My Thoughts on the Bin Laden Killing

May 10, 2011
  • I have to give President Obama credit.  He could’ve done three things.  (1) Nothing because it was too risky politically.  We’ll call that the Bill Clinton choice.  (2) Bombed the hell out of the place, killing lots of other people and destroying any proof of death; aka the George Bush choice.  Or (3) gone in with special forces in a daring raid, also known as the “Jimmy Carter that went right” choice.  Obama, correctly, chose #3, despite the huge risks.  If something had gone wrong, and we had another Black Hawk Down event, with the economy in the tank, Obama’s presidency would’ve been over and Al Qaeda reinvigorated.  Took big guts for him to make that call.
  • On the Friday before the assault, during the UK Royal Wedding, I commented to my wife that I had heard nothing about terrorists threats or security measures, etc.  While I’m sure security was tight, I remarked how inconsequential Al Qaeda had become.  Amazing what another 72 hours meant.
  • A football analogy…it’s not game over yet with Al Qaeda, but it’s late in the 3rd quarter and we’re up 34-10.  Yeah, could they grab a few turnovers, run a kickoff back and get in the game.  But most of us are switching to another game.  We’ve won this war.
  • The Obama administration really messed up the messaging after the operation.  It’s ok to say you killed an unarmed terrorist mastermind and show us the pics.  We can handle it.
  • This bump will not last for Obama.  It’s a great success, but doesn’t fix the economy.  However, it does show that Obama is willing to make tough calls.  He can use that, tangentially, with fiscal matters.  The problem is, he doesn’t want to.  He likes the government the way it is (big).  He has political capital with no market to spend it in.
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$9 Billion Jobs Program Fails The Poor —- in India

May 8, 2011

No matter where it’s tried, big government make work job programs always fail to bring the poor out of poverty.  This time it was India’s turn.

This is because people – and we are the “economy” – don’t value digging ditches and filling them back in.  Until someone offers something of value to others, he will not earn more money and climb out of poverty.

Petition to Redistribute GPA Scores

April 29, 2011

This video is awesome!

Somehow, if you work hard to earn money, well, it’s perfectly fine for the government to take that money from you and redistribute it to people who didn’t earn it.

But, my grades?  Oh, well, that’s different.  Those are my grades, I need my 4.0.  I earned….

Yeah, exactly, it’s the same thing!

Making People Disclose Who They Are Violates Free Speech

April 29, 2011

Yes, if the government forces you to reveal yourself when making speech against said government, that’s a violation of the 1st Amendment.

Think about it.  If you knew your mother-in-law didn’t know what you were saying, you’d probably be more honest.

Same concept.

Great Collapse: a hyperinflationary great depression

April 29, 2011

Ok, now Shadow Government Statistics is scaring me with this report on a hyperinflationary great depression. 

Essentially – the government is monetizing the debt, killing the dollar, for a deficit we can’t afford anyways.  All leads to a massive, Weimar Republic type collapse…soon.  Like in the next 12 months.

What’s scares me about this is its using statistics and data to verify what I’ve heard other people I trust who say the same thing.

Correlation is powerful.  This is scary.

BTW, the WSJ is starting to see this too.

Losing Jobs = Recession

April 24, 2011

Specifically, there is no such thing as a jobless recovery. If jobs are being lost, the economy still is in recession

Great line in this analysis of how bad GDP numbers are manipulated.

Alternative Fiscal Deficit and Debt – Scary Stuff

April 24, 2011

I am loving Shadow Government Statistics.  Very interesting reading.

One scary page was the 2010 Financial Statements of the U.S. Government.  The US government uses cash accounting – something a small business of 1-2 employees would use.  Meanwhile, in the real world, any company with more than 10 people uses GAAP accounting (or accrual accounting).

With GAAP, if you owe money in the future (like, umm, social security checks) to someone, you have to call it out on your financial statements now.  With companies using GAAP, this call-out usually becomes a liability (aka debt).  This attempts to clearly shows investors what the company’s future looks like.

But the federal government doesn’t do this.  If it accrues liabilities (like Obamacare or Medicare for baby boomers), the Feds don’t include these future debts in the financial statements. They just count the cash in and cash out in one year.  Like a babysitting business would.

This year, the Federal government ran a cash deficit of $1.294 Trillion.  An already disgusting number.  But, what if we required the Feds to use GAAP (just as GE, WalMart, and any other business does).  Oh, in that case, Shadow Government Statistics estimates the deficit this year at $5.3 Trillion (4X HIGHER!).

And what if we did this into the future?  Well, in that case, our already disgusting federal debt of $14.2 Trillion explodes to $76.3 Trillion in current dollars.

Who’s got that in their savings account?

This Guy is a Nut….But….

April 24, 2011

he does have the right to protest.

Requiring a multi-thousand dollar bond and installing other hurdles smacks of first amendment violations.

Give him his protest…to show how stupid it is.  Shame is a much more powerful weapon against these types of people.

The Really Smart Phone – Changing Our Understanding of Society

April 24, 2011

A very interesting – and possibly scary – WSJ article on how the massive amount of data created by mobile devices is being used by scientists to better understand how individuals make hundreds of decisions each day.

One of the failures of liberalism/socialism/etc was the belief that a group of really smart people in the government could figure out exactly what millions of people needed and then use government policy to deliver those needs.  This was always a fallacy since there is no way – except for God – for a smart person to know exactly what millions of people need and want.  It’s just impossible.  Thus, liberalism fails.

But, enter the smart phone.  It tracks your every move, knows things about you, knows who’s around you, and can prompt you for more information.  Take all that data and run it through massive computers and human society gets a little clearer.

Now, I’m not making a change in political philosophy because we are just scratching the surface here of understanding individuals much more.  Plus, even if someday we could know everything about an individual’s needs, we’d still need angels working for government to not abuse that information.  THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.  Humans are not angels.  We cannot trust government bureaucrats with that power.

But, this is an interesting – albeit a little scary – step into the future.

If Inflation is Under Reported, then GDP is….

April 24, 2011

The most popularly followed inflation-adjusted economic statistic is the GDP, which reflects the growth in dollar economic activity minus the growth in inflation. If inflation is understated, which it is, then the resulting real GDP is overstated.

Isn’t that the truth lately!!

Inflation is high, but the government reports it low which makes GDP higher. So that paltry 2% GDP growth right now is probably more like -2%.

More good stuff at Government Shadow Stats.