I am shocked, absolutely shocked to read that government appointees are not given their jobs based on merit:
At the request of several high-ranking members of Congress, the study, which was publicly released this week, looked at the employee conversion rates to monitor how much favoritism exists in hiring employees who were politically appointed to temporary positions but who then tried to shift into career jobs based on their professional credentials.
“Sometimes … circumstances surrounding [employee] conversions can raise questions as to whether the individuals received political favoritism or an unfair advantage in the merit system selection process, even the appearance of which could adversely compromise the integrity of the system,” the report reads.
It found that 143 employees who had been politically appointed by either President George W. Bush or Obama, or a member of a congressional panel or agency, had gone on to be hired for a job that required not political favoritism, but professional merit-based job superiority.
Most of the conversions from political appointments to career employment came from the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.
I’m even more shocked to read that government pay for certain jobs, such as graphic design, librarian, financial analyst and cook, are out pacing the private sector. The average government jobs pays $67,691, while the average private sector jobs pays $60,046.
It’s always easier to spend someone else’s money.
George Will explains the importance of incorporating the Second Amendment in the McDonald v. Chicago case through the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment:
To the drafters of the 14th Amendment, the phrase “privileges or immunities” was synonymous with “basic civil rights.” But in 1873, the court held that only some of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights restrict states by being “incorporated” into the 14th Amendment’s “due process” clause.
Since 1897, the court has held, with no discernible principle, that some rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights are sufficiently fundamental to be “incorporated” but others are not. This doctrine bears the oxymoronic name “substantive due process.” Substance is what process questions are not about.
If the court now “incorporates” the Second Amendment right via the “due process” guarantee, that will be progress because it will enlarge the sphere of protected liberty. And even Justice Antonin Scalia, who recognizes that “substantive due process” is intellectual applesauce, thinks it is too late to repudiate 137 years of the stuff. Still, three points argue for using the “privileges or immunities” scythe against the two gun ordinances.
First, protecting the individual’s right to keep and bear arms for self-defense was frequently mentioned by those who drafted and ratified the 14th Amendment, the purpose of which was to protect former slaves and their advocates from being disarmed by state and local governments determined to assault their security and limit their autonomy.
The National Center for Policy Analysis explains the results of a recent Ball State University study into the effects of the recent minimum wage increase, which the authors say cost 550,000 jobs:
A study of part-time workers monitored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1999 to 2009 found that raising the minimum wage to its current level of $7.25 during the recent recession caused some businesses to scale back on filling vacant positions or eliminate jobs altogether, says Michael J. Hicks, director of Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER).
- About 67 percent of teenagers and young adult minimum wage workers live in households with incomes at least twice the poverty level (for example $44,000 for a family of four).
- Adult workers toiling at minimum wage have limited skill.
- About two-thirds of all adult minimum wage workers have a high school degree or less.
- One benefit of the minimum wage keeping some of these workers out the labor market is that it forces them to obtain additional education and training in the workforce development network.
According to the study, mostly teenage workers were affected by the hike. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that almost 49% of minimum wage workers were between the ages of 18 and 25.
Minimum wage laws keep new workers from gaining skills in entry level jobs needed to be successful. Lawmakers may mean well when they pass minimum wage laws, but they hurt the very people they intend to “help.”
Several prominent Republican lawyers are speaking up against the efforts by Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol to smear attorneys who previously represented Guantanamo detainees:
A group that includes leading conservative lawyers and policy experts, former Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and several senior officials of the last Bush administration is denouncing as “shameful” Republican attacks on lawyers who came to the Obama Justice Department after representing suspected terrorists.
Senate Republicans have demanded details of the lawyers’ past work and Liz Cheney’s group “Keep America Safe” has questioned their “values.” A drumbeat of Republican criticism forced the Justice Department reluctantly to identify seven of them last week. But the harshness of the criticism – Keep America Safe labeled a group of them the “Al Qaeda Seven” — has provoked a backlash from across the legal establishment.
“We consider these attacks both unjust to the individuals in question and destructive of any attempt to build lasting mechanisms for counterterrorism adjudications,” wrote the 19 lawyers whose names were attached to the statement as of early Monday.
The statement cited John Adams’s defense of British soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre to argue that “zealous representation of unpopular clients” is an important American tradition.
The attacks on the lawyers “undermine the Justice system more broadly,” they wrote, by “delegitimizing” any system in which accused terrorists have lawyers, whether civilian courts of military tribunals.
The letter’s signers include some of the top officials of a Bush Justice Department that wrestled at length with the legal questions surrounding terrorist detentions.
…just call the folks down the street who happen to have a monopoloy on lethal force. Yep, that oughta do it.
That’s exactly what some local restaurant owners in Los Angeles do when mobile food trucks (Taco stands, snack carts etc…) open up shop along the curb outside their business. The food carts offer cheap and quick bites, which are posing stiff competition to established eateries around town.
Instead of coming up with innovative ideas to compete with the new kids on the block, some restauranteers have called local law enforcement in to make it more difficult for the fresh competition to conduct business.
The fine folks at ReasonTV tell the full story:
As a critique, it would have been helpful to see an interview with one of the restaurant owners.
On the heels of last week’s Rasmussen survey, which took at look at general election prospects, SurveyUSA is out with a poll, sponsored by the Louisville Courier-Journal and WHAS-TV, in the primary between Rand Paul and his Republican primary opponents.
Kentucky GOP Senate Primary
- Rand Paul: 42%
- Trey Grayson: 27%
- Bill Johnson: 5%
- Gurley Martin: 3%
- John Stephenson: 2%
- Jon Scribner: 1%
- Undecided: 19%
The poll shows a generic Republican and a generic Democrat neck and neck at 43% to 42%, with both splitting independents right down the middle.
Podcast: Jim Bunning, 2nd Amendment, Health Care Reform, Reconciliation, Extremism, Puppycide,Guests: Doug Deal & Mike Hassinger
Former Comptroller General David Walker lays it on the line:
“Let’s say our government continues to take in about the same level of historical revenues, but we hold discretionary spending to 2008 levels as a percentage of the economy, and we don’t expand health care or other entitlements any further. That sounds pretty benign, but it’s actually a disaster …. Our interest payments would become the largest single expenditure in the federal budget in about 12 years. …
The bigger the bill we pass on to our children, the bleaker the future we will bequeath to them. …
Right now, on average, Americans pay about 21 percent of their income in federal taxes and another 10 percent to state and local governments. By 2030, to pay our rising bills, that amount could be at least 45 percent–higher even than the average 42 percent that most Europeans pay. …
With reductions in disposable income like that, the children born in 2000 will inherit a much different kind of America in 2030. So much of their money will be devoted to keeping the government afloat that they’ll have relatively little for everything else in life. Their homes will be smaller and drabber. There will have less to spend for cars, vacations, dinners out, and big TV sets. …
And America as we know it will cease to exist. There’s no telling what would happen next because the idea of an America where nearly half of a persons income goes to the state is something that we’ve never faced before, and which none of us can contemplate.
I’m not looking forward to it at all.
Chances are that you’ve never heard of chartalism (unless you arrived here because you Googled the word). I’ve been reading an increasing number of articles which argue certain points which are central to the economic theory of chartalism. This theory is centrally focused on characteristics of a fiat currency regime. The basic assumptions and conclusions are sounds although I have not studied it enough to have a fully informed opinion. Further, I disagree on principle with some conclusions on the surface level.
So what is it all about? Basically, the chartalists suggest that the state issues fiat currency via government spending and recoups (destroys) the money via taxation. Thus, fiat issue is no more than printing money and, if the government did not do so, there would be no money for citizens. This extends to a conclusion that the private sector cannot save money unless the government runs a deficit. This is further shown by using simple algebra with the formula for GDP. This reinforces the argument of the adherents.
I see a few basic flaws in this theory. First, if there were no fiat money, that would not destroy economic activity. There would be, at a minimum, barter activity. Second, it seems to ignore debt (or at least under-appreciate its role like most all schools of economic thought). Since private banks issue credit, the state is not the only entity which can issue currency (depending on one’s definition).
Security theater paid for by stimulus dollars:
The Transportation Security Administration is spreading airport body-scanner technology across the country.
A TSA official said Friday that units will be fielded next week in Chicago, and in the coming months at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; San Jose, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; San Diego; Charlotte, N.C.; Cincinnati; Los Angeles; Oakland, Calif.; and Kansas City.
They are among 150 machines bought with money from the federal stimulus package signed into law by President Obama last year.
Three of the new machines are going online at Boston’s Logan International Airport on Monday.
Deployment of the machines was announced in the fall, before a Nigerian allegedly tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day with explosives concealed in his underwear.
But that event highlighted the need for additional security in the U.S. aviation system.
Not only is the stimulus bill bad for taxpayers, it’s aiding the TSA in eroding your civil liberties as well.