San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, September 13, 2013

Soldiers Are Heroic Rapists

I was rather inattentively watching the Bill O'Reilly show on the television the other night.  Bill was railing about how the Socialist Democracy of Amerika was losing face in front of the Russians and needed to go to war with Syria as soon as possible.  Anyone who did not agree with him was called unpatriotic.  His rant only reinforced the position I have come to that, in the SDA, patriotism is synonymous with militarism.  I dismissed him and thought about changing the channel to ESPN.  That is when a trailer scrolling along the bottom of the screen caught my eye.  I wasn't sure that I saw it correctly the first time so I waited until it scrolled by a second time.  I had seen it correctly.  According to official sources within the military, 3000 women soldiers were raped by their fellow soldiers in the military last year.
That statistic made me think.  I wondered where the number came from so  did a bit of searching.  As it turns out the 3000 rape figure is the official number of sexual assaults that were reported for the year.  A group of lady soldiers testified that only about 3% of the actual assaults get reported.  That, as I later discovered, is pretty much the same number that is thrown about for reported sexual assaults and rapes in the civilian sector.  Next I wondered how the number of rapes worked out as a percentage of the people who are in the military.
There are approximately 2.2 million people on active duty in the SDA military.  If 3000 women are raped in one year that means each person has a .136% chance of being raped each year.  In contrast, the federal authorities reported 212,000 civilian rapes in the SDA last year.  As a percentage of the total population of the SDA that amounts to risk factor of .064%.  In other words, the chances of a woman soldier being raped by her fellow soldiers is more than twice as high as the odds of a civilian woman being raped.  I find that very interesting.
Bill O'Reilly refers to all soldiers as heroes.  Adopting the grossly relaxed standards for heroism that are rampant in our culture, he also refers to all cops and firefighters as heroes.  Basically anyone who wears a government uniform and carries a gun is a hero to Bill.  Now I am not disputing the fact that there are occasional individual acts of heroism displayed by people who wear government uniforms and carry guns.  But there are also many individual acts of heroism conducted by the many people in this land who do not work for the government.  Heroic actions are defined by the action, not the uniform being worn.  I am consistently disgusted by the blanket portrayal of the SDA military forces as being exclusively populated by heroes.  Nobody should walk up to any man or woman in uniform and thank them for their service without first knowing what their service has been.  To do so is sheer lunacy.
The military now admits that female soldiers are more likely to be sexually assaulted by their fellow soldiers than they are to be killed in combat.  That being the case, who is a female soldier to consider as the enemy?  I am serious about this question.  If she is more likely to be assaulted by her fellow soldiers, who should she be prepared to use deadly force against?  Who should she avoid at all costs?  This raises an interesting question.  Should female soldiers be prosecuted for going AWOL if they defect to the enemy side in order to avoid being raped by their fellow soldiers?  How in the world have we come to this position?  I think there are a couple of answers to that question.
Women do not belong in the military.  I am not saying that they do not belong in combat.  I am saying they do not belong anywhere in the military.  The military exists to fight wars and kill the enemy.  The only reason for the existence of the military is to kill the enemy.  All the activities of the military must be directed towards the goal of killing the enemy.  And a woman should never be involved in killing the enemy.  It is totally contrary to the nature and character of all women, whether they will admit it or not, to kill.  It is wrong.  It is the exact opposite of the way things should be.  It is a sign of a morally degenerate society when its women are sent off to war.  Men should protect women (and children).  Men should be out front ensuring that their women are as safe as they can possibly be.  Remove women from the military and the problem goes away.  Keep them there and it will only get worse.
Putting twenty-something men and women filled with raging hormones into desperate situations far from their homes is a guarantee that sexual immorality is going to take place. I do not know what the statistics are for rape on college campuses but it would not surprise me to discover that they are very similar to the statistics for rape in the military.  Throw in some alcohol and we have a perfect prescription for rape.
Let's face it.  Let's admit what we all know to be true but don't want to say.  A significant percentage of the men who sign up to join the military do so because they are interested in being violent animals.  Many of them want to experience what it feels like to kill someone.  They want to see what it feels like to allow all of their animalistic desires to come out upon a fellow human being.   It is a relatively easy thing to go from wanting to kill the enemy to wanting to rape the hot woman in the bunk next to you.  In their world all humans are reduced to being mere objects that are there to allow them to express their rage and sexual enjoyment.  Kill a few people.  Take a few shots of whiskey.  Rape a few women.  All in a day's work.  And the good news is, when you get home you will be treated like a hero and given a job with the local military.....ummm.....I mean local police force.  There you will be able to keep on doing pretty much the same things you were doing in Iraq.  What a country.

I felt very badly about what I wrote this morning so I have been trying to find some way to defend the reputations of the noble men who protect my freedom every day.  Were it not for them I would probably be either dead or living under Sharia law.  Then it occurred to me.   I didn't take into account the fact that women make up ~50% of the civilian population of the SDA but, according to CNN, only 15% of the active duty population.  Maybe I can preserve the sterling reputation of our fighting forces after all.
So, if 3000 female soldiers are raped by their male counterparts every year but females make up only 15% of the 2.2 million people on active duty, that means there are ~330,000 women who are potential rape victims.  Oops....that means that female soldiers actually have about a 1% risk of being raped each year.  That is even worse than I had thought!  Fathers, don't let your daughters grow up to be soldiers.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jefferson County Mandates The Use Of Toxic Chemicals

I learned something yesterday that made me really mad.  Remember when people used to believe that their home was their castle?  Remember when people could do whatever they wanted on their property provided it did not spill over in a harmful way to their neighbor's property?  Remember when what grew on your property belonged to you and you could do whatever you wanted with it?  Those days are gone.  The giant beast of the state now claims practically all rights of ownership over your property.  You are nothing but a serf, a tenant and a slave to the all-powerful state.  Allow me to give you an example.
A friend of mine lives in Jefferson county Colorado.  I also live in Jefferson county but was unaware of the rule/law of which she has run afoul.  A couple of months ago my friend decided to put her home up for sale.  She has a nice home in the mountains to the west of Denver.  The home sits on a nice size lot that is naturally landscaped in native grasses, shrubs and trees.  I do not know who squealed on her but shortly after listing the home with a realtor she received an official looking letter from Jefferson county.  The letter informed her that she would not be permitted to sell her home until she had taken the required measures to eradicate the "noxious" weeds that are growing on her property.  All of this came as quite a surprise to her.  She has been living in this particular home for decades and nobody ever told her she was surrounded by noxious weeds.  She had certainly never been informed that, for purposes of public health, she needed to destroy some of the plants growing on her property.  In fact, the same type of plants that are growing on her property are also growing on the property of all of those who live around her, yet none of them are being ordered, under penalty of law, to eradicate them.  What is going on here?
As it turns out, the omnipotent state of Colorado has determined that the Myrtle Spurge is a noxious plant that must be eradicated.  Why you ask?  Here is what the state officially has to say about the Myrtle Spurge:  "Myrtle spurge is an invasive ornamental that is native to Eurasia.  It is popular with xeriscapes and rock gardens, preferring sunny to partly sunny areas and well drained soils.  Myrtle spurge rapidly escapes gardens and invades sensitive ecosystems, out competing native vegetation and reducing wildlife forage."  Because of this, "Myrtle spurge is designated as a 'List A' species in the Colorado Noxious Weed Act.  It is designated for statewide eradication."  Here is a picture of the felonious plant:

Looks dangerous, doesn't it?  Apparently the sap in this flower can cause rashes and some blistering in folks who work with it.  For that reason, and because it is a foreign invader, it must die. If my friend makes the decision to harbor this dangerous fugitive she will be unable to sell her home, fined and, if she refuses to pay the fine, ultimately imprisoned.  Something is desperately wrong with this situation.
If the Myrtle Spurge is as dangerous to the health and safety of all humans and animals in this state as the bureaucrats tell us, why is there no mandatory program of eradication for all landowners?  Why is it that only those who put their homes up for sale are targeted?  Furthermore, people who live in the mountains are well aware of the damage caused by deer and elk grazing through their property.  The fact that deer and elk avoid eating the Myrtle Spurge is one of the reasons so many people made the decision to plant it on their property in the first place.  In addition, it is a nice looking succulent that stays green through a good part of the long mountain winter.  Why should my friend be forced to kill all of these plants before she can sell her home?
One of the logical contradictions that never ceases to amaze me is the fact that most state biologists, indeed, most biologists in general, believe in the religion of evolution.  They profess to believe that everything that is has evolved from a lower form of life to a higher form of life.  They believe that the process by which this has taken place is genetic mutation, natural selection and very long periods of time.  They believe in what is summarized as the "survival of the fittest".  Now, along comes a plant that is clearly showing itself to be one of the "fittest".  Not only is it surviving, it is expanding its range.  But some biologist who works for the state has now decided that he does not want this plant to expand its range.  So he issues a decree that the plant must die.  Does he not realize he is tampering with the evolutionary process?  Does he not realize he is messing with his god?  What hypocrisy.  Why should some state bureaucrat be given the power to decide which plant will live and which plant will die?  Why should some state bureaucrat determine that forage for deer in Jefferson county is more important than a hearty plant that requires no irrigation?  Why does one bureaucrat in Jefferson county tell me that I have to xeriscape my property in order to save precious water while, at the same time, another bureaucrat is telling me my xeriscape plants are illegal?  Besides, Jefferson county is 778 square miles in size.  What possible difference does it make to the ecosystem if .5 square miles of it is filled with the Myrtle Spurge?
To top all of this nonsense off, my friend received specific instructions on how to eradicate the Myrtle Spurge.  She was ordered to purchase a particular type of herbicide.  I do not understand organic chemistry so I can't give you the exact name of the chemical.  It is sufficient to say that it is a highly toxic chemical that she is required to spray on all of the plants that she finds on her property.  Now, I wonder, have the bureaucrats in Jefferson county taken the time to consider the environmental impact of spraying toxic chemicals all over the place?  Have they thought about the impact to the ground water and the watersheds?  We all know what would happen if I made the voluntary decision to use a herbicide to eradicate all of the biomass growing on my property.  I would be immediately arrested for environmental sins.  But when the state mandates the use of toxic chemicals to eradicate species of plants it has determined to be immoral the sin becomes a moral act.  Hypocrisy, pure and simple.
My friend has been trying to spray her plants all week.  Unfortunately for her, it has been raining all week and the herbicide has been washing off the plants and into the watershed.  The plants look great but I thought I detected a chemical taste in my water last night.  She is expected to have killed all of the plants by tomorrow or suffer the consequences.  I am already setting aside some time in my schedule to visit her in prison.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Federal Crop Insurance Con

My tranquility was disturbed yesterday when I received a letter from a friend in which he had placed an article from the "Central Iowa Ag Mag".  The article was about federal crop insurance.  I am not a farmer.  I know nothing about farming.  Everything I have ever planted has either failed to germinate or died shortly after germination.  I do, however,  know a little bit about economics and what I learned about the federal crop insurance program made me livid.  I knew nothing about the history of transfer payments to farmers so I did a bit of reading to try and get up to speed.  As it turns out, Congress used to simply pass annual "emergency" bills that would take billions of taxpayer dollars and give it to "qualified" farmers who had allegedly experienced crop failures, hail damage and other assorted disasters.  Over time the annual payouts became politically charged and difficult to justify in the eyes of the voters so the career politicians who run the  congressional giveaway decided to create a different system to spread around the funds they were passing out in exchange for votes from the recipients.  That is when the crop insurance program was born.
Fast forward to today.  During the time the federal government is forbidding the merger of two profit-seeking airlines in the name of anti-monopoly protocols, that same federal government has granted a monopoly privilege to a well connected group of insurance companies who have the exclusive right to sell crop insurance policies to farmers in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika. In an article at, it was reported that, "Under the federal crop insurance program, farmers can buy insurance policies that cover poor yields, declines in prices or both. The insurance is obtained through private companies, but the federal government pays about 62 percent of the premiums, plus administrative expenses....Insurance policies are sold and completely serviced through 16 approved private insurance companies. Independent insurance agents are paid sales commissions by the companies. The insurance companies' losses are reinsured by USDA, and their administrative and operating costs are reimbursed by the federal government."
Now that is some kind of sweet deal.  As  you would expect, in the absence of taxpayer subsidies this entire house of cards would have crashed into bankruptcy the very first year it came into existence.  Not only do taxpayers pay the premiums for the crop insurance, they also pay the insurance companies who sell these policies and, ultimately, they pay the claims.  Here is what the article I received in the mail had to say, "While crop insurance seems to have passed the 2012 drought test with flying colors, it has come at a steep price to American taxpayers.  Taxpayers cover about two-thirds of the premiums for crop insurance policies.  The cost to taxpayers has grown from $1.5 billion a year in 2002 to $7.4 billion in 2011, and what is estimated to be a record $16 billion from the drought of 2012.  Government estimates the cost of crop insurance at $90 billion over the next 10 years.  Plus, taxpayers foot another $1.3 billion a year for overhead costs for the insurance companies, such as administering and adjusting the policies, and examining the crop losses."
So there you have it.  From beginning to end the farmers who receive crop insurance are feeding on your tax dollars.  You pay the premiums for the insurance.  You pay the commissions to the salesman who sells the policy.   You pay the hourly wage of the secretary who answers the phone at the insurance company.  You pay for the adjuster to go out and examine the "disaster" that takes place.  You then pay the amount to cover the alleged losses.  And, to top it off, all of this is done on the sly.  There is no need for a vote in Congress to approve a multi-billion dollar bill that would accomplish the same ends.  The system has been put in place to transfer your money to politically connected farmers and nothing is going to stop it.
Maybe you are a socialist and you are thinking, "we should help farmers who experience losses."  If so, I have several questions for you.  Why should "we", meaning the taxpayers, "help", meaning give my money to, someone simply because he experiences a financial loss?  I experienced a financial loss on a stock I purchased last year.  Should I be helped as well?  Indeed, why should it not be the case that every single person who lives in the SDA who experiences any type of loss should be reimbursed from taxpayer funds for his losses?  After all, that would be the only fair way to do things.  I want to be reimbursed for my gambling losses!  I want to be reimbursed for my investment losses!  I want to be reimbursed for the fact that I lost income when I was fired!  Opps, that program already exists.  It is called "unemployment insurance" and is another huge federal/state boondoggle.
What we have here is pork, pure and simple.  Career politicians from agricultural states know they have to have the farmer vote to remain career politicians.  In order to get the farmer vote they have to deliver the federal cash to the farmers.  The crop insurance program is the perfect means to do so.  It guarantees farmers that they will never suffer losses.  It guarantees them profit on their crops.  It is all done under the guise of it being the patriotic duty of the taxpayers of the SDA to support those who "bring us our food".  Praise the noble farmer.  Praise the state that keeps him in business.  What a con.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Three Rules For A Happier Life

On May 16th of this year I wrote an article for this blog that is, by far, the least read of my daily postings for the year.  It was entitled "Three Rules For A Longer Life" and can be found here.  As of today that post has been read only five times.  I guess there are several things I can conclude from this state of affairs.  Perhaps I do a terrible job giving advice on how to live longer.  Perhaps those who read this blog do not care about living longer.  Maybe that particular post just got lost in the shuffle.  I don't really know.  All I know is that practically nobody read it.  That makes me want to try again.
Despite the miserable results from my last attempt at writing a post that deals with personal advice, I am going to give it another try today.  There are several reasons for this decision on my part.  The primary reason is that I am sitting here at my keyboard and for the first time in almost two years I am not mad about anything.  Sure, sure, if I allow myself to think about any of the things I have written about recently I will get angry.  But if I just clear my mind I find myself in a strange state of tranquility.  I am unaccustomed to feeling this way and it makes me so that I am not quite sure what I should do.  Anger is a great motivator.  The absence of anger is a pacifier. 
It is also a slow news day today.  Everyone has beaten the Syria issue to death, including me.  I don't feel like writing anything about economics today.  It is a cool, cloudy and rainy day here in Denver today.  It is the kind of day that is a precursor to the approaching days of winter.  It has put me into a bit of a contemplative mood, but without my usual rage.  So, without further ado, allow me to ruminate upon a topic that I like to call "elective grief".  Along the way I will give you my three rules for a happier life.
Elective grief is that grief that comes into our lives entirely as a result of the choices that we make.  I believe it is fair to say that most people experience far more elective grief than they do necessary grief.  Necessary grief is what happens to us that makes us sad that is unavoidable.  People die.  Pets die.  People get sick.  Accidents happen.  These are all things that cause necessary grief.  Necessary grief is not my concern today.
Elective grief is the type of grief that is the result of things that we do that were totally avoidable.  This grief does not have to exist.  It does exist because we do things that bring it about that are totally unnecessary.  Almost all elective grief is the result of relationships gone bad.  There is a small category of elective grief that flows from foolish behavior.  Making the decision to drive at a high rate of speed down a crowded highway after consuming a couple of dozens shots of whiskey will bring about some elective grief.  I am not interested in the foolish behavior branch of elective grief today.  I am concerned with that sorrow that comes from the death of human relationships.  Following my three rules for a happier life will almost guarantee that no elective grief will ever come into your life as a result of bad relationships. 
Rule # 1:  Never forget that everyone always thinks about himself exclusively.  This is the one truth about human behavior that will explain practically everything you experience with your fellow human beings.  Never forget....everyone always thinks about himself all the time.  Nobody is ever thinking about you, ever.  Nobody cares about you.  Everyone cares about himself, all the time.  This truth is illustrated every time we open our mouths.  Eavesdrop on any human conversation you come in close proximity to today.  Listen to the content of that conversation.  It will always be a series of "I" statements in which each party to the conversation is spending all of his time thinking about what to say about himself next.  It is irrelevant what the other person is saying because nobody is paying any attention to the other person.
Sometimes people will tell me they are intimidated when they walk into a room filled with people they do not know.  They tell me that they believe everyone is looking at them and silently judging them.  When folks tell me this I assure them that they do not need to be intimidated.  Do you know why?  Because nobody is thinking about them.  Nobody. Everybody is thinking about himself.  Always.  In fact, I tell the person, the only reason you are intimidated is because you too are just thinking about yourself.  Stop thinking about yourself and you will stop being intimidated.
Sometimes people tell me how cruel others are to them.  Inevitably I discover that is not true.  To be truly cruel to another person you have to actually think about that person.  Almost nobody thinks about anyone but himself so the perceived cruelty is actually nothing more than taking offense because others do not think about you as much as you do.  If you ever come across somebody who is actually maliciously thinking about you, get out of there!  You are in a dangerous situation. Fortunately, it is almost never the case that a "mean" person is thinking about you at all.
Rule # 2:  Never forget that everyone is hyper-insecure.  This truth is related to the first truth.  In fact, it may precede the first truth.  Why does everyone always think only about himself?  Because everyone is hyper-insecure.  Insecure people are unwilling or unable to get their thoughts to rise above themselves.  This extreme selfishness brings about a state of extreme insecurity.  Since everyone is always thinking about him, or so the extremely insecure person thinks, they  must be discovering things about him that he does not want them to know.  They must realize that he is socially awkward. They must realize he does not always have the right thing to say.  They must realize he is not the most handsome person in the room.  They must realize he weighs too much.  They must realize he is not wearing the right type of clothes.  And on, and on, and on it goes.
Hyper-insecure people are offended by everything because they interpret everything through their own personal grid.  It is practically impossible to have a conversation with  most people because most people are hyper-insecure.  An innocuous statement about the weather can somehow be distorted in the mind of the hyper-insecure person as an insult about what type of shoes he decided to wear that day.  We all have experienced this a thousand times.  I say, "It might rain today" and you hear "He thinks I am stupid because I did not wear the proper wear shoes for rain today".  Now, quite suddenly and unexpectedly to me, you are angry with me because I have insulted you.  That is the end of our conversation and you go away angry.  You run up to another person at the party and tell them how I just insulted you.  And so it goes.
Rule # 3:  Mind your own business.  This exhortation is often misunderstood.  People who mind their own business are not anti-social.  Most folks interpret the desire to mind one's own business as some sort of attempt to cut off all human interaction and become a hermit.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Minding one's own business does not mean that I never speak with anyone again.  It does mean that I do not try to control the behavior of others.  Trying to control everyone but ourselves is where the problem starts.
People who mind their own business recognize that everyone else is interested only in themselves and hyper-insecure.  So when people who mind their own business engage the rest of humanity they do so with a decided advantage.  They know that what they say is not going to be heard and they also know that what they say is likely to end up with the other person taking offense.  Knowing these things in advance makes it easy to mind one's own business.  Selfish and insecure people are desperately trying to control everyone and everything around them for their own glory. The man who minds his own business has no desire to control anything but himself.  That is what it means to attend to his own business.
The man who is minding his own business realizes that most human conversation is a game designed to conceal what is really going on beneath the surface.  He can play that game well because, unlike most participants, he is conscious of what is going on and able to rise above it.  He does not get caught exclusively talking and thinking about himself.  He is not intimidated by others because he is not insecure about who is he.  He plays that game until someone comes along who gets the joke.  It is rare when that happens but it does happen.  The person who comes along who gets the joke is in the same position as the man who is minding his own business.  They immediately recognize each other, although no one else in the room has a clue what is going on.  Inevitably they become friends.
It does not follow that awareness of these three rules will eliminate elective grief.  Humans are sinful creatures.  Even the best of friends can fall into the trap of selfishness and insecurity that results in the destruction of their friendship and mounds of elective grief being poured out upon them.  But in general, those who are aware of these three rules will experience much less elective grief than others and have some measure of real happiness in this life.
Now I am going to sit back and see if more than five people read this post.  If so, I will consider it a success.  If not, I will have to try giving out personal advice one more time.  You see the plan, don't you?  If you want me to stop this senseless drivel, read this post and tell others to do so.  Otherwise I will never stop writing things nobody wants to read.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Only Socialists Believe In The Minimum Wage

The minimum wage was created by powerful labor unions from our past to keep older children, ages 13-18, out of the labor force and thus drive up wages and job opportunities for their own members.  Under the guise of protecting the working man, the labor unions harmed the working man in favor of its own membership.  The minimum wage has been amazingly successful in its stated goal.  Unemployment among older children is higher than any other age class in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Of course the minimum wage was not the only tool in the labor union's war chests.  They also mounted a highly successful propaganda campaign against child labor.  They were successful in bringing about a major shift in public opinion about child labor.  Prior to their efforts it was considered a good thing when children went to work.  They learned valuable skills that would help them in the future and they provided additional income for their own families.  As an additional benefit, many of them were released from the drudgery and crushing boredom of a government school education.  Everybody was happy.  After the propaganda campaign by organized labor, anyone who would even consider hiring a 17 year old to perform a simple full time job was deemed to be worse than Hitler.
The simple fact is that the concept of a minimum wage is a socialist/communist concept.  The free market sets the price for a wide variety of labor skills quite efficiently and without any government interference whatsoever.  Communists and socialists come along and tell us that the free market is evil and exploitative.  Communists and socialists come along and tell us that omnipotent and omniscient career politicians and bureaucrats need to look into their crystal balls and determine precisely what each laborer should be paid for his services.  Career politicians are more than happy to come up with a minimum wage number that is much higher than what the free market would bear, then establish a law to enforce that number upon business and therefore enrich laborers with money stolen from profit-seeking businessmen, all in exchange for a vote from the envy-ridden laborer.  It is the perfect communist system.
Joseph Vanderzwart of Morrison, Colorado wrote a letter to the Denver Post last week that was entitled, "Failure of minimum wage to rise with inflation and executive pay."  I do not know if Joe is a card carrying communist,  but I do know that any objective reader can immediately see where Joe is going with this one.  But don't let me speak for him.  Here is what Joe had to say, "Thursday's letters to the editor both sound like they were written by McDonald's CEOs.  They both ignore the facts.  1.  The minimum wage has not kept up with inflation.  If so, it would be over $10 an hour.  2.  Worker productivity has dramatically increased, while wages have remained stagnant.  3.  While all of this is going on, executive pay has increased dramatically.   After considering the facts, it can be concluded that 99 percent of us are getting a raw deal.  Fast food employees, doubly so.  Anyone who is not a CEO is foolish to oppose them."  Wow!  What a fool I must be!
So Joe has looked out over the economic landscape and come to the conclusion that everyone but the top 1% of the income population is "getting a raw deal".  According to Joe, anyone who is not a member of that top 1% of the income population is "foolish" if he does not vote for politicians who promise to create laws to steal the money of the most productive members of our society and give it to those of us who are in the lower 99% of the income population.  And, according to Joe's presuppositions in this matter, he is taking the moral high road when he calls for this coercive confiscation and the 1% are all worse than Hitler simply because they believe they have the right to retain what is their own. Let's consider some of Joe's envy-ridden ideas for a moment, shall we?
The minimum wage was established at 1$/hour in 1967.  Today it is $7.25, although some individual states have mandated a wage higher than the federal minimum.  The Consumer Price Index was 33 in 1967. Today it is 229.  If I am doing my math correctly,  the minimum wage has risen by 725% since 1967 and the CPI has risen by 694% during that same time period.  We can see that Joe's first assertion is not supported by the facts.  The fact is that the minimum wage has actually risen somewhat faster than the rate of inflation.  Maybe Joe was just confused.  Maybe his covetous mind was unable to rise from thoughts of how he was going to take his neighbor's property to how to perform simple mathematical functions.  How does he do on his second assertion?  Has worker productivity dramatically increased while wages have stagnated?
Over the past ten years labor productivity has increased by an average of 2.1%/year.  During the same ten year period the average hourly earnings of labor have increased by 3%/year.  So Joe's assertion that productivity gains have outstripped wage gains is simply not true.  I wonder where he is getting his facts?  Maybe he is just making them up.  One thing Joe failed to mention in his second point is the source of the productivity gains in labor.  He seems to assume that labor has become more productive simply because heroic laborers are working through their coffee breaks and eating less doughnuts.  It never occurs to him that the real reason for productivity increases in labor have nothing to do with labor itself.
Labor has become more productive primarily because the tools labor has been given to do the work have become more efficient.  Technological improvements in labor saving devices are what are responsible for the dramatic increase in labor productivity.  And, untold to us by Joe, those labor saving technological devices have mostly been created, manufactured and marketed by profit-seeking businessmen, many of whom are in the top 1% of the income population.  So Joe is unwilling to admit that his precious gains in labor productivity are the result of the productive activities of those he despises so much.  Imagine that.
Joe concludes his diatribe against the top 1% of the income population with the tired old refrain about executive compensation.  Why it is any of his, or our, business what other people earn is never described.  I remember the day when it was considered to be rude and socially improper to discuss your salary in public.  Apparently those days are gone.  Or, at least, they are gone when discussing the salaries of anyone who might make more than I do.  And that, of course, is nothing more than dear old envy once again raising its ugly mug.
I do not know if executive pay, whatever that is and however it is defined, has increased faster than the rate of inflation.  Nor do I care.  It is none of my business.  It is none of Joe's business.  It has nothing to do with the argument Joe is making and it should never have been a part of this discussion.  Hey Joe....mine your own business! OK?  Oh...and by the would not hurt if your got your facts straight.  Boy, envy sure does ruin a man, doesn't it?