Speaking of political rights

I happened to come across a well-said remark from President Harry S. Truman’s radio remarks on election eve in 1948:

I hope that all of you who are entitled to vote will exercise that great privilege. When you vote, you are in control of your Government.

Signals v Causes: The American Nightmare?

An effective political and election strategy has been to identify the signal of the American dream (e.g. home ownership, college education, preschool) as a cause of the American dream — or the American dream itself, and then promise to make it easier for people to achieve it.

Hopefully, we are learning that this actually undermines the incentives and feedbacks that made those things signals of the American dream in the first place, turning them into nightmares.

It turns out that getting a college degree doesn’t cause the American dream. Rather, all the hard work and gumption that use to go into getting the relatively more scarce and useful college degrees of the past was truly what set those kids apart and put them on the path to prosperity and independence.

Change the college degree from a sorting out mechanism to an easy path and the college degree no longer is a reliable signal of those hard workers to employers. Then the nightmare ensues.

As this Wall Street Journal editorial describes:

A lot of these borrowers can’t generate the income to service this debt, especially when so many of them can’t get decent jobs. The left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research recently noted that among recent college graduates age 22-27, a full 45% were underemployed in 2013, meaning they were either unemployed or doing jobs that typically don’t require a four-year college degree.

Of course, it doesn’t help that politicians have also mucked with the incentives of the innovation economy, reducing its capacity to create job opportunities for these folks.

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I think we’re on the second envelope

Ever hear the story of the new CEO that was given three envelopes by the previous CEO to open in case he ran into a problem?

The note inside the first envelope said, “Blame your predecessor.”

The note in the second said, “Reorganize”.

The last said, “Prepare three envelopes.”

I think the President must get three similar envelopes. He already used the first one. But the second one must say, “If everything that has your name on it is turning into unmitigated disasters, then say you are going to raise the minimum wage.”

But, the good news is that we are getting close to the third envelope.

Just a reminder

With Obamacare, here we again find ourselves with a government-made disaster on our hands. There’s much discussion about how ‘we’ fix it or change it, how to make it workable, how the GOP has no solutions…etc.

I hear very little discussion about why we even want these buffoons to touch this stuff.

It’s a good time to remind folks of some wise words from Walter Williams.

If it can help just one…

A common political sales tactic is the ol’, “Even if this government action helps just one person, then it’s worth it” snow job.

It seems we are beyond that snow job now with Obamacare. Apparently, if it only hurts 5% of the population, that’s acceptable.

On my mind

My post from October 2 has been on my mind quite a bit lately.

So rare is it for politicians to be around when the their grand plans — and the inevitable messes — come to fruition. Usually they are remembered for the intentions their plans had, but distant memories by the time the real trouble hits.

Now, one month after that post, the disingenuous ‘accountability-taking’ seems to be taking some toll on the administration’s credibility.

Now, we are entering the next phase…the time when people find out how their 2014 Obamacare plans compare to the 2013 non-Obamacare plans. I finally got a peek at my company’s insurance plans for 2014 and my premiums appear to be going up, not down. Wasn’t this supposed to be reducing the cost of health care?