Brewster’s Trillions

So with the whole Powerball mania going on last week, it got me thinking about the movie Brewster’s Millions. Have you ever seen it? Great movie back in 1985 starring Richard Pryor and John Candy. The synopsis is brilliant. Brewster (Pryor) is due to inherit 300 million dollars if, and only if, he can spend 30 million dollars in 30 days. The reason for this is, as his distant relative explains it in his will, “Let me tell ya a little story, Brewster. When I was seven years old, my daddy caught me smoking a cigar. Locked me in a broom closet for two days and two nights with nothing more than a box of cigars and a book of matches. No food, Brewster. No water, just those g** damn cigars. Wouldn’t let me out till I finished every last one of them. Taught me one HELL of a lesson! I’m gonna do to you what my daddy did to me. I’m gonna teach you to HATE spending money. I’m gonna make you so sick of spending money that the mere sight of it will make you wanna throw up!”
So how does the US government spend almost 10 trillion in 8 years with nothing to show for it? Easy. Because nobody ever locked them in a closet! Our elected officials do not understand money. They do not understand the work that goes into creating wealth. The also don’t respect the people who create that wealth. We all work hard. We try to make a good living for ourselves and our families. We show up to the office early. We stay late. Work overtime. Handle issues or even show up to work on our days off. We sacrifice. Some of us work two jobs. Most of us are in two income households. And with the money we earn, we spend it with the same respect we had when we earned it. We do not waste it. We try to make smart decisions while managing our needs with our desires. Do our elected officials? Evidently not. They give out loans to undeserving people and corporations with influence backed by our tax dollars. They steal Federal tax dollars for their own pet projects. They give it to foreign countries who publicly show disdain for the United States. They use it for on a “War on Poverty” that has only seen the growth of an ever dependent social class that is subsidized by the fruits of our labor. This does not mean we do not want to help the less fortunate. But it does mean we expect value out of our money. If we are helping people who are having a hard time, the money is intended to get them out of poverty, not to pay them to stay in it. We expect loans to be made by the banks who are in the business of lending money, not by politicians who are in the business of buying favors. We expect local projects to be paid by the people that use them, not financed by people who live 3000 miles away. We want the money that is earned in Oregon to support the needs of Oregonians. Not going back to Washington D.C. to be divvied up among the political elites and given back to the states that have the most clout.
If our Federal Government cannot learn to control its spending and respect both the money and the people who earn it, then we need to take that spending power away from the Feds. We do that by electing new Representatives that hate spending money. We need them to pass a balanced budget amendment that will stop the corruption and waste that floods the streets of D.C.. We need to elect Brian Heinrich to the US Congess.

Advertisements

Raise my Salary until I’m broke!

We constantly hear from the liberals and Democrats about the poverty rate and the need to increase the strength of the middle class. It is true, we do need to provide a system necessary that allows people to improve their lives and incomes. But the problem with the Democrat’s solution is it just doesn’t work. As you know, there is a current push financed by unions and supported by Democrats in this country to increase the minimum wage. They believe this change will assist the lowest paid Americans in improving their lives. But the logic behind this is severely flawed. Let me explain.
1. The poverty rate in the US has averaged around 13% since the mid 1960’s, but it is not the same individuals every time the survey is taken. Young workers with limited skills start out at low wages and often below the poverty line. This is understandable. As these same people develop skills and knowledge, they are promoted or find better employment and raise themselves out of poverty in a short period of time. This is just the evolution of employment. It is not due to any “failed system,” we just must realize that we all must start some where.
2. Raising the minimum wage increases poverty and unemployment. Many people believe the minimum wage is just that, the minimum, but it is not. The minimum wage is $0. If you can’t find employment, you make nothing. If you set the minimum wage too high, the unskilled worker does not bring enough value to many positions to even be be hired. The employee or the job does not justify that cost or a cheaper automated option will be created. This creates a level of poverty that is difficult to escape from since you cannot get a job to develop skills to get a better job down the road. This is truly what creates a cycle of poverty.
3. Raising the minimum wage only benefits the government. With any increase in cost of business, whether it be labor, taxes or regulation, the added expense is passed onto the consumer. We pay more for our Big Macs, iPhones, and gasoline. So even with a salary increase via a minimum wage hike, more of our money goes out the door to pay for our basic needs. But for the government, it pushes people into higher tax brackets or takes them off government assistance, increasing the governments income. So our Representative just instituted a tax increase and the people they taxed cheered it on because they never saw it coming. As a matter of fact, these people will often place the blame on the business owner who they feel is unfairly raising the prices. Sad thing is, it is usually the business owner who gets hurt the most when these things happen. Oh the irony!
So beware of these so called do-gooders pushing for a minimum wage increase. As Ronald Reagan said, “The Trouble With Our Liberal Friends is Not That They’re Ignorant; It’s Just That They Know So Much That Isn’t So”

We Chose Poorly

I recently heard Hillary Clinton on the news singing the praises of Obamacare.  She said the Affordable Care Act has now fixed the “gender gap” in health insurance.  According to President Obama’s ACA website, women paid 1 billion more per year on healthcare than men before the healthcare law was passed.  So I started thinking about this statistic.  First of all, women require more healthcare than men.  When I go in for a physical, the doctor tells me to bend over and after a couple of very uncomfortable seconds, I am finished.  Women often have to go to a specialist known as an OBGYN in addition to a standard family doctor.  This is due to women’s more complex reproductive system and the fact that they are the ones who must go through child birth.  So it seems to me there is more cost associated with a woman’s healthcare needs explaining the 1 billion dollar statistic.  But if you take the population of child bearing women in the US and divide that by 1,000,000,000 dollars, you come up with about $9 per woman. Wow! Amazing how $9 per year can become an unbearable financial burden when put through a political spin. But the liberal elite can only promote themselves by creating irrational divides among the voting public. So to solve this massive $9 gender inequality gap, we must”shift” that cost to men.  OK.  I may disagree with it, but I at least follow the concept.   But the question is did the cost get shifted or did the healthcare industry just raise the cost on men out of “fairness?”  The ACA also “shifted” insurance costs from senior citizens toward younger adults.  They did this to assist older Americans who complained their healthcare costs were too high.  But the funny thing is young adults often have lower incomes than older Americans.  So these added costs often have a bigger impact on their budgets.  Especially those trying to start a family.  Not to mention young adults typically have very low healthcare needs due to their youth.  So is it fair to make those who make less money pay more for a service than their needs demand?  Or is this the new fairness?  Then out of “fairness,” should not the government start regulating auto insurance since men pay higher premiums than women?  Is that fair?    Or how about people with a poor driving history who pay more than those that drive well?  The single drivers who pay more than married drivers?  New drivers who pay more than mature drivers?  By golly, the government should just take over the whole system because it seems to me that nothing is fair!  Oh, thats right, my dad always told me that life wasn’t fair.  Well I will be dog gone, he was right.    Maybe the system created is as fair as it can be considering that we are not all the same.  We all have equal rights, but we do not all have the same costs nor do we make the same decisions.  I tell you one thing, I don’t trust the government to fix these problems.    Have you ever heard of the Interstate Commerce Commission?  Also known as the ICC?  It was passed in 1887 to regulate the railroads.  You see, back in the late 1800’s it was cheaper to send stuff by rail from Chicago to New York than it was to send it from New York to a small borough outside of New York City.  You can claim abuse by the small railroad lines, but it really wasn’t.  You see, competition kept prices down on the main routes since multiple railroads serviced it and there was a greater volume of business to pay for the cost.  On the short lines, like in the boroughs of New York, there was often a single operator and they dealt with a lot less volume of freight.  Hence, they had to charge a lot more per mile shipped.  But the people demanded “fairness!”  So our leaders gave it to them.  They passed the ICC and guessed what happened?  Did the short lines drop their prices?  Heck no!  The major railroads just increased the price of theirs.  Shipping from Chicago to New York just went up!  Did I mention the railroads helped draft  the bill?  That is what happens when government interferes in free market capitalism.  The consumer pays more.  The ICC went on for almost 100 years.   After transporting by truck became popular, the ICC regulated that industry as well.  It was so messed up, there were companies that held ICC licenses for Interstate Transport that did not own a single truck.  Yes, these companies generated revenue by brokering their license to real trucking companies.  Essentially they profited for doing nothing and the consumer paid their bill.  In the 1980’s, President Reagan came in and abolished the ICC and freed up the markets.  As a result, more companies came into the market and prices went down.  The trucking and railroad industries were not happy.  Their gross profits went down substantially.  But Capitalism is not about the seller.  Capitalism is about the purchaser.  Capitalism and free markets use competition to give the purchaser better quality and better service at lower prices.  It also spurs innovation since the nature of competition always pushes for improvement.  So how does regulating the medical industry, mandating insurance and shifting costs do anything to lower the price of our healthcare?  The answer is it does not.  It simply adds a layer of bureaucracy, decreases the quality of service, reduces choices, slows innovation, and costs the public a lot more money.  President Reagan tried to warn us about this in his “Time for Choosing” speech in 1964.  Evidently the Democrats in Congress must have missed that speech.  They can check it out on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXBswFfh6AY