Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Hope: California set to offer college credit for online courses

There are forces in motion that could turn the tide against the secular left, and one of them is online education.

Excerpt:

A bill in California’s Legislature would force public colleges to award students credit for taking some outside online courses. It looks likely to pass, and its implications for higher education are vast.

A successful monopoly has an impregnable wall around some much-desired good, such as education, and controls the only door.

The higher education establishment in America has always operated this way. But cracks are starting to appear in its wall. A significant one opened this week.

On Wednesday, a bill was introduced in California’s state Senate to require public colleges to give students credit for online courses from outside providers.

If students can’t take an introductory or remedial class in the traditional way, they can turn to offerings from businesses such as Coursera, Udacity and StraighterLine, or the nonprofit EdX, a joint project of Harvard and MIT.

The bill looks likely to pass in some form.

[…]For the first time, colleges would have to offer credit for courses outside the academic establishment. As StraighterLine founder Burck Smith told the New York Times, “This would be a big change, acknowledging that colleges aren’t the only ones who can offer college courses.”

Up to now, online teaching could offer plenty of knowledge but not the credits leading to degrees.

Colleges could refuse to recognize the courses, and most did. That balance of power would shift if Steinberg’s bill becomes law.

That would be the start of real competition.

If online courses can teach more students just as well and cost the public less, the professors behind the walls will have to change their hidebound ways or lose more business to outsiders.

Either way, the public would be well served.

The faster we can disrupt the current higher education monopoly and focus students back on getting marketable skills at a reasonable price, the better off we’ll be. The financial crisis actually helps with this, because young people now have to be more serious about what they are choosing to study and how much they are paying to study. We have a chance here to turn the tide. It’s good news!

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What causes outsourcing, offshoring and tax avoidance? Greedy Democrat tax policies

I have to link to this Fox News editorial, because they linked to my blog, and because it features a sensible libertarian Wayne Allyn Root, whom I blogged about before.

Excerpt:

The signs are everywhere that a tax rebellion has begun.

The latest U.S. Census showed us that the states with low taxes enjoyed the fastest population growth- states like Nevada, Texas, Florida, and Arizona.

Not surprisingly, the states losing the most population are all high tax states like California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and of course Obama’s Illinois.

These states that Americans are running from are all governed just like Obama wants to govern the entire country. Soon these same Americans running away from California, New York and Illinois will instead be running away from America.

Ask the co-founder of Facebook, who recently renounced his citizenship and left for Singapore (where the capital gains taxes are zero).

Ask big-time Democratic contributor Denise Rich, who recently renounced her citizenship to leave for Austria.

The trickle is turning into a torrent. Record numbers of wealthy Americans are giving up their citizenship- eight times more than before Obama became president.

Of course we already know that only one year after the UK imposed a “Millionaires Tax” two thirds of the millionaires in England disappeared off the tax rolls.

High taxes have worked well in England…they are about to endure an unheard of in history triple dip recession…the third recession in 5 years. Folks that’s called a Great Depression.

We already know that millionaires are escaping France at a record pace because of high tax rates imposed by the new Obama-clone Socialist President of France. Even leftist actors like Gerard Depardieu have been forced to abandon the country they love.

The famous actor isn’t alone. Requests by citizens to leave France are up by 500%.

But then came the coup de grace. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has just announced he is leaving France because of taxes.

High taxes are even chasing away the presidents of their own countries!

High taxes work great in France. Their Labor Minister announced just this week that France is “totally bankrupt.” His words.

I removed all the links from the excerpt except the link to me. But you can see all the links on the original Fox News version of the article.

I think that there is this attitude on the left that the hardest-working people are like sitting pigeons. That they can be financially raped over and over by rhetoricians who preen themselves in the public eye, while demonizing their victims. It doesn’t go on forever. Eventually people who produce scale back their efforts, or just move somewhere else. Why work for other people who hate you? Charity is one thing, but slavery is something else entirely. Companies also respond to incentives, and shift to greener pastures where the socialists are not in charge.

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Politifraud: Left-wing Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” is literally true

Here’s Politifact’s “Lie of the Year“:

It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign — that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.

And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.

People often say that politicians don’t pay a price for deception, but this time was different: A flood of negative press coverage rained down on the Romney campaign, and he failed to turn the tide in Ohio, the most important state in the presidential election.

PolitiFact has selected Romney’s claim that Barack Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs as the 2012 Lie of the Year.

Now that the election is over, Reuters is reporting that… Chrysler is going to build Jeeps in China: (H/T The Weekly Standard)

Fiat (FIA.MI) and its U.S. unit Chrysler expect to roll out at least 100,000 Jeeps in China when production starts in 2014 as they seek to catch up with rivals in the world’s biggest car market.

Output could double, the Italian carmaker’s Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne, without giving a precise timeframe.

Chrysler, in which Fiat has a 58.5 percent stake, said on Tuesday it had agreed to make Jeeps in China with Guangzhou Automobile Group (601238.SS).

[…]”We expect production of around 100,000 Jeeps per year which is expandable to 200,000,” Marchionne, who is also CEO of Chrysler, said on the sidelines of a conference, adding production could start in 18 months.

The Romney ad said: “Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job.”

And the literal truth is that Fiat, an Italian car company, owns a 58.5% majority of Chrysler. And the literal truth is that Chrysler IS “going to build Jeeps in China” –  exactly what Romney said. We now know that for a fact because it has been reported by Reuters. Jeep production is starting up in China, it is not being expanded in the United States. Politifact has exposed itself as a left-wing organization that is willing to lie in order to get their Democrat candidate elected.

What happens when you raise taxes on businesses and punish people for working hard and playing by the rules? Very simple. They leave and move to a place where they can keep more of what they earn. Obama likes to hear the sound of applause from those who depend on government for handouts and bailouts, but he is being applauded for spending other people’s money. Money he himself did not earn. Eventually, people get sick and tired of being abused by big-mouth politicians and they take their capital and move on. It’s the Democrat Party that causes jobs to be shipped overseas.

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Do conservative policies or liberal policies cause outsourcing? The case of California

Here’s an interesting article about a new paper published by the centrist Manhattan Institute about California, a state that is controlled from top to bottom by Democrats. Have the liberal economic policies of the Democrats caused a decrease or an increase in outsourcing?

Let’s see:

For decades after World War II, California was a destination for Americans in search of a better life. In many people’s minds, it was the state with more jobs, more space, more sunlight, and more opportunity. They voted with their feet, and California grew spectacularly (its population increased by 137 percent between 1960 and 2010). However, this golden age of migration into the state is over. For the past two decades, California has been sending more people to other American states than it receives from them. Since 1990, the state has lost nearly 3.4 million residents through this migration.

This study describes the great ongoing California exodus, using data from the Census, the Internal Revenue Service, the state’s Department of Finance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and other sources. We map in detail where in California the migrants come from, and where they go when they leave the state. We then analyze the data to determine the likely causes of California’s decline and the lessons that its decline holds for other states.

The data show a pattern of movement over the past decade from California mainly to states in the western and southern U.S.: Texas, Nevada, and Arizona, in that order, are the top magnet states. Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah follow. Rounding out the top ten are two southern states: Georgia and South Carolina.

A finer-grained regional analysis reveals that the main current of migration out of California in the past decade has flowed eastward across the Colorado River, reversing the storied passages of the Dust Bowl era. Southern California had about 55 percent of the state’s population in 2000 but accounted for about 65 percent of the net out-migration in the decade that followed. More than 70 percent of the state’s net migration to Texas came from California’s south.

What has caused California’s transformation from a “pull in” to a “push out” state? The data have revealed several crucial drivers. One is chronic economic adversity (in most years, California unemployment is above the national average). Another is density: the Los Angeles and Orange County region now has a population density of 6,999.3 per square mile—well ahead of New York or Chicago. Dense coastal areas are a source of internal migration, as people seek more space in California’s interior, as well as migration to other states. A third factor is state and local governments’ constant fiscal instability, which sends at least two discouraging messages to businesses and individuals. One is that they cannot count on state and local governments to provide essential services—much less, tax breaks or other incentives. Second, chronically out-of-balance budgets can be seen as tax hikes waiting to happen.

The data also reveal the motives that drive individuals and businesses to leave California. One of these, of course, is work. States with low unemployment rates, such as Texas, are drawing people from California, whose rate is above the national average. Taxation also appears to be a factor, especially as it contributes to the business climate and, in turn, jobs. Most of the destination states favored by Californians have lower taxes. States that have gained the most at California’s expense are rated as having better business climates. The data suggest that many cost drivers—taxes, regulations, the high price of housing and commercial real estate, costly electricity, union power, and high labor costs—are prompting businesses to locate outside California, thus helping to drive the exodus.

Population change, along with the migration patterns that shape it, are important indicators of fiscal and political health. Migration choices reveal an important truth: some states understand how to get richer, while others seem to have lost the touch. California is a state in the latter group, but it can be put back on track. All it takes is the political will.

Also, California is absolutely dominated by corrupt public sector labor unions and teacher unions, who regularly interfere in elections to make sure that economic policy is very, very liberal.

What’s true of California is becoming true of the United States as a whole, under our socialist President Barack Obama. The more that Obama enacts left-wing economic policies that threaten job creators and investors with higher taxes and more burdensome regulations and wasteful spending and massive deficits, the more they will leave for other countries or expand to other countries. It turns out that the “greedy” businessmen and investors who advocate for lower taxes and less burdensome regulation are the real champions of low unemployment, economic growth and prosperity.

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Outsourcing billions of taxpayer dollars through stimulus spending

A lot of talk about outsourcing in the news these days. CNS News explains who has the real record of outsourcing.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration allowed millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds to go to foreign companies, despite recent statements by President Barack Obama that he opposes “shipping jobs overseas.”

[…]Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus spending law–the $787 billion American Recovery and Reivnestment Act–gave millions of federal dollars to foreign companies or funded domestic companies that built factories in foreign countries or bought foreign products.

For example, there is the North Carolina LED manufacturer Cree Inc. Cree was awarded $39 million through a stimulus-funded tax credit program in January 2010. However, half of the company’s employees are in China and the company opened a manufacturing plant in Huizhou City, China in November 2009, according to an article in the industry publication LEDs Magazine.

[…]Another example of stimulus outsourcing is Japanese wind energy firm Eurus Energy, whose U.S. subsidiary, Eurus Energy America, received $91 million in stimulus funds to build a wind farm in Texas, according to a 2010 report from American University. That wind farm reportedly was built with wind turbines manufactured by another Japanese company – Mitsubishi.

“Eurus Energy America, the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese firm, received $91 million in stimulus money for its Bull Creek wind farm in Texas. The farm consists of 180 Mitsubishi turbines,” the American University report said.

Eurus told American University that the wind farm was actually built by British firm RES Americas and is now being run by EnXco, an American subsidiary of the French energy firm EDF Energies Nouvelles.

[…]Another example of the Obama administration funding foreign companies is a $337 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy’s green energy lending program.

That loan went to California energy firm Sempra Energy for a solar power array in Arizona. However, according to a Feb. 4, 2011  New York Times report, Sempra Energy bought its solar panels from the Chinese firm Suntech.

The project, known as Mesquite Solar 1, reportedly used 800,000 of the Chinese solar panels.

Perhaps the best-known example of Obama administration funding of foreign companies is its $500-million loan guarantee to Finnish automaker Fisker Automotive.  That loan, part of the Energy Department’s electric vehicle lending program, was made to help Fisker establish a U.S. manufacturing presence.

However, the company never established an American factory, choosing instead to shutter its U.S. operations and continue building cars in Finland.

But that’s not all.

Consider this post from Hans Bader, which further assesses Obama’s record on outsourcing.

Excerpt: (links removed)

“79 percent” of all green-jobs funding in Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package went to foreign companies, with the largest payment going to a bankrupt Australian company.  For example, the Obama Administration spent $1.6 billion on Chinese and other foreign wind power. The practical effect of those subsidies was to outsource American jobs.  ABC News reported on the subsidies for Chinese wind turbines contained in the stimulus package:

Despite all the talk of green jobs, the overwhelming majority of stimulus money spent on wind power has gone to foreign companies, according to a new report by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University’s School of Communication in Washington, D.C.

Nearly $2 billion . . . has been spent on wind power. . .But the study found that nearly 80 percent of that money has gone to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines.

“Most of the jobs are going overseas,” said Russ Choma at the Investigative Reporting Workshop. He analyzed which foreign firms had accepted the most stimulus money. “According to our estimates, about 6,000 jobs have been created overseas, and maybe a couple hundred have been created in the U.S.” Even with the infusion of so much stimulus money, a recent report by American Wind Energy Association showed a drop in U.S. wind manufacturing jobs last year.

The stimulus package also showered money on left-wing community organizers and liberal lobbying groups.

Earlier, NewsMax reported on a $2 billion subsidized loan by the U.S. government to a Brazilian oil company:

Gulf Oil CEO Joe Petrowski says President Barack Obama’s weekend comments in Brazil that the United States looks forward to purchasing oil drilled for offshore by that nation “is rather puzzling,” and “hypocritical” as his administration has imposed a virtual moratorium on domestic drilling. The signal to purchase more foreign oil comes after the U.S. Export-Import Bank invested more than $2 billion with Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration.

The CEO of General Electric, which has received government “green jobs” money, is a close Obama advisor.  GE has been busy outsourcing American jobs, eliminating a fifth of its U.S. workforce since 2002.  GE made $14.2 billion in profits in 2010, but paid no taxes at all, even though America’s corporate tax rates are among the highest in the world.  Indeed, GE actually received a tax benefit of $3.2 billion from the government in 2010, and received a preferential bailout at taxpayer expense.

That post goes on and on and on and on like that. Obama likes to “spread the wealth around”, remember?

What causes outsourcing? When you have the highest corporate tax rate in the world – that causes outsourcing. When you keep piling on regulations and regulations onto businesses, from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank – that causes outsourcing. When you take money collected from taxes paid by American businesses and hand it out to foreign companies owned by Democrat-allies – that causes outsourcing. When you block energy companies from developing energy here at home – that causes outsourcing.

UPDATE: I put millions in the post title, but it’s actually billions. At least $29 billion.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

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