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

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