Friday, July 1, 2016

If you believe in any part of the Constitution

It's time to get the hell out of California.

From Breitbart - Gunpocalypse

The ruling elite have - much like the modern University - tosses the idea of the individual, freedom, liberty and due process onto the bonfire of Progressivism. One more self-destructive act by a bunch of elitists who have completely lost connection with reality.

I've said it before - I'll say it again.   If you value your life, your liberty, your property - Get the Hell OUT of the People's Republik of Kalifornia

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Better Late than Never?

I found this - shocking - seriously.  And almost nothing shocks me anymore.

OH, MY: MSNBC Rips Apart Hillary Clinton’s Response To The Benghazi Terror Attacks

I've watched as the level of CRAZY has been turned up to 11, then 12.  And now apparently 13.  

Fox News critical of a Dem?  Of Saint Satan Hillary  Gotta sy - never expected to see that happen.

Now, granted, it was the most pathetic comdenation of Benghazi that I've heard.  And it's taken them forever to get around to seeing it for the vile act it was. Even though they've been told, over, and over, and over....

Well what do you expect. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

You have to love these idiots

'Journalist' trys to by an AR-15 and get's denied.

NY Daily News employs a whiny toddler as a Journalist - how do we know this?  Becuase we have video of a 7 year-old girl who apparently finds shooting an AR-15 FUN

A Touch of Sanity Returns to the World

A New Dawn is breaking: Brexit Wins EU Referendum  - Breitbart

Congratulations to a New Soverign Nation. (again)

I have to admit to being a bit surprised.  Frankly I didn't think there were enough rational thinkers left in Great Britian.

Monday, June 13, 2016


The proper response to the orlando shooting is to go buy a gun, carry it with you and stop going to places that make ideal targets for Islamic Terrorists.

The improper response is to declare that the shooter didn't understand his own motivation - that this was clearly not about Islam being the religion of hate and violence - but was infact cause by a gun - that apparently would have made it's own way into that club if it handn't found someone to carry it there.

When a shooter tells you it's about Islam - that it's about ISIS then just maybe it's about Islam and Isis.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

I wish I'd authored this

This is from the Foundation for Economic Education
Written by LW Reed

On ne saurait faire une omelette sans casser des oeufs.

Translation: “One can’t expect to make an omelet without breaking eggs.”

With those words in 1790, Maximilian Robespierre welcomed the horrific French Revolution that had begun the year before. A consummate statist who worked tirelessly to plan the lives of others, he would become the architect of the Revolution’s bloodiest phase—the Reign of Terror of 1793–94. Robespierre and his guillotine broke eggs by the thousands in a vain effort to impose a utopian society based on the seductive slogan “liberté, égalité, fraternité.”

But, alas, Robespierre never made a single omelet. Nor did any of the other thugs who held power in the decade after 1789. They left France in moral, political, and economic ruin, and ripe for the dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte.

As with Robespierre, no omelets came from the egg-breaking efforts of Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini either.

The French experience is one example in a disturbingly familiar pattern. Call them what you will—leftists, utopian socialists, radical interventionists, collectivists, or statists—history is littered with their presumptuous plans for rearranging society to fit their vision of “the common good,” plans that always fail as they kill or impoverish other people in the process. If socialism ever earns a final epitaph, it will be this: “Here lies a contrivance engineered by know-it-alls and busybodies who broke eggs with abandon but never, ever created an omelet.”

Every collectivist experiment of the twentieth century was heralded as the Promised Land by statist philosophers. “I have seen the future and it works,” the intellectual Lincoln Steffens said after a visit to Uncle Joe Stalin’s Soviet Union. In the New Yorker in 1984, John Kenneth Galbraith argued that the Soviet Union was making great economic progress in part because the socialist system made “full use” of its manpower, in contrast to the less efficient capitalist West. But an authoritative 846-page study published in 1997, The Black Book of Communism, estimated that the communist ideology claimed 20 million lives in the “workers’ paradise.” Similarly, The Black Book documented the death tolls in other communist lands: 45 to 72 million in China, between 1.3 million and 2.3 million in Cambodia, 2 million in North Korea, 1.7 million in Africa, 1.5 million in Afghanistan, 1 million in Vietnam, 1 million in Eastern Europe, and 150,000 in Latin America.

Vast and Incompetent Bureaucracies

Additionally, all of those murderous regimes were economic basket cases; they squandered resources on the police and military, built vast and incompetent bureaucracies, and produced almost nothing for which there was a market beyond their borders. They didn’t make “full use” of anything except police power. In every single communist country the world over, the story has been the same: lots of broken eggs, no omelets. No exceptions.

F. A. Hayek explained this inevitable outcome in his seminal work, The Road to Serfdom, in 1944. All efforts to displace individual plans with central planning, he warned us, must end in disaster and dictatorship. No lofty vision can vindicate the use of the brute force necessary to attain it. “The principle that the end justifies the means,” wrote Hayek, “is in individualist ethics regarded as the denial of all morals. In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily the supreme rule.”

The worst crimes of the worst statists are often minimized or dismissed by their less radical intellectual brethren as the “excesses” of men and women who otherwise had good intentions. These apologists reject the iron fist and claim that the State can achieve their egalitarian and collectivist goals with a velvet glove.

But whether it is the Swedish “middle way,” Yugoslavian “worker socialism,” or British Fabianism, the result has been the same: broken eggs, but no omelets.

Have you ever noticed how statists are constantly “reforming” their own handiwork? Education reform. Health care reform. Welfare reform. Tax reform. The very fact that they’re always busy “reforming” is an implicit admission that they didn’t get it right the first 50 times.

The list is endless: Canadian health care, European welfarism, Argentine Peronism, African postcolonial socialism, Cuban communism, on and on ad infinitum. Nowhere in the world has the statist impulse produced an omelet. Everywhere—it yields the same: eggs beaten, fried, and scrambled. People worse off than before, impoverished and looking elsewhere for answers and escape. Economies ruined. Freedoms extinguished.

It is a telling conclusion that statists have no successful model to point to, no omelet they can hold up as the pièce de résistance of their cuisine. Not so for those of us who believe in freedom. Indeed, economists James Gwartney, Robert Lawson, and Walter Block in their survey, Economic Freedom of the World: 1975–1995, conclude that “No country with a persistently high economic freedom rating during the two decades failed to achieve a high level of income. In contrast, no country with a persistently low rating was able to achieve even middle income status. . . . The countries with the largest increases in economic freedom during the period achieved impressive growth rates.”

Perhaps no one explained the lesson of all this better than the French economist and statesman Frédéric Bastiat more than 150 years ago:

“And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.”

This column first appeared in the September 1999 Freeman.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Unintended Consequences of the Minimum Wage.

A few days ago I posted about the economic benefits to minimum wage, which are few and not overly valuable. But a case can be made for some benefit in purely economic terms.   In general, minimum wage laws are created for political reasons – there is a claim of compassion but you shouldn’t be too quick to believe those.  Politicians don’t do things out of compassion, they do them to get re-elected.  Politicians work on the philosophy of delayed blame.  They’ll spend your future money to buy votes today on the theory that when the debt comes due, most voters will have forgotten who to blame.  Sadly, it works really well.

There are a number of downsides to minimum wage laws. Beyond the obvious distortion of the free market (see previous post), there is the tendency to increase them once they’re established. The dangers of what I’m seeing now, which is a trend toward a more than doubling of the Federal minimum wage in the wake of events in two of the most liberal states in the country.  Both New York and California went against all rational advice from economists and did the “Feel Good” thing anyway – assuming that voters will forget who just screwed them by the time the next election comes up.  For those people who manage to keep their jobs, it will be a big win.   For everyone else, not so much. This is going to be lengthy, and hardly exhaustive, but it should give you an idea of what kind of trouble we’re borrowing.

There is strong consensus amongst economists that raising the minimum wage results in few jobs for unskilled and inexperienced workers.  The only big holdout I know of is Paul Krugman, who lives in a world with unicorns.

If destroying entry level jobs were the only effect, it would be bad enough.  The hike from $10 to $15 per hour has resulted in UC Berkeley laying off 500 people.   That’s 500 people whose wage went from $10 to $0.  And believe me – the real minimum wage is $0.  Berkeley is just the beginning – the full effect of that increase won’t be seen for two to five years.  I expect to see more businesses flee California – which they’ve been doing in droves.   It is a business hostile environment. Between the constant assault of regulatory strangulation and now a 53.1% increase in unskilled labor costs – assuming there are no other hidden costs beyond the 6.2% FICA which means that $5/hour is really costing the employer $5.31.

Unfortunately, there is a trickle up of costs. Few employers that depend on minimum wage worker can afford to absorb a 53% hike to what is probably their biggest single expense.  They will have no choice but to raise prices – with that price increase comes a decrease in demand.  So, while prices are up – sales are down.  Since prices are unlike to go up any more than one needs to cover the actual costs in the first round, there will be a net loss in revenue. With that will be a net decrease in what the State collects for taxes.  Yes, that’s one of those little unintended consequences that is so easy to overlook. More so for a state that has a major budged shortfall, and a seriously underfunded public pension.

There may be some good news depending on what labor pool is used. If supermarkets are already paying $15/ hour (which seems unlikely) then the impact to food prices will only come from their suppliers – otherwise, the costs of eating at home will rise even further than the the cost of goods sold.  That will have some mitigating effect on the demand of dining out.  The nice thing about food is that overall, it has a relatively inelastic demand.

When those sales decrease, the demand for raw materials will fall.  Taking a restaurant as an example.  When the prices on the menu increase significantly, people will make the rational choice to eat out less.  So the restaurant sells less, and the minimum wage workers now get fewer tips – oops yet another unintended consequence. The company that supplies the food, and condiments will also lose business, lowing revenue and hence taxes.  If the restaurant sells liquor, those sales will also drop, which is bad because that’s a real profit center for restaurants. Oh, and the state loses even more tax income.

Now, if sales drop enough, a rational business owner will be forced to confront the decision of how to allocate his capital. In other words, struggle along or close up shop and find someplace else to do business.  When those shops close all the employees are now at the true minimum wage of 0$.  And the state now gets hit with an additional tax burden – unemployment compensation.

The suppliers lose even more business – potentially resulting in more layoffs.  Certainly less income and hence – less taxes paid.

You can expect to see capital replace labor in more places, since the relative cost of capital just went down. The nice thing about capital – it doesn’t show up late, rarely takes sick days, and complains about overtime, or not enough hours.

So, we’ve killed jobs for unskilled, inexperienced workers, we’ve put unskilled workers out of jobs, we’ve put skilled workers, and management out of work. We’ve decrease tax revenues and increase the tax burden. We’ve increase overall unemployment. And increased welfare spending. But at least some of those people are making a living wage now – except the prices on everything just went up so that $5 / hour feels a bit more like $1.75/ hour.   Feels pretty good doesn’t it.

At which point I will reiterate my advice – Capitalists – be compassionate, pay as much as you can afford, don’t price yourself out of existence, but if you wait, the government will do it for you. Workers – have a little compassion for all those people you seem so willing to throw under the bus,  $7 or $10 may not be a living wage, but neither is $0.

Well, you get the picture.   It’s too bad that people demanding these huge increases in the minimum wage don’t see it.  Nor apparently do the politicians.   And if you think they do, I would point you to the following:

How White Castle Will Adjust to a $15 Minimum Wage in New York

How High should the Minimum Wage Be?