Atlas Mugged: The Ayn Rand Six Step

by Ben Hoffman

Suppose, over the years, your landlord cuts the part of the portion of your rent that goes to utilities and repair work. Year after year, he’d stop by and announce his cuts with great fanfare, telling you how much money you’ll save.

On each visit, as he handed out the meager savings, he’d rail about how the utilities were incompetent, and filled with lazy workers, and that repair and maintenance work was a rip-off perpetrated by equally lazy laborers.

“We’re gonna show them,” he’d say, “The market will take care of these bozos.”

Meanwhile, year after year, you pay a little less. Things might get a little ragged. The maintenance man might not show up every day; the fire alarms might stop working; the elevators get stuck more, there’s an occasional power outage, water’s a bit murky … but there’s those savings.

Unbeknownst to you, most of the money the landlord saves is going to upgrade the top floor where he and his cronies live, bringing in their own dependable power and clean water. But you don’t investigate much because … there’s those savings.

Every time you passed him in the hall, he’d give you his spiel. “Those repair guys are thieves,” he’d tell you, again and again. “And you might as well burn money as give it to the utilities,” he’d say with a sage nod of his head. “Just wait ‘til those market forces hit, that’ll show them.” But he’d begin to add a new verse to his rant. “And hey. What about those gays in 3G? Or the Mexicans in 2D? Disgrace how they double up like that …”

Then finally, one year, he announces he can no longer afford to supply heat, electricity or water, and he can’t be repairing anything that breaks any longer. “Just not enough money – besides, look what’s happening around here … throwing more money at those lazy good-for-nothings is no solution.”

Now imagine complaining to him about the frozen pipes, or your child’s pneumonia and him responding with: “Hey. It’s all about the market – if you want it, figure out a way to get it – the market will provide if you’re diligent. Look at the top floor. Besides, it’s all the fault of those Mexicans. Or those gays … or …”

Would you believe that crap? Would you put up with it?

Of course you wouldn’t.

Yet that is precisely the game the Republicans have been playing for years. Call it the Ayan Rand six step. Step one: discredit government. Step two, starve it. Step three, when the underfunded government can’t perform, stand back and say “I told you so.” Step four, create the myth of the individual uber-alles – the Marlboro man on steroids; Step five, if anyone gets wise, find a scapegoat and blame it on them – gays, immigrants, government workers; government working gay immigrants. Step six, when things get bad, divide and conquer – “if it wasn’t’ for them…

Read more…

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53 Comments to “Atlas Mugged: The Ayn Rand Six Step”

  1. Mr. Hoffman ,

    This really is a pretty good piece of Sophistry . You do post some very clever articles . You are all in shift the blame mode. You cannot defend Obamanomics, so shifting the blame is just about the only strategy that might succeed. Now that you no longer control all of the government it makes sense.

  2. Brilliant.

    Check the spelling of Ayn Rand in the 11th paragraph.

  3. Fantastic find Ben. I think I might also post that on my blog as it reflects the reality of economic situation in the US and soon to be in Canada if we continue in the same manner.

  4. Mr. Hoffman ,

    ” caved to big business on regulations. ”

    Uh, , , , scuse me? Other than reading in the NY Times that the President planned to tell the EPA to back off on Ozone regulations, I have seen the exact opposite. Whatever the President could not get from Congress to royally screw American business, he has used his Marxist bureaucrats instead to royally screw American business . President Obama is the most anti business President in American history, by far. The proof is the American economy. Oh a couple of cronies like GE are his buddy pals, but the man really hates everybody else .

    • Marxist bureaucrats instead to royally screw American business.

      It is good to see such a well studied defence of the American business class, as the disciples of Marx lurk in every shadow, behind every door, in every liberal closet.

      The funny/sad thing is that you rally to protect a class that is exploiting yours. Isn’t false consciousness grand? 🙂

  5. Whatever the President could not get from Congress to royally screw American business, he has used his Marxist bureaucrats instead to royally screw American business .

    No, that’s what you’re brainwashed into saying. You can’t give a good example of any way that he’s “screwed” business. Obamacare makes it easier for small businesses to provide insurance for their employees.

  6. Mr. Hoffman ,

    ” Obamacare makes it easier for small businesses to provide insurance for their employees. ”

    🙂

    Whenever I am feeling depressed I come here and you give me a good laugh, thank you .

    ” You can’t give a good example of any way that he’s “screwed” business. ”

    Please correct me if I am mistaken, but isn’t there a 50 employee boundary with part of this health care requirement ? What if your company is at 49 employees ? Why would any company put on a few more workers and get bumped into mandatory health care requirements ?

    • That’s it? That’s Obama has totally screwed business? In other words, you’re lying again.

      The requirement states that if the employee is insured by the government, i.e. is on Medicaid, the employer will be required to chip in. That’s all.

      You do realize that you’re going to go to hell for lying, Alan. You’re a pathological liar and God doesn’t like that. You’re going to burn in hell.

  7. Alan Scott, would you be so kind as to provide a list of the onerous Obama-initiated regulations you claim are strangling business? Just the top ten will do.

    Thank you.

  8. Ed Darrell,

    I am always on Probation and have to be careful with our esteemed host, especially at my volume . How about two that really gripe me. First is the Boeing-NLRB dust up . I assume you are familiar with it. The second is the drilling moratorium and cancelling of offshore leases .

    Short and sweet.

    • NLRB is an independent agency, moron. And canceling the offshore leases had no effect on business. Face it… You’re just a little right-wing sheep who is mad about what you’re told to be mad about.

      The reality is: companies are afraid to hire because of Republican obstructionism. We have enormous debt to deal with, but Republicans won’t even consider raising taxes, and THAT has businesses scared to death. And the federal government is shedding 50,000 jobs a month because of Republican budget cuts, which is hurting our economy as well.

      Republicans destroyed our economy and now are doing everything they can to block any action to help it recover. And little sheep like you support them. If there really is a God and a heaven and hell, you are undoubtedly going to hell for helping to destroy our country.

  9. Ben’s right about NLRB — but it can’t qualify as an Obama-initiated regulation because that regulation has been on the books s for decades. You’re talking about a party of the Fair Labor Standards Act as amended. It’s a Congress passed rule, interpreted by an independent regulatory agency.

    So that example’s out.

    And the drilling “moratorium?” There was no drilling moratorium. After failing to enforce regulations on safety and pollution, we had a serious oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year — did you hear about it, Alan?

    You think those violations should be allowed to continue?

    We have more oil wells operating now than in the Bush years, inside the U.S. Where is the harmful effect of regulation?

    That’s it? That’s your store of horror stories about regulation?

    Compare that to the reality of lack of regulation: Housing bubble cripples mortgages, crashes 50 million retirement accounts, puts 2 million people out of their homes; corner-cutting oil drillers blow up fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico, raising gasoline prices in the process; cancer drug shortage threatens 50,000 American lives; lack of bridge inspectors endangers 50 million commuters daily; too few meat inspectors allows midwestern meat packer to ship 3 million pounds of hamburger tainted with deadly pathogens; lack of inspectors and enforcment money allows Chinese contractor to sell lead-tainted toys to a million kids.

    Regulation threatening business? Hardly.

  10. Mr. Hoffman ,

    I will get back to you. If I responded at the present moment, you would ban me forever.

    Ed Darrell ,

    I will respond to you.

    ” It’s a Congress passed rule, interpreted by an independent regulatory agency. ”

    I don’t think so. Obama appointed the Marxists who now inhabit that agency . Who now inhabit the whole regulatory universe.

    • I will get back to you. If I responded at the present moment, you would ban me forever.

      Naaa… I think deep down you’re a decent guy. You’re just brainwashed into supporting policies that are bad for our country.

  11. I don’t think so. Obama appointed the Marxists who now inhabit that agency . Who now inhabit the whole regulatory universe.

    I can understand why you irritate Ben. There’s not a Marxist anywhere in government. You wouldn’t know a Marxist if she were in bed between you and your partner. You couldn’t tell a Marxist — because you obviously have no idea what Marxism is, what a Marxist program would look like, or what a Marxist would say. That’s a complete joke of an argument, but for it’s complete wackiness.

    No member of the NLRB has ever been Marxist. Never. I’d wager less than 0.1% of all federal boards and commissions have ever been Marxist, and none since 1932.

    Moreover, I’ll bet you can’t find a “Marxist” decision from the board — ever. Here, see what you can find out of the hundreds of decisions (the vast majority of which you know absolutely nothing about).

    Current members of the NLRB are, as most are, distinguished, experience labor lawyers, from corporations, private practice and unions. All of those organizations wave the U.S. flag and are committed, by oath, to uphold and defend our Constitution.

    Prevaricators. Now, there’s a group we need to worry about. They hammer at the foundations of our government and civil, democratic discussions, constantly, continuously, every day. Much more threatening to our nation than Marxism.

  12. Oops. “Wackiness” should have been “repugnance.”

  13. Ed Darrell,

    I am going to slip in a third example of Obama’s bureaucratic KGB attacking American business. Look up Gibson Guitars .

    • Nope, you’re lying again. The law ensnaring Gibson is the Lacey Act of 1900, originally passed to regulate trade in bird feathers used for hats and amended in 2008 to cover wood and other plant products. So the law was passed during the Bush administration.

  14. Good post, you proved exactly how Obama has screwed businesses. Just as your landlord, Obama set out to vilify, disparage and malign big business, get the people worked up, and then come in with his Liberal-Progressive swagger and save the day. The Saul Alinski blueprint to turn citizens into political groupies worked for a bit. Obama has created a hostile environment for business with the most dangerous of policy, laws or weapons, his tongue.
    Obama can’t be from the hood, because if he were he would have known, ‘don’t write a check, yo a$$ can’t cash!’ Piece out, brother Ben, your psych experiment here is typical of liberals. Live long and prosper.

    • Good post, you proved exactly how Obama has screwed businesses.

      Usually, when making an assertion, it is good to back up it up with evidence. So now the onus is on you to show us the how and why of your assertion. Please do so. Alan Scott brought up three points so far and they were dismissed as they were not assertions that supported what he said.

      disparage and malign big business, get the people worked up, and then come in with his Liberal-Progressive swagger and save the day.

      Obama, if anything has been centre-right at best in terms of his policies and economic decisions. The erroneous caricature you seem to need to believe in simply does not exist.

      [sic] Piece out, brother Ben, your psych experiment here is typical of liberals. Live long and prosper.

      Flouncing on another thread without adding anything…again?

  15. Alan is working hard to twist the operations of government to look like evil actions by President Obama:

    I am going to slip in a third example of Obama’s bureaucratic KGB attacking American business. Look up Gibson Guitars .

    Neither of your previous two attempts worked. So this would be a first example.

    But:

    1. There is absolutely no indication anywhere that there is anything other than the operation of law here. There is no indication whatsoever that anyone above the level of local U.S. attorney had any involvement. So the claims that Attorney General Holder is carrying out a political vendetta are wholly fictitious (Holder isn’t on the political team, by the way); and claims that Obama is personally involved are big fat lies.

    2. As Ben noted, the law is the 1900 Lacey Act, with Bush amendments. So, were it an example of political action, I suppose we’d have to blame it on George W. Bush and Rep. John Lacey — who was a Republican, by the way (but in the era when Republicans actually worried about conservation). In any case, it’s not a political action by the Obama administration.

    3. All other guitar makers have been able to comply. What’s wrong with Gibson? There’s a lot of hoo-haw that the poobahs at Gibson donate Republican (and false claims that every guitar maker not affected donates Democrat). That only tells me that there appears to be a predetermined bias against complying with the law to preserve sustainable wood. That’s not a bias on Obama’s part.

    NPR reported:

    Chris Martin, Chairman and CEO of the C.F. Martin Guitar Co. in Nazareth, Pa., says that when he first heard guitars built from Madagascar rosewood, he dreamed it might be the long-sought substitute for Brazilian rosewood, whose trade was banned in the 1990s due to over-harvest. Then the situation in Madagascar changed.

    “There was a coup,” Martin says. “What we heard was the international community has come to the conclusion that the coup created an illegitimate government. That’s when we said, ‘Okay, we can not buy any more of this wood.'”

    And while some say the Lacey Act is burdensome, Martin supports it: “I think it’s a wonderful thing. I think illegal logging is appalling. It should stop. And if this is what it takes unfortunately to stop unscrupulous operators, I’m all for it. It’s tedious, but we’re getting through it.”

    Why can’t Gibson be as good as Martin? (Heh. Yeah, I know how that sounds.)

    So, Alan, unless you can produce some evidence that there is any political interference here — which would be patently illegal, and beyond belief (why would Obama worry about imported fingerboards for guitars, when unemployment is at 9%? You ask us to believe the unbelievable) — I don’t think this qualifies as Obama’s heave regulatory hand, either. It’s Bush’s and Lacey’s heavy regulatory hand, or it’s a good law designed to promote conservation of threatened tropical forests.

    The regulations that require that food and drugs not be tainted with poison? To you that’s “heavy-handed Obama Marxism.” To the rest of us, it’s what government is supposed to do, long may it wave.

  16. The Arbourist,

    You know I forgot to get back to you Atheists on your board. Sorry.

    ” Obama, if anything has been centre-right at best in terms of his policies and economic decisions. The erroneous caricature you seem to need to believe in simply does not exist. ”

    Why don’t you just say that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is really Jewish ?

    Mr. Hoffman,

    ” Nope, you’re lying again. ”

    I guess that puts me in the eighth circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno. 🙂

    ” The law ensnaring Gibson is the Lacey Act of 1900, originally passed to regulate trade in bird feathers used for hats and amended in 2008 to cover wood and other plant products. So the law was passed during the Bush administration. ”

    I know you know better, but you must have a lapse of memory . Our fearless leader Obama chooses which laws he will enforce and also how he enforces them . He chooses to misapply this law against what I believe is a firm that will not play ball. Wink, wink, know what I mean ? Non Union ? Forgot to get that big check to Obama reelection committee into the mail in a timely manner . GE would never slip up like that . Boeing would.

    Did the Feds really have to raid a Guitar factory , armed with automatic weapons ?

    Like I said, our Imperial President gets to choose what laws to enforce and what laws to ignore. The Chicago way. He chooses not to enforce US immigration laws, except when he feels like it.

  17. Our fearless leader Obama chooses which laws he will enforce and also how he enforces them.

    You know what they say: You can’t reason a man out of a position he didn’t get to by reason in the first place.

    If you think there’s an executive order on enforcement of the Lacey Act, show us. If you think Obama has time to worry about donors (which, by law, he shouldn’t know — especially donors to his opponents), your imagination is spectacularly overactive.

