President Obama sees Restaurant Servers as Rich People not Paying their Fair Share

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 14th, 2013

Week in Review

People are all for raising taxes on the rich.  Little did these people realize that they, too, were rich (see IRS wants more tax money from restaurant servers by JOEL GEHRKE posted 9/9/2013 on the Washington Examiner).

President Obama’s policies are doing a number on income for restaurant workers. First, Obamacare’s employer mandates led major restaurant chains to cut server hours. Now, the Internal Revenue Service has proposed a new rule to collect more tax money from servers.

The IRS, beginning in 2014, will require restaurants to withhold the automatic gratuity added to large checks, rather than allow servers to take the tip money home with them each night…

The new rule could lead restaurants to stop mandating the tips for large groups.

Rarely are restaurant servers lumped in with that greedy 1%.  Those greedy rich people.  But here they are.  Being treated as greedy one-percenters who don’t pay their fair share of taxes.

Interesting that the same people who support an increase in the minimum wage and expressed solidarity for the fast-food and Wal-Mart workers recently on strike want to take away a server’s tips.  People who actually earn below the minimum wage and depend on their tips to earn a living wage.

This is yet another example of the true cost of the welfare state.  Why we can’t keep increasing government spending.  And increasing the debt to pay for it.  Because someone has to pay the taxes that pays for this spending.  Or pay the taxes that pay for the interest on the debt that pays for this spending.  And guess what?  The rich 1% isn’t rich enough to pay it all.  Even if we taxed them at 100%.  So the IRS is going to shake down single mothers struggling to support their children by withholding their tips.  And after that they will tell these single mothers’ children that there is no such thing as Santa Clause.  Just to be mean.  For it appears they enjoy being mean.

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President Obama gives the Wind Energy Industry permission to Kill more Bald Eagles

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 14th, 2013

Week in Review

You want to cut a firebreak in a forest?  Sorry, you can’t do it.  Because it will disturb the habitat of a dirty, filthy rodent.  The kind that can transmit Hantaviruses to campers.  You want to irrigate your farm in California’s central valley?  Sorry, you can’t do it.  Because the pumps will suck in delta smelt which will upset the ecosystem.  But you say you want to kill golden and bald eagles with spinning death machines?  Not a problem.  At least with President Obama and his pals in the wind energy industry (see Study: Wind farms killed 67 eagles in 5 years by DINA CAPPIELLO, Associated Press, posted 9/11/2013 on Yahoo! News).

Wind energy facilities have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years, but the figure could be much higher, according to a new scientific study by government biologists.

The research represents one of the first tallies of eagle deaths attributed to the nation’s growing wind energy industry, which has been a pillar of President Barack Obama’s plans to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming. Wind power releases no air pollution.

But at a minimum, the scientists wrote, wind farms in 10 states have killed at least 85 eagles since 1997, with most deaths occurring between 2008 and 2012, as the industry was greatly expanding. Most deaths — 79 — were golden eagles that struck wind turbines. One of the eagles counted in the study was electrocuted by a power line.

The vice president of the American Bird Conservancy, Mike Parr, said the tally was “an alarming and concerning finding…”

It’s unclear what toll the deaths could be having on local eagle populations. And while the golden eagle population is stable in the West, any additional mortality to a long-lived species such as an eagle can be a “tipping point,” Millsap said.

The research affirms an AP investigation in May, which revealed dozens of eagle deaths from wind energy facilities and described how the Obama administration was failing to fine or prosecute wind energy companies, even though each death is a violation of federal law…

Meanwhile, the wind energy industry has pushed for, and the White House is currently evaluating, giving companies permission to kill a set number of eagles for 30 years. The change extends by 25 years the permit length in place now, but it was not subjected to a full environmental review because the administration classified it as an administrative change.

Yet another example of the Obama administration not enforcing a law they don’t like.  Putting the Obama administration, and their cronies in the wind energy industry, above the law.  Making a mockery of the rule of law.  And turning the United States into a third-world banana republic.

The same people who say we can’t disturb the habitat of Hantavirus-carrying vermin or kill a smelt or two have no problem with killing the national bird/national animal of the United States.  The bald eagle is a distinguished and noble creature.  Which is why it is on the Great Seal of the United States.  Instead of a rodent or a smelt.  But it is those we can’t harm.  While we can kill the bald eagle.

President Obama destroys our economy with his abysmal economic policies.  Giving us unemployment that just won’t go away.  He gave the Middle East to Russia and Iran with his blundering foreign policy.  Creating a more dangerous world.  And diminished America’s place in that world.  And now he is encouraging the killing of America’s national symbol.  Perhaps to do to it what he’s doing to the nation.

