San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, February 24, 2017

Trump's Tirade Against Trade Deficits

I was driving between jobs yesterday when I heard an audio clip on the radio of King Donnie talking about how the Mexican government is taking advantage of the good, old Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  According to our King the SDA has a $70 billion "trade deficit" with Mexico.  Also according to our King, that is a terrible thing that needs to be corrected.  Also according to our King, he is just the man to negotiate the new trade deals that will restore fairness and equity to the universe of international trade.  Let's consider our King's allegations for a moment today.
Here is a chart showing the state of international trade in the SDA as of the end of 2016:

Year-to-Date Total Trade

Rank Country Exports Imports Total Trade Percent of Total Trade
--- Total, All Countries 1,454.6 2,188.9 3,643.6 100.0%
--- Total, Top 15 Countries 1,022.2 1,707.2 2,729.4 74.9%
1 China 115.8 462.8 578.6 15.9%
2 Canada 266.8 278.1 544.9 15.0%
3 Mexico 231.0 294.2 525.1 14.4%
4 Japan 63.3 132.2 195.5 5.4%
5 Germany 49.4 114.2 163.6 4.5%
6 Korea, South 42.3 69.9 112.2 3.1%
7 United Kingdom 55.4 54.3 109.7 3.0%
8 France 30.9 46.8 77.7 2.1%
9 India 21.7 46.0 67.7 1.9%
10 Taiwan 26.0 39.3 65.4 1.8%
11 Italy 16.8 45.2 62.0 1.7%
12 Switzerland 22.7 36.4 59.1 1.6%
13 Netherlands 40.4 16.2 56.5 1.6%
14 Brazil 30.3 26.2 56.5 1.5%
15 Ireland 9.6 45.5 55.1 1.5%

Notice that King Donnie was in the ballpark with his comments about trade between the SDA and Mexico.  Mexico is the SDA's third biggest trading partner, with 14.4% of all SDA international trade going through it. Last year imports into the SDA from Mexico exceeded exports by $62.3 billion.  Also notice that of the top 15 international trading partners only 3 are not involved in the dreaded trade deficit with the SDA that Donnie fears so much.  It is also interesting to note that the biggest deficit, by far, is with China, at 60% of total trade. That explains why our King so desperately wants to start a trade war with that highly productive country.  I also find it interesting that the SDA's trade deficits with Japan (35%), Germany (40%), Italy (46%) and Ireland (at a whopping 64%, a percentage that is even "worse" than the Chinese deficit....we must be drinking a lot of Guinness) are rarely mentioned by our King when he wants to talk about who to wage economic war with in the future.  I also find it interesting that the SDA maintains a huge trade surplus (43%) with the Netherlands and nobody seems to be very concerned about that.  I wonder what the SDA is exporting to the Netherlands to create such a massive surplus?  Tulip bulbs perhaps?  Windmill parts?  I wonder if King Donnie believes we have stuck it to the Netherlands by beating them in the trade war and shown them just how great Amerika is when it comes to international trade?
A trade deficit is simply a number that shows the dollar value of goods that cross back and forth between an arbitrary geo-political boundary.  Although the deficit is denominated in dollars, it does not include the exchange of actual dollars that takes place with each trade.   If my neighbor buys $100 worth of bathtub gin from me (I am quite a good producer of bathtub gin by the way) he gives me the dollars and I give him the gin. If I only purchase $50 worth of marijuana from him I give him the dollars and he gives me the marijuana.  Under this scenario,  I have a trade surplus with him of $50 and he has a trade deficit with me of $50.  I exported $50 more worth of my goods to him than he exported to me.  For some crazy reason (having to do with Keynesian economics) most economists and career politicians believe that it is a bad thing to maintain a trade deficit and a good thing to maintain a trade surplus.  But when we narrow the discussion down to what happens between two neighbors, how is it possible to make that assertion?  How am I better off than my neighbor simply because I sold him $50 more of my goods than I purchased of his?  Furthermore, how have I beaten him in our trade war, thus proving my greatness?  Conversely, how is he worse off than me simply because he is now the holder/owner of the dreaded trade deficit?  In the real world we are both quite happy with our trades and neither of us believes we have been exploited by the other.  I bought less of what he had to sell and he bought more of what I had to sell but so what?  We both go away happy and there is no trade war going on.
The entire wrongheaded notion of a morally good or bad trade ratio specifically ignores the fact that all exchanges take place in some sort of currency.  Yes, it is true, my neighbor has a $50 trade deficit with me but I still have $50 to spend on things he might produce in the future. Why is that a bad thing for him?  Why is that a good thing for me?  He also has $50 worth more of the goods I produced. Why is that bad for him and good for me?  What trade warriors like King Donnie always ignore is the fact that in addition to the goods we exchanged we also exchanged cash.  Our exchanges are always a zero sum game when the cash we exchanged is considered.   Goods flow one way across the arbitrary border and an equal sum of cash flows back the other way.  In the end there is always a perfect balance between cash and goods that are exchanged across arbitrary geo-political borders.  There is no act of war taking place and neither side wins by exporting or importing more goods.
The general theory running around in the mind of King Donnie is that trade deficits mean that the SDA is buying more goods from foreigners than they are purchasing from us.  That much is true.  Since foreigners are purchasing fewer of our goods than we are purchasing of theirs it is believed that we are subsidizing their jobs and they are stealing ours.  That much is false.  The whole thing comes down to jobs in the mind of our King.  The economic reality has nothing to do with jobs or the quasi-religious belief that career politicians and bureaucrats have the mystical ability to create jobs.  They do not.  Dismiss that absurd notion if you cling to it.  Only profit seeking businesses are capable of creating jobs.  Furthermore, attempting to manage international trade by means of government created trade agreements or government imposed tariffs does not empower our King to create jobs.
The reason the SDA has a trade deficit with other countries around the world is due entirely to the fact that the citizens of the SDA want to purchase more of the goods produced in those countries than the citizens of those countries want to buy from our stock of produced goods.  Why is that a bad thing?  And if it is a bad thing, why is the blame not being placed squarely upon the shoulders of those who are responsible for the deficits; namely, the consumers of the SDA.  That, of course, will never happen as career politicians are loath to criticize their constituents since their constituents are the folks who keep them in power.  So rather than tell the truth about trade deficits, career politicians like our King make up lies, create imaginary enemies and proclaim false news that trade deficits are harmful to the economy of the SDA and must be fought by means of new trade agreements and tariffs that cause Amerika to win each exchange of goods (an absurd and contradictory notion) while making Amerika great again, whatever that means.
SDA consumers are insatiable.  The citizens of this country buy, buy and buy some more.  The citizens of this country are also the richest people in the world so they have lots of money to spend.  Is it a surprise that the SDA imports so much more than it exports?  It shouldn't be.  That truth is nothing more than another way of looking at the fact that we are extraordinarily wealthy and we like to buy things, including things produced by people who live on the other side of arbitrary geo-political boundaries.  What is wrong with that?  Do people living in foreign countries create jobs to produce the goods we purchase?  Of course they do!  But why is that a bad thing?  Are any jobs created in the SDA to produce the goods that nobody in the the rest of the world buys?  Of course not!  But why is that a bad thing?  Why do foreign governments, and their citizens, need to be punished for giving us what we want for a price we are willing to pay?  Sadly, King Donnie does not answer any of these questions.  Let's just hope that his ignorant and economically harmful saber-rattling does not come back to harm us all. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Naked Women In Fort Collins

Rejoice all you perverts.  Today is the day to celebrate the destruction of public morality in the town of Fort Collins, Colorado.  If you want to see women walking naked on the streets, Fort Collins is the place to be, although it is snowy and cold as I write this, thus making it likely that only Eskimo women will be strolling about au natural today.  But hey, if you like naked Eskimo women let me tell you all about the new freedom available to women in Fort Collins.
A group of ignorant and militant feminists has been attempting to get the permission of their god, also known as civil government, to allow them to walk around topless in Fort Collins.  On Wednesday U.S. District Court Judge Brooke Jackson granted an injunction stopping the enforcement of a city ordinance that "prohibited women from showing their breasts in public," saying it "discriminates and perpetuates the sexualization of female breasts."  Brooke, who is a man, wrote the injunction because he believed that the Fort Collins law violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  According to his insane reasoning, since men can go around topless women should be able to do so as well since the Constitution protects the right of women to do all things men do.  Why men do not have the right to bear children was not explained. Why men do not have the right to nurse children in public was not defined.  Why men do not have breasts was not elucidated by the good judge.
What I found most interesting in the judge's decision was his assertion that the female breast is not sexual in any way, shape or form.  I have heard this argument before, usually from nudists who are attempting to justify their immoral behavior.  The argument is made that there is nothing inherently or naturally sexual about women's breasts and that any sexual excitement or stimulation that men experience as a result of seeing, touching or having any type of contact with a woman's breasts is exclusively the result of male perversity and nothing else.  In other words, female breasts are no more sexual in nature than a woman's clipped fingernail or a woman's knee cap.  Anyone who thinks they are is a pervert.  Well call me a pervert!
Now I understand that men have been feminized in this estrogen laced country and are therefore no longer permitted to have distinctively male thoughts or behaviors.  And I understand that we are overrun with an enormous number of male homosexuals who do not see a woman's breasts as erogenous.  And I understand that probably 1 out of every 5 men I see is actually a transvestite who is simply trying to decide if he wants to grow some breasts. And I understand that men have become morally enlightened by virtue of the fact that they have cast off biblical ethics, thus leading them to believe that nudity is right dandy.  But what I don't understand is how any person, male or female, in his right mind could possibly believe or attempt to advance the argument that a woman's breasts are not inherently sexual.  Give me a break. That is absolutely ridiculous and anyone who believes it is an idiot.
Let me ask you a couple of questions, you who believe that breasts are asexual.  If breasts are asexual why have so many pornographers made so much money showing them?  I just read the other day that Playboy magazine is going to once again feature photographs of topless women. Why do you think that is?  Do you truly believe that only sexually perverted men notice women's breasts?  If women truly believe that their breasts are asexual for all men except perverts, why do they spend so much time, money and effort displaying them to men in public?  If women do not believe their breasts are naturally sexual, why do they use them to arouse sexual interest in men?  Come on people, let's admit the rather obvious truth, shall we?  A woman's breasts are not asexual and anyone who believes they are, like good Judge Brooke, is a raving lunatic.
Equally fascinating to me was a comment made by one of the lawyers for the militant feminists after the judge issued his order.  Attorney David Lane said, "Any statute that has the words 'women are prohibited from' is almost certainly unconstitutional."  Davey-boy, do you really believe that?  How about these statutes:
  • Women are prohibited from engaging in combat in war (oops, he is right on that one).
  • Women are prohibited from being drafted (oops, he is right on that one).
  • Women are prohibited from engaging in mixed martial arts cage matches (oops, he is right on that one).
  • Women are prohibited from going into men's bathrooms if they decide to identify as men (oops, he is right on that one).
  • Women are prohibited from competing on men's sports teams (oops, he is right on that one).
  • Women are prohibited from voting since we all know they are too stupid to understand politics (oops, he is right on that one).
  • Women are prohibited from driving since we all know they are terrible drivers (oops, he is right on that one).
  • Women are prohibited from smoking in any location other than their home or enclosed automobile.  There!  At last I found something women don't have a legal or constitutional right to do.  I wonder if Attorney Lane will file suit to overturn the anti-smoking statutes?  I doubt it.  Nobody cares for women that much.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Untold Story

Are you as tired as I am with the old story about how the richest couple of human beings on the face of the earth own most all of it?  I don't see much point in making points such as that one unless the goal is to foster envy in the hearts and minds of those who are not in the top 49% of the income population of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Inevitably the story is always the same....some evil rich people became rich off the backs of the noble poor and the noble poor want the government to do something about it.  What do they want?  They want a confiscatory progressive tax system designed to punish the productive and reward the lazy.  Since we live in a democracy where 51% of the population can vote away the property of the politically unprotected 49% of the population the envy-filled citizens of this immoral country and their political lackeys have managed to do precisely what they set out to do. They have legalized theft, provided the person being robbed belongs to the top 49%. Don't believe me?  Look at this:

This information is old since it is being provided to us by a government organization.  Government bureaus have no incentive to be timely in anything they do because they will get paid, with taxpayer dollars, whether they do their jobs or not. Regardless, the above graph shows the situation that existed in this sad country in 2013.   Take a moment to examine it and then strive mightily to convince yourself that the truth it represents is good, proper and moral.
The top half of the taxpayers in this land pay almost all of the federal taxes.  That means the bottom half of the taxpayers of this land get a totally free ride when it comes to federal spending programs.  Not surprisingly, the bottom half of the income population is made up mostly of people who receive much more from the government than they pay into it.  Conversely,  the top half of the income population is made up mostly of people who pay much more into the government than they receive from it.  The socialist dream has been realized in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  The rich are being robbed by the State and the poor are being enriched by the State.  Meanwhile, all who work for the State are becoming very rich.
I believe taxes should be fair and that all people should pay their fair share of the bill for the wonderful and magnificent government services we all receive in this generous and loving land.  That means the blue column and the yellow column in the above graph should always be equal in height.  That would be fair.  Each income cohort would be paying taxes equal to their share of the income.  But that is not what we see.  On the contrary, the top 1% of the income population pays 38% of the federal tax bill while earning only 19% of the income.  Conversely, the bottom 50% of the income population pays 3% of the federal tax bill while earning 11% of the income.  Where is the fairness in that?
The closest the federal tax system comes to being fair is with the folks who fall between the top 5% and 10% of the income population.  Those folks earn 11% of the income and pay 11% of the taxes.  But who, among the viciously envious citizens of this land, believes that people earning enough money to be in the 5-10 percent cohort are paying their fair share of the taxes?  Nobody that I know of.  Everyone I read and hear tells me those people are vile, disgusting, sub-human and worthy of death for their unwillingness to turn over their money and property to people who simply do not want to be bothered with the necessity of work.  What a great country we live in. 
Excuse me, I have a janitorial job to go do.  I will rejoice that only 30% of my income will be taken from me and given to lazy people while I work.  I will praise the noble poor because they refuse to work for me in a job as disgusting as janitorial work.  But most of all I will bless the holy and powerful name of the State, may it be praised forever.  The State is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I'm Shocked!

Every single day I end up being shocked and amazed.  I guess I suffer from a Pollyanna complex because I generally expect people who rule over me to behave morally.   I also expect people who work for government organizations and in government jobs to be sterling examples of moral behavior, much more so than the rest of us who don't draw a government paycheck.  Why do I have that expectation?  Isn't the answer obvious?  People who work for the government are altruistic through and through.  They decided to go into public service because they love people and want to help us.  That is why it is called public service.  All other people, who work for evil profit seeking corporations and seek to serve only themselves, have the evil profit motive influencing their every thought, thus resulting in amazing amounts of immoral behavior.  Is it any wonder those vile excuses for human beings end up becoming corrupted by their Amerikan greed and doing terrible things to the rest of us?  Money corrupts absolutely and the love of money is the source of all evil.  But guess what happens to me when I read my newspaper each morning?  I read stories about evil people in government jobs and that shocks me out of my chair!  I don't know how that can be true but it is.  Let me tell you about a couple of shocking experiences today.
An Associated Press story written by Hope Yen showed up on the front page of my Denver Post today.  It was given the headline, "Audits show drugs missing at hospitals."  Now that did not shock or amaze me at all.  I think we all know that people who go to work for profit seeking hospitals do so because most of them are drug addicts and they, like bank robbers who rob banks because "that is where the money is," seek out employment at hospitals because that is where the drugs are.  It also being the case that profit seeking hospitals routinely cut corners any time they can in order to increase their profits (evil monsters that they are), and as they cut corners in security operations it is inevitable that drug addicted employees will steal their drugs and either use them themselves or sell them on the street.  If only everyone worked for a VA hospital, then none of this would ever happen, right?
I became shocked and amazed as I read Hope's story.  Here is some of what she wrote, "Federal authorities are intensifying investigations at Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers because of a sharp increase in opioid theft, missing prescriptions or unauthorized drug use by VA employees since 2009,...Doctors, nurses or pharmacy staffers at federal hospitals -- the vast majority within the VA system -- siphoned away controlled substances for their own use or street sales, or drugs intended for patients simply disappeared.  Aggravating the problem is that some VA hospitals have been lax in tracking drug supplies.  Congressional auditors said spot checks found that four VA hospitals skipped monthly inspections of drug stocks or missed other requirements."
What?  How can this be?  VA employees are not motivated by greed, like the rest of us who do not have government jobs. VA employees are the creme de la creme of the human race, how can they be guilty of something so sordid?  I was shocked and amazed, not to mention dismayed.
The second story did not have to do with gross immorality but it did have to do with overall levels of intelligence.  I quite naturally assume that career politicians, career bureaucrats and anyone who works as a civil servant is much smarter than I am.  It only makes sense.  They are the anointed who are ordained to rule over me.  They have risen to the top of their careers as a result of their superior character and intelligence.  I therefore expect that the educational institutions that are using taxpayer dollars to train future government rulers would be of the highest intellectual caliber.  As I moan and complain about paying my fair share of taxes this time of the year I can at least take solace in the fact that some of my state income taxes are being used to subsidize the education of brilliant future leaders studying at the University of Colorado.
Then today I opened my newspaper to discover something that shocked and amazed me.  CU is on the cusp of launching a three year bachelors degree program that will be fully online.  Wow!  What a strange new world I am living in.  My bachelors degree took four years to earn and I physically attended every single class that I took.  Now students can go to college from the privacy of their parent's basements and obtain their degrees in a mere three years instead of four, thus launching them out of the basement and on to successful careers a full year faster than what I experienced.  Good for them.
As I read the story about this amazing new program however, I came to experience another shocking experience, tinged with overtones of dismay.  The story went on to inform me what degree programs would be available through this new method of degree delivery.  It said, "Students will then be able to select from a set of 10 course clusters, which will serve as pathways for their degree.  Proposed cluster topics include cultural diversity, global studies, environment and sustainability, organizations and leadership and social justice studies."
What?  Where is engineering?  Where is mathematics?  Where is business?  Where is accounting?  Where is philosophy or history?  Where are any of the degree programs I remember from my youth?  I was shocked and dismayed to discover that students who go to college today, and who will be ruling over me in the near future, are dedicating themselves to the study of cultural diversity, sustainability and social justice.  I know enough to know what those words mean.  Cultural diversity means the celebration of perversity.  Sustainability is a buzzword used by environmental socialists to scare people into raising taxes on the productive members of society (of which I am one) in order to provide government funding for their wild-eyed environmental boondoggles.  Tops on the list of their insane goals is fighting a non-existent anthropomorphic global warming.  Social justice is nothing more than creating more government rules and regulations to enshrine envy, perversity and wasteful spending programs.  Yeow!  So this is what a college education is these days?  I am both shocked and dismayed.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Why Do Scientists Hate King Donnie?

An article in the Sunday Denver Post caught my attention yesterday.  It was entitled, "Scientists worry about conflicts with Trump."  That title seemed very odd to me.  How in the world could the King of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika have any impact upon the scientific community?  Scientists, as I understand them, go about their business of making theories and then seeking to disprove those theories without any political interference whatsoever.  I couldn't conceive of any possible connection between the scientific process and politics.  I could therefore think of no way that any scientist should ever be worried about what the King of the SDA might do or say.  Then I read the article and everything became clear.
When I grew up and attended government schools I was taught that scientists rigorously pursued the scientific process in a never ending search for truth about the world in which we live.  I was told that scientists all committed themselves to something called the "scientific method" whereby they would objectively study the evidence involved in their particular hypothesis about the way the world operates with the goal being to prove themselves wrong.  When, after repeated attempts to prove themselves wrong, they were unable to show any errors in the hypothesis that had been proposed they would advance that hypothesis as a theory for other scientists to attempt to disprove.  If their scientific peers were incapable of disproving the theory they had advanced it would become scientific truth and remain in that category until someone was able to show why the theory was wrong.  My how things have changed.
The scientific method today is the exact opposite of what it used to be.  Today pseudo-scientists cook up wild theories about the way the world functions and then run out in search of data to prove themselves correct.  They are not above cooking the data in order to get results that confirm their frequently incorrect theories.  The theory of anthropocentric global warming, now so strongly alleged to be fact that anyone who denies it is deemed a scientific heretic, is a case in point.  In the old days science was often in bed with profit seeking corporations.  Junk science that did not lead to valuable scientific information would not be funded.  I considered that to be a good thing.  Limited financial resources forced scientists to pursue things that could actually be determined to be true or false and that would actually help mankind.  Then government got involved and everything changed for the worse.
Do you know why "scientists" are so afraid of King Donnie?  The answer is simple. These pseudo-scientists are being paid with taxpayer dollars to study things that support the beliefs of career politicians and their constituents.  They have a vested interest in discovering scientific "truth" that the politicians who pay them want them to find.  And guess what?  They always find it!  Man-caused global warming is a perfect example of this symbiotic relationship.  Many very loud mouthed people believe in the religion of global warming.  Without exception, all of them are committed to statism.  That plays perfectly into the hands of career politicians who pander to them in exchange for their votes.
The article mentioned above went on to say that the harmful effects of King Donnie could potentially be worse than the impact of former King George II.  Why King Obama was not defined as a king who did harm to the scientific community was not described, although I think we can all figure out why on our own.  It is about money, as it always is.  In this case it is about taxpayer money being funneled to politically connected "scientists" who then labor mightily to come up with "truth" that pleases the politicians and keeps them in high paying jobs
The Union of Concerned Scientists (I wonder what they are concerned about?) has organized a march to protest King Donnie.  According to a statement issued by the group, "from the muzzling of scientists and government agencies, to the immigration ban, the delegation of scientific data and the de-funding of public science, the erosion of our institutions of science is a dangerous direction for our country."  How King Donnie is muzzling scientists was not described.  Why the immigration ban has anything to do with science was not explained.  The phrase "the delegation of scientific data" was not defined.  I have no idea what it means but it sure sounds ominous.  What I do understand from the above stated reason for concerned scientists to take the streets in protest is the fact that they are angry they might be kicked off the government dole.  Boo Hoo for them.
Could someone please explain why government should be in the business of funding science or scientists?  Could someone please give me an argument that would prove the common, but erroneous, belief that somehow government paid scientists are "objective" while those scientists paid by profit seeking corporations are not?  It seems to me that the exact opposite is the case.  Scientists paid with my tax dollars have a powerful incentive to find scientific truths that conform to what their handlers want them to find and that will keep the funds flowing to them.  Indeed, the more hysterical and extreme the scientific truths they find the more likely they are to see increases in funding and more generous retirement plans for their futures.  Corporate financed scientists, on the other hand, must deliver the goods or be out of their jobs.  Coming up with fashionable things to be "concerned" about, with no solid scientific proof in support of those concerns, will not keep the funds flowing to them. 
Government has no constitutional or moral reason to be involved in the scientific process.  All taxpayer dollars spent on scientific research are spent immorally.  All scientific research should be funded by the private sector, with no exceptions to that rule. There is nothing worse than the conclusions drawn from taxpayer financed junk science because the never ending stream of funds allows them to perpetually perpetrate the worst sort of scientific hoaxes upon the poor citizens of the SDA.  Anthropocentric global warming is the best example of this terrible truth.  Is there anyone in the world who truly believes the theory of man-caused global warming would still be discussed if taxpayer funding for research disappeared?  I rest my case.