Tag Archives: business

Movies that show the rich as good #1 Cash McCall

James Garner Cash McCall“I don’t belong in the better circles. I’m a thoroughly vulgar character. I enjoy making money.”—Cash McCall

The last and best movie that shows the rich as good.

But as this is a more obscure movie let me give you some details. The movie is a romantic-comedy that follows millionaire (eh, this is 1959, in 2013 dollars it’s probably billionaire)  (and perceived playboy) Cash McCall, played by James Garner as he attempts to woo Lory Austen (Natalie Wood).  The story is boy meets girl, boy falls in love, boy loses girl , boy chases, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back.  It’s sweet, but nothing spectacular.

What makes this movie stand out is the title character and his business dealings.  Cash has a reputation:

“Cash McCall. I know the type.  Vultures.  Jackals.  They prowl around looking for a good company that’s having a little difficulty buy it up for practically nothing and then start pulling it to pieces.  Close the plant down, spin it off for a tax loss.  They throw a whole community out of work just to make a fast buck.”

This is the opinion of consultant Gil Clark whose sees McCall as only someone who buys up companies and liquidates them for profit.  Now I have previously gone over why there is nothing wrong with this, why a healthy economy needs this form of creative destruction to survive (yes it would be better for the original owners if they could realize their company is already dead and sell it off in a way they want to, but usually a company only gets in that state when sentimentality supplants reason).  However when Clark first meets Cash McCall not only his resentment clears he learns some interesting things about Cash McCall.

Cash: I’m sort of a second hand dealer.  I buy old tired companies, whip them into shape, then sell them again.  What’s your line of work.

Gil Clark: Corporations Associates.  We’re management consultants.

Cash: That’s a prissy way of saying efficiency experts, isn’t it?  I mean you go out to a company with a slide rule and Ouija board, sit off to one side, in the shade, and tell them how to run it by the book.

Gil: We can usually see more from the sidelines than they can from the middle of the field.

Cash: Well that’s nice, it’s like going to a ball game and having the player pay you.  They pay you pretty well I hear.

Gil: Sure our fees are big.  But when we charge our clients thousands we usually save them millions.  And we have a waiting list a mile long because my firm operates strictly on the level.

Cash: And do you know why it operates that way. … Because I own it.

And this is our first introduction to the businessman that is Cash McCall.  From here we see that yes he makes money, he likes doing it.  But he doesn’t just do it by buying bad companies and liquidating them.

The tax structure we have nowadays sets everything up like pins in a bowling alley.   You take your small manufacturer cashmccalllike Mr. Austin—the only way that he can cash in is by selling out.  And the tax situation, or rather because of it, the country is full of Mr. Austin’s.  I’m sorry Gil, I don’t make the rules, I just play the game.  “I get a wallop out of taking  a shaky company and bracing it up.  Taking it apart and see that it runs again…but then after six months all the fun’s gone out of it.”  So he runs a business of consulting, of management, that takes good ideas that need help, gives them the help they need (maybe selling off the parts that are beyond help to those who can make use of them) and then leaving the company again to go forth and make profits.  If that sounds a lot like Bain Capital, and its former President to you, then you might understand why I’ve had such a hard time getting back to this series of blogs and finishing it when this should have been done back in early November.

Throughout the movie we see a businessman who is frank with the people he is dealing with, always honest with people, always gives them a chance to back out, and never takes advantage of someone.  Yes he will hold information back, that’s called business, in business information is worth a lot and you don’t just give it away for free…but it is never information that he acquired through illicit means and was always there if someone else wanted to get it, they just didn’t have the foresight to do so.   And because of this he constantly gets blamed for somehow being underhanded as seen in this conversation.

Gen. (ret.) Danvers: I consider you a pirate and a blackguard

Cash: I’m well aware of how you feel about me and I just can’t find it in my heart to blame you.

Danvers: In your what?

Cash: Because I don’t have any particular affection for you either.

Danvers: Is that why you’re out to ruin me.  Is that why you’re out to destroy the Scofield Instrument Corporation?

Cash: No one has to ruin you or your company General…not as long as you’re around to save them the trouble.

Danvers: You managed to get your hands on a company I practically supported for years.  Sixty percent of its product.  And the minute you’ve got it you refuse to supply me with molding parts.  What are you up to McCall?  Extortion?

Cash: I hope you won’t mind my saying it General but for a military man you don’t have either a logical mind or a very good memory.  You do have one very good military talent though, you’re very good at passing the buck.

Danvers: Now just what’s that supposed to mean?

Cash: This isn’t the first time it’s happened.  About a year ago I sold you a cabinet factory, Padua Furniture Company, a first rate shop you got it at a good price.  Now if I remember correctly, you thanked me warmly for letting you have it.

Danvers: Indeed I did.  I don’t always recognize a thief the first time I see him.

Cash: But when you found out you’d been offered the same shop a year before at half the price you started shooting off your mouth about how you’d been robbed by Cash McCall.

Danvers: You’re damn right I did.

Cash: Of course you didn’t recognize the fact that a year before it wasn’t worth half the price you paid me for it.

And this is typical of reality. Good businessmen create wealth where none existed before in a very short amount of time…but because other people can’t understand how a little intellect and a little hard work can make something that was previously worthless worth a fortune, they assume that the only explanation is something underhanded and deceitful.  That they’ve been robbed.  And while this is a common tale (again see the election of 2012) only idiots don’t understand that it is actually virtue and ethics that create value in the long run.  That it is only honest people like the character of cash mccallCash McCall, who when accused of being a crook stands his ground and will not merely conform to what the public or his advisors want, the consequence be damned he has his own personal integrity to consider first and foremost (still this sounds very familiar).  And this is why I love Mitt Cash and this film.  It shows that all too often the people who produce things are seen by the public as crooks, that the ones who create wealth are only seen as stealing it by the envious people, that those who bring prosperity to the most are derided falsely as taking from others.

