Category Archives: Politics

Trampling on Coal Country families


Paul DriessenBY PAUL DRIESSEN

~Obama and EPA are determined to destroy US coal, people’s lives and welfare be damned~

Between 1989 and 2010, Congress rejected nearly 700 cap-tax-and-trade and similar bills that their proponents claimed would control Earth’s perpetually fickle climate and weather. So even as real world crises erupt, President Obama is using executive fiats and regulations to impose his anti-hydrocarbon agenda, slash America’s fossil fuel use, bankrupt coal and utility companies, make electricity prices skyrocket, and “fundamentally transform” our economic, social, legal and constitutional system.

Citing climate concerns, he has refused to permit construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and blocked or delayed Alaskan, western state and offshore oil and gas leasing and drilling. He’s proud that US oil production has climbed 58% and natural gas output has risen 21% since 2008. But he doesn’t mention that this is due to hydraulic fracturing on state and private lands; production has actually fallen in areas controlled by the federal government, and radical environmentalists oppose fracking all over the USA.

Above all, the President’s war on hydrocarbons is a war on Coal Country families. For 21 states that still rely on coal to produce 40-96% of their electricity, it is a war on people’s livelihoods and living standards – on the very survival of small businesses and entire communities. The price of electricity has already risen 1-2 cents per kilowatt-hour in those states, from as little as 5.6 cents/kWh in 2009. If it soars to the 14.6 to 15.7 cents/kWh paid in “job-mecca states” like California and New York – which rely on coal for less than 3% of their electricity – the impacts will churn through coal-dependant states like a tsunami.

Yet that is where rates are headed, as the Obama EPA’s carbon dioxide and other restrictions kick in. Hundreds of baseload coal-fired power plants (some 180 gigawatts of electric generation capacity) will be forced into premature retirement between 2010 and 2020. That’s more than 15% of the United States’ total installed capacity – enough electricity to power nearly 90 million average homes or small businesses. EPA assumes it can be replaced by expensive, unreliable, habitat-gobbling wind and solar power. It can’t.

EPA rules mean the price of everything people do will skyrocket: heating and air conditioning, lights and refrigeration, televisions, computers, medical equipment, machinery and every other gizmo that runs on electricity. Poor, minority and blue-collar families will have to find hundreds of dollars a year somewhere in their already stretched budgets. Shops and other small businesses will have to discover thousands of dollars, by delaying other purchases or laying people off. Factories, malls, school districts, hospitals and cities will have to send out search parties to locate millions a year at the end of rainbows.

Millions will get laid off – in coal mines, power plants, factories, shops and other businesses. Entire families and communities will be pounded and impoverished. Real people’s hopes, dreams, pride and work ethic will be replaced by despair and dependency. Bread winners will be forced to work multiple jobs, commute longer distances, and suffer severe sleep deprivation, if they can find work.

Families will have to cope with more stress, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, spousal and child abuse. Nutrition and medical care will suffer. More people will turn to crime. More will have strokes and heart attacks. More will die prematurely or commit suicide.For no measurable benefits.

EPA cites mercury, soot, asthma, climate change, hurricanes, seas rising seven inches a century, and even ocean acidification to justify the draconian rules. But the scientific basis is bogus. The agency cherry-picks data and studies that support its agenda, ignores libraries of contradictory research, rejects experts whose analyses question EPA conclusions, pays advisors and activists millions of dollars annually to rubberstamp and promote its regulations, and hides its work from those it decrees “are not qualified to analyze it.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change operates in much the same fashion.

Moreover, unhealthy US emissions plunged nearly 90% since 1970, even as coal use for electricity generation increased 170% – and the newest coal-fired power plants reduce pollution by almost this amount, using “supercritical” technologies, while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20% or more, according the EPA and US Energy Information Administration reports.

Meanwhile, China, India, Germany, Poland and other countries are building some 1,200 new coal-fired power plants, and numerous gas plants, to spur economic growth, preserve jobs and lift people out of poverty. So the sacrifices Mr. Obama is imposing will do nothing to reduce global CO2 levels, which the evidence increasingly shows plays only a minor to trivial role in climate and weather fluctuations.

It’s true that Detroit temperatures didn’t dip below freezing in January and February in’79 – followed by a frost in June. But that was 1879! When he was a boy, “snows were frequent and deep in every winter,” Thomas Jefferson recalled in December 1809. “The Greenland seas, hitherto covered [in ice], have in the last two years entirely disappeared,” Britain’s Royal Society reported … in 1817. “We were astonished by the total absence of ice in Barrow Strait. [Six years ago the area was] still frozen up, and doubts were entertained as to the possibility of escape,” Captain Francis McClintock wrote in his ship’s log – in1860.

And don’t forget the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, and the five frigid epochs that buried North America, Europe and Asia under glaciers a mile thick. Or the 4,000-year-old trees that recently emerged as modern glaciers melted back – proving that a forest grew in the now icy Alps just four millennia ago.

On and on it has gone, throughout Earth and human history: wild weather and climate swings on a recurring basis. But now, climate chaos cultists want us to believe such events began only recently, and we could stop today’s climate and weather aberrations – if we would just eliminate fossil fuels, destroy our economies, and condemn Third World families to permanent poverty and disease.

The truth is, only once in all of human history was a government able to control Earth’s climate, to make it “perfect all year,” and it is highly unlikely that we will ever return tothose wondrous days.

So how do the EPA, IPCC, Michael Mann, Al Gore and other Climate Armageddonites deal with all these inconvenient truths, questions and skeptical researchers?

They hide their data and computer codes. Complain that they are being picked on. Refuse to debate “dangerous manmade global warming” skeptics. Harass and vilify contrarian experts, and boot them off university committees. Refuse to attend conferences where they might have to defend their manipulated data, junk science and absurd assertions. Al Gore won’t even take questions that he has not preapproved.

They have no cojones. They hide behind their sinecures the way Hamas terrorists hide behind children.

EPA won’t even hold hearings in Coal Country or states that will be hardest hit by soaring electricity costs. It hosts dog-and-pony shows and “listening sessions” in big cities like Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC and Pittsburgh – where it knows passionate lefty students and eco-activists will dominate. People who will be grievously impacted by the draconian job-killing regulations must travel long distances and pay for expensive hotels and meals … or remain silent and ignored.

That stacks the deck – the same way the “public comment” process is tilted in favor of ultra-rich Big Green agitators who have the funding and organization to generate thousands or millions of comments.

We taxpayers pay for these studies, payoffs and propaganda. And we will get stuck with the regulations, soaring prices and lost jobs that result. We have a right to review and analyze the data and claims. We have a right to be heard, in a fair and honest process that truly takes our concerns into account.

The House of Representatives should hold hearings, forcing callous bureaucrats, slick scientists and computer modeling charlatans to present their data, codes and findings under oath. States should sue EPA for violating the Information Quality Act. And voters must vote Republican in November – to change the Senate majority, and restore at least a modicum of constitutional checks and balances to a system which has vested far too much power in an unaccountable Executive Branch that shows total disdain for honesty, transparency and working families.


Get your copy of Paul Driessen’s book Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Death


The Moral Liberal Contributing Editor, Paul Driessen, is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, a ten-year Colorado resident, legislative aide for former US Senator Bill Armstrong of Colorado, former policy analyst for the US Department of the Interior, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Death .

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

A Remarkable 37th President


AA - Nixon 37BY ALAN CARUBA

Forty years ago, on August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon resigned the office of President; the first and only President to do so.

I was just into my thirties in 1968, the year Richard Nixon was elected the 37th President of the United States. What I recall most of that year was the way the Chicago police, after enduring an onslaught of name-calling and insults from anti-war protesters aggressively drove them away from their effort to disrupt the Democratic Party convention that would nominate Hubert Humphrey.

His opponent would be Nixon. George Wallace, a segregationist, ran as an independent that year as well. I wasn’t particularly interested in politics at the time. My focus was on my career where I had transitioned from having been a journalist to positions with the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Looking back, I now know I should have been paying more attention because, in the end, whoever is President affects the lives of not just Americans, but others throughout the world.

