Successful Businessmen Cannot Hide, Politicians Can…

An interesting find is brought up over at a blog called Bacon’s Rebellion:

“Eric “Young Gun” Cantor, the Republican House Majority Leader from Henrico County, seemed older and out-gunned Wednesday when new Republican members in the GOP-controlled House voted 233-198 to kill an alternative engine for the new F-35 strike fighter that even the Pentagon didn’t want.

More than half of the new Congressmen voted against the engine that the House’s older leadership, represented by Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, worked desperately to keep in the federal budget.

Their reason? Pure pork. The alternative engines would be built jointly by Rolls Royce, which has its North American headquarters in Virginia, and in Ohio where partner General Electric has big manufacturing plants. The House decided to drop the alternative and go with the main supplier, Pratt & Whitney, thus saving $450 million.”

So obviously Republicans like Bacon’s Rebellion look at this as an instance when the old harden Republican politicians vote for pork and the new saviors vote against it. Whether these new Congressmen continue their votes against pork is still to be seen. What the important lesson here to take away is how a politician like Eric Cantor can vote for pork and write a book about deficit reduction at the same time.

The best fake limited government politician will convince the general populous that they are for limited government, while voting for bills that will give money out to special interests that will continue to help fund their campaigns. This may be a hard concept for the reader of this blog to grasp because the very fact that you are reading this does not make you apart of the general populous.

So how does this differ on the free market with businessmen? First, think about the places you visit on a weekly basis and do you know what policies the business owner gives speeches on in his free time? No. Would you want to know? Maybe. But the truth is it doesn’t matter.

When you go and visit a place of business, you go to purchase something. You are only satisfied if the business owner meets your demands. For example, if you go to the grocery store looking for the best cut of steak then you will only be satisfied if you find what you are looking for. In Economic terms, if the producer supplies the demands of the consumer.

So how can a politician as a producer of policies satisfy the demands of the consumer? If a business man says “come to my grocery store and you will find the best filet cut in town” and upon arrival you realize it is chuck roast at best you will stop going there. But for some reason in politics Eric Cantor can say “I am a deficit reducer” and vote for an increase at the same time with little to no repercussion.

So I ask the reader this question. Free market or government coercion? Which of the two satisfy the demands of the consumer the best? If it is the free market then how can we apply that to government?

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Published in: on February 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm  Comments (2)  
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Stimulus Goals: What are the true causes and effects?

This from RealClearPolitics:

“White House press secretary Jay Carney says the Recovery Act added several million jobs and lowered the unemployment rate. According to Carney, the “goals” of the stimulus package “have been met.”

A reporter asked Carney why unemployment is at 9% and not 7%, the percentage projected if the stimulus worked. Carney dismissed the question. “We’ve said repeatedly that we don’t want to relitigate the battles of the past,” Carney told the reporter.”

But was it the act that added the jobs and lowered the unemployment rate? And if it was is it sustainable?

In order for the politicians in Washington to keep being elected, they have to convince the majority of Americans that they are “doing something”. What exactly they are doing doesn’t matter as long as the results happen. Now some may say that this is good because the results that are all that matter. But would we say the same thing about President George W. Bush running his 2004 campaign on the highest home ownership rate in the history of the United States?

Of course, now we see that it was a bubble that ended up making many Americans bankrupt. So how do we know, again assuming the government stimulus did work, that it too did not also create a bubble that will burst in the face of Barack Obama and Mr. Carney?

The arrogance of politics is that anything a President or Congress does while it is in office makes for whatever the best results in the economy are. Imagine that the boost in GDP and the lowering of unemployment was because of new technological innovation or that the country’s rich saved more money for investment and invested in new business, how would that have anything to do with building new roads by the stimulus?

It wouldn’t.

The American people must wake up first to the fact that politicians cannot create jobs. All they can do is shift valuable labor and materials to a different sector of the economy. That means that more labor and materials are being put in an industry that it would’t be in if it wasn’t for the government entering the market and bidding up the price.

So what are we losing for those falsely allocated materials and labor?

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 11:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ron Paul Winning CPAC: Real vs. Ideal

Almost everyone who follows politics knows that at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference libertarian-republican (if you can put those two words together) Representative from Texas, Ron Paul, won the straw poll. CNN has it here:

“The results of the Washington Times CPAC straw poll of presidential candidates are in, and the winner is Texas Rep. Ron Paul, with 30 percent of the vote. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the runner-up with 23 percent.

There were 3,742 ballots cast in the annual survey, which is a chance for devotees to name their pick for president in 2012. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they were generally satisfied with the field of potential candidates and 43 percent said they wished the GOP had a better field of potential candidates. For those surveyed, the size of the federal government was the most important issue to them.”

In a lot of ways the above straw poll shows the state of the Republican party. The debate between the ideal and the real.

The Mitt Romney’s of the Republican party are going to argue that the Ron Paul’s of the party even with their good ideas are not electable, we should settle on someone like Mitt Romney, which they consider the real. The Ron Paul’s of the party will say that we should not settle for the ideal. So who wins?

Neither of them will ever win. This is what “Republicans” have such a hard time accepting. The system, which is our laws and policies, will never elect anyone who is for limited government. It just simply can’t happen. The current system rewards those that dole out to special interests and punishes those that stand for ideals. It doesn’t matter whether your limited government candidate is a Ken doll from a liberal state or a squirrelly off the cuff texan, he who will be elected will have to have friends in high places to do so.

Why is it the Republican party cannot accept this? Think about the majority of Republican party members. They usually hold one, if not all of these characteristics:

  • Loves the Constitution
  • Loves the American Flag
  • Loves the Founding Fathers

Now, there is nothing wrong with loving these three things. But like a good love, they will break your heart. And the Republican party refuses to get over it. The founding fathers were great visionaries and they created a government that they would hope would stay limited. They did the best they could do and they should be honored for that. But that does not help us sustain a limited government.

Next is the Constitution and this is the real big one for conservatives. How many times have we heard “only if they followed the Constitution”? I know I have heard it a million times myself. But for some reason conservatives and the Republican party are okay with saying that. It’s as meaningless as a police chief throwing up his hands and saying “only if they followed the law.”

What we need to look at is why is it that the Constitution is not followed? And under what system would we have a more effective society? Is there an alternative?

Is Education A Waste?

…Mostly.

Take this excerpt from the book Human Action by Ludwig von Mises:

“In order to succeed in business a man does not need a degree from a school of business administration. These schools train the subalterns for routine jobs. They certainly do not train entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur cannot be trained…. No special education is required for such a display of keen judgement, foresight, and energy. The most unsuccessful businessmen were often uneducated when measured by the scholastic standards of the teaching profession. But they were equal to their social functions of adjusting production to the most urgent demand. Because of these merits the consumers chose them for business leadership.”

Think of all the successful businessmen in the United States. We often laugh at the stories of famous billionaires who do not have a college degree. Bill Gates, Henry Ford, and John D. Rockefeller to name a few. So then why is it that, as a society, we continue to send children to school after school after school if the true success stories are born from those who have no formal education?

Well, the debate would be that the above men are just outliers. But the truth is they are not. Take for example, my mother and father, they never achieved anything past a high school diploma and now they are more successful than many of their peers with college degrees.

The truth is that the only place you can spend your money, in the United States, tax-free is on education. At the same time, millions of dollars in aid, loans, and scholarships are also being pumped into the system. And for what? So that the future entrepreneurs can be droned into mid-management?

The only advantage that an education can gain you after high school is getting you into an area of profession where the degree is mandatory. No degree is mandatory in most start-up businesses, so I would urge those to reconsider. Careers with some of the most unlikely places like fast food or retail sales can actually lead to very fruitful careers. Imagine putting in 4-5 years in with one of those companies versus a university that you are paying. Something tells me that in those 4-5 years you will be making more than you would with a general liberal arts degree.

And one thing to keep in mind as you roam the halls with the thousands of others who just like you are searching in a university for your career that just like with the housing bubble the government will continuing to subsidize education until the values hit rock bottom…

Almost Two Years…

It has been almost two years since I have updated this website. As someone would say the opportunity costs have gone up, so the productivity of this blog has gone down. I am here now with a new resolution to revive this blog and make it back to the resource it once was. The opportunity costs are still high but I will try post at least once a day. Beginning today…

 

Published in: on February 15, 2011 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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