June 2011

Cowards at the Capitol

by Pitt Griffin on June 30, 2011 · 4 comments

in Economics, Politics

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” JFK ’62

Are we still that America? Or is the American dream now the Asian dream?

History always romanticizes the past. For the vast majority of Americans in the 1960s life was a hard and unnoticed struggle to earn a living and raise children. Soaring rhetoric didn’t pay the bills or cure poverty, but it did give the nation pride and direction. That generation felt everything was possible.

And on July 20th 1969, an American man landed on the moon.

FDR gave the nation a rallying point to overcome the Depression; then the ‘Greatest Generation’ won WW II.

Where is today’s rallying call?

We dominated the industrial and technological advances of the 20th century. We made things and when others made them cheaper, we won with information technology. We didn’t make as much, but we knew how to sell what other people made cheaper.

But the 21st century is bringing challenges that our political classes are unwilling to address.

Preeminent is energy generation intertwined with climate change. We must stop the job-crushing dollar outflows to Middle-Eastern potentates and the seething ‘Arab street’.

In a time of straightened government finance, at a time when our social contract demands more money, we are forced to spend billions on Homeland security and pointless and unwinnable wars in flyspeck countries.

And what is our politicians’ reaction. Inanities like ‘drill, baby, drill’ – a cheap slogan that is a flaccid substitute for an actual policy.

It takes an idiot to see that a permanent solution to our energy problem is burning a dwindling stock of fossil fuels. ‘More of the same’ is hardly the hallmark of an entrepreneurial and technologically advanced economy. Green tech is where the jobs are and whether they will be American jobs and American profits  is up to the politicians.

But they would rather debate over a heavy handed government mandate for a certain type of light bulb. They would rather argue the science of climate change. But the science (while settled) doesn’t matter; the rest of the world has made up its mind.

Donald Rumsfeld smeared France, Germany, Spain etc. as ‘old Europe’ because they weren’t as eager to dive into the Arab morass, but our failure to embrace new technologies will leave us as ‘old America’; which, in an unpleasant irony, is being overtaken by ‘old Europe’ in energy technology.

While our politicians waffle China is devoting considerable economic resources to alternate energy. These aren’t tree-hugging, nature lovers. They are economic pragmatists. They do it, not because it is morally right, but because it is economically smart.

A justification for doing nothing is that our economy is too fragile, that we can’t afford change right now, that the biggest problem is the deficit and it is an unfair burden for our children to bear. But we didn’t finally shed the bonds of the Depression by cutting government spending. We didn’t fight WWII while trying to balance the budget. We didn’t defeat the Axis powers by cutting the taxes of the wealthy. And the children of the WWII generation enjoyed an unprecedented increase in the standard of living as the prosperity of the post war years created the great American middle-class.

If I had one wish it would be that our politicians would find the courage to think big. I don’t see a single one I would name a bridge after.





Wealth as a curse, balls and strikes and Disney as the anti-Christ.

June 29, 2011

A TAX PARABLE Imagine an economy that consists of two workers A & B, where B works for A. A earns $60 a year and B earns $40 a year. Taxes are 10% of income over $20 and 15% of income over $60. A therefore pays $4 and B pays $2. A few years pass […]

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Teenage sex and violence – just more of the same.

June 28, 2011

BEATING, GOOD – BEATING OFF, BAD The Supreme Court ruled that violent video games be given 1st Amendment protection. It struck down a California law that banned minors from buying them. But minors are still banned from buying pornography. Which means that two 17 year-olds can legally have sex, but can’t watch a movie of […]

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Be a fiscal conservative – support gay marriage.

June 27, 2011

Last Friday 6/24/11 the New York Senate voted for gay marriage, making NY the sixth state to allow it. All Democrats save one were in favor, all Republicans except four were against. Which raises the question – what does religious conservatism have to do with no new taxes? The answer should be nothing. But that […]

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Lying with numbers

June 26, 2011

If you aren’t a big fan of numbers, please fell free to ignore this post. The Cato Institute is a Libertarian organization. As with any group that has a political ax to grind they will present their results in the best possible light. Frequently this crosses the line from ‘spin’ to misrepresentation or even inanity. […]

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Really? 6/24/2011 – The Chamber’s illegal love affair, drugs and the Socialists’ new party

June 24, 2011

ILLEGAL ALIENS’ BIGGEST FAN? – THE US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE The Unites States Chamber of Commerce is a reliable supporter of ‘business rights’ which is why it funds politicians who promote lower tax rates, fewer regulations, less pollution control, fewer food inspection etc. But on one issue they are in lock step with the far-left; […]

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Really? 6/23/11 – Gays, God, Deficit, War and George Washington, pot grower?

June 23, 2011

GAY MARRIAGE IN NEW YORK Archbishop Dolan of New York has come out strongly against gay marriage as the NY legislature debates whether to allow it in that state. He claims that somehow permitting gay marriage will put the US in the same boat as the Chinese and North Koreans. He says ”There communiques from […]

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God only knows – A few questions maybe He can answer

June 22, 2011

  Was Jesus born in 1AD or 1BC? Genesis 4 tells the story of Cain and Abel, the third and fourth people on earth. After God condemns Abel to wander the earth for killing his brother the bible says that he and his wife conceived Enoch. Where did his wife come from? In the Gospels […]

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Murder in America – how the gun debate doesn’t address the problem.

June 21, 2011

On Sunday morning four people were shot to death in a Long Island (NY) pharmacy when a robbery went wrong. Liberals will blame lax gun laws, Conservatives will argue that if the victims had been armed (including the 17 year old high school girl) the murders would have been prevented. Both sides – once again […]

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