Sunday, June 28, 2009

Are Politics More Polarizing Now than 20-30 Years Ago?

I was watching a stand-up comedy routine from the early 80's and it was filmed in Washington D.C. So a brief comment was made about Reaganomics and the crowed booed. They didn't stay on it long but enough was said that the predominate feeling in the room was that Reaganomics was bad. Now I know Ronald Reagan wasn't a perfect president and no president is. However the conservative (not Republican) belief is that Reaganomics was really good for this country. His economic policies stimulated the economy that many say Carter and whoever sent spiraling downward.

I wasn't alive back then, so I don't know what the general political feeling was. Was it really all that different than today? Did people pick their side and no matter what the other side did, it was disastrous, or wrong, or sending the country to hell in a hand basket? All I hear from the other side, no matter who's in power, is doom and gloom. And you find yourself starting to buy into the hype of doom and gloom.

That said, there are some dangerous policies being discussed and voted on, i.e. cap and trade and government run health-care that disturb me greatly. But what disturbs me even more, is that either people are laissez-faire when it comes to voicing their opinion about politics and policies to their representatives, or that our representatives just aren't listening. I happen to think it's a combination of both. If everyone in this country took 10 minutes on each major issue to contemplate how it will affect them and their family, maybe more people would take another 10 minutes to call or email the government to let them know how they want their representative to vote on certain issues. Instead it seems like people can't be bothered with this as they are too busy enjoying their lives.

Reality Check!! The reason we have the freedom to enjoy our lives is because people stood up and voiced their opinions!! And fought for freedom. But slowly over the years, our freedoms have been encroached upon and we let it happen in the name of safety and compassion or charity (no matter how mismanaged), among other things. Before you know it the government will be telling all of you what you are allowed to buy to feed your family while taking 50-75% of your check each month. But you'll be so dependant upon their "free" health care, "free" food, and "free" housing, that you won't be able to see how much better quality lives you could have if only you could make your own decisions. They want everyone to become so dependant on them that we do their bidding. When the government is in charge, quality and efficiency are drastically reduced. But sheep don't know the difference. Sheep will be convinced it's wonderful because they have food to eat and a place to sleep.

Let's not become a mass of sheep being herded by wolves!! Fight back, get involve, voice your opinion!!! Don't become complacent. The more that happens the more powerful they get. Please care enough to not let this happen!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cap and Trade Is Bad for You and Your Family

Go read this article from the Wall Street Journal on the Cap and Trade legislation.

Cap and Trade is a hidden tax that will drive up the price of energy for you, me, and every other person out there. It's all done in the name of the environment, but in all actuality it just hurts the economy. The U.S. is not polluting this world near to the extent that China and India are. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do our part to keep our part of the world clean. But putting more stress on an already stressed economy does not clean up the earth. It just stresses the economy further which discourages people from updating their old junky car to something that doesn't pollute nearly as much and that's more fuel efficient as one example.

What can you do? Call and write your senators and representatives and tell then to vote against this. Let them know their job depends on it. Supposedly they may be voting on this as early as tomorrow, so don't wait. Call and write NOW!!! for your senators for your representatives

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nationalized Health Care - Are You Sure That's What You Want?

The hot topic the last couple of weeks, other than the election in Iran, has been the push by the White House for rapid Health care reform. Rapid Reform. Am I the only one disturbed at the speed at which the federal government wants to move to develop reform? Did they not rush into the bailouts that many of us disapprove of? Do you really want them to rush into reform that essentially adds people to the Medicare and Medicaid rolls which are actually already in trouble and not actuarially sound? They are going to be behind soon and yet the grand idea is to increase their rolls? Does this sound logical to you? Because it certainly does not sound logical to me.

Not only are we bankrupting existing generations but future generations are in trouble. You want to encourage people to NOT have kids to add to the tax base, this is one way to do it.

Have we become such a complacent nation that we don't care whatever the government does with our money and we don't care how much of our money they take? Or are we just not paying attention and have no clue that the money is running out, and that sooner than later the only way to get it is to increase taxes on those of us who work for a living?

Write your senators and representatives. Let them know what you think!!! If they don't listen to you, vote them out of office!!! Or pretty soon we will all be working hard only to turn over most if not all of our money to the government who are about as efficient as....well government.

There are plenty of solutions to heath care that are better than essentially increasing the medicare and medicaid rolls. Tax deductibles for purchasing insurance for one. Allow for more free market purchasing for health insurance (ability to cross state lines to purchase health insurance which increases competition) for another. I'm sure many of you have other options that would be better than a government run insurance that would encourage people to switch to the government insurance. Trust me if you're paying the government insurance premium, no matter how low, you will also be paying increased taxes, waiting lines, at the expense of quality of care. Are you sure this is what you want?

Please I beg you, contact your politicians.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Time for A Second Revolution?

If you haven't seen this yet, it's worth a watch. It'll fire you up if you aren't already fired up. Send it to everyone you know!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iranian Election...Legit or Sham?

The big news story as of late seems to be the Iranian election in which the incumbent, Holocaust denying, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was up for re-election. His biggest rival Mir Hossein Moussavi is considered to be a reformist in Iran, meaning they favor loosening social restrictions at home and improving Iran's ties with the West.

After the ballots were counted, Ahmadinejad received 62.63% of the votes and Moussavi 33.75%. Many believe it was fixed due to the high number of voters that turned out expressing support for Moussavi. Another factor contributing to this is that the median age in Iran is 27, meaning half of the population is 27 and older and half is 27 and younger. It is this younger population that has been so supportive of Moussavi, which makes such a blowout hard to believe.

I suppose it depends on your definition of a blow out election, but take a look at the US Presidential election results for some perspective. Not out of the realm of possibility, however if the results are true, then it suggests the county overwhelmingly supports Ahmadinejad's leadership and beliefs and only about 1/3 of the country supports reform in Iran and how it deals with the world.

CNN was reporting on Saturday that much of the communication had been shut down in Iran such as Facebook and other methods people use to express their views.

What do you think. Are the results legitimate or a complete sham? Are 1/3 of the population just out of luck? Or are they right that this has turned into a dictatorship? Do you care that he's still in power?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Corporate Greed...What's The Problem?

So for the last year or so we've been hearing that the economy is in such peril that we've just got to do something about health care, and this, that, and the other to fix all of our problems. Here's the fundamental problem I have. People (not everyone) site corporate greed as huge problem and the solution is to tax them out the wazoo to "teach them" or "punish them" for being so greedy. So to these people it seems illogical to lower the corporate tax rate to "fix things" because that teach corporations to stop being so greedy. The U.S. already has the 2nd highest corporate tax rate in the world and yet we are still in this mess. I know I've touched on this before, but I'm going to approach it from a different perspective hopefully.

Let's start with the recent news from Wal-Mart since they are one of the most popular demonized corporations outside of "big oil." Wal-mart is going to add 22,000 jobs domestically this year.
Before you guys bitch and moan saying they are crappy low paying jobs, "the retailer said the new hires will fill positions across its business units, including cashiers and sales associates, as well as pharmacists, human resource managers and customer service associates."

"The discounter said benefits, including health plans that offer customized health coverage options, will be offered to its full and part-time workers."

"Wal-Mart is the largest private-sector employer in the United States with a workforce of 1.45 million. Its total worldwide workforce is more than 2 million."

Like it or not, Wal-Mart is good for everyone in an economy like this. Not only are they providing all kinds of jobs, but they drive the competitive forces in that industry which keep prices low for all of us that are pinching our pennies in said economy that "is the worst since the great depression." Perspective people, we aren't standing in soup lines as a country. None-the-less, Wal-Mart is helping us stretch our dollars, even if you don't shop there. For that I am very thankful.

Onto the next point about corporations. Everyday people like you and me own these greedy corporations in the form of retirement portfolios, personal investment portfolios, etc. We want them to find ways to make more money because that drives up the stock price, which increases the value of our 401k which drives our ability to retire when we want to, along with the amount we save.

Not only does making more money lead to increased stock price, but it comes as a result of growth. What happens when a corporation grows? They add jobs to help keep up with demand for their product or service. So what if the founding and primary stock holder and possibly the CEO, is greedy. His or her greed ultimately leads to meeting the needs and desires of others in the form of increased stock value, or jobs. Does this make them evil? Does this warrant increasing the tax rate on a corporation?

Let's take a look at what happens when you raise the taxes on a corporation. In order to do this, we must ponder who pays these taxes? It's publicly owned. Say you own shares of stock. You pay taxes on any capital gains. Don't tell me you bought that stock with the intention of losing money. You wanted to make money. By logic being discussed, doesn't that make you greedy? So you pay taxes, but you aren't the only one. There are income taxes, but you probably don't think they count since we all have to pay income taxes as a reward for working!!! So I'll move on to payroll taxes as a result of employing people to pay for such things as social security and medicare, etc. Remember all employment costs get calculated into the cost of goods sold. So employing that knowledge, (don't believe me, ask a business owner) in order to make money, (which is the ultimate goal of any business, even nonprofits) they must account for income tax in the price of their goods. Now I know that the value of a good or service is what the market is willing to pay for it, but if they aren't making money after taxes, they aren't going to stay in business long because it won't be worth their time and effort. In all actuality the corporation is collecting taxes from you the consumer to pass along to the government. So you are the one getting taxed out the wazoo not the corporation. Corporation is a word, it's not a living breathing being able to make money and pay taxes. It is a word that is made up of people that have ownership interest in a group of people doing work for another group of people who pay for that work, and all 3 groups are the ones paying the taxes. So if you raise taxes on corporations you hurt all 3 groups of people.

So am I to assume that hurting people is the solution to the problem? Cutting spending sounds more logical to me.

On a side note, I'd like to see a copy of the cleared check to the IRS that person, who voted in my poll on the left, obviously must have sent to the IRS in addition to his/her current tax bill. Odd thing is, is that someone actually made that statement to me that they were willing to pay more taxes, and so I said fine you can pay ours.

Am I greedy? If wanting to keep my hard earned money to provide a reasonable life for my family without relying on the government to take care of me is greedy, then damn right I'm greedy!!! And I make no apologies for it. But I define greedy differently. I think greed is wanting what isn't yours for nothing. For example, if I want someone else's money, without providing them something in exchange for that money, that's greedy. It's also damn lazy. Business works by an owner paying his/her employees money in exchange for work they do for them. In corporations if you think the leadership is too greedy and not worth the money they are paid, then you have the right to vote at the annual shareholders meeting. So do it.

Who do I think is greedy? The government and the politicians sick with power running it. They take money from us all the time and provide us with practically nothing in return. They use our tax dollars to buy our votes. And we continue to let them. Why is this so difficult to understand for some people? I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a certain amount of taxes collected for infrastructure and military purposes. I'm even ok with some limited temporary assistance programs. But it's a way over-bloated system. With the Fair Tax, anyone receiving assistance is still paying taxes to help pay for these programs. I'm not going to go into the fair tax but look in my previous posts and you'll find a post on it if you're interested. Or just check out the website.

That's all for this rant. What do you think? Is corporate greed a problem?

This Day in History