Bernie Sanders and the Fixed Pie Fallacy by Chelsea German

“The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.” Senator Bernie Sanders first said those words in 1974 and has been repeating them ever since.

Senator Sanders is not alone in his belief. Three out of four Americans agree with the statement, “Today it’s really true that the rich just get richer while the poor get poorer.”

Senator Sanders is half right: the rich are getting richer. However, his assertion that the poor are becoming poorer is incorrect. The poor are becoming richer as well.

Economist Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institute showed that between 1979 and 2010, the real (inflation-adjusted) after-tax income of the top 1% of U.S. income-earners grew by an impressive 202%.

He also showed that the real after-tax income of the bottom fifth of income-earners grew by 49%. All groups made real income gains. While the rich are making gains at a faster pace, both the rich and the poor are in fact becoming richer.

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In addition to these measurable real income gains, decreases in prices have given the poor increased purchasing power, helping to raise living standards for the worst off in society. As a result of falling prices such as for groceries and material goods, along with gains in real income, Americans have more income left after basic expenses.

Technology has also become cheaper, improving our lives in unexpected ways. For example, consider the spread of cell phones. There was a time when only the wealthiest Americans could afford one. Today, over 98% of Americans have a cellular subscription, and the rise of smart phones has made these devices more useful than ever.

Unfortunately, progress has been uneven. In those areas of the economy where competition is hobbled, such as education, housing, and healthcare, prices continue to increase.

Still, the percentage of the population classified as living in relative poverty has decreased over time. Why then do three quarters of Americans, including Senator Sanders, believe that the poor are “getting poorer?”

A simple logical error underlies Sanders’ belief. If we assume that wealth is a fixed pie, then the more slices the rich get, the fewer are left over for the poor. In other words, people can only better themselves at the expense of others. In the world of the fixed pie, if we observe the rich becoming richer, then it must be because other people are becoming poorer.

Fortunately, in the real world, the pie is not fixed. US GDP is growing, and it’s growing faster than the population.

Poverty remains a pressing issue, but Senator Sanders is incorrect when he says that the poor are becoming poorer. In the words of HumanProgress.org advisory board member Professor Deirdre McCloskey,

The rich got richer, true. But millions more have gas heating, cars, smallpox vaccinations, indoor plumbing, cheap travelrights for womenlower child mortalityadequate nutrition, taller bodies, doubled life expectancyschooling for their kids, newspapers, a vote, a shot at university, and respect.

This post first appeared at HumanProgress.org.

Chelsea German

Chelsea German

Chelsea German works at the Cato Institute as a Researcher and Managing Editor of HumanProgress.org.

Trump’s National Lead Increases to 35.6%

Going into the Third GOP Debate it’s Trump, Carson and Rubio.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. /PRNewswire/ — Going into the third GOP debate on Wednesday, One America News Network’s latest national poll shows New York real estate mogul Donald Trump well ahead with a commanding 35.6 percent.  Dr. Ben Carson landed in the number two position with 21.7 percent, trailing Trump by 13.9 points.  Senator Marco Rubio rounds out the top three with 10.8 percent.  The top three GOP Presidential candidates have a whopping 68.1 percent of the total vote.  Rounding out the top five is former Governor Jeb Bush at 7.6 percent followed by Senator Ted Cruz at 5.9 percent.  Former HP executive Carly Fiorina just missed a top five finish with 5.7 percent, just two-tenths of a percent behind Cruz.  The poll, concluded Monday night, polled 906 registered Republicans and has a margin of error of 3 percent.

According to Robert Herring Sr., CEO of One America News Network, “It’s all Trump going into the third debate.  Mr. Trump’s continued top national ranking will also make him the candidate to target Wednesday night.”

One America News Network has commissioned another national poll to be conducted immediately after the debate with results reported on air by Thursday morning.  It will also provide live coverage from Colorado as soon as the debate ends, and in studio analysis of the event.

One America News Network has been providing extensive coverage of the 2016 Presidential campaign, including numerous exclusive one-on-one interviews with the leading candidates. One America News Network will be releasing on-going 2016 Presidential polling results throughout the year. Complete poll results are available at http://www.oann.com/pollresults.

one america news logoAbout One America News Network (“OAN”)

One America News Network offers 21 hours of live news coverage Monday through Friday.  While other emerging and established cable news networks offer multiple hours of live news coverage, only OAN can claim to consistently provide 21 hours of live coverage every weekday.  Third party viewership data for Q2 2015 from Rentrak, namely accumulated viewer hours, shows that OAN surpasses other news channels such as Al Jazeera America, Fusion, Fox Business News, and Bloomberg TV as measured on AT&T U-Verse TV, across 65 markets.

Since its debut on July 4, 2013, One America News Network has grown its distribution to over 12 million households with carriage by AT&T U-Verse TV (ch 208/1208 in HD), Verizon FiOS TV (ch 116/616 in HD), GCI Cable, Frontier Communications, CenturyLink PRISM TV (ch 208/1208 in HD), Consolidated Communications,Duncan Cable, GVTC, and numerous additional video providers.  One America News Network operates production studios and news bureaus in California and Washington, DC.  For more information on One America News Network, please visit www.OANN.com.

Wake Up America: Democrats at War with We The People

Please forgive me for sounding like a doting dad, but I was blessed to watch my adult daughter play softball in the world series. I beamed with pride as the out fielders backed up when she came to bat. However, what I am about to report will further entrench me as a traitor in the minds of other blacks in my family.

My wife Mary alerted me to the latest horrific incident of the Knockout Game that was ignored by the mainstream media. In New Jersey, a black thug knocked out an unsuspecting defenseless white woman. In Baltimore, 50 black teens almost beat a 61 year old white man to death which was again hidden from most Americans. My former employer WJZ-TV Baltimore refused to mention that the attackers were black in their coverage. And yet, race is the first thing out of reporters’ mouths in those rare incidences in which whites assault blacks. Stats show that blacks assault whites far more that vice versa.

I am the first to say everyone is solely responsible for their behavior. However, I see these black assaults on whites as the fist of the Democratic Party punching out innocent whites; the hand of the Democratic Party pulling the trigger assassinating police officers across America.

Democrats with MSM assistance have successfully convinced many black youths to believe white America is racist, murderers and responsible for all of black America’s woes. This Democrat insidious lie has caused black youths to feel morally justified in punishing their white Nemesis.

Few people realize the Democratic Party is at war with America. Yes, I am unequivocally saying everything the Democratic Party does is an attack on traditional morals and values. The Party leadership is repulsed by our God given freedom and rights written in the Constitution. Due to his radical education and perverted view of morality Obama believes the world has too little because America has too much. He is using his presidency to dethrone America as the world power.

From the Oval Office to numerous corrupted liberalism-infected government agencies, Democrats arrogantly bully and govern with an iron fist against the will of a majority of Americans. In essence, the Obama regime gives the American people the finger, daily.

From their perch of superiority, Democrats and liberal celebrity elitists believe only they should be permitted to bear arms, rather than us hayseed commoners. These elitists live in massive mansions, drive gas guzzlers and use massive amounts of fuel flying their private planes. Meanwhile, they lobby to force us peons to drive tiny tin cans, use public transportation and “lower our carbon footprint” to “save the planet”.

Here are just a few examples of the Dems hidden war against Americans.

The nationwide epidemic of blacks attacking innocent whites is due to a clarion call to attack by Democrat inspired and supported Black Lives Matter. What is so frustrating and crazy is the BLM movement was founded on the lie that white cops and white civilians routinely murder blacks. Furthering this hate-generating lie, legitimizing and empowering the vile hate group, the Democrat National Committee has given BLM its blessing to host a presidential town hall – to discuss “racial justice.” http://wapo.st/1M97ZFX Give me a break. Why not invite the KKK as well?

Then there is Kate’s Law which was voted down in the Senate by 44 Democrats. 

Thirty-two year old Kate Steinle while enjoying a leisurely stroll with her dad on a San Francisco pier was shot by an illegal who was convicted and deported numerous times. And yet, he kept coming back to the US.

Kate’s Law is a mandatory five years in jail for felony illegals who keep coming back. To protect our families, a majority of Americans want Kate’s Law. Democrats said screw you America. We want to continue rolling out the welcome mat to illegals because we are working on giving them the right to vote. With all the government handouts we offer, we are pretty confident the illegals will become loyal Democrat voters. So, screw Kate, her family and you America!

Another reason why Obama and the Democrats ignore federal law encouraging the invasion of illegals is they believe America has been too white for too long. I have to endure a rant from my wife every time she has to “press one for English”.

Despite national protest rallies and massive intense opposition from the American people Obama officially signed his insane Iran Nuke deal giving the world’s largest sponsors of terrorism $150 billion. Iranians boldly chant, “Death to America”. Obama lied claiming there are ballistic missile restrictions in his Iran Nuke deal. There are not. And where will those missiles be pointed? The answer is America. Ponder that folks.

By the way, a majority of American voters still oppose Obamacare. Obamacare is another example of the Democrats saying screw you, we’re taking over your health care, deciding who lives or dies whether you like it or not.

Average American Joe knows very little regarding what happened at our U.S. consulate in Benghazi Libya. In a nutshell, Ambassador Stevens begged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for more security, saying they were sitting ducks for Al Qaeda terrorists. Stevens’ request was denied. Nothing, including Stevens and his staff’s lives, would be allowed to contradict the Obama Administration’s lie that Al Qaeda was no longer a threat. Ambassador Stevens and other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack on our consulate. Stevens’ body was abused and dragged through the street.

To protect the Administration’s terrorism-is-not-a-problem lie, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Obama appeared on numerous TV shows insisting that the attack was a spontaneous protest sparked by an anti-Muslim video. Emails revealed that Hillary knew the attack had nothing to do with a video and was a planned Al Qaeda terrorist attack

Displaying the self-serving callousness of a sociopath, Hillary looked Pat Smith, mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, in the eye and promised to punish the producer of the video that caused the death of her son. 

It is extremely chilling that a major political party places its liberal agenda above the lives and best interest of Americans. This is how their party rolls folks; Democrats verses We The People.

In softball, my daughter is a “natural”. She hit a blast into the stadium lights, exploding them. Okay, I am exaggerating a bit. She did hit a ground ball single that drove in the winning run. That’s my girl!

Crying in the Wilderness

My friends sometimes jokingly refer to me as the John the Baptist of the Republican Party.

John the Baptist, who was an itinerant preacher in the days of Jesus Christ, is one of the most historic religious figures the world has ever known.  He constantly warned his people to repent of their sins because the Messiah’s, Jesus Christ, appearance was imminent.

People thought he was crazy because he kept preaching and preaching and preaching about the coming messiah until Jesus finally appeared on the scene; and John the Baptist’s prophecy was quickly forgotten.

Likewise, I have been preaching and preaching and preaching about the need for the Republican Party to become serious about getting more Blacks involved in the party.

But instead of imploring my party to get ready for the coming “messiah,” I have been preaching about the coming diversity of the American population; thus the necessity of not relying only on the White vote to win elections, especially during presidential cycles.

Many of my followers think I have simply been wasting my time for decades and that the Republican Party will never get serious about the Black community.

As with John the Baptist, many also think I am a madman and have lost my mind; but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Giving up would have been the easy thing to do; but I have always been reminded that dreamers possess great powers untold; they build worlds that others cannot see.

For the first time in decades, deep down inside, I see that a change is gonna come.

I am currently in the midst of travelling across the country meeting with Black entrepreneurs, Hollywood actors, and major music artists about a major project that I will announce next month.

Many Black entrepreneurs feel simply left out of the political game all together.  The Democratic Party is anathema to many of these businessmen on issues like government regulations, minimum wage, Obamacare, access to capital; many in Black Hollywood are becoming increasingly concerned with the extreme left-leaning turn of the images coming out of Hollywood regarding “values;” there is also an increasingly vocal movement against the lyrics being promoted within Hip-Hop/R&B.

Republicans constantly assert that they don’t know who these Blacks are and were not aware that they are already in synch with our values on a myriad of issues.  Well, they will no longer have that as an excuse.

I will deliver these individuals to the party to begin cultivating some type of relationship to explore the possibility of forming some basis of moving forward on issues of mutual concern.

Of all the decades I have been preaching the gospel of inclusion, I have never seen the Black community so ripe with a desire for engagement with the Republican Party.

One only need look at the pathologies in every Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) member’s district to understand why.  Every conceivable economic or values index in these districts are well above the national average of worst indices:  unemployment, crime, drugs, murder, pregnancy, school dropouts, etc.

The Black community is already in sync with the party philosophically and politically; the question is does the Republican Party really want a relationship with the Black community or do they simply want to continue to use our community as a wedge issue?

One of the main reason Blacks constantly vote again their own interests is that the Republican Party does not make the Black community feel like they are welcomed within their party.

If the party wants a relationship with the Black community, they have to send a strong signal that the party is looking long term and are willing to indicate that with specific actions.

Our congressional leadership must invite these businessmen to sit at the table with them and their staffs to discuss issues like:  reducing or abolishing capital gains taxes as a means of stimulating small business growth, accelerated depreciation, access to capital, Obamacare, and foreign taxes; they must invite Blacks in Hollywood to discuss with them the role of negative, violent images and its impact on the culture of violence that is pronounced within the Black community; they must invite Hip-Hop/R&B artists to discuss copyright protection of their intellectual property (their music) and the need to end the raunchy lyrics in our pop culture.

Remember, the goal is not to make them Republicans; but rather to get them to work with us on specific issues that we all can agree on.

If we can do this, I will no longer be called the one who is crying in the wilderness; but rather the one who is now crying for joy.

Carson Super PACs Form Most Powerful Alliance in Super PAC History

MERRIFIELD, Va. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Our Children’s Future PAC and The 2016 Committee, two Super PACs supporting Dr. Ben Carson’s candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, today announced plans to streamline and supercharge their nationwide campaigns to build awareness and support for Dr. Ben Carson’s presidential candidacy.

“Dr. Carson’s story is one of David vs. Goliath,” said Jeff Reeter, former campaign finance chairman for Dr. Carson and chairman of Our Children’s Future PAC. “The 2016 Committee, the driving force behind the ‘Run Ben Run’ movement, is one of the ‘smooth stones.’ This coordination between The 2016 Committee and Our Children’s Future will play a key role in promoting Dr. Carson’s final run to the White House. With the increased visibility and energy provided by Our Children’s Future, The 2016 Committee’s already powerful militia will grow into an extremely strong army for Dr. Carson’s advancement.”

In an unparalleled move, the two Super PACs will closely collaborate to ensure consistency of message and to target resources in real time, turning Carson’s outside militia into an organized army that will propel him to the White House.  Our Children’s Future PAC will continue its focus on large-dollar fundraising while The 2016 Committee will continue its historical success with grassroots fundraising.

Starting immediately, both organizations will unleash a unified, comprehensive strategy to increase voter education in early primary states through print, online and broadcast advertising as well as grassroots engagement via The 2016 Committee’s volunteer army of 35,000 Americans.

“Having laid the ground work for Dr. Carson’s candidacy, we now enthusiastically embrace this partnership with Our Children’s Future in a collective battle for America’s future,” said John Philip Sousa IV, chairman of The 2016 Committee. “We expect this alliance to amplify and increase the 35,000 voices already clamoring for Dr. Carson, and as thousands more join, we alone will be positioned to support the one candidate uniquely qualified to heal America — Dr. Ben Carson.”

“It has been my pleasure to know Jeff Reeter for many years and he has been both mine and Ben’s first choice in running a Carson centered Super PAC,” said Terry Giles, a key strategist and former campaign chairman for Dr. Carson. “It has also been a delight to recently get to know John Sousa and we are very grateful for all the good work The 2016 Committee has done to promote the Carson campaign.

“The fact that these two terrific gentlemen can come together and combine their talents and organizations in the singular goal of electing Ben Carson as President of the United States is great news for all fans of Dr. Carson,” Giles added. “The Carson campaign team is doing a great job, and now here come the Super PACs. This is a game changer in the history of Super PACs and an unparalleled powerful force for Dr. Carson.”

About Our Children’s Future PAC

Our Children’s Future is an independent expenditure-only political action committee supporting Dr. Ben Carson’s campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination through print, radio and television ads.

About The 2016 Committee

The 2016 Committee is a political action committee raising awareness of and support for Dr. Ben Carson’scampaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. For more information, visit www.2016committee.org or connect on Twitter @DraftRunBenRun or Facebook/RunBenRun.org.

Palm Beach County GOP calls for Term Limits Convention!

When the history is written of the successful effort to achieve Congressional term limits via an Article V convention, recall that it started right here.

At their Oct. 14 meeting, the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee made a resounding call for an Article V convention limited to the issue of Congressional term limits. The resolution was approved 79-1.

Chairman Michael Barnett

Chairman Michael Barnett (photo, right) presided over the vote. Two weeks earlier, the board approved the resolution for a floor vote by a vote of 12-0.

In taking this action, the Palm Beach County Republicans are speaking for the 83 percent of Republicans nationwide that told Gallup pollsters in 2013 that they want to see the terms of Congress limited by a Constitutional amendment.  Ironically, they are also standing up for the 65 percent of Democrats that share their view.

For Florida to make an official call — or ‘application’ — for an Article V convention, a bill to do so must pass each of Florida’s legislative chambers, both currently dominated by Republicans. The bill has just emerged from drafting and is starting its journey through the legislative maze. Hence, this resolution by one of Florida’s largest and most respected county RECs is both timely and powerful.

Here is the text of the resolution in its entirety:

WHEREAS, legislative term limits improve citizen access to office, broaden the range of experience in a political body, improve incentives faced by lawmakers, and mandate competitive elections at regular intervals;

WHEREAS, recent national polling (Gallup 2013) indicates 75% of voters of all parties continue to support term limits, including 83% of Republicans and 65% of Democrats;

WHEREAS, Florida voters imposed term limits on their Congressional delegation in 1992 with 77% of the vote, and more recent polling (Quinnipiac, 2009) shows that 82% of Floridians continue to support term limits on public officials;

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States (U.S. Term Limits v Thornton, 1995) declared that term limits could only be imposed by a constitutional amendment;

WHEREAS, the U.S. Congress has steadfastly refused to send a Congressional term limits amendment to the states for ratification in spite of broad popular support;

WHEREAS, Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides an alternate means of proposing constitutional amendments via a convention of the states that does not require a Congressional vote;

WHEREAS, upon receiving official calls from two-thirds of the states, Congress must call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments;

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF PALM BEACH COUNTY HEREBY RESOLVES that the Florida legislature make an official Article V call to convene an amendment convention for the specific purpose of limiting the terms of the U.S. Congress.

This resolution will be even more effective if amplified by the resolutions of other RECs across the state. If you are a member of a local REC, please take this resolution to your board and ask for a vote.

For more info on the Florida Term Limits Convention campaign, go here.

Poll: Trump Strong in Massachusetts, Email Scandal Hurting Clinton with Independents

BOSTON /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new statewide poll suggests the state’s Republican primary race is Donald Trump’s to lose. With 48% of the vote, Trump is trouncing Dr. Ben Carson (14%) andMarco Rubio (12%). The 34-point gap between Trump and Carson dwarfs the 9-point margin between the two in Emerson’s recent national poll. Lagging behind the leaders, Jeb Bush has slid to 7%, only slightly ahead ofCarly Fiorina and Ted Cruz.

In the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton leads Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders 59% to 25%, with all other Democrats under 5%. In a sign of trouble for Clinton, 47% of Independents said her use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State made them less likely to vote for her, compared to 24% of Democrats who said the same. A majority of Independents (56%) believe her doing so harmed U.S. foreign policy. Independents make up roughly half the state electorate.

Voters weighed in on a range of other issues. Seven in ten (71%) support the Boston Police Department’s pilot program to equip police with body cameras. Only 11% are opposed. Support is mixed for a 2016 state ballot question that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults. Forty-one percent (41%) favor the initiative, and 48% oppose it. In 2012, Massachusetts approved the medical use of marijuana 63% to 37%.

Those polled strongly favor a proposed federal law that would restrict the sale of tobacco products to those under 21. Support was 59% or higher for both genders, all major political affiliations, and all age groups except those 18 to 34, who oppose the measure 51% to 37%.

As the undefeated New England Patriots continue their post-Deflategate “Revenge Tour,” 51% of respondents said they believe the Pats will win the Super Bowl this season. By a margin of 48% to 22%, Red Sox fans gave a “thumbs up” to manager John Farrell being rehired for the 2016 baseball season. Farrell missed part of this season while undergoing cancer treatment.

Despite a popular song that extols Boston and the Charles River, voters apparently don’t “love that dirty water,” at least not enough to drink it. When informed that Harpoon Brewery had used river water to create a special-edition pale ale to commemorate the cleanup of the Charles, only 29% said they would drink it if they were offered a glass.

ABOUT THE EMERSON COLLEGE POLL

The Emerson College Polling Society poll was conducted from Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 18. The polling sample for the Democratic and GOP primaries consisted of 265 and 271 likely primary voters, respectively, with a margin of error of +/-6% and +/-5.9%, and 629 registered general election voters with a +/-3.9%, and a 95% confidence level. Data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response system. The full methodology and results can be found at www.theecps.com.

Trump Solidifies Support in GOP Field, Carson and Rubio Pull Away From Pack

BOSTON /PRNewswire/ — A new poll shows former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton extending her lead over Senator Bernie Sanders by a margin of 68% to 20%. This sizable boost may indicate she is winning over would-be supporters of Vice President Joe Biden, who was included in a prior poll in September, but not the most recent one. Support for Sanders has remained flat since September at 20%. Biden’s window of opportunity to join the race may be closing; when asked if he should run, 43% of respondents said no, compared to 32% who said he should.

Clinton’s bounce might also be attributed to last week’s Democratic debate. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of those surveyed watched the debate, with 36% saying Clinton won, 17% giving the nod to Sanders, and 40% saying they were undecided about the outcome.

On the Republican side of the race, Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson continue to lead the GOP pack. Trump’s 32% support reflected a 1-point drop from the September poll, while Carson edged up 3 points, from 20% to 23%. Marco Rubio improved from 8% to 14%, appearing to draw voters away from Jeb Bush, who fell to 8% from 12%. Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina, with 6% each, trailed well behind the leaders.

The general election remains very tight. In head-to-head matchups, Clinton trails Trump (46% to 44%) and Carson (47% to 45%). She is tied with Rubio at 44%, and holds a slight margin over Bush (45% to 43%).

Of all the candidates, Carson is the one most favorably viewed by women and younger voters. His favorable/unfavorable ratio with women is 54/31 (+23) compared to Trump’s 42/50 (-8) and Bush’s 38/59 (-21). By a wide margin, women view Clinton unfavorably, 38/60 (-22). Sanders’ has the biggest gender disparity gap, -31 points among females. In the 18-34 age group, Carson’s net favorability is +14, compared to Trump (0), Clinton (-22) and Sanders (-10).

While religion has been a major element of discussion and coverage in past presidential campaigns, it appears Sanders being Jewish is at this time, not an issue.  The majority of voters are unsure of Sander’s religious views with 23% identifying him as Jewish, while 48% were not sure. If elected, Sanders would be the first Jewish president.

RELATED ARTICLE: Does Class Warfare win elections?

ABOUT THE EMERSON COLLEGE POLLING SOCIETY POLL

The Emerson College Polling Society poll was conducted from Friday, October 16 through Saturday, October 17. The polling sample for the Democratic and GOP primaries consisted of 390 and 403 likely primary voters, respectively, with a margin of error of +/-4.9% and +/-4.8%, margin of error and 783 registered general election voters with a +/-3.4%, and a 95% confidence level. Data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The full methodology and results can be found at www.theecps.com.

Canada Election: Justin Trudeau — wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Islamic supremacists

That’s it for freedom, worldwide. Justin Trudeau is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Islamic supremacists. Harper’s Canada was the last outpost, the last place where government was reasonably sane regarding the jihad threat.

Now it is up to individuals to stand, no matter how much it costs them, against the forces of oppression and authoritarianism that will become increasingly aggressive, and soon. Many who were thought to be true have already been proven false, and this will continue: these are and will increasingly be the times that try men’s souls.

The cowardice of many will be exposed, and it will surprise those who thought they were standing tall. But the human spirit, the spirit of freedom, will never be wholly extinguished — despite the best efforts of the forces of authoritarianism and oppression.

“Canada election: networks call victory for Liberals and Trudeau – live,” Guardian, October 19, 2015:

The official projections continue to show Liberals in the lead, although many races in the dense Toronto area are far from being tallied in full. Polls have just closed in British Columbia, meaning the deluge of exit polls and counted ballots will only increase in the next hour.

Liberals: 128 ridings, 55.7% of the vote
Conservatives: 7- ridings, 22%
NDP: 14 ridings, 17.5%
Bloc Quebecois: three ridings, 0.7%

— Jessica Murphy (@Murphy_Jessica_)
October 20, 2015

Some happy Liberals #elxn42 pic.twitter.com/KWeSo0HJck

RELATED ARTICLE: Australia: Jihad murderer was “always in his own corner, reading the Koran”

Florida Federation of Republican Women Elect New Statewide Leaders

ORLANDO, FL — The Florida Federation of Republican Women elected their 2016-2017 officers and statewide leaders at the FFRW 65th Anniversary and Biennial Convention in Orlando on October 10, 2015.

The common trait among the new statewide leaders is proven GOP activism.

GOP award-winning leader Dena DeCamp of Polk County was elected FFRW President. She is well known and recognized at the state and national level for her campaign leadership. DeCamp has served in FFRW leadership since 2009 as an award-winning local club president, District Manager, and as the Vice Chair of the Polk County Republican Party.

“Women are the majority of the vote here in Florida and nationwide. Fresh off of our 2014 sweeping victories, our Florida women are determined to once again lead the charge for the GOP in the 4th largest state in America. The FFRW is largest statewide political organization for women the members have elected a stellar team to lead our battleground team,” said Dena DeCamp.

Deborah Tamargo, REC Chairman of Hillsboro County, was elected as First VP; Jean Wingo of Walton County was elected as Second VP; Kim Carroll of Seminole County was elected as 3rd VP; Meg Merritt of Pasco County will serve as Secretary; and Suzie Loving of Duval County as Treasurer.

Elected Members at Large are Doris Cortese of Lee County, Patti Febro of Brevard County, and Kate Boland of Martin County. Rounding our the leadership team as FFRW District Executive is Beth Young of Brevard County.

District Representatives include Libby Hill, Okaloosa County; Dotty McPherson, Leon County; Laureen Pagel, Nassau County; Barbara Qualls, Sumter County; Mary Jane Anderson, Volusia County; Jennifer Wagner, Seminole County; Emma Runion, Hillsborough County; Carmen Salomee, Lee County; and Celeste Eliche, Broward County.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA FEDERATION OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN

The Florida Federation of Republican Women is celebrating 65 years of activism and is the largest women’s political organization in the state. Visit their website at: www.ffrw.net

Penn Jillette on the Clintons: Quote of the Day

On his weekly podcast, libertarian magician and skeptic Penn Jillette gave an incisive take on Hillary and Bill Clinton.

We have Hillary Clinton — while you were alive, while you were sexually active, three years ago — saying marriage is just between a man and a woman. …

And yet many people in [the gay community] are supporting Hillary, and their reason for supporting her is that “she was always in favor of gay rights, but she had to say what she had to to be elected.” …

She came out in favor of the pacific trade deal, very strongly in favor of it, and now she’s against it.

And that’s not seen as flip-flopping, it’s not really seen as a revelation or learning something — it’s seen as “she is politically expedient, and we want someone who is politically expedient.”

The followers of Hillary Clinton seem to think they have a secret deal with her — where they understand what she really believes, what she’s really going to do — and they are willing to support her as she bends the truth in order to be elected. …

Why do the people who support Hillary think that what she’s saying is to manipulate other people and not to manipulate them?

This cultivated impression of insincerity allows her supporters project whatever beliefs and values they want onto her, rationalizing away any dissonant actions as just “savvy politics,” letting her be everything to everyone.

Penn notes that Bill Clinton exploited the same tendency when he ran for president in 1992:

I remember when Bill Clinton was running for president. He was in a capital punishment state, Arkansas, and he flew back during his campaign, during the Gennifer Flowers thing, to pull the switch on a mentally handicapped criminal.

He went back to pull the switch, and I remember talking to a buddy of mine in Chicago … who said, “We know Bill Clinton is against capital punishment, we know he’s against it, but he had to make sure this guy was killed in order to be elected, and he knows that’s important.”

And I said I know people who are pro-capital punishment who have never actually been part of killing a person, and who might balk at that.

So this is what they postulate: you’ve got an anti-death penalty guy who think it’s worth it to kill this guy in order to be elected… so he can fight for not killing people?

Of course, this is not unique to Clinton supporters. Politics is a tribal game, where members of one team will always assume that their leaders are (at least secretly) really on their side and doing the right thing, and they’ll find ways to rationalize their disagreements as merely strategic or cosmetic.

Listen to the rest of the show here.Anything Peaceful

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The Economics of a Toddler and the Ethics of a Thug by Donald J. Boudreaux

Reflecting on the recent Democratic debate, Dan Henninger reports that Bernie Sanders said that he would fund his plan to make college free for students “through a tax on Wall Street speculation” (“Bernie Loves Hillary,” Oct. 15).

This statement reveals the frivolousness of Mr. Sanders’s economics. If such speculation is as economically destructive as Mr. Sanders regularly proclaims it to be, the tax on speculation should be set high enough to drastically reduce it.

But if — as Mr. Sanders presumably wishes — speculation is drastically reduced, very little will remain of it to be taxed and, thus, such a tax will not generate enough revenue to pay for Mr. Sanders’s scheme of making all public colleges and universities “tuition-free.”

That Mr. Sanders sees no conflict between using taxation to discourage (allegedly) harmful activities and using taxation as a source of revenue proves that he ponders with insufficient sobriety the economic matters on which he pontificates so sternly.

Excerpted from Cafe Hayek.

Donald J. Boudreaux

Donald J. Boudreaux

Donald Boudreaux is a professor of economics at George Mason University, a former FEE president, and the author of Hypocrites and Half-Wits.

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Focusing The Presidential Debates: Questions And Suggestions For The Candidates

WASHINGTON, D.C. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Once again this Great Nation has embarked on a journey to elect a new President.  The candidates have come forward and the debates are now underway in both Parties.  It is in the interest of all Americans that the candidates, and the debates, seriously address the grave national challenges, and opportunities, now before the Nation.  To assist that discussion, which must be a national discussion, a dozen concerned American citizens have come together to raise questions and offer suggestions for the candidates; Democrat and Republican alike.  They are doing so without compensation and without party, candidate, or institutional sponsorship.

Each expert has prepared a short paper in their area of expertise addressing a major national challenge or opportunity.  Many of the challenges, including national defense, foreign policy and immigration reform, are already central to the debates.  But some of the opportunities will be new to the debates, such as those on “Targeting Disease,” “Education against Crime,” “Social Security Optionality: Reducing the Wealth Gap,” “Relational Policing,” and “Right-Sizing Government.”

Each paper reflects the views of the presenter.  There has been no effort to coordinate views; nor is any presenter responsible for the views expressed by other presenters.  Some of the papers may appeal more to Democratic candidates, and some may appeal more to Republican candidates.  The subjects, however, have been chosen for their national importance and the presenters for their recognized expertise, regardless of political affiliation.

Press conferences with the presenters are being held at the National Press Club (NPC) in Washington D.C.from noon to three p.m. on Friday, October 16, Thursday, October 22nd, and Friday, October 23d.  After each paper is presented, there will be an opportunity for the press, and representatives of the candidates, to ask questions.  Friday October 16 will feature papers on “An Overview of Issues Facing the New President,” “Immigration Reform,” “Targeting Disease,” “Social Security Optionality: Reducing the Wealth Gap,” and “Tax Policy.”  Thursday October 22 will address:  “Defense & Security Policy,” “Foreign Policy,” and “Promoting Democracy & the Rule of Law.”  Friday October 23d will address: “Reducing Prison Populations,” “Relational Policing,” “Education against Crime,” and “Right-Sizing Government.”  An especially important paper on “Growing the Economy,” an issue central to virtually every other national challenge and opportunity, will be placed on the website but will not be addressed at the scheduled press conferences in Washington because of time constraints of the author.

A list of the distinguished participants, as well as the schedule of their participation in the National Press Club briefings and a copy of their papers being distributed to all the Presidential Candidates, is posted at the initiative web site   www.FocusingThePresidentialDebates.com

Bernie Was Right, and Hillary Wrong, on Gun-Lawsuit Bill by Walter Olson

It came up again at last night’s Democratic debate, so it’s worth repeating: Bernie Sanders and more than 60 other Democrats in Congress were right to support the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), and Hillary Clinton was wrong to oppose it.

Congress had both good practical reason and Constitutional authority to enact PLCAA. Its purpose and effect was to call a halt to the campaign (backed by the administration of Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband) to launch financially ruinous litigation against firearms makers and dealers — most of them thinly capitalized firms unable to withstand massive legal bills — and apply the resulting leverage to extract promises of gun control without the bother of seeking approval for those measures from a then-skeptical U.S. Congress.

It was a campaign rightly decried as undemocratic even by such figures of the Left as former cabinet secretary Robert Reich. It was also a travesty of legal ethics, employing litigation as a pure weapon; thus then-HUD secretary Andrew Cuomo warned gunmakers that unless they cooperated they’d suffer “death by a thousand cuts”, while then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer reportedly warned Glock: “If you do not sign, your bankruptcy lawyers will be knocking at your door.”

It is not the place of the U.S. Congress to rectify every ill of litigation that may arise in state courts, but the Constitution specifically contemplates that federal lawmakers will oversee the doings of state courts when those courts assert power over transactions and residents of other states.

Thus Article IV, Section 1 grants Congress the power “by general Laws [to] prescribe the …Effect” of state law in other states. These powers are peculiarly relevant when employed to safeguard a Constitutionally specified right that is (purposely) put in jeopardy by tactical abuse of interstate lawsuits.

Despite the claims of some opponents, Congress’s formula for resolving litigation amounted in essence to restoring, not overturning, the traditional common-law bounds of gun liability. It left open a few exceptions for instances where liability might have been found with some warrant in the older common law, as when a gun explodes or is knowingly sold to a person intent on harm.

Otherwise, it codifies the same common-law rule that Cuomo, Clinton et al were hoping to get the courts to abandon: if an otherwise lawful firearm has performed as it was designed and intended to do, its maker and seller are not liable for its misuse.

I’ve written more about PLCAA and its critics here and here.

This post first appeared at Overlawyered.

Walter Olson
Walter Olson

Walter Olson is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies.

Trump and the Chumps: What’s a Serious Candidate, Anyway?

Ever since Donald Trump rose to front-runner status in the 2016 GOP presidential field, we’ve heard dismissive talk about how he’s not a “serious” candidate. Pundits and political-party leaders have made this claim, in efforts ranging from seriously intended but unserious commentary to the tactic of hoping that if you act as if something is true it will be considered so. But whether or not Trump is a serious candidate, one thing is plain: these politics wonks have no idea what that is.

“Serious” in the sense it’s being used by the establishment types is not only a weasel word, but also akin to the tactic of calling an Internet commenter who utters uncomfortable truths a “troll”; the water-muddying message is, “Oh, you don’t have to pay attention to that; he’s not serious.”

But what is a “serious candidate,” anyway?

Does it reflect seriousness when a politician says, as Jeb Bush has, that violating our borders and invading our nation is an “act of love”? How about Carly Fiorina saying, two weeks after 9/11, that Muslim civilization was once “the greatest in the world” and “was driven more than anything, by invention”? What about when a brain-frozen Hillary Clinton blurted out, “Don’t let anybody…tell you that, ah, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs”? Or what about when, subject to normal oversight as any public official should be, she petulantly exclaimed about Benghazi, “What difference at this point does it make?!”

Then there’s the supposed savior of Democrat electoral fortunes, Joe Biden. When he said that Franklin Roosevelt got on TV to address the 1929 stock market crash, not realizing it predated the television age and Roosevelt’s presidency, was it suggestive of a serious candidate? And how about his boss, Barack? He thought “Austrian” was spoken in Austria, pronounced “corpsman” “corpse-man” three times in one speech and called the “transcontinental” railroad the “intercontinental” one (you know, the intercontinental ballistic railroad developed during the Cold War). Would a serious politician have such a poor knowledge base?

We could also mention Senator Marco Rubio, a.k.a. Aquaman, who promised conservatives he’d never support an immigration bill whose first priority wasn’t enforcement, but then told Spanish language station Univision (in Spanish) “First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border.” If such a shameless liar and panderer can be considered a serious candidate because he has a pretty face, we need to reevaluate our priorities.

Again, though, what is a “serious” candidate? Well, imagine a doctor refuses to render a correct diagnosis, but instead tells the patient what he wants to hear, because he thinks the truth will be unwelcome. Or imagine he’s a witch doctor who doesn’t know the truth in the first place. Would you consider him a serious physician? If “serious” has any meaningful significance in the context of politics at all — as opposed to just “serious about conning you” or “serious about attaining power by any means necessary” — integral to it is knowing the truth and being willing to speak it. Otherwise the person is as serious as Joe Isuzu.

Now, one quality characterizing almost all our candidates, to at least an extent, is political correctness (PC). But what is PC? It can accurately be defined as “the suppression of truth for the purposes of advancing a left-wing agenda.” Conclusion?

It can roughly be said that a candidate can only be serious insofar as his pronouncements are not politically correct.

And, question: who is the most politically incorrect candidate running this election cycle?

Answer: Donald Trump.

Thus, Trump in this sense is not just a serious candidate — he’s perhaps the most serious candidate in the race

Punctuating this point is that he has talked the most, and the most seriously, about one of the most serious issues of our time: the invasion of our nation euphemistically called “illegal immigration” (hint: illegal entry isn’t any kind of immigration).

This isn’t to say that any candidate, including Trump, is as “serious” as I might like (hey, I’m not running). Everyone has his deficits and his “filters.” For starters, none of the presidential aspirants seem to grasp — or are willing to say — that our legal immigration regime is a far, far bigger problem than illegal migration. Nonetheless, there are lessons in the Trump phenomenon that must be understood.

First, any one of the other GOP candidates could have tapped into what Trump has capitalized upon. But they either

  • lacked the wisdom and/or guts to do so.
  • are of the Karl Rove school and believe that such brash political incorrectness can’t win the general election (lamentably, given how morally degraded the country has become, this may be true).
  • have neocon instincts and actually subscribe to the PC nonsense.

But what exactly is Trump capitalizing upon? To begin with, there’s a certain truth that his rise illustrates:

Tens of millions of Americans fear being politically incorrect.

But relatively few Americans actually embrace political correctness.

In this our nation is a bit like the old Soviet Union: the man on the street didn’t believe in the state ideology, but everyone feared the ideological machinery of the state. Trump is saying (to an extent) what countless Americans want to but fear to; he is the champion striking a blow against an unpopular social code enforced by a minority via fear and intimidation.

This isn’t to say there aren’t millions of useful idiots who subscribe to PC. But what percentage of Americans supported the forced resignation of marriage advocate and former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich or the firing of the Miami school principal who merely voiced support for the McKinney, Texas, police officer? PC is largely a phenomenon of the pseudo-elite, not the street. And it has its sting — Trump himself has lost major business deals (and is the rare person who can afford to) because of his immigration stance — but the privacy of the voting booth is one place where Americans don’t yet have to fear being politically incorrect.

The second thing Trump has tapped into is related to the first, and it was brilliantly articulated by one Julius Krein in a September Weekly Standard article. He wrote of Trump:

[W]hat defines him as a candidate and forms the essence of his appeal, is that he seeks to speak for America. He speaks, that is, not for America as an abstraction but for real, living Americans and for their interests as distinct from those of people in other places. He does not apologize for having interests as an American, and he does not apologize for demanding that the American government vigorously prosecute those interests. … His slogan is “Make America Great Again,” and he is not ashamed of the fact that this means making it better than other places, perhaps even at their expense.

In other words, Trump is tapping into what is the historical norm and has only been dispensed with, quite recently, by the suicidal West: a “tangible…nationalism,” as Krein put it. The makes him stand out in a time when an European Union insider can self-righteously say “sovereignty is an absolute illusion that has to be put behind us,” home-owner association officials can fine residents for flying the American flag, and an establishment-choice presidential candidate can call an invasion an act of love — and not be tarred and feathered and “warned out of town.” Trump talks like a patriot in a bizarro world where treason has become the norm.

Of course, a lack of seriousness does bedevil us. But understanding that PC is the antithesis of seriousness puts this in perspective. The arenas claiming to be able to identify “serious candidates” — the media and academia — are themselves the most PC of all and thus wholly unserious. And since they, along with PC entertainment, drive the culture and help shape opinion, they are partially responsible for what is the root cause of our problems: unserious voters.

Whatever our candidates may or may not be, they just reflect us, an unserious civilization in serious and unstable condition.

RELATED ARTICLE: Twitter Debate Between Brit Hume and David Limbaugh Mirrors Battle Within the GOP

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