Sunday, March 26, 2017

From No to No Can Do

On Friday the GOP pulled their Obamacare repeal and replace bill from the House floor, avoiding a vote that was destine to fail.  This was a stunning defeat for Republicans, and Democrats only had to stand by to watch the self-inflicted carnage.

Republicans demonstrated an inability to govern. We will have to wait to see if the GOP can muster a healthcare policy, but this debacle places the other parts of their agenda of tax reform, immigration reform, and infrastructure renewal in peril.  Democrats are more emboldened to their stated battle plan to obstruct all GOP policies.  The Republicans will need at least eight Democrat Senators to pass new legislation and the opportunity to reach across the aisle is now close to non-existent.

During the Obama Administration, Democrats called Republicans obstructionists to Obama’s “reasonable” policies.  The media branded Republicans the “Party of No”.  However, on Friday, the GOP became the “Party of No Can Do”.  Eight years of complaints and dozens of votes to repeal Obamacare, and Republicans could not deliver anything else, let alone better.

However, the real, and sad, story is voters and their representatives.  Too many voters want stuff that someone else pays for, regardless of its affordability.  And representatives, who have little interest in delivering enlightened representation, thus adopt the simple selfish posture to “give them what they want if it gets me reelected.”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Got Racism?

Did you know milk is a symbol of white supremacy? No? Well you need to get in touch with your inner liberal and commune with Samantha Diaz, a staff writer for California State University Long Beach student newspaper, The Daily 49er, as she explains in her article on March 13, 2017 how white supremacists and neo-Nazis are appropriating milk as a symbol of hate. Below is an excerpt from her article:
When you think of milk, what first comes to your mind? If you’re a millennial, you probably think of strong bones, Got Milk? commercials, or maybe eating your favorite cereal while watching cartoons on a Saturday morning. 
What about racism? White nationalism? If you’re having trouble finding the connection between these institutions and milk, you’re not alone. You, along with the rest of the nation, have been so accustomed to hearing the benefits of milk that you probably didn’t even realize the subtle racism hidden in our health facts.

Diaz goes so far as to say the United States was founded on racism and that every institution we uphold has racist roots while claiming we are a “post-racist America”.

Now, most people reading her article may think this satire but given the source, sadly, it is indicative of young liberal college students who, too often, have a dysfunctional tendency  of making arguments without reason and expecting their audience to just accept their conclusion “because they said so”.

Diaz leaves her readers with a stunning call to action with this gem of a sentence:
"Until we recognize the racist roots in our own systems of government and fight to remove them, we are all in part responsible for the white, creamy form of racism currently taking hold in our country.”

So get out your pitch-forks and knives because we, ladies and gentlemen of logical thought and reasoning, must fight the daemon milk to save America.

Find the full article written by Samantha Diaz at the following link…just in case you do not believe someone could actually make this sort of an asinine argument:

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Disagreement vs. Destruction

Honest disagreement is good.  It leads to innovation and betterment.  But when disagreement is discarded for destruction, then a line is crossed.  This is the New Left.  From this launching point Democrats and liberals are on a quest to delegitimize the president.  They hate the man and are infuriated they are not in power.  Accordingly, personal destruction of the president, the economy, and nation are acceptable collateral damage to insure their “values” are restored.

But none of this is new.  We write in our book, Vigilance The Price of Liberty, about Herbert Marcuse, a political theorist, who many considered the Father of the “New Left” that originated in the colleges and campus protests in the 1960s.

In the Marcuse 1965 essay “Repressive Tolerance”, he argues that tolerance does not apply to right-wing political movements. Said in the context of the First Amendment, you have a right to only the speech that supports my views and all other speech is banned. Marcuse writes of his term “liberating tolerance”:  Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left [emphasis added]. . . They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc.

Marcuse is a dark figure to liberty, and the Democrats who embrace his contention and sophistry risk facing further voter wraith in 2018. 

President Trump is no hero, but he does represent a diversion from the politics that have encrusted the country for the past 16 years.  Trump is no breath of fresh air, but he does represent an optimism that prosperity will return by removing many of the shackles of government taxes and regulation.

The Democrats, liberals, and media allies should do three things:
  1. accept the results that liberals have been removed from elected office in the majority of the federal and state governments based on the results of their governing not their messaging,
  2. challenge Republicans with reasoned and fact based policy, and
  3. come forth to compromise not with the attitude “it is my way or nothing”, but recognizing a minority party can only influence, not control.

With this we may be able to return to disagreement that can support our nation, rather than a path of destruction.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Productivity Deficiency

For eight years before the recessions, from 1998 to 2005, the average annual growth in productivity was 3.2%. And for the eight years from 2009 after the recession, annual productivity growth was 1.2%.  Economists seem to be at a loss as to why productivity has stagnated for the past decade.  Eight years into a recovery, productivity and labor hour increases of significance have been wanting - these are part of the core of GDP growth.  Therefore, where has the growth gone?

We purport the missing productivity and labor hours can be found in culture and government policies as follows:
  • Culture - Too many people see work as a noun versus a verb.  I go to work – a place vs. I have come to work – an action.  The latter produces value whereas the former does not.  The idea of “I want, therefore I deserve” permeates through our society, especially with a younger generation of the workforce that was raised with participation trophies and “talking sticks”.  As many companies have discontinued mentoring, the notion of hard work, and starting from the ground and moving up has been lost.  This is prevalent with young people who bounce from job to job because they “haven’t found what they are looking for.”
  • Dress“Dress casual. Think casual. Act casual”.  Dress is a reflection of attitude, drive, discipline and respect.  Athletes wear their uniforms to compete.  Soldiers darn their uniforms into battle.  These are reflections of who you are and the mind-set you are in.  For far too many today, dress is reflective of an afternoon of football in their living room.  Just the notion of “casual” dress says it all.    The process of dressing professionally establishes a mindset of work and overall success.  It is respectful to yourself, family, company and co-workers.  Coming to work in sweats and looking as if you have just rolled out of bed to grant the company the pleasure of your presence, breeds lack of seriousness and productivity.
  • Self-esteem vs. Self-confidence many people are full of self-esteem, which has become an entitlement.  However, self-confidence is wanting as this comes from the task of experiencing failure and success.  These experiences breed wisdom and confidence.  Self-confidence cannot be granted, but must be earned.  This is a huge hurdle for productivity and growth, as companies are filled with individuals with plenty of self-esteem but lack the self-confidence to take the risk to move the company forward.
  • Political correctness Emails need to be written twice.  Once for the purpose of the communication, then again for the wording to make sure nothing that is said can be construed as offensive.  It would be a worthwhile time-impact study to quantify the degradation to productivity as well as innovation cause by political correctness.  This connects back to a culture in which each individual has the need to have their feelings and identity protected.  No longer is the childhood staying true that “words will never hurt me”.
  • Government Welfare Obstructs Moving to Work - According to the US Census Bureau, about 50 million people receive government assistance each month.  If the unemployment rate is truly below the level it was when the recession started, then why are seemingly some 13 million more people on food stamps?  The simple answer is that government penalizes those with crushing taxes and diminished benefits who attempt to get off the dole.  People are not stupid and can do the arithmetic that drives the behavior to work part-time to make as much after-taxes as working full-time.  For a swath of people this is a preferred life-style.  If even half of those 13 million would get off the dole, it would add some 6 million workers to the work force - a 5% bump in labor hours.

A new generation of Americans have been raised with self-esteem and sensitivity, but with an attitude of being entitled to a living rather than having to earn one.  We need to be able to reestablish the good examples of respect, manners, hard work, self-dignity and self-reliance that can carry our young, and thus our country, forward into a successful and more productive future.