#1 — Pat Buchanan’s campaign brouhaha. Ok, now Pat was once a great guy with some great ideas. But let’s get over him. He’s proven time and time again that he’s a disaster on all economic issues, or at least the ones he concentrates on. He is a protectionist and in favor of massive, trade-destroying tariffs. He’s also pro-tax (offering, since he wants to be revenue-neutral, roughly nothing), pro-indoctrination (supporting federal education subsidies, tax-paid vouchers, and government schools), virulently anti-foreigner (because of his hatred of foreign trade), and pro-government in general (though his government would be run in favor of trade unions and other interests he favors, in the "Leviathan According to Pat").
Well, rub the inside of his ears with jelly, and roll him in an anthill! Pat just can’t understand some of the most basic needs of the American people, starting with ridding ourselves of a clinging, hapless government that is like a parasitic leech sucking the blood from the most productive elements in society.
Pat is right when he deplores such egregious notions as Nafta and WTO (though not for the right reasons), but fails miserably in explaining the high prices at the gas pump as being “the work of a global price-rigging conspiracy, by oil-exporting nations, to hold oil off the market, to force prices to the sky, to loot America….this being the dark side of globalization….the hidden price of interdependence.” Pat needs to look to the environmentalists and his own government, and the tax-regulatory-and-anti-energy conspiracy that lies therein. It can’t be OPEC, as egregious as that organization is, since it has also presided over low prices.
Even Pat’s foreign policy is not as good as it sounds. He would intervene all over the world to force other countries to buy US rustbelt products, though he says he would “only” go to war when the US’s "vital interests" or "honor" is threatened. Honor? Talk about something missing in DC!
How we define vital interests is as open to interpretation as the Constitution in the hands of the Supreme Court. That leads us to the burning question of whether we become an Empire in the tradition of the old, evil British Empire, or just a part-time Empire, meaning we conduct foreign turf wars and overthrow foreign governments at times when deemed necessary. A scary thought that Pat would consider the latter an option.
New World Order-hating and Clinton-biting — and delightfully so — Pat combines some elements of wonderful, old-style right-wing populism with a Teamster-truckin’, UAW-lovin’, Republicrat-style recipe for economic disaster. If I could vote for half of Pat, I would do so enthusiastically.
#2 — Health-care benefits for homosexual partners. Following in the glorious steps of Walt Disney, the Big 3 automakers — General Motors, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler (Chrysler Division) — have recently announced that they too will confer this graciousness upon homosexual couples in an attempt to market themselves as "diversity-friendly" in a tight labor market. Starting Aug. 1, employees can apply for medical, dental, and prescription benefits for their same-sex domestic partners.
Of course, this policy clearly excludes unmarried, opposite-sex partners. As one knows, heterosexual “partners,” as a group, are not a force for social change, nor do they represent an “oppressed” marginal group that deserves special attention from the corporate compromisers.
Homosexual rights groups call this a landmark decision, because a major industry has come together to recognize the beauty of diverse living. I say it’s sheer capitulation to a rancorous societal pressure group that purports to represent a larger share of the population than it actually does. Ford vice-president of human resources David Murphy is quoted as saying, "Look, we are a diverse company and we do recognize not only race and gender but sexual orientation."
How is it that gayness has become such a defining characteristic along the same lines as gender and race, when it is clearly an individual preference of a certain lifestyle as vs. other lifestyles?
Whether it’s genetic or not is a highly-debated scientific matter, and doesn’t change the basic equation that individuals should not be given special rights due to sexual preferences.
#3 — Microsoft consumers celebrating the rape of Microsoft. So much has been said about the economics of the state’s assault on Microsoft, that not much more can be said that wouldn’t be highly redundant. Instead, a more personal view, pertaining to people and their reaction to this case, is in order. A typical comment heard out and about among Microsoft consumers is, "Good, now we can actually have a choice." In other words, thanks to Reno & Co. and their dissection of a market genius, we now have the big, comfy government umbrella of protection deflecting the capitalist acid rain off our heads.
Statements of jubilation about the triumph over a supposed “monopolistic creature,” and the ensuing celebration by some of the ignorant masses over the government’s breakup of the world’s leading technology firm is pure consumer class envy toward an entrepreneur who changed the face of technology, and is therefore worth billions. Let’s face it — Bill Gates is bloody rich. That in itself is a crime to much of the brainwashed middle class.
And to add to that, Microsoft is big enough that it tends to scare off the tiny consumer who feels adrift in a floodwater market full of economies-of-scale, mergers and acquisitions, and other large-scale but practical corporate strategies. Therefore, this becomes reason enough for the cheering throngs to egg on the government in its entrepreneurial assault and anti-capitalist mentality.
This regulatory rape and pillage of the brilliant Gates & Company — and free enterprise in general — has won over too many “average Joes” who purport to understand advanced economics and the anti-trust agendas of government mandarins because they watch ABC News with Peter Jennings and subscribe to Time Magazine. Instead of fighting to sustain free choice in the marketplace, many of these individuals have chosen to hop on board the DC train of regulatory paranoia that took off from the DOJ station, and parks itself on the tracks of middle-America class-envy fears. Yet these same John Q. Publics live and thrive at the very hand of Microsoft and its interjection of efficiency and productivity into our work and home lives. They reap the benefits in terms of lower costs, reams of marketing information, product efficiency, and scores of product supply. Now if only the consumers would wake up to this fact.
It’s time for people to educate themselves on this matter, not at the hands of Peter Jennings, ABC, or the host of liberally-slanted weekly rags, but by their own efforts at independent research on the web, and through smaller free-thinking publications such as the Ludwig von Mises Institute’s Free Market.
#4 — Societal disorders and road rage paranoia. If any good citizen of this country has not yet been diagnosed with a given disorder, than something’s suspiciously normal with that person. Of course “normal” is an Un-pc word, so one has to stay away from defining exactly what normal is, but I think being disorderless is a good start to normalcy.
On TV (that noisy big box that I turn on once every 4 weeks) a couple of years ago, there was a special (48 Hours on CBS) about “Kids That Kill.” They focused on that little redhead that became famous for molesting and brutally murdering a three-year-old child in the early 90s. He was only 11 at the time. Some state-paid, liberal, do-gooder, psychobabbling, pseudo-intellectual, psychologist-type dimwit diagnosed this killer as having a “special” disorder. It’s called (are you ready for this?) “intermittent explosive disorder.” That was the first time I ever heard of this “killer disease.” I wonder if that applies to me the next time I stub my toe on my cocktail table and break my other toe violently kicking it back in revenge via a stream of unbefitting swear words, or if it only applies to nice people that otherwise kill because they got too angry too quickly.
But there are also a myriad of other disorders that are used to excuse bad behavior and lack of discipline. Of course, there is the common public school disorder, know as ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), which is an excuse for normal, childhood behaviors that deserve a good spanking. Then there is Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, plus Conduct Disorder, which I assume pertains to a lack of good conduct.
How about the stories of road rage (or highway aggressiveness tendency)? “Road rage” is now an official word in the New Oxford Dictionary of English. A cultural phenomena in America, it’s been a daily dose for a few years now, and I’ve heard a few disorders come out of that arena, though I can’t possibly remember which ones those are. The University of Hawaii at Honolulu teaches a course in “Driving Psychology.” Maryland has an “Aggressive Driver” program that targets those who tailgate, change lanes in an unsafe manner, flash lights to clear the lane in front of them, and exhibit other aggressive behaviors. This is state-subsidized, of course.
People just don’t seem to understand that all this horse hockey is just symbolism over substance. People behave badly, whether it’s due to some perfectly-acronymic “syndrome” termed by psychobabblers on fat government grants, or whether it’s just an unhappy SUV owner behind a little old lady in a Ford Fiesta in the left lane of an Interstate.
So let’s just stop funding the disorder and road rage benefactor crowd under the umbrella of providing another “public good that the world can’t do without.” We can do without a public good that’s millions of dollars of wasted taxpayer monies spent on silly research with the silly results of telling us common sense driving techniques such as “don’t flash Grandma the middle finger and run her off the road just because she’s doing 15 mph in the left lane and can’t see over the steering wheel.” Just pass Grandma on the right, please, and be done with it.
Karen De Coster is a politically incorrect CPA, and an MA student in economics at Walsh College in Michigan.