Monday, January 16, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

How to Win the War on Poverty?

I have been asked what should be done to Win this War.  Here are some ideas, I have numbered them for reference purposes only. They not in order of preference:

  1. Weaken or eliminate the Public Employee Unions. Their primary purpose is to ensure the senior employees make the most money, receive the best positions and are secure in their employment.  These goals are NOT aligned with cost effectively getting the most help to the people who need it. Pay for performance, not years and degrees.
  2. Set hard knowledge attainment and/or poverty reduction targets that the bureaucracy managers must hit, and replace them if they don't. No more of these employment contracts where Superintendents get huge buy out clauses when they fail.  Pay for performance, not degrees.
  3. Make Long Acting Reversible Contraception and the Morning After Pill free and readily available for all. NO baby should be born unless the Baby Maker(s) are 100% wanting the child and feel prepared to care for it. (ie committed to being responsible capable Parents)
  4. If a proven irresponsible Baby Maker who is on welfare (ie Angel Adams) gets pregnant. She should be forced to abort or give the Baby up for adoption. And if this happens more than once, her tubes should be tied.
  5. The welfare payments and service should be set up to make recipients work, learn, mature and improve their self sufficiency.
  6. The male Baby Makers must bear the consequences of their behavior.  The female Baby Maker must name the Father so the State can ensure the required child support is paid.  The cost may be higher than the money received, but the "free loading Baby Daddy" behavior  must be dissuaded.
  7. The State must ensure that Baby Makers and the Babies receive training, care, etc until they become a functional family. (ie Parents and Kids)  This includes mandatory Parenting classes, Early Childhood Education, Inexpensive quality childcare, etc. Many of the Baby Makers are in this position because their role models were Baby Makers (ie not Parents).  Someone has to train them what it means to be a Parent.

There is a start...  Now you Liberals and Conservatives can argue for your adult concepts while the unlucky kids continue to suffer...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Democrat to Autocrat

From Laurie "This topic bores me. I prefer consider more important issues such as The Transition: From Democrat to Autocrat"

The Path to Hell and Good Intentions

As is often the case, our discussion went far afield.
G2A How and Where Live is a Choice
"Feeding and clothing the desperate is step 1, but step 2 must be helping people work through to self-sufficiency. We have power hungry leftists working not to help people work through to self-sufficiency, but to lock them into ignorance and dependence in order to maintain their political power and control. There is nothing humane in that. 
It is as much the duty of humane and morally straight people to help the desperate escape the grip of grasping leftists as it is to feed and clothe them." Fred 
"If I agree with you about that, will you then admit that what you have just said is that ALL the reasons stem from government (liberal or conservative) actions? I fail to see how a government-run welfare system could be anything else. If it is failing (which it is) it is the fault of government, somewhere, somehow." Jerry 
"Personally I don't think anyone is trying to "lock them into ignorance and dependence in order to maintain their political power and control."" G2A
So that leaves us with an interesting question...  Who's good intentions are leading the poor and unfortunate to hell?  Here are some random concepts:

Liberals  strongly support public employee unions. 
  • Unions protect questionable employees and cause excellent employees to be fired.
  • Unions reward seniority instead of performance, and prevent the highest paid Teachers from being assigned to the most challenging classrooms.
  • Unions resist system changes and improvements that put their power structure, compensation and job security at risk. 
  • The Liberals believe that employees should be treated fairly and that everyone is strongly intrinsically motivated to work hard. And if they are, the employees will all give 120% and be high performing... (ie better results)
Conservatives strongly fight against government provided family planning and long acting reversible contraception. (and first trimester abortions if the previous fail) 
  • This lack of training and cheap B/C options lead to unwanted pregnancies, sometimes abortions and sometimes babies that the Baby Maker(s) are unprepared or incapable of caring for in a responsible manner.
  • The poor low income Baby Maker(s) now has even less money and time to learn, work, save, improve and escape poverty.
  • The Religious Conservatives believe that providing the services above would be promoting a sinful existence and even an 8 week old fetus is a human life. (ie murder)
The Liberals strongly support providing everyone with food, housing, healthcare, etc.
  • Academically and skills challenged poor individuals with low internal motivation have most everything they need, so they settle into the safety hammock and teach their children the lifestyle. 
  • Liberals believe that no one should want for these things in a rich country like ours and that everyone will give 120% if we just provide the basics.
Conservatives strongly fight against funding parent education, early childhood education, reduced cost quality childcare, etc.
  • These Baby Makers who were raised in challenged households with poor Parent role models are stressed out and have no clue how to Parent.  So they do what their Role Model did... For better or worse.
  • The kids are subject to few experiences, poor role modelling, little kindergarten prep and come to Kindergarten physically, socially and academically unprepared.  
  • Worse yet, they come with many unacceptable habits, beliefs and behaviors that must be unlearned before they can progress normally.
  • Conservatives think it is best to keep their taxes low, control where there money goes, force the Baby Maker to be accountable.
Liberals and Conservatives both strongly support the right for people to be Baby Makers with no prior qualifications, capabilities, training, etc.
  • Many child(ren) are left to be raised with little oversight by Baby Maker(s) who were too foolish, irresponsible and/or neglectful to practice safe sex.
  • Many  child(ren) are left to be raised with little oversight by Baby Maker(s) who have little education, maturity, income and/or support systems.
  • Some of the least responsible and capable adults end up with the most children
  • Conservatives believe the government should not control family behavior and the "Parent(s)" should have the authority. (ie they know best)
  • Liberals believes that everyone deserves those little bundles of joy, and society should be happy to pay for them.
Well there are some of the reasons why the USA has large populations of under educated, socially inept, immature, not work ready, morally challenged, financially poor, etc people roaming the streets.  Now I truly believe that everyone wants to stop this terrible problem, unfortunately each of their beliefs and actions have terrible negative consequences that prevent it's solution or propagate it's spread.

That is enough for now, but I think I may need to add more to this later. Thoughts?

Federal Government Employees

For a group who's main purpose is supposed to be Defending the Country and Help the States get along... It is amazing how many employees they have...

CNN Money: Cutting Federal Headcount
Down Sizing Government

~2.1 Million Civil Employees
~1.3 Million Military Employees
~3.7 Million Contract Employees

Now I understand their role keeps expanding, but wouldn't you think modern technology should be driving down the headcount. Thoughts?

How and Where We Live is a CHOICE

From G2A Free Loader
"I will agree that I failed to distinguish adequately between duty and obligation. Duty, as I am using it, is voluntarily accepted and driven from within. Obligation, as in law, is forced upon you from outside. Caring for poor should be a duty, voluntarily accepted, or else it is theft." Jerry
"It is not theft, slavery or any such silly thing. You choose to live here. You choose to follow the country's laws. No one is forcing you to be here." G2A

"I did NOT choose to live here. I was born here, and have never been offered a reasonable choice of living somewhere else that was better. Sort of like, I believe, a lot of poor people or "unlucky kids." They haven't been offered a reasonable choice that they believed was accessible to them.

And I don't choose to live under the country's laws, either, because there aren't reasonable choices about that, either. There are penalties for disobeying the law, and no penalty, possibly even a reward, for following them.

Let's take your definition of welfare. Money is taken from me, by threat of force, and goes into the pockets of someone I do not know. What about that transaction is different from an ordinary street mugging?" Jerry

"Of course you choose voluntarily to live here, and choose to follow the laws of our society. Just like I do. There are many places that we could go, but America is wonderful, even with it's laws and taxes.

As for the difference between mugging and tax/spend...
"1. the principles and regulations established in a community by some authority and applicable to its people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies recognized and enforced by judicial decision.

2. any written or positive rule or collection of rules prescribed under the authority of the state or nation, as by the people in its constitution."
A woman co-worker once told me she HAD to work. Well I knew she was married with only 2 kids, so I reminded her in my gentlest way that her working was choice.

She had many options, she weighted them, she scored them and then she chose...

By the way, she quit awhile later and they bought B&B that she operated..." G2A

"So, welfare is a LEGAL mugging? Is that really the distinction you want to make? Does something become wise or moral just by being written into law?

And we keep having the same debate. I do not believe I have a choice to live elsewhere, because all other choices have substantial negative downsides. I do not believe many welfare recipients (or parents of school kids) have any better choices available to them. You claim we have "choices," which is true, but if all choices are worse (IN OUR OPINION, which is all that counts) than what we already have, how is that indistinguishable from having no choices at all?" Jerry

"Wise and moral" are relative terms, law is how our society codifies them.
- Is it wise and moral for some in the community to go hungry while others hoard their money and eat well?
- Is it wise and moral to take the excess money from some people to prevent civil unrest.

Choice: an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.
Please note that all that is required are different possibilities. Accepting that almost everything we do in life is a choice is very freeing. The alternative is to spend one's life feel oppressed and controlled. No one forces me to come into work everyday at this particular company. I choose to because it is the best of the opportunities available to me at this time.  And there are other options that I could choose if I am really unhappy with the current state." G2A

Thursday, January 12, 2017

How to Pay for that New Stove

Now I know I should not be surprised by this, but I always am.
CNN Money Majority of Americans Don't Have $500 in Savings

And so were my co-workers, most of them have dual professional incomes. Each of which is much higher than the median family income in the USA.  So in my usual blunt way I reminded them that their household incomes were likely in the upper 5 percent of Americans.  And that I try to stay grounded by remembering that almost everyone I interact with in stores, restaurants, etc probably only make $20,000 to $40,000 per year.

Well if you do have a hard time saving money, I have an acquaintance who swears by the all cash technique. And here are some other ideas.
Financial Diet All Cash
BankRate 4 Factors Before Going All Cash
CNN Money 6 Painless Ways to Save Thousands
CNN Money How He Saved $30,000

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Coming Disaster

Laurie is being upbeat and positive again...
"I place a great deal of blame for the coming disaster on right wing media. And speaking of (one aspect of) the coming disaster:

Why Most Economists Are So Worried About Trump"
"It also puts economists at odds with the judgments of small-business owners. According to the latest survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the balance of members who expect general business conditions to improve has moved drastically. In October, the pessimists who saw business conditions as likely to worsen outnumbered the optimists by seven percentage points; the latest survey from December shows that the optimists now outnumber the pessimists by 50 percentage points. It’s an extraordinary shift — one the association described as “stratospheric.”

I’m not quite sure how to reconcile these conflicting signals. One possibility is that Mr. Trump remains something of an unknown, and each group is filling in the blanks differently. Small businesses, pleased to see a businessman in the White House, might be tempted to believe the best. By contrast, there’s a reason that economics is called the dismal science, and few economists trust politicians — of either stripe — to get things right. Greater uncertainty gives economists a broader canvas upon which to project their pessimism.

But it may also be that these groups are describing different things. Businesses and markets care about profits. Economists focus on workers as well as the businesses they work for, on buyers as well as sellers, and on new firms as much as existing firms. Mr. Trump’s anti-regulatory zeal may help businesses but hurt workers; his anti-trade agenda could help sellers but hurt buyers; and his instincts to protect existing jobs may advantage existing businesses at the expense of the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Or perhaps the optimism of small-business owners is about what they think is most likely to happen, particularly in the short run. My conversations with economists revealed them to be more focused on the long run, particularly on the risk of really bad outcomes. By this view, the short-term optimism may be well placed, but should be juxtaposed with the possibility of a trade war, a catastrophic economic decision like defaulting on the national debt or a foreign policy disaster. Nearly every economist I spoke with said the risk of these left-tail events had risen.
Maybe why I rarely focus on what Economists think...  If Economists don't trust politicians...  Who trusts Economists? 

Trumps News Conference

Obama Farewell Speech and the Haters

MP Obama Speech and Hannity Response
"At the end, you seemed to describe Hannity as a journalist. Journalists strive to objectively describe what is happening in the real world. Hannity is employed as an entertainer, feeding the far right red meat to sustain their hate. He lacks objectivity and wants to impose his view of how he would the world to be on reality.

And Hannity was an active participant in getting Trump elected. Anyone who does that shows their bias, just as sports columnists are expected to be cheerleaders for the home team. That Fox allowed that divided loyalty reveals the joke that it has become." Joel S.
Oops...  I accidentally lost the comment I submitted over there...  Hope it makes it past the moderator ...  Probably faster to re-create it here...
"I agree, Hannity is not a Newsperson... He is more of a column writer like Eric. :-) Some facts and a lot of opinion...
"Obama took office when the U.S. economy he inherited from George W. Bush (a name Hannity managed to not mention during his diatribe) was in the deepest recession since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate was 9.3 percent. The most recent rate is 4.9 percent. That’s a pretty steep drop. A rate below 5 percent is what economists call “full employment.”  
Of course it’s true that the unemployment rate doesn’t measure so-called “discouraged workers” who have stopped looking for a job. And the rate of “discouraged workers” has risen steadily during the Obama years. So, if you want to make Obama look bad, you ignore the unemployment rate (Hannity never mentioned it) and cite the rising number of discouraged workers. It’s the opposite of honest. It’s pure bias." Eric's comment
Assuming that Obama focused on the positive and neglected to note the people who have given up looking, the under employed, etc Was he being less than honest?" G2A
By the way, I agreed with most everything Obama said in the speech and think Hannity / Ingram were very unprofessional.

CNN Obamas Last Speech 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Trump Should be Ready for Disappointment

CNN Trump Wants It NOW !!!

This is going to very interesting to watch.  We have a very impatient somewhat immature soon to be President who has no good ideas of his own trying to push the political system to get SOMETHING done NOW !!!

What do you think his temper tantrums will look like?

I can't wait to see how they show up on Saturday Night Live !!!

On the other hand, setting a fire under those do little pandering politicians is probably a worthwhile effort. Definitely much more exciting than if Hillary was going to take office.

Comic 1    Comic 2   Comic 3    Comic 4  Comic 5

Monday, January 9, 2017

Kids are Expensive

I knew there was a reason I still work so HARD... $233K per kid... + College...
CNN Money Cost of Children

And they have a interesting video there. Income Inequality: Hunger Down the Block From Wealth.

The touching point was when the Mother said "her goals was to break the cycle of poverty..." Even though she had 4 children...  I don't think she thought that one through.  Thoughts?

How would you help her attain that goal?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Free Loader: Person or Behavior?

From MP Media. RB and Jon called me on some name calling I did. Thoughts?
"I agree that the future with Trump is uncertain and risky. However I think following our previous path is equally so for different reasons. Here are the concerns as I see them. 
I keep hoping that somehow both sides will change...
- Liberals will start insisting that poor Free Loaders change
- Conservatives will start insisting that rich Free Loaders changes 
But it seems both sides just keep digging in further to protect their preferred Free Loaders." G2A

"It seems many have not learned that calling people irredeemable racists, xenophobes, misogynists, etc tends to turn them off And I agree that most felt they could not afford another 4 years of Liberal policies.
Besides the whole "status quo politics" is unacceptable thing." G2A

"It also seems that calling people "free loaders" remains acceptable." RB

"The next four years will not be to most people's liking. Most won't be able to afford it.
What should people call those who are against others not like them when they don't like them? Do you have a PC word or so for it?" Jon

"Personally I would say that they believe differently from me. And I would not call them anything except maybe Religious Right, Republicans, Social Conservatives, People against having Illegal Workers in the USA, etc.

They disagree with you, what would you like them to call you?

RB raised a good question above when I used the term Free Loaders.. Technically I am talking about the behaviors of a group of people who are okay with letting others do the work and /or pay the money while enjoying the benefits of that labor. You have met them I am sure, in your classes, in your churches, in your committees, our society's criminals, etc.

So I should probably have said. People who are okay receiving benefits from the work of others on a consistent basis. Do you have a better term?" G2A

Friday, January 6, 2017

Will SS and Medicare Change?

From Laurie:

Conservatives ready to support $1 trillion hole in the budget

It seems to me rather than blowing up the deficit with tax cuts to the rich a better idea would be keeping SS fully solvent. I have worked steady since age 16 and would like to / need to collect my full benefits when I retire in 15 years.