The Show-Me Report: June 5, 2015

Kansas City Star: TheChat: Gov. Jay Nixon slams the door on right-to-work legislation

The Eagle: (AUDIO) Kinder supports right-to-work bill

Post-Dispatch: Right-to-work proponents in Missouri Legislature face uphill battle in overriding Nixon’s veto

St. Joseph Post: Are spot inspections of commercial vehicles constitutional? A Rolla rancher wants to know!

Post-Dispatch: St. Louis County audit soon to get underway

The Eagle: Mo. Senate leaders get ready for unemployment fight

The Eagle: Blunt: social security reforms needed

Show-Me Daily: The Best School Choice Program in America

St. Joseph Post: Missouri to mark 100th anniversary of the State Capitol Cornerstone with new time capsule

PoliticMO: Standing with auto workers near Ford plant, Nixon vetoes ‘right-to-work’

The Missouri Times: Slay to push for minimum wage hike despite legislature’s objections

Post-Dispatch: Bernie: Nixon says St. Louis will be ready

The Missouri Times: RELEASE: State Rep. Sheila Solon Participates in National Panel to Discuss Access for Cancer Patients to Innovative New Treatments

Post-Dispatch: St. Louis assistant prosecutor under investigation

Post-Dispatch: Grand juror in Michael Brown case fights gag order anew

Post-Dispatch: Despite concerns, Wellston police disbanding is ‘a good thing,’ says top St. Louis County prosecutor

Post-Dispatch: St. Louis recorder’s previous city car involved in two accidents

Post-Dispatch: Suit claims St. Louis County SWAT officers killed pet dog in search for ordinance violations

Ozark Area Network: Nixon to sign bill for $300M in bonds for building repairs

By |June 5th, 2015|Missouri Torch, The Show-Me Report|

The Show-Me Report: June 4, 2015

Show-Me Daily: Light Rail Light on Riders in Saint Louis

The Eagle: Ethics reform on back burner in Missouri legislature

Fox 2: Two New Black Panther Party members plead guilty to planning bombing after Ferguson unrest

Post-Dispatch: Judge removes himself from St. Louis stadium funding lawsuit

Post-Dispatch: Mo. Senate joining House review of intern policies

Kansas City: Jay Nixon: Taxpayers’ $550 million for two St. Louis stadiums justified by $25 million for Chiefs’ facility in St. Joe

Bob McCarty Writes: Obscure Justice Department Agency No Stranger to Me

The Missouri Times: Gov. Nixon encourages Missourians to submit ideas for new time capsule honoring 100th anniversary of Missouri State Capitol Cornerstone

Show-Me Daily: Tax Credits or Corporate Taxes?

KBIA: Coalition Pushes for Missouri Legislators to Improve Racial Disparities in Traffic Stops

KPLR: Questions being raised over transparency of Riverfront Stadium details

The Eagle: State wants your I-70 ideas

Fox 4: Reinventing I-70 through innovation and technology

Post-Dispatch: How to fix I-70? MODOT wants to make it a ‘highway of the future’

Post-Dispatch: Ferguson protesters disagree over who should receive donations

News-Tribune: Proposed initiative petitions would up state minimum wage

KBIA: MoDOT Announces Columbia-Based Contractors to Replace Interstate 70 Bridges

Post-Dispatch: Matt Blunt reiterates Senator Blunt’s claim — they don’t talk about business

The Rolla Daily News: Missouri Senate adopts new workplace policy manual

News-Tribune: Missouri Higher Education commissioner announces retirement

Post-Dispatch: Nixon to veto `right-to-work’ bill Thursday

The Eagle: Suspect in Ferguson police shooting pleads not guilty

The Eagle: McCaskill criticizes TSA testing failure

Ozark Area Network: Sheriff: concealed carry permits, renewals up over last year

KBIA: St. Louis Attorney Picked as Missouri Court of Appeals Judge

By |June 4th, 2015|Missouri Torch|

The Show-Me Report: June 3, 2016

The Rolla Daily News: 2 men plead guilty to foiled Ferguson bomb plot

The Eagle: Jefferson City mayor opposes marijuana use

Post-Dispatch: Retirement pays big for southwest Missouri school superintendent

KPLR: Report: Slay to propose $15 minimum wage in St. Louis City

Fox 2: St. Louis city could raise minimum wage to $15 per hour

News-Tribune: Proposed initiative petitions would up Missouri minimum wage

The Missouri Times: PRESS RELEASE: State Releases May 2015 General Revenue Report

News-Tribune: Missouri panel OKs Ameren lines, aims to block wind power

St. Joseph Post: Missouri panel has concerns over Grain Belt Express

Post-Dispatch: Missouri regulators may block wind transmission project

Columbia Daily Tribune: Cock fight: ‘Right to farm’ defense fails in Boone County trial

Post-Dispatch: Missouri Legislature throws Common Core test out the window

Missouri Education Watchdog: Another PR Common Core Talking Point Obliterated

KBIA: Senior Savings Protection Act Sitting On Nixon’s Desk

Show-Me Daily: Branson Firefighters Unionize

Missouri Business Alert: Normandy District representative wants veto of transfer bill without tuition cap

Fox 2: Nixon sets August deadline for finalized NFL stadium deal

KPLR: Governor Nixon Blast opponents of Riverfront Stadium

Post-Dispatch: Activists seek to meet with Missouri attorney general over racial profiling report

Southeast Missourian: Missouri fraud illuminates ID need

Missourinet: Missouri Senate GOP leaders to attempt override of veto of unemployment bill

The Rolla Daily News: How will new Missouri laws affect counties?

The Rolla Daily News: Budget director: Missouri revenue collections up 7.5%

By |June 3rd, 2015|Missouri Torch, The Show-Me Report|

The Paradigm Shift: The Moral Case for Capitalism (Video)

I’m Duane Lester and this is the Paradigm Shift.

I want to start off with a short story about women’s panties.

Not long ago there was a store owner who was always looking for better deals for his customers. He drove all over, looking for what he called “off beat suppliers and sources” to get special buys below what he was already paying.

He found a guy who would sell him women’s panties for two dollars a dozen. His current supplier could only give him women’s panties for two fifty a dozen. At that price, he could sell them at three for a dollar, but the new supplier made it possible for him to sell them for a quarter each, or four for a dollar.

He noted that he didn’t make as much profit per pair of panties, but because he sold three times the amount, “the overall profit was much greater.”

The store owner would take this lesson and apply it over the life of his career, eventually building one small store in Bentonville, Arkansas into the largest retail chain in the world. The store owner’s name was Sam Walton.

Now let’s walk back through this entire process. What do you find?

People acting in their own self-interest and winning.

The supplier of the panties won, because he was able to sell his product for the price he wanted to Sam Walton.

Sam Walton won, because he was able make a profit by selling his product to his customers.

The customers won, because they were able to purchase a product for less than they could before.

What is consistent in all of those things?

First off, each party placed a value on what they were buying and selling. The value wasn’t intrinsic. Each member looked for the objective best value. The supplier felt two dollars was worth more than a dozen panties, but the panties were worth more to Walton. He felt a dollar was worth more than four pair, even though the customer valued the panties more than the dollar.

Meanwhile, other customers might value the dollar more, so they don’t buy anything. Each participant placed their own value on what they were trading based on what they rationally felt was best for them.

This is possible because there is an absence of force. Not one person was forced to buy anything for more than they wanted, and not one person was forced to sell anything for less than they wanted.

In other words, every step is voluntary. It’s just.

This absence of force show a respect for individual rights. Each person owns their property and can enter into trades based on their own self interest.

No one is exploited. They can’t be because no rational person accepts a deal that does them harm. Everyone gains or they don’t take the deal. They are free to walk away at any time.

This is what capitalism looks like: it’s a socio-economic system where individual rights are respected and because of that respect, no force is possible. Under capitalism, property trades are made because they are mutually beneficial.

I know what you’re thinking. This didn’t happen in a capitalist system, and you’re right. This occurred in what Ayn Rand referred to as “a mixed economy,” meaning there was “a mixture, in varying degrees, of freedom and controls, of voluntary choice and government coercion, of capitalism and statism.” Of all the mixed economies in history, America’s has been the freest, and has seen the greatest success.

Let me tell you another story relating to this, a personal story that I think is kind of cool.

I bought a gallon of milk.

Now this all started when I went to my refrigerator and noticed we were out. I got in my car, drove to the store and went inside. Now mind you, this is in a town of about fifteen hundred people. Small town Missouri.

The store layout has the milk as far away from the door as possible. This is because people have studied what people come to the store for and the store placed those products so that a customer has to walk past a lot of other stuff to get what they need. This increases overall sales, but doesn’t force anyone to buy anything.

So in this small store in a town of fifteen hundred, I have to walk past rows of canned goods. Fruits and vegetables on one side. On the other are cans of chili, jars of spaghetti sauce and bags of pasta.

Turning the corner, there’s a cooler filled with different meats. Ground beef, ground pork, t-bone steaks, Angus beef, cured hams. Just stocked with different cuts of meat. Further still, I come to another cooler filled with different cheeses. Colby, pepper jack, colby jack, extra sharp cheddar, processed slices and bags of shredded cheese. There are even take and bake pizzas and soft taco shells here.

Finally, I make it to the milk case. There’s quarts, half gallons, gallons, whole milk, 2 percent, skim. There’s milk that’s 100% lactose free. There’s almond milk. There’s fat free milk, half and half along with heavy whipping cream. And there are different brands.

Think about that. Different brands offering the same products, but asking more money because the quality might be higher.

All this in a town of fifteen hundred. This isn’t even a major city.

Why do I think something so routine like buying a gallon of milk is something so cool?

I think it’s cool because it’s so routine. It’s amazing what we take for granted in this country.

For years, milk shortages have plagued socialist Venezuela, but I can find more milk than I can possibly drink in small town America.

How is this possible?

Simple. Self-interest and voluntary trades create abundance.

The dairy farmer buys a cow, not because he feels a responsibility to provide milk for society, but because he wants to make money. He sells it to the market, who buys it because the manager intends to sell it. Not for some feeling of social good. Those sales create a profit large enough to feed his family and pay his mortgage.

The only way this can happen is if customers, like me, voluntarily trade their property for something they value more.

As I mentioned before, Wal-Mart and the grocery industry were built and exist today in a mixed economy. This use of force did more harm than good.

For example, the cotton used in making underwear was most likely subsidized. Taxpayers were looted by the government to pay the farmers because the market price is lower than they can produce the cotton for.

Statists love this, pointing to the farmers who are able to keep their farms at the expense of the tribe. But they are committing the most common economic fallacies there are, as highlighted by Henry Hazlitt.

While the immediate effects of subsidies look good for farmers, they aren’t good for taxpayers, who are propping up an industry that can’t support itself. The long term effects are the unseen losses taxpayers bear, not only in money, but in quality of life. The money taken from them and given to farmers could have been used to buy nicer clothes or higher quality food. Instead, they couldn’t buy those things because of a collectivist belief that the farmer is more important and needed their money more than they did.

That isn’t moral. And that’s in the freest economy in history.

Now consider the one of the least free in history.

In China, between 1958 and 1961, historians estimate almost 45 million Chinese starved to death. The Chinese government admits 15 million. Because of the starvation, it’s estimated another 40 million Chinese weren’t born. That’s 76 million lives ended because of the allegedly moral superiority of the collectivist philosophy.

This is what’s known as the “Great Chinese Famine.” It’s one of many famines in collectivist countries. All the world’s worst famines during the 20th century occurred in communist countries.

There is no historic record of a famine caused due to capitalism.

Since we are talking about China, let me finish with one final story that might give an idea of what happened when the producers returned following The Strike in Atlas Shrugged.

In 1978, a meeting was held in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang. This was at the height of communism in China, so there was no personal property in this village. To get an understanding of the collectivist mindset at the time, at a previous public meeting with communist officials, a farmer asked if he owned the teeth in his head. He was told no, that they belonged to the collective.

The meeting in this story was secret. The farmers gathered that night were there to sign a secret contract that could result in their execution. But their situation was bleak so they were willing to risk it.

Year after year, the village found itself short of food and the farmers often turned to begging the neighboring villages to help. Finally, they had enough. They decided that rather than farm as a collective, each family would get its own plot. If that family grew a surplus, they could keep it.

It was an introduction of personal property and self-interest, albeit extremely limited and secret.

The farmers there say that before the contract, they would drag themselves out to the fields only when the village whistle blew. After the contract, they were working before dawn.

By the end of the season, they harvested more than the previous five seasons combined.

This got the attention of Communist party officials, who dragged the author of the contract before them. Rather than being executed, he was interviewed. Within a few years, farms across China adopted the capitalist principles laid out in that mud hut. Since 1978, 500 million Chinese have risen out of poverty.

It wasn’t stricter adherence to altruism that did that. It was self-interest and respect of individual rights.

Today, that secret contract is in a museum.

Which brings us to today’s paradigm shift.

While leftists will tell you capitalism is immoral, the stories I shared today prove that capitalism is the only moral socio-economic system.

Where capitalism respects individual rights, collectivism destroys them.

Where capitalism accepts self-interest, tribalism demonizes it.

Where capitalism creates abundance, altrusim creates famine.

Capitalism permits survival. Collectivism kills.

Mankind using their mind, what Ayn Rand called man’s greatest natural resource, to turn raw materials into property is glorious. Trading that property with others in a voluntary agreement creates wealth, and wealth creates a better life. It creates abundance.

Abundance allows life to flourish.

How could a system all that does that be anything but moral?

That’s The Paradigm Shift. I’m Duane Lester.

By |June 3rd, 2015|The Torch|

The Show-Me Report: June 2, 2015

Missouri Business Alert: Push for Uber, Lyft picks up steam in St. Louis

Missouri Business Alert: Missouri bringing back dental care for Medicaid recipients

Show-Me Daily: Missouri’s Bridges: Are They Falling Apart?

The Missouri Times: Schmitt pushes for disability legislation

Post-Dispatch: Blunt one of 17 senators voting no on NSA surveillance overhaul

Show-Me Daily: The Value of Union Elections

The Missouri Times: Conservation Commission unveils mural, revokes hundreds of outdoor priviledges

Show-Me Daily: Kansas City’s Reverse Robin Hood

Post-Dispatch: Chesterfield police establish ‘safe zone’ for Craigslist transactions

News-Tribune: South Carolina governor will speak at Hanaway fundraiser

The Missouri Times: A Race to Watch: State Treasurer

Missourinet: Normandy District’s state rep. wants transfer veto, special session (GOOGLE HANGOUT)

By |June 2nd, 2015|The Torch|

Republican State Representative Mark Parkinson Announces Candidacy for State Senate

Contributes $50,000 to start campaign war chest

Representative Mark Parkinson, a lifelong and fourth-generation resident of Saint Charles County, today announced his candidacy for the Missouri Senate (District 23) in 2016.

“After much prayer and many conversations with my family, friends, and neighbors about Missouri’s future, I am officially seeking to represent Saint Charles County in the Missouri State Senate, and bring the voice of our community directly to the Senate chamber.”

When elected, Parkinson would continue a record of service that began in 2000, serving as Deputy District Office Director for former U.S. Senator Kit Bond.  In a 2008 special election, Saint Charles County citizens elected Mark in to fill the seat vacated by Carl Bearden.  Parkinson has been re-elected on 4 occasions, giving him 9 years of service and making him the senior-most member of the Missouri House of Representatives.

“The people of Saint Charles County deserve principled conservative representation, from someone with a proven record of supporting life, lower taxes, economic freedom, and Second Amendment liberties,” said Parkinson.  “As the only candidate with a proven conservative track record, I look forward to talking to people over the next 18 months about my accomplishments, my voting record, and about what we can do for the families and people of Saint Charles County.”

During his tenure in the House, Parkinson has sponsored several bills designed to shelter citizens from invasive governmental regulations and statutes, and co-authored legislation to curb illegal immigration in Missouri, regarded as one of the toughest and most effective measures in the nation.  In 2015, Parkinson filed legislation to eliminate quota-based ticketing, shield college students and parents from unauthorized health insurance purchases, and implement stronger protections for small businesses, taxpayers and senior citizens.

“Over the course of this campaign, my team and I will develop and share what I believe will be a clear and dramatic contrast between myself and my opponent.  I am confident that the voters of Saint Charles County will see that we need a true, experienced, conservative in the state Senate, and that I plan to continue to represent Saint Charles County’s conservative values in the Senate.”

Parkinson is a 1991 graduate of Francis Howell High School and received his bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University.  He resides in the College Station neighborhood with his wife, Brigit, and their two dogs, who were both rescued from shelters.

By |June 1st, 2015|The Torch|
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