Tuesday, December 31, 2013

John Lott's analysis supports my own

You may recall my post about 12.5 million new takers on the books.  Here's a similar post by John Lott.

John Lott's Website: The Illusionary Drop in Unemployment, how the drop in unemployment is due to people leaving the work force, not them getting jobs


Some simple addition - add the unemployed to the working aged adults not in the labor force and you have about 102 million. Add to those the total local, state, and federal civilian employees and you get 122.78 million adults not working, or working in government (takers).  Add in uniformed military personnel and you get 124.28 million.  Finally subtract these government employees from the 144.386 million working adults and you get 122.29 million working in the private sector (producers). In other words, our nation has a ratio of 122.29 million producers to 124.28 million takers. Add in children, and every person working is supporting 2.57 people including himself/herself.
This reminds me of the astute comment by Frédéric Bastiat :

The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Playing with a full deck

Since "not playing with a full deck" is an idiom meaning "stupid" or "crazy," then pl aying with a full deck should mean the opposite.  Having moved to Texas I am no longer legally constrained to the stupid and crazy rule of state imposed limits on my defense, and am now able to legally purchase standard or plus capacity magazines.  And so I have. 

I am now playing with a full deck:  three Mec-Gar 17 round magazines.  17 + 17 + 17 + 1 in the pipe = 52 rounds.  Read 'em and weep.

Hopefully my brothers and sisters back in the "People's Republik of Kalifornia" can regain their freedom some day and start playing with a full deck as I have.

Friday, December 27, 2013

When a white person does it, it's a hate crime.

A couple of weeks after noting Al Sharpton's condemnation of the "Knockout Game," a white man has "played the same game" and knocked out a black man.  Of course, when a white person punches a black person he is a racist, right?  And it is therefore a hate crime
The Justice Department's decision to charge a white man with a federal hate crime for a "knockout game"-style attack against a black victim has raised questions about why the administration waited until now to speak up on cases that, for months, largely have involved white victims.  
Federal prosecutors presented a detailed set of evidence Thursday in charging Katy, Texas, man Conrad Alvin Barrett, 27, with a hate crime. He allegedly shot video of himself using racial slurs, stating his intent to hit a black person in order to receive national media attention and, in the end, punching a 79-year-old black man.
Don't get me wrong.  Conrad Alvin Barrett is a nutcase and a chickenshit bastard, but he's no more or less a nutcase chickenshit bastard than every young black man who has "played the same game" with innocent white victims.  Our "justice" department has a history of selective prosecutions as well as persecutions

While the criminal in this case should be thoroughly prosecuted and punished, by no means should the federal government be the entity handling that.  The federal government should intervene only where the prosecutions against these criminals aren't occuring. Instead, the actions taken by the Justice Department once again show that they consider the white man the perpetual enemy and the black man the innocent victim to be placed upon a pedestal.

It's clear that Eric Holder is a racist.  Uh oh, maybe Al Sharpton will now be saying I am a racist?

I'll end off by attaching a photo - the one true solution to these "rambunctious black kids" and "evil racist white men" who have been attacking innocent victims in broad daylight.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A man, a woman, a bar, and a car crash

A woman entertains a man at a bar.  She consumes 21 beverages.  She hops in her truck, drives the wrong way down the highway, and kills two teenagers.  The jury convicts her, and she is sentenced to 38 years in prison.
A Montgomery County jury sentenced Nicole Baukus, 23, to 15 years for the first count of vehicular manslaughter, 15 years for the second count of vehicular manslaughter and 8 years for vehicular aggravated assault.

Nicole Baukus, 23, drank 17 shots and four beers before driving the wrong way on I-45, killing two teens and injuring another.  ...
As the trial opened prosecutors released surveillance video showing Baukus’ truck headed the wrong way down the North Freeway near Highway 242 on June 29, 2012.

Baukus was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of the freeway and slammed head-on into a car carrying three people. The car’s driver, 19-year-old Nicole Adams, was killed and a passenger in the back seat, 18-year-old Travis Sanders, also died. A third person in the car, 21-year-old David Porras, was critically injured.

On Wednesday, prosecutors released surveillance video from On the Rox Sports Bar and Grill showing Baukus on the night of the fatal crash drinking 17 shots and four beers, within 5 hours, and then stumbling to her truck.

Her blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit. Prosecutors said she also had drugs in her system.
All good so far?

The DA decides to file charges against a man who bought her drinks at the bar.
His name is Kambiz Michael Duran. He's currently in the Harris County Jail on a marijuana charge, but when he gets out he's going to get charged in connection with the fatal DWI crash by Nicole Baukus that killed two poeple. Prosecutors allege that he bought Baukus round after round of drinks before she got in her truck...  
The president-elect of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association calls that a stretch...  
"The criminal defense community we're a little puzzled under what statute they might be thinking is going to apply to him... I also think after this horrible tragedy I think they're really reaching out in this case to find another culpable party." She said.

It was a shocking crime, much of it caught on surveillance tape. Baukus is clearly intoxicated in the bar and then she got on I-45 the wrong way and slammed head-on into another car. TABC investigators say you can see Duran buying the drinks and then giving them to Baukus.
So all you party animals just be aware, if you buy a drink for that gal at a bar, you're apparently responsible for her actions.  At least they convicted her first.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Should we trust our government to provide equality?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, in 2011 the average federal civilian employee earned over $112,000 per year including income and benefits.  Newer data shows that two years later the average compensation has climbed to over $118,000 per year.  With an average wage of about $82,000, that's $36,000 in benefits per year.  Pretty impressive package, when you work for the federal government.

Military members receive a good deal of their compensation in benefits - according to the Congressional Budget Office, for our 1.4 million active duty military members, about $40 billion is spent on healthcare alone.  Another $16 billion is deposited into pension accounts, with most of the remaining $90 billion going to pay, food, housing, etc.  According to Aurelio Locsin of the Houston Chronicle, his study of the CBO estimates indicate that about 60% of total pay is non-cash, so about $90B in total benefits.  That means we can break out another $34B from the remaining listed above and estimate that pay is about $56B.  So, we have an average pay of $40,000, and an average compensation package of $64,000, for a rough average of $104,000 annual compensation for every active duty soldier.

Right off the bat, we can say that while soldiers really aren't underpaid, they are certainly not paid what other federal employees are paid - civilian employees are paid 13.5% more than soldiers. Even within its own ranks, average compensation is very different for different groups. 

When you compare these two groups to non-government, you find that both groups trump civilian compensation, by far.  According to the Social Security Administration, the National Average Wage Index (NAWI) for 2012 is $44,321.67.  According to the BLS, private employment benefits (retirement and healthcare) account for about 30.4% of an employee's total compensation, so if we factor that back in the average total compensation for a non-federal government employee is about $63,680. 

For civilan federal employees, that represents an 87% premium over their private counterparts.  Interestingly enough, they are just over 1% of the total civilian workers in the US.  1% eh?  An interesting if silly coincidence.   However silly, the phrase "some animals are more equal than others" comes to mind.

Back to Cato's analysis, their numbers indicate different values on the current state of private industry wage, but we'll chalk that up to them doing a more thorough study:

You can see that federal civilian wages have outstripped private industray wages over the span of the entire dataset, and not just by a little.  With federal employees earning nearly double what private employees earn, they certainly seem to be treated as a higher class of citizen.

Again, per my earlier post, and since government seems to be in the business of redistribution for supposed egalitarian purposes, I suggest a remedy to this clear inequality: we cut federal civilian compensation to match private compensation. Cutting $55,000 per federal employee, on average, will realize a savings of $115.5 billion.  This represents close to 20% of the current budget deficit.  Furthermore, I suggest we rigerously enforce that equality - everyone from the federal janitor to the federal judge, senator, or President will get the same compensation package, worth $63,680.

That'll show the world that our government means business!  Instead of talking about equality it will set an example... Go tell your representatives.

Friday, December 20, 2013

I've watched Christmas Vacation a dozen times over the years and never noticed

Can anyone tell me why Beverly D'Angelo decides to grab Chevy Chase's crotch in the swat team scene at the end?  Twice even! 

Don't believe me, do you?  You've seen it a dozen times as well.  Ok, watch it again.  Here's the screen capture if you're too lazy to go watch it on Youtube.  We were watching tonight and my wife nudged me and asked why she had grabbed his junk. 


Obamacare, the sitcom!

With the President altering the law (bypassing Congress) every week or two, the continual revelation of new failures of the system, the ACA already has the makings of a great network television show. 
Now Michelle Obama has stated that young people need to sign up in case they cut their finger in the kitchen.  You've got to admit, that's some good Hollywood writing right there.
She then went on to give reasons millennials might need health coverage.

“Well, young people are the ones who are driving around late at night, you know, that can get into a car accident, or slip at a club, you know?” she said. “Who play pick-up games and to get a black eye, you know? Cooking for the first time and cut a finger, and you know, bust an artery, you know?”
All we need now is someone like Sandra Fluke to testify before congress and explain why the taxpayer should subsidize Natural Brows (made with 100% human hair!) and we'll have a viable pilot to send to the networks:


Now there's a product that our young women need even more than contraception! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

When the last straw falls

Remember this post?  In it I discussed the fact that we're still down between two and three million employed working age Americans (since December 2007) and have since then added an additional twelve and a half million working age Americans who should be working but aren't.  In other words, we've netted 15 million additional takers. 

It's apparent that this is the new normal.  Take a look at the Employment to Population ratio.  Not a budge since it cratered in 2010:

What we're seeing is the effect of the recession followed by massive injections of cash into the economy plus the extension of unemployment benefits to about 2 years.  After 2 years on the dole, it looks like the majority just give up working entirely.  Do they leech off of their families?  Do they transition to food stamps?
Well take a look at the data.  In just 4 years we've added 10 million new food stamp recipients.  Costs have ballooned by about 11.75% ($12 Billion).  
But this is just back to 2009.  If we go back to 2007, when the employment participation rate started tanking, food stamp participation was at 27.6 million.  We've added twenty million food stamp recipients, in those mere 6 years. 
Here's the change in SNAPS participation by state from Dec-2006 to Dec-2011
STATE Dec-06 Dec-11 Increase
Alabama                    550,777                    916,345                    365,568
Alaska                      54,431                      90,639                      36,208
Arizona                    539,127                1,137,378                    598,251
Arkansas                    386,783                    507,466                    120,683
California                2,026,945                3,904,099                1,877,154
Colorado                    252,001                    488,527                    236,526
Connecticut                    211,263                    405,215                    193,952
Delaware                      66,203                    148,525                      82,322
District of Columbia                      89,105                    141,112                      52,007
Florida                1,228,022                3,297,834                2,069,812
Georgia                    962,272                1,885,046                    922,774
Hawaii                      89,744                    173,143                      83,399
Idaho                      86,461                    236,395                    149,934
Illinois                1,257,981                1,879,585                    621,604
Indiana                    585,296                    906,446                    321,150
Iowa                    235,877                    403,116                    167,239
Kansas                    181,472                    299,591                    118,119
Kentucky                    596,484                    844,144                    247,660
Louisiana                    645,408                    911,130                    265,722
Maine                    157,177                    253,278                      96,101
Maryland                    312,282                    710,675                    398,393
Massachusetts                    449,359                    845,334                    395,975
Michigan                1,196,830                1,843,646                    646,816
Minnesota                    268,071                    536,629                    268,558
Mississippi                    430,092                    651,696                    221,604
Missouri                    822,376                    961,801                    139,425
Montana                      80,037                    127,185                      47,148
Nebraska                    121,207                    175,414                      54,207
Nevada                    118,787                    353,889                    235,102
New Hampshire                      57,901                    115,730                      57,829
New Jersey                    412,439                    809,026                    396,587
New Mexico                    237,371                    437,540                    200,169
New York                1,799,460                3,068,575                1,269,115
North Carolina                    880,734                1,660,591                    779,857
North Dakota                      42,736                      59,600                      16,864
Ohio                1,074,047                1,816,920                    742,873
Oklahoma                    427,671                    622,774                    195,103
Oregon                    432,409                    805,396                    372,987
Pennsylvania                1,103,300                1,801,249                    697,949
Rhode Island                      72,852                    170,547                      97,695
South Carolina                    546,081                    869,018                    322,937
South Dakota                      59,607                    104,007                      44,400
Tennessee                    859,037                1,288,879                    429,842
Texas                2,437,782                4,179,010                1,741,228
Utah                    126,277                    285,824                    159,547
Vermont                      51,528                      95,652                      44,124
Virginia                    513,883                    908,527                    394,644
Washington                    544,730                1,102,830                    558,100
West Virginia                    269,389                    345,833                      76,444
Wisconsin                    377,147                    828,661                    451,514
Wyoming                      22,995                      34,476                      11,481
Total US              26,351,246              46,445,948              20,094,702
In this timeframe the SNAPS program added 20 million participants. Our population increased by 13 million. We're going down in flames, folks.  More takers, less makers.  We're going to see the best and brightest, the hardest working, most ethical people just give up. 
When the last straw falls, they'll go Galt.