Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

Their “free trade” treaties are NOT free trade

June 26, 2016

Free trade helps the poor AND the rich, because it increases the “supplier space”, and this increases the competition, and that decreases the prices for the supplies for poor and rich alike.

All these “free trade” laws are not that at all. They are crony protection agreements. The evidence is in the numbers of pages. Free trade requires one simple declaration:

“All tariffs will be abolished in trade between the parties to this agreement. Period. FULL STOP.”

All those such treaties signed in the past few decades, NAFTA, TPP, GATT/WTO, they are all treaties that establish governing institutions with enforcement. This means they are steps toward the world government infrastructure the plutocrats and oligarchs have been planning for in lo, many years before.

John Nash (“A Beautiful Mind”): Influenced by Austrian economics

July 19, 2015

At the following link find a paper that finds a connection between Ludwig von Mises and John Nash, whose life was featured in the book and movie “A Beautiful Mind”. It wraps up with a quote from John Nash referring to his teacher from Austria, and distinguishing Austrian economics from  mainstream economic thought, and crediting its influence in his thinking. Nash received a Nobel Prize in Economics.

https://mises.org/sites/default/files/qjae12_3_2.pdf

(Disclaimer: the Nobel Prize is not necessarily reliable as a measure of reliable thinking.)

Obamacare: Nightmare of 68,000 new diagnosis codes for ICD-10 including the bizarre

June 14, 2015

I now work for a healthcare company, and before that a hospital software company, and be it knownst that the Obamacare legal abomination carries a LOT more than just the lying insurance cover.

INTERNATIONAL STATISTICAL CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES AND RELATED HEALTH PROBLEMS.

They are requiring more conversion by more healthcare companies, and smaller ones, to electronic claims and payments processing and other non-insurance requirements. They are requiring conversion of the electronic diagnosis codes from the ICD-9 list to a new ICD-10 list, with at least ten times more codes.

Look at this number thoughtfully: The ICD-10 requirements include some 68,000 codes for the presumably 68,000 different diagnoses that a doctor might make for a patient. Presumably each healthcare company will have to decide how much to charge for each diagnosis, and possibly negotiate rates with each insurance company separately.

The codes include such idiotic details such “struck by a turtle”, “struck by a sea lion”, “accidental striking against or bumped into by another person, initial encounter”, “headache associated with sexual activity”, ”Pedestrian on foot injured in collision with roller-skater, subsequent encounter.”

Those were found at:

“ICD-10 involves an ‘enormous amount of complexity’”:

http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/10-most-outlandish-kinds-icd-10-codes

I’ve seen some of the more outlandish ones myself. With all the web pages a search brings up for “ICD-10 ridiculous”, it’s truly hard to tell which ones are made-up and which ones are spoofs. One listed “cat-scratch fever”, a la Ted Nugent song.

This may well create more too-big-to-fail companies. There is a mad rush in the healthcare industry to consolidate. Smaller hospitals are begging for bigger chains to buy them out. I haven’t seen specific reference to it, but I’ll bet this includes a LOT of “non-profit” medical companies selling to “profit-based” chains, or other “non-profit” organizations.

The company I work for is snapping up smaller ones everywhere in the country.

Many in the software industry are calling this “bigger than Y2K”, and I think it is. I worked for a small air conditioning equipment distribution company at that time, and changed something like over 600 tables, 1200 “views”, and 1,800 programs. This may affect more. It most certainly has involved LOTS and LOTS of typing and editing and changing going on. Every affected company, corporation and partnership affected, has to finish its own preparation enough to set up test environments so they can jointly test with EVERY other organization they do related business with.

One writer says it will cost trillions of dollars in costs to the medical industry. At my small-ish employer, it is reasonable to say it likely costs millions of dollars in developer pay, and pay for medical diagnosis coders time, and their training, plus all the accounting that goes into the use of the equipment and executives’ time. And all the extra personnel needed to both make the transition, and now the ongoing increase in costs associated with this crazy mess of codes and the multiplication of both human and programming mistakes.

See, this is the problem when people believe that a government can do better than God in sorting things out and taking care of people.

It will never be known how many people will suffer because of so many resources and so much time wasted on obeying government commands to comply with rules that bureaucrats make to justify their salaries, thinking they are helping people.

It’s not just skyrocketing medical costs that will result from this abominable law. It is the resources that are wasted in making life easier for government officials and politicians and giving them yet more socialized control over the lives of individuals. It’s easy to cry foul when a cop shoots a man in cold blood caught on video. It’s not so easy to consider the unemployed teens and unskilled poor who are locked out of the labor market by minimum wage laws. It’s not so easy to consider the invisible harm done to the sick, elderly, and disabled by laws that pretend to expand healthcare but shrink it. It’s not so easy to see the lost jobs and lost wages for the poor and under-employed that lose out to the increased tax burden imposed on their employers. It’s an easy mark to criticize giant corporate profits, but not so easy to see the way the regulations themselves benefit the biggest corporations and keep smaller competitors down. It’s easy to hear the demagogues complain about greedy corporations, but with a government-compliant big-corporation media, it’s not so easy to see how those same “greedy corporations” benefit the demagogues themselves.

Socialism is a lie. Like a friend once told me who had lived in Russia during the days of the Soviet Union, socialism does not exist, there is no such thing. It’s just a trade of one set of rulers for another one with less pretension. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.

But let’s be clear. Obamacare is a bipartisan program. It is an implementation of a “conservative” Heritage Foundation plan published in the 1990s, it is Romney-care writ large, it is Hillary-care recharged. Charged to us, making us foot the bill. Let the refrain sound throughout the land: Obamacare is Hillary’s 1993 plan, Phase One.

“But be not deceived. God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

 

Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo

January 16, 2015

If the attack on “Charlie Hebdo” was anti-semitic, so was a cartoon that one artist published in the Charlie Hebdo magazine a few years ago that got the artist fired.

After the magazine Hara-Kiri was shut down by the French government after satirizing the exaggerated mourning of De Gaulle two days after his funeral (1970!), the same people simply renamed it Charlie Hebdo and kept publishing.

You can call the attack on the kosher restaurant anti-semitic, but what do you call the blasphemous anti-Christian caricatures and the blatant anti-Islamic caricatures?

FREE SPEECH

In France there are “hate speech” laws that make Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of Christians and Muslims illegal, but they are only enforced against “anti-semitism”.

Among the sea of the reported three million demonstrators for “free speech” with “Je suis Charlie” buttons (how could they print that many in only a week?), a policeman ordered one of them to remove his “Je suis Kouachi” button (the name of one of the killers).

Only 48 hours after people marched for “free speech” in the streets of Paris, France opened criminal proceedings against comedian Dieudonné for his speech they said was “defending terrorism”. This was only one of 54 new such cases for “condoning terrorism”.

In a land that imprisons you for expressing banned opinions (and facts too!), these heads of state stand with the leaders that imprison you for saying it out loud?

How long before they ban statements like “Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven”? They are already working on that by the way and they have already muzzled teachers in taxpayer/theft-funded government indoctrination centers even in the U.S.

How long before they warn cops to be on the lookout in America for dangerous people with “Ron Paul” bumper stickers on their cars? –Oh, they already did that! Five years ago!

And try to publish an ad in the States with pictures from Deir Yassin after the Irgun massacre of the entire town. You think anybody will publish it?

These “conservative” neo-cons, children of Trotskyite Communists, never want to cut back welfare programs, and they always want to keep the US in war. They are both programs designed to bankrupt the country’s economy and mold its culture into forming pliant obedient subjects.

Reaction to “Conservative to Anarchist”; Me, Communist to Missionary to Anarchist

August 24, 2014

My reaction to Steve Patterson’s post, From Conservative to Anarchist:

http://steve-patterson.com/conservative-anarchist/

Back when I joined a “new religious movement” during the Jesus People thing in the 1960s, we got educated by the founders in the future consequences of bubble fiat dollars (“green paper pigs”–think inflated piggy bank balloon) and the stupidity of getting off a gold standard, and the way the rest of the world will also get punked for counting on the dollar. We were “dropped out” of “the system” and “turned on” to the truth.

Before that, in college, all that indoctrination turned me into a Communist because ever since LBJ invaded the Dominican Republic I remembered thinking about helping the poor and being “fair” and all that. But that led to being a sort of “syndicalist anarchist”, which sounds leftish but it also sounded right. My rationale then was: If you can’t trust people to govern themselves, you can’t trust them to govern anybody else. I didn’t have a clue what label that would have other than anarchist.

Then I discovered the way certain now well-known cliques and “secret societies” manipulate things, became minarchist finally, and through a Bible-discussion forum discovered Ron Paul when a fellow believer mentioned hanging Ron Paul banners over bridges. The rest is the same history as Steve’s.

This verse means so much more to me now:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;–Isaiah 61:1

Will robots put most people out of work?

July 21, 2014

You cannot possibly know that the only “niche” open will be “banditry” for buggy whip makers when buggy whip making is made obsolete by technology. Buggy whip makers found work at Ford Motor Company and in other places.

Some technology advances (robotics) scare many otherwise smart thinking people into thinking unemployment will rise, as in the referenced article.

For example, before technology T1 was adapted, say, n1 full time persons were required to produce product P1, and after T1 was adapted, n2 full time persons.

This does not happen in a vaccuum. n1 is greater than n2. The cost of n2 is less than n1.

But now n3 = n2 – n1 persons are now available to competitors, including new competitors, plus it is safe to assume that in most situations and generalizing here for the concept, there is now more competition for jobs that produce P1, which drives down the cost of P1.

With the consumer price of P1 lower than before, either (1) demand will usually go up for the product, or (2) consumers will buy other consumer goods.

So either (1) we must adjust n3 in the real world (job losses) upward, meaning there are fewer jobs lost due to technology T1, or (2) there is more “purchasing power” available for other products P2, P3, P4, etc., or (3) there is more leisure time for the producers, or (4) most probably, all of the above. Also, technology T1 may also require new jobs in both its production and/or consumption.

The changes that came with computing advances should kill this idea about robots leaving great masses of people unemployed. In the 1930s the biggest companies had multiple floors of accounting specialists and clerks using calculators all day to do the accounting for the company. In the late 1940s or early 1950s the CEO of IBM was still saying only three or four organizations in the world would ever need a computer. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates once said that people would never find much use for the Internet.

And yet we did not have great masses of former accountants and clerks on the street when computers automated so much of the accounting process. It rather enabled all kinds of new specializations in all kinds of industries, created an entire new information industry for both business and consumers, and made life easier in general. For the unskilled and uneducated included. The poorest barrios in one of the still poorest countries of Latin America have smart phones in at least one home every block.

The same will hold with robotics. We cannot have any idea how it will sort out. If 3-D technology is not crimped with stupid government interference, there will be a lot more people able to do some home-based manufacturing services, just for an example. IF.

But government interfering with the readjustment does not help, and that includes government-directed retraining. Let the market pull the resources to where the new demand will go, and let private investors take the risk instead of wasting economic resources for government middlemen and idlers. Those resources belong at private risk, no cost to you.

 

July 19, 2014

There was a comment on this web page that provoked my reaction below:

http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/35488/Illiterate-Twofer-Rise-of-Robots-Demands-Universal-Basic-Income/

Daily Bell wrote a good criticism of Reuter’s article wailing that technology will make most people unemployed and promoting a universal minimum guaranteed income. Jon said he was a computer programmer who had had a job writing software that eliminated thousands of jobs.

What Jon doesn’t consider is what happened outside the view from his cubicle. I’m a computer programmer myself, and my work reduces man-hours and waste. If you view the conditions before from the perspective of after, that’s how you see it. Waste eliminated by automation and computation. (Of course consider now that depending on the industry, up to half of programmer-hours spent in “compliance” coding to satisfy government dictates).

When it gets to the other end of technology, one thing I haven’t seen discussed is the fact we can deduce from human nature that it will greatly expand the (absolute) return available for investors with capital. Think guys in garages with 3-D printers, “doing” the tedious boring stuff on waiting the product his neighbor wants. Sophisticated 3-D programming will enable a sophisticated user of it (and low-entry entrepreneur) do custom tricks with the products for his customers.

Digital technology advances did not just eliminate the jobs in factory settings for making vinyl albums, it enabled many more consumers to get much more of the “entertainment” they wanted, AND LOOKY THERE it also created a LOT more “music studios”. My son built up his savings from playing gigs and invested in more musical equipment he rented out, and then built up his own studio in Miami Beach using tools of the trade that were available to him because some programmer somewhere at some time had robbed the vinyl industry of thousands of jobs.

That’s a high school dropout (the government school fare bored him and his brother out of their heads so I let them quit) that did that. He built that! With the help of modern technology.

He had the advantage of years of home schooling first, but it just showed that this technology scare is just another excuse they’re trying out on the plebes and peasants to continue centralizing control and making their plunder complete.

More robots for less investment means more people who have enough to invest in it. If you eliminate government force, the result will be a lot more producers and production and more people who have the means to acquire the resulting consumer goods. And services.

AND BY THE WAY. Everybody seems to forget that more production, in general, as long as free trade is free, Biblical Christians will have the means to fulfill their mission of helping the poor and orphans. (Fake Christians and pious warmongers do not count).

Ron Paul talks sense on “border crisis”

July 17, 2014

Ron Paul talks clarity to the “border crisis”:

http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/35474/Ron-Paul-Whats-Missing-in-the-Current-Immigration-Crisis-Debate/

My wife is from Honduras, and I know from experience of relatives that the coyotes have known that the Border Patrol treats minors very differently from the younger ones. The cover story of coyotes pushing lies about it are wrong. Why would they change?

Rumor has a strong effect down there, especially when it comes to stories about immigrating to the US.

But they also get the news reports down there, and USA treatment of incoming bodies from southward is always big news. So they have heard all last year the noise from Congress (Dems AND Repubs of course talking about “paths to citizenship”), and this year about Obama announcing unilaterally he’s going to stop deporting people, they hear it. (News flash: Obama has maybe deported more than previous presidents back to Honduras and presumably other countries). So they’ve paid more attention.

 

They already knew minors are treated well when they show up, especially unaccompanied.

 

BUT these “children” are about 90 percent 15 to 17 years old, and about 90 or 93 percent of those are males, according to one report. But that only confirmed my suspicions. It’s said they’re fleeing the gang violence, and for many that may be so, but there may be more than that.

 

Thanks Ron Paul. He’s absolutely right. The drug wars are killing the country. It’s called “murder capital” and some of it is gangs, but maybe even most of it is rivals in the drug wars. The best kind of “foreign aid” the USA can “give” to Honduras is to stop the drug wars altogether, and for the sake of the poor, stop giving money to the governments for this and that, especially these onerous “loans”.

 

IRONY: Joe Biden went down there to demand that Central American countries control their borders. Get it? But Honduras already controls the minors leaving at border stations. Central American nations have an agreement to allow free movement of their citizens within the group. On paper anyway. (But really, Honduras doesn’t let just any Nicaraguan walk across.) BUT minors have to get permission from the father to leave the country in a legal document, unless the mother gets complete legal guardianship (“custody” as we call it).

 

Who causes poverty?

June 28, 2014

Latinos cause poverty? Depends on which Latinos or Latin Americans, same as North Americans. Richest man in the world is Carlos Sims. But they have had their own versions of left-fascists, and residual poverty leaving them helpless.

The U.S. has enjoyed a history of traditional cultural importance of individual rights and free market principles and the robber barons are never capable of wreaking the havoc that governments do, and have historically done, every time and every place.
Foreign aid given to these governments, like Dambisa Moyo wrote, corrupts them, engenders obeisance to the oligarch interests here that use money they stole from us. Without the political payoffs of government to government, the politicians and political powers of those countries would have incentive to let their own economies generate a better tax base.
Maybe that’s what motivates Honduras with their new economic zones. After the United States joined the world in condemning Honduras for defending themselves against another socialist Cuban-Chavista tyrant, including the US Ambassador promoting dictator Zelaya’s plans and even helping plan the takeover, they figured they should get ready to take care of themselves.
After all, even the Chinese finally figured out there was no way to command the masses into prosperity.

 

Go for 100% freedom from aggression and theft but take what you can get.

June 7, 2014

Tom Bell said he is “cautiously optimistic”. With the kind of hell that the world-government-statist control freaks put Honduras through in 2009 when they rebelled against their program, you can’t blame them for wanting to go under the radar.

That, said, I don’t have any illusions about Honduran politicians any more than others, although 2009 was a bit refreshing. I know more than you about them. My wife is from there and was one and wanted out from the first day she got in. And has nothing but an attempt to murder her and the children to show.

I think in 2009 the politicians actually just buckled under the pressure of wives, husbands, adult children, cousins, lots of friends, most of the LOCAL press that refused to march to international orders, ALL the Protestant leaders, ALL the Catholic clergy in the country almost, their chambers of commerce, the UNIONS (except for the Marxist dictated PUBLIC teachers’ union, albeit with great numbers of teachers dissenting, ALL private schools, their equivalent of a bar association (lawyers), and ALL but 4 of the Congressmen.

Congressmen and others involved in the effort travelled to South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other places that moved from poverty to prosperity.

Lobo, not so honest himself, had asked for suggestions from various sectors on how to escape poverty. My suggestion to the representative from the expat community that was invited to contribute, was education, technology, gold currency base, and among other things, a study of what was successful elsewhere.

My understanding is that some folks from Universidad Franciso Marroquin, a school that teaches Austrian economics theory, also participated in the planning of the zones.

I say, with Wendy of Daily Bell and many others, preach the actual radical solution of the NAP, anarcho-capitalism, and complete economic freedom from aggression and theft, but take everything you can get. Ron Paul voted for every single tax reduction that came along, including the ones with labels like “exemption”. but we all know he wanted to abolish them all.