About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An Austrian Economic Analysis Of "The Hunger Games"

The problem with most dystopian and science fiction novels is that economics makes the narrative implausible. Of course, most readers aren't bothered by this because most readers don't understand economics, and those that do are unfamiliar with Austrian economics.

The error most novelists make is their assumption that prosperity is the direct result of technology and that technology, by its very nature, advances in lockstep with time. Thus, a story set in the future never fails to feature wondrous new technologies and individuals enjoying endless leisure time and unheard of luxury. 

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, is one such novel, although with a slightly different twist.

Both the book and the popular movie depict the nation of Panem. The residents of its central city -- the "Capitol" -- are universally wealthy and prosperous by today's standards. The buildings in the Capitol are soaring skyscrapers, the streets pristine, the people idle and fashionable, the politicians powerful and ruthless. The Capitol is a marvel of technological wizardry. The Hunger Games -- a kind of high tech version of television's "Survivor" played for keeps -- take place in a vast, high tech bubble -- the Arena -- controlled by a room full of cyber nerds, reminiscent of Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Collins' twist on this technological prosperity is that the ordinary masses of Panem are virtual slaves who live in primitive conditions of poverty in 12 outlying districts from the Capitol and who produce in low tech fashion all of the goods and services Capitol residents enjoy.

The economics of Panem are as follows: Each district specializes in the production of a particular good or service. For instance, the people in one district grow food, in another they mine coal, in another they catch fish, in another they harvest lumber, and so on.

The district residents have little or no money. They survive on government-provided rations of food and supplies. In the poorer districts -- those out of favor with the government -- the people are relegated to the life of hunters and gatherers in order to survive. In more favored districts -- those making weapons and supplying the government with police ("Peacekeepers") -- government largesse is generous and the standard of living much improved. Apparently, the black market thrives in most districts. Barter is the common means of exchange.

Since Panem is a brutal dictatorship and every aspect of individual life is managed by the Capitol elite, we must assume that all decisions regarding the production and transportation of goods and services are made by central planners in the Capitol. Thus, it is fair to assume that Collins envisions the economic system of Panem to be almost identical to that of the old Soviet Union or modern day North Korea, as opposed to say communist China of today or fascist Italy or Nazi Germany of yesteryear.

Given these economic parameters, are the economic conditions of Panem, as described in the novel and in the movie, plausible?

Centrally controlled command economies are notoriously inefficient. As Hayek made clear, information is the chief problem. Central planners are faced with a constant, logistical nightmare. Even when specific production goals are known, the amount of information involved in the production process is virtually infinite and unmanageable.

Because decision-making and information processing in a free market economy is localized in the extreme, the production process is highly efficient. Logistics is a breeze. Each individual entrepreneur concerns himself with one small piece of the production puzzle. Reacting to signals from other individuals in the market, each entrepreneur involved in the production process figures out the best way to satisfy supply and demand as it pertains to his own narrow interests.

If two heads are better than one, then thousands of heads in the marketplace, each concentrating on his own area of interest and expertise, all coordinated by the signals of the market, are vastly superior to one central planning head.

However, even if a single central planning head is assisted by an army of associate central planners, a command economy couldn't rival the efficiency of the market economy. Why? Because the quantity of information flowing back and forth in the nitty gritty of the production process is not only overwhelming but ultimately unintelligible without the mechanism of price which is exclusive to the capitalist market economy.

Production of a good or service is not a certain and linear process. Each step of the production process involves choosing one of several possible, alternate means of production. Each alternate has a special advantage to recommend it. Alternate "A" might be a perfectly efficient technical solution from an engineering standpoint. Alternate "B" might be a bit inefficient from an engineering standpoint, but it might have economic advantages, employing resources or materials that are more readily or immediately available.

Determining this economic advantage is no small task, as many, many production processes are intertwined and interconnected, each utilizing identical resources and materials. How would a central planning bureaucracy be able to sort this all out? Such a task is staggering to comprehend.

Of course, the free market easily sorts these logistics out by means of the interplay of available supply and current demand. The result of this interplay is a money price of the various, possible factors of production which entrepreneurs then take into account in their decision-making process. Of course, price isn't the sole, determinative factor.

What makes an entrepreneur an entrepreneur is his ability to make such decisions and his willingness to bet his own capital that his decisions will pass muster in the harsh judgement of the marketplace, which is comprised of many, many entrepreneurs, each trying to best satisfy consumer demand. In the competitive market the cream rises to the top. Entrepreneurs, who bet their capital on wrong decisions, fail. Entrepreneurs, who bet their capital on right decisions, profit and succeed.

No such market measure of success or failure (satisfying or not satisfying the consumer) exists in the command economy, wherein the only measure of success or failure is pleasing one's bureaucratic superior. In the command economy politics and cronyism substitute for consumer satisfaction.

The severe information problems inherent in a command economy cannot be solved by cyber technology. Even the most powerful computers armed with the most sophisticated and intelligent software and operated by the most creative technicians cannot make entrepreneurial decisions. Cyber system would still be plagued by the age-old truism: garbage in-garbage out. Computers may be programmed to decide what solution is best from the point of view of the natural sciences (physics and engineering), but computers are not capable of knowing what solution consumers will ultimately find most satisfying. Human entrepreneurs do make such judgements, often on the basis of a counter-intuitive, inspired hunch.

Moreover, whatever cyber power and genius exists in central command can easily be countered or neutralized by contrary actions of individuals in the hinterlands. Collins seems aware of this. Thus, she stipulates that theft is a Capitol offense in Panem, punishable by death. Theft in the hinterlands would compromise the production estimates of central planners and muck up the system.

Still, The Hunger Games is replete with examples of individuals risking death by defying the edicts of the central command. Poaching, participating in the black market, bribing petty officials and so forth are common activities in the outlying districts. All these individual actions contrary to Capitol directives make the central command economy hopelessly unpredictable and, consequently, inefficient.

Furthermore, as Ludwig von Mises often points out, the production of goods and services is not independent of their distribution. In other words, individuals are motivated by the expected outcome of their actions. If an individual knows that he will not be allowed to keep in full measure the product of his labor, he will decrease his productive output accordingly. If he knows he will not be allowed to enjoy any measure of the product of his labor, he will produce only what chains and whips coerce him to produce and no more.

