30 May 2011

The Swine Solution

Valuable Uses for Pig Parts

It may be hard for us bacon lovers to believe, but about one third of the world’s population is afraid or prohibited from touching or eating pig flesh, pig blood, pig organs or entrails. I’m not sure about pig feces or urine. I suspect that anything identifiable or labeled as having come from a pig would be ferociously avoided for the fear of death and damnation.

This makes pig products a very interesting deterrent.

Imagine stopping uncivil behavior by threatening to spray rioters with pig fat.

Imagine posted signs warning intruders, “These premises protected by free roaming pigs. Swine wastes could be any place, watch were you step.”

Imagine dropping leaflets that say in the language of combatants, “Pig blood and ground entrails will be dropped over this entire area midday tomorrow if all hostilities do not cease immediately.”

Instead of a mine field; post signs saying, “Pig blood and pig wastes have been buried and spread randomly about this entire area.”

Tell captured terrorists combatants, “I you don’t tell us your plans, a live hog will be your new cellmate.” Tell them all there food for the past month was fried in pig fat.

Warning! That soccer ball is made of PIG SKIN.

Wild Pigs

There was a chemistry professor in a large college who had some exchange students in his class. One day while the class was in the lab, the Prof noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt. The professor asked the young man what was the matter.

The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back.

He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist regime.

In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question.

He asked, "Do you know how to catch wild pigs?"

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said that it was no joke.

"You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side along where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly, the wild pigs have lost their freedom.

They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity."

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in America. The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tax exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.

One should always remember two truths:

1) There is no such thing as a free lunch; you will have to pay for it.

2) And, when you begin to think that having your government provide for you and make your decisions is ok, realize that you’ve also given up the freedom that goes with making your own choices.

If you see that all of this wonderful government 'help' is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America, you might want to remind your friends.

28 May 2011

No Spending is Too Small

To Be Cut

Every ineffective program, regardless of its size, must be cut immediately. This country is plunging into debt it cannot recover from.

All departments, agencies, bureaus, offices and commissions must review all of their programs, projects, and initiatives, scope and staffing; asking one simple question.

Are they achieving the purposes for which they were created?

The Drug Enforcement Agency must ask itself, “Is drug abuse less now than when we began the “War on Drugs?” If the answer is no, then stop doing more of the same thing, and try something different that might work; or stop doing it at all?

Is there less poverty now than 1968?

Are children and the elderly malnourished for lack of available nutritious food?

Are there fewer unwed mothers now, than the 1960’s?

Is the American Intelligence Community too fragmented at seventeen Agencies, Departments and Offices?

Are more students better educated today, since the Department of Education was created?

Do we fly safer since TSA was created?

Is our Border Security preventing illegal immigration or contraband?

Is our immigration system getting better, faster, cheaper?

Have subsidies helped or harmed our farmers?

Have tariffs helped or harmed our Auto workers

Has Social Security and Medicare helped our elderly care for themselves?

Has Medicaid helped the poor, disabled and incompetent?

Has the Food Stamp Program helped or harmed the needy?

Are the sick and injured able to get medical care?

Are widows and orphans able to get food, clothes, housing, education and medical care?

Do all people have the opportunity to share equally in the burdens and privileges of this great nation?

Are there jobs for all those who need to work?

Is the Boundary Commission still needed?

Are the best world citizens easily able to immigrate here and become great Americans?

Are the world’s most useless people prevented access to this country?

Are all citizens experiencing an equal share of the Nations tax burden?

Have the Federal Trade and the Security and Exchange Commissions prevented enough business crimes?

Has the EPA saved any species that would have become extinct?

Have our Air and water quality improved?

Does the government still own and control too much land?

Is flood control and storm water management by the Corps of Engineers working?

Should there be taxpayer funded radio and televison broadcasts?

Has the National Endowment for the Arts been worth the money spent?

Has the National Science Foundation been more successful than business, private and philanthropic research?

Is our Justice department insuring equal justice for all under the law?

Government does some things well. Here are some simple questions that might highlight that:

Is our military the most powerful, well equipped, supplied and trained in the world?

Has the Center for Disease Control prevented widespread infectious diseases?

Is the Smithsonian and National Museums among the best in the world?

Are some of our National Parks and Monuments among the best in the world?

Are any of our National Laboratories among the best in the world?

Are the US Marshall, the Secret Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation among the best in the world?

Are the Central Intelligence Agency, Nation Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency among the best in the world?

25 May 2011

Social Security and Medicare

I Don’t Want Them. 

I want my contributions back, plus 12.34% interest from 1958 until 2008.

I am a recipient of both; Social Security for 3 years and Medicare for about 3 months.

I've never liked either of them. I started working at 12 years old and I was required to get a Social Security Card. I didn't understand what it was about, but I wanted to work to save up money for a car, when I turned 16. I definitely understood it when I got my first check and the government had taken my money that I had planned to put in permanent savings.

I didn't like it then, and I never liked it. I don’t like it now, I've been cheated and robbed, and apparently I have no recourse since I missed the wavier period by 30 years. Three Texas gulf coast counties of Brazoria, Galveston, and Matagorda chose to opt out of Social Security to design their own pension plans in 1981, when Congress still allowed government units to make that choice. They  selected a private investment firm to manage their employees’ retirement plans.  County workers there now get about three times the average SSA check at retirement.

I paid into Social Security for 50 years before I retired. For 13 years I was self-employed and had to pay my employee share and the employers share. The amount of money I contributed in 5 decades could have been invested conservatively on my own and would have been worth roughly $1.3 million USD by the time I reached 62 years old. Inflation has devalued our money 12 times since 1958. That means a hundred dollars ($100) then is worth $8.43 today

And at minimal interest earnings of 4% compounded annually on permanent savings of $1,340 dollars per year for 50 years would be roughly $223,500, and plus the rate of inflation equaling interest of 12.34% (8.34 plus 4), could have been $5,448.704 in my personal account.

In 1965 and 1966 I protested loudly against passage of Medicare. No one listened and July 1966 it was signed by President Lyndon Johnson, one of my candidates for 10 worst US Presidents ever. I thought then and I still do that it would steal the freedom and self-esteem of hard working, taxpaying, good citizens who had cared for themselves for fifty years or more. And rob them of the responsibility to provide for their own elder care. And cheat all of those who didn't live to 65, and rob their families who have no inheritance rights to the contributions made by their ancestor. So, you could pay in for 50 years and drop dead before drawing any benefit, your heirs get nothing. The government confiscates your paid up right on behalf of others, who may have never contributed anything but have lived past 65 years old.

Retired people are a huge group and banded together could qualify for very reasonably priced health insurance.

If the government had not made it illegal, most retires could continue there employee insurance coverage a reasonable rates. Medicare recipients must make premium payments from their income, Social Security, or employee pensions. Mine is about $130 monthly for much less coverage than I had before retirement.

It’s getting more and more difficult to find competent Doctors willing to accept Medicare patients. Also, Part A is already bankrupt since 2008. The rest will cost more than incoming revenue in about 10 years. To postpone the inevitable, rationing is being considered, along with reducing the benefits and increasing the revenue.

As the bubble of War Babies retire and become eligible for Medicare, the problem will quickly worsen. I believe there is less than one person paying in for each person drawing benefits now, and some of them never paid anything in, and many paid very little.

I don’t like social programs. We were better people when we didn't have them. We helped each other through families, neighbors, friends, churches, and non-profit organizations. Bribing people with promised benefits for their vote is ugly and sordid. Not allowing them the freedom of choice to take care of themselves, mandating they become a dependent of a government sanctioned Ponzi scheme (http://www.sec.gov/answers/ponzi.htm) is an abomination.

What needs to be done now to eliminate these fowl and heinous, not very "sociable” Social Security and Medicare programs?

1. Cut Benefits

2. Drop those who did not contribute as ineligible.

3. No “means” test; if you paid up, you get an equal share, just like everyone else who paid up, regardless of your savings or income.

4. Allow those less than 30 years old, to waive their rights to either or both; or pay higher contributions rates.

5. Allow those under 40 years old, to waive 50% of their benefits and pay higher contributions.

6. Allow those under 55 years old, to waive 25% of benefits and pay higher contributions.

7. Require 80 quarters (20 years) of contributions, for those less than 30 years old, to be eligible for SS benefit, and remove disability insurance from this program leaving just a low retirement supplement and low survivors benefits.

Wake up, start immediately eliminating forced dependency and esteem robbing socialist programs. In another fifty years maybe people will again be able to care for themselves without being robbed, demonized, mentally crippled, and impoverished by their own government.

Or do nothing, just let them fail.

23 May 2011

Smaller, Cheaper, Smarter

National Government; I Want Much Less

The first and most important reform; cut spending. The Federal Government takes in more than enough money to do everything legal, taxpaying citizens need from a central government.

Reduce regulation. Carry much less National Debt. Stop deliberately devaluing our money.

Shrink the scope of Federal Government intrusion into the private, personal decisions of taxpaying citizens.

Cut the number and size for entitlements, (All forms of welfare, food stamps, subsidies, tariffs, etc.) Entitlements are too lavish.

Cut the size of Government benefits, (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, pensions, Disability Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, Flood insurance, etc.). Increase contribution percentages and rates for participants. Allow options for those who want different coverage or none; and waivers and exemptions for all who want to relinquish benefits by agreeing to permanently provide for their own needs.

No mandatory participation in government entitlements or benefits.

No one should be exempt from any national law; not congress; not the president.  All citizens, rich or poor, must be treated equally under the law.

Lower all Federal taxes. Eliminate all business taxes, or tax all religions, non-profits and Unions equally.

Reduce all forms of Government health care insurance; Reservation Care, Prison Care, Military Care, Medicare, Medicaid. Offer options and waivers to all forms of Government medicine. Allow all citizens the opportunity to permanently opt out of any government benefits; choosing to agree to be responsible for their own medical care, never seeking government aid. Partially subsidize those who want to and can pay their share of standard government care. Grant standard government care to the disabled, incapacitated and incompetent. Let everyone out, that wants out permanently.

Provide government clinics and care to the poor and indigent if you must; but get government out of the insurance business.

The Government is a totally incompetent insurance company.

Eliminate or combine programs and departments so that only those referred to in the Constitution remain.

If more spending is wanted on health research, financial regulation, and economic stimulus, just cut an equal amounts from other benefits and programs; i.e. military, national parks, museums, education, arts, social programs science research, foreign aid, legislation, transportation, mail service, rail passenger service, government housing, business and farm subsidies, commerce prohibitions and tariffs, and law enforcement.

Stop all Federal subsidizes and exemptions.

Just do a lot less and spend a lot less. Stop providing excessive help. You are harming the very people who need just a little help.

Incarcerate all serious, repeating criminals.

Allow those who want to provide for their own needs without government meddling and interference to do so.

Help those a little that cannot seem to take care of themselves.

Care for those that are disabled, incapacitated and incompetent.

19 May 2011

Job Interview Question

You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night. You pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for the bus:

1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.

2. An old friend who once saved your life.

3. The perfect man (or) woman you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car?

Think before you continue reading. This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application.

You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first; or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect dream lover again.

The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer.

He simply answered: "I would give the car keys to my old friend, and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman of my dreams."

Never forget to "Think Outside of the Box."

18 May 2011

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Demand, Demand, Demand

Enterprises add jobs when business and consumer demand prove they will increase beyond current employees efficient capability to supply.

When uncertainties exist about demand, government regulation, economic stability, currency value, costs, disposable income, consumption, conflict, strife and combat; the lack of predictability discourages demand.

Weak demand, decreasing demand, artificial demand (subsidies), destroys jobs.

Artificial inefficiencies, like regulations and union rules are attempts to force added jobs for which there is no underlying true demand.  Real jobs are created only by real demand for goods and services.

Real economic activity is driven only by the expectation of business profit and therefore the capacity to pay employees. If there is no surplus revenue, there is no added payroll, there is no disposable income, and then there is no money to express real demand in the marketplace.

Taxation lowers disposable income. Unpredictable future taxes and regulations add to economic uncertainty. Excessive government spending decreases the value of existing wealth, erodes the value of currency, and increases the price of all goods and services.

Governments do not produce excess revenue (profit); they take it. They do not have disposable income. They create very little demand with their commodity spending. They earn a little interest on your money, but they mostly confiscate your money. Governments discourage and destroy many more jobs than they encourage. Governments cannot create or sustain any real jobs. They just pay people with money taken out of the economy.

Business don’t pay taxes, you do. All of their costs are passed on to those who purchase their goods and services. So all the taxes, regulations, and fees that are imposed upon them by governments must be recovered in the price of their product or service when you buy it, or they are out of business and their investors lose their money, the employees lose their paychecks, and the government loses its tax revenue.

If you want more jobs, and I think everyone should find a job, you must:

1. Eliminate business taxes.

2. Significantly reduce individual taxes.

3. Send large tax rebate checks to taxpayers.

4. Seriously reduce the size and scope of governments.

5. Dramatically decrease regulations and hidden fees and taxes.

These steps will allow true demand to be expressed in the marketplace, and if predictable enough and sustainable, real jobs will be created.

16 May 2011

Flooding Louisiana and Mississippi

Western States Have Fill Dirt

Many cities in the region are near or below sea level. They are easily flooded every season of slightly more than normal rainfall and runoff.

This problem can be easily solved with fill dirt. In the West we have hundreds of billions of cubic acres of surplus earth. We could build up the entire states of Louisiana and Mississippi to unimagined heights. We could supply rock for barricades that could never ever be breached by hurricane or flood that would make the Great Wall of China look like a weekend backyard project.

The west needs water; they need dirt. It could be the basis for a good trade.

Levees and seawalls 200 feet tall and 5,000 feet wide can easily be constructed.

A square acre is 208.7103 feet on each side, area of 43,560 square feet. A cubic acre is 208.71 feet on all sides equaling 9,091,418.44 cubic feet. A cubic foot is about the size of a basketball in a square box.

Earthworks are usually measured in Cubic Yards, (27 cubic feet); about the size of half of an American refrigerator. So a cubic acre (9.1 million cubic feet) divided by 27 cubic feet (a cubic yard) is 336,719.20 cubic yards, let’s just say 336,720 cubic yards per cubic acre. I don’t know how earthwork is measured in the metric world, probably cubic meters; slightly bigger than a cubic yard, about 3.37 inches bigger in each direction.

Louisiana is about 44,066 square miles (28,202,240 acres). Mississippi is about 47,689 square miles (30,520,960 acres). A square mile is 640 acres.

So how many low lying acres in these two states are vulnerable to river or seawater flooding? Let’s say 7 million acres for Louisiana and 4 million acres for Mississippi, so 11 million acres would need to be raised considerably above sea and river levels; let's also say we would try to raise the land 208.71 feet.  I know it's conveniently just one cubic acre high.

So, we would need 11 million cubic acres of good fill material to raise substantial portions of the easily flooded land in those two states so that it would never flood again. 336,719.2 CY times 11 million acres equals 3,703,911,200,000 cubic yards, (that’s about 3.7 trillion cubic yards). It would raise about 25 % of Louisiana and about 13 % Mississippi a couple hundred feet above sea level.

We have mining and earth moving equipment sitting unused because of the government caused recession. We have idle hauling and trucking assets sitting unused because of union contracts. We have an elaborate railway system with tens of thousands of freight, rock, and ore cars side-tracked to avoid rolling stock taxes, all around the rural west. Open pit mining in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and closer states produce huge volumes of waste rock. Much of it overburden removed to get to the valuable ore. It’s not economic for mining companies to haul it any farther than they must, but it could easily be trucked to the nearest rail-head. From there sent by freight trains to the vicinity where massive fill dirt is badly needed.

The saddest thing is we've had the technology and knowledge to prevent coastal and river flooding for more than 100 years. Not the history of incomplete solutions, ineffective projects, and storm-water mismanagement we have and are seeing.

Massive relocation of businesses, residents, and public infrastructure will be needed; and new storage, handling and shipping methods will be needed. Highways, railways, and port facilities will all need reconstruction; putting millions of people to work for a long period of progress for a very noble goal, unlike what we have had to endure since the 1970’s.

Sadly, no one with the will and imagination to undertake giant scale projects has stepped forward to eliminate the misery, opportunities for corruption, excessive public employment, and government entitlements that have grown up around frequent disaster and damage from flooding events.

No one with reputation and vision has ever proposed projects of this magnitude.

We need to find someone who actually wants to fix this.

Except those who truly suffer, nearly everyone will oppose solving this problem; environmentalists, politicians and political parties, the Corps of Engineers, Insurance companies, many government organizations and bureaucrats, Native Americans, several religious groups, recovery businesses and suppliers, media and philanthropy organizations will all strenuously rail against, misdirect, sabotage and roadblock any massive, permanent, long term solution.

We have the technology, knowledge, and resources to solve this problem forever. We certainly have idle people and equipment.  We have mountain ranges of fill material.

We can move mountains.  Let’s get started filling them in, they have suffered too much and too long unnecessarily.

The question is; do we have the will to solve this problem and actually help people.

08 May 2011

You Do Get Paid

What You Are Worth

All enterprises pay their employees what they are worth to that enterprise. It is a natural law of economics.

People are paid what they prove they are worth. It’s a marketplace for effort, contribution, skill, talent, experience, judgment, wisdom, congeniality, and appearance.

Employees can work wherever offered more pay or desirable working conditions.

The free will of workers and open competition for human resources make it imperative they are offered pay, benefits, or conditions that will obtain their constructive contributions.

It’s a negotiated transaction. If you won’t contribute your skill and talent for the money offered, then you don’t agree to take that job.

Enterprises, businesses, and organizations evaluate each task for skills, talents, and energy required to meet their needs. Then, of course, they try to get an employee that will make the required contribution for what it’s worth to the objective.

Sometimes the enterprises objectives do not produce enough excess revenue (profit) to sustain it, to grow it, to pay more to employees aggressively sought by other organization in open competition; so they lose their under paid employees to others willing to pay more.

Those who don’t feel or actually are not being paid what they are worth should ask to renegotiate for more pay, and are free to seek better compensation elsewhere.

Workers are sometimes temporarily paid more or less than they are worth. It’s a condition that doesn’t last very long in small and medium sized enterprises. In large organization it can last far too long. It is a zero sum condition. Over pay to some requires equal underpay to others or enterprise failure soon follows.

Employees usually don’t know how to ask for reconsideration. Frequently don’t list and explain the value of their contributions. When seeking new employment, don’t know how to advertise and market their capabilities and contributions well. Or, in many cases, have done nothing to improve their skills, contribute their talents, or exhibit their value to the enterprises objectives.

It’s not about your value as a human being. It’s about your value as an asset to the organization. Are you contributing energy and achievement beyond your cost; or are you draining, distracting, diverting, and wasting, absorbing or sabotaging accomplishment; costing it far more than your worth.

In the long run people are always paid what they are worth.

If you want to get paid more, make yourself worth more:

Educate and train yourself;

Learn how to find desirable jobs;

Learn to market yourself well;

Look for ways to become a valuable asset to your organization;

Eagerly make valuable contributions beyond your cost;

Don’t ask for better pay until you are clearly worth more to them than they are paying you.

If you don’t put more in, don’t expect to take any more out.

You get paid what you've been worth recently; start making your contributions more valuable.

Negotiate your own deal. Don’t let the groups; Associations or Union contracts restrict your contribution and limit what you get paid. You want to be worth more as an individual; separate yourself from the uselessness of the group.

You get paid what you are worth; become the most valuable.