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China and India and Talent

by coldwarrior ( 115 Comments › )
Filed under Business, China, Economy, India at April 9th, 2014 - 5:00 pm

Some interesting data on the utilization of talent and efficiency. More bad news for China and India.


India and China are among the least adaptable markets when it comes to adapting and utilizing talent with changing demand-supply needs, according to a first of its kind report released by LinkedIn and PwC, titled ‘The Adapt to Survive study’. The report shows that better alignment between talent and given opportunities in countries can help drive economic growth.

Research by the two firms revealed that poor talent alignment is costing Indian companies as much as Rs 50,800 crore in lost productivity. The capacity of a market to match supply and demand efficiently depends on the ability and willingness of employers and employees to adapt to changing circumstances and align skills with available opportunities, according to the report. If this alignment is less than perfect, a mismatch occurs and optimum productivity cannot be reached.

The report analysed real-time behaviours drawn from LinkedIn’s 277 million members and employer information from PwC’s Saratoga database of people and performance metrics, which covers more than 2,600 employers across the globe.

LinkedIn measured the degree to which talent and organisations adapt to changing circumstances in 11 countries like the US, the UK, Australia, Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, China and India and created an adaptability score matching talent with opportunity. At 85, Netherlands was the most adaptable market across the globe, and the UK, Canada, Singapore and the US finished at the second, third, fourth and fifth positions with scores of 67, 61, 57, 57, respectively. India’s adaptability score was 34, right ahead of China which had the lowest adaptability score at 23.

The lower scores of Brazil, India and China were explained in part by a lack of sector diversity- in developing markets a small number of sectors tend to dominate the workplace and so skills tend to be more concentrated. Net migration is also influential; Brazil, India and China have seen more people leave their nations than arrive in recent years, although this may slow or even reverse as their domestic economies continue to develop, according to the report. “The reasons for a lower adaptability score for India could also be explained by inhibitions linked to lateral moves across sectors and the lack of an inherent flexibility in moving to different job roles across sectors. This could be due to societal expectations and perceptions which favour a linear career path,” said Nishant Rao, country manager, LinkedIn India. Rao also attributed lesser adaptability in India to a dearth of job ready skills among graduates passing out of Indian institutions.

About 81% of Indian CEOs were worried about the availability of key skills in the India findings of the report, and about 57% intended to increase their headcount over the next year.

Productivity was found to be higher in the most adaptable markets as people and jobs were better matched.

Source: The Economic Times

Looking Forward To That Employer Mandate? Buy Your Pitchfork And Popcorn, It’ll Be Fun.

by Flyovercountry ( 121 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Healthcare at April 9th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Last week we were treated to that special form of Presidential Kabuki Theater that stands out as the one thing that this White House and its little man child President seems adept at. Was there ever any doubt in anybody’s mind that 7 Million Obamacare Enrollees would be the number magically reached? Somehow, as if by divine providence, and after only a cool $684 Million of your taxes allocated on the single most obnoxious advertising campaign ever inflicted upon the public at large, Barack Obama got to spike that number reached football of his, and declare once again that all debate on the issue is now over. It’s a good thing that we’ve talked about this whole myth of Seven Million thing once before. For only in the woozy dream like alternate Unicorn infested Universe inhabited by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, would a figure that sees a mere 15% of those mandated by law to sign up for product touted as free by our government actually do so, would such a farce be considered a success. Next week, April 15th will be rolling on by, and last year’s portion of your pay check owed to the federal behemoth will officially be due. My guess is that a vast majority of Americans who are mandated by law to pay that bill will have done so. Does that mean that a majority of Americans love paying their taxes? What would be the result if 85% of the people who owed a tax bill, refused to pay it, or even file? Balanced Budget Amendment inflicted sir, next question please.

As luck would have it, Rasmussen has provided us with a glimpse into the grade the American People have given Obamacare thus far. Here’s a spoiler alert, success is not a word I’d use to describe the mood of the American People now saddled with a $2.7 Trillion bill on something sold to them for the low low cost of $984 Billion. Couple that with the small fact that somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 Million of them who used to have access to health care, no longer can make that claim, thanks to the very act that promised them affordable care would be had by all.

From the TownHall article linked to above:

Just one week after President Obama bragged about a mere 7.1 million Obamacare “enrollees” from the Rose Garden (after asking for a prime time television slot and being denied by all networks), a new poll from Rasmussen shows just 23 percent of Americans believe Obamacare is working.

Few voters consider the new national health care law a success, and most think repeal of the law is likely if Republicans take over Congress in November.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 23% of Likely U.S. Voters view Obamacare as a success so far. Twice as many (46%) describe the health care law as a failure. For 29%, it’s somewhere in between the two.

Now, here’s the bad news. So far, we’ve only been treated to the small potatoes. That’s right my fellow inhabitants of the worker’s paradise formerly known as the land of the free, the loss of coverage, doctors, the increases in premiums, and the hiking of deductibles to a level so high, you’ll never finish paying out of pocket, is not the big bomb this sucker has to drop upon us at all. That mandate was postponed for one more year, and will not officially go into effect until a day after the 2014 midterm elections.

So far, that rumbling you’ve heard was only associated with the individual mandate, and only affected those who did not get their insurance through their employer. This next bomb will be roughly 10 times that size and scope, and at that time, roughly 70% of all Americans, those who still have their same doctor, plan, and access to health care, will suffer the same disruption experienced by 6 Million people this year. My bold prediction, based on the grumbling heard this year, is that anyone stupid enough to spike that Obamacare football at that time will find himself or herself escorted from town via torch and pitchfork.

You may be thinking to yourself that no one would be stupid enough in this environment, and with what we know is going to happen next, to be telling people that they were proud of doing this to us in the first place, and you’d be wrong. Behold my fellow future inhabitants of the reeducation camps, I give you Nancy Pelosi, and her conversation with the ever incompetent and obnoxious Candy Crowley.

Please bear in mind when you listen to Nancy’s math, that our population totals over 400 Million people, and all those not included in her numbers are now well and truly screwed.

Also, pay close attention to the first 10 seconds of Nancy’s pontification, as those seconds are telling.

There was something said by San Fran Nan in that clip which I did find interesting. Beyond her promise that Democrats would plant their flag on Mt. Obamacare for 2014 and beyond, despite the empirical evidence to the contrary, she’s also noticed that Robert Gibbs, the former Press Secretary replaced by Jay Carney, who’s also decided to leave, has predicted another delay of the coming employer mandate. Mr. Gibbs it would seem, believes that our President, filled with a political courage not seen since Neville Chamberlain, might be inclined to put off for one more year, telling 280 Million Americans officially that they can not keep their plans, doctors, ability to seek treatment, or even find adequate replacements for the same. Nancy also took the opportunity to speculate as to why a once trusted ally would dare to speak such treason. Her diagnosis? Yep, he’s been paid off by the Koch Brothers. Astounding is a word that comes to mind. I’m blown away by such an astute analysis, and even more blown away by the fact that CNN’s barely sentient hostess decided not to question the theory in the slightest. Now, that’s objective reporting! I can surely see why Fox is so thoroughly trashed by the political left as being Faux News. With hard hitting reporting like that, I am forced to conclude that there’s nothing to see here, or anywhere.

I don’t know what worries me more, that CNN a supposed member of our watch dog media has accepted the premise that any who dare to speak out against this monstrosity must have been a paid stooge, or the fact that in 7 months time, 280 Million more Americans will lose any hope of seeking medical services, as mandated by law, and they have failed to ask one single question of the woman most responsible for seeing this through as to how this would in any way be helpful while she was sitting in their hot seat.

Now, I can understand that Nancy Pelosi is who would be representative of the people of San Francisco. There’s precious little beyond mutant hippies living there anymore. But our story doesn’t exactly end there, does it? After all, the rest of the Democrats in the House have made this bubble headed zombie their queen, and any who believe in the mythical creature called the conservative Democrat should take a good look. You’ll have a better chance of finding a Bigfoot or a Chupacabra. Just ask Bart Stupak’s former constituents. (Those of you from West Virginia should be regretting Joe Manchin just about now.)

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Russian Gas and American Production

by coldwarrior ( 156 Comments › )
Filed under America, Chechnya, Economy, Energy, Open thread, Politics, Russia at April 8th, 2014 - 9:00 am

This is an interesting take on the possibility of American Gas exports ‘hurting Russia’.


Why Russia Isn’t Afraid of U.S. Gas Exports


During his recent speech in Brussels, U.S. President Barack Obama said the U.S. could soon become a major supplier of gas to Europe and allow countries that are currently “hostage” to gas imports from Russia to have an alternative supply source at a cheaper price. We heard the same sentiment from the chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, during his March 26 address at a committee hearing on ”The Geopolitical Potential of the U.S. Energy Boom.” While Obama placed his comments in the context of energy supply security, Royce was much more explicit about the real objective of an energy dump into Europe. “America’s newly developing energy supplies could make a difference,” he said. “They could sap Putin’s strength, while bolstering Ukraine’s and that of other European countries.”

We have heard similar comments from many politicians in Europe as well as the U.S., and from executives in companies operating in the shale gas industry. We also heard similar comments from many others promoting the idea that the U.S. Energy Department might release oil from the Strategic Oil Reserve to increase global supply and depress the world price of crude. The basic line has been to send cheap U.S. gas or oil to Europe to kill off demand for Russian exports and to debilitate the Russian economy. Some have also emphasized the benefits, as they see it, to the European economy from cheaper energy and to the U.S. economy because of higher export volumes. But the key objective, the argument goes, is causing collateral damage to the Russian economy.

You can see where they are coming from. The widely held perception among those who only superficially look at the structure of Russia’s budget and economy is that it is a hydrocarbon-­dependent country and even a slight twitch in the price of export oil or gas would destabilize the country. That certainly was the case in the late 1980s, in the late 1990s and again in late 2008. But much has changed even since 2008. and the continuing legacy of various wars across North Africa and in the Middle East means there is little threat to the price of crude oil. Brent crude has been more or less stable just under $110 per barrel for more than three years, and looming problems in Venezuela and reports of increasing violence in Nigeria offer little medium-term comfort for oil bears.

But it is Russia’s gas position that has attracted most attention since the Crimea referendum. And it is against the backdrop of political emotionalism that basic fact-checking has been ignored. Here are some important facts. Gas production has certainly grown very rapidly in the U.S. since the middle of the last decade. According to BP’s most recent Statistical Review of World Energy, the U.S. has increased annual gas production from 550 billion cubic meters in 2007 to more than 750 bcm last year, overtaking Russian production of about 600 bcm. But according to the BP report, the U.S. currently consumes almost all of the gas it produces. It exports almost no gas.

To be sure, if the U.S. can sustain the rapid pace of production growth seen since 2007, it will eventually become a large exporter of gas via LNG tankers. But this will be possible only if it adds a significant amount of export infrastructure, namely LNG loading terminals. The first of these, at Sabine Pass in Louisiana, is not due online until late next year or early 2016, while some others are bogged down in environmental disputes and are not expected until 2019 or 2020. But even then, U.S. gas producers, which have been booking export contracts far in advance, are all planning to send their LNG volumes to Asia. The price of gas is much higher in Asia than Gazprom charges its European customers. It is difficult to see why a U.S. LNG tanker would sail to Europe just to make a political point rather than to the far more profitable markets in Asia.

In addition, the price of gas sold domestically in the U.S. is extremely inexpensive compared to world prices. This is regularly cited by economists — and lauded by politicians — as an important factor behind the revival in the U.S. economy. It is no surprise that U.S. gas executives are pushing for approvals for more export facilities. The Russia angle is purely convenient for a profit-orientated industry keen to sell to the highest bidder and to break free from the depressed local market. One wonders what the attitude of lawmakers will be when the price of domestic gas eventually starts to rise because of competition from the export market.

That is not to say that Russia can be in any way complacent about economic vulnerability to energy exports. By the time LNG volumes are sailing in large volumes into European ports, overall demand will be much higher, and Russia will be a major player in the global LNG business. Novatek’s Yamal-based LNG terminal is expected online by 2017, and more than 70 percent of the planned production is already sold to Asian customers. The plant will double in capacity between 2015 and 2020. By 2018, the LNG plant currently under construction in Sakhalin, which is jointly owned by ExxonMobil, Rosneft, ONGC of India and Japanese investors, will also be online. Russia’s first LNG plant came online in March 2009 as part of the Gazprom-Shell Sakhalin-2 project, and another bigger Gazprom foray into LNG production cannot be far off. By the start of the next decade, Russia is likely to be a much larger exporter of LNG than the U.S. Exports from both countries will sail to Asia rather than to Europe

What about Europe’s ability to produce more of its own gas? Europe is much more sensitive to environment risk than is the U.S. Germany has decided to cut nuclear power, and most countries are dragging their feet when it comes to alternative energy projects, such as wind farms, because of the aesthetic and other environment damage. It is therefore naive to assume that Europe will embrace the shale gas revolution in the same way as the U.S. has. The first television images of homeowners in Britain, France or Germany setting light to gas coming out of their water faucets, a very familiar sight in many parts of the U.S., will send the environmentalists to court for injunctions faster than politicians will deny they ever supported the project.

Russia’s current share of the European gas market share is about 30 percent. For Gazprom to maintain that market share as overall gas demand rises on the continent, it must complete the South Stream pipeline across the Black Sea despite objections from Brussels. Customer countries, such as Bulgaria, are in favor of South Stream because it bypasses the troublesome transit route through Ukraine. For the same reason, Germany wanted the twin-pipe Nord Steam connection which delivers 55 bcm of Russian gas directly into its industrial heartland.

U.S. and European Union officials are, of course, quite correct to emphasize long-term energy security. The long-term alternatives — that is, from Iran, Central Asia or Africa — hardly offer more assurance. And we already know that price differential between Europe and Asia means that U.S. LNG tankers will not be in any hurry to supply the market when they eventually do set sail.

Chris Weafer is senior partner with Macro Advisory, a consultancy advising macro hedge funds and foreign companies looking at investment opportunities in Russia.

Gas Versus Wind to Make Electricity

by coldwarrior ( 138 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Energy, Environmentalism, Open thread, Politics at April 7th, 2014 - 1:38 pm

Here is a pretty good article that gets into the nuts and bolts and costs of generating power with gas or wind.



Shale Gas Boom Leaves Wind Companies Seeking More Subsidy




Photographer: Eddie Seal/Bloomberg

Wind turbine blades wait to be shipped out by rail at the Port of Corpus Christi in… Read More


Wind power in the U.S. is on a respirator.


The $14 billion industry, the world’s second-largest buyer of wind turbines, is reeling from a double blow — cheap natural gas unleashed by the hydraulic fracturing revolution and the death last year of federal subsidies that made wind the most competitive of all renewable energy sources in the U.S.


Without restoration of subsidies, worth $23 per megawatt hour to turbine owners, the industry may not recover, and the U.S. may lose ground in its race to reduce dependence on the fossil fuels driving global warming, say wind-power advocates.


They place the subsidy argument in the context of fairness, pointing out that wind’s chief fossil-fuel rival, the gas industry, is aided by the ability to form master limited partnerships that allow pipeline operators to avoid paying income tax. This helps drive down the cost of natural gas.


“If gas prices weren’t so cheap, then wind might be able to compete on its own,” said South Dakota’s Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard.


Consider that gas averaged $8.90 a million British thermal units in 2008 and plunged to $3.73 last year, making the fuel a cheaper source of electricity for utilities. Congress allowed the wind Production Tax Credit to expire last year, and wind farm construction plunged 92 percent.

Photographer: Eddie Seal/Bloomberg

Cattle graze near wind turbines that are part of Babcock & Brown Infrastructure Group’s… Read More


‘Cheap Gas’


The shift in fortunes for the two fuels arrives at the moment when wind was beginning to rival gas on price alone, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That means the industry’s future will be shaped by the debate over what counts as support from the government and when, or if, Congress moves to rethink the credit.


“Cheap gas has definitely made it harder to compete,” said David Crane, chief executive officer of NRG Energy Inc., which builds both gas and renewable power plants. He said that with the subsidy, companies were able to propose wind projects “below the price of gas.”


Both wind and gas cost about $84 a megawatt hour to install worldwide, excluding subsidies, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That’s 3 percent higher than a coal-fired power plant costs and about half that of nuclear reactors.


The research group hosts a conference today in New York, where officials from the U.S. government’s energy research agency and Jeff Immelt, chief executive officer of General Electric Co., will debate the future shape of energy markets. GE is the biggest U.S. turbine supplier.


Lapsed Credits


Governor Daugaard joined Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, in pushing to extend the Production Tax Credit, which expired in December and is part of a package of 50 lapsed tax breaks the committee agreed on April 4 to extend.


The credit appeals to Democrats and Republicans alike in places that have strong wind resources such as South Dakota and Texas, as well as those with turbine and blade factories, like Kansas and Colorado. Still, the Republican-led House of Representatives may not support efforts to extend the tax credits before the November election, according to the American Wind Energy Association.


“It awaits a vehicle that can pass both the House and Senate,” Peter Kelley, a spokesman for the Washington-based industry group, said on a March 31 conference call.


More MLPs


America’s Natural Gas Alliance, which represents independent gas producers in Washington, has no position on the tax credits for wind, said Dan Whitten, a spokesman. The group also welcomes proposals to expand master limited partnerships to additional energy sources such as wind.


Nowhere is the economic debate about wind versus gas more finely balanced than in the U.S. While North America ranks behind China in terms of total installations, the price of gas and structure of support for the industries has made it among the most competitive markets in the world.


The best wind farms in the breeziest areas such as south Texas can be built for $60 a megawatt-hour, below the $65 price of a high-efficiency gas turbine, according to New Energy Finance.


Behind those headline figures are hundreds of variables that determine whether a utility picks wind or gas. The best wind farms may operate 45 percent of the time, while ordinary ones work less than a third of the day. The tax credit often is the decisive factor in determining whether to build a wind farm.


No Parity


“Without the Production Tax Credit, we don’t expect wind to be at cost parity with gas” in most places in the U.S., said Stephen Munro, an analyst at New Energy Finance.


Power technologies don’t compete on price alone. Most states require utilities to supply an increasing amount of their electricity from renewables.


And most utility executives have scars from swings in fossil fuel costs. A deep freeze in New England increased the cash price for gas near Boston tenfold to more than $76 per MMBtu in January.


“The polar vortex showed us the problem with relying too much on gas,” Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, said in an interview.


Munro of New Energy Finance said, “wind has none of gas’s price drama. It’s visible for 20-year or 25-year contracts. Financial hedges on gas prices typically go out no more than five years.”


Energy ‘Frenemies’


Gas-fired generators have the advantage of the ability to scale up or down their output hour by hour. That gives utilities flexibility to integrate more variable supplies from wind and solar farms into the electric grid. It makes the two fuels symbiotic “frenemies with benefits,” supporting each other’s development, said Dexter Gauntlett, an analyst at Navigant Consulting in Vancouver, Washington.


Three variables — the individual renewable needs of each state, the on-again-off-again tax credits awarded by Congress and the price of natural gas relative to wind — have made forecasting turbine installations difficult.


“The dynamic between these three drivers has been a roller coaster over the past five years,” Gauntlett said.


With the outlook for the tax credit uncertain, utilities are refocusing on the price of the fuels. Hydraulic fracturing technology, otherwise known as fracking, makes gas wells profitable at $4.50 per MMBtu, according to Samantha Dart, an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.


That should keep gas prices within a range of $4 to $6 for at least a few years, she said in a note to clients on Feb. 3.


“Power-purchase agreements in the U.S. are under severe pricing pressure because of the shale gas boom,” said Jurgen Zeschky, CEO of Nordex SE, a German wind-turbine maker. “That’s putting pressure on prices for wind power and makes investments very difficult.”

Feet whose toes were made of clay and gold.

by Guest Post ( 112 Comments › )
Filed under Fascism, Immigration, Marxism, Progressives at April 1st, 2014 - 6:00 pm

Guest Blogger: Doriangrey

The latest Red on Red battle is starting up. It looks to be as ugly as it can get, and who profits from this Red on Red battle, it is neither the GOP Aristocrat (though they are as likely behind it as the democrats are) nor the Conservatives in the Republican Party. What is this latest Red on Red battle?

Rand Paul on immigration: Republicans have got to get beyond deportation

Before anyone excommunicates him from the GOP on grounds of RINOism, ask yourself: Will there be a single Republican candidate onstage next year at the debates who challenges him on this point? Don’t say Cruz. Cruz opposes a path to citizenship but he’s in line with Paul, Rubio, etc, on legalization and work permits, which are the truly important provisions. Once legalization is granted, citizenship will inevitably follow. (That’s why it’s crucial to secure the border first, to make sure that this amnesty is the last amnesty.) If Paul’s candidacy is DOA for taking this line, I’m not sure whose candidacy is still alive.

Besides, America is already largely “beyond deportation.”

During a symposium at the Newseum on conservative engagement with Hispanic media outlets, Paul also said Republicans have plenty of ideas that appeal to Latinos, but acknowledged, “We got to get beyond deportation to get to the rest of the issues.”

“The bottom line is that the Hispanic community, the Latino community, is not going to hear us until we get beyond that issue. They’re not going to care whether we go to the same church or have the same values or believe in the same kind of future of the country until we get beyond that. So showing up helps. But you got to show up and you got to say something and it’s has to be different than what we’ve been saying.”…

“I think one way to get the door ajar is say that you know, Mrs. Garcia’s nephew is not going to be sent home to Mexico,” he said. “You know, because everybody — even those who are here illegally — know somebody who is here who doesn’t have the proper visa.”…

Paul, who voted against last year’s Senate comprehensive immigration bill, expressed frustration that the bill still keeps it illegal for immigrants with certain visas to change jobs while in the United States. He gave an example of a migrant worker who came here with a legal visa to pick crops for $9 dollars an hour but later saw a construction job that paid $14 dollars an hour.

Those within the conservative wing of the GOP have one single salient point to their argument. As a Conservative I am deeply troubled by this Red on Red war. It only serves the interests of the GOP Aristocrats and the Democrats. Keep the Conservative base of the Republican Party divided. Are you for the rule of law, or amnesty.

The one salient point Republicans like Rand Paul have, is how do you deport 20 to 30 million people without starting a civil war? Oh, it’s easy to say, seal the borders and enforce the laws, but such simplistic rhetoric does not address the issue of how do you deport 20 to 30 million people.

Personally the idea of rewarding people who have broken America’s immigration laws makes me want to throw up. But the idea of attempting to round up 20 to 30 million people gives me the Heebie-jeebies as well. It smacks of something that Adolph Hitler’s Nazi regime would attempt. I have accepted the reality (though I hate it and fight viciously against it) that today’s America has becomes a Marxist/Socialist society. That after 50 years of incessant Marxist/Socialist indoctrination and propaganda people in America would genuinely consider a Pyrrhic victory such as attempting to deport 20 to 30 million people is disturbing beyond belief.

Have we really fallen so far down the Marxist rabbit hole that we can only accept 1 solution, and a solution so drastic at that?

NO… I will never vote for amnesty. It in my mind is simply no more of a valid solution than rounding up 20 to 30 million people the way the Nazi’s did and deporting them. So many on the right have followed the Marxist/Socialists into the trap of believing that “The End Justifies the Means”. That winning at any cost is preferable to compromising anything at all.

The GOP Aristocrats, who like their Democrat brethren live only for power, desire nothing less than to see a dangerous upstart like Rand Paul destroyed by the Immigration issue. There is no doubt that they are as much behind pitting conservatives against Rand Paul as the Democrats are. It serves their interests, not those of the United States of America. Ronald Reagan was betrayed by the democrats over this exact same issue and many of today’s “The End Justifies the Means” Conservative consider it Reagan’s single worst sin.

The saying divide and conquer is as old as human civilization, even Jesus Christ acknowledged it’s truth and power when he said “A house divided cannot long stand”. Immigration is being used to divide the Conservative base of the Republican party, it is not the Conservative base that will profit from being divided and conquered, it is the GOP Aristocrats who have proven time and time again that they will sell their mothers soul to retain their seats at the tables of power, and it is the Marxist Democrats who will profit.

So go ahead, declare Rand Paul to be fatally flawed, unacceptable, and throw him to the wolves just as your master, the GOP Aristocrats and the Democrat demand that you do. You will have your Pyrrhic victory, the Democrats will retain control of the nation and the GOP Aristocrats will retain their seats at the tables of power. We will end up with amnesty, the Democrats will get their 20 to 30 million new Marxist/Socialist voters, but you will have your lofty Olympia moral superiority perches to comfort yourselves with.

Divide and rule

For the collection of novellas by L. Sprague de Camp, see Divide and Rule (collection).

In politics and sociology, divide and rule (or divide and conquer) (derived from Greek: διαίρει καὶ βασίλευε, diaírei kaì basíleue) is gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. The concept refers to a strategy that breaks up existing power structures and prevents smaller power groups from linking up.

The maxims divide et impera and divide ut regnes were utilised by the Roman ruler Caesar and the Corsican emperor Napoleon. The example of Gabinius exists, parting the Jewish nation into five conventions, reported by Flavius Josephus in Book I, 169-170 of The Wars of the Jews (De bello Judaico).[1] Strabo also reports in Geography, 8.7.3[2] that the Achaean League was gradually dissolved under the Roman possession of the whole of Macedonia, owing to them not dealing with the several states in the same way, but wishing to preserve some and to destroy others.

In modern times, Traiano Boccalini cites “divide et impera” in La bilancia politica, 1,136 and 2,225 as a common principle in politics. The use of this technique is meant to empower the sovereign to control subjects, populations, or factions of different interests, who collectively might be able to oppose his rule. Machiavelli identifies a similar application to military strategy, advising in Book VI of The Art of War[3] (Dell’arte della guerra),[4] that a Captain should endeavor with every art to divide the forces of the enemy, either by making him suspicious of his men in whom he trusted, or by giving him cause that he has to separate his forces, and, because of this, become weaker.

The strategy of division and rule has been attributed to sovereigns ranging from Louis XI to the Habsburgs. Edward Coke denounces it in Chapter I of the Fourth Part of the Institutes, reporting that when it was demanded by the Lords and Commons what might be a principal motive for them to have good success in Parliament, it was answered: “Eritis insuperabiles, si fueritis inseparabiles. Explosum est illud diverbium: Divide, & impera, cum radix & vertex imperii in obedientium consensus rata sunt.” [You would be insuperable if you were inseparable. This proverb, Divide and rule, has been rejected, since the root and the summit of authority are confirmed by the consent of the subjects.] On the other hand, in a minor variation, Sir Francis Bacon wrote the phrase “separa et impera” in a letter to James I of 15 February 1615. James Madison made this recommendation in a letter to Thomas Jefferson of 24 October 1787,[5] which summarized the thesis of The Federalist #10:[6] “Divide et impera, the reprobated axiom of tyranny, is under certain (some) qualifications, the only policy, by which a republic can be administered on just principles.” In Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch by Immanuel Kant (1795), Appendix one, Divide et impera is the third of three political maxims, the others being Fac et excusa (Act now, and make excuses later) and Si fecisti, nega (when you commit a crime, deny it).[7]

Elements of this technique involve:

creating or encouraging divisions among the subjects to prevent alliances that could challenge the sovereign
aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the sovereign
fostering distrust and enmity between local rulers
encouraging meaningless expenditures that reduce the capability for political and military spending

NO… what we need is a real solution to illegal immigration, one that does not include either amnesty nor deporting 20 to 30 million people.

(Cross Posted @ The Wilderness of Mirrors)

The Myth Of Seven Million

by Flyovercountry ( 73 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Communism, Cult of Obama, Democratic Party, Economy, Marxism, Progressives at March 31st, 2014 - 8:00 am

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

In September of 2013, one month before the $635 Million online shopping cart failed in spectacular fashion, (bear in mind that every industry expert questioned on this subject agreed that the entire web site should have been built to work flawlessly for a paltry $2 Million to $5 Million,) HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked what number of enrollees would be considered successful. Watch her answer below, and then we’ll talk about it.

I swear, I could see those gears turning inside of her head. “What number can I say that will sound big to someone not thinking critically, but will be an easy mark to hit? I know, success looks like Seven Million enrollees by the end of March 2014.”

Let’s shag the easy pop fly first. In no way can Seven Million enrollees be an accurate determinant for success. The slightest amount of perspective on this laughably failed law will show us that. We’ll use the Democrats own numbers to start with, then we’ll have some fun. When this lemon began its life in the selling-it-to-us phase, we were told that some 47 Million Americans, out of our number that topped 400 Million, were sans Health Insurance. We needed to do something, you know, for the children. Since that time, we’ve passed a law that says those 47 Million, each and every one of them, must, in order to be fully compliant with the law, sign up on Healthcare.gov. I have some cop friends, at local, state, and federal levels of jurisdiction. They all tell me, without wavering in number, that in order for any law to be enforceable even in the slightest sense of that word, 90% compliance among the citizenry is necessary. This is the real reason why the speed limit was universally increased on our interstate highway system a few years ago. The law limiting speed to 55 MPH was so thoroughly ignored that our police began ignoring it themselves. It was so thoroughly ignored that cops began to become suspicious of anyone who obeyed the law.

In order for Obamacare to be even mildly enforceable, at least 90% of that 47 Million people must be compliant with the law, and that number starts at an eye popping 42 Million. That number has changed however, seeing as how the law took it upon itself to increase, rather than decrease the number of uninsured in this country. We need to add the 90% of the previously but no longer insured to that mixture as well. What that number is has not yet been fully calculated, and if it has, the most transparent White House evah has not seen fit to share an accurate accounting of that information.

That however is just scratching the surface of this conversation. Consider this. Our Executive Branch has seen the necessity of spending $684 Million so far in an effort to pimp out the virtues of this very thing that the current law demands full participation in anyways. And even with that staggering amount of advertising that has hired every NBA star, former and current, and his mother, intruded itself upon the Super Bowl, seen actors, rap stars, a guy wearing pajamas, the infamous, “Julia,” and President Zero appearing on every talk show, youtube comedy channel, Univision, Telemundo, and Disney, we haven’t surpassed the line in which 15% of those for whom it is compulsory are seeing a good enough reason to participate. We’ve not only put lipstick on this pig, we’ve bought her a dress, high heels, pearls, and a wig.

I don’t know how to break this to you guys, so I’m just going to come out and say it. The writing is on the wall. Just like the unemployment number was tortured and the books cooked to get that figure below 8% in time for the 2012 election, these super geniuses are going to some how, some way, reach their magic Seven Million figure. Success will be claimed, and it’ll be blared on every alphabet media outlet known to exist in our Universe. Just under the wire, whew that was close!

Oh, and just to be mean about the whole thing so far, you’ll notice that Kathleen Sebelius(D), Land of the Unicorns, mentioned the whole end of March, 2014 thing when the deadline was still October 15, 2013. If I were cynical, I would have guessed that she knew of some problems upcoming well in advance, contrary to her sworn Congressional testimony.

Let’s say, just for the moment, that the Bamster gets his Seven Million, and further that they aren’t completely bogus and largely manufactured in the same plain of existence where Unicorn Farts drive down global temperatures and the green economy is real. Let’s pretend also that in this same instant of suspended reality, an eye popping 85% of those who are compelled by law but refuse to participate, will not result in nightmare for those tasked with enforcement. Does this figure represent any thing close to success? For that matter, would any figure represent anything close to success?

When this nonsense was packaged and sold, part of the argument in favor was that it would be budget neutral, that by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we would have the money to pay for this. The baby gorilla would only cost $984 Billion over 10 years. Of course, what failed to be mentioned on any news outlet other than Fox was the asterisk marked fact that this was based upon 10 years of tax collection as compared with 6 years of actual benefit. Each time we added a candle to the birthday cake on this sucker, we included another year of benefit, while not adding another year of tax revenue, which by the way has gone down due to economic malaise. So now, the cost of this lies somewhere north of $2.6 Trillion. Our baby gorilla has now grown into the 800 pound variety, and he is fixing to beat us to death with this ridiculous law.

One of the major funding mechanisms which would, “ahem,” help to bend the cost curve down, (a funny concept since no where in this law is actual cost dealt with or conceived of existing in any fashion,) was in convincing millennials that acting against their own best economic interests was somehow going to raise their living standard. The mega disastrous $2.6 Trillion price tag to the taxpayers at large is predicated upon full participation by the demographic this law has seen fit to steal from. With a participation rate of 90%, we’d have a shot at keeping that price tag somewhere near the aforementioned figure. With a 15% participation rate amongst millennials, I do not believe that the CBO has adding machines capable of calculating an accurate price tag which will be presented to the taxpayers, and much sooner than most anyone knows at this point. When one considers further that the current crowing of Seven Million enrollees is itself a lie, then the 800 pound gorilla has moved into Jabba the Hut territory. Barack Obama and his team are right now taking victory laps in an effort to convince us that what is happening is not happening. The trouble is, when real Americans find it difficult to buy basic goods and services, and by basic I mean those things necessary to maintain a minimal existence, they’ll know that the liquid being poured over their heads ain’t rain. Maybe now you’re all getting a sense as to why alcoholism was so prevalent in the former Soviet Union.

The Democrat Party Apparatchiks have declared that, “mend it, don’t end it,” will be their mantra during this fall’s midterm elections. I personally would like to see the GOP make their national retort, “You can’t fix this car Spicoli!

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Republicans and Blacks

by Speranza ( 186 Comments › )
Filed under Democratic Party, Economy, Elections, Mitt Romney, Republican Party, unemployment at March 26th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Rand Paul – unlike most Republican activists – actually seems interested in expanding the Republican Party. The day we can get 20 -25% of the Black vote is the day that the Democratic Party sinks into irrelevance but the first thing we need to do is actually show ourselves in Black neighborhoods and rebuild our urban arm. Instead of promoting vanity candidates such as the pizza guy, look more to serious thinkers such as Thomas Sowell.

by Thomas Sowell

Recently former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice added her voice to those who have long been urging the Republican Party to reach out to black voters. Not only is that long overdue, what is also long overdue is putting some time — and, above all, some serious thought — into how to go about doing it.

Too many Republicans seem to think that the way to “reach out” is to offer blacks and other minorities what the Democrats are offering them. Some have even suggested that the channels to use are organizations like the NAACP and black “leaders” like Jesse Jackson — that is, people tied irrevocably to the Democrats.

Voters who want what the Democrats offer can get it from the Democrats. Why should they vote for Republicans who act like make-believe Democrats?

Yet there are issues where Republicans have a big advantage over Democrats — if they will use that advantage.  [......]

The issue on which Democrats are most vulnerable, and have the least room to maneuver, is school choice. Democrats are heavily in hock to the teachers’ unions, who see public schools as places to guarantee jobs for teachers, regardless of what that means for the education of students.

There are some charter schools and private schools that have low-income minority youngsters equaling or exceeding national norms, despite the many ghetto public schools where most students are nowhere close to meeting those norms. Because teachers’ unions oppose charter schools, most Democrats oppose them, including black Democrats up to and including President Barack Obama.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent cutback on funding for charter schools, and creating other obstacles for them, showed a calloused disregard for black youngsters, for whom a decent education is their one shot at a better life.

But did you hear any Republican say anything about it?

Minimum wage laws are another government-created disaster for minority young people.

Many people today would be surprised to learn that there were once years when the unemployment rate for black 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds was under 10 percent. But their unemployment rates have not been under 20 percent in more than half a century. In some years, their unemployment rate has been over 40 percent.

Why such great differences between earlier and later times? In the late 1940s, inflation had rendered meaningless the minimum wage set in 1938.  [.......]

Young people need job experience, at least as much as they need a paycheck. And no neighborhood needs hordes of idle young men hanging around, getting into mischief, if not into crime.

Republicans have failed to explain why the minimum wage laws that Democrats support are counterproductive for blacks. Worse yet, during the 2012 election campaign Mitt Romney advocated indexing the minimum wage for inflation, which would not only guarantee its bad effects, but would put an end to discussing those bad effects.

Are issues like these going to switch the black vote as a whole over into the Republican column at the next election? Of course not. Nor will embracing the Democrats’ racial agenda.

But, if Republicans can reduce the 90 percent of the black vote that goes to Democrats to 80 percent, that can be enough to swing a couple of close Congressional elections — as a start.

Even to achieve that, however, will require targeting those particular segments of the black population that are not irrevocably committed to the Democrats. Parents who want their children to get a decent education are one obvious example. But if Republicans aim a one-size-fits-all message at all blacks they will fail to connect with the particular people they have some chance of reaching.

First of all, Republicans will need to know what they are talking about. There are books like “Race and Economics” by Walter Williams, which show that many well-meaning government programs have been counterproductive for minorities. And there are people like Shelby Steele and the Thernstroms with valuable insights.

But first Republicans have got to want to learn, and to be willing to do some thinking, in order to get their message across.

Read the rest - Republicans and Blacks

Rodan Addendum: Roger L. Simon from PJ Media discusses the racist nature of the Progressives.

As one of the relatively few people (percentage wise) to have spent more than a decade on both sides of our political divide, and also to have participated personally in the civil rights movement in the South in the sixties, I am going to say something that will be extremely controversial to liberals, indeed make them hate me.  Given all those years I spent on the two sides, I have observed liberals to be vastly more racist than conservatives and libertarians.

 It isn’t even close. During the time I was on the left, I heard  many racially disparaging comments by my associates either offered in confidence or as off-hand remarks.  During my time on the right,  I heard such a comment only one time — and that was by a Frenchman. (Frankly, it didn’t surprise me.  I have spent a certain amount of time in France and heard more racism around the dinner table than I ever have in this country.)  I will add that, though I don’t classify myself as a Tea Party member, in the seven years I was CEO of PJ Media, I met or spoke on the phone with dozens of  Tea Partiers.  Not a single one of them ever said or did anything that approached racism to me.  And I was certainly paying attention. That was my job.

The roots of this divide are not just the obvious Freudian projection — those who accuse you of something evil are usually the ones perpetrating it.  That’s true enough.  But it’s far more than that.  The Democratic Party has been waging a War on Black People since the Great Society of 1964-65 (actually for far longer than that) that has reached horrifying proportions in our time.  That nearly 73 percent of African Americans are currently born out of wedlock, 67 percent living in single parent homes, is nothing short of disastrous with yet more disastrous auguries for the future.

And all this during the administration of our first black president.  The level of hypocrisy is astronomical.

I experienced first hand Progressive racism in the NYC Public Schools in the Pre-Guiliani era. I saw Immigrant students from Eastern Europe put in regular classes. Immigrant students from Latin America were thrown in ESL classes. The implication is that Spanish speakers are biologically inferior to East Europeans. Sadly many in the Republican Party refuse to call out this racism.

(Hat Tip: Iron Fist)

Did You Hear That Loud Thud, Over The Weekend?

by Flyovercountry ( 127 Comments › )
Filed under Democratic Party, Economy, Marxism, Progressives at March 25th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

That was the sound of of something momentous happening. That was the sound of the American Physical Society taking up the cause of Man Made Global Warming Theory, and asking some tough questions in the process. Those tough questions include, but are not limited to such things as, why have the computer models failed to get one single prediction correct in two decades of time? Exactly how much failure of matching empirical observations to virtual world predictions can be tolerated before rethinking the entire premise? What if anything either proves or disproves the theory, like real science would demand?

