The Practical Philosopher's Blog

Using the practical application of timeless wisdom to address modern issues

The Sad Ignorance of Collectivists

France is an excellent case study on wages and ignorance of ideological collectivism vs. the reality of human nature. Just ahead of the US in spending itself into oblivion, France’s collectivist President proposed a super-tax on the ‘wealthy’. Wanting more revenue to buy votes/create dependency/socially engineer their society, French President Hollande and his ideological colleagues assumed that the most productive citizens of France would take this in stride and welcome the chance to work the same amount but keep less of the fruits of their labors.

Imagine their horror and sense of abandonment when they saw the following reaction from their productive and successful citizens/leaders:

Even after weeks of speculation, the announcement a fortnight ago that [Famous French actor Gerard] Depardieu, 63, was moving to Belgium to take refuge from Socialist president François Hollande’s planned “temporary super tax” on earnings of more than €1m (£815,000) came as a shock to fans.

And after Depardieu pointed out that he was not the only French celebrity to want to minimise his tax bill by moving abroad, the newspaper Le Parisien produced an interactive map showing he was right. It revealed Switzerland as the country of choice for fiscal refugees, including national treasures such as actor Alain Delon, singer Johnny Hallyday and a colony of tennis players and sports stars.  (Source: The Guardian)

What’s mind-boggling is that fully grown and educated adults are baffled by this reaction. Those that have been weaned on collectivism in the form of socialism for decades simply appear to not understand human nature and the natural inclination toward rational self-interest. This is the only way you could explain this gem of a statement from a colleague of Depardieu’s:

However, the debate has moved beyond what some would call an act of betrayal by the star of French films such as Cyrano de Bergerac and Danton. Film director Claude Lelouch said Depardieu was lucky to pay high taxes because it showed he was a success. “It means things are going well,” he told BFMTV.  (Source: The Guardian)

It’s an honor to be punitively taxed in France. Get it? What’s not to love about only keeping one-quarter of what one makes and give the rest to the ‘needy’? Clearly Depardieu is a monster and is probably in secret communication with Conservatives in the US.

There is hope for the French, though. Their people seem not to be permanently and/or completely brainwashed by decades of collectivism and some clearly see what is happening:

“A small majority, 54%, think the government’s fiscal policies are too tough and are encouraging people to leave the country, and 40% sympathise with Depardieu. At the same time, 35% told us they were shocked by his leaving, so it’s not clear cut,” … (Source: The Guardian)

 If their government can shrink that group down into a minority, then France can have the honor and pleasure of being Europe’s next Greece. C’est la vie!

Filed under: Culture, Economy, International, , , , , , , ,

You Get What You Vote For

Amazingly, a majority of Americans have voted for more of the same approach we’ve had the last four years- crony capitalism, an undermining of laws that Liberals don’t like, a crippled economy, increased government dependence, higher energy prices, dismantled restrictions on immigration…just to name a few.

A few of the big impacts of this election for the next four years:

The Economy: A second recession and increasing taxes.

Why: 52% thought we were on the wrong track economically, yet they voted again for an academic with no business experience and a 4 year record of anti-business influence that has weighed the not-so-free market down. Now Obama can really squeeze the hated corporate world for all the money he thinks they ‘owe’. Why would any business take a risk to expand (and therefore create jobs) in this environment?

Energy: Skyrocketing energy prices.

Why: We’ll get no cheap, domestic energy via our close and stable neighbor to the North via the Keystone Pipeline because it’s hated Black/Brown energy, not Green. Expect skyrocketing energy costs while we pretend that it can viably come from politically correct ‘Green sources’ that we’ve dumped billions into and have nothing to show for it. America is an energy-intensive society that needs cheap energy to grow. People cannot fill their gas tank today with political promises of Green energy sometime in the future.

International Events: An increase in international conflict, unrest, and danger.

Why: America did not lead the world in going back to its founding principles of individual freedoms and liberties. We’ve signaled the world that we will continue to ‘smoke collectivism’ and experiment with its negative economic and social outcomes. Europe will continue to double down on their collectivism (hey- America’s doing it, too duuude!). We’ve also signaled the world’s dictators that we will stay with a weak/reluctant leader on the international stage and they can expect no danger of any military action from the US. Iran can go nuclear, China can invade Taiwan, the Taliban can thrive in the Middle East.

Government Healthcare: Massive increases in cost and disruptions as Obamacare goes into effect.

Why: The government will attempt to do what it can’t afford to: use a non-free market, collectivist model to try to pay for everyone’s healthcare. Expect to lose your current healthcare as your employer jettison’s you to cut this cost. Hope you don’t get really sick before the rationing begins or die before your wait time for treatment is up. The only consolation here: Baby Boomers who like this broken model will grow old and get expensively sick with a government board of bureaucrats deciding if they cost too much to treat vs. the individual having that choice. The downside: they’ll have some years to drain the rest of our economy with the unsustainable costs and then leave the rest of us with the bill.

The new environment for 2013: The House is the same, the Senate is the same and now, the President is the same, but this time he has no re-election checks on him.

Now we’ll have 4 more years of a conflicted struggle to stop an Obama-led lurch towards a collectivist country instead of one founded on dynamic individualism that would lead us back to prosperity for all.

Let the damage begin.

Filed under: American Values, Culture, Politics, , , , , ,

The Results of the Second Presidential Election Debate

I am starting to see a trend in the content and focus of the debates. It happened in the first presidential election debate, the VP debate, and now the recent, second election debate. Republicans are citing facts and business-like plans for the future, and Democrats are giving us emotional comments and defenses of the last four years of economic failure. I thought that Victor Davis Hansen articulated this same thought very well in his post-debate commentary today:

Obama did not forfeit the debate as last time, and took his cue from Joe Biden in interrupting and muttering while Romney spoke, so his energy made it an entertaining night. Nevertheless, the same theme as in Denver emerged — Romney more often providing specific proposals and detailed critiques, and Obama preferring more often emoting and running more on hypotheticals, as if he were not an incumbent with a depressing record that he is obligated to defend.

I saw both Romney and Ryan do this. If we look ahead to the next four years of critical leadership for our country, do you want emotional talking points or an adult plan to focus our country back on the founding principles of enabling individuals- not taking away from them and berating their success. This is how jobs and prosperity for all are created.

 Vote for Romney/Ryan in 2012.

Filed under: American Values, Economy, Politics, , , , , , ,

Romney Unveiled

So after weeks/months of being defined negatively by hundreds of millions of Obama campaign dollars and negatively filtered by the mainstream media, Romney turns out to be…human! In the real world of face-to-face debate of ideas and accomplishments, it’s no shock that Mitt Romney did well and President Obama did not do so well.

Mitt Romney is a family man, business man, and Governor that brings his record, experience, and compassion to his campaign for the Presidency and the privilege of leading our country. President Obama had little national political experience and no executive experience when he campaigned for President. He has had four years to lead our country forward with that lack of experience and does not have much to show for it. I blogged back in 2008 that he was not qualified to assume the Presidency and that this poor performance would be the inevitable outcome of an on-the-job (OJT) trained individual.

Some high points of the substance of last nights debate (vs. style):

  1. When asked how he would break political grid-lock and work across party lines, Romney had a record of doing so with a MA state legislature that was 87% Democrat. The President said he would listen to ideas from both parties. Then went on to say how you need to say ‘No’ to the other party no less than three times!
  2. On the topic of Energy, Romney effectively called out Obama’s Soviet-style central planning approach to picking economic losers (to the tune of 90 billion in taxpayer dollars) in the green ‘energy’ area. Romney followed that with how that money is fifty times the subsidy of entire gas and oil industry (successful producers of usable energy!) and how many teachers the President could have hired if that money had not been lost.
  3. Through out the debate Romney gave specifics on how he would do things differently than Obama. After one such set of points, Obama clumsily pulls out what must have been a poll-tested talking point to say that Romney didn’t have any specifics! That was a puzzling gaffe by a politician that has been hailed as a ‘great’ orator of our times. The President appears to struggle when he doesn’t have a teleprompter and control of the conversation.

Some great points from some of the after-debate reviews:

  1. “On the whole, Mitt Romney looked like a guy who wants to be elected president tonight, and Barack Obama looked like a guy who wants to be left alone.”
  2. “[Romney] effectively portrayed himself as a private-sector problem solver. He cast President Obama as a failed statist technocrat without appearing angry.”
  3. “For so long Barack Obama has assumed that he will not face cross-examination from the media that he simply has little grasp of policy details, and in exasperation seems to look around for the accustomed helpful media crutch. But there is no such subsidy in a one-on-one debate, and only now it becomes clear just how [much] the media, for the last six years, have enfeebled their favorite [politician].”

With an unfiltered view of the dynamic, intelligent, and experienced individual that Mitt Romney is, I hope you will vote for his leadership to put our country on the right track for the next four years.

Filed under: Culture, Politics, , , , , , ,

Note To The Young: Vote With Your Head- You Can’t Afford Not To!

In the 2008 Presidential election, 18-29 year olds voted for Barack Obama almost 2-1 and possibly gave him a good chunk of his margin of victory.

Time and again, I’ve heard that the reason young people voted for Obama was that he was ‘hip’, ‘cool’, a historical event (half African-American), and so on. Even though polling showed 18-29 year olds as having the economy as their main/top issue (61%), they seemed to vote on a more emotional basis for a blank-slate, inexperienced candidate that had not even completed one national-level term as a political leader and had no executive leadership or business experience.

Now fast forward almost an entire term in office to 2012 and 18-29 year olds are experiencing:

  • The unemployment rate among 18- to 29-year-olds is more than 12 percent
  • According to Gallup poll from this spring, 32 percent of 18- to 29-yearolds are underemployed—meaning either unemployed or working part-time but looking for full-time work
  • 77 percent of 18- to 29-yearolds either have or will delay a major life change or purchase due to economic factors. That includes 44 percent who will delay buying a home and 28 percent who say they’ll delay saving for retirement.
  • Nearly a quarter of young Americans say they will delay starting a family, and 18 percent will delay getting married because of the economy.
  • The Obama economy has given rise to ever more “boomerang kids” who must return home to live with Mom and Dad after graduating from college without a job.
  • Obamacare will draft/compel (whether you want to or not) young people into paying for full-scale healthcare to subsidize the costs of an aging Baby Boomer population bulge.
  • Obamacare will further hurt the job prospects of the young by destroying many low-margin businesses like restaurants (that employ younger workers) with thousands in additional/required healthcare costs.
  • Source: American Spectator article “Obama’s Hipster Hell

Romney many not have an ‘Obama girl’ pining for him, will not be on Letterman, hang with Hip Hop rappers, or ‘slow-jam’ the news. What he does have is actual business experience in is turning around failing companies and a broad business background, on top of executive leadership experience as a governor.

So to all our next generation of citizens/parents/business people that will inherit our world going forward: Please forget ‘cool’ and vote for actual change that will benefit you. Vote for Mitt Romney this November.

Filed under: American Values, Culture, Politics, , , , , , , ,

Romney Guilty of Speaking the Truth!

This is a great contrast of two leaders.

When Barack Obama was caught speaking how he really felt, it was to mock mainstream Americans (‘bitter clingers’) on their religion, the audacity to own a gun, or if you were ‘disadvantaged’ by being from a small town and not buying into the broken ideology of urban Liberals.

When Mitt Romney was caught speaking how he really felt, it was lamenting that 47% of our country does not pay taxes, see themselves as victims, and look for Big Government solutions that create dependency to fix their lives.

The first shows that Obama doesn’t get American founding values like individualism and Romney does when they really express how they think, and therefore, will act.

Turn our country around by voting for Mitt Romney and American values this November!

Filed under: American Values, Culture, Politics, , , , , ,

Liberals See Big Government as Their Spouse

Its not “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus”.  It’s “Married people from the Republican party and unmarried people are from the Democrat party”.

In this election season (and many past), married people strongly support Republican presidential candidates and unmarried people support Democrat party presidential candidates.

This was captured in a recent Gallup poll entitled: “Married Voters Strongly Back Romney“. The byline is “Marital status is strong predictor of voting behavior”. There are a couple of points about this poll that are very interesting and should be alarming to people looking toward our next four years of Presidential leadership.

1. The trend isn’t about Romney. If you review the last several election cycles, you will see this apples to the Republican party. One party has become the party that supports the interests of those that take the crucial path of getting married and best raising our next generation. The other has become the anti-marriage party that supports a broken/incomplete/alternate/none-at-all concept of family.

2. What does it say about the Democrat party that people who are not married strongly support them? It should be alarming to normal people who are Democrats that they have a party with an interest in growing dependency and anti-marriage.  The Democrat party pours money (“compassionately”) onto single mothers and can’t see how that breeds welfare queens and greater welfare dependency. They want to dissolve the objective concept of marriage between a man and a woman at both the Federal and State level and don’t get why married people don’t vote for them. The black community, arguably the most core Democrat constituency has the worst level of broken families/lowest marriage percentages and the greatest dependency on Government. The list goes on.

The bottom line is that all people need a stable family unit to best find personal happiness and  raise children. Republicans get this and support policies that people have collectively judged to be beneficial to this foundation of our society. They marry other private citizens. Liberals, with all their anti-family rhetoric and ideas, see the Government, and not family and marriage, as their benefactor/protector/enabler and are instead accepting the Government as their spouse- a losing proposition.

Vote for a better society that supports, not undermines marriage. Vote for Mitt Romney in November.

Filed under: Culture, Politics, , , , , , , ,

Will you Vote for a Free Country or one of Dependency?

Thomas Sowell writes a terrific piece in the American Spectator on the broken ideology of dependency of Obama, the Democrat party, and the Left here in the US. It’s a terrible situation when one political party takes an emotional approach to addressing virtually every issue instead of an outcome-oriented one.
To wit:
• Liberals talk more about giving (via the Government) and Conservatives actually give more of their private money. Also, the US gives more in private charity globally than the rest of the world (and all the ‘compassionate’ leftist governments) combined.
• Conservatives want to get people jobs, Liberals can only focus (and understand) on how to expand and lock people into the dependency of Government welfare programs. The ultimate welfare is getting someone a job, not some need to feel good about yourself for taking over their life.
• Republicans are pushing a free market economic model where individuals are in charge (the model that has given us our past historical prosperity). The Democrats vilify business and the individuals that build them, and wonder why our private industry is sitting on the sidelines and the economy continues to falter in the longest ‘recovery’ since the Great Depression (screwed up in the same way by FDR).
• Republicans want to create and promote domestic energy production of actual working and known resources of oil, gas, and job-creating projects like the Keystone pipeline. Democrats can only talk from a headlock by the environmental-zealot lobby that pushes Wind and Solar energy sources that cost more than they produce. The poor suffer the most from paying higher costs they can’t avoid on gas, heating, and electricity. You want world peace or at least a significantly smaller chance of US intervention in some primitive and regressive Middle East country? Produce our needed energy here!
And the list can go on interminably. The terrifying reality is that the Democrats don’t have one area that doesn’t drive toward a negative outcome and/or increased dependency on the Government. This is the exact opposite of the founding principles of our country.
In November, vote for Mitt Romney for a return to individual freedom and prosperity and vote against Barack Obama’s collectivism and drive to make us a failing nation of dependents.

Filed under: American Values, Business, Culture, Politics, , , , , , ,

The President is Dishonest on the Reality of our Looming Energy Crisis

Hating the prosperity and independence that technology has brought our society and its ever-growing energy needs, the President has been dishonest with facts concerning what we could do- what HE could do- to avert a looming US energy crisis. The easy, common-sense answer is to radically ramp up access to our abundant, existing resources, both short and long term.

The first myth (nicer than saying ‘Lie’) is that we only have a small fraction of oil reserves and we should just get used to being at the mercy of primitive, volatile foreign regimes:

Fact-Checking President Obama’s Energy Press Conference

American Solutions has a summary of what President Obama said yesterday as it relates to energy issues, along with what they call Obama’s “three biggest myths”: 

“We can’t escape the fact that we control only 2% of the world’s oil.” This is a common refrain among anti-drilling Democrats and environmentalists, and it’s repeated enough that many people accept it as true. In reality, it’s 100% false. The number comes from a highly conservative estimate from the Energy Information Administration totaling America’s proven reserves where we are already drilling. It does not include the 10 billion barrels available in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It does not include most of the 86 billion barrels available offshore in the Outer Continental Shelf, most of which President Obama has placed under an executive drilling ban. And it does not include the 800 billion barrels of oil we have locked in shale in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. Those shale resources alone are actually three times larger than the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia, so the claim that the U.S. only has 2% of the world’s oil is clearly false.

While the President stays in lock-step with the Big Environment/Green Zealot groups, we are in grave danger. Their anti-prosperity, anti-energy approach of  ‘no-energy, no-way, from-no-where’, will continue a race towards a whole scale failure of our energy grid and our society.

If we want to live like primitive savages with the lower life expancies and the lower standards of living in third world countries, we are on the right path. If we’d rather prosper like we have since the beginning of this great nation, then the President and those like him that want to unravel our country must go.

Filed under: Energy, Environment, Middle East, Politics, , , , , , , ,

High Gas Prices have always been part of the Green Agenda

Obama has said it on record many times. Numerous green advocates in his administration have said it as well:

While the head of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, Chu (Steven Chu- now Obama Energy Secretary), told The Wall Street Journal that energy prices were the lynchpin to an energy overhaul. “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” Chu said in September 2008.

Then the public will conform to central command and get off that pesky, cheap, prosperity-driving fuel source called oil. 

The only problem with the ‘Green’ Agenda is that:

A: It does not work or deliver anything usable at a reasonable price.

B: It can only be afforded/indulged in by the wealthy, dual-income couples, or empty nesters at the height of their earning curve.

C: It most harms the poor and will cause them, and the economy in general, great suffering before we achieve any significant green ‘transformation’ (read this as a regression to a third world or primitive standard of living) of our society.

Why is our national leader, the President (and his administration), not pulling out the stops to jumpstart domestic energy production and start reducing our vulnerability to backwards Middle Eastern regimes and the chance of war? This is the reason. Welcome to the green revolution.

Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Middle East, Politics, , , , , , , , ,

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