Hey Conservatives it’s voter education stupid

Every election cycle as long as I can remember Republican candidates with conservative values have waged uphill battles against liberal candidates. The post election reviews have repeatedly concluded that the Republicans need to appeal to more minority voters. The most recent review I saw basically indicated the path to these voters is to adopt a lighter version of democratic positions. Even though the electorate gives signals that it is tired of the same old government answers, the proposed remedy offered to conservatives is to mimic the Democratic establishment and promise more of what many voters reject. Conservatives need not run as light Democrats! Conservatives need to employ effective voter education strategies.

“Hey Conservatives, it is Voter education that is the missing ingredient. Education is necessary before, during and after elections.

Democrats win elections by appealing to voters sense of compassion. Democratic sycophants sing the same song before during and after each election cycle. ( e.g. Doesn’t everyone deserve more stuff? Shouldn’t everyone make $15.00 per hour? Shouldn’t everyone, who desires it, get a college education?) These are no more than thinly veiled emotional appeals, which not only do not reflect what is possible, but also do not reflect, what the economy needs. It is emotional pandering! Everyone feels good, when passing out gifts.

Prices for goods and services in a market economy are set by supply and demand. Most of the populace didn’t study even basic economics and the role of markets in determining the price of goods and services. This presents conservative proponents with some educational challenges. Proponents of the free market economy can’t merely tug at the heartstrings of the single mother or father by spinning a modern day fable. Markets while they serve a vital purpose and allow for the many choices available to the individual consumer and employee are based upon mathematics. Mathematics revolving around the concepts of supply and demand and are difficult to reduce to a fifteen second sound bite. Resources, which includes human resources move within the economy to where they are most needed and best used in the economy. These concepts don’t lend themselves to emotional gimmickry and market fluctuations frequently cause temporary worker displacement

How might the concept of supply and demand be applied to the “college for all” discussion. Let’s suppose an individual would like to pursue his or her interest in Art History. If there are many individuals, who pursue this academic field of study and no one or few companies can find a use for individuals with this type of knowledge, then you would expect the wages for individuals with this degree to be low. However, unlike in a command economy, this doesn’t mean an individual can’t pursue this course of study, but it does indicate that the workforce may not need this type of worker at this time and the chances of a person with this field of study finding gainful employment and getting a return on his or her education in the field are limited or perhaps even nonexistent. When you say everyone should get student loans without regard for the market need or assert that college should be free for all, you distort the market and run the risk of producing individuals with skills, which aren’t needed in the economy. This is malinvestment. Government by offering something for nothing invests in skills, which the job market doesn’t need. The ordinary market price forces are disregarded and the result is a class of educated unemployed. Frequently this malinvestment is at the expense of other needed productive jobs which go unfilled.

What about the Minimum Wage increase arguments. Everyone wants more money. Not everyone requires or will demand $15.00 per hour for their services. Additionally some industries simply will not support that wage level because people are unwilling to pay for the product or service at that cost. (Witness the elimination of the service station gas pump attendant) Additionally some people are willing to work for less. Perhaps they wish to supplement their income. ( e.g. retirees or those in school or the young starting their working careers) Some workers may simply wish to gain a foothold in a new occupation or may be workers achieving their full potential and the lower wage acts as motivation to the individual to change or increase their skill set to become a better contributing worker. Raising the minimum wage eliminates opportunities for some workers to enter the workforce and increases the demands of those, who formerly made more than minimum wage workers to increase their wages. finally some workers may simply make a choice to live at this pay level. People have free will and the poor will always be with us. These truths are difficult, but most adults will understand them if the arguments are made.

Conservatives need to stress the concept of opportunity. We must teach others that society should always seek to maximize opportunity. This means we may have to educate the public about supply and demand. Remind the citizenry that competition is global and if we seek protectionism, we risk loss of market both now and in the future.

Remember protectionism takes many forms. Sometimes it may be disguised as a safety regulation, which limits innovation or prevents a new life saving drug from coming to market. (e.g. Regulations requiring that all autos must have steering wheels because consumers have always had them in cars. Steering levers, joy sticks or other control methods are prohibited or so severely disadvantaged that they are never pursued) Sometimes it protects groups by demanding a service be provided in a certain manner or referencing a certain pricing structure. (e.g. wages are preferred by government regulators to be priced per hour)

If we pursue protectionism, job loss will result as the competition elsewhere adjusts the price of their human resources and takes over markets. Unions are aghast at these market realities and refer to this as a race to the bottom. It is in fact a race to the top. The best prepared workers will produce the most goods and will be rewarded accordingly. (Wage increases occur even in the absence of unions) Innovative companies will gain market share at the expense of those, who lag behind. Don’t be a laggard, if you want to get ahead!

We must encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. This must occur in commerce as well as those sectors traditionally done in the public sector. We must encourage lifelong skill development. This by the way is not the continuing education requirements imposed on industries by government, but rather concrete targeted training, which is market driven and serves the purpose of increasing worker preparedness and productivity. Educational requirements imposed by governments are all too often simply protectionist measures intended to favor their donor constituents. More is not necessarily better.

Movement toward targeted lifelong education will make some educators and administrators uncomfortable and may mean some employment displacement, but will result in an updated workforce and should result in increased employment over the long term. Conservatives will have to explain this idea to their donors and educational professionals, who favor a more traditional and less focused educational model. There will be failures and unfortunately educational mills. Education is an industry and it will have institutions, which will innovate and fail or simply be fraudulent. It has failures now! The market will reward the best and jettison the rest and the individuals will vote with their dollars as to whether an educational service should be continued.

Conservatives must educate the populace in economics and the value of markets in economic growth. This is not a thirty second campaign. Conservatives thus far have done a poor job in conveying their message. Liberals have characterized market forces as ruinous or villainous. Many times it is legislation, which distorts the market and causes long term human misery and long term market problems. Markets are not good or bad. They are pricing tools for goods and services. The nation that harnesses education, so that needed skills can quickly be adapted and acquired as needed for growth will truly be the nation of opportunity. It all begins with a market savvy populace.

Conservatives, if you want to win, educate the populace on market theory and opportunity. Use concrete examples. Make the public aware of the damage done by government malinvestment. Not every public works project even if it be a bridge, road or building project in your hometown assists economic growth. Remember scarcity still exists as does global competition and those, who fail to produce what the world needs are destined to fail. Government does not create jobs, but malinvestment and over regulation by government certainly can retard growth and job development.

Conservative politicians should be at work targeting removal of protectionist regulations. A party, which doesn’t hold the office of the executive can still propose changes, which limit government and promote market access. This type of pre-election legislative targeting, if explained properly could be a catapult to winning future executive and legislative office. Currently, conservative politicians simply languish in the shadows and shout “Wait till next time!”. This type of wait and see attitude allows the forces of the left to capture more and more of an educationally deprived electorate. Education must occur before during and after the election cycle. It must be ongoing, continuous and contain a feedback loop, which measures success outside the election cycle.

Educational accreditation in private and public sector institutions should be scrutinized to assure that they serve a valid purpose of enhancing the educational experience and are not being employed simply to prop up existing institutions or limit field access. This scrutiny can be initiated in the private sector. If an institution produces candidates for positions that meet business needs, then candidates from that institution should receive employment offers. This will in the short term lead to unrest in human resource departments and even at the executive levels. There will be new searches required without the old yard markers and goal posts of the past. Merit and productivity should become the new king of industry. Companies must cease giving only lip service to “professional recruitment”. No longer should the junior human resource assistant be permitted to screen applications and no longer can the technocrat write job descriptions. This type of recruitment has produced the great fails of the latter part of the twentieth century and are not consistent with the new concept of continuous education.

Conservatives must lead these educational initiatives. Remember conservatives, it’s voter education, stupid!

Failure to connect the dots!

Watch any news broadcast about terrorism and you will hear the cliche “failure  to connect the dots”.  This phrase is usually associated with a failure of a government agency to link information in its possession to a future terrorist attack.  We have become accustomed to hearing this phrase repeated ad nauseum with every new terror incident.  The government is not the only entity, which fails to connect the dots.  Witness the failures of fourth estate. (the traditional media)

The press has been relied upon as the check on government.  It has been referred to as the watchdog of a free society.  This watchdog has become the ultimate pet with liberals and conservatives each supporting their own pets.  Refer to my prior post.   How many conservative or liberal news outlets pursue in depth investigations when, comments are made by “their side”.  They seldom if ever pursue an objective investigation of the other side.  It is easier to just report what is said even when what is said is simply an obfuscation or contains glaring inaccuracies.

Research uses resources, both human and financial.  We live in a twenty four seven news cycle and a market where traditional media is in decline.  It is expensive to do research, so we depend on less experienced employees, who spoon feed the “on air talent”.

What is the result of this?  No one in the media connects the dots.  The viewers see the same tired quotes repeated over and over again throughout the day and in the case of many outlets repeated over and over within the same hour of any given day.  Analysts appear and repeat the party talking points, while the facts are never explored.

Witness one Hillary Clinton, who is heard repeating her talking points about never sending emails marked as classified or top secret.  The lapdogs play her comments over and over.  They parse her words instead of asking simple questions.  Is this the type of conduct expected of the most experienced and qualified female attorney in the U.S.?  What should be expected from someone with her background and experience?  Does it really matter whether her conduct reaches the threshold of criminality, when she is seeking the highest office in the land?  The Clintons learned the game long ago.  Repeat a line often enough and it becomes tomorrow’s fact.

Meanwhile a plethora of political operatives flood the airwaves masquerading as political analysts and proclaim the depth and breath of Ms Clinton’s experience, yet no one really can cite accomplishments.   As a matter of fact, her history is riddled with failure.  Her healthcare reform in the nineties was a failure.  She failed to understand the will of the voters of that time.  Her time in the Senate as a  carpetbag New York Senator was unremarkable.

The airwaves are filled with platitudes yet her time as Secretary of State will be known for her failure to protect state secrets not her brilliant foreign policy strategies.  Now she talks of her opponent’s temperament.  No one explores her character.  No one connects the dots.  How can the most qualified candidate ever and a brilliant politician be such an abject failure?  Why does she always try to have the public judge her conduct by a criminality standard.  (If it’s not criminal,then it’s okay?)

Now witness one Donald Trump.  The conservative media fawns over his decisiveness and his willingness to fight.  Never do they bother to ask, if this is the way an individual seeking the highest office in the land should conduct himself.  It doesn’t matter whether his outbursts have any basis in fact.  He is permitted to whine about how he is characterized in the media, yet thinks nothing of resorting to calling his opponents names.  Truth is not important, as long as the comments are directed at others.

He brings ratings.  He threatens defamation suits, never realizing he is a public figure and the standard for defamation is and should be higher.  The media doesn’t report the consequences of the changes he says should occur to the standard for defamation even though his proposals would severely limit free speech in political contests. What needs to happen?  The dots need to be connected.  The public has a right to more than the superficial pablum served up by the media sycophants.

Character assassination is the hallmark of  Donald Trump’s campaign, yet no one in the conservative media does any more than report what he says.  They would rather photograph an empty podium, then make an investment in researching, whether what he says has any basis in fact.   Chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” bring increased audience.  Catering to him by referring to him as Mr. Trump is easier than calling him out for his boorish name calling behavior  The media never connects the dots.  They would rather report on the horse race than give the public information necessary to make an informed decision.

So what are we left with at a crucial time in our nation’s history?  A name calling contest.  A choice between two unvetted political lightweights.  Neither has been truly tested by the fourth estate.  So what do I say ” a pox on all of your houses”.  Now we can only hope one of these two pretenders steps up and becomes a leader.  The country hangs in the balance!

 

Subtle Distinctions: Why good intentions aren’t enough!


Republicans every election cycle struggle needlessly with “Cognitive Dissonance”. Their dilemma is faced by all, who believe in liberty and self reliance. They struggle to justify their political stand with the “Golden Rule”. Their angst stems from a failure to comprehend the true basis for capitalism and the ramifications of Democratic Policies. When one judges based upon emotion, it is easy to miss the true ramifications of these policies.

Long ago I was told that you could easily cook a live frog by slowly raising the temperature of the water rather than simply tossing the frog into a pot of hot water. The frog will attempt to escape the pot with hot water, but will not attempt escape, when the temperature is slowly raised. Too many Republicans have been slowly convinced that by embracing capitalism they are abandoning Christian virtue. It is in fact true that when they embrace the policies of the compassionate state that they abandon their virtue.

Capitalism has for far too long suffered from the criticism that it is solely a tool of the greedy. As with a hammer, a knife or any tool, misuse is always possible. Individuals, who use their wealth solely to produce more wealth at the expense of others is an example of a failure of a person or group not an indictment of the entire system. Notice I used the word solely and the phrase at the expense of others in tandem here.

Greed and and other inappropriate motivations exist in society as a whole and as such exist in capitalistic societies as well. Capitalism’s superiority rests in the fact that individuals are free to choose their paths. Capitalism allows for the exercise of free will. Our Founders believed that freedom was the quintessential virtue that must be protected. It is what allows the individual to be a unique human being or one one among many as the individual chooses.

When I was a young boy in Catholic school, I was taught President Kennedy’s now famous quote. “Ask not what your country can do for you,but what you can do for your country”. Since he was the first Roman Catholic President, you can imagine, the tremendous identification I had with this larger than life heroic leader. So enamored by his persona was I that the statist nature of his message was viewed by me and many others as the ultimate expression of patriotism. Everyone saw this young leader as the ideal person with whom one could cast his or her lot. Thus began the America’s obsession with the concept of government service as a high calling.

Upon his untimely death the mantle of leadership fell to Lyndon Johnson. President Johnson built on the foundation laid by FDR and Kennedy. He promoted the Great Society. He provided what he saw as a moral goal. The elimination of poverty. (Aka prevention of adverse economic outcomes) FDR demonstrated that government could be advanced to accomplish tasks not contemplated at the birth of our nation and Kennedy fostered the idea of public service. ( “…what you can do for your country”) Johnson clothed the federal government with moral purpose. How can anyone stand against his objectives? The Republican view of the world as expressed by Barry Goldwater was characterized as pugnacious and selfish.
How could the Great Society achieve its noble goal. Use the power of government as a blacksmith would, to shape the new society using the hammer of government to control outcomes. Does it matter whether the Great Society is accomplished at a great cost, the loss of personal freedom? Many including many Republicans were willing to embrace the power of government. You see, free will can be messy when the direction of a country is dependent on the actions of the populace. It is not a linear path and its movement toward any goal even a worthy one is dependent on the good character of its citizenry. A powerful government can push even an apathetic populace. Doesn’t that noble end outweigh the loss of free will?

It is now time for self reflection. Are we closer now to the promised Great Society? Are we closer to a society where poverty is a distant object in society’s rearview mirror? Are we a more moral people? Is there more or less room for dissent in a society that requires the populace to celebrate all types of conduct and treats discomfort as a reason to curtail thought? Have government guidelines advanced or retarded the free exercise of religion? Do you feel more or less safe? Do you feel empowered to advance your economic interests? Do you and your neighbors feel the country is more educationally balanced?  Are there more or fewer barriers to entry into the economic realm?

I propose a replacement for President Kennedy’s most famous quote. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do to help your neighbor. It is your choice to act or not to act. Advancement toward or away from any goal is dependent on the will of its citizenry not the state. Freedom is messy since it allows for advancement or failure based on the independent choices of the individual. Success is measured by its citizenry and adjusted by the sum total of their individual choices.

Government exists to preserve the natural rights of its citizens not to push them toward a collective goal. How is this moral with all the misery in the world? This path is based on the inherent right of the individual to be free. The ultimate right, free will. The populace can use their rights for good or ill. Federal Government exists for limited purposes.   It exists to preserve individual’s natural rights and promote national safety and establish a common currency and insure fair economic competition between the several states. It was not nor should it be an instrument to herd or control its citizenry. Tyranny is tyranny, whether by a sovereign or a group of voting citizenry.  We live in a Republic with limited powers and protected individual rights.  Our economic system, capitalism, is consistent with the concept of individual liberty.

Next time you are challenged about capitalism or the impotence of the federal government to swiftly advance societal change, remember the moral high ground is still yours. Capitalism offers the unique opportunity for each individual to achieve his or her highest potential in the economic marketplace. It offers the best opportunity to help, not control your neighbor.

Doubt me, then look at the standard of living in the old communist empire. Look at the standard of living enjoyed by those in the many regimes of the middle east or the dictatorships of Africa. Many of these regimes are in countries with vast amounts of natural resources, yet all standards of living pale in comparison to ours.

How is your neighbor best served?   Your neighbor is not better served by grand economic master plans, when we can have our plan crafted by millions of individuals creating the plan, which best serves them by making choices best for them every single day.  No one could gather sufficient data nor create an algorithm that could better serve the citizenry.

Where government oversight is needed, it is best exercised at the point closest to the populace it serves. Never forget, our republican form of government’s primary purpose is to protect  its citizens and preserve their natural rights. It is the responsibility of the citizenry by their choice to assist their neighbor, when assistance is requested.

