Seeking Liberty

Liberty is the Fruit from Which All Progress Grows

In triumph, when our cause is just

(h/t THE right scoop)

I had the opportunity to attend the Douglas County (GA) Tea Party, but opted to not go.  Douglas County is on the opposite side of traffic-burdened Atlanta from me, and the event started just one hour after work.

Today, I found out that I should have braved I-285’s daunting traffic corridor.  At the end, I’d have been treated to this:

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Filed under: liberty, politics, socialism, speech, tea party

Anarchists Organizing?

It seems the anarchists are organizing.

Wait, what?

Yes, it seems that the people who supposedly want a “state or society without government or law” are very upset at the racist, homophobic, libertarian, anti-Semite, Alex Jones conspiracy theorist, Ron Paul supporting, fascist, conservative, gun freak, militia men, constitutionalist Tea Partiers.  Why?  Because these anarchists don’t want to lose their government entitlements.

Huh?
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Filed under: Government, socialism, , , , , , , ,

Why the Democrats health care takeover must be defeated now

The Democrats are intent on passing their Health Care Takeover bill, no matter what the political cost. According to the Washington Post, President Obama wants to add a couple of ideas suggested by Republicans at his “Health Care Summit” in an effort to turn one or two Republican votes in his favor and claim “bipartisan” status.

On Wednesday, Obama plans to call on Congress to bring the year-long debate to a swift close, and congressional leaders expect him to signal support for a strategy that includes a special budget maneuver known as reconciliation. Under that strategy, the House would adopt the bill the Senate passed on Christmas Eve and approve a separate package of fixes to reflect a compromise worked out between Democrats in the two chambers.

Under reconciliation rules, the fixes could not be filibustered and Senate Democrats could approve them with a simple majority vote — a move intended to bypass a Republican caucus that remains united in its opposition to the legislation. Republican leaders said Obama’s offer to adopt some of the ideas they promoted at last week’s health-care summit would do little to improve what they consider a fundamentally flawed measure. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Government, health care, socialism, , , , , , ,

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, , ,

Waiting lists in the health care bill? But I thought…

(H/T @JamieDupree)

Wait a second. I thought there wasn’t going to be any rationing? I thought the Democrats promised us we wouldn’t see any of the problems detailed in Steven Crowder’s video about the Canadian Health Care System in our wonderful new Democrat-sponsored Health Care “Reform” bill?

Yeah, like anyone actually believed that.

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Filed under: Government, insurance, socialism, , , , , ,

No Cost of Living Adjustment for Social Security. Time to buy votes!

Bernie SandersBernie Sanders, the sole admitted Socialist in Congress (he is referred to as an “independent” but has voted with Democrats 98% of the time), and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) want to spend $13 billion on giving Social Security recipients one-time payments of $250. This is because there will likely be no Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2010. A similar payment was authorized in the $787 billion stimulus bill.

The Obama administration’s $787 billion stimulus bill singed into law in February authorized a one-time $250 payment, made earlier this year, to senior citizens, disabled veterans and disabled people living on Social Security benefits.

Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, and Representative Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat, introduced legislation in Congress last month to give Social Security recipients another $250 one-time payment next year in lieu of a cost-of-living increase.

President Barack Obama yesterday endorsed the plan through an extension of a program created under the economic stimulus legislation.

Effective in January of this year, Social Security beneficiaries received a 5.8 percent cost-of-living increase, the biggest since 1982.

In other words, even though the Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicates that prices are going down; even though the increase in Social Security benefits this year far-outstrips the increase in health care costs; even though this is the first time since the inception of the COLA that it did not lead to an increase in benefits, the people in Congress want to give seniors more money, anyway. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, Government, health care, politics, socialism, , , , , , ,

Government Employees are Overpaid

It seems the average Federal Employee earns over $75,000, while the average private sector employee earns less than $40,000. That’s a split of about 80%.

Remember that Federal workers do have a maximum pay level. A G-15 has a maximum “standard” pay level of about $127,000. Depending on where they live, a government employee can earn as much as 35% more than that, topping out at $153,200. An executive tops out at almost $197,000.

In Congress, your congressman or senator has a standard salary of $174,000, and if they are a party leader, their salary increases by $19,000.

So, the average Federal employee works fewer days, has better benefits, gets a taxpayer-funded pension, has incredibly low customer-service ratings and now we find out, is paid almost twice as much. And government employees almost never have to worry about being laid-off. Now the government wants us to fork over more taxes to fund their government health care scheme and pay for their overspending.

And these guys say private businessmen are greedy?

Filed under: Government, socialism, taxes, , ,

Michael Moore Needs an Education

Michael MooreIn an interview with CNS News at the premier of his new film, Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore was quoted making the following statement:

CNSNews.com then asked Moore: “Critics would say he’s [Moore] been very successful under a capitalist system. How would you justify making a movie where you paint capitalism as evil?”

Moore said: “Well, capitalism did nothing for me, starting with my first film.”

“You know, I had to pretty much beg, borrow and steal,” he said. “The system is not set up to help somebody from the working class make a movie like this and get the truth out there.”

You can see the video of Mr. Moore’s interview here.
I have no interest in seeing Mr. Moore’s film.  Largely, that is because his “documentaries” are uninformative schlock that take wide liberties with facts and the truth.  However, from viewing the trailers it seems terribly out-of-place to call the film “Capitalism.”  In the trailers, Moore is seen chasing down Wall Street executives and Washington insiders trying to find out what happened to the TARP and bailout funds.

Add to this the fact that Michael Moore is himself wealthy by capitalist means, making a product that people want:  People with anti-American and anti-Capitalist sentiments find his films appealing and entertaining.  According to the The-Numbers.com and the Los Angeles Times, he may have taken home all the profits of the $17 million in DVD sales from his previous work, Sicko.

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Filed under: economics, education, entertainment, Government, media, socialism

The Hidden Effects of the Public Option

Author’s note: For the purposes of this discussion, the term “health insurance” will refer to all health care plans.  True health insurance is nearly impossible to find.  Most people actually have “health maintenance.”  For expediency, the term “health insurance” will cover all health care plans.

One of the most important aspects of economics is the concept of incentive:  Give people an incentive to do something, and by and large they will do it.  Give them an incentive to not do something, and generally people will not do that thing.  This concept has ruled the interaction of creatures since the first multi-celled organisms began eating each other to survive:  The organisms that developed the sense to get away from the carnivore creatures survived, and the rest were consumed.  Incentives can be both positive and negative:  Positive incentives encourage us to do something.  The sweetness of an apple encourages us to eat it, while the oily, three-leafed appearance of some plants tells us to stay away!

Prescription DrugsThis concept of incentive drives us in our everyday lives:  We avoid committing crimes for fear of punishment and work jobs for the incentive of salaries so that we can obtain the necessities and comforts of life.  We wait to shop until products are on sale or rebates are being offered.  Incentives drive the actions of individuals and, in aggregate, entire societies.

This concept of incentive is one of the important factors to consider when examining the health care “reform” proposals.  One of the most talked-about but least understood parts of these proposals is the requirement of employers to offer health insurance to their employees, or to pay a penalty to help fund the government-offered “public option” plan.  Let us examine the effect of this one aspect of the current health “reform” proposals. Read the rest of this entry »

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

A Slice of Tyranny

I don’t play golf.  I’m awful.  I can’t hit the ball straight to save my life.  In fact, I have been asked to leave driving ranges for injuring other golfers.  I have been in situations where the ball ends up behind me on so many occasions I am convinced that I am cursed.  Despite many hours of coaching, I continue to churn out horrific results at the golf course.

I think Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has the same problem:
Golf Swing. Linked from Wikipedia

Of golf, Chavez declared recently in the city of Maracay: “I think it is a bourgeois sport and there’s no justification for having a golf course in the middle of a city where there is so much housing need for the people.

“Even though there are slums, you have 30 hectares so a little group of bourgeois and petit-bourgeois people can go and play golf … They are so lazy, they use carts!” he mocked.

Although a lover of sports, especially baseball, Chavez’ comments brought into the open — and instantly politicized — the decline of golf facilities in Venezuela. Various courses have shut in recent years, and others may go the same way if authorities decide to put Chavez’ words into action.

And it seems the government has no small part in the decline of the sport there: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: liberty, socialism, wealth, , , ,