Archive for the ‘Americana’ Category

Reform School

Posted: September 2, 2011 in Americana, Capitalism, Communications, Economy, Freedom, Media, Oppression, Politics, Tyranny
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“Reform” is a common concept in government. My experience has been that whenever government reforms something, it will inevitably be worse. The nine-letter word “reforming” coincides with the nine-letter result: Imscrewed. Big government statists cannot resist increasing government size or power. That is one stark illustration of why the so-called “War on Drugs” has been a forty-year failure. Government and its political enablers have an addiction problem that is much more harmful for the nation than any individual’s reliance on an illicit substance. The only government program that has succeeded at any measurable level is the “War on Liberty” that was begun with little fanfare one century ago.

 

You may recall the “Tax Reform Act of 1986.” That overhaul was a result of an agreement between President Reagan and Speaker O’Neill. The President agreed to some tax increases in the “reform” bill in exchange for sizable spending cuts in subsequent budgets.  As usual the spending cuts never materialized and a radical transform of the tax code went forward. Prior to the 1986 tax bill interest expenses were deductible, but after passage, credit card and non-mortgage, non-business interest payments were no longer allowed as tax deductions. Personally, interest deductions are not important for me. I would rather eliminate the income tax altogether and eliminate the incessant tinkering and tweaking that costs taxpayers more money while Congress rewards its favored groups or companies.

 

So, as a brief summary of the prologue, reform generally represents more of the same though worse. As an example, please join me in a “quickie’ review of Ohio Sub. HB 194…of the 129th General Assembly.

This so-called election administrative reform bill is similar to many other bills under consideration by our legislative bodies. Its provisions resemble tentacles as they weave and wind around so many facets of Ohio election law, and yet….this purportedly comprehensive overhaul ignores a gorilla in the room…a gaping intentional oversight in violation of a court order. The aspect of ballot access for minor parties was never addressed, thus allowing the existing law to stand which had earlier been declared unfair by the court. Similar to Obamacare and so many legislative initiatives, Sub. HB 194 addresses several areas of concern that could result in some unanticipated problems because of the breadth of the bill.

 

The Ohio bill must have some merit because President Obama’s campaign is opposed to it because of its stricter provisions regarding voter identification…..could possibly limit cheating, and thus, is not Obama-friendly. The legislation covers a broad scale of issues affecting Ohio elections such as we “cannot assume that poll workers erred.” Proof must be submitted before allegations or assumptions are allowed. Clearly the Voter I.D. provision is the lightning rod of the bill as liberals, progressives, Marxists and cheaters are fearful that a photo I.D. would minimize their opportunities for stealing elections.

 

An omnibus bill that purports to reform a broad swath of law is inherently doomed. Unintended consequences will cling to the legislation like flies to road kill. Opponents will target one or more aspects of the legislation and may seek judicial intervention. Forecasting what some judges would do is similar to predicting when and where a first raindrop may land. Broad based initiatives allow the dedicated public servants to crow about their major accomplishments, and at the same time, condense the heavy lifting of formulating meaningful legislation. This in turn generates more free time for lobbyist-funded meals and adult beverages.

 

Admittedly I am a skeptic and a cynic, but I do suspect that some omnibus bills are staff-created legislative shortcuts for elected officials. If there is a sincere intent to dramatically change the status quo, the omnibus bill does provide some cover in the sense that changes that may inspire opposition could perhaps, maybe, theoretically, possibly get lost in the weeds of a broad undertaking. In addition, a huge bill that deals with various facets of state law (elections for example) has many sponsors, co-sponsors and amendment sponsors so that disgruntled citizens or groups may find it difficult to place blame for what they believe to be an egregious legislative result. While the omnibus bill may provide a cloak of anonymity for its advocates, it may also lead to glaring oversights….legislators and staff members become so enamored with the forest that individual trees lose their identities.

 

As the kind trusting person that I am, I will assume that the “too-broad, glaring-omission” explanation is the logical one for the failure of Sub. HB 194 to address the issue of minor party ballot access. Clearly, the elected members of the Ohio General Assembly believe in the Republic and the rights of citizens to freely elect their representatives. Obviously the members of the Ohio House and Ohio Senate would do nothing that intentionally enables a continuing duopoly of power, thought and avarice. After all, the two old parties have shared power, meals and drinks for more than 150 years so it cannot be possible that third-party competition would be seriously challenging to them. Right?

 

Intentional self-serving denial of opportunity in a republic is just as loathsome as a poll tax or a literacy test. When two parties hold absolute control of the election apparatus, logical reasoning would lead one to believe that power will be misapplied. Because the two old parties have controlled the election apparatus across the nation for so long, they have not been seriously challenged to account for their malfeasance, misfeasance and misdeeds. We have all been losers because of the lack of electoral accountability. Reform? Yeah, right.

 

Comment:  cearlwriting@hotmail.com   

www.littlestuff-minoosha.blogspot.com

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Left Versus Right: Statistical Distributions Applied to Geopolitics

Posted: July 22, 2011 in Americana, Banks, Campaign Promises, Capitalism, China, Christianity, Communications, Constitution, Dianne Feinstein, Economy, Faith, Finance, Freedom, Freedom Talk Netcast, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Indocrination, Jimmy Z, Media, Military, National Defense, Oppression, Orwell, Politics, Pro Life, Quotations, Rand, Rants, Religion, Second Amendment Rights, Security, Taxes, Technology, Tyranny, Uncategorized, War
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Left Versus Right: Statistical Distributions Applied to Geopolitics

by Michael Stollaire

You hear time and time again that we are a center-right country, correct? So, I automagically remember my college statistics classes and the infamous “normal bell curve,” because we come to the conclusion that the average person in America has center-right geopolitical thinking.

However, I think we are approaching a different sample distribution, with a peak on the left and on the right, which is a mini version of what went on during The Civil War, and the civil rights riots in the 1960s, which paints a totally different picture of the average citizen’s political thinking, does it not? Doing the same Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), we have the same geopolitical/ideological average, indicating that America is center-right on the political spectrum; however, we see that America itself is transforming into a nation divided.

Normal Distribution and Probability Distributions ~ Defined:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probability_distribution

We’ve got some cognitive dissonance going on in everyone’s head, because the Liberal Socialists and the Constitutional Conservatives have radically different definitions of “right” and “wrong” and “abnormal” and “normal.” Therefore, all of us are disturbed, wondering why we’re upset at what’s going on in the country. All of “us” are saying to ourselves, that something is obviously wrong with “them.” This is a perverse form of brainwashing that has transpired since circa 1900, via the mass media, alternative media, new media, etc. Indeed, we might view the vast majority of the content on television, the radio, corporate controlled internet websites and so forth as an extrapolation of Joseph Goebbels and his “Big Lie” propaganda technique. The reality is that most Americans believe what is in the news, simply because it is in the news. This is my cue to quote The Gipper.

“Trust but VERIFY!” ~ Ronald Reagan

Cognitive Dissonance ~ Defined:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

If we allow this trend to continue, we will see the economic and geopolitical issues present in Greece and parts of The Middle East to invade our own shores. If you think this cannot happen in America, you have taken your liberty and freedom for granted, as it certainly can and will. There is no reason to panic, but there are plenty of reasons to stand together and fight for what you feel is correct. The Great American Experiment is about allowing men and women to govern themselves, whereas the statist progressives would have you believe that you are all little children that need to be taken care of, via regulation of every aspect of your lives. San Francisco’s removal of McDonalds Happy Meal toys is an example: Should America allow people like Nancy Pelosi to decide what food you eat? I think the answer is a definitive NO, as if we allow them to regulate our food intake, they will take even more steps towards a Nanny State paradigm. What’s next? Letting them tell you what clothes you will wear, and so forth?

Draw the line in the sand, and take your country back, before it is taken from you. If your freedom and liberty is lost, it will be lost forever. We The People… UNITED WE STAND!

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” ~ Ronald Reagan

God bless you, your family and friends, and God Bless America!

Let’s get to work!

