Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Prescription For A Stronger Economy: Marriage

Larry recently spoke at the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation dinner last week.  Nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas* wrote this column about his remarks:

At a dinner sponsored by the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation last Thursday (I am an unpaid national advisory board member), there was a debate about wealth redistribution. A team of Canadian students who think government should “spread the wealth around” faced off against a team of American students who think government has no business doing any such thing.

The theme continued when former Sen. Phil Gramm, Texas Republican, debated Chrystia Freeland, a member of the Canadian Parliament. While all of this was informative, civil, interesting and at times entertaining, the final speaker, CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow, may have uttered the most profound thought of the evening.

While Mr. Kudlow takes the traditional conservative position when it comes to economics, he said what would help individuals as well as the nation the most is for people to “get married.” He said it loudly, and the super-sophisticated New Yorkers in the room fell momentarily silent. When the shock wore off, many heads began to nod.

Mr. Kudlow’s point was that marriage gives people a reason to work, a home one hopes is stable, and children for whom two parents feel responsible.

Sociologists have reached the same conclusion over many years. In her book “One Marriage Under God: The Campaign To Promote Marriage in America,” sociologist Melanie Heath writes, “Married people” — for whatever reason — “are happier, healthier, and better off financially.”

The point I took from the speakers at the Coolidge dinner was that the real power to influence a life does not lie in or emanate from Washington, D.C., whichever party is in power. Instead, it comes from the millions of personal decisions each person makes for his or her own life.

How many politicians today would dare to admonish people who are living together to get married? Yet for not just economic reasons, doesn’t it seem the wisest course for most to take when one considers the benefits? Cohabiters may look at their divorced parents as an excuse not to marry, but that is an excuse, not a sufficient reason. One might better consider successful marriages, instead of failed ones, and emulate what made the good ones work.

At the Coolidge dinner, the organization’s chairman, Amity Shlaes, passed out buttons that said “Coolidge in ‘16.” Although the 30th president died in 1933, his ideas and philosophy of life are being given new life by events like these. If his ideas worked — and Coolidge’s did because they were born from a Puritan ethic that founded and sustained America well into the 20th century, making the 1920s roar economically — why not reconsider those ideas, updating them as necessary and applying them to solve today’s problems, rather than skipping from one failed policy to another?

Back to marriage. The Coolidges had an unusual relationship, but it worked for them. Grace was vivacious and outgoing; her husband quite the opposite. And yet there was genuine love.

Few men have ever uttered more noble words about their wives than what Coolidge said of his: “She has borne with my infirmities, and I have rejoiced in her graces.”

Mr. Kudlow seemed to be suggesting — and I would agree with him — that you don’t get that kind of affirmation outside of a committed marital relationship, which also makes for stronger families, economies and nations.

*Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist. His latest book is “What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America” (Zondervan, 2014).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

KUDLOW: The Chinese Are Not Our Friends (CNBC on October 13, 2014)

Former Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), and CNBC's Larry Kudlow, discuss the power of Chinese hackers and measures the U.S. can take to safeguard our defense and financial systems.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Interview with General Jack Keane

My interview with retired four-star Army General Jack Keane, where he points out mistakes of the new Obama/ISIS war policy.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Larry Kudlow: VA Scandal Shows Perils of Socialized Medicine

Larry was recently interviewed by "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV

The scandal rocking the Veterans Health Administration should serve as a warning as to what can happen under the Affordable Care Act, renowned economist and syndicated columnist Larry Kudlow says.

This is not simply a management problem," Kudlow, author of the CNBC blog "Kudlow's Corner,'' told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"This is about a pocket of government-run socialized medicine with rationing and price controls and the usual bureaucratic inefficiencies. That's the problem with the VA.''

The VA is under fire for allegedly keeping chronically-ill patients on a secret-waiting list — resulting in the deaths of at least 40 veterans.

Additionally, there are allegations of false record-keeping to cover up the scandal. "It is not a money problem. The money going to the VA has exploded in recent years. In fact, from 2000 to 2013, budget outlays tripled while the veterans' population being served has actually declined by four million,'' Kudlow said.

"There's a problem with government-run healthcare and [this] should be a lesson to all of us about the dangers of Obamacare and single-payer insurance and so forth and so on." Kudlow also called on Republicans to back a "sensible'' immigration reform bill or risk losses at the polls.

"Sensible immigration reform will really be pro-growth. It can really help America and can really help the Republican Party put a different face on and reach out not just to Latinos,'' Kudlow said.

"This is symbolic, immigration reform — symbolic reaching out to Asians, to African-Americans, to young people, to women, and it says the Republican Party can in fact be a big tent. "Its policies don't have to echo the Democrats, but there's a reach-out factor here that I think is very, very important.'' Kudlow said that doesn't mean unbridled citizenship or blanket amnesty.

"What I am talking about is … the possibility of legal status so long as the immigrants who are living here illegally pay their back taxes, are checked for any criminal offense because criminals must be deported … learn English, learn civics, learn history, learn the constitution," he said.

"They have to go through a process and I think that's very, very important. I don't want them put at the front of the line for citizenship. I'm not really even talking about citizenship right now. I'm talking about legal status.

"[Sen.] Rand Paul [of Texas] has come out for legal status in a similar way, so has [Texas] Gov. Rick Perry, so has former [Florida] Gov. Jeb Bush. I like the direction here.''

Kudlow said it is also important to attract immigrant "brainiacs" as well as students and blue-collar workers.

"We need the high-tech electric engineers, all the Silicon Valley people. We need the foreign students we're educating. Why should we send them home? Why not keep them here?" he said.

"We need the low-end workers. That's what the Farmers Association and the Retailers Association are telling us. In other words, we need legal immigration.

"We need legal visa increases. If we do that, the more population will expand and increase economic growth. It's real simple. Population times productivity equals growth.''

Kudlow pointed to the low number of immigrants who supported Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

"Twenty-seven percent of Asians voted for Mitt Romney, 27 percent of Hispanics voted for Mitt Romney. The GOP cannot win with those kinds of numbers," he said.

"If the party has a sensible policy and puts its best foot forward with the kind of principles that I'm encouraging here, it will make an impact.

"I am a conservative Catholic and all that goes with that, but I am willing to work in the same big tent as my friends from the Log Cabin Republicans. I believe that kind of attitude, which is an open inclusionary attitude, is missing from the GOP and must change.''

With that, the negative perception of the GOP will change, he believes.

"Right now, the GOP has a bad image. It’s an image of cranky white men and women. That image has to change,'' Kudlow said.