The Truth About Minimum Wage

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Republicans, both nationalists and conservatives, have been crowing about the recent failure of the minimum wage increase in Seattle. While it is always nice for our world view to be validated I feel this article is necessary so that we will not be misunderstood. After all Democrats are always eager to paint conservatives as the tools of big business even while they passed Dodd-Frank which concentrated 43% of the banking industry in 4 banks and Obamacare which doubled the profits of the insurance industry at the cost of rising premiums and deductibles for the middle class. Republicans, like everyone else, do want wages to go up. We just believe that raising the minimum wage particularly the federal minimum wage is the wrong way to go about it.

Democrats

Before I give our view I will debunk the points made by Democrats first. Whenever any policies are discussed the left will always bring up Denmark, Norway, and Sweden as their perfect utopias. Ask them point-blank if these countries have a federal minimum wage. As small as these countries are they have realized that a nationwide minimum wage might be apt for one location but would not work for another. In the context of the US a federal minimum wage designed for New York would price rural businesses out of the market but a minimum designed for rural areas would not be livable in New York. This is why these countries have minimum wage negotiated per industry instead of for the entire country.

Arbitrarily raising the minimum wage does not work either. A variant of that was tried in Venezuela in Petroleos de Venezuela, their national oil company. You may recall that just prior to their crisis they were also hailed as a model socialist country that the US should follow. Venezuela eventually nationalized the oil company. When they did they hired more people and increased their wages. The problem was they did not produce more oil nor did they sell it at a higher price. You just had more people doing the same amount of work at higher wages. This was not a problem while oil prices were high. When they bottomed out this became part of the reason we see the chaos we do in Venezuela today. Incidentally this is also why Trump is dangerous to Putin. More production by the US of oil and natural gas could cause a glut in the market which would cause worldwide prices to drop and ruin the Russian economy.

Republicans

As Republicans we do believe in the free market. Even nationalists believe in a free market just one bound within the nation. Labor like anything else is a commodity and follows the rules of supply and demand. When the supply of available labor is high then the price is low. In addition when the demand for available labor is high then the price for labor will increase as well.

We believe that instead of setting random numbers as the minimum wage the government should instead set policies that will help lower supply of labor and increase demand for it. This way the change to wages will be organic and something the companies themselves would have to do in order to get the best of the available labor. We think this will be safer as in leaner times companies will not be forced out or forced into bankruptcy by wage levels it can no longer afford.

On a related note this is why the people don’t believe the Democrats and media when they tell them we are at full employment. If we are at full employment wages are supposed to go up but they are stagnant. The Trump administration is doing things that we believe are necessary to change this. The best example is addressing illegal immigration. The slave labor provided by illegals and those provided by those with work visas such as H1-b increase the amount of labor in the pool. With more labor available potential employees have less power to bargain for higher wages. Removing regulations and providing tax reform also increases the amount of businesses in the US increasing the demand for labor therefore making each individual worker more negotiating power.

To sum everything up Democrats believe in legislating wage increases no matter what conditions on the ground dictate while Republicans believe in creating conditions necessary for the wages to increase.

 

Republicans V Democrats: The Difference

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One of the most interesting things to see is the difference between the reactions of Democrats and Republicans to Trump and Obama. The reaction shows why one side has been successful, managing to reduce the Democrats to their lowest level of power since the 1920s, and the other side has been flailing.

Republicans

The republican reaction can be exemplified with the famous quote of Mitch McConnell. He said he would make sure that Obama would be a one term president. Liberals and Democrats hated that but in reality Republicans are supposed to help other Republicans win. This is doubly true for the majority leader who is supposed to increase the size of his coalition.

By acknowledging that Obama would be a one term president Republicans acknowledged their loss and prepared for the next election. They did an autopsy to find out what was wrong and attempted to win enough other races in other levels to increase the size of their coalitions. Please note that the autopsy was dumb and came to all the wrong conclusions but at the very least the attempt was made. A defeat for the Republicans would have been the Democrats winning the elections 4 and 8 years after Obama was elected.

There was a small faction of Republicans, which Trump was part of, which did not accept the loss and tried to have Obama removed before his time with the birther issue. The fact is they were a small faction without any political power. The ones who were actually planning the strategy of the party had accepted the loss.

Democrats

Democrats have still not accepted their loss to Trump. Having been told their whole lives that demographics is destiny and that Republicans would never win again without cheating they have not been able to emotionally process losing to President Trump. This prevents them from looking at the events of 2016 objectively and creating an autopsy like the Republicans did. Since they have not accepted the loss they focus on short term objectives like removing Trump from power as opposed to long term ones like restoring their party to power.

We are not talking about a small faction like the birthers in the Republican party but rather the entire party. This means that all political strategy only looks at short term effects. Every scandal has to be played up as the one that will finally impeach Trump exhausting the populace and the credibility of the media. A loss for Democrats is if Trump makes it to the next election as the President. The danger is that by next election the Democrats would have exhausted their outrage machine by so much that no one will listen to them.

One side uses cold calculation and logic while the other uses mass hysterics and we can see the results.

4th of July: The Hypocrisy of Hate

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Another year and another celebration of Independence day. My peeve about this day is that it is the day liberals come out of the woodwork to complain about all the “terrible” things America has done in the past. I put the word terrible in quotation marks because it is precisely these actions which allow Americans to enjoy the standard of living they do now.

Liberals hold America to an impossible standard. Particularly when you consider the actions of other countries in that time period. If you were to actually follow the rules prescribed by those who complain about the actions of America in the past the country would have never become anything more than a minor power and would have most likely failed completely. For this article I will take a look at the two major complaints that normally come up. That of slavery and the various wars of aggression the US has engaged in.

Wars

When the subject of wars come up the first thing that gets brought up is the American Indian war and the Mexican American war. This is the best place to see the impact of these policies liberals condemn America for as the America we know today would literally not exist without them. The first thing we need to realize is that the Indian nations, Mexico, and the early form of America made up of the initial colonies were distinct countries. Each with their own diplomacy, interests, economy, and people. The Indians and Mexicans were not Americans. The Indians just happened to live in the same continent.

Without these wars of expansion America would have never extended beyond the original colonies. The rest of the continent would not have remained vacant. A combination of Mexican, Indian, or Canadian interests would have taken over. Instead of one great nation spanning from sea to shining sea we would have 3 to 4 nations of equal strength throughout the continent. When we look at the history of Europe and Africa I can think of no greater evil to inflict on North America than this. The entire reason the continent has been stable and escaped the damage of the world wars is because of the relative strength of the US as compared to its neighbors.

Slavery

What would this discussion be without slavery? Everyone is against it and acknowledges how horrible it was. The truth is America would not have the economic power it now does if we did not go through a period of slavery. At the end of the Revolutionary War the US was bankrupt. It had no money to pay its soldiers and most of its economy consisted of subsistence farming. The government even had to pay some soldiers with land grants because it had no money.

Without slavery there would be no cotton or other cash crops. Other countries in this time period used slave labor or some form of its equivalent with their colonies so US agricultural products would not have been competitive in other markets. Without this capital the US would have a difficult time setting up other industries. In fact it would be very likely that the country would never have developed out of subsistence farming and would have been the equivalent of yet another third world country.

Think of all the good America has done for the world. Take a look at World War 1 and World War 2 for example. Without American intervention how much longer would those have lasted? Would the allies even have won? An America that did not go thru a period of slavery and expansionism would not have had the men or materiel to send over. The most likely outcome is that it would have had its own fight with the other nations in the continent.

America is America warts and all. If you are a liberal and want an America that can take the lead in Climate Change, rescuing refugees, forcing people to acknowledge there are 30 million genders, or whatever other cause you are fighting for then it would have to be an America that went thru slavery, imperialism, and all other things that you hate. The moralist America that you preach, that never existed, would never have made it out of infancy.

 

Trump is Russia’s Worst Nightmare

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With the Trump-Russia narrative dying a well deserved death it is time to acknowledge reality. Despite rhetoric that is friendly to Russia, mainly because Trump is attempting to use Russia as a counterbalance to China which he views as the real threat, the policies Trump implements are actually very harmful to Russia. There really is no comparison to the previous administration where Russia and its allies were allowed to get away with murder.

Energy

The Russian economy is dependent on oil and natural gas. If the prices for these are high then Russia does better and if its low then they do worse. By encouraging American companies to drill for oil and produce natural gas President Trump increases the supply of these products in the market. The more supply of something the lower its price weakening the Russian economy.

Middle East

There are two main factions in the Middle East. The Sunni camp headed by Saudi Arabia and the Shia camp headed by Iran. Since there are always fewer Shia states than Sunni states the Sunni states that want to replace Saudi Arabia or break away from their group tend to side with the Shia as well. Historically the Sunni bloc has sided with the US while the Shia block has sided with Russia.

President Trump has given the Saudis leeway to use any and all methods to go after Iran which is why we are seeing the diplomatic situation in Qatar. Qatar and Iran share the worlds largest natural gas field which the Iranian economy is dependent upon. The Saudis and the other Sunni nations in the region have blockaded them in an effort to end that relationship crippling Iran’s economy and invalidating Russia’s principal ally in the region.

Please note that with the Iran deal Obama actually strengthened Iran and by extension Russia in the region.

NATO

Most left leaning analysts would insist that Trump has weakened Europe and Nato against Russia. These analysts refuse to acknowledge one thing that most American citizens, whether Democrats or Republicans, know. The US does not have the willpower to fight another war. Make no mistake it has the technical capability to do so. The fact is 15 years of unending war in the Middle East have driven war exhaustion so high that the public will not support any future wars. Even if we pull out from the Middle East completely tomorrow it would still take some time for public sentiment to recover.

This is not lost on Putin and other world leaders. This is why he was confident he would face no military retaliation when he went after Crimea. By forcing the European countries to rearm themselves President Trump is creating a Europe which can defend itself against Russian aggression even without US support. Even with the example of Crimea Europe refuses to prepare for this and have to be forced to do so. A strong Europe is the best deterrent against Russia.

The Trump-Russia narrative is not only fake news it does not make logical sense as Trump is weakening Russia with every move.

On Leadership: Trump and Obama

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There has been a lot of comparisons on the leadership capabilities of President Trump and Obama. Before the presidency it was hard to draw a comparison between the two as they are from different worlds. I waited for a while before commenting on the subject as I was waiting for a good area to draw some examples from. The middle east presents a good opportunity for this as both parties were able to implement their strategies relatively free from partisan interference.

Active and Passive

One of the hallmarks of leadership is that they would like the initiative to remain with their team. This allows them to control the situation and gives them the opportunity to act for their benefit.

Obama is actually terrible in this regard. His main solution to the problems of the middle east is the Iran deal. It essentially gave Iran a huge amount of money and allowed them to resume their nuclear tests in exchange for regular inspections. In addition to the nuclear issue it was supposed to build better relations with Iran and normalize their standing with the international community. This deal gave all the initiative to Iran as all the benefits, the cash and recognition, was given to them up front. It is them dependent upon their goodwill to continue the terms of the agreement in the future.

Trump is the polar opposite. He gave the initiative to our allies in the region. Saudi Arabia and our other allies were given free reign to deal with the threat of Iran in the region with our support. All barriers were removed to give them more options to deal with the threat. Whatever happens in the region will depend on the US and its allies as opposed to Iran.

Permanent and Temporary

A leader would seek for permanent solutions to problems instead of temporary band aids.

In this regard Obama fails as well. The Iran deal empowered Iran at the cost of our allies in the middle east. There is a delicate balance of power in the middle east which have endeavored to stack in favor of our allies. Moving this balance the other way causes more problems in the future as both sides fight longer. In effect the Iran deal is a tribute to keep Iran quiet until the end of Obama’s term requiring his successor to deal with it.

The solution proposed by President Trump has the potential to solve the problem for good. By giving the Saudis carte blanche to deal with the shia muslims they have the potential of breaking the power of Iran for good. We already see initial moves in this game with the diplomatic isolation of Qatar. For all intents and purposes Qatar is the lifeline of Iran and the most friendly Sunni state to it as it shares the worlds largest natural gas field. Forcing Qatar to remove this cooperation would cripple Iran’s economy.

Good leaders work to get things done themselves and thru their allies and solve problems permanently. Trump is a good leader. Obama is not.

 

The Truth About Gun Violence

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Democrats are quick to link anything they possibly can to gun control. They argue that since Republicans are hesitant to pass laws limiting the second amendment rights of citizens they are responsible for these killings as well. As usual since the Trump administration and mainstream Republican sources are unwilling or unable to offer up a counter argument to this accusation so it falls to independent bloggers like me to do so. Once I am done you will find it is actually the Republicans doing more to stop gun violence than Democrats. In essence what I will show that it is immigration from the developing countries into developed ones that cause most of the violence not any gun control laws that a country may or may not have.

Developed Countries

Do you ever notice that when liberals give stats about gun violence it is always a comparison between the US and other developed countries. I admit this does make sense. Developed countries have different cultures, laws, and habits than developing countries. The reason that I even bring this up is to point out that it is not racist to think like this. Even liberals acknowledge it when they refuse to compare the US to developing nations in the same continent.

Immigration

When presented with the list of countries which the US is compared to pay attention to the ones with the highest rate of gun violence and the lowest. The nations with the lowest rates like Japan or Australia have draconian immigration policies to keep unwanted immigrants out. Australia even goes the extra mile of isolating illegal immigrants in a special island. They also have the added benefit of being island nations surrounded by water which form another natural barrier. Other countries that have relatively low rate are separated from developing countries by other nations like Poland or Hungary which have put up literal walls to control unwanted immigration. The countries with the highest rates like Greece or Italy are on the front lines of the migration crisis but even they have the Mediterranean Sea providing a natural barrier.

America is in a unique situation where it directly shares a sizable land border with a developing nation. To make matters worse that developing nation shares borders with a whole host of others each clamoring to get in. To further entice the people America offers something other developed countries don’t. Birthright Citizenship.

Statistics

It is of course important to provide facts to back up my statements. These are all stats from 2013 as this was the only year I could find comparative stats.

In that year the US had 3.55 death per 100,000 people. Mexico had a rate of 12.55 deaths. Columbia had 35.08 and Venezuela had 32.66. El Salvador had a rate of 52.39. The other countries are somewhere in the middle.

The Truth

There is nothing wrong with gun control laws but it is not the solution to our problem. What is worse is it asks people to give up constitutional rights for no reason at all setting precedent that we can legislate away rights when we want to. To the credit of Republicans they have seen the unique geographical disadvantages of the United States and are working to secure the border solving the problem without requiring people to give up constitutional rights.

 

 

Dodd-Frank is a Failure

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The other day I wrote an article explaining why we needed to repeal Dodd-Frank and showing why the Financial Choice Act was better. Today I want to focus more on why Dodd-Frank has been such a colossal failure. One of the most exasperating thing about Dodd-Frank is how effectively the democrats and their media allies have brainwashed the public into thinking that Dodd-Frank is effective.

If you support Dodd-Frank there are certain things you likely believe. The financial crash was caused by giant banks controlling too much of the banking industry so that when they took certain risks and failed they risked taking down the entire economy with them. You also believe that giant banks should be given less power and that a healthy banking industry involves more banks, not less, to foster more competition. Of course you also believe that Dodd-Frank has been successful in producing these results.

Here are some facts regarding the banking industry before and after Dodd-Frank. I will leave it to the reader to decide whether or not it has been successful.

  • Before Dodd-Frank there was an average of 170 new banks a year. In the seven years since Dodd-Frank was implemented 3 new banks have opened
  • Before Dodd-Frank 4 banks controlled 13% of the banking industry. After Dodd -Frank these same 4 companies controlled 43%
  • In case you missed the last bullet after Dodd-Frank 4 companies control NEARLY HALF THE BANKING INDUSTRY
  • After Dodd-Frank NEARLY HALF THE BANKING INDUSTRY IS CONTROLLED BY 4 BANKS
  • As of 2015 Bank of America controlled the same percentage of the Banking industry as all small banks combined
  • Since Dodd-Frank 25% of all local banks have closed
  • Of that 25% a quarter have been total failures requiring the FDIC to come in and make sure depositors got their money
  • Before Dodd-Frank 75% of Banks offered free checking. After Dodd-Frank 39% did. This is a direct result of less competition
  • Before Dodd-Frank there were 14000 banks in America. As of 2014 there were 6900. This number is decreasing every year

Were you concerned about banks being too big to fail before? Has Dodd Frank made this better or worse?

The Truth about FAA Privatization

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President Trump has lent his support to efforts to privatize the air traffic control functions of the FAA and predictably the Democrats are setting their hair on fire. Every possible reason has been brought up from worse services to increased costs on consumers due to fees being passed on. Senator Schumer even stated that the airline companies could raise taxes on their consumers which normally only the government can do.

Service

The truth is this bill shifts the burden of paying for air traffic control from the taxpayers to the airlines and may even lower costs as well for consumers. The function would fall onto a non-profit company who would then be funded by fees from the airlines themselves as opposed to funds from the budget which of course comes from taxes. The same exact employees who are handling the job now would be handling the job in the non profit organization, which is why some unions who work with air traffic control are ok with this when they are normally against privatization. The same exact equipment used now would still be used then. We get the same service but we get the program of the government books.

There is also an argument being made that it would be easier as a non-profit to upgrade your equipment than it is as a government entity and anyone who has dealt with the government before on a business capacity would agree with this.

Fees

When a consumer hears about fees they assume that the company that the fee targets will automatically pass it on to them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Let me show you examples from two industries. First lets take a look at telcos. All the companies you love to hate. ATT, Comcast, Verizon, etc. The moment you charge any of them fees they will automatically pass it on to consumers without question. Do you notice the similarities between these companies? They are all effective monopolies with no incentive to try to retain customer loyalty. After all if you do not like your Comcast you have nowhere else to go. Now let us take a look at another industry: credit cards. Most major credit cards are available in all major cities so they effectively compete with each other all the time. In this environment a company like Capital One offers no foreign transaction fees. Does that mean that the underlying legislation somehow exempts one company from paying fees while requiring the rest of the industry to? After all they are not passing it on to the consumer. Or is it more likely that Capital One is absorbing the costs to offer an advantage to customers that its competitors don’t?

At this point even the most ardent liberals have to admit that companies do not automatically pass fees onto consumers. The determining factor is competition. If the companies have competitors then they sometimes absorb the fees to be more attractive to consumers and if they don’t have competitors then they pass everything on.

We finally get to the airline industry. We have to determine which one of these models best fits it. When you fly along a major route do you have the choice of one airline or multiple ones? Do you see budget airlines pop up like mushrooms who then to proceed to cut everything they can cut in an effort to undercut their competition? Do you see apps get designed for the sole purpose of making sure you get airline tickets at the lowest price possible? Airlines are already doing everything they can to undercut each other. Any fees charged will be just another thing they use in this battle.

This issue is admittedly a small one if we look at the size of the budget and economy. It does go a long way in showing the blind partisanship of democrats that they would be against something that would both lower the cost to the government and to the consumer just because it came from President Trump.

The Misguided Climate Alliance

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In response to President Trump pulling out of the Paris treaty several states and cities have set up a Climate alliance. They have announced that they would abide by the targets the US set in the Paris climate treaty. States and cities absolutely have the right to set whatever rules and regulations they like within their borders. If they want to set something higher or lower than the Paris treaty they definitely can. This proves more than anything else that you do not need to be part of the Paris treaty to do your part to preserve the environment.

The issue is these states and cities fundamentally misunderstand the Paris agreement. There are only very few countries who are in the treaty for the environment. Most countries in the treaty are in it for the cash or “development funds” promised to them by the treaty. Whenever the climate alliance speaks they only discuss what targets they will hit. They never discuss how they will fill the gap of funding left by the US. In fact they are always silent on this issue. This is of course by design. Even liberals are not keen on sending billions of dollars overseas to make the treaty work. In 2014 alone OECD estimates that 64 billion out of the 100 billion target was met and distributed. If the Climate Alliance is serious they will make an announcement on how much of this they would shoulder.

China and India

The easiest way to see if a country prioritizes action on climate change is to see their commitment to the Paris treaty. The mainstream media has been non-stop in their praise for China and India and how well they have been keeping to their target. It sounds nice at face value but we have to realize one thing. China and India did not commit to reducing emissions. In fact they committed to increasing them. In a treaty to reduce carbon emissions China and India have committed to increasing theirs. All that they have promised is that instead of increasing their emissions by 100 they will increase it by 60 or 70 instead. Remember that no one actually checks the submissions given by the various nations. None of these documents were challenged. If these countries actually cared about the environment wouldn’t they have submitted targets that actually reduced their emissions?

