Archive for October, 2008

Chaos Is Money

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Dear friends,

It seems to me that Chaos is money. That is an old saying in the telecommunications industry, many others too, I assume.

What it means is that when management creates chaos. (In the methods and practices or in the plant itself). This chaos requires the intercession of a technician. That technician then spends a huge amount of time sitting on hold, usually on overtime, or struggling to make the unworkable work, again, on overtime. Whenever this is the case gobs of overtime money is earned. So despite the complaining and grousing about the chaos created by mismanagement and incompetent engineering, the technician would be better advised to promote chaos.

Of course it isn’t in his or her long term interests to promote mismanagement and incompetent engineering, because the company would eventually go under, and the corrupt employee would loose his or her job and pencion. But the corrupt employee that sees it this way is no different than the lawyer or judge that “finds” a loophole in a contract. They promote chaos in the legal system. Thus putting their personal best interests and the interests of their faction above society as a whole.

Loopholes are simply a means by which a party to the contract can be “legally” corrupt. In most contracts, even if they must be broken down into flow diagrams, can be summed up pretty succinctly. Understood by both parties the contract is implemented. But reams of paper must be made out and signed for a modern contract to be implemented to insure the virtue of both parties. When one or the other party’s interests has changed, and it is no longer in his or her interest to fulfill their part of the contract, they bring in a lawyer.

So attorneys give the corrupt a leg up on the virtuous. And as a result are the defense of the virtuous against the vulgarities of the corrupt. Sowing chaos, then “fixing” it, is the role of the modern “advocate”.

Well, you might say, everyone sees problems but what do you propose to do about it?

I think that it may be too late in the USA to really fix the underlying problem. But in a newly forming republic it would be easy to insure the problem doesn’t crop up. Or at least is minimized.

The underlying problem in the USA is that law is adjudicated as “letter of the law”, and as Confucius’s disciple said, “people will argue to the head of a pin that the law doesn’t apply to them.” By enforcing “definition or terms” rather than “honesty of intentions or general gist” lawyers insure that chaos will reign.

First of all it is patently impossible to foresee every possible way in which a person could break a law or “find” a loophole in a contract. The attempt has resulted in enough paper to orbit the Earth and block the sun. With no end in sight in the growth of this behemoth, where it will go, and what it wil consume, is far from certain.

In a new republic however, the founders might envision a better way to interpret law, to interpret the “general gist” not the “particular wording” of law and contracts. If a party to a contract claims that he or she should be able to get the other party, to do work for free for example, because the contract didn’t specify a certain incidental thing, therfore the contract should be considered null, but, Since the work had been completed etc… Should be interpreted by the general gist that work would be done and payment would be made. Not particular wording that forgot some clause or sentence to close some “loophole”.

By adjudicating in this way shady business practices would be curtailed to some extent. Removing some friction in the business climate of a country. When a contract can be written simply and understandably, and most importantly, adjudicated fairly by the general gist, the workings of businesses would be smoother and more efficient.

The lawyers would loose out in such a nation. They would have much less acreage to sow the seeds of chaos. But, they are smart people, I’m sure they’ll find a way to make a decent living…

Coming Election

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Dear Reader,

It seems to me that in the present debate about the economy real Capitalist thought has no seat at the table.

The Legislative Branch is firmly in the hands of the more socialistic of the two major parties and apparently, (according to the “unbiased” media), gaining ground in the next election . And moreover that party will have a filibuster and veto proof majority.

The “unbiased” media has lurched leftward, like a zombie, and are ‘en masse’ staggering that direction. The foolish witticism of the day is “ Is this the end of capitalism?” As if that were possible. Even where capitalism has been discouraged the most, North Korea, there is some vestiges of capitalism. Some people sell , under the table, some of the food they grow. Everyone wants to get ahead, so until the Elite figure out a way to erase this attribute from the human race, they will have to make contingencies… Capitalism.

Even the media is recognizing the bias. On McNeil Lehrer Report last night they reported that some people have the misguided notion that there are more ‘negative’ stories about McCain than Obama. In fact it was reported that 80% of the news items about Obama were ‘positive’ and only 20% of the news items about McCain were ‘positive’. They then went on to assure the viewers that they were not in fact biased at all. They were only mirroring the public poll numbers. For a week after the Republican Convention the press apparently had more ‘positive’ stories about McCain than Obama. Then they spent the remainder of their important time on the air… ridiculing Sara Palin’s wardrobe budget.

The people who brought us the economic disaster, staggering gas prices, loss of home values, and the “bailout” are benefiting and those that fought them are being vanquished. The “Bailout” has amounted to exactly what I thought it would… to punish the virtuous, reward the corrupt and pour more fuel on the fire.

With this as the present paradigm, the prospect of capitalist ideas being brought up is unlikely, let alone, being implemented… Unless the unbiased media is wrong?

Do We Have a Right to Healthcare?

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that to say that health care is a right is to say that someone’s right to healthcare supersedes someone else’s right to property.

The State lives at cost to the taxpayers. Those that pay taxes pay for government… Everyone pays, in some way, cigarette taxes, gasoline taxes, income taxes, etc… Therefore when government pays for something i.e.; healthcare, it is not government that bears the cost, it is the taxpayers. The money is taken, at gunpoint if need be, against another’s will to be used for government, denying them the free use of their property. So to fund a right to healthcare, someone must be denied his or her right to property.

Government never thinks about how a tax increase is going to effect the people who will bear the tax. The fact that taxes always lower the standard of living of the people taxed is of no concern to the State. In fact the State has an interest in making and keeping the people dependant on the State. Dependants are at the mercy of their benefactors. But, like a skunk, when we see an easy meal we willingly walk right into the trap. Then we gaze about in amazement that we are caged, and lament our predicament.

Regardless of the future consequences of present questions, we are faced with the conundrum as to, what is the quantifiable level of “right” people have to their personal property, real and chattel,, or, even if a person has a right to his or her own property. However I can not see a way around the question that if a person doesn’t have a fairly high quantity, if you will, of rights to his or her personal property, how then can you say that anything less than the right to personal property, can be a right.

To say that a person has no right to his or her own property, is to say that everything we have, we are allowed to keep at the suffrage of the government. If that is the case, we survive at the behest of government. Because food is a form of property and if the State decides to withhold food, we die, naturally. (As was done to over ten million Ukrainians in the 1930’s by the government). So, if our very lives are at the mercy of the State and can be taken from us at the State’s whim. To say that we have no right to life but we have a right to healthcare? It seems to me to be a non sequitor. What good is healthcare if the State decides we have become a burden?

Now we come to the other question, does a person have a right to healthcare, and if so, to what quantifiable level? It depends on at what magnitude you want to set the term rights. The more things that are encompassed by the term rights the lower we hold them in the aggregate. When we qualify things like We have a right to foot massages, as rights, we lower the definition of the term. The lower the definition the less we esteem them. The lower the level of what you refer to as rights the easier it is for tyrants to take them away. So to ensure that we always have basic rights we must necessarily keep the definition high.

Another problem with calling things rights that may or may not be is that the term has been used as an excuse for atrocities in the past, Strum Drang Osten comes to mind. That philosophy ended in the Crimean War. Later the idea was resurrected as “The German people have a RIGHT to feed themselves!” culminating in the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. The term rights has a history of being a lever to get people to do things that they otherwise would never have done.

So my inclination is to hold the value of a possible right to healthcare lower due to it’s effect on the value we hold other rights, and the slippery slope of it’s possible use as a lever, than what I perceive to be a true right, the right to have and to hold property, to my own benefit and freely held.

Regulate Early and Regulate Often ???

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Dear Friend,

I remember a quote form Confucius, When asked what he would do if put in charge of a province Confucius said he would “rectify terms”. When asked why, he responded, when terms are rectified the measure will be accurate and the people can trust one another. It seems to me that this is one of the best analogies for the legitimate role of government in regulating markets.

Stability in rule and regulations is like loam to markets. Government that is constantly regulating it’s markets, trying to improve one aspect or another, are like the farmer who, when checking his fields saw that his corn wasn’t growing as fast as he wanted, so he pulled it all up.
Upon returning home his son seeing the fatigue in his father’s continence, asked what he had done that was so tiring. His father replied “ I was helping the corn to grow.” The son ran out to the field to see all the corn pulled up.

Like a good farmer, government that wants a strong economy, stays in the background. He provides the means and the keeps the weeds from the crops The crops job is to grow. Clear and consistent rules concerning conduct, not business practice, is like keeping weeds from the crops. By that I mean that every dishonest business practice is based in dishonesty. It is impossible to foresee all the potential deplorable business practices. So you cut the bad practice at the root. The root is always in dishonesty. Hold businessmen to a high level of honesty and virtue. The higher the level of the business man the higher the level of honesty to hold him or her.

Lack of crime is like sunlight. When asked what a duke could do to prevent crime in his province Mencius said that the duke should stop being corrupt. Live by the laws and customs that he imposed upon the people. The amount of reasons to participate in crime are innumerable but men want to be good, it is when their personal good come against our morals does our morals give way. If we see our superiors being corrupt we loose our will to be virtuous. The best and most effective means, to promote crime, is to have corrupt public officials. There can be no better incentive for crime than that.

Markets that are subject to plunder is like salting the fields. When an industrialist is making investments in a country he or she must be confident that the government won’t plunder his or her largess. A fair shake is all an industrialist should get and all he or she deserves. If a gambler looses his shirt with the roll of a die, he is content. If he discovers the die were loaded, he is angry, and will not participate again. Plundering assets is like loading the die at a craps table. Those stolen from won’t come back and those that are not see the corruption and wisely don’t participate.

If a government keeps these principles in mind when they are considering regulating markets, like growing a plant, markets thus cared for will grow to be giant and healthy. Markets otherwise cared for may grow but can never reach the potential that it otherwise would.

Bailout’s Effects

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Dear friends,

It seems to me that now that we have had a few days for the “bailout‘s” effect to sink into the markets the markets have reacted with a deafening stampede for the door. The “bailout” that we were told by the talking heads was essential appears to have been a waste of money. An 850 Billion dollar waste of money.

Now the governments of almost every country have tried to “Bailout” their markets. With the same success rate as the US government. Iceland is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. Europe is nationalizing banks as fast as they can. England’s government has just spent almost a third of it’s annual GDP nationalizing banks today alone. Yet we keep hearing that the economy just needs a jump start.

If I have killed the battery trying to start a car. Then burned up a set of jumper cables. At some point I try something different. Maybe seeing if there is gas in the tank. Or checking the plugs. I don’t keep putting the juice to it. Especially before I have checked the oil. Maybe by putting more and more juice to the engine the government has damaged the engine. Every time I hit myself in the head it hurts? Maybe if I do it enough…

That is exactly what I worried would happen with this “bailout.” The government keeps proving to the jittery markets that there is  more of a problem than there was. Now however the problem has worsened because of the intercession of the government.

The only thing government needed to do was to buy new loans, keeping money flowing into the economy. By buying bad debts that some corrupt rich bankers screwed up has only helped the corrupt rich bankers. At the expense of everyone else. That is the definition of bad government. Government that works for one faction of society instead of society as a whole.

By helping the corrupt rich bankers protect their portfolio’s the government has done the rest of us a great disservice. The wealthy investment bankers are not loaning money as the government had ‘hoped‘. Hoping that people will be virtuous who have never demonstrated virtue is plain old stupid… stupid as a box of rocks, or maybe just corrupt legislators bailing out corrupt investment bankers.

But what can we expect from the corrupt politicians that we continue to elect. Then hold to absolutely no standard what so ever. The corruption is on display for all to see if only we open our eyes. The corrupt legislative branch of the US government is holding hearings on the failure of Lehman Brothers. The only investment bank that the government didn’t bail out. What the hell??? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to hold hearings on the other investment banks that the government did “bailout”? The ones that cost us money?  Like Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac, or Bear Sterns… oh, that’s right, they were playing ball with the corrupt politicians. They have nothing to fear, the corrupt politicians will protect them. Else the corruption will have the light of day shone on it. That is completely unacceptable… to the corrupt politicians!

I think it’s time to have a “special prosecutor” look into the Legislative branch of government’s role in this fiasco. What did the legislators know and when did they know it? Especially the members of the Banking subcommittees. How did their acts effect this problem. Have a good unbiased investigation into the whole affair. Let the Congress and Senate twist in the wind. They like to put others in the hot seat. Its time they were subjected to the same investigative powers they have subjected the executive to.

Like that will ever happen…