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

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

The Power of Stuff

Having an economy based on consumption, funded by debt, and promoted by entitlements has turned this industrialized nation into one without industry.  The trade deficit is a manufacturing deficit, a debt of production.  America no longer makes anything, an exaggeration, of course, but one of proportional truth.  Public sector jobs now surpass production.  Service jobs exponentially out number manufacturing.  (Remember: every public sector job is a service job.)   While some services are a necessity, the spoiled “serve me” attitude will cause our success to lead to our failure.  We have taken the tangible for granted, placed value on the unnecessary, and forgotten how blessed we are as a nation.  The foundation of our economy has been chipped away by labor unions, shaken by government meddling, and demonized by an ungrateful workforce.  A quick lesson for those who demand that corporations, manufacturers, and small businesses act in good faith:  If you want a friend, be one — or jobs may become our only export.

November 5, 2010 Posted by | on Economics, on Government, on Society | , , , , , , , , , | 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

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

Oxymorons on the Left

If the product isn’t selling, change the label.  The rhetoric of the left is intentionally misleading.  The names leftist groups use to label themselves or laws are deliberately deceiving, the guile disguised in a pretty package.  Take a piece of liberal legislation, select one of the three thousand pages, water it down, sugar coat it, leave it half-baked at 180 degrees and you’ll have the title of the bill they are trying to sell to the American people and the congressmen who will never read it.  One current example is the Cap and Trade bill, inaptly named The American Power Act.  This un-American bill will restrict power, benefit other countries, and only empower regulators.   If only we could get the FDA to put requirements on the labels for what Washington is trying to shove down our throats.

May 26, 2010 Posted by | on Government, on Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Will it Continue to Burn?

Federal housing regulations poured out the gasoline and made the financial markets flammable.  96% of home mortgages are now backed by the federal government.  With extremely low-interest rates and government refinance programs, risky paper is being pulled out the markets and moved to Uncle Sam’s back pocket.  His pants are now on fire and he is accusing Wall Street of arson; his new wardrobe to be purchased by the tax payers.  The proposed reforms contain no oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who continue to play with matches.  The current bill punishes those that didn’t start the fire.  When mixing government and the markets, the compound is combustible.  A new bureaucracy does little to protect investors or tax payers.  Just look at the failed oversight by the SEC.  The laws are already on the books, and bureaucrats, to be polite, had “other priorities”.  The American people were failed by a government agency that didn’t do its job; another tax payer funded entity is the last thing needed.  Burn me once, shame on you…

April 24, 2010 Posted by | on Economics, on Government, on Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment