Tag Archives: free market

Tonight on AxXiom For Liberty Live! 6-8 PM Central – Grassroots Wins and Free Market Friday!

a4l 55Kaye Beach

Dec. 14, 2012

Tonight on AxXiom For Liberty Live!  6-8 PM Central  – Grassroots Wins and Free Market Friday!

Listen Live-LogosRadioNetwork.com  click ‘Listen’ then choose your Internet speed.  Logos Radio Network is a listener supported, free speech radio network and your contributions are vital but you do not have to be a subscriber in order to hear the show.

A big thank you to co-host Howard Houchen who put together this great line up of liberty lovers for your listening pleasure tonight!

First, we will have the pleasure of speaking with Mr.  J.B. Alexander.  He is the current Tulsa County GOP Chair, a member of the Owasso Taxpayers Alliance and part of Tulsa’s recent successful Stop Vision 2 effort.  J.B. is going to help us recharge our activist batteries by sharing with us exemplary David vs. Goliath grassroots wins!

www.tulsagop.org

www.owassotaxpayer.com

Dr. Keith Smith, Oklahoma Surgical Center

Next, we are honored to be speaking with Keith Smith, MD of the Oklahoma Surgery Center.

“Three years ago, Dr. Keith Smith, co-founder and managing partner of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, took an initiative that would only be considered radical in the health care industry: He posted online a list of prices for 112 common surgical procedures. The 51-year-old Smith, a self-described libertarian, and his business partner, Dr. Steve Lantier, founded the Surgery Center 15 years ago, after they became disillusioned with the way patients were treated at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, where the two men worked as anesthesiologists. In 1997, Smith and Lantier bought the shell of a former surgical center with the aim of creating a for-profit facility that could deliver first-rate care at a fraction of what traditional hospitals charge.”  Read more about Dr. Keith Smith and the Oklahoma Surgical Center; ‘Oklahoma Doctors vs. Obamacare’, Reason Magazine, Nov. 15, 2012

Great finds here!  G. Keith Smith’s Blog

Jonathan Small, C.P.A.

And last, but never least, Jonathan Small C.P.A., Fiscal Policy Director for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA).

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) is an independent, nonprofit public policy organization— a think tank—which formulates and promotes public policy research and analysis consistent with the principles of free enterprise and limited government.

Jonathan is one of our favorite guests bringing us common sense views on economic policy always grounded in free-market principle.  Tonight Jonathan is going to weigh in on Corporate Tax Credits.  www.ocpathink.org

What is total state spending?

 Economics 101

Your questions or comments are always welcome!

CALL IN LINE 512-646-1984

 

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Toby Pedford Speaks on the ACA, Government Coercion and the Free Market

Kaye Beach

July 9, 2012

Toby Pedford, small business owner and liberty activist, speaks at the July 7, 2012 Oklahoma Rally for Healthcare Independence about the ACA and the unprecedented demands the law makes on our lives.  Pedford clearly explains why the law is fundamentally wrong.

PRESS RELEASE:: DeMint, Bachmann, Jordan Urge Governors to Reject Obamacare State Exchanges

Kaye Beach

July 2, 2012

 

PRESS RELEASE:: DeMint, Bachmann, Jordan Urge Governors to Reject Obamacare State Exchanges

(Washington, D.C.) Senator Jim DeMint (SC), Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-06) and Congressman Jim Jordan (OH-04) sent a letter to all 50 governors urging them to oppose the implementation of the state health care exchanges mandated under President Obama’s health care law.  Twelve Senators and 61 Representatives joined them in writing in opposition to these exchanges, which could cost businesses up to $3,000 per employee.
“Now that we know the courts will not save us from this harmful and unsustainable law, we urge all governors to join our fight full repeal by stopping its implementation,” said DeMint. “Americans have loudly rejected this law because it raises costs, lowers quality of care, and hikes taxes. The President’s health care law will not reform anything, but will hurt state budgets, destroy jobs, and reduce patient choices. States should reject these complex and costly exchanges. We cannot build a free market health care system on this flawed structure of centralized government control, we must repeal all of it and start over with commonsense solutions that make health care more affordable and accessible for every American.”
“While Republicans in Congress will continue to push for a full repeal of Obamacare, the states can take immediate action to reject these exchanges that will increase health care costs and add more layers of bureaucratic red tape. I encourage all 50 governors to do what’s best for the American people. They should refuse to implement an exchange and instead work towards common sense solutions that lower costs and return important health care decisions to patients and their doctors,” said Bachmann.
“The harmful impact on jobs is just one of many reasons we remain committed to fully repealing this law. If governors want to raise the cost of hiring people in their states, they should create an Obamacare exchange. If they want more jobs in their state, they should not. It’s that simple,” said Jordan.
The text of the letter is included below, and a list of signers is available here.
Dear Governors:
The Supreme Court has ruled significant parts of the Medicaid expansion of the President’s health care law unconstitutional as well as ruling that the individual mandate violated the Commerce Clause and will therefore be implemented as a punitive tax on the middle class. This presents us with a critical choice: Do we allow this reprehensible law to move forward or do we fully repeal it and start over with commonsense solutions? The American people have made it clear that they want us to throw this law out in its entirety. 
As members of the U.S. Congress, we are dedicated to the full repeal of this government takeover of healthcare and we ask you to join us to oppose its implementation. 
Most importantly, we encourage you to oppose any creation of a state health care exchange mandated under the President’s discredited health care law. 
These expensive, complex, and intrusive exchanges impose a threat to the financial stability of our already-fragile state economies with no certainty of a limit to total enrollment numbers. Resisting the implementation of exchanges is good for hiring and investment. The law’s employer mandate assesses penalties – up to $3,000 per employee – only to businesses who don’t satisfy federally-approved health insurance standards and whose employees receive “premium assistance” through the exchanges.  The clear language of the statute only permits federal premium assistance to citizens of states who create a state-based exchange. However, the IRS recently finalized a regulation that contradicts the law by allowing the federal government to provide premium assistance to citizens in those states that have not created exchanges. The IRS had no authority to finalize such a regulation. By refusing to create an exchange, you will assist us in Congress to repeal this violation which will help lower the costs of doing business in your state, relative to other states that keep these financially draining exchanges in place.  
State-run exchanges are subject to all of the same coverage mandates and rules as the federally-run exchange. Clearing the hurdles of crafting an exchange that complies with the 600 plus pages of federal exchange regulations will only result in wasted state resources and higher premiums for your constituents.
Implementation of this law is not inevitable and without the unconstitutional individual mandate it is improbable.  Join us in resisting a centralized government approach to health care reform and instead focus on solutions that make health care more affordable and accessible for every American. Let’s work to create a health care system of, for, and by the people, not government or special interests.
Sincerely,
###

Senator Coburn: there are numerous questions that must be answered about smart grid technology

Kaye Beach

Dec 8, 2011

Today Senator Tom Coburn in response to one of his constituents concerns about the smart meters being rolled out across the state of Oklahoma said that while he thinks our nation’s energy grid needs to be updated, “there are numerous questions that must be answered about smart grid technology. . . Concerns relating privacy and property rights in monitoring and adjusting home energy usage (as well as other things) and vulnerability to criminal actions must be addressed. Any invasion of privacy or overreach of the federal government would be inappropriate, and I will strongly oppose it.”

He also states that;

“the feasibility of this technology has not been proven”

Speaking specifically about smart meters in Oklahoma, Coburn writes that;

a voluntary smart meter program was approved last year by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission”  Noting that this was a decision that he had no input on, Coburn suggests the gentleman contact the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and share his concerns with them.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s website;

www.occeweb.com

I am unclear if Sen. Coburn means voluntary for the state to participate in or voluntary for the customer, which according to Corporation Commission, is not the case, but try to get  clarification from him on this point.

From the Corporation Commission’s “Common Questions Regarding Smart Metersdocument;

Can I refuse to have a Smart meter? No. Once your utility has approval to install Smart meters, all analog meters will be required to be replaced. Failure to replace all of the meters could eliminate any cost savings and reliability benefits from the Smart meter network. For example, one analog meter in a neighborhood would still require a meter reader to go and physically read the meter.

Coburn end his response with this promise;

“I will guard the privacy of Americans and the ability to operate households as they see fit.”

Senator Coburn’s response minus his constituents name and info is below;

___________________________________________________

Thank you for your email regarding the recent installment of smart meters in parts of Del City. It is good to hear from you and I apologize for my delayed response.

As you may already know, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1, also known as the “stimulus”) funded the development of Smart Grid technology, and subsequent smart meters, at $4.5 billion. It has been said that Smart Grid technology has the capability of monitoring electricity consumption, and bringing in a new era of energy efficiency. While I believe our nation’s energy grid requires updating, there are numerous questions that must be answered about smart grid technology, most of which you raised in your email. Concerns relating privacy and property rights in monitoring and adjusting home energy usage (as well as other things) and vulnerability to criminal actions must be addressed. Any invasion of privacy or overreach of the federal government would be inappropriate, and I will strongly oppose it.

Furthermore, the feasibility of this technology has not been proven; yet politicians eager to demonstrate their support for energy efficiency (and spend your money) have jumped on the smart grid bandwagon. I firmly believe that politicians should not select winners and losers in the market-that responsibility should be left to American consumers who will purchase the most effective and efficient technologies through trial and error, and the free market. Our free market has time and again shown it is more efficient and effective than the government in allocating resources in our economy and that government mandates and subsidies prevent the full use of America’s technological know-how.

In regard to smart meters in Oklahoma, a voluntary smart meter program was approved last year by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. As a member of the U.S. Senate, I was not involved with this decision. You might consider contacting the members of the Commission to share your concerns.

Thank you again for contacting me on this subject, and please know I will guard the privacy of Americans and the ability to operate households as they see fit. Please stay in touch.

Sincerely,

Tom A. Coburn, M.D.
United States Senator

TC: bb

Oklahoma Legislative Lu Lu’s or ‘Lets Play Cell Phone Follies!’

Kaye Beach

Jan 19, 2011

No one will argue that texting while driving is a good idea, it’s not.

When I started EMT school the first heartbreaking wreck I was exposed to was caused by a young driver fiddling with her phone.  Naturally my immediate reaction was “there ought to be a law….”

While my views about texting or talking and driving have not changed since 2007, my views about lawmaking have.  I have been educated over the last 3 years that I have spent primarily trying to put a damper on intrusive legislation.

Here are a few things I have learned in that time that has cured me of the “there ought to be a law…” type thinking.

  • Bills promoted for one reason may actually be intended or used for an entirely different purpose.
  • Bills passed in haste by our legislators will be repented at leisure . . by the constituents.
  • Unnecessary or poorly thought out legislation contributes cumulatively to undermine the strength of the rule of law.

There were no less than 8 bills offered last session that proposed to ban texting while driving in some fashion, at least three were submitted in 2009 and five bills before that. link

Morgan’s Folly

Already this year, Rep Danny Morgan has announced that he will run another bill  proposing to do the same.

Jan 18, 2011

Lawmaker Wants Complete Ban On Texting While Driving

Rep. Danny Morgan: ‘It Will Be Complete Texting, E-Mail Ban On Adult Drivers

link

So before we get carried away here and confuse the fact that abstaining from texting while hurtling down the road at 60 mph is a really good idea with the enshrining of this good idea in law, let’s examine the issue a little deeper.

Video from the Jan. 18th press conference for Morgan’s unveiling of his bill, HB 1316.

Perspective

While every single life lost to a cause that could have been prevented is unquestionably, a tragedy, it is helpful to try and put the problem into perspective especially with alarmist claims that there is an “epidemic” of digital mayhem in progress.

Oklahoma Highway Safety Office interim study, 2009 reports that in “2007, there were 10 fatal crashes in our state involving a driver distracted by an electronic device; in 2008, there were 13.

Despite the dramatic proliferation of cell phones over the last decade—more than 80 percent of Americans now use them—driving in America is safer than it has ever been.  Link

Source: Oklahoma Highway Safety Office

Is this law really necessary?

First of all, the free market actually has a fix for this.  You can use speech recognition technology to dictate texts, emails and internet searches.  It works amazingly well and is getting better all the time.  This same technology translates text to speech so you can hear rather than read any material that you like.

The most powerful arguments for draconian restrictions on cell phone usage are based on limited or dubious studies.

The Oklahoma’s Highway Safety Office’s interim study on Distracted Driving in 2009 overall found the studies used by texting ban proponents to be less than compelling pointing out flaws in methodology and other weaknesses.  The Office did note however, that among young drivers, the issue was a matter of concern but also noted that distraction from sources other than cell phones was an even greater problem. link

As it stands now, Minors are prohibited by law from using a cell phone while driving in Oklahoma.

As a matter of fact, since Nov 1 2010, anyone caught driving without giving due attention to the task at hand can be stopped on the spot and fined $100.

This law states;

“The operator of every vehicle, while driving, shall devote their full time and attention to such driving.”

“No law enforcement officer shall issue a citation under this section unless the law enforcement officer observes that the operator of the vehicle is involved in an accident or observes the operator of the vehicle driving in such a manner that poses an articulable danger to other persons on the roadway that is not otherwise specified in statute.”  link

Bad Driver’s get tickets in Oklahoma!

So,  no matter if you are distracted because you are putting on mascara, changing a CD or refereeing a fight between two kids, the fact that you are not giving you attention to the road thus endangering everyone else, is the focus and for this you can be stopped and ticketed.

Isn’t it the hazardous driving that is the problem?

Another problem-the law is unenforceable.

There are many difficulties with this kind of a law in a strictly practical sense;

Officer Jeff Sulewski said the law is too tough to enforce.

“You have to have a search warrant to access the content of a phone, access somebody’s private cell phone,” he said. “In order to prove someone was texting, we’d have to get a search warrant.

Ok. So what’s the problem?  Get one.  Isn’t that what warrants are for?

The truth is that cops find getting a warrant to prove that someone is guilty of this type of violation to be too much trouble which indicates to me that the problem is really being blown out of proportion.  I think the police are in one of the best positions to judge.  To them, texting while driving is either not enough of a threat to the public at large or (for you cynics out there) not profitable enough to bother with.

In Toledo Ohio nine months after the ban went into effect just 6 tickets for texting while driving had been written.   What police say they are doing instead is issuing tickets for distracted driving, a law that was already in effect before the texting ban was issued.

Texting-while-driving ban tough to enforce

Jan. 10 2011

The less-than-a-year-old ban on texting while driving in Michigan is a difficult law to enforce, according to Livingston County law enforcement officials.

The ban, which took effect July 1, hasn’t had an effect on the county, as area police chiefs say they haven’t written any tickets for texting while driving.

“It’s really tough to tell if someone is texting while they’re driving because there’s no device for us to tell. Everything is visual,” Howell Police Chief George Basar said. Link

More on the enforcement issue further down.

Does the law work?

The good news first;

One study shows found that bans did seem to lower the number of people visibly handling their cell phones while driving.

Other studies do not.

As noted by the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office;

It is also unclear whether laws against hand-held cell phones have a marked effect on phone usage by drivers of any age. In New York, the number of drivers using hand-held phones 15 months after legislation took effect was only slightly lower than drivers using the devices before the law took effect. In Connecticut, the number of users was actually slightly higher 15 months after the law was in place. LINK

Now the bad news;

ARLINGTON, VA — It’s illegal to text while driving in most US states. Yet a new study by researchers at the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) finds no reductions in crashes after laws take effect that ban texting by all drivers.  LINK

The same study done by the Highway Loss Data Institute found that, strangely, crashes were NOT reduced after the ban went into effect.  Even weirder, in 3 out of the 4 states examined crashes actually increased!

That doesn’t mean, of course, that banning texting while driving causes more crashes.  It does indicate that a law passed for the sole purpose of improving safety has, so far, not worked as intended.

“Whatever the reason, the key finding is that crashes aren’t going down where hand-held phone use has been banned”

http://www.iihs.org/news/2010/hldi_news_012910.pdf

One theory to explain this phenomenon is that people still text (surprise!) but when they do they try to hide it making the practice more hazardous than before.

This study is limited in scope by the short time frame it covers but it does demonstrate the fact that merely passing a law doesn’t mean much. Officials concede that it will require steeper fines and additional penalties such as offenders losing points off their license along with costly public awareness campaigns to really show results.

But we still have a big problem with enforceability.  You can’t impose stiff fines if you can’t catch them.

The problem of enforcement was apparent before the first law banning texting was ever issued.  If lawmakers insist upon treating the cell phone as the source of all evil instead of emphasizing the responsibility of the individual to control the vehicle they are driving, we can look forward to a whole new set of problems.

State Police Sgt. Lance Cook, a former traffic law expert with the state who works at the state police Bay City Post, said the only way to prove someone was reading or sending a text message is to look at the digital time stamp on their device.

“The problem is, a police officer is not going to have probable cause to go into somebody’s phone and look at that stuff unless there’s been some type of crime committed,” he said.

“The bottom line is, we had enough laws on the books to handle the results of bad driving from text messaging, eating a burger or changing the radio station anyway,” Cook said. “And to just keep enumerating new distractions to outlaw don’t really give us any new tools.

http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2010/06/law_enforcement_and_saginaw_re.html

Current law that protects our few remaining rights will have to be retooled to accommodate more intrusive means to enforce bans on texting or cell phone usage.  There are a number of ways they could go about it but the  short answer is that in order for officers to be able to effectively enforce a texting ban there must be a way to either

A.  Control when and where you use your cell phone.

B.   Be able to gain access to your cell phone data or phone records in a way that is fast and efficient

Our cell phones nowadays are personal computing devices that hold an amazing amount of personal information about us. Pictures, emails, calendars and appointments are obvious but the possibilities are endless.  Allowing instant, on demand or warrant less access to this data would be an astonishing breach of the 4th Amendment.  I’m willing to go on record with an educated hunch that if this law passes whatever new access to our cell phone tracking devices that will eventually be granted in order to aid enforcement will also be put to use in some other creative way.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has made the banning of texting and cell phone usage while driving his personal crusade.  This fall he upped the ante by suggesting motorist habits might be controlled with by application of some sort of cell phone kill switch.

Making the cable TV rounds to unveil a public service announcement campaign against “epidemic” cell phone use and texting on the road, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood revealed bizarre and alarming plans on Wednesday to install devices in cars that would block a driver’s ability to communicate. link

When asked about another of his authoritarian-style plans,

the “Partnership for Sustainable Communities’ his department had formed with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing—sometimes known as the “livability initiative”–was designed to “coerce” people out of their cars. link

Secretary LaHood replied

“About everything we do around here is government intrusion in people’s lives,” said LaHood. “So have at it.”

If state legislators are determined to make the specific uses of certain devices while driving their focus rather than the easily identifiable, dangerous actions of the driver that put others at risk then they will find Secretary LaHood’s comments to be bracing but how Oklahoma’s will feel about that attitude being imported and applied to them even if they accept the argument that it is “for their own good”,  remains to be seen.

Personally speaking, I think it is reasonable for the police to be able to intervene by stopping and citing me if I am driving in a hazardous manner but as to this ongoing crusade against personal electronic devices, I have only this to say;

Rep. Morgan, would you please Get Off My Phone!!

.

Health Care Reform Will Help Everybody

According to Barbara O’Brian.

While I agree that the system is wrecked, I’m not so sure that I think the federal government will do such a hot job of fixing it.

I credit my discovery of the Texas Medical Algorithm Project and later the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health modeled on the dastardly Texas drugging-for-profit-scam for curing me of any false faith in the benevolence of government care.  I just can’t unlearn what I know.

By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more”

Albert Camus

Health Care Reform Will Help Everybody

by Barbara O’Brian

Many Americans assume the new health care reform act will benefit mostly the poor and uninsured and hurt everyone else, according to polls. As Matt Yglesias wrote, “Basically, people see this as a bill that will take resources from people who have health insurance and give it to people who don’t have health insurance.” Those who still oppose the reform say that people ought to pay for their own health care.

We all believe in the virtues of hard work and self-reliance, but these days it’s a fantasy to think that anyone but the mega-wealthy will not, sooner or later, depend on help from others to pay medical bills. And that’s true no matter how hard you work, how much you love America, or how diligently you take care of yourself. The cost of medical care has so skyrocketed that breaking an arm or leg could cost as much as a new car. And if you get cancer or heart disease — which can happen even to people who live healthy lifestyles — forget about it. The disease will not only clean you out; it will leave a whopping debt for your survivors to pay.

And the truth is, we all pay for other peoples’ health care whether we know it or not. When people can’t pay their medical bills, the cost of their health care gets added to everyone else’s bills and insurance premiums. When poor people use emergency rooms as a doctor of last resort, their care is not “free.” You pay for it.

Another common fantasy about medical care is that the “free market” provides incentives for medical companies to develop innovative new drugs and treatments for disease without government subsidy. It’s true that private enterprise is very good at developing profitable health care products. But not all medical care can be made profitable.

For years, the U.S. government has been funding medical research that the big private companies don’t want to do because there is too much cost for the potential profit. This is especially true for diseases that are rare and expensive to treat. An example of a recent advance made possible by government grants include new guidelines for malignant pleural mesothelioma treatment developed by MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers. Another is a blood screening test developed by mesothelioma doctors like thoracic surgeon Dr. David Sugarbaker. The health reform act provides for more dollars for such research, from which even many of the tea party protesters will benefit.

The biggest fantasy of all was that people who had insurance didn’t have to worry about health care costs. But the fact is that in recent years millions of Americans have been bankrupted by medical costs, and three-quarters of the medically bankrupt had health insurance. And yes, insurance companies even dumped hard-working, law-abiding patriots. But the health care reform act will put an end to that, and now America’s hard-working, law-abiding patriots are more financially secure, whether they like it or not.