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Economy

Nicolás Maduro, stop being obtuse

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Nicols Maduro stop being obtuse

By Friday, there will be 190 metric tons of aid ready at the border between Colombia and Venezuela ready to be delivered to a people who desperately need it. The only thing standing in the way is the ego and ineptitude of a failed leader who is more concerned about his own power than the lives of the people he supposedly serves.

Contested Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has set up a military blockade to prevent the aid from reaching the people. His reason: the aid is just an excuse for the United States to invade Venezuela. This is ridiculous, and the United States plans to get the aid to the people one way or another.

Mark Green, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is hoping Juan Guaido, who the United States recognizes as the leader of Venezuela, will be able to assert enough control over the situation to bypass or remove the blockade and allow the aid to reach the people.

“That really is up to Juan Guaido and his people and his team,” Green told Fox News. “We are working with them to try and pre-position that assistance and give them the tools to lead their people and provide hope.”

For the last couple of years, the collapse of Venezuela’s economy has been pointed to by fiscal conservatives in the United States as an example of how socialism fails, even for a country as well-off as oil-rich Venezuela once was. But we’re now well beyond calls to condemn socialism. It has obviously failed and it’s up to the international community to prevent a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in which masses of people could die.

Yes, the situation is rapidly deteriorating that badly.

Whether through Guaido or Maduro, this insane refusal to help the people must be averted immediately. It’s odd that starving Venezuelans must somehow bypass their own government’s idiotic pride in order to receive the aid that’s ready and waiting for them.

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How the United States goes about forcing the aid into the country is a delicate proposition. If they don’t want it, there’s nothing we can do to force them to take it. The question is, who is “them” in this equation? If the vast majority of the people would welcome the aid, as I suspect, then we must coordinate with the international community and Guaido to secure passage and distribution of the aid to where it’s needed the most.

Unfortunately, there’s not a ton of information hitting mainstream media about the situation on the other side of the border. Is it as bad as we think? If so, then something short of a U.S.-backed coup should be considered. We must continue to respect Venezuela’s sovereignty and just because we believe Guaido is the rightful leader doesn’t make it so. It’s up to the people of Venezuela to say they’re done with Maduro.

But if Maduro continues to control the military, it’s a moot point. There’s no recourse for the people or Guaido in the immediate future. They’ll have to continue to fight Maduro’s regime through information and revolt in order to sway the military to Guaido’s side. Outright civil war seems impossible at this point because Maduro’s forces are too strong. Waiting them out seems untenable as well because the people are dying today. They may not have time for a slow, steady revolution.

It comes down to someone convincing Maduro to stop being obtuse. We’re not invading Venezuela Aid that we would deliver is just as good if not better than what they can receive from Russia or other Maduro-friendly countries and it’s clearly more abundant; Maduro said Russia was sending 30 metric tons of aid “soon.”

Maduro has two choices: Maintain power and let his people die or give up power and help his people live. It’s insane that he seems to be leaning towards the former, but that’s the nature of despots.

 


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Economy

Progressive think tanks: If the economy holds strong, Trump should win in a landslide

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Progressive think tanks If the economy holds strong Trump should win in a landslide

Tribalism makes it challenging to gauge where the sentiment of the most important voting blocks stand. Hyper-leftists would vote for a broken refrigerator before voting for President Trump in 2020, while the MAGA crowd would stand in line with no food, water, or a bathroom for two days if that’s what would be required for them to vote for their man.

But these won’t be the people who determine the results of the 2020 election. They never are, even if their numbers are greater on both sides as noted by Ben Shapiro in his new book. The rabid Republicans and determined Democrats may ebb and flow in size, but it’s the people in the mushy middle who win elections.

Knowing this, it’s often difficult to determine what the sentiment is if we go solely based on the news. Just as with the dedicated tribes, so too are media outlets generally spun in how they present the news. This is why a story from today on left-leaning Politico prompted a read. It was worthwhile going through the leftist spin to reach the meat of the story, which basically says if conventional wisdom about incumbents and the economy hold up and the economy can remain strong through the election, President Trump should win in a landslide regardless of who the Democrats nominate.

Models from multiple think tanks conclude the conventional model favors the President, but these are unconventional times. It’s still very possible for the economy to remain strong and for the President to be hit with another onslaught of scandals, as he was in 2016. Then, there’s the “it” factor of the Democratic nominee. Someone like Senator Kamala Harris throws in the minority-female combination as an appealing wildcard in the mix. Meanwhile, Beto O’Rourke and Senator Bernie Sanders still have incredible fundraising infrastructures that could help them dominate the money battle through the primaries and during the general election.

Of course, there’s always the possibility the economy could fall. Analysts have been predicting it in a way that’s vulgar, as if they hope the economy falls and people are hurt by it just to make sure President Trump loses in 2020.

If Republicans can put on a full-court press on the economy, something they failed miserably at in the 2018 midterms, they may be able to ride the President’s wave to victories on Capitol Hill as well. November 2020 will sneak up very quickly.

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Democrats

TIL the famous bar AOC worked at shut down over rising costs, minimum wage increase

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TIL the famous bar AOC worked at shut down over rising costs minimum wage increase

Today I learned something that surprised me, not because of the event itself but because so few people have talked about it. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is known for being a leader of the socialist movement in Washington DC after rising from the humble status of bartender to the Congresswoman of the 14th district in New York. Her policies include a push for a “living wage” of $15 per hour. I’ve always thought the wording was odd considering Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and others have been calling for a rise in “minimum wage.” Today, I found out why she’s shying away from that phrase.

When New York City raised their minimum wage $15, many businesses were hit hard, especially in the hospitality industry. Restaurants and bars started cutting hours and often even closing their doors over the increase. One of those hit hard by the massive bump was The Coffee Shop. Owner Charles Milite blamed the closure on high costs, with the rise in minimum wage as the last straw.

“The rents are very high and now the minimum wage is going up and we have a huge number of employees,” he said.

The Coffee Shop is the bar where AOC once worked.

Keep in mind, this wasn’t some random bar. The Coffee Shop in Union Square was considered a high-end establishment, buzzing all the time with “A-list” patrons. It was featured many times in the HBO show Sex and the City and had built a reputation as an “it” spot for Manhattan residents and tourists alike. In other words, this wasn’t a hole in the wall hanging on by a string. It was a vibrant, successful business for almost three decades before New York City’s untenable leftist policies, including a $15 minimum wage, became more than the bar could bear.

On the surface, many voters may see the very basic math of “oh, Democrats want to pay me more” and assume there’s no repercussions for such actions. This is why Democrats prey on those people who currently make lower wages. They feel if they can promise them something that sounds good even if they know with 100% certainty based on empirical evidence that it will actually hurt them, these new socialists are willing to make that trade. They figure they can blame the conservatives later for why the place they were working at before cut their hours, removed their jobs, or shut down because of raising the minimum wage.

As usual, socialists rely on ignorance and emotion as the driving forces behind their plans. They’re not stupid. They know their ideas won’t work. But they’re willing to push them on people anyway in hopes that ignorance will keep them in power.

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Economy

Thomas Sowell makes a clear point about Medicare-for-All

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Thomas Sowell makes a clear point about Medicare-for-All

How was the left able to take heat away from their Medicare-for-All proposal, and more specifically the estimated $32 trillion price tag over a decade? They tripled down with the Green New Deal, which some estimate would cost upwards near $100 trillion.

So, the price tag of the Democrats’ desired replacement for utterly failing Obamacare is to take current government control over healthcare and put it on a regiment of steroids and methamphetamine. When you’re going through Hell, keep going, I suppose.

But all of this could be alleviated if voters and politicians took a moment to think about the prospects of Medicare-for-All logically. Let’s erase, for a moment, the Utopian notion that taxing rich people extreme amounts will give us enough money to make healthcare free for everyone while also improving the quality. That’s the goal, right? Cheaper, better healthcare is what most people want. Conservatives believe it’s best to pull government administration out of the equation and put it all on a competitive capitalist model that has worked for nearly every other industry for over a century. Hyper-leftists want to add more government control.

Conservative commentator Thomas Sowell has some thoughts on the matter. One in particular can be wrapped up into an eloquent quote that should be ideological checkmate allowing us to win the healthcare debate.

“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

Of course, our version of checkmate requires common sense, logic, and basic math skills. These attributes aren’t as readily present on the left, therefore they might hear this logic and still think single-payer makes sense.

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