Coping: There is No “Right” Party

imageAlas!

After yesterdays discussion of ways to improve the political process, we seem to have gotten exactly nowhere.

Critics of the Ure Plan, under which the candidates would huddle among themselves and spare us voters their egomaniacal histrionics forced me to review my thinking. 

That’s OK…I do it all the time myself.

The problem I come down to is that there is no political party today that endorses my platform.  Let me summarize it for you in just a couple of areas:

Economy

  • Honest money. 
  • Usury rate caps like we had in the 1950’s and 1960’s of 12% on all levels of credit.
  • A flat income tax with a rate of 15% with an exclusion of the first $20,000 gross per person.  Takes care of the poor, low income, and seniors.
  • Simplify the tax code and no special breaks for the hedgies, bondies, or any other capital class.
  • End long term gains.
  • Balanced or positive federal budget with no off-books accounting whatsoever.
  • No black budgets for anyone.  Everything can aggregate to “national security” or whatever, but let’s not lie to ourselves.
  • Install a tariff system to offset the wage-rate differential of other countries.  E.G. tariff Chinese goods to compensate American workers who lost their jobs to lower wage rate workers.  Otherwise, the rich play the spread and pocket the delta.
  • Require U.S. companies (like Apple and Microsoft) to maintain U.S. banking to avoid foreign tax shopping to avoid corporate income taxes.
  • Audit foreign country-allocated expenses to ensure expense allocations are real not imaginary.
  • Scale in a minimum wage increase to $13.00 per hour over five years.
  • Audit all government agency statistical reports for honesty and integrity by an outside audit group.
  • Audit the Fed and slowly reassert Congress’s constitutional money creation and issuance role.  Or, alternatively, eliminate all bank-owned influences at the Fed and install a public board of trustees who would first be vetted through a credential inspection and application process.

Phase each of these in over a 3-5 year period to prevent massive disruption.

Immigration

  • Remove all visitors who have no papers over a five year period.
  • Prioritize deportation based on criminal history.
  • Allow a reasonable path to citizenship.
  • Accept no UN dictates on immigration until all other UN members match our immigration numbers.
  • Build a meaningful wall with Mexico.

Social Issues

  • Drug screening for all welfare recipients for opiates, meth, etc.
  • Decriminalize recreational marijuana to roughly parallel terms to that most dangerous of all – alcohol.  
  • Adults (age 21) would be permitted 6 marijuana plants per person.
  • No sales, use (sharing) with those under 21 under similar legal penalties for giving/selling alcohol to minors.
  • Commute all jail terms for possession/use of up to 10 grams and expunge records.
  • Place realistic limits for THC blood levels roughly corresponding to the impairment of alcohol at state imposed limits.  Presently, insurance companies have managed to set impairment levels so low simply saying the word “dooby” two or three times would keep you from getting behind the wheel for a week.

There is more, of course.  The purpose of my idea doodles is only to illustrate that if each of us were to jot down what seems fair – and then shop for a political party – we would be disappointed in the lack of parties that actually embrace (in one party) the breadth of ideas listed.

The Ure Plan laid out Thursday got mixed reviews.  From a Texas attorney:

Today’s was the best column in a while, George. The Unity idea makes real sense as something that might actually work. And Pedro is why America has been great, and can be again. It warmed my heart to know we still have Pedros, especially in Texas, where everybody I know worries way more about where the USA is headed, than where Texas is headed. Maybe because we are so over the whole brown skin thing, compared to other states? Maybe because Texas is driven by continuous inflows of hard working people from all over, even other states of the Union?

But, for a former Wall Street bond guru:

The next Forty Years:

That’s how long the hangover will last if we get four or eight years of pure “corporate heavy” control of Congress and the White House.  If you want more Supreme Court decisions like Citizen’s United and Hobby Lobby that last until you and your children are dead, put the GOP in charge.

I would consider voting for the devil himself over Hillary, as he’s more candid about his agenda.  Bernie is an honest socialist, but I don’t endorse confiscatory government and gunpoint wealth redistribution to those not willing to work, or those who swamp the borders.

In the end, this is why I don’t run for office.

It’s easier to run for cover, or simply sit out here in the woods, live apart, and wait for the house of cards (and clowns) to all fall it.  Some day, my copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights will mean face value once again

I hope there will still be Ure family representatives around to enjoy that day, should it come.

With yesterday’s Fed decision, we are that much closer to the outcome being decided.

What is the Price of Consciousness?

This may seem like an odd question, but when you think about it, your mental focus and attention has a price – in good old dollars and cents.

This is something not widely discussed – if ever – in modern economic theory.  We index the prices of food, cars, homes, and physicality’s, yet when comes down to the price of life’s attention – we don’t measure crap.

There are usually two “bidders” on your attention:  The corporate/government/society on the one side, and your small voice/inner self on the other.

Pretty ethereal (but it’s Friday, so slack, please).  But there’s a practical side to the question of “What is your attention worth?” and it jumped out of this email//whine from Oilman2:

OK – last night I wanted to watch Ironman 3. It was on the F/X network, so I started watching it. Now, to be fair, I watch more Netflix and Hulu than anything else. Netflix has no commercials; on Hulu, there is a way to F-Fwd past them.

I was so sick of the commercials – not just quantity and idiot quality, but the repeats.

So, I timed it.

On this network, the movie played for 7 minutes followed by 5 minutes of commercials. That is 42% of the time spent “watching a movie” is actually watching the same commercials in different sequences. Only 58% of the time was actual movie viewing. So to watch a 2-hour movie requires 50 minutes of commercials, or else the movie is edited into 7-8 minute bites and large chunks left on the digital floor.

George, it is approaching 50/50 at this point.  So in my view, if you are actually “watching TV” in America on a network or cable, you must be brain dead or a transhuman or just completely under hypnosis 24/7.

I will continue to pay for streaming so that I can ditch the commercials – my time viewing and NOT WATCHING COMMERCIALS is certainly worth the amount  they charge for Netflix and Hulu. Further, I can watch a whole series when I want – as long as I am willing to wait a few months. Since I only watch a couple of series and the rest is weekend movies, I figure I might run out of unseen content if I live to be, oh, like, 97 maybe?

Anyway, easy to see why networks will die. Between falsified, omitted and ignored news stories, ‘reality’ programs and the commercial volume they are running – it’s no wonder folks are opting to pay for Redbox, Netflix, Hulu and other options.  Sorry – I just haven’t watched networks in over 4 years. I had no idea it had deteriorated this badly this quickly.

Oilman2

While I’m still working on getting my first real novel out the door and up onto Amazon, I would suggest there is a fine novel in all this somewhere.  Picture the forces of good and evil as coming down to a bidding war for your attention.

You’d have T&A, flashy bling, beats, gross, captivating beauty – and more – on the side of evil.  And all you’d have bidding on the other side is the small voice in your head.

Near as I can figure it, Oilman2 has just experienced his inner voice figuring out how intense the attack has become.

Elaine and I watch a lot of shows on Amazon that run $1.99 for 44 minutes of entertainment.  That’s $2.71 per hour.

When we get sucked into a movie, like the one of Steve Jobs we watched last night, it’s about 90 minutes for $6.99.  Or, $4.66 per hour.

Elaine and I have made the decision that we will not give away our attention in return for advertising.  Which is why we still have FTA TV and streaming, along with iHeart radio..which allows us to flip channels when ads come on.

The quiet voice is important and we shouldn’t have to “rent back peace and quiet” – but like crime, drugs, property ownership, and damn near everything else in America, we have managed to monetize everything – including and especially people’s “down time” that used to be filled with more thoughtful reflection.

And library books.

Ig Nobel? Yes, this is Progress

There’s a great (fun) website out there called Improbable Research which each year awards the “Ig Nobels” for research in science that makes people laugh.

At last night ceremonies, for example, one prize was in chemistry for “…for inventing a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg.”  The other awards are listed here, too.

Although improbable research seems ‘way out there’ at times, things like “unboiling an egg” are really important.  Why?  Because you never know when unboiling an egg will be called for.

What most people don’t realize – and won’t until they have them (and I’ve had cataracts removed from both eyes – is that vision problems caused by cataracts are roughly analogous to the “egg unboiling” problem.  The normally “clear” part of the eye becomes cloudy – partially “cooked” by proteins. 

While fun, the implications of even strange research are amazing if you’re into the large contexts of life.

On a more serious note…

Nobel Regret

Since the story is now mainstream, it’s now OK to pass on to your Obama supporting friends that even people involved in the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama have second thoughts.

When expressed shock and dismay previously, I was labeled (by our pack of trolls around here) as a racist, anti-establishment blah-blah.

Not one of these trolls and self-appointed guardians of Truth (but only as they approve it) has written to apologize.  Nor am I holding my breath.

My point then – as now – is NOT racist or anything petty of the sort.  It was an assessment based on data.

There was no data to support such an award then, nor is there data to support such an award now.

Ask any of those young, mostly military-aged Muslim men who are invading Europe right now, under the guise of being refugees.  Driven by the ill-advised Obama administration policies that promote a global attack on borders and the breakdown in order in order to create chaos from which (you figure it out) will arise in the resulting power vacuum.

 

Be sure and drop by Monday.  Peoplenomics tomorrow looks at an odd worry:  The possible loss of the Great Lakes.

Write when you break-even,

George   george@ure.net

Comments

Coping: There is No “Right” Party — 13 Comments

  1. please watch youtube video:
    Jorge Ramos: This is why Trump’s plan to build a border wall Is absurd.
    (sorry I can’t paste the link correctly)…he mentions that China had more immigrants to the u.s., plus 40% of immigrants come by plane….and how about limiting number of people that an ‘anchor person’ can import legally?

    How about no job firings for marijuana in your system (you can test positive for a joint smoked 3 weeks ago)…

    you better start cleaning house at home and replace your deck with Elaine’s hair money plus skip a few cruises…

  2. Oilman…Noticed the same thing, as I watch old TV series at times. Back in 1955, Gunsmoke for example,a half hour episode averaged 26 minutes, including the lead-in. Jump to the eighties, one hour Star Trek:TNG, also including lead-in, averages a few seconds more than 45 minutes. Todays 1 hour, with lead-in averages 43 minutes, 22 seconds. I guess ‘inflation’ is everywhere.

  3. Compensation for one’s labor is not “income” despite the claim otherwise. There is no gain exchanging one’s labor for money. If you think I am wrong you are wrong.

  4. Re: Ig Nobels

    I would ferverently hope the “unboiling an egg” research might lead to eyedrops that would remove floaters from the vitreous humor. Probably wouldn’t be feasible, unless there was a way to “tell” the solution which proteins to target, but maybe that’s what nanobots are for.

  5. Re: European invasion. It may be worrisome in a different way. My thinking is that the young, mostly military-aged Muslim men who are leaving the middle east are wisely escaping conscription/murder by any of the factions in the many conflicts. They have means and ability to survive the hardships.
    Like immigrants to the US of years ago, young men they leave their wives and babies in the care of their elders while they make the trip, then send for them once they have made a place. Of course, though, there ARE elements amongst them that will try to stir things up and push the desperate to even more damaging acts, so screening is important, and really has to be done.
    My fear is that the women and children, weakened by the journey, will fall ill and bring some contagions, possibly deliberately released, to greater Europe.
    Hungary/greater EU should have spent the money, not on a wall/fence, weapons, fire hoses, and bad will, but on organized entry processing stations offering humane treatment and a real chance to screen and attend to the migrants. Lost opportunity to create good will and do the right thing.
    At any rate, not much to do for me but watch it unfold through the channels of the intertubes, and marvel at how inept and short sited organizations like governments can be.

  6. “A flat income tax with a rate of 15% with an exclusion of the first $20,000 gross per person. Takes care of the poor, low income, and seniors.” you live in some different place $20K in most places is about chump change and won’t even get you a decent apartment. IF you said it was on EARNED income – I’ll be right with you.

    “Require U.S. companies (like Apple and Microsoft) to maintain U.S. banking to avoid foreign tax shopping” – the answer to that is simple – they become foreign businesses maintaining an office in the US.

    “Scale in a minimum wage increase to $13.00 per hour over five years.” mandate inflation – is that the goal – you KNOW that mandating minimum wage is just inflation and the only winner is the government in collecting more taxes – starting with sales tax on the increased cost of goods and services – not to mention those folks that will be laid of or not now hired.

    “Audit all government agency statistical reports for honesty and integrity by an outside audit group.
    Audit the Fed and slowly reassert Congress’s constitutional money creation and issuance role. Or, alternatively, eliminate all bank-owned influences at the Fed and install a public board of trustees who would first be vetted through a credential inspection and application process.” we are talking about the U.S. government – thank you for the laugh of the day.

    “Build a meaningful wall with Mexico.” In England they called it Hadrian’s wall – and it worked as long as it was manned by the Roman Legions who were serious about no one getting past – back then they would stab them with swords or skewer them with spears – we could use bullets.

    “Some day, my copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights will mean face value once again” . . . No it (they) won’t – because in 220 years – no other people on the planet have taken them up to use them – and we have thrown them away.

  7. In reference to you thought on raising the minimum wage to $13 / hr over the next 5 years, would you also consider the same percentage raise in social security payments to us geezers or do we just suffer the slings and arrows of the inflation such an minimum wage increase would cause?

  8. Hi George,
    I noticed the prevalence of unqualified references in news broadcasts a long time ago and it still bugs me. The one that catches my ear the most is, “It is believed… (insert programming here)”
    Believed by whom? Me as the viewer? This one statement, delivered by the talking heads regularly, is insidious in its effects.
    It bothers me that it seems go unnoticed by most people and when I have brought up the topic, I’m told I am cynical or reading too much into things.
    I have tried to search instances of “It is believed” without much luck but did run across a service called Snapstream that offers a searchable television closed-caption database. I just can’t afford the $499 entry level access cost. I would love to know how many times a day/week/month that phrase is delivered and in what contexts.
    It is believed that tempered cynicism backed by research and data can help reveal the lies.
    Best wishes,
    Derek in Northern Alberta

  9. “Driven by the ill-advised Obama administration policies that promote a global attack on borders and the breakdown in order in order to create chaos from which (you figure it out) will arise in the resulting power vacuum.”

    Are you sure Obama himself (and his advisers) crafted this or are there other powers behind the scene who are controlling this? Does Obama or any one else who occupies his post have the option to say “NO” without repercussions? If not then we are missing who the real devil is when you talk like that.

  10. I concur with the Oilman regarding the objectionable level of advertising on lamestream t.v. One of the first jobs I had in life was trying to sell what was then a new concept – cable television. The advantage was supposed to be that once you paid for a subscription, you no longer had to view commercials. You can see how that idea worked out.

    We stopped watching regular television years ago because we refuse to pay to watch the commercials. An exception is mainstream news, Jeapardy, and football. No excuse, it just is what it is. I really like the Chinese news because of the comprehensive coverage with zero commercials.

    Anyway, I recently watched the 10th anniversary show of “America’s Got Talent,” because I had never seen it before. I’ve never watched an entire episode of any of those competitive shows like Survivor, The Great Race, Ninja Warrior, Dancing With the Stars, etc., etc. I am appalled at the vulgar soul-sucking lack of ethics, empathy or cooperation that has over-taken the collective consciousness. It is as sickening to me as the commercials.

    So, I’ll just watch series like The Blacklist on 4 disks all at once and 325 movies per year on Netflix, thank you very much. BTW, I haven’t stepped foot inside a Walmart for close to twenty years either. We vote with our time, our attention, and our money.

  11. “The quiet voice is important and we shouldn’t have to “rent back peace and quiet” – but like crime, drugs, property ownership, and damn near everything else in America, we have managed to monetize everything – including and especially people’s “down time” that used to be filled with more thoughtful reflection. And library books.”

    We don’t watch normal tv stations and haven’t in years, G. The last time my kids watched anything televised was PBS when they cared about Thomas the Train and Sesame Street (boy, THAT one had radically changed since I was a kid. Ick!). That has been about 4 years ago. We only watch DVD’s anymore if we want to burn 2 hours of time.

    My kids READ BOOKS! We got a slew of kid friendly series for them. It takes up precious space, but my kids understand words larger than two syllables and use interesting words to describe things. While my son’s friends are saying something is fun and silly, my kids are saying, “how hysterically amusing!” They don’t always know what a word means, so they look it up in a *gasp* dictionary. Yes, they know how to use them. They’re 7 and 9 respectively and are considered high ability kids. I don’t think they’re especially gifted, but their brains and bodies are nurtured whereas too many kids these days are simply half-assed babysat. They are bored in regular classrooms anymore. Responsibility comes from the nurturer and will be passed on. Just as the welfare queen passes on their nasty habits, responsible parents will do the same and hopefully, help their offspring be the type of people who can be good citizens.

    This is how we are at home. Unfortunately, Grandma was raised in a time where everyone was let to believe a pill will cure anything and watches cable TV for hours at a time and can’t really account for anything useful about it. When my kids go for a weekend visit, she let’s them watch the cartoons for kids. I don’t like it, BUT at least she will screen the shows for things we don’t like (obnoxious kid attitude, language, excessive crap that young kids shouldn’t really see like violence).

    It’s a real pain in the ass on Sunday-Monday when they have to be deactivated from Grandma’s “cable”.

  12. Dear George,
    I want to say thank you so very much first off.. I had asked you what you thought would be the only logical way out for The USA and pretty soon the URE PLAN emerged.. It is exactly what I thought.. now for my second question on the URE plan.. Do you think that Congress will act on it? or do you think Corporate america and the special interest Lobbyists have to deep seated control over our governing and judicial system. I recently seen a post on FB that when you started reading it first I was confused and irritated at the stupidity of the whole article. it was right out of Adolph’s second book.. and even though it was obviously all false that even a grade school checking of the facts would show up that it was all false and misleading to the point of being comical to promote hatred and discontent it was widely spouted as fact and accepted as fact by a lot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBjelRDKHUk
    Thinking about that and then the logic of the URE PLAN we see what is needed to be done as a public but for some ungodly reasons we will tend to buy into the misleading rhetoric of the governing politicians.
    I still don’t understand why they all get reelected into office even though they are all evaluated at the bottom rung on the scales as to whether or not anyone approves or any confidence in how they are performing their jobs.

  13. Your immigration plank: How about 12 months to self deport and take all their gains with them? After that asset forfeiture split between whoever turns them in and law enforcement. Those who self deport get a number to apply for legal reentry. Those who are turned in don’t get one.

    Simple.

    Best

    Steve