and a respected voice for reform. His entry into the Majority Leader race is further proof the Conference isn’t happy with the status quo. Our Conference will only benefit from a truly open and competitive contest based on ideas, principles, and abilities, and I welcome him into the race. Between the two of us, we’re going to make this race about reforming how the House does business and providing a real alternative to the status quo. [emphasis added]

Talking Dow(n) the Economy

Monday, January 2nd, 2006

Pajamas Media points out the relative fortunes of market indices in the US and abroad, headlined by the decline of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. I note that the MSM (AP wire) seized on the decline in the Dow Jones to write a bad news story for the year, but the Dow Jones was the ONLY index that lost ground for the year.

Un-enlightened self-interest

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

This is teeth-itching icing on the far-too-sweet cake of U.S. executive compensation tribute. And the new media punditocracy hasn’t the real moral grounding to say boo, too compromised by America’s intertwining of social and economic beliefs to be able to both say “thus saith the LORD” and to still defend capitalism and the social agenda of the Republican Party.

If corporations are really supposed to be about returning value to shareholders, and if executives are justified in claiming labor costs as justification for holding workers wages down and even taking away Americans’ jobs by exporting the work to lower wage countries, and if it is all about being in a global economy, exactly why is it that US executives are exempt from having their pay restrained and even reduced? Competition for talent? They really produce so much more than the American worker? Rubbish. Flat out dishonest drivel. They get what they can by a closed, non-competitive system. I do not suggest legislation to confiscate and redistribute their ill-gotten gains, rather I suggest reincentivising them to serve the long-term health of the system that makes great economic and political freedom possible. Tax corporations according to the gap between workers compensation and executive compensation. Any thing above 11 times the median worker wage triggers loss of tax credits and then increased corporate tax rates.

Whom the gods would destroy . . .

Thursday, June 16th, 2005

To complain of poor writing and poorer thought in the press is to remark on the rising of the sun or moon.

I bought and read Newsweek for the first time in a year or so because of their military fathers and sons story.

Another article covered the GM labor dispute, in which the CEO of the floundering company took a $2.5 million BONUS while demanding the workers, who make the products he was so handsomely rewarded for, take significant cuts in HEALTH CARE coverage. Scribbled Newsweek: “A roadblock to any deal is the union’s feeling that GM brass is not sharing in the sacrifice.”
“Feeling” — try “knowledge.” Facts are facts and they matter.
The cover story was decent except for the socialist tics as uncontrolable as the twitch of Dr. Strangelove’s arm. Isakoff’s stable-mates lack the moral weight to judge and pronounce the service of black servicemembers “noble.” The patronizing false presumption of a leftist protectorship, reflected in the gratuitous slap at military leaders as disproportionately white and male, jumps out and provides false cover for ingrained anti-US-military animus.

Still . . . a nice piece on sons following fathers in a noble calling. The call for leadership from the two senior political families in pushing their daughters to lead by example in military service is right dispite the ideologically tainted well in which the pen was dipped. TR and FDR were right and DC schools don’t seriously count as a combat zone.

The Army Times, June 20, 2005, reports that the Active, Reserve, and Guard components all are repeatedly falling significantly short of recruiting goals. Field grade officers spoke to the reporter about the sense of insulated elites who do not share the risk through their families — reaffirming a theme captured in the Newsweek piece. The Reserves have severely thinned their full timer NCOs for recruiting details to try to gain recruits while units suffer from the loss of full time support — eating the seed corn.

Mixed Messages

Sunday, March 13th, 2005

There are a number of instances of conflict between the content programming and the advertising programmed on social conservative talk radio. A fair amount of the discrepancy arises from filling time with public service people’s socialist announcements. A second source is the near or actual flim-flam moneymaking and health potions business — appealing to the individualist and people who distrust authority. Finally, there are the political pitches that represent themselves as conservative when they are radical.

I look briefly at one of the third cases in this posting. There is still a John Bircher billboard northbound between Tucson and Phoenix. They have perennially pitched “Get the UN out of the US and US out of the UN.” More recently, they have been on board with a coalition of convenience, comprised of nativists and radical leftists. The radical left and right are so far apart in political space that they nearly touch as political space folds back on itself.

StoptheFTAA.org, being pitched on conservative talk stations as a sovereignty and anti-corruption campaign, is a John Bircher front, while googling the slogan “Stop the FTAA” turns up the AFL-CIO, the Communist Party of America, and a solid slate of anti-globalization (i.e. anti-capitalism rather than socialism expansion) organizations.

The New American, the John Birch Society’s publication, features stoptheftaa.org on their web front page, but this affiliation is never revealed in the radio ads. Go to StopTheFTAA.org, skipping past two layers of entrance screens, and you will find full throated isolationism, conspiracy theory, and the John Birch Society affiliation in very small print at the bottom of the page.

The promises of greater prosperity are merely the bait for the internationalist FTAA trap. And it is rotten bait at that since the resulting socialist regulatory bureaucracy would continue the process that is destroying the American middle class. It would also undermine any opportunity for the peoples of Latin America to increase their standards of living.

Not that John Birchers care for the peoples south of our border, but the throwaway sentence dresses up the preceding sentences that include code often understood to mean “the Jews.”

From the Left, we find StopFTAA.org. A group calling itself The Save Our Civil Liberties Campaign /em runs this. Their claim:

Our Civil Liberties Campaign (www.saveourcivilliberties.org) is a national and international campaign initiated by local and national global justice, labor, anti-war, animal welfare, environmental and community groups and networks to respond to the violations of our civil liberties and human rights in Miami. The campaign is a unifying framework to increase cooperation and weave together the many groups and individuals working to save and expand our human rights and civil liberties.

This campaign pursues goals of demilitarizing police and our communities and of decriminalizing dissent–ending the violation of basic democratic rights-free speech, the right to assemble and the right to organize. Communities of color and immigrants live daily with police violence, which is becoming even more brutal and expanding even further in order to promote and secure corporate globalization.

The AFL-CIO pitches Stop FTAA—It’s the Wrong Choice and asserts:

If approved, the FTAA would eliminate tariffs from 34 countries with a population of more than 800 million and accelerate the staggering job loss and environmental damage experienced under 10 years of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Citizens Trade Campaign, a front for labor unions, has the tag line “working together for social and economic justice in trade policy” and has a headline claiming “MIAMI VICTORY DESPITE POLICE ABUSES.” Note the similarity tone of this union site to the far left Save Our Civil Liberties Campaign.

The Sierra Club makes the Google search with a page titled “Stop the FTAA - Responsible Trade.” They claim:

It could expose more of our health and environmental laws to attack as trade barriers encourage destructive mining and logging in some of our hemisphere’s most precious wild areas. Global trade rules have already been used to undermine protections for wildlife, food safety, and the environment.

When conservatives and supporters of the President’s vision of the future are either silent (can’t criticize the bill-payers) or echo some of these phases without a great deal of explicit qualifying and educating of their listeners, the political dialog skews to the fringes and makes governing and reasonable policy-making more difficult. I suggest a bit more care in selection of advertising and a bit more license to argue with advertising in the context of radio shows and affiliated blogs.