The following comments were posted on my personal Facebook page throughout the day on Saturday, Feb. 8. My Facebook, while a reflection of my personality, functions as a content incubator of sorts. Meaning many, if not most, of my News-Press columns started out as a random observation that I posted to my Facebook. That process often yields an entire column that shows up here in these pages, and sometimes not.
However, just like with our children, while all are individually unique, they also all share some common characteristics that reflect the personality of their, um, author.
— Oh No, Not Again. My ridiculously awesome Ford F150 has that feature where the engine turns off at stoplights. This is supposed to conserve gas as well as protect the environment. But being that I’m a formerly poor Latino from East L.A., it just reminds me of when I was young and my car would stall at every stoplight because it needed a tune-up, or because I ran out of gas… again.
— Voters Aren’t That Conniving. People don’t support a presidential candidate because they think that a particular candidate will win. People vote for the presidential candidate they WANT to win because that candidates’ positions and views match their own. There might be other things too…like physical appearance, personal style, family background, public speaking skills…but this notion that people are shrewdly supporting candidates because they think that is the candidate best able to prevail in the end is nonsense.
— Hello, are Mr. or Mrs. Corporation Available? Corporations don’t feel, they don’t think, corporations don’t read, and they don’t listen to music. Corporations don’t love their children or walk their dog, they don’t go on vacations, or watch Netflix. Corporations are non-human entities constructed by lawyers to advance a business model. They don’t pay taxes, and they don’t receive a Christmas bonus. People do. Ultimately corporations are a tool for the benefit of people. And yes, in case you’re wondering, this is in response to the silliest Facebook post I’ve seen in, well, from this particular politician, since yesterday.
— Bootstraps and Handbags. This was my response to a Facebook post from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez… I say this as a prosperity advocate and as a genuine bleeding-heart conservative who wants to see low-income working families prosper and enjoy the type of middle-class and upper-middle-class lifestyle that many of us take for granted. The tragic irony of this clip is that this particular member of Congress fancies herself an advocate for the poor, a savior of the downtrodden, a champion for the working class. And so she ridicules the idea of lifting oneself up by their bootstraps. And, in fact, she’s actually correct, because some people don’t have bootstraps. Indeed, some people don’t even have boots.
However, this is where she’s utterly oblivious to the stubborn reality in which we exist as a country. It is because of people serving in Congress who share her philosophy — and who promote her favored policies, that, in my view, commit economic violence on working families and on our economy — that explains why so many people lack boots. It is those policies, whether it is excessive regulation, confiscatory taxation or income redistribution, that are to blame for the systemic poverty that exists in the United States, including right here in the uber-blue state of California
So spare me the intense self-righteous indignation and lecturing. We’ve met the enemy, and the enemy is a collectivist mindset and a statist ideology that limits freedom and individual liberty and economic opportunity.
Prosperity doesn’t happen by accident. And sure, some people are born on first, second and even third base. But wherever you see systemic poverty, I can assure you there is a misguided, albeit well-intentioned, tax increase, a government program, regulation or government-imposed “solution” that was born out of a perverse misunderstanding of the importance of lower taxes and the power of economic incentives.
And that was my first vent of the day…
Joe Armendariz, a former Carpinteria City Council member, is director of public affairs for the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association.