Fear Mongering: The Media on the Government Shutdown

Fear mongering isn’t just done by cultists and tyrants. Although many of the dictators of today and days past did have it down to a T, our media happens to be one of the best fear mongering machines around. How about the North Korea debacle of recent times? It was the only subject on the news, only to be dismissed again by the masses and forgotten until the news took another recent shot at it. And Syria? We have only been following news on Syria when there are horrendous events happening leading up to what seems to be an intervention initiated by the US. Fear mongering is central to every major subject covered by the media.

Related Article: Imminent Western Intervention in Syria

No wonder our government doesn’t tell us everything; we would be in a constant state of hysteria, running around and threatening each other to protect our family and property. Let’s say, for instance, that beyond the fear mongering hype we knew there was to be a global crash of all computer systems and all the data was to be reset because we were dawning on a new millennium. Oh right, the panic of Y2K. Oh HOOO!!! What if we knew precisely when the world was going to end? Ahh.. December 21, 2012. Boy did that rattle the cages.

Related Article: NOT Another 9-11 Article

Fear mongering is omnipresent in all facets of our lives. Maybe I can spin it another way to get you riled up [after all I am representing a media of sorts, and boy do we like to spin things (tops, pizzas, balls, mouse scrollers, clocks, globes)]. The media is making the government shutdown seem more severe than it needs to be. Let us explore a couple of facts about our government:

How about the fact that there have been 18 government shutdowns since 1976! Take a good look at that list of reasons why the government shut down. Most of them are political disputes that couldn’t be solved so they took the battle to the people, showing their supporters how they stood by their policies and wouldn’t budge. No possible fear mongering there.

How about the fact that neither you nor I were influenced by the shutdown? Nothing actually happened (to us and our daily lives) when the government took a break. In fact our government probably saved a whole lot of money during the shutdown.

Another fact is that Obamacare is in high demand, causing its own shut down of government websites resulting in a blindsided president? Wasn’t Obamacare at the root of the problem of politicians disagreeing in the first place? And yet here it is slowly starting to function and in extreme demand. If you’re going to practice fear mongering, start screaming about the failure of the Obamacare website.

Lastly, it is a fact that the stock market didn’t crash due to the shutdown, people didn’t withdraw all their funds to cause a high volatility in the market place, and investors just kept on investing. So much for all that fear that was being tossed around.. but the government shutdown did happen, and it may happen again if budget problems aren’t solved.

Related Article: TVs, Brains, and Zombies Oh My!

All the while the people of this great country will stand by and listen to live broadcasts in order to be the first to know of any revolts or uprisings taking place. And for what? To be prepared damnit! If the media practices fear mongering and says the situation is severe then we should go buy water and food supplies for the next couple of months, go get a gun to protect ourselves (not that we shouldn’t anyway), and of course find ways to secure our wealth and protect our property! All this for something that is purely word of mouth. If only the game “telephone” was this effective at getting a point across.

Oh misery! What is the point? I am not saying we should be oblivious to world events. In fact it is important that we embrace world events such as the recent protests in Egypt over governmental control, instead of blindly accepting the fear mongering that is fed to us. However, we often forget that a great deal of media is formed on opinion, and the stronger opinions always jump out at us more than the calm, forgetful opinions and facts. Maybe it is time to turn off the news? Maybe it is time to forget about the 9 o’clock updates of recent events on channel 9, 7 , 5, 2, etc. The saying “ignorance is bliss” perfectly pertains to the media and its relentless fear mongering.

Cheers to being ignorant of the media and its senseless fear mongering!

 

 

Research:

Government Shutdown in the United States

PRY: The danger of dismissing North Korea’s nuclear threat

North Korea on high alert, threatens US ships with “horrible disaster”

Y2K Bug Britannica

December 21 2012

Government shutdown? Panic on the markets? Buy stocks.

Obamacare website problems blindsided the President

ObamaCare Facts

 

Wondergressive: Clouds of Western Intervention Loom over Syria

Wondergressive: Imminent Western Intervention in Syria

Wondergressive: NOT Another 9-11 Article

Wondergressive: World Protests: Can You Hear Me Now?

Wondergressive: TVs, Brains, and Zombies Oh My!

The Senate Is Useless and Should Be Dismanteled

Senate Is Useless

Senate Is Useless

 

When almost ninety percent of the population supports expanding background checks for individuals buying guns online and at gun shows, and the Senate fails to pass such legislation, then the United States Senate is useless. How does that happen? What role does the Senate play if it does not represent the interest of the people?

Historically, when the House of Representatives and the Senate represented two legislative chambers that kept in check the two major parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, Congress actually had a real purpose! It was a bicameral setup where in one house, the House of Representatives, the members were elected to protect the interests of the constituents of the district in the state which they represented. The Senate, on the other hand, was made so that each state had equal representation, regardless of the state’s population. As we know, this is why each state sends two Senators to Congress.

The United States Senate Is Useless For a Couple Reasons

 

The biggest reason why the US Senate is useless is because it clearly does not reflect the will of the people at large. When close to 90% of the citizens agree on broader background checks for guns bought online and gun auctions, and when 74% of the National Rifle Association (NRA) members support the measure as well, then how does that become blocked? 90% of the time we don’t agree on anything! Senate members work to fulfill the interests of the lobbies that support them. In this case, it was in their better interest to appeal to the gun lobbies which hold many of the Senators’ positions by the balls.

The proposed document did not ban any weapons nor capacity on ammunition. It did not take anybody’s guns away. The government wasn’t coming to anybody’s front door. It was simply proposing to do more background checks. Who would that hurt? I am not hating on guns. This is just one of the most recent examples of the point that I am trying to prove. We could take any other example, dissect it, and come to the same conclusion.

(Related Article: A Case Against Gun Control)

The second reason the Senate is useless is because it takes ages to get legislation passed.

Founders hoped Senators would be more likely to consider the long-term effects of legislation and practice a more mature, thoughtful and deeply deliberative approach in their deliberations. Setting aside the validity of this “maturity” factor, the Senate undeniably does take longer to consider bills, often brings up points not considered by the House and just as often votes down bills passed easily by the House.  –http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/whyhouseandsenate.htm

Mature? Thoughtful? Deeply deliberative approaches? Please! Is that how they passed the Monsanto Protection Act swiftly with most of the useless Senate not aware that it was slipped into the legislation? What was so mature and thoughtful about that? Once again, proving that the Senate is useless really isn’t that hard. Still not convinced?  How about a sadly hilarious list of all the things the senate has done and is doing to waste all of our time and money?

The bottom line is, the House of Representative members are elected every two years, which means they are running for reelections more often and are more likely to stick to the opinions and wishes of their constituents. Let’s not forget that legislation also gets passed faster in the House of Representatives. On the other hand, the useless Senate members are elected every six years, and are not swayed by public opinion as easily.

The House members are supposed to represent the interests of the people. The Senate members are supposed represent the interest of the State. But what are State’s interests if they are not the people’s interests?

Two solutions: Either dissolve the useless Senate and completely dismantle it. Or, if there is any legislation that is in very high interest to the people, then that should be able to become law by just passing it through the House of Representatives. It shouldn’t be so difficult to pass something that is accepted by nearly every american citizen!

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/17/background-checks-bill_n_3103341.html

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/whyhouseandsenate.htm

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/274381-house-dem-pushes-gun-reforms-backed-by-nra-members-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-gibson/congress-protects-monsant_b_2956642.html

http://www.stupidvotes.com/

ObamaCare and the 49-Employee Company

obamacare

Whether you love it, hate it, think it goes too far or not far enough, the gears of ObamaCare are grinding along, theoretically to be fully implemented January 1, 2014.

The politics of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act notwithstanding, the law illustrates quite clearly the difficulty—and indeed the folly—of massive, top-down re-organizational efforts governments around the world like to employ. Human beings are dynamic creatures that respond to stimuli in order to maximize their own benefits. However carefully politicians craft the language of their regulations, people find remarkably easy ways to sidestep such obstacles, often to the detriment of the economy and the grand schemes of politicians.

ObamaCare induces businesses into providing health care for its employees by issuing a fine on those that don’t. This penalty does not, however, apply to businesses that have fewer than 50 employees. Recognizing a loophole when they see one, many business owners will likely take the easy way out and simply refuse to expand their company past the dreaded 50-employee barrier.

This phenomenon has already been seen in France, where once a company has 50 or more employees the business is obligated at great cost “to establish a committee on health, safety and working conditions and train its members.” This obligation is so expensive to business owners that many choose to deliberately limit themselves to only 49 employees, only crossing the threshold when it’s clear that having x more employees outweighs the deleterious effects of further regulation.

The National Bureau of Economic Research recently performed a study analyzing the effects of such regulatory burdens on French companies. France imposes stringent regulations on companies once they have more than 9 employees; more severe restrictions kick in once businesses have more than 49 employees and again at the 100 mark.

Here’s a graph showing the frequency of French companies by the number of their employees:

France-employment-graph1

The difference between 9-employee and 10-employee companies is dramatic. The drop-off between 49 and 50-employee companies is also plainly evident. This graph zooms in on the data, further illustrating the stark and unnatural reality that there are almost 3 times as many companies with 49 employees than with 50:

France-employment-graph2

Business owners in France routinely discuss their “companies” rather than their singular “company.” As it turns out, it is common practice to maintain several businesses under the 49-employee threshold rather than aggregate them into a single entity. Perversely, the paperwork and bureaucratic red tape involved in starting and maintaining multiple businesses is seen as a better alternative to biting the bullet and hiring that unlucky 50th employee.

The French economy has numerous problems—recently their union work ethic was lambasted by US CEO Maurice Taylor, who accused the French laborers of only working three hours a day-– and their unemployment rate is shockingly high. Struggling to respond to a jobless rate north of 10%, President Francois Hollande has promised to make the economy a priority during his term. It is clear that onerous and arbitrary economic regulations actually damage the economic climate, slowing or even preventing recovery. Lessening or striking them from the books would help revive the economy by simplifying the cost and the process of doing business.

ObamaCare will likely have the same effects on US businesses as France’s strict legislation has had on theirs. Seeking to avoid regulatory oversight, and seeing a perfect opportunity to do so, many businesses will simply refuse to hire that 50th employee and escape from detrimental and unnecessary burdens. Companies have been well aware of the future effects of healthcare legislation since its signing. That likely already accounts for some of their reticence in hiring new workers and why the US unemployment rate stubbornly hovers around 8%.

I am not here to pass judgement on ObamaCare itself or the intentions that lead to its enactment. The point is that regulatory burdens do indeed affect how businesses operate. Companies respond to incentives the same way that individuals do. By drafting these types of regulations, politicians inadvertently (?) help ensure that more people will be left without health insurance because employers are skirting such obligations by refusing to hire new talent. These laws create perverse incentives that make businesses less likely to hire new employees, keeping unemployment up and the economy down.

People are not a monolithic entity and they do not often respond to legislation the way that Washington predicts. As has been proven continuously throughout history—and just as often ignored– the best way to encourage business is to stay out of the way and make it easy to do business.

Laws and policies like ObamaCare and Too Big To Fail muddle the economic waters and contribute to the slow and painful US recovery that the nation now endures. Ending them would be a powerful message that would help unshackle business owners from the capricious laws of Washington and spur the economy on to a real and sustained recovery.

Sources:

Report from the National Bureau of Economic Research