Your less intelligent friends who still believe in the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Great Pumpkin, and Global Warming may wonder what the big deal might be with the imminent finding by the APS that Catastrophic Anthropocentric Global Warming is entirely fictitious. The big deal is that this represents an organization of Physicists some 50,000 strong who are real scientists, and not a bunch of United Nations stooges with hands outstretched for grant money. The entire field of Climatology is a hoax, and peer review with their various forms of research has been so incestuous for such a long time that even the find of massive amounts of emails between them all discussing the mechanics of perpetrating a fraud on the entire world seems to have been completely swept under a very dirty rug.

From the Investors Business Daily article linked to above:

At the risk of being accused of embracing what alarmists call the flat-earth view of climate change, the American Physical Society has appointed a balanced, six-person committee to review its stance on so-called climate change that includes three distinguished skeptics: Judith Curry, John Christy and Richard Lindzen. Their credentials are impressive.

Christy is director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and was a lead author of the 2001 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Curry is a professor and chairwoman of the School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Lindzen, an Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at MIT from 1983 to 2013, is currently a distinguished senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute.

A question the American Physical Society panel will address is one we ask repeatedly: Why wasn’t the current global temperature stasis, with no discernible change in the past 15 years, not predicted by any of the climate models used by the IPCC, part of the United Nations?

The APS announcement lists among its questions to be answered: “How long must the stasis persist before there would be a firm declaration of a problem with the models?”
In a nod to the likelihood that nature, not man, calls the shots, another APS audit question asks the panel: “What do you see as the likelihood of solar influences beyond TSI (total solar irradiance)? Is it coincidence that the stasis has occurred during the weakest solar cycle (i.e., sunspot activity) in about a century?”

The other three American Physical Society members, reports Quadrant Online, maintain that climate change is real, disaster is imminent and man is at fault. They are long-time IPCC stalwart Ben Santer (who in 1996 drafted, in suspicious circumstances, the original IPCC mantra about a “discernible” influence of man-made CO2 on climate), IPCC lead author and modeler William Collins, and atmospheric physicist Isaac Held.

The APS, to its credit, is addressing the chasm between computer models that cannot even predict the past and actual observations suggesting that warming is on hold and largely influenced by natural factors.

That loud thud you may have missed was the sound of Global Warming Theory smacking head long into the harsher surface of reality. The incantations of, “the debate is over,” seem to have only served to obscure a clear view of reality on a most temporary basis. Like any cheap magician’s trick, there’s always somebody in the room who’s seen it before, bought the same book, or just flat out is not fooled. For years, we have been labeled as, “deniers,” decried as charlatans, ridiculed at Thanksgiving dinner tables, or just been singled out at cocktail parties as the less enlightened uncool dupes of the Koch Brothers. But as time will also tell, it was those of us who were skeptical who were right all along.

It would seem that the days of taking any weather event and playing six degrees of Kevin Bacon in arrears with it to prove that their theory holds water are drawing quickly to a close. For multiple decades now we have lived in a world where rising temperatures, falling temperatures, static temperatures were all explained to produce the same conclusion. Global warming caused too much moisture, and drought. Global warming created increased and decreased snow fall. Global warming has been responsible for increased and decreased tornadoes, hurricanes, thunder storms, floods, and foot fungus, all of it simultaneously. We, “deniers,” have always been ridiculed as, “anti-science,” for questioning such well thought out and admittedly eloquent explanations that made this fairy tale possible.

This is a big deal, if for no other reason than that it signifies the dawning of that age when I can state at family gatherings, “I remember when you were so gullible that you fell for that global warming nonsense.” Don’t get me wrong here, this fight against the tools of the political left will never really be over, just changed somewhat. After all, the same lying liars who are using this fear to push for a one world government and authority will still be there, and still want to inflict Marxism on a global scale. They’ll just have to find something else with which to create their crisis. Chicken Little will just have to find a different reason to proclaim that the sky is falling. I even hear that Hydraulic Fracturing causes Earthquakes now. Last week I read a proclamation that our Ozone was once again a problem. It’ll just be a welcome change of pace to change the topic of catastrophe, this one’s gone a little stale of late.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

UPDATE: Just for fun, here’s the APS Climate Change Discussion Framing Document.

The Fed Turned 100 In December. How Has It Done?

by Flyovercountry ( 94 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Economy, History at March 20th, 2014 - 7:00 am

 Dilbert for Mar 12, 2014

As you ponder the initial question posited with the headline, bear in mind please that the Fed was established on Dec. 23, 1913 for one purpose, and one purpose only. It was established expressly to put an end to bank failures in this nation. All other duties that the Federal Reserve Bank now takes on are duties that it has awarded itself, with the exception of one. We’ll get to that one after the video. I would also like you to bear in mind that with its primary charge, the Federal Reserve System can only be viewed objectively as a complete and utter failure, as the number of bank failures increased dramatically after its establishment as compared with any period prior.

One of the additional duties taken on by the Fed has proven itself to be extremely dangerous to our national economy. It is a duty which according to our Constitution, belongs expressly to our Legislative Branch. That would be the management of our currency. Currency is a severely misunderstood thing. At one time in our Nation’s history, three states used tobacco as currency, while other states used gold, and some issued paper script. Some of our original 13 states used gold as a currency for its citizens, and issued paper certificates to pay debts owed to people in other states. Currency is nothing more than a medium of exchange which a populace accepts to facilitate payment for the transfer of goods and services in deference to barter. It allows economic growth, in that it facilitates trade amongst people who might not have the exact mix of goods and services desired by possible trading partners. That’s all a currency is.

Since the dawn of civilization however, along with a recognized value in societies having a form of currency, governments have figured out ways to use currency to rob the value of wealth directly from the citizenry without being terribly overt about it. Simply minting more currency for its own spending is one way of accomplishing this, quantitative easing is another. This method of stealth taxation is commonly referred to as fiat money.

On the exact opposite end of the massive scale of bad ideas is the tying of an economy to a tangible asset or commodity. The most common of these would be the Gold Standard. If you want to see a picture of what happens when an economy is hamstrung by a constipated system for capital allocation, just take a peek into the ancient date of 1929, pretty much anywhere in the world.

Yes, I agree that we should at least audit the Federal Reserve System, and possibly even end it entirely, as it has quite literally failed as miserably in its mission as any measure of failure could be eloquently stated. No, I do not believe that we should shackle our economy by placing ourselves back on a form of currency that by definition severely restricts capital, thereby limiting economic growth, even as our population may grow. Somewhere between these two idiotic ideas, a reasonable solution exists.

In reading the Federalist Papers, more specifically Federalist Number 10, I discovered that the problems with currency that we are facing today were indeed something that our founding fathers had in fact contended with. So I got to thinking, did they have the foresight to address these problems in the Constitution that they drafted and then ratified? As it turns out, the answer is yes.

From Article I, Section 8:

The Congress shall have power………To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

The good news here is that this vital duty of the Legislative Branch was delegated by a Congressional act that was signed into law by a former President. It was not abrogated by Constitutional Amendment. So getting the damage undone is possible via the same means. The bad news is that it’s on nobody’s radar yet, which is something that can be remedied.

