Real Men don’t Eat Quiche or Vote for Liberal Democrats

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 19th, 2013

Week in Review

In 1982 Bruce Feirstein published a book called Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche.  Since then the expression has made fun of men that are more like women than men.  Sensitive girly-men who’d rather go to the ballet than watch the Super Bowl.  These girly-men became liberals.  Weak and whiny guys that were pushed around by bullies in high school.  Who entered government to become bullies themselves.  To get back at all those macho men that made their lives a living hell.  By taxing and regulating their lives.  And using the power of their office to make them suffer.  While real men got real jobs, played sports, joined the military and wooed the ladies.  Because when it comes down to it the ladies like the bad boys and cowboys.  Manly men.  Not sensitive girly quiche eaters.  For if a woman wants to be sensitive and go out for a quiche brunch she’ll just hang with her gal pals.  And do girly things with those who actually have vaginas.

Now there’s been a study that explains these effete quiche eaters.  Why they are such sensitive girly-men.  And it turns out that they are liberals because they are skinny weaklings (see Men with big biceps more likely to be right wing, study claims by Ben Rossington posted 5/17/2013 on the Mirror).

Physically strong men are most likely to be right wing, a study claims.

But weaker males have less self-interest and tend to support the welfare state.

So there you have it.  Real men are conservatives.  And pantywaist ‘men’ are liberals.  Makes sense.  John Wayne, Charlton Heston, Ronald Reagan, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone—all manly men.  And conservative.  We won’t name any liberals.  Don’t want to embarrass them by pointing out their girliness.  But you know who they are.  Just think of the most outspoken liberal men and note their manliness.  Or lack thereof.  It may not be a rule carved into stone.  But there is no doubt a correlation between liberals and nancy boys.  Metro sexuals.  Poncey dandies.  Straight guys that take a keen interest in the same hair care and beauty aids the ladies use.  These men tend to be liberal.  And weak.  According to this study, that is.

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President Obama praised Whistleblowers…but only in the Bush Administration

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 19th, 2013

Week in Review

President Obama said his administration would be the most transparent one.  For he has nothing to hide.  Right.  Pull the other (see Obama Has Rarely Or Never Praised Whistleblowers by Matt Sledge posted 5/18/2013 on the Huffington Post).

In more than four years of office, President Barack Obama has frequently praised the idea of whistleblowing. He even signed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act into law in 2012. But has he actually praised any whistleblowers by name..?

“Sad to say, we can’t think of a single one,” Joe Newman, director of communications for the Project on Government Oversight, said when asked if Obama had ever praised a whistleblower.

“I’m not aware of him ever praising a whistleblower, or apologizing to a whistleblower who was wrongfully prosecuted,” said Jesselyn Radack, national security and human rights director for the Government Accountability Project…

As a candidate in 2008, Obama praised instances of whistleblowing as “acts of courage and patriotism” that “should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration.” But since his election critics have repeatedly called into question his record on supporting whistleblowers, pointing to several individuals who have not only not been praised, but were prosecuted.

The whistleblower of my enemy is courageous and patriotic.  The whistleblower in my own administration is a no good dirty rat fink.  Now there is a slight difference between these two whistleblowers.  If you don’t pay attention closely you might miss it.  If the whistleblower helps President Obama then he or she is courageous and patriotic.  If the whistleblower hurts President Obama then he or she is a no good dirty rat fink.  The difference is very subtle.  But it’s there.  If you look closely enough.

This explains why it took so long for those whistleblowers to come forward on Benghazi.  Because they know what happens to no good dirty rat finks.  The people they whistle on do everything within their power to make life unpleasant for them.  Which is a strong disincentive to whistle blowing.  And to hammer that point home President Obama made it very clear how he feels about people squealing on him.  For he hasn’t praised a single whistleblower.  While prosecuting a few.  Basically warning potential whistleblowers ‘not in my administration’.

This policy on truth-tellers is telling.  For it suggests there is a lot of truth not being told.  Case in point Benghazi.  Fast and Furious.  The IRS targeting ‘enemies’ of the administration—conservatives.  And, of course, the Associated Press.  Which looked more like a fishing expedition than a targeted investigation.  It makes one wonder how much truth the Obama administration is not telling.  And why.

And the credibility gap widens.

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Democrats want to keep Student Loan Interest Rates low so more Students can get Worthless Degrees

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 19th, 2013

Week in Review

A lot of people hate corporations.  Where business people get rich by exploiting the people.  But at least they make something that people willingly buy.  Because it makes them happy.  Like a smartphone.  No.  Corporations are NOT exploiting people to get rich.  But you know who are?  Our universities (see Republicans advance bill to tie student loan rates to markets by Elvina Nawaguna posted 5/16/2013 on Reuters).

Republicans in control of the House Education and the Workforce Committee voted on Thursday to advance legislation tying student loan interest rates to the financial markets, a plan they said would give borrowers a better sense of how much they must repay.

Currently, interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans are set by the government. The rates are due to double on July 1 to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent, and while lawmakers across the aisle agree that an increase should be averted, they disagree on how to prevent it.

Republicans on the committee rejected amendments by Democrats to maintain the current rates for another two years…

Lawmakers have recently expressed growing concerns about American students’ loan debt, which according to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now exceeds $1 trillion. The average student borrower owes about $27,000, and delinquency rates are increasing as new graduates struggle to find jobs…

They’re struggling to get a job because our universities are selling these kids worthless degrees.  “Come to college,” they tell our kids.  “Borrow money.  Don’t worry about that student loan debt.  For you will be able to easily pay it back, buy a house and a new car with your degree in gender studies.”  Or insert any other liberal arts degree that has no market value in a high-tech economy.  An economy so high-tech that these college kids can’t live without their smartphones keeping them connected to Facebook and Twitter.  But these same kids don’t want to learn how to make the next smartphone.  Or write the next ap to run on it.  Because that’s just too hard.  And that’s not what college is about.  College is for having a good time.  Which they can do more often if they’re not burdened down with some complicated math or science degree.

With such high unemployment numbers we shouldn’t be subsidizing anyone to go to college unless they are going to get a degree that has market value in our high-tech economy.  Because a trillion dollars in student loan debt is enough.  Especially when these kids can’t get a job with the worthless degree these universities conned them into buying.  Just to bring more money into the university.  To provide generous pay and benefit packages for their administrators and professors.  While they badmouth the U.S. to their students.  To get them to vote Democrat in the next election.  So they can keep the cheap money spigot open to lure more unsuspecting kids into going deep into debt buying more worthless degrees.

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President Obama and his Keynesian Policies are Working on a Lost Decade just like Japan’s

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 19th, 2013

Week in Review

In the Eighties Japan Inc. was going strong.  The Japanese economy roared.  And the Nikkei soared.  The Japanese had more money than they knew what to do with it.  So they started buying U.S. assets.  People feared that Japan would one day own America.  And urged that we had to follow their lead before it was too late.  The American government should partner with business like in Japan.  So smart bureaucrats could maximize economic output.  Instead of leaving it to inefficient market forces.

But Japan Inc. was state capitalism at its worse.  Instead of letting the market determine the allocations of scarce resources that have alternate uses the government stepped in with their crony capitalist friends.  Leading to corruption.  And a lot of malinvestments.  Money invested poorly.  Causing great asset bubbles.  That burst in the Nineties.  Where Japan Inc. was replaced by the Lost Decade.  A decade or more of deflation.  To wring out all the inflation the government fueled with their artificially low interest rates that caused all of that malinvestment.  And those asset bubbles.  If you’re too young to have lived during this you can still see it in action.  This time in the United States (see The U.S. looks like Japan: Investors rejoice by Paul R. La Monica posted 5/16/2013 on CNNMoney).

The U.S. economy is still not close to being fully recovered from the Great Recession, but investors could give a mouse’s posterior about this sad fact…

…Consumer prices fell for the second straight month. The absence of runaway inflation is of course a good thing, especially when you consider that the Federal Reserve has pumped an inordinate amount of money into the system with its asset purchase programs. But if prices continue to dip, that’s a big problem. Deflation is much worse than mild inflation. Just ask Japan.

Ah yes, Japan! It has taken steps to combat deflation with a vengeance this year. The Bank of Japan’s stimulus, dubbed Abenomics in honor of the country’s prime minister, is like the Fed’s quantitative easing…on steroids.

There’s the rub. The longer that the U.S. stays in tepid growth mode — what I’ve been calling the “low and slow barbecue recovery” since 2010 — the comparisons to Japan will only increase. After all, the U.S. also has an aging population and a large government debt load. The Great Recession ended in June 2009 and here we are in May 2013 still with a lackluster recovery. So we’re almost halfway to our own Lost Decade…

The problem here is Keynesian economics.  It was Keynesian economics that got Japan into the mess they’re in by playing with interest rates to stimulate artificial economic activity.  But Keynesians are like drunks.  They think a little hair of the dog can cure their hangover.  So they binge again on artificially low interest rates to create more artificial economic activity.  Which will end the same way.  As it ended in the Nineties.  A long painful deflation to wring out all of that inflation they pumped into the economy.  Just as the Americans will go through.  Because Keynesians dominate their monetary policy, too.

Even though there are many smart people, including members of the Fed, who are worried that QE ∞ will eventually cause a huge inflation headache and create more nasty asset bubbles down the road, the market doesn’t expect the Fed to pull back on its easing anytime soon…

That’s why stocks could keep climbing. It doesn’t matter that the economy is not healthy enough to make most average consumers feel better. Wall Street only cares about the Fed.

This can’t last forever, of course. Sooner or later, the economy is either going to slow so much that we have to start worrying about another recession (and no amount of stimulus will help prevent a market pullback if that happens) or the economy will start showing signs of a legitimate, sustainable and robust recovery. In that latter case, the Fed will have no choice but to end QE and start raising interest rates.

But for now, at least, investors can enjoy the fact that the United States is basically morphing into Japan Lite. Who cares about the health of the economy as long as central banks keep those printing presses running 24/7/365? Joy.

The selling point of Keynesian economics was eliminating the recessionary side of the business cycle.  So it is interesting that some of our worse recessions have been in the era of Keynesian economics.  I mean, that’s what the New Deal was.  Keynesian.  And what did it give us?  The Great Depression.  Why?  Why are the recessions so painful in the era when they were supposed to be less painful?  Because all Keynesian economics does is to delay economic corrections.  By delaying the onset of recessions.  And because it delays the correction it allows a bubble to grow greater.  So when the correction comes prices have farther to fall.  Which makes a recovery in the Keynesian era more drawn out.  And more painful.  Unless you like your recessions to last a decade.  Or more.

So while Main Street America continues to suffer under President Obama’s Keynesian policies Wall Street is doing just fine.  As rich people always do when partnering with government.  Only Main Street suffers the fallout of their Lost Decades.

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The Swedes reintroduce the Profit Incentive into the Health Care Equation to fix their National Health Care

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 19th, 2013

Week in Review

Obamacare will transform American health care into a more top-down national health care system.  Because the American left always wanted national health care.  For the power over the economy it will give them.  Not so much for the quality of health care.  For the quality of national health care has not been historically as good as the quality of private health care.  But the left doesn’t care.  Because it’s not about the quality of health care.  It’s about having power over one-sixth of the U.S. economy.

But they tell us it’s about providing high-quality health care to everyone.  Not just for the rich people who can afford it.  Which they can do if they take out the profit incentive from the health care equation.  For that’s what is driving up health care costs.  Greedy doctors and hospitals.  Who are profiting on sick people.  Which is just immoral to those on the left.  No.  The only way to fix health care is by removing the profit incentive from the health care equation.  Like they’ve done in Sweden.  The model of socialism the left so wants to see in the United States (see A hospital case posted 5/18/2013 on The Economist).

SAINT GORAN’S hospital is one of the glories of the Swedish welfare state. It is also a laboratory for applying business principles to the public sector. The hospital is run by a private company, Capio, which in turn is run by a consortium of private-equity funds, including Nordic Capital and Apax Partners. The doctors and nurses are Capio employees, answerable to a boss and a board…

Welcome to health care in post-ideological Sweden. From the patient’s point of view, St Goran’s is no different from any other public hospital. Treatment is free, after a nominal charge which is universal in Sweden…

Staff used to waste precious time looking for defibrillator machines and the like. Then someone suggested marking a spot on the floor with yellow tape and insisting that the machines were always kept there…

St Goran’s is the medical equivalent of a budget airline. There are four to six patients to a room. The decor is institutional. Everything is done to “maximise throughput”. The aim is to give taxpayers value for money. Hospitals should not be in the hotel business, the argument goes…

Spreading efficiency will not be easy, however. Europeans instinctively recoil from private companies making money from health care. British placards protest against modest reforms with pictures of fat cats helping the health minister to disembowel a patient labelled “NHS” (National Health Service). Even in Sweden, the mood has grown more hostile since some private-equity companies were embroiled in scandals at nursing homes…

Private health-care companies have several advantages over public organisations. They have more incentive to make services more efficient, since they typically keep some of the savings. They are better at persuading their employees to adopt new ideas. And they are better at spreading new ideas across borders. Europe should be proud of its public-health services. But if it wants them still to be affordable in the future, it should allow more private companies into the mix.

Hmmm.  The model socialism that the left so admires is using the profit incentive to fix their national health care.  Which means it must have been broken.  Just to show the differences in the way bureaucrats and ‘for profit’ people think consider the tape ‘X’ on the floor to mark the spot where a defibrillator should be stored.  The centralized authority couldn’t make that happen.  The top-down bureaucracy couldn’t figure a way to make people spend less time looking for a defibrillator.  Just something else to look forward to as Obamacare begins to reorganize American health care from the top down.

Maximizing throughput?  That’s a business term.  An alien concept to those in government.  And to their friends in labor unions.  Which will descend on the health care system under Obamacare.  Who will represent health care workers.  Not patients.  And their answer to everything will be more people working fewer hours.  Which will increase the cost of health care.  Just as it increased costs in American manufacturing.  Chasing it out of the country.  So there will be no maximizing throughput under a government/union controlled health care system.  Just more of what the Swedes are trying to get away from by reintroducing the profit incentive into the health care equation.

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