Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dick Morris: Obamacare is just the begining

In a brief but very effective video commentary, Dick Morris lays out Obama's real plan to destroy free-market health insurance and completely take over with socialized medicine.

Watch it at

More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Another brick falls off the Obamacare façade

A big political story this year is likely to be Democrats turning on their White House minders as the harmful and unpopular parts of the Affordable Care Act ramp up. On the heels of the recent 79-20 Senate uprising against the 2.3% medical device tax, now comes the surge of Democrats pleading on behalf of Medicare Advantage.

Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal

More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Hypocratic Oath for Obamacare

The president's promises about the ACA saving money and allowing you to keep your existing health plan are proving false, as many predicted.
The Department of Health and Human Services maintains the law will make health care more affordable and accessible. The Wall Street Journal, reminding readers of that claim, reported last week that health insurers are privately warning brokers: "Premiums for many individuals and small businesses could increase sharply next year."

Read the full article by Cal Thomas at

More health reform information on the Obamacare page.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thomas Sowell: 'Me Too' Republicans

Many ideas presented as "new" are just rehashes of old ideas that have been tried before -- and have failed before. So it is no surprise that the recent "Growth and Opportunity Project" report to the Republican National Committee is a classic example of what previous generations called "Me too" Republicanism.

Read the full article by Thomas Sowell at

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

People love Obamacare until they know what's in it

The Only Ones Who Misunderstand ObamaCare More than Its Detractors Are Its Supporters

If only more people knew about the good stuff in ObamaCare – you know, the subsidies to seniors and the provisions forcing insurers to cover the sick – more people would like it. But the polls showing public support for those provisions don’t ask respondents whether they think the benefits of those provisions are worth the costs. They only ask about the benefits. Since none of those provisions is a benefits-only proposition, those polls tell us essentially nothing.

Read the full article by Michael F. Cannon at

More health reform information on the Obamacare page.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Three years of Obamacare: $31 billion in regulation costs, 71.5 million hours in compliance

President Obama’s signature health-care law, which turned three over the weekend, has already accounted for $31.3 billion in regulatory costs and liabilities, as well as 71.5 million hours of paperwork, according to a study from the American Action Forum (AAF) released Monday.

Read the full article by Andrew Stiles at

More health reform information on the Obamacare page.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Obamacare at three: Heading toward Failure?

The right can replace Obamacare if it fails. And thus far, it gives every indication of failing. It has contributed to growing premium costs. Its budget impacts have been revised only in a negative direction (indeed, the only positives have been from fewer states implementing the Medicaid expansion). It has already been stripped of one mathematically and actuarially unsound entitlement. Most Republican governors have no interest in helping implement a program they believe to be ill-thought from its inception, and even Democrats don’t want their fingerprints at the state level on exchanges and Medicaid expansions their systems can’t handle.

Read the full article by Ben Domenech at

More health reform information on the Obamacare page.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Senate votes to remove a brick from Obamacare

Perhaps the best news in months about Obamacare is that just three months after it has started to go into effect, the Senate has voted overwhelmingly to repeal the medical device tax, all $29 billion of it, with 33 Democrats joining 45 Republicans and 1 independent. Someone must have figured out that we need more innovation, more medical devices at lower prices, not fewer at higher, and that the tax was counterproductive if the goal of reform is to make health care more affordable. Duh. If the House will follow suit in equal proportions, there can be no veto.
This could be the turning point we opponents of socialized medicine have been waiting for, right on schedule. As the law becomes not some abstraction affecting other people, but a reality of destruction for millions of Americans, the blowback will increase. As this blog has long maintained, it's not too late to repeal Obamacare, even if we have to do it brick by brick.
See also:
More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Obamacare: Echoes From The Other Side

By Borek Volarik
I lived through the real Obamacare. In the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic all health care was free for everybody! Oh, what a paradise...
Well, until you actually experienced the “worker's paradise”, as the communists proudly called it, in real life. First, everybody contributed to the costs of the health care but, in a hidden way – through the income tax. There were no tax returns to be filed at the end of year. All taxes were automatically deducted from the gross pay. There were no write offs. The only difference was in marital status and number of children The young, single people, paid so called “ox' tax”. That was a bit alleviated by marriage and then every live born child lowered the tax and generated so called “child bonuses”. The state used the money from the taxes to cover all state's spending, health care being one of them. Well, you get what you pay for, right? Right! What do you expect from a dentist on a salary set by state's pay scales?
How about a really ugly crown and no anesthetics (Novocain was in short supply, distributed by the state to dentists by a system of rations on monthly basis); well, a small envelope with big money…casually left at the receptionist's desk, would make miracles. What do you expect from a doctor on a state's salary? Don't you worry; you always got your Aspirin! People were assigned to general practice health centers according their address. Nobody was allowed to veer out of his or her health care district. In the waiting rooms you would always see some elderly people, sitting on white painted benches, discussing their illnesses. The free doctor visits were welcomed opportunities for the pensioners to socialize and commiserate about life. The district doctors gave out Aspirins and recommended patients to specialists, generally located in hospitals.
The specialists did not have their own offices and practices. They were simply employed by hospitals on fixed salaries (the only extra pay would be generated by overtimes and shift bonuses for nights). Once hospitalized, you would not have “your doctor”. You would be completely under the control of the hospital's staff. The rooms were large, with six, eight, ten….beds. It was really busy during the visiting hours (Wednesday afternoon and Sundays) with visitors sitting or standing around their hospitalized family members, depending on how many chairs were scoured from halls and other rooms. Some visitors just carried a little folding stool with them and so they could always sit down. It still was not as bad as in, say, Cuba, where patients have to bring their own sheets to the hospital. However, if you had to stay in the hospital for a prolonged period of time, it was customary to drop every once a while an envelope with some money into the large pocket on the nurse's apron. That way you would make sure that your sheets were changed on a regular basis, the cup of tea would be on your night stand without a long waiting period…
There were actually two health care systems. One for the ordinary mortals, one for the elites like well positioned communists, top athletes (all athletes were pure amateurs, of course…ha ha ha). I had some problems with my lower jaw. I did not want to have a surgery in an ordinary hospital. It was a bit scary for me. So I waited till I was in the military (mandatory draft at age of nineteen, two years service). Then I started complaining about my problems and, exactly as I planned, I was sent from the small town where I was located to the Central Military Hospital in Prague. There I underwent the surgery, total success, everything was hunky-dory. They used a totally new procedure on me, at the time yet unknown in the ordinary hospitals. I spent about two months in that top notch hospital. Being bored, I volunteered to work as appointment clerk at the dentistry department. Folks, those machines they had there… I had never seen machines like that. All modern “painless” drills, luxurious seats... My duty was to pull patient's file from the file cabinet, mark his appointment time and time of arrival and then slip the file into a tray at the designated dentist's station. Of course, I was curious about the names on the tabs sticking out from the files in hanging folders. So I looked at those names. Ohmygosh….top communists, members of the government and the Central Committee, Politburo, famous athletes…. I just shivered by the excitement...
There was one funny episode. When my mother was leaving the hospital after visiting with me, she spotted the surgeon who performed the operation. He was digging foundations for a garage at the house where he lived. With a pick axe. My mother was totally thrown off kilt. I did not understand what made her so upset. She exclaimed: He will ruin his hands! You know, even at the Central Military Hospital the salaries were not that high… Later he was delegated by the state to set a plastic surgery center in Switzerland (that guy happened to be a real genius) so, I believe, he saved his surgeon's hands and made some real money. I mean “real” money as the communist Czech Crown was not accepted for international exchange. It was basically kind of “prison money”, usable only inside the country. Oh, by the way…after arrival to America, the American dentists re-did virtually all dental work that we brought with us inside our mouths. Some dentist just could not believe what they found in my wife's and my mouths...they threw it all to the garbage.

More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.


If you believe that constitutional democracy, economic prosperity and international peace are under greater threat today than at any time in our lifetimes, then you owe it to yourself and your grandchildren to get involved, take responsibility and power away from the state, and support the leaders who are fighting on your behalf.
This site and the book Pull the Plug on Obamacare are not supported by any deep-pocketed university or foundation. It is made possible by hundreds of evenings, weekends, vacations and holidays every year sacrificed to research, writing, attending local grassroots organization meetings and traveling to major events like CPAC 2013. If you want to encourage this work, then please sell your house, your car and your children and send the proceeds to me. If you're not quite ready to go that far, then here's a plan that will take just eight dollars and an hour and ten minutes of your time, and may be the best investment in America's future that you make this year.
First, buy the book. It's only $7.95 for the paperback edition and $4.95 for the Kindle edition.
Next, READ the book. It's not hard, it will take about an hour and it will give you the complete picture of how we got into this mess, how Obamacare is wrecking the practice and delivery of medicine and our economy with it, and why it will never fulfill its promises. Most important, it will arm you to discuss these issues with your liberal friends who will become increasingly open to your arguments this year as the rising costs and deteriorating quality hit them where they live.
Then, write a customer review on Let the world know that this book is an indispensible arm in the fight against socialized medicine. And finally, tell ten friends to do the same.
Then sell your house, your car and your children and send the proceeds to me.
Or, if you agree with me but you think I'm a moron and you don't want to give me a dime, then visit the Obamacare page and read the bibilography and list of resources to find someone else, like Betsy McCaughey, Sally Pipes or America’s Medical Society, to support. After all, this isn't about me, it's about you and it's about preserving America's liberty and prosperity. Whoever gets that done best deserves your support.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Congressional Report: Obamacare Leads to Skyrocketing Premiums, 200 Percent Possible

An exhaustive study by three congressional committees delivers startling news about the dire effects of Obamacare: President Barack Obama’s signature legislation could increase health insurance premiums by over 200 percent and render insurance coverage unaffordable for millions of Americans.
Read the full article By Jim Meyers at

More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Nation Building in Iraq 10 years on

Pop quiz: What is the name of the oil minister of Iraq? Right: Abdul Karim Luaibi.
Pop quiz: What is the name of the oil minister of the United States? Right again, it’s Steven Chu.
On the tenth aniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom, folks on the Left and on the Right are musing on the mission’s successes and failures. The verdict is mixed, with the idea of nation-building in an Arab-Muslim nation of warring tribal factions receiving a fair helping of skepticism.
The hazards of excessive optimism regarding transforming nations in the Arab/Muslim world have been well-documented by Nonie Darwish and others. Unleashing popular democracy in cultures steeped in Islamic Sharia law and tribal blood feuds is not a path to western-style constitutional civil societies with effective bills of rights resembling our own. Our (or the Bush administration’s, if you prefer) emphasis on voting and blue-inked thumbs may seem quaintly naïve in this light.
But there’s another problem, which if it had been recognized, might at least have offered some hope of mitigating the worst effects of the unstable tendencies. And that is this: if America is going to go around building nations, it ought not to build socialist klepto-petro nations.
Arab/Muslim Iraq is not the only country with the curse of oil wealth. Russia, Nigeria and Venezuela have corrupt regimes run by obscenely wealthy oil barons pretending to embody and defend the national interest while keeping their people poor and oppressed. Of those three, only Nigeria is marginally Islamic, with a 50% muslim population. The corruption of oil wealth is not a problem unique to Arab or Islamic nations; it is endemic to socialism, which is what nationalized natural-resource enterprises are all about.
Recognizing that, if we are going into a resource-rich nation to rebuild it, then as important as democracy and voting rights are private property rights and economic freedom.
What if the Bush administration had pushed the following agenda: Grant every Iraqi citizen over the age of 18, men and women, Sunni and Shia, Kurd and Armenian, Christian and Jew, a thousand equal shares of common stock in a privatized, formerly-national oil company. Initially ownership of these shares would entitle the holder to periodic dividend payments from the enterprise. Over a reasonable transition period, say five years, the shareholders would have the full rights and responsibilities of common owners to buy, sell, vote and trade their shares just as is done on the NASDAQ or NYSE. And the enterprise itself would have full rights to act as for-profit enterprises do, contracting with domestic and foreign (i.e. ExxonMobil) companies, including selling shares of itself on the international financial markets.
Not only would the enterprise be more efficient and better run under free-market discipline, paradoxically, devolving power and ownership of resources from the state to individuals would have the effect of promoting national cohesion and the cooperation of groups and families that otherwise tend to remain in perpetual warfare with each other. With personal skin in the game, when the pipelines got sabotaged, there would be more incentive for cooperative citizen participation to defend the rule of law and private property.
To my knowledge the Bush administration never made such a proposal. If they did, it certainly didn’t make any headlines or spark any national debates about the virtues or vices of capitalism as a solution to problems faced by nations under (re-)construction. I can’t remember the catcalls and snide derision coming from MSNBC and CNN, so it must not have happened. That fact is an ironic reminder of how far the USA has come from its image as the icon of capitalism in the world; no one even thought of proposing it.
One Iraqi oil minister did in fact propose a similar plan in 2009 if not sooner, and published his proposal in The Wall Street Journal. So maybe they get it over there even if we don’t anymore. As it is, ExxonMobil is engaged in Iraq today, operating oil fields and participating in Iraqi deals with Indonesia. Looks like a form of business as usual. Is that bad?
The USA doesn’t have a national oil company with a minister (yet), although we do have a Department of Energy with a Secretary. Maybe we would do a better job of nation-building abroad if we didn’t have that department; we don’t seem to be worse off than other oil-rich nations for not having a national oil company.
But wouldn’t it be presumptuous at best and fascist hubris at worst to presume that we can dictate such outrages as private ownership of capital stock by women in a culture where gender equality is an abomination? Well, sometimes you need a strongman like Saddam Hussein to hold a lid over the sewer. I nominate Milton Friedman.

More on Iraq in Retrospect: The history the war's critics choose to ignore 10 years later. Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal

How Dare We Claim America is #1 in Health Care?

The World Health Organization (WHO) published a study ranking the USA 37th among 191 nations in Health Care. So how can conservatives and Republicans claim with a straight face that, at least prior to Obamacare, America was #1?
Read the full article by Howard Hyde at

More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

AAPS continues to challenge Obamacare's constitutionality

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons filed an emergency motion for injunctive relief March 13 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
In upholding ObamaCare as outside Congress's power to regulate but within its power to tax, the Supreme Court acknowledged that "any tax must still comply with other requirements in the Constitution." The motion filed by AAPS is the first to ask an appellate court to rule on whether PPACA violated the Origination Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which requires that all "bills for raising revenue" originate in the House of Representatives. Read the full story at

More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Report from CPAC 2013

CPAC 2013 was a blast! Great speeches, great breakout sessions. Not every speaker was everyone's cup of tea, and there were many passionate discussions of differences. But no one who attended could fail to be challenged to think more deeply about the critical issues we face today not just as conservatives, libertarians, Tea Partiers and/or Republicans, but as Americans; and to come away energized and determined to redouble our efforts to restore constitutional democracy, fiscal sanity, strength abroad, prosperity at home and the liberty that America has always stood for. 
The rock stars of the show were very accessible. I got to shake the hands and in several cases exchange books with such heavyweights as: Ben Carson; Senator Ted Cruz; Senator Jim DeMint (new president of the Heritage Foundation); John Allison of the Cato Institute; Betsy McCaughey whose work fighting socialized medicine has been an inspiration for 20 years; Todd Cefaratti of; C.L. Gray M.D., founder and president of Physicians for Reform Foundation, whose new film on socialized medicine The Determinators is a must-see; Charles Murray, author of Losing Ground, which exposed the failures of the welfare state in the eighties; Shawn Akers, Dean of the Helms School of Government at Liberty University in Lynchburg VA; Robert Spencer, Frank Gafney, Ann Coulter and many other leaders of the conservative and Tea Party movements.
A personal highlight was the public speaking seminar led by Ian Ivey, sponsored by The Leadership Institute. Not just a technical presentation on body language, breathing, eye contact, audience rapport etc., all of which was excellent; but also very entertaining demonstrations of what not ever EVER to even think about doing, and deep, incisive digressions on philosophy, religion and economics (upshot: read Human Action by Ludwig Von Mises).
There were also many opportunities to engage the media and get the message out beyond the Gaylord hotel. I did several radio and TV interviews including the John Justice's show on Tucson's KQTH 104.1, Sean Casey on Baltimore's AM680 WCBM, the Tea Party News Network (TPNN) and others.
The most heartening aspect of the conference was the presence of the young people: 54% of the attendees were under the age of 26. This was not a reunion of greying eminences reminiscing about glory days that will never return; it was an uplifting, energetic and long-range future-focused strategy session. These young people get it that their future has been mortgaged, that the prosperity of their parent's generation is being robbed from them and that their college education has by design kept them ignorant. I met second-year law students who have not read Bastiat, aren't even familiar with the name, when Batiat's The Law should be the fist text any student reads on day one if not sooner.  I met economics majors who have not read Adam Smith, Thomas Sowell, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, George Reisman or Ludwig Von Mises.
But they will read them now. And they will spread the word. They are determined to remain ignorant no longer but to reclaim their future. 
Thank you to all the wonderful new friends I made. It was well worth it. Have a safe flight home.  And don't give up; together we will pull America back from the brink. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

The doctor will not see you now.

The doctor will not see you now. He's clocked out.
Obamacare is pushing physicians into becoming hospital employees. The results aren't encouraging. 

Read the full story by Scott Gottlieb at The Wall Street Journal

More health reform information on the Obamacare page.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Michael D. Tanner: Obama doesn't brag about Obamacare

During the State of the Union address, one item curiously went almost unmentioned. We heard all about President Obama’s past triumphs and future plans, but his health-care-reform law was strangely missing. Sure, there was one throwaway line about how Obamacare was reducing health-care costs, but the seminal achievement of the president’s first term was almost ignored.
Perhaps that is because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has brought little good news of late.

Read the full story at The Cato Institute.

More health reform information on the Obamacare page.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Liberty University Challenges Obamacare on Religious Liberty Grounds

In 1922, back when the United States was a constitutional republic, the Supreme Court ruled in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture that although child-labor laws have a noble purpose, the means — Congress using taxing power as a penalty — was unconstitutional.

Read the full story at The Washington Times

More health reform information on the Obamacare page.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

To Protect Your Health Care, Get Informed

Obamacare is a fraudulently conceived, massively destructive scheme that is destined to fail–big time. Please read the pamphlet 'Pull the Plug on Obamacare' available at in
...for an in-depth explanation of why, and what we should be doing instead.

The detailed bibliography and notes are right here on the Obamacare page.

Return to this site frequently for articles and news on this most important front.

Remember: The Sequester, the Fiscal Cliff and the coming bankruptcy of Social Security are nothing compared to what socialized medicine is going to do to our economy and our civilization.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sally Pipes: Why Are The Democrats Attacking The Only Successful Part Of Medicare?

The president has proposed a multibillion-dollar fee on drug companies by requiring them to issue the federal treasury rebates on prescription drugs consumed by low-income seniors.
Other Democrats want to go even further. They’re calling for the feds to essentially dictate prices for drugs sold through Medicare. They claim that such a move will save even more money.
But neither plan will deliver the savings its backers claim.

Read the full story at

More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Howard Hyde appears on The Glazov Gang

This week’s Glazov Gang had the honor of being joined by Bob Zeidman, award-winning novelist, Larry Greenfield, Senior Fellow at the American Freedom Alliance and Howard Hyde, author of the new pamphlet, Pull the Plug on Obamacare. The Gang members discussed Why Obama Needs Another Dictator To Replace Chavez. The discussion occurred in Part I and focused on why the Radical-in-Chief only wants to deal with tyrants. Part II highlighted Obama’s Billion-Dollar Giveaway to the Muslim Brotherhood and Resisting ObamaCare.
Watch the program here: Why Obama Needs Another Dictator To Replace Chavez.
More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

GOP Governors Cave In to Industry Pressure

The greatest immediate tactical threat to the cause of holding back the destructive effects of Obamacare is the inability of Republican governors to stand up to industry lobbyist pressure.

Read the full article at

More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

How do you solve a problem like Dennis Rodman?

Mr. Rodman goes to Korea del Norte

The recent visit by celebrity basketball cross-dresser Dennis Rodman to the Asian Gulag Kingdom of Kim Jung Un has re-ignited the debate over what degree of normal relations should be accorded to confirmed genocidal maniacs before it merely encourages more genocide. In particular it raises the question of liberty of individuals, in this case rich and famous American citizens, to associate with monsters of their choosing, as implicitly guaranteed by the First Amendment.

The solution, in the spirit of the times, is a tax. There's no problem that can't be solved with the right tax, right? But this would be a special tax. Rather than pay cash to the Treasury, American citizens wishing to hobnob with sworn enemies of the United States would be permitted to do so as long as they agree to spend equal time up front with the family members of at least one victim murdered by the subject regime.

This 'tax' would apply to any individual with an adjusted gross income in excess of $200,000 per year, or $250,000 for a married couple or civil union filing jointly. Moreover in the case where the individual's or couple's income is a multiple of that base number, the visa applicant(s) would have to spend equal time with family members of that many multiple genocide victims (how many would that be for Rodman?).

The Supreme Court should have no trouble upholding this law based on Congress' power to tax, given recent precedent.

For a MUCH more thoughtful article on this subject, see Seven Ways of Looking at Dennis Rodman by Bruce Bawer on

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Holman Jenkins: Yes, Hospital Pricing Is Insane, But Why?

Time magazine issues a 24,000-word memo on what we already knew.

Big institutions dictating care and assigning prices in ways that make no sense to an outsider—is exactly what you get in a system that insulates consumers from the cost of their health care.

Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal

More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Front Page Mag: Obamacare: It's Christmas Eve, 1776

Many Americans believe that Obamacare is a done deal and something we just have to accept and learn to live with. Congress passed the law, the Supreme Court upheld it and Obama was re-elected along with a Democratic majority in the Senate. But a massively ambitious piece of legislation, based on mistaken premises, which can never fulfill its advertised promises and which is the crowning threat to the American constitutional civilization and economy since the American Revolution, cannot be surrendered to.
Read the full article at
More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Hal Scherz: Healthcare and Politics Do Not Mix

The Medicaid expansion plan at the state level is not about providing healthcare insurance coverage to those who do not currently have it, and it certainly has nothing to do with compassion. It is about control and dependency. It is about expanding the rolls of Americans who rely on government subsidized healthcare. It is about moving forward with the Affordable Care Act which will ultimately touch every American but will be controlled from Washington DC.
Read the full article at
More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Confessions of an Ex-Liberal- Socialist-Progressive-Democrat from Berkeley

Many of my followers have expressed interest in my transformation from Liberal Socialist Progressive Democrat in Berkeley to Pro-Capitalist Conservative Libertarian Republican.  Here then is my story.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I was born and raised in Berkeley, California during the famous (or infamous) 1960’s and 70’s.  Although I was never particularly politically active, I was more or less completely immersed in the reigning ideology of the time and place. Sympathetic to communism, I believed that businessmen as a class were greedy, corporations were evil and that capitalism was a system of exploitation of the poor by the rich. I saw America as an imperial power, a danger to the world. I loathed the military and during the 1980’s I hated Ronald Reagan – passionately. If Barack Obama had been elected President thirty years ago, I would have been right at home, as close as family with the administration’s agenda and cast of characters.
Even so, there were seeds of doubt in my world view planted early on that would combine with others to bear fruit many years later. The earliest of these that I remember was nobel laureate Milton Friedman’s 1980 PBS television series Free to Choose. Dr. Friedman presented an amazing explanation of economics, how the price system compels millions of people to collaborate in the production of goods as simple as pencils and as complex as computers, and he had the gall to defended capitalism as a system of voluntary cooperation among free people that results in the greatest prosperity for the greatest number. I was not converted overnight (far from it), but the first significant seed had been planted.
I was philosophically inclined to a socialist worldview, yet I had an open mind and intellectual honesty that I had learned from my father, Earl Hyde, a respected research scientist and administrator at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory; I was willing to apply logic and principles to the analysis of facts.
In my early twenties, I spent 4 years living as a marginally legal immigrant and bohemian artist/musician in an immigrant (North African Muslim) neighborhood in Paris, France. It was a wonderful cultural experience for a young man and I made many rich friendships. I subscribed to the daily newspaper Liberation, a leftist paper founded by the former students who had almost burned Paris to the ground in 1968.  Echoes of Berkeley; birds of a feather find each other.
Even so, I can safely say today that the French economic model is nothing for us to emulate, whether in Europe or in America. I remember very well waiting on the narrow spiral staircase of a run-down apartment building along with 25 other people, for my chance to see a studio apartment for rent in that rent-controlled city. What we call a crisis in America, with double-digit unemployment, they call ‘business as usual’. The unemployment rate is always double-digits there.  Yes, they have a broad social safety net.  But I have seen enough drunken homelessness and despair in the Metro subway and on the streets to tell you that that net has holes in it. The poorest and most corrupt regions in North America are Louisiana, Quebec and Haiti, all former French colonies.

Several years later I would take my first and only formal economics course in the MBA program here at Woodbury University in Burbank.  Very early in the textbook, after the basic principles of Supply and Demand and their intersecting curves were laid out, the author explained, simply and convincingly how government-imposed wage and price controls must inevitably lead to shortages or unsellable surpluses. Rent control makes it difficult or impossible to find an appartment because it makes offering apartments for rent a losing proposition. Minimum wage laws, rather than lifting all boats, aggravate unemployment of the least qualified and most vulnerable workers in the labor market. Milton Friedman and Larry Elder have argued earnestly that minimum wage laws are a racist policy, hurting black youth above all others.  Democrats love to talk about ‘disparate impact’ to justify meddling in free-market transactions such as mortgage lending, whether it’s ‘redlining’ on the one hand or ‘predatory lending’ on the other. Let them apply the disparate impact doctrine to minimum wage laws where there’s clear evidence of it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. When I left France and came to Los Angeles in 1986 I almost had a heart attack from the culture shock of driving around and seeing all the ‘Apartment for Rent’ signs. “First Month Free!” “No Deposit!” “Move in Today!” I had to fight the urge to pull over immediately and run in to submit my application before the mob of competing renters showed up.  ‘How can they do this?’ I thought. In Paris, apartment rentals were buried in tiny entries in the classified newspaper ads, and in order to have a chance of getting one you had to show up at the indicated address approximately 1 hour BEFORE the paper hit the newsstand. It was insane (and to make matters worse, the ads were written in French)!  

Nevertheless, I settled into my extended bohemian artist-student lifestyle in LA, became a daily listener to KPFK Pacifica Radio (because PBS wasn’t Left enough for me), and occasionally donated portions of my paltry resources to the ACLU.

I was still committed to a leftist worldview learned in Berkeley and was eager to defend my ideas using facts, logic and principles. I studied and read widely, but as much as possible avoided conservative thinkers and publications.
But I wasn’t able to avoid reading Julian Simon’s The Ultimate Resource’, because it was required reading in a geography course at USC, and it blew the lid off of my illusions about environmental crises.
Simon catalogued and debunked over a hundred cases of environmental scare campaigns going back 200 years that all turned out to be just so much global hot air emitted by carbon-spewing leftist political activists with an agenda to grab power and earn frequent-flier miles. Simon systematically explained WHY objectively it must be so that all such scares end up being recognized as hoaxes (not that that ever deters the activists from inventing new ones with every generation, if not season). ‘The Ultimate Resource’ is the core of the nuclear warhead arsenal of the conservative and capitalist movements against radical environmentalist fraud.
Simon named his book ‘The Ultimate Resource’ to make the point that in the final analysis, physical assets like minerals, oil, gas, water, food and a host of others are only as good, as useful and as available as the PEOPLE who design the processes to mine, extract, cultivate, harvest, refine, market and distribute them. It is human ingenuity that takes icky gunk that oozes out of the ground and sickens your cows, and transforms it into black gold and energy. It is the entrepreneurial drive operating in a free market that responds to every shortage of natural resources and invents new ways to extract and produce more, to drill deeper under the ocean floor using only one tower where five were previously required, to design new industrial processes, to multiply crop yields, so that with every generation, in economic terms, these things are more abundant, cheaper and cleaner than ever. The Earth is NOT going to Hell in a handbasket; we are not running out of oil, coal, copper, food or even land, and we never will for as long as we remain a free-market, capitalist nation.
It is human beings living under liberty and the rule of law that are the most precious, scarce, productive and needed resource. In the short run, physical resources are of course finite; but in the long term, they are virtually unlimited, only constrained by human imagination, ingenuity, freedom and hard work.

It was Julian Simon’s thesis that pried open my brain to consider the positive power of the free market to solving human problems, including poverty, inequality and even racism.
After encountering Julian Simon I was open to consider more challenges to my received wisdom. And the challenges came. The Clarence Thomas supreme court confirmation hearings in 1991 opened my eyes to the fact that it was possible, even reasonable for a black man (indeed many black men, for there were several who testified on Thomas’ behalf) to be conservative, pro-capitalist, and Republican. Such a thought had been inconceivable to me before, in spite of the fact that Martin Luther King Jr. had been a Republican.  The Democratic party has been very successful in painting Republicans as the second coming of the Ku Klux Klan, in complete contradiction to historical fact.
I started reading the Wall Street Journal editorial page. Charles Murray’s book Losing Ground demonstrated the failures of LBJ’s Great Society welfare state in aggravating rather than improving poverty. I read George Guilder’s Wealth and Poverty, the classic The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith from 1776, and The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek, the Austrian economist and Nobel laureate.
These thinkers – plus eventually three attempts to open and operate a small business of my own – transformed my worldview. By 1991, I was open to consider the views of Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Prager, and Larry Elder. In November 1988 I had voted the Democratic Ticket, with Michael Dukakis (Tank-Commander-in-Chief) at the top. In November 1992, I voted straight Republican and haven’t looked back, in spite of losing most of my former friends and being the subject of a good deal of tension within my extended family.
Republicans aren’t saints, they aren’t all alike, and they aren’t all principled or disciplined in their thinking. Some of them are unnecessarily hateful; others are too eager simply to be more competent managers of the bloated welfare state. But the Democratic party has gone over a harcore leftist cliff in the past generation, and they are hell-bent to take the country down with them. This must not stand.
Therefore my mission is to move the Republican party in a principled, libertarian direction. I have been disappointed and alarmed to hear some Republicans speak as reflexively as Democrats of, for example the need to raise taxes (or of the irresponsibility of cutting rates). This tells me that  among other things there’s a need to review the Laffer curve:
My opinion is that if the Republican Party is to stand for anything, it must first be limited, constitutional government that places individual liberty above the state and the treasury. The trouble with our economy is not that the government doesn’t have enough money. The problem is that the government takes too much of it from the people, flushes too much of it down the toilet, and engages in a host of other fraudulent tricks that would get you and me and Bernie Madoff incarcerated if we tried them.
George H. W. Bush never completely bought in to Reagan’s fiscal vision, which he had derided during the 1980 primary election season as ‘Voodoo economics’. As a result, this most honorable World War II veteran and hero surrendered to the Democrats Speaker of the House Tom Foley and Senate Majority Leader George Mitchel under pressure of no crisis, broke his ‘read my lips, no new taxes’ pledge, got no credit for his magnanimous bipartisan gesture and lost his 1992 re-election bid to Bill Clinton – in spite of enjoying MY vote, the first I ever cast for a Republican. Two more decorated and celebrated veterans would follow in Bush the Elder’s non-path to the White House: Bob Dole in 1996 and John McCain. With respect, these honorable men didn’t get it. To put it more bluntly, quoting Rush Limbaugh during the 2008 presidential campaign: “You idiot! Get someone on your team who understands economics!”

Two men who understand economics better than most mortals are Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution, student of Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago, and Ludwig von Mises, Austrian-American mentor and colleague of the nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek.  These men and their thought matter to you. Sowell’s book, Basic Economics, written in plain English, will innoculate you against all manner of stupidity and fashionable but bogus economic ideas. Understand what’s in this book and you will be light years ahead of the majority of our politicial leaders.
If I were empowered to dictate just one law, it would be that all public officials – legislators, mayors, governors, and presidents – should be required to read this book and pass a factual examination on its contents, whether they agree with its conclusions or not, as a condition of their serving.

More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Grace-Marie Turner: Affordable Care Act will impose new burdens on consumers, businesses

With unemployment stubbornly high and economic growth shrinking, it is clear the economy is headed in the wrong direction. And the Affordable Care Act is a major cause. The president said his law would reduce the average cost of a family policy by $2,500 by the end of his first term. Instead, family health costs have increased by $3,065 over that time.
Read more here:
Grace-Marie Turner is president of the Galen Institute, a free-market organization funded in part by the medical industry. Readers may write to her at 128 South Royal Street, Alexandria, Va. 22314; email:
More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Pull the Plug on Obamacare Kindle edition released

The Kindle edition of 'Pull the Plug on Obamacare' is now available.
Click here:
More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Betsy McCaughey: Rick Scott is Wrong

(...and so are Ohio and Arizona Governors John Kasich and Jan Brewer.)
"If the Florida legislature agrees to expand Medicaid, it will doom Florida to bankruptcy and Floridians to enormous state tax hikes in the coming years. The expansion will add 42% to the state’s Medicaid enrollment."
Read the full article at
More Health care reform resources on the Obamacare page.