MDJ columnist shooting blanks on economy
by Matt Nash
July 19, 2014 10:33 PM | 2146 views | 9 9 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Responding to Kevin Foley’s July 11 opinion piece, “‘Zillionaire” sees pitchforks if ‘glaring inequalities’ aren’t fixed,” I have to point out some glaring inaccuracies of Foley’s assertions. Namely, that the Clinton Administration’s policies assured a decade of prosperity, followed by eight years of wrack and ruin overseen by (drum roll) the Republican Congress and George W. Bush.

Nonsense. The Clinton administration inherited the very ripe, low hanging fruit of his predecessors who ended the Cold War (and thus the massive military spending required to beggar the Soviet Union) and was then frog-marched into welfare reform by a stunning reversal of political fortune in the U.S. Congressional race of 1994 — led by Newt Gingrich, a Republican. Did I miss something?

Clinton then famously declared “the era of Big Government is over” as he quite correctly sensed the country’s impatience for and rejection of said. A great pivot by an adept, ah, pivot-er.

Yet, Foley’s straw men must be flogged into line and summarily executed by the decree of an ideology that appears to perpetually animate him. These condemned are thrust onto the gibbet and await their demise by bullet point.

For those following at home, the bullet point is a device of dogma used by ideologues for shooting straw men … and making clear via PowerPoint the benefits of pertinent actuary data for insurance seminars down at the Hilton Garden’s Magnolia Room.

While pleasing to the crowd (who doesn’t like a good public execution?), the bullets Foley uses don’t seem to hit very much when they are undermined by record employment non-participation (some 80 million to 90 million Americans) and a stock market swollen to bursting by companies sitting atop mountainous piles of cash as they patiently await an administration less regulatory, intrusive and apt to steal it via the tax code.

Foley then trots out a token out-of-touch rich guy (Nick Hanauer) to bemoan the consequences of wealth inequality, while somehow tying up the minimum wage, the intractable Republicans in Congress and a coming police state to form an amorphous sort of logic that declares Barack Obama as the engineer of the next Great Society if only people would listen — and go along quietly with the wealth redistribution program.

(Personally, I love it when rich guys and politicians bemoan the plight of the little guy, how about you? Why, some of my best friends are little guys! I was once a little guy too, you know …)

Truth is, a free society, one that recognizes the temporal right of private property, free association and minimal intrusion by government authority (but to protect and serve those things) is the reason the U.S. is, and always has been, the greatest force for lifting people out of poverty. I challenge Mr. Foley to point to another, better example.

The government-run utopias of Western Europe where everyone is herded into a decreed mediocrity that, at times, borders on the merely semi-miserable? Last time I checked, most of us over here work for somebody else in the money-grubbing world of private enterprise. Most of us get to keep most of what we earn. Personally, it has always been my fervent hope the guy I work for keeps doing OK. Heck, better than OK. Why? Because it specifically means I will do better than OK, too.

Foley would no doubt point out such blind faith in this trickle-down pap is the flawed logic of robber barons the world over and I merely spout the other side of the dogma that he himself employs.

Except for this: I have a marketable and highly specialized skill. It cost a great deal of time, money and no small amount of personal risk to obtain that skill. The sons and daughters of those so-called Western Social Democracies arrive year after year to obtain those same skills here in the U.S., because few over there can afford the regulation (and its cost) of even learning that highly specialized skill in their home country.

(By the way, a significant number seeking a position in my profession come from the Scandinavian countries, a darling of equality to the perpetually ill-informed American left.)

To my great satisfaction, most of the people I know in this profession come from quite humble beginnings and have succeeded quite well, despite the obstacles of the cost involved, for the simple reason they were motivated by the American Dream, educated themselves and were willing to risk, if not their lives, total failure. And they live in a country that, so far, keeps them safe, and (mostly) upholds the rule of law, therefore allowing them to thrive and prosper.

The lesson here is the one I impart, weekly, to my children: work hard at learning how to do something that is of use to someone else. Then do it. And don’t expect anyone to give you anything but a chance to prove yourself.

Matt Nash is a corporate pilot in Kennesaw.

Comments
(9)
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Foley Follies
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July 21, 2014
Kamrad K-Fo, When will you understand that the so called jobs you claim were created by King Obama were all government jobs?

Government jobs, unlike private sector jobs, are are a drain on the economy. Government employees are paid with our tax money. Making matters worse is Obamacare, which continues to wreck our economy.

Wake up Kamrad K-Fo, you may fool low information voters with your zealotry, but not the rest of us.
bill millette
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July 20, 2014
Excellent column.
Kevin Foley
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July 20, 2014
I don't work for anybody, Mr. Nash. Like the guys you fly around, I call the shots. And here's one of those shots I call: I want to see positive numbers. Check with the next CEO you chauffer. He'll tell you the same thing.

So, under Clinton, positive numbers. Under Bush, ruinous numbers. Under Obama, positive numbers again. Like Daniel Joy the other day, you want to split hairs to suggest the positive numbers Democrats have turned in are somehow either meaningless or a result of previous conservative policies.

Hogwash, my friend.

Like Mr. Joy, Mr. Nash wants to apply a double standard to the economic recovery engineered by Obama with absolutely no help from Republicans.

I can assure both gents if Mitt Romney was in the White House and these were the numbers, conservatives wouldn't stop bellowing about how great their policies are.

Matt Nash
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July 21, 2014
Unless you happen to be retired, independently wealthy or living off the proceeds of a trust fund, of course you work for somebody and may "call the shots" only insofar as you are keeping an employer, your clients and/or your customers happy by delivering them a product or service that is relevant to them at a cost dictated by the vagaries of the marketplace - and is therefore perceived a value. If not, the failure of your enterprise is guaranteed and you can call the shots to your dog. This is the basis of a capitalist society and free enterprise. (Amazing that a chauffeur would have to explain this to you.)

Whether you sell Fords, are a chef, attorney, pipe fitter or the CEO of Apple, the point is knowing how to "do" something; and the better you know how to do it, the more opportunity for advancement, both professionally and monetarily that will be realized.

When I began my career teaching others to fly, towing gliders for rich lobbyists on K Street; or spraying crops so that a farmer could reap his bounty in the most efficient manner, I was perfecting myself professionally. I drove beaters, ate my meals from a can and slept more than once out of doors - and never asked Uncle for a handout or a wage guarantee. When I flew someone's Aunt Clara into Bradford to visit her sister or Uncle Joe to Jamestown for his sales meeting or got someone's dad to Hagerstown on Christmas - the regional airline was paying me eight bucks an hour. I happily accepted it as a fair trade in that they were giving me a little money for the experience that's currently putting my kid through college - without a loan.

When I packed into a three bedroom apartment with three other fellows as a newly minted flight engineer on the venerable 727, it was at a wage below the national poverty level - but it never occurred to me to ask for an EBT card. (I would eventually walk a picket line and edit a national union magazine in support of higher wages, however. That experience taught me a great deal about my fellow man on both sides of the issue: both disappointing.)

Today, in addition to my regular chauffeur's duties (those pesky hats!) I offer my services in a variety of ways; as a safety consultant, technical writer and dad. Though when someone needs a hired gun because someone fell off a ladder, or is on vacation or in training - my phone (or someone like me) gets the call. While they may be asking for Frank or Dan or Matt, they're really asking for the experience and the resume - and no small amount of past sacrifice and privation. And we go, taking with us all that we have gathered and learned and marketing it to those who need it. Something else I never tire telling my kids: You are currently reaping the benefits of the decisions I made when I was your age!

Curt Allen
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July 20, 2014
Brilliant and succinct analysis Matt. I read Foley weekly more to understand the deception the apologists on the left try to impart. I am regularly amazed at his brazen dishonesty. I loved your description of the path to earned success as you present it to your children (and us by virtue of this article). I hope to see more of your thoughts in print in the future.
Kevin Foley
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July 21, 2014
Curt, kindly inform MDJ readers on anything deceptive I have written and be sure to back it up with facts. You know what those are, right?
CobbCoGuy
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July 23, 2014
Go to Mr. Foley's blog:

See "Fast & Fallacious" dated June 22, 2012.

See "Conservatism is Politics by Deception" dated May 24, 2012. Also, see the Comments for Mr. Halle's blog, The Agitator #102, dated February 6, 2014, where I had to correct Mr. Foley AGAIN about Obama's spending.

See "Billionaires fear Holocaust" dated February 24, 2014. My favorite; see below.

Go to Mr. Foley's editorials:

See "Cruz wants billionaire benefactors to pave paradise" dated July 17, 2014.

I could go on, but you get the idea. No need to get into the misleading 6.1% unemployment figure at this time.

This is as good a time as any to point out something about Mr. Foley. In his disparaging "portrait" of me (see "Billionaires fear Holocaust" above), one might conclude that I'm one of those folks who is, or has been, on unemployment insurance. I might be one of those folks who is using, or has used, food stamps. My kids might qualify for school lunches.

Well...IF...I am one of those people, then where is Mr. Foley's empathy and kindness? Aren't Democrats supposed to be compassionate?

Apparently not. Instead, what you see from Mr. Foley is disdain for those who live in a "double wide", who "...work the grill on the graveyard shift at WaHo..." or who "...don't make a lot of money..."

Am I wrong?
Kevin Foley
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July 24, 2014
Cobb Co Guy - You rattle off pieces I've written but expose no deception. You just disagree with the facts I present, like Nash, Joy, Curt Allen (who at least has the guts to put his name on his comment).

Knowing full well my opinions will be scrutinized by readers far smarter than you, I make it a policy to research and fact check what I present in the MDJ.

I have lots of empathy for the less fortunate. I just don't have any for you, Cheeto boy.

That doesn't stop Nash, Joy or others from denying those facts. As I noted in my nearby blog, denial is a big part of the conservative dogma. When you've allowed yourself to be brainwashed by Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly and all the rest, when presented with the truth, what else can you do but deny?
CobbCoGuy
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July 24, 2014
See what I mean, folks?
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