Ed: Hot damn.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Even after the call for police officers to strike until Americans turn in their guns went viral and Mayor Michael Bloomberg had to say he didn't mean it "literally," he continues his gun control rampage. He has now run a full page ad in USA Today in which he demands President Obama and Gov. Romney create and present gun control plans to the American people.
Here's a curious question: does Bloomberg know that guns are used nearly 25 times more often for self defense than they are for crime?
Seriously, the ratio for self-defense uses versus criminal uses is about 25 to 1, yet Bloomberg and his ilk seem determined to spend all their energy taking away the guns of the 25 defenders rather than punishing the one offender to the full extent of the law.
For those of you interested in the raw numbers, the figures of between 2 million and 2.5 million uses of guns for self-defense annually can be found in studies and reports by John Lott, Gun Owners of America, and the National Rifle Association. These are countered by the use of guns for criminal purposes at a rate of 100,000 to 135,000 times a year.
To be clear, I'm not arguing that we ought to be able to own guns because of a ratio, for we keep and bear arms because it's a God-given right which our Founding Fathers said "shall not be infringed." But the ratio of 25 to 1 is icing on the cake, and it reminds us just how myopic gun-grabbers like Bloomberg can get when they set out to promote schemes that disarm the American people.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
By Lloyd Marcus
My 84-year-old dad has nuggets of wisdom which he forgets he has shared with me numerous times. One is about deception. Dad said a snake can swim underwater a very long time, just like a fish. But eventually, it must come up for air. Why? Because it is not a fish -- it is a snake.
Obama deceived millions to win the White House. All the obvious clues into the true nature of the first black presidential candidate were ignored by the media. Voters were duped into believing Obama when he presented himself as a moderate, a messiah, "the one we have been waiting for."
Early into his presidency, Obama came up for air, exposing his great deception. Every day, with unbridled arrogance, the handsome, deceptive beast reveals more and more of his despicable agenda hidden just beneath the surface.
Barack Hussein Obama is not presidential, nor is he a moderate -- far from either, in fact. This man is a far-left, radical, anti-America, plain-old-Chicago-thug politician.
Obama is the most anti-Christian president in American history. Phyllis Schlafly brilliantly chronicles Obama's unprecedented attacks on Christianity in her book, No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.
Despite swearing an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, Obama urinates on our sacred document whenever it hinders the implementation of his vow to "fundamentally transform America."
In short, Obama is a con man. To win re-election, Obama has unleashed an army of con men and women to deceive voters, yet again, via intimidation, class envy, lies, and a white guilt trip.
Obama and company's despicable white-guilt-trip tactic says, if you do not vote for Obama, you are a racist!
Obama has very little respect for average Americans. At a private fund-raising event with his liberal homeys, Obama described small-town America as bitter folks who cling to religion and guns and don't like people who do not look like them. Thus, the president thinks a large segment of Americans is racist.
A further display of Obama's low opinion of Americans is his "give-away-the-farm" campaign to win re-election votes. Outrageously, almost half the country is on food stamps, and Obama is advertising for more folks to sign up. Obama is giving away free cell phones. With a wave of his executive order scepter, King Obama legalized millions of illegal aliens. His list of handouts and freebies goes on and on. Obama promises to punish and get even with achievers. Everything Obama does is designed to seduce voters by appealing to their lowest instincts. Obama obviously believes that a majority of Americans are lazy and entitlement-minded and that they resent achievers.
As I stated, Obama has unleashed an army of really smart-sounding con artists to intimidate into silence anyone daring to disagree with our imperial dictator and to lay a white-guilt-trip on voters.
A prime example of an Obama con artist is black former NY Times writer and NBC reporter Bob Herbert, who recently made the most absurd and offensive statement. Herbert said, "A majority of whites have never favored equal rights in this country. Never, ever, ever, ever. It's never even been close -- it is a fantasy to talk about the idea of a majority of whites supporting the rights of blacks." Herbert also said most whites voted for McCain/Palin. Herbert further implied that all white votes against Obama were racially motivated.
Mr. Herbert, if America is so anti-black, how did you end up as a reporter on NBC television and writing for the NY Times?
Another example of an Obama con artist is Cornel West, professor of African-American studies at Princeton.
On Book TV, West went on and on about institutional racism and how America is racist and evil.
As a black conservative listening to West, I kept thinking, "Rather than filling black youths with victim crap, why aren't you telling blacks to get an education, stop having babies out of wedlock, and get a job? Am I too simplistic? Is it more complicated and I just don't get it?"
Patriots, please, please, please do not be intimidated or silenced by Obama's con artists.
Ronald Reagan said, "We had strayed a great distance from our Founding Fathers' vision of America. They never envisioned vast agencies in Washington telling our farmers what to plant, our teachers what to teach, and our industries what to build."
Reagan's horrific nightmare scenario is well underway. A second term for Obama equals the end of America and freedom as intended by our Founding Fathers.
Our Constitution and America as founded were inspired by God. Therefore, Obama's vow to fundamentally transform America goes against God's intention -- thus making this coming election look a lot like a battle of good vs. evil.
My confidence and hope are in the Lord. I pray for my country and trust that true patriots will not be conned or intimidated into silence and submission. With God's help, we will outnumber Obama's evil minions and deadbeat parasites come election day.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
by Hubert Mitchell » 07/ 24/ 12 4:25 am
In one of the most shocking articles that the New York Times has ever put out, a New York Times reporter has openly admitted that virtually every major mainstream news organization allows government bureaucrats and campaign officials to censor their stories. For example, almost every major news organization in the country has agreed to submit virtually all quotes from anyone involved in the Obama campaign or the Romney campaign to gatekeepers for "quote approval" before they will be published. If the gatekeeper in the Obama campaign does not want a certain quote to get out, the American people will not see it, and the same thing applies to the Romney campaign. The goal is to keep the campaigns as "on message" as possible and to avoid gaffes at all cost. But this kind of thing is not just happening with political campaigns. According to the New York Times, "quote approval" has become "commonplace throughout Washington". In other words, if you see a quote in the newspaper from someone in the federal government then it is safe to say that a gatekeeper has almost certainly reviewed that quote and has approved it. This is another sign that "the free and independent media" in this country is a joke. What we get from the mainstream media is a very highly filtered form of propaganda, and that is one reason why Americans are turning away from the mainstream media in droves. People want the truth, and more Americans than ever realize that they are not getting it from the mainstream media.
