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April 15, 2012

Quick Quote: Noah Webster on getting the government we deserve

"When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, "just men who will rule in the fear of God." The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws."

— Noah Webster, History of the United States (1832)

Comment: I see this as the continuation of a theme found in George Washington's farewell address.  The reason we have a government that has strayed so far from the Constitution is that the voters have not demanded constitutional fidelity. 

People tend to vote their values whether they realize it or not.  The kind of leaders we tolerate says as much about our values as it does those of the leaders themselves.

I will expand on this further in a future post.

March 29, 2012

How San Francisco’s $10.24 minimum wage hurts the people it allegedly helps

NBC Bay Area, March 29 brings us another example of the tyranny of good intentions:
Signs posted at Subway sandwich shops sadly inform San Francisco patrons -- we hear Willie Brown is a big fan -- that "all SUBWAY Restaurants in SF County DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN Subway National $5.00 Promotions," according to the newspaper.

[…] Apparently, the city's new minimum wage, raised to $10.24 as of Jan. 1, make $5 footlongs an impossible business model.
Apparently the economic concept is too difficult for the compassionate left to grasp: Raising the minimum wage also raises the cost of items sold at businesses that employ minimum-wage workers.  As these workers go out and spend their raise, the extra income is consumed by the price increases, and the employees are not much better off than they were before. 

When employers are allowed to pay wages at a level where each employee’s labor is a net economic benefit to the business, prices remain stable (absent other upward pressures on costs, such as government regulations or taxes).

The best way for a low-wage employee to better his life is to make himself more valuable to his employer through merit, or to get some training and find a better job.  When he does that, and the employer has the freedom to pay the employee what his labor is worth, everybody wins.

March 15, 2012

How to know if we really believe in the right to free speech

Mark Steyn, in a recent speech given in Australia:
Anyone can be in favour of free speech for Barney the Dinosaur and the Wiggles, but if you’re not in favour of free speech you find offensive and repellent and loathsome, you’re not in favour of free speech at all. And you’re on the side of creeping totalitarianism.
Ironically, a generation ago it was the left that claimed the need to remind conservatives of this truth.

February 8, 2012

Great news: 50% think it’s wrong for Obama to force religious organizations to violate their conscience

Bad news: ONLY 50% think it’s wrong for Obama to force religious organizations to violate their conscience.  Rasmussen, February 8:
Half of voters do not agree with the Obama administration’s action forcing Catholic institutions to pay for birth control measures that they morally oppose. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the government should require a church or religious organization to provide contraceptives for women even if it violates their deeply held beliefs. Fifty percent (50%) disagree and oppose such a requirement that runs contrary to strong beliefs, while 10% more are undecided.