Monday, October 31, 2011

Seven Years Of Plenty Or Famine?

"It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low - and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut rates now."

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Not so paradoxical really. If people can keep what they earn they do things with it! And what they do contributes more to economic activity than what gubment can do with it.

What does the gubment do with the money? Transfers it, usually to people who do not create economic activity.

When more of what a populace earns is left with that populace, it is like a rising tide and all boats are raised. This is the phraseology Reagan used with his tax cut.

What is the first recorded record of a tax cut? You would have to go to about 1750BC and a dream.

We see in Genesis 41 that Pharaoh had a dream, twice, that bothered him greatly. It seems that seven "fatfleshed" kine (beef cattle) came up out of the river. They were followed by seven "leanfleshed" kine, so ill favoured that Pharaoh had never seen such "for badness: And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kind ... but they were still ill favoured." (verses 18-20)

Pharoah could find no one to interpret his dream. He heard about a Hebrew inmate, Joseph, who was known to have interpreted many dreams. And he called for him.

The interpretation was that there would be seven years of agricultural plenty, followed by seven ill favoured years, "and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land." (verse 30)

But Joseph had a plan. Starting in verse 34, "Let Pharoah do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn (a generic word for any grain) under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be fore store to the land against the seven years of famine ... that the land shall not perish." (Underlining mine)

What happened? REQUISITE "OFFERINGS" TO PHARAOH, ESSENTIALLY TAXES, WERE CUT FROM 100% TO 20%. The populace was allowed to keep more of what they earned. And what happened? Plenty. Plenty happened! They had incentive to make more corn!

And Joseph was made CEO, CFO and CIO over all the land. Verse 41 - "I have set thee over all the land of Egypt." And the economy boomed. And Joseph also got some great jewelry and fine linens out of the deal, and a bottomless debit card accepted everywhere.

When has a tax cut not done this? This is not paradoxical at all! Let him hear who has ears to hear...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Need, Greed And Compassion

" 'Need' now means wanting someone else's money. 'Greed' means wanting to keep your own. 'Compassion' is when a politician arranges for the transfer."

Joseph Sobran (1946-2010)

It's hard to understand economics when a people is conditioned to look to the gubment for satisfaction of its needs and thinks it's entitled to whatever the "gubment" provides.

Of course the gubment has nothing it hasn't taken prior from someone else. And to think that this trend is not frightening to these people!

What happens when "the people" are tapped out? Or can't give? Or STOP giving "voluntarily?" (Remember how we're told that paying our taxes is a "voluntary" act?)

We saw that infantile display in Wisconsin where people screamed at and gathered around and did damage to the state capitol building because they were going to be asked to pay a portion, A PORTION, of their medical insurance! And it was certainly less than I pay for my medical insurance! But what was the ultimate result of that Draconian (word used tongue in cheek) gubment reaction to the state's financial problems? Were their any lay offs? No. Is the gubment there now running in the black? Yes.

But that infantile display of entitlement will happen more and more, and grow more broadly nationwide, as we further and further run out of money with no where to go to get it. Then where will the entitled go to get their "deserved" funds?


London recently demonstrated that. Hence the second quote above, in the box. That will indeed be anarchy.

And when the gubment supports that anarchy it will demonstrate political "compassion."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Creating Wealth

"If the practice persists of covering government deficits with the issue of notes, then the day will come without fail, sooner or later, when the monetary systems of those nations pursuing this course will break down completely. The purchasing power of the monetary unit will decline more and more, until finally it disappears completely."

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

This happened before and after von Mises said this in 1931. This was an article he wrote, compiled later into a book called "Causes of the Economic Crisis."

When he wrote this the collapse of the first and second most powerful countries at the turn of the 20th century was occurring.

Which countries were they? The most economically powerful, and most modern in terms of infrastructure and communication, was Argentina. One certainly does not think of Argentina as a world power. Well, it was. And look it up to see what happened to them.


The second country was Great Britain. Just beginning to follow its path to socialism, finalizing it all after World War II (remember, Churchill warned against it and was drummed out of office). It was said that the sun never set on the kingdom of Great Britain. Now it sets pretty quickly. (Note: by saying this am I condoning colonialism? No.)


The humongous elephant in the room that nobody is paying attention to is debt. The Democrats love it. The current "crop" of Republicans sent to Washington to turn it back have no backbone to do so.

The debt created in the first year of the current regime was calculated at nearly that created by all previous administrations combined. That is a lot of debt.

How is it paid for?

Much of it is borrowed. And much is paid for with worthless currency, called Federal Reserve Notes. Worthless? Yes, and getting more so every day. It is worthless because it is valued only at what people think it is valued. Its current worth is still there because it is the world's reserve currency. That means that when the Japanese, for example, want to buy oil, which is pegged to the U.S. dollar, they must first purchase dollars to do so. Each time they do this, the dollar is getting cheaper (have you not noticed how devalued the dollar has become in the past two years?) and it costs their economy more and more yen.


How long will they, and the rest of the world, put up with this? It is said in international circles that for not much longer. If we Americans had to purchase another currency to buy oil from our foreign "friends," our gasoline prices would double and maybe triple overnight! That will make life as we know it unbearable. Society as we know it now will end.

And the borrowed debt? It is paid for in the form of Treasury Notes, which are purchased around the world for their safety. But they are also purchased for their return. The notes this regime have been selling are at nearly 4%. China wants a higher rate.

How quickly will the debt foisted upon us in just two years grow? Employ the old financial 72 rule. Simply divide the interest rate into 72 to see what your return will be on any investment. 4 into 72 is 18. That means that the debt accumulated in these two years will double every 18.

So, my new grandson, born last October, has already inherited a new debt (over and above previous national debt) that will double by the time he is 20.


There is only one way debt is ultimately paid for. By taxes levied on the population that issued that debt.

Read history. This is what happened to Argentina and Great Britain. It is happening in various countries of Europe.

Do you remember how the Beatles moved to the United States when they started making money? Why did they do that? Could it have had anything, anything at all, to do with taxes?

So, where will my grandson be able to go?

Undoing The Teaching Of Self Help

"Government control gives rise to fraud, suppression of Truth, intensification of the black market and artificial scarcity. Above all, it unmans the people and deprives them of initiative, it undoes the teaching of self help."

Mohandas Ghandi (1869-1948)

And he would know. He watched his country dip and dip into super gubment. Currently the second largest employer in the world, behind the Chinese army, is the Indian railroad. And it does SUCH a good job!

And our country, since the Great Depression, has been led by people who preach and foment victimhood and the great spirit of "can't do." And because we are such "victims," and because we certainly can't be trusted to do anything for ourselves, these "leaders" must create legislation and programs to do FOR us.

And of course these things don't work, and when they don't they must be "fixed" with more legislation and a bigger program!

And all of it is free and for our benefit! NOT!!

Oh, by the way, none of those so-called "leaders" above were/are conservative.

We report, you decide.

Supporting The People

"Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people." Grover Cleveland

Cleveland is the only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms. He was of the wing of the Democrat Party called classical liberals, with the word "liberal" meaning nothing like it does today. A classical liberal favors liberty as it relates to individualism, small gubment, free trade, free market economics and a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

Known for his honesty, those beliefs got him into trouble and he lost his first bid at re-election. Cleveland used the veto pen more than any president prior to that time. He favored the Constitution and weighed each bill as it came to him on its relation to the Constitution and if he felt it was not constitutional vetoed it! So he vetoed a lot.

As to the quote above, he got into trouble by vetoing hundreds of requests for pension grants for Civil War Veterans. These had already been rejected by the Pension Bureau, a bi-partisan council made up of war veterans and others. Congress had overturned these rejections as its constituents pled their cases to their congressmen and reissued the pensions. But Cleveland felt that Congress had no constitutional right to overturn the Pension Bureau, considering those rejected pensions to be pork, and vetoed them. He also vetoed the Texas Seed Bill, which provided seed money to Texas farmers whose crops had been ruined by drought. That made him more unpopular. The final nail in his re-election coffin was his favoring low tariffs, which many felt contributed to an economic decline at the end of the century. (Low tariffs did not... what actually did was bank failures due to loosely administered, easy-loan policies. Sound familiar?)

He was true to his principle that the gubment should not support the people. And that the people should be free from gubment influence as much as possible.

Where is Cleveland when we need him?

P.s. As a classical liberal, I am very liberal in my economic thinking and very conservative politically. But you already knew that, didn't you!

The Greedy Hand Of Government

"Beware the greedy hand of government, thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry."

Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

One of the most influential Founding Fathers, as regards the populace anyway, was Thomas Paine. He has been called, variously, "a corset maker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination."

His famous (or infamous) pamphlets did much to sway public opinion at the onset of American desire to separate from British tyranny.

Having little influence on the Continental Congress or the writing of the Declaration of Independence, his pamphlets were read aloud in groups large and small. We forget, or were never taught, that barely a THIRD of the populace was really behind a revolution! One third was totally against it and worshiped the crown, and another was apathetic.

OUR REVOLUTION CAME ABOUT BECAUSE OF ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF THE POPULATION! And Thomas Paine has a lot to do with that group's fervor!

What we forget is that this group of early Americans had to deal with real tyranny! Not the soft, albeit ever-encroaching, tyranny that is affecting us today. His life was influenced by a self-absorbed, power-hungry, king and Parliament that had no ears to hear its subjects complaints.


We are experiencing a soft tyranny today. One which is indeed thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry.

And what gives our three branches of checking-and-balancing gubment the opportunity, or even the over lording ability or "right," to make it so difficult for business to conduct BUSINESS?

Simple! A misused clause in the Constitution, like the "commerce" clause, has grown so beyond its original intent that its legislative use and influence would be unrecognizable to Paine. He would certainly write a pamphlet on that!

An activist court (at all levels) that makes law, rather than interpreting it, because it would not be passed if left to the populace to do so legislatively. Our courts have also grown in power unrecognizable to Paine. He would certainly write a pamphlet on that!

A press that has become the virtual voice of one arm of gubment, intending to influence rather than report. And that part of the press that does try to report is reviled as "reactionary," "dangerous," or "treasonous." It tries to destroy some for minor this and that, while excusing or failing to report others they find "favorable" after major thises and thats! The press has gotten to the point where it is NOT free, and its power would be unrecognizable to Paine. He would certainly write a pamphlet on that!

Today Thomas Paine would for sure be considered a PAIN to our increasingly tyrannical gubment!

Where is our Thomas Paine today? In gubment? On the radio? In industry? Writing our children's textbooks? We need one! WE NEED SOME COMMON SENSE!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


"You can travel from one end of the industrialized world to the other and almost the only people you will find engaging in backbreaking toil are people who are doing it for sport. To find people whose day's toil has not been lightened by mechanical invention, you must go to the non-capitalist world."

Milton Friedman

When many people throw around the word "capitalism," they do so probably not understanding what the word means in an economic sense.

It does NOT mean money, or the accumulation thereof.

Capital is something that improves productivity. Productivity is defined as output/man hour.

If my company utilizes mechanical equipment to produce a road, it will do so quicker, more cleanly, with less waste and with a better final product than a company that utilizes man power and shovels. And no matter how many men that other company employs! And my company will, therefore, be employed to build more and more roads, requiring more and more equipment, and more and more skilled operators to handle the increased demand. We will ALL get richer! And so will the communities around us that we serve as they are able to move about more quickly providing their goods and services to others in the community.

Why has the west grown rich? Because its inhabitants are smarter, stronger, better educated, and better able to make money and improve living standards?

Of course not!

The west has grown rich, and the United States has been the city on the hill, a beacon demonstrating how, because it chose a political system (liberty) that best matched the economic system (free-market economics) to produce that wealth and living standard. We have employed the development of capital - or CAPITALISM!


We are experiencing just such a struggle at this very moment in this country's history. We are "led" by a committed socialist, who might be better described as a colonial African, who really does intend to change this country's economic system into something else altogether -- something that WON'T work. THAT was the dream of his father - the destruction of the United States and its economy. Will this system he seeks succeed? Has it succeeded anywhere at any time? Of course not!

The richest 8 or 10 countries in the world, those with the best living standards and which produce the most wealth for its people, are those with economic systems that are the closest to Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations concept, circa 1776, of an invisible hand guiding voluntary exchange and the distribution of produced goods and services. The 150 or so countries with the least economic output and the lousiest standards of living are those dictatorships with economic systems the furthest from Adam Smith's model.

So why the struggle to actively take this country, the United States, away from the economic model that made it so strong and so great? The word was used above - CONTROL.

And don't think for a minute that is not the objective...

Are We Rome?

"Whether ancient or modern, monarch or republic, coin or paper, each nation descends pretty much the same slippery slope, expanding government to address perceived needs, accumulating too much debt, and then repudiating its obligations by destroying its currency."

James Turk and John Rubino

If you study economic history, this lesson is repetitive and redundant. Currencies are slowly devalued and then destroyed.

The result? Economic stagnation, hyper-inflation (as too many dollars go about chasing too few goods and services produced), unemployment and high interest rates.

Why is this lesson never learned?

Are we smarter, better educated, more informed or simply more modern than past societies that their lessons don't need to be learned again?

Ostensibly we pass family values to our children so each generation does not need to keep re-learning the same lessons over and over. How come we don't seem to learn, or want to learn, from history?

We are dug into a hole now that mathematically we cannot get out of. What we have done to ourselves simply has to be repudiated and changed back to what got us here and not what will destroy our society from here.

If you study the history of Rome you see many frightful comparisons to us and our world. Much of our society is based on Roman ideas! Are we Rome? It looks to me as if we are trying real hard to be.


"He is base - and that is the one base thing in the universe - to receive favors and render none."

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

This is a poet choosing a word that describes what he wants to say.

Look up the word "base." It is a noun and an adjective.

In my Oxford Dictionary there are nine definitions for this word as a noun. As I read the definitions, it is obvious that he intends for us to understand the word as an adjective.

There are three such definitions, but one applies to precious metals. I am sure that is not what he intends.

The other two are instructive, however:

1 without moral principles, ignoble
2 of low social class

Ignoble is an interesting word too. Oxford thinks that means "not honorable."

So, to be "base," one is immoral and not to be honored and lowbrow.

The older I become, I realize that societies do not line up left or right, liberal or conservative, right or wrong, big gubment or small gubment, or any such leaning.

I think societies are made up of providers and takers, contributors and drainers, and assets and liabilities.

  • When I hear interviews with people who have no experience contributing, but who want, and want, and want, and, well, let's see, that might not be the right word. Perhaps demand is the right word. Who demand, and demand and demand that something be given them - I think that is "base."
  • When I hear people speak who want to divide and take advantage of division based on something as irrelevant as heritage or skin color - I think that is "base."
  • When I experience people who are more creative about 'using the system,' whatever the 'system,' than I am about what I do for a living, and make more money 'using the system' than I do contributing to the 'system' - I think that is "base."
  • When I listen to interviews with people who feel entitled to my assets, to what I contribute, to what I am trying to provide for myself and family and who think lunch is free - I think that is "base."
  • When I hear people, empty, vacuous people, who, with specious cliches and using words they cannot define, think that the economic system of FREE ENTERPRISE is unfair, or mean, or oppressive, or unfairly divides the skilled from the unskilled with rewards - I think that is "base."


I don't try to take from anybody, I don't scheme to take from anybody, and I don't work 'the system' to get something from others and keep for myself. But I affiliate with a subculture (my church) that strives to give, and serve, and provide when needed, and contribute voluntarily - and when I am in need and someone voluntarily, and lovingly, provides for me - I will accept that offering. I think that offering is "exalted."

I believe in THAT system.


And like Mr. Emerson, I am getting really, really fed up with "base." I am getting really, really fed up with the takers, the drainers and the liabilities. And I am frightened by a society that promotes them as "exalted."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Government Impositions

"As government increases in quantity, our lives decrease in quality."

Joel Miller

This is something that everyone knows who has had to deal with the gubment for any reason. The bureaucracies increase in number, with its offices and officers. The rules and regs necessarily have to increase in number and get more complex with detail. Paperwork and personal responsibility has to increase in difficulty and time requirement as we are all burdened by more and more gubment demands.

Of course our lives decrease in quality!

Every time the gubment imposes anything, it does nothing but make life harder.

One of Jefferson's complaints made in the Declaration of Independence was this: "He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance." We have allowed far more gubment intrusion into our lives than our fore fathers revolted against as imposed by King George III!

Nearly two years ago, frustrated with the continual postal service price increases, I was unable to buy stamps. I wrote a blog about it here. One of the last things I said was, "YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE FUTURE OF HEALTH CARE. THE DIFFERENCE IS, THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE IT SO YOU CANNOT, CANNOT, CANNOT GO TO A PRIVATE PROVIDER FOR CHEAPER, QUICKER AND BETTER SERVICE."

The gubment intentionally makes it so you cannot go to a private provider to get the same "service."

Why would they do that? Because it improves our quality of life?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pioneer Or Plodder?

"There are always two kinds of people in the world - those who pioneer and those who plod. The plodders always attack the pioneers. They say that the pioneers have gobbled up all the opportunity, when, as a plain matter of fact, the plodders would have nowhere to plod had not the pioneers first cleared the way."

Henry Ford (1863-1947)

Why do plodders plod? Because they don't pioneer! Plodders are victims. Plodders think themselves entitled to other's gain. Plodders are blamers. Plodders are whiners. Plodders take and don't give. Plodders destroy and do not create. Plodders get no where fast. Plodders tear down and don't build up. Plodders are never at fault. Plodders put off til tomorrow what could be done today.

Plodders make it more difficult for everybody.

Plodders are everywhere!

Like Mr. Ford says, there are two kinds of people in the world. Free enterprise pioneers. Gubment plods.

Isn't it always the way - the pioneers vs. the plodders... Which are you?

Plodders need to get out of the way!

Living At The Expense Of Others

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone."

Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)

French economist Bastiat's thinking was very important to free market economic thinking. His authorship of The Law is something everyone should read in school. It is small enough that a 6th grader could read it without losing interest.

In our era of entitlement thinking, not new by the way, and gimme, gimme, gimme "economics," nobody seems to remember this teensy thing:


Yes, the word is TAKE.

How many people would walk around their neighborhoods, knocking on doors, and asking their neighbors to just give them money for whatever the purpose? Most people would never do that.

But they would line up all night for the proverbial gubment cheese. Or to sidle up to the gubment sow and start suckling. Not everyone is good at doing that either! But a lot do!

Bastiat's idea that the gubment lives at the expense of everyone is so well said it can hardly be added to.

But consider this: there are a couple of classes of entitlement in our society.

There are those who think they don't need to work to receive. That group is growing in number, percentage and in sound. These are the gimme, gimme, gimme types. They are becoming more and more forward and more and more demanding. They believe in the cliche FREE LUNCH.

But there is another more insidious, and very burgeoning entitlement class. This group is also growing in number and percentage, but they are being very quiet. This group is composed of our "royalty." I define our "royalty" as those who have "served" in gubment and think that doing so should afford them a retirement and every benefit under the sun for the rest of their lives. Not only them, but their families too!

To the first group I would say, as did Bastiat, that there is no such thing as a FREE LUNCH.

To the second group I would say that there is no such thing as a FREE LIFE.


How The West Grew Rich

"The underlying source of the West’s ability to attract the lightning of economic revolutions was a unique use of experiment in technology and organization to harness resources to the satisfaction of human wants. The key elements of the system where the wide diffusion of the authority and resources necessary to experiment; an absence of more than rudimentary political and religious restrictions on experiment; and incentives which combined ample rewards for success, defined as the widespread economic use of the results of experiment, with a risk of severe penalties for failing to experiment. The thematic terms are thus autonomy, experiment, and diversity*."

Nathan Rosenberg & L. E. Birdzell, Jr.

So, did the West grow rich because of the monopolistic and capitalistic preying of large corporations on the masses of the ignorant and uneducated, suppressing their advantages and to gain advantage at their expense?


An underlying economic system of free markets, combined with the politics of liberty and rugged individualism, allowed for immigration which came to take advantage of those things - freedoms economic and religious - to make better lives for themselves than any one of them could have in the repressive places from which they came.

And immigrants came by the millions to take advantage of these freedoms.

* Diversity did not have anything to do with cultures but with the various skills and contributions individuals were able to make to the whole. Each worker, from the coolie to the accountant, made the whole work.

Corporate entities are interactive systems. Every aspect of the macro-system is influenced by what goes on in each of the micro-systems which make it up. One needs a systems approach to make it work.

Economies are interactive systems. Every aspect of the macro-system is influenced by what goes on in each of the micro-systems which make it up. One needs a systems approach to make it work.

And to the extent that bureaucrats and inexperienced gubment whiz bangs think that they can manage and control the trillions of voluntary interactions of each micro piece of this huge macro pie breaks down the whole, and affects it to work less efficiently than it can operate on its own.

Gubment intervention and regulation is to the detriment of all. Wasn't George Stigler awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Economics for proving the same?

Working together from the bottom up we can help get gubment out of our abilities to progress. Yes we can!


Philosophy Of Failure

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."

Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Churchill was a man with a backbone. He came along at exactly the time he was needed. We need more of him today!

He saw a threat, and recognized it as the great threat it could become, and went about with his warning. HE NEVER GOT OFF TOPIC.

How did he recognize this threat? He read a book! The book's title was "My Struggle." It was written by an activist, a community organizer, while he was in prison.

What was his struggle? Hope and change! To overthrow the shackles that bound his country, and the people who administered them. He would bring down capitalism and communism and impose an economic system only he was smart enough to lead - fascism.

And he intended to do so with charisma, "science," (Eugenics) and the occult. Of course he would be The Leader. His order would spread worldwide, and last 1000 years!

Churchill was on message for many years. It wasn't until 10 May 1940 that people finally saw that he was right and felt his strength enough to vote him into office as Prime Minister.

Truly many, many were saved by so very, very few. You and I benefit from this legacy today!

What happened to Churchill? After WWII Great Britain felt the need to make a hard left turn, economically and politically. They saw the fabled FREE LUNCH at the end of the rainbow. Churchill wanted no part of it. And he stayed on message then too!

But, like before, nobody wanted to listen. And he soon had such little value that they cast him off. And thus ended the country's influence, progress, and international contribution. Little by little it fell apart. Was it not for the United States, they would NEVER had had enough production to rebuild after the war.

I bet Great Britainers wish Churchill was still around today...

What Happened To Roebuck?

So, what happened to Roebuck?

Of the famous Sears, Roebuck & Company.

Richard Warren Sears, on the left, made a deal with a watch retailer to accept a scam consignment of watches at a lower price. He then made a second deal with the wholesaler, netted $5000 on his first transaction, and started the R.W. Sears Watch Company in Chicago.

Putting an ad in the paper for a watchmaker, only one person answered the ad - Alvah Curtis Roebuck.

And a partnership was born and in 1893 they co-founded Sears, Roebuck and Company, including a mail-order catalog selling only watches. Sears was 30 years old, and Roebuck 29.

Only two years later, bored with the business, Roebuck asked Sears to buy him out for $20,000. Sears complied. His company, and catalog, expanded. By 1897 the catalog was 500 pages and sold everything, including houses! Retiring in 1908 due to failing health, Sears passed away in 1914. He was only 50 years old.

And Roebuck? He semi-retired to Florida (before air conditioning) and used his money to finance and begin two businesses. He also served as president of the Emerson Typewriter Company, inventing an improved typewriter called "The Woodstock." After financial losses in the stock market crash of 1929 he returned to Chicago.

In 1934 a Sears store manager asked him to make a public appearance at his store. It was such a success and so many people showed up, that the Sears, Roebuck & Company hired him to make public appearances all over the country. He was then employed as a corporate historian. The world was introduced to Roebuck!

And free enterprise? Alvah Roebuck did many different things and always seemed to do what he enjoyed. He was free to begin and manage businesses, employ others and be employed by others. He enjoyed a long, happy and successful life. He was able to come back from adversity and make a great life.


Once when asked about his ex-partner's great wealth as compared to his own modest wealth, he replied, "He's dead. Me? I never felt better." He lived until 1948 to the age of 84!

Being Siphoned By Politicians

"Most of the people in the upper income brackets are not rich and do not have wealth sheltered offshore. They are typically working people who have finally reached their peak earning years after many years of far more modest incomes - and now see much of what they have worked for siphoned off by politicians, to the accompaniment of lofty rhetoric."

Thomas Sowell

And thus we have the term "tax and spend."

And why not? It is other people's money after all. Or even better, it's the gubment's money!

How does it work?

First comes the "lofty rhetoric." We need STIMULUS!

Second is the constitutional appropriation of funds - Congress! Driven by "the agenda," the media helps with the sale. Minds must be converted and um, consciousness awakened!

Money will be spent on SHOVEL READY JOBS! We need to shore up and replace CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE! We must rebuild OUR SCHOOLS, take care of the CHILDREN, the ELDERLY, and the OPPRESSED AMONG US. We need to BEAUTIFY OUR PARKS, and PRESERVE THE ENVIRONMENT for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Well, we could go on, couldn't we!

And where does the "STIMULUS" end up? As it turns out there are no SHOVEL READY JOBS. And it's a shock to the purveyors of the STIMULUS! The CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE continues to crumble. SCHOOLS are not built or rebuilt (except by local gubment entities, at local expense, via bond referendums so the costs can be kicked down the road for future gubment patrons to pay MORE money for). The CHILDREN, the ELDERLY and the OPPRESSED AMONG US continue so, and amazingly grow in numbers for convenient future "lofty rhetoric." PARKS and the ENVIRONMENT worsen so more taxes and fees can be assessed to fix that burgeoning crisis!

Where the the "STIMULUS" money actually go? To constituencies and constituent groups!* And it's not even all spent! No, there are future constituent needs that will need money too. Money must be reserved.

Spending since 2006 is out, out, out of control and can NEVER be paid for.

The debate now is on "cutting." Will there be cuts? We just had a compromise with MASSIVE and DRACONIAN cuts. They amounted to the equivalent of someone earning $360,000 cutting $.50 from their food budget.


What "lofty rhetoric" will we be hearing in the coming months? The RICH are not paying their fair share! We must close this MONSTROUS DEFICIT! And the cycle will begin anew!

That never reduces deficits. But the purveyors of the "lofty rhetoric" already know that!


But the purveyors of the "lofty rhetoric" already know that too!!

Why do that when the dream of someone's father can actually be realized!

* Including the party faithful, union loyalists and electioneering boards.

Is A Factory A Temple?

"The man who builds a factory, builds a temple."

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

This is the same president who said that the business of business is business. And he got the gubment out of the way.

If gubments could create jobs, they would all over the world!
If gubments could lower profit margins, they would all over the world!
If gubments could regulate more efficiency and production, they would all over the world!

But alas. They cannot.

But they can stultify business activity with stupidly onerous regulation, and tax policies, and quota demands, and benefit package requirements.

But what is this temple thing Mr. Coolidge brings up?

What is a temple? It is a sacred place of worship. It is comprised of the best materials to honor the Deity it announces. It is intended to last. It is an attractive place for people to come, and feel, and grow and progress personally.

A factory is a temple?

It is insofar as it employs capital and people in ways that cause growth.

A factory is the essence of capitalism. It is capital! It is able to make things more efficiently and with less effort. In greater numbers. With greater economies of scale. With greater quality control. In ways that gain ultimate advantage over those who do not employ such capital.

In doing so, it employs people. Who come to contribute and earn. Who improve their own economic lot with livelihood and participation. Who could not otherwise utilize their skills, or develop their lack of skills, to where they are able to do these things to gain in an economy that is designed for such growth and development.

And as this factory/employee interaction gets more efficient and grows, more profits are derived that can be used to grow further, and employ more people, and improve production to serve a broader economic segment more cheaply and quickly.


Do you know what the definition of "windfall profits" is? These are profits earned without doing anything to earn them. Kind of like gubment tax policy, which intends to take more and more of the entrepreneur's labor and sweat.

The only entity in society that derives WINDFALL PROFITS from anything in any way, is not the evil corporation, or corporate owner, or provider of the corporation's product, but the gubment itself.

And the gubment erects NO temples. It tears 'em down!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Objectionable Profits

"The liberals consider profits as objectionable. The very existence of profits is in their eyes a proof that wage rates could be raised without harm to anybody. They speak of profit without dealing with loss. Profit and loss are the instruments by means of which the consumers keep a tight rein on all business activities. A profitable enterprise tends to expand, an unprofitable one tends to shrink. The elimination of profit renders production rigid and abolishes the consumer's control."
Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)
Profits are votes. Consumers vote every day in many ways concerning many goods and services. Goods and services have productive life cycles. Some things get replaced through technology and advancement - Joseph Schumpeter called that "creative destruction." Others get replaced by the same good or service being provided a better way.

I am self employed. Therefore I am a capitalist. My capital is my trade and skill at providing it. I do not like loss. I LIKE PROFIT. Profit, what money I make over and above what it costs me to make it, is what allows me to eat, provide for my family and stay in business. I like that flexibility and control. Profit keeps me in business.

Government "Help"

"Government "help" to business is just as disastrous as government persecution... the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off."

Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

That was one of the three platform pledges of one Ronald Reagan - to "get government off our backs." Our national prosperity is based in private property. Once acquired by the government, and made "public," private property is no longer prosperous. Public acquisition of private property, be it land, taxes or even in the employment of people, reduces the public wealth. And that, in and of itself, reduces freedom for all.

People are private property? Their liberty and productivity is! And once supported in their lives by the private sector their contribution to the productive capacity of our economy is nearly zero.

Needless Bureaucrats

"When your money is taken by a thief, you get nothing in return. When your money is taken through taxes to support needless bureaucrats, precisely the same situation exists. We are lucky, indeed, if the needless bureaucrats are mere easy-going loafers. They are more likely today to be energetic reformers busily discouraging and disrupting production."

Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993)

When did Dr. Hazlitt deliver this prescient gem? 1946!

And believe me, in 1946 we did not have the huge numbers of bureaucrats, of any stripe, that we have now!

And of what we have now many, MANY are in fact "needless," and NOT "easy-going loafers." They are advocates and redistributionists.


Can we doubt that? No. When we hear things like, "We will allow you to have this," and "we will let you keep that," we know exactly what they think, and who they think, we are.

AS anything, particularly an organization based on the organizational theory of bureaucracy, grows, it must necessarily get more and more inefficient.

AS it gets more and more inefficient it demands more and more support.

AS it takes more and more support it saps the life blood of the means by which it survives.


Please don't vote in 2012 unless you vote smart. I kind of like my blood.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Imposing Freedom

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."

William Pitt (1759-1806)

The youngest person to be elected British Prime Minister, Pitt had it right!

How often do we hear that we "need" this program or that program? We "need" to take care of this group or that group. We "need" to sustain or increase this or that entitlement? We "need" more and more and endless regulation.

Why do we "need" to do these things? The reason isn't to provide! The reason is to infringe.

Statists cannot bear individual freedoms. Statists cannot bear to allow more personal freedoms. Statists cannot bear for people to think for themselves, provide for themselves, take care of themselves.

Why? Because there is no power in such for the statist!

The true aim of the statist is power. The aim is always power.

Freedom implies, demands really, a lack of control. Well, we can't have that! That countervails the soft tyranny of statism! Perhaps more than a mere countervail.

Freedom CANNOT be imposed. Slavery has to be.

Think of all that has been IMPOSED on us lately! And all that simply cannot be paid for...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Distinguish Yourself

"Distinction is the consequence, never the object of a great mind."

George Washington

The thought, "Build a better mouse trap and the whole world will beat down your door," comes to mind here!

The very essence of capitalism, as born by the free market, is innovation and distinction. The freedom to bring a new product to market, or to market a product in a different, more efficient, way, is the very thing that made the west rich.

And particularly the United States.

Few realize the great entrepreneurship of George Washington. He is emblematic of the greatness the freedoms this country offer in terms of his business savvy and visionary entrepreneurship.

Only 11 when his father died, he was the youngest boy in the family and so his inheritance was not much. The family was not rich, but not poor either, but still, in fact, lacked the funds to give young George a formal education!


When finally inheriting Mount Vernon from his brother Lawrence, his first step in entrepreneurship was to abandon the most common cash crop of his era, and Virginia. That crop? Tobacco.

Everyone was producing tobacco, so much that by 1766 prices had gotten very low. Too low for a profitable return. He had to make a decision. He needed a commodity in demand, but would also fetch a good return.

The entrepreneur George Washington chose WHEAT! And he needed good wheat, one that was distinguished from other wheat crops. He needed better wheat.


Washington also had a fishery. He lived on the banks of the Potomac River! It was full of fish! Shad, herring and other fish, Washington put together a small navy of rowboats and large nets. According to the Reynolds Museum at Mount Vernon his group netted 1.5 million fish! He sold the good parts at market, and reserved the inedible portions of the fish for fertilizer! This fertilizer was used on his wheat fields.

It became quite the cash crop. In 1771 he replaced a deteriorated grist mill his father built. He ground his wheat there, as well as wheat from the other farms around Mount Vernon. He also planted other grains and when returning to Mount Vernon after his presidency, he improved the grist mill in 1791.

What did he do when he retired from politics?

Washington built a distillery in 1797!

And what did he do with his new found distillery?


According to one Virginia magazine, he produced whiskey, "rye, malted barley and corn were mixed with boiling water to make a mash in 120 gallon barrels." That was probably a continuous source of cash! The Mount Vernon Foundation was awarded a grant from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States in 2007, and the distillery reopened. A few times a year Mount Vernon's visitors can purchase whiskey produced from his original recipes and generated from this distillery.

George Washington's entrepreneurial spirit, no pun intended, saw a need and went about filling it as best as his abilities would allow. That is the very essence of free enterprise and free market economics! He had the spirit of so many of our Founding Fathers, who simply MADE IT HAPPEN. THEY DISTINGUISHED THEMSELVES!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Voluminous Laws

"It will be of little avail to the people that laws are made by men of their choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood ... that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow."

James Madison

Having written a document so profound yet concise, so easily understood yet intentionally misconstrued, so "experimental" and yet so enduring as the United States Constitution, we do not have to speculate as to what Mr. Madison would think of the crap coming out of Congress today! These "laws" are so voluminous that Congressmen do not even read them before signing them. It is all done behind a curtain.

And to think that you and I are supposed to not only know what is in these various oppressive documents (called laws), but are expected to obey them to the letter. Clearly there is a "ruling class" in our great "experiment," which class will kill the goose that has laid Mr. Madison's more than two-centuries old Golden Egg.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Too Much Government

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government"

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson read a lot of history. He was familiar with peoples, societies and historical circumstance. He read the philosophes and the politicians of times past. And I think he understood human nature.

A government that has to pass some humongous bill so all can see what's in it is bad government. Politicians who cannot understand, and do not read, these same kinds of huge, citizen-smothering bills they vote on and pass comprise bad government. A government that creates with these bills new bureaucracies upon new bureaucracies which must be funded by the private sector is bad government. A government that also crushes its citizenry with regulation after regulation, complicated living, demands for compliance of this and that law which are not written to protect but to control, is bad government.

Good government facilitates living and doesn't make it more difficult.

One of my favorite complaints Mr. Jefferson set forth against King George III in the Declaration of Independence was this: "He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance."

What do you think Jefferson would be writing today?! How would he, and the other Founding Fathers, who started a war over much, much less taxation and regulation, be thinking today?! And how would they vote?!