Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Most UnAmerican Phrase Ever!

This week, UMKC CRs have been working hard collecting signatures to get a great Republican on the ballot. This candidate understands that it is time to get City Hall running like a business, not a circus. Sometimes, we get truly confusing responses to our civic engagement.

One excellent CR, Meg McClelland, went out last night and asked her neighbors to sign the petition. She was surprised by the responses. If you're reading this, then I'm sure you care as much as activism as we do. Applying the power to make a difference is exhilarating sometimes, but sometimes, others just don't get it.


As I collected signatures from my neighbors last night, I heard the most annoying, blood boiling phrase ever: Oh, that's political. I don't do politics. I was floored.

You don't do politics?

So, you don't complain about taxes?

Or, the way the city maintains the roads?

Or, the new health care legislation?

Even the mere act of voting is political.

I'm pretty sure they would be appalled at not voting.

So why are they so against adding another candidate to the ballot? I'm baffled.

This country that loves choices doesn't want another option to choose from?

Well, while I'm out there being political, I will gladly let them sit in their living rooms watching the evening news and ignoring me. It will make getting something done slightly easier. When I get something changed and they don't like the way I've changed it, maybe then they will do politics...I doubt it though...with the level of indifference I received last night - I doubt it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spending is not the Path to Prosperity

Recently, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, announced the Fed’s plan to initiate further quantitative easing in an attempt to help stimulate the economy. This is now the fifth time the government has tried to stimulate the American economy since the initial decline in 2008. Starting with Bush’s Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, TARP, Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the first attempt at quantitative easing (pumping over a trillion dollars by buying treasuries from the financial institutions) in 2009, and now the second attempt of quantitative easing to the tune of $600 billion. This has been a parade of Keynesian failures, one right after another; except, of course, TARP’s success at inducing moral hazard by bailing out the large corporations via the American taxpayer.

These misguided policies aimed at promoting recovery by spending are based on a fundamental misunderstanding on what the real problem is and how we got here. In order to first understand what went wrong with our economy, we need to first have an understanding on how an economy experiences sustainable growth.

Imagine a small business owner making widgets and selling them from his home. At this point, he is capable of producing 4 widgets an hour. Desiring to expand his business, he decides to invest. However, in order to invest in his business he must first abstain from current spending. The business owner will have to be thrifty and put up with a lower satisfaction of present living conditions (i.e. not buying frivolous things, saving on energy etc.). After there is enough saved, the owner invests in capital equipment to help produce more widgets at a lower cost. Now he can produce 6 widgets an hour, thus providing the market with more goods at a lower price, while at the same time allowing the business owner more profit to then reinvest further.

In a very small nutshell, this is how an economy grows: NOT by spending, but by saving and investment. If no one ever saved to invest, but only spent everything one had, we would still be in the Stone Age. This desire to save is dictated by an individual’s time preference. A high time preference represents demand for present goods, whereas a low time preference represents demand for future goods, i.e. investing for a future return. In a free market, with free banking, the interest rate on loans would be based on the amount of savings available. The more savings there are the lower the interest rate, and vice versa. And the amount of savings available is dictated by the individual’s time preference. This allows for the interest rate to fluctuate freely based on the market, quickly snuffing out any investment boom before it gets out of hand by raising the interest rate in accordance with the now diminished savings available.

So what went wrong with our economy?

Essentially, this market process is not allowed to happen due to the monopoly called the Federal Reserve, which bases its interest rates arbitrarily. This manipulation of the interest rate distorts the economy and leads to these boom-bust cycles. Around a decade ago, in order to recover from the dot-com bust, Greenspan had the brilliant idea to artificially lower the interest rates in order to stimulate the economy. This persistent lowering of the interest rates for several years, mixed with bad Congressional policy to promote housing, flooded the housing market with money, raising the production and prices of housing, fueling the bubble.

Initially, this was seen as great for the economy. However, because the interest rate was artificially lowered, it did not reflect the aggregate time preferences of individuals within the economy. Therefore, the rate of spending was not slowing down to provide for adequate savings. Investors were taking out loans and investing at an artificially lowered rate. The structure of production was perverted, with investment projects underway that should not have been, while at the same time an increase in present spending as a consequence of inflation.

All booms, once started, are going to end on way or another, either through a total collapse of the currency and economy, or from the raising of the interest rates by the central bank. Fortunately, America’s case happens to be the latter. Once the interest rate is raised, the malinvestments are revealed, forcing the investors to liquidate, or abandon altogether the projects that were underway. Once this occurs there is a process of reallocation of capital, resources, and labor to reflect the actual demands of the economy. Unfortunately, those in power want to keep the binge going by pumping the economy with even more easy money slowing down the necessary process needed for real growth. In addition, due to rigid labor laws and government regulations, our economy becomes less adaptive and more incapable of fixing itself within any reasonable amount of time.

Currently, Bernanke and Obama believe that spending more money through stimulus packages and quantitative easing is what is necessary to fix the economy. This is absolutely wrong. The Federal Reserve, headed by Ben Bernanke, is doing the exact same thing that got us into this mess in the first place – expanding credit through the lowering of the interest rate in an attempt to prop up the prices of housing and goods in our economy. This inflationary policy punishes savers and incentivizes people to spend, exactly when we should not be. The housing market needs to hit bottom by reaching a market clearing price, allowing the excess houses that were built to be bought up. At the same time, Obama’s deficit spending only devalues the dollar more, and further deincentivizes the proper reallocation of our economy that is necessary. They are essentially trying to maintain the economy to the previous boom levels, not realizing that the economy should never have been at that level in the first place! The problem with the economy is the malinvestments and misallocations of resources that took place during the boom, not a sudden loss in aggregate demand as the Keynesians would tell you. It was the boom that should have never taken place; it was the distortion that should never have been. The economy was a house of cards, built off of “wealth” that was created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve, and it was coming down one way or another.

In order to stop these boom-bust cycles, the production of money should be put in private hands, allowing for competing currencies which incentivizes commodity money and allows the interest rate to fluctuate with the market, not the whims of a central planner. The housing boom would have never taken place if it were not for the Fed’s inflationary policies. Honestly, how can we say that we have a free market when the entire life blood of our economy is essentially socialized? In addition, cutting taxes, significantly cutting government spending, and deregulating the economy is vital if we are to have a prosperous and robust free economy.

This was a very condensed version and analysis from the Austrian school of economics’ perspective. If you are interested in learning more about theories on the business cycle, and other free market concepts, I highly recommend visiting


Brodie is a graduate student at UMKC studying political science. He enjoys economics.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Who is the TSA trying to prevent from flying?

From UMKC CR chair, Rachael Herndon

As Thanksgiving approaches, the holiday season doesn't seem to be good for anyone as the daily news headlines continue to demonstrate the practices of the Transportation Security Authority (or Theatrical Security Agents...Taking Scissors Away...more appropriate acronym possibilities from Reason at People want to travel and see their families, but as Thanksgiving is in less than 5 days, it will be interesting to see how much travel drops as the invasive searches proceed. How many people would rather stay home than be submitted to an enhanced pat down, a strip search, or a body scan? I can't wait to find out how much the government's practices are further hurting the airline industry - perhaps another blog post. How far will the government go to realize their interference doesn't help industry?

There are so many questions going through my head as I read the news or glance through my Facebook newsfeed.

Would you fly under these conditions? I wouldn't. I already take extensive measures and make wardrobe changes before flying, just to ensure that I won't be pulled aside or my trip will be held up. Hilary Clinton avoids it too. "Democrats also acknowledged the difficulty of the issue. Asked if she would submit to an enhanced pat-down, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the CBS program "Face the Nation": "Not if I could avoid it. No, I mean, who would?"" If Clinton would avoid it, I wonder if Obama would too.

That same article outlines that the TSA has "intelligence" that says there should be heightened security. The TSA chief says that the measures are completely necessary and that the practices must be continued in order to protect innocent travelers. The government says it needs to protect travelers from potential dangers that may occur when traveling. However, are the lengths that they are going to now completely necessary? The Obama Administration seems to think so.

But really, how can the government say that they are trying to stay a "step ahead of terrorists", as said in the video, as well as "responding to intelligence"? That's not even close to the same thing. But, are travelers so innocent to not know that there is ALWAYS a risk in traveling? How stupid does the government think we are? Do we no longer have the liberty to assess the risk for ourselves?

