The Daily Switch

Posts Tagged ‘War on Business’

Bring on 2010

Posted by maker on January 7, 2010

Thank God for Bill Whittle and others like him. Enjoy…

Posted in Capitalism, Conservatism, Culture, Economics, Environment, Liberalism, Liberty, Politics, Socialism, The Daily Switch, War on Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Era of Obama = Same Old Politics

Posted by maker on December 18, 2009

As much as this characterizes our government, it is also becoming a universal sentiment of an entitled society.

Last week, President Obama lashed out at the financial institutions on Wall Street, again.

When the President of the United States flippantly refers to private citizens and their businesses as ‘fat cat bankers on Wall Street’ there is a problem with the president. When the public sees nothing wrong with this, there is a larger problem with the public itself.

The irony of this particular instance of class warfare populism exhibited by Barack Obama, is that as he delivers these remarks, we learn that government employees are much better paid than private workers. This may seem unrelated at first glance, however, the president petulantly proclaimed these so called ‘fat-cats’ the architects of our current recession, seemingly excusing the federal government of any and all responsibility in the matter. I won’t get into all the intricacies and arguments here, but suffice it to say this is a more than generous revision on the president’s part. So the age old question ‘cui bono?’ does not reflect well on those ‘fat cats’ in D.C. if we understand their role in the unraveling of our economy compared to their ever increasing compensation.

The cycle is a vicious yet convenient one: Support and push policies that loudly proclaim help for the helpless while quietly destroying the free market, which action directly creates more ‘helpless’ to promise more for while also creating the circumstances in which people will more likely cede power to ‘the only people’ who can fix things. Oh, and they need to be better compensated for all the extra work of saving us.

In fact, USA Today reported the following:

  • On average, federal employees earned $71,206 per year, compared to $40,331 in the private sector.
  • From December 2007 through June 2009, average federal employee salaries increased by 6.6 percent, while average private-sector salaries increased by 3.9 percent. Federal employees at the top of the pay scale received pay increases of 8.6 percent during that period.
  • Federal employment is getting top-heavy. Federal employees making more than $100,000 increased from 14 percent to 19 percent of total government employment. In fact, the number of federal employees making more than $100,000 has more than doubled in less than two years. There are now more federal employees making more than $100,000 per year than $40,000 per year.

How could anyone say no to this face?

In light of these facts, how can any government employee begrudge any private citizen their salary? The fact is that these ‘fat cats’ on Wall Street are creating something. They are creating jobs and wealth for millions. The ‘fat cats’ in Washington are best known for creating hurdles for those that would create jobs and wealth.

Worse still, Obama warns that the ‘fat cats’ had better stop opposing government control of their pay and strict oversight of their day-to-day operations because, basically, they owe him for the bailout, which coincidentally many of them have paid back and others have been deterred from paying back.

Obama’s ignorance seems only matched and perhaps exceeded by his unmitigated arrogance. These comments were made just before the president was to meet with said ‘fat cats’ to persuade them to comply with his wishes.

Who says this guy isn’t smooth?

Posted in Capitalism, Conservatism, Culture, Economics, Liberalism, Liberty, Obama, Politics, The Daily Switch, War on Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Health-Care as Marriage

Posted by maker on November 9, 2009

Health-care is to marriage as...

Can either marriage or health-care reasonably be labeled a right?

I’ve recently been involved in a few debates over at a liberal blog called meoutsidethebox . The irony of the name is made clear by hopelessly captive thinking which permeates each leftist-talking-point-turned-article on the site. Regardless of the slant, the editor doesn’t shrink from a good debate, no matter how much he may avoid answering a direct question.

The latest article on the site poses the question ‘Is health insurance a right?’ . The obvious answer is, ‘no’ with the reason being, ‘because it’s not.’ But for people who might need a little more hand holding let’s explore it a bit further.

First, let’s clarify that there is a difference between health care and health insurance, the latter simply being one of many means of providing the former. I think that the title of the article is a bit misleading because what is subsequently discussed is care, not insurance. So let’s focus on the care.

 In the resulting arguments surrounding this issue, a constant analogy seems to be that the Constitution does not directly grant the right to marriage, but that over time we have confirmed marriage to be a right and recognize it as such. Thus, we should follow the same track for health care. Despite the analogy’s gaping holes I am fine with it. Let’s agree that healthcare should be treated as a right just as marriage is.
 
 
Is anyone proposing that the government should pay the financial, not to mention the emotional, costs of marriage? Should the government pay for the wedding? Or even the engagement ring? Should the government be tasked with finding someone willing to marry you, despite any baggage you might have? And if unwilling should the government impose regulations forcing a spouse to accept a marriage despite any and all baggage? Should this right be forced on everyone so that the singles of our society must pay a penalty for not acquiring the right of marriage? Should any man be made to marry Nancy Pelosi?
 

‘That’s ridiculous’ you might say, to which I’ll respond, ‘we are finally beginning to agree’. Let’s call it a right if that makes for a more amiable starting point. Now that we agree on the labels we still have the solution to flesh out.

Good news for America's divorce rate, bad news for growing old together.

Government run health-care means 'til death do us part may not seem so long.

Calling health-care a right does not mean we suspend our knowledge of history or our tendency toward logic. The idea that determining health-care a right automatically translates to support for this ruinous and ignorant proposal is embarrassingly short-sighted. As some people are painstakingly thorough to claim, ‘we are all in this together’, so let’s figure out what works so we don’t screw things up for everyone. Does history tell us anything about socialized medicine? Do economics tell us anything about incentives, or competition? Where quality is paramount, can we afford to eliminate these considerations?

Perhaps, as with marriage, government should more appropriately leave well enough alone so as to allow the American people to pursue their rights, and the ensuing costs, as they see fit.

Posted in Capitalism, Conservatism, Culture, Economics, Health care, Liberty, Politics, Socialism, The Daily Switch, War on Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

The Great Overreach

Posted by Ender on April 4, 2009

The problem with the Liberal philosophy is that it has an unquenchable thirst for power. When was the last time you heard a Modern Liberal, not to be confused with a Classical Liberal, call for a decrease in Government? I guess I should clarify, when have they asked for a decrease in Government outside of Law Enforcement and the Military? This should not be a surprise even to Liberals because the idea that the Government can solve any problem is at the core of their belief system. “Failure is not the product of his beliefs but merely want of power and resources.” (Levin) A belief system with this at its heart will invariably lead to severe overreaches when they are in power. In only about two short months we have seen several examples of overreach.

Salaries

Barney Frank

Barney Frank

On March 22nd, I wrote a piece about how the administration was seeking to control executive pay. I asked “How long until it’s not just executives anymore?” Well, unfortunately, it appears the answer was 2 days. On May 24th, the House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank passed the Pay For Performance Act of 2009. The act “is not limited just to those firms that received the largest sums of money, or just to the top 25 or 50 executives of those companies. It applies to all employees of all companies involved, for as long as the government is invested. And it would not only apply going forward, but also retroactively to existing contracts and pay arrangements of institutions that have already received funds.” It would give power to the Treasury department to determine if salaries are unreasonable.

Initially, this would be justified by only applying to companies that took bailout money. The problem I see is the problem of the slippery slope. Just look at where it has taken us so far, from just executives to all employees of bailout companies to…..what? I am reminded of Wickard v. Filburn, a case tried before the Supreme Court. In the 1940s (through today) the Federal Government has the ability to regulate interstate trade. In the Wickard ruling, the Supreme Court decided that it could regulate whether a private citizen could grow crops on his own land to use for his own consumption. How could the Court do this, you ask? Well, the Court said that by not participating in interstate trade the farmer affected interstate trade, thus opening him up to regulation. With rulings like this it doesn’t take much to imagine a situation where the Government declares it can control all salaries.

Running a Business

Giethner and Bernanke

Giethner and Bernanke

Treasury Secretary Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke argued for the ability to “regulate and even take over financial goliaths whose collapse could imperil the entire economy.” Shockingly, Obama agreed. This is such a large overreach/power grab that I am surprised they had the audacity to ask for it. The Government has no right to take over companies like this. The only thing Geithner and Bernanke disagreed on was which of them should have the power. In another post I wrote I talked about how Obama and his team decided that they knew more about the auto industry than the board of GM. The Government cannot run a car company, a bank, a financial institution, a hospital (see Walter Reed) or a post office. A commenter asked what Wagoner (former CEO of GM) knew about running a car company. I ask what does the Government know about running an economy, specifically Geithner. You can learn all about how Geithner devastated the Indonesian Economy in the 90s. In a post on what caused the Tech Boom I briefly mentioned part of its cause was due to the Asian crisis. Guess who was behind it? “[B]y frightening the Chinese into building their vast $US2 trillion foreign reserves, Geithner was responsible for the build-up of tremendous imbalance in the world financial system. This imbalance, in turn, according to Keating, contributed to the global financial crisis which has since devastated the world economy.” Three cheers for Geithner!

Free Speech

Supreme Court

Supreme Court

There have been many attacks on Free Speech in the last few years. Most of them are under the guise of fairness. McCain-Feingold was a blatant attack on free political speech. “Just last week, the Obama administration argued before the Supreme Court that it has no principled constitutional problem with banning books.” (Goldberg) The Supreme Court is hearing a case about a documentary called Hillary: The Movie. “Several justices asked the deputy solicitor general, Malcolm Stewart, if there would be any constitutional reason why the ban on documentaries and ads couldn’t be extended to books carrying similar messages. Stewart, speaking for a president who once taught constitutional law, said Congress can ban books “if the book contained the functional equivalent of express advocacy” for a candidate and was supported, even slightly, with corporate money. Such advocacy, Stewart conceded, could amount to negatively mentioning a politician just once in a 500-page book put out by a mainstream publisher.” I guess these words just aren’t clear enough “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (Before people start commenting on McCain being on the Right, give me a break. He has more in common with the Left than the Right, which is why he lost the election.)

These are just a few examples of the overreaches we have seen lately. Let’s hope the American people remember Liberty and wake up soon.

Posted in Capitalism, Conservatism, Culture, Economics, Liberalism, Liberty, Obama, Politics, Socialism, War on Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

War on Executive Pay

Posted by Ender on March 22, 2009

We are going to be starting a new segment on The Daily Switch.  It will be exclusively devoted to covering Obama’s War on Business.  All of the articles will be filed under that category “War on Business” on the left.

This week’s article is from the New York Times, the title pretty much says it all “Administration Seeks Increase in Oversight of Executive Pay.”

Obama’s new plan, which will be revealed this week, will give the Government the role of oversight of executive pay at “[ALL] banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation, government officials said.”  Not only that but it will seek to give the Fed more power than it already has.  (Learn More Here) The Fed will “oversee large companies, including major hedge funds, whose problems could pose risks to the entire financial system.”

I was and always have been against any Government control over parts of the Free Market, including salaries.  Salaries are a private contract between the individual and the employer.  The Government is lacking two things in this area:

1.  The right to take part in this contract and…

2.  Any knowledge of how the business works and how much anyone should be paid.

If anyone would like to debate either of these two points leave a comment.

Can anyone explain to me how controlling executive pay will help the economy?

Making calls to cap your pay

Making calls to cap your pay

This action will only accomplish one thing.  It will drive the best and the brightest away from these positions.  Is that what we should do during a economic crisis?  Strive to put second rate executives in charge of banks and investment firms?  Like it or not, executives work for money and they are going to want to get paid like the best that they are.  They want the American dream just like you and I, they want to strike it rich in the most prosperous nation in the world.  They are shooting for the stars and are not going to settle for whatever amount the Government says they should be getting. How long until it’s not just executives anymore?

But maybe that’s the point, maybe Obama wants to drive the top tier executives away so that these institutions fail and the Government can step in and expand its power.  Devious…

Posted in Capitalism, Economics, Obama, Politics, War on Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »