Friday, November 21, 2008

Obama's Tips - UPDATED

Obama campaigned on building the economy from the bottom up.... "as we've alway's done it".
I must have missed that economics class, and I sure as hell have missed seeing it anecdotally in my 60+ year life. I can't figure out how anyone could even think that. In every downturn economy that I've witnessed, the fact that the "Have's" have less,  always meant that the "Don't Have's" had even less.  
Tax luxury yachts.....they don't get sold, and people who make them lose jobs; downturn on Wall St., the waiters , busboys, food wholesalers all get less income....or no income; McMansion's not being built, no carpenters, plumbers, day laborers have income; "Fat Cat's" from AIG don't hold their U.S. Distributor's sales conference in a high-end resort, no waiters, airlines, car-rental companies, 401K's, IRA's and Union pension plans all lose out.
The Class Warfare that the Democrats have engaged in has not only poisoned the political debate in the country, it has created a degree of economic ignorance that's hard to believe, and has seemingly doomed us to a fate of being a third-world country.
The Democrats have railed against "Trickle-Down" Economics, but I've yet to see a case made for Obama's "trickle-up" theory.  
When 911 happened, my wife and I owned a specialty food distribution business that supplied products to the resort areas of North-East Florida, and South-East Georgia.  As soon as the flights carrying business executives to meeting at the seaside resorts stopped, our business dropped 75%.  The resorts laid off 50% or more of their staff, and the trickle down theory made itself abundantly clear.  The stores that those workers shopped in, either laid people off, or closed down; the trucker's that hauled my products down from NYC lost revenue; I laid off our driver.  This is simple stuff, and Obama understands it.  That means he lied in order to demagogue the issue....shame on him.
In today's news from NYC, we're seeing the clear example of "Trickle Down" at work, or at least the absence of it:
New Yorkers Cut Costs by Tipping Less
The economic downturn is trickling down to servers’ tips. “I think people are being a little more exacting in terms of their money,” says Erica Harrison, co-owner of 88 Orchard, a Lower East Side cafĂ©. It’s hitting restaurants, coffee shops, even bars. “If someone orders a thirteen-dollar cocktail at the bar, normally they’d leave a two-dollar tip, but now they’re taking that extra dollar back,” says Peter Kane, owner of Stanton Social. Last month Tim and Nina Zagat wrote that customers are skipping appetizers, and New York restaurant workers agree. “They’re just going straight to the main course,” says Mehdi Jamil, general manager of Pound & Pence, a restaurant in the financial district. "If you buy less, you tip less." Some restaurateurs complain that the foreign customers propping up New York's economy are taking advantage of the weak dollar without compensating the waitstaff. “Our regulars are tipping about the same,” says Harold Wedick, manager of the Corner Bistro. “But it’s skewed by the influx of Europeans, who think that 50 cents is a big tip and pretend not to know the customs of the country.”
It seems that in addition to normal business practice, the drubbing that the "Big Three" Auto Exec's received yesterday regarding their flights to D.C. on corporate airplanes, has caused them to cancel some of their leases .  There go the salaries of the mechanics who maintained them, the hangar fees where they were berthed, the taxes that they paid for their declared compensation for flying on them for personal use (CEO Mulally's compensation included $752,203 in 2007 for personal use of company aircraft- let's say he was at 30% tax base that makes $225K in taxes the Fed's won't get now), the insurance that's now canceled, and all the commissions that won't be paid , and the dancing lessons that those commissions would have payed for......getting the picture?

In addition, it just so happens that all those CEO's are required by their employment contracts to fly on corporate jets for security reasons.  But, it's difficult for a Congressman to avoid a cheap shot and a chance to practice their demagoguery.

Obama's "Change" of Insider's

It's not a surprise, given the Obamamania euphoria sweeping the land, that despite campaigning on "Change" and as an alternative to a "third Clinton Administration", his installation of a basically a "third Clinton Administration" sans Hillary, is being met with huzzahs and hooray's, instead of disappointment and cynicism.  

The cheering and amazement is most prevalent among the Liberal elite, the Main Street Media, and RINO's (Republicans In Name Only).  If we were discussing set theory, the conjunction of these would almost be a union of all sets.  One of the most ardent RINO's, David Brooks - the NY Times and NPR's house Conservative, couldn't contain himself in his Op-Ed column in today's NY Times.  He gushed, figuratively raising his back, swishing his tail and weaving up against Obama's legs like a cat waiting to be scratched, as he praised Obama's selection of candidates who were not only all alumni of the Clinton team, but.....even better for an elitist like Brooks....genuine, mortar-board wearing Ivy-Leaguers!  OMG!

The list, starting withBarack Obama (Columbia, Harvard Law)  and his wife Michelle (Princeton, Harvard Law), goes forward with: perhaps Hillary Clinton (Wellesley, Yale Law), Jim Steinberg (Harvard, Yale Law), Susan Rice (Stanford, Oxford D. Phil.), Jason Furman (Harvard, Harvard Ph.D.), Austan Goolsbee (Yale, M.I.T. Ph.D.), Blair Levin (Yale, Yale Law), Peter Orszag (Princeton, London School of Economics Ph.D.) and, of course, the White House Counsel Greg Craig (Harvard, Yale Law).

Brooks' admiration for the President-Elect is hard to subdue:

One may not agree with them on everything or even most things, but a few things are indisputably true.  First, these are open-minded individuals who are persuadable by evidence.  Second, they are admired professionals. Third, they are not excessively partisan.
Finally, there are many people on this team with practical creativity. Any think tanker can come up with broad doctrines, but it is rare to find people who can give the president a list of concrete steps he can do day by day to advance American interests.
Believe me, I’m trying not to join in the vast, heaving O-phoria now sweeping the coastal haut-bourgeoisie. But the personnel decisions have been superb.   The events of the past two weeks should be reassuring to anybody who feared that Obama would veer to the left or would suffer self-inflicted wounds because of his inexperience. He’s off to a start that nearly justifies the hype.

I'm not sure how Brooks justifies his numbered appraisals, usually they are made based on observed performance.  And, it seems to me that the comments made about then President-Elect Bush's appointments were more in the line of "retreads from his father's team".  Ah, but that was understandable....most of them weren't Ivy Leaguers (some were, including George Bush, but despite that, they were always characterized as rubes).

What does stand out for me, however, is the preponderance of lawyers.  This does not bode well for our nation in a time of when we have to come to grips with many significant short, and long term, economic issues.  I'd prefer to see a few more people who've made their fortunes by building successful businesses.  But that's difficult to pull off....those type of people usually have too much self-respect than to consort with politicians and lawyers.  And, probably didn't attend an Ivy-League school.

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