Saturday, September 15, 2012

On who makes our lives better

This morning I went to Jack-In-The-Box and got a sausage biscuit and some hash browns.  This particular location never closes.  They're open for me, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

I'm not particularly fond of their coffee, though, so I hit my Starbucks at Western Center Boulevard and I-35.  Had a double-espresso(Hit that link.  It's a good one.)  The Starbucks doesn't open until 5:30, but the workers had probably been there since 4:00 a.m. 

When I got to work, I looked at all the stuff we're doing for Kroger.  They love it.

I looked at what we're doing for Wal-Mart.  They love us, too.  We're busting our asses for those folks. 

Then I reviewed some stuff we're doing for another company, a company that will remain nameless.  (Don't want to call 'em out by name.  It's not going too well right now.)  If we don't get our shit together soon, they're going to replace us with someone that can keep them happy.  It's all up to us.

I walked through the big project we're doing for Radio Shack.  So far, they love us.

Then I broke open a China shipping container and pulled out a random box.  It's from my buddy Mr. Chen in Xiamen, China.  He provides us with all sorts of metal hardware and display fixtures.  The display dump bin that I pulled out of the container once took 30 minutes to assemble with a drill, a tap and die set, a pop-rivet gun, a rubber mallet and a screwdriver.  After a year's worth of emails, drawing revisions, hardware changes and, well, cussing, Mr. Chen has sent us a display bin that can be assembled in five minutes with nothing but a screwdriver.  I love Mr. Chen like a brother.   

Work, work, work, work. 

Here's something I found at the Cafe Hayek blog today, something on the same subject.  Every day of his life, Don Boudreaux of George Mason University fires off a letter to the editor of some Statist Rag, trying to correct misinformation about how the world really works.  This one was a beauty:

Edward Sage ridicules Charles Koch’s claim – from Mr. Koch’s essay ”Corporate Cronyism Harms America” (Sept. 10) - that “the role of business is to provide products and services that make people’s lives better.” Mr. Sage asks in response: “Since when? This sounds much more like a liberal take on the role of government. As a liberal I’d be over the moon if companies cared primarily about making lives better. Instead, this only happens if it’s the best way to make money” (Letters, Sept. 13).
Mr. Sage uses the word “only” to imply that it’s a mere occasional happenstance that the best way for businesses to make money is to supply goods and services that improve people’s lives. But because no private business (without special privileges granted by government) can force any consumer to buy its products – and because no private business (without special privileges granted by government) can prevent other businesses from competing for consumers’ dollars – no private business (without special privileges granted by government) can survive unless it supplies “products and services that make people’s lives better” (as judged by consumers themselves, of course, rather than by Mr. Sage and his fellow “liberals”).
Businesses do sometimes err. Consumers do sometimes err. But for Mr. Sage not to see that in private markets the profit motive generally drives businesses to seek ceaselessly and frantically for ways to supply outputs that improve people’s lives is for him to be blind to one of the most remarkable and transformative facts of the past two centuries.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
Well said, sir.  Well said. 
If I ever make a ton of money, and the only honest way I can do this is by keeping a lot of people happy in exchange for their money, I'm going to go to Virginia and take classes from Don Boudreaux. 
It will happen. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

From the photo files

It's time to purge the photo files - all the great stuff that comes my way from Facebook, Reddit, emails, and elsewhere. 

No one but Libertarians thinks this is even remotely ironic.  Time magazine was for real with this.  But BHO and FDR are getting similar economic results. 

On the value of government-funded research

Here's something interesting on the value of most government-funded research, from The Bureau Of Labor Statistics. 

Page two, point #3. 

It's near zero. 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012


"Like FDR, President Obama inherited a nation in economic crisis. Let us not forget, however, that Roosevelt’s policies converted the crisis into a decade-long full-blown depression. Why anyone would seek to emulate that experience is beyond me." - Alan Blinder, in a letter to the Wall Street Journal

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rahm Emanuel supporters go on strike against.....Rahm Emanuel

You may have read or heard that most of Chicago's public school teachers have walked out.  They're on strike. 

The average Chicago family earns $47,000.00 per year.  The average striking teacher makes $76,000.00 and has an incredible pension.  Forget about that.  You see, the struggling Chicago families paying for this gaggle of union ineptitude are the equivalent of wealthy coal barons, selfishly eating lobster and smoking cigars while their ragtime bands play into the night.  The striking teachers are the Molly Maguires, wearing fertlizer sack shirts, and boiling rocks to make soup.  That's the dominant media narrative today, anyway. 

79% of Chicago 8th graders aren't proficient at reading.  Here's something from a 7th grade teacher, perhaps one of the ones responsible for the 79% failure: 

Many in the peaceful crowd said they were surprised at how many teachers showed up to rally.

"This is an amazing display of democracy," said Rick Sawicki, a 7th grade teacher at Evergreen Middle School. "It is a wonderful lesson for children and adults alike. I'm honored that we are all sticking together. We all want what is fair. We want to make sure everyone is treated fairly, just like I teach my children."
You might be wondering about the impact this is having on Rahm Emanuel, Chicago's new Democrat mayor.  Is Rahm having to stay home to take care of his three kids until their school reopens? 

Hell no.  Rahm Emanuel doesn't trust public education.  Rahm Emanuel would no more send his kids to a Chicago public school than he would send them to a public housing crack den.  You'll catch the Obama's sending their kids to a D.C. public school first. 
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided to send his three children to the University of Chicago Lab Schools rather than put them in the financially strapped Chicago Public Schools he’s trying desperately to reform," the Chicago Sun-Times reported last year.  
A phone call to the Lab Schools confirmed that it remains open. It is, after all, a private institution--and strikes are taking place in public schools.

The director's office, however, was not yet able immediately to confirm whether Emanuel's three children were in attendance today. (UPDATE: The school called back to say it wouldn't comment.) Emanuel's office did not respond to a request for comment
The Lab Schools are an expensive and elite Chicago institution. The website of the school high details the annual cost:
Good God in heaven !!  This almost puts Texas A and M into perspective. 

According to the school's website, it has a "rich academic and extracurricular offerings, [a] distinct approach to education, [a] diverse student body, and [a] unique relationship to the University of Chicago."

Hell yes, it has a unique relationship to the University of Chicago.  I bet most of the faculty send their kids there. 

Anyway, for those of us who enjoy watching people reap what they've sown, this is a delicious moment.  Does Emanuel defend the Teachers Union, the one that has provided him and The Teleprompter Jesus so many foot soldiers and donations through the years? 

Is he going to shaft those families making 47K in favor of those two-teacher families who make up the top 6% of incomes in the nation

I bet he does. 

Sheesh.  We need education vouchers.  Now. 

Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party candidate for president, supports the idea of education vouchers..  We should all have options, just like the Emanuels and the Obamas. 

Jobs update !!!

It's been a busy weekend, and there's been little or no time to blog. 
So let's update the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on a gullible public !!!

The bottom line reflects what The Teleprompter Jesus promised we'd see if we just gave him 3/4 of a trillion dollars to spend on his buddies. 
The next line from the bottom was his "scary" number - the numbers we'd see if we didn't let him loot The Treasury. 
The next line shows the official government unemployment numbers. 
The little dot closest to the top shows the unemployment number we'd see if so many people weren't saying "screw it, I quit". 

So seriously, what do you think would've happened if The Porkulus Package had been even bigger?