Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rich Paying their “fair” share of taxes

What does that mean? Typically, in the United States, it means that rich people making more than about $500,000.00 a year pay most of the taxes. How much is most? The top 1% of earners in 2008 ended up paying 38% of the tax income.

How is that fair? They can afford it, oh yeah.

So the government becomes primarily dependent on that rich 1% for most of the government income. Just think, if they doubled the number of people making over $500,000.00 and exponentially increased the number of poverty level families in the US they could increase tax revenue by 38%! Make the rich, richer and make the poor, poorer and increase the tax revenue!

Making the rich, rich and poor, poor is exactly what the current tax strategy in Washington is designed to do.

In order to increase the GNP you have to increase the number of people with disposable incomes who spend money. That is what increases the GNP, people spending money; money that they actually have, not money that they borrow.

Henry Ford did more to improve the standard of living in the United States and increase the GNP than any other historical figure. Ford did it by increasing the wages of unskilled workers to the point where they flooded the economy with money making Ford a billionaire along the way.

The way to increase the GNP and the tax base is not to raise the taxes on the rich. The way to increase the GNP is to increase the amount of money the average person earns.

Congress can do that tomorrow. Double the minimum wage, make all employers provide health insurance for all employees (even part time), make health insurance part of the unemployment package, change SSI to be a retirement plan only and make a bachelor’s degree at any state university free for any citizen student that can earn admittance.

Will they do it? Not a chance because the politicians don’t have the guts or business savvy that Henry Ford had.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Burn Out and Satying the Course

I just finished reading a book called “Brotherhood of Warriors” written by a former member of an Israeli counter-terrorism special forces unit. The author, Aaron Cohen, was born in Canada, grew up in the States and decided to go to Israel and join an Israeli special forces unit. The process is not as easy as it sounds. Out of hundreds of applicants only a few make it into any special operations units. Cohen made it in, he lasted three years and he was discharged. Cohen started a security company in the States and wrote a book.

I don't believe Israel can last as an independent state. I believe it should last and I believe that if the people have faith in God and maintain their vigilance against their enemies God will maintain Israel.

I don't believe that will happen and Aaron Cohen is a perfect example of why. To do the things that are necessary to survive in the condition Israel is in it takes an extraordinary multi generational commitment.

In the Bible Saul is selected as King, David and Saul fight against the enemies of Israel. Eventually David becomes King and then Solomon becomes king and then Israel falls apart after Solomon's death. The multi generational commitment to the nation of Israel was not there.

People become exhausted with fighting for their survival and they want peace. The people willing to stay the course, to maintain the discipline, to keep fighting after the other guy gives up will succeed.

The United States does not have that commitment. Lyndon Johnson should never have escalated in Vietnam. If Barry Goldwater had made friends with Martin Luther King Jr and supported the Civil Rights Act the United States would not have escalated the Vietnam War. Of course George Wallace might have been elected in 1972 and I don't even want to think of that can of worms. Lyndon Johnson won in 1964, he signed the Civil Rights Act that the minority Republicans had gotten through Congress and he escalated Vietnam into a full fledged war.

Once the United States committed to Vietnam we should have maintained our commitment. International politics requires that people believe each other will keep their word. The United States makes and has made many commitments that they do not follow through on.

The United States is lucky because it is separated from most of the rest of the world by vast oceans that protect our borders. If the United States were surrounded by enemies the way Israel is the United States would have become an Islamic nation under Sharia law a long time ago.

For the first few generations after the holocaust Israel maintained their commitment. The Palestinians and Arabs who hate Israel have the lessons of history on their side. Israel, like the United States, cannot keep their commitment and eventually they fall apart. If the Palestinians wait long enough Israel will fall and they know it. It takes a few suicide bombers a year, year after year,to wear down the commitment Israeli generations have. Eventually, just as they did in biblical times, they will fall and even the future zealots in Masada will become Martyrs to the lack of generational commitment.

You could compare Israel and the United States to Rome. Eventually a lack of commitment to the goals set by the past Roman leaders led to the destruction of Rome.

“Can't we all just get along!” The answer is no, not as long as there are people willing to use guns to force others to behave a particular way.

People didn't like Randy Weaver on Ruby Ridge and he became a millionaire based on FBI entrapment. People didn't like the Branch Davidians in Waco Texas and a bus filled with children was burned to death. These actions encouraged a couple of guys to bomb a federal building in Oklahoma city.

You may believe Weaver and David Koresch were scum and that society has every right to force them to live a particular way. Not everyone is going to believe that.

As long as people feel they are being forced to do things against their will they will rebel against the authority forcing them. School Shooters, “going postal”, Palestinian Homicide bombers, Al Queda. Hussein gassed rebels who fought against his regime.

People like to say there were no WMD's in Iraq. That is crap. Hussein used them. We know Hussein used them, against Kurds, against Iran. Where did they go? No one knows so they make up stories about how they were never there. I wonder how the family members of those who died in Hussein's chemical warfare attacks feel about that rhetoric?

Chemical WMD's were found in Iraq in very small quantities. What happened to the rest of them? Your guess is as good as mine.

The United States didn't have the resolve the stay the course, to maintain discipline and keep their commitments.

The same thing is happening in Israel. People are calling Israel an Apartheid State. People refuse to support the government of Israel. Some idiot in Iran claims the holocaust never happened and they don't hate the Jewish people, just the State of Israel. How believable is that? Look at how Jews are treated in Iran. When was the last time a Jew was elected to an important political position in Iran? Yeah, the Iranians don't hate Jews, they just want to get rid of them like they get rid of sand fleas.

But people buy into that drivel. They think “hey, if we work with these people we can co-exist”. Bull crap. Jews thought the same thing during Hitler's rise to power and they became National Socialist party members. Trying to work with Hitler and co-exist didn't work out so well for the Jews in Europe.

The reality is that just like you may believe in the right of society to use guns and force David Koresh and Randy Weaver to adapt to a version of society they do not like others believe that they have the right to force you to adapt to their version of society.

Get it. They are not any different than you are. They hear about people living by some disgustingly strange set of rules that they totally disagree with and that gives them the right to charge in, guns blazing and kill whoever gets in their way.

Yeah, I know, you only want to stop people from doing “bad things” and otherwise you just want to live and let live. Al Queda feels the same way, you can live however you want to as long as you don't do “bad things”. Oh, but they don't agree with you on what “bad things” are so they are “wrong”. Yeah, I think David Koresch and Randy Weaver felt the same way about that. Funny how people can have totally different ideas and both believe they are right. Notice the way you felt when I used GWB's “stay the course” line? Yeah, it's like that. I can believe I am right and you can believe you are right and if I pick up a gun and shoot you or if you pick up a gun and shoot David Koresch or if Osama rams a few planes into a couple of buildings, the last person standing is “right”.

God does fit in there, and sometimes I wish he would just make slaves and force everyone to follow his rules universally. That would put an end to conflict, but, then I couldn't make my own decisions.

In the end, the people who stay the course and keep their commitment to their society will succeed. The rest will be killed or burned to death in a bus or executed or imprisoned or become slaves in a society they hate.

Between now and the end people like Aaron Cohen (and me if I am honest) will burn out and want nothing more than to live in peace. Burn out is a key factor in letting the other guy win.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Opinions, facts, fallacies and education

The other day someone posted some ridiculous drivel on a Facebook website that I had “liked” so I responded with a kind of tongue in cheek response. The person sent me a facebook message presenting their opinions as facts, jumping all over without addressing the original subject at all in some strange attempt to convince me that I was “wrong”.

Here are a couple of thoughts that I tried unsuccessfully to explain to this brain dead liberal.

Some people have opinions that are more educated and some people have opinions that are less educated. No one has a “wrong” opinion. In my experience liberals research one side of an issue without considering alternate opinions or arguments. These are what I would consider less than educated opinions.

History repeats itself. Right now the pseudo-intellectual elite in the United States is trying very hard to repeat the mistakes Rome made; by making heros out of orators, by increasing social programs and impeding commerce to the point where the tax burden practically eliminates commerce, and by eliminating basic military ground forces in favor of “heavy cavalry”. People who refuse to learn history are doomed to repeat it and in my experience liberals typically ignore history that does not support their opinions.

The jobs created over the last two years have reduced the real average wage to $8.94 (BLS press release Feb 17 2011) with an average work week of less than 35 hours. Yep, these jobs are part time un-skilled labor that will result in near zero federal tax income.

People need to be able to tell the difference between facts and opinions. “John ran fast” is an opinion. “John ran 100 meters in 6 seconds” is a fact, well use of the term run in a factual statement is debatable even though I believe the velocity traveled does qualify as “running”.

People really need to understand logical fallacies. In my experience people who describe themselves as liberal democrats often ignore logic fallacies or incorrectly identify logical fallacies.

In the end the uneducated person messaging me told me I was being rude (typical, if you can’t win an argument attack your opponent for a perceived slight no matter how ridiculous, “you are insulting me”, “you hate Jews”, “you hate blacks”, “you hate women”, etc). Every time you hear someone accusing someone else of prejudice, bigotry, insulting behavior, etc, remember that those are logical fallacies designed to change the topic from the original issues, usually by the loser of the argument.
I explained that they were the one being rude for demanding that I accept their opinion as “truth” even though they supported their opinion with nothing more than indignation.

There are three important things I would like you to take from this blog, and one key factor in education.

1: No one has a “wrong” opinion, some opinions are just more educated than others.

2: Education is a process, not an achievement. Edu-snobs and pseudo-elitists will demand you recognize their academic achievements and concede your position based on those academic achievements while they ignore facts. This is the least educated opinion possible.

3: When someone claims you insulted them, ignore them, refuse to apologize and stay focused on the issue (unless you really did deliberately insult that particular person or group). Use of sarcasm is not an insult although some people will take it as insulting in an attempt to deflect from their ignorance and lack of education on a subject.

Key: Have fun exploring each others opinions and learning from each other.