A (Socialist) Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing–Part 2

In my previous article on “Social Justice”, I began to expose the “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.” I am referring to noble sounding, but ill-conceived, government initiatives that insidiously displace individual rights and freedoms with collectivist goals. This can be expected as evidenced by the fact the insignia for the Fabian Socialists is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Certainly, everyone wants “justice”. Our Pledge of Allegiance ends with the words “with liberty and justice for all.” However, the mischief begins when the word “SOCIAL” is inserted in front of the word “JUSTICE”.

America was founded on the concept of liberty and justice for each and every individual, and our declaration begins with the premise that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Although we are created equal, there are no guarantees of equal economic outcomes under our free enterprise form of economy and government.  Find a country where everyone is economically “equal”, and I’ll show you a government where nobody has any freedom.

The Social Justice movement works from the basic premise that global free-market capitalism is “unsustainable” and is the source of all evil because it does not lead to equal outcomes.

I know what you’re thinking–“whoa commissioner, you had me until then…  but it sounds a little over the top to me.”  You want evidence.

Okay, let’s start with the various definitions of social justice that seek a form of egalitarianism, i.e. equal, outcomes for all.

Next, we have Mr. Obama’s promise to fundamentally transform America.  Transform into what?

Have you ever seen the Common Core Transformative Matrix?  Of course, you should be asking the question… transform our students from what into what? Well, it looks somewhat like a four leaf clover. The topmost leaf has the destination.

Want to know what it says? I’ll give you some hints. It doesn’t say “God”. It doesn’t say “The Constitution.” It doesn’t say, “America.”

It says “Global Citizen.”

So what’s a Global Citizen? It is a euphemism for ‘godless government-state citizen’ that places the collective above liberty, above free-enterprise, and above God.  It targets vulnerable children who do not yet subscribe to the principles of individual liberty and unalienable God-given rights.

Don’t laugh. It’s happening as we speak. I know as a fact that an exercise called the “Privilege Walk” is being taught throughout our colleges, and within local public schools. Students are lined-up side by side and asked a series of 25 race-baiting and subtle but anti-Judeo/Christian questions that go something like this:

If you are a white male, take one step forward.

If schools are closed during holidays that align with your religion, step forward.

If you are a minority, take a step backward.

If your parents do not have a college degree, take a step backward.

In the rotting carcass of failed progressive-left federal education doctrine, class envy, anti-white bias, and anti-achievement exercises are presented as a means of promoting Social Justice. In reality, the Privilege walk is little more than a classic anti-white male, anti-capitalist exercise, designed to evoke negative emotions against those who have enjoyed individual success. As Obama said, “If you own a business, you didn’t build that.”  If you own a successful business, you should bend the knee and pay homage to the collective and your government.

It is classic Marxist class warfare… subtle but effective.

Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged, perfectly indicts this mentality: “The smallest minority on earth is the individual.  Those that deny individual rights cannot claim to be defender of minorities.”  Yet, that is exactly what the Social justice movement does.  It strips individuals of self-identity and treats them as members of a victim-class. This is called “Identity Politics.”

If you’re lucky enough to belong to a group that is in political vogue with politicians, you may reap government benefits, or even a college admission.

If you belong to the wrong group, which usually consists of either Caucasian males, or business owners, you’re in trouble. Supporters of free-market capitalism are “unsustainable.”

So go ahead… take the Privilege Walk, and feel guilty.

 

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Nearly Two-Thirds Of Businesses Changing Coverage To Avoid New Obamacare Tax

A new survey finds that nearly two-thirds of businesses facing a new Obamacare tax will change their coverage to avoid it.

The survey, conducted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, finds that 62 percent of the nearly 600 companies polled have already taken action or plan to take action to avoid the so-called “Cadillac tax.”

The tax on higher premium plans is set to take effect in 2018 and impacts those plans costing businesses over $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. For every dollar spent over that threshold, employers will be hit with an excise tax at a punishing 40 percent rate.

Only 2.5 percent of businesses that would be affected by the tax plan to pay it.

Robert W. Wood, writing for Forbes, notes:

The theory of the [Affordable Care Act] is that health insurance should be the great leveler. The [law] included the Cadillac tax as a tool to cut health care costs. It puts direct and forceful pressure on employers to offer less-generous health insurance plans.

Some of the steps businesses are taking to avoid the Cadillac tax include shifting to higher deductible plans (which has been a common trend under Obamacare generally), reducing benefits, or dropping the higher cost plans altogether.

One-quarter of the respondents opting for higher deductible plans are coupling the move with establishing tax-free Health Savings Accounts for their employees, while an additional 14 percent are considering do so.

The Cadillac tax is unpopular with many Democrats, labor unions, and Republicans alike. House Democrats introduced a bill last month to repeal it.

Regarding Obamacare overall, three-in-five respondents reported the law has had a negative impact on their organization; and among those who reported that their perception about the law has changed since its enactment, three quarters said it has become more negative.

Image Credit: International Foundation of Employment Benefits

Image Credit: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Businesses identified administrative (55.7 percent) and disclosure, reporting, and notification costs (37.5 percent) as their top cost drivers in complying with the law.

As businesses look towards the future, they report the greatest cost associated with Obamacare will hit next year with the “employer mandate.” The mandate requires all businesses employing 50 or more full-time employees to provide government-approved coverage to their employees or pay a penalty.

Image Credit: International Foundation of Employment Benefits

Image Credit: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

The good news for employees is, despite the lower cost in paying the penalty and sending their employees to the Obamacare exchange, over 98 percent of businesses that provide health care coverage for their full-time workers intend to keep doing so.

The top reasons businesses listed for providing coverage included attracting future talent (79 percent), retaining current talent (75 percent), and maintaining/increasing employee satisfaction (53 percent).

h/t: The Hill

Do you think Obamacare is hurting businesses? Please comment below. 

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Greedy Scoundrels LOVE Reckless Irresponsibility—But Not Grown-Ups Like Huckabee

I watched the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Report on Fox News tear into Mike Huckabee last week as “Democrat light” based on his economic populism and was appalled at the attitude of the newspaper’s editorial board. (Predictably, he got the same treatment from CBS for different reasons.)

Perhaps the newspaper’s own economic success has warped its view of how the world really works.

Mike Huckabee is a grownup. Scott Walker is a grownup. So are Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina.

The coming election is going to be about putting the grownups back in charge of our government. (If it isn’t, we have a bigger problem.)

In 2008 and 2012, irrespective of his politics, we put a person in charge who never built or ran anything. All Barack Obama did was hire David Axelrod to build his campaign team, and Axelrod delivered. And Obama was—to a majority of American voters—the perfect affirmative action hire.

The fallout from the last two elections is why this next election will be about putting grownups back in charge.

One thing that the folks sitting at the Wall Street Journal do not truly understand is that not everything that people at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and a host of other large corporations and banks dream up is either right–or even legal.

That, you can be legitimately pissed off at Wall Street without being a liberal.

That, as Robert Duvall’s character in The Godfather, Tom Hagen, said, “One lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns …”

Mike Huckabee understands that.

He couldn’t have been as successful working for the very same people who own the Wall Street Journal as he was without recognizing that.

Huckabee said: “I’m running for president because there’s a huge disconnect between Washington and the Real World. There’s a difference between making a speech and making government accountable to the people who pay for it.”

“We can never create prosperity for working people, grow our economy, and restore America as the greatest country on earth if we punish productivity and subsidize reckless irresponsibility.”

 You know what scares Wall Street about Huckabee?

Those words “subsidize reckless irresponsibility”. That’s because you can become very rich by being recklessly irresponsible. Example? You and I bailed out the AIG insurance company. Do you know why and where the money ultimately went?

The why is that AIG created unique insurance policies that protected the buyers of securities based on bad mortgage loans. Only, unlike your car insurer, they didn’t have any reserves to cover those policies if the mortgages went bad. As to where the money went, the people who bought those policies which were made up to cover bad mortgages that they created were—you guessed it—the list of companies I named in the beginning of this column (and a few more old and new Wall Street names).

You and I bailed these clowns out. We were fed a line of hogwash at the time that there would have been a meltdown of the economy if we didn’t bail them out. And the economy melted down anyway.

So how did these greedy rascals pay us back for bailing them out?

They got rich by using the “free” market to screw a lot of us.

If being against that is economic populism, if being against that makes you a liberal, than sign me up.

I’m a big believer in a free market also being an honest and fair market. Those are words that most Wall Street Masters of the Universe laugh at. Fairness and honesty are for suckers who live in Peoria, Illinois.

Huckabee doesn’t think so.

So, when I listen to an otherwise sane Kim Strassel blather on about how Huckabee’s “economic populism” could hurt the Republicans, then I have this to say: If it does hurt the GOP, they deserve it.

