Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Commonsense Capitalism: Video: Milton Friedman: Free to Choose- The Welfare State

Source:The FreeState

This video lays out why I’m against the welfare state, especially run by government. Because of the built-in incentives that incentivizes people to go on Welfare Insurance, and not continue to work. Because they can collect more money collecting Welfare, or Unemployment Insurance. No Welfare or Unemployment check should be worth more than money that person would make if they were working. Because it encourages people not to work and collect public assistance instead. Paid into by people who work for a living and making people on public assistance dependent on public assistance for their daily survival.

I’m not against Welfare Insurance or a safety net. I just don’t want it run by government, but have government regulate it instead. And instead have government do the things that they are traditionally efficient at. National security, foreign policy, law enforcement and regulation. Including regulating semi-private non-profit self-financed community services that are in the business to help people in need. Yes be able to sustain themselves in the short-term while they are working to get themselves on their feet. But empowering them to get themselves on their feet. With things, like education, job training and job placement. Instead of allowing them to stay on public assistance indefinitely where nothing is expected of them. Collecting public assistance checks financed by people who work for a living.

What I would like to do with our safety net instead is turn all of these programs over to the states in the short-term. Including things like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance. For the States to set up their own safety nets and public assistance systems. That would be run by semi-private non-profit, self-financed community services. In the business to help people in need sustain themselves in the short-term, but empower them as well. To get themselves on their feet and become self-sufficient taxpayers with jobs and paying their own bills. Because they got assistance to get themselves educated and get job training. And help finding a good job that could support themselves and their families.

Also things like public housing, Food Assistance and other programs that are in the business to help these people get by. But also help them become self-sufficient so they can take care of themselves and no longer need these programs. And I would also include homeless assistance through housing centers that give people a place to stay in the short-term. But also help them get a job and their own place to stay. I’m all for helping people who are down get themselves up. I believe a 20% poverty rate is a disgrace in a developed liberal democracy the richest country in the world is a disgrace. The difference being that I actually want to help these people empower themselves so they no longer have to live in poverty. Not stay on public assistance indefinitely and then complain about how many people live in poverty in America. And what to do about it, we know what to do about it and how to help these people and we need to do these things. Instead of just complaining about our high levels of poverty.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Awsi Dopper: Vide: WPLG-TV: The 1972 Dolphins The Perfect Season

Source:The Daily Post

What's the definition of perfect?  I guess it's someone or something that lacks weakness and doesn't make mistakes.  That's an impossible accomplishment, especially when we are talking about human beings. If we were perfect, what would be the point of living?  We've accomplished everything and therefore can't learn anything else because we are perfect.  I guess we could show the world what we know and spread our perfection around so to speak. Hey, look at me, I'm perfect, be like me.  This is all nonsense.

None of is perfect and I wouldn't have it any other way, because we learn whether we are intelligent by making mistakes. The 1972 Miami Dolphins were not perfect, but they did have a perfect record.  They played 17 games and won 17 and, when it comes to sports, that's the best you can do. But they didn't have a perfect team, they just made fewer mistakes then anyone else in the NFL in 1972 and had a perfect record.  They played the best as a team that season, so much better that they went undefeated, and they did this by being the best team.

They didn't have the best talent.  I would argue that the team they beat in the 1972 AFC Final, the Oakland Raider, had better talent and a better team even though they lost 2-3 games that year and the Dolphins lost none.  I would also argue that the Washington Redskins, the team they beat in Super Bowl 7, had better talent and a better team as well.  If their quarterback, Sonny Jurgenson, who's one of the best QB ever and in the Hall of Fame (a better QB than the Dolphins' QB Bob Griese, who's also in the Hall of Fame) had been healthy and played in that Super Bowl, I believe the Redskins would have won, but of course we'll never know.

