Failed leaders

There is one strong, startling, outstanding thing about Eugenics, and that is its meanness. Wealth, and the social science supported by wealth, had tried an inhuman experiment. The experiment had entirely failed. They sought to make wealth accumulate–and they made men decay. Then, instead of confessing the error, and trying to restore the wealth, or attempting to repair the decay, they are trying to cover their first cruel experiment with a more cruel experiment. They put a poisonous plaster on a poisoned wound. Vilest of all, they actually quote the bewilderment produced among the poor by their first blunder as a reason for allowing them to blunder again. They are apparently ready to arrest all the opponents of their system as mad, merely because the system was maddening. Suppose a captain had collected volunteers in a hot, waste country by the assurance that he could lead them to water, and knew where to meet the rest of his regiment. Suppose he led them wrong, to a place where the regiment could not be for days, and there was no water. And suppose sunstroke struck them down on the sand man after man, and they kicked and danced and raved. And, when at last the regiment came, suppose the captain successfully concealed his mistake, because all his men had suffered too much from it to testify to its ever having occurred. What would you think of the gallant captain? It is pretty much what I think of this particular captain of industry. — Eugenics and Other Evils, by G.K. Chesterton, 1922

The high-speed-rail solution

Someone alert the Sanders campaign

Most of what I know about Senator Sanders comes from his Twitter feed. Surprisingly, he’s had little to say about high-speed rail. That’s unfortunate, because people need to get from where they are to where they need to be, for work, for school, and for a number of needs documented and otherwise. Because of market failures and fat-cat businessmen, affordable transportation is not always available. The government needs to step in and ensure access to the transportation all of us need.

So, free transportation for everyone! If you’re in Cleveland and you need to go to Chicago, just go to Washington DC and they’ll give you a free ride on green high-speed rail. A network of state-of-the-art transportation hubs will be located in Washington DC, Los Angles, and Managua, Nicaragua.

But how to pay for the high-speed rail? Free College! Because people need it. Some people think two years of college should be free, but actually that’s racist. Grad school should be free, everybody should get a Ph.D., and when they finish they should get a professorship with tenure.

Education pays for itself, and professors almost all vote Democrat, because they’re so intelligent and well educated. After the first crop of professors finishes, they will teach the next generation and, since professors make good money, they’ll pay a lot of taxes while they do it. These taxes will then be available to pay for the students’ tuition, room, and board, plus the high-speed rail line.

As an added bonus, if we implement plans like this we’ll also take care of that pesky illegal immigration problem.

The machine stops

eventually

I am guessing that in most industries, businesses keep up the demand pricing rather than supply pricing, and then figure out an exit strategy with fungible cash. Which is to say, you sell sell sell your product until the well runs dry. Then you crash the business and cash out. In other words, you are captive to the ‘will’ of the machine you have created which doesn’t care about whether or not its resource is limited. — But I Can Afford It, seen here

Trading cards

Random thoughts

Recently a local chain restaurant closed, and friends at dinner expressed disappointment that they would now have to drive to the next town over to use their gift cards. Those gift cards had lost value. If the whole chain went out of business, I guess their gift cards would become worthless. If there were similar cards for milk, or McDonald’s hamburgers, or cups of Starbucks, people could trade them.

If there were a Chicago Gift Card Exchange, people could sell theirs and buy others that were still locally available. But if there were a CGCE, transaction costs would be prohibitively high for just one card. Sharpers from the city would come around every few weeks buying up cards at steep discounts.

It would be interesting if you could buy a card from Shell or BP that was good for fifty gallons of gas, instead of fifty dollars worth. I suppose they don’t exist (at the consumer level, as far as I know) because nobody would buy them at the price the seller would need to charge to make a profit.

If these existed, and you’d had a few fifty-gallon gas cards six months ago, you might have thought yourself a clever fellow, not like those saps with their money in US dollars. Who knows? Maybe now is a buying opportunity.

If you hired illegal aliens you could pay them with these, although I guess you could pay them with Walmart gift cards denominated in plain old dollars just as well. It seems like that wouldn’t give anybody any advantage over just paying cash though.

Earn tax-free income today!

Corporations don’t pay taxes, they just pass the cost on to, ultimately, the consumers.

But consumers don’t pay taxes. Their employers do. The employee must make enough after his own costs, including taxes, so that working is more attractive than not working. The government subsidizes low-wage jobs with earned-income credits, and food stamps, and bus tokens, paid for by individual and corporate taxes.

So really, nobody is paying any taxes. When the government needs money, they print up a batch of zero-coupon perpetuals. People use these as money, for reasons I don’t fully understand.

For a more rational explanation of money, follow the link.

The business plan behind illegal immigration

Who says business innovation is dead in America?

For years now, it has seemed like there was no business legal in the US that required lots of illegal immigrants. But lookee, there has been just such a business – a whole industry – for years. Right now it’s dominated by DCCC, but NRCC is working hard to catch up.