Why is our safety so vital to the government that they cannot allow us to assess the risk for ourselves? They do in other aspects of our lives. If there is such a great risk, why isn't the media telling us what it is? Who is threatening us? Expose the plans, spoil their plan. It seems to me that the best way to prevent an attack is to leak the intelligence to the public so that they do not put themselves in such situations, instead of the government choosing for us. The government needs to be more transparent with the public. Transparency and public knowledge is what provides real safety.

Not to give them any ideas, but we choose to get in cars daily, knowing that there is a great risk of getting into an accident. At what point will the government stop their intrusions for the sake of our alleged safety? Soon, will there be daily assessments of our cars? Will there be automobile spot checks? With more deaths in car accidents than air planes yearly, why haven't they done this, if they so adamantly feel the need to protect us at all costs, especially the cost of our individual liberties? Why does this all look like a game the government enjoys playing to me?

"Clearly, it's invasive; it's not comfortable," John Pistole said of the pat-downs in an interview Sunday. Invasive? Just invasive? Young children are being strip searched in the middle of airports. Travelers are being covered in their own urine as agents improperly handle their medical equipment.

Other lawmakers are taking notice of how invasive the "precautions" are. "Groping people at the airport doesn't solve our problem," says Congressman Ron Paul. The Texas Republican last week introduced a bill forbidding airport security agents from actions that would be illegal if undertaken by a private citizen. I'm glad that some lawmakers are taking notice of these gross violations of our individual rights and I hope that all of our lawmakers get on board with stopping these intrusions.

Beyond that, if a traveler refuses the scan, they are fined profusely. Why fined? Why can't they just be denied from flying? Is that the only way that they can figure that they pay for this enhanced security that we allegedly need? The questions going through my head just keep coming.

If you are incredibly angry about this issue, I strongly encourage you to get off your computer and have your voice heard. There will be a protest at MCI (or KCI, as most of us call it) on the National Opt-Out Day. Join concerned people. There are several Facebook events for the protest and several groups will be there, including KU Young American's for Liberty and the Liberty Restoration Project. Be sure that you read the rules. Maybe you'll see a UMKC CR there.

I think this is all ridiculous. The last question is... if we lose our liberty and privacy, do we lose it forever? I hope not. I don't know what Obama was wanting us to hope for, but I hope for freedom.

Stay home and don't fly. Be angry. Write the newspaper, write the airlines, write a blog. The government has gone too far...again. We've all got to do something, because the continued and escalating intrusions into every aspect of our lives has got to stop.

What's my call to arms? Transparency. Choice. Freedom.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the biggest racist of them all?

If you’re a Republican, you’ve probably been called a “racist” at some point in your life.

Democrats accolade themselves as the progressive bastion of diversity in modernAmerica, but their policies tell us otherwise.

Before I delve into my liberal bashing, let me digress to the question of “What isracism.”

Unfortunately, even a very basic question such as this one has been muddled byliberal whackjob college professor thinking, and if you’re Bill Clinton, the word “is”is itself ambiguous. But I must be dogmatic and stick with dictionary definitions that etymologists agree upon.

Racism is, according to the Republican conspirators at American Heritage Dictionary, “1)the belief that race accounts for differences in human character of ability and that aparticular race is superior to others or 2) discrimination or prejudice based on race.”

In his famous “I Have a Dream Speech,” Martin Luther King Jr. asked that people bejudged “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

King hit the nail on the head. A racist sees a person as a color. A nonracist sees a personas an individual.

The founders of the Civil Rights movement dreamed of a post-racial society in whichblacks and whites (and other races) could achieve their goals without the interference ofa government caste system that mandated inequality.

Dr. Carter Woodson, the man who created “Black History Week,” the predecessor to modern Black History Month, envisioned a day in which the accomplishments of BlackAmericans would be taught alongside those of whites, and the special commemoration for blacks would no longer be needed.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for Black History Month. Because of it, I know GeorgeWashington Carver did a lot of cool stuff with peanuts and Garrett Morgan invented the gas mask and traffic light. Yet I had to Google the creator of the atomic bomb (who happened to be white).

The founders of the NAACP dreamed of a day in which the organization would no longer be necessary. It is remarkable that the NAACP has not only outlived its intended purpose, but has become one of the biggest perpetrators of discrimination against blacks as part of the liberal political regime.

Democrats will argue that affirmative action is key to overcoming racism, when, in reality, the very programs designed to help needy minorities play a significant role in perpetuating their discrimination by validating the notion that minorities are unqualified and incapable of competing with whites in a free market economy.