The 1972 Miami Dolphins were exactly what a great team should look like. They understood what kind of team they had, the type of talent they had, and the type of players. They didn't win because of the overwhelming talent they had, not including their Head Coach Don Shula. The Dolphins had five Hall of Famers from all on offense, except for MLB Nick Bonoconti. QB Bob Griese, FB Larry Csonka, WR Paul Warfield, and OG Larry Little. They ran a Power Ball Control Offense that ran the ball about 70% of the time. Their No Name Defense was exactly that.  Most of the players on that defense weren't known outside South Florida very well until they won that Super Bowl.  Perhaps not that many people in South Florida were familiar with the No Name Defense, but they were all very good players, defensive tackle Manny Fernandez, middle linebacker Nick Bonoconti, safety Larry Anderson, and others. Head coach Don Shula knew what type of team he had in 1972, that they weren't going to blow teams away with their talent and had to beat teams as a team, run the ball well, and run the ball a lot, Bob Griese hitting key passes off of play action, don't turn the ball over, and play great defense, stuff the run, attack the QB, and get a few takeaways. 

The 1972 Dolphins, the team with the perfect record, won because Don Shula knew exactly what type of team he had, what type of system to have, and how to utilize his players to get their best performance and execution every week for all 17 weeks. And he had the players who understood that if they made 1972 about themselves rather than the team, they were going to fail and maybe even not make the playoffs. But together as a team, with every player and coach understanding their role the best that they could and playing their part, they would be champions.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Common Sense Capitalism: Milton Friedman: Limiting The Role of Government

If you look at the Federal Government in America and its size post-World War II, we’ve generally spent around 20% of our GDP on the public sector. Defense, law enforcement, foreign affairs, social welfare, etc. And then you add state and local governments, government total in America at all three levels have spent around 30-35 of our GDP on the public sector. And then you go to the Federal, or national Government’s in Europe, except for the United Kingdom, which basically has basically unitarian government without much if any provincial or local governments, they generally spend around 50-60% of their GDP on their public sectors. And that’s just as their national level. It’s even higher then that if you add provincial and local governments. Its higher than that in the Euro States like Germany, Holland, France, Spain. They spend around 50% or more of their GDP on their public sectors.

Scandinavia, spends closer to 60% of their GDP on their public sectors. Especially Sweden and Norway, who’ve traditionally at least since World War II have had socialist governments. Democratic Socialists in charge of their governments, so of course their welfare state’s are going to be a lot bigger. Especially compared with America, or even Canada. The culture in America is just a lot different in America than it is in Europe. The state motto in New Hampshire, “is give me liberty or give me death”. We have a strong liberal and libertarian tradition in our country. We tend to be big believers in limited government and individual liberty. And you keep government limited to protect individual liberty.

Europeans, tend to be collectivist that they are all in this together, we are only as strong as our weakest link. That you need to pay high tax rates to preserve “economic justice”. To make sure no one gets too strong, or too weak. That you need government to provide a lot of social services that you can’t trust the private sector to perform. Health care, health insurance, education, pension, Unemployment Insurance, etc. They like their governments and trust them to do the right things. Whereas Americans, just hope that government doesn’t screw things up. And we don’t tend to trust government and basically want to be left alone to live our own lives.

Americans, have also been lied to a lot by government. Things as serious as national security and war. We’ve had abuse of powers from our government. So we basically have this idea that we want to be left alone to live our lives. And leave government to enforce rule of law, protect the streets and country, keep our taxes down. And help us out when we are down with a hand up, not a hand out to help us get back on our feet. But not try to control how we live our lives. This is what liberal democracy is about. America is very individualist as a country, whereas Europe tend to be collectivist as a society.

What I would say to Socialist Americans that are trying to make America more like Europe, but never really have had the power to do so, because they keep getting out voted by Liberals, Libertarians and classical Conservatives, that one of the reasons why we are an immigrant nation and have always been, which is one of the reasons why we are a country of 310M plus people in the world with the largest economy in the world, is that people come to America to get what they don’t have at home. Individual liberty and economic opportunity. And want that same opportunity to live their own lives as Americans have.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Talking Points Memo: Video: "Senator Barack Obama Confesses to Socialists Leanings": Who Isn't a Socialist in America?

