As an industrialist, I’ve taken an interest in President Barack Obama’s insourcing kick which has occurred over the past few weeks, highlighted by his weekly radio and Internet address on January 14 and a speech delivered in the East Room of the White House a few days earlier (I’m certain that he’ll talk about it during this week’s State of the Union Address, too). By "insourcing," the President refers to a reversal of the outsourcing trend by American manufacturers. Some of them, though few in number, are bringing jobs back to the United States.
On December 22 President Barack Obama released the following message through the White House’s Twitter account: "Thanks to all who shared #40dollars [sic] stories. Today's victory is yours. Keep making your voices heard — it makes all the difference. — bo"
Although rarely looked at as such by the typical person, labor is an economic transaction. It’s a simple trade — one where the worker willingly gives to his employer, in exchange for monetary and benefit compensation, the use of his physical and mental services. As with any free market economic activity, either party can prevent ongoing transactions, whether such termination is based on dissatisfaction with what the exchange garners or on the influence of supply and demand in the micro- and macro-markets.
Of all of the myriad agencies created and maintained by the Executive Branch, few have proven to be as detrimental to the United States as the Environmental Protection Agency. Since its birth under President Nixon’s executive order in 1970, the mission of the EPA has been to protect human health and the environment. The mission has been mutilated since the start, as the environment (or at least what we are led to believe is the environment) has taken so much precedent that the human health aspect — whether it is the physical, mental, social or economic sort — has been deemed worthless in comparison.
The federal government just can’t stay out of agriculture. From subsidy programs that decide winners and losers in the markets by favoring corporate farms over family farms to ethanol rules that sacrifice food for fuel to laws that give undue influence and power to a select few pesticide and seed producers, Washington has maintained a stranglehold over farming that has forever altered the industry’s competitive landscape and doomed consumers to pay ever-higher prices at the grocery store.
Last week saw the observance of the quintessential American holiday — our Independence Day. From coast to coast Americans celebrated with their usual vigor the greatness that is the United States. Sadly, much of that patriotism was not based on true Americanism. Instead, for a majority of our citizens, the vision of what America has been, is, and will be is but a mutation of what our nation is supposed to be about.
Amtrak trains make passes by my office a few times day as they travel to and from Niagara Falls and points north, including Toronto. Despite the fact that the Falls is one of the most popular tourism destinations on the planet and the rail system stretches across an international border to a region ripe with economic activity, it’s very rare that I see anyone in the passenger cars. It’s patently obvious that public transportation via rail is unpopular, if not useless, in the United States.
Osama bin Laden is dead.
It’s unknown, though, if he ever existed, at least in the narrative by which we “knew” him. Oh, he was a real live human being, but whether he was actually the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks or the figurehead in charge of al-Qaeda is debatable. Some wonder if he was just a creation of our federal government — a well-crafted piece of propaganda, a person to hate, a target if you will — allowing the United States to invade foreign lands in search of supposed terrorists and weapons of mass destruction while at the same time motivating Americans to exchange liberty for security.
When someone is sold a bad bill of goods he may suffer from “buyer’s remorse,” a feeling of regret maybe even disgust — accompanied by a healthy dose of second-guessing of the buyer’s own intelligence — over the purchase. That feeling can be applied to all aspects of life. For instance, there is no doubt that the five-person committee behind the Nobel Peace Prize has been experiencing “voter’s remorse” for their selection of Barack Obama as the 2009 recipient of the award.
I pride myself on my understanding of the economy. It’s based upon an objectivist approach, one facilitated by my being in the trenches as a manufacturer, grinding it out day to day in the private sector and observing the nuances which affect our customers in their efforts to sell industrial or consumer products.