The Sixth Day
Thursday, January 29, 2009
  Pelosi and Family Planning
ABC's THIS WEEK:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.

My Comments:
This may be the most Hitler-like statement ever made by a U.S. politician. Eliminating children (Hitler called unproductive people "useless eaters"), is not the road to economic growth. Any economist will tell you that population growth is one of the key conditions for economic growth.

It may seem like a short-term solution because of the costs of educating and caring for children, but in the long run, children grow up and become producers. Over a lifetime, each person produces many times more than they consume.

Europe, faces a bleak economic future because of a declining population. The taxes to pay government, especially social insurance for the elderly, can only come from a growing labor force. This problem will devastate Europe in the next forty years.

You are probably familiar with the concept of exponential growth, that is growth that becomes faster and faster in numerical terms even though the percentage change is the same every year. What you may not realize is that populations also decline along an exponential path when the birth rate is not sufficient for replacement. That is to say, it begins slowly and then grows at a faster and faster rate every year.

My recollection is that in Italy the birth rate is 1.2 children per woman versus a replacement rate of 2.1. If present trends persist (they have been in place for years), then by 2050 Europe will have lost one third of its population. Do you think we have a crises in the U.S. partly because of an excess of houses over demand? What do you think it is like in Europe and what will be like going forward?

I understand that politicians have a hard time thinking past the next election, but providing "services" to lower birth rates is a long road that leads to economic suicide.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009
  Challenges at Hand - A Time to Pray
President Obama is now in office and the challenges of governing have begun. On the domestic side, the knotty issues relate mainly to the economy. In foreign policy, there are several unavoidable challenges; the largest is Afghanistan, not Iraq and not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That unruly conflict can be, and usually is, avoided by Presidents, except those who want to get symbolic points for trying.

The President faces hard choices in Afghanistan. He will need good fortune as well as good judgment and wisdom. His plans call for disengagement from Iraq, and with relative stability there the way forward seems manageable. He has called for an increase in our commitment of troops to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.

The challenge therein is maintaining supply lines. At present those lines go from ships docked at Karachi, Pakistan by truck through Pakistan and then north across the border into Afghanistan at either of two crossings. We depend entirely on the government of Pakistan to maintain the integrity of those supply lines.

Rising tensions between India and Pakistan complicate the situation. Pakistan has already pulled some troops from the Afghan border area to its border with India following the Mumbai attacks. Increased tensions could come from the government on either side or from more terrorist attacks. All three of these factors are beyond Washington’s control.

An alternative supply route is critical and can only come through Iran (not possible at present) or from the north through some combination of former Soviet Republics and Russia itself or at least with Russian cooperation. This will mean making concessions to Russia. We will get no help in pressing the Russians for cooperation from any coalition of European states because too many of them are too dependent on Russian natural gas for industry and for home heating. Moscow is already flexing that muscle to make it clear to European states that they must bow to Russian wishes.

It is likely that Russian cooperation will come at a high price. It will probably mean lessening our support for Georgia and Ukraine, abandoning talk of them joining NATO, and possibly withdrawing from our military bases in Central Asia. At worst, it could mean recognition of the Russian sphere of influence throughout the former Soviet Union, not unlike the Monroe Doctrine which charges European nations not to interfere in the Americas.

Dealing with hard and unavoidable challenges is what makes being the President so tough. Foreign policy is certainly an area in which to pray for wisdom for our President and for the Lord’s favor on our country in a dangerous world.
 
  New Name!
I have changed the name on this blog. I have decided to put all of my economic and financial market commentary only on my other blog: http://marketscomment.wordpress.com/

I will use this blog for everything else. I plan to post links to some other blogs that I read on a regular basis.

Your comments are always welcome!
 
Monday, January 05, 2009
  Open Letter to the Republican National Committee
January 5, 2009

Mike Duncan, RNC Chairman
310 First Street SE
Washington DC 20003

Dear Mr. Duncan,

Thank you for the impressive Republican National Committee card that you sent to me. I look forward to working with the RNC in the future if there is a clear return to at least Reagan-style conservatism.

I really want a more Ron Paul type party and not Democrat lite as we have seen with George Bush and would have had with John McCain. These are not bad men they just do not share the vision of limited, constitutional government that I cherish.

The Republican Party will never win by trying to be centrists. All that has done is to give us things like an unaffordable prescription drug program. What ever happened to Social Security reform? Oh, I know it was 9-11.

If this had been made a priority, at least maybe it would be part of the debate. Instead we are debating how President Bush could illegally use the TARP money to bailout the GM/UAW cabal while we count the Trillions of dollars in un-funded liabilities that will be an immoral burden on future generations.

If you seriously want to rebuild the grassroots of the Republican Party, you had better make the Grand Old Party stand for something instead of trying to stand in the middle of the road. Because, I’ve got news for you, if you keep standing there you are going to continue getting run over.

Like millions of other conservatives, I will be watching to see if the Republican Party returns to me or stays in the middle of the road. I will not join you there because I do not believe that is the place from which to fight the Obama-Reid-Pelosi socialists. Instead, let’s go back to the citadel of the Constitution as presented in the Federalist Papers and fight from there.

Sincerely,
Gary Harbaugh
 
Commentary about all things human; life, the Christian religion, ethics, politics, economics, sociology, art, anything to do with twenty-first century American culture. Perhaps I will inform, perhaps I will anger and frustrate, but I hope always to make you think!

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Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States

I grew up in Kansas in the 1950's - 60's. I attended Kansas State (B.S. in Soc. Science) and Washburn Law School (J.D.). My wife and I have been married for over thirty years and are the parents of three grown sons.

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