Friday, September 30, 2022

The unbearable miseries of Democrats

Democrats and the Left have a long and ever-expanding list of concerns: climate change, white supremacy, rising sea levels, non-organic vegetables, insufficient diversity, COVID, systemic racism, population growth, pronouns, Fox News, Donald Trump, and now, Giorgia Meloni, just to name a few.

Conservatives, on the other hand, have relatively few concerns, such as individual freedom, economic growth, law and order, secure borders, sanctity of life, the importance of families, and the U.S. Constitution. These are values conservatives have treasured since at least the founding of our nation.

There are also qualitative differences between the concerns of liberals and conservatives. Unlike those of the Right, the concerns of the Left are negative. Theirs are also without substantive foundations, clear definitions, logic, or evidence. They are unrecognizable exaggerations of reality. Compared to Democrats, conservatives are worry free.

The frequent additions to their long list of anxiety-causing concerns suggest that the Democrat Party suffers from a kind of collective attention deficit disorder. Democrats and the Left occupy a world fraught with peril, a world in which happiness is impossible.

The anxieties of Democrats lead to enormous costs for the rest of the population. Their hysteria regarding fossil fuels is one of countless examples. Their restrictions on drilling, fracking, and the cancellation of pipelines have caused a doubling of natural gas, gasoline, and diesel fuel prices. Partly because natural gas is the main raw material for fertilizer, food prices have also risen substantially.

The supposed threat of climate change is a favorite issue the Left uses to fan the flames of anxiety. It’s an all-purpose specter that has been highly effective in frightening millions, especially children. The Earth’s climate is an extremely complex subject, but Democrats conveniently ignore that fact. They abide by W. C. Fields’ famous dictum, “Never smarten up a chump.”

Similarly, COVID and the accompanying lockdowns typify the Democrats. It is now clear they grossly exaggerated the threat of the virus and abused it for the largest and most destructive power grab in U.S. history. They coerced us all to behave in absurd and repressive ways -- masks, social distancing, untested and dangerous vaccines, and horrible isolation. The fear of COVID resulted in many more deaths than COVID itself. The lockdowns were crimes against humanity. Those responsible should be punished as criminals.

The Democrat Party has until now been adept at exploiting fear wherever it can to increase its power and control. Individual and societal choices are better based on courage than fear. As Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

The time is ripe to rid ourselves of the miserable fearmongers.

Image: ◼ Enough Project

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The unbearable miseries of Democrats At 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.

Friday, July 29, 2022

The one point that can get people off the global warming obsession train



The dose makes the poison. ... All things are poison and nothing is without poison; the dosage alone is the thing that makes it not a poison.

—Paracelsus, 1493–1541, credited with being the father of toxicology


Climate alarmists play the "hide the magnitude" game. If they didn't, they would soon be out of business.

Politely ask a few of your friends how much of the air they're breathing is CO2. I've done that, and the typical answer, when I can get one, is twenty percent or more. (Most people have no idea and would rather not guess.)

Climate alarmists rarely talk about the actual quantitative composition of our atmosphere. The impression they give is that (1) a substantial part of the air that surrounds us comprises carbon dioxide; (2) that the proportion of carbon dioxide is increasing rapidly; (3) that the increase is primarily the result of human activity, mostly from burning fossil fuels; and (4) that if CO2 continues to increase, it's game over for humanity. Recently, the rhetoric has escalated from "climate crisis" to "climate emergency."

The actual magnitude tells a very different story. Carbon dioxide constitutes four one-hundredths of one percent of the air we breathe (or 400 parts per million). That is an extremely tiny fraction of the atmosphere.

What constitutes the rest of the air around us? Seventy-eight percent of the air we breathe is nitrogen, 21 percent is oxygen, 0.9 percent is argon, and 0.1 percent is other gases. The other gases include methane (0.00017 percent); nitrous oxide (0.00003 percent); and water vapor, which varies from 0 to 4 percent.

How can such a small magnitude of CO2 be dooming humanity? Furthermore, how can climate change alarmists be absolutely, positively certain that if CO2 continues to increase, it will be lights out for life on Earth?

During the Cambrian period 500 million years ago, CO2 constituted over 5,000 parts per million of the Earth's atmosphere. Then, 150 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, CO2 was 1,700 parts per million, more than four times what it is now. Life thrived during those periods. How can 400 parts per million be a threat to our existence?

Before humans started burning fossil fuels about 200 years ago, CO2 made up 250 parts per million of our atmosphere. It has been growing at about one part per million per year for the past 150 years. In other words, a very small magnitude is growing at a very slow rate. Is there any reason that rate will accelerate when it hasn't in a century and a half?

If the tiny magnitude were more generally known, people would want explanations. It defies common sense that such a small magnitude could be responsible for certain catastrophic changes. The least we ought to be is skeptical.

The catastrophists have not been asked to explain because they have successfully suppressed widespread awareness of the magnitude of CO2 in the atmosphere. If more people were aware of the actual percentage, there would be far less global warming panic. More people would stop listening to the doomsayers.

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The one point that can get people off the global warming obsession train at American Thinker July 29, 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, July 13, 2022

There's got to be lots of Biden buyer's remorse out there now

The Biden administration has been a disaster from day one. All sentient persons know it, even those in deep denial.

Before Biden became president, our economy was humming along, as it usually does. To keep it working well, the main requirement was to keep out of its way and to keep bureaucrats and politicians in check. Joe Biden did the exact opposite and we're all paying an enormous price for it.

The millions of Americans who voted for Biden cannot be surprised about how it's turned out. Joe Biden had a fifty-year history of being an embarrassingly incompetent and corrupt politician. His voters were willfully blind to that reality. How many of them lament voting for him?

Anyone who voted for Biden-Harris enabled this disaster. We are now saddled with two and a half more years of deliberate damage done by this administration. The policy choices made thus far have been so harmful that even Democrats are looking for ways out. However, there is no obvious way to end the destruction until 2024, thirty months from now. A President Harris would just be more of the same.

Democrats and the media pretend there's still a possibility that Biden will run for a second term. There is no way that will happen, but they have to go through the motions so as to keep him from being a lame duck this early in his first term.

Democrats ought to be furious at their party leaders, and many of them are. Those leaders are responsible for Biden and Harris being in the White House. Joe Biden was supposedly the best they had. But he has been the worst president in our country's history, and all the other candidates would have been just as bad or worse.

For the past many years, the Democrat bench has been a totally uninspiring, unimpressive, motley collection of losers. Now they're even talking about having Hillary run again in 2024.

Relatively few voters actually voted for Joe Biden. Most voted from a basis of intense hatred — primarily of Donald Trump, but also of Republicans in general.

Why do Democrats hate Trump so much? The main reason is his effectiveness in defeating the Democrat agenda. They hate him because he's not a John McCain, Mitt Romney, or Mitch McConnell. They hate too the fact that he's not a wimp. Conservative Republicans love fighters; progressive Democrats love spineless weaklings. Trump is a plain-talking, take-no-prisoners fighter and the opposite of an establishment swamp creature.

Trump knows how to get things done. He got things done despite the most resistance ever experienced by an American president. Democrats lied about him and sabotaged him from the very beginning.

The Democrats got their wish. They prevented Trump from winning a second term, at least for the time being. To accomplish that they sold their souls. The party is paying, and will continue to pay, a high price for doing so. It is hemorrhaging voters. Democrats now realize that November will bring electoral carnage in its wake. One of the truest of all adages is "cheaters never win."
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There's got to be lots of Biden buyer's remorse out there now at American Thinker July 13, 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, June 24, 2022

The left's marching orders

The Communist Manifesto is a 28-page pamphlet published in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

It's not economic insights that makes The Communist Manifesto so popular, but rather the attitudes that it fosters. Its legacy has been extremely inviting to those with a particular mindset.

The founders of Black Lives Matter are self-avowed Marxists. Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the group, has said this about her and her fellow founders, "We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories."

If you read Manifesto, you will feel that you are reading the marching orders for the modern Left, that you are reading what all leftists have sworn allegiance to. It is virtually a complete list of their grievances — victimhood, religion, borders, the family, private schools, and private property. Marxism is like an addiction for leftists. The reason it has been able to do so much damage is that it has been so alluring to so many people for so many years.

The Communist Manifesto tells those people what they want to hear, especially those people who would rather blame society or the system instead of taking personal responsibility.

In common with today's leftists and progressives, The Communist Manifesto reflects attitudes of resentment, bitterness, envy, victimhood, and arrogance.

The Communist Manifesto is above all utopian. In his book Ameritopia Mark Levin reviews previous utopian literature — Plato's Republic, Thomas More's Utopia, Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan, and Marx's Communist Manifesto. Levin begins his book as follows: "Tyranny, broadly defined, is the use of power to dehumanize the individual and delegitimize his nature. Political utopianism is tyranny disguised as a desirable, workable, and even paradisiacal governing ideology."

There is a proclivity in human nature to believe that society and individuals are capable of perfection, that if we only had the proper economic and political system heaven on Earth would be ours.

The Manifesto contains no details regarding what would replace the existing foundations of our civilization. That's a common attitude among utopians even to this day. For them all that's necessary is to knock the pillars out from civilization (especially capitalism) and trust that everything will then be glorious.

As is true with modern leftists, Marx had a monocausal view of the economy and society. The demise of capitalism would mark the end of societal problems. His theories are perfect examples of wishful thinking or what is now referred to as "confirmation bias." Unfortunately, the fact that he was wrong about everything has not reduced his appeal. Marxism is a hydra-headed monster impossible to kill.

The Manifesto is almost comical. Marx claimed to have gotten to the bottom of history once and for all, e.g., "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." He asserted that economic structures determine virtually everything else ("dialectical materialism"). He maintained that he had discovered not just the themes of history but the actual laws of history. Knowing with absolute certainty the laws of history was supposed to allow him to predict the future with confidence.

Marx's objective in The Communist Manifesto was not to discover truth but to start a revolution. If you're trying to recruit an army of revolutionaries, you can't be mealymouthed. Being certain makes your followers believe they are on the right side of history. It helps as well to be simplistic, e.g., to stress that populations consist of only two groups, the oppressed and the oppressors. Marxism is a simplistic ideology designed to appeal to simple-minded people.

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The left's marching orders at American Thinker June 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.

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.

The unbearable miseries of Democrats

Democrats and the Left have a long and ever-expanding list of concerns: climate change, white supremacy, rising sea levels, non-organic vege...