Posts tagged policies
By Ron Paul
Government Policies Hurt Low-Wage Workers
Fast-food workers across the county have recently held a number of high profile protests to agitate for higher wages. These protests have been accompanied by efforts to increase the wages mandated by state and local minimum wage laws, as well as a renewed push in some states and localities to pass “living wage” laws. President Obama has proposed raising the federal minimum wage to ten dollars an hour.
Raising minimum wages by government decree appeals to those who do not understand economics. This appeal is especially strong during times of stagnant wages and increased economic inequality. But raising the minimum wage actually harms those at the bottom of the income ladder. Basic economic theory teaches that when the price of a good increases, demand for that good decreases. Raising the minimum wage increases the price of labor, thus decreasing the demand for labor. So an increased minimum wage will lead to hiring freezes and layoffs. Unskilled and inexperienced workers are the ones most often deprived of employment opportunities by increases in the minimum wage.
Minimum wage laws are not the only example of government policies that hurt those at the bottom of the income scale. Many regulations that are promoted as necessary to “rein in” large corporations actually hurt small businesses. Because these small businesses operate on a much narrower profit margin, they cannot as easily absorb the costs of complying with the regulations as large corporations. These regulations can also inhibit lower income individuals from starting their own businesses. Thus, government regulations can reduce the demand for wage-labor, while increasing the supply of labor, which further reduces wages.
Perhaps the most significant harm to low-wage earners is caused by the inflationist polices of the Federal Reserve. Since its creation one hundred years ago this month, the Federal Reserve’s policies have caused the dollar to lose over 95 percent of its purchasing power—that’s right, today you need $23.70 to buy what one dollar bought in 1913! Who do you think suffers the most from this loss of purchasing power—Warren Buffet or his secretary?
It is not just that higher incomes can afford the higher prices caused by Federal Reserve. The system is set up in a way that disadvantages those at the bottom of the income scale. When the Federal Reserve creates money, those well-connected with the political and financial elites receive the newly-created money first, before general price increases have spread through the economy. And most fast-food employees do not number among the well-connected.
It is not a coincidence that economic inequality has increased in recent years, as the Federal Reserve has engaged in unprecedented money creation and bailouts of big banks and Wall Street financial firms. As billionaire investor Donald Trump has said, the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policies are a great deal for “people like me.” And former Federal Reserve official Andrew Huszar has called QE “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.”
Many so-called champions of economic equality and fairness for the working class are preparing to confirm Janet Yellen as next Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Yet Yellen is committed to continuing and even expanding, the upward redistributionist polices of her predecessors. Washington could use more sound economic thinking and less demagoguery.
By increasing unemployment, government policies like minimum wage laws only worsen inequality. Those who are genuinely concerned about increasing the well-being of all Americans should support repeal of all laws, regulations, and taxes that inhibit job creation and economic mobility. Congress should also end the most regressive of all taxes, the inflation tax, by ending the Federal Reserve.
And the games, apologies, lies and misinformation continue. Alright, maybe there is just a “typo” on the official website, hmm, maybe not.
Here is the Whitehouse.gov website with the written information:
It appears, someone didn’t get the memo at the Whitehouse government website about changing the story on individual insurance that Obama is now denying he said. Obama is trying to say he always meant “If your insurance hasn’t changed, you can keep it” from carte blanc keeping it if you like it since 2009. So.. the written lies PROVE how the President has lied directly to the public’s face over and over again.
Title I. Quality, Affordable Health Care for All Americans
If You Like the Insurance You Have, Keep It:
Nothing in the proposal forces anyone to change the insurance they have. Period.
Besides Obama lying since Obamacare passed, he has the official Whitehouse government site lying about health insurance plans as people are getting them cancelled by the companies.
Obviously besides not trusting what comes out of a government official’s mouth we can’t trust what is written either.
But as I mentioned earlier, maybe a typo(s) on the web site? So what is the official position? Let’s go to the source in a video shared by Robert Wenzel at the Economic Policy Journal, which explains…
Chalk up just one more lie in the administration of Hope & Change with a focus on Transparency. Oops, another non-truth.
Biggest winners in Obamacare? The health insurance companies. Very “progressive.”
Now everybody has to buy their product. One way or another. If someone doesn’t they are fined by the IRS. That is a pretty sweet deal for the insurance companies.
But we are told how Obamacare is a “progressive reform.” How finally everyone can get healthcare. How the President “stood up” to the insurance companies and pharamacuetecal companies.
Nonsense. Barrack Obama is the largest enabler of the big 5 health insurance companies there has ever been, by a long shot.
This is what hyper-statist Roosevelt Institute had to say. (They’d prefer a single payer plan of course.But the statement is interesting nonetheless.)
We’ve had a bailout for bankers and now the principle seems to be extended to the insurance industry. As Randy Wray and I discussed in a recent paper, the health care bill just signed into law entrenches the centrality of private health insurance companies and contain no serious proposals to limit costs. More people will get hit with deductions, co-pays, annual limits (for several more years), exclusions, out of pocket expenses. This will ensure that health CARE remains too expensive to actually take advantage of their new INSURANCE. And many currently insured people are going to get higher taxes. Premiums will rise.
A few paragraphs down they offer a valuable insight into the Obamacare political calculation by those in the “progressive” camp.
Our progressive allies have criticized us for drawing attention to these uncomfortable truths and failing to celebrate the President’s great social triumph. Yes, it may well have been catastrophic had the bill not passed, as it probably would have emboldened the radical forces of the right and torpedoed any hope of further significant reform legislation of any kind.
In other words- Even if Obamacare is a crony capitalist giveaway to the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, the statist establishment must shine up the dung, because it is progressive dung. The heap of stinking subsidies is better than nothing. [sic]
Obamacare might be soft fascism, but fascism is better than letting the classical liberals win.
From the pro-market side of things Robert Lenzer at Forbes.com had this to say in a recent column;
We warned you back on December4, 2009 in my blog ” The Horrendous Truth About Health Care Reform” that the Obama White House was handing a “ free ride for the health insurance industry” that would allow premium hikes of 8%-10% a year by CIGNA, Humana HUM -0.74%, Aetna AET -0.56%,UnitedHealth Group UNH -0.46% and Wellpoint, and as well a $500 billion taxpayer subsidy, a half trillion dollars without any requirement that the health insurers had to spend the subsidy on medical care. Several US Senators including Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia spoke to me openly of the outrageous sellout being foisted on the nation’s uninsured citizens.
The hardcore socialists don’t like Obamcare. The free market people don’t like Obamacare. The only people who seem to like Obamacare are Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and the crony capitalists entrenched in the healthcare and pharmacuetecal sectors.
How profitable is Obamacare likely to be for the “Big Five” health insurance companies? It looks like quite profitable indeed judging by the rise in healthcare stocks over the last year.
Aetna’s up nearly 50% in a year.
Humana and UnitedHealth are both up around 30%.
Wellpoint is up over 40%.
And Cigna is up almost 60% in a year.
These are breathtaking returns. Over the past year these healthcare stocks have vastly outperformed the overall market.
Given that stocks are a reflection (for the most part) of anticipated earnings, what does this tell us about Obamacare?
Obama has increased profits fro insurance companies, while burdening the overall economy with massive new regulations. It has forced many full time workers into part time jobs. It has expanded the power of the IRS and given the agency even more access to the lives of everyday Americans. It has forced spouses off of employer funded plans and it will raise premiums for most of those who purchase individual policies.
That the Obamacare website keeps exploding should be considered a blessing.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
By Hunter Lewis
President Outlines New Poverty Program
The study described below got headlines by revealing that four out of five Americans have been or are in or near poverty.
At this site, we have consistently argued that present economic policies particularly hurt the poor, the young, and the middle class while subsidizing a subset of rich people, those with the right political connections.
The administration recently announced for the 13th time that it was “pivoting” toward the economy and President Obama gave a long speech consisting of a laundry list of proposals. One was to raise the minimum wage. This would strike hardest at the young and the poor. Another was to end tax incentives that encourage the rich to save. The president did not bother to specify what he meant, but he was quite clear that rich people saving was somehow harmful to the economy. This was mind boggling because rich people saving means rich people investing and this is precisely the engine of economic growth and job creation. There have been many economically ignorant presidential speeches in our history but this must go toward the top of the list.
Trying to make sense of the seemingly insane policies of those government run ( and others) schools and the agenda behind it all.
By Becky Akers
Vanessa Richardson tells me she is “a homeschool mom. My son” – and, presumably, her student – “and I made a video in regards to the insane over-reaction of school officials over toy/imaginary guns in schools.” Her video not only exposes the ideology behind Leviathan’s demonizing of self-defense but provides a powerful inducement to teach your children at home – all in only 6 minutes and 22 seconds!
A documentary film that features interviews with former US presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton among them, admitting their drug-related policies in the war against drugs were wrong, is set to be released in America next week.
The summary to the “Breaking the Taboo” project on the film’s website informs that the war on drugs has been raging for 40 years. “Over a trillion dollars has been spent, millions of people imprisoned, and countless thousands killed. And for what? The illegal drug market is worth $330-400 billion per year, drugs are cheaper and more prevalent than ever before, and in a growing number of countries drug cartels are the major threat to national security. Yet our governments carry on regardless,” production notes from the Sundog Pictures company, run by the son of Virgin Group boss Sir Richard Branson, state.
The documentary, narrated by Invictus star Morgan Freeman, follows the Global Commission On Drugs Policy in order “to break the political taboo, explore the controversial solutions and bravely demand a new agenda.”
Ahead of its release on December 7, the Breaking the Taboo campaign has been in full swing on YouTube, supported by Sting, Yoko Ono and Noam Chomsky, among others.
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For those that do not know about Sherry and her background and story I would strongly suggest you do some homework. She is a fine and dedicated patriot that spoke the truth and paid the price, almost the ultimate price. Honesty was her only crime!
What Ron Paul Did For Me
Many of you don’t know that Ron Paul played a part in my rescue when I was in prison. First, let me say that I met Ron Paul a couple of times before I went to the slammer, and he and his wife were gracious and warm. Even though we didn’t get together during the filming of Aaron Russo’s movie America: Freedom To Fascism, both of us were featured in the movie.
When I was ill in late 2009 there was an outcry after people were informed of the severity of my condition. I had written a letter to my U.S. Congressman (Hank Johnson) via prison e-mail, and forwarded it to my husband to deliver to him since the congressman was not on my approved e-mail list. My husband, without editing the letter, sent it out to about 20 supporters after furnishing a copy to the congressman. These supporters were outraged at what I was going through. At least one of these supporters had a large e-mail list and he forwarded the letter to his entire list. That desperate cry for help went viral, and soon I was receiving letters of encouragement and financial support from literally all over the globe.
Someone got in touch with Ron Paul’s office. I don’t live in Texas, but he and his staff took action and contacted the prison with a demand for information about my situation. Shortly after Ron Paul’s inquiry about my treatment I was shipped away to a high security prison. While in solitary confinement there (for the security of the institution, they say) my medical situation was constantly observed, and I was treated with respect by the medical staff.
Along with Congressman Hank Johnson, I believe that Congressman Ron Paul’s eye on the situation got me the care that I needed so that my condition did not go critical. I was in really bad shape as you can see here.
For those that say that Ron Paul is a racist, you would never be able to convince me of that. His actions speak louder than your words. He has delivered thousands of lives into this world, of all races and colors. He has helped people of all races, even when it was not popular and could have put him and his family’s lives in danger.
For those that say that Ron Paul is a nut, a large oak tree is yesterday’s nut that held its ground. For over 30 years Ron Paul has not switched his position on any of the socio-political issues of our day. You can call him a nut if you want, but at least he’s not a flip flopper that changes his position with the ebb and flow of the masses.
For those that say that Ron Paul can’t win, God says nothing is impossible with Him. His sticking to his guns and staying in the race shows me that he cares not only about his own family, for he could have made a fortune and bilked the country, like others. He could have taken bribes, high paying corporate positions or even created policies that would have enriched him and his family for generations to come. Instead, his stick-to-it attitude shows me that he cares about me, about us, about America as a whole, about the rule of law, about justice, about equity. Very few people in power care about you, I hope you understand that fact.
Ron Paul takes the criticism and the flack, the jokes and the insults because he knows who he is and he knows what God has told him to do. He knows that he has the truth on his side, and sooner or later truth will prevail. He has been a beacon in the darkness, one that shows up the evil that is in our country and shows the way to correct it, to the chagrin of the evildoers.
I sent a thank you letter to Ron Paul’s offices in Texas and in DC. I wanted them to know that I appreciate them reaching down to help a lowly prisoner that was afraid for her life. Life, that is important to us as humans, or at least should be. Do the people that you trust and endorse care if you live or die? Selah (pause and think about that).
By Brandon Turbeville
On March 20, 2012, I wrote an article entitled “Worldwide Banking Resignations Triple According To Revised Numbers: Why Now?” which listed the latest banking, CEO, and financial institution resignations as compiled by independent blog, American Kabuki. At the time of the writing of that article, the list of resignations had reached a total of 358.
This was in fact the third article I had written on the subject; the second being a discussion on the statistics provided by American Kabuki regarding the average number of resignations in years past compared to those currently being announced which, if the information is correct, skyrocketed in late 2011.
Unfortunately, as of this writing, these questions remain unanswered. In fact, there is not even a hint as to why this mass exodus is occurring. Nevertheless, let us briefly consider a few possibilities.
Initially, one might suspect that these individuals, acting on some sort of insider information (which they are obviously doing), are exiting the ranks of institutions that will soon be the focus of a massive investigation by relevant authorities. One might logically suspect that the rats are jumping ship to save their own skins which will be all the more in danger if they remain in their positions when the investigation begins.
However, although this may be one of the first reasons for such resignations that come to mind, upon further examination, one finds some major holes in this theory.
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Justice Ministry has ordered lawyers to take a loyalty oath to the Communist Party, in an unusual move that has drawn condemnation from attorneys worried about the government’s attempts to rein them in.
The ministry issued a notice on Wednesday demanding that first-time applicants and lawyers who want to renew their licenses have to take the oath.
The oath was necessary to “firmly establish among the vast circle of lawyers faith in socialism with Chinese characteristics … and effectively improve the quality of lawyers’ political ideology”, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
“I promise to faithfully fulfill the sacred mission of socialism with Chinese characteristics … loyalty to the motherland, its people, and uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China,” lawyers must say under the oath.
This is the first time that lawyers have been required to pledge allegiance to the Party in an oath, Mo Shaoping, a prominent human rights lawyer, said.
The Party has always been wary of lawyers, who they suspect could challenge one-party rule through the advocacy of the rule of law.
“I think it’s inappropriate,” Mo told Reuters by telephone. “As a lawyer, you should only pay attention to the law and be faithful to your client.”
The new rule comes as Communist Party chiefs are preparing for a tricky leadership handover later this year, when the party’s long-standing focus on fending off political challenges is likely to intensify.