Posts Tagged ‘meritocracy’

A Positive Attitude and Good Outcomes

Monday, August 25th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, an optimistic outlook is as vital to an optimistic outcome, as a negative outlook, is vital to a negative outcome. We unconsciously decide what we want of all things, even life itself, and we set ourselves to get it, be it a good outcome or a negative one. Sometimes it’s because we consider ourselves unworthy of this or that good, perhaps we have fallen below our misery quotient or simply that we hate ourselves so badly we can’t stand to see something go right, that we undermine our success. Thinking in negative terms, in negative ways, expecting negative things… will beget those negative things. While it can also be said to be true that thinking optimistically, acting optimistically and behaving optimistically will bring the best outcome to you, like a magnet does iron filings. This is such an important lesson to learn but is unknown to so many. If we want better outcomes, we need to think, act and expect better.

 

Of course that is not to say that all Pollianish notions will come true. There must be planning, preparation and follow through, to make an optimistic outlook something other than mere baseless hope. An optimistic attitude makes the preparation, planning and follow through much more likely. If we launch into a project with a positive attitude, we will spend more time planning, if we expect great things we will prepare more carefully and if we are optimistic while we are working on it, we will expend more effort in the process. All of which makes the best outcome more likely.

 

A negative attitude will undermine one’s efforts more effectively than groundwater hollowing a sinkhole in Florida. If we expect failure, our plans will be lackadaisical, if we don’t have hope our preparation will be half hearted and if we dwell on a negative possible outcome our work will be sloppy due to inattentiveness. A negative attitude will attract a negative outcome every time, unless dumb luck intervenes. With a positive attitude we will take more enjoyment in the process which makes the outcome naturally better, while focusing only on the outcome corrodes our enjoyment of the process, making a good outcome less likely.

 

A positive attitude is magnetic for people as well. We all want to be around positive people, it is in our nature, just as we avoid negative people. We seek out people who are fun to be around, those who are full of good news and people who make us feel good. A positive attitude cannot but do these things. If we have a positive attitude we can be complimentary without being deceitful, it is natural to be friendly without over familiarity and we tell stories of our successes and good things while avoiding the negative and bad, without being pretentious. Most people want to be around others who have a positive attitude.

 

A negative attitude is repulsive. Think about it, we all know the gloomy Gus who always has a sob story. They are draining. Ask them how they are and a river of pains, burdens and crosses emerge from their mouths. There could be a ton of good things happening in their lives but they only tell us about the negative. They hold you up for hours, (or at least it seems so), regaling you with their troubles. They have the Job complex. The sad thing is, they are avoided because of their constant complaining, while what they really need is the company, advice and shoulders of others.

 

The trick is to have a positive attitude. A positive attitude is as easy, and as hard, as to will it. Willing a positive attitude is not like willing a paper clip to bend or to force someone your mental slave, it is to make an intentional change in the way we think… then do it. We have to monitor our thoughts for a while until we become accustomed to thinking optimistically. We shouldn’t be vexed when we occasionally do think negatively, instead we should simply stay calm, let the negative thought pass and redirect our thoughts in a positive direction. Changing the way we think can be a very difficult thing to do. Our thoughts gouge deep channels in our minds, but the mind is ductile, those channels can be changed no matter how deep. When a rational maximizer finds a way to improve his or her life, at little or no cost, they take it… it is the best way to rationally maximize one’s outcome.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

Capitalist Security System and a Zero Unit Cost of Labor

Monday, August 18th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, another thing most countries could do to improve their economy, would be to establish a Capitalist Security System (CSS). Such a system would be completely different than the typical social(ist) security system (SSS) we have now. Some of the ways they differ are, CSS would invest and add to the stock of capital available for growth; while SSS steals from the capital stock, CSS would add to generational wealth; while SSS steals from generational wealth, CSS gives every man woman and child a stake in society; while SSS gives people a stake in more powerful government, to take the taxes needed, etc… If a country redirected the funds now going into all the SSS in that country were instead turned to a CSS, that nation’s economy would reap huge rewards, incentive wise, in productivity and capital available for new companies. Everyone would benefit with each successive generation reaping ever larger rewards while contributing to the economic success of their countries.

 

We all know how SSS works but I’ll explain it for those who might not be sure.The Social(ist) Security System is a system, where the government takes money from those young enough to work and the businesses that hire them, then gives some of that money to those who have reached an age deemed too old to work. The money goes through various bureaus of government and some of the money stops there to fund those bureaus. Some of the money gets caught in the sieve of corruption and conniving that surrounds every government bureaucracy and stops there funding corruption. The rest gets to those on government pension. The system is expensive because so many hands are in it, it fuels corruption with government money, it is unsustainable, it takes capital from producers and redistributes it to non producers… among many other problems.

 

A CSS would operate very differently. A Capitalist Security System would not invest in government’s power, as does typical social security, Capitalist Social Security would instead invest in the power of the market through dividend paying stocks. Initial funding would be through legally required investment of a portion of one’s income, or perhaps a .5% tax on consumption, (Sales tax). It would be run by an algorithm that buys dividend paying stocks the world over based on several criteria, one of which would be longevity of the business model and of dividend history. The fund would grow by reinvesting the dividends and selling stocks that under perform via dividends. Once the first generation reached the requisite age, then it would pay out 50% of the dividends to the retirees and reinvest the other half. A person’s portion of the income stream from the fund would transfer to their heirs upon their death as the pensioner see fit. The heir could then start receiving payment immediately or allow their portion to grow and get larger payments later, say when they retire.

 

It would probably be administered by a bureaucracy in government, but it doesn’t need to, it could be administered by some financial firm, the operation of the CSS fund being awarded by competitive bid based on the firm’s fees. There would have to be special tax exemptions for the fund. One tax exemption would be to stop the double taxation of dividend income. Either tax the company or the investor, not both. In the case of CSS the company would pay the income tax, (if there is one) and the fund would face no tax penalty. The investor should not be taxed on the income he or she gets out of the fund, since the corporation already did, and the fund itself is just an agent of the investor. In the case of the CSS fund the investors would be everyone.

 

The economic advantages should be clear for anyone to see. One would be the strong incentive for companies to reinvest in plant equipment and training. Else they run the risk of being sold by the CSS fund which would be the kiss of death to a company’s stock price. The huge fluctuations in the stock market would be diminished due to the fact the CSS fund wouldn’t sell it’s stocks in a panic, the incentive for companies under such a system would be to pay dividends as well as grow the company. Another advantage would be that pay for corporation bigwigs would face downward pressure, because if too much is sucked off today the power of shareholders to demand more of the company’s profits given to them as dividends is far too diluted by various factors, but if a giant fund such as the CSS showed displeasure at the high pay of a CEO the firm would toe the line. Perhaps most importantly, in the real world, SSS must eventually fail, because government will eventually run out of other people’s money to take, but a CSS would be self sustaining and grow organically. The list of economic advantages is endless for a Capitalist Social Security System.

 

With human like robots coming on the scene sooner than people realize, (20-40 years) this will be a phenomenon that will eventually drive the unit cost of labor to zero. A zero cost of labor will usher in a completely new paradigm for humanity. Maybe for the better and maybe for the worse but it will be different than anything that has come before. For a leader in government to see this and envision a means to stave off the possible starving masses, that such a situation could give rise to, shows vision. A Capitalist Social Security System could be just such a means to keep future generations, who will have lost the ability to sell their labor in the open market for wages, a means of sustenance. A means of sustenance that will grow with each generation. Like I said, “ another thing most countries could do to improve their economy, would be to establish a Capitalist Security System.”

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

Taxing Production Or Consumption?

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, if a leviathan government must be built and paid for, it is better to tax consumption than production. Examples of taxing production are, income tax, taxing interest on investments, corporate taxes, inventory taxes etc… Taxing consumption is when government imposes sales taxes and value added taxes. The question of whether or not we build up a leviathan, since we already have, is moot and so, until we tear the edifice to human hubris is torn down, the question of how we pay for the thing becomes paramount. Taxation, being a counter force to whatever it taxes, if we choose the wrong method of taxation and stifle our economies in pernicious ways we lower potential economic output more than is necessary. So this question, whether to tax production, consumption or both, has implications for every one of our standards of living.

 

It is a well know phenomenon that taxes drive up the cost of that which is taxed. As the cost of a thing goes up the demand for it goes down via the supply demand curve. The utility of spending that additional dollar for what you get diminishes… eventually to zero. As demand for a thing goes down the production of that thing will follow. As production drops units of productive capacity are taken out of production from building that thing, and are put back into the system, (people are laid off, machines are idled and plants are closed). Now we can frame our question this way, should we lower productive capacity, or demand, by taxes necessary to maintain the gigantic government we have, while limiting the damage to our economy such necessary taxation will do.

 

Many economists in the Keynesian camp will immediately argue demand must not be stifled by taxation and so production must be taxed. Their mantra is; demand drives supply. They follow the aggregate demand aggregate supply model of economic growth. The aggregate demand aggregate supply model has the advantage of being simple but it has the disadvantage of being wrong. Japan has focused like a laser beam on their economy for over a decade using the aggregate demand aggregate supply model. You know… their “Lost decade.” FDR went whole hog Keynesianism and ushered in the Great Depression with it. There is no example in human history where aggregate demand aggregate supply actually predicted or accurately modeled an economic event, but the faithful are hopeful. So taxing demand might not be such a bad thing as the demand side economists would have you believe.

 

Most who call themselves supply side economists, and so would be against taxing and thus lowering production, don’t have a clue about the basis of supply side economics. To say “supply side” is to focus on too narrow a policy. Supply side economics seeks a dynamic economy while demand siders only seek to increase demand, the source of which, (to them) is irrelevant. As a result, a demand sider is perfectly happy with a stagnant economy where, the older a firm is the safer it is, as long as it reliably grows it’s demand. Those of us who are supply siders seek to make conditions favorable for entrepreneurs to start businesses, grow those businesses and disrupt older technologies. We recognize that it is in the very disruption itself, of new ideas being implemented making old ideas outmoded, that is the fire in the chamber that drives an organic free market system. An organic free market creates new luxuries, makes old luxuries necessities and lowers the cost of our needs, and it does it by implementing new ideas.

 

Taxing production lowers production and so puts people out of their jobs, lowers wages due to the lower demand for labor but most importantly… creates a barrier to entry for entrepreneurs. Taxing consumption on the other hand drives down demand for those goods and services that are taxed, while creating a demand for behind the counter merchandise. Clearly, if we tax both production and consumption, we get the negative outcome of both, so in a sane world the doing both option should be out. If the very thing that powers the market system however, is the introduction and implementation of new ideas, then it follows that the implementation and introduction of new ideas should be fostered at all costs, and not undermined by any means. While taxing production makes it harder for an entrepreneur to start a business, taxing consumption makes capital more available, (since the interest on it wouldn’t be taxed), which would lower the barrier to entry for the would be entrepreneur.

 

The track record of the demand siders should speak for itself as should the track record of the supply siders. Every time demand side economics is blindly followed the economy gets the moniker “Great,” like, Great depression, Great recession etc… When supply side economics have been followed the economy has always flourished. The supply side policies of Calvin Coolidge, who came into the Presidency during a bigger economic downturn than Obama did, ushered in the period of the fastest economic growth in US history. Ronald Reagan, who inherited Jimmy Carter’s economic, foreign policy and Cold War messes, made it easier to do business in the US and the US economy rebounded. So, given their historical track records, taxing consumption and only consumption, would be the smartest move and would have the least negative effect on our economy. Because… If you seek green, blending yellow and blue works better than red and white, no matter how much you might want red and white to make green.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

The Destruction of Our Standard of Living.

Monday, August 4th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, government policies are destroying the middle class in America, and unless the political elite are drooling idiots, the destruction is intentional. From the prices we pay for our needs, to the wage suppression government policies encourage, we are under assault from every direction. While our government scoffs at our Constitution and ignores their own laws we are held to every word of arcane regulation. The veil of secrecy around government and it’s actions grows while every facet of our lives is being recorded for prosecution at a later date. Our taxes are increasing at an alarming rate and the money is sent to Hamas to kill our only real allies in the region. The New Class political elite have been on a crusade to lower the standard of living of the American worker for years, and now the results are showing up for all of us to see, but many refuse to look and blindly follow the elite like lemmings. If we are to turn this around, giving our kids hope for a better life instead of a perpetually lowering standard of living, we must force the political elite to follow their own laws and our Constitution, returning the US to Constitutional rule upon which it was founded, else America will inevitably become a third world hell hole.

 

The business and economic elite claim there is no inflation. As the price we pay for food, housing, heat, electricity, gasoline, clothes and cars gets ever higher, the smartest people in the room claim that because I pads are cheaper, the substitution effect, and wages are stagnant, there is no inflation. The absurdity of their opinion is lost on them. I don’t buy and I pad a day but I have to eat every day, moreover, I can’t substitute an I pad for a loaf of bread. No matter how low the price of a computer gets I will only buy one when the one I am using breaks, but I have to get around, and so I have to pay for gasoline. The reality is, inflation can be driven by wages or regulation but the definition of inflation is an increase in costs, not in wages.

 

Speaking of wages, have your wages kept pace with the price of hamburger? Why do you suppose that is? Because government policies are destroying jobs while the government has opened the flood gates to illegal immigrants. As the number of jobs declines and the number of people looking for those jobs increases, while at the same time the cost of labor increases from regulation, there will be increasing pressure driving down wages, it is basic supply and demand. Raising minimum wage only fuels price inflation and in fact lowers everyone’s real wages, thus lowering the standard of living for everyone, without the benefit of a single person being helped. At least the elite can claim they have done something, something that has hurt instead of helped, do you suppose they are so stupid they don’t know that?

 

Our government is building a huge data storage facility in Utah to keep their illegal and unconstitutional recordings of our personal phone conversations, emails, and any other digital communications the government sweeps up in the NSA spying operation. Meanwhile, the actions of our government get darker and more hidden. As we drive down the street we are videoed, our license plates are recorded along with our location and the time we were there, but try to record the police and you or I would be incarcerated. Moreover, why are there 28 pages redacted from the 911 report? According to congressmen who have read them, if they were to become public, they would force every American to rethink what we know of the history of that day and who our enemies really are. So why are we being kept ignorant? Government seeks to hide their actions in the dark, but we all know what grows in the dark, mold and corruption.

 

Taxes and government fees go up constantly. As our government drives down wages and drives up the prices we pay for our needs, it is also raising our taxes to absurd levels, increasing the strain on our standard of living. Warren Buffett complained he was paying a lower tax rate than his secretary, so the government stepped in, raising his secretary’s taxes. No matter how high our tax burden gets our government always spends $2.00 for ever $1.00 they take in. As a result, the higher our taxes get, the more our government goes into debt. Couple this with what they spend our money on like, making indigence a career choice, buying rockets for Hamas to attack our allies with, funding every third world dictator’s Swiss bank account and giving economic aid to China, etc… and even a blind man can see why we are in such debt.

 

The New Class promotes the economic assault in every way, in the media, academia and culture they are unanimous in their adoration of government power and prerogative. The New Class sees nothing wrong with bringing in millions of illegal aliens to suppress our wages by creating a permanent underclass, passing thousands of pages of regulations that promote crony capitalism, keeping the actions of our “democratic” government in secrecy, while monitoring us to the nth degree, and they have no problem with arming Islamic militants against our allies. We have to face the fact that the elite, who make up the new class, are totally on board with the sinking of the US standard of living, and are the real problem.

 

All the actions our government is doing to destroy our standard of living could not happen if the political elite were held to their own laws and our Constitution. The entire regulatory structure of the US is based on one flawed ruling, Wickard v Filburn. That one flawed anti Constitutional ruling by the Supreme court has allowed this absurdity to grow like an aggressive cancer in our government and our economy. It needs to be overturned as badly as Dred Scott did. The only way to stop the trend to total economic separation between the rich and poor in America, like we see in third world countries, is to force the elite to follow their own laws, and our Constitution as it was written and intended. I offer one method in my book, The Fourth Branch, but there are others that might work as well. The point is, we must start holding government and those that serve in government accountable before it’s too late, if it isn’t already.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

Tesla, Crony Capitalism and Creative Destruction

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, an excellent illustration of political favor at work, the type of political favor that is destroying our economy… is the scuffle between Tesla Motor Cars and the Dealerships in New Jersey. Everyone agrees it is about politics and we also tacitly agree the question will come down to which side has the most political favor. Free market consideration is not made at all. This small set to, between the dealerships and Tesla over whether Tesla can sell it’s cars directly to consumers, is all about stopping the free market from innovating and to protect the profits of politically connected dealerships. The best interests of the consumer is not even at question! No one in the media cares if the consumer is hurt or helped by direct sales, only which side has sufficient political favor to push their argument through the New Jersey legislature, because that is all that really counts. This is very damaging to our economy, because the interest of the people is not even a factor, simply the will of the political elite. This shows how far from free market principles we have strayed. Your job, wages, benefits and standard of living are in the balance, but bear no weight on how it turns out.

 

Tesla wants to sell it’s cars directly to the consumer, bypassing the traditional dealership network. The dealerships have asked a court to force Tesla to sell their cars through dealerships and as a result Tesla doesn’t sell cars in New Jersey. Tesla has gone to the New Jersey legislature to get a law passed allowing them to sell their cars direct to consumers. Of course, politics came into it as soon as the smell of money wafted around, and justified by the fact Tesla wanted to do something different then is traditionally done. Because, as Milton Friedman said… when a firm faces competition that sells it’s products at a lower price and better quality, the firm can increase it’s quality and lower prices, or it can go to the government to force the competition closed. That is exactly what the car dealerships have done, they went to government to force Tesla to use them, to protect their profits.

 

The problem is that this strategy always results in stifling innovation, which has a profoundly negative effect on present, and especially future GDP growth, due to the compounding effect of past growth, or lack of it. Schumpeter coined the term, “Creative Destruction” to explain the cycle of growth under the capitalist mode of production. He explained that, as a new idea is implemented, units of production are drawn into realizing that new idea. This results in GDP growth, as more labor, productive facilities and ingenuity are utilized. As the innovation matures, the old systems that are rendered redundant go bust. They go out of business and the recession part of the cycle comes in. As the cost of the units of production become cheaper due to the recessionary pressures, a new idea becomes possible to implement, starting the virtuous cycle again… unless it is short circuited by well meaning but pernicious government programs to protect older more established firms from competition, (like is done in Japan…).

 

The best way would be to let the free market sort it all out. If Tesla’s plan results in angry customers then Tesla will retreat to the traditional strategy of using dealerships to sell it’s cars. Considering the recalls recently on Tesla cars, this might have proven the dealerships argument, without having gone to court and enriching lawyers for nothing. We’ll have to wait and see how the consumer reaction is to how the recalls are handled. If Tesla’s plan does work however, it will have staked out new ground undermining the market reason for dealerships to exist, which would incentivize other companies to stop using dealerships. Either way the market will show the efficiency of the present system or the potential innovative efficiency that could result in creative destruction. With the oceans of paperwork, regulations and political favor that is needed to cross before an innovation can be implemented, the innovative part of the business cycle is drowned.

 

As government policies smother innovation creative destruction is stymied. Lower present GDP growth can be expected, and will be magnified over time due to the effect of compounded growth. That damage to the innovation process by government derails the creative part of the creative destruction by protecting the firms that would face destruction, and so to keep the old inefficient crony capitalism going government destroys the very mechanism of growth of the capitalist system, and by doing that, they lower everyone’s standard of living… but the political Elite get a ton of money and power by doing it.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

The Common Core Catastrophy

Monday, July 28th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, a standard means nothing, if you keep changing it. Should be common sense but the logic of this thinking is lost on the educational elite. The educational system in the US has become so politically oriented, to the progressive new class way of thinking, it has failed it’s primary role as educators to the next generation, and instead become indoctrinators of the children. The total failure of the educational system, and by extension those that have run the educational system, has to be covered up, because people would be outraged to know what a pathetic job the new class has done, with the billions of dollars we have given them from our hard earned money, to educate our children, and instead we get back kids who are incapable of operating in the market system! That is why the new class progressives, who have had a monopoly of control on the school system through the NEA, Boards of education, the bureaucracy and by a hundred other subtle ways, have introduced Common Core, the curriculum that teaches to the absurd test… and therefore teaches absurdity.

 

True, our children will not have the critical thinking, adaptability, work ethic, self control, moral character or wherewithal to compete effectively in the market system, but they will be good little automatons. This fits very well with the progressive’s program to progress the economic systems of the world to communism. Self starters and individualists, those who have the character traits making them ideal to operate in a market system, are the worse kind of people in a Marxist regime, while mindless sloths who are only interested in bread and circuses are perfect. If the progressive agenda is true to their founding, propaganda and promoters, they would have motive to change the educational curriculum to meet their needs, instead of the needs of the children we are paying them to educate.

 

The Common Core curriculum, as it is called in most but not all places, is nothing but the old teaching to the test. In this case a test that has been so politically washed the facts have been bleached out. No one who gets the math portion of this “system” will be able to give two fives for a ten, with out ten minutes, some paper, a pencil… and a calculator to check their work. The history has been watered down to politically favored facts, taken out of context, what good is it to know the orders of battle of every battle fought, land and sea, during the Second World War, if the reason, the context, it was fought in the first place is left out? Isn’t that glorifying the war, and neglecting to teach why it happened, and therefore how to keep it from happening again? The science has been reduced to mere global warming scare mongering and bashing any theory the new class finds dangerous. No sense teaching the scientific method, if we applied it to things we are supposed to believe, we probably wouldn’t believe them.

 

The only way to break the stranglehold the new class progressives have on the educational system is with a non excludable voucher system. Since we as a people and society, have made the decision our children’s education is to be paid by all through the tax system, I accept this parameter, but I dismiss the argument that the government should have a monopoly on education, as a logical result. Give each student a voucher to go to whatever school they and their parents choose. The voucher would be for the full annual cost of the local public school, if the school they choose is more, they pitch in the extra and if it is less, then they get half the savings. People will want the best for their own children, as a result people will put their child into the schools that get the best results. Schools will compete for children on their outcomes for past graduates. Let people be rational maximizers and people will be self interested rightly understood.

 

One last thought, changing the test is the definition of a non standard, not a standard. The only real way to compare students year to year is to have them all take the same test. This is impossible now because the test has been changed so much. Changing the SAT to bend to political pressure has ruined it as a standard. It has become a guide at best and a poor one at that. Moreover, the SAT only looks at only one narrow facet of the human being. I would say it would be better to test a range of attributes, knowledge of course, ability to adapt, a mental stress test would be good, ability to learn and apply, MMPI as well as physical tests, would be better at identifying people’s various merits, like big firms do before they hire. That is… if we actually want to test, sample, study and quantify our children in a standardized way at all, along with the pernicious incentive to teach to the test that a education standard creates, but that is a different article.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

The Immorality of Presumption

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, most if not all the evils visited on humanity, have been as a direct result of presumption. Someone presumes to know what is best for another, society or humanity and acts according to their prescription of their idea of “right.” Of course, their remedy is never for themselves or their family, it is always for others to pay the price for the presumer’s cure. Behind such presumption lay great hubris. When someone believes he or she is so much more intelligent, wise and beneficent than others, is the path to presumption. Recognizing hubristically fueled presumption as a source for evil in our world, is the first step to solving those evils, so that no one ever has to suffer under the presumption of arrogance again.

 

So much of what is wrong with this world, crimes against humanity for instance, are from those who presume to know what is best. From the Eugenics movement to slavery, those who have presumed to know what is best have done great evil, often in a perverted sense of justice. As I have explained before in past articles, justice can be summed up by the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” No one who was or is a advocate for eugenics would sterilize themselves, their solution is for others, since by their selfish standards, they are the best and brightest. This shows the absolute lack of justice in their actions, since doing something to another that the actor would never allow done to themselves, is in direct contravention of the golden rule.

 

Presumption is the basis for civil crime as well. The bank robber presumes to have the right to the funds of others, because they believe their needs and wants trump those of others, since he or she sees his or her own wants and needs close at hand, while they see the needs and wants of others at a distance. Therefore they presume their need for immediate wealth should come before the needs and wants of those people who earned the money by the sweat of their brow. This same logic applies to those who steal from the wealthy. Even speeding is based in hubris and presumption that the speeder is such a good driver they need not follow the speed limit. No matter what crime you use for an example it is founded in presumption and presumption is rooted in hubris.

 

Politicians are the greatest hubristic presumers there are especially progressive politicians. They presume that because they won a beauty contest, they have the democratically bestowed right to visit evils on others, while they themselves would be deeply offended if they were yoked with those same evils. This is one reason why politicians never hold themselves to their own laws. The biggest advocates for tax increases universally cheat on theirs and when they get caught there are never consequences. This is why politicians whittle away at any restraint there is on their power, because they arrogantly presume they are above any foolish Constitutional limits on their actions. Their hubristic argument usually goes, “Aren’t they the representatives of the people?” While they make this presumptuous contention they violate the golden rule without a thought.

 

Religions also fall prey to presumption. Those who are rabid followers of this or that religion presume they will go to heaven and no one else will. Atheists presume that even though they undermine the religion of others by the spurious worship of science, if they are wrong, they will go to heaven anyway. When one religious community attacks another it is presumption that is the “moral” underpinnings of their actions. Truth told, religion should be the place where presumption is the least, yet it is often where people presume the most, because all saintly religions have the golden rule as their foundation, and the golden rule is the opposite of hubris and presumption.

 

Presumption provides those who would visit the most heinous crimes against humanity cover for their hubristic egoism. To look at a fellow human being, and presume that the other should be sterilized because they are “mentally deficient” by the observer’s arbitrary standard, to be so arrogant one enslaves another, to have such a lack of a moral compass that someone kills another because they disagree with that person’s religious belief, or any of a thousand other presumptions that give people free reign to do what they arrogantly believe is “right,” is always based on presumption fueled by hubris. Moreover, that the hubristic presumer never subjects him or herself to their own remedy, is a naked violation of the golden rule and therefore is the definition of injustice, proves the hubris and presumption better than a thousand pages written on the subject. Yes, we as members of the human race need to recognize this predilection of ours to presume what is best for another, and learn to mind our own business, else we are the the villains in our own story.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

 

 

Spurious Logic and Confusing a State of Mind with a State of Being

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, the progressive elite often use spurious logic, to fool the people into confusing a state of mind with a state of being. To use spurious logic is to make an argument that appears on the surface to be logical, but is in fact fallacious, and is meant to deceive. By this means we can be fooled into acting against our own self interests and benefiting the arguer who uses spurious logic. If we seek to be rational maximizers, then it is important for us to know the difference, and be able to see a deception for what it is. In the realm of spurious logic, arguing a thing is other than it actually is, can be quite easy and very effective.

 

People argue in spurious logic to trick others into acting against their own self interest. This is an old con man’s trick. Claiming to be a bank auditor, and getting an old person to “loan” them money to help catch a crooked bank teller, who the con man says is ripping off the bank, is one example. The logic appears impeccable to the victim but is in fact fallacious. Many people have lost their life savings by this scam. The con man gets the victim to act against his or her own self interest, by convincing the victim something is true when it is not, using spurious logic. Twisting a state of mind into a state of being is no different.

 

A state of mind is essentially how we perceive the world. Our perception is to us, reality, it is our opinion and guides action. Examples of a state of mind are, prejudice, justice, friendship, humility, love and fear. These are not every example, nor are they an exhaustive list, but they are illustrative for the purposes of our discussion. A person can act in a bigoted way, we can act justly and we can be friendly, but that doesn’t make these things a state of being, because the root of the actions are the opinions and feelings of the actor. Our actions follow our mindset, not the other way around. A state of mind is an internal feeling, belief or thought, that effects the external world through our actions.

 

A state of being is something that is external that effects our internal state of mind. Examples include, the environment, the economy and illness. Again, this is not a comprehensive list but is sufficient to illustrate our point. A state of being is something objective that effects our subjective mindset. If the temperature is cold our mind registers it with a feeling of cold. Our feeling of cold doesn’t make the temperature lower. Just as an expanding economy might enrich us and make us feel more wealthy, but our feeling of wealth doesn’t make the economy grow faster, (despite the implications of the theories of John Maynard Keynes’ aggregate supply aggregate demand model of economics), and illness makes us feel sick, it is not that we decide to feel sick and as a result we become ill, (except in a diseased mind which is itself an illness external to the participant’s subjective mind). A state of being is external while a state of mind is internal.

 

Modern sophists like to claim a state of mind is in fact a state of being and have visited all kinds of mischief on mankind as a result. To claim a state of mind is a state of being, or vise versa, is how absurd premises get thought of as truth, and truth get thought of as falsehood, then are acted upon in the body politic. Well meaning projects to mitigate the plight of the poor are premised on conflating a state of being with a state of mind. Poverty is a state of being, but the assumption of welfare programs, is that poverty is intrinsic to the individual, as such the individual is unable to change his or her station, and cannot survive without a government handout. A great deal of damage is done to society, the economy and the poor themselves, by this pernicious notion. Not the least of which is to trap multiple generations of people in poverty, destroy the nuclear family and crush the work ethic of whole communities, all leading to more poverty.

 

Other examples of confusing a state of mind with a state of being are everywhere in the progressive playbook. From abortion to woman’s rights, using spurious logic like mixing of a state of being with a state of mind, is their go to position. Those who call attention to the absurdity of their stances are vilified as haters and bigots to deflect the criticism, which in itself is twisting a state of mind into a state of being. As you recall, bigotry and hate are states of mind, but arguing that a person’s stance on a state of being, (objective reality), proves a certain state of mind, (subjective reality), is like claiming a scalding burn is all in one’s mind. There will always be gullible people in the world, it is a fact of life, but most of us are capable, upon reflection, of recognizing spurious logic, especially if we are warned. Consider this warning.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

The Logic of Liberty

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, chaotic liberty is the single best means to societal prosperity, as controlled dependence is the best means to universal poverty. This is true not only in an economic sense but in humanistic terms as well. When people live in liberty, we must self control and by doing so we focus our minds, strengthen our spirit and become self reliant, chaotic liberty makes us more human. It is in a focused mind, spirituality and self reliance that we gain the economic advantages of liberty. Controlled dependence dulls the mind, crushes the spirit and destroys self reliance, in short controlled dependence reduces human beings to mere selfish animals. Human heartedness grows in liberty and shrinks in dependence. This is so obvious it is sad that government should seek to put people into a state of dependence while eliminating liberty. Because by doing so, it is equally as clear that diminishing humanity to a herd of egoistic animals, that see their fellows as a means instead of an end in themselves, government undermines the very argument for government.

 

That is not to say Chaos is liberty or that control is dependence, it is to say that some level of personal chaos is requisite for liberty and dependence breeds people who must be controlled. If a people who have become dependent are thrust into a state of liberty, chaos, violence and poverty will immediately result. If a different people who have become used to liberty are forced into dependence there is a faux sense of control. In a state of liberty, people self control and are do not need a heavy handed government to force them to be virtuous, but where people are dependent, people do need a tyrannical government, to enforce civil equanimity. The one is because the people self regulate and the other because people have lost the ability to self regulate.

 

When people are used to living in liberty we must control our emotions, actions and thoughts. When living in a state of liberty, everyone is at liberty, and so disturbing the civil weal is counter productive. People learn this lesson at an early age when they live in liberty. Laws need not be draconian to keep people from each others throats because people have learned to be self controlled. The society becomes more mature, civil and polite. Moreover, when people are self controlled and at liberty, it is the nature of the human being to seek to better him or herself. As each improving their situation all of society is economically improved.

 

Those poor shells of human beings that have become used to living in dependence never grow out of childhood. They become disconnected from the greater society and demand their wants and needs be met by someone else. Since the very definition of dependence is to be dependent on someone else, the fruits of another’s labor, for everything, so dependent people see others as a means to their own ends, instead of ends in themselves. To put it another way, people who have become used to being dependent see others as things and not as human beings. It is much easier to steal from a thing, the morality of killing a thing is irrelevant and you don’t open the door for a thing that is handicapped. Civility in society is destroyed and all that matters is instant gratification. This shows that controlled dependence is the path to chaos while chaotic liberty is the path to civilization.

 

How to change people who have become used to controlled dependence into self controlled, spiritual, civil and focused human beings? Obviously if liberty were thrust upon them they would devolve to a state of anarchy. We have seen this many times in history. A people get liberated, not by their own action, and the entire society falls into violence, chaos and corruption. The means to maturing a people is by the elite, the leaders of society, leading by example. The leaders must be spiritual, self controlled and honest. That would be a giant step but not all that is required. A market system must also exist. This is because the market system trains people to be human. If someone comes into your store to buy a couch, you care nothing if they are Hindi, Asian or Hutu, those groupings become subservient attributes to their being buyers. If the way to get ahead in a society is to meet the needs and wants of others, people will happily become civil, spiritual and self controlled.

 

Unfortunately governments prefer people to be dependent. Dependents have no independent voice only as a screaming mob can they get heard. If government likes what the chanting mob says they simply give in and are seen as benefactors, if government doesn’t like the message they clamp down violently and are seen as the protectors of societal tranquility. Since the reason political parties exist is to get and hold power, nothing more nothing less, and dependents depend on their benefactors, if those benefactors are a faction of government, that faction can count on their dependents for support against other political factions. This is not only a path to getting political power but of holding it as well. This is why there have been so very few examples in human history of liberty, and so many of dependence, poverty, and despotism.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

Anthropogenic Climate Change Hoax

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, the man made part of global warming is a hoax, a fallacy perpetrated on us by the New Class in a bid for power, the type of power Nietzsche said the uberman should strive for. They know it is impossible to prove a negative, and so they have convinced many that we are in dire straights if we do not follow their dictates and commit economic suicide, else we might face economic Armageddon. For the same reason I am skeptical when a cigarette company claims cigarettes are good for you, we should look at the arguments of those who stand to gain essentially arbitrary rule if we believe them… with a skeptical eye too. Climate change alarmists stand to gain tremendous power, wealth and prestige, by having the hoi polloi fall for the scam, and power is a compelling incentive to lie. It is in our self interests to be rational maximizers and look at the facts not the rhetoric.

 

I used to believe in anthropogenic climate change. It made me hopeful we can terraform Mars into a world we can live on. I looked at all the facts with a hopeful eye. As time went on, and the “facts” became ever murkier and confounding facts came up, my enthusiasm waned. As I began looking into the political reasons someone would perpetrate such a hoax on the world, the reality of human nature opened up to me, and I became a man made climate change denier.

 

Their arguments are based on spurious logic and have no real bearing on what is really happening. Many of the temperature data is knowingly fallacious. As land is industrialized, the same location that once was forest and fields, has become asphalt and buildings. The localized warming of a city is a well documented theory, and as civilization has encroached on locations that are cited by the climate change alarmist, the temperature will certainly go up. This is called the Urban Heat Island effect. That is not to say however, the temperature of the planet in it’s entirety has gone up, only those locations where temperature has been traditionally taken has. This makes the temperature data decidedly biased and thus dubious at best.

 

The nail in the coffin for me however, was finding out by reading Science News, (a strong voice for anthropogenic climate change), that planets around our solar system are in fact warming at a similar rate to Earth. I admit I was a bit depressed, because if planets around the solar system are warming, that pesky fact makes the likelihood of “man made,” evaporate like so much dry ice. Mars is the example most cited but there are other examples too. The planetoid, or asteroid, Ceres has been shown to be warming, Pluto seems to be warming even though it is traveling away from the sun, along with other planets and moons. The measurements of these planets and moons is not based on local temperature fluctuations, they are based in infrared measurements of the entire planet or moon, and so are more telling of the actual planet wide temperature than localized data. In other words, we have better perspective on them, then we do our own planet.

 

 

The alarmists argue that this is irrelevant because at any given time a planet or moon could be warming or cooling. It is mere coincidence that they are warming. Many pages of sophist arguments have been written with this perspective. They also claim the Sun has cooled so it is impossible for these places to be warming, and some simply deny the facts. These arguments are of course the pleas of a huckster who has been exposed trying to justify the utility of his snake oil. If their argument, that any one could be warming or cooling, then why are they all warming, and none are cooling? Logic would at least incline one to believe that if they could be warming or cooling, the ratio of planets and moons warming versus cooling, should be about fifty percent. The data flies in their face. Since there is not a single example of a planet cooling in our solar system, but many examples of planets and moons warming, this is at least strong evidence the warming trend is a solar system wide phenomenon. Since there are no carbon spewing cars on Mars, (as far as we know), Jupiter, Triton, Ceres or Pluto, the solar system wide warming cannot be human generated.

 

 

The scientific method is not a popularity contest. If it was, then the world would be flat, since most scientists believed at one time it was. There was a philosopher, Karl Popper, who posited a theory of science. In it he said that scientists are exceedingly bigoted people. They work diligently in their labs testing and proving ever smaller bits of fact about a theory, until it is proven false, then there is a paradigm shift culminating in a new theory. Since scientists have worked so long and so hard on their piece of a theorem, they have cognitive dissonance, in other words they are very resistant to change. In the case of anthropogenic climate change anyone who offers a different view is attacked as a heretic. No differently than Galileo, Kepler or Newton were in their day. Their ideas led to a paradigm shift in scientific thinking however, and are worshiped today, even as the modern equivalents of these great thinkers are vilified. Couple the propensity of science, and scientists, to cling to an idea, with the potential power such an idea as man made global warming puts in the hands of the new class, and you have the modern equivalent of the inquisition.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin