Thursday, October 29, 2009
"I dont think Jesus would be participating in a hedge fund or playing the stock market" -Michael Moore
This clip lasted 2 minutes and 36 seconds. In that time I counted 12 ways that Michael Moore is an idiot.
Stupid things Michael Moore said:
1. Capitalism is a legal system
If you are going to make a movie about something shouldn’t you know what the word means? Just as a beginning point at least. A quick Wikipedia search of the word tells you that it is an “economic and social system,” not a legal system. To be sure there is a legal structure that is needed to make capitalism work properly, but that doesn’t make capitalism a legal system itself.
2. Regulation and rules that use to keep them in check are no longer keeping them in check
There are no more regulations? That’s news to me. I think it would also be news to the thousands of small and large companies that have to suffer increased costs due to mind numbingly dumb regulations.
3. Rich having more is anti-democracy
What is anti-democratic about someone having more stuff than me? Or even having a lot more stuff than me? I guess it is only democracy if we all have the same amount of stuff...oh wait isn’t that called something else?
4. Not only against democracy but against his personal values
This I admit is a bit of a cheap shot, but did you notice how he made a distinction between his values and democratic values?
5. Against the values of people
Yes because lord knows that capitalism goes against the very fiber of America society. The free exchange of goods and services is universally condemned by every right thinking American. The USA hates freedom and capitalism that’s for sure. That’s why they were so friendly with the Soviet Union.
6. Jesus wouldn’t approve of a hedge fund
How the hell does he know what Jesus would think? Capitalism wasn’t even an abstract concept when Jesus was alive, so how can we possible discern his opinion on that, never mind his opinion on hedge funds. You know what, 2 can play at this game. Jesus hates tax collectors therefore Jesus likes capitalism.
7. Replace capitalism with democracy
What the hell? Democracy is a political system. It isn’t even a legal system. So how can he even conceptualize replacing capitalism with democracy? What do we do? Vote on what job someone will get, how much they get paid, how much his groceries will cost, and so on?
8. How can we call it a democracy just because we vote
Because that’s what democracy means? Sure there has to be a couple more requirements to fully qualify as a democracy in most people’s minds; such as competitive elections and the rule of law. But voting is the fundamental core of every democratic system.
9. Don’t want to lose his democratic rights when he goes to work in the morning or go to the bank
At this point it is pretty clear he doesn’t know what the word democratic means. Even the Greeks wouldn’t stretch it to include commercial activity. He is just using it as a buzz word to avoid using the word socialism. This kind of demonstrates just how stupid #5 is.
10. Stop the debate between capitalism and socialism
Umm...okay? One system is based on voluntary individualism and the other is based on coercive collectivism. There may be a wide spectrum between two extremes but how exactly do you propose breaking this paradigm? Wouldn’t involving democratic voting in commercial activity just lead to the coercive model? Or did you think people wouldn’t notice?
11. We are smart enough to come up with a new system that is fair to all people
Demonstrably untrue; people have been trying to do this for thousands of years. Why do you think just because it is a new century we are suddenly smarter? I’ve seen no indication of this increased intelligence.
12. It’s time to start sticking up for the little guy in this country
This isn’t so much stupid in itself but stupid in the context of the rest of the clip. Socialism does not benefit the little guy. And let’s be real here, it is socialism and not some sort of commercial democracy that Michael Moore is advocating. Every socialist system has shown that it ultimately benefits a select group of elites. You want to protect the little guy’s interests? Protect capitalism.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Everything is caused by human emotion (fear, lust, anger, greed, courage, acceptance etc.). You cannot be a human being without emotions. The complexity of human behavior and emotions makes mathematical modeling of the evolving market virtually impossible but we try to do this anyway. What we need to do is create a valid economic system derived logically from basic principles of human action (praxeology). The spontaneous organizing power of the price system is what we need to rely on (see below what exactly I mean by spontaneous order and price systems).
“Spontaneous order is the spontaneous emergence of order out of seeming chaos; the emergence of various kinds of social order from a combination of self-interested individuals who are not intentionally trying to create order. The evolution of life on Earth, language, Wikipedia, and a free market economy have all been proposed as examples of systems which evolved through spontaneous order. Atheists and naturalists often point to the inherent "watch-like" precision of uncultivated ecosystems and to the universe itself as ultimate examples of this phenomenon.”
“In economics, a price system is any economic system that effects its distribution of goods and services with prices and employing any form of money or debt tokens. Except for possible remote and primitive communities, all modern societies use price systems to allocate resources. However, price systems are not used for all resource allocation decisions today.”
This would be a true free-market and thus truly democratic. When I mean free market I don’t mean lack of regulation, I mean lack of government manipulation. I am a proponent of act such as the Glass-Stegal Act, Anti-Trust, and certain government agencies (FDA, EPA, SEC, etc.).
One government quasi agency that has to go is the Federal Reserve Bank. While it could be slowing down this depression they are the ones who caused it and in the long run it is making the situation worse. Here is the purpose of the Fed from their website. (http://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/mission.htm)
The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States. It was founded by Congress in 1913 to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. Over the years, its role in banking and the economy has expanded.
Today, the Federal Reserve's duties fall into four general areas:
• conducting the nation's monetary policy by influencing the monetary and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates
• supervising and regulating banking institutions to ensure the safety and soundness of the nation's banking and financial system and to protect the credit rights of consumers
• maintaining the stability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets
• providing financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions, including playing a major role in operating the nation's payments system
After reading that do I really need to defend my views? Or should the Fed be defending its policy and fiscal views along with why they should even exist let alone be in control of our entire financial system. Since the Fed was delegated the United States’ fiscal responsibility we have had the Great Depression, interest rates ranging from 0%-20%, the financial collapse we are currently in, housing market bubble, energy bubble, gold bubble of the 70’s, NASDAQ bubble, unstable and high unemployment, longer and more violent business cycles, etc.
The Fed isn’t stupid though, they are actually quite clever. They obviously have asserted the importance of centralized planning but anyone with sound monetary beliefs, like I’ve mentioned above, has concluded they’re wrong. The Fed should admit they were wrong for going against our founding fathers or let the general population listen to sound economic theory and vote them out of their job. Unfortunately there is a problem with both of those options; “He who controls the money controls everything” and the Fed would not control everything. Perhaps there is a third option that might seem familiar. They could claim that the very nature of what they speak of cannot be made comprehensible to mere men. The monetary system cannot be explained by a narrow ration approach of science. Seeking economic truth requires intuitive insight that only members of the Fed could understand. The Fed dresses this prejudice in such a disguise it will mike their reputation for wisdom look grand, so grand that the common folk will forget how wholly unsupported they are by evidence. Only softball questions are asked to the men donning a simple dress of mystery. Truth seekers like myself will never fall for such shenanigans even when normally clear thinkers will be intimidated or bewildered by their glorious aura. The Fed can cry mystery all they want but it won’t stop them from being wrong. Mystery is a completely undiscriminating license for belief. It rules out only what is logical and well supported by evidence. For those who have faith in the Fed to help save us hear this: declarations of faith are self-defeating. Someone will claim belief status only for opinions he cannot defend. No one ever declares their shirt size a matter of faith nor do they declare the atomic weight of gold a matter of faith. The moment someone declares an opinion such as, “I have faith in our government to pull us out of this mess, they know more than you.” you know what to think of their opinion. Philosopher Jamie Whyte refers this logical crime as prejudice in fancy dress.
“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations."
“Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
AP source: Administration to order pay cuts for top US executives at big bailout companiesWASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration plans to order companies that received huge U.S. government bailouts last year to sharply cut the compensation of their highest paid executives, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The seven companies that received the most assistance will have to cut the annual salaries of their 25 highest-paid executive by an average of about 90 percent from last year, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it has not been announced.
This person said Wednesday that the Treasury Department will announce the deep pay cuts within the next few days.
Kenneth Feinberg, the special master at Treasury appointed by Obama to handle compensation issues at the seven firms getting exceptional assistance from the government's $700 billion financial bailout package, is making the pay decisions.
The seven companies are: Bank of America Corp., American International Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., General Motors, GMAC, Chrysler and Chrysler Financial.
Total compensation for the top executives at the seven firms will decline, on average, by about 50 percent, according to the person familiar with the administration's decision.
At the financial products division of AIG, the giant insurance company that has received taxpayer assistance valued at more than $180 billion, no top executive will receive more than $200,000 in total compensation, the person familiar with Feinberg's plan said.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
- The number of newly laid-off workers filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell to the lowest level since early January, as layoffs ease a bit amid a fledgling economic recovery.
- The Labor Department said Thursday that new claims for unemployment insurance dropped last week to a seasonally adjusted 521,000, from the previous week's upwardly revised total of 554,000.
Well if we are not recovering why does the stock market continue to rise day in and day out? This question has a simple answer. LIQUIDITY. Helicopter Ben continues to run the printing presses at full speed driving down interest rates and making money in America essentially free. This newly created money needs something to flow into and where do people put their money when they are worried about inflation? They put it in assets that perform well during an inflationary environment....gold, silver, stocks, and other commodities. This is why the market keeps rising, why gold is hitting new highs, and why the dollar continues to fall against the world's currencies. Do not fret though, you haven't missed the party. We still have another couple years of horrible deflation to fight through before the inflation party really gets rolling so don't believe the hype.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
If you favor national health care and big government you will also love the 60% cumulative tax rates we will have in the next few years, if earlier. Congress already knows they won't be able to only tax the rich to pay for all this spending. They just are not telling us yet. Don't you love it?
By: Jeff Harding
The “Center for American Progress” is the best example of an oxymoronish name that I can think of. This is a “progressive” (socialist) “think tank” (another misleading term) lead by John Podesta, a former Clinton Chief of Staff and Obama adviser.
They are coming out with a report on Wednesday that will recommend that:
[T]he administration should consider a tax on consumption, such as a value-added tax [VAT] system similar to that in use in the European Union. Mr. Podesta suggested that its impact should be limited to protect lower-income people, who otherwise might be hit particularly hard.
The center’s president and chief executive, John Podesta, who is an Obama adviser, said the administration should consider a tax on consumption, such as a value-added tax system similar to that in use in the European Union. Mr. Podesta suggested that its impact should be limited to protect lower-income people, who otherwise might be hit particularly hard.
“As progressives we need to debate the policy merits [of] a range of options, including designing a small and more progressive value-added tax,” Mr. Podesta said in a statement Tuesday.
Apparently even they recognize that you just can’t tax the rich enough to cover the Administration’s vast spending programs:
In order to pay for the national health care plan, the Democrats were already planning to impose a tax surcharge of between 1.0% and 1.5% on those whose income is $350,000 or more. I did the numbers on this and I came up with 300,000 lucky taxpayers who will be burdened with the privilege of paying for our health care (the Democrats say it’s more like 1,000,000 taxpayers, but I think I’m closer). Now it looks as if the regressives agree with me.
The report, which will be released on Wednesday, said the administration can’t rely on taxing richer Americans and companies to reduce the deficit to sustainable levels by 2014 because those groups would see 40% tax increases.
Guess what else is happening on Wednesday? Just a coincidence I’m sure, but the Volker Panel on How to Raise Taxes Without Anyone Noticing is meeting as well. The meeting will be streamed live starting at 12:30 if you wish to tune in to their public deliberations.
I predicted in March of this year that the Administration would look to a VAT to raise taxes:
My guess is that it will include non-food retail sales and they will add services (information, professional, technical and scientific, administrative and support, waste management and remediation, but excluding medical services). The services aspect is important because this will skew the tax more to corporations and upper income taxpayers. …[Obama] will structure it so that low income people will get a refund of taxes paid. The refund will be phased out as income increases.
In 2008 retail sales (excluding food) were about $4 trillion. Services in 2007 were another $2 trillion. Let’s say they need to raise $1 trillion over the next 4 fiscal years, or $250 billion a year. That would require a 4.5% national sales tax. In Europe they call this a value added tax (VAT) and the rate in the E.U. is about 15%.
Volker already said he thinks the VAT is a good idea. No surprise there; that’s why Obama chose him.
So, let’s see. They want to stimulate consumer spending to revive the economy. How do we get people to part with their money instead of socking it away in the bank? I know: let’s tax consumption. Brilliant.