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Thursday, February 28, 2013

CEO of World Catholic Corporation Steps Down


The big news is that Pope Benedict XVI is the first CEO of the longest running money making business in the history of the world to step down in 600 years. Usually they just drop dead in office, much like American Congressmen.

But no, rather than talk about the U.S. Economy or the state of affairs in our flailing nation or the creeping insanity that has effected our too long in the tooth and too long in the saddle government incumbents, the government media mouthpieces would rather concentrate on this. THIS is important news!

We will now be treated to moment-to-moment coverage of the gathering of Bishops who will come together to choose the new CEO. People who wanted to be journalist but who could only manage to get one of these government television news jobs will be standing outside the Vatican waiting to breathlessly tell us if they see a puff of smoke. How solemn, how sacred, how boring! But it beats telling people the truth about the way things are going with the country and our Megalomaniac of a President. “Hey, look over here! It’s the Pope!”

Does anybody still even believe that the Catholic Church has anything to do with God?
As the Catholic Organization has operated in the U.S. the last 60 years or so, it has been the beneficiary of the American government and the American people bending over backward to help them make money, dictate their hypocritical views of morality and, of course, to make a boat-load of money. Because that’s really what it’s all about with a business, isn’t it? Don’t think for moment this group is a non-profit.

The Catholic Organization enjoys tax free status in this country yet when a particular church stops making money, they close it. And their YMCA network can compete against private health organizations with the significant advantage of being a tax free enterprise. The Church's holdings in this country are vast, valuable and tax exempt. Why? Because they're religious, kinda sorta?

Their influence has been waning for decades and they only have themselves to blame. It’s amazing that under the last two changes in leadership that the major players in the church molestation scandals have gone unpunished. One glaring example is Cardinal Bernard Law who was allowed to leave the country and has been in hiding in Vatican City ever since. Collusion between the Church and the State had to be made for this to happen. It’s sick.

The staunchest atheists I’ve ever met were brought up going to Catholic schools. I find this fascinating. After their “education”, and one hears stories, most want nothing to do with the Church and don’t want their kids going anywhere near one although the only good thing the Catholic Schools have going for them these days is that more public school teachers have been arrested on charges of molestation than priests.

The Catholic Organization is an affront to the belief in God and has proven itself an embarrassment to religion. The Pope is an irrelevant anachronism and as the new Pope will soon come out to announce the organization’s NEW all-inclusive direction, all I can say is:

Who gives a shit?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Crying Over the Sequester


Who on earth thinks the military is underfunded? After 12 years of expansion, war technology breakthroughs and 700 bases all over the world, what is $22 Billion to this massive juggernaut of spending, waste and murder?
Only a warmonger, Sean Hannity or that hypocritical government tool, Fox News,  would think the United States will suddenly be left undefended if these cuts, and they’re not really cuts, they’re merely a reduction in budget increases, should actually happen?

But from the sound of the wailing from government, who will never willingly take a step back from spending taxpayer money on their voting groups, you’d think they were your local school committee threatening to cut the football team from the budget next year unless you vote for a tax override.
Let them take their ball and go home. If the government won’t cut this, then what will they ever cut? If both "sides" are unwilling even to cut what amounts to 1% of all government spending, then how will the nations budget ever get balanced? All this wringing of hands over what amounts to a drop in a bucket only proves that government is willing to cut anything from their bloated federal trough of corruption, waste and influence buying and sweetheart deals.

If the U.S. military is so strapped for cash, then why don’t they close even a few of those hundreds of military bases they’ve got all over the world in places that we neither need to defend or shouldn’t be in anymore at all like Greece, Italy, Japan, Germany or the UAE ? Let some of these places start to take an interest in their own defense these days.  Why are we still in Germany and Japan? It no longer makes any sense from a defense standpoint or now a fiscal one. Close some bases if you want to save some money. But no, they can’t. The bottom is going to have to fall out of the economy for any government agency to take a step back from spending OUR money. The only answer government has is to raise taxes...again! It’s not sane.
As long as government continues to kick another brick under the grand Pyramid Scheme called Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, we are never going to get out from under this spending parade.  Simply raising the retirement age isn’t going to do it and taking more and more money out of our pockets is only going to mean less and less the government will take in to pay for their epic Babylonian excess.

If we don’t cut now, when? If not this, what? I’m not crying about cutting the military because they’re usually the Republicans voting group. The Republican Party has capitulated to the political left years ago so there is no longer a fundamental difference between a Republican and a Democrat. They are both wasters of the public trust and they lie together  in the house of ill repute that is Congress and the Presidency.
The only party that really wants to do something about Washington’s largess is the Tea Party. They’re the ones working and they’re the ones paying.  And they’re the ones who want the Sequester and so do I. I hope it’s allowed to happen but I don’t think it will. The Demilcans and the Republocrats will do a last minute punt and we’ll all just wait another couple of months for the next “crisis” and call to jump through more hoops while the second coming of Rome crumbles into its whimpering history.

Stupid.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Government Spending Does Not Grow the Economy

I don’t know where the disconnect is. Is it just politics and the people who are the recipients of government money just pretend they believe it or are people just stupid to begin with and join the “destruction leads to economic success” crowd.

Government does not produce anything for sale. They get their money mostly from taxes, income taxes, excise taxes, sales tax and other administrative fees. These moneys come from the taxpayer< people who work for private business and produce goods and provide services> for which they are paid by the consumer> with this so far?

When the government takes these moneys in they then transfer these funds to their prospective budgets and agencies that spend it on what they do, like the USADA, the FBI, the FDA and the money is also allocated to Medicare, SSI and states in the form of Federal Highway Funds.
All this moving of funds takes people, government employees, who handle the accounting, the money transfers and keeps track of the money coming in from their various sources. In private enterprise we call these people “Overhead”. These people cost money in pay and benefits. They only exist to handle the tax money coming in and there are legions of them from local IRS agents, town collectors, state collectors to the federal IRS. This process carries a price tag.

This is why when either State or Federal agencies spend taxpayer money, they put out much less than they take in. This is in the form of the previously mentioned overhead. The money handling  costs reduce what the government takes in.
 

A great example of government spending in action is Boston’s Central Artery/Tunnel Project, aka The Big Dig, a federal highway’s project that when 9 years beyond it’s 1998 completion date and over ran its budget from a projected $2.8 Billion to an incredible $14.8 Billion and will end up costing a total of $21 Billion once the bonds floated have been paid for. Taxes have had to go up to pay for this massive expenditure. The Feds only contrubuted $7 Billion to the project meaning the State of Massachusetts has to pay the other half. And it was a lousy job. The tunnel leaks like a sive and the ceiling panels are suspect. And they didn'even make the road wider.
Government too often starts to look for a place to put a bridge rather than where a bridge is needed.
So when someone says the government creates jobs I have to laugh out loud. The government does not create jobs. Companies create jobs. The only difference is when the government takes money out of the private sector to create a jobs, we only see those jobs. We don't see the jobs, the buildings  and the opportunities that money would have created because it was never allowed to happen.
These private sector jobs would also have taken place without the overhead that government is stuck with as a matter of course. This is why a government job is not a net gain to the economy. These jobs don’t grow the economy because they go to non-producing jobs that provide no measurable return to the economy. Oh, the government workers put money back into the economy when they spend it but as a whole, less money is going back into the economy than was taken. This is a loss in economic growth, not a gain. There are too many people handling the process for there to be any cost effectiveness to their public works.  This is not a political thing, it is an accounting thing. It’s just the math of the situation. The more people involved in the process, the less that comes out of it. Everyone gets a check but not every job produces growth.
Growth only occurs in the private sector where the efficiencies of competition and the marketplace determine success and expansion. If you make something people are willing to buy voluntarily, you will grow the economy. Governent didn't invent Microsoft or Samsung.

The latest outright lie I’ve heard was that the U.S. economy shrank mostly because of government cuts. What didn’t the government produce that they had to cut back on other than killing machines perhaps? No, the nation does not run on government spending, the nation runs on private sector production and that is something that the government itself is killing because of higher taxes and increased regulations. This is squeezing the consumer and when people stop consuming, the economy shrinks.
This is not a surprise to anyone where they can see government growing and taking resources out of the economy and causing producers to produce less since they can’t sell what they’re making because consumers are buying less since there is less in their pockets.

What did they think was going to happen?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Obama Hikes Taxes, Promises Less of Everything

Saying that the U.S. economy is an “unfinished task” one has to wonder what President Obama really means. Did he mean that the economy is struggling and he would like to get it moving again or did he really mean the economy is struggling and that he’d like to “finish the job” of killing it entirely. By his actions over his presidency so far, one has to wonder.

It is an audacity to say that his administration has reduced the deficit or cut spending when nothing of the sort has even been considered never mind not carried out. Even the dreaded "Sequestor" is not a cut in spending but a reduction of increases in spending. So much for responsible government. If the Sequestor was so damaging, Obama wouldn't have signed it into law, a fact that seems to have been overlooked in the days leading up to it's implementation.
President Obama is the “spendiest” president there ever was, dwarfing the second spendiest president, G.W. Bush by Trillions of dollars. How he can stand up there and say otherwise is really a sham.
It is a pre-emptive strike on the call for cuts in the runaway government spending when Obama emphatically announces that the country can’t “cut its way to prosperity”  since that is exactly what it will take to get the economy going: Cut Spending and put more money in the pockets of the taxpayers. It’s economics 101.

The less money in people’s pockets, the less there is to spend. The less there is to spend, the less there will be to buy and more people will find themselves out of work. Less money, less products, less workers.
But the only jobs president Obama cares about keeping is those of teachers, firefighters, cops and other government workers. The private sector gets no mention.

There have been quite a few mergers lately as well as more layoff announcements. This is because of the steady implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act which is raising costs, adding bureaucracies and layers of paperwork. These consolidations are meant to rid companies of the only cost variable they are unable to get control of: People. Thanks to all the overhead attached to them, the less people the better.
ObamaCare is essentially a "People Tax" which all new hires will carry with them over and above their salaries. It makes people a very expensive commodity to hire and so it is now better and cheaper in the long run to spend the money on machines that replace people.

So when facing a harsh reality of the consequences of Mr. Obama’s health plan what does he propose?
Why raising the Minimum Wage, of course!

Since his other policies haven’t put enough people out of work, why not keep more people from getting jobs? It’s the logical conclusion of the economically ignorant. Or is Mr. Obama ignorant of these economic realities? One has to wonder.
There are plenty of jobs not worth $9.00 an hour. Grocery stores, gas stations, delivery drivers and more. If the business you’re working for or want to work for can’t afford to pay it, those jobs are gone.  The fixed minimum wage is just another People Tax.

Of course in announcing this proposal, the president cites “Corporate Profits” never being higher like big corporations will be the ones paying the price. Nothing was said about the small businesses that will be reeling from the effects and who are also responsible for employing more people than big corporations do.
Keep in mind that Mr. Obama has never run even a hotdog stand. Either he knows what this will do to people looking for work or he doesn’t know what it will do, either way it’s going to lead to less jobs. I mean, a person can’t be this ignorant of what makes the world go ‘round, can they?

And speaking of around the world, this overhead will also make American business less compeditive in the global marketplace. Higher costs, less compeditive.

Obama’s ceaseless push for more education funds and more education possibilities is a step in the wrong direction. There is no money to fund these initiatives and without industry, where are all these educated people going to work? We’ll be like China back in the 1970s with engineers plowing rice fields. As it stands right now, there is no place to go for our current crops of college grads who are coming out of school with huge debt and no jobs to pay it down. For them there is less of a future. Less jobs, less opportunity.
The president is currently out on the campaign trail saying and promising anything to anybody who’ll listen. His latest proposal is Universal Pre-School beginning at 4 years old. I’m not making this up! This is an illusion, shear lunacy to the point of embarrassment.

With the Federal Reserve continuing to buy government debt, with the government continuing to buy GM automobiles to boost their sales and with the government expanding at every turn, there is going to be less of everything else.

The Gross National Product of the United States has shrunk yet government continues to spend. Less production and less jobs means less taxes coming into the government yet the federal budget continues to expand.  Heaven help your savings and 401k if they decide to print money to cover the budget deficits. No amount of money will be safe from the ensuing inflation. Just check out Argentina and Venezuela with their 20% inflation rate and shortages of even the most staple of products. Don’t say it can’t happen here. Without the profit motive, people will stop producing. Less buying power, less business, less purchases.  

So the State of the Union proposals: More spending, more laws, more subsidies, more government and more executive power means only one thing: Less.   

More for government means less for you. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Teacher's Salaries Eat Public Education Budget


Teachers make too much money. They make more money than many of the parents who send their kids to the public schools and whose property taxes pay their salaries. There is no reason why a 2nd or even a 3rd year teacher should be pulling in $50k a year when many people don’t get that kind of money having been on the job to 10 years.
There was a time when being in the public sector was more about service and not much about the money. You had ample holidays and good hours but the pay wasn’t the draw. Now the teachers make so much and take so much of the public school budget that even basic supplies cannot be purchased.

But don’t take my word for it. When I was a kid in the Roslindale projects we went to Phineas Bates Elementary. Well I plugged that into Google and low and behold, there is a website. Here is the text unaltered from that site. I think it speaks for itself.
2013 Budget Requires Cuts to Bates ProgramsSubmitted by Dave Atkins on January 13, 2013 - 9:50am

Each January, Principal Kelly Hung is given an overall budget from the school district and required to submit a detailed budget proposal by January 22. Much of the budget is committed to teacher salaries leaving a portion that is "discretionary" and can be allocated to programs like Playworks, a school counselor, full-time intern teachers in the classrooms, instructional supplies and technology, professional development including staff training on how to implement the 7 Habits, and school contributions to programs like Making Music Matters that are partially funded through other means.
The 2013 budget increased slightly, but the discretionary portion of the budget has shrunk by 55%.

Principal Hung, in consultation with the Parent Council, is working to create a budget to meet this shortfall that has required eliminating the school counselor position, eliminating internship positions for new teachers, asking the Parent Council to fund Making Music Matters, and suspending any future technology purchases. The Playworks program will be retained. Some programs and positions such as the City Connects support coordinator are funded independently or through grants. Some programs like the Museum of Science visiting program are paid for by the Parent Council.
Additional changes include added support for science instruction. Unfortunately, the school-wide Spanish program will not continue, but Spanish instruction will continue in advanced work classes and we hope to have Spanish clubs.

These cuts mean the school will need help from the Parent Council and community to cover even basic supplies and fund any field trips or other enrichment activities.
The School Site Council will be discussing the proposed budget on Wednesday, January 16 at 5:30pm in Room 102. All parents and guardians are welcome to attend and learn about the choices being made. The budget must be submitted to the district by noon on January 22nd.
 
Don't let anyone blow smoke up your butt, the U.S. economy is still in recession. The GDP has shrunk and for many reasons like increased taxes, rising fuel costs and sky-rocketing healthcare costs associated with ObamaCare, people have less money to spend.

Yet the school budgets are increasing. The teacher contracts require the teachers to get raises even though many who work in the private sector have not gotten a raise for some time.

Here is an example where the teacher's salaries take precident over "even basic" school supplies.
The teachers are well paid, very well paid. So well paid their busting the bank. The school system may try to come back to the taxpayer for more money.

But right now it's hard to get blood out of a stone.
 

Monday, February 4, 2013

The End of Argentina's Economy


Argentina’s president, Christina Fernadez, and her Minister of Finance, Hernan Lorenzino, have just announced a nationwide freeze on prices to last for two months. They do this in a doomed-to-fail attempt at curtailing the runaway inflation that these to idiots have unleashed on their own nation because they can’t stop printing and spending money the nation does not take in and can no longer borrow.
Sound familiar?

Argentina defaulted on their national debt in 2001 and have been printing money to pay their debts ever since. In her effort to continue to buy the vote, Christina Fernandez has just let the presses go and has done everything she can to make the Argentinian people look the other way. But her attempts at distraction first by pointing a finger at England and the Faukland Islands and then the International Monetary Fund, are transparent and futile. Argentina doesn’t have the cash to wage a war over the Fauklands and doesn’t have anybody else to lend it money so their method of last resort is to freeze prices for two months.
This will do nothing.

Freezing prices does not work, has not worked and will not work. Two months will go by and prices will jump to where they were going to go all along but will happen all at once.  This is what the market does and although prices may be frozen, costs do not freeze just because a government says they do. In fact, regardless of what a government may impose and what people may believe, markets know no boundaries and are only under the consumer’s control. Freezing prices just shorts the seller and will only lead to less. If a product costs more to produce than what the manufacturer receives, there will be less of that product. The army can show up at the factory and attempt to make it run or even try to force the manufacturer to produce but history has shown that slaves are poor producers in comparison to adequately compensated workers. You can’t defy gravity for long and Argentina is just another in a long line of Socialist states that will find this out.
In 1971, U.S. President Richard Nixon imposed wage and price freezes along with other measures that moved the United States off the gold standard. What was initially a 90 day freeze turned into a 1000 day freeze and was a total failure brought on by a president who actually knew better but did it anyway and behold, it did nothing to keep down prices or inflation. Only cutting government spending and balancing the national budget can do this.

This is always the last resort of government.
Like the U.S. in the 70s and the U.S. in the future, Argentina has seen its share of shortages, deficits and hardship and they are not through yet. This will only cease if they can find a way to elect a real president with an economic education rather that the say anything, spend the treasury to stay in power charismatic despots they always seem to get.

Hmmm, that sounds familiar too.