Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Some advice for the class-envy crowd

I’ve about had it up to my eyeballs with all this white privilege nonsense. The EPA recently gave a $30,000 grant to a Unitarian church that preaches “white privilege” and says America is “structurally racist.” The money was given out in a so-called “environmental justice grant” for climate change education. What that has to do with white privilege is anybody’s guess, but it’s time to set the record straight.

Certainly there was a time in this country when being born white gave one a distinct advantage. We’re now 50 years beyond that. There’s, no doubt, an advantage to being born rich, but that’s no longer to the exclusion of minorities. The folks a couple of doors down from me live in a huge house with a swimming pool and a gate and they’re black. They are privileged, I guess, but not because of race. They’re privileged because they worked hard and worked smart.

What’s ironic about this white privilege foolishness is it’s oftentimes coming from exclusive schools that charge outlandish tuition. If you’re black and you’re attending one of these universities, I have news for you. You’re privileged.

But what does privileged even mean? It means you’ve reached a level where you’re able to enjoy the finer things in life. That used to be what we strove for in this country. Now it’s something to be ashamed of. That needs to end.

We all dream of working our way up the ladder and being able to enjoy that five-star resort vacation. We don’t always get there, but it’s part of what motivates us. It’s called capitalism, and that’s the crux of problem.

These people who whine and moan about white privilege are the same ones who whine and moan about capitalism. It’s not fair. The reason it’s not fair to them is because they’re lazy. They’d rather have the government redistribute money to them than work for it. Of course, “redistribute” is an odd term. In order for income to be redistributed it would first have to be distributed. Income is not distributed. It’s earned. That’s a hard pill to swallow for those who spend their lives coveting what everyone else has.

I’ve often noted it says a lot about a person when they’re more concerned about those who make more than they do rather than those who make less. This obsession with the one-percenters is not only perverted, it’s dangerous to the future well-being of the country.

Did you know that the vast majority of the wealthy in this country didn’t inherit it? PNC Wealth Management conducted a survey several years ago. They polled people with more than $500,000 in extra cash available to invest. I think we can all agree, these people qualify as rich. Only 6% got their money through inheritance.

Here’s another stat you’ll find interesting. According to National Review, the average rich household has four times as many full-time workers as do poor households. Egads, I think we’ve found the secret to wealth. Work!

Here’s something else that may interest you. Handling money is a skill that has to be developed through good habits. Seventy percent of lottery winners will go broke within seven years. Also, researchers at Vanderbilt, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Pittsburgh found the more money you win, the more likely you are to go broke, and more likely to go broke faster.

In other words, it ain’t that easy to get rich and stay rich. Instead of chastising the rich, these class warfarists should study how it’s done. And then get to work.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What now since Paris?

The Paris terrorist attacks have led to much soul-searching here in America. Sure, there are terrorist attacks on a regular basis, but when a western republic so similar to ours is hit it sends a collective chill down our spines. It’s now known that Syrian refugees who sought asylum in France took part in the terrorist attacks. With that knowledge, we reflexively do one of two things. We either immediately want to close the borders and keep something like this from happening here, or we lunge to the opposite side, longing to keep the spirit of the “huddled masses” alive, something that undoubtedly made our country great.
Which side is right?

To answer that question, one must first understand the evolution of immigration in this country. Up until a Supreme Court decision in 1875 that declared immigration a federal responsibility, individual states had their own immigration laws. The first major federal immigration law after the decision was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. At the request of California, the law prohibited anyone from China from immigrating to the United States. The reason being, Chinese laborers were driving down wages. The Immigration Act of 1891 expanded the list of reasons one could be barred from the country to include polygamists, criminals, and those carrying certain diseases.

Ellis Island opened the following year, ushering in the largest wave of immigrants the country had ever seen until it closed in 1954. It wasn’t until the 1920s that the concept of a passport came into being. It came from a conference at the League of Nations, which was replaced by the UN after World War II. The passport became a very important tool in regulating immigration. No longer could you just board a ship and head to America. You had to have the proper papers which each member nation recognized as demonstrating someone had legitimate business in a foreign land.

Naturally, there have been exceptions to normal immigration in time of crisis. One such exception that stands out in American history is the Mariel boatlift of 1980. An economic downturn in Cuba had caused a lot of Cubans to seek asylum in the Peruvian embassy. Castro eventually allowed them to leave Cuba for Florida. About 125,000 successfully made the trip. However, it was later learned that Castro released inmates from mental hospitals and prisons to join the refugees.

Which leads me to a salient point about today’s refugees.

We have a new wave of Syrian refugees coming to America. How do we know there aren’t terrorists among them like the ones who were granted asylum in France? Our State Department tells us they’re vetting them, but how does one vet an individual from a foreign country? They must depend on the intelligence provided by that foreign country. Who controls Syria? Bashar al-Assad, a man we’ve been actively trying to depose since Obama’s ill-fated Arab Spring and the whole “line-in-the-sand” business.

Castro loaded the boats with crazies and criminals. What on earth gives us any reason to believe Assad isn’t loading planes with terrorists bound for America? A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and Assad is the weak link.

We also need to be asking why no Christian Assyrians from that region are being allowed to emigrate. There are an estimated 200,000 Assyrian refugees, but no one in this government seems too concerned about them. Why? And why are a disproportionate number of refugees men of fighting age? 

Bring us your huddled masses? Sure. Bring us your stealth terrorists? Absolutely not. We should be smarter. 

