January 11th, 2015 by Ron Pisaturo
The difference between Nazis (National Socialists) and Muslims is that Nazis turned their mind over to a funny-looking monster with a mustache, while Muslims turn their mind over to a funny-looking—at least according to the cartoons—monster with a beard.
When people let someone else do their thinking for them, they are ready to do his killing for him.
In America, half the people have turned their minds over to a funny-looking potential monster with spread ears.
Murderous rulers do not gain wide support merely by promising to kill people. They gain support by promising rewards for non-thinking and blind following: rewards ranging from free food to free education/indoctrination to free health care to free condoms to free virgins.
It is no accident that such rulers always vilify the thinkers, and always kill the thinkers first.
Is Obama himself a would-be willful mass murderer? It is impossible to tell, because the U.S. Constitution and the other half of the people still keep him somewhat in check. But Obama is paving the way for such a monster in America, as he has helped pave the way for murderers in the name of the monster with the beard, about whom Obama has famously said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
A prophet is one who would do your thinking for you.
January 8th, 2015 by Ron Pisaturo
Daniel Greenfield is right: “The right way to respond to the terror attack against Charlie Hebdo is to fight the Islamic/Leftist attempt to isolate critics by reposting the Hebdo Mohammed cartoons.”
That is the right way for private citizens to respond to yesterday’s attack. (See the cartoon below, as I do my part.) Elected officials also should repost these cartoons. A real President would put life-size posters of the cartoons on the White House lawn.
But such a response is only a small part of what the official response of government should be and should have been a long time ago: a declaration of war against Iran, its satellites, and every other Islamic state that does not surrender immediately to the United States of America.
As I wrote on September 28, 2001,
Our problem began when we Americans, failing to defend our rational self-interest, put wealth in the hands of savages by letting them rob our oil fields. It will end when we use our might, including our nuclear arsenal, to crush their evil governments, take back our property, and isolate, colonize, and settle the lands the savages now roam.
It may now be too late to avoid the murder of many thousands or even millions of Americans by Islamists already on American soil, financed and/or emboldened by Islamic states and further emboldened by our moral weakness. That is the price we pay for delay. The longer we delay—and the Obama Adminstration certainly will continue to delay, as prior administrations did—the more terrible the ultimate price will be.
What will anti-gun, big-city liberals do when thousands of Islamists already in America go on a murderous rampage? The liberals will use their fancy cell phones to call 911 and tweet their friends. And then they and their children will die.
It is futile to try to persuade the Obama regime to defend the rights of Americans, because Obama himself violates the rights of Americans, and he aligns himself with every variant—in America and around the globe—of hatred of individual rights. Obama appeases and emboldens Iran, Syria, Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Hamas, anti-capitalist and racist protestors in America, and enemies entering through our borders, while vilifying and abusing Israel, the Tea Party, taxpayers, law-abiding gun owners, independent journalists and filmmakers, productive businesses, and all champions of freedom.
What then can an individual do?
Live in a part of the country where the good guys out-gun the bad guys, and contribute to that advantage.
(For more of my writings on American Foreign Policy, see here.)
January 5th, 2015 by Ron Pisaturo
On the last day of 2014, my health insurance company informed me that, due to the Affordable Care Act (sic), my health insurance policy has been discontinued; and I have been assigned to a new policy, not as good as the old one, with a premium that is 80% higher. My insurance agent tells me that the insurers he works with are being forced to accept every applicant, and consequently the rates are roughly doubling.
Evidently, I am one of the producers subsidizing Obamacare’s looters.
Health insurance, a contract between an insurer and insured made by mutual consent, is no longer legal in America. Instead, we have income-based health taxes. My health tax is 80% higher than my cost of health insurance was last week, which was much higher than my cost of health insurance would have been under capitalism.
This outcome is no surprise. As I have written repeatedly throughout the course of the Obama Administration, Obama’s promise that you can keep your health plan and your doctor was an impossible promise to keep, because Obama was also promising to share your doctor and other doctors with millions more people. For my writings on Obamacare over the years, see here.
In one more touch of clownish dishonesty, Healthcare.gov refers to itself as “The Marketplace.” That is like calling a book-burning bonfire ‘The Library’. A marketplace is a place where traders buy and sell by mutual consent, not a place where sellers are forced to sell to anyone at a dictated price. Healthcare.gov is the coercive replacement for the marketplace that is no longer legal.
When I was a child in New York City, a doctor visit cost $2. A house call cost $5. That was just before Medicare and Medicaid.
But far worse than today’s higher monetary cost is its cause: the loss of freedom.
Happy New Year.
October 14th, 2014 by Ron Pisaturo
My celebration of Columbus Day yesterday was enhanced by this excellent article by Charlotte Cushman: Save Western Civilization: Defend Christopher Columbus. In this article, which was published three years ago but which I read today for the first time, Cushman writes,
It is important that children know this story. Why? Because it is their story — a story about Western civilization, which is their heritage. They need to know the events that led up to the establishment of their country. They need to know that the United States didn’t always have cars, televisions, computers, stores, and enough food to eat, and then further learn how it came to be that we have all these things. They also need to understand human virtues such as courage, reason, and strength of character and what can happen when someone exercises his own judgment in the face of opposition.
I also recommend Columbus Day: A Time to Celebrate, an article by Michael Berliner, and The Enemies of Christopher Columbus, a book by Thomas A. Bowden.
These works were written in part to defend Columbus because, as Berliner writes, “Columbus is routinely vilified as a symbol of slavery and genocide.” More importantly, these works were written to defend Western Civilization because, as Berliner also writes, “The attacks on Columbus are ominous, because the actual target is Western civilization.”
Search the Internet, and you will see that the overriding opinion today is the opinion of the Leftists—the multiculturalists or whatever they call themselves this year—that American Indians were the good guys who were defeated by the evil Western Civilization.
I will not use a term used obscenely today to denote American Indians: ‘Native American’. Thanks to my grandparents, who immigrated to the United States, I am a native American. The indigenous inhabitants of North America before Columbus were Stone Age savages, lauded today by political Leftists because the Leftists hate the achievements of the West and embrace the primitive ideas of the savages: ideas such as animism (now known as environmentalism), tribalism (now known as identity politics), collective ownership (now known as socialism, communism, fascism, etc.), human sacrifice for the alleged good of the tribe (now known as altruism), and majority rule without regard for individual rights (now known as democracy). A contemporary Leftist is an indigenous savage in mind while his body enjoys the staples and luxuries created by Western Civilization.
The works I cite above do a thorough job of establishing what should be obvious to any rational individual: Western Civilization stands alone—like a hero among drones (or worse)—as the highest achieving, most moral society in the history of the world; and anyone born of another tradition should be profoundly grateful that Western Civilization spread to the Americas—via Columbus—and also to other parts of the globe.
Indeed, the only plausibility in criticizing Columbus for some of his actions comes from moral standards—in particular, the principle of individual rights—established and recognized only in Western Civilization.
But the Leftist attack on the West has taken another terrible toll that cannot be recovered simply by defending the virtue of Western Civilization. Search the Internet today, and you will see that the overwhelming mass of reporting, analysis, and teaching of the history of indigenous peoples in relation to Americans is of alleged abuses by Americans against the indigenous peoples. Then there is also a smattering of defense of Americans. But in the shadow of this lopsided controversy, the life-and-death questions that historians should be asking and answering—and that students should be studying—seem to have been ignored or forgotten.
Here is one such question: Why did some savages adopt Western Civilization, and others not?
This question leads to many derivative questions. Why did savage tribes—upon observing a civilization with a written language, science, mathematics, advanced art, advanced technology, far superior abundance of food, shelter, clothing, etc.—choose to stick to their own, primitive, deadly ways? What about the indigenous individuals who did embrace Western culture? Why did they do so when those around them did not? What happened to those who did so? What actions by American government and private individuals succeeded in assimilating indigenous people, and what actions failed? What actions would have been more successful?
The addressing of such questions seems to be limited to some accounts of religious groups having founded schools for American Indians, and the story of Pocahontas (sometimes told truthfully, often not).
Other important questions are these: What was the best way to deal with savage, often violent tribes to minimize the harm to innocent Americans? What was the safest way for the United States to have gained sovereignty over the entire territory we now have, ultimately denying sovereignty to all of the Indian tribes and thus defending individual rights throughout the land? [This paragraph was inadvertently omitted from the version posted this morning.]
Even to ask such questions as those I raise, one must first know that Western Civilization is vastly superior to the primitive tribalism of the pre-American Indians. But this knowledge has been erased by the Left. We must rescue that knowledge so that serious historical inquiry can even begin again.
The value of such historical inquiry would be immense. The resulting knowledge could be applied to how best to deal with the indigenous savages of today’s Muslim world.
Though today’s Islamists are far worse morally than the pre-American savages (because the Islamists are in a far better position to know better), the Islamists nevertheless have children who are as ignorant as the pre-Americans. Conversely, many of the pre-American adults knew enough to know better too.
Though today’s Islamists have far more military power—robbed from the West—than the American Indians had in the 19th century, the gap in military power between us and our present adversary is far greater. Instead of taking decades to subdue American Indians, we could conquer the Middle East in a matter of days if we chose to use our full military might. But there still remains the question of how best to manage the conquered territory and eradicate the threat of Islamism, as we eradicated the threat of attack from American Indians, while saving and assimilating as many true innocents as possible who are themselves trapped within the evil society of Islamism. I and others already have a general answer to that question informed by history, but a close study of the history of America vs. primitive indigenous tribes—from the perspective of recognizing the moral superiority of America—would help immensely with identifying more specifics of that answer.
In short, the history of Americans vs. pre-American indigenous savages is bound to be full of life-saving lessons on how to deal with Islamists. To discover these lessons, we must first rescue historical inquiry from West-hating political Leftism by recognizing the moral superiority of Western Civilization, and then we must go beyond that rescue mission.
September 12th, 2014 by Ron Pisaturo
Many have discussed the absurd evasion by Obama in his speech on Wednesday evening in stating, “ISIL is not Islamic.” ISIL is acting consistently with the Koran, which is to Muhammad’s Islam what Mein Kampf was to Hitler’s Nazism. But Obama said at least four other very bad things in the introduction of his speech.
1. This is how Obama introduced ISIL: “At this moment the greatest threats come from the Middle East and North Africa, where radical groups exploit grievances for their own gain. And one of those groups is ISIL — which calls itself the Islamic State.” That is, Obama opened with the implication that Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa have legitimate grievances against some other group. Against whom? Obama does not say, but the implication is that the legitimate grievances are against non-Muslims—Americans, Israelis, Jews, and others in the civilized West. That is, Obama opened his speech with an implicit assumption that the root cause of the problems in the Middle East is we civilized, affluent Westerners.
2. Obama spoke about the most selfless, death-wishing collection of nihilists—consistent Muslims—in the history of the world and cast them as self-interested, acting “for their own gain.”
3. Obama’s next words were, “Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents … .” That is, any philosophy—simply by including a mystical belief in a supernatural deity—gets a moral pass on any other evil it stands for.
4. Obama’s next sentence was, “And ISIL is certainly not a state.” One sentence later, Obama said, “It is recognized by no government nor by the people it subjugates.” That is, (Islamic) dictatorships such as Iran—our worst enemy in the Middle East—and Saudi Arabia have nothing to worry about from America, because they are states. And murderous groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas have nothing to worry about either, because they are recognized by governments.
In his brief introduction, Obama essentially said this: The fundamental problem in the Middle East is we Westerners; life-renouncing Muslims are the good guys; Islamic states that are resolved to destroying us are safe from us; and we are just going after the few rogues who, like American capitalists, pursue “their own gain.”
That was the theory part of Obama’s speech. The practice part was equally bad, of course. Perhaps I will elaborate next week; but in the meantime, here is the theory and practice I recommended in 2001, and still recommend.
September 2nd, 2014 by Ron Pisaturo
September 2 is Atlas Shrugged Day, the anniversary of the day (in 1946) on which Ayn Rand began writing the novel. September 2 is also a significant date in the novel, and the date on which the story begins.
I celebrate Atlas Shrugged Day by reading passages from the novel, often by opening the book to a random page. Every page is a great part of what I consider the greatest work of art and most advanced human achievement.
Here is a passage I opened to today:
She saw the man who had left, by his reflection on Ken Danagger’s face. It was not the face she had seen in the courtroom, it was not the face she had known for years as a countenance of unchanging, unfeeling rigidity—it was a face which a young man of twenty should hope for, but could not achieve, a face from which every sign of strain had been wiped out, so that the lined cheeks, the creased forehead, the graying hair—like elements rearranged by a new theme—were made to form a composition of hope, eagerness and guiltless serenity: the theme was deliverance.
He did not rise when she entered—he looked as if he had not quite returned to the reality of the moment and had forgotten the proper routine—but he smiled at her with such simple benevolence that she found herself smiling in answer. She caught herself thinking that this was the way every human being should greet another—and she lost her anxiety, feeling suddenly certain that all was well and that nothing to be feared could exist.
—Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (New York: Random House, 1957), p. 443 (Part Two, Chapter 3).
August 11th, 2014 by Ron Pisaturo
The Leftist advocacy of democracy, which means unlimited rule by the majority, is evil. Just look at democratically-elected Hamas in Gaza.
The Leftist notions of allowing sovereignty and ‘self-determination’ to nearby savage tribes is evil. Just look at the evil perpetrated against Israel by nearby Hamas in Gaza.
The Leftist notion of multiculturalism, that all cultures are morally equal, is evil. Just look at Hamas in Gaza compared to the people of Israel, who built a paradise in the desert.
The Leftist notion of allowing totally open borders is evil. Just think of what would happen to Israel if it opened its borders to the people of Gaza, as Hamas demands.
The Leftist notion of pacificism is evil. Just think of what would happen to Israel at the hands of Hamas if Israel followed the advice of the United Nations Secretary-General to “stop fighting.”
The Leftist notion that what ‘the poor’ need is money given to them by ‘the rich’ is evil. Just look at Hamas in Gaza, which receives billions of dollars annually in ‘aid’ from around the world, demands even more ‘aid’, and spends it all on murder and training for more murder.
The Leftist notion that what an economy needs is socialist planning is evil. Just look at Gaza, with its economy run by Hamas in conjunction with socialist ‘ministries’ set up in Gaza with the help of the ‘United Nations’.
The Leftist notions of ‘rules and engagement’ and ‘proportional response’, to limit the casualties of the inhabitants of enemy territories, are evil. Just think of all the Israelis who have died to save the lives of people in Gaza, the majority of whom elected Hamas.
The Leftist advocacy of negotiation and compromise between good and evil is evil. Just think of what it has meant to compromise with Hamas, and what it will mean to compromise further.
The Leftist hatred of Western civilization—including Western values of reason, pursuit of individual happiness in life on earth, productiveness, individual rights, capitalism, technology, and art—is evil. Just look at Hamas, which seeks to eradicate all of these Western values—except for weapons.
The Leftist notion that economic class is the cause of human action is evil. Just look at Hamas, which has an elaborately-expressed ideology based on Islam, elaborate systems of schooling and communications media, and hoards of Leftist collaborators and apologists from every economic class.
The Leftist blanket condemnation of the policies of conquest, occupation, colonization, annexation, forced evacuation, and forced relocation is evil. Just look at what Israel ended up with as its neighbor by eschewing—and/or being forced to eschew—such policies: Hamas.
The Leftist notion of sacrifice of individual human life for some mystical cause—such as some one God or one ‘collective’ or the many animistic gods of environmentalism—is evil. Just look at Hamas.
Hamas is a reductio ad absurdum of every major Leftist cause in America, from putting American land under the control of American Indian tribes to pseudo-Indian Elizabeth Warren’s Occupy Wall Street to pseudo-President Obama’s “You didn’t build that.” Yet even in the face of this reductio, the Left still clings to its Leftism. Consequently, the Left takes its only other option: it opposes—and even condemns—Israel, the one moral island in the sea of evil known as the Middle East.
If any rational person doubts the abject evil of Hamas, the ruling political party in Gaza, here is one of many smoking guns: the Hamas Covenant. I suggest reading the entire nine-thousand-word document, or as much as is needed to understand that the excerpts below are representative of the whole.
Here is an excerpt from Article 7:
The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:
“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. …”
Note that “The Prophet,” Muhammed, lived in the 6th and 7th centuries, well before the time—1948—when, Hamas alleges, Israel ‘robbed’ land from Palestinians. Note also that the reference is to Jews, not Israel or Israelis.
Here is Article 8:
The Slogan of the Islamic Resistance Movement:
Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.
This is from Article 12:
Resisting and quelling the enemy become the individual duty of every Moslem, male or female. A woman can go out to fight the enemy without her husband’s permission, and so does the slave: without his master’s permission.
This is from Article 19:
Art has regulations and measures by which it can be determined whether it is Islamic or pre-Islamic (Jahili) art. …
The book, the article, the bulletin, the sermon, the thesis, the popular poem, the poetic ode, the song, the play and others, contain the characteristics of Islamic art, then these are among the requirements of ideological mobilization … .
All this is utterly serious and no jest, for those who are fighters do not jest.
This is from Article 31:
It is the duty of the followers of other religions to stop disputing the sovereignty of Islam in this region …
Anyone reading the news knows that Hamas has in action sought to follow its charter religiously: forcing Taliban-like rules on Gazans, launching rockets to kill the civilized neighbors in Israel whom Gazans could instead learn from, forcing Gazan children into the path of return fire, planning the mass murder of kindergarten children in Israel (which would have occurred if Israel had agreed to the cease-fire terms demanded by Obama and Kerry), murdering anyone in Gaza who speaks in opposition to Hamas, etc., etc. (Caroline Glick and Daniel Greenfield are two sources of news and analysis that I recommend in particular.)
Yet in the choice between Israel and Hamas, the Left is compelled by its Leftism to side with Hamas.
In short, Hamas is sovereignty of savage tribes; political ‘self-determination’ by the majority; massive welfare payments, which are considered never enough, to the poor; control of economics by the tribe; moral and physical attacks on the productive and wealthy ‘one per cent’ (the Jews in Israel, compared to the rest of the Middle East); eradication of all Western values; mindless fanaticism in the sacrifice of all life, any life, as long as it’s human life. Hamas is the embodiment of Leftist political causes and the realization of the Leftist ideal, and that is why the Left supports Hamas.
And it is the Leftists’ support of Hamas that has enabled Hamas to survive the current conflict with Israel and move closer to its long-term goal—shared with other Islamists— of murdering every Jew in Israel and every non-Muslim in the world.
That the American political Left tolerates, apologizes for, and even sides with Hamas and other Islamists—who differ from Hitler’s Nazis mainly in that the Islamists brag about rather than hide the atrocities they commit—demonstrates that the Left will never complain about the violations of individual rights by the Obama regime. The Left is ready to accept a Nazi—or Islamist—takeover of America.
In 2011, I wrote the following passage, every word of which still applies today:
Israel’s valid claim to its land is that Israel is essentially a free nation that offers freedom to those who live there. Period. And that is why the Palestinians have no legitimate claim to sovereignty over any land: the Palestinians, through their oppressive regimes that have murdered their own as well as their civilized neighbors in Israel, have proved themselves unfit to govern. Where their ancestors—or parents—were born is irrelevant. Where their religious relics are located is irrelevant: as individuals must not be discriminated against solely for religious beliefs, neither do they deserve special favors for such beliefs.
If the Palestinians did have any valid claim of sovereignty—and they do not—it would be for the land occupied by the oppressive regimes surrounding Israel: Syria, Eqypt, Jordan, Saudia Arabia, Lebanon, and—most of all—Iran. But then, any moral society has a right to conquer these regimes, because these regimes have no right to exist.
With this understanding of principle, policy becomes clear. One of the few things that Obama was right about in his speech to AIPAC was, “The status quo is unsustainable.” That is true in spades. The United States and Israel should immediately declare war on Iran and wipe that nation off the map, seizing or destroying all of Iran’s energy assets and turning the valuable parts of that country into a colony of the U.S. That action alone would go a long way toward solving Israel’s problems, since so much of the terrorism in the Palestinian territories is supported and financed by Iran. After the destruction of Iran, over the course of a few days, the Saudis would probably be so frightened that they would surrender without a fight. If not, we should destroy them too. Ditto for Syria.
As for the Palestinians, we should oblige the aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who called Netanyahu’s speech to Congress a ‘declaration of war’ against Palestinians. The U.S.—in return for some land or other payment—should help Israel retake the Gaza strip, all of the West Bank, and South Lebanon. We should have no qualms about bombing civilian neighborhoods from which rockets are being launched; Israel should not risk Israeli lives for the sake of the lives in an enemy territory. After conquering these territories, we should figure out how many surviving Palestinians we can afford to assimilate, do our reasonable best to sift out the civilized ones and allow adoption of children of the others, and forcibly march the others out of these territories, sending them crashing through the borders of Egypt and Jordan.
Oh, and the ‘peace process’ and a ‘two-state solution’ should be repudiated.
Of course, what I propose will not happen. But it is the way to save Israel—and America.
March 24th, 2014 by Ron Pisaturo
The irrational, evil theory of New Left politics—based on denial of the difference between external reality and the content of one’s mind, denial of free will, denial of the ability of the individual to know reality through reason, denial of reason as a guide to action, denial of any causal connection from one’s thoughts and choices to one’s achievements, denial of absolute moral principles, denial of individual rights in favor of sacrificing the individual to others or oneself, denial of the importance of any individual—has been proved wrong in practice again and again, and starkly so by the Obama Administration.
Obama promised that, under Obamacare, you could keep your health care and your doctor. But anyone with common sense knew that it was impossible to keep your doctor and also share him with more patients.
Obama and his Administration—including the Vice President, Secretary of State, UN Ambassador, and Press Secretary—were so blinded by their belief in their foreign policy of friendly dialogue with evil, that they assured the American people for weeks that the murderous attack against the American embassy and consulate in Benghazi, Libya was a spontaneous response to an obscure Youtube video, and they resolved to crack down on such expressions of free speech. But anyone listening to reports from Fox News—a news network derided by the Left for questioning at least some Leftist dogma—knew all along that the attackers were armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers, items that would not be carried by spontaneous protesters, and that blaming the attack on the Youtube video was absurd. Moreover, anyone with common sense knew that blaming the attack on the video, and condemning the video as much as if not more than the attackers, was a confession of impotence.
In 2012, the day after the Presidential debate in which Obama ridiculed Romney for considering Russia a threat to the United States, I blogged this common sense:
To Obama, Russia—a nation run by a Soviet thug, persecuting its own citizens for political crimes, supporting Iranian murderers of Americans, violating the rights of our allies, and possessing 1,500 or more nuclear bombs—is not a threat “because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.” Presumably, Obama in 1935 would have said that Germany is not a threat because World War I is over.
America—under Presidents Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Obama—has un-won the Cold War. If we don’t fight it again, against both Russia and China, we will lose it.
Regarding Iran, Obama is even worse. …
Just a year and a half later, Russia under Putin has invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea, for starters.
There was another recent New Left absurdity that I did not write about directly. I often do not write about a news item when it first becomes news, because I hope that someone else will write what I think needs to be written. But when time passes, and no one has written what I hope to read, the urge to write begins to consume more time than writing would, and I allow myself to fall behind in my other work, and I write what’s on my mind.
I have let too much time go by on this item, but it is too important to drop.
On February 4, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report that estimated the effect of Obamacare (known officially as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) on the labor market. On February 10, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf wrote,
We wrote in the report: “CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor.” The reason for the reduction in the supply of labor is that the provisions of the ACA reduce the incentive to work for certain subsets of the population.
For example, under the ACA, health insurance subsidies are provided to some people with low income and are phased out as their income rises; as a result, a portion of the added income from working more would be offset by a loss of some or all of the subsidies, which represents an implicit tax on earnings. Also, the ACA’s subsidies effectively boost the income of recipients, which will lead some of them to decide they can work less and still maintain or improve their standard of living.
Ultimately, we project that the number of jobs in the economy will be smaller than it would be in the absence of the ACA because some people will choose not to work at all, but CBO did not estimate the size of that change separately from the effect of people choosing to work fewer hours. We wrote in the report: “The reduction in CBO’s projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024 … The decline in full-time-equivalent employment stemming from the ACA will consist of some people not being employed at all and other people working fewer hours; however, CBO has not tried to quantify those two components of the overall effect.”
Many on the political Right concluded that this report confirmed the common-sense idea that giving people what they have not earned also gives those people less incentive to work. This common-sense conclusion has always been disputed by many if not most on the Left, who call it an insult to claim that many people getting unemployment checks or welfare checks choose to work less than they otherwise would without such welfare payments.
But the new New Left of Obamaland has adopted a new position.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney released this statement on February 4:
Over the longer run, CBO finds that because of this law [(Obamacare)], individuals will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods, like retiring on time rather than working into their elderly years or choosing to spend more time with their families. At the beginning of this year, we noted that as part of this new day in health care, Americans would no longer be trapped in a job just to provide coverage for their families, and would have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. This CBO report bears that out, and the Republican plan to repeal the ACA would strip those hard-working Americans of that opportunity.
Many Leftists—such as Paul Krugman writing for The New York Times, and Jill Lawrence writing for Aljazeera America—agreed strenuously with Carney.
In other words, people who have their healthcare subsidized by Obamacare might work less; but—according to the Left—this result will be a good thing, because these people will have more time to do other things, to “pursue their dreams.”
Implicitly, these Leftists are admitting what the Left has haughtily denied for decades: many welfare mothers, many recipients of government-subsidized housing, many on unemployment insurance, many in government-subsidized education programs, etc. choose to stay unemployed or work less because of the payments they receive from the welfare state.
More importantly, these Leftists are evading this question: What if the people who actually earned the money want to work less? What if the actual earners want to work less at a day job in order to pursue their dreams.
A man today might work at his day jobs for 60 hours a week just to support his family. That work might leave him 15 hours a week, on a tired mind and body, to pursue his dream of starting a business, or becoming a musician, or writing a novel. If federal, state, and local governments—through payroll taxes, income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and regulations—reduce this man’s take-home pay by just 20%, then the man must work 75 hours at his day jobs, and his dream is dead. Even a seemingly modest 20%, confiscated or destroyed by government, transforms many lives of dreams and dreams fulfilled into lives of drudgery—forever.
Leftists often call their opponents ‘heartless’, but Leftists themselves are ‘heartless’ because they are mindless. They rob the money that dreams are made real from—even while now acknowledging that it takes money to pursue dreams—and they make themselves oblivious to the suffering they cause and the lives they destroy.
In 2011, I wrote of what the welfare state does to individuals
who work for many years at a job they do not love, for enough savings to pursue a lifetime of what they do love: an art, a craft, an intellectual study, a less financially lucrative but more personally fulfilling business. Instead of accumulating such savings by, say, the age of forty, these individuals may have to wait until the age of seventy. By what right, and to what kind of people, does society sacrifice the best years of the lives of these individuals?
Leftists sacrifice the lives of earners by no right, but by evil.
Every individual, no matter how wealthy, has only so many years of life. Every minute of his life, and therefore every dollar of his earnings, is precious and belongs to him for his dreams.
Now I am at peace and can go back to my day job. But how much more I could have written over the years if my earnings and the earnings of my friends had not been robbed by Leftist government!
February 22nd, 2014 by Ron Pisaturo
Today I celebrated the birthday of George Washington by reading somewhat randomly selected excerpts from his writings. Here is a passage from a letter to the Secretary of State, on February 10, 1799, in the last year of Washington’s life.
I am not surprised that some Members of the Ho. of Representatives should dis-relish your Report. It contains remarks, and speaks truths which they are desirous should be unknown to the People. I wish the parts which were left out, had been retained. The crisis, in my opinion, calls loudly for plain dealing; that the Citizens at large may be well informed, and decide, with respect to public measures, upon a thorough knowledge of facts. Concealment is a species of mis-information; and misrepresentation and false alarms found the ground work of opposition. The plan of wch. is, to keep the People as much as possible in ignorance and terror; for it is believed by themselves, that a perfect understanding of our real situation, in regard to our foreign relations would be a death blow to their consequence and struggles; and for that reason, have always something on foot to disquiet the public mind.
The full letter is available online at http://etext.virginia.edu/washington/fitzpatrick/ by searching on the text.
February 2nd, 2014 by Ron Pisaturo
As always, I celebrate Ayn Rand’s birthday, February 2nd, by opening one of Ayn Rand’s novels to a random page and reading a passage. Every passage is marvelous. Today, I opened The Fountainhead to this passage (Rand , 1952, 223–224, Part Two, Chapter 3), of one villain’s ironic written praise of another:
“Greatness is an exaggeration, and like all exaggerations of dimension it connotes at once the necessary corollary of emptiness. One thinks of an inflated toy balloon, does one not? There are, however, occasions when we are forced to acknowledge the promise of an approach—brilliantly close—to what we designate loosely by the term of greatness. Such a promise is looming on our architectural horizon in the person of a mere boy named Peter Keating.
“We have heard a great deal—and with justice—about the superb Cosmo-Slotnick Building which he has designed. Let us glance, for once, beyond the building, at the man whose personality is stamped upon it.
“There is no personality stamped upon that building—and in this, my friends, lies the greatness of the personality. It is the greatness of a selfless young spirit that assimilates all things and returns them to the world from which they came, enriched by the gentle brilliance of its own talent. Thus a single man comes to represent, not a lone freak, but the multitude of all men together, to embody the reach of all aspirations in his own….
“… Those gifted with discrimination will be able to hear the message which Peter Keating addresses to us in the shape of the Cosmo-Slotnick Building, to see that the three simple, massive ground floors are the solid bulk of our working classes which support all of society; that the rows of identical windows offering their panes to the sun are the souls of the common people, of the countless anonymous ones alike in the uniformity of brotherhood, reaching for the light; that the graceful pilasters rising from their firm base in the ground floors and bursting into the gay effervescence of their Corinthian capitals, are the flowers of Culture which blossom only when rooted in the rich soil of the broad masses….
I can think of people today who fit this description of Peter Keating.
Rand, Ayn (, 1952), The Fountainhead. New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company. Reprint, New York: Signet.