The Virtual Vitamin

A Daily Dose of Insight and Common Sense

Dam Government Obstructs Economy

Subsidies, regulations, tax credits and write-offs, …  Why is it okay for the government to pick winners and losers in industry, business, finance, research, or agriculture?  To manipulate by loosening the purse strings?  Supplement entire industries in the name of the greater good?  Even with the best of intentions, it is not the role of government to be a catalyst in the marketplace.  For far too long we have let Washington redirect true economic progress and we are now on a collision course with reality.  Only the free-market can correct the route we are on.  The momentum of growth will take the path of least resistance.  We should not be surprised at the cesspool on Wall St.  We have allowed the invasion to meddle and fester.  If the economy is stagnant, it is because government is in the way.

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June 17, 2011 Posted by | on Economics, on Government | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Pendulum Swings

For every natural action there is an equal and opposite reaction, an ebb and flow, a balance created to sustain the natural order.  Political influence over the markets has rapidly grown, becoming a wrecking ball that collides with the economy.  An attempt to manipulate the markets with outside forces only creates instability, chaos, and inhibits recovery.  Although carefully contrived, coercion only impedes improvement.  Regulations, stimulation, subsidies, policies, programs, bailouts, and mandates are hollow investments that will push down on the economy with the same force of their initial influence.  The weight of government burdens push and pull against the system not allowing it to self-correct.  The result:  a weaker, artificial economy, never as good as the real thing.  True revitalization has to come from within, without intervention.  The economy needs stability, predictability, and reassurance, not so-called progress getting in the way.  An authentic recovery must come from consumers, not politicians who curse gravity, denying that sometimes the best thing to do is… nothing.  If every time you hit a guy he only hits back harder, maybe you should stop hitting him.

March 23, 2011 Posted by | on Economics, on Government | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snakes in the Grass

They only start out small…

Hybrid super snakes plague more than just the Everglades.  The serpents have evolved and migrated all the way to D.C.  Government control has woven itself around almost every aspect of our lives and our economy.  Regulation is going to strangle this country to death, as it squeezes tighter with every piece of newly passed legislation.  It’s already grown bigger than the legislators who think they can control it, and the charmers should realize it may turn on them when it has a new master.  If it doesn’t get put back in its cage by November of 2012, it will swallow us whole.

January 26, 2011 Posted by | on Economics, on Government | , , , | Leave a comment

In-N-Out vs. Sonic

The fast food philosophies couldn’t be farther apart.  It comes down to choice and whether or not you want to make one.  No one sits forever at In-N-Out unable to make a decision.  You can count the possible items on one hand.  Of course there are a few insider options for those who know the system, but their entire menu would be legible on a postage stamp.  Sonic’s menu could fill a billboard in 12 pt. font.  It has over 168,000 drink combinations, not including shakes and coffee drinks.  Breakfast is served all day and you can customize every combo, burger, coney, sandwich, wrap, salad, side order (way to many to list), or dessert.  You can run down a car battery with just the radio on well before you’ve read all the options (so there are lots of pictures).  This extraordinary country was founded on the principle of freedom.  Freedom comes from being able to make our own choices: on religion, political opinion, education, health care, and even what we eat.  Don’t get me wrong, I love In-N-Out, and would choose an In-N-Out burger over a Sonic burger every time, but I don’t always want a burger.  I’m glad I still live in a country where I have the power to make my own decisions, even if they are not always the best ones for me.  We need to encourage competition, reduce the red tape, and eliminate unconstitutional regulations that give preferences to or punish certain businesses or industries.  The consumer is smart enough to make the big (and little) decisions when given the choice.  Capitalism allows us to learn from our mistakes, rather than be restricted from making any.

January 25, 2011 Posted by | on Economics, on Government, on Life, on Society | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Re-discovering America

America is now defining its future.  The nation is reaching self-actualization and the debate continues as to who we want to be.  The crossroads have never been this strongly defined.  Is government the solution or part of the problem?  Do we believe in the sovereignty of the United States or in global governance?  Do we believe in state sovereignty or relinquishing authority to the federal level?  Do we respect and value the individual or only the collective?  Are we a nation of laws?  Is justice blind?  Are all men created equal?  Do we believe in the free market system?  Do we stop passing debt to the next generation?  Do we expect value in our currency?  Do we believe the people are better stewards than the government?  Should success be based on merit?  Do we believe in personal responsibility or expanding entitlements?  Do we believe in freedom of the press?  Freedom to worship?  Should we have citizen legislators or a ruling class of elites?  Do we follow the pioneering American spirit?  Do we continue to take the road less traveled?  — We know where the Left one leads.

November 6, 2010 Posted by | on Economics, on Government, on Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Federal Steroids Stunting Job Growth

The results of temporarily strengthening the economy with artificial gains have long-term negative effects.  The unhealthy economic atmosphere created by over-regulation caps the benefits of hiring.  Health insurance, worker’s comp., stricter requirements for larger businesses, and the unknown impacts of proposed legislation all limit expansion and deter entrepreneurship.  Innovation, improvements, and new industry are caged in red tape and government assistance programs.  It requires so many private sector jobs to support a single government salary, especially when government workers make about 40% more for doing that same job.  The government should not be in the investment business.  We need good stewards, not better brokers with our tax dollars.  It’s time to get off the juice.

June 7, 2010 Posted by | on Economics, on Government, on Taxes | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unions: The Dreaded Group Project

The most miserable of classroom assignments:  there are always those who do the majority of the work, those who sleep on the job, those frustrated because their opinion doesn’t matter, and everyone shares in the graded outcome.  Unions have stifled economic growth, suppressed innovation, and weakened the workforce.  The workers only have the rights that labor legislation and the union permit.  A person’s rights are surrendered to the union, and an individual has no right to choose representation, ask for a raise, or negotiate on their own behalf.  Wages and benefits are decided by union contracts based on the collective; there is no meritocracy.  Collective rights leave no liberty to the individual, no freedom to succeed, and no motivation to move beyond the mediocre.  Those who don’t join the union are still dominated by it.  Exclusive representation, fixed wages, and dues are still required.  Their only difference:  no union vote.  The real “free-riders” are those who benefit from the talent and work ethic of others.  Employees should sink or swim based on their own merits, rather than forcing everyone into the same boat.  The government, courts, and unions, all try to answer the question, “What is fair?”  Isn’t the individual worker the best person to decide what is in their best interest?  This current system is pass/fail.  We need the opportunity to surpass the set standards and achieve excellence.

June 5, 2010 Posted by | on Economics, on Government | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Difference Between Capitalism and Capitol-ism

If the market is in recovery, it is in spite of the stimulus, manipulation, and over-regulation by the government and not because of it.  It only shows the resolve of the American people and corporations, our ability to adapt, our survival instinct, and our innate pursuit of happiness.  We will keep going, keep striving for true progress, and keep disputing the oppressive power of the government over enterprise. We need a rightful separation of commerce and state.  Oversight is now overstepping.  It has gone from market protection to market manipulation, and continues on to market control.  The excessive regulation power has become corrupt.  Almost 3.5 billion dollars were spent on federal lobbying last year, proof that influence may be bought, and that amount keeps climbing.  Legislators need to be reminded of who they work for.  Campaigns may be financed, but our votes cannot be bought.  The American people are not on the take.

June 4, 2010 Posted by | on Economics, on Government, on Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Insider Legislating

Washington insiders create the plumbing framework behind the scenes and then use legislation to turn on the water.  To adjust the faucet they pass laws, use regulation, and award government contracts.   They manipulate the tax code and federal spending, put provisions on health care, and now we have the epitome of government serving self-interest in the cap-and-trade legislation.  Those in power are financially investing in the agenda, influencing the outcome, and will soon be collecting the money that comes flowing in if it passes.  While the rest of the country is facing a drought, the government is threatening to crimp the hose.  Washington wanting to regulate Wall St. is simply the accusation of a guilty conscience, or maybe corruption just doesn’t like competition.

June 1, 2010 Posted by | on Economics, on Government, on Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Candidate Catch 22

Those we need to run for political office are both honest and smart enough not to.  The electorate is desperate to back a candidate who doesn’t even want to be on the ballot.  They know the responsibility and sacrifice that comes with servant leadership and surrendered authority.  They value family, prior commitments, and making a difference where they are.  We are now pleading for those with the integrity and intelligence we need to represent us, to step out of their comfort zones and step up to the plate.   For those who seek truth above power.

May 31, 2010 Posted by | on Government, on Politics, on Society | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment