Friday, July 20, 2012

What struck me this week....

Obama - slicing tall poppies down, you're not so smart... it's not your business, you didn't build that

This is likely to be as controversial as Hilary Clinton's famous "it takes a village to raise a child" statement, which many conservatives took as denying the primary role of families.  

Obama said thislook, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something—there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

So DON'T be proud, you're not an individual, success is always a collective effort.  Don't think you're clever, lots of people are.   You're success is because someone gave you help, you CAN'T be successful through your own hard work and intelligence.  Be grateful for the roads, because you wouldn't succeed without them (the fact others didn't do what you did is blanked out).

Presumably he thinks Olympic Gold Medals belong to lots of people, not the people winning the races.

Not PC wrote about it, and I concur.  I also like his post that includes satire about it.

Pure unadulterated anti-individualist, pro-collectivist drivel.  If Mitt Romney can't capitalise on this to grab the votes of most small business people, of indeed most Americans who strive and believe in recognising individual success when it happens, he doesn't deserve to be President.

Helen Clark gives an award to a tobacco entrepreneur

The warrior against smoking is hoisted by the petard of the profligate mega-bureaucracy she leads, not that she isn't a stranger to hypocrisy.  After all, few things are more hypocritical than a woman who has never created a business in her life getting US$500,000 a year, from global taxpayers, tax free, flying around the world flying first class (not just business class), staying in 5 star hotels, being chauffeured around telling the world that it should do more to address poverty.   Well done Helen, you cold, hypocritical, control freak.

Auckland's Mayor wants more taxes

Len Brown thinks that there is a "funding gap" of NZ$15 billion for Auckland transport.  Truth is that he can't convince users of government provided transport infrastructure or services to pay more to pay for his wishlist of totemic projects, especially the nearly NZ$3 billion Auckland CBD underground railway (given railway users already only pay a third of the cost of operating the existing trains, and not one cent towards the pending electrification and new trains).

He's arguing for a regional fuel tax (ignoring that it's unfair to those who don't use fuel on the roads, and those who wont use his totemic projects), tolls for new roads (all well and good, but there are few of those) and congestion charging (which Labour says is unfair, preferring regional fuel tax, and National rejects).

The real answer is to cut his spending plans to what fits within budget.  State highways are not Auckland Council's responsibility.  Maintain the local road network, pay out the existing public transport subsidy contracts and after that, bid to NZTA for new capital projects.  Understand that when ratepayers will throw you out for raising rates to pay for a railway, that means they don't want to pay for it so you shouldn't do it. 

Portugal's drug decriminalisation has worked

The number of drug addicts has halved since Portugal decriminalised all drugs in 2001.   Gutlessness prevails in mainstream politics in the English speaking world.

New Zealand continues the war on drugs
  
A report that 2573 people have been arrested en masse by the NZ Police for the victimless crime of consuming, selling and producing cannabis should have anyone with a liberal bent outraged.  The sheer scale of this is horrifying.  Of course it wont be the sons and daughters of MPs, lawyers, doctors, journalists, company directors and the like who are targeted, it will be largely lower class, brown skinned people and other reprobates who “deserve it” in the war on drugs.  Because, of course, the war on drugs doesn’t actually mean treating everyone who has drugs the same way – it means letting middle class successful people off the hook for dabbling in them whilst they wag their finger at the people who they don’t think are capable of making the same decision for themselves.

As Lindsay Perigo says, will the Police not stop until all 450,000 people who smoke cannabis are in prison?  

How Greece's government destroyed US$140 million of national wealth with one policy

You ban the government from selling surplus assets at less than 75% of their book value.  Meaning you're ultimately forced to sell them for 22% as the market collapses in the three years of prevaricating over the sale.

Romania's government slides towards authoritarianism

What do you call the EU's reaction to one of its newest Member States governing under emergency powers, politicising the entire public sector including the judiciary, making the state media an arm of the ruling party, overruled the Constitutional Court (so changing the constitution)?  Pathetic.  Why?  Apparently because so many MEPs are aligned to the socialists (successors of Ceausescu's communist party) who are annexing Romania's entire political system to suit themselves, and because the EU can't admit that it made a mistake in admitting Romania when it was subject to serious issues of corruption.  The EU COULD cut funding across many areas, immediately, such as agriculture and regional funding for infrastructure, but it wont.  The Party of European Socialists, including the British Labour Party, are keeping quiet. 

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