Thursday, April 10, 2014
DeMint: ‘Big Business Is No Friend of Conservatism’
Former Sen. Jim DeMint, the president of the Heritage Foundation, writes in his new book—“Falling in Love With America Again”—about the cozy relationship between big business and big government.
“Almost all big corporations benefit from, advocate for, and downright like big government,” DeMint writes.
In an interview with CNSNews.com, DeMint explained his view that a corollary to this principle is that big business and conservatism are not on the same team.
His views on the matter are seasoned by the insights he gleaned from serving three self-limited terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, and from being elected twice to the U.S. Senate.
CNSNews.com asked DeMint about the partnership he discusses in his book between mega-corporations and the federal government: “How does that work and why does it work?”
“The large companies have lobbyists and people who work directly with the regulators, and many of the regulators like to be friendly with the big companies because the idea is they go to work for the big companies someday to help them with future legislators,” said DeMint. “And they make a lot more money as lobbyists or government-relations people, whatever you call them. But they become very friendly.
“These big companies like to write regulations that make it harder for the smaller companies to compete with them,” DeMint said. “The large companies can deal with a regulatory maze much better than the small companies can. Like the big tobacco companies wanted the FDA to regulate cigarettes because they knew the smaller companies could not get approval to ever introduce a new brand.”
CNSNews.com asked: “So, essentially, there’s this cooperation between big business and the government to create a regulatory barrier to entrepreneurs and small business people to compete with the big business?”
“In every category,” said DeMint. “It happens some at the state level too, licensing different industries and to make it harder for people to get in once those people have established it. I just want Americans to be aware of that, and this idea that the big government’s going to take care of you, it ain’t working.”
Leftist Thought-Gangsters Strike Again
By David Limbaugh
Let me see whether I have this right. Brendan Eich was forced to step down as CEO of Mozilla because it became public that he opposed same-sex marriage, the same position that President Barack Obama, darling of the LGBT community, held prior to his phony conversion.
Why didn't the left demand that President Obama resign as president of the United States prior to the consummation of his "evolution" on the issue in favor of same-sex marriage? Was it because liberals knew he was never actually opposed to same-sex marriage and that his stated opposition was an opportunistic ruse to make him electable?
It wasn't that long ago when support of traditional marriage was the majority position in this country. I imagine that it still is in reality, though fewer and fewer people have the courage to stand up for their convictions these days, even to the extent of admitting their honest feelings in response to polling surveys.
This politically correct thought control is getting out of hand. For a disturbing percentage of people on the left, freedom doesn't matter, nor do tolerance, inclusiveness and compassion. If you don't have the correct views — e.g., if you believe that marriage should still be defined as being between one man and one woman — you are not entitled to respect or even to the same rights and freedoms as others. The rationale is that because of your "intolerance" and "hate," you are of a different class, a subspecies — vermin — and you forfeit the privilege of being tolerated and deserve to be treated with hate yourself.
But not all these Stalinists on the left are so open about their own bigotry. To be sure, they support the mistreatment of people like Brendan Eich, who committed the unpardonable sin of voting for California's Proposition 8, but they "nuance" their arguments to depict themselves as less tyrannical.
For example, a New York Times writer opined that it's a mistake to draw the conclusion that the forced resignation of Eich was "an instance of political correctness run amok" or that it is "a sign that Silicon Valley has become militantly (in)tolerant, unwilling to let executives express their personal viewpoints on issues unrelated to their jobs."
Why? Because "Mozilla is not a normal company. It is an activist organization" whose "primary mission isn't to make money but to spread open-source code across the globe in the eventual hope of promoting 'the development of the Internet as a public resource.'" According to the writer, many people at Mozilla didn't consider Eich's views on gay marriage completely irrelevant to his role as chief executive.
Some thought he was too "divisive" to be an effective leader.
How is this not bigotry, you ask? Well, because Mozilla is not an evil capitalistic company primarily out to make money but one involved in "a mission." "If his job was to motivate people, and he was instead causing people to question the community's ethic — well, at the least, you can say he wasn't doing a good job." Wow.
It's amazing how leftists can shape-shift arguments to rationalize their own intolerance. But the arguments of Matthew Riley MacPherson, a developer for Mozilla, are even worse.
According to MacPherson, Eich's fatal mistake wasn't his support of Proposition 8 several years ago. "Being on the losing side of history this one time is okay, because I've seen Eich be right about many things during just my tenure at Mozilla," wrote MacPherson. What made MacPherson realize Eich "was not ready to lead Mozilla — or any company — was his damage control (interview) on CNET."
In this interview, Eich did not cower, recant or acknowledge that he is the worst person in the world other than the Koch brothers. "Eich," wrote MacPherson, "was given the clear chance to publicly apologize on behalf of himself and Mozilla — something called for by many, including myself. When asked if he could do it all over and do it differently: the correct answer was 'yes'. But he didn't say he would do it differently. It was at that exact point in time that he failed as CEO. ... He failed to execute."
So these thought-gangsters would rather have as their CEO a mealy-mouthed coward who would disingenuously recant his position to conform to their demands than they would a leader who stands up for what he believes at the risk of incurring the left's unmitigated wrath and losing his job?
I don't know which are worse, the leftists who come right out and admit they won't tolerate an opposing viewpoint or those who delude themselves into believing that their own abysmal intolerance is actually just their sophisticated business judgment.
Both are outrageous and unacceptable.
The overarching issue in this sordid matter is not the propriety or advisability of same-sex marriage. It is freedom, the selective contempt many on the left have for it and their willingness to twist themselves into pretzels justifying the unjustifiable. Everyone should be alarmed about this.
How to Assist Evil
By Walter E. Williams
"Engineering Evil" is a documentary recently shown on the Military History channel. It's a story of Nazi Germany's murder campaign before and during World War II. According to some estimates, 16 million Jews and other people died at the hands of Nazis
Though the Holocaust ranks high among the great human tragedies, most people never consider the most important question: How did Adolf Hitler and the Nazis gain the power that they needed to commit such horror? Focusing solely on the evil of the Holocaust won't get us very far toward the goal of the Jewish slogan "Never Again."
When Hitler came to power, he inherited decades of political consolidation by Otto von Bismarck and later the Weimar Republic that had weakened the political power of local jurisdictions. Through the Enabling Act (1933), whose formal name was "A Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich," Hitler gained the power to enact laws with neither the involvement nor the approval of the Reichstag, Germany's parliament. The Enabling Act destroyed any remaining local autonomy. The bottom line is that it was decent Germans who made Hitler's terror possible — Germans who would have never supported his territorial designs and atrocities.
The 20th century turned out to be mankind's most barbaric. Roughly 50 million to 60 million people died in international and civil wars. As tragic as that number is, it pales in comparison with the number of people who were killed at the hands of their own government. Recently deceased Rudolph J. Rummel, professor of political science at the University of Hawaii and author of "Death by Government," estimated that since the beginning of the 20th century, governments have killed 170 million of their own citizens.
Top government killers were the Soviet Union, which, between 1917 and 1987, killed 62 million of its own citizens, and the People's Republic of China, which, between 1949 and 1987, was responsible for the deaths of 35 million to 40 million of its citizens. In a distant third place were the Nazis, who murdered about 16 million Jews, Slavs, Serbs, Czechs, Poles, Ukrainians and others deemed misfits, such as homosexuals and the mentally ill.
We might ask why the 20th century was so barbaric. Surely, there were barbarians during earlier ages. Part of the answer is that during earlier times, there wasn't the kind of concentration of power that emerged during the 20th century. Had Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong and Hitler been around in earlier times, they could not have engineered the slaughter of tens of millions of people. They wouldn't have had the authority. There was considerable dispersion of jealously guarded political power in the forms of heads of provincial governments and principalities and nobility and church leaders whose political power within their spheres was often just as strong as the monarch's.
Professor Rummel explained in the very first sentence of "Death by Government" that "Power kills; absolute Power kills absolutely. ... The more power a government has, the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, and the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects." That's the long, tragic, ugly story of government: the elite's use of government to dupe and forcibly impose its will on the masses.
The masses are always duped by well-intentioned phrases. After all, what German could have been against "A Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich"? It's not just Germans who have fallen prey to well-intentioned phrases. After all, who can be against the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act"?
We Americans ought to keep in mind the fact that Hitler, Stalin and Mao would have had more success in their reign of terror if they had the kind of control and information about their citizens that agencies such as the NSA, the IRS and the ATF have about us. You might ask, "What are you saying, Williams?" Just put it this way: No German who died before 1930 would have believed the Holocaust possible.
Taxing Life Away
It's tax time. I'm too scared to do my taxes. I'm sure I'll get something wrong and my enemies in government will persecute -- no, I mean prosecute -- me. So I hired Bob.
Bob's my accountant. I like Bob, but I don't like that I have to have an accountant. I don't want to spend time keeping records and talking to Bob about boring things I don't understand, and I really don't want to pay Bob. But I have to.
What a waste. Once, I calculated what I could do with the money I give Bob. I could have a fancy dinner out 200 times. I could buy a motorcycle. I could take a cruise ship all the way from New York to Venice, Italy, and back.
Better yet, I could do some good for the world. For the same money I waste on Bob, I could pay four kids' tuition at a Catholic high school.
The tax code is now complex enough that most Americans now hire Bob, or his equivalent. Instead of inventing things, doing charity work or just having fun, we waste weeks (and billions of dollars) on tax preparation.
And we change our lives to suit the wishes of politicians.
"What the tax code is doing is trying to choose our values for us," complains Yaron Brook from the Ayn Rand Institute. I think I choose my own values, but it's true that politicians use taxes to manipulate us. Million-dollar mortgage deductions steer us to buy bigger houses, and solar tax credits persuaded me to put solar panels on my roof. Brook objects to every manipulation in the code: "It's telling us charity is good!"
On my TV show, I respond: But charity is good! Brook retorts, "If you want to give to charity, great, (but) I might invest in a business that's more important."
That's possible, but since a charity will probably spend the money better than government will, isn't it good that the code encourages people to give? Steve Forbes argues that if taxes were flat and simple, Americans would give more . "Americans don't need to be bribed to give ... In the 1980s, when the top rate got cut from 70 down to 28 percent ... charitable giving went up . When people have more, they give more."
While freedom lovers complain about the byzantine complexity of the tax code, the politically connected tout their special breaks. The National Association of Realtors runs TV ads showing Uncle Sam offering first-time homebuyers an $8,000 tax break, while sleazily winking at the viewer.
The tax code oddity that may have the most destructive influence on America might be the fact that if you buy private health insurance, you pay more tax than if your employer buys you a plan.
It's why we ended up with a sluggish health care market unresponsive to individual desires -- leading to the insistence that we need a government-managed alternative like Obamacare.
The code is incomprehensible. You can get a deduction for feeding feral cats but not for having a watchdog, for clarinet lessons if your orthodontist thinks it'll cure your overbite but not for piano lessons a psychotherapist prescribes for relaxation. It seems so arbitrary.
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Posted by JR at 12:34 AM