Wait...what just happened?

By Grant Davies

This morning as I was reading the feed on my Face Book home page I came across a post written by Mark Malter, a guy who understands the number one rule in Henry Hazlitt's book Economics in One Lesson.* His short explanation of the economic impact of the recently announced deal by Donald Trump to "save 1,000 jobs in Indiana" was right on the Malter.

(The unedited post is re-published below for those who have a desire to learn what econ 101 never taught them.)

Others' observations about the claimed 1,000 jobs being saved that followed made many good points. As Dr. Walter Williams frequently says "let's look at it." Of course I'm a famous blogster so we will look at mine first.

My first observation/suggestion was that perhaps the country ought to lower the taxes for everyone, including Carrier (owned by UTX), as a way to stop companies from fleeing the USA.

As an aside, the media calls it "shipping jobs overseas" to confuse and manipulate the gullible. Which is what I just did by describing it as "fleeing the USA." Unfortunately for me, my readers are neither gullible or manipulable.

Next I reached for my tin foil hat and posited that it might not be a coincidence that this deal was in Indiana, home state of Mike Pence, the future VP and current Governor of the Hoosier State.

Subsequently my comment was that the whole point of the exercise was to buy votes from witless voters in Indiana with their own money. (Not like that's a very innovative idea.)

Another point I made was that this deal is straight from the Illinois playbook. So much for Indiana politicians being entirely different from "The Chicago Way" politicians. Did anyone ever believe that anyway? (Just to be clear, I didn't even though I just fled from that place to Indiana myself.)

My final comment was that Trump is taking credit (?) for a deal for which his influence was indirect. Pence made the deal, he is still governor of Indiana. Technically speaking, Trump has no power yet to make deals, particularly deals between states and the companies that do business in them. 

In reality, the fear of what he might do to UTX in regards to future defense contracts may have made the whole thing happen. That point was made by another commentator on the thread and was a valid speculation.

Finally, another poster said the idea that any of these deals could halt the trend of globalization was a delusion. I agree wholeheartedly.

However, the absolute best comment was on a different post elsewhere on Face Book. It was Julie Borowski who inspired me to make this meme with her short quip. 

So the answer to the question "Wait, what just happened? is that nothing has changed for the people who wanted change from Trump. The government is still buying votes from the gullible with their own money. And those buyers haven't even been sworn in yet, so if you are into selling your vote to them, hold out for an all cash deal with you as the payee.

"Trump didn't save 1,000 jobs today. He cost many more jobs than that amount. Besides the $7 million taxpayer bribe to a private company, by using the power of the government to force Carrier to remain in Indiana, their costs will be higher than if they had moved to Mexico (if not, why were they moving?). That means the price of air conditioners will rise, and every homeowner and business owner in America will now have less money to spend on other goods and services, which means marginally lower production elsewhere in the economy, and far more than 1,000 jobs either lost or not created. It's just that those jobs are spread out as only a few here and a few there, too invisible to make headlines." - Mark Malter 

*  "The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups." - Henry Hazlitt.

Nothing Says "Christmas at the White House" Like Chairman Mao

Originally published 12/22/09

What a difference a year makes! There is no accounting for taste, but this may rise to new levels of tastelessness:

2009 Mao ornament 
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Obama on Mt. Rushmore:
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White House ornament 2008 Image and video hosting by TinyPic

So, the Bush administration honors Teddy Roosevelt in 2008 with an ornament and the Obama administration honors Chairman Mao, and presumptuously puts Obama's face on Mt. Rushmore...

Obama's Nothingburger Eulogy of Fidel Castro

Why do people always say "it goes without saying", and then proceed to fill the air with words? What's worse, is to fill the air with meaningless words. Case in point: Barack Obama.

I'm sure Barack Obama would love to be remembered as an outstanding orator if not a statesman. I think he pays his speechwriters extra if they throw in some bit of unusual and flowery language that someone else might find profound, but mostly sounds stilted. But then, since he has said he's a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, there's reason to believe that this particular bit of nonsense may have been penned by the President himself!

"History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and the world around him."
Really? Really?? This may be profound in the "water is wet" school of oratory, but, please! This particular bit of nothingburger could have been written about virtually any national or world leader, good or bad, throughout history. You could say it about Churchill or Mussolini. You could say it about Pol Pot or the Pope. You could say it about Henry VIII or Idi Amin. You could say it about Hitler or Stalin. Or even Obama! Change the gender of the pronoun and you could say it about Maggie Thatcher, Mother Teresa and Joan of Arc!

"History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and the world around him" reaches new depths of shallow. Plug in any of the names above or supply your own, and tell me it isn't true.

I suspect the President has a copy of "How to Say As Little As Possible in As Many Words As Possible With a Straight Face or Condescending Look For Dummies."

Or maybe he wrote the book???

Saving the Environment, One Burning Tire at a Time

We are often treated to the myth of the Native American Noble Savage, living in peace and harmony with the environment. Yeah. Right!

I saw this story a couple weeks ago, but for some reason other things have been in the news lately. Exhibit "A" is that noble North Dakotan tribe, protesting an oil pipeline that would come in close proximity to native lands. Not on, close! To protest what they believe could be a potential threat to the environment, they create an actual threat to the environment!

Nothing says "I want to save the environment"" like burning old tires!

I know there's a "smoke signal" joke in there somewhere!