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on Blogger

I’ll admit as a Liberal Democrat I’m not completely satisfied with the politics of President Obama. I didn’t like his politics as primary candidate Obama in 2008. I thought he was running to the Far-Left as a McGovernite New-Left government can do everything for everybody Social Democrat. I like him more as Democratic nominee Obama in the general election. When he ran as a New Democrat Liberal to get independent voters to vote for him. As President Obama he’s been a bit too weak and timid for me. But the results so far have been pretty good, 
Especially comparing where the country was three years ago and where we are today as President. But three years ago the economy was collapsing, so it is not hard to much  better than that. It would be like saying you inherit a winless football team and then you win four games the next season and you say, "see, I told you things would get better". President Obama has governed as a moderate Progressive. Somewhere between Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton. Not as a Liberal Democrat in the JFK sense, which is what I was hoping for.

The first Liberal Democratic President since Bill Clinton or even Jack Kennedy. But JFK at least as far as I'm concern is the God of modern liberalism in it's realest form. So saying you are not as good as a Liberal as Jack Kennedy, would be like saying you are not as good as a quarterback as Joe Montana. Anything close to that, is more than acceptable.  I’ve been with the President for the most part on economic and foreign policy. But I’ve been disappointed with him on national security, especially with the Patriot Act and Indefinite Detention.

President Obama hasn't eliminated big government when it comes to civil liberties. He's grown it like plants use water to grow to the point that he makes Dick Cheney look like small government Libertarian when it comes to civil liberties. Dick Cheney is actually a secret admirer of Barack Obama in this area and writes him love letters about it. Which scares the hell out of Barack and Michelle, but not to the point he changes his policies about security, privacy and liberty. 
The Patriot Act and indefinite detention, two things that then Senator Obama  used to be against as well, but now as President he’s for them. "I'm against these policies when I'm running for office and need votes. But now I have to govern and look strong on national security, so I'm for them". President Obama on truth serum.  I disagree with President Obama on the War on Drugs. I think as a lawyer as skilled as the President is, that he would be against the War on Drugs. Especially with his liberal leanings, but the President has escalated the War on Drugs. Which tells me again that Barack thinking with his head, knows the War on Drugs is a failure. But Barack the politician believes he needs the votes of Independents who perhaps are more big government on this issues.

Anyone who understands socialism, understands that Barack Obama isn’t one of them. Which is why Today's so-called Progressives, who are really locked in the closet Socialists, don’t like him. And anyone who understands liberalism, probably generally likes Barack Obama, but are disappointed with him as well. To describe Barack Obama’s politics I believe is fairly simple. In his heart I believe he’s a Liberal Democrat who considers Jack Kennedy to be one of his heroes. But as President he’s a moderate Progressive who rather govern, then fight the good fights and not come up with nothing. Making him a pragmatist, which is what most successful Presidents are.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Marijuana Community: Gary Johnson on Legalizing Marijuana

Source:FreeState Now

Why do we have two-million people in prison in America, the largest Prison Population in the World. At least on a per-capita basis, because we lock up people and send them to prison who don't represent a threat to society. We lock up people for what they do to themselves. We lock up people for what they do to themselves rather than what they do to others. In other words the 'War on Drugs' in America is at fault for our huge prison population. We are a liberal democracy and I'm a Liberal Democrat whois  proud to live in this liberal democracy. But of course we are not a perfect liberal democracy.

And for one we lock up people for what they do to themselves as well as what they do to others. Of course we should lock up people when they harm innocent people. But not when they hurt themselves and this is something Gary Johnson who describes his politics as classical liberal who is running for President in the Republican Party, but you wouldn't know that. Because he's only been allowed to appear at one presidential debate. Understands he understands this because he was Governor of New Mexico which of course borders Mexico. They actually have about a thousand-mile border with Mexico and have their own drug issues as a result of Mexico.

But Johnson did as Governor of Mexico was very smart and clever and forward-thinking. He pardoned marijuana users who weren't violent offenders, who didn't have a bad record in prison. That alone brings down your prison population and allows you to use that prison space for violent offenders instead. And New Mexico has a organized gang problem and this helped them with that. This is what I would do. Pardon all non-violent marijuana users who are in United States prisons who have solid records in prison. Perhaps transfer them to halfway houses at their expense. To give them an opportunity to transition back to private life. Job Placement, that sort of thing.

