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Milton Friedman: Markets don’t Discriminate, Governments Do

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 20, 2014

One of the brilliant economic minds of the 20th century was Dr. Milton Friedman.  He had the rare combination of advanced economic knowledge and common sense.

One of Dr. Friedman’s lectures in the late 1970s was on the subject of equal pay, whether by gender, race, etc.  Friedman proffered the conclusion in the video below that when the government mandates equal pay it removes economic penalties from employers for discriminatory behavior.  Specifically, in the absence of equal pay laws, should an employer penalize an employee based on a nonproductive discriminatory practice, that employer will be penalized via higher costs and lower profits.  For example, should he refuse to pay equally qualified women adequate compensation for a job, some other capitalist (employer) will offer a higher wage for that employee and gain economic advantage.

Friedman concludes: “I do not believe that it is desirable that we move in the direction of having a government bureaucrat decide whether A may hire B or not, whoever A and B are … and in consequence I think programs of this kind are both reducing our freedom and reducing equality.  And they will … disadvantage … the very groups [they] intended to help.”

Contrast Freeman’s conclusion with that now proffered by President Obama.  Last week he made a National Equal Pay Day proclamation using typical Obama rhetoric stating incorrectly that “women still make only 77 cents to every man’s dollar.” This claim is ludicrous to anyone who understands basic Econ 101.  No sane (greedy) capitalist would hire a man if he could hire a woman to do the same job and at the same quality level at a 23% discount.

It is interesting to view history since Friedman’s lecture over 30 years ago.  Equal pay laws have been added and strengthened with thousands of bureaucrats being added to enforce them.  Obama’s contention last week that “women still make only 77 cents to every man’s dollar”, if correct, would attest to the government’s abject failure in remedying this supposed discrepancy.  To that Progressives would add still more laws and more bureaucrats.  More liberal logic.

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Brandeis University Shows Misogynists side of Political Correctness

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 17, 2014

AliAyaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali woman born of the Islamic faith, should be an inspiration to all who believe in freedom and equal rights.  Instead, she has become a victim of Progressive political correctness.

Earlier this year Brandeis University decided to honor Ms. Ali by awarding her an honorary doctorate for her efforts on behalf of women in Muslim societies.  That decision was met with consternation by pressure groups and Progressive political correctness that does not allow criticism of Islamic faith.  Brandeis president Frederick Lawrence caved to the pressures, removing the degree offer saying “we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.  For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of the statements earlier.”

Lawrence’s response is pure doubletalk.  How does Ms. Ali’s condemnation of female, genital mutilation, honor killings, forced marriage, or Sharia law conflict with Brandeis core values?  Freedom of speech, especially on a college campus, should not be curtailed in the name of any “core values”.  Finally, if core values preclude free speech at Brandeis, why did this same University award an honorary degree to playwright Tony Kushner, who has said: “The biggest supporters of Israel are the most repulsive members of the Jewish community.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s organization, The Aha Foundation, states its charter as: “The AHA Foundation works to protect and defend the rights of women and girls in the West from oppression justified by religion and culture.”  This goal should find universal acceptance within the West’s feminist movement.  Their lack of outrage on the treatment of Ms. Ali is an indication of the moral corruptness of this movement.

Ms. Ali published an op-ed in the New York Times posted below titled Here’s What I Would Have Said at Brandeis.  As she so says: “I stand before you as someone who is fighting for women’s and girls’ basic rights globally.  And I stand before you as someone who is not afraid to ask difficult questions about the role of religion in that fight.  The connection between violence, particularly violence against women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored.  We do no favors to students, faculty, nonbelievers and people of faith when we shut our eyes to this link, when we excuse rather than reflect.

Brandeis behavior on this matter is reprehensible.

Here’s What I Would Have Said at Brandeis, By Aya Hirsi Ali

One year ago, the city and suburbs of Boston were still in mourning.  Families who only weeks earlier had children and siblings to hug were left with only photographs and memories.  Still others were hovering over bedsides, watching as young men, women, and children endured painful surgeries and permanent disfiguration.  All because two brothers, radicalized by jihadist websites, decided to place homemade bombs in backpacks near the finish line of one of the most prominent events in American sports, the Boston Marathon.

