Category Archives: Economics

A Smarter Form Of Marxism: Less Work Sets Us Free!

I remember when we moved back stateside back in early 2009, and I learned about TARP.  I realized that my country had passed a very important milestone, without me even knowing. (Yes, yes, I didn’t follow politics during our overseas duty station. I was a very bad citizen.  In my defense, I still voted in federal elections.  Our military absentee ballots didn’t show up until three weeks before the 2008 election, and who knows whether my “R” vote arrived in time.)

Back in the USSA (post-Obama-ascendency), I realized that most people still hadn’t noticed this important milestone: an American foray into the nationalization of industry and finance.

Nationalization!  Even if partial, it was still an important step toward socialism.  Socialism!  My public school education may have been substandard, but it was not yet completely propagandized.  So I knew how closely related Socialism is to Communism.

We hit another big milestone, didn’t we, when the Wealth-Spreader-in-Chief got re-elected in 2012?

Yep.

Well it’s been over a year since that time, and we’ve hit another major milestone.

Do you know what it is?

There’s a lot of news to choose from.

Most of it bad.

But this one is particularly important.  Yes, it’s also bad:

Obama has once again unilaterally and unlawfully delayed Obamacare’s mandate, regarding the requirement that businesses employing 50 to 100 employees offer “affordable healthcare coverage” or face a tax.

What’s that you say?  These unlawful delays have been going on for a while now?  This latest one can’t be more important than the rest?

Wrong.

The latest delay comes with some wicked regulatory finesse.  The IRS says that if your business wants to decrease its size and then apply for this unlawful waiver, then it has to swear allegiance to the regime:

“Company officials will be trapped in a catch-22. They can lay off as many people as they want because of Obamacare. But because they’ll have to swear to the IRS that their decisions had nothing to do with Obamacare, they can’t speak publicly about what’s happening. What a great way to silence the people who are on the front lines of dealing with Obamacare’s horrific effects.”

Let Soopermexican explain further:

“what the Republicans said would happen under the simplest, most easily understandable laws of free market economics is so likely to happen that the administration has to threaten businesses to shut up about it, or face the wrath of the highly partisan IRS.”

Yes, the Republicans said businesses would lay off employees in order to avoid the punitive taxation of Obamacare.  And yes, the Democrats were dishonest enough to disagree.

I have paid close attention to politics ever since 2009.  Yet, somehow, I didn’t see this latest milestone coming.  I didn’t imagine the point at which Federal Government feels comfortable dictating to Small Business which business decisions Are Not Appropriate.

Notice, it’s not a question of which business decisions Are Not Legal.

Illegality would not be a milestone.  Telling business, and even individuals, what actions are and are not legal is a long-standing and perfectly appropriate role of government–even in the opinion of “crazy” large “L” Libertarians.  It’s something we Tea Party Extremists like to call The Rule of Law.

The Obama Administration is dictating to private business what “should not be done” even though it is perfectly legal

Let Judge Learned Hand explain:

 “a transaction, otherwise within an exception of the tax law, does not lose its immunity, because it is actuated by a desire to avoid, or if one chose, to evade, taxation. Anyone may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose the pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.”

Oh, but Learned Hand’s reasoning means little to our Constitutional-Scholar-in-Chief, I reckon.  Other than an obstacle to work around.

Guys, this is a gigantic milestone.  It is also a milestone which is likely to go largely unnoticed.  Sure, business-minded citizens are quick to notice the insanity.  This National Review commenter puts it better than I ever could:

“So, you need an additional line worker. You intend to pay that person $15/hr ($30k per year). You expect that person to generate incremental production worth $60k per year. So, under a rational analysis, you hire that person and increase your profit.

But under this law, hiring that person would result in a sharp loss. Instead of adding $30k to the bottom line, you would lose $180,000 ($30k in added profits minus $210k in new fines). So hiring that person goes from being a smart business decision to being completely ridiculous. No sane person would do it.

So you don’t make the hire. And the act of not hiring that person becomes criminal unless you swear to the IRS that the draconian fine you avoided had nothing to do with your decision….which is to say you have to swear to the IRS that O’Brien is holding up five fingers when plainly the correct answer is four.”

Sure, the usual suspects will squawk.  But will that mean any more than the squawking after Fast and Furious?  Benghazi?  After IRS corruption was revealed?

I noticed in my research:  the prominent MSM article about this latest Obamacare tweak didn’t even mention the IRS certification requirementA professional article about this latest Obamacare tweak did mention it, but in as milk toast a manner as possible:

“Those that claim the exemption for 2015 will need to certify under penalty of perjury that they did not reduce their workforce to fewer than 100 employees in order to qualify.”

No mention about how this strong-arming is illegal.  Unlawful.  Dictatorial.  Totalitarian.

No.  It’s all normal.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.

Okay.  The truth is, that is exactly what I will do:  move along.  Isn’t that what most of us do, every time a new constitutional violation is introduced into our lifestyle?

As I move along, however, I remember something I learned from Sitting On The Edge Of The Sandbox.  I cannot find the specific post (maybe you can help me with that, Missy).  But I remember how, in her parents’ experience in the USSR, work was not just a right but an obligation.  The right to a job meant that you were legally required to work.

And I wonder.  If under Obamacare, a business does not have the right to fire you unless approved by the IRS, does an employee have the right to quit?  Logically, there is no difference between the employer who wants to decrease the number of employees for tax reasons, and the employee that wants to quit working for tax reasons.

I wonder further, how did the USSR treat this problem when businesses wanted to lay off employees in order to maximize profit?

Derp.  A quick Google search reminds me that businesses were not in charge in the USSR.  Decreased profit was not a concern, because all businesses had been completely nationalized.

How diabolically clever our modern statists have become.

In the earlier stages of the Communist Revolution, Communists thought that the workers would simply fall in line with their view of Utopia, once the Capitalist Pigs were dethroned.  It turned out, of course, that reality did not fall in line with their view of Utopia.  It turned out, the right to a job turned into the creation of the “letun,” “rvach,” “bezdel’nik,” “lentyaj,” “lodyr,” and “progul’shchik.”  Those are all terms for folks who could work but chose to be lazy instead.

By 1940, Stalin imposed criminal penalties for workers quitting their job.

Wouldn’t be a winning platform for the Democrats in this day and age, would it?

That’s why they are now so clever.  The Left has learned that nothing is to be gained by taking over the means of production, and then cracking the whip on the workers who don’t comply with the latest production plan.

How much better, to let those Dirty Capitalists retain ownership in name only, while forcing them to do the dirty work of The State.

How much better, to let those workers be as lazy as they wish, and proclaim such behavior to be a virtue.

We are well and truly doomed.

The Tragedy of The Commons, Children’s Edition

The whole “the kids don’t belong to you; they belong to the community” bit is just a less cagey way of saying “it takes a village,” so at least Melissa Harris-Perry gets points for honesty.

My favorite part of the “All Your Children Are Belong To Us” MSNBC Promo comes at the end:

“Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.”

I marvel at the sheer act of willful blindness required in order to believe such a complete load of male bovine manure.  I mean, let’s all apply this to our front yards, shall we, and then hold our breath while we wait for the neighbors to come mow ours?

You know, corporations are a kind of microcosm of the larger society.  Corporate-y type folks who make their living ensuring that a corporation “makes better investments” have noticed that the truth is exactly inverse to Ms. Harris-Perry’s statement:

When everyone is responsible, no one is responsible.

And haven’t the sociological/psychological types done study after study and pretty much come up with the same truth regarding human nature?

I wonder if Ms. Harris-Perry, being a good collectivist and all, would respect Garrett Hardin‘s belief that human overpopulation is a serious global threat?  If so, maybe she could also put some merit into his concept of The Tragedy of the Commons:

“In 1974 the general public got a graphic illustration of the “tragedy of the commons” in satellite photos of the earth. Pictures of northern Africa showed an irregular dark patch 390 square miles in area. Ground-level investigation revealed a fenced area inside of which there was plenty of grass. Outside, the ground cover had been devastated.

The explanation was simple. The fenced area was private property . . . .”

Yeah.  Let’s all ignore a truth so obvious that even a Malthusian human ecologist with totalitarian tendencies can see it, and let’s “break through” the private idea that kids belong to their parents.  Let’s engage in an experiment called The Tragedy of the Commonly Cared-for Children, because Miss MSNBC Lady says things’ll turn out just peachy.

Good grief.

I haven’t seen a more sure sign of the decline of our society since I first saw somebody pushing one of those dog strollers through the park.

Yeah, that's right.  I'm hating on the cute dog's stroller.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m hating on the cute dog’s stroller.

Happy New Year!

Here’s a gift.  Some common sense from Rand Paul.  Here’s to getting more of folks like him elected in 2014.

Merry Christmas, Building and Loan!

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season.  I sure am.  First of all, it’s Christmas Day and we are wearing shorts.  Snow looks pretty in pictures, and the kids lament the lack of sledding, but dang.  Snow is cold.

Second, we’ve had our first Christmas sans Santa, and I’m so glad to be rid of that fat man.  The following opinion offends a lot of people, but here it is anyway:  I hate Santa Claus.

There.  I said it.

I’ve never understood why parents are so protective of the Santa fantasy.  You stay up half the night, wrapping and assembling and crafting a Santa scene.  You do all the work, and he gets all the credit.

Santa also encourages the idea that a child can have whatever he wants, if he is on the “good list.”  Nevermind the cost, child.  Santa’s little elves will construct it for free in their little workshop.  Also, nevermind the “made in China” label.

So, I broke it to the younger son sooner than necessary.  Some folks were disappointed, but lemme be honest.  The fact that I maintained the pretense for seven years is just short of a miracle.  I found myself apologizing for spoiling the fun too early, but being told the truth isn’t what upsets my younger son.

“That’s okay Mommy,” he says.  “But I don’t get why everyone lies to their kids about Santa.  That violates the Ten Commandments.”

What do you say to this logic?  Feel free to berate my lack of Christmas cheer in the comments.  Don’t even get me started on the newest deception crowding the Facebook feed, however:  Elf on the Shelf.  Seems like maybe he’s just Big Brother’s easy-going little brother.

School is going well, and we’ve found a church to attend.  Who knows what is in store for all of us in the next few years, but nevermind.  At least it’s bound to be interesting.

We’ve had family visiting all week.  Tomorrow we travel to visit more family.  Just having some time off is reason to celebrate.  Yeah, the fiscal cliff, sequestration and all that still looms ahead.  Beyond personal preparation, there’s nothing much to be done, really.  Our fellow citizens want to play chicken with the Gods of the Copybook Headings, and in the short term we can’t stop them.

Here’s this year’s tree, looking suspiciously like last year’s tree:

IMG_4485

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy New Year to you all.  Hold on to your butts, because 2013 is sure to be a bumpy ride . . .

If Revenge is a Winning Campaign Platform

. . . then we are losing the culture war far worse than I realized.

I see a lot of “we’ll keep fighting” tweets on my Twitter feed.  Lovely sentiments from tireless patriots.

Many conservative civilians see the 2012 election as just another battle in the never-ending political war.  They are moving on, setting their sights on the bigger picture.  I am grateful for that tenacity, for their imperviousness to the affects of this defeat.

I don’t share the sentiment though.

I am Milspouse.  The president is my husband’s boss.

This election, and every election, effects us all, yes.  Very yes.  The military is exhibit numero uno, and I’m not even talking about the budgetary effects (hello sequestration).  I’m talking about the effect on morale.

The effect is huge–beyond description, which is saying a lot for a gal who loves describing things.  I’ve seen it firsthand, the way morale swings on a dime–well, really on a change-of-command ceremony.

This effect on morale translates into a very immediate change for the NoOne family.  Today, we go from “maybe you can stay in for the long haul and shoot for that extra promotion” to “maybe you can get to the bare minimum and punch out.”

Maybe Hubs can get to the bare minimum–if his conscience, political correctness, and budget cuts don’t interfere.

Maybe.

Even if he does, will the federal government be solvent enough to make good on the retirement benefits it promised?

I dunno.

In the meantime, all I can think about are the years when we didn’t establish roots.  We didn’t become part of a community.  We didn’t help a church grow.  We didn’t make improvements on real estate.  We didn’t learn how to grow a garden and preserve the fruits.  We didn’t protect our interests.  We put the nation’s interest before our own.

How much longer can we do that?  I sure can’t keep fighting for the big picture after Obama’s reelection.  The smaller picture–my family’s future–is weightier.  My posts will probably reflect this shift in priorities.

The establishment of roots.  Preservation and protection of assets.  Education of my children.  These are the priorities now.  The fair citizens of Idiocracy can water their crops with sports drinks, for all I care.

A hiatus is probably in order.

I’m not quitting.

Just refocusing.

Best wishes and prayers for all my readers.

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