Not Socialism

I am one of many people, who have thought our current government was moving toward socialism.

In order to consider this opinion I studied the definition of socialism from several sources today.

Here is one definition, very much like the others: Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy. (Emphasis is mine.)

Based on this definition I need to abandon the idea that our country is moving toward socialism, because a central part of the definition is the production and distribution of goods. Since it seems to be the government’s goal to regulate businesses out of existence, or at least outside of our borders, their actions do not fit the definition of socialism.

This revelation leaves me with few choices left when trying to determine the goals of current policy and policy makers. They could be intentionally working toward the destruction of our economy and therefore the destabilization of America. Or they could be compassionate toward the hurting and too shortsighted to see the outcome of their actions. This leaves me, the average American, with a horrible choice. Were they too stupid to see the outcome of their actions or were they intentionally hurting America?

For the past couple of years far sighted people have been warning us about the ramifications of ObamaCare. These voices have been relegated to the sideline as naysayers, members of the Tea Party, or those under the influence of Fox News. Now ObamaCare is shaping up to be exactly what these people have said it was, and policy makers are apologizing and claiming ignorance.

It seems obvious to me, and I hope to you, that people who cannot see the outcomes of the legislation they pass (or who intentionally hide it) must be held responsible. At the very least, this should include the press reporting the economic damage, what created it, and who caused it. Only reporting on the misery caused by this economy prompts further actions, aimed at being compassionate, but which continues to undermine our economy. Thereby creating a vicious circle.


The Great Car Campaign

I thought I just might run for president.

My platform will be that every American deserves a car, not just a car, but a new government car.

Those that cannot afford to buy their own will be supplied one by the government. Those that can afford to buy a new car and choose not to, will be fined.

The rich will be berated for having better cars than they deserve, and will be asked to sacrifice to help pay for the cars of those who can’t afford them.

When the proposition is being debated I will explain this is the greatest country on earth and surely we can do anything we set our mind to. I will avoid going into real details of what it will cost, impact the economy, or change our culture.

Then when the measure is written into law I will make it massively complicated so that few people really understand how it will work or what changes it will bring. Everyone is getting a car, surely that is a good thing?

My friends will pass it without reading it. My opponents will not be given any chance to review it to see if it even makes sense.

This will make it the law of the land, so I will demonize everyone who disagrees with it.

After this, when it begins to be implemented and things are beginning to look like it isn’t working so well, I will hide as much information about it as possible insisting it’s too soon to tell.

When they begin to see the government cars are not really the same quality, they notice the work was contracted to Canadians, or notice the cars are more expensive than promised; then I will blame the other party for nitpicking.

Finally when it all begins to fall apart, well I don’t know what I will do then. Just let me watch a little longer and see what happens next with ObamaCare.

False Confidence

Politicians and the media tie consumer confidence to the economic health of the nation. Not that I blame them, the stock market moves up and down based on consumer confidence. I do remember that the great depression was an event centered on a fall in the stock market. But the economy is much more multifaceted. Including

I also know that increasingly, America has become dependent upon the stock market. Private retirement accounts and the heavy involvement of public funds guarantee we are all affected by the rises and falls in the market. Day traders and penny stocks are examples of how fascinated we can be with the potential of the market.

The problem, at least as I see it, is that we are watching the rises and falls in the stock market like they are an indicator of the health of the economy, rather than only an indicator of consumer confidence. People buy when they are confident and sell when they are worried.

Of course, there are exceptions. For example, when people lose employment they look for other forms of income. Some file false claims for disability, others gamble in the market—buying at times when more savvy investors would be pulling back. These investors will push the market up even when there is no confidence.

People treat the market like it is a gauge, like an oil gauge on a car. When things are beginning to go south, the gauge slowly drops. If it drops all the way to zero, say goodbye to that car. Smart money fixes the problem before it gets there. But the market is more like an oil light. An oil light comes on when the pressure has gone already.  It doesn’t give you time to avoid something expensive before it happens, it only confirms for you that something expensive already happened.

New Patriotism

We need a new patriotism.

I don’t mean we need more patriotic people, although that would be a good thing.

I don’t mean we need more people displaying their patriotism, waving flags and so on.  Although this too, would be a good thing.

I think we need a new patriotism, as in displaying their patriotism in new ways. I think we need to show patriotism by taking personal responsibility for the health of our nation.

The current approach to solving our problems seems to be to find who to blame. Small companies blame large corporations. The poor blame the rich for not paying enough taxes. The Democrats blame the Republicans and vice versa. Everyone outside of politics blame the politicians.

Blame is not a solution.

In my new model of patriotism, we would quit looking at it as a problem created by the other guy and start thinking of it as a problem created by everybody, including us. Then make it a matter of personal pride to stop being a part of the problem in as many ways as possible.

Here are some obvious examples. We should refuse to organize our personal lives and relationships in such a way as to need help from the government. We should refuse to expect government programs to take care of us in ways we could have taken care of ourselves. We should refuse to take education or employment lightly. We would also refuse any spending pattern or government regulation which suppresses the entrepreneurial opportunities in our country.

Real patriotism would be when everyone pulls together to overcome our problems.

Obama Depressive Disorder

#Politics Monday – But talking about politics is getting too easy, so today I am going out on a limb to talk about mental health instead. In fact, I am going really far out on a limb to predict a soon to be recognized mental illness which should be identified by the medical professionals any day now.

I am confident the medical world will recognize it, because I see people all around me suffering from the effects of this dread disorder. Since I am the one that first identified it, I get to name it. So I am going to call it Obama Depressive Disorder or ODD for short.

People cursed with ODD will exhibit the symptoms of depression initiated by an overwhelming case of fear of what Obama and his policies are doing to this country and to them personally.

The most severely afflicted people will believe that Obama is the antichrist. That he will never leave office at the end of his term and from there they expect he will eventually rule the world for the devil’s glory. These people may be preparing to become survivalists, stockpiling food and guns or similar behaviors.

The mildest cases will exhibit a certain paranoia about being identified as a racist simply because they disagree with the president’s policies. The primary symptom for these individuals is to fail to speak out no matter how ludicrous they find the actions of government.

The more common, middle of the road cases will demonstrate financial symptoms. The severity of the financial indicators ranges from setting aside additional savings in an attempt to pay for whatever fines, fees, or taxes they are about to incur, all the way up to long term unemployment. In these more severe cases you can expect to see loss of assets and bankruptcy.

There are some disturbing medical symptoms too, specifically people seem to be throwing up their hands and giving up on trying to keep up with their own medical care, and especially a fear of red tape associated with future medical care. I have even seen medical professionals abandon their studied field to avoid such legal constraints.

The executive branch might quibble with my description of ODD, preferring to think of it as WRD, that is W’s Recessive Disorder. But by their own declarations, they already fixed WRD, so personally I think Obama needs to own this one.

I will be in my office when you’re ready to give me my Nobel Prize for medicine. I probably will not be clutching an automatic handgun and hoarding canned goods. Probably not.

Labor day

Those who work for a living make America better; those who do not work weaken it.

Those who work for a living help maintain the economy; those who do not work destabilize it.

Those who work contribute to the national standard of living; those who do not work lower it.

Those who work raise the standard of national education; those who do not work undermine the primary reason for education.

Those who work can raise the cultural climate of our country; those who do not work lower the quality of our culture.

Those who work will always have respect; those who do not work will have less respect and may forget how to behave respectfully.

Those who work will always have greater dignity; those who do not work will never feel as good about themselves.

Those who work will protect America’s freedom and ability to stay free; those who do not work move our nation toward slavery.

Those who work deserve a fair wage, safety in the workplace, and the gratitude of the nation.

Happy Labor Day.

Student Loans

Our government has completed legislation to keep student loans affordable. This action guaranteed we will have the best educated unemployed people in the world.

While we can be somewhat proud to know there is at least one issue breaking through the gridlock in Washington, no one should believe this step will turn around our national decline. Education is an important part of building strength, but the study has to have a practical outcome within the US economy.

First we need to admit higher education is getting to be too expensive to be realistic in many fields. If the government is going to float a loan to a student for $250,000 of education which will qualify them to earn no more than $30,000 a year, it doesn’t take a math major to predict the loans will never be repaid.

Then we need we need to consider if graduates in more lucrative fields can expect to find jobs. If politicians want to improve life for these future collegians, they should create a employment friendly economic and regulatory climate. As it stands now those jobs are likely to be outsourced.

Finally those seeking higher education need to have clear goals for their degree work. Too often college is a way for high school graduates to avoid entering real life. They go to school, living off of student loans funded by the government. In some cases even the serious students are given nothing more than theories and ideologies rather than solid marketable skills.

Education can be great, but in today’s environment it is far too often, just another massive financial loss our government is expected to absorb.