Musings on the Week

Musings on the Week

January 11, 2014


Redistribution – The system that enables the most people to earn the most success is free enterprise, by matching up people's skills, interests, and abilities. In contrast, redistribution simply spreads money around. Even worse, it attenuates the ability to earn success by perverting economic incentives. Arthur C. Brooks.

Politics – Ted Cruz 2013 soundbite of the year: “The most fundamental problem is that our elected officials, when they get to Washington, just stop listening to the people.

Politics – Gallup found 42% of Americans self-identified as Independents in 2013, highest in 25 years, while 25% as Republican, lowest over time span and Democrats remained constant.

Politics – The Republican party launched a “Share the Dream” campaign, currently targeted at Hispanics, centered around real-life people who have achieved the American Dream.

Politics – The Republican long term strategy should be: allow all homosexuals to marry each other and all Democrats unlimited abortions, so in three generation no more Democrats!

Politics – 72% of Americans, with a majority of Democrats and huge majorities of Republicans and Independents, view Big Government as the biggest threat facing the nation.

Politics – The Fast and Furious gun-running investigation cost lives and has been stonewalled, slow-walked, then Obama invoking executive privilege, and finally Holder held in contempt.

Politics – The longer the IRS scandal investigation went on, the higher levels of government were implicated finally arriving at the White House proving partisan use of public agencies.

Politics – Hillary Clinton running for President in 2016, despite being ideologically challenged, inexperienced (wide resume, zero accomplishments), incompetent (serial mismanagement).

Politics – Bill de Blasio, the new New York City Mayor, is the new poster child for leftist ideas now that Barack Obama has failed so miserably, so he is the great white hope for socialism.

Politics – This week’s distractions from the stagnant economy and ObamaCare: re-extending the “temporary” unemployment benefits and more obfuscation on income inequality.

Media – As new technologies emerge, I expect Twitter will go the way of telephone party

lines doomed by personal privacy issues and a lack of any viable business case.

Economy – The economy continued to limp along as the labor force continues to shrink, and is just now returning to the conditions that Obama inherited when first elected.


November 2008

December 2013


Annual Federal Spending




Total National Debt




Food Stamp Participation (000)




Average Price/Gallon Gas




Labor Force Participation Rate




Employed (000)




Employment Population Ratio




Unemployed (000)




Unemployed - 27+ wks (000)




Average Weeks Unemployed




Unemployment Rate (U3)




Underemployment Rate (U6)




Redistribution – Are we interested in treating the symptoms of poverty and economic stagnation through income redistribution and class warfare, or do we want to go at the root causes of poverty and economic stagnation by promoting pro-growth policies that promote prosperity? Paul Ryan.

Jobs – The economy is home to 1.3 million fewer jobs today than when the Great Recession began, and at the current rate of job creation it ill take another five years to close this gap.

Jobs – There are many minimum wage misconceptions with just 2.8% of American workers earning at or below the minimum wage and half of these workers are 16 to 24 years old.

Deficit Temporary stimulus programs are two-fer” distractions: high visibility – minimal effect stimulus spending that transforms into partisan “takeaways when reverting back to original.

Housing – The Federal Housing Administration has returned to failed policies of the past and is requiring down payments of just 3.5% with half of all mortgages putting down 5% or less.

Healthcare ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid coverage for low income people has an unintended consequence increasing rather than decreasing hospital emergency room visits.

Healthcare – The debacle of ObamaCare demonstrates for ordinary Americans the depth of government incompetence the impact of government over-reach into the free market.

Income – The issue is not income inequality, a measure of outcome, but rather income mobility or capability to change one’s income unimpeded by government intrusion.

Social Security Social Security Board of Trustees projects that the Disability Insurance (DI) portion of the program will run out of funds to pay benefits by 2016, or possibly even 2015.

Poverty – The War on Poverty was supposed to eliminate poverty in America, but instead it institutionalized poverty and incented people to be addicted to government assistance.

Diversity – When diversity is an end, then it’s a form of political correctness that makes a mockery of ability and achievement and becomes an end based purely on quantity.

Gun Control – Although counter-intuitive, states that have restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states.

Environment – The real-time data refuses to confirm the catastrophes that global warming models predicted, but environmentalists refuse to abandon their costly and wasteful actions.

Education – One of the biggest criticisms of the Common Core curriculum was its adoption of politicized content, such as the junk science that supports the global warming hoax.

Debt – I fear that the country’s credit rating will be downgraded again when debt ceiling negotiations fail to cut spending enough to halt deficit spending.

Deficit – I fear one or more states to declare bankruptcy and seek assistance to recover from the bad economic decisions of the past under federal judicial protection.

Redistribution – History has shown that a government's redistribution of shrinking wealth, in preference to a private sector's creation of new sources of it, can prove more destructive than even the most deadly enemy.Victor Davis Hanson.

Defense – Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirmed in his memoir what was long suspected that Obama and Clinton routinely put political considerations ahead of security.

Libya – The obfuscation in the Benghazi investigation can’t hide that people died, government officials were derelict in their duty and no one has been held accountable.

Syria – The only real impact of the Syrian humanitarian deal was to give Assad license to continue killing by any means other than chemical weapons, so the killing continues.

Israel I fear that Israel will be attacked by Hamas and the IDF will retaliate by invading and then re-annexing Gaza based on defensible borders and 1920 San Remo Conference.

Israel – I fear that Israel will suffer a nuclear attack from Islamist extremists, and Obama will talk a lot, but stand aside and refuse to help defend this longtime ally.

Asia – I fear that North Korea will attack South Korea and attempt to reunite Korea, and Obama will be “unable” to support our troops and will negotiate for a stalemate.


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY