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Archive | December, 2011

Salsman: Newt Gingrich Reveals The Deep Rot Within the GOP

Why Do Takers Obama and Gingrich Attack Creators Like Romney? – Forbes

[...] Finally, take the case of Newt Gingrich, who despite posing earlier as the sober GOP candidate who’d run a positive campaign and wouldn’t trash his GOP rivals, this week chose to trash one of them: Mitt Romney, the only genuine wealth-maker among the entire GOP bunch. For context, note that when Gingrich first won a House seat in 1978 he was making a mere $10,000 a year; he went on to win nine more terms, the last couple as Speaker of the House (1995-1999). In 1994, the year before he became Speaker, Gingrich reported annual income of $675,000 a year – or many multiples of his official salary. In 1999 Gingrich was forced to resign from the GOP-controlled House and as Speaker, after being disciplined for wrongdoing (with a lop-sided vote of 395-28) and paying a $300,000 fine; it was the first time in U.S. history a Speaker was disciplined for ethical wrongdoing.

By the time Gingrich left as Speaker in 1999 – as a so-called public servant – his net worth had grown to astounding $7.5 million. What possible market value did Gingrich produce to attain such net worth while occupying political office?

[...] Mitt Romney, in contrast, has been a genuine creator-maker of wealth who
earned his millions honestly and productively, first as a management
consultant and then as a venture capitalist. 

[...] That Gingrich would equate his record of taking with Romney’s record of
making is truly despicable. This is a career-long taker of wealth
viciously and shamelessly assaulting a career-long maker of wealth, to
the glee and applause of GOP conservatives, Barack Obama and the liberal
media alike. This is Newt Gingrich the demagogue, assaulting Mitt
Romney the epitome of a good, productive capitalist. Indeed, this is the
same smear campaign run against Mitt Romney by Ted Kennedy in 1994.

Newt Gingrich is a corrupt, unprincipled power-luster who’ll say
anything and take any position necessary to attain high office
, and if
he can’t do that, he seeks to take wealth by selling his access to
political offices.

Nothing reveals more the deep rot within the GOP itself than the fact
that its conservatives-evangelicals so despise wealth-makers like Mitt
Romney and so sympathize with wealth-takers like Ted Kennedy, Barack
Obama and Newt Gingrich.

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Examiner: Occupy protesters should be demanding economic freedom

Occupy protesters should be demanding economic freedom | The Examiner | Op Eds | Washington Examiner

Leading the most-free states in this year’s report are Delaware and Texas, while West Virginia and New Mexico are the least free. Protesters might argue that these benefits have been accumulated by relatively few — the 1 percent — while leaving the majority of Americans behind.

Let’s look into this conjecture using data from the Economic Policy Institute, which compares the share of income of the highest earners to that of middle and lower income earners in the mid-2000s. These data do not demonstrate that more economic freedom has been the source of inequities in the distribution of income. In fact, if we compare the 10 most economically free states between 1981 and 2005 with the 10 least free states, the opposite is the case. The ratio of average family income of the richest fifth compared with the poorest fifth is 6.9 in the most free states compared with 7.1 in the least free states.

The gap between the richest and poorest is actually larger for the least free states. Based on these numbers, it is difficult to argue that the free market has led to worse outcomes for the majority of Americans. More government spending and higher taxation will not alleviate the plight of struggling workers.

Protesters seeking to improve opportunities for all Americans should be protesting on Capitol Hill, demanding Congress to give Americans back the freedom to pursue their own economic well-being through cooperative economic activities that lead to prosperity for all.

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Salsman on the Flip Flopping GOP

GOP Conservatives – Not Romney – Are The Real Flip-Floppers – Forbes:

The only GOP presidential candidate demonstrating steady poll numbers and consistently superior debate performance is Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. National polls show he’s the only GOP rival with a real chance of defeating President Obama next fall. He’s also a worthy rival, with the character, convictions, policies and experience needed to lead America.

Yet most GOP conservatives, especially the more religious ones, despise Mr. Romney and actively oppose him – and thus bolster Obama’s re-election chances. These are the same conservatives who gave us John McCain in 2008 and before that George W. Bush, the “compassionate conservative” who ballooned the size and scope of government more than any predecessor since WWII.

Despite President Obama’s horrendous policies and governing record, he nevertheless has a pretty good chance of winning re-election in November 2012, not only because the U.S. economy may be showing some improvement by then, compared to this year, and not only because he will have killed more Al Qaeda leaders than did Mr. Bush, but because the GOP isn’t sufficiently rallying behind the only worthy candidate: Governor Romney. Never underestimate the GOP’s willingness to shoot itself in the foot electorally.

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Salsman: Capitalism Isn’t Corporatism or Cronyism

Another great one by Richard Salsman:

Capitalism is the greatest socio-economic system in human history, because it’s so moral and so productive – the two features so essential to human survival and flourishing. It’s moral because it enshrines and fosters rationality and self-interest – “enlightened greed,” if you will – the two key virtues we all must consciously adopt and practice if we’re to pursue and attain life and love, health and wealth, adventure and inspiration. It produces not only material-economic abundance but the aesthetic values seen in the arts and entertainment.

But what is capitalism, exactly? How do we know it when we see it or have it – or when we haven’t, or don’t?

[...]

Capitalism has been blamed for the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and
for the financial crisis and bailouts of 2008, but it’s not “capitalism”
but the mixed economy and corporatism-cronyism that did it. We’ve had
corporatism in the U.S. for roughly the past century, and it’s getting
worse over time; it’s also the system we’ve seen in Europe since at
least the time of Germany’s Otto von Bismarck, who launched the
womb-to-tomb welfare state in the 1870s. In the interim, of course,
Europe also imposed communism, socialism and fascism. The result, we
know, was mass murder, world war, and the continent-wide destruction of
wealth.

Capitalism’s greatest intellectual champion, Ayn Rand (1905-1982),
once defined it as “a social system based on the recognition of
individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is
privately owned.” This recognition of genuine rights (not “rights” to
force others to get us what we wish) is all-crucial and it has a
distinctive moral foundation, according to Rand:


The
recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical
force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only
by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate
the use of physical force against others. The only function of the
government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man’s rights,
i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government
acts as the agent of man’s right of self-defense, and may use force only
in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the
government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under
objective control.” “The moral justification of capitalism does not lie
in the altruist claim that it represents the best way to achieve “the
common good.” It is true that capitalism does—if that catch-phrase has
any meaning—but this is merely a secondary consequence. The moral
justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system
consonant with man’s rational nature, that it protects man’s survival
qua man, and that its ruling principle is: justice.

Elaborating, Rand explained in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
(1966) that historically, politically, economically, and morally,
capitalism was the superior socio-economic system, yet also how, for
decades, its achievements and virtues had been hidden and buried
deliberately in an avalanche of prejudice, distortion, and falsehood.
Rand argued that capitalism is a moral ideal yet also was made real, and
to the greatest extent, in America in the 19th century,
especially during the Gilded Age (1865-1890). Thus she called the U.S.
“the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the
only moral country in the history of the world.”

Read the rest of Capitalism Isn’t Corporatism or Cronyism over at Forbes.

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