Sunday, March 31, 2013

On the "Gay Marriage" court battles

I honestly don't see how redefining a word which has held the same meaning since the beginning of recorded history is a 'civil right', bogus semantic examples to claim otherwise notwithstanding.

Nor do I see why redefining the word is necessary in light of the other legal vehicles available to same sex couples. There are civil unions, domestic partnerships, or they could even come up with a new word that sounds cooler and doesn't create controversy by hijacking an institution that is considered ancient and sacred by many in our society. 

If anyone is showing "bigotry" here, it is those with the dogma that same-sex relationships deserve the *exact* same status as a marriage, whatever status they may merit, and I do understand that they deserve a legal status and legal protection, which the state of  California has already well established with its domestic partnership laws.

Marriage has been the primary building block of human society for thousands of years, and is closely tied to human reproduction. Same sex relationships, however loving they may be, are fundamentally different in that respect, and parents who simply want their children to grow up and produce grandchildren don't view same sex relationships as the equivalent of marriage, nor, frankly, does mother nature. 

Parents who don't want the "gay rights" crowd circumventing what they teach their children about sexuality at home don't view it as equivalent, nor do parents who raise their children in a religious manner. 

If the goal is to achieve legal status for same-sex couples, this could have already been done if we weren't just fighting over ownership of a word. 

If the goal is to rub the gay lifestyle in the faces of people who don't agree with it, and in the faces of the religious community from which the concept of "marriage" flows, then this fight will probably continue for quite some time.

And let's just get something out of the way right now. I support the traditional definition of marriage, but it has nothing to do with hatred for anyone, contrary to leftist Commiecrat propaganda. This is a free country, and people should be able to live however they choose, up to the point that it infringes on others. 
I only oppose the agenda of the gay rights political lobby when they begin to trample on the rights of others, such as by forcing people to publicly agree with lifestyles they privately disagree with, circumventing what parents teach their children about sexuality at home with "gay" curriculum in public schools, or hijacking an ancient, sacred institution such as marriage in an effort to force society at large to their viewpoint.
But even if you DO think homosexual relationships deserve the *exact* same legal status as a marriage, then such matters are to be hashed out in the legislatures, not imposed by tyrants in black robes.

The Constitution is utterly silent on this matter. There is NO reference to sexual orientation whatsoever in the Constitution. Not even so much as "I'm a little bi-curious..."

However, the Tenth Amendment tells us that the powers not delegated to the United States federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to it by the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. That means this needs to be hashed out in the legislatures, not subject to Roe-style hijacking. But such is the smug arrogance by the Commiecrat Left: 
Notice that the “inevitability” argument for gay marriage is coming from Beltway elites who want judges to decide the issue. Why are they waiting at the back doors of court houses so anxiously if public support for it is so strong? Why do they try and shut down debate so quickly by branding their opponents the moral equivalent of racists if their case is so manifestly clear? 
The bullying belies their confident pronouncements. Were the people on their side, they wouldn’t need to doctor “social science”to justify their propaganda. They wouldn’t need to use judicial activists to undo democratic results. They wouldn’t need to ignore the written Constitution in favor of a “living” one. 
At Tuesday’s Supreme Court hearing, Justice Samuel Alito, trying to calm the elite herd down, noted that cell phones have been around longer than gay marriage laws. Justice Scalia asked Ted Olson, the lawyer who seeks to overturn Proposition 8, when gay marriage crept into the Constitution as a right: “We don’t prescribe law for the future. We decide what the law is. I’m curious, when did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? 1791? 1868? When the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted?” 
Olson couldn’t give a date, to which Scalia replied: “Well, how am I supposed to know how to decide a case, then, if you can’t give me a date when the Constitution changes?”
This exchange highlights what a sham these cases are, and explains why gay-marriage activists don’t want a prolonged debate but a Roe-style judicial coup.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No, Elizabeth Warren, we can't go back in time....

Following up on the minimum wage fraud being pushed by the Left, we have Senators like Elizabeth Warren, who epitomizes the Demunist mentality at its most Commiecratic, making claims like this:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made a case for increasing the minimum wage last week during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing, in which she cited a study that suggested the federal minimum wage would have stood at nearly $22 an hour today if it had kept up with increased rates in worker productivity.
"If we started in 1960 and we said that as productivity goes up, that is as workers are producing more, then the minimum wage is going to go up the same. And if that were the case then the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour," she said, speaking to Dr. Arindrajit Dube, a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who has studied the economic impacts of minimum wage. "So my question is Mr. Dube, with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, what happened to the other $14.75? It sure didn't go to the worker."

It is amusing to see dingbats like Elizabeth "Affirmative Action Paleface" Warren make these sort of claims. This is a common canard with the economically illiterate Left, that high wages and high corporate taxes can work just fine: "Back in the 1950's, we had 90% top earner tax rates, and everything worked well!"

It is amusing to see pipedreamers on the Left, who chide people on the right for “wanting to go back to the 1950′s” (culturally), instead want to go back to the 1950′s economically, when THAT world clearly no longer exists.

Let’s see now, in the 1950′s, the Cold War was a raging, there were no investment opportunities in Maoist China or Soviet Russia, the “emerging markets” were post-colonial battlefields, and Europe and Japan were rebuilding from the rubble. High corporate tax rates in the USA were feasible because there wasn’t anywhere else for them to go…..

As for wages, in a globalized economy, American workers can't pull down the wages today that they could in the 1950's, especially with the sort of immigration policies that Elizabeth Warren and her ilk are condoning.

Today, capital can move with the click of a mouse, so it really isn’t a surprise that Warren Buffett’s investments are taxed at a lower marginal rate than his secretary’s wages.
Moreover, what was the *real* tax rate in those glory days?

Many things were deductible back then that are no longer today, from “Meals And Entertainment” expenses at 100%, to Credit Card Interest, to Medical Expenses, which were not subject to an Adjusted Gross Income “floor” of 7.5%, which this Obama Administration has hiked up to 10%.

So the top marginal rate of 90 percent never actually happened to anyone.

And by the 1960's, after Kennedy's tax cut, no one ever paid 70% of their income in taxes either. When those rates were in effect they were offset by a wide variety of tax deductions that don’t exist now. For instance, we make a big deal out of the home mortgage interest deduction, but back then all interest was deductible — mortgage, auto loan, credit card! Detroit was making money hand over fist manufacturing shoddy cars with expensive union labor because a new car was a valuable tax shelter for the upper class, and even the middle class.

When you take out a loan, the initial payments are nearly 100% interest. So if you had a lot of money and wanted to pay less taxes, you would simply buy a new car every year and trade in the old one. Then your car payments became essentially fully tax deductible. The tax code was swimming with other tax deductions and there was a big industry in exercising them.

In other words, no one paid at a 70% tax rate. The 70% tax rate was what you paid on the small amount of money that you were unable to shelter.

Implementing the 1960s tax rates without the corresponding tax shelters would be a disaster for the economy. The high marginal tax rates had a side effect of encouraging economic activity that avoided the tax rates. Without the tax shelters, the high tax rates would hoover money out of the economy.

Real estate was also then a much bigger tax dodge than it is now. Depreciation – paper losses — could be deducted at a double declining balance rate (rather than today's more modest MACRS formula) from ordinary income until none was left. It was this reality that originally gave rise to the Alternative Minimum Tax in 1969, once intended only for a few thousand wealthy individuals, which now a pain in so many middle class backsides. Highly leveraged deals often produced tax losses to investments in ratios like ten to one.

"Mad Men" is just a TV show. To the extent that world ever existed, it *no longer exists*.

Anyone who tries to tell you the tax rates of the ’50s- ’70′s can be directly compared to today’s rates either doesn’t really know what s/he is talking about or is trying to mislead you.

More on the "Minimum Wage" con game--Kipling warned us.....

Come to think of it, mandating higher wages is also a clever “ghost” tax hike on the part of the Left.

Some taxes, like the property tax, are obvious, because they hit with a noticeable impact. Ditto for hiked sales taxes percentages and spiked user and registration fees.

But a gradual spiraling cost mandate, imposed on private industry? Not so noticeable.

So the minimum wage mandate is a “ghost” tax increase.

The average working stiff will believe government when it blames “big business” (which in reality is ALL commerce) when Commerce responds to the government created price spiral by raising prices in order to keep investment returns and purchasing power up to snuff.

Wages rise, then prices rise to cover wages, and higher wages are demanded yet again to keep up with increased prices, and we all play a game of “leapfrog” that no one can win because there is no finish line.

And the inflation/stagflation will just come back with a vengeance, as the price of the higher wage gets passed on to the consumer. And suddenly the “living wage” isn’t liveable anymore….the dupes who cheer this on can’t see more than one step ahead.

To paraphrase that Rudyard Kipling poem, "The Gods Of The Copybook Headings":
“And so the leftist progressives, promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter, to pay for collective Paul,
And though we had more and more money, Less and Less that our money would buy,
And the free market economists shook their heads and said “if you don’t work you die.”

Monday, March 18, 2013

Abolish the Minimum Wage!

That's right, abolish it entirely. No, wages won't drop that much, if at all, since people still need to be paid enough to not quit.

Why? Because I am a heartless guy? No, because the whole thing is an ecomomic swindle.

Mandating the minimum wage be raised, in the absence of bringing down the other costs of doing business, is nothing but an inflation trap for the suckers. If the producers just raise the prices of goods and services to make up for the additional payments they have to make, then what are the minimum wage workers left with? As the saying / song goes, we are left "running to stand still"....

So you think you can mandate more wages be paid out? And you think that those costs don’t get passed on to you as the end consumer?

Since this typically affects fast food workers, think about what has happened to the cost of said fast food, in just a few short years.

Remember the Carl’s Jr. “Six Dollar Burger” promo–a high end sit-down restaurant burger at a fast food half price? It isn’t half the formerly $6 price anymore, is it? Now it is about $6.

Soon the extra value fast food meals, which a few years ago were $5-$6 and are now about $8-$9, will be $12-$14.

And then those who demand “a living wage” will say they need even more.

“Running to stand still”, as the U2 song goes. They demand more wage money, but they never do anything to lower the cost of the inputs other than labor, in fact, they jack those up too, with various “green” mandates.

Stagflation, here we come.

That is from the worker's perspective. Now, for the small business owner's perspective:

"When your a small business owner & your paying out the ass for health insurance, your Judy trying to survive.
Sure, you can have a million dollar account but if your profit margin is 3% then what's the point of even staying around & employing people.

It's not just the "worker" that is the back bone of our country, it's also the people who have vision & drive to stick their necks out & get loans & contracts with the hope of building something."

The entrepreneurs are most impacted by these rules, and we wonder why they decide to seek their fortunes elsewhere. This is then called "Exporting jobs". Which begs the question of who really did the exporting. Who really drove the cost of labor, and other costs of doing business, way way up.