All posts by Ross

Health Insurance? No Fix For You!

This Obamacare replacement bill proves Republicans bought into the Democrats’ premise of government-controlled and financed health care, and, that it is a “right.” A losing, for everybody, dead in the water proposition. There’s no mention in my copy of the Constitution that a health insurance policy is a right.

The fix is to back up to pre-Obamacare. The only mandate should be that there are no interstate or intrastate barriers to competition between insurance carriers. No mandated coverages, no government-guaranteed customers, no wealth transfer via the tax code.

It took the insurance industry more than a year just to jigger their actuary tables into how they could stay in business under the terms that the ACA was sold to them, complete with the government bailouts, which have now ended; the promises never came to fruition, and the whole mess is collapsing. Likewise, it will take some time for them to adjust them to free-market competition, where the people can buy the kind of insurance and coverage that they want. Patient centered, with their own health savings account that they own.

Link: Republican Obamacare plan signals that liberalism has already won

CBS Carries The Water

This doesn’t qualify as Fake News. It’s more like the news playing cheerleaders for Democrats. And it couldn’t be more obvious from what CBS radio news is peddling today.

In advance of President Trump’s speech tonight before a joint session of Congress, CBS radio news is positing the question, how much the president will accommodate Democrats in their agenda? Not even giving a thought towards the opposite, like, how much of Trump’s agenda will Democrats endorse? Remember, to get things done, end the gridlock, and do the will of the people?

The premise with the media v Republicans remains the same. In that, the media continues to dig their own hole.

As for Democrats? Republicans are the ones to compromise their positions, regardless of whether they win or lose an election. From the beginning, when Trump enters the Chamber, to the end, the Democrats present will show you, emphasis on show, how much respect and how far they will go to change their views or (losing) agenda.

CNN, RFN On Display

Want to see what Real Fake News looks like? Here it is and here’s why? With all the CNN reporting of “communications between President Trump’s associates and Russians,” the FBI told White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus that that did not occur. Shouldn’t THAT be the headline?

After being told that by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, which also supports the Trump administration’s position, in an effort to shut down that whole fake news meme, Priebus asked to make that known publicly. For whatever reason, they declined to get involved. McCabe did say that he (Priebus) could say that the FBI told them that the news story was bogus, but that they weren’t going to do it themselves. So now, the fake news continues as if some wrongdoing had occurred on the part of the administration.

CNN headline: FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories

And this, from the same story . . .

The FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate.

The Fake News story pushed by CNN here is about whether Priebus was wrong to ask McCabe to clear the air on the controversy. Instead of the real news, that it was fake news from the start.

Fake News has its consequences: White House blocks news organizations from press briefing, and the fake news media has their shorts in a wad. My advice to the media? Swallow hard. Medicine doesn’t always taste good.

Links: FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories  |  White House denies wrongdoing in conversations with FBI

 

Effects Of Minimum Wage

There is little question in most academic research that increases in the minimum wage lead to increases in unemployment. The debatable issue is the magnitude of the increase. An issue not often included in minimum wage debates is the substitution effects of minimum wage increases. The substitution effect might explain why Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national network of business owners and executives, argues for higher minimum wages. Let’s look at substitution effects in general.

When the price of anything rises, people seek substitutes and measures to economize. When gasoline prices rise, people seek to economize on the usage of gas by buying smaller cars. If the price of sugar rises, people seek cheaper sugar substitutes. If prices of goods in one store rise, people search for other stores. This last example helps explain why some businessmen support higher minimum wages. If they could impose higher labor costs on their less efficient competition, it might help drive them out of business. That would enable firms that survive to charge higher prices and earn greater profits.

There’s a more insidious substitution effect of higher minimum wages. You see it by putting yourself in the place of a businessman who has to pay at least the minimum wage to anyone he hires. Say that you are hiring typists. There are some who can type 40 words per minute and others, equal in every other respect, who can type 80 words per minute. Whom would you hire? I’m guessing you’d hire the more highly skilled. Thus, one effect of the minimum wage is discrimination against the employment of lower-skilled workers. In some places, the minimum wage is $15 an hour. But if a lower-skilled worker could offer to work for, say, $8 an hour, you might hire him. In addition to discrimination against lower-skilled workers, the minimum wage denies them the chance of sharpening their skills and ultimately earning higher wages. The most effective form of training for most of us is on-the-job training.

An even more insidious substitution effect of minimum wages can be seen from a few quotations. During South Africa’s apartheid era, racist unions, which would never accept a black member, were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. In 1925, the South African Economic and Wage Commission said, “The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would be likely to be employed.” Gert Beetge, secretary of the racist Building Workers’ Union, complained, “There is no job reservation left in the building industry, and in the circumstances, I support the rate for the job (minimum wage) as the second-best way of protecting our white artisans.” “Equal pay for equal work” became the rallying slogan of the South African white labor movement. These laborers knew that if employers were forced to pay black workers the same wages as white workers, there’d be reduced incentive to hire blacks.

South Africans were not alone in their minimum wage conspiracy against blacks. After a bitter 1909 strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen in the U.S., an arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages. Union members expressed their delight, saying, “If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain.”
Our nation’s first minimum wage law, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, had racist motivation. During its legislative debate, its congressional supporters made such statements as, “That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country.” During hearings, American Federation of Labor President William Green complained, “Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates.”

Today’s stated intentions behind the support of minimum wages are nothing like yesteryear’s. However, intentions are irrelevant. In the name of decency, we must examine the effects.

The above, Minimum Wage and Discrimination, was graciously lifted from Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University.

 

Pawns Of Liberals, Safe Communities

Ordinary black people cannot afford to go along with the liberal agenda that calls for undermining police authority. That agenda makes for more black crime victims. Let’s look at what works and what doesn’t work.

In 1990, New York City adopted the practice in which its police officers might stop and question a pedestrian. If there was suspicion, they would frisk the person for weapons and other contraband. This practice, well within the law, is known as a Terry stop. After two decades of this proactive police program, New York City’s homicides fell from over 2,200 per year to about 300. Blacks were the major beneficiaries of proactive policing. According to Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald — author of “the War on Cops” — seeing as black males are the majority of New York City’s homicide victims, more than 10,000 blacks are alive today who would not be had it not been for proactive policing.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other leftist groups brought suit against proactive policing. A U.S. District Court judge ruled that New York City’s “stop and frisk” policy violated the 14th Amendment’s promise of equal protection because black and Hispanic people were subject to stops and searches at a higher rate than whites. But the higher rate was justified. MacDonald points out that while blacks are 23 percent of New York City’s population, they are responsible for 75 percent of shootings and 70 percent of robberies. Whites are 34 percent of the population of New York City. They are responsible for less than 2 percent of shooting and 4 percent of robberies. If you’re trying to prevent shootings and robberies, whom are you going to focus most attention on, blacks or whites?

In 2015, 986 people were shot and killed by police. Of that number, 495 were white (50 percent), and 258 were black (26 percent). Liberals portray shootings by police as racist attacks on blacks. To solve this problem, they want police departments to hire more black police officers. It turns out that the U.S. Justice Department has found that black police officers in San Francisco and Philadelphia are likelier than whites to shoot and use force against black suspects. That finding is consistent with a study of 2,699 fatal police killings between 2013 and 2015, conducted by John R. Lott Jr. and Carlisle E. Moody of the Crime Prevention Research Center, showing that the odds of a black suspect’s being killed by a black police officer were consistently greater than the odds of a black suspect’s being killed by a white officer. And little is said about cops killed. MacDonald reports that in 2013, 42 percent of cop killers were black.

Academic liberals and civil rights spokespeople make the claim that the disproportionate number of blacks in prison is a result of racism. They ignore the fact that black criminal activity is many multiples of that of other racial groups. They argue that differential imprisonment of blacks is a result of the racist war on drugs. MacDonald says that state prisons contain 88 percent of the nation’s prison population. Just 4 percent of state prisoners are incarcerated for drug possession. She argues that if drug offenders were removed from the nation’s prisons, the black incarceration rate would go down from about 37.6 percent to 37.4 percent. The vast majority of blacks in prison are there because of violent crime — and mostly against black people.

That brings us to the most tragic aspect of black crime. The primary victims are law-abiding black people who must conduct their lives in fear. Some parents serve their children meals on the floor and sometimes put them to sleep in bathtubs so as to avoid stray bullets. The average American does not live this way and would not tolerate it. And that includes the white liberals who support and make excuses for criminals. Plain decency mandates that we come to the aid of millions of law-abiding people under siege. For their part, black people should stop being pawns for white liberals and support the police who are trying to protect them.

The above, Pawns of Liberals, was graciously lifted from Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University.

Cost Of Socialism

So the revised cost of the border wall, before Trump works on getting it lower, is now $21.6 Billion. Up from $15 Billion. At this “cost,” that comes to $173 per household. Up from $120. OK fine. Where do I send my check?
 
That is far less than the $113 Billion a year we are paying now to sustain illegal aliens already here. And that translates to $904, per year per household.
 
The financial burden on education, health care, infrastructure, prisons, jobs and unemployment is not the only cost. That $113 Billion does not count the people illegals have killed, raped, robbed, and assaulted. That is the social cost you can’t put a price on.
 
Kudos to President Trump for doing what he said he would do. Enforce the law. Like he’s been doing since he was inaugurated.

You can’t blame Mexicans to want to escape their country, where the average wage is $4 per day. Venezuelans and Chinese are also flocking to enter the United States, legally.

Why is that?  Corruption isn’t the only reason Mexico is in sorry shape. It’s their quasi-socialist economic system. It doesn’t sustain, it doesn’t work. Mexico, like Venezuela, is rich in natural resources, like oil. Nothing a little capitalism can’t fix. What else can explain why the disparity on one side of the border is so great?

Mexicans are not happy with their government and the corruption in it. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s approval rating is 12%. But it’s their problem to fix.

aSide Order

Promoting Planned Parenthood OK, and Ivanka Trump Not OK?

So when can I expect Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and the entire Democrat apparatus in Washington to turn themselves in for ethics violation for promoting Planned Parenthood?

The “gain” is campaign contributions from the pro-death constituency of the Democrat Party.

And if we look deeper, I’d hazard a guess that some of them have received contributions from PP itself.  Similar to the money laundering scheme between Democrats and Big Labor. What’s worse, we taxpayers have been forced to fund Planned Parenthood by $500,000,000 a year. How do you think Democrats would take to funding another corporation, say, Ivanka Trump’s company?

2017 Grammy’s

I heard it’s Grammy day today, Feb 12, 2017. I want to say HI to both of my grammies who are in heaven.

Drive To Mexico, Vote, Get Stuff

Driving down there is good. Represents a little class. More than climbing over a fence, or sneaking through a tunnel. Remind the authorities too that “people are not illegal.”

Then again, maybe walking would be safer, because with U.S. tags on your car, the police will target you for a shakedown. If walking, their border patrol will pick you up and take you and your family wherever you want to live, then sign you up for free stuff. Isn’t that the way it works down there?

Voter ID, Soft Bigotry

If you don’t pay attention to what the media, liberal-stacked federal courts, and the Democrat politicians in Washington have to say about shoring up voting integrity, you will be surprised to learn that they say Latinos and Blacks, above all other people, are incapable of getting a photo ID. And because of that, having to require a positive identification is called voter suppression, even racist.

That was the reason Wisconsin and Texas were met with push-back when the people in those states voted for voter ID.

Last year, federal courts curbed or nullified Republican-backed laws making it harder to vote, saying they reduced turnout by Democratic-leaning minorities, deliberately or otherwise.

Texas’s strict voter-ID law was among them. A federal appeals court ruled last year that the law hurt Latinos and African-Americans, who were less likely to have the IDs. It later ordered state officials to change their public education campaign on new ID rules.

This bogus meme dates back to the 1990’s when “motor voter” laws were enacted by then democrat controlled Washington. Motor voter means if you can get a driver’s license, you can register to vote at the same time. Not surprisingly, many states like Washington, do not require proof of citizenship to get a driver’s license.

Also not surprisingly, the two groups targeted as being discriminated against, are ones that traditionally register Democrat. For Democrats, it doesn’t matter if they run across the southern border or are shipped in as “refugees” from anywhere in the world.

The 2016 Democratic Party platform declares, “we will continue to fight against discriminatory voter identification laws, which disproportionately burden young voters, diverse communities, people of color, low income families, people with disabilities, the elderly, and women.” Yet, at their own convention, it seems like a different set of rules apply.

To those groups that the media and the Left say are disenfranchised because they just can’t get a valid picture ID, here is your challenge. If you want to vote, picture/voter ID’s are free for the asking. And, you have two years to get one.

If ending voter disenfranchisement is ever to be tackled, it isn’t going to come from not requiring a valid voter ID that verifies citizenship. It will come from requiring one.

Links: Illegal Voting Gets Texas Woman 8 Years in Prison, and Certain Deportation  |  As ID Laws Fall, Voters See New Barriers Rise  |  Democrats call Alabama’s voter ID law ‘racist’ but require DNC delegates to show ID to vote

Tax Abortion

Sales taxes and Excise taxes are levied on everyone. Like on cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol. Politicians pick either something addictive, a necessity, or otherwise popular for a reliable revenue stream.  No matter the reason they give for needing more money from you than they are already getting, just know that, at the threat of a gun or prison, they’ve got you.

And there’s nothing more the Left likes more than taxes. Oh wait. Yes there is. They like abortion more. In fact, there is an abortion industry, and Planned Parenthood is the leader of the pack.

Any tax will cause a behavioral change. A multi-national company might shelter their assets offshore. A cigarette smoker might try cutting back, or quit. Tax abortions and maybe we will see less of them? It’s a win win.

Time has come to test the Left’s priorities on taxation and behavioral management with an excise tax on abortions. Talk about a guaranteed revenue source, tax abortions. Propose that, sit back, and watch the fur fly.

The Tax Hammer And Abortion

The latest example of government greed and how politicians use the tax code, and create new taxes if they have to, to get access to your wallet and change behavior of industry, a company, or people, comes from a story from the City of Philadelphia.  The city has started a beverage tax in the amount of 1.5 cents per ounce. Beverages taxed are . . .

Soda (regular and diet); non-100%-fruit drinks; sports drinks; sweetened water; energy drinks; pre-sweetened coffee or tea; and non-alcoholic beverages intended to be mixed into an alcoholic drink.

Sales taxes and Excise taxes are levied on everyone. Like on cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol. Politicians pick either something addictive, a necessity, or otherwise popular for a reliable revenue stream.  No matter the reason they give for needing more money from you than they are already getting, just know that they’ve got you by the short hairs.

And there’s nothing more the Left likes more than taxes. Oh wait. Yes there is. They like abortion more. There is a whole abortion industry out there. And Planned Parenthood is the leader of the pack.

I don’t know why Democrats haven’t thought of this already? I did, and I hate taxes. I especially hate them when they are swung with The Tax Hammer to target a specific industry, goods, services, or people. Any tax will cause a behavioral change. A multi-national company might move offshore. A smoker might try cutting back. A poor person in the ghetto might tend to crime to help make up what he/she is paying in taxes.

How about we test the Left’s priorities on taxation and behavioral management. An excise tax on abortions. Maybe there will be fewer? There are already taxes on medical devices. Talk about a guaranteed revenue source, tax abortions. Propose that, sit back, and watch the fur fly.

Links: Philly’s Drink Tax Is Hurting Consumers, Businesses, and the Poor  |  Philadelphia Beverage Tax