RANT: The Irish bishops are making a severe blunder


Irish bishops condemn ‘selfish’ economic policies, support higher taxes
February 21, 2011

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Less than a week before elections in the Irish republic, the Irish bishops’ conference has released a statement charging that current public policies violate principles of justice and offend against the common good.

The statement released by the bishops’ committee on justice and peace, entitled From Crisis to Hope: Working to achieve the Common Good, said that the country’s current economic problems can be traced to immoral policies and perspectives. “Greed became dominant, trust was betrayed, and the result was the recession in which we now are,” said Bishop John Kirby of Clonfert, at a press conference in Dublin introducing the statement.

Bishop Raymond Field, a Dublin auxiliary who chairs the justice-and-peace committee, said: “Poverty and social exclusion, experienced by increasing numbers of people in Ireland today, North and South, represent gross violations of human dignity.”

The bishops’ statement called for greater efforts to relieve poverty, both in Ireland and, through foreign aid, in developing countries. The statement suggested that Ireland’s tax rates must be raised to support the necessary social services.

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With all due respect to the Irish bishops, they are made a severe blunder. They are not fighting the evil King, defending human freedom, and protecting religious freedom.

They are buying into the meme of a government that does everything. The Nanny State.

A better meme is “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”.

They would be better served by learning from the Good Samaritan. He helped the victim out of his own pocket. He didn’t make others pay for his charity. He took pity on the victim but didn’t call for the Gooferment to fix the problem.

There are many reasons why the bishops are blundering. Two that come to mind right off the top of the head — charity to be effective has to be personal — AND — involving politicians and bureaucrats makes the overhead costs skyrocket.

Poverty can’t be fixed by stealing from some and giving to others.

The USA’s “War on Poverty” is an abject failure. The richest country in the world and in recorded history couldn’t “solve” poverty. Because Gooferment was the meme.

Is it charitable to keep the poor poor?

Gooferment “welfare” isn’t designed for people to prosper. It’s designed to keep the maximum number of voters voting and bureaucrats employed.

Peal away the disincentives to success and train people to stand on their own two feet and help themselves. Tough love. With Churches, Fraternal Organizations, Clubs, Societies, Families, Clans and groups to provide “help”. “Help” that really helps; not ensnares people in despair and multi-generational poverty as “welfare farmers”.

We can do better. And, the bishops should lead; not whine for more Gooferment handouts.


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POLITICAL: Some ‘solar” people get $X subsidy; the Gooferment has to steal 2X!


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Profit Opportunity: The Government Has Solar’s Back By Christian Hill

Yesterday, I talked about the tremendous year the solar industry had in 2010. While the S&P was up nearly 20%, some companies saw gains as high as 80% and 120%.

And for the first time ever, the industry installed over 1 gigawatt of capacity.

Solar has a lot of momentum going into 2011.

And that tailwind is being reinforced by the government.

For the past few years, they have been giving the industry all the help they can in the form of tax credits, grants, and incentives. These totaled $2.5 billion last year. That was four times the 2009 amount.

One example is the Treasury Grant Program (TGP). It lets the owner of a commercial solar project take a 30% cash grant instead of a tax credit.

The TGP was set to expire at the end of last year.

But the government wasn’t about to let all the momentum the solar industry has built up slip away.

So they extended the TGP for another year.

The government is aware that this is about jobs too. Job growth for solar companies is forecast to be 26% over the next 12 months. That compares to 2% for the overall economy.

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SO let me understand this: the Gooferment robs Peter to subsidize Paul and that makes it a great investment?

I don’t think the author understands the value proposition.

To give some people, wearing “solar” on their t-shirts, a subsidy of X, the Gooferment has to steal 2 times X from other people.

And I like “solar” if by that you mean I can get electricity cheaper.

Maybe with the subsidy, maybe solar is “cheaper”. But it’s not a “fair calculation”. The Gooferment’s bug thumb is on the “butcher’s scale” influencing the calculation.

The Gooferment should have NO role in an “energy policy”. (Other than to prevent force or fraud. Ensuring a free and fiar marketplace.)


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