body~politic

~~~~~~~~~> Does DEBT  become SERFDOM ?

Tweet me @ColonialSerf, and let me know, and I'll share the answers HERE!!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Calvin Coolidge and the Moral Case for Economy

Hillsdale College - Imprimis Issue: WITH THE FEDERAL DEBT spiraling out of control, many Americans sense an urgent need to find a political leader who is able to say “no” to spending. Yet they fear that finding such a leader is impossible. Conservatives long for another Ronald Reagan. But is Reagan the right model? He was of course a tax cutter, reducing the top marginal rate from 70 to 28 percent. But his tax cuts—which vindicated supply-side economics by vastly increasing federal revenue—were bought partly through a bargain with Democrats who were eager to spend that revenue. Reagan was no budget cutter—indeed, the federal budget rose by over a third during his administration.

An alternative model for conservatives is Calvin Coolidge. President from 1923 to 1929, Coolidge sustained a budget surplus and left office with a smaller budget than the one he inherited. Over the same period, America experienced a proliferation of jobs, a dramatic increase in the standard of living, higher wages, and three to four percent annual economic growth. And the key to this was Coolidge’s penchant for saying “no.” If Reagan was the Great Communicator, Coolidge was the Great Refrainer.

Hillsdale College - Imprimis Issue



 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Communism Killed 94M in 20th Century, Feels Need to Kill Again - Hit & Run : Reason.com

Communism Killed 94M in 20th Century, Feels Need to Kill Again - Hit & Run : Reason.com: According to a disturbingly pleasant graphic from Information is Beautiful entitled simply 20th Century Death, communism was the leading ideological cause of death between 1900 and 2000. The 94 million that perished in China, the Soviet Union, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Eastern Europe easily (and tragically) trump the 28 million that died under fascist regimes during the same period.

Competitiveness in the United States: The America that works | The Economist

Competitiveness in the United States: The America that works | The Economist: “THE greatest nation on earth—the greatest nation on earth—cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. We can’t do it,” fulminated Barack Obama last month. The crisis of the moment, the “sequester” (a package of budget cuts designed to be so ghastly that Congress would pass a better version), duly came into effect on March 1st. Unless Congress agrees on an extension to its budget, the government will start to shut down on March 28th. In May the greatest nation will hit its debt ceiling; unless it is raised, Uncle Sam will soon start defaulting on his bills.

RealClearMarkets - Look Who's Spending: It's Rich People--Of Course

RealClearMarkets - Look Who's Spending: It's Rich People--Of Course: Rich people are likely picking up much of the slack in consumer spending, with the rest of the burden taken up by those working in a "shadow economy" of under-the-table cash payments, according to some economists.

U.S. Border Patrol Sees 70-Percent Spike in Assaults | NBC 7 San Diego

U.S. Border Patrol Sees 70-Percent Spike in Assaults | NBC 7 San Diego: Activity and assaults against federal agents patrolling the U.S. Mexico border have increased. Now, one field agent tells NBC 7 San Diego that agents from other parts of the country are being called in to help patrol.

Jerry Conlin with U.S. Border Patrol said the agency saw a 70 percent increase in assaults against U.S. Border Patrol agents last year over the previous year.

“In 2011 we actually recorded 77 assaults against our agents,” Conlin said. “Last year we had 133."

The National Right to Work Committee® | State Right to Work Laws Good For Counties’ ‘Health’

The National Right to Work Committee® | State Right to Work Laws Good For Counties’ ‘Health’: An AP report out this morning (see the first link below) sounded the alarm about the fact that, for the first time ever, more than one in three counties across the U.S. are experiencing more deaths than births. As the report pointed out, one key reason why many counties are, as the headline used for most newspaper and Internet versions of the story provocatively puts it, “dying off” is “weakened local economies that are spurring young adults to seek jobs and build families elsewhere.”

Markets need to cool off a bit- MSN Money

Markets need to cool off a bit- MSN Money: It was the beginning of the Internet and the ascendance of the personal computer and a bizarrely positive period in the evolution of the drug industry when a ton of what turned out to be blockbusters were approved. We had gridlock and we also had a budget deficit that was being pared radically and we had the peace dividend. We were between international crises. The Mexican bond market had collapsed two years before. The Asian contagion, the Russian Ruble Wreck and Long Term Capital hadn't happened yet.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Holy Smoke: Catholic Cardinals Choose New Pope

Holy Smoke: Catholic Cardinals Choose New Pope: 2:35 pm: Over at MSNBC, Chris Matthews is railing against the Church for, well, he seems upset at the idea that the new Pope might be Catholic.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Why Your Employer May Drop Your Health-Care Plan - Businessweek

Why Your Employer May Drop Your Health-Care Plan - No one can predict how many employers will drop health-care coverage in 2014, when the bulk of the Affordable Care Act takes effect. If workers can get affordable health plans on their own next year, though, many more companies may feel it’s safe to stop offering company health benefits in the years that follow.

Companies see 2014 as an experiment to watch. “What we’re hearing is larger businesses are going to stand back,” says Robert Hurley, senior vice president for sales and operations at online health insurance marketplace eHealth (EHTH). “Even the small businesses will wait and see.”

Fear of backlash from workers keeps many employers from dropping coverage, as Bloomberg reported in December. Tax deductions for health spending also encourage businesses to keep offering benefits. Still, while few admit it publicly, many American companies would love get out of the health insurance business. For employers, providing health insurance is expensive and the cost increases are unpredictable. Their competitors in most other wealthy nations don’t have to bear the same costs: That’s usually the government’s job.

Prognosticators have long predicted that Obamacare would drive companies from the group health-care market en masse. The argument never made sense on its face. Companies aren’t required to offer health care now. Many do anyway to attract workers. Why would they drop it precisely as penalties for not offering coverage kick in?

One reason is that even companies that provide health benefits can face fines under the law if their plans cost workers too much or don’t provide sufficient coverage. Employers in that situation might drop out rather than buy more expensive policies that meet the law’s standards.

A Deloitte study last year suggested 10 percent of employers would stop offering group health plans. A widely criticized McKinsey report from 2011 put the number as high as one-third. The Congressional Budget Office’s latest projections suggest 8 million fewer people will be covered by employer plans five years from now under the ACA than without it. Many of them will get policies through health insurance exchanges instead. (On balance, CBO projects that the law will expand coverage to 27 million of the 58 million people who don’t have health insurance today.)

Companies that drop coverage and let workers fend for themselves risk alienating staff. Small businesses in particular, eHealth’s Hurley says, often feel a moral obligation to provide health care. That equation might shift, though, if the ACA’s reforms help individuals find affordable policies on their own. (That’s a big if.) Employers could turn what they pay for health premiums now into cash compensation instead—a predictable cost they would be able to control. (Companies that pair high-deductible health plans with contributions to workers’ health savings accounts have already taken a step in this direction.)

Don’t expect too many businesses to make that move in 2014. But if the ones that do aren’t seen as sending workers into the wilderness, more will surely follow.



Lawmaker looks to rein in program after free cell phones sent to dead people | Fox News

Lawmaker looks to rein in program after free cell phones sent to dead people | Fox News: Dead people don’t need cell phones.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Jonathon M. Trugman: Dow rally is disconnected from economy - NYPOST.com

Jonathon M. Trugman: Dow rally is disconnected from economy - NYPOST.com: The Dow is back, long live the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But what about us?

What about the 7 million who lost their jobs since the equity index last visited the 14,000 level? Or the 20 million additional Americans who are on food stamps since October 2009? Are they not the economy, too?

A Dangerous ‘New Normal’ in College Debt - NYTimes.com

A Dangerous ‘New Normal’ in College Debt - NYTimes.com: We are reaching a crisis point in this country’s higher education system.

Articles: Brussels: European Capital or Islamic Center?

Articles: Brussels: European Capital or Islamic Center?: The heavily Muslim-populated districts of Brussels have become troubled areas, experiencing a considerable increase in crime, including about 250 gang-rapes a year since 2007.

Record 89,304,000 Americans 'Not in Labor Force' -- 296,000 Fewer Employed Since January | CNS News

Record 89,304,000 Americans 'Not in Labor Force' -- 296,000 Fewer Employed Since January | CNS News



The number of Americans designated as "not in the labor force" in
February was 89,304,000, a record high, up from 89,008,000 in January, according to
the Department of Labor. This means that the number of Americans not in
the labor force increased 296,000 between January and February.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) labels people who are unemployed
and no longer looking for work as “not in the labor force,” including
people who have retired on schedule, taken early retirement, or simply
given up looking for work.



The increase marks the second month in a row, after rising in January
from 88.8 million in December.  Those not in the labor force had
declined in December from 88.9 million in November.

The
nation's unemployment rate decreased to 7.7 percent in February, down
from 7.9 percent in January.  Overall unemployment “has shown little
movement, on net, since September 2012,” the Labor Department said.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 in February, according to the report.

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