Tag Archives: Democrats

Some Leading Democrats Don’t Seem to Care About Women

Debbie Wasserman Shultz is one of the least likable people in politics. She is a Florida congresswoman who has no shame and is an embarrassment to our country. She will attack her opponents with no regard for human decency. Differing opinions are valuable in a democracy, but this woman contributes nothing to our political discourse except hatred and bigotry.

Most recently, she has used domestic violence metaphors to describe what she views as Governor Scott Walker’s anti-woman administration. She said the Walker has “Given the back hand” to woman, and that “Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back.”

She clearly does not have a problem trivializing domestic abuse by using it as a metaphor in a political attack.

What is especially aggravating about this situation is that liberals have recently demanded that college professors give “trigger warnings” to their students if content like domestic abuse will appear in a reading assignment. The liberal reasoning is that if a student has been a victim of violence, than reading about the subject could “trigger” negative feelings, therefore a blanket warning must be issued before reading, in case the material has any content that could possibly offend anyone about anything. I have written about this before, but today I simply want to ask Debbie if she supports trigger warnings, and if she does, why didn’t she issue one before she made her shameful remarks and insulted those women who have had to face the horrors of domestic violence?

It is instances like this that show how many Democrats don’t really care about woman, but simply want to use them for their own political advantage by inventing a “war on women”.

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Regaining Confidence in America

America today finds itself in a bit of a slump. Historians can show that Americans have lived in much tougher times than these (think Civil War, World Wars, Great Depression, stagflation), but a concerned citizen can’t shake the feeling that America just doesn’t seem to be what it used to be.

A feeling of malaise seems to have crept back into our country. Our economy isn’t terrible, but it isn’t good either. Larry Summers says we are in state of so called “secular stagnation”, which means there is not enough capital investment in our economy and labor markets are weak. Basically, we are under-achieving.

In the political sphere things are just as bad, if not worse. Gridlock in Washington has become the new normal. No one reasonably expects major issues like tax reform, immigration or privacy to be addressed any time soon. Liberals don’t even acknowledge conservatives as having valid ideas for consideration, Harry Reid refuses to let the Senate vote on bills coming from the House and the President just doesn’t seem to care anymore. I’m not one to criticize Presidents for golfing- they all do it (except Teddy Roosevelt, who preferred boxing)- but it doesn’t take a PR expert to realize that a speech concerning a growing, genocidal, extremist terrorist group that even Al-Qaeda said was crazy, shouldn’t be directly followed by hitting the links.

Despite our current situation, we as Americans should not lose hope. For me, confidence in our country comes from different places.

Recently, I have had the pleasure of talking to some people from other countries. They are not necessarily immigrants, but they have spent long periods in America for reasons other than vacation. One of these people have a cousin that just moved here from Italy in order to start a business and send money back home. Despite their European style welfare state that college professors say we should emulate, the Italian economy is horrific so this man did what thousands did at the start of the 20th century and came to America. Lets see if he ends up staying for good, just like they did.

Others I have talked to are not from Europe. Some are wealthy and some are not. I particularly like talking to the ones that are well off in their own county. One girl was from China, but is attending university in Boston. Her parents want her to return to Shanghai and work for the government- a very prestigious career. The girl, however, wants to stay in America. It may be a cliche, but she loved the air of freedom (even though she was in Massachusetts, one of our less free states). She liked writing and saying what she wanted without punishment and actually being able to use Facebook and Twitter. Freedoms not had in her country.

There are still others I have talked to from different parts of the world that I need not give more details on. They are often people who could probably choose other countries to go to, but end up loving America. They talk of a “feel” in this country that just feels right. It would probably take a book to explain this “feel”, but I think I know what they are talking about.

It is the knowledge expressed in The Battle Cry of Freedom, that “Although he may be poor, not a man shall be a slave”.

It is what Lee Greenwood means when he sings “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.”

