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To: Paul Smith who wrote (14771)4/6/2012 11:46:53 AM
From: Little Joe
4 Recommendations   of 76103
There is only one explanation for those who object to voter identification laws. They obviously object to honest elections.


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To: koan who wrote (14773)4/6/2012 11:49:32 AM
From: Little Joe
5 Recommendations   of 76103
"How much more central planning can you get than the constitution of the United States?"

Every time you say that you display your ignorance. The Constitution was designed by the founders to decentralize government, disperse power, and empower the individual.


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From: TimF4/6/2012 12:15:17 PM
   of 76103
The Post-Dispatch’s $4 Billion Tax Hike
posted at 10:36 am on April 4, 2012 by Patrick Ishmael

Missouri’s major dailies have had quite a run over the past few days. Last week, the Kansas City Star told readers that the state’s governor needed “to promote reasonable revenue-enhancing measures” — taxes — and put more money toward state programs. The notion of “government investment” features prominently in the piece, as increasingly has become the case when “revenue-enhancing measures” are suggested, post-Stimulus. What the editorial board doesn’t say is that the city’s own local taxes are already among the highest in the region.

Stratospheric municipal taxes overlayed with an even higher state tax burden? This won’t turn out well.

But yesterday the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Star‘s cross-state peer, spectacularly one-upped the KC paper. Missouri lawmakers are constrained by law in how much they can tax and spend each year and are billions below the statutory limit. How much of that difference would the Post-Dispatch like to spend?

All $4 billion of it.

A lot of folks purchased Mega Millions lottery tickets last week dreaming about what they could do with $640 million. Imagine what $4 billion would do for Missouri.

Let’s be clear: That’s a radical tax hike proposal, tucked into what is otherwise an uninspired editorial about state and local governing responsibilities. Combined state and local tax rates have stayed roughly the same for decades in Missouri, but the Post-Dispatch would have those rates hurdle skyward to provide more public services and somehow, some way, improve the economy above the status quo.

Even the suggestion that raising taxes and spending would help the state makes no sense by the newspaper’s own standards. State and local tax rates have actually increased slightly since 1980, the apparent “good ol’ days” implied by the editorial, from 8.6% then to 9% today. The newspaper can’t even claim that plummeting tax burdens are why Missouri is suffering economically, since by its own metric, taxes have actually increased over the last 30 years.

The proposal is mostly academic here in Missouri, as taxpayers and policy makers in the state would blanche at the thought of such a hike, but that doesn’t mean the suggestion isn’t troubling. If implemented, the plan would have awful real-world implications — giving families less to spend and taking capital out of the market for use in less productive government programs. It’s a roadmap to ruin, and yet the Post-Dispatch apparently doesn’t see it.

“Imagine what $4 billion would do for Missouri”? No, imagine if legislators took their cues from Missouri’s newspapers. What a nightmare that would be.

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From: Brumar894/6/2012 12:34:27 PM
   of 76103
Snobbishness and our political situation:

Why is the Political Situation so Bleak? Because the Elite Fears Being Unfashionable More Than Being Wrong

April 6th, 2012 - 11:47 am

Also read my article, “I’m Interviewed on Israel: An Introduction and Current Middle East Developments”

“In the attics of the students, in the garrets of Bohemia, and the deserted offices of doctors without patients and lawyers without clients there are [the revolutionaries] in bud.” –Hippolyte Taine, writing about France in the 1860s

“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.” –Patrick Henry to the Virginia convention, March 23, 1775

By Barry Rubin

How do you turn “the smartest people in the world” into the dumbest people in the world? Simple. You turn the sophisticated sources of information on which they depend–elite media, academia, and schools–into sources of misinformation.

And how do you persuade people who should know better to embrace bad ideas and silly concepts? Equally simple. You make those ideas fashionable.

One of the girls in my son’s sixth-grade class told him he would look better if he wore blue jeans. After he explained to me that this is what the other kids in his class are wearing, I took him shopping and bought him a couple of pairs. He wore them the next day at school and a kid said, “Hey, look, Daniel is wearing blue jeans!” And they applauded.

But why, he asked me afterward, does it matter so much what someone wears? After all, that’s just a superficial outer appearance. I was proud of him for asking that question which showed that he valued character over superficial image but explained that these things are important because they send social signals. Most people really don’t know how to evaluate someone in terms of their character and values. They lack the time or ability to do so. Thus, they look at symbols like clothes, haircuts, and the kind of car someone drives, or their credentials, like college degrees, in order to judge others.

Which reminds me that once I was in the elevator of a fashionable Manhattan high-rise holding take-out coffee for myself and my wife. I was informally dressed and wearing a Baltimore Orioles cap. One woman in the elevator turned to another and said, “I didn’t know Starbucks delivers!”

Indeed, fashion may be the greatest enemy of survival for America today. Holding a certain set of ideas has been defined as making one seem sophisticated, successful, and admirable. Other ideas are deemed horrible, indicating that the person is a hick, rube, bumpkin, yahoo, racist, or, in short, the kind of person who hates others because they are different and clings to guns and religion.

[ Liberal posters tend to exemplify what this article is saying. People who desparately want to be a member of the sophisticated elite don't believe in outmoded ideas like God, don't admit to eating at Chinese buffets, subscribe to the NYT, reject information from non-elite approved sources, take a foreign vacation every year (so they can 'understand the world' and think of themselves as superior to the hicks and rubes and goobers, to use your favorite phrase). ]

One of the great successes of leftism (pretending to be liberalism) in North America and Europe today is that it has made itself so fashionable, so identified with sophistication, intellectual quality, and what used to be called the upper class. Not the old upper class of country clubs and yachts (though Senator John Kerry has a whopper of one a boat) but the upper class of merit, the truly good, who hate racism and are saving the earth.

Funny how many of these people are quite wealthy themselves. The message is: My money and success is justified by my holding proper attitudes. Al Gore may have a big house and a big carbon footprint but that’s okay because he talks about how these things are evil.

The true class warfare going on is not that of the one percent reactionary, greedy rich versus the ninety-nine percent of everyone else but rather a section of the elite that benefits from big government, in supposed alliance with those receiving government payments plus various groups given special privileges, against everyone else. The revolutionaries are no longer, in Taine’s words about nineteenth century France, “doctors without patients and lawyers without clients” but rather those who would be without patients, clients, or employment if not for the government’s patronage.

Part of the trick to conceal that reality has been to make one’s good intentions the test rather than the results of one’s behavior or policies. The outcome may be disastrous to the economy, poor people, the medical care system, and those living in countries victimized by one’s wrong-headed foreign policy, but that’s not important because you meant well. Yet the abandonment of pragmatism–measuring things by what works rather than by ideological standards or intentions–is the start of the abandonment of successful democratic life.

Another element here is the left’s transformation into the party of the snobs, the instrument for that elite’s contempt for the people.

At a diplomatic party in Washington, I was in line for the free food behind a well-coiffed, well-dressed woman. We got into a discussion of textbooks and I asked if she knew which state was the largest purchaser of textbooks.

“California?” she said.

“Ah, I responded, many people think that but the answer is actually Texas.”

Seconds before it happened I knew what was about to unfold. She sneered in a particularly nasty way and said—honest, word for word—in the most snobbish possible tone of voice, “Oh, those people don’t think like us.”

Basically then, the fashionable hatred is not those who look down on other races or nations or homosexuals as inferiors who should be despised. Such thought crime is rare in the West today. It has been replaced by hatred of the truly religious, the non-big city, the non-leftist people who don’t think the right things.

Roughly 50 percent of Americans so view the other 50 percent today. Much of the media, entertainment industry, publishing, schools, and politicians do so.

[ I don't know about 50% - 20% definitely - the liberals, maybe another 10-20% are mindless followers. ]

Despite the pose of the heroic intellectual speaking truth to power, many or even most of those whose good fortune rests on paper credentials or election rather than on actual, provable achievement are either cowards or opportunists. They will not do anything truly courageous when it comes to breaking with the fashionable consensus. When once brave intellectuals defied tyrants who shouted, “Off with their heads!” they dare not say anything that might lead to someone saying, “Off with their grants!” “Off with their reputation!” “Off with their invitations to nice parties!” They fear less the country going to hell than being identified as one of those unwashed, ignorant, backwoods fools who actually think the Constitution should be respected, free speech is a basic right, and unlimited debt is bad.

I am not joking. These are people who can ridicule the masses as an ignorant mob and weep over the poor and downtrodden at the same time. With full good conscience that they are simultaneously superior and compassionate they look down on those from most American states, small businesspeople, and the hardworking masses as their inferiors. In Marxist terms, they have put the yuppie upper middle class in place of the proletariat. We are looking at an establishment-approved program of snobbishness as virtue.

But that’s precisely why the current leftism works so effectively! They can romanticize distant peasants–or terrorists–while jeering at anyone who shops at Walmart. They can have a high living standard, feel virtuous, and be viciously arrogant all at the same time with no guilt whatsoever.

It’s a wonderful life.

To agree with anything said on talk radio, for instance, is equivalent to wearing two different colored socks, slurping your drink, or using the wrong fork. And the mass media, many schools, and the entertainment industry, which still seem to shape the worldview of roughly one-half of Americans–has worked overtime to intensify that image and to close all the options. Making things like patriotism, religion, love of family, and such things look like fuddy-duddy stupid things has been their most remarkable treatment.

The framework of what is acceptable has not only been moved remarkably far and fast but people aren’t even aware of what has happened. Both liberals and conservatives, each for their own reason, insist that things have always been this way. But that’s not at all true.

When I went to a liberal public school in the 1960s we said the Pledge of Allegiance and the Twenty-Third Psalm every morning without anyone among the overwhelmingly liberal Democratic parents being horrified.

In 1973, with Roe versus Wade, women won the ability to have an abortion legally. This was called “choice.” Today it is being taken for granted that contraception should be a “free” right paid for by the public and provided by all institutions whether or not that violates their religious beliefs. This could be called “no choice.” Has there ever been a debate about this startling transformation?

Historically, liberals were people who said that it was okay for governments to run a deficit as long as it wasn’t too big and that the money spent was used for productive purposes creating more wealth. Now liberalism supposedly advocates unlimited spending for any purpose even if it can be shown that the money creates no good result.

None of these–and many other–points are even honestly discussed in the universities and mass media. They are simply taken for granted as truths, with the historical background erased. What is most discouraging is not so much that there are an unlimited number of leftists posing as liberals but that there are so few people devoted to professional ethics, to following the truth wherever it leads, among the very professions entrusted with that responsibility.

Somebody else is going to have to save America because the academics, journalists, Washington insiders, and various “experts” aren’t going to do it. They don’t fear being wrong, damaging the society, or failing in their duty so much as being called the equivalent of nerds and peasants.

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To: sm1th who wrote (14802)4/6/2012 12:38:15 PM
From: Brumar89
1 Recommendation   of 76103
If central planning worked, the USSR would have been an economic powerhouse.

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To: Little Joe who wrote (14817)4/6/2012 12:59:52 PM
From: longnshort
   of 76103
where did Koan learn his history from ?

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From: Brumar894/6/2012 1:11:14 PM
1 Recommendation   of 76103
Using Labor Department Data to Indict Obama’s Dismal Performance on Jobs

April 6, 2012 by Dan Mitchell

The new unemployment numbers have been released and the White House must be somewhat happy. The joblessness rate is down to 8.2 percent, which means the number that gets the most publicity continues to move in the right direction.

I’ve been predicting that Obama will win reelection if the unemployment rate falls to 8.0 percent or below, so my prognostication ability will be put to the test if this trend continues.

But let’s set aside the politics and take a dispassionate look at the U.S. job market. How are we doing?

Well, total employment is estimated to be a bit above 142 million.

The good news is that we have about 4.1 million more jobs than we had in December of 2009.

The bad news is that we still have fewer jobs than when Obama took office, and about 4.5 million fewer jobs than we had in November 2007.

Last September, I put together four charts to assess Obama’s performance on jobs.

Let’s update those charts to get a more complete look at the labor market.

First, let’s begin by comparing where we are now to where the White House said we would be if Congress enacted the President’s so-called stimulus. As you can see, the actual joblessness rate is about 2-percentage points higher. That’s not a good performance.

If Republicans want to highlight a number that favors them, they could point out that the unemployment rate began to fall once they took control of the House. It was near its peak, at 9.8 percent, in November of 2010, and now it’s dropped by more than 1.5 percentage points.

Of course, they really shouldn’t brag since a lot of the bad news is a lingering consequence of the statist policies of the Bush Administration.

Nonetheless, I think the economy has reacted positively to the 2010 elections since gridlock makes it harder for politicians of either party to impose new burdens.

Let’s look at another chart that was in my September post. As you can see, the unemployment rate for African Americans is especially dismal.

I’ve already made the point that Obama’s policies are bad news for Black Americans, particularly policies such as higher minimum wage requirements that cut off the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.

Another bit of bad news can be found in the data on long-term unemployment. This chart shows the share of the unemployed that have been without a job for at least six months. Very damning.

Part of the problem, as even Democrat economists have admitted, is that Obama’s policy of extended unemployment insurance benefits has been subsidizing joblessness.

Last but not least, we have the chart that should be the most troubling of all. It shows a sustained drop in the labor force.

Economic growth and output are the result of labor and capital being mixed together by entrepreneurs and investors. If there is a permanent reduction in the availability of one of the ingredients, that obviously doesn’t bode well for American prosperity.

And this is why Obama deserves a poor grade. Not because his policies caused the weak job market. Those problems existed before he took office. Instead, he gets a bad grade because he continued the statist policies of his predecessor.

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To: Farmboy who wrote (14799)4/6/2012 1:11:59 PM
From: Sdgla
   of 76103
I feel pity for koan... Can't tell if it's drinking or an inability to be coherent.

Pathetic, unsubstantiated blather either way.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (14822)4/6/2012 1:14:13 PM
From: Sdgla
2 Recommendations   of 76103
As the comedian said.. If only more people would stop looking for work the UE rate would be 2%.

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To: Sdgla who wrote (14823)4/6/2012 1:33:48 PM
From: Farmboy
1 Recommendation   of 76103
I do not feel sorry for koan. koan has been told thousands of times, here, where he is 'missing the boat', however refuses to accept the offered assistance. It is koan's decision, not anyone else's decision, for koan to allow himself to be so totally indoctrinated by the left,

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