Random thoughts on value of college degree

About 20 years ago I noticed a trend in Florida state government where secretaries were going back to school to get their BS degrees. They had gone from secretaries to administrative assistants seemingly overnight as the demands of their positions increased.

Fast forward twenty years and half the cashiers at Kroger and the bank tellers at Chase have college degrees and the demands of their positions haven’t changed in 100 years.

College is becoming a playpen for the children of the 99% giving the one percent some time to determine what to do with them.

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Trump’s 15% tax ain’t happening

Dear Trump-Pets. As a self-employed consultant, I support a 15% marginal tax on pass-throughs. Is it going to happen? No. Paul Ryan and Company won’t allow it and Nancy Pelosi and her minions will message negatively on the idea, calling it a gift to hedge fund managers who already benefit from carried interest.

Meanwhile, small business owners will continue to carry a large tax burden on top of the everyday hustle to find the next client.

As for the everyday wage earner, expect very little in relief. The GOP will have to reconcile their version of big government with the realities that a tax cut will mean less to spend on missiles and corporate subsidies. Someone will have to carry that tax burden, and quite a few of those are Trump-Pets…..

 

 

Posted in Budget, business, Democrats, Donald Trump, middle class, Paul Ryan, Republicans, taxes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Collectivism. Taking away your freedom to be

Collectivism sends the false message that just because people share a skin color or physical location or a citizenship then one person has a license to get in another person’s business. This intrusion ranges from the State telling a woman that she can’t produce her own electricity on her own property to when she can have an abortion.

At what cost are you willing to give up your freedom to be? Collectivism. Taking away your freedom to be ….

Posted in free speech, free thought, freedom from religion, government, libertarianism, liberty, Political Economy, race, regulation, religion, society, statism | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Peter Clemenza on recessions, Marine Le Pen, and Europe

Michael: How bad do you think it’s gonna be?
Clemenza: Pretty goddamn bad. Probably all the other Families will line up against us. That’s all right. These things gotta happen every five years or so, ten years. Helps to get rid of the bad blood. Been ten years since the last one. You know, you gotta stop them at the beginning…. From #TheGodfatherPartI

Investors are nervous about 7 May, when a run-off between prospective French presidential candidates Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron is supposed to take place. If Le Pen wins the election and can persuade the Republic to leave the European Union, the costs to France for borrowing will increase and if your portfolio or your bank holds French debt, the fall in French bond valuations will negatively impact you.

A recession will go a way in cleaning out some cholesterol floating around in the global body politic. Rising rates will mean stricter scrutiny of investment proposals and loans.

The down side is the economic stress that will fall on the working class on both sides of the pond. Lower valued capital means lower valued collateral upon which to support loans. If investors are afraid to lend, businesses will be wary of expanding their labor. Lower employment would further fuel the populist rants of Ms Le Pen or her potential counterpart in the United States, Donald Trump.

I agree with Clemenza. The system needs a good cleansing. Leave the better business models available for financing.

Fire rises ….

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Non-moralizing on Syria is refreshing

A piece in The New York Times today highlighted President Trump’s distaste for moralizing as preamble to foreign policy action. I find it very refreshing to see an American president not get on a self-righteous soapbox and preach morals to the rest of the world. Moralization is an alternative fact or, to steal the phrase from Chuck Todd, a verifiable falsehood that tends to be accepted by the naive. When subject to strict scrutiny, the alternative fact that the United States holds a monopoly on global morality is quickly shown to be false .

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Martin Luther King, blacks, Vietnam, & Russia

Blacks have come a long way. On 4 April 1968, their civil rights warrior, Martin Luther King, Jr., was cut down by an assassin’s bullet while standing on a hotel balcony in Memphis. The Tet Offensive had only occurred three short months prior. The year before, Muhammad Ali had been convicted for draft evasion, after challenging the establishment to tell him why he should go overseas to fight a yellow man who had never called him nigger.

Today, the so called leaders of the black community occupying seats in Congress are ready to label Russia an enemy, to the point of turning a loss by their new hero, Hillary Clinton, into some attack on America. Yes, blacks, particularly their leadership, have gone from having steel in their balls to a preference for a pusillanimous behavior. Steely leadership would call for playing the GOP off of the lily-white liberals in Congress, not falling so quickly in line with warmongers disguised as progressives …

…. make me wanna holler ….

Posted in American society, black American, Congress, Congressional Black Caucus, Democrats, GOP, government, Russia | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

#Brexit and karma

Brexit should be completed in two years. It would be interesting to see Russia, the United States, and Great Britain carve up Europe for energy trade the way Europe carved up Africa and the Western Hemisphere. That’s the beautiful thing about time. With the right amount of duration, karma comes back to bite you in the ass.

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Of Clinton, Putin, e-mail servers, and energy stocks

All wars are about natural resources. Vladimir Putin’s alleged hack of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail servers was a low cost preemptive strike against a potential president with designs on upsetting Russia’s energy economy via a natural gas/oil trade war or worse, via a proxy military conflict with the Great Bear in the old stopping grounds of the Middle East.

Russia is the number one exporter of natural resources to the European Union and Hillary Clinton was hell bent on upsetting that apple cart and if it meant military conflict in order to enrich a few American oil companies and the coffers of the American treasury, she was willing to spend my son’s blood in order to get that job done.

The irony is so many disenfranchised minorities i.e. black people, are willing to wave the flag echoing Rachel Maddow’s war cries and falling for the media’s siren calls for blood against Russia’s alleged attack on an “electoral process” where no evidence has been shown that not one voter was denied access to the voting booth as a result. Jingoism relies on a lack of critical thinking that takes one beyond the wall. Fear of teary eyes shouldn’t keep one from peeling the onion, but too many Americans fall for the okey doke.

Yes, Hillary Clinton suffered a little butt hurt last fall, and while I understand why a die-hard statist would be ticked that another nation-state doesn’t like its candidates and is willing to keep them out of power, before going ape shit over that candidate’s pain, you should ask, “What’s in this for me?”, and unless you own some oil stock, or are exposed to bank stock that trade in European Union markets, going off half cocked over Russia is waste.

Posted in Economy, foreign policy, Hillary Clinton, Political Economy, renewable energy, Russia, statism, Vladimir Putin | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Congress nudges FCC back to its primary mission

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve S.J. Res 34, a resolution that invalidates privacy rules enacted by the Federal Communications Commission last December. The rules imposed common carrier privacy restrictions on broadband providers. Opponents of the Commission’s rules argued that the agency best suited for enforcing privacy protections on the internet is the Federal Trade Commission, an agency that arguably has over 100 years of consumer protection policy experience under its belt. Consumer concerns about online privacy are best addressed by a uniform set of rules, opponents argue.

The Commission’s push into the online privacy protection arena only confuses consumers and probably creates an opportunity for forum shopping on the part of edge providers, like Google, who also have a broadband transmission component as part of their business model. Google could argue that it is a web portal dedicated to search one minute, and then the next minute, argue that its broadband provider the next because of its Google Fiber offerings.

I suspect that Google wants to stay in the web portal box, especially given its less than enthusiastic push into the broadband delivery world. Google Fiber has been cutting back on its broadband deployment initiatives, in part because of cost, but I would also suspect in part because of the increasing potential for nosy regulators to interfere with the company’s business model.

In the most recent decades of the digital universe, the FTC has brought the likes of Facebook and Google to the carpet on consumer protection issues. I think their credibility as a consumer protector is beyond dispute. There are two things I like about the House’s actions that go beyond privacy.

First, removing the rule signals that the State wants to see broadband access providers compete with internet search and content providers in the third-party data space. Consumers and progressives who have been gung-ho about prohibiting certain uses of personal data by their broadband access providers have apparently let Google and Facebook off the hook when it comes to those companies using and selling everything from data contained in Google Mail to pictures posted on Instagram to “likes” posted on Facebook. Advocates targeting broadband access providers give the impression that broadband access providers should not be allowed to play in the data trade markets, much less play on the same playing field if they are allowed to.

S.J.Res 34 tells the market otherwise. It recognizes that for online advertisers there is a benefit from having additional players in the data trade markets that can get their products before more eyeballs or offer more detailed insights about prospective consumers.

Second, S.J. 34 signals the Commission to get back to its primary mission: spectrum management. Spectrum is a natural resource whose distribution and use is regulated by the State. Private firms are licensed to put this resource to its best use; creating products and services that use spectrum, selling these products and services to consumers, and keeping then profits minus the costs of holding a spectrum license. The State gets its tribute from spectrum fees and taxes. The more spectrum that can be allocated to firms that put spectrum to best use, the more proceeds to the State. As a resource manager, this is where the Commission’s energies need to be focused.

S.J. 34 is one of the rare moments where Congress, unbeknownst to it, remembered its primary mission.

Posted in American society, big data, broadband, broadband access provider, Facebook, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Google, government, Internet, Political Economy, statism, taxes, Title II, trade | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Apolitical State

The State organizes a nation’s resources for efficient, effective, and profitable exploitation with returns going to:
1. The State, in the form of tax revenues, government jobs, power, and prestige;
2. Bond holders, in the form of coupon payments; and
3. Equity holders, in the form of dividends.

The State sanctions “enterprises” to conduct the day-to-day extraction, organization, distribution of capital, and production of goods and services. This may be done by the state-owned enterprises or contracted out via charter or license to private entities.

The decision to “farm out” enterprise solutions may be based on:

1.The state’s inability or lack of capacity to conduct the day-to-day extraction, organization, distribution of capital, or production of goods and services; or

2. Agitation by individuals who see bigger returns from private ownership of the factors of production.

Great Britain championed capitalism not because it was the “right thing to do” but because it was the economically efficient thing to do. It was the price the Crown had to pay in order to expand. The Crown granted charters to individuals and trading companies to establish colonies, extract resources, and send resources back to Mother England.

The United States is an echo effect of Great Britain’s mercantilist policies and although it abandoned mercantilism early in its history, it still relied on private individuals and companies, backed by its military to expand west and beyond.

America’s monarchy has been split into three heads with its Executive serving as a watered down monarch. America’s rules and institutions make it difficult to extract booty from the land and the people for the State’s gain. It’s democratic form requires it, the State, to engage in the political marketplace every two years, promising political packages in exchange for power and prestige.

Like its predecessor, the British monarch, the American State acts as a leech, transferring wealth from the land and its people to the real three-headed beast: the State, the bond holder, and the equity holder.

To become emotional or worse, to live the illusion that the American State construct was designed for your benefit, is waste. Expecting “fairness, or social justice” is an exercise in futility. There are only two ways to approach the State.

One, take the State over and avail yourself of its material and political “blessings”, or two, become “apolitical”, accepting the State for what it is and securing its benefits as either a bond holder or equity holder.

Either way, becoming its ward, its dependent, is a path you should avoid, unless you are comfortable with your dignity being drained the way a vampire bleeds its victim …. slowly …. without mercy.

Posted in American society, democracy, Political Economy, society, statism | Tagged , , | 1 Comment