Tag Archives: Europe

Hungary Bonds Hit Junk Status

The Euro zone is in trouble. Hungary pulled the sale of their public debt in three-year bonds. Could not afford the yields over nine percent. Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s downgraded Hungary’s bonds to junk status.

‘Too big to fail’ is one thing. Try this, ‘Too big to save.’

The teachable moment here is, unless we turn this ship around, you’re looking at our future by looking at the economic situation in Europe today. Good too for the Brits continued refusal to adopt the ‘solution’ the European Union has in mind. It’s best not to board a ship while it is sinking. Besides, they have their own problems.

Stimulus Spending, For What? For Who?

With the economy still in recession, and the President still touting his American Jobs Act, Americans are becoming more skeptical about what all the stimulus spending has done for them. And the news about questionable stimulus spending and special deals is beginning to bubble up to the surface. Some new, some old.

Old news that is coming around again is the Fisker Automotive  (now Tesla Motors) luxury electric sports car that Vice President Al Gore invested in. That company got a half billion dollars for so-called green jobs. It is an electric car. It is a luxury car with a 50 mile range in total electric mode. Big investment for no market. But it did create jobs, in Britain and Finland.

The Fisker Karma sedan is priced at $87,400, with buyers eligible for a $7,500 credit on their Federal income tax returns.

Want one? Call them up and put down your $25,000 deposit. They’ll let you know when it is ready. Sell price? $87,400 to over $109,000.

So we subsidize a car company whose target market is “millionaires and billionaires,” then we give them $7,500 more of our tax dollars to incentivize them to buy it. All that from the guy that calls himself a ‘warrior for the middle class.’

Then there is the Solyndra scandal (Solar-Gate?) that wasted another half billion taxpayer dollars. That solar panel company declared bankruptcy not long after receiving your half billion dollars. Another big investment in an industry where there is no market. Officers of that company are big-time campaign fundraising bundlers for President Obama. Now those green jobs went directly to China. And Solyndra’s execs are pleading the 5th in Congressional hearings about it.

Are you seeing a pattern here of connected democrats and Big Labor being on the receiving end of millions and billions of your (and your grandkid’s) tax dollars? All in the name of stimulus and green jobs.

‘Real Ford Owner’ TV Ad

Check out this new TV ad from Ford. Their version of the man on the street press conference. The premise is that the subjects are real Ford owners using their own un-rehearsed response to a question from the ‘press corps.’

‘Chris’s’ response is golden. Took the words right out of my F150-owning mouth. Obviously Ford has the marketing sense to use this in their ad campaign because first of all, it is a popular sentiment, and, it is true. True about Ford. And true about the government’s handling of their competitors, Chrysler, now owned by Fiat, and GM, aka BM (Barack Motors). More jobs for Italy? That’s change you can step in.

This ad reminds me of the ‘Joe the plumber’ moment that President Obama had when his handlers let him talk to un-screened Americans for the first time. Now, it’s ‘Chris the Real Ford Owner.’ And Obama presses on down his yellow brick road.

Kudos to Ford Motor Company. It was to Chrysler and GM’s disadvantage for not standing up to the president. For not supporting their shareholders. For not supporting freedom, liberty, and free-market capitalism. Instead, they let the government roll them.

UPDATE 9/29/2011: Since the above ad, along with all their other ads are now no longer available online, below is a transcript of what it said. Ford’s explanation is that the ads run their cycles and that’s it. Their marketing people apparently don’t want to become a political news topic.

[Kristien] Source: LYBIO.net

Hi, I’m Kristien

[Real Ford Owner] Source: LYBIO.net

Chris, hi

Kristien]

We are gonna head on into the inteview

[Reporters]

Chris, was it buying America important to you?

[Chris] Source: LYBIO.net

I wasn’t going to buy any other car, that was bailed out by our government. I was going to buy from a manufactuerer that’s standing on their own, win, lose or draw, that’s what America’s about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you failed that you gotta pick yourself up and go back to work. Ah, Ford, is that company for me. Ford (Drive One)

A Time For Choosing

Since we were never given the choice in the last presidential election, the next election will be the time to choose. The 2008 election culminated in eight years of bashing Bush, and Bush not responding once. Americans were offered only hope and change. And who is against hope, and who is against change that makes things better? ‘Better’ being the operative word.

Obama never said, elect me and I’m going to nationalize health care and interfere with free-market economics by declaring some industries and businesses as ‘too big to fail,’ and borrow and spend trillions of dollars, not to stimulate the economy, but to ‘save’ union jobs in the public sector and the auto industry. He never said elect me and I’ll make it the responsibility of government to increase labor union membership.

Did we elect a President to put America on the fast track to Socialism? Do you think he would have beat Hillary Clinton in the primaries if he ran on what he is doing to this country today?

But now there is a choice. And it is no better illustrated than in Florida’s new law to drug-test welfare recipients and certain state employees in order to enforce a drug-free workplace. Progressives argue that Gov. Scott was trying to save money on the backs of the poor.

I don’t think it’s a matter of fiscal conservatism. Whether conservative or liberal, broke is broke. Just because someone is using drugs is no justification for spending more than we have. And it’s not that Scott, or Republicans, don’t care about poor people. They care about people who are on drugs and getting public monies.

The disintegration of the family among many poor people is a good reason to make bad choices. And it is welfare programs that tend to replace the father, or mother, and create this welfare class that is evermore dependent on the government. What Gov. Scott is doing is a move in the right direction. A move in the direction of teaching people some personal responsibility. Get off the drugs and you can continue to receive help.

This bill brings out the differences between the political Left and Right. One endeavors to fix the problem by attempting to fix the person. In this case, to provide an incentive to kick the habit and become self-sufficient again. The other seems content to be the giver of money, with no reason or motivation to quit a bad habit, which also tends to garner a strong voting block of welfare recipients.  In this context, it is Republican policies that try to heal and raise the poor by making them independent, if not just less dependent on government. It’s the old, “Give a man a fish and he won’t starve for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he won’t starve for his entire life” thing. It is Democratic policies that tend to keep the poor right where they are, dependent on the government for their livelihood, meager as it might be. The uneducated will easily identify with the person who gives them what they want instead of the one that wants them to earn what they want on their own. It’s about trying to teach people how to get off of welfare instead of trying to find out how we can find money to subsidize destructive behavior. Healing the person or family is better, more compassionate, than keeping them where they are. The bill isn’t about hating poor people.

Let’s look at the results of a landmark Democratic program. Nearly half of the country is getting some sort of government assistance. Does it look like the war on poverty (that began 50 years ago) has worked? There are drug rehabilitation programs out there, some at no cost. Individual responsibility means taking advantage of it and choosing to use what would be their drug money toward their own rehabilitation. How else does one teach personal responsibility if they have to do nothing on their own to make a change? They can get their welfare, if they choose to get off drugs first.

Democratic programs do nothing to reduce the number of poor people. What they have done is grow government and make poor people more dependent on government, and on the Democrat party. That is the result, whether intended or not.

There will always be people at the bottom of the ladder. The bottom of the ladder for U.S. citizens is half-way up the ladder compared to other countries. Democrat’s policies tend to make that ladder horizontal, destroying the notion of the individual.

Similarly, you will hear Democrats complain about the so-called income gap. They think it is evil that some people can make and accumulate wealth while some don’t.  I wouldn’t be so concerned about a gap between the rich and poor. I’d be concerned to make sure that the poor have every chance, the same chance, to get rich on their own.

Republicans have a HUGE up-hill battle to get people to understand that their policies are geared toward people helping themselves instead of relying on the government as their caretaker. Encouraging personal responsibility is so easily demagogued as Republicans hating the poor. And Democrats never miss the opportunity to do just that.

The immoral aspect of the Democratic social vision is that they put their faith in the government instead of the individual, which conditions poor people to look to them for sustenance. The fact that it builds strong voting blocks is no coincidence.

I’d like to see no minimum wage and no capital gains taxes. Since that has never been the case in my lifetime, one can only wonder how much better off ‘the poor’ would be. Again, it highlights the difference between the competing philosophies. Big government and control of economic conditions, or less government involvement and allowing free-market economic principles to work.

You don’t have to look far to see the difference. The free-market capitalism camp made us the greatest country in the world in under 200 years. The rest of the world is in the other camp and has nothing but shared misery to show for it.

Fairness Doctrine Is Censorship In Hungary

Actually, it is considered censorship here too, although the political Left will disagree. Freedom, especially freedom of the press and freedom of speech has been diminished in Hungary.

Hungary’s recently elected right-wing government has introduced a law demanding — under threat of fines and even shut-down — that news sources be “fair and balanced,” to borrow a phrase from a US news network.

But it doesn’t stop there.

[T]the agency created to determine whether news outlets are in compliance is stacked with political allies of the prime minister and would essentially have the freedom to punish news outlets as it sees fit.

The EU gets it and does not approve. Brings into question the notion that Hungary is not representative of the EU.

The law has raised concerns among Hungary’s European Union partner countries, particularly given that the country will assume the EU’s rotating presidency on January 1. Germany, in particular, has questioned whether Hungary can now be considered a legitimate representative of European values.

Media included in the law is TV, daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and internet sites. The whole nine yards. What is particularly amazing is that it wasn’t that long ago that Hungary was in the communist bloc where there was no freedom of the press. What are they thinking?

Link: In the Middle of Europe, a Democracy Introduces Press Censorship

Obama To Focus On The Economy; Believe It, Or Not

Breaking news from the Associated Press, ‘Obama pledges economic focus during next 2 years.’ Sounds eerily similar to his presidential campaign doesn’t it?  Two years later, there remains only a marginal, if any, net increase in full-time permanent jobs, and unemployment is still going up.

Providing zero analysis, not only is this story nothing more than a press release from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, but it is apparent that the Associated Press has no memory of its own either.

‘What do you mean no memory?’ you ask?

Aug. 1, 2009 – May 7, 2010: “I Will Not Rest . . .”

Dec. 4, 2009: Obama puts renewed focus on job creation

Jan. 21, 2010: Obama to focus hard on economy after Democratic loss

Dec. 22, 2010: Obama pledges economic focus during next 2 years

That President Obama is still working on the economy is evident. What is becoming more evident is that the American people mistakenly thought he was going to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Unfortunately, his goal to ‘remake America’ is a longer term project.

He must first dismantle our free-market economy which necessitates unemployment going higher, which necessitates unemployment compensation going longer, which creates a growing population (not counting millions of undocumented Democrats from Mexico) more dependent on the government. That, coupled with more industries coming under the control of the federal government and viola, we’ll be just as broke and socialist a nation as any one in Europe. Under Obama, the days of unemployment under 5 percent are over and gone. The new norm will be somewhere between 10-15 percent. And if he can do it in one term, all the better. To him, that would be Mission Accomplished.

How long does it take before hearing what you want to hear takes a back seat to seeing the results that you want to see?