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.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Kavanaugh Confirmation Vote Turns On Speeches By Senators Graham & Collins

  click on image from FNC to enlarge
 
The above photo of Brett Kavanaugh & his wife & children was taken @ a private swearing in ceremony within hours of Judge Kavanaugh being confirmed by the Senate on October 6 as the 114th Supreme Court Justice.  President Trump had signed Kavanaugh's commission on Air Force One on his way to a MAGA rally in Kansas.  Chief Justice John Roberts administered the Constitutional Oath, shown above, & retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy administered the Judicial Oath.
 
The public ceremonial swearing in took place Monday night in the East Room of the White House on national TV.
 
Kavanaugh's contentious confirmation process, including an additional hearing devoted to sexual assault charges by Professor Christine Blasey Ford against Kavanaugh, had many lowlights as described in the last post but the following two highlights will not soon be forgotten – they are what the confirmation vote turned on.
 
1.  South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham stopped the hearing in its tracks with a speech (notice the body language of Kavanaugh on the split screen) that can only have been inspired by or learned from Graham's close working relationship with President Trump. 
 
Graham actually said the things that everyone in the hearing room & across the country, for that matter, knew was going on - but before Trump's election would have been afraid to say.  Graham could not have been clearer in unmasking the destructive political correctness theme of the hearing & exposing the Democrats' deliberate delay strategy in the hope to gain power.  It set the stage for all Republicans except Murkowski to vote for Kavanaugh. 
 
In summary, Lindsey Graham was politically incorrect, just like Trump, & that was exactly what was called for. 
 
2.  The day before the Senate's confirmation vote Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins gave the speech of her life on the Senate floor in which she detailed the time consuming process she went through in deciding to vote in Kavanaugh's favor. 
 
In her speech Collins mentioned the Constitution three times & said she was informed by The Federalist No.76: Hamilton – this was not only refreshing for me to hear but should be a model for every senator.
 
With regard to the sexual assault charges levied against Kavanaugh by Ford, Collins said that she believed Professor Ford had been sexually assaulted @ some point in her life.  Collins said that the debate is complicated further by the fact that the Senate confirmation process is not a trial but that certain fundamental legal principles about due process, the presumption of innocence, & fairness prayed on her thinking & she could not abandon them.  Accordingly, for virtually all of the reasons listed in the last post regarding lack of corroborating evidence Collins said that Ford's charges could not fairly prevent Kavanaugh from serving on the Supreme Court.
 
Collins found Kavanaugh's 12-year record on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, including his more than 300 opinions, his speeches, & law review articles very much in line with what she expected from a Supreme Court Justice – i.e., she "fully expect(s) them to be able to put aside any & all personal preferences in deciding cases that come before them."
 
Collins spent three hours discussing legal matters with Kavanaugh personally & called on attorneys from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service to assist her in evaluating Kavanaugh's extensive record.  Collins spoke with people who knew Kavanaugh personally such as Condoleezza Rice & Lisa Blatt who clerked for & is an ardent admirer of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
 
During this extensive review Kavanaugh was able to satisfy Collins' liberal points of view regarding 1) the protection of people with preexisting conditions under ObamaCare, 2) the belief that no president is above the law, 3) the right of same sex couples to marry, 4) the treatment of homosexuals with dignity & worth, 5) the availability of birth control services for women while minimizing the involvement of employers with religious objections, 6) the protection of abortion rights under Roe v. Wade, 7) the practice & tradition of precedent in judicial policy, & 8) the Trump campaign pledge to nominate only judges who would overturn Roe.
 
***
 
On October 4, the night before Senator Collins floor speech, Senator Graham sparred with a protester about the entire Kavanaugh matter & summed it up this way:  "It will never be enough.  If you don't believe he is a gang rapist, if you don't believe he is a stumbling bumbling drunk, serial sexual predator, maybe you'll believe he lied about how much he drank in high school, that he threw ice in a bar, or that he doesn't have the temperament – he didn't handle being destroyed well.  Enough, enough already.  Let's vote."
 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Two Down, Two To Go

"My personal beliefs are not relevant to how I decide cases." - Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh responding to a question from Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley regarding whether or not Judge Kavanaugh ever followed Supreme Court precedent when it conflicted with his personal beliefs.
 
"You have to resign yourself to the fact that you're not always going to like the conclusions you reach.  If you like them all the time, you're probably doing something wrong." – Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch – on what makes a good judge -  quoting the late Antonin Scalia, who Gorsuch replaced on the Supreme Court in 2017.
 
"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." – Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaking @ the University Of California, Berkeley in 2001 when she was an appeals court judge.  The speech that contains this quote was published in 2002 by the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal.
 
click on graphic to enlarge
 
With the Senate confirmation of U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh, by a vote of 50 to 48 Saturday afternoon, to be the next Supreme Court Associate Justice, President Trump has now appointed two associate justices to the Supreme Court that have moved the court to the more conservative side of the above graphic.
 
Now it is not just that the justices on the graphic to the right of Roberts are more conservative than the four on the more liberal side of the graphic but that they are more likely to judge cases in accordance with their oaths of office.
 
Supreme Court Justices take two oaths before they may execute the duties of their appointed office; namely, 1) the Constitutional Oath that all federal officials must take swearing to support the Constitution, & 2) the Judicial Oath in which the justices swear they "will administer justice without respect to persons, & do equal right to the poor & to the rich, & that (they) will faithfully & impartially discharge & perform all the duties incumbent upon (them) as Associate Justices of the Supreme Court under the Constitution & laws of the United States.  So help me God."
 
Based on the above quotes it is easy to see how Kavanaugh & Gorsuch feel about honoring their oaths & virtually impossible to see that Sotomayor had any intention of honoring hers.  Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate 68 to 31 in August 2009.
 
As most long time RTE readers learned in junior high school (or before) we are not looking for a conservative or liberal justice – we are expecting a constitutional purist to be nominated by the president, confirmed by the Senate, & then appointed by commission prepared & signed by the president.  Most of us learned in 9th grade civics classes that purity to the Constitution is the one & only criteria to be used by senators in the confirmation process of a Supreme Court nominee.
 
From 1789, when George Washington nominated John Jay to be the first chief justice, to the mid-1950s, public confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominees were rare, meaning there were few, if any, occurrences in the first century & a half of our Republic like the bitter Senate Judiciary Committee hearings last month when Democrat senators felt no compunction or shame as they showboated their arrogance & presented their 2020 presidential anti-Trump qualifications by taking cheap shots with one gotcha question after another that had nothing to do with nominee Kavanagh's constitutional purity.  Lowlights of the hearings included the nominee's young daughters being escorted from the room when they became afraid of protesters or when children from Parkland High School who are not old enough to vote were brought in to testify against the nominee.  How humiliating & rude.
 
Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee ran from September 4 through 7 with a committee vote scheduled for September 20.  On July 30 Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein, the ranking committee member, had received a letter written by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford alleging a sexual assault by Kavanaugh on Ford @ a drinking party in a private home when they were teenagers – but Feinstein kept the letter secret for over six weeks.  The letter did not become public until September 12.  The committee vote was delayed in order to have both Ford & Kavanaugh appear before the committee on September 27.
 
This additional step by the committee was taken even though Ford had not offered a consistent account of the alleged sexual assault – where it happened, when it happened, who was present, how many people were present, how she got there, how she got home, why she hid in a second floor bathroom after the alleged assault rather than run downstairs where there were other people to protect her, why she said she struggled academically in college due to the alleged assault but made no claim of struggling through her final two years of high school, & the witnesses that Ford identified either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them.
 
In short, Ford's claim came across as weak as a specific allegation against Kavanaugh & failed to meet even the lowest standard of evidence to even obtain a search warrant according to Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor who questioned Ford on September 27 before the committee. 
 
Had Feinstein handed Ford's letter over to the FBI in July, or conducted her own investigation, or even asked Kavanaugh about possible sexual assaults or drinking parties during her private meeting with Kavanaugh or during the committee hearing the disgraceful process that riveted much of the nation the past several weeks could have been avoided.
 
On September 23 a second allegation was brought to the New York Times against Kavanaugh by Deborah Ramirez when Kavanaugh & Ramirez were freshmen @ Yale.  The NYT interviewed several dozen classmates of Ramirez & found no one with first hand knowledge of her alleged account so they didn't publish the story.  The New Yorker did.
 
Kavanaugh's nomination was favorably voted out of committee on September 28 with the stipulation that a supplemental FBI background investigation would be conducted during the next week.  The FBI cleared both the Ford & Ramirez allegations & Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate as indicated above in a hateful process that was very unfair to Judge Kavanaugh & his family.
 
Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins said in her floor speech on Friday that Kavanaugh's confirmation process "has hit rock bottom" & "looked more like a caricature of a gutter level political campaign than a solemn occasion."  To me the confirmation process, & most pointedly the committee hearings, were an angry, shameful, abusive, slanderous, unthinkable character assassination by the Democrats on the committee that had nothing to do with the Constitution or Kavanaugh's ability to follow it.
 
When the Democrats tried to paint Judge Kavanaugh as a drunken gang rapist it was so contrary to the 30 years of his very public working life, all of which was within a few miles of where he grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland & included six FBI background checks for the various high level government positions he has held, that it reached the point of absurdity.  To defeat Kavanaugh's nomination Democrats were willing to drop the presumption of innocence until proven guilty principle claiming that Ford & Ramirez should be believed simply because they were women – a very dangerous position for every female to take who has a husband, son, father, friend or neighbor of the opposite sex.
 
Following the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016 BO had the constitutional duty to nominate a replacement & so he did in Merrick Garland, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.  Enter Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who said he would not bring Garland's nomination forward, even into committee, because he thought the next president, after the 2016 presidential election, should have the privilege to make the nomination of his or her choice - eleven months later.
 
Please note that McConnell's idea to delay a confirmation vote was not original – he was following the idea of New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer who in July 2007 said that no Bush nominee to the Supreme Court should be considered because of the upcoming presidential election in 2008 – Schumer said this 18 months before a new president took office.
 
With the polls all through 2016 strongly showing Hillary Clinton as the next president, McConnell's clever gambit seemed destined to produce a worse nominee (one far less pure to the Constitution) than Garland, who would no doubt vote with the four justices on the more liberal side of the above graphic in deciding cases.
 
The Democrats' realization of the cancellation of their planned future Supreme Court nominees poured salt in an open wound when Trump won the presidency without winning the popular vote – although there is no official way to tabulate the popular vote result because it has no meaning in the Constitution. 
 
Not only has Trump nominated & appointed Neil Gorsuch instead of Garland but now Trump has successfully appointed his second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Cavanaugh, which moves the court toward the more conservative side of the above graphic with the younger Gorsuch replacing the equally conservative but elderly Scalia & Kavanaugh replacing the more liberal Kennedy.
 
Liberal Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 & a half years old & has been seen falling asleep on television more than once & Stephen Breyer turned 80 last August meaning that Trump may have more nominees to the Supreme Court in the very near future as these people finally retire after decades on the Court.
 
Two down, two to go.
 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Widget & Baseball Quiz

Thanks to all the good sports who participate in the quizzes I present from time to time & a special thanks to those who send me quizzes.
 
The following 2-part quiz is from Graham Ledger's website. 
 
Please let me know how you work the problems. 
I will post all correct answers or alternatively will send the solution privately to anyone who requests it if no one figures it out.
 
Part 1
 
If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?
 
