Which Two Industries Suck Most at Customer Service?

Want to know why Net Neutrality is dangerous? Forget the Constitutional stuff. That's important, but most people don't care. Seriously. As soon as you mention the Constitution or mercantilism, the 99% walk away.

And the remaining 1% already agree with you.

No, the way to scare people about Net Neutrality is this chart from Statista:

Infographic: Which Industries Have The Worst Customer Service?  | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

The only thing worse than Comcast's customer service? Comcast's customer service regulated by the federal government.

Net Neutrality is the happy name of a plan to make the second-worst customer service even worse.

Which Barack Obama is Right?

  A genius is someone who can hold contrary concepts simultaneously in mind.

What, then, do we call a person who simultaneously argues two contrary concepts?

obama

How ‘bout “demagogue?”

A few weeks ago, Barack Obama told America’s business owners that they are not responsible for their success.  “Someone else built that.”

Today, the same Obama told Mitt Romney that there not many people who consider themselves victims.

Does Mr. Obama believe that people in dire straights are not victims of circumstances? It seems so. Obama’s telling us that if you succeed, it’s because someone else helped you, but if you fail, you fail on your own.

If that is Obama’s meaning, then his idea of cradle-to-grave government dependency would be, simply, immoral. You don’t systematically reward people who repeatedly fail.

I’d like to welcome Mr. Obama to the world of people who believe we are masters of our domains. But we know Mr. Obama is a demagogue, arguing both sides of the same point to secure himself another four years of dictatorial rule.

 

How Government Growth Creates Scrooges

Scrooge’s nephew left the office and let in two men in the process. They came to ask for a donation for London’s poor.

"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."

"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.

"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"

"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."

"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Scrooge.

"Both very busy, sir."

"Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course," said Scrooge. "I'm very glad to hear it."

"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?"

"Nothing!" Scrooge replied.

--Dickens, Charles (2004-08-11). A Christmas Carol (pp. 5-6). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

Liberals, of course, consider Scrooge the quintessential Republican. Scrooge cared only for himself. He was a miser. His miserliness made him miserable, bent, and twisted. 

humbug-scrooge

Of course, this liberal view of Scrooge lacks consideration. It misses the fundamental flaw in 19th century English government meddling. 

Is Scrooge’s attitude so different from most American’s? Do we really take it upon ourselves to help those in need?  Are we, as individuals or groups, trying to build a better society?

Or do we say, “let the government take care of it?”

Government largesse only encourages misers like Scrooge to remain miserly. The debtors’ prisons and Union workhouses lent Scrooge an easy out.  “That’s what government’s for.”

The traditional American view of the good society differs wildly from Scrooges; the welfare state’s view does not.

When it comes to certain topics—sex, drugs, profanity, modest dress—we often hear, “you can’t legislate morality.”  Why do we never hear that about charity?  Isn’t welfare simply government’s attempt to force a moral viewpoint on society?

And doesn’t it fail as surely as attempts to dictate skirt-lengths or song lyrics?

Good societies result from good people. All legislation is moral, but legislation can’t change men’s hearts.

The After Party is St. Louis Tea Party’s attempt to repair the fabric of society—a fabric left to rot as we turned to government for solutions to problems that can and should be handled by local communities, charitable organizations, and states.

That’s not to say that government, at every level, must withdraw from charitable programs. Rather, the Constitution provides no authority to Washington. And local programs tend to trump distant ones precisely because the benefactor and beneficiary live, work, and worship together.

While the Tea Party is not a charity, it does have the tools to make stronger, healthier human bonds.  These bonds give us all resources for handling tough times. 

More importantly, these bonds encourage us to look at each other as human beings. And we’re more likely to help fellow human beings than we are to give up another tax dollar to a bureaucracy that loses and wastes more money than returns to the needy.

By the way, the two gentlemen soliciting donations said something you’ll never hear from a Washington bureaucrat.  Did you catch it?

Jefferson on Debt

With the debt ceiling negotiations closing in, it’s worth looking to Thomas Jefferson. ThomasJefferson250

Jefferson was very opposed to federal government borrowing.  (He was less concerned with states borrowing.)  What I love about the quote below is Jefferson’s concern for leisure time. 

"To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers . [emphasis added]"

--Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:39

Pay a mortgage? Have student loans? Make a car payment?  Then you might know what Jefferson was talking about.  Debt limits your freedom. You work to pay off the debt, not to live a better life. While you might be perfectly happy selling sea shells you hunted and painted by hand, you cannot. You must work for the man to earn the wage to repay the debts.

These obligations, of course, are your own. If you feel trapped by debt, you trapped yourself.

Government debt, however, enslaves us just as surely. Yet we had little choice in the matter. In many cases, we opposed the borrowing that now forces us to labor.  Our children were born into this financial slavery, and their children will be. 

Free the children.

Separation of Press and State

Borrowing liberally from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, let’s adopt this manifesto of our resolve to keep the government from taking over (via voluntary non-profit status) the free press in the United States:

Americans have more publishing freedom than any people in world history. We can choose what to read; what to teach our children; how, where and when to write; which causes to give money to; or even whether we want to get involved with the news at all. We have the separation of press and state to thank for this broadly based freedom.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says: “Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….” Most Americans have interpreted this clause to mean that the press and government must stay separate for the benefit of both.

Press-state separation has worked very well in practice. Americans freely support an array of newspapers, television networks, web sites, and other publishing institutions, our nation is media diverse and many opinions exist side by side with remarkably little conflict. Our government treats people of all media (and none) equally.

When our nation’s Founders separated the press and government, it was a revolutionary experiment. That experiment has been an extraordinary success. It’s made us the envy of the world, and Americans United wants to make sure that wise policy continues.

By bailing out Big Media, Congress and the Obama administration threaten to destroy that separation, to tear down that wall, to collapse the freedoms the media in America have enjoyed.  Proposals in Congress and in the White House would turn many newspapers like the New York Times and the Boston Globe into arms of the government.  Through the state-run media, administrations would be free to wage propaganda wars. No one would know what’s real and what’s government spin.  For example, the New York Times could report a “scientific consensus” that humans are causing the Earth’s temperature to rise even though no evidence exists to support that claim.

During the post-9/11 wars, the free press provided a check on government assertions of dangers from Islamofascist terrorists.  The press informed us that the WMD menace in Iraq was overstated.  Without a free, independent press, we might never have learned of these facts. Instead, the Bush administration would simply have typed out the NYT’s stories, keeping us in the dark about the truth.

Think government ownership of the press would be tolerable?  Think again. Already, Democrats Feinstein and Durbin are proposing legislation to make it easier for the U.S. government to prosecute conservative bloggers.  And Democrat Harry Waxman is preparing to propose legislation for a government takeover of newspapers.

Not in my country.  If we have to live with a strict, draconian interpretation of the First Amendment regarding religion, then we damn well demand the same separation of press and state.