Economic Abuse of a Little Girl

Read this article:

http://gma.yahoo.com/cupcake-business-run-11-old-shuttered-illinois-health-202621307–abc-news-topstories.html

HT_cupcake_girl_1_jtm_140205_16x9_992
Cupcake Business Run By 11-Year-Old Shuttered By Illinois Health Officials

By ALYSSA NEWCOMB

The cupcake empire Chloe Stirling built out of her home kitchen has come crumbling down after Illinois health officials said the sixth-grader wasn’t in compliance with local laws.

Chloe, 11, said she was told by health officials in Madison County, Ill., that if she wants to continue selling cupcakes she will need to buy a bakery or build a separate kitchen.

“It bummed me out because I wanted to keep baking,” Chloe told ABCNews.com. “I had a bunch of orders and they said I had to cancel them all.”

Stirling, who is in sixth grade, has operated “Hey Cupcake” out of her family’s kitchen in Troy, Ill., for the past two years. And it appears her success may have invited the scrutiny of regulators.

The cupcake mogul said she’s raked in some serious dough for a kid her age, charging $10 for a dozen cupcakes and $2 each for the more elaborate treats, such as cakes that look like high heel shoes.

“It felt good because with all my money I could buy stuff I wanted and didn’t have to wait until my birthday or Christmas,” Chloe said, adding that she was also saving money for a car.

Her mother, Heather Stirling, told ABCNews.com she’s meeting with officials from the health department and the state attorney next week in hopes of finding a way to help Chloe re-open Hey Cupcake.

“This is her niche. You have kids who are good at baseball and soccer and this is what they pursue,” Stirling said. “Chloe is one of a kind. No one else does this at her age. There are a lot of hoops we’re going to have to jump through.”

Toni Corona, a spokeswoman for the Madison County Department of Health, told ABCNews.com in a statement that the laws are “applied uniformly and without discrimination.”

She said the department “applauds the entrepreneurial spirit” of Chloe and “joins with her many fans in hoping she will find a location for her cupcake enterprise that complies with state laws.”

Do you see something missing in this article?  How about any evidence that anyone was sickened by any of the products produced by this girl’s baking business?

Shutting down her business for failing to comply with state health regulations even with no complaint from customers about her products serves one purpose:  Eliminating competition with the corporations that dominate our economy and both force people to work for them instead of working for themselves and force them to buy their products instead of creating their own. This is bullying of the worst sort and it goes against our legal standard of “innocent until proven guilty”. The State of Illinois and the officials of Madison County should be ashamed of themselves!

The Earth’s core irony of anti-Muslim bigotry in Europe

Take a look at this video:

There are several issues here that the video does not address.

First, Islamic immigrants who come to a Western nation tend to be more moderate in their views even upon arrival, and their children and grandchildren may become even more liberal in turn. The only reason why some Muslims may become radicalized later is because they are treated as second-class citizens in a country they were born in because they are Muslim.

Second, immigrants are allowed into a European country because its native population is falling or not growing fast enough already, and such a situation results in workers becoming more valued for their labor, thus labor movements become stronger and workers’ wages will increase, making it harder for business owners to get extremely rich. To counter this, corporations that dominate an industry will seek to increase the workers’ population through encouraging immigration. But doing this means introducing new people with different cultures. And this is a problem? Only for bigots.

Third, European nations seemed to have no problem invading and taking over Islamic parts of the world in the past. In particular, France not only conquered areas like Algeria and Tunisia, it legally made Algeria a part of France, not just a colony, and the Algerians had to fight long and hard to throw off French rule.

Note that immigration of Latinos to the United States is also mentioned in the video. Bigotry against Hispanic culture also fuels immigration restrictions in the USA. Also, the USA conquered and still holds land once controlled by Mexico.

You cannot take in millions of people to lower workers’ value, then turn around and scream about those workers being different from you. That sort of crock needs to be put down.

If you expel the Muslims from Europe, then the workers remaining will demand greater wages because there are fewer of them. Are you prepared to pay them more?

If you keep the Muslims in Europe, then treat them as equals, and accept that your demographics will change.

Also, people raised in Muslim families do not necessarily stay Muslim forever. There are plenty of former Muslims:

http://www.apostatesofislam.com/

http://formermuslimsunited.org/

Need I also mention that the idea that a culture will die out because its population growth drops and reverses itself is bull$#it? You can have a culture evolving and prospering no matter what the size of the families that make it up. You just pass on that culture to the fewer children you have, period.

Why “free market” capitalism cannot last long.

Here are a series of illustrations I have made to demonstrate why capitalist economies that are supposed to be free markets inevitably degenerate into fascist-corporatist tyrannies that deprive the people of freedom of choice in the end.

Stage one: Here is a free market economy represented by dozens of small circles, each circle representing a small business. Of course, some of them are more successful than others, but no single business dominates the industry and there is plenty of competition. Note that three such businesses have been singled out and designated “A”, “B”, and “C”.

Stage two: After a period of time, many of the small businesses have collapsed and the remaining ones have tended to grow larger and more powerful. Companies “A” and “B” have merged and this soon enables the new company “AB” to becomes more powerful still, and it begins to crush its competitors.

Stage three: Another generation or so has passed. Now companies “AB” and “C” have merged together, forming an even more powerful union. Meanwhile, the forces of competition have served to eliminate most of the smaller companies we saw earlier. However, a new company, named “D” has been established, showing that at this time there is still room for innovation and diversity, which is the essence of freedom.

Stage four:  Sadly, company “D” isn’t able to last long, and it is soon bought out and taken over, resulting in company “ABCD”, so powerful that it eventually forms a virtual monopoly, and other companies are at a total disadvantage and will never have a chance to rival what ABCD has gained.

There are four lies that “free market” advocates tell that need to be slammed down.

First, they claim that in a free market it would be a simple matter for people dissatisfied with a company to start and run one of their own. But in the present American system, the vast majority of new businesses that are established fail within a few years. The reason is simple: the already established and larger companies are always able to take advantage of their larger capital and the fact that people are already familiar with them to crush their new and smaller competition.

Second, it is not government action that creates corporatism out of free market economies. Rather, it is the already formed corporatism that prompts government to prop up failing giant corporations due to a recession. Why? Because if those corporations go out of business, millions of people would be thrown out of work, reducing economic activity further. That’s exactly why both Presidents Bush Jr and Obama chose to endorse corporate bailouts; if they had not, we would most likely be in a Second Great Depression now with even less competition than before as bankrupt companies are bought and taken over by bigger ones.  A better policy would have been for government to prevent those corporations from growing so big in the first place……but then we wouldn’t have a free market.

Third, socialism or communism as envisioned by Karl Marx was not supposed to be a one-man dictatorship. Stalin and many of those who came after him were responsible for that perversion, not Marx himself. In reality, Marx wanted a collective rule that would actually be more like a democracy, with the workers (which he assumed would be the vast majority in any industrial economy) ruling through elections in both the government and the corporations. This was what would later make possible the gradual dissolving of the state leaving only the worker run companies. The reason “Communism” failed was because after the death of Lenin in 1924, real Communism was never tried. No one-man totalitarian state can be rightfully called Communist or Socialist. It’s Fascism instead!

Fourth, the whole point of democratic socialist, liberal, or progressive politics in industrialized countries is to prevent a disruptive revolution by the workers against the capitalists by gradually making reforms to keep the workers happy. By opposing them, Conservatives like Presidents Reagan and both Bushes, along with their Republican allies in Congress, were setting the stage for the actual long-term downfall of America through their idiotic short sighted policies to disempower labor unions and deregulate Big Business.  This in turn, will actually INCREASE the likelihood of a real Communist revolution later! The repeated cycles of economic surges (which enrich those who are already wealthy) followed by recessions (which hurt the middle and working classes the most) can only weaken capitalism until it falls. The outsourcing of manufacturing by American companies to other countries like China for their cheap labor only delays this gradual breakdown, while threatening the independence of America. China’s lax labor, safety and trade policies have resulted in a great many inferior products being shipped over here. Meanwhile, millions of Americans can no longer get manufacturing jobs and end up with lower paying ones, locking them into dependence on Chinese goods. Thus American consumers are forced to keep buying the Chinese made products when they wear out.

Wake up, Americans! We need liberalism, socialism, and progressivism NOW. Free markets in a  strict sense are a dream, never a reality that we can have forever.

An unbalanced view of doing business

The basic goal of all businesses in a free market capitalist system is to make as much profit as possible. Of course, there is nothing wrong with making money, as long as you are honest and fair about it. But sometimes companies look at only ONE issue of making a profit and fail to see the big picture. Consider these  stories:

Micheal was hired to be a delivery assistant for Southside Deliveries in mid-November, doing what he was told would be a temporary job that would last until Christmas Eve.  Unfortunately, he was terminated after just two weeks (early December) and the excuse the company gave was “You are too slow.” Micheal was so disgusted at being tossed so quickly that he vowed never to even use Southside Deliveries as a customer. Thus Southside Deliveries, by firing him to save profits, actually lost profits they might have made from him over the next few years.

Mary was a loyal customer of Blue River Energy for years, so she reasoned that she would be an ideal employee for it as well. She was hired to be one of its Sales Representatives  and was sent to public places like shopping malls, grocery stores, convention centers, and electronics stores. At these places, she set up her booth and tried to persuade people coming there for other things to switch to using Blue River Energy as their electricity retailer. Despite her going by the book over a two month period, she never sold enough policies to satisfy management, and she was suddenly terminated by her supervisor when she went out to do another day’s work. He simply took her materials and table from her and left her in shock. Soon afterwards, she switched to another electric company, AP Power, because she felt totally betrayed.

Henry signed up for employment with a temp agency, and was sent out a week later to do work at a factory owned by Masters Manufacturing. He worked hard all day, and never got the impression from the supervisors that anything was amiss. But the next day, he got a call from the temp agency that Masters Manufacturing had rejected him. “They said you were too slow, ” was all Henry was told. Henry felt that was unjust, since he’d only done as he was told by those same people who rejected him….and vowed never to buy another cell phone or other electronic device made by Masters Manufacturing.

Now, there is nothing wrong with firing a worker who commits acts of direct insubordination or disrespect for either management or customers,  vandalism, assault of another employee, theft, drunkeness or drug abuse on the job, or some other illegal activity. In my opinion, those should be the reasons to fire employees and nothing else. Terminating someone because he is slightly less productive than someone else is a form of discrimination. What if this is due to a mental or physical disability, rather than laziness? What if the employee is new and just needs time to get used to his job? What if the employee’s contributions still count for something, as does the decision of the former employee to boycott the business after his termination?

Workers need to get together and stop letting companies bully them into ruin. They can do that by boycotting any company that treats them as disposable. Maybe if enough people start doing that, then the companies will start treating workers with more respect!

The Capitalist Delusion

There is a common delusion in the USA that in the capitalist system, everyone can rise up the social ladder from poverty to wealth and that once you do, you should enjoy the rewards of your own labor, or the incentive to better one’s life would disappear. The reason this is a delusion is because those who are already wealthy would have an unfair advantage over those who are poor. Sure, the rich and their giant corporations DO provide jobs for the poor, but only to make themselves even richer, while keeping the poor working for small change, thus limiting actual economic growth. If anyone doubts this, think about why we Americans got Social Security, Medicare and minimum wage laws in the first place. It was because THE CAPTIALIST ECONOMIC SYSTEM IS NOT SELF SUSTAINING! If it is not moderated by the government, it will fail. That’s why we had a Great Depression and that’s why we keep having so many recessions since Ronald Reagan was President of the United States. Capitalism by itself DOES NOT PROVIDE PROSPERITY FOR ALL!

Rachel Maddow vs Politifact

The Rachel Maddow Show (TV series)

Image via Wikipedia

As an Honorable Skeptic, I never assume that anyone or anything is infallible, not individuals like Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow nor websites like Politifact. So when there is an actual conflict between them, one must look at the actual facts to judge who or what is right. Facts, not ideology. FACTS, not personal preferences.

Look at this claim:

http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/18/rachel-maddow/rachel-maddow-says-wisconsin-track-have-budget-sur/

“Despite what you may have heard about Wisconsin’s finances, the state is on track to have a budget surplus this year.”

Rachel Maddow on Thursday, February 17th, 2011 in a segment on her television talk show

False

Here’s the bottom line:

There is fierce debate over the approach Walker took to address the short-term budget deficit. But there should be no debate on whether or not there is a shortfall. While not historically large, the shortfall in the current budget needed to be addressed in some fashion. Walker’s tax cuts will boost the size of the projected deficit in the next budget, but they’re not part of this problem and did not create it.

We rate Maddow’s take False.

The quote attributed to Maddow is indeed hers. But it was taken out of context.

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We MUST reduce American military spending!

Imagine my absolute shock when I saw this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

The United States spends over six times more on its military than China, which is the second largest military spender.

Meanwhile:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_of_the_US

Scroll down to the chart titled Leading Foreign Holders of US Treasury Securities (November 2010). See which country holds more of our debt than any other? CHINA!

Why the hell are we spending so much on our military instead of paying down our debt??? This is a clear case of us doing something we don’t need to do, which actually puts us in greater danger. If China decides to force us to pay most of our debt immediately to it, all of our overbuilt military won’t amount to much. Our independence will be threatened anyway, due to the vast economic ties we have to China.

Which is why we should have listened to President Eisenhower, himself an army general and war hero, who warned us about the “military/industrial complex” before leaving office.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower%27s_farewell_address

Eisenhower was, in my opinion, the last honorable Republican to hold the Presidency. All the others who came after him were IDIOTS AND HYPOCRITES!!!

What if prostitution were legalized everywhere?

First, see this earlier blog entry:

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/phony-feminism-takes-a-beating-on-youtube/

It has occurred to me that if acts of prostitution were legalized for both genders and all sexual orientations, then men and women who are otherwise unemployed could offer their bodies to the sexual services of others who are employed and have plenty of money, get paid for it, and thus never need to engage in harmful and even violent activities, such as bank robbing, and they would not have to go on welfare either. Eventually, the unemployed could find jobs and not need to sell their bodies anymore, though they may still choose to do so.

And it need not involve strangers either. Male and female friends and neighbors could engage in sex with each other in exchange for money, as a means of mutual support. I know if I were out of work and a woman offered me money for sex so I could pay my monthly bills, I wouldn’t hesitate to accept the offer, provided I thought she was trustworthy.

It is exactly because prostitution is illegal in most places that so much abuse is associated with it. Legalizing it would result in a less violent and more generous and tolerant society.

Obama bashing, Libertarian style

Take a look at this op-ed piece by Wayne Allyn Root, who ran for Vice-President in 2008 under the Libertarian ticket. It might explain the Tea Party and its anti-Obama madness that has possessed so much of the American population. I will post parts of it and respond directly to it here (the numbers refer to my answers).

http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/obama-s-agenda–overwhelm-the-system-95716764.html

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China will eventually face an economic crisis

For decades, China has tried to solve its overpopulation problem via a one-child per couple policy that has indeed stabilized its population size at about 1.3 billion. This has resulted in the population aging over time. But at the same time, China has been encouraging more and more foreign businesses to outsource their manufacturing labor to China to take advantage of the vast amount of cheap labor there.

That will soon come to an end, because you cannot have it both ways for long. As population growth stops and eventually starts to decline, China will be forced to devote more economic resources to care for its elderly, which will grow in numbers at the expense of the younger workers. And Chinese workers will feel they are worth more and start organizing and even striking for better pay and work conditions, resulting in the era of cheap labor in China coming to an end.   Meanwhile….

http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/chinapopulation.htm

In the next few decades, India, the world’s second most populous country is expected to surpass China in population. By 2040, India’s population is expected to be 1.52 billion; that same year, China’s will be 1.45 billion and India will become the world’s most populous country. As of 2005, India has a total fertility rate of 2.8, well above replacement value, so it is growing much more quickly than China.

The result will most likely be a shift in outsourcing from China to India, at the very time China’s social and economic systems will be most dependent on the younger workers there to support welfare for the retired workers. So that will cause vast unemployment in China and poverty for all ages there, instead of the economic prosperity it has been striving for. We will see more and more products that say, “Made in India”,  “Made in India”, “Made in India”, “Made in India”, “Made in India”, “Made in India”, “Made in India”, “Made in India”, “Made in India”, “Made in India”, “Made in India”, “Made in India”, “Made in India”, “Made in India”. And India will suffer from both overpopulation and increased pollution that will dwarf what China is suffering now.

Poor China! It would have been better not to have accepted the outsourcing in the first  place!

The U S Supreme Court has murdered democracy in America!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100121/ts_nm/us_usa_court_politics

By James Vicini  Thu Jan 21, 2:42 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Corporations can spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, a landmark decision denounced by President Barack Obama for giving special interests more power.

“The Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics,” Obama said after the 5-4 ruling that divided the nation’s high court along conservative and liberal lines.

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Banks can go to hell!

When you are up to your eyeballs in debt, you’d think that the banks that get you in debt in the first place would allow you to actually work off the debt you have accumulated over several months or years to keep you as a loyal customer AND allow you to acquire some skills that can help you get other jobs later. But NO, instead they harass you with lame phone calls and the callers have the stupidity to say things like, “You have a debt of $______ that can be paid over the phone today,” or some other such nonsense. Hey, banks! How is anyone supposed to pay off a debt if he is not allowed to WORK, and therefore cannot make money?!

Why Libertarians are wrong about economics

One of the founders of the Libertarian Party, David F. Nolan, is credited with creating the Nolan Chart, which has been used ever since as a guide to understanding various political positions. Here are two different versions of it:

The higher you are on the chart, the more freedom you beleive in. If you beleive in more economic freedom and less personal freedom, you will be on the right (Conservative) side of the chart. If you beleive in less economic freedom and more personal freedom, you will be on the left (Liberal) side of the chart. Libertarians beleive in more freedom for both and Statists beleive in less freedom for both, while centrists have a mix of all positions.

The real problem with the chart is that it is misleading. I beleive in maximum freedom for individuals, both in their personal dealings and as small business owners. Sole proprietorships and partnerships should be as free from government interference as possible, the only exception being that anyone wanting to start a small business should be able to apply for a loan from the government, which they can pay back five or ten years later with interest (thus enabling the government to make a profit from helping establish the businesses).

So I beleive that governments should be severely restricted in how they can treat individuals. But for some reason, Libertarians insist on corporations having the same rights of free speech and property rights as individuals. This is unacceptable to me, since I see corporations as being more like governments than individuals. Corporations can have an infinite lifespan and can acquire an infinite amount of property and money. In a “free market”, small businesses with individual owners cannot withstand competition with giant corporations;  it’s like a mouse trying to compete with an elephant. And when corporations become powerful enough, they are able to bribe or threaten the officials in the government to do their bidding by bailing them out when they face bankruptcy.

Bailouts and corporate mergers should be forbidden. Corporations, I beleive, should be treated the OPPOSITE of small business owners. They should be regulated and taxed heavily and never bailed out, but BOUGHT OUT by the government, which then may break up the corporation’s properties and sell to individuals who want to establish their own small businesses. Indeed, I would make it so that new corporations couldn’t even be established at all!

An industry with thousands of small business and no corporations would result in a far healthier economy than one dominated by a half dozen giant corporations, due to their being far more competition and less risk of massive economic damage from businesses failing. The thousands of small business owners would value their freedom and would translate that value into a classically liberal democratic government. But an economy dominated by giant corporations would consist mostly of people used to taking orders from a few powerful executives, the very essence of an authoritarian society.

And that is why Libertarianism is doomed to fail. It is absurd to put giant corporations and small businesses on the same playing field, for the corporations will inevitably crush them, just as giant empires tend to crush smaller nations. Quite simply, there is really no such things as a “free market”, nor will there ever be. The only true path to freedom and social justice is a Liberal or Centrist path. Not Libertarian. The very existence of giant corporations and their corrupting power makes Libertarianism a dream that will never become reality.

No one should EVER be billionaires!

This is the fourth of my series of blog entries on economics.

There are two reasons why the wealthy in America have managed to increase their appearant wealth. First, having massive capital already, they can take advantage of the capitalist system to maintain their high social position. Second, inflation devalues the dollar over time, so that being merely a millonaire is no longer such a big deal. It seems obvious that people obsessed with their personal wealth are not that concerned with merely being well to do, but being richer than someone else. Thus, people like Donald Trump and Bill Gates make themselves ultra-rich by their own egomania rather than out of any need.

Not only does the massive accumulation of wealth in so few hands deprive millions of others of the chance to be as wealthy, but it hinders economic growth by the limiting of cash flow.

Imagine an economy of ten people, all millionaires buying and selling to each other. We may also have an economy of ten people who have $100 each, also buying and selling to each other. Thus, the economic potential of the first economy is about $10 million, while the economic potential of the second one is only about $1000. But if the millionaires hold on to most of their money and refuse to spend it, then the economic activity is much lower than it can be, while the people with only $100 each who spend their money freely produce a great deal of economic activity relative to their limited financial resources. Money that is held in accounts and not used for anything is useless to an economy. It is only used when it is spent or invested.

With so much money being held by the wealthy, the Federal Reserve tries to produce more to keep the economy moving. But this causes inflation, which over time hurts the poor and the middle class.  So what is the best solution?

I believe that is exactly why tax rates should be far higher for the wealthy than for the middle class and poor, to liberate that excess money and return it to the economy once the government has spent it. At the same time, the Federal Reserve must stop printing and coining any new money for a long period of time and gradually take out most of the money that is there, releasing some of it only occationally later to replace worn out bill and coins. The less money in an economy, the greater its value becomes and thus the buying power of the lower classes will rise enormously. Prices will fall until pennies will be of value once more and being a millionaire will also have meaning again. And there will be NO billionaires at all!

The minimum wage in the United States is $6.55 per hour.  What if a corporate executive is paid about $200 an hour? Doesn’t that sound like a lot? No, not really.

A typical work day is about eight hours long. Thus he’d be paid about $1600 a day.

A typical work week is about five days long. Thus he’d be paid about $8000 a week.

A typical work year might be 50 weeks long. Thus he’d be paid $400,000 a year.

Assuming he works that job for a lifetime, about 50 work years, he earn a total of about $20,000,000.

That’s only $20 MILLION over his lifetime. Not billion. Just 20 million.

So how did we end up with so many billionaires? Because they used the economy unfairly to enrich themselves at eveyone else’s expense. And that limits economic growth. These exectives became parasites on their own companies!

If you cut the pay of these executives to a reasonable limit, then the company will be able to hire and pay more workers, increasing productivity.  Profits for the company will actually rise as a result.

And what benefits those companies benefits the rest of us.

The Great Depression debate

This is my third blog entry in a row about economics.

If you have never lived through the Great Depression, it’s possible that you either don’t know what you are talking about, or are lying outright to promote some form of ideological extremism.

First look at this:

This is a video by Shane Killian, a Libertarian activist. While I admire the man for his work on defending evolution and attacking pseudoscience, he seems to be out of his league when it comes to economics, as the next video clearly shows:

Killian then proceeds to rewrite history regarding the Great Depression:

What bull$#it! Quite simply, if the New Deal was such a failure, then why did FDR not become a one term President?. Why, indeed, was he elected no less than FOUR TIMES!?

Because the Great Depression was the worst economic crisis ever in American history, it may be considered uncharted territory. Our government had to experiment to find a solution. Some things attempted during the Great Depression worked better than others, but it was hardly true that the New Deal was a total failure and that World War II finally got us out of the Depression! Indeed, if our economy had not recovered to a reasonable degree by 1941, we would never have been able to wage World War II so well! The right-wing extremists got the issue EXACTLY backwards! War is more likely to destroy a struggling economy than to strengthen it!

So why did Killain make the claims he did? Two reasons.

  1. He is a Libertarian. While the ideals of free market economics promoted by that party are indeed admirable, they are also purely a theroetical concept. In the real world, a completely free market CANNOT EXIST FOREVER! If you allow a capitalist economy to run on its own without any government intervention, we will only fall into a depression eventually and stay there PERMENANTLY! Killian’s faith in the “free market” is no better than religious fanaticism.
  2. He is brilliant on some subjects, therefore he assumes that he must be right on ALL subjects. But that is simply not true of anyone. No one knows or understands everything equally well. Myself included.

The absurd scam of “Reaganomics”

I don’t claim to be an expert on economics, but I think I know enough to explain why I consider supply-side economics to have been such a disasterous failure since the Reagan years. It was nothing more than a scam to trick people into voting Republican.

When you cut taxes for the wealthy during a recession, they do indeed invest more in the economy, but mainly to benefit themselves rather than to benefit society as a whole. As a result, the gap between rich and poor increases, even as economic activity skyrockets. People become rich by hoarding money rather than spending it, and so the money supply circulating decreases. The Federal Reserve may attempt to solve the problem by printing more money, but this causes inflation, itself a sign of economic distress. Inflation hurts the poor and middle classes, while the wealthy accumulate still more money. Eventually, we end up with ANOTHER recession only a few years after the earlier one ended! So the economic growth caused by the tax cuts may make revenues appear to increase for a short time, but the crash that comes later makes that issue moot. And the default response of the “conservatives” to the new recession is…….more stupid tax cuts!

One thing that can definintely be said about the lies and hypocrisy of many Republicans was that while they did cut taxes, they did NOT reduce the size of government. In fact, they INCREASED it! The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security were both started under Republican administrations (and even this Liberal wants them shut down as unnecessary). And even Reagan blew up military spending while denouncing the excess size of government. Hey, the military IS part of the government! HELLO!!!!

The mistake the “conservatives” kept making was to judge the success of their economic policies by their short term effects, and ignore the downturns that their own policies caused later. What we really need is a set of policies that can generate long-term, slow, and steady economic growth and development that is not likely to result in a crash later. As the old saying goes, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” So maybe we could try this:

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/my-plan-for-economic-recovery/

My plan for economic recovery

I strongly recommend several things to get us out of the economic recession we are in now. For our economy to be as productive as possible, as many people within it need to be working and spending their own money, thus increasing production.

  1. Abolish the minimum wage. It was intended to prevent the exploitation of workers, but it actually hurts the working class by limiting the ability of businesses to hire and keep employees. It is far better to have over 99% of workers employed at $3.00 an hour than it is to have only 80% of those workers employed at $7.00 an hour. With the minimum wage, there is a gap between the employed and the unemployed that wouldn’t exist otherwise. We never needed a minimum wage because in a truly free market, companies can compete for workers. If workers feel they are being paid less than they are worth, they can search for and find another company that may pay them more per hour.
  2. Establish a MAXIMUM wage. Many corporate CEOs and other executives so vastly overpay themselves that they actually are parasites on their own companies rather than leading them to prosperity. If their pay is limited, then the company can hire more workers, increasing production. More production results in a stronger economy.
  3. Outlaw outsourcing. It is the height of absurdity for a company based in the United States to have its manufacturing done in other countries to reduce labor costs and with it the final price of the goods produced. This causes workers in the United States to switch to service positions so they are no longer producers, but middlemen only. This threatens American independence. Thus, a company that outsources its manufacturing is betraying the American people! It is far better to pay higher prices for fewer goods of a higher quality than to pay lower prices for more goods that are of lower quality. It’s really that simple! When we make our own goods, we tend to care more about how they are made.
  4. Remove the property rights from corporations and ban corporate mergers and corporate bailouts. The biggest mistake we as a society ever made was to grant corporations the same property rights as individuals. This is because corporations are unlimited in size, and when such  giant corporations fail, millions of people may lose their jobs, causing a drop in cash flow that threatens other businesses. So I would recommend that when any corporation fails, the government should NEVER bail it out, but instead should be required by law to BUY OUT the company, fire all its executives, and sell all its properties at auction to individual investors who wish to start and run their own small businesses. I feel that lassez-faire capitalism can really only work when there are NO giant corporations to screw up the works. This is because corporations are more like governments than like individuals, and the same problems of abuse and inefficiency that plague governments ultimately affect corporations as well.
  5. Deregulate small businesses. It should be as easy as possible for anyone to start and operate a business. The more people we have owning their own businesses, the more people in general will value their freedom and insist on the government being accountable to them rather than vice versa.
  6. Stop the printing and coining of new money for at least a decade. When the Federal Reserve prints more money, inflation results. Stop the printing of paper money and the making of coins, and we will have deflation as less and less money remains. Deflation will increase the buying power of the dollar, making up for the less remaining currency.
  7. Tax the wealthy heavily and do not tax the poor and middle classes at all, while reducing taxes overall. This policy will prevent the hoarding of money that impedes cash flow. It does not matter at all how much money is in the economy. If there is less cash flow, the economy is weaker. If there is greater cash flow, the economy will be strengthened. The poorest economies are those with extremes of wealth and poverty, with almost no middle class. We need to increase the middle class and lessen the economic power of the wealthy. Then we will have a stable economy instead of the boom and bust periods we have had repeatedly since the late 1970s. The horror of “Reaganomics” should be thrown into the trash can of history and buried forever!
  8. Reduce the size of government. Also, put government officials under the same economic rules as those outside the government, so that no one can use government to enrich themselves. There should be NO soverign immunity for any government agencies and the people that operate them. Focus primarily on paying down the public debt and make it illegal for the government to ever borrow money. If the government cannot afford something, it should not be done.
  9. Decriminalize all drugs. We waste too much public money on law enforcement by imprisoning people who take illegal drugs instead of treating them like victims of a health problem. Why do we keep tobacco and alcohol legal and regulate them, but not treat all drugs the same way and boost the economy by allowing American citizens to produce and sell them without fear of arrest? Because we have hypocrites running the federal agencies!
  10. Outlaw credit cards. They cause too many people to run up large personal debt that limits their ability to spend money on goods and services later.

Is global warming still a problem? Maybe not.

In 2005, when Al Gore produced his film and the accompaning book of the same title, An Inconvienent Truth, neither he nor any of the scientists who were working on climate issues at the time could have predicted the following two events:

1. That the Sun’s activity would drop to low levels not known since the mid 20th Century.

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/pmod/from:1980/to:2010/plot/pmod/from:1980/to:2010/trend 

2. That we would be facing a massive economic recession that would affect most of the world.

The former has made global warming much less of a problem, at least for now.

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1980/to:2010/plot/rss/from:1980/to:2010/trend

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2005/to:2010/plot/rss/from:2005/to:2010/trend

While the latter has caused a slowdown in industrial output, the very thing that was the primary cause of global warming prior to 2005. Thus I have decided that it would be safe and prudent to put climate change on the backburner for a few years or so and concentrate on reviving our economy. Once we have made our economy strong again, and once we find solar activity rising once again, we can and MUST resume the focus on solving the global warming problem.

In the meantime, Al Gore, please find a new cause to champion. This one has run its course!

I want MORE economic freedom, not less!

One of the most laughable misconceptions people have about economics is that laissez-faire capitalism is somehow an example of economic freedom, while socialism is a form of economic tyranny. Certainly the type of socialism that Communism was came across as tyrannical and deserved to be abolished. But not socialism itself. Socialism coupled with a democratic government that has a written constitution that guarantees civil rights for all citizens actually promotes the most economic freedom, while laissez-faire capitalism is economic ANARCHY that eventually results in both chaos and tyranny, like political anarchy does. With no restraints by government, corporations will only get larger and more powerful by merging with smaller and weaker corporations and will so dominate the market that small businesses started by individual owners seldom have a chance to even get off the ground. That is NOT a free market! Such a concept doesn’t really exist, except in the deluded minds of many Conservatives and Libertarians. You either have a market in which government occationally intervenes to break up giant corporations (trust-busting)  to allow small businesses to thrive and maintain their independence, or you have a market in which individual efforts at owning one’s own means of production and income are destroyed by the giant corporations themselves. The Founding Fathers of the United States understood that unrestrained government destroys individual liberty, so they made a system of checks and balances in the Constitution to restrain government. They should have done the same with the American economic system. If a democratic government can have its own method of checks and balances against corporations, and thus prevent corporations from ever merging and even buy out and sell off the properties of failing corporations to individuals who wish to start their own small businesses, then we will have more economic freedom. Corporations themselves are more like governments in their makeup and operations than like individuals. They should never be “free” to exploit resources and people as they please. Only INDIVIDUALS should be free for freedom to have any real meaning! We see imperialism, which was the norm 150 years ago, as evil today, because it involved governments conquering and ruling other peoples for the gain of the conquerers. Why should laissez-faire captalism be seen any differently? Can we not abolish that as well and promote real economic freedom instead?

The rich vs poor fallacy

Conservatives give us the impression that attempts to tax the wealthy at higher rates than the poor are somehow discriminatory, that those who work harder for their wealth should, as a matter of justice, be allowed to keep most of the money they earn, while those who are impoverished are that way because of laziness or ineptitude. No doubt, that is true of some members of both social classes, but hardly all, and that is where the problem lies, the issue of false stereotyping. 

Suppose you have a society in which everyone starts out at the exact same level of living standard. Over time, some will naturally do better financially than others because they are able to get a better education and manage their money better than others. So in a society like that, all members should indeed be taxed the same rate. 

REAL societies, however, are NEVER like this. Most wealthy people grew up in wealthy families and recieved their money from their parents or other older relatives and thus had access to more opportunities from the very beginning, not because of their abilities but because they were lucky enough to be born in the right families. (Paris Hilton is perhaps the most notorious example.) Meanwhile, those who grew up in poverty, even if they are just as smart, beautiful, and hardworking as the average rich person, tend to remain in poverty because they have less access to the money they would need to invest, to educate themselves, and to afford the latest technologies. 

The reason we hear so much about poor people making themselves rich by their own hard work is because such things are extremely unusual and rare and the corporate dominated media tends to focus on the unusual. Why? Because it provides great entertainment value AND it serves the best interests of the upper classes by convincing the members of the lower classes that they too can be rich and powerful, if only they will work harder at it. Meanwhile, those who are rich, and already run the giant corporations that dominate America’s economy, make sure they those who are poor and work for them never get enough money to challenge them later. That’s why we have such low wages for workers, and they would be even lower if not for minimum wage laws. 

It’s time to put an end to that centuries old scam and just tax the hell of most rich people and be done with it. NO ONE deserves to be billionaires, period! It is the height of perversity for someone who has millions of dollars, including a mansion, to insist on a “right” to acquire MORE wealth and to not contribute to the upkeep of their governments and to society in general! Even most religions condemn that attitude, so there!

Bailout the PEOPLE, not the banks!

Did Bush Jr really think he’d get away with demanding a $700 billion bailout to the banks of America, the same institutions that have been screwing with the American people for decades?! Well, he didn’t! The bill FAILED in Congress and now I can only hope that simular such bailouts never are allowed to be even considered.

Can someone explain to me why we should not give that $700 billion to the American people instead? I have calculated that every man, woman and child would get about $2,300. The last time we got money back from the federal government it was about $600 for every taxpayer. So this begs the obvious question, how could Bush Jr be more generous to the banks that get so much money in interest from credit card debts? How could they still be failing, then???

Let’s not forget that Bush Jr scammed us once before with his false claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Are we going to let us be scammed again, especially with Bush’s last term almost up?

Sarah Palin, living a lie

Let me be frank and blunt about this matter of the Republican Vice-Presidental nominee of 2008: She is an IDIOT and a disgrace to all responsible women in America, if not the entire world!

She has five children and her oldest daughter Bristol, only 17, is already expecting a child of her own. So in essence, Sarah Palin illustrates that women, even highly achiveing ones like her, are still expected to be breeding machines as well.

I find that absolutely disgusting!

How can anyone, knowing the vast environmental destruction humans have caused around the world, because of our growing populations, ever put their trust in anyone that herself contributes to the problem?

How can anyone think that her assumptions about birth control and abortion are in any way applicable to places that are overcrowded, just because they seem justified in lightly populated Alaska, the state Palin is governor of?

How can anyone, claiming to be Christian, be so damn materialistic as to favor the exploitation of Alaska’s mineral resources to make people richer, at the expense of the wildlife that live there? Jesus constantly denounced that attitude! So do I, despite being non-Christian.

How can anyone, having so strong sexual urges herself that she would crank out five babies, seriously think that abstinence before marriage is an option for teenagers with their own raging hormones, including her own daughters? One of them has obviously rejected that. If those values didn’t work for the Palins, why should they be applied to anyone?

Nevermind that Bristol, the pregnant daughter, is planning to marry her baby’s father. Statistics show that the overwhelming majority of teen marriages end in divorce. In any case, she is at a disadvantage in moving on with her education, and even if she does that, many teen mothers, lacking financial resources, would not be so fortunate.

Nature made our sexual urges strong for a reason, that being that REPRODUCTION, the purpose of sex, is what perpetuates all species. Unless we eliminate those urges, we will inevitably give in to them when opportunities present themselves. I think anyone who says otherwise is a LIAR.

Therefore, the Roman Catholic Church, advertising its priest and nuns as celibate and therefore “pure” and totally dedicated to the church and nothing else, is lying to us all. And so is Sarah Palin.

Her daughter Bristol is living proof that her values on sexuality are a failure. And that being the case, her values about economics and the environment, issues which are affected by human population growth, are also discredited.

We need to BURY this loon before she destroys us! IMMEDIATELY!

Economic growth vs. economic justice

One of my biggest concerns is the blatant inequality of wealth in many societies and how that often translates into total injustice. Those who are raised in wealthy families tend to remain wealthy. And where there is wealth, there is also power. Meanwhile, those who come from poor families tend to remain poor. Because there are a finite range of resources in any society, those who already have wealth also have access to the highest technologies sooner than others, thus enabling them to maintain and even increase their wealth still further at the expense of the impoverished. And I’m not just talking about individuals, but about nations as well. The United States is far, far richer than Afghanistan  and will probably always remain so. Thus, while America is on the cutting edge of technology, the people of Afghanistan still live largely like they did a century ago, because they simply cannot afford the latest computers, cars, or private jets.In a capitalist economic system without any restraints, the rich will get richer and the poor remain poor until finally you have a few ultra rich and masses of the poor that will never have a chance to get better. And because cash flow then drops to minimal levels due to the tendency of the rich to hoard their fiances while the poor cannot even spend much money, the capitalist system collapses under its own weight.Karl Marx forsaw this. His mistake was to assume there was no way to prevent this and it was actually a good thing. Wrong! A restrained capitalism in which the government taxes the rich highly to prevent them accumulating too much wealth for themselves and does not tax the poor at all is both just and more productive in the long run. That is why I cringe whenever I heard about President Bush taking credit for his tax cuts for the wealthy helping the economy grow. Such growth will not last forever, of course. I’d rather have economic JUSTICE and STABILITY rather than merely GROWTH.