The Economist's Cookbook

Recipes For A More Free Society

  • "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design."

    - F.A. Hayek

The federal government today announced that it is changing its emblem from an eagle to a condom, because it more accurately reflects the government's political stance.

A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives you a sense of security while you are actually being screwed.

On Poverty and Wealth

Posted by The_Chef On 4:04 PM 0 comments

The things the politicians won't tell you:

1.) The number and percentage of Americans without health insurance actually declined slightly in 2007 compared to 2006. The share without insurance in 2007, 15.3 percent, is actually lower than it was a decade ago.
So this whole "OMGWTFBBQ" response about insurance is a fabrication. Hell I'm part of that percentage right now.
2.) Median household income is not falling: “Between 2006 and 2007, real median household income rose 1.3 percent, from $49,568 to $50,233—a level not statistically different from the 1999 pre-recession income peak.”
Oh look more money for people. And it's not just the rich moving that ration up because:
3.) The share of households earning a middle-class income of between $35,000 and $100,000 in real 2007 dollars has indeed shrunk slightly compared to a decade ago, but so too has the share earning less than $35,000 a year, while the share earning more than $100,000 continues to rise. The middle class is not shrinking; it is moving up.
Hot damn ... the middle class is getting richer, but you wouldn't know it from listening to either of the political candidates.

So, what does this mean? BUCK UP. The Mortgage crisis ain't good, but it's not Armageddon. (of course the mortgage crises was largely created by government anyway ... but they don't want to talk about that.)

It means that we're getting wealthier while really cool things (like the iPhone) are getting cheaper! So the extra cash these people are making is going farther for luxury goods. Of course the problem is that the price of everyday goods is rising, especially food.

The problem is that rising food prices have been driven up by three key things:
1.) Ethanol Subsidies - Farms that once produced grains or cattle feed now are taking gov't handouts to produce ethanol (which is a very very shitty alternative to gas).

2.) Inflation - Give the Federal reserve a big ol' hug for driving down the value of your dollars.

3.) Rises in the cost of fuel - which is linked not to oil company collusion or "speculators". But to Supply/Demand and the rising oil consumption of international up and comers (India and China), and various other things which have marginal effects on the price of fuel, including ... inflation.
So, the news isn't all bad, and the world isn't ending and capitalism keeps doing what it does best, create wealth.

Ah the DNC

Posted by The_Chef On 1:19 PM 0 comments

Look, a coronation festival. We are going to crown and worship the man who will shepherd us into a greater age of enlightenment, government control, and safety.

There will be freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom from need. All we ask is that you allow us to shackle you.

Fall onto your knees and WORSHIP he who will save us!

What a crock full of shit.

P.S. - The RNC will be the same shit in a slightly different place.

Addendum - Dear old dad - "They're not having a convention ... they're having a worship service!"

The Public Policy of Buying Votes

Posted by The_Chef On 11:48 AM 6 comments

So ... here's my theory for reforming this country.

Get rid of universal suffrage. Not everyone should vote. This is simply just a fact. Just because you live here, doesn't mean you should get a say in the policy of this country.

So here's my theory.
1.) Get rid of the draft. I see this as an important step in leveling the playing field.

2.) If you are on government assistance, you don't get to vote. This includes Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc. and so forth. If you accept any of these, you give up your right to vote.

This solves a key problem in America: it keeps politicians from winning office by pandering to the lowest common denominator. I hate poor people voting in politicians and bureaucrats who promise to stick their hand farther into my wallet. That's theft. I don't give a damn if it helps the poor, it's theft and to try and couch it in terms of "redistribution" or a "more equitable outcome" is nothing but intellectual dishonesty in the extreme. I only use the poor "welfare" recipient as an example here. To clarify I don't hate poor people. I do not think they should get to vote themselves money from other people's wealth.

When a politician can stand up and promise a voting block, like pensioners or retirees or anyone for that matter, that he will increase their allowances he is BUYING VOTES! He's not promising to defend the nation or defend the constitution, he is telling them that he will tax Americans so that the government can give them, the special interest group, more money for their Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid/subsidies/etc. That creates a system in which the politician that promises to loot the American public will get elected! Essentially a self-sustaining system is created where each successive generation of politicians has to promise more and more benefits to various groups. In order to break this system, you make participation in the welfare systems voluntary, and if you participate in those systems you lose your right to vote.

So since I went to an Obama "house meeting" earlier this year I figured I ought to give the other side a shot. Now let me preface this by saying that the Republican committee meeting I attended was not a rally like this Obama "house meeting" was. But still it provides a chance for me to get a look at the "everyday republicans".

Well this was a small local community meeting of the Rep. Committee. It was a painful joke.

Well things started off with an invocation, a prayer to get things started off. Please do remember that this is the South so such things are to be expected. However what followed was nothing short of fear mongering for the sake of creating solidarity. The leader of the meeting, who we shall call Mr. X, for the sake of anonymity, started on about how he's so thankful that he can live in a country where they can pray and there are people who want to kill us and destroy "our" way of life. The blatant reference was to Muslims. I mean ... come on. Yes there are terrorists out there who want to blow things up and kill people. But using this as a tool to get people to support your political views is little more than yellow journalism in the new millennium.

Then they had the Pledge of Allegiance. I stood but remained silent. Mr. X then went on about how ... "this is why we are here" ... for the invocation and the pledge. Umm ... I'm not sure he understands how things are supposed to work, but anyone who pledges themselves to a flag is an idiot. You pledge yourself to ideals and concepts and beliefs, not to flags. Flags can of course represent ideals, BUT those ideals might be changing.

He, Mr X that is, then went on about how the Republican party believes in a right to choose. My response??? HERE:Seriously, at this point I wanted to stand up and begin shouting at this motley collection of milksop socialists and moralist social engineers. What about the drug trade? What about the subsidies and tariffs that you all support to prop up "American" businesses which limit our right to choose? What about your "reasonable" restrictions on the ownership of firearms? What about the PATRIOT Act? What about the abuses of police power we see on a daily basis? What about the desire to put the government in people's bedrooms? (By the way, Oral sex is illegal in VA. I imagine Mr. and Mrs. X have broken that law.) What about the 'blowback' that our political decisions bring us in the in the international scene and how does that affect the "choice" that they support?

Here is my theory, they support choice, as long as you're making choices "they" (yes I know it's nebulous but it's the best I can do to describe the movements of mass opinion within the Republican party) approve of. And keep in mind this party has become the party of bigger and more government, more invasion into our private lives "for our safety". What the hell?! So choice is only okay when you approve of the possible choices? That's not choice that's poorly veiled tyranny.

The next one was a real joke. "We don't ask much of our citizens..." You have to be kidding me! We have a government that enslaves us for 4 months out of the year because they have a"right" to our labor, our minds, and our money and "we don't ask much"? This is absolutely asinine! If this guy actually believes what comes out of his mouth, this country is in deep shit.

There was a shot in there about people out there dying to protect our ability to pray and I thought that was so laughably stupid. Those troops are over there dying to support some sort of pipe dream that we can "build Democracy". For support of my opposition to this practice I point you to Dr. Chris Coyne's book After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy.

They went though attendance crap, Bylaws, approved minutes of the last meeting, identified officers, and other and sundry recruiting nonsense.

This one was a good one about supporting candidates. "We support those candidates that support the pledge and invocation." This statement is radically different from 'We support those candidates who support the US Constitution as our governing document." Oops. I don't give a damn about your pledge or invocation. What I do care about is the philosophical underpinnings of this country when it was founded ... namely this concept called freedom.

Sigh, the circus was just that, a circus. No one asked where this party was going or what it's beliefs are or what people think of the party and how can we make it better. No it was all about, let's jump on the bandwagon and vote our way to a better society.

What a joke.

All about oil...

Posted by The_Chef On 12:36 PM 0 comments

... the war in Georgia that is.

Right so, as the Olympics go on and everyone continues to rack up medals, there is a little war going on in Georgia, and no I don't mean the gang wars that happen in Atlanta. I mean this Georgia.

Here is a link to a very detailed map of the oil pipelines in eastern Europe/Eurasia. (NOTE: Please Right-click and "Save As" on that link, it's a large PDF map.)

Allow me to elaborate:
Here is a general map (the orange portion is Georgia)
Yes I know the countries are not labeled. Directly North of Georgia is the Russian Federation.

Let's take a closer look shall we?
I cropped and rotated this in Photoshop to give a similar view of the country as the map above.

If you looked at the PDF map I have linked above, you'll see this is simply a blown-up version of that map. The dark green lines are oil pipelines, the more thick the line, the larger the pipeline. The red line with yellow hashes through it is a natural gas pipeline under construction.

This is not about national determination or South Ossetia seceding from Georgia, this is about Russia playing power politics to regain control of former provinces (formerly held by the USSR) which have everything to lose if Russia gets control of those pipelines. Most of them have some oil and it plays an important part of their economies. Losing access to the Georgian pipelines will severely hamper their countries.

w00t! New books!

Posted by The_Chef On 3:09 PM 1 comments

Liberty LOLcats

Posted by The_Chef On 12:54 PM 0 comments

For those of you in the know in the internet meme game liberty LOLcats are a sign of the times ... these are actually pretty damn good.
Here are a bunch of them.

One of my personal favorites:
Thank you bureaucrash!

... alas, it's frighteningly real.

How unfortunate people simply refuse to think that we could be better off without government. Instead we have to lick the boots of bureaucrats and pray they take pity on us. We are living in a society in which the power that the government wields over its people is completely tyrannical.

And you'd better not disagree with the system or the status quo it has created. Because if you do, you hate children/old people/the poor/women/gays/lesbians/livestock/animals/the environment. In fact, these assholes in power make you feel like you should be in a mental institution if you disagree with them.

So here we sit. How much longer are we going to put up with this? How much longer are we going to allow our minds to be made slaves to people that just "know better" than us. Ah you see, we're not wise or intellectual enough to choose for ourselves. Those choices must be made for us, for our ... benefit, for the benefit of ... society. Truly, that is no more than slavery.

Hat Tip to Vulcan's Hammer.

Public Service Announcement

Posted by The_Chef On 12:52 AM 0 comments

Mormon's are weird. Nothing quite like a religion started by a conman ... well except Scientology ... Damn Mormons, you're in good company.

Note: If this offends you, stick it up your ass. To be fair, I don't like any religion, but I dislike some a helluva a lot more than others.

This is not good...

Posted by The_Chef On 9:24 PM 1 comments

EDIT: Sorry about the html coding, you will need to click on each of the pictures to get the full view of the graph which I highly recommend.

Well this doesn't look good... But wait...


Hmmmm Okay, this is still shitty, but it doesn't look as bad as the first one. Sometimes looking at trends can be misleading.

Still the fact that such an immense amount of borrowing has been going on with the worthless Federal Reserve should be a giant wake up to people.

The government got us into this mess, now they want to bail the banks out and regulate things more. MORE REGULATION IS NOT THE ANSWER! Regulation helped get us into this mess!

Musing ...

Posted by The_Chef On 10:52 AM 0 comments

In an age where politicians are trying to legislate our lives into nothingness and billionaires get together to try and get rid of smoking it's nice to see some lyrics from a band that kind of carry a bit of individualism.

"Who are you to tell me what is right?
You listen close
It's my fucking life
I'll let the rain fall where it may

Too late to think of stopping now
I can't give up
I don't know how
I will not live and die a slave

Have I always been wrong?
Maybe just maybe I don't belong
Am I lost in the deep?
Maybe just maybe I'll stay asleep
-Divinity Destroyed 'Threshold'