Like millions of Americans I had turned against the Vietnam War and, in a seminal way, it would influence my movement toward conservatism. For many people Nixon was instrumental, not just in rejuvenating the Republican Party, but for giving a voice to the “silent majority” who didn’t like the war in general and Lyndon Baines Johnson in particular. In 1968, LBJ announced he would not seek reelection.

Cover - Greatest ComebackIn the years since the Watergate scandal whose cover-up forced Nixon to resign in 1974, subsequent generations know him only for that historic event. Patrick J. Buchanan has done us all a favor by writing “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority.” ($34.00, Crown Publishing) and it is a special treat for anyone who loves history in general and politics in particular.

As much as today’s media may have loved Obama when he was nominated the Democratic Party’s candidate, in Nixon’s day he was loathed by them for his strong anti-communist stance when he served in the House of Representatives and Senate, and thereafter throughout the Cold War. After having been Eisenhower’s Vice President for two terms, Nixon would lose to John F. Kennedy in 1960 and in a race to become the Governor of California in 1962. Few would have ever imagined that he would be elected President in 1968. In 1972 he was reelected in a landslide.

Labeled by his political enemies “Tricky Dick”, Nixon was a politician of prodigious talent, but mostly he was a man who, through sheer determination overcame defeat, revived the Republican Party, and, while devoted to conservative principles, was also pragmatic enough to be open to new ideas and events. His circle of advisors shared his principles, but diverged among each other as to tactics and issues. Nixon wanted that. He would choose what advice he thought best.

Buchanan was a member of Nixon’s inner circle, a writer of superb talent and one with a keen eye for the political times in which he lived and which Nixon would shape. As he notes in his book, “The years that followed that 1969 inaugural would be a time of extraordinary accomplishment. By the spring of 1973, all U.S. troops were out of Vietnam, the POWs were home, every provincial capital was in Saigon’s (South Vietnam) hands.”

“Nixon had negotiated SALT I and the ABM treaty, the greatest arms-limitation treaties since the Washington Naval Agreement” in 1922. Significantly, “he had ended decades of hostility between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, dating to Mao’s revolution and the Korean War. He had put an end to the draft, signed into law the eighteen-year-old vote, put four justices on the Supreme Court including Chief Justice Warren Burger and future chief justice William Rehnquist.”

Those of us who lament Big Government must acknowledge that Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and on the plus side the National Cancer Institute. He would “rescue Israel from defeat in the Yom Kippur War (and) end Soviet domination of Egypt.”

What I recall about the 1960s was how volatile and violent that decade was. There were riots in many of our largest cities which engendered Nixon’s “law and order” message that was widely embraced. There were anti-war protests and there were assassinations that took the lives of JFK, his brother Robert, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The greatest contrast between now and then is a general feeling of apathy that does not manifest itself in marches on Washington, D.C. anymore and a very distinct breakdown in social mores that includes the embrace of same-sex marriage and the push to legalize marijuana in some states.

The al Qaeda attack on 9/11 generated a massive intelligence program and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. It made Americans angry enough at first to endorse the invasion of Afghanistan and later Iraq.

Later Americans would watch the chaos the “Arab Spring” and these days the threat of the Islamic State, a self-declared caliphate that intends to control the whole of the Middle East and then destroy Israel and the U.S. The greatest threat of our times is Iran’s intention to build its own nuclear weapons.

Nixon brought about change on the basis of his vast knowledge of history, foreign affairs, and his judgment regarding the American people. By contrast, President Obama does not seem to like the American people or America.


Alan Caruba 2013 150 x 150The Moral Lib­eral Fea­tured Writer, Alan Caruba, writes a daily post at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com.An author, busi­ness and sci­ence writer, he is the founder of The National Anx­i­ety Center. Copyright 2014 © Alan Caruba

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Republican Congressman Sends Bibles to His Fellow Legislators


BY MICHAEL GRYBOSKI , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER

August 6, 2014|3:20 pm

(PHOTO: FLIKR CREATIVE COMMONS)

The Gutenberg Bible, first printed book.

A Mississippi Congressman who belongs to the Republican House Whip leadership has sent copies of the Holy Bible to all members of the United States Congress.

Rep. Steven Palazzo of Mississippi sent the Good Book to his peers last week, along with a note including the official Congress letterhead.

“On a daily basis, we contemplate policy decisions that impact America’s future. Our staffs provide us with policy memos, statistics and recommendations that help us make informed decisions,” wrote Palazzo in the letter.

“However, I find that the best advice comes through meditating on God’s Word. Please find a copy of the Holy Bible to help guide you in your decision-making.”

The Reverend Rob Schenck, head of the Washington, DC – based group Faith and Action, told The Christian Post that he supported Palazzo’s Bible distribution.

“Rep. Palazzo is to be commended for sending Bibles to his members of Congress. For a Christian, sharing a Bible is one of the most meaningful things one can do for somebody you care about. So, it’s meaningful and generous,” said Schenck.

“Good for the Congressman. I’ll pray that his actions have a salutary effect on the thinking and actions of Congress as a whole. We need more of his kind of thing in Washington.”

Schenck also told CP that the Bibles were more likely to reach their intended audience because it was a peer like Palazzo sending them rather than an outside group.

“Bibles have been delivered to members by various groups and it’s always worth doing, but many times Bibles from the outside, so to speak, are intercepted by staff or diverted somewhere else,” said Schenck.

“When a Bible comes directly from a colleague, it’s far more likely it will land in the hands if it’s intended recipient.”

Palazzo’s gift went to all members of Congress, including those who do not consider themselves Christian, according to Sahil Kapur of Talking Points Memo.

“Palazzo’s letter was treated as a gesture of good will, including by non-Christian members of Congress who also received a copy of the Bible,”wrote Kapur.

“The first Muslim elected to Congress, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), wrote back with a thank-you note. His office and other offices wouldn’t discuss the letter on the record.”

Not everyone was supportive of the move. The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, spoke with concern about elected officials using the Bible as a pretext for public policy.

“When a politician calls for using the Bible as the basis for public policy, what he or she is really saying is, ‘Let’s use the Bible as I interpret it as the basis for public policy’,” said Lynn, according to TPM.

“Rather than look to the Bible or any other religious book to craft our nation’s public policy, we would do well to examine another source instead, one that was actually created to guide governance. It’s called the Constitution.”

Geoff Earle of the New York Post noted that Palazzo’s gift of a Bible to each member of Congress may be a timely act.

“Lawmakers will have plenty of time to study the Bible’s discourses on avarice, sloth, vanity and depravity. The letter went out Tuesday — right before the start of a month long congressional recess,” wrote Earle.

1 Comment

Filed under Men of Faith, Politics

14TH AMENDMENT adopted on July 28, 1868


14th_Amendment archive imageAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

In 1857, the Supreme Court, with 7 of the 9 Justices being Democrat, decided that Dred Scott was not a citizen, but property.

Chief Justice Roger Taney, appointed by Democrat President Andrew Jackson, wrote that slaves were “so far inferior…that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for their own benefit.”

After the Civil War, the 13TH AMENDMENT was adopted December 6, 1865, abolishing slavery in America.

Southern Democrat Legislatures then passed Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws, requiring freed slaves to be “apprenticed” to “employers” and punished any who left.

On November 22, 1865, Republicans denounced Mississippi’s Democrat legislature for enacting “black codes” which institutionalized racial discrimination.

On February 5, 1866, Republican Congressman Thaddeus Stevens introduced legislation to give former slaves “40 acres and a mule,” but Democrats opposed it, led by President Andrew Johnson.

On April 9, 1866, Republicans in Congress overrode Democrat President Johnson’s veto and passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, conferring rights of citizenship on African-Americans.

To force Southern States to grant State citizenship rights to freed slaves, the U.S. House passed the 14TH AMENDMENT, May 10, 1866, as did the Senate, June 8, 1866. One hundred percent of Democrats voted against it.

The 14TH AMENDMENT was adopted by the States on JULY 28, 1868.

Republican Congressman John Farnsworth of Illinois stated, March 31, 1871:

“The reason for the adoption (of the 14TH AMENDMENT)…was because of… discriminating… legislation of those States… by which they were punishing one class of men under different laws from another class.”

On January 8, 1867, Republicans granted voting rights to African-Americans in the District of Columbia, after overriding Democrat President Andrew Johnson’s veto.

On July 19, 1867, Republican passed legislation protecting voting rights of African-Americans, after overriding Democrat President Andrew Johnson’s veto.

On March 30, 1868, Republicans began impeachment proceedings of Democrat President Andrew Johnson.

On September 12, 1868, Democrats in Georgia’s Senate expelled Civil rights activist Tunis Campbell and 24 other Republican African-Americans, who would later be reinstated by a Republican Congress.

On October 22, 1868, while campaigning for re-election, Republican Congressman James Hinds was assassinated by Democrat terrorists who organized vigilante groups known for intimidation tactics and lynchings.

The 15TH AMENDMENT was passed February 3, 1870, overcoming 97 percent Democrat opposition, granting the right to vote to all Americans regardless of race.

On May 31, 1870, Republican President U.S. Grant signed the Enforcement Act, providing stiff penalties for depriving any American of their civil rights.

On June 22, 1870, Republican Congress created the U.S. Department of Justice to safeguard the civil rights of African-Americans against Democrats in the South.

On February 28, 1871, Republican Congress passed the Enforcement Act providing federal protection for African-American voters.

On April 20, 1871, Republican Congress enacted the Ku Klux Klan Act, outlawing Democratic Party-affiliated terrorist groups which oppressed African-Americans.

On October 10, 1871, African-American Republican civil rights leader Octavius Catto was murdered by a Democratic Party operative, after repeated threats by Philadelphia Democrats against black voting.

On October 18, 1871, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant deployed U.S. troops to combat violence committed by Democrat terrorists who formed the Ku Klux Klan.

In solving one problem, another was created.

When questioned as to whether the 14th Amendment might open the door for the Federal Government to usurp other rights away from the States, its sponsor, Republican Congressman John Bingham of Ohio, replied:

“I repel the suggestion…that the Amendment will…take away from any State any right that belongs to it.”

Yet after the 14th Amendment was ratified, activist Federal Judges began to do just that.

Darwinist philosopher Herbert Spencer influenced Harvard Law School dean Christopher Columbus Langdell to apply evolution to the legal process.

Rather than upholding the intent of those who wrote the laws, Langdell taught that laws could evolve through a series of “case precedents.”

This influenced Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., to challenge the traditionalist concept that the Constitution does not change, so neither should its interpretation.

The 14th Amendment soon became a door by which Federal Courts gradually took authority away from the States in other areas such as trade disputes, union strikes, what farmers could grow, and eventually religion.

Federal Judges gradually began using the 14th Amendment to remove from States’ jurisdiction responsibility for:

-Freedom of speech and press, Gitlow v. New York, 1925 (re: Socialists) and Fiske v. Kansas, 1927 (re: Unions);
-Freedom of press, Near v. Minnesota, 1931 (re: anti-Catholics); and
-Freedom of assembly, DeJonge v. Oregon, 1937 (re: Communists).

Federal Judges used the 14th Amendment to remove responsibility for religious freedom from States’ jurisdiction in cases regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses:

Cantwell v. Connecticut, 1940; Minersville School District v. Gobitis, 1940; Jones v. Opelika, 1942; Taylor v. Mississippi, 1943; Martin v. Struthers, 1943; United States v. Ballard, 1944; Saia v. New York, 1948; and Niemotoko v. Maryland, 1951.

Cases of anti-Catholic discrimination were appealed to the Supreme Court:

Pierce v. Society of Sisters of Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, 1925, and Everson v. Board of Education, 1947.

Since then, Federal Courts used a case by case “crucible of litigation” (Wallace v. Jaffree, 1985) to evolve the First Amendment into its present anti-religious interpretation.

Thomas Jefferson warned that this would eventually happen, in a letter to Charles Hammond in 1821:

“The germ of dissolution of our…government is in…the Federal judiciary…working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow…until all shall be usurped from the States.”

The pre-14TH AMENDMENT view of “Separation of Church and State” was to simply to limit the Federal Government, as President Thomas Jefferson stated in his Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805:

“In matters of religion I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the General (Federal) Government.

I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercise suited to it; but have left them, as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of State and church authorities by the several religious societies.”

On January 23, 1808, Jefferson wrote to Samuel Miller:

“I consider the (Federal) Government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.

This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the United States (10th Amendment).

Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General (Federal) government. It must then rest with the States as far as it can be in any human authority…

I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines…

Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets.”

Summing up the pre-14TH AMENDMENT view, Justice Joseph Story wrote in A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States, 1840:

“The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects.”

In his Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote:

“In some of the States, Episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in other, Presbyterians; in others, Congregationalists; in others, Quakers…

The whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the State governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice and the State Constitutions.”

When North Carolina was considering ratifying the U.S. Constitution, its Governor, Samuel Johnston, argued, July 30, 1788:

“The people of Massachusetts and Connecticut are mostly Presbyterians…
In Rhode Island, the tenets of the Baptists, I believe, prevail.
In New York, they are divided very much; the most numerous are the Episcopalians and the Baptists.
In New Jersey, they are as much divided as we are.
In Pennsylvania, if any sect prevails more than others, it is that of the Quakers.
In Maryland, the Episcopalians are most numerous, though there are other sects.
In Virginia, there are many sects…
I hope, therefore, that gentlemen will see there is no cause of fear that any one religion shall be exclusively established.”

In 1889, John Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott Company) hinted of the novel use of the 14TH AMENDMENT in its definition of the word “Religion”:

“‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof’… By establishment of religion is meant the setting up of state church, or at least conferring upon one church of special favors which are denied to others…

The Christian religion is, of course, recognized by the government, yet…the preservation of religious liberty is left to the States…

This provision and that relating to religious tests are limitations upon the power of the (Federal) Congress only…Perhaps the Fourteenth Amendment may give additional securities if needful.”

Justice Joseph Story wrote in his Commentaries, 1833:

“Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution…the universal sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship.

Any attempt to level all religions, and make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Thomas Sowell To Liberals, Words Trump Facts


 

Words seem to carry far more weight than facts among those liberals who argue as if rent control laws actually control rents and gun control laws actually control guns.

It does no good to point out to them that the two American cities where rent control laws have existed longest and strongest — New York and San Francisco — are also the two cities with the highest average rents.

Nor does it make a dent on them when you point out evidence, from both sides of the Atlantic, that tightening gun control laws does not reduce gun crimes, including murder. It is not uncommon for gun crimes to rise when gun control laws are tightened. Apparently armed criminals prefer unarmed victims.

Minimum wage laws are another issue where the words seem to carry great weight, leading to the fact-free assumption that such laws will cause wages to rise to the legally specified minimum. Various studies going back for decades indicate that minimum wage laws create unemployment, especially among the younger, less experienced and less skilled workers.

When you are unemployed, your wages are zero, regardless of what the minimum wage law specifies.

Having followed the controversies over minimum wage laws for more than half a century, I am always amazed at how many ways there are to evade the obvious.

A discredited argument that first appeared back in 1946 recently surfaced again in a televised discussion of minimum wages. A recent survey of employers asked if they would fire workers if the minimum wage were raised. Two-thirds of the employers said that they would not. That was good enough for a minimum wage advocate.

Unfortunately, the consequences of minimum wage laws cannot be predicted on the basis of employers’ statements of their intentions. Nor can the consequences of a minimum wage law be determined, even after the fact, by polling employers on what they did.

The problem with polls, in dealing with an empirical question like this, is that you can only poll survivors.

Every surviving business in an industry might have as many employees as it had before a minimum wage increase — and yet, if the additional labor costs led to fewer businesses surviving, there could still be a reduction in industry employment, despite what the poll results were from survivors.

There are many other complications that make an empirical study of the effects of minimum wages much more difficult than it might seem.

Since employment varies for many reasons other than a minimum wage law, at any given time the effects of those other factors can outweigh the effects of minimum wage laws. In that case, employment could go up after a particular minimum wage increase — even if it goes up less than it would have without the minimum wage increase.

Minimum wage advocates can seize upon statistics collected in particular odd circumstances to declare that they have now “refuted” the “myth” that minimum wages cause unemployment.

Yet, despite such anomalies, it is surely no coincidence that those few places in the industrial world which have had no minimum wage law, such as Switzerland and Singapore, have consistently had unemployment rates down around 3 percent. “The Economist” magazine once reported: “Switzerland’s unemployment neared a five-year high of 3.9% in February.”

It is surely no coincidence that, during the last administration in which there was no federal minimum wage — the Calvin Coolidge administration — unemployment ranged from a high of 4.2 percent to a low of 1.8 percent over its last four years.

It is surely no coincidence that, when the federal minimum wage law remained unchanged for 12 years while inflation rendered the law meaningless, the black teenage unemployment rate — even during the recession year of 1949 — was literally a fraction of what it has been throughout later years, as the minimum wage rate has been raised repeatedly to keep up with inflation.

When words trump facts, you can believe anything. And the liberal groupthink taught in our schools and colleges is the path of least resistance.

========

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Fact-Free Liberals | Thomas Sowell | Columns | ArcaMax Publishing


Fact-Free Liberals | Thomas Sowell | Columns | ArcaMax Publishing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

IRS AND GUITARS


“On Aug. 24, 2011, federal agents executed four search warrants on Gibson Guitar Corp. facilities in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. One of the top makers of acoustic and electric guitars, including the iconic Les Paul introduced in 1952, Gibson was accused of using wood illegally obtained in violation of the century-old Lacey Act, which outlaws trafficking in flora and fauna the harvesting of which had broken foreign laws. … Interestingly, one of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Co. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain ‘East Indian Rosewood,’ which is the exact same wood in at least 10 of Gibson’s guitars. So why were they not also raided and their inventory of foreign wood seized? Grossly underreported at the time was the fact that Gibson’s chief executive, Henry Juszkiewicz, contributed to Republican politicians. … By contrast, Chris Martin IV, the Martin & Co. CEO, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the Democratic National Committee over the past couple of election cycles. … Juszkiewicz’ claim that his company was ‘inappropriately targeted’ is eerily similar to the claims by Tea Party, conservative, pro-life and religious groups that they were targeted by the IRS for special scrutiny because they sought to exercise their First Amendment rights to band together in vocal opposition to the administration’s policies and the out-of-control growth of government and its power. The Gibson Guitar raid, the IRS intimidation of Tea Party groups and the fraudulently obtained warrant naming Fox News reporter James Rosen as an ‘aider, abettor, co-conspirator’ in stealing government secrets are but a few examples of the abuse of power by the Obama administration to intimidate those on its enemies list.” –Investor’s Business Daily

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Is Obama Looking to Create a Civilian National Security Force?


Is Obama Looking to Create a Civilian National Security Force?.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

GOVERNMENT PROCESS


‘Tis far better to laugh than to cry, and this one serves us well. Part of rebuilding New Orleans caused residents often to be challenged with the task of tracing home titles back potentially hundreds of years. With a community rich with history stretching back over two centuries, houses have been passed along through generations of family, sometimes making it quite difficult to establish ownership.

Here’s a great letter an attorney wrote to the FHA on behalf of a client: You have to love this lawyer… A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer three months to track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply: (Actual reply from FHA): “Upon review of your letter adjoining your client’s loan application, we note the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin.” Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows: (Actual response):

Your letter regarding title in Case No.189156 has been received. I note you wish to have title extended further than the 206 years covered by the present application. I was unaware any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know Louisiana was purchased by the United States from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application. For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France , which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain .

The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Queen Isabella. The good Queen Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus ‘s expedition. Now the Pope, as I’m sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume God also made the part of the world called Louisiana . God; therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it, and the FHA. I hope you find God’s original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our loan?”

The loan was immediately approved. And you want Government running health care?
“The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Piers Morgan and Guests Openly Call for Alex Jones’ Murder


Piers Morgan and Guests Openly Call for Alex Jones' Murder.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics