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The LEGO Movie: Emergent order wins, centralized planning fails

by 1389AD ( 121 Comments › )
Filed under Communism, Economy, Fascism, Hipsters, Movies, Regulation, taxation at September 9th, 2014 - 5:00 pm

EconPop – The Economics of The LEGO Movie

Published on Jul 29, 2014 by Econ Stories
All new episode! Click to share: http://ctt.ec/myUJ0

In this episode of EconPop, Andrew discusses the animated hit comedy The LEGO Movie. Subjects include emergent order, creative destruction, and central planning.

EconPop is the YouTube series that sifts through the haystack of popular culture to find the needle of economics within… and then stabs you with it!

Starring comedian Andrew Heaton, EconPop takes a surprisingly deep look at the economic themes running through classic films, new releases, tv shows and more from the best of pop culture and entertainment. Heaton brings a unique mix of dry wit and whimsy to bear on the dismal science of economics and the result is always entertaining, educational and irreverent. It’s Econ 101 meets At The Movies, with a dash of Monty Python.

A Production of http://emergentorder.com

Produced in Association with The Moving Picture Institute. http://thempi.org

The Myths Of Minimum Wage

by Bunk X ( 42 Comments › )
Filed under Communism, Economy, Fascism, Liberal Fascism, Politics, Progressives, Socialism, unemployment at September 7th, 2014 - 12:29 am

Minimum Wage graph Poverty Level BS

My eyes glazed over when I saw that graphic, because there are no numbers or statistics to back up that arbitrary wiggly line and its specious claim. It’s pure socialist propaganda. Ready for some unadulterated reality?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 1979-2012 minimum wage jobs comprise an average of about 60% of all hourly jobs for any given year, but guess what percentage of workers over the age of 16 make minimum wage or less?

In 2012 a whopping 4.7 per cent of the working population above the age of 16 earned at or below minimum wage nation-wide. In California, only 1.4 per cent.

[Source: www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted 20130325]

Why such a small percentage? Because the majority of those workers are in transition to better jobs, better pay, and the minimum wage jobs have an unsurprisingly high turnover rate. Who wants to scrub pots at Denny’s for the rest of their life, let alone for more than a year?

Which industries employ the majority of minimum wage earners?

Minimum Wage Bar Chart by Industry

[Source: www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130325 ]

Agriculture is relatively insignificant, especially once you combine the Service/Retail percentages, and note that the Federal Government employs very few minimum wage earners.

Now let’s look at the make up of the minimum wage workforce, the nebulous 4.7 percent.

2013 Census Table 7

[Source http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2012tbls.htm#7]

Now let’s examine the age makeup of the 4.7 percent who make minimum wage or less.

Minimum Wage graph 1 ALL

Note that many workers in restaurants and hotels (waiters, waitresses, busboys, bellhops, etc.) often receive less than minimum wage, as they’re expected to make up the rest in tips. Tips account for a large percentage of income and workers typically earn more than minimum wage, sometimes a lot more in upscale venues. Since tips are un-monitored cash transactions, much of that income goes unreported. Let’s break it down a tad further.

The prevailing federal minimum wage in 1979 was $2.90, $3.10 in 1980, and $3.35 in 1981-89. The minimum wage rose to $3.80 on April 1, 1990, to $4.25 on April 1, 1991, to $4.75 on October 1, 1996, to $5.15 on September 1, 1997, to $5.85 on July 24, 2007, to $6.55 on July 24, 2008, and to $7.25 on July 24, 2009. When I checked Minimum Wage Job Numbers and correlated them with Minimum Wage Increases I found none, which suggests that employers covered the increased overhead with higher prices for goods and services in order to stay in business, and the costs were passed down to the consumer. The low income population takes another hit.

Minimum Wage graph 3 PCT Men and Women

Blue is for boys, pink is for girls. Statistics are not sexist.

I’m not an economist, and I’m also not a CPA, but I suspect the IRS gets something out of this scenario because the basic illogic of raising the minimum wage, especially in a sluggish economy, escapes me.

Who else benefits? Union leaders, long-march socialists and politicians whoring for votes.

Aside from the fact that the majority of the poor do not remain poor indefinitely (any more than the majority of the wealthy stay wealthy) raising the minimum wage gives people an incentive not to advance. If a worker finds that minimum wage meets or surpasses his/her current expenses, why not ride with it a few more years? The problem with that scenario is that the worker is not improving his/her resumé for those valuable “few years,” and by the time they realize it, they are years behind those who abandon minimum wage jobs, pick up new valuable skills, and naturally earn more. Those who choose to remain in low-skilled positions deny recent graduates the opportunity to find work, and the ladder to prosperity becomes stagnant.

Another scenario is of a family who needs a secondary income to give them a financial cushion during the expensive child-rearing years; or perhaps an elderly couple may not have saved enough for their retirement because their investments tanked; or simply because they choose not to retire.

Wage and price control is a socialist/fascist concept that has never worked because it creates more problems than it solves, and the problems it attempts to solve are non-existent in the free market. Pay a worker for the value of his/her work, and if there aren’t enough workers for the job, then you’re paying too little. Nobody wants to be a buck an hour pot scrubber for the rest of their life, but we’re still talking about only 4.7 percent of the working population, and most of those workers are moving up the ladder uninhibited.

There is also a macro-scenario that has to do with illegal immigrants and the Cloward-Piven Strategy that aims to overwhelm a stable government with free services provided and paid for by successful corporations, entrepreneurs and the common man, fomenting economic collapse and allowing Socialism/Communism/Fascism to prevail.

This road has always led to mass murder, without exception.

May God help our children and grandchildren if the progressives succeed.

Bunk

GOP Messes It Up Yet Again

by coldwarrior ( 242 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Election 2014, Politics, Republican Party, RINOcracy, taxation, Tea Parties, Unions at September 2nd, 2014 - 1:00 pm

Kiss Pennsylvania Good Bye in November. We will have a Democrat in the Governor’s Mansion because the GOP refuses to be fiscally conservative. The following article is how not to win in PA. We want to be left alone, not to be taxed too much, we want smaller government; the establishment GOP screwed the pooch here. Gov Corbet and the party elite have angered the Fiscon base to the point that what should be an easy win for Corbet will be a loss, and a big one. They managed to beat the motivation to get out and vote out of the Republicans.

Read My Lips, No New Taxes…he said.

 

 

Anatomy of a GOP Disaster: Losing Pennsylvania

Governor Corbett has lost support by raising taxes and giving ground to public-sector unions.

All over the country Republican governors are either poised for easy reelection (such as Ohio’s John Kasich and Nevada’s Brian Sandoval) or running even or better against Democrats (Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Florida’s Rick Scott). Then there is Governor Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania. The latest independent poll has him down a shocking 49 percent to 24 percent (with a quarter of voters undecided) against Democrat Tom Wolf.

How did Corbett become such an outlier? The answers show just how much trouble Republicans get into if they allow machine politics and public-sector unions to dictate their agenda.

Corbett aides quickly attacked the messenger, sending out tweets dismissing the recent poll, from Franklin & Marshall College.

“You are unfairly influencing this election with bad polls,” claimed Corbett campaign manager Mike Barley. But no such complaints came from Team Corbett when F&M showed then–attorney general Corbett winning the governor’s race easily in 2010. In addition, other polls confirm the governor’s dire political condition: The Real Clear Politics average of all recent polls in the race show Corbett down by 17 points. That’s in a state that Mitt Romney lost by only five percentage points in 2012.

Corbett has gotten himself into this fix in two ways: First, F&M pollster G. Terry Madonna noted that four years ago Corbett ran against the political culture of Harrisburg, the state’s capital, and “its cliques, obstructionist tactics, recurring corrupt behavior, and anti-reform ethos.” But he has consistently failed to get the major parts of his agenda through a legislature controlled by his fellow Republicans. Madonna pointed out that this leads to an obvious question: “Why can’t Corbett work with his own party?”

That question leads to the second reason for Corbett’s collapse. Pennsylvania is indeed an anti-reform state. Though once dominated by a GOP machine, it gave way to a Democratic-run machine with the advent of the New Deal. Now, the Keystone State is dominated by public-sector employee unions with their hooks buried deep inside both parties.

Time and time again, Corbett’s agenda was blocked by key Republicans in the legislature. His effort to pass school vouchers was whittled down to a measly $75 million increase in tax credits for private schools. His bid to finally privatize the state’s antiquated system of state liquor stores was thwarted. Ethics reform was dead on arrival. This year, Corbett lashed himself to the mast and vowed to steer public-employee pension reform to passage. “Sixty-two cents of every new dollar in revenue, goes to the pensions,” he told groups up and down the state. His proposal to change the pension plans for all new state and public-school employees ran aground when the GOP state house blocked it.

Corbett’s conservative allies urged him to press for “paycheck protection” — blocking the state from deducting union dues from state-worker paychecks — as the key to overriding union influence in the legislature. “Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Michigan’s Rick Snyder have both demonstrated how union power can be curbed by ending the union-only deduction-for-politics privilege,” Matt Brouillette, president of the state’s conservative Commonwealth Foundation, told me.

But at a pro-reform meeting of the Associated Builders & Contractors of Pennsylvania this spring, Corbett gave “paycheck protection” only a passing reference in his speech. When pressed by a member of the audience, he mumbled, “I’ve told everyone, if you get that bill on my desk, I’ll sign it.” But he made no special lobbying effort for the measure, just as he allowed his political team to discourage primary challenges to pro-union GOP legislators in the 2012 midterm elections. Paycheck protection died this summer. “We took an internal GOP caucus vote, and we were a few votes short in the house,” atate representative Richard Saccone told me at an Independence Hall Association event in Philadelphia this July 4th. “The unions have powerful influence on a few of our members.”

Governor Corbett’s failure to either anticipate the intransigence of some of his GOP legislators or build outside pressure on them has been compounded by his retreat on the pledge he made in 2010 not to raise taxes or fees. Earlier this year, he angered conservatives when he raised a wholesale tax on gasoline as well as a bevy of motorist fees as part of a business-as-usual transportation bill. Unsurprisingly, he has declined to repeat his pledge this year. “We can imagine what that would mean in any second term under Corbett: higher taxes,” conservative activist Bob Guzzardi tells me. Guzzardi tried to run against Corbett in this year’s GOP primary, but his petitions were challenged by four Corbett supporters and he was thrown off the ballot. Despite Guzzardi’s lack of money, Corbett clearly perceived him as a threat. A Gravis Marketing poll in January of this year found that when GOP primary voters were asked if they wanted to reelect Corbett or go for a new GOP nominee, 41 percent plumped for a new candidate and only 38 percent stuck with Corbett. In a hypothetical matchup, Guzzardi trailed Corbett, 42 percent to 23 percent, with a full 35 percent undecided.

Corbett’s problems with his base have continued. Last week’s F&M poll found that he doesn’t even command majority support among Republicans, leading Democrat Wolf by just 48 percent to 24 percent. Astonishingly, while Republicans nationwide are more motivated to vote than Democrats, in Pennsylvania it’s Democrats who are four points more likely to say they are certain to vote this fall.

Pennsylvania conservatives have often shown in the past they want more principled and effective leadership. In 2012, tea-party activist Cris Dush came within 500 votes of beating house speaker Sam Smith in a GOP primary, prompting Smith to retire this year. Dush went on to win this spring’s GOP primary to replace Smith.

The challenge Pennsylvania conservatives will face after Governor Corbett’s likely loss is how to deal with an anti-reform legislature that is apt to remain under GOP control thanks to creative gerrymandering. In the past, too many conservatives have cut them slack and allowed the party to retain quiet insider control in Harrisburg. But Corbett’s loss would be a wake-up call that the status quo is dragging Pennsylvania’s economy down and alienating the Republican party’s base.

A new approach is required. Democrat Wolf, a former finance secretary under Democratic governor Ed Rendell, has publicly said he plans to circumvent the state’s constitutional requirement that its income tax be one flat rate. Wolf won’t disclose details of his plan for a “progressive” tax regime, but its implementation could include some Obama-like dubious assertions of executive power. If Pennsylvania Republicans don’t start holding their leaders accountable by demanding pension reform and preserving the state’s flat 3.07 percent income-tax rate, they could see the state going the way of bankrupt Illinois, which has become a sordid example of just how much damage political machines in both parties can do to a once-proud state.

— John Fund is national-affairs correspondent for NRO.

Shootout at the Cold Stone Corral: The Arizona Republican Gubernatorial Primary

by The Osprey ( 79 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Business, Corruption, Democratic Party, DOJ, Economy, Election 2014, EPA, Eric Holder, Health Care, immigration, Immigration, IRS, Janet Napolitano, Misery Index, Politics, Regulation, Republican Party, taxation, The Political Right, unemployment at August 24th, 2014 - 6:02 pm

AZnObamaTruck

Damn. The Arizona Republican Primary is Tuesday, and I have still not been able to make up my mind who I am going to vote for to be our contender for Governor in November. There are 6 – count ‘em – 6 candidates!

Nicknames in quotes are mine :lol:

I break them down like this:

The Corporates – pushing their experience in the private sector:

Doug Ducey. “The Ice Cream Man” : Current AZ Treasurer. Founder of Cold Stone Creamery, the upscale ice cream chain. Has gotten endorsement of Republican heavy hitters from outside the state – Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, radio talker Hugh Hewitt. On the hand, he has been endorsed by John McCain and there have been questions of impropriety raised around some of his dealings with Cold Stone franchisees. UPDATE: It appears that Doug Ducey has been endorsed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Christine Jones. “Go Daddy’s Girl”: Kind of a dark horse, or should I say, ginger horse. (She’s a red head). Was corporate attorney for Scottsdale based internet hosting company Go Daddy – they of the racy Superbowl ads and Danica Patrick ad campaign. Claims to be for strong border enforcement, but recent revelations of her social media posts from a few years back supporting Obama and other liberal positions, resume embellishments (she claimed to have worked as a prosecuting attorney prior to her Go Daddy days) have made me skeptical of her.

The Politicos – claiming the voice of moderation:

Ken Bennett: “Cool, Calm Ken” Current Arizona Secretary of State. Long term AZ politico seen by many as a balancing force in AZ Republican politics. Presents a “cool calm and collected” image but may be a RINO. Many Arizonans who support Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse investigation of Obama’s document fraud feel Bennett allowed himself to be bamboozled by Democrat officials in the Hawaii State Dept. of Records, and his lack of experience outside government has caused some criticism as well.

Scott Smith: “Mayor McRINO” Current Mayor of Mesa. Presents himself as a moderate Republican. Has a pretty good record as Mayor, but his support of Brewer’s Obamacare associated Medicare expansion which was passed in the dead of night by RINOS and Democrats and his participation in national Mayors conferences heavily influenced by Democrats has left a sour taste in the mouth of small government and balanced budget advocates in AZ. Endorsed by Jan Brewer.

The Lawmen- For border security and state’s rights :

Frank Riggs: “Marshall Dillon” Frank is a California transplant who moved to AZ in 2001. An army veteran and former police officer, he represented a conservative district in California in the Reagan years. This is his first foray back into politics since moving to Arizona. Has the endorsement for former State Senator Russell Pierce, author of SB 1070. A Border hawk. Those who object to him site a congressional voting record that is not quite as conservative as Riggs claims it to be.

Andrew Thomas: “The Boy Scout” Former Maricopa County Attorney. Defended Sheriff Joe’s immigration law enforcement in court, exposed and lead prosecution of various corrupt State representatives and Maricopa county supervisors. This gained him many enemies in the liberal Democrat run AZ Bar Association, who filed a lawsuit against him that while ultimately defeated, nonetheless lead to him being disbarred. He is very well liked in among AZ conservatives, but even many who like him feel that he is “damaged goods” and vulnerable to a Dem lead smear campaign in the General.

My initial thoughts back in February or March favored either Doug Ducey or Christine Jones. Having someone in the Governor’s office with private sector experience could help Arizona divert a lot of those California companies fleeing that state’s regulatory environment to Texas, into Arizona instead.

However, with the Bundy Ranch vs. Fed Gov showdown in April, the ongoing controversy over Sheriff Joe’s investigation into Obama’s document fraud, the “Camp of the Saints”/”Children’s Crusade” on the border, and the threat of ISIS infiltration via the border, has me leaning now towards one of “The Lawmen”. I don’t think the “Corporates” would have enough spine to stand up to Obama and Holder.

Polls are all over the map, there are some in the media who say the race is Ducey’s to lose, but I think there is a strong undercurrent for Andrew Thomas, as an F-YOU! to the Dems locally and nationally.

Curious to hear what other Blogmocers either in AZ or out of state think. We, along with Texas are on the front lines of the border crisis, Obama and Holder have been meddling in our local politics and the economy here has been struggling since 2008.

UPDATE: It appears that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has endorsed Doug Ducey.

Free Trade Rarely is Fair Trade

by coldwarrior ( 47 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Open thread at August 24th, 2014 - 10:00 am

Yet again, America sends jobs overseas. Dumping is defined as the government of a country subsidizing a product to create a disincentive for the importing country to manufacture said product.

Thousands of American steel jobs believed lost to import surge

The International Trade Commission cleared the way for anti-dumping penalties on cheap imports of oil and natural gas pipe from South Korea and five other nations that American steelmakers blamed for causing a severe oversupply, depressed prices and lost jobs.

The ITC on Friday voted to confirm a majority of the Department of Commerce’s findings of dumping of so-called “oil country tubular goods” into the United States by the six nations. They account for 90 percent of the subsidized and unfairly priced products, according to U.S. Steel Corp.

The ITC allowed imports to continue from two countries that are smaller producers.

“Unfairly traded imports of OCTG from these countries have been very damaging to American steel producers, taking away significant sales in the energy sector, which should be a bright spot for the industry given increased oil and gas development in the U.S.,” said Thomas J. Gibson, CEO of American Iron & Steel Institute, the industry’s trade group.

The actions won’t change the indefinite closing of tubing plants in McKeesport and Bellville, Texas, affecting 280 workers, including 180 in McKeesport, said U.S. Steel spokeswoman Courtney Boone. The Bellville plant closed two weeks ago, and the McKeesport plant will close soon, Boone said.

Oil country tubular goods are used inside wells, while line pipe made at McKeesport carries natural gas from wells to processing plants and distribution systems.

An estimated 4,184 workers in eight states lost their jobs to the import surge since the beginning of 2012. Nearly 1,000 steel jobs have been lost in the first three months of 2014, an Economic Policy Institute study said.

U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi said the company is “pleased” with the ITC’s vote to impose anti-dumping penalties against six of the nine countries it accused of dumping pipe. U.S. Steel is the largest producer among the nine companies that filed the trade case last year.

The ITC confirmed material injury by imports from South Korea, the largest importer, India, Turkey, Ukraine, Vietnam and Taiwan. The agency determined that no injury resulted from imports from the Philippines and Thailand. Saudi Arabia was excluded from the ITC vote after Commerce revised an earlier ruling, saying Saudi dumping was minimal.

The vote allows the Commerce Department to charge anti-dumping penalties against the six nations. Anti-subsidy charges also will be leveled against India and Turkey.

“Given the overwhelming evidence of Korean steel dumping, no other decision could have been made,” said Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus.

The case against South Korea and other nations came when imports surged to 1.76 million tons in 2013 from 840,313 tons in 2010, according industry figures. South Korea alone shipped 894,300 tons to the United States in 2013.

U.S. Steel will continue to evaluate its options, including further litigation, in regard to Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the Philippines, Longhi said.

David Mitch, CEO of TMK IPSCO, said the vote sends “a clear message that we are open to trade from all, as long as it is fair.” TMK IPSCO has tubing plants in Ambridge and Koppel in Beaver County that employ 730.

Mitch said producers should see some relief in price competition by the end of the year.

IT’S GLOBAL WARMING!!!!!!

by coldwarrior ( 8 Comments › )
Filed under Climate, Economy, Special Report at August 23rd, 2014 - 1:35 am

Too Much Corn With Nowhere to Go as U.S. Sees Record Crop

By Jeff Wilson, Lydia Mulvany and Megan Durisin – Aug 22, 2014

The ripening corn and soybean fields stretch for miles in every direction from Dennis Wentworth’s farm in Downs, Illinois. As he marveled at his best-yielding crops ever, he wondered aloud where the heck he’ll put it all.

“Logistics are going to be a huge problem for everyone,” the 62-year-old grower said, adding that he has invested in boosting output rather than grain bins. When harvesting starts in a few weeks, Wentworth expects his 150-year-old family farm to produce 10 percent more than last year’s record. “There are going to be some big piles of grain on the ground this fall.”

From Ohio to Nebraska, thousands of field inspections this week during the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour show corn output in the U.S., the world’s top producer, will be 0.4 percent above the government’s estimate. Months of timely rains and mild weather created ideal growing conditions, leaving ears with more kernels than normal on 10-foot (3-meter) corn stalks and more seed pods on dark, green soy plants.

Prospects of bumper harvests sent Chicago futures tumbling into bear markets last month, two years after a drought eroded output and sparked the highest prices ever. Cheaper grain is bolstering profit for buyers including Tyson Foods Inc. and Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM), encouraging some cattle producers in the Great Plains to expand herds, and eroding income for farmers who say increased output will make up for some of the slump.

Bigger Yields

Corn on the Chicago Board of Trade has tumbled 20 percent since the end of May, closing at $3.715 a bushel today, and soybeans are down 30 percent to $10.42 a bushel. The Bloomberg Commodity Index slid 6.3 percent over the same period, while the MSCI All-Country World Index of equities rose 1.7 percent. The Bloomberg Treasury Index gained about 0.6 percent.

Samples in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Iowa — representing 45 percent of forecast U.S. corn output and 41 percent of soybeans — showed bigger yields than last year, according to inspections on the 22nd annual Pro Farmer crop tour, which ended yesterday. Corn production will be 14.093 billion bushels, compared with 14.032 billion estimated by U.S. Department of Agriculture, Pro Farmer said in its final report today. Soybean output was forecast at 3.812 billion bushels, compared with a USDA estimate of 3.816 billion.

The volunteer scouts on the four-day crop tour drove more than 15,000 miles across seven Midwest states, the biggest growing region, taking random samples by counting the number of kernels on corn ears and pods on soybean plants. Editors of the Pro Farmer newsletter will issue final estimates of U.S. output today, partly based on this week’s measurements.

Ideal Weather

In Illinois, the No. 2 corn-growing state, Pro Farmer estimated yields at 198 bushels an acre, more than the 188 bushels the USDA predicted earlier this month, while soybeans were estimated at 54 bushels an acre, the same as the government forecast. In Iowa, the top grower, Pro Farmer pegged corn yields at 183 bushels, less than the USDA’s estimate of 185, and said soybean yields will be 49.5 bushels an acre and may reach the USDA’s forecast of 50 bushels.

The outlook has improved after months of ideal weather. Through Aug. 16, the majority of the Midwest was slightly dry to abnormally moist, according to a weekly Crop Moisture Index from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Temperatures that have been cooler than normal will remain average or below average through the end of August, the agency forecasts.

The government already predicted record crops on Aug. 12 and a drop in exports that will boost reserves, with corn output rising 0.8 percent and soybean production gaining 16 percent. The USDA will update its forecasts on Sept. 11.

Cutting Bets

Prices have plunged to the lowest since 2010, with soybean futures in Chicago dropping to $10.35 on Aug. 20 and corn slipping to $3.58 on Aug. 12. Money managers have cut their bets on a corn rally by 75 percent since early April, and they have had a net-short holding in soybeans for five straight weeks, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.

Surging crop supplies may exacerbate the squeeze on grain storage and shipping. BNSF Railway Co., owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/B), and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. struggled with “greater-than normal” demand from shippers of coal, oil and Midwest crops, the USDA said this month in a report.

Combined with inventories left from the 2013 harvest, production of all grains and oilseeds will boost 2014 supply to 26.97 billion bushels, USDA data show. That’s more than the 23.4 billion of storage on farms and grain-company silos as of Dec. 1, the government estimated in a Jan. 10 report.

Roads, Trains

“I don’t know where it will all go this year,” said Richard Guse, a 54-year-old farmer from Waseca, Minnesota, who owns a 1 million-bushel grain elevator that he expanded in the past year by 275,000 bushels. “We need better roads and faster train shipping to keep the grain moving,” Guse said this week while inspecting fields as part of the Pro Farmer crop tour.

With the main harvest still weeks away, there is still time for crops to be damaged by weather, including an early frost. Parts of eastern and northwestern Iowa, the largest corn-growing areas, had less rain than normal over the past two weeks, QT Weather said in a report yesterday.

Not everyone is seeing better yields. Parts of Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota had samplings that were less than last year. Ron Lampe’s 2,100 acres in Cumminstown, Iowa, were flooded by 20 inches of rain in late June, forcing him to replant more than 10 percent of his corn fields and damaging some of those that survived.

More Rain

Prices already may reflect expectations for a national corn yield of 170 bushels an acre, which would be more than the 167.4 bushels estimated by the USDA earlier this month, said Christopher Narayanan, an analyst at Societe Generale SA in New York who participated in the crop tour.

“I haven’t seen anything or heard anything that might suggest it would be higher,” Narayanan said in an interview yesterday.

For now, there are few risks seen and many farmers are expecting bigger harvests.

More rain is expected through the weekend across the northwestern and eastern Midwest, increasing soil moisture to boost the final stages of soybean growth, Donald Keeney, a meteorologist at MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said in an Aug. 20 report. There are no risks yet of frost, Commodity Weather Group said. The weather service yesterday predicted national corn yields will reach 171.5 bushels an acre, 1 percent above a prior estimate.

Best Crop Ever

Wentworth, the Illinois grower, said that instead of adding extra grain bins he is relying on forward-contracting to sell his anticipated avalanche of grain to six grain companies including Cargill Inc. and Andersons Inc. (ANDE) It will take about 538 semi-truck loads, each capable of hauling 80,000 pounds of corn and soybeans, to get his anticipated harvest to buyers. He’s been working to lease trucks and hire temporary drivers to help his two part-time employees keep his grain moving.

Cory Ritter, who farms about 2,000 acres with his father near Blue Mound, Illinois, said they planted more corn this year and expects to harvest 250 bushels an acre, at least 15 percent more than he originally anticipated. Some fields may get as much as 280 bushels, with some plants sprouting second ears and kernels heavier and larger than last year, he said.

“My corn has not been under any weather stress for one day,” said Ritter, 33. “The seed popped out of the ground in four days and started growing right away. Cool temperatures helped during pollination, producing big ears, and rains have come at the perfect time all season. It’s my best crop ever.”

The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race

by Iron Fist ( 266 Comments › )
Filed under Bailouts, Crime, Economy at August 20th, 2014 - 7:00 am

Let’s talk about it:

Ferguson is not just about systemic racism—it’s about class warfare, and how America’s poor are held back

Will the recent rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, be a tipping point in the struggle against racial injustice, or will it be a minor footnote in some future grad student’s thesis on Civil Unrest in the Early Twenty-First Century?

The answer can be found in May of 1970.

You probably have heard of the Kent State shootings: on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University. During those 13 seconds of gunfire, four students were killed and nine were wounded, one of whom was permanently paralyzed. The shock and outcry resulted in a nationwide strike of 4 million students that closed more than 450 campuses. Five days after the shooting, 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C. And the nation’s youth was energetically mobilized to end the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, and mindless faith in the political establishment.

You probably haven’t heard of the Jackson State shootings.

On May 14th, 10 days after Kent State ignited the nation, at the predominantly black Jackson State University in Mississippi, police killed two black students (one a high school senior, the other the father of an 18-month-old baby) with shotguns and wounded twelve others.

There was no national outcry. The nation was not mobilized to do anything. That heartless leviathan we call History swallowed that event whole, erasing it from the national memory.

And, unless we want the Ferguson atrocity to also be swallowed and become nothing more than an intestinal irritant to history, we have to address the situation not just as another act of systemic racism, but as what else it is: class warfare.

That gets us a little historical perspective. We can come back to it in a minute. Let’s continue or exploration, here:

By focusing on just the racial aspect, the discussion becomes about whether Michael Brown’s death—or that of the other three unarmed black men who were killed by police in the U.S. within that month—is about discrimination or about police justification. Then we’ll argue about whether there isn’t just as much black-against-white racism in the U.S. as there is white-against-black. (Yes, there is. But, in general, white-against-black economically impacts the future of the black community. Black-against-white has almost no measurable social impact.)

First and foremost, let’s hear it for someone willing to be honest about this problem. We don’t see this discussed at all. I think that you may find more raicsm against whites than against blacks, but I will also agree that the black against white racism doesn’t generally impact things the way white on black racism (even if less forcefully in-your-face) does. I think I can agree with this completely, and I can say this as someone who has been a victim of black-on-white racial violence. Let’s pursue this a little further:

Then we’ll start debating whether or not the police in America are themselves an endangered minority who are also discriminated against based on their color—blue. (Yes, they are. There are many factors to consider before condemning police, including political pressures, inadequate training, and arcane policies.) Then we’ll question whether blacks are more often shot because they more often commit crimes. (In fact, studies show that blacks are targeted more often in some cities, like New York City. It’s difficult to get a bigger national picture because studies are woefully inadequate. The Department of Justice study shows that in the U.S. between 2003 and 2009, among arrest-related deaths there’s very little difference among blacks, whites, or Latinos. However, the study doesn’t tell us how many were unarmed.)

I don’t see anything here to disagree with. Police have their own problems, and they do not come to the table with clean hands, but when we are bringing our wrath to bear about the treatment of gangbanger-wannabes in thug life as victims to the table, we have to also represent the police themselves. Let’s explore this a little further:

This fist-shaking of everyone’s racial agenda distracts America from the larger issue that the targets of police overreaction are based less on skin color and more on an even worse Ebola-level affliction: being poor. Of course, to many in America, being a person of color is synonymous with being poor, and being poor is synonymous with being a criminal. Ironically, this misperception is true even among the poor.

And that’s how the status quo wants it.

Notce how he doesn’t say “Left” or “Right” or “Black” or “White”. It is the forces of the status quo, who have a good deal of money that they are making out of the situation, that are pleased by this course of events. I really like the way that he has set this up. It is well written. I don’t have any particular complaints about the content, the agenda, or anything else that he has presented so far. Continue:

The U.S. Census Report finds that 50 million Americans are poor. Fifty million voters is a powerful block if they ever organized in an effort to pursue their common economic goals. So, it’s crucial that those in the wealthiest One Percent keep the poor fractured by distracting them with emotional issues like immigration, abortion and gun control so they never stop to wonder how they got so screwed over for so long.

One way to keep these 50 million fractured is through disinformation. PunditFact’s recent scorecard on network news concluded that at Fox and Fox News Channel, 60 percent of claims are false. At NBC and MSNBC, 46 percent of claims were deemed false. That’s the “news,” folks! During the Ferguson riots, Fox News ran a black and white photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with the bold caption: “Forgetting MLK’s Message/Protestors in Missouri Turn to Violence.” Did they run such a caption when either Presidents Bush invaded Iraq: “Forgetting Jesus Christ’s Message/U.S. Forgets to Turn Cheek and Kills Thousands”?

How can viewers make reasonable choices in a democracy if their sources of information are corrupted? They can’t, which is exactly how the One Percent controls the fate of the Ninety-Nine Percent.

I don’t particularly disagree here though I might dispute the specific numbers for Fox News versus MSNBC, we can’t ignore the fact that across the spectrum we are not being given the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth by the news media nor our political leaders. We are being lied to and manipulated, and I think that at some level we all knowthat. He goes on:

Worse, certain politicians and entrepreneurs conspire to keep the poor just as they are. On his HBO comedic news show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver ran an expose of the payday loan business and those who so callously exploit the desperation of the poor. How does an industry that extorts up to 1,900 percent interest on loans get away with it? In Texas, State Rep. Gary Elkins blocked a regulatory bill, despite the fact that he owns a chain of payday loan stores. And the politician who kept badgering Elkins about his conflict of interest, Rep. Vicki Truitt, became a lobbyist for ACE Cash Express just 17 days after leaving office. In essence, Oliver showed how the poor are lured into such a loan, only to be unable to pay it back and having to secure yet another loan. The cycle shall be unbroken.

