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.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Healthcare is a State Issue in the USA

If you thought that state level politicians were completely corrupt and ruthless, and did not care about the people at all, and 50% of healthcare spending came from the federal Government (and it does), you might expect the state politicians to regulate in a way that would increase the income of the health workers in their states.

Now I do not think state level politicians were very corrupt and ruthless, but it is interesting that they seem to regulate healthcare in a way looks like was designed to exactly that.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Living on a Lower Median Income

A commenter said a wives can no longer afford to not work a job in the taxed economy.

My reply:

The median income will always afford the median home.

If every wife worked for in home consumption rather than in the taxed economy the median home might be smaller and the median meal have a little less meat or fish and the median air conditioner be set a little higher in summer and heat lower in winter, median shoes a little cheaper, and people would eat out a little less but we could certainly afford it.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Drug laws and Prison Populations

People are often over or underestimate the impacts of drug laws on incarceration rates. 

Here are the number: "Among sentenced prisoners under State jurisdiction in 2008, 18 percent were sentenced for drug offences and only 6 percent were incarcerated for drug possession alone."

Here is 538 on the same: "Releasing Drug Offenders Won’t End Mass Incarceration"

Here are some Federal Bureau of Prisons statistics.

Nevertheless reducing state prison populations by 18% and federal prison populations by about 50% would be a big improvement. Also some crime is due to the high price of drugs that would be very cheap if they were legal.

I also think our sentences are too long for most other crimes. Restitution should be used for property crime, home imprisonment with ankle bracelets and supervision should used for those who committed violent crimes but are low risk to commit again (an argument can even be made for more corporal punishment over prison see here: http://www.overcomingbias.com/2011/06/in-favor-of-flogging.html). Long sentences are not a good replacement for good enforcement and are expensive.

Again I would completely legalize all drugs and enable the sale of medicine (except antibiotics for which I would require a prescription and/or a test to get.) with out requiring a prescription.