Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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On April 2nd, people in America celebrated Equal Pay Day. I didn’t, of course, because I was too busy working. Although Hallmark hasn’t figure out a way to capitalize on this event, it’s significant to Leftists because it helps them bring up the gender wage gap, a hot button issue over the past couple of decades. According to Leftist studies, women make 78% as much as men for doing the same work, hence the wage gap.

And hence Equal Pay Day.

And hence the reason I’m adding this to the Leftist Lexicon.

Equal Pay Day

What the Left thinks it means – a date symbolizing the amount of time women have to work into the current year to match what their male counterparts made in the previous year

What it really means – Kwanzaa, but with more gender politics and less economic theory

The idea of Equal Pay Day comes from the National Committee on Pay Equity, a conglomeration of women’s and civil rights groups, professional associations, labor unions, and such committed to ending gender and race-based pay discrimination. In other words, they’re Leftists, which means their grasp on economics is as tenuous as the plugs in Joe Biden’s hair during a CAT 5 hurricane. And they’re the ones who keep putting out reports showing how unfair the gender pay gap is towards women.

Of course, that’s assuming their numbers are accurate and account for all factors instead of cherry-picking the data that proves their point. Since I made the previous statement, you can assume the numbers aren’t right, and you’d be right. Mark Twain once said there are lies, damnable lies, and statistics, but the National Committee on Pay Equity use all three to advance their agenda.

Many economists, social scientists, and generally learned people have all but destroyed the idea of the wage gap, and they have done it far better than I ever could. However, I will give you an idea of why the gender pay gap, and Equal Pay Day in general, is bollox. Men and women are wired differently, so they make different choices. Whether to stay home and raise children or be a working mother. Whether to pursue a major in hard or soft science. Whether getting that degree in post-modern albino lesbian feminist comedy writing will be in demand once you get out of college. (That last one is easy to answer. There is no future in post-modern albino lesbian feminist comedy writing because they lack a sense of humor.)

These choices affect a woman’s future earning capability, which isn’t necessarily reflected in the rhetoric of the Equal Pay Day crowd. Additionally, there are cases where women are paid more than men for the same job. Just ask Google, who did their own internal study and found the gender pay gap was in favor of women instead of against them. Wait a second…isn’t Google known for being Left leaning? Why…yes! Yes it is! But I’m sure the cases of women being paid more than men are reflected in the Equal Pay Day calculations, right?

Not so much.

The problem with the gender pay gap is the statistics don’t hold up under closer examination, which puts the need for Equal Pay Day in jeopardy. In fact, once you take all the factors I mentioned (and several more I didn’t for the sake of brevity) into the equation, the gender pay gap evaporates to pennies on the dollar. In some fields, women make more than men when all of the factors are taken into account, but you don’t see men asking for an Equal Pay Day in those fields, and you won’t find any Equal Pay Day advocates pushing for it because it destroys the narrative.

It should also be pointed out the National Committee on Pay Equity also breaks down how much different minorities make as compared to whites. (Remember, they have civil rights groups as committee members.) And their methodology with these is just as bogus as their statistics about women’s pay.

Underneath the calls for equal pay for equal work, there is a base assumption: The White Man is keeping women down. So, in order to get back power and money, the Equal Pay Day folks have to take down The White Man. It’s fiscal revenge porn with a touch of blaxploitation films mixed in!

However, taking this path not only shows how racist and sexist these folks are, it underscores their lack of economic knowledge. I’ve mentioned this before, so please forgive the duplication. Leftists believe all of economics is a zero-sum game where if someone succeeds, it means that person is stealing from the less fortunate (in Leftists’ minds). However, that’s not the case most of the time. Our economy is elastic in nature, meaning it expands and contracts due to market forces and conditions. One person’s success doesn’t prevent someone else from being successful. In other words, the only zeroes in the economy are those who believe in the zero sum game.

Here’s one last tidbit for you to consider. It’s already illegal to pay people differently for the same work, and it was a law passed well before the National Committee on Pay Equity was even a thing. Of course, their response is that businesses find ways around the law to continue the practice. Well, if anyone from the National Committee on Pay Equity is reading this, let me ask a couple of simple questions.

Who is doing it, and why haven’t you brought them to justice?

It’s far easier to complain than it is to do something, and with Leftists, any problem can be turned into a money-maker. When the National Committee on Pay Equity gets around to filing suit against any of the companies they say make Equal Pay Day a necessity, then I’ll give them a second look. Until then, to quote the great philosopher Tallahassee from “Zombieland”, it’s time to nut up or shut up.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Within the past week, a new war has flared up. No, not in a foreign country against an evil dictator, but in this country against…billionaires.

Although the Left has always had misgivings about the rich (except, of course, towards those who donate heavily to Leftist causes), with the advent of Bernie Sanders and our favorite Socialist Socialite, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, they’re getting more free with their disdain for people who make lots of money. They’re even trying to spin it into a moral argument, stating it’s an immoral system that allows people to make billions of dollars without sharing because sharing is caring, y’all.

This seems like as good a time as any to delve into the Leftist Lexicon and figure out what we can about billionaires.

billionaire

What the Left thinks it means – someone who makes money and hoards it so others can’t have it, greedy people who exploit workers to make money

What it really means – someone who makes more money than the Left thinks he or she should

That’s right, kids. The Left’s entire argument against the wealthy is based on perception, and more than a little economic illiteracy, which we’ll get into later. The problem with basing an argument on perception is that it may not be reality. (I know this runs counter to customer service training, but hear me out.) Without understanding context or seeking out the facts behind a situation, our perceptions are skewed, and far too often we let out preconceived notions fill in the blanks as a short cut.

Take the Trayvon Martin shooting, for example. There are more than a few stories out there about what happened, and most if not all of them are based on perception. Only two people know for sure what happened, and one is dead and the other is a lying scumbag. Everyone else’s hot takes, including mine, are speculation at best. And when there’s speculation, there is bound to be error.

When it comes to billionaires, the Left has a glaring error in that they assume the only way the wealthy get wealthy is through dishonest means or government loopholes. In fact, an argument I’ve seen more than once lately with regards to billionaires in general is “they didn’t earn all that money.” Again, this is speculation. In some cases, the wealth comes from hard work paying off. In other cases, money getting reinvested and creating more wealth (and, surprise surprise, jobs). In still other cases, people are born into wealth and stay there unless they make incredibly bad decision.

Like, say, voting for Leftists.

In any case, at some point down the line, someone worked for that money the Left covets so much. Now, if the billionaire in question made money through fraud or questionable means (like, say, oh I don’t know…Uncle George Soros?), then the Left has a point. But to paint all billionaires as thieves and grifters isn’t right. Of course, if you Leftists have proof of such, I’m willing to hear it, but I get the feeling your charges are more wind than anything.

The reason the Left is so quick to attack billionaires relies on an economic fallacy called zero-sum. Basically, zero-sum alleges there is a finite amount of money in an economy, so whenever someone has more of it, it’s at the expense of someone else. Let’s use the ever-ubiquitous example of pie. In a zero-sum mindset, there is one pie and only one pie, so whomever has the largest piece is stealing from those who don’t have any pie yet. The problem with this is an economy is not a single pie. It is a number of pies in all different sizes and flavors. All you have to do is look for the table they’re on, say “Hey, there are some more pies over here,” and chow down to your heart’s content. And because of capitalism, as long as there is a demand for pie and the ability to make it, there will be pie.

But the prospect of a potentially infinite number of pies doesn’t stoke enough class envy to suit the Left, so they pretend zero-sum is the only way to go. Ah, I think we’ve hit upon the real reason the Left hates the wealthy: they can’t keep up with the Joneses. Leftist economic theory sounds good to the ear and looks good on paper where you can manipulate the outcomes, but in practice it creates an environment where success is frowned upon and making everyone equally miserable seems to be Utopia. Sounds like paradise, amiright? Where do I sign up?

Actually, I don’t want to sign up because Leftist economics is a bad solution in search of enough suckers to believe it’s a good solution to what amounts to a non-problem. Bill Gates makes more than I do? Good for him! I don’t agree with him politically, but I will never begrudge his success and wealth as a result of it. His operating system, on the other hand…let’s just say Sybil is more stable than the Windows OS, but that’s neither here nor there. We have three choices when it comes to wealthy people: be jealous of them, be inspired by them, or ignore them and choose our own path. The Left thinks option 1 is the only option because they need victims to sustain their ideology. If you choose door number 2 or number 3, you can’t be a victim, so you’re of no use to them.

As far as the morality of being a billionaire is concerned, the only morality in play is how that person made his or her fortune. Ill-gotten gains are certainly nothing to be celebrated, nor are gains made from dumb luck or a lack of talent. Wealth earned through sweat and innovation, on the other hand, should be celebrated, not demonized. That’s one reason I admire Elon Musk. He’s making money the old fashioned way: by looking into our future. (Wait…but that’s…nevermind.)

So, if you’re a Leftist billionaire, be careful who you root for because the next one they attack may be you.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Economic Jugger-Not

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Yep. It’s one of those blogs about everyone’s favorite Leftist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This time, I’m tackling her latest economic idea, raising the marginal tax rate on anyone making over $10 million to 70% of each dollar above that threshold to help fight climate change as part of her Green New Deal.

Leftists are already jumping on board because it combines two of their favorite causes: environmentalism, and socking it to the rich. And, as Leftists are quick to point out, the marginal tax rate was much higher in the 50s and 60s when we had tremendous growth, and Ocasio-Cortez’s suggestion is lower than the marginal tax rates back then. So, it has to be a great idea, right?

Not even close.

The problem is the way her critics are striking back isn’t effective either, as it fails to make a distinction between tax rates and marginal tax rates. I, however, will do my best not to fall into that trap.

Here’s how a marginal tax rate works. There is a threshold set where any income above it gets taxed at a different (and usually higher) rate. You are still being taxed for the income made below the threshold, just not at the higher rate. Under Ocasio-Cortez’s plan, the normal tax rate applies up to $10 million, and then the 70% kicks in at $10,000,000.01. Imagine trying to take 70% of a penny. I’m sure the IRS already has.

This is where critics fail or attempt to deceive people, depending on how much you trust your politicians. Republicans and conservatives insinuate the 70% marginal tax would apply to all income above $10 million, when it only applies to a portion of it. Even so, the same person is being taxed twice for the same income, one at the “regular” rate and one at the higher rate, all because of some arbitrary threshold set by someone who has an economics degree, but can’t tell her assets from a hole in the ground. This is where the argument against Ocasio-Cortez’s idea should start. If you want to throw in that last part about her assets, be my guest.

The key flaw in her idea is it ignores the source of the income from the marginal tax rate: the people making over $10 million a year. Thanks to lobbying, accounting tricks, and tax loopholes big enough to drive a Brinks truck through, it’s entirely possible the only people paying the marginal tax rate are those who do it voluntarily or those who don’t know how to avoid it. And, contrary to Leftist belief, there are a lot more in the latter group than there are in the former.

That may be one of the reasons Ocasio-Cortez is linking this marginal tax rate to her Green New Deal idea. The concept of protecting the planet may guilt more people into paying the tax than might normally do it. Even then, the question becomes what happens to the money. Will it be distributed to tech companies to develop cutting edge green energy technology? Will it be used to incentivize more people to use alternative fuel sources? Or will it just go to environmental subcommittees and organizations with track records of inactivity and/or failure? That’s just it. Nobody knows, least of all the young woman proposing the marginal tax rate. And the Green New Deal initiative is poorly drawn out to the point of being little more than a proposal in search of an action plan. It’s like trying to build a race car by telling people how fast it will go once built. At some point, you’re going to have to learn how to build a car, and right now, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t even have the help of Mr. Horriblewrench, let alone Mr. Goodwrench. But she does have an idea that will throw a wrench into our economy.

Raising the marginal tax rate for any reason when we have evidence of wasteful spending that needs to be addressed is folly and reveals the true intention of Ocasio-Cortez’s idea. It’s not to help the fight against climate change; it’s about taking people’s money all because they committed the great Leftist sin of making it one way or another. And if your rebuttal involves anything resembling “paying their fair share,” let me remind you there are close to half of American adults who pay little to no federal income tax at all. When these folks start paying into the federal coffers more than they’re taking, then we can have this talk.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Our favorite socialist, Bernie Sanders, is back in the news. Recently, he held a town hall meeting in California where he called for employees of a major global company to get paid more. That company? Disney. The location of the town hall? Disneyland.

For one day, Disneyland went from the happiest place on Earth to the most economically illiterate place on Earth.

Sanders and his followers (whom I call Bern Outs) advocate raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and have a catchy little hashtag to go along with it, #FightFor15. And judging from the number of times it’s been trending on Twitter, it seems to be a popular idea.

Which is exactly why I relish the opportunity to mock it.

#FightFor15

What the Left thinks it means – a movement to raise workers’ wages by increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour

What it really means – more proof Leftists don’t know the first thing about economics

Throughout my working years, I have been paid less than, more than, and exactly minimum wage with each doing everything from mowing lawns to telling mortgage customers “no” when they wanted late fees waived because, and I quote, “we were only late several times.” And people wonder why I have gray hair…

My pay at each of these positions depended on a series of factors, not the least of which being work experience. I didn’t demand top dollar for my work because I didn’t have the body of work to back it up and I worked hard to build up my value to the employer. That way I knew I earned every cent.

Thanks to Sanders and the Bern Outs, people think they should be guaranteed a starting wage higher than the hourly wage many lower-level professionals make who have started building up their skills. And they don’t see a problem with this because they feel the working class doesn’t make enough to live in modern America, so they think raising the minimum wage will help.

Yeah…I’m gonna have to disagree with that because…how can I put this…it’s bullshit.

Although #FightFor15 is a nice idea on paper (or Twitter for that matter), it runs aground fairly quickly when you consider the impact it would have on labor costs. If Joe High School Dropout gets $15 an hour for running the fry machine on the night shift at the local Uncle Slappy’s It Kinda Looks Like Hamburger Emporium, that creates a business expense for Uncle Slappy, no matter how good or poor of a job he does. Throw in perks like health and dental insurance and before you know it, Joe’s doing all right for himself…until Uncle Slappy looks at his ledger sheet.

See, Uncle Slappy would not be the only employer having to pay increased labor costs due to the Fight for 15 crowd. Everything from the cost of what the Slapster swears is hamburger to buns to condiments will go up for the same reason. That creates a dilemma: raise prices or cut costs. At some point, raising prices destroys the consumer’s incentive to buy a product or service, which leaves cutting costs as the only option.

Guess what, Joe? You could find yourself on the unemployment line, and you know how much that pays? Zero.

Then, Joe will find himself in the same boat as other high-cost, low-skilled labor: competing for whatever work is available where only the most promising of employees will get a callback.

Even if Uncle Slappy is as liberal with his employee retention as he is with his “Buy One, Get a Stomach Pump Free” campaign, without cutting costs his Burger Emporium will close its doors, thus leaving Joe back in the same position he was in the other scenario. And, surprise surprise, make exactly the same pay as if he had been fired: zero!

Leftists will probably say I’m wrong about that, but there is a city that recently passed a law making a $15 per hour minimum wage a reality. And within a few months, their unemployment shot up, and companies started closing their doors because they couldn’t make ends meet. That city, by the way, is…Seattle, Washington.

Yep, a bastion of Leftist ideology got exactly what it wanted and saw it fail more spectacularly than Michelle Wolf’s jokes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. And they still want to make $15 per hour the minimum wage.

Say what you will about the Bern Outs, but they’re committed. Or should be.

In the meantime, don’t be swayed by the arguments in favor of #FightFor15. If you want to make more than minimum wage, work harder, learn more, show up, and be responsible. It’s all about hustle. If you show it, eventually someone will take notice…and most likely give you more work. But at least you’ll be earning your paycheck, which is more rewarding in the long run than being given a wage you haven’t earned for work you can’t do because Bernie Sanders and the Bern Outs think you should.

Remember, Sanders has spent a great deal of his adult life making his money off taxpayers. Let’s just say I put more faith in my dog’s fiscal acumen than I do Bernie, and my dog licks himself on a regular basis.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Remember the story of Chicken Little? You know, the story where a conspiracy-minded fowl convinces other barnyard animals of impending doom due to suspected, yet unfounded, gravitational inversion? Wait, that’s the Art Bell Show. Either way, the story reminds us of the importance of getting all the facts before deciding on a course of action.

And if you’ve been paying attention, it seems the Left hired Chicken Little to write their talking points because everything is going to kill us. The latest threat to our lives is…tax cuts. If you think I’m exaggerating, I point you to most Leftist’s Twitter feeds. I have literally (and I’m not using it incorrectly) read people saying people will die because of President Donald Trump’s tax cut proposal, which has already passed Congress.

Admittedly, this is a more modern take on tax cuts, which Leftists love as much as getting an eye wash with a sandblaster, but the general disdain the Left has for tax cuts has been a constant for decades. Whether it was Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, or Donald Trump, no tax cuts are good enough for Leftists. But they are good enough for this week’s Leftist Lexicon.

tax cuts

What the Left believes it means – stealing money from the poor and middle class to fund unnecessary spending by the wealthy

What it really means – taking back money from the government to fund necessary spending by taxpayers and avoid unnecessary spending by wealthy politicians

The driving force behind the Left’s attitude about tax cuts is control. If the government keeps more of our money, it controls how the money is spent. By extension, it also gives the government control over us. Conversely, if the government gives back more of our money, it loses control over how that money can be spent. The Left believes we can’t be trusted with our money because we might spend it on stupid things like food, gas, and housing. They know how the money should be spent on important projects like…researching shrimp workout programs!

And that’s one of the main reasons I like tax cuts: our government makes worse fiscal decisions than a failed stock broker with a $10,000 a day cocaine habit. Come to think of it, that’s not fair. Some of our politicians spend way more than that on cocaine (which, incidentally, might explain how they can justify spending on the “Bridge to Nowhere.”) Contrary to Leftist beliefs, some of us have more on the ball than they realize. Why, some of us actually have to make a living by working at a real job instead of writing bad poetry at a Starbucks because we decided Albino Eskimo Midget Feminist Basket Weaving was a good major.

The Leftists’ fiscal failure doesn’t end there. During the 1990s, the Left became obsessed with the idea of a middle class tax cut, an idea Leftists still cling to today. They believe the key to a booming economy is to give the middle class a tax cut. On paper, it sounds good. The problem? These same people who believe the middle class tax cut is the cure to all of our economic woes simultaneously believe the middle class is shrinking due to a widening gap between the rich and poor. So, in order to create a booming economy, we have to give tax cuts to fewer people because reasons?

The Underpants Gnomes have nothing on Leftists.

A recent example of the Left’s attitude towards tax cuts came from our favorite former Speaker of the House, Nancy “If I Have Any More Facelifts, I’ll Have a Widow’s Peak” Pelosi. In her attempts to sour public opinion on the Trump tax cuts, she called $1000 “crumbs.” As you might have guessed, that went over as well as Ben Shapiro Week at UC Berkeley. The Left came to her rescue, citing the billions in tax cuts the wealthy and corporations are getting. Of course, that would be the case since they pay more in taxes than we do. And with corporations, they pass increases in production costs (like…oh, I don’t know…having to pay more taxes) to us, so we ultimately pay for their tax increases. And unless the rich decide to hold onto their money and not spend any of it, that money will get pumped back into the economy by purchasing goods and services. This, in turn, will create demand, which drives purchasing and hiring decisions, which creates a ripple effect for those companies who provide goods and services to the companies providing goods and services.

That, in a nutshell, is supply side economics. So simple, and yet way above Nancy Pelosi’s pay grade.

Without going too much further into the weeds with technical jargon, let’s just say tax cuts work pretty well for stimulating our economy, and the Left has no answer for it. I mean, how stupid is it to argue that people should be upset at higher pay, more jobs, and a booming economy? Then again, the people who argue that are the same ones who thought Hillary Clinton was the most qualified Presidential candidate in history because the least qualified President ever said so.

Oh, and the other reason I like tax cuts? It makes Leftists look dumb. (Hey, I didn’t say it was a good reason!)

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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As the seasons turn from summer to fall, there are some things we can depend on. Kids going back to school. Leaves turning colors. And discussions about the debt ceiling.

Recently, President Donald Trump spoke to House Minority Leader Nancy “Joan Rivers Was a Piker Compared to Me” Pelosi and Senate Minority leader Charles “Don’t Get Between Me and a Microphone” Schumer and agreed to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for concessions on disaster relief. Yeah, I know. Debt ceiling talk is so sexy, right? Well, get ready to get really hot because here we go!

debt ceiling

What the Left believes it means – a budgetary procedure to ensure the government can pay its debts without shutting down

What it really means – giving the least fiscally responsible entity on Earth a pass on bad spending.

The Constitution gives Congress the power to pay the debts of the country, including the debts they themselves rack up allegedly representing the county. Usually, this gets done through the budget process, where the House, the Senate, and the President try to hammer out a vision for what needs to get paid and by whom. There’s a tiny snag with this currently: we haven’t actually had a budget since 2006. The way Congress has done around this detail has been to raise the debt ceiling, which allows the government to pay debts. A necessary evil, right?

Not quite.

Let’s say you have a credit card that you max out on a trip to Las Vegas. You may be able to skate by for a while, but eventually you are going to have to make a payment. Then, instead of making a payment, you request raising your credit line. The credit card company agrees, and you go back to Vegas to max out your card again. Then, payment time rolls around again, and you request yet another credit line extension. The credit card company agrees, and the process continues.

There’s no way this can end badly, right?

Actually, there is no way this can’t end badly. With a budget, Congress has a framework for how to proceed. Without a budget, Congress can spend and spend without much oversight. Wait…did we just stumble onto the reason we haven’t had a budget in 11 years? Why, yes, yes, we did!

Under the typical budget process, the House comes up with a budget and gives it to the Senate to look over and either approve as-is or offer changes. If there are changes, the House and Senate come together and work out the differences before sending it to the President to sign. Then, if the President vetoes it, the budget proposal goes back to Congress to either fix the proposal or override the veto. In short, there are checkpoints at every stage of the budget process to prevent one side or the other from running roughshod over the other and to put limits on what is to be spent. By simply agreeing to forego the normal budget process and raise the debt ceiling, those safeguards are as reliable as the TSA.

If America had her financial house in order, raising the debt ceiling might not be an issue. After all, we’ve accrued debt in the past for noble purposes, like fighting a war. However, America is spending like a drunken sailor these days. Okay, that may have been out of line. After all, drunken sailors have a bit more fiscal responsibility than the average Congrescritter. I mean, when was the last time you saw a drunken sailor spend money to watch shrimp on a treadmill?

Complicating matters further is the fact America doesn’t own all of its debt. We have issued bonds for our debt for various parties to buy. And guess who owns a good chunk of those bonds. China. Yeah, that country that hasn’t quite gotten over the Cold War and has a penchant for trying to handicap America whenever it can. And we gave them Most Favored Nation status in the 1990s! And how do they repay us? Sending toys with lead paint and dog food that actually kills dogs.

But I’m sure they’ll do us right this time!

All it takes for our fiscal house of cards to come tumbling down is for China to say, “Yeah, we kinda want our money back because we don’t think you can pay us back.” If you thought the financial crisis in 2008 was bad, this will make that look like “Heidi.” (For you Leftists out there reading this, that is a bad thing.) And if that happens, we have Democrats and Republicans to blame. Our representatives decided that spending money is more important than fiscal security. Even when we get representatives elected who promise to keep us on budget, those voices are either drowned out or sold out by those who think we can print enough money to keep ourselves afloat. Spoiler Alert: we can’t. The more money we print, the less valuable the money we have becomes. That isn’t a recipe for success, kids.

So, how do we fix it? Outside of a Congressional enema, we’re stuck until our representatives figure out raising the debt ceiling without a reason will cost us more than the ability to spend money we don’t have on crap that has no real purpose.

Like shrimp on treadmills.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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It’s a problem that affects millions, and it’s worse than war, famine, and another Nickelback album combined. And with Donald Trump in office, it’s only going to get worse.

I’m speaking of…well, nothing, really. But the Left says it’s income inequality, so for this particular edition, let’s go with that.

income inequality

What the Left believes it means – an economic condition where the gap between the rich and poor gets wider

What it really means – another example of why Leftists suck at economics

To understand Leftist economic theory, you need to know two things.

1) Leftists believe there is a limited amount of money available at any given time.

2) Leftists believe government is the solution to all problems.

The concept of income inequality is based on the first concept listed above. By thinking there is only so much money in an economy at one time, the Left concludes when the rich get richer it’s always at the expense of the poor. The Left sees an economy like a pie; there are only so many slices before the pie is gone. This is known in economics circles as zero-sum. It is known in my circles as Thanksgiving dinner.

The problem with the zero-sum approach to our economy is it ignores the elasticity of our economy. If Donald Trump makes $100 with an investment, it doesn’t mean a poor person in Detroit loses $100. It simply means Trump made $100. Of course, if the investment was in that poor person in Detroit, Trump and the person may both lose $100, but that’s not the point. The point is our economy is such that money gained by one isn’t automatically lost by another. But try to convince Leftists of that. You’re better off explaining Euclidian geometry to a pig. Then again, the pig would get it sooner than the Leftists would.

This brings us to the second concept on the list. Whenever Leftists see a problem, their solution is government. And with the power of taxation, the Left can make the rich pay as much as they want (provided it’s not the rich Leftists who have to pay because, dammit, they care). They think they’re evening the playing field, but it doesn’t change the playing field one bit. The rich will find a way to make money, and the poor won’t be any better off with money taken through taxation. Why, it’s almost as if the poor might be bad with money! Shocking!

One of the favorite statistics Leftists have when discussing income inequality is the difference in pay between a CEO and an average worker. To them, it shows just how deep the problem is. To me, it shows just how shallow their thinking is.

Let’s say you’re a CEO of a major company. You’ve spent years in college getting a degree, working your way up through management to reach the pinnacle. Along the way, you learn particular skills, make connections, and get experience that helps you to make the most of your career.

Then, there’s Joe, the maintenance guy. He dropped out of high school when he was 17 because he wanted to follow the Grateful Dead on tour, has the financial acumen of a cheese sandwich, and takes 20 minutes pondering the great philosophical question of our age, paper or plastic.

To the Left, the fact you make more than Joe is wrong. Even though you have different skills, made better career choices, and proven yourself in your field, the fact you make more money than him is unfair. Their solution? Cap your earnings, and pay Joe more in the form of an increased minimum wage. Brilliant!

Except when you take into consideration neither option really helps elevate Joe’s position. Capping a CEO’s salary seems like a good idea, but it makes it harder for companies to attract competent people to run them. There comes a point where you get paid less than your worth and you either decide to suck it up or leave. Keep driving the compensation down for people at higher positions and you’ll see competent people leaving a job faster than Joe does on Friday afternoon. That leaves the mediocre to run things, and after a few years you’ll see why they were kept in lower positions where they couldn’t do much damage. See Reddit under Ellen Pao for an example of that.

That brings us to raising the minimum wage. Joe may be happy to get a little extra money in his check for doing little if anything differently, but it doesn’t necessarily improve his station. Joe is still the same guy he was before he got the bump up in pay, and now you’re giving him more money to spend as he sees fit. Sure, he may use the extra money to get his GED, or he may use it to buy a few more lottery tickets or pot so he can enjoy his Grateful Dead albums. In any case, Joe is not compelled to be better.

Granted, not every lower-level employee is like Joe. Some are just starting out in the workforce, while others are trying to get their feet underneath them after some poor decisions or rough times. These folks are motivated by different forces. Then, there are people who are just like Joe, who can barely be motivated to get a simple fast food order right. And the Left wants to pay these folks the same for different levels of effort.

And people wonder why I trust Leftists with economics as much as I trust Joe Biden to be eloquent.

If you’ve noticed, there’s a pattern to Leftist economic theory: it doesn’t work. Sure, it makes you feel good to stick it to The Man, but if it doesn’t help you, you’re still going to hate The Man and be no better off for it. If anything, it makes you resent other people’s success while giving you no incentive to succeed yourself.

And that’s exactly where the Left wants you.

But there is one question the Left can’t seem to answer when it comes to income inequality: So what? If you present them with the idea income inequality isn’t a problem, the Left looks at you like you have four heads and screams about how you don’t care about the working class. But that’s the thing. The Left really doesn’t have a response to the “so what” question. They say it’s a problem and that it needs to be addressed, but they haven’t figured out how to defend their position or create an argument aside from “because I said so.” That response worked well for my parents when I was growing up, but with Leftists? Not so much.

It is possible to be concerned about the working class and recognize the value of one’s work, whether it be a CEO or a custodial worker. The Left wants to cheapen the value of both by trying to pit both against each other by maintaining the CEO is stealing from the worker and by punishing the former and rewarding the latter. All it does it make a lot of unhappy people compelled by greed.

You know, just like the DNC.

In Defense of Capitalism

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In the past couple of years, we’ve seen young men and women rethinking their positions on capitalism and socialism, and…well, let’s just say capitalism is faring worse than Bill Clinton at an abstinence only rally put on by Playboy Playmates. More and more, young people think socialism is the way to go. After all, on paper, it’s the most fair system out there.

Unfortunately, that paper and $3.50 will get you a cup of coffee-flavored steamed milk at Starbucks.

Where did we go wrong that socialism is faring better than capitalism in the United States, the bastion of capitalism? There are so many culprits, it’s hard to point fingers at them all, but let’s start with one that we might have overlooked.

Us. We, the people, failed to make the case to the young skulls full of free range soy based granola that capitalism is the best socioeconomic system out there, bar none. Oh, sure, we lived like we believed it, but somewhere along the line we decided capitalism didn’t require excellence. We settled on the mediocre, and in some cases the below average, because it was easier than demanding more. Why do you think Starbucks can charge $3.50 for a cup of coffee-flavored steamed milk instead of making a good cup of coffee with only a little milk? Because it was just too hard to demand more, so we swallowed our pride (and a lot of burnt coffee beans) and settled.

But that’s not capitalism is about. Capitalism gives you a choice because there will always be a market for a product or service other people and companies don’t offer. In America, if you don’t like Starbucks, you can go to Caribou Coffee or Seattle’s Best or Dunkin Donuts or any number of other places to get a cup of java (or at least a cup of java with less steamed milk in it). It’s not like you have to get Starbucks, kids.

In a socialist economy, choice isn’t one of the options on the menu. You may want a triple mocha espresso with a shot of butterscotch, but what you get…is watery sewer sludge in a broken cup, and that’s if you’re lucky! As neat as socialism seems to look, the reality is far less rosy.

Let’s say there’s a Justin Bieber song you really like. (Granted, that may be impossible, but play along for the sake of an example, k?) You grow to love that song, no matter how many times you play it and no matter how many friends and family members you drive away with it. Then, after a while, you get tired of that Justin Bieber song and you want to listen to something else. You know, like Gordon Lightfoot, Triumph, Rush, or even William Shatner.

Under socialism, you really don’t get to skip ahead on the “Canada’s Greatest Musical Acts” CD. You wouldn’t even get to listen to Anne Murray! You have to keep listening to the same Justin Bieber song over and over again. (Provided, Amnesty International hasn’t determined such a feat would be considered torture.) Yes, kids, socialism is just like listening to a Justin Bieber song only with more rhythm.

At least with capitalism, you get to push the Skip button on your CD player or MP3 player and find another song. And if you don’t like the next song, you can move to a different one until you find one you like. Capitalism, for all of its faults and misuse today, treats you like an adult and assumes you can make good choices for yourself. Socialism not only treats you like a child, but assumes you can’t make good choices for yourself. Then again, if you think socialism is still viable in the 21st Century, the socialists might be onto something.

Two of the words that keep getting thrown about by socialists are “free” and “equal,” such as “free college for students” and “equal pay for equal work.” When you really think about it, these words have psychological power over us. America was built on the high-minded concepts of freedom and equality (even though some of the slaves in the Colonies might disagree). Yet, these aren’t the same concepts socialists use. When they want something to be free, they mean free for them. They don’t want to pay out of pocket for what they want; they simply want it.

If any of you reading this are parents of young children, you’ve seen this concept in action.

As far as equality is concerned, socialists see it in terms of tearing down the rich and powerful and propping up the poor and powerless. I’m sure a number of you wouldn’t mind Bill Gates dropping off a few hundred grand to your doorstep, but it doesn’t mean you’re equal. He will still be Bill Gates, and you will still be you. And not even a few hundred grand will change that.

And where does that leave people in the middle, neither rich nor poor, neither powerful nor powerless? Right where they are. Don’t try to excel; just skate by like Dorothy Hamill on truck stop speed. At least socialism guarantees equal doses of pain for everyone, so there’s that.

Listen. Thanks to people like Bernie Sanders, socialism may seem to be the next big thing, but it’s really the socioeconomic equivalent of the man bun. Not only does it make you look stupid, but it is harmful in ways you don’t comprehend yet. But, in America, you are free to believe socialism is the cure for all of our ills. I won’t stop you. After all, the more socialists there are out there, the more people I get to mock relentlessly.

Capitalism, as imperfect as it may be, still grants people a lot of leeway, including whether to be a socialist. Try being a capitalist in socialist society and see how that turns out for you. Spoiler Alert: I hope you enjoy your new prison cell because there’s a chance you’ll be in there for a while.

This is not to say capitalism can’t use a bit of sprucing up by any means. When we have people like George Soros, Donald Trump, and Michael Bloomberg raking in the cash through various means, the moral core of capitalism gets overlooked a lot. But, without a moral core, capitalism can easily be the worst idea in the world. Yes, even worse than letting Hillary Clinton store our nuclear codes on her home server. If we let the want of stuff overtake the want of a better future, we run the risk of letting stuff become the entirety of our being.

And, no, that’s not unfettered and unregulated capitalism leads to, folks. That kind of behavior results from greed. Capitalism with a moral core comes from enlightened self-interest. For example, how many times have you heard the Left complain about lumber companies ruining forests through their desire to cut down every tree? Any lumber company worth its sawdust will tell you they wouldn’t engage in that kind of behavior. Why? Because if there are no more trees, the lumber industry goes the way of the third season of “I Am Cait.” (Too soon?)

Even if you’re not big on capitalism and aren’t seeing how bringing up the bad parts about socialism actually defends capitalism, there is one element to consider. Under a capitalist system, we get to be governed. (Not well these days, I grant you, but still governed.) Under a socialist system, we get to be ruled. There is a big, big difference, folks.

In closing, I have to say socialism and its various related movements may have already given up Lenin’s ghost when it comes to their ideology. The fact you can buy a Che Guevara t-shirt, take a selfie of yourself wearing it using your iPhone, and post it to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #socialismrocks makes the best argument for capitalism ever.

The Shutdown

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This morning we woke up to a government shutdow since no budget has been passed by Congress and any attempt at a budget has been crushed by the Senate. The House keeps passing a budget. Now of course that means that the government shutdown is somehow the fault of the Republican Party but they are incontrol of the House and not the Senate. Yet the Senate is where the budget gets tabled and not voted on and it is controlled by the Democrat Party. Explain to me how its the Republican’s fault again? I’m confused on that bit.

The Whitehouse announced yesterday that in the event of a government shutdown that non-essential workers would be the first to be let go. Hmmm if I ran a buisness, would I have non-essential workers? I think not. I mean that’s like paying the guy who stands at the water cooler all day a nice salary for standing at the water cooler all day. I say let him go.

When the Republican’s are in control of the WhiteHouse, you don’t see the Democrats in Congress going, “Well since we lost the last election. I guess we have to do what you say now.” Which is EXACTLY what they are expecting the Repulican’s to do. The street runs both ways my friends. No the Democrats fight the Republican’s on every measure, every step of the way. There is no difference now.

Also anytime there is a government shutdown, on any level, the ruling party states it will affect the people in a the worst possible ways. I mean come on. There are coins in the coffers still. You send these funds to whichever department is necessary. But the government never does what is necessary. Only what advances their own agenda and ideology, no matter which party is in control at the time.

Shut it down is a good thing. The government should not be in our lives as much as it is already. Having it gone for a few days or weeks will be like a breath of fresh air. And for those whiny people who have their hearts out on their sleaves who are worried about all these people who are being sent home. They will all get their back pay when the government shutdown is resolved. There is no loss for them really.