Saturday, November 01, 2008

November 4: We all lose.

Voter apathy abounds once more, as people get tired of the hyping for the big election. But no matter who wins, the real winner is big government. You have two candidates promising to expand government to do this and do that, and insisting the USA can support its debt load to pay for it. While that may be true, I remain unconvinced that more government is the cure to the ills that ail us.

Let's see:

The War:

It's a war on ideology, not a nation. Can't win a war against an idea. Big Brother rings with "War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength." You have one candidate stating that telling the enemy affected by the idea how long they have to lie low before they leave, and the other telling everyone that the mess made by the USA needs to be fixed as best as possible. I agree with the latter, because while the USA plays world policeman, other countries are tired of cleaning up afterward, especially when a lot of vitriol flowed their way too.


One candidate blames all ills of the economy on globalization, and has made NAFTA his sworn enemy. This shows his absolute ignorance about how NAFTA actually works to the benefit of the USA. Let's see - the USA gets access to Canadian labor, and can send its professionals freely to Mexico and Canada to build their own businesses.

In return Mexico gets the "hope" of jobs by those businesses, and gets to sell its oil at cut rate prices. Canada gets to "hope" that US companies buy its products while having to compete for professionals with US companies able to pay more and benefitting from a much lower tax structure. Plus Canada is given the good grace to be able to sell its natural resources at 1980's prices.

The USA gets to ignore rulings from the WTO against duties in contravention of WTO rules. The USA also gets to ignore rulings by the NAFTA panel for duties that violate the trade agreement. And it clogs the same panels trying to eliminate the sanctioned counter-veiling duties.

So in short, the USA wins. It gets cheap Canadian electricity, saving California from Enron. It gets to tax the piss out of Canadian roofing products that should have no tax. It gets cheap Canadian oil, natural gas, and special treatment for environmental regulations in Canada.

So Obama thinks that Canada will decide to be nice, and negotiate an even better deal for the USA?

Try this:
  • The USA gets to pay for natural resources at Canadian market prices, in Canadian Dollars.
  • Making the NAFTA trade commission rulings binding.
What does this do for US "Joes"?
  • Double the price of natural gas.
  • 20% increase in the price of lubricants
  • 50+% increase in water prices for the western USA (which will be reflected in vegetable prices!)
  • Car prices in the USA would increase 10% or more - remember that Canada makes almost half of the parts for cars built in the USA.
Should the USA decide to "strong-arm" negotiations (like canceling TN visas):
  • Every Canadian NAFTA professional enables the employment of 2 American workers, average.
  • Departure of the estimated 20,000 NAFTA professionals would cost the USA another 40,000 jobs at the minimum.
A great start to "fixing the economy", Obama. What's next, "Arbeit macht Frei"?

Personal Responsibility:

The clamor for Obama also underlines the willingness of people, in times of uncertainty, to demand they "be taken care of" by government. This is not startling, but certainly eye opening to see how impoverished the "American Spirit of Independence" really is. Under Obama, especially under a Democratic super majority, expect your right to fail to be severely curtailed, and if you do succeed, to be penalized harshly to "spread the wealth around."

If my business makes more than 250,000 per year, it pays more corporate tax. Great - why should I grow beyond this and employ more Americans then? The average 7-11 makes more money than this. Proprietors get doubly screwed.

If I am "rich", and depending on which debate you listen to the Democrat's definition ranges from "over $40,000 per year" to "over 150,000 per year depending on their audience, you get to pay more tax too. In reality this amounts to little more than what the Bush tax cut took out, but you're approaching Canada's rate, and Canada gets cheap health care.

At least Obama can get away with mentioning that there is a problem in some minority communities of motherhood out of wedlock feeding the cycle of crime. I applaud at least that shred of remaining personal responsibility. It beats "lebensborn" camps any day.


We're screwed on the NAFTA issue alone. And don't get me started on baseless measures like gun control - it's really helped keep the murder rate in Chicago, DC, LA, and Oakland down, hasn't it? "Common Sense" is about as malleable as the term "rich." If you know nothing but are asked to opine on something, what makes sense to you won't make much sense to someone who knows anything about the subject.

The return of the "fairness doctrine" translates to "we don't appreciate the fact that people enjoy listening to foaming-at-the-mouth neocons ranting on air" so we'll make stations carrying them put on stuff that advertisers won't pay for because nobody wants to hear it if they want to make money. Great. Real fair, that is.

McCain isn't much better, but at least electing him would keep the American tradition of a divided government keeping insanity and change in check.

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