Tuesday, September 30, 2008
For example the injustice, even more so than the $700 billion bail out, is the transfer of wealth from younger generations to older generations in the form of Social Security and (to a rarely known) larger effect, Medicare. I've seen figures around $75 trillion in unfunded entitlements, but even if it's just a fraction of that, the bail out of older generations ineptitude to save for their own retirement will dwarf this pittance of a "housing" bail out.
However, like I said, markets have a very wicked way of wreaking poetic justice and now is a perfect example.
Though it's counterintuitive, younger generations should be cheering for stocks to crash as low as possible. The reason why is simple; we're not retiring tomorrow. We're retiring 30-40 years from now. So why would we want to pay a premium for stocks? Oh, sure, if you're retiring tomorrow, you're screwed. If you thought you were going to snow bird it down to Florida and sell your house and live off your 401k plan next year, you're hosed. But if you're in the "acquiring stage" of building up your retirement portfolio, you should be cheering like mad for the stock markets to crash. For stocks are no different than any consumer good. Do you want to pay $5 for a gallon of gas? I presume not. So why would you want to pay $100 for a share of Microsoft, let alone cheer when stock prices go up. You want the price of stocks, just like gas, cars, chocolate and wiener dogs to go down.
It is here though the poetic justice manifests itself. People, regardless of generational age, should be against the bail out just on principle alone. But younger folk, if they're smart, should not only be cheering against a bail out on principle, but if there is no bail out and then financial collapse does ensue (though I wonder about that) it will make the primary vehicle by which we save for retirement (stocks/mutual funds) insanely cheaper. It is in this lowering of price, that in essence, results an a "transfer back of wealth." Those imminently facing retirement will suffer a drop in their stock prices and be forced to sell at a lower price. While the youthful will be able to pick up those stocks for a fire sale price (not to mention as they approach their higher income earning years) and recoup some of the money we'd have to shell out at a later date to support those imminently approaching retirement.
Not that younger generations should be maliciously cheering for stocks to go down because it impoverishes other people out of spite, but the point I'm making is that the market is making this a reality anyway.
Monday, September 29, 2008
The arrogance I see in the traders of Wall Street and the members of congress is insulting.
How dare you schumcks, you dumb American people, you insignificant plebs insist there is no bail out
How dare you morons, you simpletons who can’t possibly understand the complexities of spending less than what you make, refuse to bail our corrupt, spoiled rotten asses out.
Don’t you know who we are? We are the leaders of the
The beauty of this bail out getting shot down in flames, is that it bitch slaps these bastards right upside the head and harshly reminds them that it is THEY who work for US.
I don’t know about you, but I did contact my representatives in congress and basically said that if a bail out did go through, I would not only not vote for them, but fund their competition come the next election season. It seems a couple million of you did as well, for some true STATESMEN did their duty and voted in the best interests of the people.
But there is something that must be discussed or at least clarified here. And the reason is because we’re told that this bail out is absolutely necessary. That it is needed and if we don’t get a bail out of some sort, then “main street” will be harmed by the follies of Wall Street.
B as in B
S as in S.
Let me try to explain it in a manner that won’t put normal non-economist people to sleep.
There is a certain, fixed amount of economic pain that this country has to go through for its financial sins. For spending more than it makes. For putting everything on a credit card. For refusing to work for the things we want. And if we can’t afford it, oh well, we’ll just file for bankruptcy.
This amount of pain is unavoidable. We cannot escape it. We are suffering the beginnings of it right now, but we do have an option of how we want to endure it. It’s the classical;
“Do you jump into the cold water and get it over with in one shot? Or do you ooch in, inch by inch and acclimate yourself slowly to it.”
The first option, just “jumping in” as it were, would be where there would be no bail out. We let the markets fall to wherever they may. A bottom will be found, the market will stabilize, assets and resources will be reallocated, we’ll go into a sharp recession, but it will be over with within a year.
The second option is to go through with the bail out and instead of suffering one big hit, borrow or print off more money to spread the pain out over time. This is more of the “FDR” approach to the Great Depression (which is half the reason it lasted so damn long). There will not be as a sharp recession or as sharp of a jump in unemployment, but the economy will be slothful, with growth minimal and under 1% for at least a year, and unemployment will still go up and remain there stubbornly for the foreseeable future.
Now most paradoxes, the choices are equally appealing or unappealing. This is why they’re called “paradoxes.” But in the case of the bail out, there is no debate; the jump in the water approach is immensely more beneficial than the ooch in approach. And the reason why is a long lost art form in the
Punishment is a good thing. Arguably the majority of the social, economic, and crime problems in the
Now the benefits of punishment is if you have a father who genuinely cares about you and loves you, he will have no problem disciplining you as it is in your best long term interests. You may not have liked it at the moment when you were 7 and getting spanked for shaving the dog (guilty), but when you got older you were immensely grateful for those harsh lessons your father insisted upon you in your youth. And when it comes to a country, it’s no different.
Unfortunately here in the
Alas, now daddy’s little girl has come home and told him that she not only stole his credit card, but racked up $700 billion in bad mortgages on it. Daddy’s little girl being the financial deadbeats who knowingly or ignorantly took on more debt than they could afford or the banking scumbags who were all too eager to give the $700 billion to people who really weren’t any more intelligent than a 14 year old suburbanite princess.
What does Daddy do?
Does daddy say, “Oh, I’m sorry sweetie. What did I do wrong? How did I fail as a father that you racked up $700 billion of other people’s money? Maybe you need therapy. Maybe I need therapy?”
Or does Daddy say,
This is the ultimate reason why the “jump in all at once” approach is better than the “ooch in” approach. Because punishment will be served. Justice will be done. Revenge will be savored.
If there is no bail out, then daddy’s little princesses are going to get the punishment they so rightly deserve. The financial deadbeats will get no “federal aid” to support their habit of being freaking morons and spending more than they make. The arrogant charlatans of our times known as bankers and politicians and all their political cronies who have vested financial interests in the financial services industry and have parasited off the back of the millions of hardworking Americans will have to (OH MY GOD) become HARD WORKING AMERICANS! But key to this all, and why this approach is infinitely superior to the ooch in approach, is because punishment on the order of making these bastards eat all $700 billion of THEIR OWN MESS will make them never again screw the American people over for their own selfish interests. And yes, we may go through a harsh recession. And yes, unemployment will go up. And yes, you Americans will bitch and whine about it. But in the end, we will have a more responsible society as those who were irresponsible will be perpetually impoverish to the point of financial incripplement, and the rest of America can move on (at a higher rate of economic growth I might add), unencumbered without them.
All it is, is a simple matter of reminding those bastards in
Because, after all, this is a democracy. And congress, as well as president Bush needs to be reminded of “Who’s their daddy.”
Oh, and buy my book already! To quote Bill Cosby "It'll make you smart!"
I've had theories about this, but it basically boils down to that unless you started off poor and know the challenges and how difficult it is to become rich, you really are incapable of genuine sympathy. Thus why those who inherit their wealth are not so generous with it, because, we'll, "how hard is it to become rich? I am and, why I just sat here."
However, tangential to this theory is also why leftists who are rich, tend to insist that the poor must be helped, but much prefer to force you to be charitable with YOUR money, rather than theirs. It is no coincidence communist intellectual titans such as Marx and Che Che were spoiled little brats, born with silver spoons in their mouths. They never had to work, they were trust fund babies. And having such a life of luxury afforded them the genuine intellectual luxury of advocating socialism and communism. They never had to work. They never had to strive. All they had to do was in order to sound cool and hip and intellectual was advocate a new economic system that would transfer the wealth from the producers to the parasites...err....I mean the "have's" and "have not's." Of course, they still had to be in command and be members of the elite in this new society, but they "cared" about the people.
Sadly you can see this strain or viral thought in many elite or "limousine liberals" today.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
No, why would I? I know what both of the candidates are going to do once they get into office, and pretty much everybody else does, no matter what they're going to say on national television. The only reason they even have debates is to go after that group of undecideds who are so politically ignorant that they are undecided at this late stage in the game, yet are so politically important because they will decide who the next president is. Ergo, now you have Barack Obama calling for drilling for oil now? Hello??????, can you say stick wet finger in the air and lie through my teeth and say whatever I can to get elected?
Regardless, this was the best part of the debate and shows you just how pointless it is to watch these debates. You all go ahead and watch the debates. I don't have time to be lied to as my life is very finite and very precious. Ergo, my time will not be wasted listening to talking heads.
For the rest of us who understand 3rd grade economics, it's interesting and is a good story from the "front lines" of oil companies trying to get more oil.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I then relate this to what I call the "Green Bay Packer Syndrome" wherein during my youth growing up in Wisconsin the Green Bay Packers would never, ever, ever win a super bowl, or for that matter a game. And true to form, when they finished the season 0-28, you could rely on Green Bay Packer fans like Obama to spend more money to say, "wait till next year." The same thing applies to ALL publicly traded companies. Doesn't matter that they lost billions. Doesn't matter their product kill 5,000 babies. Doesn't matter they're about to go bankrupt. With lying smiles on their faces they look straight into the camera and say, "Though we may have had some "slight" difficulties this year, we look at it as another opportunity to capitalize upon in our great tradition here at the XYZ Corporation."
Thus I thought it appropriate to post a screen shot of the overpaid, preppy blue blood schmucks, sitting in their hoity toity office at the now befallen piece of Bulge Bracket crap that is known as "Lehman Brothers."
I think I speak for America when I say, "Go ef yourselves!"
And I have one simple point to make;
You are an American. It is therefore your responsibility AS YOU ARE A CITIZEN OF A DEMOCRACY to call your respective congressmen and scream at the top of your lungs that you do not want this bailout (or,maybe you do, I don't know).
But I think a lot of times we forget that we have a responsibility living in a democracy to tell our representatives what we think and what we want. And sometimes, especially if their job is on the line, they will listen.
Pretty much every senator and representative has web page contact info thing you can fill out. It takes about 15 seconds to fill out and then you've probably done more for democracy in those 15 seconds than most do in a year.
Friday, September 26, 2008
No, it's because we support America and wave flags and cheer really loud and we've always been great. That's why we'll continue to be great! Because our greatness is great and we're America! Cheery happy soccermommy-Apple-Bee's-and-Blockbuster-America!
"You're like Hank Rearden when he realizes that it's not society that is behaving irrationally, but given the bail outs, corporate and social welfare, taxation rates, etc., it is your economic behavior that is irrational."
Now I confess I have not read Atlas Shrugged, but the point was still very well made. I, as well as all of you out there are suckers. We're rubes. We're the dumbsh!ts for working hard, paying our taxes, living only in houses we can afford, spending within our means, and otherwise supporting ourselves. That with all the benies government pays to the losers and parasites of society, why on God's green earth would we be working in the first place?
It's an outstanding point. I look back at my life and see just how much work and sweat I put into college, my career, my side jobs, only to have what is essentially the parasites of society lob off 33% of it, and now $700 billion more, and I have a hard time seeing how it was worth it. I'm trying to find out why I slaved and toiled working full time and going to school full time, when I could have just taken the easy way out and said "screw it, I'm collecting welfare and going on MinnCare (Minnesota's state health care) and refusing to work a day in my life." I'm trying to find out why I paid WaMu religiously and timely for every mortgage payment in the past 7 years, only to have their deadbeat leaders come to the government with a cup in their hand and ask for more of my money. I should have just defaulted like everyone else and stayed at home and played video games all day. But the key point is that whereas we berate and loathe such behavior, given the progressively socialist environment foisted on us by the government, how could a rationale person NOT avail themselves of all those benefits? Yes, we detest the parasite, welfare, sub-slime deadbeats who lived in better houses than we did, drove nicer cars than we have, and did it all with no ability to pay, and ultimately on the dime of us responsible members of society, but can you blame them?
And thus, why the entirety of this whole financial/banking/housing situation is so enraging. We did the right thing. We worked hard, we paid our bills, we budgeted, lived within our means and adhered to other simple concepts that 3rd graders can understand. The losers of society, whether knowingly or ignorantly (though I'm going more with knowingly), spent themselves into oblivion. And while they enjoyed luxury cars, sushi diners, trips to Europe and SUV's, we scrimped and saved and conserved, only to ultimately subsidize and bail out these degenerates. But to add insult to injury, as we look back at it, we were the ones who were idiots. We were the ones who were taken. To do the right thing, to work hard, to pay taxes, to pay your mortgage to live within one's means for the past 5 years was laughable and idiotic. We were voluntary hosts to parasites. It is arguably the most angering and depressing feeling a lot of us are feeling right now.
Alas, we are faced with a choice. Do we become "rational" human beings and capitulate to this wave of socialism sweeping the nation? Do we tell our mortgage company to ef off and refuse to pay our mortgage? Do we go out and sign up for welfare and state-paid health care? Or do we continue in our idiotic, archaic, obsolete 1940's old-school-American ways and continue to work hard and live within our means? Let me argue for that "stupid" "old school" Americanism.
First off you must realize the honor that comes with being one of those dwindling few that support themselves. If it weren't for us, the entire human race would cease to exist. I'm not saying this as hyperbole or rhetoric, I mean that dead-seriously. If it weren't for the producers, the human race would cease to exist. There'd be no New York, there'd be no X-Box, there'd be no ice cream there'd be no wiener dogs. The reason is very simple; if you don't produce, if you don't support yourself, then by definition you will die. And the same thing applies on a society wide level. I've always asked myself "what would happen to the country if all the Libertarians, republicans, conservatives and other varied sorts of capitalists, just ceased to exist?" And the answer is very simple; there'd be no country. We are the people who work and make this country go. We are the people who made America great. It is the workers and producers and entrepreneurs of the world that are the sole reason for advances in technology, creations in medicine, democracy, flight, cars, scotch and everything else. Everybody else is in the most literal sense, irrelevant to humankind and human history.
Second, is the nobility of independence. I don't know how many times back in college I heard some little 20 something girl, fresh out of a women's studies class bravado about how she was "independent."
Oh sure, dad bought her a brand new car.
And paid her rent.
And paid her credit card bills.
And her tuition for her worthless sociology degree.
Oh, but she was "independent."
And the womens studies professors. Certainly even more adamant about their independence than their student.
Oh sure, nobody in the private sector would hire them.
And the only thing they do is teach a study whose only function is to be retaught to the next generation of kids with no practical application outside academia.
And in most cases, these professors are in the public schools thereby necessitating the only way they'd get paid is if the government forces tax payers to cough up the money for something they wouldn't have spent money on otherwise.
But they're independent.
And those preppy frat boys soon to become Wall Street's finest as they kiss ass and suck...errr...I mean "work real hard" pulling off C's and D's in college because they know daddy has a job lined up for them in the end, so why work anyway?
Oh yeah, they're "independent."
Especially when they go to the government and need a bail out for Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, AIG. Oh yeah, real independent.
Let me tell you who is really independent.
The burger flipper at McDonald's who is slaving away to make ends meet and doesn't have the luxury of being a suburbanite prince or princess. He's independent.
The security guard who works the third shift so s/he can go to school during the day so they might be able to better themselves. They are independent.
The blue collar family that lives within their means and BUDGETS (any of you parasites ever hear of that word), to ensure they don't spend more than they make. They are independent.
And the capitalist or entrepreneur that saves their money, starts a company, fails but then doesn't go to the government for a subsidy or a check. He is independent.
Independence is arguably the most noble trait to have. It means you are truly and genuinely supporting yourself and do not rely upon others. Furthermore, it means you are a contributing member to society. Even if you think it a menial task or job you have, the burger flipper at McDonald's has done more to advance society than the highly paid Wall Street investment banker who's asking the government for a bail out because he's truly and genuinely INDEPENDENT. And it is because we are truly independent (not just "told" we're independent by some academian putz) that makes us (and I mean this seriously) better people than those who are dependent no matter what our financial background.
Finally, to give those of you who are independent, self-supporting contributing members of society one final thing to think about; who would you rather be?
I've often opined what would it be like to be a welfare bum or suburbanite prince/princess or "professional activist" on their death bed. To have all those years of lying about, not producing, not making anything of this one, precious finite life you have, and then when the end of that life is upon you, don't you have just a little bit of remorse or lament you've pissed it away?
When I die, I will be proud. I have taught thousands of people how to dance. I've taught thousands of people about personal financial management. I've gotten hundreds of little kids interested in paleontology and fossils. I hope I educate millions about the housing crisis. And for my day job (though it sounds nerdy) I've allocated capital efficiently. I can point to something so when I'm on deathbed I can say, "hey, good or bad, sub-prime deadbeats parasiting off of me or not, I achieved some amazing sh!t."
The dependent, the deadbeats, the losers who we are currently bailing out, can't say that. All they will be able to say is "I sat around and watched TV while collecting a government check."
"I helped bring the world's largest economy to recession as well as the global economy while I pocketed $100 million in a severance package."
"I filed for bankruptcy 3 times and had the consumer eat the extra costs."
When you die, you will leave a legacy. Maybe you aren't Tony Stark. Maybe you're not Bill Gates. But in the end, you will be able to point to your life and say, "I didn't waste it." You will go down in history as one of the producers. One of the independents. Alas, rational or not, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be Hank Rearden.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
If you ask the majority of American's it's Alan Greenspan's fault.
If you ask Barack Obama, it's George Bush's and the Republicans' fault.
If you ask John McCain it's Wall Street's fault.
And if you ask Nancy Pelosi it's anybody, but the democrats' fault.
So who's to blame then?
None of the above.
In intellectual honesty we have to give credit where credit is due. Nancy Pelosi is "most right" when she says the democrats are largely un-blamable when it comes to the country's current economic woes. This ignores the fact that the democrats and leftists in this country have effectively cut off the supply of oil in the US and therefore did contribute to the increase in prices and thus the economic slow down, as well as pressured lenders to lend to the lesser qualified to get them re-elected, but these are very tangential to the current crisis.
Second "most right" is John McCain. Wall Street and their mortgage backed securities gurus highlighted in the Sub Prime Primer did provide a venue for which banks could unload worthless mortgages and effectively made them brokers with every incentive for volume and very little for quality. But this is not the primary culprit.
Then you have outright ignorant people who lack the intellectual rigor or curiosity to learn the facts for themselves and become informed, educated people, preferring to just find a scape goat because blaming one person is easier than trying to learn about international finance, monetary policy and price to rents ratios. Yes, of course, Alan Greenspan, how obvious. When he wasn't tripping nuns, kicking kittens and putting hot sauce in the retirement community's water supply, he was actively plotting the destruction and demise of the US housing market.
And do I have to even explain Barack Obama's claim it was Bush's fault? What isn't? Seriously. I got behind an old fart driving on the interstate today, that was Bush's fault. The sun was shining a bit too brightly when I went to lunch. That was Bush's fault. I had a bit of indigestion. That was obviously Bush's fault. Sadly, for a man who claims to bring change, he's just playing politics as usual.
No, the real culprit boils down to two groups of people; one of which no politician has the cajones to point out and another group we all love to blame.
The first group of people who are genuinely the ones to blame for the housing crisis we're in are banks and bankers. Long story short (though I definitely go into more detail in my book) banks, their management and their foot-soldier bankers put their commissions ahead of the American public and lent, lent and lent as they racked themselves up bonuses, commissions and undeserved raises. With little to no regard to the likelihood of repayment, they lent money to deadbeat losers to boost sales and make their figures look better, and to such an extent it threatened the stability of the US (and world) financial system, all at the expense and insurance of the US taxpayer.
The second group deserving the blame is a revolutionary idea I had, also detailed in the book;
Would we even have these problems if people did what they said they were going to and PAY BACK THEIR FREAKING LOANS IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Has that thought occurred to anyone? That if the people who put their signature on the loan documents, "promissory notes" suggesting they (I don't know) PROMISE to pay the money they borrowed back, then we wouldn't be having this discussion?! You know, like they agreed to return the money they took? Like how it's been done for eons? You pay back what you owe and do what you're going to say?
The fact that this group has gone completely unmentioned shows us not only how cowardly politicians are to put blame where it is richly-deserved (the deadbeats and losers of the American public), but how personal responsibility has been erased from the American lexicon. Not only do people lack personal responsibility, but society almost fails to expect or demand it. No longer is it the deadbeat trailer trash mom borrowing $50,000 to start a hair salon (I've seen it, this is a real loan), it's the "poor disadvantaged heroic single mom of 14 trying to make her claim in the world." It's no longer the moronic suburbanite brat who drives a fancy import who lacks the basic math skills to put together a budget to find out he can't afford BOTH the import AND a house (again, true story), no, it's "a poor disadvantaged youth who is a victim of Bush-Cheney-Inc."
It is this group of people, the literal, veritable, epitome of financial deadbeats and losers that is to blame, in conjunction with the greedy moronic bankers that lent such fools taxpayer-insured money in the first place. These people are why you have a house worth $100,000 less than what it used to be. This is why you're facing the specter of recession. This is why you might be losing your job. So blame Greenspan. Blame Wall Street. And hey, be REAL original and blame Bush. The banks and the deadbeats of America should be the target of your pitchforks.
The chart above shows the difference between how the NOAA measures warming vs. people just reliably and consistently going out and checking the temperature.
I'm glad we spend so much money on the NOAA way.
ht to SDA
And not so much social security, but here in the US, rather medicare, which is actually going to be a bigger problem than social security. It reminds me of the ending speech Robert Shaw gives in "Force 10 from Navarone;"
"Yes, we did it. But before we can start awarding ourselves Victoria Crosses and Congressional Medals of Honor and so on and so forth and such like, I think I better point out, that;
1. We're now on the wrong side of the river.
2. We have no hope whatsoever of rejoining the partisans.
and 3. This neck of the woods will soon be crawling with very bad-tempered Germans.
And 4. I don't think that our little genius, Sergeant Miller there, has even got a box of matches left in his suitcase.
And so therefore I think we can it gentlemen, that we are going to have a very
And in a similar manner I like to point these dire things out. Which brings me to my chart o' the week; Pension Entitlements as a Multiple of Economy Wide Earnings
See, the concept behind this ratio is that pensions or pensioners have to be funded/paid with earnings from the economy. It's not like once you hit retirement age, the money just all of the sudden POOFS, there it is. It has to be funded some how. And as a means to measure how "generous" or "stingy" a country is with their childrens' money..er...I mean... towards it's elderly,
you can take the entitled pensions and divide it by the economy wide earnings to see how much in pensions people are entitled to for the amount of work they do in any given year. A lower multiple means you work a lot, but don't get a lot. And a higher multiple means you work a little, and get a nice big fat pension. I like to put it into political terms, basically calling it a measure that shows which politicians figured out they could bribe a voting block by promising grand retirement benies in the future, knowing full well they'd be dead by the time people figured out there was no way to fund those benies. But hey, those politicians had nice hair and nice smiles. And they cared. Can't forget that, they cared, and that's all that matters.
In any case, while we think it's going to be bad here in the US (as I surmise there is also a Baby Boom wave about to hit retirement in Canada and Europe as well) it's nothing compared to places like Greece where your pension "entitlement" is 15 times a year's worth of Greece's economic earnings.
Maybe I should visit Mexico.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Aside from the visually stimulating pictures, I found some of my best fossil specimens yet, not to mention the largest snake I've found yet (although it was no poisonous).
Damn bear stole my adventure hat.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Here is the clip (which I think really provides a great backdrop to the book) and here is the now-over-a-year-old-post I used it in.
The outright highway robbery that is going on now with this $700 billion is NOT the failure of capitalism. It seems there are many people out there, namely of the leftist stripe, that are heralding the problems of the economy as a "end of capitalism." Worthless professors who never set a foot outside academia and never produced one ounce of GDP, who still wear pony tails as if it were 1968, salivating as if this is the rapture they've all been waiting for. Something they "saw coming for a long time" as if capitalism was some kind of cute, novel social experiment bound to fail, but on a more spectacular level than communism did.
They could not be more wrong.
First off, it is necessary to point out a government bail out is NOT capitalism. The idea of capitalism is that companies and individuals compete and the government gets the ef out of the way. There may be some universal goods like roads, defense, judicial systems, etc the government imposes on the people, but when it comes to commerce, the government does not decide who are winners and losers. The free market, ie- the people or society does. And if banks or airlines or railroads or Leftist Lucy's Coffee Shop fails to generate more income than expenses, to hell with them, they go under. A bail out, LET ALONE A $700 billion bailout can only be described as the epitome of socialism.
Second, this is one of the rare (and I do mean rare) moments where self-avowed socialists and genuine capitalists will agree on something. We are both livid over this bail out of financial deadbeats and corrupt bankers. This is nothing more (and admittedly, I'm over-generalizing here a bit) than the rich and the poor, stealing from the hard working middle class. If anything, this should be a call to vote out pretty much every congressman up for re-election this year and to hunt down the bankers and deadbeats that did this to the nation. In any case, it seems universally agreed upon across the political spectrum that this bail out should have ramifications and consequences for the guilty, but it is vital you understand this bail out is socialist in nature, not the other way around. This should give those of you out there who "claim" to be socialists or democrats great pause to evaluate or at least understand the basic tenets of your ideology before going and trumpeting a socialist for president.
And finally, and I cannot emphasize this enough, capitalism is not a choice. It's REALITY. You can impose a socialist or a communist system all you want, the end result will be the likes of Cuba, North Korea or the USSR. It is not coincidence countries with lower taxes and higher economic freedoms grow faster, alleviate more poverty and have better standards of living. The reason why (and I want you to put this to memory) is that capitalism is an ideology based in reality. It is not based in falsehoods or "pie in the sky" hope and dreams and puppy dogs and flowers. It is based in simple principles such as;
You don't work, you don't eat.
People prefer more to less.
People will make decisions in their best interests.
There's so such thing as a free lunch.
No, you can't just print off more money.
ie-the closer your ideology, political structure, or economy is to reality, the more success you will have. The further away you get from these realities, the worse your economy will do.
This you can see in everyday life as the decisions people make, if not based in reality, suffer the consequences.
You took out a mortgage you couldn't afford? You get to file for bankruptcy.
You majored in sociology? You get a crappy job a $30,000 a year.
You drive 200 MPH on a motorcycle? You get a serious headache when you crash.
And when you make it so nobody has any incentive to work because you tax them, or you make it so there is no penalty NOT to work, or worse still incentive them not to work with a multitude of government programs, you destroy the ability of an economy to produce any kind of wealth.
So ask yourself the question; is a $700 billion bail out a product of the capitalist ideology or the socialist strain? And ask yourself the question what kind of perverse incentives does this provide you? (I for one am more than half tempted to just not pay my mortgage anymore and rack up a ton of credit card debt, and say "ef it!" Aren't you?) And then ask yourself the final question;
Why on god's green earth are you a socialist?
(And remember to buy my book! ;)
We spend more money than we make.
We blame all of our problems on everybody else.
We're entitled to everything.
So why are we so great?
Because we're Americans and, um, well, uh, by that fact not only are we great, we'll be great forever.
Yeah, just like the Romans.
What do I mean by "real work?" Work that sucks. Things like working at McDonalds. Working the late shift as a security guard. Perhaps you were a poo shoveler like me. Regardless, because of these jobs we not only learned the merits of getting an education, but also appreciated how the real world works. How you cannot have wealth without production. How you must produce something of value to get employed (and how most of us became capitalists and conservatives in the first place).
But what gets me is how "child labor," no matter how noble, no matter how helpful to form the ideological senses of a youth, is kind of frowned upon. How parents nowadays are having their kids join various charity organizations because it "looks better on a resume" than working at McDonalds (which is complete BS). How illegal immigrants are getting hired to do the jobs the youth of America used to do in the past. And if you hear "child labor" you think of some poor third world country kid working in the sulfur mines in Indonesia for 30 cents a day. Which is why I found this interesting;
I forget where I found it (National Geographic perhaps), but, seriously, I'm supposed to feel sorry for this kid? This kid has a cake job! This is not shoveling poo or pouring out grease bin or cleaning up cow remnants at a locker plant. This is taking apart electronics AND, might I speculate, a great way to learn about computers and electrical engineering. This kid is not only getting paid for a pretty easy job, but getting an education as well.
Now I know I will get a bunch of e-mails from leftists who never had to do work as dirty as shoveling poo. I know I will receive a bunch of e-mails from spoiled brats who never changed a diaper in their lives berating me about how dare I insult this poor kid. These intellectually inferior comments will be summarily ignored on the ground none of you got your fingers dirty or had a real job in your youth so go back to eating arugala (I don't even know how to spell it) whilst discussing your Amber Crombie and Fitch collection with Obama.
In the meantime I invite all the hardworking folk, left or right, who know the value of a work ethic to regale us with your-crappy-jobs-during-your-youth-stories.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
That's right, the housing debacle.
And not that I'm criticizing them, or belittling them, but they're talking about this as if it is something new and shocking. That the collapse of Wall Street just kind of "sprung up" on them. Again, its because I had the "advantage" of working in banking and saw this coming, but I kind of analogize it to being in the 101st Airborne during the Battle of Bastogne and then getting relieved by the Third Army and having them ask "So, what's going on?"
I want to yell back at them, "WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?!"
Regardless, the timing of this housing/banking debacle more or less mandates that I address something about how to prevent this in the future (and coincidentally publish a very appropriately time excerpt from my book). The premise being;
Would this have even have happened if we mandated personal financial management classes in school instead of worthless subjects like "psychology" or "foreign-languages-you'll-never-use."
But of all the recommended courses of action, the single best thing to prevent another housing crash or any other economic catastrophe from happening ever again is quite simply education. People do not realize how powerful and what the potential is for a nation that adequately educates its population in finance and economics. Not only would such debacles like the housing crisis be avoided, but bankruptcies would dramatically decline, debt levels would drop, crime would plummet, unemployment would be perpetually low, standards of living would jump to levels never dreamed possible, and recessions, just like Polio or the measles, would be eradicated. It is merely a question of whether we care to eradicate the ignorance that causes these ills. It is a question of whether a society is willing to be intellectually honest enough to abandon the Thin Skinned Economy, take the time to study economics and live in the real world.
Not that we don’t make some efforts to educate ourselves when it comes to economics and finance, but it is an absolute disgrace the poor job today’s education system does. If at all, economics is a token requirement usually taught by a history teacher with no real background or understanding in economics and finance. Worse still anybody with real world experience is prohibited from teaching in the public schools on the flimsy grounds they don’t have a “teacher’s license” (Alan Greenspan himself could not teach economics at the majority of our schools). Furthermore, as no doubt has been the majority of people’s experiences, economics was such a boring class that instead of embracing it, it was loathed and feared by millions of high school students. It is no coincidence Ben Stein’s accurate depiction of an economics teacher in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” resonates so well with society.
This is just as much as a tragedy as the housing crisis itself, for in failing to educate the masses in finance and economics, we have failed to educate ourselves on one the most important, if not the most important aspect of our lives. Furthermore, it is almost criminal because the costs of such ignorance are so severe. Had personal financial management been taught in the schools would the sub prime market even exist? Would most 25 year olds have credit card bills larger than their student loans? Would there even be a housing crisis? Would the Baby Boomer generation be so woefully unprepared for retirement? Blame the bankers, blame the brokers, the utter failure of the education system to instill any semblance of fiscal discipline is just as much to blame...."
There's more where that came from.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
One called "Arckensaw" and one called "Arkansas."
The reason for my confusion was the obvious spelling of "Arkansas" is not pronounced "Arcken-saw" but "r-kansas."
Did anybody else have this confusion as a child so I can point out to my female colleague that I am not the only one that thought this way in their youth?
Why can't it be more like Brazil or India? Do you ever hear of Brazil invading places, bothering people, producing terrorists? No, they just hang out there in the south, enjoy the weather and produce GDP.
Friday, September 19, 2008
I want to kill the bankers.
I don't mean that in a funny, ha ha, way. I don't mean that in a sarcastic way. I mean that in an old school American, wild wild west, you killed my father-prepare-to-die, deadly serious way. I literally want to grab my gun, get a lot of bullets, find some bankers, hunt them down and kill them. I even know the bankers I would hunt down. I know their names and where I can find them. I would do with a smile on my face. I would enjoy the action of it, I would savor it. I would go home and pour myself a well-earned drink and sleep just as soundly as I ever have, if not, probably better. I would not have one pang of guilt.
Now I know that violence and hate and revenge are officially outlawed in this country. When we get attacked we're supposed to ask what we did wrong. When we get bombed we're supposed to apologize. And when bankers screw us out of $1 trillion, we're supposed to forgive them and get over it and maybe bend over again and to make easier for them the next time around, perhaps spread our butt cheeks.
And the particular reason why is that bankers are unique because of their hubris and arrogance.
Say you have a deadbeat on welfare. Fine, I have no respect for that individual, I may not really like that individual, but for the most part while they're living off the taxpayer, they're not really living a jet set life style. Bankers on the other hand, insist, almost demand that they live the jet set lifestyle, regardless of whether they produce a profit or not. They drive Beamers, they drive Mercedes, they wear fancy clothes, all to put up the image, all to tell themselves in their minds that they are hot sh!t, whether or not they're actually a good banker. Yet the fact so many of them were so poor at their job that it is potentially going to cost the real working American's $1 trillion shows you their entitlement mentality.
"What? Turn down a loan on account we're ultimately guaranteed by the FDIC and thus the taxpayer and we owe it to the country not to destroy the economy? Why that would get in the way of my commission! And me having the latest in Armani and Trophy Wife apparel is more important than you dumb working schleps! Why, I'm a BANKER, I'm an important guy! I work on Wall Street! I'm not some peon like you!"
Additionally, it is the attitude of the holier than thou crowd of the now-crumbling elite "Bulge Bracket" of Wall Street. I remember many years ago applying to the likes of Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers only to be turned down solely because I went to a state school and not "the Ivy League." I wasn't a Rockefeller or a Winthrop the III or a Kennedy. I, and presumably the rest of blue collar America, was not "good enough" to work for these firms. Now these firms and their incompetent, moronic blue blood ilk are coming up to us with a cup in their hand for a $1 trillion bail out? These "elites," the "smartest people from the best schools" have effectively caused a recession? They are the bottom of the barrel. They're incompetent. They're losers. They're not good at anything but living off of mommy and daddy, and when they can't produce anything of value, parasiting off the real men and women who work.
Regardless, this mentality these bankers have is the exact same as an entitled socialist, but with the unfathomable arrogance that they're entitled to riches as well at the expense of society and the taxpayer. They are entitled to a fancy I-banking job whether they have the skill for it or not. They are entitled to limitless wealth because of their profession. They are entitled to drive a luxury car, even though pretty much every bankers' beamer out there is paid for with 100% of somebody else's money. It is arguably the epitome of evil and why I seriously would not have any problem killing some bankers.
Of course, the problem is "killing" is "illegal." Much as I (and no doubt some of you) would like to go out with our rifles during "Banker Season," we'd all end up in jail. Thus, I have a solution, that although would not be quite as effective as "The Great Banker Purge of 2008" in fighting moral hazard, I think the effects will be the same as it is worse than death itself;
Tax the living snot out of them.
We know who the bad bankers are. It's not that hard. The Feds are investigating scores of banks and while the criminal bankers have left or been fired, you can still track them down, garnish their wages and make them pay for their mistakes. It is only fair that for once, instead of repeating another S&L bail out where we give bankers another cup of moral hazard, we make them pay, and make the price so dear they never forget. That instead of them parasiting off society, they sleep in their own bed and deal with their own mess. That instead of driving their Escillade around for selling the taxpayers another $40 million worth of worthless CDO's, they drive an old used Chevy Caprice and have to budget, and conserve and feel the constant threat of poverty the rest of us have known, but they never have. I want them to pay the $1 trillion tab, not when they're making $10 million a year in bonus, but when they have to work as a security guard during the 3rd shift for $8.50 and hour.
Of course though, we don't really have a choice because our beloved elected leaders are going to once again bail out the financial system on account of it being "too vital a component to the economy." But bankers beware, if a revolution ever comes and society crumbles, something tells me it won't be rabbit season, or duck season, or Elmer Fudd season.
It'll be banker season.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
But what I find particularly interesting in today's Western democracies is that the "have nots/leftists/parasites" act as if the "haves/nazibushloverfascists/producers" don't already transfer a significant sum of their earnings to the have not group. That they don't get a dime from the richer classes. Or that the rich don't pay taxes at all, they have those always-available "loop-holes," and not only that, but they actively engage in oppressing the poorer classes just for sh!t's and giggles (which I know I do, actually the Republican party has a quota of poor people you must oppress if you want to join the party, you get bonus points if they are of a minority race or religion)
Regardless, what ultimately made me choose sides in this simplified political landscape was one simple thing;
Specifically, statistics that show you, among other things, just how much people are taxed and where the government spends the money.
One would think this would be the MINIMUM amount of fiscal stewardship a citizen of a democracy (or republic) would do to determine what is in the best fiscal interests of the country they are ultimately responsible for. Sadly, one cannot attribute that bare minimum of concern for one's country to the majority of Obama supporters because without verifying the facts, they'll just go and knee-jerk response;
"The rich don't pay their fair share."
"The rich use loopholes to avoid paying taxes."
"The rich poke baby koala bears with sharp sticks." (which you also get bonus points for)
When the reality, the cold hard truth of the matter is the rich in the US and practically all western democracies are the most charitable people in the history of the world;
Of course there is more to a political campaign and platform than just fiscal policy. But my question would be would anybody of the lefter leaning ideologies vote for Obama if he said he wasn't going to tax the rich? And on the same coin, would anybody of the righter leaning ideologies vote for McCain if he said he was going to tax the rich?
If you think about it, you'll see just how simple politics is.
Well 13 months later the bridge has reopened and now traffic will be seriously alleviated. However, such a quick rebuilding of a major highway over the country's largest river got me thinking;
"Why the hell is it taking so long to rebuild the WTC?"
I've speculated on this before and pointed out that if this was the 1940's, despite archaic technology, those towers would have been rebuilt in the same amount of time it took to rebuild this bridge. Of course political, environmental, insurance and other factors have gotten in the way. But it does present an interesting dichotomy.
It takes a private sector firm 13 months to rebuild a major piece of infrastructure under budget and ahead of schedule. It takes what can only be described as government and political bureaucracy 7 years to build absolutely nothing. If there is a lesson in the perils of government and politics, this is it.
In the meantime, perhaps you New Yorkers out there could use a little consulting help from us hicks in Minnesota?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Happy day Junior, Deputy, Aspiring, Official or Otherwise Economists!
After many months of writing (and a coincidental timing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the rest of Wall Street), the book is finally here! Behind the Housing Crash – Confessions of an Insider has officially been published and you can get your copy here!
Full of stories guaranteed to make your blood boil, bring shame to the banking industry, and packed full of charty-goodness (35 charts no less!) this has been the single largest project I’ve ever embarked on. I did my best to write a clear, concise, but above all, entertaining book that I hope achieves its aim of explaining what happened, how the housing crash came to be, and why your house is all of the sudden worth $150,000 less than what it used to be.
In any case, as this is self published I need all the help of the junior, deputy, aspiring, official or otherwise economists and Captain Capitalismites out there to tell a friend or 60 about the book. I have no grand delusions of this hitting the New York Time’s best seller list, nor getting on Oprah’s book club, but have set myself the reasonable goal of selling more copies than Nancy Pelosi. If you could please send the link to anybody you know that would be interested in this book or mention it to family and friends that would be grand.
I sincerely appreciate all of your help in the past and all of your readership. And I sincerely hope this book surpasses your expectations.
They look at nominal numbers and run with it;
"Did you know back in 1872 milk cost 3 cents a gallon. BUT UNDER GEORGE BUSH IT COSTS $3! Bush is in cahoots with Big Milk. Impeach Bush now!"
Of course, maybe that might be a bit extreme, but I have seen such outlandish comparisons in the past that make most economists' heads shake. But this was one where I think we need a lesson in economics;
There is a thing called "Critical Mass" wherein bicyclists in the city clog the main roads to protest the use of cars and advocate the use of bikes. No doubt a more lefter leaning group, and no doubt they cause more carbon to be emitted as they effectively create a traffic jam, but that aside this is just another case of leftists not bothering to have any semblance of intellectual honesty, or perhaps are just plain lazy.
Adjust for GDP people. It's like saying "Bill Gate's has over $1 MILLION dollars in credit card debt! What a big bad debt hog!"
Well, big whoop. He's got $40 billion in assets. You have to compare the amount of debt to what the government (or individual or company or economy) makes. Yes, there is $9.6 trillion in GROSS federal debt (another adjustment I shall ignore for now), but as a percent of GDP that's only 72%.
To compare to yourself, ask how much debt you owe (student, credit cards, mortgage, etc) and divide that by your gross income. Most people would would be well above 100%, probably even 200%.
Now, I do share the bicycle rider's sentiment that Bush has spent too much (though he would contest it was on Iraq and I would contest - with documented proof - it was social security and medicare), but can we just agree to do some simple token, high school economics and adjust for things like inflation and GDP?
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Of course, if you live in an Islamic country and the government does not allow for a free media or you're just biased, then it's the Israelis or the US government (though, this is a popular theory amongst US democrats too).
However, I can easily show those who claim it was the Israelis or the US government are lying through their teeth and are just saying so as mere propaganda and are using something called "Island Hopping Logic."
If you ask them who brought down the Twin Towers, it was Bush or the Jews.
Ask them what they think of Osama Bin Laden and "Oh, he's our hero! Did you see what he did to the Twin Towers!"
You'd be amazed how common this is...or perhaps not.
Another thing that stuck out about this chart is our good Mexican friends to the south. Only 25% of them believe it was Islamic terrorists. Of course, that's why they were all cheering for Osama Bin Laden during a soccer match against the US.
So I don't want the world telling us who they (wink wink) "think" pulled off 9-11. You all know who did.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Very simply, all I wanted to do was to see who was hotter during his prime;
John McCain or Barack Obama.
I deemed this somewhat newsworthy as pretty much every Jeff Foxworthy fan is salivating over Sarah Palin and every perpetually-single New York 30 something female is doing the same over Obama. And while looks are complete irrelevant in a presidential race (or at least should be), I recall seeing some pictures of John McCain in his youth and he was nothing short of Cary-Grantish level handsome.
To prove who was the better looking I took two pictures; one of John McCain in his prime and one of Barack Obama in his prime. I faced the problem that if the pictures were too easily identifiable then the screeners at Hot or Not would reject them. Fortunately both made it through and here are the results;
Barack Obama; 7.2/10
John McCain; 9.9/10
Now one would leave it as such and say, "OK, cute story, John McCain is way hotter than Barack Obama, adjusting for prime."
But what happened thereafter was interesting, if not hilarious (and sure to be a boost to the aspiring presidential candidate).
One, John McCain was "invited" (I guess is the term) to become the "Hot or Not Person of the Week." Obama had no such invite.
Two, several girls (all of the age of 20 something) expressed an interest in meeting the young John McCain, though Cindy McCain might have something to say about that. Barack Obama had no such interest (though I will readily admit the girls listed could just be a marketing ploy of the web site, still, none showed up on the Obama site). Regardless, sadly, I hate to break it to those McCain hearthrobs on Hot or Not, but John McCain is married and he is (I think) 72 years old.
Of course, looks are irrelevant when it comes to selecting the president of the United States and this was done largely out of humor and jest. However, while you may not be able to date John McCain, you can vote for him. For while he may beat Barack 9.9 to 7.2 in looks (adjusting for prime), I would surmise he equally, if not, more than trounces him in experience.
If you've baby sat or shoveled poo (which I did at a greenhouse when I was 12, you'd be amazed of all the different types of poo that go into various fertilizers) then you have more experience than Barack Obama. And the reason is simple;
You've then worked in the private sector and one day in the private sector is more real world experience than a decade in government.
This was posted by Fritz on SDA.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The good news is this is my blog. And the good news is more people listen and read me than people who disagree. And the good news is I get to decide what's published or not, not some lefty internet trolls. And by God I will post something that is positive and I will defend the fact we kill more terrorists than they kill us because it is important and it damn well means something to me, and I gander a lot of Americans who are sick of the pansy sensitive 90's BS. My rage induced response is below;
My freaking God, no wonder the terrorists are emboldened! What is this pansy ass crap I am hearing? Seriously. If George Patton were alive he'd launch the 5th army against all of you.
Can you none of you just let yourselves enjoy the fact we're killing the bad guys at a rate at six times what they're killing us?
I know we've all been brainwashed to shun violence and shun revenge, but while I still have the slightest bit of testosterone and hatred for the enemy, I'm going to be damn happy we're killing these scumbags faster than they are us.
Jesus freaking Christ. Can the soldiers just get an occasional "thanks for kicking ass"? Can they? Or does there have to be some public-school indoctrinated caveat about the statistics and then some moral qualm about killing evil people?
I will out of sheer piss-offedness no longer post comments on this thread that are anything BUT praise, adulation and gratitude to the success of the military. And the reason why is you can get otherwise elsewhere and I'm sick of hearing "otherwise."
Just cheer, hell, ACKNOWLEDGE the freaking good guy without a godamned string attached once in a while, will ya?!
Then watch this.
Ah yes, the Green party, which is a predominantly leftist party, threatening the freedom of speech.
This must explain why in communist countries you have the right to vote, you just have to vote for the communist party. And in the Green party world you have the freedom of speech, you just have to say what they want you to say.
Stop in and say hello to the Green party of Canada.
ht to SDA.
And for my tribute to 9-11, I don't want to do some candle light vigil, I don't want to do some lets-hold-hands-and-sing-kumbayaa. I just wanted to point out the cold hard truth to all the terrorists who thought it would be a grand idea to kill 3,000 Americans (and the leftists that seemingly cheer them on) that it was the dumbest mistake you've ever made. I just wanted to point out to all the radical terrorist nutjobs out there, who think you've done some amazing thing, that 9-11 was the equivalent to not only shooting yourselves in the foot, but pretty much shooting yourselves in the head. I know the media won't admit it. I know the left and Obama supporters here in America are reluctant, if not ashamed to acknowledge it, but we are not only winning, we are hands down kicking your ass.
Although the data is a year old, US troops have been killing you no-point-to-life losers at a rate of 6 to 1.
You want to do this all day? Fine, we can accommodate that. We can go all night long because it will bring about your end and we fully intend to.
But the larger point is this. Currently 4,155 US troops have died in this war to avenge those we lost on 9-11. And while they look down from above and certainly appreciate the candle-light vigils, and prayers and moments of silence, I think they're sitting next to God on big comfy leather couches with beers and brats watching the game, and are more concerned about the score. And if there's anything putting a smile on their faces, and vindicating they certainly did not die in vain it's to see their buddies kicking ass on the field. They may be out of the game, but those 4,155 took one for the team.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
In any case, I am happy to see a significant bump in McCain's ratings over Obama's. I'm just hoping it has more to do with Palin than the pretty sparklies of a convention.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Occasionally, kind of akin to Michael Savage when he talks about his days as a youth, my friends suggest instead of a lecture on economics, that I regale my audience occasionally with more personable stories. And after telling a group of new friends my bondage-a-go-go girl story, they all demanded I put it up here, so pour yourself a martini, light up a cigar if you have it, settle in and enjoy.
It was 1998 and I was all of 22 years old. I frequented a club called “The Front” in
In any case, in my youthful age of 22, I ended up dating Jackie who was the bartender at The Front and was also 30. Giddy as a school boy, we only dated about a month or so, until she broke my poor youthful heart on the grounds I was too young for her and she felt guilty dating me. Regardless, she was a nice gal, almost church going, and all we did was date and smooch a little bit, but alas, that’s all it was meant to be.
So fast forward 7 years and me and my buddy Tony (the singer of the club who I befriended) were reminiscing about the good ole days at The Front.
I said, “Do you remember The Front.”
Tony responded, “Yeah, I remember The Front. Those were good days back then.”
I said, “Nothing exciting, but I used to date Jackie. You know, that cute blond that was the bartender at The Front.”
Tony, kind of surprised, turned and looked at me and said, “You dated Jackie the dominatrix?”
I said, “No, no, I dated Jackie, the bartender at The Front.”
He replied, “You dated the dominatrix!"
I said, “No, Jackie, the bartender at The Front! She was the girl serving drinks at The Front. That’s who I dated.”
Smugly he then replied, “Jackie, the bartender at The Front, WAS the dominatrix!”
In disbelief, I said, “Wha?”
“You mean to tell me, you were dating the dominatrix and you DIDN’T KNOW!?”
Tony who was, and still is, one of the most somber, darker individuals I know, never laughed so hard in his life.
I said, “Well how the hell was I supposed to know! She didn’t have whips or anything in her house! It’s almost as if she was going to church or something!”
Never before had I felt so cheated. I almost felt more cheated out of that, than the social security I’ll never get. She seemed like a normal, almost quiet-like girl. And then, seven years after the fact, I found out I was dating
And thus concludes my bondage-a-go-go girl story.
Monday, September 08, 2008
The reason I say this is because it seems liberals are against anything risky, and therefore anything fun. For fun is a direct function of risk.
For example smoking a cigar. Smoking a cigar is fun, but there is a risk (although minute) that you will contract cancer and die.
Fireworks, those are fun. Hell of a lot of fun. But one could blow up in your face and kill you, so you better stick with the "liberal's firework;" the sparkler.
Sports cars, ahhhh, lots of fun. But they go fast and you might crash into something. Better get a Prius.
Eating peanuts is fun too. But there's a 1 in a billion chance some kid some where might catch wind of your peanut odor and croak and die. So we ban peanuts from schools.
Everywhere, everything that brings us the slightest bit of joy or happiness, even if it isn't a vice, is under attack from those who want to rule over us in a totalitarian manner under the false guise of "being concerned for our safety."
Thus I was glad to see the odds of death published by The Economist by various accidents so as to see just how paranoid over-protective-anti-fun-fascist-nanny-state-leftists were.
The most common accident is poison, which would in my estimation warrant an overly protective mother to call poison control should her little children eat a mushroom.
But look at what almost every community organizer goes after like a pit bull to ban and wears a badge of honor should they manage to ban it;
1 in 1.9 million chance of you getting killed by a firework. That meant if we all played with fire works and every American handled them and played with them dangerously every year only 150 of us would die.
You are even more likely to get killed by your PJ's catching afire at night than by getting killed by a firecracker. You are 20 times more likely to get killed by lightning than by a firework.
Of course, it doesn't matter what the chances are, there's still a chance. And therefore, still an excuse for the nazi's to tell you what you can and cannot do.