Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category


Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

I had resolved to lay off the political rants, and just post stories from my actual life, like the two previous posts here. But I just couldn’t stand to keep my mouth shut about this whole debt ceiling farce. Everyone is buying in to the big lie that this compromise has something to do with spending cuts. Fox news, Speaker Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the New York Times, all the pundits, everyone.

THERE ARE NO SPENDING CUTS! There are huge increases in spending, and there are not quite so huge increases in spending. Even the Paul Ryan plan, which was totally beyond the pale, too extreme to even consider in the current debate, even that proposal increases spending.

Those who advocate slightly smaller, but still huge, increases in spending are being dubbed terrorists, suicide bombers, and hostage takers, by the Democrats and the media. The only prominent political figures, that I have seen, who dare to tell the truth about the fact that THERE ARE NO SPENDING CUTS, are Ron and Rand Paul, and Michelle Bachmann, all three of whom are routinely and inexorably portrayed as nut cases in the mainstream media, including Fox.

Well, crazy is as crazy does. Michelle Bachmann’s position is that we should not raise the debt ceiling. Instead we should cut spending such that we don’t need to raise the debt ceiling. That’s what I would do. That’s what I have done in my personal, over-extended, life, as so many others have been forced to do, by reality. We could do that by freezing federal government spending at the level needed to quit borrowing more money. We could do it gradually, over, say, the next ten years, so as not to cause too big a shock to the economy. How tough is that? How CRAZY is that?

Yes, it would require a very slight shrinking of the federal government. I don’t know about you, but, as a taxpayer, I don’t really feel like I have been getting good value for my money. Assuming you are a member of the minority who actually pay federal income taxes, how have you been feeling? Are you happy about how much of your money the feds have been taking, and how righteously and efficiently they have been spending it?

Obviously the lesson has not yet been learned. The political class knows only to increase spending, thereby increasing their power. The electorate, you and me, know only to keep electing those who promise to keep borrowing money and distributing it to us, after they take their cut. This is the case with every bourgeois democracy in the world, Europe, the U.S.A, the UK, Australia, (Canada not so much). Apparently, once we humans get the vote, we vote, on average, to make our grandchildren pay for our indulgences.

Unless this changes, democracy is doomed.

Why You Should Buy Apple Stock

Sunday, July 18th, 2004

1. Apple has the music download market locked up. I know this isn’t the conventional wisdom. It’s too soon to tell, Microsoft is about to jump in in a big way, the big music labels will jump in eventually, etc., etc. It is true that we are in the very early stages of the transformation of the music business, and that Apple is still a big frog in a small pond. However, Apple is the current leader by a wide margin, and they have implemented a very Microsoft-like lock-in. iTunes only works with iPod. iPod only works with iTunes. They both only work with the Apple Music Store. And, this proprietary universe provides the best user experience, by far. This means that nobody is going to leave the Apple world once they have bought in. All their songs are stored in aac format on their iPods and in their iTunes. And so many more people want in, Apple can’t even meet the demand. Airport Express and the BMW connection just make it all even more attractive and even more sticky. No doubt Microsoft will come out with an iTunes clone that is inextricably bundled with Windows, and they may even give away music players, but it’s already too late. Apple is over the hump. It’s where people want to be. And, unlike the choice between a Windows PC and a Mac, if you want to be compatible with those around you, you choose Apple.