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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why Trade Adjustment Assistance makes sense in Trade Deals

America has to trade with the rest of the World, because even though we are a huge vast country of 310M people and have the third largest population in the World. Because we only represent around 5% of the Worlds Population. For our business's and employees to be able to compete and to do well with the rest of the World, we have to be able to sell our products where most of the population is in the World. Which is outside of the United States, which means having Trade Deals with other countries thats allows our business's to sell our products that are Made in America at low Tariff Rates if any. And in exchange Foreign Business's can sell their products in America at low Tariff Rates if any. And that American Business's have as much Foreign Access to sell our products, as Foreign Business's have in America. And that we are paying the same Tariff Rates as Foreign Business's pay in America if any. I believe the best Tariff Rates are at 0% to encourage as much trade as possible to create as many jobs as possible. As long as America has the same Foreign Access as Foreign Business's have in America. One of the reasons why we have such a huge Trade Deficit in the hundreds of billions if not over a trillion dollars right now. Is because American Business's don't have the same access to Foreign Markets as Foreign Business's have in America, China and Korea are excellent examples of this. Which is why we have to have Trade Agreements with Foreign Nations that allow us to have the same access to their markets and paying the same tariffs as they pay in America if any.

Another thing that would make Trade Agreements work is what is called Trade Adjustment Assistance which is what the White House and Senate Democrats are fighting for. Which is essentially Financial Assistance that should be paid for, for people who lose their jobs as a result of Free Trade. Who lost a job thats not coming back, so they can get retrained and get a job in another field. And not stay unemployed indefinitely but can go back to work. Something else we should be doing is reforming our Unemployment Insurance System and turn them into Job Placement Centers that would help the unemployed get jobs. And allow them to get retrained to get jobs in other fields. Free Trade can work very well and is something that we need. As long as the agreements are fair to both sides, not the results but the written agreements. That gives both sides Equal Access to each others markets.

Click on the link of the blog to see Sen. Orrin Hatch give a speech on Free Trade.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rescuing Detroit: Can It Work This Time?: Yes it can

If you look at Detroit from the outside as your just entering it, it looks like a great big American City. With big beautiful buildings and architecture and Great Lake by it, with a lot of business's around it. It doesn't look like a city thats lost half of its population the last ten years or so. Detroit up until around 2000, was a city of 1.5M people about the size of Philadelphia, the sixth or seventh largest city in America. Today its still a big city but of around 750K people, they've lost half of their population and Tax Base the last ten years. And if you look at Detroit from the outside and didn't know that, you probably wouldn't of guessed that. But thats just and outside view of what was once a great big American City and one of the greatest cities in America if not the World. But why has Detroit lost so much ground, especially since Cleveland which is just about a couple hours south of Detroit has gained so much ground. But why has Detroit come so far down, it used to be a city where people could live in it. Get a good job in the city, raise their kids without having to worry about them being attacked or killed. And think they could live well in Detroit forever but thats no longer the case. The economy plummeted but hopefully has started to come back. Its now perhaps the most dangerous big city in the country if not the most dangerous big city in America. And has one of the worst Public School Systems in America if not the worst. The "Great Recession" of 2008 hit Detroit and its Auto Industry harder then any other Big City and Michigan harder then any other State in the Union. And without the Auto Bailout, other then Ford Motor Company, there wouldn't be any Auto Industry in America right now. But the problems were already there for Detroit.

You can have the most dedicated workforce in America but if your not producing enough High Skilled workers, your not going to have the workers for the good jobs. They have to improve their Public Education System, by rewarding good educators, paying good educators more. Allowing competition in the Public School System with Public School Choice. So students aren't trapped in bad schools, reward good educators, retrain or eliminate bad ones. Reward good schools and reform or eliminate bad ones. And equalize the funding for the schools so schools in Low Income areas can get the resources they need to do a good job.
The Auto Industry coming back to Detroit is great and they need that but the Auto Industry needs to diversify like making cars that are more Fuel Efficient for example. And they need to build other things, just like the rest of the country. We need to rebuild our Manufacturing Industry, start building things in America again and then having good Trade Agreements so we can sell our products oversees that are Made in America. That also includes Trade Adjustment for people who lose their jobs because of trade. So they can get the skills that they need to get another good job in another field. And then we have to stop encouraging American Company's to send jobs oversees.

Last but never least, no one is never going to want to live in Detroit if they don't feel safe there. They need to have enough cops, breakup Organized Crime and gangs. Get those people out of those activities and re skill them to work in Legal Professions so they can be Productive Citizens. Detroit can come back just like the Tigers did a few years ago and become a Competitive and Great Big City again. But there are certain things they have to do to accomplish that to make it happen.

Click on the link of the blog to see a video from Forbes on the Rebirth of Detroit

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CNN: Piers Morgan Tonight- Hugh Hefner Interview

If you’re a true believer in individual liberty and limited government, that people should be left free to live their own lives, then you don’t care about other people’s sex lives and how they live their own lives, as long as they take care of themselves, individual liberty is just that. Liberty for the individual to live their own lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom. Instead of judging people by their sex lives. Lets take politicians and other public officials as examples.

Judge people by how they conduct themselves as people and how they do their jobs. What they say and how their actions relate to what they say. Which is the major reason why when I hear Conservatives who are not Classical Conservatives meaning Conservative Libertarians, speak in favor of individual freedom and limited government, but then try to pass laws limiting individual liberty. And giving government more authority to regulate how people live their own lives.

I’ll use Senator Jim DeMint who I admit is an easy target for Liberals such as myself and others. But last year he came out in favor of some law that would make adultery illegal. Similar to what they have in Saudi Arabia. No one in their right mind who knows anything about Saudi Arabia, would describe Saudi Arabia as a free society. Senator DeMint who’s no Conservative Libertarian, but who I would describe as a Christian or Religious-Conservative, I’ll give him credit for his honesty. You know where he stands on the issues, but I would fault him at least in one area.

Senator DeMint, speaks all the time on the Senate floor and in other places about limited government, individual liberty and that the Federal Government should live within the U.S. Constitution. Great, I’m in favor of all of that, but the problem with Senator DeMint is that he’s only speaking in favor of economic freedom for some and fiscal responsibility for some. Not personal freedom, which is important in a liberal democracy like America. Individual liberty is just that, it’s what Libertarian Economist Milton Friedman called maximize freedom. The freedom for individuals to live their own lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom. That’s just doesn’t relate to economic freedom, but freedom in general as long as you’re not hurting anyone else with your freedom.

As far as Hugh Hefner, I think he’s the perfect example of what both personal freedom and economic freedom means in America. He started his own business and comes from a modest economic background. But took advantage of that to the hill and built his own very successful business and company which of course is Playboy. And has lived his own life as he’s saw fit and has lived up to his personal responsibilities from the personal decisions that he’s had with his own personal freedom. And hasn’t hurt innocent individuals with his own lifestyle and personal freedom. Which is certainly an American Dream at least for Americans who believe in both individual freedom and personal responsibility.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Brittle: Milton Friedman- Liberty and Equality?

Source: Brittle- Professor Milton Friedman-
Source: Brittle: Milton Friedman- Liberty and Equality?

As libertarian economist Milton Friedman said, a society that aims for equality over liberty, will have neither. The reason being that if you keep taking from the wealthy to give to the poor, you take incentive that people need to make money. Because government will just jack it away from them. If society aims for liberty so people can live their own lives and essentially govern themselves and be as successful as their skills and production will allow, people who are better educated, more inventive, more creative, more strategic, more productive, will be more successful in life than people who aren’t. As they should be, because they put in the work to make that happen. Thats called capitalist economics, liberal capitalism, or liberal economics, even, where people can make as much money and be as successful as they can essentially can be. To have a strong economy, people have to have the incentive to be successful, or they won’t be.

But what we can have is an economy where we have equality of liberty. Where everyone has a shot to be as successful in life by getting a good education. And then putting those skills to work the best that they can. No economic system is perfect. Everyone comes with plus’ and minus’. The trick is to have an economic system that works the best. Where the plus’ outweighs the minus’s so much, that system is worth having. A progressive tax system is part of that, but not to the point that you tax wealth so much, that you take incentive away to create wealth in the first place. But a tax and educational system that encourages people to make money and for wealth to be created, instead of punishing those activities. And not having more incentive for people to be dependent on government for their financial survival.

There’s so such thing as true equality in any economic system. Where everyone is equal at least in a good way. In any economic system, where’s there’s a substantial amount of economic freedom, so people can make a good living, some people are going to make more money than others. Because we aren’t all equal economically, some people just bring more skills to the table than others. In a classical socialist economy where the state owns the economy, everyone might be equal economically, but they are all poor, unless they have a good government job. Take Cuba for example, but even they have moved to open up parts of their economy to privatization.

Paul Krugman: It's Not Fair That Some People Are Rich: To the Contrary

When it comes to deciding what type of Economic System a country should have, there some things that have to be decided first. What's the best Economic System for your particular country and you can look at other countries for ideas as well. But that doesn't mean what works in another country will automatically work in your country. What works in Canada, or America or Sweden might not work in France, Brazil or Mexico. You need to figure out how much freedom and ability if any, your willing to give your population to deicide what type of life they are going to have and how much quality of life they'll be able to achieve. And how much taxes they are going to pay if any, how much assistance from government will be provided if any, for people who at the time can't quite make it on their own. How much regulation if any your going to have, the Rules of the Road that individuals and business's will have. Will you have a Private Sector or not or a combination of a Private Public Sector Economy, that Europe has.

Personally I believe in the Economic System that America had up until ten years ago where people were able to make as much money as their skills and production would allow legally. Where people paid taxes based on their income, the more you made the more you paid essentially. And where government regulated how individuals and business's interacted with each other to prevent and punish abuses. And where we made things in America instead of shipping jobs oversees. To now where we have a system where the more you make, the more taxes you can escape from paying and get the biggest benefits in Tax Cuts. And where we have now a free and unfettered market thats not regulated very well, take Wall Street for example. A big reason for the "Great Recession" of 2008 that we are still struggling from. But I'm also not in favor of a Socialist Economy, whether its Classical Socialism. Where the State owns the Means of Production in Society and there's very little if any Economic Freedom for the people and there isn't any Private Sector. Take North Korea more of a 4th World country then a 3rd World country and easily one of the poorest countries in the World. I'm also not in favor of a Democratic Socialist Economy, where even though there is a Private Sector. But where its Highly Taxed by American Standards and Highly Regulated again by American Standards. And where the Central Government essentially collects all of the revenue in the economy and passes out its benefits to the people it feels needs its the most. To finance an expansive Welfare State, where you can essentially make a good living collecting Unemployment Insurance, take Sweden for example. But even Sweden is rethinking their Welfare System.

The best Economic System for America is and why we did have the strongest economy in the World not just the largest ten years ago. Is where everyone has a shot at a good education and can go out in the Private Sector and make as much money as their skills and production will allow. And pay taxes based on how much you make, where the economy is well regulated but not over regulated. Where the people are expected to be able to take care of themselves but where there's a Safety Net for people who fall down to help them get up. Thats what we had from 1981-2001, except for a couple of recessions and it resulted in the best economy the World has ever seen. Which is why so many former Socialist Economy's have moved in our direction instead of the former Soviet Union's.

Click on the link of the blog to see a video with Paul Krugman

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Liberty Pen: The Open Mind With Richard Hefner- Milton Friedman: Other People's Money

Source: Liberty Pen- Professor Milton Friedman-
Source: Liberty Pen: The Open Mind With Richard Hefner- Milton Friedman: Other People's Money

If you make money on your own, you have a job you get a pay check, if you work for yourself, you support yourself with your own business, chances are if you're responsible, you're going to spend your own money in a responsible manner. Because if you don't, you're going to pay a price for that. No pun intended, but for your own irresponsible spending. And have less money than you otherwise would've had on things you need to spend money on to survive, had you spent your money responsibly. So knowing that you're most likely to spend your money in a responsible way, when your spending others people money, you should spend it in the responsible way that you would spend your own money. Not believing that you can take more chances with other people's money.

Especially if you're spending someone's money and they give you more money and keep giving you money. You're not going to be as responsible generally speaking, because mistakes you make with other peoples money, unless consequences come with that spending, won't effect you the same way. As the persons whose credit card, or checkbook, or even cash that you're spending. So you're going to be more likely to make mistakes spending other people's money than your own. Because it doesn't come with the same consequences. The Federal Government is a perfect example of this and why it wastes so much money. 100B$ a year alone in some programs and departments alone according to GAO.

Because the Federal Government doesn't make a dime on its own, all of its revenue comes from tax collection. Plus since it controls the U.S. Currency, it can print money like drunk sailors spend it. Giving it even more incentive to waste money and spend it irresponsibly. I bet you anything that if the Federal Government was a business and I'm not suggesting it should be, that they would be a lot more efficient with the taxes it collects. I'm not making a case for not having a Federal Government, or making it weak. But what I am suggesting that it have solid rules on what it spends the money on that it collects. And that there's strong oversight from Congress and the GAO, or Government Accountability Office, on its spending and operations to cut back on the waste in it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

President Obama Announces Afghanistan Troop Reduction: Splitting the Difference

I supported the War in Afghanistan originally back in October 2001 shortly after 9/11, because Afghanistan was harboring some of the terrorists that were responsible for 9/11. As well as Afghanistan being a Safe Harbor for other Terrorist Activities. And we needed to get those people to prevent other Terrorists Attacks on America in the future. I didn't agree with how we funded the War in Afghanistan from the beginning and now. Borrowing over a trillion dollars and putting all of that money on the National Debt Card. The War in Afghanistan represents around 10% of our National Debt alone. Military Operations is something America is very good at, Nation Building not so much, I mean just look at our country for example. We need some Nation Building of our own, we need to rebuild our infrastructure, our roads, bridges, buildings, airports, our waters, our schools. As well as building things that we don't currently have to reduce Traffic Congestion for example by building more roads. If you look at what the original mission in Afghanistan was, get the terrorists, knock the Taliban out of power and install another government thats no longer a threat to us. Mission Accomplished, we accomplished that nine years ago. The question now is where do we go from here. If the mission is to establish a new Republic in Afghanistan with a functioning Central Government thats responsible without corruption, we are not going to accomplish that. If occupying a country which is what we are doing in Afghanistan and making the case that we need to be there until they have a responsible Central Government. Then we could make that case to occupy several of Afghanistan's neighbors, like Pakistan and Iran. Afghanistan is going to have to decide what kind of country they are going to have going forward, we can't do that for them and be there indefinitely.

At some point and by the end of 2011 I believe, we are going to have to decide whether Afghanistan can have a responsible Central Government going forward or not and how likely that is. If the answer is no which I believe it is, then we need to pull out and declare Mission Accomplished and declare we did all we could and accomplished what we originally set out. If the answer is yes, then we have to have a clear plan that everyone can understand and have a coalition behind us to help up accomplish that plan.

Click on the link to see President Obama's speech on Afghanistan from Wednesday Night

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Senator Thune Says Tax Increases Are Off The Table On FOX: The GOP needs to get real

When it comes to Tax Policy and Deficit Reduction and trying to gage where the Congressional GOP is, it depends on who you talk to. Sen. Tom Coburn admitted last week on MSNBC the Last Word, that Tax Hikes are on the table in Deficit Reduction. And said thats the only way they'll be able to reach an agreement with the Democratic Senate and the White House on a Deficit Reduction package. Sen. John Thune who's a lot less pragmatic and I believe realistic, said on FNC Special Report that Tax Hikes are off the table with both the Senate GOP and House GOP. Both Sen. Coburn and Sen. Thune are two of the most Fiscally Conservative Members of Congress. But already disagree on what the final Deficit Reduction package that Vice President Biden and Congressional Republicans and Democrats are negotiating right now. Lamar Alexander Chairman of the Republican Caucus in the Senate and 3rd Ranking Leader in the Senate GOP. Said on C-Span Newsmakers he's open to negotiating Tax Hikes in a Deficit Reduction package. Because of the political realities, Republican House, Democratic Senate and a Democratic White House. Thirty four Senate Republicans out of forty seven, voted last week to repeal Farm Subsidy's, that republicans view as a Tax Hike. I don't know this as a fact but I believe Speaker Boehner understands this as well, he's more of a legislature then a partisan and wants a Deficit Reduction package on his resume as Speaker of the House. But I believe he's holding out on Tax Hikes as long as possible, to secure the most Budget Cuts possible in a Debt Ceiling bill and the final Deficit Reduction package. Plus at the end of the day, he's going to have to be able to sell any Deficit Reduction Final Agreement with the Senate and White House. That will have Tax Hikes in it to his own caucus, especially the Tea Party. And wants to put that battle off as long as possible.

