Posts Tagged ‘rational maximiser’

Human Heartedness

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the Confucian ideal of Human Heartedness, is one we all should emulate. It has been translated into many English words and phrases, but I prefer human heartedness, because it sums up most all of what Confucius wanted to say, as evidenced by his teachings. Those who should emulate human heartedness the most are our leaders since Confucius had the most to say to them. Unfortunately, most people in the West, when they hear “Confucius…” they turn off. The name has been so diminished from it’s rightful stature, from Charlie Chan movies, where the name Confucius became a punch line. Others cannot fathom how anything someone said in 550 BC, could have any relevance to today. They turn their backs on ageless wisdom to their own and our detriment. The human condition and indeed humans themselves have changed very little since then. We still strive for pleasure and avoid pain, we still fall into traps and snares and it is egoistic self interest that baits those pitfalls. Yes, Confucius and his human heartedness have a great deal to say to us today, to ignore such wisdom is to see the pit and yet step into it anyway.

A large component of human heartedness is the Golden Rule… Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Every one of us could benefit from following the golden rule. Better even to double down and hold others to a lower standard then we hold ourselves. It is in our animal nature to hold others to a much higher standard than we hold ourselves and in our civilized nature to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We would benefit by living in a civilization where there can be less laws, less draconian punishments and less government, because we control ourselves from within instead of needing to be controlled from without. Prosperity would increase, since regulations, laws and ordinances are friction to the economy, but become more and more needed the more barbaric the people become. We should all incorporate human heartedness, the golden rule, into our lives.

Human heartedness is all about compassion and empathy. The golden rule is also explicitly about empathy. As I wrote in my last article, compassion and empathy are paramount human attributes, that lead to civilization and away from barbarism. The barbarian has no compassion and no empathy. When an Italian city state was being attacked by the Gauls, Roman dignitaries were called to mediate. One of the Romans asked the Gaul general, “By what right do you lay siege to this city?” The Gaul answered back, “Natural law, that the strong must take from the weak, so the strong can survive and the weak die out…” But what the Gaul didn’t understand is that there are many forms of strength and a multitude of forms of weakness. His was marshal strength, a strength that always has it’s better, he lacked wisdom. We must have compassion and empathy else we become like the Gaul general, strong in might but weak in wisdom.

One of Confucius’ disciples asked, “Does the human hearted man love all?” I suppose referring to Mo Ti’s all embracing love. Confucius said, “No! The human hearted man loves the good and despises the bad.” Clearly Confucius didn’t want good men to turn their faces from evil and so allow it to grow. To be human hearted is to lift up that which is good, in other words… pragmatically benefits individuals, society and culture, while attacking the bad, that which lowers people, harms society and rots the culture. It is obvious that embracing evil as well as good gives evil a leg up, since the good will be fair and honest while evil will use good’s virtues against it. To have a prosperous society where crime is low we need to be human hearted and embrace good while fighting evil.

When talking about leaders Confucius liked to refer to the Sage Kings of “old.” The sage kings led, as Confucius would argue, “by force of personality,” or to put it in modern terms, they led by example. If they wanted the people to be more honest in their business dealings, they would be more honest themselves, and if they wanted the people to stop lusting after each others wives, he would forswear it himself. In that way the leaders of the great society would convince the people to be virtuous. The Duke of Lu asked Confucius one time, how he could get the people to stop lusting after ill gotten profits, women and luxury. Confucius told him to stop doing those things himself and the people would follow. Confucius had to flee Lu state shortly after. The leaders of society want the people to be virtuous, but can hold to the virtue the demand in another, for a single day. If we want our children to live in a safe, prosperous and civil country we must only elect human hearted leaders, who will lead by example.

When Confucius was asked what he would do if he were made emperor, Confucius replied, “I would rectify terms…” or put another way, he would set standards. Standards apply to everyone equally, they create systems where commerce can flourish and they level the playing field for everyone. Today standards are eschewed for regulations, ordinances and laws. Instead of everyone on the same level, regulations are specifically designed so some politically favored group, can get a leg up on an otherwise free exchange. Where a standard is what it is, no matter how politically favored a person is, application of a law is dependent on who the person is. Look at Hillary Clinton’s wiping a subpoenaed email server before turning it in. If you or I did that, what was on it would instantly become irrelevant and we would be charged with a felony, tampering with states evidence. She however was not. A standard is the antithesis of arbitrary rule. For any country to flourish the leaders have to be human hearted, setting and holding everyone, including themselves, to a standard.

There is no question, we are no different than the people who lived before us, oh we might drive cars, talk to people on the other side of the planet, and have put a man on the Moon, but essentially we are the same. We have the same desires, wants and needs. Therefore, wisdom that applied to human beings in 550BC still apply to us today, perhaps more so since we have grown arrogant, egoistic and self aggrandizing, not for our achievements, but for the achievements of those who have come before us. How many among us could create a gasoline engine, having never seen nor heard of one before, yet most of us take them for granted, and look down our noses at those who didn’t have them. Yes, our society, civilization and personal lives would benefit greatly from following the wisdom of Confucius, and becoming more human hearted.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Empathy, Compassion and Civilization

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, compassion and empathy are at least as important factors as intelligence and wisdom, in the ascension of Man to the place we are now, in technology, philosophy and our understanding of the universe. These under appreciated and overlooked attributes of humanity appear to be waning in the world today. Compassion and empathy have served us well through the ages. Throughout history, wars have come and gone, civilizations have risen and fallen, all based on their innate compassion and empathy, these two intimately and uniquely human attributes have waxed and waned, but never to the point they seem to be declining today. Compassion allows us to benefit each other and empathy create in us a sense of other, without either, the human condition must be one of violence, famine and want.

Neanderthals ruled Europe for over one hundred thousand years until they were supplanted by our ancestors. Consider how long one hundred thousand years is, all of recorded human history is a mere three thousand years, that is only three one hundredths of the time Neanderthals lived. Many scientists believe, that it was the domestication of dogs, that gave our ancestors the advantage to replace Neanderthals. Consider the attributes it would take to domesticate a wolf into a dog. One would have to have compassion for the puppy who’s pack you just killed, so you take that orphaned wolf in. It would take empathy to care for it and give it some of your hard earned food. All this must happen before there is any payback in the form of hunting advantage from the domesticated wolf. Therefore, compassion and empathy allowed modern man to replace Neanderthal man.

Most great civilizations all have one thing in common. At their start they were birthed out of compassion and empathy. The Roman Republic was founded out of empathy for all the citizens not just the powerful, Ancient China had the Sage Kings, ancient Greece on the equality of citizens and the US was founded on the liberty of the individual, which is to say compassion for the person. They grew in power and might until they lost their compassion and empathy, then in their decadence they fell in calamity, that was all too predictable in their lack of compassion and empathy. Civilization requires as a prerequisite compassion and empathy, once lost that civilization falls back into the sea of barbarity.

Even the term barbarism connotes a lack of empathy and compassion. A barbarian lacks compassion, a savage lacks empathy, while a civilized man has both. To be civil is to have empathy for another and to treat him or her as such. To be humane is to have compassion. The term human itself denotes compassion and empathy. No one would say the lack of either makes one human. To have humanity is to have compassion, to have empathy is to be human. One can be a genius, but if that person lacks compassion and empathy, no matter how smart they are, their industry will come to naught. A society is no different, no matter how smart, rich, or blessed with natural resources it is, that society will be violent, impoverished and despotic, that lacks compassion and empathy. Clearly, empathy and compassion are more important to the advancement of civilization than industry, intelligence, science or wealth.

All true religions teach as their highest goods, compassion and empathy, that is the basis for religion. Those who are atheists who claim that they have compassion and empathy outside religion, are fooling themselves. Were it not for religion, teaching compassion and empathy, there would be no foundation upon which they could learn doctrinal compassion. If there were no religion, systematic empathy would be unknown. Everyone has some compassion and empathy, except for psychopaths and sociopaths, but it is in religion that a system is created whereby compassion and empathy can be doctrinally established. Those who claim to be above mere religion, are indebted to it for the civilization they live in, even as they decry it, and have no compassion for it and no empathy for the adherents.

Poverty for a society comes from a lack of compassion and empathy. A market society is based as much on compassion and empathy as it is the profit motive. A market is an excellent system for a society to become wealthy, but that system needs certain foundations, one of the most important is compassion and empathy. How can someone discover a new business idea if one lacks empathy? If someone cannot put themselves in another’s shoes, then it becomes impossible to imagine what someone else needs, and meeting a need is the basis for wealth in a market system. Those business owners who lack compassion will ever be searching for employees, they will lament the lack of available good employees, yet will push away anyone who works for them, because no one will work long for someone who treats them as fodder. How can a business owner get customers who lacks empathy and compassion? Customers will quickly learn of a firm that rips off their customers and that firm will soon have no customers to rip off. Compassion and empathy are critical in a market system for it to function.

We must guard against false compassion and misplaced empathy however. They are the paths to ruin. Those who lack compassion will use our empathy and compassion against us, by tricking us to have empathy and compassion for fiends, and to act on compassion by empowering demons to act on our behalf, this can only result in monsters gaining power over us. That is how socialism gets started and why socialist countries quickly loose compassion and empathy. Once we are ruled by uncaring egoists their lack of compassion and empathy taints us. As we start to feel the pinch of hunger in our stomachs, the sting of tyranny over us and the hopelessness that despotism begets, we loose compassion and empathy, narrowing our focus for those who deserve our empathy and compassion, to an ever smaller and smaller group, until we have no compassion or empathy whatsoever. Once that happens poverty becomes rife, violence is endemic and hopelessness fills the land.

Moral relativism is all about a lack of compassion and empathy, those who say all cultures are equal, are peddling poison. What makes a culture great and what makes a culture evil is it’s empathy for people and it’s compassion for the downtrodden. Those cultures that lack empathy even for the least powerful are by definition evil and those that only have compassion for certain groups are villainous. They are not equal to a culture that has compassion, they are not the peers of a culture that has empathy for everyone. Love they neighbor as you love thyself. Moral relativism is an example of misplaced compassion and deranged empathy.

Today the lack of compassion and empathy is alarming. A recent poll showed that up to a third of Americans would not protect a Jew from the Nazis! One third of our fellows would turn in a Jew to go to the gas chambers knowing full well that is what would happen! Abortion is a case of misplaced compassion, it allows a great evil to be done in the name of compassion. Genocide is televised but people have become so calloused we could care less. Christians are returned to the Middle East where they will be slaughtered because of a lack of compassion and empathy. Yet we are excoriated if we lack empathy for those who would subjugate us, and return us to barbarism, by those very people who have no compassion for an unborn child, Christians facing certain death, a little girl being raped daily or the masses of people living under despots.

A story has been told of a rich man who once stepped over the leper Lazarus every day, when the rich man died, his lack of compassion and empathy caught up with him. The rich man looked up from his burning abode, and seeing the former leper relaxing in heaven, he begged God to have the leper dip one finger in water, so he could sip of it. God said no, the gulf was too great. The once rich man begged God to send the leper to his brothers to warn them. God replied, if his brothers had ignored all the prophets and wise men, they would ignore a leper as well… the rich man and his brothers had been taught of compassion and empathy but had ignored the teachings. Today we are no different than that rich man in our lack of compassion and empathy. Since civilization requires, as a prerequisite, compassion and empathy, the lack of can only result in the fall of civilization… no matter how smart the people are, how wealthy the society, how lofty their philosophy or how arrogant the people.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Our Replacements… Illegal Immigrants

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the new class is unhappy with the way Americans and Europeans have voted, so they are replacing us with people they believe will vote correctly. You have heard the term undocumented democrats, well tat is pretty close to the whole truth, most illegal aliens are from nations that have no concept, or at best a perverted understanding, of capitalism, socialism, limited government, liberty, human heartedness and history. They mostly come from autocratic countries that have never had those things, yet the people fleeing from dictatorships are more than happy to establish tyranny here. Not that illegal immigrants are necessarily bad, nor that they are stupid, they simply are ignorant and so can be easily manipulated into voting against their own best interests. To put it in the new class/Marxist vernacular, “They are willing to take up their historic role in the revolution.” That is why the elite intellectuals so love illegal immigration from autocracies and forbid immigration from Western capitalist nations. The goal is to destroy every vestige of limited government, capitalism, liberty and human heartedness.

Alvin Gouldner put it this way, “Marx said, ‘Philosophy is the head of emancipation, and the proletariat is the heart.’ But it takes a great deal of fancy theoretical footwork—in short, of ideology and false consciousness—to assume that the head and heart of politics are always integrated and have identical interests. Indeed, much of the discussion among Marxists today, concerning the failure of the proletariat as an historical force thus far, is in effect a discussion about the possibility of a ‘heart transplant’; that is, of replacing the proletariat with another historical actor: e.g., students, blacks, third world forces, etc. Intellectuals are capable of being an autonomous political force and when one social group does not play the role they have assigned to it, when it fails in its ‘historical responsibility’, intellectuals will often shop around for another client group to ‘represent’. False consciousness is generated when the special, vested interests of intellectuals are deemed illegitimate and are therefore concealed, and when intellectuals feel they must pretend to be representatives of another group’s interests.” This is written in the new class language or code, and everyone knows a code is to keep the unwanted from understanding what is said and meant.

To unpack Gouldner’s thesis, in classical Marxism, the people, you and I, have a role to play, it is our “historical responsibility” to bring about a socialist revolution. In the US and Europe, the people have not done what Marx and his allies wanted, rise up calling for socialism, and so we must be replaced. In this way illegal immigration is the “heart transplant” he talks about. The intellectuals, college professors, out of work PHDs, Deans of universities, etc… the leaders of the new class, are more than happy to lead the revolution and overthrow the old order… of liberty, limited government, human heartedness and capitalism, but they can’t go it alone they need a large faction to back them. There is a reason Obama’s government has more intellectuals than any before him and indeed Obama himself is an intellectual.

What and why do they want to eliminate? Capitalism, because the new class are useless and unable to provide anything of real value, they cannot prosper by it but under socialism, they get the benefit. Who cares if the people suffer under socialism, the elite prosper. Limited government is obnoxious to the new class intellectual, since they are always the people who staff government, limiting their power over the people, economy and civilization, offends their egos. Liberty to the new class is something that should be reserved to them alone, those who are not willing to simply live and let live but want control, use justice as a tool to pry justice from the hands of the people. The new class hates human heartedness because there are things a human hearted man or woman will not do. The human hearted person is unwilling to “break some eggs for the greater good.” Human heartedness requires empathy, love of one’s fellow man, acceptance of their flaws and a deep desire to do no harm. How can any revolution get underway until the people are willing to slaughter whomever the elite tell them to?

So there you have it, the new class elite’s love of illegal immigration has nothing at all to do with improving anyone’s life, it is not about compassion or human heartedness, it is about exploiting the political system, for wealth, power and prestige. The new class believes itself to be our intellectual, and moral inferiors, why shouldn’t the rest of us lesser caliber people bow to them, give them our wealth and cow toe to their demands for us? After all, we don’t have PHDs, we are not their equals… we are their subordinates, and so since we are unwilling to accept our role in human affairs, as appointed to us by them, they have no choice but to replace us, with those who are willing to accept their role in the revolution. That my friends is why the new class elite defend and so love illegal immigration.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Planned Parenthood Controversy

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, if a fetus is not a human being, then you and I are not human beings. The concept that a fetus is not a human being, as purported by the anti lifers, is based on an age argument. That is, those who are not yet born are not human beings, because they are too young to be called such. Many would disagree and say the anti life argument is, they cannot live on their own outside the womb, but that argument is proven false by the approval of anti lifers for late term abortion, where the child is eminently capable of living outside the womb. Moreover, even if we accept the spurious argument a baby not yet born is not a human being, because they cannot live outside the womb, that is still at it’s core an age argument. The age argument if further bolstered by the fact that now there are anti life groups that claim a baby could be post birth aborted up to a year old. Therefore, they are arguing that age is the deciding factor of whether a human being, can be considered a human being, depending on age. The realization of this as their core argument should send a chill down the spine of every human being on the planet.

The logical extension of the age argument is, the definition of a person as human is age dependent, and a fetus is not human due to his or her age, and can be killed because they are not humans, ie, not old enough to be considered human. Moreover it follows that the older one gets the more human they must become. This is no different in kind then the outmoded claim that blacks are not fully human, due to the color of their skin being darker than others, so anyone who has lighter skin than another can by definition enslave that darker person. Therefore logically, any older person can kill any younger person, because the younger person is not as human. Both spurious arguments are based on a fictitious definition of what it means to be a human being.

So we have to ask ourselves, “what is humanness?” If we look at what are the defining characteristics of humanness, we can observe the extrinsic characteristics of humans, we are bipedal, we are largely hairless except for our heads and vestigial body hair, we have large brains, two arms ending in hands, two legs ending in feet, we have two sexes both of which are human beings, we sickle our young, we are mammals, we are sentient, we are omnivores, etc… But basically we know a human being when we see a human being. Nowhere in that list, or any other that you could come up with, is age a factor. That is like saying a white horse is not a horse.

Another factor that torpedoes the anti life definition of humanness is that they also seek to kill old people. They have dozens of nice sounding names, for the killing of old people like, death with dignity. So the anti lifers do not believe that age begets humanness, since people at both ends of the age range are subject to being killed. The anti lifers also have in the past, and advocate even today in some circles, for the killing of people who are mentally retarded, profoundly handicapped and insane. Therefore, we are left with one conclusion, that the anti lifers hold other human beings as less than deserving of their lives. Those that the anti lifers are offended by, for whatever reason, are subject to being killed, not because they are not human beings, but because human beings in their minds are not credited with any right to life.

The controversy surrounding the killing of a lion is indicative of the anti human mindset that pervades our culture today. For all the hullabaloo around the killing of Cecil the lion, ginned up by the media that calls itself unbiased, the fact remains, Cecil was an animal not a human being. Those that anthropomorphous a lion, claiming it has the same right to life as a fellow human being, are perverting the definition of human beings to suit their desires, in both directions. This is magnified by the fact, the media that calls itself unbiased, ignore the extermination of Christians from the Holy Land.

Now with the revelations, revelations that become more horrifying every new video that comes out, that Planned Parenthood is essentially torturing babies to death, so their body parts can be more profitable, the fact cannot be denied… they are anti human life. Not their own of course, they hold on to their own life with a white knuckled grip. They might call for the large scale systematic extermination of others, but they cherish their own lives like a miser cherishes gold. To be good is to follow the golden rule, do unto others as you would have others do unto you, to be a bad person, is to do unto others as you would not have done unto you. What can be said about someone who cherishes their own life, while at the same time are perfectly comfortable killing another? They are simply bad people.

In reality, a human being is a human being, no matter how old they are or deficient in any way, and so spurious arguments as whether someone is a human being, are mere hyperbole to defend the indefensible. Outrage over the killing of an animal, while at the same time ignoring a very real genocide of human beings of all ages, is to replace compassion for your fellow man with compassion for an animal. Replacing the empathy you should have for human beings for empathy for a mere animal is the means to justify a total lack of human heartedness. Those who force taxpayers to fund the systematic killing of human beings, are themselves anti life, lack compassion, empathy and human heartedness… and yet cherish their own lives, are by definition bad people… and neither deserve our votes nor their positions as leaders.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

The Addiction to Government Spending

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, a heroin addict will not willingly stop taking heroin, until he or she reaches rock bottom. It is a matter of human nature. When someone is addicted to something, no matter what it is, the craving is stronger than the will. We might know in our hearts we should stop, we might understand with our minds that the addiction is killing us, but as the Greek referendum shows, most cannot fight their own cravings. The will is weaker than the desire. It has been said that our intellect is like a rider, and our emotions are like an elephant, the rider has some control over the elephant, but if the elephant desires to go one way, no matter what the rider does they cannot force the elephant to change direction. Moreover, our logic can desire to get something done, but the power to do it lay in the elephant it is riding. As to Greece, they are addicted to government spending, they feel it’s cancer spreading through the body economic, they understand it is killing their wealth and hopes, but they just cannot give it up. The example of Greece is one everyone should heed.

Government spending is like a drug, it seems harmless at first, it makes life seem better and once started it quickly becomes a habit. Those who become dependent on it, government employees, people on the dole, rent seekers, bureaucrats, cronies and oligarchs… realize their lifestyle would come to a crashing halt if the government was to cut spending. Moreover, government spending must be increased in order to get the same results. Eventually, like a drug destroys a human being, the addiction to government spending must destroy a nation’s economy.

Raising taxes to “solve” the spending problem is like increasing the dosage of heroin. It is always much easier to raise the dosage then to quit the drug. Ask any drug counselor and she will tell you the solution to a drug problem is not to increase the dosage, or the availability of it, the only solution is to quit cold turkey. That solution is never acceptable to those in power who are both pushers and addicts. To them, the solution seems obvious, take more money to plug the deficit the addiction to spending creates. We all know however, raising taxes never result in a plugged deficit, that “solution” is the path to self destruction.

Like a drug addiction, lowering the intake, or in the case of government spending, does nothing to stop the addiction, it only makes the cravings harder to resist. If small measures are taken to cut spending, say, cut funding for science research, is like an alcoholic changing to drinking only wine. It does nothing to stem the addiction but it gives the addict an excuse to keep the addiction going. Small cuts in peripheral spending are only ways to absolve themselves.

The addict will rationalize their addiction by saying she had a bad upbringing, he lives in poverty and the world is too unkind. In the same way, governments, and the people who are addicted to government spending, rationalize their addiction by claiming they are “helping the downtrodden,” the poor are incapable of surviving without a handout, how can you begrudge a bureaucrat a good salary, if you are against their addiction it shows you are a hateful person… The rationalizations are a numerous as grains of sand on a beach and just as abrasive to the body politic as sand is in a car’s engine.

Every drug counselor will tell you an addiction to drugs makes the person do things she would otherwise never do. Up to and including prostituting herself to get more heroin. Government is no different, that addiction to government spending creates such a strong incentive to corruption cannot be denied, but the addict will deny it to their death bed. A government that is addicted to spending cannot control themselves, like a little girl who must have Oxycontin, else she feels her bones are breaking, and will do anything to get it. They both justify their corruption to themselves… because they have to.

Once a people have become addicted to corrupt government spending and living off the work of others, even if they have eschewed that lifestyle for a long time, once it is started again, they go back to the level of addiction they had in the past. Like an alcoholic, if he is on the wagon for ten years, then takes one drink, he takes up where they left off and go back to being a raging alcoholic. That is why so many once great peoples and nations never seem to be able to get back to being great. The addiction to out of control government spending is too great for their will’s to overcome. Examples are legion, Greece, the font of democracy, is just one.

The best policy, like heroin, is to never open that door to start with. Keep spending and the size of government as small as possible, limit the role and scope of government to standards, and keep government from creating regulations, set strict limits on the level of taxation and back them up with real penalties for a legislature, executive or judiciary that violets them. Force government to avoid taking that first puff from the crack pipe, and you will go a long way to protect you nation and people from that terrible addiction, and addiction that must end in ruination. All spending however, even limited spending, is an incentive for more, and so all governments must eventually become addicts. It is the nature of humanity to be thus.

That government spending is like a drug is obvious, once you think about it for even a moment, but those who are addicted, like a heroin addict, will argue they are not addicts and become enraged at the mere mention of quitting. Cutting spending a tiny fraction is only a rationalization, it does nothing to stop the addiction, but only makes the addict believe he can control it. The reasons for government spending are innumerable, just like the reasons a heroin addict has to rationalize their addiction, but in the end are mere sophistry. Sadly, once a great nation has become addicted to government spending, that nation and people will always be addicted, no matter how long they have been on the wagon. The only way to stop an addiction from ruining a human life is to stop cold turkey, the only way for a government to really solve the economic problems that an addiction to government spending creates, is to cut government to the bone. Unfortunately, no government once addicted, will do that until the economy comes crashing down. Like Argentina, once they get back on their feet, they put the needle back in their arm the first chance they get.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Billion Dollar Business Idea

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, a smart business idea that could net someone millions, and perhaps billions, is a website that reads and posts a simple to read synopsis of every shareholder’s report, briefly describing any changes the board wants to make, the likely consequences to the company and profits short and long term of those changes, an easy to read and understand report on any election to the board of trustees regarding their background, philosophy of corporate governance and work history, those synopsis and reports would be written for every firm with over one hundred million in gross revenue, and for a nominal fee that synopsis could be read by any shareholder of those companies. Companies that are ethical would offer to pay for the service for their shareholders. To get that done, such a company needs to become well known, create simple to read, correct and understandable reports and synopsis, as well as the intellectual capital to make it work. The potential earnings of such a company are staggering.

If there was such a company it could be a paradigm shift in the principle agent relationship. Today the agents have all the power. They send shareholders a several hundred page document that we are supposed to read and understand, that is in arcane language, redundant and actually says nothing of any import pertaining to the question they want us to vote on. That paradigm has created a lop sided power relationship between the principles and agents. That lop sided power in the relationship has allowed many companies to be run against the shareholder’s interests and have enabled senior management to get an out sized portion of the profits. I mean really, what employee is worth tens of millions of dollars, while running a company into the ground?

Empowering the principles to over see the agents can only lead to protecting the principle’s interest and limit the power of the agents to abuse their position. The power differential in the principle agent relationship has been used for over a century to enrich the senior management at cost to the shareholders and customers. Examples abound where shareholder profits and wealth have been undermined by management. One famous case was when J D Rockefeller bought an iron company, converted it into a publicly traded company, sold the shares for double what he paid, and remained as the CEO, reaping even more profit at the expense of the shareholder chumps.

Such a rebalancing of the principle agent relationship would create better run companies that would have a better relationship with their customers. Everyone is self interested, which is to say we all seek to maximize our returns on our investments. Economists call human beings rational maximizers. Clearly, since we are all self interested, if given actionable knowledge, we would seek to increase the longevity of our assets, seek long term profits instead of short term gain, provide excellent quality service and products to our customers while ensuring the company’s business model is consistent with the times. In short, instead of our agents working under pernicious incentives, we could return the entrepreneurial ethos to businesses.

If the principle’s interests are protected and the companies themselves are better run, the macro economy will improve, by potentially starting a new wave of Schumptarian economic expansion. Schumpeter coined the term, “Creative Destruction,” to explain the macro business cycle. In it, he posited… a new idea that improves efficiency in management, production or product, starts the business cycle. In the creative part of the cycle, as the new idea is implemented, the macro economy grows at a rapid pace. Once the idea is mostly implemented and the gains have been mined out, the old firms that have become outdated go belly up, ushering in the destruction portion of the business cycle, (recession). The recession destroys inefficient firms, freeing up capital, space and equipment for the next entrepreneur to begin the cycle again.

When a new firm is started, the more disruption it creates the more profit there is to be had, especially in the financial services sphere, where the sector is awash with other people’s money. As in any innovative idea that is disruptive, starting a business that reads and produces synopsis of every firm’s shareholder reports, board of trustee elections and board of trustee requests, would be a sea change in the way shareholders get information about the firms they own, by leveling the information landscape. In and of itself such a firm would start the creative cycle. Such a firm would need a great deal of startup capital to hire the necessary lawyers, MBAs and knowledge base to make such reports, and do it inside the regulatory framework that has been set up by the agents to protect their interests, or to change the regulatory environment if needed. The initial cost would be high, but the profit over the long term, the benefit to shareholders and the economy at large, would be tremendous.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

The Fear of Our Own Imagination

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, I have heard the argument that religion is the fear of Man’s imagination, if that argument has any merit at all, those who make it, should apply it to Anthropogenic climate change… because it fits far better. How many millions of dollars, Euros and Rubles each year go to investigate the projected effects of anthropogenic climate change, and in what universe does any flood of money not generate a huge incentive to promote the agenda? The government taxes us, they give some of the money to “scientists” to make dire predictions on what will happen, if they are not given dictatorial powers to stem Anthropogenic climate change. They gave up on global warming because it is becoming ever more clear the globe isn’t heating, just like they gave up on the coming ice age in the 1970’s, now it is anthropogenic climate change… because, they don’t know if the planet has a fever or is going hypothermic, nor do they know the reason it is, the one thing they do know for certain is… that you are causing it, and you need to give them absolute arbitrary power over you, to stop you, or else you might someday suffer from the ills the government paid people to predict, if the scientists that do the predicting ever break their perfect score of 100% failure.

Pick up any science based magazine and it cannot but stand out to you the amount of stories on climate change. Even in magazines on astronomy, where you wouldn’t expect Earth news, you will regularly have stories on climate change. Each of those stories is based on a research grant by either a public or private institution, costing millions of dollars and based on other research other scientists have done in those same institution’s behalf. If any magazine you pick up has that many articles on climate change then there is a tsunami of funding going into that research.

Whenever there is easy money to be had, especially where that money comes from government and is considered “free money,” people pile in to get their share of that free money. It is a quality of human beings that makes it so. With a pathetic job market for people with college education, and the huge debt load that education continues to cost them, the incentive to prove climate change is human caused so the agenda can move forward becomes an offer they can’t refuse. They get good pay to do research to prove climate change is real, it will be dire if the predictions come true or to direct attention to the fact it is a hoax to begin with.

The climate change hoax was proven a hoax when the IPCC emails became public where the IPCC discussed how to fudge facts, temps and sway public opinion, yes, the climate change alarmists would have you forget that little episode. Yet it remains in the public record. It takes a special kind of gullible, to remain gullible in the face of direct admissions of the hoax, by the hoaxers themselves. Those college educated people without jobs, who make up the unemployed faction of the new class, are just that gullible. Instead of thinking for themselves and looking at real history, they are so indoctrinated that socialism even dystopian socialism is an advancement over flawed capitalism, that they eat up anything those they consider authorities expel and give them.

A market economy’s main function is to improve access to, efficient use of and leverage to the service of humanity, energy. Almost any innovation in production, organization or efficiency follow this paradigm. In some way, if they are successful, they improve access to energy, the efficient use of energy, or to use energy to give people superhuman strength. Another attribute of a market economy is that it is a complex system. A complex system is adaptable. That means a market economy will adapt to changes in the availability of energy, unless the availability is controlled by a cartel or government entity.

Having control of energy is like having control of the throttle in a machine. He who controls the throttle of a machine controls how fast it spins and how much work it can do. The one dimensional thinkers who make up the new class believe that is how their absolute arbitrary control of energy would work. Along with the arbitrary rule over every other aspect of our lives, for our own good of course, would enable them to implement the socialist utopia, or dystopia, since the mechanism of humanity is a complex system and not a machine, control of which must lead to inefficiencies resulting in general poverty.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

A Corrupt People can Never be Wealthy

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, when the people of a nation become so corrupt their word is no more valuable than a turd, business cannot be done. When business cannot be done the economy collapses like a popped balloon. Any economy requires, as a prerequisite, that people be trustworthy, even a socialist economy. In a socialist country, or a country turning to socialism, the morality of the people is eroded until they become utter reprobates like their leaders, and is why socialism fails every time it is tried. Which brings us to the thrust of this article, that one of the major problems in the US economy, (and economies around the world), is that people have become so immoral, such reprobates, lazy and liars that even if the government got out of the way, the economy wouldn’t start growing again until the people got back a tiny bit of their morality and human heartedness.

The proliferation of lawyers in a nation is not a sign an economy is mature but that the people cannot be trusted. Attorneys themselves are largely to blame since the incentive for them is to break contracts, stab others in the back, create the conditions where no one can be taken at their word, and the moral get molested by the immoral, calling it serving their client’s needs. The collapse of integrity is a windfall for lawyers and so they push it. Today you can’t buy a cup of coffee unless there is legal paperwork in triplicate and signed by a third party… explaining the dangers of hot coffee, the terms and conditions of the sale, refund policy, ingredients, limited liability, potential health concerns from drinking coffee to access, and the specifications of the cup.

As people get screwed over by unscrupulous connivers they will increasingly turn to government to protect them. The government is always too happy to become more powerful, and never gives up a whit of power, so a corrupt people wratchet their government to despotism. More regulation makes it harder for a person to make money legally, and so more will turn to stealing, cheating and conniving to get ahead. Why work when that option is all but closed… and business is done by larceny anyway? In such a country the government will take advantage of the people, the strong will abuse the weak and the family will turn against itself.

Of course corruption starts at the top and flows down the social ladder like sewage. The leaders are never held to the same standards as everyone else, that has always been the case everywhere and at all times, which shows there has never been a standard but only arbitrary rule. Human history is nothing but a list of corrupt kings, emperors and Presidents. The more corrupt and evil the larger their name is in history texts. I have maintained for years that it is impossible to live in a cesspool without smelling like it. The very few people who have held positions of power, who were not so utterly corrupt they stank like a cesspit, have pushed against this paradigm of arbitrary rule. Most of them were murdered as reward for their singular service to humanity.

In the few times and places where the people have not been fully corrupted by their elites, those nations in those times have seen unbounded prosperity, social harmony and civil justice. When a man or woman holds themselves to their handshake, profit is based on value, not getting a line in a contract past an unsuspecting chump. When value is the basis of profit everyone profits. Those who provide the most value, profit the most, simply by being honest because honesty is value. The butcher gets money to provide for his family, the buyer gets meat for her table…

The market system’s superiority is based on the fact that value is traded not goods and services. Goods and services are the currency but value is what is actually traded. When people get value for their money both parties win. When both parties to a transaction win the economy of that nation is improved a little bit. Magnify both parties winning, over the tens of thousands of transactions a day in a populous country, and the economy is improved drastically every hour of every day.

Honest people can negotiate hard terms, but when the negotiations are done, they both stick to the terms they negotiated, the conniver, despot and confidence man trades in lies however. Those who trade in lies, not value, create the conditions where people will turn to government and lawyers to protect them from their own butcher, car salesman, Realtor and haberdasher. The more a people must turn to those in power to protect themselves, the more corrupt society will become, which in turn creates more corruption creating a feedback loop that can only end in despotism, poverty and endemic violence.

Look around the world, those places that are hell holes are all characterized by corrupt governments, corrupt people and corrupt courts. See for yourself, where the government is despotic, where the people are connivers, where the courts only enforce arbitrary power, aren’t they always unsafe, poor, and prone to social upheavals? Then ask yourself, what nation on this planet would you want to raise your children, one where the people are corrupt, the government is tyrannical and the courts serve the powerful… or one where the people can be trusted, the government is limited and the courts serve justice? You can make a small difference, be honest, trade in value and hold yourself to the same, or better yet, a higher standard than you do others. Lead by example.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

The 100 Trillion Dollar Bond Bubble

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, whenever a bubble is expanding, articles are written by the smartest people in the room, excoriating those who are “loosing out” on the huge profits. The more the bubble grows the more shrill those pundits become. This is because a bubble is in reality a trick of perception. That is why so many are caught in them. We see easy money and the lure is too much for us to withstand, we are cajoled by those who are wallowing in money they “made” from the bubble, and we become jealous, moreover we convince ourselves that the bubble will inflate forever, and so we jump in. The result? People loose their hard earned savings, nations become bankrupt, wars are started and governments fall. History is replete with stories of epic bubbles and the chaos they wrought on humanity, yet the frequency and size of bubbles grows with every passing year. Your savings, your national budget and your very life is dependent upon you and your government learning this lesson, a leasson that has been taught so many times in the past.

Tzu Ssu said, “Everyone says “I Know” but they are driven into nets, caught in traps, fall into pitfalls, and not one knows how to avoid this…” Bubbles are a perfect example of what the sage meant in his “Mean in action.” Seeking great profits for little or no effort, certainly, by any measure, is not the mean in action! To follow the crowd into a trap is not the mean nor is running off a cliff. The wise avoid danger when a safe path is before them but a fool will jump at the chance to step into a bear trap. It is a sad quality of humanity that we are so. But that it is a quality of humanity doesn’t mean it must always be so. Tzu Ssu also said, “He [the enlightened man] preserves an easy mind as he awaits the will of heaven, (in contrast to) the man who is not true, who walks in perilous paths and hopes for good luck.”

When a pundit brings up the hundreds of trillion dollar bond bubble, other pundits will say, “I know,” but then argue how bonds are the safest investment. They will harangue others who have stayed out as loosing their client’s money and not taking advantage of opportunity. The harassment ratchets up if a bubble doesn’t burst when someone predicts it will, convincing the rest of the herd to believe it will expand forever. We convince ourselves we are missing a great opportunity and that if we stay out it will pass us by. Opportunity only knocks once you know. But is that knocking really opportunity… or misfortune?

The tulip bubble was a classic example. As the price of tulip bulbs grew so did everyone’s interest in them. The Dutch could be forgiven since bubbles were a relatively new economic phenomenon. They poured the national treasure into more and more exotic tulip bulbs. The more colorful and extreme the better. The bubble grew to encompass almost all the wealth of the people and royalty. The bubble expanded for quite a while, creating untold wealth… until it was discovered that the striations and many of the exotic qualities of many of the bulbs, was due to a virus and not genetics! Then the bottom fell out of the tulip bulb bubble. Overnight the wealth of Holland was lost. It took decades to rebuilt even a portion of what was lost.

How many nations on Earth are issuing more debt, debt that is rated AA or better, who are actually insolvent? Greece is rated junk bond status but still borrows money at absurdly low interest. The US is insolvent by many standards but pays essentially a zero interest rate, and some European countries are paying negative interest! Banks are required by law, to hold government debt, which lowers the rate of interest a government pays for racking up debt and creates a false shortage of bonds. Even as governments pile debt upon debt, central banks print money and hand it to banks to buy that debt. The machine works day and night inflating the bond bubble.

I am not saying the bond bubble will burst tomorrow, or even next year, I strongly suspect it will be held together, by central banks and other interested actors, until at least 2017 for political considerations. But, by their nature, bubbles are unpredictable. It could burst tomorrow or next year. There is really no knowing what will prick the bubble and cause it to burst, with all the negative consequences that humanity has suffered in the past. This bubble however dwarfs any that have preceded it. The collapse of the big banks that required a bailout for them, was fueled by a bubble created by central bank policies, and this bond bubble is only different in orders of magnitude. I know, I know, I am missing out on a great opportunity… to get driven into a net, caught in a trap, fall in a pitfall…

Sincerely,

John Pepin

A Platform of Liberty is Unthinkable to the Elite

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, if a political party actually seeks liberty, campaigning on a platform of slavery is probably not a good idea. Of course they don’t call it slavery overtly. Those who, like Philistus, favor arbitrary rule, always couch their rhetoric in flowery phrases and spurious arguments. None of us knowingly seeks to be a slave, but many if not most, seek to be cared for, like children… or slaves. Yet a large percent of the population know the strings that are attached to government largess and refuse to be fooled. Those egoists who favor arbitrary power, their arbitrary power, pervert all political systems so there is no real choice. They claim the choice is between Marxism and Fascism, liberty is never a option. They play on the selfish wants of ignorant people to trick them into voting for their oppressors. In that way, the political elite have moved nations from liberty to tyranny, helped and aided by the very people to be subjugated!

Those who seek to be fed, clothed and housed at another’s expense, understand on some level they are giving up sovereignty for it. In wanting to be treated as a child by government one becomes childlike. A child is fed, clothed, and housed, but has no say in their lives. A child is told, and forced if necessary, to do what the parent, or government elite, tell them to. But, while a parent loves and nurtures their own child, holding the child’s interests above their own, government sees their children, the people, as mere tools to their ends, the welfare of any one person is irrelevant because there are plenty more if a few die or are broken.

A part of the population, rational maximizers,  understand the reality that liberty is incompatible with government coddling. Since we are given a false choice, either Marxism or Fascism, those who understand that it is a false choice will drop out of a corrupt system, and stop voting. If there is only the choice of this dictator or that despot, there is no real choice. To vote for the one because they will manage the leviathan better is no choice if one wants liberty. Only a politician who stands for liberty will be honored with the vote of an adult. A child however, will vote for the mommy or daddy who offers the most comfort, for the least effort.

In the United States this has been the paradigm for generations. The democrats offer more government largess, and the republicans offer better management of the tyranny the democrats create. Romney care for example, worked better than Obama care, but they are both a means to slavery! That the one tyrant is better at managing the tyranny than the one who builds it, is an anathema to those of us who seek liberty, not slavery. This is why such a pathetically small percentage of the population actually cast ballots. In the 2010 US election a paltry 37% of the eligible population voted! That means, Obama was elected by less than 20% of the people! 63% of the people didn’t think they had any real choice.

Yet the republicans continue to go for the 2-8% of people in the so called “middle.” They see that as a more viable strategy, than seeking the vote of the 63%, that are so disgusted with the false choice, they sit out elections. Even someone schooled by Common Core understands, 63% of a population is nearly 8 times larger than 8%, an order of magnitude larger. Yet republicans don’t seem to be able to do the math. That 60% of people who don’t vote, aren’t seeking more slavery, to be surveilled more or to be coddled, those individuals seek liberty. It is only by offering liberty, like Ronald Reagan did, that any politician can get their vote. By eschewing those votes, the actions of the republicans as well as the democrats, belie their intentions. Democrats want arbitrary power and the republicans think they can manage that arbitrary power better.

This same paradigm works in every nation on Earth. Why do you suppose Greece is in the predicament it is? Is it because the evil big banks have stolen from the Greek people? Of course not. The Greek government has willingly taken money from those evil big banks to feed, clothe and house children, who just happen to be over 18 years old. Do you suppose Italy’s problem is the mammoth debt… or the policies that led to that debt? Those children, who have been fed, clothed and housed, when faced with the removal of that largess, like children throw a temper tantrum and riot. Those who have got the benefit of crony capitalism, will not budge, as those who play Bacci ball on the beach are irate their sugar daddy might not be able to perpetually fund their “way of life.”

The real economy of those states that coddle the people is inevitably ruined. Crony capitalism is as corrosive of an economy as sulfuric acid is to aluminum. Welfare burns the work ethic from a people as effectively as water does lithium. Both together utterly destroy a country’s economy. Since there are no jobs for those children who have been coddled by government to go to, and they have been rendered unable to participate in the economy anyway, they have no choice but to riot in the streets. When the party comes crashing down, as it must eventually, there is only one choice, outright tyranny, to quell popular distemper. Which is the ultimate goal anyway showing why political parties don’t run on a platform of liberty in the first place.

Sincerely,

John Pepin