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Oct 23

17th Issue New Voice For Politics

17th Issue New Voice For Politics

 

In this Issue

If You Build It, They Will Bike: The Mayor of Louisville’s Field of Dreams First bikes, next horses; the Mayor of Louisville’s waste of public resources.

Corporate Inversions: It is Time to Stop Blaming the Victim  It is time to break the cycle of abuse.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Invade Other Countries The U.S. needs to deal with its Iraq problem.

 

small bike lane

If You Build It, They Will Bike:
The Mayor of Louisville’s
Field of Dreams

By J. A. Gedra

The Mayor of Louisville is haunted by a dream. He has a vision of a Louisville where the ringing of bells has replaced the honking of car horns as thousands upon thousands of bicycles roll through the streets. In order to achieve his desire, he has decided to convert car lanes to bike lanes; in essence, he has made the streets half the road they used to be.

What has driven the Mayor to turn away from cars and ride a bike to work? It is not the result of him listening to Queen’s “Bicycle Race” one too many times in his youth. Nor is this move part of the Mayor’s master plan to convert Louisville into an “Amish Paradise”. No, the Mayor is motivated by a yearning to increase the density of his city and decrease the waistlines of his citizens.

He only has one obstacle; the vast majority opposes the bike lanes.

Why then would a mayor go against the will of the people he allegedly represents? Why does he believe his scheme will work when there is overwhelming opposition? His misplaced confidence in his cycling scheme stems from a foolish belief in Keynesian Economics’ Stimulus Myth. According to the economist John Maynard Keynes, if the government wants to increase demand (i.e. desire to bike in the streets), they need to increase supply (i.e. build more bike lanes). The Mayor believes if he builds it, they will bike.

While some people believe Keynesian Economics is the bees’ knees, economic reality begs to differ. If creating something could automatically increase demand for that thing, we could bring back the horse and buggy industry by creating horse lanes. Just take a moment to imagine how great that would be. Lanes exclusively devoted to horses would be able to do away with many of the evils of cars: such as, a decrease in car pollution, DUI arrests, and car accidents. Horse breeders in Kentucky would experience a boom in business, and Louisville would become very unique and fun for the Equestrian community. The new horse lanes would also create many jobs: including, stable boys, horse whip makers, and pooper scoopers.

Despite all the advantages of horse lanes, such lanes will never bring back the horse and buggy industry because they are an inefficient use of the supply of a limited commodity (i.e. roads). The end result of the inefficient bike lanes, and future possible horse lanes, will be an increase in traffic congestion, which will result in less people traveling downtown.

Politicians in general need to learn that government cannot create demand for a product when no one wants the product. Horses and bicycles went out of fashion, because cars are more efficient. It does not matter how much the Mayor might lust for an increase in bicycle use; if people do not want to engage in an activity, they will not do it. The mayor can lead a Louisvillian to a bike lane, but he cannot make them pedal.

 

small war

Friends Don’t Let Friends Invade Other Countries

By Lesley Hopkins

Everyone has a friend who is wildly optimistic; they will try anything and refuse to give in at the first sign of resistance. In many situations, such a trait is admirable, but not in all of them. For instance, in a casino, such a trait is particularly unhelpful.

A casino is a roach motel for money; it is designed to make sure that money comes in but never checks out of the building. All of the games are fixed against the gambler to ensure that the house always wins in the end. Sure, some people might win a few dollars now and again, but these people are the exception. This is why when someone does win, they tell everybody they know, because it is so rare and remarkable that they came out ahead.

In such a place as a casino, optimism is not a helpful world view. With every spin and roll of the dice, the optimist is convinced they are about to make a mountain of moolah. In reality, they are about to lose all of their cash, possibly their shirt, and maybe even their house. After such a horrific defeat, a normal man would walk away, but not Mr. Optimism. He foolishly believes lady luck will shine down on him the next time he gambles.

When it comes to countries, no one is more optimistic than the United States of America. This is perfectly illustrated by its foreign policy, which seems hell bent on creating heaven on earth. According to their Department of State’s FY 2013 Financial Report, the Department’s Mission Statement is to “Shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.” In other words, the goal of the U.S. foreign policy is to make sure that there is no war or injustice in any country in the universe for the benefit of all mankind. In their eyes, they are the Guardians of the Galaxy.

This wild optimism helps to explain why the United States keeps going back into Iraq. Most countries would have learned from their previous two failed invasions, but not the United States. The U.S. Government truly believes they can change hearts and minds by bombing the living daylights out of them. The blind bureaucrats fail to see that a country cannot use force to convert another country into a just democracy. Force never works as a way of making lasting change. People might be compliant when a punisher is present, but once the enforcer leaves, they revert back to their previous ways. This occurs in every school classroom; when the teacher is in the room, children behave out of fear of punishment, but once they leave the room, chaos ensues.

A rational person would look at the evidence and say it is pointless to re-reinvade Iraq; but, sadly, U.S. Leaders are not rational, they are pollyannishly optimistic. Despite a preponderance of evidence, the politicians blithely believe the next billion dollar bet will pay off; when in reality, the next roll of the dice will result in them crapping out again.

It is time for an intervention with the United States about its Iraq gambling problem. Things are way out of control. Not only are they squandering billions of their own money on this fool’s bet, they are taking loans from other countries to continue to gamble on Iraq. The U.S. Government claims they have a fool proof plan, but they fail to realize that the odds are stacked against them in Iraq. It does not matter what they do; their actions will never bring about a just, democratic Iraq. It is time for the United States to leave the casino and go home. There is no shame in losing a bet. There is shame in continuing to lose on the same bet over and over again.

 

BK fist small fry

Corporate Inversions: It is Time to Stop Blaming the Victim

By Molly Roberts

Almost all romantic relationships start off the same. There is mystery and intrigue as young hearts long for each other and worry if their advances will be returned by the other. Some relationships develop into mutually beneficial relationships where both partners benefit from the other, but this is not true of all relationships. In far too many relationships, things take a turn for the worse, and what was once beautiful becomes terrifyingly bleak.

One never plans at the outset of a relationship to harm the other, and the other never envisions being in an abusive relationship, but far too often couples find themselves passing through the cycles of domestic violence. After the courting phase, stress starts to mount. Often little things, in and outside of the relationship, start to wear on one or both of the individuals. These small and large pressures continue to grow; until one day, they boil over like a pot of water that has been boiling on the stove for too long. At this point, the one partner is overcome and lashes out at their significant other with vicious words and often sadistic deeds. After such an outburst, the abuser realizes they have gone too far and attempts to make amends. They try to win the affection of their partner back by promising things will be different and showering them with gifts to win back their affection. After they are back in the good graces of their significant other, things are fine; at least, until the stress starts to mount again.

This cycle is not limited to romantic relationships, it occurs in relationships of all sorts. Presently, this cycle of abuse is occurring between many corporations and the U.S. Government. Businesses in the United States have the highest tax rate among developed countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at 35%. The government takes a third of each business’ income. Keep in mind, the government is not snatching up their profits; they are seizing a third of all of their sales. Whether a company is doing well or failing, the government will take its pound of flesh.

Besides being financially abused in the United States, corporations are also verbally abused. If you listen to many politicians, they will blame everything that is wrong with the world on corporations: people are starving, because corporations do not pay employees enough; global warming is the result of evil corporate pollution; and children are not being raised properly, because corporations want their employees to work too many hours. The litany of complaints never ceases.

After so much abuse, many wonder why corporations stay in the United States. Many stay because when they try to leave, the Federal Government apologizes and claims they did not mean to do all those horrible things. Politicians promise to make it up to their favorite companies by providing them with subsidies and tax breaks. All of these tokens of affection will entice the corporation into staying, but it will only be a short time before politicians lash out with more abuse when their poll numbers drop.

Many corporations have decided to end the cycle of abuse and move out of the country through the process of corporate inversions. In a corporate inversion, a U.S. corporation merges with a country that is headquartered in another country. After the merger, the U.S. Corporation moves their headquarters to the other country. For example, Burger King recently announced that they would be inverting with Tim Horton’s, a Canadian donuts and coffee chain. After moving their corporate headquarters to Canada, Burger King’s tax rate will go from 35% in the United States to 26% in Canada.

The U.S. Government has not taken kindly to this rebuke. Like a spurned, jealous lover, the U.S. Government has lashed out against all corporations who are leaving them for another by making it financially costly to conduct corporate inversions. Politicians and pundits have called these corporations unpatriotic and unfaithful to their home country, but such tactics are equivalent to blaming a victim of domestic violence for leaving. When a person or a company is being abused, they should be allowed to leave an abusive relationship.

The U.S. should end their reign of terror by lowering their corporate tax rate to below the OECD average of 25%. Also, they should not punish victims of their abuse by hindering corporations that wish to leave. The U.S. Government needs to learn that it is wrong to hurt others.

 

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