Remember this truism a government, which attempts to do everything for everyone ultimately does nothing of value for its citizenry. Freedom of choice is the key to to personal advancement as well as economic opportunity. It is time to roll back marginal regulations, which do little to protect citizens, but act as a barrier to entry into a field of endeavor. It is time to return to limited government and personal responsibility.  Coveting or taking your neighbors goods is not moral simply because it is decided by a vote.  Individuals have the moral responsibility to serve their neighbor and the free will to choose to do so. The individual is served by being challenged.  Those individuals, who are incapable of assisting themselves should be helped by charity.  There are ample individuals, families and private organizations capable of assisting.  Government simply is not good at it.

Life is not totally safe and an attempt to make it so confines humankind to a short life in a cave under a rock. It is safe, but short and with no room for growth. Remember the individual is directed to help their neighbor not the collective.  Limited government is not accomplished by hope and change, but by the faith, hope and charity of the individual.

The indefensible Republican establishment

It’s really quite amazing the information you are bombarded with in the morning, which is portrayed as news or commentary, but which is hardly newsworthy and as commentary is merely a restatement of the obvious.  Such is the case this morning with the words of Senator Mitch McConnell.  Senator McConnell recently appeared on the FBN show “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo”.  The Senator in response to questions defended the Republican Congress’ record.  He indicated that the Congress had sent bills to the President to repeal Obamacare and dismantle Mr. Obama’s initiatives.  He correctly stated these bills were greeted by a veto, which he knew he lacked the votes to override.

What the Senator said is true as far as it went, however what he failed to say is more significant.  This Congress as all Congresses possesses the power of the purse.  The Congress funds the government.   This Congress knows how the President will react to the bills they sent to him, yet they continue the same tactics in a lame attempt to convince the people, they are attempting to secure change.  What the Congress is actually engaged in is an attempt to insure reelection for its members, while doing nothing to stop the Obama agenda from moving forward.  The Republican establishment values holding office over progress on its legislative agenda.  Member’s futures are prioritized over the good of the country.

Where it could secure meaningful change is through the budgeting process, (the power of the purse) it unilaterally disarms itself at every turn.  Why?  It is a lack of true leadership in the Republican Congress.  There is a failure to spread the conservative message.  Now more than ever, there are multiple news streams available to get out the conservative message, yet they cower and pass omnibus and cromnibus bills, which embolden and advance the President’s agenda.  They believe the people are too ignorant to understand basic civics.   They accept the narrative that the executive is entitled to fund his programs.  What they have as a result of this failure is a populist Democrat, who has captured the Republican nomination for president.  They face a hostile takeover of their party.

Now they are engaged in a campaign to discredit their party’s nominee.  They accept all criticisms of their nominee, while overlooking the inadequacies of the Democratic candidate.  They once again are more concerned about the future of their individual members and unconcerned about the path of the country.  I am to a point where I say, who needs them.  They got Donald Trump because they won’t advance the people’s agenda of less government and less regulation.  They just won’t fight!  Now they will fight, but only against the populist candidate their incompetence enabled.

Once upon a time there was a political party called the Whigs.  When it no longer advanced the will of its constituency, it morphed and became the modern day Republican Party.  We have reached a point in our history where there is a far left party (Democrats) and a party concerned only with the preservation of its elite members (Republicans).  Perhaps we have reached a point, where a new organization with a different culture is needed.  Let’s start a true conservative organization promoting constitutionally mandated limited government and promoting candidates, who serve the people rather than serve for their own future.  Those, who believe in limited government, can come along.  Those, who don’t should find themselves in the refuse pile of history.  Failed members of an era of minority thinking and failed leadership.

Think about it.  We have run out of opportunity to elect new representatives in this primary election, but we have two years to prepare before the next full Congressional primary season.  Planning must start now!  A new party platform created and candidates recruited and financing lined up.  This time we need to be dependent for financing from the many not the few.  Good news is, we have many new and yet not fully explored platforms for securing support.  Social media calls!

Ask yourself these questions.  Are you satisfied being led by a northeastern valued Democrat?  Have your previous choices of a liberal northeastern former governor and “maverick southwestern senator”, who doesn’t understand the principles of limited government (Witness: McCain-Feingold), been the types of choices a limited government individual could zealously support?  If not, then let’s take the opportunity to repeat history and oust the pretenders!

Living life your way

The last post on this site was somewhat unusual as it strayed from what is considered retail politics and was more issue driven. One of the prime issues in this year’s election will be the economy. It seems that neither political candidate will seriously address entitlement reform. Each candidate is concerned with establishing their credentials with the east and west coast liberal urban voters.

You see it is poisonous to suggest there is trouble in paradise. Supporters of Bernie Sanders certainly don’t want to hear the message that any government entitlement should be cut during an election cycle where Senator Sanders is championing new educational program expansion. (free college for all) The soon to be coronated head of the Republican Party is hell bent on securing electoral votes from at least one Northeastern state, so you will see no plans that deal with entitlement reform from him. The message will be all is well, so much for tearing the system down. Establishment Republicans are content to keep any entitlement changes, which might be planned, under wraps during this season, lest they be accused of “pushing grandma off the cliff” again. Hillary Clinton is the last of the old guard big government advocates, so there will be no revision or curtailment of entitlements from her camp. Her slogan should be “Remember Single Payer! I had it first.”

Where does that leave us? I believe where we should be. We should be out front pushing for change by challenging assumptions in our own lives and acting to effect change in our world. (the real world) If we can attract enough attention, by our actions by moving the labor participation rate, then we can force the political class to concede the point that policy must change as the social demographics change. It’s time to address the demographics by changing entitlements to encourage senior work not on a full time basis but as desired. We are a society that is aging. We need qualified workers and trainers to guide the next generation of workers.

After we lead the way by moving the labor participation rate, then Congress needs to act to address antiquated rules that restrict employment and investment. Rules should be changed to conform to the realities of an information society. We need to understand that individuals, who choose to invest, are responsible for their choices and when abuse occurs, then it should be promptly and harshly addressed on a case by case basis. It’s time to demand that state prosecutors do their jobs, when the situation requires it.

Jobs will be created in an information society in many theaters. Workers will be needed to give advice and perform tasks. Investment will be needed and large banks are not the way to create small business. More and  less regulated local funding is the path to small business growth. Let’s put the state “laboratories of democracy” to work crafting information age solutions. Nineteen forties or even nineteen seventies rules have no place in a modern information society. It’s time to let freedom prevail.

We should no longer be shackled by FLSA. Our President believes he did a tremendous service by changing overtime rules for salaried individuals. These ancient rules work against hiring many seniors, who schedules may not conform to the typical work day or work week. He in keeping with his agenda believes he should decide what a desirable situation is. News flash, Mr. President, individuals decide what situation is appropriate for them, not the federal government. Still I am sure in a sluggish economy he bought some democratic and independent votes by his short sighted and short term pay increase. The net result of his actions will be a setback to the economy.

Let’s establish a web presence for experience. Let’s create a market for gray labor. “We can work for less and train others to be the best”. We can afford to work at what would be considered a discount for five to ten years, while collecting retirement pay. We can increase the participation rate, train young workers and still maintain the type of flexible lifestyle that years of labor have earned. My previous post I stated .that people work because it provides them with a sense of purpose. Let’s put seniors to work training the millennials. Education doesn’t end in the vocational or even the college classroom. It’s time to be the movement. Don’t feel the Bern. Change the system. If free will was a blueprint for our creator, then freedom should prevail in our society.

Now a personal note! If anyone needs a senior individual to help out with Microsoft Access and office projects and could use help with office procedure improvement, I am available. I have 13 years of experience and only need to be free to exercise and take the occasional ten day cruise. I’m flexible!

Dispelling a utopian myth in modern American Society

When you were in school, you were probably told to not believe all you are told, but view source documents. How many followed this advice? I can tell you in my experience few, if any followed the advice. As we age, we have an opportunity to reflect on a great number of issues. As we examine ourselves, we find we believe what we were told and what we have come to believe because of personal experience.

If you are like me, your earliest memories of work probably revolve around household chores or menial tasks, you were told to do. You complied at first because of threat of disapproval or punishment or maybe the offer of a reward. I remind you of this to make the following point. Your first impressions of work were probably not real positive ones.

As you gained experience in the “real world”, the tasks required of you were probably more challenging. Hopefully, your reason for work changed. Now you work and your reasons and rewards gained from work changed. Threat of punishment was no longer a factor nor did promise of reward act as the sole reason for your work. If you were like me, a sense of personal achievement and internal sense of accomplishment replaced prior motivations. You gained a sense of purpose. Your job, while still at times less than pleasant, was self rewarding. Still you waited for the day, when your time could be your own and financial concerns and a “job” didn’t monopolize your day. You were told retirement was the ultimate goal. Free time and opportunity for travel, hobbies and other pleasantries, you set aside would await you. You believe this is a desirable goal because you are feeling burdened by your daily grind and the prospect of more freedom is appealing.

This is the time to remember the words of the school teacher. Examine the source of the belief. The retirement dream was one born in another time, when jobs were unfulfilling and dangerous and relief from the physical grind itself was a reward. We live in a time with different national demographics. Concerns over the sustainability of many social programs, which retirees depend on, are in doubt. What is the answer to these concerns? Examine your beliefs. Is the retirement completely free from purpose even desirable? Perhaps the vast union hoard had the whole concept wrong. Perhaps people need work. Some can fulfill that need through volunteer work or a hobby, but for many nothing replaces work with real remuneration.

Is this to suggest we are all to be subject to endless toil until death? No, but more utilization of the experience of the senior population is sensible and is advantageous to both society and the individual. Our society today is employing more and more part time labor. Doesn’t it make sense that those with experience be utilized and incentivized more in what was formerly full retirement? This type of policy if properly incentivized could ease some of the burden on Social Security and Medicaid and still aid the senior and allow for more freedom in what was otherwise complete retirement.

Some will not want this. I say this is their choice. Examine your choices. Are you acting because you want a life style? If you are, then I say proceed. If, however after reaching the age you find a sense of purpose missing, join with me in requesting a choice in retirement. I think you will find an approach, which eases an individual into a partial work situation to be desirable for you.

Next time: Establishing a website for marketing senior experience. Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Thoughts on the reason behind the Republican’s Presidential Choice and the Message Moving Forward

Everyone has now accepted that Donald Trump will be the nominee of the Republican Party. Why Donald Trump? Republicans did not want someone to speak to them in “Washington Speak”. Future candidates must address the electorate differently, if they want their message to resonate with the voters. Voters simply do not wish to expend the effort to sift through issues and simply do not want to hear about the nuances of candidates positions.

Other Republicans candidates have done a poor job of communicating their message of limited government. The general populace believes that government is the answer to the ills of this country. They have had it drilled into them in both Public and Parochial schools. Public schools have pushed the message by touting the accomplishments of Presidents like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, (New Deal)Woodrow Wilson (League of Nations Proponent and Federal Reserve Proponent) and Lyndon Johnson (Great Society). These Presidents emphasize the federal government’s role in American Society. No wonder children and young adults leave the Public School System with an exaggerated view of the importance of government. Parochial Schools properly advocate the importance of Public Service. Lost in the translation of the Public Service messaging is the importance of the individual. It is the individual to whom the message of Public Service should be directed. Government has never been a good partner to Religion. Religion speaks to the individual and addresses its flock through the church not the government. Governments all too frequently are proponents of values at odds with many religions.

Churches should be wary of government especially socialist and communist governments. Realize that there is no consensus on public values. This country has differing community values depending on where you are and which groups you address within a community. It is this lack of consensus of values that mandates the power of government remain decentralized, so it does not trample the values of the community and individual freedom.

