Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why does this analysis of the so-called "recovery" sound like the Ethanol plaint?

So, the Washington Times claims "Government job cuts create a historically slow recession recovery".

Huh.  It seems that while the private employers of America have added 7.4 million jobs, the loss of 10% of that number, 750,000 employees, from the public dole is the reason for the slow economy.

That sounds an awful lot like "add  10% ethanol to your gas, and we save 10% of the gas!" when the reality is that the resulting mix only gives 90% of the mileage. Yes, that 10% ethanol represents a 10% loss of usefulness of the mix. We pay, exorbitantly, an entire industry, and divert an astonishing amount of food to make the fuel -- that doesn't actually act like much more than a smaller gas can for the same price.

I mean if you go the same number of miles for 90% of a gallon of gas, as for a gallon that is 90% gas and 10% ethanol -- my choice is the smaller can for the same number of miles. At least if I skip the ethanol I don't have to add additional fuel-related products to correct damage to my vehicle from ethanol, and products to protect from additional damage from the ethanol. And I don't waste both tax money (burdened, because it represents the fuel and earnings of tax payers that tax "revenues" represent) and the food that might have been available to the world, if it hadn't been diverted to capitalize on federal money distributions. Not to mention the industries involved in distributing ethanol and tracking ethanol usage, reporting statistics of ethanol use and distribution, etc.

So that 10% dilution of jobs created during this "recovery" seems a bit disingenuous. Adding 10% ethanol doesn't significantly impact the amount of gasoline consumed in America, and the "loss" of 750,000 jobs, way less than 10% of all federal, state, and local employees, has on any recovery.

I suppose the loss of government jobs wasn't offset by steadily rising union representation and escalating salary and benefit price tags in a troubled economy. And I suppose those 7.4 million civilian jobs are distributed proportionally among the highest level incomes as well as the entry level and minimum wage jobs are.  And I suppose that the raise in minimum wages a few years back isn't crippling the actual income of many employers with employees that either earn minimum wage, or wages calculated from minimum wage (Min plus $0,10, min plus $1.25, or min times 1.3 or times 2.2). Well, maybe a little.

And raising taxes, siphoning off the incomes of people hiring employees, of people funding new projects, corporation operations, etc. doesn't dilute what money can accomplish in the economy. I suppose that doesn't affect the rate that money moves through the economy.

I am sure that investments of large parts of the economy in debt "derivatives" and financial gimmicks like credit default swaps rather than, say, industries that employ people has anything to do with why merely adding more fast food workers doesn't solve the nation's problems.

I am sure that considering a house to be an investment, instead of a place that a family lives, doesn't weight the evaluation of the economy in unhealthy directions. I am sure that a "mobile" work force -- expecting to hire seasonally, workers to move for jobs several times in their work career, doesn't contribute to an unstable and costly waste of resources of people, of community assets, and increases demands for government support.

Well, maybe I do think the simplification of counting the loss of state and local workers with the slowed growth of union federal workers to explain why the national debt siphoning off tax revenues and credit availability to the nation is somewhat misleading.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Budgets, and debt ceilings, and Washingtion, Oh! My.

Congress faces yet another challenge, to meet responsibilities they swore, under oath, to meet when each member of House and Senate assumed office.  So I wrote Senator Coburn.

Dr. Coburn,

Please restore to the House, and to Congress, the power of the purse.

The Constitution rightly lays out the responsibility of Congress to define a budget -- and to check the President if he strays from the Congressional view of the needs of the nation.

This administration has failed to meet expectations of presenting a viable budget, a budget likely to pass the Congress, a budget proposal that can be hammered into something acceptable to the understandings of administration and Congress about what the nation needs.

In the absence of Administration competence, as demonstrated year after year, the House should be commended for producing a likely proposal -- and the Senate should, indeed must, consider such a budget proposal with gravity and respect.

Whether, then the President signs such a budget package has nothing to do with whether Congress might respond with a clear veto override.

Signals to the President, and clear actions from Congress, detailing that continuing budget resolutions and debt ceiling adjustments will no longer be considered, well, that might imply some discipline on the part of Congress. I would consider that an essential step in a healthy direction for our nation.


Brad Kruse
Ponca City, OK

Again, the Disarmed Victim Zone false chimera of safety strikes innocent Americans

There was a shooting in Washington, D.C., at the Navy Yard. Already gun violence is being decried, and the gun control advocates are gearing for a drive for The Goal of disarming America -- in violation of the Militia Act, and in defiance of FBI reports that  seem to predict the continuation of mass shootings.

See, the FBI reports over the last decade and more, that communities and states that increased concealed and open carry, and home owner acquisition of guns for defense -- each saw declines in all forms of violent crime, including accidental shootings.

So the unwary might conclude, hey, if you ban all guns, like one particular theater in Aurora, Colorado, or all public schools in America -- and government bases and installations like the Army base in Fort Hood, Texas and the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. -- why you might think, "Wow. Those places must not just attract shooters looking to commit mayhem -- they must actually generate the impulse to shoot up a bunch of unarmed people!" I consider these "Disarmed Victim Zones". And I worry each time I enter one.

So, again, I wrote Senator Dr. Coburn,

Dr. Coburn,

What strikes me about the recent Navy Yard shooting -- is the disparity of lives lost in gun-free zones.

What I have read summarizing FBI reports, is that shooters stopped by civilians, even without answering shots being fired, the loss of life in recent decades averages about 2.3 per incident. When authorities stop the shooting, the average is over 10 lives lost.

And, as I have noted before, *creating* a chimera castle defined with "guns not allowed" signs. A random shooting must include a desire to inflict dismay and loss on others -- the gun free (Disarmed Victim) zone does exactly that. By not just disrupting the social rules to obey laws and signs, but to also violate that illusory boundary of safety, it is the gun free zone that *creates* the venue, and the allure, for the mass shooter.

Gun control in America has historically been used to suppress minority rights and position in society, and has always had the effect of suppressing poor and minority Americans.

Now would be a very good time to recognize that Congress has no Constitutional mandate to limit or manage firearm usage in America where laws have not been broken, and to dismantle all the mechanisms to monitor, regulate, and limit gun ownership.

Until someone is injured, so-called gun control laws bear a horrible similarity to thought control. And that bothers me, a lot.

Those lives lost at the Navy Yard might have been lost to explosions of welding gases, propane or other fuels, that could fairly readily be configured, once the shooter determined to take lives. It isn't gun controls that save lives -- it is the knowledge that the community isn't held powerless by the law, like a sheep held ready for slaughter.
Thank you,

Brad Kruse
Ponca City, OK
Then, I noticed that there is at least another soul that noticed how gun free zones increase bloodshed,