Friday, June 26, 2009

Cap and Trade a Good Thing for the Free Market?

At first glance, no, it isn't.

"Cap and Trade" is indeed a direct and overt threat to the Free Market which houses, feeds, clothes, and shelters more Americans than government could ever hope to do.

The EPA has estimated Cap and Trade will cost the average household between $80-110 a year in excess energy costs. There is however no way to estimate what it will cost the country in terms of jobs (payrolls) and growth.

In a recession, efforts should be made to grow the economy, encourage investing, and reducing costs. Cap and Trade will create artificial restraints on the economy/GDP by increasing costs. This is something even the proponents will not argue and I fear is ultimately their goal.

Other policies have been silent killers like the CRA, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid whose effects aren't felt for some time after implementation leaving plenty of room for politicking and finger pointing.

Cap and Trade will hurt the economy immediately and will force Americans who subscribe to populist politics to come to terms with consequences on their paychecks, standard of living, and the opportunities their children will have.

All of this should spark a conversation about what we are willing to give up in the name of populist politics and that may end up renewing respect for the Free Market.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We Meddled Before We Said We Wouldn't Meddle

Looks like that's the sum of it.

Otherwise, why would the Obama Administration go around Ahmadinejad and the standard diplomatic channels directly to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei via the Swiss Embassy?

Sounds like the Obama knows Ahmadinejad is barrier to progress on the nuclear talks and wants him out of the way or at least on a leash. Admitting this would highlight the fact that sometimes words alone don't work afterall.

Typo or Intentional Slip?

Taken from an article on selling naming rights on NYC subway stops to banks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Colorado License Plate Fee Increase

I knew it was coming in July. I knew it was regressive and would hurt the working class the most. I didn't get the full impact of it until I got my motorcycle renewal in the mail yesterday.

Last year's total renewal costs (fees + ownership taxes) came to $26. This year it will be $51--double.

I can afford this increase and certainly have bigger things to complain about when it comes to taxes and big gov, but let's take a moment and think this one through...

My motorcycle is the third vehicle in my household. I ride it to save gas and started riding last year after the summer gas price spike. I ride nearly everyday unless it's raining hailstones. And yes, I also enjoy it!

I didn't consider riding for the environment but rather I saw the impact of high gas prices on our economy and knew several folks who were struggling (one that owns a business). I also agree that we need to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, the proceeds for which ends up supporting governments at odd with certain western values like NOT executing people who are gay, NOT imprisoning girls for going to school, and NOT stoning women who are the victim of sexual assault. I can afford gas for my car but recognize that I can make an impact by riding and have a little fun while doing it.

But it just so happens that two-wheeled transport, being the most efficient method of transporting a human being, is also better for the environment than a car/truck/SUV. Most bikes get better mileage than hybrids and that should make any environmentalist happy. In addition, bikes put less wear and tear on our roads and help ease traffic congestion--something local government should support.

So what Governor Ritter is doing, in my case, is punishing me for doing exactly what he and his party have asked me to do; cut back, conserve, make a positive impact. I wrote the Gov to tell him just that in the most polite way possible without getting political--we'll see if I get a response.

In the meantime, I'm confident the Governor is getting pounded by people asking why this increase applies to their old Honda Civic to the same degree it applies to a new $80k Land Rover.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Silence on Iran

Americans looking for a firm, decisive response to the situation in Iran from President Obama have been more than a little disappointed the past few days.

Some good analysis

The bottom line is that taking a side requires a commitment and the current Administration has done everything it can to not take sides in international affairs particularly when it comes to Muslim nations. Taking sides against America while touring the world is another matter...

While Obama might not want to say it, this is a huge opportunity to help topple Ahmadinejad and put the nuclear issue to rest. Of course we would have to "
meddle" to make it happen and yes other Muslim/Mid East nations would not be happy. But then again, are they happy now with the sabre rattling and nuclear ambitions?

There are those who say we have to respect the Iranian democratic process and I say "why?" Even if that process isn't broken as many Iranians claim, why do we need to respect a government that has pledged itself to our destruction? A government that continually destabilizes the region and funds terrorism against Israel?

We can afford to be self-interested here and we should be, but that would require having a President with the stones to take a side.

Zicam = Bad

Local news is reporting the FDA finally put the smack down on Zicam after it damaged the sense of smell for some users.

I had heard through a co-worker years ago that Zicam did this although I've never been interested in using it. A search, at that time, revealed lots of anecdotal evidence on the internet confirming exactly that.

It's nice the FDA only took 10 years to protect consumers...

"The FDA says about 130 consumers have reported a loss of smell after using Zicam products since 1999."

Thankfully only 130 people are impacted, but this is precisely why we do not want the government in charge of health care. This is drug that whose risks never outweighed the reward yet stayed on the market for 10 years while a government agency (FDA) failed to protect consumers.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sorry Britain

"Mr Gapes, a Labour MP, said: 'The U.S. is clearly determined to act in what it perceives as its own national interest even riding roughshod over what it should have done, which is spoken to the British Government."

Quote from the Bush years? Nope, just yesterday.

Glad those Euros love us now!

And then there's this speculation...

"'I wonder what promises have been given to the Bermudians, potentially about going a bit soft on the tax haven status or something else as a quid pro quo.'"

Did Obama and Bermudian Premier Ewart Brown trade security for a little "looking the other way" on taxes?

Monday, June 8, 2009


This is only bad because we are supposed to be more concerned with what the Europeans think of us than what we think of ourselves.

Otherwise, I wouldn't care. And back when I didn't care, I didn't remember Laura, Hillary, Barbara, or Nancy giving any stink eyes like this.

What's worse is that the First Lady only had to sit there for an hour or so and it was off to shopping. If you can't play nice for an hour, stay home!

Way to go Team Hope and Change!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Failure to Recognize

GM's bankruptcy announcement this morning has created a lot of reaction but little surprise. What's also unsurprising is the failure of the political left to recognize that socialist policies are at odds with the survival of America's largest auto manufacturer, and that more socialism will make the problem worse.

You cannot take wealth out the economy and expect private enterprises to stay in business.

Prime example, Michael Moore, who responds to this news with more "rainbows and unicorns" will save us rhetoric. His "message" is worth a read to jump into the mind of socialist and see how quickly they dismiss the natural consequences of their ideology.


1. Yes, we are indeed at war. The war between capitalism (which created this nation and made it great) and socialism (which seeks to destroy wealth, jobs, opportunity, and personal freedom).

Comparing cars to "weapons of mass destruction" isn't even worth a discussion. Every type of manufacturing (even "green tech") will have a impact on the planet. Every breath we take has an impact; is Michael Moore willing to end his life to save the planet?

2 - 4. The alternatives aren't ready for the market and no amount of government subsidies/taxes will make them self-sustainable. In order to be self-sustainable (i.e. employ a private work force) consumers must be willing to buy the product/service.

So I get to take a bullet train from Denver to Dallas in five hours--that's awesome! Just point me to the rental counter when I get there!

Our nation, infrastructure, and our lifestyle isn't suited to a radical compulsory shift to public only transportation. I've written about this before. It's also drenched in hypocrisy because we know our elitists will never give up their SUVs and private planes (why are SUVs still legal anyway?). And this is coming from a man who likely couldn't walk a city block without taking a break?!?

5. Yes I can see Farmer Joe loading his crop onto a bus! That'll be efficient all right.

6. The thrust to hybrid cars may be a huge environmental mistake. There are currently 250M cars on the road in America. Imagine if all those cars became junk overnight. The smartest thing to do is refit them with hybrid tech, but that would limit jobs.

And while forcing Americans to buy hybrids would certainly employ workers, those workers would still need consumers to buy those vehicles to make payroll. See a trend?

The hybrid market is tapped out. All the trendy eco-geeks who were willing to pay the hybrid premium have already done so. There are probably a handful of consumers in the margin waiting for their vehicles to need to be replaced, but the idea you are going to 250M gas only vehicles off the road is laughable.

7. Wind power doesn't work in the market and requires huge subsidies. Read much?

Everything else listed requires a consumer. Where are the consumers? If GM can't find people to buy cars how are we going to convince, I mean compel, people to buy wind turbines and solar panels?!?

And once you put the power companies/authorities out of business, how will the gov bail them out?

8. Why try and incentivize, it's time to start punishing!

The Dems control the White House and Congress. I ask again; why are SUVs legal? Why is private air travel legal?

If we really want to change, then let's change already!!!

9. Yes, that's just what the economy needs, more taxes. And here, Moore gets honest. This should have been his #1 but he chose wisely to bury it as #9.

Instead of recognizing how we got here Moore would rather utilize this opportunity to further limit freedom and control individuals.

The gas spikes of 2005 and 2008 had a horrible impact on the economy, but at least that money stayed in the private economy rather than being squandered by government.

Allow me to finish Moore's list with #10...

10. Seize the paychecks of all Americans and give them vouchers for anything the elites in government think they require. Housing, clothing, health care, fuel, everything. Make sure all Americans get an equal amount of what they require (social and economic justice).

Limit the damage done to the environment by limiting what Americans can do in their own lives. No more evil Walmart. No more vacations. No more private transportation.

Of course, Hollywood and Washington will keep their SUVs, sports cars, private planes and the steak and lobster lifestyle to which they've become accustomed.

When Americans fight back and refuse to go to work to continue to produce under these conditions, write laws compelling them to work. Every American will report to his designated work location each and everyday. Children will be institutionalized as early as possible, not for education (re-education), but for free "child care."

What does #10 have to do with GM's bankruptcy? Nothing. But then again neither do #1-9.