All Hail Our New Oligarchs!!

July 2nd, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, we are seeing the results of the new class’ idea that Our Constitution is a “living breathing document” philosophy, in that what it says is irrelevant, what it means is a non sequitur and the original intent is now utterly abandoned. So now, instead of a fixed document strictly enumerating the role, powers and limitations of our government, we have a meaningless rag that exists only to give the new class elite a faux legitimacy. Therefore, we now live under what the ancient Greeks called, arbitrary rule. The laws are arbitrarily set and enforced by the elite for their benefit, not the benefit of society. The new class is a defacto aristocracy, they are the only source for every judge, lawyer, congressman, President, college professor, reporter, editor, etc… Aristotle called an aristocracy that serves it’s own interest oligarchy. So our once Constitutional republic with a limited role of government has metamorphosed into an oligarchy that has arbitrary power.

What makes a king a king? Public opinion… If the people woke one morning and forgot that King Eggbert was king, and thought Wilbur Underwater is and has always been king, Wilbur would be king. If Eggbert stood and proclaimed he was and had always been king, he would be put in an insane asylum. It is as simple as that. If the public believe a person is king, then he or she is, alternatively, if the public believes the government can do a thing, then it can. If someone stands and proclaims that thing is illegal for the government to do, he or she will be roundly criticized a fool, since everyone “knows” they can! That is why the elite today get away with what they are doing, the public’s opinion is that they can. Public opinion has been changed from understanding the original meaning of the Constitution and the Framer’s intent, to a contemptible ignorance of it, because the new class has been pushing that message into the zeitgeist for generations.

The Legislative branch has abdicated it’s powers to the Executive and the Judicial. Laws are now made, enforced and infractions punished by the Executive. The Bureaucracy is essentially Philip Dru Administrator. It answers to no one but the President, making the President essentially a king in fact if not in name. The Legislative branch refuses to use it’s power of the purse to reign in an out of control President, because they support the US becoming an oligarchy with arbitrary rule. Since they are the oligarchs. If a President tried to return the US to Constitutional rule however, he or she would be assaulted by every branch of the government, media and the professional agitators. The new class hold on the mechanism of government is iron fisted.

The Judicial Branch has been increasing it’s law making powers for generations. In the 1940’s, the Supreme Court ruled that if the Federal government wants, it can outlaw people growing their own food on their own land. As absurd as that sounds it was a landmark ruling for Franklin Roosevelt and his progressive policies. That ruling led to the bureaucracy. In 1973 the Supreme Court invented a new “right,” that a woman could murder her unborn baby at any time for any reason. Since there was no negative consequences for the judges who made up a new right and wrote it into our Constitution outside the prescribed Constitutional process, (they should have been impeached by the Legislative branch), that opened up the total power of the Supreme Court to change our Constitution, however and whenever they wished, for whatever reason. In 1989 Mistretta v. United States the Supreme Court ruled the Legislative Branch could delegate it’s law making powers to the Exectutive, ie, the Bureaucracy, in violation of the nondelegation philosophy. All of which led directly to the newest usurpations by the Supreme Court, Gay marriage and rewriting Obama care.

The ruling about gay marriage is not about giving someone a new right, it is about forcing others to do what government wants. No one cares what consenting adults do. I am not trying to force others to follow my morality, Gay marriage however forces me to follow theirs. If a Gay couple want to force a business owner to be involved in their wedding, regardless of the moral conviction of that business owner, the full power and weight of the Federal government will come down on him or her forcing them to. What a slippery slope that is!! What it now establishes is that the government is now the arbiter of morality! Believe something other than what the government wants and they can punish you for your very thoughts.

Book burning cannot be far away now. All the government need do is label the ideas in any book “hate speech,” and it follows, they can seize all the copies and burn them. Now that the Supreme Court has given the government, and thereby the new class, arbitrary power to regulate morality and thought, it won’t be long before the government will decide what preachers can say at the pulpit, what ideas can be written down in books and even what you can say in your own home. There can be no greater tyranny then a government regulating our very thoughts, and no government that can, will ever allow us to change it. Remember; No matter how much you like what they are doing with that arbitrary power today, beware, you might not like it tomorrow, but then it will be too late, you gave them the right to do it today.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Change is the Nature of the Universe

June 29th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, everything is transitory, even those things we see as bedrock. Even bedrock eventually wears away into sand, silt, and clay. We hang our hats on this or that seemingly solid manifestation but when it turns to sand, as everything does, we are thrown into chaos. The ground shifts beneath our feet and we are put off balance by it. No one has such balance that they are immune. Change is the nature if this universe and that change will always keep us off balance. Our very lives are transitory. We struggle through, trying to be good people, avoiding pain and seeking pleasure as best we can, but in the froth and turbulence of life we only hold on as best we can. The answer is not to be so strong we break, or so weak we fold, but to bend when it is required, have the wherewithal to get back on our feet when we are knocked down, and we must stand hard against the vicissitudes of life we can defeat.

Change is the nature of this universe. Even the stars themselves have limited life spans and so how much less our realities? Once there were dinosaurs roaming the Earth, now they are gone, through no fault of humanity, but because all things have a beginning, a middle and an end. There is nothing other than God that doesn’t follow this pattern. Change is everywhere you look. A billion years from now the Earth will be swallowed by the Sun and life on this planet will become impossible. Nothing is permanent… but change.

Change is the quality of our existence. Perhaps that is why life arose in the first place, because life is nothing but change. Every aspect of life is change. We eat, digest the food and excrete it out, every step is change. We are born, we live and then die, changing the whole time. The very molecules within us change to make our existence possible. Even our thoughts, emotions and spirits exist by changing, thought by the changing of electrons and proteins, emotions by the changing of our fortunes and our spirits grow and thereby change as we age. Life, being so intricately involved with change, is the epitome of the nature of our universe.

Maybe that is why the market system is so effective, it is noting but change. In the free market, innovations changes the way business is done, it changes how things are made and it changes peoples fortunes, some from good to bad and others from bad to good. Those how have it good seek to stop change, through regulations taxes and monopoly, but they struggle against the very nature of our universe. The market system is constantly changing, which puts it in alignment with the nature of the universe, while socialism seeks to stop change, putting it at odds with creation. To contend with the nature of the universe is to fight an unwinnable battle.

To seek to stop change is to seek to stop the universe. You might as well stop the planets from orbiting the Sun. People dislike change however, the weather changes and we go from hot to cold, the seasons change and we go from sowing to reaping, our fortunes change and we go from poverty to wealth or visa versa. Change is difficult for us because it causes disruption, and by definition we must adapt to that disruption, we cannot force it to adapt to us. Innovation is a form of change and therefore is resented by those who are comfortable in the present paradigm. That is why so many of us struggle against change, even to the point of accusing humanity of being the author of change, that is a ludicrous charge since nature is the author, we are merely spectators.

Since change is the nature of the universe, it is the height of foolishness to expect to stop anything from changing. To stop the globe from heating or cooling is to spit in the face of nature, to stop economic innovation is to expect the universe to bend to us, and to demand that morality not change is to be Pollianish. Change sometimes is good and other times it is bad. Changing morality will lead to lower standards of living, persecution and eventually a collapse of our civilization, but that is also change. The best we can do is try to mitigate the negative results of change, or guide it to a better result as best we can, but change is inevitable.

The pendulum of fate swings from good to bad, it cannot be held to good forever, that would violate the nature of our universe. Even the Bible’s description of the Millennial reign says it will change, after a thousand years Lucifer will be loosed on us again, and since the author of the Bible is the same as the author of the universe, change is written into it too. Today the pendulum swings to bad, as it must do, but rest assured, while it will get much much worse, that same pendulum will eventually swing back to good. Only God knows when, but it will. How do I know this? Because change is the nature of the Universe.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

 

Radical measures to Improve the Economy

June 25th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, if you want a car to go faster, it is not a good strategy to push harder on the brakes. Our political elite strongly disagree with me however. They believe with all their hearts that the harder you push the brakes the faster the economy will go. They claim they want more jobs and a faster growing economy, and then say with all earnestness, that to get that result they will push even harder on the economic brakes. Sadly, the result is always a slower growing economy, less jobs and lower wages. To the political elite, this is a conundrum that is unsolvable, it is the Gordian knot of economics. I would like to suggest that perhaps, just perhaps, instead of pushing ever harder on the brakes, it might be a sound strategy to lift up on the brakes and maybe even push the accelerator a bit.

The new class elite say they want higher wages, more jobs and a faster growing economy in every speech, talk and seminar they produce. They go on and on about income inequality, stagnant wages, the evil rich, unfairness of capitalism, social justice, etc… Yet every policy they enact only makes the problems, they so hate, get worse? One must wonder how it is that such good intentions always seem to come to naught? Maybe because the policies they enact are always the same… pushing the brakes on the economy.

Higher regulations is their fall back position. They believe that increasing the friction of regulations in an economy will make that economy grow faster, create more and better paying jobs as well as level the playing field for those trying to get ahead. In fact if you or anyone else brings up the idea that maybe, just maybe regulations are too high, the new class elite will chuckle, look at you like a child who believes in Santa, and tell us the economy must have regulations… everyone knows that. Besides, the dire threat of global warming must be stopped by regulations! They have bought and paid for “scientists” that prove it every day. Therefore then push harder on the regulatory brakes with both feet.

The new class love to raise taxes. The answer to every economic, social and political problem is the brave policy of raising taxes. What courageous people the new class are. In the face of us ignorant fools, the new class elite ratchet up our tax burden to help create more and better employment, but they are only doing it for us. They see government spending as the solution to every problem that has ever plagued mankind since we emerged from caves. If only the hoi polloi was as enlightened as the elite, we would also see that taking ever more of our money and throwing it down the rabbit hole of government spending, helps us far more than if we were allowed to keep the money we earn… and so they raise taxes, every year in any way they can, pushing ever harder on the taxation brake with their whole body.

