Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Compromise" on Health Care "Reform"

Dick Morris makes the case for a "consensus" reform plan that would alleviate the partisan tension and "do something" about health care. Is this really a good plan, especially with rabid Marxists in the majority?

Clearly, Dick Morris is not a consistent Constitutional conservative. His ideas of "consensus" and "triangulation" may be good political science (in the Machiavellian sense) but they are bad political philosophy. His ideas are too much Rawls and not enough Locke. Morris' ideas may produce popular electoral victories, but more must be done to change the culture and philosophy underlying our political landscape.

Private property and the sanctity of contracts are inalienable. The government does not have the right to take away our liberty or property, nor interfere with or vitiate private contracts. A government that claims such rights is illegitimate and "it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it."

Morris' ideas to deny insurance companies the right to protect themselves (and all their customers, vendors, and creditors) with lifetime caps on payouts... or to deny insurance companies the right to charge higher rates commensurate with higher risk are clearly violations of the rights of innocent insurance companies. Such is the perverse and pernicious nature of regulation: innocent companies are branded guilty until proven innocent, in clear violation of due process. Actually it's worse than that. An innocent company must continually jump through the arbitrary hoops of a tyrannical government.And there is no point at which innocent companies are ever released from this unjust perpetual persecution.Haven't innocent insurance companies been victimized enough by government thuggery?

For those who still respect the Commandment THOU SHALT NOT STEAL, it is morally imperative to block any further restrictions on the rights of innocent insurance companies. Let insurance companies actually do what they were meant to do -- manage risk and price risk properly.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union

So, in order to lift his failing approval ratings, Obama has to run against the record of his own party.

Here's how I got there. In order to be useful to Democrats in November, Obama must first lift his own approval ratings. In order to be seen more positively, Obama had to campaign against the shameful behavior of the Congress under a Democrat majority. And then, once Obama has thrown his congressional allies under the bus, he will then attempt to leverage his popularity to help them get back on the proverbial bas and somehow survive reelection. No wonder the Democratic party is becoming so confused and divided.

Obama is trying to walk a tightrope with his convoluted message. Obama is trying to thread the Clintonian needle, implying he is somehow different from the Washington nonsense Americans have come to distrust. And yet he wants Americans to entrust the Democrats who are complicit in this Washington mess. President Obama spoke as a populist outsider against the corruption in Washington. The problem is that the corruption is being demonstrated by his own party.


Instead of wrapping your head around Obama's nonsense, why not watch a classic movie or read a good book.

Declaration of Health Care Independence

We have appealed to the decency of the elected majority to respect the rights of all Americans, but their leaders have been deaf to the Voice of the People. We are appalled by their cavalier disregard of the Constitution and of the demands of the People. We are repulsed by their blatant political bribes and kickbacks.

We, therefore, the People and Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, do solemnly Publish and Declare that health care reform, as a matter of principle must
1) Protect as inviolate the vital doctor-patient relationship;
2) Reject any addition to the crushing national debt heaped upon all Americans;
3) Improve, rather than diminish, the quality of care that Americans enjoy;
4) Be negotiated publically, transparently, with genuine accountability and oversight, and be free from political favoritism;
5) Treat private citizens at least as well as political officials;
6) Protect taxpayers from compulsory funding of abortion;
7) Reject all new mandates on patients, employers, individuals, or states;
8) Prohibit expansion of taxpayer funded health care to those unlawfully present in the United States;
9) Guarantee Equal Protection under the law and the Constitution;
10) Empower, rather than limit, an open and accessible marketplace of health care choice and opportunity.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Americans DON'T CARE about "global warming"

Out of 21 issues of concern, "global warming" came in DEAD LAST. Only 28% even believe it is a concern.

When will the Dumbocrats ever get the message?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Worst Year on Record for Dividend Income from U.S. Stock Market

2009 was the worst year for dividends, according to Yahoo Finance.
The number of companies with dividend increases fell by 36% to 1191.
The numberof companies slashing dividends rose by 631% to 804 issues.

Of course, lower dividend payouts also mean that dividend tax income to federal and state governments will fall (or at least lag the growth in government, especially salary increases and rising prices).

And this is even before the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Allowing these tax cuts to expire will only cause companies to be more reluctant to pay higher dividends, preferring to hoard cash. This is rational since it preserves capital (for operations, acquisitions, or debt service) and defers taxes until gains are realized. Allowing these tax cuts to expire will only harm retirees, pension funds, and insurance funds -- requiring higher insurance premiums and higher contributions to pension funds. Once again, bigger government most harms those whom it fraudulently claims to protect.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Americans more bearish on housing market

"just two percent (2%) of adults believe housing prices will recover in the next year. Seventeen percent (17%) predict it will take two years, while 15% are not sure.

But 65% think it will be three years or more before housing prices recover." (

The share who believed housing would recover in a year was 5-9% in 2009, but has fallen to only 2%. Those who believed that housing would not recover for three years or more was only 57-60% in 2009, but has risen further to 65%. (71% of men, 60% of women) (70% of investors vs 61% of non-investors) The trend shows increasing disappointment throughout President Obama's tenure, especially among investors.

Furthermore, those who make over $40k per year are more likely to be pessimistic and investors are more likely to be pessimistic (and thus disappointed with the economy and its effect on their personal finances). In other words, those more likely to vote and more likely to contribute to campaigns are more likely to be disappointed with the economy under President Obama and with the Democrat Congress. It also suggests that those more likely to research and follow the economy are more likely to be pessimistic... and reject media predictions of a "recovery".

Men were more pessimistic and the majority of men have decided to support Republicans over Democrats. Women, who are more likely to be undecided at this stage (according to Celinda Lake's polling), are not yet as disappointed. But looking at the long-term unemployment data and the wave of mortgages set to adjust to higher rates and likely default, they soon would be.

Undecided voters decide later in the year, when foreclosures, bankruptcies, and loan defaults will rise in the face of persistently high unemployment, underemployment, and earnings lagging the cost of living (and lagging increases in taxes). Also, those who remain optimistic about the economy are more likely to be government employees and more likely to be women. These may be more likely to be affected by the 2010 state government budget cuts.

Men in the private sector have already seen their unemployment rates rise faster than government employees or women. But this is because stubborn tax-and-spenders continue to prop up the government bubble. (see the concentration of jobs "created or saved" by the "Recovery Act" stimulus in state capitals and other centers of government.)

Privately-employed men suffered the brunt of job losses when the housing bubble and stock bubble and energy bubble and credit bubble collapsed, but government-employee unemployment may catch up once state governments FINALLY accept that budget cuts must be made. As tax revenues remain persistently depressed, the government bubble may FINALLY be allowed to pop.

American's dour predictions about the economy and the futility of (or even the harm caused by) government policies turned out to be more correct than the optimistic promises of the political class.

When the bearish predictions are confirmed by reality, disapproval of the Democrat congress will only increase.