What is far and away the most important global trade commodity? Food. People have to eat.
Before the world’s peoples can afford to purchase from us an iPhone, or a Ford pickup truck – they have to buy (hopefully our) food.
And governments are making sustenance so much more expensive.
Governments raise the prices of everything we try to buy. They do so indirectly – via hidden costs of government we can’t clearly see. Just here in the United States:
America’s Soaring Regulations Cost $1.8 Trillion A Year
That $1.8 trillion is added to the cost of everything we make – including everything we try to sell to the rest of the planet.
Much of that government cost-increase is in the food sector. Farm Bill, anyone? Making it harder for peoples around the world – many of them in abject poverty – to afford food. Continue reading
We have spent just about all of the Barack Obama Administration decrying its myriad abuses of powers it doesn’t have.
Don’t Forget Obama’s Imperial Fiats
Twenty 9-0 Supreme Court Rulings Against – Obama Prepares Even More Power Grabs
Often, the font of these power grabs are President Obama executive orders.
Obama: I Will Use My Pen and Phone to Take on Congress
Obama: I Won’t Stop Issuing Executive Orders
The Executive Branch is called that for a reason – it executes laws, it does not write them.
Every Executive Branch Department, Agency, Commission and Board is actually a creation and creature of the Legislative Branch – Congress. None of these arms of the Leviathan can do anything unless and until Congress passes laws giving them the authority.
These laws also establish the parameters within which the agencies are supposed to work – limiting the flights of regulatory fancy we now so frequently see.
For decades, these agencies have been warping beyond all recognition the laws written to constrain them. Worse still, they are incessantly creating out whole cloth all new authorities – generating “laws” they then get to execute. Continue reading
I used to bet football games, and play occasional hands of cards (I’m mostly retired). I did so mostly online – via a company based in Costa Rica.
Did I know the owner of the Costa Rican company? No. Did I know anyone in Costa Rica? No. Did I have any particular affinity for that nation? No. To quote Joe Walsh (the James Gang, solo and Eagles musician, not the former Congressman):
Ain’t never been there – they tell me it’s nice.
The Costa Rican company got my money because the World Wide Web allowed me to shop large swaths of the planet for the business I liked best.
Free trade is a fabulous thing. The Internet is a fabulous thing. The latter makes the former even easier – which is a fabulous thing.
Unless you have an old school brick-and-mortar business model – and insist on not changing as the world does.
For most stubborn businesses – that spells doom. If you’re an industry titan and can afford to pony up to politicians – you look to get the government to protect you from Reality. Continue reading
…you’ll love how they’ll handle the Internet.
The late, inordinately great Ronald Reagan rightly observed:
“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
So when the federal government says about Ebola “We’ve got this”- people have a problem believing it.
Obama Underwater on Ebola Response
Ah, the Barack Obama Administration – which has been caught lying over and over and over again.
Many Voters Say Obama Lies to the Country on Important Matters
81 percent of Americans believe that Obama lies to them at least “now and then”on “important matters.”
The Obama Administration has again and again offered Ebola assertions and assurances that Reality has subsequently demonstrated were…wanting. Continue reading
To paraphrase the knight who guarded the Holy Grail in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,”Ireland has chosen poorly.
The Emerald Isle has decided to make itself decidedly less attractive to people the world over.
Irish Budget Set to Phase Out Multinationals’ Favourable Tax Arrangement
Ireland is set to announce sweeping changes to its corporate tax structure in its budget on Tuesday, phasing out a loophole that has allowed multinationals to save billions of dollars in tax on their worldwide income.
This is the tax code equivalent of having Jay-Z rewrite Shakespeare. Why would Ireland hamstring itself?
The country has faced sustained criticism over the past 18 months from other European Union members and the United States for its tax rules and Finance Minister Michael Noonan is expected to lay out plans to end an arrangement that has enabled firms such as Google and Apple to cut their overseas tax rates to single digits.
Uber-high tax nations don’t like being scorned. So the EU is trying to force people to like them – which didn’t work in elementary school and won’t work now. And the United States has the highest corporate tax rate on the planet – so we too are in the cafeteria dining alone.
Ireland has to know they’re damaging themselves, right? Continue reading
Government is an organism just like any other. Just like any other, its first priority is self-preservation. Its second is self-expansion.
Government expansion requires money. Government doesn’t earn any of its own – it must take ours. Hence – taxes. Since governments’ desire to grow is pervasively ubiquitous – the fervent desire to increase taxes is pervasively ubiquitous.
When government demands more of our coin, the assumption is that every penny they already take is being used wisely and well. As we all know, that ain’t anywhere near true.
Governments like to ratchet up taxes in areas they’ve already planted their confiscation flag. But they REALLY like to find untaxed parts of the economy – and excise the daylight out of them. In the name of “fairness”for the crushingly-taxed economic sectors.
They are the Francisco Pizaros of our wallets – the enticement and excitement of pillaging virgin territory is almost unbearable. Continue reading
Conservatives and Libertarians inherently have little faith or trust in government. We know the institution is inherently flawed – and self-serving.
Government violates the Wallet Rule. Which is:
You go out on a Friday night with your wallet. You go out the following Friday night with my wallet. On which night are you going to have more fun?
Government is always working with our wallet – theirs is empty until they first fleece ours. They will thus never spend our money as prudently, wisely or well as do we.
Government is just another organism. Like any other, its first priority is self-preservation – its second self-expansion. And worse than just about any other – it will do whatever it takes to accomplish these priorities.
Including lie its collective face off.
The Barack Obama Administration is the most government-expansive administration in our nation’s history. To that end, they have used any means necessary – including lying its collective face off. For instance:
“If you like your health care plan/doctor – you can keep your health care plan/doctor.” Continue reading
Perhaps lost in the incessant, rolling bad news shuffle that is the Barack Obama Administration are the ongoing Hong Kong protests of rising Chinese domestic interference.
This is exactly the sort of thing we freedom lovers and free marketeers feared when in 1984 the British agreed to in 1997 hand over control of the island to the mainland Communists.
To alleviate the concern, the Chinese Communists pledged non-interventionism.
(T)he Chinese government in Beijing promised to let Hong Kong keep its special rights and its autonomy —a deal known as “one country, two systems.”
But we knew the Chinese Communist Party couldn’t forever resist assaulting the golden goose.
(S)tudent groups led peaceful marches to protest China’s new plan for Hong Kong’s 2017 election, which looked like China reneging on its promise to grant the autonomous region full democracy….
Crackdown on Protests by Hong Kong Police Draws More to the Streets
Downtown Hong Kong turned into a battlefield of tear gas and seething crowds on Sunday after the police moved against a student democracy protest, inciting public fury that brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets of a city long known as a stable financial center.
Sound familiar? Continue reading
Jeff Bezos is a transcendent Internet entrepreneur. He understands the way the Web works in a way few others do. He sees around the curve of the Earth just a little further than do most of us.
To wit: Bezos started in 1994 Amazon.com.
(T)he world’s largest internet company, based on revenue and number of employees.
Bezos has done okay.
Real Time Net Worth: $29.9 Billion.
In 2013 Bezos waded into the dying world of Dinosaur Journalism – purchasing the Washington Post for $250 million (ostensibly pulled out of his petty cash drawer).
Transitioning journalism forward needs to happen. If it can be done successfully, Bezos ain’t a bad guy to take the shot. Continue reading
Great Set – Bad Policies
Please click here for the video.
As the great P.J. O’Rourke said:
“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
We have to give the Feds some – the Constitution requires it. But in 1984 the Supreme Court threw wide open the doors to every liquor store and vehicle in the nation.
Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. was a case in which the United States Supreme Court set forth the legal test for determining whether to grant deference to a government agency’s interpretation of a statute which it administers.
Chevron is the Court’s clearest articulation of the doctrine of “administrative deference,” to the point that the Court itself has used the phrase “Chevron deference” in more recent cases.
What has that meant in thirty years of practice? Continue reading