Sunday, September 21, 2014

Control Freaks: GOP or DFL?

My spending proof will need to wait another day or so, I misplaced a source and need to find it again...  To fill the void: here is a new discussion from the MinnPost Is the Party Over for the Independence Party article.  A couple of the other readers disagree with the following Nolan diagram.

 
This Nolan Diagram would likely draw similar criticism. For diagrams see G2A Moderate MN.
In summary, they think that only the GOP is interested in using governmental laws to control the behaviors of others. (ie social engineering, morality, etc)  I'll let their statements speak for themselves.
"Let me spell it out for you...your perception of what a liberal democrat is nothing but myth. And it seems to me that the only party that continues to want people to tow a certain line is the GOP. They're the party of social engineering." Jason

"Democrats and Liberals have a long list of principles we're very passionate about. One of them is allowing people the freedom to have their own principles." Paul

 "As we have discussed here over and over again, Liberal Democrats want many many laws to control the actions and behaviors of people based on their beliefs. Here are just a few:
- forced acceptance of the gay lifestyle in private arenas
- forced purchase of birth control methods that are against a group or individual's morals
- loads of regulatory emission control laws
- endless attempts to control gun ownership
- forcing to employers to pay employees more than the market requires.
- forcing people to pay to subsidize the health insurance, food bills, housing, etc of other citizens
- oppose free trade: try to limit the choices of people and businesses
- limit legal immigration by giving illegal immigrants priority
- other

All of these being excellent examples of why the image creator placed both the DFL and GOP below the Independents on the social freedom axis. Both groups avidly pursue laws to control other citizens." G2A

 "Right and you're so moderate that you only listed "Lib'rul offenses." 'Loads' and 'endless' and 'forcing' of things going on here... long on drama and short on specifics, or thought, or empathy. I notice the homophobia is still present, as ever." Jonathan

"The point of disagreement was regarding the DFL and their desire to use Laws to control personal freedoms. Paul and Jason denied this reality. I argue that they belong in the lower portion of the diagram along with the GOP.

If you want me to list how the GOP wants to use Laws to control personal freedoms. Here you go...
- Force women to carry embryo / fetus to birth.
- Deny people the right to physician assisted suicide.
- Deny people to marry a person of the same sex.
- Deny people the right to clean water and air.

As for things that both sometimes support...
- Deny people to be legal prostitutes, strippers, etc
- Deny people access to certain drugs
- Deny people the freedom to gamble
- Excessive taxes to disuade people from smoking/drinking

Now have I shown that I can see both sides?" G2A
Now what is interesting about this topic is that the far right conservatives say the same thing about Democrats.  It seems that both sides want to complain about Government mandated "Social Engineering" while striving to use it to their party's advantage.  Therefore they believe they belong in the upper half of the diagram or at least in the middle, and for sure not below the center line.  I mean both think they are fighting for freedom, not against it...

Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Who are the Independent Party Supporters?

I joined in on the comments here.  MinnPost Is the Party Over for the Independent Party  It has many people commenting on what the Independent Platform is.  Here is what I think the supporters look like.

"I thought an Independent was just a Fiscally Conservative Democrat or a Socially Liberal Republican, since neither of the parties have room for these folks." G2A

Paul disagrees:

"Yes and No:  The IP party is comprised of republicrats and conservative libertarians, - THAT'S what makes it branch of the republican party rather than a truly "independent" party. In some ways it's an even narrower dogma than either of the major parties.
Meanwhile the democrats have "room" for Colin Peterson while the republicans have no "room" for Arne Carlson. The size of the democratic "tent" is part of their problem, it's rather like herding cats on occasion. The increasingly exclusive membership of the republican party, and the republican nature of the IP, has become it's downfall. The IP and the republicans represent two faces of the same dogma. I don't think even Arne Carlson "fits" in the IP because he may fail the fiscal conservative test.
We've seen so-called "conservatives" make this mistake before, they decide they're a "majority" of some kind, i.e. "moral" or "silent" majorities only to find out that the population is more liberal than they realized, and getting more liberal as time goes by. The IP thought that they were appealing to a majority, they're simply wrong, the more people get a look at the IP the more disinterested they are." Paul

I like how this Nolan Diagram depicts it.  I assume many more people would vote Independent if they could explain this better, standardize their platform and have a chance of winning...

Thoughts?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

MN Elections: What Matters

I just left a somewhat cynical comment over at MinnPost McFadden and Franken

It went something like this.  Is it worth spending any time talking about who will be the most effective politician if elected?

I mean Franken and many other DFL candidates want to make taxes very progressive on people and companies that are financially successful, and they want to give that money to people who are not financially successful whether those people make responsible decisions, work hard, etc or not.

So people who support somewhat arbitrary government mandated wealth transfer will vote DFL and those against it will vote GOP as usual.  With this in mind...
  • Who are the undecideds?
  • What percent of citizens do you think are in this group?
  • What do you think will sway them?
I am guessing less than 20% are in that moderate undecideds group...

MinnPost Mills
MinnPost Gov Debates

Thursday, September 11, 2014

281 Care and Right to Lie in Politics

Hey 281 Care made the news and I think it says they made their point, as convoluted as it is... 

MinnPost The Right to Lie

Numbers Guy, Thoughts?

Others, Thoughts?

This particular referendum is what drew me into Blogging...
G2A CARE 281 Letter
G2A CARE 281 at It Again 1
G2A CARE 281 at It Again 2
G2A Referendum Passes

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Koch Brothers: Heroes or Villains

I thought this was a fascinating video clip.
CNN Democrats Favorite Bogeymen

Personally, unless they are trying to rule us through generosity...  I vote heroes...

Thoughts?

Here are some more links:
Those Evil Koch Brothers
Wiki Koch Brothers
Koch Brothers Exposed
Forbes Inside the Koch Empire

Monday, September 8, 2014

Who is Being Pre-Judiced?

I questioned the folks crying racism and bashing the cops/city at MinnPost. MinnPost Skyway Arrest Video Of course you can guess the comments that generated.  To which I responded with.
"I guess I have never seen what this gentleman looked like, sounded like or smelled like at that moment. The commenters here want to jump to the conclusion that these officers were raving racists out to harass the Black citizen.

What if... They were just good cops who could tell that something was off with the gentleman. Check out the book "Blink".

I find it interesting that this group of commentors dislikes people who are prejudice, yet they have no problem judging the police officers from a poor quality video clip.

I acknowledge that they may or may not have profiled, but I sure don't know for sure one way or another. You must see more here than I do. Or you think you do." G2A
An interesting point I had not heard before was that this victim did have marijuana on him when he was arrested.  Video  More interesting is that it does not look like he was charged with possession.


Washington Times St Paul Man
Fox Dad to File Lawsuit

Thoughts?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Give How Much, To Do The Right Thing?

I am finding it interesting in this discussion thread that people who have very strong opinions regarding what tax rate is FAIR...  Have very little willingness to express what level of charitable giving should be expected of us American citizens.  MinnPost GOP Values

Brag vs Facts vs Motivate:

Often folks here state their inaccurate belief that Conservatives are selfish, greedy, money oriented, not compassionate, etc. And there are some that are, just like there are Liberals who do not give to charity or volunteer. My point in sharing is not to brag, since that would make no sense since I have not attained my personal goal.

My point in sharing is to help the readers understand how one can be generous and compassionate, while not believing in government mandated wealth transfer. Which seems to be a very foreign concept around here.

Also, I am hoping that some readers would accept my challenge to set a personal charitable giving target and pro-actively work towards attaining it. This can be through giving money or time. And for you single folks out there, I had a very Conservative friend who volunteered through a singles organization.

Remember: the more you give, the more you attain... " G2A 
 
"The more you give, the more you attain:

I don't give with the idea of attaining anything, whether it's tax deductions, bragging rights, or personal goals. By the same token, I cannot abide the currently fashionable term "giving back."

There are things we should do because they are the right things to do." RB
 

"Win Win

Do you have something against being healthier, happier, more fulfilled, more socially connected, etc?   PS Mag Be Happier, Spend on Others

So how much should a person give or volunteer to do the right thing?
Us silly Christians picked ~10% as an ideal amount, what do the non-religious think is the "right" amount?

Can't abide.  Isn't "giving back" the liberal mantra in justifying "tax the rich"?

Your comment is interesting with that in mind." G2A
So with this in mind:
  • what do you think people should give or do for charity and others to be doing the "right" thing?
  • have you set goals for yourself?
  • do you monitor and work to improve your performance?
  • does giving and helping others make you feel better?
  • other?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Could You Personally Stop a Beating Heart?

The comments here took kind of a weird bounce and it gave me even a stranger thought that could not get by their Moderator.  MinnPost GOP Priorities
"Better Opportunities for Children"

In the same paragraph as you seem to be supporting better opportunities for children, you support abortion rights so as not to "obliterate the legal concept of privacy". Let's pause for a moment and consider those two ideas together. A moment wasn't long enough.

How about giving a child a chance to live, how is that for an opportunity?" Steve

"You consider Paul's comment inconsistent because you believe a fetus is the same thing as a child.

But for someone who does not believe a fetus is the same thing as a child, there is no inconsistency whatsoever.

It is unlikely that repeating this clarification will change your beliefs in any way, but it is still worth repeating it." Pat

 "Pat, Roe v Wade acknowledges that a fetus is a person once viability is attained.

"The Court later rejected Roe's trimester framework, while affirming Roe's central holding that a person has a right to abortion until viability.[1] The Roe decision defined "viable" as being "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid", adding that viability "is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade

Now I know you pro-abortion folks like to say a fetus is not a "human", therefore lessening the tragedy of what is occurring... (ie dehumanize it) But here is something that should probably concern you. With improvements in medical technology, I am guessing the number of weeks to viability will continue to drop. That should make for some interesting court cases." G2A
Now my strange unacceptable comment went something like this...
"Being raised a farm boy, I am comfortable with hunting, killing and cutting up various animals. I am comfortable falling in a feed lot and cleaning up terrible messes. (ie sometimes it gets slippery) I am even ok with killing a sick family pet to put it out of its misery. However, I simply could not with my own hands discontinue the life of a 12+ week or older fetus.

Pat's comment made me wonder. Would folks who consider a 12+ week old fetus "inhuman" be willing to personally squeeze that little body until it's heart stopped beating? I mean if it is truly no different than some cancer cells or a mole, then it shouldn't be a problem.  If they did personally stop that heart, would their conscience plague them?" G2A
So what do you think, do these folks truly see the 12+ week old fetus as similar to a tumor?  Or is their dehumanizing it actually their way to protect themselves from the consequences of the action that is occurring?  And the freedoms they are defending?"

Thoughts?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Education: Apples and Oranges

I thought this was a wonderfully pragmatic look at the topic.

Education: Apples and Oranges

Though I don't think the Teacher's Unions or some others will like all the comments.

Thoughts?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Corporate Tax Inversions and Consumer Behavior

Jonathan asked me if I support "Corporate Tax Inversions" over at this MinnPost article.  The following discussion ensued.

"Post Idea: 
I will need to think more about it. My initial questions are:
  • Are people who buy Hyundai's unpatriotic and selfish since they spend their money outside the country?
  • Are people who shop online to escape MN sales tax unpatriotic and selfish?
  • Are people who open enroll or move to a "better" school district not community minded and selfish because they desert their old community that could really use their help?
  • Can companies be sued by stockholders for spending more money than they have to?
  • Why aren't America's business taxes competitive with Canada, Ireland, Scotland, etc? They aren't moving to Somalia..." G2A
 "Here is my opinion:
  • my Honda was made in the US and my Suburban in Canada -it's a bit more complicated than it seems
  • I shop on line not to escape taxes but because there is a larger selection of what I am looking for and I hate shopping. Although I do have to say many of my ABE book purchases were published in England originally
  • no they aren't because they are just choosing how to invest in human capital
  • boy I wish they could
  • I have no clue but I will look" Jody
"More than Assembly:
 
  • Cars have many aspects to "American Content" and some Honda models are very high in domestic content. http://kogodnow.com/autoindex/
  • You are like me, however many folks go to Best Buy to test drive the product. And then they go on line to get a better deal and avoid state taxes. What do you think of that behavior? I figure if I am in a MN store using their inventory and personnel, I will happily pay a bit more.
  • My daughters attend Robbinsdale schools which are good but a bit rough at times. Many people move to or open enroll in Wayzara, Orono, Osseo(Maple Grove side), Privates, etc. The fact is that every "active academically focused well to do family" that leaves the community means fewer volunteers, fewer role good role model students, fewer funds, less money, etc. They are doing what they doing what they think is best for their child, but they are deserting a community where their presence was beneficial. When one family runs it isn't a problem, when thousands of families run it is a big problem.
  • I hope not, every company would need to move as necessary to maximize profits. Or face law suits. Us investors like it when companies make profits and increase our retirement funds.
  • I think you will find that these countries understand that attracting growing companies creates jobs.. And lower business taxes attract companies. And those employed citizens then pay more in taxes than what was lost." G2A
 "I presume the answer is a 'yes' then? None of the questions you asked were about Corporate Tax Inversion strategies, but they seemed to be attempting to be leading towards a "well, if liberals who buy hyundais can send their money oversees, so can corporations" argument." Jonathan
 
"My answer is Maybe:
 
What are your thoughts?  Do you think poor and middle class citizens can act in their personal self interest and it is okay, however when companies or well to do people do it is betraying their community and country?" G2A
Now if you are unsure what a corporate inversion is, here are some links.
Forbes Medtronic Inversion
NYT Dealbook Taxes Due
CA Corp Inversions
Bloomberg: US Tax Holiday
CBPP Tax Holiday
WP Burger King
Heritage Repatriating Funds (Tax Holiday)
Telegraph Taxes too high
Forbes Are Taxes too High
Bloomberg Canadian Taxes

I think I'll need your help to push me off center on this one.  If the US business taxes are not competitive, my stockholder /"competition is good" side says get moving.  Yet the side of me that makes me fight for my school district and buy high content American products when possible finds the behavior disturbing.

Thoughts?


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Police Get Cool Toys

I think I found another topic where the far Left and far Right meet.  Unfortunately my comments wasn't acceptable, so here we go again.  MinnPost Homeland Militarization

The commenters there seem to be nearly unanimously against letting our police department arm themselves with the cool toys and practice using them.  They seem to fear that the Police are going to declare martial law at any minute.

I actually know a guy who puts plastic over his windows in fear of someone listening in.  And that is what their comments remind me of.  The irony of course is that these are the same folks who want all of our citizens to register their more powerful weapons or sell them off.  Of course, those most likely to have the most exciting weapons are people who fear a government take over. Just like these Liberals seem to.

The Hill: Obama Orders Review
NYT War Gear

While we are at it, what do you think of the Ferguson situation?  Personally, I am curious to hear what Michael's toxicology report shows.

CNN Ferguson: What is Next
AT: Beatification of Michael Brown
NBC: Brown Robbery Video
TP: Brown Video

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Christian Values Maligned ?

 I am not sure this was a good title...
MinnPost Fall from Grace, How Christian Values Became Non-issue in MN Elections

Here were my first comments...
"Of course, religious values will continue to be important in all elections. Just one issue is quiet this time.

Here is an interesting take on this.
http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/cherry/080128

I also found this comment humorous.

"it doesn't make a lot of sense to vote for candidates who are promising to use the power of government to enforce Christian or any other religious values"

What exactly are the "Liberal Rob from the Rich to Give to the Poor" values? The passion with which it is pursued seems nearly religious in its fervor."  G2A
Thoughts?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Freedom as Defined by Liberals

 I have run into moderation issues over there again, so I'll expand over here.
"Reagan Tax Cuts: We've seen a lot of comments about the Reagan tax cuts but one thing that's been overlooked is the over-all tax increases that resulted. The Fed rate bounced around but much of that revenue demand just got pushed out to state and local governments. We saw the same thing with the Pawlenty cuts where property taxes and local fees increased in response to ALG cuts. In the 80s the same thing happened on a national level when the Fed cut tax rates. This is why the cost of government never really goes down with these magic tax cuts, in fact it actually went up in many cases. Republicans like to pretend that they get more efficiency with tax cuts but all they really do is cut services, then someone else picks up the tab, they don't really reduce over-all cost.

It's really just math. If you have 50,000 people in your city, and your getting $1 million in state aid, that money is costing you 25 cents (1 million divided by 4 million people in the state). If you eliminate that state aid and have to raise a million in your city it will cost you $40. The state can brag that they've cut $1 million from the budget but that budget cut cost you $39.75. This is the problem with magic tax cuts. Depending on what level of government services get cut, they can end up increasing the cost of government for individuals." Paul

"Local is Better: Thank heavens for National and State spending cuts, when and if they actually occur. The closer the collect and spend decisions are to the citizen / tax payer, the better it is for all of us.

Now I agree that national defense, inter state rules/commerce, post office, etc belong at the national level. And I can even agree that SS/Medicare belong there since the benefits are delayed and a citizens often cross state lines.

However the idea that the Feds are involved in welfare, medicaid, etc is just wasteful. It seems to indicate that states are not capable of deciding how to best help their friends, neighbors, fellow citizens, etc." G2A

"Your third paragraph is absolutely correct: A number of states have decided NOT to help their fellow citizens (I assume they don't regard all citizens as their friends).

And of course Federal agencies such as the VA and Medicaid are far more efficient than most state agencies, so I don't see where the waste is in having the Federal government provide for "the general welfare". That's what the Constitution says it should do." Paul

"Wasteful?: Hardly. As it's been pointed out to you numerous times here, the Feds involvement in welfare, medicaid and other safety nets is crucial in maintaining continuity for those seeking help. Republican majority houses at the state level have already proven that they have virtually no capacity for empathy and no interest in helping anyone they deem unfit or unworthy. It would be tragic to those seeking help if people like you were making those types of decisions." Jason
"Jason and Paul, Per your comments, apparently you believe Minnesotans know "how to help" people that are thousands of miles away better than those citizens that live in that community?" G2A
Now Liberals continually say that they support freedom of choice.  Freedom to marry who one wants.  Freedom to abort a fetus. Freedom to form an employee union and blockade an employer until they meet terms. Freedom to work where your beliefs are not appreciated. And all other kinds of social freedoms.  And I am fine with most of these.

Yet Liberals apparently believe in denying the citizens of a state the simple freedom to choose how they care for their friends, neighbors and country persons.  Apparently the Liberals know how to help the poor folks in other states better than the residents do.  Or at least according to Paul and Jason.

Thoughts?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Problem with Keynesian Theory in Practice

Laurie knows me so well after these years of discussion, she knew I could not pass on 
MinnPost 3 Economic Stats.

Eric Posted a comment that I found interesting:
"The deficit was not the problem. The problem with focusing on the deficit it implies the deficit was a problem. It wasn't and isn't. The deficit is a symptom. Our problem was a recession, a financial crisis, a stimulus that was too small and too much directed to tax cuts, and then years of austerity when we needed the opposite. There's no reason at all the recovery needed to take this long. We learned hard lessons during the Great Depression, and then when it happened again, we ignored everything we learned. I guess the overwhelming evidence of history just didn't feel right."
So I replied with:
"Turn off the tap. I always liked this explanation. And "austerity", you must be kidding. Read the link.
Factcheck Obamas Spending Inferno or Not

And I can even understand turning up government spending temporarily while in the recession. The problem is that Democrats seem to always see that higher level as the new baseline, so they call any efforts to get back to a normal rate of expenditure a draconian heartless cut by the GOP. When those increases were to be temporary in the first place.

Remember all the gnashing of teeth when the GOP held firm on not increasing spending after the worst of the recession was over.

And if Obama was a real deficit hawk he would have pushed for un doing all of those "terrible Bush tax cuts". Instead he just stuck it to the well to do. That is one way in which I disagree with Conservatives. If higher taxes were good for them, we probably all should have gone back to those Clinton rates and eliminated the deficit."
As I said, I can imagine a situation where the government increases it's spending during times where the Private economy is slow. Preferably the Government would be carrying very little debt before the event, therefore it could borrow instead of raising taxes to increase Public spending through the recession. Then when the Private sector was booming again the Public sector would reduce it's spending and use the extra revenues to pay back the debt in preparation for the next recession.

The problem with this ideal situation is that Liberals always see the highest level of Public spending as the new bench mark. And any attempt to go back to the normal spending levels is called a cut. I mean Bush and Obama increased spending by a huge amount in response to the recession as they should, however now that it is time to go to back to normal spending, people are resistant.

And then in MN when the GOP did borrow when revenues were low, the Liberals thought it was absolutely terrible to make the departments and districts do this, even though they legally could.  They called it short term budget solutions, like that was a bad thing.

The recession was a short term situation to be survived.

So what did the DFL do when they got control, they jacked up taxes even though the state was pretty much out of the recession.  Thereby generating way more tax revenue than was required.  Which they promptly used to set a new all time high bench mark for MN government spending.

I may actually become a Keynesian if citizens actually came to understand that government budgets can go down as well as up without the world coming to an end.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Options in Iraq

Here is a pragmatic view from some ladies who were CIA Analysts.
CNN Options in Iraq

It reminds me of the old saying... "You can lead a horse to water, but you can not make it drink."  Or another similar concept... "You can give trillions of dollars and a free education to unambitious Americans, but you can not make them learn, strive or succeed."

Thoughts?