After two terms of Doogie Howser Obama, I’ll take grownups like Huckabee any day of the week.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Canada Becomes First Country To Require For Every New Regulation, One Of Equal Burden Being Removed

Canada has taken action to tackle the hidden taxes imposed on its economy  by regulations. The Red Tape Reduction Act (C-21) requires that for every new regulation introduced by the Canadian federal government, one of equal burden must be removed from the books.

C-21 is the first law of its kind in the world, according to the Financial Post. C-21 has been in effect as policy in Canada for several years, but now it has been officially codified. The law operates essentially as a cap on the cost of regulations on the economy and the Canadian people.

The latest estimate from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business suggests that regulation costs $37 billion a year. Local small business owners suggest that 30 percent could be taken from that burden ($11 billion), without any impact on human health, safety, or the environment.

The Canadian province of British Columbia has cut its regulatory burden by 40 percent over the last decade, with no one arguing the cuts have made a negative impact, according to the Financial Post.

Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pictured above) has labeled red-tape “the silent killer of jobs.” For businesses, an unnecessary regulatory burden seems to take away time and resources that could be used to create new products or improve existing ones or to better serve their customers. For consumers, regulations appear to mean higher costs and less competition.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the cost of federal regulations alone to the United States economy was over $2 trillion in 2012. Eighty-eight percent of businesses surveyed identified federal regulations as their top challenge.

One of Ronald Reagan’s first acts as President of the United States was to sign an executive order requiring all federal agencies to conduct a cost/benefit analysis for all proposed regulations and in reviewing existing ones.

The reduction of the regulatory burden during Reagan’s tenure in office is one of the major factors in igniting the greatest economic expansion in United States history.

It would appear the Canadians are taking a play from Reagan’s playbook.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

With All The Fuss Over Minimum Wage, This Seattle Biz Just Did Something ‘Freaking’ Revolutionary

Images Credit: The New York Times

Seattle, it seems, has become the new epicenter in the highly charged debate over the minimum wage and whether government-mandated pay increases are ultimately good for the workforce, for business, and for the free market.

As Western Journalism reported in mid-March, a number of businesses in Seattle — especially small restaurants — are facing severe financial hardship and even closure as a result of the city council’s approval of a $15-per-hour minimum wage that goes into effect over the next several years.

The pay hike imposed on businesses by the council’s progressive majority is having the proverbial unintended consequences, as minimum-wage employees talk of benefit losses that have accompanied the wage gains.

A cleaning woman who works in a hotel near the airport was asked by a reporter what she thought of the new law:

“It sounds good, but it’s not good.”
“Why?” I asked.
“I lost my 401k, health insurance, paid holiday, and vacation,” she responded. “No more free food,” she added.

The hotel used to feed her. Now, she has to bring her own food. Also, no overtime, she said. She used to work extra hours and received overtime pay.

Now, The New York Times reports on a Seattle-based business whose new, self-imposed minimum wage policy is beyond stunning and may well mean that this business will be inundated with employment applications.

Just this week, Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Payments — a credit-card payment processing firm he started in 2004 — announced to his staff that the new minimum wage at his small business would be $70,000 a year.

“…Mr. Price surprised his 120-person staff by announcing that he planned over the next three years to raise the salary of even the lowest-paid clerk, customer service representative and salesman to a minimum of $70,000.”

That works out to approximately $33 per hour, more than double what the city’s government-mandated minimum wage will be when it has climbed to the peak.

“Is anyone else freaking out right now?” Mr. Price asked after the clapping and whooping died down into a few moments of stunned silence. “I’m kind of freaking out.”

The difference, of course, between what the Seattle city government ordered by law and what private business owner Dan Price instituted by choice goes to the heart of any rational examination of the minimum wage and its impact.

As the Times article notes, the move by Gravity touches upon another hot-button issue, in addition to minimum wage. “Mr. Price’s…unusual proposal does speak to an economic issue that has captured national attention: The disparity between the soaring pay of chief executives and that of their employees.”

The Gravity boss says he will pay for the staggering wage hikes for his employees in a way that would no doubt please populist politicians advocating “economic justice” and redistribution of wealth.

“…by cutting his own salary from nearly $1 million to $70,000 and using 75 to 80 percent of the company’s anticipated $2.2 million in profit this year.”

It will be interesting to see how Dan Price’s high-flying wage structure fares as unanticipated market forces inevitably affect his company’s fortunes.

The long-term question, certainly, is whether those forces of Gravity will bring Price’s lofty plans crashing back to Earth.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom