Monday, July 8, 2013

Raisin farmers don't want to be subsidized!

It's always nice to see a pro-free market solution rise to the top, even if it has to go all the way to the Supreme Court!

I love the first line of the article:
The Supreme Court is giving California raisin producers a new day in court to object to a government program that aims to stabilize prices by regulating the market.
So the people are against a government enforced program that stands no chance as being efficient as free market.  In a free market, raisin prices are set by supply and demand.  Aspects such as weather conditions, crop yields, acreage planted, distribution systems, etc... all factor into the prices and will rise or lower depending on the outcomes.

Read the article.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Tenth Ammendment Center - Kansas - Holder overreach

It's amazing, but not surprising, that Eric Holder has a job.  How could we forget 'Fast and Furious' ?

Mr. Holder has sent a stern letter to the Kansas Attorney General with regards to Kansas voting to void any Federal Laws that they deem unconstitutional.  People like Holder don't like being told what they are doing is not the law of the land.  The DOJ feels all of its laws should be adhered and supported by all the states.

The gun law conversation has been more of yelling and finger pointing, then actual true debate.

I feel the most unsafe areas in the world are gun-free zones.  Have you ever been to the southside of Chicago?  This city is a case study of what happens when you make it nearly impossible to own a gun.
The Tenth Ammendment Center takes down Holder step by step.  I really enjoy the conversation created by the TAC.  I hope to read more about their work and mission and spread the good word of nullify unjust, unconstitutional Federal Laws.

Check out TAC article here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

$15/hr to provide a 'living wage'

In a classic 'we are paid too little, but don't understand Marginal Revenue Productivity' mantra, workers at local retail and fast food in Downtown Chicago staged a walk out to demand higher wages.  Did they forget they dont get paid if they are not working?

This is my favorite quote:
* According to WLS , Lorraine Chavez of the Workers Organizing Committee said, "These are poverty wages and homelessness wages."
Poverty wages?  Homelessness wages?  I tend not to agree with these absurd, non-economic based theories.

Also, it's good to hear (sarcasm):
* Those involved in the protest are also rallying for the right to unionize without intimidation from their employers.
But the employers would be forced to recognize the union and pay union wages.  How intimidating is that?

$15 is such an arbitrary number that makes it seem like people will be 'richer'.  Little is shown how the increased in wages will cause costs to be passed on to the customer, decrease the amount of people an employer hires, and puts the business at greater risk of failure.

Why not $20/hr?  $50/hr?  When does it end?  How do you know the minimum wage (even though wages are determined by supply and demand curves like any other good or service), yet not know the maximum wage?

Also, do these people ever protest at the Federal Reserve?  Inflation makes every dollar for everyone worth less and less.  Instead of protesting the job creators of the world, the protests should be aimed at Chairmen Bernanke.

Yahoo article here

Friday, March 8, 2013

Early Mornings

I remember winter mornings as a kid getting ready to go to Holy Family School.  My Dad would always be up before us, already ironing uniforms for myself and siblings.  My youngest sister would perch herself in front of the vent to stay warm.  (Disclaimer: My house never felt warm in the winter, but it was always welcoming)

Now that I am 29, I look back at those days and I wish I could have held on forever.  It's not that I don't appreciate Adulthood, but life just felt so much simpler.  All the 'problems' I had were intriguing and were defining who I was to become later in life.

I view my economic and intellectual life much differently.  I don't wish to revert back to my 'childhood' with regards to intellectual thinkers and economic viewpoints I had as a younger person.  My view on Healthcare was that it was a travesty that the Government did not provide everyone Healthcare.  Unbeknownst to me it was NOT the gov't's role to provide Healthcare to everyone.  I thought there was a difference between Democrats and Republicans.  I thought taxes should be raised to fund everything, not researching how detrimental taxes are to a society.

Two different childhoods, two different reflections.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Minimum Wage Laws and Sob stories

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is out with an article that is intended to stir up the national debate to raise the minimum wage law.  The minimum wage law impedes ones liberty to come to a voluntary agreement between another party at an agreed upon wage.  Minimum wage laws INCREASE unemployment amongst those that need jobs the most.  The wage you are worth to an employer is related to the marginal revenue product that you produce.  Most people that promote a raise in the minimum wage understand economics (especially supply and demand laws), that they know what the minimum wage should be.  I say why not make the minimum wage $20/hour?  The response I have received is that that is too much.  I then reply asking how they know that?  They usually say that the price of goods and services will raise too much.  I say you are correct, and any increase in the minimum wage will mean a raise in the price of goods and services.

From the article:
Charlotte, N.C.-based Family Dollar, which pays her the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, recorded a profit of $80.2 million in its most recent quarter, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  
Yes, lets punish a company that operates on profit-loss signals, and produces a profit.  How about Family Dollar just pay every employee $50 an hour?  How much profit would it still have?  How many stores would have to be shut closed?

Also from the head of the Wage and Hour Division of the Labor department (can't get more gov't title than that):
At minimum wage "you can work full time and make $14,500 a year," Ms. Maxwell said in an interview. "What a lot of people have to do is work two of those jobs. What the president is saying is let's reward hard work."
What about the hard work of the person that starts a business from scratch?  Why punish him or her?  I don't get it.  No one is forcing these people to work at these jobs.  They choose to apply for these jobs and accept these jobs with these wages offered to them.  If the minimum wage increases, the cost of products and services will go up, and unemployment will increase.  And in doing so, no one becomes wealthier.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Teachers Unions: It's about the kids...unless its about benefits

In a somewhat awkward and cold time to decide to strike (Cleveland in March is something inbetween freezing rain and white Squall), the Strongsville Teachers Union decided to go on strike to improve students academic performance, increase test scores, and get better pay.  Well, not all of those reasons are why they went on strike.  It's always amazing to me that Teachers in the Union claim 'This is for the kids'.  I mean, why lie so blatantly?

Silently protesting a board meeting was at least somewhat respectful, if not odd though, back in January.  But then in February they cleared thier throats to utter the ultimate union phrase 'Fair Contract', and "Shame on you, John", in reference to the Superintendent.

There is no major surprises, as the city doesn't have the courage to stand up for the taxpayer, and the unions will not be happy until every demand is met.  Here is a recap of the events in Strongsville.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Good Ideas: Farrakhan proposes savings and acquiring property

It amazes me that some people won't give people a chance to explain their views.  I used to be one of those people.  In my pre-libertarian days, I would have ignored Louis Farrakhan.   In my mind, he was just a man yelling from a pulpit how poorly blacks have been treated, and how it was all the white man's fault.

Nowadays, and after more research, I realized there is a lot of good that Farrakhan preaches with regards to the Federal Reserve, property rights, and savings.

He recently spoke at a Nation of Islam event, stating:
The constitutional right to bear arms holds no relevance in the black community, he said, because of the prevalence of illegal weapons. But Farrakhan said he respects the Second Amendment’s value in warding off government tyranny.
He also took black Americans to task for their own spending habits — including what he said was $3.3 billion a year on tobacco, $3 billion on whiskey, wine and beer, $2.8 billion on non-alcoholic beverages and $19 billion a year on telephone services. “No wonder the FBI knows everything about you,” Farrakhan said.
It is interesting to note how he picks up on the way government can track purchases.  The government is HEAVILY involved in the alcohol, tobacco, drinks, and telephone industries.

I don't agree in his push for equal justice:
And he used the human body as a metaphor for an economy where every organ — or every person — gets exactly what it needs and nothing more. He wondered out loud for the crowd whether he was advocating for socialism. “I’m advocating what God has set up,” Farrakhan said, “that makes every cell comfortable.”

This falls in line with people who believe inequality should be wiped out.  It's impossible.  Some people will be taller, funnier, smarter, harder works...even from the sense that we are mammals in the animal kingdom.  The fact that we are superior than an ant we can step on, no matter how equal we try to make things be in this world, is proof enough.  Inequality does not mean a lifetime of misery and pain. Some of the most successful people in this world would have been classified in the inequality group if it was up to the Central Planners / Marxists of the world.  Who knows what we would have missed out on in society if we would dedicate all our efforts to be equals.

It's good to see someone is advocating property rights, even if there is tinge of socialism at the end. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Toledo nets $3 million, Society gains...?

This headline sums it up from the Vindy article:

Toledo nets $3 million from traffic cameras

Yes, the city netted $3 million.  But wasn't this about safety?  Weren't traffic cameras supposed to decrease people speeding around schools?

Don't let any local/state/federal governent fool you.  When it's about 'safety', it's about power grab and growing the government grasps around your daily life.

Enjoy the Oscars!  Arrogance and social injustice abound!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hop Hop Hop, Sell Sell Sell

Lent always reminds me years past more so than other holidays like Christmas.  It's always a journey.   Sometimes it feels really rewarding.  Sometimes it is a time that is really tough on me.  I lose parts of my faith I was hoping to strengthen.  Its in those times when you need to recognize God's love for you, and his willingness to be there for you.

This Lent has not gotten off to a good start.  I missed mass on Ash Wednesday because I flew out to Columbus for an Ohio State recruiting trip.  Then I missed church on Sunday because I was at a farm conference.  The trip to Ohio was really needed for me to regroup.  All the emotional stress I have been feeling has weighed me down spiritually and physically.  I just want to be happy again.

Thankfully, I am blessed with a large network of family and friends to give me support. My friend Chuck texted me yesterday saying 'Hop Hop Hop, Sell Sell Sell'.  It is the phrase we used to hear at HFS during the Gorant's candy sale.  I laughed really hard and almost cried because I remember how simple life used to be back then.  Just being a kid.  I feel like we are all kids, just our bodies grow up. That doesn't mean people should be or are all immature.  I have met children 7 or 8 years old that are stronger than I will ever be.

It's moments like that where I get sentimental.  I feel like my life is more fulfilling when I am trying to get back to the days of being a kid...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Family Matters...not the TV show

As the country shuts down to watch grown men attempting to cross a goal line, it has more of a personal connection to my hometown of Youngstown.  The Debartalo-York family has been prominent for many decades in Youngstown.  Ed DeBartalo Sr.'s driver's wife (yes, the only person in Youngstown to have a limo driver), was my babysitter growing up.  Many members of their family have attended my alma mater Youngstown Cardinal Mooney.

What is intriguing is how the family went through a very rough patch where Ed DeBartalo Jr. and Denise DeBartalo-York countersued each other.  The problems caught up with the team as the product on the field languished.

Cleveland Frowns highlights the ups and downs of the ownership here.

GO 49ers, beat the Ravens!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chicago: Land of the Free...except with regards to drinks

In what should not surprise anyone who understands the nanny-state, protect you from yourself, Government style out of Chicago, a proposed ban on 'Large Energy Drinks' is the latest out of the genius mind of Alderman Edward Burke.

This is nothing better than hearing Government wonks tell you what you can and can not do to your own body.  If someone wants to drink 5 red bulls a day, its within their Liberty to do so.  I don't care.  If this Alderman wants to ban anything, I would like to propose banning illegal searches conducted by police, red light cameras, and defined benefit pension plans.

Read Red Bull Ban here

Monday, January 14, 2013

A good idea out of Detroit..Seriously, I am not kidding

I nearly did a double take when I saw what one group of investors were preparing to show Detroit City Council (the most brilliant of its kind).

As the broken city thinks big and radically about its future, a developer is stepping forward with a revolutionary idea: Sell the city's Belle Isle park for $1 billion to private investors who will transform it into a free-market utopia.  
The Detroit News:
 I love this response because of whom the person is associated with:
The idea won't go anywhere, said George Jackson, president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., the quasi-public agency that promotes development for the city.  
I would love to know what ideas the 'quasi-public' agency has for spurring growth.  I am sure higher taxes and more public-private partnerships would work out...

Turning Belle Isle into a State Park is one of the dumbest ideas the council could endorse (if they do so).  A free market utopian would absolutely spur people to visit Detroit.  Yes, people would actually want to go to Detroit...gasp!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Only the 'Good' guys should have guns

In what comes to no surprise for those living in Rahmaland, the city's top cop has come out proclaiming the only way to stop all this maddening violence is less guns.  So the only state that does not have a conceal and carry law, which has a city with one of the highest murder rates in the country, feels like making it harder to get a gun will lead to less murders...

McCarthy during a Rainbow/Push Coalition dialogue:
“When people say concealed carry, I say Trayvon Martin,” McCarthy said, referring to the unarmed 17-year-old who was shot and killed last February by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida, sparking controversy across the country. 
When I hear this man's logic, I think of Melinda Herman:
Melinda Herman grabbed a handgun and hid in a crawl space with her two children when a man broke in last week and approached the family at their home northeast of Atlanta, police said. Herman called her husband on the phone, and with him reminding her of the lessons she recently learned at a shooting range, Herman opened fire, seriously wounding the burglary suspect.
I wonder if Melinda asked the intruder to place down his gun (if he had one) so she could see he has all the proper permit and paperwork in place.

What laws really should be repealed in Chicago are the laws that hurt the poor: Minimum wage laws that prevent the unskilled from getting jobs, inflation induced by the Federal Reserve who actually targets a % of inflation for every year (making your money worth less), and the war on drugs that has failed miserably.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

$20 Everyday McValue menu

It used to bother me that CEOs made lot$ of money.  "They don't deserve that!"  "How much money does one man deserve?"  "He should pay more taxes!".  Sadly, this is what I used to say with my beloved Pro-Union Grandpa shaking his head in the background.  How silly of me.  The reasons CEOs get paid what they get paid is because they take on huge responsibility leading global companies.  This is not the same as the CEOs of Bankster companies that get bailed out by the government *cough AIG, B of A, GM * cough.  Those CEOs don't deserve the chairs they sit in.

Which brings us to a Bloomberg article that claims the whoa is me mantra of a lower wage earner.  I am not attacking this man's character.  He appears to work hard.  But his wage is determined by the marginal revenue product of his labor skills.  See Labor follows the law of supply and demand just like any other aspect of the economy.  This worker's skills are easily replaceable with another worker, thus his wages are lower.  I like these quotes:

Johnson would need about a million hours of work -- or more than a century on the clock -- to earn the $8.75 million that McDonald’s, based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, paid then- CEO Jim Skinner last year.
And he would need two million hours of work to double the CEOs salary!  This is great math.  Here is what I propose, pay everyone equal amount.  From the french fry cook to the CEO.  See how long the company stays in business, and what people want to buy their shares.

Employers are doing more to keep workers from organizing, said Dorothy Sue Cobble, labor professor and historian at Rutgers University in New Jersey. “The numbers of people who get fired for joining a union or trying to organize one has increased dramatically over the last 30 years,” she said.

There is a reason.  Business' don't want to deal with Unions.  They do not (in just about every case) add value to a business or shareholders.

If McDonald's paid its lowest wage earners the same as the CEO, we would all be enjoying the $20 Everyday McValue menu, not the $1 menu that is currently being assaulted by our fearsome President of the Federal Reserve, Mr. Ben "Hellicopter" Bernanke