Posts Tagged ‘rational maximiser’

I Pencil and Complexity Theory

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, the most commonly known analogy in economics is, I Pencil. This narrative shows that the capitalist system produces things of such complexity it would be impossible for a central authority to do it. Moreover this story illustrates what can be produced at extremely low cost opening up their availability to the masses of people. What is not well known about I Pencil. is that it also illustrates the complexity theory of economics. This is a very important point that the writer of I Pencil couldn’t have known because complexity theory had not been invented. What makes this important for the average person to understand is that it shows the futility of government control over an economy. If we as a people understood this very important concept, we would stop undermining our own economic prosperity by electing progressives, who only seek power and authority over everything.

 

I Pencil. is a story of how a pencil comes into being. If you or I set out to make a 10 cent pencil the cost to us would be extraordinary. The cedar in a pencil is from the Appalachian mountains, the graphite and glue from where ever they are cheapest made, the paint from China, the eraser from rubber made in south America and the brass ferrule from who knows where. For you or I to gather all these components and assemble them into a pencil would be prohibitively expensive, yet they are produced by the market system so cheaply they can be thrown away, if the eraser is worn. All the inputs are from diverse parts of the world, made by diverse people for diverse reasons. The point is they are all available to the capitalist to produce something that is fundamentally different in kind from the original inputs.

 

All of the advancement of Western society has been through the innovation of the market system. Innovation that is made possible by the diverse products the market provides. As new products are made available by the market more innovations are available to the entrepreneur. If graphite were not available the pencil would not be possible. People, not governments, make innovations. Governments stifle innovation through regulations that, while well meaning, serve to undermine the availability of new products. This is usually done to protect some job or politically favored industry. The result is always lower wages, lower productivity and high unemployment. All add up to a lower standard of living.

 

The various inputs to a pencil are manufactured probably for other reasons than to make pencils. Glue is made for furniture and a myriad of other reasons by the glue industry. These divers industries can also be considered components in the complex system that is the market or an economy. These diverse actors in the economy are interdependent, are able to learn, they communicate, and they respond to their environments, IE, the demand for their products versus the cost to manufacture them. Firms within industries are another example of complex actors that lower the granularity of the approach. Each has an interest in creating new products that can be used in new ways.

 

As new products come onto the market more products can be made or perhaps made cheaper. Like the mechanical loom made it possible for the laborer to have a wool coat, because coats became cheaper, new products allow entrepreneurs to come up with new products and services that further improve the lot of Man. The new products are different in kind from the inputs. Like a pencil is different in kind from rubber sap, graphite or cedar, new products that could have never been predicted emerge from old and newly made available products. No one ever born, let alone a bureaucrat, could have predicted that an innovation devised by Bell Labs, the transistor, coupled with another Bell Lab invention, PCM, would enable the innovations we live with today.

 

Just as the digital computer is different in kind from the transistor the transistor must have been invented before the computer would be possible. The original innovation as well as the emergent innovation could only come about under a system of bottom up emergence into a viable product. Once government eliminates the complex system of the economy, breaking it to the whims of the political elite, innovation will necessarily stop. The standard of living of the people of the world will stagnate and then decline. We see this in every nation that has risen up under capitalism and fallen under socialism. England used to be the world’s super power until it destroyed itself with socialist regulation. Japan rose under laissez fair capitalism and now is grinding to a halt under socialistic friction, Hong Kong has maintained laissez fair market regulations and continues to see a steady increase in the standard of living of it’s inhabitants as well as huge immigration.

 

The best way to understand this fact is by watching human emigration. The mass of people move from places where the markets are limited by regulation for whatever reason, socialist, religious, protectionist or any other, to places where the market system is more free to work. That they often undermine the market in their new homes by calling for protectionist measures, socialist “fairness” or demand religious exceptions, is a tragic consequence of freely moving people. That governments go along with these anti market regulations is a sure sign of the decline of that nation. Soon the people will vote with their feet to leave that weakened magnet and are drawn to the new country that has embraced laissez fair. Let it work, should be the motto of every nation on the planet, because it works.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

Government Shutdown

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, Obama is saying to the American people, “resistance is futile.” In the science fiction series Star Trek Next Generation, the Borg were an evil alien race that lived in a collective. The Borg assimilated other people into the collective against their wills. Just as Obama care does. In many speeches Obama made before his election campaign and subsequent election he avowed he was in favor of nationalized health care. The speeches are freely available on line for anyone to see. The strong arm tactics of this administration will brooch no resistance to the collectivization of our health care. Judging by the Obama administration’s all too willing use of the mechanism of government, to punish political opponents, the seizing of American’s health care by government will give this administration hitherto unprecedented power over the lives, health and fortunes of every American.

 

We are told by the collectivists that America needs more diversity. This has become a mantra. Diversity is raised to a sacrament by the progressives, the incarnation of the collectivists in America. Now this is strange because real diversity in thought is not allowed by the progressives, in both the democrat and republican parties. Instead, anyone who believes differently than the collectivists are called, terrorists, anarchists and hostage takers. It would seem that anyone who truly believes in diversity would welcome a debate and encourage diverse ways of looking at a problem. So we have a dilemma, do we believe the words of the progressives, or their actions?

 

Obama will broach no discussion of the law that has savaged the American economy, and in doing so has lowered the economic outlook for people the World over. As I have written before in many blogs, the law that is called Obama care, (The Affordable Care Act), is an economic catastrophe. Those that understand this have taken a stand against this collectivization of the health care system in America. As the new leviathan of a law is implemented it is becoming plain to see that it not only doesn’t work but produces tremendous economic friction. Obama care will be the death knell of small business. This works to the collectivist’s favor. Schumpeter said that government must fetter business so that all businesses become giant, and thus will be easier for government to take over when the time is right.

 

Scott Brown was elected in Massachusetts simply to stop Obama care. His election in that uber left state was a testament of how much the American people didn’t want a collective thrust upon us. This is a clear statement of the wants of the American people at the time, never mind the polls showing the utter disdain we hold for Obama care today. The progressives would broach no stopping their assimilation of the American health care system under political control so they simply “deemed” the law passed, to undermine the results of an election. I would love to deem my taxes paid, but I suspect that tactic is closed to you and I.

 

Obama has said he believes in collective salvation. This pernicious theory is predicated on the notion that the rest of us must be forced to believe as the collective, else no one will be saved. This stands in direct contradiction to the teachings of the prophets of every religion. But is in line with the teachings of Marx and Engels. Collectivists demand we assimilate else we are to be destroyed… personally, (like they did Sara Palin), politically, (like they did Michele Bachman) and economically, (like they are doing to America).

 

History is the best means of divining the future. That which has been done in the past clearly can happen, but that which has never occurred may not be possible. The Nazis brought nationalized health care to Europe, reducing the fortunes of all the people in Europe to political favor. Dissension under a collectivist regime is never allowed, despite their calls for diversity, (until the collectivist gains power). The collectivist will undermine the will of the people if it suits his or her ends and even salvation is collectivized by the progressives. Because to the true believer in the collective, the Borg is the ultimate goal, where our species consciousness supersedes our individuality and we are relieved of our humanity in favor of the collective. So when Obama claims Obama care is settled law, and refuses to negotiate with his political opponents, he shows his true intentions by parroting the Borg, “Resistance is futile.” To that I would answer, “Resistance is divine.”

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

Our Bright Future

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, I usually warn about potential threats to our liberty and prosperity, but that gives a skewed impression of my true beliefs about the future. I do see many possible dangers facing us, some are from our government(s) running amok and others are foreign in nature, while they have the potential of lowering us and our children to serfs and slaves, the future in the long term, is bright. Mankind has never advanced in a straight line. The progress in human understanding has always been through fits and starts. Sometimes reversing direction for a long time but always eventually getting back on track. The Dark ages were just such an example. Mankind taken as a whole, is a complex system, complex systems have a way of finding equilibrium. This equilibrium of the complex system that is humanity, is generally to improve the standard of living, increase the liberty of individuals and limit the power of political favor as well. In the long, or perhaps short term, this bodes well for the future of humanity.

 

If we look back at the arc of human history we can see that people’s lives used to be short, violent and brutish, (to use another’s phrase). This is still true in some parts of the World. The evils that humanity has seen are largely a result of our own ignorance and self indulgence. Slavery for example has largely been eliminated from human existence. Unfortunately, there are those who enslave others still, but they are almost universally criminal and not State sanctioned. This is a huge step for mankind. That slavery is becoming more and more detested, by people the World over, is a sure sign there is hope for us.

 

Thrasymachus said that most people want to live their lives in peace. This is true enough but he went on to say that the great men want power over others. This always manifests itself in the form of political power. The “great men” that he spoke of were and are the political elite. It is human nature to seek power over others. This is the thesis of Freud’s concept of the id. Irrational, lusting after whatever the id wants. Power being at the top. That human governments have put in place checks and balances to limit and minimize this aspect of our nature is another sign that we are able to learn. That the majority of us want to live in peace is another source of hope.

 

The founding of the United States and the subsequent writing of our Constitution was a seminal event in human history. It was an evolutionary step in limiting the power of the political elite. Rome had limited the elite through the use of the Consular system, which worked well for them for hundreds of years, but eventually failed. Ancient Greece used the Ostracism to limit the power of the elite to some avail, but in the writing of a constitution the power of government was enumerated in a written document, open for all to see, but most importantly… enforceable. The true innovation in the American Constitution was stating overtly, that the power of government comes from the people, not that the people’s liberty comes from the government.

 

Of course the elite have always sought to free themselves of whatever shackles that are placed on them. This is why there have been so many failures of governmental systems. This is as inevitable as the sun rising in the east. The attempts of the elite to throw off any limitations on their power are the reason humanity has retreated so often. We can expect this to continue as long as there are people. That we have advanced so far is reason for optimism. Perhaps we will loose our liberty to the elite today but it would be foolish to believe future generations will not again win it back. The nature of complex systems are that they have long tailed events. Unlikely happenings, that change the system profoundly, and sometimes in kind.

 

Capitalism has proven itself to be the most efficient means to advance mankind’s humanity to man, as well as generate prosperity, whenever and wherever it is used. This knowledge is like a genie escaping from a bottle, it cannot be put back in. Limited government through constitutionalism has proven itself to be the best way to insure that the elite don’t misuse the power invested in them. Western Philosophy, while often nonsensical, has brought us the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment and constitutionalism as well. Eventually teaching the basic truth that all men are created equal. The future of mankind is bright. Our children, or maybe great great grand children, will inherit the stars. When that happens humanity will have suffered, loved and matured. Isn’t that the way all things grow? To start as an infant, grow to be self indulgent adolescents and eventually to mature into productive adults. Hsun Ching said the congenital nature of man is evil and that the good in us is a learned trait. I expect humanity is no different… we are learning to be good, and good we will eventually be.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

Missing the Forest For the Trees

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, it is human nature to ignore the big things we agree on, and vilify each other for the little things we disagree on. Christianity is one example. There are protestants who believe the Roman Catholic church is the Whore of Babylon. Many Christians who follow the European branch have, or had, utter disdain for the Coptics who have a different view of the divinity of Christ. It doesn’t stop there. Conservatives fight amongst themselves over everything while ignoring the big picture. What is interesting however is that those who seek fundamental change are united. Perhaps once our civilization collapses, they will turn on each other and wash the World with blood, over their disagreements. No matter if they will, because first they seek our civilization’s destruction.

 

There are so many Christian sects it is impossible to count them all. We have argued over Justification to the death. The Coptics were let to the wolves because they believe Jesus was fully God, while Europeans believe Jesus was fully God and fully man. I imagine there is even a sect out there, that will fight to the death if someone claims Jesus took three steps on the top of Calvary, instead of four. These are really petty disagreements and have the effect of delegitimizing Christianity not empowering it. The basic fact is that Christians believe Jesus was the messiah. All other disagreements are superfluous to that over arching truth. To kill or denigrate someone who believes in Jesus is absurd and endangers one’s immortal soul.

 

In the United States, those who seek to preserve the founding principles argue and fight all the time. To the detriment of the Republic. The Founding Fathers didn’t agree on much, but they did agree on the founding principles, that the power resides in the people, God is the source of our Rights and that government must be limited. To disagree on the finer points is ok but to undermine our own sovereignty because of a small disagreement is stupid.

 

Those who seek to destroy the founding principles of our republic are united in their loathing of them. They will most certainly go to war once they have successfully destroyed the republic, and thereby civilization itself, because they will all want to be the dictator. To that end they will fight to the death, but over larger issues, like, should the World be atheistic communist, should all the people of the World be subjected to Sharia, which form of Islam, Sunni or Shia, they will fight to the death about any number of issues, but the issues they will fight over will be the larger ones.

 

Clearly, it is idiotic to fight over small things, and in doing so, loose the most important thing. Mature adults, (a very rare thing today), understand that honest people will disagree honestly. That I believe Justification is by faith and works, does not mean I drink the blood of the saints, and I don’t think those who believe justification is by faith alone are evil. We simply disagree on a small point but agree on the larger one. Moreover, it is impossible for any of us to know the truth of it, because God has not revealed it to us. Those who think they absolutely know the will of God are presumptuous in the most pernicious way.

 

What we need to do is shake hands on what we agree on. We can come together on the big choices, like the founding principles of the US. To fight a new reformation about politics is to allow the founding principles to be destroyed. We might win a small argument but what good is that if we become slaves? What good is it to be right about how many steps Jesus took on Calvary if our immortal souls are lost? Perhaps I have mispelled a word, does that negate everything I have said? If you believe it does then you are blinded to the large because you focus on the small. There is an old saying, “To miss the forest for the trees.” It seems appropriate when referring to our petty disagreements while we allow fundamental principles to be lost. The future will be bright, if we come together on the underlying principles, but dark if we do not.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

The Economic Argument Why Obama Care Must be Defunded

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me… Obama care is an economic train wreck. The devastation it’s already done, has lowered the standard of living of the World’s people for generations, let alone the future damage it will do. Since the growth of an economy is an aggregate thing, it piles upon itself, slow economic growth, for whatever reason, lowers the pile that is being piled on as well as the amount that is added… The effect is not only immediate but cumulative and everlasting. This is very bad, if you consider that we have been under this economic malaise, since the recession was claimed to have ended. So, not only are your economic outlooks lowered the well being of your children and grandchildren will be effected… negatively.

 

Think of this, the Federal Reserve has been printing 85 billion dollars a month for a year. In 12 months that accumulates to a bit over a trillion dollars. Now compare that trillion of printing to our actual GDP growth. The US is an economy that is about 15.7 trillion dollars, (according to the BEA)… at a growth rate of 2% yields annual growth of about 320 billion dollars. In other words, to get 310 billion in annual growth the Federal Reserve is printing, from whole cloth and adding into the economy, over a trillion! That implies a recession loosing 680 billion annually if the printing went away! Moreover, it’s a pathetic return at 1/3 of the money put in! Instead of getting more money out, due to the ability of banks to magnify the money supply, the FED is seeing negative return on their printed money! So… what is happening to that 680 billion? Is there so little business activity the money is setting in the banking system’s reserves, or is it going overseas? Now the question must become, why is it not spent here?

 

Businesses need to know what their cost structure will be to project future profit or loss. Obama care throws a huge monkey wrench in firm’s ability to predict. The law is thousands of pages long, it’s impossible to know how the bureaucrats will interpret and apply them, heck, they haven’t even written all of them yet, and they have already written tens of thousands of pages of regulation! Therefore, no one knows what they really are, or will be, and obviously how they will effect businesses. Moreover, Obama care is costing firms real money today to hire experts to answer these very unanswerable questions, money that could be better spent investing in labor or productive machinery. The sad part is, until Obama care is implemented, or not, the uncertainty of it will continue to corrode the economy, like acid. If it is implemented the continuing damage to economic growth will be immortalized in entitlement.

 

The lack of investment in machinery and labor will accumulate. As the demand for labor goes down the price of labor must go down. Meanwhile, Obama care is driving up the cost of doing business so prices must rise else firms will have to lay off or go out of business, further driving down the demand for labor. As people’s wages are driven down by Obama care, and the prices we all have to pay for the goods of society go up, our standard of living must necessarily go down… profoundly. In Complexity Theory this is called a feedback loop. The negative input into the system, is fed back into the system, by the system, in a self sustaining way, thus exaggerating the initial input.

 

Experts are telling businesses large to small that Obama care is going to hobble them. That is why so many firms and groups, using political favor, have escaped Obama care. The associated paperwork, taxes, and regulations will drive up their costs and lower their efficiency dramatically. No one knows how much… but everyone knows it will be impressive. Since the first responsibility of a business owner is to keep the doors open they will try mightily to do just that. Unfortunately, due to Obama care, they have to limit the hours their employees can work, else they get hit with the most draconian parts of the law, simply to keep the doors open. Small businesses, who have much more limited ability to hire lawyers and experts than large firms, are effected far more than big ones.

 

Small business is the engine of any economy. Real growth in an economy is organically driven by small startups not giant ones. Entrepreneurs get an idea and they start a business. If that new idea revolutionizes some aspect of business, a new economic cycle is started. Ford did that with the Model T, Gates did that with MSDOS… hydro-fracking and 3D printing are just the newest incarnations of this paradigm. When the environment for small business becomes toxic, as Obama care makes it, the cycle is shut down. Banks won’t loan money to a fly by night who has no useful projections of his or her cost structure. That would be an irresponsible thing to do with depositor’s money. The leviathan bureaucracy of today’s government, a Godzilla that has been expanded dramatically by Obama care, now has the ability to regulate in real time. Thousands of little bureaucrats in their cubicles, dutifully regulating anything they can get their hands on, especially new ideas… undermining economic growth in the process.

 

The main reason our economy is so wounded is Obama Care, pure and simple. This tragically flawed law stops the entrepreneurial process in it’s tracks. Small businesses are hurt the most… magnifying the effect on real economic growth. Diminished growth, that will be exaggerated over time, as future growth has a smaller base to expand upon. Nothing I have said here is astounding or out of left field, it is economics 101. Any economist will tell you that incentives count. This is a basic law of economics. But, due to the willingness of this administration to use the mechanism of government, for political ends, economists are cowed… one only need look at the way Nial Ferguson was treated. Obama and the democrats have silenced most opposition, and set regulatory incentives against the capitalist mode of production. That is why the republicans must not blink, they must defund Obama care… Not as much for ours, but our children and grandchildren’s economic future depends on it.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

The US and China’s Different Approaches to Africa

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, the United States takes a militaristic approach to Africa, while China takes the capitalist. In the short term, the militaristic gives the US the most impact on events but in the long term, the capitalist approach will yield the best results all around. Moreover, the military approach will inevitably cost much more in blood and in treasure, for dubious gains. The capitalist way will not cost blood or treasure but will yield dividends for years to come. Anyone who thinks about it, for even a moment, will understand this, but the leaders of the US seem to be unable to make this simple cost benefit calculation, to the World’s detriment.

 

Today, the United States has troops in many countries in Africa. Small units are hunting down the Lord’s Resistance Army in the Republic of the Congo and in the Central African Republic, the US has stationed the Coast Guard in Cape Verde, in fact, there are around 19 US military actions going on. They range from actively engaged to mere drone bases. The US has a large military footprint in Africa. In Iraq, the US has spent billions of dollars and thousands of lives, but the oil revenue is going to the Chinese, and peace is nowhere to be found.

 

Military interventions are very expensive. Not only in the blood of our children but in our nation’s treasure. People and money that would be better invested in entrepreneurial activities. But the US government sees fit to drain off those resources for overseas adventures. Adventures that will never show a profit for anyone in the US or even US interests. Most of the time military intervention results in hatred for the US and it’s people, diminished economic returns for the US and the countries it tries to help, and usually ends up putting a dictator in office, propped up at US taxpayer expense.

 

The Chinese capitalist footprint is even larger than America’s militarist. The Chinese approach is to invest in businesses and infrastructure throughout the continent. The Chinese don’t put their own money up for infrastructure improvements though, they rely on the International Development fund, to pay for their projects, with China only putting up a token amount. The cost to China is insignificant, and certainly will not result in the loss of Chinese military personnel.

 

The profit to the Chinese will far exceed the US return on investment. For almost no investment the Chinese model will yield many favorable results. Not the least of which is the long lasting favor of the people of Africa. While the US is paying handsomely for hatred China is gaining good public relations almost for free. Another dividend for China is access to African markets. The benefit of this cannot be overstated. China is opening up rapidly growing markets for it’s goods and services, while the US militaristic approach closes the African markets to US goods and services, (like in Iraq) largely due to the animosity that military intercession builds up.

 

In the end it is the introduction of Capitalism that will settle the wars and insurgencies across Africa. The stated goal of the US is to export democracy around the World. But even a cursory look at history and the present shows, nowhere in the World has democracy flourished, unless and until the economy of a State is capitalist. Where democracy has been imposed from the outside, it has resulted in war and revolution, as soon as the money and troops stop flowing. In no case in history or in the present has democracy caught on without a functional market system, and nowhere has there been a functional market system, and despotism. The two are incompatible.

 

So it appears that while the US wastes money, and lives, generating hate and distrust, China is doing the right thing in Africa. The Chinese approach will yield democracy faster and with more durability then any amount of military intervention ever could. Exporting capitalism will make China rich and the nations that receive it will become free and prosperous. That is the way it is. If we truly want peace and prosperity in the World, then exporting capitalism is the way, if we want more war, revolution and poverty, the militaristic approach is best. I guess it depends on what you want for the World and your people.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

Opinion, Violence and Civilization

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, the moment opinion is met with death threats, there is no longer civilization in the land. What had been civilization has now become anarchy, and until the threat of death for opinion is removed, there will be no civilization… with all that portends. It should be clear to everyone, it is not the right role of government to empower those that meet opinion with death threats, because government’s role is to foster peaceful civilization, so the people can go about their days without being molested or having their property stolen. Those that meet opinion with violence are to be vilified, and if possible, incarcerated. They are the very real manifestation of a mortal threat to civilization and should be treated as such.

 

The role of right government is to create a framework so that commerce and social living can go on with minimal impediment. This is one of the reasons Machiavelli said that a stable tyranny is preferable, to the people, than an unstable democracy. A stable tyranny is just that… stable, while an unstable democracy is, well… unstable. People cannot walk down the street alone in an unstable society, women and children are always in danger from the criminal element, and property is up for grabs where instability reigns. While on the other hand, people prosper in a stable society, a woman can walk down the street or ride a bus alone in safety, and children can play without fear of predators. Clearly, from this we can see, the right role of government is to foster a stable society and shun that which makes it unstable.

 

Civilization itself is dependent on the free exchange of information. Much of that information is in the form of opinion. If certain opinions are met with threats of death, especially if they are carried out, they shut down the free flow of information. By definition and by design. Civilizations that have no debate quickly stagnate and die unless there is a source of outside income. Stopping the flow of information necessarily staunches debate. The reason staunching of debate is so bad for a society, is because various societies are intermingled, and in competition. They are usually designated by national boundaries, but sometimes cross those boundaries, the Kurds for example. Those countries that stifle debate, fall behind those that do not, in every metric of good. For example, poor performing economies, they quickly become tyrannies, and their state of general education declines, among many other negatives.

 

Those who are insecure in their beliefs are always those who seek to shut down the opinions of others. They unconsciously know the weakness of their arguments and instead of backing them up with logic, which is their opinion’s weakness, they back it up with violence. This means that no one in the debate, believes that the position who threatens violence is correct… even those that argue for it! If they themselves know there is no argument that can be made for their position, but have too much hubris to cede it, violence is their only resort. By doing this they discredit not only themselves but their very movement! That is not to say, once violence is started one shouldn’t protect themselves, it is natural rights, to meet violence with violence, but is far different from threatening death for opinion, that is meeting words with violent action. Words can be ignored but violent action cannot be.

 

Where civilization is in decline and instability rears it’s head… poverty and want can never be far behind. Those that threaten the stability of society and undermine it’s growth, are in fact leading directly to our civilization’s destruction, and therefore are a direct threat to us, our legacy and our children. The best thing to do, is to immediately point at the offender, whenever violence is offered for opinion. Let’s face it, offering violence for opinion, is evil, and if we all point at evil, evil cannot hide behind platitudes and spurious ad homonym attacks. The cumulative light of all of us, shining our own little beam on evil, must wither and dessicate it. Like a vampire in the old movies… evil can only live in darkness.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

Empiricism, and the Existence of God

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, Hume’s argument against the existence of God is weak, in that if a single miracle can be proved to have happened, by his argument’s parameters, God must exist. Now, it is possible that God wants us to be able to prove his existence logically and empirically, but I think not. Despite our hubris, we are profoundly ignorant, and believe ourselves enlightened, patting our own backs in egotistic self deceit. Pride and conceit are the attributes of spoiled children. Once our civilization reaches it’s initial maturity, our self importance will max out, (as it does in a teenager)… further maturity will result in less conceit and pride with true awe and deep humility. Eventually, once humanity has actually become enlightened in the deepest sense, will we understand the role of God… or the myth of God, if such exists. That is both the way people mature and the way civilizations mature. That our civilization is so egotistic it believes it can empirically disprove God, or Prove him, is sure confirmation that we are moving into early adolescence.

 

Hume claimed if there were free will then it would be folly to punish a criminal. Because under free will he would be untrainable, due to his free will, ie. No external control of his actions. Thus, we must not have free will. It is our ability to control ourselves that proves there is no free will. Therefore, punishing criminals proves there is no free will… But, to my way of thinking, if we are but machines, subject to programming and outside control, then why, even in ancient Athens under the laws of Draco… have there always been criminals?

 

His epistemology was based on the insight that logic does not necessarily comport with reality. This was truly an insight. He made the point that just because he let go of a pencil, that pencil could logically go up, instead of down. It is our experience, or custom, that makes us believe it will fall. This was an important discovery in the evolution of philosophy, because it showed that metaphysical logic can go very wide of the mark, unless it is based on empirical proof… in other words, the weakness of logic disconnected from observation. But, just as he claimed that logic allows for a pencil to fly, instead of fall…

 

He also claimed, by their very definition, miracles are things that are not custom. We never see those actions in our daily lives. In fact, he argued, in the more civilized places we never see miracles at all. Since miracles have only been seen in barbarian places, then they are most probably figments of imagination, superstitions and the like. Since the existence of God is based on miracles, like creation, Jesus’ resurrection, turning water into wine and so forth, and they are mere superstition… there is no God. This is simply arguing that observed reality should be discarded for theory.

 

It is like the Cartesian arguing against Newton’s Laws of Motion, because his laws required action at a distance, and thus were absurd. To the Cartesian, skepticist theory trumped observable reality, as it is for those who seek to make the purely mechanistic argument for the existence of the universe. They must discount evidence that disproves their theory, as superstition or imagination, by dwelling on the non repeatable part of the miraculous instead of the empirically proven examples. Isn’t that the true nature of a miracle though? Something that is not custom, did happen and is not repeatable? In discrediting miracles as superstition, they seize the empirical high ground, with spurious logic. In the end they could be right, but as history shows us, the theories of today are always supplanted by the theories of tomorrow. With a commensurate advancement of our understanding of our Universe and our role in it.

 

We, as humanity, have a long way to go before we can begin to understand such subtle questions, as the existence and nature of God, or even if there is one. It is the hight of presumption to argue there is no God, because, since we have miracles testified to and in some cases, as in miraculous cancer remission, empirically proven yet not repeatable, there is at least the strong implication of God… and that there exists far more to reality than we, in our profound ignorance, can possibly understand, let alone quantify. As our understanding grows, so do our questions, therefore we can know only this… that we know little. It is conceited and prideful of us to believe otherwise.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

Socialist’s Hypocrisy

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, socialists never seek to live under socialism, they want the rest of us to. To a man, or woman, socialists always want others to live in their social laboratories, like lab rats, in their notions of the perfect society. From Rousseau’s social contract [of indenture], to Joseph Schumpeter with his authoritarian socialism, none of them ever wanted to live under a socialist regime themselves, but explained in treatise after tome that we should live under socialism. Knowing the old adage, one should never eat food the cook himself won’t eat, this certain knowledge about socialists is more damming than any economic theory trouncing ever could.

 

Marx went on and on about the Bourgeois mode of production and the tyranny of the workers, but in his personal letters, what he himself really wanted, was to live as the elite did in his day. His wife complained about having to nurse her own child, since they could not afford a wet nurse, and how unfair that was. I maintain that Karl Marx was too lazy to work for a living and sought the patronage of Engels so he wouldn’t have to. Clearly, Marx would have recoiled at living in a society where he had to work every day in a mindless job, else face certain punishment by the authoritarian state. Not unless Marx was the authoritarian.

 

That, my friends is the rub, all socialists want to have a socialist state, but they all want to be the authoritarian… not the plebeian. Take Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. They planted bombs that maimed people in the 1960′s in the US. (Now they are college professors teaching your children). When asked by an undercover FBI informant, “What will we do when we take over?” Bill Ayers replied, they would install a communist state of course. When prodded that many wouldn’t just go along, Bill Ayers responded, he would have to kill about 25,000,000 Americans. This was said in a cold blooded matter of fact tone! Imagine his indignation, at having to submit to execution by someone else, for his political beliefs! What epic hypocrisy!

 

Joseph Schumpeter, who famously said, “Can capitalism survive? I think not…” devoted most of his book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, to advancing the notion that socialism is not only possible, it would be quite easy to implement, and would achieve at least the level of production of a similar capitalist nation. The USSR was active then, and never stopped immigration, only emigration, and so… Schumpeter was able to move to his socialist paradise any time he wanted. Moreover, as a noted economist, Schumpeter would have been awarded a hansom professorship in a prestigious Russian university in Moscow… But he didn’t.

 

I could go on all day with examples of the blatant hypocrisy of socialists but no use belaboring the point. This latest crop of socialists we have in government, are righteously outraged even to pay lip service to Our Constitution, let alone knuckle under to their own laws… that is for us to do. They poison the economy with crony capitalism and strangle it with bureaucratic regulation, then spuriously claim, capitalism has never worked! They expect the rest of us to forget the last 500 years of human history in general and the last 100 in particular. Socialists in the US government show, by their actions (and rhetoric when in certain circles)… they seek a socialist society, but I ask you, if they truly believe in it, or are just as egoistically self serving Machiavellians, as the examples I have mentioned… why did they all write themselves a loophole to get out of Obama care?

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

Efficient Means and Direct Means

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, from the biggest egoist to the most selfless of us, we all use a process I call, Efficient Means, to get our needs and wants met. Simply put, efficient means is the idea that we all take the most efficient path possible, to get our wants and needs met. Like water finds the easiest path downhill, or electricity flows through the path of least resistance, human behavior follows the same paradigm. The opposite of efficient means is direct means. The difference between direct means and efficient means is, to follow the law, mores and ethics of society is efficient means, and to violate the laws, mores and ethics is direct means. Most people understand this logic intrinsically but not overtly. It is important to understand this basic precept of human nature overtly so that we understand what makes our fellow men and women, as well as ourselves… do what we do.

 

The path we take from a desire to it’s being met is never a straight line. We place impediments in our own paths, as does society, culture, government and religion. That we allow for these impediments, is a sign that we are not simply egoists and criminals, it shows we are civilized human beings. The person who follows the rat maze of impediments we are faced with, can be said to be a rational maximizer, while the person who jumps the fence can be called an egoist. Some impediments are good, in that they standardize society and provide a framework in which to get our wants and needs met, while others are actually ways for the elite to get their needs met more directly… and in doing so, preventing us from meeting ours.

 

Governmental impediments, law and regulation, can be good or profoundly pernicious. They are good when they accomplish those positive outcomes outlined below, but when government regulation is used as a means to dole out distributive justice by political favor, they are harmful. This type of crony capitalism allows some to jump the fence, getting their wants met by the most direct means possible, regardless of the negative effects on society, the economy and good government. Unfortunately, almost all of us would use direct means, if we knew with certainty we would never get caught, and therefore, never be punished. This is reason enough for providing a framework, as does culture, society, government and religion. Moreover, that these institutional impediments to efficient means be protected, else no one’s needs, including our own… may be met in the future.

 

Religion places many impediments to meeting our wants and needs. Upon close examination however, those impediments are not intended to stop us, but to enhance our realization of those goals. Were those impediments not in place society would quickly breakdown. Right religion teaches us to be honest with people, regardless of their affiliation, to hold ourselves to a higher standard than we do others, it teaches us to practice fidelity to our spouses and it instills in us the concept, this may not be the ultimate expression of our existence, in fact, this existence may be merely a precursor for a much higher state of being. Giving Pascal’s wager gravitas.

 

Cultural mores are another source of positive impediments to efficient means. They also provide a framework for getting our needs met, similar to a ladder that helps us reach places we couldn’t otherwise, cultural mores help us meet our needs efficiently and in ways that allow others to meet theirs as well. This greases the mechanism of human interactions, protecting us and our families from the violence of revolution and societal strife, that a large portion of society not getting it’s needs met would certainly produce. Societal impediments amount to the same thing, they standardize our means of reaching our wants and needs, so that we all can efficiently meet them.

 

In the end we are civilized animals that live best when we self regulate. The society who’s people self regulate, for whatever reason, be it religious ethics, societal mores or cultural norms, that society will enjoy wealth, peace and political equanimity. As children grow they are matured, as were we. This maturity is getting slower and slower while those restrictions like religious, cultural and societal mores are stripped away, by an elite drunk on the notion of materialism and mechanism. Given our natural proclivity for direct means, when these impediments are taken away, coupled with the slower maturation rate of our children, the result must be… no one’s needs will be met, and our society will suffer, poverty, war and political upheaval.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin