Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why the Disciples (and We) Feared



"38And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?" (Mark 4: 38)

Even though Jesus had promised the disciples that they were going to Cross over the Sea, they feared when the storm arose, and they cried out to Jesus.

On three points they were wrong, and from those three points we can understand why we are fearful and we find ourselves yelling at Jesus during times of trouble rather than trusting that He is taking care of all things for us.

If Jesus is asleep and the storm is raging in your life, do not think for one second that He is not aware, and that He does not care.

The fact that Jesus was on the earth, God made flesh, was the full testimony of God's love for us:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3: 16)

Yet the unbelief of the disciples in the rocky boat bare revelation to us, as to why we may find ourselves still fearful, still crying out.

First of all, the disciples shouted "Master."

Jesus is our Savior, not just a teacher, not an example. When the disciples cried out for help, Jesus did not explain to them the phenomena of the weather, nor did He shame them because they did not bring along a life-raft, and He certainly did not shame them for their fear, or claim that there was some sin in their lives which frustrated God's grace to protect them.

Is Jesus a Master, a Task-Master, a Teacher, or a Savior in your life today?

I admit that I am still learning to receive Him as a Savior, someone to whom I can cast all my cares (1 Peter 5: 6-7) To this day, I hear Christians quoting unscriptural advice, like "God helps those who help themselves." No! God helps those who cannot help themselves (or why would they seek His help?)

"31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8: 31-32)

and

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4: 19)

Second, the disciples questioned: "Do you not care?"

Jesus had faced this accusation before:

"But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me." (Luke 10: 40)

Of course He cares. Not just in giving Himself for us, even when we were not paying attention, let alone cared (Romans 5: 8), with this promise affirmed in Peter's First Letter:

"6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. " (1 Peter 5: 6-7)

Maybe you know that Jesus is a Savior, but you are not sure that He will save you.

He died for the worst of us (which from the standpoint of sin is actually all of us), that we may be first in Him:

"4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2: 4-6)

He knows everything that we are going through:

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4: 15)

and

"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?" (Galatians 4: 9)

He knows what you are feeling, and He knows what you are going through. Not once should we question whether He cares or not.

Third of all, the disciples magnified their problem instead of their Savior:

"Don't you care that we are perishing?"

The fact that the disciples in the boat could yell at Jesus asleep on the boat already demonstrated that they were not dying at all.

Just as the Israelites magnified the giants of the Promised Land instead of focusing on the Promises from the One who Promised all things, so too we tend to focus and enlarge the problems in front of us instead of the Eternal Problem Solver, Jesus our High Priest Forever:

"3Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8: 33-34)

Jesus is interceding for you and me right now! He is praying for you before you started praying to Him or to His Father for anything.

And God has placed all things under His feet:

"22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1: 22-23)

When you recognize that He is above all things, then you have no need to fear anything, for you are in Christ, and all things are under your feet, too!

Today, see Jesus as your Savior today, not just from death to life when you believed on Him for eternal life, but every day. Know that He cares for you in all your troubles, regardless of what may be happening, and magnify Him in your mind as you read the Word of God, recognizing that no matter what challenges you face, He is greater than all of them:

"O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together." (Psalm 34: 3)

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Year of Greater Glory: 2014

Jesus in Center Place -- Graces you and me
With Greater Glory!
(Source: Richard Croft)
Pastor Joseph Prince of New Creation Church spoke over the year 2013 a year of great provision and  victory. Citing unprecedented rain and snowfall in Israel, he declared a year of open doors for the Body of Christ.

In prior sermons, he shared that every Psalm speaks of a year, from Psalm One which corresponds to 1901.

Psalm 113 corresponds, then, with 2013.

In that Psalm, the singer speaks of the great graciousness and goodness of God, who takes the poor out of the dust, the needy out of the dunghill, to set them with princes, even the princes of His people.

This wonderful declaration speaks to every person who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, who takes us from dead in our trespasses to alive and seated in heavenly places.

To be seated with princes? We are seated with the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace!

The  last verse of Psalm  113 speaks of a barren woman keeping house, becoming a merry mother of children.

This wonderful miracle corresponds to these prophesied wonders:

"1Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 54: 1)

Paul references this wonderful promise to the Galatians:

"27For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

"28Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now." (Galatians 4: 27-29)
 
When we realize the fullness of our new standing in Christ, that we receive His righteousness, that we receive His perfect standing before God the Father, we find that His grace can flow fully in our lives.
 
I submit that in my life, the year 2013 was the year of being established in righteousness, learning that my true identity is in Christ, with Christ, not with myself, and certainly having nothing to do with what I do or say or have. Everything that we have, we have because of Jesus.
 
When we know who we are, or rather whose we are, then we can look forward to Christ causing us to triumph in all things (2 Corinthians 2: 14), that in Christ we are more than conquerors in all things (Romans 8: 37), that concerning all things we can prosper and be in health (3 John 2).
 
We are Christ's, and Christ is God's (1 Corinthians 3: 23)
 
With this powerful revelation established for us, let us look to 2014, and the banner Psalm for this year of Greater Glory: Psalm 114!

1When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;
2Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.
3The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.
4The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.
5What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?
6Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs?
7Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;
8Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.

He Perfects Us -- Not We Ourselves

"The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands." (Psalm 138: 8)

Take another look at this verse.

We do not perfect ourselves.

We do not make ourselves better.

Yet man-centered cults and religion has taught people that they make themselves  better by keeping certain rules, by attending religious services, that we can improve our standing before God.

Excuse me?!

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
2The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
3They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Psalm 14:1-3)
 
and
 
"Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Psalm 53: 3)
 
Solomon, the wisest man in the world, had to acknowledge in his time:
 
"For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." (Ecclesiastes 7: 20)

Let us not forget, however, that Solomon wrote these words before Jesus,  the righteousness of God, had become sin for us (2 Corinthians 5: 21).

Paul repeated this distressing reality about man (on his own, in himself):

"They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Romans 3: 12)

We cannot perfect ourselves, nor can we be received in ourselves, but only by the blood of Jesus are we accepted before the Father:

"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2: 13)

and

"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1: 6)

We are accepted because of His favor, not our labor.

He has perfected us in our conscience before God. Before explaining this perfect standing through Christ's blood, the writer of the Book of Hebrew elaborates on the imperfection of animal sacrifices:

"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." (Hebrews 10: 1-4)

With the sacrifice of animals, there was a remembrance of sins. Ouch!

Another reason why I hate the AA cult -- a program which creates a remembrance of sins rather than permitting the final Work of Jesus to put away all sins forever. (Take that, Steps Eight, Nine, and Ten!)

Then the writer of Hebrews continues:

"11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (Hebrews 10: 11-14)

Look at that last verse again: "perfected forever."

As far as God is concerned, as we stand before Him in Christ, we are perfect. In our conscience, the deepest part of us, we need never have a sense of guilt or wrongdoing ever again.

I had to meditate on that part a second time. If we have been perfected forever in Christ, then there is no reason for us to feel guilty about anything ever again. 

We should have no sense of guilt, because He has Finished the work.

Except, of course, if you have been raised in a household with the AA cult or where the Ten Commandments were prominently placed on the wall, as if the Servant deserved more preeminence than the Son.

As if!

Now, if we still feel bad, if we still do bad things, we must recognize that we have been forgiven of all things, but most importantly justified from all things, too:

"Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13: 38-39)

We have been justified forever, and now we can allow His Spirit to transform us, rather than our trying to fix ourselves:

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3: 18)44

He perfects us, not we ourselves.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jacob Grabbed When God Was Always Giving

Going from Isaac to Jacob, one finds that laughter gave way to grabbing.

Jacob cheated his elder brother Esau out of his birthright, then deceived his father to get the blessings.

Hold on a second.

Who said that Jacob was a supplanted in this fashion?

Esau, the embittered older brother who was taken advantage of twice over:

"And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?" (Genesis 27: 36)

Now, are these allegations true, and to what extent?

When reading the Bible, I have learned the importance of context, which focuses on who said what, when, and why.

Esau Despised His Birthright
Jacob Never Stole it
Regarding the birthright, Jacob did not take it away at all. Esau gave it up:

"29And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright." (Genesis 25: 29-34)

Jacob was making food, and Esau was hungry.

Granted, Jacob traded the birthright when Esau was a weakened moment.

However, the Bible clearly declares: "Esau despised the birthright." "His" is in italics, so we can recognize that this birthright involved more than just himself.

Rebekah and Her Twin Sons: Jacob and Esau
Jacob did not trick Esau out of anything, as much as Esau thought of little more than his immediate, fleshly needs.

Now, regarding the first-born blessing, Rebekah the mother of the two sons received a declaration from the LORD:

"22And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD.
23And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." (Genesis 25: 22-23)
 
The elder will serve the younger. God had foreordained that Jacob would be blessed, not Esau.
 
Paul the apostle explains why:
 
Jacob Deceives His Father Isaac --
But in Truth He Never Had To!
"(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;" (Romans 9: 11)
 
Many people have misconstrued this passage to mean that only certain people have been determined who will be saved, when in reality the passage is clear --- we are not saved by what we do, but by what Jesus has done for us, what the Father has given us.
 
So, Jacob was supposed to receive the first born-blessing in the first place!
 
The real problem for Jacob, and I submit for all of us who are children of God in Christ, is that we have to grab and take when God so freely gives us all things through His Son:
 
"31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." (Romans 8: 31-34)
 
Even though Jacob deceived his father to get the first-born blessing, Jacob did deserve it:
 
"And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. " (Genesis 27: 33)
 
Why did Isaac quake so violently? He knew that the blessing was supposed to go to Jacob, and even though he had attempted to give it to Esau, everything worked out for Jacob to get the blessing anyway.
 
Some may argue that Isaac's fear had nothing to do with the prophecy which Rebekah had received. If that were the case, then Isaac could have written off the blessing which he had given inadvertently to Jacob. But he didn't, because He couldn't.
 
Not only did Isaac bless Jacob with the first-born blessing, he blessed him again:
 
"1And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 2Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. 3And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; 4And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham. 5And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother." (Genesis 28: 1-5)
 
Imagine this -- Isaac blesses Jacob a second time. If Jacob's getting the first-born blessing was such an evil act, why would Isaac bless him a second time?
 
Jacob is a picture also of all believers as we grow from trusting in our flesh to living by His Word and the guidance of His Spirit.
 
Even when we are in the flesh, just as Jacob dressed up as Esau, God still blesses us, and He keeps on blessing us until we learn to stop fighting and receiving from Him freely all things.
 
All things in Christ!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Laugh in the Midst of Hardships

Many of my friends have told me that they are full of fear about the times we are facing in this country.

They assume that because the people whom they wanted to elect did not get elected, that they are doomed to suffer with the bad policies of the people in office.

What does the Bible say about believers like us?

Let's took a look at Isaac, the son of Promise whom God blessed on Abraham and Sarah, the Father and Mother of many, whose bodies were dead and did not believe they would ever have a child.

"And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 2For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. " (Genesis 21:1-3)

The LORD comes through, as He promises to, regardless of whether we fret or fuss. The only thing that delayed Isaac coming, in a sense, was Abram and Sarai's efforts (notice before their names were changed) to have a kid through the servant girl Hagar.

Isaac's name means "laughter":

"6And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. 7And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age." (Genesis 21: 6-7)

Isaac is a child of promise, the stronger son who carried the wood up Mount Moriah (Genesis 22), who was not afraid to lie down on the altar, even though he was strong enough that he could have subdued his own father and prevented him from laying him on the wood.

Isaac not only came back down the mount, but served as a figure for Christ Jesus, the Beloved Son of God who was given for us.

"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." (Hebrews 11: 17-19)

Now, let us take another look at Isaac, and how God so richly blessed him:

"21And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD." (Genesis 25: 21-22)

Unlike Abraham, who went into a servant girl to try and force God's will, Isaac . . asked God. Just like that, and Rebekah not only conceived, but she had twins.

Laugh!

When a terrible famine broke out in the land, Isaac almost went down to Egypt.

The LORD intervened:

"And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. 2And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: 3Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; 5Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." (Genesis 26: 1-5)

God promised to bless Isaac not because of Isaac, but because of his father Abraham.

There's a famine, but so what? You and I are descendants of Abraham, too, and we can rest in the covenant which God cut with Abraham, for we are all blessed through His seed, Jesus!:

"6Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." (Galatians 3: 6-9)

and

"And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3: 29)

You are blessed because of God, not because of the weather. You are blessed because of Jesus, not because of yourself:

Isaac in Gerar
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. " (Ephesians 1: 3-6)

Laugh!

Isaac did not make the first mistake which his father Abraham had made, in that he stayed where God told him to.

But. . .

"6And Isaac dwelt in Gerar: 7And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon." (Genesis 26: 6-7)

We have heard this story before. Abram lied about his wife Sarai, twice! Yet God blessd him.

As for Isaac, his deception was uncovered even worse:

"8And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife." (Genesis 26: 8)

The King of the Philistines literally witnessed Isaac "laughing" with his wife, the original word rendered by "sporting".

Isaac was being himself, and he was intimate with his wife: a much more unseemly exposure of the deception, as opposed to the dream which God had given to Abimelech (Genesis 20: 3)

"9And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her. 10And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us. 11And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death." (Genesis 26: 6-11)

Isaac opened wells
Even though Isaac's deception was found out, and he had feared that he was going to be killed, nothing happened to him, neither from God or man.

The favor of God will never leave us, even when we sin. Laugh!

So, there was famine in the land. Does that mean that Isaac had to settle for a meager harvest? Not at all:

"12Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. 13And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: 14For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him." (Genesis 26: 12-14)

So, no matter who may surround you, no matter what the circumstances you may face, because you are a child of God, because you are in Christ as His own Son (1 John 3: 1-3; 4 17), you can trust in God your father's favor, and know that nothing will hold you back.

Laugh in the midst of hardships, child of God! He is with you and prospering you in your journey!



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

William Hutt: The Theory of Collective Bargaining

William harold hutt.jpg
William Harold Hutt
William Hutt, an Englishman who taught in South Africa and Dallas Texas, was one of the most profound thinkers in free market economics. Sadly, even in his lifetime, particular on the origins and impacts of labor unions. Despite his long, lettered academic tenure, Hutt acknowledged the neglect of his research, a bitter irony defined by witnessing the irrelevancy of his research, while most academics fell into neglect after their deaths.

Not because of the errors of his research, but political forces in universities are strongly allied with liberal, statist, and coercive elements, particularly the labor movement, which have automatically (albeit unfairly) discredited his findings.

In his seminal work, The Theory of Collective Bargaining, Hutt advanced the argument that in a free market, everyone who wants work will find it, and every employer who seeks workers will get them. Labor shortages do not have to occur, provided that government and other special interest forces (like labor unions) do not intervene.
In his inquiry, Hutt wanted to know: does labor face a disadvantage in wage negotiations, and do unions mitigate this disadvantage? Throughout his essay, Hutt concludes "No."

Frederic Bastiat
First, Hutt points out the historical trends of 19th economists, many of whom abandoned the notion that labor union efforts are futile, since the immediate results of labor actions did produce concrete results for particular unions. Many economists defend unions at that point, convinced of their efficacy on behalf of employees who would benefit, not at the expense of other employees, but at the expense of the employer.

Yet classical liberal economist Frederic Bastiat's concerns about unseen effects cannot be ignored, and Hutt's analysis behind collective bargaining identifies long-term consequences as a burden to the laborer. Refusing to reject the wage-fund theory, which argues that labor combinations and force cannot change the available capital to the number of employees.

Then Hutt posits another controversy: the interest of unionists is antithetical to workers. He also debunks throughout the subsistence theory of wages: employers will take every step to bring down wages to the lowest level possible.

Hutt documented this "revelation" methodically instead of emotionally. Those who support unions advocated for their creation, so bias alone challenges the reliability of these groups. "Scientific Socialist" William Thompson, a protégé of Robert Owen, condemned labor unions as elite and exclusionary, resorting to force instead of legal constraints, hurting other industrious workers in the process. Quite a rebuke against labor unions, and one coming from a socialist.
The Economics of the Colour Bar
In Economics of the Colour Bar,
Hutt uncovered the racist leanings of labor unions in South Africa,
which formed to prevent African laborers.
Contrary to union apologists, Hutt exposes the intense elitism which shuns or disdains non-union labor, and for Hutt, an academic at the University of Cape Town, South African, he witnessed first hand how trade unions deliberately (and essentially) discriminated against Africans to exclude them from the work force. Other works on the subject of trade unions identified the racist undercurrents which fomented these associations.

Hutt continues to hammer the point that labor combinations do benefit one class of workers, at the expense of others. No matter how loudly unions plead "An injury to one is an injury to all", the actions of one union to bolster their wages and benefits negatively impact other workers, particularly non-members. With this argument the author brings up another salient point, that classical liberal economists in the past reluctantly acknowledged (or ignored) the negative consequences of collective bargaining. Strong free-market adherents were intimidated by union power, and the timidity of discussion created a paucity of understanding on collective bargaining.

He  then refers to the economic fallacy long entertained by economists, that laborers have a disadvantage in the market place, a theory first advanced (though not yet questioned) by Wealth of Nations author Adam Smith. Crediting the Scottish Enlightenment economist's considerable influence in economics, Hutt then criticizes this foundational yet flawed reasoning, that employers can force wages to the lowest level, working in collusion with other businessmen, and because of the greater wealth of the employer, they could outlast labor disputes, whereas employees with relatively lesser capital could not do without a job and would accede to the demands of the employer.
Adam Smith

Despite the theories advanced in Smith's work, Hutt found little evidence that capitalists and employers routinely colluded to bring down wages. Free markets create competition not just for consumers, but employees as well, and one sees a pattern of employers as competitors by necessity. Whether tacit or overt, employers did conspire out of protection from the labor unions. Regarding the financial advantage of employers vs. employees, Hutt documents the immediate privations which managers faced for workers. Without proper employment, employers lose time and profit would. Relating anecdotal and academic information, Hutt articulates the frustrations of employers having to engage employees at the wages which the workers themselves wanted.

Already, Hutt makes the more compelling argument that employees, not employers, had the advantage. Noteworthy also in a number of his arguments are the vague terms which union supporters have employed, making articulate criticism difficult. The sophistry of modern academia has contributed to this confusion, certainly.

Prior economists failed to note that just as laborers lose potential wages when they don't work, so too do employers, entrepreneurs, and capitalists lose profit when they do not produce. Wages, incomes, and profit affect everyone, not just the employee who may or may not lose a job.

Following references to arcane or long-neglected academics, Hutt introduces a telling argument redefining the behavior of unions: coercive devices. He even compares them to monopolies, in that they attempt to control or limit the availability of a commodity: labor.

Social coercion occurs based on market forces, and private coercion enters when specific groups, such as labor unions, impede trade.

From a train strike in Denmark (c. 1992)
Strikes may benefit one groups of employees, but they exploit other workers
and harm all consumers in the end
Granted, labor actions benefit one group at the expense of another, but no matter what the outcome in labor actions, the consumer is the ultimate loser. Businesses and managers will pass on the costs of rising wage rates to production or find other minds for maintaining the profitably of their enterprises. Labor unions do not hope themselves without hurting other works, business, and the consumers.

Still, two errors have persisted in political economy, according to Hutt:

1. Forcing wage increases through labor actions helps all workers

2.  Labor and Capital are opposing elements (as opposed to co-operational factors)

Popular economic treatments tend to ignore that wage increases can occur through employment-shifting (promotions), and explorations on political economy ignore that large business interests tend to work with labor unions on a tacit basis, promoting policies which permitting a monopoly on labor and capital, all of which distorts the market place and frustrates commerce.

The forced rising of wages not only hurts consumers, but particularly harms the working class, who bear the undue cost of living increases, many of which relating to the products which they create and purchase. Contrary to labor union pretenses to protect workers' interests, their activities benefit a connected political class within unions and corporations, at the expense of the workers, even the members themselves.

Unions can provided camaraderie
and support (without the violence)

Concluding his essay on collective bargaining, Hutt charges that labor unions are the wrong mechanism for increasing labor wages for employees, but rather than discrediting employee associations altogether, the author offers that unions should fight for better working conditions - hours, workplace safety-- issues which a market system cannot reform or balance out.  In other commentaries, Hutt argues that unions offer worker training, camaraderie, and solidarity in other matters. Regarding their role in securing better wages, however, Hutt provides at length that labor unions are inimical to those interests, destructive to market forces, which provide the best equilibrium for optimal employment and payment.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Obama Poll's Pull: Worst Prez of Modern Era (Surprised?)

A new Quinnipiac University National Poll announced that President Obama is the worst President of the Modern Era (Post World War II)
File:Barack Obama in the Oval Office, April 2010.jpg
President Obama -- Low on the Polls


The best President? Ronald Reagan, of course.

Ronald Reagan





I have only one question. . .



Did a University
 
 
have to spend
 
 
time and energy
 
 
taking a poll
 
 
to figure out
 
 
that President Obama
 
 
is the worst President
 
 
Of the Modern Era?
 
 
(Perhaps Quinnipiac took the poll so that Jimmy Carter wouldn't feel so bad.)
Carter: "Thanks Obama!"
No Longer the Worst President
In Modern History
 
 

CD-07: GOP Pick-Up More Likely Than Before

How is it possible that the Seventh Congressional District would end up in Democratic hands?

In 2012, the Obama GOTV outperformed expectations, and the Republicans' base of operations, from technology to GOTV, failed to meet let alone surpass this juggernaut. The Organizing for Action movement actively put Ami Bera in place to defeat former CA Attorney General Dan Lundgren.

This surprising upset please many liberals, of course, enough that an anti-Lundgren attacker crowed about his defeat on the Huffington Post.

CD-07 (Sacramento region)

While Democrats plotted the proper steps to take swing districts, Republicans were not laying any groundwork for holding onto key seats.

In 2014, US Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken signed up to take back Lundgren's seat, along with Igor Berman and Doug Ose.

Rep. Doug Ose (ret.)

Ose prevailed, and will face endangered Democratic incumbent Ami Bera in the general election this November.

Dr. Ami Bera
Bera, like a number of California Congressional Democrats, is playing safe and centrist in Congress, paying attention to the possibilities of another upset this year. Dr. Bera just declined his Congressional pension, a gesture which more lawmakers, Dem and GOP, might want to consider as Washington discusses the fiscal insolvency of our nation's annual budgets and national debt.

How good are Ose's chances for an upset?

With the anti-incumbent mood stronger than ever, plus a more forward-thinking and attentive National GOP conference (RNC Chairman Reince Preibus declared that they have not written off California just yet), Ose will have more funding and campaign efforts behind him.

While Ose was not the Tea Party backed candidate with endorsements from US Senator Rand Paul (that was Berman), Ose's prior legislative and campaign experience may assist him for a win against Bera.
Rep. Ose during his previous tenure in office (C-SPAN)
Still, Bera in a Dem-leaning district won by ten thousand votes against Lundgren. Do the general voting demographics offer any hope for Ose to win?

As of 2011, Democratic registration topped Republican votes by barely one percent. President Obama did win this district by six points in 2008, but Prop 8 passed by more than ten points. Still, other statewide races favored Democratic candidates by double digits in 2010, so Republicans face more of an uphill battle regarding demographics and prior voting patterns.

Ose is pro-growth, pro-limited government, does not support amnesty for illegal immigration, and recognizes the concerns with water rights in Northern California. He has also blasted Obamacare as a job-killer which has done nothing to make health care affordable or accessible. With the Affordable Care Act in full effect (aside from Obama's unconstitutional executive orders), voters may feel more inclined to vote out Dems who support this law (or at least identify with it).

If the CA GOP 2014 GOTV works hard, and Ose makes a strong case without alienating Tea Party affiliates and moderates, Ose can take back CD-7 for the GOP. The fact that a retired House Rep would run again speaks to the urgency of keeping the House in GOP hands and stalling a liberal-progressive agenda which has done more harm than good for this country, and particularly California.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Christie Vetoes A2006


File:Chris Christie at townhall.jpg
NJ Gov. Chris Christie


Whether out of personal commitment, political gain, or principled opposition, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did the right thing when he vetoed the Democratic designed and promoted gun-control bill A2006. Just as guns do not kill people, nor do the bullets, and limiting the size of ammunition magazines would have at best a cosmetic effect on preventing gun violence.

Despite the unspeakable tragedies which parents and communities (Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado) have faced following gun-related mass murders, reason and purpose must triumph over emotion and intuition regarding the proper methods for curbing mass violence.

In California, following the devastating massacre from a mentally deranged college student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the calls for legislating away firearms fired off again. However, wiser minds prevailed in the discussion, who indicated that the mental status of the young assailant, who ended up killing six people (three by stabbing and three more by shooting) had a history of violent mental illness. College leadership with more discretion, as well as more engaged psychiatric facilitation may have prevented the senseless deaths in Santa Barbara, California.

By rejecting the New Jersey Democratic legislature’s “easy way out”, Gov. Christie correctly argued that our state governments require more authority to institutionalize individuals who pose a danger to themselves and to others. Hopefully, his example will inspire leaders and  lawmakers throughout the country  to focus less on controlling the guns and more on dealing with the mentally ill who perpetrate violent crimes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The "Other" Marriage Crisis

Here is the crisis of marriage writ large, and advertised.

Is there no shame?

Not just from exploiting the image of a public figure, but promoting a form of conduct which does not promote the best of anyone.

What gives?

While activists can rage against gay marriage, or call homosexuality a sin (they might want to go further in their Bibles, and discover that sin is a much deeper issue than what you do. . .), no one should ignore the other crises in marriage.

Divorce is high.

Pre-marital sex is common, not just excused, but even celebrated.

Ashley Madison adultery-made-easy promo with Hillary Clinton (Source: Truth Revolt)
And as the picture above depicts, adultery is solicited.

Harder choices? Taken from the former Secretary of State's failed memoir Hard Choices, the billboard prompts a number of questions.

First, is this ad mocking the former First Lady? Or does the CEO of the adultery website really believe that she made noteworthy decisions?

More probing question: Did her husband former President Bill Clinton harm the institution of marriage with his affairs in the White House, followed by his impassion plea that he did nothing improper with "that woman."?

No. Clinton's conduct normalized a little bit more what was becoming commonplace.

Adultery is treated as though there are no consequences to a man or woman stepping out on one's spouse. Now websites advertise quick quickies, too?

The divorce is reaching all-time highs in this country. Mary Matalin called out the high single-mother rate in this country.

Forget worrying about gay marriage, Matalin concluded with a panel of media intellectuals on ABC's This Week. The crisis of broken homes, broken marriages, casual attitudes about sex, dishonor towards the marital covenant between one man and one woman, these issues deserve real attention.

People should protest the undoing and redefining of marriage away from one man and one woman, but for the sanctity of the ceremony to (re)gain its proper status, we have to look at why the casual attitudes toward commitment and honor among wedded couples has fallen away, too.