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In the human mind, the fact that things that are easy to understand aren’t worth knowing is spelled out in a human trait that is the death of intelligence. Belief.

Belief is a brain shunt. It keeps humans from going through the mental exercise of having to learn. As Simon Perez once said, “It’s easier to remember than it is to think.” Belief works the same way.

Belief is why people follow leaders.

Belief has infected people so severely that many can’t imagine thinking any other way. One particular football fan once said to me, “well, if you don’t follow Buffalo who do you follow?” I said, “nobody, I just watch the games.” He told me I was a lair. “You MUST FOLLOW somebody.”

People who lead are entrusted. Entrusting is giving away your freedom to think.

Trust means you don’t have to think, all you have to do is follow. This is why the people with the largest groups of followers are typically, stupid. This has led to the concept they call populism, which is hero-worship in drag. This includes rock stars, actors, politicians and tele-evangelists.

This is why we say a person pays attention. There is a price for following and often that price is high.

Our current moron at the head of the march is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a woman so clueless, she makes Bernie Sanders look smart. Cortez has floated a number of economic ideas that are so brainless, they should be written in the style of Doctor Seuss.

It’s easy to believe that if one person has money and you give it to someone else, you are creating fairness. That people who are rich should “pay their fair share.” Or that rich people “cheat.” It’s easy to believe that we “owe” the native Americans because they were here first.

Jeff Bezos is one of the richest men on earth.

But when people say he’s worth $131 billion dollars, that’s just plain ignorant. Stock isn’t money. If Bezos tried to sell even half of his stock, the price of Amazon stock would go into freefall. In doing so, it would destroy people’s 401-k’s. Amazon stock in a key holding in almost every stock mutual fund on the planet.

But to Cortez, and an army of brain-dead believers, this is a pool of money they can use to right all wrongs.

It’s also why asset confiscation doesn’t work.

Let’s look at the examples.

  • Stalin confiscated land. Food production fell so rapidly, he killed 20 million people so he could feed the rest.
  • Zimbabwe confiscated land. The people starved.
  • Canada nationalized Dome Petroleum. They went bankrupt.
  • Chavez confiscated its oil assets from companies. They went bankrupt.
  • New York raised taxes, enacted confiscatory policies and the people of New York sue their employers at some of the highest rates in the world. Result? New York can’t even bribe people to go there.

Asset confiscation destroys wealth and spreads misery.

Today’s democratic believers are in the same boat the Republicans were when they elected the moron George Bush.

Bush couldn’t pronounce the word nuclear. He once tried to give Angela Merkel a neck massage in a conference with hundreds of attendees. He claimed to be a brave patriot after dodging the draft and going AWOL. He then started a war funded with a tax cut against one of the few countries in the entire middle east that didn’t have ties to 911. His most famous quote, which no one wants to admit hearing was, (when referring to Putin) “I looked into his eyes and saw the man’s soul.” Cute. So biblical.

Putin must have spit his Vodka all over his wife’s face when he heard that zinger.

This is the pain of being a follower. (believer) The amount of shit one has to eat; the hypocrisy, gutlessness and endless wagon-loads of cow manure turn people into groveling losers.

I call this follow the loser strategy “Tom Brady syndrome.” People believe that Brady, the last person drafted in his draft class won 17 AFC titles, 9 AFC championships and 6 Super Bowls by cheating. And all the while they’re hating Brady, they’re following THE LOSER.

This is the price you pay for being a follower.

In 1899, Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem entitled “The White Man’s Burden.” It’s considered one of the most racist poems ever written.

In the 1980’s I worked in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi’s didn’t, even though it’s their country. Saudi’s don’t work, they drink tea. An interior ministry study found that the average Saudi works 27 MINUTES A DAY.

The West found the oil, drilled it, shipped it, refined it and sold it to ourselves and gave them the money. In fact, we gave it to them in American dollars that they could spend anywhere in the world. In return, they arrested people who worked there for having Christmas trees, bribed our politicians, financed the terror attacks on 911 as well as Al Qaeda in Iraq, and gave Hillary Clinton $200 million.

But just as it’s easy to believe capitalism “works”, it harder to see that it doesn’t. Capitalism destroys small business and regional economies. It also causes excessive bank lending leading to bubbles.

The biggest threat to the world today is not communism it’s unrestrained capitalism.

Communism is dead. There are only a small handful of communist countries. But people think because capitalism survived, it works. In evolution, we call this survival bias yet in economics we call it winning. Go figure.

Dozens of countries today rely on imported food and energy. They pay for this by borrowing money they can’t pay back. It’s easy to believe it’s their fault, but that’s like believing unwanted pregnancy is somebodies’ fault. Running an economy based on a brainless idea that people are going to do the right thing is almost as stupid as believing you can create wealth by confiscating assets.

Capitalism is failing in spades because the big trading cartels have succeeded.

Markets rule the world, and now we have unconstrained population growth and a massive increase in artificial GDP. Billions of people who used to live on rice and pulses (beans) are living on meat and cheese. People are bigger, eat more and shit more. This means pollution reins supreme.

The third world is wallowing in untreated shit.

In the last 8 years, world production of chlorine and caustic soda, used for water treatment, has gone up 80%. India has increased it’s population by the equivalent of half the US population since 2006 and only 15% of Indians shit in a toilet connected to a sewer.

If you want to see a holocaust, every year 350,000 Indian children die of diarrhea.

We know this, we see this, but we ignore it. We follow “leaders” who sugar coat facts because it’s easy. But remember, things that are easy to understand aren’t worth knowing.

All hating Tom Brady means is that you’re following a loser. Idol worship is stupidity in drag. Capitalism works so well the world is on the brink of total collapse.

But hey, isn’t it better than communism?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Is New York finished?

The question, ‘Is New York finished,’ may best be answered with a quote from the movie Gladiator. One of Russel Crowe’s generals asks, when facing a beaten Germanic Army, “Doesn’t an army know when they are beaten?”

Crowe answers, “Would you know? Would I?”

When I tell people that large swaths of New York have more poverty than Medellin, Colombia, they think I’m full of it, but this is essentially why I believe New York is finished. Large tracts of NY are total squalor. Entire towns are falling apart. Populations are being decimated and schools are closing, though no one seems to see this.

I have been in dozens of cities around the world and only Mumbai is as decrepit as Buffalo’s west side, which is why I believe New York is finished.

As governor Cuomo has stated, the incentives that Amazon was offered to build its facility in Long Island would cost the state nothing since 90% of the offer was refundable tax credits based on the number of jobs created and the average salary. Also, the rest of the grant would easily be made up by increases in property taxes.

Accounting is about matching income and expenses.

Amazon’s $1.3 billion in refundable tax credits would be spread out over the life of the business, which means New York would yield back about $150 million a year in direct income taxes on wages and shell out about the same in credits. Those jobs would put $3 billion in annual wages into Long Island.

The credits are high because New York’s taxes are in the stratosphere.

It’s sad that morons like Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders don’t see this, but these two spoiled malls rats never see anything. The United States are just that; states that are united in a federal system, which means each state has its own tax structure.

New York used to deserve higher taxes because it had better transportation and educational systems, but that is hardly the case today.

This is one reason why New York is finished. New York’s high schools and colleges are, at best, average, yet few people in New York seem to understand this. New York has some of the most poorly ranked colleges in America, yet New Yorker’s still brag about their education system!

This is the kind of hubris we are accustomed to in England, not the USA. After the London tube terror attacks, a very famous British broadcaster boasted, “we stared down the Germans…” I was stunned. They didn’t stare down anybody. The Germans kicked the fucking crap out of England. England lost almost all of its colonies, including Canada and Australia. They lost India and eventually lost Hong Kong. Singapore and ended up begging the US for money because their people were facing mass starvation.

As Vladimir Putin once said, when commenting on the British evacuation at Dunkirk, “this is the first time an Army declared victory after running away from its enemies.”

How is this any different than Ocasio-Cortez declaring victory after Amazon pulled the plug on moving to New York?

British history was written by Brits, but when you read it written by Indians, it’s entirely different. The Brits lost Singapore even though they had 4 to 1 numerical superiority. In fact, they surrendered. According to Indian historians, they simply wouldn’t fight, being accustomed to living a life of luxury with their Indian maids and servants.

How is this any different than New York. Sitting behind its massive treasure trove of fiat money from Wall Street, they don’t need to fight, and rather than compete to get an Amazon, they run away. Their politicians are money skimmers with no real accomplishments. They are taking a victory lap after losing the battle. It’s been estimated that two-thirds of New York’s immigrants are on welfare.

Yet we all sit back and watch Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders take a victory lap.

And compare this to their victory lap about stopping acking. The US has 300,000 oil and gas wells. Tens of thousands of those are fracked. The US is literally swiss cheesed with pipelines, but where is all this so called ‘environmental degradation?’ As usual, more banal stupidity masquerading as intelligence.

New York has become the ‘no you can’t’ state.

As New York has eliminated its oil and gas industry, an industry that made New York rich, they have lost tens of thousands of VERY high paying jobs and billions in taxes and royalties. They desperately need this money to fund their state teachers, police and firefighters pension plans.

Why does it surprise us that they ran Amazon out of town?

They also ran out IBM, GE, a dozen steel plants and tens of thousands of affiliated businesses. Today, in New York, it’s easier to sue an employer than to find a job. This drop in business and decimation of rural New York has caused a sharp drop in population, which means they are about to lose 2 house seats.

Can the idea that New York is finished be any clearer than in the open support of South American socialists?

Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia was paraded around as if he was the next Roosevelt. He won the Nobel peace prize, and within a year, Colombian cocaine production was at an all time high, their jails were emptied, and the crime rate skyrocketed. Hollywood actors stood in line for photo ops with Hugo Chavez. Within a decade, they went from being rich, to starving. They destroyed what is one of the largest oilfields in the world. Now are South America’s largest source of new drug dealers, prostitutes and refugees.

The Berlin Wall wasn’t built to keep people out.

It was built to imprison them. Think of that while you read this. In fact, liberals are always trying to build walls to keep their people in. A few examples are…

  • In NY, you pay sales tax on sales out of the state and have to declare them on your tax return. Fail to declare is felony tax evasion. You can’t leave even when you leave.
  • In New York, it’s illegal to buy cigarettes on the Native American reservations. You can’t “leave’ to buy cigarettes.
  • In many New York cities you must live in the tax municipality where you work. Another wall.
  • In New York, if you are here for any reason, you pay taxes on money you make in other places, even out of the country.

The next steps to solve the pension problem will be to deny pension payments to people who move out of state. Believe me, it’s coming.

This is how socialism works. It works because, contrary to Trump’s wall, which will keep people out, socialists create hundreds of berlin walls to keep people in.

This is why New York is finished. People don’t want to be imprisoned.

 

 

Global Climate Change is just one thing. (1) explained below. Our biggest problem is pollution. We can beat pollution. Here’s how.

  • Eliminate all take-out food containers. Pizza boxes, cups, all of it. Too much of it ends up on the sides of the road. Trash day where I live looks like a tsunami hit. We have to face facts. The world is flooded with garbage.
  • Double the 5-cent deposit. If that doesn’t work, quadruple it. Homeless people dig through the garbage here and leave it all over the streets because NOBODY IS RECYCLING.
  • Pass a law making it illegal to advertise fast food on television like we have with cigarettes. (2) explained below

  • Build priority bike paths. (Don’t say we can’t. They have them in Boston) No cars can drive, park or cross them.
  • All imported appliances must have a ten-year quality guarantee. (3) explained below.
  • Severely restrict the use of hydrocarbons in products. (4) below.

  • Replace the US income tax with an across the board 25% tax on imports. A 10% consumption tax and eliminate imported food entirely. (5) below
  • Balance the US federal budget and start paying down the national debt. (6) below
  • Ban imported cell phones, computers, and flat-screen displays.
  • Declare global macroeconomics a type of kiddy-porn and treat it as such. (7) below

Most people do not have a global view of pollution and its cause; unrestricted bank lending. In fact, most people, including professional economists don’t understand even bank lending, much less hydrocarbon chains, mining, steel production or the population explosion. Politicians, lawyers in drag, try to attract attention by passing laws and taking stances they don’t understand. It’s the blind leading the blind.

The world is going to crack, and people are going to be in pain.

The “capitalists” who believe the markets are going to solve our problems are every bit as clueless and Sanders and Cortez, they just sound a lot smarter. We are going to instigate draconian laws and controls because people simply can’t control themselves.

Every problem has a solution. That doesn’t mean we’re going to like it.

Notes:

(1) As Vaclav Havel once said, climate change is political. It is. The biggest problem we face is not warming, it’s pollution. Specifically, we have two countries where you can’t drink the water. China and India. Only 15% of Indians shit in a toilet attached to a sewer. I have an Indian friend that CARRIES WATER BACK TO INDIA when he visits his family.

(2) Fast food is destroying the planet.

In poor neighborhoods, the streets are strewn with garbage. We have “recycling” centers that are the size of auto plants. That said, paper with polymer films (Food bags) can’t be recycled. 70% of recycled paper ends up in landfills. Fast food commercials target the poor and the stupid. The vast majority of that shit shouldn’t be eaten at all. I have a friend who won a free Big Mac every week for a year and he told them to keep it. Most fast food isn’t even food, it’s just neurological stimulants.

(3) There’s a concept in accounting called depreciation. It’s the useful life of a product.

40 years ago, a washing machine cost $200 and had a 20-year useful life (and could be repaired.) That means it cost you $10 a year… a pittance even then. Today, a washing machine costs $800, last 5-7 years and can’t be repaired. This is true across the spectrum.

(4) 25 years ago, according to firefighters, if your house started on fire you had 40 minutes to get out. Today, that number is less than 20. The amount of hydrocarbon in a house is stunning. The sheathing, siding, roof, rugs, gutters, window frames, trim. paint, driveway, furniture, I could go on all day. Houses today are like Roman Candles.  We’re blanketing the world with long chain, volatile and highly flammable hydrocarbons.

(5)  Americans consume too much. I find it hilarious that it’s considered liberal to conserve. One might think a conservationist would be conservative, but not in the US. It’s not just that we consume to much, but we are not paying for the shit we import. That’s what a trade deficit is. It’s buying shit you don’t pay for.

Were that not enough. too much of our imported food and drugs are not safe.

(6) In 1996, a group of economists convinced Al Whore… excuse me, Gore (Clinton never really bought onto the idea) that we should eliminate long term treasury bonds and replace them with short term treasury bills. (I know, this is heady) They sold this as a way to save the government money as bills and notes have lower interest rates than bonds. But their REAL reason was far more nefarious.

Foreign central banks cannot use bonds as reserves, because they are too volatile. (in price) A bank cannot take capital losses on bonds or it becomes insolvent. So in order for our free trade gurus to kick start unlimited trade, they had to create a worldwide reserve currency, they dropped interest to near zero. The fact is, this only works if the USA had a budget deficit.

This topic is heavy and hard to fathom. Free trade doesn’t work because, like Santa Claus, it doesn’t exist. The primary cause of global warming is this… UNRESTRICTED DEFICIT SPENDING CAUSED BY BANK LENDING)

(7) 100 years ago, economists, including Marx, measured things like full employment deficits and labor trends.

Along came John Maynard Keynes. After getting wiped out in the 1929 crash, he decided to start a new career as an investment advisor. He invented a thing called the monetarist school, whose focus is on monetary aggregates. These are things like GDP, inflation and target rates.

The whole idea that you can run world economies by measuring and manipulating monetary aggregates is so absurd, that a person would have to be developmentally disabled to believe it. This explains why they are ALWAYS WRONG. Economists are wrong 85% of the time, 35% worse than a coin toss.

Even the 75-year-old virgin Oracles at Delphi were more accurate than these clowns. In fact, if one has no education, no experience, no common sense and a tie, there are three places where a person can look like a genius. They can be a chiropractor, a preacher or run a global macroeconomics blog. No matter how much babble you produce and how bad your predictions are, you won’t be any lamer or any less accurate than guess who?

Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke or Janet Yellen.

 

 

 

 

Why are we having this conversation, AGAIN?

Years ago, when I lived in Dhahran, we had a store behind the compound where the TCN’s (Paki’s and Indians) shopped. It had things they are, curry, chilies, rice, dates, yada yada.

I had never been inside, so I walked in, looked around and was leaving when the proprietor stopped me.

“Oh sir, what are you looking for?”

“I was looking for canned soup,” I said. The store was small and had no canned anything. In fact, they didn’t have any processed food.

“Oh sir, I am sorry, what kind of soup do you want?”

“Progresso, bean and macaroni soup.”

“Come back tomorrow, I will have it for you.”

The next day I waltzed in and there it was, a case of Progresso bean and macaroni soup on the shelf between what looked like dried yak ears and something a witch would put in a hex bowl. Amazingly, it was the same price that it was in Houston when I lived there.

This is why capitalism works. It creates EQUALTY.

Anyone, anywhere on earth can buy the same quality canned soup at the same price. You don’t get better Progresso bean and macaroni soup if you’re rich. You get the same fucking can, take it or…. Leave it? No, you have a million other choices. Let’s make a list of places where only the wealthy can buy Progresso bean and macaroni soup. Venezuela, Belorussia, the old Soviet Union, India 20 years ago, Myanmar… see the pattern?

The only places where you can’t buy shit are the places that claim everyone’s equal.

Geez, what if you can’t afford Progresso bean and macaroni soup? In most western countries, the capitalist, profit-seeking pigs will GIVE YOU THE MONEY.

Socialists are so stupid, they’re not worth listening to.

Here another question. When the Soviet Union fell, all their companies went bankrupt. How much money did the average Russian lose in his 401-k when their stocks became bankrupt? ZERO! They didn’t lose anything because their companies, like the products they produced, were worth nothing!

You can bet your capitalist ass that if Apple, Microsoft, and General Mills go bankrupt (General Mills makes Progresso bean and macaroni soup) you’re going to hear some bitching.

But doesn’t capitalism create a huge disparity between the rich and the poor?

No. It produces disparity between the insanely rich and the perpetual bitching class. The poverty level in the USA is $26,000 a year for a single man. This is more money than 95% of the people in the world makes. The average poor American has more living space than the average middle-class person in 90% of the world.

America is the only place I’ve ever been where people are supposed to give money to drug addicts. I had a guy ask me for “spare change” last week and he was holding a cigarette and a $4 cup of Starbucks coffee. You have people in America that are begging for money in front of businesses that have help wanted signs on the window.

The best capitalists to me were Linus Larabee and Big Jake McClintock.

In the movie Sabrina, Bogart said, (to paraphrase) “What’s money got to do with it? It’s progress. A factory is built, homes go up and some poor stiff who never had a dime now has a dollar.”

And in Big Jake, John Wayne says,

“What are you thanking me for?”

The young man he just hired says, “For giving me a job.”

And Jake responds, “I’m not giving you anything. You’re going to work, and I’m going to pay you. That’s the deal.”

Back in the day, people thought like this. They knew that you don’t help them by coddling them and feeling sorry for them.

It’s true in America some people fail. In Socialist countries, everybody fails.

Years ago I went to East Germany, before the Berlin Wall fell. It was an interesting phenomenon, If you went from West Germany to East Germany, you were called a vacationer. If you went from East Germany to West Germany, you were called a defector, and you were shot!

As I said, Socialists are morons.