Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Only Way Socialism Can Work

I will admit;

Socialism, can work...sort of...well, best that socialism can work anyway.

But it harps on this theory I've yet to fully develop that only a people who are mature enough and responsible enough to handle a massive welfare state can make socialism not fail miserably or result in a massive genocidal blast like it always has in the past. That those who can resist the human nature-impulses to go on the dole, and instead voluntarily work and pay high taxes so others in society may have free health care, education, etc.

And the best metric that I've found that measures the "maturity" or "responsibility" of a culture is the Corruption Index put out by Transparency International.



Notice the countries that are socialist AND have the best scores for Corruption (ie-Scandinavian and Nordic) also have the highest standards of living in Europe. In other words the Danes are much more responsible and are loth to abuse government programs, than say, the Italians.

This results in the average Dane being able to enjoy an average GDP per capita of $34,600 and public debt of GDP of only 37%, while the average Italian only makes $29,200 per person and has abused the good-intentions of the government to the point it has debt equivalent to 107% GDP.

Of course though, I have faith not in Scandinavian culture, but human nature for the long haul. And while it may last for a little while longer, natives in these countries will become spoiled, immigrants without those honorable Scandinavian values will move in there, and it will inevitably fail, perhaps more spectacularly than the average socialist economy, ending up in what it always does; massive genocide.

5.6%

It just keeps going and going and going.

http://www.bea.gov/bea/newsrelarchive/2006/gdp106f.pdf

What I don't get is how people think the economy is bad. Heck, even last night, a friend of mine, getting her degree in business was talking about buying a house and said, "well if the economy wasn't so bad."

WTF PEOPLE!??!!! Where are you getting the impression the economy is "bad?"

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Newfoundland and Russia

So a friend pointed out to me that I'm getting a lot of representation in Newfoundland.

Which is great. I'm all about Newfoundland. Don't know anybody out there, but I'd be curious how I'm getting so many people out there.

AND FINALLY RUSSIA!!!!

I was starting to question if Africa was more advanced in that I've gotten more hits from Africa (Nigeria and South Africa, which I'd be curious to see how they came across this site).

Anyway, finally glad to have some representation in the world's largest country.

More on Corporate Taxes

Found this little ditty.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tax Children, Not Corporations

Children, as proven by NASA and Harvard scientists over and over, are evil. This well known fact should be taught to every child in Kindergarten so that they know their place; a cage. This no doubt is where they belong, but because of the graces of charity and kindness of us adults, all we ask of them is two minor things;

1. shut the hell up in public places and
2. try their best not to spread disease until they are 18.

This may sound a bit totalitarian, but in reality we adults that do not have children are quite pro-freedom for children.

No, seriously, we are.

We actually encourage kids to be kids. To be free. To do what they want, whenever they want to. And with reckless abandon for the respect for others. To be wild and crazy, as crazy as the kids from the book “Lord of the Flies.” This ultimate, irresponsible freedom can be attained just as long as it follows one rule;

It is in the presence and abode of the people that brought them into this world; their parents.

If it’s just their parents and their parents’ house, I’m all for kids being kids. Write on the walls. Kick your brother. Bring malaria, lice and the plague into the household. Scream at the top of your lungs until 3AM. Demand all resources be spent on you. Play with matches indoors and with gasoline no less. Shave the dog. Light the cat on fire. Fill diapers like Ted Kennedy drains scotch bottles. Run with scissors. Go my little children, become what you’ve been destined to become! Destroy, DESTROY!!!! MWUAAA-HA HA HAAAAAA!!!!

All I ask is that it be done;

1. In the presence of your parents.
2. In the house of your parents.

The reason we ask this of course, is when children are unleashed upon society, havoc ensues. Children packed SUV’s and school buses cripple the entire transportation network to the level only terrorists could envy. We have to pay property taxes so that public schools may baby sit them while their parents pursue a career. They lengthen lines practically everywhere, grocery stores, restaurants, gun shops, crippling not the production side of GDP, but the consumption side. They divert resources from the Lingerie Fund and Tropical Cruise Fund to the Baby Food Fund and Children's College Fund. They make it so you can only attend movie theaters either LATE at night or during the day time when school is on. (Seriously, tried watching “Cars” over the weekend, needed to either shoot something or drink heavily by the end of the movie.)

