Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How Property Taxes Undermine the Housing Recovery

It's days like this the Captain decides to fire up a cigar and pat himself on the back.

From CBS Minnesota - Minneapolis housing prices drop the most out of all major cities.

From half a year ago - The Captain lays down some super awesome economic genius of the corollary between property taxes and prices.

From 4 years ago - The Captain's book predicting the housing crash.

But, no no. That's alright. Don't listen to him. What does he know? He's some crazy guy that jumps out of trees and runs into bushes.

Enjoy the decline!

A Lesson In Supply and Demand

Alright Junior, Aspiring, Deputy, Official and Otherwise Economists!

Test time!

Read this and translate it using the chart below!

And a second question young men.

"What lesson did the wonderful world of economics teach us from this experiment?"

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Beautiful Chart of Destruction and Dismay

How's that hope and change kiddies? Enjoying the labor market are you?

hat tip.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Eco "Fun" Fest

So I'm driving on 394 which is a main east-west artery out of the Twin Cities. And on one of the billboards I see an brilliantly lighted advertisement for "Eco Fun Fest." I rolled my eyes not because here was yet another example of a municipality (Minnetonka) squandering money it doesn't have. Nor was it yet another example of brainwashing the youth. It's because what kid on this Earth dreams of attending the "Eco Fun Fest?"

Dad - "No, no Disney Land for you little Jimmy on this fine Memorial Day weekend. No, we're going to the "Eco Fun Fest!"

Little Jimmy - "YEAAAAA!"

Reminds me of "Sunday Vacation Bible School" which I was forced to attend in my youth.

What happens to adults when they get older? Do they forget what it was like to be a kid??? Don't you guys remember what it was like when you had that BIG, SHINNY wrapped present for Christmas and when you opened it up it was a stinkin' sweater? Don't you remember just begging and pleading with your folks to take you to Disney World and instead you got to go to "Old World Wisconsin?"

So parents,

adults who are my age and should not have forgotten their youth in the 70's and the 80's,

or those of you who just plain plan on breeding little ones in the future,

lend me your ears!

Will you please knock it off with foisting your political or religious or just plain BORING agendas on your children? They do not want to go to "Sunday Vacation Bible School."

They do NOT want "sweaters" for Christmas.

And they sure as hell don't want to go to "Eco Fun Fest!"

Take them to Disney World.

Take them to Yellowstone.

Take them to a lake and let them run around and get dirty looking for turtles.

Honest to Pete, why do I even have to write this?

Another 40% to Go

That is of course if you believe economic growth will return to normal.

And debt levels will come back to normal.

And gas prices will come down allowing for more discretionary income.

And the youthful generation will start finding jobs so they can become the new buyers the housing market so desperately needs.

And cities stop jacking up property taxes.

Sure, then it's only another 40% to go.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Your Child Is Not "Amazing"


Defined by the most convenient link I could find on the internet as:

"1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex"

So let me tell you why I'm writing this.

I get to live vicariously through my pilot billionaire playboy bachelor friend (well, he's not a billionaire, but I just keep upping his status to provide color and drama to the story).  And while he does frequent the occasional bar, he gets the majority of his dates through Plenty of Fish.

Usually when we hang out and have cigars we are both on our laptops or tablets.  Not out of disrespect for each other, but because we can ACTUALLY "multi-task."  And not in the way women claim they can (which means they do multiple tasks at the same time equally poorly but still trump it as an advantage they have over men), but in a way that we can both effectively converse AND tend to whatever internet-related matters call for our attention at that time.  So while I'm pimping out my internet empire he is constantly surfing "Plenty of Fish."

Admittedly it takes some time to find a quality gal on the site, but he usually does and within a week or two he's usually parading the most recent scantily clad pic the latest 24 year old bimbo sent him.  But that's just the thing.

It takes a LOT of time.

So out of morbid curiosity sometimes I look over his shoulder and watch him surf the ladies throwing themselves out there for the world of men to peruse them.

Most are hideous.

Overweight.  Desperate.  Sad.  Typical Craigslist quality.

Then there are those who aren't desperate.  They're sincere, but no catches themselves.

However, what I get the greatest kick out of is the single moms.  Not because they are single moms, but because the VAST MAJORITY of them use a key word in their profile to describe their children;


If I had to estimate it (and I'm being serious here) nearly 80% of the profiles I saw of single moms they attributed the attribute of "amazing" to their child/children.

Which I found interesting.

Because, as listed by the definition above, I should have heard of these kids before snooping over my friend's shoulder.

Your kid is "amazing?"


He/she is able to

"1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex"

Because that's funny, because the handful of single moms I've dated NOT ONE OF THEIR PRECIOUS LITTLE CHILDREN WERE


I was not "amazed" by any of them.

They never affected upon me "great wonder."

They never "astonished" me.

And not once was I "bewildered or perplexed" by the fact they could memorize multiplication tables, dress themselves, or other such accomplishments some deem "amazing."

Matter of fact, if I do the math right, if 80% of children are "amazing" then the word "amazing" means "mediocre."  Or "normal."  Or "nothing special at all."

Did your kid cure cancer?

Did your kid find an alternative to fossil fuels?

Did your kid even self-teach itself to remove a carburetor by watching youtube videos?

Or, just like every other kid, did it just do some cute shit you found endearing and are now going to slap one of those "My Child is a Great Kid at Joe Blow Elementary" bumper stickers on your car?

Here's some advice.  And this advice is not "Oprah" advice (meaning it'll actually work).  YOu may not like it, but it's real advice which means it will really help you.  Which also means, if you can get past my condescending (though I would claim "tired") tone, you'll realize I'm really actually trying to help you as well.

If you're looking to score a guy on any kind of dating internet site, not only should you stop bragging about your average kid, you should start putting the kid in the back seat.

I know I know, "He/she is #1 in my life."

My friend and a million other suitable bachelors got it.  You're kid is #1.  We don't care.

What are you doing for us?

Parading your kid, bragging about your kid, and lying about the "amazingness" of your kid only sends men the other direction because it sends the clear signal the guy is merely secondary or subservient.

So instead, admit it, you screwed up.  Don't hide it.  You had a kid with the wrong guy and now you have to own up to the fact that kid is a huge liability to your romance life.

Don't yell me.  Don't get angry.  That's human nature.  Most men don't care to raise other men's children.  If you don't like that, then file your complaint with the "Department of Reality."

In the meantime, if you're on a dating site to find a guy (which, if you are on the site, your desires are implied), and you really want to achieve that goal then I suggest tailoring your profile towards the guy.  You needn't NOT mention you have a child (matter of fact most men would be upset if you didn't mention you had a kid), but stop telling them how "amazing" your obviously average child is, and stop posing with your child.  It immediately says you only care about your child and the guy comes second.

Terribly sorry, but that's how it's interpreted.  And you've only yourself to blame for being in this position.

"300 is NOT a Date Movie"

Many years ago the Captain was set up by a listener of his radio show with this listener's cousin. Our first of only two dates was a very innocent and kind one on my part because I was simply that. Innocent and nice. I asked her if I could take her out for sushi during lunch.

Fast forward to the present and while enjoying a cigar over a bonfire with some friends, the conversation turns to appropriate behaviors in dating. A friend of mine says, "Yeah, don't you remember that 300 is NOT a date movie?"

I looked at him quizzically because I remembered hearing that before.

Where did I hear that before?

So I asked, "Where did I hear that before?"

He replied, "Don't you remember? The cousin of the girl that sent you that e-mail listing all the things you did wrong on the date?"

I said, "Yeah, but I recall getting lectured for having an older car. Not taking her to 300. You don't still have the e-mail, do you?"

And for the luck of all my readers, my good friend still DID have the e-mail and forwarded it to me so that I may share it with all of you.

Understand this is a treasure trove of insight into the psychology poor men have to deal with. It is empirical evidence of everything you see in the dating world and the socio-psychological observations made in the mano-sphere such as the Rationlization Hamster, entitlement princesses and delusional expectations of themselves and others. It's been about 4, maybe 5 years since I've read this, but my gosh, re-reading it again only provides vindication, if not great insight and wisdom to any poor schlep still having to deal with this insanity. Please enjoy;

First, I want to tell you I have this thing about dating. I can predict pretty much anything that a guy is going to do. I guessed within 2 hours of when you'd call Terri. Guys are predictable. Not just you. So to have an advantage you need to be different. I think a lot of guys got bad advise from married guys who have no clue what it is like to date in the 30's or from a girl that really doesn't want you to find someone so they can use you as their back up if they can't find anyone else.
This being said Terri has not told me all that much information. I just pick up on a lot more than people usually say. So do not judge her for what she may have said because I am just picking out the things that can help you. Plus, I have been prompting her for details.
I really hate to see people single. When life is so much more enjoyable with the right person. If my thoughts are unfinished or grammar is incorrect you need to bare with me because I am having contractions that are a little distracting. I am sure it is not the real labor as this baby seems to not want to come out:)

-You date like you are 20. Dating in your 30's changes/matures. You can take a 20 year old to Applebee's and it is fine but a 30 year old has had time to eat at nicer restaurants and expects more. I am not saying your choice of a restaurant was cheap just showing an example of what is acceptable. Also, the type of person you date expects different things. A waitress who still lives at home probably is fine with a movie for the first date. A woman that has a career, her own house and is indepedant expects more because they give themselves more and will give you more. I am not just talking money things I am talking taking time to think of good things to do. Taking time to do nice things.
- Phone conversations are a great way to get to know people. You should only call when you have time to talk. And after a few dates call just to talk.
-Group dates are for once you have established you do indeed know you like each other and will continue to date.
-After a first date if you want to ask the girl out again you need to call within 24 hours, best if it within 12 hours the sooner the better in most cases. No likes to wait around and figure out if you like them or not.
-Feedback at the end of the date is good. Like I had fun I'd like to do this again.
-Movie dates are for once you are dating (like a month). You can not get to know someone over a movie. Plus 300 is not a date movie!
-First and second dates should be spent getting to know the person so you will know if it is a waste of time for a 3rd date. Personal things should be talked about. What personal things do you know about Terri after a date and couple phone conversations? In 30's if marriage is the goal by date 3 deal breakers should be brought up. Like if there is something you are not ever willing to compremise on. Kids, religion etc. Which I think most things you should be willing to compremise on. Since you really can not predict your feelings in 10 years or how you will feel once you are madly in love with this new person.
-Don't imply you have your whole life planned out already. A woman wants to feel like she can be part of the planning if you were to be together. Not just fit into your plan.
-I am not sure how you are on this one or not but here's some advise if case. Sleep is something that can be put aside to get to know a girl. Girls love when a guy is willing to stay up getting to know them (over the phone or in person). This is an investment in your future happiness. It should be taken seriously.
-Always offer to pick the girl up at her house/work. Let her be the one that decides that you should meet at the place instead of drive together.
-Make a lady feel like a lady. I don't know any woman who are over 30 and single that don't want to be treated like lady. Open doors, pick them up, walk them to their doors, etc. Like the guys in the romantic movies. Women over 30 who are single have had a lot of time to think about "how" they want a man to treat them.
-My husband told me about your cheap car. I think it is great but definitely not for dates.
-Practical and cheap are not for dates. They can be brought into a relationship later once you are actually dating but not for dates.
-The date you have lined up for Thursday sounds bad for a couple reason. It's like well I am already going to be there so just meet me there. There is no room for the date to go long if you have a commitment right after dinner. It sounds like you are just fitting her into your schedule not opening your schedule for her. Woman do not want to feel like you are fitting them it. I am going to suggest you rethink the date and plan something else. Make it special. With no time limits. You only get a couple chances before a woman makes up her mind and you need to use those dates to your benefit. Make her feel like she is a priority.
-Dating is work. It does not come naturally to most people. You need to put time and effort into it since a good relationship could last you a life time. And bring you more happiness than everything else on this earth.

A Memorial Day Message from Big Oil

My evil contacts in Big Oil have sent me some interesting little data and facts that all of you young kids out there can ponder as you drive back home for Memorial Day weekend and upon arriving at home are told by your father,

"Sorry son, no vacation this Memorial Day weekend. Gas prices are too high. Oh, by the way, your mother and I can't afford your next quarter of tuition because we have no disposable income. You don't mind paying for your own anthropology degree do you? Instead of going to Yellowstone, let's break out some board games!"

So here a couple bits of evil propaganda that you can enjoy while you sit at home on Memorial Day weekend playing "Sorry" instead of going to Florida;

Evil propaganda piece 1.

Evil propaganda piece 2.

Evil propaganda piece 3.

Evil propaganda piece 4.

And my favorite, because the tone is so dumbed down that it really exposes the simple-minded nature of those who hate Big Oil - "what's better, more jobs, or less jobs?"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Price of Oil in Gold

The scramble is on for politicians (and idiotic college students) to once again find a boogeyman to blame for high gas prices. And instead of "evil big oil" or "George Bush," it seems the socialists in the country have chosen this time around (drum roll please);

"Greedy speculators!"

So in addition to;

"The rich use loopholes"
"Republicans just want to give tax cuts to the rich."
"If we just cut subsidies to big oil we'd balance the budget."
"It's corporations keeping us down."
"The rich don't pay their fair share."

you can now add;

"It's because of greedy speculators"

to the list of inane and utterly false premises faux intellectual leftists use when talking politics at parties or social events to make themselves sound educated.

Of course the reason you come here and tell your friends to come here is because you have this thing called "intellectual honesty." You want to know the truth, you care about the truth, because ultimately you know that if society makes decisions based on falsities and lies, it will ultimately collapse. Ergo, you know the Ole Captain is always going to give you the truth. And not just the truth, where like most politicians I say "you'll just have to trust me." No, I spell it out for you in wonderful, empirical charty goodness.

So today's economic lesson of the day is "How Much Would Oil Cost If We Used Gold as Our Currency Instead of the Dollar." Well shucks howdy, here it is all chartified for you by the Captain;

You see, the price of oil REALLY hasn't gone up that much. Matter of fact, the "real" price of gas has gone down. It's more that the value of the dollar has dropped so precipitously that it takes 3 times as many of them to buy the same gallon of gas it did several years ago giving people the impression gas is getting more expensive. But if you were using gold as a currency (they used to do that you know), today's price of a gallon of gas would be $1.36 equivalent.

Now I would go on about how the dollar collapsed and how trillion dollar deficits caused it, as well as social security and medicare undermining it caused it, and how this is more or less the left's fault, but I'm not going to waste my time. People on the right already know the economics behind this. People on the left willfully choose to ignore it and blame it on "those darn evil greedy speculators again!"

Instead, I'm going to go install Active Directory on a computer and make myself a Window's 2003 DNS server. Because those skills cannot be undermined by a collapsing dollar.

Enjoy the decline!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Why I'm the World's Greatest Economist

In addition to the Asian Currency Crisis

the Dotcom Bubble

the housing bubble

the Dollar Bubble

put this one in your record book of "what the Captain predicted."

From about I'm thinking 3 or even 4 years ago.

And today!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ah, Is There Anything Better Than Indoctrinated Youth

Ah, only indoctrinated youth can be so uneducated and so brainwashed that they can become so hypocritical, not to mention a threat to free speech and society.

I used to be concerned about the generational theft that is occurring, but not any more. Now I just sit back with the Rumpie and watch the show.

The "Recovery in the Job Market"

From Reuters and CNBC;

"New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, but a rise in the four-week moving average to a six-month high indicated the labor market recovery will remain painfully slow."

Don't you love how they force the premise upon you that the labor market is recovering in the first place?

So once again, to show you why you don't need Reuters, you just need the Captain, I shall show you the claims for unemployment in charty-goodness form;

So now it's time to play "intellectual honesty with the left!"

If you look at our current unemployment claims, you'll see they're;

1. NOT going down, but indicating the potential for a double dip recession
2. Are on par with the worst levels of the 2000-2001 recession
3. Oh, wait, have I heard anywhere from the media about this being the "Worst recession in 50 years?" Oh, no, that's right, George Bush isn't president! With BO in office this now makes the "labor market RECOVERY painfully slow."

Filed under "the cancer is spreading less slowly."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bachelor Object Equilibrium

In a previous work of genius I explained to women why men, specifically, bachelors leave things in the car, or on the table or in the doorway instead of just "putting them away." The whole concept was "Bachelor Object Migration," the short version of which is that objects in a bachelor's life cannot just be hastily put away. They must migrate, stage by stage from the trunk of the car, to the doorway, to the table, to the room, and invariably in the closet where it was meant to be.

Eyes were rolled.

Criticism ensued.

But in the end, it's still the bachelor's house and those are the rules.

However, the need for a new Law of Bachelortude has come up and that is "Bachelor Object Equilibrium."

The Captain came upon this brilliant realization when he had a female friend of his clean his house. Previously, when his house has been cleaned, things got "put away."

Where did they get "put away?"

"Where they belonged!"

And where was it "they belonged?"

Where the female friend of mine decided where "they belonged."

I thusly spent the next 3 years trying to find things that were previously readily accessible. I'm still missing some socks.

However, this behooves the question "where do things belong?" And if you have ever visited a genuine bachelor pad, you will realize the answer is;

"All over the place."

Now to the untrained female eye, they think there is no order or structure to this. The bachelor has just haphazardly thrown all of his personal affects across his pad as he farts and belches while walking around in boxer shorts drinking a beer at 1030AM listening to Frank Sinatra. But little do they realize that not only is there structure and organization to this "mess," but it is the OPTIMAL order and structure.

How Bachelor Object Equilibrium works can be best described when a bachelor moves.

The bachelors does not pack his possessions in an orderly manner. He throws everything into boxes. Thus, when he unpacks, he has to unpack every box looking for the items he needs at that moment.

What this ensures is that the bachelor only unpacks the vital and necessary things he needs. This leaves the lesser-needed items still packed and now collecting dust under the stairway in the closet. However, the genius does not stop there.

Whatever items have been unpacked need to go somewhere.


Wherever they are most needed.

This principle is the core to Bachelor Object Equilibrium.

For example, one would contest a fridge should be in the kitchen.

Well that would require me having to go upstairs all the time to get a beer.

Why not have the fridge right next to your computer in your office so when you work, you can simply reach over and grab one?

Take a look at a desk.

My female friend when first cleaning took all the pens I had a-strew across my desk and put them in a cup. Only to have me immediately take the pens back out and put them out across my desk once again.


Because the pens being across my desk is the optimal location. I simply reach a mere 3 inches to the pen on my desk instead of having to painfully arch the foot and a half to pull a pen out of the cup. And, presuming I wish to live such a self-imposed totalitarian, slave-like life, I would have to PUT THE PEN BACK!

Now I just drop the pen right on the desk WHERE IT CAN BE OPTIMALLY ACCESSED IN THE FUTURE.

Or take a look at my tools.

Are the tools located in the tool box?

Heck no!

They tools are located near the objects they fix.

All my computer tools are near my computers and servers as well as my X-Box and LCD projector.

All my heavier mechanical tools are upstairs in the book shelf. Which coincidentally contains no books, but does hold nicely carburetor cleaner and chain oil should I need to fix my motorcycle or cars.

The larger point is that objects in a bachelor's house will NATURALLY find their optimal location, thus achieving "Bachelor Object Equilibrium." With no thought, no structure, no planning, objects WILL naturally find their way to "where they belong." Of course, to women who visit the ole Captain's Pad all they see this as a "mess." But now you ladies know to look a little closer and realize the true genius of this efficient system.

"My Degree is Worthless"

Another Gen Y victim to the education bubble.

And another snowflake to add to the burgeoning mountain of snow that will be sure to turn into an avalanche and come crushing down on the previous generations that lied to them in the future.

Something tells me the catch phrase of Gen Y will be, "Do you like cheap nursing homes?"

Gary makes a good point that is worth listing here;

"Certainly, young people have been handed a horrible situation. However, they voted overwhelmingly for the idiot that is putting the last nails in the coffin of freedom and economic opportunity. The young have been given a deep hole for an inheritance and are busy digging deeper."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Edgemont, South Dakota

These pictures were taken several years ago. They are from the local county fair from Edgemont, South Dakota. The town is more or less a ghost town, but still serves as the county seat and a depot for BNSF. Thusly when they have their annual celebration, more people than you could imagine show up.

I do not like kids (nor do I dislike them), but I thought these pictures were worthy of posting. Frankly, you will see a lot less of cowgirls like this in the future.

And you young men of the SW corner South Dakota better take note of the charming young ladies who in 10 years time will be some of the finest young ladies the country will have to offer in terms of charm, propriety and plain ole spitfireness.

Robert Bruininks is the World's Largest Hypocrite

I was asked to come to the University of Minnesota a couple months back and give a speech on "Worthless Degrees." It was well received, much better than I had expected and you can see a shortened version of it here. However, unbeknownst to would be attendees I had spent the hour preceding the speech at the Unversity's historic archive building pulling the University of Minnesota's president's salary going back to around the 1970's.

The reason why?

I wanted to show the students that even though spending from the government had gone up on higher education in the past several years (thereby presumably subsidizing their tuition) salaries paid to university employees increased at a much higher rate and was the primary cause of their tuition rates going up.

Of course now with the economy in recession, revenues down, and the average private sector Joe taking around a 20% hair cut, you would think the public sector, especially the university, with all of its understanding and kindness and charity would agree to take a cut themselves. Say like 14%.

Not a chance.

President Bruininks is "furious" at the (enter democrat-talking point here) "draconian" cuts of 14%.

So I thought it time now to share with you the same chart and data I shared with youthful students at the University of Minnesota.

Here's the U of MN's presidential salaries compared to the increase in tuition costs vs. the CPI;

Tuition is in blue, CPI in red and the U of MN's presidential salary in yellow.

Gee, I wonder why your tuition is going up all the time, kids?

And on a side note, yeah, Bruininks, you poor baby. How will you ever survive on that $650,000?

The larger point is simply this;

Bruininks is nothing more than a self-serving lying shill. And a bad liar at that. Like most employees and professors at the University of Minnesota, they are not there first and foremost for the kids' education. They are there for themselves. And they have NO problems or moral qualms about hypocritically hiding behind the "noble cause" of "educating the children" if it means they get an extra 14% the taxpayers of Minnesota can't afford.

I could go on, but frankly the chart says it all. Your tuition is not going up because of "evil" republicans who want to kick puppies and shave kittens and cut funding. It's going up because the public sector employees at the University of Minnesota are fleecing you and you have been too damn ignorant for too damn long to spend the hour I did researching the damn data to find out the simple truth. And that simple truth is that the University of Minnesota has become (primarily) nothing more than an elaborate scam of career academians and public sector workers to milk taxpayers and tuition-paying students of as much money as possible all while guilt tripping you into paying perpetually more by claiming it's "for educating the children."

The only question is whether you're going to continue to remain ignorant to this fact and naively continue to "vote for kids" and vote for "education."

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Ew! Yuck! Gross! Jobs!

Because to unions and democrat politicians;

ZERO jobs that pay $75,000 a year is better than 400 JOBS that pay $25,000 a year.

What I love about the video is how these veritable fools have no clue as to how many large caliber rounds they are repeatedly plugging into their feet. Not only are they NOT going to have Wal-Mart invest there, they're scaring away ANY ONE from investing there. And let's not forget, we don't want any of that icky, yuck, gross purchasing power! No, no. No thanks. None of that "affordable food, clothing and electronics for me." I want to pay a premium on everything at "ma and pa" shops and "Yes Organic!"

Can you imagine having those constituents as a potential labor pool to choose from? Not to mention the frivolous lawsuits and the sheer headache the city council would be on them?

You Wal-Mart haters enjoy your hope and change unicorn farts or whatever the heck you think is going to provide you jobs.

Of course you'll excuse us normal hard-working, sane folk of as we opt to work less and...

enjoy the decline.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Obesity Epidemic in Dogs

I visit the folks, 4 years ago of which I bought them a dachshund.

4 years later the dog is so obese that they build him a RAMP TO THE BED;

Swear to dog I have no idea what this world is coming to.