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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Punishing Productivity, Rewarding Unproductive

--posted by Tony Garcia on 11/29/2012
I have said that onerous tax rates punish and disincentize production.  I have said that the job killer in a society is corporate taxes and taxes on the wealthy. If you give people something for free they have no reason to earn that freebie.  Well, voting for the people that continue the handouts does not count as "earning" the handouts. As discussed in this article a mother on welfare is better off than a mother earning $60k.
[T]he single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.
That is over $27,000 in handouts! Include the tax breaks (the lower tax rate that is being paid is a break) and the benefit comes out to over double the lower salary's gross income in handouts! Someone has to pay for that. And no matter how you slice it up it is not a fair system. What is frightening is how heavy the load actually is.
For every 1.65 employed persons in the private sector, 1 person receives welfare assistance. For every 1.25 employed persons in the private sector, 1 person receives welfare assistance or works for the government.
That is ridiculously unfair to the productive members of society. Worse, it is penalizing the more productive person while rewarding and encouraging the less productive person. The effect of that penalty is that we reward the less productive and remove the power of the productive to be more productive. Think about this...if the $69k mother were not paying so much of the load of taxes then she could afford things like a housecleaning service to help around the house ($100/week) and the lawn care service ($50/week) and maybe even a few extra trips to the movies with the kids ($60/week for a family of 3). That is what extra productivity is being stolen from anyone is working and being successful in our society. Big government lovers continue to want to expand the group hooked on freebies meaning they want to decrease the size of the group that works and eventually the system will eat itself as the working group will be supporting others more than they can support themselves. And in that system why would anyone want to work when you can be better off bleeding the others who work?

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

And This Is Surprising To Whom

--posted by Tony Garcia on 11/20/2012
Media Bias.  It is a given now, isn't it?  And it is a given that the media is slanted overwhelmingly to the Left.  It is a given in magnitude and in quantity. But I give this who think that bias is not there or that exists in equal parts for both directions.
Media coverage of President Barack Obama was largely positive in the final week of the presidential campaign, while coverage of Mitt Romney was mostly negative, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. From October 29 to November 5, positive stories about Obama in mainstream media outlets outnumbered negative ones by 10 percentage points, with 29 percent positive, and 19 negative. On the other hand, negative stories about the GOP nominee Mitt Romney outweighed positive stories by 17 points, with 33 percent negative compared to 16 positive.
Of little surprise, MSNBC was arguably unethically super-biased.
MSNBC's coverage of Romney during the final week (68% negative with no positive stories in the sample), was far more negative than the overall press, and even more negative than it had been during October 1 to 28 when 5% was positive and 57% was negative. For Obama, meanwhile, the coverage improved in the last week. From October 1 to 28, 33% was positive and 13% negative. During the campaign's final week, fully 51% of MSNBC's stories were positive while there were no negative stories at all in the sample.
Media Bias.  It is a given now.  And it is a given that the media is slanted overwhelmingly to the Left.  It is a given in magnitude and in quantity.

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Leave Retail And Go Into Medicine

--posted by Tony Garcia on 11/20/2012
I wonder why the fuss is made for only Thanksgiving. I mean people don't seem to give a shit that places are open on Independence Day or Veteran's Day or Hanukkah or New Year's or Christmas. And in the end I don't have any sympathy for people who work on any of those days. If you are tired of working on holidays then get a different job in a different industry. It is like the asses who buy a house on the flight line next to the airport and then piss vinegar about the noise. Shut up! You knew what you were getting into. People's indignation over this makes me laugh. The poor souls in retail who have to work Thanksgiving. Here is the advice they should be given: "Get a job outside retail. I hear the medical industry is growing." ************** UPDATE ************** I love Wal-Mart more for this and hope they fire all employees who participate in these walk-outs or protests.
Wal-Mart is taking legal action against its organized labor opponents, filing an unfair labor practice charge over widespread protests at its stores across the country -- as well as rallies planned for Black Friday, considered the biggest shopping day of the year. The company filed a complaint on Thursday against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, claiming the labor union -- one of the nation's largest -- has unlawfully disrupted business by staging protests at Wal-mart's stores and warehouses around the country over the past six months.
I think we can also say that this is another example of the union's strongarm efforts at bullying businesses to succumb to the will of the union. Union thugs want their membership increased and are insistent (militant even) about bullying Wal-Mart, the largest private employer worldwide, to allow unionization. These stands that Wal-Mart takes are the reasons my loyalty grows stronger for them every year...and, yes, I am a convert from the hate-Wal-Mart crowd.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Why Unions Suck, Part 4

--posted by Tony Garcia on 11/16/2012
I have long maintained that unions useful this as long past. They go on strike for little reason, they stay on strike at their own detriment, and they are usually out to make a point rather than look out for the best interests of their membership. They certainly do not care for society in large. In St Paul, for example, the union thought it was better to go on strike rather than have a pension cut and as a result Ford close is the entire plant. Stupidity marks the unions actions. Greed beyond all greed marks the unions actions. The latest tragedy is the death of Hostess.  Gone are Twinkies, Wonder Bread and Ding Dongs.
Hostess, the makers of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business after striking workers failed to heed a Thursday deadline to return to work, the company said. “We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” Hostess CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said in announcing that the firm had filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to shutter its business. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”
Unions...can't live with them, can't live without them. And no one can say they were not warned.
Hostess Brands Inc. had earlier warned employees that it would file to unwind its business and sell off assets if plant operations didn't return to normal levels by 5 p.m. Thursday. In announcing its decision, Hostess said its wind down would mean the closure of 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes and 570 bakery outlet stores in the United States.
And heaven forbid any of the members of the union decide that is better for themselves do you go to work rather than stand outside holding a sign and picketing for ridiculousness.
Rayburn, who first joined Hostess earlier this year as a restructuring expert, had earlier said that many workers crossed picket lines this week to go back to work despite warnings by union leadership that they'd be fined.
Again, I say that the unions are not interested in what is good for their membership but what is instead a good for themselves. And its infinite wisdom this union just worked refused to work its members and several other unions' members out of 18,500 jobs.


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Wal Mart, Black Friday And Stupidity

--posted by Tony Garcia on 11/16/2012
It appears that people believe they should control the decisions of a private company. The idea is as ridiculous as me thinking I should be allowed to control the actions of a neighbor. When a business decided they want to be open on a holiday nobody seems to care about it except on Thanksgiving. The indignation is kind of ridiculous, there is no mass protests for being open on the Fourth of July, there is no organized hate directed at places like the University of Minnesota for being open on Veterans Day, and there is no outcry when restaurants or gas stations or convenience stores are open on holidays. The indignation seems to be reserved for Thanksgiving. Having worked in retail I have one thing to say to all the people that believe it is an act against humanity to have a store open on Thanksgiving: get a different job! I know exactly how crappy it is to be working on a holiday. The 1 that always got me was having to work on New Years Eve during the countdown. It was, in fact, that crappy feeling that made me decide to get out of retail within the next year. It is quite a simple concept. If you don't like the conditions of your employment then change employment. So when I hear about workers at Wal Mart planning to do a walk out on Thanksgiving Day the only thing that comes to my mind is that I hope they are all fired on the spot.
A group of Wal-Mart workers are planning to stage a walkout next week on Black Friday, arguably the biggest holiday shopping day for the world's largest retail store. ... The union-backed groups OUR Walmart and Making Change at Wal-Mart, and a watchdog group Corporate Action Network, are calling on the nation's largest employer to end what they call retaliation against employees who speak out for better pay, fair schedules and affordable health care. On Black Friday, the organizations expect 1,000 protests, both at stores and online.
Just fire them. It is a private company, there is no union ruining the company, there is no reason to put up with this kind of insubordination. If the workers are so unhappy that they feel it is necessary to walk out, keep on walking. In general, I am not a supporter of Black Friday simply because I believe it brings out the worst in people. Cut prices on everything and people will buy crap that they don't need, don't want, and can't afford. But if people are dumb enough to follow that kind of stuff then who am I to stop it. I generally stay away from Black Friday. This year however I will be going to Walmart to make some purchases and hopefully tell some of the protesters exactly where I think they should go...to a different job.


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Growing Secession Protest

--posted by Tony Garcia on 11/15/2012

Before continuing with this discussion let's get a few things clear to ensure we understand a few of my premises.

First, no reasonable person should believe that these petitions for secession being filed at the White House's "We The People" website have any chance of action. They also will get nothing more from the President than some respectful platitudes of how we will "have to work together" (read 'you will have to sacrifice your beliefs in the name of compromise while I won the White House and will compromise by giving up very little') and that it is important that the petitioners' voices are heard (read 'you had your chance to whine now shut the f*** up'). Detractors will pass the movement off as only sour grapes, but there is some importance to these petitions. Blowing it off as sore losers is dangerous.

Second, if a state actually started action to secede then I want to be right there. At this point I believe we are skirting on the verge of "Government becom[ing] destructive" and that the Government cogs have forgotten that it they are "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed". Pro-expansion of government people have forgotten that the government that provides everything must take it all from others...and eventually the consent of those others, no matter how minority they are, will go away.

Finally, while I hope for a secession movement to actually move forward and do so as peacefully as practical, I am not confident that it will be peaceful. It may even result in another civil war. But freedom is never free and always costs blood to retain. A price, though, that is not too steep for the fruits of freedom itself.

As of yesterday there were seven states that had collected over 25,000 signatures on the online petition at the White House's website. That threshold is what is needed to earn a response from the President.
The petition filed by Texas residents has racked up about 100,000 signatures. Six others from Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee have collected 30,000.
It is nothing new for people to say they are leaving the country because of how an election goes. Look at the number of Hollywood geniuses who promised they would leave (and sadly never did follow through). The difference here is I believe most of these people are willing to take action as well...or demand action. With Texas amassing over 100,000 signatures already it is a likely possibility that there will be pressure on state legislatures to actually engage in action. The actions may fail to move far at first in the Texas legislature but the pressure will continue. People will dismiss the actions and demonize those engaged in it (look at how respectfully the Tea Party groups are treated even by the media, much less the opposition). There will be hateful speech (un-prosecuted hate speech, by the way) against the secessionists. But with growing and continual pressure (which will get amped up as Obamacare's and other federal impositions effects become more real to the individual) the actions will start getting close to success (close to passage in the legislature, becoming an actual campaign issue for Texas gubernatorial races, etc). And then we can look back at this warning.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
The "evils" from the federal government are reaching a point of not being sufferable to a large portion of the population. Think about the percentage of Great Britain's population that the Revolutionaries represented compared to the entire United Kingdom. Compare that percentage to what you have as of right now where over 675,000 people have signed secession petitions.

These are all a protest and nothing more at this point. But when the media so dramatically covered the Occupy protests (held by people who claimed they spoke for half of a nation that didn't support them in any manner) some people actually thought the Occupy movement's size warranted attention to their complaints. At best count (which unfortunately comes from Wikipedia, so the validity of the size may be overstated) the movement peaked at 75,311. Even if adding in an extremely generous doubling of the median for the locations reported without a figure (median = 100, no figures for 263 locations) the movement's peak numbers were just over 101,000. And that collection of give-me-everything-without-working-for-it-myself was given credibility based solely on their numbers.

The secession signatories are so far easily over 600% the size of the Occupy protests at it peak. Listen to that group or risk a terrible collision course within the next 10 years.

Heed the warning of the Declaration of Independence quoted above, "...when a long train of abuses and usurpations...it is their duty, to throw off such Government..." And heed this warning from me. Dismiss the secessionists now at your huge peril later. Trample on them too much now and you will hasten the collision course for actions towards secession.

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Economy Reaction To Obama Reelection Update

--posted by Tony Garcia on 11/15/2012
Obama won his re-election and what was easy to predict for years is coming to fruition: labor cutbacks directly attributed to Obamacare.

The health care overhaul and nationalizing takeover will go into full effect as a result of Obama winning the White House in 2008. While repeal was a very remote possibility had Romney won (people believing either way that the election would have a direct say in repeal or not were easily fooled and undereducated on how the system works), there was a chance of delay or having court challenges to the bill not be defended against by the Romney administration.

But Obama won. There is not any chance of any delay or partial defeat of the onerous and freedom-hating bill being implemented. At least the guess work is gone...it will happen. It already is happening.

Business are laying people off. Businesses are reducing full time equivalents and cutting hours. This was all predicted and I imagine the only ones who are surprised are the Obamacare supporters who don't run their own business that have employees to provide health care for. Business owners should not be surprised that many companies are finding it necessary for survival to reduce their workforce and reduce their employees' hours. People against Obamacare are not surprised by the reaction.

The latest in the line is Wal-Mart having to increase the employee share of the group health premium.
Wal-Mart Stores increased the share employees pay for its medical coverage programs 8% to 36%, depending on hours worked and pay, saying it expects health costs to continue rising.

Like other large employers, Wal-Mart is trying to manage costs while at the same time preparing to meet strict rules mandated in President Obama's health care overhaul, commonly called ObamaCare.
Don't undersell the significance of this.
Wal-Mart, the world's largest private employer with some 1.4 million employees globally, said in a mailing to employees that for its most popular plan, which covers individuals, the bi-weekly paycheck deduction would increase 13% to 23%, or $2 to $11 per paycheck.
That is the world's largest private employer responding to such drastic measures (increasing employees share of costs to up to 36%) as the initial response.
Nearly two-thirds of Wal-Mart's employees sign up to cover only themselves.

But the company said because of offsetting cost reduction moves the average rate employees pay will only rise about 4.4% in 2013, vs. an estimated 9% average increase for all U.S. workers, according to human resources firm Aon Hewitt.
The new law also mandates that parents ensure coverage for their kids well into their 20's. This will result in a lot of parents being forced to add their deadbeat children onto their health plans. The stat of 2/3 of Wal-Mart employees covering only themselves will drop. More employees will have family coverage which costs more. If it costs more to the company it will cost more to the employees in both premiums, slower wage increases (already 1/2 of the national average) and in hours reductions (meaning even more people will be dropped to below hours requirements that will give them benefits).

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Gift Wrapped Election - Conservative Catch 22

--posted by Tony Garcia on 11/15/2012
One of the reasons Romney lost the election, according to Romney, is because of the gifts given out to various groups within the populace.
In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups. [...] With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift. Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents' plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.
I agree wholeheartedly with that assessment. But it is not anything new. Consider the whole concept of amnesty to illegal aliens is an attempt to buy the votes of millions of "new citizens". And I know it worked that way. I had a landlord whose citizenship was owed directly to amnesty by Reagan in 1986 and he would repeatedly tell me that he will always vote Republican as a result, as would his wife.

It is an old tactic. Consider this hypocrisy from the anti-lobby as well as the people who regularly want corporate America to have fewer and fewer rights. Corporate America and lobbyists are routinely attacked for getting things from Congress in exchange for their financial support. But it is the same thing that Obama (and plenty more before him) do...give something to a group for the tacit acknowledgement of an exchange for that group's vote.

What the problem for a true conservative is lies in the very belief of smaller government and reducing spending. How do you convince someone who is getting freebies (at the expense of the rest of the nation) to vote for a principle that would require productivity from the freebie-beneficiary? "Hey, vote for smaller government even though it means you will lose all of your handouts and would actually have to work as a result."

Not an easy sell.

Or the other side of the coin, the proverbial 'hard place', is to join in the give-a-way game. Start buying votes like Obama has effectively done for the past 4 years. Then that will grow the budget, grow spending (which every Republican and Democrat Congress has done anyway, so calling any Congress "conservative" is a laugh) and growing the size of government. In essence this strategy is rooted on sacrificing the very principles that identify you to enable you to win so you can enact principles that identify you. But to maintain winning you will have to maintain sacrificing the principles that identify you so you can continue to win while giving lip service to the your "principles" that used to identify you.

Yes, the Democrats routinely buy votes. It is no secret and it is nothing new. The only scandalous part is that the hate-business crowd mysteriously loses their principled indignation when the "buy votes" coin goes in favor of their party.

The real rub is what strategy can conservatives employ that maintains their principles and can win consistently against the purchased votes?

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Agenda 21 - Attack On Sovereignty

--posted by Tony Garcia on 11/12/2012
In case you have not heard about it before I thought I would mention something now. One of the scariest things from the United Nations (and something that we may eventually succumb to given the pro-globalist leanings of our President) is call Agenda 21.

The reason it came to mind for me now is that I recently saw an ad promoting this horrific thing. The text of the advertisement:
For millions of years this lake thrived, but now it is dying.
Poisoned by humans who put themselves above nature.
It's time to stop the killing.
It's time to heal the planet
It's time to remove your footprint.
Agenda 21 is coming soon.
That's right...follow that advertisement's logic (as it is presented by the text, rightly or wrongly) which says that Humans should not be above the planet and humans have a footprint, but it is time to remove footprints. In other words, remove humans for the sake of the planet.

I know what the Church of Global Warming will say to the breakdown of the ad's logic. "We want humans to remove their carbon footprint." That, however, is not much better. "Remove", not "reduce" (which I also find objectionable), is the word being used. It is foolish to think that every word in the ad was not chosen deliberately. "Remove" the carbon footprint.

No more cars, planes, trains or ships; no more cell phones, television, movies or electricity and probably not even the oil known as "heating oil". No more commercial farming which means if you can't farm it yourself you don't eat it. Well, unless you have the currency of trade in a society that takes major steps backwards.


This is all in the name of the false god that the Church of Global Warming members worship: Ma Earth hot flashes. This is all driven on broken science assumptions and unsettled science. Somehow the congregation believes it is right to send the world back to the Stone Age because through some sort of miracle they can predict temperatures down to the tenth of a degree hundreds of years into the future of weather when they still cannot even predict earthquakes or even next month's temperatures within 1 degree.

Scary. Well, scary to people who love freedom. Warm and fuzzy to the people who hate freedom, technology and civilization.

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Business Hostile, Race Relations Edition

--posted by Tony Garcia on 11/12/2012
Picture this (and I am speaking out of personal experience). You have a team of co-workers. The racial makeup (which is not at all relevant to the performance of the individuals) is 1 black, 1 Hispanic and 5 white. Now of those 7 people the top positions are held by the black and Hispanic who have oversight over the entire branch (not just the team). One of those two people performs in an above-and-beyond manner consistently. The other one shows new standards for sub-standard performance and results on a consistent basis. The union protects the sub-performer and has for over a decade. While this would be another example of why unions suck that is not the concern of this post.

Now imagine what the performance reviews would look like for years upon years. What would the disparity in the merit raises be? What kind of a gap in pay would there be after 5 years? 10 years?

Thanks to the shortsightedness of 1/2 of the country this year Obama will now get the chance to create another business hostile policy.
President Obama intends to close "persistent gaps" between whites and minorities in everything from credit scores and homeownership to test scores and graduation rates.

His remedy — short of new affirmative-action legislation — is to sue financial companies, schools and employers based on "disparate impact" complaints — a stealthy way to achieve racial preferences, opposed 2 to 1 by Americans.

Under this broad interpretation of civil-rights law, virtually any organization can be held liable for race bias if it maintains a policy that negatively impacts one racial group more than another — even if it has no racist motive and applies the policy evenly across all groups.

This means that even race-neutral rules for mortgage underwriting and consumer credit scoring potentially can be deemed racist if prosecutors can produce statistics showing they tend to result in adverse outcomes for blacks or Latinos.
What this means is that in the above real life example when the chronically under-performing employee complains about the salaries between her and the other person in a top position there could now be a case for the Obama Administration to pursue it.

Disparate outcomes are a part of a free society. In fact, to try to get rid of disparate outcomes (when opportunities are equal) is the absolute antithesis of a free society.

Let's extend the example now. Because of either threat of lawsuits or fear of lawsuits the employer decides to match the salaries. What is the motivation of the super performer to not only continue to super perform but to even meet minimum standards when sub-standard is going to get the same pay?

The take away from this story (and the example) is two-fold.

First, Obama's administration and his supporters are hostile to business. This was known by a few before the 2008 election but it was en vogue to vote based on race (and fear of being called racist by dishonest intolerant people likely effected quite a few people as well). This was known very well by 2012 and yet people still supported him. The rational conclusion is that the business hostility was a trait that Obama 2012 supporters wanted (and why they accepted the idea that their votes were "Revenge" as Obama stated).

Second, Obama's leanings are not capitalist but more towards a Chinese or Soviet communist/Marxist beliefs. Everyone must be equal and if everyone is not then beat down the ones who are performing too well. Fits very nicely into the union mentality as well.

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