Sunday, September 29, 2013

Political Vitriol

Enough with the political vitriol! As we approach another budget impasse and a potential government shutdown, the mudslinging between political parties has escalated and needless to say it is counterproductive. Politicians waste too much time criticizing others while neglecting their own duties. Obama called the GOP “extremists” this week. There have been comparisons between Wendy Davis and Ted Cruz with each side hailing their political ideologue and chastising their opponents with hate comments. Both sides are making idiotic statements comparing their adversaries to Nazis, murderers, Ayatollahs, monsters, terrorists, anarchists, traitors, and radicals. If that is not bad enough there have been statements such as “I hope your kids 'die from debilitating, painful and incurable diseases'”. I do not understand how these words come up at all when describing anything happening in American Politics. America is democracy and there has never been Nazis, monsters, Ayatollahs, terrorists, anarchists, and so forth in our political system. It is puzzling how political differences create analogies which paint opponents as genocidal villains, fear mongers, and haters. People need to stop these needless attacks. First, most political vitriol is not true and secondly, political vitriol does nothing to resolve issues. Political vitriol is a waste of time.

Republicans want to stop ObamaCare and are pushing for budget cuts while Democrats want to preserve ObamaCare and government spending. It is major difference in political ideology, but that is all it is. It is a difference in opinion about political subjects, period.

I am certain Republicans will be demonized and blamed for a government shutdown (if one happens). This is wrong for many reasons. First, it takes two to tango. Secondly, Obama has been missing in action. While Obama campaigns around the country, spewing his own vitriol, he refuses to talk with Republicans. Think about it, during this process, Obama has made deals with terrorists (Syria) and Russia, and has talked with Iran’s leader. In other words, he has given our enemies more attention than his political adversaries. Thirdly, the House Republican majority has worked through the weekend to broker a deal while the Democrat majority Senate went home for the weekend. Fourthly, Senate majority leader Harry Reid has refused to negotiate and bring issues to the floor for debate.

Elections have consequences and the American people voted for ObamaCare. Now, I hope everyone gets ObamaCare and has to learn the hard way of its consequences. I believe this is the only way Republicans can win a presidential election.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Taxes, Spending, and Inflation from 1960 to Today (Part II)

  • The real tax on the American people is the cost for health insurance which has gone up nearly 20 fold over the past half century. And expect this to get worse with the implementation of ObamaCare.
  • In 1960 government tax revenues were 93 billion, today they are 2.3 trillion dollars. If we consider the population rate doubled and the average inflation rate and GDP growth was 4.1% then our tax revenue base should be no higher than 1.5 trillion dollars today (and this is being very generous). Hence, the government is taking in about 50% more in tax revenue than in the 1960’s per capita. To make matters worse, in 1960 U.S. deficit levels were around 50% of GDP, reduced from over 100% after World War II just 15 years prior. Today, our deficit levels are back over 100% of GDP. What does this say, the government has a spending problem and entitlements are the main culprit.
  • In 1960, the estate tax was much lower because its minimum rate was much lower than today’s rate (although the upper rate was much higher in 1960). 1960 also had a higher capital gains tax rate than today, 25% compared to 15%. However, in 1960 the average length of time to hold securities was over 8 years, today this timeline has reduced to fewer than 4 years meaning people are paying taxes on their holdings quicker and many holdings are being taxed at a higher short term rate.

Yes, tax rates were higher in 1960, but the effective tax rate today is much higher for the many reasons outlined above (you have to look at the revenues collected by the government to find the true tax rate people paid). And yes, the stock market and the economy were much healthier in 1960 than today. However, the reason for this is because the government is taxing more, spending more, and the cost of goods and services in nearly 50% higher. The bottom line, I asked my brother would he start his own business and his answer was “no, it is too risky.” But he expects people who took these risks to pay more in taxes (over 50% of all business ventures fail). This to me does not seem fair. People who took these risks should also reap those rewards (and remember, the top 1% already pay over 50% of the nation’s income tax – In fact, the top 1% today pay more in taxes than what all Americans paid in taxes in 1960 [adjusted for inflation and population growth]).

This type of thinking is typical liberal ideology at its best. Progressives expect their neighbors to make more sacrifices while many do nothing to gain control of their own fiscal wellbeing. Another liberal fallacy I read about while researching this article is their claim higher tax rates do not make Americans lazy. Once again they point to the high tax rates in the 1950’s and 1960’s while the economy was booming. This, I have already proven to be a fallacy. The truth is effective tax rates are higher today, anti-poverty spending is up 12% of GDP, disability spending is up 6% of GDP, people on unemployment is up 100%, and so forth. I am all for helping people who really need assistance and are willing to help themselves, but nothing about these numbers says Americans are any less lazy today compared to 1960. Sadly, it is commonsense to jump to the conclusion Americans are becoming increasingly more lazy.

No matter how much we raise taxes, it is never enough. Today, Democrats are pushing for more tax increases on the wealthy without understanding the implications of their recent rate increase on high income earners and those ObamaCare taxes which have started this year. At the same time, after several months of debate on this subject, the Democrats have conceded 10 hours of spending cuts.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Taxes, Spending, and Inflation from 1960 to Today (Part I)

My brother reminds me that the highest tax rate back in 1960 was 91% and the economy did well despite these high taxes. But there are several things my liberal sibling is forgetting that makes 1960 tax rates and the cost of living much different from today. Here are some glaring oversights by simply doing eyeball statistics between 1960 and today:

  • Payroll taxes are much higher today. Back in 1960 the tax rate for Social Security was 2.9% on the first $4,800 dollars earned. Today, the rate is 6.2% on the first $106,800 dollars earned. And today taxpayers must pay an additional 1.45% on the first $106,800 dollars earned for Medicare that folks did not have to worry about in 1960. Hence, payroll taxes have increased more than twice as much in the past half century.
  • The effective tax rate is higher today. In 1960 individual federal taxes accounted for about 40% of all revenues raised by the federal government. Today individual federal tax rates account for 46% of all tax revenues.
  • In 1960 revenues collected from corporate taxes was nearly double what they are today. But this is mainly due to the global economy. Back in 1960 the U.S. was by far the leader in the industrial revolution and faced little global competition. Today, corporations face tough competition around the globe that do not have to face Union demands, higher regulations, and higher tax rates.
  • Inflation is a key difference between 1960 and today. The below table shows how much real time dollars have increased from 1960 to 2008 for a family of 5 (and remember this is before the recession). The standard of living has nearly doubled in the past 50 years, including taxes.

Yearly Expenses per Average Household

Category, 1960, 1960Today, 2008

Food, $1,681, $11,681, $11,058

General Household, $2,491, $17,314, $24,305

Transportation, $ 759, $ 5,277, $ 9,601

Health Insurance, $ 107, $ 741, $13,968

Federal Taxes, $1,884, $13,096, $21,138

State & Local Taxes, $ 767, $ 5,331, $12,637

Total Expenses, $7,689, $53,440, $92,707

  • State and local income and sales tax rates are higher today. And property tax rates are much higher today than back in 1960.
  • Let’s not forget about those hidden taxes on gas, tolls, parking, etc. The above table details this showing that transportation rates have nearly doubled. And because of government mandates, rules, and regulations, we are being hit with fines and fees by companies for everything we purchase.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Economic Herxing Effect

Herxing is a medical term and defined as occurring when injured or dead bacteria release their endotoxins into the blood and tissues faster than the body can comfortably handle it. This provokes a sudden and exaggerated inflammatory response. Many times when people take antibiotics to fight bacteria, viral, or mycoplasma infections, the initial reaction is for their illness to worsen until the dead bacteria and mycoplasma is removed from the body. It is not uncommon for people to have such bad infections because they took too long to identify and treat forcing people to take antibiotics for prolonged periods of time. In such cases, the antibiotics are rotated periodically so the body does not become immune to them. Infected individuals may go through a herxing effect each time an antibiotic is switched. In fact, the few people I know who have gone through long term infectious illnesses may have died if they did not advocate for their own health. Doctors seem dumbfounded by strange prolonged illnesses and many times think the patient is depressed or having some kind of psychosomatic response. Hence, these illnesses attack the body longer than they should.

Our economy is also going through a prolonged herxing effect. Liberals like to talk about the lost decade under Bush’s leadership. Well, in most regards, especially when it comes to spending, Obama is continuing a steroid version of Bush spending policies. Obama increased Bush’s military spending on drone defense, Afghanistan, and Libya. Obama increased Bush’s record level of anti-poverty and entitlement spending. Obama continued Bush’s TARP and auto bailout policies. Obama increased Bush’s record for costly regulations, rules, and mandates. Obama increased healthcare costs through ObamaCare despite Bush increases to Medicare prescription drugs programs and SCIP. Obama increased education funding for “Race to the Top” despite Bush spending increases for “No Child Left Behind” (Yet each year we break records for lower test scores and dropout rates).

My point is that our economy remains ill despite being faced with a prolonged dose of spending. We have been through a recession and stagnant growth over the past 5 years. Yet, we continue along the same treatment path of massive deficit spending. Our economy is facing a herxing effect, and like people with long illnesses, we need to switch remedies. Obama’s future plan is to continue a heavy dose of government spending combined with a higher tax on the people who consume the most. In essence, this is the same treatment we have faced over the past 5 years except it is more volatile because of increased taxes. And to make matters worse, people are not advocating for their own economic wellbeing. In fact, they are becoming dependent on government economic treatments in the form of entitlement subsidies. This is a recipe for economic calamity and disaster when people are no longer in control of their own fiscal situation.

Even if a new President and Congress changed course with a better economic treatment consisting of less spending and austerity measures, the country will continue to go through a herxing effect for several years. Our economic health is in such a depressed state it will take a long and painful amount of time to correct the spending woes of the Bush and Obama administrations.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Our Regulator In-Chief

According to a report by the Heritage Foundation “In terms of total rulemakings, Obama’s total was almost equal to Bush’s—at 10,215 and 10,674, respectively. But most analysts recognize that these gross figures mean little, because most regulations are routine actions, such as aviation maintenance bulletins and fishing season limits. Far more telling are the numbers of “major” rules: those that will cost the private sector $100 million or more each year. We found that 106 such major new regulations have been adopted during the Obama years, compared to 28 under Bush—a ratio of 3.8 to 1. In terms of cost, Obama’s rules imposed some $46 billion in additional annual burdens, compared to $8.1 billion in new costs during the first three Bush years, a whopping 5.6 to 1 ratio.”

"Based on data from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and regulations published in the Federal Register, the Administration has published more than $488 billion in regulatory costs since January 20, 2009 – $70 billion in 2012 alone," according to the American Action Forum. “The most costly government agencies in 2012 alone are Health and Human Services (which has an estimated regulation burden of $16.7 billion), the Environmental Protection Agency ($12.1 billion), the Department of Energy ($10.6 billion), the Department of Justice ($6.9 billion), and the Securities and Exchange Commission ($6.2 billion).”

What could be worse the inflicting $46.2 billion in regulatory costs? If those regulations not only came in late but were also wrong.

According to a new study by the American Action Forum, not only has the Obama administration missed nearly half of the regulatory deadlines in Obamacare, and 59 percent of the regulatory deadlines in the Dodd-Frank bill, but many of those initial regulatory announcement turned out to be wrong.

To date, regulators implementing Dodd-Frank have been forced to issue 65 corrections to the 125 new regulations they created. The federal agencies implementing Obamacare have an even worse record, issuing 149 corrections to Obamacare’s 59 final rules.

Obama bragged during his State of the Union Address that he levied fewer regulations than his predecessor. This is true, but the impact of Obama regulations are not only much more expensive and costly to the taxpayer, but have a larger impact on companies and small businesses. According to Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations, an arm of the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), more than 4,100 new Obama regulations are in the pipeline. The group estimates that the 13 most expensive regulations will cost the U.S. economy $515 billion.

I will finish with this alarming article from the Northern Colorado Gazette which outlines the barrage of new rules, mandates, and regulations on the way from the Obama administration:

In the few days after President Obama’s reelection last week, the administration has wasted no time in continuing his agenda of stifling business with massive new regulations, by posting 408 new regulations over the past seven days.

The regulations are available on the administrations website. The administration posted three new regulations today and said it is expected to post 102 new regulations with comments in the next three days. Americans should not expect the floodgate to close any time soon, as Obama’s administration is expected to issue 932 more over the next 90 days.

The regulations cover a variety of topics such as air taxis, mergers and acquisitions of bank holding companies and all-terrain vehicle safety.

Another proposed rule includes guidance for the FDA on “enforcement criteria for canned ackee, frozen ackee, and other ackee products that contain hypoglycin A.” Ackee is a fruit from Jamaica and inedible or unripened portions of it can be toxic.

Ironically, the site includes a video of Obama where he says his goal is to reduce regulations. “We’re trying to remove, and those are outdated and unnecessary regulations. I’ve ordered a government-wide review, and if there are rules on the books that are needlessly stifling job creation and economic growth, we will fix them,” the President said.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has expressed concerns on its website that now that Obama has won reelection he could issue a rash of new rules by the EPA and other agencies.

“During the campaign, President Obama decided to postpone the enactment of several controversial rules until after the election, CEI said. “Now that this ammunition will no longer have electoral consequences, the EPA can move ahead on delayed rules on everything from greenhouse gas emissions to ozone standards. Rules from the health care bill and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill will also likely make themselves known in the weeks to come.”

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What Comes Around Goes Around

I do not like to dwell or brag about past successes. I do not keep trophies, awards, and certificates. I do not like to boast about my favorite teams successes. But I notice most people are opposite to how feel about these matters. Maybe this behavior is partly due to the narcissistic nature of society these days. I am not sure why, but my belief is when you gloat and boast about successes it usually comes at someone else’s expense. I think once you are satisfied with our past or present accomplishments we lose focus on the future. And this seems to be a glaring issue with leadership today – the lack of strategic vision. Leaders seem to be more focused on current issues and their own self than to properly lay out future goals and missions. Someone asked me “Why didn’t you gloat about your team winning the Super Bowl last year?” I said because it is just one year (short lived) and usually what comes around goes around. And sure enough they did not even make the playoffs this year. It simply makes little sense to boast at someone else’s expense. I think many people are sore winners, but what is becoming more apparent to me is that we are also sore winners. We need to respect adversaries and not hate them. Otherwise the result is power grabs, gloating, lack of accountability, lack of strategic vision, lack of responsibility, finding blame, and finding fault.

Congress is no exception to these rules. Obama supporters are gloating over his win on the fiscal cliff even without understanding the implications this new legislation will have on the American people. Now Harry Reid wants to change Senate rules on filibusters. The Party in power always wants more power. Unfortunately, what these power hungry politicians forget is that their Party will not always be in the majority and those rules they passed will be advantageous to their opponents once they are in charge.

Liberals were outraged by Bush and Cheney power grabs to expand the powers of the executive branch. But they sit quiet as the Obama administration has expanded the powers of the executive branch by moving unilaterally (avoiding Congressional approval) and passing executive orders on education, war, and immigration. Obama has appointed Czars who have no oversight. Obama’s cabinet is passing a handful of new rules each day without any debate. The administration is hiding behind executive privilege. And ObamaCare was passed without the required 60 votes in the Senate.

Liberals may be enjoying the progressive power grab. However, what they fail to understand is that once a Conservative is in power they can easily rescind executive orders. A Conservative President or Senate could someday reap the benefits of the power grabs made by liberal majorities. People seem to forget what comes around goes around.

I have always said that there are three things that define the character of people – how they deal with adversity, how they deal with success, and how they behave when put in a position of power. It seems most people are shortsighted when they deal with success and power. They are narcissistic and want to expand their power without considering the future implications of their actions.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The World According to Barack Obama

I watched a documentary on Dick Cheney: “The World According to Dick Cheney”. There were many things the documentary was critical about, but Barack Obama’s handling of these same issues is no different.

The documentary was critical of how Dick Cheney handled the NSA metadata program – trying to move without the consent of the DOJ. Well, it seems the Obama administration and his DOJ have expanded the powers of the NSA program used under Bush and Cheney.

The documentary was critical of how Dick Cheney wanted to bypass Congress and go to war with Iraq. Well, Obama moved unilaterally against Libya and also wanted to move unilaterally against Syria.

The documentary was critical of the Iraq war and Cheney’s claims that Saddam was producing weapons of mass destruction. It tells how Cheney “Duped Congress”. It mocked the administration for claiming victory too early, but it never talked about the U.S. eventually winning that war and turning Iraq into a democracy that the U.S. is allies with the strategic Middle East. How is this outcome any worse than Obama’s Arab Spring results? Will an Obama documentary tell of how he escalated the war in Afghanistan and returned troops home losing to the Taliban. Worse yet, will tell how Obama has tried to negotiate with the terrorists that killed thousands of Americans. The documentary balked at the all the innocent civilian lives lost, but will an Obama documentary explain how he expanded the drone program which is responsible for killing 6 innocent civilians per terrorist. Obama has explained this to be collateral damage. So why is this behavior acceptable for Obama, but not for Cheney? Is it because Afghanistan is preferable war over Iraq?

The documentary was critical of U.S. enhanced interrogation techniques pushed by Cheney at Guantanamo Bay. They viewed this as a violation of detainees’ civil liberties. It talked of the atrocities at Abu Ghraib. It told tales how the enhanced interrogation techniques yielded not one piece of credible intelligence. Yet, after the killing of Bin Laden, movies and documentaries tell a different story – it was enhanced interrogation techniques which yielded the critical piece of information that identified Bin Laden’s personal currier which led the CIA to Bin Laden. Will a documentary on Obama hold him accountable for also violating the civil liberties of terrorists? He may not have tortured them, but instead killed them even if they were unarmed. He not only did this to foreign nationals, but U.S. born terrorists – first time in American history this happened.

The documentary spent a lot of time evaluating the outing of CIA operative Valarie Plame. Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was the fall guy. Incidentally, Libby was not convicted of outing Plame, but instead for lying under oath. Will an Obama documentary be just as critical of people in Obama’s administration lying under oath and to the general public? Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS targeting, NSA metadata collection, EPA targeting, DOJ targeting of journalists have all been one lie after another by the administration and many under oath. Sure, the outing of a CIA agent is serious, but so is the death of Americans and hundreds of Mexicans from these Obama administration gaffes. And just like the Bush administration the Obama administration is hiding behind executive privilege. No matter how you look at it, the scandals under Obama far outweigh those in the Bush and Cheney administration, yet no one is being held accountable. In fact, people who made mistakes have been promoted in the Obama administration. No one has even lost a job let alone gone to prison.

Sure, Cheney increased the power of the vice presidency, but Obama increased the power of the Presidency – in other words, both increased the power of the executive branch. But Obama’s power grab has been much more significant – moving unilaterally to pick winners and losers in industry, implementing emission standards, placing healthcare under the federal government, implementing immigration reform, implementing gun control, taking over student loans, implementing Czars and implementing education reform are just a few things moved under the power of the executive branch (very few passed Congress). If you do not like Obama, then you should not Cheney and vice versa – they are one of the same. In many regards Cheney’s view of the constitution is no different than Obama’s – Metadata is not a first amendment violation, going to war without the consent of Congress, hiding behind executive privilege, a strong executive branch, and so forth.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Obama Our Puppet in Chief

I don’t pay much attention to the news and politics anymore. It is extremely depressing. More often I do not know whether to laugh or cry. Syria is certainly no laughing matter, but the U.S. handling of the situation is really a political joke.

Does anyone see the irony? Democrats are pushing for war in Syria and Republicans want to stay out of the situation all together. This is just the opposite of Iraq, but let’s be clear Congress approved war in a bipartisan vote to intervene in Iraq. As a laissez-faire conservative or libertarian my views remain consistent – government interference in both domestic and foreign policy should be limited. There are just too many unknowns when we get involved in foreign conflicts and it usually comes back to haunt us in the long term. Most recently, we armed Libya opposition forces to overthrow Qaddafi. Then it was determined the same weapons used to arm the opposition forces were used by terrorists to target Westerners in the region including the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi. We have seen this time and time again throughout history. Afghanistan Taliban terrorists are using the same weapons the US gave them to fight the Soviets in the 80s against our troops today. Besides, in Syria, we really do not have a clear understanding of the opposition forces intentions. Many seem to have ties to terrorists and what may happen is that the new Syria government is worse than the present one. This, in itself, should make anyone hesitant to support the opposition forces and to arm them.

Another issue I do not understand is why is it we want to intervene only because the Syria government used chemical weapons. I mean, what difference does it make how the Syria government is committing genocide? So are we saying it is acceptable to cut the heads off innocent women and children so long as no chemical weapons are used? This makes no sense to me. Genocide is genocide and is happening around the globe, not just in Syria.

Another thing which makes no sense is Kerry’s claim that the US effort would be “unbelievably small” and no ground troops. Well then, how can anyone be sure the chemical weapons are completely removed or destroyed? And even if the chemical weapons are completely destroyed, does this mean the genocide will stop? No, it will continue, so what is the point? If a military intervention cannot stop the genocide, it is completely useless. Eliminating chemical weapons seems to be one small part of the problem.

Finally, this new option came up where Syria (with the help of Russia) will surrender its chemical weapons arsenal to the UN. Obama stated that this happened “partly due to the threat of military force”. This is bologna! Obama is being played by both Russia and Syria. Both Putin and Assad know Obama does not have the votes in Congress to go to war which makes this offer even more suspicious. Do we really believe Putin and Assad will cave to Obama? They may surrender a small arsenal of chemical weapons and keep the rest. Or Syria can surrender all of its chemical weapons to the UN and have Russia supply them a new stockpile. The fact we are negotiating with Russia over Syria should be telling. Russia should not be part of any US decision in foreign affairs. Russia is using deception to protect its interest in Syria and does not want any outside interference – UN or USA. And in the end, both Syria and Russia will get their way so the President can save face in the US because even his own party was souring on the idea to intervene in Syria.

Seriously, I do not know whether to laugh or cry. Obama is nothing more than a puppet being manipulated by Putin, Assad, and his own political Party.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Having it Our Way

When it comes to laws, I respect all laws that are decided by the people. I may not like the law, but since a majority of the people decided the law over legislators and courts the law is not political decided, but democratically decided. For instance, the people of Colorado recently legalized marijuana and placed a limit on campaign contributions. I am against these laws and although they conflict with federal laws, I prefer issues that are passed by referendum and decided by the people. I also prefer when these issue are decided on a state by state basis because they are controversial – this is the best way to compromise on these issues (same states will legalize marijuana while others will not).

A lot of people like to pick the laws they prefer regardless if they were decided by the people, the states, the federal government, or courts. I do not understand this because this is not Democracy. Sure, it would be nice for all policies to meet my criteria, standards, and ideology, but it is just not practical. And this is a big reason for polarity in this country, we expect everything to go our way and that is simply not realistic. For example, a lot of liberals are happy Colorado legalized marijuana and placed restrictions on campaign contributions. At the same time they are against laws passed by the people of other states that may place restrictions on stem cells, defend marriage between men and women, pass stricter voter ID laws, or pass stricter immigration policies. Yet, even though many of these laws do not conflict with federal law, people are against them solely because of their beliefs. People are impatient and unwilling to enforce the will of the people and therefore expect local, state, and federal legislators and courts to intervene and interfere against the will of the people. This is not democracy.

Case in point, gay marriage is a good example. Many people are outraged that the people of many states voted against gay marriage. Unwilling the uphold the will of the people, the courts intervened on the issue. Now the case is before the Supreme Court. It would be wrong for the courts to rule on this issue one way or the other. Many liberals are still outraged over the Supreme Courts unwillingness to interfere and overturn lower court rulings in the Dred Scott case. But the court was right to not interfere hence, slavery was abolished much faster than if the court did interfere. The Supreme Court, on the other hand, was wrong to interfere on abortion rights. This has led to 40 years of political fights simply because the courts would not let the people of each state decide the issue.

Over time, public opinion changes, and eventually gay marriage may pass a majority of states. In fact, in a decade or two legalization of gay marriage may have enough votes to become an amendment to the Constitution. Although it takes time to overcome stigmas and perceived injustices, it will happen if it is the will of the people. This happened for slavery, civil rights, and it happened for women’s rights. These all became amendments to our constitution and this is the right way to overcome controversial issue, not by having the courts and legislators interfere with the rights of the people.

Eventually, we may have legalized marijuana and gay marriage in our country. I may not fully agree with these issues, but if it is the will of the people and they become amendments to our constitution – who can argue with our great democratic system.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Symmetry and Government

We see symmetry every day in the form of humans, buildings, flora, and almost every living thing. Symmetric patterns are common in certain types of art. Symmetry can be seen on a large scale in the shapes of galaxies and on a small scale in the shapes of crystal structures, snowflakes, and atoms. And it is no surprise that symmetry is a common study in mathematical and scientific concepts and principals. Symmetries, to mathematicians, are defined as transformations that leave pictures, objects, or equations unchanged.

Symmetry allows us to find solutions to mathematical equations from algebraic to differential. Symmetry is important to material science and elasticity to study the behavior of solids and liquids. Symmetry is also important in our understanding subatomic particles such as quarks, string theory, and the theory of relativity. Incidentally, string theory is the study of all forces in nature. Symmetry plays a fundamental role in the applications of medical imaging and control theory used for both aircraft and satellite system designs.

Symmetry is important in genetic studies and in my field of analog to digital conversion. I was able to make a living studying the errors in analog to digital conversion systems. Some errors, such as superposition, are symmetrical, but the random errors are the ones that are hard to define and account for in designs.

Just as symmetry is important to understanding the universe, so is the study of the absence or loss of symmetry. When symmetry is broken chaotic behavior or dramatic consequences may occur. Chaos theory is a mathematical concept and is used to understand weather patterns for instance. Hence, symmetry is the reason for balance and stability in structures, atoms, and universes.

For this reason, when I look at an object, I use mathematics such as symmetry to define it, not words.

I view government as a transformation function acting on economies, peoples, and companies. Unfortunately, in my view of the world, government is attempting to break and destroy symmetries naturally created within our systems and way of life. In other words, the ultimate outcome of too much government interference (rules, mandates, regulations, and laws) is chaos on economies, but not because they have any effect on symmetry. Symmetry is maintained despite government interference attempting to transform the economic status of populations. But in doing so, the health of the government is deteriorating in terms of spending, debt, and deficits.

Let’s look at an example of the government’s attempt to rid society of poverty from 1967 to 2010. During this time government spending on social programs increased from 5.4% to 15.5% as a percentage of GDP. However, analyzing annual income over this same period of time, the number of people in each income bracket (under 25K, 25K to 50K, 50K to 75K, 75K to 100K, and over 100K) was within 5% each year resulting in a normal distribution for each income bracket (income is adjusted to current dollars for each year). This means the government’s attempt to rid poverty has done nothing to affect income brackets. However, the overall health of the government has deteriorated because they are going further into debt as they spend more on entitlement programs.

A normal distribution defines many economic conditions and has uses in everyday life. And normal distributions are, for the most part, symmetrical (yes, they can be skewed since it is nearly impossible to get a perfect distribution for any given set of data). Whether the government or liberals like it or not, the economic status in this country will fit, for the most part, a symmetrical normal distribution. And it will be impossible for the government to transform, alter, or skew a perfectly balanced and stable state defined by a normal distribution.

It is both the arrogance and ignorance of government which thinks it can transform perfectly stable and balanced symmetrical systems by throwing money at the issue. It is not much different than how the government thinks they can also overcome evolution (survival of the fittest) and climate change by throwing money at the issue. It may be unfortunate that people live in poverty, but there is not enough money to overcome this problem or transform income distributions.