San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, February 14, 2014

FINRA Diversity Training Doublespeak

FINRA stands for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.  It is a quasi-governmental organization that is responsible for ensuring compliance among securities dealers with the thousands of rules that have been created to theoretically prevent fraud and protect the investing public from unscrupulous securities dealers.  There is no evidence whatsoever that FINRA actually accomplishes this stated goal.  There is also no evidence whatsoever that FINRA, if it does accomplish the stated goal, can do it better than the free market would.  No matter. Government rules are government rules.  If you want to conduct a securities business in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika you need to become a member of FINRA and kiss the hand of the regulators.   
FINRA sends out a battery of email messages to broker dealers informing them of the new rules they are going to be forced to comply with as well as lists of seminars they can attend to learn how to best conform to the new rules.  A broker friend of mine will occasionally send me an excerpt from one of those emails.  I received this clip of a FINRA email from him just the other day.  It was about a "FINRA Diversity Summit" that is to be held in New York City this March.  Here is how the program was described:
"The FINRA Diversity Summit provides a forum for diversity practitioners and business leaders from securities firms, financial regulators and other organizations to share diversity and inclusion best practices that link business goals to the workplace and the marketplace."
Isn't that special.  Do you have any idea what the above sentence means?  Neither do I.  Still, I will not allow the doublespeak in the above sentence to keep me from my goal of interpreting what is being said. Let's deconstruct it together and see if we can come up with some idea about what is being communicated to the over-regulated and oppressed securities dealers of the SDA.
If I were attempting to start an investment securities business the most important qualities that I would be searching for in my employees would be an exhaustive knowledge of securities products, an outstanding ability to sell those products to willing customers, great attention to detail and scrupulous honesty. If FINRA really was trying to ensure that public customers of its member firms were being treated in the best possible fashion, it would agree with the goals I just listed.  The fact that FINRA is more concerned with advancing progressive political goals than guaranteeing the fair treatment of the investing public clearly proves that FINRA is not really about securities regulation, it is about advancing a progressive agenda for societal change.
An entire cottage industry known as "diversity practitioners" has arisen in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  The role of these perverts is to "share diversity and inclusion practices."  Of course they really don't "share" anything.  When regular people share stuff with us we are free to ignore them and what they say.  When these diversity practitioners share stuff with securities businesses the owners of those businesses ignore the content of their "sharing" to their own peril. When a priest of diversity and inclusion arrives from the government and "shares" some ideas on how to make your business more diverse and inclusive, you had better do what she says or face the legal consequences.
What will be the content of what is shared by these social parasites sent from the federal government?  It will be three-fold.  Securities businesses will be informed that when it comes time to hire employees they must make sure that three types of employees are hired.  The three categories are sexual perverts, women and government protected races.  The entire program of  the so called "diversity and inclusion" movement has nothing to do with true diversity and inclusion.  It only has to do with providing government benefits for sexual perverts, women and certain races.  Consider these truths:
  1. The company will be required to employ some requisite number of gays, lesbians, transsexuals, bi-sexuals, transvestites and the occasional hermaphrodite.  Why the perverse sexual practices of the potential employees should even be public knowledge is never described.  Apparently those who rejoice in their various sexual perversions also rejoice in making their behavior public knowledge.  Why the practice of sexual perversions should qualify these people as securities brokers and back office personnel is not explained. What is clear is that this tiny minority of grossly immoral human beings is presently being given "most preferred" status by the federal government.  As a result they must be hired.  
  2. The company will be required to have the proper number of women and they will be required to be in the proper positions.  Gone are the good old days when I could hire a bunch of pretty women and stick them in the secretarial pool. Then, whenever I felt the urge to do so, I could go down to the room where they all worked together and pinch a few bums.  Don't tell me they didn't like it.  They would always giggle incessantly when I showed up.  No!  That is "sexual harassment."  Or at least that is what the judge told me it was.  No, I must have women on my payroll and they must be in positions of power and authority in my firm.  Whether these women have the slightest knowledge about economics, finance, investment securities or sales practices is irrelevant.  To be diverse and inclusive I will hire them, even though my customers will suffer inferior service as a result.