All of you in the Class of 2014 will never forget that day and the days that followed.  You will never forget when you heard the news, where you were, or what you were doing.  And when you return here, 10, 15 or 25 years from now, you will be reminded of it.  The bombs exploded just 10 miles from this campus.

I read an article recently that said many adults don’t remember much from before the age of 8.  That means some of your earliest childhood memories may well be of that September morning simply known as “9/11.”

You deserve better memories than 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing.  And you are not the only ones.  In Syria, at least 120,000 people have been killed, not simply in battle, but in wholesale massacres, in a civil war that is increasingly waged across a sectarian divide.  Violence is escalating in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Libya, in Egypt.  And far more than was the case when you were born, organized violence in the world today is disproportionately concentrated in the Muslim world.

Another striking feature of the countries I have just named, and of the Middle East generally, is that violence against women is also increasing.  In Saudi Arabia, there has been a noticeable rise in the practice of female genital mutilation.  In Egypt, 99% of women report being sexually harassed and up to 80 sexual assaults occur in a single day.

Especially troubling is the way the status of women as second-class citizens is being cemented in legislation.  In Iraq, a law is being proposed that lowers to 9 the legal age at which a girl can be forced into marriage.  That same law would give a husband the right to deny his wife permission to leave the house.

Sadly, the list could go on.  I hope I speak for many when I say that this is not the world that my generation meant to bequeath yours.  When you were born, the West was jubilant, having defeated Soviet communism.  An international coalition had forced Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.  The next mission for American armed forces would be famine relief in my homeland of Somalia.  There was no Department of Homeland Security, and few Americans talked about terrorism.

Today, however, I am going to predict a better future, because I believe that the pendulum has swung almost as far as it possibly can in the wrong direction.

When I see millions of women in Afghanistan defying threats from the Taliban and lining up to vote; when I see women in Saudi Arabia defying an absurd ban on female driving; and when I see Tunisian women celebrating the conviction of a group of policemen for a heinous gang rape, I feel more optimistic than I did a few years ago.  The misnamed Arab Spring has been a revolution full of disappointments.  But I believe it has created an opportunity for traditional forms of authority – including patriarchal authority – to be challenged, and even for the religious justifications for the oppression of women to be questioned.

Yet for that opportunity to be fulfilled, we in the West must provide the right kind of encouragement.  Just as the city of Boston was once the cradle of a new ideal of liberty, we need to return to our roots by becoming once again a beacon of free thought and civility for the 21st century.  When there is injustice, we need to speak out, not simply with condemnation, but with concrete actions.

One of the best places to do that is in our institutions of higher learning.  We need to make our universities temples not of dogmatic orthodoxy, but of truly critical thinking, where all ideas are welcome and where civil debate is encouraged. I’m used to being shouted down on campuses, so I am grateful for the opportunity to address you today.  I do not expect all of you to agree with me, but I very much appreciate your willingness to listen.

I stand before you as someone who is fighting for women’s and girls’ basic rights globally.  And I stand before you as someone who is not afraid to ask difficult questions about the role of religion in that fight.

The connection between violence, particularly violence against women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored.  We do no favors to students, faculty, nonbelievers and people of faith when we shut our eyes to this link, when we excuse rather than reflect.

So I ask: Is the concept of holy war compatible with our ideal of religious toleration?  Is it blasphemy – punishable by death – to question the applicability of certain seventh-century doctrines to our own era?  Both Christianity and Judaism have had their eras of reform.  I would argue that the time has come for a Muslim Reformation.

Is such an argument inadmissible?  It surely should not be at a university that was founded in the wake of the Holocaust, at a time when many American universities still imposed quotas on Jews.

The motto of Brandeis University is “Truth even unto its innermost parts.”  That is my motto too.  For it is only through truth, unsparing truth, that your generation can hope to do better than mine in the struggle for peace, freedom and equality of the sexes.

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George Will Speaks of the Present and Future

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 13, 2014

George WIllGeorge F. Will is a well-known brilliant columnist and a Pulitzer Prize winning author.  While Will has a conservative bent, he is a pragmatist.  In a recent interview Will made the following comments concerning important issues facing the United States including the future of America, the breakdown of the American family, the overuse of debt, the abusive government, and immigration.

Future of the United States:

Unlike the Left and its comrades in the mainstream media who demonize the Tea Party as racist and lacking in intelligence, Will correctly sees the Tea Party as a grassroots movement that is the beginning of the Country moving back to its constitutional roots.

Well ever since at about the time of the American founding, Edward Gibbon wrote “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” people have been fascinated by the threat that democracies would decay; that history would be cyclical not linear; that decay and decline was inevitable; that the seeds of destruction were in particular regimes and particularly in democracies.  And clearly the American founders worried about this.  And Lincoln worried about it at Gettysburg, that the question was “Whether we shall long endure this form of government.

“So I think that we’re in a period today comparable to the American founding period in two senses: one, we’re worried about decay — we’re worried about whether we’re squandering our legacy and whether we’re calling into question whether people can really govern themselves — but also because, and this is the heartening part of this, today as never before in my lifetime, Americans have rekindled their interest in the founding era and the founding principles.  Look at the wonderful sales of biographies of the founders: Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison.  Look at the Tea Party, which I think frankly is one of the great events of my lifetime.”

Abusive Government:

Perhaps the most significant prognostication made by Will is his belief that Americans will rebel against what he sees as an abusive federal government.

I’m quite confident that we’re going to rebel against this abusive government.  I think that, you know Winston Churchill said, ‘The American people invariably do the right thing after they have exhausted all the alternatives.’  And I think we’re beginning to get to the bottom of the list of alternatives, and to realize that arithmetic is inexorable.  You can’t make 2+2 equal 7, and sooner or later arithmetic is going to force realism upon us.”

Biggest Threats to the United States:

Will proffers the view that the greatest threats to America’s long-term success are the breakdown of the family and the Country’s use of debt to fuel this generation’s selfish needs.

The greatest threat to America today – there are two of them and they’re related: one is family disintegration, the fact that Americans’ babies are born to unmarried women.  We know the importance of a father in the home.  We know that the family is the primary transmitter of what’s called social capital, that is the habits, mores, customs, values, dispositions that make for success in a free society.  So that’s one threat to America.  The other is the simple fact that we will not live within our means.  We are piling up debts for other people to pay.  We used to borrow money for the future.  We won wars for the future.  We built roads, highways, bridges, dams, airports for the future.  Now, we’re borrowing from the future, from the rising generations in order to finance our own current consumption of government services, and that just seems to me as fundamentally and self-evidently wrong as can be.  We used to borrow money for the future.”

On Immigration:

While likely to disappoint some conservatives, Will correctly points out that this Country has and will continue to benefit from the resources brought to it by immigrants.  He therefore calls for realistically integrating the 11 million illegal aliens currently in the Country.  To that, this writer would suggest that the problem is not with the immigrants who seek a better life.  Instead, the problem is an out-of-control federal government that gives benefits to immigrants that none of our grandparents had access to nor needed.

Here’s why: there are 11 million people here illegally.  They’re not going home.  The fact that the American people would not tolerate the police measures necessary to extract these people from our communities, something like 40% have been here five years or more, large numbers have been here 10 years or more, they’ve had children here who are American citizens under the Constitution. 7 million of these people are in the workforce, performing jobs for which the market has a demand.  The American workforce as our population ages needs immigrants, needs immigration. “

Furthermore, immigration is an entrepreneurial act.  These are people who uproot themselves, take a risk, come to a strange country and a new culture and a new language in many cases to try and better themselves.  And I want this to be a continued infusion of energy into America.  And I think immigrants make wonderful patriots because they’re grateful to the country that enables them to help themselves and their families.”

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Low Interest Rate Policies do not Increase Employment

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 10, 2014

Labor Force Paticipation ChartWilliam Galston wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal titled Soaring Profits but Too Few Jobs that helps demonstrate the failure of governmental economic policies and interventions that have attempted to address the nation’s employment issues.  Galston points out that it has been 57 months since the great recession ended and 32 months since the country’s GDP surpassed previous highs.  However, today fewer Americans have jobs than when the recession began in 2007.  The labor participation chart tells only part of this story.  For example, prior to the recession the average duration of unemployment was 16 weeks.  Today it stands at over double that.

Galston shares other figures that demonstrate how dismal this recovery has been for employment.

  • 60% of jobs lost during the recession occurred for those paid between the $14 and $21 per hour, with only 20% of the losses from jobs paying less than about $14 per hour.  However, the recovery has only created 22% of the new jobs at the $14 and $21 rate, while 58% of the created jobs were at lower rates.
  • Median household income is nearly 4.5% lower today than it was when the recession officially ended.

While the employment figures are anemic, wealth has been created for wealthier Americans.  For example, after tax corporate profits for Q4 2013 increased to an annual amount of $1.9 trillion or over 11% of GDP, a seven decade high.  Meanwhile, total workers’ compensation, wages and benefits, fell to its lowest share of GDP during the same period.

After the Great Recession (meltdown), the government, first under George W. Bush and then Barack Obama, enacted the most massive interventions in the economy since the Great Depression.  These policies included huge bailouts of banks, companies and individuals, as well as historically low interest rates that were justified by promising to keep the economy from dropping into the abyss.  It is not possible to determine whether the economy would have dropped off the cliff without these policies.  However, evidence indicates that they have not benefited the bulk of Americans, but instead increased the income disparity in the country.

Share of Aggragate Income CHartWealthier Americans own a greater percentage of equities.  The government’s interventions have helped increased values with US stocks increasing a whopping 30% during 2013 alone and over 170% since their March 2009 lows. The growing income disparity is clear when charted over time.  This begs the question as to who actually benefited from the governmental interventions.  The evidence clearly points to wealthier Americans.

Banks, some whose policies helped create the 2008 2008, have fared well with the government interventions and Fed policies.  For example, bank equity values have increased by 250% since their 2009 lows.

How do President Obama and his Progressive allies respond the growing economic inequity and failed policies that have helped fuel it?  Incredibly, they advocate of the same policies with still more government interventions.  In addition, the President calls for an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour.  While this policy is politically expedient, it has a proven track record of failure.

  • Since the first minimum wage of 1938, it has been increased 30 times with the latest one in 2009.  Why should we expect this 31st increase to be any more successful than the previous 30 in curing the growing income disparity?
  • If increasing the minimum wage is a good thing, why stop at $10.10 an hour?  Why not go for $20 an hour?  The answer is obvious.
  • The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that President Obama’s proposed minimum wage increase will result in the loss of 500,000 jobs.  It does not take a rocket scientist to understand what income group will be most hurt by these job losses.

In addition to the downward pressure on employment and increased minimum wage will have, the CBO also determined that Obamacare will dampen employment estimating that this program will reduce the working hours for Americans by an equivalent of 2.5 million jobs by 2024.  The CBO basis this conclusion on its belief that people will decrease their incomes in order to be eligible for subsidies under Obamacare.

The interventionist policies of President Obama and the Federal Reserve (Fed) are a continuation of the slippery slope started under the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression.  While many of FDR’s policies can be justified due to the worldwide depression, they opened the door for more interventions under less dire economic circumstances going forward.  Such interventions increased dramatically during the presidency of Lyndon Johnson and his Great Society programs.  The trend has continued under administrations since for varying reasons (excuses).  The overall effect on the US economy and society demonstrates the consequences of these interventions.

The charting America’s GDP growth during the economic expansions since 1950 shows an unmistakable trend.  There is been continually decreasing recovery rates with the current one being the weakest since World War II.  While government policies are not the only reasons for this trend, they have significant culpability.

GDP Expansions

At the same time GDP growth has been slowing, America’s consumer debt has been expanding, fostered by Governmental policies.  For example, student debt is now larger than overall credit card debt with the included chart showing its dramatic growth.  Governmental policies have promoted this debt growth by not only offering artificially low interest rates, but by also back–stopping the debt for lenders thereby facilitating loans to people who do not have the means to repay them.  In addition, this growing debt has created bubbles within the educational industry, increasing their “profits”.  Finally, the huge debt placed on young people will inhabit that generations economic growth and wealth creation long into the future resulting in still more negative macroeconomic consequences

Student Loans

Governmental policies have also increased overall household debt as indicated in the next chart.  Subsidizing mortgages, low interest rate Fed policies, as well as the government forcing banks to give mortgages to those that cannot repay them to promote progressive social policy, have played a large role in this debt growth.  Absence a bubble in the housing market, those with these mortgages, especially at lower income levels, will have their economic well-being hindered in the future, again causing long-term negative economic consequences.

