Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rest In Peace Steve.

Today the world mourns the loss of Steve Jobs. He was the visionary of all visionaries, the greatest business mind the world has ever known and the Thomas Edison of this century. Steve Jobs is one of the few men throughout history who will not only be remembered in his own time, but whose impact will be felt for generations to come. Steve Jobs fundamentally changed the way we interact with, and comprehend technology. Steve Jobs changed the world.

Not only did he change the world as we know it, he is the perfect example of capitalism at its finest. Steve Jobs was never given anything. Two blue-collar middle class parents adopted Steve; he did not come from wealth by any stretch of the imagination. Jobs went on to defy the mainstream and drop out of college to eagerly pursue his own passions.  Jobs would go on to sell his VW van for $1000 dollars so he could build his first circuit board in his parent’s garage, the rest his history.

Steve Jobs followed his heart, took risk, pursued his passion, believed in his own innovativeness and refused to accept failure. A blue-collar college drop out built one of the worlds most profitable corporations in less than thirty years. What started in his parent’s garage would go on to be the most revered company of our time. Truly, Steve Jobs will be an inspiration to countless innovators and entrepreneurs for generations to come. If ever there was an argument for American Capitalism Steve Jobs is it, he is the embodiment of the American dream.

I was planning on posting about the Legislation behind the new banking fees today, and why we should blame congress not the banking industry. However that will have to wait, as I felt compelled to discuss Steve. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

An open letter to my generation.

Birthdays are a time to reflect, a time to ponder ones place in the universe and society at large. Today on my 22nd birthday I am having such a reflection; I have come to the disturbing and disheartening conclusion that my generation has become exceedingly apathetic. If even one of you read and comprehend this letter I will take solace in the fact that I may have planted a seed for future intellectual thought.

                  Friends, peers, family, acquaintances, strangers, I implore you to open your eyes to the current state of global affairs. For too long the majority of you have allowed yourselves to remain ignorant. For too long you have delighted in your own obliviousness to the precarious circumstances we are on the precipice of. If we as a nation are to remain a relevant entity in global governance we must prepare ourselves to take the reins from the destructive, ineffective and fraudulent leadership of today and seek to restructure the fundamental principals of leadership in America. If we are to prevail through this global economic strife we must be willing to question our entitlement mentalities, we must actively doubt whether perception does in fact equal reality, and we must seek truth and strive for excellence. Presently we have the ability to control our own destiny, yet we remain meek and blissful in our collective ignorance. This must change.

                  Step one is education, not only in the classroom but also on your own time. I have observed that the collective knowledge of our generation regarding pop culture is vast. Our generation must become relevant on the national stage to effect change. For this to occur we must be willing to sacrifice some of our admiration for Hollywood. I encourage you to occasionally put down Twilight and pick up a Newspaper, Change the channel from MTV to CNN, Turn off your radio station and flip it to the local news. Do these things, for even an hour each week and you will be surprised how quickly the proverbial veil is lifted and your place amongst the enlightened is secured.

                  Step two is the willingness to look your peers in the eye and tell them that they are the problem. We did not create the issues our generation will face in the coming years, the $140,000 dollars in deficit spending we are each expected to repay, the crumbling infrastructure, the failing healthcare system, the bankrupt entitlement programs, the Military Industrial Complex we unknowingly live under, were all created by the previous generations. Yet we will be tasked with finding the solutions. We are no longer a hegemonic state, we are moving into a state of multi-polarity not seen since the First World War, we cannot continue the practice of passing the buck and kicking the can down the road, we must tackle these issues head on. Our future depends on our ability to craft creative policy, not on our ability to create new reality television. If we are unwilling to bring our peers out of their ill informed state we will fail, as a generation and a nation.

                  Step three is action. Talk, write, debate, argue, vote, observe. We must begin to participate in the governance of this nation, for it is ours and soon it will be ours to run. Idly standing by and expecting others to carry our weight should no longer be accepted or tolerated.

                  I believe in this generation, I believe in our ability to successfully lead this nation to security and prosperity. We have the education, we have the talent and we have the resources. The only thing we lack is the passion and the motivation to take a stand. Follow me. Together, united, we can, and we will make a difference. Together we will make our voices heard. Together we can achieve greatness. This nation was founded on the hopes, dreams and ideas of very few men, and this nation can be restored and restructured with the hopes, dreams and ideas of the few as well. It will not take many but it will take dedication, determination, and courage. Rise up and break the bonds of ignorance, cease your acceptance of the status quo. Through a concentrated and a determined effort of political action we will effect change. We will be heard. America is calling, will you answer?

I’m Shane Wright, and I’m changing the world, one outburst at a time. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why, not How.

I believe one aspect in reacquiring American success will be a fundamental shift from a "How" society to a "Why" society. Instead of asking "How to" questions, We need to ask "Why do" How do we make social security work needs to turn into why do we still need social security, how do we maintain this defense spending needs to turn into why do we need this level of spending? We must face the fact that we are moving from a hegemonic world into a multi-polar world, the faster both parties accept this the quicker America can restructure it's foreign policy to ensure continued strength.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Welfare State

          This is the United States of America, land of the free and home of the brave. We stand for freedom, we stand for justice and we stand for equality. As Americans we earnestly pursue life, liberty and happiness. Our founding fathers built this nation on the premise that every American should have an equal opportunity to succeed and prosper. The economy is in shambles and the entitlement culture inspired by Welfare is a contributing factor to the collapse and slow recovery. I believe the over allocation of Welfare in this great nation diametrically opposes the pursuit of liberty. In our society, Welfare does now allow individuals to escape any injustice or societal segregation; it only compounds the underlying problem of poor education, unemployment, underemployment and lack of values. The Welfare desperately needs reformation: loop holes should be closed, restrictions should be tightened and funding should be capped. Implementing strict reforms now will inspire a new generation of Americans to seek success through diligence, dedication, and a ferocious work ethic instead of relying on the government for handouts.

            Welfare, as we understand it, has been in place since the Roosevelt administration created the New Deal policies. Entitlements exist in many forms and fashions, most notably as, food stamps, income subsidies, housing subsidies, Medicaid, social security, unemployment benefits and several smaller programs. The New Deal was enacted in an attempt to pull the United States out of the Great Depression and in fact, many economists believe these policies actually lengthened the depression. In a 2004 interview conducted by Economists at UCLA, Meg Sullivan, Dr Harold L. Cole and Dr. Lee E. Ohanian describe how the Great Depression lasted an additional seven years due to President Roosevelt’s policies. They conducted an in depth study of the New Deal legislation, signed into law in 1933, and found fascinating results. Essentially the legislation artificially inflated prices and wages by about twenty-five percent. Thus, allowing more money into the economy than would have naturally occurred. What this did was temporally boost the economy but ultimately it was forced to crash harder.  When businesses realized that their tax rates had skyrocketed, they were compelled to dramatically cut the work force.  As a result, the government well started to run dry because fewer workers led an increase in handouts and in turn less government revenue. Without diving into economics too much, what the two professors are suggesting is that the economy does better when more people are employed and make slightly less as compared to when less people are employed and make slightly more. (This is also the starting point for the argument against unions)

            The New Deal is a perfect example of how Welfare adds burden to businesses and forces unemployment rates to rise. "Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump, we found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies." (Ohanian) The Government over-stepped many economic and social boundaries with the formation of the New Deal and lengthened the Great Depression. The increase in social welfare programs in today’s America is having the same undesired effects. Under the Obama administration, billions of dollars have been allocated to economic recovery, many of which have been ear marked for social welfare programs. The rate of unemployment has continued to rise despite increased funding for Welfare and stimulus programs the observation is simple; welfare holds economic progress hostage.

            Individuals in favor of the Welfare system argue that it’s society’s duty to take care of the less fortunate. These individuals are of the opinion that our founding fathers wanted equality, therefore we should redistribute the wealth to make everyone equal. The most common basis for their argument is that our society is fashioned in a way that disadvantages certain classes or cultures. In Sarah Glazer’s article entitled “Welfare Reform,” she examines working mothers under the new Welfare legislation. Glazer highlights the circumstance of one mother by the name of Connie Rounds. The article discusses how Rounds was disadvantaged after Welfare reform took place in 1996. Rounds was forced to get a job after her Welfare benefits expired; however the only job she could get earned a minimum wage salary because she was uneducated and possessed no skills. Due to the fact that Rounds was gainfully employed and managed to stay out of destitute poverty, she no longer qualified for Medicaid and her employer provided no benefits. She now cannot afford medical care because she earns too much to qualify for social programs and too little to buy insurance.

            When one first learns of Rounds story we feel drawn towards anger and compassion, a perfectly normal response. A common tactic of pro-Welfare literature is to look at Welfare on a case-by-case basis and ignore the underlying causes that created those individual situations. Why did Rounds only qualify for low wage jobs? In America every individual has the ability to attend school and earn an education, why did Rounds fail to become educated and is this societies fault? Rounds surely had the opportunity to attend high-school and apply for Pell grants, student loans and scholarships if she desired to attend college but at some point in her life she chose not to. It should not be the American taxpayers who bear the financial burden of someone else’s poor choices. Where there is a will there is a way.  It appears that Rounds and others like her just have no desire to work hard. Instead of being grateful for the opportunity to work and acquire useful skills, they complain and try to find a way to get back on welfare so that hard working citizens can pay their way through life.
Welfare accounts for approximately thirty-five percent of the US tax dollars collected, most of which goes towards social security. This means that individuals and business make one third less profit than if no Welfare system existed, which in turn means that less people are working, less money equals less employees; it is simple economics. Either side of this argument does not dispute the fact that Welfare is terrible for the economy but the tables do turn when the question of social responsibility surfaces. Is society doing poor people a disservice by giving them handouts? The first instinct of most people is to say no, we should help everyone we can, but are we really helping them? I interviewed a HUD( Housing and Urban Development) property manager he works solely with low-income housing and individuals who depend on social programs. It is his opinion that individuals on Welfare use it as a crutch, which enables a lifestyle of laziness. It is his experience that most people he deals with on Welfare won’t consider looking for a job. Instead, they find ways to squeeze more out of the Welfare system. One popular tactic is for women to have several children to increase their Welfare payments, then they proceed to go to churches and get donated baby supplies and have to spend nothing. These children are then raised in an environment where there is no value or emphasis placed on hard work and the cycle continues to repeat itself. Simply put, why would an individual be motivated to work when they know that should they choose not to work the government will write them a check anyways?

            Many Democrats, staunch supporters of Welfare, and social entitlement policies relentlessly criticize former President Clinton for his support of the Welfare Reform Act. Clinton signed the act into law because he realized that America was hemorrhaging money, loosing productivity and creating a cycle of dependency. In his radio address to the American public on the Welfare Reform Act he states “This law dramatically changes the Nation's welfare system so that no longer will it fail our people, trap so many families in a cycle of dependency, but instead will now help people to move from welfare to work.” Clinton understood that in order for America to remain prosperous our welfare system required dramatic reform. To this day, Clinton is looked at in a negative light by many liberals for this social policy. Liberals and pro-Welfare activists cried out in anguish after the Welfare Reform was signed, saying that women and children were going to starve and die on the streets of America. Robert Cherry wrote an insightful article entitled But it Works. Cherry is a self-proclaimed liberal who after close examination came to the conclusion that reforming the Welfare system was the right move for the United States. Cherry discusses how most liberals felt that Clinton’s Welfare Reform policy was malicious and cruel. He then goes on to prove his colleagues wrong. Under Clinton’s policy teen birth rates dropped, single mothers’ incomes increased over twenty-five percent, fewer families lived below the poverty line than any point in previous U.S history, the budget was balanced for the first time in history and unemployment dropped to less than four percent. Clearly Welfare before Clinton’s changes was a detriment to the economy and in turn, to American society. Cherry has changed his perspective on social programs as a result of witnessing what Welfare Reform accomplished. Social programs always lean in the direction of giving hand outs as opposed to a hand up. Cherry enlightens his readers to this age-old adage.

            While the Welfare Reform Act made great strides in limiting Welfare payments to individuals it did not do anything to reform the mindset of those on Welfare. Many families continue to live on Welfare by finding loopholes in the law or engaging in welfare fraud. The most prolific loophole is children. Kids mean money and an extension of benefits and in response to the Welfare Reform Act many women got pregnant instead of getting a job so that their benefits would not expire. This is the largest loophole in today’s welfare system and dramatically needs changed. The state of Wisconsin took a proactive approach to this problem and passed a law that states if you are on food stamps and you have a child, you will not qualify for increased benefits or an extension of benefits. States are able to do this because food stamps are funded by their governments and are only subsidized when necessary by the federal government.  As a result of this law, several states followed Wisconsin’s lead. A similar law should be passed on the federal level, which would result in women no longer using their children as a commodity. This law would be in the best interest of everyone involved. The women would work in the marketplace instead of the bedroom, kids would not be present to continue the cycle of living on Welfare, the government would increase its revenue because employment would increase and taxpayers would not bare the burden of paying for this egregious behavior.

             In my opinion, Welfare is an unfair practice that rewards individuals for nothing and causes an entitlement attitude; however my personal opinion on the matter has no academic strength.  The most logical argument for the elimination of Welfare is the economic argument. The top one percent of wage earners in the Unites States bare approximately eighty-percent of the tax burden of this nation. The top one percent of wage earners in this nation also employs over half of America’s labor force and contributes more to our economy than the bottom ninety-five percent of wage earners combined. It seems that nearly every liberal supports the ‘take from the rich mentality’ and it is easy to support the Robin Hood agenda. I will enlighten you as to why this belief is economically unsound and just stupid. A client of Meryl-Lynch recently desired to purchase a yacht, however after he realized his taxes were set to increase under the Obama administration, he elected not to complete the purchase. The uneducated response is “so what, the rich man didn’t get a yacht, big deal” However an educated individual will understand why this is economically detrimental. The yacht would have cost six million dollars and if purchased, the government would have made 480,000 dollars worth of sales tax, far more than they are now collecting from his increased taxes. The company that would have manufactured the yacht is loosing productivity. The numerous individuals who would have been employed to build the yacht missed out hundreds of hours of paid employment. The marina where the yacht was to be stored is missing out on an extra 20,000 dollars of revenue. The maid and chef who would have been employed full time on the yacht are out of work. The gas station where the Yacht would fill up is missing out on an estimated 100,000 dollars additional revenue per year. You see the initial reaction of “who cares if the rich guy doesn’t get his yacht” is ignorant. That six million dollar yacht would have contributed multiple millions to the economy over time. The federal government is taking a huge loss in revenue because the rich man did not purchase his yacht. It is no coincidence that the government has always been fiscally more prosperous when the individual tax rates were low. Welfare is a massive tax burden on individuals and is economically detrimental to our nations fiscal security.

           Our nation was once an economic powerhouse, a beacon of industrial strength, now we are in debt some twelve trillion dollars, unemployment is hovering steadily at eight percent, we account for less than one percent of the worlds exported goods, our factories stand empty, the industrial engine that was once the United States is only a shell of what it once was. We are still the world’s largest economy however we are on track to loose that standing. Nations are on our coat tails and set to overtake us. If no changes are implemented we will be insolvent by the year 2019. Yet in these dire times we as a nation continue to spend upwards of thirty-percent of our revenue paying those who will not work, feeding those who idly stand by and do nothing but suck the prosperity out of my beloved land. This is America, no one in this nation is going to starve on the street corner, and if you want to work you are free to do so. If we eliminated Welfare corporate profits would rise dramatically, unemployment would fall to historical lows, without the burden of paying for those who contribute nothing our land would once again rein supreme as the beacon of prosperity. Not only is Welfare morally wrong, it is economically unwise. In today’s global economy we simply cannot afford to bare the burden of Welfare.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

States have rights you know....

In today’s America we are losing sight of the fact that we were meant to be individual states, consenting to be governed by a federal government. The federal government is usurping power from states at an unprecedented rate. Take for example the court case going on in Seattle right now, The National Labor Relations Board is actually trying to prevent Boeing, a private entity from building a plant in South Carolina. Our founding fathers, Including Madison, would certainly balk at this outrageous overreach of federal power. The EPA is now costing dairy farmers thousands of dollars annually by forcing them to submit Hazmat plans in the event of a catastrophic milk spill, the stimulus package gave General Motors, a private company, hundreds of millions of dollars only so they could build a plant in Mexico. More than half of our States are against the Health Care bill, yet the federal government continues to force it down our throats. This is certainly not the America our founders envisioned. I believe that states can do a better job at managing themselves than the Federal government, what works for Arizona may not Work for Maine, What works for Vermont may not work for Texas. Take the Department of Education, before the Department of Education was created America was a leading force in the world, creating and innovating at break neck speed, post Department of Education we are falling behind at a rapid rate. Why? It’s simple, Local municipalities have a vested interest in making sure their school systems are top notch, they are actively involved on a micro level, the federal government only sees the big picture and views the education system as one entity. What works for a school in New York City is not what works for a school in rural Cordele Georgia. I believe in a strong national government, I however believe that our government has exceeded its constitutional authority. Not long ago our nation was vehemently defending states rights; I do not believe it is a coincidence that since the rapid expansion of the federal government our nation has reached a plateau.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Has Anyone Seen a Big Stick?

“Speak softly and carry a big stick” This phrase, once characterized American foreign policy. The key principal behind “Big Stick Ideology” is that we as a nation should tread lightly in world affairs while maintaining the economic and military might to crush any adversary. I am a big fan of this policy; I believe this idea is the best way to ensure peace and prosperity in our fine land, yet we no longer adhere to this principle. We certainly no longer speak softly, the American government now forces itself into others domestic policy issues, we send diplomats gallivanting around the globe spewing a new policy agenda every 2 years, involve ourselves in others conflicts and take it upon ourselves to solve others issues, this is certainly not speaking softly. Turn on the news, or better yet get on a plane, go see what the world thinks of our interference in their nations, we have stepped on numerous toes, which would be okay I guess if we still had… you guessed it, a “big stick”, however, sadly we do not. The might of the American military was once something that stuck awe in to the hearts and mind of people and nations around the globe. Under President Reagan we were the mightiest force the planet had ever known, the might of our military brought down the Soviet Union without firing a single shot. The idea of American retaliation was something that was once feared. Now we are laughed at. We can’t say terrorist anymore because we may hurt someone’s feelings, our military is no longer able to return fire without permission when the “enemy combatants” (not terrorist) are trying to kill them, we have to arrest and mirandize these individuals so that they may stand trial in the U.S. What does that say to our enemies? If you attack us we’ll send our military out to arrest you, read your rights and bring you back to the U.S. to receive three meals a day in an air-conditioned prison? How in the world did we get to this point? We as a nation have become so caught up in appearances that we are willing to sacrifice our own security to avoid some hurt feelings. Our enemies are lurking, we are despised by many capable organizations throughout the globe. We must find our “big stick” once again; we must show our enemies that we are ready and willing to crush them should they rise up against us. We must also learn to speak softly, It is not the job of the American Government to police the world, It is not the job of the American taxpayer to fund other nations projects or clean up their messes. When we as a people group assert our ideas and opinions on others who do not want them we inspire fierce resentment. If we “spoke softly” we may not have as many terrorist organizations to be weary of in the first place. I would love nothing more than for my kids to read about terrorism in the history books, but if we continue down the road we are on now, my kids will be reading about terrorism in the newspapers. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cowboy Poetry:

Recently Harry Reid spoke against the budget cuts proposed by conservatives. Was he trying to save education funding? Nope. Defense spending? Nope. Entitlement programs? Nope. He spoke out against efforts to cut the budget for arts programs using Nevada’s annual cowboy poetry festival as his example. This man, this supposed leader in our society has the nerve to speak out against efforts to reduce deficit spending so that some cowboys can put on a poetry reading? Is this what we’ve come to as a society? Unemployment is hovering around nine percent nationally; our credit rating is on the precipice of being downgraded, our housing market has collapsed, an estimated one million people will be foreclosed on this year alone, our retirement funds have dwindled, we as a nation are in dire economic straits and the root cause of this is poor fiscal policy and deficit spending. In the midst of all of this, Harry Reid, the senate majority leader has the nerve to speak out against cutting the budget for cowboy poetry… Seriously America?  This is just another example of how detached from society the ordinary Washington liberal is, when we as a nation care more about cowboy poetry than fiscal solvency we are truly in trouble. We must return to our fiscally conservative roots, I have nothing against cowboys or poetry however I do not under any circumstances, believe it is the role of the federal government to fund cowboy poetry. When we are in 14 trillion dollars of debt something has to go, shouldn’t cowboy poetry and similar programs be on the chopping block? Shouldn’t we care more about maintaining our infrastructure than our poets? I for one think that if Thomas Jefferson heard Mr. Reid’s speech he would have challenged him to a dual on the spot. I love this land, and we must get our fiscal house in order or risk dire consequences. 

Hello America

I have decided to catch up with my generation and start a blog. I can’t think of a more fitting title than the one I’ve chosen! I have much to say and much to rant about. It is my sincere hope and desire that you will subscribe to my blog so that you may gain an insight into my perspective on the world. I am first and foremost a United States Marine and a Proud American. I believe in the founding principals of our forefathers, the constitution and most of all I believe in freedom. I describe myself as a Goldwater Conservative, which puts me at odds with many on the right, and everyone on the left. I am a 21 year old college student and this blog is my attempt to motivate and empower my generation to take responsibility for the direction our nation is going. We are the future and we must act now to preserve the future of this great and mighty land. I love this county and over the next few years I hope to change the world, one outburst at a time, wont you join me? Once I get five subscribers I will begin posting regularly, lets get this show on the road!