  3. The company must also carefully check which race each of my new hires comes from.  Now I think we all know there are hundreds of races of human beings.  If I had to be truly inclusive I would have to have representatives of all of the races in the world working in my firm.  Are there any Afrikaners on the payroll?  How about Norwegians?  Make sure you have a Fijian or two. Fortunately for me I only have to hire members of those races that the federal government is currently granting special privileges to.  That pretty much means I have to hire blacks.  Even though Asians are a smaller racial minority than blacks in the SDA I am free to ignore them.  I won't, of course.  They are experts in finance, scrupulously honest and very hard workers.  I will include them but that won't make me "inclusive."  The diversity practitioner will only certify me as being diverse when 12% of my workforce is black.  So 12% of my work force will be black, whether they know anything about securities or not.
There are huge gaps in the principles of the state certified diversity practitioners.  Despite all of the talk about being inclusive and having a diverse workforce, there are hundreds of groups that are not represented in their rules.  In fact, the rules apply to a very small minority of those selected by the government for special privileges.  Those groups were just described above.  There are no other groups.  In the real world there is no principle of inclusion for many minority groups that just do not happen to be attached to the government via an umbilical cord.
For example, there is no principle of inclusion for Christians.  Why should the state not mandate that a certain percentage of Christians be employed by every securities firm?  Christians are a minority group.  Christians are a minority group that is persecuted around the world.  Why do they receive no government protection and advancement?  Christians tend to be highly moral.  They would be excellent employees in most cases. Still, FINRA does not mandate the hiring of Christians via its "diversity" program.  Why not?
There is no principle of inclusion for pedophiles or those who practice bestiality.  Why not?  Why should they be left off the list of sexual perverts that are protected and advanced into securities careers by FINRA?  Children should have rights.  One of those rights should be the right to have a mutual sexual relationship with someone above the arbitrary age of 18.  Indeed, children should not be defined as being under the arbitrary age of 18.  Whatever consenting human beings of any age wish to do should be permitted.  There should be no discrimination.  And, as far as those who enjoy sex with animals are concerned, I haven't heard of a sheep yet that filed a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board.  Have you?
There is no principle of hiring inclusion for the Welsh.  We are definitely in the minority.  Why should we not be protected?  We are experts in finance, economics, investment securities and securities sales.  We are scrupulously honest, depending upon what the meaning of the word "honest" might be.  Yet we receive no protection from FINRA whatsoever.  I conclude that any government agency that will not advance my cause and force securities firms to hire me is not credible.  All I want is my fair share.  All I want is what is coming to me.  All I want is my piece of the pie. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Free Trade All The Time And Everywhere

Yesterday I wrote about how every incursion of the government into the economy has a negative impact upon your wealth and well being.  There is nothing government does or can do that ever helps the economy as a whole, although I must admit that the government is very good at perpetuating itself and giving generous handouts to those who are politically connected to it.  One of the things that government fears the most is free trade.  Millions of regulations exist exclusively for the purpose of restraining your ability to buy what you want, where you want it and when you want it.  Government, and the career politicians and bureaucrats who staff it, believes that it always knows what is best for you.  The nanny-state is in full expression in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Let's consider the doctrine of free trade for a while today.
Government taxes trade in order to garner additional revenue.  Government also regulates trade under the guise of "public health" in order to buy votes from people who want government protection from market competition.  "Public health" is the justification for many a government created monopoly.  As government has continued to grow more and more transactions that used to be free are now subject to myriad rules and regulations.  The innocuous action of my daughter selling glasses of lemonade on the curb in front of my house, a prototypical example of free trade if I have ever seen one, is now an illegal action.  Government agents determined that the sale of lemonade is a public health issue.  If she wishes to sell lemonade she must first obtain a government license and then subject the production process for her lemonade to government scrutiny.  Needless to say, the government has effectively put all children out of the lemonade stand business.
Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution of the United States delegates the power to "regulate commerce" to the Congress.  This delegation of power was, however, not a blanket permission for Congress to create bureaucracies to make rules to regulate every transaction that takes place.  It was strictly limited to transactions that took place between the United States and foreign countries, the various States and the Indian tribes.  Nowhere is it stated that the Congress has the right to regulate free trade between the citizens of the country unless that trade crosses a state border.  For my purposes here today, it is the power to regulate interstate trade that is of most interest.  Congress was granted this power in order to prevent the states from creating cartels and beating up on each other economically.  The goal was to forbid the creation of state sponsored monopolies and to prevent the erection of tariffs that would protect one state's products at the expense of another state's products.
Imagine what might have happened if North Carolina decided that it would only sell tobacco to states that agreed to never buy tobacco from South Carolina.  If North Carolina and Virginia teamed up under this deal, they could effectively put South Carolina tobacco growers out of business.  To prevent exactly this type of government created monopoly power the "commerce clause" was added to the Constitution.  Whenever the various states would attempt to create a monopoly power it was the duty of the Congress to declare those agreements illegal and reestablish free and open trade everywhere.  Whenever one state would slap a tariff on the importation of tobacco from North Carolina, it was the job of the Congress to remove that tariff and reestablish free trade for all.   In other words, the "commerce clause" was not written to restrict free trade, it was written to ensure that the states could not interfere with the free trade of goods and services by establishing monopolies.  My how things have changed.
Statists and socialists conspired, long ago, to change the meaning of the "commerce clause."  According to them it gave the federal government the right to regulate every single transaction that takes place anywhere in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  And they have done so.  You can scarcely buy or sell anything these days without the prior permission and consent of some federal bureau.  We live in a total nanny-state in which the buying and selling of goods that are at the very worst amoral is regulated in the name of protecting us from our own stupidity and potential for engaging in serious criminal actions.   Let me explain just how bad things have become.
You may not buy a gun without the permission of the federal government and, in many states, the joint permission of the state government.  Nobody should be required to obtain permission to buy a gun.  You have a constitutional right to own guns.  Anyone who wants a gun should be able to buy a gun from anyone who wants to sell a gun.  Purchasing a gun is an amoral action at the worst, a moral action at the best.  The state should not be involved in our amoral or moral actions.  It does not matter what type of gun someone might want to purchase.  It could be a .22 caliber rifle or it could be a gun mounted on a tank.  If two parties agree on a price to exchange either of those weapons they should be free to exchange those weapons without government interference.  Government has no legal or moral authority to regulate the type of weapons you own.  If you want to have 300 tanks in your backyard, each fully functional and armed to the hilt,  you should be free to do so.  Government should become involved only if one of those tanks is used to do harm to the life, freedom or property of my neighbor.  Until that takes place government needs to mind its own business.
You should not need permission to buy alcohol.  But, you protest, you don't need permission to buy alcohol.  Actually you do.  Just because you do not need a license to buy alcohol does not mean alcoholic beverage sales are not regulated by the government.  Prior to ever selling a drop of beer any business that wants to sell beer must first apply for a license from the government to do so.
Bureaucrats sitting in smoke filled back rooms produce numbers out of thin air that help them to determine if and when a sales license for alcoholic beverages should be issued.  There is no free market in alcoholic beverages.  If there was anybody who wanted to buy or sell any type of alcoholic beverage would be free to do so anywhere and anytime. That applies to moonshiners too.
It necessarily follows that it should also not be "against the law" to drive drunk. There should be no laws criminalizing drunk driving.  The state should only become involved when my drunken driving results in me doing harm to my neighbor's life, freedom or property.  Even then the fact that I was driving drunk is still irrelevant.  All that matters is what damage I did and how I should be punished for doing that damage.  Drunken driving is just like basketball....no harm, no foul.
You should not need permission to buy drugs.  People all around the SDA are making a huge deal out of the fact that Colorado legalized marijuana.  Legalization is the wrong term to use when it comes to drugs.  The entire concept of legalization begins with the presupposition that government has the right and the authority to determine what is legal and what isn't.  A more proper understanding of  free market drug sales would be related to the concept of decriminalization.  Drugs should be decriminalized.  The state should have nothing to do with regulating them.  It is none of the state's business if I want to sell some marijuana or buy some LSD.  Manufacturing opium and selling cocaine are not immoral activities and they should not be subject to criminal prosecution.  The manufacture, sale and purchase of all compounds that have a stimulative, depressive, hallucinogenic or sedative impact upon the human body should be left completely free from all government interference.  There is no constitutional or moral argument for the government's "war on drugs." 
Buying, selling and using drugs is an amoral activity at the worst and a moral activity at the best.  The nanny-state should not be making rules to regulate our moral and amoral behaviors.  The state should only become involved when, under the influence of drugs, I do harm to my neighbor's life, freedom or property.  Even then the fact that I was under the influence of drugs is irrelevant. All that matters is that I did harm to my neighbor and I should be punished for the harm that I did.  If I did no harm to anyone while under the influence of drugs I have committed no offense.
If you do not already believe I am off my rocker, consider this, I believe anyone who wants to should be free to sell nuclear material to anyone who wants to purchase it.  It may surprise you to discover that King Obama agrees with me on this one....sort of.  This article describes a recent congressional hearing in which the topic of nuclear material sales was addressed.  The article begins by saying, "On January 30th the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a remarkable meeting on upcoming US agreements with other countries to permit the sale to them of US nuclear technology....What specifically troubled the committee was the Obama administration’s unwillingness to include in these agreements a requirement that buyer countries promise not to seek fuel technologies (enrichment and reprocessing) that could give them access to nuclear explosives (highly enriched uranium and plutonium). Everyone acknowledges that a country that can enrich uranium, or reprocess spent fuel to extract plutonium, is within easy reach of The Bomb.  The administration nevertheless argues that inclusion of this tight requirement makes it difficult to negotiate nuclear agreements and thereby gain both the commercial benefits and the influence that engaging in nuclear trade brings. It wants to pursue a “flexible” approach that concedes the fuel-technology issue to the buyers’ discretion, with the hope of persuading them to act responsibly."
Well how about that? Obama agrees with me that if somebody in this country wants to sell nuclear technology to someone in another country he should be free to do so.  Good for them.  Of course the sales of nuclear technology as envisioned by our King will still be highly regulated by the federal government.  That is why I wrote "sort of" in regards to the King's agreement with me on this topic.  But, to his credit, the King recognizes that the sale of a particular good should not be accompanied with an attempt to force the person buying that good to only use it in one fashion.  If another sovereign nation wants to build a nuclear bomb and some of the materials necessary to build that bomb are available in this country, then free trade should reign supreme.  The various parties to the transaction should be free to trade with each other as they see fit with no government reporting obligations and no government awareness of the transaction whatsoever. There is no moral reason why the SDA should be the only country in the world with nuclear weapons.  There is no moral reason why the SDA should prevent countries that do not have nuclear weapons from developing them.  There is no moral reason to regulate or prevent the free trade of nuclear materials and technology.  
There is only one exception to this general principle of free trade with all and it relates directly to the "commerce clause" in the US Constitution.  When the government of the USA has declared war on another country, the federal government has the right and the duty to suspend all trade with that country.  When we are at war there shall be no trade.  This does not simply mean we do not sell nuclear technology.  It also means we do not sell bananas and clothes pins.  All trade must be cut off with the combatant country in the case of war.  Other than that, free trade must reign supreme.  Given the fact that the SDA has not been involved in a "declared" war since 1945, I believe the odds are pretty slim that the "commerce clause" will need to be invoked to prevent the free exchange of nuclear materials and technology in the near future.  We are not free men if we cannot trade freely. It is not the business of our government to tell us how we may trade.  It is the business of our government to leave us alone.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What Government Can And Cannot Do Economically

Career politicians promise to do many things.  They often speak about how they are going to make all of the citizens under their rule better off financially. They make economic promises all the time.  Let's take a moment to consider what the career politicians claim to be able to do for us.
Career politicians say they can create jobs.  That is a lie.  Only profit seeking businesses are capable of creating jobs.  Career politicians claim to create jobs when they take some of the money they have taken from the citizens via taxation or inflation and then spend it on something that no profit seeking entrepreneur in his right mind would ever spend it on.  And it is true, jobs are created in this new endeavor that produces things nobody wants to pay for.  But when politicians claim to be able to create jobs they really mean they are capable of creating a net increase in the total number of jobs.  We know this for a fact because each time one of them claims to create a job he also claims to be reducing overall unemployment.  And that is where the politician falls off the logical cliff.  For every job created by a politician at least one job in the real economy is lost.  The reason for this is simple.  Politicians create new enterprises that employ people to make things nobody is willing to pay for by first taking money from the taxpayers of the land.  The money taken from the taxpayers is now no longer available to be saved and invested with profit seeking corporations that will produce goods and services that people willingly pay for with their own money.  The next time a career politician tells you he can create jobs tell him that he is a wretched liar who needs to repent of his lying ways.
Career politicians also say they can create economic growth.  When these economic idiots make statements like this it is rarely the case that laughter fills the room in which they are speaking.  It should.  I guess nobody gets the joke.  Economic growth is created when profit seeking corporations and entrepreneurs use the money of investors to produce goods and services that people are willing to buy.  Government, on the other hand, does not produce anything and, by definition, never produces anything for a profit.  If something can be produced for a profit, thus indicating that the consumers in the economy actually want that good, it will already be in production.  The only things that government ever attempts to produce are those goods and services that can't be made and sold for a profit, thus proving that the consumers in the economy do not want what is being offered to them in the first place.
One of the standard practices of career politicians is to offer various incentives to business to try and get business to produce more.  This is good in one sense.  It at least proves that government recognizes that it can't produce anything and it must rely on business to actually create economic growth.  The problem, of course, is that government does not just allow businesses to do what they want to do and produce what they want to produce.  The government does not allow producers to trade with each other and trade whatever, whenever and wherever they want.  The government does not allow consumers to buy whatever they want.  Everything that is ever made, from the lowest to the highest stage of production, plus everything that is ever purchased by consumers, is highly regulated by government.  Each regulation increases the cost of that good and reduces economic freedom.  All government incursions into the economy always reduce economic growth.  There are no exceptions to this rule.
Government says it can raise the incomes of the poor, whoever they are.  This claim is true, but with an important caveat.  Government can raise the annual income of the bottom 10% of the income population but only by first stealing a huge portion of the income of the upper 10% of the income population.  After the rich, whoever they are, have their income stolen it is transferred, less a huge cut for government expenses, to those in the bottom income cohorts.  Since there are always more people in the lower income cohorts than there are in the upper income cohorts politicians know that they can be eternally reelected by promising to keep this system of income transfer in operation.  This system goes by the twin names of democracy and socialism.  It is the system we operate under in this country.  It is also highly immoral.
Now we are on a roll.  We have actually found something government can do economically.  It can intervene into the marketplace and engage in legalized theft on behalf of those who vote for career politicians.  Can it do anything else in the economic arena?  Absolutely.  Let's think about two of the things that government does best economically.
An ironclad rule of economics is that if you want less of something you should tax that thing.  This rule is without exception.  Taxation always creates less of a good or service.  Government taxes its citizens and the citizens end up with less income.  Government taxes corporate profits and profit seeking corporations end up making less money.  They pay less dividends and shareholders have lower total returns.   Government taxes the ability of corporations to hire people by means of minimum wage rules and employment regulations and the net result is that profit seeking corporations employ less employees, thus raising unemployment.  Government wants to tax all commercial transactions conducted via the internet.  Yes, government wants less free trade to take place via the internet.  If and when the government is successful in doing so you can be assured that the internet will become significantly less free.  And that is the problem with all government incursions into the marketplace.  All taxes make all people less free. So I conclude that government is very good at taxing things, reducing economic prosperity and reducing personal freedom.
The second thing government does exceedingly well in the economic universe is subsidizing things nobody wants.  Ethanol and the corn associated with it, wind turbines, Amtrak, the Post Office and an entire host of government boondoggles prove just how good government is at wasting taxpayer money.  If consumers want something it will be made by the free market.  When career politicians want votes in the next election they subsidize something for the people who's votes they want and waste taxpayer dollars on money losing enterprises.  The second ironclad rule of economics is that if you subsidize something you will get more of it.  Corn subsidies are the perfect example of this.  When the government tried to force all of us to turn to bio fuels for our automobiles they created subsidies for corn.  Corn harvests over the past several years have set all time records.  The problem is nobody wants what the government and the ethanol producers are selling. 
In the past the government subsidized cheese because it believed we might be approaching a dangerous period in our country when we would have no cheese, thus making us vulnerable to a military takeover by the French.  So government subsidized cheese production.  Next thing you know we have cheese coming out of our ears.  Of course nobody wanted all that cheese so the government spent taxpayer dollars to build gigantic warehouses to store all of that cheese.  As far as I know, that cheese is still sitting in those warehouses.
So we can see that there are things that government can do economically and there are things that government cannot do economically.  The one unifying factor for both categories is that in all cases bad things happen when government intervenes.  The things that government can do are harmful for the economy.  The things that government cannot do but tries to do anyway are harmful for the economy.  No matter what government tries to do economically it is harmful for you and me.  No matter what government does in the economy it always results in our being less free.  So the next time a career politician starts to tell you about all of the things he is going to do to make you prosper, just tell him to shut up and quit telling lies. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Maxine Waters Is Dumb As Dirt, So Is Janet Yellen

Maxine Waters is a member of the House of Representatives (D-CA).  She is a career politician.  Now that we don't have Barney Frank to kick around any longer she is also the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, having taken Barney's position when he stepped down.  I had the misfortune of watching newly appointed Fed Chairman Janet Yellen deliver her first report to the House of Representatives today, with the honorable Maxine Waters presiding.  What a joke it was.
Sometimes I forget just how dumb career politicians can be.  Then I watch them try to act like they know what they are talking about and I remember just how bad the situation is.  Waters is the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee.  You would think that would mean that she has some working knowledge of economic principles.  After all, if you are ruling a country of 330 million people and attempting to use the legislative branch of government to guide and grow the economy of this land, it would be helpful if you had some marginal understanding of how the economy works.  That is what you would think.  Reality is quite the opposite.
Ms. Waters made a rambling opening statement and then turned to Ms. Yellen.  She practically gushed in her enthusiasm for a female Fed Chairman (yes, Yellen insists that she not be called a "Chairwoman").  She began by saying, "I believe in the Quantitative Easing."  She then proceeded to ask Yellen how the Quantitative Easing she believes in had made the economy of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika better.  What struck me most profoundly was the religious nature of the dialogue between the two women.  Waters begins with her profession of faith in the Fed policy of inflating the money supply and devaluing the dollar.  Waters confesses to those present in chambers that she is a believer in stealing from the taxpayers of the SDA by means of creating money out of thin air.  While Waters made her public confession of faith in inflation, Yellen was knowingly nodding her head in agreement.  When it came her time to speak she quickly professed her faith in inflation and went on to describe how the practice of inflation at the Federal Reserve has brought about untold economic prosperity for the taxpayers of the SDA.  Her lone empirical example of this prosperity was a imprecise and unspecific reference to how the "housing market" is doing so well as a result of the Fed's having "pushing mortgage interest rates to historic lows."
There was so much economic ignorance on display in the dialogue between these two air-headed women it defied description.  Two of the most economically important and powerful people in the SDA agree that government is the source of the interest rate.  Fools.  Idiots and fools.  The rate of interest is not a creation of the government.  The rate of interest in an economy is nothing more than the sum total and average of the time preferences of all participants in that economy.  All participants favor current money over future money.  To coax participants to delay their satisfaction and wait to receive that money in the future a premium has to be paid on it.  The premium paid is the rate of interest for that person.  Average the rates of interest for all people participating in the economy and you have the real rate of interest.  Government is no more responsible for creating the rate of interest than I am responsible for creating Mt. Rushmore.
The fact that government cannot create the interest rate does not mean that it can't seriously mess with it.  Anytime government creates artificial rates of interest, which it does all the time, the various rates that it imposes on the economy always do economic harm and the economy operates less efficiently and profitably.  The artificially low rate of interest on home mortgages is not a good thing, nor is it helpful for the economy.  An artificially low rate is a subsidy and anytime government subsidizes something it gets more of that thing than the market really wants.  That act of interest rate suppression is sowing the seeds for the next recession when the market adjusts back to reality and entrepreneurs who have acted upon those artificially low rates suddenly discover that nobody really wants what they are building and selling.  Bankruptcy is the end result of artificially low rates.  But nobody notices the millions of individual bankruptcies that take place, especially since they happen to people of means who risked their own money to build something.  No politician speaks for that group since there are not enough of them to ensure perpetual reelection.  Who really cares when rich people go broke?
As the dialogue continued I discovered that both Waters and Yellen believe government creates jobs.  I have posted to this blog many times in the past about the idiotic conception that government creates jobs.  Both air-heads nodded in agreement as it was stated that government needs to spend more money in order to stimulate economic growth and create jobs for the millions who are unemployed.  They looked so compassionate while they said so.  Where is that money going to come from?  You guessed it.  The Federal Reserve is going to create it out of thin air and give it to the government to disperse to those it likes the most.  Having counterfeit money to hand out to your friends is a really good way to get reelected but it is a very poor way to manage an economy.  Adding money to the economy does not increase wealth.  All that adding money to the economy accomplishes is to devalue the money that already exists and drive up the prices of goods and services that are exchanged with that money.  Not a nickel of new wealth is created when the Fed creates new money.  The Fed could triple the total money stock of this country overnight and the economic impact would be to reduce the value of the dollar by two thirds and create runaway inflation.  But not a penny of new wealth would be created and no jobs would suddenly pop into existence as a result of all those new dollars.  In fact, just the opposite would take place.  Inflation destroys jobs.  Government spending reduces overall levels of economic growth and job creation.  But inflation makes politicians and people connected to the federal government very happy.  Who would not want the first opportunity to spend counterfeit money, before anyone else has caught on that it is counterfeit?  That means we will have inflation as long as we have career politicians and their assorted hangers-on.
The most depressing fact about the dialogue between Waters and Yellen was not that both of them displayed staggering levels of economic ignorance.  The same levels of ignorance were routinely put on display when Barney Frank would interview Ben Bernanke.  What was most disappointing was the feminine flavor the meeting took.  With the men gone there is nothing to keep the House Committee on Financial Services from becoming a touchy-feely love fest between Waters and Yellen.  But there was more than that.  The one thing both women agreed upon was that government is great.  Both are convinced that government is omniscient and beneficient.  Both ladies oozed confidence as they spoke about their roles as leaders of the ignorant masses and the economically blind.  They are the annointed ones and they know it.  They are better than us and they know it.  They are going to lead us to prosperity despite the fact that their programs have never worked and all empirical economic evidence proves that everything they do is actually harmful to the economy rather than good.  I was disgusted by the religious nature of the meeting.  It was not so much about the specifies of how to manage an economy as it was about how they are the ones who are doing it.  The two powerful women first needed to publicly profess their common belief in the federal government's Confession of Faith which states that the government can do all things economic (Article XII, Section 10, Paragraph 3(b)1).  Once they did that they were off and running.
Not one person present in the room, including the other Congressmen on the committee, had a clue what was going on.  None of them understand economics, not one.  All of them believe in the almighty power of government, every one.  And most importantly for them, they all considers themselves to be our anointed economic saviors.  May God protect us from those who are here to protect us.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Three Tales Of Arrogant Athletes

I have three tales about three separate athletes for you today.  Two of them come from the quasi world war venue known as the Winter Olympics.  You know the place.  It is where all imperialistic nations send their best and brightest to compete in a medal count competition to prove, once and for all, which nation is the greatest in the world.  The third comes from the event that took place on the Socialist Democracy of Amerika high holy day known as Super Bowl Sunday.  I will start with the Olympic tales.
My wife, who is digitally connected and thereby able to get access to the story that is apparently being ignored by the SDA media, told me the sordid tale of an SDA figure skater who was dissatisfied with her results.  Now I am not about to pretend that I understand the appeal of figure skating.  Watching a person fly around a sheet of ice while jumping into the air and flailing her arms makes no sense to me.  I understand what is called "speed skating."  There are many times, such as when I am trying to avoid arrest or attempting to avoid getting beat up by my neighbor after I just ran over his dog, that going fast over ice is a worthy goal.  But attempting to determine who is best at jumping in to the air while flailing her arms is incomprehensible to me. Nevertheless there are people, mostly old men and women who used to jump and flail themselves, who believe that one lady's convulsions are superior to another lady's convusuions.  They are known as judges.  Now let me get back to the story.
A young woman from the SDA, lauded by all for her noble character, big heart, indefatigable sense of fair play and overwhelming commitment to sportsmanship took her turn sliding around the ice.  After she completed her routine she withdrew to a box (think penalty box from hockey) to await the opinions of the judges.  Television cameras love these moments.  The beautiful athlete is sitting there, breathing heavily from the exertion of her routine, anxiously awaiting the results.  The television camera moved in just in time to catch her reaction to her scores as they were posted.  As the numbers were announced her face drew up into a disgusted scowl and, despite not being captured on audio, her mouth clearly uttered an offensive combination of swear words that expressed her utter contempt for the judge's decision.  She finished in fourth place and did  not win the medal that all of her handlers had assured her she was guaranteed to win due to her overwhelming physical and athletic advantage over all of her measly competitors.  It was clear that she knew she was the best figure skater on the ice and the judges were nincompoops for not agreeing with her.  In her mind she was great and the judges, as well as her fellow competitors, were all raving idiots.  Her arrogance was astounding.  Her detachment from reality was palpable.  Just listening to my wife recount her tale caused the bile to rise in my throat and created a emotional state of utter revulsion within my being.
The second tale is simply another chapter in the book known as Bode Miller.  For those of you who do not live in the ski crazy state of Colorado, Bode Miller is considered to be one of the greatest skiers in SDA history.  His reputation and his ego are of equal gigantic size.  Although advanced in age for an Olympic skier, he was chosen for the SDA Olympic team and fully expected to win a gold medal.  Needless to say he did not win the event he was enter in yesterday.  In fact, he finished in eighth place.  What was his reaction to his eighth place finish?  Did he show a spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie with his fellow skiers?  Did he congratulate those who beat him?  Did his response to his finish give us a sterling example of selflessness that can be used as a role model for all the young people in the land?  Nope.  Here is what he said, "I skied well enough to win....I skied pretty well. I was really aggressive and took a lot of risk.  I am disappointed to not have a better result next to my name." 
So here it is once again.  Despite the fact that he finished in eighth place he has created an alternative reality in which he finished in first place.  The fact that seven other skiers all skied faster than he did is irrelevant.  He only thinks about himself and when he does think about himself he concludes that he skied well enough to win the gold medal.  Therefore, he must have won the gold medal even if the time clock says that he did not.  Rather than congratulating those who bested him, he decided to look up at the results board and bemoan the fact that a gold medal was not listed next to his name.  He only looked at his name.  The names of the seven skiers who were better than him did not matter.  Rather than being magnanimous and praising the skills of those who beat him, he decided to focus the attention entirely upon himself.  Rather than enjoying his moment on the world stage and finding satisfaction in the fact that he did his best, he expresses disappointment that he is not going home with a gold medal he clearly did not deserve.  Once again we see a serious detachment from reality and a personal arrogance bordering on psychosis.
My third example is provided by that pitiful excuse for a human being known as Richard Sherman.  Now I am not writing this because the Broncos lost the Super Bowl.  I had been betting against them all year and did not expect them to win.  They put together an amazing year based upon a powerful offense and a defense that was primarily smoke and mirrors.  I expected them to collapse so this is not sour grapes.  Richard Sherman is a colossal jerk regardless of the particular circumstances surrounding my opinion about him.   He is the epitome of the modern athlete.  He has been pampered and coddled his entire life.  Everyone who has been around him has constantly and consistently informed him that he is great and everyone else is a slime mold.  He believes what he has been told and he believes he is an athletic god.  He expects to be worshiped.
A story in the sports section today contained several direct quotes from Sherman that were captured by something called "Sound FX" during the Super Bowl game.  Here is a part of what he had to say, "Don't you ever say you want one-on-one with us.  Don't you ever say that!"  He then proceeded to follow Broncos receive Wes Welker off the field, taunting him the entire way.  I am not denying that for a very short period of time Richard Sherman will likely be the best defensive back in football.  Eventually time will erode his skills and he will retire.  He will then retreat into obscurity, except for the occasion police-blotter entries indicating he has been arrested for beating his live-in girlfriend, driving drunk, selling drugs and filing for bankruptcy.  My problem is that Sherman's superior football skills make him believe he is a superior human being.  His superior football skills, at least for now, are undeniable.  But he is a far cry from a superior human being.  He is reprehensible.  He is a pitiful excuse for a human being.  He is arrogant, selfish, egotistical and manically self absorbed.  In other words, he is exactly the sort of person you would expect an pampered athlete in the SDA to be.
It is old fashioned, I know, but I still believe that an athlete should win with humility and lose with selfless dignity.  I still believe that the best of athletic competition should bring out the best in human nature.  I still believe that competitors should be characterized by mutual respect and the desire to challenge and push each other to greater heights of athletic accomplishment.  I still believe that competitors should savagely attempt to outdo each other on the athletic field and then walk off together to share a cold lager in a nearby pub, laughing and chiding each other in a good natured fashion about what they have just accomplished on the field of play.  Yes, I am just a silly old fool.