Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

What is a “fair share?”

“We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes non work.”

~ Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize economist

Was Friedman forecasting today’s reality? In one tax year reported in the Statistical Abstract of the United States, millionaires earned 100 times as much as people earning $30,000, but paid 300 times as much tax. The top 20% of wage earners now pay nearly 70% of all income taxes, leaving 80% of Americans to pay the remaining 30%; 46% pay no income tax at all. Is this a progressive “fair share” income tax or is this a redistributive, punitive income tax? Our politicians are finally nearing their ideal of 49% of the voters paying all taxes and 51% paying none, the perfect re-election guarantee.

The Welfare State

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

Shouldn’t those advocating the United States continue its ever-expanding welfare state look more closely at what is happening in Europe under the staggering weight of its “cradle to grave” welfare mentality? Though it sounds charitable and caring, is “cradle to grave” welfare possible? How long can you sustain giving people more than they earn? When you pay people to do less, don’t they do less and continually demand more?

Avoiding debt

Posted by | Filed under Democracy/Government, Economy | Dec 27, 2011 | 3 Comments

“We contend that for a nation to try
to tax itself into prosperity is like a
man standing in a bucket and trying
to lift himself up by the handle.”
– Sir Winston Churchill

Before Christmas, Pamela Yip wrote a column in The Dallas Morning News offering advice on ways to avoid holiday debt, including suggestions from several experts.

She said, “Don’t charge up a storm . . . or you’ll end up with a financial hangover” for years to come. Also, remember that “debt is expensive,” said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com.

I’m entitled

“Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions – it only guarantees equality of opportunity.”

Irving Kristol, 1920-2009

American columnist

Undercover Boss is a television reality show in which a company CEO goes undercover in his or her own company, pretending to be applying for a job. On a recent episode, the CEO of Mack Trucks was learning how to put bumpers on the trucks, voicing concern that he was not going to get the job. His trainer offered a fascinating response, “I will give you a good opportunity.” What a wonderful definition of the American promise – “a good opportunity.”

“Other people’s money”

“Socialist governments do traditionally make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money.”

Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister, 1979 – 1990

She added, “. . . They’re now trying to control everything, . . . reducing the choice available to ordinary people.” Does this sound like our government since the 1940s when President Roosevelt’s Supreme Court gave Congress the unconstitutional power to spend unlimited amounts of “other people’s money” for the “general Welfare?”

Government economics and free markets

Can our free market economy survive the federal government? The president and Congress may get to learn what C.S. Lewis meant when he defined experience as “that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”

Hopefully, you do learn, but not always, which leads us to the economic theories of Vice President Biden. With sincerity, he claims that even though the stimulus package failed to do what the administration promised, it was still a success because it created jobs and slowed the rate of job losses. The same Joe Biden also advanced the revolutionary economic theory that the only way to prevent bankruptcy is to spend huge sums of money.

Free market economy?

Discussing the economy, the President said the private sector is “still nervous about whether they want to go ahead and take the risks that are inherent in a free market system.”  But, the private sector is not afraid of free markets, it is afraid of continued government interference and fears how much more it will interfere.  The government’s job is to regulate the “playing field” of the markets, not to control and manipulate them.

The damnpolitician and the farmer

Last week, I proponed the Founding Fathers had only two requirements to be president of the United States because they wanted to protect the people’s power to choose the president.   They did not want those writing the Constitution and those later “interpreting” it to be able to limit our choices. 

They assumed people like you and me would give time to our country and return home to live as everyone else, rather than staying in Washington becoming a member of the political aristocracy, becoming a career politician.  Perhaps one of the greatest failures of the Founding Fathers was not anticipating the career politician.

Spending the people’s money

“Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal

 with a big appetite at one end and no sense of

 responsibility at the other.”

                                 − Ronald Reagan

 Is it an appropriate use of taxpayer money to fund a “tattoo removal violence prevention program,” a Sparta Teapot museum, a program to communicate with extra-terrestrials, the Pleasure Beach water taxi service, a Waterfree Urinal Conservation Initiative and a swine odor and manure management program?  Moreover, where in the Constitution is the power for Congress to spend our money this way?

The entitled generation

Last week I watched a news report on a new type of life crisis.  Well, sort of.  A young reporter discussed the many difficulties facing the 25-year-olds as they finish college.  Wait a minute?  Why are 25-year-olds just finishing college?  Did they take a few years off along the way?  How did they do that?

I thought about what would have happened to my brothers or me if we tried to explain to our father how we needed a few years off to find ourselves, to figure out what we wanted out of life, to see where we fit in this world.  That was a brief thought.

More jobs, larger tax base, fewer entitlements

The government continues wasting our money, leading us further into socialism and worse.  Our leaders refuse to understand that the free market economy works, but only if the government stops trying to help.  Nonetheless, government continues handing out “free” money, people little noticing that they are becoming dependent on those monies and losing the incentive to be self-sufficient.

To promote the president’s socialist admonition to “share the wealth,” the government spends money on cash for clunkers, new home purchases, mortgage, bank and auto bailouts.  Instead of redistributing the wealth, why not spend it competently on new jobs, a larger tax base and cuts in entitlement programs?

Is the government the new “company store?”

How well does the government manage our money?  Do our elected leaders spend it responsibly and frugally, as they should?  Sen. Charles Schumer answered these questions saying, “Let me say this to all the chattering class that so much focuses on those little, tiny, yes, porky amendments:  ‘the American people really don’t care.'”  He was speaking about the wasted spending, the pork, in the $787 billion stimulus package.  How much of the $787 billion actually stimulates the economy?  According to the Wall Street Journal, only 12 percent “is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus.”

Roosevelt or Reagan?

Our country’s leaders believe President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal ended the Great Depression and saved the economy.  Are they right?  Did his New Deal end the depression or even shorten it?  Take a moment and consider the Roosevelt logic Congress is using with our current situation.  They believe they can fix the economy if they interfere with market forces and spend unprecedented sums of money.  But, if all that is needed to end a recession is government meddling and spending, how could we ever get into a recession in the first place? 

How do we fix the economy?  Two former Presidents.  Two choices.   

California’s latest budget crisis

Experts projected California would have budget deficits of more than $35 billion, requiring massive budget cuts and tax increases.  The Governor proposed $17 billion in program cuts and $8.3 billion in tax increases.  Education programs faced over $2.7 billion in cuts with proposed additional cuts of $5.2 billion. 

In a recall petition, the governor was accused of “gross mismanagement of California’s finances by overspending taxpayers’ money and by cutting funds to local governments.”  Are these the statistics of California’s current financial crisis?  No.  These program cuts and tax hikes are from 2003 when Governor Gray Davis was in office and facing a recall election. 

You’re Beulah’s son, aren’t you?

Several years ago my wife and I were in Arrick’s Fly Shop in West Yellowstone, Montana.  She was wearing a sweatshirt from the Bolder Boulder 10k Memorial Day Road Race, which my brother founded in Boulder, Colorado, in 1978.  An older man working in the shop came over to my wife and asked about her sweatshirt saying he used to live in Boulder.  When he learned that Steve Bosley was my brother  he wanted to tell me a story about his mother and the Bank of Boulder, where Steve was president for over 25 years before his retirement.  The story reminded me of why I admire my “big” brother and some of the things he’s done that are absolutely one-of-a-kind, like the Bolder Boulder race.

Is FDR’s New Deal the answer?

Did President Franklin Roosevelt and his “New Deal” shorten the recovery from the Great Depression?  Was government intervention in the economy helpful or hurtful or both?  Some economists suggest the government manipulated market forces too much and actually prolonged the recovery. 

President Roosevelt put into effect his recovery plan immediately after his inauguration in 1933, calling Congress into a special 100-day session with a whirlwind of new programs.  He believed the recovery required what he called “government partnerships” with the private sector.  But, in his zeal to speed the recovery, some economists suggest he was wrong believing that competition inappropriately drove prices and wages down and that the government had to manipulate the economy to artificially force prices and wages up. 

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