Legalize marijuana at the Federal level and regulate it like alcohol and then tax it heavily to discourage it. And then let the states decide for themselves whether marijuana will be legal in their state or not. And then with the drug offenders the users not the dealers, especially the addicts, cocaine, heroin and meth, transfer them from prison to drug rehab at their expense. And once they complete that they would be moved to a halfway house, again at their expense to get help with transitioning back to private life. And going forward all drug addicts who are arrested for drug use, would go to drug rehab instead of prison or jail and this would be put on their medical record, not criminal record. And we could save so much money in this country with our criminal justice system and corrections system, law enforcement.

If we just grasped the fact that we live in a Federal Constitutional Republic in the form of a Liberal Democracy and with that comes basic fundamental constitutional rights, like the right for people to live their own lives without being harassed by government, as long of course we are not hurting anyone else with what we are doing, then we would stop locking people up just for doing unhealthy activities like smoking marijuana. Imagine how overcrowded our corrections system would be if we locked people up for drinking alcohol. We made the right decision on alcohol eighty years ago, now we should do the same thing with marijuana as well.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Reagan Foundation: President Ronald Reagan's 1982 State of The Union Address

Source:The FreeState

If you listen to President Reagan’s 1982 State of the Union Speech and then listen to President Obama’s 2009, or 2010 State of the Union speeches, they are similar at least in this sense. “Times are tough as they were during all three speeches, we passed a program to deal with the bad economy. Which is true in both cases, things are improving a little bit and had we not passed our program, things would be worse had we not done anything.” Same thing was said in 1982 from President Reagan and President Obama said the same thing in 2010. Because the situation was similar, an awful recession and high unemployment in both cases.

The country probably wasn’t buying either speech that much, because President Reagan’s Republican Party dropped thirty plus seats in the House in 1982. And I don’t know how they managed hang on to the Senate. (Maybe that’s a future blog) And President Obama’s Democratic Party dropped sixty-two seats in the House in 2010. Both Presidents inherited awful economy’s big reason why they were elected President. The economy’s so bad that it wasn’t until late 1983, that the economy began to take off again. With high economic growth and a falling unemployment rate. A big reason why President Reagan was reelected in a landslide. And in President Obama’s case it may be four years before the economy takes off again, Economic growth picked up in the third quarter, but President Obama will probably have to get reelected in 2012 to see the economy take off under his watch. And be able to get credit for it which of course at this point is no guarantee.

I believe one of the reasons why Barack Obama respects, or admirers however you want to put it quotes from Ronald Reagan is because the situations that both faced when they became President. And their first terms were both pretty rough. Both had low approval ratings, both got whipped in their first mid-term and both were considered one-term President’s. But President Reagan of course was reelected in a landslide in 1984. Senate Republicans held the Senate and lets see what happens in 2012. But the best thing that President Obama has going for him and it has almost nothing to do with him except for how President Obama looks compared with his competition, or as I would call it lack of competition.

When a talk show host with no political experience as far as running for public office, up until now is considered the frontrunner and tied with the guy who should be the frontrunner and reminds me of George H.W. Bush in Mitt Romney. But we’ll see how it works out. 2012 may be one of those typical presidential elections where the President is defeated, because of a bad economy. Or untypical and gets reelected in a bad economy, like in 1936, or 1940 with FDR. History is critical and important obviously because it allows us to see where we have been. What was done in the past and when similar situations come up in the future like today. Compared with 1981-82, we can see what was done in the past and if that worked, or not. And if that should be done now to try to solve similar problems.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wide World of Wisdom: The Phil Donahue Show: Milton Friedman- Freedom vs. Fairness

Source:The FreeState

Milton Friedman has a point when he talks about freedom vs. fairness. When he says he’s not for fairness, but for freedom. Give people the freedom to live their own lives and resources to make that happen for them. And that gets to things like quality education and rule of law and what’s been called quality of opportunity. Not quality of result, but quality of opportunity is where everyone, or most people, no economic system is perfect, they all have their strengths and weakness’s, but where all the people have the power to make the best out of their lives. And have a quality of life based on what they put into their lives, what they produce for society.

Thats what you get in a liberal democracy which is individual liberty. Quality of result, is where we all put our money into one pot essentially and government passes some of that money, perhaps not much of it back to the people based on what they feel they need to support themselves. Which is what your would get in a socialist society, or a social democracy. With freedom, people can live their own lives and make the best out of them based on what they do with them. And you give them a quality education, then they’ll have a good opportunity to make a good life for themselves. And the fairness comes from making sure that everyone has an opportunity at a quality education. And with rule of law and that everyone is treated fairly under law.

Fairness, is not about some people doing great in society and then taking some, or a lot of their money, to give to the less-fortunate in life who aren’t self-sufficient and don’t have a great life. And perhaps have to collect public assistance for them just to survive. Fairness, would be empowering the less-fortunate so they can become self-sufficient. Empower them to go back to school, or go to school so they can get the skills and job training that they need. To get a good job, make a good living and become self-sufficient in life and not need public assistance in order to survive. Fairness, is not about taking money from people who went to school and made themselves productive in life and giving to people who can’t support themselves and collect public assistance.

But reforming our public assistance system that does this, that just doesn’t give people Welfare checks for an indefinite period of time and expects nothing from them, but uses those resources to empower people so they can support themselves. And again that gets to education. If you get a good education, your chances of doing well in life are so much better than people who don’t. Milton Friedman once said that if it’s a choice between freedom or fairness, he would choose freedom. Because without freedom there is no fairness, because then everyone would be the same. And not have the freedom to make the best life for themselves that they can. Because we would all be dependent on government.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

James Miller Center: President Ronald Reagan- Address on Tax and Budget Legislation August 16, 1982: A Reverse of Course?

In the late 1970s 1978 or 79, Republican Senator Bill Roth who was on the Senate Finance Committee and Republican Representative Jack Kemp, over in the House, together introduced the Kemp-Roth bill in the House and Senate. Which was deep tax cuts across the board. Supply side tax cuts, meaning there weren’t budget cuts to pay for them. Neither Member of Congress was the Chairman, or Ranking Member of their committees. They were also Conservative Republicans serving in a Democratic Congress with a Democratic President. So they both knew that their legislation wouldn’t pass at least in that Congress.

Kemp-Roth was about the 1980 general election. Hoping of course Ronald Reagan is elected President and that Republicans pick up a lot of seats in Congress and even take over the House, or Senate, or both. Congressional Republicans picked up a bunch of seats in the 1978 mid-term elections, especially in the House. But they had a long way to go going and Democrats kept control of Congress for 1979-81. But Kemp-Roth help set the stage for the 1980 general elections with high taxes becoming unpopular across the country. With a very weak economy with high unemployment, the recession of 1979-80 and everything else. And Ron Reagan knew this and made Kemp-Roth part of his 1980 presidential campaign.

Ron Reagan becomes President of the United States in a landslide in 1980, Senate Republicans take control of the Senate pick up thirty seats in the House. President Reagan is pretty popular from the beginning, the assassination attempt in 1981 actually helped in a sense. Because his approval rating went up. Senate Republicans had the votes in the Senate, the question was whether they can pass Kemp-Roth in the Democratic House. Which was controlled by Speaker Tip O’Neil who was a very Progressive Democrat to put it mildly. And didn’t believe in tax cuts.

But with President Reagan’s popularity, House Minority Leader Bob Michael along with President Reagan, were able to find enough Conservative Democrats in the South to go along with all the House Republicans and Speaker O’Neil made the mistake of allowing for a vote on Kemp-Roth. Because he believed he had the votes to defeat the bill along with I believe House Leader Jim Wright. The President’s approval rating was so high, those Southern Democrats all wanted to get reelected and Kemp-Roth passed in 1981. But the economy didn’t improve right away, actually there was another recession in 1982 that was even deeper.

But in 1982 with yet another deep recession and the debt and deficit skyrocketing and with the budget cuts that the President promised that never came around at least early in his presidency. President Reagan, House Speaker Tip O’Neil and Senate Leader Howard Baker and I believe Senate Minority Leader Bob Byrd worked together and agreed to raise taxes I believe across the board. And actually President Reagan also the President of Supply Side Economics, raised taxes ten times and increased the size of the Federal Government during his Presidency. And left office in 1989 with a record Federal debt and deficit. President Reagan became President as an ideologue, but left office as a pragmatist.

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960