Alcatraz Island a Global Peace Center?

When I visited San Francisco a couple of years ago, my main goal was to visit Alcatraz Island. I have always been facinated by this prison because of it’s location and the many movies that have been made about it. The most popular was “Escape From Alcatraz” with SF native Clint Eastwood. It lived up to it’s billing as a very intersting trip.

I found it comical that a group in the ultra-liberal San Francisco (kind of an oxymoron) have gotten a proposition on the Feb. 5 ballot to convert Alcatraz Island into the Global Peace Center. Yes, you read it right. Actually, they got 20,000 other idiots to actually sign a petition to get it on the ballot.

Why I think this is so comical is that the City of San Francisco can really do nothing to covert the island into a “Global Peace Center” or any other rediculous cause. The island is managed by the National Park Service thus under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. An act of Congress would have to occur to make any changes. I would suspect that even Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t be willing to even back this.
Just another idiotic proposal that will do nothing and waste resources. I suppose if you really want to create a Global Peace Center, there are plenty of islands out in the middle of the Pacific that are uninhabited that could be used for this type of use, but I suppose that this is not the point.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant

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Economics for Dummies (or the Left)

I’m not an economist. Never have been, never will be. But I believe do look at things fairly logically.

I live in Illinois. We, like many states, have recently raised the minimum wage. Now, on the surface this seems like a very humane thing to do. Helping the guy at the bottom seems very noble. How can a family make it in the US making the minimum wage? The problem is, this is not the genuine reality.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority who actually work for minimum are between 16 and 24. Only 2 percent of workers above age 25 earned the prevailing minimum wage or less. The truth is that most of the minimum wage workers are young or second income workers and almost 70 percent only work part time. The myth that someone is supporting a family just doesn’t support the numbers. I know there are those that do, but this is not the norm.

What this does is artificially raises income for these workers. Most of the employers in who hire entry level workers at minimum wage in the US are small businesses. Most of these businesses are not able to simply absorb the higher cost of paying their workers higher wages just because the government says they should. The prices of products can only raise so high before consumers look for other solutions. The effect is actually lower employment for those who actually need it. Businesses may just move out of an area to reduce their costs.

A real solution would be to actually remove these artificial wage controls. Some jobs are not worth paying the prevailing minimum wage. Most jobs offer entry level for a reason – you’re not suppose to stay at that level. I’ve worked for minimum wage in many jobs, all while in High School or College. I have started all my other jobs outside of college as entry level and worked my way up. It’s the American way, or at least it used to be.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant

Source:
http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2003.htm
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Economy/wm1186.cfm

Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share?

In case your living under a rock, you know it’s an election year. When this happens, all kinds of pandering goes on – on both sides of the aisle. The most insidious lie that I always hear, mostly from the left, is that the “Rich” in America get all the tax breaks and the middle class and poor gets screwed. Sounds logical, but is it really true?

I was glad to find out that I’m one of those fat cats who is considered one of the rich. Funny thing, I didn’t know this. I have two cars, both paid off, but have well over 100,000 miles. I have a nice house, but not a mansion. I do alright at my job, but I wouldn’t consider myself rich.

The truth is, it doesn’t take much to be considered one of the “Rich” in America. The fact is that the Top 5% of wage earners pay over 50% of the tax burden. Further, the top 50% of wage earners pay over 96% of the tax burden.

Who are those 50% who are considered “Rich”? It will surprise you. If you made at least $29,000 filing jointly, you were in the top 50%. Hard to believe? The figures are directly from the IRS from the year 2003. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.

If you ask, surely those under that level and the “poor” are paying taxes, aren’t they? The answer is no. There is something in the US called the Earned Income Tax Credit that actually gives a refund to those who either pay a little income tax or no income tax at all. This allows the recipients to receive all of their tax back in a refund, and sometimes more than they paid. Kind of like our current Social Security System – but that is a whole new topic.

So, if these politicians were really honest they would acknowledge the real facts. I’m really not that naïve, I know they are full of it and have no interest in the truth.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant

Sources:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/04in06tr.xls
http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/menu/cy2003.guest.html (Chart)

Illegal Immigrants vs Legal Immigrants

It seems that the national debate on Illegal Immigration is not really addressing the problem. President Bush seems bent on appeasing the Hispanic community (the illegal ones who can’t vote I presume) with his lack luster response to the growing problem. Politicians on both sides take insane positions on how to fix the problem.

The argument that these people (illegals) work in jobs that legal Americans will not is looking at things in the right light. We’re really talking about agricultural products in many of the border states primarily, other states to a lesser degree. I’m not an economist, but when an industry is faced with a shift in labor costs, innovation prevails. What happened when the cotton industry lost cheap labor? They innovated. The same thing can happen in many other industries. UC Davis is always working on this type of stuff for the agricultural industry.

The real solution to the problem is to:

  • Penalize the Employers for hiring illegals. Beef up enforcement to really go after the employers. They won’t find everyone, but if it is more expensive to hire illegals, the advantage will go away for the employer. When the jobs dry up, the problem slowly dries up.
  • Build a fence at the Mexican border and staff it with border agents. Sounds easy, but it seems some people don’t like this solution. Too expensive, not effective, it may upset the habitat of the African Nose-Picking Snail, or whatever. As Col. Potter would say, “Horse Hockey.”

Most will say this is much too simplistic, but it is a real start to combat the problem. After these things are achieved, we can start to actually deport those who are illegally in the country.

Of course, this is just my opinion

Robs Rant

Anybody But Hillary

I have a small design business http://www.thesource247.com/ where I create mostly political bumper stickers, t-shirts, etc. Early on the Fred Thompson stuff was flying off the shelves, but for the last couple of months there has been a groundswell for the Anti-Hillary bumper stickers.

Just this week, someone in Colorado bought 20 of these oval bumper stickers. Amazing. Obviously there is an extreme undercurrent to reject Hillary for President.

With 50% negatives nationwide, it would be hard to believe that she could get the democratic nomination, but never underestimate the Clinton machine. I still think John Edwards can make a move taking on those voters not enthralled with Clinton or Obama, but we’ll see.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Robs Rant

Smoking Ban From the Socialist Republic of Illinois

Welcome to the Socialist Republic of Illinois!

On January 1, Illinois became a smoke free state. Now, I’m not a smoker, but this law is just the kind of thing our governor wants – more control of everyone.

I get the idea of making smoking sections/areas that will allow others in public places to not have to be subjected to the smoke. But no smoking in bars – where is the sense in that? If you don’t want to be subjected to smoke in these type of environments, don’t go there or don’t work there. Simple right. I guess not according to the State of Illinois.

Making things like this the law of the land smacks the founders in the face. This is the type of socialist policy I would expect in Communist China or the former USSR. What’s next, a ban on drinking in bars? (credit for this idea goes to my patriot father)

A great perspective can be found at http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=22149.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Robsrant

Are Mormon’s Evil or Just Misguided?

The political season is well underway. With Iowa and New Hampshire out of the way, the fun really begins!

I have heard it from many sources and talk shows regarding Mitt Romney and his choice of religion and how we shouldn’t discriminate him because he’s a Mormon. I ask, why not? If you don’t agree with his religious views, why not nicely disagree? You don’t have to be nasty, just disagree with his views. I know many Mormon’s and they are some of the best people on earth, but that doesn’t mean I agree with their religious beliefs. If I really did, I would be a member of the LDS church and not the church I attend.

When Mike Huckabee recently made a comment about the Mormon beliefs, he was skewered. Why? Can’t we bring up these issues in the United States of America?

I for one am very tired of being told that I am a bigot and a Mormonfobe (my term) for not accepting Mitt’s religion. We as American’s have cowtowed to the PC crowd so much that we can’t even have a civil discussion and/or disagreement without being labeled unfairly. Now that’s unamerican!

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant