Friday, November 30, 2012

The US Government Just "Adjusted" Away $40 Billion In Real Disposable Income

Perhaps the Bureau of Economic Analysis was hoping that today's cornucopia of ugly income and spending data would be enough for those who keep track of the US government's Department of Truth shennanigans and ignore the meat behind the numbers. Whatever the reason, the real story in today's Personal Spending data was not the consumer weakness, but the unceremonious revision of historical data, which as the chart below mysteriously whacked away a whopping $40 billion in real (i.e., inflation adjusted) disposable income. Because as the chart below shows, somehow, somewhere starting in March and continuing through the last month just before the election (the September data was released on October 29 or a week before Obama's reelection), $40 billion in cumulative disposable income evaporated. Where it went, and/or why it had been counted in the first place is anyone's guess. But one thing is certain: 0.25% of annualized GDP was just whacked away. One wonders: how many more such retroactive revisions will we see before reality and economic propaganda myth are finally superimposed?

More Magic Mysteries...

Modern Monetary Theory, an unconventional take on economic strategy.. this is the Obama approach

About 11 years ago, James K. “Jamie” Galbraith recalls, hundreds of his fellow economists laughed at him. To his face. In the White House.
It was April 2000, and Galbraith had been invited by President Bill Clinton to speak on a panel about the budget surplus. Galbraith was a logical choice. A public policy professor at the University of Texas and former head economist for the Joint Economic Committee, he wrote frequently for the press and testified before Congress.

What’s more, his father, John Kenneth Galbraith, was the most famous economist of his generation: a Harvard professor, best-selling author and confidante of the Kennedy family. Jamie has embraced a role as protector and promoter of the elder’s legacy.
But if Galbraith stood out on the panel, it was because of his offbeat message. Most viewed the budget surplus as opportune: a chance to pay down the national debt, cut taxes, shore up entitlements or pursue new spending programs.
He viewed it as a danger: If the government is running a surplus, money is accruing in government coffers rather than in the hands of ordinary people and companies, where it might be spent and help the economy.
“I said economists used to understand that the running of a surplus was fiscal (economic) drag,” he said, “and with 250 economists, they giggled.”
Galbraith says the 2001 recession — which followed a few years of surpluses — proves he was right.
A decade later, as the soaring federal budget deficit has sharpened political and economic differences in Washington, Galbraith is mostly concerned about the dangers of keeping it too small. He’s a key figure in a core debate among economists about whether deficits are important and in what way. The issue has divided the nation’s best-known economists and inspired pockets of passion in academic circles. Any embrace by policymakers of one view or the other could affect everything from employment to the price of goods to the tax code.

In contrast to “deficit hawks” who want spending cuts and revenue increases now in order to temper the deficit, and “deficit doves” who want to hold off on austerity measures until the economy has recovered, Galbraith is a deficit owl. Owls certainly don’t think we need to balance the budget soon. Indeed, they don’t concede we need to balance it at all. Owls see government spending that leads to deficits as integral to economic growth, even in good times.

This claim, that money is a “creature of the state,” is central to the theory. In a “fiat money” system like the one in place in the United States, all money is ultimately created by the government, which prints it and puts it into circulation. Consequently, the thinking goes, the government can never run out of money. It can always make more.

“Modern Monetary Theory” (MMT) was coined by Bill Mitchell, an Australian economist and prominent proponent, but its roots are much older. The term is a reference to John Maynard Keynes, the founder of modern macroeconomics. In “A Treatise on Money,” Keynes asserted that “all modern States” have had the ability to decide what is money and what is not for at least 4,000 years

Twinsdads comment:

This is where we are, the crossroads, the end of our "capitalist" society and the rise of the entitlement society.  This theory is why Obama will not agree to ANY cuts, he is obviously practicing MMT.

If you read this article and if your eyes are open wide you will fully understand why Obama will not back down.

If MMT is good or bad, only history will be the judge, however our children will either be the benefactors or the victims.  I for one can see that MMT could be the true theory, but it runs against the general populations rules, if you can't pay your bills... you can't print more money.

Note to Democrats, you still don't get it.

I don't think there is any point in our history where the national debt has been as sharply high while taxes have been so low. On another thread today, Stormcloud posted this "Where else are you asked to disregard your observations of the natural world and believe in something unseen?" This is a stunningly profound question to ask. A favorite theme of mine that many of you are aware of is the theme that in choosing Ronald Reagan in 1980, we collectively voted as a nation to ignore reality and pretend that reality could be whatever we envisioned it to be. It was a choice to say that we could, in one fell swoop, simply negate everything that had occurred prior and be something completely different. VooDoo economics indeed.

To be clear on one thing, this is not a dump on Reagan the man. It could have been anyone. People were enraged at the haplessness of Jimmy Carter and they would have embraced anyone who showed up and said, "This guy is full of bullshit, American's don't suffer like the rest of the world because we are better." Looking at the results of what started after Reagan, we have enormous, unquestionable trends that show how sharply we divorced ourselves from believing in the seen in favor of the unseen. Taxes dropped like a rock, spending shot up, the debt exploded. The fantasy here is that we have convinced ourselves that not only are those things NOT a chain of causality, they are not even related. As our economy went to shit and we transferred all of our jobs overseas in order to perpetually consume cheap comforts and live beyond our means, the growth of people on government assistance skyrocketed. Predictably, we blame government handouts for the lack of willingness to work, but we do not cast a second glance at a dogma that preaches there is no higher moral then allowing competition to crush our middle class.

What we've individually embraced seems less important then what we have collectively embraced. I've certainly got my blind spots being left of center, but what I most want to see is a strong middle class. Not a middle class that pretends they are something better and lives like they are wealthy, but a middle class that works everyday, provides for their family, and takes pride in it. There is no political philosophy that will bring that. What will bring that is a decision that that goal is more important than any philosophy we cling to. Clinging rigidly to things that make us feel good, like low taxes in a time of war and debt, like having the world's biggest military and drones to attack whoever we want whenever we want, like cable news and all the bitterness that comes with that, will not bring what I want to see. Nor, apparently, will voting for Democrats who are unwilling to show leadership. At best, we will likely see a piddling tax increase on the top earners that will not change their lives one tiny bit and will not remotely begin to pay down what we have rung up in debt to please those with money and assets. Lack of change will have little to do with Obama the man, but everything to do with America writ large.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Doublespeak: Revenue increase.

We all know this means raising taxes. Taking more money from citizens.

Edward S. Herman, political economist and media analyst, has highlighted some examples of doublespeak and doublethink in modern society.[7] Herman describes in his book, Beyond Hypocrisy the principle characteristics of doublespeak;
What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program.[8]

Similarities can be observed in Orwell’s own definition of doublethink, from Nineteen Eighty-Four;
The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them....To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies.[2]

" The point is that in a ... totalitarian state, it doesn't much matter what people think because ... you can control what they do. But when the state loses the bludgeon, when you can't control people by force and when the voice of the people can be heard, ... you have to control what people think. And the standard way to do this is to resort to what in more honest days used to be called propaganda. Manufacture of consent. Creation of necessary illusions.[14]"

The NHL lockout, a perfect example of what is wrong with America

Well,  I'm guessing that the NHL lockout currently underway is not something on most radars here.  I know some of you know of this strange game played on ice, but in case you don't, there is still something useful to be observed in studying what is going on. In some ways, this is a capitalist's dream. IE, the owners of the team who are sort of the owners of the capital (if you disregard fans) have locked out the players and told them they can not play until they, the players, accept less money and take a pay cut, even though the owners have signed contracts with the players to the contrary. Interestingly enough, this happened just a few short years ago in the 2004-2005 season. Without a doubt, the players were making too money relative to the revenue that was coming in. What the owners wanted was a salary cap that blocked players from earning more then a certain percentage of the revenue, regardless of what their contracts stated. The owners wanted this cap because they wanted, "cost certainty". Sound familiar?

Coming out of the lockout, the owners got every demand they wanted, the players lost an entire year of salary and the game resumed. Even though the players "lost", something interesting happened. Revenues started to grow and so did players salaries. In part, because players salaries were tied to revenues, they automatically started to make more money. The owners had their cost certainty, because of the cap, but the cap cut both ways and owners found themselves getting capped at a time when revenues were climbing. Additionally, after the owners created a hard cap to specifically block themselves from overpaying individual players, the owners promptly found a way to structure the pay deals to circumvent the cap. It's not easy to explain, but in a nutshell, if you pay a player 70 million dollars over ten years, the yearly cap hit is 7 million dollars. However, if you decide to pay the player 50 million over the first three years and 20 million over the remaining seven, that is your prerogative and you cap hit remains 7 million dollars. Predictably, in just a few short years, salaries AGAIN skyrocketed and many teams are again financially struggling.

As a separate but important side issue, the NHL is comprised of 30 teams throughout the US and Canada. In Canada, where hockey is the national sport, you can put steaming dogshit on the ice and the arena will be full. These teams will make money no matter how bad they suck. Because of this, these "rich" teams are incensed that they are capped from spending as much money as they want to more or less buy a Stanley Cup. Additionally, it frosts their balls to no end that they are forced to subsidize smaller market teams by sharing revenue. In short, they want small teams to just fail and go away so that they can control the game as they see fit and to their advantage. Again, sound familiar?
To the players, well, in principle, they have a pretty solid beef. They had the owners demands shoved down their throats in the last lockout and they actually lost money through contract clawbacks. However, they also received a ridiculous share of the new revenue split, 57%. While it's not the players fault the owners could not contain themselves, the reality is that this revenue split does not remotely reflect what is reasonable compared the NHL's popularity and say the NFL.

At this point, the players are going to lose again, and truth be told, they should. But, what you hear from the players is akin to them saying that going from making 5 million a year to making 4 million a year is going to throw them into poverty. And here again, sound familiar? Ultimately, it is the fans who pay their salaries and the owners are just a pass through. To the fan, like me, it seems ludicrous that a single player can make 14 million a year while the rank and file grind it out year after year for 2.5 mildo or less. Just as in the real world, the best players and the most financially successful teams believe the universe revolves around them and that the majority of players and teams in smaller markets (and of course the fans) should just accept they exist for the benefit of a select few. Coming out of the last lockout, the word parity was bandied about quite a bit. If there is parity in the league, then there is real competition on the ice. Of course, the teams with the most money do not want this at all and could give a damn about a smaller market team that can't afford to pay players 10 million dollars a year.

Comparing to the real world, I see the same exact paradigm. Through allowing our legislative process to be sold to the highest bidder, we have slanted all rules solidly in favor of those with wealth, at the direct expense of those in the middle class. The middle class, of course, accepted a lifestyle that was clearly not sustainable and there is no choice but for them to accept a pull back. Still, what needs to happen in both the NHL and the real world is an acknowledgement of the need to equitably distribute revenue in a way that keeps the entire system going. Right now, the NHL owners are offering the players a 50-50 split in revenue. In the real world the bottom 50% of earners take in about 13.5% of all income. Yes, taxes are an issue here and undoubtedly someone is going to latch on to that like stink on shit and disregard the entirety of what I'm saying here, you can't fix stupid. Be that as it may, there seems to be a lot to be learned from watching the greed and mismanagement of the NHL. Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading if you stuck with it.

Gitmo Terrorists

Lot's of talk about bringing terroritsts held at Gitmo to the United States. So here are my two cents. Hold them on an Indian reservation in Montana. 1.) The terrorists would not have access to a jury by trial etc... (I think) 2.) Good Bye Tropics, hello freezing/desolate pain in the butt living conditions. 3.) Indian reservations could have a nice source of income for housing terrorists.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

100's of thousands rally to oust Egypts leader.

They are trying again to push a secular Democracy. Fat chance of that working because this time Obama and world leaders aren't trying to quick out the Muslim Brotherhood's puppet.

The end of filibusters! Oh heavans no!

Something I have whined about quite a bit here and back on MW is the de facto change in senate rules that has occurred by use of the filibuster. In simple terms, many bills should be allowed to pass with a simple majority. However, if the minority party filibusters, the only way to bring a vote is to first rustle up 60 votes to end the filibuster, and then have your vote. Reid claims that Republicans have used the THREAT of filibuster 385 times. That number may be a bit inflated, but clearly, no senate leader has ever faced that many before.

Currently, to filibuster, you don't even have to take to the floor and actually stand there talking to block a vote. All you have to do is say will do so and that's good enough. One proposal under way is to change the rules to force the minority party to actually stand there and read the phone book or do whatever they want to do to continue stalling a vote. To McConnell, this is tantamount to tyranny and silencing the minority. Of course, having his party's voice reduced by three senate seats isn't something he sees as a national message to his party, but I digress.

To be fair, McConnell's claim is that he MUST filibuster so much because Reid won't let certain bills come up from congress for a vote. To this, I have expressed my contempt for Reid, although I do allow that this is a consequence of elections. Boehnor is under no obligation to work with the minority in his house, and judging on how many votes he had to repeal Obama care, I see no martyr status for him, he does exactly what Reid does and that's what you get to do when you are the majority party. The power that Reid and Boehnor are using, however,  is power that comes from being ELECTED to a majority. The power that McConnell is using is a consequence of manipulating a procedural rule that was intended to give a minority a chance to block something extraordinary. Rather then a special circumstance, McConnell has made it's use the everyday norm, and by default, a de facto change to the rules of the senate.

So, what are your feelings on the matter? Should we allow bills to pass on simple majority, as the framers intended, or is it okay to basically change the rules without a constitutional amendment stating that all senate bills must have 60 votes to pass? I say that at the least, it's time to end the ability to filibuster without having to actually perform the filibuster on the floor.

Monday, November 26, 2012

48% Think New Tax Money Will Go to New Programs, Not Deficit Reduction

48% Think New Tax Money Will Go to New Programs, Not Deficit Reduction

Monday, November 26, 2012
Voters are a little less suspicious of how new tax revenues may be used. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that a plurality (48%) of Likely U.S. Voters continues to believe that if Congress and the president raise taxes to reduce the federal deficit, they are likely to use the money for new government programs instead. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree and believe new tax money raised to reduce the deficit will be used for that purpose. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure.

I hold little hope for the people in this country.  Naive to the extreme.

National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted November 25, 2012

1* If Congress and the president raise taxes to reduce the federal deficit, are they likely to use the new tax money for deficit reduction or would they spend it on new government programs?

2* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable impression of the federal government?

3* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable impression of capitalism?

4* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable impression of socialism?

5* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable impression of the free enterprise system?

U.N. to Seek Control of the Internet

Next week the United Nations' International Telecommunications Union will meet in Dubai to figure out how to control the Internet. Representatives from 193 nations will attend the nearly two week long meeting, according to news reports.
"Next week the ITU holds a negotiating conference in Dubai, and past months have brought many leaks of proposals for a new treaty. U.S. congressional resolutions and much of the commentary, including in this column, have focused on proposals by authoritarian governments to censor the Internet. Just as objectionable are proposals that ignore how the Internet works, threatening its smooth and open operations," reports the Wall Street Journal.
"Having the Internet rewired by bureaucrats would be like handing a Stradivarius to a gorilla. The Internet is made up of 40,000 networks that interconnect among 425,000 global routes, cheaply and efficiently delivering messages and other digital content among more than two billion people around the world, with some 500,000 new users a day. ...

"Proposals for the new ITU treaty run to more than 200 pages. One idea is to apply the ITU's long-distance telephone rules to the Internet by creating a 'sender-party-pays' rule. International phone calls include a fee from the originating country to the local phone company at the receiving end. Under a sender-pays approach, U.S.-based websites would pay a local network for each visitor from overseas, effectively taxing firms such as Google and Facebook. The idea is technically impractical because unlike phone networks, the Internet doesn't recognize national borders. But authoritarians are pushing the tax, hoping their citizens will be cut off from U.S. websites that decide foreign visitors are too expensive to serve."
Arthur Herman explains "The UN's Internet Grab" here.
And even Google has already come out against the ITU.
"The ITU is the wrong place to make decisions about the future of the Internet," says Google. "Only governments have a voice at the ITU. This includes governments that do not support a free and open Internet. Engineers, companies, and people that build and use the web have no vote."
"The ITU is also secretive. The treaty conference and proposals are confidential," adds Google

The Fiscal Cliff

In the United States, the fiscal cliff is a term referring to the effect of a number of laws which (if unchanged) could result in tax increases, spending cuts, and a corresponding reduction in the budget deficit beginning in 2013.[1] These laws include tax increases due to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and spending cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Congressional Budget Office reported an increased risk of recession during 2013 if the deficit is reduced suddenly, while indicating that lower deficits and debt would in time improve long-term economic growth.[2] The deficit for 2013 is projected to be reduced by roughly half. Further, over the next ten years, projected increases in the United States public debt would be lowered by as much as $7.1 trillion or about 70%, resulting in a considerably lower ratio of debt relative to the size of the economy.

Amongst the few that post here I often wonder how each of us deals with life today in this country.  Many here were not and have not been affected by the economic downturn.  Please identify yourselves if this includes you and advise us of how you managed to maintain or actually create additional wealth over the last 5 years.  I am on the opposite side of the equation at the moment.  As I worked in Aerospace I choose not to retire on a 401K.  I made this choice knowing a crash might wipe away some or all of my retirement, so I invested in land/housing.  In the late 90's I bought a home and moved out of the condo I had for three years. I was able to select a home that had a decent yard to add on a couple of rooms and small mortgage.  As the years went by I bought a second home in Hawaii, this was the investment property, and it went up over $400K in the years we owned it.  We invested in solar, our meter actually ran backwards!  So far, so good.  Along comes the crisis in 2007, I saw it coming and managed to sell the mainland house for a decent profit, however the Hawaii house, once a cash cow turned into a stupid mistake.  The mistake, HARPTA " Withholding Tax on Sales of Hawaii Real Property by Nonresident Persons"

Even though we had to make a choice regarding where to raise the twins, Hawaii is extremely expensive, food in particular, example, orange juice, 1/2 gal. often cost as much as $9!

So we put the house up, looking at about $150K profit, however HARPTA does not permit non-residents to reap even one dollar without a massive tax, in fact if we had sold the house at the listed price, my $150K profit I would have wound PAYING the state money, yep!  So we did all the math with the folks buying the house, they agreed to the price and we left Hawaii without one thin dime in cash or profit on the house.

So,  we were in Ca. now and my twins are facing class sizes of 25 - 30 in the local kindergarten!
We began to look at other states, states close to my first son, who wanted to stay in Ca. and after an exhausting search we fled Ca., selling and buying in a ten day escrow on both houses and we moved to Arizona, class size... 15.

So, now we the people are facing the "fiscal cliff" a cliff I've already been thrown over.  But what will all this mean for the twins?  The Az. schools are great, the teachers and people are top notch, genuine folks that are charitable and aren't fake, so far...

Cavorting with a mammal.

Florida woman arrested for riding an endangered manatee

Sun, Nov 25 10:39 AM EST

(Reuters) - A Florida woman photographed two months ago riding an endangered manatee in violation of state law was arrested on Saturday on misdemeanor charges, authorities said.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's office said deputies arrested Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, 53, without incident at her job at a Sears store in St. Petersburg on a warrant for violating the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act.

The state makes it illegal to "annoy, molest, harass or disturb" the endangered aquatic mammals, whose survival is imperiled by manmade threats, including boating collisions. Violations are considered a second-degree misdemeanor.

The arrest stemmed from reports on September 30 that an unidentified woman had been seen touching and riding a manatee - which can grow up to 12 feet in length and weigh up to 1,800 pounds (818 kilograms) - at Fort Desoto Park, a few miles from downtown St. Petersburg.

Following media coverage of her cavorting with the mammal, Garcia Gutierrez called the sheriff's office two days later to turn herself in.

She admitted the offense claiming "she is new to the area and did not realize it was against the law to touch or harass manatees," the office said in a news release.

It was not immediately clear what penalties Garcia Gutierrez would face if convicted.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Paul Simao)

Sunday, November 25, 2012


ShopperTrak, which counts foot traffic and its own proprietary sales numbers from 25,000 retail outlets across the U.S., had forecast Black Friday sales would grow 3.8 percent this year, to $11.4 billion. BUT ShopperTrak estimated that consumers spent $11.2 billion at stores across the U.S. That is down 1.8 percent from last year's total.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Obama's Third Term

Most people believe that this election was about whether Obama will have a second term.

But it was not.

What was actually at stake was whether or not he will have a third term.

It's possible because the economy is going to be good. Really good. So, so good, that even though Obama will be "terrible socialist" and the worst "tyrant in American history" while gutting 401K accounts to fund government debt, that he will still become "an idol" and an unstoppable force at the polls. And apparently an unstoppable force with the Congress and all the states required to toss that irritating 22nd Amendment. Put it all together and Obama will become a president clothed in really, really snazzy jackets and super immense power for a really long time.
But what is the secret sauce that will power Papa Obama? Oil.
Stansberry predicts that a looming oil boom will shift America's economy into hyperdrive, despite all the nasty socialist roadblocks Obama throws in its way. Obama will use this newfound wealth to fund "his friends in Cuba" and to buy the votes of millions with nothing to do but live on the petro-dole.

Hating The Rich

Submitted by James E. Miller of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada,
In the midst of the extramarital affair scandal involving former CIA director David Petraeus, the mansion which mistress-turned-media target Paula Broadwell is hiding out in was revealed by the Daily Mail. This $2.3 mansion contains seven bedrooms and five bathrooms and is owned by Broadwell’s brother. Some are pointing to the mammoth home as yet another symbol of the vast inequality that pervades the West. It is said that to see the house is to have a glimpse at how the “other side” lives- the other side being subtly hinted to as that of the undeserving bourgeoisie.
In many respects, much of this loathing is well deserved for Ms. Broadwell and her brother Stephen Kranz. A former trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division and Chief Counsel for the District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue, Kranz is currently a partner at the D.C. law firm Sutherland. Much of his career has focused on the tax code. It appears that he once used the code as a weapon to shakedown other Americans in the service of Uncle Sam. Today, he advocates for taxpayers but the fact remains that he owes his standard of living to the formalized thieving racket the state labels taxation.
So to some degree, a bit of detestation is warranted at Kranz. But consider former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. During the beauty pageant (otherwise called campaign) to become president, the former Governor’s immense wealth was used a basis for attack. He was regularly mocked for the various homes he owned and his net worth of around $250 million. He was criticized for being out of touch with how the majority of the country lived and felt. In other words, he wasn’t a real man of the people.
To that, this writer can only say good riddance. The so-called “people” have been indoctrinated to see wealth as something to take by government force. Romney is by no means a good man- good men rarely make a run for public office. He fell into a great deal of income through second-hand government contracts and political connections. But his intimacy with the state is not why he faced an onslaught of censure. It was simply because he had something few else do - riches.
And because his house was bigger than most, his car collection larger than others, and his tastes more refined, he was hated by the media establishment. Even Romney’s de facto supporters who constituted the “conservative press” were careful to not draw attention to Romney’s wealth. Such would not inspire the hard laborer to rush to the polls in a fevered passion. President Obama ran a campaign based on handing out tickets for an auction of stolen goods. The incumbent’s success on Election Day came as no surprise to anyone familiar with mankind’s universal mannerism of desiring something in the now rather than later.
Western culture is presently defined by many things; one of which being an instilled sense of extreme jaundice toward wealth. No doubt Karl Marx would beam with pleasure in seeing how the contemporary bourgeoisie is regarded with hateful suspicion. His plan of crippling class warfare is slowly taking hold. This isn’t for the reasons Marx envisioned however. In his incredibly flawed understanding, the bourgeoisie would suck the very living out of the proletariat by keeping their hands clenched around society’s capital.
Instead, the accumulation of capital has financed the advent of modern technology. Man now lives longer, consumes more calories, is more mobile, and has ready access to a centuries worth of information. But rather than aid in the masses’ search for truth, the rise in convenience has made the species soft. The ignorant now cling to juvenile appeals of nationalism and the prospect of having government officials redistribute wealth in the name of justice.
Before the twentieth century and the ascendance of the all-intrusive state, sumptuous living was typically seen as something to aspire to. It aroused jealously which fueled a lust for reaching such heights of luxury; not to pick away at success. With its various schemes of theft, the state has institutionalized that which would be considered a crime if done by private hands. It has attracted those who not only relish in stealing by legal decree but also the voters who have a fetish for knocking those more successful down a peg. In short, it has turned envy into a laudable trait which can in turn be used to mask some political scheme.
A great deal of this can be attributed to the government granting of privilege to the well-connected. As long as the state exists, there will be a class of people who use political means to acquire vast swaths of riches. Their opulence feeds the feelings of animus the average man has towards the moneyed. It is through democracy that this hate is put into concrete action. As Albert Jay Nock writes,
Above all things the mass-mind is most bitterly resentful of superiority. It will not tolerate the thoughts of an elite; and under a political system of universal suffrage, the mass-mind is enabled to make it antipathies prevail by the sheer force of numbers.
Democracy isn’t just mob rule; it is a social system which the most craven tendencies of man are appealed to for political success. Instead of standing true for a justice that is based on a set of moral principles, the elected official will sink to whatever cesspool of indecency is necessary to garner just a few more votes. Democracy may start off as a means for self-determination but it quickly devolves into a race to the bottom fueled by endless promises to fill the public trough for the swine to feed at.
The bourgeoisie values of prudence and temperance are no longer respected in the Western world. They are seen as anachronistic and not in tune with the needs of society. This is a self-defeating attitude that will only lead to further impoverishment. For as long as success is punished and high time preferences are rewarded, the capacity for productive efforts deteriorates.
Coercive egalitarianism based on ill feelings of Schadenfreud is a cancer. There is no conceivable benefit in everyone being equal. There is only one moral social system and that is free, unadulterated capitalism which gives everyone the chance to improve their own standing. Anything less represents the triumph of the idiotic masses over good sense.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hama / Israel

Israel will regret their decision to declare a ceasefire. Hamas looks at this as a victory, which means more violence in the future.

Hobby Lobby files appeal in battle against ObamaCare contraception provisions

Hobby Lobby Stores has appealed a federal judge’s decision denying the craft supply chain’s request to not provide employees with insurance that covers morning-after and week-after birth control pills, as mandated by the ObamaCare law.
The Christian-owned company asked for relief in the face of fines they say could reach $1 million a day for not providing the coverage.
The appeal was filed Tuesday in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals after a federal judge in Oklahoma on Monday denied the owners’ request for a temporary injunction against the provisions of the Obama administration's health law.
The chain's appeal states in part that Chief Executive Officer David Green his family in less than six weeks “must either violate their faith by covering abortion-causing drugs or be exposed to severe penalties -- including fines of up to $1.3 million per day, annual penalties of about $26 million and exposure to private suits.”
The Oklahoma City-based company and a sister company, Mardel, sued the government in September, claiming the mandate violates the owners' religious beliefs. The owners contend the morning-after and week-after birth control pills are tantamount to abortion because they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman's womb. They also object to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices.
The decision was made by U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton, in a 28-page ruling.
At a hearing earlier this month, a government lawyer said the drugs do not cause abortions and that the U.S. has a compelling interest in mandating insurance coverage for them.
In his ruling, Heaton said churches and other religious organizations have been granted constitutional protection from the birth-control provisions, but Hobby Lobby and Mardel “are not religious organizations."
"Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion," the ruling also stated.
Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said before the appeal: "Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs."
Hobby Lobby is the largest business to file a lawsuit against the mandate.
The company calls itself a "biblically founded business" and is closed on Sundays. Founded in 1972, the company now operates more than 500 stores in 41 states and employs more than 13,000 full-time employees who are eligible for health insurance coverage. The company, which is self-insured, has said it will face a daily $1.3 million fine beginning Jan. 1 if it ignores the law.

Read more:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789, George Washington.

