Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

NIKKI HALEY – CAPITALISM VERSUS SOCIALISM

Thursday, February 27th, 2020

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

This Is No Time to Go Wobbly on Capitalism

As Democrats embrace outright socialism, some CEOs and Republicans call for unwise compromises.

By Nikki Haley    Ms. Haley served as governor of South Carolina, 2011-17, and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, 2017-18. This op-ed is adapted from a speech she delivered Wednesday to the Hudson Institute. February 26, 2020

There’s an important debate happening in America right now, a competition among three distinct views of the world. The first view is held by those who think capitalism is the best and fairest economic system the world has ever seen. The second is held by those who think socialism is the answer to a host of problems from climate change to inequality. Then there are those who are pushing a watered-down or hyphenated capitalism, which is the slow path to socialism.

Mark me down as a capitalist. I grew up in South Carolina as the daughter of Indian immigrants. My mom started a small business selling clothes and gifts. She worked hard and showed my brothers, my sister and me what it meant to live the American dream. The U.S. is a country where people can find jobs that match their talents and passions. America has lifted up more people and unleashed more prosperity than any other country in human history.

In 1800, you were lucky if you lived to be 40. A third of children didn’t live past 5. Since then, the U.S. has become an industrialized nation. Average real income per person has soared by 4,000% since 1800. Medical breakthroughs mean Americans live much longer. In 1820, 94% of the world lived in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.90 a day, adjusted for purchasing power. Today that figure is closer to 10%. Because of capitalism, the world is cleaner, healthier and wealthier than ever.

As governor of South Carolina, I saw capitalism work. Pro-market policies helped bring our state more than $20 billion in capital investment and created jobs in every county. But I saw something different during my time as ambassador to the U.N. I was reminded that not every country enjoys the same freedom and prosperity. More than 1.5 billion people still suffer under socialist regimes.

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SOCIALISM STRIKES BACK

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

 

A personal note:  I agree with the author of this article.  I first visited  the Soviet Union in 1982.  Three of the photos I took on the street of the ordinary people were very telling.  One was of an elderly woman selling a few shriveled up cucumbers on the street, another was an elderly woman sweeping the city sidewalk with her broom and the third photo was a truck parked on the street laden with bricks. A man was standing by the side of the truck obviously watching that the three elderly women loaded the bricks quickly and correctly !  In sharp contrast was the magnificent subway system with huge photos of Lenin adorning the walls attesting to the glory of Communism.   
On my second trip to what was then called Russia in 1994 after the Berlin Wall had come down and the Soviet Union was dissolved.  My late husband who was working in Moscow for an international company at the time.  He was tied up and robbed in his hotel room at the Metropol  Hotel.  Also,  I had wanted to go back and revisit a wonderful restaurant that I had been to in 1982 but our company security  people told us it was no longer safe to go there as the restaurant  was now controlled by the Russian Mafia.  An American couple that we knew  who were also working in Moscow, bought an apartment and completely gutted and remodeled it. Their apartment was very lovely inside but because of the housing shortage, other apartments in their  building were crowded with many Russian people living in each apartment that had one bathroom.  Trying to put this delicately, let’s just say you had to be very careful where you stepped in the hallways !!!!   Oh, one more  thing, if driving in their chaotic traffic, definitely do not get stopped by the traffic  police for any minor offense,   as they will demand money from you.
  On a more positive note, their  museums and arts were world class.  The Hermitage Museum has more Rembrandts than the Metropolitan Museum  in New York !
God forbid that Bernie becomes president !!!  Nancy
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Socialism Strikes Back

Before many Sanders voters were born, I saw his ideology in action in the Soviet Union and Britain.

By George Melloan    Mr. Melloan is a former deputy editor of the Journal editorial page. His book about the costs of bogus science will be published in August by Lyons Press.
February 5, 2020

Socialist Bernie Sanders’s emergence as a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination is puzzling to many of us who have experienced socialism. We thought it dead—good riddance—when the Soviet empire collapsed 30 years ago. Our mistake.

One can only assume that the hardships endured by many millions of Russians, Chinese, Africans and Europeans have been forgotten, or never learned, by a new generation of Democratic voters. Mr. Sanders says he is a “democratic socialist,” whereas those unfortunates of the past were ruled by “communists.” He’s right that there are wide differences in degree. But although the postwar British Labour Party was freely elected, it brought Brits a more limited degree of the economic stagnation that afflicted the people of the undemocratic Soviet Union and its satellites.

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CLIMATE TIPPING POINTS

Monday, January 20th, 2020

 

On Monday the UN IPCC came out with its latest Special Report, this one supposedly addressed specifically to the allegedly dire consequences of allowing world temperatures to increase by more than an arbitrarily-selected threshold. Here is a copy of the “Summary for Policymakers,” and here is a copy of the accompanying press release. But I urge you not to peek at those until you have taken today’s very important Manhattan Contrarian Climate Tipping Points Quiz.

Many have noted that this latest Report seems to step up the level of hysteria and shrieking about the threat of climate change to a whole new level. The gist is, we are doomed, doomed, doomed unless mankind takes immediate drastic action to reduce and then eliminate carbon emissions, because otherwise we will shortly cross the dreaded climate “tipping point.” Crossing the tipping point means that climate change will thereafter accelerate out of control, there will be no further chance of saving the planet, and all hope must be abandoned. You can see that this is very serious, at least if you give any credence to this stuff. And yet, despite the hyperbole, this report seems to be getting much less attention than prior similar predictions of the impending climate apocalypse, even if no one in the mainstream press will apply the slightest amount of critical thinking as to whether any of this makes any sense at all. As an example, the big New York Times article on the Report did not appear until Tuesday, and in the print edition ran on page A8. I guess there were plenty of things more important than the approaching end of the world to fill up the front page.

So it’s time to take the Manhattan Contrarian Climate Tipping Points Quiz. The quiz consists of nine predictions of the impending climate “tipping point,” made at various points over the past few decades. For each prediction, I have deleted the name of the predictor, the year made and the year or years that were identified as the dreaded tipping point, but have included in brackets the number of years in the future that the tipping point was said to be at the time of the prediction in question. Your task is to identify which of the predictions is the one found in the current UN materials. For extra credit, see if you can identify any of the other predictions as to the person or organization uttering the prediction, the year made, and the year said to be the date of the tipping point.

Answers below the fold.

Prediction Number 1:

[Predictor] said that without “coherent financial incentives and disincentives” we have just 96 months to avert “irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse, and all that goes with it.” . . . He confided last night: “We face the dual challenges of a world view and an economic system that seem to have enormous shortcomings, together with an environmental crisis – including that of climate change – which threatens to engulf us all.”

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IS DONALD TRUMP ‘PROFOUNDLY UNCONSERVATIVE’?

Saturday, January 18th, 2020

 

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Is Donald Trump ‘profoundly unconservative’?

No. It doesn’t match his shrinking regulations and limiting government

by Allan H. Ryskind   Allan H. Ryskind, a former editor and owner of Human Events, is the author of “Hollywood Traitors” (Regnery, 2015)

December 31, 2019

Prominent liberal Fareed Zakaria insists that Donald Trump “has been profoundly unconservative” because he’s abandoned what “Republicans used to call the core of their agenda — limited government.” But it’s hard to take the charge seriously, even though some conservatives have sent his piece around for comment to see if he’s onto something. Yet no politician in recent memory has restricted the reach of government at both the federal and state level more than the current occupant of the Oval Office.

Mr. Trump’s drastic shrinking of federal economic regulations, opening vast expanses of federal lands for energy exploration, drawing overseas businesses home with tax breaks and passing major tax cuts for corporations and individuals have generated an explosion of well-paying jobs, personal wealth and soaring wages, as well as the lowest level of unemployment for minorities on record. Some 7 million new jobs have been created during Mr. Trump’s presidency and more than 100 million American shareholders have watched the market jump 55 percent since his election.

You’d think Mr. Zakaria would be celebrating Mr. Trump’s low-tax, pro-growth economic agenda as not only core Republicanism but virtually Reaganesque. Increasing prosperity by stimulating market forces without enacting high taxes and big government programs is, of course, how conservatives try to keep government limited.

