Greece, Puerto Rico and Illinois Linked by Similarities

Before this year, nobody would have mentioned Greece, Puerto Rico and Illinois in the same breath. At one time they had little in common. Now they are linked by failed economies. The modern Greek state, which was established in 1830 following the war of independence from the Ottoman Empire, traces its roots to the civilization of Ancient Greece some 4,000 years ago. Illinois became the 21st State on Dec 03, 1818. As a result of the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States on December 10, 1898 along with Guam and the Philippines. Each has failed to sustain an economy that could protect its citizens. They are unable to create enough good paying jobs while letting pensions and entitlements spiral out of control. Debt has piled up to unimaginable levels. The “official”... Read More

Cheap Gas Doesn’t Mean We Should Stop Drilling

With gas prices at the pump hovering near $2 a gallon, many Americans are reveling in the belief that this represents a long-term shift to an oversupply of domestic gasoline resources. While it’s hard to predict how long we will enjoy these lower prices, we all know how volatile the energy market can be. We are just a world crisis away from oil prices soaring again. We don’t need long memories to recall that inflation-adjusted oil prices reached an all-time low in 1998 (lower than the price in 1946)! Just 10 years later, in June 2008, oil prices were at the all-time high. The pendulum swings back and forth with little provocation. The Energy Information Association (EIA) notes that driven largely by falling crude oil prices, U.S. weekly regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.14/gallon... Read More

Our Lost Generations of Young Entrepreneurs

This nation was founded by entrepreneurs who knew that with some sweat equity and risk taking, they could share in the American Dream. But for today’s young entrepreneurs, that dream has become a nightmare. High taxes, onerous regulations and diminished access to capital has seen entrepreneurs stand on the sidelines waiting for a business environment that welcomes and rewards their participation. They are still waiting. According to a study conducted by the Federal Reserve, the share of people younger than 30 who own private businesses has reached a 24-year low. Only 3.6 percent of households headed by adults younger than 30 owned stakes in private companies. In 1989, that figure was 10.6 percent. I caught the entrepreneurial bug when I was a young man, and today I own a half dozen companies... Read More

Red States, Blue Sates, Dissed States

At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, then-Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama famously started his road to the presidency with the speech that included the line: “There are no red states or blue states, just the United States.” If only that were true. Instead, we have a president who not only shows preference to blue states, but also punishes red states and, most damaging, dismisses many other states. Democrats have followed him in lock step, especially when it comes to energy-producing states. Democrats have totally retreated from supporting energy-producing states, as evidenced by their decision to throw Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., under the bus by not giving her the votes she wanted to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. She lost the election, and Democrats have essentially... Read More

New Immigration Mandate Punishes US College Students

With the move to let 5 million undocumented immigrants remain in the country, this not only hurts American workers looking for jobs, but American students seeking a good college education. According to a new report from the Institute for International Education, nearly 900,000 foreign students are studying in U.S. college or university undergraduate programs, up 8 percent from last year. That’s a new record. In fact, the number of international students studying in the U.S. has increased by 72 percent since 2000. Of the foreign students studying in the U.S. last year, more than 274,000 were Chinese, a 16.5 percent increase from the previous year. At first glance, this can be interpreted as an endorsement of the superiority of the American college and university system. But dig deeper... Read More

Harry Reid’s Loss Is Free Trade’s Gain

Perhaps the most valuable outcome of the midterm election is that it allows Republicans to remove Harry Reid, D-Nev., from his post as Senate Majority Leader, or as I have dubbed him, “Chief Bottleneck for Free Trade.” With his demotion, his ties to labor unions can be minimized, which means that America can earnestly negotiate free trade agreements. This comes at an important time. President Obama is in Asia to participate in discussions about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would support economic growth and jobs by removing trade barriers for goods and services, improving intellectual property protection and creating new 21st century trade rules. The United States and 11 other countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru,... Read More

Trade Subsidies Erode Trade Agreements

Free trade, by its very nature, is based on the ability of nations and companies to sell goods and services at a fair price without undue interference. When trade is conducted freely and fairly, there’s a level playing field and everybody can prosper. But once government subsidies get involved, the level playing field starts to slant. Seton Motley, executive director of Less Government, was a guest recently on my Made in America radio show, and he maintained that American trade policies, especially subsidies, are ripping off taxpayers and boosting the price of food in the U.S. and around the world. He contends that governments raise the prices of everything we try to buy. They do so indirectly — via hidden costs of government we can’t clearly see. As a result of subsidies... Read More

Thank Obamacare for Driving Older Americans to the GOP

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, the initial feeling was that older adults would embrace Obamacare and thank President Obama with their support and votes. The euphoria for Obamacare is quickly waning as they find themselves with a shrinking provider network and, in many cases, having to cut ties with long-time physicians. Andy Mangione, vice president of government relations for the Association of Mature American Citizens, a conservative advocacy group for senior citizens, said on my Made in America radio show that their 1.2 million members are united behind one idea: dump Obamacare. Most seniors in the U.S. think they were sold a bill of goods. The belief that younger people with lower healthcare costs would balance out the higher healthcare costs of seniors has not materialized. Instead,... Read More

Lack of Confidence in Obama’s Handling of Ebola Could Sicken Economy

As the stress level for Americans rises because of the known cases of Ebola in the U.S., it takes me back to November 2002 when I was often visiting and working in Hong Kong. That’s when an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) broke out in the Guangdong province of China, which borders Hong Kong. Little was known about SARS, and it didn’t help that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) discouraged its press from reporting on SARS and lagged in informing the situation to the World Health Organization (WHO) for four months. In the meantime, when the PRC did report the SARS outbreak, it only reported 305 cases, when in fact there were more than 800 known cases. And when a WHO team travelled to Beijing, it was not allowed to visit the Guangdong province... Read More

Who’s Really Waging the War Against Women?

For years, Democrats have accused Republicans of waging a war against women. But women are starting to take notice that the Obama administration has been no friend to women. This was brought home recently when the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that a record number of women —55.6 million — ared 16 years or older are not participating in the labor force. Is it any wonder that President Obama’s approval rating among women is below 49 percent? This is a big drop from the 70 percent approval rating he received from women on the day he took office. Communities Digital News reported there has been a 14 percent increase in the number of single mothers living in poverty under Obama. Ironically, Obama himself was raised by a single mother. The news for women is depressing everywhere... Read More