A Just Wage–Flourishing in the Balance

 

Without a doubt, this past year you’ve heard the Bernie Sander’s mantra “a just wage”. When Bernie wasn’t chanting, Bernie railed against the 1 %, Wall St., corporations and just about anyone who made money (except those on the Left making money (i.e. George Soros, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett)).

And, as you know, Bernie’s answer to income differences was the penumbra of socialism’s cloud by day and a minimum wage increase to provide a home fire at night.

Yet, nothing happens in isolation, Bernie. Griping about unfairness may get you ten thousand followers but it doesn’t feed those followers in a desert economy. A kingdom understanding can and does. So, for starters, ….

Below is an excellent brief discussion about the minimum wage. Samuel Gregg, of the Acton Institute, speaks of a need for awareness on the part of both employers and employees about economic conditions and for each not to be myopic in their concerns.

 

Nothing happens in isolation.

 

Juxtaposed! News ™ Hot Off the Wire –There’s Something Rotten in Vermont

News Anchor: “Good evening.  From our National News Desk…

We start tonight’s broadcast with a report.  Chip Block has our report from Denmark.”  Bernie Sanders-2

Video w/reporter voiceover: “At a recent presidential debate hosted by CNN, presidential candidate Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders brought up Denmark and the surrounding Scandinavian states when asked to describe what “democratic socialism” means to him.

Sanders: “I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway and learn what they have accomplished for their working people. In Denmark, there is a very different understanding of what ‘freedom’ means.”

 Video w/reporter voiceover: “The senator’s affinity for the Danish society has stretched back years. In 2013, after hosting the Danish Prime Minister on a tour of his home state of Vermont, Sanders wrote an essay praising their model of government.

Sanders wrote, arguing the U.S. could learn from the way the Danes have “gone a long way to ending the enormous anxieties that comes with economic insecurity.”

Sanders: “Instead of promoting a system which allows a few to have enormous wealth, they have developed a system which guarantees a strong minimal standard of living to all — including the children, the elderly and the disabled.”

Video w/reporter voiceover: “But Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen took strong exception to Sander’s statements recently in a speech at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.”

Danish Prime Minister:  “I would like to make one thing clear, Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”  Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen

Video w/reporter voiceover: “But it is a market with many differences from the United States. All Danish citizens have access to child care, state-guaranteed medical and parental leave from work, free college tuition in which students receive a paycheck from the government during enrollment, free health care and a generous pension, all of which Sanders supports.

But “free” is actually the wrong word to describe these services. Danes pay some of the highest taxes in the world, including a 25% tax on all goods and services, a top marginal tax rate hovering near 60%. The top tax rate in the U.S., by comparison, is less than 40%.

But there are aspects to the Danish model that you would never see on Sanders’ policy platform. As a small country heavily reliant on trade, Denmark imposes minimal tariffs on foreign goods. Businesses here are only lightly regulated. The corporate tax rate is much lower than in the United States, which has one of the highest in the world. There’s not even a minimum wage in Denmark, although most workers are paid high salaries in large part due to the strength of labor unions. And in the past few years, Danish voters elected a right-of-center government, which has been instituting reforms that have put tighter restrictions on access to the long-held safety net. And here’s what Lars Christensen, a Danish economist known here as an outspoken critic of his homeland’s model has to say:”

Lars Christensen: “When I hear Bernie Sanders talk about himself as a democratic socialist, it’s a little bit 1970s, the major political parties on the center-left and the center-right would oppose many of the proposals of Bernie Sanders on the regulatory side as being too leftist.”

Video w/reporter voiceover: “Few experts here believe that Denmark can long afford the current perks. So Denmark is retooling itself, tinkering with corporate tax rates, considering new public sector investments and, for the long term, trying to wean more people — the young and the old — off government benefits. One critic of the current system is Karen Haekkerup, the Danish Minister of Social Affairs and Integration:

Karen Haekkerup: “In the past, people never asked for help unless they needed it but now people do not have that mentality. They think of these benefits as their rights. The rights have just expanded and expanded. And it has brought us a good quality of life. But now we need to go back to the rights and the duties. We all have to contribute.”

Video w/reporter voiceover: “In 2012, a little over 2.6 million people between the ages of 15 and 64 were working in Denmark.  This represents 47 percent of the total population and 73 percent of the 15- to 64-year-olds.

Yes, you’ve heard correctly. In Denmark, only half of the total population work. Maybe that’s why Danes are so upset with Bernie. While he’s praising a system that has enabled entitlements for an aging and unwilling to work population, Denmark has been hard at work overhauling entitlements, trying to prod Danes into working more or longer or both. Back to you, Todd.”

News Anchor: “Thanks Chip. After the break we’ll take a look at today’s financial headline.  Up next:  an interview with Sycamore Tree Funds CEO Zacchaeus Pure.”

Financial News Anchor: “Welcome back.  After markets closed today, the Juxtaposed! ™ News team learned that Sycamore Tree Funds has contracted with Mustard Seed Growth Funds, whose Chief Investment Officer is Jesus.

Zacchaeus moneyNow word on the street has it that Sycamore Tree Funds CEO Zacchaeus Pure has, over the years, allegedly skimmed and embezzled thousands of Roman denarius from the fees paid to Sycamore Tree Funds.  It should be noted that each denarius is about the equivalent of a day’s wage.  If these accusations are true, Sycamore Tree Funds’ clients have much to be angry about.

Our sources also tell us that Sycamore Tree Funds’ board was having second thoughts about having its CEO Zacchaeus Pure solely managing its vast resources, even though the fund’s holdings had grown seven-fold during his tenure as CEO.

Zacchaeus, a well-known and many would say hated member of the financial community had grown Sycamore Tree’s enormous holdings by collecting exorbitant fees from his clients, fees that were well beyond the mandated charges.  Sycamore’s clients are forced to pay Zacchaeus due to strict government regulations imposed upon them “to maintain their security.”

Here’s Lacy Hedge with her interview of Sycamore Tree Funds CEO Zacchaeus Pure.”

Lacy: Zacchaeus, how is it that you contracted with Jesus?  When did you first become aware of Jesus?”

Zacchaeus: “I became aware of Jesus when many of my clients began talking about the new money manager in town.  Thousands of my clients had attended his seminars. I began seeing my clients carrying “It is More Blessed to Give than Receive” tote bags. 

Like many in town I had heard about the just-in-time dinner meal served at two of Jesus’s life management seminars.  As I mentioned, thousands of my clients had attended these seminars, so, I decided to get my own take on Jesus.  And, as you can see I am a short man.  But that has never kept me from going out on a limb and taking a risk.  I take pride in my ability to be in the right place at the right time.  Zacchaeus tree

Zacchaeus lunchSo…it happened one day that Jesus saw me in a crowd.  He, in fact, called me by name.  I was flattered, of course.  Jesus requested that we have a power lunch at my home. I accepted. Why not?   The rest is, shall we say, history.”

Lacy: “But there is more to the story, isn’t there?  Were your clients happy about your meeting with Jesus? ”

Zacchaeus: “At first no. They were not happy!  They protested outside my home with signs and shouting, “This man is a crony of the Roman Government!” and “Jesus, have no dealings with this man!”

Lacy: “What happened at your lunch with Jesus?”

Zacchaeus: I listened mostly.  The face to face meeting made all the difference for me. The secondhand knowledge from my clients gave me only a hint of this man’s character.  In my world trust is key.  And from that one-on-one meeting I learned that I could trust Jesus implicitly. I felt completely secure with turning over Sycamore Tree Funds’ money management to Jesus.

So I contracted with Mustard Seed Growth Funds and made Jesus my Fiduciary for life.  I decided to seal the deal with a toast. I announced that I would redeem half my holdings and make a donation to the poor.  And, I would refund to all my clients at least half the fees imposed upon them.  Of course, when my clients heard this they were relieved. Their protest signs went away. I had regained their trust.”

Lacy: “What did Jesus say about your agreement?”

Zacchaeus: “Well, he said that he was very happy to get my commitment and to see me begin to recover the trust I had lost.   He said Sycamore Tree Funds’ turnaround had already begun. He also stated Mustard Seed’s mission statement: ‘to seek and to save lost coins.’  I’m all in.”

Lacy: “Back to you, Todd.”

 

Financial News Anchor: “Thanks Lacy.  Stay tuned.  After the commercial break, today’s winning lottery numbers.”

 

………………..

Here are Your Juxtaposed! News™ Top Stories:

Bernie Sanders’ American Dream is in Denmark

Denmark to Bernie Sanders: ‘Shut Up, We’re Not Socialists!’

Danes Rethink a Welfare State Ample to a Fault

Sorry Bernie: Scandinavia Isn’t Socialist. You Must Be Thinking of France

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector

Just Juxtaposing! 5-24-2016

bernie-sanders-supports-factor-campaign-r

“Good evening.  From our National News Desk, our top story tonight…”

“The Bernieverse:  Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign:”

Video w/voiceover:   “.  On Sunday night the chant from thousands in the stands was certainly loud, clear and heartfelt: “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!””