For those of you who are economic wonks, here’s a link to a Cato Institute Symposium on the Federal Reserve. It’s about 6 hours or so of panel discussions, all of it worth your while. Don’t watch it all at once, I’d hate to see anyone go crazy, or crazier than they may already be.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

As Often As Not, Doing Nothing Is The Right Answer

by Flyovercountry ( 172 Comments › )
Filed under Bailouts, Democratic Party, Economy, Marxism, Progressives at March 18th, 2014 - 2:00 pm

So, the Republicans, under the sturdy, (sarcasm intended,) leadership of John Boehner, have come up with a replacement for the disastrous Affordable Care Act, which henceforth should be referred to as either Obamacare or Democrats-shoved-this-monstrous-destructive-piece-of-crap-down-our-throats-care. (The latter is now appropriate due to the fact that Barack Obama’s name will no longer be appearing on any ballots, and these fine people share heavily in the blame.) As the above picture suggests, I am not quite certain how I actually feel about this, purely and for no other reason than political motivation, plan of action. Please allow me to discuss this a bit further.

Granted, there’s nothing in this plan that has not been discussed before, ad infinitum. We have discussed many times previously how it would be better to return to free market economic measures which would correct the problems caused by federal intervention into that system in the first place. There is still some mighty important ground being ceded here, and this is what troubles me.

From the TownHall Article linked to above:

The plan includes an expansion of high-risk insurance pools, promotion of health savings accounts and inducements for small businesses to purchase coverage together. The tenets of the plan — which could expand to include the ability to buy insurance across state lines, guaranteed renewability of policies and changes to medical-malpractice regulations — are ideas that various conservatives have for a long time backed as part of broader bills.

But this is the first time this year that House leaders will put their full force behind a single set of principles from those bills and present it as their vision. This month, House leaders will begin to share a memo with lawmakers outlining the plan, called “A Stronger Health Care System: The GOP Plan for Freedom, Flexibility, & Peace of Mind,” with suggestions on how Republicans should talk about it to their constituents.

While it is true that politically speaking, this will serve to highlight the lie that the Conservative Party stands for nothing, and will take the wind out of the argument that Republicans don’t have a plan of their own, and are only campaigning on the we’re against it position, it also concedes a political point that many of us have been trying to make for a long time. Which is this, why was it necessary to purposefully inflict economic damage on the greatest economy the world has ever produced in the first place?

The Democrats and political left have become expert at the subtle practice of creating artificial crises, and then proposing action which has promised to mitigate the perceived crisis, and inevitably made things much worse. As a result, we have spent the better part of a century flitting from one crisis to another, cutting off our economic noses to spite our faces, each time calling it necessary action. In the case of Obamacare, several undeniable facts remain true, and will for all time. Things were much better with the old system that we had in place. The problems that were highlighted and heralded as the end of civilized life in our nation by the leftists who’ve taken over the Democrat Party were failures of previous government interventions, and would immediately have found resolution with the reversal of those policies. The proposed solutions had little to no chance of positively impacting the identified and usually fabricated crisis in question, and often times were nothing more than naked power grabs from the citizens and or states to the federal behemoth.

When John Boehner proposed this collection of previously stated individual proposals which largely say, let’s undo the government interventions, (which is what most of us were saying all along anyhow,) he implied something else as well. He tacitly agreed with the ill conceived notion that our Legislative Branch must react each and every time somebody gives the proverbial shout of fire in our crowded national theater. That in and of itself has become a danger that needs to be confronted.

We do not need to accept the premise as stated, and most certainly do not need to do so each and every time it is presented in that manner. This, more than any other of the myriad reasons so expertly offered up by the brilliant punditry class as to why our nation would elect a man who’d never done so much with his life as successfully run a lemonade stand, is how Obama got elected. The mindless mantra of Hopety Change was met with flaccid acceptance of the premise that something needed to be done about a completely manufactured crisis. Make no mistake about it, but the economic crisis that began in July of 2007, and gained force in August of 2008, was created entirely by government malfeasance and an ill advised intrusion into the market based signals so thoroughly necessary for the proper functioning of the price system. Adam Smith’s invisible hand was tied behind his back, and replaced with a benevolent drug pusher who told us we needn’t feel any discomfort ever, if we wished to avoid such.

As with all drug pushers, pain is never avoided for eternity, only postponed and intensified for later fulfillment. I can not even begin to estimate the number of once conservative friends who fell for the old, “we just need a change,” line of excrement. That is where the trouble really begins and ends. We did not need a change, we just needed to stop the change. Our constitutional form of governance and economics works, and it works well. In 229 years, we managed to go from being a fledgling nation with darned near zero wealth, to being the greatest and wealthiest nation in world history. We needed to keep that system, and not to change it, merely because someone invented a great campaign slogan. Let’s not forget after all, that the bulk of the Hopety Change crowd, (those perpetrating the myth, not those falling for it,) believes that our unprecedented wealth in this great nation has somehow been unjustly accumulated to begin with.

While I applaud our party’s leadership for doing something constructive to try, (for the first time in a good long while,) to actually win an election, I am still hopeful that they’ll stand up and speak to the lies being foisted upon us all. More often than not, the major disagreements within our side of the aisle have more to do with tactics than ideology. That includes the major chasm between the base and the establishment. I would just like to see once during my lifetime, someone with the political will to be truthful enough to simply dis-accept the premise that a crisis must be addressed and some action taken which transfers power away from individuals and towards a benevolent government, in order to solve a problem created by that very same government.

Some examples:

What are you going to do to solve the growing crisis of starving children who’s parents are viewed as illegal aliens?

I believe that the free market system which our nation has used to govern itself is indeed the best way for any nation to insure that all of its citizens have the best possible chance to avoid hardship. I would suggest that those who’ve moved here illegally move back to their own nations and help to implement a free market based system of economics, so that the mass starvation of their own peoples can be halted. The lens of history on this point has been crystal clear. There has not been another system of governance and economics devised by man that can hold a candle to the positive benefits that are unleashed by allowing each person to participate in a system that rewards them with the fruits of their own labors.

what are you going to do about the 30 Million Americans who do not have health insurance?

Absolutely nothing, as this number represents a fabricated lie to begin with. Most of those who supposedly do not have health insurance have made a conscious decision to not have it. Many of those who are without it are here illegally. Many are young and predominantly healthy. Medicaid already exists to provide health care for those who can not afford it. I believe that the best way to provide health care to the largest group of people is to enable the free market delivery system that has created the greatest health care in the history of the world work as intended. Each and every one of our problems has been created by failures of previous attempts to alter market signals. Further attempts to tweak human behavior will only increase the misery for an even larger number of our citizens.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.