Posts Tagged ‘rational maximiser’

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

 

It’s Time to Dismantle the UN

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, an organization that stands on the rooftops proclaiming it’s good intentions, who recently was caught twice hiding ordinance among school children, along with many other times they have been caught in various nefarious circumstances… would actually be good. The food for oil scandal, where no one suffered any negative consequences for it, is another example. Moreover, these are only two of many cases where this organization has been a pernicious force in the world, is reason enough the United Nations should be dismantled.

 

Hamas rockets have been found a second time in another UN sponsored school in Gaza. Once they were exposed the rockets were turned over to Hamas. What if a few of those rockets were fired from the grounds of that school and Israel had retaliated? Some of the school children would most probably have been killed, UN personnel would also die, UN infrastructure would have been damaged, and Hamas would make propaganda ink from the blood of the children, with the duplicitous help of the UN officials who abetted the crime. That the UN has been caught more than once is telling of where the UN stands.

 

If the UN is a noncombatant neutral party, then why were the rockets turned back over to those who had so nakedly put the lives of children, UN personnel and infrastructure in mortal danger? A more reasonable response, to one party putting another in such jeopardy, would be anger and some form of punishment to prevent further violations. The UN has acted in exactly the opposite way, the way allies would respond, like when the sinking of the Lusitania was hastened by the burning munitions she had stored in her cargo bay. Britain wasn’t vilified by the US government for putting ammo in a luxury liner, but Germany was, for stopping those weapons from reaching their goal, because the US and Britain were allies.

 

A democratic body is only as strong or as virtuous as it’s members. It’s highest aspirations, those of it’s most visionary members, and it’s darkest proclivities, ooze out of it’s Id. The Id of a democratic body is made up of the most unjust, selfish and tyrannical of it’s members, in the case of the UN, the world’s most despotic countries. That is why the UN can call to the highest aspirations of mankind yet serve the darkest impulses. In democratic bodies as in men, the Id is like an elephant and the ego is like the rider, it is the elephant that does the work and the rider steers as best he can.

 

The short of it is that, not all the members of the UN have to be explicitly on the side of Hamas, only those who are willing to do something about it need to be, and the entire organization is ipso facto on the side of Hamas. That is how they can find rockets in a UN school and Hamas faces no condemnation from the UN for it, in fact, they get their rockets back! The UN doesn’t even charge a storage fee despite the risks! No matter if ninety nine percent of the organization is truly neutral, and that last percent is willing to act, if the others won’t forcefully stop it, the ninety nine percent become irrelevant.

 

Sadly this is just the nature of large democratic organizations like the UN. In such bodies only the views of dictators, despots, president’s for life and a few executives are represented. The needs of the world’s people is a weapon, to be used in the struggle to loot the western “rich” countries, and help each other hold onto power as long as possible. Meanwhile, the bureaucracy of the UN is entirely made up of New Class sycophants, creating an ideology of State worship within the very mechanism of the UN. They forgive the most heinous crimes against humanity of their allies, the Marxists, while nit picking the market system’s every fault, to the point of assigning many faults to it, that rightly belong to their own Marxist ideology of the omnipotence of the State… all making the immense power the UN wields, a very dangerous thing indeed.

 

When a body is made up to accomplish a thing, and history shows it does the opposite of what it was supposed to do, isn’t it simply logical to disband it? When an organization claims to do good, while constantly being caught in evil, isn’t it just common sense to realize something’s wrong? Wouldn’t you say that it is the height of ignorant egoism, to believe that regardless of the fact an organization is damaging the world’s economy, endangering liberty and undermining democracy, that thing should go on, simply because the goal is so lofty? Making such a spurious argument shows the malevolence of the arguer, in both the sheer distortion of the facts, as well as promoting the negative effects on mankind winning the argument would have. This is exactly the argument those pointy headed New Class progressives in the UN are making though… and getting you and I to pay for it.

 

 

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

 

Justice is a State of Mind not a State of Being

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, justice is simply treating everyone the same, to argue otherwise is to twist wrong into right by spurious means. Justice is not to force everyone to be, act, or think the same, it is not to give everyone the same stuff… it is to treat everyone the same. It doesn’t seem like that is such a difficult concept to understand but it is not understood by most people. They have been fooled into thinking justice is a state of being and not a state of mind. We have been deceived into thinking justice is some concept of economic equality, (a state of being), when this is only a spurious way to trick people into acting and thinking, unjustly. To be a rational maximizer, or put another way, civilized, a person has to be sufficiently mature and thoughtful to grasp this basic concept of justice, rejecting those sophist ways the elite enforce injustice, by calling it justice. Our compliance with their absurdity, even if most who honestly believe justice is a state of being, creates a fundamentally unjust society, where people cannot leave the station they are born into, which is true economic, social and cultural injustice. In other words, unless we wake up and wake up our friends, our children and grandchildren will forever be trapped in the station they are born into, living in a fog of fallacy, with no ability to transcend it, regardless of their personal merit.

 

Justice is equality in treatment not equality in some physical instance. What if the elite claimed blond hair is the best and it is unjust for anyone to be burdened with brown or black hair? Would it then follow, that the government had a legitimate role to play in improving the lives of it’s citizens, by forcing everyone to dye their hair blond? What if the elite managed to convince the people that blond hair is indeed the best, would it be just then? What about if government forced blonds to shave their heads? No, of course it wouldn’t be. Justice is not a state of being but a state of mind. To conflate the two is a path to injustice. It is however, a sure way to trick people into doing unjust actions, while thinking they are actually being just.

 

Like the terrorist who believes he is blowing himself up and killing innocents to advance the interests of God. He doesn’t examine the absurdity of the notion, he simply follows the orders of the guy who would never blow himself up, and in the end advances the goals of Satan. The ostensibly pious person damages God’s ends and advances the ends of Lucifer while all the time thinking he serves God. Ironic as it can be, people can be easily tricked into doing the opposite of what they seek, by the diabolical means of fooling someone with sophistry. When we don’t think an argument all the way to the end, we can be tricked into the opposite of what we want, and end up doing injustice when we intend justice.

 

To be civilized, is to think things through and take concepts to their logical conclusion, to do otherwise is to be a member of a mob. Unthinking brutes who act on orders instead of logic and a sense of right. Do you suppose the Nazis thought they were evil? No, they thought what they were doing was good. People cannot be convinced to do evil, for evil’s sake, the packaging of evil must appear to be good. Yes, there are a few psychopaths out there who would happily serve Beelzebub, but the throngs of humanity seek goodness, and eschew evil. To get them to serve evil requires spurious logic and sophist arguments. Twisting justice into injustice by claiming justice is a state of being and not a state of mind, is just as absurd as tricking a child into thinking that committing several mortal sins at the same time, will get him or her to heaven and serve the goals of God, when it is the exact opposite of the truth.

 

Justice is clearly a state of mind and not a state of being. To force people to be the same, economically, socially, culturally or in any other way, is effecting their state of being. Moreover, to effect one’s state of being, forcing equality in some state of being, requires as a prerequisite that an injustice be done, in other words, some must be treated differently than others, which as we have already shown, is the definition of injustice. If you treat everyone you meet the same, with gratitude for their help, courteously recognizing their humanity, and avoiding hurting those who society tell us are “the other,” you are acting justly. If you visit evil on someone because their state of being is other than what the elite have defined as “fair,” then you are acting unjustly, and no amount of twisted logic can make that wrong a right.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

The Lake of Spurious Logic in Which We Swim.

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, we swim in sophistry, every argument we face is steeped in spurious logic and all controversies boil down to politics, in such a society the foundation is rotted away, as the frame it needs to support, gets larger. Examples abound where any question at hand boils down to a political one. Usually where a person stands politically, on even scientific questions, is more informative of his or her position than any other reasoning. It would be enough if most people understood this and made a huge effort to stand outside politics and observe every question with a politically unbiased eye. This is important because politics is almost always the perspective that yields the worse outcomes.

 

There are so many examples of how we are immersed in sophistry, that I could get bogged down listing them so instead, I am burrowing into one. The collegiate system is the epitome of the old boy network. The utility of that paradigm is all but spent but the prerogatives it rewards academia are growing. It is in the system of academia’s self interest, to limit the product and by doing so, using the supply demand model or scarcity value, bestowing a higher value than it might otherwise have. In this they are no different than OPEC, limiting the supply of oil onto the marketplace, keeping the cost high, and their profits high as well. This is one reason the united States is a net importer of Medical doctors, colleges limit the supply.

 

The elite in academia would have us all believe that theirs is the only way, while the market system coupled with the Internet has offered a different solution, private online colleges. These colleges break the mold in several ways, they operate for profit and so are subject to market forces, they give those who have not been identified as above average an opportunity, an opportunity that the traditional system didn’t and couldn’t care less to, and private college’s self interest is to expand production not limit it. Market forces will be an unstoppable power lowering costs and profits until either the market reaches perfect competition or the government steps in and imposes limits that block competition.

 

Some of the spurious arguments, the politicians in the pocket of academia claim, run the gamut of insane to devious. The one I always get a laugh at is, “The dropout rate is higher in private schools than public institutions.” This is absurd in that it denotes nothing. There is no context with which to weigh the sentence, which makes the argument float in meaning. Since the public institutions have the best students from the get go why wouldn’t they have a better graduation rate? Moreover, are they saying that the education at private schools is higher than that of the public institutions, since the public institutions graduate almost everyone who enters and private institutions only graduate those who merit it? Or perhaps the maker of that argument believes certain people shouldn’t even be given a chance? The sophistic echos go on and on.

 

It is not in the interests of those who run academia today to embrace change. In that change coming, their cushy jobs preaching socialism to the youth, while having sex with someone from every graduating class, being revered by other elite, and receiving much better than average pay, the incentives to keep the system in stasis are mighty. Perfect competition might lower the cost of education, so doctorates could be common, but the value of those doctorates would drop commensurately, as would the profit to those who dispensed them. The market would drive down cost and raise quality inexorably. The powers that exist have to get us to believe their spurious arguments because as Milton Friedman argued, When a business faces competition that has a better product at a lower cost, that business can lower it’s price and increase it’s quality, or it can go to government…

 

That was only one of many examples that can be cited as proof that we do indeed swim in a lake of sophistry. Today the question is irrelevant, but who the political patron is, is. Arguments that appear to be logical are actually twisting logic to make truth into a lie and a lie into the truth. We have a whole class of people who have practiced, honed and perfected this feat. It is up to us to rise above the smoke they obscure every controversy with, and be rational maximizers, weigh the costs, opportunities and risks for ourselves. Only in that way, can we truly vote and act in our own best interests, instead of someone else’s.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

Ignorance in the Information Age

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

They say we live in the “Information Age,” but it seems to me, we live in an Ignorance Age. We have access to heretofore unimagined volumes of information, we have the ability for very little money to put up a page and speak to the world, we can even create an app that improves the lot of Mankind and get rich. Yet in our most important duty we willingly remain ignorant. The suffrage is the only way we can protect our liberty and standard of living. Most everyone agrees about the importance of the vote, but in the US, the people feel so disenfranchised by the system, most of us don’t even bother to vote! The last few elections have been decided by 26% of the electorate! One quarter of the people eligible to cast a vote decided who we would have for President. One quarter of the people decided who would run Congress and who would serve on their local boards. We have access to all the information in the world, economics, politics and philosophy, yet we remain ignorant enough to have given up the power to hire and fire, to our and our children’s detriment.

 

What good is access if we don’t use it? There are egg producers who can legally advertize their eggs as coming from “free range” chickens. The chickens are supposed to have a better life because they were allowed to wander about the yard. When in fact all that is legally required, is for a door to be opened in the coop for a certain amount of time, if the chickens “feel” they would like to roam around they can. They never do… but that is irrelevant to the legal question of “Free Range.” We are no different than those chickens! We are allowed free range but we choose to stay in the coop.

 

The same holds true of voting. We have the Right to vote, yet so few of us use that Right it can be subverted by a faction, and we see that it has. That faction is the one that strenuously opposes any protection of that Right from fraud and abuse. They bigotedly accuse anyone who seeks to protect that fundamental Right as a hater or someone who wants to take away voting Rights. In this they show their hypocrisy, every instance of fraud disenfranchises 2 voters. and so are doing what they accuse others of. Since elections are decided by fewer and fewer people and the decisions are made by slimmer and slimmer margins, a tiny amount of fraud can turn an election, and we see that it has in the last few election cycles. Since the faction in charge is the beneficiary of the fraud they won’t do anything about it, so the only way to mitigate the pernicious damage to the moral of voters and disenfranchising voters with fraud, the only avenue open to us is to vote en masse. The greater the percentage of voters the less fraud can vex the outcomes.

 

What good is it to vote if we remain ignorant of the deeper issues making us easy to manipulate? Moreover, if we can be easily manipulated to vote for whomever the elite want us to, do we really have the suffrage? It is up to us to use that vast storehouse of information, while we can, to ferret out the truth. It is incumbent upon us to read and study economics. We live in a pseudo capitalist society and as such it is necessary for us to understand what makes the clockwork tick. Without that knowledge we cannot discern truth from fiction when the elite preach socialism to us. The history of Mankind is there for anyone to see. Plutarch’s Lives is free online, is the definitive work on human nature in situations of power, and should be read by everyone 18 and over. There is a new version of the Federalist Papers available for sale that is written in modern English or the original is available free online. The Federalist papers should be read by all US citizens.

 

With a bit more research a person can get up to snuff, on why we are in the predicament we are in for jobs, wages and liberty. Let’s become rational maximizers, by incorporating foundational knowledge, so that we can avoid being manipulated into voting against our best interests, we have to exercise our Right to vote, if only to limit the damage of vote fraud and ballot box stuffing since the elite won’t, and most of all we must stop acting like free range chickens. Now that the door is open we have to go through it and find out what is on the other side. To protect our Rights, save our Jobs and raise our wages. Willful ignorance in the information age is irony writ large.

 

 

Sincerely

 

John Pepin

 

 

 

Deflation and Deficit Spending

Monday, May 26th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, the real reason economists, politicians and Central Bank Presidents are so terrified about deflation, has nothing to do with any pernicious incentives deflation would introduce into the economy, but actually because it would hamper the ability of governments the world over, to deficit spend. Deficit spending has become so entrenched in our political systems that most people don’t give it a thought, and when they do, they grumble but consider it a necessary evil. The ability to deficit spend gives politicians extraordinary power, over the economy, our lives and political evolution. The political elite exploit their ability to spend huge sums of money, to reward their political cronies aka crony capitalism, they “stimulate” the economy with deficit spending and they get and hold office, by promising this or that constituency a hand out if they get elected. All of which are pernicious and destructive of our economies, our Rights and our personal standard of living.

 

John Maynard Keynes aggregate supply aggregate demand model of economics gives politicians an imperative to deficit spend. In the aggregate demand aggregate supply model, if aggregate demand exceeds aggregate supply the economy grows, but if aggregate demand falls below aggregate supply then the economy shrinks, resulting in recession. Keynes made no distinction between consumer demand, business demand or government demand. In fact, he is famously known for saying, if the government buried money in the bottom of a mine, and let firms use the market system to get it out, that would stimulate the economy. This shows he made no distinction between productive uses of money, and schemes that use money to draw people into non productive actions, actions they otherwise wouldn’t engage in.

 

One of the fundamental reasons the aggregate supply aggregate demand model is deficient, is that it doesn’t make distinctions between productive spending, where productivity is increased by upgrading plant and equipment or where someone’s needs or wants are being met, and schemes where money is wasted to draw in other money, which is then also wasted, to increase aggregate demand. When government spends money to stimulate the economy, it takes money that otherwise would be used for productive purposes, and wastes it.

 

The more money that is wasted the lower real economic output will be. Every government today counts government spending as a part of Gross Domestic Product. Therefore, as they deficit spend to draw in other money to gin up the economy, using aggregate demand aggregate supply, the money that is wasted feeds a system where government must have more deficit spending, to offset the loss of market efficiency that is the inevitable result of government “stimulus.” In other words, government spending is increased, to increase GDP, where the market has been so damaged by deficit spending and stimulus, it cannot increase GDP itself. Where government doesn’t deficit spend sufficiently to raise GDP, outside of actual economic growth, economists call it fiscal headwinds.

 

Crony capitalism around the world is fueled by deficit spending. The political elite use it to reward their half witted brother in laws and political backers. In many countries it is impossible to get a permit to do business unless you have political backing. No one can get licensed in those countries to compete with the political hacks. If the power to deficit spend were limited, that would also limit the ability of the politically favored, to reward their backers and half wit relations, for their own illegitimate purposes.

 

The first goal of any political party is to get and hold power. Deficit spending allows the faction in power at any time to hold that power. Further, it allows that faction that is willing to damage the interests of society as a whole, by deficit spending, to get that power they so covet. This is a pernicious incentive for political factions each trying to out promise the other. The party offering the most rewards to the people will be the one to get and hold office. This has the tendency to ratchet up deficit spending to ever higher extremes while lowering outcomes. Simply because, that party which has the least scruples to protect the public purse is rewarded, while the party that practices the most fiduciary responsibility, is punished.

 

All of these things rely on deficit spending and deficit spending needs inflation. Inflation is a hidden tax on the accounts of savers. As a government’s deficit gets ever larger, if the value of the money that the deficit is counted in gets smaller, that deficit also shrinks. If however, the value of the money a deficit is counted in goes up, savers and consumers are rewarded, but government deficits become more problematical. Therefore, governments, central banks and their dependent economists cannot allow any deflation. Deflation would explode the huge deficits governments have built up over the years… to reward their cronies, buy power and “stimulate” the economy. Deflation would show in stark contrast the fiction that deficit spending can go on indefinitely and the system of political favor would come crashing down. Make no mistake, they couldn’t care less about the good to society, in fact the ability to deficit spend rewards those who care the least for the public good, so next time you see a central banker weep at the possibility of deflation remember, those are crocodile tears.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

Economics of A Scale

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, a simple way to think about a nation’s economy, is that of a balance. On one side of the scale there would be education, entrepreneurial ethos, work ethic, incentives, etc… and the other would be, cost of labor versus productivity, cost of start up, taxes, regulation, cronyism, etc… If the balance tips to the first side, GDP will have a positive incentive for growth, but if is tipped the other, the incentives for GDP growth turn negative. If we add to education and then to regulation, at a balance the scale is not changed, but moment of inertia is. If we take away from education by such follies as Common Core, while adding to regulation, the balance is tipped to negative incentives. The opposite is true if we add to productivity and subtract from taxes. If this is done the scale will be tipped to positive incentives for growth. This is important for people to understand… because when GDP is growing people’s lives get better and when GDP is not growing people’s lives get worse.

 

Moment of inertia in such a scale would be the resistance to change in the system. As an economy becomes more advanced it also necessarily becomes more weighted by the taxes and regulations that accompany an advanced economy. The same resistance both makes the system harder to change and over react when it does. Just like a fly wheel, it is hard to get spinning, but it imparts a great deal of power once it is.

 

The pivot point for our scale is how much a country’s people want to get ahead economically. This varies depending on all the factors that make up our scale. If the basic ethos of a society is to weigh the cost versus the benefit of a given action, as those who are raised in a capitalist society do, the point of the scale will be sharp. People who reason their actions differently have a large negative incentive to prosperity. In such countries, where capitalism has not trained the people to weigh cost v benefit, the pivot point will be so sticky it is certain to resist change until it breaks, and in total failure falls off the machine altogether.

 

On the positive side of the scale, education can always be improved. Perhaps the best method for improving the entrepreneurial education of children would be to add basic economics to the curriculum as early as possible. The basic concepts of economics are really pretty easy to understand, especially if theory and history are stressed, eschewing the heavy duty mathematics. A courteous society is helpful to creating the conditions where a country becomes prosperous. Courtesy really is the grease that allows society to function.

 

On the negative side many of the factors can be changed really pretty easily. Regulation and taxation can be directly changed by fiat of the political elite. It is almost never done because a corresponding loss of political might is lost as well. Cronyism can also be changed at the will of the ruling elite, but provides such an economic windfall for the political elite and their patrons that option is not even considered, except in spurious campaign ads targeted at conservatives.

 

The scale is actually the complex system that is a nation’s economy. All of us doing our thing. Every economic decision everyone makes every day is what makes our economy grow, stagnate or shrink. If we are flush we spend, if we are scraping by with high fuel prices, low wages, rising food prices, stressed at work and facing waves of cheap imported labor, we cannot spend, we have none to spend or save. When entrepreneurs are dissuaded from starting a business the economy suffers a critical wound. As expectations shrink with a new normal the standard of living must also go down. All this can be changed simply by removing weight from the negative side of the scale, but our leaders find it too vexing to lower taxes, or regulation, never mind limiting their cronyism, they drive up the cost of legal labor with minimum wage laws while lowering the cost of illegal labor with amnesty, plus they remove from the education system with folly and undermining morality. With all the weight our leaders are loading up on the negative side, seems no wonder that regardless of the stimulus of central banks, we are getting poorer as a planet.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin