Thursday, February 16, 2012

On How To Deal With Capital Gains

It has come to my attention that this country is embroiled yet again in the travesty that is referred to as "campaigning".

Having dropped out of the last election, I promised that myself that I would not participate in another of these horrific events.  But I made the mistake of watching the news and upon learning of the current state of affairs I came to the inevitable conclusion.

Americans are idiots who need someone to point that out.

I have returned.

There has been a great deal of talk lately about the so called "1%" and the need to encourage them to invest.  That it is their investments that fuel the economy and make life better for the remaining 99%.  That it is wise to keep taxes on such investments low.

There is a concept known as "Economic Efficiency".  I will not explain it to you.  I trust you can follow the link and read.

When people put their money into investments they are making a guess at what people want.  When people put their money into buying things they want they know what people want because that's what they want.

Investing leads to companies like Webvan and  Buying leads to companies like Apple.

I propose that instead of lowering the capital gains tax, we increase it.

As I have said before, we should progressively tax all income with a cap of 100% for those making 10 times the median income.  Nobody needs more than that.  I don't.  And I do just fine.

Think about it.

Friday, April 30, 2010

On The Ability Of Our Politicians To Perform Simple Tasks

Some of you may have been wondering how I have been spending my time since I dropped out of the last presidential election.  I have no first hand knowledge of said wondering as no one has directly asked me that question, but I believe it to be a natural assumption.  As I refuse to answer my phone or check my mailbox, I am unaware of any attempts to query me for such information.  So, I can reasonably assume that many of you have done so.  Regardless, I will tell you anyway.

Despite the numerous well thought out and universally beneficial proposals I had made during the last election, I have found that not a single one has been implemented by the current administration.

I have carefully observed the state of the world and have concluded that, as the kids today would say, it is effed up.  I'm not sure what that expression means, but I have had it directed at myself sufficient times to deduce that it indicates a problematic situation.

In order to correct this terrible wrong, I have taken it upon myself to write detailed letters to business and political leaders giving them the benefit of my insight and experience and explaining to them how they are, for all intents and purposes, idiots and what they should do instead.  Surprisingly, I have not had a single response from any of the 6,143 letters I have written over this period.

Given the apparent ineffectiveness of this approach, I have decided to take my cause directly to the people, despite the general tendency of the people to be absolute morons. 

Today, I would like to address a problem which is, to me, particularly irritating.

The American people have a propensity to elect people who they like.  Who they would enjoy spending time with and could, if the circumstances allowed it, be friends.  People who they are comfortable with.  Who they can feel equal to, or possibly, better than.

The American people are wrong.

Let us look, for a moment, at one manifestation of this problem.

Americans, as a whole, are incapable of using basic math.  The Department of Education’s National Assessment of Adult Literacy found, for example, that when testing adults "only 42 percent were able to pick out two items on a menu, add them, and calculate a tip".  Appalling.

Yet this pales in comparison to the resultant problem we encounter when we elect officials no more capable than ourselves.

Recently, a situation occurred in an east coast town where town officials were incapable of determining the outcome of the vote because they were unable to correctly calculate what constituted a 2/3 majority.

It doesn't get much simpler than this people.

More shockingly, it appears that the entire administration of this town lacks basic math skills.  According to the article, the official in question "called several of her colleagues to see how they calculate a two-thirds vote, and the answer varied widely".

I propose that we immediately institute entrance exams for politicians.  The GRE test for graduate school seems to me to be a reasonable choice.  I would not want to be governed by someone unable to demonstrate that they were able to graduate from a four year college and actually show some results from that experience.

Statistically speaking, it is altogether likely that a great many of you readers out there are not particularly bright.  It very may well be that you can not calculate a tip or properly select a candidate for government office.  You may also not be able to follow my very compelling argument that I have just laid out for you.  So I must ask you to trust me and to write your congressperson demanding that my above proposal be put into effect so that we will no longer have to suffer politicians who are no more intelligent than yourself.

Think about it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Abraham Lincoln Was Wrong

No not about slavery. Please. That would be insane.

Let me explain.

Having dropped out of the race for President, I had been busy doing what I love, seeking out companies that would do harm to the American people. Much of my time was spent purchasing products that are clearly ill conceived death traps and demonstrating their danger by applying them to myself. Most people are frighteningly unaware of how sharp Top Ramen is and how, if jabbed into one's eye, it can be extremely painful.

While recuperating from my toils (my opthamologist put me on strict bed rest for 3 weeks while my cornea healed), it gave me an excess of time to study the news and to reflect upon it. And I thought a great deal about the supposed rift that has split the American people.

According to one source, The country is nearly evenly split between the Democratic and Republican candidates for president. The electoral college votes are nearly evenly split between Mr. Obama (263) and Mr. McCain (242). It would seem that in either case, a great many people will be disappointed.

Pundits claim that we are a country divided, that the election pits the old against the young, the poor against the rich, the conservative against the liberal and the qualified politician against the bizarre soccer mom.

This is ridiculous.

There is only one schism that separates us and it has done so since 1861.

The one between the Union and the Confederacy.

Let us examine what the outcome of the upcoming election might happen to be if Mr. Lincoln had not imposed his will upon the south and allowed them the freedom to secede. I am including in my list of Confederate states the seven states that declared their secession before Lincoln took office (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas), the four states that declared their secession after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter (Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee), the two states with rival secessionist governments (Missouri and Kentucky), the three border slave states (Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia) and the two states claimed by the Confederacy (New Mexico and Arizona).

In the north, Mr. Obama would win by a landslide (245 to 68). And in the south, Mr. McCain would be winning by an even greater margin (174 to 18).

We can have one nation divided or two nations that are unified.

We, as a people, fully supported the self determination exercised by the many soviet bloc nations during the 1990's. Why would we deny that right to our brothers in the south?

It is time to right this terrible wrong.

I submit that congress act immediately to allow, or perhaps insist, that the Confederacy's original request for secession be granted.

We in the north would lose many things - NASCAR, boll weevils, Coca-Cola, hurricanes, grits, Lynyrd Skynrd tribute bands, the ability to compel women to disrobe by merely providing them with colorful beads, and The Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Those in the south would lose everything else.

It is a small price to pay so that we can all have the president we deserve.

Think about it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

On Turning Foreigners Into Americans

Many foreigners hate our government.

So do I. Most thinking people would.

But some misguided foreigners also hate America. And I believe that is only because they don't know better. They only know America by the actions of our government. Those of you who have met our government, either in an official capacity or socially, at a party, say, understand why they might come to that conclusion. First impressions, I have heard, are very important and if your first introduction to America is through America's government it is very likely that you would conclude that America is a smug, annoying, deceitful, inconsiderate, self-righteous, close-minded buffoon. I know I would.

So how do we help these people to understand that deep down at their core they too are as American as Apple Pie, Chevy Trucks and Neil Sedaka?

Sell them things. American things.

A good step in that direction was recently noted in an article from CNN. Titled "U.S. exports cigarettes, bras, bull semen to Iran", details the efforts being made every day to convert Iranians into Americans by selling them items that reek of American values such as perfume, golf carts and fur clothing.

Now I do not mean to suggest that by merely selling them these things they will become like you or I. At least, not like myself. If you are materialistic and stupid, which you have a significant chance of being, then there is a distinct possibility that they could become like you. But selling them these goods will not make them like me and that is the goal, of course.

True, this will not be sufficient. But it is a significant first step. If we can lure them into becoming consumers of American goods then we can, over time, begin to sell them more and more complicated items. Any idiot can successfully use a cigarette, bra or bull semen, but it takes a good deal of education to be able to successfully utilize an iPod, Xbox 360, or F-22 stealth fighter. Once we can convince these foreigners to enroll in one of our universities, where they will learn to appreciate intense thought, hard work, television and Pabst Blue Ribbon, then we will have succeeded in creating a world where we are all the same and there will no longer be a need to be tolerant of those different from us. Not that I was tolerant of those who are different, but I did find it annoying when people would criticize me for that. I hate people like that.

Think about it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kudos To You, John McCain

I am not an attractive man. I am fully aware of this fact.

I am old. I am antisocial. I lack any hint of charisma.

This does not bother me. I am not one to be swayed by image.

I feel that I have found a kindred spirit in John McCain.

Mr. McCain recently commented on Barack Obama's celebrity stature, noting "He's the biggest celebrity in the world". I concur with many of his observations. Mr. Obama is popular, attractive, charismatic and eminently likable. He appears "presidential". He evokes "support". He seems "electable".

Why should this be important?

Neither I nor Mr. McCain fit the popular view of what a president should be. We are both easily irritated, crotchety old men. Neither of us can be bothered by the niceties of etiquette or manners or diplomacy. We are not interested in compromise or cooperation or listening or being open minded.

We don't care how we appear.

I know that many people believe in such things. One poll, notes the "enthusiasm gap" between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama. While Mr. Obama's supporters are excited about the prospect of their candidate being elected, Mr. McCain's supporters do not really care all that much.

Should that matter? I personally do not care about my supporters and I would not expect them to care about me.

We are men of ideas. At least, I assume that he is. I know that I am. I have excellent ideas and that should be enough. I don't know any of Mr. McCain's ideas, but I am sure they have some merit. Particularly those that match mine, if he has any.

So Mr. McCain, I applaud you. Stick to your guns. Make no effort to appease the masses and improve your image. You may not seem like a president. You may seem more like that uncle that one only sees on special occasions and then only every few years that makes everyone uncomfortable and you hope and pray that no one says anything that sets him off and you take all the liquor to the neighbor's house beforehand so that he won't start drinking and you won't have a repeat of that last Fourth of July picnic when the police came.

Think about it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Iraq - A Model Of Fiscal Responsibility

The American government is apparently incapable of managing its expenses in a responsible manner. But it is not impossible to do so. We need look no further than our neighbor to the east, Iraq. According to a recent news article, despite the great challenges that nation faces, they have been able to amass a sizable surplus of 79 Billion dollars.

How did they do it, you might ask. Simple. They lack the ability to spend it. Without the vast numbers of trained buyers, managers and accountants that the United States has at its disposal, the Iraqi government simply can't spend money at the same breathtaking rate that we have become accustomed to.

What can we learn from this? By simply firing all government buyers, managers, and accountants, we can quickly and easily cut our expenses. I am sure that some well meaning neighbors (I am talking to you, Canada), would sympathize with our situation and pay for those things we are unable to pay for ourselves. After a few years of occupation by the Canadians, when we have managed to pay off our debts, we can then blame them for our troubles and request that they leave. A simple, yet proven, approach to money management.

Think about it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Solution To Our Current Economic Crisis


I can think of no better word to describe it.

I find it unfathomable how our current administration can be so irresponsible when it comes to the economy. A six year old can understand the concepts necessary to support a viable fiscal policy.

Simply put, you can't spend money you don't have.

I will try to help you understand the magnitude of the problem. As of June 30, 2008, the United States owed $9,492,006,000,000. That's nearly 10 trillion dollars. To put this into terms that most people can understand, consider that there are 116,011,000 households in this country and each earns an average of $60,528 per year. Put another way, every person in the country owes 135% of their annual salary. So if you make, say, $50,000 per year, your share of the national debt is $67,500.

You owe a lot of money.

Now, in order to explain this further to you, I am going to use a little rudimentary math. If it is beyond your capabilities, I suggest you go back to elementary school and pay attention this time.

This is unsecured debt, much like you would put on a credit card. If you did have it on a credit card, you would be required to pay interest every month on it of 135% X 12 X18% / 12 = 24% of your monthly income. You would also have to make a minimum payment, which is typically 4% of what you owe. This yields 135% X 12 X 4% = 64% of your monthly income. So the total you would have to pay is 24% + 64% = 88% of your monthly income towards paying off your share of the national debt. That doesn't leave much left for you.

Now I may not be a trained credit counselor, but I know common sense and common sense dictates that you should declare bankruptcy.

Every last one of you.

There is only one reasonable conclusion that can be drawn from this.

When I become President, my first official act will be to declare bankruptcy for America.

America has a debt problem. America has borrowed far more than it can afford to pay back. America has proven that it cannot be trusted to handle money responsibly. Our bankruptcy laws exist to deal with these kinds of situations. We should take advantage of them.

Now there will be repercussions from this act. America will no longer be able to borrow money. Considering how irresponsible America has been, this is a good thing.

America needs to learn how to handle money better. Create a budget and stick with it. Create a savings plan and put away a little for a rainy day, like another world war, a pandemic, or Armageddon. Save money by shopping at Costco or thrift stores instead of Lockheed Martin. Try to reestablish a good credit record by using a credit card with a low limit to buy something inexpensive, like Cuba.

America isn't bad, it has just made some bad decisions and needs some help. Should we hold this against America? No! We should give America a fresh start. We shouldn't let it completely off the hook though. America has to shape up. No more stupid choices. America, if you're not sure, ask. Europe has been around awhile. Get some advice there. We have some very nice neighbors. Ask them for help. I'm sure they'll be helpful and supportive. If not, it's good to know now rather than later who your friends are. Maybe next time Canada throws some loud party late at night you won't have to put up with it and can just call the
police. But tell them not to say who called them. Or say you're Greenland. America doesn't want to wake up to eggs or graffiti all over Montana. Nobody wants to clean that up.

Think about it.