Friday, May 27, 2016

Minimum Wage aka Economic Illiteracy

“It’s not just going to be in the fast food business. Franchising is the best business model in the United States. It’s dependent on people that have low job skills that have to grow. Well if you can’t get people a reasonable wage, you’re going to get machines to do the work. It’s just common sense. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. And the more you push this it’s going to happen faster,” the former McDonalds Chief Executive added.

A democratic republic which has taught its kids to be economic illiterates is in for some school of hard knocks learning.

Hillary Email Fiasco

One of the two big dominoes in the Hillary Clinton email controversy toppled today: The State Department’s inspector general released its report on the email practices of Clinton and a number of other past secretaries of state. (The other major domino is, of course, the FBI investigation into Clinton’s decision to exclusively use a private email server while serving as the nation’s top diplomat.)

Finally, Clinton insisted that she and her team complied with the Federal Records Act by making sure that their correspondence got copied to other State Department addresses. Clinton explained this decision by insisting that she wanted the most efficient method of handling electronic communications, even if in retrospect that decision turned out to be regrettable.
Regrets should be coming, but not in the way Clinton has suggested. State’s Inspector General released the long-awaited report into Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server – and it contradicts every excuse Clinton has offered over the last 15 months.

If a need arose to use an outside communications channel to transmit SBU data, then Clinton should have “requested a solution” from within the department. Instead, the IG found “no evidence that Secretary Clinton ever requested such a solution, despite the fact that emails exchanged on her personal account regularly contained information marked as SBU.”

The IG also rebutted claims that Clinton ever put “robust protections” on her server, claims that appear on Clinton’s website. State’s information-management groups told the IG that Clinton had never checked with them at all. Neither her server nor the mobile device Clinton used to access it had ever been certified to meet standards established before Clinton took office. Furthermore, no official recalled Clinton ever checking to ensure that the use of the server was acceptable – and that such a request would have been rejected outright had she made one.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

#EasyPredictions: The VA, and Medicare/Medicaid, Won't Be "Fixed" - Ever

This seems to be an issue of how many vets are where - in Maine I see folks relatively quickly, in Memphis it was a four month proposition just to get in for a first appointment.

Corporate Taxes Hurt All of Us

The dirty little secret of the corporate income tax is that corporations don’t really pay taxes. They are not living beings that know they are being taxed. Rather, shareholders shoulder the burden in the form of reduced dividends and lower stock valuations.
If a company’s “effective” tax rate (after deductions and credits) is 27%, that is what shareholders pay. And they pay that whether they own 10 shares or 10 million shares, and whether the shares are in a standard account or in an IRA, 401(k) or pension fund.

A lot of these taxes are paid by those who buy the products - "corporate" taxes are just a sneaky way pols take our stuff from us at gun point.

Poor Hillary Continues To Get What's Coming To Her

There’s no better example than the war on women. Mrs. Clinton started out all set to run the standard playbook against what she presumed would be a standard Republican opponent. But Mr. Trump has now turned it on her, putting her in the position of running against her husband.
Whenever Mrs. Clinton brings up women, Mr. Trump throws Bill Clinton right back at her. Indeed, on Monday Mr. Trump released a new attack on Instagram featuring an audio of Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick over the caption: “Is Hillary really protecting women?” 
Mr. Trump is doing all this, moreover, without the slightest apology for his own playboy boorishness. Think of him as Mr. Clinton minus the credible rape and harassment allegations.

She did not have to run nor did she have to stay with Bill, no sympathy required.

"Science" On Your Side?

Most important rule of politics: Do what it takes to win. Whatever it takes. Part of that rule is claiming that your side is the one that is comporting with "science". As far as I can tell, either side will make claims to that effect, most of which demonstrate their ignorance of how science is done and what it can or cannot tell us. I love this quote:

Put aside the fact that there is no such thing as settled science. Scientists are constantly questioning their understanding of things; that is what science does. All the great scientists of history are justly famous for overturning the assumptions of their fields. The real problem is that in politics, invocations of science are very often marketing techniques masquerading as appeals to irrefutable authority. In an increasingly secular society, having science on your side is better than having God on your side – at least in an argument.

Much of the rest of the article is skippable, until you get to this little demonstration of New York values:

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing to fine businesses that do not address customers by their “preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.” The NYC Commission on Human Rights can penalize offenders up to $250,000.

Read more at:

Tyranny For the People

Venezuela has some of the world’s largest supplies of oil, with more proven oil reserves than Saudi Arabia. But about 15 years ago, the late president Hugo Chavez set out to impose a socialist revolution, making a particular point about his great munificence in providing free health care for everyone. In pursuit of this revolution, Chavez crushed every industry outside the oil sector and brought the state-owned oil company under his control. The result has been a long spiral into poverty and oppression. Now we can see the results: socialism literally kills babies.

The experiment has been repeated, same result.