    As the NPR story shows, it’s been a topic for several years. This is at least the second raid at one of the Gibson plants (Argument spoiler alert: The last raid was in 2009, after two years of preparation during the Bush administration). Innocent until proven guilty is the law, but Martin Guitars has shown no difficulty complying — they stopped buying wood from the country with the unstable government. Exotic woods get used in a variety of industries, and in a variety of musical instruments — and the other companies somehow manage to comply, while noting the difficulties of complying with our laws to preserve forests, biodiversity, and good trade relations.

    Bush didn’t like EPA. EPA didn’t stop working while he was in office, however. Unless there is a major issue, like the lack of staff at ICE to enforce all our deportation laws, there is no reason for a president to be involved, and outside of Nixon and Reagan and Cheney, they rarely are.

    You don’t know much about U.S. government, I take it.

    He chooses to misapply this law against what I believe is a firm that will not play ball. Wink, wink, know what I mean ? Non Union ? Forgot to get that big check to Obama reelection committee into the mail in a timely manner . GE would never slip up like that . Boeing would.

    GE’s PAC favored Obama? Show me. How does that make a difference in this case?

    Leo Fender was a faithful Republican donor. No raids at Fender. What can that mean? Martin Guitars doesn’t lean Democrat — no evidence anywhere that they didn’t give Republican, just like Gibson. No raids. Steinway doesn’t seem to have much difficulty, and they have to worry about the exotic woods in the case of the piano as well as the ebony and ivory issues.

    Oops. You’re entitled to an opinion, but not a set of facts separate from reality.

    Did the Feds really have to raid a Guitar factory , armed with automatic weapons ?

    That’s how federal law enforcement agents roll, you know. Prepare. Too many times on too many issues, the guns came out from the other side — non-OEM auto parts, fish at the Fulton Market, imported steel, sex-for-jobs in Louisiana. Labor Department agents used to bravely go in unarmed (because they were not authorized to carry guns), but after too many close escapes, they wait for the gun-carrying agencies to join them. FBI used to try to go in without a show of arms, but after Pine Ridge and Waco, that’s not done any more.

    We don’t know whether the feds needed to go in with guns, fortunately, probably because they went in with automatic weapons.

    Law enforcement in the U.S. isn’t like law enforcement in Sherlock Holmes’ London.

    Like I said, our Imperial President gets to choose what laws to enforce and what laws to ignore.

    But Nixon, our Imperial President, left office in August 1974, 38 years ago, and his choosing of which laws to enforce and which to ignore led to a series of laws that effectively removes that discretion in most criminal law enforcement. In this case, there are international treaties involved, too, so executive discretion is even more limited.

    Obama doesn’t have that kind of authority, nor has he shown any tendency to use it. Which is why you’re having difficulty finding examples. You complain that Obama is regulating business to death, but you scrape to find three examples, none of which demonstrate new Obama-era regulations, nor difficulties that other businesses have.

    The Chicago way. He chooses not to enforce US immigration laws, except when he feels like it.

    Bull excrement. Obama’s enforcement of deportation orders is much greater than in the past. Sadly, these deportations have netted even kids who have done nothing wrong, whom we should be fighting to keep as residents and make citizens (see the second photograph for a heartbreaker). Obama has chosen to focus on getting rid of hard-core criminals who compromise safety in the U.S. Law and order, in other words — bully for him. That’s the right decision.

    Check out the facts. You can look this stuff up. There’s no reason to wander around ill-informed on these issues.

  18. Ed Darrell,

    Thank you for the reply. You are right, you will not change my mind . This administration controls the people who run government agencies . You seem to not get that . I suppose Obama inc. did not appoint the clowns at the DOJ with their fast and furious plan that sent guns to Mexico and accomplished nothing? The DOJ is just an independent agency and the President does not influence them in the least ?

    I suppose the Obama administration did not decide that the DOM is un constitutional ? So now Obama is not just President, he is part of the Supreme Court ? I suppose Obama did not attack border states for enforcing immigration laws that he refused to enforce ?

    You are right I refuse to believe that this President does not selectively enforce laws for political gain . Yes I refuse to believe this President does not selectively prosecute companies he hates and lets alone his friends . Success in Capitalism under Obama has gone from what you know to who you know . Yes I do check out the facts .

  19. Thank you for the reply. You are right, you will not change my mind . This administration controls the people who run government agencies . You seem to not get that .

    Yeah, I don’t get that. See, I took high school civics, and I took Constitutional history, and took admin law, and Con law, and I worked with the Senate Judiciary Committee, and I’ve read the laws. In this case, it’s not only illegal, but simply highly unlikely due to time constraints that Obama personally got involved, or that anyone got involved for any political reason — since such involvement would be illegal, and civil service employees of Justice or USFWS who aided such an illegal scheme would also be up for prison sentences.

    They swear to uphold and defend the Constitution, and you have given me no reason to suppose they have forsaken that oath, or violated it in any way, let alone in such a supremely grotesque manner as you suggest.

    The president doesn’t “control” even some of his own political appointees, including the AG in many, many cases — let alone civil service law enforcement officers.

    Either you know the law, or you don’t.

    I suppose Obama inc. did not appoint the clowns at the DOJ with their fast and furious plan that sent guns to Mexico and accomplished nothing?

