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12/2/16

Trump Saves Jobs in Indiana! Wait, What Just Happened?

By Grant Davies

This morning as I was reading the feed on my Face Book home page I came across a post written by Mark Malter, a guy who understands the number one rule in Henry Hazlitt's book Economics in One Lesson.* His short explanation of the economic impact of the recently announced deal by Donald Trump to "save 1,000 jobs in Indiana" was right on the Malter.

(The unedited post is re-published below for those who have a desire to learn what econ 101 never taught them.)

Others' observations about the claimed 1,000 jobs being saved that followed made many good points. As Dr. Walter Williams frequently says "let's look at it." Of course it's my blog and I'm a famous blogster so we will look at mine first.

My first observation/suggestion was that perhaps the country ought to lower the taxes for everyone, including Carrier (owned by UTX), as a way to stop companies from fleeing the USA.

As an aside, the media calls it "shipping jobs overseas" to confuse and manipulate the gullible. Which is what I just did by describing it as "fleeing the USA." Unfortunately for me, my readers are neither gullible or manipulable.

Next I reached for my tin foil hat and posited that it might not be a coincidence that this deal was in Indiana, home state of Mike Pence, the future VP and current Governor of the Hoosier State.

Subsequently my comment was that the whole point of the exercise was to buy votes from witless voters in Indiana with their own money. (Not like that's a very innovative idea.)

Another point I made was that this deal is straight from the Illinois playbook. So much for Indiana politicians being entirely different from "The Chicago Way" politicians. Did anyone ever believe that anyway? (Just to be clear, I didn't even though I just fled from that place to Indiana myself.)

My final comment was that Trump is taking credit (?) for a deal for which his influence was indirect. Pence made the deal, he is still governor of Indiana. Technically speaking, Trump has no power yet to make deals, particularly deals between states and the companies that do business in them. 

In reality, the fear of what he might do to UTX in regards to future defense contracts may have made the whole thing happen. That point was made by another commentator on the thread and was a valid speculation.

Finally, another poster said the idea that any of these deals could halt the trend of globalization was a delusion. I agree wholeheartedly.

However, the absolute best comment was on a different post elsewhere on Face Book. It was Julie Borowski who inspired me to make this meme with her short quip. 




So the answer to the question "Wait, what just happened?" is that nothing has changed for the people who wanted change from Trump. The government is still buying votes from the gullible with their own money. And those buyers haven't even been sworn in yet, so if you are into selling your vote to them, hold out for an all cash deal with you as the payee.



"Trump didn't save 1,000 jobs today. He cost many more jobs than that amount. Besides the $7 million taxpayer bribe to a private company, by using the power of the government to force Carrier to remain in Indiana, their costs will be higher than if they had moved to Mexico (if not, why were they moving?). That means the price of air conditioners will rise, and every homeowner and business owner in America will now have less money to spend on other goods and services, which means marginally lower production elsewhere in the economy, and far more than 1,000 jobs either lost or not created. It's just that those jobs are spread out as only a few here and a few there, too invisible to make headlines." - Mark Malter 

*  "The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups." - Henry Hazlitt.



11/22/16

Election Outcome and College Students

Editor's note: This article is re-published here with the express permission of Dr. Walter Williams.

Trump and College Chaos 

By Walter E.Williams

If one needed more evidence of the steep decay in academia, Donald Trump's victory provided it. Let's begin by examining the responses to his win, not only among our wet-behind-the-ears college students, many of whom act like kindergartners, but also among college professors and administrators.

The University of Michigan's distressed students were provided with Play-Doh and coloring books, as they sought comfort and distraction. A University of Michigan professor postponed an exam after many students complained about their "serious stress" over the election results. Cornell University held a campuswide "cry-in," with officials handing out tissues and hot chocolate. One Cornell student said, "I'm looking into flights back to Bangladesh right now so I can remove myself before Trump repatriates me." The College Fix reported that "a dorm at the University of Pennsylvania ... hosted a post-election 'Breathing Space' for students stressed out by election results that included cuddling with cats and a puppy, coloring and crafting, and snacks such as tea and chocolate."

The University of Kansas reminded its stressed-out students that therapy dogs, a regular campus feature, were available. An economics professor at Yale University made his midterm exam "optional" in response to "many heartfelt notes from students who are in shock over the election returns." At Columbia University and its sister college, Barnard, students petitioned their professors to cancel classes and postpone exams because they were fearful for their lives and they couldn't take an exam while crying. Barnard's president did not entirely cave, but she said, "We are, however, leaving decisions regarding individual classes, exams, and assignments to the discretion of our faculty." She added, "The Barnard faculty is well aware that you may be struggling, and they are here for you." At Yale, it was reported that the "Trump victory (left) students reeling." Students exhibited "teary eyes, bowed heads and cries of disbelief" and had the opportunity to participate in a post-election group primal scream "to express their frustration productively."

Whether you are a liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, you should be disturbed and frightened for the future of our nation based on the response of so many of our young people to an election outcome. We should also be disturbed by college administrators and professors who sanction the coddling of our youth. Here's my question to you: Does a person even belong in college if he cannot handle or tolerate differing opinions? My answer is no.

What lies at the heart of multiculturalism, diversity and political correctness is an intolerance for different opinions. At Brown University, some students claim that freedom of speech does not confer the right to express opinions they find distasteful.

A while back, a Harvard University student organization representing women's interests advised law students that they should not feel pressured to attend or participate in class sessions that focus on the law of sexual violence if they feel that it might be traumatic. Such students will be useless to rape victims and don't belong in law school.

In a previous column, I cited an article on News Forum For Lawyers titled "Study Finds College Students Remarkably Incompetent," which referenced an American Institutes for Research study that revealed that over 75 percent of two-year college students and 50 percent of four-year college students were incapable of completing everyday tasks. About 20 percent of four-year college students demonstrated only basic mathematical ability, while a steeper 30 percent of two-year college students could not progress past elementary arithmetic. NBC News reported that Fortune 500 companies spend about $3 billion annually to train employees in "basic English." Many of today's college students are not only academically incompetent but emotionally so, as well, and do not belong in college.

These college snowflakes and their professors see themselves as our betters and morally superior to ordinary people. George Orwell was absolutely right when he said, "There are notions so foolish that only an intellectual will believe them."


Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

11/20/16

Our Side is Good and Great

Editor's note: While reading the post below by our guest contributor Seth, please notice that it is not pro-Trump or anti-Hillary. It's pro-critical thinking. That's what Seth does best.

Crying wolf has consequences

By Seth

First, hats off to Caitlin McGill, Vox, for having a “Scary, Awkward” conversation with her Dad about his vote for Trump.
Political discussion shouldn’t be scary or awkward, though.
But we have made it so. One reason it is is that both sides have overused identity politics for so long.
“Our side is good and great. The other side is bad. You don’t want to be bad, do you? Stick with us.”
I wanted to take the opportunity to address some of Caitlyn’s conversation. My responses below aren’t necessarily what I think, but what I imagine her Dad might think and just point out areas where I don’t believe what she says and he says are on the same spectrum of political speech.
Caitlyn:  I voted for Clinton because she seemed to represent equality for women and people of color, but more so because she did not represent the Islamophobic, homophobic, sexist, and racist thinking that Trump does.
This is a great example of the ‘my side good, other side bad’ politics. It keeps you from having to do the harder work of actually thinking.
I Googled the things that caused people to think Trump is the names she calls him. There are articles dedicated to each of the names she calls him.
I didn’t find them convincing. This Huffington Post piece is the top result when you Google “why is Trump a racist”. Its author, Lydia Cooper, provides “13 examples” of his racism.
First, some of the examples seem to have nothing to do with racism, like the first example. Lydia doesn’t even attempt to connect it to racism and left me scratching my head right off the bat.
This piece by Scott Alexander sums up well how I feel after reading stuff like Cooper’s piece. It also provides counter evidence to one of Cooper’s examples, “He refused to condemn the white supremacists who are campaigning for him,” which shows that she has her facts wrong, but is willing to put her head in the sand about that. And, if she’s willing to do that for that example, her credibility for the rest of her writing is in question.
Not only that, but Cooper herself, just a few paragraphs later says that Trump did disavow them. What she didn’t include, and what Alexander covers, is that no white supremacists campaigned for him or even officially endorsed him. That meme is a fiction meant to paint a specific picture in your head.
Caitlyn and Lydia should both read up on the story about the Boy who cried wolf.
The other thought I had, that is different from Alexander’s, is that if those examples were considered reasonable proof of Trump’s racism, then anyone could be painted as a racist, or any of the other things they called Trump.
I believe the election results show that, for some people, those on the left have already cried wolf a bit too much. Now might be a good time to bone up on forming better arguments, instead of faking it.

10/31/16

Things That Make Me SMH

By Grant Davies

Recently, while enjoying a comedy show with family, I heard a routine that not only made me laugh but also gave me an insight into a question I have been pondering for a very long time.

It began for me as a "shake my head" moment so long ago I can't even remember when it was. I guess the millennials call that "SMH" in today's online world. In the world as I remember it the phrase was: "Things that make 'ya go hmmm.." (Even though it's too early in this essay to digress, I just did.)

The question of why people vote as they do (or justify their vote when it all goes wrong, as is most often the case) has fascinated me for quite a while. I was certain it wasn't because of what candidates stood for or what they said they stood for, even though that's what voters claimed. Many of us gullible types actually believed that for a long time, until we became cynical grown-ups.

But I was still perplexed by those who defended the indefensible. Why did they do that?  Lots of people have posited opinions about it including the most popular opinion that: "fill in the blanks" don't care about anything as long as their "fill in the blank" political party is in power.

In today's messy situation that translates into "Hillary can get away with anything because she's a Democrat" or "Trump can say or do anything because he isn't a Democrat." (I would debate the part about him not being a Democrat, but again, I digress.)

Then I saw a quote by a guy named David Applegate. I don't even know who he is, but what he said made sense and it went a few steps down the road towards the question that I had been pondering. He said:

"On a micro level, a voter may cast a ballot for any number of reasons unrelated to actual policy positions: because of the candidate’s name, appearance, or party affiliation; because that’s how members of the voter’s family have always voted; because that’s how the precinct worker who dragged the voter to the polls instructed the voter to vote. But on a macro level it’s fair to say that American voters are largely in one of two camps: those who want more government and those who want less." 

I was attracted to it because he was saying in part what I had been saying for quite a while. Namely, we have this whole right/left, Republican/Democrat thing wrong. It's been more/less all along.

Well, as it turns out, that's not quite it either. At least as far as my question is concerned. And it all became an epiphany moment for me when the comedian at the show went into his routine about why he voted for Barack Obama. The comic's name is Dwayne Kennedy. He said he voted for Obama because Obama was black. He went on to say that since that was the reason for his vote, no matter whether Obama did a good job or a bad job, he was not disappointed because Obama is still black. It was a funny routine. I laughed. More than that, it was an insight that never quite occurred to a regular mope like me.

So the answer to the question of why people vote for certain candidates and why they are never disappointed no matter what the candidates subsequently do, is that unless the fundamental reason they voted for someone changed, there could be no disappointment. And life just got easier for the voter who came to that conclusion.

If you voted for Obama because he was black, that ain't changing. Voila! If you voted for him because he was a Democrat, that ain't changing. If you voted for him because you hated/feared Republicans, that ain't changing.

I have scoured the news sites looking for a story about Hillary seeking a sex change operation. I didn't find anything. So I think people who are voting for her because she's a female are safe. The people who are voting for her because she isn't Trump are safe as well.

People voting for Trump because they actually think he will "Make America Great Again!" will be disappointed. But I think both of them will get over it.

So my "SMH" moment has turned into a SLAP MY foreHEAD moment. Duh! Now I get it. And it only took me 66 years.

8/14/16

No Chance in Hell



Gary Johnson has a substantially better chance to win the general election than Trump has to win Illinois. Think about that. If you vote in Illinois, your vote for Trump will NOT help one iota in keeping Hillary from the White House. 

Not one iota.

The same is true if you are a Hillary voter trying to keep Trump out of office. Hillary will win Illinois in a landslide. Trump has no chance in hell.

What state do you live in? Take a look and see if the same applies to your state. Unless you live in one of the ten "Purple" states, you are in the same boat.

Vote for something, not against someone.