Thanksgiving Proclamation

[New York, 3 October 1789]
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: A Pre-storm Look at Affected Areas from The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

"Hurricane Sandy swept up the East Coast of the United States in late October 2012. The storm began in the southern Caribbean Sea and quickly developed first into a tropical storm, then into a hurricane. Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the United States the evening of October 29 near Atlantic City, New Jersey.
BLS Spotlight on Statistics: Hurricance Sandy
High winds and flooding caused dozens of deaths and massive damage to homes, businesses, power systems, transportation systems, and other property in many states, especially New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area. Sandy's reach placed it among the largest Atlantic tropical cyclones on record.
It will be months before the economic impact of Sandy can be fully assessed using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other organizations. This Spotlight on Statistics provides a brief look at the pre-Sandy labor market in some of the areas of the United States hit hardest by the storm."

Twinsdad's comment:

This is hard data that provides details no other organization has. The Labor force Density alone tells the tale... I think all here should reflect a moment on what this means, for me, it makes 9/11 look like a small event...

"Hurricane Sandy struck at the most densely populated region of the United States. Four of the five counties with the highest number of labor force participants per square mile in 2011 were among those hardest hit by Sandy. All 26 of the counties designated as major disaster areas are among the top 10 percent of U.S. counties in terms of labor force density. The average density for these 26 counties, 1,301 labor force participants per square mile, was approximately 30 times the average density of the United States in 2011. The number of labor force participants in these 26 counties ranged from just under 27,000 in Bristol County, Rhode Island, to over 1.1 million in both Kings County (Brooklyn) and Queens County in New York. Their unemployment rates ranged from 6.5 percent in Rockland County, New York, to 12.9 percent in Atlantic County, New Jersey."

Twinsdad comment:

If you take the time follow the link you will learn that Sandy may be an event the country never recovers from...

Art Cashin: "Is US Economic Growth Over?" Read this article and the attached Working Paper

"An Absolutely Fascinating Study – A friend of mine pointed me to an absolutely fascinating study. My friend felt it added credibility to his thesis that civilization and economics are subject to an 800 year cycle. My friend likes to cite lots of markers to prove/justify his thesis. He talks of the Dark Ages, the Age of Discovery, and the Age of Enlightenment as some of those markers. It is an entertaining hypothesis and, some day, if there is enough time, space and mental lubricant available, I may outline his hypothesis (at least as far as I can understand it).
In the meantime, I am grateful that he pointed me to a study by Professor Robert J. Gordon of Northwestern University. The study is published by the Centre for Economic Policy Research. While I don't see any connection or support for an 800 year cycle, the report is chock full of eye-opening historical data. Here's how the author begins to outline his thesis:
The paper makes these basic points:"

Twinsdad's comments:

Read the data points.. pay attention to these two points:

"What I found most compelling was the recounting of the labor involved in certain tasks before invention and progress changed or replaced them. Here's a key example:
But the biggest inconvenience was the lack of running water. Every drop of water for laundry, cooking, and indoor chamber pots had to be hauled in by the housewife, and wastewater hauled out. The average North Carolina housewife in 1885 had to walk 148 miles per year while carrying 35 tonnes of water. Coal or wood for open-hearth fires had to be carried in and ashes had to be collected and carried out. There was no more important event that liberated women than the invention of running water and indoor plumbing, which happened in urban America between 1890 and 1930."

And we all know that the automobile produces smog and may contribute to global warming. We should all yearn for those idyllic days before the internal combustion engine – or maybe not.

"While the railroad connected the cities, there were horses on every urban street. Within the cities, steam power was not practical, so everything was hauled by horses. The average horse produced 20 to 50 pounds of manure and a gallon of urine daily, applied without restraint to stables and streets. The daily amount of manure worked out to between 5 and 10 tonnes per urban square mile, all requiring disgusting human labour to remove. The low standard of living reflected not just the small amount that people could purchase but also the amount of effort at the workplace and at home where they had to expend to perform ordinary tasks."

Why did Patraeus resign?

 I feel for the families that lost their loved ones in Libya.  Another casualty of politics today and not only a failed administration but a failed MSM.  I wonder if they have figured out why they continue to go into bankruptcy or become online only media.  The director of the CIA resigns.  Why?  

No one but Petraeus knows — and in about two weeks probably no one will care. He may have felt that some in the White House were massaging his analyses, perhaps emboldened by knowledge of his private affairs, and he may therefore have thought that his tenure at the CIA was fatally compromised, leading him to resign, but only after the election, in a manner that should not appear political. Or, then again and more ominously, the White House may have felt that after the election, Petraeus’s personal problems, and possible intelligence dissents, had become liabilities and thus he should be forced to resign. We still do not know whether Petraeus willingly resigned in order to ensure that his analyses could not be tainted by political massaging, or whether he desperately wished to stay at the CIA, but was booted out as soon as Barack Obama was safely reelected, when any subsequent testimony that might contradict what was earlier released would fortunately only muddy the waters.

Unlike in the cases of Watergate and Iran-Contra, there is no investigative press, given the media’s worry about endangering the second-term agenda of a progressive president. There is no special prosecutor salivating after a government official, as there was with Scooter Libby. “The fog of war” and accusations of “Conspiracy theory!” should be enough to bury the scandal and discredit those who seek the truth. Modifying a CIA analysis for political purposes is probably no crime. Quid pro quos are simply the polite, everyday — and legal — Washington version of blackmail. In the end, the only casualties in this sordid tale were the sterling career of David Petraeus — and four murdered Americans whose deaths were preventable.

Monday, November 19, 2012

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 11-19-2012

In first quarter 2012, gross job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments increased to 6.9 million. Gross job losses from closing and contracting private sector establishments decreased to 6.1 million.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.1 percent in October after rising 0.6 percent in September. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in October after increasing 0.1 percent in September.
HTML | PDF | RSS | Local and Regional CPI
Just thought you folks on the left here needed some cheering up....

Investment Falls Off a Cliff

U.S. companies are scaling back investment plans at the fastest pace since the recession, signaling more trouble for the economic recovery. 
Half of the nation's 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders have announced plans to curtail capital expenditures this year or next, according to a review by The Wall Street Journal of securities filings and conference calls.
Nationwide, business investment in equipment and software—a measure of economic vitality in the corporate sector—stalled in the third quarter for the first time since early 2009. Corporate investment in new buildings has declined.
At the same time, exports are slowing or falling to such critical markets as China and the euro zone as the global economy downshifts, creating another drag on firms' expansion plans.

Should the White House and Congress strike a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, the economy could get a boost. "You might very well get a burst of pent-up demand coming at the start of next year," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, a consultancy.
"Given the timing of the drop-off in business investment," he said, "you have to think it's not just a coincidence with the timing of the fiscal cliff."
Unless the business investment slowdown reverses quickly, it could weigh further on growth prospects and the stock market

It’s The Deficit Stupid

Taxes are imposed on profits and earnings.  Once taxes are paid on profits and earnings the net savings are left alone.  This allows those dollars to be invested into productive investments which in turn generate more profits and earnings which will be taxed.  As stated above, as the “rich” invest in productive investments it leads to higher employment, strong consumer demand and economic growth.  In turn this leads to higher tax revenue.
However, deficits, and deficit spending, are HIGHLY destructive to economic growth as it directly impacts gross receipts and saved capital equally. Like a cancer – running deficits, along with continued deficit spending, continues to destroy saved capital and damages capital formation
We discussed recently the economic impact of spiraling debt levels that have eroded economic growth.  Debt is, by its very nature, a cancer on economic growth. As debt levels rise it consumes more capital by diverting it from productive investments into debt service. As debt levels spread through the system it consumes greater amounts of capital until it eventually kills the host. The chart below shows the rise of federal debt and its impact on economic growth.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

“the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

Thomas Jeffersont 
“the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” 

Little in recent history shows him to have been wrong.  The 2012 election cemented in place higher spending, increased regulation, and federal control over the health sector. More broadly, from 1900 to 2012, spending by the federal government rose from less than 7 percent of the gross domestic product to over 40 percent. 

Aspirations. Perspectives.

Why is Obama consulting with Al Sharpton over the budget

He is not the only civil rights leader Obama is consulting over the fiscal budget. Why? If I were to ask one of my Dem friends, he would probably say that Obama wants a grand bargain and is willing to cut social security benefits and raise the retirement age so he needs community leaders to support him. Hahahahaha as if, I think we all know Obama is about to screw over everyone that's not on some sort of government handout.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Free Cell Phones for Welfare Recipients

Several posters have cited the free cell phone program as an example of Obama buying votes. I just thought you should know that that program was instituted by the FCC under Ronald Reagan and later expanded by Bill Clinton and George Bush. Obama had nothing to do with it. Check it out on Snopes.

Friday, November 16, 2012

An American Icon dies.

Hostess is facing liquidation.  I've had enough of this nonsense.  Twinkies are an American icon.  Are we going to continue down this road of destruction?  It's time to petition the White House and demand a government bailout for Hostess.  If we can bail out GM, we can bailout Hostess.  I know the government isn't happy with junk food.  If the government funds the bailout they can pressure Hostess to load up a twinkie with vitamins, minerals and maybe even a little fiber.  Replace the High Fructose Corn Syrup with a healthful substitute.  Maybe Honey, rice syrup, Michelle can help us with the best sweetener.  So what if they cost 6 dollars each and they can only charge 1.25, it will be good for you and it's just government money.  Make every school include a twinkie with every lunch as desert, instant success.

We will need 25,000 people to sign the petetion before the White House will respond.  We can't get them to balance the budget so lets force them to put the money to good use instead of investing in a battery plant no one wants.

Who's in?

Medical giant Stryker cuts 1,170 jobs, citing ObamaCare

Medical supply giant Stryker is the latest company to announce job cuts in anticipation of coming costs associated with ObamaCare, even though the man who inherited a fortune from the company's founder is a fan.
The company will cut 1,170 jobs, or five percent of its worldwide workforce, despite the fact that the founder's grandson was one of the largest contributors to President Obama’s re-election campaign. Medical tech scion Jon Stryker, whose net worth is currently estimated at $1.2 billion, contributed $2 million to the Priorities USA Action super PAC and has given $66,000 in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party. Stryker does not run the company.
A "medical device excise tax" included in the mandate imposes a 2.3 percent levy on medical device manufacturers and suppliers, which critics say will raise prices on everything from pacemakers to prosthetics to stents. Companies will be required to pay the tax regardless if they have a profit or loss for the year. The tax is estimated to cost the medical device industry $20 billion.
House Republicans tried to have the tax repealed, drafting a bill called the Protect Medical Innovation Act, but the Democrat-controlled Senate has blocked the measure.
“The targeted reductions and other restructuring activities are being initiated to provide efficiencies and realign resources in advance of the new Medical Device Excise Tax scheduled to begin in 2013, as well as to allow for continued investment in strategic areas and drive growth despite the ongoing challenging economic environment and market slowdown in elective procedures,” Stryker spokeswoman Yin Becker told “The reductions and restructuring activities are expected to be substantially complete by the end of 2012.”

Read more:
Positions within the company were eliminated altogether after the announcement and have since contracted out many of their current roster of employees to keep costs down, an employee with Stryker, who spoke to under the condition of anonymity, said.
“They really trimmed the fat with the last layoffs in 2009 and the year after which is probably why we are finally on budget for the first time since 1999,” the employee added.
Jon Stryker has been active in politics before the recent election; he contributing millions to help Democratic candidates in his home state of Michigan. He also has given nearly $250 million of his personal wealth to groups supporting gay rights and the conservation of apes, which led to a newly found species being named after him. In 2010, the discovered Myanmar Snub-nosed monkey was named Rhinopithecus strykeri by the research teams that were funded by Stryker’s Arcus Foundation.

In the spirit of conciliation with our Republican Brethren

I did NOT write this, but I wish I had-----------truth hurts!  YIKES!  Secessionists-------this is a must read.  See ya on the cliff-------------------!!!!!!!!!! Bring your parachute.

Hey----ya gotta laugh.   We had to laugh through 8 yrs of  Rep Dynasty-------we get it-------we know how you feel.  It is, however , what it is.  Push back can be hell----poor ole Virginia------sigh.

Dear Red States:
We're ticked off at your Neanderthal attitudes and politics and we've decided  we are leaving.
We in the Blue States intend to form our own country… In case you aren't aware that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and the rest of the Northeast.
We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation and especially to the  people of the new country of The Enlightened States of America (E.S.A).
To sum up briefly:  
        •You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.
        •We get stem cell research and the best beaches.
        •We get Andrew Cuomo and Elizabeth Warren.
        •You get Bobby Jindal and Todd Akin.
        •We get the Statue of Liberty.
        •You get OpryLand.
        •We get Intel and Microsoft.
        •You get WorldCom.
        •We get Harvard.
        •You get Ole' Miss.
        •We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.
        •You get  Alabama.
        •We get two-thirds of the tax revenue.
        •You get to make the red states pay their fair share.
Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian  Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.
With the Blue States in hand we will have firm control of
        •80% of the country's  fresh water,
        •more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce,
        •92% of the nation's  fresh fruit,
        •95% of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners)
        •90% of all cheese,
        •90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the US  low sulphur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and  Seven Sister schools
        •plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Cal Tech and MIT.
With the Red States
        •you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans and  their projected health care costs,
        •92% of all US mosquitoes,
        •nearly 100% of the  tornadoes,
        •90% of the hurricanes,
        •99% of all Southern Baptists,
        •virtually 100%  of all televangelists,
        •Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson, and the  University of Georgia.
We get Hollywood, and Yosemite, thank you.
38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale,  62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in  9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals  than we lefties. 
We're taking the good weed too. You can have that crap they grow in Mexico.
Citizen of the Enlightened States of America

Just to be clear, this is where I stand, created 10/10/10

The Planks of my Political Platform.

1)      One bill, one subject, one vote, up or down.
2)      Bills must be posted, as written , for one week for public comment/awareness
3)      Flat  Tax, fair and balanced so the rich still bear the highest burden
4)      No Death Tax, the heirs deserve what the family can leave them
a)      It’s all been taxed once already
5)      Equal financial rights for Gays, includes marriage.
6)      All special interest groups are banned from political donations.
a)      Unions, PACS. 501C’s, you name it.
b)      No donation without a verifiable individual Tax I.D. # which proves/validities source
c)      Internet donations must also have Tax I.D # encrypted for privacy
d)      Elections only funded through Public means via 1040 forms
7)      Stop letting the United Nations determine U.S. policy
a)      The United Nations is owned and run by the African Countries
b)      Stop funding world objectives, take care of business at home
c)      Leave the United Nations
8)      Term Limits, no more professional Politicians, two terms Senate, two terms House or any combination thereof  Candidates can be funded for one year to learn the systems of the Government
9)      No Government intervention into Healthcare
a)      No 16,000 IRS agents collecting monies to force folks to get healthcare
b)      No strong arming Doctors
c)      No penalty for not having Health Insurance
d)      No health facility can deny service
e)      No use of “prior conditions” in determining cost or treatment
10)  No Bank or other Financial entity can donate to a Politician
11)  No Earmarks, let the States fund their own needs as required
12)   No Bill can increase the deficit
13)   Any State that requires bailout due to fiscal issues must submit to Federal oversight of the funds being spent.
a)      Insolvent Union Pension funds must pay out only what they can
b)      No State has to make up for poor investments by union fund investors
14)  No Federal level funding of Abortions, State funding of Abortions is not and will not be compensated by the Federal Government.
15)  Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid will be the primary funded retirement funds, no other gimmicks, no other fund, no other system.
16)  Unemployment benefits must have a limit, one Bill, one vote, binding for 10 years to set the limit.
17)  No Nanny laws, let Americans eat, drink or smoke themselves to death
18)  Set up a welfare fraud task force, validate all welfare claims using local officials
19)  No “to big to fail”  let Chapter 11 do it’s work
20)  Legalize the current population in the country illegally
a)      Individuals must pay back taxes
i)        Chances are they haven’t made enough to pay a dime
b)      Families must prove offspring location of birth, if U.S. then a citizen
c)      Make Social Security cards as hard to counterfeit as $100 bills
d)      Set up Federal funded loans, to be paid back by the immigrant to learn our governments ways and means
e)      Establish guidelines for employers such that if the illegal has falsified citizenship they are not fined
f)        Allow States with a border to participate in Border enforcement
21)  Establish a law designed to pay off the debt by “X” and stick to it
22)  Establish a voting system/machine that is universal to every election
a)      No special interest influence, only impartial scientists
23)  Improve oversight of all high budget high dollar budgetary items
a)      Defense
b)      Medicaid
c)      Medicare
d)      Social Security
e)      Audit all Government depts..
24)  Every person serving our country has to publish a birth certificate
a)      Internal only to be validated by the FBI