Saturday, November 30, 2013

Progressives Versus Corporations

I recently had a day long twitter exchange with a progressive. As usual it always came down to the evils corporations do. Are there corporations that place profits over common morality? Of course. There are corporations doing things that can be seen as crimes against nature, but they typically do them in countries like China.

I tried explaining to the progressive that taxes and government regulations force these companies to move jobs to countries like China where sweat shops thrive. In some cases the poor in China are happy to have jobs even if they are in deplorable conditions. This isn't an excuse for consumers and corporations that ignore the plight of foreign workers—it's just one symptom of poverty and an out of control Chinese government.

In the USA we have a long list of jobs that the left calls, “Jobs that Americans won't do.” For those jobs we import workers from south of the border who are happy to have any job. Those people are so desperate for even the lowest paying American jobs that they sometimes risk their life coming to this country. This is despite such trade agreements like NAFTA that has driven American jobs across the southern border. NAFTA decimated many rural textile communities such as the one in which I live.

A Look at The Gettysburg Address

Today is the anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Many see this speech as a great day in history, but every story has two sides. President Obama is being slammed for not mentioning God in his recitation. The reason could be simple, be chose one of the versions that didn't include the word 'God.'

I'd like to add a little commentary before listing the different versions below. Some of us don't see the Gettysburg Address as something great. Some of us in the south never saw this as a civil war. From the southern perspective it was an attack from another nation. I bring this up because either by force or choice we are today all Americans and we must always remember this period in history isn't always seen with the northern perspective.

Some might ask why this is important. The very words of Lincoln tell us why this is a topic that needs discussion, especially in today’s turbulent political environment. He said, “a new nation, conceived in Liberty, “ We must understand the meaning of liberty. True liberty is the right to secede. If states lose the right to secede there can never be true liberty. For a state held at the point of a gun there is no true liberty. This was no different than attacking nations in order to force our brand of democracy on them.

Today, we have states threatening to divide, at least one seceding and joining Canada. There are others with threats of secession. If any of these secessions come about, will more people die while trying to achieve true liberty? Will the heavy hand of the US government use armed force to stop the will of the people?

The Three Little Pigs Meet Government

Glenn Beck inspired me to write my own fairy tale about the three pigs.

A week before, a hurricane destroyed the first little piggy’s home in which he had barely been able to make payments, much less buy expensive federal flood insurance. Once the water receded he began to gather piles of straw that had been left scattered by the storm. He used that straw to construct a small comfortable home. He was proud of his little house and found it to be very dry when it rained, and warm on cold nights. Even though it wasn’t near as nice as the home destroyed by the storm, he was happy and there were no monthly payments.

One day the piggy had just come home from work when there was a knock on the straw door. He opened it to find a man wearing a suit and a frown on his fat face. The man asked unpleasantly, “Is this your straw house?”

The pig, proud of all his hard work, squared his shoulders, and replied, “It sure is, built it myself.”

The man pushed the pig out of the way and began looking around the small straw house. He stopped, began writing on a sheet of paper, and said, “This house doesn’t meet our stringent hurricane building codes. If we were to have a hurricane this house would be destroyed.”

Voting "None of the Above"

Jack, a member of America Chooses, had a fantastic idea. He suggested that on all election ballots we add another option, “None of the above.” I've been giving that some thought and came up with a few ideas on how this could be done effectively.

If “None of the above” receives the most votes then the law should state that a new election be held within six months, or possibly the next year, and that none of the candidates in the previous election would be eligible to run. In the mean time the governor would select an acting US Representative or Senator, or whatever the office may be. In the second election “None of the above” likely wouldn't be on the ballot.

We could possible use this to at least temporarily override the 17th Amendment and have the state legislature appoint the Senator. It might be possible to always have “None of the above” on the Senate ballot. That would leave the power to circumvent the 17th Amendment in the voters' hands.

This doesn't make it perfect, but it at least pushes out the party favorites that no one likes. This could also work for other elections as well. On the county or city level the mayor or council could choose an acting office holder until the next election could be held.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Healthcare: A Republican Alternative

Healthcare is the topic of today. It's likely to remain that way for some time to come. We are learning more and more about the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, while we know little about Republican alternatives. Some question if Republicans have an alternative.

There are some Republican alternatives which range from lifetime health savings accounts to simply letting the free market take over. As long as we have Medicare and other federal insurances we will never have a free market in healthcare, for that reason simply leaving it to the free market isn't a plan. Federal health insurance mandates guidelines for treatment. Medicare is a topic unto itself.

For now let's talk about an answer for when Republicans are ask what do they suggest other than Obamacare and Medicare. People won't settle for broad replies that point to no clear plan. How should a Republican deal with healthcare? The first step would be to remove the federal government from the loop. If we leave such things as Medicare or Medicaid solely to the state that at least removes federal involvement. Even state run insurance leaves some free market because there is competition among the states.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Conservatives vs libertarians: The Divided Tea Party

I was reading the college thesis of Washington Times reporter, Jessica Chasmar, and she reminded me of the day I stood with thousands of people on the Capitol lawn on 9/12, 2009. That day I saw a movement that I believed could change the country forever. That was one of the proudest moments of my life. I had finally become a part of something great.

Today, late 2013, the progressives have full control of government. We see far left policies as norm of the day. We are witnessing one of the greatest government takeovers (Affordable Care Act) go into effect with, so far, disastrous results.

What happened to the Tea Party? It's being torn apart by those who use its name for money or power. It's being torn apart by those who believe it is a conservative movement. If you are not a social conservative, you are often ostracized.

The Tea Party was originally the accretion of people who came together because of TARP and other fiscal matters. For once, the social agenda had taken a backseat and the Tea Party managed to make significant change in the 2010 House.

Today, the Tea Party is unpopular and is often viewed as racist, or filled with bigots. There are instances of both, while I still believe there is a silent majority that are not either of those things. There are Tea Party websites that allow comments that can only feed negative views of the movement. It's time we stand up to those segments that put the Tea Party in a bad light.