Thursday, January 2, 2014

Here are the LAP New Year “Revolutions”





  Being this a advocacy for political change blog, It is only fitting that I set some points for change that I would like to see us work towards in the coming years.

A Different Type Of Marriage Authorized 
1) It is time to marry the ideas on the "Declaration of Independence" and the "Constitution".   It is time to acknowledge that the document that men looked at and agreed it was worth risking their lives for, the ones the soldiers of the revolution signed upon committing service, is just as valid and important as the ones politicians in a time of slavery, sexism, racism, and treating natives like animals crafted in a political environment with not much different than exist today and with less than half of the voices we consider to be valid today. What that means is the laws of nature (for which we have discovered much about since 1776) and “God” (for which we have found a lot of flaws in the idea since 1776) should be reassessed and added to the constitution.   The line “Life, Liberty, and Happiness” should be seen as more than just ideas, but considered the “mission statement”/ the “product” for which our legislators are to be guided by.  The statement “that all men are created equal” doesn't mean that they remain that way.  That this is an acknowledgement that we are born “blank slates” and that the things both public and private influence the behaviors of “men” between that birth and their death.  By mentioning this in this context, it means that the community/ government/ policy makers have an obligation to be vigilant of those things that influence the people they become, to make sure they are equally enlightened and therefore free.  The point, in plain English, too many US citizens are born into the inequality associated with poverty and other social ills. Place of birth, method of education, and family environment are all means of creating inequality. An obvious understanding that Paris Hilton has a far great chance at success than a kid born to a crack addicted mother in the projects.  These inequalities make it harder to attain “life, Liberty, and happiness” for all.  


Guns, Slaves, and Paranoia
2) It is time to throw out the 2nd amendment for the barbaric, archaic and destructive piece of …… legislation that it is. As pointed out above, we are only granted rights given by either nature or god that make us equal.  Since none of us are born with guns, it is safe to assume neither nature nor god intended us to have them.  They gave us a voice, so it seems freedom of speech makes sense to some extent.  Guns, do not. There is nothing “god given” about a gun. The reason for the 2nd amendment was to that militias could chase slaves down and being them back to slavery.  We ended slavery because it was ludicrous, might as well end the “enforcement” policy that enabled it.  The Buddhist have a philosophy that states basically that “if your mission is one of war, then bring tools of war and close your mind to enemy assault. If your mission is one of peace, then bring tools of peace and open your mind to compromise.” Since we have adopted the mission statement of “domestic tranquility” it means that weapons and paranoia are wrong and even adversarial tools for the goal. Time to start working them out of our society. Deaths, rapes, robbery, intimidation, suicide, and assaults are all negative results of our access to guns. The fact that we, not living in 1776, where a drive across a state line took days and had a risk of life and limb, anymore and the ability to get guns into a "gun free zone" is simpler than an Asian Carp getting into the Great Lakes. Time to wage war on war. 

Lawyers Validating Lawyers Is Like Liars Validating Liars
3) It is time to disband the Supreme Court. The idea of lawyers reviewing the decision of other lawyers seems to be counterproductive. They are going to come up with the most lawyerly decisions.  Which, most of us understand means the highest paid and most self-serving decision.  While separation of church and state is a good idea, and necessary for common good, the combination of science and state is in the best interest of public and future well-being.  In its place, we should establish a board of science and philosophy.  One that addresses policy issues based not on the outdated documents of centuries ago, but of one that considers the most up to date understanding of what brings peace, life, health, and prosperity to the community as a whole.   Using the latest understanding of biology, sociology, psychology, economics, ecology, diplomacy, and physics they access the logic and reasoning behind the intent of each policy.  Individual rights are theirs and theirs alone so long as those rights remain inside the house of the individual and those they are responsible for or answerable to.  When those behaviors spill outside those walls, they must be considered for the full impact that they example plays upon the community as a whole.  If a policy is deemed to be supportive of behavior that inhibits life, liberty, or happiness will gain no public endorsement.  In many cases, that doesn't mean punishment or repercussions for it, just no endorsement.  We understand that screaming “fire” in a crowded theater takes away from liberty and happiness, so should other public proclamations that are not scientifically sound.  Enabling or encouraging individuals to continue bad behaviors, is not in the best interest of the community, certainly not openly. The staple of determining what is dysfunctional or bad behavior should be that if you wouldn't condone your teenager to do it in front of you, then it is something that you know internally that it is wrong.  That sense of "right and wrong" is naturally instilled in most of us by nature or god.  The science and philosophy board is to apply the science to the mission statement on all policies challenged. Lower courts are determined legality of issues.


