Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Conservative Candidate for 2012 - Mr. Issues, Part II

Continued from yesterday's post.

I’ll start with the economy.

Recent polls have shown that 1 of every 2 of us know someone who’s been out of work for a year or more. I personally know several friends who have been unemployed for much longer, have lost their homes and have been forced to move back in with relatives in mid-life. Clearly, we need to get our economy going again. However, despite the promises of a laser-like focus on jobs and the economy, this administration has concentrated instead on forcing unpopular programs on an unwilling country. But you knew that already.

The question is where to begin. Well, since we are a capitalist, center-right country, shouldn't we elect a capitalist, center-right president? Shirley, there must be someone willing to run that has some experience in the private sector, who understands how it operates, and how government has strangled it by imposing an unprecedented number of new rules and regulations upon it. The current administration has dismissed completely the role that the private sector plays in the economy. This gives me an opportunity to run my favorite cartoon by Michael Ramirez

For example, in the disguise of healthcare reform came a requirement for businesses to file a 1099 form for all vendor transactions over $600. Think about that for a moment. Most businesses deal in tens of thousands of dollars or more monthly. This single provision adds an unnecessary burden on these businesses already scouring their profit and loss sheets for every penny. One should ask why this was considered necessary at all.

However, that wasn’t all the damage contained in the ObamaCare bill. We have (or once had) a private-sector method to administer health care insurance. The ObamaCare bill was designed to destroy it. Granted, there were some flaws in the system that needed to be addressed, but what was needed could have been done with common sense reforms designed to remedy those flaws, such as tort reform to eliminate the added costs of frivolous lawsuits and to allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines, much like auto insurance companies. What was not needed was a complete takeover of the industry by Washington.

Even now, progressives in Congress are wildly claiming that repeal of this awful piece of legislation will result in the needless deaths of Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth. Political grandstanding such as this serves no purpose, other than to confuse voters so unscrupulous politicians can retain their power. Recall that throughout the too-short debate on the ObamaCare bill, health insurance companies and doctors were treated as some sort of out-of-control Frankenstein monster, terrorizing local villages, lopping off legs in some greedy rampage, when the truth is that those insurance companies operate at a five-per-cent profit margin and employ your neighbors and friends.

We need healthcare. We can administer it through the private sector, where Americans can perform a needed service to their fellow citizens, constantly on the lookout for better ways to do their jobs and make some money, or we can do it through government (and a union as an added bonus layer of lazy bureaucracy and inefficiency, strikes, etc.). Someone gets paid either way. The question then becomes which one is more efficient. If you’ve ever been to your local Department of Motor Vehicles, I think you know the answer. The last thing any of us want is that level of customer service when it comes to our medical needs. However, that's what progressives wanted, the destruction of the worlds best medical system, replaced with a socialized system that is well-known for needless deaths and long waits for essential procedures. Brilliant!

Having a capitalist president in the wheelhouse will enable us to use our free market economy in a way that benefits the public instead of draining it its resources. While there are things that only government can do, such as provide a standing military for national defense, there are plenty of opportunities for the private sector to step in to provide needed services at a reduced cost.

Mr. Issues will also begin to address the direction in which our economy can move to provide a richness of diversity in the job market.

It is indeed curious that considering how much the mantra of “diversity” has been bandied about in recent years, we’ve managed to reduce the number of job opportunities available to us. While there’s nothing wrong with a college degree, there are many Americans who draw a great deal of satisfaction in working with their hands. I count myself among them. Manufacturing provides good paying job opportunities for people of various skill levels, from fabrication, to machining, to quality control, to finishing, to shipping. Some of these positions require more education than others, but the point is that a college degree is not required for all of them. Apprenticeships are just as valuable, even moreso since the student gets paid to learn. What's not to like?

The passage of NAFTA was to herald a move towards a service economy. How has that worked out for us so far? Why was that move necessary to begin with? Somewhere along the way, we managed to move away from our manufacturing economy, where downturns were far less disruptive, to one based more upon disposable income, which is more volatile and prone to fluctuations. This is another area where a capitalist president could calm the waters, so to speak, not walk on them.

A president with real working experience would steer the country back towards a manufacturing based economy. We’ve seen the rapid rise of China’s economy, fueled by manufacturing. While there are some naysayers who complain that American workers command a too-high wage, we need look no further than Germany, who has maintained their level of worker pay while increasing their exports. They are currently leading Europe’s exit from the worldwide recession.

There is no reason why Americans shouldn’t be making American products. We have the world’s largest economy, we’re dumb not to take advantage of it. There was and is no excuse for other countries to flourish at our expense. Mr. Issues would also propose a national “right-to-work” law and allow the free market to do its stuff. In the Internet Age, it wouldn’t take long for folks to find out which company has the best compensation plans. Good companies would attract good employees as a matter of course. Bad companies would wither away, as they should, and have in the past, before It Was Decided that certain companies (populated with union workers) were Too Big To Fail.
To be continued tomorrow., same time, same place.

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