Part 2
 
A bat & a ball cost $1.10.  The bat costs one dollar more than the ball.  How much does the ball cost?
 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

POTUS Positions - Half Dozen Key Issues

Please click on the following links for videos that will add clarity to the subject important positions:
 
1.  Immigration – legal & illegal
 
2.  Economic Growth – the importance of tax cuts & the deficit
 
3.  Russia – relationship with Putin (body language @ end of video is very important)
 
4.  Energy – especially from coal
 
5.  Political Correctness – the death of a country
 
6.  Comprehensive Immigration Program – why you can't have "half a million people just pouring over the border"
 
 
So what's the difference now.
 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tragic Ending To An Alligator Attack

In May 2017 I presented two posts of attacks by 1) an alligator on a young girl who knew how to fend the beast off, & 2) a sea lion on a young girl who was saved by an heroic individual who dove into the water to help.  Both accounts resulted in a scare but a happy ending – see reference posts below.
 
This post presents the tragic ending of a woman's life in August in a residential community in the Sea Pines section of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  The woman was walking her small dog very close to a pond.  The alligator was lying close to shore & grabbed the dog's leash & wound up pulling both the dog & woman into the pond killing the woman & leaving the dog unhurt.
 
For those who live or vacation in the southeast you know that alligators are large carnivorous animals & should be respected as such – not treated as an amusement to be trifled with.  Alligator attacks are very rare & the reptiles are usually afraid of people so in the above tragedy the attraction was most likely the dog seen as an easy target & meal.
 
A few simple safety rules:
 
1.  Do not feed alligators or ducks, turtles, fish, or any other animal inhabiting water where alligators are known inhabitants.  This food source attracts alligators, trains them to associate humans with food, & makes them more likely to approach you.
 
2.  Almost any body of water in the southeast is an alligator-friendly habitat so be mindful of your environment.  I have seen people walking dogs near ponds totally focused on their cell phones or video games – not good with alligators around.
 
3.  If you encounter an alligator, walk backwards & back away from it.  A safe distance is about 60 feet.  If an alligator hisses or lunges @ you, you are too close which I have been on occasion.
 
4.  Keep pets & children away from alligators – large alligators will recognize them as food sources & act on their natural hunting instinct.  Do not allow pets or children to swim or play @ the edge of waters inhabited by alligators.  To an alligator, any splash potentially means a food source is in the water.
 
Reference posts: 
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Venezuela & America Provide A Definitive Comparison Between A Socialist & Capitalist Economy

"The business of America is business." - President Calvin Coolidge
 
"It is not the company that makes a profit that rips off society but the one who doesn't." – Peter Drucker
 
"A system of pure, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism has never existed anywhere." – Ayn Rand writing in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
 
click on graphic to enlarge
 
Well pure unregulated laissez-faire capitalism certainly has never existed anywhere but the above graphic shows what happened to Venezuela's currency, when the country with the world's largest oil reserves, turned to pure regulated socialism. 
 
The government's official currency fell 2,401,878.4% against the dollar just in 2018 from 1 strong bolivar per 0.097 dollar on January 1 to 1 strong bolivar per 0.00000403 dollar recently – see graphic above.  Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has devalued the currency to be more closely aligned with the black market rate – the real market value - & launched a so-called sovereign bolivar, containing five fewer zeros, pegged @ a fixed rate of 60 per dollar instead of 6,000,000 per dollar – see graphic of black market exchange rate below.  Four million per dollar had been the Venezuelan central bank's preferred valuation of the sovereign bolivar.
 
click on graphic to enlarge
 
In summary, the currency is virtually worthless & so are pensions & savings.  Venezuela defaulted on $50 billion in bonds after failing to make interest payments since last Fall, hyperinflation has hit an annual all time high of 61,463%, & the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects hyper-inflation of 1,000,000% – a can of coke was recently priced @ 2,800,000 strong bolivars & re-priced the same day @ 28 sovereign bolivars.
 
The problems started almost 15 years ago when the previous president Hugo Ch├ívez started implementing what he called "21st century socialism" saying that "It's impossible for capitalism to achieve our goals, nor is it possible to search for an intermediate way – I invite all Venezuelans to march together on the path of socialism of the new century."
 
Chavez went on to usurp millions of acres of land & thousands of privately owned businesses & foreign assets were nationalized.  Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips, & about 20 other international companies famously had assets in Venezuela confiscated.
 
When crude oil prices ended 2015 below $40 per barrel Venezuela was not able to adapt & a severe economic downturn resulted that continues to this day with dire food shortages, faltering public services like water & transportation, closure of companies & resultant unemployment, & falling oil production – there are shortages of milk, meat, coffee, rice, oil, precooked flour, butter, toilet paper, personal hygiene produces & medicines – nearly 75% of Venezuelans have lost an average of twenty pounds & some have resorted to eating garbage.  Almost ninety percent of the population now lives in poverty & accordingly the crime rate has dramatically increased with a murder rate in 2015 of 90 per 100,000 people – greater than the murder rates in Central America's Northern Triangle countries of 25 to 75 per 100,000 & the U.S. murder rate of 5 per 100,000.
 
Maduro has @ least admitted that socialism in Venezuela failed when he told the United Socialist Party Congress (PSUV)  "The production models we've tried so far have failed, & the responsibility is ours – mine & yours."
 
Now to be sure the U.S. economy is not a pure, unregulated laissez-faire capitalistic system, a free enterprise economy that will produce ever higher rungs on the ladder of economic growth for the world – it is a mixed economy that is somewhere between a totally free market economy (pure capitalism) & a government directed economy (socialism) with the current uninformed mindset of a majority of millennials & Democrats favoring more socialism.  Professor Friedman said over twenty years ago "We're more than 50 percent socialist.  And I don't think we're getting our money's worth."
 
Economists today focus on whether or not we are stuck in a modern day secular stagnation that I will define as less than 2% real annual economic growth, or whether the Trump budget of fiscal year 2018 that called for 3% growth starting in 2020 is out of reach in 21st century America, or whether a return to the historic 4% growth levels is only a pipedream.
 
Stanford economics professor John Taylor teaches that economic growth equals employment growth + productivity growth.
 
The demographics of population growth presents a challenge for high economic growth but the productivity growth component of Professor Taylor's formula should be increased substantially via several features of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 – specifically the 100% expensing rules for capital investments, the lowering of the corporate income tax rates, & to a lesser extent the lowering of the individual income tax rates.
 
Long term, the economy grows because of capital & savings, including savings that children running lemonade stands, or washing pans in a bakery for allowance money, deposit in passbook savings accounts – a great way to get started in becoming an entrepreneur.
 
The following graphic illustrates the components of Professor Taylor's formula.
 
  click on graphic to enlarge
 
The following graphic shows the difference in economic growth rates between two diametrically opposed ideologies – Reagan for free enterprise (environment of lowering both taxes & regulations) & BO (environment of raising both taxes & regulations) for socialism.  The graphic below shows the quarter to quarter annualized real GDP change for Reagan's & BO's presidencies starting in the 3rd year of each presidency.
 
click on graphic to enlarge
 
Rose Wilder Lane sums up the point of the above graphic when she wrote on page 52 of The Discovery Of Freedom "Men in Government must take the wealth they consume, from the wealth that productive men produce.  The important question is, What amount can they take safely?"
 
The Trump economy of the past year & a half has given many people the feeling that the economy is roaring like it hasn't in about a decade.  But President Trump pointed out that when speaking of a percent or two in GDP it is hard for people to visualize the magnitude of what is happening – they just know they feel good.
 
The best way I know to visualize the differences in GDP growth rates is to look @ how long it would take for the economy to double when comparing two different economic growth rates.
 
For instance, if we can achieve a continuous 3% real economic growth rate the economy will double in 24 years as opposed to 39 years for a 1.85% continuous real economic growth rate.  Starting with a $20 trillion (rounded) economy a 1.85% continuous real economic growth rate would result in almost $10 trillion (in 2018 dollars) less goods & services being available for consumption than would be available with a 3% continuous real economic growth rate.  It would take an additional 15 years to make up this $10 trillion difference @ 1.85% real economic growth.
 
Professor Friedman wrote in Free To Choose: "Wherever the free market has been permitted to operate, wherever anything approaching equality of opportunity has existed, the ordinary man has been able to obtain levels of living never dreamed of before.  Nowhere is the gap between rich & poor wider, nowhere are the rich richer or the poor poorer, than in those societies that do not permit the free market to operate." 
 
A strong economy is the only way to consistently give people the dignity of gainful employment that produces a higher standard of living & a promising future.
 
The collapse of Venezuela, as described above, shows another chapter of the failure of a centrally planned socialist managed economy. 
 
But the majority of millennials & Democrats in 2018 can't reject the temptation to think that socialism in America will work – they think this time will be different.  The lure of socialism is a burden that "is exceedingly hard to throw off, even when patently obvious that it is the chief culprit producing persistent underdevelopment, poverty, & misery."1
_________________________ 
1.  Mary O'Grady writing the weekly Americas column in the WSJ – August 25, 2006
 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Is More Trump Than Trump

Last weekend on Huckabee on TBN the Governor's special guest was his daughter White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  Click here for part one & here for part two to see the videos of Sarah's appearance on the show – which is similar to the original Huckabee show on FNC. 
 
As we all know President Trump can, @ times, find fault with virtually any of his aides & members of his staff but I cannot think of a single occasion where he has even mentioned Sarah, the staff member with the greatest media exposure.  This is testimony of the excellence of Sarah's quality & character & why she is a wonderful role model for so many people especially young women.
 
As a regular watcher of her daily press briefings I know that her job as Press Secretary is to report the president's positions but on occasion I have heard Sarah say that she thought President Trump was a little too mild or soft - in those cases Sarah is even more Trump than the President.
 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Majority Of Millennials & Democrats Favor Socialism Over Capitalism

"Any institution will tend to express its own values & its own ideas.  Our public education system is a socialist institution.  A socialist institution will teach socialist values, not principles of private enterprise." - Professor Friedman writing in the Cato Policy Report, March/April 1999
 
On several occasions on his national radio program Neal Boortz said
that "the teachers' unions & government schools are more dangerous to America's future than al Qaeda".  Just look @ what's happening, as described below, to see how right Neal is.
 
click on graphic from yougov.com
 
to enlarge
 
A consistent theme of Hillsdale College's reports the past two years is
that far-Left Progressive thinking has been embraced by our youth – look @ the height of the blue lines on the above graphic.  The blue lines are too high in all 22 categories shown for a country founded on limited government, personal responsibility, & free enterprise capitalism but the graphic specifically shows that more millennials (under 30 category) prefer socialism than capitalism & Democrats are equally divided.
 
Gallup has just completed an up to the minute study & found that Democrats continue the slide toward socialism & are no longer equally divided but now 57% of Democrats & Democrat leaning Independents have a positive view of socialism to 47% capitalism.
  Numbers don't add to 100% because some Democrats have positive views of both capitalism & socialism – the numbers shown on the table below for 2010, 2012, & 2016 essentially match the 50-50 spilt shown on the above graph which was formulated before 2018. 
 
click on table to enlarge 
 
Hillsdale also reports that avowed Democrat Socialist Bernie Sanders won the vote of 72% of Democrat presidential primary voters age 17 to 29 which amounted to
over 13 million votes (more than Trump & Hillary combined)
by advocating a tuition-free college education, a $15 federal minimum wage, & a single payer universal government healthcare system currently called Medicare for All.  Forty-five percent
of Bernie's voters were college graduates.  Also 45% of millennials prefer to live in a socialist country rather than the U.S. – no word on any of these polls regarding when they are moving.
 
It appears that Bernie is positioning himself for another run for President in 2020 along with his fellow Democrat senators Kamala Harris (CA), Corey Booker (NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), & Elizabeth Warren (MA) – all of whom have endorsed Bernie's Democrat-Socialist ideas & have thrown in abolishing U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to boot.  It is hard to take these people seriously but I take them deadly seriously because they are trying to destroy America under the banner of political correctness, welfare systems,  weakness, & victimhood.  Capitalists mock them @ their own peril.
 
We all know by now that ten-term Congressman Joe Crowley (also Chair of the House Democrat Caucus, the 4th highest Democrat leadership position) underestimated a Bernie acolyte – 28 year old Democrat-Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the June 26 NY primary.  Cortez won receiving 57.1% (15,897 votes) to Crowley's 42.5% (11,761) in the NYC district that includes the eastern Bronx & part of north-central Queens – the turnout was 12.9% meaning that Cortez received 7.4% of the registered vote & won the primary by 1.9% of that vote.  Crowley had won the district in 2016 with 83% of the vote in a much bigger turnout.
 
Cortez graduated cum laude in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in economics & international relations from Boston University (BU) – these are impressive academic credentials but the problem is Cortez does not speak the lingo & never worked in her field of study – she was most recently a bartender before winning the primary.  Readers of this blog who are also FairTax supporters are very familiar with the Economics Department @ BU & in particular Professor Lawrence Kotlikoff who has written many papers on the FairTax before he switched to his own creation known as the Purple Tax.  Based on Cortez's appearances on TV since winning her primary it is not clear whether or not she took any courses from Professor Kotlikoff before being awarded her degree.
 
In any event Cortez will be the second Democrat Socialist in Congress, after Bernie, if she wins in November.  Her opponent is Anthony Pappas, an Associate Professor of Economics @ St. John's University so the debates, if any, should be fun.  Crowley's name remains on a third-party ballot line in November's mid-term election due to an arcane NY state election law.
 
But Cortez has not been the only Democrat Socialist to run in the primaries.  Most notably Cortez campaigned for Abdul El-Sayed who finished second while receiving 340,560 votes (30.0%) in a three way Democrat gubernatorial primary in Michigan on August 7.  Although El-Sayed lost the primary, 340,560 votes is way too many to feel complacent.
 
Also, on another front & affront the Daily Caller reports "Young Democrat Socialists of America (YDSA) says it currently has 57 registered chapters on college campuses . . . up from just 15 in 2016."
 
Now Democrat Socialists believe in expanded government – many of the categories & costs estimated by the WSJ are shown on the table below.  As a share of the economy, the costs shown on the table below represent a bigger increase in government spending than FDR's New Deal or LBJ's Great Society.  Although @ the time Bernie's campaign had not finalized the details of the programs or any cost estimates Warren Runnels, Bernie's campaign policy director acknowledged "Senator Sanders agenda does cost money.  If you look @ the problems out there, it's (the table below) very reasonable."
 
click on table to enlarge
 
Well, the programs did become better defined – in 2017 Bernie introduced the Medicare for All Act & he has 16 co-sponsors.  In July, 70 House members started the Medicare for All Caucus – this caucus is twice the size of Congressman Jim Jordan's Freedom Caucus.  Accordingly, the cost estimates increased dramatically from what is shown on the above table. 
 
Dr. Charles Blahous, public trustee for Social Security & Medicare from 2010 to 2015, has calculated that Medicare for All, as envisioned, would increase federal spending by $32.6 trillion in the first decade of the program – this assumes the implementation of the program would successfully cut all healthcare provider payments down to Medicare reimbursement rates, which are more than 40% lower than private insurer rates & even below provider's costs in many cases.  Without such cuts in provider reimbursement rates the increase in federal spending for Medicare for All would be $38 trillion during the programs first ten years according to Dr. Blahous.
 
Similar calculations regarding the enormity of the Medicare for All costs have been made by the Urban Institute, the Center for Health & Economy, & Emory scholar Kenneth Thorpe.  
 
Now we can get a good idea in microcosm of where the above problems will lead us when we look @ the current unsustainable retirement promises made to millions of public sector workers over the years; e.g., NJ's pension program is so underfunded it could run out of money in twelve years – source, Pew Charitable Trust Study.
 
The graphic below shows that from 2001 to 2016 employer's contributions to state & local pensions increased four fold while for the same period the funding ratio dropped from fully funded to below three quarters funded meaning that accrued liabilities increased faster than the growth of the economies in many states including NJ, IL, CT, NH, & KY.  These states, & many others, would have to raise billions of dollars more to even have a chance to adequately fund the promised pension benefits.
 
click on graphic to enlarge
 
So how did America go from originally being a country of pioneers who came to a desolate wilderness & in less than one century built not only the most prosperous country in the 6,000 years of human history but in fact the whole modern world, to one where the majority of both its youth & Democrats plus far too many in every demographic prefer a planned socialist economy that wastes time, human energy, & human life – a country where schools create oversensitive students & young adults because the schools spend far too much time comforting & coddling them instead of teaching that living is not easy or as I am wont to say "It is hell making a living in the world." 
 
First we all have to face heat, cold, storms, floods, & drought – all of which are deadly enemies of every human being – think Houston hurricane Harvey in 2017.   We also have to prepare ourselves to compete against every human being on the planet to earn a living.  Free enterprise capitalism best equips man to both overcome these natural obstacles & satisfy human needs to live in prosperity.
 
Our American ancestors looked @ man as a heroic being who lives by his own effort, achievement, & reasoning ability & accordingly does not give or receive the undeserved, who honors accomplishment, & rejects envy.  This view is being replaced by a desire for free college for all, Medicare for All, & a guaranteed living wage where a handful of elites think they know better what is good for people than those very people do for themselves.
 
Our forefathers either suspected, believed, or knew that the indispensible foundation of a free society is individual rights & that free enterprise capitalism is the only system that can uphold & protect individual rights.  Our forefathers were certain that men are inherently free by nature of their God-given humanity & that it was this freedom in America that created the condition in which human beings used their natural freedom to produce the energy that resulted in the highest living standard ever known on earth.  On the contrary, throughout 6,000 years of human Old World history socialism was always part of the pagan god view of man that all individuals by their nature are controlled outside themselves by some Authority of a few men & according to the plans of these men (i.e., government) – it is this belief in a false Authority over man that restricted & held mankind back for 60 centuries until the American Republic was founded.  
 
Free enterprise capitalism is the natural use of man's energy to get from this earth the necessities for maintaining human life via the most productive means possible – private ownership of businesses run for profit.  Socialism restricts this natural use of human energy so that people no longer create any new wealth & finally starve to death – think Venezuela.  A socialist planned economy, one in which the government owns or regulates the means of production, distribution, & exchange, ultimately destroys its own government because when men use force to try to control or regulate productive energies, they have no means of knowing real costs, & these costs automatically increase @ an increasing rate until the people can no longer pay them – think the U.S.S.R. 
 
America got into this capitalism–socialism predicament because of the simple reason Professor Friedman noted @ the very top of this post – government schools, i.e., socialist institutions, do not teach free enterprise capitalism, they teach the lie of the reputed benefits of socialism without ever presenting any of the reasons socialism has never worked or lasted in any country on earth.  Government schools teach socialism as a utopia fully knowing that it isn't so without ever explaining that Karl Marx regarded socialism as a transition state between the overthrow of capitalism & the realization of communism.  The entrenchment of these socialist teachings is why Neal Boortz said that the teachers' unions & government schools are more dangerous to America's future than al Qaeda.
 
So never being taught, or realizing, the principles of free enterprise capitalism the majority of millennials are unaware of what they are throwing away – what they are letting slip through their fingers.  But even worse - click here to find out that they don't even know what they are getting in socialism.
 
Reference book: The Discovery Of Freedom, Rose Wilder Lane