    Burke was indeed an Obama appointee — and did you see how quickly he resigned? Obama has high ethical standards, and the U.S. attorneys are under even tighter scrutiny.

    Your claim is that Burke ran the operation, contrary to Democratic Party policy, contrary to the views expressed by President Obama, and contrary to the law, on the orders of Obama? You might want to get familiar with the issues and what actually happened in this case before you venture opinions way out of your area of immediate knowledge.

    The DOJ is just an independent agency and the President does not influence them in the least ?

    In the least, perhaps, but not much more. U.S. attorneys have been independent for at least 80 years, but that independence was strengthened by law in the Johnson administration, and again in the Carter years. U.S. attorneys swear to uphold the law regardless political affiliation. It is a crime to urge political prosecutions, or even political actions, through a U.S. attorney’s office. Since most employees in those offices carry over from one administration to another, it would also be really, really stupid, politically, to play politics in a U.S. attorney’s office. Everyone has the number of the local newspapers and television news departments.

    Justice is not technically an independent agency, no. But by law and longstanding tradition, the U.S. attorneys are much more independent from political actions than almost anyone else in government, save federal judges.

    I suppose the Obama administration did not decide that the DOM is un constitutional ? So now Obama is not just President, he is part of the Supreme Court ?

    Now you’re confusing the Solicitor General with the Justice Department. Close cooperation, sometimes, but not the same animal in any form. Don’t confuse areas where the president has discretion with areas where the president is banned from any direct knowledge or action.

    I suppose Obama did not attack border states for enforcing immigration laws that he refused to enforce ?

    Not “refused to enforce.” Can’t, not enough people. State agencies stepping on federal toes is prohibited by the Constitution, you know. Pre-emption. You could look it up. It’s in your con law book.

    You are right I refuse to believe that this President does not selectively enforce laws for political gain . Yes I refuse to believe this President does not selectively prosecute companies he hates and lets alone his friends . Success in Capitalism under Obama has gone from what you know to who you know . Yes I do check out the facts .

    Not even Nixon could do that. You’ve got a very overactive imagination coupled with a profound lack of information about history and law.

    You’ve got a lot of fact checking yet to do on these issues. It doesn’t appear to me you’ve got much of a start. Check back with us when you’ve got the facts, will you?

  20. Is it safe to assume that all the claims of over-regulation are, like these three examples, extremely inflated, and generally wrong?

  21. Poll of small businesses finds no significant complaints about regulation:

    Printed from the Charlotte Observer – http://www.CharlotteObserver.com

    Sunday, Sep. 04, 2011

    Business owners deny rules, taxes hurt hiring

    By Kevin G. Hall

    Political leaders and business groups often blame excessive regulation and fear of higher taxes for tepid hiring. However, little evidence of that emerged when McClatchy Newspapers canvassed a random sample of small business owners across the nation.

    “Government regulations are not ‘choking’ our business, the hospitality business,” Bernard Wolfson, the president of Hospitality Operations in Miami, told The Miami Herald. “In order to do business in today’s environment, government regulations are necessary and we must deal with them. The health and safety of our guests depend on regulations. It is the government regulations that help keep things in order.”

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is among the most vocal critics of the Obama administration, blaming excessive regulation and the administration’s overhaul of health care laws for creating an environment of uncertainty that’s hampering job creation.

    When it’s asked what specific regulations harm small businesses – which account for about 65 percent of U.S. jobs – the Chamber of Commerce points to health care, banking and national labor. Yet all these issues weigh much more heavily on big corporations than on small business.

    “When you look at regulations in many respects, what a lot of people don’t take into account is their secondary impacts,” said Giovanni Coratolo, the vice president of small business policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “They pay the price, regardless of whether they are primarily the recipient of the regulation or they are secondarily getting the impact of it. They pay the price in higher costs, whether it is fuel or health care or whether it’s being able to find access to capital.”

    McClatchy reached out to owners of small businesses, many of them mom-and-pop operations, to find out whether they indeed were being choked by regulation, whether uncertainty over taxes affected their hiring plans and whether the health care overhaul was helping or hurting their business.

    Their response was surprising.

    None of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it. Some pointed to the lack of regulation in mortgage lending as a principal cause of the financial crisis that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-09 and its grim aftermath.

    Wolfson’s firm is readying to open a Hampton Inn this year in Miami on land purchased from a condo developer during the housing downturn. His business could be in line for higher taxes if President Barack Obama allows the current, lower rates on the richest Americans to expire in 2012 and return to previous levels.

    That didn’t seem to bother Wolfson, who through his partnership declares profit and loss as a pass-through on his personal income taxes, as many small businesses do.

    “Higher taxes are not good for business, but some of the loopholes and deductions should be looked at,” he said.

    The answer from Rick Douglas – the owner of Minit Maids, a cleaning service with 17 employees in Charlotte – was more blunt.

    “I think the rich have to be taxed, sorry,” Douglas said. He added that he isn’t facing a sea of new regulations but that he does struggle with an old issue, workers’ compensation claims.

    Douglas told the Observer that he’s hired more workers this year, citing pent-up demand from customers.

    “My theory is that the people that do have jobs are working harder and they have less time to clean. People were holding back for such a long time, and then they started spending a little more,” he said.

    Then there’s Rip Daniels. He owns four businesses in Gulfport, Miss.: real estate ventures, a radio station and a boutique hotel/bistro. He said his problem wasn’t regulation.

    “Absolutely, positively not. What is choking my business is insurance. What’s choking all business is insurance. You cannot go into business, any business – small business or large business – unless you can afford insurance,” he told Biloxi’s Sun Herald.

    Since 2008, Daniels has opened one business and expanded another, hiring as many as 15 people thanks to lower labor costs and an abundance of overqualified job candidates. He credits the federal stimulus effort with helping to keep some smaller firms afloat.

    “It allowed those folks to spend and have money and pay for the essentials,” said Daniels, whose business pays corporate taxes. He grudgingly supports closing some business tax deductions to reduce the federal budget deficit.

    “Who wants to pay more? I certainly don’t. I want to pay my fair share, and I do,” Daniels said, adding that he wouldn’t resist loophole closures to cut deficits.

    For Zajic Appliance in south Sacramento, California’s capital city, business also has picked up. The company hired two workers this year, bringing the total to 18, said Christopher Zajic, who manages the family business.

    One odd reason for his improving business: sales of bank-owned properties in a city that’s among those hardest hit by the housing crash. When these houses sell, he said, their new owners generally replace appliances.

    California used some of its federal stimulus money to pay for a “Cash for Appliances” program last year, a rebate program for purchases of energy-efficient washing machines and refrigerators.

    “It spiked sales,” Zajic told The Sacramento Bee, adding that he thinks the effort simply compressed sales into a shorter time period rather than creating new demand.

    For many small businesses, their chief problem is an old one: navigating the bureaucracy of the Small Business Administration to get government-backed loans.

    “My biggest problem is the current status of the banking system and how it’s being overregulated,” Dennis Sweeney, a co-owner of Summit Sportswear Inc., told The Kansas City Star. “I want to grow this business, and I’m using the same credit line that I’ve been using for five years.”

    Kansas City-based Summit, 20 years old, supplies college-licensed clothing to university bookstores in four Midwestern states. Sweeney hired his fourth employee in August. He’s adding licenses to sell apparel to colleges in the Southeast and Atlantic region, but his company doesn’t have inventory or other collateral that bankers usually want to secure loans.

    And the small local banks Summit deals with frown on the red tape required for SBA loans, after a loan he got in 2008 took three months of nightmarish documentation.

    “It was only $35,000,” Sweeney said. “Our bank basically said it would never do that again.”

    Other small firms say their problem is simply a lack of customers.

    “I think the business climate is so shaky that I would not want to undergo any expansion or outlay capital,” said Andy Weingarten, who owns Almar Auto Repair in Charlotte. He’s thinking about hiring one more mechanic.

    Sometimes a small business’s struggle has nothing to do with government at all.

    Lynn Swager, a co-owner of Brass on Ivory in Edgewater, Md., sells, rents and repairs musical instruments. She faces a completely different sort of challenge.

    “The thing that chokes us, believe or not, is the Internet. There are so many things that are accessible on the Internet that they can purchase for less than I can purchase from my distributor,” Swager told McClatchy. “Everybody thinks the Internet is this great thing that is happening to the world, but it is really, I think, killing a lot of small business. People that we talk to that are no longer in business say the same thing exactly.”

    Contributing: Eleanor Kennedy of The Charlotte Observer, Mark Davis of The Kansas City Star, Doug Hanks and Hannah Sampson of The Miami Herald, Donna Harris of the Biloxi Sun Herald, and Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee.

    The Charlotte Observer.

    • Right-wingers won’t believe that article because it conflicts with their ideology. But the fact is: regulation helps businesses. When food regulations are lax, we have people getting sick from tainted food and THAT hurts the industry.

  22. Ed Darrell,

    I am going to assume you believe everything you say . Please assume that I am equally sincere in believing the exact opposite .

    ” Obama personally got involved, or that anyone got involved for any political reason — since such involvement would be illegal, and civil service employees of Justice or USFWS who aided such an illegal scheme would also be up for prison sentences. ”

    And Nixon did not know about or approve of the Watergate break in . I agree that Obama probably had no knowledge of fast and furious . He did put into all of the departments he controls administrators who share his vision of screwing his enemies and rewarding his friends . I do not believe fast and furious was really about catching Mexican drug gangs . It was about getting ammunition to use against gun owners and the NRA. And when one of his minions does something that blows up politically, how does he handle it ? I’ve read how the administration is playing cover up about the whole deal . We can only hope that now with Republicans controlling the House of Representatives, hearings can bring out who knew what and when they stopped knowing about it . If I was Boehner I’d bring before Congress, just about everyone of President Obama’s Department heads and publicly ask them what they think their job is .

    On DOM,

    ” Now you’re confusing the Solicitor General with the Justice Department. Close cooperation, sometimes, but not the same animal in any form. Don’t confuse areas where the president has discretion with areas where the president is
    banned from any direct knowledge or action. ”

    I am sure every i is dotted and every t crossed, but I am amazed you expect me to believe that statement’s reality . You know I am looking for a bridge to buy. Maybe you know one for sale? Like in Brooklyn ?

    ” Not “refused to enforce.” Can’t, not enough people. State agencies stepping on federal toes is prohibited by the Constitution, you know. Pre-emption. You could look it up. It’s in your con law book. ”

    That is an insult to my intelligence.

    ” You are right I refuse to believe that this President does not selectively enforce laws for political gain . Yes I refuse to believe this President does not selectively prosecute companies he hates and lets alone his friends . Success in
    Capitalism under Obama has gone from what you know to who you know . Yes I do check out the facts .

    “Not even Nixon could do that. You’ve got a very overactive imagination coupled with a profound lack of information about history and law.”

    You probably know law better than me . I doubt you know history better . And I have plenty of company imagining that where there is smoke there is fire .

  23. Mr. Hoffman,

    What do you think of the longshoremen trashing the grain terminal in Washington State ? Looks like labor ain’t gonna take it anymore.

  24. Mr. Hoffman,

    You did not know about it ? You who dig up dirt on every obscure Republican state Senator and Christian leader , was not aware of this ? I bet if hundreds of crazed Tea Party rioters stormed an abortion clinic and took hostages, you would know about it the day before it happened.

    It’s funny, even Obama’s NLRB can’t sweep this one under the rug the way the Black Panther incident got buried by the Justice Department . Anyway I just thought you might want to defend these poor misunderstood boys , who probably just need a time out . 🙂

  25. Mr. Hoffman,

    The Longshoremen do not have the right to enter a facility, take guards hostage, dump grain, and cut brake lines. No I would not do what they did if I was in their shoes. Would you ?

  26. I said: ” . . . .Obama personally got involved, or that anyone got involved for any political reason — since such involvement would be illegal, and civil service employees of Justice or USFWS who aided such an illegal scheme would also be up for prison sentences.”

    Mr. Scott said:

    And Nixon did not know about or approve of the Watergate break in.

    So, you believe that Obama has been able to do what Nixon could not, and suborn the Justice Department and FBI to commit crimes?

    You should have beer with FBI agents some time. Your lack of faith in your fellow citizens is disappointing. I suppose you think you’re superior to all other Americans, but I assure you that there are vanishingly few, if any, federal employees who do not take seriously their duty to the nation and Constitution, and who would not carry out illegal orders.

    Nixon, of course, used political operatives and old friends who were not sworn federal officers. He knew that he couldn’t get sworn federal officers to commit those crimes.

    I don’t think you have better knowledge than Richard Nixon.

    I agree that Obama probably had no knowledge of fast and furious . He did put into all of the departments he controls administrators who share his vision of screwing his enemies and rewarding his friends.

    First, there is no evidence that Obama has a vision of “screwing his enemies.” There are dozens, if not thousands, who will offer you chapter and verse that Obama has not “rewarded” his friends.

    So your major premise necessary for your argument to get traction, is in error.

    I do not believe fast and furious was really about catching Mexican drug gangs . It was about getting ammunition to use against gun owners and the NRA. And when one of his minions does something that blows up politically, how does he handle it? I’ve read how the administration is playing cover up about the whole deal . We can only hope that now with Republicans controlling the House of Representatives, hearings can bring out who knew what and when they stopped knowing about it . If I was Boehner I’d bring before Congress, just about everyone of President Obama’s Department heads and publicly ask them what they think their job is .

    I take you at your word that you believe that. As I said before, we can’t reason a man out of a position he did not get to by reason in the first place. Belief in such a scheme would have to do, solely on faith — because there’s no evidence, and it’s contrary to the views of most Americans.

    There’s another old saw you should know: Do not attribute anything to conspiracy which can be explained by incompetence or stupidity. There is a lot more stupid in the world than clever.

    The operation was bone-headed, everyone agrees — now. Conspiracies cannot function with bonehead plans. Boneheads have a tendency to squeal on those who put them up to it, to save their own tails if nothing else.

    You’ve read how the administration is playing cover-up, but not in any reputable journal, and just now you seem to have forgotten where . . . so you want us to take your word for it?

    Get a citation. It’s a scurrilous claim, and a claim unsubstantiated by any and all evidence I’ve seen.

    On DOM,

    ” Now you’re confusing the Solicitor General with the Justice Department. Close cooperation, sometimes, but not the same animal in any form. Don’t confuse areas where the president has discretion with areas where the president is
    banned from any direct knowledge or action. ”

    I am sure every i is dotted and every t crossed, but I am amazed you expect me to believe that statement’s reality . You know I am looking for a bridge to buy. Maybe you know one for sale? Like in Brooklyn ?

    You’re really out to lunch on this. You’re assuming Obama orders Justice around like pawns on a chessboard — but Justice has nothing to do with the Solicitor General’s decision not to defend DOM. Your case is crippled by your accusations against the wrong agency.

    ” Not “refused to enforce.” Can’t, not enough people. State agencies stepping on federal toes is prohibited by the Constitution, you know. Pre-emption. You could look it up. It’s in your con law book. ”

    That is an insult to my intelligence.

    I regret that you think the Constitution is an insult to your intelligence. Frankly, that’s your problem, though, and not the Constitution’s.

    The federal government has jurisdiction over immigration, not states. You could look it up, but you claim reading the Constitution is an affront to your intelligence. As Madison said, knowledge always rules ignorance. You could look that up, too.

    “You are right I refuse to believe that this President does not selectively enforce laws for political gain . Yes I refuse to believe this President does not selectively prosecute companies he hates and lets alone his friends . Success in
    Capitalism under Obama has gone from what you know to who you know . Yes I do check out the facts .

    “Not even Nixon could do that. You’ve got a very overactive imagination coupled with a profound lack of information about history and law.”

    You probably know law better than me . I doubt you know history better . And I have plenty of company imagining that where there is smoke there is fire .

    Great, then give us some history to back your position. Company in believing false things does not make the false things true. Got evidence? Even from history? Show us — we’re all from Missouri.

  27. The Longshoreman have the right to operate those cranes by contract and jurisdiction. No one else has the right.

    Surely we decry all violence in union-management negotiations. Union workers in Seattle over the past hundred years have lost hundreds to murder and police-led “riots.” No one died in the incident you cite. If the Longshoremen did it, they at least show respect for human life.

    Why the attempt to change the topic?

  28. Mr. Hoffman,

    They apparently were angry at the owners of the terminal. They apparently thought the terminal owed them those jobs. I have not as yet tracked down the entire history of negotiations between the union and the owners, so I do not know how it all began . I do know that workers at the terminal are represented by another union .

    That is as much ‘ why ‘ as I know.

  29. Ben, a couple of my posts seem to be stuck in moderation. Did I do or say something wrong?

  30. Thank you for freeing them.

  31. Ed Darrell ,

    Happy to have you debate me again .

    ” So, you believe that Obama has been able to do what Nixon could not, and suborn the Justice Department and FBI to commit crimes? ”

    Yes sir .

    ” I suppose you think you’re superior to all other Americans, ”

    No sir.

    ” First, there is no evidence that Obama has a vision of “screwing his enemies.” There are dozens, if not thousands, who will offer you chapter and verse that Obama has not “rewarded” his friends. ”

    As the Captain in the movie ‘ Cool Hand Luke ‘ said, ” What we got here is a failure to communicate .” I personally have posted many examples of Obama’s vindictiveness and cronyism. Some our gracious host has even allowed to survive his delete key .

    ” There’s another old saw you should know: Do not attribute anything to conspiracy which can be explained by incompetence or stupidity. There is a lot more stupid in the world than clever.

    The operation was bone-headed, everyone agrees — now. Conspiracies cannot function with bonehead plans. Boneheads have a tendency to squeal on those who put them up to it, to save their own tails if nothing else.

    You’ve read how the administration is playing cover-up, but not in any reputable journal, and just now you seem to have forgotten where . . . so you want us to take your word for it? ”

    I am perfectly ready to accept that stupidity and incompetence are rampant in this administration. However , I think it is more in the execution than in the creation of Fast and Furious. I believe the concept was purely political and goes pretty high. This administration is filled with anti gun zealots. If they could have engineered a sting that smeared the entire gun community , they would have been ecstatic.

    ” You’ve read how the administration is playing cover-up, but not in any reputable journal, and just now you seem to have forgotten where . . . so you want us to take your word for it? ”

    You know what, I am sure I have tried the patience of our most gracious host.

    Give me another place to go and I will be happy to carry on this and even ,,, just maybe give you more documentation of my sources.

  32. As the Captain in the movie ‘ Cool Hand Luke ‘ said, ” What we got here is a failure to communicate .” I personally have posted many examples of Obama’s vindictiveness and cronyism. Some our gracious host has even allowed to survive his delete key .

    Please do point some out. I can’t find any examples to which a thinking person should or would grant credence.

    For example, your claim that the administration is “full of anti-gun zealots,” is pure hooey, high-level crockalorum. Not a shred of evidence that there is any more anti-gun fervor in the Obama administration than any other — look at the men who head Interior and Agriculture, for example — not to mention Homeland Security’s head woman, and the Justice Department. No anti-gun zealots in any of those positions — generally the opposite.

  33. Give me another place to go and I will be happy to carry on this and even ,,, just maybe give you more documentation of my sources.

    I think you’re paranoid. But come on over to my blog, pick a spot and post away.

  34. Ed Darrell,

    I’ve been banned from so many left wing blogs I have good reason to be paranoid. It will be a pleasure to go to your site and see how long I last. It will take me a little time to round up documentation on the anti gun bias of the Obama administration. I am frankly shocked to have to prove it because I never thought anyone on your side would deny it. Usually your side brags about making America safe from those gun nuts .

    Thank you for the invitation.

  35. The Arbourist ,

    I thank you for your endorsement.

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