Showing posts with label Ron Paul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ron Paul. Show all posts

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rapidly Becoming Apathetic

I was filling out one of those online things and it asked what my political preference was. Not sure why but I gave it more consideration than necessary. I realized that things are kind of sucky and I just don't care. Seriously I don't see any of them making things better. The R's and D's have both had a shot recently and just done a bang up job. I am not sure our system will leave anybody willing to deal with our issues (mainly massive unfunded entitlements) because to do so would be political suicide. Getting any politician to do that is unlikely, let alone a majority.

I bet some folks on one side are getting a good chuckle at folks on the other who thought the cozy government + business relationship would change. They both take money from the same big corporations that like pet legislature as well as capitalism on the way up and socialism on the way down.

Some folks think maybe the Libertarians will save us but I am not so sure. It is pretty easy to be noble when nobody is offering you anything. It is equally easy to offer outside of the box solutions when you aren't responsible for anything and can just Monday morning quarterback it. Also as far as I know the Libertarians have never gotten anybody elected to anything more than (if even that?) county dog catcher. Even if they got ANYBODY elected to a meaningful position I don't think that would change anything. I love Dr. No (Ron Paul) as much as anybody could but aside from voting no on everything and proposing bills that doesn't every go anywhere what has he done?

Seriously on the national or likely even state level I am not so sure I see anything good coming. On the local level more grass roots stuff involving real people has some promise but I move around a lot now so don't really care about that.

I make predictions of what is coming here or there, no need to rehash.  I think I've given up caring until something worth caring about starts to happen. I am not holding my breath.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thinking About Entitlements

I have been thinking about entitlements for the last couple of days. I've written about them before but well, I'm thinking about them and blogs are somewhat redundant. I went back through my posts on these matters and the first of my relatively recent ones sums up my core views nicely. I think that picture is accurate, for at least a decade.

I was watching Tom Brokaw on some news type show. He made a very interesting point. My generation are going to screw older people. Those under 40 (and doubly so under 30) realize social security is a Ponzi scheme. More importantly (older folks aren't stupid, they know it's a Ponzi scheme too) we realize we are at the point in the pyramid where enough new contributors can't be found so it falls apart. Right now we aren't an important demographic for anything but beer, clothing and electronics sales, we are largely ignored in politics. However when 20 and 30 somethings become 30 and 40 somethings we get pretty important pretty fast. I think the likelihood of us adjusting social security benefits to fix a dysfunctional budget are pretty high. Look at what big corporations and nations do when they are broke, they cut the pensioners because aside from ill will by that group it is a darn easy thing to get rid of. Maybe we will screw you guys, at best we will pay you in highly inflated dollars.

In any case I think retirees and those approaching that age need to think about a stance based more on making the program viable and something my generation can have some trust in than getting their 2.5% this year. Also if I was anywhere close to retirement I would do some looking at where I would be without these entitlements.

When it comes to medicare. This is a bit more complicated because the benefits are far less clearly defined and the costs are booming. More people are going to start drawing SS but more people will start drawing medicare and each of them will cost more. We can figure the cost of SS for a given retiree is X plus a couple points a year. Medicare doesn't work that way. First I think we need to make it so retirees with access to other medical care must use it first, not visa versa as it is now. I had two grandparents, both of whom retired with good reasonably priced medical insurance for life. Instead of that insurance paying for their medical needs our government paid. In what world does that make any sense? Also some sort of a means test would make sense to me. Someone who is worth 3 mill in total assets (just to toss out a number) can realistically afford to buy their own insurance.

Also as unpleasant as it sounds we need to really talk about end of life care. I am not a socialist and I do not want to control peoples medical care. I believe people should be free to spend as much money as possible to prolong their life or their quality of life. If Warren Buffet thinks taking a bath in a tub full of diamonds then throwing them away every day will cure cancer then good luck. However I do think an articulate discussion needs to be had about how much money I AM GOING TO BE FORCED TO PAY to keep a 75 year old morbidly obese man with stage 4 cancer who just had a massive stroke hanging on to life for the next week. We spend an obscene percentage of the total cost of health care at the very end of peoples lives and it needs to be looked at. Back to Social Security to close.

To be honest I think it is going to get ugly. Maybe the whole thing will collapse and we will go all hyperinflation. More realistically things will just be bad and we will pay seniors with highly inflated dollars. Maybe my generation will radically change benefits and just shove the old folks under the bus. I see several potential outcomes, all of them bad. It is more a question of how bad and for whom than if it will be bad.

Upon reflection I just can't see the Ron Paul way out working. The first reason is that if there is an example of our government massively slashing expenses in order to pay for an already existing benefit I can't think of it. Secondly I think we are just talking about too many people getting too much money to meet those obligations without a massive dedicated tax. Third I think the "stop gap" concept fails to really recognize how long it would take. I think that in order to not screw over/ honor the contract with seniors we are going to have to pay most of them a high percentage of what they had been promised for the rest of their lives.  I do not have an actuary table for the population we are talking about handy but this plan would have us coming up with a whole lot of money for at least a couple (more likely 3.5-4) decades. We aren't talking about sending these folks 4 more checks and calling it good.

There are just too many retirees getting too much money from the government to be able to have my garnished waged go into my own privatized account (or just stay in my pocket?) and Granny to keep getting checks. I just don't think the math works out.

 In closing, buy silver and ammo. Not that silver and ammo have anything to do with the above, just that I wanted to close on some good advice which everybody can agree upon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Preparadness Bookshelf

,Wifey got our bookshelf organized this weekend. After shuffling some stuff around I ended up with a bookshelf full of preparadness books. On the right there are a few applicable Field Manuals and some how to ish books. After that comes economics and history books. In about the middle are a few liberty type books with Ron Paul well represented and all the way on the left are fiction books.

Some of these have real value because they tell me how to do stuff while others give intertesting ideas about how we could and should live. The rest are entertaining and still manage to slip in a few lessons.

I ordered a few new books this weekend in addition to a large tanto voyager with the 50/50 blade.

Starting A New Life In Rural America: 21 Things You Need To Know Before You Make Your Move by Ragnar Benson

How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It: Tactics, Techniques and Technologies for Uncertain Times by Jim Rawles. I have read and reviewed this one already. Passed that copy off to my friend and now want to replace it so one is on my bookshelf. That probably says more about my opinion of this book than anything else.

Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook: Everything You Need To Know To Keep Your Family Safe in a Crisis. by Peggy Layton

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Imagine If....

In the recent future:

The dollar has been dropping and dropping. It isn't the Weimaraner Republic but it is bad. Finally the people DEMAND sound currency. I don't mean a few people but the kinds of numbers which if they can not absolutely guarantee elected officials loose their positions at the next opportunity they can turn a guaranteed solid seat into a real dicey proposition. Since at the end of the day elected officials are the voice of the people (at least if they want to get re elected;) they act.

Congress finally started listening to what Ron Paul had been talking about in his typical slightly stammering way where the word Constitution must be mentioned in at least every other sentence. They had been told very clearly that inflation must stop for them to have a chance at keeping their jobs. Finally the people realized that if prices went up 20% and the value of their house went up 20% and wages only went up 10% they were not doing better. The people demanded that a dollar earned today would spend the same in a year or 5 years or even longer.

Obviously the only way to do this was to link our currency to precious metals and gold was an easy choice. After all those Tea Party folks kept demanding a move back to the gold standard so it has nice historical underpinnings.

There were two camps on what to do they considered moving purely to a free market solution of having gold and silver or whatever else people decided to use as currency but some other folks wanted to stick with some form of the dollar. One side thought it would be difficult to so radically modify contracts and having a patch work of currencies would make taxation and a variety of other government functions difficult. The dollar had been Americas currency for longer than anyone can remember and though somewhat tarnished it has a good reputation throughout the world.

The other side thought that an artificial pegging of the dollar to an amount of gold was what brought the Brenton Woods Agreement's downfall. They also realized that at least to some degree if a government had the opportunity to print paper money there was a high likelihood they would print a little bit more than they were supposed to and if that was OK print a bit more than that which was the downfall of Brenton Woods. Eventually everyone involved realized that as unfortunate as it was the dollar was going to have to go, at least in the traditional sense. Having the dollar pegged to gold and redeemable on demand did not work long term before and there was concern that it would not work now.

The eventual solution was to use gold as it has all the characteristics which are desirable for money and people trust it. The decision was made that government employees and taxes would be handled in gold. A couple of very reputable organizations started doing electronic transactions and bank accounts in gold (and silver). This made paying people a lot easier as it deals with taxation (I can't accurately cut 7% off of a gold coin) which is a fact in modern society and also the fact that gold is pretty darn valuable. Coins smaller than 1/20th or so of an ounce are not worth the effort of dealing with and the hazards of forcing the market via a bi metalic standard were something to avoid. Of course folks who wanted coins in their hands could get silver anywhere thought it was at a market rate instead of a fixed one.

People who got paid cash now get paid in gold. Those who got direct deposits now get a direct deposit of gold into their account with any one of the several reputable dealers. They can keep it in their account or withdraw it via their debit card at any bank. The business model for these companies is very similar to the older ones. If folks choose to just keep their gold in the account and use a debit card to purchase stuff the companies they purchase stuff from pay a small premium. Companies were already paying these sorts of fees and without them many potential customers will go elsewhere.

Americans were collectively skittish about paper currencies and avoided them for several years. They eventually realized that paper currency does in fact have a place as using cards for all transactions is a pain and having a purse full of coins is sort of a pain. The decision to name this paper currency the dollar was a foregone conclusion. However the decision was to have its value be that of a specific weight of gold. Really the only reason it is called the dollar was the names strong historic connotations. 

Dealing with foreign governments was a bit tricky for awhile. The American government dealt in gold, that was clear. Since we pay debts in gold we expect other companies to do the same. There is no way we are going to send them gold and receive paper currency in exchange! American companies can of course do whatever they please. Pretty quickly most of them realized that for short term discrete transactions it did not matter what they were paid in. They after all would just have it sent to their bank which would deposit that amount of gold in their account at the days exchange rate. For longer term arrangements and debts the smart companies chose to make contracts in gold because fiat currencies would bounce around but 1,000 ounces of gold today is going to be 1,000 ounces of gold tomorrow or in a hundred years.

Thus endith the imagining session.

The one big thing I did not mention was how to transition from our current fiat system to another system. I don't have a clue how we could manage to reasonably honor (equitable value) the savings and obligations we have and end up with a sound hard money system. If it became clear the dollar was getting swapped for gold (or whatever) the only way people could exchange dollars is to the government. Who would I suppose give them gold? It would take a substantial investment to honor these obligations of trust and unlike our current system it would be difficult to print a whole bunch of gold coins. If there has ever been a currency exchange/ replacement where people didn't get screwed I have missed it.

I don't have an answer to this significant part of the solution.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Mortars and Money: My Day and End The Fed IPR

I have all sorts of stuff in my head but am tired, hungry, thirsty, in the middle of an awkward freezing/ thawing cycle and scatter brained. Also I made a sort of promise to myself to write every day if possible, I didn't say anything about it being organized or good.

Today I got to shoot mortars a bunch which was pretty awesome. We had 60's and 81's and rounds a plenty. First we layed the section in, registered it and all the normal adjust fire stuff but we also did hip shoot and direct lay. I particularly enjoyed shooting the 60mm mortar hand held.

One of our instructors said this is the only way they shot mortars in Iraq. It is by far the least accurate way to shoot a mortar since you are just pointing the tube at the target. The apparatus on the top of the trigger allows you to measure distance which is essential as the lobbing trajectors would be just about impossible to Kentucky windage unless all you did was handheld firing of mortars. The reason hand held is so widely used is that it is by far the lightest configuration with just the tube, a tiny base plate and rounds versus the tube, a big base plate and the bipod legs. Also maybe more importantly it is very very fast. No FO and FDC or adjustments or leveling bubbles. You put the mortar tube onto the ground, put a round with the right charge in it, point it at the target, get the right range and shoot. One could easily be driving around, take fire and be putting rounds downrange in well under a minute. The limitations are that you have to be able to see the target, the target has to be pretty close (probably under 1k) and it is not particularly accurate.

If in addition to the section sized PSD element I have on request I could get a section of mortars with an FO to be on call to fire an FPF and a couple priority targets that would be great. 

I have worked most of the way through End The Fed. I am enjoying it a lot and learning significant amounts about hard money and getting an intro to The Austrian School of Economics. The book is a tad repetitive but I am learning enough stuff and hearing various amusing Ron Paul stories that it is enjoyable. This book is much more technical and complicated than The Revolution. Partly because of this and partly because I have been busy and it is harder to free up a few hours in one shot to read a somewhat technical and such than one which is easier to digest.

If I had to sum up End The Fed in a sentence that wasn't "Ron Paul really wants to abolish the Federal Reserve." it would be that "Ron Paul believes the Federal Reserve coupled with fiat currency have caused most of not all of the financial problems the US has."
If I had to sum up the theme of this book (aside from the obvious stated above) it would be connectivity. Fiat currency is related to banking practices which are related to the FDIC which is related to moral hazard which is related to the Federal Reserve which causes Inflation which leads to other stuff which affects the previously mentioned stuff. To be honest I really don't see the connections between some of the stuff Ron Paul attempts to connect in the book but I sure see a lot of them.

I would say more but I have to save some for the final Review. 

I am going to eat a big dinner, drink a gallon of water and go to bed early.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

quote of the day

"A point we learn from this event and every other banking panic in U.S. history is that crises have always lead to greater centralization."
-Ron Paul in End The Fed

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What Do You Want For Christmas?

We went Christmas shopping today. Got all sorts of stuff and now that is done. We ended up at a book store and even though you aren't supposed to buy yourself stuff in this season I couldn't resist purchasing End The Fed by Ron Paul

I got to wondering what people want for Christmas and how much of it is Prep stuff vs various other stuff. So what do you want for Christmas?

Here is my Christmas List:
1. Boot Dryer.
2. Book: The Creature from Jeckyll Island
3. Amazon Gift Card (to buy books or whatever)
4. An emergency candle
5. First aid stuff.
6. A black stocking cap. Just the normal type.
7. A Cleaver.

Most of the stuff I want is prep or vaguely liberty orriented. A boot dryer is number one because I wear boots to work and it is wet here. 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

They Can Haz Audit?

Ron Paul's desire to audit the Federal Reserve seems to be gaining a bit of traction. If nothing else it seems to keep popping up in the news. MSNBC didn't have anything nice to say about Dr. Paul but that these fucking commies even mentioned this potential legislation says something. It is up to 244 co sponsors 74 of whom are democrats.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Humongous noticed something cool Ron Paul wants to do

Dr. Ron Paul is sponsoring a bill in the US House that will shed light on the Fed's spending of OUR money. This is something that will make the government cry. If you are sadistic like me... well, you can't possibly be as mean as me... but regardless- do this. Use the link to get to the list of reps who have/haven't jumped on as co-sponsors. If you find that your rep is not on this list (edited for OPSEC) all you need to do is follow the helpful links to get to his email, and then paste on the handy-dandy form letter. I jazzed mine up a little, but you do what you want(you will anyway, right?).

I know I'm sending out a bunch of stuff here recently, but things are getting much more interesting in our world. So I'm doing what I can to annoy you. :)


TOR here: I will never get annoyed by thoughtful email from readers and friends. Thanks for the heads up


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Beautiful Women Wednsday- Anne Coultier

What is not to like about this gal? She is beautiful, smart as can be and a die hard conservative. Alas she leans a bit too the religious right instead of the easy going and fun libertarian camp but we can't all be perfect. So God gave her great legs instead of a strong desire to stay out of the personal affairs of others; we should try not to hold it against her.

Before someone jumps all up in my ass I am going to say a couple things. First of all I think a lot of what she says is for shock value because shock = book sales= $$$$$$$$$. Second of all I don't agree with everything anyone does so that one reader who plans to dig up a psycho quote just chill out.

Anyway I am going to get to bed now.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ron Paul on a Private Solution to Piracy.

Read this article for some true to form Ron Paul. The idea is affordable, practical, creative and best of all firmly founded in the Constitution.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

quote of the day

"While it is not always the case that an unarmed populace WILL be killed by their government, if a government is going to kill its own people, it MUST disarm them first so they cannot fight back. Disarmament must happen at a time when overall trust in government is high, and under the guise of safety for the people, or perhaps the children."
-Ron Paul

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Entitlements Part 3- Ron Pauls Solution

As mentioned previously I read The Revolution: A Manifesto this weekend. One of the many topics touched on in the book was entitlements. I am not going to directly quote or even paraphrase Dr. Paul's words on entitlements. The route I am going to take is to briefly summarize what I understand to be his thoughts on entitlements as stated in The Revolution.

It is not surprising that Dr. Paul is against entitlements because they are not specifically authorized in the Constitution. It is also not surprising that he is opposed to them because they are unfunded and are part of the reason we have a huge deficit.

Much more interestingly Dr. Paul has a plan to get us out of this mess. He believes that when the nation started forcibly taking peoples money to fund social security and medicare they entered into a contract. This means that just cutting things off immediately is not an option. People who have learned to be reliant on these programs will not be thrown out into the street.

This is where plans start to get combined with a real big picture view. Ron Paul wants to bring American troops home from 130 (ish) countries and end our enormous military presence oversees. He also wants to get rid of foreign aid. Money saved from ending these expensive commitments would be used to provide a stop gap measure that provides services to the most vulnerable and in need.

Thoughts?....Flame on I guess.

Book Review- The Revolution By Ron Paul

This book sat on the shelf for awhile. For my birthday I got a bunch of books that included this one. For whatever reason I didn't get to it and once they get buried in the shelf it can take awhile to stumble onto them. I grabbed this book and threw it into my backpack for the flight. As usual I couldn't sleep much so I was able to read the whole book. It is just under 200 pages so can be read by a determined individual in an afternoon.

I suggest purchasing this book and reading it. The biggest thing I got out of this book is that we need to question everything occasionally no matter how well established it is. Also I realized how narrowly the debate about all sorts of issues is framed. Arguing about whether we should give Dictator X 250 million dollars or 225 million dollars is missing the point. Far more then ever before I am against foreign aid. Americans should not have the fruits of their labor stolen at gunpoint to then be handed to foreign countries.

Also hearing Ron Paul's ideas about bunches of other stuff was real nice. Do not be ignore this book because this review is short and somewhat vague. Unlike most other books I have reviewed this will not teach you quantifiable skills or necessarily suck you in like a good SHTF page turner but it changed the way I see American politics.

Buy the book and read it.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts