Showing posts from December, 2012

Quick Thought About Being Rich

Except for those poor souls who win life's lottery early by being born into wealth, most of the people in this country who are rich, are rich by choice.

Having been in business for 30 years, I know a little bit about pricing and profit. I make a comfortable living, my employees make a decent salary, I pay enough taxes for myself and a few others, but I don't make Bill Gates-like amounts of money. I don't make Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Alex Rodriguez, Lil' Wayne, Bill Clinton or Warren Buffet type of money.

Why not? Are they that much smarter than me? Mmmm, maybe. Lucky? Probably quite a bit of that. Maybe they ask for too much money and then people give it to them.

I have always had a bit of a problem with people who can sell something for $1000 when it takes them $100 to make it. Even more so, if they sell 100,000 or even 1,000,000 of them with the same margin. Now that is gross profit.

Sure, I know what value is. It is the price someone is willing to pay for what …

1st and 2nd Amendment - It's All a Matter of Perspective

Today on Fox News Sunday, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) was on to talk about the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT.

What Sen. Durbin, who always sounds sincere and grandfatherly when he speaks, said was this:
But gun control is part of it. We need to sit down and have a quiet, calm reflection on the Second Amendment. Are there guns that really shouldn’t be sold across America? Military assault weapons such as the one involved in this horrific incident in Connecticut?Are there high ammunition clips, high capacity ammunition clips that have no value, whatsoever when it comes to sporting and hunting and even self-defense? The person could buy body armor, take that body armor and use it to protect themselves as they kill innocent people.Can we have a thoughtful, calm, reflection on these things? And do it in the context of our Second Amendment? I think we need to. David Muir, on ABC News Sunday Night, said on several occasions that they will be fostering a "national conversation" throu…

Secret Obama Debt Reduction Scheme Revealed

Tuesday's agreement by mega-bank, HSBC, to pay a record $1.9 Billion in fines has inadvertently revealed a secret Obama administration scheme to quietly reduce the national debt and allow more social spending which, according to one unnamed administration official is "the funnest part of getting that mandate from the American people."

In light of the HSBC $1.9 Billion, the Standard Charter $327 Million, the $619 ING Million, and previous penalties assessed against Barclays, UBS and Citi, today's page one article in the Wall Street Journal about UBS's near settlement of yet another penalty due to interest-rate rigging, it appears that Washington has fallen upon a win-win situation.

Because these violations never result in prosecution of any individual (I guess corporations are people after all) due to a newly revealed trick called deferred prosecution, several beneficial benefits occur.

First and foremost, the number of attorneys both on the financial side and in …

Is Modern Medicine Making the Murder Charge Obsolete?

Is it time for a new murder charge? Let's call it "intended" murder rather than "attempted" murder. According to a front page article in today's Wall Street Journal, homicides are falling despite soaring gun violence. Part of the decreasing number of deaths by shooting or stabbing is not from reduced numbers of violent acts, but from better trauma care.

Just like the space program gave us Tang and integrated circuits in the 1960s, our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during the 2000s has taught our medical practitioners how to patch up and save victims who would have surely died if their misfortune had occurred only a decade before.

While this advance is hailed as a societal benefit of modern medicine, does it actually benefit the perpetrator more than the victim? The victim of traumatic violence will likely have to endure painful and sometimes disfiguring injuries for the rest of their unnatural life, while the purveyor of the deed will avoid being charged wi…

Why Higher Tax Rates for the "Rich" is not Wise

Let's be clear. Most consumers of the Obama post-campaign campaign agitprop have as much of an idea of the difference between an increase in the tax rate and an increase in tax revenue as they do the difference between profit and profit margin.

President Obama campaigned relentlessly on raising the tax rate on the top earners... "those people like me, who can afford to pay a little bit more to help reduce the deficit", he would say in that sotto voce that became so familiar on the stump.

And really, who could disagree that the filthy rich (most of whom are Democrat Party supporters), couldn't afford to pay "just a little bit more"? After all, for them, a checkbook rounding error would fund my family for a year.

So what is the harm in raising the top rate from 35% to 39.6%. I mean, that was the rate during Clinton's final years in office. They were the golden years and look how great a shape he left the economy in. (Discussion of the Internet bubble and …

The Parable and the Fairy Tale

I found myself yelling at the TV today while watching Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner telling interviewers what "we" (meaning the President's administration) are willing to give up to avoid plunging over the Fiscal Cliff. He talked about needing a tax rate increase (nevermind the ultimate goal of revenue enhancement).

He spoke to Chris Wallace of Fox New Sunday about the trillion dollars to be saved by not fighting two wars (that President Bush had already started ending), and how they want to increase beneficial spending on extended unemployment benefits (to help relieve the mortgage crisis {he actually said that}), $150B in infrastructure, and another year of payroll tax holiday and more.

Is this guy kidding? I have never seen as cocky and condescending an individual in politics as Geithner. No wonder Sen. Mitchell laughed at his proposals and Speaker Boehner called it a "silly" proposal that left him "flabbergasted".

It all reminded me of my favor…