Friday, November 30, 2012

The Good Old Days Were Not There

Are workers more "empowered" now or were they more so in the 1950s?
Interesting methodology.

Meddling Makes Messes

"We think companies can do what they want with their cash, but it's
certainly rare to see a public corporation weaken its balance sheet not
for investment in the future but to make a one-time equity payout. It's
a good illustration of the way that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke's near-zero interest rates are combining with federal tax
policy to distort business decisions."

The issue is incentives. The incentive to perform financial gymnastics
with ridiculously high dividend rates is very high. Having a low
dividend tax reduces double taxation of the same profits, and encourages
behaviors that are sound for a healthy corporation.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gifted Reporter

A few years ago, the Office of Management and Budget assessed federal dairy price support programs as part of a broad initiative to gauge the effectiveness of over 1,000 government programs. It found that the dairy program had not demonstrated results, has design flaws that limit its effectiveness, and distorts trade in a way that puts the U.S. in violation of World Trade Organization rules.

What action was taken as a result of this negative report? None, of course.

Dude, making something this tragic sound so amusing is incredible. BZ!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Competition Wins For Competitors

"When economist Alfred Kahn, with the help of Sen. Ted Kennedy
(D-Mass.), brought about airline deregulation in 1978, many (myself
included) warned that after 40-odd years as a heavily regulated cartel,
the legacy airlines would have great difficulty adjusting to free
competition. And so they did. Most of the old names-Braniff, Eastern,
National, Northwest, Pan American, and TWA-went under, but commercial
aviation boomed, with competition producing lower fares that saved
passengers tens of billions of dollars per year. The few legacy carriers
that remain standing-American, Delta, United/Continental, and US
Airways-have all gone through bankruptcy proceedings.

"Yet air travel and the airline industry is far bigger today than in
1978, with 3.6 times as many annual passenger miles. That is due mainly
to the long-term decline in airfares brought about by deregulation.
Adjusted for inflation, the average domestic round-trip ticket cost $578
in 1979, compared with $322 in 2009 (and a bit higher last year). You
won't find those figures in Attention All Passengers."

Well written, and says all that needs to be said about the reregulation

Who would trust more than absolutely necessary to federal ass clowns

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Classic Quote, "Collette"

"I love my past, I love my present. I am not ashamed of what I have had, and I am not sad because I no longer have it."
- Colette

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's the Spending, Stupid

"Don't think for a second that California's chronic deficits are caused by low taxes. Even before last Tuesday's tax hikes, California had the most progressive income tax system in the nation, with seven brackets, and the second-highest top marginal rate. Now it has the nation's highest top marginal rate and the nation's highest sales tax. And the budget still isn't balanced."

"What are Californians getting for all this government spending? According to a new census report released Friday, almost one-quarter, 23.5 percent, of all Californians are in poverty. One-third of all the nation's welfare recipients live in the state, despite the fact that California has only one-eighth of the country's population. That's four times as many as the next-highest welfare population, which is New York. Meanwhile, California eighth-graders finished ahead of only Mississippi and District of Columbia students on reading and math test scores in 2011."

"Figures lie and liars figure." So, does the poverty happen because California's excessive regulation make it harder for folks to get ahead, or because poverty stats are a joke, or because Cali's a great place to be if you are "in poverty", a veritable poverty magnet?

"Middle-class families that want actual jobs, not welfare, are fleeing California in droves. According to IRS data compiled by the Manhattan Institute, since 2000, almost 2 million Americans have left California for other states. Their most popular destination: Texas."

This stat, coupled with the one above, will just make all the "progressives" lobby for more Federal interventionism. Obviously, if you do the right thing with other people's money in your own state, you get all the freeloaders while the louts who don't "do the right thing with other people's money" attract all the performers.

"It isn't a tough move to make. Thanks to low taxes and simple regulations, Chief Executive magazine ranked Texas as the best state to do business in for 2012. Guess who ranked dead last? That's right, California. And not only does Texas (6.8 percent) have a far lower unemployment rate than California (10.2 percent), but, according to the Census Bureau, income inequality is worse in California than it is in Texas."

These unemployment stats reflect the same dichotomy - are people in Cali out of work because it is such a good place to be unemployed? Or, does the lower regulatory burden and decreased tax burden of Texas make that a place that draws the folks who demand to be employed?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Unicorns and the Gender Wage Gap

"If we actually compare apples to apples in the workforce, the facts will disturb those who are married to the vision of female victimization. According to Marty Nemko and data compiled from the
Census Bureau, unmarried women who've never had a child actually earn more than unmarried men. In a 2010 study of single childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. And according to the Labor Department, "of men and women who work 30 to 34 hours a week, women make more, 109 percent of men's earnings.""

Classic Quote, Hamilton

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything."
Alexander Hamilton

I stand for liberty.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Union Showdown?

We are heading for a showdown between public sector unions and
taxpayers. That's going to put Democrats in a very tough spot. Those
unions are the backbone of the Democratic political operation. But
their pensions are, in many places, simply not payable. Thanks in part
to the late 1990s stock market boom, and in part to really scandalously
bad accounting standards, politicians made a lot of promises they didn't
pay for. Those promises now can't be shed in bankruptcy, and all of the
possible deals--which including hiking taxes to "tax revolt" levels, or
shafting all the younger public sector workers--are bad for Democrats.

This is a really interesting angle. It didn't show in Presidential
politics in Wisconsin, but it was a winner for the man to went mano v
union at the state level. Public sector unions are an abomination that
will hurt many, many people, starting with union members when they lose
pensions they were promised and planned to have. It's going to be ugly,
and it's a shame that the blameworthy - the union leaders and
politicians who made the ridiculous and unsustainable deals - won't be
there to pay for their incompetence.

Levin's Perspective

MARK LEVIN: We conservatives, we do not accept bipartisanship in the pursuit of tyranny. Period. We will not negotiate the terms of our economic and political servitude. Period. We will not abandon our child to a dark and bleak future. We will not accept a fate that is alien to the legacy we inherited from every single future generation in this country. We will not accept social engineering by politicians and bureaucrats who treat us like lab rats, rather than self-sufficient human beings. There are those in this country who choose tyranny over liberty. They do not speak for us, 57 million of us who voted against this yesterday, and they do not get to dictate to us under our Constitution.

We are the alternative. We will resist. We're not going to surrender to this. We will not be passive, we will not be compliant in our demise. We're not good losers, you better believe we're sore losers! A good loser is a loser forever. Now I hear we're called 'purists.' Conservatives are called purists. The very people who keep nominating moderates, now call us purists the way the left calls us purists. Yeah, things like liberty, and property rights, individual sovereignty, and the Constitution, and capitalism.

Posted At CrossFit

In reference to these articles:

"Hurricanes and Human Choice" by Roger Pielke, The Wall Street Journal

"It's Global Warming, Stupid" by Paul M. Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek.

The bloomberg author is the typically clueless writer however - you can't buy everything you want. Do you want economic growth which might sustain the welfare state that so many folks feel is SO essential to civilization and "democracy"? Or, do you want to sacrifice economic growth and the welfare/entitlement state in order to reduce "carbon emissions", if you can? Keeping in mind that there's little prospect for "green" energy sources to exceed 4% of production in the near term, you can forget that option. And keeping in mind that efficiency increases consumption ( - you could sum up the bloomberg article as:
"I'm really scared."
"I have no actionable ideas."
"I don't think we need scientific proof that the sky is falling before we completely eliminate prosperity to stop it from falling"
"Even if my facts are dead wrong about the number and severity of storms, the Governor of New York agrees that this is really man made climate change."
And, "I'm so scientifically illiterate, people who aren't are really sticks in the mud for my climate change anxiety."

Frankly, the Bloomberg article doesn't seem as though it was intended to be taken seriously. It was nothing more than red meat to throw to the "sky is falling" crowd because they seem to like to fret about such things.

The best I can tell:
-AGW may or may not be true but most scientists studying the issue are no closer to knowing the answer than they were ten years ago
-Folks are so fragmented and compartmentalized in their thinking that they cannot integrate how one part of their Massive State Intervention plans will affect the others (economic growth v. entitlement state v. economic arrest to reduce carbon emissions
-The really obvious fact = that reducing econ activity to reduce emissions will hurt the poor most of all - is not something they discuss openly and is in direct contradiction to what the profess to be concerned with
-If they are still dreaming that politicians will do anything smart to influence carbon emissions, they are delusional
-If they think nations will cooperate on carbon emissions on any basis other than to give some nations an advantage over others, they are delusional
-The likelihood that a nincompoop President is going to influence other nations towards deliberately restricting economic growth when the world is already eye ball to eye ball with not enough growth is delusional

If somehow the government takes control of carbon emissions, we'll wish we could have our economy back and ten Sandys would seem like a bargain.

Al Gore and the Chicken Littles - the fairy tale is almost as amusing now as was the original.

Comment #10 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie 074" 200 48 yoa at November 7, 2012 7:51 PM

A Long Running Emperor Has No Clothes Event

"The fantasy that the democratic act of centralizing and concentrating decision-making authority and responsibility in the state ensures that decisions are made better and more wisely and more ‘scientifically’ and in ways likely to promote greater human flourishing is the most absurd and dangerous – yet widespread – fantasy that afflicts modern humanity.  It is a fantasy to which academics, along with Hollywood celebrities, cling with special and remarkably steadfast faith."

Well said sir.  I now wonder how I ever thought the buffoons we call "our elected leaders" were competent at anything beyond getting elected.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

That Hurricane Was A Good Start

Well, if there's an economic boon to destruction - wild fires, warfare, hurricanes - then, concludes the Café:

"Let's begin by rewriting building codes. From now on, all such codes should penalize builders who construct homes, offices, warehouses, and other buildings to last longer than, say, a year. Builders guilty of the crime of constructing buildings that withstand damages from the likes of spring rains and autumn breezes should be fined in order to ensure that all Americans have ready access to economic blessings of the sort delivered by the Waldo Canyon fire.

"Also, voters – always wise, for vox populi is indeed vox dei - should demand of their government that every road, bridge, tunnel, harbor, and other piece of infrastructure built from here on in be designed to crumble as soon as possible.

"The economy will benefit. Must be so, for that is what we are repeatedly told."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Have A Right To Your Life

Translation: FDR thought that we all have a right to stuff that is not
ours. When a word like "right" is contorted so, it has an entirely
different meaning, one that can only be interpreted and dictated by

Can I have a right to a doctor's time and care? Do I have a right to
transportation built by others? Do I have a right to fuel or
electricity which many thousands have toiled to create?

What drivel. It stuns me that anyone with an IQ above 50 can think this