This column is dedicated to the folks who believe ObamaCare, with it's alleged 31 million more people being covered by health insurance, and with it's 2,500 pages of myriad rules, regulations, and taxes being implemented on business and the citizenry by Congress.....will somehow make health care LESS expensive. To all such folks, I bestow upon you the Reality Deniers Of The Year award.
The ObamaCare debacle is so massive and will ravage such a huge slice of our economy that I should have bestowed the Reality Deniers Of The Decade award on the aforementioned people, especially when the previous decade ended only a few days ago, right ?
Except the previous decade didn't end a few days ago, no matter how often we hear the news media say it did. That's something we believe that just isn't so. Because there was no year zero on our calendar, the first year A.D. was year one. That means means a new decade doesn't start until year 11. Our next decade starts on january 1, 2011, not 2010.
That's a small thing, but columnist Walter Williams mentioned it in his latest article, in which he tackled another thing we believe is true but just isn't so. I've even bought into this false belief myself, more than I should have. The belief is that America doesn't make anything anymore, that we've lost our manufacturing sector. This belief comes from all the losses of manufacturing jobs in this country over the last thiry years. The job loss is true, but much of that loss is due to technological advances in industry that make manufacturing less labor intensive. From the Williams piece:
According to the Federal Reserve, the dollar value of U.S. manufacturing output in November was $2.72 trillion (in 2000 dollars). Today's manufacturing worker is so productive that the value of his average output is $234,220. Output per worker is three times as high as it was in 1980 and twice as high as it was in 1990. For the year 2008, the Federal Reserve estimates that the value of U.S. manufacturing output was about $3.7 trillion (in 2008 dollars). If the U.S. manufacturing sector were a separate economy, with its own GDP, it would be tied with Germany as the world's fourth richest economy. The GDPs are: U.S. ($14.2 trillion), Japan ($4.9 trillion), China ($4.3 trillion), U.S. manufacturing ($3.7 trillion), Germany ($3.7 trillion), France ($2.9 trillion) and the United Kingdom ($2.7 trillion).
With a manufacturing sector that produces more revenue than the entire GDP of all but two other countries, it sure seems we still make things here in the U.S., lots of things. It just doesn't take as many people to make them. Are we to roll back our technological advances just so we can employ more people ? I don't think so. Such a move WOULD sound the death knell for our manufacturing sector. Just as advances in the agricultural industry over the last century made farming far less labor intensive, so it is with manufacturing today. We could go the China route and pay manufacturing workers slave wages to produce cheap goods, but that isn't a desirable solution either. What we must do is adapt to a changing world. That is always going to be what we have to do to succeed. Instead of saying 'America doesn't make anything anymore,' it would be more accurate to say 'America doesn't make everything anymore.'
The next belief some hold that just isn't true is about the Guantanamo Bay prison. Even President Obama believes closing Gitmo will lessen the fervor of terrorists to attack us. Obama says Gitmo is a key recruiting tool of the jihadist movement. This is absolute nonsense. In order to share Obama's feeling, you have to believe that the simple act of moving the terrorists from Cuba to Illinois will somehow make the terrorists respond, "okay, things are alright now." This is absurdity taken to the nth degree. We'll still be holding the terrorists in prison, it'll just be in a different place. The idea that this will somehow appease the Islamic jihadists is inane. Do you really think they care WHERE Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his like-minded brethren are being held by the U.S. ??? It's the fact WE ARE HOLDING THEM that they care about. The fact we are fighting them in the first place is what they care about. The closing of Gitmo will have zero effect on the recruitment of jihadists. ZERO. ZILCH. NADA. Of course, we could always release more terrorists to Yemen or some other country sympathetic to the jihadists, as we've been doing, in the hopes it will appease the terrorists. That WOULD have an effect on terrorist recruitment. It would go UP by the number of terrorists we released, and it already has. Our lax policies have already resulted in over 70 terrorists going back to the jihadist fight against us. Brilliant policy, eh ? Let's try to appease ruthless murdering religious extremists who wish to establish dominance over the entire world. I'm certain that will work (NOT).
My final belief that just isn't so is about enacting more government entitlements in a country already $12 trillion in debt, that can't pay for all the unfunded entitlements already in existence, and with a government that invariably robs us blind, as it has with Social Security. That is completely insane thinking, but liberals think it's the right way to go, because they somehow believe it's "compassionate." (to bankrupt the entire nation).
But you've all heard me rant on about that enough already, so I'll spare you the details this time. Peace out.
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