Tuesday, October 29, 2019

If Elizabeth Warren really understood Native Americans, she'd know socialism doesn’t work

Executive Director of the New Mexico Alliance for Life Elisa Martinez argues socialism is not what America needs

Gallup, N.M., is known as “the heart of Indian country.” It’s sadly one of the poorest areas in the nation and has an important lesson for all Americans about our nation’s future.

My grandparents owned one of the first trading posts in Gallup. I grew up working in my dad’s small business.

I’m a Latina with New Mexico roots over 15 generations deep on dad’s side of the family and on my mother’s side we’re Zuni and Navajo. I’m an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and … I’m a Republican.

My life experience made me a Republican. Growing up I witnessed first-hand the poverty and destruction government policies had on my people and my peoples’ land -- the Indian reservation.

Overlapping, paternalistic federal and state programs, including fully funded and inefficient healthcare, dominate the reservations’ economies. The restrictions the government places on land use, ownership and business development are microcosms of socialist failure in its purest form.

The government “help” has never encouraged financial self-sufficiency. If anything, the programs have been a disincentive to economic freedom and prosperity.

While I firmly believe all Americans should benefit from a safety net, I also know government handouts are never as powerful as a hand up. The federal government set up the reservations more than 100 years ago and, just like liberal democrats today, created these subsidized economies because they think they know what’s best for us.

The result of more than 100 years of government assistance is Indian Reservations drowning in poverty. These well-intended programs have made our people the poorest Americans. Some reservations have unemployment rates close to 85 percent, and 29 percent of employed Native Americans nationwide live below the poverty level.

As a Native American woman, when I heard Sen. Elizabeth Warren speak of her heritage, I was intrigued. Then the tragic irony became apparent. Her policies proved she knew nothing about us.

As a Native American woman, when I heard Sen. Elizabeth Warren speak of her heritage, I was intrigued. Then the tragic irony became apparent. While she claimed to be one of us, her policies proved she knew nothing about us.

She’s never experienced firsthand how big government programs fail our people. In fact, she now advocates those failed policies for all Americans.

Over 10 years "Medicare-for-All" will cost $32 trillion. Green New Deal? $93 trillion. Her Green Manufacturing Deal; $2 trillion. In total about $127 trillion.

Economists say the new taxes she has proposed would generate only $3 trillion over 10 years. So where will she find the missing $124 trillion? Warren doesn’t explain that it will require raising taxes on all Americans.

To improve peoples’ lives we can’t force them to rely on the government.  Tax cuts and the free-market economy foster growth and opportunity, creating jobs and lifting the poor out of poverty.

Is it a perfect system? No, but to see more families prosper and have better opportunities, free-market economic policies, especially tax cuts, are proven to work. Socialist government-controlled economies, with handouts and higher taxes, only lead to poverty and misery.

Today, the U.S. unemployment rate is at its the lowest point in 50 years.  The jobless rate for Hispanics hit a record low of 3.9 percent in September. African Americans maintained their lowest rate ever at 5.5 percent and adult women came in at 3.1 percent.

Our incredibly strong economy came about in no small part from President Trump’s tax cuts and deregulation of business. We need to preserve the working families’ tax cuts and expand them.

That’s what will help all of America’s families and that is one of the biggest reasons I am considering running for U.S. Senate in New Mexico. I’ve seen socialism, up close and personal. It’s not what America needs.



In the Heartland, Impeachment Isn't Very Popular

Despite impeachment hysteria suffusing every nook and cranny of the media, despite scare headlines that tell us Trump is on his way out the door, and despite being instructed what to believe by arrogant pundits on TV, it may surprise you to know that in several heartland states, a majority of people don't support impeachment.


In the context of the 2020 presidential election, we need to be looking to swing state polling to see how impeachment may play out on the campaign trail. The polls indicate that impeaching and removing Trump in these pivotal states is far from a slam dunk.
Wisconsin, of course, was the most infamous swing state of 2016. It was the tipping point state (i.e. the one that put Trump over the top in the electoral college). When the most accurate pollster in Wisconsin (Marquette) in 2018 reveals that impeaching and removing Trump is not popular, it's a critical finding.

Importantly, it's not just this Marquette poll that show that impeaching and remove Trump could be an electoral loser for Democrats (and potential winner for Trump) in the swing states.

Florida is one of the most important swing states in the nation. Trump won there by only a point in 2016. With 29 electoral votes, Democrats would likely take back the presidency with a win there in 2020. A poll of Florida voters conducted by the University of North Florida out this week shows the divide at 46% in support of impeaching and removing Trump and 48% opposed to it.

It gets worse for Democrats. The same states that helped Trump to a win in the Electoral College in 2016 are resistant to impeaching him.

Indeed, take an examination of the battleground states that Democrats almost certainly need to make inroads into in 2020. The New York Times and Siena College, 2018's  most accurate pollster, took  a poll of voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona. These were  closest states in the country that cast their electoral votes for Trump in 2016.
Just 43% of voters in these six states want to impeach and remove from office at this point. The majority, 53%, do not. This means that the margin for not impeaching and removing Trump in these states (+10 points) is running well ahead of Trump's margin in these states of about 1.5 points. Put another way, impeaching and removing Trump from office in these states is not a popular position.



Hey Bernie, it's 'Medicare for all' that would be 'cruel' and 'dysfunctional'

by Sally Pipes

During last week's Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders called the current U.S. healthcare system "dysfunctional" and "cruel."

Words like that are more appropriate descriptors of the government-run healthcare systems abroad that Sanders would like to import to the United States.

Take Canada, the closest analog to Sanders's vision of "Medicare for all." Canadians face some of the longest waits for medical care on the planet. Last year, the median wait for treatment from a specialist following referral from a general practitioner was nearly 20 weeks. Things were even worse in certain provinces. The median wait in New Brunswick, for example, was 45 weeks — just shy of a year.

Patients in the United Kingdom's government-run system, the National Health Service, also struggle to access timely care. At the end of August, 4.4 million Brits were waiting to start medical treatment after a referral. In September, more than 282,000 people waited longer than 4 hours in the emergency room to be seen.

Britons with cancer have it particularly bad. In 2017, about 115,000 patients received a diagnosis too late to give them the best chance of getting effective treatment, according to Cancer Research UK. Many patients don't receive care fast enough.

That poor care has devastating consequences. Only 81% of breast cancer patients in the U.K. survive five years after diagnosis, compared to 89% in the United States. U.S. lung cancer patients have five-year survival rates that are nearly twice as long as those in the U.K.

Long waits for substandard care — that's the "cruel" and "dysfunctional" reality of government-run healthcare.



Capitalism on trial: Profit is a good thing — except to the political left

Businesses thrive by offering people a better deal on goods and services.  That is a huge social benefit, one no government can emulate

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) Accountable Capitalism Act would oblige large corporations to obtain a federal charter requiring directors to consider the interests of all stakeholders — not only shareholders and customers, but also groups representing society as a whole, such as their employees, local communities and civil society, including non-representative, anti-business NGOs.

The chief justice of the supreme court of Delaware – where more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 corporations have their legal home – has written a book arguing that corporations should be run for the benefit of their workers. The Financial Times has launched a “new agenda” campaign that intones: “Capitalism. Time for a reset. Business must make a profit but should serve a purpose too.”

None of this would have come as a surprise to Joseph Schumpeter, one of the 20th century’s great economists. No one understood better the dynamic, propulsive nature of capitalism. But, unlike most economists, Schumpeter also had a deep, subtle appreciation of capitalism’s cultural effects — that, while a system of free enterprise creates successful and prosperous societies, it also plants seeds that can lead to its own demise. “Unlike  any other type of society,” Schumpeter wrote “capitalism inevitably and by virtue of the very logic of its civilization creates, educates and subsidizes a vested interest in social unrest.”