Thus, the inevitable result of the central, command economy is unproductive labor, waste and inefficiency, the maldistribution of capital and, ultimately, capital consumption. Even if all the meager production produced by the various districts in The Hunger Games were transported to the Capitol for investment or consumption there, it is highly unlikely the Capitol would resemble the wealthy splendor of a capitalist metropolis.

Yes, dictators like Sadaam Hussein may plunder the wealth of the countryside and use that wealth to build a few luxurious palaces. He might even be able to equip an army and build a few impressive weapons. The pharohs in Egypt built the pyramids using slave labor. Tyrannical, Soviet technocrats managed to put men in space. Planters in the American South built gaudy mansions and amassed personal wealth by exploiting the labor of slaves. But such wealth is ultimately puny and short-lived as compared to the vast and enduring wealth of a community of successful, free market capitalists.

It is plausible that President Snow, the ruthless tyrant of The Hunger Games, could live in luxury by plundering the outlying districts, but it is not plausible that he could finance the building of his Capitol, that shining city on a hill. Nor could he keep the residents of that fair city living in the lap of luxury and leisure for long.

All command economies built on coercion and plunder eventually collapse under their own weight. Inevitably, the cost of the structure of terror needed to keep the system operating overwhelms its meager capacity to produce.

This economic truth applies not only to command and control economies in fictional nations like Panem, but also applies to real nations like the former Soviet Union and present-day North Korea.

Unfortunately, it also applies to nations like the United States, which cloaks its economic system in the language of free market capitalism, but which in fact controls and commands its economic system by means of laws, rules, regulations and edicts promulgated by a ruling elite in Washington, DC.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Would You Buy A Used Car From This Man?

The Charlie Crist timeline, courtesy of Wikipedia...

In 1992 Crist was elected to the Florida State Senate as a Republican. He "supported teacher salary increases."

In 1998 Crist ran for the US Senate as a Republican and a pro-life candidate.

In 2000 Crist was elected Education Commissioner of Florida as a Republican.

In 2002 Crist was elected Attorney General of the State of Florida as a Republican. He "ended official attempts to keep [Terri] Schiavo on life support."

In 2006 Crist was elected Governor of Flordia as a Republican. He opposed off-shore oil drilling.

In 2007 Crist signed into law a bill that allowed Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, a State-owned, not-for-profit, underfunded insurer of last resort, to become the largest insurer in the State of Florida.
In 2008 Crist supported off-shore oil drilling.

In 2009 Crist announced his support for President Barack Obama's $831-billion stimulus package

In 2009 Crist ran in the Republican primary for the US Senate as a pro-life candidate.

In 2009 Crist lost the Republican primary for US Senate, became an unaffiliated candidate and had all pro-life statements removed from his website.

In 2009 Crist supported efforts to ban same-sex marriage in Florida.

In 2009 Crist announced he would run for the US Senate as a Republican against Marco Rubio.

In 2010 Crist stated that he no longer supported Florida's ban on same-sex adoption.

In 2010 Crist vetoed a bill which would have removed taxpayer funding for abortion.

In April, 2010 Crist lost the Republican primary to Marco Rubio.

In May, 2010 Crist announced his intention to run against Marco Rubio as an "unaffiliated candidate" but promised to remain a registered Republican.

On May 13, 2010 Crist officially changed his registration status to "non party affiliated." He promises Republican donors to his campaign that he will return their contributions.

Later in May, 2010 Crist's campaign said he would not return contributions to Republican donors.

In November, 2010 Crist lost the US Senate election to Marco Rubio by 19 percentage points.

In 2010 as a candidate for the Senate Crist said: "I don’t agree with the guy [Barack Obama] on hardly anything he does."

On August 26, 2012 Crist wrote an opinion piece in the Tampa Bay Times endorsing Barack Obama for reelection as President of the United States.

On August 27, 2012 the Obama Campaign announced that Crist will be a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention next week in Charlotte, NC.

In endorsing Obama for reelection Crist said he favors "sensible compromise." Crist praised Obama as the "right leader" for the nation for keeping "his compass pointed due north." He said he shares Obama's "vision" for the future. Crist also praised Obama for "helping the many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed upon them" during "our shared crisis...in the winter of 2009." He called the President's response "swift, smart and farsighted."

Crist also praised Obama for realizing that "short-term healing had to be paired with an economy that would stay healthy over the long run." He added:
President Obama knows a reliable infrastructure that helps move people to work and helps businesses move goods to market is a foundation of growth.
Crist called the President's $716-billion cut in Medicare a "savings" that would extend the life of Medicare "by nearly a decade."

Crist ended the opinion piece by saying:
We have more work to do, more investments to make and more waste to cut. But only one candidate in this race has proven a willingness to navigate a realistic path to prosperity...

...But an element of their [Republican] party has pitched so far to the extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and students that they've proven incapable of governing for the people...The truth is that the party has failed to demonstrate the kind of leadership or seriousness voters deserve."
 Ah, yes! The nation truly needs the kind of leadership and seriousness Charlie Crist demonstrated in his long and tanned political career in Florida!

Why not appoint him the next Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Does This Make A Difference?

Because of circumstances beyond my control, I anticipated being away from keyboard for a few days. However, today I found this item on the Drudge Report and I made time for a short comment: Republicans eye return to gold standard...

The link connects to an article at CNBC.com that says:
The gold standard has returned to mainstream U.S. politics for the first time in 30 years, with a “gold commission” set to become part of official Republican party policy.
If this is true and not merely a hollow sop to Ron Paul and company, is it enough to make a difference to libertarian voters who detest the Republican Party and refuse to vote for Mitt Romney?

I know party platforms are notoriously worthless and non-binding documents. On the other hand, they do reflect the opinions of party regulars who take platforms seriously. When I was a big "L" libertarian, we debated the party platform in earnest. The debates often became heated.

Therefore, the fact that such a plank (supporting a "gold commission") is included in the Republican Party platform is huge to me.

I don't subscribe to the theory that the Republican Party is corrupt and unchangeable as an institution. Institutions and organizations do not have an existence separate from the individuals that comprise them. When the hearts and minds of individual Republicans change, the Party can change. The "gold commission" plank may be the first sign of change.

Is it enough to change the vote of hard-core libertarians in November? We must wait and see.

As an added aside, it's curious the way the authors of the subject article report on the effects of a change to the gold standard:

Any commission on a return to the gold standard would have to address a host of theoretical, empirical and practical issues.

Inflation has remained under control in recent years, despite claims that expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet would lead to runaway price rises, while gold has been highly volatile. The price of the metal is up by more than 500 per cent in dollar terms over the past decade.
These comments and their implications, of course, are total nonsense and reflect complete ignorance of Austrian monetary theory. Gold is up in terms of the dollar, which is the very currency the Fed controls and has been printing as if there were no tomorrow. And to assert that inflation "has remained under control in recent years" is to rely on government measures of inflation which we all know are manipulated. Anyone who gets a paycheck and buys food, shelter, clothing and virtually any other good or service knows prices are rising with abandon.

The article also states:

A return to a fixed money supply would also remove the central bank’s ability to offset demand shocks by varying interest rates. That could mean a more volatile economy and higher average unemployment over time.
This comment is so bizarre, one barely knows where to begin. In Austrian monetary theory with regard to a gold standard, monetary authorities would not fiddle with the printing press in a vain attempt to "offset" "demand shocks." The demand for gold and the supply of gold -- both as money to hold and for commercial purposes -- would be determined by individuals trading in the market. Interest rates would also be determined by the market, not as a reaction to the demand and supply of printing-press dollars, but as a reaction to the time preference of individuals in the market, i.e., their demand for future goods as opposed to present goods.

Moreover, the net effect over time of a gold standard would be less volatility in the marketplace and a tendency toward full employment.

Be back with regular posts soon...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

No Wonder Carney and Obama Have Confidence In Wasserman Schultz!

When I saw the news item below at Weasel Zippers yesterday, I couldn't believe it. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been a disaster. She has no credibility. She is either an unprincipled shill who will repeat anything the Obama campaign whispers in her ear, or she's a complete idiot. How could Carney say Obama "absolutely had confidence in her?" It makes no sense!...

News Item: Carney: Obama “Absolutely” Has Confidence In Wasserman Schultz As DNC Chief…
White House press secretary Jay Carney is standing by Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz amid reports that top advisers regret tapping her for the DNC post.

Carney told reporters Monday that the White House “absolutely” had confidence in her role atop the Democratic Party’s political operation.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Bozo The Clown

So I did a little research and found a picture of Obama conferring with Jay Carney:

Now it all makes perfect sense!

h/t The Looking Spoon

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ron Paul!

Ron Paul was born on August 20, 1935. He is 77 years old today. Happy Birthday, Ron!

I've not told the story before, but I met Ron Paul at a Libertarian fund raiser a long time ago. He was running for President on the Libertarian Party ticket. The event was held at the home of a friend of mine. About 20 of us local Libertarians attended. Ron Paul's reputation preceded him. We were all familiar with his writing. At the time he was in the vanguard of libertarian thinking and Austrian economics. We were genuinely excited to be in the same room with such a great man, who just happened to be our candidate for President. Even then Ron had a winning personality and a kind of awe-inspiring charisma.

At dinner I learned what kind of human being Ron Paul is. Ron sat at the head of the table. He was being bombarded by unabashed compliments and softball questions about economics and libertarian philosophy. He was as a king before an adoring court. At one point a gentleman across from me asked Ron a particularly saccharine question. I can't even remember the substance of the question. All I remember is its tone of adulation. I think Ron was even taken aback a bit by the questioners undisguised flattery. The rest of the table sat hushed, smiling, awaiting Paul's reaction.

However, before Paul could say anything, I raised my hand and said: "Excuse me."

Paul looked at me. "Yes?" he said.

Without skipping a beat, I gestured to a plate on the table in front of him and said: "I'm sorry to interrupt, but would you please pass me the cookies?"

Everyone at the table gasped as Paul's mouth froze open in surprise. Then, he looked at me and laughed. "Be happy to," he said and passed me the plate of cookies.

With that the ice was broken as well as the phony-baloney mood. Ron Paul relaxed, as we all did. Everyone shared Paul's hearty laugh and the rest of the evening was like a family get together.

Ron Paul is a genuinely nice, polite, self-effacing individual. He's intense too, but honest and forthright. He truly believes what he says. He is the exact opposite of an establishment politician. He's a regular guy who I think lives before his time.

He would have made an outstanding President back then, and this year too.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Forget About The 1% vs The 99%. What's Really Destroying This County Is The Damn 40%!

According to today's Drudge Report the Washington Post has conducted a new poll. I don't usually pay attention to polls, but this one is revealing.

The article in the Post "underscores that the gulf between Republicans and Democrats has never been wider," pointing out the different factions that exist in both parties. For instance, there are Tea Party Republicans (Rand Paul) and "Pro-government conservative" Republicans (George W. Bush); there are "Urban Liberal" Democrats (Nancy Pelosi) and "Agnostic Left" Democrats (Bill Clinton). This isn't the revealing part.

CNSnews does a better job explaining the significance of the poll:
The poll asked: "Would you say you favor a smaller federal government with fewer services, or larger federal government with many services?"

Among all those polled, 55 percent said they wanted a smaller federal government and 40 percent said they wanted a larger federal government.

Among just the registered voters in the poll, 58 percent said they wanted a smaller federal government and 37 percent said they wanted a larger federal government.
I don't know about you, but these results blow my mind! I'm not surprised that over 50% of Americans (whether Democrat, Republican or Independent) wants "a smaller federal government with fewer services." What blows my mind is that about 40% of Americans wants "a larger federal government with many services!"

That's depressing.

The CNS article has more:
The poll also asked: "Do you personally agree or disagree with the following statement. Government controls too much of our daily lives."

Among all those polled, 60 percents said they agreed and 39 percent said they disagreed. Among just the registered voters in the survey, the results were almost identical, with 60 percent saying they agreed and 38 percent saying they disagreed.
Again, about 40% of Americans -- regardless of political party affiliation -- disagreed with the statement that "government controls too much of our daily lives!"

This is more than depressing. It's revolting! It makes me want to vomit!

I had always thought the current social and political battle in this country was between collectivists and individualists. But I guess I didn't truly appreciate that there were so many collectivists.

What is wrong with you? Are you ignorant? Stupid? Brain-dead? Pure
evil? Or is it that you just can't read a stupid poll question?

You say you want a larger government that provides more services and that controls more of more of your daily life.

Government already educates you, pays you a pension, buys you food stamps, builds you roads and bridges, pays you when you're unemployed, picks up your garbage, puts out your fires, polices your roads, makes your workplace safe, ethnically diverse and sexually and racially equitable, provides water, food, clothes and shelter during natural disasters, loans you money for college, safeguards you from domestic terrorism by X-raying your luggage and your children, frisking your wife, reading your emails, listening to your cell phone calls and spying on your whereabouts. Government enforces the law, prosecutes criminals, impanels juries, employs judges, imprisons 2.3-million Americans, forecasts the weather, warns you about sex offenders, inspects your meat, regulates the airwaves, tests your medicine, your cars, your children's toys, your food and water, subsidizes your food suppliers, builds you national parks and forests, conducts controlled burns of these forests, keeps your wages above minimum and your hours below 41, licenses your car, your driving, your fishing, your flying, your doctors, your pharmacists, your taxi cab drivers, your hair dressers and your contractors, tells you what you can drink, what you can smoke, where you can smoke, when you can smoke, what pills you can swallow, what, where and when you can hunt, who you can marry, where, what and how you can build, what gas you can burn, what guns you can own, what light bulbs you can buy, what money you must use, what taxes you must pay, what speed you must drive, what mileage you must get, and what labels you must make. Government  runs your buses, your trains, your car factory, your airports, your air traffic controllers, your post office, your subways, stadiums, public bathrooms and your military, cleans your air and filters your water, regulates your gas, your oil, your stocks, your bonds, your mortgages, your small business, your large business, your successes, your failures, your bankruptcies, your bankers, your bakers and your candlestick makers...and is about to provide you health insurance and health care.

What the hell other services and controls do you want the government to provide and impose?  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Look Before You Lock!

Yesterday I heard a public service radio spot that encouraged drivers to remember to "Look Before You Lock."


Yes, "Look Before You Lock." You see every summer parents go to the shopping center, lock their kids up in their cars with the windows closed or cracked open, then run into the store to pick up a few things. While they're in the store the cars turn into ovens and the kids bake to death. It's called the greenhouse effect.

Last year at least 33 children died this way. So far this year, 23. Horrible!

It seems the excuse used most often by parents of these "hot car" deaths is: "I forgot the kids were in the backseat." The ad I heard yesterday was meant to help them remember.

But then I got to thinking. If a moronic teenage mother is so distracted she can't remember her kid is in the backseat, what makes anyone think she'd be bothered to remember a stupid slogan?

My next thought was: this advertising campaign has got to be the work of a federal, nanny state bureaucrat. And sure enough. According to ABC news in San Francisco:
The government launched a crackdown Friday morning on children being left inside hot cars. This follows the heat-related deaths of at least eight children nationwide in just the first week of August.  
Another horrible problem solved by the state, right?

Give me a break.

As near as I can tell, the nanny agency that is launching this "crackdown" is the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (USDOTNHTSA). USDOTNHTSA's budget for fiscal year 2012 is here. Read it at your own risk. It's 195 pages long and it details how our federal nannies will employ about 700 people and spend $860-million this year keeping us "safe," including helping some 21st century Lucy Ricardo remember her kids are in the back seat.

David L. Strickland
Ray LaHood
The guy to the left is the head of the USDOTNHTSA operation, David L. Strickland. He makes over $165,000 per year and change.

Strickland's boss to the right, Secy. of Transportation Ray LaHood, makes about $200,000 per year.

Carol Darr
24 more big shots comprise the rest of the USDOT front office. Their pictures are here if you want to take a look. The lowest person on the totem pole is Carol Darr. She makes over $127,000 per year.

According to his blurb on the USDOTNHTSA website, Strickland is a real safety go-getter:
Since being sworn into office on January 4, 2010, Mr. Strickland has overseen the development of the first national fuel efficiency program, helped establish ejection mitigation requirements for automakers, and brought national public focus to child passenger safety issues including the threat of heat stroke from hot cars [emphasis added] and back-over deaths and injuries.

The USDOTNHTSA is running yet another campaign that Strickland is in charge of. This one is designed to keep drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. It's called: "Wake Up And Get Some Sleep." If you want a brochure to peruse the next time you find yourself sleeping and driving on the Interstate, you can order one here.

Does anyone out there really believe spending almost a $-billion a year on this nonsense is Constitutional? If it is, then federal spending on just about anything is Constitutional and we're totally screwed as taxpayers.

How about we abolish the NHTSA and the USDOT?

Do you agree? Or are you one of those armchair conservatives who rants and raves about the size of the federal government but then objects to cutting anything?

"But it's for the good of our precious children!" you say. "Lives will be saved!" you say.

Really? You actually think so?

The federal government is a gigantic bee hive of do-gooders who believe we're a nation of irresponsible imbeciles who will kill ourselves right and left on highways and in "hot cars" unless it comes to our rescue like Mighty Mouse. In truth, we're a nation of 300 million pretty smart and competent individuals. Last year only 33 of us or so turned out to be morons. So far this year, 23.

If you're thinking a billion dollars spent to save a single life is worth it, you're missing my point.

Good grief! You can't have it both ways! You can't advocate for individual rights and personal responsibility, for private property and personal liberty, and at the same time insist the nanny state treat us like two-year-olds.

You know why? Because the more you allow yourself to be treated as a two-year-old, the more you'll start acting like one. The inevitable result? Next year 50 or 100 kids will die in "hot cars" despite the latest nanny state "crackdown."

The way a free, adult society works is each of us accepts responsibility for what we do or don't do. We act voluntarily. We trade voluntarily. If you think a 20 second radio spot will "fix stupid," you're free to spend your own money on it, but you're not free to spend mine...not without my say so. Or you can team up with individuals who think like you do and buy a radio ad together. But you can't petition the government to coerce me into cooperating with you!

(Sigh) You still don't get it, do you? You still don't see what harm there is in letting Uncle Sam steal a few bucks of my hard-earned tax money and spend it to save a few lives.

Oh well. Have it your way. But be sure to "Look Before You Lock."

As we travel down the fast track to Spain, Italy and Greece, the last thing we Americans need is another "hot car" fatality.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Verdict Is In

Russia's Pussy Riot protesters sentenced to two years:

MOSCOW | Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:28am EDT
(Reuters) - Three women from Russian punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in jail on Friday for their protest against President Vladimir Putin in a church, an outcome supporters described as the Kremlin leader's "personal revenge".

The band's supporters burst into chants of "Shame" outside the Moscow courthouse and said the case showed Putin's refusal to tolerate dissent. The U.S. embassy in Moscow said the sentence appeared disproportionate to what the defendants did.

What did the defendants do? See for yourself:

One defendant's lawyer said:
The decision was taken not in the court but in the Kremlin by Putin. It's a clear signal to civil society: You want liberty, we’ll give you camps.

The same defendant's husband said:
The only thing that can save my wife and daughter is a revolution. We'll do it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"I don't sing like nobody."

They say us old guys always remember where we were when Kennedy was shot or when Armstrong landed on the moon. I'll never forget where I was when The King passed away on August 16, 1977.

Had he lived, he'd be 77 years old. Hard to believe.

Long live The King!

The Error May Be In Assuming That The Mess We've Created Can Be Cleaned Up

I've been thinking about the post you are reading for quite some time. The catalyst has been a series of posts at Political Realities, probably my favorite website on American politics.

Over the last several days a spirited discussion has taken place at Political Realities over Presidential politics. I've participated with my comments.

This particular discussion began prior to Romney's nomination of Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate. LD Jackson, the proprietor of Political Realities (Yes, he DID build it!), wrote a post recommending Romney nominate Ryan. When Romney did just that, LD wrote a series of posts praising Paul Ryan as a man and a candidate. Reader comments were positive. The energy was palpable. Yes, it may be true after all. Maximum Leader Obama REALLY might be defeated in November!

Then came the splash of cold water in the person of The Country Thinker, Ted Lacksonen. Ted's post, "Paul Ryan as VP Candidate Ends Romney’s Presidential Aspirations" was heretical. My purpose here is not to rehash Ted's argument, but simply to point out that there is a significant difference of political opinion between conservative Republicans and Libertarians, a political difference which may be significant enough in swing states, as Libertarians withhold their votes for Romney, to reelect Obama.

Needless to say, Ted's post generated a lot of heat, heat that probably will not dissipate by November. LD followed Ted's piece with a post: "Why Voting For Mitt Romney Should Be a No-Brainer For Conservatives" to which I made the following comment:

Let me toss out another bone to chew on.

What are the odds that within the next four years there is going to be a severe economic collapse in this country? I’m talking severe! Runaway inflation, for instance. Food shortages. Urban rioting. There are many who believe that the debt the US is carrying is unsustainable no matter who wins the Presidency. What are the odds it implodes? 30%? 50%? 100%?

Which administration is most likely to protect individual property, freedom and the peace during such a crisis? Romney, Ryan, their cabinet appointees and company, who at least mouth allegiance to these principles?

Or Obama, Biden, Holder, Napolitano, Jarrett, Van Jones, various czars and company, who have little or no regard for private property, are committed to getting what they want through coercion, have a track record of pitting one color American and one class of American against another and who have professed and demonstrated their belief that a good crisis should never be allowed to go to waste?

Talk about a no-brainer.
Today, referencing a fine article from John Carey at Sentry Journal, LD posted a thought-provoking piece: "Who Is Willing To Clean Up This Mess?" which states in part:
Consider how far we have came, in what seems to be a relatively short time. In my mind’s eye, the pile of garbage we have to deal with in America is getting deeper and deeper. All the while, its stench is greater and greater. What John Carey wrote has stuck in my mind, so from his pen to mine, and then to you, here is a portion of the post. We would all do well to read it and ask ourselves exactly how we are going to help clean up the mess.
Well, that post crystallized what I had been contemplating throughout the entire discussion. I summed up my feelings with a terse comment:
The error may be in the assumption that the mess can be cleaned up.
LD immediately responded:
Oh, ye of little faith. ;) 
But you see I like to think of myself as a realist. And what I am about to say, in my best judgement, reflects harsh reality as I see it. I don't think the current "mess" we're in can be cleaned up...at least not in the sense LD Jackson and John Carey use their metaphor.

John writes about the current mess we're in and compares it to a childhood camping trip with his father. His father insisted that any mess left at the campsite be cleaned up, no matter who made the mess or who left it behind. LD also uses the garbage metaphor. The problem is the "mess" in which we find ourselves in America today cannot be compared to a garbage problem which can be fixed by simply rolling up our sleeves and policing the area clean. Our mess is more analogous to owning a house that's on fire.

In may ways our nation is ablaze. This is not a case in which our yard is merely spotted with trash and rusting automobiles on blocks. This is a situation in which the ground floor is burning, smoke is pouring from the windows and flames are licking at the roof.

When I contemplate the $16-trillion public debt outstanding, the $62-trillion in unfunded liabilities, the Washington/Wall Street nexus, the vast and deep Washington bureaucracy and entrenched ruling establishment, the millions of pages of federals laws, rules and regulations, the suffocating burden of local, state and federal taxation, the monstrous Homeland Security Godzilla, the military/industrial complex, the efforts to involve our military in domestic peacekeeping and the political climate in which, even among Republicans, token efforts at spending cuts are considered Draconian, I simply cannot see a way to put out the fire.

Attempting to "pay down" our debt is virtually a mathematical impossibility. It is akin to believing one can have his cake and eat it too. To me its like discussing the installation of fire alarms and fire extinguishers in a house half-engulfed in flames. Ditto for measures such as auditing the Fed, "reforming" Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

People, our home is on fire! The fire won't be extinguished by auditing the arsonist. The flames must be extinguished! The welfare state must be disbanded, it's institutions, abolished -- or the statist fire will consume our nation and us with it.

I think this truth is what compels Ted Lacksonen to stick so stubbornly to his Libertarian guns. Do Romney and Ryan really understand that our house is ablaze? They certainly have demonstrated by their words and actions that they think we can coexist with a little smoke and burning embers here and there, that we can comfortably stamp them out if and when they burst into flame.

The reason LD Jackson and most of the rest of us are firmly in the Romney/Ryan camp is that the guy whose running against Romney for the job of fire chief, Maximum Leader Obama, believes you can put out a fire by dousing it with gasoline!

So we have no real alternative but to bet on Romney/Ryan. We must insist that they and our new Congress can be persuaded to listen to the truth: that the time for half-hearted "reforms" is over, that it is time for them to do what is necessary and right.

But do what? Aye, there is the rub. America is still a democracy, and the biggest problem it faces is that almost half of Americans want Obama reelected. Moreover, that half and most of the other half hold philosophical views that set our house afire to begin with.

The vast majority of American children and their parents are/were educated in government schools by teachers that, by and large, buy into leftist, Godless moral relativism and Marxist social and economic ideology. As a result, these misguided Americans no longer believe in property and individual freedom and peace.

To put out the flames that are currently engulfing our nation, i.e., to stamp out the federal policies and programs that result from the incendiary ideas of egalitarianism, collectivism and socialism -- our politicians must first seek permission from a nation of economically illiterate and clueless Pollyanna's who exist on a steady diet of reality TV, pop psychology and food stamps.

The raw truth is that nations have succumbed to the flames of ignorance and indifference in the past. Rome burned while Nero fiddled. What disturbs me the most about our current predicament is the realization that this great nation of ours is most probably doomed to burn to the ground.

"Picking up the mess" will not resemble Boy Scouts policing a campsite or citizens coming together with brooms, dust pans and orange plastic bags after a 4th of July celebration. It will more closely resemble the pathetic firefighters who trudged across the hot embers of The World Trade Center picking at ashes.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Don't Beat Yourself Up For Voting Romney/Ryan In November!

Paul Ryan's explanation of why he voted for TARP is tortured. But so is the logic I'm using to convince myself that voting for Romney instead of Gary Johnson next November is the right thing to do.

Americans these days are frogs trapped in a pot of water which is being slowly brought to the boil. Paul Ryan is a politician who sincerely wants to put out the fire.

Unfortunately, Ryan is surrounded in Washington by parasitic politicians intent on pouring gasoline on that fire.

Catastrophe! A bone-jarring crisis that Washington parasites won't let go to waste!

THAT is what Ryan tried to prevent by voting for TARP. THAT is what I'll be trying to prevent when I vote in November.

If years from now Judge Andrew Napolitano curses me from his jail cell and accuses me by asking: "Who did this?"

I'll answer honestly, as Jim Carrey answered in "Liar Liar:"
A mad man, your honor! A desperate fool at the end of his pitiful rope!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

12 Things You Should Know About Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden

After Mitt Romney announced today that Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would be his VP running mate, Think Progress saw fit to publish a list of 12 things we should know about Paul Ryan. Since Maximum Leader Barack Obama has decided that Joe Biden should once again be his running mate in 2012, I thought turnabout is fair play. So, listed below are 12 things you should know about Joe Biden.

1. Biden embraces the extreme philosophy of Jerry Brown. Biden has called Brown, the current governor of California, "the smartest guy in American politics." According to an article in the Huff Post San Francisco, Brown is "a bit of an intellectual:"
Our Yale-bred governor stuffs his bookshelves with the works of academics like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. He spent years studying Buddhism in Japan. "Always look for opportunities to mentor and be mentored," he once told his campaign staff. (Full disclosure: The author of this post was once a member of said staff.)
Learn more about Biden's muse:
2. Biden wants to raise taxes...period. According to Money News:
Americans don't pay enough in taxes and need to pay more for the good of the country's fiscal health, said Jared Bernstein, former chief economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and a senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Congressional Budget Office data show that U.S. households pay less taxes now than they did 30 years ago. In 1979, the typical household paid 19 percent of their income in federal taxes, while the rate for a typical household today is 11 percent, Bernstein wrote in a Financial Times opinion piece.
I have it on good authority that Biden agrees with Bernstein. In any case, this is what Biden had to say on ABC's Good Morning America: "It's time to be patriotic, time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut." Furthermore, Biden "called the manager of a custard shop outside of Milwaukee, Wis., a 'smart ass' after the man asked him to lower taxes." In Pittsburgh, Biden was booed for just showing up in town.
3. Biden wants to change Medicare, to what no one knows. According to the LA Times:
Biden said "budget talks with congressional leaders had identified at least $1 trillion in possible federal spending reductions... ...Biden also said Tuesday that new revenue must be part of any deal... ...He added that changes to 'big ticket' programs, including Medicare and Medicaid would be needed too."
4. Biden thinks Social Security is NOT a “ponzi scheme.” According to The Hill, "Biden criticized Texas Governor Rick Perry's labeling of Social Security as a 'Ponzi scheme.'" Biden then offered the definitive argument as to why it is not:
"He [Perry] should go back and find out who Ponzi was," Biden said in an interview to air on CNN Monday night. "It was an individual in a different deal, but no it's not a Ponzi scheme. It is secure through 2036 and to fix is not hard."
5. Biden thinks passing a $477 billion job's bill will keep Americans from raping and murdering each other. According to Fox News:
Vice President Biden is stepping up his argument that rapes and murders could increase if Congress does not pass President Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill – evoking sexual and violent imagery in his sales pitch for the second time in a week.
6. Biden admits Pell Grants increase college tuition. According to Real Clear Politics:
Vice President Joe Biden admits that the government intervening with the free market and providing subsidies for students to attend college have contributed to the increase in college tuition. "By the way, government subsidies have impacted upon rising tuition costs. It's a conundrum here," Biden said to a student who asked about the government's intervention in the free market system.
7. Biden says clean-energy initiatives create jobs; his former adviser says they don't. According to Bloomberg:
President Barack Obama’s clean- energy initiatives will help create more than 700,000 jobs and allow the U.S. to double its renewable-power generation in three years, according to a report by Vice President Joe Biden.
According to The Washington Free Beacon:
A former top economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden admitted that the clean energy firms that have received billions of stimulus dollars will not create many long term jobs.
8. Biden and sons have received consulting fees and political contributions from credit card giant MBNA Corp and SimmonsCooper, an Illinois law firm. According to the Washington Post:
The [LA] Times reports that the firm [SimmonsCooper] promised to finance a hedge fund deal for Biden's son, Hunter, and brother, James (which ultimately fell through); picked the law firm of another son, Beau, to work on dozens of asbestos cases in Delaware; and that SimmonsCoopers employees donated about $200,000 to Biden's campaign efforts since 2001, making the company his top donor.
-- Hunter Biden received consulting fees from MBNA Corp. over a four-year stretch to work on online banking issues, as his father helped the credit card industry push through a law that made it harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy protection, The New York Times has reported.
9. Biden is racist. According to Newsday:
In July 2006, Biden, then a senator contemplating a White House bid, spoke a little loosely in an interview on C-SPAN."In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India," he said. "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent." "I'm not joking," he added for emphasis.
10. Biden wants to give $200 million in foreign aid to Iran. According to the New Republic:
"At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: 'I'm groping here.' Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we're not bent on its destruction. 'Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,' Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.
11. Despite hundreds of American troops who have lost their lives in Afghanistan battling the Taliban over the past four years, Biden says the Taliban is not our enemy. According to an interview with Leslie Gelb:
"Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy," he began. The key words in the sentence, which many critics ignored, were "per se" -- meaning that the United States was in Afghanistan to fight al-Qaida, not necessarily the group that was harboring it on 9/11 and continues to kill American troops. (In the words of White House spokesman Jay Carney, "It's only regrettable when taken out of context.") But then, in true Biden fashion, he went a bit too far, adding, "There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests."
According to Newsday, Biden's comment was...
...hard to square with the speech Obama gave in March 2009 outlining his new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, in which he used the word "enemy" or "enemies" six times, and made little distinction between al-Qaida and the Taliban.
12. Biden condones mandatory abortions and forced sterilization of women. While in China, Biden gave a speech addressing "social and budgetary challenges faced by the U.S. and China in the wake of respective population booms." Biden in his typical, lucid style explained the US position perfectly, telling his Chinese audience, according to ABC News:
“Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family.”
ABC News added to its report the following trenchant fact:
The Chinese government enforces its one-child policy with fines, mandatory abortions and forced sterilizations of women who are found to have violated the law.

Who Built Them "Roads And Bridges?" You Won't Believe This! LOL

Obama had better never, ever use that famous line of his on Paul Ryan:
Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.
It turns out that the "somebody" who built them roads and bridges was Paul Ryan's family!

According to an article in The New Yorker:
Janesville, Wisconsin, where Ryan was born and still lives, is a riverfront city of sixty-four thousand people in the southeast corner of the state, between Madison and Chicago. Three families, the Ryans, the Fitzgeralds, and the Cullens, sometimes called the Irish Mafia, helped develop the town, especially in the postwar era. The Ryans were major road builders, and today Ryan, Inc., started in 1884 by Paul’s great-grandfather, is a national construction firm.

The Left REALLY Hates Paul Ryan

I did a bit of web surfing this morning and discovered that there is no love lost between the Left and Paul Ryan.

Here's a typical example:
Seriously, this is how I learned Satan was chosen to be Liar Romney’s V.P. running mate.
That sentiment was posted by "MsStevie" under the title of: A Teabagger And A Mormon Walk Into A Bar

At least Ms. Stevie doesn't wish a heart attack on Mitt's new running mate:
's father, grandfather and greatgrandfather all died early from heart attacks-at: 55, 57,&59.Hope genetics will do it's job again
Mary at Freedom Eden posts the above Tweet and several more disgusting, foul mouthed comments from the hardcore nuts of the Leftwing hate machine.

The Lefties hate Paul Ryan because he directly contradicts their collectivist beliefs by means of a philosophy and a program of individualism and free enterprise. Paul Ryan has credited his entry into politics to inspiration provided by Ayn Rand. [He has stated, however, that he rejects Rand's atheism.] He learned economics by reading Mises, Hayek and Milton Friedman. Expect Leftist bloggers and pundits to excoriate Ryan over the next few months because of these intellectual mentors. Expect their words to be taken out of context and put into his mouth. I know this for a fact because they have been hard at work doing so since Ryan emerged as a national figure and a GOP budget guru years ago.

By and large Leftist criticism of Ryan is remarkably shallow and ad hominem. There is almost a religious fervor to it. Ms. Stevie's comment is a case in point. Ryan is "Satan." Case closed. He is a stupid fool who simply drinks from an Evil Spring. He is, plain and simply, a diabolical enemy who must be destroyed.

It's impossible to reason with a religious fanatic. That's Ms. Stevie's attitude toward Paul Ryan and it's my attitude toward Ms. Stevie. The hallmark of Leftist critics is their run-of-the-mill arrogance and condescension. This stems from the fact that they are faithfully devoted to the apparent. By this I mean that they see only the surface of ideas and events. They lack the desire to dissect and rationally analyze them. Why should they want to? Their eyes confirm what their heart wants to believe. And this belief makes them more knowing than the rest of us and, hence, arrogant.

Ms. Stevie deals with Paul Ryan's concept of Natural Rights under a post titled: God-Given Rights My Butt…:
How many times have you heard someone say “government doesn’t grant rights, God does?” I mean seriously, why did it take God so long to free the slaves, give women the right to vote, the right to a jury trial of your peers, the right to freedom of speech, the press,  religion, assembly, petition for redress, privacy, due process, equal protection…Where was God when Civil Rights were granted, or when segregation in public schools was banned?? The right to marry whoever you loved? Was he/she/it watching MTV or something?
This is not argument but mockery. According to Ms. Stevie, Ryan is a stupid dolt because he doesn't recognize the obviously apparent truth that God didn't institute these wonderful policies, government did. Ergo, rights come from government, not from God.

Not to prove her point, but to demonstrate it, she quotes the Declaration of Independence, the "authority" that "GOP, Teabaggers, Ayn Randian nutcases and right-wing libertarians alike" rely upon to justify their stupid policies:
“…that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…
She assumes that the words above in bold type prove her point, i.e., that rights come from government not from God. It's so apparent! If Ryan can't see  what is apparent to the rest of us, then he's a numbskull, or a purposely blind enemy, Satan! She ends her post with arrogant sarcasm:
Wtf? *facepalm* Okay spaceghost…
This is what we're up against, folks. Not political opponents with whom we have an intellectual disagreement, but religious zealots with whom we are at war, social and political war of course, except perhaps in the case of Leftist anarchists who are prone to set businesses on fire and break windows.

I could point out to Ms. Stevie that her quote from the Declaration of Independence says that "governments are instituted" to "secure" rights, not to create them. But making such an argument would be a waste of time and breath.

Ms. Stevie already knows otherwise.

Paul Ryan! From The Horse's Mouth

A half-hour ago the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel posted an article about Paul Ryan. The article included this little tidbit:
Serving in Congress since 1999, Ryan is an ideologically-driven Republican whose world view was shaped early on by thinkers, politicians and economists who extolled markets, celebrated the economic empowerment of individuals, feared an overweening state, and advocated a "pro-growth" or "supply side" agenda of lower taxes on business, investment and income.

His intellectual heroes include the economists Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich Hayek; the writer Ayn Rand, and former New York congressman Jack Kemp, for whom he once worked.
The very best thing about Paul Ryan's selection is that the mass media and the American public will be introduced to the wisdom and knowledge of the great, Austrian economist.

And a large dose of Mises is exactly the tonic that this country needs!

Friday, August 10, 2012


More Leftist Lunacy And Power-Grabbing

Yesterday I described looney, leftist schemes to nationalize our retirement accounts and the money supply. Today I call your attention to this article that was published yesterday at WND: Obama"s massive industry takeover plan. The article publicizes a new, just released book by Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott called "Fool Me Twice: Obama's Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed."

I haven't read the book and don't intend to. I doubt the authors have any exclusive access to Obama's plans. They're simply piecing together progressive think tank proposals and interpolating. 

That said, what intrigued me about the article and the subject matter of the book is that modern leftists are still enamored with retread ideas from the FDR era and before. Paying workers a "living wage" is an idea with roots in the middle ages. The idea was also championed by the 19th century Catholic church establishment. Of course modern leftists, as usual, have embellished the concept into a policy "that would force all employers to increase the salaries of the nation’s workers to meet 'basic needs' such as housing, food, utilities, transportation, health care and recreation." [Yup, even those of us at the bottom of the food chain gotta have us some "recreation!"]

Pity the poor guy who owns a business if such a law ever passed. The "living wage" is a policy sure to make business owners flock to the exits. Maybe that's what Obama has in mind. It sure would make it easier for him to "takeover" a bunch of industries ala General Motors ["Now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry."]

Another shockingly decrepit idea mentioned is the reincarnation of FDR's WPA (Works Progress Administration). According to the article leftist ideologues and nostalgia buffs are even planning to call the program the "Works Progress Administration!" Supposedly the plan...
...proposes projects similar to those of the earlier era, including residential and commercial building weatherization; residential and commercial water use efficiency improvement; highway, bridge and rail repair and maintenance; manufacturing projects; school, library and firehouse construction; soil erosion and pesticide runoff prevention; National Park and trail maintenance; and “other projects that are proposed by the eligible departments and determined appropriate by the Administration.
The WPA is remembered fondly by old timers who built roads and bridges [Sound familiar?] as part of this government make-work program. However, sober analysts point out Americans at the time ridiculed the program, redefining the WPA acronym as "We Poke Along" and "We Piddle Around." [Think "Post Office!"] In fact, the WPA was riddled with corruption, cronyism and political patronage. The WPA was FDR's personal political machine. [Think Mayor Richard J. Daley's Chicago political machine of the 60's and 70's writ large.] According to one historian of the era, the "WPA director of New Jersey answered his telephone, 'Democratic Headquarters.'”

WPA work projects were allocated to political swing states and WPA laborers were regularly pressured to participate in partisan politics, so much so that Congress passed the Hatch Act in 1939 designed to pull the plug on FDR's political machine. The law had little effect. What finally derailed the WPA was America's entry into World War II. At that time FDR needed soldiers more than political hacks working on road and bridge crews.

Leftists claim the WPA created jobs when none were available, but economists have debunked that myth long ago. FDR's wrongheaded policy of confiscatory business taxes along with his endless crush of federal regulatory agencies did two things very well: remove job-creating capital from the hands of private employers and dissuade these private employers to use what capital remained to expand their businesses. Thus, every job "created" by the WPA was at the cost of at least one job destroyed in the private sector, jobs that would have produced goods and services demanded by consumers rather than WPA political projects demanded by FDR.

Another age-old leftist idea that still has them salivating is "Equal Pay For Equal Work." Only the modern version is vastly more destructive of free enterprise:
The current progressive concept of equal pay, “Fool Me Twice” relates, would give the government sweeping powers to require employers to compensate workers according to an artificial calculation of a job’s “value” rather than what the private market is willing to pay.

Other powers would allow federal bureaucrats to decide which jobs are underpaid and would require employers to raise wages.

The government would also determine whether “bias” or “discrimination” exists in “equivalent” – but not equal – jobs based on race, sex, sexual orientation and other determining factors.
Who in their right mind would invest their capital in a business wherein Washington bureaucrats mandate wage rates based on criteria like this? You don't need to be an economist to see the inherent, small business-destroying absurdity of such an idea.
Lastly, there's the "paid leave" idea which has been a goal of leftists and communists since the 19th century. However, as usual, modern leftists have kicked the concept up a notch:
The progressive groups, already instrumental in influencing Obama’s first-term economic agenda, also call for Obama and Congress to enact a government mandate to force businesses to provide 12 weeks of paid benefits to employees who need time off to care for a new child, a sick family member or their own illness.
Is all of this starting to sound familiar, as familiar, say, as Barack Obama's campaign rhetoric and the platform of the modern Democrat Party? These has-been bromides of the FDR era are so discredited and ineffective it's almost laughable, but still Obama and his leftist supporters clamor for them. Why? Because their goal is not prosperity for all, but raw and naked power and control.

Burt Folsom, a full Professor of History at Hillsdale College, describes the FDR presidency as follows:
To many observers, the presidency of FDR was a disaster. He had double-digit unemployment throughout the 1930s, and he doubled the size of the national debt in his first two terms. The League of Nations rated the U.S. recovery as one of the worst in the world. Economic stagnation was a cloud over the entire FDR presidency during the 1930s.
Scratch "FDR" and insert "Barack Obama" in the above quotation and the description is still accurate. Given such failure, Folsom asks: "Why Would Anyone Imitate FDR?"

The answer is clear. FDR was the most powerful and ruthless President ever to occupy the Oval Office. He was President for life, serving four terms. He implemented socialist and progressive ideas by ramming them through Congress or by executive fiat. He was an amicable, fatherly figure. He had a way with words. He told people what they wanted to hear and shamelessly broke his promises, lying with ease. He had a thin skin and his political machine ruthlessly crushed dissent. He used the IRS to intimidate his enemies and relentless, extravagent federal spending to reward his friends. To FDR, law was an inconvenience. When the Supreme Court rebuffed him, he even tried to pack the Court.

Is it any wonder Barack Obama and his sycophants idolize and imitate FDR despite his failed, out-dated and counter-productive agenda?

h/t  Life on Sleepy Creek in Words and Images