02/19/09

The Rant Heard ‘Round the World

CNBC’s Rick Santelli rips the O-Team a new one — and rightly so.

“President Obama, are you listening ?!?!?”

Update (2/22): Americans are taking Santelli’s suggestion for a Chicago Tea Party to heart — and are now organizing nationwide to make sure the President listens.

Fellow Nevadans, are you game? If so, drop me a line to help get the ball rolling.

02/5/09

A Moment of Common Sense

In light of the political whirlwind brought about by the Obama Administration (and to make up for the lack of posting due to my day job), a moment of wisdom and common sense is warranted.

If the Obamaholics really want to get something done, it would behoove them to put down Rules for Radicals and The Audacity of Hope, and pick up Capitalism and Freedom and Free to Choose.

Or, if time to sit down and read is lacking, they should at least go to YouTube and do a search on Milton Friedman.

From Keynes to Krugman, “progressive” economists have and always will be trumped by Friedman. Were he alive today, he would never sign on to such a high-pressured, intimidating sales pitch masquerading as a “stimulus” package that a majority of Americans are now opposing in its current form.

01/30/09

A Message From Your Boss

The following has been making its way around the Internets (h/t: Boortz), and should be required reading for everyone in light of the current economic circumstances.

To All My Valued Employees,

There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn’t pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.

However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests.

First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You’ve seen my big home at last years Christmas party. I’m sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.

However, what you don’t see is the back story.

I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn’t have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business — hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom’s for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn’t look like it was birthed in the 70’s. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don’t. There is no “off” button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to y ourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden — the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations… You never realize the back story and the sacrifices I’ve made.

Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn’t. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.

Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I’ve paid is steep and not without wounds.

Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:

I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don’t pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my “stimulus” check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over
2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.
The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you’d quit and you wouldn’t work here. I mean, why should you? That’s nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.

Here is what many of you don’t understand … to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn’t need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don’t defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.

So where am I going with all this?

It’s quite simple.

If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child’s futu re. Frankly, it isn’t my problem any more.

Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I’m done. I’m done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.

If you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about….

Signed,

Your boss

01/26/09

Bipartisanship Defined. Seriously.

Rush Limbaugh, whom many Republicans in Congress have chosen to ignore for years prior to the recent Obama remarks, makes a serious, sincere effort to reach out and work with the majority party.

The following is an excerpt from the proposed Obama-Limbaugh Bipartisan Stimulus Plan of 2009:

Mine is a genuine compromise. So let’s look at how the vote came out, shall we? Fifty-three percent of voters in this country — we’ll say, for the sake of this proposal, 53% of Americans — voted for Obama. Forty-six percent voted for Senator McCain, and 1% voted for wackos. Let’s give the remaining 1% to President Obama, so let’s say that 54% voted for President Obama and 46% voted for Senator McCain. As a way to bring the country together and at the same time determine the most effective way to deal with recessions, under the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009, $540 billion of the one trillion will be spent on infrastructure as defined by President Obama and the Democrats. The remaining $460 billion, or 46% that voted for Senator McCain, will be directed towards tax cuts, as determined by me.

These tax cuts will consist primarily of capital gains tax cuts and corporate tax rate cuts. So Obama gets $540 billion to spend his way. The other people of this country who did not vote for his way get $460 billion spent the way they would like it spent. This is bipartisanship! This is how bipartisanship really works. Okay, Obama wins by a 54-46 majority, so he gets 54% of the trillion bucks. Spend it his way. We get 46% of the trillion bucks to spend our way, and then we compare. Then we see which stimulus actually works and works the fastest, and I will guarantee you that if this plan is adopted, just the announcement that $460 billion will go toward paying for tax cuts, capital gains, and corporate tax rates — we could throw in some personal income tax rate reduction in order to make sure that the voters don’t think it’s all about helping the big guys. But we need jobs, do we not?

Who hires people? Businesses! Businesses need tax cuts. The US corporate tax rate is obscene. It is the highest of all industrialized nations. It’s 35%. Cut it. Cut it in half. Make the capital gains rate go away for three months, and then get out of the way to see what happens on Wall Street. And once Wall Street starts ticking up 500 points a day, you watch what happens to the rest of the private sector. It will follow right along. This would ensure a bipartisan compromise bill, as Democrats have said that they’re always about. It would satisfy the American people’s wishes, as polls currently note; and it would also serve as a test, going forward, as to which approach best stimulates the growth of jobs — and it can be measured side by side. It could be determined where the new jobs are coming from.

Read the whole thing.

01/9/09

Keynesianism 2.0

John Stossel says “give me a break” to the incoming Obama Administration as they unload their interventionist plans for economic recovery:

Obama wants to act quickly. In the name of stimulating the economy, he plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars the government does not have to convert the economy from carbon-based fuels to “green” alternatives. Even if that were a good idea — and it’s definitely not — it would not bring recovery. Any money the government spends must be taxed, borrowed or conjured out of thin air by the Federal Reserve, and that will reduce sound private investment.

Obama has no real wealth to inject into the economy. He can only move around existing money while inflation robs us of purchasing power. Meanwhile, private investors who might have produced a better engine, battery, computer, cancer treatment or other wealth-creating and life-enhancing innovations, hold back for fear that big government will undermine productive efforts.

The way to a lasting recovery is to greatly lighten the burdens of government. Then free Americans will save and invest.

Grand interventionist reforms go in precisely the wrong direction.

It’s going to be a long and painful four years — and that’s just on the domestic side of things.

10/29/08

A Hypothetical Scenario

If Barack Obama ran against Richard Nixon in 1972 and won, his economic plans would’ve devastated several well-known small businesses.

Fred Sanford of South Central Los Angeles wouldn’t have been able to purchase a small hotel to help augment the income from his fledgling antiques firm or hire employees from the local community. Any income earned above $200,000 would have been taken and passed on to those who did nothing in a effort to “spread the wealth around”. If that didn’t give him “the big one” that might (or might not) dispatch him to join his beloved Elizabeth in heaven, the estate taxes seized by the Federal government instead of being deeded to his son Lamont would’ve definitely done him in.

George Jefferson’s dream of expanding his small chain of dry cleaning shops in the New York City area would’ve also been severly hindered by Obamanomics. The wealthy, successful businessman would probably have to lay off several workers, close a couple of locations, sell his high-rise Manhattan condo, and move back to the old neighborhood in Queens in order to make ends meet. So much for enjoying the fruits of his hard-earned work with his wife Louise. Did I also mention that their housekeeper Florence would lose her job as a result?

George’s old neighbor, Archie the Taxi Driver, would continue to be bitter and resentful (if not bigoted, as the relationship with his son-in-law helped in softening his multicultural worldview) toward the Obama Administration, as he was severely taxed after achieving his long-sought dream of owning a small business. Coincidentally, the new owner of the neighborhood bar around the corner from Hauser Street would be able to temporarily drown his sorrows in a cold beer while President Obama continued to “spread the wealth around” like butter.

That’s just a sample scenario.

In closing, the big one would hit a lot of folks, and Elizabeth (not “Weezie”) would probably have a lot of unexpected company.

Enjoy that half-hour Obama special on most of your network and cable stations, OK?

(h/t & inspiration: Jim Rose, Instapundit)

10/13/08

Where He Kowtows

Las Vegas Sun publisher and Obama supporter Brian Greenspun calls for a “new” socialist economy:

In this global economy, most of our major competitors are sponsored, funded or otherwise encouraged by the governments in which these competitors reside. Cheaper money, more workable regulations and the political and moral suasion of the good offices of governments is a difficult combination for purely private American business interests to overcome. And, as a result, we often don’t.

Having the government, on behalf of the taxpayers, buy into our largest companies does a couple of good things. It provides instant liquidity and it gives the government a seat at the table so it knows much better and much faster the status of our economic engines. I didn’t say control of those companies, just a seat.

The problem with that idea is that once government buys “just a seat”, they will want to buy another seat, then another seat, etc. until they own all the seats.

Spare us the bullcrap, Brian. What you are blatantly advocating is nothing new.

Whether it may be “just a seat” or a full takeover, nationalizing banks and major industries is a rotten idea. But of course, it’s just peachy keen with you — as long as Big Daddy Government doesn’t buy “just a seat” at the table of the Greenspun Corporation.

In closing, why does the Las Vegas Sun harbor a far-left bias on every page?

Why?

06/12/08

Domestic Oil Production: A Moral Issue

Victor Davis Hanson explains (via baldilocks and Ace):

From my informal conversations, I’d go even further: The wealthy, especially political liberals, also like that high-priced gas translates into less burning of fossil fuels by others and will help accelerate research into alternative energies.

But what these elites don’t seem to realize is that the energy policies they advocate are paralyzing almost everyone else – and that the truly ethical and environmental solution would require embracing positions long considered anathema to traditional liberalism.

The debate in Congress over more refineries and nuclear-power plants; drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and off our coasts; and developing oil shale, tar sands and liquid coal has been a predictable soap opera: Grasping Republicans supposedly wish to enrich energy companies, while idealistic Democrats want only to protect the environment. But those stances, hatched in the days of $1.50-a-gallon gas, should be revisited in light of different moral considerations.

One is fairness to the poor and middle class. Like it or not, radical environmentalism appeals to an elite not all that worried when gas prices rise or electricity rates go up – since fossil-energy use goes down.

But a paradox is that most environmentalists think of themselves as egalitarians. So, instead of objecting to the view of a derrick from the California hills above the Santa Barbara coast, shouldn’t a liberal estate owner instead console himself that the offshore pumping will help a nearby farm worker or carpenter get to work without going broke?

Sadly, said “egalitarians” really don’t give a damn about the poor and the middle class. They would rather oppress them into to economic slavery in order to achieve their blinding vision of an utopian, “progressive” society.

We have the means and technology to drill and refine oil for a domestic fuel supply (along with developing alternative fuel and transportation resources at the same time) without creating the boogeymen that the radical environmentalists and the so-called “liberals” who worship them dredge up at every turn to silence those who disagree with their crippling agenda.

As I once said in blog comments over a year ago:

I think the “carbon footprint police� are blowing the climate change debate way out of proportion. Their goals aren’t necessarily that of conservation and better stewardship of natural resources, but to promote and spread socialism by telling others how to live their lives — which is the ultimate goal of the Watermelon Brigade (green on the outside, red on the inside).

Man-made global warming is nothing but a wretched hive of junk science and hysteria. Period.

I favor ecological solutions based on free-market principles, and not based on government regulation, Chicken-Little fearmongering, or feel-good groupthink. Such positive steps benefit both the environment and the people who live in it.

Let the Watermelon Brigade be damned, and let us as a nation do what is necessary to save our economy. Bring ANWR online, and let the western and gulf states pursue oil exploration and refining. Our fiscal and sovereign future depend upon it.