Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Pain, The Pain

Televangelist Oral Roberts once told his followers that unless they gave him 4.5 million dollars, the Lord was going to "call him home". He got away with it.

Barack Obama once told his followers that unless they gave him 700 Billion dollars in "stimulus", they were going to suffer an economic disaster. I bet he gets away with it. (The massive spending on the right side of this chart is supposedly a cure for the bad things on the left. LOL.)

BTW, Obama's top economic experts, Peter Orszag, Jared Bernstein, Christina Romer, Larry Summers, and Austan Goolsbee have ALL resigned. They came in, ripped off the Treasury, and got the hell out. There are some stains that they don't want on their resumes.

And yet there are still true believers who can't see it. No matter how likeable Oral Roberts and Barack Obama are, there really is such a thing as a con game. Admitting that you've been taken really does hurt.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Your First Time

Ladies, ladies, ladies....
I tell you all the time when your boyfriend/baby-daddy/significant other has done you wrong and you're late for work....

You need to find somebody who isn't going to run up your credit cards, spend a third of your paycheck before you ever see it, and get in fights with everyone in the neighborhood. Especially in Middle Eastern neighborhoods.  

You need someone who will give you a choice.  In everything. 

You don't need a Chicago Machine con artist. 

You need you some Gary Johnson. 

Here's the latest ad from the girls in Barack Obama's stable, and it's the most bizarre thing I've seen in a long, long time....  They say he's going to treat you right, don't they?  But how's he been for you the last four years?  Men ALWAYS pound on the door when you've locked 'em out, and they always promise to change, don't they? 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Equal Pay For Equal Work??

I watched a little bit of the baseball highlights, and started thinking about....The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. 

MLB baseball salaries are all over the place.  Some players have deferred compensation.  Other contracts are front-loaded, and some are heavier toward the end.  A lot of them have performance clauses. 

Pick two Major League Baseball players whose performance/results are closest.  You'll have a helluva time finding them, because of hitting, throwing, fielding and base-running differences, but try anyway. 

Once you've found two that are remotely close, look at how long each has been in the league. 

Then look at how long each is likely to remain in the league. 

Then look through the newspapers and try to learn if they're equally good leaders in the clubhouse. 

Find two players who are identical.  Equal.  The same. 

Then look at what they're paid.  I bet the pay rates aren't even close. 

There is no such thing, anywhere on earth, as equal work for equal pay.  People aren't the same, no matter how much our government Lords'n'Masters want them to be. 

But apply this same little test to your workplace.  Pick out someone else who does your job, but who is really, really bad at it.  Now, prove that you're better than him. Convince your boss that you deserve to be paid more, and that he should take the risk of giving you more money.  Prove beyond all doubt that you're better than the slacker. 

Will your proof hold up in court?  Maybe, maybe not.

Get ready to be paid the same as the slacker.  The Law Of Unintended Consequences is going to kick your ass. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A quick note to waitresses, waiters and bartenders

Robert Samuelson, one of the House Economists at The Washington Post, has penned a quick and dirty hit on ObamaCare. 

The points he makes are similar to the ones our company president made in a management meeting a week ago.  Namely, ObamaCare is going to change our lives.  For the worse. 

The Law Of Unintended Consequences is going to be a major factor here.....

Here's Samuelson:

Just recently, the Internal Revenue Service issued an 18-page, single-spaced notice explaining how to distinguish between full-time and part-time workers under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). The difference matters, because the act requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide health insurance for those workers. At the same time, no company has to buy insurance for part-time employees, defined as those working less than 30 hours a week.....

Let me interrupt here....  They're not going to let anyone chop a 500 employee company into 10 smaller companies with 49 employees each.  We've already checked. 
This alone is proof that ObamaCare is going to be a drain on the economy.  No business owner is going to hire employee number 50 without lots of prayer and fasting. 
It's also proof that the President Of The United States flunked Economics 101 at Occidental College.  You can look it up.  Having never held a real private sector job, he doesn't understand incentives.   

Obamacare has faded as a campaign issue, perhaps because it doesn’t suit either the president or Mitt Romney. It’s not popular, a minus for Barack Obama. Its resemblance to Romney’s Massachusetts program is a minus for him. But Obamacare’s relentless march to full-fledged introduction in 2014 demonstrates that, for all its good intentions, it will make the health-care system more confusing (see here), costly and contentious. It won’t control health spending — the system’s main problem — and will weaken job creation.

One more interruption....  Things are expensive when they are scarce, relative to demand.  ObamaCare doesn't eliminate the scarcity of doctors, nurses, or drugs.  It only eliminates the scarcity of IRS worker/drones by mandating that we hire another 16,000 of them. 

Consider the treatment of full-time and part-time workers as an object lesson.

Exempting part-time workers is a concession to practicality. If companies had to provide insurance for all part-time and seasonal workers — often unskilled and poorly paid — the high costs (a worker-only insurance policy can run more than $5,000) would eliminate many jobs or inspire mass evasion. On the other hand, exempting too many “part-time” and “seasonal” workers would make achieving near-universal insurance coverage much harder.

I think we're gonna see "mass evasion".  Remember this, oh waitresses, waiters and bartenders....  You don't claim all of your tips and income on your taxes.  If our Lord And Savior Jesus Christ was a bartender, he wouldn't claim all of his tips on Caesar's taxes.  So don't get all pissy if your employer tries to save some money on taxes. 

So there’s a balancing act: preserving jobs vs. providing insurance. The problem isn’t small. In September, 34 million workers, about a quarter of total workers, were part-time, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the bureau defines part time as less than 35 hours a week; Obamacare’s 30 hours a week was presumably adopted to expand insurance coverage. There are now 10 million workers averaging between 30 and 34 hours a week. To the bureau, they are part-time; under Obamacare, they’re full-time.

So do you think your employer is going to leave you at 35 hours a week, just to satisfy the mandates of this crazed bastard?  Or do you think he's going to cut you to 30?  Remember this, watresses, waiters, musicians and bartenders....You don't claim all your tips on your taxes.  You want that money.  You don't want John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and Barack to have it.  So what's your employer going to do???  He's going to do the same thing you do.  End of story.  He will not give the government any more money, for the same reasons that you don't. 

Employers have a huge incentive to hold workers under the 30-hour weekly threshold. The requirement to provide insurance above that acts as a steep employment tax. Companies will try to minimize the tax. The most vulnerable workers are the poorest and least skilled who can be most easily replaced and for whom insurance costs loom largest. Indeed, the adjustment has already started.

But...But...But....when I voted for Obama, that's not what I thought would happen !! 
Yeah, yeah, I know.  It was really cool to vote for the hip, fit, multi-racial guy and make history.  You've made your point.  Now you can make your point by staying home on November 6th. 

As first reported in the Orlando Sentinel, Darden Restaurants — owners of about 2,000 outlets, including the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains — is studying ways to shift more employees under the 30-hour ceiling. About three-quarters of its 185,000 workers are already under, says spokesman Rich Jeffers. The question is “can we go higher and still deliver a great [eating] experience.” The financial stakes are sizable. Suppose Darden moves 1,000 servers under 30 hours and avoids paying $5,000 insurance for each. The annual savings: $5 million.

I just finished reading Keith Richards' autobiography.  Fascinating book.  Scattered throughout are accounts of how he and the other Rolling Stones have a masssive roster of lawyers and accountants telling them where they can live, rehearse, and record (and for how long) because of the tax implications. 

This isn't evil.  It isn't selfishness.  It's why you don't report all your tips on your taxes.  You believe, like Keith Richards, that you are the best at spending your own money.  And this includes charitable contributions. 

As a reaction to Obamacare, this makes business sense, but in other ways, it doesn’t. Waiters and waitresses going below 30 hours a week will lose income. They make about $15 an hour with tips, says Jeffers. A server who drops five hours would lose $75 a week. Although some servers under the limit might increase their hours and incomes, jobs will become less attractive because earnings will be effectively capped. Turnover, already 50 percent annually, might rise, as would Darden’s training costs. On average, servers receive 35 hours of training, says Jeffers.

Here's something from the preface to "Anthem", a short novel by Ayn Rand:

The greatest guilt today is that of people who accept collectivism by moral default; the people who seek protection from the necessity of taking a stand, by refusing to admit to themselves the nature of that which they are accepting; the people who support plans specifically designed to achieve serfdom, but hide behind the empty assertion that they are lovers of freedom, with no concrete meaning attached to the word; the people who believe that the content of ideas need not be examined, that principles need not be defined, and that facts can be eliminated by keeping one's eyes shut. They expect, when they find themselves in a world of bloody ruins and concentration camps, to escape moral responsibility by wailing: "But I didn't mean this!"

Those who want slavery should have the grace to name it by its proper name. They must face the full meaning of that which they are advocating or condoning; the full, exact, specific meaning of collectivism, of its logical implications, of the principles upon which it is based, and of the ultimate consequences to which these principles will lead.

They must face it, then decide whether this is what they want or not.
So, do you want it?  Better hurry.  You've got two weeks to decide between an Obamney or Gary Johnson. 

Many companies, especially in the fast-food, retailing and hotel industries, will explore similar changes. Some workers will resent the limits on their wages. Others will think that companies have illegally denied them insurance, even though the IRS guidelines permit much flexibility in calculating who exceeds the 30-hour limit. That’s why the IRS notice is so long and complex. Still, some firms will cheat; enforcement will be hard.

But government bureaucrats and the insurance companies that they're demanding you purchase insurance from?  They're going to do well. 

The argument about Obamacare is often framed as a moral issue. It’s the caring and compassionate against the cruel and heartless. That’s the rhetoric; the reality is different. Many of us who oppose Obamacare don’t do so because we enjoy seeing people suffer. We believe that, in an ideal world, everyone would have insurance. But we also think that Obamacare has huge drawbacks that outweigh its plausible benefits.

Would you support Jimmy Swaggart's Healthcare Plan?  Please list the reasons you wouldn't.  Those are the reasons to oppose ObamaCare. 

It creates powerful pressures against companies hiring full-time workers — precisely the wrong approach after the worst economic slump since the Depression. There will be more bewildering regulations, more regulatory uncertainties, more unintended side effects and more disappointments. A costly and opaque system will become more so.

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  There are huge penalties associated the 50th employee.  There are huge penalties associated with hiring ONE full-timer. 
You must face it, and decide if this is what you want or not. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wasted Votes Vs. Wasted Time

I live in Texas. 
Mitt Romney is going to carry Texas by something like 9% - 15%. 
That's what's going to happen this year. 

Some Texans will still go to the trouble of voting for Obama, and a vote for Obama isn't a wasted vote.  Their Obama votes still send a signal that they tolerate certain giveaways, particular forms of graft, Middle-Eastern wars, and Prohibition. 
You can say the same for a vote for Romney. 

The election isn't decided by number of votes.  It's decided by which states are carried by each candidate, and their collective Electoral College totals. 

If a Texan voted for Barack Obama in 2008, he sent a signal about his preferences, but had no impact on the election.  If ZERO Texans had voted for Obama, it would've changed nothing.  Texas went for John McCain.  Therefore, 38 Electoral College votes went to McCain.  None went to Obama.

If a Texan voted for John McCain in 2008, he sent a signal about his likes and dislikes, but had no impact on the election.  McCain carried Texas, but lost the Electoral College vote.   

That's what's going to happen this year.  Mitt Romney is going to carry Texas.  As best I can tell, neither Obamney campaign has spent any money here except to raise more money to spend in states that are close.  There are almost no Romney or Obama bumperstickers on Texas vehicles this year.  (I honestly think both sides are embarrassed, but I don't have a dog in their hunt....) 

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming are the states where Romney is so far ahead that there's absolutely no chance of Obama carrying those states.  Those places are redder than my neck.  Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas aren't quite as lopsided, but Obama wins there would be considered a miracle. 

The states that still matter are Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Wisconsin.

So if a voter in a truly "Red" state votes for Obama, is he wasting his vote?  Well, that depends on why he's voting for Obama.  If he's a civil libertarian, he's possibly voting for the party that's supposed to be better on civil liberties, but hell, look at Obama's record.... massive drug raids, domestic spying, Patriot Act, deportations, and allowing corporations to run up massive debts on your bar tab.  He's been horrible.  IMHO, Barack Obama has been our worst president on civil liberties since Nixon. 

I don't think this hypothetical red state voter is necessarily wasting his vote in Texas.  But he is wasting his time.  Yeah, he's sending a signal, but it's a weak one.  There are better uses of his time than sending out a weak transmission that he prefers one Statist over another.  He's using a shovel instead of a bulldozer.  He's drinking from a thimble. 

If you are a Texas (or any other reddish state) civil libertarian, there's really only one way to send a strong signal that you're tired of the domestic spying, the Patriot Act, raids on medical marijuana dispensaries, kids having their lives and educational opportunities destroyed for owning trifling amounts of weed, NDAA, indefinite detention, Monsanto in the FDA, Fast And Furious, and all the rest, I hope you'll consider voting for Gary Johnson. 

Is Gary going to carry Texas?  Hell no. 

Is Obama going to carry Texas?  Hell no. 

That's not the point. 

Please stop voting for the lesser of two evils, and please stop wasting your time.  Send your signal in favor of Gary Johnson.  Hit the link to see Gary's positions on every issue that matters.