God Bless America and As Always…

Stay Strong,

~ Michael Stollaire

Original Post:

http://www.michaelstollaire.com

http://www.michael-stollaire.com

https://michaelstollaire.wordpress.com

Mental Muscle ~ Moral Courage

Posted: July 8, 2011 in Americana, Capitalism, Communications, Constitution, Finance, Freedom, Media, Rants, Tyranny
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In times of national, familial or personal stress we often allow our “feelings” or reactions to get the better of us and the situation. We may lash out, withdraw or wallow in our victimhood. Each of these spontaneous responses is generated by our feelings…our emotions. When we encounter some aspect of government that directly affects us….for good or for ill, it is critical that we face the program or the activity with as much mental clarity as we can muster. We must be in our best conditioning for reasoning. We must exercise our mental muscles.

 

Let’s examine one of the most painful and obvious examples of unconstitutional governmental abuse. This program is clearly unconstitutional and given the way that it has been administered by government through the decades is also immoral. Yet, most people…even the hardest core fiscal conservatives do not want anyone to tamper with the program or to speak of ending it. The infamous “third rail” of politics is Social Security…the grandiose ponzi scheme that robs future generations of their legacy of liberty. I personally have heard self-proclaimed constitutional conservatives vehemently criticize fiscal hawks for “messing’ with their Social Security. They claim that because they have contributed for nearly all of their working lives, they are “entitled” to the benefits. They have earned them. Their sentiments may be true and justified, but we have no funded trust for retirees, and the nation is broke…busted…upside down. When the system began, nearly a dozen full-time workers were needed to fund one retiree’s benefits. Now three workers provide the necessary cash flow, and soon only two workers will be shouldering the load for their elders. The reasons for this change are several, but the dominate ones are increasing and more broadly distributed benefits, and the massive infusion of “Baby Boomers” into the system concurrent with several decades of smaller family growth.

 

So, Friends, who claim to be fiscal conservatives, it is time to pony up. You cannot in good conscience or with any moral basis whatsoever expect the nation to return to fiscal sanity if you are not willing to forgo your “entitlements.” Get over it. The programs that you cherish so dearly have not been funded for years. You bought the sizzle without the steak, and now you expect future generations to provide the steak with no sizzle for them. The people who follow you did not lie and over-promise. Why does your greed or self-interest become more important than the future generations’ survival? Before you begin gnashing your teeth, pulling your hair or slitting your wrists, think about the net result of eliminating the entitlement system.

 

Each company and every worker would have an additional 7.5% (rounded off for illustration purposes) net income available for assisting family members in need. The additional cash-in-pocket amount would accelerate the economy, thus providing even more activity and availability for assisting or charitable giving. You might say,”But they won’t help me.” Perhaps, but your odds of collecting real money from the government are shrinking every day, every hour. In addition to the instant economic boost achieved by eliminating certain entitlements, we would also gain the added benefit of losing a volatile wedge issue for the big spending politicians. The demagoguery on this issue alone has contributed mightily to our economic death spiral. Do the math with an objective mind. You may take a hit, but it won’t be as great as if you continue to insist on “everything that you have coming to you.” One other economic benefit is that if we eliminate all those fiat government dollars chasing food supplies, we should experience some leveling of the food inflationary trend.

 

Emotional responses are powerful, and the survival instinct is too. This debate that is going on today revolves around the nature and purpose of government…its role in our lives. My Libertarian preferences are clear. I want the federal government to fit in a shoebox and be strictly limited to its Article 1, Section 8 enumerated powers or duties. Many of you readers are not libertarian but do proclaim yourselves to be constitutional conservatives except for…..Social security, Medicare, farm subsidies, corporate incentives, home mortgage tax breaks… any number of government programs or benefits that help YOU. As much as I care for you, your bennies are bad just like welfare, foreign aid, unnecessary wars, bailouts, sweetheart deals, and all other over reaching aspects of government goodies….and control. Many of us have become like crack addicts in the drug dens of benign government, and … we’re dying because of our unwillingness to kick our habits. As libertarians, conservatives, tea party members and patriots you (we) must be committed to going “cold turkey” from government’s largesse. It’s a big step, but it does not match pledging “our lives, our fortunes or our sacred honor.”

 

If we are truly serious about restoring limited constitutional government, the task must begin at home.

 

Comment:    cearlwriting@hotmail.com      or      www.littlestuff-minoosha.blogspot.com

U of A versus EPA

Posted: July 6, 2011 in Americana, Capitalism, Communications, Constitution, Economy, Finance, Freedom, Immigration, Media, Oppression, Politics, Rants, Taxes, Tyranny
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In these perilous times for our nation and several of our states and communities, it seems as if new fissure points are deepening in our civil structure. For several decades union membership in the private sector has been declining as our heavy manufacturing industries have relocated to right-to-work states, moved offshore or upgraded to highly automated facilities. The labor unions, thirsting for the constant inflow of dues money, have shifted their focus toward retail establishments, service jobs and public sector employees to maintain their accustomed level of financial and political viability. Overall union membership continues to decline as a percentage of the population, but the militant unionization of the public sector has dramatically altered the dynamics of labor-management relations. Public sector employees negotiate their contracts with unelected supervisors and elected officials who can claim to be neutral even though many of them receive campaign contributions and union-based volunteers at election time.

Because of the dwindling private sector union base, the public sector organization efforts have become more robust and intense. This development, I believe, will become a self-defeating movement for public sector labor and for taxpayer-supported government. By unionizing public sector employees at a dizzying rate, unions have placed the civil service rules of the past century on steroids regarding the government’s ability to remove ineffective or corrupt workers. Many union contracts have constructed various hurdles and barriers to protect the unworthy employee, thereby requiring that others be hired to do the work that doesn’t get completed.

In addition, by funneling millions of dollars of campaign contributions and thousands of campaign “volunteers” into the election efforts of liberals and progressives (primarily), the unions are contributors toward the massive growth of government that so many of them are lusting for. Growing governments yield exploding bureaucracies that exceed the abilities of the political class or the people to control them. The union, nevertheless, is somewhat satiated because of their increasing rolls in the public sector even though their numbers for growth appear to lag behind the private sector losses. So, how many “good-paying middle class jobs” has an overzealous Environmental Protection Agency cost our nation, our local communities….and the unions who organized the laborers? How many union jobs have nit-picking bureaucracies from the entire spectrum of government, controlling departments lost because of their senseless oversight policies? While union leaders and their fundraisers scamper to expand their reach in the public sector, they continue to place private sector jobs at risk. Union members should ask their elitist, socialist-leaning organizers why they insist on killing or maiming hefty private sector jobs so they can squeeze more money for their political cronies.

Private sector workers must realize that their “leaders” are not looking out for them or their welfare. They are merely exchanging public and service dues-paying members for the losers who built their organizations. Every time some big-government rule from the bureaucracy impedes a private sector employer from growing or functioning well, a laid-off or ‘pink-slipped” union employee may be the ultimate recipient of the Big Brother overreach. Big government increases the tax burden for private sector union workers and places their jobs in jeopardy by over-regulating, over-licensing and bureaucratic foot dragging. Big Government’s inherent hostility toward the private sector has undermined its capacity for growth and prosperity…thus diminishing good job opportunities for the workforce.

It should be noted that a labor union wields the most power when it represents skilled workers in a labor-shortage environment. The union leadership’s efforts to organize service and retail workers will fill their financial coffers, but will not result in significant gains for the members. Maids, clerks and wait staff can be hired off the street after a couple of day’s work stoppage. It is more difficult to hire machinists and mechanics because so few people possess the requisite skill set. It seems, therefore, the modern movement to bolster union membership in the public sector could be the saving grace for a dwindling private sector group. The unions may be signing their own death knell with their new emphasis. Private sector workers may finally get a clue, and ignore or dismiss the leaders who have undermined them by promoting big government and massive bureaucracies. The public, the taxpayers, the people may withdraw or resist the expansionist efforts of the unions and big-government advocates.  The basket of tolerance can hold only so many eggs of higher taxes, government indebtedness and bureaucratic meddling before the eggs begin to break. The people’s discontent may rise to the point that the entire public sector will be either radically restructured or become so powerful that there will be no one remaining to pay the freight. Either way, the Marxist-leaning unionist’s strategy may backfire….as it should.

Comment:   cearlwriting@hotmail.com      or     www.littlestuff-minoosha.blogspot.com

Liberty’s Laggards

Posted: June 20, 2011 in Americana, Capitalism, Communications, Constitution, Economy, Faith, Finance, Freedom, Media, Oppression, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Security, Tyranny
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A recent article in “MailOnline” the internet version of the Daily Mail from the United Kingdom provided an individual freedom analysis for the 50 states of the United States. There’s some irony in the fact that a British paper sought to examine liberty in the former colonies. Clearly when describing liberty within states there are subjective parameters at work. The 50 “laboratories for democracy” have considerable leeway in determining how their states will be organized and function. The three largest areas of limitation for them within the federal Constitution are the mandated federal obligations as given in the enumerated powers, the prohibitions for curtailing inalienable rights, and the states must be democratic republics. If the fifty states take their freedoms seriously, there are multiple opportunities to experiment with laws and rulemaking to generate environments for prosperity and liberty.

 

Alas, too many of our formerly-sovereign states have followed the lead of Big Brother by implementing restrictive regulatory structures and punitive tax policies. Where they might have flourished as laboratories of freedom and opportunity, they, instead, overregulated, overtaxed and overwhelmed their citizens with obstacles and constraints. The “MailOnline” piece by Mark Duell lists New York and California as the worst offenders in the limitation of individual freedom. These are two of the largest states in the union…rich in resources, talent and population. It defies logic for states so richly endowed to squander their natural wealth for the false dream of centralized government. Another state that Duell has categorized as “less free” is my own native Ohio. As a candidate for statewide office in 2010, I drove across the entire state. It was clear to me how statism impacts the economic environment of the state. Certainly there were pockets of prosperity, but most of my beloved Buckeye state was staggered by the loss of industry…and the tangential businesses, suppliers and service companies that thrive when the industries are doing well.

 

The federal government and the state regulatory apparatus combined to construct high hurdles and elongated approval processes for plants to upgrade. In addition the labor union situation in Ohio has strangled attempts to innovate and create a competitive cost profile. Big government, lousy business opportunities and excessive union power are a troika for job killing. A corollary indicator of the relative freedom of the respective states is the apportionment of congressional seats following the census. One of the freer states, Texas, picks up 4 additional congress critters while New York and Ohio each lose two seats…and the corresponding national influence. Florida with its friendly atmosphere for freedom will gain 2 seats while Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will have one fewer congressperson in 2012. Missouri also loses one seat as does Louisiana…probably an after effect of Katrina. Indeed, there is a very high correlation between a state’s level of freedom and its growth and prosperity. You might ask why California is not on the “loser list” if it is rated as “less free.” The census counts people not citizens, and the continuing migration of non-citizens to California has kept the population large enough to offset the out migration of business, jobs and citizens.

 

Freedom and prosperity are linked. Where the people have the freedom to function without an oppressive regulatory environment or restrictive workplace rules, they will capitalize and maximize their opportunity. Lower taxes will encourage businesses to reinvest in growth and technology. Lower taxes and spending by state governments will encourage commerce and industry. Sadly, states, cities or any other government entity cannot resist the urge to grow and control. Only one of the original thirteen states was considered to be relatively free by Duell’s analysis: New Hampshire, the state with the stirring “Live Free or Die” motto. The other two top-ranked states were South Dakota and Indiana.

 

As a former researcher, I am aware that correlation does NOT confirm causality. Common sense suggests, however, that states that are growing may be doing so because of lower taxes, fewer union complications and sensible regulatory environments. Those liberty-lagging laboratories of democracy who have selected more government, more regulation and higher taxes as their modus operandi are faltering … staggering. As their businesses close or move, their tax bases dwindle and their social network costs increase. It’s a downward spiral that can be corrected by choosing liberty. Some experiments fail and others succeed. The intelligent observer can discern the difference and respond accordingly. Liberty, freedom always wins. Tyranny is a loser.

 

Comment:   cearlwriting@hotmail.com       or    www.littlestuff-minoosha.blogspot.com

Transferring Wealth

Posted: June 15, 2011 in Americana, Capitalism, Communications, Constitution, Freedom, Media, Politics, Rants, Taxes, Tyranny
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Transferring Wealth

The lefties of our nation and the globe as well, insist that “fairness” can only be achieved by transferring wealth from the “haves” to the “have-nots.” As one can expect from most socialist reasoning (an oxymoron…emphasis on MORON), the holes in their policy are massive. Bernie Madoff sits in a jail cell as police, prosecutors, and plaintiff’s attorneys confiscate every remnant of his former ill-gained fortune. Now he appears to be broke. Should someone be required to share their wealth with the former prince of ponzi? I suspect that when we speak of transferring wealth from the “richer” to the “poorer,” we are in reality discussing transferring earned wealth from producers to socialist-voting looters. A person’s “right” to the wealth of others is determined by her or his likelihood of voting a certain way.

 

Transferring wealth is more complex than merely dropping a dollar into the bucket of a curbside beggar. The various governments, non-government agencies (NGA’s), non-profits, churches and other elements of the society employ a number of coercive devices to generate wealth-sharing. First, there is the direct tax, direct payment method. Welfare, Social security, Medicaid and Food Stamps are the most brazen examples. Some transfers are more indirect. They might include tax credits for munchkins (children), subsidies for behaviors (education) and massive industry and corporate subsidies or tax breaks. Straight forward foreign aid is direct. Sweet trade deals for preferred countries are an indirect form of the share the wealth mentality.

 

The transfer of wealth may also involve some subtlety (or sneakiness, if you prefer). Laws that include certain prohibitions may create a competitive advantage for one or another industry or company. For example, when I served in the legislature, there was a representative who introduced an absolutely devastating axle tax for the trucking industry. And….he introduced a similar bill every session…year after year. As I fielded the calls from truckers in my district and notes from lobbyists representing independent truckers, I sought to discover why he would introduce such a job-killing piece of   legislation. My older colleagues informed me that the offending representative was “in the pocket” of the railroads. No one took his legislation seriously, and it would not go anywhere, but just like biennial elections, he introduced it every session to earn his campaign check. When those pieces of legislation are taken seriously and passed, then a law-induced transfer of wealth is the result. Wait, there’s more.

 

Nearly every regulatory initiative passed by nearly every legislative body or agency impacts some industries more than others…a subtle transfer of wealth. Within given industries some companies may be more adversely affected than their competitors by new rules because of their size, location or any number of intervening factors….in essence a transfer of wealth because compliance costs are not fairly assessed. The great dream of the socialist agenda, ObamaCare, is the epitome of a wealth transfer mechanism at every level. The more than one thousand, one hundred (1,100) waivers granted so far to corporations and labor unions with the “correct” political leanings is the epitome of an indirect and sometimes subtle transfer of wealth. As you can detect, wealth transfers involve much more than simply “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” They also include subsidizing Paul and giving him tax breaks. They may involve regulating Peter at a much greater level than Paul so that Paul gains a competitive advantage. Think of coal, oil and natural gas rules and regulations versus the subsidy packages for wind power, solar systems, and bio-fuels. And yet…the “green” technologies are not competitive on the open energy market.

 

Licensing and registrations are another form of wealth transfer that operates outside the public view. In my early days as a broadcaster, there were no licensing fees for stations to operate once they had paid the initial start-up licensing amounts. Now stations must pay annual fees based upon their transmitter power, their markets and their gross revenues. In other words the more successful stations must pay a penalty for their efforts while the ones that are not so successful get by with lower fees. Stations that have made the effort to attract topnotch on-air talent and hire competent sales people must subsidize the regulatory administrative costs for less popular stations.

 

Transferring wealth by force is how the government functions. Government by its very nature is the definition of force. In a world where liberty reigns, wealth would be transferred unfettered by government coercion. A series of voluntary transactions wherein quality, productivity and service would thrive is the model for free commerce. While government stacks the deck and enforces its preferences, wealth is transferred….and we’re all much poorer and less free.

 

Comment:   cearlwriting@hotmail.com     or    www.littlestuff-minoosha.blogspot.com


Michael Stollaire on The Young Republican Network (YRN)

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