   I would say that these are big enough for one year.  We will see how much headway we make on them by next New Year.   The core of these “revolutions” are that we acknowledge that it is no longer 1776 any longer.  That we no longer live on self-sustaining family farms and/ or small communities.  We no longer live mostly silent, individual lives, where we were all stay at home parents, passing our philosophy on next generation free from media, school, and ever changing peer groups.  That the effects uncovered by Zimbardo in the “Stanford Prison Experiment” about “group think” has a much more powerful role and influence than it did back then.  The things we say and do in public have a direct effect upon the children of other hard working parents.  When we come to terms with the fact that we now live in a global commune, we can start working to repair the damage denying that reality has caused.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What Do We Openly Value In The US? Dispoble Heros?

(This was written to my FB connections.  The message still resonates even without that connection.) 

This post will be by far the most offensive one I have ever written. But most of the people reading my FB posts are friends and family who are stuck with me. That being the case, you can still make donations to buy my a newer 48' Hans Christian. Make donation checks payable to “Foundation for ridding American psyche of cognitive dissonance by casting out logic, reason, and science”.

Ok, do me a favor. Look over your FB feed for the past 48 hours. Look upon it not as yourself, but as an outsider to this country. Judge what you see to be an extension of the things we value. “What do Americans value above all else?” Judge the people that get mentioned or pictures posted by the reason they are mentioned. (Hint, a lot of pics of soldiers that last couple of days.) Judge their job not by the warm emotional feelings associated with the term, but by the job description.. I'll give you a second to go do that...... OK, what would an outsider see about about US society and its values? Would they see it value its engineers and their dedication to advancing life saving technology? Would they seen scientist valued for expanding our understanding of the world and reality. Would an outsider see us commending the dedication of a doctor, who sacrificed 12 yrs of his life to , not getting drunk and foreign countries and buying hookers with his buddies, but endless boring study, labor, and constant threat of failure. For a few years the doctor even works for free! When he is done he has a bill bigger than the 3 times the cost of most of our houses. Do you see that in your feed? How about fire fighters or police officers who run toward danger with a mission to bring everybody out alive, no matter who they are? How about the teachers. We contribute DNA to create our children's bodies, but they contribute knowledge and enlightenment that creates their personality. Often in a teacher is a life raft in a sea of malice, bullying, and of social Darwinism that exist in the hallways of our public schools. When was that last time you saw somebody post a picture of “My Teacher”. How about the factory worker, a good one, who is a iconic example of dedication and hard work. Ideas are great, but you need somebody to make them a reality. How about the architect and carpenters who build these things where all your great memories are made. As a government employee maintaining a very important information system, I save lives every day. We have a < 0% acceptance of loss. So it is mundane and hardly seems worth is on most days to take care of the backup system to the backup system. We have only the safest NAS in the world to kind of reflect our efforts. If you, as 95% of the rest of the world does, looked upon your feed, what is the job description of the people honored.

Here is why this is so important to me that I risk public and family ridicule. “You all”, and the commune (aka community) are all purveyors of a massage that is creating my daughter's personality whether I want you to or not. Already she know “Michigan sucks” and “The Steelers suck”. I didn't teach her that. Social forces taught her that. She doesn't even know what it means. She now has a predisposition against Michigan. What if a school or a job later in life calls her that way. Yes the subconscious it that powerful, especially to those who believe it isn't. The people reading this post are very close to me and thus her. I want my daughter to value education, technology, science, hard work, dedication, all human life (enemies included), non-violence, and independent thinking for herself. I want her to reject blind faith and “patriotism”. But she will never go to a football game and hear, “Let's have all the psychological researchers stand up! We thank you for teaching us about ourselves. To move towards a more peaceful and enlightened society.” She will never be at church and hear, “Let's pray today that the engineers that are working on life saving tissue and organ replacements are safe and successful.”. In our society she will never witness those traits I value being publicly highlighted. It is rare we see things like life long commitments, nonviolent sacrifice, or compassion honored in grand format. “The parade to commemorate the people who never got divorced.” We all seek social acceptance (well except maybe me. Blame it on my ADD... sail.), and we all look to mimic those we see getting it. So I need, feel obliged for the success of Cecelia’s growth, to chastise the US as a society. You are threatening to misguide my daughter. Stop it. I know this is a losing battle, but I have never fought any other kind.

Here is a truth about a capitalist society. If you create something, it cost money. If something cost, you now have a vested interest in using it. We have to be able to justify the cost, to get an ROI. Often times we seek to make sure our investment is justified. If that investment is your son or daughter's life, you seek even more intently. So if you create a soldier, you have a vested interest in creating an army. If you create an army, you have a vested interest in going to war. If you have people paying you and you are just sitting around, people start to wonder why they are paying you. (Ask any of my prvious and current bosses.) The reality is that if we spent as much on creating doctors and hospitals to combat health problems, we would save millions of American lives each decade and solved nearly every physical and emotional ailment. If we spent half the money we do on defense on training engineers and scientist, we would have our energy problems sustainably solved and be working on a way to reach another planet. Instead we train soldiers, build armies, and facilitate war, then claim we are a peaceful “Christian” nation. Then we honor the mess we made as if it were something unavoidable.
OK, like I said, all those who think, “This dude should get out of this country if he doesn't like this one!” (Thus missing the point but, oh well). Send me a message. I will tell you where you can post the donations to. I am currently $996,345 short of the money I need to get the boat and stock it to get underway. :D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCsH1g5ZESk

Saturday, October 12, 2013

“Doomsday Preppers”, Self-Fulfilling Prophecies, and Shutdowns.

Oh the places we will go... 
      This is one of those post that I am not sure which place I should have included it.  I have two different approaches to writing to each of the two blogs.  Both are hoping to get what I rarely do, which is comments. But, "The Human System" is written in a way that is meant to be observatory, insightful, and invite comments. Here, on LAP, I try to be inciting, aggressive, and very opinionated. Under the current conditions, I realize this is a very political issue, and the level of insanity has become a problem, not merely and observation.  So, it ended up here. 

"Shut-Down, Go Ahead and Give It To Me.." 
     So as I write this, we are again in a government in "shutdown" status. Now I would love to be my normal dismissive self and say this is just an overstatement, people making a large mountain out of something trivial.  But, the bigger danger here is making something trivial out of an entire mountain range. For good or for ill the US has a unique role in this world. What it does has impact beyond even its population and voters. The world isn't watching the GDP of Tunisia to determine how their markets are going to go.  No one is measuring the the rupee against the shilling. Countries falling into civil war are not calling upon Russia, China, or even Great Britain or France.  They call upon the US,  and that is the position we have obligated ourselves to take.  For years we have beat our chest as being a "Super Power" and then "the only remaining Super Power". Well what is the quote from "Spider Man".  "With great power comes great responsibility."  Guess what? We are not acting very responsible.

     Part of the reason there are those who can irresponsibly hold the government hostage is because we are bandaging the effects of what would really happen if the US government, a government over a people who have no concept of what it means to be "self sustainable", no idea of what the world looks like without a government, without civility of a real "shut down". As in turn the switch off and go home.  The problem is that, like a steel furnace or a nuclear reactor, if you shut it down completely and for too long, you can not restart it.  But like children unaware of the consequences of playing with matches, there is a faction in congress and politics in general that are like undisciplined children.  They are ignorant to the possibility of the things that they do.  They test the boundaries of what they have been told.  Striking match after match and saying, "see the house didn't burn down."

"Dooms Day Preppers" and Cognitive Dissonance
  This is were the debate over which blog this post belongs on stems from.  The utter lack of understanding of the situation we are put in by not continuing and fixing as we go along leave me wondering "what psychology is driving this doctrine? It is most obviously dysfunctional."  Turns out I don't have to look any further than myself and my family to gain that understanding.

   I remember the first (and last) time I saw an entire episode of "Doomsday Preppers".  I thought, They made a show out of my childhood?  For those of you old enough to remember the movie (I think they just remade it too.) "Red Dawn", that was more like a documentary of events not yet happened to  me. I think I was 10 yrs old when I first realized that not everybody had a gun in their front door, loaded and ready... for, you know, when the Russians come.  We canned, and planted, and fished, target practiced, reloaded our own bullets, and stored things in bulk. My dad watched (and still does) every episode of 60 min. We watched "the day after" as if it were a biblical prophecy, and speaking of which Armageddon was the most commonly quoted text in the bible. I didn't help that at school, I started at the end of the "duck and cover" campaign that just scared the living crap out of us. My parents generation was the first to totally leave the home, go to work, and send us off to that jungle of public school to get trained in social Darwinism .  They worked hard and did make our lives better than they had it.  But that came at a cost of not teaching us to be bested, shake it off, and win the next time.  We had to win every time! We were guarded from reality of life and that didn't teach us to think rationally.  The media we saw was flooded with this ever present reminder of "The Russians" and the cold war, and the nuclear threat. So we got transferred (which is often amplified) anxiety from our parents experience in 1945 and combined with this artificial protection from consequences for our actions.  The connection of humanity to each other and how our actions impact the lives of everybody from coast to coast and around the world was diminished. Instead we started this "us and them" and "enemy" mentality.  First against other countries and now against each other. If this were the psych blog, "The Human System" I could go on into the depths of this a very long post. But for LAP, it is just gonna have to be enough to say we have a section of people who are unable to accept a political loss and move on, that view these losses as "The end of the world" and fight as if some movie plot against all hope, to the bitter end, even evoking irrational and immoral tactics to "win".

  Watching this "doomsday Preppers" show, I was amazed that people like that still not only exist, but are not mocked and ridiculed into obscurity. It turns out that this paranoia is good business.  Not just the small potatoes stuff of a few people overloaded with guns and ammo, growing a few vegetables in their front lawn, and thinking that will suffice for survival when the zombie apocalypse comes. There is money in selling RV's and water makers. But the real money is in the politics of these people. What happens a person who makes a public assertion as if it is truth it is that from the moment the first one utters a paranoid conspiracy about poor people or the end of the world, to the moment they buy their first related item, to the moment they are support a political candidate is a progression.  One driven by the"Self-fulfilling prophecy" as Freud called it.


The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Doomed To A Dysfunctional Ideology
"A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior." Now a self-fulfilling prophecy requires at least two people. The Believer and the perceiver.  The Believer can hold a belief all he wants. Resolution of cognitive dissonance is easy if the belief is not known outside the believer's mind. They have no more constraints than a dream as long as nobody else knows. (Yes this is going to get that heavy for a second. Bear with me.) But, once the believer states it publicly they now have a set of constraints that must be observed and held in check by the perceiver if the believer is to remain valid. In a nutshell once you say something out loud, you then have a bias to encourage that to happen so people don't think you are a liar or crazy.  Nobody wants to be wrong, and as I pointed out above, we are not teaching our children how to be wrong, admit it, accept it, and move on. The attempt to rectify cognitive dissonance in an attempt to prove our beliefs to others, results in some pretty irrational behaviors and assertions. This comes by way of exaggerating the benefits and minimizing the consequences and opportunity costs. (Hopefully I didn't lose too many of you there.)

  So, when you have a few people, that become a movement that say, "my dad said we would live to see doomsday" out loud, they now have committed to a vested interest in seeing that is accurate.. even if they have to make it so themselves. And they are.  This movement of people cling to irrational beliefs as examples of the government not working.  Then they use that to elect people to make sure the government doesn't work. Evidence can be seen in "issues" such as "the birther movement", the Patriot Act, two manifest wars that didn't solve anything, and making mountainous public issues out of what used to be small incidence such as those in Benghazi. Also not making enough out of big issues such as global climate change. Facts, science, and natural understanding goes out the window when the sole drive is to justify an unrealistic belief. This is why there is validity when people observe "religion has caused more wars than any other issue." This movement has found financiers who manipulate and control them through the media.  These financiers have monetary interest in things like fossil fuels, wars for profit, and wage disparity. These media outlets just feed this paranoid desire by giving them information (or rather misinformation) in a form that look like it is backed with science, reason, and logic. Those that want to believe get no pleasure from questioning their own beliefs. So they are hopelessly doomed to this dysfunctional ideology.

Reality, The Race Is On.
   The reality that human civility is such a fragile arrangement.  The fabric that separates us from other societies that are less civilized and from the natural world that is uncivilized is so thin its transparent. Civilization exists strictly upon "gentleman's agreements".  We agree to take sheets of cloth and trinkets in exchange for the fruits of our labor and the dedication of our time.  We agree to obey laws.  we agree to support judges and jailers when those laws are broken.  We agree to allow those that the group elects to govern us even when we, the individual, did not support that election. "E pluribus unum" out of many opinions we arrive at one agreed upon one decision.   And at our highest level of governance, we agree to procedure and  systematic tradition in order to maintain... order. But it takes men (and women) to do that. Adults, not children. The reality is that we could go on to fix things, make the system better, right the wrongs, and find a civilized, advanced version of world peace. But just as easily, if not with less effort, we could bring this system down like a house of cards.  We could fall back into a civilization that looks more like the tribal regions of Pakistan than the advance society of the US.   We could devolve. Imagine having a house of cards in a room filled with kindergartners on recess.  You spend much more time trying to protect the existing structure than you do strengthening and improving it. This is the conditions in which Washington DC has become accustomed to in recent years.  Only, unlike thousands of years ago when we were still emerging into this form of civility that we know today, we now have the ability to destroy the entire world for all living things. We have the ability to fulfill the prophecy of doomsday. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

The King, The Capitalist, and The Act Of War

A representative comes to a small south pacific island community to petition the King for the authorization to set up a commercial fishing business for his large international company. The king asks what the benefits of letting him set up business will bring to his people. I offer to pay taxes on the catch. I will offer to pay his fishermen more than they make in a day already. The rep explains with his advanced techniques, he will be able to offer the fish at market for less than the current price. The king thought for a moment and said. “I will give you 2 hours to get off my island or I will have you arrested for an act of war against my people” The business rep was confused. “An act of war, I bring nothing but offerings of good fortune to your people as I just explained. The king explained, “many of my fishermen have fished these waters for more than 15 generations. They are free to catch what they need to feed their family and sell at market to get their other needs met. The choice and decisions are driven by their personal wants and needs. Now you want to come in and reduce the price they will get at market by selling your lower priced fish. They will have to work harder, compete against your technology, and spend less time with their family to get the same results. Unable to compete with your technology and marketing tactics, many may feel the pressure to join your operation where they are now subservient to you. You will require them to work longer hours for you to have a product to sell half way around the world. They will earn a better wage which will cause their purchasing power to go up and create a disparity between the company fishermen and the other members of the community. The price the company fishermen are willing and able to pay for all other goods will rise and thus cause the price to rise. All of the other citizens will feel a negative impact. As my community grows dependent upon your company, you will use this to leverage lower taxes and leave my people with reduced schools and medical access. The lower price of fish will cause fish to be more affordable than the chicken, pork, or lamb that are also available to my people. Those that raise that livestock will find it harder to compete in the market. They too will have to work harder and go without. This will eventually and progressively cause a separation. That disparity will surely cause a rift amongst my people. That rift will cause unrest and possible civil war among my people. So, as I said, your offer is an act of war and you have now only an hour and 50 min to leave my kingdom. “

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Rich Get Richer Part 2.: A More Fair And Natural System

This presumes you read part 1.

This is the second story mentioned in “The rich get richer” post. This one removes the forces of money, interest and capitalism. It instead focuses on the labor part of the equation. Where the version of the story concentrated on an auction outside the bakery, this time we concentrate on the inside workings of the bakery. It shows how, when that is removed, a more natural driving force of creativity and invention results. It is a much shorter story where charts won't be required. (But I could if you really want one.



Back at the bakery

So, we return to our bakery. The same set up as in the previous post. A baker makes bread for a community of 10 families. All 10 have a single provider, and require one loaf of bread a day. The 10 people are exactly the same in every way. In this case though, the baker needs 5 people to work for one feverish hour every day. The work is hard and draining, but everybody is capable of doing it. He pays a loaf of bread to every laborer who works. The baker has a short term memory problem and can never remember from day to day who worked for him. (This is to remove an prejudicial treatment or cronyism from the equation.) So every morning, he opens up the back door and has all 10 pick numbers from a hat. The first 5 come and work for their bread. The baker represents all the possible employment in the system. The bread represents the basic needs to have a socially acceptable “humble” lifestyle in the community. Those who are strong and motivated will get picked the next day or the next day, just so long as they are there.



Innovation in a capitalist system you say?

US style capitalism is great for solving a problem once. (Take a gas engine or A/C current for example.) After that, even if you come up with a better idea, the buy in is so overwhelming. People who are profiting from the old system are motivated to make that truth even more so. The options for powering our vehicles are numerous, the ability to power our house with wind and solar are available, but they are too costly from most people. Plus, we have been conditioned to believe using them makes us different, weird. “That guy is driving a hybrid.. what a pussy!” “I don't want to see my neighbors windmills from my house!” or “ you want to live in a smaller house or on a boat and work a few hours a week to provide your needs?” Capitalism will not suffer this mentality, It needs to germinate consumers and overly reward the competitors.



The “innovation” in a natural system comes from the people who didn't get picked. With an extra hour and an extra incentive, they distract themselves from their hungry belly. Or it comes from those who did, but with free time and a passion, they used the other 23 hours to invent an airplane, light source, telephone in their garage. They have their bread, they have their strength, they just need some meaning in their life. The community prospers, evolves, and moves forward as one.



Disability

Any inequality is provided by nature. It sucks, that is the reality, but if you are born with no arms, you are not going to be able to pick a number. You will probably remain a burden on your family or taken care of by the community for the duration of your life. That is a true disability. (In our culture the inability to contribute even with some normally crippling disadvantages has been reduced.) A just and fair culture will have to decide what to do with their physically and mentally disadvantaged. That is what makes us human and not like the other animals. Though I look around and wonder if that is true these days.



Welfare system for the unlucky, not the lazy.

Currently the capitalist welfare system rewards people for making bad decisions. Make no mistake that it is because places like Wal-Mart and McDonald's benefit from that situation. Likewise China is raking in the US wealth because of it. There wealthy have always found benefit in keeping slaves and indentured servants. It doesn't not (more do the people that opposed it) discern between the lazy and the unlucky. US capitalism does not recognize that a kid being born to a crack head mother in the projects has not the same advantages as the one born to a hotel chain mogul. It is one thing to allow nature to make sure that doesn't happen in the first place and provide disadvantages when it does, a completely different thing when the government encourages it with payment.



As in the disability system so is the welfare system geared towards what is natural. It is good to help you neighbor who has had a run of 3 or 4 days without bread. That is just unlucky in the context of this thought experiential. Bad luck is minimized by equality and humanized by compassion. So, it is good to help, but when you neighbor stop showing up and expecting you to just give him part of yours, that is immoral. The community will have to allow that family to suffer the consequences. Somebody recently said to me, “Starvation is a powerful motivator.” I tend to agree for the most part. If the human mind perceives no hope of getting out of a situation, it will resolve to starvation as a form of suicide.



Who controls the wealth disparity?

So who controls the wealth in this version? The baker? No, not really. If he gave less than a loaf, his community would starve and become too weak to help. Then he too would starve. They would either eventually turn on him or leave to find another baker. The individual laborers, do they set the gap? No, they just show up, and with a statistical advantage, they pick from the hat. But they have to show up. The natural system set the price. There is no need or use for bread beyond your basic needs. There is no way to get a second loaf. No way to extort the money for it from your neighbor. This version works more like a family. What was that thing they call a large family of people who support each other. I think the original inhabitants had such a community.



