Odd Citizen

Odd Citizen
An Odd Citizen’s Search For Vanishing Freedoms

China: The Coming Apocalypse

September 29th, 2011

We’re hearing a lot of nonsense lately about how China’s economy is the envy of the world. Certain lefties in government and academia have been gushing about China’s construction boom, its railways, its airports, etc. But the real story of China is that it’s a house of cards, or a ticking time bomb. The banking system is as corrupt as the government, and the people seem to have no sense of responsibility or civility at all. The industry pollutes, sells counterfeit products, and tainted medicines. The workforce is slave labor. This is an apocalypse waiting to happen.

If you don’t believe it, you must review the link below, which describes China’s “ghost cities.” These are large cities being built with bank loans, but nobody occupies these cities. See: Chinese Ghost Cities from Business Insider.

The bottom line is that China is an immense lie.

And when China collapses we’re in for an ugly, wild ride since so much of our manufacturing business has been moved to China.

Jobs: a Silly Goal

September 12th, 2011

Once upon a time the Eastern-born city manager of a Western city decided that his citizens needed a better breakfast diet. He declared that the city’s goal should be to create more steaks and more eggs. To implement his program he went out into the countryside and implored ranchers to produce more steaks and poultry farmers to produce more eggs. He said he’d do whatever was necessary to help them produce steaks and eggs. But the program didn’t work. And here’s why.

The ranchers told the city manager that they don’t produce steaks. They raise cattle, and among the benefits of cattle raising are steaks. No cattle raised, no steaks produced. And similarly, the poultry farmers explained that they don’t raise eggs, they raise chickens. Unless the city manager could help them raise more chickens his citizens wouldn’t get more eggs.

All the current palaver about “producing” jobs is nonsense. Jobs are produced by a growing economy, by companies making money and expanding. The government can’t do anything at all to “produce” jobs. What it can and should do is whatever it takes to help businesses thrive, make profits and grow. And that’s largely a matter of reducing the size and scope of government, itself. Reduce taxes on business. Reduce the massive blanket of regulations and mandates that smother businesses. Support a sound currency. Get out of the way and let Americans work they way they know how to.

Arguments are being made that the problem is a lack of demand and a lack of employment. Consumers don’t want to spend because they don’t have jobs. Or business won’t hire because there’s too little demand. But both of these are false arguments. What do you think would happen if some businesses found a way to offer gasoline for $1.00 per gallon, or even $2.00? Would there be demand for that? Of course there would. And the business that offered this bargain would have to hire lots of new workers and a lot of supporting businesses would also spring up. So why has the government put most of the continental and offshore oil and gas exploration areas off limits? Why does the government make hundreds of new rules that slow down and gum up the works of creating new businesses?

Jobs are created by business growth. So if you want jobs you have to be a cheerleader for business success. If you’re in government, you should step aside and let the ambitions and skills of America’s entrepreneurs and investors loose. They’ll do the job.

Federal Boots on Neck of Gibson Guitar Co.

September 10th, 2011

This story is actually a couple of weeks old. In the midst of swirling insanity characterized by President Obama’s “jobs” speech, the FBI’s evidence tampering in the Gun Walker scandal, the gyrating stock market, chaos in the middle east, and other matters — in the midst of all this the Gibson Guitar raid by armed federal agents to enforce foreign laws sticks out.

From what I’ve read the raid originates in an obscure snippet of legislation inserted into an unrelated bill by environmental nut cases. It essentially treats wood as if it were a radioactive substance, requiring tracking and registration of wood that any country considers special. In the Gibson case the wood is from India. Indian law requires the wood to be finished by Indian labor. U.S. Government claims the wood did not meet this requirement, so it sent 20 armed agents into Gibson’s plants and headquarters to confiscate the wood and evidence of wrong-doing. Gibson’s CEO says the company hasn’t been charged with any crime or infraction.

As an aside, the government apparently told Gibson that they could avoid all this hassle if they simply moved their operations overseas!

The most disturbing thing about this episode is the increasing use of massive, military-style armed force by government agencies in raids of this kind. One could expect this kind of government hobnail boot assault in totalitarian countries, but not here in America.

Censorship

September 8th, 2011

Today’s news reports that a French court has found a (strange) fashion designer, formerly employed by Dior fashion house, guilty of speech that insulted Jews and others. However vile the speech, however vile the speaker, making speech a crime is even more vile. And this type of censorship/criminalization of speech has infected what were previously thought to be democratic, free societies including much of Europe and even Canada. Here in the U.S. it hasn’t come to that yet, with the exception of some “hate crime” laws that criminalize thoughts, which is a related subject.

As vigilance is the price of liberty, we must guard against creeping censorship in its many forms, including self-censorship via political correctness. We are a better and more civilized people who ignore speech we detest rather than bringing down the boot of the state on the neck of the speaker.

What Debate?

September 8th, 2011

Last night’s Republican “debate” like most previous political debates amounted to little more than some candidates dodging spitballs from a couple of “reporters” intent on producing a “gotcha” moment. This is a format that extracts nothing of substance from the participants. It leaves the spectators with a choice based on appearance and body language.

Maybe that’s as deep an impression as most potential voters can absorb. But I think a majority of Americans are smarter than that. They would appreciate having a way to evaluate the candidates’ character and thinking about matters that concern them. This lowest common denominator debate format doesn’t produce anything useful.

Obama’s Banking System Wrecking Ball

September 3rd, 2011

Let’s see:

a) Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, were created and coddled by Barnie Frank and Chris Dodd. These government backed entities pioneered the idea of sub-prime loans and volunteered to buy packages of those loans from private banks. They didn’t do any due diligence and accepted any-old-package of crap the banks put together. It was,after all, to benefit the poor and huddled masses, the working people, the minorities … after all. Why could that be anything but good.

b) The U.S. taxpayers have so far spent $350 Billion to bail out Fannie and Freddie. Any suggestion that these corrupt piles of crap should be liquidated has been quashed by the Dems in congress.

c) So now the FHFA, the federal agency that was supposed to ensure the soundness and propriety of Fannie and Freddie has turned around and sued the banks. Hey guys, what were you doing when the problem piled up in the first place?

Well, it’s clear that this is an attempt by the Obama administration to place the blame for the housing fiasco entirely on the private sector. And if it destroys the banking system that’s OK with the socialist left. It’s time for the government to take over the banking system according to that financial wizard, Dem representative, Maxine Waters, anyway.

The Obama wrecking ball just keeps on swinging.