Friday, October 14, 2016

I Kind of Liked This

For politician and most jobs principles are far more important than IQ 

The below is from an anonymous commenter:

Warren G Harding – Dolt (before you smirk look how well the country did under his normalization policy)
Calvin Coolidge - Intelligent  
T. Roosevelt - Dolt 
FDR – Dolt 
Truman - Dolt
 Eisenhower – Intelligent 
 JFK – Dolt 
LBJ – Dolt 
Richard Nixon - Genius (I think the smartest president of the modern era)
Jimmy Carter – very intelligent 
 Ronald Reagan – Dolt 
G Bush – Intelligent 
 Bill Clinton – Genius 
GW Bush – Dolt
Karl Marx – Genius for comparison

Wishful Thinking by Roberts and Deacon

Angus Deaton on econtalk  and Russ Roberts blame drug use and poor school performance by low income USAers on poverty and bad schools respectively. I do not buy those explanations.

I have known a lot of people who like to get up in the morning and start getting high (pot, THC, whatever). I have trouble relating to that because I do not have that desire at all but none of them seemed to be in any particular despair. As far as I could tell it was entertainment. So I think the opium epidemic is due to more access to opioid and people liking opioid.

Also I went to some high rated schools and some low rated schools and the only difference that I could see was the quality of the students. I think you are both putting way too much hope in schooling. I think that research shows that schools cannot really get the students to learn much more but they could improve by:

  • 1. Teaching more valuable life schools. That is if you cannot get them to learn more focus on getting them to learn the more valuable stuff for their lives. Consumer and practical skills.
  • 2. Change the hours of schools to better support working people. that is cover most working hours.
  • 3. Focus on spending less money on administration. 
I am not happy that this is the way that it is but if you cannot solve problems that you define all wrong.

Thoughts on Trump's Success

Joseph Stiglitz pushed a story (How Trump Happened) that implies that the bad economy is the main driver of the Trump success in the republican primaries.

First I have in the past said that Trump is what many conservatives wanted all along and I still believe that is a big factor but I also think there is something else, which follows.

(Now I like President Obama as a person but, I think he has badly mishandled issues of race. He seems to me to be more decent that most politicians.)

When President Obama was elected many people hoped that he would defend the Government and whites to his black constituency but starting in the Travon Martin case and then in the Fergison case he seemed to side with the aggrieved blacks, before the evidence came in. He never pointed out that is was impossible to know if the Martin or Brown where the aggressors. He also failed to promise to blacks that he would attempt to rectify the situation from within if did turn out to be persecution of blacks so that they need not protest.

He also failed to point out that there are 340 million people in the USA 40 million of them are black and these things are bound to happen regularly, but that that does not mean whites are out to persecute blacks. It makes it worse that he has been great at understanding and presenting the statistics on Terrorism for example Obama frequently reminds his staff that terrorism takes far fewer lives in America than handguns, car accidents, and falls in bathtubs do. The same is true for whites and police killing blacks, they are relatively rare events. He could be shouting that from the house tops but no.

He failed to say "Look many whites voted for me, they are not so bad", and that if I can get to be president prejudice, while it still exists, is not holding blacks back significantly. That blacks can do well in the USA and most are.

Maybe wrongfully, but when people elect a minority they expect him put great effort in to reconcile his minority with the majority, Obama failed badly with this challenge, angering people and so Trump. 

I fear Hillary Clinton will do the same always siding with women against men. For example the pay differential disappears when you factor in hours, occupations and career interruptions but she keep pushing the issue.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Why I Think the Scandals are Small but I will not Vote for Hillary Clinton

As far as the email server, Benghazi  and the sale of access through the Clinton foundation, it seems to me that these are minor and that most politicians do those sorts of things. Way to much is stamped classified if the federal government and all the insiders know that and I am sure that all the insiders know that you do not every send anything that is important to keep secret through email.

Also my guess is that classification often is used to keep secrets from the voters.

I do not think Hillary Clinton is a bad person for doing this stuff BUT where and when do we start, and I think that we should start, punishing powerful politicians for breaking the laws they make and/or enforce?

We raise our politicians to high up. It is just a job and the President is much less important than most voters seem to thing. Further if the President is impeached it is not even the other party that takes over it is teh vice president and he gets to pick a new Vice President.

Regan should have been impeached for Iran contra, Bill Clinton for perjury, Obama for the 2014 prisoner swap.

You might think that we would be impeaching presidents all the time but we would not, after a few impeachments they would start to be more careful to not break the law and unlike the poor guys who break that law even with punishment do to poor impulse control the politically powerful mostly have great impulse control.

So why are people who would stand with Regan over Iran Contra so upset about Hillary's email server, a much smaller matter, I think mostly because they are against her for other reasons but are hoping that to take her out on a technicality.

I am against Hillary Clinton for her position on abortion. She has moved to a position on abortion where not only does she want to keep it legal but she wants or tax dollars to be used to pay for it. Democrats used to say that they wanted to make abortion "safe, legal and rare", they have dropped the "and rare".

Hillary voted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and if news reports are to be believed, even after seeing chaos that ensued after the war in Iraq, she pushed for arming rebels in Syria, pressuring Egypt’s Government to give way and bombing of Libya. She is also a drug warrior, late to support allowing the states to legalize marijuana.

Her position on equalizing pay by gender plus Government funding of daycare, on college tuition and trade are also bad but it seems most inteligent insiders seem to think that she is just lying about those policies. (BTW Here is an Idea by Steve Landsburg's on how to hold Politicians accountable for there promises.)

But it looks like she will win, so let’s hope that she learned some lessons and will get our military out of the middle east and legalize drugs.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Don Boudreaux and Me on entertainment

Don Boudreaux in a post titled:  Thinking At the Margin: It’s Revolutionary writes the following:

…I agree that most people are troubled that the likes of Tom Brady and Jennifer Lawrence earn far higher pay than does any firefighter or school teacher.  But this reality reflects not people’s correct understanding of a failing economy but people’s incorrect understanding of a successful economy.  It reflects also a failure of economists to better teach basic economics to the general public.  So let me ask: would you prefer to live in a world in which the number of people who can skillfully fight fires and teach children is large but the number of people who can skillfully play sports and act is very tiny, or in a world in which the number of people who can skillfully fight fires and teach children is very tiny but the number of people who can skillfully play sports and act is large?
I’m sure that you’d much prefer to live in a world in which skills at fighting fires and teaching children are more abundant than are skills at playing sports and acting.  Precisely because saving lives and teaching children are indeed far more important on the whole than is entertainment, we are extraordinarily fortunate that the numbers of our fellow human beings who possess the skills and willingness to save lives and to teach children are much greater than are the numbers who can skillfully play sports and act.
The lower pay of fire fighters and school teachers simply reflects the happy reality that we’re blessed with a much larger supply of superb first-responders and educators than we are of superb jocks and thespians.  Were it the other way around, then while we’d be better entertained with more top-flight sporting events and movies, all but the richest amongst us would suffer significantly greater risks of being unable to educate our children and of dying in house fires and from other mishaps.

First, I think it is more relevant that people like me, as far as I can asses, spend next to nothing Tom Brady and Jennifer Lawrence get no money from me (maybe some tiny amount I do occasionally watch pro football and see ads but I rarely buy the advertised products). I have spent and am taxed much more for teachers and probably much more for firemen even though we do not need as many as we have now.

Also, It seems to me that we are lucky that beyond some moderate level of ability additional teaching ability does not make much difference.

But I have for a while had theory that people underestimate how important entertainment is to people. It seems to me that entertainment is very important to people. You see falling apart shacks with $60/month satellite or cable TV. Even in a poor country like Honduras it is surprising how much a poor a person will fork out for TV.

My interactions in my youth with heavy drug users led me to believe that they are seeking to escape boredom by using, meaning that they are willing to risk health and life for entertainment.

Also look at those medieval cathedrals with the stained glass and it seems great music for very poor people. A lot was spent and since the bible does not require it I think is more for entertainment than for devotion.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Hypocracy of Policians

It is logical for someone to be for higher taxes and yet say that I will not anti-up and pay extra taxes until everyone does. They would say, I work within the current system.

It is also logical for someone to say I am for high tariffs to keep jobs in the USA but until they are enacted I will work within the current rules have my stuff manufactured in low wage countries, as my competition will.

On the other hand it is hypocritical for Hillary R Clinton, who supports higher taxes on her income group, but does not pay extra taxes, to attack Trump for selling ties manufactured outside the USA.

It is also hypocritical for Bernie Sanders to call drug companies immoral, which he does often, for raising drug prices when they are doing what they can in the existing system while he is doing what he can in the existing system, living it up buying vacation homes and not overpaying taxes.

Peter Singer is  consistent on this sort of thing our politicians are not.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Cowen on Trump

Tyler Cowen has a great post on Trump. He draws some parallels between FDR and Trump,

I have for a while seen Trump is sort of a throw back to FDR. Very UN-libertarians both.

I also believe that FDR, Trump, Bernie, The Greek Government and some other rising European parties show that bad Central Bank Monetary policy breeds bad politics and that very high government spending in good years, like we and Europe have make fiscal stimulus problematic (whether fiscal stimulus works or not, I am not sure).

Perhaps we would be better off with free banking.