Socialism is a predecessor to communism. It is a stop on the journey. Socialistic societies rely on a government process to provide for many of their services and eventually own the means of production. We have already seen, when you rely on a centralized government to provide funding or even government direction of education, you get message the government sanction message disseminated to pupils. Since it is a government sanctioned message, it will favor the use of government action to accomplish tasks.

Look at the history in the former Soviet Union and China. Both nations promoted the values of the state at the expense of religion. Can anyone deny that both these governments were hostile toward the individual and religion? Why? Success of these systems is dependent upon adoption of a view that government is the cure for all social ills and the values of government should be adopted for the success of the society. Does anyone doubt this is hostile to individual freedom including the freedom of religion?

Look at the Affordable Care Act. It is just the latest example of the incremental creep of socialism. This law is lauded for its compassion. It expands Medicaid. This is another entitlement program for the poor or near poor. It increases the dependence of the individual on government. Government uses its taxing authority to force individuals to pay for this program. The US government uses the dollars position as the world reserve currency to insure the individual does not immediately feel the full financial impact of these services through a reduction of pay. (Tax increases) It cannot however stop the consumer from feeling some effect of the law. (Shortage of service providers as well as increased cost of services due to increased demand on the same or dwindling supply of services) This law attempts to guarantee services be provided. It replaces charity.
Charity is the private sector solution to providing services to those unable to afford it. It has been derided as unsuitable by great society advocates because it is not sufficient. (I.e. an entitlement, right) Charity, since it is not a guarantee allows more than one method of providing the services and can even require the individual to act in a certain manner to receive benefits. The individual however still has choices. He can opt not to act in the manner prescribed by the charity and not accept their services and look for other choices of charity. (There are many providers and could be more absent additional government) He is not forced nor is the charitable donor forced. There is undoubtedly room for growth, if government removes impediments to service provision.

Additionally, incorporated within The Affordable Care Act are provision for regulations which allow government to advance its agenda in areas such as reproductive rights, end of life services, treatments available and ultimately determining the value of a life. (I.e. perhaps an elderly individual should be given a pain pill rather than a procedure to alleviate their pain) So the government is able to foist its secular values on the individual and on religion by providing what is seen as a compassionate service.

Republicans do a poor job of communicating alternatives. Individuals fear uncertainty. Government solutions pretend that scarcity does not exist. Government solutions hide economic reality by pushing costs to the future. The Affordable Care Act does not provide any real methods to increase service supply or service efficiency. Government solutions instruct that the problem is too big for any solution, but a government solution, so dependency on the government is key. Private sector solutions rely on the faith of the populace in themselves. It is the antithesis of the Nanny state. Private sector solutions must be communicated in a manner that shows what is possible, if individuals act. It can be action of an individual or group of individuals acting in concert. It does not depend on the use of government force. It can be instituted without the assent of the legislature. It can be adjusted easily. What must happen to allow this type of action to move forward expeditiously is relaxation of regulation and ultimately state tort reform. The state action desirable, but not mandatory. Private sector solutions can advance provided the heavy hand of government does not intervene to protect the status quo. The challenge of Republicans is twofold: 1)Resist temptation to act to support those with an interest in preserving the status quo. 2) Resist the impulse to jump in with a government solution, when there are the inevitable failures. (Remember, government fails regularly, but is almost never held accountable.)

Communications about the new path of the country should be philosophical in nature. It should accentuate the positive aspects of a voluntary program in education, healthcare and other services currently provided the government, while making it clear that deficiencies can be rectified by individual action without the need to request the permission of a government entity. It is a philosophy rooted in faith in the individual. You must have faith that the individual, when left to act, will act appropriately. It is the antithesis of the tyranny of the majority currently practiced by Washington.

Freedom of choice is the end product. There is no tyranny by a government or even a tyranny by a well intended democratic majority. It is the path of the almighty, who allows free will to all. It affords an opportunity for the individual to express his or her best instincts.

There comes a time

There comes a time, when an individual can no longer merely be a casual observer witnessing events, but is required by circumstances to speak out or bear the blame for the evil outcome, which he supported by his silence  I have witnessed a government intervention, which has succeeded in reengineering the basic unit of society, the traditional nuclear family.  That same government seeks to mandate that we not only acquiesce in its social engineering experiment, but celebrate the destruction this reengineering scheme has wrought.  I can no longer sit silently by and witness the continued destruction of my country’s social and political culture without raising my voice in outrage.

It is time to for all, who believe in traditional American values to voice their disapproval of this social engineering scheme. Begin by educating your children and family members that procreation absent a marital commitment is deviant and unacceptable behavior, which inflicts irreparable harm on the children of these relationships.    Insist that your Priests, Ministers or Rabbis and any other clergy express their support for the traditional family from the pulpit. Show your displeasure with the direction of the political culture through at the ballot box. Contact your Federal Representatives and Senators and insist on a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage.   Spread the word to anyone, who will listen that you do not support and will not accept this newly engineered social order and that you have traditional values deeply rooted in nature, history and religion, which cannot be compromised for political expediency or personal gratification.

I have witnessed the systemic destruction of the nuclear family by my government and its replacement with the universally accepted and celebrated single parent household.   I have been warned by my government and media that it is inappropriate to judge these newly created family units by my old religious value system.  After all the individuals are merely acting in a manner, which promotes their personal satisfaction.  The sexual revolution has freed men and women from the slavery of traditional marriage.

If this meddling in the natural order was not sufficient, big brother government inserts itself between the biological parents.   It through its policies and programs alienates children from the parents with the promise of financial independence or reproductive freedom.  Government creates vast bureaucracies, which promise to support, feed and act in loco parentis.  

Government is no one’s parent.  It cannot replace a father and mother.  Politicians and bureaucrats do not know you or your family.  They may not even share your core values.  They cannot act be allowed to substitute their programs in place of the parents.

Unelected short sighted public administrators laud the new poverty programs as economic growth vehicles because money is borrowed by the federal government and pumped relentlessly into the community.   Rules are promulgated and social agencies are utilized to secure acceptance of the new order.  These rules are justified as necessary for individual safety and the maintenance of societal order.  

