Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Harvest of Liberalism:Part 2

According to the author and thinker George Gilder knowledge is wealth. What does that mean? It means that someone like me who has the knowledge to architect computer networks has literal wealth at my keyboard worn fingertips. I turn my knowledge into monetary gain by building networks for those who need them. Simple as that.

So, when I have a toothache I seek the person who has the knowledge to extract it (safely) and he or she trades that knowledge for some of my wealth. Econ 101.

Gilder, a capitalism proponent, dismisses the well worn notion that capitalism is an economic system based on incentives and greed. It's not to say these are not part of capitalism, they are, but not unique to capitalism in any way. The communist system had its incentives - in some cases they were do what your told or die. Now that's an incentive. The farmer in the communist collective greedily took the best crops for his family and sold what he could on the black market before the "party" came and took the product of his labor for the greater good. The socialist citizen gladly "sells" his services or expertise off book to avoid paying exorbitant taxes - this is also incentive (and greed) at work.

The heart of capitalism is creativity, competition and the arc of the learning curve. The entrepreneur with the better mouse trap goes through the learning curve process as he perfects the manufacturing of  his product, slowly bringing the unit costs down as his knowledge increases. The material costs, marketing costs and transportation costs are mostly fixed and out of his control, but the knowledge of how to create efficiencies and streamline processes is the difference that gives the him the edge over his competition, therefore turning his knowledge into wealth.

It's a beautiful thing.

For Gilder the true essence of capitalism is surprise. Again, what does that mean? Take the Internet itself. What started as a method for the Defense Department to share knowledge (there's that word again) electronically across the vast expanse of the nation has evolved into the surprising economic engine of the 21st century. In my industry the Internet was at first dismissed and then viewed with suspicion before it was completely embraced as an integral part of the business. A surprising outcome to say the least. Look at the Apple iPod and how this marvel of engineering has transformed music delivery - clearly surprising the entire entertainment industry. We could go on by citing Netflix and Facebook and Amazon.com each through the process of creativity and the arc of the learning curve have transformed entire economies and cultures. These are all fantastic, surprising things, mind blowing really. These things and countless other surprises of the twentieth century were brought forth on a capitalist foundation, not a state controlled economy.

So why would we want to tear this down and install liberalism's system of choice, socialism? I have my theories and all of them boil down to one word - control. The intellectual class with its entitled desire to wield power wants to control everything, including your life and mine. Couldn't the same thing be said of the capitalist oligarchs? Talk about controlling society... I venture to say that the oligarchs are where they are precisely because of the unintended consequences of socialist controlling intervention. They are the byproduct of a kept ruling class.

Control is the goal of liberalism. Platitudes like fairness, equality of outcomes, and my favorite, tolerance are their buzz words, the salve soothing the aggrieved be they real or not. Leftist politicians who spew this rhetoric while guaranteeing economic growth by installing artificial controls via regulations, tax codes, bailouts and stimulus deliver just the opposite. This approach may work for a while, but it is unsustainable without the spontaneous surprise of creativity.

It should come as no surprise then knowing all this that the socialist based countries in Europe and Eurasia are dying. They have lost faith in the future - they have lost faith period. So many have stopped having children, the ultimate expression of hope for the future, that entire ethnic identities risk disappearing by the turn of the century. They only grow in population and economically by importing millions of young immigrants. Further, by culturally turning being female into a slightly softer version of being male they have effectively killed the family. A man without family reverts to being a brutish thug or a lazy lout and a woman is forced to turn to the government to support her and the children she does have.

Try to deny this happening right here in our own country.

The collapse of the family is a result both continuing socialist welfare policies and and the globalization of the labor force. The two are linked. The social welfare state costs a lot of money. It keeps taxes high which in turn forces wages up. Couple this with failing schools and drive for companies to move low skilled high wage jobs to cheaper labor pools and you see the collapsing of the middle class and with it the destruction of the family.

The liberal stands on his soapbox promoting the very policies that lead to this dire situation, to the point that we have an entrenched and growing welfare state to take care of the women and children and a police state to take care of the young men. The society now exalts independent, self-sufficient women and jails its unwanted, useless men. Unfortunately it will take decades to unwind this. This is the harvest of liberalism.

In America we still see twinkles of creativity and economic growth. We still see new families, new houses and all the economic activity that surrounds a growing family. We still see new companies being born through the haze, but they struggle and often fail needlessly. Everything is being choked. The confluence of a maze of the regulatory rules of government encroachment along with the cronyism of the big business/government cabal is robbing the young of their futures and killing creativity. The cost of participation is becoming prohibitive so that many refuse to even try.

The sad thing is that it doesn't have to be this way. Creativity, knowledge and wealth creation is the American way. The powers that be in government, the environmental crowd, foreign interests and big business refuse to unshackle the dynamo that is America.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Harvest of Liberalism

It was on the radio that I heard a woman named Phyllis Kahn, a Minnesota state representative since 1972, declare that it was the Democrats that offered the best solution for new immigrants concerned about education. The talk show host pointed out that the Democrats have had a monopoly on education in this state for more than 4 decades. The largest district in the heart of liberal land - Minneapolis public schools -  has an embarrassing 50% graduation rate for all students and the worst graduation rate for African-American boys in the nation. The irony of her conjecture was lost on her, she simply wouldn't concede that the Democratic party was anything but "right" on education.

It made me consider the acute blindness of the left. In their closed minds their solutions for everything are simply right, there is no other way. Certainly nothing the right-wing or the libertarians believe should even be considered. Looking at the near total control leftist thought has over various institutions in American society and the condition of said institutions one would think there has to be a better way.

Taking education as previously mentioned, the left has total control over public schools and almost all public universities and colleges. Even private universities and colleges toe the liberal PC line in word and deed. Education is a massive slice of the American economy and vital to the well being of the society. By all accounts it's failing miserably. Public schools are one thing - there is still a small token of local control, but that too is waning under Common Core and Federal carrot and stick funding, but it's the college and university system that has turned into a near criminal enterprise.

Young people are herded into college with a promise of a good career and leave with a mountain of debt and a society that struggles produce a job for them let alone launch a career. The cost of a college education is out of reach for most families and is a direct result of government meddling in the funding. Public universities are nearly as expensive as private. A whole new category of for profit colleges have popped up to exploit the poor to get their hands on government tuition money which is then laid on the backs of those least likely to succeed. Our young - the next generation - are now serfs, beholden to the Federal government by virtue of debt wholly owned by Washington DC. What has happened to college education in the United States is shameful, if not criminal. None of this even speaks to the quality of the education - a whole different story.

None of it can be laid at the feet of conservatives or libertarians, none.

What else in this society is completely controlled by liberals and their leftist agenda's?
  • the welfare legacy - poverty is now a higher % than in the 1960's when the war on poverty started
  • the Federal bureaucracy - bloated, unaccountable, corrupt - need I go on?
  • entertainment/Hollywood - producing one assault on the culture after another, representing America to the rest of the world while it dumbs down (or lies) to itself
  • the mainstream news media - other than Fox News and talk radio (both parodies of conservative thought) the left owns all other media narratives
  • health insurance - the newly minted ACA brought to you by the Democratic party is driving one nail into the coffin after another of 1/7th of the economy
  • the art world - pure trash in art and music is held up as high art, those offended are the ones with the problem
  • the race debate - race baiting and false hype drive the debate toward a full scale culture war, promoting victim-hood  instead of building on the real progress
  • the environmental debate - a corrupt EPA and external forces conspire with environmental groups to stop American progress and development of its abundant natural resources
  • the feminist debate - ditto the race debate
  • and most importantly the language - Politically Correct speech stifles free the exchange of thought and ideas, everybody claims to hate PCism but everyone is forced to toe the line or be destroyed by it

None of these are controlled by right-wing or libertarian thought, none. Almost all of these are corrupt, mismanaged or divisive.

You can say then that big business, the banksters and corporate America is controlled by a right-wing agenda, but that's a mighty stretch. The biggest crony capitalists of the past 40 years have been Democrats, it's not even close. There is no truth to the lie that the Democrats are for the little guy and the Republicans are for big business. There isn't a dimes worth of difference any more. Big Business loves Big Government and its regulation and the stacking of the deck in their favor - who wouldn't? It keeps internal competition down. Neither has been bigger than it is today.

Every honest survey taken shows that the public thinks the country is headed in the wrong direction, that America is in decline. Education, culture and increasingly our finances are controlled by a leftist agenda bent on denuding America. In all its manifestations this is the harvest of liberalism. Seems pretty clear to me it's a rotten crop.

Who is to blame? I blame the conservatives, right-wingers and the libertarians. They offer nothing but leftism-lite. They can't articulate the virtues of freedom and liberty in a way that counters falsifiable nanny-state promises. Either they don't actually believe in individual liberty and self-determination or they are so beholden to their own cronies that they can only say so much, go so far before the lies are trotted out.

The truth is the elites on either side don't care what the public thinks or wants. The right-wingers can survive by pretending to stand up to the leftist agenda, fighting the good fight. The way things stand they have a pretty sweet life too. The left, whether they can or will admit it, are destroyers - destroyers of goodness and beauty in favor of ugliness and corruption.

Obviously America can be great and strong and thriving again. All the parts are in place. We have to be almost  ready to break free from leftist smiling liars and right-wing lying panty-waists. We have to be almost ready to crush political correctness and corporate cronyism. We have to be almost ready to scale back government intrusion into every nook and cranny of our lives.

We have to be that camel that can hold no more straw on its back.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Turmoil Amid the Chaos: a corrupt world

The international headlines are horrific. The national headlines are just depressing. It's enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand. I can only thank God I haven't become gadgetized to a point where I understand the "twitterverse" or what "trending" means. If I was that superficial I may not actually care what was going on in Iraq or Ukraine or the conditions for Latin American children on our border.

Or maybe I'd care too much...

The world - the human world -  has always been messy. Most of us can't imagine what it must have been like to be a Jew or a Gypsy in 1930-40s Germany. Being herded into train cars to be carried off the a gas chamber and a mass grave had to be equally as abhorrent as the crimes the butchers of ISIS  are committing in Iraq today. Back then it took years before it was common knowledge, now it's damn near being broadcast live. Or how you say, tweeted live?

The horrors of  the 20th century's two world wars and the communist expansion throughout Asia and Europe are clear because we have pictures and actual participants still alive that can tells us about it. The rest of human history was just as brutal. There never really was the good 'ol days.

What makes it all so depressing is that our modern technological world has created a basis to end so much human suffering. Poverty has decreased massively in the last 30 years worldwide. As of 2008 that progress has stopped.  As well, we have the know how to be good stewards of the Earth, using, not abusing the riches the planet has to offer. The West has cleaned-up it's environment remarkably since the ecological awakening of the 1960's. The rest of the world no so much. Going further we have the ability to reach out from this tiny planet and explore the great expanse of the galaxy and even the universe. America is now handing over access to space to private business - for better of for worse.

Instead of seeing the progress our human abilities demand here in the year 2014 the world is unraveling before our eyes? Why is this happening? Why such turmoil, why such misery? Two words: Special Interests.

By special interests I don't necessary want to conjure images of corporate fat cats or greasy lobbyists - only. Special interests come in every stripe and color, motivated by greed, pride, gluttony, lust, envy, sloth and wrath. Hmmm, where have we seen these seven words strung together like that?

The least respected people in America are politicians and criminals, but then I risk being redundant with statements like that. We used to believe or at least we've read that like the priesthood going into politics to serve was a higher calling. Consider how that all turned out, one serves God and the other is celibate. OK, I joke, this would be true if "money" is God and buggering children didn't count as sexually active.

 My guess is that both politicians and priests enter their respective worlds with good intentions, wanting to serve, to make a difference, but quickly become corrupted by the system. To some degree this happens to all of us. It's human nature to self-serve, we are all individuals after all.

It's the capacity to harm that takes corruption, institutional or personal, to the next level. Cronyism and stacking the deck is the MO of politicians. To be sure there are always two sides to cronyism so don't think I'm singling out our beleaguered public servants. Big business can make political corruption look like a petty crime. Protected by their benefactors mega corporations plow ahead, in many cases destroying as much as they create, all perfectly on the up and up legally, of course. Since we don't vote for corporations - directly - we tend not to vent our anger at them as much. If you are supposed to rely on mass media to alert us to truth about corruption you are in for a long wait. Corruption to the media often comes with gigantic blinders.

Still this is America, we're the good guys, right? Because the so-called rule of law applies to most of us regular folk we tend to think we live in a less corrupt society than most. I'm not so sure.

The U.S. ranks 19th of 175 countries on the "corruption" scale. The Arab world, Latin America and Africa are way down there at the bottom - not surprising. This is seriously misleading when you consider that the American economy at 16 trillion dollars a year absolutely dwarfs everything else on the planet. The corruption scale is simply apples to oranges. Like I said it's the capacity to do harm and money magnifies this ability exponentially.

On the other end of the scale often the people with the least are looking hardest for every angle to game the system. This mentality of something for nothing starts at the top and washes all the way down to the poorest. The demotivating character of handouts and programs (all offered with the best of intentions) corrupts millions of Americans who then never even try for something better. It's beyond sad.

Corruption chokes the very progress we seek. Constantly gnawing away at the very heart of positive development. It undercuts everything that's been set up to promote the good. It leads to turmoil among the chaos as everyone rationalizes (or hides) their own corrupt behavior. Government corruption leads to higher taxes, robs average people of their wealth as it covers for corporate corruption who continue the thievery. The one/two punch of government regulation and corporate protection discourages investment in new enterprises, encourages the disenfranchised into dealings with the 'black market', thereby promoting conflict and destroying confidence in all institutions.

So much for the Captain Obvious portion of show. Solutions?

Defeat evil, simple...


Sunday, August 03, 2014

The Science is Settled - Is It?

I speak not of Global Warming or Climate Change. I purposely chose this title to help demonstrate that the statement is completely preposterous. To be clear I am not a scientist, but I am awake and aware and that's all it takes to come to grips with this concept. The very essence of a good scientist is skepticism, always questioning, always ready to shoot holes in your own theories. Indeed any human being who has lived for even 2 or 3 decades knows that our understanding of life - of everything - changes as we grow, learn and gain experience. The phrase - if I knew then what I know now I'd have done things differently - isn't a universal idiom for no reason. It only means that our understanding of things changes - usually based on new evidence. Surely this concept is not too hard to comprehend.

I've had a growing interest something called the "Electric Universe". (watch the movie here) It is direct a challenge to the settled science of the Standard Cosmological Theory. The Standard theory is what we've all been taught. It is largely based on Eisenstein's General and Special Relativity and Hubble's red shift discovery that led to expanding universe theory and to what we lovingly call the Big Bang Theory.

The Electric Universe theory is not new. It has been growing for decades as new observed evidence simply didn't fit the Standard model. Even Einstein questioned his own equations later in life, dissatisfied that the space warping gravitational force of his theory was at all adequate to explain anything. The fact that gravitational force could never be reconciled with the quantum physics of the strong and weak nuclear forces and electro/magnetism is clear evidence that the science is not settled. Sadly, the proponents of this elegant Electric Universe theory are shoved to the side and made out to be the crazy uncle of the sciences because they dare challenge the "settled" science of the mother of science itself, cosmology.

The Electric Universe (go to this website for more info) is primarily based in plasma theory, more specifically electric transmission in a plasma field. Of course initially much of this seemed beyond my ability to comprehend when applied on a galactic scale. However, the very fact that I understand how electricity works means I only needed to consider what know about capacitance, resistance, current and the action of free electrons under applied voltage for me to see the big picture. The very filaments of plasma seen in galactic spirals and galactic nebulae even resemble the twisted wires we use in the transmission of electricity.

Over the years any new evidence that didn't fit the Standard model was either shoehorned in or subjected to crazy conjecture that could never be verified (like black holes). The Electric Universe is testable, observable and neatly fits into what has actually been observed in the heavens, especially since the dawn of the space age.

In a sense the theory's main conjecture is that the solar system, the galaxy and even the universe is connected in a sort of electrical grid with plasma being the conduit of electrical transmission. The sun and the stars are made up of plasma and are connected by the charged particles of the plasma between them. The theory takes to task long held beliefs in the nature of quasars, pulsars, comets and those mysterious black holes. Black holes are by their (purported) nature unobservable. They are detected by the "flashes" that are given off as light itself is digested. Strangely the flashes look exactly like electrical plasma discharges. The notion that a fantastical phenomenon of a massive gravitational sink hole exists in the center of the galaxy drawing everything to the center is so much better explained by a massive plasma bowl at the center of the galaxy holding it together through electro/magnetic energy. It's a far simpler and more logical explanation than massively super dense gravity.

Consider that gravity is the weakest of all the forces. Electro/magnetism is 1039 more powerful than gravity. One way the above mentioned movie on this subject explained just how weak gravity is was to picture a small ball bearing sitting on a plate. It takes the gravitational mass of the entire planet to hold that ball bearing down. All it takes is a child's tiny horseshoe magnet to defy all the earth's gravity. Based on this sort of knowledge alone EU Theory disputes that gravity alone is the principle organizing force of the universe.

 More to the point, since I can't adequately describe the all the evidence behind the theory, is the sad state of affairs of entrenched institutions. In this case it's the science/academic paradigm that is so static in its make up that any new theory, no matter how plausible is shunned - if it challenges the money or the prestige of those in charge. It's not new, obviously, wars have been fought over less. It's hardly any different that the established financial theories that greatly enrich a select few or the education/union cabal that holds our children back from actual learning in favor of overt indoctrination.

These scientists have for years been shunned or outright fired for positing such crazy theories as the the Electric Universe. (see this youtube video for more on this subject). I don't think it's likely to be unleashed any time soon, but it is utterly fascinating and deserves consideration as much as the "deniers" of anthropogenic global warming theory deserve scientific respect. The science is never settled!