Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Josh Hawley — Hobby Lobby Versus Obamacare

What is the meaning of the Supreme Court's decision on the contraceptive mandate? Tune in as one of Hobby Lobby's attorneys explains the business vs. Obamacare fight.

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Summers: Future America has not enough jobs

Democrat economist Larry Summers writes in the WSJ:
The great economic problem for millennia has been scarcity. People want much more than can be produced. The challenge has been to produce as much as possible and to ensure that everybody gets their fair share.

In important respects, the problem has changed. There are many more Americans who are obese than who are undernourished, for example. But that is only a harbinger of things to come. The economic challenge of the future will not be producing enough. It will be providing enough good jobs. ...

If current trends continue, it could well be that a generation from now a quarter of middle-aged men will be out of work at any given moment. In such a world, more than half of men would have an out-of-work spell of more than a year at some point during their prime years. We do not yet fully know what the capacity to come back to work after such an experience will be, but the experience of men out of work for a long time because of the Great Recession is surely troubling.

So the challenge for economic policy will increasingly be generating enough work for all who need work for income, purchasing power and dignity.
He has been an adviser to Pres. Clinton and Obama, and of course he is hoping some more Democrat government programs will help. Thomas Bundros comments:
As the number of jobs are forecasted to decrease or at least grow at a decreasing rate, our current governmental programs are all wrong.

1. The current federal administration is dis-incenting domestic job creation by increasing federal regulation, mandating health care cost increases to employers, and maintaining high corporate tax rates.

2. Additionally, our current entitlement programs are sending signals for the lowest socio-economic classes to increase the number of children while the middle and upper middle classes are decreasing their family sizes due to the high expenses of child rearing and education.

Extrapolate all of these forecasts and trends, the USA will soon have a society of large, undereducated masses with a very small group at the top of the socio-economic pyramid. A structure that is not sustainable vis-à-vis Czarist Russia.
And we are importing millions of legal and illegal immigrants while we have high unemployment rates.

The argument that we need massive immigration to fuel future economic growth is false.

Europe is taking Third World immigrants to try to boost GDP, and it just found another method:
As of September, all European Union countries will be required to take fuller accounting of trade in sex, drugs and other underground businesses as part of an overhaul of economic measurements by Eurostat, the European statistics agency.

The point of counting everything, including the wages of sin, is to get a more accurate reading of each country’s gross domestic product. Because G.D.P. is such an important number — one that can sway national policies and make or break politicians — the European Union wants numbers “better reflecting the economic environment,” Vincent Bourgeais, a Eurostat spokesman, said.
So now those countries will have an incentive to encourage their black markets in order to claim economic growth.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Problems at VA Hospitals

When Barack Obama was a candidate for President, he made the medical treatment of veterans a big, emotional campaign issue and promised that his administration would address the backlog, greatly improve care, cure "the broken bureaucracy of the VA," and build "a 21st century VA." You know, “choice" is a favorite word with many liberals, but the VA problems are proving that our choices about medical care are rapidly getting fewer. There are fewer plans you can sign up for, fewer doctors you can see, and fewer hospitals you can go to.

Edsall says politics is genetic

Liberal journalist Thomas B. Edsall writes about electoral demographics in the NY Times, and he complains that poor white voters cannot always be induced to vote Democrat by offering them free government benefits. So he asks How Much Do Our Genes Influence Our Political Beliefs?

He says research suggests that Republicans have pro-family genes, while Democrats have anti-family genes:
Working along a parallel path, Amanda Friesen, a political scientist at Indiana University, and Aleksander Ksiazkiewicz, a graduate student in political science at Rice University, concluded from their study comparing identical and fraternal twins that “the correlation between religious importance and conservatism” is “driven primarily, but usually not exclusively, by genetic factors.” The substantial “genetic component in these relationships suggests that there may be a common underlying predisposition that leads individuals to adopt conservative bedrock social principles and political ideologies while simultaneously feeling the need for religious experiences.”

From this perspective, the Democratic Party — supportive of abortion rights, same-sex marriage and the primacy of self-expressive individualism over obligation to family — is irreconcilably alien to a segment of the electorate. And the same is true from the opposite viewpoint: a Republican Party committed to right-to-life policies, to a belief that marriage must be between a man and a woman, and to family obligation over self-actualization, is profoundly unacceptable to many on the left.

If these predispositions are, as Friesen and Ksiazkiewicz argue, to some degree genetically rooted, they may not lend themselves to rational debate and compromise.
I should note that a trait being heritable does not necessarily mean that it is immutable.

Edsall previously argued that most people do not realize the extant that the USA is being taken over by non-whites and non-Christians who reliably vote Democrat. He says that when whites find out, they are more likely to vote Republican.

Now he cites a couple of liberal Harvard experts suggesting that political divisions could be genetic:
Dustin Tingley, a professor of government at Harvard, argues that “phenomena perennially hard to explain in standard political science become clearer when human interactions are understood in light of natural selection and evolutionary psychology.”

In an email, Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology at Harvard and the author of “The Blank Slate,” makes the case for continued research in the broader field of evolutionary psychology and in the sub-field of politics and heritable temperamental traits. ...

Pinker contends that “an acknowledgment of the possibility of genetic differences is a game-changer for countless specific issues. If people differ genetically in conscientiousness, intelligence, and other psychological traits, then not all differences among people in social and economic outcomes are automatically consequences of a rigged system.”
Pinker cautiously says "if", but Edsall explains that twin studies do show that genes influence those psychological traits.

He ends the column being defensive about raising the question. After all, someone might deduce that Democrats are strategically flooding the USA with people who are culturally and genetically predisposed to reject traditional American family values and to vote Democrat.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Window Into the Future

The problems with the U.S. Veterans Administration (the VA) giving inferior and delayed care to veterans is a good window into the future of what Obamacare will be like. Both the VA and Obamacare suffer the problem of a government-run single-payer system with no choice of doctors or hospitals, no choice of insurance companies, broken promises, lengthy waits, and bureaucratic cover-ups. Before Barack Obama was elected, we were assured by experts and the mainstream media that the VA was an American health care model for the country. The New York Times reported, "Yes, this is 'socialized medicine,' but it works, and has what it will take to solve the troubles of U.S. health care."