People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Headline of the Day

President Solyndra and his mean green wealth-wasting machine

Who Can Afford It?

In 1947 Bill Levitt designed and built a home that the average American could afford.  In fact he built a lot of them.  Originally constructed as rental properties in what became Levittown, New York, he expanded his venture to include homes that he put up for sale.

Price tag? $7,999.

Said one American, a veteran of World War II who came back to the States and started a family and a new life in the dream that William Levitt built: "We were young, all of us who moved to Levittown, and we thought Bill Levitt was the greatest man in the world. Imagine it — $10 deposit, $90 at settlement, and you had a house of your own!"

Ten dollar deposit. Ninety dollars at closing. And America was off and running.


Today America's best and brightest are still designing homes.

The latest:

The United States Department of Energy calls this design, constructed in 2011, "cost-effective," and "affordable."  Oh, and ... "attractive."

Price tag for this affordable and attractive home?

Half a million dollars.

Plus labor.

A home for the masses?

Or a home built to make environmentalists with a wad of taxpayer money at their disposal - and a total detachment from reality - happy with themselves?

From Levittown to Lunacy.

For the love of God, what are these people thinking?

And why are they thinking it with my money?

* Source for the first photo: "Levittown: Documents of an Ideal American Suburb."
** Let it be noted that William Levitt received exactly zero subsidies from the U.S. government to make The American Dream a reality.

Obama Does It In Half The Time

It took George W. Bush six years to reach this point.  It's taken our "extremely able, deft, confident, exceptional" current president only three.

And we have only him to thank.

Way to go, dude.

Graph courtesy of YouGov.com.

Do We Have 'A Right To Choose'?

"If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a State has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch. Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds."
-- Justice Thurgood Marshall, 1969 --

The government can't control men's minds. Nor women's bodies, as the law has advised.

But your stomach?

That's a whole different matter.

According to a judge in Wisconsin anyway.

In some world somewhere in this expansive universe it makes sense.

Here on Planet Earth though ...

So What If It Cost an Arm & a Leg

The federal government's paying for it.  So stop complaining.

Besides, there is another aspect to Obama's "stimulus" plan, one that's playing out here in Virginia, that you should find more galling.

From Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg):
An Obama Union Payoff in Virginia?

Call it the Obama administration's payback to organized labor - and we're paying for it. That is, Right-to-Work states are paying, like South Carolina -- and now Virginia.

We all know about the NLRB veto of Boeing's move to South Carolina. Now, the Department of Labor is using an old federal law to divert Virginia jobs to out-of-state union shops.

The Davis-Bacon Act is nothing new. Enacted in 1931, the law requires all workers on federal projects (really any project using $2,000 or more federal dollars - which now is virtually everything with the prevalence of stimulus dollars) to be paid the "prevailing wage" - which tends to be the local union wage, if not higher.

By aligning jobs with union pay scales, the policy eliminates the hard-won advantages of Virginia contractors, as 95% are not unionized. These jobs will go to out-of-state union shops - which can now compete because Virginia's contractors will actually be prohibited by federal law from paying lower wages (even if they reflect the local market). In effect, union pay scales become the federal minimum wage for certain jobs.

Just look at what's happening in the marketplace. Where I live, the Davis-Bacon minimum wage for an electrician soared by 235% -- up from $15.80 to $53 an hour - just this year! In the same period, the minimum federal hourly rate for pipefitters jumped from $27 to $45 and the new wage for sheet metal workers is now $48. When minimum pay rates jump to this level this fast (and without reason), it suddenly allows otherwise uncompetitive out of state union shops to compete with and take jobs away from Virginia contractors.

But how can this happen? Simple the Department of Labor bases the rate sheets on optional local wage surveys - surveys that tend to draw a disproportionate union response. Still worse, if the Department decides that the response "isn't large enough," it uses the rates from a "nearby" region: D.C., Baltimore, or Philadelphia.

Virginia's right to work law is working. Our unemployment rate is well under the national average and our industries are rebounding from the recession. But in the construction industry, one of the hardest-hit sectors, This costly federal requirement is holding us back in industries like construction, one of the hardest-hit sectors, by imposing job-killing union wages on us. This is a direct assault on our right to work laws.

It used to be that Davis-Bacon applied only to federal projects, but with passage of the stimulus bill it was extended to all projects funded in any way by the Federal Government."

We are literally forcing contractors to charge the government substantially more than any of their other customers. Davis Bacon drove up the construction cost of one nearby school by more than 25% and this is quickly becoming the norm.

This use of Davis Bacon is every bit as outrageous as the NLRB action against Boeing's move to South Carolina. If Virginia wants to challenge another example of federal overreach, this may be it.
Outrageous indeed. And par for the course.

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Glad To Have 'em Back

My only question: Who paid the million bucks to the Iranian government to make it happen?