The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal have a new report promoting the 18th annual release of their "Index of Economic Freedom," the right wing's gold standard for international comparisons of public policy.
It almost goes without saying that since the results "demonstrate that when countries adopt policies leading to high scores, they also enjoy prosperity, economic security and success," the key to winning the future, according to Heritage and the WSJ editorial page, is to become a small East Asian dictatorship…
Hong Kong scored 89.9 on the 1-100 scale, highest worldwide. Singapore, which has ranked second all 18 years, scored 87.5. Australia and New Zealand ranked third and fourth, respectively, enabling the Asia-Pacific region to account for the four highest-ranked countries.
But, but! Mitt Romney says the United States is "the greatest nation in the history of the earth!" By which he must mean we're the greatest at being number 10, since that's where we're ranked, behind sixth place Canada and in a statistical dead-heat with Denmark.
The interesting thing, besides the discovery that Heritage analysts are actually Canadian infiltrators (admitting that other people are better than you was the giveaway), is that many policy interventions that are controversial in the United States come standard in the high-ranking countries.
Hong Kong's public healthcare system is still modeled on the Beveridge Plan that created the British NHS. Canada is well regarded for its single-payer insurance scheme known as
Death to GrandmaMedicare. Switzerland joined the universal healthcare club in 1994. The Danes contribute 49% of the nation's GDP to taxes. Every country in the top 10 has a higher union density than does the United States.
It's almost as if systems of subsidized heath-care, egalitarian tax and spending schemes and pro-labor policy can be a part of "freedom." Just don't tell the Wall Street Journal about the Wall Street Journal's own research — extreme cognitive dissonance isn't covered by most private insurers.
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Tags: Canada, Economy, Health Care, Heritage Foundation, Hong Kong, Mitt Romney, Republicans, Unions, Wall Street Journal
God is sending such confusing signals this election cycle.
Last night, Tim Tebow threw for two touchdowns and 316 NFL yards, which is approximately 3 million Angel yards. It's a clear message that we should direct our votes to Rick Perry or Rick Santorum, who could appoint the young man Secretary of Christianity and end our nation's highly clandestine — it's so secretive, not even the supposed combatants know about it — war on religion.
But then, during Sunday's debate, Perry, Santorum and Mitt Romney, all spoke — perhaps unwittingly — against the man who falls (after being betrayed by his offensive line) only to rise again…
"Right-to-work legislation makes a lot of sense for New Hampshire," said Mr. Romney, at the debate sponsored by NBC News and Facebook.
"I'm a right-to-work guy," said Mr. Perry. "I come from a right-to-work state and I will tell you, if New Hampshire wants to become a magnet for job creation in the Northeast, you pass that right-to-work legislation in this state."
Sure, it sounds like anodyne support for legislation making its way through the state capitols across the country that would undermine organized labor by allowing workers to refuse to pay dues, even when they're covered by a collective bargaining unit. Yawn. But! Right-to-work laws are also opposed by Tim Tebow's union, the National Football Players Association, a position that came to light last week when Indiana Democrats absconded from Indianapolis to prevent a vote on the measure…
We're not just a team of football players — we're also the fans at games and at home, the employees who work the concession stands and the kids who wear the jerseys of our favorite football heroes. NFL players know what it means to fight for workers' rights, better pensions and health and safety in the workplace…"Right-to-work" is a political ploy designed to destroy basic workers' rights. It’s not about jobs or rights…So-called "right-to-work" bills divide working families at a time when communities need to stand united.
Now I'm confused. Why do these candidates hate football, America and Tim Tebow so much?
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images Sports/Getty Images
Tags: Debates, Football, Indiana, Mitt Romney, New Hampshire, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Sports, Tim Tebow, Unions, Work/office
You may remember Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from such controversies as: stripping away public workers' collective-bargaining rights, initiating a series of crippling statewide protests, and possibly getting himself removed from office.
Well, he's back in the headlines. This time, for an ambitious new plan to get Wisconsin residents working again. With abstinence…
Wisconsin is facing a jobs crisis. The state's official unemployment rate, down to 7.1 percent in January, has risen to 7.8 percent since Republican Gov. Scott Walker took office… Walker called a special jobs-focused session of the Legislature… At the top of the jobs agenda? Gutting the state's sex ed standards and replacing them with abstinence-only education.
A bill launched during Walker's jobs session and nearing passage in the Legislature would repeal significant portions of the state law that requires schools to provide comprehensive, scientifically accurate, and age-appropriate sex ed… Republicans hold big majorities on the education committee and the Assembly overall, so the bill is expected to pass easily.
Brilliant! By refusing to teach horny high schoolers the fundamentals of family planning, Walker has given millions of Wisconsin parents a second job as grandparents.
And just think of all the great private-sector jobs this law will create. More doctors and nurses to treat all the new STD outbreaks. More Babies'R'Us cashiers to sell merchandise for all the little accidents conceived in Applebee's parking lots. And more casting agents for all the new episodes of Teen Mom.
Scott Walker has such ingenious ideas. Why isn't he running for president already?
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Tags: Abstinence, Education, Republicans, Scott Walker, Sex, Unions, Wisconsin, Work/office
President Obama just can’t stop destroying jobs. First he tried to force companies to provide health coverage for their workers. Then he attempted to make America's wealthiest job creators pay the same tax rate as the middle class.
Trade groups are urging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to abandon a proposed regulation that would require employers to report workplace injuries within eight hours and amputations within 24…
Joe Trauger, the vice president of human resources policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, said the measure would hurt job creation and add new burdens to an already overregulated economy.
"The short time frame could create an undue burden on employers and employees, especially small-business owners in devoting already scarce resources ensuring that the employer is in compliance with all of these requirements," Trauger said.
Unbelievable. The federal government actually wants businesses to file a report when one of their machines hacks off an employee’s limb. Stop killing jobs, Obama!
If the President truly believed in capitalism, he’d let the invisible hand of the free market take care of everything. I mean, who could use the help of an invisible hand more than a factory worker who’s just lost his?
Photo by Dominic Lipinski-WPA Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Health Care, Unemployment, Unions
Former speculated-possible-savior of the Republican Party Mike Huckabee was in Ohio over the weekend, drumming up support for referendum that seeks to strip the collective bargaining rights of public workers while also making them pay at least 15 percent of their health care costs.
However, his drumming-up-support muscle is maybe a little tight these days…
"Make a list… Call them and ask them, 'Are you going to vote on Issue 2 and are you going to vote for it?' If they say no, well, you just make sure that they don't go vote. Let the air out of their tires on election day. Tell them the election has been moved to a different date. That's up to you how you creatively get the job done."
Okay, I think it's pretty obvious that this is (an attempt at) a joke. But, that said, if any person who ever voted for a Democrat ever got within a 70-yard radius of a microphone and made a joke even slightly similar to that one, Andrew Breitbart would spend a long weekend foaming at the mouth in the video bay attempting to edit down footage of the guy into something that made him look like he murdered Ronald Reagan, and James O'Keefe would be trying to seduce him in front of a hidden camera with a salame.
And, while we're on the subject, maybe voter disenfranchisement is not the best subject for jocularity considering the accusations that Ohio Republicans are currently engaging in active attempts to disenfranchise voters via the state's legislative body…
The Brennan Center also pointed toward new laws in Maine to eliminate registration on election day, along with Ohio’s new law eliminating voter registration during the state’s week-long early voting period. The laws come at the same time that Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia have adopted laws reducing local early voting periods as well.
The Ohio bill, signed in July by Gov. John Kasich (R), also includes provisions blocking county election officials from mailing absentee ballot applications to all voters and prepaying postage on absentee ballots, both common practice in Democratic Franklin and Cuyahoga counties. The Ohio law has received vocal opposition from Democratic groups, with a petition coming in last week to force a 2012 referendum to overturn the law.
Still, though. Funny joke.
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Tags: Mike Huckabee, Ohio, Republicans, Unions, Voter Suppression