Archive for November, 2008

A War We Should Pull Out of

Posted in Political with tags , , on November 26, 2008 by Justin

We desperately need to pull out of the War on Poverty. We have a losing strategy and it is by far the most costly war we’ve been involved in. Its a war with no end in sight, and many of the strategies we’ve implemented have served to extend the problem rather than end it. This interview goes into a lot of the problems that strategies now being implemented in the US have created through their past implementations in the UK. If you look at the policies implemented in the UK, and other parts of Europe in the past, and then look 5-20 years later at the US you will see that they were implemented here, after the UK showed that they didn’t accomplish what they were touted to do. The next in that line is Government Healthcare. Much of what I have to say on the subject is covered in the link above, so check it out, and in many cases simply replace “Britain” with “America” and the statement still rings true.

I don’t don’t doubt the sincerity of peoples’ convictions that they want to help others through these social programs, but what we need to realize is that these programs do more harm than good, and if you really want to help people we need to end these programs. The old saying still rings true “If you give a man fish you feed him for a day, if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” These welfare programs are merely giving people fish, not teaching them to fish. If people had to suffer the consequences of not providing for their own needs, they would be forced to learn how to provide for their own needs and end the cycle of poverty, and multi-generational welfare families.

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A few thoughts from Texas

Posted in Political, Uncategorized with tags , , on November 25, 2008 by Justin

Firstly, driving through the panhandle of Texas is really quite boring. We had to take a trip from Canyon down to Lubbock yesterday, and after about 10 minutes of cotton fields, they really start to look the same…so…the hour and half drive was quite boring. Texas Tech’s campus was quite nice. The construction in Lubbock was annoying.

Secondly, its much harder to keep up on what’s going on in the world when you’re not at home and your normal schedule of things gets screwed up. Therefore I’m less able to blog about the political actions of our incompetent politicians.

Thirdly, I have truly had it with this bailouts. We have now bailed out Citigroup because they are “too big to fail” yet they still plan to keep their 400 million dollar contract with the New York Mets to keep the name of their new stadium, “Citi Field”. AIG is still paying 125 million to have their name on the Jersey’s of Manchester United, and Bank of America will not only keep their name on BoA stadium in Charlotte ($140 million), but will also still look to attach their name to the Yankees ($20 million) after taking $25 billion from the Federal Treasury (aka your tax money). This only makes it easier for the Auto Makers to continue to push for their bailouts.

For those of you that may want to disagree with me about the union contracts with the automakers causing problems. My father-in-law – who is a member of the carpenters’ union, and has sat on the board in Dallas – agrees with me. He too agrees that it is ridiculous for someone to get paid $26+/hr to put an orange dot on a body panel for a GM car.

We seriously need to get back to the basics of free market capitalism. One of the biggest things that is important to free market capitalism is that businesses fail. If we don’t let businesses with a bad structure and/or bad products fail, then we don’t make room for businesses with good products/structure to start and grow. Right now the American auto market is controlled by three companies, there is next to no chance for an upstart American auto maker to get going. If GM were to fail, completely fail (which would not happen anyways…but still) 1. Ford and Chrysler would grow because you have people that no matter what are going to buy American, and they will have one less company to choose from, so all those Chevy buyers are going to be divided b/w Chrysler and Ford. 2. It provides a gap for another company to fill, one that would model their business structure more after Toyota than GM.

How Obama got elected.

Posted in Political with tags on November 20, 2008 by Justin

I have seen the below video in a couple different places, to find out more back ground on the video check out this link. Its really interesting how truly uninformed people can be, I think this is why our fore fathers wanted an electoral system, they couldn’t trust the general public to elect a president and obviously neither can we. This is as much an indictment of our media as it is the people, if not more so, because it is supposed to be the media, particularly news media’s, responsibility to objectively inform the people, and in that task they have failed.

Do something about the Bailouts

Posted in Political with tags , , on November 19, 2008 by Justin

I just wrote my congress people, Dick Cheney, and President Bush about the auto maker bailouts. I also threw in a bit about the other bailouts as well. To get involved, and have access to a form letter on the automaker bailout you can click here. I have already done this, and like I said, I added some of my own stuff to the form letter they automatically give you. I have used their services before concerning drilling for oil, look through my earlier posts and you will find it. Below, I have included my version of the letter sent.

November 19, 2008

[recipient address was inserted here]

Dear [recipient name was inserted here],

Since the 1970s, Detroit’s Big Three auto makers have failed to keep up in the competitive auto industry. Now they are begging the federal government for a bailout to the tune of $75 billion!

Ten years ago the Big Three posted a combined profit of over $16 billion dollars. But management failed to wisely invest these profits.

The Big Three are heavily weighed down by irresponsible labor costs. The problem in the auto industry is caused by unrealistic union contracts written decades ago. These contracts did not give the industry the flexibility it needed to respond to market changes and burdened the industry with legacy costs. The Big Three each pay over $30 per hour per person more in labor costs than the Japanese auto makers. They have tried to recoup these losses by selling us over priced, over sized SUVs for years. Since gas prices went up, the demand for those SUVs has decreased, and the Big Three are in a world of hurt.

General Motors is leading the call for the $75 billion taxpayer bailout, speeding up the $25 billion loan program to develop fuel-efficient vehicles, $25 billion in general support to keep the companies operating, and $25 billion to bailout promises to union benefits.

It is time to draw the line in the sand when it comes to federal bailouts. Please do not support a bailout of the Big Three auto makers.

I personally have not supported any of the bailouts thus far, but the idea that we should bail out the Big Three auto makers when they should have seen the writing on the walls years ago would really go too far. GM is playing chicken with the government right now. They are threatening that the company will completely cease to be if they don’t get this bail out money. Frankly that is a lie, and our government needs to call their bluff. The best thing that could happen to GM or any of the Big Three would be to go into chapter 11 and restructure. I realize that unions make up a big constituency, and this would not sit well with them, but if we don’t fix this the right way now by letting them file bankruptcy and forcing them to restructure within the confines of our proven economic system, we’ll just be in the same place down the road. How far down the road that will be is hard to tell, but a bailout for the Big Three automakers is nothing more than band-aid.

None of these bailouts are outlined in the Constitution, nor is the government taking ownership stakes in the companies it is bailing out. The Constitution is supposed to be the supreme law of the land, and that’s what the people want. Your job is to represent the people; the people don’t want these bailouts, and they do want the Constitution upheld. Please, do the right thing.

Sincerely,

Justin

Unions

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on November 14, 2008 by Justin

So the unions have put together a nice little video telling you how evil your employer is and how you need to sign the petition to pass the employee free choice at. You’ll find my commentary after the video.

There are several problems with this video.
1. It doesn’t mention the fact that the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) would do away with secret ballots. What it would do is allow people that were seeking to unionize a workplace with a petition only. “Why is this a problem?” you might ask. Well the answer to that is that it opens up people who may not want to unionize their work place to coercion, threats, and violence. Under the current system, you get employees to sign a petition for a secret ballot vote on unionization. Once you get over 50% signers in favor of a vote, you then have a secret ballot vote to determine if you actually unionize. This allows the workers who may oppose unions to voice their opinion without the worry of upsetting fellow employees who disagree with them. If they pass the EFCA, the petition would be if you want to unionize or not, and once they got 50% signatures on the petition, then its a union work place. In this system, people that didn’t sign could seriously alienate themselves from their fellow employees.

2. Salary is based on how much it costs the company to keep you in your job. You get raises for being profitable to the company. In a union system you get paid based on a position, everybody in X position gets paid the same amount regardless of productivity.

3. You don’t own your job, the company does, the extent of your agreement with them is “I work X length of time, you give me X number of dollars at X intervals.” You don’t necessarily need a contract. And, oh by the way, CEOs and other executives get fired before their contract is up, just like regular employees.

4. There are currently laws in this country that prevent employers from firing employees due to pregnancy, and child birth.

5. Health care should not be the responsibility of your employer. If health care was our responsibility, and we could get paid cash from our employer what they pay for our health care, and we could get the same tax breaks our employers get for providing us health care, it would tremendously increase the level of competition in the insurance industry, and thus increase the quality of insurance, as well as decrease the cost. Lets face it, how many people are really satisfied with their employers health care plan? How many people would rather have the money, than the health care plan from their employer? (I would.)

6. Counter productive contracts with Unions are detrimental to the existence of jobs at all. One of the big reasons for the current state of the American auto manufacturers. If GM, for example, replaces a worker with a machine that is faster and in the end more profitable, they still have to pay the employee to come in and sit in a room for eight hours a day, because of the Union contract. As I addressed in another blog GM is currently the largest single producer of Viagra in the country, is that really necessary? The average hourly rate for a GM employee, on straight time only is $26/hr which works out to $54,080/yr. but many work at least 10 hours over time per week at $39/hr., which when added to straight pay comes to $74,360/yr. Then if you add in benefits at approximately $30,000/yr, the average GM employee has a net gain over $100,000/yr. To see a comparative of cost/hr for the big three versus cost/hr of the non-unionized Japanese auto makers, go here. So, if the big three go belly up (which they look like they may do), there won’t be any more jobs. So, how then is unionization making things better for those workers?

7. Unions in other industries also cause problems. New York City public schools have rooms in the school buildings they call “rubber rooms” where they send teachers that perform poorly, but can’t be fired to sit and collect a pay check for doing nothing every day. Some of these “rubber rooms” end up with as many as thirty teachers (read: union members) that would be detrimental to student learning if they were in a classroom, but cannot be fired because of union contracts. In the city of Philadelphia, union plumbers forced the installation of unnecessary piping at the newly constructed Comcast center, which is using water-less urinals. Granted it provided work for those workers for that period of time, but what about the people that will work for companies that lease space at Comcast Center, who have to pay for those pipes in there lease, and therefore will have to cut costs somewhere else, like maybe the most expensive resource a company has, WORKERS!

Bear in mind, unions aren’t all bad, all the time, they’ve served their purpose well at various times in our history, but when they are the ones telling executives how to run a company based on whats better for the union, not whats better for the company, it may help the union workers in the short term, but it hurts the company (and in the case of the big three, and teachers unions the whole country) in the long run.

More Craziness in Bailout Land

Posted in Political, Uncategorized with tags , on November 13, 2008 by Justin

Now that the big three auto makers are looking for bailouts, things are really getting out of hand.

I just wanted to put together a short list of things that are problematic about the bailout, most of them are general about the bailout as a whole, but a few are related to the proposition of bailing out the auto industry.

  1. The government isn’t just giving theses companies loans, or grants, they are actually buying stock in the companies, therefore, every bank, and other entity that the government “bails out” is actually being partially bought out by the government. Government having an ownership stake in private companies in the free market is a huge problem, and is not a good path to go down.
  2. The people didn’t want this. The American public cried out against the bailout, and congress told us they knew better and passed it anyways.
  3. Companies not originally included in the bailout are now trying to get in on the action. (American Express, GM, Ford, Chrysler) Next thing we’ll find home builders doing the same thing. One of the beauties of the free enterprise system is that if businesses don’t make sound decisions, they will die, and business that do make sound decisions survive. Through this process we end up with strong business that make good decisions being the ones that ultimately provide products to the public. This bailout is interfering with the natural course of free enterprise.
  4. The big three’s contracts with UAW have them paying the people that build the cars more than most of the people that buy the cars get paid. ($25-$75/hr. plus health care now, plus retirement, plus health care when you retire). Right now, GM, because of it paying the health care of its workers and retired workers is the largest purchaser of Viagra in the country. Now I’m all about old dude’s still being able to do their business, but I don’t want to pay for that when I buy a car. (Thus, I don’t buy American.)
  5. If we are going to bailout the big three – which I don’t want us to do, but I think is likely – part of that bailout should include the nullification of all union contracts with the automakers. These companies have to become profitable again, one of the reasons they haven’t been profitable is poor quality and value in their products. The other reason, which I think in some ways contributed to the first, is expensive union contracts. As far as I’m concerned they need to do some major restructuring, Toyota operates at a 1:3 employee ratio versus GM, Toyota does with one person what GM takes three to do, not to mention they are non-union. If the American automakers would take some cues from Toyota, who are now one of, if not the, leading automakers in the world in terms of profitability, they would be a lot better off.

Please people, contact your representatives and let them know that you’re fed up with the garbage and the bailouts, and that if they are going to bailout the big three, there need to be certain pre-conditions to promote profitability.

MLK was a Republican

Posted in Political, Uncategorized with tags , on November 10, 2008 by Justin

Disclaimer:Look at the title of my blog, the PC means “politically correct” reading beyond this point may result in you being offended.

Contrary to popular belief, it has been the Republican party that throughout history has been on the side of Black Americans. There’s a great article by Frances Rice about why this was the case, at National Black Republicans.com The link will take you to the article, not the home page.

I have always been someone that believed that Democrat policies were intended to keep blacks poor, and keep them in the victim mindset, as well as other poor people. Part of the article mentions how President Nixon enacted affirmative action, in its original form, to counter the polices of Democrat President Woodrow Wilson. The left has since hijacked this policy and turned it into a quota system whereby people are given jobs, scholarships, and acceptance into college based on the color of their skin rather than the merit of their accomplishments, or character. In many cases unqualified applicants have been accepted to universities simply in the name of diversity. If you don’t believe me, go on over to Town Hall.com and look through some of the writings of Dr. Mike Adams concerning the diversity movement at UNC-W.

I am of the personal opinion that Dr. King, if he were alive today, would be called an “Uncle Tom” by the current “Civil Rights Leaders”. Both Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell have been called “Uncle Tom”s for not supporting the typical democrat entitlement policies. People like Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson have made a career by prostituting themselves to back anyone that makes a claim of racism, valid or not. Just look at the case of Crystal Gail Mangum in Durham, NC (aka the Duke Lacrosse Case). Nearly every time one of these men, or any other current leader of the NAACP or similar organization, comes out and says someone was discriminated against based on the color of their skin, it is a fabrication. Are there still times where this happens? Yes, I think so. But how can someone logically argue that having lower standards for college admission for black students than for white students is not racism?

Another issue that I think Dr. King would have problem with is the most recent election. We just had an election in which 97% of black voters voted for a candidate that would just continue the policies of victim hood and government dependence that have destroyed the black family from the beginning of the “War on Poverty”. Many of these voters could give no better reason to vote for the man, other than the fact that he was black. President Elect Obama’s supporters also took many opportunities to claim racism when any real attack was levied against him. When people brought up Bill Ayers, they were called racists. When people brought up Jeremiah Wright, they were called racist. (Though Wright is the real racist.) When people called President Elect Obama a socialist, it was said that “Socialist is just a code word for ‘black’.” I realize that there were people that voted against Obama because he’s black, in fact there was a video that made its way on to youtube that demonstrated this, but if you watch the video around the two minute mark you’ll find out what party these people are aligned with. The thing is, most of the time that race was mentioned as having to do with the campaign, it was those on the left crying racism against the right, or people saying “We should elect Obama so that we can have our first black president.” If things in this election were to have truly aligned with Dr. King’s dream for this country, “black”, “white” and “race” would have only been mentioned in the context of “A black suit,” “A white shirt” or “The presidential race,” and never in reference to the candidates skin color, or any issue within the campaign.

*update* When I initially posted this I stated that 90% of black voters voted for Obama, I later found out that it was actually 97% which actually strengthens my position. There is no way that only 3% of black voters disagreed with Obama on policy.