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It's time to stop the conservation movement

It’s time somebody put a stop to this whole conservation movement. We’ve been conditioned to believe our entire lives that conserving everything is good. Not only is it good, to do otherwise is simply immoral. I’m here to tell you it’s all bovine scatology.

You conserve when there’s a shortage, plain and simple. Otherwise, conservation is destructive to the free market and capitalism.

Let’s take energy, for example. It’s the lifeblood of capitalism. We’ve been told forever that we need to conserve energy. Has anybody stopped to asked why? I have, and I am right now. Why are we conserving energy? Are we running out? No. Economist William Stanley Jevons put out a book warning of the depletion of coal. That was 1865. David White, chief geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, said of the oil supply “the peak production will soon be passed—possibly within three years.” That was in 1919, and we’ve been hearing about peak oil ever since. Paul Ehrlich famously predicted mass starvation in 1968 because of ‘The Population Bomb’ and was famously wrong.

We’re not running out of anything, really. This nonsense of conserving water is just that. Sure, you conserve in a drought, but most of us aren’t in a drought. In fact, around where I live there’s a surplus of water. It literally falls from the sky. Why in the world would I fret over running out of water?

According the U.S. Energy Information Administration, at year-2000 consumption rates, the world has thousands and thousands of years of crude oil. The only thing stopping me from jumping in my car and taking a trip is the price. How much can I afford? We should consume what we need and what we want to consume as long as we can pay for it. To do otherwise is to short-circuit the free market.

Now, I’m not saying that anybody who conserves is a commie. What I’m saying is we’ve been brainwashed into believing that conservation is a virtue. It’s not.

A lady called my radio show just before the Great Recession and suggested we should all sacrifice and do without because we had soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. I tried to explain to her that self-imposed conservation is exactly what brings on recessions. When we’re not consuming as we normally would we’re hurting the economy. That’s why, in every recession, economists start looking for signs of consumer confidence. When are the people going to come back out and start buying stuff again?

That’s why it’s imperative that you stop listening to people who prey on your guilt and start listening to your own common sense. You consume what you can afford. That’s why I transport my family in an SUV and Trump transports his in a 757. It’s all based on what you can afford.

That’s not to say that we go around purposely wasting energy. That doesn’t make good economic sense. I tell my kids to cut the lights off in their rooms when they leave not because I fear running out of energy or I’m some tree hugger, but because I don’t want to pay the extra money for the power bill and have to replace the lightbulbs unnecessarily. It’s a matter of common sense instead of hysteria.

We have worked mighty hard as a nation to reach the top of the economic food chain. It makes no sense to needlessly sit around in a house with the thermostat set on an uncomfortable temperature. Don’t deprive yourself. Live as comfortably as you can afford and enjoy your life.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

As Paris nears, the hysteria increases

You can detect the level of desperation in the global warming movement by the ridiculousness of their claims. Now they’re saying global warming means less sex on the planet. I thought that was a good thing. They’re always telling us there are too many people on the planet. Of course, I’m sure there’s going to be a lot less sex during Spring Break at Ft. Lauderdale than there would be in the dead of winter in Wyoming. 

And just to make sure we’re fully redistributing the wealth, the UN Paris Climate Summit includes a provision for an International Tribunal of Climate Justice. I guess we’ll get some new superheroes to go along with it like Recycle Man or Compost Woman. This proposed tribunal is for the express purpose of determining crimes committed by the producer nations like us along with suitable ‘fines’ to be paid to the non-producing countries. Karl Marx could not have dreamed up a more clever scheme.

The heart of the global warming movement has always been marxist. What’s interesting is to hear mega-capitalists like Bill Gates say that capitalism can’t save us from climate change, as he recently did. The assumption is socialism or communism can. Socialist and communist countries have horrible records when it comes to the environment. China is one of the nastiest places on earth. Why? Because poor people generally don’t care about keeping things clean. I know that sounds horrible but it’s true.

Look around your own town. Where’s the cleanest place in town? Where the rich people live. What part of town has graffiti and trash all over the place? The poor side of town. Come on, folks. It ain’t that hard to figure out. The richer, the cleaner. And the more capitalist, the richer. It’s just that simple. It’s the third world countries where you find the most polluted water and air.

Ah, but you see, the dirt people have changed the definition of pollution. When I was growing up, we had the ecology movement. Captain Kangaroo told us not to throw junk out of our car windows. We had clean-up days at ponds and streams. It was all about cleaning up the area we lived in. Something happened on the way to utopia. Now pollution is carbon dioxide. What’s ironic is CO2 is one of the cleanest substances on the planet. It’s odorless, colorless, tasteless, and beneficial to all plant life. It’s plant food.

The entire argument for redistributing wealth, dismantling our economy, and making life in general more miserable is falling apart. I’m a consumerist. My interest is the well-being of the American consumer. I don’t conserve because we’re not running out of anything. I use exactly the amount of gasoline I need and can afford to use. I don’t waste it because it doesn’t make good money sense, but I don’t fret over how much I’m using or some foolish ‘carbon footprint.’ I keep my thermostat on the temperature that’s going to keep me the most comfortable. I don’t make myself miserable to placate the crazy people who wake up each day in a knot over the temperature of the planet. I don’t conserve water unless I’m in a drought. The notion that we’re running out of water is insane. We have the exact same amount of water on the planet that we’ve always had. It’s not going anywhere.

Anything that guilts us into consuming less than we need creates behavior that wouldn’t ordinarily exist. It short-circuits the free market. I suspect that’s been the goal all along. Don’t fall for it.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.