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Showing posts from 2018

Making Highways and Airports Pay

In today's Wall Street Journal is an opinion piece entitled "How to Make Highways and Airports Pay". I apologize about the WSJ paywall if you are not a subscriber, but the gist of the article is that federal and state localities should adopt a feature called Asset Recycling which allows the government to lease assets such as highways, bridges, tunnels and airports to private consortiums and they, in turn, charge consumers to use the asset. The government then takes the money it gets from the private businesses and invests that money into other meaningful projects.

Problem #1 is that money which the government receives is virtually NEVER sequestered for use only as intended. Problem #2 is that while private concerns can usually get things done cheaper than government, there is that pesky problem of profit. The management company needs to show a profit for all of the out years and a 75 year lease can be a long run to fund. I think there is a place for privatization with go…

Small Town America - Dying A Second Time

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A recent New York Times article about how immigrants are leaving small town America underscores the ripple effect of any immigration policy changes. The author continually uses the word "immigrant" to describe the individuals who are abandoning these rural towns. I can only assume that he is referring to undocumented aliens and not green card-holding guest workers.

I actually feel sorry for these people, I truly do. The United States has done a gigantic head fake to these Mexicans and Central Americans. Since Reagan's 1986 amnesty program legalized approximately 3 million illegal immigrants, the US policy has been "talk loudly and carry a small stick". For two decades, the border remained porous and enforcement of labor and hiring laws was lax to non-existent. The past decade has seen increased enforcement by the Obama Administration and maximum enforcement by Trump's.

(I never really understood Barack Obama's immigration stance. On the one hand, he cl…

Steele and Ungar - They ain't Oscar and Felix

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I used to like Steele and Ungar. I really did. Michael Steele, the former Republican LT Governor of the People's Republic of Maryland and former RNC Chairman would go toe-to-toe with Rick Ungar, former writer and producer and senior political contributor to Forbes.com.

Their back and forth on issues was entertaining. Rick would take the liberal side but not as a mouth-breathing, obnoxious goody two-shoes and Michael would take the moderate conservative side. It was Point-Counterpoint all over again. Their guests ran the gamut and each one of them would probe from their own perspective. It worked and I liked it.

That all changed with Donald Trump. Yes, that seems to be a theme these days, but with Steele and Ungar, it has ruined the chemistry. Rick has not changed his point of view but his constant putting down of the President (I wouldn't call it bashing of the MSNBC-sort of bashing) wears thin soon enough.

Michael, however, has totally been turned. He came out as a Never-Tru…

The Future - Bright or Dim?

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What about both? Technology-wise, the future is bright as the sun. Socially and morally, not so much.

Friends, this is it. This is what the world is and what it is becoming. Those of us who are north of 60 years of age do not matter any more. Period. The liberal basis of our nation is just waiting us out. It may take another 20 years but soon enough, we will all be dead or incapacitated. The left ALWAYS plays the long game. The right ALWAYS plays the short game (see: Rand Paul and all of the Republicans who are bailing out of office this year.)

The nation is changing. We have our retirement and out medical benefits so the left want us to just STFU. They (the left and their younger cohort) will own it soon enough. Sure, there will always be some conservative folks, but by and large, what we know as "normal" is now abnormal. Guns, sex, morality, child raising, everything is changed and it probably won't go back.

Trump's election mashed the brake on the liberal avalanche …

Trade War or Trade as a Fulcrum?

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"President Trump announces steel and aluminum tariffs" the headlines scream. "Trade War Imminent"

Right now, China is pushing back on Trump like a scorned child. "Oh, yeah, well I can do THIS, see?" China has always fought dirty and has gotten away with it for so long. How can one fight this? They are kind of like the Mafia aren't they? Everyone just lives with it. Russia poisons a former spy in England, gets rebuked by the international diplomatic community and then pushes back by expelling Western diplomats as if the Russians are the aggrieved party. Ballsy, eh?

Concerning China and North Korea, I wonder who is teaching who? They hack our industries, they hack our defense complex, they steal our shit and then build an almost exact replica. Same with the damned Russians. They want to splash in the same pool with the civilized world all the while they are pissing in the water and breaking into your locker while you are basking in the sun.
I can hear it …

Stare Decisis. Bedrock or Quicksand?

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"Stare decisis". That is all we hear from liberals when they question Supreme Court nominees. "Will you adhere to stare decisis?" is their prime litmus test for anyone destined for the high court. Stare decisis is defined as "the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to precedent." In other words, when your favored opinion has been previously decided by appeal, it should remain supreme and unchallenged. Liberals realize that many of the decisions on which their entire way of governing is based comes down to sometimes dodgy interpretation of the law by like-minded justices decades ago. Losing the bedrock decisions, due to a second look or non-adherence to stare decisis causes all subsequent laws and decisions to become suspect and ungrounded. For them, this just cannot happen. In 2010, Arizona passed a law, S.B. 1070 which gave local law enforcement additional powers to enforce national immigration law (since the Feds, under Obama and…

Fair Trade or "Fair Weather" Trade?

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I have never thought much about the nuts and bolts of trade. I have conflated "free" trade with "fair" trade. Recent "events" have caused me to realize that free trade is anything goes. Kind of like free love. As with free love, there are usually regrets (by at least one party).
Fair trade means what it says, a fair way of doing business. One country adds a 2.5% tariff on imported vehicles and their trading partner puts a 20% or a 50% tariff (tax) on the vehicles they import from their partner. Is that fair?
The US freely allows this to happen to themselves. I am not sure if it is guilt or what, but we certainly have been taken advantage of. I can see Trump's point. We (the US) do not put much of a tariff on anything (check this out: https://hts.usitc.gov/current)
There are 99 chapters to this document and if you take the time to look, you can see that it is extremely rare for an import tariff to exceed 5% let alone 10%.The vast majority of imports int…

Immigration Recommendations: A Treatise

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Stipulation: There are somewhere between 12 and 20 million people living in the United States in an undocumented status.

Truth: Unless these "unauthorized immigrants" (UIs) commit crimes or become a problem, they will most likely not be deported. An exception to this truth is if a legitimate United States business gets raided by ICE, the undocumented employees will probably be shifted into the "problem" category.

Further Truth: All of these UIs who are working are providing a legitimate service for their employers. We think that many of them are just fruit and vegetable pickers or working in a processing plant chopping chickens but there are a lot of UIs in the construction industry and also in the hospitality and maintenance sectors. These are not glamorous jobs but someone has to do them.

Unassailable Fact: Citizenship is the elephant in the room. Democrats want all UIs to be made citizens on the supposition that they would all naturally align with the Democrat part…