Posts Tagged ‘economics’

The Struggle Between Liberty and Tyranny…

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, all of human history can be described, not as class warfare… but between those that seek tyranny and those that prefer liberty. There have been times when the proletariat have sought liberty, and others where the masses have preferred tyranny, the same holds true of the Bourgeoisie and the elite. Both sides are self serving, those that seek liberty however, serve the needs and wants of all of society, while those who favor tyranny only serve their own narrow self interests. Once we understand that history is actually a struggle between the forces of autocracy and freedom much of human history comes into focus. Allegiances, wars, economic policies, socialism, free enterprise, and every other policy governments have come up with, are merely battles in the greater war between liberty and tyranny. Each seeking to hold mankind in it’s sway forever.

Class conflict is always based on the struggle between liberty and tyranny, the factions may change seats, but the conflict is always the same. The hoi polloi have great power in their numbers but are like a herd of cats, dangerous, sweeping but uncontrolled. The elite are fewer in numbers and have political as well as economic might, but to keep those attributes, the elite must constantly be wary of the people. Most often the people seek liberty but usually live in tyranny, while the elite almost always enjoy liberty but usually seek tyranny. Occasionally, the people have sought tyranny while the elite have hoped for liberty, as in the case of the founding of the US. The people wanted a king but the elite wanted limited government.

If we examine history through the lens of a struggle between tyranny and liberty much of human history is made less opaque. The various wars are obviously a struggle between tyranny and liberty, but other historical events can be described as the struggle as well. Economic policies for example, socialism is all about promoting tyranny while free enterprise is all about forwarding liberty. The French Revolution was ostensibly about restoring liberty to France but resulted in tyranny. How did that happen? Because the people who overthrew the aristocracy and king never had liberty as their goal, the revolutionaries never sought freedom, instead they wanted to be the tyrant themselves. The struggle between liberty and tyranny can be applied to every time and place, while Marx’s dialectic only describes the European feudal state, and then not very well.

With the insight that the struggle between liberty and tyranny gives us we can examine the roles of the various players in human history. We can place them in which faction they go and in doing so we can understand the arc of human history. Like the French Revolution the players usually don’t let their actual positions known, because those positions would undermine their effort to succeed, in establishing tyranny. Robespierre wrote about liberty as a means to fool the people into following his form of tyranny. While those who sought tyranny backed the French revolution, others who understood the struggle wasn’t between classes, castes or other social station, but between those who sought tyranny and those who prefer liberty, like Burke, correctly predicted the outcome. Not based on a supernatural understanding of human nature, but of the fundamental nature of the struggle, and that most of the participants wanted to replace the tyranny of the king, with tyranny of the proletariat.

Those few occasions where and when liberty won, ushered in the heights of human philosophy, science and human heartedness, plus, they have raised the lot of mankind, socially, economically, politically and culturally. The results of the few victories liberty has tasted, show it to be exponentially better for the human race and indeed individuals themselves, than tyranny. Yet the pull of tyranny is uncontrollable for some people. Some might trick themselves into believing they will be benevolent tyrants, others know just what it is they seek, but to them tyranny is a siren call, unavoidable, inevitable and too powerful to resist. The people who prefer tyranny usually understand that liberty is better for humanity but the pull of unlimited power over others cannot be resisted.

If we as a race start to understand that we live in a constant struggle between the forces of tyranny and liberty, we can start to get more liberty, and less tyranny. To do so however requires an understanding that most who claim to stand for liberty actually seek tyranny. The way to tell the difference is to look at the policies they propose. The cause of liberty is never helped by more regulations, more laws or more control, just as tyranny is never promoted by more freedom, more autonomy from the state or limited government. Those that claim their form of “liberty” demands more control of our actions, thoughts and even how we worship, are those who seek tyranny, while people who promote less government, less control, freedom of thought, and religion, are those who fight on the side of liberty. Human history is one long fight between the forces of tyranny and those of liberty, if we want a better life for our children then it is time to take sides, side with liberty.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Meritocracy and Corruptocracy

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, once government corruption has reached such levels the corpus political bursts open revealing all the corruption inside, and the people are not revolted, that is when we have become a “Corruptocracy.” The utterly and openly corrupt in power, ruling by corruption to satisfy their own corrupt wants and pay their corrupt cronies, to keep them in power. A Corruptocracy can exist under any system of government, it’s primary attribute is the widespread acceptance of corruption, and so it is not a system of government but a environmental factor. The environment in which government exists could be meritocracy, (the rule by those who merit it), but those occasions are rare, because there is no incentive for meritocracy to start and meritocracy corrodes itself. When you look at our government, the vote rigging, the double standard, arbitrary application of law, open antipathy for our Constitution and outright corruption, would you characterize our government as a Meritocracy or Corruptocracy?

There is a story about an African king who was under Roman rule. His people hated him, he so abused his people he brought them near to riot, until the Roman governor had to step in and arrest the African king, sending him to Rome for trial. Upon reaching Rome the African king started paying bribes to all the people in power. When his trial came he was immediately acquitted. When he returned to rule his home country he abused his people all the more and was arrested again. The cycle happened several times until the African king, shaking off the dust of Rome from his sandals for the fifth time said, If only one were rich enough the Romans would sell their very city… Rome had become a Corruptocracy. So you see, there have been Corruptocracies throughout human history and under many systems of government.

Think about various ecologic systems for a moment. Some are rife with vegetation, a plethora of plants and an abundance of animals. The well being of which depends on the environmental factors. As a desert gets less rain than a rain forest, an arctic tundra is colder than a jungle and so produce different types of flora and fauna, and verdancy (environmental prosperity), economic environments are different producing different type of enterprises as well as different levels of prosperity. Economies have different levels of taxation, regulation, culture, infrastructure, population, demographics, work ethic, rate of natural disasters, access to sea ports… and corruption. Corruption, especially when it has reached the point where the economic and political systems have become corruptocracies, stifles new growth in favor of old rotten existing growth. It is like sacrificing babies so old people can live longer. Forfeiting vitality for infirmity.

Meritocracy is an economic and political environment where people get what they merit. To put it another way, people get what they deserve, those who are smart, hard working and creative get ahead, generating incentives for everyone to be smart, creative and hard working because that will get them ahead. Unfortunately, the congenital nature of man is evil, the good in us a learned trait, which is why, to put it as Schumpeter did… once someone get to the top the first thing they try to do is close the door behind them. If there is no penalty for it, as in government, the door will be closed creating conditions for corruption to grow and stratifying society into haves and have nots, but if there is a penalty, as in the business world absent of cronyism, or in some military services, excellence becomes the norm. So Meritocracy, while a means for rapid rise in the standard of living, has within it the means and incentive for it’s own destruction.

Corruptocracy is the result of Aristotle’s wrong forms of government, tyranny, oligarchy and democracy, gone too far, and has been with us since time immemorial. Since it is in our nature to become corrupt in the absence of penalty for bad behavior, and the greater the stakes the more the incentive to push the boundaries, there is always a tug towards corruption. Meritocracy, while an excellent environment for economies and government to flourish, has within it the seeds of it’s own destruction. So the question remains, looking at the political and economical landscape which we find ourselves today, our political candidates, the incentives around us, our culture, the media, crime rates, racial harmony, the whittling away of liberty, etc… would you say we live in a Corruptocracy?

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Secrets

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, to argue national defense is sufficient cause for a secret, is to argue suicide is necessary for cancer prevention. After all, there is not one secret the US or any other government has, that is not known by other governments, so in reality, when government classifies something secret, they are merely keeping it from citizens, not foreign governments, so, to claim a thing needs to be secret for national security is absurd. The only people who are unable to know what our governments are doing are the people themselves. Look at the “secrets” wikileaks has released, none of them put a single American in jeopardy, the only things threatened are the elite’s machinations. Snowden’s release of information shows how our government violates our Constitution and that is why he is under indictment. In a limited republic that guarantees liberty for it’s citizens, everything government does would be available for any citizen to see. The only thing that grows in darkness is corruption and we have more than a sufficient supply of that.

If government only did what it is supposed to, protect people and property from those who would abuse or abscond, is the only legitimate role of government…. In other words, the police and army. Other things that can be argued are right roles of government are, printing money, building roads and infrastructure, settling disputes between citizens, setting standards and defining governmental boarders. These other roles however, have often been done by citizens themselves, usually better and cheaper. When government sticks to it’s legitimate role it need not maintain thousands of bureaucrats administering government. The more illegitimate roles government takes up… the more things it decides need to be secret. It is the pervasive and ever growing secret state that is a sign that government has breached it’s banks and is flooding the country with red tape and taxes.

When government takes on clearly illegitimate roles like “helping” American industry, the need for secrets grows. As our government gets in bed with tyrants the need for secrets grows, the more illegal activities our government engages in, the more they need to keep secrets, the more powerful government grows the more need for secrets, the more controlling it becomes the more it needs its secrets and the more government monitors the people the more it needs to hide what it is doing. All from the people, not other governments, who have spies to insure they know all there is to know about our government’s secrets, but the citizens whom the government is supposed to serve live in darkness. So the people government is keeping secrets from are the people themselves.

Why keep secrets from citizens? Because government knows what it is doing is wrong. Instead of protecting people’s Rights, lives and property, government has become the biggest threat to our lives, Rights and property. The modern government has as it’s core philosophy, everything within it’s boundaries are the government’s property, the land, houses, cars, factories, and even the people themselves. That which we are allowed to keep is out of government’s beneficence. This is made clear whenever taxes are brought up. The argument is based on the premise all income belongs to government. When that is your mindset, you have to keep it secret from the people you consider your slaves, else they might get uppity.