“I get a wallop out of taking  a shaky company and bracing it up.  Taking it apart and see that it runs again…but then after six months all the fun’s gone out of it.”

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Filed under Capitalism, Conservative, Movies, Movies for Conservatives, People Are Stupid

Obama’s pointless arguments…

On the economy (well on everything actually) this man is worthless.

So I recently said that I am tired of Obama claiming that he inherited this mess, that he prevented us from falling into another Great Depression, or that we can’t go back to the failed policies of the past as if it wasn’t his party instituting the failed policies that are actually to blame.  All of these lines are lies.  And I showed how Obama and his party’s policies are what caused the economic problems he likes to blame others for. Now, in what is to be my last attack on Obama (because after this Tuesday he will no longer be relevant)  it’s time to deal with that second part that he prevented the next Great Depression and that we can’t go back to policies that didn’t work.

First let’s deal with he prevented the next Great Depression.

Now as anyone who has read Friedman or Shale’s The Forgotten Man knows that the Great Depression itself was extended by the idiocy of Congress, the Fed, and of course, moron-in-chief FDR (the man who showed great character by taking the popular step to send a boatload of Jews back to Nazi Germany…I don’t believe in Hell, but if it exists, FDR burns there).  If not for those idiots trying to “fix” things the Great Depression would have been over before FDR even got into office and it certainly shouldn’t have lasted until the US got involved in WWII.  Why did the Great Depression last so long, because government got involved.  Why did the so called “Great Recession” (stupid name if ever there was one) last so long, you guessed it, because government got involved.

Now I could write volumes on what Obama could have done (lowered regulation, permanent tax cuts, trade negotiations, stable foreign policy…) but let’s focus on what he did do that caused this recession to last longer.

Cash for Clunkers: A ridiculous attempt to bolster GM that’s only had the side effect of subsidizing some people who were already going to get a new car and reducing the number of cheap used cars out there (which inflated the price of what remained on the market).  Your car broke down?  I’m sorry you’ll have to get an over priced car that you can’t afford because Obama’s policies lowered the supply in the market.  And hey, GM is still broke.  This means that there was less money available to the average person, less mobility for young people (which depresses spending…and that becomes cyclical in its harm)…so forth and so on.

The Stimulus!   Let’s direct tons of money to Obama’s crony friends so they can line their own pockets and not create jobs (oh sure there were some businesses that would take out government money to build places like Solyndra which would employee people for a short while and then go bankrupt).  This has the effect of driving up our debt and diverting resources from where they could be used productively.  The debt then caused the rather hefty inflation problems we now have that makes our money worth nothing.

Unions  The Obama administration has given unprecedented and preposterous support of unions.  For instance they illegally backed the unions when Boeing wanted to move their production plant to a right to work state, the government stopped them.  Yes the government said you can’t open a business where you want to (and you wonder why companies are leaving for foreign shores?).  And Boeing is just one example of pervasive habits on the part of this administration to give unions everything they want and then some. This limits job opportunities and it radically raises the costs of finished products.

Obamacare. Do we have to go over why this kills business and growth?

Taxes  Taxes.  But he cut he cut taxes, he extended the Bush tax cuts, he cut the Social Security withholdings.  Okay as to extending the Bush tax cuts.  Cutting taxes is nice, but if you want taxes to have an effect on the economy long term you can’t have them come with sunset dates.  Either have them as permanent as any law or don’t have them because businesses will rightly plan for when those taxes go away.  So while he claimed he cut taxes he still ensured all the instability and worry that comes from high taxes.

Oh and cutting Social Security deductions just made an already underfunded system more underfunded which helped lower our credit rating and reduce the real value of our money.

Keystone Obama stopped the Keystone Pipeline. Lots of long term jobs, which would turn in lots of long term jobs in oil refining, which would translate into lower energy costs and more stability in the energy market. Thanks Barry for not doing that.

Oh, also thank you for increase regulation, less drilling and constant attacks on every other energy source.

Simpson Bowles Debt Commission Obama commissioned a plan on how to fix the debt…and while I wasn’t thrilled with everything about it, it would have been better than nothing.  But he didn’t back his own debt commission!  This also helped weaken the economy on numerous levels.

Everything, EVERYTHING, without exception this man has done has weakened the economy both long and short term. If he had just done nothing the economy would have recovered, but his actions have worked to worsen the economy.

However Obama has said one thing I will agree with we can’t return to the failed policies of the past.

Policies like Bush’s and Obama’s useless stimulus packages which did nothing but long term harm.

Policies like Bush and Obama putting a fucking idiot like Bernanke in charge of the Fed.

Policies like taking the Community Reinvestment Act of Carter and Clinton which caused the housing bubble and going for it again, like Obama wants.

Policies like the lack of even an attempt to reign in the size of government (every president in the last 100 years except Reagan).

Policies like cronyism and corporate welfare (Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama).

Policies that don’t have real and permanent tax reform (Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama).

Policies like expanding the scope of the government, creating new regulations (Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama).

A complete lack of tort reform.

Or an idiotic foreign policy.

Basically anything that is opposed to free market capitalism (Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama).  These are the policies that have not worked.  These are the policies of Barack Obama.  These are the policies we cannot afford to go back to.

This is clearly not the most detailed blog I’ve ever done, but let’s be honest, I’ve gone over all of these time and again.  Obama helped create his mess,  continued his mess, and wants to continue it even further.

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Filed under Economics, Election 2012, Obama

How the Romney Tax Plan Works…or Math: Bane of Liberalism!

I cannot tell you how much I love this. Facts and Math: the bane of liberalism.

This of course doesn’t take into account such issues as velocity of money, increase stability of banks and increased eagerness to loan, the interest earned on that money not going to the government and the interest saved on the debt..blah, blah, blah…

In case you’re wondering he has gone into detail when not on Sunday talk shows which would edit his statements for time.

Thanks to the Snark Who Hunts Back for finding this and sharing it on her Tumblr page

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Filed under Capitalism, Election 2012, Health Care, Mitt Romney

Stupid Liberal of the Day…Our old friend Paul Krugman

 

I’d say he’s the dumbest person to ever get a Nobel Prize…but have you seen some of the crap they’ve given it out to in the last couple of decades?

Paul Krugman is at it again.  After having to make up lies to try and face off against Senator Rand Paul  (He claimed the federal workforce is down under Obama…as blatant a lie as you can get…state and local employment is down, federal employment is up, way up) he further shows off his idiocy with a brand new rant of lies and desperation to keep Obama in power.

 

In “Obstruct and Exploit” he makes the rather farcical claim that the economy is not the fault of the Democrats (the Democrats who control the Senate and refuse to pass the budget) as good people and the Republicans are evil obstructionists.

 

Actually he makes several bizarre claims…like that Romney is a Keynesian who wants to use military spending to create jobs.  Paul, I know you’re a dimwitted hack, but do you know how to listen to speeches or how to read policy papers?  Romney is concerned primarily about defense spending because with Chinese expansion in the Pacific, a resurgent al-Qaeda from the Arab Spring, and Putin wanting to reestablish the Soviet Empire you’d have to be as dumb as Ron Paul or Neville Chamberlain to not see that maybe we might need an American military to deal with problems that are obviously coming.  The fact that cutting defense would cut jobs merely tangential to the discussion, but true.  The goal of Romney’s policies with defense spending are to protect America and Classical Liberalism in general, not to create jobs.  But you’d have to actually read his statements to know that.

 

But let’s actually deal with the heart of his argument.  You can’t blame Obama because his ideas have been stopped at every turn (let’s ignore that Obama had a Democratic Congress for two years and only did things that ruined the economy…yes I’m sure Obama would have suddenly come up with good ideas if his party was still in power…).  For instance Obama has the American Jobs Act, which Krugman implies would have saved America.  (Again let’s ignore that not all of Obama’s Democrats voted for the bill.)  As Krugman points out “Obama proposed boosting the economy with a combination of tax cuts and spending increases,” (and let’s ignore the 5.6% tax increase on the wealthy that was in the bill so we can’t call it a tax cut, chalk another lie up to Paul Krugman).  I’m personally stunned just at the statement lower taxes and raise spending…cause the raising of our debt even further is a bright idea how Paul?  Show me cut taxes and cut spending and cut regulation and then you might have a plan that would work.

 

But let’s go over the AJA to see what it has in it.  That Krugman in his infinite idiocy thinks would work…and for fun let’s compare the points from the Romney plan.

 

So here are the points of the bill according to the White House web page  (and keep in mind this bill may be dead, but these are Obama’s ideas and this is what he will have in a second term so it is relevant even if this bill died).

 

 

  • Cutting the payroll tax in half for 98 percent of businesses:
  • A complete payroll tax holiday for added workers or increased wages
  • Cutting payroll taxes in half for 160 million workers next year

So let me get this straight here, further making Social Security unsound is a good thing?  Yes I love having more money, and I would love if we were to privatize the whole thing, just paying off on benefits for everyone who is going to be on Social Security in the next 10 years…but that’s not what this is.  It’s keeping the same Ponzi scheme but simply making it more insolvent.  Good plan genius.  You know I like the extra money, and I hate social security…but under this plan it will cost me and future generations more in the long run.

 

Meanwhile the Romney plan offers real tax cuts that will actually spur growth of business (i.e. job growth) and actually end up putting more money in your pocket.  (All points of Romney’s are taken from his 59 point plan and are italicized…Romney has a lot more than that plan…but I’m trying to be fair here and compare one bullet pointed plan to another…if I actually compared substantive proposals of Romney to what passes as substance from Obama it would just be more embarrassing for the President and Krugman)

Eliminate taxes for taxpayers with AGI below $200,000 on interest, dividends, and capital gains

Eliminate the death tax

Pursue a conservative overhaul of the tax system over the long term that includes lower,

flatter rates on a broader base

Reduce corporate income tax rate to 25 percent

 

 

 

  • Extending 100% expensing into 2012
  • Reforms and regulatory reductions to help entrepreneurs and small businesses access capital.

So we’re going to force more banks to make more bad loans (probably to Obama cronies like every other Obama “investment”) and we’re then going to let them write off the investment they made with money that banks were forced to give them (and if every other Obama venture is any indication they’ll be allowed to pocket the money, declare bankruptcy and have the loans forgiven by Obama).  And as icing I’m sure Obama will blame the banks again for the effect on the economy.

 

And instead of regulations designed to help Obama supporters, Romney has real regulation reform in his plan that will help every business.

 

 

Repeal Dodd-Frank and replace with streamlined, modern regulatory framework

Amend Sarbanes-Oxley to relieve mid-size companies from onerous requirements

Initiate review and elimination of all Obama-era regulations that unduly burden the economy

Impose a regulatory cap of zero dollars on all federal agencies

Require congressional approval of all new “major” regulations

 

 

  • A “Returning Heroes” hiring tax credit for veterans

Again picking winners and losers, not what the government should be doing.  Not improving the economy to actually create more jobs, we’re just going to make it a good call for businesses to fire their existing employees, hire new ones (probably at a lower rate) and a tax write off for it.  (Now the good news is most businesses won’t behave in this terrible fashion…except, you know, the kind of bastards who pay off Obama for crony connections).

 

Screw helping this group or that group, Romney has the reform that will kill the single biggest killer of jobs there is:

Repeal Obamacare

 

  • Preventing up to 280,000 teacher layoffs, while keeping cops and firefighters on the job.
  • Modernizing at least 35,000 public schools across the country, supporting new science labs, Internet-ready classrooms and renovations at schools across the country, in rural and urban areas.

Yeah that’s it, we need the federal government getting involved in local and state matters.  Oh, and given the spectacular behavior of teachers in Chicago, getting an average of $76,000 a year (before benefits) to get 80% of students to learn nothing…it’s clear that what the education system needs is new facilities and keeping all the current teachers…and not, you know fire all the union pieces of shit who offend the very profession of teaching by daring to call their pathetic behavior teaching.

You really want to help workers and really want to get better hiring practices for not only government but all employees try these points from the Romney plan:

Appoint to the NLRB experienced individuals with respect for the rule of law
Amend NLRA to explicitly protect the right of business owners to allocate their capital as they see fit

Amend NLRA to guarantee the secret ballot in every union certification election

Amend NLRA to guarantee that all pre-election campaigns last at least one month

Or maybe let states deal with their own problems.

Give states authority to manage retraining programs by block granting federal funds

 

 

  • Immediate investments in infrastructure and a bipartisan National Infrastructure Bank

Oh great because the Fed wasn’t enough, you need a new bank to fund your own bad behavior even more.

 

You can talk infrastructure build up…or you can reduce the regulations that prevent the private sector from building that infrastructure, like in the Romney Plan

Establish fixed timetables for all resource development approvals

Create one-stop shop to streamline permitting process for approval of common activities

Implement fast-track procedures for companies with established safety records to conduct pre-approved activities in pre-approved areas

 

 

  • A New “Project Rebuild”,

I’m sure that project is shovel ready and won’t be a waste like every other thing you’ve done.

 

I’ll take not killing a project that will actually create jobs and improve the economy over Obama’s shovel ready BS.

Support construction of pipelines to bring Canadian oil to the United States

 

  • Expanding access to high-speed wireless

Holy shit, when did Internet become a right?  You want Internet you buy it or go to Starbucks like everyone else…I am not subsidizing everyone’s ability to access porn on high speed wifi

 

I’ll take energy over wifi any day

Open America’s energy reserves for development

 

 The most innovative reform to the unemployment insurance program in 40 years:

Because people need more incentives not to go find a job.

A $4,000 tax credit to employers for hiring long-term unemployed workers

Again, trying to get businesses to just create jobs isn’t going to work.  You need to improve the fundamentals of an economy to create growth (which would include lowering taxes, lowering regulation, lowering government, lowering the deficit, strengthening the dollar, and getting free trade agreements—none of which this administration has done).

 

Or maybe you can be responsible for your own life

Facilitate the creation of Personal Re-employment Accounts

 

 

  • Prohibiting employers from discriminating against unemployed workers

So you mean I can’t take into account whether a person was fired or not in deciding whether they’re going to be a good employee…like every other form of “discrimination” legislation in the last 30 years this is just a pay off to the trial lawyers and will result in even less growth and less jobs.

 

Or instead of making more bad lawsuits you could have real Tort reform.

 

Reform legal liability system to prevent spurious litigation

 

  • Expanding job opportunities for low-income youth and adults through a fund for successful approaches for subsidized employment, innovative training programs and summer/year-round jobs for youth.

“Subsidized employment.”   You’re kidding right?  You’re going to pay people to hire people.  (And keep in mind Obama was touting this plan as including tax cuts…so where exactly is the money for this coming from?  Oh I forgot Obama won’t be happy until the debt is three times the size of the GDP.)

 

But how about rather than subsidizing hiring people but actually making a climate where you can actually hire good people.

Support states in pursuing Right-to-Work laws

Reverse executive orders issued by President Obama that tilt the playing field toward organized labor

 

  • Allowing more Americans to refinance their mortgages at today’s near 4 percent interest rates

This would be a choice for the banks, not the government…which means the President is planning to control the banks even more and force them to do more stupid things…you know the behavior that got us into this mess.

There is no exact counterpart to this, but the fact is that Romney will not rule by fiat, like some people.

 

  • 5Fully Paid for as Part of the President’s Long-Term Deficit Reduction Plan.  To ensure that the American Jobs Act is fully paid for, the President will call on the Joint Committee to come up with additional deficit reduction necessary to pay for the Act and still meet its deficit target. The President will, in the coming days, release a detailed plan that will show how we can do that while achieving the additional deficit reduction necessary to meet the President’s broader goal of stabilizing our debt as a share of the economy.

The humor of this part speaks for itself.

 

But Romney does have some real plans on how to deal with the insane size of government

Immediately cut non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent
Reform and restructure Medicaid as block grant to states
 Align wages and benefits of government workers with market rates
 Reduce federal workforce by 10 percent via attrition

 Cap federal spending at 20 percent of GDP
Undertake fundamental restructuring of government programs and services

 Pursue a Balanced Budget Amendment

 

 

The fact of the matter is that Paul Krugman putting up Obama’s abysmal American Jobs Act as the better part of his proposed legislation shows you how unspeakably stupid Krugman is and how bereft of any real ideas Obama is.  Romney has real plans not just platitudes that have some conception of how the economy works.  Now I’ve breezed over a lot of Romney’s plans, I do this intentionally, I want you to go and do the research on your own and see for yourself that his plans are

 

 

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Filed under Budget, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Corporate Welfare, Debt, Economics, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Harry Reid, Individualism, liberal arrogance, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Obama, Occupy Wall Street, Paul Krugman is an idiot, People Are Stupid, politics, Taxes, Tyranny, Unions, Welfare

Obama did say “You didn’t build that” and worse…Part II

“”They might be giants, and we might be pygmies; but we stand on the shoulders of giants, so we can see farther.” Attributed to Sir Isaac Newton

So just to be clear, Obama did say:

“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.”

But why is this so bad?

It’s terrible because it shows us exactly what Obama thinks.  He thinks that without an activist government you cannot survive.  That without an activist government there is no progress.  That without an activist government there is no growth.

Intellectually, factually, morally and ethically he could not be more wrong.

Now some very, very stupid people trying to sound reasonable might say something like:

“Neither private sector nor public sector are sufficient. Both are necessary.”

Now in a grander sense, yes, this is true.  The necessary evil of government is necessary to provide a system of laws, a police and military force, and a court system for prosecution of crimes and arbitration of disagreements, a handful of various other services.  Not a single Classically Liberal or capitalist philosopher, be it Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, or F.A. Hayek, would ever argue that government is not necessary to a successfully run economy and society.  Capitalism is just as opposed to anarchy as it is to socialism and tyranny.  But every Classically Liberal and capitalistic philosopher will also point out that government’s function are there to provide rules, protect others from violence and fraud, serve as arbiter, and provide those few services that the private sector cannot easily provide.  And also, while many of them hadn’t seen the monster of an overgrown federal government, most would argue that where government does need to step in it should as locally controlled and locally funded as possible.

Now what is an example of a function that only the federal government can do.  Well you have the army and navy.  You have the post office in the early days of the Republic (although nowadays you could cut the Post Office down to 10% of it’s current size and FedEx, UPS, and local companies could more than pick up the slack at lower prices and higher efficiency).   I’m sure a private mail carrier could have made money in the early days of the Republic, but the Founding Fathers realized how useful the committees of correspondence were, and how communication is one of the most deadly tools against tyranny, and thus had to make sure there was always an option for communication that could not go bankrupt (as there exists with any private company)…which is also the reason I advocate drastically cutting the USPS but not completely destroying it.

But is infrastructure something that only the public sector can provide?

No it’s not.  And this is a self evident truth.  Governments were building infrastructure before they started using dimwitted Keynesian tactics of spending money they didn’t have.  Logically this meant that they were getting money from commerce to build infrastructure.  Commerce and business predated infrastructure, their success is not dependent on it…it is the reverse that is true, that infrastructure is dependent on business success.

Look at the entirety of U.S. history and you will see this.  In terms of transportation, stage coaches, ferries, and even railroads started out as private sector industries that did not have government funding (yes railroads became the transcontinental giants with government help…but they also became inefficient, monopolistic, corrupt and low quality when government money got involved).  Most of the infrastructure that raised Britain to an economic powerhouse in the Industrial Revolution was privately built.  I recall that a good portion of Hong Kong’s early infrastructure post-WWII was more privately funding by booming business more than by the hands off government of the colony.  Even in now uber-liberal California, we should all remember the completely private Red Car system provided efficient and cheap transportation (using it’s own infrastructure) to most of Southern California for nearly 4 decades before being taken over by the state.

Yes the interstate highway system is wonderful and has been a great boon to commerce…of course Ike built it as an easy way to move the military in the Cold War, the economic benefit was secondary so you don’t get to claim that it was built for the purpose of the economy.  However even if the highway system should have originally been a federal project to ensure that all states are connected…it no longer needs to be federal—at this point states are more than capable of up keep of their own roads as they need them to stay economically competitive (i.e. they won’t let them just fall apart) and the local control will keep overhead, graft, and inefficiency down (at least it will be far less than what a distant federal government would create).  So even the highway system isn’t an argument that Obama has.  Yes does the system of roads and bridges need work?  Yeah, it does.  Of course if it was such an important function why didn’t you get it done in the first 4 years Barry?  And why did you saddle the debts with such massive future debts via Obamacare so that they couldn’t deal with the problem themselves?

But maybe we’re not just talking about roads for infrastructure.  Electricity maybe?  No, that was originally built by private companies…and the modern government controlled national grid is such an unmitigated disaster that even liberal Thomas Friedman of the New York Times went off on what a joke it is in his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded.

Communication?  No.  Private company AT&T built the original infrastructure and controlled it so well that the government felt the need to unjustly break the company into the baby bells…which was really dumb because within only a few years the private built cell phone infrastructure made AT&T’s land-line infrastructure about as important as your appendix.

But the internet!  Oh I love this argument.  So the military builds a communication network and does nothing for over a decade (beside being a plot point in 2nd rate Matthew Broderick film…Shall we play a game?) and then private industry built on computers (which was also built on computers the government had been working on for years to no avail. Government had silicon chips since the 1960′s but it took a Steve Jobs to create the personal computer.) and suddenly makes use of it.  Trust me if the network the military (and Al Gore) built hadn’t been in existence there would have been some genius on par with Gates, Jobs or Ellison, who would have created a network that would have allowed computers to speak to each other easily.

Everyone seems to forget that the empty cities in China or Detroit have lots of infrastructure that does nothing for them.  However there are literally hundreds of towns  in this nation where a factory was built first and then the infrastructure and growth followed…if you look at the world and the joys of globalization and outsources (which makes life better both for America and the country work is being outsourced to) the examples reach thousands.  Business success always precedes infrastructure in a sane system.  To say the opposite is to say the cart pulls the horse.

The fact is that business has traditionally built the infrastructure it needs to grow if it is not already present.  Private companies wanted to build high speed rail back in the early 90’s but were stopped over and over again by environmental regulators in the government…and unlike the BS high speed rail Obama and California want to put in that doesn’t really go anywhere, the plans in the 90’s were for things like LA to Vegas…you know rail that would have paid for itself and paid for further expansion.

FedEx was stopped by government regulation and bickering from creating a second hub in its distribution infrastructure in the 90’s.

Private airlines where hampered in their growth early on by government regulation (usually taking off from fields that the airlines had built with their own money in the early days).

I could go on.

You would have to be a brainless troll or an idiot of the highest caliber to not see that industry builds the infrastructure it needs with its own money (often cheaper than the government) and has more often has had its growth hampered by government than it has been helped by it.

You can build all the infrastructure you want. It won’t create business.  It will help business…but it’s not like the business isn’t paying for that infrastructure (through income, corporate, sales, and a myriad of other taxes).  If the government doesn’t provide the infrastructure business will create it themselves or someone else will find some way to provide the service that infrastructure would provide, often at costs less than the inefficient government creation.  Government created infrastructure is never NECESSARY for business success.  Government laws and protection against harm are necessary, but not infrastructure.

Now some claim that we need government infrastructure to provide things like TVA giving electricity to rural communities…to which I respond, when did electricity become a right?  My grandparents lived quite contently in a house until the late 80’s, in California, without public electricity (they had a wind generator that they built)…it didn’t harm them.  If there is no economic reason to have electricity in an area, then it probably shouldn’t be there…and if you don’t like it, it’s a free country, move to an area that has those services or create a business that makes it feasible to bring those services out there.   Arguing we have to provide things to people where there is no financial reason to provide it to them is the mentality of building bridges to nowhere and repairing roads no one drives on it.  It is the mentality of government waste.  And that is the kind of infrastructure that Obama is touting…or do you think the man who thought Solyndra was a good idea knows more about infrastructure?

Everyone likes to point to highways, the internet, the advance of the space race….but everyone forgets these were military ventures with military goals, not economic ones (those were merely unintended side effects)—I bring this up because which area of spending do those who tout infrastructure call on most to be cut?*  And this leads to the reason why I have repeatedly said one of our biggest mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan was not spending more time on building infrastructure.  I wanted the communication and military benefits of modern infrastructure as a counter to the insurgency (which are getting their own benefits provided by other countries). Yes such projects put the cost of a system that would benefit commerce on those countries on the US taxpayer instead of the Iraq or Afghani businessman, but I believed in the long term the military benefit would pay for itself (if you think we’re not going to have to go back to Afghanistan within a generation because we botched it so badly this time, you’re crazy).

But back to Obama’s “You didn’t build that” quote.

In context he is referring to the businesses.  But even if you take his reading that it was government provided infrastructure you built your business on and you couldn’t have done it without that infrastructure…it’s still a bullshit statement.

With only a small exception in education, everyone has equal access to the benefits of infrastructure.  Everyone has access to the roads.  Everyone has access to the electric system and all the other utilities. From the things that only government can provide (police, courts, health control, an income safety net**) to those things that government and the private sector and justifiably provide (roads, schools, post service, electricity and water) to those things which the only private sector should be providing but the government can’t keep it’s stupid hands out (green energy, wifi, medical services) everybody pretty much has equal access to all of these benefits and all of this infrastructure.  And yet some build great businesses and some don’t.  Because some had the intelligence and the work ethic and the drive to succeed and some didn’t.  Because some people built that for themselves.  This is why there is that quote at the beginning about standing on the shoulders of giants…everyone is standing on the same giant but some choose to see further and some don’t.  Now success for many may not be building a business but doing something else…but it is because of their drive, their intelligence, their work, and their choices that makes them successful or not, not because of government.

Now I did bring up that education is not always equal. Its not. And education can be a greater equalizer in terms of access to opportunity than any road or Internet hub…and our system of education in America is screwed up.  But notice also in this most important of things the government provides it is Obama preventing growth, preventing change, preventing charters and vouchers and experimentation, and wholeheartedly backing the vile teacher’s union which seeks to maintain the status quo.  So in the one thing he could really affect to help give people more opportunity to build their own lives, he doesn’t actually want to improve that system.

Nothing in infrastructure determined who would succeed and who wouldn’t (except for education) it is will, intelligence, and work that does.

It is those things which build infrastructure.

And it is those things which Barack Obama is most opposed to and most wants to destroy.

*Not that that I don’t think the military couldn’t lose quite a bit of fat from its budget…however much of its waste is in Congressional pork projects that can’t be cut without Congressional approval…if you just cut the military’s budget the DOD doesn’t have the authority to cut those pork projects, only needed things like troops and body armor.

**Even Friedman and Hayek believed you need some form of income safety net, and they were right, you do…they were also right it needs to be for the lowest of the low (like the bottom 5%) not the for a third of the nation.

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Tax Returns, Rich Liberals, Stupidity and Hypocrisy

This thing about Romney’s tax returns is stupid, and I’m just tired of it. 

You have to consider a couple of things to start out with.  (1) It’s not like Obama’s White House and IRS don’t have access to those returns and (2) the IRS under Obama has been more than willing to harass Romney supporter as shown here and here (3) if there was anything damning in them don’t you think Obama would have already leaked that (after all if highest level classified national security information can be leaked to the New York Times to get reelected do you really think Obama draws the moral line at leaking his opponent’s tax information?).  Also given that people are upset about things like offshore accounts (which are actually good for growing and American economic growth) and the fact that Romney only pays about 15% on his income (because it’s pretty much all capital gains income which is taxed at a much lower rate than other income because if it wasn’t you would see the collapse of what is left of the American economy) it is clear that ignorant people are very agitated by the intricacies of finance when they have no understanding of what is going on…thus releasing even more financial information will allow liberals to make ethical, legal, and smart financial choices sound like unethical, illegal and stupid financial moves (like giving money to your cronies at Solyndra…oh wait that wasn’t Mitt). 

This then of course brings up a discussion of how the rich need to pay their “fair share.”  Let’s just ignore that 47% of the nation isn’t paying anything (is that fair?) or that the top 10% earn about 45% of the income but pay 70% of the taxes (yeah that sounds fair).  And Mitt only pays 15% of his income to the government, that’s not fair (of course he already paid taxes on when Bain earned the money and paid a corporate tax on it, then Romney paid taxes on the money Bain paid him, which he then invested in companies who paid their own taxes on the money they earned, and then Mitt paid his 15% on the income he earned from that investment.  Oh, and the US has the highest corporate tax rate of any nation (http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/corporate-tax-rate) …so it’s not like he hasn’t paid and paid and paid taxes on that income.  Yep he hasn’t paid his fair share.  Now there are other reasons that Mitt hasn’t paid income taxes in a while…like the fact that he didn’t take a salary as head of the Olympics or as Governor of Massachusetts–when you don’t earn anything you don’t pay taxes.  And of course this all ignores the fact that this is a man who gave away his entire inheritance to charity and gives about 15% every year to charity (some bigots will decry the fact that a large portion of that goes to the Mormon church, but even if you had theological issues with the church , you’d be a damn fool to say they are not in the business of numerous aid programs).

But liberals just dismiss this because (A) “he’s not paying his fair share” (still waiting to hear what percentage that is) and (B) it’s not to the charities they like. 

And this leads to an odd habit I’ve noticed among rich liberals.  They bitch and moan and whine about how we don’t support Planned Parenthood, or NPR, or PBS, or the arts or this or that project or organization enough.

Now as far as I know, and I haven’t verified every picture on this, but except for Mitt I think everyone in this picture is liberal…and as far as I know only a 4 or 5 give significant sums to charity (only a couple do it without seeking public praise for thier charity)…so the question is that if most of the these liberals feel that more money should be spent on the poor and thier pet projects, why don’t they put thier money where their mouth is?

Oddly enough these are often the same rich liberals who say that they aren’t being taxed enough.  (Let’s ignore for the moment you can just not take deductions and pay the full rate or you can give more than the minimum to government…and yet they’re taking deductions and not just giving money by the bushel load to the feds  (follow the link, it goes straight to where you can just give money to the Treasury Dept…I’m going to wager right now no one is going to give a dime).   That the rich should be taxed at much higher rate (one assumes to pay for all these pet projects they want funded).

Hmmm….rich people say the government is taking enough of their money AND they’re saying the government should give more to their pet projects…hmmmmm….

 

Am I the only one who thinks that they could just cut out the middle man and give more to all these things they say needs funding.  Just cut a check, and don’t worry about the government.

But, some whiny liberal will say, there are more rich Republicans.  But that’s not really true, it’s a bit more divided fairly evenly and statistics suggests it may be slightly biased to the left (performers are statistically more liberal and entertainment makes people very rich very quickly).  Also it might be helpful to take into account that Obama has raised 181 Million from large contributors and Romney has raised only 121 Million from large contributors (a 3:2 advantage for the left ) so while not a perfect way to calculate it (if nothing else Romney had months of fundraising that he had to share with Ricky and Newt that Obama could just rake in the dough) but there is still the fact is that there are still a lot of rich liberals .

Then of course the rich liberals will complain that it’s not enough if they do it, they need the money of ALL the rich to make an effort…apparently these people are forgetting what the overhead of the government is between numerous departments, lost interest on the money, corruption, waste, idiocy, Michelle’s vacations, trust me giving straight to the charity is far, far more efficient (or did we forget how much money the GSA is spending?) .

Now if liberals don’t want to spend their money that’s their right and I support it.  I believe in the virtue of charity, but I also believe that different people have different things to learn in different life times and the virtue of charity, while admirable in most cases (it’s not as if it’s done merely for good press…like, say, you say you’re going to give all your money away when you die, but you spend your days trying to avoid paying back taxes…Warren Buffet I mean you), but it is not the only virtue and I can see some spiritual lessons may require for not giving out money…and I’m not going to judge who is in what category.  But I will judge hypocrisy.  And if you claim more of your money should be taken for the public good, but don’t spend it on the public good when it is fully in your power to do so, you are a gutless, virtueless, hypocritical piece of filth.  I believe it also goes by the title DNC donor. 

The fact of the matter is that liberals don’t care about Romney’s tax records.  The bright ones know there is nothing untoward in there, they want a piece of propaganda to rile the more ignorant in their base.*  They don’t care about fair share or helping others because if they did they would put their money where their mouths are with or without the government’s help. 

*I’m not claiming there aren’t ignorant people on the right, there are, they were known as Santorum supporters…but his loss shows they’re not in the majority.

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The Sad Life of Julia Part VI:The Twilight of a Moocher

And so Julia’s is coming to a close…you’ll notice that her life seems to end around 67…hmmm…I wonder if the health care rationing boards have something to do with that?

Drugs which are over priced because of terrible policy for patents and over regulation that causes shortages…not to mention that Medicare will be bankrupt in only 8 years (2020)…so assuming that Julia is 3 right now then she’ll be 65 in 2074 Medicare will have been bankrupt for over 50 years, so I’m not sure how it’s paying for her prescription drugs, but Obama is just a magical being and can do anything he wants.  2074, a mere 66 years of Obama in office, Obama will also be about 110…one has to wonder how he is still cogent enough to rule with an iron fist, I’m not ruling out at this point a deal with Mephistopheles).  Or to put this another way, the Congressional Budget Office projects that, assuming the economy keeps growing at a steady rate (not under Obama it won’t) and that Medicare keeps growing at the rate it has been then right now it accounts for 2.9% of GDP, in 2020 when it goes bankrupt it will account for about 4.1% of GDP, and in 2074 it will account for about 12.8% of GDP (over 4 times the bankruptcy level).

Under the Ryan plan which brings in competition and sanity the Medicare program is saved and it puts the whole system on a track to have private competition drive costs down across the board.  And Romney’s plan is pretty much the same.  So let me see here, a plan to keep Medicare alive and create private competition that will turn Medicare back into a safety net for those who absolutely need it rather than a money and soul sucking entitlement.  Oohhh, tough choice.  Throw granny off a cliff in 2020 or make the program actually work.  I’m sure trying to make sure that a safety net is around for Julia later in life is just right-wing social engineering.   Yes Romney and Ryan would end Medicare as we know it—they’d make it work.

Well under current Social Security plans she is pulling out more than she put in (goddamn moocher)…of course that’s if she is 67 right now and pulling out benefits.  If this is 64 years from now after Obama’s obscenely long rule as dictator she won’t be drawing any benefits whatsoever as Social Security will be bankrupt in only a few years (kind of like Medicare)

Now I’m not sure where they get the 40% number (I searched for it, and I couldn’t even find that number listed on any liberal websites) so I am forced to conclude (like unemployment numbers and so many other facts purported by Obama and his administration) that these numbers are a complete and total fiction.

Now what the Ryan plan calls for is a slowdown in the growth of Social Security and Romney calls for:

“First, for future generations of seniors, Mitt believes that the retirement age should be slowly increased to account for increases in longevity.

Second, for future generations of seniors, Mitt believes that benefits should continue to grow but that the growth rate should be lower for those with higher incomes.”

Wow cut benefits from social security for the rich…how terrible.  Also exactly which reasonable person is arguing that we don’t need to raise the retirement age and probably slow growth to at least only account for inflation if not under inflation to put benefits back on par with what the person has put in.

***

In the final analysis there are numerous problems with the life of Julia.

Obama’s rule for almost another 7 decades.

Obama proudly touting cradle to grave socialism.

Obama seeing nothing wrong with a person who needs government help at every stage of their life.

The obscene amount of lies in every single supposed fact and number that Obama’s people displayed in the show.

Ask yourself if you want to live the life of Julia?  Dependency, ignorance, control, misery.  That’s what Obama is offering in this plan.  Makes you yearn for the sweet-talk of Mondale promising to raise our taxes; it was at least more honest and less power hungry.

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Ramblings of ConservativeCathy – The Buffett Rule or is that the Buffet Rule?

Taxes should not be a “buffet” where you get to pick and choose what you like and don’t like.  It is supposed to be a just and equal system.  Which is preposterous as it is based on penalizing those who are more successful –not quite sure how that is just or equal but we will deal with that later.

Let’s talk about all those millionaires that do not pay taxes or pay less then their secretaries.

The tax codes are difficult to follow and it is fair to say that many people pay taxes multiple times on the same money.

Basically taxes are based on actual income earned from working in a progressive manner with those making more paying a higher percentage rate.  But the main problem is with all the loopholes written into that code.  Most of us are familiar with mortgage deductions and charitable contribution deductions, but there are many many pages of many more deductions.  These are the loopholes everyone is referring to.

So when a millionaire receives income from working they pay at the highest percentage rate of taxes (not counting deductions) then they take that money and invest it (means making it work by putting it into other business) then when they receive additional income from that investment they only pay approximately 15% on that investment.  Now that money that they were paid for their investment has already been taxed for the company paying the interest on the investment in several different ways and now that it has been paid back to the investor he must now pay that additional 15% on it.  Keep in mind that if he lost his investment he can only deduct that which he lost minus whatever he had received on it (this is very simplistic but close enough I think – if you invested $10,000 and had received $1,000 on it you now lost $9,000).  I am not sure if you can declare the complete $9,000 as deduction but even if you can you have lost much more than that in reality as if you had just put it into a bank or some bonds or such you probably would have earned more (unless this is a short term loss) but you can not take that into account – you also can not take into account that you previously paid taxes on the $1,000.

The reason we offer a lower tax rate for investment is that it is good for the economy and society as a whole.  Already the tax rate for companies is the highest in the world and the tax rate for investment is the highest in the world so actually we are hurting ourselves when we claim it is not fair for millionaires to pay a lower tax rate.  They already paid the higher rate when they actually worked and earned that money now they are only investing it instead of hoarding it like Scrooge McDuck.

Now back to Mr. Buffett – my understanding is that he does still work for his company but chooses to take his pay in the form of stocks.  That means that he has enough money to live on so instead of taking actual pay then he pays only 15% on the profit on his investment annually (the stock).  Now in reality if he sells that stock he will pay the higher tax rate again but right now he is only being taxed on the capital gains he receives.  So you are not comparing apples to apples in this scenario.  Of course the ultimate irony about the Buffett rule is that is comes from a man who one minute states he wants to pay more but doesn’t go to the IRS web site that allows him to pay more of his own free will, and who says he should pay more one moment and next the company that he is chief executive of, Berkshire Hathaway, is behind in taxes by millions of dollars dating back to 2002 and is fighting in court what they should pay.  Hypocrisy thy name if Buffet.

What we are doing is cutting our own throats to do something that sounds fair on the face of it but if you look at it in the real context you can see that they are not really paying less in taxes but just postponing the inevitable and as the pot grows the inevitable will be a substantial amount.  Also keep in mind that with a death tax penalty that for most people the inevitable moment comes when they die and their estate is over taxed at around 45-50%.  Gee I think that more than makes up for the lower taxes while they were alive.  Especially when you think of all the benefit the economy received by their keeping the money working in the economy instead of hoarding it or accumulating materialistic things.

The Republicans have often but to no avail offered up plans where the tax becomes flat meaning it is a lower rate for all but then there will be no loopholes or deductions.  Actually this will bring in more money to the treasury in the long run.  But the Democrats want something quick and flashy like an all you can eat buffet sign.  Pick whichever group it is popular to beat up on and tax them.  Tax them as much as you want, it’s all you can eat.  No concern for the long term health of the economy, no concern whether it will have immediate effect, just tax what you want because you want it.  Just like a buffet.  And when you’re done at the all you can tax buffet, gorge yourself and clogging the arteries the of the economy (yes I know this metaphor is running too long I’m almost done) you can go and put a couple hundred million on Solyndra at Roulette wheel.

It would be great if society started to think long term versus short term and what sounds nicer instead of what will work in the long run and be more just and equal in the long run.  I personally will support a VAT tax (and only a VAT, not a combination of VAT and income) as I have serious problems with income taxes due to penalization of success.

And let me add that all persons in the US can of their own volition give money to the treasury or even dedicate additional money to our national debt.  So if someone really believes they are not paying enough taxes then they could very easily write that check and the government will gladly accept it from you.  So I find it very hypocritical that so-called wealthy/millionaires want the government to pass a law to be able to by force take additional money from them but not want to willingly just give it away to the government.  Would it be that they know with their money they can afford the best tax accountants and attorneys in the world that will allow them to still pay less money then the amount the law states????

Please also do some research and you will find that everytime congress has added a tax for the “wealthy” they end up adding it downward as it really does not bring in the funds they want so by wanting someone else to pay up you actually end up making the middle class pay up.

So, logically you must come to the conclusion that all of this is political hype and nothing more!  And still no one wants to solve the actual underlying problem – SPENDING!!

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