Category Archives: Unjust legislation

Laws for the GOP to pass…rework the entire bureaucracy…and by rework I mean fire just about everyone

We’re winding down weekly law blogs.  Next week will be the last one that will be published every week…not that I won’t have any more law blogs but they just won’t be on a weekly basis.

So what am I going to suggest this week?  Well I have suggested a few departments be disbanded.  Now if you noticed the theme, I would argue that most of the departments should just be disbanded, with their few useful functions either handed to the remaining departments, given to the states, or simply privatized.  Now we’ve covered Transportation , Education , HUD , the Post Office , the TSA and the USDA.

But that still doesn’t cover a lot.  Why doesn’t it cover a lot?  Well take a look at the current U.S. Executive Branch.

This would be the definition of madness.  And technically one man controls all of that.  I don’t care it if it’s Obama, Bush or George Washington risen from the grave.  No one can possibly lead all of that or should be trusted with all of that.

So I suggest we just get rid of most of it.  The federal government should be there to protect our Constitutional rights, police crimes that cross borders, defend the national borders, resolves conflicts between states and a few other things that are too big for individual states to do.  Most of what’s on that list does not fall into the area of things states can’t be trusted to do.

In fact Congress should make it its job to make this look more like this:

You’ll notice that only the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, Justice and Homeland are left.  And quite frankly if I had my way Justice would be all the legal ins and out and Homeland would have the FBI and all other federal police forces (ATF, DEA, ICE, etc) all rolled into that large FBI–it frightens me that numerous organizations are out there with the same purpose to catch criminals which results in numerous overlaps, wasteful spending and of course turf wars.  Also can we please change the name of Homeland Security?  It’s the dumbest name ever.  It’s sounds like Fatherland or Motherland (remind me which two countries referred to their nations that way).  How about Department of Internal Security.  That way you have a federal police force (Internal Security) and a federal prosecutor (Justice) without the two being the same department (you know how every city, county and state does it).

But as to the Departments I will be getting rid of, I will be brief (If you would like a full justification of why just about everything in that Department needs to be destroyed, I will be more than happy to write a whole blog for each request).

Scrap the Department of Transportation: Last week I had a blog saying infrastructure needs to be handed over to the state, that’s most of the Department there…the only thing that’s left and of value is the FFA and that can be regulated by Internal Security but mainly it just needs to be privatized

The Department of Energy serves no useful federal function other the fact that they hold all the nuclear stuff.  Defense and Internal Security can handle those.

The Department of Commerce is entirely unconstitutional right now, but the commerce clause needs to be clarified so even a liberal can understand it only applies to commerce that crosses state borders.  Its only useful parts are the Census Bureau and Patent Office (which can just be operated as independent federal offices), and NOAA which can be privatized.

Health and Human Services is not the concern of the federal government (FDA can be privatized, CDC over to the Department of Internal Defense)

Department of Interior…utterly useless…especially Indian Affairs.  The states can clearly handle all of this.

Department of sucking up to unions…I mean the Dept of Labor…does nothing relevant, kill it.

The Department of Veterans Affairs can be rolled back into Defense.  I think people in the Pentagon will care a hell of a lot more for veterans than bureaucrats in an office.

And then of course there are a lot of independent agencies I’m getting rid of.  I’m not going into all of them but here are a few highlights.

  • Kill the Peace Corp…if we didn’t send them all to Iraq and Afghanistan to help rebuild those places why the hell do we have them?  They serve no legitimate function.
  • Kill NASA and let the private sector take over.  We’ll be on Mars before the next generation if we let the private sector take over…we’ll never get anywhere if we let government continue to handle this.
  • Kill the African Development Foundation…really, does it look like we know what we’re doing with this?
  • Kill the Foundation on the arts and humanities…again this is a private concern.
  • Privatize Amtrak
  • Kill the National Science Foundation…again this should be a private concern.  Not to mention that this thing has become a liberal propaganda wing.
  • Kill OSHA…Two or three times just to be safe, and burn the buildings…I think all the employees should be put in jail (solitary for life) just to be safe, and probably have the bodies burned after they die to make sure they don’t come back.  No government office is as harmful to business, worker happiness and safety as this office which had to have been imagined in the 10th level of hell.
  • Office of Government Ethics…Huh?  Try not laugh when reading that.
  • Selective Service System…yeah we have a volunteer system now…and if it wasn’t too hard to set up in WWII it won’t be too difficult to set up again if we need it.
  • Small Business Administration…you know how best to help Small Businesses?  Stop having an administration that constantly gets in their way. Kill this thing too.
  • Social Security…I think I’ve been clear that we need to phase that out completely.
  • Why is the TVA still around?
  • US Commission on Civil Rights…if there is a real civil rights violation then that’s the domain of the Justice Department so you don’t need this redundant excuse.
  • Office of Drug Control Policy…uh-huh, and that’s worked so well…

Yes there are legitimate functions of the federal government.  But right now it is overstepping those functions, usually at the price of those functions.  The states and the private sector can handle a lot of these things more efficiently, cheaper, with less corruption, less paperwork and at a greater benefit to the public.

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The Random Thoughts of October

Never again am I doing a movie a day for a month series without doing some prep work the month before.

Sorry for the lack of some of the political and religious stuff.

Okay with the candidates.

I am disappointed beyond the telling of it that Giuliani did not run. Beyond the telling of it. So what do I have to say about the losers who are left?

Santorum, as always seems to know something about economics but when you get even a fraction off economics he turns into a raving lunatic.

How did Gingrich make a comeback? The man may be intelligent but he has personal financial problems to no end, and supports the idea that global warming is man-made and that healthcare is a right. WTF? How is this man doing well in the polls?

Perry. I used to think that Romney was Obama-lite. Romney should be getting down on his knees every night and thanking god that someone more sleazy and more willing to abuse executive power came into the race.

Romney. Eh.  He’s saying all the right things right now, but his actual actions have yet to show he is nothing but a New England Republican…

Bachman. Isn’t it nice that basically all of her ideas have been co-opted by other opponents and no one but Gingrich gives her credit for them? Isn’t it nice that she is the only one up there with any knowledge of foreign policy but no one seems to care? Isn’t it fascinating that she was the only one to explain, in detail, why 9-9-9 had very serious flaws with compounding nature of sales tax at every point in production which actually forced Cain to change some of the specifics (but not the name)? Being the only one who knows anything you would expect her to be out front…oh wait, I forgot what misogynists this country was filled with. What was I thinking? …However I will concede that she’s still making gaffes, like when you’re trying to down play your religious credentials because it has no bearing on your presidency don’t make the comment about turning 9-9-9 upside down.

Ron Paul continues to be a moron on foreign policy. Also I was struck dumb by his statement against the 9-9-9 plan that a problem with it was that it was a regressive tax and would force some of the people who aren’t paying taxes now to pay taxes in the future. I looked at that as a virtue of the plan. If you want to talk about fair then the fact that 47% of the population doesn’t pay taxes is what’s unfair. Why should someone reap the benefits of living in America but not pay for it…yes the argument will go, but they’re poor, they don’t get the benefits…really, well then let’s have them go be poor in Somalia or North Korea for a month and then tell me there are no benefits to being poor in the U.S. (Hell, a third of the country is on food stamps, it’s not like we’re taxing those, so it wouldn’t be regressive to the poorest among us.)

Oh and on that note do you know which group will see the biggest increase in tax payments if we go to a no loopholes flat tax (the Ryan plan) or a sales tax (9-9-9), it would be the rich who no longer have volumes of loopholes to get out of paying taxes. So really the liberals need to stop their bitching and get behind one of these plans.

And Cain continues to impress me. I still am a little hesitant about his lack of knowledge about foreign policy (especially in this day and age) but he may surprise me there as well. Yes I am a little worried that pundits may be right that he doesn’t have the structure ready to get voters out in Iowa and N.H. …but these are the same pundits who said he would never break single digits and who said he would be done by now. So there you go.

In other news Operation Fast and Furious continues to be the biggest cluster you know what I’ve ever heard of. This makes Iran-Contra look bright, Nobel worthy in fact, by comparison. At the absolute least Holder and Napolitano need to be fired and prosecuted.

Solyndra, Pigford, Fast and Furious…no, the media isn’t biased at all in the favor of Obama, they’ve fully reported on all the scandals of his administration.

So we’re pulling out of Iraq. Well, I would like to thank Bush and Obama for utterly ruining what could have been a wonderful moment for the progress of democracy. How do you go into a country and have no plan of what to do when you finish defeating the army? How? And then Obama’s running away is another sign of his incompetence.

But Obama has us now in Uganda (I’m still not sure why we were in Libya, because as bad as Gaddafi was, we’ll look back on him fondly after the Islamofacists take over…you know like how we all hated the Shah of Iran until we were introduced to the Ayatollah). Why are we in Uganda? This sounds like a civil war. With the government as the good guy. Why are we involved in such a thing? I can see getting involved in a civil war when the government is the villain…but Uganda; their public officials stopped eating people four years ago…why are we there?

The Occupy Wall Street people continue to show themselves to be a bunch of whiny, lawless, anti-Semitic thugs. But you have to love that story about the people running the Occupy kitchen complaining about the homeless coming around for free food when they aren’t even there for the protest. I know, lazy worthless freeloaders, how dare they demand to take the food that the Occupy people worked hard to get.

When you get stories of women being raped and sexually assaulted at these Occupy rallies and it is then reported that the organizers tell the victims to keep their mouths shut, how is it that everyone at these rallies isn’t immediately rounded up and thrown in jail on suspicion of aiding and abetting rape.

And if I hear one more liberal compare this Occupy BS to the civil rights marches I may hit someone…I don’t recall any claims of rape from the Civil Rights marches. I don’t recall a steady stream of anti-Semitic diatribes (that came more from the opposition in the Civil Right movement).

And I may do a whole blog on this, but I must have heard at least ten different stories on bullying in schools in the last week or so. And everyone seems to be saying what should the adults do to stop this. When did we stop telling our children to walk away once, walk away twice, walk away three times, and if they try to bully you after you have given them three chances to go away beat them within an inch of their life and make it clear you will go that last inch if they ever bully you or anyone else ever again. Bullies are wimps and cowards; they crumble easily and only can survive when people don’t stand up to them, but they will keep terrorizing people until someone stands up to them.

And of course there is this injustice which has yet to be dealt with…

Happy Halloween.  Good Samhain.

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The dangers and evils of debt relief

China is bailing out Europe and Obama wants to forgive student debt. I don’t know which is worse but they’re both terrible calls.

All of these Other 99% and Occupy Wall Street, in between blaming the Jews for every problem in their lives (and probably fantasizing about furnaces), they’re complaining about bank bailouts and their college loan debt. It’s an odd combination. The Tea Party complained about bank bailouts because they were in support of to good old fashioned Hayek/Friedman capitalism policy. They complained about the size of government because it was against capitalism. They complained about health care because the idea of positive rights is against capitalism. They complained about taxes, regulation, too big to fail all because of one basic reason–all of it’s against capitalism.

The Occupy Wall Street people however are complaining about banks getting bailouts (even though I remember these were the very people who supported Obama…you will recall the right started grumbling during that bullshit that was TARP) because they hate capitalism. So why are they complaining about having debt…oh because they hate capitalism because they didn’t get a bailout themselves. It’s not that they’re opposed on principle to people having money…they’re just opposed to people who aren’t, you know…them, having money. And you wonder why I constantly refer to them as a bunch of whiners.

But let’s deal with their claim that their debt is a problem, a problem the government should fix. Well, technically, they might have a point there if they took the line of argument I made that the government CAUSED the problem by offering loans, grants, and subsidies in the first place. The government caused a bubble in college tuition. It’s their fault. Now if they wanted to end ALL government grants, loans, subsidies and scholarships which would burst the bubble on the cost of college tuition and after and only after ending all the BS forgive all outstanding debt over say $10,000 (because THEY ARE THE ONES WHO CAUSED IT TO BE THAT HIGH) as a mea culpa for truly f!@#ing the system up, I could understand and be in favor of that. However that’s not what Obama is proposing. He’s proposing just forgiving some of that debt. Do you know what that will do? It will make colleges think they can bilk even more in tuition because, hey, it’s not like the kids will ever have to pay it back. Just forgiving debt will drive costs higher, will cause more debt in the long run, and it will even further ruin the educational opportunities of students looking to go to college and put future graduates even more behind.

Everything this administration does boggles the mind. They’re either idiots or evil geniuses. There is no in between. Either they know absolutely nothing about economics, because EVERYTHING they do is the wrong thing (bailouts, corporate takeovers, more regulation, health care, backing unions, everything) or he sincerely wants to destroy this economy . I personally believe Obama and his team to just be the dumbest idiots in the world, but who knows I may be proven wrong. 

But let’s not just focus on forgiving debts and bailouts of losers in this country, because this form of insanity is becoming an international pastime.

Greece is once again about to default on its debt so let’s bail them out again. But this time it’s not just the EU and the IMF (read U.S. money) now we’re adding China. You know how in crime movies they always describe that one loan shark you do not want to owe even a single nickel to because if you do you will never pay it off and you will always be in their pocket. Yeah, China. But more importantly is the simple fact that this is never going to work. Never. Greece is a total entitlement state that spends more than it can possibly take in. And they have shown no inclination to make the massive cuts required (you know kind of like how this country should have started making massive cuts right around the time Enron and Arthur Anderson went under…but Bush knowing nothing about economics, yet still more than Obama, didn’t). But let’s be honest here, Greece is beyond help. They’re going to default. Even if they went for true austerity measures, stopped all socialist policy and instituted Hong Kong style capitalism the economy will not grow fast enough to stop them from going into default. This is just a fact. They passed the point of no return a long time ago. All we can do now is choose whether that default is going to be big, as it is now (we could have made it much smaller had we let them default years ago, but that time is past) or we can choose for that default to be unbelievably massive as another round of bailout after bailout will make it. Greece will default. That is a fact, the only question is now how big do we want to make that disaster and how many of us should go down with her.

But no. Like a the crazy idiot who can’t pay their bills Greece is just going to take out another credit card and put all their new debt on that one. I’m sure that plan will work.

The unfortunate fact is that people, whether it’s the EU or the Occupy Wall Street idiots, don’t want to deal with the facts of debt. Debt is an agreement to pay back what you have borrowed. To socialists who don’t hold property and contract law as sacrosanct this may come as a bit of a perplexing issue, but for the rest of us we understand. In any loan agreement there are two parties. The loaner who agrees to take a risk and loan you money which you will pay back with interest as payment for having the money up front when you needed it but didn’t have it. This person knows they are taking a risk and if they’re smart will not loan out more than they can afford to lose (banks and governments should take a hint). And there is the loanee who thinks that they will do better by taking out the loan and buying something now rather than waiting to have the money and buy it later. It’s a capitalistic act. Both parties make out better. The loaner gets interest on their loan, the loanee gets the benefit of buying something that will benefit them. Each party is supposed to be better off than before (remember capitalism is a win-win system). Now the loaner takes a risk, and they should know it’s a risk, and with any risk you should not throw good money after bad, you should not loan out more money just to get your original investment back. It never works. For the loanee you take on an ethical requirement to pay that money back (and for college students out there, it’s a good investment because you will make more money with a college degree and spend less time unemployed…unless you study Sociology or Modernist Literature, in which case you will rightfully be unemployed and have all day to just sit around and bitch about how life is unfair with other idiots at Occupy Wall Street). If you can’t pay the money back (i.e. Greece, idiots who buy houses they can never afford, U.S. Congress) DON’T TAKE THE MONEY. You’re an idiot to loan money when you can’t afford to, and you’re an idiot to take money when you can’t pay it back. And you’re an idiot and an unethical bastard to say someone else should pay back the loans you should never have taken. But more than just that it ignores that while capitalism is a win-win system where everyone does better on every capitalist transaction, it is also a system about profit and loss. You may do better off of every transaction because you always get what you want; however, what you want may not be in your best long term interest, and if you’re an idiot and make stupid choices based on immediate wants that will lead to your own failure with no one to blame but yourself.

If we bailout people who took out loans on houses they couldn’t afford you encourage more bad home loans. If you bail out people who can’t get a job with their stupid liberal arts degree you encourage more useless degrees. If you bailout banks with bad loan programs you encourage more bad loans. If you bailout businesses with bad growth policies you encourage more bad business decisions. If you bailout countries with unsustainable socialist policies you encourage more socialist policies. Stop bailing out and supporting losers. Every dollar spent on bad policies form the individual to country level is a dollar not going to policies that work, a dollar that encourages more bad choices and less good ones. Stop the bailout and loans by governments which seem to always encourage the worst. Get out of the loaning system, leave it up to the banks, which, as they are convened with profit will only subsidize good choices, and thus subsidize economic growth, and which will be better for everyone. Stop doing encouraging all the things that ruin people’s lives and let them live their lives…not everyone will make it to the top, but it will because of their own choices, not because a government got in the way.

Worrying about people’s debts, especially people who have made bad choices and can’t pay off those debts, worries only helps those about people who have made bad choices allowing them to make more bad choices..and it hurts everyone else. The government seems to have no ability to look at people suffering and subsidize their bad choices…so it needs to leave because all it is doing is encouraging more bad choices. Will this have consequences? Yes. Lots of loans from the personal level to the international level will have to be defaulted on. But the effects of this will be lower prices in numerous fields and capital will be freed up to be given to people who will repay their loans, to people who will invest in education that will lead to a job, to businesses that will grow an economy.

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Law for the GOP to pass: Get the government out of the economy

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”—James Madison Federalist No. 51

Read the above.  It makes clear that people are not perfect.  That the system needs to be made so as to encourage the best and keep the worst down, because if we could expect people to always be at their best we wouldn’t need government.  So when people do bad things, yes, they are to be blamed, but when they do bad things because the government set up a system that ENCOURAGED that bad behavior then first and foremost it is the government to be blamed for making the game one where bad behavior is rewarded.

Which is why these Occupy Wall Street people are such idiots.

Besides  apparently having a large portion of anti-semites in their midst  the Occupy Wall Street people and all their fellow whiners in other cities seem to be complaining about the wrong things.  They complain that the cost of college is too high…ignoring that it was government interference with college tuition that led to high prices.  They complain about bailouts…yeah, thanks for being a couple of years late, the Tea Party already has been bitching about that one for some time now.  Of course the Tea Party realizes that it is the fault of the government for giving out the money that is primarily to blame and not the banks for taking the money (not that the banks and corporations are without blame).  But the government is the one that is primarily to blame.  When you set up a system that can choose winners and losers (which any system with loopholes, regulations that serve one industry or company over their competitors, useless laws and tariffs that keep competitions from sprouting up, give loans to people) you’re going to have the companies this affects try and work the system to their advantage.  Businesses are in the business of making money.  If a government doesn’t get involved in picking winners and losers then the only way to make money is by making a superior product with superior customer service and a great marketing campaign.  That’s hard.  Bribing politicians through campaign cash to work the rules in your favor is so much easier.   It’s not the ethical choice, it’s not the long-term thinking choice, it’s not even a good choice…but it’s the choice that most people will make.  If you set up a system that makes it easier for people to give into their worst inclinations, don’t be surprised when they do. Thus government needs to set up a system where it makes more sense to worry about product, service and marketing than on which candidates to back.

If we had the right system, one where it wasn’t in the best short term economic interests of businessmen, then they would just have to focus on their business.  (Yes I would prefer it if they acted in a long term economic way directed by ethics…but you know I’m dealing with humans, humans don’t always do what’s right, thus we need a system that encourages the best in us and does not give opportunities for the worst in us).  So how do we get that system?

No loans.

Loans to banks and corporations.  Or bailouts…a government loan by any other name would smell just a rancid.  These need to stop.  All of them.  Without question, without exception.

While Bush and Obama weren’t the first to use them, they are the most recent and most egregious examples.  Let’s look at that waste of legislation called TARP.  That worthless half brain Bush would whine “but it would have destroyed the entire financial system.”  This is one of the two reasons Bush was a moron (the other being that he had no plan for the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq).  No it wouldn’t have.  What would have happened was that one bank would have collapsed.  Immediately everything that Bank owned would have been up for sale at fire sale prices.  All of that bank’s competitors would have been buying up notes on loans for a tenth of the price of the loan from the bank that collapsed.  Let’s remember that all the banks were forced to take money not because they all needed it, but to hide which banks were unstable.  Most of the banks were stable and would have been able to buy those notes.

So what?  Well if a bank bought the note on a loan for a house that sold for $200,000, the house would probably have been worth only $120,000 after the crash, but as the new bank got the note for probably somewhere around $60,000 they can work with the homeowner and probably re-fi the cost of loan down to something more reflective of its current value and hey they still make a profit.  So suddenly the loam market is more stable and the remaining banks are probably on more solid ground.

Does this happen overnight?  Nope.  There would probably be a couple of down years, maybe even three, but by the end of the third year (about now) the recession would be clearly over.

But we didn’t do that.  We chose winners and losers and decided, like a bad elementary school teacher, everybody was going to be winner!  Everybody gets gold stars!  What does that invisible hand know anyway?  It’s not like bad businesses with bad business practices should go the way of the Dodo.  No let’s keep the bad businesses around, because despite all the time during their fall into instability they never had the good sense to change their policies and do something intelligent, well that doesn’t mean they won’t be good now that we just rewarded them for bad behavior.  No I’m sure they’ll be a much better business now.  Uh-huh.

But, sadly, next to Obama, Bush is a Rhodes Scholar.  No let’s give out even more money.  Let’s continue picking the winner we want to win, not the winners who can make things like a profit or things people want.  No.  Let’s give a shitload of money to a company that builds solar cells for $6 apiece and sells them for $3 apiece.  I’m sure that business model will work wonders.  Let’s face it, yes Bush was a moron for thinking the financial system couldn’t handle the collapse of a major bank…but Obama giving out money to his cronies thinking it will help the economy was both immoral and somewhere far beyond just stupid.

And let’s not forget that with loans comes the same problem as we saw with college loans.  It ruins the nature of prices.  Costs for the consumer go up, profits go down, quality gets screwed and everybody winds up getting the short end of the stick.

The market (the collective whole of billions of economic choices) knows far more than any government planning ever can.  All you need to do is look at how well the Soviet system worked for both Russia and the satellite nations or at China right now which has built massive city expansions that no one lives in, they provide no economic growth, and show that if we can just keep avoiding shooting ourselves in the foot China will go the way of the Soviets and we won’t have to worry about their economic superpower.  If you need more proof see Thomas Sowell’s Knowledge and Decisions.  Central planning never has and never can work.  It will always make the wrong choice; it will always screw up the system.

And as long as the government is giving out money, it will inevitably go to those who buy influence.  Is that wrong?  Of course!  But the government is the one who set up the game.  It may be unethical, but you can’t seriously expect human beings to act against their own interests when there is a way they can make money.  Human beings at both the top and bottom, and every slice in between, have people who are unethical.  That’s why we have government because we’re not all saints.  If you have a system that gives out money it will always go to those who pay for it.

So let’s stop giving money!

No tariffs

I hate taxes in general, but I hate few as much as I do tariffs.  Tariffs are put in to help American businesses when they don’t want to compete with foreign goods that are made better and cheaper.  You know, those things as a consumer you want.  So do businesses make better products themselves?  Nope.  They contribute to campaigns and get politicians to tax their competitors so they don’t have to make a better product.  If we didn’t have tariffs, Government Motors would have collapsed decades ago as it should.  (There is probably nothing more un-American than GM, a company that has used tariffs to avoid competition, given into the bully tactics of unions and taken government money rather than gracefully die.  With the exception of GE there is probably no company I can think of so opposed to capitalism).

Again this is a power of government being used to help those who can afford to buy it to the detriment of the public.  Yes, it’s done by rich people and they can all go to hell for their unethical behavior…but if government didn’t play this game, then businessmen would have no choice but to make better, cheaper products.

No subsidies and a flat tax with no loopholes.

Again, I think it was conservatives who have been beating the drum for years about how we need to do a flat tax without loopholes.  Why do we want flat taxes and to lower the tax rate…well because taxes are too high but the only people not paying them are the ones who can to pay off politicians.

I’d prefer to go to a completely sales tax model, but short of that I would take a completely flat tax, and short of that I’ll take Paul Ryan’s lower taxes (because high taxes are killing everyone) with no loopholes (so the people who aren’t paying taxes, like Obama’s cronies Warren Buffet and GE will finally actually pay something).  Any of those three systems would be better than the current system where you can buy your loophole and screw the small and medium sized businesses.

No control of anything that doesn’t cross state lines.

The federal government has better things to worry about right now than whether or not the Amish are selling unpasteurized milk.  While I would prefer a constitutional Amendment clarifying that the commerce clause only covers commerce that actually does cross state lines, for right now I will settle for that as a simple law.  States can run their own business without the interference of the Feds.  Federal oversight of commerce only helps to over-regulate, over tax, over burden and destroy business of all sizes (except you know if you can buy the right legislation in your favor).  If the federal government would get out of ALL intrastate commerce you find a sudden and massive jump in economies of 49 out of 50 states (California is beyond saving, mainly due to over taxation, over regulation and too much control of the economy).

The 17th Amendment…

…is perhaps one of the dumbest ideas in history.  Yes, let’s take Senators who are appointed by state legislators and make them publically elected.  So now they’re beholden to the whims of the mob and wants of campaign contributors.  I’m sure that will always make for better government when we stop choosing who is best and go for who is popular.  Repeal this joke of an Amendment and replace it with a hard and fast states can only appoint Senators via the collaboration of legislators and governors (no public election whatsoever).  And to keep them in check give the people the right to recall.

Sunset dates on all regulations with Congressional Oversight.

Here’s a radical idea.  Make every regulation that comes out of the executive branch, be it executive orders or just policy by the different departments open to Senate Veto.  And in addition to that make every single one of those regulations come with a 5 year sunset date.  It would not be in most corporations’ best interests to keep pushing for regulations every few years, it would just be too expensive—making better products would finally be cheaper by comparison.  Further this would get a lot of useless regulations off the books.

In short—GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE ECONOMY.  As long as it is in the economy, people will want to buy government power to exploit it to their own ends, and they will succeed.  If you want honest government and honest business then you need to eliminate the power of the one to so heavily influence the other.  If government can’t interfere with the economy and provide free cash, err, I mean corporate welfare, err, I mean bailouts and loans and can’t regulate your competitors out of business then there is no point in getting involved.  If you get the government out to the economy business will for the most part have no choice but to worry about business and the products and services they sell.  Businesses behave badly because the government provides an incentive to do so, take away the incentive and most of the behavior will follow.

Yes government has certain responsibilities and duties in a free market.  We crossed that line almost a hundred years ago and it’s not even visible anymore.  When you have no loan, no tariffs, a book or regulations that doesn’t take up an entire stadium and the government not looking into every legal act of commerce as if it’s a crime against humanity we can talk about where the line should be, but right now we’re so far off that it’s not even a pertinent discussion.

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The wisdom of the Great Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is one of the best economists of the last few decades.  (I might be a toss up between him and Walter E. Williams).  He is apparently going around promoting his new book “The Thomas Sowell Reader” which I’m sure I’ll love when I get around to it…but for the moment, let these words of wisdom on Occupy Wall Street and teh entitlement state.

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Let’s make our economy like the Swedes…more Capitalistic!

As I’m getting bored arguing about why economic freedom works and redistribution of income doesn’t (there are two chapters in Republicans and Reincarnation on that, so you’ll understand on why this seems repetitive to me).

So let’s take a look at a country which the liberals love to point out as a model of a good socialist system.  Sweden!  A country whose public health care system is a mess.  Where vouchers have resulted in a strong education system.  And whose recent prosperity has been mainly due to…can you guess…replacing the socialist policies with the capitalist one.  But don’t take my word…


Contest for the comment section…what great puns did I miss out on making because I am not familiar with ABBA?

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Laws for the GOP to pass: Copyright and Patent Sanity

I’ll be honest, I’ve been doing this series of laws since the November election of last year. One a week. You come up with 48 individual laws on a wide range of subjects. I’m ending this at 52 laws. Just FYI.

This week we’re going to cover copyright and patent law. And this, believe it or not is a case where I will say that the government having been bought by corporations is to blame. Yes I’m actually going to attack corporations.

First a word on what copyright and patent law is. It says I created something, thus I am entitled to any profits that come from that idea. If I write a book, I have to get paid for the selling of that book. If I create a new microchip, I get to get paid for any sales of that piece of technology. I get make money on the ideas I come up with (Communists, having no respect for the human mind call this profit “surplus value” and think the creator has no right to it, but as we all know communists and socialists are stupid…and if you listen to people who have to work on Wall Street, they smell too).

Congress is empowered by the Constitution to come up with laws to govern this. Why? Because the Founders were smart enough to know that if there is no incentive to invent, no profit in it, there would be no one who invented things. However, as with all things just because one extreme (no protection) the other extreme (eternal protection) isn’t valid either. If ideas stay in under copyright or patent forever (especially for technology) stagnation begins to occur. You need incentive to make things, but you need the freedom to use what other people have done.

For instance Shakespeare, while motivated by his urge to decry the unjust treatment of Catholics in his plays, he also was heavily motivated by profit. However, if we still had to pay some distant descendent of his every time a book was published, a play was staged, a movie was made do you think Shakespeare would have the opportunity to reach as many people? Probably not.

Same with technology. How much would have been produced if we still had to pay the Watt family for every engine (as everything was derivative off the steam engine).

Now in 1976 copyright was extended to life of the creator plus 50 years (because you do have the right to leave something to your kids for a while). Creations of corporations had a 75 year shelf life under copyright. (And honestly I think 50 years was a bit much…25? 30? Sounds much nicer—50 years just sounds like it’s not just your children living off of your inventions but also your grandchildren…which I don’t know seems a bit much).

However, while this law was a major advancement (it got rid of the rather silly requirements of having to register to have copyright rights and having to renew every couple of years) it apparently wasn’t enough for some companies. Because in the late 90’s one corporation in particular started plastering both houses of Congress with money to get an even further extension to the copyright law. And they won, getting up to 120 years for corporations and life +75 years for individuals (and I’m sorry but I won’t ever really know my great grandchildren, why should people I don’t know personally benefit from my creation?) Can you guess which corporation lobbied for this rather insane law? If you said Disney, you’re right. That’s right, Steamboat Willie, the original Mickey Mouse Cartoon (the one where he whistles Turkey in the Screw). I like Disney. I even understand why they would want keep the rights to that cartoon, Mickey is a trademark (which doesn’t expire), but that still doesn’t mean they won’t lose a lot of rights the minute that cartoon enters the public domain. From a business perspective it makes sense, they probably spent less money than they would have lost if it entered into public domain. But a 120 years? Are you insane?

For better or for worse copyright law needs to go back to the 1976 levels (again I wouldn’t mind cutting it back to life +25…and I’m an author). Overly long copyright laws stifle creativity and originality. (Why is Hollywood remaking so many movies? Because they want to get as much as they can out of the copyrights they have while they still own them…don’t believe me that expiring copyright motivates companies and individuals to do strange things with their works do some research into the copyright surround Superman, it makes Finnegan’s Wake look like an easy read.)

Conversely patent law, which covers technology and invention, is often, but not always too short. The worst case is of course patents on pharmaceuticals. Remember when you pay for an expensive drug you’re not really paying for the research that went into that drug, you’re paying for all the failed research that didn’t pan out. If patents lasted longer, companies wouldn’t have to gouge you as much because they would have a steadier source of income. But, people say, they make huge profits. Yeah they do. Because so many drug companies go out of business. You have to have a huge incentive to go into a business that is almost guaranteed to fail. And you have to pay people huge salaries to justify learning something so mind blowing boring as biochemistry at a Ph.D. level. If you had lower incentives you would have far fewer new drugs.

I would go as far as to say that patents need to be put on complete par with copyright…after all why is a book or movie worth more protection than a pill or microchip. Both are the creation of the mind, both can only be done by a relatively small group of people (I’d argue more people have the potential, but few live up to that potential).   And all patents need to have the same length, none of this drugs have different rules than technology, have different rules from other fields.  An idea is an idea.  Are you really going to trust government to say that ideas in this field are better than ideas in that field?  No.

Extending patent law would help create a new environment for growth and innovation as there would be more incentives.  This in turn would spur more economic growth.

Now two other things need to happen, and this is a little more difficult. First this needs to be an international thing. A lot of countries don’t uphold copyright and patent law. China has grown rich on it. It’s just amazing what you can accomplish when you steal all the technology you use and have a massive slave labor force. If China had to pay for every patent and copyright they have stolen and grown fat on, the U.S. Debt (and that includes the debt of all 50 states) could be paid off and still have some money left over. All countries need to uphold these laws (and I realize this will be almost impossible to do, but we need to keep trying to move toward this).

The 2nd point is I think China should pay for all its violations. And until it does I don’t think we owe them anything.

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Come Gather Round People Wherever You Roam…

I bow to this man’s genius.

 

And before you get all upset at the parody I would remind you of this Dylan quote:

“The world was absurd … I had very little in common with and knew even less about a generation that I was supposed to be the voice of[…] I was fantasising about a nine-to-five existence, a house on a tree-lined block with a white picket fence, pink roses in the backyard.”

 

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Economic inequality hurts people…or does it?


“The Other 99%” (or I’ve also seen 98%) they don’t seem to have a lot of specific goals and ideas. But by their title alone they seem to think that because the top 1% has the majority of the wealth in the world then that clearly means that they’re the ones ruining our lives and it has nothing whatsoever to do with our choices. I think it’s fair to say that whatever the cornucopia of beliefs this movement holds; they all seem to think that the wealth should be spread around a little more. But does that work?

Well let’s look at some facts and figures.… (yes I do math so you don’t have to, you should thank me for doing something so drearily dull as this for you).

They seem to think that if the wealth were spread out just a little more that their lives would be better.

So let’s look at some common statistics before we look at the heart of their argument.

What leads to a better life?

Well the UN has some statistics on standards of living (I’m not sure if this is the best judge for what is a good life, but we’ll play in the liberal’s ballpark and use the UN’s numbers).  Now if we chart that against the average GDP for each country (numbers from the CIA Handbook), (I’ll include a long boring chart with all these figures at the end if you want to check my math) we find that, low and behold the more money you have the better the average quality of life is in any given country. (In case you want to know the better quality of life the higher the score). Not terribly surprising when you consider that one of the UN’s criteria is average GDP, but you’ll notice that that the line goes up exponentially (it curves up) rather than linearly (a straight line) thus suggesting that at some point you need more money just to get the same jump you did last time.  Thus to get to the highest standards of living you need lots of money, at least as an average GDP.

Further it would not be unreasonable to argue that there are secondary benefits, (not having to worry about debt, freedom for leisure, the joys of philanthropy–which is really dependent on having lots of money, etc) that come from extra money not shown in the UN’s standard of living numbers thus making the exact curve even more pronounced in the favor of higher GDP having numerous benefits. So in reality, if we were able to measure all the benefits provided by higher income (see video below), for every extra $10,000 you earn your quality of life better than what it is suggested by the UN data graph below.  (Or to put it another way if we had accurate data and not just UN numbers you would not see as great a level of diminishing returns, but closer to a linear progression).

But is money alone what causes a good life? Not quite because we need to answer what creates lots of money.

And for that we turn to economic liberty…you know the very thing these whiners at The Other 99% are arguing against. For that we turn to the Heritage Foundation and its yearly ranking of economic Freedom. (Again, the higher the score the more economically free).  Seems pretty clear to me that if you have economic freedom you get more money and a better standard of living. Yes, yes, yes correlation does not equal causation…but you’d have to be a damn fool to not see that they’re not related. (By the way, the United States has dropped it’s economic freedom almost every year for the last decade…you know all the while that the economy kept getting worse and worse…I’m sure one had nothing to do with the other).

Okay, so it apear to me that you need more economic freedom if you’re going to have a better life. However, maybe that’s only one interpretaion. Maybe these Other 99% people have a point. So where do we get numbers for economic inequality? Luckily the UN collects those numbers as well. They use something call the Gini coefficient–I could bore you with the math, but let’s just say that the lower the number the more wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few, and the higher the number the more the money is spread around. I’m dealing with a slightly smaller pool of countries because the UN reports do not have a complete listing for all countries (countries where a GDP of nothing is spread around equally or countires where the dictator owns everything are pretty much what makes up the majority of the list where you find no data).


If you’re looking for a straight line, you’ll find Waldo in there before you find a straight line. At most you could argue you see the a bell curve here (especially since some of the worst countries where everyone shares in poverty are not on the list and proably have Gini coefficient near 10, and GDP near 0 weren’t calculated) but that would be a very weak correlation at best. Yes you don’t want massive inequality like you would see in Saudi Arabia, but you don’t complete socialist sharing either). What you seem to want is a Gini score between 30-45 (the U.S. is at 40) but this is no guraentee of success. You’ll notice that some of the lowest countries for GDP, standard of living, and economic freedom are all in that range. Conversly if you cross a 70 score on econoimc liberty it seems literally impossible to be in a bad spot.

The distribution of wealth on the whole seems to be a very irrelevant piece of information. It doesn’t appear to be a cause of good or bad economies nor does it appear to be an effect or sign of good or bad economies. It’s a useless talking point. It doesn’t matter what portion of the pie you’re getting…it only matter how big in an abosolute sense a piece you’re getting. If you’getting only a diproportionate 1% of the U.S. eocnomy you’re doing better than most of the world currently (would you rather have your exactly equal share by population of the Somalian economy?) and certainly better than 99.999999999% of the people throughout history.

Real math seems to show that economic inequality is nothing more than a useless talking point that drummed up for class warfare purposes.

If these idiots at “The Other 99%” really cared about improving the quality of life of the 99% who aren’t among the rich, then they would be protesting government, bureaucracy, red tape, taxes and regulation…but they don’t care about that…they don’t want it better for everyone, they just want if better for them so they can sit around all day and get paid for doing nothing…that or they are obscenely bad at math.

So the next time you get into an argument that the rich control too much or that they aren’t paying their fair share and that should change (i.e. redistribute wealth and lower our economic freedom) ask them what proof they have that such a move would improve our quality of life or even average GDP. What proof do they have? Because it certainly isn’t any proof from this little thing called reality.

Country GDP per person Economic Liberty Score Standard of living
 Albania

3,900

64

0.719

 Algeria

4,600

52.4

0.677

 Angola

5,000

46.2

0.403

 Argentina

9,000

51.7

0.775

 Armenia

3,200

69.7

0.695

 Australia

57,400

82.5

0.937

 Austria

45,900

71.9

0.851

 Azerbaijan

5,800

59.7

0.713

 Bahrain

19,200

77.7

0.801

 Bangladesh

700

53

0.469

 Barbados

13,900

68.5

0.788

 Belarus

5,700

47.9

0.732

 Belgium

44,700

70.2

0.867

 Belize

4,400

63.8

0.694

 Benin

700

56

0.435

 Bolivia

1,900

50

0.643

 Bosnia and Herzegovina

3,600

57.5

0.71

 Botswana

6,900

68.8

0.633

 Brazil

10,400

56.3

0.699

 Bulgaria

6,700

64.9

0.743

 Burkina Faso

500

60.6

0.305

 Burma

800

37.8

0.451

 Burundi

200

49.6

0.282

 Cambodia

800

57.9

0.494

 Cameroon

1,200

51.8

0.46

 Canada

46,600

80.8

0.888

 Cape Verde

3,200

64.6

0.534

 Central African Republic

400

49.3

0.315

 Chad

700

45.3

0.295

 Chile

12,100

77.4

0.783

 China, People’s Republic of

4,400

52

0.663

 Colombia

6,500

68

0.689

 Comoros

800

43.8

0.428

 Congo, Democratic Republic of the

200

40.7

0.239

 Costa Rica

7,900

67.3

0.725

 Croatia

13,500

61.1

0.767

 Cuba

5,200

27.7

0.76

 Cyprus

21,000

73.3

0.81

 Czech Republic

18,800

70.4

0.841

 Denmark

56,300

78.6

0.866

 Djibouti

1,500

54.5

0.402

 Dominican Republic

5,300

60

0.663

 Ecuador

4,000

47.1

0.695

 Egypt

2,700

59.1

0.62

 El Salvador

3,600

68.8

0.659

 Equatorial Guinea

22,300

47.5

0.538

 Estonia

15,300

75.2

0.812

 Ethiopia

300

50.5

0.328

 Fiji

3,600

60.4

0.669

 Finland

45,500

74

0.871

 France

39,900

64.6

0.872

 Gabon

8,500

56.7

0.648

 Georgia

2,500

70.4

0.698

 Germany

40,600

71.8

0.885

 Ghana

1,300

59.4

0.467

 Greece

28,400

60.3

0.855

 Guatemala

3,100

61.9

0.56

 Guinea

400

51.7

0.34

 Guinea-Bissau

500

46.5

0.289

 Guyana

3,000

49.4

0.611

 Haiti

700

52.1

0.404

 Honduras

1,900

58.6

0.604

 Hong Kong

31,700

89.7

0.862

 Hungary

12,900

66.6

0.805

 Iceland

40,800

68.2

0.869

 India

1,300

0.519

 Indonesia

2,900

56

0.6

 Iran

4,600

42.1

0.702

 Ireland

44,200

78.7

0.895

 Israel

29,000

68.5

0.872

 Italy

33,800

60.3

0.854

 Jamaica

4,800

65.7

0.688

 Japan

42,800

72.8

0.884

 Jordan

4,300

68.9

0.681

 Kazakhstan

8,100

62.1

0.714

 Kenya

800

57.4

0.47

 Korea, South

20,700

69.8

0.877

 Kuwait

51,600

64.9

0.771

 Kyrgyzstan

800

61.1

0.598

 Laos

1,000

51.3

0.497

 Latvia

10,800

65.8

0.769

 Lesotho

1,100

47.5

0.427

 Liberia

300

46.5

0.3

 Libya

11,500

38.6

0.755

 Lithuania

10,300

71.3

0.783

 Luxembourg

110,400

76.2

0.852

 Macedonia, Republic of

4,400

66

0.701

 Madagascar

400

61.2

0.435

 Malawi

300

55.8

0.385

 Malaysia

8,400

66.3

0.744

 Maldives

4,700

48.3

0.602

 Mali

700

56.3

0.309

 Malta

20,400

65.7

0.815

 Mauritania

1,200

52.1

0.433

 Mauritius

7,500

76.2

0.701

 Mexico

9,200

67.8

0.75

 Micronesia, Federated States of

2,200

50.3

0.614

 Moldova

1,600

55.7

0.623

 Mongolia

2,000

59.5

0.622

 Montenegro

6,000

62.5

0.769

 Morocco

3,300

59.6

0.567

 Mozambique

400

56.8

0.284

 Namibia

5,600

62.7

0.606

 Nepal

500

50.1

0.428

 New Zealand

33,000

82.3

0.907

 Nicaragua

1,200

58.8

0.565

 Niger

400

54.3

0.261

 Nigeria

1,300

56.7

0.423

 Norway

88,600

70.3

0.938

 Pakistan

900

55.1

0.49

 Panama

7,900

64.9

0.755

 Papua New Guinea

1,600

52.6

0.431

 Paraguay

2,900

62.3

0.64

 Peru

5,300

68.6

0.723

 Poland

12,200

64.1

0.795

 Portugal

21,400

64

0.795

 Qatar

75,300

70.5

0.803

 Romania

7,400

64.7

0.767

 Russia

10,500

50.5

0.719

 Rwanda

500

62.7

0.385

 Saudi Arabia

17,200

66.2

0.752

 Senegal

1,000

55.7

0.411

 Serbia

5,300

58

0.735

 Sierra Leone

400

49.6

0.317

 Singapore

43,300

87.2

0.846

 Slovakia

16,000

69.5

0.818

 Slovenia

23,900

64.6

0.828

 Solomon Islands

1,300

45.9

0.494

 South Africa

7,300

62.7

0.597

 Spain

30,300

70.2

0.863

 Sri Lanka

2,400

57.1

0.658

 Suriname

6,700

53.1

0.646

 Swaziland

2,600

59.1

0.498

 Sweden

50,200

71.9

0.885

 Switzerland

68,700

81.9

0.874

 Syria

2,700

51.3

0.589

 Taiwan (Republic of China)

18,700

70.8

0.868

 Tajikistan

800

53.5

0.58

 Tanzania

500

57

0.398

 Thailand

4,800

64.7

0.654

 Timor-Leste

500

42.8

0.502

 Togo

500

49.1

0.428

 Tonga

3,400

55.8

0.677

 Trinidad and Tobago

16,800

66.5

0.736

 Tunisia

4,200

58.5

0.683

 Turkey

9,500

64.2

0.679

 Turkmenistan

5,700

43.6

0.669

 Uganda

500

61.7

0.422

 Ukraine

3,000

45.8

0.71

 United Arab Emirates

60,700

67.8

0.815

 United Kingdom

36,000

74.5

0.849

 United States

47,600

77.8

0.902

 Uruguay

12,200

70

0.765

 Uzbekistan

1,400

45.8

0.617

 Venezuela

10,700

37.6

0.696

 Vietnam

1,200

51.6

0.572

 Yemen

1,300

54.2

0.439

 Zambia

1,200

59.7

0.395

 Zimbabwe

600

22.1

0.14

Country UN Gini Score GDP per person Economic Liberty Score Standard of living
 Albania

31.1

3,900

64

0.719

 Algeria

35.3

4,600

52.4

0.677

 Argentina

48.8

9,000

51.7

0.775

 Armenia

33.8

3,200

69.7

0.695

 Australia

35.2

57,400

82.5

0.937

 Austria

29.1

45,900

71.9

0.851

 Azerbaijan

36.5

5,800

59.7

0.713

 Bangladesh

33.4

700

53

0.469

 Belarus

29.7

5,700

47.9

0.732

 Belgium

33

44,700

70.2

0.867

 Benin

36.5

700

56

0.435

 Bolivia

57.2

1,900

50

0.643

 Bosnia and Herzegovina

26.2

3,600

57.5

0.71

 Botswana

60.5

6,900

68.8

0.633

 Brazil

49.3

10,400

56.3

0.699

 Bulgaria

29.2

6,700

64.9

0.743

 Burkina Faso

39.5

500

60.6

0.305

 Burundi

42.4

200

49.6

0.282

 Cambodia

41.7

800

57.9

0.494

 Cameroon

44.6

1,200

51.8

0.46

 Canada

32.6

46,600

80.8

0.888

 Central African Republic

61.3

400

49.3

0.315

 Chile

52

12,100

77.4

0.783

 China (PRC)

46.9

4,400

52

0.663

 Colombia

58.5

6,500

68

0.689

 Costa Rica

48.9

7,900

67.3

0.725

 Croatia

29

13,500

61.1

0.767

 Czech Republic

25.4

18,800

70.4

0.841

 Denmark

24.7

56,300

78.6

0.866

 Dominican Republic

50

5,300

60

0.663

 Ecuador

54.4

4,000

47.1

0.695

 Egypt

34.4

2,700

59.1

0.62

 El Salvador

46.9

3,600

68.8

0.659

 Estonia

35.8

15,300

75.2

0.812

 Ethiopia

30

300

50.5

0.328

 Finland

26.9

45,500

74

0.871

 France

32.7

39,900

64.6

0.872

 Georgia

40.4

2,500

70.4

0.698

 Germany

28.3

40,600

71.8

0.885

 Ghana

40.8

1,300

59.4

0.467

 Greece

34.3

28,400

60.3

0.855

 Guatemala

53.7

3,100

61.9

0.56

 Guinea

38.6

400

51.7

0.34

 Guinea-Bissau

47

500

46.5

0.289

 Haiti

59.5

700

52.1

0.404

 Honduras

55.3

1,900

58.6

0.604

 Hong Kong

43.4

31,700

89.7

0.862

 Hungary

26.9

12,900

66.6

0.805

 India

36.8

1,300

0.519

 Indonesia

34.3

2,900

56

0.6

 Iran

43

4,600

42.1

0.702

 Ireland

34.3

44,200

78.7

0.895

 Israel

39.2

29,000

68.5

0.872

 Italy

36

33,800

60.3

0.854

 Jamaica

45.5

4,800

65.7

0.688

 Japan

24.9

42,800

72.8

0.884

 Jordan

38.8

4,300

68.9

0.681

 Kazakhstan

33.9

8,100

62.1

0.714

 Kenya

42.5

800

57.4

0.47

 Kyrgyzstan

30.3

800

61.1

0.598

 Laos

34.6

1,000

51.3

0.497

 Latvia

37.7

10,800

65.8

0.769

 Lesotho

63.2

1,100

47.5

0.427

 Liberia

52.6

300

46.5

0.3

 Lithuania

36

10,300

71.3

0.783

 Macedonia

39

4,400

66

0.701

 Madagascar

47.5

400

61.2

0.435

 Malawi

39

300

55.8

0.385

 Malaysia

49.2

8,400

66.3

0.744

 Mali

40.1

700

56.3

0.309

 Mauritania

39

1,200

52.1

0.433

 Mexico

51.6

9,200

67.8

0.75

 Moldova

33.2

1,600

55.7

0.623

 Mongolia

32.8

2,000

59.5

0.622

 Morocco

39.5

3,300

59.6

0.567

 Mozambique

47.3

400

56.8

0.284

 Namibia

74.3

5,600

62.7

0.606

 Nepal

47.2

500

50.1

0.428

 New Zealand

36.2

33,000

82.3

0.907

 Nicaragua

52.3

1,200

58.8

0.565

 Niger

50.5

400

54.3

0.261

 Nigeria

43.7

1,300

56.7

0.423

 Norway

25.8

88,600

70.3

0.938

 Pakistan

30.6

900

55.1

0.49

 Panama

54.9

7,900

64.9

0.755

 Papua New Guinea

50.9

1,600

52.6

0.431

 Paraguay

53.2

2,900

62.3

0.64

 Peru

50.5

5,300

68.6

0.723

 Poland

34.5

12,200

64.1

0.795

 Portugal

38.5

21,400

64

0.795

 Romania

31

7,400

64.7

0.767

 Russia

39.9

10,500

50.5

0.719

 Rwanda

46.8

500

62.7

0.385

 Senegal

41.3

1,000

55.7

0.411

 Sierra Leone

62.9

400

49.6

0.317

 Singapore

42.5

43,300

87.2

0.846

 Slovakia

25.8

16,000

69.5

0.818

 Slovenia

28.4

23,900

64.6

0.828

 South Africa

57.8

7,300

62.7

0.597

 South Korea

31.6

20,700

69.8

0.877

 Spain

34.7

30,300

70.2

0.863

 Sri Lanka

40.2

2,400

57.1

0.658

 Swaziland

50.4

2,600

59.1

0.498

 Sweden

25

50,200

71.9

0.885

 Switzerland

33.7

68,700

81.9

0.874

 Tajikistan

32.6

800

53.5

0.58

 Tanzania

34.6

500

57

0.398

 Thailand

42

4,800

64.7

0.654

 Trinidad and Tobago

38.9

16,800

66.5

0.736

 Tunisia

39.8

4,200

58.5

0.683

 Turkey

41.2

9,500

64.2

0.679

 Turkmenistan

40.8

5,700

43.6

0.669

 Uganda

45.7

500

61.7

0.422

 Ukraine

28.1

3,000

45.8

0.71

 United Kingdom

36

36,000

74.5

0.849

 United States

40.8

47,600

77.8

0.902

 Uruguay

47.1

12,200

70

0.765

 Uzbekistan

36.8

1,400

45.8

0.617

 Venezuela

49.5

10,700

37.6

0.696

 Vietnam

34.4

1,200

51.6

0.572

 Yemen

33.4

1,300

54.2

0.439

 Zambia

50.8

1,200

59.7

0.395

 Zimbabwe

50.1

600

22.1

0.14

33

70.8

0.868

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The Random Thoughts of September

Did you hear that a Christian nation is about to execute a man simply because he won’t renounce being a Muslim.  They are going to execute him because the Christian religion is the very definition of intolerance, close-mindedness and backwards irrational thinking.  These psychos need to be stopped… What?  I what…oh sorry.  Apparently I got my terms mixed up, it’s Muslims in Iran who are going to execute a man for being a Christian.  Remind me again which is the religion of peace?  Or more accurately which religion is going to try and legislate the murder of a Pagan like me.

Oooh…there’s a new liberal organization called “The Other 98%” its basic argument is that we the middle class (the other 98%) are in a battle against the corrupt and evil top 2%.  But remember the liberals are not engaged in class warfare.  Nor if we were to engage in class warfare it shouldn’t be the two-thirds who make up the upper class, the middle class, and the parts of the lower class that do work and are self sufficient and the third of whiny leeches who live off that other two thirds.  No it’s clearly the rich who are to blame.  And then they put out pictures like the one above and equate basic functions of state and local government as being the same as the irresponsible welfare payments of the federal government and the opposition to the federal irresponsibility as being the same as opposing all functions of the government.  It’s because liberals can’t conceive of good government and bad government, there is only good government to liberals and all that government does is good and should not be questioned but merely goose-stepped to on command.

I love Garofalo’s idea that the GOP is racist because we support Herman Cain.  It’s also interesting we seem to love Alan West, Michele Malkin, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Star Parker, J.C. Watts, Marco Rubio and a host of other known and unknown conservatives who happen to be minorities.  Because racists always put the people they hate near the head of their organizations and in their PR.  You remember all the Jews in the upper echelons of the Nazi Party, and all the blacks wearing white sheets at the Klan rallies?  Don’t you?  Racists always love being around people they hate.  At least in Janeane Garofalo’s world.

But this is part of a much larger point.  Does anyone actually have any proof that the Tea Party is racist?  Nope.  Economic conservatism and lack of listening to bleeding heart  statements, but I have yet to hear anything that can’t be brought down to the cold hard reality of economics, that we can’t sustain a long term welfare state, that isn’t cold hearted because it’s trying to avoid the destruction of the economy.

And then there is the fact that Iran is sending warships to the Gulf of Mexico.  I appreciate the Pentagon’s reaction that they don’t think the Iranians will be able to make it.  It’s probably because the ships are likely of Russian origin and the Russians, while they have their moments, are not exactly known for quality craftsmanship.  Odds are the damn things will sink.  If it makes it here it will likely be stranded, and if they get gutsy enough to fire something off I lay even odds it hits Mexico instead of us.  Oh, and even with a gutless wonder like Barrack in charge I foresee massive naval maneuvers in the gulf, at least a full carrier group daring the gutless cowards to try something…and get killed for their troubles.

Oh and that Iranian cruiser has been promised fuel by Stalin wannabe Hugo Chavez.  Ah, Hugo.  It’s a shame he’s about to die from cancer.  Did I say shame?  I meant godsend.  Usually I don’t attribute bad things that happen to bad people as karma, as karma tends to take longer than a single lifetime to manifest, but moments like this and Johnnie Cochrane dying of a bran tumor just have that wonderful trace of “Karma’s a bitch ain’t it?”  And a vicious bastard like Chavez has it coming.

Obama states Ethics “would not have made it on the list” of his favorite subjects.  This we file under the heading “no shit Sherlock.”  Given that not one of his actions has been ethical (or intelligent) this doesn’t exactly come as a shock.

Newt’s statement that he supported a health care mandate was stupid (and possibly calculated as I now think he has no intention of becoming president, he just wanted to be in the debates so he could help steer the discussion).  But that was nothing compared to Perry calling the entire Republican Party heartless because we don’t support encouraging illegal action and we don’t support economic decisions that will lead to total economic collapse.  Because you know we tend to think that wanting there to be a country here in 20 years for our children to be more compassionate than making destructive choices just so we can feel good about ourselves for a brief moment.

Michele Bachmann continues to be the only person to consistently say the right things about policy issues.  (She also has a terrible tendency of making odd flubs about tangential things).

Christy and Palin need to make Sherman statements so that the donation money can start flowing.

Rudy needs to announce that he is running.

I would love to see a Europe that resembles the U.S. with a single overarching federal government.  But the E.U. needs to go the way of the Articles of Confederation.  Scrap the system, return to the lira, franc, the mark and all the other national currencies.  Next time create a government before you create a currency.  Let the E.U. fall.

I’m sure that another billion to more solar companies (who happen to have close ties to Nancy Pelosi) has nothing to do with corruption.  No, no, nothing at all.

Let’s see government overstepping it’s power in the economic field by raiding Gibson Guitars all over what kind of wood they’re using.  Yes, that’s right ban the use of endangered plants.  You know when it’s actually making them economically valuable that makes encourages people to save them, yes let’s continue bans that don’t help endangered species. 

Ford was bullied out of using a commercial that highlighted the fact that they didn’t use bailout funds.  Go on tell me that Obama doesn’t overstep his powers in interfering with corporations.

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Democrats argue for scrapping Constitution

So an Obama aid, Peter Orszag, argued today that we need less democracy in The New Republic,  and the Democratic North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue argued that that we should suspend the Congressional Elections. Two Democrats, on the same day come out with statements about the evils of democracy…I sense a new talking point for the left.
So what are they arguing? Orszag seems to be saying that all of the problems and gridlock in Washington is a problem of democracy. Apparently this idiot does not understand the difference between democracy (where the power is invested in the public on a good day and the mob on most days) and a republic (where power is invested in representatives of the people). He doesn’t understand that we have a Democratic-Republic, where representatives are chosen democratically and that the rules of how those representatives act are not necessarily supposed to be democratic (the filibuster for instance). The gridlock and inability he is complaining about is the result of representatives, not of democracy. It’s also the result of what’s called a system of checks and balances which were literally designed to make sure things didn’t get done as the Founding Fathers had a major distrust of active, large, and non-representative government.  It’s supposed to have gridlock.  If anything it hasn’t had nearly enough gridlock in the last century.

Now, Orszag is correct that John Adams and many of the Founding Fathers had a fear of democracy because it often lead to a tyranny of the mob. They only had to look to the French and their failed revolution to see what happens when you put the mob in charge. And if Orszag was arguing that we needed less democracy and more republicanism, I’d be right there with him. The popular election of Senators has led to nothing but Senators who are more corruptible as the easiest way to bribe a politician is through campaign funds (which you wouldn’t have if you we overturned the foolishness of 17th Amendment); it has led to statesmen who are more extreme in the house of Congress that was supposed to be more moderate; it has made the people who pick Supreme Court Justices and ratify treaties not the most qualified but only the most popular. (I’m just saying that in a world where governors nominate candidates and state legislators ratify those choices, dimwits like McCain and Reid would only get to see the Senate on the capital tour). Also if we had a little less mob democracy and more republicanism we wouldn’t have volumes of useless ballot initiatives every year. On the other hand I think the people should keep the right to vote on overturning laws and recalling politicians (even Senators that they didn’t vote on) this power of veto would give them control over the actions of their representatives, but wouldn’t lead to the insane level of ballot initiatives and lawsuits and legislators overturning ballot initiatives and the people passing more initiatives to counter those laws (or what I call a typical day in sunny California).
But Orszag isn’t arguing for more republicanism. He’s arguing for more central power at the cost of our democratic-republic. The only way to stop the gridlock of legislative bodies is to give final authority not to a house of parliament, but to one man. Orszag’s article is little more than Anthony offering Julius the crown in front of the masses, only far more crass and stupid (Caesar, while a dictator, was never accused of being so incompetent it’s a miracle he had the IQ to perform basic motor functions). Orszag is arguing to give the President the powers that are expressly given to other branches. In other words scrap the Constitution. He may not say that in so many words, but is there any other way to interpret what he is saying? He may say he wants semi-independent commissions and boards that would propose ways out of economic troubles that would only go for up or down votes…but as we’ve seen so often in the last couple of years czars and boards and commissions are tools of an executive branch…and to relinquish power vested by the Constitution to the legislative is just about the worst idea imaginable. First off Congress doesn’t need to do anything other than re-assert its authority as the most powerful and central branch of government, cut the budget, fire the czars, strip the boards of power, and leave Obama a whining lame duck. That will immediately jumpstart the economy.
But then we also have the governor of North Carolina who actually said:

“You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It’s a little bit more contentious now but it’s not impossible to try to do what’s right in this state. You want people who don’t worry about the next election.”

Ever notice how “get over the partisan bickering” means “shut up and do what we the Democrats say, and if you dare disagree than you’re an unpatriotic bastard who supports tax cuts for the rich by killing poor people, and if you dare question our divine leader then you’re a racist!”…but I may be reading a bit into that. Then there is that next part “focus on fixing things.” No, thank you. I’ve seen Bush and Obama try to fix things—they’ve only made it worse. Stop fixing things. It’s broken because you “fixed” it. Congress and government know nothing about the economy. LEAVE IT ALONE! But let’s ignore for the moment that Democrats understand less than nothing about economics. Because then we get to her suggesting we suspend elections. Yes, let’s just ignore the Constitution. It’s not like it’s the Supreme Law of the Land that can only be ignored under martial law and only changed by approval of three-quarters of the states.  The slippery slope here is so obvious it almost doesn’t need to be expressed…if you do that how long before Congress just declares their jobs life time appointments? How long before the president does that?  How long before this is no longer a Republic?  No, apparently according to the chief executive in North Carolina the Constitution is much like “the Code” in Pirates of the Caribbean, “They’re more of guidelines.”  Damn what the longer term consequences of such an action would be.  I don’t know if North Carolina has the right of recall for a governor, but if it doesn’t, I suggest that the people of North Carolina take a page from Perdue’s book and just imagine up such a clause, it’s only a guideline after all, and get this idiot out.

On the same day you have two different Democrats, both with access to a pulpit, publically advocating that we should just ignore the Constitution. That’s because it’s a hindrance to their progressive view of how the government should control the economy, thus it should be ignored. That’s because the people elected a much more economically conservative bunch of Congressmen who are doing exactly what they were elected to do and holding the line.  That the Constitution should be ignored because the will of the people doesn’t know best, nor do the representatives those people selected. No, it is only the select few, the ones who want to “fix” the economy with more stimulus, with a jobs bill, with control and taxes and regulation, it’s only this select few who know best and as the Constitution is in the way of that it should be ignored. No, we have a leader who will lead a defense corps of union members (Hoffa said they were an army) against all our political enemies in a lightning fast war. (Feel free to translate that last sentence into German).

If Obama has even a single synapse that fires correctly he really needs to call the troops in and scream at them to stop sounding like they’re advocating a banana republic coup, because if nothing else, if this rhetoric continues you can bet that every major political commentator will start hammering them over to the point where it will not only be a defeat of the Democrats in 2012 but instead a crushing defeat that will leave the GOP in total control of both houses and the White House with not just a win but a mandate. Then again if they want to be suicidal I have no problem with that outcome.

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Laws for the GOP to pass: Scrap the majority of the post office

I realize that this is a dangerous blog to write, as we know that while Postal employees are utterly incompetent at delivering mail in a timely, correct, and cheap manner, they are very good at mass murder. I know that writing this blog will likely open me up to having some USPS employee going postal on me, but it needs to be said.

Have you heard the post office needs a 5 billion bailout to help pay their bills? Yes, if you see a commercial on TV from the post office saying they pay all their bills with only sales of stamps you need to do two things (1) scream “Bullshit” and (2) make sure the dog in the front yard is hungry and unchained for tomorrow’s mail delivery.

The fact of the matter is that the post office offers terrible service. Service that is overpriced. Employees that over paid and have too many benefits given that it has to be one of the most menial jobs in existence. (Average salary of 52K a year, benefits you would kill for…including 26 days off a year after 15 years of service…you get a month off from doing your job which probably actually required a modicum of education and a working frontal cortex?)
And they just run it like a bunch of idiots. Ask yourself if you sent a letter to your friend down the street and a letter to your friend at the Northern most tip of Alaska which would cost more to deliver. Obviously with transport, fuel, employees, bureaucracy, etc., the letter to Alaska is going to cost a radically larger amount than the letter going down the street. How much is the difference in stamp costs? Nothing. Gee, do you think that the fact that pricing has nothing to do with cost might be a bad business model? If you said no then may I suggest you invest in a company called Solyndra a fascinating company who makes solar cells for $6 a cell and sells them at $3 a cell (oh wait, the people backing Solyndra literally are the people backing the Post Office).

I believe a national post office is a necessity. Communication is a requirement of a healthy society. But the post office in its current form needs to be scrapped.

Here is what Congress needs to do.

1. Overturn all laws that forbid private carriers (UPS, FedEx, smaller local businesses) from carrying any kind of mail. Although if they want the right to carry all forms of mail, they will have to agree to be under the Postal Inspection Service (if you’re going to carry the mail then you’re going to have to follow all the rules surrounding it, which means that someone has to have the right to investigate and if needed prosecute for violations of those laws).
2. Overturn all laws that forbid those companies from under cutting USPS prices. That’s right UPS and FedEx don’t cost more than the Post Office because they want to, they charge more because they have to.
3. Cut back delivery of all mail to 3 days a week.
4. Quadruple the price of mass mailers and catalogues (otherwise known as 2nd and 3rd class mail) This is the bulk of what we get in the mail and we just throw it away, it’s a waste of our time, of paper, of the time of postal employees. Either we need to price it out of existence or at least make it a cash cow.
5. Cut the postal force by at least 60%. If we’re going to 3 days a week and letting competition in, then 60% cut is more than called for. Yes there will be a string of disgruntled postal employees doing what postal employees do best, but as most of their victims will statistically be other postal employees, eh, I don’t see much of a downside. Further this rash of mass killings will be great promotional material for the start up businesses that will grow in the wake of this.
6. Put 60% of the USPS infrastructure up for sale. Those private businesses are going to need somewhere to operate out of and the machinery and vehicles to do those jobs. No reason we can’t cut our losses as they grow.
7. Cut postal employee salaries and benefits. I have a low opinion of most government jobs and think they should be jobs people hold while in or right out of college, something to get started in. Most government work should never be the kind of thing you can earn a career off of and certainly carrying pieces of paper back and forth should not be something that one can make a great living off of as I’m not entirely sure we couldn’t train chimps (or at least Democratic members of Congress) to do such a simplistic job.
8. Forbid all traces of net neutrality laws. One of the biggest reactions to this will be that a lot more work will be done over the internet (especially in the field of entertainment…cutting back on delivery will without question kill Netflix or Qwickster or whatever it’s called which means that a lot of us are suddenly going to be streaming our movies). To handle this sudden growth in broadband traffic the entire infrastructure for data communication is going to need to be radically improved throughout the nation. This will cost money. Net neutrality laws will only slow down and stifle the needed growth.

There will be a lot of other changes that will come from this needed change, but even the momentarily costly and painful ones (I really hate streaming movies from Netflix, I hate quality and buffering, but 3 day a week delivery is more annoying) but the fact is that long term these are all positive economic changes. The system for the delivery of mail as it stands right now is stuck in an 18th century idea of how to communicate. And for those who say that this will have negative consequences I would remind you that Great Britain, Finland, New Zealand and Sweden have competition to their government postal services and Germany has completely privatized it…yet I don’t think I’ve ever heard complaints about their postal system (I have however heard lots of complaints of the government run health care that some of these countries have.).

 

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Why does Obama hate poor people?

Obama’s EPA is banning cheap asthma inhalers.  They’re banning them for relatively small of amount of those ozone hurting chemicals, literally a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the CFC’s that may have caused the hole in the ozone layer.

 

So to stop a truly negligible portion of ozone hurting chemicals the Obama administration is going to triple the cost of asthma inhalers.  Why is this a truly stupid move?  Because probably, with the exception of weight related diseases, there is no disease more related to income level.  Poor people are vastly more likely to have asthma than the middle class.  I don’t know the reason, no one else agree on them, but this is still a fact.

 

This price increase is going to hurt the poor.  A lot.  Asthma inhalers are not optional, they are as critical to quality of life as anything you can imagine.  Have you ever had pneumonia, that feeling of being unable to take a full breath?  The fear, the hurt, the panic?  Imagine your whole life like that?  Now ask yourself, if it costs three times as much.   If you’re poor that means having to make choice of ‘”do I use the inhaler now?   Or do I suffer?”  Thanks Barrack, for making poor people suffer through that.  Usually I’m not one to speak about the plight of the poor because usually I believe their plight is all too often caused by their bad choices, but this is  a disease that has nothing to do with bad choices made during life.  Nor is this the kind of disease where it’s a question of spending a huge sum of money that will extend a person’s life but not increase their quality of life.  This is as close as you get to a quality of life issue.  And Obama just make their quality of life go down.

 

Why would Obama screw poor people like this?

 

Answer: Class warfare.

 

Most people will probably not know that reason their inhaler has tripled in cost is because of an EPA and Obama call.  They’ll think it’s the drug companies are intentionally screwing them over.  (Yes I fully admit that the economies of scale will probably bring it down from triple the cost, but probably not back down to the old prices).  Which will secure the base in A. hating those evil evil drug companies and B. supporting Obama and his stand against those evil people who raised their health care prices for no reason (to hell if it’s actually Obama and his administration who is the bastard who did that).

 

A brilliant political move to secure his basse.  An evil move.

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Filed under Economics, Environmentalism, Evils of Liberalism, Obama, Tyranny, Unjust legislation

Obama, he’s just not liberal enough

Let’s see.

Just not enough of a leftist

Obama has:
Given us a socialist health care system.
Proposed massive new taxes (1.5 Trillion in fact).
Raised Spending across the board.
Took over or made the government heavily involved with many industries.
Increased regulation of almost every field.
Ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (I actually agree with this one, but it’s not generally considered a socially conservative position).
Has instituted massive class warfare.
Never met an environmentalist proposal he didn’t like .
Backstabbed Israel at every turn.
Appeased tyranny at every turn.
Turned a blind eye to illegal immigration.
Supported the teacher’s union.
Supported all unions and given them free license to do whatever they want.
Used executive orders to skip Congress and run the country like a petty dictator.
And appointed more Czars to run more things than I can think of.

And yet….and yet…he’s apparently not liberal enough for the liberals in this country who are planning to run a more liberal challenger against Obama in the primaries.

I have two questions for these people?

One, how exactly do you see Barrack Obama as a moderate? There is nothing this man has done which wasn’t already to the left of LBJ and FDR.

Two. Who are you going to get that’s more liberal than Obama? Mao? Che? I’m not sure if even Marx himself is left enough for these people.

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Filed under Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Election 2012, Environmentalism, Evils of Liberalism, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Illegal Immagration, liberal arrogance, Libya, Net Neutrality, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics, Taxes, Teacher's Union, Tyranny, Unions, Unjust legislation, War on Terrorism

Reading Suggestion: Obama, the Veg-O-Matic President. Act Now!

Act Now! And with this terrible legislation you get soaring debt, rampant inflation, and if you call within the next 10 minutes total economic collapse! Operators are standing by!

This is the kind of wit that I am humbled by….

Read all of Bill Frezza’s article at RealClearMarkets.com

Did you catch Barack Obama’s This-Is-Not-A-Stimulus infomercial just before the NFL season kicked off last week? Were you amazed at how the wunderkind once hailed as the greatest orator of his generation has been reduced to a TV pitch man for a product that is so tired it can no longer be called by name?

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Filed under Budget, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Education, Environmentalism, Evils of Liberalism, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, liberal arrogance, Literature, Long Term Thinking, Obama, politics, Popular Culture, Reading Suggestions, Taxes, Teacher's Union, Teaching, Tyranny, Unions, Unjust legislation, Welfare