Charles Gave authors a short but fascinating read, Toynbee’s Europe. I found this bit particularly notable:
Mervyn King, the former governor of the Bank of England, wrote in his recent book The End of Alchemy that European leaders pushed for the adoption of the euro as a single currency knowing that it would cause an economic disaster in Southern Europe. The idea was that the impact of weakened economies would force national politicians to accept “reforms” imposed by Brussels. Put simply, Lord King argues that these elites consciously organized a huge decline in living standards in the expectation that it would undermine the legitimacy of local politicians. The problem is that most regular people (rightly) believe that their state is the best guarantor of their society being able to “live together”, which is the basic contract binding a nation.
This, as well as much of the article, is a damning condemnation of Technocracy which is the Globalist’s dream State. This is the same strategy being pursued by many of the Republicrats ruling from Washington, not to mention Hillary and Obama.
Read the entire article.
HT to the essential Mauldin newsletter, Outside the Box.
Fascinating analysis from The Federalist into why so many are “feeling the Bern” these days. It’s because these voters are just plain ignorant:
First, millennials don’t seem to know what socialism is, and how it’s different from other styles of government. The definition of socialism is government ownership of the means of production—in other words, true socialism requires that government run the businesses. However, a CBS/New York Times survey found that only 16 percent of millennials could accurately define socialism, while 30 percent of Americans over 30 could. (Incidentally, 56 percent of Tea Partiers accurately defined it. In fact, those most concerned about socialism are those best able to explain it.)
With so few able to define socialism, perhaps less surprisingly a Reason-Rupe national survey found college-aged millennials were about as likely to have a favorable view of socialism (58 percent) as they were about capitalism (56 percent). While attitudes toward capitalism remain fairly constant across age groups, support for socialism drops off significantly when moving to older age cohorts. Only about a quarter of Americans older than 55 have a favorable view of socialism.
Conservatives often use the word “socialist” like an epithet, but they don’t realize that neither their audience nor even their political opponents really know what the word even means. This may help explain the inability of free-market advocates to communicate with them using phrases like “big government,” “socialism,” and “collectivism.”
So what do millennials think socialism is? A 2014 Reason-Rupe survey asked respondents to use their own words to describe socialism and found millennials who viewed it favorably were more likely to think of it as just people being kind or “being together,” as one millennial put it. Others thought of socialism as just a more generous social safety net where “the government pays for our own needs,” as another explained it.
So once again, we fall victim to the failure of the American education system. Socialism is a kinder gentler society, nothing to do with the failed states of every socialist government over past 94 years.
I wonder which of these 35 countries the students would like for us to emulate (via Wikipedia’s List of Socialist States):
|People’s Republic of China||1-Oct-49||Present|
|Republic of Cuba||1-Jul-66||Present|
|Lao People’s Democratic Republic||2-Dec-75||Present|
|Socialist Republic of Vietnam||2-Jul-76||Present|
Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Thirty-five tries. Of those, 31 have already been resigned to history’s dustbin, 3 of the 4 current socialist states are clearly outright failures (Cuba, Laos, N. Vietnam) and China (not exactly socialist given the number of very, very rich party members and more than 82 million people living below the poverty line on just $1/day) is circling the drain while we hope that we don’t go down with it.
This is a story of a government initiative that was supposed to revolutionize an antiquated paper-based system in 8 years and for the bargain price of $500 million dollars. What could go wrong?
Everything, apparently. And I do mean everything. Work that has to be redone. Scrapping technology solutions because they were out of date before being put into production. Poor planning. Mismanagement. The list is endless.
The Washington Post has the entire, sordid story but basically the project has already taken ten years, has already spent a billion (with a “B”) dollars, and has resulted in just one out of 95 documents being available online.
A decade of work. A billion dollars. One document, 94 to go.
Heaving under mountains of paperwork, the government has spent more than $1 billion trying to replace its antiquated approach to managing immigration with a system of digitized records, online applications and a full suite of nearly 100 electronic forms.
A decade in, all that officials have to show for the effort is a single form that’s now available for online applications and a single type of fee that immigrants pay electronically. The 94 other forms can be filed only with paper.
This project, run by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, was originally supposed to cost a half-billion dollars and be finished in 2013. Instead, it’s now projected to reach up to $3.1 billion and be done nearly four years from now, putting in jeopardy efforts to overhaul the nation’s immigration policies, handle immigrants already seeking citizenship and detect national security threats, according to documents and interviews with former and current federal officials.
Did you see that? Only another $3.1 billion and four more years to fix everything and get another 94 documents online!
Anyone taking book on whether it takes longer and costs much, much more? Because I want some of that action. I’d bet my life savings that the project won’e be completed by 2020 in less than $6B. Seriously.
It’s worth mentioning that the one process that has been digitized isn’t for new immigrants; it’s to replace or renew a Green Card. It doesn’t keep known terrorists out of the country. It doesn’t identify known criminals attempting to live among our citizens. It was low hanging fruit and has low impact to our safety. A billion dollars so someone can renew a green card.
And the media wonders why so many see Donald Trump is seen as a viable alternative to career politicians and a bat toting neurosurgeon.
A lesson in irony.
The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is actually proud of the fact it is distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” Their stated reason for the policy is because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.
This ends today’s lesson.
Congress has set aside $136.5 million to pay for such items as booze, balloons and security at the Dem and GOP conventions this year. This comes from the same congress that was outraged over $823,000 being spent on a 2010 conference at a Las Vegas-area resort that a GSA admin was pushed to resign.
The figure includes $100 million Congress provided to pay for security at the conventions, plus $18 million for each party to pay for balloons, signs, alcohol, flags, lanyards and other expenses through a program designed to reduce the influence of campaign contributions. Senator Tom Coburn, pointing to lawmakers’ promises to cut the $1.2 trillion budget deficit, said the parties should forgo the taxpayer funds.
I always liked Coburn. Too bad there aren’t more like him, because both parties are going ahead with the plans.
For the first time since I remember, the American people get it:
Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government’s become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.
The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans.
Now, if they will only start voting differently because of it.
Your government dollars at work, via Boing Boing: TSA forces travelling policeman to remove his disabled four-year-old son’s leg-braces.
Philadelphia TSA screeners forced the developmentally delayed, four-year-old son of a Camden, PA police officer to remove his leg-braces and wobble through a checkpoint, despite the fact that their procedure calls for such a case to be handled through a swabbing in a private room. When the police officer complained, the supervising TSA screener turned around and walked away. Then a Philadelphia police officer asked what was wrong and “suggested he calm down and enjoy his vacation.”
Who thought it was a good idea to make these people civil servants? Oh yeah. Democrats.
Approval of how Congress is performing the lowest since Democrats took over DC, mainly due to disappointing the Democrat base. From Gallup:
The all-time low Gallup reading on congressional approval is 14%, recorded in July 2008. Prior to this, 18% was the lowest in Gallup’s history of asking this question, which dates to 1974. In addition to the current measure, congressional approval was at 18% for several months in 2008 as well as in March 1992. It was only slightly higher in June 1979 (19%) and October 1994 (21%).
Congress enjoyed a bump in public approval at the start of last year as the Obama administration was getting underway — fueled mostly by enhanced approval among Democrats and independents. Nearly all of that heightened support among independents had peeled off by last fall, and now Democrats are breaking away.
This certainly does not bode well for Democrats in November.
The Wall Street Journal notes that union membership was down 10% in the private sector last year, which is the same pace as job losses so this is to be expected. However, this is bad news for unions because they probably won’t get these members back when the jobs return:
Labor experts said theunion-membership losses would have a long-term impact on unions and their finances, because unions wouldn’t automatically regain members once the job market rebounded. In many cases, new jobs will be created at nonunion employers or plants. . . .
The manufacturing sector and construction industries—both of which tend to be heavily unionized—were hit particularly hard in the recession by the credit crisis and global downturn, which damped demand for industrial goods. Private sector construction lost 237,000 union members, while manufacturing lost 253,000 union members, representing more than half of the loss of private-sector union jobs.
But what job market actually expanded during the worst economic downturn in 70 years? Federal and state government (local governments didn’t fare quite so well). Part of that ballooning deficit went to paying for new government workers and more of them are union that ever before. Which is why, for the first time, a majority of union members are government workers rather than private-sector employees.
By examining data provided by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, we see that in the last year local governments lost 342,000 jobs. But state governments added 118,000 and the federal government added 52,000 jobs. In spite of the huge loss for local governments (the public sector lost 172,000 jobs as a whole), union membership among government workers rose by 64,000 workers. As of the end of 2009, 37.4 percent of all government workers now belong to a union.
Let’s repeat for emphasis: 37.4 percent of all government workers now belong to a union. In addition, 41.1 percent of all government workers are represented by unions.
The unionization of our government is a worrisome trend, whether at the federal, state, or local level. Last year unions gained in all three sectors. As a result, jobs are protected in a down economy, and the taxpayer must continue to pay excessive salaries that stem from collective bargaining (not to mention the padded pension plans).
Civil service bureaucracy is bad enough. Through a union into the mix and the taxpayer is worse off than ever.