Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A strong, clear message

I was going to type up a long rant about how happy I am about the election results, but I was having a hard time putting my feelings into words. Then, I received the following newsletter from the Obama camp, and I think this pretty much sums it up:

Dear Friend,

Congratulations. You did it.

At this hour, because of your voices and your votes, the Democratic Party has taken back the House and the Senate for the first time in more than a decade. Across the country, a new generation of leaders is coming to Washington – leaders who are ready to listen to the American people and solve America’s problems.

This should make us happy Democrats, but more importantly, it should make us hopeful Americans.

Hopeful that the years of gridlock and partisanship; of blame and bickering will finally give way to civility and solutions.

Hopeful that this overwhelming victory will finally force the President to realize that governing is not a war of ideologies, but a contest of ideas.

Hopeful that when we’re finally able to bring the issues you care about to the halls of Congress, we will finally have enough leaders – Democrat and Republican – who say “yes” to a higher minimum wage, “yes” to more affordable health care and college tuition, “yes” to an energy independent America, and “yes” to a new plan in Iraq that starts to bring our troops home.

Elections come and elections go. Some make little difference in the life of our country – and some change the course of history forever. I am so proud of those of you who have donated your time, your energy, and your resources to get us where we are today. But in order to change history, we now have to work even harder to turn last night’s results into tomorrow’s progress. I’ll be asking you to help me do this in the days and months to come, and I can’t wait to get to work.


U.S. Senator Barack Obama

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Lefty Metalhead said...

Obama never ceases to amaze me! He is so presidential. He nailed it, just like you said BND. Unlike the wingnuts, we Democrats have decided to work to get things done, even if we must work with the GOP. Civility and progress will reign.

Congrats to all the fighting Dems!

BND and LEFTY: The coolest partisans on the net!

BlackLabelAxe said...

Okay, party time is over. Now it's back to the issues:

Higher minimum wage laws actually hurt business owners and minimum wage earners alike.

Government price controls on medicine destroy any incentive for creating newer, better drugs.

Government control over education, specifically the Board of Education, has caused the quality of education from our public schools to drop every year despite record amounts of money being spent.

Which shall we debate first?

I like what he said about energy independence, and about ending the bitching and blame, and taking a new course in Iraq. I really like the way Obama carries himself, but there's economic issues that Democrats often have these wacky stances on that aren't based on a sound understanding of economics.

BlackLabelAxe said...

Oh, and here's one that Republicans and Democrats get wrong all the time:

Price gouging is good for consumers, especially in a time of emergency. Government price controls creates hardships of Biblical proportions. In fact, the worst consumer catastrophies in our history have all been caused by the government "looking out for the little guy".

Lefty Metalhead said...

Price gouging is never good. If we are to follow that logic, then why isn't it ok for the government to heavily raise taxes in a time of emergency? If price-gougers make more profit, then they should be taxed more.

BlackLabelAxe said...

Price gouging protects vital supplies that would be wasted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Price gouging also creates incentive to rush vital supplies back to an emergency-torn area.

Think about how quickly they fixed the gasoline distribution network in the wake of Katrina. If the government stepped in and fixed the price where it was before, there would be no incentive to work overtime and fix that shit (git 'r done!!!).

Nixon did this in '73, and we had the worst gasoline shortage in our history. Didn't the Arabs embargo us for our support of Israel? Yeap, but not until November, and the gas crisis started in March. The culprit? Government arrogance fixing the price of gasoline at $0.45/gallon. Refiners couldn't make money, so why even work? I don't get up every morning for charity. I'd love to, but I like to eat and keep my house warm. Oh yeah, and I like my house too.

At $3/gallon, there's money to be made, so you'll work 18-hour shifts for days on end. Go ahead and let the polichickens fix it at $2, and watch everybody just say "fuck it, I'll get to that next week" like the IRS does.

Taxing the windfalls made during emergency only dampens the rebuilding process. If somebody is smart enough to make money off supplies that are deperately needed, they are clearly better at handling money than our government. Therefore, that money should not be progressively taxed, because it will be wisely managed in the hands of those who earned it.

This is a subject that should be broken out in a seperate thread, because this is an explosive topic that sincerely offends people at first glance.

BigNewsDay said...

I have to disagree with you Axe. Price gouging is nothing more than business owners taking advantage of those people that have been put in very unfortunate situations. The types of people that would take advantage of those in their time of need are the lowest form of scum on the planet.

BlackLabelAxe said...

...but the problem is that regulations that prevent price gouging are the cause of massive shortages.

The market will ration itself. Let's say that in another Katrina-like even, one gas station in town starts charging $5/gallon for gas.

You laugh at his dumb ass, because nobody is going to pay that much for gas. Well, everybody else selling at $3/gallon just ran out of gas. Lines form, but nobody is going anywhere. You look at $5/gallon, and decide that you'll just ride your bike tomorrow, because we're not talking life or death, the truth is that no gas is a small inconvenience in your situation.

Your neighbor has a pregnant wife that's about to deliver. He doesn't like $5 a gallon, but in a moment of brilliance he realizes that if this price gouger had charged $3 like everybody else, he'd be stuck in that line with everybody else, but he's got a genuine emergency, and all the other jackasses are just lining up like a herd of chicken littles for their joyriding juice.

The gouged price just protected your supply. It was expensive, but you needed it, and it was there for you.

Price gouging laws delay rebuilding, and cause frustrating shortages. The market is smarter and faster than the idiots in Washington that don't know enough about economics to pass an undergraduate level exam. That's fucking scary when you think about the gravity of their decisions.

BlackLabelAxe said...

Are price gougers really the scum of the earth? Let's uncover some myths:

Weatherman says a hurricane's a'blowin'. Chicken Littles run to the hardware store to buy 20-packs of batteries in sizes that they don't even have flashlights for, but that's what the newsman says to do. You all know that people really are that fucking retarded. All you need to hear is a hint of flurries and motherfuckers clean out the milk and bread like the Red Army just landed in Florida.

After the emergency, you realize you really fucking need a flashlight, and you need batteries. You go to honest Abe, who wouldn't dare charge more than he did before. He's the honorable guy. He'd love to sell you batteries at this "fair" price. He's sold out of fucking batteries, so he can't help you.

Scum of the earth across the street is selling a pack of batteries for $30 instead of $4. You cuss and call him names before the storm, but after the storm when you really need them, he'll sell you batteries in any size, because he has them in stock. His price is so high that you won't get them unless you actually need them.

Scum of the earth had batteries in your time of need. Honest Abe put his hands up and sent you away wishing you luck.

BlackLabelAxe said...

Now this is where the market flexes it's muscle:

As soon as word gets out that 4-packs of batteries are selling for $30, everybody that stocked up on them starts selling for $20, then $10, then $5, then back to about $4.

Because people could make money, they rushed to fill in the gap between the supply and demand.

If the almighty bastards in suits decided that you can only charge $4 for a pack of batteries (or you're a criminal!), they remain sold out, and neighbors will help neighbors, but there's no large-scale flow of supplies to where they're needed most. At $4 a pack, you're trading even, and why even bother to fuck with it when you're busy chain-sawing fallen trees out of your living room?

Lefty Metalhead said...

Unfortunately Axe, price gouging fucks the less fortunate. What good is it to protect supply if some of the people won't be able to buy it. Some wealthy asshole will drive up to the store in his Porsche SUV and buy the product at an astronomical price. He will stock up on the product and he will likely end up leaving much of it unused. The poor family down the street, because of this market-saving price gouging is fucked. The market doesn't give a fuck about the less fortunate. We can't personify the market because it doesn't have feelings. People have feelings, and that is why many noble politicians stop the gouging.

If a business is smart-enough to mark-up a product at a time of emergency, then we know the government will be even smarter to tax the windfall profits. If there's no pity on the poor, there should be no pity on the opportunist gougers. After all, taxing windfalls is a great way of giving back.