Saturday, April 22, 2017
Iron is magnetic. Most landfills pass our waste stream under electromagnets and we capture and reclaim a huge portion of waste iron.
Currently the Trump Administration is seeking to impose tariffs and restrictions on imported steel claiming that that steel is a strategic commodity that we need to protect for national security.
I say that, because iron is so easily recycled, it is actually in our nation's strategic interest to import steel.
All of the steel things that we import help our nation build up a strategic reserve.
If there is an international crisis that suddenly requires a great deal of steel, we can easily recycle the huge steel reserve that we imported.
Let's say we had a conflict with China. All of the steel that China exported in times of peace is steel they no longer have and that we have in reserve.
As for iron and coal reserves in the ground, we are in a better strategic position if we leave our resources in the ground and let China overdevelop their reserves.
If we have a national crisis that suddenly requires a great deal of steel, our nation can easily ramp up steel and coal production. The huge amount of recyclable metal that we have in our nation plus the ability to ramp up undeveloped reserves puts us in a better position than a false market where we use tariffs to block steel imports and consume our natural iron reserves in times of peace.
Thursday, March 09, 2017
The goal of Conservatism is to conserve the top-down social structure of the ancient regime in an age of political change.
Conservatives of 1830s crafted a very simple strategy: Conservatives use free market rhetoric to gain power. Once in power, they pass legislation that gives the ruling elite an economic advantage over the people at large. This creates the illusion that the existing social order is somehow the natural social order.
The conservative play book has not changed in 180 years.
The Health Care proposal by Paul Ryan, Tom Price and Donal Trump is keeping with the age old methodology of Conservatism.
The GOP plan keeps those parts of the plan the feed economic centralization while reducing the taxes and subsidies the plan included to make PPACA appear progressive.
I agree with Paul Ryan. The GOP's health care plan fits the 180 year tradition of Conservatism.
The top-down health care reform pushed by Paul Ryan is conservatism in action.
Paul Ryan is using the exact same playbook the Tories used when King William IV rebranded the Tory Party as "Conservative."
(For those of you who don't know history. King William IV was the younger son of King George III. The Tories were the people the US Founders fought against during the American Revolution. Conservatism is an ideology crafted by the enemies of the United States.)
Conservatism is an inherently disingenuous ideology. One uses free market rhetoric to gain power, then passes top down legislation once in power.
The problem with the Conservative methodology is that people, like me, who believe in the American tradition of free and fair economics are systematically cut out of the process.
The millions of people who fell for Conservative rhetoric feel duped.
They feel duped, because they were duped.
There's a large number of people who've been calling themselves "conservative" because they like the ideals of freedom and they are caught by surprise that their conservatives leaders are essentially seeking to conserve the core structure of Obamacare.
I have no idea how to break the political impasse between those who believe conservative rhetoric and those who employ the methodology of conservatism.
The people who claim that Paul Ryan isn't conservative enough because his health care plan is essentially "Obamacare Lite" are wrong.
Paul Ryan's actions are 100% in keeping with the 180 year tradition that Conservatives have followed since the Tories chose to re-name their party the Conservative Party.
Conservatives who keep with the tradition of the Tory Party are the most conservative of all the conservatives.
Conservatives use free market rhetoric to get in power, and enact top-down legislation that gives the upper class an advantage over the people.
This is what King George III wanted. This is what King George's youngest son wanted. This is what the Tories wanted.
Paul Ryan is not only a conservative. He is pure bred conservative in the great tradition of the Tory Movement.
Sadly, the only way for America to restore its liberal traditions is for people to realize that "Conservatism" is as corrupt an ideology as "progressivism" and I fear that few people in the GOP are willing to make that connection.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
It is likely that Donald Trump will attempt to stimulate with a tax cut.
When Bush passed his tax cut, he gave everyone a refund check.
The problem with the refund check is that checks have to be financed with debt spending.
A better approach is simply to pass some spending cuts that take place this year and a tax cut that starts next year.
Smart investors will start making their investing decisions based on the tax cut that will come in the future.
We don't need to engage in the debt financing of refund checks.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Whenever Conservatives tries to talk about this history, progressives jump out of the woodwork and screech the label "McCarthyism."
In this light it is amusing watching Obama lecturing conservatives about the dangers that might ensue from Russian interference in US politics.
It appears that Obama is trying to delegitimize an election which did not go his way.
Anyway, I believe that there has been a long history of nefarious groups trying to influence US politics. David Horowitz does some great work tracing the various networks currently in play.
McCarthy was a loudmouth drunk. There were people in his era, like Whitaker Chambers, who provided interesting information on cold war spying by the soviets in the Cold War.
As for Wikileaks, the reports I've heard indicate the leaks came from a disgruntle Democrat.
I dislike that the Trump campaign leaned so heavily on Wikileaks.
I dislike that the release of the Access Hollywood Tapes was timed to help Hillary. Had those tapes been released during the GOP primary, it is likely that Trump would have lost the primary.
Yep, there are many things I dislike, but this game where Obama only complains about outside influence when it hurts his partisan cause comes off as pathetic.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Small Business Saturday is a marketing gimmick dreamt up by American Express.
The primary purpose of Small Business Saturday is to get the American Express Brand in front of consumers and to encourage small shops to accept American Express Cards, despite the fact that the premium is higher than other payment methods.
The focal point of Small Business Saturday is the Shop Small advertising program by American Express which includes Small Shop Guides for America's largest cities.
The site for the event says: "Only qualifying American Express Card accepting small merchants will be featured on the map. Please." This excludes most small business.
Big media loves to push Small Business Saturdays. The name just resonates in the brain. Tweeting about small busness saturday makes a media outlet feel all comfy and progressive.
I like Small Business Saturday because the idea is so full of contradictions that it borders on the humorous.
First of all, anyone who regularly works with small businesses know that a huge number of small business owners prefer to do business during the weekdays and not on the weekends.
If you actually want to do business directly with the owner of a small business; your best bet is to march into the small business on some nondescript Tuesday. Most family owned business owners prefer spending holiday weekends with family.
The event is, from the ground up, a gimmick dreamt up by marketers from big business and follows big business type thinking. The multimedia campaign around the gimmick is big marketing to the core.
My Contribution to Small Business
A decade ago, I realized that small business was getting the shaft in the digital age. My small contribution to small business was to make small directories for small towns. The goal of the effort was to raise community awareness and promote locally focussed web development.
My small effort has sent tens of millions of hits to small businesses, blogs, community organizations, churches, artists and charities.
The Community Color sites have small directories for select towns in the Mountain West (Utah, Colorado, etc.). There were more directories in Idaho, Oregon and Montana. I gave those sites away; So, I only have a few left.
I get a couple million pages views each month.
The original idea of the directories was that I would link to all of the web sites I could find in a given town for free. The directory would also include affiliate links for big businesses with a local presences. The big affiliate programs would pay for local services. My affiliate income completely dried up a few years back.
Currently I get about $25 for every 100,000 page views on the site. That is a CPC rate of 25¢ per thousand impressions. My earnings per clicks (EPC) is about 1 penny per click.
I've been experimenting with the idea of selling ads directly to local small businesses for $25 for 100,000 page impressions. I haven't received any orders yet.
Anyway, I was thinking about making a big push on Small Business Saturday to sell the advertising, but a voice inside my brain is yelling: "Are you nuts? The people who would make the purchasing decision like this aren't working on Saturday.
Here is the announcement that I am selling ads at a rate of $25.00 per 100,000 page views. You can order the ads on my Park City Site. This is the only site on my new server. The ads will go live on all the sites as I port them to the new server.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
After his election Bush began moving left toward the center. GW Bush moved so far left that he past the center.
The result of Bush's leftward swing was that American ended up with a Republican administration that dramatically expanded the Federal role in health care and education. Bush engaged in unprecedented deficit spending and got America mired in two foreign wars.
During the Bush Administration, the Democratic Party turned radically left. Bush's left of center administration opened up an opportunity for the radical left to take over.
The Tea Party of 2009 wasn't just unhappy with Obama. It was unhappy with GW Bush who's left of center administration turned our country into a mess.
Donald Trump is a center-right populist who is moving left to maintain his popularity.
The left wing reaction to Trump is even more shrill than the reaction to Bush. What we are likely to see happen is that Trump will continue to move left to maintain his popularity. His center-right candidacy will become a center-left administration.
The really bad news is that Trump will, most likely, be replaced by another far left administration.
This stupidity that we see is due largely to a partisan ideology called "conservatism." Unless the GOP address the inherent flaws of conservatism, our nation is doomed forever to follow the letward progression seen in the Bush/Obama years. We can't handle much more of it.
After his election Bush began moving left toward the center. GW Bush moved so far left that he past the center.
The result of Bush's leftward swing is that American ended up with a Republican administration that dramatically expanded the Federal role in health care and education. Bush engaged in unprecedented deficit spending and got America mired into two foreign wars.
During the Bush Administration, the Democratic Party turned radically left. Bush's left of center administration opened up an opportunity for leftwing radicals to dramatically shift our nation to the left.
The Tea Party of 2009 wasn't just unhappy with Obama. It was unhappy with Bush who's left of center administration turned our country into a mess.
Donald Trump is a center-right populist who is moving left to maintain his popularity.
The left wing reaction to Trump is even more shril than the reaction to Bush. What we are likely to see happen is the Trump administration will keep moving left until it is a center-left administration.
The bad news is that Trump will, most likely, be replaced by another far left administration.
This stupidity that we see is due largely to a partisan ideology called "conservatism." Unless the GOP address the inherent flaws of conservatism, our nation is doomed forever to follow the letward progression seen in the Bush and Obama administrations.
American Conservatism is based on a coalition formed by Sir Winston Churchill between the English Conservative Party and Liberals in the fight against Hitler.
The Conservative coalition encourages its members to use free market rhetoric when the party is in the minority. But it never actually does anything to advance the cause of liberty when it is in the majority.
Trump appears to me to be a right of center populist who likes to make deals and has very little interest in advancing the ideals of liberty.
My guess is that, over the next couple of years, we will see the people who voice the ideals of liberty marginalized. The country will move leftward and Trump seeks to make deals.
As for Conservatism, I suspect that "conservatism" will return closer to its historic roots.
The problem with this scenario is that the roots of conservatism do not lay in the American Revolution, but lay with the English reaction to the revolution.
I am sorry, but I have to repeat the history of Conservatism.
Roots of Conservatism
Conservatism is a strange beast. It is a partisan ideology that was created back in the 1830s with the creation of the Conservative Party under King William IV.
Prior to the 1830s, the King selected the Prime Minister. Many of the electoral districts in England (boroughs) had sparse population and were control by powerful Tory families.
Electoral reforms included redistricting and a radical idea that the Parliament would choose the Prime Minister.
Electoral reforms meant that the ruling coalition of the Tories would fail.
King William IV appointed Sir Robert Peel as Prime Minister and charged Peel with creating a ruling coalition around the dwindling remains of the Tories.
This ruling coalition called itself the "Conservative Party." The party drew its name from efforts to restore the French Monarchy after the Napoleonic Wars. Members of the Conservative Party still affectionately call themselves "Tories."
The Tories as you may recall from American History were the people who fought against the US Founders.
BTW, when you climb on a fence and proudly declare yourself a "conservative," you are part of a great intellectual tradition that reaches back to the people who fought against the US Founders.
The hated opposition of the Conservatives was a liberal group called Whigs. The Whigs included people like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, etc..
King William blamed the Whigs for the loss of the colonies and the break up of the empire.
A fundamental aspect of Conservatism from its inception is that liberals are dangerous thinkers whose naive belief in liberty lead to the break up of nations.
Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel was stuck with the difficult task of creating a party that would appeal to the people while "conserving" the social structure of the monarchy.
So, he created an ideology designed to conserve the social order and the supremacy of the Anglican Church (the state run church of Great Britain). Robert Peel emphasized law and order. Robert Peel created the "bobbies." His coalition used free market rhetoric but supported centralized financial institutions and passed regulations that gave the insiders an advantage.
The prime example of "Conservatism in Action" is a set of regulations and taxes called "The Corn Laws."
The Corn Laws were designed to give rich English Lords a monopoly on growing traditional cash crops. The Irish Peasants were forced to subsist on an imported exotic called "The Potato."
The potato crop failed. Despite the fact that Ireland had bumper harvests of traditional crops, the failure of the potato crop created a famine that took one million lives.
I need to emphasize. Potatoes came from the new world. They were not the primary Irish Crop. Conservatives past laws that prevented the Irish from growing traditional crops.
The Conservative Party saw the mass famine as an opportunity. Conservatives passed relief laws. To get relief, however, the Irish peasants were forced to give up their remaining land and homes.
The very first Conservative Party led to the death of 1 million British Citizens and the displacement of 1 million more.
Even some Conservatives were ashamed at the role of their party in the Potato Famine. Led by Sir William Gladstone, these people stomped out of the Conservative Party and created a thing called "The Liberal Party."
The Liberal Party supported free markets and the emancipation of Catholics in Ireland under the guise of religious liberty.
It quickly became clear that, if the Irish were given the vote, they would vote for home rule and would expel their rich English Lords.
The Liberal Party quickly fell apart. Conservatives derided the dangerous talk of liberty as the dangerous idealism that breaks apart nations. The Conservatives created a new coalition that emphasized national unity. This new party created a model for new right wing parties throughout Europe.
Ironically, in the same decade that the Liberal Party was formed from the Whigs in Britain, a group of people who were upset that the Whig Party of the United States approved the Kansas/Nebraska act that threatened to expand slavery in the Western US.
A group of American Whigs that included John Fremont and Abraham Lincoln created a new party opposed to the expansion of slavery.
The Liberal Party was formed in England seeking the emancipation of Catholics at the same time that the GOP was formed with its long term goal of the emancipation of slaves.
The Republican Party and the Liberal Party had the same roots (the Whigs). Both the GOP and Liberal Party had the goal of freeing the disenfranchised.
Don't you get it? The Republican Party was the liberal party!!!!! The Democrats were populists who wanted big government and slavery. The GOP wanted small government and small business.
In the late 19th and 20th century things got weird.
The Liberal Party fell apart over the issue of home rule. A new party aroused called "The Labour Party" which promoted a new ideology called socialism.
In Parliament, the members of the opposition form an opposition coalition. Conservatives began calling socialism "liberal." Socialists and progressives loved being called "liberal" as well. By assuming the label "liberal," socialists were able to frame big government and limited opportunity as liberating.
In the twentieth century, a Liberal politician named Winston Churchill had it up to the eyeballs with the idiocies of the social progressives. Churchill encouraged liberals to join the Conservative Coalition.
The Conservative coalition led by Neville Chamberlain ended up being problematic. Conservatives saw the young Adolph Hitler in Germany and the dashing Franco in Spain and the inspiring Mussolini in Italy as people they could work with.
The Conservatives pursued a policy called "appeasement."
Churchill saw appeasement as nuts. The once Liberal Churchill took charge of the Conservative coalition and led Britain in the fight against fascism.
The strange beast called "American Conservatism" was based largely on the coalition created by Churchill.
Conservatism took hold in the GOP as people reacted to the Civil Rights Movement.
Conservatives in the Republican Party simply surrendered the Republican history as the Liberal Party that fought to free the slaves to attract the Dixiecrats in the GOP (The term Dixiecrat applies to people who left the Democratic Party when the Democrats switched their support of the Jim Crow Laws.)
The Conservative movement encourages people to use free market rhetoric when the party is in the minority. Conservatives slam the door and kick down dangerous talk of liberty as liberal claptrap when the GOP gains a majority.
With the election of Trump, the GOP is now in the majority.
The people who threw themselves on the line to defend the ideals of liberty during the Tea Party are sitting on the margins. I suspect that the Trump Administration will do much to advance liberty.
Trump will promote law and order. He will reduce those regulations that annoy his powerful friends, but is unlikely to create a climate conducive to small business.
I suspect that the Trump Administration will create a Conservatism that is more like the stodgy Conservatism of King William IV and Sir Robert Peel and that we will move further from the robust ideals of Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.
I fear that this stage of history can simply be summed up with the phrase:
The Republican Party threw the American ideals of liberty on the altar of Conservatism and our nation lost its way.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Local news, here in Utah, reports that Donald Trump is on a pilgrimage today to seek counsel from Mitt Romney, as if Mitt Romney were some sort of Jedi Master because of his religion.
It will be a fun meeting.
During the election, Mormons, including Romney, heaped derision on Trump then stomped off to vote from some Mormon guy who had worked for the CIA and Goldman Sachs (two entities that are even scarier than the LDS Church).
After the election, Mormons appear to have become even more insufferable and less tolerant.
I made a few post election attempts to suggest people should talk about free market health care reform.
Attempts to talk about issues are being put down even more abruptly than before the election.
Anyway, as I write, Trump is making a pilgrimage to a golf course Trump owns in New Jersey to seek wisdom from Mitt Romney. The scuttlebutt is that any less than than an offering of the position of Secretary of State to Romney will be taken as an affront.
Personally, I see the fact that Trump is meeting with a person who attacked his character during the election shows indicates that Trump just might have more character than the caricatures that Mormons built in the mind about the president elect.
If you want to see character assassination, you should read: Neal Silvester's piece on Trump in Silvester compares Trump to a fictional King Noah of the Book of Mormon.
As I consider Free Market Health Care Reform to be a primary concern, I hope the LDS influence on the national stage diminishes in the upcoming year.
Mormons played a prominent role in the current health care fiasco. Senator Harry Reid was the primary architect of Obamacare in the Senate. Obamacare was based on a plan developed by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. Governor Huntsman and Governor Herbert are ardent supporters of the basic structure of the plan. Former Governor Mike Leavitt is the head of companies that implement the plan.
The LDS Church holds that Health Care Policy was revealed to Joseph Smith in a form initially called "The Book of Commandments" but renamed to "The Doctrine and Covenants."
Belows is the text concerning health care drawn from The Institution for Religious Research.
25 Thou knowest my laws, they are given in my scriptures, he that sinneth and repenth not, shall be cast out.This commandment (which is theoretically on par with the Ten Commandments) states that people who are not in keeping with The Covenant are to be cast out.
26 If thou lovest me, thou shat serve me and keep all of my commandments; and behold, thou shalt consecrate all thy properties, that which thou hast unto me, with a covenant and deed which cannot be broken; and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church, and two of the elders, such as he shall appoint and set apart for that purpose.
27 And it shall come to pass, that the bishop of my church, after that he has received the properties of my church, that it can not be taken from the church, he shall appoint every man a steward over his own property, or that which he has received, in as much as is sufficient for himself and family:
28 And the residue shall be kept to administer to him who has not, that every man may receive according as he stands in need:
29 And the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer the poor and needy, as shall be appointed to the elders of the church and the bishop; and for the purpose of purchasing lands, and the building up of the New Jerusalem, which is hereafter to be revealed; that my covenant people may be gathered in one, in the day that I shall come to my temple.
In other words: One should not even talk to people outside the LDS Church.
God commands that people surrender their property to the LDS Church which will take from each according their ability and distribute to each according to their need.
This principle is called The United Order and Covenant.
In unrelated news. The Doctrine and Covenant also revealed that powerful men in the LDS Church should have multiple wives. Joseph Smith sealed himself to 49 women including some 14 year old girls.
One should note that both principles are practiced by LDS Fundamentalists. LDS Fundamentalists often live in communally owned compounds with the powerful men having multiple wives.
Back to Health Care:
The LDS Church holds that God commanded that central authorities should take from each according to their abilities and give to each according their needs.
It really is not surprising that the two most powerful LDS politician of our day (Senator Harry Reid and Mitt Romney) played key roles in the creation of the disaster known as Obamacare. Senator Harry Reid drove a bill based on Romney's Massachusetts plan through Congress without any serious debate.
I need to highlight the LDS prohibition against debating health care reform.
This phenomenally intolerant holds that people who are not in the fold must be cast out.
As I watch the Romney/Trump meeting. I am hoping that the president elect politely rebuffs Romney's solicitation for a cabinet level position.
Wednesday, November 09, 2016
I believe that the people matter more than the president.
I did not support Trump because I am scared of the way that the left will react to a Trump presidency.
Trump is a billionaire with a boisterous voice.
Since modern education is based on images and themes instead of logic or insight, the left can use the flamboyent image of Trump to project all of the evils of the world on the GOP.
Trump is a billionaire who likes to build things. The fear I have is that the left will build a reaction to Trump so deep that it ushers in a radical left wing government.
I had been reconsiled to a Clinton victory with a hope that Democrats might finally realize that their party and ideology is the primary source of much of the corruption we se in this world.
A Trump presidency will create huge challenges for defenders of liberty.
Trump is a populist who likes to build things and is not into protecting liberty per se.
As I said at the beginning of this post. I believe that the people matter more than the president.
People who want to defend liberty need walk a razor's edge these next years. The goal should be to force discussions of liberty while distancing the cause of liberty from excesses that might be done by a populist president.
It is a difficult challenge, but not impossible.