It is embodied in our most sacred civil creed, that “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

I believe these thing are what draw people to America, and they are what we as citizens used to take pride in. But today we find ourselves in a situation without pride, without a sense of what it means to be an American. Our politicians have lost all trust of the public and have no honor, seeking to enrich themselves through corrupt means all while claiming that their actions are “for the common good”. This is a predictable consequence of big government, and can only be remedied by limiting the power of the state, just as our founders expected us to do. If we keep allowing our government to expand and infringe on our liberties in the name of “doing good”, we will lose the very thing that used to make our proud, and brings people to our shores: freedom.

Tax Hypocrites

In 1984 Walter Mondale ran a presidential campaign on the promise to raise taxes. He lost every single state except his home state of Minnesota, handing Ronald Reagan one of the biggest victories in the history of presidential elections. Since that time, Democrats have been smarter about their positions on taxes. They still support higher taxes on everyone. After all, if you do the math you find out that it is impossible to pay for an expansive welfare state unless the middle class is heavily taxed. But Democrats have learned to hide this dirty little secret and instead just call for higher taxes on “the rich”. This strategy was epitomized in the 2012 election by the Buffet Rule, which tried to convince voters that all the nation’s fiscal problems would be solved if only the rich were taxed more. The rule was named after billionaire Warren Buffet, who claims he wants to pay more taxes in the name of fairness. While this sounds great, the truth is that Buffet is a self interested hypocrite.

You see, the law allows people to make voluntary contributions to the US treasury. Oliver Wendell Holmes is famous for donating his fortune to the government. So if Buffet really wanted to be “moral” and pay more taxes, he can. But he doesn’t. When confronted with this cold reality, Buffet further exposed his hypocrisy by saying that him alone paying more money wouldn’t solve anything unless every other rich person paid more too. He said his donation would just be a “drop in the bucket”. There are two problems with this.

1) Even if everyone else paid more, his increased contribution would still just be “a drop in the bucket”. If he pays $100 more voluntarily or because the law says so, he is still just contributing $100 more. You are either part of the problem or part of the solution in this circumstance.

2) Buffet is making appeals to morality when he calls for higher taxes, but since when does morality have a disclaimer that says you only have to be moral if everyone else is too? Imagine how the world would be if Jesus acknowledged that loving your neighbor is the right thing to do, but said that he wasn’t going to love his neighbor because no one else was doing it. If Buffet was being genuinely moral, he would do what he says is the right thing to do- pay more taxes- regardless of what other people were doing. That’s how morality works. 

Ted Cruz Gets it Right on Free Speech

Ted Cruz recently penned and excellent article for the WSJ about free speech, and the Senate Democrats who wish to endanger it. Basically, the Democrats want to amend the constitution to overturn the Citizens United ruling, thus giving congress the power to regulate money used for “political advocacy”. On the surface this proposal seems harmless. Its intent is to stop billionaires and corporations from corrupting our democracy by spending huge sums of money trying to influence elections. But the problem with this proposal, and those like it, is not what it INTENDS to regulate, but rather what it would ALLOW to be regulated. Cruz puts it brilliantly:

“Speech is more than just standing on a soap box yelling on a street corner. For centuries the Supreme Court has rightly concluded that free speech includes writing and distributing pamphlets, putting up billboards, displaying yard signs, launching a website, and running radio and television ads. Every one of those activities requires money. Distributing the Federalist Papers or Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” required money. If you can prohibit spending money, you can prohibit virtually any form of effective speech.”

 

I suggest reading the whole article to hear the rest of Cruz’s simple, articulate, and convincing argument.

Optimism vs. Pessimism for America

 

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While reading the WSJ I came across an interesting statistic- 76% of Republicans believe that most people can make it in America if they work hard and play their cards right while only 49% of Democrats believe the same to be true. 

As I have mentioned before, I don’t like to have any illusions about how the world works. I know that children of rich people have lots of advantages to succeed over children of poor parents. Some of this disparity comes from income issues such as paying for private schools while factors such as good parenting are extremely important too. Any elementary school teacher will tell you that kids whose parents read with them at night have a huge advantage over kids with parents that don’t. The point is that of course some people, by chance, end up with advantages in life over those that are less fortunate, in terms of income and other factors. 

