Daily Archives: September 12, 2011

Laws for Conservatives to pass: Encouraging innovation

As I have stated before I want the tax code rewritten. Ideally I would prefer going entirely to a sales tax (no corporate tax, no death tax, no income tax, no capital gains tax, no luxury tax, no tariffs, nothing but a flat sales tax). Short of that I want a flat tax rate with no loopholes (and again most of those other taxes eliminated). But if we can’t even have that, or at least a stepping stone to those other programs, we need to A.) lower the tax rates and B.) eliminate ALL loopholes. All of them, even the ones that encourage things we like, like mortgage deductions and child tax credits. ALL OF THEM.

However, I have proposed a very special kind of exemption in “Republicans and Reincarnation” that I will stand by.

That exemption was that Congress should offer a multimillion dollar prize to anyone who can create an engine that can replace the internal combustion engine that is cheaper and has fewer emissions. In addition to the prize they will be exempt from ALL taxes for the rest of their life. I do this because the kinds of people who tinker with this kind of technology in their garage don’t always think long term enough to consider the advantages of compounding royalty payments and thus they don’t see what should be the obvious incentives to spend time coming up with inventions that we need. The scatterbrained genius needs immediate incentives to work or at least to channel their energies. The only thing they would have to give up is the right to negotiate price on selling the rights for this invention. They will still be paid for every use of their invention, but I want these inventions in use yesterday and I don’t want them held up by negotiations, (and if we’re paying that kind of money for it Congress will not be able to hold it back if it knows what is good for it). (Especially since there is a mild conspiracy theorist in me that isn’t willing to fully dismiss those stories that better engines have already been invented but bought up by oil companies and kept out of the public’s view…I have no proof beyond hearsay and personal accounts. But given the short sighted nature of a lot of companies right now it wouldn’t surprise me).

Yes I fully understand the nature of capitalism, that it will always create the thing we need, when we need them. I understand that. But there are some things we could use right now even though we haven’t reached the level of absolutely need. I would prefer to get around the necessity for that kind of need and the temporary hardships it brings to an economy. For instance we all know that eventually the internal combustion engine will be replaced when the reserves of gasoline start going dry, and we know there will be a period of hardship in that change over period, so I would just like to skip the hardship if we could.

So here is a list of inventions I think congress should offer a $100 million dollar prize for, plus having to pay no taxes if you’re the first to come up with it. And I will justify why all of these would save us more money than the costs.

1. The first is obviously the replacement for the internal combustion engine that actually works. I don’t care if it’s electric, a brilliant new type of internal configuration on the internal combustion engine, hydrogen fuel cells or the static electricity engine from Atlas Shrugged—I don’t care if it’s long lived hamsters on steroids and meth with a tread wheel…all I care about is the following: It costs less than $100 to build. It can power truck or SUV with a full load for 300 miles, without being refueled, while going at 65 miles per hour or higher. It must be able to be refueled in less than 10 minutes from a completely empty and a full refill can cost no more $20. Oh and it has to have 20% less emissions than the cleanest internal combustion engine available. This is the problem with all the current alternatives electric cars have no speed or ability to pull large loads (not to mention they take too long to charge). Hydrogen fuel cells are too expensive. I want powerful, fast and cheap. If you can get those standards on a fully loaded SUV then the figures for a small sedan should be even better. The advantages to this are obvious. I don’t really care much about the emissions because I don’t believe in the BS that is global warming, but I live in Phoenix and so I do know the problem that is smog so I would like to see that lowered. Obviously if we weren’t dependent on oil (or at least as much oil) then that will hurt the bottom line of oil sales in the Middle East, which means less money going to terrorism, which means we might not have to spend so much fighting terrorism. Further with less money being spent on fuel and shipping this will of course save money in your pocket,  which will bring cost down and profits up…and you can figure out how that cycles through the economy and works better for everyone.
2. A battery that will work and survive for 7 or more years in temperatures ranging from 30 below 0 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It also needs to hold at least 3 times the charge of a battery of comparable size can do now. This is one of the biggest problems of electric cars. Here in the South-west you can’t have an electric car because everything is so spaced out that you risk using an entire charge before reaching your destination and it gets so hot out here that car batteries need to be replaced every two to three years (expensive enough in a regular car, outrageously expensive in an electric car). On the east electric cars won’t function when it gets too cold. If you could overcome these problems with electric cars, even at their current levels of horsepower would be far more efficient and useful and thus worth the cost. The benefits then become the same as invention 1. However improved batteries that store more would have additional uses that would save us all money even if we had improved battery technology. Just for example how much power does it take to power every street light in the world every night? Right now it’s prohibitively expensive and bulky to power most of those with solar cells and batteries…but it might not with much smaller, more efficient batteries that didn’t have to be replaced. Apply that same idea to numerous other small things that could run off better batteries. That’s a lot of saved energy, which means a lot of saved money.
3. One of Obama’s BS ideas to help get more jobs was infrastructure improvement. Wow more jobs for unionized construction workers, I’m sure that will help the economy. However, this does bring up a fact that infrastructure is a large and continual part of federal, state, and local government costs. One of the reasons why is because that crappy asphalt and concrete we put on the roads keeps wearing out, develop pot holes, become road hazards and need to be replaced. And replacing them takes time (lots of time, which hurts traffic and destroys productivity, not to mention all the wasted money just sitting there letting the engine idle in traffic) and lots of money—those workers are union and government. They are about as overpriced and overpaid as work gets in this world. So here is what I want, I want someone to come up with some kind of chemical that can be added to the concrete or asphalt, or some new substance all together, that will prevent it from wearing out or at least radically slow the decay. If you could make every road last just 10 years longer than they currently do the saving in government expenditures alone would pay for that prize for inventing the stuff.
4. We haven’t come upon it yet, but more than oil we have another natural resource that is getting very, very sparse. Water. “What?” you say, “The Earth is covered in the stuff!” Yes it is, but that’s salt water. Clean, desalinized, drinkable water is becoming more and more rare (especially with continuing growth of world population). There is not nearly enough drinkable water to support 7 billion people at first world level (and it should be our goal to get everyone up to first world level) at present. We need more drinkable water. But most processes for desalination are prohibitively expensive as it currently stands. Trust me we will need a cheap and quick way to desalinize massive amounts of water within the next 50 years. Let’s make sure we have the technology to do so without having to first have millions die from not having enough to drink. Further if you could cheaply do it, then you could easily do it to supply areas suffering from drought which always causes economic problems.
5. Cars that drive themselves. We all saw Minority Report (and a few other films) and have seen cars that just take verbal commands and take you to your destination while you can spend your time reading, working, talking, doing anything other than have to pay attention to the other insane people on the road. The average American spends about 130 hours in a car. Think of what you can do with an extra 130 hours, about 5 and half days (just for comparative purposes if you’re Jack Bauer you can save the world a half dozen times and kill 143 people in that amount of time…so there is a lot you can do in that amount of time). So an average extra 5 days worth of time for all 300 million people in the US, less stress from driving the freeway. This system would have to be based on being able to avoid accidents, so lower insurance rates and less money wasted on fixing cars. And let’s not even talk about the fact that you’d never have a drunk driving a car, so the loss of life from driving goes down drastically. Yeah I think that’s worth $100 million.
6. The fruit picker. To hell with making robots walk and talk. I want someone to develop a robot that can 90% of the time recognize if a vegetable or piece of fruit is ripe and then harvest that plant without damaging it. People complain about the plight of the migrant worker…well this would eliminate the need for that kind of work. Which would in turn eliminate this country’s terrible habit of keeping a pseudo slave class in the form of illegal immigrants. The saving for this should be more than obvious.
7. Plants with over active metabolisms. Think about it. Think of how much the lumber and paper industry could benefit from trees that took half the time to grow. Or what plants which convert carbon dioxide into oxygen twice as fast could do for any future space programs…which could in turn open up space itself for exploration, mining and colonization. I know I’m stretching with this one…but it has possibilities. I’m a little worried about this being brought to the food industry, but it has possibilities as well. In the end it would pay for itself I think.
8. The transporter. All the other things on this list I think are actually possible but just have yet to be invented (okay I’m stretching with number 7, but it’s not out of the realm of theoretically possible). This one, well, what I know of quantum mechanics tells me that this is never going to happen. Still I want one. I don’t even care if you never figure out how to get it to transport organic material. Think of what you could do just in terms of shipping with a transporter. It would of course be prohibitively expensive up front, but long term I think this could pay for itself.

Why is there nothing from the medical field here? Yes I know that most of our current government expenditures are in the medical field, but this is to encourage people to start tinkering in their garages on their off time. Do you want medical experiments going in people’s garages? Hell no.

Why are there no flying cars? Because while the flying car is cool there are two big problems. First it offers no additional economic value. Second because how do you brake something that’s flying?

And yes we would all love a light saber or a time machine or a holodeck, but again those are not exactly scientifically possible and I’m not sure they would be good for society.

I might also like to see a Roomba that can clean bathrooms and kitchens, but I’m not sure that will save $100 million in the economy.

What other inventions could redefine the world?


Filed under American Exceptionalism, Budget, Capitalism, Congress, Conservative, Economics, Environmentalism, Laws the GOP should pass, Long Term Thinking, Selfishness, Taxes

Books for Conservatives: Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind

So as I try to get through the 11 (Perhaps 12? I don’t know if the new book is as philosophical as the rest yet) book series that is Goodkind’s Sword of Truth in as short a time as possible I come to the fifth book, Soul of the Fire.

The book itself is more toned down than the previous volumes in the series. There are no major battles between armies, and few even between individuals. As a whole the thing reads more like a political thriller than epic fantasy as our heroes Richard and Kahlan try and convince the Kingdom of Anderith to join their D’haran Empire (the people dedicated to freedom, choice, capitalism, and individual rights) instead of siding with the invading Imperial Order of Emperor Jagang (the people dedicated to savagery, communism, genocide, dehumanization of the individual, and slavery…you know like socialist government in history). Strangely enough this is a difficult choice for the people of Anderith. Oh and Richard has to deal with the problem that magic is disappearing from the world. So there’s that problem too.
And while the story is exciting as is, as always, the theme, the Wizard’s Fifth Rule, that raises the Sword of Truth books above mere epic fantasy.

The Wizard’s Fifth Rule is:

“Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie.”

Further elaboration in the book states,

“People will lie to deceive you from what they truly mean to do. Watching the actions they take will prove their true intentions.”

This is a lesson that society has very sadly, and very dangerously forgotten. What people say and what they are, are often two different things. This is true of all levels of our lives. The friend who says they’re always there for you, but never is; the boss who says he has your back, when he does everything he can to undermine you; but nowhere is this more an important fact of live than in politics. Politicians are the poster children for the violation of this rule.
Politicians will say one thing and then do another.  This is not a shock.  Yet the way people the world over, it is more than apparent that people listen more to the words and the campaign slogans more than the actions of the politicians they are voting for.  This would be a good time to remember the Wizard’s First Rule: People are Stupid.  (The Second and Third Rules also seem to be in play here as well).  But while there is the obvious contradictions between words and actions suggested in on the first reading of this law that we should all pay attention to there is something more here.  There is the long term view suggested by the rule: “Watching the actions they take” actions, plural, are what need to be watched.  Why?  Because sometimes the most villainous of people will perform some actions that are in line with their words only to cover their long term goals.  It’s their true intentions that you have to look for, to look for the intent behind the actions.  That can sound a little paranoid, but it doesn’t need to be as you just have to look at the whole career of any politician to see if there is an obvious pattern of lying and corruption.

As this rule deals more with personal actions over a period of time, it requires that my examples focus more on a single individual than on a more general concept.
Case in point John McCain. A so called Maverick. He says he’s a conservative but his key piece of legislation is McCain-Feingold a piece of legislation that limits the first amendment right of the average person while only allowing for an increase in the rights of big money special interest to create and fund multiple PACs. A Maverick literally to this day owned by alcohol special interests and who was involved in the Keating Five scandal back in the 80’s (he took millions of dollars in campaign contributions to tell regulators to back off of a corrupt S&L). Mind what he does not what he says.  A man of such high character that he divorces the wife who waited for him while he was sitting in a prison for the first rich floozy who came along. Yes this is a man whom we should all support. He’s in the pocket of special interest, takes bribes from them, influences regulators and passes laws for them and cheats on his wife. Indeed this is a man who lives up to the image of character and principle that he presents in every single commercial. Such deep abiding principles that his position on how to deal with illegal immigration seems to change with the ocean tides. “Watching the actions they take will prove their true intentions.” Not to mention such acts as supporting the cowardly withdrawal from Somalia without first trying to defeat the warlords there. At the same time he argued to supply Kaddafi with weapons through the early 2000’s but then back the genocidal butchers who oppose Kaddafi, thus giving moral support to the worst president in history. “Deeds will betray a lie.”  And dare we forget that he let every single one of his campaign people go out and blame his VP choice for why he failed. As a politician there has not been a single thing this man has done that even remotely shows intelligence, character, ethics or even human decency. In his personal life leaving his first wife is bad, the idiot of a daughter he raised is even worse. There is nothing to like, admire, or even tolerate about this man.  But then again maybe they saw what this country failed to see, a bleeding heart liberal that will always support evil whenever he finds it.

But he says he’s a Maverick. He’s says he fights for the common people [while limiting their rights]. He says he stands for conservative values [while having never supported a single one]. He says he is worthy of bearing the Republican mantle, while supporting not a single one of its supposed principles (there are a lot of weak willed liberals in the Republican party, but none worse than McCain). A Maverick (who will do anything to gain the praise of the liberal press…he’d even sell his soul, if he had one).

I go off on him because he actually got the Republican nomination (and to go off on Obama’s hypocrisy would just be too easy). The same people who are “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” in the Tea Party are the same ones who voted for this degenerate excuse for a homosapien. And they may say they didn’t vote for McCain in the primary…well fine then they voted for Romney who did nothing to portray himself as a conservative or Huckabee a liberal on economics and lunatic on religion (the worst both worlds). And people wonder why I have my doubt about the long term success of the Tea Party for bringing about conservative values (however any comments about the Tea Party being racist are beyond ridiculous.

Why? Because they believe what he said, not what he had done.

Liberals are just as bad. They heard “hope” and “change” and voted for the dimwit over a woman whom, while I don’t agree with everything she does, had a track record for results and you knew where she stood.

The moderate are the worst. The ones who say Obama ran as a moderate. Are you kidding? Just because he said he was a moderate, give me one act, just one that would suggest such a thing.

The problem is that, because of Wizard’s First Rule, people listen to what people say.

Of course the worst is when you have a mixture of results. I am going to go to the most extreme example to make a point, not because I don’t have more moderate examples.

Adolf Hitler. He gave Germany a solid economy. He gave Germany a well built infrastructure that stands to this day (even after being bombed to hell). He gave people jobs, a purpose, and a passion for life. This is the worst example of the Fifth Rule the person who provides results with his words…but at what cost? In “Soul of the Fire” it’s a control of the lives of a kingdom for a generation…with Hitler it was only at the cost of enslaving entire ethnic groups (followed by killing them) and invading and butchering every surround country. A small price to pay for economic stability….or so the German people deluded themselves into thinking. In personal charity the right hand should not know what the left hand is doing, but in politics the two cannot be separated.

Venezuela supports Hugo Chavez because he gives them cheap gas, to hell if it’s at the cost of their freedom. Bolivia supports socialist Evo Morales because he doesn’t take a large salary, to hell if he’s destroying what little economy the country had. Russia supports Putin because he reminds them of when they had a myth that they were a strong and relevant country, to hell if it’s at the cost of all the freedoms they wanted. America supported Obama because he promised them stuff, to hell if he can’t deliver.

In each of these cases they may say or do thing that say they are honorable people who are doing what is right…but to look at the consequences in each case reveals nothing but destruction and chaos.  Whether it’s intentional or just incompetent doesn’t matter, people, and especially politicians, need to back up their words with action and results, nothing else matters.

Actions and their results are the only thing that matter when judging a person, and especially a politician. Yes there are exceedingly few examples of people we can point to who always do the right thing for the right reason, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about such things.

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