The following quote comes from the recent article in the New York Times mentioned above and it is absolutely jaw dropping....
The quotations come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative.
They are sent by e-mail from the Obama headquarters in Chicago to reporters who have interviewed campaign officials under one major condition: the press office has veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name.
Most reporters, desperate to pick the brains of the president’s top strategists, grudgingly agree. After the interviews, they review their notes, check their tape recorders and send in the juiciest sound bites for review.
The verdict from the campaign — an operation that prides itself on staying consistently on script — is often no, Barack Obama does not approve this message...
It was difficult to find a news outlet that had not agreed to quote approval, albeit reluctantly. Organizations like Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Reuters and The New York Times have all consented to interviews under such terms.
All I can say about these people I once considered “colleagues” is that I am so ashamed of them. I am mortified. They are humiliating themselves and a vital institution for any free society.
It seems the biggest threat to the American tradition of a free and independent press is not government coercion. It’s the willing submission of the press to being handled and managed by government and politicians.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 9:05:57 AM by expat1000
So That This Never Happens Again Posted: 22 Jul 2012 09:14 PM PDT The first reaction to the Aurora Massacre was the usual call for making sure that "this never happens again". Everyone from New York City Mayor Bloomberg to author Salman Rushdie to mystery writer Patricia Cornwell called for imposing gun control to insure "this never happens again".
And yet if we were to confiscate every privately owned firearm and outlaw the manufacture of new ones in the country, if we were to forcibly institutionalize anyone suspected of being mentally ill, and if we added naked scanners to movie theaters; we still could not insure that this will never happen again.
And yet Colorado has half the murder rate of Illinois, as adjusted for population. Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and New Hampshire, all full of guns, have far lower murder rates than gun control states like New York, California and Illinois. According to Bloomberg, "If we had fewer guns, we would have a lot fewer murders." But guns are not proportional to murders.
Utah has the second highest gun ownership rate in the country and the eighth lowest homicide rate. Wyoming, the state with the fourth highest gun ownership rate has the fourth lowest homicide rate. Meanwhile New York is 48th in gun ownership, but is the 18th highest in its murder rate.
We escape tragedy by searching for control and this is an obscene gift that we give to liberalism and its counterpart, the police state. Both promise us a better and safer world in exchange for our freedom. After every tragedy they promise us that they can keep it from happening again. They can't. No one can.
The illusion of control attempts to tie James Holmes to some larger issue, whether it's gun control or movie violence. It ignores the banality of individual evil, to make him into some larger monster that we can fight. But sometimes there is no meaning to evil except that it exists. No way to make sense of it or transform into a social crusade. Evil just is.
We can make war on organized or semi-organized enemies. We can bomb Hiroshima, round up the Mafia, launch drone strikes on Al-Qaeda leaders and break up cartels. We cannot however make war on the evil that lurks unexpectedly in human brains.
The edifice of government towers over public life. It is built for fighting systems, groups and "Isms'" and it can be used to ban guns, lock up the mentally ill or launch another one of its incessant public education campaigns. Its ability to stop an individual bent on causing harm to other individuals is highly limited at best.
That is where the illusion of control breaks down. The system can promise to stop gun violence, but it can't stop a man with a gun. All it can do is exploit the tragedy for more power. Only individuals can stop individuals. The only control we can possibly have comes from living in a society where the people do the right thing... and are empowered to do the right thing.
But that is not the society that the gun-controllers and police-staters want to create. The society they want is a place where everyone sits quietly, offers no resistance, contacts the authorities and waits for the accredited branches of the government to do something. A place where everyone knows that if they do something, they may be arrested or sued by the criminal afterward. A place where people are expected to be willing to die, but not fight back.
It takes a great deal of conditioning to break the reflex of leaving things up to the proper authorities. It takes something like seeing two towers fall in burning rubble while sitting on a plane that is clearly headed toward a similar mission. But shortly afterward the proper authorities will be back on the job, reminding everyone to fly planes, submit to some profiling-free groping, and pay no attention to the man with the beard and the itchy underwear chanting "Allah Akbar" to himself in the window seat.
Bloomberg replied to a suggestion that if more people in the theater had guns they might have been able to fight back, with, "To arm everybody and have the wild west all the time is one of the more nonsensical things you can say." And in Bloomberg's world it is nonsensical. By "Wild West", he means anarchy and when you're running a major city that has more employees than some countries have people, the last thing you want is anarchy.
Systems respond to a failure of control by intensifying control. Going the other way is "nonsensical" to them. To Bloomberg the Aurora Massacre was a failure of control, which every "rational" person has to respond to by agreeing that we need more control. Find the "loopholes" and close them. Tighten the noose and this will never happen again... until the next time it does, when it will be met with the same response.
More loopholes, more nooses and more zero tolerance. Make a law, name it after a murdered child and sit back confident that nothing like this can ever happen again because the big book of laws just had another forty pages added to it.
That is the government world, a place where every problem can be solved if you throw enough money, manpower and laws at it. And that world is as imaginary as the comic book world playing on the movie screen during the massacre. That is why gun control is so appealing. Unlike murders, guns can be banned.
Government is not god, though it often seems to aspire to the job. No amount of regulations can exercise complete control over the world around us. All they do is create a hedge maze within which both we and the criminals operate. And criminals will always be better at navigating that hedge maze.
Those who follow the law will always be proportionally more dis-empowered by regulations than those who do not. The flip side of a police state in the anarchy boiling underneath. The more laws there are, the more they are broken. The more control is centralized, the more corrupt the controllers become until the criminals are in power and those who are in power are criminals.
A police state is not a perfectly-controlled society where everyone follows the law or gets locked up. It's thugs with shotguns, tattoos and uniforms, dark sunglasses covering their eyes, collecting bribes from the criminals they are in league with. It's a president with forty mansions to his name and an entire apparatus of party loyalists who feed the bribes up to him. It's not a place that's free of crime; it's a place that's saturated with a crime, where everyone is a criminal from the leaders down to the little boy picking your pocket because otherwise the gang leader who runs the block will beat him.
We can turn America into that place in 10-15 years. All we need to do is spread the failed liberal policies that destroyed the country's greatest cities to the rest of the country. Then try to lock down that anarchy with gun control, SWAT teams and 5 million regulations. Give it time and we'll manage to achieve the current Democratic Party platform of being just like Mexico.
In America the police state has emerged as an attempt to manage the consequence of liberal social policies. Import enough immigrants from lawless countries, put them side-by-side in major cities and it will take a police state to manage the consequences. Destroy values, promote cultural anarchy while running regulatory totalitarianism, and you will need a police state. Destroy manufacturing and keep enough men of all races out of work, and the police state will be needed to manage the violence. Import enough followers of a religion in which terrorism is a mandate, and it will take a police state to maintain even temporary normalcy.
Officially liberals don't like the police state very much, and yet the police state is the only thing that prevents the countries afflicted by their policies from completely melting down. And when faced with a problem, whether it's a man filling in a swamp on his own property or individuals owning firearms, they resort to the power of the police state. Right now they are telling us that if we just had a police state where all the firearms were controlled by the police, this will never happen again.
Adulthood means knowing that this will happen again. That madmen will kill people and it is our responsibility to prevent that not by passing a few laws that invest more power in a police state, but by being aware and taking action when necessary. And knowing that this too may not be enough.
We have some impressive technologies, but those don't make us gods. We have information at our fingertips, but that is not the same thing as control. We do not control the world and we certainly do not control other people. And it is important that we remember that.
The actions of James Holmes are not a reflection on us or on that imaginary village that raises all of us. It is a reflection on him. To forget that by assigning responsibility to the gun or the movie is to abdicate individual responsibility and throw up our hands to the liberal gods of government and the police state to come and save us from ourselves. And they will eagerly answer the call.
The power of the individual to do good comes from a sense of individual responsibility. Take away that responsibility and the country begins to rot. Bury it deep enough and there are only sheep waiting for a wolf.
And how's that working out?
Oddly, there are no calls for more gun control in the wake of the weekly Chicago massacre. Once you have the stiffest gun control laws on the books, you should probably look at the root of the problem... "Three men are dead and at least 23 other people wounded from gun violence across the city since Friday night."
In fact, Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy is "accentuating the positives" of the bloody results of his city's oppressive gun ban, which prevents only the law-abiding from defending themselves by force of arms:
McCarthy noted this weekend's numbers were half the total of shootings for the same weekend last year. He also said that while 2012 shootings are up by eight percent over 2011, they've decreased considerably since March when the year-to-year increase was 40 percent...
...McCarthy also said the murder rate is well below the record of 970 set in 1974, although it's still on pace to reach 450 murders and that the murder rate is increasing as overall violent crime in Chicago is showing a decline.
In other words, an Aurora massacre occurs every 10 days in Chicago, the gun-control capital of the U.S. Like Washington DC, New York City, Mexico City and London -- to name but a few -- "gun-free" cities are truly areas where the innocent are targeted by predators who have no intention of abiding by any law.
The masterminds who think they can banish evil from the world by banning guns must reject all of human history, as well as logic and reason, to promote their unconstitutional schemes
Friday, July 20, 2012
July 18, 2012 - 10:15 am - by Zombie
President Obama’s instantly infamous “You didn’t build that” speech is a major turning point of the 2012 election not because it was a gaffe but because it was an accurate and concise summary of core progressive fiscal dogma. It was also a political blunder of epic proportions because in his speech Obama unintentionally proved the conservatives’ case for limited government.
This essay will show you how.
When Obama implied at the Roanoke, Virginia rally that some businessmen refuse to pay for public works from which they benefit, he presented a thesis which, like a three-legged stool, relies on three assumptions that must all be true for the argument to remain standing:
1. That the public programs he mentioned in his speech constitute a significant portion of the federal budget;
2. That business owners don’t already pay far more than their fair share of these expenses; and
3. That these specific public benefits are a federal issue, rather than a local issue.
If any of these legs fails, then the whole argument collapses.
For good measure, we won’t just kick out one, we’ll kick out all three.
“Small Government” Is Not the Same as “No Government”
Progressives critique the fiscal conservative/Tea Party/libertarian position by purposely misrepresenting it as anarchy. When fiscal conservatives say “We want smaller government,” progressives reply, “Oh, so you want no government?”
“Government” in this particular discussion is shorthand for “communal pooling of resources for mutual benefit.”
Fiscal conservatives have never called for no government — that’s the anarchist position, and contemporary anarchism is actually dominated by extreme leftists, not extreme conservatives. Instead, fiscal conservatives clearly and consistently call for limited government, or for smaller government — but not for the absence of government altogether.
So when President Obama and his mentor Elizabeth Warren justify their call for tax hikes by pointing out that all entrepreneurs benefit from communal infrastructure, they’re committing the classic Straw Man Fallacy by arguing against anarchy — a position that their opponents do not hold.
Here’s the shocking truth: President Obama and Elizabeth Warren are correct — we all benefit from certain taxpayer-funded collectivist government infrastructure projects and programs. And here’s the other shocking truth: Therefore, we should limit government expenditures to just those programs. Why? Because most of the other government programs either
• hinder, constrict or penalize entrepreneurial activity; or
• benefit some people to the detriment of others; or
• waste money on bureaucracy, overhead or ill-considered expenditures that end up indebting the nation and by extension all Americans.
Below are videos and transcripts of Obama’s speech as well as the Elizabeth Warren speech that inspired it. First watch or read both speeches, and then we’ll list all of the programs that they both mention, and see what percentage of our taxes goes toward those programs.
Here is Obama’s game-changing speech from Friday, July 13 in Roanoke, Virginia:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
And here’s Elizabeth Warren’s original 2011 speech, upon which Obama’s was based:
And the transcript:
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you!
But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea — God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.
But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.
OK, now that we have both speeches in front of us, let us list the exact government programs and projects that Obama and Warren use to justify their position:
• Education (Obama: “There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.” Warren: “You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.”)
• Transportation (Obama: “Somebody invested in roads and bridges.” Warren: “You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.”)
• Public Safety (Warren: “You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.” Obama: “There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.”)
• The Internet (Obama: “Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”)
…and that’s it.
OK. Fine. Let’s absolutely concede this point to Obama and Warren: There are some government activities that benefit us all, including business owners.
And for the sake of argument let’s just allow for a moment that the federal government is the best, most efficient and only supplier of these benefits. You win, Elizabeth and Barack.
But having conceded this central point, let us now ask the key follow-up question, which is the first leg of their three-point hypothesis: What percentage of the federal budget is devoted to these universally beneficial public works?
And if you’re a progressive reading this, you’d better get off the stool because it’s about to fall down.
Here is the federal government’s budgetary breakdown for a recent fiscal year:
What percentage of this is devoted to education, transportation, public safety, and creating the Internet (i.e. basic research)?
I’m going to be as generous as possible to the progressive position and include ALL of defense spending in their column, since defense aids both basic research and public safety. Highways and roads are covered by the Department of Transportation. The Department of Education covers, well, education. And various other smaller departments — Department of Justice, National Science Foundation, etc. — contribute in varying degrees to public safety, research, and so forth.
Ready? Here we go:
Below is a list of all government expenditures, with Obama’s and Warren’s “public benefit” programs highlighted:
Social Security 19.63%
Department of Defense 18.74%
Unemployment/welfare/other mandatory spending 16.13%
Medicaid and SCHIP 8.19%
Interest on the national debt 4.63%
Health and Human Services 2.22%
Department of Transportation 2.05%
Department of Veteran’s Affairs 1.48%
Department of State 1.46%
Department of Housing and Urban Development 1.34%
Department of Education 1.32%
Other on-budget discretionary spending (1.8%): $149.67
Other off-budget discretionary spending (1.3%): $108.10
Department of Homeland Security 1.21%
Department of Energy 0.74%
Department of Agriculture 0.73%
Department of Justice 0.67%
Department of Commerce 0.39%
Department of Labor 0.38%
Department of Treasury 0.38%
Department of the Interior 0.34%
Social Security Administration 0.27%
National Science Foundation 0.20%
Corps of Engineers 0.14%
National Infrastructure Bank 0.14%
Corporation for National and Community Service 0.03%
Small Business Administration 0.02%
General Services Administration 0.02%
Other agencies 0.56%
Other off-budget discretionary spending 2.97%
So, let’s clear away the irrelevant government expenditures and list just the ones noted by Obama and Warren:
Department of Defense 18.74%
Department of Transportation 2.05%
Department of Education 1.32%
Department of Homeland Security 1.21%
Department of Justice 0.67%
National Science Foundation 0.20%
And that, of course, is being absurdly generous to the Obama position, since in reality huge portions of the defense budget, the Department of Education budget, and so on, have basically nothing to do with promoting public safety or educating workers. And let’s be even more generous and round that 23.4% up to 25%, or one-fourth of the budget.
So what Obama and Warren are really stating is this:
Only one-fourth of your federal tax dollars go to projects and programs that benefit the general public and entrepreneurs; the other three-fourths are essentially a complete waste, or are at best optional.
Which of course is exactly what fiscal conservatives have been arguing all along.
So yeah, I agree with Obama: Let’s slash the federal budget by 75%, and only fund services and programs that directly serve the public good.
The first leg of their argument has snapped, and the stool has toppled over. Since the essential programs aiding “the commons” are only a small percentage of an overall bloated budget, we don’t need to raise taxes to fund them.
And now for the second leg.
The Wealthy Already Pay Far More Than Their “Fair Share”
Are you ready for the happy news? If we stick to Obama and Warren’s “essentials only” budget, we can eliminate all taxes for 99% of Americans, and even lower taxes for the top 1%, and still have enough to pay for defense, transportation, public safety, education and all the rest. How? Because the top 1% of all taxpayers — the wealthy elite businesspeople who benefit from roads and schools and firefighters — pay about 37% of all federal taxes, far more than enough to cover the essentials, plus interest on the debt and plenty of extras besides.
Clonk. That’s the second leg hitting the floor.
Kicking Out the Third Leg: Education, Public Safety and Roads Are Covered by Local Taxes, Not Federal Taxes
The final component in Obama’s thesis is far and away the weakest, but for some reason few pundits have noted it. Obama and Warren have intentionally conflated local taxes with federal taxes. In most localities across the country, public education, police and firefighters, and street repair are primarily paid for by property taxes, local sales taxes, and state taxes. Federal grants can supplement local funds, but rarely is a school district or a police department propped up entirely with federal money.
So if we revisit Obama’s and Warren’s speeches, they’re actually making an argument for increased local taxes. And yet they and their audiences somehow imagine that the arguments given are a legitimate rationale for increased federal taxes.
As I said at the beginning of this essay, Obama has just unintentionally proved the conservatives’ case for limited government, and for decentralization and local control.
The stool is now in pieces on the floor. But I just can’t stop kicking.
Obama’s Fallacy that the Goal of Government Research Is to Benefit the Private Sector
“The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”
Now, everybody agrees that a great number of scientific and engineering breakthroughs have happened as a result of “government research,” primarily military research: not just the Internet but nuclear power, GPS systems, jet aircraft, and many more. But Obama is sorely mistaken in claiming that the Internet was created “so that all the companies could make money” off it. Actually, the Internet was created to facilitate defense-related research as well as to strengthen military command-and-control capabilities. It was most definitely not created “so that all the companies could make money,” as a very early ARPANet handbook explained:
It is considered illegal to use the ARPANet for anything which is not in direct support of Government business….Sending electronic mail over the ARPANet for commercial profit or political purposes is both anti-social and illegal.
In this instance as well as almost every other instance, government-funded engineering or scientific breakthroughs were originally and exclusively for military purposes; it was only much later that entrepreneurs came along and found a profit-generating and society-benefitting civilian use for military hardware.
Similar contravening facts undermine other aspects of Obama’s and Warren’s emotional arguments. Take transportation, for example. Prior to 1956, the vast majority of roads and highways and rail lines in the United States were built either privately, by local communities, or by states. It was not until the arrival of the Interstate Highway System in 1956 that the federal government became deeply involved in building roads — and even then, as with the Internet and most other massive federal projects, it was originally for defense, not for commerce.
But the highway system is by now already in place. And the cost of maintaining it and building whatever new highways are needed is a tiny fraction of our federal budget, far less than even 1%. And the business owners who benefit from roads are already paying more than enough taxes to cover their cost.
Progressives have been so intoxicated first with Warren’s speech and now with Obama’s that I’m not so sure they’re even aware that anyone has presented a criticism; progressives probably think that conservatives just avoid this whole topic because the entire arc of Warren’s and Obama’s line of reasoning is so convincing and devastating that it’s best to change the subject. But I predict that the pushback against this speech will grow so large that eventually word of it will reach the far left, and when that happens they may come back with the following retort:
Warren and Obama were just presenting a few examples, not a comprehensive list of public benefits from taxation. These were just off-the-cuff speeches, not policy papers. There are many other federal programs from which business owners benefit and toward which they should therefore contribute.
If so: Let’s see that list. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
Did businesses benefit when in cities across the country HUD built massive housing projects which instantly turned into pre-fab ghettos?
Do businesses benefit when the EPA awards itself unilateral power to impose its interpretation of environmental laws, with no hearings and no warning?
Will businesses benefit when they are forced to abide by byzantine, onerous and expensive Obamacare regulations?
The progressive stance might be: “But we all benefit when everyone is healthy, when global warming is stopped, when children have high self-esteem, when no American goes hungry!”
But by this stage we’ve already passed from measurable physical benefits like roads to fire-fighting to vague claims about intangible potential benefits for which there is no proof. Obama said, “Somebody invested in roads and bridges” because the audience could understand a concrete example; he didn’t get up and say “Somebody invested in high self-esteem” because it would expose the slippery slope underneath this line of reasoning.
Should businesses pay enough taxes to support the nation’s basic physical infrastructure? Yes. Of course. And they already do. But should they pay taxes to fund every progressive social fantasy? That’s open for debate, and that’s not the point Obama and Warren were making. Overtly, at least.
We should thank President Obama for finally revealing the central justification for his economic policy. Now that we see what’s at the heart of his fiscal philosophy, we can demonstrate that he has only ended up proving the opposite of what he intended.
Others Debunking Obama’s Speech
This wouldn’t count as a comprehensive takedown if I didn’t note and link to some of the other pointed critiques of Obama’s speech. Here are some of the best, many of which cover points I didn’t even mention here:
- LauraW at Ace of Spades HQ
“[Warren and Obama] completely discount risk (and hard work). Risk is nearly the whole game. The whole thing, this entire American enterprise, rests on people who are willing to take a risk.”
- Paul Ryan
“As all of his big government spending programs fail to restore jobs and growth, he seems to be retreating into a statist vision of government direction and control of a free society that looks backward to the failed ideologies of the 20th century.”
- Rick Moran at PJM’s The Tatler
“The notion that it takes a village to build a business ignores the idea of a voluntary community and smacks of forced altruism. To Obama, we are all cogs in a machine with individual rights and achievements taking a back seat to a collective sense of worth imposed by a soulless government.”
“And it’s completely a straw man argument as if conservatives and Republicans are arguing to disband the fire department and the police department so we could all individually do it on our own. The idea that infrastructure is necessary and good is as old as the republic. It’s older than that. The Romans had the Via Appia, and that wasn’t exactly a new idea.”
- Mitt Romney
“The governor notes that the money that created those roads and bridges came out of the pockets that Obama is now looking to pick in the name of fairness.”
- Richard Fernandez at the Belmont Club
“The key ideas are familiar. Spread the wealth. Tax people so that they may “give something back.” Limit incomes at the top to maintain fairness….If no business can exist in a vacuum, neither can any politician’s talking points. It is perfectly understandable that Barack Obama’s economic and political philosophy are not entirely of his own making. Most of it is derivative.”
“I challenge anyone to find more than a small handful of highly successful businesspersons who have actually said the equivalent of ‘I got there on my own’ in first-person singular….Obama and Warren aren’t mad because successful people are out there saying ‘I did it on my own’ — because they’re not. They’re mad because these successful people aren’t saying ‘I did it because the government helped me.’”
“The[se] are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world. You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden.”
“Obama has declared the un-Constitution, one that holds that all men are created dependent, with their only inalienable right being their continued obligation to support the governing system into which they are born. This is the antithesis of what our Founders sought to create, and it runs counter to the contract between government and people that we know as the Constitution.”
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Townhall.com ^ | July 17, 2012 | Neal Boortz
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 3:21:21 PM by Kaslin
Last week, Dear Ruler paraded around the country declaring that we needed to raise taxes on the evil rich people earning more than $250,000 a year. As many of you know, this means tax increases on almost one million households that report business income on their personal tax returns – or, in other words, a tax increase on over one million small jobs-producing American businesses. Obama claims that these people don’t need that money and it is a fallacy to believe that this will impact small businesses or job creation. The reality is that Obama has no clue how these small businesses work, and whether or not they “need” that money. It is not the government’s, and certainly not Obama’s role to determine how much of the money a small business earns that business actually “needs.”
