The Last Capitalist

A site dedicated to restoring individualism in the United States of America

Archive for August, 2008

Getting Through to the Public

Posted by jemartynowski on August 25, 2008

When I think about the current state of politics, with the presidential election coming up and the very divided mindsets we have in the country and the world, I have very mixed feelings.  On one side, I’m happy that we are strongly pulling back on the side of free markets vs. the side of big government control.  However, I’m concerned because many people on both sides seem not to have a clue what they are really supporting. 

Honestly, ask most people about why they are voting for Barack Obama, if indeed they are.  Perhanps they’ll tell you how bad the economy is under a Republican so we need a change.  Do these people really have any idea about what’s going on in our country, or are they just spouting off what they heard on the “news?” 

On the flip side, how about McCain supporters?  “We need a strong leader in these times of war and someone with good, conservative values.”  Whereas there may be merits to this, the world is always in a time of war.  There hasn’t been a time I can name where there isn’t some kind of conflict brewing or already full blown.  Maybe it isn’t that exact reason, but it’s probably one of those “good conservative values” reasons. 

The reality of it is that it seems like we’ve lost sight of the true intentions of these politicians.  Shouldn’t we step back and think about what we really believe?  When we’re honest with ourselves, is it a little bit scary?  I like to take any political ideal, goal, and claim and use good old fashioned logic to see what’s really being done.  It’s pretty simple to just look at the potential results of these ideas and know where the suppliers of these ideas stand.  Does he/she really believe we should be free to make our own choices, or do they think that they are smarter than us.  That they know, in fact, we are too dumb to make our own decisions.

Example number one:  Increasing taxes on the rich, which sounds so “Robin Hood,” is very popular right now.  The American people, running the gammut from extremely poor to totally loaded-rich, can see the merits of this, right?  Well, these people don’t “need” all that money, do they?  It’d be better to give some of it to those who have less, of course.  OK, let’s look at what this entails:

First, we need to have an almighty power who decides when someone makes “enough” money, which means the government.  Which in turn means more power for them, and more reason for them to get a portion of that redistributed wealth.  Second, it needs to be processed, another cut of that redistributed wealth taken by politicians.  Then, most importantly, what are the consequences of this wealth redistribution?  Those wealthy people, whose money you just legally stole, would have been used to purchase goods and services, which would have in turn gone to those who supplied the goods and services, who has to pay employees to provide said goods and services.  A cycle which, unimpeded, would continue to provide a jobs and wealth redistribution by people’s free will, not the heavy hand of a fascist government. 

Another example is the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.”  Never in our history has their been such a blatant attempt to eliminate the First Amendment.  However, knowing that the Leftists don’t hold power over the radio, they need to silence the opposition somehow.  This is scarier than almost anything we have coming from our power-hungry politicians.  If the government thinks they can control free speech Nazi-style, we’re pretty much done in already.  I have faith that these ridiculous laws will never be, but their conception alone should tell us something of their intentions, should it not?  Why are we, as an entire nation, not more outraged by this idea.

Examples of freedom-eliminating potential laws are everywhere now, from the elimination of union workers’ right to secret ballot (are they serious?) to lifestyle infractions such as what food we can and can’t eat.  I think what really needs to be thought about when deciding on not just this presidential election but all of our elections is where the candidate stands on these issues.  Is he/she for or against protecting our freedom?  Are we going to continue to give up rights to the government for some romantic Utopian fantasy that we apparently think they can provide?  Which candidate will protect the Bill of Rights and which will continue to try to dismantle it until we are slaves to our government’s whim?

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Another Barack Obama Brilliant Idea

Posted by jemartynowski on August 12, 2008

Barack Obama’s campaign has announced a plan to relieve seniors earning less than $50,000 of their income tax burden.  This, says Barack Obama, would save 7 million people an average of $1,400 per year.  What a heroic man to save the seniors from their terrible plight.

This is just the latest in Obama’s line of bold, herd-pleasing claims that sounds better to those who don’t care to think about consequences of our actions.  How about we try not to be one of the sheep and talk about what this plan would mean:

  1. Senior citizens, already loaded with government subsidies, will get more government subsidies.  Seniors currently have Social Security and Medicare, two of the most expensive things for us to pay for.  Every time the government gives something to someone, they take from somebody else.  So non-seniors are going to pay additional amounts to pay for that $1,400/ year.  Which is made even more unfair because…
  2. Seniors are better off than most non-seniors.  Think of it this way:  Pensions and Social Security that all of the current seniors are getting will be non-existent for those of us who will now need to save for our own retirement.  Why, then, should we be paying even more money to them.  The dollars I will be paying to Social Security, Medicare, and this new subsidy should be going towards my own retirement.  Thanks again, Democrats, for not giving a crap about my generation.
  3. Seniors are mostly in a better position than non-seniors in life.  I know, we all get the stories about how a senior-citizen can’t afford their medicine because they are on a fixed income and can’t afford it, and that is sad.  However, for every one of those people, there are probably fifteen or twenty non-seniors who have not one penny saved for retirement, have no pension, and (despite incorrect claims to the contrary) have no Social Security to look forward to.  Mostly, seniors have many advantages others don’t.  Plus, most seniors have other advantages:  they own their house outright, have no college costs, no day-care costs, and have investments and savings. 
  4. If you are under 40, Barack Obama doesn’t care about you.  He claims that “If you work hard and pay into the system, you’ve earned the right to a secure retirement.”  However, what about us?  I’m 25.  I’m paying into the system and will be for awhile.  What’s going to be there for me?  The correct answer is nothing.  But don’t worry, I’m sure someone else will come along and “save” us by creating more legislation and taking more control over our lives.
  5. Most low- and moderate-income seniors already owe no income tax.  Really, this plan just gives breaks to the more wealthy seniors who already have substantial assets.  This isn’t helping who Obama says it is there to help.  Not even a little bit.  It’s kind of an outright lie.

OK, so it sounds good when you say you are trying to help low- and moderate-income senior citizens.  The problem is, all you are doing is taking advantage of their votes by claiming you are helping them with something that doesn’t really help them at all.  That’s pretty low.  Even for a politician. 

(Sorry for such anangry post;  it’s just that the unrealistic BS coming from Barack Obama makes me even more furious because people actually buy into it.  We can’t be willing to hand over our freedom, or else we don’t deserve it.)

Posted in 2008 Presidential Election, Capitalism and Politics | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Yes, It Does Matter

Posted by jemartynowski on August 11, 2008

I would like to point out an article that Dr. Walter Williams wrote recently.  Whereas the article is pointing out the evils of lobbyists and environmentalists who currently own Washington, I would like to point to one thing in particular. 

See, it seems to me that more and more people think that it doesn’t matter who is elected president, because in the end, they won’t accomplish much.  That is true, to a point, but not entirely accurate.  The problem is that we don’t see the big picture of things that seem less important at the time until it is too late.  Dr. Williams does a great job here:

“There’s a hateful side to Cap and Trade that’s revealed by asking the question: How will it be decided who received how much allowance to emit greenhouse gases? Congress could sell the allowances and/or give them away to favorite constituents.”

That’s an important thing to think about.  More decisions made by Washington = less control for the average U.S. citizen and more power for lobbyists with deep pockets.  Which leads us to the most important paragraph:

“Much worse than that is the massive control government would have over our economy and our lives. Congress might decide that since tobacco use is unhealthy, it might not issue allowances to tobacco companies. While many Americans might applaud that, how many would like Congress to refuse to issue allowances to companies that produce foods that some people deem unhealthy such as French fries, sodas, canned soups and potato chips. Congress might deny, or threaten to deny, allowances to companies that in their opinion didn’t hire enough women and minorities. The possibilities for control over our lives would be endless and could include nuisance-type edicts such a requiring us to buy a permit to barbeque in our backyard.”

This is the loss of freedom.  We are handing it over with enthusiasm.  All I’m saying is we should always think of the long-term consequences of who we elect to office and what they will do.  Maybe the “Cap and Trade” sounds like a relatively harmless appeasement of the environmentalist cult, but we should know better.

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More Sports Nonsense

Posted by jemartynowski on August 5, 2008

Another “journalist” for ESPN.com has decided to speak out against Personal Seat Licensesfor professional sports teams.  This time the anti-capitalist is Jemele Hill for ESPN.com’s Page 2.  At least she understands enough not to throw all the blame on the owners, because she mentions the fans’ lust for sports and their willingness to pay ridiculous amounts of money to see them.  However, she still seems angry at these owners and makes just plain stupid comments about the situation. 

Let’s point out the obvious exaggerations to make her point.  First, she mentions how MLB All Star Game tickets have doubled in price in one year.  Hmm, San Francisco’s AT&T Park vs. Yankees Stadium in its final year of existence:  which do you think will cost more?  Logic, people.  She then talks about the face value of last year’s Super Bowl tickets vs. what they cost on the open market.  That’s like comparing the value of a stock at its IPO vs what it’s price is on the secondary market.  It’s face value at IPO is worthless as soon as it enters the market.  As a matter of fact, the value the NFL put on those Super Bowl tickets must have been a gift to the fans, seeing as their real value was more than twice their face value.

The fundamental problem we have here is that people either don’t like or don’t understand Capitalism.  She cannot argue about the value of something if somebody is willing to pay that much for it.  The value is set right there.  It is inarguable.  Another recent article by someone at SI.com was trying to determine what the value of European soccer players was. 

Gabriele Marcotti wrote a couple of articles trying to figure what the value of high-priced players could possibly be.  He says that clubs are overpaying some players and not getting what they paid for them.  How can he say that?  He even goes so far as to say Capitalism doesn’t work right (first paragraph of linked article).  He tries to do the accounting of it and says that these players can’t be worth it because of their resale value.  Umm, isn’t the most important thing for these people the dollars they bring in from marketing, television rights, and, uhh, winning?  Marcotti barely glances at those things and when he does, he seems clueless.  He talks about how increased television dollars and box office sales are barely anything.  I’ll bet they’re more important than you think, Mr. Marcotti.  Plus, commercial deals and marketing he values pretty low at $10 to $15 million. 

I think the best (worst?) part is where he argues that you can’t quantify the value of those players when it comes to winning, saying that Manchester United might have won the league last year without Ronaldo.  That’s a joke, people.  No chance without him.  Add the Champions League. Winning those titles increases the value of the club by tons of cash, which can be valued at what?  Open market value.

I’m getting off topic.  Marcotti is right that there is an unwritten amount to place on these players, but that’s part of the gamble.  Jemele Hill makes some good points when it comes to the tax dollars we are fronting for these stadiums.  Of course we shouldn’t pay for these things, but then again, we vote to do it.  I just want to point out that people seem to have no faith in the free market capitalist system, but their arguments make no sense.  Was the price determined by free, voluntary exchange?  If so, it’s fair.

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Economic Hypochondria

Posted by jemartynowski on August 4, 2008

“What a spectacle! You know, the American people driving around in their Lincoln Navigators, barely making it from one gas station to another, sipping designer water that costs more than gasoline and talking to one another on their cell phones about how difficult life had become in America.”
~George Will

What a spectacle, indeed, Mr. Will.  The line from George Will points out that we are in, as he calls it, a state of economic hypochondria.  We are constantly complaining about our situation, no matter how good it really is.  Truthfully, and I’m sure Mr. Will would agree, this just illustrates the result of the real problem. 

Especially in this time during an election year, we are being told how horrible the economy is.  Our terrible recession and the massive housing crisis with every single American losing his or her home to foreclosure.  How is it that the journalists and politicians convincing us of these things have no repercussions for their misleading propaganda?  We continue to support them and listen, believing, despite the facts, that our lives are awful.  Forget that GDP growth was a positive 1.9% in the second quarter of this year, forget that 98% of the people with homes are not getting foreclosed, forget reality.

The politicians want to “save” us from these awful conditions they are telling us we are experiencing.  What’s worse is that the problems that actually do exist are problems they themselves created.  Barack Obama wants to create a socialist health care system because there are 40-odd million people without insurance.  Guess who’s partially responsible?  Mr. Obama himself.  Most of those people are under the age of 35, and are mostly healthy.  They would like to be insured, but someone voted for (I need to get the exact number here, but I’m pretty sure it’s about) 8 different insurance laws that force insurance companies to cover more, unnecessary things.  Now, I know he’s against capitalism, but even for him it should be easy to see what happens to insurance costs when unnecessary things have to be paid for by the insurance companies:  they go up.  Which, in turn, means those 18-35 year olds can’t afford what they might have been able to afford before.

This election season, we are going to be bombarded by “problems” that one candidate or another is going to fix.  Many of these problems are media-created problems, some are created through other means (Read a Letter Carrier’s union newsletter if you ever get a chance.  Hilarious or sad?).  According to what we hear every day, we’re all poor or going poor, our houses are all in foreclosure, and none of us can afford to drive to work, so we’re all getting fired.  Sensibly, we all know this isn’t true.  Please, don’t let the government control more than they already do with fixes to these phantom problems.

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