Jun 29

2nd Issue New Voice For Politics

2nd Issue New Voice For Politics

In this Issue
If You Want To Help, Stop Giving Me Free Stuff – The cost of free stuff. Good intentions, bad results.
Down The Drain – How do you know when your economy is going down the drain?
States Fall Victim to Million Dollar Credit Card Style Scam – Introductory rates bamboozle state governments.


If You Want To Help, Stop Giving Me Free


By Mark Stevens

Every college student knew a freshman student that is dumbstruck after they complete their first round of college exams and discover that they have failed almost all of their exams. The failing freshman cannot believe that they have done so poorly on their exams. You ask them if they had taken notes during class, read the book, or even studied. They respond that they have not, because such activities were unnecessary in high school. Before college, they simply showed up and the teacher would pass them. If they failed an exam in high school, the teacher would give them extra credit and everyone was happy; at least they were happy, until the failing freshman flunked their exam.

No doubt, the former high school teachers for these unsuccessful undergrads thought their permissive pedagogy was necessary; after all, if they had challenged their students with difficult exams, some might have failed. Such failings might have resulted in feelings of sadness, and their self-esteem might have been mortally wounded. On the other hand, another consequence might have been that the failing students would have been forced to work harder and develop study skills that would have helped them when they reached college.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The road to failure in college, and other similar pursuits, is paved with teachers that never required students to earn their grades. People need to develop the skills necessary to help themselves. Those that cannot take care of themselves must rely on others, but who is going to help all of these dependent individuals. It is impossible for a person, group, or nation, to take care of everyone; there are billions of people on this planet. If you tried to make a meal for everyone on the planet, most would starve to death while they waited for your cooking to finish, which would rather defeat the purpose of the food preparation. Instead, a more efficient use of time would be to help people to help themselves. Motivating others to achieve is what should be done if your goal is to aid others in becoming successfully self-sufficient.

The best way to motivate a person to be self-sufficient is to provide an incentive. If a person or government is giving away free money, what incentive does the beneficiary of such generosity have to exert themselves through labor? Why are there so many people on welfare and food stamps? Well why would you not, when you receive the money for nothing and the checks for free? Welfare sounds like a great deal, but this free money comes at a price. People are prevented from reaching their full potential. Welfare hinders people from developing skills and working, because, if they do, the free money goes away.

If people want the poor to improve their lot in life, there is only one thing to do, stop helping them. As long as inaction is rewarded, it will continue. Some might say that cessation of government aid would be mean. But what is worse, encouraging a person to work or condemning a person to a life of poverty? Is a life of poverty not crueler? The poor have many untapped skills and abilities, which government handouts inhibit. If someone has the ability to work, it is our duty to help our fellow human beings to help themselves.


Down The Drain

by Joseph Miguel

Q.   How can you tell when your economy is going down the drain?

A.    When you run out of toilet paper.

In May of this year, Venezuela was dangerously close to running out of toilet paper. The commerce minister was forced to import millions of toilet paper rolls.

How does a country run out of toilet paper? It is actually the result of having too much of another type of paper, money. Venezuela has been trying to fend off inflation through price controls on commodities: such as, milk, butter, coffee, and toilet paper. Many countries, including the United States of America, experience inflation when they spend more money than they have. When the bills are due, they simply print more money. Unfortunately, an increase in the supply of money results in a decrease in the purchasing power of money. For example, a loaf of bread used to be purchased for only a dime, now it costs a lot more because of inflation. Some countries will try to limit inflation by imposing price controls; when this is done, the government will proclaim that companies are not allowed to charge more than $1.50 for a roll of toilet paper.  If toilet paper companies do not comply, they will be wiped out by the government.

Most consumers are big fans of price controls, but, if they knew what was good for them, they would realize that price controls are a crappy deal. Price controls sound good, but they cause nothing but trouble. To be fair, price controls do have some benefits at the beginning. In the short-term, consumers benefit by being able to purchase toilet paper rolls at a lower price than the makers of toilet paper would like to charge. Problems occur when the price that producers of toilet paper can charge dramatically differs from what it costs to produce the toilet paper. When the price to produce toilet paper goes up in a free market, producers are able to increase the cost of toilet paper. If they do not increase what customers pay, toilet paper companies will see their profits go down the drain. If toilet paper companies lose enough money, they will stop making toilet paper, because there is no way to make money off of it. When enough companies stop producing toilet paper, the supply of toilet paper starts to decrease, which results in a shortage of toilet paper.

How can an economy bring back the toilet paper? It is easy, eliminate price controls. In the short-term, the cost of toilet paper will go up, because there is a lot of pent up demand for toilet paper. Eventually, the supply will increase as people start to limit the amount they purchase and companies start to produce more toilet paper. In the long run, the price for toilet paper will eventually normalize after companies produce the optimal amount of toilet paper. The other option would be for countries to keep the price controls, which would result in a mounting mess with no way to clean it up.


States Fall Victim To Million Dollar

Credit Card Style Scam

by Sarah Rollins

Everyone with a mailbox has known what it is like to be besieged by credit card mailings. They all promise unbelievably low interest rates, no annual fees, and phenomenal rewards; at least, that is what the large bold print promises. The large letters do not lie, but they do omit a few fine details. To know reality, one must go deeper, because the truth lies far below the massively megalithic print in font of a microscopic size. Now, what little bits of information are tucked away in these Lilliputian letters? Well if you pull out your electron microscope, you are able to view all the key information that the large blaringly bold font have failed to mention. The most relevant of these points being the simple phrase “introductory offer.”

Just like in romantic relationships, the introductory period for credit cards are bedazzling periods where everything is magical and filled with wonder. Unfortunately, the introductory period comes to an end and is followed by the real deal. All of a sudden, you go to move and feel a tug on your arms and legs. You look to see what impediment is hindering your locomotion and discover that bindings of a cotton, nylon, or hemp nature have ensnared your limbs. Much to your fright and lament, you have discovered the strings that are attached to the deal.

Many unsuspecting victims have felt the sting in their hand as they have reached for the cheese in the mousetrap of credit card offers. You would think that after years of such ethically dubious marketing people would wise up, but the exact opposite is true. Recently, 22 states (AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, KY, IL, MA, MD, MN, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA, WV) have fallen prey to the “introductory offer” trap. These duped states have all agreed to expand Medicaid coverage to individuals that are not in poverty. Why would they agree to pay for the healthcare of those not in poverty? Is it because they have extra money lying around? Nope, most of the states are experiencing financial nightmares. Kentucky alone has a pension liability of 33.7 billion dollars; hardly the time to increase spending. Then why have they decided to act in such a financially foolish fashion? They have agreed to the expansion because of the introductory offer.

For the first few years, these expanding states will not have to pay anything. The taxpayers will still have to pay for it with their federal taxes, but the state budgets will not have to cough up any cash; at least, not until 2017, when the introductory offer is over and real deal begins. In 2017, states are forced to start paying 5% of expenses. In Kentucky alone, the state will have to pay an additional 32.6 million dollars a year. Where are they going to find the money when Kentucky cannot even pay for their pension system? In 2020, gasoline is thrown on the fire as the state contribution is scheduled to increase to 10% of expenses. This increase is expected to cost Kentucky 151.2 million dollars in 2021.

Medicaid expansion will result in states going further in debt as they provide additional services that they cannot afford. Now do not misunderstand me, I would love to be able to provide free healthcare to every single person in the United States. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as free healthcare; someone always has to pay. States might not have to pay in the introductory period, but they surely will when the raw deal kicks in.


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