Thursday, November 4, 2010

Favorable policies non-kosher lables

Probably the best way for us to enshrine favorable policies is to accept non-kosher labels. We need to accept the use of different terms to approach different people. Neither the Left-Locke nor the right Locke is familiar with subsidiarity. The Left will probably think it refers to big business and the Right will just think it is a new shade of lipstick for the old socialist pig.

In the old days when all media spoke with one voice those who identified with the left end of the scheme or the right end of the scheme all saw the same stories the same political ads and quickly fell into party lines. Now that there are media alternatives there is an opportunity take people from either party aside and talk to them about how their goals can be partially furthered and a more sensible system built.

For instance, "local and sustainable" is necessarily small and probably family owned. In order for a small business to survive under current conditions it needs "help" to the left this has always meant subsidies, but a more efficient way for the government to help very small businesses is to take away some of the government burdens imposed on business.Exemptions on red tape for businesses that employ only family and sell all their products locally could give many small local farmers and artisans the ability to compete with Assembly-line goods from mega-corps.

After all the "protections" that government inspecting and licensing arms provide are not as necessary if you know the guy who grew your food or made the product you are using. Nor is there any need to redistribute wealth away from small-time operations, many of which are run by semi-retired senior trying to make ends meet on social security. We could even all agree that there shouldn't be any income tax on goods that are sold and consumed by the end user within the state of their manufacture (or if manufactured in a border town within 100 miles, whichever is greater).

That would please those who are worried about fuel consumption and sustainability; it should also please those who are worried about the credit system shutting down. If more people can make something of worth, or have extended family that can, then it means that more people will have a meal ticket if the credit markets shut down.It also should please conservative federalists who don't feel the Federal government should be regulating commerce within states.

There are a thousand points upon which agreements could be reached that would further a culture of subsidiarity point by point. It can't be built overnight anyway, even if had to be, but the time could soon be approaching when it will be needed and the real question is will it be there? If more people can see the rightness of it as well as the benefits, nay even necessity of it then this could begin to take off.

They just need to see it from their point of view and for that we will need different strokes for different folks. Don't re-fight the old ideology wars, stay focused and this can happen fall off to the right or to the left and it will just be absorbed by one of the two parties and become part of the ideology of 50% of the country and bitterly opposed by the other half.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Co-ops; the future of American manufacturing?

Co-ops; the future of American manufacturing?

Could the manufacturing co-ops of Mondrag√≥n, Spain be the model for manufacturing in America in the future? Under current conditions it seems unlikely. America’s vast natural resources have made capitalism the perfect exploiter; men of vision were induced to develop, invent, and risk because the rewards were beyond any prior experience.

After these men of vision had built their dreams on a combination of capital, guts, and skill, not to mention cheap immigrant labor, they had created so much wealth, so much infrastructure that in a democratic country it was impossible that the less rich voters would not figure out how to vote themselves some of that wealth.
And it wasn’t just the wealth alone that had become concentrated; it was the power to control or to at least manipulate the market that had concentrated to the few.

Teddy Roosevelt “broke up the trusts” or at least make a show of it, but in reality he had nothing against a few companies running a whole industry so long as it was controlled by a government he (and his super-evolved elites) controlled.
Thus his cousin F.D.R. allowed pluropolies. “Allowed” is not the right word, he forced smaller businesses out of business so as to better control the few remaining large businesses. This was seen as an efficient way to harness capitalism to create wealth, but regulate it, so as to distribute the wealth that was created. The promise was “every man a king” and in terms of standard of living the average man had access to most of the material goods kings had and a whole lot more in terms of medical treatment and so forth that many kings died not having.

The socialist harnessing of capitalism under F.D.R. did not end right away but continued on until the Clinton administration. During the five decades before Clinton capitalism went from being harnessed to being abused; rather than simply increasing the standard of living and maintaining that standard, it became the American dream to do better than your parents - bigger house more cars and therefore more money. The wages became so much greater than in the third world that it became impossible for American manufacturing to compete with third world manufacturing and its low wages.

A culture that has developed over decades, generations really, can’t be reformed overnight. The culture I’m talking about is the “worker” vs. “the wealthy” class warfare culture that led the unions to destroy their hosts. G.M. workers were getting as much as $80/hr in compensation and their CEO was getting a package just as absurd; figuring out how long it would take for the parasites to destroy the host was like a big mathematical story problem. Once the unions and the management left the station and started picking up speed it was just a matter of time before they collided with overseas competition.

When the common people are used to wealth and they can vote, they are not going to accept any sudden lowering of their standard of living that they can vote away. America, despite her reverses, still has great natural resources and a lot of infrastructure. This means that our dollar, which the 2nd world (Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan) as well as the 3rd world (everywhere else) is still highly invested in can still be exploited. America, or the Obama administration, will print dollars into existence until the rest of the world won’t play that game any more.

When the rest of the world sees the game is unsustainable then they will demand payment in natural resources and they will get back a percentage of what they put in because payment will be in ever inflating dollars that will have ever decreasing value. The dollar printing game will be over for good. Then it will be hard to get credit, jobs and even food. When it is hard to get food the formerly fat Americans will try to figure out how to make a living without capital, and they will be hungry enough to be humble.

They will be willing to try anything that could work and they will look first to what they know has worked elsewhere. This is why we Catholics who believe in the Mondragon idea, the idea of co-operative ownership, or employee ownership of the company, need to adapt the Mondragon model to American culture and law. Then after such an adaptation we need to offer to assist a start-up co-op in one of the hardest hit areas.

Perhaps we could start a financial co-op that would loan the money to start a manufacturing co-op preferably in the South. I would like to see a wide group of people each put a small amount of money into the financial co-op with the knowledge that the first two or three attempts might run up against resistance from the state, from lawsuits, from the competition, and from unions. It also might be difficult to get Americans to adjust to the idea of solidarity when we are used to looking out for Number One. I would further propose that the financial co-op be run as an American branch of the Mondragon co-op system and the first co-op would be started under the guidance of folks from Mondragon.

Next the men who form the manufacturing co-op need to be men who have worked in manufacturing before and not a bunch of writers and dreamers who probably won’t really work at all, let alone work together. Such folks would be likely to use any imperfection in the co-op as an excuse to cause trouble and even quit. Beyond that they might not have the skills and abilities to work well with their hands as well as the knowledge of the technical aspects of modern manufacturing.

Thirdly, I would propose a top of the line online school so that workers could learn from home without interrupting their work, taking them away from their family or running them into debt. Unlike most technical schools this schooling would have a bit more of a university feel and would leave the student not as “well rounded” as a great books school, but certainly with a bit of the basics of science, history, economics and theology.

Forth, we need to start co-ops now, but we need to get legal protections similar to how corporations were declared “legal persons”. This could be done by getting laws passed, but another way to do it is by developing “case law”. Of course if case law doesn’t go our way we would have to go the legislative route, but the legislative route needs to be proceeded by a groundswell of support. So continuing to get the message out is important, but now is actually a good time to start the ball rolling here in the states.

Maybe we could start in a manufacturing ghost town in a Southern state that has a freshly emptied factory and a ready trained unemployed workforce. If the corporation that has gone overseas won't sell because they don't want competition, then buy the empty factory through eminent domain.Your average conservative will object on private property principals, but what of the rights of the workers who helped build the company, the town that built up around it that is now left high and dry? Yes the company should be justly compensated, but also they should sell.

It should be a small factory in a town that has no other industry. The industry should be one that is still viable. The workforce should be educated and in total agreement with the co-operative system. This is do-able.

Monday, October 25, 2010

To faze out the income tax

To faze out the income tax is a better idea than abolishing it. First of all if you are really interested in getting rid of it then you have to realize that it will create a radical change and that Americans tend to reject radical change. Secondly getting rid of it at a single stroke would leave a whole lot of our most vulnerable in the lurch; folks like our seniors and disabled vets who paid their dues and now deserve our support.

Many professionals like bookkeepers and accountants have built up their life around the income tax and would have to start over with no warning or easing into it. Many business models rely on servicing it and so forth. In other words too many people and their families would be ruined today if the income tax went away today. You might not be sympathetic to their plight, but you should be sensible to their opposition and how desperate you want to make them.

My proposal therefore is to turn the income tax collection, and the services provided by the income tax, over to the states.From that point it would be much easier to faze out a state income tax than a national one. While all the states might start out with the same rate and system within a few years the states would begin to compete for ranking in efficiency and rates would lower.

As the ideal of subsidiarity gains ground there will be a snowballing effect as families redeem their responsibilities from the government. Parents armed with better teaching software will tend to take on more of the education of their children. Now that everyone realizes that the baby boomers are going to bust the government retirement idea we will see more families figuring out how to handle these issues on their own.

Now that the safety, nutrition, and supply of our food has come into question, people have become more interested in growing their own and buying it locally from folks they know. This means less need for the government to have their nose in it, and therefore less need for government. Other than our imported food it is hard to make a case for much of the "inspections" that go on because the companies that produce the food have a greater stake in avoiding media exposure than the government union drone with his rubber stamp.

As to our national defense I think most of the cost of it has to do with the fact that we think we can always make things better by sending our boys overseas. Once we realize that knees on the ground in most cases is more effective than boots on the ground in combating evil, we will send more prayers and less boots overseas. The remaining costs can be raised in the way we used to fund our military with tariffs and a hybrid army of paid professionals and trained volunteers.

The times do not allow for a small military, but we could do much with quite a bit less, especially considering how many of our citizens are armed and what could be done with reserve and national guard units.There are almost no other needs that can only be organized at the national level, and actually the states could be required to keep a proportionate number of state guardsmen at the ready in a standard of readiness overseen by the federal government. This would aproximate the medieval model of knights maintained by nobles who were under a King thus limiting the power of the King (or in our case the federal government)to do anything but organize against an invasion.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Freedom of religion is a gentlemen's agreement

Freedom of religion is a gentleman's agreement. It was never meant to mean anything goes; if that was the case then it would make it virtually impossible to enforce any law, because anyone who wished to break that law could simply claim exemption because it violated their conscience.

No, freedom of religion was a gentleman's agreement arrived at by the Founding Fathers as a way for all of the differing Protestant denominations, the Jews, and even, gasp, Catholics to live peacefully. It wasn't that hard of a sell because under the British government this was already the order of the day.

The mistake the Founders made was in not keeping with the tolerance of reasonable accommodation that the British had arrived at; oh no, they were revolutionaries, they had to put into practice the latest fad in liberalism, an open-ended freedom of religion.

At the time that they believed this stupidity they didn't have any dealings with Muslims; in fact, Thomas Jefferson was shocked to find a few years later that Muslims wanted Americans to pay tribute because they were Christians, or at least not Muslims.

At the time there was another idea that was current and that was that all denominations should essentially have a battle of ideas and that the denomination with the best case would rise to the top in a free-market of ideas.

Again the folks with these ideas did not reckon on the Muslim approach; Islam doesn't rely solely on convincing arguments but on conversion by the sword or by persecutions involving a special tax, lack of legal standing in court in case of a dispute with a Muslim, etc.

The modern Liberal has added another layer to this gentlemen's agreement; the agreement to disagree. This "let's agree to disagree" philosophy sounds good at first, but what it really is saying is that nothing we believe is worth arguing over. Along with an unhealthy philosophy known as multi-culturalism, this is why the claims of Islam are not being cross-examined with the same adversarial zeal which other faiths have faced.

It is after all the claims and practices of Islam where the weakness is; the whole religion could collapse in a few generations if it was subjected to the same scrutiny that Christianity is constantly under. Let's try the Historical-critical method on it, let's look at the authenticity of its claims. If Christians offer the test that Jesus was a liar, a lunatic, or Lord, then let's ask the same question of Islam - did it come from a liar a lunatic, or the Lord?

I will later write on what criteria we can ask the liar, lunatic or from the Lord question of Islam, but even to raise the spectre is enough to start a conversation, so go start one.There is nothing stopping you; after all, you don't need to build a Mosque overlooking "Ground Zero" to start a conversation.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rulling class V.S. Productive class

There is an important, nay I would say “watershed moment” article: • American Spectator: America's Ruling Class. And the Perils of Revolution - Angelo M. Codevilla .It lays out the case that a “ruling class” has emerged in America, but more than that it defines who they are, what they are and how they rule the “productive class” or the other side in this struggle.

In the article Codevilla calls the “productive class” the “country class”, but I feel “productive” is both more accurate and less confusing than “country class”. After all, we don’t want people thinking you have to live in the country or listen to the music coming out of Nashville (which is at a low point just now with the loss of Johnny Cash.)

This article is important because in the past members of the productive class first thought that all of the nonsense currently going on was just the problem of liberals, then democrats in general, and then democrats and liberal republicans. While in terms of elected officials it is a problem of liberal democrats and republicans, the bail-outs revealed a whole infrastructure of unelected members of this group.

The 2008 bail-out revealed that instead of representatives, we have a cabal in power that is using power to grant mutual back-scratching privileges to each other payable by the general public. While everyone has railed against the bail-out and the crony capitalists who privatize profits and socialize losses there lacked a focus, or group to appose.

Besides the obvious politicians and czars it also consists of folks who profit from the expansion of government through grants, subsidies, or in the case of big business, contracts, bail-outs, special laws and rulings that favor their company at the expense of the competition. This can even be restrictions and red-tape that cost the favored company more money, but in the end are profitable because it forces their competition out of the business. The mainstream media or big media is owned by parent companies that are “big businesses”. Also don’t forget the “frivolous lawsuit rich” nor those who occupy profitable positions in “non-profits” nor heads of national professional groups.

This "Ruling class" term is a great catch-all for all the folks who are loosely affiliated or in ca-hoots; it also explains why the expulsion of God from the public square is necessary for their power. This term defines a group that until now had escaped definition; but now that they, their tactics, and motives have been identified and reduced to a single named group, they can be stopped. By explaining how they maintain their power, Codevilla has given us the key to destroy their power.
They maintain their power by perpetuating the myth that they are superior and that we are inferior; that the little retrogrades need them to step in and stop the ignorant from hurting themselves and others. That they have “evolved” beyond the commoners and we are lucky they are so benevolent as to use their powers for good; good being defined as making society and people evolve or “progress”

Anyway read the article and the next time you are talking to an “NRA democrat” who votes union-democrat or the like, instead of having the old discussion about whether it was the “D”’s or the “R’’’s who lost our manufacturing base, got us into wars only to lose them, has us wrapped in red tape, created an unsustainable debt, destroyed our educational system or any of the other failures the ruling class is responsible for you can point him to this new concept that Democrat and Republican are different only in matters of degree; the real distinction is between the “ruling class” and the “productive class”.

If a guy can’t understand that concept it is probably because he is either a member of the ruling class, one of its’ aspirants, or one of their useful idiots. There are also those who are still POW’s of the Sexual Revolution, are part of the “Endless War” (especially in the Mid-East) lobby, or in some way benefit more than lose from big government. I wouldn’t waste my time trying to convince them, prayer is their only Hope.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Molesting Pope Benedict

It looks like the Atheist in the AP and the Perversion Activists who run the New York Times are commemorating Holy Week by molesting Pope Benedict.

"It is not the nature of the evidence but the seriousness of the charge" and that is apparently why it is more important to run headlines that simply repeat the charge.

The articles below the headlines never pay off; they simply talk in a parallel way about some pedophile or pederast priest and at the same time talk about the Pope in a way that seems to link them.

Only in the last few years have we come to understand that a certain part of any male population have a mental defect that leads them to be pedophiles. During the 60's and 70's certain liberal seminaries lowered the bar to keep their numbers up.

Also they were more concerned with "not judging" because in their heresy, being judgemental was the worst possible sin.Some of them welcomed the idea of "Judging is the worst sin" because the sins the were committing themselves were quite interesting.

What they didn't know was that the therapy and the therapists they placed their faith in could not rehabilitate people with this kind of a mental disorder. I tend to think that rehab has pretty much come to be understood for what it is (mental punishment.) Mental punishment cannot deter people who are insane; if you keep expecting a different result it just means more victims.

So to sum it up;
1 Priests are males

2 A certain number of any male population are pedophiles

3 They can't be cured or fixed

4 If given therapy and released they will do it again and again

5 They were released after being declared cured and safe by therapists

6 The Pope was in positions of leadership during these times.

Now the part that they don't talk about is that

1 The Pope never engaged in a repeated catch and release

2 The Pope was the most active in taking steps against the abusers

3 The Church has notoriously high bar for Church trials and it takes a long time to do anything because they are also concerned with the rights of the accused who might be innocent.

4 Pope John Paul II was used to the communists falsely accusing every good priest of as many crimes as they could think of; this made him the worst possible person to deal with this particular issue. It wasn't until then Cardinal Ratzinger stepped in that these cases began to be dealt with at the top levels of the Church; before that the local bishop dealt with it.

5 The press is all interested in selling stories, or stories that sell. It makes their job easy if they can run something sensational that they didn't have to prepare because it is soon-fed to them by a lawyer who is suing the Church.

6 A great deal of the press is angry with the Church because we are the last great pillar to stand on all sexual morality.

The good news is that this has caused a great purification of the Church

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Some ends justify disregaurding meaningless rules

To End abortion there is no rule of order, separation of power, or strictly man-made rule of law that would make me blink before stopping abortion. Anybody who says it must be done through a certain process, respect states rights, federalism, the role of the court, or anything else is probably not "down for the struggle".

They also haven't noticed that all the conventional rules have long ago gone out the window; we no longer live in a country governed by the rule of law. For those of us interested in such things there is only right and wrong to consider now. No pro-lifer should be worried about the details of the best way to end abortion; if abortion ends, then that is probably the best way.

If the president declares abortion illegal, if the supreme court does it, or if the people simply gather in a ten million man march and take the capital like has been done before in other countries a hundred times then that is good enough for me. Why should pro-lifers be the only ones left who are worried about process? Especially when it is results that matter.

Let's recap; the supreme court declared it the law of the land by fiat. It seems to me that by the same turn the president (a co-equal power) could declare abortion illegal by fiat. Or for that matter Congress could do it. But let me be clear, if a dictator seized power tomorrow and outlawed abortion I would consider it outlawed.

Whether I fought against the dictator or not would depend on how he governed (compared to the likely alternative) not to mention the likelihood of a successful overthrow of such a dictator (just war theory), but I would still consider abortion to be outlawed either way.

Anyone who doesn't get this is either stuck in political buggy-whip production mode or is offering us excuses for why abortion is not banned. If we are to overturn this we must be as bold as those who forced this on us. We should no more care for the rules than they did, much less so now that the rules only serve to bind us. Not only should we understand this, but we should say as much when we run for office. Let them know that the game is up.

The only rule left for us is "by whatever moral means necessary." That excludes terrorism and the like, but not much else. Just about anything Rahm Emanuel would do short of attacking naked men in the shower (no pun intended, only observed after the fact). Complaining that the other side broke with the process is a lot like complaining that the ref called the game for the other team; you not only still lost, but now you sound like a sore loser, and nobody cares.

Let the other side be the one who has something to complain about. After all the American public has a lazy wisdom that doesn't worship the founding fathers; they also aren't as interested in what goes on as in knowing the gist of what happened. The only reason they are paying attention now is because they are starting to sense that everything is going down and they are upset the gravy train might slow down or stop.

If the democrats complain that we have subverted the rule of law and caused a constitutional crisis, then the few people who still pay attention will say "It's the economy stupid" and vote accordingly.

It has begun

The collection of crony capitalists and statist socialists that are currently in control of our government have issued more debt than people are interested in buying. This is not surprising to me because I know that if a certain number of people are interested in a product at a certain price it doesn't always mean that many more people will be interested in the same deal.

Most businesses know that if they want to increase volume they will have to lower the price accordingly, or provide more value etc. The really smart businessman knows that at a certain point demand is met and no offering of more value or lower price will bring in more customers. A businessman grounded in Godly principals only wants what will provide for his obligations to his family, his Church, certain needs of his community, and charity.

It is interesting to note that Godly principals will keep you from learning this lesson the hard way. If we had a God fearing government they wouldn't have to learn the lesson they are about to learn; if they facilitated personal giving and charity by confiscating less of our wealth, then we would only need a safety net instead of the Lilliputian strings that bind us to their small-hearted ways.

So what can they do if their bonds won't sell, if not enough people will loan them money? Other than cutting the budget, the only thing that they can do is to monetize the debt. In other words they will print money to buy the debt with; this will lead to massive inflation because it will devalue the dollar.

Some economists speculate that the economy will remain so bad and demand therefore remain so low that inflation will not happen except in terms of our currency dropping in relation to other currencies. They further speculate that "when the U.S. gets a cold the world gets a fever" and therefore other currencies will also drop (in relation to things like gold, and oil)and so it will be a wash.

In other words currencies have become a "whose the ugliest contest" and they are only valued in relation to one another. Rather than in traditional objective measurements, they have a value that is relative to how bad other countries are running up debt or not producing. This may work in the short term but eventually people who produce real products will be looking to trade their product for things they can use, things they can be sure to exchange for future needs.

It cannot and will not work for the simple reason that many people will not work harder than is necessary to provide for their needs; if you provide for their needs without making them produce a useful product or service then they will not produce. At a certain point there are more people in the wagon than there are people pulling the wagon.

Nobody minds pulling the wagon for grandma, the cripple, the widow, or the orphan, but everybody hates pulling the slacker along. People will find a way not to do it, and if they can't beat them they will join them. When the wagon stops, then what? In the past the barbarians were always waiting for a sign of weakness, now our weakness is allowing signs of barbarianism to show.

Will this mean that some will be voted off the lifeboat; or will it mean that special interests, or groups, band together to get what they want at the expense of others? One thing is for sure, what they have started cannot end well. The more we are able to provide for our own needs in-house the better off we will be; if we aren't providing for our own needs we will have to accept whatever terms such things are offered at or go without.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Medical care could be cheaper for free!

I was talking to a guy whose Dad was a doctor in the F.D.R. Depression; he told me that his Dad used to take eggs and produce and a general "never-never" plan from anyone who couldn't pay. Back when most of us lived in small towns and most people had a sense of honor this worked pretty well.

Then came WWII and F.D.R. During WWII demand for skilled workers became so great that F.D.R put price controls on wages so companies couldn't compete for workers which would drive up costs. Clever employers found that they could offer pay "plus benefits" as a way to pay more without raising wages. F.D.R. liked this because he always intended to have government controlled medical care (along with everything else in his national-socialism scheme).

Soon it became standard that employers paid for medical insurance; then it became the law. The average workingman became divorced from the buying and selling of medical insurance and wasn't concerned with the cost, only the quality; doctors were no longer just dealing with the fellow citizens of their hometown, they were fighting the insurance companies for reimbursement.

The Average Joe went from having a family doctor to having medical insurance; when he needed medical attention he went to whoever his company had cut the best deal with. Because it was less common for a patient to have a personal relationship with his doctor it because quite normal to "sue his pants off" if anything went wrong. Any mistakes were unforgivable and beyond being "made whole" patients wanted punitive damages.

With the G.I. Bill millions of troops went to college; most of their parents had had eighth grade or at the most high school educations and many of them could have done the same jobs just as well if they had had a high school or a two year specialized degree, but instead the job market now demands a college degree for many positions that hardly demand it. (Not to mention the grades and degrees are being dumbed down as less qualified students are thrust into higher education.)

This trend continued to snowball through the Korean and Vietnam wars. In fact the low-interest loans that are subsidised by the taxpayers made it possible for even more kids to go on to college. Since the demand for college is always up, so too is the cost. It is ironic and unjust that the future-upper-middle-class have their tuition subsidized by their blue-collar peers who are already paying taxes. It is made worse by the fact that it is driving the cost of everything up.

By the same demand/price principal we can see that employer funded medical insurance caused the cost of drugs and medical technology skyrocketed far beyond normal. The profits were put back into research and development and more life-saving drugs and gizmo's became available at even higher prices.

If the average doctor wanted to provide medical care in his hometown the way his grandfather did he would not be able to pay his student loans, his medical malpractice (lawsuit) insurance, or for the drugs and hi-tech machines that are now the tools of the trade. A years worth of eggs, milk and tomatoes wouldn't do the trick.

It occurs to me that it would cost us nothing to cut off the lawyers gravy-train by capping punitive damages as they do in Texas and it would lower the costs associated with extra testing and procedures known as defensive medicine (defensive against lawsuits)

We could re-write the patent laws for future inventions (it is a matter of justice that this be phased in). I know it would discourage R&D, but who can afford to live this way anyway? To quote W. Bush "This sucker could go down." If they invent a new gizmo or drug we will all be obliged to buy it at whatever price they put on it, until the whole country is broke then that will be a worse evil.

We could allow for most care to be provided by nurse Practitioners with 4 and 6 year degrees instead of doctors with their 8 + years. There might be more mistakes and missed diagnosis, but I think most of us would make that trade-off. It would definitely meet our obligation to treat those who rely on public charity for treatment.

We could outlaw the advertisement of all prescription drugs to the general public; if you need it your doctor can prescribe it! We could mandate that they not sell drugs in other countries (like Canada)for less than they do here.If they want to give them away as charity then have at it!

We could mandate a nation-wide market for medical insurance with a certain level of "bare-bones" coverage with higher deductibles available linked to health savings accounts. We could set up health-care co-ops to lower prices and find alternative solutions.

We could encourage the return to midwives which are much cheaper and do a better job than a doctor anyway.

We could put salary caps on professors (especially the non-math and science guys who could never make that money in the real world) We could cap their pay by the hour; next cap the charge for tuition and cut off these schools public funds (they did alright for centuries on a lot less)

We could make all professionals dentists, doctors, lawyers and so forth post their rates on a state-run website that everyone could shop.

Finally, we could set up a state-by-state system in which every state is responsible for their uninsured and has the right to fine or garnish wages of anyone who doesn't have catastrophic coverage but has an income.

Friday, March 5, 2010

If our civilization crumbles.

If our civilization crumbles then what? I often entertain myself by dreaming up scenarios. In movies such an event is always shown to be immediate and severe; otherwise they wouldn't have much of a movie would they? This is not as realistic as you might think, except in the case of an electromagnetic pulse event, a new bubonic plague or something of that type.

The main reason Americans are bound to our current delivery system for goods and services is that we can't do these things ourselves anymore.We lack access to the raw materials, tools and know-how to make things outside of the capitalist mass production delivery system. Without pretty much total co-operation we would freeze for 3 days in the dark until we dehydrated, or if we had access to potable water, starve for 40 days.

The stores only have a maximum of three days of supplies (as long as not everybody wanted to stock up at once.) If you have stored food and a garden that has irrigation you will last until your seeds run out or people come from the city to steal it from you. So unless you have running water, irrigation, non-hybrid seeds, stored food, and a well armed family (with training)you will be "wolf poop 72 hrs after the Apocalypse" (as I once heard a talk-show host remark.)

If you had dairy cattle, chickens, pigs, non-hybrid seeds (seeds that aren't sterile), stored food, irrigation/adequate rainfall, a planted garden, potable water,and the weapons and personnel to defend your "survival farm" you would still very soon be naked and probably cold and in the dark all winter.

The survivalists who think that they will just hunt deer can forget about it; there are not enough deer to fully feed a significant number of people. Proof of this can be found in North Korea where the hungry population has killed all of the wild birds, quite a feat in a country where folks don't have shotguns. So all the folks buying up guns and ammo are insuring that they will not be easy victims, but they too will starve within a few months.

Another possible melt-down scenario is that business will degenerate to the point that all buyers must pay C.O.D or even before delivery.The barter system might even enter in if things get bad enough. After all our cash is based on "the full faith and credit of the federal government" and things could get to the point that people no longer have confidence in paper money. If things get to that point the government would just step in and redistribute food with police power as Stalin did to the Ukraine (and starved millions of dissenting farmers to death purposefully in the process.)

Like I said, nobody is truly prepared for such an eventuality and if it does happen not many of us will survive. The scary thing is that even if you had all the things I mentioned you would barely eke out an existence; "life was nasty, brutish,and short" before and it would be again. Even if you tried to replace all the goods and services available in our modern civilization you (and your family or small team of families) would spend all of your time surviving.

So it is suicidal for Americans to let things melt down in a sea of red ink, but it didn't make sense when Pharaoh drove his army into the Red Sea either, but I guess as the leader of the biggest, baddest civilization ever (up til then) he probably thought he was "too great to fail." You have to wonder if our leaders have thought these things out or understand that their deficit spending cannot go on forever without consequences. When I see how even now every bill is packed full of the most offensively ridiculous spending I have to conclude that obviously not enough people are worried enough yet.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Staring down the Red Chineese is easy.

Staring down the Red Chinese on calling the debt is easy; if they call we can print more fiat money and pay them in full. They have no recourse, a fact they should have thought of before they started their stupid "One Way Trade" policy.

Yes, you can de-facto refuse U.S. made products entry into the Chinese market with creative regulations; You can manipulate your currency to track downward with an ever weakening dollar so that your low wages insure a monopolistic share of key markets. The problem for you is that you still have to do something with our fiat money in order to turn it into real wealth!

So if you run the dollar down by increasing your ownership of dollars don't you understand that the way you are hurting the U.S. is akin to one man trying to hurt another mans knuckles by ordering that man to hit him in the face?

So now you are going to sell off your dollars and your U.S. treasury bonds (which are pretty much another form of holding dollars?)How are you going to redeem these dollars except with U.S.products?

You will use them to buy products from Europe or the Mid-East perhaps? So what will they do with all of these dollars in order to redeem them for something of objective value? They have no choice but to buy something from America; this just means you are buying things from America indirectly.

So for anyone who's afraid of the communists who run China calling our debt, they are the ones who are playing the U.S. governments game, they just don't know it yet. Our government can make up the rules as they go. If you don't believe me consider that they have been doing it to small business owners for years.

In a monopoly game the banker always wins if he wants too.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Statist fact checking

It has been a full day since the state of the union address, there were many factual errors made by Obama and yet I have yet to see the old Fact-checking groups getting on the stick.

I know that Obama is given more slack than say Sara Palin, but I would expect a fact checking call on his comment on the Supreme Court. He was factually wrong as well as out and out over the top.

I have opinion-check on most of his tripe, but for our purposes here let's just stick to the fact that the Supreme Court didn't do what he said they did (open up our campaigns to foreign money.

This is a deeply ironic charge as most of us remember that he raised a lot of money on-line from middle-east locations and he was able to circumvent the restrictions that are still in place against foreign money in American politics.

Hat tip to Gary Bauer on Al Kresta's show.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the unions address

I liked a whole lot of what I heard from Obamas' state of the unions speech tonight, not most of what he said, but a whole lot. The problem is I had the same feeling when he was running for office.

It is a problem because he never paid off on the things I liked and he did a whole lot I didn't like. He bailed out big businesses that he and his friends had "back scratching" agreements with. He nationalized the auto industry and tried to nationalize the medical field.

He can talk about universities price gouging, he can talk about small businessmen needing a tax break and he can talk about freezing spending, but if he has no plan for capping tuition rates, if he isn't going to cut the red tape that strangles small business and since he has already grown government, given most government workers raises, bonuses and promotions, and he isn't going to cut entitlements, then he is basically telling a big lie.

As to his continued push to nationalize health-care it goes against the principal of subsidiarity, but it also has numerous moral problems including funding and mandating abortion, contraception and possibly sending granny down the hospice chute. In other words it is something no Christian should support.

This does bring into question the religion of the 1/4 or so of Catholics who tend to support this sort of thing. One has to ask if their religion is Catholic or Democrat? On the Orthodox side there was a temporary flirtation with becoming Republican, but because the Orthodox side is Orthodox Catholic first and the Republican party is mostly interested in holding office, it never became a problem.

Having listened with an open mind to his pitch and then having seen the results I can understand that some folks fell for it the first time; I have no sympathetic understanding of folks who fall for this joker again. Consider that his party has run half of Congress since 2006, and all of it with a super-majority since 2008 along with the executive branch, then most of our woes that are government related can be laid at their collective feet.

So if I was to sum it up I would say this; Talk is cheap, but it takes money to buy whiskey.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cruel culture

We live in a society that demands that its members live certain lies no matter how much destruction it causes them. This results in cruelties that the barbarians didn't subject each other to because they were not sophisticated enough to fall for such obvious lies. They probably wouldn't have even tried many of our neo-customs because they wouldn't have believed anyone else would be dumb enough to agree to be subjected to such ill usage.

Let's start with an example from a few generations ago; imagine a teen boy and a teen girl from intact homes. They know that they shouldn't have sexual contact because it is;
1 sinful
2 shameful
3 could result in an out-of wedlock birth or a shotgun marriage.
4 could result in an STD

In other words they know it is highly forbidden on many fronts - by conscience, common sense, and by society. At that time there were two main lies that were plaguing our teen example;
1 An elevation of the lesser love Eros at the expense of Agape Love ( a confusion that is at least as old as Shakespeare who confused the terms deliberately to make greater points that were understood in his day, but not immediately afterwards - at least if we are to believe Joseph Pearce on this subject)

2 The next lie was one that was new with our grandparents/ greatgrandparents or the age that grew up with the automobile and movies. Both of these things moved the couple out from under the eyes of chaperoning family members and into a gray area (by which I mean a somewhat darkened room).

The movie theater was somewhat public, but somewhat private and served as a great place to try advances that would have not been made while her father was in the room. Also it served as a legitimate location to travel to in an automobile, and a reason to get home late.

Night has a strange way of weakening our inhibitions and our will. I can't explain it, and I won't bother to prove it by citing statistics because it is simply a fact and if you aren't the sort of person who is capable of noticing things for one's self then you will just have to believe me.

So the teens of our great, great grandparents age had means and motive but no opportunity, but with the coming of the auto and the movie the next generation or so had means, motive, and opportunity and the only thing they had to combat it with was a healthy fear of the consequences and grace.

In the next generation or so teens were told the lie that;
1 If the couple really loved each other it wasn't that sinful to "jump the gun"
2 Nor was it very shameful
3 Contraception would take away the risks
4 Finally the risk of STD's were minimal if you used protection

As time went on;
1 The idea of sin was forgotten except to be ridiculed or despised.
2 Shame was called unhealthy and modesty was called shame
3 Young girls were put on the pill and given condoms
4 There was something wrong with you if you weren't "doing it" like everyone else

Society demands that we live the lie that all this is fine and dandy; if you don't you are subjected to all the punishments the community can unleash on you short of incarceration, and they are working on that. This is not the real cruelty though. The real cruelty is what happens to the teens who are thrown out into this mess with no warning and no safeguards except those that are designed to give a false sense of security.

Just because a girl's purity is no longer guarded like the treasure it is, doesn't mean that it is safe to plunder it anymore than it would be safe to break into a nuclear reactor just because it was no longer guarded. There is going to be fall-out if you misuse it. The Russian soldiers who were told that they were protected adequately to enter Chernobyl after the accident were just as dead as if they had been warned with the truth and had proceeded in contradiction to that warning.

Anyone who watches day-time TV knows what I mean by fall-out from casual sex (or any sex outside of marriage for that matter.)The Barbarians lived in small groups and dealt in the real world; nobody could have made as big a fools of them as someone has of us.

So you might have been able to trick some of them into going into Chernobyl without proper gear, but you wouldn't have tricked them into abandoning their duty to protect their daughters. And their minds weren't ruined by political correctness; they knew that if you protect everyone's daughters then you've pretty much protected everybody's sons.

I think I'll write my next piece on arranged marriages!