Household Debt

The low interest rate policies promoted by the Fed have caused other economic distortions including:

  • They have lowered the income on safe investments for people on fixed incomes, especially for older Americans.  This inhibits their spending hurting industries that serve this demographic.
  • Low return on safe investments cajoled people into more risky investments.  When the next downturn occurs, these investors will suffer significantly more losses than under a more normal interest environment.
  • Companies have been able to refinance their debt at artificially low interest rates.  This has given them a short-term boost in profits, which has inflated equity values.  When interest rates return to more normal levels, the negative impact will be amplified.
  • With historically low interest rates, the cost of investing in capital equipment versus the cost of labor has been distorted, offering incentive for companies to invest in capital equipment for efficiencies before adding jobs.

The Right often blames Democrats for the overuse of debt and economic interventions in the economy.  While correct to appoint, it is a distortion.  Both political parties have been responsible handing out “goodies” to their political constituents financed by debt in the desire to maintain power.  Politicians do not get elected by sharing difficult news or promoting policies that could include pain for voters.  Instead, they promise pain-free solutions that only kick the can down the road.  This reality means that the markets will ultimately have to be the mechanism for corrective action.  While this has always been the case, the amount of pain involved with such corrections is amplified by distortions in the law of supply and demand caused by the interventions.

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Liberal Professor Alan Dershowitz Calls Ted Cruz “Brilliant”

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 7, 2014

Alan DershowitzHarvard professor Alan Dershowitz is an un-avowed liberal.  However, unlike many liberal professors today, Dershowitz is true to his ACLU type beliefs even if they encroach on Leftist dogma.

Now, after 50 years of employment at Harvard University, Dershowitz is hanging up his spurs and retiring.  The good professor was recently interviewed by Madeleine Morgenstern of the Philadelphia Inquirer who questioned Dershowitz about some of his former students who went on to become famous.  His comments include:

Former presidential adviser David Gergen- “Very quiet, very quiet.  Not memorable in the classroom, but outside the classroom, when we would talk, he clearly was a leader.  You could see that.

Former United States Sen. Elizabeth Dole- “She was very talkative, and she was in a class of practically all women because in those days family law was called women’s law because women were thought to be only suited for the soft stuff.  She was not soft at all.  She was brilliant.”

CNBC’s Jim Cramer of Mad Money – “Jim didn’t come to class all that often.  He was buying and selling stocks.  You know, his answering machine when he was my research assistant had stock tips.

Ted CruzFormer New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer- “So terrific a research assistant!  Maybe everything that happened to him since was my fault because one day I said to him, ‘Eliot, you’re working too hard. Go out and have some fun.’”

Perhaps Dershowitz’s most telling remarks came when he discussed United States Sen. Ted Cruz of whom he said:  “Off-the-charts brilliant.  And you know, liberals make the terrible mistake, including some of my friends and colleagues, of thinking that all conservatives are dumb.  And I think one of the reasons that conservatives have been beating liberals in the courts and in public debates is because we underestimate them. Never underestimate Ted Cruz. He is off-the-chart brilliant.  I don’t agree with his politics.

This high praise for Cruz must be causing heartburn within much of the Progressive Left and its pals in the mainstream media.  The false narrative created for most politicians who dare to disagree with Leftist dogma is that their opponents are somehow ignorant, approaching subhuman standing.  This fascist approach to politics is meant to discourage reasonable debate and political discourse.  It is likely that Dershowitz’s very public and positive comments concerning Ted Cruz relates to the professor’s concern for the fascist approach embraced by many of his Leftist cohorts.

Posted in Liberals, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Good Debt, Bad Debt

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 6, 2014

CoverJPGMy life has centered around an organ business started by my father over seven decades ago, an experience offering me a long-term perspective of business.  I have reflected why it survived, how it continued manufacturing in the US and also how it maintained a stable employment environment with more than 10 employees each having over 50 year’s tenure.  That stability went beyond a desire to maintain local employment and cannot be disconnected from a financial philosophy focusing on long-term goals, instead of short–term financial gains.  This led me to do what other aging Boomers have done, write a book.

Good Debt, Bad Debt and a Better Way Forwardoffers a company history starting with its leadership in analog sound technology, through introducing the world’s first digital music instrument, through today’s uniquely different (challenging) business environment.  It reviews a corporate history of being privately owned, then going public, and more recently being private again.  Throughout these changes there was a constant philosophy relating debt, a philosophy that has long been out of favor in business and within governmental organizations.

The book also places into context the problems within the financial services industry, its loss of ethical practices, which in part is derived from the industry’s promotion of debt for its profit.  Finally, I review how the use of leverage has damaged many industries.

Writing the book has been a cathartic travel.

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“Dirty Harry” Reid Exposed by MSNBC

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 5, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is known for his hyper partisan politics and a willingness to use lies in attacks against opponents.  One of the better known examples was his claim during the last presidential campaign that Mitt Romney did not pay income taxes.  While the attack was proved false, Reid was unapologetic.

This week Reid was at it again, calling the Koch brothers un-American for supporting conservative candidates with their wallet.  The attack was pure McCarthyism now embraced by the Liberal Left.  However, it even made some on the Left uncomfortable as demonstrated by it being condemned by a media ally during MSNBC’s Morning Joe show.  During the show, host Joe Scarborough correctly called Reid a liar and none of the other host or guest were willing to come to Reid’s defends.  In fact even unabashed Democratic supporterMika Brzezinski criticized the Majority Leader indicating that she “cringed” at Reid’s comments.

The fact that Harry Reid is a partisan politician is not news.  That could be said for most of his fellow senators on both sides of the political aisle.  The fact that Reid is a liar places him in a bit smaller group of fellow senators.  However, it is the way Harry Reid has damaged the stature of the office of the Majority Leader that is so disgraceful.  It shows how little regard Reid has for his country.

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Obamacare Numbers

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 2, 2014

Yesterday President Obama did what he does best; patted himself on the back.  The administration publicly announced that Obamacare has signed up 7.1 million people demonstrating a supposedly victorious outcome for the President’s signature legislation.  American should be skeptical about the administration’s claims and numbers given its track record of misleading the American people, especially when it comes to Obamacare.

Dr. Charles Krauthammer is a brilliant conservative commentator who has taken umbrage with the Obamacare numbers and claims for success.  As included in the videos below, Krauthammer reminds us that when the Obamacare legislation was passed, among the many promises made by the President, was that this new law would insure significant number of uninsured Americans.  When the many American’s canceled insurance policies are taken into account, it is likely that something less than 2 million of the previous uninsured are now insured.  This is a pitiful result considering the total number of uninsured Americans, as well as the outrageous costs and disruptions coming with the Obamacare legislature.

When the “accounting” for Obamacare is finally made clear to Americans, it will prove once again there is no such thing as a free lunch.  It will also prove that this President and his Progressive allies either willfully misled Americans or were totally inept in designing the legislation that bears the President’s name.

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Greg Gutfeld Quotes

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 1, 2014

Greg GutfeldGreg Gutfeld is a television satirist and commentator often seen on Fox News.  Liberals typically paint Gutfeld with a broad brush and label him as a conservative, which is a mistake.  Gutfeld has a strong Libertarian bent and often proffers stringent, but logical, attacks on elitist politicians in both parties.

In explaining his philosophies, Gutfeld has said: “I became a conservative by being around liberals (At UC Berkeley) and I became a libertarian by being around conservatives.  You realize that there’s something distinctly in common between the two groups, the left and the right; the worst part of each of them is the moralizing.”

One example of Gutfeld’s use of satire in promoting his political views was his response to the New York Imam who in 2010 announced plans to build an Islamic community center immediately adjacent to ground zero.  In responding to this insensitive proposition, Gutfeld said:

“As an American, I believe they have every right to build the mosque – after all, if they buy the land and they follow the law – who can stop them?  Which is why, in the spirit of outreach, I’ve decided to do the same thing.  I’m announcing tonight that I am planning to build and open the first gay bar that caters not only to the west, but also to Islamic gay men.  I hope the mosque owners will be as open to the bar, as I am to the new mosque.  After all, the belief driving them to open their Islamic center near ground zero is no different than mine … tolerance and understanding.”

More recently Gutfeld has published a book titled “Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You.”  The book is pure Gutfeld, using satire and humor to make a point.  Included below are 11 worthy Gutfeld quotes:

Greg Gutfeld quotations:

  • Pick a political, cultural, or moral universe, and in each one it’s the cool who seek to punish, mock, or thwart the uncool.  They do this freely and without much resistance, for exacting cool revenge is so common that the uncool let it happen without a fight – a sort of cultural Stockholm syndrome.  Even as the cool put out ads condemning bullying, they spend the rest of their time turning persecution into an art form.  The cool are just bullies with stylists and publicists.”
  • “The definition of cool: popularity without achievement.  It’s how President Obama got the youth vote.  Ask any kid who voted for him, “Why did you do it?,” and the convoluted, wide-eyed answer will ultimately translate into: “He’s cool and that other guy wasn’t.” (Now they’re paying the brunt of Obamacare.  Suckers.)  The media pushed this to the hilt, and much of the public bought it.  Hope and change is cool because it sounds cool, even if it’s undefined.  An activist government is cool too, because giving stuff away is cool – especially when it’s other people’s stuff – and therefore perceived as philanthropic.  But philanthropy without feeling the pain in your own wallet is super-easy to do, and about as cool as giving away your roommate’s food while he’s at work trying to pay for that food.”
  • “In February 2013 it was revealed that Facebook paid no income taxes for 2012.  As reported by CNN, among other places, the social network was due a tax refund of almost 430 million bucks.  Now, this is a company that made one billion before taxes (which buys approximately 50 million hoodies for Mark Zuckerberg).  But they were able to secure the refund because of a tax deduction from stock options issued to Facebook employees.  I won’t pretend to understand how this works (as an English major, I have no discernible skills other than spelling discernible correctly), but I know this: that because this company happened to be Facebook, the story was a one-day affair.  It came and went like an ice cream headache, leaving neither a bruise nor a hickey on the Zuckerberg Empire.  If this company were something that actually made something in a factory or field, it would be roundly condemned by every single media hack on the planet.”
  • “At one point, back in February, on Al Sharpton’s show (I believe it’s on MSNBC, a network for grad students suffering from shingles), President Obama made a petulant observation that what unites the Republican Party is protecting the rich from having their taxes raised.  Well then … what about your friends at Google, Twitter, and Facebook, Mr. President?  Don’t they have to pay their fair share?  If Obama got any more adolescent, I’d have to ground him for a week and take away his Twitter privileges.  No more selfies at memorial services for world leaders.”
  • “How funny is it that so many professors labeled Tea Partiers as terrorists, while kissing the asses of real, bona fide terrorists?  It’s not funny, really.  But it’s the result of a simple equation: One is cool, and the other isn’t.  Own a gun and keep it by your bed in your remote farmhouse?  You’re a redneck.  Purchase guns that end up killing a judge?  Priceless.  As long as you cling to cool, progressive beliefs that deem America evil, whatever you do is cool.  And if you do it under a big fuzzy ‘fro? Even cooler.  Hell, if you ‘fro is big enough, you could nuke an orphanage and still get tenure.”
  • “Whenever this preindustrial utopia is being discussed, real progress is always a marker for evil American domination.  We have all the good stuff, and since we are evil, so is all of that good stuff we’ve made.  I always wonder, if a twenty-three-year-old protester seeking the simple life suddenly finds out she has breast cancer, would she reject all that medical technology that a simple life cannot offer?  If she sticks to her principles, she’s in the morgue by twenty-four.  There are no atheists in foxholes – and few Luddites in the dorms, when it comes right down to it.  You can’t play five seasons of Breaking Bad on a bong.”
  • “Communal in the end means coercive.  Their desire to change your way of life is independent of the result.  They really don’t care if it works.  What they want is what they condemn: power.  Like Obamacare, their power is about limiting your options, because your deprivation is their victory.  At least a greedy CEO’s hunger for power might actually benefit a company and its shareholders.  For these eco-maniacs, it’s about subtraction: Your sacrifice enhances their power.  It’s the basis of all fascism, and ultimately ends in misery.  Their real aim is scoring major cool points: The greenies gain a victory against the evil industrial complex that poisons hairless minority orphans.  That’s sure to get a movie made about them by Matt Damon, a movie no one sees outside Matt Damon’s immediate family.”
  • “So, two million people die from lack of safe fuels to provide the most important need (warmth).  But instead, our politicians, activists, and celebrities would rather focus on something that may or may not contribute to a five-figure death count.  How come?  Again, the argument against coal is an argument against man-made machines (even though coal is made by earth) and, of course, America.  Coal is America.  You are cooler and braver to blame America.  Imagine if you actually pointed out that in a world where only the warm survive, coal beats everything, hands down. Shi*, people are actually burning shi* to survive.  If dung actually were an effective fuel, MSNBC could heat the entire solar system.”
  • “Pacifists may be cool, but they are leeches.  For them to exist you need nonpacifists willing to die.  There’s another Gutfeld rule: The number of pacifists increases in direct proportion to their distance from the danger (or their proximity to the faculty lounge–same thing really).  It’s an ideology better suited as art-work taped to a parent’s refrigerator, but instead it’s born from the academic media complex that firmly believes America is at fault.  Anti-Americanism gives you cool creed (especially when you’re a celebrity on foreign soil), as it helps you ignore the real evil simmering around the world.  It’s why every college student comes home for the holidays with dumb ideas about the world.  Everything that has brought them to their fortunate spot in life becomes detached from the very entity that allowed their comfy lifestyle to happen–the big fu**ing army that protects us.”
  • “…ask any criminal (which some actual researchers have done) and they’ll tell you: Knowing a victim might have a gun dissuades them from approaching that victim.  But research on gun control is nowhere near as cool as screaming “guns kill children” and demanding action on Twitter, in between therapy sessions and Pilates.  Witness the latest celebrities participating in gun control YouTube PSAs.  Most at one point in their career rely on armed security to handle all their safety needs.  If only we were all like Beyonce, then we could marry a very rich man (and ex-criminal) who has an arsenal.  Jay-Z has ninety-nine problems, but not owning a gun isn’t one.  Bottom line: The argument ends with “Guns are bad.  Guns kill people.  End of story.”  This passes as intellectual thought for Sarah Silverman.  By the way, if feminism means women are now free to be stoned as men have traditionally been, congrats, Sarah.  You’re the Rosa Parks of pot.”
  • “It’s strange to me that the cool, by their very definition committed to being against “the Man,” would embrace an endless maze of bureaucracies that turns everyone into massive zombies, waiting for their allotment of bread and cheese.  In the name of the public good, the cool happily hand over their power of individual freedom and the dynamic economy that it produces to a bloated blob of arbitrary administration.  You have the media-academic complex saluting protesters demanding more government, so they can do–and think–less.  They are marching in favor of dependency.  They are marching for the right to suck.”

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Chris Christie versus Obamacare Advocate

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 31, 2014

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s political capital has taken a turn southward with the bridge-gate scandal. That scandal raises questions as to whether the governor was involved in tying up bridge traffic as payback to a political opponent. While the jury is out on Christie’s guilt or innocence, the smell of scandal has taken its toll. It remains to be seen whether the damage to Christie’s 2016 presidential run is terminal.

Irrespective of how the bridge-gate scandal plays out, or ones view of Christie’s political philosophies, it is refreshing to see some straight talk from a politician. In a New Jersey town hall meeting the governor was strongly challenged by an Obamacare supporter. His response was pure Christie, without apologies as included in the video below. Most politicians refuse to offer such straight talk for fear of losing the next election, i.e. their power.

Posted in Chris Christie | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »


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