Average Bob

average bob

I am an average guy, with average intelligence, with average looks trying to get my weight to a healthy average, but fortunately I am passing due to the bell curve of overweight people in the US. Yah Me!!!  I was brought up democrat and never knew why.  I just know my parents loved John F. Kennedy and cried when he died.   I voted the democratic line and thought I figured out who the Anti-Christ was by figuring out the meaning of 666.  I deduced that it must be Ronald Wilson Reagan.  While I was never competent at advanced Math, I certainly know how to count letters up to six and Ronald had six, Wilson had six and Reagan had six.  I know, in retrospect, that was quite stupid, but at 18 I was now allowed to drink and allowed to vote.  Was this wise for a society to give me equal voting rights as a thoughtful, intelligent, measured citizen.  Probably not, but stupid probably equals out on both sides of the political divide.

 

Once I realized how politically stupid I was, then that began my path to wisdom.  So now, I take very little at face value, because I am always looking at who benefits and who does not and why.  Somewhere along the way, after 25 years of going to church, I found myself much more conservative and cannot point to any snapshot in my life that I crossed over.  I guess it was just logic incrementalism.  That does not mean that some liberals are not geniuses and logical, I just tend to believe in the concept of a confirmation bias.  Regardless of how smart we are, we want to be around people who affirm our pre-existing beliefs.  We are quite committed to our beliefs and never want to be told we are wrong.  Realizing that I was wrong and that I was frequently wrong, again sent me down the path towards Wisdom.   An example of a wrong path is me taking on complicated home improvement projects.  An example of wisdom was calling an incredible home remodeling company to do they work for me.

 

I want to take my average intelligence and use the great intelligence equalizer called the internet and see if I can by- pass the media spin machines and see if I cannot find the truth myself.  This is not a spiritual journey, in that I am locked in that truth.  I am just trying to understand what that means to me as I practically interact with my world, both workplace, marketplace, my favorite places.    I will not be able to solve the problems facing the United States, but I can get a better framework of what is true and what I might want to advocate for, instead of being ignorant and dismissive of uncertain facts that may happen in the future.

 

Please join me on this journey.  Hopefully it will be educational and provide perspective that was not there before.  See you on my future posts.

What did Donald Do?

Well what looked like genius just a couple of days ago, seemed to back fire.  Donald Trump decided to skip the last debate before the Iowa Caucus.  Instead he had a competing event for veterans in which he raised six million dollars.

A couple of things happened that may be unintended consequences.  First the IQ during the debate went up significantly.  A much more substantive discussion on policies.  It looked like Ted Cruz was the target in Trumps absence.  That is why the strategy seems so impressive with Trump trying to show the world that he was the ratings king and that the debate would not get many people to watch with him not being there.  The debate numbers were just fine.

So other than the IQ going up during the debate without childish taunts.  Many veterans told Trump to not hide behind them.  Iowa is know for people meeting the candidates and holding their decision until that actual Caucus.  It is a model in persuasion.  With Trump skipping them, he came to realize that you can break conventional wisdom, but not every time.  Trump has defied gravity, but the air is getting thicker now.

With the evangelical based inspired they rallied behind the Cruz momentum.  The debate looked as though Cruz was wounded, but his supporters came out in droves.  What does Trump do after for months and years we hear what winner he is. All he does is win, right? Not on Monday.  Monday was all about Ted Cruz. The day after Cruz sounded like a man inspired as a gave a raucous speech to the faithful.

In retrospect, Donald Trump looked like he was taking the high road by saying if by helping veterans it means me coming in second, then I will do that every time.  On the face that is such a lie.  To come in second every time means he loses every state.  Just write a check to the veteran that is in access of the measly one million dollars that you wrote through your own charity. No one has a clue how that charity is run or whether it actually helps veterans or not. So while he is trying to sound magnanimous, he then starts to whine about tactics Cruz’s camp may have used just prior to the Iowa Caucus.  He also threatened to sue.  This is a Bully and a whiner all at the same time.  is the attitude of a winner or a loser.  Perhaps it is a guy not used to losing and his little tantrum was out of character.  That cannot be the case in that all we have heard in every news cycle are his little tantrums.  Since then the polls for Cruz in New Hampshire are now on the decline.

Is it that we may have been a little bored at the debate, but at least we got to hear intelligent arguments regarding policy.  Clearly Donald Trump does not surround himself with people that can educate him on this and what he learns seems to be the same as we learn by watching cable news.  The nice part is that you do not get typically party spin from Trump, but childish attacks get boring after a while, even for the more sophomoric among us.

I am sure there is no symbolism in this, but Trumps airplane had to make an emergency stop because of engines problems.  it just seems as though gravity is starting to push Trump back down to the ground.

 

Sarah Stumps

Watching Sarah Palin stumping for Donald Trump confused me a bit.  is Sarah just impressed by mavericks?  That is the only link that I can make with her and Donald Trump.  Sarah has been a Tea Party favorite and wants the big hands of the government out of our personal lives. I thought Sarah believed in limited government, lower taxes and moral character.  Is Sarah supporting hutspa as the primary motivator.

After the McCain/ Palin ticket failed due to the top of the ticket at least from my perspective.  It was the maverick that was trying to dial Sarah Palin back.  The reason was that Sarah did not represent the values that he believed in.  McCain was a soldier in the establishment despite the narrative that he was perpetuating.  Sarah was a simple talking hockey Mom that told it like it was.

So why Donald Trump and not Ted Cruz?  That has me stumped.  The only thing I could come up with was that she had to believe Trump could defy the odds and doing something meaningful more so than Ted Cruz.  I do not think it was based on ideology, but rather just the ability to beat the odds and turn conventional wisdom upside down.

I have heard others say that Sarah Palin identifies with the poison that has come at her and her family from the left side of the political aisle and their accomplices in the liberal media.  Maybe she sees the vile assassination aimed at Donald Trump and she empathizes at level that is hard for others to completely understand.  The only problem right now is that Sarah has not evolved politically and maybe that is still her appeal to the right.  That it is not about politics, but rather real life and truth.  Sarah Palin has never been afraid to go at Obama, but it would be helpful if she rounded off her arguments better.

When she brought up her son’s issue with domestic abuse after coming back from serving in the military and blaming it on Obama and how he deals with our vets.  that is categorically unfair.  If she slightly tempered the statement and made it about the struggles of our military in dealing with PTSD and how important it is to provide services for our service men coming back.  That is about the compassion and love of our country to love these men and women as they come back home.  You can say that this administration has a bad track record of helping vets, but do not blame the President for your son’s unfortunate circumstance.  In my opinion, being real about the struggles your son is having orienting back to a non-war environment would have given her so much more emotional capital.  To that end, Sarah has been tagged a conservative entertainer.

I guess that is the saddest part for me, when campaigning for someone to support your personal and professional brand versus stumping on principle.  Sarah has every right to support whoever she likes, but I think she could have been more effective if she was more reflective and real rather than playing the role of a conservative icon.  I recognize that Sarah Palin has been lampooned at a level that is more than sinister, but in fairness she is cashing in on the brand of victim.

 

 

What Would Donald Do?

I am not expecting to see a lot of green wrist bands reminding us of what Donald would do if indeed he moves through the primary as the republican nominee and beats out likely Hillary Clinton as the democratic Presidential nominee.  I have little doubt what Donald will do to win the Presidency and the answer is quite simple. He will do anything that he needs to do to win.

Hillary has already shown that crony capitalism is alive and well with the Clinton Foundation.  She proven to be the most ruthless female politician that I have seen in my life time.  I am sure both will be much richer when they leave the Presidency than when they enter.  In that way, neither is doing as an act of service, but rather a wielding of Power. Once either one has it, watch out.

 

Obama has already started the slippery slope with Executive Orders designed to consolidate powers in the Presidency and wrestle power away from congress which should not hold up in courts unless Clinton era activist judges see an opportunity to make law in the Judiciary and Obama makes law in the Executive Branch.  We know that democrats would give away more things to Iran, Korea and ISIS, then picking up the phone and calling republicans for anything.   Most of the country recognizes Obama has not having any endgame that makes sense. He is a great reader off of the tele-prompter, but really weak on decisiveness and leadership or even strategy for that matter.  Obama merely tries to wait for the next crisis that he can use to push through his agenda or not.  The Press is complicit in failing to keep him accountable.

 

Again back to the question, “what would trump do?”.  Donald trump has made it clear we are not going to allow ISIS to come over with refugees. If we stop the refugees from coming over to prevent ISIS from sneaking in, then so be it.  In the war on ISIS, he will target their cash source, which is the oil.  Trump will build up the military to deal with global threats. He will not fall in line with the Climate Change Alarmist lies. He will have a progressive tax where the rich pay more.  That has great appeal from the masses. Anytime you ask people that are not you to pay more, it tends to get good support.  Looks like it will be a stop on anchor babies and the dreamers.  It also looks like people have to go.  The question is you start with the really bad gangs responsible for most of the homicides in Chicago, Baltimore, New York, you name it.  maybe Trump does move 11 million out, but if he systematically removes the worst, then things will get better and better quick.  The left has proven the do not know how to unite a country.  When trump rules, I hope address option to ACA and other programs that people are counting on. I hope he puts a stake in the pet programs liberals are trotting out as though we do not have a 20 trillion dollar deficit.

If trump has skilled people around him, then he could be a great President.  If not, then this could be 4 years of enduring a crazy king.  Trump is a wild card and he could make America Great again or he can make it great again in a Jerry Springer kind of way.

What now?

I have always contemplated the End of Days. What system ushers in the End of Days and can it be delayed.  My thinking is probably not, so I wonder what system is the greater delivery system of evil.  Does it come as angel of light and say we want to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, cloth the poor without ever being compassionate enough to have the poor class participate in the economy as opposed to just consuming.  It looks like evil in its stealthiest disguise.

What about what we have unpacked about Capitalism.  Does the globalization create a global race to the bottom for salaries of laborers, while enriching the few?  Can those super rich that run the multi-national companies being beyond the reach of the countries that they are citizens of, but peddle influence in all elections at all levels of power.  Are the Super Rich owners of major Banks and the FED.  If so, what danger to the possess going forward.

The Green Economy mandated under a new World Bank that consolidates all power to even fewer hands.  It seems like every system can be infiltrated by evil and that only a few people need to be paid off to cascade their influence to the relatively uninformed.  So I will seek the truth with the understanding that our White House is stained by the exploits of both parties and the coming collapse could be derived from any of the above or all of the above.

So if we want to institutionalize something, then lets do it by encouraging love for e one another and hope that is and was and is yet to come.

Socialism

In doing research on Socialism, I went to the website SocialistEqualityParty.com and found the following statements.

Socialism means genuine social equality, on a world scale.  It means satisfying the basic rights of the working class.  The right to:

  • A job
  • An Education
  • Healthcare
  • A Secure Retirement
  • A Decent Standard of living
  • A World Without War

Final Goal of Socialism

  • The abolition of economic exploitation
  • The abolition of all forms of inequality
  • The oppression of one human group on to the other
  • The Removal of all restraints on individual creativity and the flowering of the human culture
  • The abolition of the police state
  • The abolition of student debt
  • The withdrawal of all troops abroad
  • End of the Ruling Class to restructure the world in its own interest

The language of revolution was interesting and it made me wonder who controls the new world order of socialism?  Who represents the workers voice?  Is it the unions? We have had tremendous corruption in unions. We have had a tremendous history of thuggery in the unions. We have had a substantial history of driving up wages so much as to not make sense at all. Ted Stossell did a piece on the MTA and he noticed that the wages and rights given to MTA drivers were drastically out of balance with any competitive forces.  It was also a shocking salary in light of how little training or skill is necessary to perform those duties.  To make over $75,000 to drive a bus was peculiar.  In addition, the ability to claim emotional duress say if a ruckus happened on the bus.  A driver actually refused to go to work for months and still make their full salary. When the union was confronted, they made no apology and asserted that the ONLY thing that mattered was getting as much as they could for the worker.  The viability of the organization had absolutely NO factor in the salary negotiation.  Unions seem to have no interest in a win-win scenario. Can we trust Socialist to understand the concept of a balanced score card.  Their only language is we want more.  It is nice to have a list of things everyone should have and just say take it from the rich, but this model is extremely flawed.  I do not defend the Aristocracy or the threat of Fascism that comes from a real ruling elite.  My suggestion is that Socialism is a horrible alternative.

Case in point.  If the only thing that matters in a negotiation is the workers, then we have lost all perspective.  We have a right to be safe and secure, but Socialist are not claiming that as a right.  To be safe and secure means have a military protecting the homeland and projecting that power to thwart those that would harm us.  Socialist will claim ISIS is blowback for American Policy.  If we withdraw all troop, will ISIS stop killing Shiates, Christians, Kurds…? We are facing a Caliphate that threatens our Country and the World.  How are Socialist addressing this?

I assume that eliminating student debt makes the teaching union happy.  Why do we have so many college professors teaching so little?  Too many are being given grants to substantiate Climate Change is real and they know their grants would be pulled if they ever uttered anything other than Climate Change is caused by humans.  That allows Socialist to create another means of financial revolution utilizing a Green Currency with Cap and Trade Exchanges.  In that I abhor the concept of a ruling elite, I equally abhor a new kind of Working Class Ruling elite by way of unions which would totally screw up any economy.

If this model is rolled out worldwide as stated in the first sentence of this blog, then our working class become the top 1% of the world.  The world becomes the new Working Class and all of the money taken from the rich that went to our Working Class is now being stripped away and sent to the World’s Working class.   Since Socialist have never made a distinction in terms of a Surgeon having more value than a janitor, regardless of the amount of intellect and time needed to perfect his craft, in the same way a Socialist will fail to determine what is a suitable recipient of our wealth.  So ISIS could take over a village, destroy everything.  The villagers are new Working Class and have a right to be paid by the super-rich working class (which is now the working class of the United States). ISIS will just take the money because Socialists do not account for bad people doing bad things unless they are part of the ruling class.  Just as Globalization is a spiral to the bottom for global wage earners.  Socialism is a race to the bottom for all wealth going outside of our country to be ultimately stolen by bad people that live in the UN and all over the world.

I am also wondering about the removal of all restraints on individual creativity and the flowering human culture.  I am wondering if Socialists supported the excrement of Mother Theresa or Madonna expressing herself as a means to this flowering humanity.

The Last 100 Years

So as the economy was hitting new highs, the stock market crashed in 1929 ushering in a world wide depression.  FDR instituted the new deal that created social welfare, social security, housing authority, federal jobs programs as well as give corporations federal projects to get the economy moving.

Then with World War II cranking up production, the US had sustained an economic engine unlike the world has ever seen up until the 1970s.  That is during the Carter Presidency that pushed the economy even farther to the left.  The result of Carter’s policies, Staglation and the Oil Crisis, lead to massage political change along with American pride.

No longer embarrassed abroad by our feckless and weak foreign policy. Reagan came in day one to be welcomed with the release of the hostages held by Iran.  I give this background, because it put wind in the sails for Reagan to undo a lot of the New Deal and return to Capitalism.  Which meant reducing regulations that were impeding our ability to produce and compete.   Reagan lowered taxes on the individual and corporations and also started addressing the entitlement programs that had outlived their usefulness.

Globalization meant finding cheap labor abroad, which lowered the cost on products produced.  it also reduced the cost of components and materials, because they also benefit from lower wages to produce those materials.  The chief concern is that it became an ever decreasing pay scale for those at the bottom, while profits were accumulated in the hands of the very few.

Centralized capital could own transport and production and ship out and out source anything that could be done cheaper abroad.

To recap, the US has the benefit from both Capitalism and Socialism at different times over the last 100 years.  That is why the left can point to the post FDR years as the best economic model, whereas the right can point to Reagan years for the economic boom we have had up until the recent years.

The question is what will work best over the short-term for the United States.  That is what the campaigns are addressing. They are fine-tuning the narratives about the greatness of their plan and the evil construct of the other’s plan.

It appears to me, that a combination of these belief systems would work best.  Here are the items I think would spell the best possibilities for success.

  1. Massive infra-structure projects to employ those that are unemployed and do so with livable wages
  2. Have low Corporate taxes
  3. Observe Glass Steagall as it relates to taxation of rich individuals
  4. Better Fund EPA to go after toxic polluters with a vengeance
  5. Remove regulations that hinder businesses when the general public is not at risk
  6. Explain the science on Climate Change and what the exact threat is based on what science.  Is it temperature, then what is the optimal temperature?  Is it Sea level, when is the normal rising of Sea Level cause for concern and again? What can be done about it?   If nothing tangible can be done, then let’s not do anything that will impede production.  if the Ultra left wants to eliminate production to protect the environment, then we will fall into third world economic status because we have said that productivity will be penalized. That is a race to the bottom.
  7. All of the Above as it relates to energy. produce with oil and provide government incentives for alternative energy programs.
  8. Directly link increased taxation on the rich and provide a tax break for all those who have manufacturing jobs in the US.  It may even be a quarterly rebate depending on the wage.
  9. If Companies are paying on the lower part of the pay scale, increase taxes on corporation
  10. Employers provide Day Care funding
  11. Build a Wall
  12. Shut down Visas unless the person coming in, can be of benefit to the United States.
  13. Stop Social Safety net for undocumented workers
  14. Provide medical Care with a monthly payment option to pay back.  For the low wage earner, this can be over an extended period of time
  15. Balance Budget
  16. Preserve the US Dollar as the world currency by no longer allowing deficit spending.
  17. Get rid of Tenure for Educators
  18. If colleges cost to much, then fire the professors that make to much.  Demand more teaching and less professors.  bigger class sizes.  In short make education cheaper, or reduce the salaries of the Professors.  if the model is not sustainable, then advocate e-learning.
  19. Provide grants and funding for small enterprise investment in inner cities.
  20. Let’s get together and solve problems and stop treating the other side like they are the devil incarnate.
  21. Build up the military to the largest time in American History.

This is in my humble opinion and completely a stream of consciousness.  So they items may conflict, without me being aware of the cascading impact on any of the items listed below.  Such no deficit spending after I add a number of social programs.

 

Mercantile Capitalism

Starting in the 14th century we had a version of capitalism that was developed by Italian traders. This system allowed companies to sell outside of their local markets.  Companies used slave labor to drive down costs and sell them to colonies that were part of the expanse of trade.  This created the need for the middle man to take products from the producers and trade them with the colonies.

When we think of market forces, limited government, innovation that does not come about until the industrial revolution.  The foundation of the earliest forms of Capitalism is marked with slave labor and cheap labor where profits were filtered into just a few peoples hands.  This is the 1% that Progressives reference all of the time.

Now when we reach the industrial revolution you have a stark comparison between Kentucky, a slave state and Ohio a free state.  The mercantile Capitalism that persisted in Kentucky created an economic malaise.  The Classical Capitalism that foster innovation, competition, market forces, limited government create an economic boom in Ohio.

That is the shaping of the narrative on Capitalism that is taking place today.  Conservatives are referencing the classical Capitalism that is marked by the economic boom in Ohio, whereas progressives want to explain that it is based in the slave state mentality of Kentucky.  Both are correct, but we need to talk about what that means today.  What is the true reference point of Capitalism, Kentucky or Ohio.

Now their are more twists along the way, but slave labor versus labor where competition and innovation are have a powerful influence create stark differences but also show the great potential of the classical capitalism.

 

Everything was humming along and then the Crash of 1929.

Capitalism and Labor

So I know I have a definition of Capitalism that I am familiar with and that I self-identify with.  I want to challenge my own pre-conceived notions and see if my thinking is justified.  I fully expect to be surprised and wrong on many initial thoughts.  I want to challenge my thinking so I want to deal with issues in bite size pieces.  When I think of Capitalism, I think of property rights and private business.  You are successful if you are profitable. Usually you are profitable if you serve a need and do it better than others, competition.  The entire perspective of labor is the essence of the divide in world views.  The left believes that labor deserves more money than the owners.  The right believes that labor is a component of the equation, but so is good processes and good systems.

 

Good systems can replace ineffective people.  Good processes can eliminate ineffective people.  Should ineffective labor or redundant labor be hailed, while owners get demonized.  Specialized labor or rare resources should be able to get what the market will bare for their services.  That means people in the labor force  can break through the glass ceiling of collectivism.  That means people can escape poverty if they know how.  We should be educating people on what that looks like.  That takes initiative.  With free public libraries, the information available on the internet, through internships, mentoring, bartering and partnering all things are possible.  Why drain the energy of productivity with complaints of the system being rigged against everyone, when in contrast it is the fairest system on the face of the earth for people who want to excel.  The fact is the political left will say every one wants to excel given the chance, but that is fundamentally untrue. Many, many have been trained to expect something for nothing like it is a right to have others work so that do not have to.

Now on the flip side.  Workers should have rights.  They should not be abused, they should not be put in an un-safe working situations at wages that are below the poverty line.  The left has created a social awareness that can change the culture of what is right and what is wrong.  Their are companies that do the right thing and get customers flocking to them because of that.  I think we can amplify the Job creators, that create a healthy working environment, doing work that is good for the community at above market wages.  Just recognize that by doing this, many times that will cost more and that cost will be pushed onto the consumer.  That means the consumer will have less buying power, because these cost of goods are now more expensive.  I am willing to do that and encourage to take that one simple step.

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Let’s Talk About Capitalism

capitalism

America’s economy is on the cusp of major changes. It is on the cusp of economic crisis, with national debt beyond a normal person’s brain can comprehend. The challenge of losing the US Dollar as the world currency. Right now, the United States benefits from buying oil and gas in US Dollars. This gives the United States of America a huge jump on the rest of the world in how inexpensively we are able to buy gas compared to the rest of the planet. If that changes, then the cost of goods sold in the United States would literally go up on everything we consume. Tie that together with monetary policy that has just printing cash with virtually no interest rates. Once the FED starts to raise the prime rate, we will see our buying power diminish even more. Wages have been stagnant for 15 years.   So major change is likely to happen and how we as a country respond to crisis or because of impending crisis, will either save us, or crush us.

 

Throw on top of these financial concerns a middle-east that is exploding. With ISIS who threatens our very way of life and have soldiers that are middle-class, well-educated and can live among us gently and cooperatively until they don’t.

If ISIS was not bad enough, The Obama administration believes that the greatest and most immediate threat is Climate Change. Whether Climate Change is Science or Religion I will leave for another time, but this crisis real or imagined is what the political left is banking on to alter the New World Order with carbon cap and trade green economy. As Rahm Immanuel (Former Obama Administration Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago) stated “never let a crisis go to waste”.

Continue reading Let’s Talk About Capitalism