The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


President Obama makes much of the importance of big government and castigates those who want to limit its growth and slowly reduce its size. On more than one occasion, he has suggested that those of us who object to the unfettered growth of the federal government want citizens to go it alone.

As he racks up yearly trillion dollar deficits to support his big government habit, the Jaltoh blog comments:
To suggest that anyone who'd like to see less heavy-handed government regulation thinks one person can do everything alone is a straw-man argument. It indicates a lack of understanding of how the private-sector economy works and how libertarians or conservatives actually think about economics. The private sector isn't just a bunch of people "acting alone." As Matt Welch pointed out in his critique of the speech, making and selling an object as basic as a pencil is such a complex endeavor that it takes lots of different specialists. No one person has the knowledge to accomplish that seemingly simple task; that's how decentralized knowledge is in society. And with a truly complex product, like a computer or movie, the need for people to work together is even greater still. The private sector isn't fundamentally about everyone being secluded and isolated from each other; it typically involves many people working together. Government regulation often rules out the options people would otherwise want to pursue that would let them work together more. The idea that you're "alone" unless you're being directed by the government strikes me as dehumanizing and almost abusive. So I resist this scare tactic of presenting the government as the alternative to being "alone."

As I have mentioned, I'm in the early phases of a manufacturing start-up. As a private sector entrepreneur, the President seems to think that I'm "going it alone." This profound (in fact, ignorant is a better word) misunderstanding of capitalism and the private sector gives us deep insight into the President's world view. Over the past 6 months, as my company's product evolved from a simple sketch to series of prototypes, to a production ready entity, I have relied on many others, each "going it alone" as craftsmen, designers, small speciality shops, service businesses, and suppliers. Every one of us is a small business and every one of us gives business to others and creates real jobs as a consequence of conducting that business. When the government enters the picture, it's almost always as a road block.

And yet, our President seems to think that we're alone. Truth be told, I'd rather be in the company of small business people who are working 12 hours a day to build or grow a business, than a government bureaucrat who wants to create still more regulations, collect still more taxes, and contribute ... well, nothing. I have a lot more in common with my laser cutting fabricator or my carbon fiber vendor, or the small firm that supplies us with automotive fasteners, than I do with a sanctimonious, ideologically driven "leader" who has barely worked a day in the private sector. But sometimes I do feel alone, thinking of the millions upon millions of Americans who seem unaware that Obama's big government thrust will drive the nation toward ruin.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Failure in Leadership

When he was a very junior senator from IL, Barack Obama castigated President George W. Bush for incurring a deficit. Obama stated:
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. . . . It is a sign that the U.S. government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government's reckless fiscal policies. … Leadership means that 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit."
Hmmm. I wonder ... was Obama right when he said those words? I think he was, and that means what we're watching today is an abject "failure in leadership."

But now-President Obama has decided to do what he does best—use demagoguery ("social security checks will not go out") and untruths (e.g., "our administration will cut the debt by $4 trillion") when he castigates his opposition for having the temerity to suggest that a debt limit increase be tied to spending reductions.

In a way, it would almost be better if Obama actually believed that huge deficits and gargantuan and unsustainable debt were okay. At least he couldn't be accused of hypocrisy. But as a junior senator he demonstrated that he understands the danger—he just doesn't give a damn. And as a consequence, his cynical pursuit of ever higher taxes (even though they can't possibly solve the problem) and ever-increasing spending (even though it makes a very bad situation even worse) is the most irresponsible economic policy I have ever seen a President initiate.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Planning Skills

I only have time to take a quick break from the job of building a small, private sector company. Hopefully, all of this work and the risk that it all might crash and burn will be worth it, and I'll be rewarded with a nice return—maybe even enough of a return to have Barack Obama castigate me for not paying my "fair share." But I digress.

I couldn't resist the quote of the day. Megan Mecardle comments on the breathtakingly irresponsible fiscal behavior of the President, his cabinet appointees and the Senate Leadership, along with house Republicans who are blamed for everything, but have acquiesced to a continuing "kick the can down the road" approach. She makes the followed comment:
When I was reporting on Wall Street, I used to be told with some regularity that government was needed to counteract the short-term thinking of the business sector, who never thought much beyond the next quarterly earnings report. This now seems as quaintly adorable as picture hats and daily milk deliveries. An ADHD day trader with a cocaine habit and six months to live has considerably more long-term planning skills than our current congress.
Or our current President. But that does sum it up rather nicely.