Dog Brothers Public Forum

HOME | PUBLIC FORUM | MEMBERS FORUM | INSTRUCTORS FORUM | TRIBE FORUM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 26, 2016, 08:16:40 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
96684 Posts in 2320 Topics by 1081 Members
Latest Member: Concerned Citizen
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  Dog Brothers Public Forum
|-+  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities
| |-+  Politics & Religion
| | |-+  Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt.
« previous next »
Pages: 1 2 [3] Print
Author Topic: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt.  (Read 31828 times)
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #100 on: May 22, 2014, 08:45:37 AM »

Free market principles call for the facts to be known.  This is a regulation I support:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/22/business/us-seeks-disclosure-of-all-fees-fliers-face.html?emc=edit_th_20140522&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193

Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8186


« Reply #101 on: May 22, 2014, 09:27:03 AM »


Agree.  Maybe we could remove 10 bad regulations for every good one that we add.  Instead the answer is to just keep adding more laws.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #102 on: May 23, 2014, 10:27:02 PM »

Let's Get 'Metaphysical'
A federal court slaps down an Obama regulator's legal abuse.


May 23, 2014 6:44 p.m. ET

President Obama's energy regulators have pushed the law to the hilt and beyond in their campaign against carbon, but maybe the courts are starting to get queasy. The latest is the D.C. Court of Appeals, which on Friday cashiered a rule meant to harm traditional power plants.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) used to be the rare government outfit that preferred to stay out of the news, but under Chairman Jon Wellinghoff the legal and economic offenses in favor of noncarbon power sources piled up. The Senate is now weighing Mr. Wellinghoff's replacement, Norman Bay, and one question is whether he'll continue the regulatory method that produced the rule the D.C. Circuit has now tossed as an abuse of power.

FERC governs the electricity grid, and in 2011 Mr. Wellinghoff ordered transmission operators to pay retail energy users to reduce their power consumption at peak periods. This smart-grid program is known as "demand response" and can help run the system more efficiently and reliably. But FERC rigged this well-meaning incentive to harm traditional baseload power, especially coal but also natural gas and nuclear.

The problem is that Congress limited FERC's mandate to the wholesale interstate power markets—that is, power supply. Authority over retail power demand is reserved to the "exclusive jurisdiction" of the states.

FERC regulated anyway, claiming that the demand-response program would "directly affect" the regional level and therefore the two distinct state and interstate spheres were essentially the same. Judge Janice Rogers Brown shreds that logic as a "metaphysical distinction." She goes on to note that FERC's rationale "has no limiting principle" because changes in one market inevitably beget changes in another. FERC could use the same rationale to claim jurisdiction over "any number of areas, including the steel, fuel and labor markets."

The D.C. Circuit ruled FERC lacked statutory authority but then took a further step and declared the demand-response rule "arbitrary and capricious" on the merits, which is unusual. The courts generally defer to the judgment of regulators, and the Administrative Procedures Act blesses all but the most egregious overreach.

Especially abusive was FERC's discriminatory compensation scheme. FERC reasoned that not consuming power was identical to adding power to the grid and therefore service providers that took advantage of demand response deserved to be paid the same full market rate as power generators. But so-called "negawatts" are different from real megawatts, not least because power producers incur the costs of actually producing electricity and sending that power to consumers.

In practice, demand response paid out twice to the service providers, once from the FERC rebate plus the savings of not buying electricity. Overpaying for not doing something and underpaying for real economic benefits distorts price signals and leads to a misallocation of resources from electricity investment.

For this reason FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller dissented at the time, and economists and industry objected. Mr. Wellinghoff overruled, and FERC held that "the Commission is not limited to textbook economic analysis." The D.C. Circuit has replied that in fact it is and that the commission was harming the reliability of power markets it is supposed to protect.

On that note, Mr. Bay, the nominee for FERC Chairman, did little to distance himself from the Wellinghoff legacy when he testified on Tuesday, nor did he explain his own history of prosecutorial abuse at the commission. His answer to every question was that he didn't know, he wasn't sure, or he couldn't say.

But if Mr. Bay is confirmed, his job becomes even more important after the D.C. Circuit opinion. Over the last two years demand-response programs have suffused the grid and barring a successful appeal, which is unlikely given the sweep of the ruling, the feds will now be banned from regulating electricity demand.

Yet the forthcoming Environmental Protection Agency regulations on power plant carbon emissions—due in two weeks—will probably depend on FERC's demand-response distortion. Ending the conservation subsidies while simultaneously imposing rules that will force the retirement of existing coal power could do even more to endanger the grid and lead to rolling blackouts. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin asked Mr. Bay about grid reliability but he only responded that "I have not been following the decisional process at EPA closely enough to know."

The D.C. Circuit thunderclap could help restore the old nonpolitical FERC, but so would a Chairman with more fidelity to the law than Mr. Bay
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #103 on: May 29, 2014, 06:22:54 AM »



http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/29/opinion/why-license-a-florist.html?emc=edit_th_20140529&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #104 on: June 01, 2014, 10:53:17 AM »

Columnist Mona Charen: "After the press loses interest in the Veterans Affairs scandal, after the investigations have been completed and one or two officials have resigned, nothing will change. Is this cynicism? Not really. It comes down to one's view of how much government can achieve by bureaucratic, top-down management. ... Even if Obama were the best manager in the world, the problems with efficient service delivery by government would continue -- because the government is too large, too unwieldy and too lacking in incentives for efficiency to yield much, if at all, to management. A business that fails to deliver services will be crushed by its competitors. Government can never go out of business. ... No central authority can make a system like the VA or the IHS or Britain's National Health Service run efficiently. Competition is the only system that gives the power to consumers to reward good service and punish bad. But progressives cannot shed their faith that more government is the answer to bad government, so this story is sure to be repeated."
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8186


« Reply #105 on: June 01, 2014, 11:35:21 AM »

Columnist Mona Charen: "After the press loses interest in the Veterans Affairs scandal, after the investigations have been completed and one or two officials have resigned, nothing will change. Is this cynicism? Not really. It comes down to one's view of how much government can achieve by bureaucratic, top-down management. ... Even if Obama were the best manager in the world, the problems with efficient service delivery by government would continue -- because the government is too large, too unwieldy and too lacking in incentives for efficiency to yield much, if at all, to management. A business that fails to deliver services will be crushed by its competitors. Government can never go out of business. ... No central authority can make a system like the VA or the IHS or Britain's National Health Service run efficiently. Competition is the only system that gives the power to consumers to reward good service and punish bad. But progressives cannot shed their faith that more government is the answer to bad government, so this story is sure to be repeated."

It boggles the mind that any honest liberal who would not trust a small number of corporations to control any industry because they would only be in it for themselves would instead trust one bloated, top-down, power hungry bureaucracy with that same responsibility - even after they are proven to be a corrupt, self-interested and miserable failure.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13825


« Reply #106 on: June 01, 2014, 01:14:05 PM »

Leftists never let reality intrude on their feelings.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #107 on: June 16, 2014, 04:08:16 PM »



http://online.wsj.com/articles/gordon-crovitz-uber-shocks-the-regulators-1402869510
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #108 on: June 19, 2014, 09:22:29 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/19/us/maine-court-fight-pits-farmers-against-state-and-one-another.html?emc=edit_th_20140619&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8186


« Reply #109 on: June 20, 2014, 09:54:39 AM »

Crafty from race, origin, discrimination thread:  "I just went to washingtonredskins.com and bought two t-shirts"

And ccp mentioned Cracker Barrel.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From Daily Caller:

12 Trademarks Declared Less Offensive Than Redskins

http://dailycaller.com/2014/06/18/12-trademarks-declared-less-offensive-than-redskins/

(I am very tempted to not post the details, but here goes...)

In a ruling Wednesday morning, the United States Patent and Trademark Office cancelled six federal trademarks for the name of the Washington Redskins. (RELATED: US Patent Office Cancels ‘Redskins’ Trademark)

Currently, federal trademark law does not allow the registration of any names that bring individuals or groups into contempt or disrepute. The PTO cited this rule in their decision regarding the Redskins’ name.

Here are twelve other trademarked names that apparently didn’t come up on anyone’s offense radar.

Figgas over Niggas: This pending trademark seeks to cover a line of “Apparel for dancers, namely, tee shirts, sweatshirts, pants, leggings, shorts and jackets.” “Niggas,” of course, is a slang version of the word “nigger,” a term considered highly offensive towards black Americans.

Kraut Kap: Another recently-filed trademark, this one for a line of plastic lids. “Kraut” was made famous in World War II as a derogatory term for opposing German soldiers, as well as Germans in general.

Dago Swagg: A label created for a line of clothing. ”Dago” is a corruption of the common name Diego, and is used in English-speaking countries as an offensive term for those of Italian descent, and occasionally people from other Mediterranean countries as well.

Cracka Azz Skateboards: Unsurprisingly, this trademark was taken out for a line of skateboards and longboards, as well as associated clothing such as bandannas. While the USPTO helpfully notes that “The wording ‘cracka azz’ has no meaning in a foreign language,” “cracka” is a slang version of “cracker,” which in this context is a term of derision for whites, used primarily within the black community.

You Can’t Make A Housewife Out Of A Whore: This trademark for T-shirts and hats appears to imply that women involved in prostitution can never transition into the domestic role of a housewife. Such an accusation would certainly “bring them into contempt or disrepute,” the stated reasoning for eliminating the Redskins trademark.

Blanco Basura: A seemingly innocuous phrase, Blanco Basura, rendered into English, is actually the highly offensive slur “white trash.” White trash is a derogatory insult that typically refers to poor, white Americans, who have a penchant for crime and a patent disrespect for authority. Apparently, they thought they could go unnoticed designing a hateful beer.

Home Cookin Biscuit Head: Intentionality, as we well know, is not required in order for something to be highly, highly offensive. They should’ve done their due diligence before designing this logo for the restaurant industry. The term “biscuit head” has its origins in the Korean War, when American GIs picked this unseemly term to describe the shape of Koreans’ heads.
 
by TaboolaSponsored Content
‘teensdoporn.com’: This is a classic example (Safe For Work) of a harmful stereotype used to justify condescension toward teens in the form of countless hours of sex-ed in high school. It wrongfully supposes that all teens are sex-crazed maniacs, who given the chance, will opt for trading their sexuality on a website for fame and fortune.

Gypsy Soule Women Who Live By Their Own Rules: This line of makeup containers and tote bags is a double whammy. “Gypsy” is a term for the itinerant Romani people that derives from the erroneous belief they originated from Egypt, rather than India. In addition, the “Live by their own rules” component hearkens to the common stereotype that Romani routinely ignore the law and engage in criminality.

Mammy Jamia’s: A company going by the name of A & S Cairns Limited has decided to attach its good name to an antebellum slur used to refer to an enslaved black woman who was in charge of household affairs, particularly caring for white children. The product? Frozen fruits and vegetables. Was it really worth it, A &S?

Uppity Negro: Intended to be imprinted on mugs and apparel, this trademark references the frequently used adjective “uppity” to describe blacks who agitated for greater respect and civil rights in the Jim Crow-era South.

All Natural My Dadz Nutz Carmelized Jumbo Redskins: Available at MyDadzNutz.com, this line of savory peanuts is unlikely to run into trouble for applying “redskin” to a line of peanuts. One might argue the two terms describe different things, and so the overlap does not matter, but that hasn’t stopped the old name for Brazil nuts from fading away. Kaffir limes, meanwhile, are a discouraged name in the Oxford Companion to Food, as “kaffir” is a highly offensive term for blacks in South Africa.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #110 on: June 24, 2014, 02:25:40 PM »

WSJ
What Is the EPA Hiding From the Public?
The agency shouldn't get to decide who sees the science behind its rules. Open the research to outside analysis.
By Lamar Smith
June 23, 2014 6:45 p.m. ET

The climate is changing and, yes, humans play a role. But that does not mean, as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy would have us believe, that the debate—over how much the climate is changing, how big a role humans play, and what can reasonably done about it—is over. Still less does it mean that anyone who questions her agency's actions, particularly the confidential research it uses to justify multimillion and billion-dollar air rules, is a denier at war with science.

The EPA's regulatory process today is a closed loop. The agency funds the scientific research it uses to support its regulations, and it picks the supposedly independent (but usually agency-funded) scientists to review it. When the regulations are challenged, the courts defer to the agency on scientific issues. But the agency refuses to make public the scientific research it uses.
Enlarge Image

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy Getty Images

The House Science Committee will vote Tuesday on legislation to open up this closed loop. The Secret Science Reform Act, which I co-sponsored, has a simple goal: EPA regulations should be based on legitimate science and data that are open to the public.

Scientific journals in a variety of disciplines have moved toward data transparency. Ms. McCarthy sees this effort as a threat. Speaking before the National Academy of Sciences in late April, she defended her agency's need to protect data "from those who are not qualified to analyze it."

The EPA essentially decides who is or is not allowed access to the scientific research they use—research that is paid for with public funds, appropriated by Congress, on behalf of American taxpayers. This is wholly improper.

I recently received a letter of support for the Secret Science Reform Act that was signed by more than 80 scientists, including physicians, and professors of environmental science, physics, statistics, economics and engineering. The signatories included George Wolff, former chair of the EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee in the Clinton administration and Forrest J. Remick, former commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the George H.W. Bush administration. They wrote that the bill would "make the agency's regulations more accountable, credible, and enforceable" and that its transparency requirements "can be accomplished without imposing unnecessary burdens, discouraging research, or raising confidentiality concerns."

Costly environmental regulations must be based on publicly available data that independent scientists can verify. For example, take the administration's recently proposed plan to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants—regulations that could cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and spike electricity rates.

In the announcement of her agency's 645-page Clean Power Plan, Ms. McCarthy claimed "The science is clear. The risks are clear. And the high costs of climate inaction keep piling up." Yet any reporter willing to read beyond the EPA press release would find that the reality doesn't match the rhetoric.

Monday's Supreme Court decision (Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA) underscores the need for scrutiny of agency claims. The court called EPA's rewriting of the Clean Air Act "outrageous," and said that "When an agency claims to discover in a long-extant statute an unheralded power to regulate 'a significant portion of the American economy,' we typically greet its announcement with a measure of skepticism." Such skepticism is well deserved.

Virtually all of the EPA's health claims for its latest power-plant rules, including that they would save thousands of lives a year, are based on data that haven't been made public. In any event, for most of the EPA's 2030 projections, a majority of the health benefits claimed have nothing to do with carbon dioxide. They come from reductions in air pollutants already regulated by the EPA such as particulate matter and ozone.

The EPA also claims that its Clean Power Plan will yield climate benefits, such as lower sea levels, which the agency calculates using its "social cost of carbon." But a recent analysis by Ted Gayer, vice president and director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution, found that most of these alleged benefits take place outside the U.S. Even using the EPA's own numbers, the costs of this regulation may exceed the direct, domestic benefits.

The EPA, like every other government institution, should be accountable to the American people. We need to protect our environment, but this should be done on the basis of open and honest information. That is the goal of the Secret Science Reform Act.

Mr. Smith, a Republican from Texas, is chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #111 on: July 22, 2014, 10:00:34 AM »



Study Finds Elementary Students Like New Healthier Lunches
Students Complained When Regulations Implemented, But Ultimately Found Them Agreeable
by Caroline Porter and Stephanie Armour
WSJ
Updated July 21, 2014 7:39 p.m. ET

A new study reveals that the healthier school lunches despised in 2012 are now found to be agreeable among students and staffers. Caroline Porter joins the News Hub with Sara Murray. Photo: Getty Images.

When the federal government implemented new school-meal regulations in 2012, a majority of elementary-school students complained about the healthier lunches, but by the end of the school year most found the food agreeable, according to survey results released Monday.

The peer-reviewed study comes amid concerns that the regulations led schools to throw away more uneaten food and prompted some students to drop out of meal programs.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago surveyed administrators at more than 500 primary schools about student reaction to the new meals in the 2012-2013 school year. They found that 70% agreed or strongly agreed that students, by the end of the school year, generally liked the new lunches, which feature more whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and lower fat levels.

"We feel like these data support the new meals and show that although change can be slow, there have not been as many student complaints as thought to be," said Lindsey Turner, the lead author of the study, which will be published in the journal Childhood Obesity. The research was supported by a national group called Bridging the Gap that studies polices that improve health and was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which backs public-health initiatives.

In another study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine this past spring, researchers found that students were eating more fruits and vegetables under the new guidelines.

The school-meal standards have been contentious. Some Republicans criticized their calorie limits—the first time the government had imposed such a mandate on school meals—and in 2012 introduced legislation in the House to repeal the requirements. The standards also spurred student-led lunch boycotts in some districts.

Participation in the school-meal program has declined in recent years, fueling questions about the regulations' impact.

"Our big concern is that participation continues to slide," said Diane Pratt-Heavner, spokeswoman for the School Nutrition Association, which represents 55,000 school-nutritional professionals. The group seeks a relaxation of the rules, and says it believes they play a role in the decline in students participating.

Nationwide, participation in the school-lunch program fell by 1.2 million students, or 3.7%, from the 2010-2011 school year through the 2012-2013 year after having steadily increased for many years, according to a Feb. 27 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. State and local officials reported the drop was due in part to the new standards.

The study released Monday shows that schools in which two-thirds or more of students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch had higher participation and left less food on their plates than schools with fewer students qualified for the meals. In addition, administrators at rural schools reported more student complaints and wasted food, as well as participation drops, as compared with urban or suburban schools, according to the report.

The rules cover the roughly 32 million children who eat school breakfasts, lunches and snacks, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which says the program cost $15.2 billion in the 2013-2014 school year.


The requirement for healthier school food was a signature push of first lady Michelle Obama. The standards are aimed at reducing childhood obesity and were released in January 2012. Ms. Obama earlier this month vowed to fight GOP efforts to weaken the rules. House Republicans and the School Nutrition Association are seeking to relax some of the requirements in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

House Republicans are calling for some schools facing financial challenges to get a temporary waiver from the rules. They say the standards have been money losers for some districts. Democrats say the schools simply need more time and that many have made a successful transition.

"It takes students a little bit to adjust," said Jessica Donze Black, a child nutrition expert for the Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonprofit that promotes healthy school meals. "A majority of schools are doing well, and we should be able to learn from those schools and move forward with the schools that are still struggling."

A hearing on school nutrition by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is set for Wednesday.

Write to Caroline Porter at caroline.porter@wsj.com and Stephanie Armour at stephanie.armour@wsj.com
Logged
MikeT
Power User
***
Posts: 89


« Reply #112 on: July 22, 2014, 11:42:14 AM »

Cities who take HUD funding--- basically all of them-- could fall under federal jurisdiction for neighborhood planning quotas.

http://mobile.wnd.com/2014/07/new-obama-rule-could-force-cities-to-house-illegals/

Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #113 on: August 02, 2014, 10:22:50 AM »


This was published in the Canada Free Press and some  blogs. [And not in the US press?  Surprise surprise. ]
 

 
 
Green Energy for Dead Vets
Daniel Greenfield
Three years before Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki would be forced out of his job because of the veterans who had died under him, he visited the Massachusetts National Cemetery . He wasn't there to see the men and women who had died because of him.
 
While vets were dying, Obama and Shinseki had turned their attention to something truly important; seeing to it that all the cemeteries where they were being buried had wind or solar power.
 
The Massachusetts National Cemetery was getting a wind turbine so that the dead veterans would have all the sustainable energy they needed.
 
A VA press release about the cemetery turbine boasted that "under the leadership of Secretary Eric K. Shinseki... VA is transitioning into a 21st century organization that better serves America ’s Veterans."
 
Shinseki arrived in person at the dedication ceremony to flip the switch on the cemetery wind turbine.
 
“Nationally, VA continues to expand its investment in renewable sources of energy to promote our Nation’s energy independence, save taxpayer dollars, and improve care for our Veterans and their families,” he said.
 
The cemetery turbine had cost $533,000. Veterans were dying to save the VA a few hundred dollars. Shinseki had made his order of priorities clear. Green energy boondoggles came first. Improving veteran care came last.
 
Acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Steve Muro told the crowd, "With one of VA’s first wind turbine projects, the Massachusetts National Cemetery is leading the way in the use of renewable energy while providing the burial benefits that New England Veterans and their families have earned."
 
Muro had made the entire macabre spectacle worthy of a Joseph Heller novel. Obama's people had not only killed veterans, they had killed satire.
 
When the VA wasn't installing a wind turbine at a cemetery, it was installing solar panels at cemeteries to better serve the dead veterans that it was killing.
 
The Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery’s solar panels cost $787,308. According to the press release, the solar panels in the cemetery would "reduce greenhouse gas emissions".
 
$742,034 worth of solar panels was put in at the Calverton National Cemetery .  The San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery got an $800,000 solar panel setup. The Riverside National Cemetery got a $1.3 million solar system.
 
“We are investing in clean energy and renewable energy projects at our national cemeteries to reduce our environmental footprint,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki declared. ”The transition toward these renewable energy sources helps VA continue to be a leading example of going green in the federal government.”
 
Vets might be dying at VA facilities, but they would have solar panels and wind turbines over their graves so that Shineski could provide Obama with a leading example of “greenness”.
 
The cemeteries may have been where the VA's scandal of shorting care for vets ended, under the shade of solar panels and wind turbines, but it was not where it began.
 
The VA scandal began at the Phoenix VA Health Care System where administrators earned promotions and bonuses by shunting patients who needed treatment into fake waiting lists.
 
 
As many as 40 veterans had died while waiting for care and 1,715 veterans in the Phoenix VA Health Care System had waited more than 90 days for an appointment. A retired Navy serviceman died of bladder cancer after being put on a 7-month waiting list after blood was found in his urine. He finally received an appointment a week after his death.
 
But each and every year, from 2009 to 2011, the Phoenix VA Health Care System put in solar panels. The solar panels at the Carl T. Hayden VA in Phoenix cost $20 million.
 
That $20 million could have saved the lives of dying veterans.
 
In 2009, Obama had signed a Green Energy executive order. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki had announced that "in order to continue providing Veterans with the best health care and benefit services, VA must adapt to climate change."
 
Not only did Global Warming have nothing to do with serving veterans, but it got in the way of the VA's central mission. While Shinseki was focused on building solar panels so the sky wouldn't fall, veterans were waiting months to see a doctor.
 
At some South Texas facilities vets had to wait 85 days for a primary care appointment and 55 days for a mental health appointment with  "a worst-in-the-nation, 145-day average wait for new patients seeking specialist care".
 
One of the vets waiting for a mental health appointment, who suffered from waiting list cheating, committed suicide.
 
Meanwhile the South Texas Veterans Health Care System installed a 1.7 MW solar PV system.
 
The Amarillo VA Health Care System had the third longest wait times for mental health appointments in the country. Its Thomas E. Creek office complained of a lack of resources. Meanwhile $10 million was spent on solar panels.
 
Hawaii has the longest waiting list for veterans with an average of 145 days for an appointment at the Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center.
 
Meanwhile it was spending between $1 and $2 million on a 119 KW Solar PV System.
 
Veterans at Kansas VAs had to wait more than 90 days. 977 never had appointments scheduled. There were 104 vets on the waiting list at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita .
 
But while the Dole Center may not have had time for vets, it did have time to set up solar panels.
 
Three mental health administrators at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville , Florida were suspended for keeping a waiting list for over 200 vets. Meanwhile the facility had blown between$5 and $10 million on a solar panel system.
 
The Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center put 3,000 vets on a phantom waiting list to see a doctor who doesn't see patients.
 
Unfortunately its $20.3 million solar setup was all too real.
 
The average wait time for new patients at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center was about 57 days to see a primary care doctor.  But that just gave vets more time to admire its new $1.1 million solar setup.
 
The Bay Pines VA Health Care System didn't schedule appointments for 1,000 vets. But it did find the time and money to put in solar panels. The Cheyenne VA Medical Center, which was caught removing vets from the waiting list, had not one, but two, million dollar solar setups.
 
The Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center , which was one of three flagged facilities, was part of a $50 million VA solar panel contract.
 
Vets couldn't get appointments, but every VA facility was getting solar power, whether it needed it or not.
 
The Buffalo VA Medical Center in upstate New York , where winter is the best 8 months of the year, got solar. So did the VA center in the Bronx in New York City . The New York VA solar contracts were part of $7.8 million in solar contracts awarded to one company.
 
Meanwhile in Southeast Texas, the former associate chief of staff at the VA said that a cost-cutting policy had been implemented under which colonoscopies would only be approved if the patient tested positive in three successive screenings for bloody stools.
 
“By the time that you do the colonoscopies on these patients, you went from a stage 1 to a stage 4, which is basically inoperable,” Dr. Richard Krugman said. "That was done because of dollars and cents. For the VA, they have to be bleeding out of their rectum before they would authorize a colonoscopy."
 
Everyone has their priorities. Benghazi and the VA scandal happened because the men who died were a low priority compared to solar panels and buying bad art for embassies. The State Department spent millions on art for embassies and mansion renovations, but begrudged the security that would have saved four American lives. Fortunes were spent on solar panels and wind turbines for VA facilities, but veterans died of cancer to save money on a colonoscopy.
 
The corrupt obsession with Green Energy doesn't just waste money, it costs lives. The fanaticism of the Global Warmists in the White House led them to disregard the lives of vets because they thought that saving the world with solar panels and wind turbines was more important.
 
The VA's Green Management Program Office claimed that it would "keep our promises to Veterans through sustainability." Instead it focused on "Environmental Justice" and "Green Purchasing" at the expense of veterans. Solar panels went up and veterans went down.
 
While they were putting in wind and solar at VA facilities and cemeteries, they forgot about the veterans who had served their country and deserved better than to be sacrificed for a solar panel.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #114 on: September 22, 2014, 09:27:52 AM »

Not quite sure where to put this

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/police-11-arrests-seize-190-pounds-unlicensed-ginseng-30000-cash/
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 11:21:16 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13825


« Reply #115 on: September 23, 2014, 09:13:31 AM »


Tragedy of the commons?
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #116 on: February 12, 2015, 01:32:01 AM »

Regulation Is Good for Goldman
Lloyd Blankfein and Elizabeth Warren find common ground.
Feb. 11, 2015 7:27 p.m. ET
11 COMMENTS

Liberals like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) are treating the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law as holy writ because she says it punishes the big banks. But then why is Lloyd Blankfein so content? On Tuesday at an investor conference, the Goldman Sachs CEO explained how higher regulatory costs are crushing the competition.

“More intense regulatory and technology requirements have raised the barriers to entry higher than at any other time in modern history,” said Mr. Blankfein. “This is an expensive business to be in, if you don’t have the market share in scale. Consider the numerous business exits that have been announced by our peers as they reassessed their competitive positioning and relative returns.”
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs ENLARGE
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Photo: Bloomberg

Longer term, Mr. Blankfein sees more opportunities for global giants like Goldman to grab even more market share, as “only a handful of players” will likely be able “to effectively compete on a global basis.”

While the Goldman boss wasn’t endorsing all of the added directives from Washington, he said his bank is “prepared to have this relationship with our regulators”—and the regulators are prepared to have a deep relationship with Goldman—“for a long time.”

None of this will surprise our readers, who understand that one goal of Dodd-Frank was to turn big banks into the equivalent of financial utilities. But it is unusual to see a financial CEO like Mr. Blankfein state the effect so candidly. Goldman can afford to hire battalions of lawyers and lobbyists to commune with regulators, and no doubt some of Wall Street’s campaign contributions from its regulation-aided profits will even make it to the likes of Ms. Warren. As ever, powerful government mainly helps the powerful.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 5881


« Reply #117 on: February 12, 2015, 08:55:08 AM »

"“More intense regulatory and technology requirements have raised the barriers to entry higher than at any other time in modern history,” said Mr. Blankfein. “This is an expensive business to be in, if you don’t have the market share in scale. Consider the numerous business exits that have been announced by our peers as they reassessed their competitive positioning and relative returns.”

The same thing is happening in health care.  Regulations and profound complex technology requirements have done the same thing in health care.
The biggest thrive and everyone else struggles or goes out of business.   The winners are the biggest who can pay reams of people to navigate the mazes that are laid down all over the streets and sidewalks.

Hence big pharmacies, big hospital chains, and the biggest insurers are thriving and taking over the entire health care world.

Any of us seen any savings yet?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 10:52:47 AM by ccp » Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8186


« Reply #118 on: February 12, 2015, 10:40:07 AM »

"“More intense regulatory and technology requirements have raised the barriers to entry higher than at any other time in modern history,” said Mr. Blankfein. “This is an expensive business to be in, if you don’t have the market share in scale. Consider the numerous business exits that have been announced by our peers as they reassessed their competitive positioning and relative returns.”
The same thing is happening in health care.  Regulations and profound complex technology requirements have done the same thing in health care.
The biggest thrive and everyone struggles or goes out of business.   The winners are the biggest who can pay reams of people to navigate the mazes that are laid down all over the streets and sidewalks.
Hence big pharmacies, big hospital chains, and the biggest insurers are thriving and taking over the entire health care world.
Any of us seen any savings yet?

Isn't that the truth!  The rise of the giant bureaucracy is a war against entrepreneurialism and small business, right while the "market" index of entrenched companies keeps showing big gains.  Big companies continually challenged by start-ups and competition is what would actually make them stronger.  Health care in America is only the latest example of a country being swallowed by big government, one industry at a time.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 5881


« Reply #119 on: February 12, 2015, 11:00:00 AM »

Doug writes,

"The rise of the giant bureaucracy is a war against entrepreneurialism and small business, right while the "market" index of entrenched companies keeps showing big gains"

Yes!  And a giant expansion of the middle man growing exponentially to help with navigation and squeeze out savings.  But who shares the savings?  It ain't us.  It is the Wall Street businesses.   

Take for example the Pharmacy Benefits Managers such as Caremark.  To help keep down drug costs.  Sounds good but what was their market cap when they were finally swallowed up but the bigger player - CVS?

I could be wrong but I would like a real objective cost benefit analysis (actuaries?) to explain to us (Joe the plumber public) who is actually seeing the big benefits.
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8186


« Reply #120 on: February 13, 2015, 03:16:06 PM »

Don't be fooled by the name; it's a government takeover.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/02/net-neuter-trality.php

Watch the short video.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #121 on: March 02, 2015, 01:01:19 PM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/2/judge-rules-epa-lied-about-transparency/
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #122 on: April 05, 2015, 10:22:26 AM »

Mansour Samadpour makes his way through the supermarket like a detective working a crime scene, slow, watchful, up one aisle and down the next. A clerk mistakenly assumes that he needs help, but Mr. Samadpour brushes him off. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

He buys organic raspberries that might test positive for pesticides and a fillet of wild-caught fish that might be neither wild nor the species listed on the label. He buys beef and pork ground fresh at the market. He is disappointed that there is no caviar, which might turn out to be something cheaper than sturgeon roe. That’s an easy case to crack.

Civilian shoppers see food when they go to the market. Mr. Samadpour, the chief executive of IEH Laboratories (short for Institute for Environmental Health), sees mystery, if not downright fraud. On this visit, he is shopping for goods he can test at his labs to demonstrate to a reporter that what you see on market shelves may not be what you get.

While he’s out of the office, he receives a call and dispatches a team on a more pressing expedition: They need to buy various products that contain cumin, because a client just found possible evidence of peanuts, a powerful allergen, in a cumin-based spice mix. The client wants a definitive answer before someone gets sick.
Photo
Testing vials of caviar samples at IEH Laboratories in Seattle. Credit Ian C. Bates for The New York Times

Suppliers, manufacturers and markets depend on Mr. Samadpour’s network of labs to test food for inadvertent contamination and deliberate fraud, or to verify if a product is organic or free of genetically modified organisms. Consumers, the last link in the chain, bet their very health on responsible practices along the way.

The annual cost of food-borne illnesses in the United States is $14.1 billion to $16.3 billion, according to a 2013 analysis by the Agriculture Department. The federal government has called for a shift from reaction, which usually means a large recall after people have fallen ill or died, to prevention, to reduce the number of such episodes. Wary customers want their food to be safe and genuine, and food retailers, who rely on a global array of suppliers, are looking for ways to protect their brands.

Food testing sits at the intersection of those desires. Mr. Samadpour, who opened IEH’s first lab in 2001 with six employees, now employs over 1,500 people at 116 labs in the United States and Europe. He refers to his company, one of the largest of its kind in the country, as “a privately financed public health organization.”

The Promise of DNA Tests

The two low-slung wooden buildings that house IEH’s labs at its base in Seattle feel more like a high school chemistry lab than the center of a national food security network; there’s an acrid smell, and the counters are crammed with vials of various shapes and colors, centrifuge machines and lined notebooks full of data entries.

This is where analysts coax DNA out of a tiny sample of whatever is being tested. For lethal threats, like E. coli 0157 in ground beef, the detection process involves a grim recipe of ground beef and a broth infused with nutrients that E. coli likes to eat, put in a warm place to rest for 10 hours — at which point a single E. coli cell, if it exists, will have spawned one million easy-to-detect siblings. For fraud cases, the process is somewhat simpler; lab technicians run a DNA test or chemical analysis to confirm a sample’s identity.
Continue reading the main story

Cheap technology has made this kind of testing possible. “Ten years ago, it would have taken millions of dollars to sequence a genome,” Mr. Samadpour says. “Now it takes $100. We do thousands a year.”

Business is booming — partly because IEH clients consider testing to be a gatekeeper defense in a multitiered food economy without borders. “We’re a lot more concerned about imports,” Mr. Samadpour says, because of “lack of accountability, lack of infrastructure, lack of a culture of food safety.” He says episodes like the 2008 discovery of the toxic chemical melamine in infant formula from China have contributed to a gradual shift in food manufacturers’ attitudes toward imports.

While the lab focuses primarily on safety issues like the cumin-and-peanut inquiry, there are enough fraud calls to support specialties among the lab technicians, like Kirthi Kutumbaka, referred to by his colleagues as “the emperor of fish” for his work on a seafood identification project. Once a fish is filleted, genetic testing is the only way to confirm its identity, making it a popular category for fraud.

IEH’s clients are primarily vendors who supply retailers and manufacturers, and they generally prefer to remain anonymous for fear of indicating to consumers that they have a specific worry about safety.

Costco is one of the retailers that use IEH’s services, and the company doesn’t mind talking about it.

“We have to inspect what we expect,” says Craig Wilson, the company’s vice president for quality assurance and food safety, meaning that products have to live up to their labels, particularly items in Costco’s own Kirkland Signature line.

Costco has a smaller margin of error than most food retailers; the company stocks only about 3,500 so-called S.K.U.s, or stock keeping units, while most retailers offer as many as 150,000. A single misstep is a far greater percentage of the whole. That’s why, in addition to retaining IEH, it operates its own 20-person testing lab.

“We’re not typical,” Mr. Wilson says. “We have one ketchup, one mayonnaise, one can of olives, Kirkland Signature olive oils and a couple of others.” Since 2003, the United States Department of Agriculture has required the testing of beef used for ground beef, resulting in a 40 percent reduction in cases of E. coli traced to beef consumption. Costco, which processes 600,000 to 700,000 pounds of ground beef daily, does extensive micro-sampling of the meat at its California facility, Mr. Wilson says.

The company expects its suppliers to absorb testing costs and gets no resistance, given the size of the resulting orders. Costco sells 157,000 rotisserie chickens a day. As Mr. Wilson put it: “If vendors get a bill for a couple hundred bucks on a $1 million order, who cares? They don’t.”

The sheer volume also enables Costco to demand action when there is a problem. After a 2006 outbreak of E. coli tied to Earthbound Farm’s ready-to-eat bagged spinach, in which three people died and more than 200 became ill, Mr. Wilson, one of Earthbound’s customers, instituted what he calls a “bag and hold” program for all of Costco’s fresh greens suppliers. He required the suppliers to test their produce and not ship it until they had the results of the tests.


Earthbound responded to the outbreak with a “multihurdle program that places as many barriers to food-borne illness as we can,” says Gary Thomas, the company’s senior vice president for integrated supply chain. Earthbound now conducts 200,000 tests annually on its ready-to-eat greens.

Not everyone was as quick to embrace change; some growers were concerned about losing shelf life while they waited for results. Mr. Wilson was unmoved by that argument. “If you can test and verify microbial safety, what do I care if I lose shelf life?” he says.

The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011, intended to improve food safety practices, has been mired in missed deadlines, which have been attributed to food-industry concerns about overregulation and to an unrealistic timeline given the scope of the overhaul. The delays led to a lawsuit by the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Environmental Health, two advocacy groups. The F.D.A. and the Office of Management and Budget now operate under a court-ordered schedule that requires regulations to be issued in late 2015 and 2016.

The F.D.A. currently stops short of requiring produce tests, although it conducts its own “surveillance sampling,” according to Juli Putnam, an agency spokeswoman. The agency sees two drawbacks to mandatory tests: “A negative product test result does not necessarily indicate the absence of a hazard,” Ms. Putnam wrote in an email, because contamination might show up in another part of a field, and conducting more tests would increase the costs that are passed on to the consumer.

The agency is focused instead on defining minimum safety standards for “potential sources of microbiological contamination such as agricultural water, worker health and hygiene and animals in the growing area,” she wrote (though some preventive testing is conducted on sprouts).


DNATrek, a newcomer to the field, sees opportunity in another aspect of food safety testing: the need to quickly pinpoint the source of a pathogen outbreak, to avoid delays and unnecessarily broad recalls. Anthony Zografos, the company’s chief executive, says it soon plans to introduce a test called DNATrax, which will be able to identify the source of contaminated produce within an hour, narrowing recall efforts “to a specific field or packer or distributor.” The test relies on tracer DNA that is dissolved in the liquid coating applied to many types of produce after harvest or added to prepared foods; it provides a unique genetic fingerprint.

George Farquar, a chemist and Mr. Zografos’s partner in the company, was looking for ways to trace airborne contaminants as part of a national security project financed by the Defense Department when he realized that the work could be applied to food safety. He and Mr. Zografos licensed the technology from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he was conducting the research, and it will receive royalties from sales of the test. Mr. Zografos says that DNATrax will offer traceability for most types of field produce at a price of about $1 for 1,000 pounds.
Continue reading the main story

Tracking Down Fraud

Food safety is a yes-or-no proposition — either there is a contaminant or there isn’t. Food fraud, a smaller segment of the universe of problem foods, is harder to detect because it can take so many forms. Fish from a country whose imports have been banned might arrive at the market labeled with a different country of origin, honey might be cut with cheaper extenders, and saffron might not even be saffron.

When asked if fake food has ever crossed the threshold at Costco, Mr. Wilson smiles and says, “I’m going to go with ‘no,’ but you’re not going to believe me entirely. Yes, there have been egregious things, and we’ve taken care of them, and that’s that.”

Olive oil is a popular target for fraud because there are several ways to charge more for less. Compliance with United States Department of Agriculture quality standards for extra-virgin olive oil is voluntary. Unless a supplier pays for testing, passes and puts a U.S.D.A.-certified sticker on the bottle, consumers have no way to know whether they got extra-virgin olive oil. Any grade of olive oil can be doctored with cheap filler oils like canola, because they have no flavor. And the country of origin listed on the label isn’t always where the contents are from.

About five years ago, Mr. Wilson decided it was time to send an employee to Tuscany to collect leaves from Tuscan olive trees. Costco now has an index of DNA information on “all the cultivars of Tuscan olive oil, about 16 different ones,” he says. “When they harvest and press, we do our DNA testing.”

A group of undergraduates at the University of California, Davis, has developed the OliView, a biosensor that can detect rancid or adulterated olive oil. They expect to have the device ready for sale, at $60 to $80, in 18 months to two years. “At the supermarket level, we found that a lot of times the oil was just old and rancid,” says Selina Wang, research director at the U.C. Davis Olive Center and one of the students’ advisers, “but there were also samples labeled extra virgin that were actually a little bit of virgin olive oil mixed with refined olive oil.”

Adulterated oil, more common among imports, can stump even food professionals. Ms. Wang says that at the center, they “have seen samples with as much as 70 percent canola oil.”

DNATrek has also developed a test for products where fraud is a temptation — “high-value stuff, truffles, saffron, premium juices, honey, seafood and olive oil,” Mr. Zografos says.

Mr. Samadpour says that in multi-ingredient products, the source of trickery is usually hidden further down the food chain than the name on the package. “It’s not the top people who get involved in economic adulteration,” he says. “It’s someone lower down who sees a way to save a penny here or there. Maybe it’s 2 or 3 cents, but if you sell a million units, that’s $20,000 to $30,000.”

Consumer Vigilance

As with most expanding technologies, there are believers and skeptics. David Gombas, senior vice president for food safety and technology at the 111-year-old United Fresh Produce Association, echoes the position of the Food and Drug Administration: Testing is not a sufficient answer for his members, who include anyone engaged in the fresh produce industry, “from guys who come up with seeds to growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, restaurants and grocery stores, everyone from beginning to end,” from small organic farms to Monsanto.

Their common ground, he says, is a commitment to food safety — but members disagree on how to achieve it, including Mr. Gombas and Mr. Samadpour, who are both microbiologists. “Microbiological testing provides a false sense of security,” Mr. Gombas says. “They can find one dead salmonella cell on a watermelon, but what does that tell you about the rest of the watermelon in the field? Nothing.”

Testing has its place, he says, but as backup for “good practices and environmental monitoring,” which includes things as diverse as employee hygiene and site visits. “I’m a fan of testing,” he says, “if something funny’s going on.” Otherwise, he has taken on the role of contrarian. “People think testing means something. When I say it doesn’t, they smile, nod and keep testing.”

Mr. Samadpour says sampling “can reduce the risk tremendously but can never 100 percent eliminate it,” but he will take a tremendous reduction over a food crisis any day. The government’s “indirect” stance, which mandates safety but does not require testing, allows companies to interpret safe practices on “a spectrum,” he says, “from bare minimum to sophisticated programs,” and he worries about safety at the low end of that range.

He says consumer vigilance is the best defense against the selling of groceries under bare minimum standards.

IEH tested the contents of Mr. Samadpour’s grocery cart:

The organic raspberries showed 0.12 parts per million of spinosyn A, an insecticide with a tolerance limit of 0.035 p.p.m. on organic crops and 0.7 p.p.m on nonorganic berries. Mr. Samadpour assumed that was the result of an errant breeze from a nearby nonorganic field.

The beef and pork were cross-contaminated — each had amounts of the other — a common occurrence, he says, when markets grind first one batch of meat and then the other. These were small amounts as well, but their presence could upset a Muslim or Jewish customer who does not eat pork, or a Hindu who does not eat beef. The fish was what the label said it was.

As for the cumin and the peanuts, the F.D.A. posted a handful of product recalls, all of them involving cumin and peanuts, including Kellogg’s MorningStar Farms chipotle black bean burgers, which Mr. Wilson removed from Costco’s shelves.

The recalls continued for weeks, until the F.D.A. issued a blanket statement “advising people who are highly allergic to peanuts to consider avoiding products that contain ground cumin or cumin powder, because some shipments of these products have tested positive for undeclared peanut protein. People who are highly allergic or sensitive to peanuts may be at risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction.”

Inside the labs, reaction was more world-weary than panicked; this was business as usual.

“Other than the label somebody’s written,” Mr. Farquar says, “you really have no idea where your food’s coming from.”

Mr. Samadpour, having been at this far longer, is more philosophical. “I eat street food when I travel,” he says. “One can’t become a microbe-phobe.”
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #123 on: May 14, 2015, 10:36:35 AM »

Many charts and graphs in the original
======================================

The Regulatory State - Central Planning and Bureaucracy on a Rampage
   
inShare
 
The New 10,000 Commandments Report – It’s Worse than Ever
Before we begin, we should mention that the US economy has long been one of the least regulated among the major regulatory States of the so-called “free” world, and to a large extent this actually still remains true. This introductory remark should give readers an idea of how terrible the situation is in many of the socialist Utopias elsewhere.
 
 
 
Even in the US though, today’s economic system is light years away from free market capitalism or anything even remotely resembling a “laissez faire” system. We are almost literally drowning in regulations. The extent of this regulatory Moloch and that the very real costs it imposes is seriously retarding economic progress. It is precisely as Bill Bonner recently said: the government’s main job is to look toward the future in order to prevent it from happening.
A great many of today’s regulations have only one goal: to protect established interest groups. Regulations that are ostensibly detrimental to certain unpopular corporatist interests are no different. Among these is e.g. the truly monstrous and nigh impenetrable thicket of financial rules invented after the 2008 crash in a valiant effort to close the barn door long after the horse had escaped. They are unlikely to bother the established large banking interests in the least. The banking cartel is probably elated that it has become virtually impossible for start-ups to ever seriously compete with it. The same is true of many other business regulations; their main effect is to protect the biggest established companies from competition.
 
 
 
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) – evidently named after a species close to extinction – has just released its 2015 report on the regulatory State, entitled “The 10,000 Commandments” (download link at the end of the article). Here is a summary of the grisly highlights (now would be a good time to get the barf bags out):
 
“Federal regulation and intervention cost American consumers and businesses an estimated $1.88 trillion in 2014 in lost economic productivity and higher prices.
If U.S. federal regulation was a country, it would be the world’s 10th largest economy, ranking behind Russia and ahead of India.
Economy-wide regulatory costs amount to an average of $14,976 per household – around 29 percent of an average family budget of $51,100. Although not paid directly by individuals, this “cost” of regulation exceeds the amount an average family spends on health care, food and transportation.
The “Unconstitutionality Index” is the ratio of regulations issued by unelected agency officials compared to legislation enacted by Congress in a given year. In 2014, agencies issued  16 new regulations for every law — that’s 3,554 new regulations compared to 224 new laws.
Many Americans complain about taxes, but regulatory compliance costs exceed what the IRS is expected to collect in both individual and corporate income taxes for last year—by more than $160 billion.
Some 60 federal departments, agencies and commissions have 3,415 regulations in development at various stages in the pipeline. The top six federal rule making agencies account for 48 percent of all federal regulations. These are the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, Interior, Health and Human Services and Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The 2014 Federal Register contains 77,687 pages, the sixth highest page count in its history. Among the six all-time-high Federal Register total page counts, five occurred under President Obama.
The George W. Bush administra¬tion averaged 62 major regulations annually over eight years, while the Obama administration has averaged 81 major regulations annually over six years.
 
(emphasis added)
 
 Look at it and weep: the estimated cost of federal regulations and interventions alone in 2015 – click to enlarge.
 
If one adds taxes and the damage done by the Fed’s incessant money printing to these regulatory costs, it is a miracle the economy hasn’t imploded yet. Note the deeply undemocratic nature of the regulatory process: The vast majority of the rules – all of which have the power of law – is concocted by unelected bureaucrats in the form of “administrative law”. It would otherwise simply be impossible to make up thousands of new rules every year. As unproductive as the bureaucracy is, it is still smothering the economy with this onslaught. This will probably never change, unless the entire system collapses one day. After all, the people tasked with making the rules need something to do.
 
 The cost of federal regulation per US household, compared to various major household expenditure items – click to enlarge.
 
Growing Like a Weed
 
 
 
A look at the Federal Register shows that the growth in regulations is essentially a permanent feature. There are no longer any significant time periods during which the number of rules actually declines. It is probably no coincidence that the charts below are eerily reminiscent of charts showing total federal debt or charts depicting the growth in the money supply. The only thing that is no longer showing any respectable growth is the economy. Of course, no-one should be surprised by this.
Federal Register pages per decade. One wonders how people survived the practically lawless 1940 – 1970 period. Note that if we were to go back in time by another 30 years, we would see that the federal government wasn’t even a footnote in most people’s lives.
 
 Over the past 22 years, almost 91,000 final rules and regulations were published cumulatively. We are just guessing here, but we believe that between the time the average citizen gets out of bed until shortly after he has slurped his morning coffee, he has violated at least five laws or regulations already – click to enlarge.
 
 Cumulative regulations published in the Federal Register – almost 91,000 in the past 22 years alone – click to enlarge.
 
Monetary costs are just one aspect to this. There is also the wasted effort and psychic cost that is incurred when people realize that there are many things they simply cannot do, even though they would harm no-one and would actually provide a service to their fellow men. It will often prove extremely difficult to fight the red tape and still establish a successful business venture at the same time. Certain sectors of the economy have been closed off to the private sector completely (see the example of roads below). Very often start-ups with little capital cannot hope to compete in certain business sectors, as the regulatory obstacles are simply impossible to overcome.
Recently a US trucking organization has penned a manifesto in which it is bitterly complaining about crumbling roads and bridges across the US and urging the government to “do something”. The authors should take a long, hard look at their sad collection of statistics and realize that this is what actually happens when the government monopolizes a sector of the economy.
Another aspect is of course social control. By making a criminal or a potential criminal out of everybody, the mountain of laws and regulations can always be brought to bear against citizens or organizations that have somehow displeased government officials or managed to attract their wrath. One can see a variation of this principle at work in modern-day criminal court cases. People who are indicted for a crime are usually faced with a whole plethora of charges apart from the main charge. The intention is to force them to accept a plea deal whether or not they are innocent. The point is obviously not to serve the cause of justice.
However, we don’t want to digress too much here. The purely economic cost on which the CEI report focuses is distressing enough all by itself. One only has to think the problem properly through. Similar to other government interventions such as interest rate and money supply manipulations by the central bank, these enormous costs hamper the economy to such an extent that economic progress is slowed to a crawl. Who knows what we could have achieved by now if this were not the case? Perhaps people would already be able to reach the ripe old age of 150 and still feel like spring chickens in their early 100ds. Concerns over material well-being that continue to bedevil so many people today may already be orders of magnitude smaller. As Israel Kirzner once remarked in this context:
 
“We are not able to chart the future of capitalism in any specificity. Our reason for this incapability is precisely that which assures us . . . the economic future of capitalism will be one of progress and advance. The circumstance that precludes our viewing the future of capitalism as a determinate one is the very circumstance in which, with entrepreneurship at work, we are no longer confined by any scarcity framework.”
 
However, for this to be true, free market capitalism must be able to breathe. We won’t be able to enjoy the fruits of entrepreneurship if it is smothered at every opportunity.
 
 
 
Conclusion
As revolting as the full picture is, we recommend reading the entire “10,000 Commandments” report, which can bedownloaded here (pdf). Above we show only a very small selection of the charts and data contained in the complete report. One thing should be clear to everyone reading it: This is a major problem that deserves a lot more attention than it usually seems to get.
 

Charts by: Competitive Enterprise Institute
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #124 on: August 10, 2015, 01:41:48 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/08/08/nyc-government-agency-goes-to-court-to-fire-employee-for-missing-18-months-of-work-but-apparently-they-never-learned-one-crucial-detail/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Firewire&utm_campaign=Firewire%20-%20HORIZON%208-9-15%20FINAL
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #125 on: September 19, 2015, 02:21:09 PM »

FORT BRIDGER, Wyo. — The sun was sinking and the brook trout were biting, so Andy Johnson and his daughter Aspen, 6, stepped onto their sun-bleached pier, hooked some mealworms and cast their lines into the most infamous pond in the West.

It is just a splotch of placid water amid endless ripples of grazing land here in western Wyoming. But in the two years since Mr. Johnson dammed a small creek running through his front yard to create the pond, it has become an emblem for conservative groups and local governments that are fighting what Senator Michael B. Enzi called a “regulatory war” with the Obama administration over environmental issues ranging from water quality to gas drilling, coal power plants to sage grouse.

“It makes no sense whatsoever,” Mr. Johnson said, pointing at the waving grasses and birds pinwheeling around the water. “We have wetlands now. I really think the E.P.A. should be coming in and saying, ‘Good job.’”


The pond battle has pitted Mr. Johnson, a 32-year-old welder, part-time barbecue caterer and father of four girls, against a federal bureaucracy that is, in the best of times, grudgingly tolerated out here. It erupted after officials from the Environmental Protection Agency paid a visit to the pond and, Mr. Johnson said, told him that he was facing “a very serious matter.”

Mr. Johnson dammed a small creek running through his front yard to create the pond for his cattle to drink from. He said it had become an oasis for birds and wildlife. Credit Kim Raff for The New York Times

In a January 2014 violation notice, the agency said Mr. Johnson had violated the Clean Water Act by digging out Six Mile Creek and dumping in tons of river rocks without getting necessary federal permits. The agency ordered him to take steps to restore the creek under the supervision of environmental officials, or face accumulating fines of as much as $37,500 a day.

Mr. Johnson refused.

He argued that he had gotten full approvals from Wyoming officials, and said the federal government had no business using national water laws to make decisions about the creek that meanders through the family’s eight-acre property. Mr. Johnson and his wife, Katie, had spent $50,000 — most of their savings, they said — to create the pond to water their 10 head of cattle and four horses. Dismantling it now would be ruinously expensive and destroy what has become a tiny oasis for birds and wildlife, they said.

After more than a year of unsuccessful negotiations, the standoff veered into a federal courthouse last month when Mr. Johnson sued the E.P.A., asking a judge to declare his pond legal and wave away accumulating fines of as much as $16 million.

“They have no right to be here,” Mr. Johnson said. “We’re law-abiding people. It makes your blood boil that they would come after you like that.”
Continue reading the main story

100 miles

MONTANA

YELLOWSTONE

NATIONAL PARK

90

WYOMING

287

25

Fort

Bridger

80

Cheyenne

UTAH

COLORADO

By The New York Times

The suit argues that the pond is exempt from the Clean Water Act because it was created to water stock. Further, it says the creek is too far removed from navigable rivers to fall under the E.P.A.’s authority.

The case has drawn support from conservative leaders around the state. Wyoming’s Republican senators, Mr. Enzi and John Barrasso, called the agency’s action “heavy-handed bureaucracy.”

Advertisement
Continue reading the main story

Advertisement
Continue reading the main story

“What did they do wrong?” Representative Cynthia M. Lummis, Republican of Wyoming, said in an interview, referring to the Johnsons. “What does the E.P.A. intend to gain? What wrong are they trying to right by imposing fines on these people?”

A libertarian legal group called the Pacific Legal Foundation began representing Mr. Johnson at no charge.

“We can’t have unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats ignoring the limits of their own authority,” said Jonathan Wood, a lawyer for the foundation. “There was no need for federal regulation here.”
Photo
Mr. Johnson, with his daughter Brookley, said state officials had approved his pond. Credit Kim Raff for The New York Times

In a statement, the E.P.A. said it had been “attempting to work cooperatively” with Mr. Johnson and added that it had not yet imposed any fines on him. The agency declined to say anything further, citing the lawsuit.

While the Johnsons watch trout jump in Wyoming, more than two dozen states and energy and farm groups are waging a similar fight, arguing that the E.P.A. went too far when it adopted a rule clarifying its authority to oversee smaller streams and wetlands. After 13 states sued, a federal judge in North Dakota temporarily blocked the new water rule from taking effect across much of the West.

But other states and many environmental groups have welcomed more federal control of state waters, saying that a confusing patchwork of rules had left small bodies of water vulnerable to pollution. In Wyoming, for example, some conservation groups criticized a state decision that reclassified thousands of miles of smaller streams to allow up to five times the level of E. coli bacteria.

States and landowners often argue that they are the ones best suited to preserve their own land and water. In Wyoming, officials point to requirements that drillers test for baseline groundwater quality, and to measures protecting sage grouse — rules that have been lauded by the Interior Department.

In Fort Bridger, Mr. Johnson points to his own pond. Since creating it, he and his family have seen blue herons and an eagle, moose and muskrat come to drink, and it is full of trout. (The Johnsons say they only catch and release.) Water flows in from the west, and out and back into the creek over a sloping spillway of river rocks that Mr. Johnson dumped into the channel.

A private report he commissioned found only positive environmental results. But the E.P.A.’s violation notice described the rocks, sand and concrete he used to create the dam and spillway as pollutants.

As the fight wore on, Mr. Johnson sold off most of his livestock to pay for legal costs and environmental studies. All that is left are one steer, a donkey and a Shetland pony to drink from their own private, bitterly contested watering hole.
Logged
objectivist1
Power User
***
Posts: 988


« Reply #126 on: September 26, 2015, 08:08:38 PM »

The VW “Scandal”

by eric • September 23, 2015

This could kill VW – until recently (until last week) the world’s largest car company.

But unlike say the exploding Pinto fiasco this is not a story about defective cars. It is a story about defective public policy.

None of the VW cars now in the crosshairs are unreliable, dangerous or shoddily built. They were simply programmed to give their owners best-case fuel economy and performance. Software embedded within each vehicle’s computer – which monitors and controls the operation of the engine – would furtively adjust those parameters slightly to sneak by emissions tests when the vehicle was plugged in for testing. But once out on the road, the calibrations would revert to optimal – for mileage and performance.

Now, the hysterical media accounts of the above make it seem that the alteration via code of the vehicles’ exhaust emissions was anything but slight. Shrill cries of up to “40 times” the “allowable maximum” echo across the land.

Well, true.

But, misleading.   

Because not defined – put in context.

What is the “allowable maximum”?

It is a very small number.

Less than 1 percent of the total volume of the car’s exhaust. We are talking fractions of percentages here. Which is why talk of “40 percent” is so misleading and, frankly, deliberately dishonest.

Left out of context, the figure sounds alarming. As in 40 percent of 100 percent.

As opposed to 40 percent of the remaining unscrubbed  1-3 percent or .05 percent  or whatever it is (depending on the specific “harmful” byproduct being belabored).

The truth – explained rarely, for reasons that will become obvious – is that the emissions of new cars (and recent-vintage cars) have been so thoroughly cleaned up they hardly exist at all. Catalytic converters (and especially “three way” catalytic converters with oxygen sensors) and fuel injection alone eliminated about two-thirds of the objectionable effluvia from the exhaust stream – and they’ve been around since the 1980s. Most of the remaining third was dealt with during the ’90s, via more precise forms of fuel delivery (port fuel injection replaced throttle body fuel injection) and more sophisticated engine computers capable of real-time monitoring and adjustment of parameters, and of alerting the vehicle’s owner to the need for a check (OBD II).

Since the late ’90s/early 2000s, the industry has been chasing diminishing returns. The remaining 3 percent or so of the exhaust stream that’s not been “controlled.”

You may begin to see the problem here.

Internal combustion is always going to produce some emissions. The engineers have picked the low hanging (and mid-hanging) fruit. But the EPA insists on what amounts to a zero emissions internal combustion engine.

Which, of course, is impossible.

Which may be just the point.

Set unattainable standards – then denounce the victim for “noncompliance.”

VW’s sin was trying to get diesels that people would want to buy into the showrooms. These would be diesels that went farther than an otherwise-equivalent gas-engined car on a gallon of fuel to offset the higher up-front cost of buying the diesel-powered vehicle. Or at least, far enough – relative to the gas-engined equivalent – to justify the price premium.

People also expected – demanded – that the vehicles perform. That they accelerate when the accelerator is pushed.

VW set the calibrations to deliver those things. The operating characteristics its customers want.

VW is in hot water because of that. Because it put customers – rather than government – first.

No one has alleged that any of the “affected” vehicles runs poorly. The fact is they run better than they would have if VW had set the calibrations to appease the implacable EPA.

Which will never be appeased until we’re all driving $60,000 “zero emissions” electric cars we can’t afford. Which will put most of us into public (that is, government) transport. If we’re transported at all. Probably, we’ll be herded into urban cores, stacked like proles – for the sake of “the environment.”

It is a tragedy of stupidity and maliciousness and engineering ignorance.

Consider, for instance,  the fact that if it were not for federal “safety” mandates, VW (and other car companies) would be able to sell vehicles hundreds of pounds lighter than the current average. Which, in turn, would allow for smaller engines – which burn less fuel. Which, in turn produce a lesser volume of exhaust. Even if a hypothetical 1,600 pound ultra-light vehicle’s exhaust stream were, let’s say, 2 percent “dirtier” than a current 2,300 pound EPA (and DOT) approved “safety” car’s, if the ultra-light burns 40 percent less fuel, its total output is still much lower than then government-approved car’s.

But such cars (the ultra-lights) have – effectively –  been legislated out of existence.

At the same time, the cars that may still be manufactured are required to meet increasingly unattainable standards, putting the manufacturers (like VW) in the position of manufacturing government-compliant cars that cost too much and perform poorly that few will want to buy… or “cheating” the government, in order to build cars people will actually want to buy.

What’s happening to VW could have come right out of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s cumbersome but nonetheless predictive novel of 50 years ago. VW cast as the real-life version of Rearden Steel.

Some inside baseball: Mazda has been trying to get its Sky-D diesel engine EPA-compliant (while also customer-viable) for the past two years, without success so far. You are denied this 50-plus MPG (and extremely clean) diesel because of the particulate jihadists in Washington.

Remember: In neither case (VW or Mazda) are we talking about a return to the LA of the early ’70s, a feasting on lead chip paints and bathing in DDT. It’s all a bogey at this point. A straw man. A phantom, meant to scare you. But it has no reality.

The “emissions problem” has been solved – decades ago. But the EPA, et al, cannot admit this.

Because then there’d be no need for the EPA.   
Logged

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #127 on: October 09, 2015, 09:34:46 AM »

https://reason.com/blog/2015/10/08/federal-employees-wages-growing-faster-t
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8186


« Reply #128 on: October 12, 2015, 09:58:06 AM »


Federal civilian workers had an average wage of $84,153 in 2014,

Not noted in the numbers, my brother in law retired from the federal government in his 40s with the full retirement package.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #129 on: January 17, 2016, 05:35:35 PM »

http://www.dineshdsouza.com/news/wapo-inspector-general-issues-alert-over-6-billion-in-missing-state-dept-money/
Logged
objectivist1
Power User
***
Posts: 988


« Reply #130 on: January 22, 2016, 01:00:08 PM »

Obamanomics in Catastrophic Action

How Obama's new mortgage program is steering America toward another housing-market collapse.

January 22, 2016 - John Perazzo - Frontpagemag.com


Remember a few years ago, when the American housing market collapsed as a direct result of government policies that—in the name of racial justice—pressured banks to approve mortgage loans for massive numbers of underqualified nonwhite applicants? Remember how that collapse set in motion the financial crisis that then-presidential candidate Barack Obama repeatedly called “the worst economy since the Great Depression”? And remember how Obama—who had long been a leading proponent of precisely the policies that had triggered the crisis—cast himself as the savior who was going to restore fiscal sanity and untangle the whole big mess?

Well, now Savior Obama and his White House are excitedly introducing Americans to their latest brainchild, the “HomeReady” mortgage program—offered through Fannie Mae and designed to help borrowers in “low-income” and “high-minority” census tracts. “For the first time,” boasts Fannie Mae, “income from a non-borrower household member [e.g., a roommate or family member] can be considered to determine an applicable debt-to-income ratio for the loan.” And if those combined incomes aren't enough to qualify an applicant for a mortgage loan, HomeReady comes with additional built-in “flexibilities” like “allowing income from non-occupant borrowers, such as parents.” In other words, just keep rounding up everyone you know, until you can scrape together a 3% down payment and show a combined income that's high enough to qualify for an individual loan. This makes the slipshod lending standards that caused the crisis of 2008 look exacting by comparison.

What about minority applicants with bad credit? No problem there, either! As Investor's Business Daily notes, “You can qualify with a FICO credit score as low as 620, which is subprime.” In fact, even the term “subprime loan”—meaning a loan that has a high interest rate and less favorable terms in order to compensate the lender for the high credit risk incurred—has received a thorough makeover from Obama & Company. From now on, such transactions are going to be called “alternative loans.” See? No more “subprime” crises—ever again! Ain't it grand?

The government policies that led to the housing market collapse of 2008 initially emerged in the mid-1970s, when Democrats in Congress began a campaign to help low-income minorities become homeowners. This led to the passage, in 1977, of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a mandate for banks to make special efforts to seek out and lend to borrowers of meager means. Founded on the premise that government intervention is necessary to counteract the fundamentally racist and inequitable nature of American society and the free market, the CRA was eventually transformed from an outreach effort into a strict quota system by the Clinton administration. Under the new arrangement, if a bank failed to meet its quota for loans to low-income minorities, it ran the risk of getting a low CRA rating from the FDIC. This, in turn, could derail the bank's efforts to expand, relocate, merge, etc.  From a practical standpoint, then, banks had no recourse but to drastically lower their standards on down-payments and underwriting, and to approve many loans even to borrowers with weak credit credentials. As Hoover Institution Fellow Thomas Sowell explains, this led to “skyrocketing rates of mortgage delinquencies and defaults,” and the rest is history.

The CRA was by no means the only mechanism designed by government to impose race-based lending quotas on financial institutions. For instance, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) instituted rules encouraging lenders to dramatically hike their loan-approval rates for minority applicants and began bringing legal actions against mortgage bankers who failed to do so, regardless of the reason. Moreover, HUD pressured Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest sources of housing finance in the United States, to earmark a steeply rising number of their own loans for low-income borrowers. Many of these were subprime mortgages.

Additional pressure was applied by community organizations like ACORN, which routinely and frivolously accused banks of engaging in racially discriminatory lending practices that violated the mandates of the CRA. These groups often sued banks to prevent them from expanding or merging as they wished. Barack Obama, ACORN's committed ally, was strongly in favor of this practice. In a 1994 class-action lawsuit against Citibank, Obama represented ACORN in demanding more favorable terms for subprime homebuyer mortgages. After four years of being dragged through the mud, a beleaguered Citibank—anxious to put an end to the incessant smears (charging racism) that Obama and his fellow litigators were hurling in its direction (to say nothing of its mounting legal bills)—agreed to settle the case.

Forbes magazine puts it bluntly: “Obama has been a staunch supporter of the CRA throughout his public life.” In other words, he has long advocated the very policies that reduced the real-estate market to rubble. And now, because he is a socialist ideologue who reveres big-government interventionism and deplores the free market, he is actively pushing those very same practices again.

Obama claims, of course, to be motivated only by a desire to help downtrodden minorities get a fair shake. But in practice, his approach has served only to devastate those purported “beneficiaries.” For example, by 2009, as a result of the government policies that had brought about the housing crisis, the median net worth of black and Hispanic households nationwide had declined by 53% and 66%, respectively—whereas white net worth had fallen by a mere 16%. These disparities, explains the Federal Reserve, were largely due to the fact that African Americans and Hispanics—“because of their comparatively poor credit ratings”—were disproportionately represented among those who had fallen into the financial trap of the subprime mortgages encouraged by the CRA and similar government policies.

It's a story we've seen many times: Leftist masterminds come up with a scheme to bring “justice” to the downtrodden. But when the dust eventually settles, there is only misery all around.

Logged

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 5881


« Reply #131 on: January 25, 2016, 08:53:41 AM »

I thought when foreigners were in another country they were subject to the laws of that country.  Britain has gone stupid.  We cannot let this happen here period:

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/01/24/wives-with-benefits-uk-immigrants-with-more-than-one-spouse-get-extra-payments-under-new-reforms/
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #132 on: January 25, 2016, 11:28:32 AM »

That would be better in the Islam in Europe thread.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #133 on: March 18, 2016, 10:07:27 PM »

The End of Their World
Originally published at the Washington Times

700 days. That’s roughly how long it has taken the Department of Veterans Affairs to seek the firing of three senior officials at the Phoenix VA who oversaw the systematic falsification of wait times for appointments. And that’s how long they could continue to receive full pay before the VA actually succeeds in firing them.

It has been almost years since President Obama promised swift action and accountability for those who tried to hide the abysmally long waits by keeping fraudulent records. Since those revelations, the trickle of horror stories out of the VA--of the thousands who may have died waiting for care, for instance--has become a sadly familiar fixture of newscasts.

Yet that does not make it any less outrageous that it took the VA until this week--two years after the stories of corruption at the Phoenix VA came to public attention--for the agency to finally hold the senior officials responsible.

“These executives will no longer serve in those positions,” the Arizona Republic reported, “but may fight their removals under a federal appeals process.” That could take an additional two years.

Federal civil service law gives the officials the chance to appeal the attempt to remove them from their jobs--and during that time they may continue to be paid at taxpayer expense. At least one of the officials earns a salary of nearly $250,000 a year, according to the report. This means taxpayers are likely to pay half a million dollars to a person they’re trying to fire for cause.

The crushing fact, of course, is that the real problem is much bigger than three employees at the Phoenix VA. The system that shaped them remains just as incompetent and corrupt as ever.

Consider, for example, that between 2006 and 2013, the number of full-time employees jumped more than 40 percent, from 220,000 to 314,000. Yet with 94,000 additional government employees, the VA still has not developed a system to transfer a veteran’s medical records from the Defense Department to the VA faster than 175 days.

The two giant bureaucracies recently spent $1.3 billion to build a joint medical record system for their health care services--before the two secretaries announced that they were abandoning the effort because they couldn’t get it to work. (That $1.3 billion is on top of the more than $2 billion the Defense Department spent on a failed upgrade of its own system of electronic medical records.)

But to single out the VA for its failures makes just a little more sense than pointing to the employees in Phoenix. Because in addition to a Veterans Health Service that is dangerous to veterans’ health, we have an Internal Revenue Service that attempts to police political speech, a defense bureaucracy that can’t keep track of its money or its equipment, an Environmental Protection Agency that spills millions of gallons of toxic water into the Colorado River, and an immigration bureaucracy that ignores immigration law as a matter of policy.

No wonder, then, that the public is “angry” and of a mind to vote against anyone associated with Washington. It’s the only rational response to incompetence and corruption of this scale.

And no wonder, then, that the slogan “Make America Great Again” resonates with voters. At least it signals an understanding that something fundamental has to change.

And no wonder, then, that we are witnessing the left wing react with outrage and violence. They understand the stakes. Bureaucratic socialism itself is at risk. A government that worked would mean the end of their world.

Your Friend,
Newt
P
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8186


« Reply #134 on: April 27, 2016, 11:50:22 PM »

 GDP would  be 25% higher if regulations were frozen at 1980 levels. Over-regulation has cost us an estimated 72 trillion dollars over the last 36 years.   I will try to follow up with links and math.
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8186


« Reply #135 on: April 29, 2016, 04:09:41 PM »

GDP would  be 25% higher if regulations were frozen at 1980 levels. Over-regulation has cost us an estimated 72 trillion dollars over the last 36 years.   I will try to follow up with links and math.

We lose more money to regulations than 192 of the other 195 countries produce in total GDP.


http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/the-shockingly-high-price-of-federal-regulations/

Study: GDP Would Be 25% Bigger If Government Regulations Had Been Capped In 1980

A new study finds that the federal regulations enacted since 1980 wiped out $4 trillion from GDP in 2012 alone. (MathKnight/wikipedia)
4/26/2016
Red Tape: Economists scratch their heads when asked to explain the economy’s tepid growth over the past several years. A new study gives a possible answer: the growing, cumulative burden of federal regulations.

Under President Obama, annual GDP growth never once even hit 3%. Under Bush before him, there were only two years when growth topped 3%. But in the two decades before that, annual GDP growth was above 3% in all but six years.

Growth has been so anemic for so long, we’re now being told that this is the “new normal.” As the Bureau of Labor Statistics put it, “annual U.S. GDP growth exceeding 3% … is not expected to be attainable over the coming decade.” It lists everything as a cause, except for one thing: federal regulations.

Whenever a new regulation gets passed, the government puts out a cost analysis, which focuses on annual compliance costs. That’s fine for a point in time. But these regulations don’t go away. And every year more get added to the pile. The Code of Federal Regulations is now more than 81,000 pages long.

What’s the cumulative impact of all these rules, EDIT3-regu-042616regulations and mandates over several decades? A new study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University tries to get an answer, and what it found is mind-boggling.

The paper looked at regulations imposed since 1977 on 22 different industries, their actual growth, and what might have happened if all those regulations had not been imposed.

What it found is that if the regulatory state had remained frozen in place in 1980, the economy would have been $4 trillion — or 25% — bigger than it was in 2012. That’s equal to almost $13,000 per person in that one year alone.

Looked at another way, if the economic growth lost to regulation in the U.S. were its own country, it would be the fourth largest economy in the world, as the nearby chart shows.

The authors — Patrick McLaughlin, Bentley Coffey, and Pietro Peretto — are quick to point out that this calculation includes only the costs of complying with federal regulations, not benefits — like cleaner air, safer workplaces, etc. — that don’t show up in the GDP numbers.

Still, does anyone really think that we are getting $4 trillion worth of benefits from federal regulations today?

Bad as this picture is, it has only gotten much, much worse since 2012, as President Obama has embarked on a regulatory free-for-all since winning re-election. While his administration imposed 172 “economically significant” regulations in Obama’s first terms, it’s added another 200 since then.  The pace of regulations under this president far exceeds those of either Bush or Clinton. At the end of last year, Obama had imposed 85 more than Clinton and 100 more than Bush. Plus, the scale of Obama’s regulations are arguably far grander than his predecessors, including the entire health care industry, the banking and financial services industry, and the overbearing carbon emission rules.

Yet, mysteriously, this massive and growing regulatory burden on the private sector never comes up when the discussion turns to underwhelming economic growth. Instead, we hear about “headwinds” and the lingering effects of the financial crisis.

The authors say their findings suggest “that a wide-scale review of regulations … would deliver not only lower compliance costs but also a substantially higher economic growth rate.”
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 04:11:21 PM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13825


« Reply #136 on: April 29, 2016, 04:36:29 PM »

I bet Hong Kong and Singapore would rate much lower on regulation.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13825


« Reply #137 on: April 29, 2016, 06:26:14 PM »

I bet Hong Kong and Singapore would rate much lower on regulation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqh0zXSd4vc

#Invalid YouTube Link#

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmuTTeESEs4

#Invalid YouTube Link#
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8186


« Reply #138 on: May 03, 2016, 11:24:29 AM »

I bet Hong Kong and Singapore would rate much lower on regulation.

Heritage Index of Economic Freedom, 2016
1.  Hong Kong
2.  Singapore
...
11. USA
http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 13825


« Reply #139 on: May 03, 2016, 11:40:56 AM »

I bet Hong Kong and Singapore would rate much lower on regulation.

Heritage Index of Economic Freedom, 2016
1.  Hong Kong
2.  Singapore
...
11. USA
http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

http://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1255403-20160419.htm

http://www.gov.sg/factually/content/unemployment-in-singapore

Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8186


« Reply #140 on: May 03, 2016, 11:58:40 AM »

From the link:
The overall unemployment rate in Singapore was 2.0% in 2012.
http://www.gov.sg/factually/content/unemployment-in-singapore#sthash.MEJzUv4d.dpuf

Good economic regulations:
Singapore... citizenship applicants must also be "of good character,"...and be able to support themselves and their dependents financially.
http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/rapid-growth-singapores-immigrant-population-brings-policy-challenges

In the US, if you are 'able to support yourself and your dependents financially', you are subject to the Obamacare surcharge and penalties.  And you attempt to start an organization with the name 'tea party' in it, expect a personal audit from the revenue agency.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 12:54:05 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 37513


« Reply #141 on: May 13, 2016, 08:11:56 AM »

http://www.tpnn.com/2016/05/10/wyoming-rancher-sticks-feds-wins-big-time-obama-epa/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=PostSideSharingButtons&utm_content=2016-05-11&utm_campaign=websitesharingbuttons
Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8186


« Reply #142 on: June 06, 2016, 10:29:05 AM »

This is a sad and scary big government story.  Good for Daily Caller for not letting this drop.  As with all Obama scandals, why was no one arrested, fired, etc.?  Why do we not hold those even higher accountable?  A right wing, free market President might have been impeached over this, negligently releasing 880,000 pounds of toxic chemicals, a 3 million gallon release, into our rivers and streams polluting 3 states and the Navajo nation.

The EPA wanted complete control of this area by designating it against the will of the locals a Superfund cleanup site,.  Now they have won through their own deadly error.

The old saying that you don't fight city hall is so last century.  This is more like fighting the Chinese Communist Party backed by People's Liberation Army than it is like fighting your local city hall.  Not exactly the EPA that 1970s Republicans envisioned when they created it (and appointed my cousin to be the nation's first director of water quality).  
---------------------------------------------------
http://dailycaller.com/2016/06/05/epa-pollutes-river-uses-scare-tactics-to-take-control-of-a-colorado-town/

EPA Pollutes River, Uses Scare Tactics To Take Control Of A Colorado Town

ETHAN BARTON
9:55 PM 06/05/2016
141282
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Gold King Mine. (Reuters)   EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Gold King Mine. (Reuters)

A decades-long battle between federal environmental officials and a small Colorado town is about to end in the government’s favor, thanks to the agency-caused Gold King Mine spill disaster, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has found.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) representatives have focused intently on Silverton, Colorado since the mid-1990s, accumulating evidence — and sometimes using scare tactics — to persuade residents to drop their opposition to a Superfund designation for the surrounding region.

Residents surrendered to federal demands only after an EPA work-crew turned the nearby Animas River bright yellow for nearly a week by releasing a three-million-gallon flood of acidic mine waste under extremely questionable circumstances in August 2015.

Suspended in the flood was 880,000 pounds of toxic metals, including lead and arsenic, that poured into the river that supplies drinking water for people living in three states and the Navajo Nation. The mine is just upstream from Silverton.

“After more than two decades working in the region, they still couldn’t get it right,” said Rep. Rob Bishop told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “EPA created a man-made disaster harming numerous states and tribes. The combination of a lack of due diligence and a half-baked plan directly led to the August 5 blowout.”

Bishop, a Utah Republican, condemned EPA for being “incompetent, evasive and deceitful,” adding that “if this wasn’t criminal negligence, it should be.”

The disaster was the last straw that convinced locals to reverse their decades-long opposition and allow the EPA to go forward in designating the region for Superfund listing – a designation the agency reserves only for the nation’s most polluted sites.

Once the designation becomes official, EPA will assume vast new powers throughout the region. But EPA has been encroaching on residents’ lives going back to at least 1994, with more than a few memorable episodes along the way.

In one such instance, EPA officials abruptly announced at a town meeting they needed to test soil for pollution at a local school.

“The Town Board was somewhat blindsided by your request,” San Juan County Commissioners and the Town of Silverton Board of Trustees told EPA in an April 2014 letter. “The County Commissioner [sic] were not even informed that the EPA would be addressing the Town.”

“However, the biggest flaw in the process was bringing the School District into the discussion without talking directly with the School Superintendent,” the local officials said in the letter, which was obtained by the House panel.

“The Superintendent spent the next day on damage control informing the community that an environmental review of the school grounds had been completed and nothing was found that would raise health concerns.”

Town and county officials also questioned the necessity of soil testing because previous samples “didn’t raise any significant red flags” and they were “unaware of any medical studies or individual cases where the soils have had an adverse impact on a child or adult’s health. We have generation after generation after generation that have lived most or all of their lives in Silverton without suffering any health-related issues from their long-term exposure to the mineralized soils.”

The officials claimed that “despite the minimum justification, EPA managed to maximize the fears in parents, as well as raise concerns for property owners.”

Local officials also wondered if EPA representatives who spoke with residents “were really listening to our concerns, if they were listening but they did not understand how critical those concerns are, or did they listen to our concerns but determined that the EPA knows what is better for Silverton and San Juan County than we do.”

Regardless, another letter obtained by TheDCNF, showed that less than a year later, EPA, joined by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Colorado Department of Health & Environment, compelled a nearby mine owner to conduct studies normally done only after a Superfund designation is received.

Numerous agencies “all have expended substantial efforts and resources in defining the problems” in the region around Silverton, said the January 2015 letter to Sunnyside Gold Corporation. “Furthermore, the agencies are continuing to commit resources to characterize the extent and magnitude of contamination in other parts of the Upper Animas River Watershed.”

The letter said EPA would use Superfund authority to work at the nearby Red and Bonita Mine. The agency has also used the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA) – the Superfund law – to force other area mine owners to grant EPA officials access to their properties. (RELATED: Gold King Mine Owner Fears EPA’s ‘Limitless Legal Budget’)

How EPA has used Superfund authority against Silverton exemplifies the inability of local residents to resist the federal agency when it is determined to have its way.

The first goal of the Animas River Stakeholders Group that was formed in 1994 to protect the environment from abandoned mines was to “keep CERCLA out.” The EPA not only blocked accomplishment of that goal, it also thwarted local efforts to cleanup the region’s environment.

“It definitely has taken the wind out of our sails,” group official Peter Butler told The Denver Post in May. “It’s uncertain what the Animas River Stakeholder Group’s future will be.”
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 10:32:12 AM by DougMacG » Logged
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8186


« Reply #143 on: June 06, 2016, 10:59:17 AM »

If private sector jobs grew at the same rate as regulator jobs under Obama, 3.7 million more people would be working.



http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/its-boomtime-for-regulators-under-obama-while-economy-flatlines/
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!