Unbridled Government Spending

I liked this notion from Margaret Thatcher:

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. 

And from the Wall Street Journal:

The problem with resisting socialism is that until the money runs out free-spending progressive politics are remarkably seductive. 

In other words, we love to spend what appears as “free” government money–more and more entitlements, bigger and bigger government…basically, we can’t resist the candy in the candy store.

But the problem is that the money eventually runs out and by then we have gone too far and are left eating our own flesh. 

 Why can’t we spend our precious money and scarce resources prudently and also save wisely for a rainy day–why do we have to act like pigs in the poke?

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Don’ t Upset The Barista

Guns and Coffee on Smartphone.jpeg

Interesting sticker on this guy’s smartphone this morning:

“Guns and Coffee”


And the Starbucks mermaid in the center is packing two pistols in her hands, instead of the usual fishy fins. 


Now the good thing about this particular guy was that he was also wearing a lapel pin from a prominent law enforcement agency here in Washington, D.C., so that was comforting. 


I’ve heard about the economic trade-off (“opportunity costs”) between “Guns and Butter,” meaning how much we choose to budget for defense vs. civilian goods/social entitlements.


But this is novel–“Guns and Coffee”–I guess you can have your coffee and your 2nd Amendment rights as well. 


What happens if you haven’t had your coffee yet, does the little mermaid shoot first and ask questions later? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

America The Polarized

So on one hand, in American politics today you have this–Make America Great Again.

And those who support Trump and change.

On the other side, you have those that oppose and resist.

And those that blame and wash their hands from the dirty politics.

And many that think that the worst in politics already happened.

But our problems are large and eating this nation up alive–from Iran and North Korea to Jobs, Healthcare, Immigration, and more.

 

Our social safety net is fraying under a frightening and mounting national debt, and our national security needs are growing amid an endless array of real doomsday threats from WMD, EMPs, and Cyber Attacks.

 

What will it be America–blame, ridicule, resist, endless fighting or work to help and not hate. 😉

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Self-Perpetuating Immigration For All The Wrong Reasons

Business Lover

So this is the prevailing misguided logic by some for more immigration. 


We need immigrants to “reduce the ratio of retirees to workers.”


Why? 


Because the birth rate has fallen to below replenishment rates (roughly 2.1 births per women). 


And since our “trust funds” for social security, medicare, pensions, and the like have NOT been been kept in trust, BUT INSTEAD have been squandered on other things…


Therefore, according to this warped thinking we now need a wave of immigrants to come save us–have lots of babies and grow our economy–to pay for what we should be able to, but can’t–because of gross mismanagement and corruption with the money that was taken out our payroll all our lives supposedly to care for us in our elder years. 


The wrong reasons for immigration are expressed by Charles Kenny in Bloomberg Businessweek.


– According to Kenny, “More immigration is both the cheapest and most effective response to the challenge of a shrinking, aging population,” which he frets is “ominous for pension and health-care costs.”


Kenny’s approach to immigrants is that they are not vital and talented human beings, but rather basically baby machines with higher birth rates for population replenishment, as he states, “Although immigrants rapidly adopt the fertility patterns of their new countries, they still tend to produce more children to begin with.”


– And he says, because most come over as adults, we have the benefits of the workers “without the expense and delay of rearing…[them as] children.”

– Oh, and by the way, Kenny says, “Some newly arrived workers help provide cheap child-care options.”


Wow, how biased, cold, and condescending is that!


Not once does Kenny mention or advocate for immigration for any of these truly worthy reasons:


– Shelter from persecution 


– Political asylum


– Promote diversity


– Bring in needed skills, investment, and innovation 


– Rejoin families


And what is the result of bringing in immigrants to pay our way?


Well, we’ll need to bring in yet another and another, wave after wave of immigration, because we can’t balance of budget and spend rationally, responsibly, and with an eye toward the future–it’s self-perpetuating immigration for the sake of deadbeatism. 


Sweet land of liberty is being thrown out for a bunch of economic opportunists who feel we need “immigrants to [come to] the rescue” rather than join together with us in being great in terms of compassion, humanitarianism, and mutual respect. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Time Runs Out – What Are We To Believe?

Lama

Time runs out, but we are still chasing highly elusive goals (just some examples): 


1) Iran – Time runs out on deadline for a nuke deal even after “the framework” was supposedly set three months ago. And as Iran’s Supreme Leader and the Iranian Parliament chant death to America, can we really believe that Iran will ever truly give up their pusuit of nuclear weapons of mass destruction (and terrorism) to use on you know who?  


2) Greece – Time runs out on an extension of more Greek bailout funds, and they default on payment to the International Monetary Fund potentially leading to their exit from the Euro and the EU. With a Greek debt of $271 billion, can we really believe they will ever be able to repay this? 


3) Social Security and Medicare – Time is running out on the solvency of our own social entitlement system in the U.S.  For example, the Social Security Disability Trust Fund runs dry already next year in 2016, Medicare is exhausted by 2030 and Social Security by 2033. With just 16 and 19 years of funding left for these major programs that tens of millions depend on, can we really believe that magically we will dig our way out of this mega mess of a financial hole? 


4) Global Warming – Time is running out on cutting carbon emissions leading to global warming and catastrophic climate change. With global warming denial still in vogue and reluctance by the industrial nations to significantly cut back on emissions in time, can we really believe that catastrophic enviornment damage will be averted? 


5) War – Time is runing out as potential for eventual war looms on the horizon with China, says respected DoD Futurist, Peter Singer. With disputes in the South China Sea and with Taiwan, China bulking up on advanced weapons, and the U.S. pivoting to Asia, the fears of a serious confrontation are there. Similarly, with Russia and it’s annexation of Crimea and ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine, threats to it’s Balkan neighbors, confrontations on the European borders, and an increasingly nuclear and militant Russia, the Cold War is heating up. The last world war ended 70 years ago, can we really believe that the peace will continue to prevail with powerful adversaries in turbulent and uncertain times? 


Yes, hopes and dreams are important, but real concrete action is too or time will simply run out and then what? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Superhero Socks

POW Socks
Thought these socks were pretty cool.



POW!

WHAM!

ZAAP!

KAPOW!

SPLAT!



We are living in an age with potential for great upheaval whether from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, bigotry and social inequality, national debts and unpaid social entitlements, poverty and pandemics, global warming and environmentally unsustainable practices, and the clash of Western and Eastern civilizations. 



Thank G-d for advances in technology and innovation to help address these huge challenges of our time. 



However, whoever is portraying everything as all rosy or telling you to just be optimistic and all will be well–they’re feeding you a bunch of you know what!



We need a superhero/Messiah leader to come help us save the day and these socks would be perfect for their arrival. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

No Way To Fight The Good Fight

See No Evil
Unfortuantely, like many things we do…we do it only halfway. 


While there is certainly a place for vetting issues, moderation, and compromise, often we are overly worried about the ramifications of going too far and thus don’t go far enough to accomplish strategic goals.



Similarly, in a pendulum swinging out of control way, we may fluctuate and treat friends as enemies and pretend our enemies are our friends.



Whether in fighting terrorism and nation state enemies, ebola and other horrific diseases, and even righting the national economy…we don’t lead, we hesitate or as many commentators have said, we lead from behind. 



ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbolah and more…all alive and still terrorizing.  



Russia, North Korea, Iran…not contained, and threats are growing, while questionable deals involving no less than WMD in some and territorial sovereignty in others loom on the horizon. 



Cancer, parkinson disease, and a dreaded endless list…killing our loved ones and research funding goes to political juggernauts. 



Our national deficit grows, social entitlements are skyrocketing and unpaid for, and we can’t seem to manage our way out of a pending breadline. 



There is something to be said for making a real decision based on morality and inner strength, going all in, and achieving the seeming impossible…decades ago, we did it when we put a man on the moon and defeated the Japanese in WWII. 



Now we seem to fight with one arm tied behind our backs (sometimes two) and our eyes covered with hands stained in the blood of social favoritism, stealth corruption, and defeatist attitudes, and at the end of the day with very little to show for it.



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)