Jun 17, 2014

How Adorable!

North Korea sends Queen birthday congratulations http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/10904770/North-Korea-sends-Queen-birthday-congratulations.html

May 29, 2014

Elliot Rodgers, The Murderer.

     I find interesting that with each major catastrophe people blame the "other" people. We blame the availability of objects, we blame the opposite sex, we blame a president that has no power, we blame people not even remotely associated with it, we blame a Democrat or they blame a Republican. We believe that if we point our crooked little fingers at something else we can change the course of the argument. In this case, this person was a punk and self-entitled douchebag. He was angry because he was a creeper and also had an unfortunate mental illness.

Laci Green (shown here: http://www.upworthy.com/in-the-last-33-years-70-of-the-71-mass-murderers-in-the-us-all-had-1-thing-in-common?c=ufb1), always likes to post videos on youtube blaming men for everything. News Flash: It wasn't society, men, women, or President Obama!

Neither was it guns (he used knives for half of his victims and his car)

 It was an already-established healthcare system that was not properly utilized. To prove my point, I'll use FOX news: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/05/27/our-mental-health-care-system-is-joke-even-mass-murderer-elliot-rodger-slipped/


I am so sick and tired of this blame game.

President Obama had nothing to do with this.
Neither did the NRA.
Neither did President Bush.
etc etc

It is not a gun issue. If you think that it is, we should ban knives and cars at the same time. 

May 14, 2014

The Great Depression, Socialists and Portland. Again.

A common misconception from historians is the belief that the New Deal program “saved” America from greed, capitalism and corporate tyranny. Also, how capitalism itself causes the great depression in the first place (stock market crash).
I wonder how they obtain this information when those who study economics their entire lives will typically have a major disagreement with this notion?
For one, it was the Federal Reserve that caused it. Federally mandated, federally regulated but privately-ran. Making it one of the first and worst government sponsored enterprises. I will not get into the details because well, I don’t need to. Instead, I would highly suggest not reading Paul Krugman or Robert Reich for one.
I would read instead “The Forgotten Man,” anything from Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman or people who are actual economists. There are several scholarly books and textbooks written about what caused the stock market crash and what made the great depression “great.”
Andrew Berstein even presents a moral case for capitalism. That’s because he’s an actual economist, not a historian that hardly includes economic history from :ahem: actual economists. So, clearly he supports free trade.
You know who doesn’t? Historians like Howard Zinn or Eric Foner. Both of them are prominent historians and their textbooks used widely throughout the nation. Zinn, in particular, lionizes the leftist movements and uses historians that support socialism. No kidding. Zinn was an admitted Marxist.
Eric Foner, on the other hand, is more difficult to figure out. Unless you read his books. Give Me Liberty is an excellent example of a well known history textbooks that sympathizes with socialists in America. I am not saying students should not learn about socialism in school, however. In fact everyone should learn about economics and whatever philosophy involved, which includes marxism. Not simply one or the other. How are students supposed to learn in an objective way if they're only taught about marxism (and all of it’s various ideas from it)?

Anyways….

Even Ben Bernacke’s dissertation (or was it thesis?) was based off of the federal reserve causing the great depression. Funny how economists then and now know this, understand this and keep mentioning it…. all the while liberals, politicians and journalists on the Huffington Post (Huggington Poopst) and NYT continuously keep posting the same nonsense.

If you keep saying something and repeating it throughout history, does it become true?

Person A : “But, Portland Thinker, what would we do if government couldn’t control the interest
       rates or money supply?”

Portland Thinker : “They would be more competitive and the rate of inflation would be drastically
      reduced.”   :)

If one of your questions are “Gee, Portland Thinker, you’re not even an economist, so why do you think you’d know better than one of us?”

My answer is this, so listen carefully. Very carefully.

I am not an economist. I do, however, love to read about the topic and defer to the author’s better judgement than mine. Why, you ask? Because I am not an economist. :)

Just think of all of the textbooks you read in the past about various topics.
Linguistics?
Ancient History?
What about humanities in general?
What about nursing textbooks?  Were these nursing textbooks written by astrophysicists? Probably a dumb question you don’t need to answer.

So, next time you hear some “super duper horrible libertarian, hell bent on individualism, touting off evil about free trade,” keep in mind they probably got their information from someone who is considered an expert in their field. And no, this doesn’t include politicians of either party.

However, regardless of how many times I hear these misconceptions or or mention the opposing facts to someone in Portland, I usually get a condescending remark.

Libertarians Should Ally With Conservatives

Despite differences that libertarian-minded people have with conservative-minded people, politically speaking, they should become allies.
You would think they share similar interests in economists and individual rights. There are a few clashes, especially when it comes to Ann Coulter being a little harsh towards them...

I have seen a lot of conservative-minded people start moving towards libertarianism. How do we fill the gap and get our voices heard? I feel like there are too many people in the media that make libertarians look bad. Not just those who disagree with us but those who attempt to represent us.

Now that my A.D.D. has kicked in, I have realized I put too many "isms" on here.

Apr 21, 2014

What Annoys People? Er uh...me?

What can possible drive someone bananas?

I have noticed since childhood that people who ate their food loudly or had the constant sniffles would drive me crazy. Maybe it has something to do with lettings "things bother me" as my mother would say. She's right....but...

I still find it annoying when the person sitting across from you at the coffee shop seems adamant on chewing their food too loudly, while smacking their lips and licking their fingers. Gross. What ever happened to manners? Especially for people are uh...a little older like in their 30's+.  Note: there are exceptions....if the person doing this is disable in some way or is a smaller child, I would have a change of heart. This is only because they either can't help it or don't know any better. For the other 99% of the time, people can close their mouths when they chew!

Can I give you a list to continue this conversation? Sure!
How about people who walk to slow on a narrow path or while you're at shopping and some person blocks most of the isle, looking for their peanut butter in the dairy section. Durp. "Where's the peanut butter? I see the yogurt...but...."
...Durp.

My other huge pet peeve is sniffing. Yeah, you heard me. People just sniffle their way through the day. I know that it annoys a lot of people but it makes me wonder why their parents never told them, "blow your nose, dear..."  Instead, I here this constant "sniff sniff." I know that annoys people because I will see other people turn and look towards the person, giving them a look of disgust. The exception to this is if someone who is handicapped or a small child is doing this. They either can't help it or don't know any better...

Bad drivers. This is not just a pet peeve of mine but the entire world. Even bad drivers hate bad drivers!
I can understand that the DMV has a huge challenge of licensing drivers but their is hardly enforcement of bad drivers...
If you know me you'd know I love smart policy and enforcement of various things. Horrible driving is something that should be addressed. Oregon drivers are getting worse. How to fight this issue? Maybe the availability of cameras capturing the red-light runners at intersections? Or the people that block the intersection on purpose? It happens on accident sometimes but when someone does something on purpose.... I think it's time to start giving out fines for bad drivers...

Feb 23, 2014

Balance of Power



Thought of the day…. I am glad that Americans are finally paying attention to what is happening in different countries. Venezuela or Ukraine is just a small taste of what has been happening since authoritarian governments were being "ousted" by their people for the last few decades.  Sometimes, it take a few tries (Egypt) or sometimes it creates worse problems and a massive death toll (Syria). Typically, these politicians utilize their power under the guise of promoting equality via central planning. “If you give us power, we will help you in some fashion.”  However, it ends up with the same result. This. Just because something sounds good, doesn’t mean it works. We have learned that from several attempts of promoting central planning (getting your government to solve social issues and disparities without considering alternatives that are not practiced). Government is needed, no doubt. Just not on this level. It just creates corruption, disruption of the economy and revolutions. Why are people still wanting to promoting government to have more power? Surely you can advocate for more infrastructure spending but why more? We already spend a lot on that and much of the needed buildings, roads, railroads, bridges and tunnels are already established. Whether it was from Jefferson and the Lousiana purchase or the Eisenhower Administration establishing a highway system, the big stuff is done. Maybe for green energy? That doesn’t work as well as it sounds either. The private market does a better job of innovation and price reduction….
Whether it sparks from a Coup d'├ętat with a sociopath like Pinochet or from the general people fighting their way through, it shows how far their people will go to earn their freedom(s). Maybe they’re already perceived as “free” but still crave for something more.

Feb 17, 2014

The Stimulus. What has it done?

Who wanted it? Why did they even try this? 

Krugman wanted a lot more. A lot. What we also forget is that this is not just 680 billion. Over the next few years, with interest, this upwards of at least a trillion, in overall spending. What is also left out of Obama's (and Reich, and Krugman, etc.) rhetoric is the mere fact that much of this money was hardly spent after it was signed. It has taken several years for this stimulus money to actually become circulated.

Keynesian logic: in case of emergency, break the glass. Parable of the broken window. ie: economic fallacy, so I'm told.
It will never go away. I remember trying to explain this years ago to people just to be shut it....

With that said, I would not call it "obamanomics" just like I wouldn't call something "reaganomics" or "bushanomics" or "trickle-down" when there are no such things.

Charlie, I thank you for your dedication to dispell such myths. You are certainly right about Krugman....after the recession was in full swing, even a 2 years later, Krugman would still defend it. Mentioning things like "well, it prevented a huge disaster from actually occuring" even though he and Obama called it the "Great Recession." What made it so great? Just like the great depression, Hoover set the stage for FDR to make it worse.

Reagan inherited a potentially worse recession from the Carter administration and did the polar opposite Obama did. Lower taxes that increased economic growth, which later....(economic policy can take a while to kick in sometimes) help the economic boom in the 1990's....
Although Reagan still spent money but let's not forget who had the majority in congress during most of his presidency.....:ahem: take a guess?

I'll answer for you. Republicans had a slight majority during 6 of his 8 years in the senate. It was less than a 60% majority which made override nigh on impossible....but
the House of Reps has Democratic majority that uh....you really couldn't argue with.

Feb 15, 2014

Chomsky Does It Again

When it comes to consistency, Noam will not disappoint.
When it comes to years without being questioned, even from experts in fields he isn't in, it's called Cognitive Dissonance.
Instead of listening to people who study economics their wholes lives or business professionals....instead, let's learn about a rather complex social science from a linguist professor.
Makes sense. 

Noam Chomsky. For being such a prominent intellectual, seems to have missed some several key things in his latest speech. For one, if millions of Americans are not working but "willing" to work because of the super rich hoarding the money, then he forgets about the fundamentals about creating wealth in the first place. Public spending is at an all time high, so why are you losing this argument already? Unemployment rate of 6.6% does not represent the Americans who have stopped looking for work or who have their unemployment benefits run out. Two, blaming banks for causing a domestic financial (and international) disaster is irrelevant without the back story of the federal and many state government's promoting banks give several million housing loans in the first place to promote home buyers. Blaming the government creating and subsidizing false incentives is something you should look more into, Professor Chomsky. This is not something so simply. It didn't take a year. It wasn't Obama's fault.... this is something that was years in the making...

Feb 13, 2014

Gender Pay Gap. Facts, Logic and Data? Check, check and check.



Yes. It exists. Yes there's still biases that are not accounted for. These biases include women making less because a man might be in charge and might have some prejudices. However, when accounting same education and experience in the same field, it still exists. What is not accounted for in this data is child rearing and the amount of time it takes "out" of the job field to take care of children.  So, it still exists, but nowhere near the level that everyone thinks of it as....


Generalizing here, it is true that women are paid 0.77 per every $1.00 a man will make but based off of the Government Accountability Office, they have interesting statistics to discuss the reasons for this. Now it would be nice to have a higher sample of people to research, but they did what they could.
I often hear from a multitude of reports of men being awful or sexist and keeping women away from high-paying jobs, or if they’re in these high-paying jobs, they’re paid less. Because men don’t allow women to be paid more. But is this true? When comparing women to men who have the same level of education, same experience, and don’t leave work, who don’t have children, tend to make slightly less and sometimes, more. Especially when younger. I know you probably don’t like hearing that, though. It’s dependent on whether or not the man or woman has the same exact experience in the same exact field and position, same level of credentials and education, they must not be married or have any children or have any along the way.
With that said, I will acknowledge that gender bias exists in all fields. All of them. Including the one I’m in currently.
Now, of course I’m going to verify this. In order to look at some facts, I would prefer using independent, non-partisan, objective data. The GAO was established by the government to find these facts. Why are women paid less than men, on average?
The rest of this information is gathered from various sources that I’ll post. What many articles from Huffington Post and Slate, Salon and others tend to ignore is the other perspectives. The Huffington Post article will bbaarreellyy mention the following points that I have gotten from other sources. Why not use the Huffington Post or Salon? They all argue the same thing, essentially: men are at fault for the gender pay gap. According to the hard data here, it’s not exactly that. If someone tells me to “look at the facts” but doesn’t bother to look at the hard data for these multifaceted causes of the gender gap like this….
….I tell them, “likewise to you, my tolerant friend.” 

Do Men Really Earn More Than Women?

Ok, here we go.
For one, In case you neglect to even read what these reports mention, you will find that it discusses that women often work less, in terms of overall hours. When comparing men and women of even the same field, women are often presented with less overall amount of hours per year. Even in the same position. This is generalizing, right? Well, even a well-placed and claimed fallacy has a solid nugget of truth behind it. Women, on average, not being sexist here, tend to work less overall hours. They may account to 50% of the workforce but they work less hours. If you work less hours, you make overall less money. That is what the Huffington Post articles do not really discuss.
Two, they also tend to pick professions that often make less than others. This isn’t a bad thing at all. Women who pick less-paying professions often have a different, more powerful yield to society: increasing someone else’s social capital and fulfillment. Example: Women are 80% of the teaching workforce for elementary and middle schools. They make the biggest impact on a child’s life. Though, they get paid less in these positions. But there’s a tradeoff here. For the less pay, they create a bigger impact on society. Should teachers get paid more for doing this? Sure. Should  
Three, women tend to take a longer leave of absence between children being born. We know why? Well, men typically in our culture work more hours as women tend to rear children (hence working less to stay at home more often than men). We know that. Other reasons for this? Men cannot breast feed. This renders men useless to an infant’s demanding feeding schedule (unless the mother has plenty of time to pump during her lunch breaks but we know this is really time-consuming).
Four, as a result of these longer absences, women often get paid less when they come back to the work force. Ok, this is where I will end up fighting for a woman’s right to have her old job back, at the same rate of pay. This happens more often, but in the past and still today, women come back to the workforce with a different job…..which means they’re not experienced in that particular field or the company has set wages for new workers.
Five, this is something of a harsh reality in society. As more children are born out of wedlock, they’re less likely to have that second parent earning an income. Any income. Child support barely makes a dent. Instead, you have a lot of single mothers that are left with children and trying to find work at the same time. Possibly going to school as well. This puts women at a further disadvantage as they typically are succumbed to less pay because of the lack of time to find a better job and better schooling…that results in a better job. There are public funds to alleviate this but they hardly make a dent.
Now, if you take this into consideration, even accounting that women are faaarrr more educated than men in this country (these days), they still get paid less. In fact, women are far more likely to get a degree (these days) than a man will. This also increases student loan debt. Guess what? This contributes to a reduction in net pay as well.... some employers will "cut" some of your pay to help you pay back your student loans.... Just another example of a reason of the pay gap....
The overall, over-arching reasons for this gender pay gap is women (1) choose different, less-paying positions and (2) because women tend to take care of children more than men in this country, they often need to be at home after the birth longer to take care of the babies….which means that (2) women are paid less because they work less hours.
Now, when the overwhelming amount of data discusses that women happen to work less hours per year on average to stay at home more often to take care of children, why is this sexist? We know, that it still exists and of course there are cases where women make less money than men when they’re pretty much equal in terms of education, experience, position in field, no children, not married, etc. I am not simply denying this. I am simply proposing a valid argument.
I am simply saying that the simplistic view that “women make less because of men doing something bad” is frivolous. If you believe in this, your own government hired people to find the best possible answers and as a result, have weakened that simplistic view. As of today, there are many changes in society
If you are going to comment on the fact that sexism still exists, then I will more than likely agree with you. Things are different now but some people don’t change. We get that. Now, go back and look at the data…..women work less hours, even in the same field….. Because of why? Children. 

Some sources: 

http://instructional1.calstatela.edu/mfinney/courses/491/hand/family.pdf   

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/magazine/the-opt-out-generation-wants-back-in.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2013/08/13/why-women-still-earn-less-than-men-its-the-kids-fault/

http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/585721.pdf

http://www.gao.gov/assets/290/287375.pdf   (this about federal workforce. There is still a 7% pay gap but it does not discuss amount of hours actually worked or involvement of child-rearing).

http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/581612 (podcast and here's the transcript--http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/581613.txt)

http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/03/Graduating-to-a-Pay-Gap-The-Earnings-of-Women-and-Men-One-Year-after-College-Graduation-Executive-Summary-and-Recommendations.pdf  (discusses everything that the Huffington Post/Salon articles discuss but doesn't discuss the other reasons. There is still a bias from men and this source discusses this.)