MartiniPundit

Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

It’s Crawl Over Broken Glass Day!

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Vote!

The day is upon us, and it is time to vote out the failed Obama experiment. In truth, I'm not certain he thinks he's failed, since part of me still thinks that this is what he and his Alinskyite allies planned all along.

But, for the rest of us, this is abject failure. And four more years would only make it worse. Possibly unfixably worse.

More debt, more spending, more regulation, more government control, more environmental restrictions, more division, more failed foreign policy, more bowing, more dead Mexicans, more dead Americans, more tyranny!

Less jobs, less economic growth, less energy independence, less household income, less healthcare, less purchasing power, less military power, less international respect, less unity, less freedom!

Romney has made the case for a brighter future. He's got the experience and the vision to bring this country back to greatness. He gets it. Cut spending. Cut taxes. Cut regulation. Get government out of the way, and watch the innate resilience of America roar back. Keep our national defense strong, and bow to no one.

MartiniPundit proudly endorses Mitt Romney for president. Now go out and vote for him. And while you're at it, vote straight Republican down ticket. President Romney is going to need a congress willing to work with him to get the job done.

Vote! Crawl over broken glass but vote!

Messing With the Unemployment Number

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7.8%.

Piffle.

I have all along expected the unemployment number to magically decrease just before the election. The BLS has been cooking the books all along. Is it really credible that people have “stopped looking for work?” There is a difference between being discouraged and throwing in the towel.

I would have been disappointed if Obama and his BLS didn't try to buffalo us at this point. 23 million+ fewer people (according to Obama) in the workforce. Add back a few hundred thousand in part-time jobs and hey, the “private sector is doing just fine.”

Really? Job recovery begins as soon as Obama loses his.

 

Written by martinipundit

October 6, 2012 at 1:19 am

Enjoyed Some Pizza Last Night

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After hearing that Michelle Obama wanted people to skip pizza and send the money to Barack, we promptly changed our dinner plans at Villa MartiniPundit and ordered in a couple of pies from Domino's. Pepperoni and mushroom and a Hawaiian. Tipped the driver well too – people need the work.

 

Written by martinipundit

September 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Drunkblogging the RNC – Day Three IV

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10:32 – And here comes Romney!

10:33 – Romney’s coming in like a President does for the State of the Union address. Brilliant!

10:42 – Solid beginning. You were promised change, but it didn’t happen. You’re working harder. He wants America to succeed, so he wished President Obama had succeeded, but he didn’t.

10:45 – Neil Armstrong’s boots made a permanent impression on the moon and on our souls. Nice.

10:46 – The confidence to know that when the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American. Can anyone imagine Obama saying something like that?

10:54 – You know there’s something wrong when the best feeling you have for Barack Obama was the day you voted for him.

10:58 – In America we celebrate success, we don’t apologize for success.

11:00 – Now turning to the future. What can be. Just what he needs to do.

11:04 – Energy independence. Yes, jobs, and kicking our enemies to the curb.

11:08 – No, Mr. President, America takes out dictators.

11:09 – Hitting hard on foreign policy. “Our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin a little less flexibility.”

11:11 – Looks like the peroration is coming.

11:12 – A military so strong that no nation will dare test it.

11:13 – Done and one. Romney did what he needed to do in this speech.

A glass raised to the 45th President of the United States!

Drunkblogging the RNC – Day Three III

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10:02 – Clint Eastwood!

10:03 – Save a little for Mitt. Heh.

10:06 – Eastwood is talking to an empty chair in which he’s having an imaginary dialogue with Obama. That’s fantastic! And Obama told him to shut up!

10:08 – “I’m not gonna shut up. It’s my turn.”

10:09 – “You’re getting as bad as Biden.” This is vicious. I love it.

10:11 – Apparently Obama is suggesting Romney and Eastwood do something to themselves which is anatomically improbable.

10:12 – We own this country. Politicians are our employees. That is the truth.

10:14 – OK, Eastwood stole the show. Can’t say I’m surprised.

10:15 – And here comes Rubio. Tough act to follow.

10:19 – The problem with Obama is not that he’s a bad person. He’s a bad president.

10:22 – Fourth Martini.

10:24 – “To whom much is given, much will be required.” St. Benedict not Karl Marx.

Drunkblogging the RNC – Day Two II

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9:02 – The founder of Staples is speaking. The Obama campaign wants us to focus on one closed steel mill, and ignore the success that Bain made of Staples. How many people are employed by Staples? How many businesses are empowered by Staples? I'm thinking a lot.

9:43 – The Olympians are speaking. Kinda slow. I think it’s time for the third Martini!

10:01 – The obligatory slickly produced video on the candidate. Nicely done. Cute kids.

Drunkblogging the RNC – Day Three

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So, the third and last day of the RNC. Martini in hand, I await the big moment – Romney's acceptance speech.

7:52 pm – Newt and Callista Gingrich are tag-teaming. Not the best time slot, but good in the interest of party unity.

8:00 – Good video by elected Hispanics. Best part was the other party taking them for granted. Needs to be said early and often.

8:05 – Jeb Bush takes the podium. His brother “kept us safe.” All too true, and Obama has not.

8:07 – Time to stop blaming your predecessor. A real leader would take responsibility.

8:09 – Segueing to education. Good. A critical area in our country which has too long been in the iron grip of unions and lefties. Our public education performance is abysmal.

8:38 – Two old folks are at the podium. A retired firefighter and his wife from Medford, MA. The race to prove Romney isn’t a vulcan is on.

8:46 – Powerful story by a mother who nearly lost her daughter of three months. Mitt was there for her family.

8:50 – Second Martini.

8:51 – Bain Capital has been spoken out loud! Let the true story come out.

Drunkblogging the RNC – Day Two IV

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10:26 – RNC video looking at the magnificent USS Wisconsin. Paul Ryan comng up!

10:27 – I think the election turns on this speech. This will change the trajectory.

10:28 – Word is, much of this is his stump speech. We'll see.

10:29 – Wow! That forum is packed!

10:30 – The President is pretty experienced at throwing away money. Heh.

10:34 – Focus on Obama’s failure. Plants he promised would stay open that haven’t. College graduates unable to find work. The Stimulus patronage and cronyism.

10:37 – Rules, mandates, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country. Welcome to Obamacare.

10:38 – “The biggest, coldest part of Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly. 716 billion dollars funneled out of Medicare to pay for an entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare.” Ouch.

10:40 – Who would have thought Medicare would be a Republican issue this time. Paul Ryan, that’s who.

10:42 – A presidency grasping at yesterday’s wind. Lovely.

10:43 – We have suffered no shortage of words. What is missing is leadership.

10:46 – They have no answer to this simple reality: we need to stop spending money we don’t have. Yes! Math is hard!

10:49 – Betty!

10:51 – A shoutout to Jack Kemp, and well deserved!

10:53 – Obama may blame others but the rest of us have to live in his economy. College students shouldn’t have to stare at faded Obama posters for hope. Brilliant.

10:54 – A country where everything is free but us. Tell it Brother Paul!

10:56 – A challenger must stand on his own merits.

10:57 – I’ve heard songs on Governor Romney’s iPod that I’ve heard on elevators. Generation X is here!

11:00 – Ryan also tackles the Mormon issue. Bearing the image of the Lord of Life, we are made for a reason.

11:01 – Even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and nature’s God.

11:03 – “Let’s get this done.” The next vice president of the United States, and clearly the future president of the United States.

Drunkblogging the RNC – Day Two III

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9:55 – Condi! Condi! Condi!

9:56 – MSNBC has just cut to a commercial.

9:57 – Why has this woman removed herself from the political field? I understand, I sympathize, I just don’t approve.

9:58 – “We stand for free peoples, and free markets. We will defend and support them.” Amen.

10:01 – “We do not have a choice. We cannot be reluctant to lead. And you cannot lead from behind.”

10:02 – Our military strength will be safe in Mitt Romney’s hands. Implication: it is not in Obama’s.

10:05 – I must note that Phyllis Schlafly would approve of Condi’s outfit. Also, if Qaddafi were still alive he’d be Tivoing this speech.

10:08 – Immigration is a major theme that a lot of these speakers are hitting. Not illegal but legal immigration. I wonder if it’s too subtle though.

10:14 – All I can say is she’s still young. Run for office Condi!

10:15 – Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico.

10:17 – She speaks of a .357 Magnum. Wow.

10:21 – “I’ll be damned! We’re Republicans!” I see a Bumper sticker.

10:23 – The national debt: He did build that.

10:24 – Martini number four!

Drunkblogging the RNC – Day Two II

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9:00 – Senator Rob Portman speaks. The 'safe' VP choice. Good for him though, he says the list wasn't short enough.

9:02 – Great question: with which candidate would you invest your life savings. Crikey, that’s not even hard for liberals.

9:03 – FDR and Truman won an entire World War in four years. Heh.

9:04 – Blaming others does not qualify as a plan. Also, zero votes for his budget which is a failure of leadership.

9:08 – Framing the election as a choice, not a referendum. Like Medicare, the Republicans are this time playing on the Democratic field and winning. This is different.

9:09 – “No more years!” Heh.

9:11 – Telling the story of his parents building their business. Again and again, this is the quintessential American story. Barack Obama doesn’t get that, and I very much doubt he gets how alien his “You didn’t build that” sounds to American ears. Liz Warren, aka ‘Crockajawea,’ gave him this. It may be her biggest contribution to the 2012 election cycle.

9:18 – Luis Fortuno, Governor of Puerto Rico is speaking. MSNBC you gettin’ this? Copy that.

9:30 – Lord, Tim Pawlenty and the third Martini. Those two things don’t go together!

9:31 – Good lines, some Obama bashing, but this guy is still from Minnesota.

9:33 – Best Line Ever! Sorry Obama, “a lot of people fail at their first job.”

9:37 – “Can do spirit and a lifetime of success.” This is a key thing about Romney. He has succeeded at every single thing he has ever attempted, with the sole exception of unseating Ted Kennedy in 1994. My nephew asked about his inability to get the nomination in 2008, but that too is a success. Republicans run in advance, and get nominated in the next available cycle. And so it is with Romney.

9:39 – Mike Huckabee takes the podium.

9:48 – Talking about Evangelicals supporting someone who isn’t and notes the only Evangelical running is Obama. “An attack on my Catholic brothers and sisters is an attack on me.”

9:49 – “I care far less about where Mitt Romney takes his family to church, than where he takes this country.” Mike Huckabee is probably the most prominent Evangelical politician in the country. For him to say these things is really important.

Drunkblogging the RNC – Day Two

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So, still on the first Martini, and caught snippets of some earlier speeches. Must say that Mitch McConnell is a slice of wonder bread, still he's more lively than Harry “the corpse” Reid. And Rand Paul is setting himself up as a loyal opposition of sorts. Still, he called for Romney's election, and that's a good thing. From what I've been reading today, I'm sorry I missed the Mia Love speech, but I understand so did the MSNBC viewers. Apparently, they also missed everyone else of color too except for Nikki Haley. Hmm, racist much?

8:00 pm – John McCain. I may not have much to say about him.

8:06 – Talking about leaking secrets from the White House. McCain does have some moral authority here.

8:09 – Calling Obama out for failing to support the Iranians in their rebellion. Obama is right up there with Carter on fecklessness where Iran is concerned.

8:12 – McCain has already mentioned Romney more than Santorum and Christie combined.

8:30 – Tag team attorneys general. Interesting floor show. He looks a bit like Jon Lovitz, she looks like she isn’t old enough to vote.

8:33 – The really important update: second Martini!

Pelosi Dumb?

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Recently there has been a spate of articles asking if Rick Perry is dumb (and even one asking if Barack Obama is dumb). It is certainly a staple of American politics that anyone on the right is dumb. After all, George Bush certainly was, not to mention Ronald Reagan. The flip side of this assertion is that liberal politicians are smart. The arrogance and ignorance of those who actually believe such propaganda needs no explication. For these assertions are based not on any evidence, behavior, or activities, but on party label. In short, if you are a Republican you are dumb, and if you are a Democrat you are smart. I find this rather simplistic and somewhat lacking in empirical evidence as you might expect.

But, let’s apply the Forrest Gump standard: stupid is as stupid does. And let’s look just at Nancy Pelosi for the moment – onetime speaker of the house, and current minority leader. Let us also just focus on her most recent statement: the lack of a rebuttal is disrespectful to the president.

Really? Not providing an alternate view to the president is a sign of disrespect? Or is it that one doesn’t consider the president’s words needing a rebuttal? After all, disagreeing with the president we are told is racist. Now, not disagreeing with him is disrespectful. Exactly how does Nancy Pelosi view Barack Obama? It appears he is somehow above disagreement and above … response? I don’t get it. What is Pelosi after?

Does she want a Republican response highlighting how all of the president’s prior policies have made the economic situation worse? Or, does she want the Republicans to challenge the efficacy of Stimulus II? Does she want the Republicans to put forth their own agenda of tax cuts, lower regulation, repeal of Obamacare, and less government intrusion?

I doubt it. It seems to me that Pelosi is out for short-term political gain. A gain which will not materialize based on the last couple of years. And that makes Nancy Pelosi dumb.

A Further Thought About Debt

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Now that the debt crisis is behind us, I would like to add some thoughts.

Firstly, I am pleased that the focus has shifted from spending to cutting. By no means does this bill cut enough spending, but directionally it is good. The democrats have been forced to accept that cuts are good and spending is too high. More needs to be done, but the national conversation has moved to the idea of fiscal responsibility.

Secondly, I very pleased to see that the Left is going absolutely apeshit over this deal. I wasn’t all that thrilled – thought it was as good as could be gotten – but not convinced it went far enough. The Left has convinced me – the comments I’m reading are positively unhinged.

But here is the thing I would like to change: this notion that we are cutting a trillion dollars, or cutting 2.4 trillion dollars. We are doing no such thing. These numbers are over ten years. I don’t know about you, but I budget in annual terms. So what we are really doing is cutting 100 billion or 240 billion – real money as far as I can tell – but nowhere near what it sounds like. Now, I expect this kind of obfuscation from democrats, but I’m disappointed to see it from republicans. Our deficit is running at 1.6 trillion a year, which means that 100 billion is less than a month’s overspending. When we’re cutting a trillion a year, we’ll be serious. Indeed, I wonder what the harm would be to roll back all spending to the level of 2008?

So I’m still happy. The Left is apoplectic, and that has to be a good thing. But in terms of getting the Federal beast under control, we have a long way to go.

Written by martinipundit

August 4, 2011 at 12:28 am

Pass the Boehner Plan

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I’ve been as agnostic as possible on the debt debate going on in Washington, but it is clear to me that doing nothing is not an option. That will result in the downgrade of the US credit which will raise the cost of borrowing for all Americans – not to mention being downright embarrassing.

Now it is very clear that it is the democrats who have brought us to this impasse. True, the republicans spent way too much from 2001 to 2006. They lost control of Congress because of it. But the democrats didn’t draw the right conclusion and since they have been in control have spent even more. When President Bush left office the debt was just under 10 trillion which he had basically doubled. It is important to note that at that point, the democrats had controlled Congress for two years. Meanwhile, under President Obama, we’ve racked up nearly 5 trillion in additional debt. In other words, Obama racked up almost the entire Bush debt in one quarter of the time.

In the short term, we clearly need to raise the debt limit in order to quiet the markets and prevent a downgrade of the US credit rating. (A VERY BAD THING.)

The Boehner bill is hardly perfect, but it appears to be the best that can be achieved while the democrats still control the senate and the presidency. To oppose it because it is not perfect is insane. Politics is the art of the possible.

Pass the Boehner bill.

Written by martinipundit

July 29, 2011 at 12:22 am

This Is Your Country on Democrats

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This is your country. This is your country on Democrats.

Unemployment from the time the Democrats took control of congress. The notion that Bush and the Republicans got us into this mess is totally repudiated by this video. Facts are stubborn things – the unemployment rate began rising only after Democrats took control of congress. Why would we want to keep them in charge, since, to paraphrase President Obama, they drove us into the ditch?

Any questions?

A glass raised to American Thinker.

Written by martinipundit

September 23, 2010 at 12:38 am

Obama, Poker Player?

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Now he’s a poker player? Just as I’m beginning to think the man knows nothing other than oration I learn he plays poker. Oh. Bring. Him. On.

But seriously, in an insightful piece in the TimesOnline, Tim Reid offers some useful commentary:

What was most striking about the budget – including that it will explode the federal deficit to $1.75 trillion this year, its highest since the Second World War – was that it was a ruthless declaration of how Mr Obama intends fundamentally to change the American social contract, from Right to Left.

Its goal is not just to rescue the economy. It is to crush conservatism, end the age of anti-tax, anti-regulation policies that have been the guiding philosophies of US governance for a generation, and usher in a fresh “epoch”, as his aides call it, of New Deal-Great Society wealth redistribution and central intervention that were repudiated by Ronald Reagan 30 years ago.

I think its goal is the latter —crush conservatism. It was pretty clear all along during the election that one could not square Obama’s centrist rhetoric with his hard-left past. If the economy is saved in the process, that’s actually not so good since it will necessarily result in less government influence in the private sector. Can’t have that.

But there is also this:

Mr Obama and his aides are particularly attracted to the notion, put forward by the Yale political scientist Stephen Skowronek, that most of the truly transformative US presidents – and there are only a handful – followed failed ones. They include Thomas Jefferson after John Adams, Lincoln after James Buchanan, Franklin D. Roosevelt after Herbert Hoover and Ronald Reagan after Jimmy Carter.

I immediately noticed the flaw in this notion —all the ‘failed’ presidents on this list (Adams is questionable) were one-termers. George W. Bush was a two-term president. The parallel is further marred by the fact that most of Bush’s alleged failure is a media creation and attributing the failure of others during Hurricane Katrina (q.v. former governor of Louisiana and once and present mayor of New Orleans) to the President. Bush’s real failure was that he never managed to control his image.

But to return to Obama’s ego, one of the things that has struck me about him since he first walked on the national stage, is his singular lack of accomplishment. He has consistently managed to get himself promoted without actually doing the job he was hired to do. One might think there’s no place to go once one gets hired as POTUS, but Obama apparently does. He’ll join the pantheon of ‘transformative’ presidents.

This time, Obama will actually have to work to get there. As he’s obviously never done that before, I’m not that optimistic. But since I don’t want to go where Obama wants to go anyway, it may be for the best in the long term. In the short term however, we’re all in deep and getting deeper.

More here from Charles Krauthammer.

Written by martinipundit

March 6, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Democrat Spendulus Bill Passes

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The Democrats have their Spendulus Bill.

The Senate approved an $838 billion economic recovery package bill Tuesday, as Democrats held on to the few Republican supporters who helped hammer out a compromise measure last week.

The bill passed on a mostly party-line vote of 61-37. Sixty votes were needed. Three Republicans joined Democrats in passage.

Those three were Maine senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe along with Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter. The two former are practically democrats anyway, as are most Republicans in New England. Apparently, Commerce Secretary-designate and putative coatroom-boy Judd Gregg of New Hampshire abstained. Wouldn’t want to have to face the new boss after saying no, he couldn’t wreck the economy further.

Here’s another example of elections have consequences: the policy of throwing Federal money after economic crises has failed every time it’s been tried. It failed in the 1930s. It failed in the 1960s. It failed in the 1970s. It failed in 1993 (the economy in Clinton didn’t take off until after the Republicans took control of congress in 1995). It failed in 2008.

Based on this dismal track record, I predict it will … fail.

Here’s what works: lower taxes, regulation, and keep the dollar strong. This succeeded when Kennedy did it, when Reagan did it, when Clinton was forced to do it, and when Bush 43 did it in his first term.

Obama doesn’t have a clue about any of this. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool lefty who is convinced in his bones that this time it will work, if only because he’ll do it right. Or something.

Democrats never learn, but maybe, just maybe the Republicans have. This albatross must now go into conference to be reconciled with the house version, where it passed without a single Republican vote. Assuming they hold firm, three RINOs in the senate do not a bi-partisan bill make. The Democrats own this thing. Lock, stock, and pork barrel.

Update: More here and here.

Written by martinipundit

February 10, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Tax Receipts Up

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Proving once again that cutting taxes results in growth resulting in higher tax receipts. As if there could be any doubt after the 80s. From the WaPo:

The Treasury Department this week reported there would be a $54 billion swing from projected deficit to surplus in the April-to-June quarter, after an unanticipated gush of tax payments poured into the Treasury before the April 15 deadline. That prompted private forecasters to lower their deficit projections for the fiscal year that ends in September.

So, when do I get my money back?

Written by martinipundit

May 5, 2005 at 9:38 am

Posted in Economy, Politics

A Fact not Typically Heard in the Social Security Debate

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Most people are unaware that Social Security is basically a government-sponsored Ponzi scheme and that if you or I ran something similar we’d be arrested and probably spend some time in jail. But as bad as that has always been, Christopher Adamo notes it’s worse in the American Thinker:

Politicians in Washington quickly recognized that intake from taxpayers would, for a time, exceed expenditures. So, in a manner sufficient to earn any Enron executive a trip to the slammer, Congress soon began pillaging the fund, using the money to supplement its insatiable quest for pork. Worse yet, it then covered its actions with a lie of unfathomable proportions. Ostensibly, such violation of public trust is assuaged by the substitution of IOU’s, offered as a — guarantee” of repayment. Consider the abject absurdity of this concept, and how it exemplifies the unbridled contempt with which these politicians regard the American people. Not even worth the paper it is written on, any government issued — IOU” simply concedes the fact that monies were indeed appropriated, and that sooner or later, somebody will be forced to repay them. Since governments cannot create wealth, and only possess that which can be forcibly extorted from the citizens, those promissory notes hold no monetary value whatsoever. Instead, they are nothing more than confessions of the original theft. If they are to be repaid, it will be by the very same citizenry that was overtaxed to create the surplus in the first place.

The problem for the politicians – especially Democrats – is practically insurmountable. Consider that they have the legacy of FDR to protect at all costs. But those are just table stakes compared to the pork the payroll tax permits – both sides of the aisle are guilty there. Then there is the huge constituency presently receiving checks from the system tied to the workers who will be mighty steamed if suddenly told that all the money they’ve “paid into the system” was actually a tax and is gone. This is why Social Security has traditionally been called the “third rail of American politics.”

President Bush’s idea to permit younger workers to voluntarily draw off some of the payroll tax into IRA-like personal accounts is a way of winding the system down without a political and economic meltdown. But even he can’t talk about the true nature of this Ponzi scheme without giving the game away. That the Democrats refuse to even discuss personal accounts is proof that they want to keep riding the carousel until the bitter end.

Written by martinipundit

March 10, 2005 at 10:48 pm

Posted in Economy, Politics

Anti-Smoking Zealots Redux

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Last month I noted a company which fired employees for smoking when off the job. This month, Debra Saunders picks up the meme in the San Francisco Chronicle:

A [Weyco] spokeswoman told me the company shouldn’t have to pay for “unilateral lifestyle decisions.”

“Unilateral lifestyle decisions”: Think about the presumption behind that statement. The alternative — multilateral lifestyle decisions — allows other people, the government, even big corporations, to dictate what you can eat, what you can smoke, what you can drink.

In essence, to own you.

This is not a smokers’ rights issue – this is an issue of personal liberty. She notes that Michigan state senator Virg Bernero – a Democrat – is working on legislation to outlaw this practice. I imagine it would pass handily and if you live in Michigan, perhaps you can express your support. Here is the Senator’s e-mail address: SenVBernero@senate.michigan.gov

Written by martinipundit

February 17, 2005 at 11:14 am

Posted in Economy, Idiotarians

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