Reason.com has a new video on it, spoofing UPS’ white board ad campaign. And with an interesting spin on the issue at the end. (Hint: The real evil doer is neither UPS nor FedEx.)
Balanced Budgets, Congress, Economy, Fleecing the Taxpayers, Government Spending, health care, Liberty, Taxation / No Comments
Nearly every argument in favor of universal (socialized) health care includes the premis that it is a “right.” But according to the U.S. Constiution, this is not so. Geoff Lawrence over at NPRI explains why by giving us a brief lesson (via the writings of John Locke) about how the Constitution does not in fact support “positive rights.” If you wish to effectively debate someone on health care reform (or any other entitlement program), you must understand this fundamental concept. I recommend that you read Geoff’s whole post, but here’s the opener to give you a taste:
In the ongoing debate over health care reform, I continue to hear pundits on the left claim that health care is a right. Yet, this notion that government exists to guarantee “positive rights” such as free health care completely misunderstands the development of constitutional government.
The entire notion of constitutional government can be traced to John Locke’s Second Treatise. Here it is explained that all men are endowed with a set of natural rights which include: life, liberty and property. In order to protect those rights, civilized individuals agree to a “social contract” in order to form a government whose primary purpose is to protect the rights of individuals. This is done by empowering government to restrain the actions of others (such as theft, physical violence, etc.) that might directly infringe on your own natural rights. Hence the expression “Your rights end where someone else’s begin.”
The primary problem with the concept of “positive rights” is that the purpose of government changes from protecting the natural rights of individuals to actively infringing upon those rights. Any requirement for government to provide individuals with a certain amount of goods means that those goods must first be confiscated from society – which is a limit on the natural right to control property.
For a wonderful treatise on why the government should not be in the business of deciding whether or how much to take from us in order to give to select others, read this story that was told on the House floor by Davy Crockett when he was serving as a U.S. Representative from Tennessee. It concerned two votes on spending bills and the temptation of Congress to distribute money that was not their own for “charitable” purposes.
Our federal and state legislatures, as well as the Oval Office, have too long been staffed by too many people who do not understand nor support our rights and protections as they ought to exist according to our Constitution. Through the increasing willingness of we, the citizenry, to allow government to do what we, as individuals, ought to be doing – helping and giving to the poor and needy as we are able and as we feel called to do – we have permitted our great Republic to become a tax-laden “social democracy” that reduces rather than protects our prosperity and freedom.
On May 23, 1857, in a letter to an American friend, Lord Thomas MacCauley wrote: “A democracy cannot survive as a permanent form of government. It can last only until its citizens discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority (who vote) will vote for those candidates promising the greatest benefits from the public purse, with the result that a democracy will always collapse from loose fiscal policies, always followed by a dictatorship.”
Are we there yet? Not quite, but I fear we are getting dangerously close. Educate yourselves, good people, and let us find ways to speak out and persuade others before this great Republic devolves into a pitiful excuse for the nation it once was.
So have you heard about the FedEx v. UPS cagefight over a new bill that would put FedEx drivers in the same category as every other package delivery driver in the country, including those at UPS? (Hint: UPS is wearing the “Yes” shorts; FedEx the “No.”)
The outcome of the bill, if passed, is that the U.S. government would start treating the two biggest package delivery companies in the land – both of which use air and ground transportation to provide their worthy services – equally by placing their operations under the same federal labor laws.
On its anti-UPS, anti-HR 915 website, FedEx says the change would “force the world’s most efficient airline to operate under trucking rules that have never applied to airlines.”
Um… Let’s pause for a quick poll by show of hands: How many think of FedEx primarily as an airline? And how many think of FedEx as a package delivery company? Yeah, me too.
However, when FedEx was originally founded, it was deemed an airline because it flew important documents between cities. So, in a stroke of typical government-level genius, its employees were placed under the Railway Labor Act (RLA). (A serious re-write of those labor laws was overdue even then, but…) FedEx remained under this classification even as the company shifted into the package delivery business. Which happened after the invention of the fax machine.
So along comes a bill (H.R. 915) which would keep FedEx Express’s airline employees under the Railway Labor Act – like the employees of other airlines – while moving its truck drivers (and ONLY its truck drivers!) over to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) with all the other unionized, non-airborn truck drivers in the industry. Like the UPS drivers. And FedEx is having a hissy fit over it.
We’ll get back to FedEx’s specific objections in a sec, but first you should know this:
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for 2007, American Airlines has zero “Transport Related” employees (truck drivers). And United, Delta, Southwest, USAirways and Continental have zero truck drivers. Northwest has 165 truck drivers. And Mesa has 4. But Express Jet, Sky West, American Eagle, Jet Blue, Comair, Airtran and Alaska also have zero truck drivers. Heck, even UPS, which owns a lot of planes, has zero truck drivers – in its airline operations.
And how many drivers does the “world’s most efficient airline” (FedEx) have? 86,979.
And WHY does FedEx – which is digging its claws into its airline status like a crazed cat clinging to the nearest leg – have 86,000-ish more truck drivers in its “airline” operation than the top 20 U.S. airlines combined? Because, FedEx says, its drivers are “integrated” into its air operations and, therefore, employees who drive packages around town after they arrive at the airport should be considered airline employees.
Sort of like you are “integrated” into airport operations when you take a cab to your hotel, a limo to your party, or your car to your house. Right? No? Well, what about the handful of airline trucks that carry stuff from the planes to the hangar or a nearby airport warehouse? Oh – you say those ARE an “integrated part” of an airline because they are driving around IN OR NEAR the airport? Yes, that does make sense.
So, what about the FedEx driver, who, just like the UPS driver, fills his truck with a bunch of packages at the aiport and then drives all over the state delivering them? Isn’t he about as “integrated” with airline ops as the UPS driver who does the same damn thing off the back of a UPS plane? And doesn’t it seem unfair that he still has “special” status because of an archaic law and outdated labor categorization?
This prizefight is expected to go 5 rounds. I’m with the guy in the “Yes” shorts.
You can check out this site for more on this and related issues. I’m sure Comments would be appreciated.
And for the FedEx propaganda, go here and give your three cents as well. Personally, I’ve always loved UPS’ guy-with-the-brown-marker on the whiteboard TV ads. And FedEx has irritated me by ripping it off in an attempt to smear UPS. So, guess what FedEx?! I will be sure to use UPS – and only UPS – from now on no matter WHAT happens with H.R. 915. And I’ll tell anyone who will listen why they ought to do the same.
Put that in your 86,979 truck tailpipes and smoke it!
Barack Obama, Congress, Corruption in Politics, Economy, Fleecing the Taxpayers, government bailouts, Government Spending, OMG, Tax Day Tea Party, Taxation / No Comments
If you can stomach it, Americans for Tax Reform has a recap of all the major fiscal and tax-related events since Inauguration Day.
Title: Obama’s First 100 Days: Higher Spending. More Debt. New Taxes. Broken Promises.
Yep, that about sums it up.
Just a snippet:
Day 1 — January 20: In his Inaugural address, President Obama makes a noteworthy commitment to the American taxpayer:
“And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”
Day 41 — March 1: The Obama administration foreshadows another broken promise when Peter Orszag, appearing on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, claims the 8,000 earmarks in the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 are “last year’s business. We just need to move on.” The statement by Orszag in not consistent with Obama’s campaign promise made in the first presidential debate:
“And, absolutely, we need earmark reform. And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.” (Sept. 26, 2008. First Presidential Debate, Oxford, Miss.)
Balanced Budgets, Congress, Economy, Fleecing the Taxpayers, Government Spending / No Comments
If you can, call and urge these NV legislators to vote against the budget:
Sen. Reid 202-224-3542
Sen. Ensign 202-224-6244
Rep. Heller 202-225-6155
Numbers for the “Mod Squad” in the Senate:
Evan Bayh (IN): 202-224-5623
Mark Begich (AK): 202-224-3004
Michael Bennet (CO): 202-224-5852
Thomas Carper (DE): 202-224-2441
Kay Hagan (NC): 202-224-6342
Claire McCaskill (MO): 202-224-6154
Mary Landrieu (LA): 202-224-5824
Joe Lieberman (CT): 202-224-4041
Ben Nelson (NE): 202-224-6551
Jeanne Shaheen (NH): 202-224-2841
Also… these Republicans are on the fence:
Arlen Specter (PA): 202-224-4254
Olympia Snowe (ME): 202-224-5344
Balanced Budgets, Barack Obama, Congress, Corruption in Politics, Fleecing the Taxpayers / No Comments
If you think – after the AIG/Bailout/Stimulus fiasco – that you can stomach listening to Pelosi, Reid, Durbin, Frank, Dodd, and others pledging their faith in Obama’s commitment to restraint, accountability, and transparency, check out this video of compiled statements.
Hat Tip: Ericka Andersen and www.GOP.gov
Balanced Budgets, Barack Obama, Congress, Corruption and Greed, Economy, Fleecing the Taxpayers, government bailouts, Government Spending, Harry Reid / No Comments
Yesterday 18 free market and limited government leaders released a letter urging the Senate to reject “the Bill.”
And Rasumussen reported that more Americans oppose the $1.2 trillion (including intest) bill than support it. Here are some blurbs:
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 37% favor the legislation, 43% are opposed, and 20% are not sure.
Opposition has grown from 34% two weeks ago to 39% last week and 43% today.
Sixty-four percent (64%) of Democrats still support the plan. That figure is down from 74% a week ago. Just 13% of Republicans and 27% of those not affiliated with either major party agree.
Seventy-two percent (72%) of Republicans oppose the plan along with 50% of unaffiliated voters and 16% of Democrats.
Meanwhile Congressional Republicans doubt whether the bill will save or create the 3 to 4 million jobs Obama and the Dems claim.
The bill is full of pork and nonsense and needs to be scrapped.