Other Countries

Let us take a look at other countries. After all maybe only China and India are careless about the environment. Pakistan sent in a document with no targets. All they have is how much money they would need. If they cared about the environment we would be able to see some sort of target instead of a demand for money. North Korea and Malaysia have the same structure as China and India where they only reduce the amount they were going to increase by. Of course they are quick to point out that they will reduce this more if they get more funds from developed countries.

I will not go through the countries one by one but they are all the same. It is not about climate change it is about receiving money from the US. Unless the Climate Alliance acknowledges that they will not save the Paris agreement.

 

The Truth About the Trump Budget

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The Democrats are up in arms about the Trump budget. Cruel, Barbaric, Mean are some of the nicest words they have used to describe it and it just goes downhill from there. As usual the spokespeople of the Trump administration have not been able to defend the budget effectively so it falls upon independent bloggers like me to get the truth out the best I can. On a side note I am convinced Trump would be better served if he outsourced his messaging to independents , 4chan, and reddit. We would do a better job than his current team.

The primary line of attack the democrats are using is that President Trump is cutting 800 billion dollars from Medicaid therefore he is throwing grandma off a cliff. This is not true. The budget actually adds more money to medicaid and other entitlements every year. This is what is actually happening. There is a projection of how many people would be enrolled for Medicaid in the future and that medicaid would need a certain amount of money in the future. If you allocate less than that then the democrats deem it as a cut. If you are on medicaid this year and next this will not affect you.

Philosophy

The philosophy behind the budget plays a major part in the conflict here. When democrats and republicans make a budget they expect that the amount of people seeking entitlements will increase or stay at the same pace that they are now. When Trump and sane republicans make a budget they expect that this budget will help people earn more money and therefore this will reduce the number of people who rely on entitlements or at the very least slows the growth of the enrollees.

The budget is the blueprint of your plan for the economy. It is what you would like the economy to achieve. With the plans they present if the democrats are successful then you would have more people enrolled via welfare than ever. If the Trump plan is succesful then you would have fewer people enrolled for entitlements. Remember the budget is only supposed to be for one year. If it turns out the projections are not working then you can always add more money in the future. In essence the democrats want people mired in poverty and living of entitlements while Trump and sane republicans are taking a risk to lift them out of it.

Debt

At this point in the conversation it is usually the Republicans that cry out. What about the debt? If the plans to remove more people from entitlements fail then the deficit will be higher than ever. This is true, but then so what?

One thing that republicans don’t like to admit is that if Romney had won the debt would still have gone up. It may not have doubled like it did under Obama but it would still have gone up. If you put the most committed deficit hawk in power during the time of Obama the debt would have still gone up. At the end of the day any meaningful attempts to tackle the debt and deficits will have to go through entitlement reform. That is only possible if people are earning enough that they get out of it and are able to look at it objectively. Presiding over 8 years of supposedly massive growth while ordinary people have the same income they did when your massive growth started will not help it. If we have budgets that promote the status quo where we add more and more people to welfare then nothing will change and the problem will get worse. At some point we have to take the risk and try to lift people off poverty so they no longer need entitlements. Only then will they agree to change it.

Stimulus vs Tax Cut

Everyone democrat who was wildly applauding the stimulus by Obama is now staunchly opposed to the tax cuts by President Trump. The tax cuts and stimulus achieve the same thing. They stimulate the economy by making more money available to people. In the stimulus companies were able to stay open and keep paying their employees while others were able to expand and with tax cuts the same results are achieved.

There is one major difference that has to be pointed out. With the stimulus you gave all the benefits up front. Each company was handed a sack of money from the Obama administration. If the companies did not live up to their end of the deal then there was nothing Obama could do. Incidentally this is also the problem a lot of people have with the Iran deal. Tax cuts are different. They are not sacks of money to be handed out but rather promises that we will not take as much of their income in the future. It is implied that we are doing this so they can employ more Americans and offer higher wages. If this does not materialize then we can always remove the tax cuts.

In the past tax cuts were given but America was not a competitive place to invest in. Companies instead invested in India, China, and other countries. In effect our tax cuts funded their growth. To be completely fair with the corporations it is very hard to invest in a place that says on paper it will take 39.1% of your profits when other places say they will only take 15-20% sometimes less. It is time we used tax cuts to fund our growth.

The Trump budget is good enough. Something needs to be done to attempt to lift people up from poverty. If we keep doing what we have done before we will only achieve the same results.