Browse Month

December 2017

Jobs and Taxes

By Lawrence J. Fedewa, Friday, December 22, 2017

The polls sponsored or cited by the news indicate that only one-third to less than one half of the American public supports the new tax cuts being finalized by the Republicans this week. The first thing to remember about these polls is that these are the same pollsters who reported that the overwhelming majority of Americans supported Hillary Clinton for President in 2016. However, the astounding ignorance of economic history reported by these polls may have some truth. Enough truth that it needs to be addressed.

The economic concepts involved are not difficult to understand, but the Democrat interpretation is being assimilated much more widely than the Republican rationale for these policies. The Democrats, since Franklin Roosevelt won the presidency in 1932 by blaming the Depression on the perfidy of large corporations, have preached that government is the answer to all our troubles and that taxes must be high to pay for all those solutions. Thus, corporations are bad, and government is good.

As Rush Limbaugh has pointed out, they have just never assimilated that the effect of Ronald Reagan’s reduction of taxes in 1984 and 1986 spawned a twenty-year era of prosperity in America. The result is that they have re-written history: Reagan’s tax policies were bad and Obama’s tax policies were good.

Here are the simple facts:

  1. “Economic expansion” means that companies are building new plants, buying more capital equipment, doing more advertising, researching more inventions, shipping more goods, and using more energy. This leads to hiring more people, which leads to labor shortages instead of labor surpluses, meaning that wages have to go up in order to attract new employees and keep current employees.
  2. Economic expansion requires more investment capital. Building plants, buying trucks, developing new products – all cost “seed” money, money spent before they produce any new income to pay for themselves.
  3. Lower taxes mean that less money is taken from profits to give to the government, But the shareholders of companies demand productive uses of the extra money – they don’t want it sitting a low interest bank account. Why not? Because expanding the company increases the value of their stock, while hording or even distributing cash reduces asset value and thus the price of the stock.
  4. So, management has to spend that money on projects that they believe will add to the growth of the company. This means expansion of some kind, whether, expansion of product line, of facilities, equipment, or advertising. Any kind of expansion means more people, more jobs.
  5. New products, new ideas, new procedures – all require new skills. So, the training departments of companies, and the curricula of colleges and vocational schools, and re-training programs of all kinds also flourish because of new needs and new markets.

 

Conclusion: tax policy which leads to economic expansion is a GOOD THING. The real value of tax reduction to the middle class and the young is not really lowering the tax rate or raising the deductions. The middle class will see its main benefits from the expansion of the economy – higher wages, more price competition, more new businesses, more money floating in the whole atmosphere.

The Democrat idea that middle class support for tax policy depends on how many dollars I am going to save on my own taxes this month or this year is totally misplaced. What are a few dollars less in my taxes compared to the new job I just got or my raise, or the new business I just started?

The underlying problem with the socialist view of the economy is that socialism views the economy as static – the classes never change: the poor will always be poor, the rich will always be rich, and the middle class can never become rich but is always on the cusp of being poor. Thus, the rich are the enemy of the other classes, because they must keep them down to maintain their own riches. This is a pie which never gets bigger.

But Americans don’t believe in that. We all think the pie can get bigger, that any poor person can become rich with talent and hard work. Americans have what is called “upward mobility” – the opportunity to change one’s place in society, to become richer, smarter, happier, and healthier.

 

The government can’t do that. Only you and I and our fellow Americans can expand our lives. And expanding our economy helps – a lot!

 

© Richfield Press 2017

 

I Walked among the Clouds

[Norman and Agnes Fedewa at the beginning. She left him alone 60 years later. He died within two years.]

I walked among the clouds until I saw
That you had gone and left us all.
Alone, I looked and cried to God above
To bring you back to my home and love.

I needed the warmth of your tender body,
the strength of your steadfast soul,
And the laughter of your sneaky eyes.
Alone, the candle of my life was dark and cold.

But nothing now could bring you back,
The sound and sense of life were gone for good.
How I cried and, weeping, cursed the God above
I was so, so lost without my precious Love.

And then I stopped and thought of where you were.
I saw you in a better place and waiting there
for me to come and love you once again
and light again the candle of your man.

Now my life goes on and I must walk alone,
and try to live with open heart and open hand,
turning sorrow into grace with anger banned,
hoping love returns to melt my heart of stone.

 LJF
December, 2017

“When knights surrender their swords, beasts shall devour maidens” – Paul Bois

By Lawrence J. Fedewa, Wednesday, December 13, 2017
This is the title of a piece by Paul Bois in the Daily Wire (October 17, 2017), the controversial Ben Shapiro’s conservative blog. This striking title raises yet another aspect of this month’s emotional outcry concerning the sexual ab of women. That is the question, “Where are the men who know about these abuses and do nothing?” Bois follows a different track, but my interest is – why don’t the men who know about this behavior defend these women? I attribute their silence simply to cowardice, whatever the source.
However, the issue is so much more complex. The basic reason a man doesn’t challenge a sexual predator who is in a position of power – perhaps his boss – is the same reason the women submit, namely self-preservation. If she refuses to submit, or files a complaint afterwards, she risks retribution from the abuser, non-support from whatever authorities she might inform, a possibly permanent reputation as a “trouble-maker” or worse, and the consequent ruin of her career. The same risks face a man who tries to stop the predator. That knight frequently surrenders his sword when he accepts a dependent position on the predator. Not always. Some guys remain stubbornly independent no matter their position. But they, like the women they are supporting, also frequently pay the price.
The underlying issue here is the belief prevalent in certain sectors of our society that aggressive behavior toward women is a sign of masculinity, often accompanied by the idea that women secretly love this treatment and that their protests are simply required by social norms.  Complicating the matter is the fact that some women really do want to be treated this way.
This brings up the issue female behavior. The modern American woman may be sexually aggressive herself, under the belief that any dependency on men is a limitation on her self-reliance. It seems a safe bet that there will soon be cases making news of men being sexually harassed by powerful women. We may soon see gender equality in this area as well as others.
Another aspect of this situation is the fashions in women’s dress. I don’t believe I have ever heard a woman admit that women dress for men. Always they steadfastly maintain that women dress for women. It is hard to believe that women long to see each other in near-naked swim suits, skin tight pants, low cut shirts, and other styles which leave little to the imagination. No matter the real answer to that question, however, men are all around these scantily clad women. So, whatever the women’s motivation, these styles give men the impression that women who dress in this way do so to attract attention to their bodies, and the people most interested in their bodies are men. This “sex appeal” really does stimulate appeal to the opposite sex. In certain industries, such as, entertainment and sports, men are expected to live in an atmosphere of constant stimulation while pretending not to notice.
Then there is the issue of conviction by the press. It appears that, if a woman has any reason to make trouble for any man, all she has to do is come up with a convincing story, hire Gloria Allred who will arrange a TV interview, and within days the accused male will be called upon to resign post haste. No presumption of innocence, no depositions, no trial, no defense, no judge, no jury.  Just go! The job of discovering evidence, assessing credibility, placing blame – all now goes to the press.
Clearly, this way of handling these accusations is neither fair nor ethical. But what is the proper way these accusations should be handled? While individual cases may differ, there are some basic guidelines any policy decisions should follow:
  1. Any institutional policy (including government) should be fair to both parties. The days of assuming that any female complainant is at fault have to be over. Women (and men, for that matter) should be reassured that their complaint will be accepted with respect and given a fair hearing. The complainant is the victim not the perpetrator.
  2.  The punishment for such behavior should fit the offense. The press is equating misdemeanors the same as felonies.  Not all unacceptable actions are equal. The woman who recently filed a complaint against a man who told her she was beautiful is not talking about rape.
  3. Victims should be encouraged to speak to their friends about the event, and to report to authorities as soon as feasible. The informed friend(s) should be encouraged to accompany the victim.
  4. There must be procedures in every venue to deal properly with all such occurrences. Many are not criminal offences, and these should not be made public until some official action by the company, office, church, club, or whatever group is responsible for the principals has been taken to determine the facts. The press should be responsible only for reporting the news, not for adjudicating the news.
  5. Finally, laws and procedures must be devised to deal quickly with these complaints. Time is not the friend of the victim or the accused.
These considerations are, in my opinion, applicable to the Franken and Conyers cases as much as to anyone else. The fact that they both resigned without seeking due process can only be interpreted as admission of guilt. The same reasoning applies to the other cases which seem to be appearing on a daily basis. Trial by the press is never an acceptable procedure.
 Although sexual abuse has been happening forever, now is our time to face up to it and, as a society, come up with appropriate solutions. Sexual abuse of women joins a growing list of painful sins which have haunted our generation, including the Catholic priest scandal, the military treatment of females, the human trafficking crimes, and the abortion tragedies. These and other gender-related practices have surfaced in this new world of ours and it is up to us to create the social norms and procedures to pass on a more moral society than we inherited.
© Richfield Press, 2017