January 04, 2012

Various Thoughts on Politics as Well as the Coveted Brickmuppet Blog ENDORSEMENT!

I haven't opined on politics in a while. With this being an election year, it seems like a good idea to put my cards on the table and weigh in on various current issues.


"Oh God NO!" " PLEASE don't. We were almost making friends and EVERYTHING!"



OK! OK! !t's below the fold.
National Priorities
1
The biggest threat to the USA is our debt.  This is steadily approaching current Greek or UK levels, though it is not there yet. I'm guessing (and I'm likely being optimistic) that we have about 2 and a half years to get things turned around before they become utterly unrecoverable. The death spiral has already begun as the boomers are beginning to retire and are starting to impatiently thrust their plates in the faces of the nation.  Serious restructuring needs to be implemented YESTERDAY. Unfortunately, lack of an extant Tardis means that such restructuring must take place in a steadily less solvent future. Historical examples of what happens when a nation does not get its balance sheet in order include Argentina (which was once a peer competitor to the US), Quing dynasty China (which had other issues as well) and Weimar Germany. These did not lead to high points in human history. What might happen when a nation as big as the US suffers a similar collapse is an intellectually interesting question that I do not want to find the answer to.

  The solution for this becomes more painful the longer we put it off. We keep putting it off because the solutions are painful...and also because the political and particularly the bureaucratic establishment has a considerable interest in maintaining their little fiefdoms.

In this regard the Tea Party is absolutely correct. The spending has to be cut. However, that is not enough...not by a long shot. Revenues need to be increased....a LOT. This leads to a catch 22 as a tax increase particularly on the highest incomes ( the most productive and likely to invest) is going to stifle growth and if NY is any indication, risks REDUCING revenues. The other option, regressive taxation is unlikely to be politically possible, won't do much good and is of course ethically problematic. I laid out here how over regulation is killing our transportation infrastructure projects...that holds doubly true for energy. Regards the clean air regulations shutting down powerplants all over the country, these needed to be passed a long time ago...but now is not the time to further burden the economy. Likewise, the financial regulations need to be rolled back at least to the 90's. The Scandals that inspired Sarbanes Oxely involved the breaking of then existing laws. Not a new minefield of regulations. The housing collapse was due likewise to existing laws being enforced, and a lack of oversight, not a lack of laws.

 Cutting the size of government is part of the issue but the biggest thing is the entitlements. When Rick Perry said the Social Security was a ponzi scheme he was not being hyperbolic...it is intrinsically unsustainable. Its solvency depended on over half the population dieing before eligible age and abirthrate considerably beyond replacement. Neither of these factors have been true for a long time. Those on it or within 15 years of getting it need to have their obligations fulfilled. Everyone else needs to buck up and prepare to support themselves. 2 - three years is going to make all tbe difference in whether we collapse, because for the next few years the number of boomers retiring is going to grow almost each year.  If don't arrest this soon, we are done.

2
Defense and International Relations

 Europe is done. Finished. They have done everything the progressives here have suggested and proven Progressivism, socialism, leftism (or whatever the US Fabians are calling themselves this week to disguise their fail) to be utterly disastrous. For that we should thank them. Don't poke them during their decent into oblivion but our focus needs to shift to this hemisphere and Asia.

China is a rival but not necessarily an opponent. We already HAVE an opponent. That is the forces of militant Islam which has been primed by oil money and is engaged in reigniting their murderous and expansive jihad. The best way to deal with that is to stop providing them money. That involves a massive expansion of our domestic oil production. The US has the potential to far outstrip Saudi Arabia for 30-100 years. In production. A small export tax on domestically produced oil would increase revenues dramatically. Of course we need to be looking at alternatives during that window, but reducing the islamist petro states relevancy and income would be a major blow.

As for force structures and such, we need to do much with little. A Navy is the backbone of a merchant republic, a large active duty standing army over time is non-conducive to republican (small "r") virtues.   Even then, cuts are going to be needed, but I think we ought to start with the fact that Flag/General officers are a little too common. We have more admirals in the USN than we have ships this would seem to indicate hat some re-allotment of resources is desirable.  As to long term issues with kit I won't go into the weeds here but more broadly there are lessons to be learned historically. During the Meiji and Taisho Eras the Japanese had a slogan "Rich Nation=Strong Military" see point one.

Closer to home, Mexico is a failed state bordering on becoming an abattoir. This is going to be a terrible problem and leads into....

3
Immigration
This ought not to be a major issue but it is and it's quite polarizing.
Note that I do advocate expanding and streamlining legal immigration. However, given the situation in Mexico, a robust physical barrier is necessary.  This is only impractical because of regulations, the Chinese built a much longer wall than we need with perfectly acceptable durability height and width a thousand years ago using stone knives, bearskins and coolies. We have massive earth-moving equipment arc welders and 12+ million laborers who want to become Americans.

Regards those already here, well,  I'm a raging RINO on this issue.

I firmly believe that illegal immigrants need to be held accountable for trespassing and violating our immigration laws. However, given that their crime was that they wanted to be Americans I'm willing to have their accountability involve a stiff fine payable over several years (helping our debt problem) and demanding they speak English, rather than deportation.
I have 3 reasons for this.
1: In the case of Mexicans they are fleeing for their lives and trying to save their children from the bloodbath. There is an ethical case to be made to grant at least a temporary claim of force majure. Sending them right back is not good.

2: The infrastructure needed to hunt down 12-20 million people is that of a police state. For those who find this Paulian argument fatuous I have 3 words....
Barack. Husein. Obama. 
Leftists have a fascist streak a mile wide. I do not wish to give them the legal tools to micromonitor the population. The unintended consequences of the drug war  have already eroded the fourth amendment. A campaign to hunt down strangers living amongst us who are not actively committing crimes would build up a considerable infrastructure. That concerns me.


3: They WANT to be Americans, and they are motivated enough to come here. This is a plus. Assuming they learn English, are otherwise law abiding (and don't engage in secessionist activities) they are going to be far better citizens than the #Occupy asshats, Bill Maher, 70% of the academics I've met, 90 percent of politicians, all of MSMBC's lineup and most weeaboos. They tend to have a work ethic, they are culturally conservative and they have seen in stark relief that there are far worse places to be. Perhaps it's I sit in classes with quite bored, spoiled millennials, but people who are sufficient risk takers to brave a leaky boat, a desert or coyotes to save their family and achieve their dream seem like not a bad thing to be adding to our polity right now.

2 caveats:

They need to keep their nose clean and not be involved with Klannish associations like LaRaza. They need to learn English (we sure as hell don't need to be any further divided as a nation). If they commit crimes,, advocate the seccession of "AZTLAN", or refuse to speak our language then deport them with extreme prejudice. Otherwise, I just am not feeling the rage. 

4
Corporatism

Palin was right. THIS is the cancer that is killing the republic and stifling innovation.

First, that the United States is now governed by a "permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called "corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).


Palin did not run and had little chance if she had done so, but this issue was one she was passionate about and it goes to the heart of a great many of our problems. The idea that you have to be connected with government is a dagger in the heart of innovation and the American Dream. This corruption needs to be addressed and quick, or everything else is rather pointless as the fiefdoms this corporatist culture incubate will kill any necessary reforms.

So, who do I support?
Well, I'll support the Republican nominee, but none of then are exciting, and most pretty bad.
Palin did not run...
Cain looked for a time like he might be interesting as he made it plain that he knew what he did not know. Then he made it plain that he did not CARE what he did not know. I dropped him long before the allegations took out his campaign (and in fairness it now seems they were wholly contrived)
Perry is one of the few people who will say that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. I had hopes that he could articulate this point but articulate has two more syllables than he is capable of pronouncing without sounding like a fool.
Gingrich is likable, smart, inspiring and an expert on how D.C. works. But he has NO executive experience and has some crazy ideas about nullifying the courts through extraconstitutional methods.
Romney: See #4

So I'm now going to endorse Huntsman.

He has a solid business background. He's been an ambassador twice and he was a spectacularly successful governor of Utah. Yeah, he's urbane and irritating at times but he is a solid executive and on the issues is pretty damned conservative. He tries to present his views in a reasonable manner, which gets him labeled a RINO.  Whereas we bomb-throwers are trying to inspire the base, HE is trying to persuade independents that Conservatism is not crazy...a tall order given the media.
He adopted two kids and sired 5, none of whom seem particularly maladjusted. He crossed party lines to work as Ambassador of China. This is a demerit to many on the right, but while we were chanting "country first!" last election...he lived it. He served his country in that manner and gave the president a chance, found him wanting and ran for office.

He ought to be the front-runner on narrative alone, but the party establishment hates him...which as far as I'm concerned is a feature, not a bug. He also is making a real effort to be a unifying rather than polarizing figure. It is unlikely to succeed given the media, but it iscan effort I truly appreciate.

John Huntsman For President.
 


Update 01/10:



Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 09:13 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 2007 words, total size 15 kb.

1 There's a lot of sense to what you say, but I can't fully agree with "They WANT to be Americans, and they are motivated enough to come here."  Anyone who can spend 20 years here and insist on not learning and using at least a little of the local language doesn't want to be an American, he just wants to make American wages.
I don't expect someone to move to a country as an adult and become fluent in that country's language, but I expect him to try. 

Posted by: Rick C at Sun Jan 22 22:50:53 2012 (/5bLf)

Hide Comments | Add Comment

Comments are disabled. Post is locked.
38kb generated in CPU 0.02, elapsed 0.0309 seconds.
66 queries taking 0.014 seconds, 264 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.