Thursday, September 30, 2010

Question of the day

It looks more and more like White House shower harasser blue streaker Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is going to jump like a rat from a sinking ship take an opportunity to become mayor of Chicago.  So now the question is, what kind of mayor would he be?  Would he be like...

A.  Richard J. "Hey, that ballot box doesn't look quite full, let's go to grandpa's neighborhood and get out the vote" Daley.

B.  Michael "You mean it snows in Chicago?" Bilandic.

C.  Jane "Cabrini Green is absolutely safe....with a dozen armed guards" Byrne.

D.  Harold "They didn't teach me in law school you needed to file your tax returns" Washington.

E.  Richard M. "Let me show you the need for strict gun control by threatening you with a gun no self-respecting gangbanger would carry" Daley.

F.  Not a mayor, but you can't count out Rod (no quote here, this is a family friendly blog) Blagojevich. 

I'm going with "F", and wouldn't be surprised if he, like Blago, ended up on the wrong end of an investigation.  For that matter, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some legal reasons behind Daley's refusal to run again.

The wonders of a government controlled economy

Apparently, the island nation of Cuba, renowned for its optimal growing conditions for sugar and coffee, is suffering its worst coffee harvest in history, and its worst sugar harvest in over a century, due to the management skills of its government.

Of course, this is no surprise to anyone who has ever tried to find an affordable apartment in rent controlled cities like New York City and San Francisco, and is even less of a surprise to anyone who watched as the former breadbasket of Europe, the Ukraine and Russia, routinely failed to grow enough grain to feed Russia.  It's also no surprise to those who have watched as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez parlayed record high petroleum prices into a budget crisis and recession, or those who have watched any number of trust fund babies like Mark Dayton and Paris Hilton parlay monstrous inheritances into personal and fiscal disaster.

The ugly reality; people are never as careful with someone else's money as they are with their own.   That's why sound economists note that the list of actual "public goods" is very short.  Hopefully we learn that here before it is too late.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to evaluate your employer, union, or self....

Take a look at their accounting statements, of course.   In our current installment, Michelle Malkin  reveals that the liabilities of the SEIU (the purple bus union that loves Mr. Obama) have shot from about $8 million to about $121 million--a shift presumably related to that union's spending of $61 million to put Mr. Obama and other Democrats in place, as well as current plans to spend about $44 million this year to keep the tax and borrow and inflate and spend Democrats in firm control of government.

Now it is obnoxious enough when unions spend dues revenue for political purposes, whether or not their members approve, but what we have here is borrowing to spend more on politics--in effect allocating portions of dues that are not supposed to be spent on lobbying to.....lobbying and political action.  Where has the money come from in particular?  Apparently from the pension fund, which is only 75% funded these days for the rank and file. 

Add to that clear accounting line items intended to benefit union leaders at the expense of members, and it's pretty clear that if we had an Attorney General, the SEIU would be facing multiple investigations, and I dare say a number of their leaders would go to jail.  If only we had an Attorney General and a Department of Justice in this country!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The gap between rich and poor; smaller than advertised

Here are some interesting numbers from the IRS linked by my friend Cold, where apparently even if we took all of the income earned by people earning more than $500,000 in 2006, it would have only netted the Treasury about $1.3 trillion.

Now apart from the idiocy of the very idea of taking operating funds away from employers, there is something else very interesting, and I believe the WSJ makes an error in their analysis.

Specifically, 1.65 million tax filers making more than about $388,000 in 2006 does NOT equate to a mere 1% of the population; keep in mind here that these are 1.65 million tax returns representing that many families.  To put this in perspective, the Census bureau estimates about 115 million households this year.

In other words, 1.65 million returns is not the top 1%, but the top 1.5%.  In the same way, 3.8 million households earning more than $200,000 per year is not the top 2%, but rather the top 3.5%.  Correct for the fact that married couples earn more and have more children, and we're most likely talking about the top 2-3% of people sharing income exceeding $400,000 per year, and the top 5-6% sharing income of over $200,000 per year.

So how "rich" are those 1.65 million families?  Well, that 2-3% of people shares 22% of the gross income, but gets to keep only about 2/3 of it (say 15%), so when you count in government payments and taxation......they have somewhere between five and eight times more spendable resources than average.

Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but it's hardly a hereditary oligarchy of wealth--as anyone who has read and understood The Millionaire Next Door knows very well.  Now if only we could get Democrats to read and understand this book....

Why I don't watch TV.... great part because of some work my step-brother-in-law did for Lilly in developing "Cialis," actually.  Now, apparently, you can hardly watch the "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" without having your kids ask you what a "four hour e*******" is.  Although I disagree with the American Academy of Pediatrics on many issues (especiually guns), I think they've got a point here; do kids really need to be exposed to the idea that a man must "be ready" for whatever opportunity to fornicate comes up?

(for that matter, I'd have to suggest that, given societal trends, it's not a terribly helpful thing for adults to hear, either)
It's also telling, in my opinion, that the image the article provides is of a relatively young couple; not a grey hair appears.   It would seem that decades of worship of the idiot box is leading to people in their thirties and forties helping out my step-brother-in-law's stock options and bonuses. 

I hope he'll forgive me for taking the idiot box out to the garage.  It just isn't worth it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Very scary reality of homosexuality

For a while, I've been pointing out in certain situations that the HIV infection rate for male homosexuals was likely 10-15%; assuming that at most 3% of adult males, or about three million men, were homosexuals, and overall a little less than half of HIV infections were of homosexual men (say 400-500,000), I arrived at the "best guess" that about 10-15% of them carried HIV.

It turns out, according to the CDC, that I was wrong.  Apparently 20% of urban homosexual and bisexual men carry the virus, which suggests that either the number of homosexuals is even less than 3% (and far less than the Kinsey study's 10%), or that there are even more HIV infectiosn of homosexual and bisexual men than the CDC had previously estimated, or both.

Either way, it says something that I would hope that even SIECUS and the Kinsey Institute would clue into; that this lifestyle is like playing Russian roulette--repeatedly.   Yes, the symptoms and onset of AIDS can be mitigated with current therapies, but reality is that it still can be a death sentence--especially among the 50% of those infected that don't even know.

Along those lines, it reminds me of a young man I knew named Donald.  He was a secretary where I worked during graduate school, and was a very flamboyant homosexual who delighted in arguing against those who would argue that homosexuality was wrong.  The one thing we agreed upon was that we loved the Cornhuskers; I rooted for them because "Ski U" had broken most of their promises made to me, and Donald loved the Huskers because he despised Bill MacCartney, Ski U's football coach at the time.

After years of badgering by a professor who begged him to take a test, it came quite frankly we all expected.  Ironically, his health improved for a while as he stopped living on caffeine and nicotine, but inevitably the disease took its toll. 

Maybe someday, SIECUS and other proponents of sexual anarchy will come to their senses and realize what their worldview is doing to too many Donalds.

The very definition of "wimp" a man who has apparently lost a fight with Elmo of "tickle me Elmo" fame.  Apparently not encumbered excessively by his outfit, the actor in the suit broke two fingers of his assailant.

Sad to say, there is no video. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thoughts on Sesame Street....

Evidently, the popular PBS children's show has gotten into trouble with parents for featuring a songstress known more for revealing outfits and scandalous lyrics than musicality.  Now while I don't quibble with featuring prominent people on childrens' shows to acquaint them with the real world, I do have to wonder what they are thinking with a lot of their celebrity guests, many of whom lead quite scandalous public and private lives.

So are they acquainting kids with the world, or pushing the moral envelope?  I'm not quite sure, but I wouldn't be altogether surprised if they featured a band from Australia because, after all, the lead guitarist wears a schoolboy uniform on stage.  It would be wholesome, right? 

Maybe the Secretary of State could come, too, and prove that she was not really Brian Johnson.

How far does that income go?

Apparently, a University of Chicago law professor (thus by definition President Obama's intellectual superior, as he actually earned his post) posted something on his blog about how far a $250,000 family income actually goes.  In reality, it's not that far, but unfortunately, his intellectual inferiors (Obama supporters) harassed him until he took his post down.

And so as a public service, let's run down where a $250,000 income goes for a family of three or four in a high cost area of living like Chicago.  Now it is true that the good professor could go to lower cost areas in Chicago than Obama's neighborhood, but.....keep in mind that Chicago is always in the running for murder capital of the nation.  I don't begrudge him that, to put it mildly.

You start with $250,000, and take off $100,000 in income taxes.   You're then at $150,000, and then you take off $15,000 for property taxes and $35000 for the mortgage--I'm guessing the good professor is in a home worth a cool half million or more.  (again, go cheaper, there goes the neighborhood)  Now you're at $100,000, but you're not done.  Take off $10,000 for utilities and maintenance (those old brick homes in Chicago don't heat and cool cheap), $30,000 annually for his $250,000 in college loans, $20,000 annually for vehicle expenses (you don't park for free in Chicago, nor is insurance cheap there), and $20,000 annually for childcare.

In short, for groceries, clothes, and all that--they have approximately $20,000.  Not too many Michelin stars will be enjoyed on that budget, and the President thinks these people have more to take out of their hide.  Well, maybe, but it's going to be a lot more painful than his rhetoric would make you think.

Moreover, given his problems making ends meet before his book-writing windfalls (no dividend, interest, or capital gains income prior to 2005), I would have thought Mr. Obama would have known very well that, at least for big city dwellers, a quarter million dollars per year is not exactly an amount that would make one into J.P. Morgan.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oddly appropriate, but it could backfire

Michelle Malkin's site is reporting that Kentucky Fried Rat Chicken is leasing space on the derrieres of college coeds to promote their product.  While perhaps this marketing strategy will work in a debauched society like ours, I can't help but wonder if it will backfire in a major way, both for the coeds and KFRC. 

Backfire on the coeds because, as was emphasized yesterday, husbands are won from the neck up, not the waist down.  Backfire on KFRC because, as anyone knows, promoting a product that can make your backside look ginormous with people whose fitted pants make their backsides look ginormous just might remind people that, yeah, maybe it would be a better idea to go to Subway.

I've got to admit, though, that connecting the thought of KFRC with the concept of a bloated rear end is oddly appropriate, if a bit weak as a marketing concept.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An argument for modesty, and against the burqa

Scientists have apparently found that men focus on a woman's body when seeking a date (or short term relationship), but look at her face only when.....seeking a wife.  In other words, science confirms what Grandmother said about how to dress; boyfriends might be won from the neck down, but husbands are won from the neck up.   Notice also that men seeking a wife looked at the face; obviously the burqa isn't in line with sound science.

Appraisal of Mark Dayton's tax plan

Communist   DFL candidate for governor Mark Dayton has released his tax plans, and, well, it looks like a great way to reduce revenues in the long term.  A quick summary of some highlights lowlights:

1.  Increase state income tax by 3.1% (to 10.95% from 7.85%) on incomes greater than $130k (individuals) and $150K (married).  Note first a significant marriage penalty in a day when everything from educational attainment to being law abiding corresponds to having married parents, and furthermore it gives the prosperous (as opposed to the rich like Mark Dayton) a significant reason to leave the state.

2.  Add a property tax surcharge of 2% on homes with a value above $1 million.  OK, so for the rich, Dayton creates a reason to....again...leave the state.  Transaction costs on leaving the state for a lower tax state (say far off South Dakota) are paid for year.

3.  Casino near the Zoo  Mall of America.  First of all, the governmental costs of dealing with problem gambling often override the revenues--incarceration, divorce, etc., among problem gamblers.  So it's not guaranteed revenue to begin with.  Second, the state has given an exclusive license for casinos to our Indian tribes.  So what Dayton proposes to do is to simultaneously increase the misery of gambling families and native americans.

