Fundamental Concepts: Features and Benefits: Part 1

flag-united-states-industrial-power-national-america-american-industry-57691837Let’s get right into this, even divided into two posts, today and tomorrow it’s fairly long. But it really is fundamental, and why I support Ted Cruz, as well.

When people have a product or service that they want to sell you, they will spend an inordinate amount of time telling you about all the features that they offer. They think that this is a good thing, and it is; but what is important to the listener is not what features are offered, it’s how each of these features would benefit the user. […]

[…] I’d like to turn to something that Ted Cruz is doing in this campaign, and analyze how he needs to do it better. Cruz speaks about recreating the “Reagan coalition”, which is mostly code for getting the votes of blue collar workers. He needs their votes, because these people have been hammered by globalization and they are flocking to the pablum that Donald trump is peddling in droves. Cruz is in the ballpark, but he’s still out in left field talking about features (a very lawyerly thing to do). Reagan’s gift was that he was able to bring it home for voters by showing them the benefits of the policies he proposed. Ted needs to figure out how to do that. It might look something like this:

“I talk to Americans every day as I travel across this country trying to earn your vote for President, and I have to tell you that there is a common theme I hear coming from almost all of them: Economic uncertainty. America’s working men and women and women have been hammered by the last 7 years of Obama’s no-recovery recovery, and they’re nervous. Nervous that they might wake up one morning and find that the jobs they’ve been doing for decades are moving overseas. Nervous that they might not be able to feed their families and raise their kids in the environment that they aspire to. Nervous that even if their job doesn’t go overseas, they might be given to lower skilled workers with lower salaries. Nervous that they might even be forced to endure the indignity and insult of being required to train their replacements! You know what? Under the current administration, and under a Hillary administration, they’re right to be nervous; in fact, they should be downright terrified.

“So what will a Ted Cruz administration do differently? Well, first of all, of all of the candidates in the race, I’m the only one who is absolutely committed to building the wall and enforcing our existing immigration laws. You know, Donald Trump likes to tell you that he’s going to build the wall, the biggest, most luxurious wall the world has ever seen. Every time someone challenges him for details, he just roars “The wall just got higher!”. I think in Donald’s mind the wall reaches to Mars by now. What Donald also says, something that the media has taken great pains to hide, is that his wall also has a great big door in it, the biggest, most luxurious door you’ve ever seen. This is called ‘touchback’ amnesty and it’s about as stupid as it sounds. Would you build a dam with a great big hole in the middle of it? Of course you wouldn’t. Touchback amnesty makes about as much sense.

There’s more there, but that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? And that is how you ethically sell something. You talk about the benefits to the purchaser. I can talk all day about how a $5 light switch is better than a 50¢ one is, but I’ll never sell one. But how about if I tell you (truthfully) that it will lower your light bill by $x per month and last your lifetime. Depending on which $5 switch we’re talking about, that’s entirely possible. That’s enough immigration, I think, but how about jobs moving overseas:

[…] American labor is expensive, and why shouldn’t it be? American workers produce the highest quality goods in the world. There is a reason that “Made in America” means something around the world. If you want quality work, you have to pay for it, and honestly, would we want it any other way? The dream of America has always been that this is a place where you can work hard and make a good living, leaving your kids better off than you were when you started. My father came to this country and worked washing dishes for $.50 an hour, and now his son is running for president. Is this a great country or what? We have to preserve the American Dream for ourselves and ensure that it will still be there for our children.

“What you’re missing, however, is that labor is only part of the picture. There are many reasons for a company to decide to locate itself in any given location, but there are five big ones: Stability, infrastructure, energy cost, labor and regulatory expense. The United States of America has an unquestioned advantage over the rest of the world in the first three categories.

“Stability: Ask any businessman what the foundation of running a successful business is, and he’ll tell you it’s the ability to reasonably project what the future will bring. The United States has been a free market republic, based upon rule of law, for 240 years. If you were starting a business, would you do it in Venezuela? Labor costs are dirt cheep down there, nobody has a job, but anyone who tries to build something immediately has it taken away from them by the government. I’d stay here if I were you.

I highly recommend that you read it all™ at Fundamental Concepts: Features and Benefits [Weirddave].

Emphasis mine.

Here is the reason, why first Britain and then America became and continue as economic superpowers, especially the rule of law. That means that your company will not be seized by the government (unless you break the law). When did Britain start to slide into mediocrity as an industrial power? After World War Two when the Labor Government began and continued nationalizing whole industries, like steel, railroads, and health care. When did it start recovering? When  Maggie Thatcher privatized industries. The market is always, always more efficient than the government. More honest too, when it is let alone.

That’s likely enough for today, we’ll continue tomorrow.

As We Move to Florida

You all (I think) know that for months, my choice for president was Carly Fiorina, and yes, I still think she would make a good president. But it was not to be this year. But she has come down to the same decision I made a few weeks ago. Here, let her tell you…

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Probably not as well, really. I know that some of you think that because she is a bit of an insider, she’s part of the cartel, well, I don’t. She’s enough of a leader, as is Cruz himself, to maintain what she believes, through thick and a lot of thin.

Daniel Payne over at The Federalist the other day told us why Donald Trump is just another Social Justice warrior:

Donald Trump is the perfect social justice warrior president. In short, he’s a whiner, sissy, and coward.

Because Trump’s chicanery is so transparent and so self-evident, many of his supporters have been forced to defend him in some remarkably creative and incoherent ways. Scott Greer at the Daily Caller did so last week, claiming that Donald Trump has “turned conservatives into social justice warriors.” Conservatives, Greer argues, have adopted many of the same traits and tactics of those crazy left-wing activists, among them “hysteria,” “intense virtue signaling,” and “the desire to identify and punish heretics.”

It is true that these are all attributes of liberal social justice warriors. It is also true that they are attributes of Donald Trump, who has proven to be the platonic social justice warrior candidate, insofar as he is incapable of living in a grown-up world and functioning with any degree of maturity.

Read the whole thing, link above.

And you know, there are other good things happening, apparently Planned Parenthood is very afraid of Cruz, especially allied with Fiorina. Think Progress reports that

BOOM: The Most Powerful Statement of Endorsement Ted Cruz Has Received To Date

This is Ted Cruz’s second big endorsement of the day, and it’s related to the first. Earlier, Cruz received Carly Fiorina’s endorsement, which is a big deal. But this is even bigger, and it’s because of the first one.

I’ve got to just let this tweet speak for itself:

BOOM.

This is not being cute with the word endorsement. Think Progress isendorsing the idea that Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz are a huge threat to the publicly funded Planned Parenthood abortion machine. That is a big deal.

From the article:

Though she didn’t mention abortion in her endorsement, both Fiorina and Cruz are notoriously against pro-choice policies and Planned Parenthood.

During her campaign, Fiorina repeatedly hurled aggressive attacks toward the women’s health organization, which she accused of selling fetal body parts for profit. During her most talked-about debate performance, Fiorina said sting videos at the organization showed an aborted fetus kept alive to “harvest its brain.”

Via RedState

Gee, I hope they’re right, couldn’t happen to a more deserving criminal enterprise err tax supported enterprise.

Carly also had a bit to say about the coverage last Tuesday, which makes for still another boom

Even though we all mostly knew that already!

Just in case, you missed it, Chuck Norris endorsed Ted Cruz the other day as well, as did Senator Mike Lee

Interesting times, aren’t they?

Government Flutters Its Wings – and Destroying the Nation, One City at a Time.

Portrait of Sir John Sinclair

Portrait of Sir John Sinclair (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over at RedState yesterday, Seton Motley has an article about how the Democrats are using chaos theory to destroy industry after industry, and I’ll add that they are doing so with at the least Republican acquiescence. It’s a sad story of the corruption (and weakening) of the Republic, but it is not a new one, it goes back to Teddy Roosevelt and Wilson, but picked up a lot of speed with Franklin Roosevelt, and even more with Johnson. Now it is getting to the end game, and either we do something about it or the dream ends, I think. Here’s a bit.

Government Flutters Its Wings – and Industries Nationwide Are Blown Away

A Leftist governmental principle is the Butterfly Effect: “A property of chaotic systems…by which small changes in initial conditions can lead to large-scale and unpredictable variation in the future state of the system.”

The Butterfly Effect is also known as Chaos Theory: “The field of study in mathematics that studies the behavior and condition of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions.”

In layman’s terms: “It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.”

Leftists use government – to create private sector chaos. Even the tiniest of new laws or regulations send huge shockwaves throughout the economy. Leftists increasingly flap government’s wings – to further amp up the private sector typhoon.

No administration has marshaled more winged creatures – than has the Barack Obama Administration. And don’t think butterflies – think dragons. The resulting, ramped up economic typhoon has been devastating. Sector after sector has been consumed by the storm.

For instance, pre-President Obama said “If someone wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can – it’s just that it’ll bankrupt them.” Mission being accomplished: “Obama’s policies have ‘helped spur the closing of dozens of coal plants across the country,’ according to Politico. The November 2015 report states: ‘More than one in five coal-related jobs have disappeared during Obama’s presidency, and several major U.S. coal mining companies have announced this year that they would or may soon seek bankruptcy protection.’”

