Archives for: April 2012

This is how democracy will perish

I want my free shit, and I want it now!. Never mind that we can’t pay for this stuff. Take away from anyone that has more than me, and make sure I keep getting the free ride. And this is what Obama and his crew want to turn America into. Maybe we deserve the dark ages we are heading for as the collectivists destyroy a couple of cenutries of prosperity out of jealousy and envy.

Oh, well. Who needs something as balse as the concept of a devil and hell when mankind is so eager to inflict it all upon itself, huh? Only a tyrannical master with absolute power can guarantee equality, and then, the only equality it can guarantee is mesery for all thatare not part of the inner circle. But hey, let’s try this again. It’s not as if we have a century of proof that it

The Next Bubble

You remember the housing bubble, yes? One version of that narrative goes like so: homeowners are better off financially than renters; therefore we decided it would benefit the economy to subsidize housing through cheap loans, mandates, low interest rates, etc. — the “ownership society”; this mainly served to inflate housing prices and saddle millions of Americans with unaffordable debts; in 2008, it blew up in our faces to the tune of trillions of dollars.

I said a while ago that I thought the next asset bubble would be green energy. I still think it will be a bubble, but I’m now convinced that higher education is the more imminent problem:

More than half of America’s recent college graduates are either unemployed or working in a job that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree, the Associated Press reported this weekend.

By comparison, in December 2011, only a fifth of 16 to 19-year-old Americans couldn’t get work. Meanwhile, according to the OECD, just 18.4 percent of all Americans under the age of 25 were unemployed in 2010. By those measures, college grads are actually faring worse in the job market than the overall youth population. They’re also suffering terribly compared to the older college-educated populace, which has an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent.

So is a college education simply less valuable than in the past? In some respects, yes. According to the Census, the number of Americans under the age of 25 with at least a bachelor’s degree has grown 38 percent since 2000. Not nearly enough jobs have been created to accommodate them, which has resulted in falling wages for young college graduates in the past decade, as well as the employment problems we’re now seeing.

Here’s what’s left out of the analysis. The explosion in college degrees — an explosion which has made each college degree less valuable — has been heavily fueled by massive federal investment. The last three Presidents have made it a mission to make college more “affordable” through an ocean of subsidized loans and grants. The result has been a huge surge of new college students and, since loans have only driven tuition prices higher, a five-fold swelling of student debt to about a trillion dollars.

The analogy isn’t quite perfect. There’s no derivative industry in higher education creating a multi-trillion dollar market for bogus education (yet). But the government is making the same mistakes it made in the housing bubble, assuming that subsidized loans can drive prosperity. And just as subsidized cheap loans drove housing prices higher and put people into mortgages they couldn’t afford, the student debt push is driving college prices higher and putting people into educations they can’t afford. Only this time, we can’t blame Bank of America.

The reasoning behind the heavy push for higher education is just as sloppy as the push for home ownership. College graduates earn more than non-college graduates. Therefore, all we have to do is send everyone to college and everyone will have a good paying job, right?

Wrong. College graduates are paid more because some of the highest-paying professions — medicine, law, banking, engineering — require a college education. And, as the article notes, people who get degrees in those fields are doing fine. But most of the influx of students are not getting these kind of degrees. They are getting degrees in liberal arts and other professions which are not as in demand. You can imagine how the job interviews are going:

Employer: So it says here you have a Bachelor’s from Ohio State. What did you major in?

Unemployed: Women’s studies.

Employer: Uh, so do you have any marketable skills?

Unemployed: I can get angry really well.

Employer: We’ll let you know.

A real educational loan industry would not let this shit go on. They would not loan $35,000 to some dude getting a degree in puppetry. They would happily finance degrees in medicine or science, where the likelihood of future prosperity is good. But puppetry? Most of the liberal arts? I don’t think so.

And, yes, I’m seeing education in purely practical terms. I’m not saying that there isn’t value to someone getting a college degree and broadening their mind just for the sake of it. I am saying that I see little reason for the taxpayers to support it for everyone.

Just as our political class ignored the housing bubble until it was too late, we can expect our politicians not to do anything until the roof caves in and we’re facing tens or even hundreds of billions in loan defaults. Right now, both our Presidential candidates are trying to keep student loans cheap and subsidized, keeping the interest rates in the mid 3’s or so. Ironically, as Daniel de Vise points out, these two Nanny Staters are suddenly unwilling to act like parents and say, “No!” to young people. And that’s just for interest rates. It takes a lot more courage than either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney can muster to say, “Not everyone should go to college.”

But that’s what they should be saying. A lot of people getting college degrees would be better off getting more practical and technical education or job training than reading Das Kapital. A lot would be better off going to community or junior colleges, at least for the first couple of years.

The only alternative view that has gotten any attention is that of the Occupy crowd who want student loan forgiveness. If anything, this is more asinine. While student loan in aggregate is a concern, the typical student has $25,000 in debt when they graduate. While I think some have incurred that expense needlessly, that’s hardly crippling. It’s less than a loan for a nice car, and typically given on better terms. There are millions with bigger medical bills who muddle through. Spare me your sobs.

What we should be doing is making interest rates realistic, moving the loan industry back to the private sector and allowing student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy (the exemption of student loans from bankruptcy is a huge back-door subsidy). We should be capping loans or linking them, in some way, to potential earnings. But neither side wants to risk the wrath of young voters (or academia).

The final act in this drama, of course, will be finding someone — anyone — to blame other than the people who caused the problem. Thankfully, the Left is hard at work on that. For a while, for-profit colleges were the target, but they aren’t really fitting the bill. The recent meme has pointed to a slight decline in state contributions to higher ed as the reason for such high tuition and so much student debt. But the figure they use in their analysis is dollar per student. The absolute dollar amounts poured by states into higher education has fallen in recent years — Pennsylvania just cut higher ed funding by 25% and want to cut it by a similar amount this year. But overall, the last decade has seen these contributions remain steady or rise. The real factor is the explosion in the number of students (hence the drop in dollar per student) and an explosion in tuition, both driven by cheap subsidized loans.

Never forget that when people use the wrong number in an analysis, it’s because they don’t want to use the right one. The problem is not cheap GOP-controlled state governments, no matter how much Daily Kos wants it to be. The problem is a splurging federal government. We’re spending too much on college, we’re sending too many people to college and we’re building a bigger and bigger bubble. And the real victims, in the end, are the students, who are in debt and unable to find good jobs. And it will probably end the same way the housing bubble did — with huge bailouts for the politically powerful and ruinous debt for the masses.

How can this be seen as a good thing? And how can we keep listening to the people who are causing the problem?

Post Scriptum: I am informed by British friends that the UK is experiencing this problem too. The Labour government massively increased the number of students going to college. As a result, the degrees have become less valuable and there are a lot of unemployed college-educated Brits. The Cameron government tried to reign this in and provoked riots, which just demonstrates that the British haven’t learned anything about economics since Adam Smith died. I’d appreciate some confirmation of this.

Update: Please don’t tell me that the government is profiting student loans. It is … now. And mainly based on accounting gimmicks. Again, the analogy to the housing bubble is unavoidable.

The Worst Person in the World

(Note: I’ve sat on this post for a couple of days, waiting for more details. The allegation is so horrible, I can’t believe it. But no more details have emerged.)

OK, time for something all of us can agree on. If what is alleged in this lawsuit is true, there’s a woman in New York who needs to be flogged through the streets:

A “kind and generous’’ Long Island mom donated a kidney to save the life of her boss — who then turned around after she got what she wanted and helped fire the poor woman, according to an explosive new legal complaint.

The story is actually worse than that summary. According to the complaint — and we should emphasize that we’re only hearing one side at this point — Debbie Stevens left a job in New York. While visiting, she heard her former boss, Jackie Brucia, had health problems and mentioned that she would donate a kidney if Jackie’s donor fell through. She moved back and was rehired. When she heard her Brucia’s donor had been denied, she agreed to donate a kidney to a man in Missouri, in exchange for which Brucia would get a kidney.

After the surgery, Brucia complained about her returning to work slower than desired, berated her in front of other employees, then moved her to a dealership 50 miles away. When she complained, she was fired.

Again, we haven’t heard the other side. If it turns out that Stevens got lazy, figuring the kidney donation gave her carte blanche, I’ll post it. But if there is truth to these allegations; if this company and this woman have any sense at all, they will settle yesterday. The money is nothing. The public shaming is going to be intense and ruinous.

And it should be.

Lesson of the day..

Ineptocracy –
(in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

If you still doubt that’s where we are at after the last 3 years and the gloabl revelations of the disfunctional nanny state, then I have real estate on the sun to sell you.

Real Reporting on Zimmerman

The media are finally getting the idea that George Zimmerman is no some character on TV, but a real person. It’s a good read and gives more background to the situation and him, showing us both his good and bad sides. As you read it, remember how the left wing blogs quickly proclaimed Zimmerman to be an obvious racist, a vigilante thug and a cold-blooded killer.

You can also read about the long history this prosecutor has of over-reach in bringing charges. The case of Marissa Alexander is looking like a travesty of justice far outshining what’s going on in the Martin case. It should be on the nightly news at least as often as the Martin case is.

More of this, please. It’s called “reporting”, for media members who are a little confused by pieces that don’t consist entirely of quotes from the powerful.

What to do when the left calls Romney an out of touch rich guy..

Look, I am not very enthused about Romney, but that’s the guy that I am stuck with, and as I have repeatedly said, I would vote for anyone other than a child molester over Obama. However, the I am incensed by the left’s current attempt to create the narrative that Romney is an out of touch rich guy, and hence will do worse than the community organizer in chief and his cadre of crony capitalists, tax dodgers, and in general, criminal Marxist sycophantic assholes that have spent the last 3 years destroying our country.

Why is being rich suddenly such a bad and evil thing? Shit, in the election before the inexperienced used car salesman that promised “Hope & Change”, then left everyone hoping they could keep some of their change, the left ran a guy that is just as rich, if not richer than Romney, and that America hating asshole, whom spent the entire campaign telling us how he was a great warrior while ignoring his sordid history and all the cavorting with the enemy once he decided to go into politics, got rich by marrying the widow of a guy that worked to make his fortune.

Why are the only rich people that are evil the ones that do not subscribe to and peddle the class warfare nonsense that the left uses to gin up envy and jealousy from the sheep that are not bright enough to see they are actually being played by snake oil salesmen? Fuck, Kerry, an avid class warrior and one of the lame asses saying the rich need to pay more taxes to help keep the big nanny state in business, has been caught repeatedly trying to avoid paying his fair share! From Yacht gate to pretending the money is in his wife’s name so he should get a pass that it is all hidden in tax free shelters in the Caribbean, this moron, like many/most of other asshole class warriors on the left, has continuously been caught not practicing what he preaches.

Romney, on the other hand, made his fortune the hard way: he worked to earn it, outside of government and the power that kind of leverage gives you to steer tax payer money to your wallet, like many of the politicians on the left that are the most vocal about Romney’s wealth now have done for the last few years, and was not always a rich guy. Compared to John Kerry – that’s the tool that married a rich old broad whose husband had made his money working hard – Romney is a f-ing genius. Yet, the left now is making a big ado about how Romney is the one that is out of touch because he is rich.

Why didn’t we get any of that class envy and propaganda about how being rich made you not just out of touch, but unable to lead effectively, when mister “Did I tell you I was in Cambodia and won 3 purple hearts” was running for president back in 2004 from these leftists twits, huh? The next time some imbecile tries to tell you how Romney is not going to do as good of a job as the people that now have to rely on hit job after hit job by their propagandists friends in the LSM distract you from the abysmal and disastrous economic damage they have caused in the last few years, remind them that we never heard any of this about Kerry. Look over there: racist, women hating, people that want to push grandma off the cliff and laugh at you while they eat caviar and drink champagne while you have to feed your poor kids Ketchup soup! But back in the Kerry campaign days, it was all about how great this imbecile that got rich by the virtue that he managed to convince the old broad that inherited the financial windfall the guy that owned the company that sold Ketchup made, was.

Class warfare and envy of the rich is for idiots. Especially the ones that illogically give a pass to rich people that parrot the collectivist class envy talking points, but then do not follow the rules they put in place to penalize others, but think the ones that tell them to go earn their own money are bad. Romney has issues, but being rich is not one of them: the fact he was successful in business and became rich is an asset. America needs a lot less of the people that think success should be determined by government. Let’s hope Romney is one of those people. Obama and the marxists he represents, certainly have proven they aren’t the answer.

Government Motors

Only government can misplace 300 cars:

Have you ever bought a brand new cars only to forget where you put it? How about 300 of them? Probably not – unless you’re Miami-Dade County, which was recently reunited with 298 vehicles it bought brand new between 2006 and 2007.

The county “discovered” this fleet of no-mileage vehicles after reading about them in a Spanish-language newspaper there (see the source for more images). Most of the misplaced motorcade is made up of Toyota Prius hybrids whose warranties either expired with very few miles on the odo or will very soon.

I’m being a bit unfair, really. I mean, who hasn’t misplaced a Prius, sometimes on purpose. Even hybrid owners don’t buy new hybrids at trade-in time. And, when you think about it, I’m sure this a great economic stimulus. Buying cars and abandoning them so you can buy more cars? Somebody call Paul Krugman! And really, once you’ve shelled out $600 million in corporate welare to build a stadium for a baseball team, what’s a few million more to buy some cars that nobody uses?

Miami: the only place in America where buying and losing 300 cars is an improvement in the quality of governance.

I wish this was a joke..

I thought that this story was a hoax of some kind. A law to let you bang your dead wife up to 6 hours after she is dead? Seriously? Unfortunately it is not April 1st anymore, and I can not find a cultural equivalent in the region this comes from that would clarify this is a spoof. But considering the other crazy shit it is paired with, I am inclined to believe this is for real.

Egyptian husbands will soon be legally allowed to have sex with their dead wives – for up to six hours after their death.

The controversial new law is part of a raft of measures being introduced by the Islamist-dominated parliament.

It will also see the minimum age of marriage lowered to 14 and the ridding of women’s rights of getting education and employment.

Yeah man! If the grass grows, play ball. And keep em dumb, barefoot, and in the kitchen. Then honor them by banging their corpses for up to 6 hrs after they are cold. Maybe even after a nice honor killing! Mubarak comes across as a saint when you hear shit like this, and the people setting the direction for Islam show what it truly is about, too. Of course, the real evil people are them republicans that want to deny women the right to contraceptives paid for by other people. Know what I am saying?

The child of the AGW cultists is already delivered!

Scientific American, a publication I subscribed to when younger and ravenously read in my pursuit of knowledge and information in my younger years, when completely drawn and consumed by the world of science, was one of the main reasons I went to school and studied engineering. Of course, as they began shilling for AGW over a decade ago, publishing one dumb article after another that pushed a political agenda and leftist one government end goal, with consensus, manipulated models, and other such pseudo-science that completely ignored or dismissed relevant information so they could drive the narrative as their proof, I dropped my subscription. I have not regretted that choice, considering the revelations of how corrupt the cult of AGW and those that helped them push their agenda have shown to be, despite the LSM blackout and/or massive attempts at damage control, and I feel vindicated that dropping that subscription was a wise move, since Scientific American has been a willing participant in that campaign of pro-AGW lies.

As most people are wising up and support for the AGW cult’s plans and schemes dwindles, now that more and more of the exaggerations about the dangers of AGW are coming out, and support only remains amongst the true believers and the ones that still want to push the political agenda that fueled the AGW cult, the leftists at Scientific American seem to be moving on to the next narrative to push the same old agenda: bio diversity.

Governments from more than 90 countries have agreed to establish an independent panel of scientists to assess the very latest research on the state of the planet's fragile ecosystems. The decision, which will create a body akin to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was made in Panama City this weekend, after years of negotiations.

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will be responsible for producing international scientific assessments on issues such as ocean acidification and pollination, to help policy-makers to tackle the global loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems.

“I hope that this body will allow biodiversity to be better taken into account in sustainable-development strategies, as the IPCC has for climate change over the past 20 years,” says Irina Bokova, director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), based in Paris.

The themes of the panel's assessments, along with its overall budget, are to be decided at the newly established body's first plenary meeting, which is scheduled for 2013. But the IPBES will begin work immediately on reviewing existing assessments — such as 2005's global Millennium Ecosystem Assessment — to analyze their scope and impact on policy.

No freaking way! Another UN panel populated by a bunch of credentialed marxists and pseudo-marxists hell bent on yet again finding that the answer to some new or old calamity, or series of calamitous events, are caused by man’s use of energy, will soon tell us that the only solution or answer, yet again, lies with a big one world collectivist government, with the power to control access to energy and people’s freedoms through some massive regulation and taxation, while enhancing the power of these elite and the governments they actually shill for. Color me shocked. And if you doubt this is the plan, I point you to this revelation in the Scientific American fluff piece:

Governments will make the final decisions as to which scientists will sit on the panel, but scientific bodies such as DIVERSITAS will be invited to make nominations. Selection procedures have yet to be agreed. “It will be key to have a selection process for nominations based on the highest scientific credentials,” says Larigauderie.

So, the same people that have the most to gain from putting the shills that will declare that without letting governments wield more power and limit people’s access to energy and thus freedom, and have been the big financiers and stakeholders in the AGW cult scam, are now in charge of this project? What could go wrong, or for that matter, be different from what was done to abuse the AGW narrative? We need to save those fragile ecosystems after all!

The problem these shysters had with AGW – that everyone not compromised by the want for their end goal, you know the watermelons that pretended they were concerned about saving Gaia, when what they really wanted was that collectivist expansion of power, clearly saw through – is going to be the same here. The AGW cultists’ argument was destroyed by the fact that temperatures and climate changed. It varied throughout Earths 4.5 billion years of life, long before man and his gas guzzling CO2 producing factories and SUVs came on the scene. There had been warming and warmer times, much warmer I add, both in the immediate and far away past, as there had been cooling and much cooler times. And man had nothing to do with any of that. The sun, the oceans, and a climate system they still lack massive understanding off its inner workings and had been badly modeled, on purpose I add to produce the lies they needed to frighten the rubes, all where ignored, manipulated, or explained away to pretend that this phenomenon was new, caused by man, and could only be stopped by collectivism writ large.

The ecosystem champions will face the same problem. The fact is that Mother Nature is a cruel thing: ecosystems come and go. Adapt or perish is the law of life. There are more extinct species and systems than there are species and systems around now, and that’s not by coincidence. I am not arguing that we should try to preserve some species or ecosystems, but I am going to go bat shit when these morons tell us we need to preserve everything as is, blame man for it all, then tell us the answer to this dilemma is the same crap they wanted when lying about AGW. And have no doubt that no matter how they camouflage it, the end goal remains the same. Here is to hoping this bullshit dies long before it gains any traction, costs us billions, if not trillions, eats up another decade or two of time, while governments everywhere steal more wealth and freedoms under the guise of saving us from ourselves, and harms as many as the AGW lies have. Unfortunately it will not be the last attempt by these shysters to sell their snake oil and I will not be surprised to see Scientific American at the forefront of selling those lies either.

Collectivists suck.

Don’t Touch That Horse

You know, I give up. The people in this Administration are just fucking stupid:

A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members of Congress. But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves.

The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child-labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.

Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”

It would also replace the FFA’s and 4-H’s programs with a government program. Last year, I went to a fair in central Pennsylvania where livestock were displayed and sold. I was very impressed by the young kids who were able to manage, raise and sell animals. If I understand this regulation correctly, that would stop. And so would some of the charm of the fair.

I could get deep into how deeply stupid this is or how this is not some modern version of child slavery but that’s playing Hilda Solis’ game. The underlying principle is that what children do on the farms is not the government’s fucking business. It’s certainly not the business of the Feds. And even it were, it would be the business of the Department of Agriculture, where there’s a reasonable chance the bureaucrats and the secretary have seen an actual cow or at least know what one looks like.

Maybe there is some thought behind this, but it sounds an awful lot like some city slicker suddenly found out that — heavens to besty! — some kids in rural areas have chores and do work.