Tag: leftist

California Leftists Want To Control How You Eat

Indri Schaelicke | United States

In an effort to promote the local restaurant industry, the city of San Francisco, California is considering adopting a new law that prohibits employees of large tech companies from eating in cafeterias on their campus. The proposed law will achieve this by banning companies from maintaining on-site cafeterias, forcing employees to bring their own food from home or leave the corporate campus to get lunch. Proponents say that enacting this legislation will help the restaurants in the area, which have lost business as companies build on-site cafeterias, to recover and thrive again.

While this move seeks to help small businesses and restaurant workers, it may, in fact, hurt them. Jobs in catering and cafeteria service tend to pay more than those in traditional restaurant settings. Ending jobs in this industry could limit upward mobility in the world of entry-level restaurant jobs.

Companies first started building cafeterias in their buildings in an effort to boost worker productivity. If employees can cut down their lunch break, simply by eliminating a long round trip drive to lunch, they can spend more time working and networking, something that all companies seek to promote. If the proposed legislation passes, workers will be made to take time away from their work habitat which could stunt social enterprise.

Driving off campus decreases the time workers have to be productive and imposes extra costs. Employees will have to spend money on gas and overpriced restaurant food, at a time when the cost of living is already so high. The high volume of employees leaving work to go to lunch will no doubt worsen existing traffic issues. Twitter’s location alone has over 2000 employees, and although the ban only impacts future workplaces being built, imagine the amount of congestion if 2000 employees all descended upon the city at the same time to eat lunch. Forcing people to leave work and eat is not only immoral but will worsen existing traffic.

The fact that the ban only applies to the building of workplaces in the future means that companies will have a hard time starting up or even expanding in Silicon Valley. Businesses will not be able to build new workplaces that have cafeterias on site, which is a huge blow to businesses. Companies offer free on-site lunch as a perk to potential employees, and if they cannot offer this, they cannot attract workers. It is in this way that this ban limits future growth.

The success the proposal has had thus far is concerning as it is a classic example of one group trying to take the rights of the other. Restaurants are trying to take away the right of private property owners, in this case, tech companies, from engaging in whatever business practice they choose to on their own property. It is no business of the state to determine what someone can do on their own property, so long as it does not cause harm to their life, liberty or property. This proposed ban is a direct attack on the principles of private property rights and should not be adopted.

This is just another example of the strangulation that California legislatures have placed on the open market. This past week, Santa Barbara passed a law that will outlaw plastic straws. Along the West Coast of California, the grip of government is becoming ever tighter. Great effort must be made to save whatever shred of liberty is left if totalitarianism is to be avoided. Knowing California’s disdain for liberty and lack of respect for individual rights, it is unlikely that much will be done to stop it.


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Chance the Rapper and Kanye West Break the Echo Chamber

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

Kanye West and Chance the Rapper have made ripples in Twitter over the last few days. The tweets from the two artists stand far outside what is often seen as the political mainstream.

Starting with Kanye’s Candace Owens tweets on Monday, there has been a tweetstorm of anti-mainstream rhetoric from popular musicians.

Similar tweets have come from Kanye’s Twitter, advocating things such as free thought and anti-political correctness. It eventually culminated in Kanye posting a “Make America Great Again” hat and railing against Obama.

Kanye received backlash, as one does when they go against the liberal elitist dogma that dominates contemporary celebritism. Soon after, though, Chance the Rapper came to his defense.

The posts have Twitter upset. Fans of the artists are not happy with the things that have been said, and the media is not a fan either. Most left-wing sites have had quite the visceral reaction to the statements made by Chance the Rapper and Kanye West.

The mainstream media has turned around and felt “threatened” by differing opinions. There is serious discomfort whenever it comes to dissenting opinions, which shows one of the fatal flaws in the modern left.

A differing opinion is not treated as a complex idea with potential for debate and exploration. Rather, they just jump to “threat.”

I am not a very big fan of ever listening to any celebrity for anything political, but many Americans do. They will support the viewpoint of X celebrity because they enjoyed their performance in Y movie or Z song. This is not the way ideas should disseminate throughout a society.

But it is the status quo.

And because of that, I am thankful that these celebrities are taking a different stance, even when it is one I disagree with. Breaking the endless echo of leftist propaganda may be a step forward. It may allow us to move away from the endless drawl of Neo-Marxist culture.

Chance the Rapper and Kanye West have broken the echo chamber.


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Thinking like a Socialist: The Leftist Paradigm

By Austin Anderholt | United States

“Never argue with stupid people. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

-Mark Twain

A good long discussion can solve many political debates. In my experience, even the most liberal, pro choice, anti gun leftist can come to terms with the most pro life, gun owning, anti gay Christian fundamentalist with a long enough discussion. In fact, I believe debate can settle all political issues; all of them, except one. Capitalism or socialism?

Every capitalist I’ve talked to seems to ask why those “stupid commies can’t just understand economics” and every socialist I’ve talked to seems ask “Why are those capitalist pigs so greedy?” They simply cannot understand eachother.

To understand this bizarrely strong divide between economic ideologies, we must understand how a debate works. Almost every single political debate follows a structure:

There is one resolution, “X” and there are two positions. The positive argues that “X is true” and the negative argues that “X is false”. For example, one resolution in the abortion debate might be that “Abortion is murder.” The pro life positive might argue that “The resolution ‘Abortion is murder’ is true.” and the pro choice negative might argue “The resolution ‘Abortion is murder’ is false.”

This form of debate can follow every political issue, except the age old “Socialism vs. Capitalism” debate. Why? Because left and right think on an entirely different paradigm in this argument. There is no “Should we have X?” because under socialist ideology, leftists demand that “Healthcare is a right!” and that “I worked hard, so I get my share!” The entire ideology of leftists will dismiss dissent as evil and intolerable.

This idea of entitlement comes from not a bad argument, but no argument, replaced by emotion.

For example, the idea that “How hard I worked should determine how much I earn” is absolutely preposterous to not only a capitalist, but a rational thinker. I read a lot of books about business, and in many of these book, always one of the main differences between a rich mindset and a poor mindset is that “Rich people know that output determines how successful, they will be, while poor people assume that because they worked hard, they will earn a lot.”

This mindset between rich and poor can be seen not only in socioeconomics, but in left and right economic theory itself. One of the foundational principles of leftism is the labor theory of value. This theory states again that “How much I earn should be determined by how hard I try rather than how hard I produce.” Again we see that this is absurd. If a man is to build a business without breaking a sweat, the free market is totally justified in rewarding him more than a man who works extremely hard only to fail. As rational thinkers, we know that without the evil rich businessmen that provide our jobs, healthcare, and services, society would cease to exist.

Moreover, we simply cannot reward people for being unproductive. A great example of this was the collectivization of farms in the early days of the Soviet Union. Rather than letting the free market reward successful farmers with the income to buy more land or hire more people (which would lead to more effective farming) Soviet leftists rounded up successful peasants as “kulaks” and murdered them by the millions. They then rewarded the poor, unsuccessful peasants with more land. This resulted in huge famines of course. Killing the only productive members of an economy and replacing them with unsuccessful failures is doomed to fail.

However, leftists don’t care about what’s doomed to fail. Leftists will never debate this issue with logic and reason. They are more moved by the sad image in their heads of the “poor homeless people” than by statistics that prove socialism is what makes people poor and homeless. This is what makes the debate between capitalism and leftism so impossible. The debate is happening on two totally different paradigms. The capitalist paradigm follows reasoning and evidence, while the leftist paradigm follows emotion.

Common Misconceptions About The Universal Basic Income

Isaiah Minter | United States

Some years back, Professor Walter Williams of George Mason University showed that we could give the poor enough money to lift them out of poverty at a fraction of what it now costs us to maintain a severely bureaucratic welfare system.

In other words, not only does the US welfare system spend a lot; it spends this large sum badly. One proposed solution to the said ills of our current welfare scheme is a Universal Basic Income. Under this measure, all citizens would receive an unconditional sum of money from the government. Some proposals of a UBI give money to both adults and children, other proposals give money to just adults. In any case, this approach has many objections, and I will address those most common.

Perhaps the greatest quarrel with the UBI is its supposed cost.  Multiplying the estimated American population of 327,270,267 by the UBI, which we’ll say is $10,000, runs a calculated cost of $3.26 trillion. Even when we apply the UBI to just adults, an estimated US adult population of  249,485,228 yields a price tag of $2.49 trillion. 

While multiplying the total US adult population  by the UBI is the common way of calculating a UBI, this approach is wrong, as Dr. Karl Widerquist explains:

UBI is–and must be understood as–a negative tax. When you pay the government, that’s a tax. When the government pays you (without you having sold something to the government), that’s a negative tax. It doesn’t cost you anything for the government to give and take a dollar from you at the same time. If you want to know someone’s total tax burden, you need to subtract the negative taxes they receive from the positive taxes they pay.

Allow a scenario. Imagine that we have a group of four people with incomes of $10, $20, $40, and $100. If we tax them at 40% and divide the revenue evenly among everyone,  total tax revenue is $68 and each person receives $17.

In this system, everyone but the individual with $100 is negatively taxed, meaning they receive money. For example, the individual with $10 pays $4 in taxes but receives $17 back, representing a total amount paid of -$13, as they gained money, and an income increase of $7. The poorest three individuals, in total, receive $23, while the richest person loses that same amount. Ultimately, the richest individual is positively taxed, meaning they lose money, and the three poorest are negatively taxed, meaning they receive money.

By failing to account for the net transfers of the tax system through negative and positive taxation, the majority of UBI cost calculations grotesquely overestimate the price tag of a basic income. In respect to the real cost of a UBI, Widerquist found that:

The net cost of a roughly poverty-level UBI ($12,000 per adult, $6,000 per child) with a 50% marginal tax rate is $539 billion per year: about one-sixth its often-mentioned but not-very-meaningful gross cost of about $3.415 trillion. The net cost of this UBI scheme is less than 25% of the cost of current U.S. entitlement spending, less than 15% of overall federal spending, and about 2.95% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Another common concern with a UBI is that, by offering a free sum of cash,  it would decrease the incentive to work and therefore lower employment. However, the data does not support this claim.

One study done on Iran’s UBI found the following:

The report found no evidence for the idea that people will work less under a universal income, and found that in some cases, like in the service industry, people worked more, expanding their businesses or pursuing more satisfying lines of work. The researchers did find that young people — specifically people in their twenties — worked less, but noted that Iran never had a high level of employment among young people, and that they were likely enrolling in school with the added income.

Likewise, a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that unconditional cash transfers from the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend had no significant effect on Alaskan employment, even increasing part-time work.

In truth, this claim would only have validity if the needs and desires of people could be met without having to work, which a poverty-line UBI does not achieve. However, under our present welfare system, we actually do see a disincentive to work courtesy of the welfare cliff. Therefore, the claim that a UBI would provide a disincentive to work is not only false but is also applicable to our current welfare system.

Even the claim made by Nathan Keeble of the Mises Institute, that a UBI would not help alleviate poverty, is demonstrably false. One working paper found that net transfers in Iran as a result of the nation’s 2011 UBI reform reduced poverty. Similarly, cash transfers in Kenya, India, Uganda, and Namibia have all proven that simply giving cash is highly effective at alleviating prosperity and promoting prosperity in the developing world.

Ultimately, the UBI represents a refreshing approach to welfare policy that is based on practical liberty and true poverty reduction. Compared to our current welfare scheme, it is significantly less intrusive on, and more equitable to, the pockets of Americans, offering an unconditional sum of money to all Americans but with a lower price tag. With an estimated $2.48 trillion boost to GDP over eight years, it is a measure we can, and must, pursue.

Image Source World Economic Forum

Bernie Would Slaughter

I really do not like Bernie Sanders. And I mean really.

As ferociously as I promote civil, well-reasoned, dispassionate political discourse, I admit that I have a hard time keeping my cool when the Vermont Senator is a part of the subject matter at hand.

Bernie Sanders politics are almost entirely antithetical to what I believe in. Even when we overlap, it tends to be for wildly different reasons.

In February, Sanders proposed legislation to allow Americans to purchase pharmaceuticals from abroad (it would eventually fail in the Senate). At the moment, many of these purchases are abridged or prohibited due to trade barriers that are in place thanks to lobbying from Big Pharma. The result of this protectionism is artificially high drug prices at home in the US. I imagine that Sanders wants to tear down these walls as a way to punish Big Pharma and because, in this instance, he feels there are benefits to permitting consumer choice.

I, on the other hand, believe that government has no business telling Americans what they can and cannot buy nor whom they can buy from, so Bernie Sanders’s seal of approval should be irrelevant. Free trade is a boom to economic growth and keeps prices low in general. Sanders thinks government should determine when to allow the free exchange of goods and services across national borders because big government knows best.

Beyond politics, I believe Bernie is a hypocrite, a horrendous role model, and a demagogic snake.

Sanders claims to stand for the working class and the poor, yet he owns three houses and has never had a real job. Instead of getting his hands dirty as a public school teacher, putting his life on the line as a fireman, or otherwise directly contributing to making the world a better place, Sanders has spent nearly four decades collecting a generous, tax-payer-funded paycheck in various positions of government. He earned over a million dollars in 2016.

I want to believe that to the general public of the United States of America, Bernie Sanders is as much of a joke as he is to me. I also want to believe that America could never fall for the manipulations and obfuscations of a weasley democratic socialist. Furthermore, I want to believe that Americans understand their rights and are aware of the devastation Sandersian policies have caused throughout the 20th Century. In fact, these same policies are on display now in Venezuela, and are failing again.

But I don’t.

I don’t believe any of those things intuitively, and I don’t believe them based on the available data.

The Mainstream Media, suffering from massive quantities of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias, have compensated for their false assumptions and failed polling data by manufacturing fictions about Nazi uprisings and Russian meddling to explain Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.

But the way I see it, the story is quite simple:

After 16 years of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the American people, especially lower-income Republicans and Progressives, were angry.

Republicans were angered by Bush’s complete failure to be a Conservative as well as his sending their children off to fight pointless, endless wars. They were angry at Obama for his Global-Citizen (as opposed to patriotic American) speeches, his palling around with people who ridicule them, and his policies and warmongering in general.

Progressives were angry at Bush for everything, and they were angry that Obama did not bring about the Utopia of “Hope and Change” they had been promised.

As a result of this anger, Trump’s populism won the GOP nomination, and Sanders’ populism came close to taking down the seemingly unbeatable Clinton machine.

In the general election, Trump and Clinton both lost sizeable shares of their parties. Aside from those, like Dennis Prager, who believe that Leftism is such a great danger to America that any Republican would suffice, or, in other words, aside from those who subscribe to the acceptance of the lesser-of-two-evils, Constitutional Conservatives, movement Conservatives, and Liberty-leaning Republicans refused to vote for Trump in droves. Some, like P.J. O’Rourke, preferred Clinton as the devil you know, some went for third-party candidates like Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin, and some probably didn’t vote at all.

Clinton lost Progressives who couldn’t stomach her interventionism or support for multinational trade agreements, minorities who only voted for Obama because of his race, and some of the disappointed youth voters that Sanders had energized.

Likely most consequently, Clinton lost a chunk of white working class voters who supported Obama four and eight years earlier. These voters are fearful of traditionally Conservative economic policies that sometimes cost them their livelihoods, but also fear mass immigration for the same and other more tribal reasons. Moreover, these Americans are not persuaded by multiculturalism or hyper-progressive social initiatives like allowing children to choose which school restroom to use based on what gender they feel they are.

While it’s unlikely that Trump picked up many members of the first three demographics I mentioned, he got the working-class whites. By making immigration and trade reform his most prominent issues, by promising to leave Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid intact, and by saying he’d swap American interventionism for “America First,” Trump had put together a winning formula. He even managed to get one out of every ten Bernie Bros according to the available polling data and, to be fair, common sense.

But Trump is no lock to win again in 2020.

If Bernie Sanders decides to run again and wins the Democratic Primary in 2020, even if he’s 150 years old, he’ll beat Trump in an absolute landslide.

Bernie Sanders would bring together the automatic Democrats, the principled Progressives, the Obama minorities, the frustrated youth, and the white working class. Every left-leaning demographic that Hillary Clinton lost and every unprincipled demographic that Trump and Bernie agitated into the political sphere in 2016 would be Feeling the Bern.

Trump’s support would be reduced to automatic Republicans, anti-Progressive nationalists, Trump diehards, and those who feel that anything is better than Socialism. And that will not be enough to constitute a voting majority in the purple states.

The only thing that could derail a Sanders presidency if he decides to run for and wins the DNC nomination (neither of which are guarantees) would be a Jill Stein from the other side. In other words, if the Democratic Party were fractured by an insurgent anti-Sanders group, it could peel away enough voters to give Trump the edge.

What kind of insurgency would this be? I imagine a third-way feminist revolt. Sanders and his supporters were smeared as sexists from within their own party during and after the last election, and this tactic will be used again. If some on the left are too committed to getting a woman or minority into office, Trump will have a shot at beating Bernie.

I write none of this in celebration. There is no glee in these words. But I am committed to telling what I believe to be the truth. And the truth is that the America our Founding Fathers fought and died for is seldom persuasive to a voting majority of human beings in America or anywhere else around the world.

Let’s hope I’m wrong.

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Image Source DonKeyHotey on Flickr

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