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Economy

Leon H. Wolf on both major parties growing government and budgets

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Leon H Wolf on both major parties growing government and budgets

Leon H. Wolf, managing editor at The Blaze, is a big fan of limited government. Unfortunately most Republicans and all Democrats on Capitol Hill tend to favor expanding government. It’s no wonder Wolf is opposed to the way leaders in the two major parties are attempting to fund government.

In a recent article, he went after the parties and the whole process being initiated with the new year. One line in particular is worth highlighting:

“It should be noted that almost no one in either branch of government on either side is attempting to actually reduce the size of the government or its budget.”

Source: The Blaze

Republicans and Democrats open 2018 by arguing over how much to grow the size of government

http://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/01/01/republicans-and-democrats-open-2018-by-arguing-over-how-much-to-grow-the-size-of-governmentAs the holiday season comes to a close, Republicans and Democrats are opening the new year by resuming debate over a measure to fund the government through the end of 2018. The two sides failed to reach a compromise before the end of the year on such thorny issues as protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and funding for a wall on the southern border. But in addition to these sticking points, the two sides also appear to disagree over exactly how much the government should grow.

According to Reuters, the White House is pushing for massive increases in military spending along with a 7 percent increase in overall non-discretionary non-military spending, while Democrats are holding out for an 11 or 12 percent increase in non-discretionary spending.

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Economy

Note to Nashville: Privatization is good, except when it’s idiotic

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Note to Nashville Privatization is good except when its idiotic

This will be the first and hopefully the last time I speak out against a government plan to privatize anything. But as much as I like a blanket approach to taking control away from government in the vast majority of situations, the plan to privatize public parking in Nashville is so loaded with problems, it shouldn’t move forward.

I first heard the details of the plan when I read about the rare occurrence of a Democratic mayor wanting to privatize an element of city government. Generally, Democrats push for more control over their territories, not less, which is why I was hoping to find an instance where the realities of limited-government federalism and capitalistic privatization was seeping into the psyche of a Democratic leader. What I found was appalling: a desperate mayor, David Briley, throwing anything he could against the fiscal walls in hopes of making it stick. His city faces a woeful budget shortfall, something that should not be happening in a city as vibrant and growing as Nashville.

But, they need money immediately to make up the shortfall before the end of the fiscal year and this seems to be their last resort following an atrocious set of attempts to sell off public land to make up the cash difference. The attempt was so botched, the city council passed a resolution preventing such an attempt from being used in the future to cover operating expenses. But now, they’re ready to push the parking privatization scheme through with a rubber stamp and hopes nobody will look closely at the details.

The latter is unlikely, as many are already speaking out. Mayoral candidate Carol M. Swain urged the city to halt the plans, clearly pointing out it’s a very bad deal:

Nashville must oppose Mayor David Briley’s public parking privatization plan

We the People of Davidson County and surrounding areas will be adversely impacted if Mayor Briley, who is up for re-election, can push through this deal that would entail a 30-year commitment.

No agreement of this magnitude should be for more than any one term of the mayor’s office.

Once they have the contract, there is nothing to prevent the bid-winning private company from also raising rates until they match rates common to larger cities such as Chicago and New York City.

As Swain noted, this is a 30-year deal that essentially turns a public revenue source into a for-profit scheme that will sacrifice the people’s control for decades in exchange for saving a single year’s budget. The loss of future revenues and control aren’t the only things at stake, though. The deal will include increases across the board for citizens of Nashville, including:

  • A rise in the number of parking spots designated as paid that will essentially double them over four years
  • Increased cost per hour by 25 cents
  • More than doubling fines from $11 to $25
  • Decreasing free parking times by four hours per weekday
  • Removing free parking on weekends
  • Removing free parking for green vehicles

The mayor is pushing the deal as a way to innovate and catch up with the rest of the nation, citing technological improvements. But any such improvements could be made by the city, as could the changes to the times, costs, and fines, so his points are moot. The reality is this: They need cash now and they don’t have any other schemes that can work this quickly.

There’s a solution to all this: cut budgets. Fiscal responsibility should not be obfuscated by get-cash-quick schemes that will harm Nashville’s citizens. Make cuts. Increase revenues long term. Make Nashville as business-friendly as possible. These are the ways that work in America. Corrupt land deals and desperate privatization schemes always hurt in the long run. This time, they’re hurting Nashville in the short term as well.

Nashville’s parking plan is the equivalent of taking an important part of many citizens’ daily lives and pawning it off to pay the city’s bills. They’re giving up 30 years of control to save a single year’s budget.

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Economy

The 1751 machine that made everything

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The 1751 machine that made everything

A short video on how technological innovation born of economic liberty has changed the world.

History is more than dates, places and battles. In many instances it’s technological advances that change the world for the betterment of all mankind. In this case it’s the story of French inventor Jacques de Vaucanson and his creation in France of the first all metal slide rest lathe, the forerunner to all modern machine tools in 1751.

Lathes had been around for centuries, but lacked the precision with hand held cutting tools. The slide rest of the Vaucanson metal lathe that provided the control to produce metal part of exacting dimensions. The lathe is said to be able to produce every other machine and machine tool. This advancement changed everything.

The producer of the video references a profound chart of World Population GCP and per Capita GCP 1 –2008 AD from data of the late Angus Maddison, similar to this produced by the  Visual Capitalist, we credit them for the chart and commentary:
Image Credit: Visual Capitalist

 

For thousands of years, economic progress was largely linear and linked to population growth. Without machines or technological innovations, one person could only produce so much with their time and resources.

More recently, innovations in technology and energy allowed the “hockey stick” effect to come into play.

The video was produced by Machine Thinking last year.

While some may quibble about which particular machine produced this miracle The larger point is that the machines of the industrial age profoundly changed what people could produce.

As the video noted the average person in 1600 was no better off economically than someone thousands of years earlier. This is what is called the Malthusian trap and for seven thousand years, it was inescapable no matter what we did.

Machine tools such as this changed all of that, one person could produce what had taken many. This surplus could outpace births, allowing the economy to grow at an incredible pace as seen in the chart. All from the genius of the mind undergirded by the Economic liberty of the free-enterprise system. This is why this is vastly superior to the societal slavery of socialism.

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Economy

Colion Noir: Exposing the under the table business of homelessness in San Francisco

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Colion Noir Exposing the under the table business of homelessness in San Francisco

Anyone who has walked the streets of San Francisco in the last few years was likely shocked. Unless they came from Seattle or a similar city in which homelessness and drug abuse are rampant on the downtown streets, it was likely a wake up call to anyone seeing how big the problems have become.

For a city with such extreme wealth and both historically and thanks to the Silicon Valley boom, it can be perplexing to witness how little is done to help those who need it so desperately. As we noted before, for some reason San Francisco is so “woke” yet so blind at the same time.

This video by Colion Noir exposes the ugly truth about San Francisco, that no matter how much money is pumped in by tax payers, the hyper-leftist radical progressive government that runs the city is incapable of solving these problems. It’s noteworthy that some of the people Noir talked to called for less government, including one gentleman who believed anarchy was the only thing that can solve the problem completely.

Yes, the city that is known for imposing the largest amounts and most obtuse overreaches of government is the city that seems to be imploding despite an overabundance of tax dollars flowing in. If there is any better testament to the failures that would befall the entire country if socialism is ever implemented more than it already is today, I’m unaware of what city that could be.

San Francisco is a disaster, yet they continue to depend on progressive leadership to somehow fix what they’ve continuously broken for decades.

Not only is the cover up intentional, as Colion Noir concluded, but the system that keeps homelessness and drug abuse prevalent on the streets is intentional. Dealing with poverty for San Francisco’s bourgeoisie is a political industry.

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