Archive for the Political Category

Government Motors (GM)

Posted in general rant, Political with tags , , on June 3, 2009 by Justin

Larry Kudlow continues one of the points I’ve been trying to make over at the National Review online:

And with CAFE mileage standards ratcheting up — all while GM is going down — Team Obama’s green vision for the economy will soon be crystal clear. With President Obama in the driver’s seat, we’re going to get little green two-door cars that most folks won’t want to buy.

Even worse, UAW chief Ron Gettelfinger has made it plain that his powerful union won’t let these cars be manufactured in low-cost non-union plants overseas. The result? Obama’s little green cars are going to be unprofitable as well.

Now that the American taxpayers own 60% of GM, it would be nice if our elected officials would let them make cars that actually sell so we can get our stinking money back. (Which never should have gone to them in the first place.)

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C.A.F.E.

Posted in general rant, Political with tags , on May 20, 2009 by Justin

This is part one of a multi-part series, not sure how many this will end up being, probably either two or three parts, we’ll see how it develops. Here’s a bit of history, and some of the unintended consequences that we’ve already experienced due to Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE Standards), which our current president just raised yesterday.

The CAFE Standard was first passed in 1975 by Congress as a response to the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo, and took effect in 1978. The purpose was to raise the fuel economy of cars and light trucks sold in the US. There were different rules that applied to passenger cars versus light trucks (SUVs fall under the category of light trucks). Passenger cars were expected to meet an 18 mpg standard in 1978, and that number was raised to 27.5 mpg in 1990 where it has stayed since. The newest standards will require 30.2 mpg by 2011 and 35.5 mpg by 2016. Light trucks have only been required to reach around 20 mpg during most of this time.

At the time these CAFE standards were introduced most manufacturers produced large station wagons, which most families purchased and drove. These large station wagons were unable to meet the fuel efficiency requirements of those current day CAFE standards. However, those same standards did not apply to SUVs which qualified as light trucks according to CAFE standards. Most people will realize that many SUVs are basically tall station wagons. Auto manufacturers were forced to stop making station wagons in order to meet CAFE standards, but the public still had a demand to be met, and the SUV fulfilled that demand. As a result, SUVs have been top sellers in the US for the last fifteen years.

The resultant popularity of SUVs has caused several problems. First, SUVs get lower fuel economy than the station wagons they replaced, therefore the creation of the CAFE Standards resulted in an initial drop in average fuel economy. Second, SUVs are less safe than what a normal station wagon would be. The general designs are very similar, but an SUV has a higher center of gravity and therefore is more likely to roll over when performing evasive maneuvers. (See Isuzu Trooper, Ford Bronco II, and Ford Explorer). Also, the heavier SUVs, with higher bumpers pose threats to the other vehicles on the road that a normal station wagon would not. Over the years, SUVs have been demonized by those that would seek increase fuel economy, and other environmental standards, but in reality were popularized, in part, as a response to those very same fuel standards.

In recent years the gross vehicle weight restriction which determines where vehicles fall in the spectrum of CAFE Standards has been raised several times, therefore leading more SUVs to fall under tighter and tighter fuel efficiency requirements. This has had an impact on the overall car market, causing a further drop in safety, which will be covered in part two of this series.

Is Porn the New Tobacco?

Posted in Political, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 17, 2009 by Justin

I just finished reading a long article from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution comparing the current societal view of pornography today to the societal view of tobacco in the 1950s. It was really quite an interesting read, and I recommend if you have the time to sit down a read it, do so. I have included the opening paragraphs of the article after the jump, but that is literally only a snippet.
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Is Obama a socialist?

Posted in Political with tags on March 15, 2009 by Justin

A New York Times reported recently did an interview with PresBO, and asked him point blank if he was a socialist. He gave an answer that was basically non-responsive to the question. Then later, actually called the reporter back, and tried to say that the Bush administration was more socialist than he is. While the entire transcript is available by clicking the link above, I’m going to include the two portions of the interview regarding Obama being a socialist after the jump.
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Stem Cells

Posted in general rant, Political with tags , on March 10, 2009 by Justin

First I want to clarify that Obama did *NOT* lift a ban on stem cell research. There never was any such ban of any kind. What he lifted was a ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. This is important to recognize because *adult* stem cell research has been receiving federal funding all along, and *embryonic* stem cell research was still going on, but only funded by private money, instead of with taxpayer money.

I oppose this move, for two very distinct reasons. The first is that I don’t believe that funding this research fits within the constitutional role of government in the first place. In fact, I don’t believe that there is a constitutional basis for federal funding of any research other than towards the end of protecting this country from foreign invasion. Nearly everything else should be funded by the private sector. (I say nearly because their may be one or two other things that fit within the constitutional role of government that I haven’t thought of off the top of my head.)

The second is that I do not support the creation of human life for the purpose of destroying, especially when there have been more scientific breakthroughs concerning adult stem cells, (which do not require taking life to acquire) than their have been with embryonic stem cells. I also don’t agree with the concept that it is okay to create and destroy thousands of human lives to do research to potentially save hundreds.

Finally I want to point out that the man that started stem cell research said “If the thought of destroying human embryos for research purposes doesn’t give you pause, then you haven’t thought about it long enough.” This issue is not an issue of “science v. ideology” as Obama stated in his speech, but rather an issue of ethics in science.

I learned something new today

Posted in general rant, Political with tags , , on March 10, 2009 by Justin

Today on the Dave Ramsey show he talked about the fact that most of the philosophies behind FDR’s New Deal were based on the writings and teachings of a man by the name of John Maynard Keynes, the father of “Keynesian Economics”. Keynes was a self professed socialist (not surprising that the New Deal was influenced by a socialist). Today, most of what is taught in government schools regarding economics (as little as that is) and the New Deal are based on and favorable to Keynesian Economics. Today, we are again seeing Keynesian Economics put into place by the Obama administration.

All of this is significant because the founding fathers for this great nation based their economic polices on the writings of Adam Smith, and particularly the book “The Wealth of Nations”. Smith laid out the methodology and philosophy behind the capitalist and free trade systems of economics. The free trade system has worked very well for a very long time, however the policies of the Obama administration will likely destroy much of what the New Deal left intact 80 years ago.

Rather than teaching students the interventionist theories of Keynes, (which don’t work, the New Deal only made the depression longer, and Obama’s policies will do the same with the current situation) our schools should be teaching the free enterprise theories of Smith. Our country offers everyone a guaranteed opportunity to experience success in life, but too many people try to use Keynesian policies to guarantee result of success. The current Keynesian policies are lending to the prevention of failure for businesses that are not built to succeed. If you take away the pain of failure, you take away at least part of the desire to succeed. Imagine if the government had stepped in and tried to keep Edison from failing at creating the light bulb (one of the thousands of times that he did fail), we might all still be sitting in the dark.

“Gun Free” Zones

Posted in Political with tags , on March 5, 2009 by Justin