Monday, January 30, 2012

White House Response - Keystone XL

Earlier this month, I dropped Obama a nice note concerning my thought on the Keystone XL project. You can read my letter here. I said I would post the White House’s response when I received it. I got it today.  Below is the email containing the response:

Since this message failed to address the matter substantively, I checked out the “recent statement” by Prez Obama.  It’s below:

What the White House fails to mention is that the State Department has been thoroughly vetting this project for 1,217 days and hasn’t yet found anything objectionable. The president’s response is filled with straw man arguments and half-truths. It’s simply unconscionable that our own government would stand in the way of creating thousands of jobs for unemployed Americans with ZERO taxpayer money involved.

Let’s be crystal clear here. Politicians will do whatever is necessary to ensure they are elected. If, on net, denying jobs to out-of-work American’s means a slightly better chance at a second term for Obama, then to hell with the unemployed. His denial of the project can have no other interpretation.

Obama, manufacturing and college

Lately, our dear president has been roaming the country touting manufacturing.  Assembling things, he believes, is the only way to restore America’s greatness (and beef-up unions).  Out of the same mouth, he also proclaims that every American should go to college.  A college education, he sayeth, is the path every American should take.  (Never mind that nationally, only 55% graduate after six years.)

Here’s my question for Obama: If manufacturing is our only hope, why does everyone need to go to college?  I mean, does an assembly line worker need a bachelor’s degree?

Saddling a worker with $100K in student loans only to (maybe) graduate and assemble widgets just doesn’t make sense to me.  But then again, I’m no follower of Obamonomics.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fairness as a Political Doctrine

It’s hard to go a day without hearing the word fair.  I hear it from my kids, co-workers, and increasingly from our President.  As a parent, I try to teach my kids that fairness shouldn’t be the lens with which we view the world.  It’s a tough concept for kids to learn, but it’s my duty to teach them this very important life lesson.  If I don’t, they could grow up to be like our President.

Fairness seems to be a political doctrine for Obama.  He looks across America from the window of his ultra-customized, double-decker Boeing 747; GMC Topkick-based, Cadillac-badged limousine; or posh 1600 Pennsylvania Ave digs, and like a judge, proclaims that America is unfair.  He sees inequality (of income) and deeply resents those who are high earners.  He sees manufacturers moving jobs overseas, and curses the CEO’s for betraying their fellow countrymen.  He sees his “green agenda” evaporating along with the billions of taxpayer dollars and grits his teeth at Keystone and other traditional energy companies.  He tells himself, this just isn’t fair.  America needs him.

Fairness beckons him.  It calls.  The people are waiting for fairness, like manna from Heaven.  He must deliver.

He labors and toils until he produces a “blueprint” for our economy.  This plan – HIS plan, will usher in fairness.  It must.  His plan will ensure everyone gets a “fair shake,” and that everyone “plays by the same rules.”  There will be no losers in his plan, only winners.  Through the immense power of his own will, as if a god, he can supernaturally reorder this “Life” to finally be fair.  There will be none without.  There will only be the haves, no have nots.  There will be a plentiful bounty, and we shall not want.



And then, reality raps its coarse knuckles on fairness’s door.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Protesting the State of the Union Address

Tonight, I will not be watching the State of the Union address.  This isn't my first night to pass on this night of grand political theater, nor will it be the last.

What I dislike most about this night, and there are many things to dislike, is that one man is granted a 90 minute monopoly on espousing his flavor of economic/political half-truths and out-right lies without challenge.  He can say literally anything, and it's taken as gospel.  He stands up in front of the whole world and promises the moon.  It's the most heinous spectacle of vote buying aired on television today. 

And it sickens me.

Tonight, I'll be watching Seinfeld re-runs.  I find Jerry and Kramer much more entertaining.

Monday, January 23, 2012

(un)Free Enterprise

Today, I had the distinct pleasure of teaching my daughter about business.  Amanda, who usually teaches our two girls, asked if I would teach this particular segment.  For some odd reason, she thinks I’m passionate about free enterprise, liberty and capitalism.  Not sure where she got that crazy notion.  So, today our lesson was about free enterprise. 
Her textbook, which I like for the most part, went on to explain that in America the government doesn’t tell businesses what they must make and sell; rather, business owners make those decisions.  I thought about the magnitude of this statement and the profound implications it has for our lives.  And then I thought about how some are trying to change this, and perhaps, have changed this already.  The culprit: Obamacare.

Obamacare mandates that every single American buy health insurance or pay a fine.  That particular provision begins next year, by the way.  So, in effect, the State has mandated that some businesses sell medical services.  If the State forces me to buy a product, it follows that a business must offer that product for sale, no?  Therefore, the State has a de facto mandate that some segment of the economy be in the healthcare industry.  If you disagree, I would then ask that if no such business existed to offer the mandatory product, could the government still mandate the purchase of a non-existent product?  (Actually, they could. Read here.)

So, Obamacare has ushered in an era of UnFree Enterprise, where the State begins to decide what some sell and what everyone must buy.  And who knows where we’ll go from here.  After all, if the State can mandate the purchase of insurance, what can’t they do?