Government Attorneys are dispatched in droves to secure financial support for these new unsustainable societal units.  Insuring financial support for dependents is a noble charge, but the result this government intrusion is all too often a splintered more severely dysfunctional family unit.

All of these actions are well intentioned and justified by proponents as actions necessary for personal freedom and poverty alleviation.  The societal chaos, which ensues, pits parent against parent and child against parent.  Yet in the wake of vast deficit spending, the poverty still persists and families are torn asunder.  Individuals are heard in the midst of all these noble intentions to decry their newly created social position.  The newly anointed heads of household and their minor charges lament the diffusion of responsibility, which gave rise to and perpetuates this unnatural social existence.

I have personally witnessed multiple religious based program graduations, where estranged young adult males vowed to be better fathers for their children in the future.  Almost to a man each recounted that there was no paternal role model in their home, when they were growing up.  They do not know how to be a parent or how to maintain a traditional family relationship.  The cycle is continued with them.

What is the answer?  Surely we cannot simply allow those society encouraged to embark into these new arrangements to do without and become part of a permanent underclass.  We start small.  We begin by no longer celebrating and financially promoting these single parent arrangements.  We educate the youth that the family is the natural basic unit of a society.  We promote personal responsibility starting in the home.  We reward marriage.  We should encourage marriage between parents even when that commitment occurs post child birth.

We reform some laws to conform to the natural social order.  We formulate a tax structure that doesn’t punish lifelong commitment.  We remove the government from family decisions.  WE accept gifts between parent and child as tax free exchanges at any age, where there is no ongoing commerce involved.  We employ a tax structure that allows parents to assist their offspring at an age with no income reporting requirements except in those rare instances where there is intent to defraud a government program with a wealth transfer.  Wealth exchanges of this type are a family matter not a government revenue source.  Let me be clear.  There should be no gift or income tax consequences for traditional family wealth transfers except where the exchange is done to defraud a government entitlement program.

If this tax strategy is employed, government will benefit in the long run because it will have less individuals dependent on its services.  We should also allow wealth to pass from parent to any age child without tax consideration upon the death of a parent.   Children and spouses are the natural recipients of an individual’s wealth upon death. The government doesn’t need to use families to raise revenue and if some excessive revenue is deemed to pass from parent to child, it is the price we pay for upholding the natural order.

We should require grounds for divorce, where children are present.  Except in the case of financial or domestic abuse we must remove the government from familial interactions.  We should encourage parents to first work out their finances without any government involvement.  Where parental cooperation is lacking and intervention is needed we should utilize churches and community organizations wherever available to assist.  Parents frequently will not work together, when there is a government alternative, which is easier and is often seen to favor one side over the other.

Where severe financial deprivation occurs, society must provide immediate necessaries on a short term basis only, but it must also afford the parents the opportunity to resolve the deprivation.  Provision of necessaries by the government should be short term temporary assistance and it should be repaid by both parents, when they become financially solvent. Current law encourages the creation of vagabond children, who stay with various relatives until the government assistance is no longer available to the possessory relative then the children are moved on to a new assistance providing relative.

If financial deprivation persists, more drastic remedies should be employed including criminal sanctions against income producing non providing parents and as a last resort consideration should be given to removing the children from that environment until the parents demonstrate their ability and willingness to support them   All remedies to assist families should be employed by local and state governments exclusively.   Regulation of families is not a power granted to the federal government.  The health and welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution is not an independent grant of power to the federal government.  The Tenth Amendment must mean something!  All inclusive federal regulations and funding have promoted dependency and encouraged the unacceptable culture we own experience.

Speak up at home and in your community!  Promote personal responsibility even when it is uncomfortable.  Sometimes it is imperative that you speak to prevent harm to your family and community.  Educate the young that the nuclear family is the basic building block of nature.  Listen to those, who are running for office, whether it is federal state or local.  Do they share your values?  Do their solutions always involve use of government force first?  If so, consider the long term social engineering consequences of supporting such a candidate.  Families are a naturally occurring phenomenon, not a creature created by government rules and government intervention.  If you encounter a candidate or policy that runs contrary to your traditional values even within a party you ordinarily support, speak out against the individual or policy.  Don’t contribute to the evil.

A time to hang together

The announcement by Senator Mitch McConnell that the Senate would not take up any nominee for the vacant Supreme Court position advanced by President Obama was startling to the Media, but is completely understandable to me.  Consider the current situation within the Republican Party.  The Party is in chaos.  This strategy is the act of desperate leadership, which understands its limitations.  Leadership simply can not risk a hearing or a vote on any candidate advanced by the Democrats because Republican leadership can’t trust its members to remain cohesive in the face of the upcoming elections.

It is truly a sad commentary that with so much at stake, there is no group understanding of the peril faced by the nation with a liberal appointment to the Court.  There has been so much damage done to the concept of separation of powers by this administration already.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party has been complicit in the creation and advancement of the federal juggernaut.  Many of the party’s members have established careers by accommodating the big government advances of recent decades.

There can be no appointment considered by the Senate  because the leadership can’t and shouldn’t trust its members to stay together and reject any Whitehouse Candidate.  This Congressional group is comparable to a clowder of cats.  They won’t stay together and can’t be herded.

This Congress fails to comprehend basic civics and concedes its power of the purse at the first mention of “Government Shutdown”.  It allows the narrative to be advanced that the executive must have all programs funded at levels acceptable to the administration.  A presidential veto equals shutdown, which means Republican electoral losses, which means immediate and unconditional surrender.

History is important shows how we reached this point.  Congresses past had the power to fund programs only for their terms. The concept of multi year projections is a farce perpetrated upon the public to rationalize fiscal irresponsibility.   Instead of creating self sustaining programs to fund its many social promises and preserving the excess taxes collected for future entitlements, legislators of both parties built careers by thoughtlessly pillaged  the so called trust funds (leaving worthless paper in its wake, which can’t even be sold) and made more unsustainable entitlement promises. These promises now are said to be social contracts, which the electorate has adopted and which can’t easily be abrogated.

