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Friday, November 25, 2011

They don't represent America. They don't represent me.

I have a job, a car, food on the table, and a roof over my head. My family benefits from all these things as much as I do. Like most people, I worry about food, shelter, my kids’ college tuition and retirement. I look for ways to save money and economize. I have debts that I pay down monthly. I also pay taxes out of every paycheck. I try to never lose sight of the fact that my job is my lifeline. If I lose my job I’m screwed. I know that living on unemployment would be both undignified as well as difficult for me and my family. I don’t want to make an enemy out of my employer. He’s paying me a fair wage for the work that I do, so that wage he pays me, is not only for my work, but also for my loyalty.

I admire the fundamental character of America—a land of immigrants, most of whom came here to make a better life and most of whom did exactly that. Americans don’t wait around for a hand-out, but when we see suffering we’re willing to offer a hand up. I’m free to tell the world what I think about whoever I want to talk about, but I realize that sometimes a wise man keeps his mouth shut in spite of that freedom. I’m free to practice whatever religion I want to, as long as others aren’t hurt by that practice. I understand that the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right but that happiness itself is not. I have a say in local, state, and federal government, both in the leaders and the laws. I have the freedom to risk my financial well-being and become an entrepreneur if I want to, or I can continue working my safe hourly wage job. It’s up to me.

I’m not rich, but I’m not poor. I’m very grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been given. I know that there is no country better than this country. I don’t whine. I don’t cry. I don’t complain about some half-empty glass. I love America. I stand up and place my hand over my heart for the Pledge of Allegiance, and the National Anthem. There’s a whole nation full of people just like me. We understand how bad it can get and we’re grateful that it’s not nearly that bad.

I’ve been watching the behavior of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and I’ve been listening to their complaints. They don’t represent me. I don’t believe that 99% of America is a bunch of bratty kids and smelly bums begging for handouts and screaming obscenities and turning over cars and setting fires and defecating everywhere. They claim that they’re the 99% but they act like a band of feral apes who’ve escaped from the zoo. They don’t represent America. They’re not the 99%. They’re not the 1% either. They’re nothing but a stinking fart in the wind, blessedly blowing away.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The liberal mantra of economic self-destruction: raise taxes on the rich

If you forced liberals to identify just one plank of their political platform that was the most important, I believe that the great majority of liberals would say that the rich need to be taxed more. The liberals always want to raise taxes on the rich. So many Americans understand this in such a short-sighted and limited way. They look at their own personal finance and say: Okay, I'm not rich and this doesn't hurt me; so go ahead and raise taxes on the rich.

How ignorant this belief is! How foolishly short-sighted and misguided it is to believe that just because you're not rich you won't be hurt by a tax-increase on the rich. The liberals' whole philosophy turns on this one premise: Take money from the rich and give it to the poor.

Grant O. Thank you for playing the devil's advocate as I railed at the stupidity of these morons who want to raise taxes instead of cutting spending to balance the budget. The Debt Super-Committee composed of Democrats and Republicans is trying to create an agreement to balance the budget and rein in our out of control over-spending. They have a time deadline fast approaching and no-one knows whether they will be able to accomplish their objectives by that deadline, failing which causes ostensibly punishing budget cuts to automatically kick in.
"Our debt crossed the $15 trillion number yesterday," said House Speaker John Boehner. "That ought to be a giant wake-up call to the Congress that it's time to rip the Band-aid off and do what needs to be done." Republicans say they've put $300 billion in new taxes on the table. There's confusion on whether Democrats, who wanted more, accepted that offer, "We have met their offer on revenue but we have said that it has to fair to the American people," said Co-Chair, Super-Committee, Senator Patty Murray.
The Republicans have agreed to raise taxes by a substantial amount. This is a mistake of course. They probably hope that their generous move towards the left will be met by a correspondingly rightward move by the Democrats. I want to scream in frustration! Say we do raise taxes on the rich...what is the response of the wealthy going to be to this? They can increase the sale-price of their own goods and services but not by too much or people will buy foreign goods. It seems logical that they will move to cut overhead instead. The number-one expense of any business is employee expense. There are various ways to cut employee expense and the most obvious is called "lay-offs." Additionally employers can cut benefits and salaries.

What is never understood by liberals is that punitive consequences for increased productivity will result in a response which lessons punitive consequences. Whether that means less productivity, or attempts to hide productivity, or travel to a place that doesn't punish productivity, the ones to be punished won't sit peacefully and complacently taking their beatings. They'll pass on the cost of increased taxes to consumers. They'll pass on the increased price by cutting employee cost. They'll just move their operations overseas.

Worst of all for the economy is that tax increases are passed on exponentially! When consumers purchase a product they seldom consider that it has passed through a number of hands, growing in price with each subsequent transfer. The price of the product is doubled and doubled again. Thus a "tax on the rich" is doubled several times before it is passed on to Average Joe at the retail store. From the manufacturer to the wholesaler to the distribution company to the retail outlet, each business passes on its own little piece of the increased cost of doing business―courtesy of the Democrats in Washington. So the poor guy who thought that this tax on the rich wouldn't hurt him is so terribly wrong. Any increase in taxation impacts the poor disproportionately. This is how the world turns. This is how the game is played.

Maybe you think that it's okay because the government will use those taxes to help the poor. Sure! That's worked so well already! Generation after generation of poor people are still living poorly and never doing anything but holding out their empty hands for another helping of government generosity. This is a vicious cycle which only ends when the cycle is broken. Uncle Sam has been pedaling this misguided cycle of helpless apathetic dependency for more than fifty years and every year it gets worse.

Poor people demand more money. In response liberals give them more and our debt grows. Liberals raise taxes to balance the budget and in return businesses cut costs by laying off workers and increasing sales price. More poor people are created by the lay-offs and all these poor people can't buy as much with their government hand-outs because prices keep going up, so they demand more money, causing taxes to go up for less people working for more and more expensive goods and services...and the breaking point has arrived.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Infinite Economic Growth

This picture caught my eye. If you look closely you can read the sign of one of the Occupy Wall Street protestors that says: "INFINITE ECONOMIC GROWTH IS NOT POSSIBLE ON A FINITE PLANET." I don't know why it's taken me so long to understand what the OWS crowd's underlying philosophy is, but I finally get it. They think the economy is a zero sum game. If one person wins, another person must lose an equal amount. The OWS crowd believes that billionaires have grabbed up all the money in the world and are hoarding it. They think that there's only so much wealth, and if billionaires made billions then other people must have lost billions. In the eyes of Occupy Wall Street, every billionaire has created millions of victims.

Are they right? Is the wealth of the world a finite sum that doesn't change? Consider the industrial revolution. What an incredible time that must have been to be alive.
The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in human history; almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. Most notably, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth. In the two centuries following 1800, the world's average per capita income increased over 10-fold, while the world's population increased over 6-fold. In the words of Nobel Prize winner Robert E. Lucas, Jr., "For the first time in history, the living standards of the masses of ordinary people have begun to undergo sustained growth ... Nothing remotely like this economic behavior has happened before".
The Industrial Revolution―practically overnight―caused the wealth of the world to grow incredibly, like Jack's Magical Beanstalk. You might wonder how a gaggle of highly-educated student-debt owing liberals in New York―and elsewhere―could have learned about an event in history like the Industrial Revolution and yet still somehow hold the opinion that the economy is a zero sum game.

Perhaps they feel that the Industrial Revolution was a one-off―a unique one-time occurrence. The invention of industrial machinery that was powered not by human sweat but by coal, gasoline, or electricity, caused a massive explosion of wealth worldwide, but how could something like that ever happen again?

It is happening. It's happening right now and it continues to happen. Industrial machinery created the wealth necessary for millions of people to go to school, to get an education, and to go to work designing the next generation of more efficient and productive machinery. This allowed the invention of the solid-state transistor made from silicon, which allowed the invention of computers and automated systems that have further expanded the wealth of the world to an almost miraculous degree. We are right now living in an amazing time. I just read about Curiousity, an SUV sized robot that will soon be launched on its mission to explore the surface of Mars. It made the news, but not the headlines. It's an incredible story in a world where the incredible has become routine.

The discovery of graphene―a substance that is 200 times stronger than steel, nearly superconducting at room temperature, and a heretofore little noticed blip on the horizon of most people―promises to be another big game changer:
Much has been made of graphene's potential. It can be used for anything from composite materials - like how carbon-fibre is used currently - to electronics. Since its properties were uncovered, more and more scientists have been keen to work on projects. About 200 companies and start-ups are now involved in research around graphene. In 2010, it was the subject of about 3,000 research papers.

IBM has created a 150 gigahertz (GHz) transistor - the quickest comparable silicon device runs at about 40 GHz. "In terms of the speed of the transistor, we currently see no intrinsic limits into how fast it can go," says Dr Yu-ming Lin, of IBM.
The economy is not a zero sum game. It hasn't been since the power of man's imagination was finally unleashed nearly two centuries ago. Infinite economic growth is not only possible, it's inevitable.

Finally, this goes out to the useless idiots in Zuccotti Park: Why don't you morons go make something useful with those pricey diplomas instead of squatting happily in your own filth and screaming like a new-born for another suck at momma's titties.

The world is neither finite, nor infinite; it's what we make of it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

No Game Plan, No Strategy in this Drug War

We've got a river of illegal drugs flowing north across our southern border, and billions of dollars floating back the other way. Everyone knows what an incredible problem this is. Everyone knows that street drugs are the cause of most of the murders, robberies, and muggings. Everyone knows that our porous unenforced borders allow these drugs easy entry and everyone knows that these borders are controlled not by immigration enforcement, not by law enforcement, but by a consortium of drug cartels that employ an army of smugglers, button men, and enforcers. But, nobody seems to know what to do to stop this from happening.
Arizona authorities have disrupted a Mexican drug cartel's distribution network, arresting dozens of smugglers in dismantling a ring responsible for carrying more than $33 million worth of drugs through the state's western desert every month, officials said Monday.

The ring is believed be tied to the Sinaloa cartel -- Mexico's most powerful -- and responsible for smuggling more than 3.3 million pounds of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pounds of heroin into the U.S. through Arizona over the past five years, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Their efforts in that time generated an estimated $2 billion.
Two billion in receipts over five years...I believe that qualifies Sinaloa for membership in the Fortune Five-Hundred. Ma, Quick! Shut the barn door, the cows have done run off!

There is no overarching strategy. There is little communication. There is very little intel and no counter-intel at all. I'll start with a very simple premise and you tell me if it goes ding-ding. If our own multi-billion dollar funded drug enforcement agencies have undercover agents posing as drug buyers, drug sellers, and drug smugglers, don't you imagine that a multi-billion dollar drug cartel like Sinaloa has undercover agents posing as cops? If the cops can do multistate background checks, don't you think the drug rings can too?

The War on Drugs is fool's battle because we've got everything to lose―our children―while the drug cartels have everything to win―our children. There is no strategy! We've got millions of disconnected players running millions of different plays and nobody even seems to know where the ball is.

Well, let me give you law-enforcement geniuses a little hint. First, you call a huddle. That's where everybody on your team gets together and one guy―he's called the quarterback―calls the plays. Everybody on the team has their own role to play, and this is exactly what they do. The next thing everyone does―and this is a really important part―is take their place at this thing they call a scrimmage line. In my little analogy that would be our border with Mexico. Now, here's the most important part of all: We can't win the game unless we get the ball past our own scrimmage line. So far in this piss-poor game we've been watching, the USA's offensive team has yet to take the field. The drug war starts in Mexico. That's where the goal-line is. That's where we have to take the ball. Or we lose.