A day of quotes for the benefit of progressive/statists.

Over a period of nearly 2500 years the warnings have been manifold. Great thinkers have warned that two kinds of people love big government. One “kind” is the politician. I’ll let you guess the other “kind” – it would be “un’kind’ to say.”

In my many years I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a government.

John Adams

If you don’t read a newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read a newspaper you are misinformed.

Mark Twain

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of government. But then I repeat myself.

Mark Twain

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity 
is like a man standing in a bucket
 and trying to lift himself up by the handle.

Winston Churchill

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul
 always can depend on the support of Paul.

George Bernard Shaw

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.

Douglas Casey

Giving money and power to government 
is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

P.J. O’Rourke

Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

Frederic Bastiat

I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

Will Rogers

Talk is cheap… except when government does it.

Anonymous

The only difference between a taxman and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.

Mark Twain

There is no distinctly Native American criminal class… save government.

Mark Twain

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.

Edward Langley

A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.

Thomas Jefferson

The government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.

Ronald Reagan

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free!

P.J. O’Rourke

In general, the art of government consists of taking 
as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.

Voltaire (1764)

No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe
 while the legislature is in session.

Mark Twain (1866)

We hang the petty thieves
 and appoint the great ones to public office.

Aesop (15 BC)

The Budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be 
curtailed, lest Rome will become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.

Cicero 55 BC

Just because you do not take an interest in politics
 doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.

Pericles (430 BC)

And thanks to PCoop for sending this to me in one archive.

Roy Filly

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ouch! Even I feel sorry for Obama after this cartoon.

Political satirists can be cruel. However, the grains of truth in their characterizations continue to make political cartoons a thriving business.

BvmKbCCIcAEKgtD

Roy Filly

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Here’s a thought on higher education.

Following up on yesterday’s post, you may find the ensuing information enlightening.

We have been watching a vicious and poisonous descending spiral. The more the federal government supports college education, the higher are tuition costs. The higher the tuition costs, the greater the debt of students completing their higher education. The more the cost of higher education (and subsequent student indebtedness) – particularly for private higher education – the more intense the pressure to give “A’s” (grade inflation – see below). The greater the grade inflation in private schools the faster it metastasizes to public schools. The more pervasive the grade inflation, the less students study hard to get “A’s.” The less students study hard to get “A’s” the less companies trust high grade point averages in their hiring practices. And so on and so on.

Colleges may or may not be directly “at fault” for higher tuition costs. It is unlikely that Deans sit in their offices, note that federal subsidies for college tuition have gone “up,” and press the intercom to say, “Sally, please raise our tuition.” But what can’t be denied is that as money pours into a system (in this case hundreds of billions of federal dollars), standard economic laws start to become irrelevant. We could do something about that, but that would mean that politicians would need to develop common sense – an unlikely prospect. However, possibly we can work backwards. Grade inflation is very easy to solve.

First lets look at what has occurred in what is euphemistically called “grade inflation.” A correlation I do not want you to miss is the timing of the onset of grade inflation and the onset of federal intervention in the educational system.

[Source: Thomas K. Lindsay, "Combating the 'Other' Inflation: Arresting the Cancer of College Grade Inflation," Texas Public Policy Foundation]

Grade inflation is a serious problem in colleges and universities, contends Thomas Lindsay in a new report for the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The numbers are stark:

  • In the first half of the 1960s, 15 percent of college grades were A’s (President Lyndon Johnson signed the Education Act in 1965).
  • Today, 43 percent of all college grades are A’s.
  • An A is the most common grade given in colleges across the country.
  • Seventy-three percent of all college grades given today are As or Bs.

We see some of the effects of the above seep down through younger age children. Primary schools have tried “no grades.” Children’s sports leagues “don’t keep score,” and every player “gets a trophy.” It may be true that competition makes some children feel “bad” about themselves. However, whether we like it or not “life sucks” and the world still subscribes to a “dog eat dog” mentality. Did you ever hear or could you imagine Apple saying, “Hey, we are far outstripping Nokia and Samsung sales in cell phones. Let’s slow it down so they don’t ‘feel bad about themselves.'”

Some schools have tried to bring transparency to student grading. As far back as 20 years ago, Dartmouth placed the median course grade and the class size on students’ transcripts, next to the grade earned in each class, in response to the rise in the average GPA from 3.06 in 1968 to 3.23 in 1994. Even so, grades continued to rise at Dartmouth: by 1999, the number of As and A-minuses had reached 44 percent of all grades.

And Dartmouth is hardly an outlier. In 1969, over one-quarter of all grades given at Duke University were Cs. Today, fewer than 10 percent of grades at Duke are Cs. And grade inflation is a problem at both public and private schools:

  • Private colleges saw the average GPA rise from 3.09 in 1991 to 3.30 in 2006.
  • At public schools, the average GPA increased from 2.85 to 3.01 between 1991 and 2006.
  • In 2006, highly selective private schools sported an average GPA of 3.43, while highly selective public schools had an average GPA of 3.22
  • Among public schools, major state universities in the South show the largest grade inflation from 1990 to 2006.

Would you have any interest in knowing in which discipline the grade inflation has been most dramatic? Oh yes, say you. Then, say I, you will not be surprised to learn that is is in education. Mirabili dictu!  In the discipline that trains the teachers for primary and secondary education, 71 percent of grades are A’s. “Humanities” are not far behind. Interestingly, only 26% of grades in mathematics are A’s. Thus, grade inflation actually pushes students towards majors in “education” and classes in the humanities and away from classes in science and math.

The Solution:

normal_curve-1ftn8yh

Above is what is called the “normal curve.” It is the distribution about the mean of any standard population. Many things follow a “normal, bell-shaped curve” or Gaussian distribution. If we measured height, weight, intelligence, blood pressure, and GRADES ON A TEST we would find a normal distribution unless mitigating factors skewed the results. An example of a mitigating factor that would skew results might be… oh, like federal subsidies.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities could agree that for any class there will be a normal distribution of grades – no skewing! Let’s propose 15.65% A’s, 34.1% B’s, 34.1% C’s, 13.6% D’s, and 2.15% F’s (i.e., the grades will be divided by standard deviations – if you don’t know what a standard deviation is, in brief, they are the vertical lines on the graph). It is not a true normal distribution, but we can, at least, get back to where we were before Big Government stuck their Big Nose and Big Funding into higher education and caused a Big Problem instead of solving the Little Problem that was their original intent!

Roy Filly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Growth of cancer cells versus growth of federal education involvement

Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

Ronald Reagan

Example #1,000,000,015 showing why government spending doesn’t solve problems.

Unknown author

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

Albert Einstein

Perhaps there is a skosh of hyperbole in the today’s title, but not much. When one looks at the failures of public primary and secondary education in the United States, the average American wants the government “to do something about it!” Perhaps… no, not “perhaps”… the problem is that the “government” has done “too much” about it already.

[Sources: Courtney A. Collins, Reading, Writing, and Regulations: A Survey of the Expanding Federal Role in Elementary and Secondary Education Policy, and Gregory Ferenstein, Why it's never mattered that American schools "lag" behind other countries]

Americans are bombarded with the “fact” that students in America’s primary and secondary schools lag behind other countries. I asked a simple question. When was the last time American schools led all the other nations of the world. The answer was surprising.

“The United States has never ranked at the top of international education tests, since we began comparing countries in 1964, yet has been the dominant economic and innovative force in the world the entire time. Despite this fact, a popular annual education report has once again stoked fears of America’s impending economic mediocrity with fresh stats on how far the U.S. ‘lags’ behind the world in college attainment, pre-school enrollment, and high school graduation.” (From: Ferenstein)

Without drawing a conclusion about the validity of American’s concern about our primary and secondary educational systems, one thing is certain. Demagoguing test results is a favored pastime for politicians. Why is that, ask you? Because, answer I, it provides the excuse to spend, spend, spend.

[From:Collins] “Federal intervention in elementary and secondary education has exploded over the last 50 years, according to a new report for the Mercatus Center (see link above).

“The federal government had little involvement in elementary and secondary education in the United States until 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Originally intended to provide federal funding to schools with high populations of students from low-income families, the ESEA has ballooned into a law more than 20 times its original size, writes Collins. Federal education funding for elementary and secondary education was $6.7 billion in 1964 (in 2013 dollars). By 1966, it was more than $14 billion. In 2010, it was $80 billion.

“As new federal programs have been created over the last half-century, new federal requirements have been imposed on schools:

  • The ESEA was amended in 1966 with Title VI, which covered the education of handicapped children. It provided money to states that promised to create plans to expand programs for children with disabilities.
  • In 1968, the law was amended to include the Bilingual Education Act, which provided states with funds to create new programs to serve students who were not native English speakers.
  • In 1974, the ESEA was expanded to include grants for a number of additional programs, including new funds to teach the metric system in U.S. schools and categorical programs for gifted children, career education and the arts.
  • In 1978, these categorical programs multiplied, adding new projects related to youth employment, health education, women’s educational equity and book distribution programs. The ESEA also established new offices, including the Office of Environmental Education and the National Council on Ethnic Heritage Studies.

“The Department of Education also grew during this time, issuing new regulations from year to year. The total number of regulatory constraints (regulations issued by the Department of Education including the words “may not,” “shall,” or “required,” and the like) in 1980 was 2,000. By 2010, it had reached 10,800. All of these requirements, writes Collins, represent the replacement of state and local control with federal educational mandates.”

When one looks at the international test scores, the statistics do sound rather dismal:

  • The U.S. ranks 14th in higher education attainment at 42% of 25-34 with a degree, 20 points behind the leader, South Korea.
  • The U.S. ranks 26th in early childhood education (69%)
  • The U.S. is the 6th worst in terms of high school graduation, with 23% failing to attain a diploma

“However, the report implies that education translates into gainful market skills, an assumption not found in the research. For instance, while Chinese students, on average, have twice the number of instructional hours as Americans, both countries have identical scores on tests of scientific reasoning…In a massive review of research, the Department of Education’s research arm, the Institute for Education Sciences, could not find any evidence that college preparation actually prepared students for college.” (Ferenstein)

So what has all this regulation and massive federal spending accomplished? The answer is either, (a) not much, or (b), it has actually had a deleterious effect. You choose after the following information. Students’ scores in math and reading from 1971 to 2012 have hardly changed. “While 9- and 13-year-old students have performed slightly better during that time, 17-year-olds have performed worse in math and shown no change in reading.” (Collins)

Reread the last paragraph and realize that we are 10.800 regulations and hundreds of billions of dollars down the line since ESEA was passed into law! Study the graph below until rage overtakes you and you decide to stop this insanity with your next vote. This is the kind of nonsense that can only occur in a huge and uncontrollable government – like ours!

Fed-Spend-Ach-Pct-Chg-Cato-Andrew-Coulson

 

I will admit that it is easier to see what doesn’t work than to figure out what does. Here is my answer. Big government  = Bad government. Make our government smaller – a lot smaller!

Roy Filly

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Equal time for the global warming alarmists

I frequently write about the failures of the models that predict disasters in our future due to global warming (climate change, climate disruption – whatever latest “name” has been concocted for CO2 alarmism). In the interest of fairness I would like to look at a recent article in the Washington Post (Pravda on the Potomac) entitled, Global warming is here, probably dangerous, and may be permanent, U.N. Panel report says. Well, it appears to be too late for humankind. The United Nations has spoken.

From the article:

“Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous — and it’s increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report said.” The U.N. Panel suggests that the “heating trend could be irreversible.” Here are some alternative scientific views:

Growing number of scientists are predicting global cooling: Russia’s Pulkovo Observatory: ‘We could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years.’

Danish Solar Scientist Svensmark declares ‘global warming has stopped and a cooling is beginning…enjoy global warming while it lasts.’

New paper by Russian solar physicist by Habibullo Abdussamatov predicts another Little Ice Age within the next 30 years.

Meteorologist Joe Bastardi on declining global temps: ‘Has the Obama administration, the EPA or anyone that can read a chart actually looked at what global temperatures are now doing?’

Climate Scientist Prof. Anastasios Tsonis at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Predicts: ‘I would assume something like another 15 years of leveling off or cooling.’

Prominent geologist Dr. Don Easterbrook warns ‘global COOLING is almost a slam dunk’ for up to 30 years or more.

Australian Astronomical Society warns of global COOLING as Sun’s activity ‘significantly diminishes.’

We see in this report the tactic that is invariably taken by progressive/statist/altruists when the evidence doesn’t match their hyperbole. They simply scream louder! “The final draft of its synthesis report, combines three earlier, gigantic documentsThere is little in the report that wasn’t in the other more-detailed versions, but the language is starker… The 127-page draft (another favorite ploy of progressive/statist/altruists is to bury the reader in paper, e.g., two thousand pages of ObamaCare) paints a harsh warning of… what it will do to humans and the environment.”

Thus, the report has virtually nothing that hasn’t been previously speculated by the U.N. but the warnings are “starker” and “harsher!” Allow me to paraphrase Albert Einstein. “The definition of insanity is repeating (the same warnings over and over and louder and louder) and expecting (people to be more likely to believe them).”

Start building your eco-bunker now!

Roy Filly

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ferguson, Missouri

As my readers know, I don’t write about things like the turmoil and riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Today is a departure from that “rule.” Also, I do not know whether the police officer involved in the shooting death of Michael Brown acted prudently or idiotically and illegally. However, I have listened to many pundits speak their “minds.” Some I respect. Others I do not. After all of my “listening to experts,” the black American in the following video has made the most sense. His perceptions are remarkable and I think you should listen to one last “opinion” about the riots in Ferguson.

The perspective of the speaker sums up, in the most practical terms, why black Americans should not vote for Democrats. When one listens to the slant of the left-wing media in the current circumstances one appreciates that the reporters automatically assume that police departments are right-wing extremists because they carry guns. They seem to forget that there are left-wing extremists. In the 1980s, for example, 3/4ths of all “designated” terrorist activities in the United States were attributed to the “left-wing.”

And thanks to BC for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Too bad about switch grass

The federal government spends a lot of money on energy “policy.” It depends who one reads regarding how much is spent on biofuels. So I thought the only fair estimate to reproduce here would be from a “green agenda” think tank, Climate Policy Initiative, that believes the government spends too little on this type of energy production, and thus would be a low estimate. They estimate $6 billion. That is actually a lot of billions. Think of it this way. It is the total earnings (using the median per capita income) of approximately 240,000 Americans.

The federal government touted that next generation biofuels, like switch grass or agricultural waste, would replace petroleum-based fuels progressively. That is true if one plots “progress” by measuring the movement of a snail traversing the breadth of the lower 48 states. These non-ethanol biofuels simply have not materialized.

[Source: The Secret, Dirty Cost of Obama's Green Power Push, by Dina Cappiello]

Every day without the biofuels from plant life meant to replace corn, the ethanol industry stays reliant on corn and the environmental effects mount. But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.

As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies.

• Farmers planted 15 million more acres of corn last year than before the ethanol boom.
• Sprayers pumped out billions of pounds of fertilizer, some of which seeped into drinking water, contaminated rivers and worsened the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where marine life can’t survive.

The consequences are so severe that environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected corn-based ethanol as bad environmental policy. Even the Obama administration that pushed so hard for “alternative energy” sources now admits that ethanol-based fuel is a bad idea. The President no longer mentions “ethanol” when giving speeches about alternative energy sources like biofuels.

Thus, a rational person would think that “we tried it and it failed.” It didn’t “just fail.” It actually had an opposite and deleterious effect on the environment it was supposed to “save.” Therefore, the obvious conclusion is to repeal the “ethanol mandate.”

So, good luck with that. Despite a modest reduction in the mandate (Renewable Fuel Standard) proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, it does not appear that anything substantive will be done. The EPA did not say whether it changed the volumes from last year’s proposal but said it supports the program and wants to increase renewable volumes.

Thus the EPA needed to speak out of both sides of its mouth. “EPA supports the energy independence and security goals that congress envisioned when establishing the RFS program,” a spokeswoman said. “The agency’s overarching goal is to put the RFS program on a path that supports continued growth in renewable fuels over time.” The White House is reviewing the proposal.

As expected, companies that make the fuels blasted the EPA for turning its back on renewables. The EPA said it received more than 340,000 comments on the proposal. Quelle surprise.

Going to Congress and rewriting the law would mean picking a fight with agricultural lobbyists, a fight that would put the administration on the side of big oil companies, which despise the ethanol requirement.

I can’t recall who said it, but he/she was clearly a wise person. “Every dollar in the federal budget has an advocacy group!” That, my friends, is the crux of the matter. When big government picks “winners” and “losers” the “winners” always scream “bloody murder” when the funds are threatened – and they could care less that the “losers” are the American people, the environment, and sanity.

Roy Filly

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

One would think they could guess correctly at least once.

Global Warming: It is a hoax. It is bad science. It is high jacking public policy. It is the greatest scam in history.

John Coleman (Co-Founder of The Weather Channel)

It is easier to believe a lie one has heard a thousand times than to believe a fact that no one has heard before.

Anonymous

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.

Laurence J. Peter

Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes.

Jawaharial Nehru

We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don’t, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions.

Jessamyn West

In my particular business, I make educated guesses based on factual data. It’s called making a “diagnosis.” I have been playing this guessing game for forty years now. If my “guesses” (diagnoses) turn out to be wrong even at a very low rate of failure I’d be laughed out of the Department of Radiology and certainly would not have been elevated to professorial status. That doesn’t seem to be the case for the global warming science crowd. I am still waiting for them to guess “right” about something. The law of averages in a dichotomous situation would dictate that they would surely guess “right” about half of the time (e.g., it “will” or “won’t” get warmer… the oceans “will” or “will not” rise… the polar bear population “will” or “will not” shrink… Antarctic ice “will” or “will not” diminish…wind and solar energy “will” or “will not” be successful in reducing CO2 emissions… electric cars “will” or “will not” be environmentally beneficial). Thus far, they are batting ZERO.

I have written about the failures of each of the above predictions except for the “oceans are rising.” I can now add that to the list of failures in their prediction models. What do the alarmists claim, ask you? They claim the following, answer I.

The UN IPCC AR5 WG1 report claims that:

“It is very likely that the mean rate of global averaged sea level rise was 1.7 [1.5 to 1.9] mm yr–1 between 1901 and 2010, 2.0 [1.7 to 2.3] mm yr–1 between 1971 and 2010, and 3.2 [2.8 to 3.6] mm yr–1 between 1993 and 2010. Tide-gauge and satellite altimeter data are consistent regarding the higher rate of the latter period.” In simple term, the seas are rising and disaster awaits mankind.

Environmental effects induced by sea level rise are far reaching… Potential environmental effects include the following:

  • increased storm damage to coastal infrastructure
  • more rapid coastal erosion
  • shoreline change including the possibility for total loss of protective natural barriers
  • saltwater intrusion into aquifers and surface waters
  • rising water tables

In the immortal words of Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson ) in Ghostbusters:

Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.

Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”?

Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.

Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!

Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…

Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!

Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

Mayor: All right, all right! I get the point!

[Source: Latest NOAA mean sea level trend data through 2013 confirms lack of sea level rise acceleration, by Larry Hamlin]

Again, and importantly, the following data is from the National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA), the highest US federal authority.

NOAA has released new and updated mean sea level trend data for it’s Global Network Stations tide gauge locations which are inclusive of measurement data through 2013. The data include long time period duration (in excess of 30 years) tide gauge station records covering the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska and the Pacific, Gulf Coast and Atlantic coastline regions of the U.S. as well as many other global wide coastal locations. This latest NOAA data shows unchanging linear trends in the rate of sea level rise worldwide with many of these records including 100 year and longer measurement duration periods.

The source material contains detailed analyses and more graphs than I would want to reproduce in this missive. Take a look by clicking on the link. It’s quite enligntening. NOAA did its homework.

Oops! Flat on their face again. Hard to believe! The statistics that global warming alarmists have breached by guessing wrong wrong so many times are truly staggering! They should NEVER gamble in Las Vegas!

And thanks to HP for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Are you keeping track?

The economy may be showing a glimmer of improvement now 6 years after the recession, and more importantly, 5 years after the infamous “stimulus.” But when one considers the amount of money the federal government has dedicated to “improving the economy,” the numbers are staggering and the results are, shall we say charitably, less than stellar. For example, had the current recovery gone as well as the average recovery since World War II we would have 13 million more jobs than we currently do (as quoted from Stuart Varney).

The sums of money are quite eye-popping. We had the “stimulus” that cost us $800 million (approximately $1 trillion if you add in the interest). Then Congress cut the Social Security payroll tax by 2% and extended unemployment benefits ad infinitum. The total cost for these was upwards of $700 billion. Then the Federal Reserves began “quantitative easing,” which basically meant that they bought up debt. As I have previously reported to you, there are no “reserves” in the Federal Reserve. Thus, for all intents and purposes, they “printed the money.” By the end of this year that will bring another $4 trillion to the party. As well, we need to consider the $5.8 trillion of federal deficit spending. The total may be as great as $11 trillion in just 6 years.

The National Debt reached $11 trillion in 2008. In other words it took our nation 232 years to run up that amount of red ink. Of course, only $6.5 trillion of the above expenditures “count” as part of our National Debt (we are at $17.6 trillion as I write this post).

Our Keynesian administration under President Obama still clings to the concept of the “multiplier effect.” This is because, according to theory in macroeconomics, an injection of extra income leads to more spending, which creates more income, and so on. The multiplier effect refers to the increase in final income arising from any new injection of spending. This effect is most pronounced in the “middle class.” Since the “stimulus,” the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed much of its characteristic faith in the future.

Our President is “for the middle class!” Just go to the White House blog site. My Lord, he must be working tirelessly for the “middle class” between rounds of golf and fund-raisers. I would agree that the health of America is largely measured by the success of our middle class. See the eight graphs in the footnote!

The Congressional Budget Office surveyed scholarly studies and found that multiplier estimates for government investment spending ranged from 0.5 to 2.5. This means that a dollar of spending generates between 50 cents (half of the money was wasted) and $2.50 (wow!) in added output (gross domestic product). Quite a range! If we measure the middle class, the factor is clearly less than “1.”

One would think that the current experience with massive government spending to alter the course of business cycles would hammer home the final nail in Keynes coffin and forever stop us from exercising this option. Don’t count on it. Despite the fact that for nearly two hundred years the federal government never intervened in the business cycle, the current mindset in Washington is that incumbents will not be voted out of office for deficit spending – no matter how massive.

The message is simple. Big government is bad government.

Roy Filly

Footnote:

03 02 06a 08a 07a 09a 04a 01a

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Americans need to be protected from…..onions!

Our federal government is hard at work protecting us. Personally, I worry that ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) will send suicide bombers to the United States. I want the government to protect us from suicide bombers. I am also deeply concerned about onions! Onions cause bad breath and indigestion. Suicide bombers are nothing compared to halitosis!

Americans must pay for the unmeasurable and apparently unavoidable waste, fraud, and abuse caused by big government. As well, Americans must pay for and contend with the fact that every bureaucracy empowered with regulating our lives necessarily needs to create a never ending list of regulations. Otherwise its existence becomes moot.

The latest beauty is a series of new regulations to protect Americans from onions!

[Source: Consumers May Like Onions, But the FDA Doesn't, by Jared Meyer]

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed new regulations to limit the amount of E. coli in irrigation water for foods that a person might consume raw. The regulation will cost onion farmers a great deal of money. That might sound like a well-reasoned concept. There is only one small problem. All of the research shows that this regulation is unnecessary.

Most onion farmers will be “out of compliance” with the new rule, despite the fact that onions are at no risk of being contaminated by E. coli from irrigation.

Clinton Shock, a professor at Oregon State University, conducted an assessment of onions and E. coli, determining that E. coli posed no risk to onions, no matter how much E. coli bacteria was found in irrigation water. Ergo, compliance with the FDA’s rule unnecessarily imposes high costs on onion farmers:

  • Farmers would have to test irrigation water weekly for E. coli levels. If the levels were too high, they would have to stop watering crops.
  • Onions rely on steady watering, and halting irrigation could cut crop yields significantly.

The FDA has also proposed forcing onion farmers to use plastic, instead of wooden, crates, despite research also indicating that wooden crates do not pose an E. coli risk. Replacing 1 million wooden crates with plastic crates, writes Meyer, would cost $200 million. Despite being three times as expensive as a wooden crate, a plastic crate holds only half the weight of a wooden crate. On top of these costs, Meyer notes that transitioning to plastic crates would require remodeling of the buildings where onions are stored, because the crates need more air circulation.

Companies understand that producing contaminated food is not a desirable business model. Instead, the FDA is proposing regulations that will only raise the costs of onion production, hurting farmers while doing absolutely nothing to protect consumers.

Roy Filly

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment