There is Great Income Inequality on the Set of the Big Bang Theory

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 21st, 2013

Week in Review

It is hard to explain economic fundamentals to the public.  To explain how free market capitalism made this country great.  And how supply and demand set prices.  How unskilled workers are in less demand than highly skilled workers.  So highly skilled people earn more money than unskilled workers.  Which is why doctors earn more money than those working in fast-food.  Because there always seems to be a shortage of doctors.  While there is no shortage of minimum wage jobs.  So doctors are worth more because they are in greater demand.

Those on the left want a living wage for everyone.  Regardless of their skill level.  Unions are trying to unionize fast-food workers and Wal-Mart employees.  So they can force these businesses to pay them more than the market price for their labor.  As determined by the laws of supply and demand.  Like they do everywhere else.  Computer programmers were in high demand during the dot-com bubble.  Raising the salary of computer programmers.  And people went to college to learn how to be computer programmers to get those high salaries.

But try to explain this to the layperson when the left demonizes Republicans.  Calls them greedy.  Saying they want to take food away from children and the poor.  And throw Grandma off the cliff.  That they’re in the pockets of the big, evil corporations.  And that unfettered capitalism is corrupt, unfair and just plain mean.  What makes it especially difficult to explain these economic fundamentals is that the left controls the public schools and our universities and colleges.  And the entertainment industry.  So they’re teaching our children to hate free market capitalism.  And Republicans.  While the entertainment industry mocks and ridicules anyone who tries to advance sound economic policies instead of expanding the welfare state.  Instead they preach egalitarianism.  Where everyone should get a living wage regardless of their skill level.  And where we treat people fairly and with dignity.  Transferring and distributing wealth fairly.  From those according to ability to those according to need.

It sounds nice.  Caring.  And kind.  Despite every country that has ever tried that became a horrible place to live.  For that’s what they did in the former Soviet Union.  The People’s Republic of China.  The former East Germany.  North Korea.  Cuba.  Nations that had to use a brutally oppressive police state to prevent their people from escaping the kind of egalitarianism the left is constantly trying to bring to the United States.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing in trying to teach economic fundamentals to lay people is that their heroes in the entertainment industry are always campaigning for the left.  They attend fundraisers for the left.  Help them win elections.  And they constantly mock and ridicule those on the right.  Despite indulging in some of the most unfettered free market capitalism themselves (see ‘Big Bang Theory’ Stars Seeking Hefty Pay Raises by Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, posted 9/17/2013 on Yahoo! TV).

Sources tell THR that Emmy winner Parsons (Sheldon), Galecki (Leonard) and Cuoco (Penny) will negotiate together — as they did in 2010 — and are looking for a considerable bump in pay from their current deal. According to a TV Guide Magazine report, the trio currently earns $325,000 per episode and may seek up to $1 million an episode…

The new deals for Bialik and Rauch, who joined the series midway through its run and were promoted from recurring to regulars, will see their salary jump from $20,000-$30,000/episode to the $60,000 ballpark, with increases each year taking them to $100,000 per episode by the end of their new contracts.

One million an episode versus $100,000 an episode?  Wow.  Talk about your income disparity.  There is no egalitarianism on the set of the Big Bang Theory.  There’s no fairness.  And just think how much food this could have bought for the children.  And the poor.  If these people were corporate officers they would be hated and despised for their greed.  Especially when the median household income (the income that supports an entire family) has been languishing around $53,000.  And here are actors making more than that each episode they film.  Is that fair?  When others have so little?

Yes, it is unfair.  But is it wrong?  No.  This is free market capitalism.  This is the top-rated comedy on television.  It has great writing.  And great characters.  Which the writers created.  But if you watch an early episode and then a later one you will see how these actors have evolved these characters.  In the first episodes Penny was the pretty neighbor Leonard was smitten with.  But watch her now.  And all the things she doesn’t say.  Her body language and facial expressions.  The little nuances that have transformed Penny into a real life person we look forward to seeing every week.  Kaley Cuoco has made Penny into what she is today.  As Jim Parsons has made Sheldon into what he is.  And Johnny Galecki has made Leonard into what he is.  The rest of the cast is probably the best ever fielded on a sitcom.  But it is the interactions they have with these three that make this show the number one comedy on television.

So, no, we don’t begrudge them from getting these unfair contracts.  More power to them to get as much as they can get.  Sure, it’s unfair to the actors that came before them.  When things were very egalitarian.  Where the actors made far less than they do today.  Even if that show went on forever in syndication.  Like Gilligan’s Island.  Making a lot of money for the owners of that show.  But not the actors.  No, they didn’t get a dime from that syndication.  Worse, none of them made close to a million dollars an episode.  They didn’t get paid a lot.  But everyone made closer to what everyone else made.  Because back then actors were more equal.  Unlike today.  Where there is great income inequality between actors.

So there is nothing wrong with Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco making these huge sums of money.  Or anyone else in the entertainment community.  It would be nice, though, if this community wasn’t publically against the very thing that they benefit so handsomely from.  Free market capitalism.  Which has been very good to them.  As it is very good to everyone.  But yet the entertainment community generally endorses the left.  And attacks the right.  Which helps the left raise taxes and burden business with more costly regulations.  Things that hurt the economy.  And keeps the median household income from rising.  Harming the middle class.  But making no impact on these superrich.  This is the problem we have with the entertainment community.  They’re hogging all the free market capitalism for themselves.  While forcing us to live in the miserable social democracy they helped to create with their endorsement of the left.

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FT178: “Birth control and abortion are the greatest threats to liberalism. ” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 12th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

Liberals seem more Mainstream than they are because they hold Key Positions of Power

Liberals have one very unpleasant fact to deal with.  Theirs is a minority viewpoint.  According to Gallup (see Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S. by Lydia Saad posted 1/12/2012 on Gallup), the American people identify themselves in 2010 as follows: conservative (40%), moderate (35%) and liberal (21%).  And the above referenced Gallup poll shows that the American people haven’t trended far from these numbers since 1992.

So the liberal cause is an uphill battle to begin with.  As 79% of the American people do not identify themselves with their views.  Which are basically a bigger, activist government.  More rules and regulations in our personal lives.  More fun and less restraint.  More casual sex and less traditional marriage.  Keynesian economic policies where the government plays with interest rates, creating large asset bubbles (such as housing bubbles) which give us very long and painful recessions to undo the damage an activist Keynesian government makes.  Like the subprime mortgage crisis.  Anti-energy policies that increase the cost of energy so they can subsidize more costly green energy.  Free birth control and access to abortion on demand.  And Obamacare.  To name a few.

Some may feel that liberalism is more mainstream than the poll numbers suggest.  But that’s only because though their numbers are small they hold key positions of power.  They control the public schools.  And our colleges and universities.  They control the mainstream media.  And the entertainment industry.  Giving liberals a very powerful bully pulpit.  When late-night television ridicules conservatives millions of impressionable people see it.  And see how cool it is to ridicule conservatives.   Reinforcing everything they’ve learned in our public schools, colleges, universities, mainstream media and, of course, the entertainment industry.  Yet despite all of this the best they can do is to get 21% of the people to think like them.  To want what they want.  And to do as they want them to do.

A Liberal Woman uses Birth Control and Abortion to keep her Fertility Rate Lower than a Conservative Woman’s

Why is this?  Because of parents.  Perhaps the greatest obstacle liberals have in transforming the country into the European social democracy they want.  With them sitting atop the power structure.  Much like the aristocracy of the Old World where they were free to tell people to do as they say, not as they do.  For while forcing their highly regulated world upon us they will exempt themselves from the less pleasant things.  Putting themselves above the laws they don’t like but feel are in our best interests.  Which we would understand if only we were as smart as them.

And every time they turn around there is some parent trying to undo all of their work.  For they only have our children for less than a third of a day, 5 days a week.  Worse, they don’t even get our kids into their education camps, I mean, schools, until they’ve lived exclusively with their parents for 5 or 6 years.  If you ever wondered why the Democrats are always pushing for state-funded childcare this is the reason.  To get to our kids sooner.  Before their parents can warp their minds with non-liberal viewpoints.  Like not to fear the coming apocalypse of global warming.  In fact some of these parents are such poor parents that they’ll load their kids into a gas-guzzling, carbon-polluting SUV and take them on a vacation.  Letting a child enjoy being in a big, comfortable and safe vehicle out on the open road.  Before liberals can teach them later that all of those things are bad.  And wrong.  But the real problem liberals have with parents like these is that there are just so many of them.  Ironically, because of liberal policies that have altered fertility rates.  Thanks to birth control and abortion.  And their attacks on the traditional family.

Fertility Liberals vs Conservatives R1

Earlier we discussed replacement birthrates (see Aging Populations and Replacement Birthrate posted 7/8/2013 on Pithocrates).  The current U.S. population is about 314 million.  Using the Gallup numbers we calculated the number of liberals and conservatives in that 314 million and entered them into the beginning populations above.  We assumed a generation lasting 20 years where couples will each bring in 1.5 babies if they’re liberals.  Below the replacement birthrate.  And 2.5 babies if they’re conservatives.  Above the replacement birthrate.  A conservative couple will have on average one more baby than a liberal couple.  Because a conservative woman will live a closer life to the traditional family.  While the liberal woman may pursue a career and not be interested in having children.  Using birth control and abortion to keep her fertility rate lower than the conservative woman.

The Liberals’ Rise to Power was Slow and Steady via Incremental Change all but Unnoticeable to Each Generation

If we add the number of liberals and conservatives together (we’ll call it the L/C Universe) they total approximately 191 million people.  Where liberals make up 34% of the L/C Universe.  While conservatives make up 66% of the L/C Universe.  As we move through 4 generations we see how the population increases.  The liberal population grows 838%.  While the conservative population grows 2,463%.  Because of that extra baby per couple on average the conservative population grows over 5 times more than the liberal population.  Dropping the liberals down to only 16% of the L/C Universe.  While increasing the conservatives to 84% of the L/C Universe.

If you ever wondered why the Democrats are pushing so hard for immigration reform this is why.  The liberal elite know their policies to encourage women to do anything BUT have babies threatens their long-term hold on power.  That’s why they pander to blacks, women, the young, etc.  They shower them with benefits and/or policies that make their lives a lot more fun.  Such as free birth control.  And accessible abortion.  Things that really appeal to the young voter.  Because that’s what they have on the mind most of the time.  Casual and consequence-free sex.  By treating pregnancy as a disease.  To be prevented (birth control).  Or cured (abortion).  But in the wake of these policies is a dearth of new liberal voters.  Which they hope to replace with immigration reform.  Hoping that those they bring into the population vote Democrat.  Grateful for their path to citizenship.  To make up for all the babies that never were.  Thanks to liberal attacks on the traditional family.

Unless the liberals can take our children away from us sooner and keep them longer (to countermand any conservative education their parents give them) their lower fertility rates will push liberalism to extinction.  How ironic indeed that the very policies that liberals and conservatives bitterly fight over the most may lead to their fall from power.  Birth control.  And abortion.  The greatest threats to liberalism.  Their rise to power was slow and steady through incremental change.  Almost unnoticeable to each generation.  As will be their fall.  Unless, of course, they use extralegal tactics to get around the will of the people.  Such as ruling by executive order.  And using the courts to make law the Congress won’t.  But what are the odds of that ever happening?

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Perception, President Obama and the Rand Paul Filibuster

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 14th, 2013

Politics 101

Sound Bites and Photo Opportunities define our Politicians Today

Perception is in the eye of the beholder.  Are you familiar with the story about a real estate broker?  He works in a small town with a main road through it connecting two larger cities.  A lot of traffic travels this road.  This broker has two properties listed for sale.  One on the road into town.  And one on the road out of town.  All of these cars driving through this town see those two signs and think, “Wow, this guy must be the biggest broker in town.  I see his signs everywhere.”

But he is not the biggest broker in town.  But because his two signs are on the busiest road in town the perception is that he is.  Because people can’t enter the town or leave the town without seeing one of what seem to be many of his signs.  If they drove on the other streets of this town they would not see any of his signs.  While they would see a great many of his competitors’ signs.  With a detailed analysis people would conclude that this real estate broker is the smallest and least successful in town.  But with only a cursory glance he is the biggest broker in town.  This is perception.

Politicians understand perception.  So they work hard to shape what people see and hear.  And less on substance.  That’s why sound bites and photo opportunities define our politicians.  Politicians get their picture taken with babies and the down trodden to show how much they care.  Their speeches will be nothing but a series of sound bites suitable for quoting by the talking heads on television and in political ads.  And they will always answer a question with a prepared talking point.  Instead of answering the question.  And when it comes to campaigning they will take everything their opponents say out of context to change everyone’s perception about them.

Our Schools teach our Kids that a Just Society uses Government to Redistribute Wealth to make Society Fairer

Democrats are masters at creating perception.  Which is easy to do when you have the mainstream media in your pocket.  As well as college professors and high school teachers.  The entertainment industry.  The music industry.  Etc.  This small sliver of people has a profound impact on the masses.  For they dominate what people hear and learn.  And with them having a far left ideology their message is far left.  So when this small sliver of people fills our airwaves, cable television, movies and our classrooms their minority viewpoint creates the perception of being the majority viewpoint.  Like that real estate broker.  Because it’s everywhere.  While the majority of people who don’t share their ideology aren’t on television or in the movies.  On the radio or teaching our kids in the classroom.

The perception our kids have of America when graduating from high school is not that good.  Our teachers teach them that America stole the land from the Indians.  And stole Spanish America from the Spanish who stole it from the Indians.  They teach that slavery is America’s original sin.  As if America invented the institution of slavery.  Despite slavery having been around as long as civilization has been around.  They teach that America grew rich because of free slave labor.  Despite the South losing the American Civil War because the institution of slavery so impoverished the South that it was no match for what the North’s paid-labor could produce.  They teach our kids that capitalism is unfair and that profits are evil.  Despite the greatest oppression of people (as well as the lowest standards of living and greatest famines) has always been in anti-capitalistic nations (the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba, the countries of Eastern Europe during the cold war, etc.).  While at the same time they teach our kids the goodness of government.  And gloss over the oppression and privations of socialist/communist countries everywhere.

So our kids graduate from high school with the perception that if government doesn’t greatly regulate the free market the greed of capitalism will cause great unfairness.  And that a just society uses government to redistribute wealth to make society fairer.  And that anyone who opposes higher taxes and greater regulation to facilitate this fairer society hates kids.  They want to pollute our air and water.  They want unsafe food.  They want women to die from cancer.  They hate the planet.  Poor people.  Gay people.  Etc.  They hear this so often and so consistently that they accept it as the majority opinion.  And when they go on to college or start watching the news this perception is reinforced.  Which is why our young people vote Democrat.  Because the perception is that Democrats are for the working man.  The party that puts people before profits.  While the Republicans put rich people, and their money, before everything else.

Was it the Rand filibuster that made President Obama launch a Charm Offensive?

A big part of forming perceptions is not telling the truth. When President Obama was candidate Obama he didn’t want to nationalize health care.  He opposed same-sex marriage.  He didn’t support gun control.  He talked about transparency.  He attacked President Bush for being fiscally irresponsible.  And for running massive deficits that added to the debt.  He talked about not spending more than the government collected.  But the real President Obama was none of this.  And the real President Obama has never left campaign mode.  For he doesn’t govern.  He continues to campaign.  Against Republicans.  Blaming them for every problem exasperated by his own policies.  And, of course, he continues to blame George W. Bush.  Always attacking Republicans.  Always blaming Republicans.  To reinforce a perception of the Republican Party that will benefit him.  And his party.  So he can win the House back in 2014.  And finally govern as he always wanted to govern.  As a president with no political opposition to restrain his powers.

The president’s Middle East foreign policy has been a disaster.  He refused to support a Democracy movement in Iran.  Our enemy.  While supporting a democracy movement in Egypt.  And in Libya.  Our allies in the War on Terror.  (But not in Syria.  An ally of Iran.)  Now the Middle East is becoming Islamist.  And closer to Iran.  Our enemy.  And the enemy of peace and stability.  This disastrous policy came to a head in Benghazi.  Where four Americans died to advance the perception that President Obama had al Qaeda on the ropes.  When in fact they were resurgent in Benghazi.  Which our ambassador knew.  And tried to tell his boss.  Hillary Clinton.  Begging for more security.  Which never came.  When questioned in Congress about who edited the talking points that Secretary Rice used on the Sunday morning talk shows to advance the lie that it was not al Qaeda but a spontaneous uprising in response to a YouTube video that no one had seen she yelled with righteous indignation, “What difference did it make!?!”  An answer no one accepted in the Watergate investigation.  Which Clinton assisted with as a young attorney.  Back then a government cover-up made a big difference.  Which led to impeachment hearings.  That ended when President Nixon resigned.  But the Obama administration would escape that fate.  For the perception was that this was a Republican partisan witch hunt.  Because they were racists and hated the president.  And with all their support in entertainment, education and the news the people accepted this perception.  And apparently didn’t care about the cover-up of Benghazi.  Unlike they were about the cover-up of Watergate that resulted in no dead Americans.

And this is what made the Rand Paul filibuster so powerful.  For he dared to challenge the perception that the Obama administration was sweet and innocent and transparent unlike the ‘criminal’ administration of George W. Bush.  President Obama has expanded the use of drones.  He has killed more people with them than George W. Bush.  And a lot more innocent bystanders.  Including a few Americans.  Even appearing to want to reserve the right to use a drone strike on Americans on U.S. soil without due process even if they posed no imminent threat.  The Obama administration finally stated that they wouldn’t do that.  But not before those on the Left took notice of Rand Paul’s filibuster.  Including Jon Stewart of the Daily Show.  People who expected something like this from the Bush administration.  But not from the Obama administration.  Giving the Obama administration some rare negative press.  Just enough to get some people to ask, “They want to do what?!?”  And the fact that it took a 13-hour filibuster to get a simple ‘no’ out of the administration makes it look like, perhaps, it’s the Democrats who are not trying to cooperate with the Republicans.  Unlike the perception that it’s the Republicans that are being uncooperative.  Perhaps explaining why the president has launched a charm offensive.  To improve a tarnished perception that they never had to do before.  Thanks to the Rand Paul filibuster.

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