But I for one am still proud to say that I am part of the “76%”. I believe that the American dream is as alive as ever, and I don’t just believe this because economic research says I am right (even though that is a very good reason). If you work hard, play your cards right and manage to avoid unlucky tragedies you can make it in America. Of course this is easier said than done, but when has it not been?

All of my relatives came to America as dirt poor, uneducated peasants from Southern Italy. Yet them and their descendants lived/are now living middle class lives that would have been completely unimaginable had they stayed in Italy. Did they really have the cards stacked against them more than people do today?

Lets take my one grandfather as an example. After World War Two he immigrated to America. He had a few friends that had come before him but he did not know english, had only a few grades of education and his writing and reading skills were very poor. Yet through hard work and sacrifice he was able to provide a good life for his children and now his grandchildren are getting college educations. Is the American dream really dead?

My family is only one example of this story among literally millions. If America is not the land of opportunity, why do thousands of Mexicans still risk it all to sneak into America illegally? They are not doing it for the welfare benefits, they are doing it because they know that unlike other countries, at least America will give you a chance prove you can make it. The next time someone complains that the American Dream is dead or that our country is plagued by poverty more severe than Turkey or Greece (some actually make these claims) remind them that America has helped more people rise out of poverty than any other nation or welfare program in the history of the human race.

We are the richest nation in the world despite the fact that for the past 150 we have literally been a magnet that the poor people in the world have been attracted to. European nations don’t allow poor people to move to their countries. They despise the fact that poor muslims want to “invade” their precious Paris looking for a better life. Americans on the other hand open our arms and proclaim our famous creed: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free.” We welcome to our shores the poor of the world and give them a chance to prove they can make it. Does this drag down our “stats” and make us appear to be poorer? Probably. I’ve often wondered how many poor we would have if we only ever let into the country the best of the best. But the point is that as Americans though we welcome them to our shores our heart is not truly with the rich, educated immigrant. Instead our inherent American spirit tells us to cheer for the tired and the poor with hope and optimism that anyone can make it in America, despite what the pessimists say.  It is our duty as Americans to keep this optimism alive so that it burns like a torch in the darkest of nights, a beacon of hope for a weary world.

Are College Students Really “Food Insecure?”

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/more-college-students-battle-hunger-as-education-and-living-costs-rise/2014/04/09/60208db6-bb63-11e3-9a05-c739f29ccb08_story.html?tid=pm_pop

 

 

Apparently college students are so poor that they cannot afford food and are therefore “food insecure”. Or at least that’s what the Washington Post wants us to believe. Now I must admit that I do not have my own research and data to dispute them in an empirical manner, but I am still very suspicious of their claims.

For one, it points to a survey saying that 59% of students at Western Oregon University have experienced food insecurity. Thats a very high number. I know college students are poor, but to have well over half of them struggle to buy food seems awfully odd to me considering that we are simultaneously told that the vast majority of college kids drink too much (who pays for that?) and that our population as a whole is much too fat (to put it bluntly). The article mentions that students are often “too proud” to ask their parents or charities for help affording food. I understand that some kids have legitimate reasons why they want to not interact with their parents- perhaps a history of violence or abuse, and I understand not wanting to use private charity. But if our society has eroded to the point where we can’t expect families to help each other and therefore we need government to step in (undoubtably many reading this article will say “lets give all college kids food stamps!”) we have big problems as a country. And as for being too proud for private charity I understand this feeling, but I doubt these same students wouldn’t think twice about accepting food stamps from the government paid for by taxpayers. I remember seeing one past Facebook acquaintance who would put up lots of pictures of alcohol abundant parties and vacations on the beach, but between these pictures he once posted a status bragging that he was eligible to receive food stamps and would promptly take advantage of them. 

Now I do not think that all is well in food in America. We have agricultural subsidies that get paid out to big agribusiness that distort food markets and we have mindless ethanol mandates that actually have the effect of polluting the environment more, raising food prices by turing corn into fuel rather than food, and enriching politically connected businesses at the expense of taxpayers. Naturally these mandates were put in place to save the environment. But what else would you expect from big government “solving” our problems?

As for food stamps, undoubtably there are people in our society that truly need help affording food and we ought to help them. Private charity may not be able to help everyone in need and I personally don’t have an issue using modest government programs to pick up the slack. This is mostly because I believe that the slack ought to be very small. But today we spend billions more on SNAP (food stamps) than we did in the days of Bill Clinton. Part of this is because the Great Recession, but even during our current slow but nonetheless existent recovery the numbers of people enrolled in SNAP continue to increase. Why would an improving economy lead to MORE people struggling to afford food? Something tells me that SNAP is reaching more than just the ones who truly need help…

Of course the big tragedy of this situation is that as we spend more and more on government entitlements and welfare programs and move closer and closer to the cliff of fiscal disaster, we endanger the future of these programs that are desperately needed by the least fortunate in our society. We need to be fiscally responsible today so that we can be compassionate tomorrow.

 

Comments on Equal Pay

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/08/gender_pay_gap_the_familiar_line_that_women_make_77_cents_to_every_man_s.html

(this is a link from a very liberal website just to show I’m not spewing partisan rhetoric)

 

For the record, I believe that women should get paid the same amount of money for the same job than men do.

Now that that is out of the way, let me go back to making enemies.

With midterm elections coming up and the American peoples’ faith in the ability of the Democrats to run the country fading, President Obama is looking to whip up his base by talking about “paycheck fairness”. He repeats the misleading claim that women only make 77 cents for every dollar that men make, and claims that this disparity is due to the fact that male employers hate women and therefore don’t want to pay them the same as men. Further complicating the situation is the fact that women working in the White House only make 88 cents for every dollar that men make, so apparently Obama is a prime example of a misogynist employer that he wants to punish. I don’t think that the President is a misogynist, but by his own standards he undoubtably is.

Now on to being logical instead of political.

When scholars look deeper into the supposed pay disparity between men and women, they find that almost all of the difference in pay can be attributed to things such as hours worked, education levels, field of work and other choices that women themselves make about their own life. For example, at my college the finance department is dominated by boys while the teaching and nursing schools are dominated by women. Now despite the fact that nursing and teaching are more valuable to our society than a bunch of financiers, the reality is that the male finance students will end up making more than the female teaching students.

Some claim that even when you account for these types of disparities, the pay gap still exists. That may be true, and it is probably because of the huge elephant in the room for this whole debate- women bear children.

If teaching and nursing may be important for our society, but no job even comes close to the importance of child rearing. But as any parent will attest to, raising kids is hard. Now due to certain biological facts that I shouldn’t have to explain, women take a more central role in raising a child than men do. Because of this, women will often take a break from their career to have a child, and will pursue jobs with flexible hours once the child is born. The side effect of making these decisions is that the types of jobs and careers with this kind of flexibility do not pay as much as other jobs.

But why not just pass fair pay legislation to ensure that when a woman does the exact same job as a man she gets paid the exact same? Because lawyers.

What fair pay legislation does is make it easier for women to sue their employers (under our 50 year old pair pay law) for paying them less than men. The proposed laws make it so that employers are essentially assumed to be guilty of gender discrimination unless they prove that any pay disparities come from factors other than gender (i.e. the opposite of how justice is supposed to work). This is a problem because it encourages more lawsuits against companies, and shifts the burden of proof onto the company instead of the employee. I can accept women being able to sue their employers for discrimination, but the system needs to be set up so that the woman is not encouraged to sue unless she has a strong case, therefore limiting the amount of useless litigation (our country already has a crisis of suing over everything and it takes resources from productive activities in the economy).

In the end this whole paycheck fairness push is just a way to whip up the Democratic base for elections and secure campaign donations from lawyers, who are the only ones that would benefit from all the extra litigation.