Commentary

Ford and now DaimlerChrysler are the latest companies to take the layoff route to try and save their corporate skins. We watch our TVs day after day as the numbers add up 7,000, 20,000, 30,000 600,000 jobs lost. If you pay attention to the news, you might believe American business is creating a giant soup line stretching from Wall Street to Wal-Marts headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. Only that story is a fairy tale. Certainly, there have been job losses. Autoworkers have been particularly hard hit, as have residents of the Gulf areas savaged by Hurricane Katrina. But the real story... continue reading
CNNs Andy Serwer fired the medias latest salvo against American business with his January 19 swipe at corporate salaries. The Fortune magazine editor shut out defenders of corporate executives whom he hinted might be getting paid for a pulse while suggesting that a famous actress earns every penny she makes. Julia Roberts makes a movie, she gets big bucks, more than $20 million-a-film, Serwer opened his story quickly adding, Thats okay, her movies usually earn many times that. You could say she makes money the old-fashioned way, she earns it. But, asked the business contributor, can the same be said... continue reading
There are few guarantees in this life. The most widely recognized are death and taxes, but its also guaranteed that government isnt as concerned about your well-being as you are. Liberals claim to support guaranteed retirement benefits, regardless of the cost or our ability to provide them. The reality is that guaranteed benefit plans whether provided by government or private companies will not be able to survive the coming generations. Workers at IBM, home of the nations third-largest pension program, are among the latest to get the wake-up call, proving that a company doesnt have to be in bankruptcy to... continue reading
The recent economic expansion in the United States bolstered by news of 2 million jobs created in 2005 and an unemployment rate below 5 percent is in large part due to the 2003 tax reduction. Tax cuts create economic growth. There is little doubt that this is the case, both at the national and local levels. Lets look at how theyve worked through history. A Short History: Tax Cuts Work If we look at the U.S. economy, three historical examples are the Harding-Coolidge tax cuts of the 1920s, the Kennedy-Johnson tax cuts of the 1960s, and the Reagan cuts of... continue reading
There was a time when we had nothing to fear but fear itself. Those were the days. Now the home of the brave is anything but and Americans find ourselves in a constant state of fear. We only need consult Charlie Browns famed psychiatrist Lucy Van Pelt to know that America is afflicted with a case of pantophobia the fear of everything. We fear avian flu, a bust in the housing market, cloning, drugs, the economy, floods, gas prices, hurricanes Heck, kids could learn their ABCs from our worst nightmares. On Christmas Eve, Susan Lisovicz of CNNs In the Money... continue reading
Finally, the discussion about Hurricane Katrinas aftermath has turned to the Mississippi coast. Since the advent of the storm, devastated Mississippi communities have received sparse coverage compared to the spectacle in New Orleans. Unfortunately, the media have chosen to tout Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs, and their efforts to strong-arm the insurance industry with lawsuits. Consumers should be bothered by both the publicity and likely consequences. To draw the medias obsession away from New Orleans, it took a cynical lawsuit filed by the attorney generals office against insurance companies, accusing them of an unfair or deceptive... continue reading
If there were a Saffir-Simpson scale for newscasts, CNNs Lou Dobbs Tonight would have been downgraded long ago from news to rant. A September 20 report on the Labor Departments suspension of policies, like affirmative action paperwork, to aid the Gulf Coast clean-up effort was an anti-business rant replete with racial clichs and economic misstatements. Dobbs has not stopped injecting his opinion on the suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act, a racist wage policy implemented to discourage the hiring of cheap minority labor from the South. He led into Christine Romanss report, Some in the Bush administration appear to believe that... continue reading
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. On the network news, it equals about 75 cents a gallon. That's how much the three broadcast networks have been inflating the price of gas by showing pictures that reflect the worst gas prices. In the two weeks around Hurricane Katrina, the network evening news shows talked about rising gas prices 30 times. Those stories showed pictures of the price at the pump 46 times and those pictures were, on average, 75 cents per gallon higher than the national average price. In some cases, the prices were up to $3.25 higher... continue reading
The Christmas shopping season culminated a strong year for the U.S. economy. But instead of ringing out the old year and toasting the economys success, 43 percent of Americans think were in a recession and thats a crying shame. Call it Boo-Hoo Economics. According to the American Research Group, the public is split over the notion that were in a recession. Its no wonder almost half of the American public thinks things are bad, because most people only know what theyre told. For 43 percent of the population to believe something so wrongheaded, there can be only one culprit the... continue reading
Holiday traditions are grounded in stories from the past, including how St. Nicholas became Jolly St. Nick. But some storytellers are hard at work no matter what the season. You can always trust the liberal wing of the U.S. news media to come up with a whopper. Unfortunately, these tall tales arent harmless. They distort the facts, deliberately mislead the public, and form the basis for bad public policy. It is my hope that calling attention to media bias and distortion will empower the public and policymakers to be better news consumers in 2006. We must demand that the media... continue reading