Saturday, July 31, 2010

As Went Rome, So Goes America

A lengthier, but intellectually stimulating post that deserves a pre-poured martini as you sit down and read it.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cartoons Before Movies

The movie was listed to start at 115PM.

Natasha and I sat there patiently, suffering commercials and appeals to buy overpriced soda and popcorn for about 10 minutes.

THEN, 115PM arrives.

Where after Natasha and I suffered another 30 F@#*ING minutes watching MORE commercials, interspersed with previews.

The movie finally starts at 145PM.

Can somebody in the industry answer me this one simple question;

"Why in Spike Spiegel's name do they NOT show Bugs Bunny cartoons anymore before the movie?"

Does anybody in the cinema industry realize how much of a competitive advantage they would have over their peers if they'd just bleeping get rid of the advertisements and throw up some old school Bugs Bunny?

Oh, wait, that's right. I forget. I'm THINKING. Foolish me thinking of the customer first and somehow trying to improve a product.

And BTW, it was Carmike theaters I had to suffer this waste of time with. If you ever want to see a movie at a Carmike theater, just show up 30 minutes last and the movie should about be ready to start.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Adventures of Captain Capitalism and the Elusive Fairburn Agate

Today the motorcycle was grumpy and needed some tender loving care. Then after it was unresponsive I just beat it into submission and now we are on agreeable terms. After spending 3 hours on regreasing the rear axle and having a stern talking with the motorcycle, I ended up going out on an agate hunt with the lovely Natasha (who is the one taking the pictures so it's kind of hard to get pictures of her to satisfy all of you guys who want more pictures of her and less of me).

Regardless the hunt was successful as I inevitably found a fairburn agate!....of course it's puny...and of course it's worth about a whopping $15...and I think we spent that much in gas just to get to the agate bed...but I was victorious none the less!

Pay attention kids. Chicks dig men who can find Fairburn Agates!

You can barely see the fairburn pattern. But it's there!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Heh, Heh

Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and Keynesianism.

How's that labor market kids

The Captain's Continued Adventures

The Captain continues his South Dakota adventures with the bagging of two peaks (Medicine and Copper Mountains) and panning for gold!

I originally struck out on my own...

but soon had followers. Kids are interesting things. I'm amazed how their parents do not know what's cool anymore. I go fossil hunting, agate hunting, mountain climbing, motorcycle riding and ironically wherever I go, kids inevitably follow and start interrogating me about what I'm doing. Without fail they then run to their mother and ask, "MOM! MOM! MOM! Can we PLEEEEEEEASE go panning for gold?"

Sure enough mom, who forgot what it was like to be a child, says, "No, we're going to church and then summer school and then we're going to the library where you can read a good book."

In any case, the young future adventurer above was curious about how one pans for gold. Your Captain was successful in that he found TWO puny specks of gold. I am now officially rich.

This is Medicine Peak.

This is Copper Peak

Reverse order here.

More to come on my "boring" vacation in a "boring, fly-over" state.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Laying Down My Economic Genius

You will watch.

The Expendables

Guess where the Captain is going to be August 13th.

All other men will be test driving Priuses.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Captain's Ascent of the Mighty Crow Peak

Greetings all Cappy Capites.

This is from South Dakota where it's obviously such a "boring" place to live because, well, it's neither the east NOR the west coasts and they don't have ANY professional sports teams. And come to think of it, I don't think I've even seen ONE Lexus dealership here.

Why would anybody want to live here?

Below are some pictures of me with the buffalo, and some other pictures of me and Natasha climbing Crow Peak.

You will enjoy them.

Enjoyment is mandatory.

This one we did not think through all the way on account Natasha aligned the camera directly with the sun. The sun is bright.

Community Security Bank of New Prague

Honest to Pete.

I was there all of 4 months ago pitching my independent underwriting service.

Bachelor Object Migration

Allow me to explain to you girls the concept of Bachelor Object Migration or BOM.

You see, BOM, is based on the principle that any new object entering a bachelor's life musn't be rushed or accelerated into that bachelor's life. That it has to be acclimated, going through various stages, before it find it's rightful place in the bachelor pad. This can range from any object be it a car or something as simple as food, but again, key is to take your time and make sure that object is neither rushed, nor hurried into the bachelor life.

The first stage of BOM is the contemplation stage. In this stage life tells the bachelor, subtly, that he needs something. For example boxer shorts. Life, over the course of time, wears down the bachelor's boxer shorts to the point they have holes, are thread bare and are about to lose all function. And as the bachelor does laundry or goes to the bathroom he notices this in his boxer shorts and comes up with a great epiphany;

"I think I might have to get some new boxer shorts this year."

Now understand that was just the contemplation stage. The bachelor is sensing a need and is contemplating filling it. But it will not manifest itself into action until the Need Stage.

The need stage is where the bachelor obviously needs this object. His boxer shorts are in disrepair, he has NO food in the fridge, or is in desperate need of some kind of surgery. But the key defining trait of this stage is where the bachelor realizes he "needs" it, typically notated when the bachelor says to himself;

"Wow, I need to get some new boxer shorts."

Then comes the procrastination stage.

Yes, he "needs" it, but would he really be a bachelor if he immediate ran out and got it? That's what girls do. That's what married folk do. They have a need and then they call their spouse and tell them to "pick it up on the way home." Whereas the bachelor has the skills of procrastination. Bachelors are gifted creatures, able to find quick fixes to needs. The bachelor may cut his long pajamas, made of the same boxer material and convert them into boxers. The bachelor may just suffer with the now shredded boxers perhaps hemming them with a bit duct tape. The bachelor, though in desperate need of food will simply go to the bar or substitute it with a substitute food such as beer or whiskey. It is these skills that a bachelor makes.

Sadly, however, even the most gifted bachelors have to inevitably break down and go and buy the objects the need for survival. This is a low point in the bachelor's life in that they now have to "do" something that is outside of work, video games, drinking, scoring with chicks and play. They have to do a "chore" and you can tell when they are at this stage as they are usually depressed. Head hung low and not smiling. Regardless, they man up, grab a pen, and put together a "To Do List." This is the "To Do List" Stage of BOM.

Understand the to do list will not just be that one item. Here the bachelor embarks one what is the closest he will come to life planning. And aside from "get new boxer shorts" he will list other things so as not to make his life sound so dull;

1. Get new boxer shorts
2. Buy Ferrari
3. Take over Goldman Sachs by borrowing TARP money
4. Date Jennifer Aniston
5. Fly F-16 Fighter plane
6. Retire in the Bahama's with a harem of honeys managed by Jennifer Aniston
7. Have weekly bikini wrestling to decide who gets to date me that week

With the completed to do list in hand we now move onto the "purchase stage."

The purchase stage is where the bachelor is willing and able to buy the object. He has psychologically prepared himself and admitted that it is just a fact of life he needs new boxer shorts, and is the only thing holding him back from achieving his other objectives on his to do list. However, the purchase stage is regulated by one thing; "the right turn."

The bachelor is an efficient creature you must understand. Expending minimal amounts of effort for maximum gain. Ergo when purchasing items, the bachelor will only purchase the items if the store is on the right side of the road thereby requiring a right turn and thereby avoiding a left turn. If you need gas, yes, the "closest" gas station may be a mile away, but if it's on the left side of the road, this requires a left turn. A turn that can last 14 days. Many bachelors as we speak are still stuck behind some SUV driving soccer mom, who hasn't realized the green arrow means go. Ergo, even if the closest gas station is a mile away, because it is on the left side of the road, the bachelor will drive the next 50 miles on fumes to the closest gas station on the RIGHT side of the road. The same applies to boxer shorts or any other purchase that is necessary. The bachelor will not engage in the purchase stage unless the store is on the right side of the road (British bachelors engage in the opposite practice).

The bachelor enters the store, returns with the purchase in hand, throws it into the car which starts our next stage; the "Leave It in the Car Stage."

Satisfied he has done the majority of the work, the bachelor now has no guilt or psychological pressure to continue completing the chore. As far as the bachelor is concerned, he has completed his task and can now go about his bachelor activities. Notice the "To Do List" said, "Get boxer shorts." Not "wear new boxer shorts." Triumphantly he returns to his home, smug look on his face, goes into the house, opens a beer and promptly plays Call of Duty 5.

The leave it in the car stage can last anywhere from a week to a year depending on the object. If the object was say, ice cream, and it is December in Minnesota, that ice cream can stay in the trunk of the car, and thus the "leave it in the car stage," for at least 3 months. Sometimes the psychological trauma of having to run an errand and buy something is so devastating, the bachelor purges the experience completely from his mind, forgetting he purchased an object and it is in the car. Not until the bachelor has a date and is forced to clean out the car does he discover object, at which time he heralds great efficiency because it "saved" him the trip to the store he through he still had to take.

Regardless, the boxers, now nothing but strings inevitably prompt the bachelor to bring the object from the car into the house. This is a relatively short lived stage known as the "move it into the house" stage. However, the house is nothing more than a really big, immobile car. And like the car the object can stay in the house without ever really being used. Typically it begins this stage by starting on the desk or the floor, a large flat area the bachelor usually tosses stuff for general assortment later, only to be disturbed by the biennial bachelor pad cleaning. This is an important part of the process as the new object or objects, must become acclimated to all the other objects in the bachelor pad. From there it advances to the floor that it's supposed to be on. For example my dresser, and thus the boxers, are on the 2nd floor, requiring a simple toss of the boxers up the flight of stairs where they land near the vicinity of the dresser. As long as they're in the vicinity of where they're supposed to be, in the bachelor's mind that's "put away." Typically females, be they moms, sisters, friends or femme fatales, will protest it is "not put away" "lying there on the floor." This requires the bachelor to explain to them the concept of "put away good enough," which usually results in rolling eyes.

With order now in the bachelor household, now begins the unpacking/assembling stage. Some objects such as boxers you unpack. Others, such as entertainment systems you assemble. Again, here you do not want to rush them, unless they are related to the entertainment system or consist of electronics. But for the most part there is no need to unpack them right away. I mean, come on, you WENT to the store, you PURCHASED them, you brought them back HOME, you brought them INTO THE HOUSE, you PUT THEM AWAY GOOD ENOUGH, and now you have to rush and unpack? Be a bachelor, leave them in their original wrapping.

And finally comes the use stage. After a long and difficult struggle to acquire, transport and put away good enough the objects, now comes the time to actually use them. In total the whole BOM process can take anywhere from 1 week to 1 year, but now the bachelor finally gets to enjoy using the objects. Of course, criticism is laid upon us, primarily by those of the female persuasion, that this is nothing more than procrastination. However, they do not realize the merits of BOM. First, the order and balance of the bachelor pad was not disturbed by rushing in new objects. Who knows what chaos would have ensued if those boxer shorts were haphazardly purchased the day of need and worn the very next? The house could have collapsed or caught on fire. The orderly, deliberate process of BOM prevent that from occurring. Second, the bachelor expended the minimum amount of effort to bring objects into the house. Following the right turn principle and efficient space management through the use of his car, the bachelor has freed up additional time to be spent on video games and football...I mean his "girlfriend." Third, the bachelor maintains order in his household as the BOM process ensures all objects are put away good enough where they belong. And finally, the bachelor ensures a frugal lifestyle, purchasing only what he needs and not racking up credit card bills that he'll inevitably ask daddy to pay for. It are these benefits that make BOM an essential part of bachelorhood management and a vital tool for bachelors everywhere.

Friday, July 23, 2010

In South Dakota

This is your captain speaking;

I'm in South Dakota for a month long vacation on account if I worked any more, that would put me in a higher income tax bracket. And since I'm going Galt, well, you know. Time, leisure, labor thing and all.

Postings will be less frequent than normal.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ask not What Alan Can Do for You

Given inflation occurring and the dollar tanking and the Fed a-printing, I thought this little simple primer on inflation and currency would help explain some of the phenomena going on out there.

I love The Economist, but sometimes they get it wrong.

Inflation is a very simple thing. You needn't make it more complicated than it already is, because it's not complicated at all, for all inflation is, is a function of two very simple things;

1. How much stuff an economy produces (GDP)
2. How much money its government prints (the Money Supply, or from hence on MS).

You see, the amount of money floating around in an economy REALLY technically doesn't matter. For what truly determines the wealth and standards of living of a nation is the amount of stuff it can produce. Print off all the money you want, so each American has a trillion dollars, that doesn't increase the amount of X-Box's, milk, cars, chocolate, food, jewelry, etc., that we produce. So while you may be excited once you get your trillion dollars, you'll soon realize that ultimately we're not a cent richer as a nation because no corresponding increase in the amount of stuff occured. Alas, we'd just have hyper inflation and the same standards of living.

Now, you'd think this simple truth would have been learned long ago. Ahhh, but never underestimate the power of what I call "The Essence of Socialism;"

You can get something for nothing.

For history is just full of idiots thinking you can get something for nothing, especially by just boosting the money supply. All the way from the ancient Roman Empire in 218AD to just a decade ago in Yugoslavia did idiots who believed in the essence of socialism think their problems would be solved by boosting the money supply.

But please don't think former communist countries and empires long ago are the only ones guilty of such stupidity. Look at America's most stupid decade, the 1970's.

With GDP and MS growth like this;
(Note- "Average MS growth is the average annualized growth rate of the M1, M2 and M3 money supply measures)

How couldn't inflation occur?

Well, OK, to the untrained eye this tells you nothing because GDP growth and inflation are volatile and erratic. So let's "simplify it up a notch" (got your spice weasel?) and take a 5 year rolling average;

Ahhh, the picture becomes much more apparent. For how couldn't there be inflation in the 70's? You had a money supply growing at an average rate of roughly 9% a year while the economy was only able to produce more stuff at 3% a year.

You may want to chalk up the heady inflationary days to "oil shocks" and "oil embargoes." I chalk it up to stupid politicians, stupid monetary policy and the Baby Boomers who were finally being shepherded out of their parents basement and into the working world to start their job protesting the Vietnam war (surprisingly "protesting the Vietnam War" doesn't contribute to GDP).

Now, notice, rough logic would dictate that if we increase the money supply by 9%, but the economy only grows by 3%, then we should roughly have 6% inflation. ie- the difference between economic growth and money supply growth should give us our inflation rate.

Only one way to tell.

The yellow line is the difference between economic growth (5 yr trailing) and money supply growth (5 yr trailing)

When superimposed on the 5 yr trailing inflation rate;

Well, shucks howdy! Look at that! As far as economics go, that's a perfect fit!

But notice the tail end there, where the difference between the money supply growth and GDP exceeds that of inflation. This is where it gets interesting.
Normally such a divergence would suggest higher prices and thus inflation, yet inflation has remained stubbornly low...or has it?

For you see, the CPI, which is represented by that red line, only includes the prices of consumables. It does NOT include two major asset categories;




Notice the increase in the difference between MS and GDP occured in late 1999 and early 2000. Depsite the stock market crash, it was usurped by the housing market where prices have continued to skyrocket.

With everybody's money in housing and stocks, it doesn't show up in the CPI measure, but that doesn't mean there isn't inflation. So while the CPI and official inflation has remain relatively tame, stock prices

and property


Alas, inflation has been with us this entire time, it's just we don't complain about it when the price of our stocks and homes go up.

Now enter in this most recent uptick in inflation.

Here, it is largely due to an increase in oil prices and people are now looking to their central bankers to slay inflation. A sort of "Leftist Syndrome" where people expect somebody else to solve their problems. But I'm not just talking sociology majors that want the government to create jobs so they can do something with their worthless degrees or spoiled brat trust fund babies who expect everything to be taken care of by daddy. We're talking the people at The Economist and the economics profession in general who are in knee-jerk reaction mode;

"Oh, there's inflation? Slay it Greenspan!"

But as a capitalist and a despiser of all things lazy and leftist, need I remind you of the very important lesson we learned above? That inflation is a two-sided equation. It's not just how much money is slushing around in the economy, but how many goods and services we as a nation produce. Notice the relationship between labor productivity and inflation.

A nearly perfect negative relationship, showing that as productivity goes down, inflation goes up (note the chronic deterioration from the mid 60's to the early 80's. Yes, pot, supplanted by cocaine while listening to Jim Moronson may not be good for labor productivity.)

Alas, the fighting of inflation is not solely the responsibility of central banks and central bankers, but by the workers of a country. The central bankers will control the money supply, you the worker, must produce a corresponding amount of goods and services that give reason for such a money supply to exist in the first place.

Thus, fellow countrymen, I say ask not what your central banker can do for you, but what you can do for your central banker.

Now get off your lazy asses and start contributing to GDP!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund

From CFACT. I like in particular how the woman says, "you have to major in the right degree."

Perhaps our Latino brothers and sisters, some of whom I presume do not have the luxury of majoring in sociology, know something their upper-middle income liberal-arts-majoring white counterparts do not.

Honest to God

How in god's name do idiots like this get jobs?

The sky is red, water is dry, night is day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Great MBA Bubble

First it was the Dotcom Bubble.

Then it was the Housing Bubble.

And now it is the Education or "MBA" Bubble.

I predicted the previous two and I'm sure as I am typing here I will have reliably predicted the third.

The reason why is that in addition to my awesome economic mind and insight I also moonlight as a tutor on the side. Business is a-BOOMIN' because as the recession hits, the talking heads tell everybody "education is a recession-proof asset" and since the US is awash with liberal arts undergrads the natural next step is to get your MBA. Combine that with an incredibly efficient private sector and there is no limit to the fly-by-night, online, MBA schools sprouting up all over the internet and BAM!!! I got a small little clientele of MBA students that need tutoring.

Now for those of us who went to business school, this will be no surprise. But for those of you who never went to business school or are some how "impressed" somebody has an "MBA" let me explain to you right now that MBA's are worthless.

Matter of fact, they're worse than worthless. They're damaging. One only needs to ask who was at the helm of all the banks during the housing bubble and subsequent crash?


Who was peddling IPO shares in soon-to-be-worthless Dotcoms???


YOu look at pretty much every major economic catastrophe and the leaders that drove the economy there, you will see them honeycombed with MBA's.

Now, maybe back in the day, say, the 1950's, and MBA would have carried some weight. The individual went beyond his or her degree in accounting and decided to study business at a higher level. The insights gained from this would give you TANGIBLE SKILLS that would give you an edge over your competitors. The problem though is that over time and as more and more MBA's flooded the market, the MBA lost its potency. Additionally since business is common sense (no matter WHAT "they" tell you) you have to constantly re-create the MBA to somehow seem that it is on the "cutting edge" of "business science" when in reality common sense can only be sliced, diced and re-taught in so many ways.

The result was that the MBA didn't morph into this super degree where you learn tangible skills that will make you a more productive employee and turn you into a leader. It rather turned into a "stamp of approval" that simply showed employers you were a conformist. You would jump through hoops. You were perfectly fine going through the mendacity of a 2 year degree in common sense while acting like it was some kind of "professional venture." It is the fact you could tolerate such an inane and stupid process that made MBA's sought after - they were non-thinking automotons and THIS is what employers of today really want. They don't want leaders or innovators, they want conformists.

Alas, I get enraged when I sit there with my students and see just what tripe and utter garbage these schools are teaching. Chapter upon chapter is written on simple concepts that only need a paragraph to be explained, only for the sole purpose to make the "LEadership and Management" book look like an authoritative 559 page tome instead of the 3 page pamphlet it could easily be condensed into. The forcing of students to take what is essentially the same class 3 times (leadership in education, educational leadership, theories on managing leadership in education) to fill an MBA program and generate more tuition while teaching them nothing new. And do not get me started about how they teach obsolete, worthless, economic theories that NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS WOULD EVER USE. DCF, EVA, "Porter's Five Forces Model."

But today, one took the cake. Abso-freaking-lutely took the cake.

I was going over an essay one of my students wrote for flow, content, etc., on account that in addition to being an excellent salsa dancer and fossil hunter extraordinaire, I am an outstanding author. I made some changes, reworded some sentences, but nothing dramatic. I gave it back to him, pointed out a couple things and he said,

"Oh, I can't have contractions in my papers."

Confused, originally because I thought he was talking about pregnancy-related "contractions," I said, "What do you mean you can't have contractions?"

He said, "Well this sentence here. You changed it to read, "the company shouldn't invest in this project because the NPV is negative."

I said, "yeah, so?"

"Well, "shouldn't" is a contraction. You combined "should" with "not." And they told us in our professional writing course to NEVER use contractions."

I sat dumbfounded and my blood pressure increased even further.


But then, I calm down, I chant my Galt-Buddha chant, I tell myself,

"Let go of the caring
Let go of the caring
Go Galt Go Galt
Society is collapsing
You cannot stop it
Your life is finite
Relax and enjoy the decline
Let go of the caring
Let go of the caring."

My new-found-econ-Buddha-Galt-philosophy set aside, it still amazed me. This school charges $27,000 for an MBA. My alma-mater, the Carlson School of Management charges last I heard $78,000. And I can only imagine what the Ivy League is charging for their progressively worthless MBA programs. All for what?

To learn not to use contractions?

The ramifications of this are of course going to be severe on several levels.

One, the simple fact MBA students are flooding the market. GMAT test takers (the pre-MBA qualification test) broke a record in 2009 at 263,000 test takers, no doubt to be dwarfed by 2010 numbers.

With this many MBA's and the simply law of supply (which these MBA's should know about) the value of an MBA is going to drop. Furthermore, since employers don't hire MBA's because of their uniqueness or innovation, but rather their conformance, MBA's are nothing more than a commodity in that "conformity" is simply that - a commodity. Any yes-man will do. So even though idealistic MBA students are thinking a job is just right around the corner upon graduation, unless the employment situation in the economic picks up (which my super awesome economic powers know it won't) they're still going to face a flooded market and nowhere near the salary-commanding ability they thought they'd have.

This will only worsen hundreds of thousands of people's personal finances. As they fork over money for what is progressively becoming a worthless degree, they will end up in debt with no better or at best, marginally better income earning potential.

Certainly this will hurt the individuals pursuing their MBA's, but don't think there isn't a cost to employers. Pursuing conformance over performance, ass-kissers over ass-kickers, employers will feel really good about themselves because their underlings have been programmed to be yesmen, but will experience no real tangible benefits from employing them. No real leadership or innovation will come out of this latest generation of MBA's. No real ground-breaking products or ideas will come from them. Worse still, knowing it is more important to be nice than right, these MBA's will simply shut up if there's any trouble at the firm knowing not to rock the boat. This yes-man disease will essentially corrupt the private sector forcing the private sector to become more like Goldman Sachs where bribing government officials and rent seeking replace innovation and ass-kicking.

The natural consequence to hiring people who tell you what you want to hear and not the truth or what you need to hear is that these firms will inevitably diverge so much from reality they will go out of business. We saw it with the Dotcoms, we saw it with the housing bubble, and we saw it with the auto industry. Firms that play nice instead of right, will pay the consequence (until the government bails you out). They will not be in business. They will not be able to employ people. They will not be able to produce a profit ever again. And they certainly won't be hiring any MBA's.

But hey, at least nobody used any contractions.

The Price You Paid for Feminism

and all of its marxist, entitlement-mentality bliss.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pixies Fart Prairie Dogs in Brigadoon

From a reader;

Meh. I'm still holding my stock in the real PBR, Pabst Blue Ribbon. We are so far away from any possibility of pulling out of this that beer is what is called for.

I notice that Candi of "Learn To Dance" is wearing the Michelle Obama Oil Spill frock.

Meanwhile, on the beach at the Gulf, yesterday, when the inevitable subject came up, I tried to explain that drilling off the (most of the) Florida coast could not be compared to drilling off the tip of the Panhandle, or the western Gulf; the Eastern Gulf (Florida) is mostly natural gas. There's some really heavy, unprofitable liquid petroleum being pumped from an area near Fort Myers, but we just don't have the light crude found off TX, LA, MS, and AL.

Doesn't matter. You might as well say, "Pixies fart Prarie Dogs in Brigadoon," when talking, even to reasonably well-educated people.

This, in Florida, where reasonably well-educated people should have memories that extend back 5 years, when the natural gas pipelines feeding most of our power plants from Louisiana went off line, due to Katrina. We had to barge in coal like maniacs just to try to keep up. Everybody's power bills jumped up. Nobody remembers.

Florida has 25 percent of the nation's natural gas reserves (which is double the Gulf's crude oil reserves, in barrel-of-oil equivalents), just sitting out there and we can't access it; we have to pipe it in from elsewhere.

At this time, I plan on sticking with beer to bleerily get through this period of national insanity.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Don Quixote

It was one of those things that I couldn't remember and it was going to drive me nuts until I did.

"Man de La Mancha?"

No that wasn't it.

"His squire Pablo????"

No that wasn't it either.

I got on the Wiki, finally looked it up, DON QUIXOTE. The slightly off psychologically hero of the book "Don Quixote."

The reason I was having trouble remembering it was because I drove past a statue of Don Quixote and his squire, Sancho, over in Richfield. I was trying to explain to Natasha who they were, but could not remember their names.

However, it also reminded me of an experience from many years ago, that I thought was worthy of sharing with the younger male lieutenants of capitalism.

My memory is a bit sketchy, but I was at a restaurant or bar somewhere in Uptown. I was by myself, probably at either the beginning of a 3rd or end of a 2nd shift. My waitress was cute and had a slightly darker complexion than the average Minnesotan and upon conversation I found out she was Spanish, her parents both moving here from Spain before she was born. She also was a single mother, having a boy around the age of 10, at which point in time I saw my opening (as I was still engaging in the art of pursuing women).

Thinking I was charming and witty I said, "Your son ever read Don Quixote?"

She said, "What?"

"Don Quixote."

"What's that?" she said.

I said, "Don Quixote? The most famous book written by a Spaniard? They made a movie, Man de La Mancha about it? The guy who attacks windmills and is followed around by his short fat squire?"

She just gave me a bewildered look.

So your young Captain, thinking he's going to be a sharp sly dog, goes out the next day to buy a used copy of Don Quixote. I jot my number down on a piece of paper, put it inside the book, and drop the book off for the girl at the bar.

Never heard from her again.

Now, let's put on our economic thinking caps and and answer the following questions;

1. What was the first mistake the Captain made and what was the sign that should have told him not to make it?

2. How does this story explain the concept of opportunity cost?

Answers will be graded on being correct and concise. Not how long they are.

Love Ya, Mom!

Your Captain wakes up this morning and he has three voice mails.

One from a student he tutors in the art of economics and finance.

Another from his brother who informs him he is part of a small, little inheritance from his recently passed away, but no less-kick ass uncle.

And a third from his beloved mother.

Normally the Captain's beloved mother leaves a message of some kind trying to cajole the Captain into riding the beasts of death at her house (horses) or see the latest animation movie or just in general making sure your Captain is in good health, going to church, brushing his teeth and avoiding icky gross girls.

But no, not this time.

This time, your beloved Captain's mother, had gone through the presentation on Crusaderism and wrote down all the typos and spelling errors. She then calls me this morning at 810AM to inform me of the typos.

35 years old, 100% self-supporting since 18, author of a book and arguably the best economist in the state of Minnesota and I still have my mom pointing out typos on my power point presentations.

Love ya Mom!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Here's the latest Captain Capitalismites.


It's a 10 part series on You Tube. I strongly suggest watching it in its entirety unlike the Capitalism Socialism speech where 4,000 people watched just the first part and then MISSED OUT COMPLETELY ON THE DATA AND STATISTICS ON THE SUBSEQUENT PARTS THAT WERE WAY MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE INTRODUCTORY SEGMENT.

So pour yourself a big martini, light up a big cigar and enjoy. Also keep in mind You Tube only allows 10 minute videos so I had to chop it up into 10 parts, the links to which you can see in the margins.

Friday, July 09, 2010

He's More or Less Got It Straight

But, oh oh oh, he's not being nice. And being nice is more important than being right

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Upcoming Seminar

This is your Captain speaking-

Akin to my "capitalism vs. socialism" speech I did a year ago, this year I put together a new seminar titled "Crusaderism."

Do not let the title bore you or fool you. It is pretty much another high quality Cappy Cap classic that I would even say is more important than the previous speech.

THat being said I need to distribute it as far and wide as possible. Obviously it will go on You Tube, but if anybody wants a DVD copy mailed to them for reproduction purposes or perhaps to give a gift to a liberal in the hopes of convincing them before its too late, let me know.

You are now free to move about the cabin.

And Come December 5th?

I wonder what will happen to the employee payrolls of union members come December 5th.

The Definition of Enjoying the Decline

The quintessential "enjoy the decline!"

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Education Bubble Continues

I have a simple question. What good is an education unless there's economic growth and jobs at the end?

But, hey, don't let me stop you from getting your triple doctorate in Communications, Family Sociology and Women's Studies. And certainly feel free to continue to get that Six Sigma, CPE, and whatever other certifications to the point it becomes an overweighted Boyscout badge sash.

Why Jackie Mroz Can't Find a Job

Hat tip to the Colonel.

Can you guess, without reading the article, why Jackie can't find a job?

Recession Medicine

It dawned on me that even though statistically we're out of a recession, for most people out there it still feels like one. So permit me some lighter fare.

Oh, and of course, enjoy the decline!

It's a Slum, Right?

Just wanted to make sure I read that correctly. This place is a slum.

Despite government financing and lower government mandated prices the standard of living these utopians live under is defined as a "slum."

I wanted to make sure I understood it 100% correctly and clearly that these people and their micro-economic system they've implemented for themselves has resulted in a "slum."

Is everybody clear on this?

Congratulations! The Cancer is Spreading Less Slowly

There has to be a term for this.

Where the media and politicians point towards the change in the rate of economic growth or the "change in the rate of how the economy feels" as some kind of success when in reality they're just stretching like Elasto-Man to avoid telling the truth;

The economy is still shrinking.

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Bursting of the Education Bubble Begins

In one of my more brilliant pieces I noted that given how much fluff and prerequisites colleges and universities foist upon their students simply for no other reason than to employ otherwise unemployable TA's and liberal arts professors, that it takes too long to incubate labor.

The costs of which are notably lost production, a demoralized student body and a wasting of billions of dollars on the education industry that is progressively moving away from training youth to become employable, skilled workers to that of a self-interested lobby unto itself that seeks more and more money.

Inevitably this divergence from what colleges produce and what employers need results in employers taking matters into their own hands.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Why You Have High Property Taxes in Minneapolis

Watching TV last night and on comes a commercial with effeminate music and you see an effeminate guy riding a bike, a Prius, people smiling, more lame music, and of course, everybody is wearing a helmet and at the end you see a bumper sticker on a bike with the following URL.

I tried to find the commercial on Youtube and the website, but could not (because you really have to see it), regardless, I tender this question to the citizens of Minneapolis who have had their property taxes jacked up nearly 400% (and no, that's not a farcical statistic, it's real, I used to live there and saw it on my property tax bill every year);


I ask because I really wonder if the typical liberal in Minneapolis ever links their perpetually increasing property taxes with frivolous programs like the "Walk Ambassador Program" and now commercials like the one I saw last night. A commerical that had NO POINT OR PURPOSE but to make bicycle riding in the Twin Cities look like a passer-by sport for weak, meek, effeminate little girls. A commercial that isn't even advertising a product or a service. Just a blantant wasting away of taxpayers money that really calls into question if there's any spending control occuring at the municipal level.

I being serious when I say this - I want a liberal from Minneapolis to rationlize this for me. Explain to me why this is a good thing? Or why these programs warrant a 5% of market value property tax? Do you not get the relationship between your fleecing level of property taxes (and consequently, lower property values) with R.T. Rybak's spending binge on worthless programs like this? I just sit slack jawed-amazed with the waste and how time after time again you people in Minneapolis just keep on shooting yourselves in the foot financially by doing this.

Regardless, I no longer live there and no longer pay the property taxes so I can sit back and enjoy a cigar and watch you slowly turn into Nuevo Detroit. But when you inevitably wake up one day and ask yourself, "Gee, why aren't property values going up" look at those brand spanking new bike paths you have, along with that Jim Dandy commercial (and your $50,000 drinking fountains) and see if that makes you feel any better.

Many Thanks to the Pay Pal Donors

Your Captain, always looking for new entreprenurial ventures that avoid having a boss, inevitably was going to have to find the ole password to his pay pal account on account that Pay Pal is usually a preferred means of internet payment.

I set one up for the Cappy Cap blog (the link beautified by Natasha to your right) to get whatever donations I might.

Naturally you forget about it and think there's $20 or whatever from your mom donated out of pity, but your Captain was pleasantly surprised to see that many junior, aspiring, deputy, official or otherwise economists actually have made donations! I now have $300 big smackeroos in the account and will enjoy it by buying cigars, drinking, driving a motorcycle, emitting carbon and engaging in other American activities that generally agitate members of the left.

I didn't want to list full names, but many thanks to Bill, Rob, Earl, Rick, Peter and Alex.

Have a happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

From a Canadian Reader

The Canadian banks were founded by conservative Scotsmen who instilled a culture of fiscal prudence in the Canadian banking industry.

What is interesting is that Canada is lowering corporate tax rates at the same time the U.S. is proposing to raise them. By July 1, 2013 the top corporate tax rate on active business income will be only 25%.

Many small corporations will only pay 15% tax rate on the first $500K of income.

On top of that Canada has introduced legislation that will make it even easier for foreigners to invest in Canada. For example, a foreigner who invests in shares of either a private corporation or a publicly traded corporation will pay no Canadian tax when the foreigner sells the shares unless the corporation derives more than 50% of its value from real property in Canada. Canada is opening its doors to investment at the same time the U.S. is threatening the very existence of a corporation.

To which I respond;

"That is because Canada has Steve Harper, an economist, as their premier and we have a bleeping "community organizer" who doesn't have any real world experience."

Post note - It has been duly noted that Mr. Harper was not in fact an economist, but rather has his degree in economics. My apologies for being misinformed. Would anybody care to trade then?