So the cycle continues each session.  The President proposes massive program increases.  Congress counters with proposals for less and the President dictates minimal levels by threatening a veto.  Congress surrenders because of fear of electoral losses.

This is the recent history of the Republican majority.  Just as in the past, some Republican members have built their careers by conceding on key party line votes.  Leadership can not trust its own members, and the party is impotent, when it comes time to have crucial showdowns with the executive branch.

I say no vote is better than a bad appointment.  There is just too much at stake to begin trusting now.  I would rather put my faith in the wisdom of the electorate and defer considering any appointment then trust this crowd with such a crucial vote.  So Republicans, you must hang tough on a deferral strategy because history teaches you haven’t the resolve to reject a bad appointment.

Fortunately Republicans can look to the past words of Democratic Senators, who proposed the same strategy, when in the minority in an election year.  These past statements may soften the pain and convince the media not to crucify the Party, but it is going to get thorny, so hang together Republicans on a strategy of inaction because the alternative is much more threatening to the long term health of our now fragile Republic.

Amazing how fragile the political landscape has become

There never was a time, when a political outcome could be guaranteed.  There has always been action then reaction.  One side advances a proposition and the other pushes back.

First please allow me to clarify terms.  Politics is defined as who gets what, when and how.  I learned that long ago from a text book on day one in my first Political Science class.  Ultimately by this definition virtually every decision is subject to politics at some level.

Today I chuckle when pundits use the word.  Most news readers must never have cracked a social science text or if they did, they have long since forgotten their earliest lessons.  They talk of things being political, as if it is a process occurring in a vacuum in distant far away land.  They are tantalized by the constant banter and become immersed in the minutia without any appreciation of the process or the underlying driving philosophies.

The news reader is a captive of the east coast culture and is constantly reassured of their superior knowledge of the process by a parade of hand picked “expert analysts”, whose prognostications never receive a thorough critique after the actual events reveal the fallacy of their original premises.

Today is a day of extreme concern for me.  Today the political landscape is much different and much more fragile than it was last week.

The passing yesterday of Justice Scalia removes from the political landscape an element of political continuity.  Unfortunately, political balance is now dependent on nine unelected life appointed lawyers. This should be distressing to every citizen.  How far we  have strayed from government’s original limitations! So much so that the death of a single justice could tip the balance of this nation.

You see Justice Scalia was a Court leader, who approached all the cases he reviewed with his eye always cast back at the original intent of the founding document.  He saw no necessity for a living breathing Constitution.  If there was a need for change in the original formula at the macro level,  there was the amendment process.  It was difficult to accomplish by design.

Rights to Justice Scalia weren’t inconveniences to be discarded due to popular whim.  The roles of the three branches of government as well as the role of the Federal and State Government were all identified and defined.  The mission was one of following the Constitutional recipe as written and amended.

What resulted from his vigilance was philosophical consistency.  Not a guarantee of anything except adherence to the original plan.  One could disagree on the ultimate outcome, but the method of reaching the result was based upon the original script with no ad libs.

Today, many believe that the Constitution is outdated and call for action and in fact decry the lackadaisical pace of government to address what they see as the pressing issues of modern society.  Count me not among these individuals.

Government remains the greatest threat to a free people and as such must be restrained by a sound foundational philosophy.  That philosophy is one of inalienable individual rights invested in us by our Creator, limited roles of all branches of the federal government and checks and balances to curb the inevitable power grabs destined to occur over the course of time.  Democratic rule unchecked by individual rights is merely tyranny by multiple tyrants.

Modern society is perceived to face threats at levels not encountered in generations past.  To this I say nonsense.  These threats are different, but not historically unique.  What we have allowed to evolve is unbridled government authority over the individual.  The political right threatens liberty by hyperbolizing security fears and the political left  seeks to dominate the individual by soft tyranny.  The left offers this exchange: liberty for financial entitlements.

Let’s return to the fundamental relationships between government, states and individuals.  Remember that  individual rights form the foundation of our union.  It makes us different from most other nations.   We remove cronyism from government by limiting its functions and returning to the original intent of our framers.

Families should take care of their members and failing that local charitable organizations or churches and failing either of those then local communities should be the last resort.  Government does not and can not possibly share all the values of all of its constituents and is not to stand in loco parentis.  (in place of parents)  The best way to insure individual rights is through following the limitations on government set forth as written in the founding document.  It is past time to return to original intent.  Special interests will no longer invest billions of dollars, if limited government is practiced, because there will be nothing to be gained from their lavish expenditures.  If who gets what, cannot be manipulated by government intervention, but is rather accomplished by individual enterprise and merit, then better outcomes will undoubtedly result.

Our political landscape is indeed in a fragile state at this juncture with the passing of Justice Scalia.  Balance on the Supreme Court will most certainly be swayed by any new appointee. and we are threatened with the appointment of more liberal activist jurists, who impose more federal regulation upon the populace without regard for original intent.

President Obama clearly doesn’t share Justice Scalia’s belief in the wisdom the founding documents.  It has been said he sees the Bill of Rights as a listing of negative liberties.  I guess that is so, when you have liberalism as your religion and see government as the road to your salvation.

So to you RINOs ,(Republicans in name only) and patriotic liberty loving Democrats, you must impose this litmus test on any future nominee.  Any Supreme Court nominee must adhere to founding principles of limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, individual rights and true federalism, which includes respect for the tenth amendment.  Any jurist considered must have a record.  No more trying to slide someone by.  You must have the difficult debates.  You must for just this once show more concern for the future of your nation even at the expense of your personal electoral fate.  If you do not we risk moving from a fragile political landscape to a permanently fractured one.