Seeking Liberty

Liberty is the Fruit from Which All Progress Grows

Jobs will come when government stops trying to save them

March saw the strongest job growth rate since May 2007, but the White House is warning Americans that we still have a “long way to go” before the unemployment rate gets back down to levels we’ve become accustomed to in the past three decades. According to Fox News:

Obama’s chief economic adviser Lawrence Summers said on a pair of talk shows that a year after the passage of the stimulus bill, the U.S. economy still has “a long way to go.”

Summers said pushing the unemployment rate down from its current 9.7 percent level won’t be easy.

No, it won’t be easy, particularly since the Democrats and the President have absolutely no interest in taking the steps necessary to encourage economic growth. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: economics, Government, taxes, , , , , , ,

Teetering on the edge of destruction

It’s hardly surprising that the Hartford Business Journal is happy about the new Health Care Takeover legislation: Hartford has long been considered the Insurance Capital of the World, and the insurance companies are thrilled with the forced enrollment of 32 million Americans into their health insurance plans.

With sweeping federal health care reform now on the books, business owners are scrambling to make sense of a new range of tax breaks, coverage responsibilities and potential pitfalls by turning to benefits consultants, accountants and insurance brokers for advice and perspective.

Although the $940 billion legislation alters the way small businesses buy and supply health insurance, many of the changes won’t kick in until 2014. And clear answers are at a premium today.

“Small business owners will have more choices and greater accessibility to affordable health insurance, which will help them to attract and keep a talented workforce,” said Kevin Galvin, owner of Connecticut Commercial Maintenance Inc. in Hartford. He says small businesses like his will be the big winners under health care reform.

In fact, in the entire article, only one opponent to the legislation is quoted. Four proponents are interviewed, and two of those are from advocacy groups specifically in favor of the legislation. One more is a health insurance executive, and even Mr. Galvin quoted above, a small business owner, is also an organizer of a pro-legislation political organization. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, Government, insurance, media, , , , , , , , , ,

Health Care Hang-Ups

Telecommunications giant AT&T will record a $1 billion charge for the first quarter of 2010 due to the tax implications of the recently passed health care legislation, according to the Atlanta Business Journal. According to the Journal:

In the filing, AT&T added, “As a result of this legislation, including the additional tax burden, AT&T will be evaluating prospective changes to the active and retiree health care benefits offered by the company.”

So much for helping to rebuild our economy. The tax implications of this bill are already having a detrimental effect on employee compensation and retiree benefits. Before the legislation was even passed, Caterpillar, Inc. sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to vote against this bill, which they estimated would cost the company over $100 million per year. Because America didn’t know fully what was in the bill before it was passed, both small and large businesses are only just now able to start coming to grips with what the legislation really means for them. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, health care, insurance, taxes, , , , , , , , , ,

Basic Economics

With Apologies to Thomas Sowell


In observing the mass of articles, blogs, tweets and web postings, it has become clear why so many people do not understand why the Health Care legislation that the President signed into law today will harm our economy and increase health care prices. Explaining why it will harm our economy is futile without first illustrating how it raises health care costs and prices.

Economics is called the “Dismal Science.” I think this has less to do with predictions of Doom and Gloom, as many people claim, and more to do with Economist’s obsession with abstract ideas, like Utils (a unit of measurement for “utility,” an economic concept that can’t actually be measured). Indeed, until I learned to apply these abstract concepts to real-world situations, I was as lost as anyone who supported this bill.

Fortunately, Thomas Sowell wrote an engaging (for an economist, at least) book called Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy, which anyone with an interest in understanding economics should read. It is a long book, so if you’d rather have something shorter and a bit more fun, check outCommon Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Wealth and Poverty, by Gwartney, Stroup and Lee. Both books paint the picture of economics, but pull away from the abstract and focus more on the real-world.

Now class, time to explain the basics of why the Health Care Takeover will be certain to raise prices for health insurance and health care in the long run. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, Government, insurance, , , ,

Almost Forgotten: The Insurance Mandate Lie

The other day, I was reminded of one of the lies we’ve been fed about the Health Care Takeover the Democrats are desperately trying to pass through the Houses of Congress: The Individual Mandate, which would be just like your mandated automobile insurance. This specious line of reasoning has been almost forgotten amidst the arguments over abortion funding and the Constitutionality of reconciliation and trying to “deem” a bill passed by rule.

The individual mandate would require every American to purchase health insurance, or to pay a penalty (I call it a fine, because that’s what it really is) if they choose to go without. Proponents of this insurance mandate argue that it is like automobile insurance, where we are required to purchase liability insurance for our automobiles before we can drive them on the roads. They say that this mandate protects individuals from the financial harm of medical bills they cannot afford.

In this limited line of reasoning, they are correct, but that isn’t the whole story. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, health care, insurance, , , , , , , , ,

Integration in sports is apparently a one-way street

We’ve come a long way since the days of minority segregation in sports. It has been 74 years since Jessie Owens won gold and Matthew Robinson won Silver in the 200-meter dash at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, right under the nose of Adolf Hitler. Matthew’s brother Jackie would break the color barrier in Major League Baseball 11 years later. Doug Williams was the first black quarterback to win a Superbowl when he played for the Washington Redskins, a traditionally white-led team even in the mid-1980s. In a majority of traditionally “white” sports and competitive events today, minorities playing hardly causes one to bat an eye. It is hardly true the other way around, however.

It seems that the winners of the first ever Sprite Step Off competition will have to share their first-place trophy. Coca-Cola made the decision on March 1st after reviewing hundreds of comments when a white sorority from the University of Arkansas won the competition at the end of February. Citing a “scoring discrepancy” Coca-Cola (the major sponsor via its Sprite brand) awarded Alpha Kappa Alpha, a team from Indiana University, the first-place tie.

Message boards were filled with vitriolic comments after the ladies from Arkansas won, much of it racially charged. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, entertainment, , , , , , , , , ,

Fix the Balance Sheet, Fix the Economy

Just about everybody realizes that the Stimulus did did not stimulate our economy. In fact, it was probably quite counter-productive, since the borrowed debt and newly printed Dollar Bills have severely weakened the Dollar in comparison to other currencies like the Euro, Yen and Pound Sterling. Now, with the realization fully in the mind of the American people, President Obama and others are suggesting that we pull the repaid from the TARP program and unspent stimulus funds to spend it on “job creation.” Fortunately, some in Washington oppose these ideas.

Pardon me, but wasn’t this what the Stimulus Bill was for? Wasn’t it passed to stem the rising unemployment rate at no more than 8 percent? Shouldn’t the funds in the Stimulus Bill have already been spent “creating” jobs?

The answer, of course, is no. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, taxes, wealth, , , , ,

Reverse Course to Right Our Economy

Can we just admit that the Stimulus was an $800 billion mistake that did absolutely nothing to help the economy or stimulate jobs?

Can we admit that Keynesian economics are, at best, a scalpel being wielded as though a they were a machete?

Can we admit that no centralized government planning will ever lead to greater economic prosperity?

Because if you really can’t admit that, you really haven’t been paying attention.

For the past several years, we’ve been told that America needs more regulation, that the wealthy need to pay their “fair share,” that free market economics aren’t enough any more.  We’ve been told some companies and some banks are just “too big to fail,” and that we the taxpayers have to step in and “save” them from their failures.  We’ve been told that the managers of these companies, even the ones that have righted their boats, don’t deserve the high levels of compensation they earn.  That if these wealthy people weren’t so greedy, we’d all have more.

The media and the Democrats will tell you that the the CEOs and senior executives of these big corporations are giving themselves big bonuses and big pay-raises.  There’s just one problem with that concept: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, health care, socialism, taxes, wealth, , ,

Caulk won’t save our economy.

To improve our economy, President Obama wants us to spend tens of billions of dollars on… Caulk.

That’s right. The President believes that both our energy situation and the unemployment issues that far out-strip any projections made by his economic team can be solved by “weatherizing” our homes. All we need to do is hire hundreds of thousands of union laborers to add weatherstripping and caulk to lower our energy costs. This will have a ripple-effect that will resonate throughout our economy and kick-start the jobs machine. To do this, the Stimulus Package already signed into law provided billions of dollars for training workers to install caulk and other weatherizing improvements into people’s homes.

This is all part of President Obama’s “Green Jobs” initiative, which he extensively campaigned on and continues to hold up as the future of our domestic economy. He even went so far as to call insulation “sexy.”

I have a “sexy” idea for President Obama: Instead of focusing on “green jobs,” how about focusing on “jobs?” We can worry about the “green” part when we get back to that 8% unemployment level that he said his magical stimulus would prevent us from ever topping. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, environment, Government, politics, taxes, wealth, , , , , , , , ,

Time Magazine to small business owners: Take your medicine!

It seems the writers and editors at Time Magazine can’t comprehend why small business owners would not want to have the Democrat’s House Health Care “Reform” bill enacted into law. Why wouldn’t these small business owners want to increase their regulatory and financial burden? Don’t they realize that we have 5-10 million people who legitimately cannot afford health insurance? Don’t they realize that their profits and the future of their businesses are just gifts given them by our magnanimous Federal Government?

I apologize for the sarcasm, but the article from Time’s website is ridiculous:

When it comes to finding quality, affordable health insurance, few have it worse than small-business owners and their workers shopping for coverage on the open market. They are charged the most per person, have the least amount of choice and, as a result, are some of the most likely to be uninsured.

Lawmakers know this, which is why many of the key elements in the health care bill just passed by the House — and being considered in the Senate — are aimed squarely at small business. A wide array of economists and health-policy experts say insurance reforms (like prohibiting insurers from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions), a new transparent marketplace to shop for coverage and a government-run insurance plan all have the potential to help small business.

Nowhere does the article cite any source for its assertion that “a wide array of economists and health-policy experts” say these reforms will be helpful to business. This is simply presented as accepted common knowledge. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, insurance, media, taxes, , , , , ,