And believe me – you do not want to be a farmer in the Age of Obama.

It was already awful four years ago. EPA Regulations Suffocating U.S. Agriculture: “The Environmental Protection Agency has set in motion a significant number of new regulations that will significantly change the face of agriculture.

via Government Flutters Its Wings – and Industries Nationwide Are Blown Away | RedState.

Yep, and don’t think it’s limited to business, which farming is, it has repercussions in many people’s lives, especially the poor, and downtrodden amongst us. Bill Whittle covered that better than I can here, in his Death by Democrats:

Adam Smith did indeed write to Sir John Sinclair with regard to the news of Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga that:

“There is a great deal of ruin in a nation”

And that may save us yet if we put our shoulders to the wheel, but the hour grows later and later.

Reclaiming the Protestant Work Ethic

Wiring a residential loadcenter

Wiring a residential loadcenter

Mark Hemingway writing on The Federalist the other day had some very wise things to say about why America doesn’t work, not only the way it used to but very badly for those of us trying to make a living and get ahead. It goes to not only the malaise we all feel lately, but to the very heart of why America is exceptional. Read the whole thing.™

So here’s my rather immodest proposal for making America great again. We need a sea change in our attitudes toward work. Those of us who have easy jobs, let alone ones we love, better damn well remain grateful for the opportunities we have. And all of us, especially our elected representatives, ought to start showing one hell of a lot more appreciation and support for those among us who do the hard work necessary to provide the services and produce the goods that make America a safe, secure, and comfortable place.

That this needs to be said is damning indictment of how debased American culture has become. (Mike Rowe is just about the lone significant cultural voice in America screaming into the void about the value of work.) Not that long ago, we were celebrated for our “Protestant work ethic,” although, as with a lot of theological concepts, most Americans no longer have any frame of reference for what that means.

Although often associated with Calvinism, it is was first rooted in Martin Luther’s doctrine of vocation, which posits that we serve God by accepting our callings and employing our God-given abilities to do the work that needs to be done. Not because we get to do what we love, but because we do what needs to be done out of love for others.

One does not need to even believe in God to see that an economic order that arises from a culture where naked self-interest is tempered by expressions of respect and gratitude for those who willingly accept responsibility to take care of others is preferable to every man for himself. It’s also vastly better than the other extreme of socialism, where the fruits of our individual labor are disproportionately seized and redistributed without regard to our families and the community members we care about most and are best positioned to take care of.

Proto-libertarian thinker Frank Chodorov described the salutary effects of this on American politics in his 1962 essay, “The Radical Rich”:

There was a time, in these United States, when a candidate for public office could qualify with the electorate only by fixing his birthplace in or near the ‘log cabin.’ He may have acquired a competence, or even a fortune, since then, but it was in the tradition that he must have been born of poor parents and made his way up the ladder by sheer ability, self-reliance, and perseverance in the face of hardship. In short, he had to be ‘self made’ The so-called Protestant Ethic then prevalent held that man was a sturdy and responsible individual, responsible to himself, his society, and his God. Anybody who could not measure up to that standard could not qualify for public office or even popular respect.

via Bernie’s Hatred Of Work Is Why Trumpites Are So Mad.

And he’s right, look at nearly any President before Kennedy, small town boy, who works hard, keeps his nose clean, and climbs to the summit – with the exception of the Roosevelts, neither of whom was particularly good for the country, to put it mildly.

We used to say, “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations’, meaning that we only appreciate the things that we worked hard for, when we inherit our wealth, we simply don’t value it, or others, the way we do what we earn.

There’s a lot in the column, you really should read it all, not least because it has much bearing on who we choose to be president this year.

Why Americans Should Back Brexit

What the UK decides to do about the EU is really none of our business, or is it? Britain and the Commonwealth are the only real friends we, as Americans, have in the world. We have many interests, and allies, but they are our only friends, and if you look, they pay much attention to what we’re doing as well. Most of the news (as opposed to views) that I get on our elections back through 2008 has come through the UK. They pay attention to us, and we should to them, even as we do our personal friends.

Even before our nominating conventions, the British will decide whether or not to leave the European Community. I strongly think they should, Europe has become non-democratic, when I was young there was talk of a United States of Europe, that might have been a reasonable idea, if it had recognized the contribution of Anglo-Saxon law has made to the freedom of man. But what it has emerged is, and increasingly, a reasonable soft dictatorship or the bureaucracy and the judges; exactly what we are trying to fight off here.

We all know, that Obama, Kerry, and the USG support staying in the EU. Well, does anyone really think they have the best interests of the United States, let alone the UK at heart. They are proponents of the ‘one world government’ by almost any means. They would happily throw our sovereignty away carelessly, so why would they be different about Great Britain’s, or Austrailia’s. they’re not. The just want power and influence, and yes to get rich(er) on corruption. Britain has a heaven-sent opportunity to return to the return of rule “under and through the law”. It’s likely the last chance, it would be a shame if they sold out the heritage of over a thousand years of developing freedom, for a very short-term safety.

Because Europe qua Europe is dying, the are not repopulating themselves, they are simply repopulating the landmass with Moslems. There is essentially no hope of France or Germany surviving as we have known them until 2100. Britain is in a little better shape, not least because of the Commonwealth (and America). It can be saved, but not if shackled to the dying continent.

Dan Hannan has something to tell us as well:

The campaign is in full swing. On June 23, Britain will decide by referendum whether to leave the European Union (EU). Most of the political establishment, including the leaders of all the main parliamentary parties, are arguing for a “remain” vote. But the country is unimpressed, and opinion polls remain evenly balanced.

In Britain, the vote is a very big deal. We have had only two national referendums before, and one of those, back in 1975, was also on leaving the EU. Those campaigning for withdrawal, including me, see it as an opportunity to restore our independence, our democracy and our economic freedom. We want to reorient Britain away from the enervated and declining eurozone toward the rest of the world. Since 2007, the GDP of China and India have both roughly doubled; but that of the eurozone, incredibly, remains the same size.

Those who want to stay in, by contrast, argue that we mustn’t take risks. In a sound-bite that they trot out in every interview – they’re very disciplined at this sort of thing – they insist that a British exit, or “Brexit,” would be “a leap into the unknown.”

Why should Americans care either way? For two reasons: first, because it touches the question of U.S.-U.K. relations; and second, because it says something about what kind of world we want.

Continue reading Why Americans Should Back Brexit | PA Pundits – International.

A sense of betrayal?

Ketchup Kerry

Churchill said that democracy was the worst possible form of government – except for all the others. Democracy is, when you think about it, an odd form of government – it operates on the assumption that the majority is right, which is, to say the least, a debatable proposition. It is always mediated through some system of government designed to iron out the dangers of what Mill called the ‘tyranny of the majority’. From Robespierre to Lenin, Stalin and Mao, many of the major atrocities of the last couple of centuries were carried out in ‘the name of the people’; a politician who invokes that mantra seems to feel himself dispensed from the moral imperatives which are supposed to guard us against tyranny.

Yet, in our own times, it is not that danger which stalks our politics, but rather the other, and less appreciated one of interest groups. Democratic politics is expensive (though there is no intrinsic reason it should be) and politicians need to garner great ‘war chests’ even to get a chance of high office. In the UK we have restrictions on what can be spent during an election period, but there are no restrictions between times – except that large donations have to be declared. If an MP gets a ‘safe’ seat – that is one where his party holds a considerable majority – he can stay in the Commons for decades. In the USA, except for the President, there are no term limits, and a Senator or Congressman can build himself an impregnable fortress. But all of this takes money, and for many of us, it seems as though our politicians are somewhat in hock to big business. The appeal of Mr Trump (quite lost on me, as on most Europeans) seems to rest in part on the fact that he’s at least spending his own money and can’t ‘be bought’.

Politics is, if you think about it, an odd business. What sort of person wants to hold high public office, to take the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and all for what? Politicians will say they want to do good for the public, but there are many ways of doing that which don’t involve leaving home, living in the nation’s capital for a large part of the year, and listening to mind numbing ‘debates’ (which are seldom anything of the sort). My old College politics tutor used to say that such people were ‘megalomaniac narcissists, verging on the sociopathic’, which, while a bit on the harsh side in some cases, has much to be said for it. He used to say their hobbies were ‘adultery, booze and ambition’. We hear much of the need for our politicians to be representative of us – perhaps in these senses they are.

Politicians are a necessary evil in a democracy. We need them, and if we are not inclined that way ourselves, we are not in a strong position to complain about the type of person who takes it up as a career. We’re told sometimes it would be better if politics was not a career, and myself, I think term-limits a good idea, but there is no getting away from the fact that only certain types of people will want to get into politics for the long-term.

The real criticism is, I think, that our politicians give the impression of caring more about their corporate sponsors than they do the electorate. That may, of course, have always been the case, but at least they used to pretend it wasn’t; there might, after all, be something to be said for having actors in political life – at least they know how to deliver the script.

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