Saturday, August 5, 2017

August, 2017, Part 4, Political Class Insanity: Criminal Politicians In Detroit, Economically Ignorant Politicians In Seattle, and Another Lost Battle Against Drug Addiction

It is the beginning of another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us.

1) Those of you that follow politics and the antics of the American political class probably often think that the only people running for office or elected to office are criminals, given how greedy, unethical, and bribable they are. Turns out, at least in Detroit, you are correct, according to a recent Fox News report on August 4, 2017:
  • Apparently, half of the candidates running for mayor of Detroit of felony records in their background.
  • According to the Detroit News, three out of the eight candidates for mayor of Detroit have previously faced gun charges, with two of them having faced charges for assault to commit murder, and a fourth candidate pleaded guilty to a non-gun charge years ago. 
  • The timing of these infractions date from the 1970s to more recent times.
  • Donna Marie Pitts, 58, has multiple felony convictions dating back to 1977: “I don’t hide it. God has brought me out. I hope [voters] don’t look at it as negative but as my experience, and I can help. I want to fight for them.”
  • Danetta Simpson was convicted in 1996 for assault with intent to murder.
  • Articia Bomer was charged in 2008 for carrying a concealed weapon.
  • Curtis Christopher Greene was charged with fourth-degree fleeing and eluding police during an attempted traffic stop, and a marijuana-related count. 
Proving once again that there is a very thin line between being a criminal and being a politician!

2) We have often pointed out with real world examples how politicians usually have absolutely no economic training, economic common sense, or economic experience. As a result, their economic policies and laws usually make bad economic situations worse. Obama was great at making stupid economic policies and decisions including the failed Cash For Clunkers program, the failed Cash For Appliances program, the failed $800 billion economic stimulus program, the failed Dodd-Frank legislation, the failed solar energy subsidy program, etc.

So it should not be a surprise when we find out that when the local politicians decided they knew best on what people should be paid for their wages, their actions/antics resulted in the exact opposite economic impact that they wanted, according to a recent Forbes report by Anne Vandermey:
  • Local politicians in Seattle decided a few years ago that they would ramp up the local minimum wage level to $15 an hour because they knew best what a “living wage” should be.
  • The early results on their economic “wisdom” showed what a failure their program is.
  • A new study from the University of Washington that examined what happened to workers in local small businesses when the minimum wage level was raised found that on average workers received $125 LESS a month in wages than prior to the lifting of the minimum wage.
  • You ask how could this happen, how could raising the minimum wage actually LOWER wages?
  • Simple, some people got paid more by the small business population but others got fired outright since their employers could no longer to carry them on their payroll at a higher wage.
  • Thus, on average more people lost their wages altogether which wiped out the increased wages of those that were fortunate enough to keep their jobs, i.e. the good news is that you got a raise, the bad news your higher wage level results in you getting laid off and having no wages.
Another bone headed economic policy from bone headed, economically ignorant politicians.

3) Obama Care was supposed to make the country healthier. If you follow this blog, you know that every month for the past six or seven years we have pointed out the reality that Obama Care did not reduce healthcare costs like promised, did not reduce insurance premium and deductibles like promised, and failed in just about every other dimension that can be measured.

And while maybe not directly focused on reducing drug abuse, a massive healthcare cost that burdens the economy and healthcare infrastructure in this country, it almost certainly did not help to fix the drug addiction problem in this country. I am talking about the rampant abuse of opioid painkiller abuse presently going on.

According to data from Blue Cross, that was highlighted in a recent Forbes magazine article, the abuse of opioids jumped 493% from 2010 through the end of 2016. The rate of opioid use disorder jumped from 1.4 per 1,000 to 8.3 per 1,000 over that seven year timeframe while drug overdose deaths jumped 63% during that same period. 

Thus, as we have pointed out numerous times, despite fighting a “war on drugs” since the Nixon administration, the American political class has never won a battle in that war. And the opioid addiction disaster is just another losing battle as no politician at any level of government has had the ability, the insight, intelligence, or willpower to figure out how to help Americans addicted to a variety of drugs, despite probably spending over a trillion dollars or so over the decades to fight this losing war.

That will do it for today’s insanity: politicians still losing the war on drugs, politicians still with no economic sense, and politicians that are actually crooks BEFORE getting elected. More insanity to follow.

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