Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

20 November 2014

Does a President Have the Constitutional Authority to Demand that Congress Pass a Bill of His Liking?

Tonight, Obama said he was issuing an Executive Order to change immigration law because Congress had not responded to his demand that it pass a comprehensive immigration bill to his liking.  He is posturing that this is within his constitutional authority.  In fact, he does not care whether he has such authority under the Constitution or not.  He has always regarded the Constitution as an impediment to his agenda, as he made very clear in a radio interview back when he served as a Senator in the Illinois state legislature.  Twice he took the presidential oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution when he was always determined to undermine it.  These were the most colossal of his many lies.

If a president were to have such a constitutional authority to demand bills from Congress that were to his liking, the federal government would be no more than a despotic regime.  There would be no check on the power of the president by the people short of impeachment.  In fact, it is not at all clear that a president with such powers would even feel any need to care whether he was impeached or not by a toothless Congress.  Yes, the People might so threaten rebellion that he would come to pay attention, but short of that, why would he care?  Neither would he care what the rulings of the federal courts might be.  The People would only have recourse by refusing to carry out his Executive Orders.

Obama has already shown dozens and dozens of times that he believes he has the power to unilaterally change laws passed by Congress.  ObamaCare, the PPACA, or more honestly the Patient Subjugation and Unaffordable Care Act, has already been changed unilaterally over and over by the health care insurance and tax Czar, namely Obama.  Obama, the Justice Department, the EPA, the IRS, the National Labor Relations Board, and many other Obama Regime agencies have already ignored court orders and violated numerous laws including the Freedom of Information Act.  He has long ignored his duties under the immigration laws.

Now he is making massive changes in the immigration laws simply because a bill he liked that was passed by a Democrat-controlled Senate was not taken up in a Republican-controlled House of Representatives.  He insists that if it had been taken up in the House, it would have been passed.  Maybe, maybe not. He is not making a similar argument that the 370 or so bills passed by the House and sent to the Senate should have all been acted on by the Senate.  There are problems in the way the parties work the rules of both the House and the Senate due to the majority party leadership having excessive control of each body.  Yet, those houses have control of their rules and it is entirely unwise to give that control to a president, especially one who does not believe in principles and general rules, but instead changes those rules in any way he needs to get what he wants.  Obama has no principles by which he governs his actions, except his single-minded devotion to collectivism and the total control of the individual by a state with a Great Socialist Leader at its head.

I make these comments on what I believe the essential issues are here despite the fact that I want our immigration laws to allow more lawful immigrants, most especially more who are well-educated and who have great skills and ability.  Obama's rule to increase the number of H1B Visas and not to count spouses against the quota is something I would favor, were it voted by Congress.  Unlike Obama and the courts, I believe it is wrong that the children of illegal immigrants who are born in the US are given citizenship.  To compound that wrong with a ruling that all of their parents illegally in the US will be freed of deportation and allowed to apply for citizenship is wrong.  I would allow children born in the US and their parents a path to citizenship, but they would have to prove themselves worthy.  But what I think Congress should do to change the law is just my opinion.  It is Congress' power under the Constitution to either do so, or not to do so.

Of course, this whole matter is one in which Obama has a very vested interest.  Because his father was illegally in the US when he was born, he should not himself have been considered a citizen and should have had to apply for citizenship.  This is especially so because he was abroad so long and became a citizen of Indonesia.  Had Obama applied for citizenship, he could have had his own Social Security number!  His Executive Order is designed to keep many of his citizenship problems from happening for the many illegal immigrants in the USA.

Because of the classical liberal viewpoint that infused the Founding Fathers, the Framers of the Constitution, and most of the nation's leaders until about 1912, the powers of the Executive Office in the federal government were tightly controlled by many checks and balances and by an ideology that tended to make individual freedom and the rights of the individual our highest political values.  Thus, our philosophy of government was guided by principles.  Then the Progressives came along, who had given up moral and political principles as they had adopted a philosophy of Pragmatism. 

Unfortunately, Pragmatism is highly impractical as a philosophy of life.  Without guiding principles for one's actions and one's value choices, excepting the choice of one's own life as one's highest value, it is entirely impractical to assess every choice one makes in a complex world.  This is like trying to do physics without ever using the general principle of the Conservation of Energy, or Newton's laws of motion, or the principles of thermodynamics.  Yes, with a huge effort one might do all the research needed to make one right decision, but this is the equivalent of placing oneself in time prior to Galileo and Newton and trying to figure out what the momentum, force, and kinetic energy of a stone dropped off a cliff will be when it falls on the head of an enemy below.  Rational decisions without principles are made so difficult that real people give up on trying to make rational decisions and they make their decisions based only on emotional grounds.  This is why the politics of Progressives is entirely based on passions and feelings.  Obama and his followers are such people.  They are stultified by the effort to reason, so they default to their feelings.

Our federal government was crafted as mandated by the Constitution with a great many checks and balances which were to check the power of the executive, each of the two houses of the Congress, the judiciary, the federal government versus the state governments, and the elected politicians generally with respect to the People.  There were also temporal checks, either against passing fads and the madness of crowds or against old men too long in power.  These checks and balances mean that there are built-in frictions against governmental actions.  Some rational policies may take considerable time to be chosen and then put in place.  Patience is usually needed.  But, the Framers of the Constitution had learned that democracy was unstable and unsustainable and strong executive leadership was despotic.  The American system of government was designed to prevent those extremes and because of that, it has proven unusually stable and sustainable.  Unfortunately, Obama and the Progressives have de-stabilized our federal government and created huge discord among the People as they diverted the purpose of government from protecting individual rights to providing favors for special interest constituencies.  To do this, they have found it increasingly expedient to claim greater and greater powers for the president, except when the president is not in alignment with their agenda.

Obama does not care about the welfare of illegal immigrants.  It is very clear that he only cares that they become voters for the Democratic Party.  The evidence is that he even wants them to vote before they become citizens.  But, if he really cared about them or his black supporters, he would not have pursued so many anti-business, anti-job, and anti-right-to-earn-a-living policies as he has.  Both groups have suffered terribly under the massive unemployment since he occupied the White House.  Actually, everyone has lost freedoms and their standard of living has decreased under his increasingly despotic regime.

The American People to an unusual degree rose up to oppose Obama's push for more and more despotic powers and controls in the election of 2014.  Obama is choosing to ignore this by and large.  Since he will not be able to control the actions of either the House or the Senate during the remainder of his administration, he has made it perfectly clear that he intends to by-pass their powers and ignore their constitutional authority.  He is ruling the USA with decrees and proclamations now.  This is a precedent which the American People must vociferously oppose, unless they wish a future as serfs without self-ownership or other individual rights.

17 November 2014

Mid-Term National Elections Have Fewer Uninformed Voters - Let Us Have More Mid-Term Elections

Only a small fraction of the US adult population know who the first President of the United States was.  No, I am not even talking about the first President under the 11 years of the Confederation of the United States.  I am saying they cannot name George Washington as the first president.  Most also do not know that we gained our independence from Great Britain, cannot name the original 13 states, do not know who the combatants were in the War of 1812 or in World War I, do not know the enumerated powers that Congress has under the Constitution, do not know how many justices serve on the Supreme Court, and have a greatly exaggerated idea of the powers of the President under our Constitution.

Now we ask these same people to follow and understand the operations of their local and state governments and of the federal government and cast an informed vote at least every two years.  Is there even a bit of realism in such an expectation?  The Framers of the Constitution certainly knew there were limits on the wisdom and knowledge of the People.  They were fully aware of the short lifespans of earlier democracies.  Indeed, they believed a short lifespan and great instability was a characteristic of any democracy.

Ben Franklin said:
Democracy... Is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
John Adams said:
Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
The Framers of the Constitution were familiar with mobs in the streets, which we still have to this day in Ferguson, Missouri and not long ago had in many cities, such as Watts, California.  But 1789 and the 124 years that followed, government was much simpler to understand.  Government still paid attention to the enumerated powers of the Constitution.  The power to tax in order to fulfill the functions enumerated had not become a power to do anything which might be supported by a tax.  ObamaCare was recently ruled by the Supreme Court to be justified because it was so supported by a tax.  The interstate commerce regulation authority had not then been expanded to allow the regulation of all commercial activity.  The power and scope of government were much smaller then.  This was not only at the federal level, but also at the state and local level.  Yet, the People were not to have their intelligence and their diligence to inform themselves so taxed that they were to choose their own Senators.  Until 1913, Senators were chosen by state legislatures, which represented a body of people who were more interested in and informed about government.

Because so many of the People have an exaggerated expectation of the power of the President and so few appreciate the real power of Congress, they turn out to vote in much larger numbers for presidential national elections than they do for the mid-term elections.  Let us examine the voter turnout in the last few elections:

2014, 36.3%
2012, 53.6%, presidential
2010, 37.8%
2008, 56.8%, presidential
2006, 37.1%
2004, 55.3%, presidential
2002, 37.0%
2000, 51.3%, presidential

The average presidential year turnout was 54.25%, while the mid-term election turnout was 37.05%.  In presidential election years the turnout is 17.2% higher on average.  The significance of this is more readily seen by noting that presidential elections have 1.46 times as many voters.  I would maintain that in a presidential election year this means that for every 3 voters there is one voter who is less informed than the average voter in a mid-term election.

We made the federal government excessively democratic when we made Senators stand for popular election in 1913.  This also decreased the power of the states in the state - federal balance of power.  This loss of state power is now clearly seen to be ill-advised and has greatly contributed to the political divisiveness of the present times.  While I think it would be wise to remove the 17th Amendment that unbalanced our federal system of government, there is more that we can do to rectify the ills that plague our federal government.

Government is now so powerful, so into everyone's pocket and business, that it is no wonder that even fairly intelligent people do not have the time or the will to devote effort to understanding what it is doing and what the consequences of those actions are.  Even full-time politicians are overwhelmed and uninformed.  Just in the last day or so, Obama said in a press conference that he had just become informed that Jonathan Gruber had spoken about how the framers of the PPACA, more accurately the Patient Subjugation and Unaffordable Care Act, had purposely deceived the voters, who Gruber called stupid in a too forthright admission of the Progressive Elitist assessment of others.  Of course, that infamous bill was passed by a Democrat Congress few, if any, of whose members who had read the bill.  Other such examples abound.  So if the full time politicians are so uninformed, how can the People generally be expected to make rational choices at the polls?

The present system of too much democracy has led us into a morass of tyrannical government.  People vote on the basis of their wishes after buying into undeliverable promises by politicians.  They do not critically evaluate the promises for their supportability or their consequences.  To be sure, some major element of democracy is unavoidable if one is to avoid a tyranny of an oligarchy or of a despot.  So, how can we adjust the system modestly so that the People may still exercise their vote and make their corrections to the system?

I propose that we have more mid-term elections and fewer presidential elections.  Let us allow a President one and only one six-year term of office.  With government as complex as it is today, the demands placed on a President are much greater than they were in the early years of our Republic.  Yet, when I read biographies of our early Presidents, even with much smaller governments, they were extraordinarily busy men, beset with huge burdens of worries.  Most who served even four years in office were worn out.  Eight years in office is too much for mortal man and very few of our Presidents are really extraordinary men.  They come into office with a few core ideas and those that are politically palatable are commonly put into place in the first couple of years they are in office.  After that they seem to tire out, run out of ideas, and certainly lose touch with the People.  At the end of six years, it is time to send them back to their plows.

Yet, it is not the worn-out President that is the chief reason for this proposal.  The chief reason is that having two mid-term elections for every presidential election would tend to keep that one out of three voters who is least informed away from the polls for two elections for every time they vote.  Everyone who is a citizen would still have the right to vote just as often, but he would have to motivate himself to come to the polls even when no one was up for the office of the now Imperial Presidency.  This would give us more of the outcomes for smaller government that the 2014 and 2010 elections provided.  This would give us a less tyrannical set of governments at all levels of government, since it is clearly the less informed and less motivated voters who are most susceptible to the empty promises of politicians who would grow the governments at the expense of the private sector and our individual rights.

Frankly, it would help to diminish the power of the Democratic Party, the party Franklin and Adams might name the Murder or Suicide Party.  Government is never a proper means of association unless it is necessary that force be used and supplant voluntary cooperation.  Whenever an individual asserts his individual rights as justification for not obeying the dictates of government, government replies that it is ready to use deadly force to command obedience.  When government fulfills its legitimate function of protecting individual rights and does no more, there is no conflict with the rational individual.  But when government tries to take the life, or the hours of the life, or the income of one's work, or the property acquired through prior work, it is actively using force to deprive one of what is one's by right.

Such governments are prepared to murder citizens and in so doing or threatening to do, they do great harm to many of the People.  They are weakening the society.  Big Governments put different groups with special interests at one another's throats and cause a general breakdown in cooperative, private sector associations.  Such governments murder some minorities and even the more favored minorities suffer the general losses due to a weakened society.  In the end, a society so ruled commits suicide.


15 November 2014

The Patient Subjugation and Unaffordable Care Act and Progressive Elitism

As the time nears when Americans are once again being forced to sign-up for government approved health insurance plans, a string of pithy quotes by Jonathan Gruber, a chief contributor to the creation of the near-secret PPACA bill, baldly state that stupid Americans were easily manipulated into subjugating themselves to this law.  In fact most Americans have always opposed this law and very many were always angry that the Congress did not construct a bill of such a critical nature with due deliberation and discussion.  It did not even read the bill, as famously noted by Nancy Pelosi with her statement that the bill had to be passed so that it might be read!  It is true that Americans had been duped into providing the Democrat Socialist Party the presidency, a super majority in the Senate, and a majority in the House of Representatives.

All one had to know about the bill to oppose it was that individuals were no longer to be free to choose what medical care would be covered in their health insurance plans.  With some thought, some even realized that the basis for a government claim for the authority to dictate how an individual would maintain his mind and body, was a highly collectivist claim that government had a right of ownership in every individual's mind and body.  This is an appalling claim to anyone who understands and values the equal, sovereign right of every individual to life, liberty, property, the ownership of one's own mind, body, and labor, and to the pursuit of one's own happiness.  The government's denial of individual self-ownership is chilling and brutal.  This denial was a chief aim of the many Progressive Elitists in leadership positions in the Democrat Party, in academia, and in much of the media.

In the cause of achieving this universal claim of collective ownership of every individual's mind and body, the Progressive Elitists are highly united.  They often agree that lying, misdirection, bribery, and fraudulent voting are all very acceptable means to achieve the end of collectivism which they value above all else.

Progressive Elitists often state that everyone is morally obliged to sacrifice their own interest for, as they like to say, "the least among us."  This is not only a moral claim in their minds, but it is a license for the use of government force to make everyone give up their own interest in favor of someone the Progressive Elitist believes to be in need, either materially or mentally.  This claim of subjugation to the needs of "the least among us" has become more and more common on the part of Progressive Elitists.

There is a tradition and still a strong following among Progressive Elitists for the notion that government is the moral enforcer of the so-called pragmatist claim that the greatest good for the greatest number defines morality.  When real moral principles are deemed too hard to formulate, to defend, and to live by, such a weak nostrum is about all a society can fall back on, excepting religion and the commonly related divine right of Kings and their aristocratic and ecclesiastic enablers.  To be sure, the American Progressive Elitist does view the President as a King-like figure and themselves as the aristocratic and ecclesiastic enablers.

They also claim to be proponents of democracy, though that claim is modulated by their constant belief that most Americans are stupid, as was so clearly revealed in the Jonathan Gruber and Nancy Pelosi comments.  This was earlier revealed in Obama's claim that most Americans cling foolishly to their guns and religion.  That he also sees himself as a king is very apparent in his saying as President he can do anything he wants and in his continuing violations of the Rule of Law.

Progressive Elitists are in a bind given that they purport to support democracy, yet they think the People are mostly incapable of choosing their own values, managing their own lives, and of voting correctly as envisioned by the Progressive Elitists.  They must find a way to manipulate the unwashed masses to vote in a manner that will allow the Progressive Elitists to actually dominate and control the government.  Because the Progressive Elitist is sure that she knows what is best for the masses, deception through any combination of lies and misdirections is justified.  We have seen this in spades with the PSUCA (see title) or the Patient SuckA.

How do the Progressive Elitists enlist support from the People in democratic elections?  Usually it is by claiming that they are for all the People except the Rich or that they are the champions of the Middle Class.  In this way they are hoping to gain the support of the majority and they will commonly promise this majority enough special favors to try to win them to their cause.

Among their many deceptions is the idea that it is possible to achieve the greater good of the greater number through laws that affect many of our moral choices.  Perhaps it is the in-supportability of this idea that has actually pushed more and more Progressive Elitists toward the claim that government is obliged to primarily pursue the interests of "the least among us," though this claim is usually made to fellow highly educated people they expect to be fellow elitists.  The practical problem of achieving political power is complicated if the Progressive Elitists actually ask the Middle Class to give up its own interests.  This is not an easy sell.

Why is this notion of the greatest good for the greatest number unachievable?  If force is to be used to transfer some value from some to others and yet a majority has to be enlisted to support that use of force by the government, then it is not easy to have a big enough pool of victims from whom enough can be extracted to provide a noticeable benefit to the majority except when the majority is not much greater than the victimized minority.  So, on one issue the beneficiaries might be 60%, on another 55%, and on another they may be 80%.  If the beneficiaries are randomly chosen, the chance any one individual was benefited on all three issues is only 0.264.

If these same issues were left to the private sector, most people might very easily arrange their affairs to benefit on each of the three issues or at least not to be hurt on any of them.  Surely on all of the issues before our Big Government now, a transfer to the private sector would commonly allow individuals to achieve 70 to 90% of their values.  In the private sector one has the added critical advantage that force cannot be used to make you enter into a trade that you do not think is in your own best interest.  In the government sector a victim is required and force must be threatened to make the victim yield his time, his income, or his wealth up to the Progressive Elitist re-distributor.

Now to be sure, the Progressive Elitist program does not aim to distribute the benefits randomly.  Some people are supposed to be the ones who are commonly to bear the hurt, in theory.  In practice, Big Government is little more controlled by the Progressive Elitists avowed agenda than it is a true expression of the democratic will of the majority of the People.  As I have noted over and over, Big Government is so vast and complex that the People do not understand what is going on and they commonly feel powerless to control it.  Even few, if any, Progressive Elitists can understand and follow the full scope of government actions.  This was richly illustrated in their contingent of full-time politicians voting for the PSUCA without reading it and later having to admit that they knew little about it.

Progressive Elitists who are not actually corrupt are also overcome by those who are corrupt and a multitude of special interests who fill the power vacuum to manipulate some government policies of particular interest to themselves.  Big Government becomes mostly a government not of and for the People, but one of and for the Special Interests.  Contrary to the claims of the Progressive Elitists, this is not correctable by electing or appointing better Progressive Elitist managers.  Indeed, the Progressive Elitists who see themselves as managing government actually have to turn to Special Interests for help in writing the laws which control actions in the private sector they do not themselves understand.  This happens all the time.  Some Special Interests are happy to do this for them so that they can design a law that gives them special favors or at least costs smaller companies, their future competitors, more to abide by than it costs them.  Complex laws and regulations tend to suppress smaller, hungrier competitors very well.

ObamaCare certainly has rewarded many special interests while depriving many individuals of the health insurance plan they wanted, the doctor they wanted, the convenience of using a hospital near them, and the weight of often much more expensive plans especially if a young male, but also for anyone who was healthy.  The AARP was among the heavily rewarded special interests, as were some other insurers.  So were many hospitals since many doctors had to give up their private practices and join hospital and clinic groups due to the computer records and financial pressures of ObamaCare.

Government can be designed so that it only acts in all of our interests.  There is only one way this can be achieved.  Government must be allowed only the power to protect the one value we all share.  That value is our individual rights.  This was recognized in our great Declaration of Independence.  A government so limited in power and scope was mandated by the People in our Constitution.  Unfortunately, the Progressive Elitist program has long required the effective destruction of the protections of our Constitution, for as Obama famously stated it is a roadblock to the redistribution of wealth and favors.  The Constitution stood in the way of his Progressive Elitist transformation of America.  Now the Obama Regime simply ignores it and any law they do not like.

Because the Progressive Elitist government model cannot improve the lives of the majority of Americans compared to their own self-management in the private sector, the Progressive Elitist has to have constant recourse to lies and misdirections.  The Middle Class must be deceived.  It is simply impossible to actually benefit "the least among us,", the Middle Class, and the necessary number of Special Interests.  It is an absolute certainty that most Americans will suffer from the Progressive Elitist Big Government model.

The only way we can ever bring back a commitment to constitutional and limited government consistent with our individual freedom is to live by an individualist philosophy designed to promote rational values consistent with the practical needs of life on Earth.  Objectivism is that philosophy.  A commitment to its principles would enable the People of the USA to elect officials capable of and dedicated to reforming our horribly errant governments.  We must transform these tyrannical governments too much under the control of the Progressive Elitists and their allied Special Interests.

Those special interests are not just rich people, corporations, and religious people as the Progressive Elitists claim.  Some special interests are rich people or corporations, but there are many more.  These include:
  • Christians who would use government to impose their values, commonly by requiring women to carry a fetus to full term, by denying same-sex marriages, or by claiming that Christian charity requires governmental redistribution.  Yes, some Christians are Elitists, some Progressive, some Traditional
  • Islamists who want to impose Sharia Law.
  • Environmentalists who believe man is evil, but all other animals are supreme.
  • Those opposed to carbon-based fuels for environmental and CAGW reasons.
  • Those who believe that profit is evil.
  • Labor unions who deny individuals freedom of labor contract.
  • Government workers
  • Green energy companies with subsidies and favoring mandates
  • Farmers with subsidies
  • Those who benefit from the ethanol mandate.
  • Users of the Export-Import Bank
  • Those companies protected by high tariffs
  • Banks with cheap money from the Federal Reserve
  • Too-Big-To-Fail financial institutions
  • Too-Big-To-Fail auto companies
  • Extended unemployment beneficiaries
  • Disability insurance recipients who used to work with the same disability
  • Food Stamp recipients
  • Employees whose employers are forced to do all the tax paperwork with its risks
  • Professions and jobs with limited competition due to licensing requirements
  • Accountants and tax attorneys due to the overly complex tax law
  • Trial lawyers
  • Insurers due to excessive liability awards allowing them to collect high premiums
  • AARP with its health insurance supplements and anti-youth political program
  • Home builders and mortgage lenders due to mortgage interest deductions
  • Beneficiaries of rent controls
  • Older home owners in areas with severe home-building restrictions
  • Existing commercial real estate owners where new commercial construction is denied
  • TV and radio stations favored by the FCC
  • Those near shale oil and gas formations with super cheap energy because governments are delaying pipeline construction
  • Russia and the Saudis because governments are slowing energy production here
  • Many, many more
The Progressive Elitist does not think we are capable of arranging and choosing our own health insurance, just as they do not think we can generally choose our values and manage our own lives.  As Tocqueville said:
A man’s admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.
It is interesting to note that that contempt seems to easily transform into a disregard for the welfare of your fellow man and makes it easier to take advantage of him as a Special Interest manipulating the powers of excessive government.  The transformation of America implemented by the Obama Regime has richly illustrated this.


08 November 2014

Hiding the Decline - Not Since 1997, Since 1921

I have concentrated on revealing the mistakes in the physics that is used to explain the so-called greenhouse effect of infra-red active gases in recent times, because Tony Heller at the blog Real Science has done an excellent job revealing the massive data manipulations in the temperature data.  His plot of the raw thermometer data since 1921 and the highly manipulated and published data since then is shown here:


The raw temperature data over this time shows a decline in the average temperature, while the manipulated data shows a large increase, especially since 1977.  Most of the discussion of a "Pause in the Temperature Increase" is simply addressing the highly manipulated data of the last 17 years, during which time the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has increased, but the temperature has not.

The thermometer readings come from the USHCN stations across the USA shown on the map below:



The temperature data manipulators claim that much of the earlier 20th Century data has to be shifted downward because the stations reported the same high temperature two days in a row.  Now this assumes that the station managers were incredibly dumb and failed to notice that there was an unbelievable incidence of daily high temperatures that were the same due to the time of day at which they reset the temperature recorders to report the high temperature of that daily time period.  Assuming such overwhelming stupidity of Americans lies at the core to the Progressive Elitist ideology and justifies strong and intrusive rule by politicians and bureaucrats of elevated intelligence and who have been well-indoctrinated in our Progressive education system.

Tony Heller has also revealed that increasing portions of the temperature data record have no actual thermometer temperature reading behind them at all.  More and more often, it is said that the stations do not report the data and so a program runs an algorithm to generate a replacement temperature.  The reason for the failure to report the temperature data is unknown, as is the nature of the algorithm that replaces the missing data with some calculated number.  Tony Heller has provided the following horrifying plot of the rapidly increasing percentage of missing temperature data replaced by the algorithm of our most untrustworthy bureaucrats.


Tony Heller also says that almost all of the temperature increase claimed since 1990 is the result of the temperature data added to the record to replace the missing raw data.  Frankly, I would not be surprised if there was not a concerted effort on the part of the catastrophic man-made warming alarmists to throw out station data that does not fit their agenda of rising temperatures.  In addition, it would not be surprising to find out that the algorithm to replace the missing data is biased to generate hotter temperatures.  In fact, the fact that almost all of the temperature increase since 1990 is due to the algorithm-produced data is proof that the algorithm does have such a bias.

The physics of the catastrophic man-made warming alarmists is dishonest.  The temperature data they publish is dishonest.  Honest temperature data would provide the experimental proof that the theory of catastrophic greenhouse warming was wrong.  The physics knowledge needed to understand why their explanations for the physical basis of catastrophic man-made global warming are wrong is beyond most scientists, let alone the general public.  That fact keeps the alarmist somewhat protected on the theory side of this equation.  But, without the massive fraudulent manipulation of the temperature data on the experimental side of the equation, the massive fraud would be immediately exposed to a much larger fraction of the People.

Obama and much of his Democrat Socialist Party base are still very determined to use this fraud to provide a basis for a massive invasion against individual rights, especially economic rights.  It allows them a reason for further expansion of the control of the People and a rich mother lode for extortion and pilfering of businesses.  Similar special interests are found in countries around the world and the latest Synthesizing Report of the latest IPCC report of the UN shows how committed they are to continuing the fraud.  That fraud is unraveling rapidly now.

One of the many things the new Republican majority in the Senate should make possible is a renewed effort to push along and promote the unraveling of the catastrophic man-made global warming fraud.  I hope the newly re-elected Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma will continue to promote reason and science with respect to man-made global warming, energy, and environmental policies as he has and that he will have many more active allies in the Senate and the House of Representatives.  It is critical to keep the US from signing international treaties on these issues and to maintain our sovereignty and our constitutional management of our internal affairs.  We must not be sucked into UN claims that we must aim toward zero carbon dioxide emissions or the planet is doomed!


02 November 2014

Do the Democrat Senators in Close Elections Disagree with Obama or Each Other?

We are hearing constantly about how Democrat Senators up for re-election and other Democrats who are trying to move to the Senate from the House are distancing themselves from Obama and Harry Reid.  Some will not say that they voted for Obama and others try to claim that they have some significant differences with him.  Every Democrat Senator up for re-election voted for the PPACA or ObamaCare.  They all claimed the government owns every American's body and mind and gets to dictate how we will care for the government's property.  Without a clear title to self-ownership, all individual rights become a sham, which is why Saul Alinsky and every serious socialist wants government control of healthcare.

One of the most notable traits of Democrats in the Senate and House is that they all vote in very nearly lock-step with their leadership, however they may talk more independently when they visit their constituents in their home state.  What goes on in Washington, DC stays in DC.

The Club for Growth keeps a scorecard on how Senators and Representatives vote on issues affecting economic freedom, taxation, and spending.  A 100% rating would be held by someone who they believe voted correctly on all the votes they score.  Some of the Senators with high scores are:

Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican, Texas, 100% in 2013, 100% lifetime
Sen. Mike Lee, Republican, Utah, 100% in 2013, 100% lifetime
Sen. Rand Paul, Republican, Kentucky, 97% in 2013, 99% lifetime

In comparison, Senator Harry Reid's lifetime score is 5% and Rep. Nancy Pelosi's lifetime score is 7%.

So, let us examine the scores of the candidates running for the competitive Senate seats who have such voting records.

Alaska, Sen. Mark Begich, Democrat, 3% in 2013, 6% lifetime

Arkansas, Sen. Mark Pryor, Democrat, 12% in 2013, 16% lifetime
                 Rep. Tom Cotton, Republican,  92% in 2013, 92% lifetime

Colorado, Sen. Mark Udall, Democrat, N/A in 2013 (skipped too many votes), 8% lifetime
                 Rep. Cory Gardner, Republican, 69% in 2013, 75% lifetime

Iowa, Rep. Bruce Braley, Democrat, 6% in 2013, 1% lifetime, worst record of current Iowa Reps.

Kansas, Sen. Pat Roberts, Republican, 84% in 2013, 74% lifetime

Kentucky, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican, 87% in 2013, 85% lifetime

Louisiana, Sen. Mary Landrieu, Democrat, 8% in 2013, 15% lifetime
                  Rep. Bill Cassidy, Republican, 64% in 2013, 76% lifetime

Michigan, Rep. Gary Peters, Democrat, 3% in 2013, 8% lifetime

Minnesota, Sen. Al Franken, Democrat, N/A in 2013 (skipped too many votes), 2% lifetime

New Hampshire,  Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat, 3% in 2013, 7% lifetime
                             Sen. Scott Brown, Republican, 62% in 2010, 49% in 2011 (Massachusetts)

North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan, 3% in 2013, 8% lifetime

The best of any of the Democrat scores in this list is Sen. Mark Pryor's lifetime score of 16%.  The worst score of any Republican in the list is Sen. Scott Brown's 2011 score of 49%.  So the worst single year score of a Republican was still more than three times better than the best of the Democrat lifetime or 2013 scores.

It is a popular belief among libertarians that both parties are equally bad.  While the Republican Party is often disappointing, at least on issues of economic freedom there is a significant difference between it and the Democrat Party.  Senators Lee, Cruz, and Paul do make a difference and every Democrat is almost their polar opposite, right along side Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi.






01 November 2014

Wall Street Journal Says Below Average White Rural Areas Are Becoming More Republican

The Friday Wall Street Journal had a front page story in which it said that the "GOP Tightens Its Grip on White Working Class."  It says that it tracks the House seats held by each party in House districts dominated by white, working-class voters.  In 1993, the Democrats held 36 such districts and the Republicans held 35.  By 2013, this division of such districts had changed drastically, with the Republicans holding 59 white, working-class districts and the Democrats holding only 11.

The article has the usual large number of stories about individuals and what they think and how their voting may have changed or not.  Among the stories it tells are those of people from Aitkin, Minnesota in the 8th Congressional District of Minnesota.  Aitkin is the county seat of rural Aitkin County, with a population of 2,597 people.  It is about 50 miles west southwest of Duluth, Minnesota.  The 8th Congressional District is almost 93% white.  We are told by the Wall Street Journal that the median household income is $49,860, compared to the national median of $53,000.  We are told that only a bit more than 22% of the people in the district have a Bachelor's degree or higher, compared to a national median of 28.5%.  So, we are supposed to conclude that these people are not quite as well-educated as they ought to be and not quite as successful as the average American.  So, maybe this is why they are becoming Republicans in larger numbers.

Let us consider the measure of their economic success given as their income.  Democrats obsess about materialistic measures such as comparative incomes.  But in fact, the people of Aitkin, Minnesota are a bit too sly for the median American.  There is a pretty good reason to believe the Wall Street Journal is underestimating them, both their income and their ability to recognize a perfectly fine way of living.

The median household income of $53,000 mentioned is that earned by households with a mean cost of living index of 100.  The good people of Aitkin, Minnesota have a local cost of living of 92.  Do the math,

$49,860 / 0.92 = $54,196 > $53,000.

So, it may not be the case that everyone in Aitkin, Minnesota is above average, but it is the case that their median income allows them to live a bit better than the median income in America allows the average American household.

So, being such sly folks, they are coming to realize that the Republican Party is better than the Democrat Party.  The story is that Millennials and Hispanics are beginning to learn the same lesson.  Mostly, those who are coming awake are coming to an increasing understanding that being productive is critical and that far too many people are making welfare a way of life.  The people called the white working class are learning this in larger numbers, but young people now a few years separated from the Progressive Elitist indoctrination of years of Progressive Elitist education and unable to find jobs at all or jobs anything like what they thought they would have are beginning to learn this as well.  Some are actually seeing that government actions have prevented any reasonable economic recovery.  More and more Hispanic Americans are at the least disgusted with the failed promises of the Democrats and in some cases are coming to resent others living off of their hard work also.

While some signs of understanding are beginning to show up, there is a long way to go.  A Wall Street Journal/ NBC News poll in June found out that 53% of white people said that the government was doing too much to meet the needs of people and more should be left to businesses and individuals.  Only 44% of Hispanics said the same.  Still fewer Black Americans agreed with this.  They were stuck at a mere 32%.  We still live in a largely entitlement society.

28 October 2014

Debunking the Progressive Elitist Claim that Minimum Wage Laws Increase Employment

Back during the Great Depression, the Progressive Elitist mantra was that if only companies would pay their employees more, all would be well in the economy.  FDR pressed businessmen on this over and over, while many unemployed people would have been eager to work for less.  Record unemployment lasted for a decade due to this wrongheaded Progressive policy, along with a host of other economically illiterate Progressive policies.

Recently, there have been a host of Progressive Elitist claims that raising the minimum wage results in more employment and an improved economy.  I will address that claim, but first it is important to realize that minimum wage laws are an immoral deprivation of very fundamental and essential individual rights.  Everyone owns their own mind and body.  They have the right to associate with others according to their own choice in the very broadest sense.  Specifically, the right to cooperate with others for economic purposes and to earn a living is a very broad right.  The employer has a right to hire and others have a right to provide their labor under a voluntary agreement between the employer and the employee.  It is this panoply of rights and voluntary choices to cooperate between individuals that the Progressive Elitists want to trample.  They are determined to use force to impose their own imperious will upon others.

A great many Americans believe that it is not practical to be a man of principle, so the moral argument holds no sway with them.  They are determined to march out into a complex world as unprincipled as they can be, but for some vague notion that they want to help the underdog or the greatest number of people.  Now this means they are perfectly willing to hurt many other people and they are willing to substitute their judgment for that of others, even though they may not know those whose judgment is over-ridden and do not know the circumstances that might affect their choices.  As though not knowing the people affected by their directives to the government is not enough, they have to understand the many results set in motion by their directives without the aid of principles.  The simplifying and integrating functions of principles having been given up, the Progressive Elitists are without sufficient rational tools to understand reality and the consequences of their tyranny over others.  The chaotic results seldom match their intentions and are generally harmful to those whose individual rights and choices have been trampled.

 The Democrat Party is on a campaign to see the minimum wage raised in as many locales and states as possible.  They would also like to see the federal minimum wage increased.  There are more and more columns and articles about how some community raised the minimum wage and there was no local economic disaster in this or that town.  More recently, two University of Delaware economists, Saul W. Hoffman and Wai-Kit (Ricky) Shum have claimed there were no negative effects due to increases in the minimum wage in 13 states between 1 January 2011 and 1 January 2014.  This recent study, actually not even complete yet, is supposed to make us forget the history of the last staged increase in the federal minimum wage in 2007, 2008, and 2009.  See Democrats Eat the Young: Minimum Wage Case in Point, where I agree with the old Economics 101 viewpoint that higher wages mean fewer jobs, just as higher prices mean fewer sales.  Joe Conason wrote a recent column calling this a myth and citing the work of Hoffman and Shum as his proof.

Apparently, Conason not only does not know economics, but he does not read very well.  He claims that 13 states raised their minimum wage above the federal minimum wage earlier this year.  This is not true.  Hoffman and Shum looked at the 13 states that raised their minimum wage from 1 January 2011 to 1 January 2014 as noted above and Conason apparently did not even take note of that.

I am going to present some data dealing with the factors that affect the minimum wage impact on a state by state basis and the resulting employment of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 in the table that follows.  One very important point is that the minimum wage impact on a local economy is going to be proportionate to the cost of living in that local economy.  For this reason, as I have often argued, the policy of setting a federal minimum wage is very foolish.  The following table will provide an effective comparative minimum wage adjusted for the differing costs of living on a state by state basis.  One of the things you will see is that many of the states that have increased their minimum wage above the federal minimum wage are actually on an adjusted basis below most of the states whose minimum wage is the federal minimum wage.  If their cost of living adjusted minimum wage is below that of other states who use the federal minimum wage, then they actually have an effectively cheaper youth labor force and the employment of such young people should actually benefit from that cost advantage.


State
Cost of Living
Q2 - 2013
Minimum Wage
2012 ($)
Minimum Wage
Adjusted for
Cost of Living ($)
Unemployment
Ages 16-24
2012 (%)
Mercatus
Economic
Freedom Score
For 2011
Alabama
92.4
7.25
7.85
16.3
31.33
Alaska
131.1
7.75
5.91
14.8
7.21
Arizona
100.8
7.65
7.59
17.6
34.35
Arkansas
91.0
7.25
7.97
17.7
-8.56
California
128.6
8.00
6.22
20.2
-71.82
Colorado
99.7
7.64
7.66
16.7
11.56
Connecticut
133.8
8.25
6.17
17.0
-21.17
Delaware
106.9
7.25
6.78
15.2
24.43
Florida
97.8
7.67
7.84
16.4
21.67
Georgia
92.0
7.25
7.88
20.6
31.89
Hawaii
161.7
7.25
4.48
13.5
-56.36
Idaho
89.4
7.25
8.11
17.3
51.82
Illinois
94.9
8.25
8.69
18.5
-13.19
Indiana
90.0
7.25
8.06
14.9
14.62
Iowa
91.3
7.25
7.94
11.0
18.66
Kansas
91.8
7.25
7.90
13.2
9.03
Kentucky
90.1
7.25
8.05
16.9
5.05
Louisiana
94.2
7.25
7.70
16.7
-7.74
Maine
109.0
7.50
6.88
16.6
-35.51
Maryland
122.3
7.25
5.93
13.4
-17.31
Massachusetts
121.2
8.00
 6.60
12.2
-7.03
Michigan
94.4
7.40
7.84
16.9
-5.36
Minnesota
100.9
7.25
7.19
11.0
-7.79
Mississippi
88.7
7.25
8.17
23.0
-19.25
Missouri
92.9
7.35
7.91
16.1
30.64
Montana
98.4
7.65
7.77
11.1
30.53
Nebraska
88.9
7.25
8.16
8.9
17.35
Nevada
94.9
8.25
8.69
17.6
1.68
New Hampshire
120.2
7.25
6.03
13.4
41.17
New Jersey
129.5
7.25
5.60
18.2
-69.19
New Mexico
92.5
7.50
8.11
12.6
3.50
New York
134.5
7.25
5.39
18.0
-133.59
North Carolina
95.6
7.25
7.58
18.8
12.80
North Dakota
99.7
7.25
7.27
7.2
65.72
Ohio
92.3
7.70
8.34
12.6
-2.54
Oklahoma
90.0
7.25
8.06
10.8
50.10
Oregon
106.9
8.80
8.23
17.9
5.62
Pennsylvania
101.1
7.25
7.17
13.4
0.75
Rhode Island
125.8
7.75
6.16
17.2
-35.89
South Carolina
95.0
7.25
7.63
22.9
22.45
South Dakota
99.7
7.25
7.27
9.9
72.76
Tennessee
89.7
7.25
8.08
13.5
62.12
Texas
91.4
7.25
7.93
13.5
30.52
Utah
93.0
7.25
7.80
11.9
37.72
Vermont
118.3
8.46
7.15
13.1
-39.39
Virginia
95.9
7.25
7.56
16.8
45.10
Washington
101.6
9.04
8.90
16.7
2.69
West Virginia
96.6
7.25
7.51
15.7
-35.97
Wisconsin
95.1
7.25
7.62
12.9
-13.33
Wyoming
99.5
7.25
7.29
12.7
-16.35


Because Democrats are more eager than Republicans generally to raise the minimum wage and Democrat-controlled states are usually higher cost of living states, the small increases in the minimum wage in those Democrat states do not usually make them expensive states in which to hire young people.

Now let us compare the results for those states with an adjusted minimum wage under $6.90 with those having an adjusted minimum wage greater than $7.60:

These states have an adjusted minimum wage under $6.90:

State
COL Adj Min Wage ($)
Unemployment
Ages 16-24 in 2012 (%)
Mercatus Economic
Freedom Score
Alaska
5.91
14.8
7.21
California
6.22
20.2
-71.82
Connecticut
6.17
17.0
-21.17
Delaware
6.78
15.2
24.43
Hawaii
4.48
13.5
-56.36
Maine
6.88
16.6
-35.51
Maryland
5.93
13.4
-17.31
Massachusetts
6.60
12.2
-7.03
New Hampshire
6.03
13.4
41.17
New Jersey
5.60
18.2
-69.19
New York
5.39
18.0
-133.59
Rhode Island
6.16
17.2
-35.89
Average
6.01
15.81
-31.26

The states in blue above have a state minimum wage greater than the federal minimum wage.  Six of the twelve states, or exactly 0.50 of these cheap youth labor states have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage.


These states have an adjusted minimum wage over $7.60:

State
COL Adj Min Wage ($)
Unemployment
Ages 16-24 in 2012 (%)
Mercatus Economic
Freedom Score
Arkansas
7.97
17.7
-8.56
Colorado
7.66
16.7
11.56
Florida
7.84
16.4
21.67
Georgia
7.88
20.6
31.89
Idaho
8.11
17.3
51.82
Illinois
8.69
18.5
-13.19
Indiana
8.06
14.9
14.62
Iowa
7.94
11.0
18.66
Kansas
7.90
13.2
9.03
Kentucky
8.05
16.9
5.05
Louisiana
7.70
16.7
-7.74
Michigan
7.84
16.9
-5.36
Mississippi
8.17
23.0
-19.25
Missouri
7.91
16.1
30.64
Montana
7.77
11.1
30.53
Nebraska
8.16
8.9
17.35
Nevada
8.69
17.6
1.68
New Mexico
8.11
12.6
3.50
Ohio
8.34
12.6
-2.54
Oklahoma
8.06
10.8
50.10
Oregon
8.23
17.9
5.62
South Carolina
7.63
22.9
22.45
Tennessee
8.08
13.5
62.12
Texas
7.93
13.5
30.52
Utah
7.80
11.9
37.72
Washington
8.90
16.7
2.69
Wisconsin
7.62
12.9
-13.33
Average
8.04
15.51
14.42


In these expensive adjusted minimum wage states, 11 of the 27 states or 0.41 of them have minimum wages set higher than the federal minimum wage.  So, in 2012 a larger fraction of the actually inexpensive states had a minimum higher than the federal minimum wage compared to the expensive adjusted minimum wage states.  Despite having the advantage of a slightly cheaper effective minimum wage, the states with an adjusted minimum below $6.90 had a slightly higher youth unemployment rate of 15.81% compared to the effectively more expensive youth wage states with an unemployment rate of 15.51%.

Why were these inexpensive youth wage states not better at employing youth?  The answer lies in the last column in which I have provided the Mercatus Center state economic freedom rating for 2011 from their Freedom in the 50 States, 2013 Edition.   All of the inexpensive states have costs of living greater than the national average.  This is usually associated with a dense population and/or with Democrat Party control.  The average Mercatus Center economic freedom rating of -31.26 is very low compared to that of the expensive youth wage state freedom rating of 14.42.  Youth employment tends to be better when businesses thrive and businesses definitely thrive better with greater economic freedom.  People at the minimum wage level are the least productive workers in the economy, so their effect on how the economy flourishes is rather small.  The effect of a flourishing economy on them is much greater!

Now let us examine the list of 13 states that increased their minimum wage between 1 January 2011 and 1 January 2014.  These were the states examined by Hoffman and Shum.  The average cost of living index in these states is 110.2 and the adjusted minimum wage is just $7.55.


State
Min. Wage($)
1 Jan 2014
Cost of Living Index 2013
Adjusted Min. ($) Wage for COL
Mercatus Center Economic Freedom
Arizona
7.90
100.8
7.84
34.35
Colorado
8.00
99.7
8.02
11.56
Connecticut
8.70
133.8
6.50
-21.17
Florida
7.93
97.8
8.11
21.67
Missouri
7.50
92.9
8.07
30.64
Montana
7.90
98.4
8.03
30.53
New Jersey
8.25
129.5
6.37
-69.19
New York
8.00
134.5
5.95
-133.59
Ohio
7.95
92.3
8.61
-2.54
Oregon
9.10
106.9
8.51
5.62
Rhode Island
8.00
125.8
6.36
-35.89
Vermont
8.73
118.3
7.38
-39.39
Washington
9.32
101.6
8.46
2.69
Average
8.25
110.2
7.55
-12.67


These 13 states were compared to the remaining 37 states.  Seven of those remaining states had state minimum wages that were higher than the federal minimum wage.  What is more, since the states with changes had an average cost of living index of 110.2, the 37 remaining states had to have an average cost of living index of 96.4.  If we assume that each of these states had a minimum wage at the federal level of $7.25, the cost of living adjusted average would be $7.52.  This is almost equal to the $7.55 adjusted minimum wage to which Hoffman and Shum are comparing these states.  In fact, the seven states with higher than the federal minimum wage who did not raise their rate in the time-frame of the Hoffman and Shum study more than make up the difference.  Taking their rates into account yields an average adjusted minimum wage for the non-raising set of 37 states to $7.64.

So, Hoffman and Shum are trying to claim that a higher minimum wage does not hurt those states which actually have a slightly lower adjusted minimum wage when you compare them to states with a higher effective minimum wage!  Well, surprise, surprise.  How wrongheaded can you be Hoffman and Shum?

On average, the states that have raised their minimum wage rates above the federal level have done so because of the high cost of living in their state.  This is most definitely not an argument for raising the national minimum wage rate, which would only hurt the lower cost of living states to the advantage of the higher cost of living states.  This would also have the moral effect of hurting the freer states to the advantage of the more enslaved states.

Neither does the Hoffman and Shum comparison tell us anything about whether the increases in the minimum wage in the 13 states they compared to the non-raising 37 states gained or lost relative to the economic results they would have had without raising the minimum wage.  The study is useless on that question.

But from the above table we do see that these minimum wage raising states suffer with low economic freedom ratings.  Their attempt to interfere with voluntary employer-employee cooperation is consistent with that low regard for individual freedom.  We know for sure that the states with more economic freedom do out-perform those states with less economic freedom in terms of job growth and goods and services production growth.

The Hoffman and Shum and the Conason arguments for raising the minimum wage are here shown to leak like a sieve.