The perfect system is one that isn't perfect

In a perfect system, there would be a need for 10 laborers and 10 loafs of bread would be produced. But that is in contrast to human (or any living thing) nature. That would be stagnant. Another family would move in. Then slight unrest would begin this system as described. The reality is that it is healthy for a community to have just under its perfect amount of resources, as it will drive innovation. Just under is important. There needs to be hope, a way to envision making the system better, a way for a family who is unlucky to see a way out. Too much disparity (as shown in Part 1) causes “despair” and people just give up. There must be hope. Expecting the bread maker to make more or set up another bakery is silly. You are relying on his desire to take his excess time and solve something that isn't a problem to him. He might, sure. He has the knowledge, that is true. But that is only part of the equation.



“What isn't natural is artificial. What is artificial consumes finite resources. What isn't natural isn't sustainable. What isn't sustainable, eventually collapses. It has to.” - (Paraphrasing something said over a few different conversations with my buddy Pete Cammarata.)




Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Petition on wage reform and minimum percentage idea

The White House offers a service that they will address any issue that can get first 150 people through email and FB alone and then it is opened to the public for 100,000 people visiting the website.  If nothing else it would be nice to have it addressed by Obama himself.  For those not familiar I have long advocated forcing a company to pay its lowest paid employee at least just 1% of its highest paid employee.  You pay your CEO $10,000 then pay your janitor 1% of that. He has to be worth at least 1% of your CEO's efforts.  
vote for it here.  Also Please forward it to people you think might be supportive of this idea!

Minimum Percentage Petition to White House web tool

If they really wanted to Ballance the Budget

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Rich Get Richer. The Futility Of Being Poor In The Capitalist system.


   Let’s call it “The Alice in Wonderland principle”. Sometimes while trying to understand and explain something small, one stumbles upon something much bigger.  This happened to me writing this post. I set out to explain how in a community where there is no money, Only the barter system to acquire needed goods and services, people are truly equal.  What I found was a way to graphically represent the mechanics behind the fact and statement “The rich get richer”.  This is true and in the following text and spread sheet is how I arrived at that conclusion using nothing more than math. 


 Some Basic Economics Laws. 
 First, “Value” is defined as the highest price of a good or service that a consumer has both the desire (willing) and resources (able) to pay for it. Imagine everything you buy at a store, online, or from a private citizen is a giant auction.  For one single Item, the highest bidder takes the “widget”.

 “Equilibrium Price”- The state in which market supply and demand balance each other and, as a result, prices become stable. Generally, when there is too much supply for goods or services, the price goes down, which results in higher demand. The balancing effect of supply and demand results in a state of equilibrium.

The Equilibrium Price is found in a market where there are multiple consumers and multiple providers using the “Law of Supply and Demand” (that is right, they are natural “Laws”, not merely suggestions).   There are 4 of them.

1.If demand increases and supply remains unchanged, a shortage occurs, leading to a higher equilibrium price.
2.If demand decreases and supply remains unchanged, a surplus occurs, leading to a lower equilibrium price.
3.If demand remains unchanged and supply increases, a surplus occurs, leading to a lower equilibrium price.
4.If demand remains unchanged and supply decreases, a shortage occurs, leading to a higher equilibrium price.

“Thought Experiment”  - The Baker and his daily bread.
“Thought experiment” - "the most ancient pattern of mathematical proof". Thought experiments have existed before Euclidean mathematics, where the emphasis was on the conceptual, rather than on the experimental part of a thought-experiment.”  “Schrödinger's cat” is one of the most famous. As with all experiments, the idea is to isolate just one control.  The use of analogies and figures to represent something larger is common.  People attempting to disprove or reject the conclusion of a "though experiment" often try to parse these generalizations.  Sometimes they are accurate to do so and point out an important constraint that actually changes the results.  Others try to re-expand the simplification that called for a use of an analogy. For example, In this example could say, "But people can change their earning".  Which A) forced one to consider deeper and more complex economic principles that were by designs meant to be simplified and B)  minimizes the fact that the graph shows that unless you make giant changes in your income it doesn't matter.   This intentional attempt to cloud the point is to the thought experiment what somebody saying to B.F. Skinner "but humans are not rats".  The math and the principle are sound no matter what levels you wish to apply them at.

Analogies, Where Things Mean Different Things
In this experiment we have a few “figures”.
 “Baker”- equals the sum of all the employers in the economy and every job available.

 “Bread” or “Loaf” – The Sum of all the basic needs of any given family unit. It has been proven that the there is a point where people would feel an overall sense of well-being and earning more money loses its “return”.  A point where those things, such as a warm, well kept, and secure living space, adequate nourishment, and the fear of external threats are minimal can be determined by assessing those places within 100 miles of one’s birth and looking at property values, school district graduation and college grad rates, crime type and rates, teen pregnancy, single parenthood, per home medical costs, and ownership to mortgage ratio.  Take the average of the top 10 with the most favorable ratings, and average their “food shelter and clothing rates.  That “quality of life” is symbolized by “Bread Loaves”.

“Top %” is meant to symbolize the wage breakdown.  The reality is that the disparity between the top and bottom wage earners in the US is much much greater. 

"Day" is a time period of income. Could symbolize a week, a year, a lifetime.

All The World Is Indeed a Baker’s Auction
  This was originally the 2nd version of a story I will re-post later. I meant for it to show how those at the top control the choices available of those at that bottom. I used a sample of 30 people in that version to demonstrate some other unique points.  In this version, I will use 10 to represent 10% breakdown in income brackets.

  The Set up.: There is a community, remote and undisturbed by any other outside force.  There are 11 families in this town including the Baker. In this town, there is a bakery that has the capacity to put out 7 total loaves of bread.  (However, that equates to only 6 available since the baker takes one for himself every day.) Because of the location needs and the cost to build, there is no other way to build another bakery.  However, to maintain an acceptable standard of living and quality of life, each family must have 1 loaf of bread per night.  The 10 other families all earn 10 different wages from $10 per day down to $1 per day.  Every morning the baker opens his doors and starts the bidding. Like any auction, the guy with the most money to buy with sets the price.  (In an auctioneers voice) As the bids come in, “$1, then 2, $2 then 3, Now $3 give me $4, got $4, can I get $5, Now $5, who will give me $6… Anyone..  Anybody give me $6?  Sold to ‘Top Ten’ at a price of $5. How many do you want?”  That first day, the top 6 people get their loafs of bread at a rate of $5.  The bottom 5 go home.  But the next day, everything changes.  This graph shows that The price goes up.  The rich always get bread and always save.  I went on to extrapolate this data out.  At day 9, a turning point occurs in this example.   On that day, the “Ten” has enough money to buy 2 loaves at the current price. The poorest “hundred” were finally going to get a loaf that day, but instead, it was snatched from them.   What “Ten” chooses to do with that money and loaf can send ripples and effect the choices of all those involved.  Does he sell it the next day adding supply and driving the market down?  Does “10” offer the loaf to a family who doesn't have the money that day, for an interest payment spread out over the next few days?  Any way you look at it, the most wealthy take control of the entire economy at that point. Everybody’s liberty and happiness is based upon what they chose. BUT, they are removed from acknowledging it by saying, “I am just buying stuff at market price.  Everybody has the opportunity to buy at the same price I do.”  Below is the graph of the first 9 days. 

A final thing to be noted here is that the poor don't actually save the money they don’t spend.  In reality, if they have enough income to buy 40% of the total needed to sustain, then they spend it on 40% of a loaf. They continue to play the "catch up" game.

Continue The Experiment Yourself
 Now apply some of the most common "conceptual beliefs" about an auction based economy to this.  (I will send anybody my spread sheet if they request it.)  Here are some questions to ask

What happens if we tax everybody equally? add a "0" to the end of the wages, and tax them at 10%.

What if we let the "investors" keep more of their money? 

What happens if another bakery is opened and the top earner wins the bid and buys as much as he wants?

What happens to the overall income of the baker if you introduce another bakery and set his operation costs at $30 per day?

What if loans take place?  The poor guy on "Day 9" is offered the bred snatched away from him by the rich guy for $10.  He will have to pay the next 2 days wages to "Ten"? 

Last, the point I was trying to make, what would have to happen to in order for "Hundred" to just get to "Fifty" and what happens to "Fifty" when he gets there?





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