Saturday, November 30, 2013
Argentina was at one point one of the wealthiest countries on the planet (late 19th and early 20th Centuries). It had a per capita GDP higher than Austria and Italy, four times as high as Japan, and nearly as high as the United States. So, what in the hell happened to it? Uh, try socialism and protectionism......................................................................................Yeah, that right, folks, starting in the '40s and continuing throughout the rest of the 20th Century, the Argentine government (initially under the auspices of Nazi sympathizer and protector of Nazi war-criminals strong-armed thug, Juan Peron) proceeded to a) close off the Argentinian economy to international commerce, b) nationalize numerous public services, c) engage in a hyperinflationary monetary policy (the printing of money to pay off its monstrous public debt eventually resulting in a 3,000% inflation rate) and d) establish state control (either directly or through massive government regulations) of most economic activities...........................................................................................Not surprisingly, the results of this madness were dozens of other countries proceeding to leap-frog Argentina (Japan in 1960, South Korea in 1980) and the country continuing to be an economic basket-case today. One can only hope here that the leaders of this once prosperous country will eventually see the errors of their ways and not have to fritter away another 70-80 years (maybe look to Singapore, Estonia, countries like that).
Yes, Israel does get foreign aid. But does anybody really think that Israel is affluent because of this foreign aid, and that doesn't have much more to do with the fact that Israel also has a) private property, b) a fair and impartial judiciary, c) enforceable contracts, d) a stable currency, e) a relative ease in starting up new businesses, f) a free press, g) a limited amount of corruption, h) a sane level of regulation, i) a sensible trade policy and j) democracy? I mean, I know that foreign aid to Israel is a contentious issue and all (and I'm certainly willing to revisit it - as is Daniel Pipes, believe it or not) but to draw any sort of causal connection here is a little bit, off in my opinion.
Friday, November 29, 2013
On the Clamoring for Nebraska Coach, Bo Pellini, To be Fired After Going 57-24 During His First Six Seasons
Thursday, November 28, 2013
According to a 2008 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, approximately 80% of business borrowing at the time of the financial crisis was taking place OUTSIDE THE BANKING SYSTEM, and that even within the banking system the actual amount of lending had remained exceedingly high all throughout the crisis. This whole narrative by the likes of Paulsen, Geithner, and Bernanke that the economic and banking systems were literally on the verge of some sort of catastrophic collapse was and continues to be absolute bullshit.
"The crossroads of trade are the meeting places of ideas, the attrition ground of rival customs and beliefs, diversities beget conflict, comparison, thought, superstitions cancel one another and reason begins."
There were these two women who I used to work with from another nursing home and the contrast between the two is interesting. First off, their situations were actually identical in that they were both high-school educated, divorced with two children, and worked as CNAs. But, while the older of them worked 44 hours a week (four hours of OT) every week in an effort to not have to be reliant on assistance, the other woman worked 32 hours a week every week in an effort to MAXIMIZE HER entitlements....Gee, guess which one of these two individuals who I more admired and whose work ethic the country was founded upon.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The reason that immigration doesn't push down wages is essentially two-fold (not to mention exceedingly elementary). a) Immigrants don't just alter the supply side of the curve. They also alter the demand side of the curve in that they obviously require a great many goods and services (it's like, what, the racists on the hard right and the hard left think that these people grow all their own food, sew all their own clothes, refine all their own gasoline, don't pay rent, etc.?). And b) the jobs that these immigrants tend to fill are different from the ones that native born workers tend to fill (immigrants tending to fill either unskilled manual labor or highly skilled STEM positions), a reality that seemingly makes them much more complimentary than competitive. I mean, I know that this is a little bit more nuanced that the typical Keynesian sledgehammer approach of only looking at aggregates and all but sometimes you really do have to disaggregate in order to get to the reality of the matter - http://economics.ucdavis.edu/people/gperi/site/papers/rethinking-the-effect-of-immigration-on-wages.............And there is ZERO evidence, none whatsoever, that immigration causes unemployment. In fact, this is the one area in which pretty much every researcher agrees upon (the total increase to the American economy due to immigration has recently been estimated as somewhere between 40 and 200 billion dollars per annum).
Monday, November 25, 2013
"Commerce is real. That's what you're about here (in the U.S.). It's real. Aid is just a stopgap. Commerce and entrepreneurial capitalism brings more people out of poverty than aid. Of course we know that.......In dealing with poverty here and around the world, welfare and foreign aid are a Band-Aid. Free enterprise is a cure." Bono at Georgetown University, 2012
On the Obama Administration's Decision to Delay the 2015 Individual Mandate Until After the 2014 Mid-Term Elections
Yeah, I would say that that was pretty nakedly political (going from 2 weeks before the election to 2 weeks after the election) and something that only a hard-core partisan dullard would even attempt to champion.
And it isn't as if Borjas is the only or definitive researcher on the subject. Ottaviano and Peri from UC-Davis came out with an even more expansive analysis on the subject and they concluded that a) immigration actually has a positive long-term effect on overall wages and b) even the long-term effect on high school dropouts is significantly less than the 4.8% that Borjas came up with (the fact that even amongst these low-skilled populations there exists a difference in the type of jobs that the two demographics gravitate to; native born workers going more for jobs that require language while immigrants tending to go more for physical labor)....Immigration, folks, it's what made the United States not just great but uniquely great and in my opinion we gotta get back to it (protestations from the hard-right and hard-left, notwithstanding).
One of the main justifications that people use in their effort to oppose immigration is that it pushes wages down. The only problem here is that it largely isn't true. I cite specifically the research of Harvard economist (and staunch immigration OPPONENT), George Borjas. According to Professor Borjas, the long term effect of immigration on wages overall is ZERO, and even the long-term effect on low-skilled individuals/high school dropouts is only about 4.8%. The "solution" here seems to me to be one of better training the American work-force and NOT trying to keep hard-working and law abiding Latin-Americans out of the damned country (http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2007/03/borjas_wages_an.html).
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Saturday, November 23, 2013
No, it wasn't pretty but the Dukies are 9-2 now and next week's game in Chapel Hill against North Carolina will be the biggest in program history since the 1961 Cotton Bowl (in which they played and defeated a Lance Alworth led Arkansas team, 7-6). What an absolutely phenomenal job by David Cutcliffe.
I'll take "Sex-Starved Individuals Wholly Trapped in the Present" for a Thousand, Alex.............................................................................P.S. Yes, the woman is obviously smoking, but the sexiest of all time? Really? Sexier than Cyd Charisse? Sexier than Hedy Lamarr? Sexier than Fay Dunaway? Sexier than Gene Tierney? Sexier than Marlene Dietrich? Sexier than Ava Gardner? Sexier than Susan Hayward? Sexier than Lana Turner? Sexier than Bridget Bardot? Sexier than Rita Hayworth? Sexier than Jane Fonda? Sexier than Greta Garbo? Sexier than Vivien Leigh? Sexier than Olivia de Havilland? Sexier than Natalie Wood? Sexier than Dorothy Malone? Sexier than Lauren Bacall? Sexier than Eva Marie Saint? Sexier than Lena Horne? Sexier than Grace Kelly? Sexier than Barbara Stanwyck? Sexier than Diahann Carroll? Sexier than Elizabeth Taylor? Sexier than Donna Reed? Sexier than Tina Turner? Sexier than Virginia Mayo? Sexier than Jennifer Jones? Sexier than Ann Margret? Sexier than Vanessa Redgrave? Sexier than Raquel Welch? Sexier than Sophia Loren? Sexier than Vanessa Redgrave? Sexier than Deborah Kerr? Sexier than Gina Lollobrigida? Sexier than Claudia Cardinale? Sexier than Claudette Colbert? Sexier than Dorothy Dandridge? Sexier than Kim Novak? Sexier than Ann Sheridan? Sexier than Marilyn Monroe? Sexier than Carol Lombard? Sexier than Jane Russell?...Once again, Really?
Friday, November 22, 2013
"The only thing that he got right was the date."
Thursday, November 21, 2013
On Hamas, The Karzai Regime in Afghanistan, Hezbollah, The Taliban, The Iranian Mullahs, The Saudi Royal Family, Al Qaeda, The Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, The Musilm Brotherhood, Etc.
I'll take "Genocidal, Racist, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Hindu, Anti-Christian, Anti-Buddhist, Misogynistic, Troglodytic, Gay-Murdering, Delusional, Anti-Modern, Anti-Free-Speech, And Thoroughly Moronic Barbarians" for a thousand, Alex.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
True but deceptive. Yes, people are dishing out less than they had been prior to the financial crisis but that can at least be partly due to a) the lousy economy and b) the fact that co-pays have gone up so precipitously that people have probably been much more hesitant than they used to be in going to the doctor. I mean, I know that the Obama administration really wants to take the credit for it and all but at least in terms of logic there are certainly far more credible explanations.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I find it every bit as offensive as the KKK cross and the Nazi swastika and I wouldn't cry one iota if it was banned period....Of course, what's even more offensive is the Islamic rationale behind it; the fact that these Muslim "scholars" continue to think that men are incapable of controlling their sexual urges and that if a woman doesn't wear a burqa (never mind concealing every other bit of herself) she is literally asking to be raped. I am sorry but this is an abominable level of medieval idiocy and it thoroughly needs to be both condemned and ridiculed starting now.
You're either insane, stupid, or you have a death wish. I mean, come on, man! Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Afghanistan, Nigeria, virtually all of these Islamic countries would literally murder you, simply for being who you are. Yes, we have to be sensitive to other cultures and reach out whenever it's possible but in this particular instance, political correctness is lethal and isn't it about time that you showed some stones (ironic, in that that's what you'd get over there) regarding it?
Monday, November 18, 2013
That same Pew survey also uncovered an interesting (interesting as in scary) fact regarding Muslim support for Sharia Law. According to the survey, 99% of Afghans, 91% of Iraqis, 89% of Palestinians, 86% of Nigeriens, 84% of Pakistanis, and 83% of Moroccans said that they fully supported Sharia Law being the supreme law of the land in their respective countries. And, no, this doesn't even include Islamic countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Sudan which have already essentially established the sucker to the tune of just being a homosexual and you're dead-meat there. Those are separate.
According to a Pew Research survey from earlier this year, 40% of Palestinians, 39% of Afghans, 29% of Egyptians, 26% of Bangladeshis, and even 15% of Turks and Jordanians (inhabitants of arguably the 2 most sane Islamic countries) all agree that suicide bombing is a legitimate form of social unrest. How anybody out there could even attempt to assert that this is somehow an insignificant demographic is utterly bizarre, in my opinion.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
While both of these religions are thoroughly bat-shit crazy and in a myriad of ways, it is only Mormonism (the one, ironically, that hasn't been going on a full-bore killing-spree of late) that the progressive community seemingly wants to ridicule, denigrate, and criticize these days. It really kinda makes me wonder here. I mean, could it simply be the fact that Mormons tend to be white Americans while Muslims tend to be darker skinned Arabs, Africans, Persians, Pashtuns, Javanese, etc., and that this is just another example of the softer bigotry of diminished expectations? Me, I'm kinda thinking, yes sir.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
a) As it stands now, people who are unable to pay off their student loans cannot file bankruptcy. Perhaps we need to change that. I mean, think about it here. Would not a potential lender be far more careful if he knew that the government wouldn't bail the borrower out, and wouldn't the borrower himself be far more careful in what he took the loan out for (as in maybe choosing a more prudent major)? Just a thought.............b) The way that student loans work now, there are no credit checks, no underwriting, and no collateral. I ask you, is that any way to run a damned business?............c) According to economist, Alex Tabarrok, more than 1/2 of all the graduates in the Humanities eventually end with jobs that don't even require a college degree. Don't you think that maybe we ought to start thinking about facts such as this (waitresses with tens of thousands of dollars in student-loan debt, for example) going forward and not continuously subsidize them?............d) Debt forgiveness for student loans is a total misnomer. Not a damn thing gets forgiven in that it's the taxpayer who ends up fitting the bill AS USUAL. And why pray tell would we even consider bailing out college graduates anyway? These are people who already have a leg up in many ways to start and what about all of the future college debt? Are we going to bail out the next generation of college graduates, too? This is insanity.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTLcM4iZSTo - Again, the biggest challenge currently facing the country and the American workforce is a lack of skills; a) skills specific to particular fields (the skilled trades, healthcare, IT, etc.) and b) general skills; reading, writing, basic computation, etc. (high schools are presently churning out hundreds of thousands of kids every year that cannot accomplish these basic things) and until this skills deficit is corrected, there will continue to be major problems ahead for us in an increasingly changing and competitive global economy. Period, as the President likes to say.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
I want you to look at this one more time, folks. You see it, in the second column? If your family (two workers, no kids) income is $62,040, your premiums under Obamacare would be $5,894 and if it's $62,041, your premiums go all the way up to $16,382....I mean, is that a monstrous disincentive to work/insane or what; one extra dollar in wages and your premiums go up $10,488? If you're asking me, the individuals who put this sucker together had a preexisting condition of their own; brain-dead.
According to EzineArticles.com, the average age of America's 500,000 welders is 55. To say that this represents a golden opportunity for currently unskilled young folks to get some skills and make some serious money (6 figures, according to some) is a monstrous understatement. What do you say that we put our political differences aside for a millisecond and take a whack at this one to start?
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
What would be my answer to the question, "So, how much longer do you think that the Germans are going to be willing to bend over and take it up the poop-shoot by European slacker counties like Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal?
a) According to CBS News, a September 3rd government memo addressing the Obamacare web-site security situation claimed that "the threat and risk potential (to the system) is limitless." This is what the memo said and they decided to go ahead with the roll-out anyway. Try and blame this one on Reagan....or Bush, I dare ya'.............b) The early enrollment figures for Obamacare are in and they're hugely disappointing; 106,000 (their target for the first month was 500,000). But that's not the only thing. It appears that amongst these numbers are people who have simply put an "item' in their shopping cart and not paid a penny as of yet and, yes, if you were to remove these folks from the data the stats would be even more pitiful.............c) It would also be interesting to see how many of the new enrollees are young and healthy as opposed to old and sick, 'cause if it's in any way seriously weighted toward the latter we are fucked yet again.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I feel sorry for them, but I kinda don't. I mean, think about it here. What kind of a moron in his early 60s would still have the lion's share of his investment portfolio in high-risk long-term securities and then try and blame somebody else for his own imprudence? It makes no sense. Any idiot knows that once you hit 50-55, you at that point start to put more and more of your money into safer instruments such as bond funds, annuities, CDs, etc. and that once you hit 60-65, pretty much all of it should be out of the market. These people were just frigging greedy and stupid, in my opinion.
Monday, November 11, 2013
"Demands that you believe the impossible do not lead to peaceful outcomes. Nor do they lead to peaceful or tolerant regimes.......It (peace) will not come by the fanatical adoption of a man-made text and a man-made supreme leader. Nothing but war and tyranny has ever come from the adoption of a formula such as these.......The President and the head of the joint chiefs were so pulverized with fear that they had to address personally in pleading tones a Christian nut-bag in Florida who might have been or who might not have been about to commit a minor act of blasphemy. Is this the culture that Islam wants us to have in relation to it? One of, if you like, preemptive submission, preemptive cowering, backed by the fear of force?"
Sunday, November 10, 2013
1) Back in 2011, 15 IRS agents seized the private medical records of some 10 million American citizens. The Obama justice department did not press charges but a class-action lawsuit has recently been initiated in San Diego.............2) The number of Obamacare waivers now tallies 1,471, the largest chunk of which represent cronyism and rank political payback.............3) In response to the Obamacare medical device tax, manufacturers such as Stryker, Welch Allyn, and Zimmer have decided to engage in a series of preemptive layoffs and now even supporters of the bill such as Senators Franken, Warren, Murray, and Schumer are calling for a repeal of the tax.............4) Obamacare subsidies are significantly more generous to couples who cohabitate than they are to married folks and it is feared that a lot of couples will ultimately divorce and live together rather than stay married.............5) "Starting on Tuesday, every American can visit HealthCare.gov to find out what's called the insurance marketplace for your state. If you've ever tried to buy insurance on your own, I promise you this is a lot easier." President Barack Obama 09/26/2013, 5 days prior to the roll-out.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
This is just getting more disturbing by the day.
Yeah, I would say that they're probably pretty ape-shit by now.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
There is footage of President Obama in 2010 specifying that an individual could keep their policy if they liked it EVEN IF IT WAS A HIGH DEDUCTIBLE CATASTROPHIC PLAN (he sanctimoniously and condescendingly referred to it as an "Acme plan"). I mean, does this fellow simply not know that videotape exists?
a) The analysis tends to focus on static categories and not on flesh and blood human beings who consistently move amongst these categories. b) The statistics do not include transfer payments which in a great many instances represent the vast proportion of a family's purchasing power. c) The statistics tend to examine only pre-tax income and because of that the purchasing power of the top 1% is significantly exaggerated. d) The statistics do not take into account the fact that families in the upper qunitile have significantly more workers (4Xs as many in fact) per family and that this is a major reason for the disparity. e) The statistics fail to underscore the fact that workers in the highest quintile are older (the highest age demographic in terms of income is 45-54) and much more highly educated.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Well he's certainly got my vote.
Monday, November 4, 2013
I'll take, "Two Really Brilliant Guys Who Thoroughly Know Their Field but Only One of Which Has the Good Sense and Decency to Refrain From Spouting Off On Other Subjects that He Basically Knows Jack-Shit About", for a thousand, Alex.
"Those in the U.S. who think that the Soviet Union is on the verge of economic and social collapse are only kidding themselves." Arthur Schlesinger............."It (the Soviet Union) is also on the verge of economic difficulty." Ronald Reagan.............And the real idiot here is who again?
Sunday, November 3, 2013
In and of itself it's a meaningless question. You would also have to known, in my opinion, a) the overall size of the economy, b) the growth rate, c) the opportunity structure, d) the regulatory climate, e) the amount of crony capitalism involved, f) the power of the country's central bank g) the legality of the earnings (we certainly don't want a country that's loaded with Bernie Madoffs), and h) what the people do with the money (do they waste it on politics or are they philanthropic?). I mean, I know that the left de facto wants me to say that billionaires are evil and all but I would simply point out that Cuba, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and Indonesia don't have any billionaires and do we really want to emulate them?............................................................................P.S. That, and I would also ask them to look at how the likes of Annenberg (50 million alone to the United Negro College Fund), Melon (The National frigging Gallery of Art, for God's sake), Carnegie, and the two Rockefellers spent THEIR money and compare it to how the government for the past 80 years (starting with Hoover and right on up to Bush and Obama) or so has been spending OUR money and then decide.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
When you only have so many quivers at your disposal.......
I'm with her to a point. But when you get into the third trimester and the baby is viable and the woman just decides that she doesn't want to be pregnant anymore and so concocts some ludicrous ailment to justify killing the baby, yeah I'm kind of not with her at that point.
Constantly telling people that the larger society is unjust, that other people are responsible for their dire situation, that they don't have what other folks possess (and that they should resent them for it), that it is always somebody else's fault, and that the only way in which they can succeed is through political agitation, is a recipe for disaster. It leads to lowered expectations, learned helplessness, and a political situation in which all of the incentives are pathetic/perverse. Somehow, someway, we have to convince young disadvantaged black people that they, too, can be pilots and teachers, welders and nurses, computer programmers and realtors, and that the only legitimate way to get ahead in life is to equip yourself with skills that other folks are willing to pay for (a la what the Jews did in Eastern Europe, what the Chinese did in Malaysia, what the West Indian blacks did in America, etc.). Here's to hoping that the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of the world eventually see the light on this, or at the very least step aside for those folks who do.
The problem with progressives and taxes is that they're seemingly never satisfied. I mean, we just got done raising taxes to the level that they've been clamoring for FOR YEARS (and to which I agreed to more than two years ago) and now, before the ink even becomes dry on it, you have folks like Jerry (who's views I generally respect but not on this) not only asking for another 4.6 percentage points but another 10!.................................................................................Look, I am totally in favor of tax reform (a lowering of rates for all and an elimination - or as close to an elimination as we can get - of deductions) and if that mean that the rich end up paying a little bit more, fine, so be it. But this whole "let's keep going to the well until the well becomes dry" approach is really starting to get ridiculous, in my opinion...................................................................................P.S. And it also should be pointed out that a 50% top tax rate today would be significantly more draconian than the one of 30 years ago in that there were far more loopholes and deduction back then (though, no, you couldn't deduct your golf-cart).