Tuesday, May 31, 2011

News Flash! Rich people are....rich!

In a stunning piece of news, it turns out that rich people have more money than poor people. This report, Millionaires Control 39% of the World’s Wealth, will come as a shock to many people to be sure and spur calls from places like the New York Times to increase taxes.

I found this to be interesting:

As you can see from the accompanying chart, millionaires control 29% of North America’s wealth, while millionaires control about 38% of the wealth in the Middle East and Africa. While the chart makes it look like millionaire-wealth in America is more concentrated, we also have far more millionaires, so their wealth is more spread out among the millionaire population.

So in a capitalist nation, we have lots and lots of millionaires (5,200,000 of them to be more precise). In fact we have less wealth concentrated with millionaires than Third World countries (generally not functioning capitalistic states).

What is also not noted is that something like half of Americans don’t pay any Federal income tax (including your humble author) and conversely the top wage earners pay an obscenely high percentage of total Federal income tax receipts.

What is usually missed is that this is a good thing. 5 million millionaires means more and more people becoming wealthy and wealth is not static. In other words, they create more wealth rather than taking it from the “poor”. Having millionaires to invest means jobs for the working class. Taking money away from them means less investment and fewer jobs.

Do we want to make rich people poor or poor people rich?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A quick plug for Pawlenty

Just as an FYI, the libertarian Cato Institute released a report card on fiscal policy in 2010, rating the various governors. They awarded an "A" rating to the following four governors:

  • Mark Sanford of South Carolina


  • Bobby Jindal of Louisiana


  • Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota


  • Joe Manchin of West Virginia

      • (Interesting that Manchin, now Senator Manchin, is a Democrat) .

        So Pawlenty has quietly compiled a pretty conservative fiscal policy record. Just something to consider.

        Monday, May 23, 2011

        Pawlenty's blessing and curse are one and the same

        Gerald Seib nails it with this statement in Pawlenty's Moment May Have Arrived:

        He isn't loved passionately by any of the important factions in the Republican party, but he's acceptable to all of them.

        That is Pawlenty in a nutshell. Few Republicans dislike Palwenty so he has a leg up on Romney, Paul, Palin and Gingrich, all who have certain segments of the party who actively dislike them (or in Newt's case pretty much the whole party doesn't like him). He is also few people's favorite, kind of the perpetual bridesmaid. "So and so is my first choice but if they don't win, Pawlenty would be OK". With Romney stuck in neutral, Newt shooting himself in the foot again and again, Huckabee out, no one else imminently getting in and most especially with Mitch Daniels not running, this is his time to grab some attention. The Daniels decision is huge because I think they draw from the same pool of supporters. If Pawlenty can get Daniels, Christy, Barbour and other GOP governors to rally around he might just pull this off.

        His big challenge is getting to the point of being a number one choice for people rather than an acceptable runner-up. As Seib points out, he is not a fiery guy and looks a bit silly when he tries to be. His campaign announcement video on YouTube is a prime example, it was good but he sounded like he was trying too hard sometimes. Now, if you paired him with Hermann Cain as his running mate, someone who could whip up the troops and let Pawlenty be the quietly capable and professional leader, that might be a great combo. We will see.

        One other thing. Drop the T-Paw thing, it sounds silly when applied to a dorky white guy from Minnesota.

        Friday, May 13, 2011

        It is official, Ron Paul is in the race!

        The long expected announcement came out today. Ron Paul is officially in the race to be the GOP nominee taking on a very vulnerable Barack Obama in 2012. At 75, Paul would be a pretty old President but he is as sharp today as ever and compared to many of the other nominees is light-years ahead intellectually.

        So is Ron Paul likely to win the nomination?

        Probably not.

        I actually think he would do better in the general election than in the GOP primaries. The biggest obstacle to Paul winning the GOP nomination is his dogged non-interventionist foreign policy. His announcement that if he were President he would not have ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden came out at about the same time as his official announcement that he was a contender for the GOP nomination. That didn’t sit well with lots of people.

        I am afraid that what can only be called blood lust and fear on the part of many conservatives, including many professed Christians, is an overwhelming factor in the GOP nomination process. A candidate calling for military restraint and reduced military spending is going to get labeled all sorts of ridiculous things and will face an uphill battle. Even suggesting vaguely that cutting military spending cannot be out of the question causes accusations of being soft on defense (as Mitch Daniels is finding out). As I have mentioned before, serious deficit reduction requires serious cuts in all areas and defense cannot and should not be spared.

        The only way I see him winning the nomination is if guys like Mitch Daniels stay out and the clown car candidates like Palin, Trump, Gingrich and Huckabee split up the rest of the primary votes (Mitt Romney & Tim Pawlenty are also running but no one seems to care). That coupled with Ron Paul’s shall we say rabid fan base may be enough for Representative Paul to come out as the winner. He certainly is going to do better in 2012 than he did in 2008.

        Regardless, Ron Paul should add a different perspective to the race for the GOP nomination other than the repetitive droning of sound bytes we get from Palin, Huckabee, etc. and I welcome his addition to the race.

        Wednesday, May 11, 2011

        A proposal that makes sense and therefore has no chance of passing

        In a crass and obvious political ploy Harry Reid and company are all of a sudden worried about the deficit. When you talk about cutting spending, the deficit is no big deal but if you can raise taxes in the name of deficit reduction, Harry and his cronies are suddenly deficit hawks to put Paul Ryan to shame! I assume many people will be taken in by this ploy because of the successful class warfare campaign waged by the Left and their lackeys in the "mainstream media".

        Having said that, I am actually in favor of revoking the oil tax breaks. The less tinkering the Federal government does with the private sector, the better. However I have a proposal that should make everyone happy (but you can be sure liberals won’t like it).

        So here is what I propose: tie the cuts in oil company tax breaks to the opening of more areas for drilling. As the Federal government opens up more licenses for oil companies to engage drilling and exploration, getting out of the way of the private sector, their tax breaks are revoked. The oil companies get more places to drill oil and the government gets more revenue.

        That is a win-win of the highest order. We increase revenue by $21,000,000,000, although as anyone who watches Washington knows we would need to watch the Congress closely because any new revenue is always seen as money to spend. On the other side we get more oil exploration and drilling which increases the GDP, helps make America more energy efficient and would employ thousands of American workers in high-paying blue collar jobs with good benefits and take many workers off the the unemployment rolls where they are draining resources and add them back to the tax payer rolls which increases revenue and thereby lowers the deficit.

        You can’t lose!

        Anyone think a single Democrat would sign on to this?