The new class believes that vilifying those who create jobs will to lower the unemployment rate. Listen to any rich new class elitist and they will assure you that the problem is those evil rich people. Not the one speaking of course! Heavens no! It is the fault of all those other rich people, you know, the ones starting businesses and investing their money in the economy, certainly not those who got rich in politics, or old money that sustains the trust fund class. Any progressive will look you in the eye and with a tear in his eye lament your problems, that are because someone is trying to get rich by starting a company, hiring people and adding value to the economy. If you don’t agree then it is just because you are too simple to grasp the intricacies of their policies. So they crush the brakes on entrepreneurs as hard as they can.

Could I offer a different strategy? Maybe instead of pushing down ever harder on the economic brakes, to get a stronger faster growing economy, it might behoove us if the elite lifted their foot from the throat of the economy and allowed it to get some air, maybe even pushed down a bit on the accelerator? I know that is a radical concept, and most any politician who the new class agree with will agree that is an extremely radical position to take, but since pushing harder on the economic brakes has only slowed the economy, radical measures should be considered. Radical measures like, lifting up the foot from the regulatory brake, easing up on the tax burden or maybe cheering those who start businesses and employ people. I know, I know, such talk is like saying water flows down hill, horses have four legs, fish swim in water or that the Earth is round… absurd to the utmost. Or perhaps, the new class elite know their policies of pushing harder on the economic brakes will slow the economy, and therefore they really don’t want a fast growing economy, creating lots of good jobs and higher wages, in spite of their rhetoric? Or is that too extreme to say?

Sincerely,

John Pepin

On The Reaction to the Church Attack…

June 22nd, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, if we apply the logic of those who seek to disarm the people, to the actions of government, then to be consistent they would have to agree governments must be limited. Unfortunately the progressives, socialists and Marxists are not consistent. They stand on the graves of victims of random violence, deploring that violence, and call for a situation where the probability of extreme, organized violence, despotism and crimes against humanity… are all but certain. Anyone who has even the most elementary grasp of human history knows, the violence perpetrated by the state against people, it’s own and others, is orders of magnitude greater and more horrendous than all the murders done by random lunatics. Moreover, that violence has been organized and systematic, making it all the worse. In other words, to follow the advice of those who decry gun violence and follow their prescriptions to stop it, would visit exponentially more atrocities on humanity. They seek to solve a bloody nose by putting a tourniquet around the neck of humanity.

Those who constantly lament the availability of guns to the people, are the same ones who seek to arm every branch of government to the hilt, they approve of seeding the civil police with weapons of war, their theme is that more and better armed government along with less and less transparency is desirable at every turn, in this they are consistent. The gun grabbers stand on the graves of innocent women and children, to propose a system where systematic, organized violence to the extreme becomes inevitable. To say they are merely ignorant or stupid, is to be kind, because they are the most schooled among us, and openly claim that mantle.

History shows that government is always the biggest threat to humanity there is. There is not one example of a despotism that has not visited organized violence on some faction of society. Be it a politically disfavored faction or a despised race the pattern is unchanging. Government, by it’s very nature becomes ever more powerful, pulling in more and more resources until it becomes a leviathan, by that time it becomes psychopathic, and begins slaughtering huge portions of it’s own population, else it starts wars that dislocate huge numbers of innocent people, wound, maim and kill giant swaths of humanity and eventually burn up in revolution, taking even more people to their deaths. That has been the pattern of human government forever.

Those that seek to disarm the people, logically, seek to arm government against the people. They claim to be against violence but a look at their policies and goals show a very different story. They argue that the Right to keep and bear arms is too dangerous for the people and so it must be limited. They will get red faced when their real goal is thrown in their faces… to make all gun ownership illegal, thereby ensuring the superiority of armament of the government over and against the people. No matter how many gun laws are on the books they will call for more until guns are totally illegal. Which shows how truly despicable they are. The inconsistencies of their logic is astounding to anyone who actually thinks about it.

If the Right to keep and bear arms is too dangerous, and therefore must be limited, then what is the precedent they are setting? That a Right that is dangerous should be taken away! What a slippery slope that is! To bring that argument to it’s logical conclusion, the Right of free speech is far more dangerous than the Right to keep and bear arms! A progressive lunatic setting in a German beer hall wrote a book that directly led to the slaughter of over 60 million human beings. No amount of deranged gunmen could ever get near that number. Karl Marx wrote the Manifesto, a book that to date has resulted in mass slaughter, forced famine, sterilization, torture, systematic murder and outright extermination of well over 100 million human beings. It should not be lost on the reader that the progressive philosophy of those who call for limiting gun Rights is identical to that of Hitler and Marx.

Today, politicians trod the graves of innocent victims in the most despicable fashion, calling for limits to the Rights of law abiding citizens to defend themselves from a despotic government. By doing so, they show their utter contempt for the victims, to exploit their untimely deaths for political gain. To say they are merely ignorant or stupid is to be ignorant and stupid. The callousness of politicians who seek total superiority of armament of government over the people, coupled with their stated philosophy, a philosophy that has visited such carnage on the human race, shows their true nature. That nature is evil incarnate, to want a system where organized violence cannot be suppressed by the people is nothing but sinister. That their predecessors did the same thing, made the same arguments, and once implemented have always resulted in untold agony for millions of people, people like you and I, shows the diabolical nature of them and their arguments. Of course, it may not turn out that way this time, but then again, you could jump off a twenty story building and land on the street unscathed… but I wouldn’t bet my life on it. It is true however, that a tourniquet is a sure way to stop a bloody nose.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Quality of Mercy in a Tyranny

