Archive for Finance and money

Envy and ignorance, insurance, causation vs correlation

Mike takes a look at How Does Wealth Affect Auto Insurance Coverage and Costs? and provides an illustrative example.

“These days, auto insurance companies offer discounts based on your education, profession and wealth. They don’t tell that they give you discounts because you are rich. … Effects of credit score cannot be ignored either.

These revelations may come across as discrimination and many states fought using credit score as a factor in premium calculations. However, the fact is that companies and the studies carried about by some states showed that people with better credit history are less likely to make claims.”

As Mike points out, the discrimination is based on factors that insurance companies have found correlated to their costs. However, discrimination is a bad word these days. There is an ongoing effort to eliminate any form of discrimination. Perhaps one of the better examples of this has been in the housing market. Banks and other lenders were forced to eliminate their traditional methods for discriminating between who was likely to pay back the loan and who wasn’t. The result was the housing crash between 2005 and 2010.

Discrimination, whether in product quality or in business factors, can lead to increased quality, better production and reduced costs, and a growth in wealth … but it also results in winners and losers and that, for some, is morally repugnant. The choice is better wealth and health for all as in the U.S. or what people suffer in places like Cuba and Venezuela. The underlying problem is that some can’t see this reality.

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Picking your villains

The Senate Majority Leader got going on his favorite villains on the floor of the Senate despite propriety or reason. That was just another episode of attacks the left has been using to personalize the debate. Murdock thinks the Liberal critics of Koch brothers ignore their philanthropy.

The Kochs’ critics are free to disagree with the Kansas industrialists and their libertarian ideas. However, most who despise the Kochs would be shocked by what these “greedy capitalists” do with their profits, beyond campaign donations.

Medicine, arts, environment, education … The real story is one of the typical successful American Capitalist. It stands in contrast to the story of the wealthy individuals in most of the rest of the world, how they acquire their wealth, and what they do with it. Take Russia, for instance …

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Reed thinks they are evil: delusion and denial

John Hinderaker wonders if it is A New Low for Liberal Haters. David Koch gave the New York-Presbyterian Hospital $100 million toward construction of a new outpatient facility.That effort has generated all sorts of protest.

“A rational person would wonder: if David Koch is opposed to affordable health care, why would he donate $100 million to a hospital? Won’t his contribution help to make health care more affordable?”
“David Koch is a cancer survivor who has given hundreds of millions of dollars to cancer research and to improve the treatment of cancer and other diseases, out of love and concern for his fellow man. Liberals try to block improved health care because they are consumed by rage and hate. This episode tells you, really, all you need to know about modern liberalism.”

What is it that drives one to such self destruction.

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The optimists view on Ivanpah

You may have heard the stories about fried birds or remember from a while back about the desert tortoises and you may even be sufficiently mathematically literate to wonder about effectiveness but all of that is set aside as Katie Fehrenbacher says The Hoover Dam of solar is now live in the desert of California. Here’s why it’s so important.

“Less than a hundred miles from the rim of the Hoover Dam, just outside of Las Vegas at the edge of dusty San Bernardino County, sits a symbol of how the sun will some day provide copious amounts of electricity for entire cities. This is Ivanpah, the world’s largest operating solar farm, which uses 347,000 mirrors (173,500 heliostats) and three huge 450-foot towers to harness the sun’s heat to generate electricity.” … “enough solar power into the grid to power 140,000 (average American) homes”

… “the 5-mile by one-mile long colossal clean power project, Ivanpah is the Hoover Dam for this generation”

“Ivanpah took years longer to get built than expected. It was one of the first projects to be developed on controversial Bureau of Land Management land, and the location ended up having more desert tortoises than originally thought.”

“Average panels convert about 10 percent to 12 percent of the light, while more high efficiency panels like those from SunPower convert about 20 percent.” … “Ivanpah uses dry cooling instead of water cooling to manage its heat. That’s important because as we’ve seen with the California drought, the future will be increasingly water-constrained.”

“Connectivity and computing is playing a role in Ivanpah as well. Each heliostat is connected by not only a power cable but also a data cable that controls each one ensuring they track the sun, or change position according to the facilities’ needs. When there are high winds the mirrors go into a safety flat position. When it rains they also go into that position to get a free mother nature washing. Data commands all aspects of the Ivanpah facility.”

The optimists gloss over many things. If you don’t gloss over the column, you can see them. Time may also reveal these things.

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The green war on the poor

“Before around 1960, anybody other than a crank would have been flabbergasted at such suicidal stupidity and policies one would expect from an enemy or a rival. An illiterate farmer in the 19th century knew you had to husband natural resources and protect them for the future, but he would never have idealized a harsh natural world that only stubbornly and by dint of hard labor produces sustenance for humans. But that was before environmentalism evolved into a cult for an affluent society of people so rich that they can take for granted their protection from nature by technology and industrialism, all the while it demonizes a modern world those same people couldn’t live without for five seconds.”

Bruce Thornton: The Costs of the Environmentalism Cult. To deprive farmers of the water they need to grow fruits and vegetables, to deprive people of the fuel they need to keep warm in the winter, these sorts of actions are a war of the wealthy on the poor.

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Raw emotion often goes negative

Walter Williams on the Politics of Hate and Envy:

“Though sports and Hollywood personalities earn multiples of CEO salaries, you’ll never find leftists and progressives picketing and criticizing them. Why? The strategy for want-to-be tyrants is to demonize people whose power they want to usurp. That’s the typical way tyrants gain power. They give the masses someone to hate. In 18th-century France, it was Maximilien Robespierre’s promoting hatred of the aristocracy that led to his acquiring dictatorial power. In the 20th century, the communists gained power by promoting public hatred of the czars and capitalists. In Germany, Adolf Hitler gained power by promoting hatred of Jews and Bolsheviks.”

Michelle Malkin on Standing up against wealth-shaming:

“America, we have a bullying epidemic. No, not the school bullying issues that get constant attention from Hollywood, the White House and the media. No, not the “fat-shaming” and “body-shaming” outbreaks on Facebook. The problem is wealth-shaming. Class-shaming. Success-shaming.”

“Perkins barely scratched the surface of the War on Wealth that has spread under the Obama regime. Anti-capitalism saboteurs have organized wealth-shaming protests at corporate CEOs’ private homes in New York and in private neighborhoods in Connecticut. Hypocrite wealth-basher and former paid Enron adviser Paul Krugman at The New York Times whipped up hatred against the “plutocrats” in solidarity with the Occupy mob. New York state lawmakers received threatening mail saying it was “time to kill the wealthy” if they didn’t renew the state’s tax surcharge on millionaires.”

It is an old technique and has a number of tragic wins to speak  for it. The ‘tragic’ part just doesn’t seem to have any impact which is enough to make one wonder just how historically literate the advocates of wealth envy must be. But then, it isn’t reality that is the driver, it is raw emotion and that seldom leads to happiness.


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About that goose with golden eggs

“Even those of us who create goods and services in more mundane ways receive income that may be very important to us, but it is what we create for others, with our widely varying capabilities, that is the real wealth of nations.

“Intellectuals’ obsession with income statistics — calling envy “social justice” — ignores vast differences in productivity that are far more fundamental to everyone’s well-being. Killing the goose that lays the golden egg has ruined many economies.”

Thomas Sowell on The Inequality Bogeyman

“These little episodes have much wider implications. Most of us are much better at some things than at others, and what we are good at can vary enormously from one person to another. Despite the preoccupation — if not obsession — of intellectuals with equality, we are all very unequal in what we do well and what we do badly.” … “We are lucky that we are so different, so that the capabilities of many other people can cover our limitations.”

Rather than obsess on the wealth, it would probably be better to look at just what the wealthy did for others.

“Before Rockefeller came along in the 19th century, the ancient saying, “The night cometh when no man can work” still applied. There were not yet electric lights, and burning kerosene for hours every night was not something that ordinary working people could afford. For many millions of people, there was little to do after dark, except go to bed.”

Finding just what some wealthy person did for the ‘common man’ is easiest for those directly connected to innovation and industry such as Edison, Ford, Gates, and Jobs. It is a bit more difficult when wealth is acquired at the second level, that of capital formation and management. That is why Wall Street is so often a target of the leftist envy. That envy is what killed the goose that laid golden eggs. It has caused much human misery.

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Inequality: good or bad

Steve Cichon dug up a 1991 Radio Shack newspaper advertisement and found that 13 electronic products for $5k (and 500 hrs. work) can now be replaced with a $200 iPhone (10 hrs.).

“The comparison above is an example of the “invisible hand” at work, giving us more goods, better goods, and cheaper goods over time. And the poor and middle class benefit the most. While only the wealthy might have been able to afford the bundle of 13 electronic products costing $5,000 in 1991, almost anybody today can afford an iPhone with features that far exceed the 13 products in 1991.

“Instead of spending so much time obsessing about income inequality, the “top 1%,” the “decline of the middle class,” and generally criticizing and blaming the free market for every woe, maybe we should devote more time to celebrating how the “miracle of the marketplace” has brought about rising living standards for all income groups in America, especially low-income households. Falling prices of manufactured goods like food, cars, clothing, household appliances, computers and electronics have probably given low-income households in the US greater access to the “good life” than all of the government programs and safety nets that are part of the trillion dollars of spending on America’s “War on Poverty.””

Then there’s the story about people in San Francisco ‘outing’ a Google engineer in anti-technology protests. Being poor just ain’t what it used to be … but then, many facets stay the same – see Appalachia: The big white ghetto for an insight into the new ‘Pepsi’ generation.

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Inequality in honesty

A. Barton Hinkle posts on The Great Inequality Debate with some good insight but some rather glaring dishonesty.

“The abstract notion of equality is the lodestar of the American left, just as the abstract notion of liberty is the lodestar of the right. Or at least some liberty: Most conservatives care greatly about the economic kind, and the sight of an entrepreneur caught up in red tape enrages them. But certain conservatives care less about other kinds of liberty, such as the freedom of gays and lesbians to pursue their own happiness as they define it, or the freedom of a young black male in a hoodie to walk down the street with a bag of Skittles unaccosted.”

The distinction between left and right could be useful but the references maligning the right are dishonest. The “freedom of gays and lesbians” is a matter of the limits of libertarianism and the fundamental requirement that rights (freedoms) have responsibilities. The comment about “unaccosted” probably refers to the Zimmerman case and misrepresents the facts of that case as determined by trial.

“Focusing only on inequalities of result also ignores another important dimension to the question. Again, Wilkinson: “It’s not enough to identify a mechanism of rising inequality. An additional argument is required to show that there is some kind of injustice or wrongdoing involved.”

This gets to the matter that the left is presuming a guilt without evidence of a crime much less a proper connection between cause and effect. The whole ‘income inequality’ idea has very little to do with its purported aim – to reduce poverty or provide credibility to questionable behavior – and much more to do with such things as envy.

Efforts to force equality where it does not exist can lead to an unintended suffering. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. took the effort for equality to its limit in his 1961 “satirical and dystopian short story Harrison Bergeron. Governance efforts based on the ‘forced equality by government idea’ have failed and often expressed significant human suffering in the process of doing so.

Yet here we go again. The quote attributed to Albert Einstein on insanity comes to mind.

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Capitalism again: Wondering what Bible the Pope is reading

What did Jesus say? Thomas Mullen a number of parables of Jesus on economics and wonders What Bible is Pope Francis reading?.

“There is no need to address each of the pope’s arguments against free markets from a purely economic perspective. Tom Woods has already done this thoroughly during his December 6 episode of the Tom Woods Show, “Pope Francis on Capitalism.”

What is more surprising than the pope’s leftist economic ideas is his ability to ignore the overtly pro-capitalist themes in the gospels themselves. Jesus’ teaching consistently holds capitalists up as heroes. He never once even hints that the government should direct economic affairs.

The misconception that Jesus’ message is anti-capitalist probably stems from the same confusion that pervades all leftist thinking: the inability to distinguish voluntary from coerced human action. Jesus often exhorts his followers to voluntarily give to the poor. Nowhere in the gospels does he suggest that the Romans or the vassal Jewish government should be empowered to tax the wealthy to provide for the poor.

Tax collectors are de facto sinners, remember?”

The question is an important one. If a church leader can stimulate discussion about a perceived dissonance between what he espouses and his guidance, what about the rest of us? Are we suffering the same disconnect? How can this be addressed?

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More on the realities of capitalism

Professor Williams takes on the Pope with what capitalism really is. In so doing, he gives Carson in the previous post a lesson in reality. The Pope and Capitalism is a response to those who castigate others as ‘selfish and greedy’ and denounce economics based on free choice and liberty.

“Profits force entrepreneurs to find ways to please people in the most efficient ways or go out of business. Of course, they can mess up and stay in business if they can get government to bail them out or give them protection against competition. Nonprofits have an easier time of it. Public schools, for example, continue to operate whether they do a good job or not and whether they please parents or not. That’s because politicians provide their compensation through coercive property taxes. I’m sure that we’d be less satisfied with supermarkets if they, too, had the power to take our money through taxes, as opposed to being forced to find ways to get us to voluntarily give them our earnings.”

It is the ‘tugging at heart strings’ that keeps people paying taxes. That is the incentive in government and you see it any time the school systems want more money or when there is a fiscal showdown and the park service targets the public or whenever vague and abstract ideas like justice or equality are bandied about as where something must be done.

In the private sector, such come-ons tend to fade as the reality surfaces. In the public sector, they only seem to grow and fester.

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Finger pointing in the wrong direction

CARSON: To counter coarseness, choose civility — “The many give in to media-promoted indecency” — goes finger pointing and misses reality in a telling direction.

“Prior to the severe economic downturn in 2008, a number of selfish, greedy business types, with complicity from public officials, created schemes to entice relatively inexperienced people to purchase houses that significantly ignored the old, established rule of never taking out a mortgage that was more than 2 times one’s annual salary.

These and other types of paper-pushing manipulations by a small but influential segment of Wall Street types and politicians produced enormous fortunes for many who actually produced little or nothing of value.”

Oh, those “selfish, greedy business types!” What obvious reality is missing here? It is that the old rules for mortgage qualification were overruled by government regulation. Banks were forced to make loans according to ‘diversity’ rules rather than credit rules. The government’s subsidies make a zero down payment possible. The people who should have been at risk were allowed to move that risk off to others in creative investment packaging. Carson notes the sort of pressures involved in the education arena.

“Teachers are forced into the role of political-correctness police by bureaucratic administrators who, in many cases, obviously have no sense of the psychological makeup of young children. The potential to do harm to little children by administrative acts of this level of stupidity is tremendous. If we continue down this road of absurdity, we will produce a generation of paranoid and dysfunctional individuals who will eventually be in charge of taking care of those of us who are imposing these rules of political correctness upon them today.”

Choosing villains is not in line with the civility and caring for others Carson espouses. In his “selfish, greedy” assertion, he falls into his own words.

“It is unreasonable to expect a civil and compassionate society to emerge from a culture that tolerates and often even encourages cruel and dishonest behavior from its leading commentators and leaders. I do not believe these people are capable of seeing fault within themselves. Blinded by their ideology, they are incapable of seeing things from the view of others.”

We want everyone to be able to own their homes. We want to eliminate abuse and incivility. The problem is that government separates people from their actions on such desires and that creates tragedy. Carson illuatrates the message in Matthew 7:4-5. A first step in civility is to cease making character judgments about others but rather use their behavior, the speck of impropriety we think we see in them, to learn about the flaws that may exist in each of us.

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Takes a lickin’ – keeps on tickin’ – about carping on capitalism

Ed Fulner says Capitalism’s carping critics don’t seem to understand that it is “A system that fosters work, saving and investing is the key to prosperity.”

“Attacking capitalism never seems to go out of style. Over the past 100 years, few institutions have been attacked so fiercely, so falsely and so foolishly.

Yet capitalism’s resilience continues. Governments based on the idea that capitalism is evil and that the state can create wealth by controlling an entire economy have risen and fallen during this period, but capitalism continues to thrive.

Today, it is no longer beyond the pale to say that capitalism has done more good for more people than any other economic arrangement ever devised by man.”

The real question is why something that has been so successful in alleviating human misery creates such an impulse to try to destroy it.

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The taint of money, dependence corruption — just how bad, really?

The ‘money is evil’ meme shows up in a lot of arenas as an excuse. The opposition has been bought is the claim. Campaign funding is one arena where this idea has resulted in laws as well as harangue. WANG: The overstated sway of campaign funds – “Full coffers won’t save pols who defy their constituents” – takes a look at the situation.

If voters are likely to be confused by anything, it is the simplistic narrative that money is the only relevant factor in our political system. The theory fails to explain phenomena such as the recent government shutdown and why Americans routinely reject better-funded candidates and issue campaigns, and it impoverishes public understanding of the political process.

That money corrupts is a reduce to the absurd type argument that tends to align with a particular ideology that people, the voters, are stupid dupes and that money carries more weight than any other consideration in a person’s decisions. The fact is that there are other considerations. Eric Wang mentions ideology and constituents as two that matter as much as, or more than, campaign funds and provides examples to explain why these are important and funding less so.

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Walmart: a misplaced target

Mark J. Perry takes a look at one of the favorite targets of the left. The basic question is Why does Walmart get 38 applications for every position? and the answer is “Because it offers economic opportunity, hope and change.” As with many such targets, the reality of a simple question seems to be out of reach for the ideologs. Those seeking economic opportunity or other benefits are another class altogether.

“When Walmart is considering employee applications for its news stores, why can it be twice as selective as Harvard and three times more selective than Princeton when those elite universities consider student applications for freshman admission? In other words, why do so many people want to work at Walmart?”

“So, many employees must look at a Walmart job not as a dead-end, low-paying job, but as an opportunity to start at an entry-level position, with the possibility of significant career advancement if they have the talent, drive and ambition to become a salaried manager, or even executive.”

People choose employers for other reasons as well. Charles Platt is cited as noting the ‘culture’ at Walmart with a solid basis in corporate management and a basic respect for all employees.

The core issue is why some people seem to have this need to control others in such things as who they choose their boss to be or what they should be paid.

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Boiling the frog of entrepreneurism and economic growth

Nita Ghei describes how government is Shutting down the engines of innovation and how Hubris drives regulators to expand their domain

“Caught between a rock and a hard place, businesses close, or decline to open in the first place, and the jobs are lost or never created. Nonetheless, the agencies continue issuing regulations unchecked, and regulators remain serenely unconcerned about their hubris, convinced they know better than the rest of us what is good for us.”

“Buckyballs are gone. 23andMe will probably either shut down or move offshore. In either case, regulators effectively clamp down on jobs and innovation. It doesn’t stop here.”

“Each regulatory excess stifles industry growth. When regulators try to fit round pegs into square holes, as is the case with 23andMe, we see innovative companies disappear. The United States has carefully cultivated a legal regime that encourages innovation over much of its existence. It would be a great pity if regulatory overreach destroyed that advantage.”

It’s like that fable about how to boil a frog.

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Outside of his authority: His Holiness

Andrew P. Napolitano, A a traditionalist Roman Catholic, describes why he thinks Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks.

“The problem with modern capitalism — a problem that escaped the scrutiny of His Holiness — is not too much freedom, but too little. The regulation of free markets by governments, the control of the private means of production by government bureaucrats, and the unholy alliances between governments, banks and industry have raised production costs, stifled competition, established barriers to entry into markets, raised taxes, devalued savings and priced many poor out of the labor force. The pope would do well to pray for those who have used government to steal freedom so as to satisfy their lust for power, and for those who have bowed to government so as to become rich from governmental benefits and not by the fruits of their own labors.

Traditional Catholic social teaching imposes on all of us a moral obligation to become our brothers’ keepers. But this is a personal moral obligation, enforced by conscience and church teaching and the fires of hell — not by the coercive powers of the government. Charity comes from the heart. It consists of freely giving away one’s wealth. It is impossible to be charitable with someone else’s money. That’s theft, not charity.”

“If you give a poor person a fish to eat, in a day, he’ll be hungry. If you show him how to catch fish and teach him how to acquire the tools needed to do so, he can become self-sufficient and perhaps one day rich enough to help others. If the government takes money from you to buy the person a fish, half of the money will be wasted.

The pope seems to prefer common ownership of the means of production, which is Marxist, or private ownership and government control, which is fascist, or government ownership and government control, which is socialist. All of those failed systems lead to ashes, not wealth. Pope Francis must know this. He must also know that when Europe was in turmoil in 1931, his predecessor Pius XI wrote in one of his encyclicals: “[N]o one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true Socialist.”

“What shall we do about the pope and economics? We should pray for his faith and understanding and for a return to orthodoxy. That means the Holy Mother Church under the Vicar of Christ — saving souls, not pocketbooks.”

One thing the Pope has done on his expression of economic ignorance is to stimulate some very good discussion about just what capitalism really is in contrast to what the Left tries to make it as being. There is no quick fix for poverty and there has been nothing as successful as a free spirit of entrepreneurial capitalism in relieving this human misery. That lesson of history and what it means seems to be very difficult to grasp for many on the Left. It seems that praying for “faith and understanding” is about all mere mortals can do.

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The canard of “unfettered capitalism”

John Hayward takes off on Pope Francis and the morality of capitalism. It is a good clarification of just what capitalism is against the propaganda campaign trying to paint it as what it is not.

“State control over private industry is a dominant fact of life around the world.  There are very few places that come anywhere near the capitalist ideal of a limited government equally enforcing the property rights of all.  That is the necessary – indeed, indispensable – role of government for any true capitalist.  Theft and fraud have no place in a free market, because they are infringements against economic liberty, as well as disrupting the efficient allocation of resources.  Capitalism is all about voluntary commerce.  The victims of thieves and swindlers do not act of their own volition.

Government power is also an offense against economic liberty, when exercised for purposes beyond securing the equal rights of all.”

“The Pope charges autonomous marketplaces with creating a “new tyranny,” but tyranny is an exercise of compulsive power. It is not subtle, or invisible. ”

“The opposite of tyranny is freedom. Capitalism is the practical and constructive expression of freedom. Free markets, secured by just and limited government, are the best way to reduce poverty, and generate the wealth necessary to afford charitable assistance to those who cannot make a good living.  It’s not just practically superior, it is morally superior. How can proper respect be shown to any man or woman without respecting their rights to own property, sell their labor, engage in voluntary transactions for mutual benefit, and provide for their families?  ”Thou shalt not steal” is a commandment that should not be suspended for those who claim they have big plans to improve society with their plunder.”

A capitalist economy depends upon businesses that provide service to both their investors and to their customers. This service ethic should be well aligned with the service ideology of the church.

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Pope Francis is from Argentina

Mark Perry describes a Smackdown: Pope Francis vs. Greg Mankiw. It seems the Pope is a bit ignorant in economic matters. Some suggest this might be due to his life in Argentina as the corrupt government’s attempts to control who has what and how much the money is worth has been a matter of legend.

Manikiw hits the fact that it is free-market capitalism that has been the great driver of economic growth as well as a driver of a more moral society. He notes that “trickle down” is a perjorative used by those on the left. His weakest point is about the fact that it is capitalist societies that provide tax exempt status for churches.

“3. As far as I know, the pope did not address the tax-exempt status of the church. I would be eager to hear his views on that issue. Maybe he thinks the tax benefits the church receives do some good when they trickle down.”

The real key to that is that it is the capitalist societies that set the church in a privileged position. What should concern the Pope is how that privilege is being corrupted by those whose claims marginalize the traditional church, and the Catholic church in particular. One only has to look at the lawsuits involving abortion or or gay ‘rights’ to see this.

There are apologias for the Pope. Gene. M. Van Son describes his understanding of What the Pope Really Said as an example.

“Pope Francis’ views on economics and capitalism have likely been influenced by a life spent in Argentina — a country with an annual inflation rate of over 10%, where the poor live in slums and the rich live in gated communities, and where Liberation Theology came of age. But it’s also evident that he is only saying our current economic system needs to be fixed, not tossed in the garbage. And it’s not just our economic system that needs fixing.”

That does not excuse the leftist perjoratives and it only underlines the point that the Pope’s comments are misdirected. Matthew 7.3 comes to mind: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

It might be more appropriate to fix the ills in Argentina, Venezuela, and the many other places where poverty, real poverty, and human suffering is endemic. But no, the target seems to be the U.S. and western cultures. That means the target is one of convenience and not one of reality. That approach is one that only fosters and feeds the cancer the Pope is trying to address. Even Jesus addressed this in his famous parable about teaching people to fish rather than just feeding them. It seems to Pope is falling into that class that figures just feeding is enough as it is the economic systems he condemns that teach people how to find their own sustenance.

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What have the Republicans done (except obstruct?)

One of the excuses for Obamacare failure is that it is all the Republicans fault; they haven’t done anything except to obstruct and destroy. The IBD shows that reality is a bit different in Still More ObamaCare Lies.

“In late November, for example, Obama complained that “instead of rooting for failure, or refighting old battles, Republicans in Congress need to work with us to improve those things about the Affordable Care Act that aren’t working as well as they should.”

Obama’s attempt to escape responsibility for the failure of his signature domestic achievement isn’t surprising. But in this case, he’s falsifying the record.

The fact is that Republicans in the House have already done much to fix ObamaCare, and Obama himself has signed many of those bills into law.”

Another attempt to promote the ACA is the assertion that it is slowing health spending. This is a rather typical ‘causation versus correlation’ error.

“This, too, is false. Yes, the rate of growth in national health spending has slowed in recent years. It was just 3.9% in 2009, 2010 and 2011. And employer premium growth had been on the downtrend.

But these have nothing to do with ObamaCare. The latest report from the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — the official scorekeeper of health spending — says the spending growth slowdown is “unrelated to the (Affordable Care Act).”

It also reports that ObamaCare will add to national spending over the next decade. Other reports have pinned much of the slowdown on the recession and Obama’s lousy recovery that followed it. Plus, ObamaCare is now pushing premiums up.”

The very simple idea is that you can’t have more for less. Adding both bureaucracy and requirements to ‘insurance’ policies is not a creation of wealth but rather a burden of obligation. The costs will out either in the increased premiums being seen, the decreases elsewhere in insurance coverage as in the raising of deductibles, or in government debt as in Medicare.

The lack of intellectual integrity is catching up on those who have tried to sell their socialism cures in these matters. Let us hope it is not too late.

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