One can’t help but get the impression that the United States of America isn’t President Obama’s favorite country.

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President Obama goes out of his way to Raise the Price of Gasoline

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 14th, 2013

Week in Review

Why is gasoline so expensive?  Because of President Obama.  He has shut down drilling wherever he can.  Reducing the American supply of oil (and increasing its cost) to refine into gasoline.  And he has been depreciating the dollar with his quantitative easing.  The Federal Reserve’s stimulus that is doing nothing to stimulate the economy.  But because oil is priced in U.S. dollars per barrel this devaluation of the dollar results in higher oil prices.  Because it takes more of a devalued dollar to pay for the same amount of oil those dollars once bought.  And then there’s this (see Valero Asks Obama Administration to Waive Ethanol Mandate by Mario Parker posted 9/10/2013 on Bloomberg).

Valero Energy Corp. (VLO), the world’s largest independent refining company, called on the Obama administration to waive the country’s biofuel target immediately, saying the cost to reach it has skyrocketed…

Refiners are required by law to use 13.8 billion gallons of ethanol in 2013. Renewable Identification Numbers are attached to each gallon of ethanol to track compliance. Once the additive is blended into gasoline, refiners can retain the certificate to show compliance or trade it to another party. RINs prices have risen more than eight-fold so far this year.

RINs have increased because of falling gasoline demand and higher biofuel consumption targets, Klesse said in the letter.

Gasoline demand will drop 0.5 percent next year, according to a forecast today from the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. The Renewable Fuels Standard, set in 2007, calls for 14.4 billion gallons of ethanol to be used in 2014, up 4.3 percent from this year. The target increased 4.5 percent this year from 13.2 billion in 2012…

Ethanol is typically blended in a formula of as much as 10 percent in gasoline. While the EPA has approved blends of 15 percent, refiners haven’t adopted the higher concentration, citing engine damage concerns.

They only blend ethanol with gas so the percentage of ethanol in the gas doesn’t exceed 10-15%.  Because putting more into the gas could damage the engine.  So for every 10 gallons of gasoline they only need one gallon of ethanol.  For if they bought more than one gallon per every 10 gallons of gas they would have more ethanol than they could use.  With a fixed amount of ethanol required (14.4 billion gallons) instead of a percentage these refineries have a problem.  Because they need to buy 600,000 gallons more of ethanol in 2014 (a 4.3% increase over 2013) while gasoline demand will fall 0.5% in 2014.  Because of President Obama’s horrible economy.  Which means they will be blending less ethanol with gasoline in 2014.  Despite having to buy 600,000 gallons more.

They can’t use this extra ethanol.  And they sure don’t want to buy it just so they can store it someplace.  So instead they want to buy these Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).  That certifies a gallon of ethanol has been blended with gasoline as required.  Even if it has not.  Which becomes a pretty handy thing to have (these RINs).  As you can avoid buying ethanol that you can’t use to meet the new higher requirement.  For people are buying less gas because of President Obama’s horrible economy.

These government regulations are greatly distorting the free market.  Increasing the costs of the refineries.  Who pass it on to the consumer in higher gas prices.  Which hurts Americans because they have to put more of their paycheck into their gas tank instead of using it on food or clothing for their children.  Pulling more money out of the economy.  Which helps to make President Obama’s economy so bad.  So why doesn’t he lower the number of gallons required when the number exceeds the amount the refineries need to blend with gasoline?  Because he doesn’t care about the cost of gasoline.  The higher the better for him as fewer people will be driving.  Which will create a greater demand for mass transportation.  Which will create more union jobs filled by people who will vote Democrat.  Also, the higher the price of gasoline the greater the tax revenue the governments collect at the state and federal level.  Which is what’s really important to governments.  Not food and clothing for children.

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President Obama lied about Obamacare because Socialists are Devious

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 14th, 2013

Week in Review

Politicians lie.  Especially those on the left.  Why?  Because their policies have a record of failure. So when they campaign for office they don’t tell the truth.  Because the people don’t want their taxes to go up.  They don’t want more regulations that might put them out of a job.  They don’t want higher unemployment.  They don’t want more environmental policies to save the world from global warming when the earth hasn’t been warming as predicted.

The people have rejected socialism.  So when the left campaigns for office they don’t use the ‘s’ word these days.  Even though their policies have but one goal.  To turn the United States into a European social democracy.  Despite some of these social democracies moving away from their socialist ways (see Is Rightward Shift In Norway, Australia A Trend? posted 9/10/2013 on Investors).

Elections held in recent days in two modestly populated but economically significant countries show that the global political pendulum may be swinging back toward conservatives.

First came the triumph of Australia’s Liberal (conservative) Party and its socially conservative Catholic leader, Tony Abbott, in national elections last weekend.

That was quickly followed by the surprise victory of the Conservative Party’s Erna Solberg, dubbed “Iron Erna” for her staunch conservatism, in Norway’s national elections.

A mere coincidence? Not likely. Polls show people in most developed countries are fed up. Angry rank-and-file voters are turning away from leftist parties that push welfare spending, higher taxes, increasing debt, more regulation, open-border policies and tight environmental restrictions.

Politically, socialist ideas no longer sell so well.

Which is why politicians on the left lie.  President Obama said if you liked your health insurance plan you could keep it.  Which was a lie to pass Obamacare.  As Obamacare was only a stepping stone to socialized medicine.  And the first step in getting there was to first destroy the private health insurance industry.  And with no private health insurance industry there would be only the government to step in and be the insurer of last resort.  And, voilà, national health care.  A devious way to get there.  But, then again, socialists are devious.  Because they know people don’t want what they’re selling.

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A Nice Boss and an Easy Life will make you Soft and Fill you with Apathy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 14th, 2013

Week in Review

The movie Full Metal Jacket made R. Lee Ermey a star.  Who, you may ask?  Gunnery Sergeant Hartman.  Oh, that guy, you say.  Yes, he was a real ass.  A mean, callous, heartless bastard.  But he was good.  He trained his Marines so hard and so well that they would rather face the enemy on the field of battle than train with him.  That’s why the Marines are so good at what they do.  Their training is so intense and their DIs are so good that actual combat can be easier than training.  Which is how you want to train your Marines because combat is a stressful, exhausting, frightening, horrific hell on earth.  And you want to send people into combat who already have been to hell.  So they can take whatever the enemy throws at them.

Life is hard.  It’s not as hard as combat.  But it can overwhelm you at times.  And if you grew up in a pampered cocoon life will chew you up and spit you out.  America’s military is the best in the world.  But America has grown soft.  Because we pamper our kids today.  Give them participation trophies instead of letting them win and lose.  To know the thrill of victory.  And the agony of defeat.  To borrow the opening from the Wide World of Sports.  Could the current generation produce the citizen soldiers that took out Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany?  Could we even pry them away from their smartphones long enough to go through basic training?  Probably not.

Making life easy is not good.  For it makes us weak.  That’s why we have the expression ‘That which does not kill us makes us stronger’.  Courtesy of Friedrich Nietzsche.  The more arduous the journey the more we learn and stronger we grow.  That’s why Gunnery Sergeant Hartman was such a mean, callous, heartless bastard.  To give his Marines the best chance of survival.  Because that journey with him was so arduous.  If you want to bring the best out of someone you can’t make life easy for that person.  Whether it be going to combat.  Or building a career (see Your Nice Boss May Be Killing Your Career by Greg McKeown posted 9/4/2013 on the Harvard Business Review).

Over a twelve-month period I have gathered data from 1,000 managers about their experiences at over 100 companies including Apple, Cisco, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novel, and Symantec. I wanted to understand the conditions under which people did the very best work of their careers. What I expected to find were examples of over managing, controlling, tyrannical managers. About half of the participants confirmed this assumption. The other half surprised me: what they described were managers who were nice but weak.

I once spent two days running a strategy session with just such an executive. He spoke with a soft, quiet voice. He never interrupted anyone when they were speaking. When he walked into the meeting he had a “nice” word for everyone. Every time the team became “positively frustrated” and ready to make the change necessary to get to the next level he would stand up and say sweetly, “Oh, I just wanted to remind you all of how far we have come.” And after a few more sentences the spark of aspiration was gone from the room. He unintentionally signaled the status quo was plenty good enough. There was no need to try harder or change how things were going. He reminded me of what Jim Hacker (the fictional politician in the English cult classic “Yes, Minister“) said to his bureaucratic colleague, “You really are a wet blanket, Humphrey, you just go around stirring up apathy.”

Apathy.  Yes, that’s what you get when work (and life) gets too easy.  When life gets too easy people get lethargic.  They get soft.  And become a less likely candidate for a high-stressed position that will help them up the corporate ladder.  And it is the same for the welfare state.

Everything that weakens an employee because work is too easy is true when we make a person’s life too easy with a generous welfare state.  They get lethargic.  Soft.  And fill with apathy.  Which is why when you make welfare too comfortable people are less willing to get off of welfare.  And when they do they parallel what a worker gets with a nice boss.  The worker gets a dead-end career.  While the person on welfare gets a dead-end life.

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