Archive for April, 2009

What is a Fundamental Human Right

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Dear readers,

Some are arguing that healthcare is a fundamental human right. Lets grant them the argument. I find it curious that every country I know of, that has socialized healthcare, has an age limit on certain procedures?

If healthcare is a fundamental human right then why does it have an age limit? How can it have an age limit? If the fundamental human right of healthcare has an age limit… what is the age limit of the others? At what age do we loose the rights to, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Is free speech curtailed at some age determined by the government? Can I no longer pray when I reach the age limit?

No one is arguing that anyone should be denied healthcare. What we are arguing is that nothing that requires the intervention of other human beings to provide is a fundamental human right. Free speech does not require direct intervention of another human to happen. No one is coerced into hearing it. If some are interested they listen. No coercion needs to happen. To provide free healthcare others are forced to pay for that healthcare. They are coerced into being participants to the right.

As to the question of healthcare and it’s availability… Veterinary care today has come amazingly far. Cat scans of cats are common. The one thing that stands out between human health care and veterinary care is cost. In veterinary care costs are controlled by market forces. Efficiency is aggressively sought. In Canada, outside the single payer system, there is a thriving market for full body scans. The technicians scan your entire body in the most state of the art machines. The scans are looked at by doctors, or possibly technicians, trained in this field. And skills honed by the same forces that were found in Adam Smith’s pin factory.

If the healthcare industry is broken the fix isn’t to have the people who broke it in the first place take it over. The solution is to find things that work, innovation that improves the processes as well as the metrics. Efficiency that is small business. These attributes are those of the free market not government bureaucracy. If we want to get really affordable healthcare, encourage innovation. Provide extra tax incentives to business to provide health insurance. Encourage new niche markets to form. Allow the people to provide for their fellows… And we will…

Luck be with you…

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Dear Reader,

It seems to me that saying “I think he’s got luck.” Is very similar to the term “I think God is with him.” Banking on some supernatural “force” to get us through dangerous paths that we didn’t have to be on in the first place is inane. For a person supposedly as enlightened as Chris Mathews to say this on his Sunday morning show is amazing. I wonder if a reputation would be damaged if another had said they thought that President Bush had God with him.

Chris was replying to a statement, that with Obama taking on this much, something is bound to spin out of control. Lets give Chris his premise and say that “Luck” is with Obama. Does it follow that individual “Luck” would translate into societal, good fortune? Wouldn’t an individual who has “Luck” on his side more likely than not lower the lot of man?

Confucius said that a fool takes a dangerous path. The government taking on the Banking sector, the healthcare sector, and the automobile industry is taking a very dangerous path. No person or group of people are smart enough to do all this without negative repercussions. This is the definition of taking a dangerous path…

But with the modern version of the unbiased media this is the level of discourse we have come to expect. I would say; about fifth grade level. Real points are responded to with ad hominym attacks, or sophist retorts like “I think he has luck…”

Conservative Ideas; If Only We Enacted Them…

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Dear Friends,

Lately I’ve been wondering how conservative policy ideas would have fared had they been enacted given the economic situation…

Take the idea to not tax dividend income. Or not to tax, from firms, money paid as dividends to shareholders. Were this idea enacted a stream of revenue for the government to spend in it’s profound wisdom on things like; $900.00 toilet seats, $500.00 hammers, and such important knowledge as how many points on a maple leaf, would be cut off. Lets face it, firms would spend that money on foolishness, like upgrading their manufacturing process to make themselves more competitive in the global environment. Or heaven forbid, paying more dividends to their shareholders. It goes without saying the waste that the people would put that money to. Food, clothing, shelter, and maybe even going out to eat! We all acknowledge with the socialists that government spends our money far better than us…

Kidding aside, This would be a great incentive for firms to pay more money in dividends. No mater if the firm receives the tax break or the shareholder gets the tax break. The incentive will be for more corporate earnings to be paid out as dividends instead of executive bonuses.

With more firms paying dividends more money would be invested in the stock market long term. Seeking safe and steady earnings growth with dividends. This would naturally give the markets more momentum and less volatility. Less volatility would mean less sudden drops and surges. Investors would feel safer if the stocks they held were paying dividends, especially tax free dividends, and they would be less inclined to pull out in a sudden loss of stock value. (They are looking for dividends not stock upswings). If investors were more interested in dividend income and less interested in stock value growth the markets would be far more stable…

Another idea of the conservative economists was Social Security Reform. The third rail of politics. Conservatives keep touching it over and over. Because something must be done. The more dangerous is Medicare/Medicaid this beast is projected to grow into a behemoth in a few years. Never the less Social Security is an opportunity that could improve the economy, actually protect the interests of retired people, and be solvent into the foreseeable future.

Allow people at their discretion to invest a part of their FICA withholdings into the markets. Have a few preselected funds that are available based on sound, well diversified portfolios, available to the people and let the free market work. Couple this with ending the double taxation on dividends and the stock market would have exponentially greater strength to weather a storm like the one we find ourselves in.

You have probably read our idea for Capitalist Social Security;
http://incapp.org/yabb/YaBB.pl?num=1237724030

Our idea would not only protect the people of the present but would build wealth within the societal structure. This loam spread out among the many fields would ensure better harvests in good times and bad…

Drive Home

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Dear Reader,

As I was driving home I was listening to Terri Gross on the NPR show Fresh Air. Today (April 15,2009) Terri was interviewing an MIT Economics professor and former head economist of the IMF.

He said that US national debt as a percentage of GDP would go from 30% today, (18-25% has been the norm from 1960 to 2007), to 80-90% as a percentage of GDP when this economic crisis is over. That means the national debt, in I suppose four years, ( I hope they don’t expect this crisis to last longer than that!), will be 80 to 90% of every dollar earned. That doesn’t include what the government will cost to run! OH MY GOD! The thing that blows my mind is the calmness and offhanded way he said it.

This guy is from the Keynesian school of Economics. He is firmly in the same philosophical corner as the Obama administration. He said “ I am on the side of the government.“ That makes me believe that the administration is aware of these numbers and they are comfortable with this level of national debt.

What the hell are we to do in five years when national debt is 80-90% of GDP? We have another two lumps going through the system. The social security lump, and the Medicare/Medicaid lump. They are expected to balloon the national debt in ten to thirty years. We are getting close to the transition time when the income to the Social Security administration will be outstripped by the cost. At that time either FICA taxes go up or the money must come from the “lock box.” The “Lock Box” that is full of IOUs. The money has to come from somewhere and the only font is the taxpayer. Taxes must necessarily go up. (For the social security and Medicare/Medicaid lumps).

President Obama claimed that all economist of every school are behind him in government spending. I beg to differ. The term all ‘is not subject to gradation’ therefore as he cannot know the minds of every economist the statement cannot logically stand. I would also like to point out that science is not a democratic enterprise, (as many would have us believe with terms like “consensus” and such). The “ consensus of scientists in Galileo’s day was that the sun revolved around the Earth. But that didn’t make it true…

I was also amazed that he was arguing that Goldman Sachs paying off it’s TARP money early is a bad thing. Ten billion dollars, that is how much Goldman Sachs is coughing up. The only reason , according to this economist, is to be able to pay their executives better. I don’t disagree that this is probably a factor. But, It would be stupid to stop there and not think further. I would expect the heavy hand of government is also a factor, (among others). The Obama administration has all but nationalized the banking system; With Goldman Sachs trying to get out of it’s Faustian bargain with the government. The government is rightfully worried that others will do the same. Leading to the un nationalizing of the banking system. The Elite might loose some of their hard earned power…

But now we are projected to have 80-90% of GDP as debt!? In only four years?! Now is the time to stop this insanity! At the height of WWII costs, 1948, national debt as a percent of GDP was 110%. That is after the US fought the second world war. We produced millions of planes, tanks, howitzers, guns, ammunition, clothed millions of soldiers around the world provided trucks and armaments of free via Archangel to Russia, lost half a million men, etc… For that national debt. Much of what was produced from the war was later used for industrial purposes. But the money spent today is going down a rabbit hole. The beneficiaries are the corrupt Elite. Especially those in bed with the government…

Well at least our Great Great Great Great Grand children will have our foolishness to look back on. They will say, “What idiots! To think they could spend their way out of debt…”

It Is Against My Conscience to…

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Dear Reader,

I recently heard that the Obama administration is seeking to rescind the “conscience clause” from the abortion decree of the Supreme Court. That is if a person in the health care industry, finds abortion abhorrent and a mortal stain on one’s soul, they wouldn’t be forced to do abortions or administer them.

The hubris of government to do this is beyond reason. How can a government that was founded on the premise of individual liberty do such a thing?

Imagine a government deciding, by court order, that it is necessary for white people to spit in the face of every black person they meet. The Black person being required to accept it gracefully. Then compelling even people who find this behavior obnoxious, to do it, at risk of their job? Most people can easily see the hubris and overstepping of this evil dictate. How can it be possible that forcing a person to do something they find to be far worse, at the risk of their job, less tyrannical?

Is there anything more tyrannical for a government to do, than to force an individual to do something they believe will lead to their being condemned to hell, for eternity? Think of the magnitude of that. How can any government compel that level of loyalty? In what universe does that make any sense? What could government possibly offer in return? If the odds against there being a God, were a trillion to one, it would be a bad bet…

Regardless of whether or not God exists the question is valid. We are talking about government compelling action that an individual finds abhorrent. Action that the individual believes is mortal sin. No matter if sin is actual or supposed, the individual is still compelled to do that he or she finds to be sin, by the government.

So if even a person as blind as I can easily see the error in rescinding the conscience clause of the court dictate on abortion . I wonder why those that are far more intelligent than I, the Elite that run our society, cannot…

Double Standard

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that the conviction of Alberto Fujimori is both distressing and uplifting.

See an article in the WSJ here;

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123911472912796989.html

It is distressing in the true double standard that exists in the world media, and the public’s opinion, that is shaped by it. As well as the real double standard in the judicial systems of the world. Can you imagine, in any universe, Fidel Castro being convicted and sentenced to twenty five years in jail for crimes against humanity? No honest person could even compare the crimes of Fidel to those of Fujimori. It is like comparing a nematode and a tyrannosaurus rex. When Fidel came to power he rounded up FIFTY THOUSAND (50,000) people, and by Fidel Castro’s order, they were shot. That is only one of thousands of crimes against humanity that is widely known about Fidel. Can you picture any country in the world treating Fidel Castro as was Pinochet? Castro was philosophically in line and helped fund the Shining Path.

Some of the atrocities of the Shining Path are documented here;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3985659.stm

On the other hand it gives me hope that people are starting to catch on about government corruption. The President of Peru now is Alan Garcia. He is almost certainly far more corrupt than Fujimori. In fact I believe that this is a politically motivated trial and conviction. But that said, Garcia is establishing a precedent. One that will almost certainly come back to bite him… And (let’s pray) other tyrants…

It is a hopeful sign that some corrupt leaders are being held to task. I would like to see some of the truly evil leaders that have profoundly lowered the lot of man put on trial. But unfortunately that will not happen soon. The left controls the apparatus of International Law.

Mountain Top Mining

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that the coal industry has some defending and spin control to do. The environmentalists keep pummeling them in the face. And they have yet to put up their fists.

Mountain top mining is an example. It has been vilified through out the unbiased media. The mantra goes on, “They shear off the top of mountains and put the debris in the rivers…” Spinning the facts to the environmentalists advantage. The coal industry should emphasize the end result of the process.

Making farmland from mountains. That should be the mantra of mountain top mining. The coal industry (if it is wise) should design on, and deliver, that plan. Level the land and use the machine and techniques for making top soil that are being developed in Upstate NY. If the coal industry turned over formerly hill top mined land to farmers to grow bio fuel crops it would be a propaganda advantage for the industry.

Anything less than restoring the land to agricultural use would be an example of what we call Stupid Capitalism in the manifesto. It would undermine (pun intended) the firm’s interests, their ability to conduct business in the future, draw undue regulation from the government, and do a disservice to the shareholders…

Coal is the cheapest and most abundant energy resource in North America. Coal can be gasified and liquefied into a motor vehicle fuel. The technology is from WWII. It could be implemented within five years to start replacing foreign sources of motor fuel. Even using waste piles of tailings from old operations in Pennsylvania say. (Doing the environment a favor). The environmentalists despise coal however. But not for the reasons they state. They rightfully see it as a source of energy that is both cheap and available to improve the lot of man. That cannot be abided… We must be forced to do with less…

So if the coal industry wants to actually become a real alternative to foreign oil it must start advertising on TV where the average Joe, (you and I) watch. They need to educate the public. Before our electric bills triple and quadruple in only a few years…

Constitution

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that regardless of where you stand on abortion, when the Supreme Court enacted Roe v Wade they broke the Constitution. Just like a sufficiently strong force breaking the foundation of a house. No matter how small the break the ramifications are profound. Some more clever person may find an earlier break than 1973 but this seems to me to be the event.

Nonetheless, the Constitution, is broken. By broken I mean that the Constitution means nothing today. Because it means whatever the hell five unelected Lawyers say it means. It was changed outside the proscribed means. They now have the freedom to change it willy nilly. Allow it to “grow” like a “Living breathing document.“ All they need to do, is make up of whole cloth, some new meaning. One that every honest person knows the founding fathers would have been aghast at. Remember the barn wall in Animal Farm?

The problem with a break in a foundation to a house is that as time goes by it always gets worse. Water starts to seep in and the floors are always wet. Soon the crack gets wider. Dirt and bugs are next. After awhile if the crack is not sufficiently fixed one or the other wall will cave in and the foundation will not be usable anymore. The house will collapse. (If a house needs a lot of outside shoring it is a good sign the foundation is bad). No amount of spin can hide that reality. It happened in Rome and it will eventually happen to us. The time table is all we can control.

Now the Courts are ordering the Executive and the Legislative branches around. No one balks at the overarching power the Supreme Court has taken on. Even the other Branches are ceding more power to it. The Supreme Court is no longer the protector of the Constitution, it is now the protector, and rewriters of it. That should make us all scared.

No matter how much you agree with how they are changing it today…
you may not like how they rewrite it tomorrow…
But they were already given the power…
Regardless the ills to follow…