Bill Whittle explains. (7 minutes)
The man is a catastrophic failure.
From the left-leaning Politico. (H/T Dennis Prager)
Obama has characterized Republican votes against his jobs bill — which are predicated, at least in part, over concern that new, temporary spending financed by tax increases will not help the economy — as a rejection of the most wholesome of American workers.
“They said no to more jobs for teachers, no to more jobs for cops and firefighters,” Obama said during a speech Wednesday to the administration’s Forum on American Latino Heritage, “no to more jobs for construction workers and veterans, no to tax cuts for small-business owners and middle-class Americans.”
But in these same remarks, Obama also subtly suggested something far worse — that his opponents are racially biased.
“I ran for president for the same reason many people came to this country in the first place,” he explained. “Because I believe America should be a place where you can always make it if you try, a place where every child, no matter what they look like [or] where they come from should have a chance to succeed. I still believe in that America. I believe we can be that America again.”
The clear suggestion is that someone has made this country a place where what a child looks like can hinder them — and Obama is the one who can erase the discrimination that has been permitted to return.
First lady Michelle Obama made this point more explicitly at a Washington fundraiser the night before.
“Will we be a country where opportunity is limited to just the few at the top?” the first lady asked. “Or will we give every child — every child — a chance to succeed, no matter where she’s from, or what she looks like, or how much money her parents [have]? Who are we? That’s what’s at stake here.”
Her suggestion that “what’s at stake here” in the 2012 race is whether a child will be judged by color is an outrage, implying that a Republican victory would result in discrimination.
Obama’s rhetoric has become increasingly shrill. I find it very alarming that the President of the United States is somewhere to the left of celebrity blowhards like Michael Moore. How does he expect to negotiate with people in good faith when he is constantly impugning their motives and caricaturing their policies?
In other news, Herman Cain, who is black, leads by 8 points in the Iowa Caucuses. Wouldn’t it be funny to see Barack Obama, who is only half-black, take on Herman Cain in a debate, and accuse him of racism? The rich, pampered Ivy-league ACORN trainer against the businessman with a Masters in Computer science from Purdue, whose mother was a cleaning woman, and whose father worked three jobs.
You have to read this post by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.
The Supreme Court took a big bite out of the pockets of class-action trial lawyers today, at least in the field of employment discrimination. The court unanimously rejected a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart on behalf of 1.6 million female employees that attempted to argue that the retail giant purposefully and systematically discriminated on gender for compensation. But a narrow 5-4 rulingon a companion issue promises to make filing any more such class-action lawsuits nearly impossible:
The justices divided 5-4 on another aspect of the ruling that could make it much harder to mount similar class-action discrimination lawsuits against large employers.
Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion for the court’s conservative majority said there needs to be common elements tying together “literally millions of employment decisions at once.”
But Scalia said that in the lawsuit against the nation’s largest private employer, “That is entirely absent here.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court’s four liberal justices, said there was more than enough uniting the claims. “Wal-Mart’s delegation of discretion over pay and promotions is a policy uniform throughout all stores,” Ginsburg said.
The contrasting opinions gives a good indication of what is at stake. In mostcorporations (especially national retail chains), compensation decisions are almost always delegated to individual locations or regional management. For one thing, the labor market varies from region to region, and what amounts to competitive compensation in one region might be insufficient in another, depending on the cost of living, labor availability, and so on.
Ginsburg’s identification of this as a prima facie indication of discrimination would have exposed virtually all US retailers to such class-action lawsuits. Not only would that have sapped retailers of billions in capital, but it doesn’t make any sense on its face anyway. If compensation decisions are decentralized throughout an organization, how can that possibly demonstrate a coordinated, centralized, and explicit effort to discriminate on the basis of anything?
Reining in judicial activism and trial layers is a good way to incentivize corporations to create jobs. If you want to lower unemployment, stop these frivolous class-action lawsuits.
It’s also worth pointing out that lawsuits like this are bogus in a free market, because if people really area being underpaid, they can always go to a different employer to get a higher salary – IF THEY ARE WORTH IT. We really need a national loser-pays law to deter these nuisance lawsuits.
Mary found this moving article in the Wall Street Journal that talks about what the state police can do to private citizens today in China.
On Dec. 23, the United Nations International Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Forced Disappearance came into force. China has declined to accede to this convention. My experience that same day is just one of many examples of how the authorities continue to falsely imprison Chinese citizens.
That evening, I was in the Xizhimen area of Beijing chatting with my colleagues Piao Xiang, Xu Zhiyong and Zhang Yongpan. Ms. Piao had been disappeared after she and I went to Dandong on Oct. 7 to argue the court case of Leng Guoquan, a man framed by the police for drug trafficking; she had only been released on Dec. 20. Her abductors had been officers from the state security squad of the Public Security Bureau. I asked her to narrate the entire process of her disappearance in detail.
Later, I suggested to Mr. Zhang, “Let’s go and see Fan Yafeng’s mom.” The day before, we had contacted fellow human rights lawyer Fan Yafeng and found out that he was under strict house arrest. But he had said that his mother was going to be alone at home in the evening and so I thought we should go see her.
Because I used to go there frequently I remembered clearly where she lived. As Mr. Zhang and I entered the block of flats and started walking up the staircase, I had a feeling that someone was following us. Observing that we went to the third floor, a young security guard asked us whom we were visiting. We said, “We’re seeing a friend.” Immediately, he called out for someone else to come up.
We knocked on the door and were greeted by Mr. Fan’s mother. But as we entered the flat, the security guard came with us, and a person in plainclothes stormed in just behind him. The man in plainclothes demanded to check our IDs in a very coarse manner. I asked him in a loud voice, “What sort of people are you? How can you enter a private residence without permission?”
The plainclothes man said, “I am a police officer. We want to check your ID cards.” “You’re a police officer? I want to see your police ID.” “If I am telling you I’m a police officer, then that’s what I am. What are you doing here?” “Is that your business? How can you prove you’re a police officer if you don’t show your police ID card?”
The situation was escalating. I ducked my head and used my phone to send out a message on Twitter, and Mr. Zhang made a phone call to a friend. It was then about half past eight. The plainclothes guy made a phone call asking for reinforcement. Later I learned that at that moment our own reinforcements were mobilizing.
Two police officers showed up. One of them showed us his police ID. I asked Mr. Zhang to note down his police ID number and name, Shi Ligang, and pass it on to our Twitter friends. Then they wanted to check our IDs. I said, “According to Article 15 of the National Identity Card Law you have no right to check them in the present situation.”
He said, “We are conducting an investigation in accordance with the People’s Police Law.” I said, “You can only question people who are suspected of having broken a law. We’ve just come to a friend’s home for a visit, so you have no right to question us.”
We quarreled for some time, and that state security squad officer in plainclothes kept making phone calls asking for more people to come over. The situation was getting worse, so I sent another Twitter message.
I talked to Mr. Fan’s mother and the older state security squad officer told her not to speak to me. I got angry. “You’re not even disclosing your identity, do you think you can enter other people’s flat as you please and order the flat-owner about—not to mention that that’s illegal, it lacks every human feeling!”
“You should think more clearly. Don’t talk so much about the law with me. Do you know where we are? We are on Communist Party territory!”
The whole thing is a must-read, and it gets much, much worse. It will open your eyes to the dangers of the big government – and specifically atheistic big government. I find it ironic that Americans living in the freest country in the world would put on shirts that celebrate communism.
In case anyone wants to read a good book on where communism comes from and where it leads, I recommend “The Road to Serfdom” by F.A. Hayek, a Nobel-prize-winning economist. I have read the book four times, myself. The one-line-summary is this: if you let government control the free market such that it regulates businesses and workers, profits and earnings, you will lose every single freedom you have, including the precious freedom of religious liberty. If I had to point to one book that helped me to make the connection between economics and Christianity, this was the book. The book was recommended to me by Jay Richards himself, along with many books by Tom Sowell.
From the radically-leftist New York Times.
While proud of his record, Obama has already begun thinking about what went wrong — and what he needs to do to change course for the next two years. He has spent what one aide called “a lot of time talking about Obama 2.0” with his new interim chief of staff, Pete Rouse, and his deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina. During our hour together, Obama told me he had no regrets about the broad direction of his presidency. But he did identify what he called “tactical lessons.” He let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.” He realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” when it comes to public works. Perhaps he should not have proposed tax breaks as part of his stimulus and instead “let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts” so it could be seen as a bipartisan compromise.
It would have been nice to know that 2.7 trillion dollars and 8 million jobs ago.
Economics in One Lesson
Perhaps it is time to review Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, chapter 4, entitled “Public Works Mean Taxes”.
Therefore, for every public job created by the bridge project a private job has been destroyed somewhere else. We can see the men employed on the bridge. We can watch them at work. The employment argument of the government spenders becomes vivid, and probably for most people convincing. But there are other things that we do not see, because, alas, they have never been permitted to come into existence. They are the jobs destroyed by the $10 million taken from the taxpayers. All that has happened, at best, is that there has been a diversion of jobs because of the project. More bridge builders; fewer automobile workers, television technicians, clothing workers, farmers.
Excerpt that the government, lacking a profit motive, is never as efficient as private business is in spending money – government wastes money that it never earned in the first place.
And consider Chapter 5 as well, entitled “Taxes Discourage Production”.
In our modern world there is never the same percentage of income tax levied on everybody. The great burden of income taxes is imposed on a minor percentage of the nation’s income; and these income taxes have to be supplemented by taxes of other kinds. These taxes inevitably affect the actions and incentives of those from whom they are taken. When a corporation loses a hundred cents of every dollar it loses, and is permitted to keep only fifty-two cents of every dollar it gains, and when it cannot adequately offset its years of losses against its years of gains, its policies are affected. It does not expand its operations, or it expands only those attended with a minimum of risk. People who recognize this situation are deterred from starting new enterprises. Thus old employers do not give more employment, or not as much more as they might have; and others decide not to become employers at all. Improved machinery and better-equipped factories come into existence much more slowly than they otherwise would. The result in the long run is that consumers are prevented from getting better and cheaper products to the extent that they otherwise would, and that real wages are held down, compared with what they might have been.
There is a similar effect when personal incomes are taxed 50, 60 or 70 percent. People begin to ask themselves why they should work six, eight or nine months of the entire year for the government, and only six, four or three months for themselves and their families. If they lose the whole dollar when they lose, but can keep only a fraction of it when they win, they decide that it is foolish to take risks with their capital. In addition, the capital available for risk-taking itself shrinks enormously. It is being taxed away before it can be accumulated. In brief, capital to provide new private jobs is first prevented from coming into existence, and the part that does come into existence is then discouraged from starting new enterprises. The government spenders create the very problem of unemployment that they profess to solve.
George W. Bush cut taxes in his first term and created 1 million NEW JOBS. Government spending is a job killer. Companies understand that government spending has to be paid for eventually, so they stop hiring people now to save the money for later tax increases.