Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Abortion: moral clarity can be a powerful force

There is no issue that divides Democrats and Republicans more deeply than abortion. It is, after all, a matter of life and death.

How can liberals, Democrats, and the left be such enthusiastic supporters of something that is, at best, a necessary evil? Why are they so protective of unlimited abortion and paranoid about placing any restrictions whatsoever on it? How do they manage to feel so positive about something that is so profoundly negative?

Although liberals give every indication that they believe that abortion is a virtuous and morally neutral act, they also reveal that they are not comfortable with that position. You will rarely hear liberals say they are "pro-abortion." They use various cowardly and misleading obfuscations such as "a woman's right to choose" and "reproductive rights." If they have any conscience at all, they have to be conflicted. If you've ever tried to have a polite discussion about abortion with a liberal, you know that it turns ugly fast.

The abortion enthusiasts have hijacked the word "choice." That word is far too general and anodyne to substitute for the reality of abortion. They're not "pro-choice"; they're pro-abortion. Why can't they just say that?

The very name "Planned Parenthood" is itself a grotesque fraud. Planned Parenthood is an organization dedicated to the prevention of parenthood, not the planning of it, either for the birth mother or for a couple eager for the chance to adopt.

Right-to-life advocates do not believe that the location of an unborn child is equivalent to ownership. An abortion is not morally equivalent to an appendectomy. There is no dispute about who owns your appendix. An appendectomy or the removal of a malignant tumor prolongs a life; an abortion ends a life.

A pregnancy is usually the result of a choice to have sex. Because you did, you now have another human being developing inside your body. The fact that you irresponsibly had sex with someone you were not married to does not give you the guilt-free option of ending the life you started. Roe v. Wade made abortion legal. It did not make abortion either moral or admirable.

Ronald Reagan said, "We cannot diminish the value of one category of life — the unborn — without diminishing the value of all human life."

It is not just unborn children who pay the price for abortion; we all do. The number of abortions committed, as well as the ho-hum way abortion is viewed, does more than anything else to numb our sensitivities about the sanctity of life. There is probably nothing else that has led to the coarsening of our culture as much as the occurrence of millions of abortions.

A debating tactic that liberals like using is to point out that conservatives are against abortion but favor the death penalty. They think it shows that conservatives are inconsistent and hypocritical. Their smugness, however, is undeserved. It demonstrates their refusal to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent. A fetus is as innocent as anything can possibly be, and an unborn child is not in any way equivalent to a convicted murderer.

For too long, Planned Parenthood has been getting away with the lie that it is something other than what it is — primarily an abortion provider and promoter. Furthermore, it discourages adoption. You may as well ask Dr. Kevorkian for pregnancy counseling as to ask Planned Parenthood. Pro-life taxpayers are sickened by the reality of their tax dollars being used to support such a despicable organization.

We hear the chant, "black lives matter." That's true, but it is usually in reference to blacks being killed by police officers. It would be good to keep in mind that the number of black lives ended by abortion is thousands of times greater than the number of black lives ended by police officers.

We who are saddened by the fact that over a million abortions are committed each year in the U.S. can fight back in a number of ways. Let's no longer let the abortion advocates get away with their rampant language cowardice and distortions. Let's vote for politicians who promise to stop public funding of Planned Parenthood. Let's vote for politicians who aren't afraid to speak the truth and say what they believe. Let's make it clear that abortion is not just another form of birth control. Let's make it absolutely clear that adoption is infinitely superior to abortion.

Moral clarity can be a powerful force.

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Abortion: moral clarity can be a powerful forceMay 10, 2022

Ron Ross Ph.D. is a former economics professor and author of The Unbeatable Market. Ron resides in Arcata, California and is a founder of Premier Financial Group, a wealth management firm located in Eureka, California. He is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and can be reached at rossecon@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Follow the evidence, not the 'science'

A frequently heard piece of advice over the past few years is "follow the science." "Science" is a word the left loves to corrupt and then use to control the narrative.

A more useful suggestion is "follow the evidence." "Evidence" is far easier to understand, measure, quantify, define, and follow.

During the COVID lockdowns, government authorities such as Anthony Fauci stole our freedoms from us on the basis of "science," but with virtually no solid evidence. He and his minions didn't even bother to look for evidence. Shooting from the hip, they based their various mandates on simplistic, ill-founded assumptions that we now know were totally false. They continued to enforce those mandates for more than two years, long after it was clear they were useless and doing immeasurable harm. They refused to entertain any disagreement. To admit they had been mistaken all along was out of the question.

Masks are a prime example of how wrong simplistic thinking can be. It is easy to believe that masks can reduce the transmission of an airborne disease. However, regarding COVID, abundant evidence proves that they do not. Nor is there any real evidence that "social distancing" or wiping down surfaces reduces the number of cases.

Anthony Fauci claims that he and science are synonymous. Can he claim that he and evidence are synonymous?

Whenever someone tells you to follow the science, ask to see the evidence. If good evidence is lacking, be very skeptical.

Let evidence be the arbiter.

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Follow the evidence, not the 'science May 4, 2022

Ron Ross Ph.D. is a former economics professor and author of The Unbeatable Market. Ron resides in Arcata, California and is a founder of Premier Financial Group, a wealth management firm located in Eureka, California. He is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and can be reached at rossecon@gmail.com.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

The one place where you can really make a difference

Jordan Peterson's sixth "Rule of Life" is "Set your own house in perfect order before you criticize the world."

You determine your life primarily by the choices you make. Some choices are "meta-choices," the ones that impact numerous other choices.

One of the meta-choices is what share of your time you devote to your micro realm versus your macro realm.

The micro realm of your life includes your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors — those with whom you directly interact, as well as your job and other personal uses of your time.

The macro part of your life includes society at large, the economy, climate change, politics, people distant from you, and people you don't know.

In which of those two realms, micro or macro, do you want to live? You have a limited amount of time and energy. Whichever realm you choose has what economists call an "opportunity cost." (The MIT Dictionary of Modern Economics defines "opportunity cost" as follows: "Perhaps the most fundamental concept in economics, the opportunity cost of an action is the value of the forgone alternative.")

There is an enormous difference regarding the level of control you have in the two spheres. Obviously, you have the most influence and impact on those closest to you. Influence is like gravitational force, inversely proportional to the square of the distance. Also, consider the relative populations. You are a significant part of your micro world. Like it or not, you are a tiny and insignificant part of your macro world.

There is also a big difference in your relative knowledge about the two realms. Your macro realm is vastly more complex than your micro realm, and the choices you make there are more prone to error. We all know people who have strong opinions concerning issues they know almost nothing about.

Virtually all your power resides in your micro realm. The person closest to you is yourself. Focusing on a small sphere of influence is an aspect of individual responsibility. It is a way of thinking and behaving that shows the difference between progressives and conservatives. Conservatives love being personally responsible. It's part of the price of freedom.

Unfortunately, individual responsibility is just too big a burden for some people. Personal problems are often too difficult and painful to face. To focus instead on an "urgent" macro issue is a favorite self-deluding tactic of progressives. Their selected macro issue is typically one dire enough to blind them to the cost of hiding from themselves. It enables them to deny the high opportunity cost to themselves of neglecting their own unsolved personal problems.

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The one place where you can really make a difference April 7, 2022

Ron Ross Ph.D. is a former economics professor and author of The Unbeatable Market. Ron resides in Arcata, California and is a founder of Premier Financial Group, a wealth management firm located in Eureka, California. He is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and can be reached at rossecon@gmail.com.

Friday, March 25, 2022

The left hates competition

Competition makes numerous areas of our lives more efficient, from the economy to education to the search for truth.

In the economy, competition is the single most powerful force for progress and innovation. A good way to entice customers away from your rivals is to make a superior product. "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door."

The Nobel Prize-winning economist George Stigler called competition "the patron saint of the consumer." Competition pushes producers to provide consumers the most for their money — a combination of keeping prices as low as possible and keeping quality as high as possible. It pushes them to be efficient. Producers who fail to be efficient don't survive. Competition means survival of the efficient.

The degree of competition determines the crucial balance of power between consumers and producers. Vigorous competition puts power in the hands of consumers. Its absence puts producers in control.

A good way to appreciate the value of competition is to look at its polar opposite: monopoly. Monopoly means consumers have only one producer to choose from. One choice amounts to no choice. Under communism, all producers are monopolists. The state has a monopoly on every aspect of life.

Because it lacks competition, a communist economy is extremely inefficient and always becomes dysfunctional. Cuba and Venezuela, for example, can barely feed their populations.

No economy is automatically or organically efficient. Efficiency requires incentives. Those don't exist under communism. A free-market, voluntary-exchange economy provides an abundance of incentives. The profit motive is one example. The more efficiently the owners of a private business operate, the more profit they will take home at the end of the year. It's similar to the way a fantail keeps a windmill pointed into the wind.

In an otherwise efficient economy like ours, public schools are as dysfunctional as they would be under communism. That's because the public-school establishment has been so effective in blocking competition in education.

Public schools fit most of the characteristics of monopolies. Teachers and their unions have power, while students and their parents have almost none. If more competition were introduced, the power imbalance would be reversed. The increased interest in "school choice" — vouchers and charter schools, for example — are reasons for optimism.

Competition among ideas is what makes free speech and robust debate so vital. Debate is, in fact, competition in search of the truth. The left's cancel culture is about destroying competition and establishing a monopoly of ideas. Leftists think they've already discovered the truth, so there's no reason to continue the search.

Conservatives love a society that rewards the efficiency of competition. Leftists hate it. They love communism instead.
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The left hates competition March 24, 2022

Ron Ross Ph.D. is a former economics professor and author of The Unbeatable Market. Ron resides in Arcata, California and is a founder of Premier Financial Group, a wealth management firm located in Eureka, California. He is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and can be reached at rossecon@gmail.com.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Is the Democrat Party terminal?

The Democrat Party is on the wrong side of every single issue — borders, law enforcement, parents vs. teachers, inflation, Critical Race Theory, school choice, cancel culture, lockdowns, masks, individual freedom, gasoline prices, pipelines, wokism, unrestricted abortions, and a president who has dementia, just to name a few.

Does the party have a death wish? We have all known persons who are self-destructive. That behavior can afflict groups as well as individuals.

The Democrat Party and the left foster self-hatred. They believe that our country is irrevocably racist and is destroying the planet by using fossil fuels.

The Democrat establishment and most of its voters are racked by guilt. Unless they join a monastery, they have no choice but to participate in the system they believe is destroying our future.

The Democrats have lost their self-preservation instinct and their will to live. Just look at the party's lack of concern about its hemorrhaging loss of support among its traditional bases — blacks, Hispanics, Asians, mothers, and independents. The breadth of the damage is unprecedented. In all likelihood, the party is too far gone ever to regain its former status and influence.

The party's problems are deep-seated, rooted in the sick nature of what it has become. The United States has been a two-party country throughout its history. Will that be enough for the party to survive in some form?

The Democrat party is headed for election losses of monumental proportions this November. When that happens, what will be the party's response?

The Democrats are stuck. Most of the party leaders who got them into this mess will still be there after the election. Self-awareness and accountability are definitely not what the Democrats are known for. They will not get the message.

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Is the Democrat Party terminal? - American Thinker March 4, 2022

Ron Ross Ph.D. is a former economics professor and author of The Unbeatable Market. Ron resides in Arcata, California and is a founder of Premier Financial Group, a wealth management firm located in Eureka, California. He is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and can be reached at rossecon@gmail.com.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Biden and Harris are a cancer on the Democrat party

The Democrat Party has maneuvered itself into an insoluble problem. By whatever means necessary the party managed to get its candidates into the White House. However, it will turn out to be the costliest victory ever for a political party.

How did Joe Biden and Kamala Harris become the Democrat nominees? At the beginning of the 2020 Democrat primary season, there were 24 presidential hopefuls. As each was vetted, various kinds of disqualifying information surfaced and, one by one (starting with Harris), they fell by the wayside. It became obvious that none was presidential material.

The last two standing were Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Because Sanders is an unrepentant socialist, the Democrat party knew he had little chance against Donald Trump. That left the non compos mentis Joe Biden.

Once Biden nailed down the nomination, he had the chance to choose a running mate. Because of the priorities of the Democrat party, it was a relatively simple choice, based on a single consideration—identity politics.

Despite her empty list of career accomplishments, Kamala Harris satisfied two of the party’s victimhood categories—black and female. Her success in the Democrat party happened by way of who she “knew” rather than what she knew. Her sole “qualification” was the only one they cared about—identity, a la identity politics.

In selecting candidates, competence and achievement never crossed the minds of the party establishment. The Biden-Harris administration is what happens when a political party deems merit irrelevant.

You may recall that in 2008 Barack Obama retrieved Biden from the Democrats’ dumpster to be his running mate. Identity politics was not as important then, and Biden was ideal for another role always expected of a running mate—don’t outshine the person at the top of the ticket.

Biden and Harris are incompetent, bumbling, empty suits who haven’t the earthliest idea what they’re doing. They are a disgrace to the offices they hold. They have no beliefs and no vision. Joe Biden has never had good judgment, and now adding to that is his advancing dementia. Kamala Harris has never had a thought or utterance worth remembering. About the best that could be said about her is that she does not have dementia, not that it matters. She is a nitwit in service of the party’s monomaniacal identity obsession.

It’s impossible to imagine what the atmosphere in the White House must be like these days. The people there experience firsthand the man who isn’t there, the dead president walking. It would be fun to see the looks they give one another. Their “leader” is the proverbial crazy uncle in the basement, except this crazy uncle isn’t in the basement, he’s in the Oval Office.

To survive, the Democrat party must rid itself of Biden and Harris. If both remain in office, the party implodes, taking many of its cronies down with it. Numerous leftist institutions—mainstream media, teachers’ unions, Black Lives Matter, climate alarmists, and universities, have a symbiotic relationship with the party and they will all suffer.

The Biden-Harris administration is nothing short of a malignancy that will fester and spread for three more years. The party has no easy solutions. Amputating Biden and Harris may not even solve its deep-seated problems. Any moderate Democrat replacement such as Tulsi Gabbard wouldn’t have a prayer against the party’s uncompromising, far-left base. There is not a single alternative Democrat politician who is noticeably better than Biden or Harris, whether it be Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, Debbi Wasserman Schultz, Bill de Blasio, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, or Al Sharpton. All on the Democrat bench are plagued with political comorbidities.

It will be interesting to watch the Democrat Party as it tries to extricate itself from this self-inflicted political nightmare.
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Biden and Harris are a cancer on the Democrat party - American Thinker

Ron Ross Ph.D. is a former economics professor and author of The Unbeatable Market. Ron resides in Arcata, California and is a founder of Premier Financial Group, a wealth management firm located in Eureka, California. He is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and can be reached at rossecon@gmail.com.

Abortion: moral clarity can be a powerful force

There is no issue that divides Democrats and Republicans more deeply than abortion. It is, after all, a matter of life and death. How can ...