The great toilet paper shortage was caused by laws that prevent price gouging

Anti price gouging laws were enacted across this nation with the best intentions however they very often produce shortages of essential goods.  This is exactly what happened at the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis.  In a purely free market economy the shortage of toilet paper would have been mush less severe.  We probably would not have witnessed near riots and even fist fights over a shortage of this so necessary product.

When the mass buying toilet paper began and store inventories began to run low the store keepers should have automatically raised prices.  A drastic run on  toilet paper should have led to a drastic rise in the price.  This would have discouraged the mass buying and hording when inventories in the stores began to run low.

Because of the increased sale of toilet paper the store owners would have ordered more toilet paper from their suppliers who would then charge the store owners more if their supplies began to run low.  Quickly, because of free market forces the increased price and demand of toilet paper would have reached the manufacturers who would produce more and ship it faster down the supply chain to the stores.

Here is how the Foundation for Economic Education explained the factors behind the toilet paper shortage:

From an economic perspective, the value of toilet paper is much higher now than it was pre-pandemic. But with the price of toilet paper the same as it always was and not reflecting its increased value, there is nothing to prevent individuals from buying as much of it as possible. Indeed, that’s the rational consumer response. But if shopkeepers increased the price of toilet paper to reflect its new value, suddenly we would think twice about hoarding it and only take as much as we need. These rising prices would also signal supply chains of the increased value of toilet paper, prompting toilet paper manufacturers to boost production.

In natural disasters, like a hurricane or an earthquake or a pandemic, we often hear people decry “price gouging” and blame “greedy shopkeepers” for trying to profit off of misery. Yet, price gouging is an unfair term. If the shopkeeper raises the price of toilet paper (or hand sanitizer or bleach or eggs or any of the other items that are currently in high demand), then it incentivizes the consumer not to hoard and to buy only as much of an item as is truly needed. It’s not greedy, it’s responsive.

If the store charges too much customers will not buy the product or they will buy very little then the store will need to lower the price.  When more product becomes available the store will need to lower the price if it does not sell.  The store will eventually need to order less causing the price up the supply chain to fall signaling the producers to produce less.

Because of the price controls restricting the price the store can charge they are not able to pay their suppliers more.  The suppliers are not able to pay the manufacturers more.  There is no incentive for the producers to rapidly produce more and no incentive for the suppliers to rush the product down the supply chain resulting in delays in restocking shelves.

Government interference in the free market always produces far more negative results than positive no matter how well intentioned they are.  Unfortunately most colleges do not teach free market economics and politicians who  do not support anti price gouging laws are decried as monsters.

Report from Louisiana: The Exponential Numbers

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Coronavirus hit close to home this week; my husband and I learned of the death of our friend Ann who fell victim to this virus. One moment alive and well, the next moment she’s gone. It’s a terrible, terrible thing.

Here in Louisiana, we have over 13,000 positive cases and as of yesterday, 477 deaths, and over 1,800 in hospital. Officials are warning that this week will be bad and that everyone should avoid going anywhere at all unless absolutely essential. We are taking that seriously in my house and have only left home twice this week for quick grocery trips. I would love to do curbside pick-up for groceries, but the wait time for your order is two weeks!

Meanwhile, people are practicing social distancing with various degrees of seriousness. One couple I know attended a birthday party at a friend’s home this week, while another person I know met up with her girlfriends in a parking lot to share a bottle of wine and “hang out.” Even the caretakers of LSU mascot Mike the Tiger are taking more careful measures than some people I know.

Some states have already declared this school year officially done, but we are still awaiting that call. Our “stay at home” order extends until the first of May, so it seems highly unlikely that we would have to report back with only three weeks left, yet that call has still not been made.

The border between Louisiana and Texas is closed and checkpoints have been established at the state line. Commercial traffic is allowed to pass freely but everyone else must be screened and fill out paperwork before entering Texas. This is obviously causing travel nightmares.

As we monitor these numbers, these daily death toll reports, be sure to check out Stacy McCain’s post in which he does some pretty interesting analysis of the numbers:

There is an enormous variation in the death rates, with Italy’s rate being about five times higher than the U.S. rate, and the death rate in Washington State, Michigan and Louisiana being more than twice the rate in Florida and Texas. Will these rates change? Maybe, but the fact is that the same virus is having different impacts in different areas, and the “experts” on TV are doing a bad job of explaining this differential, insofar as they are not completely ignoring it. While I don’t claim to be an “expert,” my hunch is that it probably has something to do with viral load at first exposure to the virus. If you attend a two-hour event with dozens of other people, some of whom are infected — or if you’re on a two-hour commercial airline flight, or riding New York City’s subways on a daily basis — then your initial exposure is likely to be a high viral load. On the other hand, a brief encounter with an infected convenience-store clerk will expose you to a lower viral load, and if you do become infected, your case will probably be milder. That’s not an “expert” opinion, just a common-sense interpretation of what some experts are saying, and one which would seem to fit the available data.

This brings me back to my friend that went to a birthday party. What was the exponential exposure?

I’m afraid that a lot of people are not taking all this seriously enough and won’t until it hits too close to home.

Stay safe, friends, and stay home.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

President Trump’s deregulation efforts have saved a lot of lives

I’ve maintained for many years that government regulations do far more harm than good.  Unfortunately the Coronavirus crises has more than proved me right.  Government red tape cost the lives of many Americans early on during this pandemic and the deregulation efforts by President Trump will have saved a substantial number of Americans before the crisis is over.  If you think I’m being melodramatic check out the Townhall article The Red Tape Pandemic by John Stossel.

The number of test kits available when the crisis began to unfold was disgrace and directly attributable to government regulations.  This had a major impact on how far and how fast the virus spread across the United States.  The Townhall article explains how a much larger number of test kits in South Korea resulted in a much less dire situation than we now face here.

Coronavirus deaths leveled off in South Korea.

That’s because people in Korea could easily find out if they had the disease. There are hundreds of testing locations — even pop-up drive-thru testing centers.

We can compare that to what happened here due to the low number of test kits.

In America, a shortage of COVID-19 tests has made it hard for people to get tested. Even those who show all the symptoms have a difficult time.

Why weren’t there enough tests?

Because our government insists on control of medical innovation.

The shortage of test kits was caused by government regulations.

When coronavirus appeared, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made its own tests and insisted that people only use those CDC tests. But the CDC test often gave inaccurate results. Some early versions of the test couldn’t distinguish between coronavirus and water.

Private companies might have offered better tests, and more of them, but that wasn’t allowed. The World Health Organization even released information on how to make such tests, but our government still said no. Instead, all tests must go through the government’s cumbersome approval process. That takes months. Or years.

Hundreds of labs had the ability to test for the virus, but they weren’t allowed to test.

As a result, doctors can’t be sure exactly where outbreaks are happening. Instead of quarantining just sick people, state governors are forcing entire states to go on lockdown.

At the same time, many people who show no symptoms do have COVID-19. Without widespread testing, we don’t know who they are, and so the symptomless sick are infecting others.

The shortage of test kits was relieved by President Trump relaxing regulations.

A few weeks ago, the government finally gave up its monopoly and said it was relaxing the rules. There would be quick “emergency use authorizations” replacing the months- or years-long wait for approval. But even that took so long that few independent tests were approved.

So President Donald Trump waived those rules, too.

Now tests are finally being made. But that delay killed people. It’s still killing people.

Doctor and nurse shortages have also impacted the Coronavirus crisis.  This issue was solved by a combination of President Trump and the governors of many states.

In some states, there’s a shortage of doctors or nurses. That, too, is often a product of bad law — state licensing laws that make it illegal for professionals licensed in one state to work in another. Trump said he would waive “license requirements so that the doctors from other states can provide services to states with the greatest need.” Then it turned out that he could only allow that for Medicare; he didn’t have the power to override stupid state licensing rules.

Fortunately, many states finally waived harmful licensing laws on their own.

It’s good that governments finally removed some rules.

This National Review article Deregulate to Help the Private Sector Fight Coronavirus also proves that government regulations have been costly in the fight against Coronavirus.

Amid the humanitarian and economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, an intelligent policy response can save lives and livelihoods. In addition to the many measures being introduced and passed into law, including economic-stimulus measures and funding for testing, one critically important government response is to cut red tape and regulatory burdens that stand in the way of a quick and impactful response from businesses that can meaningfully help in the crisis.

The level of food and necessities has stabilized in the past few days.  One deregulation effort by President Trump’s administration helped bring that about.

since 1938, federal regulations limit most commercial truck drivers to eleven hours of driving time in a 14-hour workday. The restriction is intended to reduce accidents caused by highway fatigue. The rule doesn’t necessarily encourage safety, however, as truckers may be forced off the road at the end of their workday in areas not hospitable to truckers…Last Friday, after the president’s declaration of a national emergency, the Department of Transportation announced a nationwide exemption to the 82-year-old rules. Now truckers can help deliver badly needed supplies more quickly and efficiently while still safely splitting their required ten-hour rest period into two separate breaks instead of having to all take it at once.

Hopefully when the Coronavirus pandemic is over we will remember that government regulations made the crises worse and relaxing the regulations had very positive results. When it comes to getting rid of government regulations we need to go much further

Report from Louisiana: Unfocused

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – We are now three weeks into this quarantine business, so how’s it going for you? I thought I would be so productive and get some projects done, make some progress on my book, do some inspired writing…nah. Not happening. My creativity is dry as a bone. Gone.

I did a little blog post about that on SIGIS, and got a lot of unexpected feedback with people feeling the same way, which was reassuring in a way. It’s not just me.

It feels a little like the days and weeks following 9/11, to me. An overwhelming powerlessness and anxiety. Turns out there are a lot of people feeling this same way.

I’m incredibly frustrated with the inability of people to follow simple directions and stay home. Once again, this church in Central, Louisiana held services yesterday with 500 people in attendance this week, which thankfully is about half of what he had last week.

Pastor Tony Spell of the Life Tabernacle Church says, “The virus, we believe, is politically motivated, …We hold our religious rights dear, and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says.”

He’s not alone in his commitment to disregard the stay at home order issued by Governor Edwards. In New Orleans, a growing epicenter of COVID-19, authorities had to break up a large gathering this weekend where people gathered for a Second Line event. Video on social media shows revelers in the neighborhood drinking, dancing, and playing music. Now, warrants have been issued.

In an attempt to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in Texas, Governor Greg Abbot has put a travel ban of sorts in place. If you travel to Texas from Louisiana, you have to fill out paperwork indicating where you will self-quarantine for the next fourteen days. This does not apply to commercial traffic and the like, obviously.

The grocery stores are beginning to level out however there is still no toilet paper, Clorox wipes, or hand sanitizer anywhere and there has not been for three weeks. My grocery store, apparently depressed by the long empty shelf, now is stocking laundry baskets on that aisle.

The big-box stores in our area, Sam’s Club, sometimes gets those items in; Saturday morning the line to get into Sam’s wrapped around the building as they let in twenty-five people at a time. Hundreds of people in line, much closer to each other than six feet, mind you, and VERY close to each other the closer to the front of the line they got. Insanity.

I’ve mad a couple of quick grocery store runs and have found that some people are keeping their distance but there are others who completely disregard your personal space. I was looking at the eggs yesterday when a man leaned right in front of me and grabbed a carton.

I’m looking at grocery delivery services now or curbside pickup; the turnaround on curbside pickup is days out however. If you need something quickly, too bad.

At any rate, this is our new normal. With Trump’s federal distancing extended to the end of April, I expect that our school year is effectively done, which saddens me somewhat.

Now, if I could just get my creative spark back.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

We can’t let this become the new normal

I was completely startled at how rapidly everything escalated over just one week.  One minute I was watching a Red Sox preseason game where they were talking about the possibility of the halting preseason games, then, with in a few days governments at all levels were shutting down just about all normal activity.  Everything that happened was so unprecedented here in the United States. 

I’m worried that since it has happened once it will now happen over and over again.  Am I being paranoid about that?  I don’t think so.  Over the past decade I’ve studied history in great detail, with a particular emphasis on different forms of government.  The one theme that has repeated itself most often is that once a government body has tasted power it will soon become addicted to it and will wield it as often as it can. 

Were all of the orders to shelter in place and shutter businesses necessary?  I don’t know.  The only way to prove that it wasn’t is if governments did nothing,  I believe the price for that may have been a very steep price, just look at conditions in Italy.

We the people must take careful steps to make sure that this type of government forced social disruptions happens only when absolutely needed, only under the most dire of circumstances.  The way we do this is different for each level of government.

The way to prevent the federal government from abusing emergency powers and closing society down is simply to read the Constitution, understand the Constitution, and make sure the federal government follows the Constitution.  Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government granted the power to restrict what individuals and businesses can do under any circumstances, even during an emergency.  That power is not granted to the federal government anywhere in the Constitution therefore it is left up to the state and local government levels.  If you don’t agree check out this Tenth Amendment Center article.

I believe some state governments, especially the governors, have gone too far with their Coronavirus measures.  Now that they have done it once I believe some governors will do it for much less of a crisis or a made up crisis such as climate change.  The residents of all of the states need to order their state governments to reign in emergency declaration powers through legislation.  Most governors can declare emergencies on their without the approval of the state legislatures.  I believe that if an emergency will last more than 48 hours the state legislatures should approve all plans and measures.  What constitutes an actual emergency must also be defined by legislation. Clear guidelines must be included in the legislation to protect the tights of individuals while protecting the health of everyone.

Local governments should be the freest when it comes to declaring emergencies and should have the least restrictions because most emergencies are local.

We the people must remain vigilant and make sure that the federal government and state governments do not make emergencies such as the one we’re dealing with now common place.  I fear that they will.

Report from Louisiana: Stay at Home

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Finally, yesterday afternoon, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a “stay at home” order across the state. All “non-essential” businesses are shut down; restaurants are still open for curbside pickup and delivery, you can still take your dog to the vet, and liquor stores are open.

So, not much has changed under this order from what has been happening all week.

Via The Advocate:

Louisiana has the fastest growth rate of confirmed cases in the world, Edwards said, citing a University of Louisiana at Lafayette study. Louisiana ranks third in the nation — behind New York and Washington State — in per capita cases of people infected with the deadly novel coronavirus. The growth trajectory shows Louisiana increasing its confirmed cases on the same steep angle as Italy and Spain, where the virus has become exceptionally widespread.

Most of the cases in Louisiana are in Orleans parish with a known cluster of cases in an assisted living facility in New Orleans, but like everywhere, COVID-19 is spread throughout the state.

It is not likely to improve for a while as there are still far too many people that don’t appear to comprehend the gravity of what is happening.

Sunday, in East Baton Rouge parish, The Life Tabernacle Church hosted over 1,800 people at their Sunday morning service. Pastor Tony Spell said “if anyone in his congregation contracts covid-19 he will heal them through God.”

If anyone still doubts the severity of this virus, take a look at a viral Facebook post by Chicago resident Michael Bane.  He describes the progression of COVID-19 as it has attacked him after a “brief encounter” with someone who later tested positive for the virus. Bane wanted to put “a human face” on the virus and stress to people the importance of staying home.

The numbers in Louisiana continue to climb and as I write this, there is plenty of traffic I can still see outside my window. Our shut-down order doesn’t take effect until 5:00 p.m., and grocery stores (which will remain open) are packed with people clearing the shelves of whatever staples remain. As with much of the country, there has been no toilet paper, hand sanitizer, rice, dried beans, or bread for at least two weeks. If you catch it right, you can get milk or meat as stockers work frantically to keep shelves stocked.

On the plus side, random acts of kindness are on the uptick. One of my neighbors left a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread on my porch yesterday. Neighborhoods are pulling together to support one another, and people are getting creative in keeping the little ones entertained. One activity I saw yesterday was a “bear hunt,” where neighbors put a stuffed bear in their windows for kids to spot, or find, on walks with their parents.

I’m counting my blessings right now and staying inside.

Stay safe wherever you are, stay home, and wash your hands!

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

The Coronavirus and the Liberty versus saving lives debate

The Coronavirus pandemic has ignited online one of the most important debates, where do you draw line between saving lives and protecting freedom and liberty. This is also an internal debate I’ve been struggling with since this whole crisis began and I’ve switched back and forth as things have developed, often too rapidly to keep up with

When the voluntary mass cancellations of sporting events, the closings of schools, and the travel bans from overseas first occurred I believed all of this was an unnecessary overreaction on a major scale.  I maintained that belief for several days.  It wasn’t until I learned the goal behind all of this was to “flatten the curve” that I changed my mind.  Reading this article from The Federalist Papers article Coronavirus Control Measures Aren’t Pointless – Just Slowing Down The Pandemic Could Save Millions of Lives is what changed my mind about all of this

The goal is to “flatten the curve.” Rather than letting the virus quickly rampage through the population and burn itself out fast, the idea is to spread all those infections out over a longer period of time.

Flattening the curve is another way of saying buying more time. Yes, it would potentially prolong the epidemic. But in doing so, public health agencies and the health care infrastructure gain invaluable time to respond to the crisis.

Most importantly, “flattening the curve” provides an opportunity to significantly reduce deaths from COVID-19.

On the steep rise of the epidemic curve, especially when testing capacity is lacking, there is a tremendous burden on health care providers – many of whom will fall ill themselves and be forced to self-isolate, becoming unable to provide care for those in need. At the same time, there is immense pressure placed on health care facilities where demand for patient care will outpace capacity – things like the number of hospital beds, ventilators and so on – for a significant amount of time.

Now that I’m familiar with the topic of flattening the curve I can see that this disruption of normal life is necessary when a society is facing a dangerous contagious disease.  This health crisis introduced me to another new concept which can halt the spread of a communicable disease:

Social distancing requires changes in how people work, live and interact with each other. It may require canceling or avoiding big events, limiting nonessential travel and rescheduling conferences. Traditional classroom instruction may have to move to online delivery – already happening in some colleges and universities, though less easy to do for K-12 schools.

Unfortunately this current threat is a completely new strain of virus, one where no one has a natural immunity.  It is the unknown nature of the threat that convinced me that the closings and cancelings are necessary.

The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully known. Reported illnesses have ranged from very mild (including some with no reported symptoms) to severe, including illness resulting in death. While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, a reportexternal icon out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases. Older people and people of all ages with severe chronic medical conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example — seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.

The CDC Website on COVID-19 contains a wealth of great information on this current threat.  It is the communicable nature of this disease that convinced me that these steps are necessary.

A pandemic is a global outbreak of disease. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people sustainably. Because there is little to no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is infecting people and spreading easily from person-to-person. Cases have been detected in most countries worldwide and community spread is being detected in a growing number of countries. On March 11, the COVID-19 outbreak was characterized as a pandemic by the WHO

This Newsweek article Newt Gingrich: I Am in Italy Amid the Coronavirus Crisis. America Must Act Now—And Act Big was the final piece of information that changed my mind and convinced me that all of this is necessary.

These steps are not an overreaction. The coronavirus is out of control of in Northern Italy. As of 6 p.m. local/1 p.m. EST on March 10, there were 15,113 total cases in Italy, with 12,839 active cases, 1,016 deaths and 1,258 recoveries. And there were 162 total cases here in Rome.

The hardest-hit region around Milan has had to improvise as its health system has been deeply stressed by the sheer number of patients. In Milan and Brescia, field hospitals have been set up in the fairgrounds as the local hospitals have been drowned in patients.

Because the demand for respirators and intensive care has been beyond any previous planning, doctors have been forced into the kind of triage thinking developed for intense battlefield casualty situations. There are reports that emergency room doctors are allotting respirators to those with higher life expectancy due to the limited equipment in the hardest hit areas of the province. If you are older or have other illnesses, you may simply not be eligible for treatment.

As Libertarian I am 100 percent against the government at any level, but especially the federal government, ordering the mandatory canceling of events, domestic travel bans, and closing private businesses.  A much better solution would be for the government to urge, suggest, and educate that all of this necessary, and it takes place.  A voluntary curtailing of social activity is the only way to preserve our freedom and rights while protecting our health.  The mandatory steps taken by Governor Charlie Baler and the rest are wrong because they are mandated by the government.

Unfortunately a lot of people do not listen to good advise and refuse to stop engaging in behavior that puts others at risk of catching this disease, which could cause the virus to spread uncontrollably.  What do we do about that?  UGH.  That is the question that I’m struggling with the most. Liberty is the freedom to do as you wish as long as you do not harm others.  Spreading the virus to others definitely harms them and could harm society as a whole.  

Report from Louisiana: COVID-19 and online teaching

By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – What a difference a day makes.  Wednesday, last week, I was cutting across the Atchafalaya Basin on an airboat enjoying Spring Break, and within twenty-four hours of that Governor John Bel Edwards closed down K-12 schools, universities were shuttered, and everyone is practicing social distancing. Well, except New Orleans; they do their own thing there.

As an educator, I can tell you that my students are full of anxiety. Fortunately, I’m in a better position than a lot of people in that my kids have already been using Google Classroom. I immediately posted a sort of “check-in” assignment and on Sunday, still technically on Spring Break, most of my kids responded. Since then, most have filled in.

By Friday, my husband and I had returned to Shreveport and decided we needed a few groceries after being out of town for a week.

Big mistake.

The store was chaos.

You’ve seen images from all over the country, or seen it yourself, I’m sure. Even today, days later, there are zero paper products in the stores. Zero dried beans, no rice, canned goods are sparse. Things are restocking, but good grief – what chaos.

In Louisiana, our schools are closed until mid-April; I’ve got friends in other states who have said they won’t return to school at all this year. So far there are no directives from the Louisiana State Department of Education on graduation or testing, which has filled my students with anxiety.

As of today, all casinos in Louisiana are closed for two weeks, except those on Indian reservation. The economic loss to the state is estimated at $22 million.

With bars and restaurants closing, people staying home from work, schools closed…I don’t even want to think about the long-term economic effects of this.  It’s mind blowing, to me.

So, meanwhile, I’m teaching school from home, trying to reassure my students and still be sure they are learning. We are staying in as much as possible. Louisiana currently has 114 positive cases and two deaths. Most are in the Orleans parish area – no surprise given that Mardi Gras just happened.

Stay safe where you are. Be smart. Don’t panic or overreact.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

Is Joe Biden a moderate? Checkout his campaign website

It has been often reported by the liberal media, and even some on the political right, that Joe Biden is a moderate.  My immediate reaction to these statements is that they are a bunch of bunk. After studying his positions and statements on issues I knew he is nearly as far  to the left as Bernie Sanders.  To confirm this I checked out the Biden for President official website.  Here are his positions on some of the most important issues.  All quotes are from his campaign website and all emphasis is from the website.

Joe Biden still is completely all for ObamaCare, which was a socialist takeover of our healthcare industry.

As president, Biden will protect the Affordable Care Act from these continued attacks. He opposes every effort to get rid of this historic law – including efforts by Republicans, and efforts by Democrats. Instead of starting from scratch and getting rid of private insurance, he has a plan to build on the Affordable Care Act by giving Americans more choice, reducing health care costs, and making our health care system less complex to navigate.

Because Joe Biden supports the public option rather than the full Medicare for All, he is slightly more moderate on healthcare than Sanders.  He is only slightly less to left of Sanders because the public option has always been a stealthy installment plan way of eventually reaching an entirely government run healthcare system.

Giving Americans a new choice, a public health insurance option like Medicare. If your insurance company isn’t doing right by you, you should have another, better choice. Whether you’re covered through your employer, buying your insurance on your own, or going without coverage altogether, the Biden Plan will give you the choice to purchase a public health insurance option like Medicare. As in Medicare, the Biden public option will reduce costs for patients by negotiating lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers.

As you can see from this quote on gun control Joe Biden is very much a radical leftist.

It’s within our grasp to end our gun violence epidemic and respect the Second Amendment, which is limited. As president, Biden will pursue constitutional, common-sense gun safety policies.

As president Joe Biden would use executive orders to drastically infringe on our right to bear arms.

Joe Biden also knows how to make progress on reducing gun violence using executive action. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with developing both legislative proposals and executive actions to make our communities safer.

Here is a very radical gun control proposal.

Hold gun manufacturers accountable. In 2005, then-Senator Biden voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, but gun manufacturers successfully lobbied Congress to secure its passage. This law protects these manufacturers from being held civilly liable for their products

Here are three more gun control quotes from his website.  Judge for yourself whether they are radical or moderate.

Get weapons of war off our streets. The bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that Biden, along with Senator Feinstein, secured in 1994 reduced the lethality of mass shootings.

Buy back the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines already in our communities. Biden will also institute a program to buy back weapons of war currently on our streets.

Reduce stockpiling of weapons. In order to reduce the stockpiling of firearms, Biden supports legislation restricting the number of firearms an individual may purchase per month to one.

That last quote is one of the most radical positions I’ve encountered.  The government at any level has no right to tell anyone how many guns they can own.

The immigration section of the Joe Biden Website is very lengthy and very far to the left.  Here is the most telling quote,

Creates a roadmap to citizenship for the nearly 11 million people who have been living in and strengthening our country for years. These are our mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. They are our neighbors, co-workers, and members of our congregations and Little League teams.

This one quote is an attempt to appear more centrist. Democrats have promised border security but have never delivered.

As president, Biden will finish the work of building a fair and humane immigration system–restoring the progress Trump has cruelly undone and taking it further. He will secure our border, while ensuring the dignity of migrants and upholding their legal right to seek asylum.

On the environment Joe Biden is very much a radical leftist.  As you can see he fully supports the Green New Deal which is a 90 trillion dollar laundry list of liberal dreams and desires.

Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face. It powerfully captures two basic truths, which are at the core of his plan: (1) the United States urgently needs to embrace greater ambition on an epic scale to meet the scope of this challenge, and (2) our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected.

Spread the word on social media that Joe Biden is very much a radical leftist

The Paris Library: A Book Review

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Add The Paris Library to your summer reading list. Any fan of historical fiction, or any book lover in general, will love this book! 

Coming out in June of 2020, The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is an engaging tale that is narrated on dual timelines and is sure to become a best seller. A book lover’s delight, I could not help but think about Susan Orlean’s The Library Book as I was reading.  I was provided an ARC via NetGalley and Atria Books in exchange for a fair and honest review, and I am strongly recommending this book.

Navigating dual timelines, the author weaves an engaging plot between two characters, Odile and Lily. Set in both WWII Paris and 1980s Froid, Montana, we are drawn into both their stories knowing they will soon combine, and they do in a beautiful way.

As the book opens, a young Odile begins a new job as a librarian at The American Library in Paris at the onset of WWII, and her narrative is peppered with Dewey Decimal references which could have been very odd and distracting but is in fact absolutely charming. As the employees of the library work to protect their books, and themselves, during the Nazi occupation of Paris, it is interesting to note that many of the characters in this novel are real people and many of the events also all too real.

The author has drawn from the papers of Dorothy Reeder who served as the director of The American Library in Paris during World War II. At the end of the novel, Ms. Charles brings us up to date with what happened to the characters in real life after the war.

Perhaps because of the fact that many of the characters were real people, their story line in the novel is the more engaging and developed one, but the contemporary story line of Odile is still deftly drawn and merges beautifully with Lily’s in 1980s Froid, Montana, where Odile is considered “the war bride,” and an eccentric, odd sort of person. I won’t give any spoilers here, but the ending of the book is absolutely perfect and a very satisfying ending.

This is the kind of book you can get lost in for a few hours, or wade leisurely through over a couple of days. Either way I highly recommend The Paris Library. Mark your calendar for June 2020.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.