Selected in the top 100 Economics Sites

Follow me on Twitter

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This makes one hellofalotta sense.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704471504574442772173150440.html

Munich September 30, 1938.

This event brought the word "appeasement" into the English language. As Churchill said "If he (the appeaser)feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last." Think Iran is simply a problem for the Israelis? Then keep feeding that crocodile big boy.



Roman Polanski surfaces again.











As many of you know I have given Roman Polanski the business over the years because, well, he deserves it. But I got to thinking...if Van Jones could be considered capable for the position of Green Jobs Czar...then why not Roman Polanski for Child Care Czar?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Social Security in a nut shell: Part I




Since we are talking about government programs, how about if I be a "snit" and bring up Social Security. That is a problem too lest we forget and it has not been dealt with at all best I can remember. In what follows I will try and lay out the problems. There will be more postings to follow.

It all boils down to three things:
Problem 1: People are living longer. That is not a problem. Longer life is a good thing. But the current structure of the system is not equipped to handle it. When Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, life expectancy was 62. Thus Social Security was considered a "jackpot" program. If you lived past life expectancy and made it to 65 then "jackpot", you collected. But Roosevelt hocked the collection age of 65 from Chancellor Bismarck when he thought it up in 1870 as the age to begin benefits when Germany started the modern welfare state. I ask you now, don't you think after 139 years it is time to have some fresh thinking about the actuarially appropriate age to begin collecting Social Security? Well folks, 65 is not it. If people today retired for the same number of years that people did back in the 1930s when Social Security was started, they would work until the age of 74. They don't and they start looking for the "jackpot" earlier for longer retirements. This has put the system under stress that it won't be able to withstand.

Solution: I was born in 1960 and can collect, under current law, 100% benefits at age 67. That's too early. It needs to be raised to 70 or more. Look, I'm arguing for me to get less so you know my words are sincere. You need to get less too. The eligibility age needs to rise. We can still let people have 70% benefits at 62, but full benefits age needs to go up. Start with me. Anyone born in 1960 or after, you are now moved to age 70. Have a nice day now knowing you are not milking the generations that come after you. What? Do you think this is France or something?

Next up: Declining worker-to-retiree ratio

Saturday, September 26, 2009

College Football: North vs. South

College Football Time...
Planning for the fall football season in the South is radically different
than up North. For those who are planning a football trip South, here are
some helpful hints.

Women's Accessories:

NORTH: Chap Stick in back pocket and a $20 bill in the front pocket.
SOUTH: Louis Vuitton duffel with two lipsticks, waterproof mascara, and a
fifth of bourbon. Money not necessary - that's what dates are for.

Stadium Size:

NORTH: College football stadiums hold 20,000 people.
SOUTH: High school football stadiums hold 20,000 people.

Fathers:

NORTH: Expect their daughters to understand Sylvia Plath.
SOUTH: Expect their daughters to understand pass interference.

Campus Decor:

NORTH: Statues of founding fathers.
SOUTH: Statues of Heisman trophy winners.

Homecoming Queen:

NORTH: Also a physics major.
SOUTH: Also Miss America .

Heroes:

NORTH: Rudy Giuliani
SOUTH: Archie, Peyton & Eli Manning

Getting Tickets:

NORTH: 5 days before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus.
SOUTH: 5 months before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus,
make a large financial contribution and put name on a waiting list for
tickets.


Friday Classes After a Thursday Night Game:

NORTH: Students and teachers not sure they're going to the game, because
they have classes on Friday.
SOUTH: Teachers cancel Friday classes because they don't want to see the few
hung over students that might actually make it to class.


Parking:

NORTH: An hour before game time, the University opens the campus for game
parking.
SOUTH: RVs sporting their school flags begin arriving on Wednesday for the
weekend festivities. The really faithful arrive on Tuesday.


Game Day:

NORTH: A few students party in the dorm and watch ESPN on TV.
SOUTH: Every student wakes up, has a beer for breakfast, and rushes over to
where ESPN is broadcasting "Game Day Live" to get on camera and wave to the
idiots up north who wonder why "Game Day Live" is never Broadcast from their
campus.


Tailgating:

NORTH: Raw meat on a grill, beer with lime in it, listening to local radio
station with truck tailgate down.
SOUTH: 30-foot custom pig-shaped smoker fires up at dawn. Cooking
accompanied by live performance from the Dave Matthews Band,... who come
over during breaks and ask for a hit off bottle of bourbon.


Getting to the Stadium:

NORTH: You ask "Where's the stadium?" When you find it, you walk right in.
SOUTH: When you're near it, you'll hear it. On game day it is the state's
third largest city.


Concessions:

NORTH: Drinks served in a paper cup, filled to the top with soda.
SOUTH: Drinks served in a plastic cup, with the home team's mascot on it,
filled less than half way with soda, to ensure enough room for bourbon.


When National Anthem is Played:

NORTH : Stands are less than half full, and less than half of them stand up.
SOUTH: 100,000 fans, all standing, sing along in perfect four-part harmony.

The Smell in the Air After the First Score:

NORTH: Nothing changes.
SOUTH: Fireworks, with a touch of bourbon.

Commentary (Male):

NORTH: "Nice play."
SOUTH: " Dangit, you slow idiot - tackle him and break his legs."


Commentary (Female):

NORTH: "My, this certainly is a violent sport."
SOUTH: " Dangit, you slow idiot - tackle him and break his legs."

Announcers:

NORTH: Neutral and paid.
SOUTH: Announcer harmonizes with the crowd in the fight song, with a tear in
his eye because he is so proud of his team.

After the Game:

NORTH: The stadium is empty way before the game ends.
SOUTH: Another rack of ribs goes on the smoker, while somebody goes to the
nearest package store for more bourbon, and planning begins for next week's
game.


Nothing else in the universe comes even halfway close to the glories of
Southern football!

______________________________


And for SEC Fans:

HOW MANY SEC STUDENTS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHT BULB?

At VANDERBILT: it takes two, one to change the bulb and one more to explain
how they did it every bit as good as the bulbs changed at Harvard.

At GEORGIA : it takes two, one to change the bulb and one to phone an
engineer at Georgia Tech for instructions.

At FLORIDA : it takes four, one to screw in the bulb and three to figure out
how to get stoned off the old one..

At ALABAMA : it takes five, one to change it, three to reminisce about how
The Bear would have done it, and one to throw the old bulb at an NCAA
investigator.

At OLE MISS: it takes six, one to change it, two to mix the drinks and three
to find the perfect J. Crew outfit to wear for the occasion.

At LSU: it takes seven, and each one gets credit for five Semester hours.

At KENTUCKY : it takes eight, one to screw it in and seven to discuss how
much brighter it seems to shine during basketball season.

At TENNESSEE : it takes ten, two to figure out how to screw it in, two to buy
an orange lampshade, and six to phone a radio call-in show and talk about
how much they hate Alabama .

At MISSISSIPPI STATE : it takes fifteen, one to screw in the bulb, two to buy
the Skoal, and twelve to yell, "GO TO HELL, OLE MISS".

At AUBURN: it takes one hundred, one to change it, forty-nine to talk about
how they did it better than at Bama, and fifty to get drunk and roll
Toomer's Corner when finished.
At SOUTH CAROLINA : it takes 80,000, one to screw it in and 79,999 to discuss
how this finally will be the year that they have a decent football team.

At ARKANSAS : None. There is no electricity in Arkansas


"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." Jimi Hendrix

Thursday, September 24, 2009

David Broder is smart and rational. You are dumb and ignorant.





All progressives have to do is focus their intellectual energy on any problem, be permitted to pass laws to fix what they have figured out, and the result will be a more rational and efficient system of living. You, thug that you are, are standing in the way.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/23/AR2009092303676.html?sub=AR

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This Blog turns one year old today.

On the one year anniversary of the start of this blog, the first year saw a total of 41,349 hits the world over.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I hope you have enjoyed what I have had to say as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to you. Thanks for your loyalty.

Randy Parker

Lessons from John Cochrane

The government needs to make it very clear and soon what will and will not be bailed out. A "fire wall" needs to be established. What is in the wall will be protected...what is outside is on its own. If you know daddy is always going to catch you when you fall, then little junior gets to behaving badly. Well, bad little junior was our financial markets with the "too big to fail" belief. Turns out they were right.

"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.” Hubert Spencer



http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203440104574403144004792338.html

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tee hee hee...one woman's angle.

Giving Up Wine


I was walking down the street when I was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless woman who asked me for a couple of dollars for dinner.

I took out my wallet, got out ten dollars and asked, 'If I give you this money, will you buy wine with it instead of dinner?'

'No, I had to stop drinking years ago', the homeless woman told me.

'Will you use it to go shopping instead of buying food?' I asked.

'No, I don't waste time shopping,' the homeless woman said. 'I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive.'

'Will you spend this on a beauty salon instead of food?' I asked.


'Are you NUTS!' replied the homeless woman. I haven't had my hair done in 20 years!'

'Well, I said, 'I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you out for dinner with my husband and me tonight.'

The homeless Woman was shocked. 'Won't your husband be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty, and I probably smell pretty disgusting..'

I said, 'That's okay. It's important for him to see what a woman looks like after she has given up shopping, hair appointments, and wine.'

Friday, September 18, 2009

Health care financing.


The following is a one hour lecture I gave today to a group of Nursing students here at East Carolina. Some good points and some good jokes too.



http://www.funnyeconomist.com/HealthCare.m4a

What's wrong with this idea?






This idea can start with me.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124476804026308603.html

Friday morning musings....

video



This remains a wonderful idea. So why is no one talking about it....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthy_Americans_Act

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

World Trade on the Brink...


Go messing around with the enforceability of contracts and watch what happens.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203440104574400390175833498.html

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Smoot-Hawley-Hoover-Obama

























The West grew rich with free markets and largely free trade. These are the main tools through which we lowered the poverty percentage in the US from 90% of our population in the year 1900 to 13% today, based on inflation equivalent dollars and what we consider to be poverty in 2009 in the US. Now we are going about the task of destroying both. That would be the daily double from hell.

Many of the government programs people are drooling over base their revenue streams on future economic growth projections of 3-4% over the ensuing years. I'm a betting man...I'll take all of that action you want to lay down. I heard Ed Prescott say in March that we are in for a "lost decade" of economic growth, just like the Japanese in the 1990s. Well, I'm in for at least a half decade.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203917304574412841880083568.html

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Crazy video from Iraq

The dude in the foreground is pointing a radar gun at the car. The guy in the car thinks it is a gun. Watch what happens.


video

Friday, September 11, 2009

Why September 11?



For those of you who have ever wondered why September 11 happened on that particular day, I have the answer. My friend Herb Meyer told me this a few years ago. Anyone with a mustard seed of wanting to know what we are up against should order his great video "The Siege of Western Civilization" available here http://www.siegeofwesternciv.com/
Anyway, the Islamic world has a long memory for dates in history. Looking back in world history, Islam spread through western Europe coming up through Spain and the Iberian peninsula. The high water mark of this spread came on October 10, 732 when the Islamic forces were stopped by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in France. It took until 1492 for the Islamic forces to be ejected from the port of Grenada, Spain and thus the European continent, the same year of Columbus' voyage. Thus you will hear Osama bin Laden sometimes refer to "the crime of Iberia". This is his meaning. September 11 is the date of the high water mark of the spread of the Ottoman Empire in eastern Europe when they were stopped at the gates of Vienna...September 11, 1683. And now you know the why of September 11.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

221 years ago...just yesterday.


"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow."-- James Madison, Federalist no. 62, February 27, 1788

In March of 1933 there were 2,785 pages of federal statutes on the books. By June of 1934, Roosevelt and the New Deal had increased that by 10,000 pages. Read up big boy...the lawyers are coming.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

20 years ago....

Check out this picture of me back in 1990. Like my father always told me..."Son, Pedal
or Coast...time goes on."


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Real Cool historical graphs regarding bear markets...




From the Great Dr. Rothman. Be sure to click on the different dates at the top of the graph to see the different historical episodes.





http://www.dshort.com/charts/bear-recoveries.html?bears-since-1950

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

From Karl Rove and the Wall Street Journal.

The problem for Mr. Obama is that he lacks credibility when he asserts his plan won't add to the deficit or won't lead to rationing; that people can keep their health plans; that every family's health care will be better, not worse; and that a government run plan isn't a threat to private insurance. A large number of Americans don't believe the president on this.

With this week's $2 trillion upward revision in the White House's deficit projections, August has been the cruelest month for Mr. Obama. The president is now facing a politically explosive mix of unpopular policies and an angered electorate.

It's still too early to count Mr. Obama out. His team will be back in Washington next week. They'll work on their messaging and have more than $100 million—much of it from pharmaceutical companies—to spend on ads bludgeoning reluctant Democrats and energized Republicans.

The White House will exert enormous pressure—and in the spirit of Chicago-style politics, employ threats when necessary—with Senate and House Democrats. The health-care battle, already intense, will get more so in the months ahead. ObamaCare is unpopular, but it is far from defeated.