And, as Schumpeter saw it, the publicly traded corporation, lacking the visceral allegiance of private property, was capitalism’s weak point: “Defenseless fortresses invite aggression especially if there is rich booty in them.” It’s a prophecy that we’re seeing come to pass.

Recently, in a letter to the Business Roundtable,181 corporate CEOs disavowed the profit motive and corporate directors’ accountability to shareholders. The CEOs championed a view now widely held: that profit could only be justified for virtuous conduct, that profit should merely be a byproduct of making certain contributions to society. It’s a position that the Business Roundtable already implicitly accepts.

It’s entirely wrong. In fact, the profit that a business earns is a pretty good approximation of its contribution to society. One might think of it in terms of a simple equation:

Revenue (what people will pay in a competitive market) minus cost (the value of resources used to provide a product or service) equals profit (a first-order indicator of a business’s contribution to society).

Profit is one of the most powerful signaling devices in a free market. In their search for profit, businesses create the dynamic for economic growth — and rising living standards. Is this not a contribution to society, of the most dramatic kind imaginable?

The point is beautifully made in Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen’s “The Prosperity Paradox.” Christensen writes of poor, developing nations: “It may sound counter-intuitive, but enduring prosperity for many countries will not come from fixing poverty. By investing in market-creating innovations, investors and entrepreneurs inadvertently engage in nation-building.” Entrepreneurs and businesses don’t have to set out to improve the world — through their collective efforts of making useful goods and services, an improved world is the outcome.

Yet today, the publicly traded corporation is perhaps under greater threat than at any time since the 1930s. Corporations are blamed for the world’s ills: inequality and stagnant income growth, poverty in poor countries, environmental degradation and, of course, climate change. Using business as tools to tackle these problems highlights a deep confusion about the proper domains of democratic politics and of business. Last year, voters rejected climate initiatives in Arizona, Colorado and, for a second time, Washington State. Failing at politics, activists seek to politicize business — which, so the argument goes, must be accountable to vast networks of “stakeholders.”

American advocates of “stakeholder accountability” miss the implications of their proposals. Shareholders – whatever their nationality – share the same interest in a business’s economic success. In contrast, stakeholders, by definition hugely diverse, have correspondingly diverse and conflicting interests. America has more multinational corporations than any other nation. Around 45 percent of Amazon’s workforce is outside America; 61 percent of Exxon Mobil’s $234 billion operating capital is located outside the United States. Suppose the European Union passes its version of Sen. Warren’s legislation, requiring that American multinationals be held accountable to European stakeholders. Forget trade wars: We could soon have wars over corporate control.

Already, Warren has written to ten CEOs demanding they back her Accountable Capitalism Act. “Commitments are hollow if they are not accompanied by tangible action that provides real benefits to workers and other stakeholders,” she told them.

One of the primary grounds on which those “real benefits” will be evaluated is environmental practices. Though environmentalism has its roots in a wholesale rejection of the Industrial Revolution and capitalism, business leaders have a long history of subscribing to its core tenets — including the premise that resource-fueled economic growth is unsustainable. Robert Anderson, chairman of Atlantic Richfield, helped finance the first Earth Day in 1970 and provided the seed funding for Friends of the Earth, which is no friend of capitalism.

In the late 1960s, the Aspen Institute, which Anderson also chaired, ran programs on the threat of climate change and the steps needed to avoid a planetary catastrophe. A two-day workshop in 1970 concluded that business-as-usual threatened the future of a decent, civilized world. “All insist,” the New York Times reported, “that the human family is approaching a historic crisis which will require fundamental revisions in the organization of society.”

Sound familiar? The world managed to survive that purported ecological emergency by ignoring it. We would be well served to ignore the similarly pitched appeals being made now. Otherwise, the attempt to solve global warming by intimidating American corporations could bring about Schumpeter’s grim prognosis of capitalism’s downfall.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 


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