They’re screeching in planes, trains and automobiles. Not to mention they drive up the costs of health care. Serious, go to a Minute Clinic. 90% of the people ahead of me are just some panicked, hypochondriac, hyper-sensitive mother with her child that might be suffering from that horrible and wretched thing known as the (GASP) THE COMMON COLD!!!! My lung could be shot out and I’m coughing blood, but no, I got to wait in because Ms. Prissy Suburban Princess’ little boy has a sliver.

Thus, fellow countrymen and economist lend me your ears. How would any normal economist treat such a ward on society? How do the college text books recommend dealing with such a horribly negative externality.

Well, of course the answer is we tax them.

Just like cigarettes, booze, hard work and other vices, governments tax certain behaviors to deter them. And since children, which have been proven by NASA and Harvard scientists, are evil, we should tax them too.

Alas, we don’t. Matter of fact, in a twisted, bizarre, counter-intuitive fashion that only North Koreans could replicate we SUBSIDIZE CHILDREN! We PAY PEOPLE TO HAVE CHILDREN! WE PAY TO BRING EVIL TO THIS WORLD! And what do we do to those who do not have children? To those who do not bring evil into this world?

We punish them.



This does not make sense when children are such an evil curse upon this world. Why, you don’t need NASA or Harvard scientists to prove it, just look at Nation Master.

Oddly we tax another thing that is largely believed to be evil by some, but in reality has literally been the best creation in humankind;

Corporations.

Now I know that the majority of people out there know that corporations are not “living entities” that are evil. That corporations are really owned by people.

And I also know that the majority people know that the majority of shares out there are owned not by rich elitists, but rather everyday people through their 401k plans and IRA accounts via mutual funds and that this is what makes up the majority of everybody’s retirement.

And I also know that the majority of people know corporations tend to bring in jobs, growth, innovation, wealth and GDP growth wherever they go.

And I also know that the majority of people know that if we tax corporations, not only would this bevy of POSITIVE externalities leave, but people’s retirement funds would take a hit as the underlying stock prices that make up their retirement funds would tank.

But what I don’t get is the NON-STOP assault on corporations from idiots on the left who think that somehow corporations are these evil abominations that wreak havoc upon society and somehow must be taxed to death and punished as if they were as destructive a negative externality as children (which, unlike corporations, have actually been proven to be evil!) Hell, all you hear is nothing but how EVIL US corporations are. Wal-Mart. Haliburton. Big Oil. “Corporate America” in general. And without pausing for a breath, the left immediately follows up its beratement of corporate America for higher corporate taxes.

Of course, this just goes to show you how ignorant and uninformed people on the left are. It also lends credence to my theory that “leftish” ideology in general is more about giving a person meaning or purpose in life, than anything as noble as trying to figure out what’s best for society, for it seems they get an emotional or psychiatric high from protesting and “crusading against evil corporate America” when in reality
AMERICAN CORPORATIONS ARE NOW THE HIGHEST TAXED CORPORATIONS IN THE ENTIRE OECD (that’s developed world for you people in Amery, Wisconsin)



I’d like to say, “Congratulations! You leftists have won.” but I REALLY don’t think the majority of people who demand higher taxation upon US corporations even know what the corporate tax rate is NOR do they know IT’S ALREADY THE HIGHEST TAXED!!!!

Sadly, nor do I think it would stop them from demanding higher taxes. They doubt to see the similarities between corporations and wives; if you want them to come to you, you should treat them nice, not beat them.

Sadly for the left, the day may come where corporations do leave, and like many a man has learned in the past, when he loses his wife, you don’t realize what you have till it’s gone. And instead of your wife running off with some Italian playboy, the left may beat corporations to the point, they may just run off with a handsome Irish suitor that treats them a heck of a lot better.

Friday, June 23, 2006

VOTE HILLARY 2008!

So the Cato Institute e-mailed this to me.

She is such a FREAKING POLITICIAN!!!

I do desperately want her to win the nomination for the Democrats. I'm going to have a Hillary bumper sticker on each of my 4 cars.

This is yet another example of politicians having not the feigntest clue as to the basic principles of economics...or perhaps choosing not to have a clue only because it is politically advantageous.

Can Socialists Do Anything Right?

Iran has oil.

Iran has socialism.

Iran is yet another example of what a pathetic failure socialism is.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Yeah, the US is SUCH a Horrible Place

Which is why NOBODY with a college degree leaves this place and everybody with a college degree wants to come here.



Mariam, I assume you would have a take on this?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Dell Sucks, But Swanblog Don't

So I spend 3 freaking hours installing software, updating virus protection, deleting all the crap programs that come with new computers, humming along great with my computer on the internet, about to upload my first new spiffy chart on good Ol' Cappy Cap and then, BLAMO!!!

Computer freezes.

Then, after spending another 2 hours with people from Bangalore I finally get to somebody with enough tech experience and not such a heavy subcontinent accent to tell me that the computer is hosed.

So in the meantime, whilst Captain Capitalism is like Popeye without spinach and is chartless, I figured I'd make a long overdue plug to somebody who's been helping me out recently;

Swanblog.

Local guy, known him since college, and he has a forte that I am lacking experience and knowledge in; law.

Not that all of his post are about law, he's been known to post about whales recently. Don't think I've ever posted about whales.

Regardless pay young Swanson a visit.

In Theme with Last Night's Show

And since I still don't have no stinking charts;

http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/walterwilliams/2006/06/21/201863.html

Visit Sunny North Korea!

Well, good news, got my computer. Bad news is I'm still tranferring all the old files to the new computer and have been pre-occupied subbing for Dave Thompson last night. Thus I'm still stuck with non-large-image posts.

So when bored what better for economists in the off season than to post pictures from that place we'll never visit;

SUNNY NORTH KOREA!

Here's some pics, unfortunately, they're all copyrighted, but it's worth a click.

My favorites are the empty streets. Almost eerie, like a bad British zombie movie or something. Only communism could pull off a real-life zombie movie.

http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/North_Korea/photo263764.htm

http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/North_Korea/photo255945.htm

Yeah, right, and Bush is the fascist here;

http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/North_Korea/North/Pyongyang-si/photo260824.htm

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Intelligence of the Masses

So one of the more interesting things I've found in financial theory is the use of markets or "many minds" to forecast or determine the outcome of something. Normally this applies to stocks, but they also use it to predict elections and I think some academians have found some other uses for it.

Thus, I was very happy when my friend sent me this chart;

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=NYT&t=5y&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=

If the masses are correct, snooty, out-of-touch media elites will go the way of the Ozone Hole Crisis.

So While the Images are Not Forth Coming

I'll have to just regale you with one of the funnier comics I read;

http://www.sinfest.net/d/20060607.html

http://www.sinfest.net/d/20060523.html

http://www.sinfest.net/d/20060313.html

http://www.sinfest.net/d/20060308.html

http://www.sinfest.net/d/20051226.html

Minimum Wage

Sorry folks, but the computers I'm relegated to using until I get my new computer are just now being nice with the image uploading, alas I'm stuck with 100% text posts. Thus, I found this one interesting (via Mahan);

http://p076.ezboard.com/fhistorypoliticsandcurrentaffairs68862frm8.showMessage?topicID=4602.topic&index=8

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What Percent of Women Are Gold-Diggers?

OK, since charts aren't working, let me pose a question to all the aspiring economists out there.

The Beloved and I were discussing one of her friends and how she was "looking for a man that had money."

And I said something to the extent that, "that's pretty sad for somebody to sacrifice soemthing as important as love for something as not-so-vital like money."

And The Beloved said, "yeah, we'll you'd be surprised how many women out there are looking for a guy with money."

Now, I was always under the impression that sure there were gold-diggers out there, but they amounted to no more than 5% of the female population. That surely, my economic spidey senses would tell me whether a girl had ulterior financial aims in courting me. But then again, there has been the RARE occasion that I have actually been wrong about women.

No! It's true! There have been one or two times that I, Captain Capitalism, economist and all-knowing-babe-magnet-extraordinaire, actually had it wrong when it came to the ladies.

For The Beloved claimed A FULL 25% OF THE WOMEN OUT THERE ARE LOOKING FOR MONEY!

Now, pessimistic and critical as I may be about the local Minnesota contingent of women, I would not have imagined it would be so high. But The Beloved has me here as she is a woman, hangs out with women, and would thusly be more of an authority on the matter than I.

Naturally, I'd be very curious to hear what other people would say the percentage is, particularly women, for there may be a bigger problem on our hands than I previously thought.

No Charts

Something's wrong with Blogger,

Can't post charts.

Energy fading.

Economic super powers, weakening.

Socialism suddenly becoming appetizing.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Last Straw

OK, that's it. I'm in favor of nuking Iran.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1150191582529&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Bastards! How dare they!

How Can't You Be A Happy Libertarian

Libertarians, by their nature, are happy. The reason why is because we're always right.

But this post by the Happy Libertarian hits on it a little more precisely.

We appreciate babes.

And that is the true source to all Libertarian's happiness.

Savings Rates

Been meaning to post this one for a while.




Although as (Jensen I think it was) suggested it would be interesting to see what this would be like when 401k/IRA contributions are considered savings.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Skyscrapers!

Cleaning out more charts in my "Inbox" of charts.

Another interesting one from The Economist.

Amazing how in the depths of the depression we're able to create the classical beauties of skyscrapers in New York City with the arcane technology of the 20's and 30's.

Now, we have these minimalist monstronsities being thrown up because materials are cheap and to ornate the building with detail would cost too much money, thus thrusting crappy architecture on the masses. Great.

Death and Taxes

Found this chart interesting. I also found it interesting that when were taxing the richests' estates the most, our economy was doing its worst in the Great Depression.


Larry Kudlow also had a nice satirical piece. Sadly for the likes of Sanjay and other sorted socialists, democrats and leftists etc., it wouldn't be a satirical piece but a common conversation.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Norway??? No Way!

So Norway enjoys the same high standards of living that the US does.



And it kind of miffs me because not only are they socialist, but they have been working a full 25% less per year than their US counterparts. They're working a paltry 1400 hours per year whilst we slave away here in the US for almost 1900 hours, yet they STILL ENJOY THE SAME STANDARDS OF LIVING!


How is this possible?

Well I know how they do it, but I'm curious to see if any aspiring economists out there do.

I'm also half tempted to pay for an aspiring economist to come up with a chart the demonstrates what I'm thinking.

Daddy Likes

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyid=2006-06-09T132416Z_01_N09456659_RTRUKOC_0_US-IRAQ-ZARQAWI-SITE.xml&src=rss&rpc=22

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Oh, So There AREN'T 72 Brown Eyed Virgins Afterall

He's dead



We rule


And I've officially started my stop watch to time how long it will be for the left to come out with their conspiracy theories that Bush TIMED this guy's death to help in the midterm elections. That he somehow was holding onto Al-Zarqawi and killed him when it was politically convenient.
Which you know they're intellectually weak enough to do.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ahhhh, Luxembourg

Quick post then off to produce more GDP.

I plan on doing a more thorough charting of Luxembourg, but I just wanted to point out how much richer they are than the US.

Now, depending on the measure you use, the US is getting some pretty fierce competition from the likes of Norway, Luxembourg and Ireland. And although most of the figures I've seen still has the US ranked #2 in the world, apparently the World Bank (via NationMaster.com) doesn't think so. Then again, this could be due to a weak dollar and I didn't really check to see if it was adjusted for PPP. Furthermore, methinks the World Bank isn't exactly packed with free-market capitalists and it might have slipped their mind to make those adjustments.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Light Saber of a Career Politician

Public pensions.

A career politician’s dream come true.

Here’s a political issue where you’re guaranteed votes from not only old, poor people, but from anybody with a heart, and without a brain…of which there are many.

Furthermore, the true costs are deferred so far into the future that you can rely on the ignorance of young people to not look at the pension’s underlying finances.

But the biggest benefit, the pure genius of this political tool, is that by the time the sh!t hits the fan, and these behemoths have to actually be funded, you’ll be either long retired from politics or dead.

It is literally the perfect crime.

Thus, I found the following data quite interesting.

The OECD seems to have calculated a ratio that takes the present value of a country’s public pension (ie-what that country can expect to pay out in today’s value in pensions) and divided it by total earnings in the economy (net and gross).

In other words what has the government promise to pay the people as a multiple of how much the people are making.

This is key as it is the earnings, what the people are making, that will inevitably have to pay for the pensions.

The more the government promises to pay out relative to earnings, the higher the tax rate.

Of course this tax rate will not befall current day pensioners, but will be deferred to future workers as pensions are paid out over the course of retirement.



And while I’m a big fan of Luxembourg and their phenomenal economic success, my heart is still learning towards good ol’ Ireland.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Would It Kill the MSM to Admit the Economy is Great?

God, freaking 4.6% unemployment and all the media can do is scour the technicalities to find something wrong with the data.

So I'll do you all your journalists a favor, I'll give you a quick little lesson in economics.

The economy is at full employment. That means anybody who wants a job, pretty much has one, and those 4.6% are probably not looking hard enough, are in no particular rush to find a job (but have not given up, thus are still in the labor force), or perhaps are of a specialized skill set and the job in that industry are not as liquid in the labor market.

Anyway, here's a pretty little chart to show you where unemployment has been.

Ahem!

Over-Engineered

So I remember havin AOL as my internet provider. As time went on I kept getting more and more updates sent in the mail, to the point that basically my entire hard drive was used to run all the trinkets and crap that came with AOL.

All I wanted was internet access. That's it. So I got rid of them and went with barebones Earthlink.

Seems I'm not the only one who likes simplicity in their internet service.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

2 Apologies in One Day!

I must be slipping.

I was reading through the archives and I will admit, I don't get around to reading all the posts. It seems an anonymous economist was kind enough to send countering data to my post that the more volatile a country's economic growth, the higher it is, whereas I contested the other way around. Since my primary concern is the truth and am always willing to be convinced otherwise as long as the data warrants it, just wanted to make sure this error has been corrected and duly noted.

Here is the study;

http://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v85y1995i5p1138-51.html

that being said it covers 90 some countries, where as my stats only covered the OECD countries (32 of them that had the data available). Also the study is 11 years old, so the relationship could have changed, but I'll just assume I am in error.

Trabajar, Trabajar, Trabajar

So whilst on my weekly jaunt through the OECD I happened up some updated figures for long term unemployment, ie- the percent of those unemployed that have been so for a year or more.

The reason I particularly like this stat is that it is a function of two things;

1. How lazy a people are in a particular country
2. How generous (or stingy) that country’s unemployment benefits are.

However, this time around they included two countries I hadn’t noticed before;

Mexico and Korea.




CRIPES!!!

Barely 1% of people unemployed in these countries, have been unemployed for over a year. Contrast that with 13% in the US and I’m almost half tempted to believe there are actually jobs Americans won’t work that Mexicans will.

That being said, it’s not like 13% is atrocious. Now if you want atrocious, why just take a swim across the Atlantic to our European counter parts where you can find countries like Germany, Italy, Greece and the Slovak Republic where OVER HALF THE UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SO FOR OVER A YEAR!

Alas, given the protests in France against the labor market reforms, not to mention the protests against Schroeder’s Hartz IV reforms, it seems Europe has no intention on changing.

MY SINCERE APOLOGIES

So to ban Sanjay I had to turn on this "comments moderation" option on the blog.

It said it would e-mail me anytime somebody made a comment.

Got an occasional e-mail saying I had a comment.

Then I go to the "comments moderation page" and BAAMM!!!

Like 40 posts that I got no e-mail notification for.

Regardless, my apologies for this delay in posting your posts.

Happy 20th Anniversary!


Well the Big Mac Index turned 20 this past week and for those economists, aspiring, savvy or not, it is a quick litmus test of sorts to see if currencies are overvalued or undervalued.

My favorite though is the darling child of the left, who whenst talking about standards of living cannot help but immediately mention its name, Norway.


Yeah, that's just what I want to do, pay $7.05 for a freaking Big Mac.

I apologize if the chart doesn't show up well. You can get a better image (and read the entire article) here.