FT213: “Rich liberals support a large welfare state to assuage their wealth guilt.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 14th, 2014

Fundamental Truth

Rich People become Liberals so People don’t Shame them for their Obscene Wealth

Rich people love being rich.  They love their mansions.  Their expensive cars.  Eating at the finest restaurants.  Drinking the finest wine.  Going on lavish vacations.  Going to the best parties.  Hanging with the beautiful people.  And rich men especially like the sex with beautiful young women their wealth can make happen.  To quote the Eagles song Life in the Fast Lane rich people love having everything all of the time.

Some of the richest people in the United States are liberals.  Yes, those same people who argue for income and wealth equality.  Hollywood stars.  Televisions stars.  Authors.  And music stars.  Who are everything they stand against.  They’re part of that evil 1%.   And they live very ostentatious lives.  Their wealth is over the top.  Bling.  Cars.  Cars with bling.  Nothing but the best.  And then some.  This wealth is okay, though.  But those in the 1% other than them?  Government should raise their taxes to take as much of it away as possible.  And we should all shame them for daring to have such obscene wealth.

Of course, rich liberals like their obscene wealth.  They want to keep it.  And they want to continue their lavish lives.  But they don’t want people shaming them.  They want people to love them and adore them.  So they buy whatever they’re selling.  Movies, televisions shows, books or music.  They don’t want anyone shaming them for their obscene wealth.  So they do something very simple to avoid that shame.  They become public liberals.

Only those Businesses that Continually Please their Customers Succeed

Liberals can have the most obscene amounts of wealth without anyone shaming them for that obscene wealth.  Why?  Because they belong to the ‘right’ political party.  The one that argues against income and wealth inequality.  So they get a pass.  Which is why so many rich people are liberals.  They want to be left alone.  And their call for higher taxes on rich people?  Well, they’re so rich that they can hire the best accountants and tax attorneys to help them shield their wealth from the taxman.  There’s a reason why the tax code is so convoluted and not a simple flat tax like conservatives want.  To help rich liberals keep their money.

Then there are rich liberals who have too much of a conscious.  And they feel guilty for having obscene wealth.  But not guilty enough to give their wealth away.  These liberals are vehemently pro big government.  They want a massive welfare state.  To assuage their wealth guilt.  So they can continue to enjoy their obscene wealth.  Their 1% wealth.  Without having to feel guilty about it.  Such as, presumably, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart.

Jon Stewart is a very well-read and intelligent man.  He knows a lot of stuff.  Unfortunately, though, he draws many wrong conclusions with that knowledge.  He favors big government.  And a vast welfare state to help those in need.  He trusts government while distrusting corporations and businesses.  Because, as he has said, we have no vote with corporations and businesses like we do with government.  Via elections.  But he’s wrong.  We do have a vote with all corporations and businesses.  The moment they stop treating their customers right those customers go to other corporations and businesses.  Most new businesses fail within 5 years.  And some big companies that have been around for years fail and go out of business.  Why?  Because their customers DO have a large vote in whether they succeed or not.  And only those businesses that continually please their customers succeed.  Something you just can’t say about government.  For no matter how much they anger the people little ever changes.

Not only is there Income and Wealth Inequality there’s also Income Tax Inequality

Fox News has been talking about people scamming the welfare state.  Highlighting a surfer dude in California as a typical welfare cheat.  Stewart lambasted Fox News for that.  Saying one person (or two or three, etc.) does not mean all people on welfare are gaming the system.  Although he uses that very logic to point at corporations caught in wrong-doing.  Saying they represent all corporations and businesses.  And he joins the choir about how rich corporations and rich people are not paying their fair share of taxes.  And how some of these rich corporations and rich people are hiding their income and wealth from the taxman.  Despite their paying the lion’s share of all taxes.

According to the National Taxpayer’s Union, when it comes to income taxes it’s rich people paying the most.  So not only is there income and wealth inequality.  There’s also income tax inequality.  Through recent years the top 1% of income earners has paid approximately a third of all income taxes.  The top 5% has paid more than half of all income taxes.  And the top 10% of income earners has paid about 70% of all income taxes.  While the bottom 50% of income earners, the people rich liberals want to help, pay about 3% (or less) of all income taxes.

You don’t have to raise tax rates on the wealthy.  They’re already paying a disproportionate share of all income taxes.  In fact, if you cut tax rates and cut business regulations to help rich business and rich people get even richer more tax revenue would flow into the treasury.  This would be a good thing.  Rich people getting richer.  And more people becoming rich.  This should be what everyone wants.  Based on the amount of taxes rich people pay.  So we should stop trying to help the less fortunate by raising taxes on the rich.  And creating more onerous regulations for businesses that benefit the less fortunate.  Like Obamacare.  For it hurts the profit incentive.  Which prevents rich people from getting richer and paying more income taxes.  As well as dissuades people from becoming business owners or expanding their businesses.  Which means fewer jobs.  Fewer hours in those jobs.  And the replacement of costly people with machines.  It’s because of these things that median family income has fallen under the Obama administration.  Which is the last thing any good liberal should want.  This is why rich liberals have got to stop supporting a large welfare state to assuage their wealth guilt.  It’s killing the middle class.  And destroying the jobs that could pull the less fortunate into the middle class.  And beyond.

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Abject Ignorance of things Economic is Destroying our Health Care System

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 18th, 2014

Week in Review

The problem in America these days is the mass ignorance of the people.  Thanks to a public school system that does not educate but programs our children to be good Democrat voters.  Higher education taken over by the leftist radicals of the Sixties that forever changed the curriculum to teach our children to distrust capitalism and love government.  When controlled by Democrats, of course.  And people who are for some reason respected for their economic prowess who are absolutely clueless on things economic (see The Daily Show Nails Why Healthcare Will Never Work As A Free Market by Christina Sterbenz posted 1/18/2014 on Business Insider).

Steven Brill, author of Time’s in-depth healthcare analysis “Bitter Pill,” appeared on The Daily Show this week to discuss his opinion of Obamacare.

Brill’s work exploded his career into a love-hate relationship with Obamacare, now leading to a book. Speaking with Jon Stewart, Brill certainly made his criticisms known but we also feel like he pinpointed exactly why healthcare just can’t work as a free market.

Brill told the story of a cancer patient forced to pay $13,700 out-of-pocket, up-front for transfusion of a drug. And that cost only constituted part of a greater $83,000 payment. Brill claims, however, the drug only cost the pharmaceutical company $300.

Stewart came back at Brill with the typical, conservative argument — creating a free market for healthcare where patients pick-and-choose their coverage to create competition and therefore, better options.

“Everyone says, well it’s a marketplace. That guy [the cancer patient] has no choice in buying that drug. His doctor told him, ‘This will save your life. You don’t take it, you’re gonna die,'” Brill responded.

He further argued free markets must host two aspects — a balance between buyers and sellers and secondly, knowledge — neither of which the current U.S. system offers.

“That cancer drug has a patent. That is a monopoly that the government has given the drug company. There is no other drug. That’s the drug,” Brill said.

Jon Stewart is a comedian.  So one can almost forgive his ignorance.  But you’d think a person writing for a publication with the word ‘business’ in its name would actually understand business.  But the author hasn’t a clue.  It’s not her fault.  It’s because of the politicizing of our educational system.  As her dual degrees in journalism and public affairs would have taught her squat about the classical, Austrian or the Chicago school of economics.  Instead filling her head with Keynesian nonsense.  The one economic school embraced by power-hungry governments everywhere that has a proven track record of failure.  For it was Keynesian policies that gave us the Great Depression, the stagflation of the 1970s, the dot-com bubble and recession of the late 1990s/early 2000s and the Great Recession.  Where massive government spending did not pull the economy out of recession but only made things worse.

Why does this pharmaceutical company have a patent?  Or perhaps a better question would be why do we have this one cancer drug?  Why is it that this one pharmaceutical company developed a cancer drug that works that no other pharmaceutical company or government developed?  Because of that patent.  The only reason they poured hundreds of millions of dollars into research and development and paid massive liability insurance premiums for taking a huge risk to put a drug onto the market that may harm or kill people.  They do this on the CHANCE that they may develop at least one successful drug that will pay all of their past costs for this one drug, the costs for the countless drugs that failed AND a profit for their investors.  Who took a huge risk investing, giving this pharmaceutical company the money to pay all of their employees over the years it took to come up with at least one drug that wasn’t a loser.

Does the author of this article work for free?  No.  Of course not.  She has bills.  As we all do.  Even the people working at pharmaceutical companies.  Who don’t work there for free.  Even if the vast majority of their work produces nothing that their employer can sell their employer still pays them.  Thanks to their investors who give them the money to do so until they can actually sell something.  But their investors do this only because of the CHANCE that this pharmaceutical will develop that miracle drug that everyone wants.  A miracle drug that would never come into being if it weren’t for investors who were willing to risk losing huge amounts of money.  Something only rich investors can afford to do.

Health care worked as a free market before General Motors made it an employee benefit thanks to FDR’s ceiling on wages.  Once people stopped paying for what they received all free market forces left the health care system.  And costs began to rise.  This whole “healthcare just can’t work as a free market” is a product of the dumbing down of our educational system.  One that produces people who don’t know the difference between insurance and health care.  Insurance protects our assets against a catastrophic and UNEXPECTED loss.  Like when Lloyds of London started selling marine insurance at that coffee shop.  Every shipper paid a small premium to protect against a POTENTIAL sinking and loss of cargo.  A POTENTIAL financial loss.  Not every ship sank, though.  In fact, most ships did not.  Which is why that little bit from everyone was able to pay the financial loss of the few that did.  For the ships that didn’t sink the shippers paid every other cost they incurred to ship things across those perilous oceans.

This is how insurance works.  Which isn’t how our current health insurance works.  Where people don’t expect to pay for anything out-of-pocket.  Not the unexpected catastrophic costs.  Or the EXPECTED small costs that everyone can budget for in their personal lives.  Childhood vaccinations, annual checkups, flu shots, childbirth, etc.  Even the unexpected things that have a low cost.  Like the stitches required when a child falls off of a bike.  Things that would cost less than someone’s annual cellular costs.  Or things that people can plan and save for (like a house, a car or a child).  When we pay these things out-of-pocket there are market forces in play.  For a doctor is not going to charge someone they’ve been seeing for years as much as a faceless insurance company.  Even today some doctors will waive some fees to help some of their long-time patients during a time of financial hardship.  Because there is a relationship between doctor and patient.

When we pay out-of-pocket doctors can’t charge as much.  Because they need patients.  If they charge too much their patients may find another good doctor that charges a little less.  Perhaps a younger one trying to establish a practice.  These are market forces.  Just like there are everywhere else in the economy.  Even a cancer patient requiring an expensive wonder drug would contribute to market forces if there was true insurance in our health care system.  Cancer is an unexpected and catastrophic cost.  But not everyone gets cancer.  Everyone would pay a small fee to insure against a financial loss that can result from cancer.  Where that little bit from everyone was able to pay the financial loss of the unfortunate few that receive a cancer diagnosis.  Because only a few from a large pool would incur this financial loss insurers would compete against other insurers for this business.  Just like they do to insure houses.  And ships crossing perilous oceans.

Health care would work better in the free market.  It doesn’t today because government changed that.  Starting with FDR putting a ceiling on wages.  Which forced employers to offer generous benefits to get the best workers to work for them when they couldn’t offer them more pay.  This was the beginning.  Now the health insurance industry is so bastardized that it doesn’t even resemble insurance anymore.  It’s just a massive cost transfer from one group of people to another.  Instead of a pooling of money to insure against financial risk.  For the few unexpected and catastrophic costs we could not afford and budget for to pay out-of-pocket.

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Jon Stewart to lose all respect for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio after he did what Donald Trump Did

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 12th, 2014

Week in Review

The new mayor of New York City just stuck a fork in the eye of New York City (see Bill de Blasio uses a fork & knife to eat pizza by Yoav Gonen and Kathryn Cusma posted 1/10/2014 on the New York Post).

Some New Yorker!

Mayor de Blasio shunned years of Big Apple custom Friday by digging into a slice of Staten Island pizza with a knife and fork.

With the move, Hizzoner joined the ranks of real estate mogul Donald Trump and former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who were ridiculed in 2011 for not eating New York City pizza like a New Yorker — with their hands.

Eating New York pizza with a fork?  Pahdon me while I play the grahnd piano (I believe that was a line from the Monty Python television show).  What’s next?  Requiring New Yorkers to grovel in your presence?  For after all, you eat pizza with a fork.  Like a European or something.  A man of sophistication.  And pomposity far exceeding your common New Yorker.  It was bad enough you were getting rid of the horses from Central Park.  For your real estate friends.  And to do God knows what with those horses.  Which they eat in France.  And probably something you eat, too, with your fancy fork.

Perhaps Jon Stewart said it best.  What he thought about a man eating his New York pie with a fork (see About (Late) Last Night: Jon Stewart slams Donald Trump for eating pizza with a fork [Video] by Meredith Blake posted 7/2/2011 on the Los Angeles Times).

Donald Trump likes to think of himself as the quintessential New Yorker, but Jon Stewart begs to differ. His main bone of contention? The way Trump eats his pizza. As Stewart put it Wednesday night on “The Daily Show,” “Based on how you eat pizza, Donald, I want to see your long-form birth certificate. I don’t think you were really born in New York…”

The accusations came at the end of a lengthy but highly entertaining segment in which Stewart closely analyzed the recent pizza dinner shared between Trump and fellow speculative presidential candidate Sarah Palin. In a rant in which Stewart channeled the ghost of Joe Pesci’s character in “Goodfellas,” the host cited two major issues with the Donald’s dinner.

First, there was the venue: Famous Famiglia, a generic chain pizza restaurant at 50th and Broadway, just north of Times Square. It was an underwhelming choice, especially in a city with a wealth of options for a delicious, authentic slice. Or, as Stewart put it in a mild jab at Palin, “I hate to use this term so close to ground zero, but we’re a bit of a pizza Mecca.”

But even more egregious was Trump’s rather fussy method of eating his slices: Stacked and (brace yourselves) with a fork. “Donald Trump, why don’t you just take that fork and stick it right in New York’s eye?” Stewart said, adopting a broad “New Yoik” accent.

No doubt Mayor de Blasio just lost Jon Stewart.  And with him the youth voters.  Say hello to a single term, Mayor de Blasio.  For how can the youth voters vote for a man who eats pizza with a fork?  That’s just too ‘1% ‘for their tastes.

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FT160: “Why would Democrats want to help Republicans appeal to more voters when they want to beat them in elections?” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 8th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

The Power Brokers in Washington dismiss the Rand Paul Filibuster as another Kook Libertarian/Tea Party Thing

The Rand Paul filibuster caused quite the stir.  For it’s been a while since we had an old-school talking filibuster on the Senate floor.  Senator Paul was delaying a vote on confirming John Brennan as CIA director.  Over the drone policy of the Obama administration.  He talked for about 13 hours.  All to get an answer from the Obama administration.  He wanted the administration to answer definitively that the U.S. would not kill American citizens on U.S. soil with a drone strike without due process if that American citizen posed no imminent threat.  But getting that admission was akin to pulling teeth.

Rand Paul is the son of Ron Paul.  Who is a libertarian.  And a bit of a kook to the Washington establishment.  Both on the Left and the Right.  Because he goes on and on about the gold standard.  The Constitution.  And America fighting wars we shouldn’t be fighting.  If it were up to him he would bring all American forces home.  And he would stop those drone strikes.  Both Ron Paul and Rand Paul are/were members of the Republican Party.  Constitutional conservatives.  And libertarians.  Who the Washington establishment looks at as kooks.  Rand Paul is even worse.  For he is a member of the Tea Party movement.  A group of people the Washington establishment also looks upon as a bunch of kooks.

So the power brokers in Washington look at Rand Paul as just another kook.  And were quick to dismiss this filibuster as another example of how crazy these libertarian/Tea Party kooks were.  But there was only one problem.  Was someone who was trying to get an evasive government to admit that they wouldn’t kill Americans on U.S. soil without due process even if that American posed no imminent threat a kook?  This was something the Left was supposed to do.  Speak truth to power.  To protect American citizens from an out of control federal government.  And here was Rand Paul fighting that fight.  A Tea Party Constitutional conservative libertarian.

The Republican Old Guard is trying to Distance Themselves from the Tea Party and the Constitutional Conservatives

The Left attacked the Bush administration over the Patriot Act.  Which included those warrantless wiretaps on Americans who were speaking to known terrorist threats in a foreign country.  They assailed George W. Bush and Dick Cheney over the water-boarding of three terrorists.  Including one who gave up information that led us to Osama bin Laden.  Now it was their president whose administration appeared out of control.  Whose attorney general would not come out and say that they would not kill Americans on U.S. soil with a drone strike without due process even if they posed no imminent threat.  Something was very wrong with this picture.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart owes its success to the Republican Party.  For the show’s one purpose in life is to attack and belittle Republicans.  Which their liberal audience enjoys.  Responding with enthusiastic applause and laughter whenever Stewart skewers any Republican.  Or any institution or cause that is important to them.  However, Jon Stewart, even though he disagrees with pretty much everything Rand Paul stands for, did not ridicule Senator Paul for his filibuster.  For the Obama administration’s unwillingness to state for the record that they would not kill Americans on U.S. soil with a drone strike without due process even if they posed no imminent threat clearly bothered him.  Even if it didn’t bother the Washington establishment.  Including the Old Guard of the Republican Party.  Who did ridicule Senator Paul.

The Republican Old Guard is trying to distance themselves from the Tea Party.  And the Constitutional conservatives.  Instead they endlessly bend over backwards to try to get the opposition to like them.  Always unwilling to rock the political boat.  They won’t criticize the president.  Or do anything that may upset the Independents and moderates.  Such as saying the president is going to kill Americans on American soil with drone attacks.  Which really wasn’t the issue of the filibuster.  It was the administration’s apparent desire to have the legal right to do so.  This is what upset Senator Paul.  As well as Jon Stewart.  The ACLU.  Code Pink.  And Amnesty International.  Who found the Obama administration’s evasive answer on the subject disturbing.  Putting the Republican Old Guard on the wrong side of this issue.

The Democrats are Playing the Republican Old Guard to Advance their Agenda

So why is the Republican Old Guard on the wrong side of this issue?  Because they listen too much to their friends in the Democrat Party.  Who are always giving them advice on how to appeal to more voters.  To attract more women.  Blacks.  Hispanics.  People who typically vote Democrat.  And how can the Republicans get these Democrat-voting people to vote Republican?  Easy.  Just act more like Democrats.  Hence their not criticizing the president.  And why they are distancing themselves from the conservative Republican base.  The Tea Party.  And the Constitutional conservatives.  Because that’s what Democrats do.  And Democrats are getting more women, blacks and Hispanics to vote for them.  Ergo, if the Republicans just act like them they will get more women, blacks and Hispanics to vote for them.

Anyone see the flaw in this plan?  If these people typically vote for Democrats why would they vote for Republicans acting like Democrats when they can just as well vote for the people they typically vote for?  Democrats?  For a Democrat is unlikely to stop behaving like a Democrat.  But is a Republican as unlikely to stop acting like a Democrat?  When there are Tea Party and Constitutional conservatives out there that may be vying for their seat in the next primary election?  If we’ve learned anything from the 2012 Republican primary election it’s this.  Republicans try to move farther to the right than their primary opponents.  To appeal to the Tea Party and Constitutional conservatives in their base.  And the more they act like Democrats while in office the harder that will be to do.  Something no doubt Democrat voters keep in mind when they consider these Democrat-light Republican candidates.

Does anyone see another flaw in this plan?  Of Democrats helping Republicans to get more women, black and Hispanic voters?  Granted the Democrat Party is the party of altruism and welfare.  They’re the ones who want to offer a hand-up.  To feed the hungry.  To house the homeless.  To be the father/husband for single mothers.  To provide free preschool.  Free school lunches.  And breakfasts.  Free health care.  Etc.  They just want to give and help as many people as possible.  But do they really want to help Republicans?  Their political rivals?  Those people who vote against handouts (what others call a hand-up), food for the hungry, houses for the homeless, fathering/husbanding single mothers, free preschool, free school lunches, breakfasts, free health care, etc.  Of course they don’t.  The Democrats are just playing the Republican Old Guard.  Getting some of them to vote their way to attract the voters that will never vote for them.  To advance their agenda.  While using them to marginalize their greatest threat.  The Tea Party.  And Constitutional conservatives.  Anyone who doubts this just needs to ask themselves one question.  Why would Democrats want to help Republicans appeal to more voters when they want to beat them in elections?  They wouldn’t.  Something everyone can see.  Except the Republican Old Guard.  Who are so blind that they choose the wrong side of the ‘killing Americans on American soil without due process’ issue.

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