Friday, July 29, 2005

The Costs of Having a Child

Children, as we all know, are evil.

For those with children, one only needs to look upon their happy and carefree single, childless days as testament to that fact.

And for those of us without the hell-minions, we are constantly reminded of this fact everytime we call up one of our fallen brethren to see if they want to get a beer.

"Hey John, want to get a beer?"

"No, little Skyler contracted Ebola at school and infected the rest of us at the house. I'll be able to go out again in 18 years...assuming my wife doesn't want to have another one."

Of course, those with children will always say they are happy that they had children, but we know several things are wrong with this;

1. Misery loves company and their advocation of having children is merely propaganda for you to join them in Hell on Earth.

2. It's not like they can say, "Gee, I really wish I didn't have children." NOBODY will ever say that. Instead they will ALL say that "they're glad they had children." The way to tell the liars from the truth-tellers is that the liars aren't smiling when they say it and say it with a tone that sounds forced. Whereas those truly compassionate about children will not only tell you how happy they are they had children, but won't shut up about them either!

3. It's a fact of psychology that people don't like to admit they've made a mistake, so they'll trick themselves into believing they actually enjoy having children.

But the ultimate proof as to the evilness of children is that it says so in the bible.

Corinthians VI, Chapter 83, Verse 142

"Children are evil, sayeth the Lord. Have not any and thou shalt live a beautiful life, free of stress and pain."

The only reason you've never heard that is because it's a conspiracy of the religious right to increase their ranks through birthing more members.

Regardless, I only speak of children because at the age 30 I'm experiencing something I think some of the Luftwaffe pilots experienced in late 1940 when they challenged Britain,

Dwindling numbers.

Six years ago, there were scores of us. Hundreds of us, elite fighters and bombers, all flying in formation, carrying out our missions, flying about freely in the sky, drinking, dancing, hitting on girls at clubs, sleeping in till whenever we wanted. Then out of nowhere, droves of British Spitfires came in and started pouring hell on us. We immediately lost the stragglers, some of the weak ones in the herd, but were optimistically confident in our abilities and thought we could hold our formation. Oh, but how foolish we were, for those Spitfires were unrelenting.

With vastly superior firepower, speed and maneuverability we started taking heavy casualties from the Brits. Superior guns and marksmanship ensured their bullets met their mark with deadly accuracy. Bf-109s and wreckage of Ju-87's were falling from the sky, even I couldn't escape unscathed and suffered a hit. And before I knew it there was nobody left. Just me and a couple of fighters from St. Paul that had managed to escape the deadly wrath of being married with children.

Sadly we couldn't raise anybody on the radio to see if they'd want to get a beer. No, just their British captors would be on the other end saying, "John can't go out with you tonight. He has to go to church and then we're putting in pot rack and he's driving me to pilates."

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Thus, I feel it my patriotic and American duty as one of the few free fighters left in this god-foresaken war to remind you all about the evils of children and point out some of the economic ramifications of having them. Namely, what they cost.

Not many years ago when teaching at the local community college where they only accept the best the public schools have to offer, I noticed a fair amount of female students already had children, no husband to speak of, of course, but they had children. The trick was how could I adroitly show them what moronic sluts they were without getting in trouble with the PC powers that be. Thus to display the concept of "opportunity cost" I looked up what it costs to raise a child, $160,140 (circa 1999), and then deduced the following opportunity costs;
  • a brand new Ferrari
  • a doctorate degree at Harvard
  • a new house
  • a luxury yatch
  • a Cray super computer
  • 534 X-Boxes
  • 457 pure bred wiener dogs
  • a 5 year vacation
  • roughly $600,000 had it been invested in the S&P 500 Index
When put in this kind of context, it should really make you ponder whether you want to dedicate such resources to the upbringing of ONE CHILD!!! Those of you having three children could have either been millionaires by now or had a luxurious 15 year vacation. And this says nothing about the headache, yelling, screaming, disease transmission nor lack of sleep you will surely endure.

Also be aware that $160,140 figure does NOT include college.

Now, this was somewhat dated material and like mortgages, retirements, etc., there are calculators online that allow you to calculate the costs of raising a child. Furthermore, these calculators are a bit more robust in that they'll allow you to change some variables. So for those of you stupid enough to pay for your little child's degree in Peace Studies or Sociology, you can include that in your calculations.

Best site I've found is this one at The Baby Center

So, to all of you out there with children or aspiring to have one, don't say I didn't warn you.

As for me and my few remaining battlefield friends, I think I shall get myself a little nap before I go out and treat myself to a nice dinner and maybe a show...all of which will be done on the spur of the moment as I need not find a baby sitter.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Stupid Acronyms #1

Some people get up every morning, go to work and crunch numbers. Some go to construction sites and build houses. And some go to a burger joint to flip burgers. But while seemingly everyone else in the United States is in one way or another producing wealth and contributing to GDP, there are a group of people, predominantly leftists, who are seemingly only capable of coming up with the most stupid acronyms for some of the most stupid organizations with the most stupid causes. Drives me fricking batty.

Thus every time I come across one of these lame organizations, I shall highlight them and their inane acronym so that they may be mocked and ridiculed.

Today's stupid acronymn hails from San Bernardino where the schools insist on teaching the black students in ebonics and encourage the further butchering of the English language.



Rock on San Bernardino Public Schools! Nothing like keeping blacks down and impoverished while lying to their face!

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Most Important Decision

As an economist you get to ponder a lot of life's major issues. Questions of life and death. Qualitative judgements. Things like;

"Do we continue to give aid to Africa or do we cut them off completely, knowing full well there will be millions of deaths, but we'd be saving millions of more in the future as the population would dwindle to a point where the economic infrastructure would be able to support it."


"At what point is it not worth paying for the elderly's health care? Should we drop $100,000 just to keep an decrepit old man alive another 6 months, or should we just let him die?"


"How much is a person's life really worth in the case of a wrongful death lawsuit? How much should the plantiff be awarded for the loss of her child/husband?"

We are unfortunately put in the position of being forced to play God.

But recently I was put in the position to make a decision that I would have never imagined I would have to make. A decision that without a doubt will be the biggest one I ever have to make. Bigger than what do I do with my life and career. Bigger than do I join the military and go to Iraq. And bigger than who do I choose to marry.

I am being forced to choose between South Park, The Family Guy and The Simpsons as to which is the funniest cartoon ever made.

I am leaning towards The Family Guy, although I certainly would appreciate any advice or commentary you might have.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Let China Buy Us Out

An interesting article from The Economist. Unfortunately you need a subscription to read it, but the basic jist of it is that China should be allowed to buy the likes of Unocal, Maytag, etc., simply because they're willing to overpay. Parallels are then drawn between China's acquisitive actions and Japan's acquisition binge in the late 80's. Interesting in the light Unocal rejected China's bid.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Can You Guess the Pet Peeve?

OK, Superior Mortgage commerical comes on the air. And guess what those funny marketing geniuses come up with as a skit for a commercial?

A guy who calls the Federal Reserve asking for Alan Greenspan so he can ask Al to keep interest rates down so he can afford a mortgage.

So young apsiring junior deputy economists, what's economically wrong with this commercial?

I shall await your responses.

OK, update here. Per request I have decided to provide some sort of incentive. Thus the person to guess first why the Superior Mortgage commerical is rubbing me the wrong way will win...



(tin badge included!)

And who doesn't want that on their resume!?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Those Falling Deficits, Outside my Window

The primary reason I became a capitalist is because it is reality. Every economic system that has been implemented otherwise has failed or failed to achieve similar standards of living for their people. Sure you have your Norway's and Luxembourg's (although different factors are afoot there), but by and large if you really care about society, you really care about your fellow man, you really care to eliminate poverty and increase standards of living for all, you will become the most ardent supporter of capitalism. End of story.

Thus, I like it when things like this happen. Empirical things that once again prove that capitalism and lowering taxes, and the very simple concept that if you allow people to have economic freedom they will produce more wealth than they would under economic tyranny or confiscation.

Seems that GW's tax cuts are starting to pay off. With 4 years of solid and higher than average-boom economic growth that the tax base has grown. It has grown so much that it's actually almost paying for all of GW's increased spending (WHICH IS A HECK OF A LOT and why I'm not terribly a big fan of Bush) not to mention the Iraq war/War on Terror. The deficit now sits at a roughly very low 2.5% of GDP while the left's darling children of Germany and France are seeing decifits in excess of 3% and climbing with NO economic growth.

No doubt the left will come up with some reason as to why there socialist economies look so sh!tty compared to the evil tyrannical capitalist fascist blah blah blah US economy.

Monday, July 11, 2005

10 Year Olds Having Sex

Gee, I don't know why aid to Africa doesn't work or why the continent is such a sh$thole. This is just sick.

Here's the article.

Here's the study.

Remember, according to our leftist friends; "no culture is superior to one another, just different."

Thanks to Drudge for getting this, but the report was released in October of 2004.


Friday, July 08, 2005

Men Getting Hosed on the Lakes

I used to run only about 3 miles every other day just as a bare-minimum maintenance sort of work out. Make sure I didn’t get fat, keep my heart in shape, that kind of thing. But then events had transpired that I needed to run, and I needed to run A LOT. Blood pressure had gone through the roof (160/110) resting heart rate wasn’t good either (90BPM) and sleep was just not coming. I needed something that would lower my blood pressure and heart rate, physically exhaust me so I’d sleep, and help me avoid that minor thing called pre-mature death.

Goodbye 3 miles when I feel like it, hello 6 miles 4-5 days a week.

Now, these events that transpired, transpired in late January to early February. So I figure 5 solid months of running, 4.33 weeks per month, that’s 21.65 weeks, 151.55 days, 4.5 out of 7 I was running, which means I ran a total of 97 days, at 6 miles per day translates into a grand total of 584.55 miles (and two inches off my waste I might smugly add!).

Now these 584.55 miles have been ran on a bevy of trails in the Twin Cities areas including parks, riverways, roads, DT Minneapolis, DT St. Paul, but the majority of them have been run around two main routes I like to take;

1. The West/East River Parkway. Gorgeous area that follows the west and east sides of the Mississippi river just downstream of Minneapolis down and back to the Minnehaha Falls area.

2. A combination of Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis.

These two areas are quite popular with runners, cyclists, rollerbladers, etc., and in those 584 miles I’ve seen a rather large and representative sample of the people that use them. But it wasn’t until just 1 hour ago when I finished my latest run around the lakes that a twingling in the back of my head, came full rush forward and transformed itself into an articulate thought;

The men are getting hosed on the lakes.

We are soooo getting hosed on the lakes.

And it’s not just the lakes, but the riverways, trails, and practically every other place you have runners, cyclists and rollerbladers. Especially during the summer.

And the reason we’re getting screwed is because in addition to the gorgeous scenery of the trees and rivers and waterfalls and lakes, women should also be a part of that scenery. Attractive sexy looking women enhancing that scenery for us. Be they young or old, a run around the lakes without pretty dames it like having cake without icing. Alas, the women that are out there are NOT enhancing the scenery.

Now you can go ahead and say that I am crude boar. A sexist pig who only views women as toys or objects for his disgusting selfish entertainment. And how dare I say such a mean thing.

Well, it’s very simple how I can say such a mean thing. It’s because it’s true. The women out there running for the past 5 months are NOT attractive at all. This last run I kept a tally, and there were no more than 3, count them, 1,2,3 attractive women that could be considered “in-shape” or “athletic” or “attractive.” And that’s with literally hundred of women out there.

Now, of course the criticism I lay forth is rather one-sided. I have not mentioned the men, but I didn’t say we were getting shafted for no reason. For the men on the other hand, are by and large in very good shape. Not that there weren’t any guys out there that should be required by law to put a shirt on, but for every attractive woman, there was literally about 17-18 good looking guys. Guys who had every right to run without a shirt on. Guys who you could tell worked out as well as ran. Guys who were providing ample scenery for the ladies.

No doubt the good looking girls must be somewhere, but on the lakes and parkways they’re not. Alas, this is perhaps why Minneapolis has one of the largest gay populations in the United States.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Update on Aid Figures to Africa

So Rush Limbaugh quoted a source of over $600 billion in the past 43 years from the US ONLY!

Now, I know putting a number that Rush quotes will not win any faith from the left, but for those of us on the right who know better, that's a fair chunk o' change.

African Economists are Like Any Other, We're ALL Geniuses!

Excellent article in SPIEGEL.

Thanks Arcane!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Let's Bang Our Head Against the Wall Again

Short on time, but I just can't let this one go unaddressed.

Live 8 or Aid or whatever the hell it's called.



OK here people, let me explain it for you nice and easy so that even those of you with public school educations can understand.

Remember back when we were kids in the 80's and we all sent our money into Ethiopia? And then 5 cents would feed a kid for 12 weeks or something like that. Yeah, look at Ethiopia now! What success!

Africa has received over the past 30 years roughly $200 billion in aid. Adjust for inflation and you're looking at more around $350 billion - Marshall Plan levels of aid. And I'm willing to bet that figure is a little low.

Yet, despite this aid Africa is the only, ONLY continent where standards of living have actually gone down! The only other country in the world where this has happened is Venezuela where (surprise surprise) a socialist dictator, Hugo Chavez, has taken the reigns and driven living standards down despite high oil prices.

The problem isn't that money won't help, it will, but it's who's delivering the money. Thus far it's been the most incompetent entities the world has ever created; government, international organizations (UN), NGO's, and charities. Bastions of employment for those who are not only leftists, and not only people who majored in worthless subjects like peace studies, but incompetent oafs as well with no practical skills to speak of.

Don't believe me? Look at the latest member to this fine front to fight poverty in Africa; artists!

“I look at the news, I see people starving, I am crying, I’m a total mess”
Icelandic singer Björk

“We’ll jump if you jump and we’re all jumping on behalf of those who can’t even crawl”
Bob Geldof warns G8 leaders meeting in Scotland to take action against poverty

“For Aids in Afghanistan, is it?”
Marty Gradwell, from Ontario

"The rock stars and the hip hop stars can't change anything, but our audience really can.
"We're not asking you to put your hand in your pockets, but we are asking people to put their fists in the air."

What insane insight to the inner workings of geopolitics and international economics! Certainly the University of Chicago should award all of these geniuses honorary doctorates in economics! With such geniuses playing music to alleviate poverty, how can it possibly fail?

No, sorry, the only entity thus far capable of delivering money to a country and having it make any significant progress towards eliminating poverty, raising standards of living and increasing the health and wealth of a nation is capitalism, namely foreign investment.

Don't believe me? Look at China and India. They've done more to raise their massive populations out of poverty by opening their borders up to investment from foreign companies than any government, charity, aid or debt forgiveness program ever would.

Of course, you don't want to believe this, because it's contrary to what you've been told this entire time. That, or perhaps to the average liberal, it's more important to feed their ego than to actually accomplish anything (which is why, by in large, most of your projects fail, but hey, even though Jamal is starving in Somalia, at least you feel good about it because you went to a concert!) But don't worry, you're a liberal, we understand. We're getting used to dealing with such ignorance and hypocrisy.