Comments and observations on social and political trends and events.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Mobius Strip of Politics: Sarah Palin’s Comments and Mine

Thanks to a Facebook post by Joshua Zader I became aware of the content of a recent speech by Sarah Palin. After reading the article I posted this.

I agree with Palin's points although the NYT writer is probably right. Many people won't consider her points because it's Palin who uttered them, not someone considered more "reputable" Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex but we're seeing a different threat: a government-crony business complex. We used to have just Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises). We saw how well that worked out. With the bailouts and other programs we have a growing collection of what amount to new GSEs which further isolates them from market competition (which should be driven by the wants and needs of individuals). As Ayn Rand said the political spectrum should be collectivism versus individualism not socialism versus fascism which are just two forms of collectivism. Today we have a political spectrum where the ends of the traditional political band have twisted, like a perverted Mobius strip, to join in an unholy alliance of government/business corporatism. The individual (and small business entrepreneurs) are left in the middle so to speak. Meanwhile Republican and Democrat voters argue with each other while our Ruling Class of politicians and their cronies laugh all the way to the bank and to the public trough. What a system! ;-)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Economic Recovery Stalled After Obamacare Passed - James Sherk

James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation released a report which indicates that Economic Recovery Stalled After Obamacare Passed. The primary reasons are outlined below.

The law discourages employers from hiring in several ways:
  • Businesses with fewer than 50 workers have a strong incentive to maintain this size, which allows them to avoid the mandate to provide government-approved health coverage or face a penalty;
  • Businesses with more than 50 workers will see their costs for health coverage rise—they must purchase more expensive government-approved insurance or pay a penalty; and
  • Employers face considerable uncertainty about what constitutes qualifying health coverage and what it will cost. They also do not know what the health care market or their health care costs will look like in four years. This makes planning for the future difficult.

There is a telling graph showing how job growth per month flattened almost immediately after the passage of the bill. Admittedly that by itself doesn't prove that Obamacare was the culprit. I think Sherk's explanation makes sense though. In addition in discussions with my accounts almost every one has said their sales have improved but they're reluctant to start hiring again because of the uncertainty of what other regulations might be imposed on them. The known affects of Obamacare and the unknown future regulations makes for a potent double whammy on job creation.

When I mention this to liberal friends here in Massachusetts their typical reaction is to shrug it off as if to say “Oh well, too bad. Those businessmen will think of something.” It’s as though they believe businesses have unlimited resources, an infinite capacity to bear any burden and an unfair advantage over us proles. In one sense this is true, for those crony capitalists who curry the favor of their government buddies to form an unholy alliance that protects the businesses from competition. But I don’t believe this applies to most businesses who don’t have an inroad to the Capitol and who have to find ways to absorb the constantly increasing financial and regulatory demands while still making a profit and declaring a dividend (if they’re a publicly held company) to their shareholders.