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, December 22, 2019

Christmas & New Year's Message For Hong Kong

Long time readers will remember the Christmas & New Year's post of 2013 dedicated to Ukraine – a country fighting for its freedom much like America was on Christmas night 1776.
My interest in Ukraine started when Google provided me with statistics showing that Ukraine consistently had the second biggest readership in RTE, after the U.S., for over two years running.  I know that many pro-liberty protesters in Ukraine use Facebook posts & blogs to communicate with each other.  I am just so humbled & honored to think that RTE played even an infinitesimal part in this revolution for freedom.
Well, in this same light I was very surprised the past few weeks to see that the readership in Hong Kong has skyrocketed to more than three times the U.S. readership.
The situation in Hong Kong is a little different than in 1776 America or 2013 Ukraine – both America & Ukraine had gone through the bondage to spiritual faith & spiritual faith to great courage stages & had moved to the courage, fighting for liberty stage of a young country seeking freedom.
Hong Kong had experienced freedom under British rule from 1842 until July 1, 1997 when once again Hong Kong was returned to China under the "One Country, Two Systems" principle that called for Hong Kong to be autonomous for 50 years, until 2047, – Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal & economic system.  In 1997 Hong Kong was both freer & wealthier than mainland China but the wealth gap has narrowed while the freedom gap has widened.
Equating freedom to taxes – Hong Kong has no capital gains tax, no withholding tax, no estate tax, no dividend tax, no sales tax or value added tax, & no tax on interest.  Tax is paid by property & land owners @ a rate of 15% of their rental income.   The first tax in America was the Tariff Act of 1789 that imposed a 5% flat rate tariff on all imports.  See graphic below that shows the low rate of taxation from 1792 until 1913 when the income tax was implemented & the mid 1930s when the Social Security payroll tax was implemented & then again in the mid 1960s when it was expanded to include the Medicare payroll tax.  Notice the height of the yellow line over the entire time frame of 1792 to 2016 which shows the method & level of taxation of our Founders.
  click on graphic to enlarge
The problem for Hong Kong started last June when a bill that would have allowed Hongkongers to be extradited to mainland China for trial was introduced – this didn't sound good to them.  On June 9 an estimated one million people marched in an antigovernment protest of this bill & Hong Kong has not been the same since.  One large protest march after another has followed & confrontations with the police has escalated.  See photo below that shows the inspiration America is for this freedom movement.  Hongkongers are calling for U.S. support – not from anyone or any place else.  The U.S. is the only place that enthuses hope for freedom & that is why we are constantly being beaten down by enemies – both foreign & domestic.
click on photo to enlarge 
The quest for a constitutional republic with strong democratic principles like America usually starts with a few people of substance, living under tyranny, quietly getting together to plan a better way.  This is happening in many dictatorships around the world today & of course is squashed by the dictatorship as soon as it is discovered – with the freedom planners being killed.  Ukraine & Hong Kong are still in the liberty to abundance stage while America has descended into the apathy to dependence stage, unfortunately led by millennials who don't know better, that every democracy goes through once the voters foolishly realize that a majority can always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury – & boy do we have that now with every Democrat candidate for president outdoing each other in their lurch toward total government dependence (i.e., socialism & communism).
Last month Hongkongers exercised their right to vote when pro-democracy candidates won 201 seats to only 28 for the Hong Kong establishment or pro-Beijing parties.  This was a very great defeat for the Hong Kong government set up by Beijing.  The turnout was over 70% of eligible voters.  The problem is that the district councilors elected have little power except for local concerns so the freedom fighters are still living under the heavy handed threat of the tyranny & brute force of mainland China – but they persist as we did in the 1770s.
So it is to Hong Kong, & specifically the libertarian people who dare greatly to protest in the streets against as brutal a regime as exists on earth, that I dedicate this Christmas & New Year's message – namely, it is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

ACTA, VOC, & Hillsdale College Show Socialist/Communist Trouble For Trump Reelection

On September 10 ACTA (the American Council of Trustees & Alumni) released their annual signature publication What Will They Learn? 2019-2020Long time readers know that I feature the release of ACTA's annual report every year as well as information about other ACTA projects as they occur during the year.  The ACTA website is an invaluable asset in helping to choose a college that will provide a useful learning experience @ the lowest tuition.  There are thousands of students & parents responsible for large student loans for students who received useless degrees that wish they had been aware of this resource.
This year's ACTA report graded 1,124 schools that enroll more than eight million undergraduate students - & awarded 2% of the schools with an "A" & 12% with an "F".  Eight-two percent of schools do not require a course in U.S. government or history so it is not surprising that 1 in 5 Americans think that AOC is the author of the New Deal.  This type of misinformation helps explain the current American preference for socialism & the rise of ill-informed citizens who are stupid enough to graduate from college with tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt totally unprepared for the workforce.  They are naturally attracted to Democrat presidential candidates who promise to expunge that debt for starters.
It is natural for the the education gap, the income gap, & every other measure of the excellence of high personal achievement to widen versus the collective mediocrity of socialism & government dependence.  For instance, the median annual income for math majors graduating from MIT in 2019 was $120,000.  These graduates had a median student debt of just $8,219 – the lowest debt to income ratio for bachelor's degrees.  These people really understand math – & economics.
Hillsdale College reports:
1)  Only 30% of millennials believe it is essential to live in a democracy – a 2017 Gallup poll found that 55% of 18 – 29 year olds had a positive view of socialism & a YouGov.com poll reported that 44% of millennials would rather live in a socialist country instead of a capitalist one such as America;
2)  61%  of Americans aged 18 to 24 (the generation that will make up 10% of the voting electorate in 2020 & could be the cohort that denies Trump reelection if they turnout to vote) had a positive reaction to the word "socialism" – beating out capitalism @ 51%;
3)  In 2016, socialist Bernie Sanders received 13 million votes for president in the Democrat presidential primariesmore than 2 million votes for him were cast by those aged 17 to 29 amounting to 72% in this age category & 45% of Bernie's voters were college graduates, who have little or no idea what they are passing up; &
4)  In just the last two years the Young Democrat Socialists of America experienced a 280% increase in active chapters on college campuses across America.
And the fourth Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Toward Socialism, Communism, & Collectivism released by the Victims Of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) found that 36% of Millennials support communism – an increase from 2018.  Opinions of capitalism took a decline over the past year with only half of Millennials (ages 23 – 38) & Generation Z (ages 16 to 22) having a favorable opinion of capitalism.  Socialism's favorability decreased over the last year except for Millennials & the Silent Generation (ages 74+). 
The VOC survey polled 2,100 people in the U.S. who were 16 & older.
The results of the survey prompted Marion Smith, Executive Director of VOC, to properly appraise the situation in America today when he said "The historical amnesia about the dangers of communism & socialism is on full display in this year's report.  When we don't educate our youngest generations about the historical truth of 100 million victims murdered @ the hands of communist regimes over the past century, we shouldn't be surprised @ their willingness to embrace Marxist ideas.  We need to redouble our efforts to educate America's youth about the history of communist regimes & the dangers of socialism today."  The increasing support among younger Americans for socialism & other ideas destructive of liberty is because these younger Americans take their liberty for granted – thinking it will always be there under any system of government, which of course it won't.
The following graphic is from the VOC report. 

click on graphic to enlarge

Click here to see a video of students @ Carleton College in Minnesota support free college (their annual tuition of $54,759 is the highest in Minnesota) but with no idea of how to pay for it.  The student with the hammer & sickle shirt provides a good idea of where these student are coming from & the communism they are going to – see photo below.

click on photo to enlarge

But the Democrat onslaught doesn't stop with free college.  For instance Bernie's plans are typical of all the Democrat presidential candidates - they total $97.5 trillion in new spending over the next ten years made up of Medicare for All @ $32 trillion (unrealistically low as documented on this blog in previous posts), climate change @ $16.9 trillion, full-time government employment that pays $15 per hour plus benefits guaranteed to all Americans @ $30 trillion, free college tuition @ public colleges & forgiving all student loan debt @ $3 trillion, expansion of Social Security (a program actuarially running out of money) @ $1.8 trillion, housing plan @ $2.5 trillion, paid family leave @ $1.6 trillion, infrastructure plan @ $1 trillion, K-12 education plan @ $800,000 billion, & higher education teacher salary plan @ $400 billion.  Source – City-Journal.

The above programs would double the number of Americans who work for the federal government, increase total government spending to 70% of GDP from the current 40% level, & bring annual budget deficits to the 30% level.  Doesn't sound good – but it does sound like socialism & communism.

Anybody who has been paying the least bit of attention – anybody who is breathing – knows that the Democrats have a sick obsession with President Trump simply because they cannot accept that he won the 2016 presidential election.  Democrats have to get rid of Trump for no other reason than he is just too anti socialist & anti communist for their own good.  Trump is pro-business.

When Trump took office there were 1.9 million more people unemployed than there were job openings.  Since March 2018 there has been a dramatic reversal with more than a million more job openings than people who are unemployed.  The November 2019 Unemployment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on December 6 showed the number of people marginally attached to the labor force fell from 1,678,000 to 1,246,000 in the last year as more & more people have hope of finding gainful employment.  In addition, & in this same line, the BLS report showed that the % of long term unemployed people fell to 20.8% in November compared to 24.7% – BO's last full month in office. This is dangerous to Democrats because it flies in their government dependent faces that prefer to think of people as discouraged workers who have given up looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them, victims of something, anything, that in turn makes it easy for anyone to become dependent on government – & them.

Americans are constantly being asked whether they believe in personal responsibility or not.  Democrats entire existence is to make this decision easy by putting temptation in front of people in the form of one government giveaway after another by taking money from the haves to give to the have-nots – until we are all have-nots with no one creating wealth any longer.

We need an educated workforce of people who can provide valuable services but instead we have had 19 straight months of a million more job openings than we have unemployed people.  Many police recruits in South Bend, Indiana – Mayor Pete Buttigieg, presidential aspirant - fail the required written exam as the high school graduation rate in South Bend fell to 77% from 83% in 2015, about 11 points lower than statewide.

Over twenty years ago Professor Friedman said "America has been more than fifty percent socialist for many years & we are not getting our money's worth."  It doesn't take much first hand experience with government projects to know the inefficient government road to ruin we would be on if any of the Democrat candidates win the presidency in 2020. 

Social spending totals 20% of the economy already & Americans currently spend 18% of GDP on healthcare with projections of 21% by 2027 before continuing to rise further.  Add the additional programs listed above from Bernie's plan & you can clearly see Professor Friedman's point even before including current state & local government spending. 

Socialism means that the government is entitled to the proceeds from the income private enterprise receives.  Take federal, state, & local spending & add the unfunded mandates government imposes on private spending (about 12% of the laws enacted between 2001 & 2011) – mostly utilized in regulation of civil rights, anti-poverty programs, & environmental protections (ADA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, No Child Left Behind, & fees for continuing education training & licenses for engineers, pharmacists, tattoo artists, & hairdressers – as examples) & over 50% of the output of the country is controlled by the government – this is equivalent to saying the government owns 50% of the means of production.

Four of the five wealthiest counties surround Washington DC indicating the degree of entrenched socialsim.  We will have turned communist when it is five out of five.

Our Founders, the first five presidents, mutually pledged their lives, their fortunes, & their sacred honors to each other & most importantly to fight for the liberty of their new country when they renounced their status as British subjects in favor of being citizens of the United States of America.

Hillsdale College reports that only 19% of Americans younger than forty-five can pass the U.S. Citizenship Test.  This shows just how far we have gone – down.