Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Archive for January 18th, 2009

The Thing About Umbrellas

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/18

Umbrellas, they say, are useful tools to have during rainy times because those umbrellas, they say, keep you dry. But do umbrellas really keep you dry? An inverted bowl of material roughly four feet in diameter hanging a few inches over your head is all you have between yourself and the rain.

When I have spent any time at all under an umbrella, I have still found myself mostly wet. Oh, the umbrella kept my head and shoulders and maybe even most of one arm dry. But the rest of my body was still open to the rain. Basically, from my mid-chest down to my feet were wet because the umbrella did not protect my entire body from the rain.

I remember when those clear plastic bubble umbrellas were a big fad. With those umbrellas, you could lower the bottom edge of the umbrella to just-below-shoulder level and still see. What was the purpose for designing the bubble umbrella? It was an attempt to rectify an innate flaw of the umbrella, a flaw that allowed most of your body to get wet. But even the bubble umbrella does not keep you dry in the rain. Sure, it will keep more of you dry than a standard umbrella, but it still doesn’t protect you from the waist down.

So why do we use umbrellas if they’re so bad? Because umbrellas do serve a purpose, and effectively so. In short durations, umbrellas help keep much of the water off us. A quick trip from the car to the front door of home or a business establishment is a good time to use an umbrella. In long durations, umbrellas keep water off our heads and, if the umbrellas are large enough and handled expertly (Go ahead and laugh at that over-extended use of the word “expertly;” I got a chuckle out of it.), our shoulders. And let’s face it, we are much more comfortable with our heads and shoulders dry and the rest of our bodies wet than we are with our heads and shoulders wet and the rest of our bodies dry. So, despite their inability to keep much of our bodies dry over any length of time, umbrellas are very useful.

Why Umbrellas?

“Why am I reading about the travails of umbrellas on a political blog?” I do have a reason for talking about umbrellas and that reason isn’t actually about umbrellas. If you consider the picture of a person as an image of a country, you will begin to understand. You can look at it as a scale from elite to common, rich to poor, connected to not-connected. Those who are at the top of the scale will stay dry while those from above-midpoint to bottom will get wet from the rain.

Now that I have developed this word-picture, what am I doing with the word-picture? It is to explain tax policy. For a great many years, “soak the rich” has been the class-envy cash cow of the liberals. It is classic redistribution policy. And yet, that policy has failed the communist states.

Anytime politicians have attempted to “soak the rich,” the rich have sheltered their money from the soaking. Want to increase the profits tax on the wealthy? They’ll just pull their money from their business investments and store it for better times. Want to sock it to corporations? They’ll just pass on the added tax to their customers. Increase the income tax on the big money-makers? They’ll shift their earnings to benefits packages or shift their earnings to later years. Add luxury taxes to yachts or private jets or high-dollar cars? They won’t buy them.

No matter how you try to use class-envy to “soak the rich,” the rich still have umbrellas. And the middle-class and the poor suffer for it. Let’s not forget the politicians who are doing the soaking are also protected from the downpour.

How do the rich umbrellas soak the poor and middle class? If the rich quit buying items that have luxury taxes, those items quit selling. If those items quit selling, the businesses quit building them. If the businesses quit building them, the workers – the poor and middle class – lose their jobs, and thus their incomes. Remember when the Democrats under the Clinton administration nearly single-handedly destroyed the yacht-manufacturing business with the luxury tax on yachts?

It is very important to understand corporations do not actually pay corporate tax. Oh, the records show they do, and the money coming out of corporations and going to government in the form of taxes say they do. But corporations don’t pay corporate tax, customers of those corporations do. When corporate taxes are increased, corporations pass on that tax to their customers who have to pay higher prices for goods to cover the higher tax. So those with less money pay more of their money for the same thing to make up for the added cost of doing business the government put on them. “Which ‘them’ is ‘them?’” When government increases corporate tax, it is an effort to increase the cost of doing business to the corporation. But in actuality the increased tax is an increased cost of doing business for the buyer and not the corporation.

Of course, when the corporation increases its prices, it loses buyers. Increase a price too much and a corporation will go bankrupt. But even without going bankrupt, a loss of business translates to a loss of employment need. A loss of employment need translates to more people out of work. You know, those middle-class and working poor?

When investors take money out of the stock market, businesses have less money for Research and Development, less money for expansion, less money for employee-base maintenance. And that means fewer jobs for the working class.

Countries who have used “class warfare” over any period of time have suffered for it. “Spread the wealth” countries, like Cuba, have depended on money from other countries to keep them propped up. USSR, with its spread the wealth ideology collapsed. China has begun to move from “spread the wealth” toward more of a free-market economy, and has begun a business and economic boom but is hurt by the lack of buyers for their goods in markets that are running toward government control.

At no time has socialism, big government, class envy ever improved the lot in life of the lower classes. Only by reducing government and allowing the market to act has any country experienced any true improvement in living standards of the populace. But we are fast becoming a nation of historical illiteracy, a nation of lazy sheep, seeking a shepherd to lead us ever which where he desires. Our jealousy, our envy, our arrogant ignorance has led us to this point and will lead us ever further into the quagmire unless something violently shakes us out of our lethargy.

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Posted in economics, politics, truth | 2 Comments »

Nuclear Iran: A Real Threat

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/18

From The Wall Street Journal comes news that Iran is busily working to acquire the means necessary to build long-range nuclear missiles from your friend and mine, communist China.

Iran’s efforts are detailed in a series of recent emails and letters between Iranian companies and foreign suppliers seen by The Wall Street Journal. Business records show one Iranian company, ABAN Commercial & Industrial Ltd., has contracted through an intermediary for more than 30,000 kilograms (about 66,000 pounds) of tungsten copper — which can be used in missile guidance systems — from Advanced Technology & Materials Co. Ltd. of Beijing. One March 2008 email between the firms mentions shipping 215 ingots, with more planned.

The United Arab Emirates has informed the U.S. that in September it intercepted a Chinese shipment headed to Iran of specialized aluminum sheets that can be used to make ballistic missiles. A month earlier, UAE officials also intercepted an Iran-bound shipment of titanium sheets that can be used in long-range missiles, according to a recent letter to the U.S. Commerce Department from the UAE’s Washington ambassador.

Given Iran’s statement that Israel and the US will be destroyed, there is no doubt if Iran ever got military nuclear capability, it would use that capability against Israel and would try to use it against the US. I have no doubt the US and Israel need to use every means possible to put this to a stop, MSM bedamned.

Posted in Israel, politics, terrorists, war | Comments Off on Nuclear Iran: A Real Threat

North Korea: No Longer a Threat?

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/01/18

According to The Wall Street Journal, North Korea is as much a threat as it ever has been. In an area of the world (the pacific rim) where your word is valued more highly than your signature on a contract, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il regularly breaks his.

Despite agreeing to stop his nuclear program, he has continued. His regime has been known to kidnap South Koreans and Japanese citizens. Many of these kidnap victims, after as many as 30 years or more, have never been repatriated. A supposedly dead person was returned to Japan in an urn, only to be proven by DNA not to be the kidnap victim Kim Jong Il said it was.

All this talk about talking to North Korea and agreeing to cooperate is total nonsense, since Kim Jong Il has no need of integrity and Hillary’s idea of continuing talks that have already proven to be worthless is headed for more of the same… with one exception. Her work will be hailed in the mainstream media while the Bush administration’s work, on which she has modeled her planned work, has garnered no respect from the mainstream media.

The Japanese have it right: There is no talking to North Korea.

Posted in history, politics, truth | Comments Off on North Korea: No Longer a Threat?

 
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