Wednesday, May 31, 2006
"I usually do not do requests, unless of course I have been asked to do so."
So I got a request to post the poem I used on the radio show to introduce the Economics Lesson of the Day. Sadly it will not be accompanied by my voice which sounds like a wounded moose, but some would prefer it that way;
Come on baby if you got the nerve
Let's go down by the river and kiss by the Federal Reserve
You can show your supply and demand curves
When we talk economics.
We'll talk about China and the price of oil,
Run correlation coefficients, baby but don't sweat or toil
Commodity prices are up what the price of aluminum foil?
When we talk economics.
Ohhhhhhh, take me on a whirlwind tour of the banks
and of the mints
Aaaaaaand while we talk about the federal budget,
you can kiss me while money prints.
Give me supply, I'll give you demand
We'll create some equilibrium while hand in hand.
And let's not dance to that inflationary band!
When we talk economics!"
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
My trip to the Badlands in South Dakota.
I know, I know, you aspiring junior deputy economists had to go an entire extended weekend without your daily dose of economic wisdom, but you'll have to go a day more because you're going to get...
PICTURES FROM THE BADLANDS!!!!
Whether you like it or not.
Truthfully though, if you haven't made it to the Badlands in South Dakota, seriously, take the trip. As I have said before, it's like when somebody says, "Dude, this is a GREAT movie!" Or "You HAVE to read this book!" Or "She was like TOTALLY hot!"
And in your mind you're saying,
"No, it's probably isn't that great of a movie"
"No, I really don't HAVE to read that book."
"And, I don't believe she was really that TOTALLY hot."
Yeah, but really and I'm not joking you here, South Dakota is worth the trip. And I say that not just because they have no state income tax, but it really is worth the flight to Rapid City, SD.
So men, trust me when I say this;
Women are used to the flowers and the dinner crap. Just tell her to pack a back pack, some Gatorade, pack a 45 caliber to shoot any ornary buffalo, and then book a flight and just commit yourself to hiking about 30 miles in waterless terrain for 3 days. It's amazing.
One other thing I shall note about the Badlands and the Black Hills. We're getting a fair amount of representation from India, not just on this blog, but at the Badlands as well. A disproportionate representation from the subcontinent was at the Badlands, not to mention I think there were more foreigners at Mount Rushmore than there were Americans. Regardless, it kind of resulted in a warm fuzzy feeling that all these foreigners were at Mount Rushmore. Nice to see people from other countries, speaking different languages coming all the way here to see our presidents' mugs up on a mountain. And I don't mean that in the politically correct, obligatory fashion, but in the just-plain-effing-truth fashion. Was nice to see people from a different country, haul their asses all the way over here to see this piece of Americana. Almost left you to believe that there was something people still admired about America.
Anyway, here are the pictures (they're huge if you click on them).
Your enjoyment is manditory.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
"Hi, I'm Al Gore, and I'm irrelevant now, but my ego needs masterbation."
Get your ass in academia you has-been.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Treat business like you treat your wives. If you want them to come to you and invest in you, then give them incentive by treating them nice.
Don't beat them and hit them with high taxes, regulation and vitrolic, socialist hatred.
I highlighted a couple states of interest since I've always advocated (and advised some) Minnesota companies to move to Sioux Falls, SD and we have pretty heavy readership out on the west coast.
Sure, we all listen to Rush and how he bombastically scoffs at their chances. Sure we all know why right wing, patriotic, Republican, Capitalism talk shows work since they serve an underserved market. Sure, we all know that the chances of liberal talk radio succeeding are minimal because we can get it already on NPR. But the answer to the question why, is much more insightful than most of us would realize. Not in as much as it points out the obvious, but that it highlights the fundamental differences between the capitalist and socialist ideologies purported by the Republicans and democrats, respectively.
First, radio talk shows of the right leaning sort have succeeded in the traditional manner that radio has operated; the market.
A host or show entices sponsors to spend money on advertising which finances the show. If the show is successful enough, it attracts enough listeners, and enough listeners then patronize the sponsors which begets more advertising dollars. This is a very simple, yet beautiful example of the market at work.
