I received a press release from Speaker of the Oregon House Dave Hunt.
In it, he expresses glee at ending the election’s process in Oregon for the next presidential contest.
“There was a time perhaps when an electoral college made sense. But in today’s world, we should be looking at ways to break down barriers between people and their government, not just blindly follow traditions that really don’t make sense in today’s world.”
Since I began blogging a coupla years ago, it has been with an eye and an ear toward making sure that those of us who disagree with the Elite have a voice. I don’t know of any state with a greater disconnect between its urban and rural citizens than Oregon. Oregon is held in thrall of its Leftist metropolitan denizens as it seeks to free up/unfreeze resource use and development. There have been several acts by our state government that have exacerbated that division. The big one, passed some 36 years ago, was SB 100 that established central land use planning for all governments in Oregon.
Fear and distrust of rural citizens in this state have continued apace. This bill, House Bill 2588 is the greatest slap in the face of individual liberty, dignity and trust that has ever existed. Period. Democrats have reduced presidential campaigning into a moot point. It won’t matter that your candidate deserves our electoral votes. Regardless of the outcome of the vote in this state.
The corrupt Democrats of Oregon have spoken. Oh, and there are some Republicans that need to have their heads cracked.
Republicans are supposed to believe that the individual has rights. We can accept the collectivist approach preferred by Democrats when advanced by Democrats. But a diminution of individual rights through collective action as endorsed by a Republican is beyond the ken. The sanctity of the individual has been breached by the following House Republicans:
These “Republicans” are those who co-sponsored this legislation and voted to pass this legislation.
If the job of the electors of the state of Oregon is to elect limp-weasels like this then our job is harder. Our elected representatives’ job is to protect the rights of those they represent. And not just the “stakeholders” of their district. Some rights exist outside the parochial boundaries of your legislative district. As a citizen of Oregon I am a “stakeholder” in all and anything I choose to be a “stakeholder” in. At times, a vote by a state representative is greater than his district. He is voting for the entire state.
It only becomes an issue when limp-weasel Republicans forget that all Oregonians have a right to have their vote recorded as indicated by the results of their election. Not an election in any other state. The results of this state.
The sad truth is, is that these “Republicans” fail to represent rural Oregon. And worse, they fail to represent all of Oregon.
Rather than defending the value of your vote—of your citizenship—they are willing to let large, metropolitan states determine who your next President will be. They will be the stakeholders. You will no longer have a stake in the election process.
I cannot begin to tell you the level of disappointment I have in these “Republicans.” If there is any caucus discipline left, I hope that Representative Hanna whips some of these “too clever by half” morons.
He still has two-thirds of the caucus. You reward the two-thirds that breathe, walk and chew gum.
The head cock always bothered me. Now we find out that our President can't have a press conference without his teleprompter.
The idea of having scripted press conferences seems to me to be somewhat counter-intuitive. Watching the President as he shifts his eyes from the teleprompter on the right to the teleprompter on the left is a constant reminder that this guy can't think on his feet.
This is disturbing to me.
I had problems with politicians that exhibited "head cock", before.
This picture, I hope, captures the kind and type of arrogance that all reasonable men and women find disturbing. Worse, things didn't turn out so well for this guy.
Is it reasonable for me to want to watch my President stand before the Fourth Estate and share in the give and take of a press conference?
Or, as a nation, are we better off staving off the realization that we elected a man who has no essence that he wishes to share with us? That there is no core of belief that he can exhibit spontaneously? Or, are his core beliefs that different, that he has to have this firewall between us and him? I don't trust a man who can't look into the eyes of those he is speaking with.
Or, at least, after a 300 point gain yesterday, that is the spin that our Dear Leaders will be putting on yesterday's NYSE activity.
I will admit that the news from Citi was reassuring. But the assets that have created the toxic environment for financials remains mostly unchanged. Worse, the legislative environment--the United States Congress and Mssrs. Frank, Dodd, Reid and Pelosi--remains comitted to reviving Fannie and Freddie to strike again some day.
Further, the legislative agenda at both the national and state level contain economic bombs that require a certain degree of intelligence and analysis that remains demonstrably absent in the debate over that agenda. It's not "just" the debate over Cap and Trade, but chillingly damning is the talk about Buy American in the Stimulus Package. Both these debates merit the same criticism: we can create an artificial demand for some goods and services, and meet those demands with domestic investment. But as soon as the artifice of mandate and subsidy is eliminated, those investments will, naturally, evaporate. This is referred to in financial circles as "pissing money down a rathole."
And, in the meantime, the welfare and wealth of the nation will be reduced.
I recognize that this is counter-intuitive to the Keynesian. But, most of what Keynesians believe can usually be summed up as being merely intuitive. The hard data fail to support the Unicornic belief of the Elite. If you haven't taken the time yet, please refer to my posting on "Understanding Choice" and click on the article by Steven Suranovic of GWU.
The Western Climate Initiative is an economic bomb subscribed to by our own Unigovernor, Ted Kulonczynki. Ted can't understand that his continued efforts to give up the advantages of a modern industrial society will further harm Oregon. But, it isn't enough just to say it. Clicking on the link above will take you to a discussion about David Ricardo and his work on bad investment policies. The cost for us is not so much what we gain, either under the Western Climate Initiative and Cap & Trade, but what we give up.
What we give up is a business environment that encourages investment, growth and jobs. As Democrats proceed to assemble this economic Chimera, it becomes harder to ascribe to each bad policy decision the incremental damage that is being done to our state's fundamental business environment. Everything, from energy policy, to transportation policy, to health policy, all of these are doing more and greater harm to our state's economy, but taken together, the work necessary to de-aggregate the combined effects becomes increasingly difficult. Which, politically, is what they are after, since each of these individual bad decisions comes with a constituency willing to loudly proclaim the intelligence of their own dead horse.
So, we slowly increase the temperature of the water our economic frog is basking in.
Requiring investments in Green Technology is not an investment strategy. Just as domestic content legislation is not an investment strategy. Strategies that reduce the welfare and wealth of a country isn't a strategy, is it? It is, instead, just stupid.
But as you've learned over the course of the Dow Chart above, legislatures are rarely motivated to do smart. They are motivated to do good. And continually fail to recognize that their power, compared to the power of markets, is only of consequence in terms of the barriers governments can create to the efficient allocation of capital.
Understanding choice is rarely taught. It is deliberately avoided by our public school educators. Rather than understanding choice, your kids are being told what "choices" are acceptable. For a choice to be acceptable, it has to benefit "... the earth, embracing responsibility for self, family, community, and democracy."
The dilemma of choice is antithetical to central authority. Once given the tools to critically examine the outcomes of choice, those who wish to exert--or impose--central authority becomes victim of the death of a thousand cuts. It is this death of a thousand cuts that drives Central Authority to warn of world-wide death, destruction and devastation, to stave off the impending, inevitable and absolute death sentence of totalitarianism. For the central authoritarians of the early part of the last century, we have seen the threat to central authority being described as Capitalism, then the Jews, and then the return of Capitalism to the present "clear and present danger" of the Climate. And the need for us to do something now.
You can lead a cow, but you've got to drive a herd.
Always, under central authority, we are driven to take the paths chosen by those in authority to avoid some disastrous outcome. But as we continue to live with imminent disaster, certain brain cells begin to click in: what exactly is it that we have avoided through hysterical reaction to proclaimed imminent disaster? For the Communist it was Capitalism. For the Nazis it was the Jews. For the modern day Democrat is is meaningful self-reliance. For the Environmentalist, it is human existence itself.
"There is a popular story told amongst economists that once when an economics skeptic asked Paul Samuelson (a Nobel laureate in economics) to provide a meaningful and non-trivial result from the economics discipline, Samuelson quickly responded with, 'comparative advantage.'"
I recognize that for those of you who choose to follow the article link, that you may have problems understanding how this idea of comparative advantage applies to the decisions you make. More importantly, however, is that you may be supporting decisions made by central authority without realizing that there are decisions being made by that central authority that will make you worse off, without your realizing it.
Take, simply and briefly, the idea of Man Made Global Warming.
We were told, a coupla years ago, that unless we moved quickly to end Man Made Global Warming, arctic ice would disappear within five years. Well, two years have gone by. I say we wait another three years. If you're going to destroy an economy, I don't think waiting three years is too much to ask. Before creating a tax system based upon a by-product of human existence, maybe we should just wait three years. This is consonant with the Emergency Stimulus plan passed by Congress, that was passed in a hurry, but doesn't kick in for a coupla years. And we don't even need to pass an Emergency Cap & Trade bill. We just put it off for three more years.
When water from rising oceans begin lapping over our toes in Seaside and Astoria, I think the sales job needed will be immensely easier. Then we can uproot entire communities and move them to safety. Or, we could build a system of dikes, known as the Dutch Experiment. But neither of these potential outcomes would require us to end market capitalism for implementation. It would mean less central authority from our Central Authority. Since this, as in most things in life, are better dealt with locally rather than through Central Authority.
What Central Authority proposes is, that mandates and regulation have no costs associated with them. This would be especially true if we are facing death, destruction and devastation. If you see a child playing in the street with an out of control truck bearing down on that child, would you risk your life, running into the street, to scoop that child out of danger's path? You would be a hero, until it is pointed out that the truck you see is actually moving in the other direction.
David Ricardo wrote most famously on the issues surrounding international trade. But the dicta that he proposes actually serve us well on issues of state and local importance. Every choice we make proposes; but also disposes of what could be a limitless range of alternative outcomes. The biggest enemy of Central Authority is the democracy of individual choice. Without the threat of death, destruction and devastation what would be a motivating force behind regulating the by-product of human breath? The essential ingredient of plants producing oxygen? It would be just as silly as running into the street to save a child from a truck that's rolling in the other direction. The impulse to save may be as strongly held and as such, just as heroic. But in the case of the truck rolling away from the child, such heroicism is simply silly.
But much of what passes for heroicism in Salem is simply silly. Yes, they all view themselves as the necessary heroes. The dicta of Comparative Advantage can arm you to determine such silliness. It's why it isn't taught to our children in our public schools. It opens a can of worms. And from such simple creatures begins the death of a thousand cuts. It creates robust thinking. And having robust ideas is just another form of bullying.