Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thank you 1%!

While raking about 100 bags of leaves this autumn, I was given time to ponder the top 1% that the Occupiers despise. But this time, I was given less time to ponder thanks to my new six dollar yellow hand-held-rake-leaf-picker-uppers. Fellow rakers know that raking or blowing leaves is the easier part. The real drudgery is bagging them. Those oversized frisbees with claws and a handle probably saved me an hour of bagging.

There have probably been dozens of people with the same idea, but only one had the guts to pay for the patent process and seek out investors. (All the while thinking, “I can’t believe no one has thought of this before.”) I’d like to say thank you to the individual inventor, to the venture capitalists, and to the company who made that cheap hand held device. I hope they’re raking it in, the money that is, and I hope they make the top 1%. They capitalized on an idea that will save leaf rakers millions of hours over the years.  In fact after the inventor, the venture capitalists, and the factory owners have passed on, they will leave behind both their money and their idea. With capitalism, the benefit of the idea is socialized. Ironic isn’t it?

This process has been repeated millions of times since civilization gave up slavery and statism. This is why the average American enjoys luxuries that a wealthy medieval feudal lord couldn’t imagine. Ice cream, air conditioning, traveling 70 miles per hour, electricity, not dying during child-birth, 800 channels of news and entertainment instead of a court jester and town caller, are some facets of modern capitalist life that come to mind. Behind most modern advancements you can find a bunch of one-percenters, whose ideas we continue to benefit from long after their lives and wealth are gone.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Et tu, Republicans?

The Missouri State House Bill 609 passed the House by 157-0 on Thursday April 14th to establish the Show-Me Health Insurance Exchange. HB 609's stated goal is to comply with the requirements of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – AKA Obama care.  

1.  acquiesce, yield, conform, obey, consent, assent. 
 1.  refuse, resist.
Ayes 157  Noes 0

Ayes 157 Noes 0

Ayes 157 Noes 0
Not a single no? Not one dissenter willing to forgo the Federal Government’s bribe. Not one soul willing to stand up to the threat “if you don’t do it we will?”

Obama Care provides grants to states for them to create health insurance exchanges that must conform to future federal regulations. The law also threatens that the Feds will impose exchanges unilaterally if any state chooses not to comply by Jan. 1, 2014.

A mere few brave states have affirmed, to some degree, that they will refuse and resist. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) has joined with Gov. Sean Parnell (R-Alaska) and Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) in battling to resist implementation.  (Haley Barbour is missing his chance to lead. He should be calling every Republican Governor and imploring them not to take the money. Instead he has complied also.)

Micheal Canon of the National Review reports that “states can impose harsher regulations than Obamacare requires and can choose who sits on the exchange board. That’s it.”  Obama and Kathleen Sebelius have communicated that states can opt out of Obama Care by creating a single payer system. How magnanimous they are!

Patriots from other states have noted the similar sheepish tendencies of their own politicians. The best observation I found comes from Idaho.

 “It’s difficult to imagine that the federal government would hand the states cash to develop health insurance exchanges but have nothing to say about how those exchanges operate. Having been down that path many times, it’s surprising that some of our lawmakers are willing to believe… (them) and once again play the part of Charlie Brown to the federal government’s Lucy.” POSTED BY WAYNE HOFFMAN    Idaho Freedom Foundation

Sadly, State Rep. Chris Molendorp, the Republican author of HB609 has worked up the same intensity as Charlie Brown. He has even used the typical red-meat line about state’s rights. Molendorp says HB 609 "is about state's rights and the exercise of our sovereignty. It's important that Kathleen Sebelius doesn't write our exchange." (Source : Robert Joiner –Beacon) 

This extraordinary twist in logic has solidified my doubts about the “state’s rights” throw-away line.

States do not have rights, only people have rights. The states have roles that they should perform instead of the federal government. The Constitution gives different roles and the “check and balance” system to protect the rights of individuals - not the states damnit. A state is meant to be a blockade against federal encroachment - that’s a blockade not a highway. 

On Jamie Allman’s radio show I heard a local State Rep proclaim that he voted “with his district” by refusing to amend the puppy mill legislation. His district voted in favor of the regulation on the state-wide ballot. That is an astute decision for a politician. Has he, and every other State Rep. forgotten about Prop C, the Health Care Freedom Act? It passed by 71%. I can tell you that neither I, nor my wife, nor I doubt any of the other sun baked volunteers, were promoting Prop C solely because of the idiosyncrasies of the ballot language. We worked and we voted to refuse and resist Obama Care. 

For over a year now patriots have been crying out for liberty. We have told them what we want at rallies and at the ballot. Republicans have claimed they’re with us, saying all the appropriate things.

Please imagine Winston Churchill giving one of his famous speeches. “We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. … We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

“Oh and by the way, it will become mandatory for all school children to learn German. They will learn to speak German on our terms come hell or high-water.”

It wouldn’t make any sense, and neither does building the Obama Care infrastructure in Missouri. 

Update: HB609 has been reported to the Missouri Senate and referred to the Small Business, Insurance, and Industry Committee.

4/21/2011 - Executive Session Held (S) - SCS VOTED DO PASS

It has passed the Senate Committee Substititute.

The Bill can be brought to the Senate Floor at any moment by The Senate Leader - Including as early as tomorrow - Friday April 22nd.

Senator phone numbers

      Wednesday, April 6, 2011

      Unwinding The Debt Clock

      Unwinding the Debt Clock

      The steps, in no particular order:
      · Craft policies to alleviate the debt crisis and give politicians an easy way to claim they are tackling the debt by making the policy risk free. Lob them a softball.
      · Educate people, through the policy, as to what propelled the debt crisis. Proponents call it Progressivism, detractors call it Socialism, but whatever it is named it can be boiled down to simple neighbor robbing. “Neighbors” is defined broadly to mean your fellow Americans. Politicians are skilled at robbing neighbor Peter to pay neighbor Paul, but they’re even better at robbing Peter, Jr. Hence, the debt crisis.
      · Give people altruistic motivation. One of the most perplexing ironies is that the Neighbor-Robbing-State grew, in part, because of altruism - albeit a lazy altruism.

      For instance, we can apply these recommendations to Social Security. People want to know they will have Social Security for the duration of their retirement, besides they’ve paid in and they want a return. But there are many people who were thrifty enough. Allow them to give up collecting their Social Security for a year at a time. It could be like the check-box on you income taxes that asks if you want to pay more taxes. But unlike choosing to pay more taxes, the retirees will get to pick their beneficiaries directly, by getting to select two workers. The selected workers/neighbors do not have to pay Social Security for the same year. We may want to limit the number of years the same worker can be selected. That can be debated.
      This actually will help the debt crisis (the huge unfunded-liability part) because of the worker-per-beneficiary ratio. In the 1950’s there were 16 workers per beneficiary, today there are 3. Because the thrifty and altruistic retiree can only select two working neighbors, the third is freed up. His contribution is now another step toward financial solvency for The United States.
      At its worst, the proposal is a dud. But it causes little harm. At its best, it will open up people’s eyes as to why we have a debt crisis – the omnipresent Neighbor-Robbing-State.
      It could be applied to other government sectors. It would also empower some Americans with the capacity to help save the Country.
      Politicians will be faced with some tough decisions to avoid default of our debts and the calamity that will follow. Will enough politicians have the courage to make those decisions, or will they care more about their temporary political careers? We need more options.

      Sunday, March 20, 2011

      If The American Political Economy Was A Video Game

      If today’s American Political Economy was a video game, I imagine it would look like a giant circular firing squad. On the perimeter of the circle you would have hundreds of people, from every socio-economic background. Each player would be given a gun, we’ll call it the paint ball gun of politics. The goal of the contestants is to shoot as many people as you can, anywhere else on the perimeter. In true video game fashion, any time you hit a competitor with a paint ball, you gain points, and anytime you’re hit, you lose points.

      For instance, a player with several children in public school fires at the retired person across the way, who has to pay for the public school with property taxes that have risen with inflation so much that it probably matches the original house payment. The retired person shoots back with Social Security, after the money they put in is depleted. Which of course it was depleted, by their own elders before they even started to draw social security.

      The farmer who is subsidized, or paid not to plant (incredible isn’t it), shoots around the circle. Americans that rely heavily on the welfare state, fire back at the farmers and others.

      The rich are favorite targets in the circle, if you look at the proportion of taxes they pay, it’s easy to see they draw the most fire. Nevertheless, many of them have bullets of their own. If they’ve bought a good lobbyist, and in turn convinced politician that their industry was an “investment,” then they too can get plenty of ammunition with subsidies. If a shooter works for Goldman Sachs, which foolishly bought oodles of bad loans that the government pushed banks to issue, that shooter has a bazooka that launches a nuclear grade paint ball.

      A unionized State employee, quite often, depending on the state, doesn’t have to contribute towards their own pension. Sometimes, they might fund a small portion of the pension. They get to shoot at union and non-union workers in the private sector, who will have to pay for their own retirement and the retirement of the public employee.

      The middle class doesn’t get many bullets and draws heavy fire. The solution politicians have for this problem is to give them more bullets; Cash-For-Clunkers, a government give away of $10,000 to help them buy a house, and while those gimmicks are gone, now we have Obamacare, which will not leave so easily.

      Children sit in the middle of the circle. They absorb the stray fire, the paint-balls filled with red ink. I don’t know the portion, but I bet they receive a third of the bullets. They don’t get a gun because they cannot vote. A curious thing happen when they are hit. A player that hits a kid gains points, and the defenseless child loses twice as many points. This happens because when they pay for what politicians give us today through deficit spending, the children will have to pay for it later - with interest.