Mr. Zakaria concedes that Mr. Trump has delivered what conservatives have wanted in the realm of “social and cultural policy,” such as “appointing judges, tightening rules related to abortion and asylum, etc.” but suggests they have little to do with taming the Leviathan.

Really? Stacking the courts with judges steeped in the philosophy of federalism is, of course, precisely the way to limit government on both the economic and cultural fronts. Mr. Zakaria may ignore the threat, but Democratic Party presidential candidates, along with their media support groups, are panicked over the president’s court selections.

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GETTING CLOSER TO ‘SHOVEL READY’

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

 

What better way to slow the growth of a dynamic country such as ours, than to impose restrictive and time consuming environmental regulations.  Was  that  possibly  the plan of the Green/Globalist/Marxist Movement?   Ya think???   Nancy

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Getting Closer to ‘Shovel Ready’

Environmental impact statements shouldn’t take 13 years and more than 16,000 pages.

The Editorial Board  January 13, 2020

Traffic backs up on Interstate 70 near Silverthorne, Colo., Jan. 7, 2018. PHOTO: THOMAS PEIPERT/ASSOCIATED PRESS

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  On Thursday the Trump Administration released a proposed rule to streamline NEPA reviews. One highlight is that the process would have presumptive limits: two years and 300 pages for a full environmental impact statement; or a year and 75 pages for a smaller environmental assessment. Thorny cases could go longer with written approval by “a senior agency official of the lead agency.”

If you visit an aging American megaproject—say, the Hoover Dam—you’ll probably see a startling statistic about how quickly it was built. Congress authorized the damming of the Colorado River in 1928, construction started in 1931, and the 726-foot concrete wonder opened in 1936. That’s a “shovel ready” job.

Today even modest public works, including roads, bridges and airport runways, can spend years in limbo, no thanks to the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. That 1970 law requires an environmental study of any major project that involves federal funding or permitting. NEPA hasn’t been overhauled in 40 years, which is why the Trump Administration deserves applause for moving last week to modernize it.

Everybody wants to protect the environment. But NEPA isn’t doing the job sensibly. No single agency has responsibility for its enforcement, unlike the Clean Water Act or the Clean Air Act. There’s no obligation for the feds to keep a specific timeline. Environmental assessments and impact statements are often monstrously detailed, since agencies and sponsors are trying to make them litigation proof.

The result is a regulatory morass. From 2013 to 2017, the average final impact statement took more than four years and ran 669 pages, the Council on Environmental Quality said last summer. The longest file was for a contentious 12-mile expansion of Interstate 70 in Denver. The final report ran 8,951 pages, plus another 7,307 pages of appendices. The whole rigmarole took 13 years.

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“AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP IS ERODING” – VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

Saturday, December 28th, 2019

 

IMPRIMIS

“American citizenship is eroding”

November 2019  • • Victor Davis Hanson

The following is an abridged version of a talk delivered at Hillsdale College on October 2, 2019, during the College’s 175th anniversary gala. Videos of this and other speeches delivered during the gala are available at fourpillars.hillsdale.edu.

Today many condemn the idea of nationalism by connecting it to race hatred (e.g., white nationalism). But historically, the modern nation-state has proven uniquely suitable to preserving individual rights. The American nation in particular was successful in uniting individuals of different races, ethnic backgrounds, and creeds into one people based on shared principles, a unique physical space, and a common national story. Our nation is the best example in human history of positive nationalism.

The key to this benign nationalism is American citizenship, based on an understanding of American exceptionalism and formed by the American melting pot. But today, our citizenship is eroding and, along with it, American nationalism in the positive sense is disappearing.

American citizenship is eroding in three ways.

First, we are blurring the line between mere residents and citizens. We have between 45-50 million non-native-born residents in the U.S. today—the largest absolute number we’ve ever had. There’s no legal problem with the 30 million of them who have green cards or have acquired citizenship—although even 30 million is a challenge for the American melting pot to assimilate and integrate.

But we also have, according to a recent Yale and MIT study, about 20 million people who are here illegally. In regard to them, the classical ingredients of American citizenship—the right to leave or enter the country as one pleases, for example, or to vote in elections, or to reside here as long as one pleases—are being blurred.

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USMCA – HOW IT HELPS OUR FARMERS

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

 

This is the first article that I have read that  clearly discusses how the USMCA will help American  farmers. It also points out the differences between NAFTA and the USMCA.   Nancy
 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 

Got Trade? Dairy Farmers Stand to Gain From the USMCA

The newly signed deal is sweet relief to farmers in rural districts like mine in North Carolina.

By Ted Budd    Mr. Budd, a Republican, represents North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.  December 14, 2019

The trade agreement negotiated in 2018 by the U.S., Mexico and Canada languished for more than a year as congressional Democrats pressed the Trump administration to extract concessions from Mexico on labor regulations and pharmaceutical patents. The amended USMCA, successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement, was signed this week, putting an end to 14 months of political wrangling. But to those of us who live in farm country, the pact means a lot more than politics.

To Sam Dobson, whose farm in Statesville, N.C., has been in his family for 150 years, the USMCA represents hope. He is a seventh-generation dairy farmer, and the USMCA boosts the chances that his son Chase will be the eighth. “In agriculture, your goal is to leave a legacy and not a liability, and the No. 1 goal for us on our farm is to leave our farm and our legacy just a little bit better than we found it when we got it,” says Mr. Dobson.

Since Nafta came into force, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have quadrupled, from $9 billion in 1993 to $39 billion in 2017, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. But dairy farmers were left behind as other agricultural exports boomed. U.S. milk prices are in the fourth year of a slump due to chronic oversupply. Canada has historically restricted how much U.S. milk it imports, putting U.S. dairy farmers at a disadvantage.

Farmers in Iredell County, N.C., which I represent in Congress, produce more than 3 billion gallons of milk a year, according to the American Dairy Association of North Carolina. In the 1970s, there were more than 200 dairy farms in Iredell County. Now there are 22. This is a trend that goes far beyond North Carolina. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 2,731 dairy farms across the U.S. closed last year due to a combination of low profit margins and a gradual decline in milk consumption. “Without these agreements,” Mr. Dobson says, “you’re going to see a disappearance of the industry.”

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C-SPAN VIDEO DONALD TRUMP SPEECH 2013

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

 

You have got to see this amazing video of a speech given by Donald Trump in 2013 !   Thanks to Anthony Bruno for sharing with us.  Nancy

I wonder how many people were aware of this.
I came across this 30 minute video that was recorded at the Family Leadership Summit
in August, 2013, two years before he announced he was running for the presidency.
Trump’s message six years ago remains the same today….
C-SPAN VIDEO

Speech: Donald Trump Delivers a Speech in Ames, IA – August 10, 2013

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OBAMA’S INCREDIBLE MOVIE MAKEOVER

Monday, September 16th, 2019

 

This is an extremely informative and interesting article about the subject of Obama’s first film that he and Michele  produced with Netflix.  As you will read, the author of this article is very critical of the part that Obama played in the original closing of this GM plant during the 2008/2009 financial crisis which Obama does not mention at all in his movie .  Talk about chutzpah !!!
I have included the official trailer of this movie and a link to view the entire movie at the bottom of this WSJ article.   Nancy
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Obama’s Incredible Movie Makeover

The former president has produced a film about a factory closing—without mentioning his own role in the drama

By Mike Turner,  Mr. Turner, a Republican, represents Ohio’s 10th Congressional District.  He served as mayor of Dayton , 1994 – 2002
September 14, 2019
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  It’s a fascinating and at times moving film. What’s interesting about it, though, is that it never once alludes to the part Mr. Obama played in diminishing the ability of Moraine’s laid off workers to transfer to other GM plants. The president’s role wasn’t indirect and isn’t a matter of dispute: His administration’s bailout deal for GM included a backroom exclusive agreement with the United Auto Workers. The hypocrisy of this Obama-backed film is astounding. Mr. Obama fails to acknowledge his direct role in creating the hardships the Moraine workers weathered. He had nothing whatsoever to do with the plant’s reopening—that was all the work of state and local officials and community leaders.

To put the point bluntly: If the president had his way, there would have been no plant to make a documentary about. “American Factory” would have been “Abandoned Parking Lot.”

Higher Ground, the production company formed last year by Barack and Michelle Obama in conjunction with Netflix, recently released its first film. “American Factory” is a documentary about a General Motors plant in Moraine, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. The plant closed in 2008 and was reopened by a Chinese auto glass manufacturer in 2015. The film follows the lives of both the laid-off American workers and the Chinese workers brought in to run the new plant.

It’s a fascinating and at times moving film. What’s interesting about it, though, is that it never once alludes to the part Mr. Obama played in diminishing the ability of Moraine’s laid off workers to transfer to other GM plants. The president’s role wasn’t indirect and isn’t a matter of dispute: His administration’s bailout deal for GM included a backroom exclusive agreement with the United Auto Workers.

How does a nearly two-hour film telling the story of these workers fail even to mention the direct role the co-owner of the film’s production company played in creating their hardships? Did the filmmakers think no one would remember?

A quick refresher. The Obama administration’s auto bailout highly favored the UAW and its members. The GM plant in Moraine was unionized by the IUE-CWA. So—despite being one of the top GM facilities for quality, efficiency and production in the country—it was shuttered, and its employees were put at the back of the line when requesting transfers to other GM plants. Any non-UAW employees looking to transfer were forced to start as new hires, wiping clean any wages, tenure, and benefits built up during careers at other GM plants.

American Factory” documents the UAW’s efforts to unionize the reopened auto glass factory without any mention of the same union’s direct role in the GM plant’s closure. The Dayton community was left out in the cold—thousands of jobs lost, families devastated, longtime GM workers out on the street looking for work.

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WARREN’S ASSAULT ON RETIREE WEALTH

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Warren’s Assault on Retiree Wealth

Her vision of ‘accountable capitalism’ would destroy savings built over a lifetime—and sink the economy.

By Phil Gramm and Mike Solon Mr. Gramm, a former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Solon is a partner of US Policy Metrics.   September 11, 2019

Who owns the vast wealth of America? Old folks. According to the Federal Reserve, households headed by people over the age of 55 own 73% of the value of domestically owned stocks, and the same share of America’s total wealth. Households of ages 65 to 74 have an average of $1,066,000 in net worth, while those between ages 35 and 44 have less than a third as much on average, at $288,700.

A socialist might see injustice in that inequality. But seniors know this wealth gap is the difference between the start and the finish of a career of work and thrift, making the last mortgage and retirement payments rather than the first. Seventy-two percent of the value of all domestically held stocks is owned by pension plans, 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts, or held by life insurance companies to fund annuities and death benefits. This wealth accumulated over a lifetime and benefits all Americans.

That means it’s your life savings on the line—not the bankroll of some modern-day John D. Rockefeller—when Democrats push to limit companies’ methods of enriching their shareholders. Several Democratic congressmen and presidential candidates have proposed to limit stock buybacks, which are estimated to have increased stock values by almost a fifth since 2011, as well as to block dividend payments, impose a new federal property tax, and tax the inside buildup of investments. Yet among all the Democratic taxers and takers, no one would hit retirees harder than Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Her “Accountable Capitalism Act” would wipe out the single greatest legal protection retirees currently enjoy—the requirement that corporate executives and fund managers act as fiduciaries on investors’ behalf. To prevent union bosses, money managers or politicians from raiding pension funds, the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act requires that a fiduciary shall manage a plan “solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries . . . for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries.” The Securities and Exchange Commission imposes similar requirements on investment advisers, and state laws impose fiduciary responsibility on state-chartered corporations.

Sen. Warren would blow up these fiduciary-duty protections by rewriting the charter for every corporation with gross receipts of more than $1 billion. Every corporation, proprietorship, partnership and limited-liability company of that size would be forced to enroll as a federal corporation under a new set of rules. Under this new Warren charter, companies currently dedicated to their shareholders’ interest would be reordered to serve the interests of numerous new “stakeholders,” including “the workforce,” “the community,” “customers,” “the local and global environment” and “community and societal factors.”

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