Category Archives: Economics

A good time to ask once more: Who is better at economics, Leftists or my dogs?

And which group, Leftists or conservatives, truly has the best interests of the poor at heart?

Given that the tax bill is about to (hopefully) pass and the Left is in full pants-wetting mode over it, one might ask a couple questions about Leftists, and especially “Christian” Leftists:

  1. Are they qualified to opine on economic matters?
  2. Even if they were qualified to understand basic economic concepts, do they really want conservatives — and the poor! – to be successful?

I’ll answer the second question first: No.  They hate Trump and conservatives with the heat of a thousand suns and they have shown no reason to believe that they actually want to help the poor.  They could tell just by the stock market reaction just how successful this will be.   Just one example: Having a sale on taxes, so to speak, and letting corporations bring back literally trillions of dollars in profits at much lower tax rates means that we’ll reap billions in taxes that we never would have received otherwise, and that the money will be invested in the U.S.  That means lots of tax $$ and lots of jobs.  What’s not to like – unless you are an America-hating Leftist?

And if they really wanted to help poor blacks, for example, they’d  stop their open borders policies which allow illegals to take jobs and suppress the wages of remaining jobs.  They have had monopolies on education, politics, media and entertainment in inner cities for half a century and yet things keep getting worse for those residents.

A bunch of “Christian” Left drama queens got themselves arrested for an illegal protest and pretended it was because they were reading Bible verses about giving.  Right.  And the verses they read outed them for the frauds that they are, referencing, for example, how Jesus said to lay up treasures in Heaven by giving.  Yes, He said that, but no, He obviously didn’t mean that it involved petitioning Caesar to take from your neighbors by force to redistribute to others via counterproductive social programs.   He said to give your money.  Did I actually have to type that?!  Apparently so.  But wolves like Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis pretended that Jesus really wants us to look to their government god and that the bill is bring brought by a bunch of big meanies trying to hurt the poor.  Uh, yeah, because we make so much money off of jobless poor people or something.  (This is also a good time to remind them that conservatives give more time, money and even blood than Leftists.)

The Left knows they’ll lose power, influence and votes when the tax changes actually help the poor and middle class, so why would they want that?  And before you accuse me of being cynical, keep in mind that the people most likely to cite the Matthew 25 “least of these” passage out of context aggressively advocate for taxpayer-funded abortions to the child’s first breath.  Because compassion.  And giving.  And patriarchy.  And Molech.

And did you notice how Nancy Pelosi, Cokie Roberts and other political and media Leftists have helped cover up sexual predators for decades while insisting that conservatives were waging a war on women?  Why would anyone trust them on anything?

So the answer to the second question is a resounding no.  And to answer the first question: Also no.  Here’s one of my all-time favorite posts explaining why.


Note: The message here is more important than the title indicates.  I’ll eventually share how Leftists literally fail at basic economic concepts and how that has enormous implications for every aspect of society.

I am not making this up: My dog once submitted a college test in Economics and passed.

OK, there is a little more to the story.

When my youngest daughter home-schooled her last two years of high school, the dogs would hang out with her all day.  Once when she was in the middle of an online Economics test one of them jumped on the bed, landed on the keyboard and submitted the partially completed test.  And he passed!  Fortunately, the folks at the school were good sports about the high-tech version of “the dog really ate my homework” story and re-opened the system so the that real student could complete the test (she got her usual 99% or so).

But I offer that as a segue to remind people of an extremely important fact about basic economic principles, namely that those on the Left literally fail at them.  They aren’t just a little worse than Conservatives, they fail horribly and it drives their ideology.  The details are here, but note the results of a simple eight question economics test given to those across the political spectrum (and especially note how my dog fared):

Letter grade
Very Conservative 84% B
Libertarian 83% B
Conservative 79% C+
My dog 72% C
Moderate 54% F
Liberal 41% F
Progressive/very Liberal 34% F

Got that?  Progressives / very Liberal people only get a third of the questions right.  They could double their scores and still only get a D.  But the more conservative people are the better they do, with very Conservative people achieving a solid B.

Here’s an example of one of the questions:

Consider one of the economic propositions in the December 2008 poll: “Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable.” People were asked if they: 1) strongly agree; 2) somewhat agree; 3) somewhat disagree; 4) strongly disagree; 5) are not sure.

Basic economics acknowledges that whatever redeeming features a restriction may have, it increases the cost of production and exchange, making goods and services less affordable. There may be exceptions to the general case, but they would be atypical.

In this case, percentage of conservatives answering incorrectly was 22.3%, very conservatives 17.6% and libertarians 15.7%. But the percentage of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly was 67.6% and liberals 60.1%. The pattern was not an anomaly.

To recap that example, 2/3 of Leftists don’t know that restrictions — regardless of their merit — always increase costs.  How can they possibly make wise economic decisions?

Do not let the handsome canine below cause you to miss the key takeaways:

  • Understanding these basic economics concepts is crucial to leading properly. Therefore, Leftists should not be in charge of government.  Or economics.  Or much of anything else.  If you can’t get the basic building blocks of society right then all you will do is create more problems.
  • As the good folks at Freaknomics will tell you, Economics isn’t just about seemingly arcane financial metrics.  It is about behavior and incentives.  If you don’t understand how the basics of human nature work then your worldview is doomed to poor decision making.
  • The Law of Unintended Consequences will bite you far worse than my dog ever would (Italian Greyhounds are amazingly friendly) but the truth is that most consequences of Leftist policies are easy to anticipate.  The “War on Poverty” is a perfect example.  It wasn’t just a colossal flop, it was a completely predictable colossal flop.  It has deeply harmed tens of millions of people. We need to undo it as quickly as possible.  Leftists don’t realize or ignore that you get more of whatever you subsidize.  They subsidized single motherhood and got lots more of it, with the inescapable crime and poverty that comes with it.
  • This issue carries over to religion as well.  It is no surprise that Leftist Christian groups do much more harm than good.  False teachers don’t understand economics any better than they do the Bible.
  • All schools should host Junior Achievement classes.  These are proven to increase graduation rates and they teach critical life skills about budgeting, economics and more.  I taught them for 12 years and was continually impressed with their program.  You don’t need a PhD in Economics to understand the most important concepts.  Give me 30 minutes with a bunch of 7th graders and I will have them more fluent in basic economic principles like supply and demand than Congressional Democrats are.  And that isn’t an exaggeration.

 

The way people understand basic economic principles has an enormous influence on how well they will govern.  You should vote accordingly.  And if you love God and neighbor you won’t ignore how He wired the world.

——–

Economist Dog (TM), the hero of this story, could not be reached for comment.  He was on a conference call discussing how the demand for dog food is completely inelastic.   Also, he died last year.  We miss this special little guy!  He and his mate (pictured below) brought us countless blessings and good times and we thank God for that.

bluetooth dog

He also understood intellectual property rights and helped us earn a few $$ when this picture was used on a t-shirt sold by a large retailer.  But mostly he just chased squirrels and then sat on my lap and slept.  Backup Dog (TM) was equally loved but not quite as active.dogs

She was as cerebral as she looks here.
Back Camera

 

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Wise giving

This article explains the extra tax benefits of donating stocks that have gone up in value rather than selling them first and then donating: Give Like a Smarty.

That is a wise way to give. But you can make it simpler and better by opening a Vanguard Charitable fund, where you donate directly to a fund in which you basically have complete control over the donations that come out. Schwab, etc. have similar programs.  I’m just a big Vanguard fan because of their extremely low management expenses.

You can review whatever stocks or mutual funds you have and make transfers from the investments with the highest % gains to maximize your tax benefits.  Why pay capital gains taxes and then donate?

The online tools make it easy to have checks sent directly from your fund to your designated charities.  If you keep a minimum balance there are no fees.

Leave a comment if you have questions about this.  It may sound complicated at first but once it is set up it is easy to administer.

Free and valuable advice to any business: Stay out of the culture wars and don’t give into Leftist bullies

And yet another foolish business gets involved in the culture wars and supports Planned Parenthood. This time it was Chili’s — though I heard they stopped the promotion (after the damage was already done).  I left this note at their site:

Hi — I’ve always enjoyed Chili’s but now every time I see one I will think of how you support the largest child-killers in the country, and perhaps the world: Planned Parenthood. They kill children, sell their body parts, protect rapists & sex traffickers, lie about doing prenatal care, and so much more. You used bad judgment.

I realize you can’t boycott everything or you’d starve, but I do avoid business that are more in-your-face with their radical Leftism, such as Target (Motto: “We hate you Christians because you are intolerant bigots who know the difference between men and women, so please spend lots of money here!”).

Another company, which I won’t mention because I don’t want to give them free advertising, thought it would be smart to brag about their support for Planned Parenthood.  They sell cosmetics to women and assumed that the post-#womensmarch #abortionmarch timing would be great.  But it turns out that many loyal customers, including Mrs. Eternity Matters, said, “Buh-bye!”  Most of their Facebook comments were negative, and the business got caught having employees pretending to be customers and offering positive support.  They tried to backtrack and say that they’d planned to rotate the giving to other organizations in the future, but the original post made no mention of that.  And as they doubled-down with one defensive comment after another the opportunity for grace was gone.

The cost of losing customers for life is enormous.  My advice to any Board of Directors and senior management is to never give in to the LGBTQX, Planned Parenthood or other Leftist bullies.  Remember PP’s scorched earth campaign against Komen – a breast cancer charity! – when they tried to part ways. Do not pick up those snakes.  Just tell them you stay out of the culture wars and move on. They may threaten you, but don’t give in.  If your competitors give in and you don’t then you may reap the benefits!

Sojourners’ demonstrates “Christian” Left’s ignorance of basic economic principles

a

Leftists literally fail at basic economics*, and it has far-reaching negative consequences for society.  For today’s example, look at that Tweet by Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis’ Sojourners group.  They call making money from prisons, education and sick people an abomination.

I assume they are referring to for-profit prisons (which, of course, need proper oversight), those who make student loans and insurance companies.  Everyone needs a good scapegoat — it is right out of Leviticus 16! — and those evil people providing goods and services that no one is forced to buy (uh, except for the last one via Obamacare) sure make good enemies for the “Christian” Left.

But look at what they miss: Using their logic, prison guards, wardens, etc. are abominations for making their living off of prisons.

All teachers, principals, etc. are abominations for making their living off of students.

Doctors, nurses, hospitals, etc. are abominations for making their living from providing health care.

Their childish, naive, foolish argument proves far more than they wanted, and they probably don’t even realize it.

Gee, how many people will want to spend $500,000 for 8 hard years of school and then work long hours to give these Leftists free medical care?

And those precious teachers’ unions, which take turns with politicians in giving each other your money, may not be too excited about working for free.

And I’m sure you can run secure prisons by forcing people to build and operate them for free.

And isn’t abomination a rather strong word? Seems kinda judgmental of the tolerant, loving Left.

All that said, I’m glad that the author’s son had his opioid problem cured, though from the picture it looks like he was addicted to jelly beans.

Run, don’t walk, from the intellectually bankrupt economic lessons of the “Christian” Left.  They understand the free market as well as they do the Bible.


*My dog did better on an economics test than Leftists.  Seriously.  Sort of.

Leftist double-fail on economics

It is bad enough that most Leftists literally fail at basic economics, but to make it worse they deliberately implement counterproductive policies even on the rare occasions when they do understand a simple economic concept.  Via Leaked Podesta Emails Show Clinton and Co. Knew But Didn’t Care That They Would Hurt the Economy:

The head of the liberal Center for American Progress privately warned Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff against endorsing a $15-an-hour minimum wage, saying that it would be bad for the economy.Despite that, both the Clinton campaign and the center have since promoted state and local activists’ efforts to push a $15 rate, and Clinton has even said she would sign $15 federal legislation.

Go read it all.  It gets worse.

So the Leftist leaders promote causes to benefit themselves knowing that it will hurt those they claim to care about.  Because love and tolerance or something.

This is just like Obama dismissing capital gains tax cuts because they didn’t appear to be “fair,” even though they are known to increase tax revenues.  Even John Kennedy, that notorious right-wing extremist, understood simple concepts like that.

To recap:

  1. Tests show that Leftists literally fail at understanding basic economic concepts, and it drives their terrible policies.
  2. Even when the proverbial blind squirrel finds a nut and the politicians do understand a simple economic concept, they legislate against it because they know that their followers are economically ignorant (hello, government schools!) and they’d rather have votes than actually help the people they claim to care about.

Leftists increase the misery of those they claim to want to help

Never confuse productive Biblical giving with wasteful, counterproductive “Christian” Leftist confiscation and redistribution.

I could go on at length about how the Left — including the “Christian” Left —  actually hurt people financially when trying to help them*, but even if their impact was financially neutral they do them a great disservice by fueling their natural covetousness.  Some do this out of ignorance and others out of selfish cynicism — i.e., those who promote minimum wage laws to gain votes even though they know the laws will reduce jobs and benefits.

Their constituents have material blessings that dwarf what royalty had a century or two ago. But they can’t enjoy them, because their Leftist overlords keep them in perpetual bitterness and ungratefulness!  Telling people that they are entitled to what others have nearly eliminates the possibility of them feeling any gratitude.  That is a miserable way to go through life, and the predictable outcome is seen in generation after generation.

The Kenya church and hospital that we support and have visited many times offers a great contrast.  They don’t just throw food at the poor, they teach life skills to aids orphans that let them be independent and to help themselves and others.  And the poor didn’t get EBT cards to spend on junk or sell for cash, they got real food.

We got to witness a monthly food distribution for those who care for children in the AIDS orphan program. These ladies were incredible. They literally sang and danced with such joy after receiving a 30-40 lb. bag of grain, then they put it on their backs to carry it several miles back to their homes. What incredible gratitude!

And this all ignores the indescribable carnage of the Left’s pro-abortion extremism. The Leftists actually rationalize that it is better that you be crushed and dismembered in the womb than that you might live a life of relative poverty.


*Leftists literally fail at basic economics.  My dog did better on an economics test than Leftists.  Seriously.  Sort of.

Communism and Socialism are super-awesome! Just ask the “Christian” Left!

The “Christian” Left insists that Jesus taught Socialism and that Communism would be great if we would just try it again and get it “right.”  And they get every important thing wrong about Christianity, so they are due to be right about something.

But whatever you do, don’t visit the Socialist paradise of Venezuela.  It might burst your bubble.

venezuela

And definitely don’t read the Gulag Archipelago, which showed how great Communism is — that is, as soon as you jail, torture or kill everyone who opposes you.  Or might oppose you in the future.  Or knows someone who opposed you.  Or who is a random innocent person needed as a sacrifice to keep everyone in fear.  Or who fought for you in the war and got captured.  Or who visited a foreign country and saw how much better Capitalism is than Communism.