The major dividing line in modern society is those producing value and those looking to appropriate the value of others; the former makes society function and the latter presents an increasing threat to it.
Political quietism, or laying low and looking the other way, is an ethical and moral failure of leaders when faced with falsehoods; when the stakes are highest, the need to speak up is greatest.
An elite is someone or something with the arrogance to dictate what choices others will have in their life pursuits; elites are the enemy of the disadvantaged, the middle class, the individual, and free enterprise.
Society had it right decades ago when we used to inspire and motivate kids to be engineers, builders, and inventors; today we get it wrong by encouraging kids to become football players, singers, or internet sensations.
Entertainers and professional athletes provide a service to society and should be free to charge what the market supports; yet their influence is often artificially inflated beyond their true impact.
The best way to help the poor is to avoid being poor; in other words, allowing the private sector to create jobs is the best way to avoid, escape, and eradicate poverty.
Smart people are consistently capable of voting for politicians and supporting issues that are against their self-interest; not paying attention or going along with the popular in a democracy may have serious consequences.
Heroes, like the rest of us, had flaws; yet there is no denying the greatness and nobility of Columbus, Shakespeare, Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Lincoln, Carnegie, Churchill, and King Jr.
Science and math are undefeated head-to-head against political science and dogma; history shows us this and the long-term will prove this true yet again.
Nothing has done more for mankind than the carbon atom; carbon should be celebrated, not vilified.
Carbon is the foundation of quality of life in modern society; to be anti-carbon is to be anti-human.
As carbon utilization in a country or economy increases, life expectancy increases, infant mortality decreases, and individual rights flourish; denying or reducing carbon utilization to a nation or economy has disastrous consequences.
There is no such things as a zero-carbon form of energy, business, industry, state, nation, or economy; to promote such a falsehood ignores science and is a sham.
Disruptive technology and American innovation delivered the natural gas shale revolution, which has unleashed the methane molecule at prolific quantities and low cost; this epic success has redrawn the geopolitical map and rendered so-called renewable energy uneconomic and uncompetitive without continuous taxpayer subsidy and market protection.
So-called renewable energy, particularly wind and solar, are incredibly carbon-intensive and socially harmful; so-called renewables are unable to provide reliable, affordable, and environmentally friendly energy at scale.
The free market allowing natural gas utilization to flourish provides an extension of U.S. geopolitical power; government mandates imposing so-called renewable energy into the economy creates a strategic Achilles’ heel for the U.S. and strengthens China.
The free market coupled with growing natural gas demand strengthens the middle class and creates family-sustaining private sector jobs without the need for a college degree; government mandated imposition of so-called renewable energy destroys the middle class and creates a generation dependent on government support.
A large, complex ecosystem has been created and depends upon sustaining the zero-carbon myth; trillions of dollars, much of it taxpayer dollars, in the name of zero-carbon are poured into corporate subsidy, academic “research”, environmental groups, and government bureaucracies.
The Federal Government
A minimal level of government to serve the people is best and was intended by the Framers; today we suffer under pervasive government that dictates to the individual.
Progress, value creation, and innovation today are achieved despite government, not because of it; government tends to slow, deter, and reduce value creation.
Deep State is an apt descriptor for today’s federal government, not because it is secret but because it is pervasive; pervasive government was designed by a hundred years of Wilson-FDR-LBJ-Obama machinations.
The Administrative Procedures Act (APA) during the Truman administration saw Congress hand over its law-making power to the executive branch; this amounted to dereliction of duty by the legislative branch of government.
The judiciary allowed the executive branch to enjoy no checks with the Chevron decision; this amounted to dereliction of duty by the judicial branch of government.
The nationwide injunction is a tactic used by rogue lower court judges to give dictatorial powers to the executive and judicial branches of government; lower court national injunctions should be struck down as unconstitutional.
LBJ’s Great Society experiment was an abject failure and stopped the free market from reducing poverty rate on its own; trillions of wasted taxpayers dollars through transfer payments and government programs did not reduce poverty rate and created a culture of systemic government dependence that robs individuals of their potential.
American producers pay too much in taxes to support a bloated Deep State, with the average American spending more on taxes than on food, healthcare, clothing, and services combined; Tax Freedom Day, the day of the calendar year where the nation as a whole has earned enough to pay its total annual tax bill, fell on April 19 in 2019.
Government forced a self-induced economic coma with the 2020 pandemic, brought free enterprise to a grinding halt, and then used its shutdown and subsequent economic hardship to justify a massive stimulus paid for by taxpayers; the single biggest beneficiary and recipient of the stimulus aid was government itself.
The U.S. federal regulatory state consists of 300,000 bureaucrats; that is larger than the active army of Mexico, Japan, Germany, or Israel.
State and local government workers number nineteen million; when combined with federal government bureaucrats, government workers outnumber private sector manufacturing sector workers by nearly 2-to-1.
Per capita federal spending has increased seven-fold from 1941 to 2017; yet nothing close to a seven-fold improvement in government services has been enjoyed by taxpayers.
Government bureaucrats are not altruistic, existing only to serve the common good; to the contrary, they are as driven by self-interest as the rest of us and will behave in ways to optimize their power and influence, often to the detriment of the private sector and free enterprise.
Today, there are not three branches of the federal government but four: legislative, judicial, executive, and bureaucratic; of the four, the two most powerful are executive and bureaucratic, with bureaucratic the most powerful since it does not answer to the people.
When one sees Congress pass a statute that includes vague words such as fair, reasonable, and equitable, it is a sure sign Congress has ceded its authority to the bureaucracy; this violates Article 1 Section 1 of the Constitution, which clearly states “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.”
The cost of regulatory compliance in the U.S. is nearly $2 trillion annually, more than the economy of Italy; this is a massive stealth tax on creators, enablers, and servers of value in the private sector.
Federal agencies such as EPA use the “sue-and-settle” tactic to collude with environmental groups to grow agency enforcement power; this comes at the direct expense of value creators and taxpayers.
Federal agencies such as the EPA and DOI employ hundreds of “science advisor panels” to help develop agency rules-making, regulation, and policy; such panels are stacked with academics and organizations that receive hundreds of millions of dollars in grants from these agencies, creating a massive conflict of interest that works against the interests of taxpayers and the free market.
Federal agencies tend to manipulate cost-benefit analyses of proposed regulations to show a net benefit; the analyses are rigged by applying extreme assumptions to produce the desired outcome to show a need for the proposed regulation.
Finance, health care, and energy are the foundations of the economy; the government bureaucracy knows this and thus seeks to heavily regulate these sectors so it better controls the rest of the economy.
A growing, fourth leg of the foundational economy is tech; thus, the government bureaucracy increasingly seeks to regulate electronic bytes just as it historically regulated physical molecules.
The Legal Profession
The legal profession has devolved from protector of the republic and enabler of free enterprise to one that extracts a tax for allowing commerce and activity to proceed; the legal profession figured out more regulation and laws for the rest of us mean more billable hours for attorneys.
Tort law, originally intended to redress wrongs done to a person and to provide relief from the wrongful acts of another, is abused today by the plaintiffs’ bar to appropriate value from others; beneficiaries are plaintiffs’ attorneys, defense attorneys, and court bureaucracy while losers are consumers and value creators.
Our legal system has evolved into a theater of activity where the ultimate outcome of the dispute does not matter; litigating is the sole objective, with attorneys on both sides and the courts benefiting from billable hours and larger budgets, respectively.
Good Teachers, Students, and Teachers’ Unions
Private sector unions historically protected blue collar workers’ rights and standards; public sector unions often present a conflict of interest to politicians and bureaucrats who look to curry their favor and votes at the expense of taxpayers and quality of service.
The job of “teacher” is a noble profession; the best performing teachers should be rewarded with the best compensation and career advancement opportunity, while poor performing teachers should be held accountable.
Teachers’ unions often lobby to avoid performance measurement and competition; yet students and parents/taxpayers deserve quality education and choice.
Teachers’ unions decry lack of investment and not enough spending as root causes of poor reading, math, and science proficiency; yet the highest spending districts per student are often the poorest performing when it comes to student proficiency.
Every dedicated 3rd, 8th, and 12th grader in a public school should enjoy the right to reading, math, and science proficiency; if proficiency is not being delivered, the noble profession of “teacher” should hold the public union and district administration accountable.
The media/press played perhaps the most critical role in helping America blossom into the envy of the world; today the media has devolved into one of the greatest threats facing America.
Journalists traditionally were trained to report the who, what, where, and when of objective fact; today many journalists gloat about how they push an agenda and sway minds with opinion costumed as fact.
The media was once held in high esteem by the American public; today Americans across political parties, genders, ethnic groups, and income levels astutely hold less confidence and trust in media than ever before.
The United States is a free enterprise, capitalistic society burdened with a leftist higher education system grossly subsidized by government; universities increasingly fail students, taxpayers, and the private sector economy.
A small minority of leftist professors can completely disrupt the modern university; politically correct university governance and the desire for consensus on the simplest of decisions play right into the hands of faculty looking to disrupt.
A small minority of hyper-sensitive students can completely disrupt the modern university; a university culture of victimhood and broadcasting perceived microaggressions play right into the hands of students looking to disrupt.
University administrators benefit from extreme faculty and hyper-sensitive students; academic bureaucrats manipulate and encourage such faculty and students to grow administrative bloat and budget, to the detriment of tuition paying students and taxpayers.
Universities should be the marketplace of ideas; unfortunately, today’s universities are insulated, oppressive police states that eradicate diversity of thought.
College tuition continues to outpace other services and inflation; much of the forever-rising cost of tuition is to pay for the bureaucratic bloat of university administrators.
Universities increasingly favor dropping standardized test scores and high school GPA in their admissions selection processes; removing quantifiable, measurable metrics from the admissions process results in deserving students being denied admission.
Free speech is suppressed across hundreds of universities by the use of bias response teams and restrictive speech codes; such juntas and censorship are unconstitutional, un-American, and should be disbanded immediately.
Students on today’s campuses are stripped of constitutional rights on a systematic and regular basis; due process protections and evidentiary standards that students enjoy beyond the campus walls as American citizens are surrendered once the student steps into the quad.
Government policy intentionally pumps massive amounts of taxpayer money into academia, creating an ever-expanding tuition bubble for students; as students are extorted with higher and higher tuition and loan debt, the rate of return on an investment into a college degree evaporates.
Universities lack transparency on default rates of graduates’ student loans; many institutions of higher learning game the reporting system using “default management consultants” to artificially lower default rates.
Leftist leaders in university humanities and social science departments view STEM disciplines and science as threats; STEM disciplines face campaigns to disable scientific inquiry and scientific dissent, all in the name of political correctness.
Market and job realities of the private sector dictate more investment in STEM disciplines and less investment in the humanities; yet academia insists on more investment to address the manufactured “humanities crisis”, to the detriment of STEM investment.
The religion of sustainability is used by higher education to bleed STEM programs of rigor and resources; as the ideology of sustainability is imposed by the humanities and social sciences onto the STEM disciplines, it waters down core STEM curriculum.
Leftist and politically correct ideologies are invading STEM courses and disciplines; chemistry, math, biology, engineering, and medical courses end up offering less technical material and more social engineering rhetoric.
Scientific fact and the pursuit of scientific knowledge were the historical, primary aims of the scientific method; today those aims have been demoted behind compliance with leftist ideology.
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