Declaration

Ah, the great political thinkers.

No, wait, wrong Jefferson.

OK, much better.

When in the course of human events a government fails to address income inequality, confront climate change, and maintain the national infrastructure, then it becomes necessary for a people to grumble and to beseech their leaders to tax the rich harder, stimulate the economy, rescue the banks and GM, and wage war on many nouns.

 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, except for the rich, who are not paying their fair share, nor are they providing us with jobs.

 That to secure these taxes upon the rich, Governments are instituted among Men.

At this very moment, a great political thinker, name of Nicholas D. Kristof, bestrides America like a colossus. And Nick carries the absolute certainty that Tom is not standing in the room, horsewhip in hand.

It’s hard to defend The Rich™. You know, the “fair share” thing. Here are some currently accepted concepts:

1.  Wealth is a static quantity. The rich only get richer at the expense of, and by riding the backs of, the poor.

2.  The workers are the real creators of wealth, and the lazy, good-for-nothing Rich just steal it from them.

3.  Without a government to provide “infrastructure” and schools and police, every man is mere navel lint, unable to raise himself from the primordial muck.

4.  The rich should only be allowed to live under condition that they are taxed harder and provide us with jobs. Their existence as free men, and especially so their success, shall not be tolerated.

I know. Shooting fish in a barrel.

Posted by Dave


Disaster Relief

Katrina was a watershed, the point in time when The American Mind™ decided, once and for all, that disaster relief is the government’s primary role*. The disaster doesn’t matter, it could be economic, weather, “terrorism”, old age, unemployment, road washouts, medical, fire, getting lost in the woods, you name it. From this point on, everyone could breathe easier, knowing that nothing is their fault, everyone is a victim of unforeseen circumstances, and the weight of responsibility for our choices needn’t burden our sagging shoulders.

 

Reverend Ike once famously said, “The best way to help the poor is to not become one of them.” Most of the silly ways that people react to “disaster” are just none of my damn business. But because I’m a carpenter, building structures is very much my damn business.

 

The best way to help hurricane victims or tornado victims or flood victims or forest fire victims is to not build flimsy, flammable shacks at or below historic water levels. That seems pretty obvious, but most builders are more concerned with getting permission from the building department than building the kind of shelter we might flee TO instead of FROM.

 

* Primary role, in addition to constant wars, meddling in the affairs of people worldwide, the granting of monopolies, the flushing of toilets, and the mileage of cars, ad infinitum……

Posted by Dave


Sunrise And Statistics

Sunrise this morning. I see a lot of sunrises and sunsets these days.

“WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added 171,000 jobs in October and hiring was stronger over the previous two months than first thought. The unemployment rate inched up to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September.”  Link.

“than first thought?” Huh? I’m not sure I understand why “strong hiring” increases the unemployment rate.

“…a job market that is gradually gaining momentum…”

Momentum toward what?

“The rate ticked up because more people without jobs started looking for work.”

Most people looking for work are indeed “without jobs”.

“Investors were pleased by the news.”

Yes, I’m sure they were tickled pink. Huh?

“The government revised the jobs figures to show that 84,000 more jobs were added than previously estimated.”

If the “estimates” don’t look good, then just “revise” them. In essence, the unemployment rate is just a wildass guess.

“…the number of unemployed increased 170,000 to 12.3 million.”

Economic recovery! Strong hiring!

“If lawmakers can’t [reach a budget deal before January], sharp tax increases and spending cuts will take effect next year and possibly trigger another recession.”

They can’t help it. It’s not their fault. They’re doing the best they can. Don’t blame them.

There’s something about being unemployed that has always bothered me. Being a carpenter, whenever a project is finished, I’m out of a job. So I’m used to being unemployed. But being unemployable is different. Then the unemployment rate is a personal insult. If I can’t find a job, then I’m in the bottom 8% of the labor pool. Conversely, if the unemployment rate was 90%, and I had a job, well, I’d feel all smug and shit.

Posted by Dave