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Economic History 101, Individual Vs. Government Initiative: The Great Leap Forward

The agricultural economy of the late 1950's largely resembled that of the Nationalists prior to Mao's ascension to power, characterized by peasant farmers tilling small plots on which they had some form of claim of ownership or tenancy, the latter of which dated from the time of China's last dynasty, the Qing line. All that changed in 1957 with the policy known as the Great Leap Forward, its major policy elements being the redirection of labor Read More »

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Was Joe Paterno Really That Generous?

Many of those defending Joe Paterno's legacy point to his involvement in and giving to many projects at the University. At the press conference of the Penn State University Board of Trustees on the release of the Freeh Report, Trustee Kenneth Frazier was quoted as saying, that the report found "inexcusable failures on the part of Joe Paterno and others to protect children. But I'd also say Joe Paterno did a lot of tremendous things in Read More »

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Ford and the Auto Bailout…

The visit of President Barack Obama to Detroit yesterday gave the Administration ample opportunity to crow about the Government led auto bailout of 2008. "If it was up to the Republican Party, Chrysler and General Motors would not have been here," UAW Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Williams told the crowd of thousands "If it wasn't for President Obama, we would not have the opportunity to once again build the best cars and trucks in the whole world." I should Read More »

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Obama and Motown….

President Obama apperared today in my hometown, the city of wheels, Detroit, MI. Although in the grand and beautiful state of Michigan for the Labor Day weekend, I did not venture into the Motor City to hear the President speak, instead choosing to stay in a quintessentially Michigan setting near a lake and tune into it on C-Span. What I was treated to via the helfpful public affairs channel was vintage Barack Obama at his Read More »

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AT&T and T-Mobile: Troubled Reasoning Despite Good Policy

While I applaud the decision of the Department of Justice to file suit to block the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile as a sound free-market and pro-competive decision, recent quotes from Administration officials leave us to believe that this positive and constructive move may be more of a case of a blind squirell finding a nut than any sort of visionary and sound policy posture. Moreover, in reading the reviews of this action, I Read More »

Category Archives: Politics

Jobs Act Where Art Thou?

I have been on a short vacation and somewhat absent from posting for a bit.

I did, however, take some time on my vacation to react to the President’s speech last Thursday which I posted in The Continuing Cluelessness of the Obama Administration, my basic reaction is that it is completely irrelevant to creating jobs and inspiring economic activity.

One of the remarkable things, however, to emerge from this continuing debacle is the fact that there is no Jobs Act as of yet, President Obama having failed to forward it to Congress yet despite his call to pass it at once.  Friends in Iowa actually have a elapsed time clock posted on their webiste to emphasize that point while calling out Congressman Leonard Boswell for his failure to respond to their inquires.

The question, naturally, is when the Obama Administration actually intends to submit their plan to Congress and when, if at all, Representatives intend to convey its contents to their constituents.

The elapsed time clock can be viewed at TruthIowa.com.

It will be interesting to follow this to really find out when and if President Obama ever submits to final and complete plan to Congress.

Obama and Motown….

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President Obama appeared today in my hometown, the city of wheels, Detroit, MI.

Although in the grand and beautiful state of Michigan for the Labor Day weekend, I did not venture into the Motor City to hear the President speak, instead choosing to stay in a quintessentially Michigan setting near a lake and tune into it on C-Span.  What I was treated to via the helpful public affairs channel was vintage Barack Obama at his best.  It featured many of his trademark rhetorical flourishes, and the crowd of mostly unionized workers relished the Orwellian tribute despite its often conflicting statements and logic.

Ending his speech with – “We are one nation. We are one people. We will rise and fall together. Anyone who doesn’t believe it should come to Detroit.” – may salve the ill fated psychic wounds endured by my beloved place of heritage, but it smacks of hometown boosterism and not much more.  Detroit, in fact, has seen its prospects plummet under Mr. Obama, the city itself laboring under an unemployment rate close to 25% which is about 8 percentage points higher than when Obama took office at the nadir of the recession.  I presume, therefore, the President is alluding to falling together rather than rallying to rise together, not a very satisfying message to send the country in its current collective mindset of desiring constructive and positive leadership.

In fact, the thing that struck me most listening to the speech was that it was anything but constructive, anything but positive, and anything but a call to unify.  In fact, my own perception of the speech that it was classic political theatre intended to rouse a core constituency through demonizing other segments of our society and dividing our country further.  Amongst his disfavored groups that are apparently not of  the collective that rises and falls together are bankers (whom he decried for taking the bailouts he proffered and not coincidentally forced on a few) businesses who are greedy (as if the “system” when properly governed is not supposed to make this a public good), Republicans who apparently are simply “playing games” (The President of no bi-partisan legislation reiterating his tendency to autocracy by saying “Still believes that both parties can work together to solve problems” and he is “not going to wait for them”….sigh), and, fittingly, States that dare propose right to work laws and auto companies that fail to take government money (Mr. Obama conveniently omitting mention of Ford during his speech despite pawning over General Motors and Chrysler, two companies that have been blessed with both cheap capital and, conveniently, protection from labor strikes by the Administration).

Ron Paul Flexes Fund Raising Muscle

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Apparently, the launch of a cyber-attack against their campaign website did not prevent the Ron Paul campaign from raising over $1.0 million over the weekend.  Info-Wars has a nice piece on both the attack and the success in raising such a large amount in micro-donations in face of such an attack.

Representative Paul seems to be in a political netherland out of which his campaign is successfully managing an exit.  The main point, according to many in the mainstream media is that Mr. Paul is unelectable.  Erik Ericson, in a piece for redstate.com – The Goldwater Talking Point–  calls this the Goldwater effect and alludes to the history of failure of both campaign tactics and mainstream media prognosticators when attempting to use it.

Barack Obama to Visit Iowa

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Two days after the finish of the Republican Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa, President Barack Obama will visit the state in order to shore up his flagging popularity.

CBS has an excellent story on the Presidents’ trip across the midwest and the political rationale for it –

 With dismal approval polls, Obama hits the road

Speaking of polls, the latest Gallup Polls are not very favorable to the President as the International Business Times reports.

His trip to Iowa in particularly interesting in so far as the recently concluded celebration of democracy – the Iowa Straw Poll – was held on Saturday, Rick Perry is making his formal entry into the Iowa Caucus season on Sunday in Waterloo, Iowa, and Straw Poll winner Michele Bachmann is also visiting Waterloo.

As the Caucus season in Iowa heats up, uncertainty in politics, as well as economics, seems to be the order of the day.

 

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