Friday, September 19, 2014

You didn't build that...

Henry Hazlitt

“The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects - his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity.”

HT Carpe Diem

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sounds a bit low to me

Americans Say the Federal Government Wastes More of Each Tax Dollar Than They Say State and Local Governments Waste
For more go here

In case I was not clear on the hypocrisy of limousine liberals like Rober Reich


From Carpe Diem:

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich is currently a professor of public policy at the University of California-Berkeley and he was paid $242,613 in 2013 according to this University of California database. According to this link provided in an article by the Daily Caller, Professor Reich is scheduled to teach only one undergraduate class this fall semester – Public Policy 260 – that meets only one day a week (Monday) for two hours (12 – 2 p.m.). That works out to about $2,500 for each hour of lecture time that Professor Reich will spend with UC-Berkeley students this semester, or about the same amount as the average adjunct college professor get paid for teaching an entire one-semester 15-week class ($2,700 according to this AAUP report)!...

... So at the same time that Reich complains about the excessive compensation of a small group of a few hundred highly paid CEOs, he actually makes 36% more than the average CEO in the US for lecturing a few hours a week (see chart above)...

... In addition to his annual CU-Berkeley salary of $242,613, Professor Reich is also a popular speaker on the nation’s lecture circuit, and he commands a handsome speaking fee of $40,000 for a one-hour talk (including Q&A) plus first class travel for one or two people from California, hotel accommodations for up to two nights, ground transportation, meals and incidentals....

Read the whole thing here

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Uh-oh. Although I think the chart for used donkeys is much more robust

Useful tip of the day

Take a photo of your coat check ticket (as if you are like me you will lose it)



The Obama administration quietly has been forcing new gun buyers to declare their race and ethnicity, a policy change that critics say provides little law enforcement value while creating the risk of privacy intrusions and racial profiling.

With little fanfare, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2012 amended its Form 4473 — the transactional record the government requires gun purchasers and sellers to fill out when buying a firearm — to identify buyers as either Hispanic, Latino or not. Then a buyer must check his or her race: Indian, Asian, black, Pacific Islander or white....

Washington Times

I love it when overpaid liberals (especially with taxpayer funded pension funds) complain about inequality

From Newsalert:
Robert Reich has an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times blaming Harvard Business School for inequality:
No institution is more responsible for educating the CEOs of American corporations than Harvard Business School — inculcating in them a set of ideas and principles that have resulted in a pay gap between CEOs and ordinary workers that’s gone from 20-to-1 50 years ago to almost 300-to-1 today.
 ...Just a reminder: Robert Reich works at America's most partisan organization, University of California employees were the number one donors to Barack Obama in 2012. 

Speaking of "inequality", why does Robert Reich have to win so much compared to the typical professor teaching in America , today? How many professors make that much money while only teaching one class? Should Robert Reich talk about inequality when he makes $242,613 for teaching one class? According to PBS, Robert Reich makes around 100 times the average salary of what an adjunct professor makes based on teaching one class. Does Robert Reich talk so much about CEO pay to distract taxpayers from his large and "unfair" salary compared to hard working adjunct professors? 
Not to mention the speeches he will give at up to $100,000 a pop....

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The inconvenient truth about rampant income inequality

From Carpe Diem:


‘I (and those of like mind) have been right about everything.’

Paul Krugman writing in the  New York Times:

...It seems to me, however, that it’s important to realize that the enormous intellectual failure of recent years took place at several levels. Clearly, economics as a discipline went badly astray in the years — actually decades — leading up to the crisis. But the failings of economics were greatly aggravated by the sins of economists, who far too often let partisanship or personal self-aggrandizement trump their professionalism...


Funnily enough about 23% of Americans are on anti-depressants...

This reminds me of people who worry about global warming

ironic pics

Hmmmm. Seems like everything Government declares "war" on generates more of it

Infographic by Kelsey Harris/The Daily Signal

Liberals claim that the War on Poverty has failed because we didn’t spend enough money. Their answer is just to spend more. But the facts show otherwise.

Since its beginning, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusting for inflation, that’s three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution.

One third of the U.S. population received aid from at least one welfare program at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient in 2013.

The federal government currently runs more than 80 means-tested welfare programs. These programs provide cash, food, housing and medical care to low-income Americans. Federal and state spending on these programs last year was $943 billion. (These figures do not include Social Security, Medicare, or Unemployment Insurance.)

Over 100 million people, about one third of the U.S. population, received aid from at least one welfare program at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient in 2013. If converted into cash, current means-tested spending is five times the amount needed to eliminate all poverty in the U.S...

...How can the taxpayers spend $22 trillion on welfare while poverty gets worse?

The typical family that Census identifies as poor has air conditioning, cable or satellite TV, and a computer in its home.

The answer is it isn’t possible.  Census counts a family as poor if its income falls below specified thresholds. But in counting family “income,” Census ignores nearly the entire $943 billion welfare state.

Daily Signal

U.S. Ranks 32nd (out of 34 OECD Countries) in International Tax Competitiveness

But hey!  We are still ahead of France and Portugal.  Go USA!

Tax Foundation
 According to the foundation, the new index measures "the extent to which a country's tax system adheres to two important principles of tax policy: competitiveness and neutrality."
A competitive tax code is one that limits the taxation of businesses and investment. Since capital is mobile and businesses can choose where to invest, tax rates that are too high "drive investment elsewhere, leading to slower economic growth," as the Tax Foundation puts it.
By neutrality the foundation means "a tax code that seeks to raise the most revenue with the fewest economic distortions. This means that it doesn't favor consumption over saving, as happens with capital gains and dividends taxes, estate taxes, and high progressive income taxes. This also means no targeted tax breaks for businesses for specific business activities." Crony capitalism that rewards the likes of green energy with lower tax bills while imposing higher bills on other firms is political arbitrage that misallocates capital and reduces economic growth.
The index takes into account more than 40 tax policy variables. And the inaugural ranking puts the U.S. at 32nd out of 34 industrialized countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). ...
Rather than erecting an iron tax curtain that keeps U.S. companies from escaping, the White House and Congress should enact reform that invites more businesses to stay or move to the U.S.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Police State: Funnily enough I don't feel any safer

The second-largest school district in California is raising eyebrows after its police force recently acquired a military-grade armored vehicle.  

The San Diego Unified School District now has a 14-ton M-RAP — short for mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle — that American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan usually ride into combat to protect them against explosives.  

The $700,000 tank was donated to the school district under a military program that distributes surplus military equipment to local police agencies...

Why is a $700k tank "surplus" anyway?

For more go here

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Body cameras protect both the police and civilians

CBS recently breathlessly reported on a white police officer being unnecessarily aggressive with a black Oakland firefighter:
A black Oakland firefighter has filed a complaint with the Oakland Police Department after he and his young kids were detained by a white police officer outside the station where the firefighter worked. 
It was 10:45 p.m., after a recent Raiders game. Veteran firefighter Keith Jones and his two sons, ages 9 and 12, were walking back to their SUV at Station 29. A fire crew responding to an emergency had forgotten to close the garage door. Jones went in to make sure everything was secure. 
As Jones walked out, he said a police officer, responding to a possible burglary in progress, yelled “Don’t move, put your hands up.” 
“And his hand is on his gun. He was crouched, he was low, and he was basically in a shooting stance,” Jones said. 
Jones complied, but noticed his 9-year-old son Trevon was starting to cry. The officer saw the two kids first and had already told them to raise their hands. 
Jones said he told the officer that he was an Oakland firefighter, that he worked at the station and that they were his kids. He asked the officer to allow his kids to lower their hands and tell them everything is OK. Jones said the officer told them to keep their hands up and not to move. 
The firefighter said this lasted for a few minutes. 
“I’m pretty much thinking he’s going to pretty much shoot me,” Jones said. “I was thinking is he going to shoot my dad the whole time,” said 12-year-old Keith Jones II.“I was getting ready about to cry. My hands started to get tired, but I kept them up,” said 9-year-old Trevon Jones. 
Eventually, the lone officer allowed Jones to reach into his pocket and show his firefighter ID. Jones said the incident traumatized his kids and changed their perception of police officers. 
“Images in my head, think about how my day would have got shot. I keep on trying to forget about it ‘cause it scares me a lot,” Trevon Jones said. 
“I think they view black males as a threat,” the firefighter said...

However, the video below, taken by the officers' body camera, shows the incident did not occur as the firefighter described and was handled completely appropriately:


It is noteworthy that the Oakland police released the video so quickly, unlike many police departments accross the country.  I wonder if that is the policy of the Oakland PD or occurs only when it exculpates the police officer?

The Police State: How long is this going to go on for?

From the Daily Mail:

Family's outrage at cops who violently arrested a father of two for 'appearing intoxicated while taking care of his kids'... but actually has a TERMINAL ILLNESS that makes him look that way

  • Jeffrey Banes, 39, was arrested in West Virginia by four cops who left him choking on his own blood while subduing him 

  • His family says Banes' illness, Huntington's disease, can make it seem as if he's intoxicated because it affects his motor functions 

  • The violent arrest was captured on camera

Police officers in West Virginia brutally arrested a 39-year-old father of two who they say appeared intoxicated and was handling his kids roughly while walking them to the park.

But his outraged family denies that 39-year-old Jeffrey Bane was under the influence on Sept. 6, when he was left choking in his own blood and pleading for help while he was pinned to the ground by four Granville PD cops during the Sept. 6 arrest in Morgantown.

The whole arrest takes some 10 minutes and was recorded in a shocking video uploaded to YouTube.

The family says Bane suffers from Huntington's disease, a genetic and terminal illness that causes sufferers to increasingly lose their motor functions, at times appearing to be under the influence...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Rep. Clyburn wants to take a page out of the Anthony Weiner election playbook

After what happened to Weiner I am pretty sure Jim Clyburns' (D) approach is not the best get out the vote strategy for Democrats, but given what they have to work with may be worth a try:

"Use the tools that we have.  We’ve got great tools to communicate about everything else. We can text. What do we call it? Sexting. Let’s do some voting, organizing over the internet. We’ve got the tools."

"We’ve got the tools"?  That's what Weiner said as well.

Please read this and be outraged at the teachers union and those who are beholden to them

Mind boggling.  Shining beacons of hope in a morass of corruption and self serving piety that benefits the few at the expense of America's most vulnerable children.

Evil is the best word that comes to mind.  Truly evil.

Harlem Success Academy 1K-680.11777.796.7
Harlem Success Academy 2K-477.9207597.8
Harlem Success Academy 3K-464.330.98099.5
Harlem Success Academy 4K-573.52078.597.8
From Mark Perry:

Q1: With those kinds of impressive, eye-popping academic results for some of the city’s most at-risk student populations in Harlem, couldn’t that proven record of academic success be replicated in all public schools? Wouldn’t you think that these Harlem charter schools would be recognized as academic models for the rest of the city and the state? 
After all, the students at all four of the Success Academy charter schools in Harlem are performing at the same or higher level as students in the tony and upscale Scarsdale school district, where about 90% of the students are white or Asian, less than 1% are black, 0% of the students qualify for free/reduced lunch, and the median household income is $221,531.
A: Yes, except for a few major obstacles. The Success Academy charter schools are run by Eva Moskowitz, and her network of charter schools hire only non-union teachers, who are paid well but can be fired for non-performance. So the New York City teacher unions hate Eva Moskowitz despite her “off-the-charts success” at educating black and Hispanic kids in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Likewise, instead of being thrilled that so many of the city’s low-income, minority students are being educated so successfully, the new New York mayor Bill de Blasio hates charter schools just as much as the entrenched teacher unions (who are a main part of his political base of support) and he is in a ferocious battle to stop Eva Moskowitz and the spread of charter schools.

..Bottom Line: In a saner and more sensible world where students and learning are really the No. 1 priority, the educational establishment (including members of the teacher unions and the NYC mayor) would be “falling all over themselves” to copy the proven educational success of charter schools like the ones in Harlem profiled above. But in the insane world of New York City where unionized teachers have a stranglehold on public schools, the liberal mayor and liberal teacher unions are waging a war on the city’s successful charter schools like the ones operated by Success Academy Charter Schools. Preservation of the status quo and a continuation of the current failed public school model, and preserving its power, are the primary concerns of the teachers unions and their administrative enablers, which now includes the new New York mayor...

It's totally different this time

Are stock markets about to crash? If there's anyone in the world worth asking, it's Professor Robert Shiller, although you may not like his answer.
Shiller's 'CAPE ratio' is among the most widely-used measures of whether markets are cheap or expensive, and he got the Nobel Prize for economics last year for his work on market volatility and asset prices.

So it's chilling when he tells you that his CAPE ratio for US stocks has reached its present level on only three times in the past 130-odd years, and that those previous occasions were 1929, 2000 and 2007, each followed by a crash...

Kaboom on 9/11? Really?

We are doomed...