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The Fallacy of Redistribution

The Fallacy of Redistribution
September 20,2012
Thomas Sowell

The recently discovered tape on which Barack Obama said back in 1998 that he believes in redistribution is not really news. He said the same thing to Joe the Plumber four years ago. But the surfacing of this tape may serve a useful purpose if it gets people to thinking about what the consequences of redistribution are.

Those who talk glibly about redistribution often act as if people are just inert objects that can be placed here and there, like pieces on a chess board, to carry out some grand design. But if human beings have their own responses to government policies, then we cannot blithely assume that government policies will have the effect intended.

The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty. The communist nations were a classic example, but by no means the only example.

In theory, confiscating the wealth of the more successful people ought to make the rest of the society more prosperous. But when the Soviet Union confiscated the wealth of successful farmers, food became scarce. As many people died of starvation under Stalin in the 1930s as died in Hitler’s Holocaust in the 1940s.

How can that be? It is not complicated. You can only confiscate the wealth that exists at a given moment. You cannot confiscate future wealth — and that future wealth is less likely to be produced when people see that it is going to be confiscated. Farmers in the Soviet Union cut back on how much time and effort they invested in growing their crops, when they realized that the government was going to take a big part of the harvest. They slaughtered and ate young farm animals that they would normally keep tending and feeding while raising them to maturity.

People in industry are not inert objects either. Moreover, unlike farmers, industrialists are not tied to the land in a particular country.

Russian aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky could take his expertise to America and produce his planes and helicopters thousands of miles away from his native land. Financiers are even less tied down, especially today, when vast sums of money can be dispatched electronically to any part of the world.

If confiscatory policies can produce counterproductive repercussions in a dictatorship, they are even harder to carry out in a democracy. A dictatorship can suddenly swoop down and grab whatever it wants. But a democracy must first have public discussions and debates. Those who are targeted for confiscation can see the handwriting on the wall, and act accordingly.

read more: http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2012/09/20/the_fallacy_of_redistribution

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N.J.’s middle class shrinking under growing income gap, Census data shows

file photo by www.artchickphotos.biz

N.J.’s middle class shrinking under growing income gap, Census data shows
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012, 6:30 AM Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012, 9:08 AM

By Stacy Jones and Stephen Stirling/The Star-Ledger

New Jersey’s middle class has eroded in the last four years, further polarizing a state where the rich and the poor have long been miles apart on levels of income, if not on the map, new Census data shows.

A Star-Ledger analysis of four years of data from the American Community Survey shows the percentage of households with an annual income between $35,000 and $150,000 has dipped by nearly 3 percent since 2008, while the percentage of those richer and poorer has increased.

That accounts for about 79,000 people in the state leaving the middle class, according to New Jersey Policy Perspective, a left-leaning think tank.

“I’m very concerned that last year was probably one of the worst years in half-a-century for the state,” said Ramon Castro, a senior policy analyst at NJPP. “It may well be that we’ve reached our peak but … my concern is that New Jersey is more vulnerable than other states.”

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/09/njs_middle_class_is_shrinking.html#incart_river_default

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Ridgewood Volleyball racks up milestone win No. 600

Ridgewood Volleyball racks up milestone win No. 600

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2012
BY GREG TARTAGLIA
ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS

RIDGEWOOD — Tuesday’s victory could be summed up in one word: sweet.

The Ridgewood girls volleyball team had plenty to celebrate after gaining its 600th all-time win on Tuesday. The Maroons also beat Paramus in game one of Wednesday’s rivalry match before falling, 2 games to 1.

The Ridgewood High School girls volleyball team went on the road to defeat Memorial of West New York, 25-7, 25-14, and record the 600th victory in program history, becoming the seventh New Jersey team to reach that milestone.

The Maroons’ post-match reward? Bubblegum.

“The kids brought out a blue bag, and I’m wondering, ‘What the heck’s in this thing?’” RHS head coach Ron Knott recalled the following day. “And they pulled out a jar with 600 gumballs in it. There aren’t 600 anymore,” he added with a smile.

http://www.northjersey.com/sports/170621256_Volleyball__Ridgewood_racks_up_win_No__600_team_wins_No__600.html

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Avo 25th Anniversary in stock now at Tobacco Shop of Ridgewood

Avo 25th Anniversary in stock now at Tobacco Shop of Ridgewood

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the AVO cigar brand
created by cigar icon Avo Uvezian, who began composing
cigars in 1987. To celebrate 25 years of ‘Cigars in Perfect
Harmony,’ Avo has decided to share with you his two greatest
passions, the piano and the cigar. It is this passion for music and
cigars that has presented Avo with such happiness throughout
the last quarter century. And today, in celebration of 25 years,
Avo presents his passions to you..

Only 2,000 individually numbered ‘Grand Piano’ boxes have
been made for the United States making this a rare collector’s
item. Available now at The Tobacco Shop of Ridgewood.

Now available at
The Tobacco Shop of Ridgewood

~Gary, Barbara and Collin

The Tobacco Shop of Ridgewood  10 Chestnut Street  Ridgewood, New Jersey 07450
Phone: 201-447-2204 | Email: [email protected]
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00AM – 5:30PM and Thursday Night 6:30PM – 8:30PM

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More Americans Added to Food Stamps Than Find Jobs

More Americans Added to Food Stamps Than Find Jobs
10:30 AM, SEP 21, 2012 • BY DANIEL HALPER

An alarming data point from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee: More Americans are being added to food stamps than are finding jobs. The data is detailed in this chart, provided by the committee:

As the chart shows, between April-June 2012 (the most recent three month block for which government data is available), only 200,000 jobs have been created while 265,000 individuals have been added to the food stamp rolls. Additionally, in that time period, 246,000 workers were awarded disability.

Another chart shows that the last three month block is part of a larger trend. The chart, also from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee, shows that “Workforce Shrinks Since January 2009 While Millions Sign Up For Disability And Food Stamps.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/more-americans-added-food-stamps-find-jobs_652837.html

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Facebook bill advances without employer-backed amendment

Facebook bill advances without employer-backed amendment

A bill that would bar employers from asking employees for information about their accounts on social media sites like Facebook was released by a Senate committee today.

While employer groups back much of the bill, they were unsuccessful in convincing the committee to remove a provision allowing workers to sue employers for violations. The committee also passed a similar bill barring colleges from requiring students to provide their social media passwords.

The bill affecting employers was passed by the Senate Labor Committee by a 4-0 vote, with Sen. Anthony R. Bucco (R-Denville) abstaining Business groups said creating a new cause of action to bring lawsuits against employers would prove costly even in cases where the employer did nothing wrong.  (Kitchenman, NJBIZ)

http://www.njbiz.com/article/20120920/NJBIZ01/120929983/Facebook-bill-advances-without-employer-backed-amendment

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Parents troubled by bill to tighten up immunization exemptions

Parents troubled by bill to tighten up immunization exemptions

Legislation that would clarify what constitutes a legal exemption under the New Jersey’s school immunization law was approved by the state Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee Thursday after nearly three-hours of contentious testimony. The bill now goes to the full Senate for a floor vote.

The legislation, S1759, with amendments, was approved by 6-2 vote after about a dozen people spoke, mostly against the bill saying parents have a right to opt out of child immunization. The law would require documentation when a parent wants to exempt a student from mandatory immunizations for either medical or religious reasons. The bill to strengthen New Jersey’s existing immunization policy was introduced after an outbreak of whooping cough this year.  (Kalet, NJ Spotlight)

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/12/09/21/parents-troubled-by-bill-to-tighten-up-immunization-exemptions/

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Ridgewood High School library upgrade campaign ramped up

Ridgewood High School library upgrade campaign ramped up

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 20, 2012, 4:44 PM
BY LAURA HERZOG
STAFF WRITER
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS

The Ridgewood High School (RHS) Home and School Association (HSA) will soon launch an aggressive fall fundraising campaign to pay for the transformation of the RHS library into a space better suited for 21st century learners. The renovation will potentially cost $850,000.

a preliminary design of what the Learning Commons at Ridgewood High School might look like.
The new RHS Learning Commons would replace a library that has not been renovated since it was originally designed in 1963. Among other improvements, it would include new conference rooms, printers, TV monitors, a café and moveable bookshelves to allow for doubled seating capacity, according to a preliminary floor plan drafted this summer by the architecture firm LAN Associates.

A proposed addition, to include two new conference rooms and a lounge seating area, would utilize space from a server room and part of a classroom, according to David Zrike, co-chair of the association’s development committee. The TV monitors would broadcast news stations, he noted.

According to the RHS HSA, the proposal will be discussed at next Monday’s Board of Education (BOE) public meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/170564766_Ridgewood_High_School_library_upgrade_campaign_ramped_up.html

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Morning Crash Slows Route 17 Southbound To A Crawl Through Ridgewood

Photo credit: Boyd A. Loving

Morning Crash Slows Route 17 Southbound To A Crawl Through Ridgewood
September 21,2012
Boyd A. Loving
8:31 AM

Ridgewood NJ, A two car crash on Route 17 southbound near East Glen Avenue slowed morning rush hour traffic to a crawl on Friday. One person was slightly injured in the mishap and one vehicle was unable to proceed on its own power and had to be towed from the scene. The injured party refused medical treatment. Ridgewood PD, FD, and EMS responded promptly and professionally, as always.

Photo credit: Boyd A. Loving

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Ridgewood council introduces communications upgrade

Ridgewood council introduces communications upgrade

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 20, 2012, 4:44 PM
BY DARIUS AMOS
STAFF WRITER
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS

After months of debate, Ridgewood is moving forward with a communications plan that will meet a federal mandate.

If an ordinance introduced on Wednesday is approved on Oct. 10, the village will appropriate a total of $1,067,935 to purchase and install each piece of a radio communications upgrade.

Ridgewood will then bond for the first part of the multi-tiered and multi-town project, which will cost the village nearly $700,000, and subsequently comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) narrowband directive.

At this point, village officials said they are willing to pay a total of $693,750, Ridgewood’s portion of an $895,282 narrowband upgrade project. The Borough of Glen Rock, which pays to use Ridgewood’s dispatch center, will pick up the remaining balance.

The Glen Rock Borough Council, like Ridgewood, is expected to introduce a similar ordinance appropriating specific funds for the its portion of the project.

“We’ve been meeting with Glen Rock’s emergency services. Until the Village Council decides which direction to go, then Glen Rock will be paired in,” Village Manager Ken Gabbert said earlier this month.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/170564926_Ridgewood_council_introduces_communications_upgrade.html