The Practical Philosopher's Blog

Using the practical application of timeless wisdom to address modern issues

Reason #3 Why the Teacher’s Unions are Wrong

The WI bill is NOT about first responders. They are excluded.

The WI bill is NOT about all union collective bargaining, but instead targets the largest of the unsustainable financial liabilities for states- a problem specifically created by unions: Healthcare benefit plans/insurance/subsidies and Pension plans. Wage bargaining is not touched.

None of the above has gotten in the way of union representatives misrepresenting these facts in on-the-record statements as they demagogue unionized protesters and lie to the state of WI. They have an unaccountable and persvasive power they want to keep. It does not matter if what they do causes long term harm to education, the state, and is financially unsustainable.

Unions have no place in a free market and free country like the US.

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Filed under: Economy, Education, Politics, , , , , , ,

Reason #2 Why the Teacher’s Union is Wrong

It’s not about teachers, it’s about unions. What’s at stake is their power to take money and exercise conflict-of-interest political clout for the Democrat party.

Here’s an interesting excerpt on why government worker unions should be illegal:

Traditional, private-sector unions were born out of an often-bloody adversarial relationship between labor and management. It’s been said that during World War I, U.S. soldiers had better odds of surviving on the front lines than miners did in West Virginia coal mines. Mine disasters were frequent; hazardous conditions were the norm. In 1907, the Monongah mine explosion claimed the lives of 362 West Virginia miners. Day-to-day life often resembled serfdom, with management controlling vast swaths of the miners’ lives. Before unionization and many New Deal–era reforms, Washington had little power to reform conditions by legislation.

Government unions have no such narrative on their side. Do you recall the Great DMV Cave-in of 1959? How about the travails of second-grade teachers recounted in Upton Sinclair’s famous schoolhouse sequel to The Jungle? No? Don’t feel bad, because no such horror stories exist.

Government workers were making good salaries in 1962 when President Kennedy lifted, by executive order (so much for democracy), the federal ban on government unions. Civil-service regulations and similar laws had guaranteed good working conditions for generations.

The argument for public unionization wasn’t moral, economic, or intellectual. It was rankly political.

More money appears to be spent on political activity than is spent on the very rank-and-file workers unions purport to support.

Filed under: Economy, Education, Politics, , , , , , , ,

Reason #1 Why the Teacher’s Unions are Wrong

The protesters do not resemble those seeking freedom in Egypt.

They most closely resemble the small, pro-despot (Mubarak) loyalists that seek to keep their unrealistic, government privileges that the majority does NOT enjoy.

The fact that the states are unable to pay for their unsustainable, centrally planned benefits and pensions? Not their problem, apparently.  They should instead send solidarity messages to Greece and it’s government ‘workers’ that collapsed that economy with rapacious and unsustainable government spending.

Filed under: Economy, Education, Politics, , , , , , , ,

Obama’s Big Government Administration Learns Painful Lessons about the Real World

After many disingenuous statements from the Administration on how Wall Street ‘caused’ the housing market collapse, the real world has once again stepped in to squash their flawed collectivist world view with reality. 

The free market works when it is free and populated with private businesses working with, and responding to, rational market incentives.

Whenever the Government interferes (whatever its ‘good’ intentions) in the private marketplace, it always causes more damage than good as an outcome. Why? Because the Government does not work on the same principals as private business. Private businesses have to adapt to economic conditions or risk going out of business. The Government only makes and responds to political conditions. Given that, how does any think it would EVER it would or should act outside its sphere in the economic realm? The Government never has to worry about ‘going out of business’, so it does NOT act rationally in a free market environment. It’s that simple. 

As I’ve said in the past, politicians of primarily Democrat party orientation have pushed the flawed concept that you had a right to a house. This was especially true if you were of a preferred ethnic minority background or were of a lower economic strata. Through Government interference of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), Democrats have tried to buy votes through ‘buying’ people houses they couldn’t afford. This financially irrational behavior was done through political pressue on banks to make bad loans to politically favored groups (CRA) or using fake, Government ‘business’ entities (Fannie and Freddie) to buy bad loans with our tax dollars.

What they didn’t realize is that this would, over the course of 10-15 years, create a multi-trillion dollar housing bubble that would severely injure the US economy and ripple through out the world economy as well. 

Wall Street did NOT create this financial melt down. The Government and Democrats did by politically interfereing in the US economic market. Now, like with all their collectivist or utopian worldviews, we all have to pay when reality comes crashing down.