Obama managed to top things off in grand style with a speech last Friday in Roanoke, Virginia. In this speech our Dear Ruler showed his complete disdain and outright animosity toward free enterprise with one now very well publicized utterance:
“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Really? Obama said that? Hopefully, at this point, you’re not shocked. But let me give you the context for that remark, because much of that is equally as galling. Here’ the entire quote:
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
So … small businessman! How does that sit with you? You took your money and put it at risk. You worked perhaps as many as 80 hours a week to get things running. You had your ups and downs, but you persevered. Vacations? Are you kidding? Maybe it was five years into your new business venture before you ever took a vacation. Every penny you could scrounge up … every spare minute you could find … all went into your business. While others believed that their role was simply to do their nine-to-five bit five days a week for someone else, you had another game plan --- and it worked. Here you are with your successful small business. You employ perhaps a dozen people or so. You take vacations now. You might even have a vacation time-share on the coast. You just bought a new car for the first time in your life. You’re thinking that you’ve done pretty good chasing that American dream, and you’re justifiably proud of yourself. Then along comes Barack Obama to tell you that this business you sweated over for so many years? Well … you didn’t build that.
Does that work for you?
Let’s delve a little deeper in Obama’s remarks.
Dear Ruler tells us “There was a great teacher in your life.” Right – there very well may have been. But that teacher is, in her own right, a businesswoman. Like most every other college student, that teacher went to college in order to develop a skill to put to use in our free market. Her’s (or his) would be a business of one employee perhaps, but a business nonetheless. The teacher is a businesswoman with a product to sell; her knowledge and her teaching skills. She takes that product to the marketplace to find a buyer; perhaps a government school system, or a private school. She might even begin a tutoring service operating out of an office in a business complex. The businesswoman/teacher is then free to sell her product to whomever she wishes. Perhaps income will be her motivation; perhaps location. Whatever the motivation, she decides when and to who she, as a businesswoman, will sell her product; and when she will withdraw that product from the market to seek greener pastures. She’s not there solely to make something happen for someone else. She’s there to earn a living, just as is the businessman. She didn’t “give” anything to her students. She sold her services to those students and their parents eager for them to be educated.
But let’s move past the teacher thing … and look more closely at that “somebody else made that happen” line. Just who is Obama referring to? Just who helps someone build a business? First you might have the bank that provides the business loan. There, again, you have a private entity with a product to sell … cash. The budding businessman needs that cash. So the bank sells the cash to the businessman – at a markup -- or interest. The businessman then agrees to pay for the product – the cash – plus the interest over a period of time. Here were two businesses working together in the free market. One needed the cash; the other had the cash. An agreement was made to buy and to sell. Businessmen engaged in free enterprise. That’s what made that happen. The bank didn’t just come along to make the successful business happen. Instead, the bank merely engaged in commerce with the entrepreneur.
Maybe Obama is talking about the workers the businessman hired to manufacture or create the product he wished to sell. Yes .. those people helped to build the business as well. But once again, we’re talking about businessmen engaging in commerce. The worker had a skill; perhaps in information technology, or marketing. Maybe it was just good old hard labor. Whatever it was, the employee was a businessman with a skill that he bargained and sold to the other businessman to be used in growing a business. The government didn’t assign that worker to the businessman .. it was all a free and voluntary association in a free market economy. This is not a situation where the worker made the business happen for the businessman. The relationship between an employer and an employee is that of two people engaged in commerce. One with a product to sell, the other with a need for that product. Supply and demand. Commerce happens. The government’s role? In relation to the agreement between employer and employee the government’s principal role is to enforce contracts and adjudicate contracts disputes.
Obama – again – grew up hating capitalism. He was taught by his father and mother, and by his mother’s subsequent companions, that people became successful in free enterprise environments only by exploiting others. Obama sees every successful and wealthy businessman as someone living off of the spoils of a system that victimized those at the lower end of the income scale --- and he sees it as his job to make things right by taking money from the evil rich – who, after all, don’t need it – and giving it to his voter base.
Hopefully this time Caesar Obammus has jumped yet another shark. There are many successful businessmen out there who deeply resent Obama’s assertion that they owe their successes to someone other than themselves and their customers. They now clearly see Obama as a threat. Certainly Obama’s myrmidons will be no more eager to vote for him after his inane comments than they were before. We can hope, though, that Obama’s disdain for and complete lack of understanding of entrepreneurship will shake a few independents off their couches.
Acton Institute ^ | July 16, 2012 | Joe Carter
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 7:19:53 AM by markomalley
Several years ago economist Walter Williams explained “How Not to Be Poor”:
Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior.
Williams is right—it’s not rocket science. Yet many Americans are shocked to discover that life choices are often (though certainly not always) the most determinative factor in the financial security of both individuals and families. Some people, particularly on the political and cultural left, are even offended by the idea that promotion of bourgeois institutions like marriage might be the key to entering—and staying in—the middle class.
But the evidence has become so hard to ignore that even the New York Times is being forced to acknowledge the obvious. This weekend, Jason DeParle wrote a lengthy article highlighting how a primary cause of class division in this country is based on who gets—and stays—married:
Estimates vary widely, but scholars have said that changes in marriage patterns — as opposed to changes in individual earnings — may account for as much as 40 percent of the growth in certain measures of inequality. Long a nation of economic extremes, the United States is also becoming a society of family haves and family have-nots, with marriage and its rewards evermore confined to the fortunate classes.
“It is the privileged Americans who are marrying, and marrying helps them stay privileged,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University.
About 41 percent of births in the United States occur outside marriage, up sharply from 17 percent three decades ago. But equally sharp are the educational divides, according to an analysis by Child Trends, a Washington research group. Less than 10 percent of the births to college-educated women occur outside marriage, while for women with high school degrees or less the figure is nearly 60 percent.
Long concentrated among minorities, motherhood outside marriage now varies by class about as much as it does by race. It is growing fastest in the lower reaches of the white middle class — among women like Ms. Schairer who have some postsecondary schooling but no four-year degree.
While many children of single mothers flourish (two of the last three presidents had mothers who were single during part of their childhood), a large body of research shows that they are more likely than similar children with married parents to experience childhood poverty, act up in class, become teenage parents and drop out of school.
In other words, being the child of a single mother means that you are likely to do the opposite of what will keep you out of poverty.
Unfortunately, society is now much less concerned about the future of these children than we are about not hurting the feelings of single mothers. We’re often told that we should not judge single moms because we do not know their circumstances—and to some extent that is true.
But while we do not want to return to the days when single mothers are demonized, we also need to stop treating them as if they are morally and intellectually incapacitated. Single mothers must be treated with the same dignity owed to all adults, which requires holding them responsible for their choices and actions.
Having been raised by a single mom, I understand and empathize with the hardships of being an unmarried parent. But I also recognize that many of the choices my own mother made (e.g., romantic attachments to men who were morally and financially unreliable) were the reason we lived in poverty for most of my childhood.
Such destructive personal choices often lead to negative outcomes for one’s children, as some of the women in the Times‘ story are finding:
Ms. Schairer has trouble explaining, even to herself, why she stayed so long with a man who she said earned little, berated her often and did no parenting. They lived with family (his and hers) and worked off and on while she hoped things would change. “I wanted him to love me,” she said. She was 25 when the breakup made it official: she was raising three children on her own.
Single mothers, however, are only half—and often the more visible half—of the problem with broken families. Absent and negligent fathers, especially those who are able but unwilling to support their children, should bear the brunt of society’s ire.
Too many men today believe their role as parents is optional or contingent on their ability to live the lifestyle they want. If they move on to a second marriage, they believe their duty is to expend their financial and emotional resources on their new family. This “second family comes first” principle has become the accepted norm in a culture that is willing to be satisfied that some kids, any kids, are being taken care of by a father in the home. If a man won’t provide for all his children, says society, the least we can do is be grateful he is caring for his latest brood.
But that’s not good enough. And neither are discussions about “income inequality” that present charts and graphs about economic activity but fail to acknowledge the underlying pathologies that are widening the earnings gap. The economic problems of America are primarily the price we pay for our social problems. Unless we begin to treat economic and social issues as a whole, rather than as nonoverlaping magisteria, we’re going to continue to be a nation that incentivizes the creation of a an underclass.
July 17, 2012
By Rob Miller
If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.
And of course, since you did nothing to build your business, it belongs to "the people" -- along with any wealth or profit derived from it. Pretty much what Lenin had to say about the matter, if you recall.
The president is obviously clueless about what it takes to start a business from scratch, having never done anything remotely like that, since his career has consisted entirely of suckling at the government teat.
But having done it myself a few times, perhaps I should take a stab at enlightening him, and those who unfortunately think like him. The process is quite different from being a well-connected campaign donor who tosses together a green energy scam like Solyndra and can depend on government largess to fund it as a kickback for services rendered.
First, you need to take a look at the marketplace and develop a skill, a service, a product, or an idea that people are willing to pay for. Some people obtain these by working for others, figuring out how to do what the company they're now working for does better, saving up some of their hard-earned money, rolling the dice, and stepping off into space without the safety net of a guaranteed paycheck. Others develop something over time as a part-time income until they feel they have enough business developed and enough of a rep to go it alone, or in partnership with others.
No matter the case, it involves risking all of your assets in exchange for a shot at financial independence. People deny themselves as they squirrel away capital, hit their credit cards, or borrow the money, usually on their homes.
It is one of life's solemn and sometimes scary moments when someone pushes a loan application or an equipment or office lease at you, and you're wondering if you're going to end up being a failure.
You'll always wonder in the beginning whether you did the right thing.
If the business is to be successful, you work long, hard hours, with no guarantee that anything will come of it. If you run a store, you have to be concerned with things like inventory, shoplifting, and cutthroat price-cutting from your larger, already established competitors. If you run a service business, you work with no guarantee you'll be paid for your efforts until the deal closes and your client's check clears the bank.
In the beginning, unless you start out with a boatload of money, you do everything, and if you screw up, it comes out of your pocket -- no one else's. Aside from the actual day-to-day work your business entails, you do the books, you keep the records and pay the fees government requires, you answer the phones, you make the decisions on advertising and marketing, you chase down new business, you deal with vendors and do the ordering (an art in itself), you deal with sales reps seeking to sell you things you usually don't need, you pay the bills, and you sweep up.
In exchange for these fun-filled 15- to 18-hour days, you might make a profit after a few months and be able to start paying your bills out of the proceeds.
If you do all these things well, your business is one of the minority that survives its first year, and you've made enough money to expand a bit, you may be able to hire employees. Yes, at that point you actually might need to supervise and direct others aside from yourself. Make the right hiring decisions, and ideally, you begin to make more money as you put a business team together. Make the wrong one, and aside from losing money, even coming in to work can become hell.
Aside from taking on new jobs like payroll accounting, paying the taxes, paying for worker's compensation insurance, and filing the numerous reports and paperwork government requires, you also take on the job of human resource head and complaint department. Some of your employees will be a joy to work with, and it will be a pleasure to reward them appropriately. Others will simply have you shaking your head in disgust.
In the end, after a few years, if you didn't make too many mistakes at the outset, if you picked the right kind of business at the right time and place, and if fortune favors you, you may have a successful business that provides you and your family a comfortable living.
You'll still work a lot harder than the average 9-to-5 employee, but by then it will have become second nature to you, and you'll be a lot more comfortable walking the tightrope. Usually, you'll wonder why you didn't go into business for yourself years earlier than you did.
Moreover, you'll have the reward of knowing you gambled and won, that you built something with your own hands that belongs to you -- something that you may be able to leave to your children. And that's something no one can take away from you.
Unless it's a wannabe commissar like Barack Obama...who resents you, deep down, because you had the courage and ability to do something he could never have done in a thousand years.
The only way a Barack Obama can get what you have is to steal it. Which is exactly why he's telling people it doesn't belong to you in the first place.
Yes, it really is that simple.
Rob Miller writes for Joshuapundit. His work has appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle, American Thinker, Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace, and other publications.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Original articleJames Pethokoukis July 11, 2012, 1:40 pm
The original purpose of Medicaid was to provide improved healthcare access for poor people, while not turning the safety net into a trap. Under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Medicaid will be greatly expanded beyond what Congress originally intended.
