Friday, March 21, 2008

3 a.m. phone call in the Oval office... Reply: "Shoot it Down"...


Strategic Defense: We don't know who might pick up that 3 a.m. phone call, but 25 years ago Ronald Reagan made sure that if it's about an incoming ballistic missile, the order will be: "Shoot it down."
Investors Business Daily has a great article about the options that the Commander in Chief will have in the event of a 3 a.m. phone call informing that a ballistic missile is inbound and headed for U.S. soil...
"On March 23, 1983, President Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), telling the nation that the days of mutual assured destruction, or MAD, were over, and that the U.S. would be defended by the ability to shoot down incoming ballistic missiles, not merely retaliate in kind."
"The vice president noted that in 1972 only nine countries had ballistic missiles. Today at least 27 countries do, including those with hostile intent and those that actively support terrorist groups."
Very Good read...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

5 Years in Iraq fighting terrorism or wasting "entitlement" money?....


The Augusta Free Press has an interesting article on the fifth year anniversary of the military action and liberation of Iraq and a "Peace Vigil" held by a local group in Staunton.

This group has held numerous anti-war protests and "Peace Vigils" in the past and I have attended several viewing the topic from the "Other" viewpoint. One thing that I have noticed at these protests and "Vigils" is the re-occuring focus on the cost of fighting terrorism and how that money could have been spent on "entitlement" programs instead. At one protest I saw a sign that showed how much money had been spent and how much healthcare insurance it could have bought instead. Unfortunately I did not get a photo of that sign and it would have been a good visual example of the true protests held in Staunton...

It is interesting to see that the activist highlighted in the above AFP article once again spent a majority of the time on the $$$Cost$$$ of the war and little on the security advances made in this region or the chaos that will happen with a total troop withdrawl.

Is it the responsibilty of the Federal government to provide national security or instead provide "Universal Healthcare" for all? The government already provides treatment to those who can't, or won't obtain healthcare for themselves, in the form of not refusing care in emergency rooms.

Is it the responsibilty of the Federal government to provide Free or "Affordable" healthcare to every American citizen, and even those here illegally, even if they can afford it? The government should help those who can't help themselves but should it be required to take care of those who refuse to take care of themselves?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Higher Minimum Wage = Higher Teen Un-employment...


The Democratic Party has been quick to list the raise of the minimum wage as one of their triumphs since taking control of Congress in 2006. Many people argued that the minimum wage had to be raised to provide a “Living Wage” for those entering the workforce. But yet they ignored that many of these entering the workforce for the first time are unskilled workers who must be trained by the employer to increase their skills and productivity…

Documentation showed that employees entering the workforce with skills and training already were commanding higher then minimum wages and many unskilled workers were still getting more then minimum wage due to a tight labor market. Businesses were already paying more to attract potentially more productive employees to increase and grow their businesses. This is a proven aspect of the free market system and shows that a employee who increases their skills will command better wages. By setting a high minimum wage it makes it harder for a business to hire, train, and support a unskilled worker such as a teen aged person entering the workforce for the first time…

IBD (Investors Business Daily) has an article with data showing the effects of a mandated increase in minimum wage actually increases the unemployment rate of the unskilled worker. Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy represents the state of Massachusetts were the state minimum wage is at $8 an hour and highest in the nation.

“There, government officials and labor experts alike have been scratching their heads over the precipitous 33% drop in teen employment over the past eight years. "The collapse of the teen labor market has affected all demographic and socioeconomic groups," noted labor economists Andrew Sum and Don Gillis in a Boston Globe op-ed last week.”

“As a basic point of economics, it's a given that anytime you raise the cost of anything, you will use less of it. As such, the minimum wage hike that took effect in Massachusetts this year has been a job-killer for thousands of untrained youths, many of them minorities.”

By simply mandating that a business must pay a higher wage for a unskilled entry employee it takes away that business options and ability to invest in bringing along a unskilled person.

“It's the same everywhere, nationwide or by state: Hiking the minimum wage sounds generous and decent, but in fact hurts small businesses and workers alike, squeezing profits, destroying jobs and forcing businesses to pare back their paid benefits.”

“Faced with a mandatory hike in their wage costs, small businesses have a choice: either fire workers, raise prices or do both. Just letting people go often is easiest. Small wonder that teens — often at the bottom of the labor ladder, and with the least to offer in terms of productivity, training and education — are the first fired and the last hired.”