June 18th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the quality of mercy of our rulers is hard and sharp, but they expect and demand from us a soft and easy mercy, this is the way of a despot and not a human hearted legislator. The adage, “Ignorance is no excuse under the law…” speaks to this truism, in that those of us who don’t write law and have only a very limited access to knowledge of the law, are held to every word and letter, but those who write law, adjudicate law and enforce law, have as a ready excuse ignorance, as a means to escape the punishments of the law. Moreover, the law grows like a Kudzu vine smothering every human endeavor with strings that bind, so that we need permission from our rulers to do anything, yet they have total freedom of action, even to the point of scoffing at our calling for Constitutional limits. This has become so pervasive, even a blind and deaf man could see and hear there is despotism, while the “learned and wise” claim there is ever greater liberty because in our society today, perversions are rife.

I say “rulers” because those who hold elected office are no longer republican in spirit, polity in action or human hearted in mind, they rule us as Dionysus did Syracuse. When a legislator is above the law, they are no longer a representative but a ruler in definition even if they call themselves a representative. Like in the days of Rome after the republic ceased to exist, the Praetorian guard and emperor called Rome a republic but like today, to call the Roman empire or Western civilization a republic is like calling a fish a bird, calling it so does not make the fish able to fly nor does the name change the nature of the object.

Mercy is no longer in the vernacular of government the term they like to use is justice while justice is the last thing they seek. Thrasymachus said it best that the “great men” in society are not just and should not be just, they should only claim to be just as a means of controlling the “little people” who only seek to live their lives in peace. Thrasymachus’ great men are the equivalent of our senators, Presidents and judges, they seek to appear just but in reality are not just. This is because justice requires as a prerequisite, mercy. Justice without mercy is not justice but injustice. In other words, justice is an objective good, not a subjective one, our rulers have made justice a subjective good.

Our rulers are daily caught in one scandal or another, when they are, a careful examination of their every excuse is ignorance of the law, and their ignorance requires from us mercy. President Obama claims ignorance of scandal, ignorance of the law and ignorance of our Constitution almost every day. Since he is ignorant of the law we are supposed, and many of us do, forgive his transgressions in supplying arms to Mexican drug lords and Islamic terrorists. When he claimed he learned about this or that scandal from the papers as the rest of us did, he is claiming ignorance of what is going on in his administration and when he calls for us to relinquish our Constitutional Rights for political expediency he is claiming ignorance of our founding ethos. His calls to ignorance are met by our mercy.

If you or I were caught breaking whatever arcane regulation however, no matter how esoteric or absurd, we are held to that regulation by the full weight of the government, no mercy and no quarter is given us. Encroach a newly defined wetland and face severe punishment, ignorance is no excuse for us, but it is a perfectly valid excuse for them. When Tim Giethner and Charlie Rangle were caught chiseling on their taxes they claimed ignorance, you or I would have faced penalization for far less. Hillary Clinton claimed ignorance about the Benghazi terrorist attack on the anniversary of 911, having a private e server for her government emails, FBI records in her possession among a host of other crimes you or I would face jail time for, but was given the mercy she denies you and I. Bernie Sanders claimed ignorance when he became embroiled in the House Banking scandal weeks after his election into that office… the list is endless of examples where the elite claimed ignorance of the law and were given the mercy they deny us.

Growing law and our increasing ignorance of it diminishes our liberty wearing it away like water erodes salt. Every day more regulations are written outside the Constitutionally prescribed means in the dark of the bureaucracy and laws are passed without our rulers even reading them. Darkness is rapidly descending on our government and conceals it’s workings more every day. Today it is impossible for anyone to know all the laws, regulations and ordinances we are subject to but we are held to them by an iron fist, and everyone knows and iron fist lacks mercy, it is naked power.

When a people are held to the law, while the lawgivers are not, it is absurd to claim the people live in liberty. Call it what you will but naming a fish a bird does not make it so, their natures are vastly different. Moreover, to call despotism liberty is merely a Machiavellian scheme to create a system of injustice by deceit. The fact is further proven by the fact our rulers demand our mercy for their ignorance without reciprocal mercy given us for ours, despite the fact they pass the law and we are increasingly kept in the dark of it. When a people are subject to laws they not allowed of know, while those that make the laws are not, in a system where mercy is only given the the elite and the people are denied mercy, when justice is for appearances not universal… the darkness of despotism has covered the land, regardless what it is called. It can be said that the quality of mercy is hard and sharp…

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Stupid Capitalism

June 16th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, when a company makes it difficult to purchase their services or products, it is clear those that run the company are either stupid or want it to go bankrupt. AT&T is one example. I challenge you to call the 800 number they advertise and purchase new service. After an hour or so in the voice response maze, with no way to talk to a human being, out of frustration you and most people, will give up and buy the services of a competitor. Companies that make it nearly impossible to purchase their products and services are not only abusing the customer and their employees but the shareholders as well. This is another example of the principle agent dilemma. Sadly, AT&T is not the only company that does this.

People work hard for their money, those that forgo instant gratification to put some away and invest in companies like AT&T, reasonably seek a return on their hard earned money. Those who run the companies however, look to maximize instant profits, (which maximize the bonuses of upper management, (the new class)), at the cost to the shareholders, (the bourgeois). In this case the virtuous behavior of the shareholders is rewarded with the villainy of their agents. AT&T is no longer the company it once was, perhaps a bit of history would help to enlighten the reader of how pernicious the incentives are for the new class.

In 1984 Judge Greene broke up the Phone company, (AT&T and Western Electric) into the “Baby Bells” as well as AT&T. The Baby bells took over the plant, Central offices, pole lines etc… while AT&T got the most profitable lines of business, Telephone sets, Business telephone systems, bell labs, long distance and the burgeoning computer end of the business. AT&T was also offered the Internet, which the new class that manage the business flatly refused. Management decided that while all the lines of business were profitable, long distance was the most profitable and required the least employees, so they began laying off their employees and shutting down every other line of business to focus on the highly profitable long distance. Back then it cost as much as fifty cents a minute to make a long distance call!

They got out of computers just at the start of the computer revolution, forgoing the tremendous profits they could have had, they flushed the telephone set business down the toilet leaving that line of business to foreign competitors, they mismanaged Bell Labs and walked away from the potentially highly profitable business of telephone systems. They laid off all their employees in those lines of business and gave themselves huge bonuses for it. At every turn they heartlessly eliminated jobs to cut the cost of doing business as they eliminated lines of business. The result? Once AT&T faced competition from Sprint, MCI and a host of others, the competition ruthlessly drove down the profitability of long distance to rock bottom driving AT&T out of business. The employees lost their jobs and the shareholders were ruined. Upper management however got golden parachutes and landed on their feet. The name AT&T was bought by a baby bell, Southern Bell, or SBC.

At one time Verizon offered a product called ISDN. It predated modern asynchronous DSL. It was only marginally profitable however, so upper management decided they didn’t want to sell it, preferring to sell the more profitable T1 service, so they made it hard to get and put in intentional problems making the service difficult to install. Today, it would seem, the same mindset prevails at the upper echelons of AT&T. They are not alone in the short sighted, company ruining, group think, Fairpoint is leading the charge to flush out marginally profitable lines of business. Residential phone service is considered a looser by those managers who seek huge profits without any employees. Maybe that is why they they make it so difficult to purchase their services and refuse to offer services people are knocking down the door to buy.

We all know the effect of the Internet, in fact, you are reading this article on the Internet. For the internet to work however there must be a high speed access to as many households as possible. The demand for high speed access is stupendous and is growing. Some claim over the air is the answer, but anyone who knows the limitations of radio, know that will only be a stop gap measure. Fiber to the premises is the product that will eventually win out. Verizon offers fiber to the premises in a few places and the product is amazing. AT&T refuses to place the fiber necessary to implement the product however, and is abandoning that product, (and the profits) to it’s competitors, as is Fairpoint and a host of other baby bells.

Here is where flushing marginally profitable lines of business is absurd, wire line telephone services are an in to the customer who seeks high speed internet service. Such services as wire line could be considered a loss leader… something a firm sells at a loss, to get customers to buy more profitable products. A lumber store might sell two by fours at a loss to pull in home builders who will later buy the more profitable windows and doors. Plain old telephone service, (POTS), could be that loss leader, pulling in customers who will later purchase fiber to the premises. Those who run companies like AT&T, Fairpoint and other baby bells don’t see it that way. Instead of building for the future, and playing to win, they are playing to lose. Albeit, to lose as slowly as possible, but when you play to loose the loss is guaranteed. But don’t worry, those that ruin the firm will land on their feet, as they always do, those that will take it on the chin are the employees, customers and especially the shareholders… as we always do.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Corporate Attitude Flows From the Top Down

June 12th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the attitude towards customers shown by the lowest employee in a company, is a direct effect of the leadership of that company. Take Best Western and United airline for examples. They are both in the service industries, they both cater to travelers and as a result both are customer oriented. One, United, is an airline, the other Best Western is a hotel chain. In all human groups the leader sets the example which the people, employees in this case, follow. It should seem obvious to anyone that the attitude of the leadership transmits to the lowest leve of an organization, but sadly, this truism is lost on many if not most in the new class. This has profound implications for those of us who invest our hard money.

That people follow their leaders was a major tenet of Confucius’s philosophy. He of course was teaching about the people following their leaders into corruption but the paradigm holds true for any aspect of a group of human beings. It is innate to humanity that the leadership leads the followers, in both orders, attitude and intention. When the leadership of a company holds that the customers are the enemy that attitude will permeate every corner of that company. The opposite holds true as well, when the leadership of a company values their customers that attitude will also permeate a comapny.

I recently flew United airlines. That trip was a disaster from stem to cudgel. United apperently forgot to schedule a flight crew and so stranded me for a day. The only person I met that worked for United that was not rude was a manager in that airport. Other than that man the rest of the employees were rude, incompetent and actually seemed to relish in annoying the customers. The second day was even worse than the first. Suffice it to say I will never fly United again. Without question the attitude towards customers at United is that the customer is the enemy. Had I owned any United stock I would have sold it the moment the market opened Monday.

On a more recent trip I stayed at several Best Western hotels. The employees were kind, helpful and courteous. The company allowed my pet to stay and offered a well prepared breakfast. Today people travel with their pets more and more. Such bending to the customer’s needs is a sign that the company takes it’s customer’s needs seriously. Other than a finicky Wi Fi… he experience was uniformly good. Clearly the attitude towards customers at Best Western is that the customer is king. I am considering buying stock of the company that runs Best Western.

If top management of a company has no consideration of it’s customers how much less to their employees? When a company treats their employees horribly how well do you suppose it will treat their customers? Both speak to the attitude of the new class management to other human beings. Companies are built upon a foundation of care for our fellow man as such those companies that are considerate of their employees will probably care for their customers and visa versa.

Of course these examples are anecdotal, but empirical evidence is always based on a piling up of anecdotal evidence. The attitude of the top management of all companies is reflected in their employees. That attitude, either of enmity or care, flow from the top down and colors every decision every employee makes. Since the profits of a company are based on it’s customers perception of value, except in the case of monopoly, the corporate attitude is reflective of the potential longevity of a company. It’s business model, whether to fail or to succeed, is the impression the customers get when they use the services of that company… so when looking to invest your hard earned dollars, look to a company that serves it’s customers well, provides value and treats their employees well and you will be well served by your investments.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Do You Hate the Rich?

June 4th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, The social contract between those that run our societies, the elite, and the rest of us, has been broken by the elite. The elite have become an oligarchy, the wrong form of aristocracy, and as a result, the average Joe is livid, but doesn’t know what he or she is livid about. Our ignorance allows the elite to manipulate us into doing damage to our own interests while enhancing theirs, which further infuriates us, making it easier to manipulate us… This is why so many people hate the “rich.” Many of us see “the rich” as the problem, but sadly, that is exactly what the manipulators want! We play into their hands when they call for more taxes, regulations and limits on “the rich,” The “rich” never actually get those higher taxes, regulations or limits, we get them instead, which further lowers our standard of living, infuriating us even more…

The contract between the elite in any society and the rest of the people, is the leader gets the best, but has responsibilities for those perks. That is why the chief of a hunter gatherer tribe gets the best meat, his choice of huts, etc… He is the biggest and strongest man in the tribe and if there is a war between tribes, he is expected to lead the other men into battle, at risk to his own life. If a wild animal attacks the tribe, he is expected to fend it off. Those perks of leadership come with responsibilities, those responsibilities are why he gets the extra benefits. That is the paradigm in all human societies everywhere and at every time. The elite get the lion’s share of the goods of society but have responsibilities to the rest for those perks. They don’t come free!

When the social contract between the elite and the people functions, no one has a problem with the tribal chief getting first pick of the meat. When the Chief gets the first pick of the meat, but runs at the first sight of danger, allowing others to die due to his lack of bravery, he quickly becomes loathed. Why should he get the first pick if he doesn’t meet his responsibilities? People get a visceral hatred of him. That is the place our society has got, the elite don’t meet their responsibilities. Instead, they throw the rest of us under the bus at the first sign of trouble, they never lead by example, they protect their interests at the cost to society’s interests, in short they expect us to hold up our end of the contract with no intention of them doing their part. They have broken the contract and so we hold them in utter contempt. The modern elite want those perks for free.

People know it, even if most of us cannot put it into words. So, when some affluent member of the elite calls for more taxes on “the rich,” many people stand and cheer, when an out of control elite politician tells us he or she will control “the rich” with regulations many hold up their fists in support and when a multi millionaire socialist shouts the government must seize the assets of “the rich,” many people rush to the exits to get a share. The actual rich elite never get those higher taxes, regulations or have their assets seized, that os for the people, the non elite. Again, the elite avoid fulfilling their role in the contract and manipulate the people into forwarding an agenda that is counter to the people’s interests, by shirking their responsibility.

When Warren Buffett went on national television, announcing his secretary was paying a higher tax rate than him, there was outrage. The elite solved the problem by raising his secretary’s taxes more, and giving Warren Buffett a billion dollar kickback by vetoing the Keystone Pipeline. That evil oil is still getting to Texas refineries, but on Warren Buffetts trains! Who cares about the added danger of transporting oil by train, Lac Magantic be damned, or the additional cost. In the case of Warren Buffett’s train windfall, courtesy of the US government, he was rewarded for being instrumental in manipulating the people into calling for higher taxes… on themselves! We were made chumps!

Because the actual rich, the elite who are moguls, wield political power and control the means of production, only seek to keep the rest of us down. Joesph Schumpeter argued, the moment someone gets rich, they immediately turn around and close the door behind them. Today the new class, the intelligentsia, control the means of production, have taken the lion’s share of profits, and are the power behind the government, but have abdicated their responsibility to ensure wages grow, the standard of living increases and liberty is maintained. Instead, they work to lower wages at every opportunity with unlimited immigration, enacting by law the Malthusian idea, wages can never grow because there will always be more workers than jobs, they raise taxes on “the rich” but the rich never pay those higher taxes, only those trying to get rich pay them, (you and I) and the elite squander our resources while protecting theirs.

Have you ever wondered why when the tax rate on millionaires was ninety percent in the US, the number of millionaires didn’t go down, only the number of new millionaires did? It was because the elite were using their political power to keep people from getting rich. Holding the rest of us down to protect themselves from competition. By doing so they abdicated their responsibilities to us and society for their own gain. Then they blame the nebulous “rich,” for all the troubles we face because of their shirking their responsibility.

We are angry because we know a scam is being played on us. Most of us, only understand the power contract in human affairs on a gut level, and so can be manipulated by the elite to act against their own interests. I for one, don’t care at all how much a factory worker gets paid, in fact, the more she makes the better, in my view. If a factory worker gets one million dollars an hour, that is no skin off my nose, if an entrepreneur becomes a multi billionaire, I cheer for him, or is an inventor gets millions and acclaim, I am ecstatic for her. When a CEO makes tens or hundreds of millions of dollars a year in bonus’s, wages and perks, while at the same time, making chumps of the shareholders, screwing the workers and poking the customers in the eye, forcing his political, religious and social perspective down the rest of our throats, I become irate. He has avoided his responsibility, the responsibility that comes with those perks to run the company for the interests of the shareholders, provide value to customers and pay good wages to the employees, and that is unacceptable.

Beware of falling for the trap that calls you and I the rich, and thus degrades our standard of living, with our acquiescence. Aim your anger where it belongs, at the new class who shirk their responsibilities, while feeling entitled to the perks they get. Demand they live up to their end of the contract! Else fall for the illusion and become a slave.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Lawless Government

May 31st, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that the US government has become utterly lawless. We the people are supposed to follow all rightly constituted laws, passed by the legislative branch and unless overridden by the congress, signed by our President. Our government is supposed to follow, to the letter, our Constitution, the contract between the governed and the governors, strictly enumerating the power we give up to government, to ensure our property is secure, establish standards, and control criminal behavior as well as protecting us from foreign powers. The US government increasingly seeks to control every aspect of human behavior, while at the same time totally ignoring, not only the intent of our Constitution and it’s limits on government, but are now actively urinating on the text. Examples abound, from their abdication of both tenets of the First Amendment, the total destruction of the second amendment, government living by rapine, we are no longer safe in our personal papers, government can seize any of our property at any time, to the crushing of State’s Rights in every way possible. To make the system work, increasing amounts of violence must be used against us, even as we behold our government ignoring the basic rules they are supposed to follow. We stand naked before government while they hide behind a wall of guns, woven together with red tape, aimed at us.

Fail to follow any arcane regulation, law or ordinance and the full weight of the US government will fall on you. Disagree? Try withholding taxes because they go to something you are morally against, like funding abortions, and see if armed men don’t come to your door and arrest you. We are held to the highest standard possible, to the point of being monitored by camera while driving down the street, our emails are scanned and saved on some government computer in Utah, our homes are peered into by the government with infrared and other sensors, our computers can be seized at any time, banks record our cash transactions and send them to the government, our credit card transactions are available to government for any purpose, etc… Every aspect of our lives is open to our government, but our government hides even the most mundane things from us.

The recent internet regulation was hidden, and even now that we are supposed to follow it, most of it’s intricacies are covered in arcane wording and red tape. Despite being called Net Neutrality, it does the exact opposite it was billed as. It creates a market web which players pay to play and the old internet which is free, so I ask you, which will get the funding? The one where companies can make a profit, (and is regulated as to their content and political correctness)… or the one where financial loss is guaranteed but is open to anyone to say anything? I submit to you, Net neutrality was and is designed to wither the open internet on the vine, creating a system where government can increasingly control the flow of information.

The Amendments are ignored and given less and less lip service every day that passes. If you are stopped by a police officer, make the mistake of talking to him or her, and you are carrying cash, they can simply take that cash, your life savings perhaps, and you are out of luck. How is that different from a highwayman? Moreover, it is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment, but isn’t the only violation of the Fourth Amendment by far. Your church may be forced to provide abortions, pay for blasphemous art, limit what they teach or marry gay couples. You are limited in your speech in a myriad of ways, all the government has to do is label whatever you say as “hate speech,” or you as an “extremist” and you are now a criminal subject to prosecution… which are blatant violations of the First Amendment.

The Second Amendment has been eviscerated. Today States pass whatever law restricting our Right to keep and bare arms they want without a peep from the Judicial branch. The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed… seems simple enough to understand, but the learned members of the new class have a hard time understanding what infringed means. It is no coincidence that those places where guns are outlawed, have the highest violent crime rates, the highest murder rates, and the most government tyranny as well. Look at Chicago’s murder rate, violent crime rate, and secret prison for example.

The interstate commerce clause has been so perverted government can regulate every and any aspect of your life. That perversion is based on Wickard v Filburn. In that case, (which still stands), the government can force you to plow under crops you are growing for your own consumption! Because you won’t buy that food on the open market and therefore effects the prices of food across state lines. In other words, the government has the power, as yet unused, to regulate you and your family to starve to death! Now, I can hear some innocent Pollyannas saying, “They would never do that!” But only a few decades ago, it was unthinkable that a human being could be executed by dismemberment, simply because he or she has been recategorized as a fetus.

The US Constitution makes no provision whatsoever to allow for the bureaucracy. Yet the bureaucracy has become the largest part of government today, and is totally unconstitutional. It too is based on Wickard v Filburn. The bureaucracy bypasses the Constitutional legislative process, creating unconstitutional regulations that stymie economic growth, erode what Constitutional liberties remain and most perniciously, move us from a limited representative republic to an administered despotism.

Our government has been disconnected from the limits the framers built into our Constitution. The new class elite claim the Constitution is a “living breathing document,” and thereby unshackle themselves from the limits put on them by it’s original intent. The Tenth Amendment says – “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” In other words, if the Constitution doesn’t say government can do a thing, government is forbidden from doing, and those things the Constitution says government cannot do, it cannot do. Sadly, government does whatever it wants today, there are no limits, they have broken the contract over and over.

Today, those powers that are not bestowed on government, are regularly done, and those powers the Bill of Rights strictly forbids, are commonplace. We stand naked before an all powerful government while they hide behind a wall of guns aimed out at us. We not only have to worry about a robber taking our hard earned money, the government itself has become the thief, government undermines economic standards whenever a politically favored group wants, it encourages an invasion of people who seek to change our way of life, and the list goes on. Government hides everything they do, as they tell us, if we have nothing to hide then we should stand naked before it. Can there be disagreement we don’t live under a poorly concealed despotism? Isn’t it time to reign them back in?

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Billion Dollar Business Idea

May 28th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, a smart business idea that could net someone millions, and perhaps billions, is a website that reads and posts a simple to read synopsis of every shareholder’s report, briefly describing any changes the board wants to make, the likely consequences to the company and profits short and long term of those changes, an easy to read and understand report on any election to the board of trustees regarding their background, philosophy of corporate governance and work history, those synopsis and reports would be written for every firm with over one hundred million in gross revenue, and for a nominal fee that synopsis could be read by any shareholder of those companies. Companies that are ethical would offer to pay for the service for their shareholders. To get that done, such a company needs to become well known, create simple to read, correct and understandable reports and synopsis, as well as the intellectual capital to make it work. The potential earnings of such a company are staggering.

If there was such a company it could be a paradigm shift in the principle agent relationship. Today the agents have all the power. They send shareholders a several hundred page document that we are supposed to read and understand, that is in arcane language, redundant and actually says nothing of any import pertaining to the question they want us to vote on. That paradigm has created a lop sided power relationship between the principles and agents. That lop sided power in the relationship has allowed many companies to be run against the shareholder’s interests and have enabled senior management to get an out sized portion of the profits. I mean really, what employee is worth tens of millions of dollars, while running a company into the ground?

Empowering the principles to over see the agents can only lead to protecting the principle’s interest and limit the power of the agents to abuse their position. The power differential in the principle agent relationship has been used for over a century to enrich the senior management at cost to the shareholders and customers. Examples abound where shareholder profits and wealth have been undermined by management. One famous case was when J D Rockefeller bought an iron company, converted it into a publicly traded company, sold the shares for double what he paid, and remained as the CEO, reaping even more profit at the expense of the shareholder chumps.

Such a rebalancing of the principle agent relationship would create better run companies that would have a better relationship with their customers. Everyone is self interested, which is to say we all seek to maximize our returns on our investments. Economists call human beings rational maximizers. Clearly, since we are all self interested, if given actionable knowledge, we would seek to increase the longevity of our assets, seek long term profits instead of short term gain, provide excellent quality service and products to our customers while ensuring the company’s business model is consistent with the times. In short, instead of our agents working under pernicious incentives, we could return the entrepreneurial ethos to businesses.

If the principle’s interests are protected and the companies themselves are better run, the macro economy will improve, by potentially starting a new wave of Schumptarian economic expansion. Schumpeter coined the term, “Creative Destruction,” to explain the macro business cycle. In it, he posited… a new idea that improves efficiency in management, production or product, starts the business cycle. In the creative part of the cycle, as the new idea is implemented, the macro economy grows at a rapid pace. Once the idea is mostly implemented and the gains have been mined out, the old firms that have become outdated go belly up, ushering in the destruction portion of the business cycle, (recession). The recession destroys inefficient firms, freeing up capital, space and equipment for the next entrepreneur to begin the cycle again.

When a new firm is started, the more disruption it creates the more profit there is to be had, especially in the financial services sphere, where the sector is awash with other people’s money. As in any innovative idea that is disruptive, starting a business that reads and produces synopsis of every firm’s shareholder reports, board of trustee elections and board of trustee requests, would be a sea change in the way shareholders get information about the firms they own, by leveling the information landscape. In and of itself such a firm would start the creative cycle. Such a firm would need a great deal of startup capital to hire the necessary lawyers, MBAs and knowledge base to make such reports, and do it inside the regulatory framework that has been set up by the agents to protect their interests, or to change the regulatory environment if needed. The initial cost would be high, but the profit over the long term, the benefit to shareholders and the economy at large, would be tremendous.

Sincerely,

John Pepin