In fact, as these charts show, it has already expanded beyond what Congress surely originally envisioned and, in the process, has created a terrible fiscal problem for the United States. (These charts and graphics come from a briefing today here at AEI, conducted by Gary Alexander, secretary of public welfare for Pennsylvania.)
A few scary factoids:
– In the 1960s, there were 18 workers per Medicaid recipient. Today that number is 2.5.
– The number of Americans on disability has risen 19% faster than jobs created during this recovery.
– There are just 1.2 private sector workers per 1 person on welfare or working for government.
– There are now just 1.65 employed persons in private sector per 1 person on welfare assistance.
Check out the charts and graphics for yourself:
1. Fewer workers and their tax payments have to support more and more Medicaid recipients.
2. The number of takers is now approaching the number of makers.
3. Medicaid and other welfare enrollment has exploded.
4. Medicaid enrollment is growing faster than economy.
5. Medicaid spending? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
6. Disability enrollees have exploded and are rising faster than job creation.
These charts show an out-of-control welfare state that is about to get even bigger, increasing both budget costs and dependency.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Washington Times ^ | 7/10/2012 | Stephan Dinan
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 6:33:01 AM by markomalley
Wealthy Americans earn about 50 percent of all income but pay nearly 70 percent of the federal tax burden, according to the latest analysis Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office — though the agency said the very richest have seen their share of taxes fall the last few years.
CBO looked at 2007 through 2009 and found the bottom 20 percent of American earners paid just three-tenths of a percent of the total tax burden, while the richest 20 percent paid 67.9 percent of taxes.
The top 1 percent, who President Obama has made a target during the presidential campaign, earns 13.4 percent of all pre-tax income, but paid 22.3 percent of taxes in 2009, CBO said. But that share was down 4.4 percentage points from 2007, CBO said in a finding likely to bolster Mr. Obama’s calls for them to pay more by letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire.
The big losers over the last few years were the rest of the well-off, especially those in the top fifth, who saw their tax burdens go up.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
The numbers reported in the Times are for total tax liabilities. Income tax is a whole lot more dramatic:
In regards to income tax, the bottom 20% of income earners earn 5.1% of the money earned in the country. The bottom 60% (the lower three quintiles) earn 29.6% of the money earned in the country. The top 20% earn 50.8% of the income earned in the country and the top 1% earn 13.4% of the income in the country. On the other hand, the lowest quintile (bottom 20%), cumulatively, contributed -6.6% (a NEGATIVE 6.6%) of all the revenue collected by individual income tax. The lowest 60% (the lowest three quintiles), cumulatively, contributed -7.4% (a NEGATIVE 7.4%) of all the revenue collected by individual income tax. The top quintile (the top 20%), cumulatively, contributed 94.1% of all the revenue collected by individual income tax. The top 1%, cumulatively, contributed 38.7%.
What could be unfair about that? Sounds like it's time to soak the rich more. (/sarc)
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
July 4, 2012
The Education Blob
By John Stossel
Since progressives want government to run health care, let's look at what government management did to K-12 education. While most every other service in life has gotten better and cheaper, American education remains stagnant.
Spending has tripled! Why no improvement? Because K-12 education is a virtual government monopoly -- and monopolies don't improve.
In every other sector of the economy, market competition forces providers to improve constantly. It's why most things get better -- often cheaper, too (except when government interferes, as in health care).
Politicians claim that education and health care are different -- too important to leave to market competition. Patients and parents aren't real consumers because they don't have the expertise to know which hospital or school is best. That's why they must be centrally planned by government "experts."
Those experts have been in charge for years. School reformers call them the "Blob." Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform says that attempts to improve the government monopoly have run "smack into federations, alliances, departments, councils, boards, commissions, panels, herds, flocks and convoys that make up the education industrial complex, or the Blob. Taken individually, they were frustrating enough, each with its own bureaucracy, but taken as a whole they were (and are) maddening in their resistance to change. Not really a wall -- they always talk about change -- but more like quicksand, or a tar pit where ideas slowly sink."
The Blob claims teachers are underpaid. But today American teachers average more than $50,000 a year. Teachers' hourly wages exceed what most architects, accountants and nurses make.
The Blob constantly demands more money, but tripling spending and vastly increasing the ratio of staff to student have brought no improvement. When the Blob is in control, waste and indifference live on and on.
The Blob claims that public education is "the great equalizer." Rich and poor and different races mix and learn together. It's a beautiful concept. But it is a lie. Rich parents buy homes in neighborhoods with better schools.
As a result, public -- I mean, government -- schools are now more racially segregated than private schools. One survey found that public schools were significantly more likely to be almost entirely white or entirely minority. Another found that at private schools, students of different races were more likely to sit together.
The Blob's most powerful argument is that poor people need government-run schools. How could poor people possibly afford tuition?
Well, consider some truly destitute places. James Tooley spends most of his time in the poorest parts of Africa, India and China. Those countries copied America's "free public education," and Tooley wanted to see how that's worked out. What he learned is that in India and China, where kids outperform American kids on tests, it's not because they attend the government's free schools. Government schools are horrible. So even in the worst slums, parents try to send their kids to private, for-profit schools.
How can the world's poorest people afford tuition? And why would they pay for what their governments offer for free?
Tooley says parents with meager resources still sacrifice to send their kids to private schools because the private owner does something that's virtually impossible in government schools: replace teachers who do not teach. Government teachers in India and Africa have jobs for life, just like American teachers. Many sleep on the job. Some don't even show up for work.
As a result, says Tooley, "the majority of (poor) schoolchildren are in private school." Even small villages have as many as six private schools, "and these schools outperform government schools at a fraction of the teacher cost."
As in America, government officials in those countries scoff at private schools and parents who choose them. A woman who runs government schools in Nigeria calls such parents "ignoramuses." They aren't -- and thanks to competition, their children won't be, either.
Low-income Americans are far richer than the poor people of China, India and Africa. So if competitive private education can work in Beijing, Calcutta and Nairobi, it can work in the United States.
We just need to get around the Blob.
John StosselJohn Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "Give Me a Break" and of "Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.