Filed under: Business, Economy, Politics, , , , , , , ,

Obama- A Man Permanently Out of Step with America



I’ve seen a bizarre pattern where our (younger) President embraces and proposes the failed theories and mis-learnings of past eras that were before his time. He espouses failed collectivist theories of the 20’s and 30’s as well as a desire to be a modern-day John F. Kennedy (who was also young and lacking experience). Obama wasn’t around in the 1920’s or 1930’s and was only between 4 and 7 years old when Kennedy was president.

 

When the President sought to rally our nation with a “This is our generation’s Sputnik moment,” in his 2011 State of the Union address, I had to wonder: ‘who was he talking to?’ It certainly wasn’t ‘our generation.’ Who today feels an emotional impact from that statement- if they even get the reference? Did a 70 year old write the state of the union address?

 

I’m 44 and the ‘Sputnik Moment’ occurred 10 years before I was even born. This would be the same for someone who was 54 (born that year) and likely lost on anyone who was 10 years old or younger. That would put you at retirement age! And honestly, adults in their 20’s and older would be the ones that really reacted to, and did something about that with our own space program and moon landing in 1969.

 

If you were 20 in 1957, you’d be 74 this year. If you are younger than that, the Sputnik Moment is only an intellectual footnote in history to you. For most, it was likely a moment of blank faces and puzzlement.

 

Our country will be saved, revitalized, and restored by the present working class of our country: 18 to 64 years of age. Like with all the major themes of his collectivist and utopian presidency, Obama is just fundamentally out of touch with the reality of our American experience that is happening today.

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

Will Obama Get it? Pre-SOTU Comments

Will Obama get that the country’s private sector, free market economy is held back by his collectivist attitude and policies or will our rookie President continue to run the most anti-business, anti-American values administration in recent history?

My guess is he won’t get it. Unless his rigid adherence to discredited collectivist ideas changes, he will still push to spend more (grow the government) and use the government to ‘create’ (or save) jobs like he has been unsuccessfully doing now for 2 years.

Pundits suggest (I think accurately) that he will talk a good game of going to the center, but will not do anything of substance to back it up- just like the campaign rhetoric that got him elected. They say he will use focus-group tested political marketing for the mentally dim like ‘investment’ instead of spending and tie these distorting terms to feel-good topics like education or jobs. So, if we hear tonight that we need to ‘invest’ in our schools and jobs for our economy to grow, we’ve just gotten more rhetorical blather to cover up that he will try the same failed approaches again and hope for a different outcome.

Reality and human nature are such harsh courts of appeal when it comes to collectivist and utopian theories. I wonder how many repetitions it takes before the outcome not matching the theory shows that certain theories don’t work? You don’t need to be smart to get this- you need to be wise.

The big question is: Will our book-smart and world-dumb President finally grow in wisdom? Will he finally start to support American founding values like smaller central government, individual liberties and freedoms, and get government out of the way so our private, free market will function again?

While he threatens us with whole-scale ‘transformation’ to the fascism of collectivism and the degradation of individual effort and reward, we will go nowhere economically and socially.

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

An Insight into the Mind of a Disconnected US President

The below three articles are great insights into the obtuse and sometimes unexplainable worldview of President Obama. It provides answers to questions like:

• What were his formative years like and where did he live them?
• What was his family life like?
• Why does the President hate and work so hard against business and private industry?
• Why does he seem to not share the values of average Americans?
• Why is the President a rigid believer in disproven, collectivist theories?
• What drives the bizarre, anti-American foreign policies of his administration?
• Why does the President seem unaffected by the recent ‘shellacking’ of his party in the 2010 Midterm Elections?

Neocolonial Dreams from Obama’s Mother
George Neumayr (American Spectator Article)

How Obama Thinks” **A must read!**
Dinesh D’Souza (Article in Forbes Magazine)

He Won’t Be Moving to the Center
Janice Krause (American Spectator Article)

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

Taxcuts and the ‘Rich’

The President wants to raise taxes on those who make more than $250K while continuing our less-than-stellar tax levels for the few others of us under that figure that actually pay taxes.

This is another reason why we will never see any significant new job growth for as long as Obama and collectivists of his mentality continue to advance these broken economic ideas.

This economy is squarely depressed because of this Administration’s policies- not Bush or any other scapegoat. The market is rationally assessing Obama’s anti-business outlook and burdensome/costly future policy statements (Expire Bush tax cuts, Cap and Tax, Negative ObamaCare impacts coming up, Green ‘jobs’ focus, etc.) as toxic to taking any business risk or investing for growth. And why wouldn’t they? Where’s the upside? There is none. All of this Administration’s tone is how anyone making more than the poverty level should be ashamed of their success and get ready to hand over significantly more of their hard-earned profits to Big Government. Temporary, tepid tax measures will not motivate job growth. Higher taxes will not motivate job growth. Temporary, minute infusions of cash for disproven Keynesian ‘growth’ theories (also called history) will not motivate job growth.

Now on to the term the ‘Rich’. How long will politicians in our country try to push this resentful and Feudal term? Everyone in this country should be unashamed to say they want to be ‘rich’. America is the land of opportunity for those that want to work for it. No one here is born into some aristocratic class and the rest of us are stuck being peasants. The real meaning of the term ‘Rich’ class is the Productive class, the Investor class, or the Job Creation class. Where does Obama think the jobs come from? The very people he demonizes!

Just in case people are not aware of it, the top 1% of Americans pay 40% of our taxes already- a patently unfair share as it stands now. The top 10% pay 70% of our total taxes! And he thinks they need a tax hike?! This is unbelievable!

Democrats in Congress have just made an announcement that they are running away from/avoiding this issue like everything else unpopular they want to do because an election is coming up. If it’s not okay now, it’s not okay 6 months from now! This will still be hanging out there and the Investor class will still be sitting on cash (and therefore job creation) because of it.

Send a message this November! Vote!

Filed under: Business, Politics, , , , , , ,

Where’s the President’s Support for America?

Scenario 1: An Islamic project that is legal, but socially insensitive to Americans
An Islamic mosque is proposed to be built nearly on top of ground zero of the Islamic terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. An attack that killed more Americans in a single incident than any other point since World War 2. A large percentage of Americans both locally and nationally are upset and against the proposed 13 story building. They see it as a slap in the face to the victims and other see it as a propaganda symbol for Islamic extremists and terrorists globally.

As the conversation progresses, it is clarified that it is not a question of legality, but of one of prudence and social sensitivity.

The President dances around the topic making a statement about the legality, but he literally says “…I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there [Ground Zero].”

Scenario 2: An American event that is legal, but socially insensitive to worshipers of Islam
A nobody preacher goes public saying that he’s going to burn Korans. When ever a perceived slight of this religion arises from the West, riots and death threats are issued from Islamic groups all over the world. This could also increase violence in areas with Islamic influence where our troops are deployed.

It is not a question of legality but one of prudence and social sensitivity.

This time, the President and his appointed representatives fall all over themselves to make statements pleading for tolerance (social/cultural sensitivity) by this pastor and Americans against the burning of Korans.

Summary
Our President is an utter failure on this issue as a leader of America and Americans. He can immediately issue statements recognizing the social insensitivities for foreigners in the Middle East, but just cannot bring himself to the same statements supporting his own people!

It’s like he’s a leader for the Middle East not America. It’s like he’s a supporter of Islam and not Christianity. Bottomline: it’s like he’s anti-American, which is mind boggling to consider in the office of the President of the United States.

We need to stand up and show our outrage at this abandonment of leadership and America come this November to this President and those in Congress that support this anti-American worldview.

Filed under: Culture, Middle East, Politics, Religion, , , , , , , ,

Obama Still Has No Idea How Our Economy Works

Leaving aside an 11th hour ‘conversion’ by Obama to seeing the value of (some) tax cuts, the cuts he does propose are targeted, temporary, and will primarily only benefit big business.

This ploy to pretend he is suddenly for business will not affect the largest component of our economy- small business owners.

If we convert the ‘Bush tax cuts’ into the ‘Obama tax hikes’ on top of this, things will get even worse. Small business owners tend to file taxes as individuals. They may make $500K in revenue/income, but if you plow $450K of that back into business expenses and taxes, the actual $50K you might use to live on is not much.

The bad news is that their income falls into the hate-the-rich category that Obama uses as examples of morally bad guys that owe money to his unskilled, unproductive, and/or un-ambitious core-constituency.

The punishment of small business owners will be in the form of increased taxes for govt welfare, subsidies and general, short-term vote buying. They will still have no long term (critical!) incentive or confidence they can, or should, risk their money to expand their businesses. The only long term-anything that Obama and his like-minded Democrats will accomplish is long term damage to our economy and founding principles with their collectivism.

Note to the Prez: 70% of our jobs come from SMALL businesses! So how will this current ‘tax cut’ ploy and higher taxes in Jan2011 create jobs? They won’t. Again.

And we’ll continue to suffer economically as a country for their lack of wisdom and leadership on this issue.

Somebody in White House should tell the President: It’s the results, stupid- not the rhetoric.

Filed under: Economy, Politics, , , , , , , ,

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