San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, January 23, 2015

SEC Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

In a scarcely reported business news report yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had successfully extorted $77 million from the Standard & Poor's corporation.  A single paragraph report in the Denver Post, found in the "Business Briefs" section, informed me that, "In its first enforcement action against a major rating agency, the SEC accused S&P of fraudulent misconduct, saying the company loosened standards to drum up business in recent years.  The agreement requires S&P to pay more than $58 million to the SEC, $12 million to New York and $7 million to Massachusetts." 
Among other things, S&P is in the business of rating investment securities, particularly bonds.  The company website says, "A credit rating is Standard & Poor's opinion on the general creditworthiness of an obligor, or the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to a particular debt security or other financial obligation. Over the years credit ratings have achieved wide investor acceptance as convenient tools for differentiating credit quality...Credit ratings are one of several tools that investors can use when making decisions about purchasing bonds and other fixed income investments."  That all seems simple enough.  A company comes out with a bond and S&P takes a look at it and offers an opinion, for a fee, about the relative quality of the bond as an investment.  The better S&P is at rating the quality of bonds the more satisfied customers it will develop.  This is exactly the sort of thing we would expect to see in the free market.  Sadly, in this case, the market is not truly free.
The SEC, on the other hand, is a government bureau charged with overseeing the various investment marketplaces operating in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  According to its website, "The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation....The laws and rules that govern the securities industry in the United States derive from a simple and straightforward concept: all investors, whether large institutions or private individuals, should have access to certain basic facts about an investment prior to buying it, and so long as they hold it. To achieve this, the SEC requires public companies to disclose meaningful financial and other information to the public. This provides a common pool of knowledge for all investors to use to judge for themselves whether to buy, sell, or hold a particular security. Only through the steady flow of timely, comprehensive, and accurate information can people make sound investment decisions....Crucial to the SEC's effectiveness in each of these areas is its enforcement authority. Each year the SEC brings hundreds of civil enforcement actions against individuals and companies for violation of the securities laws."  Allow me to translate what is written above.
The SEC cannot, despite its assertion that it can, have anything to do with "capital formation."  All creation of capital happens as a direct result of participants in the free market applying their labor to land and other capital goods in order to create finished products which can be sold to consumers for a price they are willing to pay.   Also contrary to the SEC's statement, the rules created by the bureau do not aid in the creation of "orderly and efficient markets."  As is the case with every bureaucratic regulation, the SEC's rules make the market less efficient and more expensive.  As is always the case with government intrusions into the free market, it is the consumers who ultimately end up paying the bill for their services of dubious value.  The SEC believes that its myriad rules in regards to the disclosure of information about potential investments to potential investors is of some value in the real world.  Those of us who live in the real world know that to be untrue.  When is the last time you read a prospectus?  Indeed, have you ever read a prospectus?  Nobody that I know has ever relied upon even a scintilla of the information provided by the SEC to aid in an investment decision.  Everyone recognizes the whole bureau is a colossal joke.
The SEC is as popular with people in the investment business as OSHA is with people in the manufacturing business.  In both cases everyone is aware that the game that is played has little to do with protecting the citizens of the SDA from the depredations of unscrupulous investment brokers or manufacturing companies.  Rather, the game as it is actually played consists of government agents enforcing tens of thousands of unknowable and unpredictable rules upon hapless businesses which are then fined for the many violations of those rules that are invariably discovered each time a government examination takes place.  The net result is the bureau grows richer and larger while consumers pay the bill for a service they do not use and do not want.  It is the perfect government bureau.
Despite the purposefully vague terminology used in the SEC's announcement, everyone knows precisely what it is about.  The SEC is taking advantage of the previous Great Recession in order to extort money from S&P.  A little reminder about the history of mortgage backed securities during the Great Recession is in order.  Mortgage backed securities were bonds that were created by pooling groups of mortgages and putting them together based upon relative risk assessments.  Higher quality mortgages, those less likely to default, were put into higher rated bonds and lower quality mortgages were put into lower rated bonds.  During the period of time leading up to the Great Recession the federal government was putting tremendous pressure upon mortgage companies to loan money to unqualified borrowers.  Companies that refused to make those loans were threatened with legal action and accused of engaging in discrimination, usually racial in nature.  The mortgage companies complied with the government's demands and the mortgages were issued.  A huge boom was created as people who would not ordinarily have been able to afford a mortgage were now going out and buying homes of much greater value than they could actually afford.
Behind all of this business with mortgages was the support of various government mortgage companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  These government organizations, and others, would buy mortgages that had originated on the free market and then guarantee that the mortgages would be repaid even if the mortgage holders defaulted.  The taxpayers, of course, were the ones put on the hook for paying the investors in the event of a default.  This quasi-governmental decree that the mortgages were backed by the power of the federal government to tax and issue money caused the bond ratings agencies to place a high quality rating upon the mortgage backed securities.  Why shouldn't they?  If a mortgage backed security was to carry essentially the same credit risk as a Treasury, why should it not carry a similar rating, even if it was made up of high risk loans?  The answer is that it should carry the same rating.  S&P did the rational and proper thing and rated mortgage backed securities as high quality bonds. 
I have written earlier about how government caused the Great Recession, here, here and here.  The impetus for the Great Recession was the collapse of the housing market.  The housing market collapsed because all of the bad loans the government forced lenders to make came home to roost as unqualified home buyers defaulted in droves.  As foreclosures overwhelmed the housing market it became impossible, in the short term, to accurately value the remaining housing stock.  That meant that it became impossible, in the short term, to accurately value the mortgage backed securities that were based upon that housing stock.  The end result was that, for a short period of time, it was impossible to know the market value of a mortgage backed security.  The free market would have worked things out very quickly if government had stayed out of it.  Sadly, government did not stay out of it.
As a result of a rule created by the government during the previous economic downturn (2000-2002), accountants who were valuing mortgage backed securities were required by law to value those securities at the "market" price rather than the par value, or the value at maturity.  This rule, known as "mark to market", created the Great Recession.  There was no market based price to mark the mortgage backed securities to so accountants did the only thing they legally could do.  They declared them to be worthless and carried them on the books at zero value.  The resulting impact upon the balance sheets of banks holding mortgage backed securities was devastating.  At one point in 2009 Citibank was valued at less than its cash on hand.  None of it was real because the mortgage backed securities really were worth something but the government accounting rules did not allow banks to account for that truth.
So what does all of this history have to do with the SEC and the current settlement?  S&P accurately rated the mortgage backed securities it examined years ago.  The fact that those mortgage backed securities were selling for a premium just a year after the Great Recession ended proves that point.  The only reason the allegation can be made that the securities were overrated was because of the application of the unreasonable and ridiculous mark to market rule, another creation of the federal government.  History has conclusively proven that mortgage backed securities were properly rated.  The short term collapse in their value was a creation of the government and nothing else.  But today, seven years later, the SEC is able to extort $77 million from S&P as payment for a problem that was entirely the creation of the federal government.  S&P did not fraudulently report credit ratings on any security.  Their ratings were 100% accurate, as time has shown.  They also did not report higher than realistic ratings in order to "drum up business" as the federal government had already accomplished that goal by creating the housing boom.  In short, the SEC has successfully forced S&P to confess to the sins of the government and, to pour salt into the wound, pay the government a massive fine for something the government itself did.  SEC hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blacks Are Over Represented In The Entertainment Business

The media powers in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika have been throwing a fit since the nominations for the Academy Awards were announced a week ago.  Although I do not pay attention to such things, I have grass to watch grow instead, I have been told that no black folks have been nominated for any important awards.  How ghastly!  I can't conceive of a more hateful thing to do to somebody than not nominate him for another silly award.
According to this blog there were 96 televised awards shows in 2014.  Included on the list were the NFL Honors show (lots of black football players), the NAACP Image Awards (I think NAACP means black people), the NBA Social Media awards (lots of black basketball players), a slew of various music awards (lots of black musicians last time I checked), the Black Entertainment Television awards (no whites in that group), the Black Girls Rock awards (what, no black men?) and the Kennedy Center Honors which awarded Al Green (a black man, not a green one) with special recognition.
There is a political class of race baiters in this country which specializes in crying foul when there is no foul.  Such intellectual luminaries as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and King Obama constantly inform all of us who will listen that racism is alive and well in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika. Here is a picture of these fine men.  Stirring, isn't it?



I decided to do a little research and see if Jesse, Al and the King have a point or if they are just blowing hot air.  Is the fact that no blacks were nominated for prestigious Oscars this year evidence of racism or simply indicative that blacks did not produce any movies the Academy deemed worthy for nomination?  Given that Twelve Years a Slave won three Academy awards, including best picture, just last year, I was dubious about Hollywood's alleged racism.  It is hard for me to accept the idea that a decidedly liberal Hollywood elite could be guilty of snubbing blacks.  But who knows?  Stranger things have happened.  (I was once abducted by a group of aliens who took me aboard their space ship.  But that is a future blog post.)  Here is what I found.
Limiting myself to television shows on the four major network television stations I discovered some very interesting truths.  Let me share them with you.  The current racial composition of the SDA is 63% white, 17% Latino, 12% black, 5% Asian and less than 1% Welsh.  If we are to have the proper amount of diversity in the network television shows we all watch and enjoy, we should discover that the actors in those shows are racially represented in the exact same percentage as they exist in society at large.  So what did I find?  The results might surprise you.
Whites constitute 63% of the population and 71% of the television actors, a 13% higher rate of television exposure than in society.  Blacks constitute 12% of the population and 15% of the television actors, leading all races with a 25% higher rate of television exposure than in society.  Meanwhile, Asians make up 5% of the population but only 3% of television actors creating a significant 40% under representation factor.  Most egregious of all are the poor Latinos.  At 17% of the population they are found at the shockingly low rate of 8% in television shows, resulting in a despicable 53% under representation factor.  Based upon this evidence I am compelled to conclude that blacks are the most racist, while whites come in a distant second place on the racism scale.  On the receiving end of racism I find Latinos the most discriminated against, closely followed by Asians.   As usual the Welsh are shut out entirely.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Don't You Understand? God Hates Homosexuals

I hate to have to continually bring this truth up but God hates homosexuals.  An event that took place in Denver last week has brought this issue to the forefront once again.  I would like to live and let live and leave the homosexuals to their own perverted ways but they keep insisting that I authenticate and validate their lifestyle as Christian.  I can't do that.  Ray Chavez, pastor of New Hope Ministries in Denver, can't validate homosexuality either.  He threw a group of people out of his church building while they were in the middle of a funeral service for a lesbian woman.  The lesbians and lesbian supporters who had gathered in Ray's church building had paid him a rental fee to use the building and had brought their own minister to deliver the pro-lesbian eulogy.  Apparently Pastor Chavez was unaware of the exact nature of the funeral service until he entered the room in which it was being conducted and observed the photographs present in the room which clearly indicated the deceased was a lesbian.  At that point he stopped the service and ordered the participants to leave.  They obeyed his order.  As you would expect, Pastor Chavez's behavior is being roundly criticized by everyone.
Two people wrote letters to the editor of the Denver Post last Friday in which they detailed their theological opinions on the matter.  Since their opinions are the ones most commonly spouted at times like these I thought it would make sense to take some time today and consider them.  It never ceases to amaze me how people do not hesitate to make authoritative pronouncements about what God's opinion is about certain behaviors.  This is certainly the case when it comes to homosexuals.
Debbie Stafford, an associate pastor of Rock Church in Parker, Colorado, writes that, "I recently attended a funeral held at Calvary Chapel in Aurora, where the church hosted without charge the funeral services of a man whose lifestyle was contrary to that of the church....The widow was so touched that she wanted to start attending Calvary Chapel."  This is probably the most frequent reason given for why evangelical (read:  "Bible believing") leaders make the decision to conduct public religious services for people who clearly hate the God of the Bible.  Simply put, evangelical pastors are willing to profane their church buildings and compromise their cherished theological beliefs if it will give them to opportunity to solicit one more church member.  Talk about selling out to Satan.  These same folks spend a great deal of time preaching about spiritual warfare and not giving Satan a foothold in their lives and then turn around and do something like that.  Hypocrites all of them.
Ms. Stafford is not finished.  She has one additional theological gem for us to consider.  The associate pastor writes, "Only God can judge any of us.  Those of us who serve in the ministry are challenged to rise about our values and love those who are broken and hurting."  What?  God has something to say about Ms. Stafford's doctrine of judgment.  He says, "For what have I to do with judging outsiders?  Do you not judge those who are within the church?  But those who are outside, God judges.  Remove the wicked man from among yourselves....Do you not know that we shall judge angels?  How much more matters of this life?"  So Ms. Stafford is right up to a point.  It is not the business of the Church or its leaders to make judicial decisions about those who are not under their authority.  However, whenever someone comes under the authority of the church it is an absolute necessity to render judicial decisions about what takes place in the church with those people.  Ms. Stafford is dead wrong when she declares that Christian pastors cannot properly judge anyone.  It is a biblical necessity that pastors make judgements and a biblical judgment in this matter would have concluded that Christian funerals should not be given to God-hating homosexuals. 
Ms. Stafford's assertion that Christian leaders are to "rise above our values and love those who are broken and hurting" is one of the finest examples of apostasy I have seen in recent days.  According to the Bible, Christian leaders are defined by the fact that they, insofar as is humanly possible, have the same "values" as the God they represent.  When God declares that He hates homosexuals, and He does, then it becomes a moral necessity for a Christian leader to preach and teach that "value" whenever and wherever it is appropriate.  Christian leaders do not have the luxury of ignoring God's opinion on a matter in order to make themselves palatable to a God-hating special interest group.  Ms. Stafford's position may appear loving on the surface but it is nothing more than cowardice and man-serving/God-hating apostasy at the core.
Richard Johnson of Denver writes, "It would be helpful for Pastor Ray Chavez of New Hope Ministries to remember that Jesus embraced the social outcasts who were rejected by a majority of church leaders of his day."  Here we have another example of a half truth parading around as a whole truth and, thus, becoming an untruth.  Clearly Richard believes homosexuals are social outcasts.  I don't know what world he has been living in the past several years but the world I live in practically worships homosexuals.  They are given accolades and social recognition and praise far beyond their actual influence and representation in society.  To come out as a homosexual is to practically guarantee the praise of the world and its members.  Only Bible believing Christians continue to oppose homosexuality and we are a tiny oppressed minority.  So please Richard, don't give me that old story about how hard it is to be a homosexual today.  It is simply untrue.  The only group that I see being oppressed on a daily basis is Bible believing Christians.  You can say as many hateful things as you want about them with complete impunity. 
Richard does not give any biblical examples of his general postulate.  He forces me to produce one for him.  I would assume he was probably thinking of the woman caught in adultery when he penned that Jesus "embraced social outcasts."  The woman caught in adultery is a favorite of those who know little to nothing about God or the Bible.  Richard is correct on this point, prostitutes were social outcasts.  But to declare that Jesus embraced the prostitute is another thing entirely.  What does he mean when he writes "embraced?"  When confronted by an angry mob that wanted to follow biblical law and execute the prostitute for committing adultery Jesus followed the provisions of the Old Testament law to adjudicate the situation.  He informed the accusers that only those who were not guilty of adultery themselves would be permitted to judge her.  That is consistent with Old Testament law.  Each of her accusers had to quietly slip away from the proceeds because they knew that Jesus knew that they were guilty of committing adultery with her themselves.  He was writing each of their names in the sand as they each skulked away.  When all of her accusers had left Jesus informed her that, according to the Old Testament law,  He could not accuse her because He was not a witness to the act.  Thus He informed her that she was free to go.  Before she left however, Jesus sternly rebuked her and warned her to immediately cease her adulterous ways.  If that is what Richard meant when he wrote that Jesus "embraced" outcasts, then I agree with him.  But I don't think that is what Richard meant.  Do you?
I suspect Richard meant the same things others mean when they make ignorant claims about what Jesus did or did not do.  In the eyes of those who do not know Jesus and who have spent little to no time studying His life, they believe that a man-loving Jesus always turned a blind eye to sin and merely winked at sinners while they sinned.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Jesus embraced those who repented of their sins and meekly followed Him.  All others He judged.  Nothing has changed.  Jesus will embrace the homosexual who repents of his sin and meekly follows Him.  Otherwise the homosexual will be judged.  God hates homosexuals so much He has proscribed the death penalty for all practitioners of homosexuality.  What Ms. Stafford and Richard, along with others of their ilk, miss is the fact that God commands men to repent of their sins.  Those who do are saved.  Those who do not are condemned to the Lake of Fire.  Any preacher, associate pastor or person crazy enough to speak for God had better get that truth right or he will be looking at the Lake of Fire himself.  Make no mistake, God will not be mocked. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ignorant Teenagers Should Remain Silent

A brainless teenager, no doubt encouraged by a brainless government school teacher, wrote an op-ed piece for the Saturday Denver Post.  I will leave this person nameless as he clearly attempts to engage the readers in a battle of wits while bringing no weapon to the skirmish.  I take no pleasure in beating up on the ignorant and stupid so anonymity will be the rule for this fellow.  Nevertheless, there is an important life lesson to be learned here.  I will therefore proceed with a vicious critique of what he wrote.
The piece was entitled "I should not be afraid for my life" and it began with, "I am a 16 year old Colorado high school student.  In my lifetime there have been six major school shootings or incidents in my state."  I am not sure where this fellow is getting his facts.  The fact of the matter is that during his lifetime there have been three school shootings in Colorado in which 19 students and teachers were killed.  The great majority of those 19 deaths, fifteen of them to be exact, were  in the Columbine massacre of 1999, when the author would have been 1 year old.  The first lesson all teenagers need to learn is that it is not a good idea to run on at the mouth, or the pen, when you have no idea what the facts are.
The author goes on to give us his unsolicited opinion about school shootings when he writes, "To me, this is inexcusable.  Something should have been done after Columbine."  What, exactly, should have been done and who, exactly, should have done it?  Unlike many adult writers this teenager actually offers up an answer to the question that he raises about what should have been done.  He writes, in regards to gun control regulations, "Take an official safety class, register your weapon and take part in a mental health examination."  Ostensibly this young man is arguing that if Dylan and Klebold had been forced to take a gun safety class, register their weapons and submit themselves to a mental health evaluation the Columbine massacre would never have taken place.  I have heard worse arguments although I consider this one to be patently false.  As the old argument goes, only the law abiding would abide by these new laws.  Lawbreakers would continue to be lawbreakers, thus invalidating the effectiveness of any new gun control law.
The author goes on to say, "I may be an ignorant teenager (he got that part right, ed) but from my perspective things aren't that difficult.  I have no problem with people owning guns.  What I do have a problem with is people owning guns who have no reason to do so."  Who is to determine what a proper reason is for owning a gun and who is going to enforce the new rules about gun ownership propriety?  The author does not say.  What the author does say next makes no sense whatsoever.  In fact, he sounds just like an ignorant teenager when he writes, "your children and grandchildren are being murdered because proper gun control is too expensive."  He does not go on to explain what "proper gun control" might be nor does he go on to describe how it is "too expensive."   He also does not explain how his belief that children are being murdered because gun control is too expensive relates to the previous argument that only certain people should be permitted to own guns.
The main point of the article, if I have figured it out properly, actually has nothing to do with gun control and everything to do with the title of the piece.  This teenager is upset because he is afraid for his life while attending school. He writes, "...students are constantly on their guard, knowing escape routes and hiding places, police at the ready....I am sick of going to school, hearing the intercom click on and praying that its just another announcement.  I'm sick of the fact that I need to run these scenarios through my head, because all of them are entirely possible."  I get it.  You are afraid, very afraid.  It has never occurred to this poor foolish product of the government school propaganda machine that the government school system exists to inculcate fear in its students.  Government grows best and prospers most when the citizenry is terrified of every imaginable boogeyman and looks to government for protection.  This student is a perfect example of this truth.  He is being terrified daily just by the act of going to school because he is convinced he is going to be the next one killed in a massacre.  Rather than doing the obvious and closing down the government schools, he argues for more gun control legislation.  Rather than being rational and objectively analyzing the risks associated with going to government school he calls for more government regulations.  We have a budding statist here. 
In an almost incomprehensible conclusion to the piece the poor ignorant teenager writes, "Families are torn apart, friends are lost, futures stolen, and yet, gun control is too expensive and restrictive.  That's completely unacceptable."  I have no idea what the author is trying to argue for here.  In fact, the entire assertion seems like a logical contradiction.  On the one hand gun control is needed to keep families from being torn apart but on the other hand gun control is too expensive and restrictive.  Which is it?  I conclude that one thing not being taught in the government schools these days is logic.
The final sentence contains an emotional plea that I must quote in its entirety.  It says, "So I plead -- no I demand -- a change.  I should be able to go to school without fearing for my life, and I hardly think that is too much to ask."  Well there you have it.  Government school kids go to school and fear for their lives the entire time they are there. The solution to this perceptual problem, which is both easy and too expensive at the same time, is for more government gun control rules of some sort or another to be created and enforced upon all people who have not been previously approved by the government to own guns.  Somewhere in all of this everyone will be given a mental health evaluation.  After reading that tripe I needed a mental health evaluation.
There are reasons teenagers should not be permitted to speak or to write.  There are reasons why they should never submit op-ed pieces to local newspapers.  They are ignorant.  That is not their fault. They have so little life experience that ignorance is the rule rather than the exception for them.  What little life experience they do have has been so tainted by government school propaganda they are usually incapable of discerning true from false, right from wrong and risk from safety.  They should be aware of their limitations and stay out of adult conversations until they have something legitimate to offer.  Let me illustrate my point.
The author is terrified to be in school.  The most recent odds of being killed in a massacre at a government school are 2.5 million to 1.  Meanwhile the odds of being killed in a car crash (for students ages 5-18) while on the way to government school are 16,000 to 1.  Other interesting odds of being killed are 84,000 to 1 for death by lightning and 150,000 to 1 for death by dog attack.   This fearful and ignorant student needs to examine reality for a while.  He is far more likely to be killed while driving to school with his buddies than he is to be massacred by a gunman when he gets there.  Where is the outrage about that?  Where are his demands for new government rules to fix this inordinate and unacceptable risk?  I plead, no, I demand that the government restrict the ability of teenagers to drive.  I believe an outright driving ban for everyone under the age of 20 will solve the problem.  This is an easy and inexpensive solution to the problem of teenage car crash deaths and I expect it to be instituted immediately.  If only one life is saved it will be worth it.  If only one teenager can live with less fear it will be of enormous value.  Please, won't you join me as I seek to ban all teenage drivers?

Update:  January 20, 2015

I wrote this post very early in the morning, well before I received my daily copy of the paper.  After posting this piece to the blog I sat down for breakfast with my paper.  When I got to the editorial page I was not surprised to discover that three different people had written a letter to the editor about the op-ed piece by the ignorant teenager.  All three of them were effusive in their praise for the teenager.  Contrary to all clear evidence, they praised the teenager for his writing skills and logical acumen.   I concluded that most people today are more concerned about bolstering the sagging self esteem of ignorant teenagers than they are at getting to the truth.  That mindset will inevitably result in teenagers remaining ignorant, but very proud of themselves.  How sad. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Celebration of Socialism

Today is the day in which all government loving citizens within the Socialist Democracy of Amerika go forth to proclaim the many benefits of socialism.  Perhaps the most iconic of all socialist leaders from the not so distant past is a man by the name of Martin Luther King, or MLK for short.  MLK believed in the absolute power of government.  There was no problem that he did not believe could be solved by some sort of government intervention.  MLK saw lots of problems.  Some of them were real and some of them were not but the common thread throughout all of them was that whitey was keeping the noble black man down and government needed to do something about it.  Let's consider that for a while today.
The United States of America (born 1776, died ???) was created by a group of white men committed to the principles of free enterprise.  There is a funny thing about free enterprise.  In order for free enterprise, or capitalism, to develop all government has to do is leave people alone.  People will quite naturally create things by applying their labor to capital  and then willingly trade the goods produced by their labor among themselves.  Capitalism emerges spontaneously from within a society without any government action whatsoever. All that is required for capitalism to flourish is the freedom to do what you want to do and a promise from government that what you make is yours to do with what you please.
Not everyone thinks capitalism is a good idea however.  Those who oppose capitalism are always characterized by a general laziness of personality and an overarching sense of envy for other people's property.  Non-capitalists look at the success of others and feel bad about themselves because they do not have what the capitalist has while, at the same time, they are unwilling to work to get what they want.  Rather than using that bad feeling to motivate themselves to get up off their bums and produce something, they make the entirely rational decision to attempt to use a coercive power like government to take things from capitalists and then give those things to themselves.  The moment a majority of the people residing within a democracy figure out that government can be an effective means to transfer the property of the producing classes into the envy filled hands of the non-producing classes socialism is born. 
Historically speaking socialism is little more than the modern variant of the old war between those who believe in freedom and those who believe in coercion, between those who believe in producing for themselves and those who believe in taking from others and between those who believe in voluntary cooperation and those who believe in stealing by force.  Since Cain and Abel there have been two classes of human beings roaming the surface of the earth.  One class believes in individual initiative and personal responsibility.  The members of that class would never dream of stealing something from their neighbor.  The class of free men see neighbors as potential customers for the goods it is producing and would never engage in the ridiculous and self destructive act of harming its neighbors.  You don't shoot your customers if you want to prosper.  On the other hand the other class believes in obtaining wealth by stealing it from those who have previously produced it.  This class would never take the time or the effort to actually produce something for itself.  It waits around until some member of the first class creates something and then swoops in to take it away by any means possible. In the olden days that meant perpetual warfare.  Today it means government policies that operate under the mantle of federal social justice programs.
Throughout most of human history the conflict between the class that produces and the class that steals from the class that produces has typified human relationships.  Examine any moment in history at any place on the surface of the earth and you will see these two classes engaging each other.  The productive class will be making things and desperately trying to defend itself from the depredations of the warrior class that is looking around for something to steal.  There are only two ways to obtain the things we need to survive.  We can produce them ourselves by means of the free market or we can use some coercive power to steal those goods that someone else has already produced.  When government was introduced into the process it was not long before socialism was born.
As I wrote earlier, the USA was established as a free market country in which those who produced goods and services were rewarded for doing so.  They were allowed to keep what they made and to trade freely with others.  Those who made the decision to not be productive were free to starve or barely sustain themselves.  Those who made the voluntary decision to be non-productive were not praised for their actions.  Neither were they cast as victims of those who produced things.  They were called vagrants and bums and called to repent of their laziness.  But somewhere along the way, I am not sure where, the majority of the citizens in the USA decided that it was better to be the recipients of stolen goods than it was to produce them.  On that day a new and socialist Amerika was born.
Everyone innately knows that it is wrong to steal.  The moral sense that is ingrained in every single human being that has ever lived convinces him that taking the life, liberty or property of his neighbor is an immoral act for which he should be punished.  In order for socialism to flourish it was necessary to overcome this natural disinclination towards theft.  What the ruling class quickly realized was that a person who would never consider crossing the street to rob his neighbor at gunpoint in order to pay the bills for his children's education would quickly and easily vote for a politician who promised to do the exact same thing.  It was guilt free theft of his neighbor's property.  Indeed, the act of theft through voting became a national religious sacrament.  On that day the Socialist Democracy of Amerika was born.
All powerful social movements that are intent upon redefining what is moral need a talisman of some sort.  Some object has to be lifted up on high and praised for its virtue.  Some idealized leader who can stir the emotions of the members of the new class while, at the same time, convince them that what they are doing is not really immoral is necessary.  MLK was the perfect talisman for socialism.  Like all men of low moral character, MLK was a serial adulterer, a liar and a plagiarist.  His successful inversion of basic moral principles in his personal life made him the perfect leader of a movement that would be based upon envy for your neighbor's property and all in the name of the imaginary and redefined concept of social justice. 
Denver stages the world's largest MLK birthday parade in the SDA.  How that accident of history has managed to come about is a mystery to me.  All I know is that it disgusts me.  Thousands of my fellow citizens will parade downtown to the high holy edifices of civil government and profess their belief in a system of theft and redistribution.  They will walk and chant slogans about the moral propriety of stealing from one group and giving to another.  They will all share the common religious belief that government is god and able to give men all that they will ever need or want in their lives.  Speeches will be given in which the virtuous activities of those who produce goods and services are disparaged as immoral.  More speeches will be delivered, with a decidedly Orwellian slant, which will successfully convince the listeners that stealing is good and producing is bad, that economic freedom is bad and slavery to the state is good and that above all else we must use the coercive power of the state to take the cash of whitey and give it to the oppressed black man in this racist land. 
Today we celebrate the fact that all white folks are racists.  As punishment for their racism the state takes what they produce and gives it to black folks who are, by definition, morally pure.  Today we further the process of eviscerating the black family as more and more black people become entirely dependent upon state handouts to survive.  Many people recognize that "garbage kills bears" but nobody recognizes that socialism kills individual initiative and sentences its practitioners to a life of misery and sorrow as well as eternal government dependence.  No, today we all have a dream.  In our dream every black man has his hand firmly stuffed in the pocket of whitey, removing whitey's cash at will because he is entitled to do so to make up for all of whitey's past indiscretions.  Today we celebrate the fact that whitey is, by definition, an unjust creature deserving of being plundered.  Today we celebrate socialism.