Senate Democrats and the White House have already put Budget Cuts on the table, they understand that we have to do that and that Congressional Republicans would never go along with a 2T$ Tax Increase to pay off the Budget Deficit. I would like to see Tax Hikes on High Earners to go for Deficit Reduction. And start closing bases oversees in Developed Nations that can afford to defend themselves. As well as reform Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and are other Social Insurance programs. Reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the people who really need them and get them off the Federal Budget and make them independent and Self Sufficient. And reform our other Social Insurance programs and design them in a way to move those people off of them and into Self Sufficiency. So they are no longer collecting from them. Which would save billions of dollars every year. And reform our Disaster Relief so we are no longer borrowing to pay for it but actually paying for our Disaster Relief by fully funding it.

I think all three sides, the White House, Democratic Senate and Republican House already know what the final Deficit Reduction package will look like at the end of the day. But are holding off as long as possible to sell it to their members and base.

Click on the link of the blog to see an interview with Sen. John Thune on FNC

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Heritage Foundation: Blog: Ryan Messmore: Does Advocating Limited Government Mean Abandoning the Poor

There has been a lot of talk about deficit reduction. Which has been helpful and something we need to do and looking at our entitlement programs. And other social insurance programs and how we can make savings and make them work better. I have some suggestions in how we can do that, by accomplishing what they are intended to do. Which is to assist people in poverty as well as cut costs. By moving people out of poverty so they are no longer dependent on them. And no longer need those resources by empowering them to become self-sufficient. 
Since the War on Poverty was launched in 1965, the poverty rate then and now is about the same, 20-25%. But with the African American poverty rate actually falling. So thats been a great sign from 60-25%. But our overall poverty rate being flat with a major drop in poverty in the 1990s. With a booming economy as well as the Welfare to Work Act of 1996. But with the poverty rate spiking back up in the last decade. 
We had a couple of recessions in the last decade, including the Great Recession of 2008 which we are still recovering from. Which tells me with the trillions we’ve spent fighting poverty and the fact that we now have the same poverty rate as we started from, that we haven’t gotten our tax dollars worth and need to rethink how we address poverty in America. So we are more successful in actually moving Americans out of poverty and into the workforce with a good job. 
If you want to make savings and cut back in social insurance, the way to do that without hurting anyone, but actually helping them, as well as the most cost-effective way to accomplish this, is pretty simple. By getting them out of poverty so they are no longer dependent on public assistance and become self-sufficient. And are paying taxes instead of just collecting them, putting money they earned into the system. For people who have a place to live, but aren’t working, its a three step process. 
Temporary financial assistance, so they can support themselves in the short-term. 
Education, support them going back to school or going to school. So they can get themselves the skills that they need to get themselves a good job and become self-sufficient. 
And then job placement, helping them find a good job that will support them and their families. 
For homeless people its a bit more complicated. They will need a temporary place to stay, perhaps health care, perhaps drug rehab, perhaps mental rehab, perhaps education, perhaps job placement and housing placement. For other homeless people, they just might need a temporary place to stay, job placement and housing placement. It really depends on the client that you're trying to help. There’s no silver bullet that can help all people in poverty the same way. 
That's why it takes a grand strategy in fighting poverty, that's designed to empower people to get themselves out of poverty. But that has to be fought on multiple fronts. A strategy to deal with homelessness, hunger, education and job placement. There’s not one type of silver bullet program, private or public that wins this campaign. It has to be a combination of several different things. But that all have the same strategy, empowering people in poverty to get themselves out of poverty.
I wouldn’t call this easy, but the easiest segment of our poverty population, our low-income people who are working, a lot of times full-time jobs or multiple jobs, or even multiple full- time jobs. Again in a lot of cases just to make ends meet. They are the easiest people to address, because they are already working. But perhaps receiving other forms of public assistance, like Food Stamps or public housing. The good thing though, perhaps they just need to go back to school, like at a community college. To get the skills that they need to get one good full-time job. 
Or perhaps low-income workers just need to back to school to get retrained. Because they used to have a good job, but got laid off and their job that they are trained for no longer exists. So now they need a good job, but in a different field. This happens to the unemployed all the time. Or perhaps they are already well-skilled, but just need help finding a good job. This is the population we should really focus on and could move out of poverty again by empowering themselves to do it. And could do this fairly quickly.
The most effective as well as cost-effective to save money on our social insurance programs, is to design them in a way so they empower people to become self-sufficient. So they are no longer on public Aasistance and we wouldn’t have to spend as much money on them in the future.