The Dems on Display

The Top 20 candidates speak up  

 

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (July 3, 2019)

Of all the news this past week, the most intriguing may be the two “debates” featuring the Top 20 Democratic candidates for president. It’s interesting to take a look at these politicians as a group.

Overview

The Top 20 candidates for the Democrat nomination for president showed their coalescence around a list of positions which favor a gargantuan increase in the power of the federal government. Generally, they advocate government takeover of health care, education, personal finances, seashore housing (in the name of climate control), and energy, in addition to increased government regulation of  big business. No matter what the problem, they propose that the federal government has the obligation to solve it. Even to “fixing” the economies of Central American countries, although it is hard to understand what they mean by that short of US invasion as in Panama – which no one seems to advocate.

This list of their political positions arises from their ability to see victims wherever they look. “75% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck.” “The majority of Americans don’t make a living wage.” “22 million Americans have no access to health care.” “America is a racist society, which is also biased against women, gay people, immigrants, all minorities (except maybe Asians), poor people, and homeless people – to name a few.”

Justice for this country of victims can be found in the pristine wisdom of the federal government. All we have to do is authorize that government to raise taxes – for some that means up to 70% + of income for federal taxes – on top of state and local taxes, for a total of 80-90% of income. Then the blessed feds will design and enforce programs to bring justice to all the victims in America – plus everyone else in the world who succeeds in coming across our borders. We won’t be crowded; after all the federal government already owns more than a third of US landmass so they can just open the parks, deserts  and mountains to development. Keep Reading

Tariff, taxes and turmoil

Trump’s strategies too unorthodox for the opposition                                                                                                    

                  

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (June 23, 2019)

Every time the pundits predict the next move in President Trump’s many negotiations, he does something unexpected. He warns Iraq not to close the Straits of  Hormuz, so he is a warmonger. Then he cancels a military strike for humanitarian considerations, so he is a coward. Then he piles on sanctions, so he is scaring the Ayatollahs into desperation, which will lead to war.

This all happened in three days! At the same time, he scheduled then postponed a token round-up of convicted illegal trespassers from foreign countries in ten cities, seven of which are “sanctuary cities” –which was well received presumably to assert federal precedence over local ordinances. Also, he sent an undisclosed letter, which was well received, to North Korea’s Kim Jung Un.

All this amid preparations for a meeting this coming weekend with China’s President Xi Jinping to seek progress in the trade war with China. If nothing else, no one can accuse this President of not attending to business.

So, how to evaluate this whirlwind President? A few things have become clear by this time. For one thing, he clearly judges himself on accomplishments, rather than promises. This ethic is common in the world of business, but not in politics. Thus his impressive list of “promises kept” fails to impress the Washington establishment which focuses on a myopic view of the very few issues of its immediate concern. So the Democrats are most interested in impeaching the President regardless of his record. The Neo-Conservatives (“Never Trumpers”) are critical of his reluctance to use military force. The anti-gun lobby can think only of his support for citizens bearing arms. Minorities have been fed a narrative accusing the President of being a white racist in spite of the lack of evidence to support this allegation.

And so it goes. The Washington political elite have prospered under the policies and customs which have prevailed since President Eisenhower, and there is no love for outliers like Reagan and Trump. In their view, presidents are supposed to consult the accepted “experts” on the various issues which come across their desk, follow their advice, make appointments from their ranks, and advocate policies of war and peace which allow them to prosper.

Trump does none of these things. He is largely unpredictable. What the opposition resents more than anything else perhaps is the fact that they are not part of the decision-making process. In fact, they are so far removed that they don’t even understand the thinking behind most of his actions. They are quick to impute motives and make solemn judgement  ad hoc on anything he says or does. But events usually prove them wrong. All the proof needed for this can be found on the editorial pages of the New York Times or CNN broadcasts. (The broadcast networks tend to bury Trump news – except on Sunday morning.)

What we do know is that President Trump is a risk-taker. He has wagered his re-election on winning the trade war with China. If he does not succeed in coming to some kind of trade accommodation with China, his credibility will be seriously damaged. This confrontation has become the signature initiative of his presidency thus far. Lost to the concern about the tariffs is what he has achieved already in standing up to China as the first U.S. president to do so. If a deal with China is worked out, the North Korean stand-off may very well follow, since the North Koreans cannot prevail against both the U.S. and China.

If Mr. Trump succeeds in these two initiatives, his will be considered by historians as a truly transformative presidency and the 21st century will be another “American century”. If he fails, and then loses a second term, the establishment will resume power and the USA may follow the same fate in the 21st century as did the British Empire in the 20th century, when the inevitable rise of China consigns the USA to a gradual decline into a second-class power.

 

© 2019 Richfield Press LLC. All rights reserved.

Who needs fathers?

Are fathers obsolete?                                                         

By Dr. Larry Fedewa

After a generation of “free love”, unlimited abortions, increases in divorce, single mothers, unwed mothers, single sex parents, and fatherless children, it may be a good idea to re-visit the concept of fatherhood. For those who are unfamiliar with the term: a father is first of all a man, not a woman. A father is a man who is committed to his wife and who is willing to proclaim publicly and legally that commitment through a marriage ceremony. A father is a man who also has publicly and legally committed to support for any children who may be born of that union. Finally, a father is a man who has undertaken to maintain these commitments for life, through good times and hard times, “until death do us part.”   Keep Reading

Capitalism and Judeo-Christian values

Capitalism is funded on the Judeo-Christian value of equality

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (June 9, 2019)

I cannot leave the topic of the wealth gap in today’s America without commenting on the most fundamental factor in the origin and the evolution of Western capitalism. That factor is the existence of Judeo-Christian values.

It is not an accident that capitalism originated and owes its development as well as its endurance through the past millennium in a civilization dominated for much of that time by the Judeo-Christian religion. The most unique and the most fundamental standard of that ethic is the equality of all human beings in the sight of God. Thus we all have equal rights to salvation, to justice and to the fruits of the earth.

Capitalism is founded on this principle of equality. Without it there would be no reason for an economic system which provides a means of distributing the goods of the earth to as many people as earn possession. The foundation of capitalism is the concept of private property. As an economic system, capitalism provides the conditions for acquiring and keeping private property. These conditions are expressed in money, the language of capitalism, and they are protected by a legal system which is intended to treat all with respect. The use of money instead of goods or services, as in a system of bartering, has made practical the accumulation of value, which is called “capital” from which the name of the system is derived. Keep Reading

The moral case for profit-sharing (part II)

“To whom much is given, much is expected.” (Luke 12:48)

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (June 2, 2019)

Last week we discussed the antecedents of the current movement toward corporate social responsibility and the Conscious Capitalist movement and also the paradigm on which a moral claim can be made for a re-definition of “workers’ rights” with respect to workers’ share of the company’s profits. Keep Reading

Conscious Capitalism: The Moral Case

Updating workers’ rights 

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (May 25, 2019)

Until now, we have been exploring the case for Conscious Capitalism on the basis of economic necessity. It is clear that the strength (68%) of America’s economy is based on consumer demand. Most of the consumer purchases in America are bought by the families of the middle class, because there are more of them and because their needs tend to cover a wide spectrum of goods and services. It is therefore critical that a majority of Americans have enough money to buy an ever-increasing supply of consumer goods and services if our economic engine is to keep on growing. Keep Reading

Conscious Capitalism: Ready for prime time?

Breaking out of the pack!

 

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (May 18,2019)

I confess that I have caught the fervor of a convert to a new movement. As I write, speak and broadcast about Conscious Capitalism, I feel like Paul Revere as I keep hearing “Wow! I never heard of Conscious Capitalism but it sure sounds like the answer to a lot of our problems!” Among others, this is the reaction of my fellow talk show hosts who are generally very well informed.

On the other hand, however, the reform of Capitalism is much discussed and written about. Some examples from Amazon’s Books: Joel Solomon’s “Clean Money – reinventing power, purpose and capitalism”; Frederic Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations, and Everybody Matters by Bob Chapman with Raj Sisodia (love that title).  Keep Reading

Workers’ rights in the 21st century: Unions and Conscious Capitalism

Do unions still have a place at the table?     

 

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (May 12, 2019)

“Conscious Capitalism” promotes the most expansive view of workers’ rights ever to be advocated by corporate management  in the history of capitalism. At last, workers are accorded the respect due to major stakeholders in the organization, whether a corporate giant or an entrepreneurial start-up. Almost always this means sharing in the profits of the company if not outright  stock ownership.

This view of the business flows from an idealistic definition of the enterprise which includes, among other things, the function of profits as a necessary means to a greater good. The greater good is the mission of the firm as providing a community service through the sale of its goods or services. Conscious Capitalism challenges everyone in the organization to contribute to  the fulfillment of this mission and provides the resources to do so.

Conscious Capitalists also tend to be anti-union. Keep Reading

Me and Joe

How will Mr. Biden rebuild the middle class?

 

 

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (April 30, 2019)

As our regular listeners and readers know, I have been talking about the “wealth gap” between the 1% of Americans — who control as much as 80% of America’s wealth —  and the rest of us for the past several weeks. In a consumer-dominated economy (68% of GDP), the major consumers are the middle class. If the buying power of the middle Americans continues to be eaten away by inflation, the economy will begin to contract, and recession becomes more likely and more severe than anything seen in America since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. So, my conclusion is that something has to be done to increase the wealth of the middle class.

I’m pleased to note that former Vice President Joe Biden has taken this issue as his campaign theme! He has not yet told us how he intends to rebuild the middle class. We shall have to see about that. Keep Reading

Janus vs. AFSCME: A New Beginning

A new interpretation of workers’ rights

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (April 13, 2019)               
My first experience with a union came when I represented the newsroom’s intention to hold a vote for a union to the publisher of a national weekly newspaper. I had a summer job there after my first year as a high school teacher.
Later, as a training developer, I wrote, produced, and oversaw one of the largest industrial training programs in history for the Railway Labor Executives’ Association (a council of all major rail union presidents). I also executed major projects for the Federal Railroad Administration, AMTRAK, Conrail, and others. Still later, I worked very closely with the National Education Association, the professional teachers’ union in a major joint venture, a national research project, and addresses to two national conventions.
The reason I mention all this background is to establish my position as an ardent supporter of the labor movement. My comments come from a position of firm commitment to the need for workers to take their place at any table which determines their welfare.
The occasion of this attention to the labor movement is this week’s Supreme Court decision in Janus versus AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees). Not only do I agree with the decision, I also think it is good for the unions. On the first count, I agree that “freedom of assembly” also means freedom to say “no”. Otherwise, it is not free.

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