Welcome To Obamaville: Where 1 In 5 Children Are On Food Stamps

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This past weekend I had an Obamabot angrily inform me that his Dear Leader has finally fixed George Bush’s mess, and our economy is now roaring along like never before. “Just look at the stock market!,” he sneered.The irony of him working 3 part-time jobs (with no benefits) instead of the much higher-paying full-time 9-5 job he had during the Bush Administration was lost on him.

So I guess he won’t believe his lyin’ eyes today when he reads the latest news out of the Census Bureau. Or he’ll blame Rethuglicans for sabotaging The One’s munificence again.

Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the nation’s economy tumbled in 2008.

Numbers released by the Census Bureau Wednesday as part of its annual look at children and families show that one in five children were on food stamp assistance in 2014. The survey was taken last spring.

The number of people receiving food stamps — now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — spiked through the recession and has stayed at a higher level since. In the 2007 Census survey, 9 million children received SNAP assistance.

So Obama managed to put 7 million additional children on food stamps. Yeah, that’s how I measure a successful economic recovery, how about you?

Around 46.5 million people received food stamps last year, according to the Agriculture Department, which oversees the aid, up from around 26 million in 2007.

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Twenty million more Americans living on the dole. Wow, I never knew Obama was such an economic genius!

The Obamabots, soon to be Hillary’s horde, are deluded. They live in a fantasy universe, where progressive policies don’t fail because they’re wrong, they fail because they weren’t progressive enough. If they could only tax a few more rich people (but not George Soros or Tom Steyer!) then everything would magically be perfect. Rachel Maddow said so! And she’s smart!

Meanwhile, children in America go hungry. But well-fed liberals say they care, honest!, so there’s that. The thing is, the more they care, the worse off the rest of America gets. Oops.

UPDATE 29 Jan 2015 11:49:
Oh look, the CBO predicts tepid economic growth, rising deficits for the foreseeable future.

I guess it’s somehow George Bush’s fault.

Comrades! Pay no attention to the Reality behind the curtain. MSNBC is truth!

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Change, Intervention, and Dependency

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The concept of the government “solving” all the problems of the world has crept into our society over time. With every new program, every new entitlement, the public has  gradually become accustomed to the government solving the ills of the world. And what of fact that the government seemed to make all of these problems worse? Well, that’s neglected. After all, the government is taking care of it-I don’t have to worry about it, right?

Starting with the “progressive” movement in the late 19th century and accelerating greatly since the great depression, the government has vastly increased it’s meddling in human affairs.  Ignoring the Constitutional limits on its power, the government has expanded its powers and influence to impact everyone’s life, many times, with negative results.  This begs the question; does it really work?

While going over every government intervention would require writing a book, it might be prudent to to take an in-depth look at one: public education.

Since 1970, per pupil cost of public education, according to investors.com

Far from being an engine of wealth creation, the education system is bleeding the economy to death. The U.S. spends 2.3 times as much per pupil in real, inflation-adjusted dollars as it spent in 1970, but the return on this ballooning investment has been less than nothing.

And what is that return?  First, let’s take a look at some results of public education over time.  Here is the graduation rates in the Us, by state, in 1990.

Next, here are the same figures for 2006

So, all this extra money, and graduation rates continue to drop?

Next, let’s take a look at how much different states spend on education.  The next image is from the census bureau.

Then from the same report

Utah spent the least per student ($5,257), followed by Arizona ($6,261), Idaho ($6,283), Mississippi ($6,575) and Oklahoma ($6,613). All 10 of the states with the lowest spending per student were in the West or South.

So, what are the results of this huge disparity?

Recent studies reinforce the disconnect between spending and achievement. For example, the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) “Report Card on American Education, a State-by-State Analysis 1976– 2000” concluded that “it is clear after studying the data and results that the policies of the past have failed to meet the educational needs of our country’s children. If we continue to spend more money on the existing educational system in an attempt to buy our way to better student achievement, we will condemn another generation of students to mediocrity.” The ALEC study showed no correlation between conventional measures of educational inputs (such as expenditures per pupil and teacher salaries) and educational outputs (such as scores on standardized tests). Simply stated, increased funding does not translate into improved achievement.

An analysis of per-pupil expenditures on a state-by-state basis is illuminating. For example, in the 1998–99 school year, Utah spent $3,807 per pupil whereas Maryland spent $7,059. There is little evidence to suggest that equalizing resources between the two states would equalize achievement. In the 1998 NAEP, 31 percent of eighth graders in both Utah and Maryland scored at proficient or better in reading, despite the large discrepancy in per-pupil expenditures. Also, based on several standardized tests, the ALEC report rated Iowa (ranked 32d in per-pupil expenditures) as having the top-performing public elementary and secondary schools in the nation, followed by Minnesota (14th in spending) and Wisconsin (9th). At the bottom of the achievement ratings were Mississippi (50th in spending), the District of Columbia (5th), and Louisiana (39th).

Expenditures per student have increased over time, and the distribution of the expenditures has been according to popular emphasis: The level of teacher education has increased, teacher experience has increased, and student-teacher ratios have fallen. But the desired outcome—student achievement—has remained flat.

So two of the sacred cows of education do not stand up to scrutiny.  Namely, class size and expenditures.  Both are mantras of the left, yet neither have any statistical relevance to graduation rate.  In simple terms, they have NO IMPACT AT ALL!  This however, does not dissuade the left from raising them as issues at any time educational funding is discussed.

This is just one example.  There are so many more.  For example, the government has run social (in)security into the ground. It’s a ponzi scheme anyway-one that makes Mr. Madoff look like a rank amateur.

They created the fraud and waste infested Medicare and Medicaid programs.  They’ve had 40 years to stop the (now, hundreds of) billions of dollars in yearly fraud and waste, with no meaningful results.

They were negligent over obvious warnings and caused the great recession with the CRA and by ignoring all of the warning signs that Fannie and Freddie were about to implode.  Instead, at the time, they attacked those releasing the warnings. They now deny their involvement, and instead blame the administration that released multiple warnings over the course of several years.  Ironically, the very warnings they ignored.

Even the Post Office is failing!  Not a good track record, yet the American people continue to accept these programs, and many ask for more.  Based on their record, they’re going to do a great job with health care, right?

As previously stated, as all of these programs are enacted, the people become comfortable with the concept of the government addressing social problems and issues, no matter how badly government performs.  But, there is a second, perhaps more damaging aspect to this; that government assistance creates dependency that allows for influence.  To illustrate this, let’s go back to the education example.  The public school districts obtain most of their funding either locally, or at the state level (note that this varies greatly by state).  However, the federal assistance they receive, as well as the federal funds the states receive, if removed, would cause a “crisis” in the schools.  They have become dependent on these funds to provide the services that they have established.  Any threat to that funding therefore creates a reaction from the benefiting organization.

It is helpful to remember that the first priority of any bureaucracy is self-maintenance.  The stated purpose or task of a bureaucracy is secondary, and is only done to the extent that the primary goal is met.  When the primary goal is threatened, there is an immediate reaction.  Even surviving at a diminished scale is not acceptable.  Protests will be organized, politicians will be lobbied, children & seniors will be exploited, and rent-a-mob will be paid, all in order to maintain the status quo (and influence/power!), even if that status quo is dysfunctional, or even destructive.

In this situation, government is in the position to issue mandates to states, communities, and organizations in order to receive government funding.  Government can use its checkbook as a means to push their agenda on the recipient organization.  If the government is leftist, the mandates will be to the left-if the government is to the right, the converse holds true.  Since the recipient organization is now dependent on the government money to maintain itself and it’s power, it has little choice but to go along with the scheme of the day.

Many organizations, in turn, lobby the government to help craft these mandates, or simply support them with some well-timed contributions and/or PR campaigns.  They then have the opportunity to use their influence over government to push their agenda.  When so many politicians and organizations are left leaning, is it a surprise that they manipulate us into following some leftist scheme that create more problems, or exacerbates existing ones?  The lobbying organizations use their influence over the government to manipulate the government into exerting influence over still others to push an agenda.

To illustrate, let’s again go to the educational arena.  With the government having an increased role in society, other groups benefit from the intervention, prompting them to lobby, donate, and otherwise influence the government’s activities.  For example, increased spending and decreased student to teacher ratios benefit the NEA.  The NEA supports and lobbies for the increased spending and benefits from all of the additional teachers that are hired as a result.  More teachers lead to more union dues, which lead to more money with which to influence the government, which leads to more teacher and union dues…you get the point.  In the end, powerful groups gain more power by influencing the government’s actions, as well as assuring their own funding stream.  Since many of these organizations, and particularly the NEA are leftist, the mandates that the government decrees are increasingly socialist in nature.  Here is evidence of the political nature of the NEA.  It is a long video, so the part of interest is at 16:00.

The results for public education are seen every day.  Violence, pregnancy, poor test scores, and increasing drop out rates have all continued, or even increased, with the advent of increased funding.  It actually appears that the social engineering aspect of education is the goal. With the teacher acting as facilitator, the children are guided, mislead, and manipulated to a pre-determined ideological mindset.  Again this is all set from Washington, with the left and the lobbyists manipulating each other, and, in the end, you and I.

Additionally, government and its supporters seek to eliminate all functional or ideological competition.  Taking the lead of most totalitarian regimes in the last century, they seek to eliminate threats to their eminence and power.  Other ideas are poisonous to their plans, so they are banned.  For example, home-schooled children do not meet their leftist ideological goals, and perform at a higher academic level.  Rather than take what works from this system, the left seeks to ban it.  Again, if high scores and knowledge were a concern, they might study the matter.  However, the goal is indoctrination, so home schooling must be ridiculed, restricted, and then banned.    They have not let this goal drop from their list of priorities, and they are using their influence with the state and federal governments in a schemes to gradually restrict, then ban, home schooling.  They can use their influence to write government legislation or regulations to their liking, while the other entities are subjected to the whims of the leftist government, as well as their well-fed supporters.  After all, government assistance comes with strings attached!

So, where does this leave us?  Caught in the middle of lobbyists, government, interest groups, thugs, goons, and mobs.  Each group uses it’s influence over government  to enrich and empower itself.  in turn government uses it’s “endless” checkbook to fund schools ( and other entities), and makes demands in exchange for the funding.  In the end, we all lose.

The solution to this mess is simple; return the federal government to its Constitutional role.  When the government does little, as it should, there is no motivation to influence it.  If the government has no influence over education, why would the NEA pay off some congressmen or senators?  If the federal government stayed out of health care, why would the insurance companies, big pharma, the unions, and any of a number of  leftist groups attempt to influence it?  If the government didn’t try to control and thereby ruin our energy supply, why would big oil try to influence it?  In the end, it is the size of government that creates the problem.  A large and powerful central government invites corruption and creates dependency-cutting it down to size solves both problems.  Power does corrupt, and the more power the government attaches to itself, the more corrupt it becomes.  It matters little if the administration is Democratic or Republican, the size of government, and it’s accompanying corruption, makes victims of us all.

Note:  this is a re-posting of an earlier article.

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Election 2012: America Votes for Free Stuff

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Give me Free stuff!

President Obama has been reelected.

Yes.  You heard correctly.  President Obama has been reelected.

Four years of recession.

Four years of scandal.

Allies insulted.

Enemies bowed to.

Ambassadors killed and dragged through the streets.

Debt increased by five billion.

Obamacare set to take effect.

All this.

And America still reelected a small, petty, vicious man who makes Jimmy Carter look like George Washington.

I for one welcome my new overlords in the mainstream media.

I for one welcome my new overlords in the Death Panels.

I for one welcome my new overlords in the Muslim world.  First amendment?  It insults Allah!

I look forward to the rioting when the United States defaults on its debt.

If this election has taught us anything it is that we must destroy the Republican party.

We must never vote Republican again.

It’s time to “Whig” them.  Let the party disappear.  A new party is necessary.

Once there was a country dedicated to individual liberty and limited government.

Once there was a country that had a constitution, a thing of beauty.

But America has chosen free stuff.

That is the secret of Barack Obama’s victory.

Too many people now suck off the Federal Teat.

Socialism is an evil system.  It doesn’t make the poor richer.  It makes the rich, and the middle class poorer.

Our government will grow larger.

Individual freedom will disappear.

The all powerful state will tell us how to think.

The all powerful state will dictate our conscience to us.

Religious liberty is dead.

Catholics voted for Obama.

Women voted with their lady parts.

Our new religion is the state.

Our new religion is the Democratic party.

Its sacraments are taught in our schools.

Its priests are worshiped as holy men.

The media are its propaganda wing.

Once there was a great country called America.

But we settled for having Europe like us.

We settled for being Europe.

In the next four years as our debt piles up, as unemployment increases,  as the middle east kills more ambassadors  I don’t want to hear anyone complain.

We asked for this America.

We deserve it.

Original Post: Manhattan Infidel

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Three Ways in which President Obama is like President Roosevelt

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History repeats itself, and when the economy crashed in 2008 there was a great opportunity for President Barack Hussein Obama (BHO) to play the role of former US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). And as time has gone on, the comparisons between these two Presidents and their actions has become more clear. Following are Three Ways in which President Obama is like President Roosevelt:

1. Both candidates ran for election the first time as moderates but have governed from the start as radicals.

In 1932, FDR ran for election on a platform promising less spending, less government, and vague policies and promises designed to appeal to a broad range of voters. Hoover attacked Roosevelt as a capitalist president who would only make the Depression worse by decreasing taxes, reducing government intervention in the economy, promoting “trade [with] the world”, and cutting “Government—Federal and State and local”.

In 2008, BHO ran for election on a platform that promised a balanced budget, more efficient government, and vague rhetoric and promises designed to appeal to a broad range of voters. Both won on these moderate platforms- but after winning both instead pushed for radical policies and betrayed voters by not doing anything that they promised to do.

FDR did not lower spending- he increased it. FDR did not deliver less government and less socialism- he expanded government and pushed for more socialism by government. FDR did not govern in a way that would appeal to a broad range of voters- he capitalized on crisis and wars to maintain power for too long while governing in a radical way. Hoover proved to be exactly wrong in his attacks on FDR- although FDR ran on a particular platform, he proved to govern in the opposite manner.

BHO also did not balance the budget and cut the deficit in half like he promised, instead doing the exact opposite by pushing for budgets that produced the largest deficits in history and drastically raised the amount of debt that America was forced to borrow from China and other nations. BHO has not even tried to create more efficient, smarter, faster, and responsive government, instead working hard to massively expand the size and scope of government bureaucracy and insulate it from any accountability or oversight. And Obama has not governed in a nonpartisan way that bridges the gaps between red and blue voters, instead actively promoting divisiveness and spewing forth bitterly partisan rhetoric and now presently engaging in the most relentlessly negative campaign in the history of our nation.

2. Both candidates inherited a bad recession and responded to it by turning the recession into a long and lingering depression.

In 1932, FDR did inherit a recession- after the economy collapsed in 1929 Hoover had responded to it by doing everything wrong, expanding the size of the national government, restricting free trade, increasing taxes on the wealthy, and having the government meddle in markets. The response to this liberal intervention by Hoover was predictable- the economy did not bounce back as it had from earlier recessions and instead lingered and got worse.

In 2008, BHO also inherited a recession- major companies were bankrupted by union policies, bad debts and investments caught up to banks and investors, and the housing market collapsed because government policies and community activists had encouraged and supported risky and unsustainable actions. This sharp recession hit in the later part of 2008 and likely would have lingered until 2009, after which the bottom would have been hit, bad investments written off, bankrupt companies gone under, and businesses and consumers adjusting the economic recession. But both FDR and BHO took these recessions and made them into depressions.

FDR responded to the recession by killing off economic activity by raising taxes and regulations, made investors and businesses nervous by rapidly changing the rules of the game and acting in an arbitrary manner, and soaking up excess capital by pushing for more government spending that turned out to simply be giveaways to political friends and allies. The economy did not improve- the Great Depression continued, the economy sank into another depression, and it wasn’t until after FDR’s death that the economy once again recovered to where it had been before his presidency.

BHO also responded to the recession by working to kill off the recovery and choke off economic recovery. During his entire administration he has pushed for increased taxes, in particular increased taxes on small businesses, investors, and ‘the rich’, making small businesses, investors, and the rich nervous about their income and become anxious to protect it from predatory government policies promoted by Obama. BHO has soaked up excess capital and money that should have been available for lending to consumers by instead borrowing massive amounts of money, turning money that could have built new businesses and fueled new investments into slush funds given to political allies and bad investments in green energy and other outlandish schemes. Efforts to reform businesses and labor were met with hostility by the Obama administration, which seized private companies that showed signs of economic distress by dividing them in half between themselves and labor, and working to punish companies that attempted to become leaner and more efficient through labor reforms. Even attempts to build new thriving and profitable industries in energy were met with hostility by Obama, which has worked tirelessly to kill off this economic activity and prolong the recession and deepen it so that the short recession turns instead into a severe depression.

3. Both inherited an unstable world situation and have through their policy actions made the world more unstable.

In 1932, Japan invaded Manchuria, unemployment was rising in Germany, Stalin’s continued to implement disastrous centralization programs in the Soviet Union, there were political upheavals in Brazil and Mexico, and there was instability in the Middle East.

But during the course of FDR’s administration, events around the world spiralled out of control, culminating in a World War. To be fair, at this time in history the United States had far less influence on world events and it is debatable whether or not actions by the United States might have been able to stop the Jewish Genocide, the Japanese invasion of China and the related atrocities there, the outbreak of a massive World War, the horrible results of Stalin’s government policies which resulted in the murder of millions, or any of the any other many bad results around the world. But it is also fair to say that these things all occurred under FDR, mostly as he stood by and watched- or even in some cases supported them.

BHO also inherited an unstable world situation- Afghanistan still was dealing with terrorism, dictatorships in the Middle East were facing efforts to replace and reform them, and China was exploring whether or not it could begin to seriously challenge the US in a range of areas.

And yet, only a short 4 years later, the world has not responded to Obama’s policies by becoming a safer, more stable, more humane world. The entire Middle East has now been engulfed a confusing and bloody uprising that President Obama has alternately and seemingly randomly supported and acted to suppress, highlighted by radical terrorists becoming more powerful in Egypt, a deadly civil war in Libya, continued oppression and atrocities in Syria, and instability in surrounding regions. Perhaps the only area that appears to be improving in Iraq- and Obama spent most of his life being critical of our actions there. Iran has moved steadily closer to obtaining nuclear weapons, captured one of our drones, fired on our troops, and continued to support terrorists around the world. Afghanistan has gotten worse, and Obama has responded by firing generals who supposedly disrespect him in tabloid magazines. Russia and China have filled the void in world leadership that Obama represents, mocking him as the weakling that he is and laughing as they routinely outmaneuver Obama and damage US interests around the world.

These are only three examples of how President Obama has governed like President Roosevelt- there are many more out there. Here is one article that does so- Comparing the Great Depression to the Great Recession. This is not good- FDR’s leadership was characterized by the Great Depression and World War Two, and although many people think that these are positives and that FDR is to be applauded for being a leader during a massive economic depression and a horrible world war, in my opinion it is much preferable to have a President like Reagan who presided over an economic boom and increased world stability. We can only hope that President Obama does not serve any more terms of office and that we get a nice moderate after him (like how Eisenhower eventually followed FDR) to restore the good times to America.

Original Post: A Conservative Teacher

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Double Dumb Is Leading To Double Dip

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The markets, although a tad late in my opinion, are signaling that they have no faith that Europe or the United States are going to be able to get their economies growing again  any time soon. The bad news doesn’t let up. Here are just a couple of headlines to demonstrate my point:

Stock futures signal another day of losses.

Report: Bank of America cutting at least 3,500 jobs

Does anyone doubt that the markets are right not to have any faith in our leaders to get the economy going again? Have you seen any evidence coming from either the White House or Congress that these people have any clue as to how to get the economy growing and produceJOBS?  I haven’t! All I see is a serious case of Dumb and Dumber with Dumb being the Congress  Dumber being the man who occupies the White House. Let’s take a look at each starting with Dumber.

Dumber

Referring to Mr. President as Dumber is being kind. The man is a liar. The man is deceitful. Some might even say the man is treasonous. President Obama consistently says one thing while he is, at the same time, doing the opposite.

Heres another example of making my case for referring to our President as Dumber. Just a few weeks ago our President submitted a budget to Congress that was a joke. He knew it was a joke. Not even one Democrat voted for his proposal. Now why would the leader of the nation with a very serious economic crisis hanging over its head submit a budget that was a joke. Nobody was laughing.

And here is another example of Dumber’s administration in action. You know what the broken glass theory of economics is, don’t you? Well checkout this story: Obama Agriculture Secretary: Food Stamps Create Jobs . How much dumber can it get?

Obama talks a lot about the need for jobs. Well, he’s right. If you want to get this economy going and reduce unemployment, jobs is the place to start. Remember all those shovel ready jobs that Obama spent billions os stimulus dollars to create? Right! And then he had the gall to laugh it off. And, while his spending was doing nothing to create jobs, his regulatory agencies were busy doing what? They were busy killing  jobs: oil and gas drilling jobs, fossil fuel fired power plant jobs, coal mining jobs and even incandescent light bulb manufacturing jobs.

Now, Dumber, just wrapped-up a bus tour through some of the mid-West states. He announced that he is planning to announce a “jobs plan” in September. I can’t wait to see this plan. But, once more our President is demonstrating that he is in favor of jobs, right? Wrong! While he says one thing, he is busy doing the opposite. Checkout these two stories from a couple of days ago: first, New Flower Species Protections Pit Energy Industry Against Conservationist in Colorado and then read  Energy in America: Keystone XL’s  Oil Sands Pipeline Up in the Air. While reading these two articles, keep in mind the most truly shovel ready jobs in America are in the oil and gas industry.

Okay, let’s move on to Dumb, the Congress, and see what they have been up to.

Dumb

In the last couple of months, while our nation continued to suffer what could be arguably described as the worst recession in its history, our Congress put on what I can only describe as a circus and a not so funny circus at that. Faced with raising the debt ceiling once again and the crushing effects of our enormous deficits and debt, the Democrats could not even produce a single plan worth  mentioning. Now that is Dumb!  The Republicans, at least, did produce a couple of plans but neither the President of the Democrat controlled Senate would give them the time of day. That was Dumb! But let’s not give the Republicans too much credit.

The Republicans produced and the House passed a bill called Cut, Cap and Balance, which Harry Reid wouldn’t even allow to come to the floor for debate. But just for kicks and giggles, let’s assume the Cut, Cap and Balance bill had been passed by Congress and signed by the President. Would it have been the panacea that we conservative and especially the Tea Party conservatives were projecting it to be?  Sure, it would have been a step in the right direction. It might even have satisfied Wall Street for a while longer. However,  I’m not sure it would have done much to get the economy growing and producing jobs again. Austerity measures are an absolute must when looking at our debt and our continuing deficit spending.  But, one only has to observe what has happened in Europe to know that when austerity programs are not coupled with plans that allow for job growth and investment, there will be serious problems of civil unrest.

My point here is that because of partisan politics, our Congress could not put the nation first and produce a plan that both cut spending and allowed for job growth and investment and force the President to go along. What could a non-partisan Congress have done, you ask? GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY AND LET THE NOT SO “FREE” FREE ENTERPRISE SYSTEM DO WHAT ONLY IT CAN DO!

So, I think I have made my case for referring to the President as Dumber and the Congress as Dumb. And, as the title of this post saya, Double Dumb will lead us to a double dip recession or something much worse. Atlas is saying enough is enough!

Before I sign off, just a little aside if I may. I read an article the other day, I sorry  can’t recall where, that postulated why the Democrats are in the mess that they ( and the country) are in. I think the author made it an astute observation. Paraphrasing, the author said the Democrats, after the 2008 elections, looked at their landslide victory on Obama’s coat tails and they looked at the economy in the toilette and made an assumption. The economy will recover on its own. historically the economy always had recovered. So they tought we can go ahead with all of our costly plans and no one will blame  us be cause the economy will recover anyway and Obama will get the credit. I think that makes a lot of sense. If I had been Democrat in Congress at that time, I might have made the same assumption. Just goes to show that one should be careful about assuming too much.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post:  Conservatives on Fire

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Lessons from Economic Recessions II- The Forgotten Recession of 1920

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Last week I wrote in my post Lessons from Economic Recessions- Introduction and Great Depression:

History teaches lessons- it allows those of us in the present to see how results in the past worked. Economic recessions are a great teaching tool for policy makers and average citizens, because they teach us how the recession may have happened and how to emerge from the recession and therefore inform us as to the policy actions that we must take and those that we as citizens must support.

In that post, I talked about the lessons from the Great Depression. The lessons that I drew from the Great Depression are based though not on just data from that event, but from other recessions that our nation has entered and exited. Most liberals simply say ‘government spending got us out of the Great Depression’, but when I ask them about all of the other recessions that the United States entered, they have a blank look, as they do not have any knowledge of other recessions or how we emerged from them as a nation.

One of my friends in the media should try this sometime- ask a liberal policy maker- President Barack Obama, or Nancy Pelosi, or Carl Levin, or Debbie Stabenow, or Gary Peters- ask them what lessons they have personally learned from the Great Depression. I am sure they will roll off some long-winded answer that sounds educated and learned but basically boils down to ‘spend more money.’ Follow-up that question with a question on what lessons they learned from the Depression of 1920-21, or The Panic of 1907, or the Long Depression of 1873–79, and you’ll be sure to get blank looks from these policy makers, as they don’t have any knowledge about those recessions and have learned no lessons from them. They might even snap back some response to you about how unimportant it is to learn about other recessions- but they are wrong, because if you only draw your lessons on economic policy from one recession, the Great Depression, and your lessons are wrong at that, than you are sure to be wrong about very big and important policy decisions that have real effects on our nation.

Of course, my blog should not be the source for your education- I would advise you to spend some real time studying some real economists- but at least the knowledge that I display here and the lessons that I draw here are likely more educated than those of the above policy-makers, including our Harvard-trained President of the United States. So let’s discuss today the The Forgotten Depression of 1920.

The Depression of 1920–21, which was an extremely sharp deflationary recession in the United States that lasted from January 1920 to July 1921, which at 18 months in duration is longer than any of the recessions after WWII, and which saw a GDP decrease of anywhere from 3% to 7%. The recession of 1920–21 was characterized by extreme deflation- anywhere from 13% to 18% — the largest one-year percentage decline in around 140 years of data. Unemployment jumped anywhere from 4 to 6% in one year, the AT&T Index of Industrial Productivity showed a decline of 29.4%, and stocks fell dramatically during the recession. It was a very bad recession that led many in society to question the stability and future of the American system of capitalism.

At the time, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover — later President Hoover- urged President Harding to consider an array of interventions to turn the economy around. Hoover, as we all know now, was a progressive Republican who believed that active government response by government officials who were smarter than the rest of us could shorten a recession and led to economic growth. Hoover advocated the same policy responses in 1920 that he implemented in 1929- increased spending by the government, increased taxes especially on the evil rich, increased regulation of businesses, bailouts for banks and ‘too big to fail’ companies, continued support to labor unions, and more government agencies and boards to organize and improve our existing economic system.

As you can see, the responses that Hoover advocated in 1920 and implemented in 1929 are very nearly the same policies that President Obama implemented in 2009. The results of these policies are seen today and were seen in 1929- but not in 1920 because President Warren Harding ignored Hoover and did the exact opposite as what he recommended. Whereas Hoover pushed for more government spending, Harding decreased it; when Hoover wanted more regulation, Harding put in place less; for every board of smart elites that Hoover proposed to control human action, Harding cut boards and agencies so that the common man could be more free; and Harding ignored demands to raise taxes and instead slashed taxes.

The result of Harding’s more conservative approach to the severe recession of 1920-1921? The recession ended quickly and ushered in an amazing period of robust economic activity the continued throughout the 1920’s as Harding and Coolidge continued conservative policies. It is no surprise that the limited government, balanced budget, low taxes, low regulation, and unleashing of human freedom led to the Roaring Twenties, an amazing period in American history of social, artistic, and economic dynamism, while the active government, increased taxes, massive government spending, and more regulation of the progressive Hoover and liberal Roosevelt led to the Great Depression.

Thomas E. Woods (author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American HistoryMeltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse, and Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse) recently wrote a great post on this subject called The Forgotten Recession- I advise you to read the whole article, but here are several important pieces of it:

…It is hardly necessary to point out that Harding’s counsel — delivered in the context of a speech to a political convention, no less — is the opposite of what the alleged experts urge upon us today. Inflation, increased government spending, and assaults on private savings combined with calls for consumer profligacy: such is the program for “recovery” in the 21st century.

Not surprisingly, many modern economists who have studied the depression of 1920–1921 have been unable to explain how the recovery could have been so swift and sweeping even though the federal government and the Federal Reserve refrained from employing any of the macroeconomic tools — public works spending, government deficits, and inflationary monetary policy — that conventional wisdom now recommends as the solution to economic slowdowns. The Keynesian economist Robert A. Gordon admitted that “government policy to moderate the depression and speed recovery was minimal. The Federal Reserve authorities were largely passive.… Despite the absence of a stimulative government policy, however, recovery was not long delayed.”…

…There was nothing at all unusual about the pattern of American wealth in the 1920s. Far greater disparities have existed in countless times and places without any resulting disruption.

In fact, the Great Depression actually came in the midst of a dramatic upward trend in the share of national income devoted to wages and salaries in the United States — and a downward trend in the share going to interest, dividends, and entrepreneurial income. We do not in fact need the violent expropriation of any American in order to achieve prosperity, thank goodness…

…Harding’s inchoate understanding of what was happening to the economy and why grandiose interventionist plans would only delay recovery is an extreme rarity among 20th-century American presidents. That he has been the subject of ceaseless ridicule at the hands of historians, to the point that anyone speaking a word in his favor would be dismissed out of hand, speaks volumes about our historians’ capabilities outside of their own discipline.

The experience of 1920–1921 reinforces the contention of genuine free-market economists that government intervention is a hindrance to economic recovery. It is not in spite of the absence of fiscal and monetary stimulus that the economy recovered from the 1920–1921 depression. It is because those things were avoided that recovery came. The next time we are solemnly warned to recall the lessons of history lest our economy deteriorate still further, we ought to refer to this episode — and observe how hastily our interrogators try to change the subject….

Read the whole article- the logic, the understanding, the theories, and the explanation are all in there, and go into economic terms and theories that I am only beginning to gain an understanding of.

The lessons that I drew regarding the Great Depression are supported by the lessons that one can learn from the Recession of 1920-1921- that economic recessions are worsened and lengthened by a government that takes away human liberty, treats people as numbers to manage, takes wealth and property from those who have earned it, and that in every other way violates the Founding Principles of our nation (limited government, federalism, and separation of power). It is up to policy makers to learn those lessons and to vote accordingly on future legislation facing our nation.

Keep reading my blog regularly for future posts on this subject, and I continue becoming educated and drawing lessons from other past economic recessions that our nation faced and overcome.

Original Post:  A Conservative Teacher

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Lessons from Economic Recessions- Introduction and Great Depression

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History teaches lessons- it allows those of us in the present to see how results in the past worked. Economic recessions are a great teaching tool for policy makers and average citizens, because they teach us how the recession may have happened and how to emerge from the recession and therefore inform us as to the policy actions that we must take and those that we as citizens must support.

The problem is though that policymakers and citizens really only have learned about one historical economic recession, The Great Depression, and the lessons that they have been learned regarding this recession are usually the wrong lessons. There are other recessions that our nation has battled through and the lessons we can learn from them may be more instructive to policy makers and average citizens, especially in light of the current Obama recession.

The version of the Great Depression that most Americans learn is that unregulated capitalism, free trade, lax regulation, and unequal distribution of wealth led to a massive collapse of our economy in 1929, then President Hoover did nothing to intervene and help, and our nation didn’t recover until FDR actively and aggressively acted with his New Deal policies of massive spending, massive debt, massive regulation, and massive changes to the American system. The problem with this version of history, and the lessons that it teaches, is that it is almost wholly false.

The Great Depression resulted from government policies- the Federal Reserve messing with rates, the regulations and taxes from the Wilson administration, etc- combined with restrictive trade policies and the collapse of a major economic power (Germany), which resulted in a recession in 1929. President Hoover then acted in a very active and ultimately destructive manner, increasing spending, regulation, and activity by the government, resulting in the recession deepening and lasting until 1932. FDR took these mistakes and expanded on them and enlarged them, and the result was that a real recovery never took place and rather the nation dropped into another recession (1937), leading us to just lump this whole time period together as the ‘Great Depression.’ Although the world war helped mask many of our economic problems, it wasn’t until the death of FDR and the ending of his policies that our nation began to recover in any real economic normal sense, and wealth began to be created again. This is a closer version of events, with entirely different sets of lessons to learn.

But don’t take my word for it- check out the following books to become more educated on the Great Depression- America’s Great DepressionGreat Myths of the Great Depression (this one is great- only $2, a dozen pages, and a great gift for any history teacher to receive), or Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse.

In my next post I’ll address other economic recessions and the lessons to learn from them.

Original Post: A Conservative Teacher

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Democrats & Independents Hardest Hit By Soaring Unemployment

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The unprecedented increase in unemployment has no doubt effected every U.S. citizen in one way shape or form. If you have not been laid off, then chances are you are close to someone who has been. You probably even have one or more within your family that has been let go in the past year. It touches the  heart to hear of loved ones losing so much and then struggling month after month to find a way to replace the lost income. But who has been hurt the most throughout this financial recession? Believe it or not, it is the majority of those who voted Barack Obama into the Presidency, it is the Democrats and Independents.

Back in January of this year, when the unemployment rate was at 7.6%, many blamed President Bush for the unemployment disaster. And while he did play his own part in allowing the first stimulus package and the buy out of many banks, it was made dramatically worse by President Obama. Obama did not allow the economy to simply heal on its own, he pushed to further the national debt, crippling the U.S. dollar, and all the while convincing many Americans that it was the proper course of action to stimulate the economy.

President Obama and the mainstream media has since then lied numerous times telling the public the economy is growing, that unemployment rates are improving, and that we are going in the “right” direction. This could not be further than from the truth. And yet, his loyal followers, who are taking the brunt of the economic crisis, still listen and believe with unemployment now at a staggering 10.2%.

Why is it that those who are suffering the most from this situation continue unfailing support of the Obama administration? Is it that so many have grown so dependent on the government that they are still encouraged by the empty promises of Obama? Perhaps it’s the vainess of sticking beside one’s own race without question? Or maybe it is like rooting for your favorite football team, no matter what you will go with your political party for better or for worse. Many Americans regardless of social standing do not like to admit when they have made a mistake. What ever the case is, I think it can be all of the above. Sadly, according to Rasmussen Reports it is Obama’s supporters, the Democrats and the minority population, that are being hit the hardest by unemployment.

The data collected by the Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey states:

“Data from Rasmussen Reports national telephone surveys shows that 15.0% of Democrats in the workforce are currently unemployed and looking for a job. Among adults not affiliated with either major party, that number is 15.6% while just 9.9% of Republicans are in the same situation.”

How do I know who supported Obama the most? As reported by BBC News on exit polls in their article Who Voted For Obama, he had the most support from first time voters, young voters, Democrats, and minority groups. And ironically, 62% of those who voted for Barack Obama cited that the economy was their main factor. Since his appointment to office, it has only worsened and regressed at a rate that no one ever thought possible.

What has our President that promised so much hope and change done to improve our economic woes? Why, he has made them far more and far worse. If you were in deep financial debt would you try to get out by spending more money? No, of course not. You would hunker down and take out the frivolous things in your life to make up the difference while paying back what you owe little by little. Yet, this administration instead took it upon themselves to spend not only our money, but our children and our grandchildren’s money, in the hopes of stimulating an economy that had already been overspent.

Those who were in financial trouble would have been better off to slip into bankruptcy and to lose a few jobs rather than to become slaves to the federal government who bought out their stocks to “save” them. No company is too big to fail. Instead, the deeds of the Obama administration has bankrupted the entire nation and left us in debt to other countries. In the meantime, those who provide the unshaken support of our President suffer the hardest in false hope that he will somehow rescue them by paying their gas and mortgage. Is the Democrat party so hungry for power that they are willing to make more people dependent on the government in supplying their every need like with this healthcare bill, giving them the power over our very health and well-being? It will spiral America into more economic hardship and leave us at the mercy of the country with the greatest stock in America (a.k.a. China). In a once Republic nation that is now resembling a socialist/communist country, how ironic that we look to China for support at this time. (Why else did you think Obama is spending so much time over there?)

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/jobs_employment/november_2009/democrats_unaffiliateds_more_likely_to_be_unemployed_than_republicans

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_111909/content/01125106.guest.html

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