Of course there will always need to be spies. They are an arm of the army and as such help government meet it’s core role of protecting the people. The amount of secrets however exceeds mere spy craft by orders of magnitude. Plus, why keep the findings of spies on our enemies, secret? Shaming enemy nations should be a legitimate role of spies. Sadly, governments are far more concerned about spying on their own citizens than on potential invading armies. The need for secrets is a sure sign government is grown beyond it’s legitimate role. Everything government does should be freely available to any citizen that asks for it. The Freedom of Information act is a first step but falls short. Every legislators office should have a camera and microphone installed that stream to the internet, the President’s office should be monitored the same way, judges chambers should be recorded and the recording released to the public the day that judge casts his or her decision. Every trade deal should be open to anyone to see, every regulation should be read by the people, every document created by government using tax dollars should be available to the people who paid those taxes, not one aspect of government should be hidden from the people who government is supposed to serve. The more secrets a government has, the more it needs them, because that government is doing something it is not supposed to.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

When Life is Fantasy, Comeuppance is a Reality.

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, we have, and are, building a world where no one need come in contact with reality at all. Fantasy is an imagined idea. Virtually all of the highest paid professions today are based on fantasy. Lawyers, bureaucrats, university professors, even accountants and business are based on fantasy. The reason I say they are based in fantasy is because they are all founded by ideas, and, (although I detest the term), in A Priori fashion. Therefore, those professions are fantasy, the imagined ideas of those who invented them. Moreover, we are ever further removed from that which keeps us alive. By removed from reality I mean, slaughtering an animal if you want mutton, digging in the ground if you want peas, weaving cloth for your clothes from the thread you wove from flax, starting a fire to stay warm, building a shelter and all the other things that must happen for a human being to live… the reality of life. The farther away from reality one lives the more one lives and works in a fantasy. So, we work in fantasy, live in fantasy, and those who most live in fantasy, are the ones who rule the world.

The law could be anything and it would be called just, indeed it has been radically different in other places and times, and is always called the height of justice by those who practice it, there and then. Meaning, law is only based on ideas, those ideas could be anything, they are therefore fantasies of what the founders believed justice. As in law the ways of structuring a government are as numerous as stars in the sky, all of them ideas of what right government were by their founders, but very few have ever produced the good fruit… of liberty, prosperity and equanimity. Since every form of government is merely an idea, or was one at sometime, they are all fantasies, the imagined ideas of the founders. While they are all fantasies… only a select few are good. The same argument goes for journalism, academics, culture, etc… All these professionals work in a fantasy.

Living in a fantasy is as easy as going to the supermarket to shop, riding down to the Cape on a day trip, turning on a light, reading a book, sleeping in a bed, flying to Paris in spring, turning on the heat on a cold winter night, flushing the toilet, turning on the bathroom fan, watching television, playing golf, riding around the course in a cart, whiling away time on a computer, etc… All of which remove us from the reality of what it takes to physically meet those needs ourselves. The less we understand about what it takes to keep us alive, reality, and the more we mindlessly rely on modernity to meet them, the more we live in fantasy. At the supermarket you can get fruit from across the planet, out of season or grown organically so as to be more in touch with the food. Flushing a toilet is far preferable to the alternative, as is the use of toilet paper, a bidet removes the user even further from the reality of what he or she is doing, enhancing the fantasy.

Living in a fantasy, distant from reality, allows foolish ideas to get merit where, when looked at in the cold light of reality are absurd, a reality most of our leaders are as far from reality as the stars are from us. It isn’t their fault, if everything you live in, work at and spend free time in becomes who you are. Ignorance of reality allows someone to believe things possible that are not, it fosters a holier than thou attitude and living in a fantasy allows one to live in a way impossible, if not for the fantasy world they live in. Sadly, those who are the least in touch with reality are the ones who rule. Bureaucrats, who’s only touch with reality, is when their daughter scrapes her knee and the nanny cleans it up, and reading about it in her report, they are the ones who decide exactly how you and I should do… everything. Lawyers, judges, professors, teachers, journalists, they all work and live in total fantasy. Their lives have no more relation to reality than pulp fiction. Add to that, every day, fewer and fewer people are in touch with reality, or grounded if you will.

Before mathematicians had quantified the physical world people believed in magic. Since they had no idea of what makes a thing fall, that electricity exists, etc… they believed in mystical forces that could be exploited to make the world as they wished it to be. They mixed potions, chanted to various deities and carried all manner of talismans upon them, but to no avail, why, because they were living in a fantasy. Their disconnection from reality created for them, a fantasy, it allowed them to believe the absurd, belief in magic. Their fantasy was based on their ignorance leading to superstition, magic, today the fantasy we live in is based on our ignorance, leading to superstition, progressivism. Only farmers, hunters, people who build things and engineer things, people who have more than a passing knowledge of what it takes to keep a human being alive, are actually grounded in reality. Like a physicist understands why a talisman will not work, a grounded person knows why a policy will not as well. The more our world moves away from reality, I fear the ever greater outcome, because we have become so mesmerized by the fantasy world we live in… is that we as a people will step off a cliff into cultural, societal and economic oblivion.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Human Heartedness, Civilization and Justice

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems to me… the essence of human heartedness is wanting good things to happen to good people. The Confucian term Jen, becomes, goodness, empathy, “human heartedness,” etc… as translated by E. R Hughes. I favor the term human heartedness for the associations it brings up. What then is good, empathetic, and indeed human hearted? Since these words are all adjectives, the noun they modify has to be considered in any logical examination of the topic, that noun is human being. Now to narrow the field of inquiry, what would a human being who is good, empathetic or in other words, human hearted, want? Certainly not that evil happen to anyone… except as comeuppance. Clearly someone who is good would want good to happen to everyone. Civilization, in every sense, flourishes when people are human hearted, and rot when they are not. It follows then, to be human hearted is a self interested choice, as that choice transcends immediate self interest for societal self interest, freely self imposed, it can be said to be… self interest rightly understood.

Civilization, even in it’s most infinitesimal, is a boon to humanity. Think of the difference in standard of living of a single man alone in the wilderness, against that of a group of ten people, who have formed a community. The single man alone would stand a better chance however, if the group turned against itself, insuring no one survive. The more human hearted the members of the group the better the chances of survival, and in fact, some level of comfort achieved. While the woman alone, eating grass tops and a meadow vole, sheltering in a hollowed out ice cave might survive the night, the human hearted group, sleeping in a yurt warmed by a fire, after supping on roast venison would get a far better rest. Civilization is a boon to humanity while barbarism is a curse.

It is that sense of justice and human heartedness that has allowed humanity to form civilizations. In my definition of civilization, I do not mean empires that spread through conquest, no those are always barbarisms, I mean civilizations that create peace, prosperity and with liberty for the people. Those only rise when the people are human hearted and justice prevails. Eliminate one of those legs and civilization collapses back into the ocean of chaos that surrounds and constantly batters it. Since civilization provides the indispensable framework for people to improve their lot, and civilization itself relies on both justice and a human hearted people, to be both just and human hearted is in each and every one of our personal best interest.

If we seek, in our own self interest, to be human hearted… whom then would be the best candidates for good things to happen to? If we believe in the underlying philosophy of the old adage, “what goes around comes around,” then we understand that what a person visits in the world he or she should get back. In other words, at the core of sane human beings, a sense of justice speaks to us, and says, “what he sows shall he reap…” Those of us who sow good in the world, as a matter of justice, deserve to reap good, those who sow evil deserve to reap evil. Since that sense of justice is innate in humanity, people who are human hearted, share in that characteristic. Therefore a person who is good, empathetic and in fact human hearted would favor good people to have good things happen to them, out of a sense of justice. That is why we get angry when a good guy gets killed in a movie, it is our innate sense of justice, revolting at the injustice.

Some people have a false notion, they can be unjust and the opposite of human hearted, without effect to the civilization that allows them their comfort, prosperity and health. The false logic continues, since many others are human hearted and just, civilization will go along fine, and being unjust and uncaring they can get the advantage. To believe so however is as childish as it is ignorant. The seeking of immediate gratification over long term gratification leads to poverty, suffering and want. It is common sense that spending all of one’s pay on booze will lead to health issues and an impoverished retirement. Ignorant, in that injustice and psychopathy are the same as, defecating in one’s water supply.

If we want an ever increasing level of comfort, then we should seek to be human hearted, and to be human hearted means to want good things to happen to good people. The best way to make good things happen to good people is by creating civilization. Prosperity, comfort and health are goods that are always most plentiful when true civilization is present. The false notion that we can be selfish and unjust destroys the very civilization itself we rely on for so much. So, be human hearted…promote good things happening to good people, be good yourself so you deserve good things, be just… and you will be doing your part to promote civilization, prosperity, comfort and health, for yourself, your children and all your loved ones.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Debating a Crypto Marxist

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the way you can reliably tell when a progressive knows he or she has lost a debate, is when they call you a hater. Since progressives know debate is not to change the mind of the opposition, but the spectators, they cannot allow a libertarian to win any debate, so once their empty rhetoric has failed they go nuclear and slander the opponent, to delegitimize the libertarian’s argument. By libertarian, I mean anyone who believes in limited government, like a conservative, and so I use the inclusive term libertarian. Of course slander is an underhanded way to win an argument and is a transparent ploy to anyone who knows the rules of debate, but since most spectators know nothing of logical fallacies, that tactic has worked wonders for Marxists, socialists and progressives for over a century. So, when a progressive calls you a hater, racist, bigot, etc… you can rest assured you have won the debate, by facts and argument, but are still at risk of loosing it by a logical fallacy. That is why it is important to point out the logical fallacy instead of getting mad.

Politics is based on debate. People discussing the merits of this or that policy, position of program is the best way for a group to decide what is the right course of action. Without debate the democratic element of any government becomes impossible. An ignorant people cannot make reasoned decisions. The ancient Greeks had open and lively debates in the Pnyx. Smart as well as foolish decisions were decided there. The disaster of the attack on Sicily was decided there, as well as the fortunate history changing judgment, to support the Spartans at Thermopylae. Both were debated by the Athenians and voted on by them, based on the result of the debate, but in one debate we see calamity and the other a blessing on humanity. The difference was the debate.

The rules of debate as well as logical fallacies should be taught in every school on Earth. Sadly, that is in direct opposition to the power of the political elite, and so those important lessons are eschewed for politically correct knowledge, like how to put a condom on a cucumber. Teaching debate and logic would undermine the ability of those who favor arbitrary rule in any of it’s manifestations and names. The power of slander would be severely curtailed by such teaching and so only in private schools is debate and logic really taught. Even colleges and universities pervert the teaching of logic and debate, since they have long abandoned their fundamental purpose, to be open minded and forward the goal of reason. Debate a recent graduate of a university, and you will quickly realize the little person is an automaton, spewing rhetoric she has been programmed with. Once you win the debate you will be painted as a hater.

Of course slander is a logical fallacy… but why? If someone is really evil how can you agree with anything they say? Well, if Adolph Hitler came in soaking wet and tells you it is raining outside, does that mean it cannot be raining, since Hitler is evil? What if Stalin says the sky is blue, does that mean the sky is actually green? Of course it’s not. Bias on the other hand can undermine a debaters position. When Phillip Morris cited paid for “scientific research” proving smoking is good for you, that turned out to be patently untrue, it was an example of bias undermining a position. In a similar vein, when someone who stands to gain if people opt for their position, their argument should be given extra scrutiny. Like for example, a scientist who has millions of dollars of government money at risk, claims man made climate change is happening, especially when they try to shut down debate. It is only logical to view their argument with a bit more care. This is especially true when one side has made predictions based on their theories that have not proven accurate. The more inaccurate predictions the less credence we can give them.

If we want our children to live in a world that is prosperous, healthy, harmonious and safe, it is up to us to understand the rules of debate and the logical fallacies that make people reach a faulty conclusion. Steel yourself to the fat that whenever you debate a progressive they will not debate fairly or logically. All Marxists, even crypto Marxists like progressives, are ideologues, they care nothing for reality, only their political ideals. To them, and sadly, to most audiences as well, facts, historical examples and a finely crafted argument means nothing, emotion is paramount. So, to win a debate with any crypto Marxist you must point out, once they slander you, that their slander is proof they have lost the argument… and they know it. Then laugh heartily at them rather then get defensive. Make the progressive a laughing stock and you have won the debate. Use their logical fallacy against them and sooner or later they will drop that tactic. When you are called a hater, simply say, “How do you know a progressive has lost an argument? They call you a hater…”

Sincerely,

John Pepin

The Evil Bourgeoisie

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, there is some misconception of what the term “owners of the means of production,” actually means. This is important because more often now than in the past, we find ourselves debating a Marxist, Keynesian or half wit, and we hear the term bourgeoisie and think Marxism, but don’t realize that the owners of the means of production is the definition of bourgeoisie, nor the true depth of the meaning of the means of production. If we don’t have Marxist terms, their definition and the magnitude of the ideas fixed fast in our heads, we are at disadvantage in debate, even though we have the empirical truth on our side. Remember, words have emotional undertones, they make you feel things, and Marxist words are often both a description and an insult, so knowing the insult and the emotion it is supposed to raise in the onlookers is power, because you never debate someone to change his or her views, you debate someone to change the views of the audience.

Bourgeoisie is an emotional term it packs a punch and it hits you in the gut. We are programmed to think, evil guys, whenever we hear that term. Those of us who are more indoctrinated have an even more visceral loathing for the bourgeoisie. “They are those evil people who run everything and have all the money and all the power,” might be what goes through your mind when you hear that term. Notice how it is so often used as a pejorative? “Filthy bourgeoisie…” Everything we are taught by the media, the government monopoly schools, our culture and society programs us to feel that way. After all, the bourgeoisie are the enemy, they stand in the way of perfection, harmony and changing human nature for the better.

The bourgeoisie or, the owners of the means of production, is an economic term created by Marx to describe all the people who own any tool whatsoever. If you have a table saw in your shed, you own the means of production, if you own stocks through your IRA or 401K, you are the owner of the means of production, if you own a machine shop, guess what, you are the owner of the means of production, but you know what, if you are the CEO of a publicly traded company, you are NOT the owner of the means of production, if you work in government in any of it’s manifestations, you are not an owner of the means of production, and if you are a lobbyist, lawyer, banker, doctor or journalist, you are not the owner of the means of production, (unless you have set of side tools in your basement or a well financed 401k). If you own a store or are a middleman, you are the petite bourgeoisie, the enablers.

Think of the implications. If jack has a wood shop that he sometimes uses, he is the owner of the means of production, in that he can produce a thing by way of the tools he owns. Even a hand chisel counts because it can produce goods. The means of production are not limited to auto factories and computer chip campuses, anything that can produce a thing is the means of production. The CEO of Ford Motor company, in the scope of his job is not the owner of the company, he is the caretaker of the company for the shareholders. The shareholders are the owners of the means of production in this case. Usually the CEO will be given stock in the form of an option to buy at below market price, as a way of creating emotional bond and give him a financial stake in the outcome of the company, but he is not the owner of Ford. The CEO is an agent of the owners who are the principles.

Have you ever wondered why those taxes that were supposed to hurt the rich bourgeoisie only seemed to hurt you? That is because the people you have thought of as bourgeoisie, are not the bourgeoisie but the new class, you are the bourgeoisie. Wealth today is far less dependent on producing things people need and want and more about manipulating… sifting money, slip and fall, managing someone else property, regulating everything and who your friends are, are far more important today. Ever thought it strange the richest of the rich favor the most socialist policies, policies that make it ever harder for the evil rich bourgeoisie and ever easier for the virtuous new class, that is because you are the evil bourgeoisie. When a billionaire tells you he is for damaging the rich… he is lying to you, to really do that he would have to damage his own self interest, and it is not in human nature, now or ever, to do that. Shortly after Obama was elected, the billionaire Warren Buffett complained it unfair that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary, so Obama fixed it, Obama raised the secretary’s taxes and gave Buffett a monopoly on oil traffic from Alberta to Texas. Now that’s redistribution! Remember, Warren Buffett runs Berkshire Hathaway, the shareholders own it…

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Government Simply Cannot Solve Problems

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, government in all it’s manifestations, subsidizes and encourages bad behavior, to the detriment of humanity. Not just modern government, although the welfare state has risen the body politic to levels not seen since Rome’s bread and circuses. The negative incentives government inflicts on mankind, in the name of compassion, have the cumulative effect of making worse that which they are supposed to alleviate. There are several reasons this is so. The mechanism of government funding, the inherent incentives of that funding process and the constituency that instantly crops up depends on it, all combine to give immortality to any government program set up to fix something. The very nature of government wielding power, ie, handing out money, lends itself to corruption, dependence and lack of ambition.

By mitigating the negative consequences of negative behavior, whether from compassion or a lust for power over the individual, government creates more negative behavior. If fathers are not needed, economically, to raise children, then children will not have fathers along with all the other negative consequences for those children, economic, social and cultural. The more government subsidizes a fatherless society the less fathers there will be, and the less people will feel they have a stake in society, leading to more crime, violent and otherwise, making more men unsuitable to be fathers in the first place. Government’s ham handed way of solving any problem always leads to a worsening of that problem.

Government always makes permanent anything it tries to fix. That is because the moment government announces it is going to fix a thing, that thing instantly has a constituency and permanent ever increasing funding supply, to feed those constituents/dependents, which insures it is in no one’s favor to actually solve the problem, too much money is at stake. The fundamental problem grows worse, while bureaucrats make up statistics showing some alleviation of the worst suffering, justifying more spending. The cycle goes on and on. Can you think of any problem the federal government has ever solved? Did prohibition stop alcoholism, does the war on drugs eliminate the scourge of drugs, did the Agricultural Agency solve the problems of small farms, did welfare lower the amount of people who are poor, does the Department of Energy done anything to lower our dependence of foreign oil and has the federal government’s usurping of our children’s education improved it or lowered the cost?

If someone is put in a cell wired to electrodes and offered two choices, one is a candy bar, the other is a cockroach, every time the subject reaches for the candy bar he gets a shock, but if they eat the cockroach they don’t, eventually, every subject will eat the roach… eschewing the candy bar, even flinching at the thought. Incentives work that way, they change our perceptions, rightly or wrongly, about what is good and what is bad. People can be convinced to always choose the wrong path, even when they know explicitly it is the wrong path, if the incentives are sufficient. Why work if welfare pays better? Why marry if there is more sex outside of marriage than inside? Why pay for your own children if the government will do it so you can have more children by more women? Those bad decisions, negative actions, normally would have a host of negative consequences, impelling us to make better choices, better for us, our society, our culture and our overall best interest… if not for government creating pernicious incentives.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Which is More Just, a Free Market or Socialism?

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, we can argue all day long whether a zebra’s stripes are black, or white, but at the end of the day we still haven’t answered whether a zebra is an equine or not. In the same way, progressives and free market proponents argue about whether profit is good or bad, but that misses the point, in reality everyone seeks profit, both the capitalist and the socialist, the real question is, whether profit should come from providing value to your fellow man or at his cost? Those who contend that profit is good, know their’s is a weak argument weighed on it’s inherent merit, so to change the subject is a way to seize a moral high ground they have no right to, and keep their real position from being known, let alone discussed on it’s merits. So we fight and wrestle, vilifying each other over such weighty questions as, “are a zebra’s stripes white or black?”

Progressives claim the market system is based on profit, and profit is greed, and greed is bad. Therefore, they further contest, the market system is bad. Both Marxists and capitalists seek profits however. Socialists seek profits as much as capitalists. The socialist however, as opposed to a capitalist, seeks profits for nothing. What do you think the public dole is? The dole is nothing more than a profit to the recipient. The dole however, is not based on providing for your fellow man or woman, it is based on one’s existence. If the dole is a form of profit, and we see that it so obviously is, they are condemned by their own argument, progressivism, socialism and communism are based on greed… and are therefore bad. But that is arguing on progressive’s terms.

The real question is, is it more just to get a profit for providing value or not? The socialist side stands that it is unjust to “force” people to provide value to another for profit. They contend it is more just if we provide profit to others free of charge. This is what we should be discussing, not whether profit itself is good or bad, that is as I have shown merely a diversion. To answer that question we must first answer what is justice. The modern interpretation, since the Enlightenment is… equal treatment. Even a child innately knows justice and demonstrate it when they say, “It’s not fair!” The justice of a child is not equal justice however, because a child lacks the ability to be objective, that is a learned trait. That is exactly the root of socialism however, the demand of a petulant dependent incompetent child, to get one’s needs met.

The free market’s means for getting profit is to meet a need of someone else. Providing value in and of itself, is a good of the first and second order. A good can be broken into two types, a good we do for it’s own sake; (the first order), and a good we do because it staves off a bad; (the second order). Brushing your teeth is a good of the second order in that we don’t do it for itself we do it to stave off tooth decay. Skiing is a good of the first order, for those who love to ski, since it is a good we do for itself. Providing value for profit is both types of good. That providing value for one’s profit is a good of the first order is embodied in the old saying… “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day.” Regardless of the value as career advice, that saying is true in that many people love their jobs and cannot see themselves doing anything else.

Providing value for profit is also a good of the second order, since the innate requirement to meet someone else needs to get one’s own bread incentivizes positive behavior as, courtesy, perspective, humility, sympathy and equal treatment. At it’s most basic level, the ancient tradition of the merchant, a merchant has to be able to see things from another’s perspective to provide what the customer wants and needs, she has to be courteous else risk the loss of sales and profit, he must be humble lest his supplier or customer go somewhere else, sympathy is a natural outcome of the ability to see from another’s perspective, and every incentive for a salesperson is to treat everyone equally, to maximize profits. As we can see, providing value is a good of both types.

Socialism on the other hand is not a good of either the first order nor the second. Human nature is not egalitarian, self sacrificing, or accepting of one’s “place.” Those attribute go against the demands of evolution. A species that self sacrifices is soon eliminated from the biosphere, eschewing saving up food is a sure path to starvation during times of want, and if not for the drive to get ahead of one’s competition one falls behind in that competition, in the case of a species, that species goes extinct. Human nature itself is damning of socialism. To be a good of the first order socialism would spontaneously happen, as did skiing, due to it’s being a good of the first order, as the free market has. That it has only happened under extreme pressure from the state, shows socialism is not a good we would do for it’s own sake.

Getting profit for nothing also falls far short of a good of the second order. Getting profit for nothing incentivizes people to be rude, uncaring, egoistic, and discriminating. The best historical reference for someone who gets profit for nothing is the aristocracy of feudal cultures. The aristocrat could be as rude to the peasants as he or she wanted, they had no comprehension of the life of the masses, aristocracy is nothing if not egoistic, their profit was inherent to their existence. Moreover, at court, those with political favor were above the law, while those without were below it’s protections, because that enhanced the aristocracy’s profit. These same attributes are created by incentive in those who receive the dole. Not to argue everyone who receives profit for nothing is bad, as it is the case that not everyone who provides value is good. The incentives however over time impel either good attributes in people or bad ones, the more the bad ones the easier it is follow the crowd and adopt bad behaviors.

Taken on their own ground, that profit is bad, socialism condemns itself in it’s own words, moreover, when we consider the real argument between free market advocates and socialism’s adherents, which is more just… to get profit for nothing or for providing value, the answer becomes obvious. Providing value for others is a good of both the first and second order. The market forces equal treatment by the ever present threat of bankruptcy, plus, as a good of the second order it incentivizes people, over time, to treat each other equally, which both meet the fundamental definition of justice. Meanwhile, socialism is not a good of either type, creating conditions for unequal treatment of people along with a host of negative behaviors, showing socialism to be unjust. That socialist have obtained the moral high ground and advanced their position as far as they have, is because we have been accepting their premise and contending on their ground, arguing to the head of a pin, what color zebra stripes are, to answer the question of is that zebra an equine or not.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

CEO Pay

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, a painter who charged for paint but used white wash, a drywaller who put up cardboard instead of sheetrock and a paver who used clay slurry instead of asphalt, would not deserve a huge bonus, but that is exactly what our CEOs do… and get. The difference in treatment for the new class and the rest of us is as stark as it is baffling. You would think people would start a rumpus over it. Instead, we take it, doing our best at our job and settle for shoddy workmanship from the new class. Meanwhile they demand us to deliver excellent quality at high rates of productivity for ever lower wages. Our economy, wages and standard of living corrodes every day for it. Today the new class is fighting an undeclared war against the hoi polloi. So much so that now we live in the age of the principle agent dilemma.

Our businesses have become so politicized they no longer function as profit making enterprises but lackeys of the progressives. Examples like Target are glaring. Target has decided to poke it’s customers in the eye with such absurdities as allowing men into the woman’s bathroom. On the face of it that decision alienates customers, corrodes the value of the shareholders and puts employees jobs at risk. The decision to follow a political regime changes Target from a retailer that provides value to customers, jobs for employees and returns on investment for shareholders, is a form of corporate suicide. The CEO however will not suffer for his decision, there will be no negative consequences for him, but the fallout for everyone else will be disastrous. From children being abused in the bathroom to shareholders loosing their hard earned money, the rest of us will be on the loosing side of that gambit. If Target goes belly up from that policy, the CEO will still get his bonus, and another cushy job, where he can impose his absurd political beliefs on the rest of us, even as he has used cardboard in place of drywall.

Stock buybacks is another example of how the new class embezzles money from shareholders. Stock buybacks, the main reason the stock market has risen to record highs, provide no real return to shareholders but instead corrodes the actual value of their stock. The new class borrow money against the real value of the company, diminishing that value, then buy it’s own stock artificially increasing the stock price while eroding it’s actual value, because that money is not used to buy the means of production so the company can be more profitable in the future, nor is it used to expand territory, or integrate with it’s suppliers or retailers to provide a basis for future profit growth. All a stock buyback does is make a short term stock price rise, in the absence of future profit potential, so the upper management, the new class, can get huge bonuses for that price increase. In other words, they use clay slurry instead of asphalt, the moment it rains the reality of what they have done will become apparent.

The new class is in favor of any and every regulation that comes down the pike. Regulations make the job of a CEO much easier. While that statement may seem counter intuitive it is truth incarnate. Regulations are easy for a large firm to follow, with their armies of new class lawyers and deep pockets to meet them, regulations are death for small businesses that compete with large corporations. To paraphrase Milton Friedman… If a CEO faces competition from a small business that makes a better product at a lower price point, that CEO can lower prices and increase quality, which both lowers his bonuses and makes her work harder, or they can go to their trapped regulators and get the small business shut down. Obviously, as history shows, they will go to government to stifle competition. In doing so they crush innovation, the lifeblood of a market economy and drive down wages by lowering demand for labor. It is almost like they are using white wash instead of paint.

We pay top dollar to our principles for inferior work. Every day the new class is living the principle agent dilemma everywhere we look. They politicize their firms, they destroy value and stifle innovation, all to the very real detriment of everyone else. The new class is the agent and the rest of us are the principles. We own companies when we have IRAs and we are the citizens of government, we are the principles, the new class, CEOs, lawyers, journalists, bureaucrats, teachers, politicians, professors, etc… are our agents. They are supposed to work for us. The trouble is, the agent will abuse his position for personal gain all day long, if they can get away with it. Many people do raise a commotion, but in the end only empower the new class to further abuse their positions, because the new class channels that anger to increasing their power as our agents. Regulation is increased, journalism veers decidedly leftist, political correctness becomes ever more ingrained and our liberty is washed away by it. The problem starts and ends in our colleges and universities where our children are indoctrinated into the new class mindset. It is past time to wrest our education system from Marxists and progressives and instead teach common sense, work ethic and basic logic.

Sincerely,

John Pepin