Monday, January 30, 2012

Hey, Kentucky!

Kentucky is a place mostly full of a lot of nothing.  Nothing can be very pleasant for some purposes.  But nothing makes no stuff, and making no stuff makes no jobs.

So why do businesses tend to shy away from Kentucky?  Just don’t like Bluegrass – the region, the grass, or the music?  Probably not.

One important reason can be found in a recent study published by the Tax Foundation.  They examined various taxes that negatively affect businesses, and produced a ranking of states by their tax-friendliness to business.  Here is a chart from that study:

The lower the ranking number, the more tax-friendly the state is to businesses.  Kentucky is #22.  But it is bordered on the north by Indiana at #11, and on the south by Tennessee at #14.  And not all that far down the road is Florida, where it is both warm all the time and #5 in the tax-friendliness rankings.

The only bright spot for Kentucky – and it is a rather dim bright spot – is that our neighbor to the north, Ohio, is a miserable #39.  Any wonder businesses are leaving Ohio?  But they are not coming from there to Kentucky.  Why should they?

Kentuckians seem to worry (or rejoice) over college basketball rankings.  That’s fine, but if they pay more attention to things that really matter for human prosperity, they would try to improve our ranking in this important contest.  We have been losing at this for far too long here in Kentucky, the land of taxes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Fault Line

From a Leadership article about Steve Jobs:

"In July 1968 Life magazine published a shocking cover showing a pair of starving children in Biafra. Jobs took it to Sunday school and confronted the church's pastor, 'If I raise my finger, will God know which one I'm going to raise even before I do it?'

"The pastor answers, 'Yes, God knows everything.'

"Jobs then pulled out the Life cover and asked, 'Well, does God know about this and what's going to happen to those children?'

"'Steve, I know you don't understand, but yes, God knows about that.'"

The pastor's answer badly underestimated the young teen's intellect and left him unsatisfied. According to Isaacson, Jobs walked away from the church that day and never returned.

For the pastor, that brief exchange was likely incidental and forgettable. Yet it was a turning point that would point Steve Jobs toward eastern philosophy.

Kent comments:

I am very sorry about Steve Jobs.  I am never happy to see anyone abandon the faith.  But it is not at all clear how this little exchange would “point Steve Jobs toward eastern philosophy.”  God does know about deprivations and evils in this world.  Should we pretend that He does not?

There seems to be a never-ending analysis among Christians that parallels the author’s evaluation of this episode.  “If only we had used a different word.  If only I had turned a different phrase.”  In other words, if only Christians could refine their marketing and presentation techniques, think of how many people would accept God’s grace!

While there is nothing wrong, of course, with making the best presentation of the Christian faith we can, there is an important factor that is ignored here:  the individual will.  When you read this rest of this article, you learn that much of Steve Jobs’ character was at odds with the Christian faith.  To be a Christian, Jobs would have needed to repent (as does anyone) of many of his attitudes and actions.

And Steve Jobs was not willing to do that.  It’s sad, but its not the fault of a minister’s Sunday School class.

It was Steve Jobs fault.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

As Obama Says . . .

Obama: Roe v. Wade Ensures Our Daughters Have Same Chance to 'Fulfill Dreams'

In a statement on the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Obama said it was a chance to recognize the "fundamental constitutional right" to abortion and "continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams," reports. Obama added: "We must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman's health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on family matters." On Friday, the Obama administration finalized regulations that would require every health insurance provider to cover all contraceptive drugs, including those that cause abortions.

Kent comments:

Will the ‘right to abortion’ ensure that our daughters have the same rights, etc., as our sons?

Not for the daughters killed in abortions.

And for the daughters who survive the abortion holocaust – they will be afforded that extraordinary ‘freedom’ to produce unwanted children who will die in the abortion mill.

Yes, we live in the land of the ‘free.’  Well, except for those doomed to die before they are born.

Words to live by from our Beloved Leader.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Big ‘Green’ Lie

Does Solarizing Your Home Make Financial Sense?

A report about green energy celebrated a Hawaiian couple that “spent $23,000 to put solar panels on their house . . . . Some neighbors sniffed that only rich people could afford such a luxury.” But “The family’s utility bill dropped from $110 a month to about $23.” The couple saved $87 a month. Right? Wrong. At that rate, they’d break even in slightly over 22 years—not counting maintenance costs to keep the panels functioning efficiently, without which their savings will decline. But suppose they had invested their $23,000 at 4%. In 22 years it would have grown to over $54,508, an average gain of $119.35 a month. Rather than saving $87 a month, the couple is losing an average of $32.35 a month. Their investment will never pay off. It will impoverish them more every year. Forty years down the line (long after the panels wear out), they’ll have forgone $87,423.50 in potential earnings—an average of $182.13 a month. It may be, as the “neighbors sniffed,” that “only rich people could afford such a luxury.” But those who think it’s going to save them money won’t get rich—they’ll get poorer.

Kent comments:

I found this interesting little report at Cornwall Alliance.  This is a very worthwhile resource for those interested in a truly Christian view of ‘the environment.’

It would be interesting to see similar calculations done various other ‘green’ projects.  My best guess is that many of them would be money losers.  We need to remember that money-loser really means resource waster.  So if you think that the ‘greens’ are conservationists, think again.

There is a reason environmentalists are constantly at work to make it more difficult (and thus expensive) to produce energy.  As things now stand, the ‘green’ preferred ways of producing energy are wasteful.  But the greens irrationally hate our current ways of producing energy.  The only way they can make things like solar panels attractive to people is to artificially drive up the cost of competing ways of production by using the force of the state.

The environmentalist agenda is about the use of governmental force to control people.  This means that rainbows, mountainsides, streams, and wildlife are only the images behind which environmentalism hides.  The ‘greens’ really don’t want to save anything as much as they want to control how other people live.

That is not idyllic, pastoral, or beautiful.  It’s totalitarian.