About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Lesson In Libertarianism

The following message regarding which side of the political fence people sit on was originally written as a pro-Republican internet message.  Despite claims on the internet to the contrary I could not prove that any famous person wrote the piece. 
After the Republican version circulated on the internet for awhile a Democrat rebuttal appeared – also see below.
Now most people think they know which side of the two-party political fence they sit on - but you can learn something valuable by reading both presentations below with an open mind & then see what happens if you just read the first sentence & eliminate the second sentence, in red, of each point on both the Republican & Democrat sides of the fence.
Republican Side Of The Fence:
If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.  If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.  If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.  If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.
If a Republican is down-&-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.  If a Democrat is down-&-out he wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a Republican doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.  A Democrat demands that those they don't like be shut down.
If a Republican is a non-believer he doesn't go to church.  A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God or religion silenced.
If a Republican decides he needs healthcare, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.  If a Democrat decides he needs healthcare, he demands that the rest of us pay for his.
Democrat Rebuttal Side Of The Fence:
If a Democrat is opposed to abortion, she doesn't have one.  If a Republican is opposed to abortion, he tries to ban them for everyone except his wife.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, it's because he wants better treatment for animals.  If a Republican is a vegetarian, it's because he works for Monsanto.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he supports equality for other homosexuals.  If a Republican is homosexual, he leads a homosexual life in secret while hypocritically condemning that lifestyle in public.
If a Democrat is down & out, he thinks about how to better his situation.  If a Republican is down & out, he blames his situation on Democrats.
If a Democrat doesn't like a television show, he switches channels.  If a Republican doesn't like a television show, he launches a boycott to get the program cancelled so that no one else can watch it.
If a Democrat is religious, he quietly prays in private, as Jesus said one should.  If a Republican is religious, he demands that everyone be forced to pray along with him.
If a Democrat needs healthcare, he seeks to ensure that healthcare is accessible to everyone else as well.  A Republican buys stock in an HMO & campaigns against affordable healthcare. 
Instead of reading the above to see whether Republicans or Democrats could be the more clever in a divisive way I saw that the elimination of the second sentence, in red, of each point above shows how much better the world could be if people or governments would not stick their noses in other people's business but rather just minded their own business.  That is the lesson in libertarianism that became clear to me as Republicans & Democrats respectively exchanged conservative & statist positions in this post.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Survey Shows Degree Of Ideological Agreement With Presidential Candidates

Be sure to click on the additional questions below the ones clearly shown for each topic to make sure you respond to all the questions.  Also to obtain the most accurate results indicate how important each issue is to you by making a selection on the bar located to the left of each question.  Please note there is "another stance" choice that will expand the selections – don't overlook this because it will give you more choices – I used it several times.
After you complete the survey an analysis will appear letting you know how your answers agreed or disagreed with the positions of the current crop of presidential candidates.  It will compare all of your answers with those documented by every one of the candidates so you can see who you agree with most & least.
During the 2004 presidential campaign a friend told me of a similar survey he took & that he was horrified to find that he agreed most with Dennis Kucinich.  Please let me know your  results & most important how you feel about them. 
I agreed with Bernie 16%, Hillary 24%, & 94% with my top choice so all in all that was not too bad.  But it can be surprising like my friend found out with Kucinich – in any event it is fun to see how the computer matches you up with all the presidential candidates.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Real Life Examples From Unemployment Report

   Click on graphic to enlarge
The February unemployment report released last Friday was more of the same. 
The government's official unemployment rate, U-3, was 4.9%.  There were 24,000 more people classified as unemployed, 46,000 more people worked part time for economic reasons, & 76,000 more people were unemployed for 27 week or longer than in January.  Please note that people counted as employed in determining U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week.
Over a quarter of the unemployed (2.2 million people) have been out of work for over 27 weeks & many way over 27 weeks.
The average workweek declined & the manufacturing workweek was unchanged.  The average hourly earnings declined.
Payroll employment increased by 242,000 – 12,000 of which were government jobs.  Although this is a better figure than reported for months on end the country needs to gain 120,000 jobs a month to keep up with population growth thereby halving the seemingly good news.  
Worse yet – nonfarm business sector productivity decreased @ a 2.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2015 & unit labor costs increased 3.3% during the same period.  This is another terrible indication of America's inability to compete in the global economy.
Many employers continue to have trouble finding qualified people to fill vacancies – there are serious skill gaps.  Most of the jobs created the past several months have been in low-wage retail, leisure, & health services positions.  The U-6 unemployment measure that includes the total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force including discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work, plus the people working part time who want full time employment is still 9.7%.  This U-6 rate is a much more accurate measure of the state of the economy – if the headline unemployment rate would be given as 9.7% it would be regarded as terrible.
Source of statistics – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Now I personally know young people (in their twenties) many with seemingly useful college degrees who can't find jobs after looking for several years meaning their entire career plans may have passed them by.  I don't know one personal manager I ever worked with who would have recommended hiring any one of these people.  A twenty-five year old who never worked in his field is in competition with a twenty-two year old in the same field who just graduated meaning the twenty-two year old would be favored.  This is a loser for the twenty-five year olds, the economy, & America.
I also recently met a 51 year old nurse in the ophthalmology field who was fired & is only finding jobs with "McDonalds wages of $10 an hour" – & even @ that she has been out of work for several weeks.  This woman may very well never work again in her field.  She is not the only person with a nursing degree (from Vanderbilt) or master's degree who can only find part time work @ low hourly wages & no benefits.
A friend in the grocery business told me that his local Kroger has problems hiring full time workers because working full time @ Kroger's very good hourly wage means that people will lose one government benefit or another so Kroger goes wanting for help.  This is the wrong incentive for achieving prosperity.
A man I encountered @ the local Social Security office represents the flip side of the Kroger problem.  The man can only get part time work - usually by no coincidence the ObamaCare top limit of 29 hours.  The man will be 62 in May & needs early retirement benefits to make ends meet.  Here is a man that wants to work & really meets the definition of U-6 unemployment who will soon be another person receiving a government check.  Taking early Social Security benefits under these circumstances does not present a solid future for this man in that the retirement benefit will always be reduced & the man will want to work less & less as he ages – his income will always be strapped.  This is what BO's economy is becoming for far too many.
But the most distressing part of this post centers around the unemployment of recent engineering school graduates with particular focus on chemical engineers. 
An article in the December issue of Chemical Engineering Progress (CEP) reported the results of the AIChE's Initial Placement Survey for the class of 2015 - the survey was based on data provided by 2,166 students.  I was literally stunned by the unemployed figures: BS - 17.9%, MS – 20.9%, PhD – 13.3%.  Those continuing their education were BS – 22.9%, MS – 26.6%, & PhD – 20.4% meaning that 40.8% (17.9 + 22.9) of students who earned a BSChE degree in 2015 did not receive a job offer.  
I contacted the editor of the magazine to get figures for other years & received similarly depressing figures for 2014, 2009 & 2006 – the only other years readily available.
I graduated in January 1967 & I recall everyone in the class receiving several job offers except the very few who went on to graduate school in chemical engineering – not the 22.9% shown for BS in 2015.  In fact I remember there were two job openings for every graduating chemical engineer in the country.  I wonder if the category "continuing education" is a form of unemployment where not getting a job is just delayed. 
Engineers working in industry are the source of the efficiency improvements & increases in productivity needed to support a business's growth so that value producing jobs can be created.  Look @ the U-6 curve from the above graphic to decide for yourself how long the American economy has been in the doldrums.
This post presents real life examples of how dependence on government benefits has stagnated the American society – you probably know of other people suffering as well.  The problems of people working part time who want full time employment or discouraged workers who know there are no jobs for them @ all did not start with BO but he sure has opportunistically designed his own policies to make sure those miseries persist – ready to be handed off to Hillary Clinton for continuation.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Positive Influence Of The FairTax On The American Economy

Click on The Positive Influence Of The FairTax On The American Economy to learn the impact that enactment of the FairTax bill (HR 25) will have on our lives.  This post is included on RTE under The FairTax found on the left hand side of the blog.
This new post:
1.  demonstrates why the FairTax bill is the most important piece of legislation in our lifetime for America;
2.  shows how the FairTax is the biggest transfer of power from the politicians to the people since the founding of this country;
3.  analyzes how the FairTax affects every component of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP);
4.  includes an analysis of GDP vs. productivity by John Tamny;
5.  explains why excise taxes & tariffs are not included in the FairTax bill;
6.  shows why HR 25 is first & foremost a bill that controls government spending which is ultimately a net drag on economic growth by every measure;
7.  explains why manufacturing jobs will start to come back to America rather than continue their emigration;
8.  assesses how The FairTax provides a fair trade balance that we do not have now; 
9.  shows how the American standard of living will be raised through worker productivity increases;
10.  shows how money, comprised of many currencies, held in off shore financial centers & cross border financial centers will naturally seek America after enactment of the FairTax; 
11.  compares the pricing of a foreign manufacturer's products imported to America with no American component to that of the same manufacturer who builds their next plant in America to take advantage of the removal of embedded taxes realized after enactment of the FairTax - thereby restoring the Made In America label; &
12.  makes clear that after enactment of the FairTax the ordinary citizen will never come into contact with a federal agency for the purposes of collecting taxes again.
But despite all of the wonderful benefits of the FairTax listed above there are problems summarized as follows:
1.  The enemies of America have managed to bottle up HR 25 in the House Ways & Means Committee because the Joint Committee of Taxation has no methodology to properly evaluate the FairTax meaning that it will not come out of the Ways & Means Committee onto the floor of the House as it stands – even if we had the votes to pass it which we don't.  The House statists have checkmated the FairTax into the corner of W&M where they plan to keep it.  Source – Alex Poirot of Congressman Woodall's office.
2.  The only chance the FairTax has of becoming law is with an unwavering proactive endorsement by a presidential candidate who wins the election.  With Governor Huckabee dropping out of the presidential race the only candidate remaining who is a FairTax cosponsor is Senator Ted Cruz – & he has his own tax nightmare plan that includes an income tax & a form of a value-added tax – a combination of taxes used by every stagnate economy throughout the world.
3.  With the retirement of Neal Boortz the FairTax has had no national spokesman for three years.  Herman Cain, a former FairTax supporter, has his own national radio program, but neither Herman or any listener calling in has mentioned the FairTax in months – @ least not when I listen which I do every day.
4.  Many who do speak or write about the FairTax make serious technical errors, mostly through overselling the benefits of the FairTax.  Accordingly, critics have a field day calling into radio programs or attacking letters to the editors thereby making it harder for people attracted to the idea to learn it properly.  
5.  After all of the years the FairTax has been around there still are far too many misunderstandings by people who have supported the FairTax for years.  Two persistent examples are A) what will happen to retail prices after enactment of the FairTax & B) what the taxation of government entails.
With or without a presidential candidate or national spokesman the FairTax will never move forward until the principles are clearly & correctly understood.  All I can promise, especially to the 66% of Americans who feel the country is in decline, is that if you want to learn the principles of the FairTax, that brings back the prosperity & liberties the country was founded upon, I will not be the reason that you don't.