Sunday, January 25, 2015

Channeling those Idiots (Wilson, George, Clemenceau, etc.) from the Treaty of Versailles

"Hey, I got it. Let's put 3.5 million ethnic Germans (i.e., those residing in the Sudetenland) under the strong-armed auspices of a bunch of Czechs, Slavs, and Hungarians, and in so doing create, OUT OF WHOLE CLOTH, a brand new country; Czechoslovakia! I mean, what in the hell could possibly go wrong?"

Some Thoughts on Income and Wealth Inequality

a) The biggest determinants of inequality are age (the largest demographic among the highest earners is 45 to 54), number of workers per family (the top quintile has four times as many workers per family - 2:.5 on average - than does the bottom quintile), and education/skills/human capital (people in the bottom quintile generally possessing little more than a high-school diploma and/or GED).............b) Government regulation disproportionately harms small businesses (according to the BBB, the cost of compliance per worker is 40% greater) and in many instances even bars entry into the market (certificates of necessity, they call it). Talk about a war on the middle class.............c) Sin taxes disproportionately harm people in the bottom quintile in that more people in that category smoke and the tax itself is regressive (thank you, Mrs Cuomo, Bloomberg, de Blasio, etc.).............d) One of the major reasons why the median income has flattened out is the high cost of healthcare. Businesses would like to raise wages but can't because the benefit packages have gotten so expensive.............e) If you look at the actual human beings that comprise these income groups, you would notice that the majority of those in the bottom quintile are out of it in less than a decade (the actual human beings in the bottom quintile in 1996 saw their incomes rise by 91% in nine years - and this is adjusted for inflation), and that the majority of those in the top 1% are out of that group in less than a decade (the actual human beings in the top 1% in 1996 saw their incomes DECREASE by 26% during that same time frame).............f) These income inequality numbers are almost always figured on a pre-taxed basis and they almost always never include the myriad of transfer payments which the poor have long been eligible for. Adjust the stats for this and the disparity shrinks considerably.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

On William Jones, the First President of the Second Bank of the United States

a) The dude was a political appointment. b) He had zero experience in banking. c) He had filed personal bankruptcy. And d) it is generally agreed upon by historians that his policies resulted in the Panic of 1819.......Yeah, I would say that the origins of central banking in this country (Washington ultimately siding with - over Jefferson - and capitulating to the statist, Hamilton) are a wee-bit shaky. Agreed?

On the Obama (a Fellow Who Until Recently Was Touting the Failed Spanish Green Energy Initiatives) Economy Essentially Being Buoyed by Advancements and Innovations in the Fossil-Fuel Industry

Am I the only person to see the irony here?

Friday, January 23, 2015

On Australian Screen Beauty, Lauren Orrell

Akin to Guatemalan cardamom; potent yet simultaneously irresistible.

On FDR Nominating Two Prominent Republicans (Henry Stimson, Frank Knox) to His Cabinet in the Weeks Just Prior to the 1940 Republican Convention

I'm not a huge FDR fan (that's putting it mildly) but if anybody out there can come up with a more brilliant political maneuver in American history, I would certainly love to hear it (it, along with his pivot to being relatively pro-business, probably earned him his victory over the charismatic Wendell Willkie).

A Cynic's View of the Law

Opinions with rifles.