Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Term Limits; Please!!!

The latest scandal for Obama’s state senate seat just adds fuel to the term limits argument. We need to get rid of all of these people on a very determined time schedule. None of the bums currently in politics deserve to be there more than a term or two. We need to reduce the scope of government at all levels and the time individuals spend in it; period…

Monday, December 29, 2008

Why Caroline Kennedy’s Lack of Political Experience Matters…

As you know if you follow this Blog, I don’t believe political experience is a virtue. In most cases it seems exactly the opposite, the more experience the less common sense the politician seems to have. But in the case of Caroline Kennedy and the open NY Senate seat experience does matter and here’s why.

It is an appointment outside of the normal voting process. She believes that she is entitled because her family has been involved in politics for years. They have also been boot legers so I guess she would be a good appointment for Chairman of the ATF committee but I digress.

If she were making her case to the voters rather than the inside NY political machine her experience would be on display for the voters to decide. In that case I would say experience or lack thereof would be for the voters to consider and make their choice. As a matter of fact, I believe whenever there is an open Federal seat there should be an election by the people of that State or district.

Governor appointments are political calculations with a complete disregard for the citizens those appointments impact. Costly yes, but what is the cost of a true representative democracy worth?

So in the case of the NY Senate appointment it is safe to say it will be a democrat that fills the seat. Elections do have consequences after all. But if I were Governor I would offer up a couple of strong democrat and republican candidates and poll the voters of NY as to their preference. It will at least have the appearance of some sense of democracy although very flawed. How about someone that has a background in running the finances of a private for profit business? Agahst the thought of real experience not political hackdom!

The appointment process is an extremely flawed process when it is for seats that are normally filled by elections. The one caveat I would add to the State constitution is the clause; if you obtain a Federal senate or house seat through the appointment process, you are not eligible to run for that seat in the election for that seat for a minimum of two terms. That would keep the real political hacks on the sidelines and we may just end up with some competent people in congress by accident. Just a thought…

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Muslim World Explodes Again…

Many here in the US are not paying attention to the recent air strikes conducted by Israel in response to the constant barrage of missiles being launched into southern Israel by Hamas. Hamas is the Muslim terrorist group elected by Palestinians to be their leaders. The goal of Hamas is to wipe Israel off the face of the map. So much for the “religion of peace”.

Why is it, wherever Muslims are dominant terror and war reign supreme? It is simply an observation. War, terror, poverty, hopelessness, ignorance and violence.

We just celebrated the birth of our prince of peace, Jesus. It seems that the people that follow Jesus live in hope, peace, and prosperity. Not perfect but always working to be better.

Israel has no choice but to respond to protect their people. They would be quite happy living in peace if only their neighbors had a bit of civility in their doctrine. But that seems to be the missing component of their neighbor’s religion. Just an observation from afar. Let’s keep it that way; afar…

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Buy a Ford; For Now…

I listened to the President this morning, and I was dismayed by his remarks how in normal circumstances he believed chapter 11 bankruptcy was the right course of action, but these times are different. I disagree; in a market based economy all circumstances are normal.

Running a viable business is difficult at best but these car makers were on a path of self destruction long before any financial “crisis” became clear. They are running unsustainable labor and production costs compared to their competitors here in the US. Toyota, Honda, KIA all have factories here in the US. Volks Wagon is building a plant in Chattanooga TN, and these companies have been watching the markets carefully and adjusting accordingly.

For example, Toyota shut down their plants for 7 weeks during the summer to offset overproduction. Employees did not receive 95% of their wages and benefits, they had to make due or take unemployment insurance which is about 30% of their regular wage. And have you noticed any whining coming from the car companies or their employees in the Southern US? That’s why companies are moving there; a productive and grateful labor force.

There is one depressing news conference after another coming out of Washington. These politicians are clearly incompetent to do the right thing so the best course is to reduce their role and get out of the way of the markets. Just say no; like Ford has; for now…

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A New Holiday; Constitution Day!

I am not for adding more non productive days to the already non productive Federal calendar BUT, it has become very apparent that no one understands the constitution anymore. That is why we need to create this new holiday; Constitution Day.

The first Wednesday in November (to follow our Election Day) we need a national reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It will be mandatory to carry the reading on all TV and radio networks. No exceptions; no options, no alternatives. We need to read and listen to these wonderful documents to help us understand how far we have wondered from the things that have made us great.

It will generate news and debate about the documents but at least we will know that people have actually been exposed to this unmatched genius. God knows; the current people running our Federal and State government have either not read or forgotten what the United States of America truly stands for. Just a thought…

Friday, December 12, 2008

How ignorant can one man be?

I heard a caller on a talk show yesterday suggest bringing our politicians before a people’s court to grill them on their background, understanding of the economy, and suggested solutions to this bloated government. Just like our politicians do to our business leaders and citizens. I thought that was brilliant since there is no chance that the current cast of characters will do it themselves.

The first on the stand should be Barney Frank. He is a disgrace as congressman, and chair of the financial services committee (or whatever they call his committee). In this interview for an upcoming 60 Minutes show he talks about not propping up companies but propping up people. Leslie Stahl correctly calls that welfare, and Barney says he wants to put us all on welfare. Now that’s funny because if we have no business to send tax dollars to Washington, how will he pay for the welfare?

He is beyond words and is typical of what we have running our government. We must get rid of this bloated government or we have a dimmed future for our children. It is so frustrating listening to the idiocy in DC. Add to that the latest scandal for Obama and you just want to throw your hands up and scream.

Who are we as Americans? Do these people like Barney Frank really represent who we are? When will we take back our power? Yes, this is our government and we can choose to change it. So why not? What have we got to lose?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Indictments before Inauguration?

What have we done? Obama has not even taken office yet and he is already surrounded by scandal. I don’t believe he has a monopoly on really shady relationships, but when will we find a politician that is above all of this? I will tell you when; when we reform and reduce the scope of government.

Government controls too much, and so people that understand this play the political game. And what is the political game? Contribute money to elected officials to gain access to the strings of government that open the door to financial gain. The power to control tests an individual’s character, and we need to insure we elect people that have character. We also have to limit government’s ability to control resources.

This latest scandal with the Illinois Governor is no surprise to anyone including the Obama camp. They need to admit their dealings and stop acting like this is something they were unfamiliar with. They are in deep here, and know exactly what this is all about. It is pathetic, disappointing, and typical.

We are in for a long ride until we get rid of all of the corruption. That can only be done by paying attention to politics, and supporting people that run for office that are like you! Get involved; our future depends on ending our dependency on the crooks in politics. Just a thought…

Monday, December 8, 2008

Building bridges and roads is a 21st century economy?

Back to the future is what Obama is talking about. How many more roads and bridges do we need? What are we doing with the billions of dollars already targeted for roads and transportation infrastructure with our gas tax dollars? Building roads and bridges we are told. So how will “creating” makeshift work take us into the “new economy”?

Obama is old ideas in a new suit. He has no understanding of economics which I argued often before his election. Here is today’s simple economics lesson:

Obama takes $10,000 from each productive family to build new roads and bridges. He claims this creates jobs and puts people back to work. He is building a 21st century economy through this program. Let’s analyze this promise.

First; what makes Obama’s plan the right plan for the $10,000? Obama believes we should build roads and bridges. If we really needed more roads and bridges would we have not built them? If they were needed to improve our economy they would have been built. Look around your region; when the last time you said, “honey, I think we need a bridge right here. Or honey, I wish we had another road right there”?

That 10K in my family might go for a down payment on a needed car, or put into the kids college fund, or a new computer, or maybe a well deserved vacation, a new roof on the house is a possibility. My needs are real needs that I choose to pay for. The money I spend will be spent on things that bring a value to me, and will keep the people providing these services employed. What would you spend 10K on? I bet a road or bridge is not on your top 10 list.

How many jobs will be created building bridges to nowhere? And all of that money that was taken from my family, and yours, to build these bridges to nowhere will not add one iota of value for our families. And the families that would have prospered from our spending of the 10K will not realize that money either because Obama took money out of the market and put it into this government program. Again I ask; why should the government choose the priorities for our families needs?

How is pouring concrete and paving roads 21st century work? I don’t design bridges, most Americans don’t. So while these people pour concrete and government pours money into programs they deem useful, the money I would have spent on real valued products and services gets poured down the drain as far as I’m concerned (and most Americans).

If Obama understood economics he would immediately suspend the capital gains tax for 3 years. Promise to reduce government spending by 25% over the next 3 years. Reduce the regulations to drill for oil in our country, reduce the regulations to build refineries and nuclear power plants for the private sector. That would get the market’s attention. Investors would invest in the things that will bring the most return in the next 3 years, which will create jobs that are needed. And if roads and bridges are needed people will invest but my guess is that the money will go to more valued services like refineries, and oil drilling, computer upgrades, and new cars, and education, and iPods, and G phones, and savings that will get invested.

Government infrastructure investment never worked. It never can replace real investment in real market needs. Just take an economics course and you will see. Obama’s program is so passé and has a history of failure… So why are we doing it again?

With this sense of entitlement…

The American economic system is doomed. We have raised and nurtured a new generation of Americans that have forgotten the first principle of any business ownership; risk & reward. America has become the wealthiest most benevolent society because of our respect for the business owners freedom to market and sell new products and services, the freedom to take risk, reap reward, and fail. In return these entrepreneurs create jobs, hire workers, make investments that encourage and support other business activity, become wealthy, fulfill dreams, under the simple rules of human behavior, needs, and economics.

Today with this attitude of entitlement it is all at risk; our jobs, our wealth, our benevolence, and our freedom. The economic and historical ignorance of too many Americans is appalling. The thought that the workers at Ford, GM, Chrysler, the window factory in Chicago, believe it is their right to have that job shows the depth of the ignorance. Do they have a stake in the future of these companies? You bet, but only to the degree that it will be in their best interest to make the best cars, at the best price so they can stay employed. Unless they want to put their savings into the company to keep it viable, they are at the will of the business investors, and owners; period.

Our politicians are part of the problem as well. They are thriving on the chaos to “save the day”. But the only thing they are saving is their own career at the expense of our nation. The future looks very bleak to me because of this permeation of entitlement from so many in our nation.

I ask every one of you to think about the business you are in and ask yourself; what did I risk to become an employee here? How much hard cash and collateral did you put up to enable your company to invest in itself for the future? Do you believe that the owner of your company deserves the rewards of investing his life savings in the business that created your job? What is stopping you from starting your own business?

Today’s stock held companies are a different model, and their failed leadership and the lack of consequence for that bad leadership has fostered resentment among the workers. A lot of it rightfully so but that is the stock holders responsibility, and they have failed to hold executives to the fire on the issue of compensation for failed leadership. To allow executives to part companies that they have destroyed with “golden parachutes” is a disgrace. A great example is the crop of CEO’s we now have at our car companies, financial companies, and all too many stock held corporations. They are so out of touch (showing up to beg for our tax dollars on corporate jets) are embarrassments to themselves as Americans, and should step down.

Unfortunately I think my words just float in the wind. No one seems to care about the American work ethic, American free markets are being ignored, and a sense that a government intervention is necessary only adds to the demise of the system. The concept seems so simple to me, and I have a hard time grasping the way people are turning to the most inefficient and dangerous solution; the government. What has happened? My God we need you now!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We will still need cars!

I am tired of listening to the doom and gloom of the car companies. The latest is we will go into a depression if GM fails. A little news for GM; no we won’t, we will still buy cars. The company may not be called GM, but someone will buy the former assets, hire workers for a market wage, and start producing the cars we need.

The airline industry has been doing this dance for the past 30 years. They file chapter 11, reorganize, consolidate, merge, whatever, and come out of bankruptsy more efficient. It will actually work better in the car industry because there are less regulatory hurdles to jump over. That is unless they get our money as a bailout.

I have to ask; who have we become? We look like a bunch of whining beggars, typical of a third world country. This is embarrassing. This is not the American ingenuity I grew up being proud of. Who are these people running our car companies?

Our future looks dim with this group of people running our big companies and government. Where are the leaders!!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Founding Debate…

One of the most debated issues at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia was the issue of a standing military force at times of peace. The founders were extremely suspicious of granting power to the Executive office that included access to federal troops.

You have to remember the circumstances in 1787. Thirteen separate colonies tied together by the Articles of Confederation, mostly content with a loose framework to insure there was no return to a dominant authority like Great Britain. Freshly freed from colonization and a bloody battle with British troops, there was little appetite for a centralized authority, controlling the affairs of the states, and in particular a central authority with a military.

In those lively constitutional debates the founders found it very suspicious that the federal government should need standing troops in a time of peace. In today’s world we see how important a military force is for the security and stability of the world. With that said, the military has rarely been used for internal domestic affairs. I share the founder’s suspicion.

I am uncomfortable with the military policing our streets. That’s why we have millions of local police, state troopers, all reporting to civilian law enforcement agencies. I love our military and their ability to keep us free from the enemies of freedom. I love knowing they are there in case of invasion from a foreign enemy. I also know they have a role in stopping terrorist activity.

My concern is the potential for abuse. Not the military per se, but the people in charge, particularly Obama. I don’t trust Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, or most politicians with power. They are prone to abuse it. I think there needs to be further debate before deploying 20,000 troops to our local streets under the guise of terrorism. I need more information. The devil is always in the details…