More or less, what Mr. Dayton proposes is a fairly systematic way to drive prosperous and wealthy entrepeneurs out of the state, leaving more room for trust funders like Dayton.  While this may make it easier for him to attend society events due to less traffic, it's not a good deal for those of us who need to work for a living.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Those with a serious testosterone addiction....

.....might do well to relocate to South Bend, Indiana, home (evidently) of the nation's only "pubic schools."  (H/T Michelle Malkin)  I am going to suggest that the local government schools, having apparently overdone "sex ed" by a wide margin, may be significantly to blame for distracting the "Golden Domers" from basic blocking and tackling, leading to a 1-2 record early in the season.  They way they're going, they're going to be looking forward to the October 16 game with Western Michigan to get their second win.

Which, if things keep going that way, will be just fine with me.  For that matter, the very fact that Western Michigan even appears on their schedule is an indication of how far the Irish have fallen in the past few years.

But seriously, speaking of basic blocking and tackling, it looks like "spelling lessons" might be on the docket (or at least should be) for a South Bend based group advocating the public (or "government") schools.

Monday, September 20, 2010

End of the recession?

Maybe not.  It turns out that with government spending forming such a large portion of GDP, the small rise in GDP last year actually was all government spending--and then some.  The private sector actually appears to have shrunk.

Maybe it's time to start counting GDP in terms of the private sector only, and we'd get a better idea of what's really going on.  H/T SCSU Scholars.

More thoughts on medicine

This morning, while contemplating how it might be possible to have doctors who can both respond instantly in an emergency, and also think through complicated situations well, it struck me that most of those ten dollar words doctors used are derived from Greek and Latin.  So if you want truly outstanding doctors 20 years from now, teach your children the classics today.  If I'd had more Greek and Latin while growing up, maybe I would have instantly understood that glorious fifty dollar word the doctor used to describe the tendonitis in my elbow.

Well, at least I would have had half a chance!

What's President Obama's religion again?

Well, it could be a mistake, or it could be a "tell."  Suffice it to say that I don't think that a believing Christian or Muslim would intentionally remove "by their Creator" from the Declaration of Independence, as our President did.

A huge deal?  Not to me--I'm more interested in how our President treats the Constitution than in how he treats the Declaration of Independence.  However, if it's a "tell" and not a mistake, it indicates that the "official story" about our President is a monstrous fraud.  Thank you, main stream media, for not keeping Obama's feet to the fire with his lack of forthrightness about his history. 

Want to stay married?

Be very careful about marrying someone with a lot of "experience," according to sources linked by Vox Day.  Go figure; if someone has left a lot of previous lovers, they've established a pattern that they just might continue. 

Technology you can use

Getting frustrated with trying to light the candles on your daughter's birthday cake without burning yourself and spilling a ton of wax/match pieces on the cake?

Try a blowtorch.  It works great--sorry, but pictures did not turn out.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lard, flour, sugar, fruit, and a touch of salt

Glenn Beck shows us all the difference between sound economics and Keynesian economics in a little discourse about  "the Simpsons" and a most delicious dessert.   Sound economics bakes the pie; Keynesians try to cut it different ways to make things fair, forgetting that the real magic of an economy is when the proprietor realizes that the way to prosperity isn't to demand someone else's finished goods, but to realize that humble ingredients can produce glorious results.

And yes, I think there are some folks near Eagle Butte, SD who need to learn this lesson, as well as masses of Americans who voted to put Nancy Pelosi in the chair of the Speaker of the House.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Why Christians in government matters

My friend Cold Fusion Guy links to a loan offer you don't want to take--apparently, the tribe is going into businesses usually associated wtih the Mob, specifically loan sharking.

Now far be it from me to deny the Lakota an opportunity to make a living, but I have to wonder if--just like other tribes which run casinos--this business is going to cause more trouble than it is worth.  Specifically, what tribal leaders are telling their young people is that prosperity depends on taking advantage of desperate people.

That sounds like a recipe for creating criminals, or at least Democrats, and if you wanted to create a situation where no one would dare to do business in your area, you could hardly do better.

Point of interest; I went to college with a Lakota gentleman from Eagle Butte.  Good guy, but I'm not quite sure we understood each other, though we certainly tried.

How many jobs....

....are at stake with the President's plan (and the Democrats in Congress) to repeal Bush's tax cuts for those earning over $250,000 per year?   Is it relevant that "TurboTax" Tim Geithner says that only 2% of small business owners would be impacted?

Well, let's take a look at this.  There are about 29 million small businesses in the U.S., and our favorite guy who can't figure out Schedule SE would suggest it is "only" 600,000 of them who would be affected.  Along the same lines, it's said that the planned tax hike for the prosperous few would raise about seventy billion dollars per year.

If we then consider that it takes about $40,000 to employ someone (even at the entry level--think benefits), this would indicate that this tax hike for the rich could cost close to two million jobs--if your employer has no money, you have no job.  In the same way, 4% of 250,000 is about $10,000.....a good chunk of a minimum wage worker's job, suggesting about 500,000 could lose their jobs due to this.  Along the same lines, Roosevelt's tax hikes back in 1937 cost millions their jobs as well.

Now of course not every job costs exactly $40k, and government spending can generate jobs as well.  However, reality is that when government spends for things that are not truly "public goods" a la Adam Smith, people are put out of work. 

Maybe it's time to reconsider the populist idea that one's boss is an economic "opponent" a la Marx, and maybe it's time to consider the idea that if the guy who owns the place where you work doesn't have any money, you won't have a job very long.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thoughts on medicine

First of all, take a look at this article about a Mayo Clinic study which links overwork and stress among young doctors to unprofessional behavior.  For the uninitiated, medical school can easily result in a quarter million dollars of debt, and typical course loads are in the 18-20 hours range--quite heavy when one considers that a great deal of memorization and thinking is needed.  Follow that with long workdays in residency, and you have a great recipe for burnout.   (if you don't respect your doctor for making it through this, you should!)

Now I'm torn on this.  On one level, when I come into the ER with searing pain in my abdomen, or a wound that needs to be closed in minutes, I certainly want my ER physician to respond almost reflexively--painkiller, stitches, whatever.   Long hours and repetition are certainly good for this.  A good ER doctor can almost do stitches in his sleep, and that's a good thing gained from, well, doing stitches and such while dead tired in residency.

On the other hand, when I come in for a routine physical--as I did yesterday--I'm not sure I want a reflexive response, but rather the mental agility to decipher the evidence proferred by a patient and come to a reasonable set of tests and/or therapies for my conditions.

Along those lines, my doctor mentioned that I would be (per standard practice) having my first colonoscopy at the standard time at age 50, and (watching out for myself) I posed the question of whether my mother's death of colon cancer would change this recommendation.  Well, it did, of course--he had reflexively responded to the ordinary charts, but when he considered my personal condition....well....all you guys are going to be so jealous that I'm getting one a little early.   (or not!)

So we have two lessons here; one, it might be wise to modify medical training somewhat to make sure the pressures of medical school don't push out creativity.  Second, if you want to be healthy, you've got to take a certain amount of responsibility for your own care, and even better, it helps to have someone else keeping an eye on your care when you're not able to.  It's not that doctors are incompetent or bad people, but they've got the same limitations that we all do.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Something to look for this election season

A friend of mine at church noted that fetal alcohol syndrome is known for generating people who can lie without remorse, and that even milder exposure than causes fetal alcohol syndrome will tend to do the same.  She said that it can be recognized by changes in the nose and hands--squared hands and a somewhat broader nose.

So now I know what I'm going to look for in a candidate this fall, or rather, what I'm looking to avoid.  I think this just might explain a lot of what happens in DC, St. Paul, and elsewhere.  :^)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Update on "cash for clunkers"

Apparently, the National Bureau for Economic Research has done a study to see how many additional vehicles were bought due to the "cash for clunkers" program. 

Answer:  Zero.  About five billion dollars down the toilet to generate exactly zero jobs for anyone in the auto industry, and 700,000 fewer family cars on the used car market for those who need them.  Just like classical economics and the Austrians would have--and did--tell you.  They also would tell you, and correctly, that the same kind of person who would default on his home mortgage would do the same a second time, and on his new "cash for clunkers" car, and....

H/T SayAnythingBlog.

Friday, September 10, 2010

It could could be....nope

One of the joys of growing up rooting for the Cubs was the voice of Jack Brickhouse watching a ball sail over the outfield saying "It could could be....IT IS".  Well, that was sort of my feeling when I heard that President Obama would be appointing a new economic advisor from the University of Chicago.

University of Chicago?  Home of Milton Friedman and a host of Nobel Prize (OK, Sveriges Riksbank) winners for economics?  Could it possibly be that Dear Leader slipped up and appointed an advocate of free markets and reasonably sound money?  The good news was tempered when....

....I learned that the advisor was not, strictly speaking, from the economics faculty, but was rather a professor in the business school, and was moreover a long term advocate of Obama's particular brand of Keynesianism.

You know, this feels a LOT like looking at the Cubs' win/loss record after the typical "June Swoon"--the string of losses that always happened after a few weeks of day games in the 90 degree heat and 90% humidity all too well known to Chicagoans. 

It could could be......caught by the Mets center fielder out of the ivy.  Cubs fall to 60-102 for the season.....

I should have known that the chances of a sound economist working for Team Obama were about the same as seeing baseball in October in the friendly confines.

Are the 18% correct?

Count me dubious, but one leader in Pakistan is apparently encouraging our pork-eating, beer-drinking President to offer prayers for Eid at the World Trade Center site and become the world leader of Muslims.  I'm attributing this to more wishful thinking, and perhaps a bit of nuttiness, than to reality, but it's interesting nonetheless.

(and for reference, I'm not one of the 18% who thinks Dear Leader is Muslim, but rather part of the 40% or so who are not sure what he is, but are pretty sure he's neither Christian nor Muslim)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Thoughts on the state of the church today

The church in Florida (or wherever) planning a Koran-burning really ought to consider something; in order to burn one, you must first own one.  To own one--absent an Islamic version of the "Gideons"--you must buy one.  When you buy a Koran, you are enriching those who are promoting Islam.

Promoting Islam is an odd way of working against it.

In church, we are encouraged to taste and see that the Lord is good--and then at the Lord's Supper, we too often get cardboard-like "communion wafers" which do not resemble the unleavened flatbread Jesus used at all.  If we wonder why churches often do so badly at catechizing their members and discipling new believers, could it be in part because the way we run ministries does not engage the senses in the way the Scriptures suggest we ought to?    It's a rare person who can appreciate the goodness of the Lord merely from the preaching of the Word, especially if the speaker has no sense of how to speak and a wooden delivery.  One does not need to subscribe to the doctrine of transsubstantiation (I sure don't) or desire a theatrical performance to understand that worship, and the Christian life, ought to involve all five senses.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Obama: "Let's shift where we do business"

....might as well be the title of the provisions in his proposed "tax cuts" which would give a 100% tax credit when businesses invest in new plants or equipment.  Why so?

Possible correction: the AP article I read about this this morning suggested that it was not a tax credit, as the Fox article suggests, but rather an accelerated depreciation schedule.  Either way, it's a powerful incentive to shut down aging plants and flip the bird at unionized workforces and high tax states that voted for Obama.

Think about it a minute; more or less, Obama is telling any moderately profitable company with aging facilities that the cost of moving to an improved facility will be zero.  It's "cash for clunkers" once again--let's PAY people to get rid of useful assets, and then we'll wonder why thousands of towns and cities are devastated when the old facilities close.

On the bright side, the plan would seem to administer a well-earned kick in the teeth to unions in high tax states.  After all, if I ran a unionized company in a high tax (blue, Obama voter) state, and the government offered to pay 100% of the cost for me to relocate to a low tax, non-unionized state like Tennessee, Alabama, South Dakota, or Texas, I'd be all over that in a heartbeat.

Who knew that Obama would throw unions under the bus?  And who knew that Obama would be working to crush businesses in the high tax states that voted for him?

Well, for starters, his grandmother and "spiritual mentor," who are also below that bus, could tell you that, couldn't they?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Interesting thoughts on 2010 vs. 1937

John Lott puts together a very fair-minded piece about the question of what factors were most "effective" at pushing the nonfarm unemployment rate from 14% to about 19-20% in 1938: was it, as Paul Krugman would assert, a lack of federal spending?  Was it, as Newt Gingrich asserts, the confiscatory income taxes Roosevelt levied?  Or, was it, as Lott asserts, significantly the result of the implementation of the Social Security tax and new bank regulations which effectively confiscated large portions of bank reserves?  Lott follows up with a poll of forecasting economists, who suggested that government needs to get out of the way.

The column, and its links, are worth a read.  My take--I'm sure to no one's surprise--is to simply ask whether government can manage something this big--the problem of a lack of knowledge.  Even if you could trust government types to perform ROI analysis in the same way that a business would, they simply would not see the opportunities that entrepreneurs, nor would they have the same incentive to make it work correctly.  They simply don't have the knowledge, nor do they have skin in the game.

Hence, my take is that Gingrich and Lott have it right; Roosevelt's (and earlier, Hoover's) interventionism created, and sustained, the Great Depression until Hitler and Hirohito removed the excuses for that intervention.  Hopefully President Obama gets better economic advisers than those he's had, and soon.

Bourgeoisie of the World Unite!

Stomp the proletarian pig under your heel? 

Well, maybe not, as that would technically be me, but some fun ponderings on the nature of today's opposition to President Obama.  It has always puzzled me how the "Revolution of the proletariat" seems to be instigated by the "intelligentsia" and implemented by an army--and always to the detriment of the working man.

Maybe there's hope after all that the "proletariat" will figure out that government taking money from their employers doesn't help them find work.  Maybe.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

...and this guy wants to help manage a multibillion dollar budget

A local DFL (Democratic for you non-Minnesotans) candidate for state Senate recently sent out a campaign flier that explained how he, as a lawyer working as a public defender, knew what it was like to have the end of the paycheck arrive before the end of the month, and use credit cards to make up the difference.

In other words, the guy is saying that he could not make ends meet on a lawyer's salary, and he's decided to patch things up in the stupidest possible way save going to payday loan company.  Yes, law school is not cheap.  Yes, public defenders aren't richly paid.  Even so, if this well paid gentleman thinks that borrowing money at 24% interest is a good way to make ends meet, I don't want him anywhere near the state budgeting process.

If he'd said "I know what it is to manage a tight budget in a tight economy without going into debt, and I'd like to apply what I've learned to the state budgeting process.", then I might be a bit more willing to listen to him.  I have to suggest (again) that one big reason for our current debt malaise at the state and federal level is that too many politicians--Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Norm Coleman, Byron Dorgan, and a host of others come to mind--simply have never learned to live within their means.  As such, it never occurs to them that state or federal government ought to do the same.

And, again, it also ought to be noted that when someone needs (Dodd, Dorgan, Conrad, Obama, Biden) to get sweetheart deals from loan companies to maintain their lifestyle, they're also pretty likely to listen a little more closely when a lobbyist "suggests" something.   If you wonder why (Barney Frank, Dorgan, Pomeroy, etc..) those banks and other large companies get such sweetheart deals from Congress, there you go.