Payday loans aren’t my thing one way or another, and I don’t know the political parties of the people he mentions by name here. I think that we can all agree that this looks pretty shady, no matter who these people are or what party they represent. And we see this same thing at the national level. How many big press operatives have spouses/significant others working in the Obama Administration. Do we really believe that these people are giving honest accounting of the actions of people that they really are literally sleeping with? You’ve got folks in every branch of the government, all over the place, where these relationships help each other make it though the day without people like us dragging the SOBs out of their offices and to the nearest lamp post.

Rather than uniting to face the real foe—do-nothing politicians, legislators, and others in power—we fall into the trap of turning against each other, expending our energy battling our allies instead of our enemies. This isn’t just inclusive of race and political parties, it’s also about gender. In her book Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution, Laurie Penny suggests that the decreased career opportunities for young men in society makes them feel less valuable to females; as a result they deflect their rage from those who caused the problem to those who also suffer the consequences: females.

Yes, I’m aware that it is unfair to paint the wealthiest with such broad strokes. There are a number of super-rich people who are also super-supportive of their community. Humbled by their own success, they reach out to help others. But that’s not the case with the multitude of millionaires and billionaires who lobby to reduce Food Stamps, give no relief to the burden of student debt on our young, and kill extensions of unemployment benefits.

Nothing I particularly disagree with here., I might also point out that making the Straight, Christian, White Male the societal scapegoat (a position held by Jews in Nazi Germany and by blacks in the post-Reconstruction South) isn’t helpful. Continue:

With each of these shootings/chokehold deaths/stand-your-ground atrocities, police and the judicial system are seen as enforcers of an unjust status quo. Our anger rises, and riots demanding justice ensue. The news channels interview everyone and pundits assign blame.

Then what?

And that, my friends, is the real question. I don’t find anything here that I particularly disagree with. He comes at it from a more Leftward perspective than I would, but I can’t disagree with what he is saying. I could add, where are we in an America that has seen the net worth of the middle class evaporate (to the tune of about 33% of the net worth of the average American Middle Class Family) over the last six years while Wall Street is going gangbusters, and the National Debt is exploding into uncharted levels in all of history. I don’t know what the answer is, but I know it isn’t more gun control, more Wall Street bail-outs, more militarized police, or more draconian laws to hold us all down while the elites party like it is the end of the world while the rest of us are fighting to make a life for ourselves under more taxes and regulation, and the heavy-hand of a police force that looks more like it comes from Death Race 2000 than it does Mayberry.

A Sunday Essay on Foreign Policy

by coldwarrior ( 123 Comments › )
Filed under Cold War, Economy, History, Open thread, Politics, World at June 29th, 2014 - 8:00 am

Anytime I see Thucydides and Marcus Aurelius quoted, I have to read it all.

Changing rules of the game of thrones

For the first time since it emerged as the world’s pre-eminent power, the United States is walking away from the global battlefields. This makes it vital for regional powers like India to hammer out new rules for the geostrategic order — and the tools to enforce them

Minerva and Apollo, the ancient gods of wisdom and knowledge, stand watch on the marble arch off al-Hara al-Kabir street in Tripoli, their two-wheeled chariot of war drawn by fabulous griffons and sphinxes. Built in 166CE, the arch celebrates the triumph of Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus over the Parthians. The statue of Marcus Aurelius that once stood at the top of the arch, toppled over sometime during the last millennia. It lay buried under the sand until it was recovered by 19th century archaeologists.

Marcus Aurelius — celebrated as a warrior, philosopher and the last of the Five Good Emperors — might have considered this indignity with dispassion. “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell,” he wrote in his masterwork, The Meditations, “and you can foresee the future too.”

For much of his reign, the emperor was at constant war, stamping out rebellions by barbarian tribes and rival powers in a perpetual struggle to secure trade and imperial order. His aim was modest: “Do not hope for Plato’s utopia, but be content to make a very small step forward and reflect that the result even of this is no trifle.”

The retreating empire

United States President Barack Obama’s recent decision not to commit combat troops or air power in Iraq will likely be remembered as a critical moment in an epoch-shaping imperial retreat. For five decades, hegemony in oil-rich West Asia was a keystone of U.S. foreign policy. Now, it has shown it is willing to live with defeat. Elsewhere, too, the U.S. is showing diminishing interest in enforcing the global order it built after the Second World War.

The reasons have something to do with the bruising long wars it fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, but more with the rapidly-transforming nature of its global interests. Put simply, the world’s greatest power no longer needs the world in quite the same way it used to.

For the rest of the world, the lessons Marcus Aurelius drew from his experience are relevant today as perhaps never before. The imperial retreat to its fortress, guarded by the great eastern and western oceans, will leave behind a seething mass of wars — and questions. Powers like China, Russia and India will have to hammer out new rules for the global game of thrones — and the means to enforce them.

Last year, Mr. Obama spelled out his vision for America’s strategic future. “For over the last decade, our nation has spent well over a trillion dollars on war, helping to explode our deficits and constraining our ability to nation-build here at home,” he told an audience at the National Defense University. “For what we spent in a month in Iraq at the height of the war,” he argued, “we could be training security forces in Libya, maintaining peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors, feeding the hungry in Yemen, building schools in Pakistan ….”

Descent into chaos

Events have ruthlessly interrogated Mr. Obama’s arguments in the months since he gave his speech, giving plenty of reason to doubt that the global order can in fact be defended by funding development or even military proxies.

Full brigades of Iraq’s Army, which received $8.2 billion in U.S. aid last year, in addition to national spending of $17.1bn., were swept aside by small bands of Islamist insurgents last month. Pledges of $4bn. in aid didn’t persuade Mali’s soldiers to hold out against rebels in the country’s north-eastern Kidal region. Libya has degenerated into an anarchic battlefield, with warlords competing for power. Pakistan’s descent into the abyss continues.

The truth, though, is the U.S. has little interest in stemming this descent into chaos. The country’s shale oil and gas revolution will soon make it a net exporter of hydrocarbons — leaving it with no reason to expend lives and money on containing chaos in West Asia. The country’s military still has the power to reach across the globe, punishing those who would seek to deny it vital lines of communication or trade routes. Perhaps more important, its competitors have entrenched interests in the beams and pillars that hold up the global economy: they cannot hurt the U.S. without hurting themselves.

It costs the U.S. little, therefore, to countenance Russian assertion of power in Europe, despite the concerns of its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. There is no real price to be paid, either, for the panic caused among the U.S.’ East Asian partners by its contracting navy.

For decades, idealists have argued that a multipolar world would be desirable, limiting imperial excess while at once creating a web of regional powers that would limit each other’s ambitions.

Now, this world is a real prospect; it is also becoming clear that this isn’t the only possible outcome. Faced with threatening regional hegemons, and with no great-power allies at hand, smaller states are likely to expand their arsenals. The first signs of this are already evident. Through the Pacific Rim, fears that the U.S. will no longer be willing to contain China have led states to grow their militaries at an alarming rate.

Experts even fear that the arms race in Asia could lead on to nuclear-weapons competition — with countries like Vietnam seeking to develop arsenals that will deter great powers they cannot compete with in conventional military might.

The prospect isn’t as remote as it seems. In 1969, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs prepared a secret paper saying “for the time being we will maintain the policy of not possessing nuclear weapons” but also “… keep the economic and technical potential for the production of nuclear weapons, while seeing to it that Japan will not be interfered with in this regard.” Even though it is an ardent advocate of nuclear weapons control, Japan retains large plutonium stockpiles — of little use other than in the construction of nuclear weapons.

Perpetual wars

In Hollywood movies, wars end with images like these: the bloodstained bayonet being sheathed; the flag flying victorious over the battlefield; the injured hero returning home to kiss his loving wife. The notion that the U.S. was a pacific power, slow to reach for the sword, is an entrenched part of its self-belief. George Kennan, the Cold War ideologue, likened the U.S. to a prehistoric beast “with a body as long as this room and a brain the size of pin: he lies there in his comfortable primeval mud and pays little attention to his environment; he is slow to wrath — in fact, you practically have to whack his tail off to make him aware that his interests are being disturbed; but, once he grasps this, he lays about him with such blind determination that he not only destroys his adversary but largely wrecks his native habitat.”

The truth is a little different: as for all past great powers, and perhaps all future great powers, war was just as much the norm as peace. “There has not been a single American generation that did not take part in a war,” the historian Robert Divine has noted.

In the 18th century, America’s colonial experience ended with the war to evict France from North America and the Revolutionary War against Britain. The 19th century saw murderous conflicts break out every few decades, from the war of 1812 against Britain, to the 1898 decimation of Spain. The great World Wars of the 20th century were followed in quick time by Korea, Vietnam, Grenada and Panama and a dozen other wars-by-proxy. The end of the Cold War brought new wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama has learned the perils of overreach. “The best way to make ourselves feared by the Greeks in Sicily,” the chronicler Thucydides has Nicias saying in his History of the Peloponnesian Wars, “is not to go there at all; and the next best thing is to make a demonstration of power and then, after a short time, go away again. We all know that what is most admired is what is farthest off, and least liable to have its reputation put to the test.”

For the regional powers now left to secure their neighbourhoods and their vital interests retreat is not an option. No one knows what the new world order might look like, and what tools might be needed to uphold it. From Marcus Aurelius, though, leaders ought to learn that perpetual war is the inexorable consequence of the pursuit of peace. The reputation of the inheritors of America’s world order will, without doubt, be put to test — and to fail could lead on to catastrophe.

praveen.swami@thehindu.co.in

 

 

 

Not Afraid Of The Lax Rules Involved With Federal Agencies? Get A Load Of This.

by Flyovercountry ( 116 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Democratic Party, DHS, Economy, Progressives, Regulation at June 23rd, 2014 - 7:00 am

I’ve written about this before, the evils perpetrated upon our constitutional republic by establishing federal agencies as a substitute for the framework of governance originally established by our founding national law. Federal agencies have effectively swept away all vestiges of the checks and balances system, and have done more to concentrate power within the federal behemoth than the election of 10 Barack Obamas consecutively could ever achieve.

Our very first federal agency was the Interstate Commerce Commission, established in February of 1887. The act granting authority to establish this agency established something called agency law. The Act itself was worded purposefully vague, and granted the agency authority to write its own rules, manage the enforcement of those rules, and depended upon the Judiciary for what little check on its power the weakest branch of our government would care to muster. The Judiciary of course elected to defer such oversight authority, deferring in almost all instances to the, “wisdom of the experts within the agencies themselves,” for such matters. With that almost exclusively followed path set forth then, continued to this day without interruption, all federal agencies effectively have the power of all three branches of our federal behemoth, concentrated within the hegemony of the current bureaucracy. What’s worse, since it is nearly impossible to fire federal workers, that bureaucracy remains in place and devoted to its own belief system, irrespective of which leadership team to manage the whole mess is actually decided upon by the American People. If for example Conservatives win national elections, the federal agencies will undoubtedly continue to run with a decidedly liberal bent, they’ll just be a little more discreet about it for 4 or 8 years.

it’s taken a while, 127 years to be more specific about it, but this very week, one of those newly formed agencies showed perfectly, why we should all be very terrified.

From the Town Hall article linked to above:

Last week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, through the power of Dodd-Frank, passed a rule giving the agency unprecedented power to shut down businesses, no matter what the reason, at any time it wishes through a cease-and-desist order. Further, the rule puts businesses at the mercy of the CFPB and they cannot go back into operation until government approval or a court ruling is made over an issue. Subsequently because bureaucratic decisions and court rulings take a substantial amount of time to happen, businesses cannot survive during those waiting periods. Here are the details (emphasis mine):

In a notice published in today’s Federal Register, the CFPB has announced that it has adopted its interim final rule on temporary cease-and-desist orders (C&Ds) without change. The final rule takes effect on July 18, 2014.

The CFPB is authorized to issue temporary C&Ds under Section 1053(c) of Dodd-Frank. That provision authorizes a temporary C&D as an adjunct to a cease-and-desist proceeding brought under Section 1053 against a covered person or service provider. A temporary C&D is effective immediately upon service and remains in effect unless modified or terminated administratively by the CFPB or set aside on judicial review.

Reasons!? Reasons!? They don’t need no stinking reason to shut you down! This latest rule of course is being inflicted now to threaten banks who do business with gun dealers and manufacturers. So, rather than inflict gun control, which is prohibited by our Second Amendment, and further, is opposed by the vast majority of American citizens, they’ll just make certain that gun shops can not participate in the market place of capital commerce. They won’t be able to process credit card payments, deposit checks, or cash, or use checking accounts to pay their bills and such. All of course because the CCFB has granted itself this authority, and it’ll doubtless take the Judiciary a decade or so to sort it out, assuming that our weakest branch of government even cares to do so.

On Father’s day I had a conversation with a liberal. I reminded him that the entire purpose of the Second Amendment was to protect the citizens of the newly formed nation from any future government tyranny, so that the federal government would always be as afraid of its citizens as the citizens were of the government. He immediately quipped, as if I would be silly to consider that necessary today, “do you even think that’s an issue now?” When I answered you bet, he labeled me a fringe radical fanatic. (I love that softball opportunity to slap someone down by the way.) So I of course asked if his definition of a fringe radical was someone who did not wish to live under the societal rules that he agreed with and sought to inflict. That was a conversation ending question, and it felt good. This latest bit, something I wish I had in my arsenal a week ago, is that perfect example of government tyranny run completely amok.

Make no mistake about it however, this is something far bigger than the threat to use a back door method to inflict gun control. It is far bigger even than the CCFB. It is the agency system of governance itself that must be dealt with. The only President ever, who attempted to do something to reign in the out of control behemoth that our federal agencies have become, was Richard Nixon. This, as much as anything, was a reason for why he was so hated by the political left. We need the political will and fortitude not seen since Reagan to do that, and I actually have someone in mind. We’ll be discussing that on Monday. I’m going out on a limb and making an endorsement, even before anyone declares for the upcoming 2016 bloodbath.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

More on Cantor’s Loss

by coldwarrior ( 100 Comments › )
Filed under Debt, Economy, Open thread, Politics, Regulation, Republican Party, taxation, The Political Right at June 18th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

This article sums up the division in the GOP quite nicely.

Sure, I agreed with some of the things he voted for, but in the long run (as we in the dismal science love to say) he failed in the basic task that a conservative has in DC: Limit the size of Fedgov and return power to the States, return power to YOU.

The video at the end is well worth the watch as well.

 

Will Anybody Really Miss Eric Cantor?

His stunning loss was built on a terrible record of big-government conservatism at its worst.

| June 17, 2014

Will anybody really miss Eric Cantor? Probably not. Despite (or maybe because of) his position in the House Republican leadership and the historic nature of his primary loss, there was virtually nothing remarkable about him as a politician or a policymaker. The Republicans have dozens or hundreds or thousands more just like him. He’s like a Dorito corn chip in those old Jay Leno ads: They’ll make more.

Cantor exemplifies what Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) just denounced as a “Chamber of Commerce”-style GOP legislator, “the same-old, same-old,” standard-issue Republican who has brought the party to a historically low level of self-identification among voters.

Cantor was what passes for a small-government conservative. Which is to say that Cantor was in favor of shrinking the size and scope of government…except for the endless list of exceptions that allowed him to help grow federal spending by more than 50 percent in real terms, and regulatory spending by even more, during the Bush years.

You know the drill: As a “conservative,” Cantor wanted the government out of people’s lives because FREEDOM-FOUNDING FATHERS-CONSTITUTION. Yet Cantor was anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion (he even wanted to prohibit adults from transporting minors across state lines if they were getting abortions). Because the federal government really should dictate all that, right? He endorsed a constitutional amendment against flag burning because free expression doesn’t mean you can actually express what you mean. He was pro-gun or, more specifically, pro-National Rifle Association. He was pro-drug war. Nothing unique or interesting there.

He wavered ever-so-slightly on immigration reform, meaning that he believed some children of immigrants shouldn’t be punished for their parents’ transgressions (big of him, really, at least in a GOP context). But he voted to build a militarized fence along our border with Mexico, pulled a 100 percent rating from the xenophobes at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and he wanted English to be the official language of America (what’s Mexican for WTF?). He loved the national security state (including virtually unchecked surveillance of Americans as well as foreigners), defense spending, and wars (especially when a Republican was in the White House). He voted for No Child Left Behind, the single-biggest increase in federal control over education because education is an issue best dealt with at the local level, unless conservative Republicans run the country.

On spending and economic issues, he was atrocious and hypocritical in all the ways that a Republican can be. Of course he voted for the 2003 expansion of Medicare to include prescription drugs, even as he voted against allowing Medicare to negotiate cheaper prices for that unwarranted giveaway to the nation’s seniors. He signed off on the Bush budgets and he championed the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the illegal auto bailouts (at least as long as a Republican was president).

Like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Cantor was a spirited defender of the Export-Import Bank, an FDR-created boondoggle that guarantees loans to foreign businesses who buy American products. As the Mercatus Center’s Veronique de Rugy has shown, the Ex-Im Bank is among the purest excrescences of crony capitalism, with favored U.S. companies such as Boeing getting massive subsidies via the program. Cantor was the leader in the effort to reauthorize it two years ago and was the point man on this year’s reauthorization too. He loved the House Republican budget resolution, the so-called Path to Prosperity, which is full of accounting tricks (such as zeroing out spending on Obamacare while keeping all the program’s revenues) and would increase annual federal spending from $3.7 trillion in 2015 to $5 trillion in 2024.

If Cantor does indeed exemplify the Chamber of Commerce-style Republican that enflames the Tea Party even more than it does liberal and progressive Democrats, does the majority leader’s defeat spell doom for the GOP establishment?

I hope so, but it’s far from clear. Cantor’s district had been redrawn, and while it remained solidly red, he was unfamiliar in much of it. His internal polling was way off, so he didn’t start a counter-campaign until it was too late. For reasons that aren’t clear, he pulled 8,500 fewer total votes in this primary than he did in 2012, a drop The Washington Post notes is wider than his opponent’s 7,200-vote margin of victory.

Primary voters tend to be much more ideological and extreme than general-election voters, so they aren’t representative of larger party dynamics. Economics professor David Brat vanquished Cantor in part by touting a tough line on immigration, but it’s not clear that rank-and-file Republicans are anti-immigrant or even care much about the topic. A recent Politico poll, for instance, finds 64 percent of Republican voters in favor of comprehensive immigration reform, and the topic is way down on lists of voter concerns.

For all those reasons, I think it’s folly to talk about Cantor’s loss as meaning more than the obvious: He perfectly represented the modal Republican in that he talked about limiting government while actively growing its reach in virtually every way. That is a supremely unattractive character to be in contemporary American politics, and it helps explain why Gallup finds just 25 percent of Americans identify as Republicans (the news isn’t rosy for Democrats, either, according to Gallup: Just 31 percent of Americans identify with that centuries-old brand). Last Saturday, Rand Paul told the Texas Republican Liberty Caucus that people everywhere “say it’s time…for this libertarian moment, this liberty moment. It’s no longer something that scares people, it’s what [makes] people say, we can’t run the same-old, same-old, we’re not going to win with the same-old, same-old.” Eric Cantor was definitely the same-old, same-old. The GOP is choking on guys (yes, guys) just like him who talk about limited government and then legislate in a totally different way.

I hope that Paul is right and folks want to embrace a vision of limited government that extends to social issues and spending issues. I don’t think the rejection of Cantor by primary voters tells us much about that. But it does signal that the status quo is up for grabs and that undistinguished pols like Cantor should be shaking in their boots.