Liberals love to champion First Amendment rights to free speech, yet they have monopolized debates on racial issues by shutting up anyone who hasn’t memorized their handbook of politically correct, culturally-sensitive (assuming it’s a minority culture, that is) rhetoric and taken every last bit to heart.

Yet this rhetoric has an overwhelming negative effect. Instead of generating open-ended discussion on progress toward racial unity, those who disagree with liberal policies that hurt minorities encounter an environment of hostility and intimidation.

Even minorities who speak out against such policies are branded as racists. If Dr. King were alive today, one can only wonder whether or not he would be slammed as a “sellout.”

So then why do liberals pretend to like minorities?

Two main reasons: votes and guilt.

If it weren’t for lying and pandering to minority voters, Republicans would have won virtually every single Presidential election since the 1960s. It’s easy to understand why liberal, far left politicians seized the opportunity to manipulate an entire demographic of voters when poll taxes that discriminated against black voters were Constitutionally banned by a Republican Congress in the 1960s. Democrats were clamoring for votes, desperate to remain a viable political force.

The other reason is the obese godmother of white liberal racism: guilt. Without a doubt, blacks and other minorities were the victims of severe discrimination in the past, and remain victims of stealth discrimination today.

But supporting liberal policies is nothing more than a sick way of assuaging one’s guilty conscience while underhandedly perpetrating discrimination.

It’s like boycotting Wal-mart because it pays people minimum wage and then turning around and buying groceries from an organic “health foods” store that sells overpriced, inefficiently-grown crap that poor people could never afford and pays people the same wages as Wal-mart.

Oh wait. Liberals do that too. And I’m sure they could feed about 10 starving orphans in Africa (or impoverished parts of the U.S.) if they substituted Hy-Vee rotisserie chickens for the locally-grown, free-range ones they bought at Whole Foods and donated the savings to charity. But who cares about personal responsibility? It’s the government’s job to solve society’s problems, silly libertarian moron!

Is the Democratic Party today really any different from the one that filibustered the Senate’s attempt to make lynching a federal crime in the 1920s? I think not.


Friday, September 10, 2010

9/11: Never Forget Project successfully implemented on UMKC campus


Today, the UMKC College Republicans successfully planted 3,000 flags to commemorate the victims of 9/11. All 3,000 flags were up by 8:00AM. The 3,000 flags represent the 2,977 people that were tragically killed when our country was sucker punched 9 years ago tomorrow.

Our chapter is more than proud to stand with conservative college groups across the county in pledging to Never Forget. I encourage participants to change your profile picture to show your friends the patriotism of UMKC. Pictures are attached for your reference. If you would like to see the tribute, please go to the quad at 53rd and Rockhill.

A special thanks goes out to the Kansas City Star, as well as various television news outlets for their generous coverage of the project. Please look for the reports on the news tonight and in the paper tomorrow.

In accordance with Code, the flags will be removed before night fall. If you would like to join us in respectfully removing them, members will be present at 6:30PM.

God bless America.

Rachael Herndon

UMKC College Republicans, Chair

Missouri College Republicans, Secretary

Thursday, September 9, 2010

9/11 Tribute

To all of my friends,

From personal experience, I know that there are seven stages in the grieving process.

The first stage is shock and denial.

At 7:45am central time, an American Airlines jet crashed into the North tower of the World Trade Center. Eighteen minutes later a second hijacked United Airlines jet crashed into the South tower. All of us remember where we were when we heard the news.

The second stage is marked by pain.

As I watched in utter disbelief that day, I couldn’t help but cry. Many questions filled my mind, but most stinging was the simple question of, “Why?”

The third stage is marked by anger.

Many people will never make it past this stage, including myself. Our anger towards those who hate us out of jealousy has fueled our efforts to exterminate terrorism worldwide.

The fourth stage is characterized by feelings of depression and loneliness.

We will never get back what we lost that day. The victims and their families have suffered the most and deserve your thoughts and prayers.

The fifth and sixth stages involve working through the pain.

As America rebuilds and remembers, we are hopeful for the future. There has not been another attack on U.S. soil in nine years largely due to the efforts of President Bush. We have aggressively targeted al-Qaida and the Taliban and stabilized many of the regions in the middle-east that harbor these groups.

The seventh and final stage is marked by hope.

I believe that as a nation, we are in this stage. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is scheduled to open on Sept. 11th, 2011, ten years to the day after the attacks. The five story waterfall surrounded by acres of trees will provide visitors with a tranquil surrounding in which to mourn all that was lost that September day.

In closing, I ask that you take a break in the next few days from the hustle of everyday life to remember the victims that died on September 11th, 2001 at the hands of radical terrorists. I hope that you will thank God for the fact that you are still breathing and living in the greatest nation in the history of mankind; it’s a privilege that no one should take for granted.

Thank you,


Thursday, August 26, 2010

A CR's view of BO

January 20, 2009. It was the day “the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal,” in the words of King Barack himself [1].

An estimated 1.8 million Americans, intoxicated with media hype and campaign rhetoric, made their pilgrimage to Washington.

The coronation ceremony was a hangover from the media blitzkrieg that precipitated Obama’s ascendancy to the throne, but like any other drunken orgy, the fun quickly gave way to feelings of guilt and remorse.

The majestic sheen of the genie lantern of liberal public policy started to wear off.

The 69 percent approval rating Obama received the first week of his presidency waned over time.

Promises of bipartisanship, integrity, and post-racial unity gave way to a very different reality, one in which partisan attacks and smear campaigns vilified Republicans as “racist” and “bigoted.”

The heinous crime? Opposing Barack Obama for his support of the Healthcare Reform Bill [2].

It’s good to know that real racism has been trivialized by leftist opportunists who equate it to moral, rational, common-sense opposition to a socialist takeover of the healthcare industry.

But healthcare reform was only the tip of Obama’s iceberg of arrogance.

Most alarming is the Obama administration’s attempt to run the press from the White House.

The “tolerant” liberal champions of diversity made it their prerogative to silence their dissidents on the right.

Obama excluded FOX News from certain White House press conferences and quit providing guests to “FOX News Sunday” because the network fact-checked a White House official [3].

Liberals love to champion First Amendment rights and claim Constitutional outrage when someone asks a proposed mosque to move a few blocks away from a site where thousands lost their lives to radical, Jihadist extremists (the words “Jihad” and “Islamic extremist” have been banned from national security documents by the Comrade-in-Chief himself [4]).

But when it comes to freedom of press and other First Amendment rights for people who aren’t picketing military funerals, flying planes into buildings, or defending either of the two aforementioned groups, the Constitutional crusaders on the left have gone AWOL.

Time and time again, the Obama administration and Democrat-controlled Congress have shown their apathy to the consensus of American people who oppose raising taxes, oppose socialized medicine, oppose Cap and Trade, oppose bailing out failing private sector businesses, oppose adding to the national deficit, and oppose building a 13-story middle finger pointed at the graves of the 9/11 attack victims and their families and friends.

Americans were duped by Obama and his empty campaign promises.

I, unfortunately, was among them. Healthcare reform looked appealing. My mother died from metastasized cancer five years ago, and my family didn’t have health insurance. My dad was self-employed, and we didn’t have any health problems in our family history.

If we had Obamacare, I reasoned, maybe the doctors would have caught my mom’s cancer early on and she could have been saved.

Then I sat down and did my research. No one had actually read the healthcare reform bill, and the changes it made would only displace, and not reduce, the costs of healthcare.

My family would have made too much money to be eligible for the public option, and the taxes my dad was paying on his family business would have undoubtedly gone up.

In addition, cancer research and survival rates in countries with socialized medicine lag behind research and treatment in the United States [5].

The evil capitalist bastards that ran Shawnee Mission Medical Center actually waived a good portion of my mom’s costs because my family did not have insurance. Imagine that!

Had Obamacare been in place five years ago, my mom wouldn’t have been saved, our taxes would have gone up, Shawnee Mission wouldn’t have waived a dime of the costs, and we would still have been required to purchase healthcare insurance.

Freedom is what makes America great, but it is literally being imploded by the Obama administration’s leftist policies.

Never before has the federal government mandated that all citizens buy anything.

The Obama administration’s rhetoric boils down to a full-blown attack on the American people and our way of life, but then again, I’m just another “typical white person” “clinging to guns and religion.”

It’s been two years since Obama capsized the nation with his empty promise of hope, and the change we’ve seen so far has been horrific.

It’s time for the silent consensus of voters to stand up to the madness and insanity and say “NO!” to the policies of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid and vote for real change in November.