Cost of Freedom

William F Buckley once argued that a free society by necessity allows for an unequal society. Thus if we truly believe in freedom, we accept the natural inequality between the rich and the poor. Without the possibility of unevenness, he argues, we are really not free to choose and live as we so desire. Buckley’s idea of enhancing freedom is deregulating and shrinking the government. He believes we should not mitigate the extreme effects of income inequality by regulating human behavior and activity. To the contrary, more regulation on human behavior and activity can improve freedom by providing individuals with greater economic security and more personal choice. 

Over the course of history, the more we have regulated human behavior in terms of taxation, licensing and other regulatory restrictions, the stronger we have become economically as a society. Ponder this. Would you feel comfortable with no restrictions on how much an individual is allowed to contribute to a political campaign? The absence of campaign finance laws would guarantee a rigged system in which the wealthy are able to dictate the rules of the game. 

Corporate fat cats are tantamount to thieves who are picking the pockets of the working class in order their line their own. Their ideal society is one in which the billionaire class controls the nation’s wealth and plays by their own rules. Why has civilization evolved to believe in the role of law and government at all? The answer is simple: without government and laws, chaos would ensue. The cost of freedom is the willingness to surrender some control.

America Will Not Regress

America will not go backwards. She will continue to move forward. Gays are not going back in the closet. Muslims will not wear IDs. Latinos will not disappear and women will not be having illegal abortions in a back alley. Americans won’t be terrorized with the antics of fear. Hope always prevails over fear. Americans are with us on this.

Voters put Louisiana First by Electing John Bel Edwards

Today is a new chapter in Louisiana politics. The election of John Bel Edwards restores honor and integrity to our state government. Jindal’s days are now numbered. Thank you Louisiana for voting to #putlouisianafirst ! The politics of hope has trumped the politics of fear and division in Louisiana and the whole nation has taken notice. 

Republicans Evade Truth About Minimum Wage

During the Republican Presidential debate, not one candidate endorsed raising the minimum wage, arguing that in this age of competition, doing so would harm the small businesses and the economy. Interestingly, the data do not support their rhetoric. Cities that have raised the minimum wage have witnessed economic growth.
Seattle is a prime example. After raising the minimum wage incrementally, the jobless rate fell to 3.6 percent, the lowest since September 2007 according to the state’s Employment Security Department. Even the infamous Goldmann Sach’s study has shown that the 13 states that have raised the minimum wage since the beginning of 2014 have witnessed greater economic growth compared with those who kept wages at 2013 levels. Why? Because more money in the hands of working and middle class Americans enable them to spend more, which results in greater demand for companies’ goods and services.
Consequently, companies have to hire more people and the unemployment rate drops while the economy grows. It’s a no-brainier, but just as the right wing extremists evade the facts on climate change by insisting they are not scientists, I guess they can evade the truth by asserting they are not economists when asked about the economic data as it applies to the minimum wage’s effect on the economy.  

John Bel Shines in Press Forum; Vitter on Attack

John Bel Edwards showed integrity, passion and good leadership values in the joint press conference forum held today with Senator Vitter He demonstrated a thorough understanding of the budget process and identified key areas of concern in the budget such as Louisiana’s severance tax exemption on offshore oil drilling. In contrast, Senator David Vitter showed a lack of understanding of the budget process and expressed the need to consult with the legislative body for leadership cues. Of course, his ranking as the United States least effective Senator would explain such a lack of insight into the role of government and governance.
While John Bel Edwards underscored that he could govern Louisiana from the center and not from the far right or far right, it showed an understanding of where an extreme right wing ideology has gotten us in the past 8 years and underlines the need for a more centrist leader who will work to unite rather than divide us.  Meanwhile, Senator Vitter went on the attack reiterating scores from partisan groups that portrayed John Bel Edwards as an Obama liberal. We don’t need another Governor who will place rigid ideological beliefs over the common good of the people of Louisiana. We need John Bel Edwards, a leader who can restore integrity and leadership to Louisiana’s government, which will enable our state to serve as a national model for how to govern.