A service (the radio show) is essentially provided for free (via sponsor’s dollars). The market.
Yet after thinking about it, the only real way liberal talk radio would work is purely out of charity, or confiscatory taxes to subsidize it. No legitimate business, concerned about their own survival is going to support left wing radio. What sense does it make for a business to pay somebody to spout ideas of increasing their taxes and vitriol for the entrepreneur? It’s counterintuitive.
Therefore, liberal radio is relegated to primarily three main sources of financing:
Charitable contributions from spoiled brat trust fund baby or Hollywood leftists
Socialist political interest groups such as unions or bona fide parties like Democratic Socialists of America, etc.
Organic Coffee Shops
Oh sure, I’ve heard a couple private sector firms make an advertisement on Air America, primarily investment or insurance shops. Car dealerships and what not. I’m sure socialists buy cars and reluctantly buy insurance (because the government should pay for that, DUH!). But they’re eclipsed by the sheer volume of pathetic ads put up by unions, non-profits and other appendages of the democratic and socialist parties in the US.
Thusly, it is this, that is the fundamental reason that liberal radio will at worst fail, at best, never achieve the greatness of right leaning radio, simply because it is not based in the market and will rely on handouts for their financing. No person is willingly going to pay to hear how they should pay more taxes, forgive the terrorists, feel guilty for being white, or pay reparations for minorities of 300 years ago. Only the public sector and those to benefit from such inanity would be willing to pay for it, if for any other reason than job security.
It is the classical battle between the establishment and the people. The people willingly patronizing those that sponsor the right leaning shows, while the left leaning has to go out and (role befitting) beg for their money.
Alas the only real difference I can see between liberal talk radio and NPR is that NPR feigns its objectivity while liberal talk radio emphasizes its bias.
Democrats, socialists and other varied leftists will always resort to conspiracy theories because they are unable to accept the reality that their policies don't work.
Rather than accept reason, facts, research, statistics and common sense, they insist on living in their own little world where wealth is magically produced out of thin air, socialism works, the terrorists are simply misunderstood, and their relatively low incomes are the result of racism, sexism, ageism, glass ceiling, boys network, Bush and Haliburton.
So what I want you to do is pour yourself a nice tall drink, pull up a chair, and watch the left immediately default to their "Conspiracy Theory Mode" when they read this.
I say they're going to go with the "Big Oil owns Bush and Bush owns this administration and therefore controls the antitrust department" schtick.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Of course if you listened to those ignorant leftists and their labor union stooges, any change in the status quo is horrible for today workers and will put millions out of jobs. Again, if today's modern leftists were around in 1898 we'd still all be riding horses, because they'd be more concerned about how many people would be put out of work in the horse industry, instead of how much of a benefit the automobile would bring to society.
This might also explain why leftists abhor the real sciences of engineering, physics, accounting, biology and gravitate towards el-crapo studies of sociology, women's studies, feelings, public policy, health management and basket weaving.
Regardless, for those of you that appreciate reality and would like to see standards of living increase and have no problem with creative destruction, the following chart should explain in part why the US and Korea have had higher than average economic growth rates and why people from Mexico insist on moving here.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Come on here guys!
So, in a desperate hope to get more representation from the economic emerald in my eye, I will repost the post on Ireland.
There was a comment made on one of my posts about how he was shocked that Ireland was such an economic success. And I suppose I never really gave much thought about it, but it did occur to me that there are probably some people out there who are still under the impression that Ireland is still the armpit of Europe and are unaware as to just what an economic success story Ireland has become.
Thus, I've decided to highlight some of the key statistics about Ireland and compare them to the UK, the US and the EU for reference.
First things first. Ireland used to have high tax rates, but has since lowered them to become some of the lowest in Europe going from above 50% of GDP in the 80's to 35% today.
Overall taxes weren't the only things being lowered, as Ireland effectively has become a tax haven for corporation, attracting investment from foreign firms wishing to establish a beach head and gain access to the European markets.
While leftists will contest otherwise, history has shown us that as taxes are lowered, certain things have a tendency to go down.
Things like unemployment;
Note the precipitous drop in unemployment from French levels to American levels.
But while unemployment may drop, other things increase when taxes are lowered...like economic growth. Ireland is by far the only European Tiger and leaves most other modern day countries behind, lending credence to my theory that an economy can never grow "too fast."
Higher economic growth results in higher standards of living. This should particularly piss off the Brits since as of 1998, Ireland has surpassed their former overlord's in standards of living and looks set to surpass even US standards (don't ask me why the OECD doesn't have 2003-2005 data).
Today there are very few countries that enjoy higher standards of living than Ireland
Of course statistics and economics isn't everything. I remember a socialist getting into it with me saying, "You know, the whole world isn't all statistics, Statistics Man. There's things like love and friendship count too..."
I couldn't agree more. What is life I ask you, without love? And how can you possibly measure or apply statistics to love?
Thus a comparison of who I can fall in love with from varying countries is warranted;
I could fall in love with a German, such as Chancellor Merkel;
I could court Judi Dench, a renouned, Oscar-winning British actress who currently portrays M in the new James Bond films;
To be fair and representative of all Europeans, we should include some Scandinavians like the head of Sweden's feminist party;
Oh, and let's not forget there's a lot of fine selection in them there US American babes!
And then we have those god-awful redheaded monsters that pass for women in Ireland;
Yuck! What sane, rational-minded, red-blooded male would EVER contemplate moving to Ireland?
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
And while the Captain is continually amazed how sweet and kind she is, there have been several things that she has done which have just completely floored him and taken him off guard. Things that have gone beyond what most women have done. For example
She said yes to a date.
She showed up for the date.
She agreed to go on a second date.
She surprised him by taking him out to a place he had never been before.
And of course she bought the Captain flowers which he posted on this blog.
However, the fetching babe of capitalism has outdone herself this time;
I am the envy of all economists.
Of course, the knee jerk reaction and retorts to this are;
1. GDP is not a measure of happiness, health, standards of living, candle light vigils, and fluffy good feelings.
2. Europe has free health care and education
3. George Bush sucks
4. This doesn't account for intangible extenalities like pollution, scenery and that George Bush sucks.
5. But the wealth is distributed insanely unequally and you have a very high Gini Coefficient...even though your "poor" is wealthier than the average Frenchman.
6. "Oh yeah, well, did you know that more people in the world watch soccer than American football??? Yeah, that's right!"
All those things being said, we know deep down inside, you're jealous.
And that's OK, because the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. And once you admit you have a problem, then the road to capitalistic recovery and higher standards of living can take place.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Anyway, my personal interest aside, what I noticed with these figures is how (BY GOSH!) they're making decent money out there in dem der third world countries. In Kuala Lumpur one can almost make $10,000 a year as a programmer. And don't even get me started about how it isn't adjusted for purchasing power parity.
Regardless, the whole point is how I remember back in the late 80's and early 90's being told that American companies were taking advantage of these poor third world laborers and paying them nickels per decade. That you shouldn't buy Nike because they force children with one arm and 3 toes to work 15 hours a day and drink acid for lunch, if they're lucky enough to have a lunch!
Yes, well every country must start somewhere. Last I recall working on the American frontier in the 1820's wasn't exactly up to UN Human Rights Code. And look, within 15 years and billions of dollars worth of FDI, decent jobs with decent pay are starting to show up in the developing world...well maybe not Bolivia or Venezuela, but the developing world that at leasts wishes to progress.
Friday, May 12, 2006
And become brainwashed dolts like Europeans and spread their ass cheeks a little wider and learn to embrace high taxes on gas and never knowing the feeling of hitting the open road with a full tank knowing you can drive cross country and still afford rent that month.
Sorry guys, try that link.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Well, seems Captain Capitalism has readers in some more exotic locations.
Seems Hawaii finally came around and joined the remaining 49 states.
Mauritius. That's what I'm talking about! What blog can claim representation in Mauritius!?
And by the looks of it, I'd say Churchill off of Hudson Bay. The only reason I know of this town is because the meteorologist in Minneapolis would always check in the temperatures there in January to make out -17 degree day seem balmy. I hate that effer.
And, last, but not least, no doubt my good buddy Hugo down there in Venezuela read my post about what a piss sh!t job he's done running that country into the ground. Great article in The Economist about how he's claiming we're about to invade his country and he'd burn all the oil before he'd let us have it. Such posturing before an election. But that's alright, millions of ignorant Americans will still shop at Citgo everyday giving this impotent dictator enough money to stay in power...not to mention the ignorant Venezuelan simpletons who think socialism is the way to grow the economy.
And with Bush trying to get his brother to run, yeah, I'm thinking it's time to punish the Republicans for their insolence.
Alas, it seems Blair and Bush wish to accomplish what Reagan did;
Cut taxes to make those who work and contribute happy, while boosting social spending to glean leftists and lazies from the left.
Of course, the gamble they take is that the tax cuts will pay for the increased spending by having the economy grow fiercely, thereby increasing the tax base, and thus increasing nominal tax revenues.
This does work, but the problem is the government spends even more money that what the tax cuts brought in in added government revenue, resulting in deficits, accumulating into debt.
But to the savvy politician, debt is no concern, because you can always rely on a young and ignorant generation to spread their butt cheeks, blissfully unaware of the future financial raping they're about to get in the future.
Hopefully, you will have retired from politics or passed away by that time, effectively pulling off the perfect crime.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
It's like when a guy friend of yours comes up to you and says, "Dude, Captain Capitalism, I met this TOTALLY HOT BABE! You got to meet her."
And then you meet her and she is nothing really attractive.
No, this article REALLY is a hot babe.
Reading is manditory.
There will be ramifications for your failure to read.
They're in better shape than us.
Heck, most of the world is in better shape than us.
I go to the gas station only to see some fat sow with an arm-load of candy and junk food in her hands drop more on fattening foods (and cigarettes and lottery tickets) than she did on gas.
And their male counterparts, sitting their with their beer in their hands, watching football, don't redeem the men either.
Sad, because you'd think one of the finer pleasures in life is being physically attractive to somebody so you can have wild crazy hot greasy monkey sex.
(From The Economist's The World in 2006, get a freaking subscription already)
Perhaps eating is more enjoyable than sex...though I've yet to have a Chipotle fajita that is that good.
Monday, May 8, 2006
And isn't it nice of The Economist to allow you to read this for free?
But it seems the Canadians are kicking their southern neighbor's ass in one regard; trade.
Not that I have seen much statistics on the Canadian consumer, but I'd surmise they are a bit more fiscally responsible than their southern American counterparts. That and with the run up in commodity prices, their western provinces have (high time) been kicking the eastern provinces' asses.
They are also kicking the US' ass in trade and it is reflected in our exchange rate.
And I can only surmise what would happen when they manage to get that oil out of their sands there for under $90/ barrel.
Regardless, fishermen and hockey players may give way to future oil barrons and currency raiders, eh?
(future oil barrons?)
(Currency raiders at the gates?)
Sunday, May 7, 2006
Oddly, I have no representation in Russia. That is odd. What kind of blog gets representation in Tasmania, but not Russia? Why do the Russians hate me so? What have I done to them? Will have to write about Putin or ballet or something.
The one country that doesn't treat their women like cattle,
The one country that has a full fledged functional democracy,
The one country that hasn't mixed Islam with government,
The one country with the technical capability of fighting 3 multiple front wars,
The one country that without oil is still able to manage an GDP per Capita of over $15,000
And the one country that hasn't tendered men to chicken out on life and go bomb some infidels because it's a short cut to heaven
How can that be!!???
You know what it is!!!?? It's those damn Jews! That's what it is!
You're right, it IS those damn Jews. Because it certainly isn't Islam that's kickin' economic ass and offering a reason to live and enjoy life (although I will make a tentative exception for Indonesia).
Friday, May 5, 2006
1-3PM Central Standard Time
And for those of you stuck near a computer and are out of state and just need that good economics loving' feel free to listen online;
Up on tap will be the stupidity of public sector architecture and my recent acquisition of the World in Figures Pocketbook 2006!!!!
What hilarity will ensue???
Find out when you tune into THE ECONOMICS SUPPER CLUB!
I view it no differently than I do graffiti. It's absolutely painful to look at. But at least with graffiti all it costs me is tax payer money to clean it up. When it comes to these buildings we're talking billions of dollars of money pissed away AND IT NEVER GOES AWAY.
Now, I am not absolutely 100% sure, but I'm pretty sure the new Guthrie theater that is under construction has received some tax payer money to be built. And with my newly acquired digital camera I decided to take a picture of it to show you just what how much "talent" and "brilliance" the architect of this "cutting edge and state of the art" theater put into it.
Now, I know, you in the "art" community will no doubt contend this is GENIUS! That I am just a foolish rube who cannot appreciate the complicated design of appreciate the theory that went into this over blown lego.
I'll just tell you what the truth is;
"Minimalist art" is just another word for "Your daddy's rich, and you ain't got no talent, so to spare your feelings, people who feel sorry for you, or are untalented losers such as yourselves will buy your crap."
Sorry, that's just what it is.
Now go and do society a favor and flip burgers or something.
Next up will be the Walker Art Center. But that is for another time.
Thursday, May 4, 2006
Whenst speaking about various traits and factors that contribute to economic growth and the production of wealth, inevitably the argument goes something like this about the French;
"Their men may be pansies.
75% of their students may expect/wish to have a government job.
They may not realize Poles or Czechs can do just a good of a job as they can for a mere fraction of the cost and without the whining.
And they may never put the two words "defend" and "Paris" together.
But shucks howdy their labor productivity beats most."
It's kind of the silver lining in the cloud.
"We may work only 20 hours a week.
A full 30% of our abled bodied people sit on their asses.
And what people do work it is largely in the public sector, thusly our labors are largely wasted.
But we're efficient!"
Well good for you.
Or perhaps not.
For while I had some handy dandy charts a couple years old showing various measures of labor productivity, and those figures showed the French did indeed produce more per hour (although what use is it if you're only working 3 hours a day?), when I pulled the most recent figures from the OECD and indexed them, it seems that the French are, well....um...kind of doing like they do in the Tour de France;
Not that the US itself has been doing any major ass kicking like the likes of Korea or Ireland, but since about the late 90's the French just can't seem to squeeze out that extra production per hour like most other countries.
And I can't wait to see what's happend to labor productivity in 2006 with those protests and all.
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
So what I did was run a correlation between the OECD member countries' average economic growth and the standard deviation in that growth to see if more volatile economic growth coincided with high average economic growth;
And what do you know, I'm right once again.
It seems that if the government steps aside, lets people make decisions (good or bad) for themselves, the people will inevitably make the right choices. It also suggests that if markets are allowed to be volatile, yes, there may be a rollercoaster, but those markets are allowed to adjust quicker. That capital and resources are allocated more efficiently, and thus losses caused by mistakes are cut short and profitable ventures and industries are allowed to be chased and exploited with the utmost of efficiency...meanwhile the French still pay 50 Euro's for a bottle of milk.
Of course, thus far all I've proved is that economies that are more volatile have on average higher economic growth rates. This says nothing about how much the government intervenes in those countries. Thusly I ran another correlation, this time with government expenditures as a percent of GDP versus the volatility of that country's economic growth.
Again confirming what I have suspected.
Alas it seems that if you want to get the big economic thrills you have to stomach the big roller coaster rides. Too bad our European counterparts are stuck on the little kiddie rides.
Monday, May 1, 2006
And my Jimmy John's sub was made like it should have been.
And the roads are flowing.
Electricity is still ample.
The banks are open.
Chaos has not ensued.
Guess you immigrants, illegal or legal, really aren't that vital are you?