As of now (October 13, 2008, 9:56 a.m. Central Time), the markets are up, perhaps in response to the global bailout, which amounts to the G7 nationalizing the capital market, perhaps because they think and hope that the market hit bottom last week. One can hope.
The Weekly Standard had an article last week about how conservative Republicans have gotten their reaction to the market all wrong. We're too nationalist, too protectionist, too anti-free trade. Here's the problem with unlimited free trade (also called "globalization"): supply and demand pushes businesses to move their labor-intensive, unskilled work to places with plentiful cheap labor and fewer regulations. This puts unskilled workers in the U.S. out of work. If those unskilled workers are unable to find other work or go where the work is, they can end up on the welfare rolls, creating a drain on the economy. Jerry Pournelle is not a huge fan of labor unions, though he does consider a minimal protectionist tax on imported goods enough of a buffer to preserve some jobs in the U.S.
We still make a lot of stuff, but as more nations' populations become industrialized and educated, the more competition we will face. Our lead in exports comes from creating and exporting high-tech, big-ticket items like commercial aircraft. What happens when our workforce is no longer as skilled as it once was--and government schools are not what they once were? There are a lot of things going on, and our leaders need to give them serious attention:
- Our borders need protection.
- Our children must be educated in both intellectual and physical trades.
- Our citizens need jobs that support families.
- Our energy supplies need to be increased and new energy technologies developed.
- We need accountability among individuals, in businesses, and the government on the subprime mortgage and capital market crash.
And then there's this little bit from Barack Obama. His commercials lately have been touting a tax cut for 95% of Americans. Impossible, ladies and gentlemen. The bottom 50% of taxpayers get all their money back after April 15. Here's why:
Mr. Obama's campaign promise, which he has repeated in his speeches and in the presidential debates, stems from his "Making Work Pay" tax cut that will give a $500 refundable tax credit to every worker or $1,000 to each working couple. But because this provision in his economic-recovery plan is "refundable," a large number of middle- to lower-income workers who have no income-tax liability after taking tax credits and deductions the that [sic] Internal Revenue Service allows, will be given the equivalent of the tax cut in the form of direct payments from the U.S. Treasury - funded by higher-income taxpayers. [Emphasis mine.]
That is not a tax cut. That is a giveaway. It's a handout, like those "stimulus checks" we got this year and after 9/11. It's redistribution of wealth. Call it what you will, but calling it a tax cut is a lie. It's taking money from those who have more of it and handing it off to those who don't have as much and hoping they spend it in ways that will keep the economy going. In other words, the standard socialist policies we've seen before from this party.
I was recently accused of hating the poor. The individual thought I wanted the poor to be poor. No, wrong. Wrong squared. I want everyone to have the opportunity to get rich! That means reducing taxes and regulations that hamper businesses. It means allowing individuals to keep more of their money. Why should I work hard to get rich if the harder I work, the more the government takes? And who the heck is the government to say that they have the right to take my money if I someday manage to make $250,001? Why should any of us accept this? Arrgh. I'm heading for the showers. Let's be careful out there.