“Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Friday, June 26, 2015

SCOTUScare

King v. Burwell and the Law
by YUVAL LEVIN

Emphasis mine.
[Chief Justice Roberts] makes a much broader argument about the relationship between the vague, broadly stated aims and purposes of legislators and the role of judges interpreting the meaning of the particular laws those legislators then write...”

Obamacare is [to the Chief Justice] not so much a particular law as an overarching desire “to improve health insurance markets” and so if at all possible it should be taken to mean whatever one believes would be involved in doing so...

This understanding of the role of the judge threatens to undermine the rule of law in the American system of government, because it undermines the central place assigned to written law, and to the legislator, in that system… While it would seem to suggest that the will of the legislator should guide the system, in fact it means that the word of the legislator does not govern the other branches. It implies that Congress should have just passed a law that said “health insurance markets shall be improved,” and then left it to the executive agencies to decide how they wish to do that...

Roberts’s argument... suggests that when a law as written would be likely to have practical consequences at odds with the broadly asserted intent of its authors, judges should interpret it to have a meaning more likely to achieve that desired goal...

The health-care debate, in the context of which this case might originally have been understood, will continue because what Justice Roberts insists is impossible is true: Obamacare is a law that was intended to improve insurance markets but was designed in a way that will actually harm them. We can only hope that debate will ultimately be resolved in a way that also pushes back against the unexpected implications of this case and this decision by reasserting the supremacy of the law.
Read the whole thing.

The Chief Justice has twice approved the government takeover of one-sixth of the American economy. Now he's concerned about disrupting "markets?" He expresses that concern by elevating "intent" above the rule of law?

Obamacare, passed using procedural chicanery, by a single party whose members hadn't read it, was intended to dupe the American people. With John Roberts it succeeded beyond Jon Gruber's wildest dreams. Gruber laughed about the "stupidity" of the American voter. He must be guffawing about John Roberts.

The "law," whatever it turns out to be after the next executive order or SCOTUS interpretational creativity, should hereafter be known as SCOTUScare.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

They had good intentions

That is how Chief Justice John Roberts justified Obamacare:
"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter."
-Chief Justice John Roberts, author of the SCOTUS decision in King v. Burwell
There are good reasons to believe this decision will neither improve health care markets, nor avoid destroying them. The majority decided this case based on their perception of the intent of Congress, despite compelling evidence to the contrary.
  1. The intent of Democrats in Congress - the only people who voted for it - cannot be known in this regard since they did not read the Bill.
  2. Jonathan Gruber, the main government architect of the law, says the intent was to fool the American people. And, specifically, by forcing the States to participate or lose the subsidies.
  3. Obamacare has utterly failed to improve insurance markets. It has made insurance companies rich, at great cost to the people.
  4. An argument advanced by those who passed the Bill is that Obamacare is intended to further the destruction of the "market," so as to institute a government run single-payer system akin to that of Canada.
Justice Roberts, and his 5 comrades, have severely damaged the rule of law.

Monday, June 22, 2015

“The images were not intended to portray Sen. Cruz in a negative light”

No, they were intended to suggest he should be shot in the head for speaking in favor of the Second Amendment. Or, if he was shot in the head, it would at least be deserved.

For Progressives, this:
Proved Sarah Palin was a deranged would be assassin.

While this:
Photo (by Charlie Neibergall) proves the Associated Press is an unbiased news organization.

Doubt it? Then name me a Progressive who's complained that the picture of Ted Cruz promotes gun violence.

OK, let's say you cheated and named yourself. The second requirement is to tell me what you think would have happened if, instead of Cruz, it had been Mrs. Bill or this guy:

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Crapitalism

I'm afraid this ex post facto Export-Import Bank Solyndra subsidy will typify Obamatrade if it's enacted.
Q: When would the U.S. government subsidize a U.S. export that had happened in the previous year and that was estimated to create zero jobs?

A: When the U.S. exporter was politically connected Solyndra, and the subsidizing agency is the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Trust me

Our president is asking us to give him fast track authority to negotiate a wide-ranging trade agreement. This is the Solyndra-promoting, crony capitalist, “you didn’t build that” president. The same one who conspired with Big Pharma and health insurers on Obamacare.

Trust me, he says, the double-super-secret TPP “is the most progressive trade agenda in history,” as if that would be a good thing. Unfortunately, it’s likely to be much worse than that. If it’s so great, why do we have to pass it to find out what’s in it?

This is the same president who is conceding negotiating Iran’s right to have nuclear weapons.

This is a president who twice said, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Trust him, if you want to. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell do.

I'd rather wait for a trustworthy president, however long that takes.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

I'll believe 1,000 when it happens

Big data gets a boost
Amazon is expected to employ 120 at data centers it recently announced in Dublin, Hilliard and New Albany; statewide, the number is anticipated to rise to 1,000. The company’s total investment over the next three years in central Ohio alone is an estimated $1.1 billion...

Development officials at the state and in each of the three suburbs stepped up with significant incentives to land Amazon, which is appropriate given the size of its investment and job creation. The state has approved tax incentives for the project valued at an estimated $81 million. That isn’t a handout, but a benefit that Amazon will earn as it actually invests and creates jobs here.
A real bargain at only $675,000 for each job.

Ohio requires Amazon to collect sales tax, so Ohioans might ask why the incentive wasn't to give consumers a tax break on sales tax instead of giving a subsidy to Amazon. Or, if protecting and promoting local business is the objective, make Brick & Mortar retail sales tax free for Ohioans.

It begs credulity to think that Amazon will create 1,000 future jobs, given their push to automation.

Monday, June 01, 2015

$4.9 billion in government subsidies

That would be Elon Musk.

Warren Buffet must be "green" with envy.

Reconciling the Union Leadership minimum wage rhetoric

AFL-CIO leader warns labor could sit out 2016 fight over trade

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka threatens “no endorsement” for President, if Hillary supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal:
…that's conceivable if both candidates weren't interested in raising wages

They decided to pass something that was going to cost jobs and lower wages, and they're going to have to answer to their constituencies for that whenever they face them.
So, unions oppose trade deals unless those deals would both create American jobs and raise American wages. Who would disagree?

Our trading partners, perhaps?

Speaking of wages vs. jobs, after leading the fight to get a minimum wage increase passed in Los Angeles, a California labor leader appears to contradict Trumka's wage rhetoric: L.A. labor leaders seek minimum wage exemption for firms with union workers

On May 19th, Los Angeles City Council voted to increase the hourly minimum wage to $15.
But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

“With a collective bargaining agreement, a business owner and the employees negotiate an agreement that works for them both. The agreement allows each party to prioritize what is important to them," Hicks said in a statement. "This provision gives the parties the option, the freedom, to negotiate that agreement.”
In sum: To be free, you must join the collective.

Acknowledging that union members might lose jobs to lower-cost competition under a consistent set of rules, Mr. Hicks demands the privilege of being the lowest cost supplier. Reality-wise, Mr. Hicks would have the better of this argument with Mr. Trumka, except that it isn't a disagreement at all. They both want to use government regulation to drive out competing labor.

So, if it would cost their members jobs to have a particular minimum wage, unions oppose minimum wage for their members. If it would cost their members jobs for other countries to have a lower minimum wage, they want to force higher labor costs on those other countries.

Maybe Trumka and Hicks should start thinking about what this - Robots Start to Grasp Food Processing - means to their membership.

I seem to remember another time where this type of disruption affected wages and jobs. Something about power looms? Some kid named Ned Ludd was said to be involved.

It seems to me, with the robotics threat generally looming on the horizon, that Trumka and Hicks are a bit shortsighted. Lower wages from foreign competition (for Trumka Chinese factory workers, for Hicks, the illegal immigrants in Southern California) are just practice for what’s coming to their members. It’s already started at McDonalds et. al., because they’re the early targets of the social justice cohort.