Sanders: “Real freedom includes economic security. That was Roosevelt’s vision 70 years ago. It is my vision today. It is a vision that we have not yet achieved, and it is time we that we did.”

Video w/voiceover: “Sanders went on to speak of Medicare for all, tuition-free public college, a $15 minimum wage –  a host of ideas intended to help America’s poor and middle class. Ideas that define his vision of socialism, a vision he says that will require top down centralized government with him as president to produce the desired outcomes.”

Sanders: “The only way we bring about real change is to create a political revolution where millions of people stand together and say loudly and clearly that this country belongs to all of us.”

 

“And in international news…”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

 “Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has placed Venezuela under a “State of Exception and Economic Emergency.”

“Maduro, also president of The United Socialist Party of Venezuela, has blamed capitalism for speculation that is driving high rates of inflation and creating widespread shortages of staples.  He has often said that he was fighting an “economic war”, calling newly enacted economic measures “economic offensives” against political opponents that he and loyalists state are behind an international economic conspiracy.

Video w/voiceover:  On Tuesday, a state-funded news service reported Maduro’s threat to dissolve the national legislature, which the opposition party won in a landslide election last December. “The National Assembly has lost political validity,” Maduro told reporters. “It’s a matter of time before it disappears.”

But Maduro is probably beyond saving. At this point, only 15 percent of his fellow citizens approve of his government. Political protests roil the streets, and normally law-abiding citizens have resorted to looting to get their hands on basic necessities. The government has responded with force.

Venezuela’s hospitals lack not only medicine but even soap, and cannot keep patients — especially at-risk infants — alive amid constant blackouts. Infant mortality rose by a hundredfold in 2015 from its 2012 levels, and five times as many women now die in childbirth. When his political opponents passed a law allowing foreign aid to prop up Venezuela’s hospital system, Maduro blocked it, calling Venezuela’s healthcare system the envy of the world.

Government agencies are now open only two days a week, as a cost-saving measure. The economy is in collapse, in the midst of its second straight year of double-digit contraction. Everyday items, including food, have long been difficult to buy in Venezuela, but they are now becoming impossible to find. Government-imposed price controls, combined with an astounding 700 percent inflation rate, have made toilet paper so scarce that it’s more valuable by the square inch than the Venezuelan currency one must use to buy it.

“Venezuela has been ranked as the top spot globally with the highest misery index score in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2014, Venezuela’s economy entered a recession.”

 

“After the commercial break, we take a look at this country whose future you won’t believe.”

Supermarket staff work next to partially empty shelves of toilet paper in Caracas May 16, 2013. Supplies of food and other basic products have been patchy in recent months, with long queues forming at supermarkets and rushes occurring when there is news of a new stock arrival. The situation has spawned jokes among Venezuelans, particularly over the lack of toilet paper. The government announced this week it was importing 50 million rolls to compensate for "over-demand due to nervous buying." REUTERS/Jorge Silva (VENEZUELA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTXZPIP

Supermarket staff work next to partially empty shelves of toilet paper in Caracas May 16, 2013. Supplies of food and other basic products have been patchy in recent months, with long queues forming at supermarkets and rushes occurring when there is news of a new stock arrival. The situation has spawned jokes among Venezuelans, particularly over the lack of toilet paper. The government announced this week it was importing 50 million rolls to compensate for “over-demand due to nervous buying.” REUTERS/Jorge Silva (VENEZUELA – Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) – RTXZPIP

Video w/Voiceover: “Venezuela Reaches the Final Stage of Socialism: No Toilet Paper””

“And at ten o’clock, our special report “Soda-less Socialism.””

Video w/Voiceover: “Sugar shortage forces Venezuela to stop producing Coca Cola as country struggles to fight crippling recession. Venezuelans struggle to get food, toilet paper, medicines.”

Your Security News Headlines:

Bernie-mania spreads to Texas as Sanders’ speech draws crowd of 5,000

Venezuela is ‘democratic socialism’ in action

Venezuela Reaches the Final Stage of Socialism: No Toilet Paper

Now Coca Cola! Sugar shortage forces Venezuela to stop producing soda as country struggles to fight crippling recession

Europe’s unemployment crisis is much worse than you thought

Breaking – Small Democratic Socialist town in middle of nowhere 8th most expensive to raise family

Marx the Merciless and the Deadly Socialist Ray

 

…Kulaks to conquer, Kulaks to enslave in Clay, property to plunder…

flash gordons trip to mars 1

THIS JUST IN!!

A mysterious beam has been focused on Earth’s citizens. It is sucking the wealth out of people!  The ray is said to be coming from the dead planet Marx. But wait. Professor Zharkov had miscalculated.  The deadly beam is coming from the planet Ruling Class.

It seems that there is a new emperor in town:  Marx the Ideologically Merciless!  And he is using a powerful integrated Collectivist Ray against the people of earth.  The deadly Supreme Socialist Ray or SSR is focused directly on Earth’s citizenry and right on their property. The citizens of earth are fleeing, taking their possessions and hoping not to feel the burn.

I am being told that the wicked Queen Hillary Azura has formed a partnership with the evil emperor Marx the Merciless on planet Ruling Class.  This witch’s powers include the ability to transmute people into figures of living clay, condemning them to live in darkened caves.  She employs the incense of forgetfulness to subdue her enemies.  She is hated and feared by the country class.

Marx the Merciless has also allied himself with other nefarious characters and groups:  the Red Hammer of Sanders organization, the unscrupulous Queen Rubia E. Warren, BHO the shape shifter and the Carnage Corporation. With his life altering ray focused directly on you, Marx the Merciless hopes that “individual economic actions and individual property, rights will be altered and abridged” forever.

 

dale arden 1—Reporting for the Daily Altoid, this is Happy Hapgood’s daughter Snappy Hapgood.

(Snappy has video of the Ruling Class Planet’s attack on the Country Class Planet and the valiant efforts being made to stop Marx the Merciless in his tracks…) Flashs_Ship_movie

 

<<<>>>

 

“In any event the Commission is convinced by its interpretation of available empirical data that the actually integrating economy of the present day is the forerunner of a consciously integrated society, in which individual economic actions and individual property, rights will be altered and abridged.”

“Conclusions and Recommendations for the Social Studies, Carnegie Corporation, 1934.”

The Supreme Socialist Ray’s unearthly effects are being directed at your children in the classroom…

From Investigation of the Social Studies in the Schools

“8. Under the molding influence of socialized processes of living, drives of technology and science, pressures of changing thought and policy, and disrupting impacts of economic disaster, there is a notable waning of the once widespread popular faith in economic individualism; and leaders in public affairs, supported by a growing mass of the population, are demanding the introduction into economy of ever wider measures of planning and control.

9. Cumulative evidence supports the conclusion that, in the United States as in other countries, the age of individualism and laissez faire in economy and government is closing and that a new age of collectivism is emerging. “

 

Earth must find a way to destroy Marx’s Socialist ray before the Earth is doomed!!!

Caution: A Faraday shield will only protect your electronic gadgets from Electromagnetic Pulses (EMPs). It won’t protect you from Egregious Redistribution Impulses (ERIs)!!!

Nightmare on Envy St.

Nightmare on Elm st 1Envy St. has been the road most travelled from the start. Covetousness and self-deception have been the vehicles of choice. The serpent promised the first couple that they could become like God – their projected 1%.

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good from evil.” Genesis 3: 4, 5

And so they believed the lie that having the same quality as God would create equality with God. They believed they could transcend their humanity and become Singularity.  They democratically voted “Yes,” and bit off more than mankind could chew.
~~~
Man as Singularity – Freddie Kruger voters:  freddy_krueger
“Since the end of the second world war…a new ethic has, astonishingly, come into being, according to which envious man is altogether acceptable. Progressively fewer individuals and groups are ashamed of their envy, but instead make out that its existence in their temperament proves the existence of “social injustice,” which must be eliminated for their benefit. Suddenly it has become possible to say, without loss of public credibility and trust, “I envy you. Give me what you’ve got.”  (emphasis added) Helmut Schoeck, sociologist
~~~
The Day Democratic Socialism Died:

In his final semester, Trevor had earned enough credits to graduate.  Trevor had worked long and hard.  He would graduate in the top 1% of his class. And, as expected, Trevor’s school loan would come due a year from graduation. Trevor would need to find work. But.

 Trevor, a student of required Karl Marx readings, was told that 90% of his credits now must be redistributed to other classmates who were lacking credits. Trevor was taught that socialism is the way of the future and that he must submit.

Trevor, now, would need to apply for another student loan to earn more credits to graduate. And though tenured professors did not have to redistribute their years of teaching to create tenure for other teachers (some people being more equal than others), Trevor accepted his plight….by saying, “Hell no!”
~~~ Bernie Sanders bernie a true socialist
The push for equality through Democracy, equality tied to a certain feature of your neighbor’s life, is not unlike an out of control spender charging every purchase to a credit card to keep up with the Joneses or the Kardashians or the Real House Wives of Orange County and then paying the minimum due every month.
~~~  Frederic Bastiat Quote
“And it is a good thing that many ideas have a relatively short shelf-life. Some because they are bad, even pernicious ideas: the Master Race, the class struggle, the Oedipus complex, and Socialism are four bad ideas with wretched consequences that come immediately to mind.”
bernie sanders unicorn
“Being an anti-capitalist and hence being able to blame capitalism—often known more simply as “the system”—for any failure I might encounter through my own lack of talent or absence of energy not only provided me with a fine fallback position, but permitted me to view anyone who labored at a workaday job in the system with a rather lofty contempt.”  bernie sanders unicorn 1.gif
― Joseph Epstein, A Literary Education and Other Essays
~~~
More required reading. Credit applies to graduating with honors in saying “No” to socialism:

“This Presidential election looks more like an election in Europe than one from America. On the Democratic side you have a 74 year old self-avowed socialist and a 68 year old progressive. On the GOP side you have forgotten the message of Reagan where Government was the problem, now it’s just badly managed. At the GOP debate last week you had a debate over whether Obama is incompetent or an ideologue.”

Karl Marx’s 10 Point Checklist to Communism – Where Does America Rank?

“What Keynes succeeded in doing was to provide a rationale for what governments always like to do: spend other people’s money and pander to special interests.”

The Follies and Fallacies of Keynesian Economics

Thomas Sowell – Common sense economist

Socialism: The Force Is Not With You

Added, #FeeltheBern of socialism in Sweden:

“When leftists fantasize about Northern Europe, the first thing they think of is the region’s enormous public spending and its overly generous welfare state. However, as with all dreams, the time is coming to wake up. Along with several other social services, Sweden’s iconic “free” healthcare system’s days are numbered.”

Socialist Paradise of Sweden Reportedly Moving TO PRIVATE HEALTHCARE

This Is How Bad It’s Got In Latin America’s Socialist Utopia

The No Child Left Behind Million Student March

Oh, the sapling-like bliss of childhood: mommy and daddy, the “hoarders” of money, taking care of their forever young offspring. And, when Mother’s Day or Father’s Day comes around the kids will say, “Every day is kid’s day.” Therein lies a child’s basic understanding of economics: “gimme my allowance”; “finance ME.”

..and appropriating the Black Power/socialist fist to boot…

..and appropriating the Black Power/socialist fist to boot…

Without further ado, I present Keely Mullen, child provocateur, and her appropriation of the 1% as surrogate parents:

Here are just a few of the comical Dickensian socialist-memes:

“The movement, the Million Student March, is a movement for a more equitable and fair system of education as opposed to the really corporate model that we have right now,”

“the three core demands…”

“the 1% of people in society that are hoarding the wealth and are really, sort of, causing a catastrophe that students are facing…”

“one or two families are threatened with poverty…”

“85 people in the world hold more wealth than half the global population…”

“people earning over a million dollars a year should be contributing to the wellness of society…”

“we have to look at the injustice of the system we have right now.”

“a population that is doing nothing to contribute to the progression of society”

“the rich…’

“the injustice of the system”

Neil Cavuto graciously reasoned with Keely…

So many demands and no gratitude. None. Therein lies the root of socialism: ingratitude.

~~~

Well, it’s certainly a good thing that there are still some of us adults – what’s left of the work force after seven years of Mullen-type Obamanomics – who march to work every day to pay our bills, feed our kids, send them off to school and pay taxes using the corporate model. And we are not the 1%.

~~

It all seems so inequitable and unfair for me to support the low-information whiner-hand out-generation who spend their time protesting a work ethic and jack-booting to the beat of the income inequality drum of Democratic Socialists.

This little snowflake, Keely, epitomizes the “income inequality” cri de coeur of the Peter Pan Millennials directed at her parent’s generation: “I want my age-appropriate allowance and I want it now.”  Willy Wonk I want it now

~~~

Capitalism, the quiet revolution of the diligent, produces far-reaching positive results for those who work it.

Rest easy Keely. Here is some primal screaming protest therapy:

“Income Inequality!”-Scrub! That Rhetoric!

 

Is there a pulse? Is the economy dead?

Is there a pulse? Is the economy dead?

What happens when a pulse is no longer found on your wrist? That is an indication that your heart stopped pumping blood.

What would happen if income inequality stopped pulsating throughout the economy? That would be an indication that the beating heart of business is no longer pumping.

Income inequality is to be expected whenever growth occurs. To not grow is to be moribund.

~~~

The collapse of an economy is brought about by throttling the pulse of income inequality in order to create flat line “equality.” Immobility, as opposed to upward mobility, happens when wages become stagnant or “equalized” to a zero Gini Coefficient. Socialist economies, past and present, have been choked to death or near to death by those who promote the end of “income inequality!”

And while I see income inequality as a good healthy thing, opportunity inequality is not. But keep in mind that equal opportunity does not equate to or guarantee income. An individual response to opportunity is what matters. And, that is why leftists want to force the equal income issue – they know that people are by nature lazy and will respond to handouts of other people’s income.

Only effort tied to skills that increase in value over time will likely result in greater income. And here it should be noted that Progressives hate competition. The dynamics of supply and demand in the job market are anathema to them. They want to invoke their own economic “Nudge.” That is why they will push “Participant” trophy mindsets over competition.

Progressives consider most things to be of equal value (except their opinion). Progressives do not want you to even compete against yourself, to better yourself – “You are worth what we tell you are worth.”

But competition and pressure are necessary to proper functioning. As with your body, there would be no blood pressure if there wasn’t some resistance imposed by blood vessels. The vessels provide constriction necessary to maintain pressure. Proper blood flow feeds all veins and capillaries with life-sustaining oxygen.

So it is with competition. It constricts and channels the pressure in the form of your effort to those parts of your life that require sustainability, which is every part.

~~~

What are the causes of “income inequality!”? Is “income inequality!” the “fault” of Wall St. “fat cats”? Is shaking down Wall St. and the 1% the answer? Here is an excerpt from a recent book about the origins of inequality, a diagnosis that is spot-on:

“The distribution of income cannot be boiled down to one mechanism such as supply and demand in the labor market, nor can it be measured by a single measure of inequality like the Gini Coefficient. It is the result of many different processes working together. History matters, as do the market, politics, and demography.”…

“Over most of the past century, Americans have been acquiring more education, so that the supply of skill to the labor market has increased. If nothing else happened, this chain of events would have reduced the value of education and driven down the gap in wages between those with and without a college degree. Yet the gap has risen, not fallen, and it has done so particularly rapidly since the late 1970’s. When price rises even though supply has risen, we know that demand must be rising even more rapidly. Economists attribute this rise to the relentless increase in the skills required to work with new, information-based technologies. They believe that the acceleration in the skill biased technical progress over the past thirty years is the main engine driving increased inequality in earnings.” (emphasis added)- Angus Deaton, “The Great escape: health, wealth and the origins of inequality.” (Angus Deaton, in 2015, “was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.”

The demonizing of Wall St. and the rich is the Marxist ranting of the Left. “Income inequality!” is created by a multiplicity of factors just as your good health is dependent a multiplicity of factors – the environment, your intake of nourishment, your exercise, etc.  Blaming Wall St. for “income inequality!” is like blaming the existence of restaurants, those who trade in food, for those “fat cats” who eat more than others. 

Do you blame restaurants for your poor physical health and not the choices you’ve made? If you do you must be a Blamocrat.

Blaming Wall St. is “Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!”

What other factors cause “income equality!”?

-Fiscal and monetary polices limit the flow of wealth and create hyper-“income inequality!”

The fiscal policies of Barack Obama’s administration, like those of a Marxist economy, have sown seeds of uncertainty. Investors, the economy’s job creators and the demonized ones of Wall St., are wary of investing due to the unknowns of government regulations and of taxes, specifically. The risk of investing any money is made considerably greater by government’s visible hand in the till.

The effect: we have had sub par 3% GDP for the last several years under Barack Obama. And, even though today’s job numbers are better than usual they are sub par also. The labor participation rate is still terrible. I know of four people who are currently struggling. Two of them have been out of work and/or underemployed for years. The other two have recently lost their long time jobs. There are men between the ages of 25 and 54 sitting on the couch at home eating Twinkies and watching ESPN. Obama’s fiscal policies have created “income inequality!” for millions of black and white lives, as if they didn’t matter.

The Keystone Pipeline project would provide significant jobs but the Obama administration has kept it from happening. The cult of climate change creates extensive “income inequality!”

And, with a zero percent interest policy the FED is pushing asset valuations up in the stock market. This is due to the fact that investors sensibly want to earn a return on their money. And since the FED has created no incentive to save with its zero percent interest rate investors must look to other financial vehicles for a return.

As investors buy into the market asset valuation climbs by pushing prices up. Hence investor wealth grows, at least on paper. Investors seek such havens to grow their wealth. This makes utter sense to me as an investor as opposed to accepting stagnation and even loss of income to due to today’s unspoken real inflation.

Again, the FED’s monetary policy of zero percent interest does nothing for middle class savings accounts. Here, again, disparity of incomes between Wall St. and Joe Schmo is created by those in power.

The economics of the Keynesians, the Progressive’s go-to policy makers, is to have government and people spend all their money (consume) in order to make the economy grow. This nonsense, the AGW scientism of economics, is exactly opposite of what is needed to grow the economy and stunts savings and investment.

Both fiscal and monetary policies are political animals chained to the powers that be. And, that is not you, Joe Schmo.

The very people who rail against “income inequality!” during a campaign (Clinton, Sanders, Warren, etc.) are the ones who create the malignant disparity of unequal opportunity when they get into office.

As I write this Hillary Clinton is proposing a $12 minimum wage for federal employees. Yet, no quick fix-it “remedy” happens in isolation.

Do you want to guess who pays for this proposed redistribution? In effect, Clinton is asking taxpayers, those moms and dads who both work, to vote for her (and to reduce what’s left of their disposable income) so she can raise the minimum wage of federal workers, those folks who will vote for her. The bleeding heart liberal’s cure for “income inequality!” is pulse-robbing bloodletting of voters.

The money that comes out of your paycheck to pay for this minimum wage increase is money that you cannot spend in the economy yourself. It is redirected to others and becomes the gateway drug for more redistribution.

To redistribute your wealth as Hillary proposes is like putting a pacemaker in the heart of the flagging economy with a battery that will last only a fraction of an election cycle.

~~~

You don’t need to be a Nobel Prize winning economist to understand that your income changes (creating income inequality over time) by a change in age, from young to old, from inexperience and a wet behind the ears status to well-oiled maturity and grey-haired sagacity. And also by where you live (a tech corridor, for example, and not the Sahara) and by your enhanced skill set. There is no devious little secret behind “income inequality.”

In fact, “income inequality!” drives return on investment. Who would invest if you knew that you would never gain appreciated value in the form of dividends or capital gains (income) over time from your investment? Even non-Wall St. Folk will buy homes believing that a home will appreciate (simple income inequality) over time.

It's a Hip Hop world kid! Get with the program!

It’s a Hip Hop world kid! Get with the program!

~~~

The following parable provides a Kingdom of God finding on “income inequality!”

What I hope you will note is that “income inequality!” as approved by Jesus (and as recorded by Dr. Luke, Chapter 19) means that those who do not increase what they are given are relieved of what little they may have. Their portion is given to the one who has made a significant (ten-fold) return on investment. As is usual in the Kingdom of God, Jesus’ POV is completely opposite of the world’s POV.

The world under the rubric of “income inequality!” will take from those who have succeeded and give to those who have not made any significant effort. And, the world will do this using Caesar as Divine Redistributor. There is not one mention of Caesar in Jesus’ words.

The Parable of the Ten Talents

“There once a nobleman, “ he said, “who went into a country far away to be given royal authority and then return. He summoned ten of his slaves and gave them ten silver coins. ‘Do business with these,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ His subjects, though, hated him, and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘we don’t want this man to be our king.’

So it happened that when he received the kingship and came back again, he gave order to summon these slaves who had received the money, so that he could find out how they had got on with their business efforts. The first came forward and said, ‘Master, your money has made ten times it value!’

‘Well done, you splendid servant!!’ he said. ‘You’ve been trustworthy with something small; now you can command ten cities.’

The second came and said, ‘Master, your money has made five times its value!’

‘You too – you can take charge of five cities.’

The other came and said, ‘Master, here is your money. I kept it wrapped in this handkerchief. You see, I was afraid, because you are a hard man: you profit where you made no investment, and you harvest what you didn’t sow.’

‘I’ll condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked scoundrel of a servant!’ he replied. ‘So, you knew that I was a hard man, profiting where I didn’t invest and harvesting where I didn’t sow? So why didn’t you put my money with the bankers? Then I’d have had the interest when I got back!’

‘Take the money from him,’ he said to the bystanders, ‘and give it to the man who’s got it ten times over!’ (“Master,” they said to him, “he’s got ten times that already!”)

“Let me tell you: everyone who has will be given more; but if someone has nothing, even what he has will be taken from him…”

Stay healthy and profitable my friends!

The 10X Dance

The 10X Dance

Resident Evil: Redistribution

It’s a mystery to me

We have a greed with which we have agreed

And you think you have to want more than you need

Until you have it all, you won’t be free

Society, you’re a crazy breed

I hope you’re not lonely without me

 

“Society” (originally by Jerry Hannan); Copyright: Record High Publishing, Bike Music

 

~~~~

“Materialism, sometimes called naturalism, is the belief that matter — molecules in motion — is all that exists. Everything else: mind, consciousness, spirit — must somehow be reduced to the orchestrated firing of neurons.”

-Tom Bethell, senior editor of The American Spectator from Darwinism and Materialism: They Sink or Swim Together

~~~

Living in a Materialist’s World

Have you watched the “The Real Housewives of Entrenched Materialism”? How about “American Democratic Greed is Good?”

The word “materialism” is a broad range category label. The word covers our known physical universe: the 118 known chemical elements that make up earth and those that make up our bodies. The word is hard science evocative and yet has been used to promote social ends by physical reductionists: Marx’s dialectical materialism along with Social Darwinism. As a hardcore metaphysical scheme, materialism presented solely by scientific fact is believed to be all the truth you need to know while ignoring theism altogether. As transformed into an ideology by evil men using a hammer and sickle formulation of Darwin’s theory of natural selection, Lenin, Marx and Trotsky could “justify” class struggle.

These days the class struggle continues. The word’s now inferred meaning is typically approbated to denounce Wall St. “fat cats” by Leftists (Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, et al) who want to bring the 1% to their knees with inordinate taxation (so as to enable Social Democratic redistribution or materialism as agreed upon consumer envy. Ergo, we are all to become “fat cats” until the money runs out).

Leftists hate Wall St. “greed”. They want to create a more palatable shared widespread greed.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, is egalitarian when it comes to creating Unitarian greed:

Bernie Sanders says it’s not just Wall Street and corporate America that would pay more if he’s elected president: All workers would face a slight payroll tax hike.

The Vermont senator who’s seeking the Democratic presidential nomination said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the across the board increase would come as part of his push to guarantee paid family leave.”

Sounds so benign and reasonable, doesn’t it? Tell me. Why does government need to “interpret” your money and your life decisions?

“…He acknowledged that tax would apply to everyone.

“Yes, it would,” he said. “But it would mean that we would join the rest of the industrialized world and make sure that when a mom has a baby, she can, in fact, stay home with that baby for three months rather than go back to work at the end of one week.”

Sanders, who has been elected to the Senate as an independent, has advocated for several other new taxes to pay for his potentially pricey policy proposals.” (Emphasis mine)

Bernie Sanders, Greed Monger

Bernie Sanders, Greed Monger

Sanders is, of course, goading the Me Generation, in the midst of unprecedented wealth:

“What do students value, and are those values any different from those of previous generations? … [studies of] students…reveal further characteristics that distinguish Generation Me from prior cohorts. A consistent trend in these data is the decline in interest in abstract and intellectual concerns and the increase in practical and materialistic ones.” –Jean M. Twenge, The Rise of Self and the Decline of Intellectual and Civic Interest, The State of the American Mind by Mark Bauerlein and Adam Belllow, copyright 2015 Templeton Press (emphasis mine)

So, how about we remain free and act not like the rest of the industrialized world and pay for our time off ourselves without middlemen exacting their overhead fees?

Why is mom working? If she is married then likely her family needs a second income. Payroll taxes and government mandated health care come out her check. If she is a single mom, then likely she needs to work and/or wait upon government assistance. Payroll taxes and government mandated health care come out her paycheck. The idea that a materialist ridden government will be altruistic towards you with your own money is utterly absurd.

If Bernie Sanders is sounding so generous with your own money then why not let us each keep more of it? Why doesn’t he tell government to get out of our pockets instead of deeper into them?

Well, if he did that then he couldn’t run as a Democratic Socialist and bureaucracy wouldn’t get its controlling “share” of your money and life.

Now tell me, why can’t people take off work and spend time with their families. Is it because they do not have enough money? How does taxing people more solve this problem?

This, my friends, is the essence of democratic socialism – fixing problems created by government (excessive taxation in this case) with more government (excessive taxation). Aren’t we already being forced to pay Federal, State, Medicare and Social Security taxes along with an Obamacare SCOTUS “mandated” (read coerced) health insurance?

Did you receive a raise this year? If you did then Sanders wants to take away 0.2% of that increase to finance just his family leave policy, a policy that you could finance with your own untaxed money.

Why is government involved in your quality of life decisions beyond national defense? Are you not able to govern yourself and your time and money? Or is it that you hope that someone else under coercion from the government will pay for your quality of life decisions? Now tell me. How do singles benefit from a Family Leave Policy or men in having to pay for maternity care or breast exams? These “bennies” are political handouts to certain focus groups (read special interest groups) in return for votes, nothing more. Big Brother does not care about you or the unintended consequences of myopic thinking.

Like “Participant” trophies given to children who played in inter-city sports competitions their parents paid the fee to join, so Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders wants to award citizens “trophies” from a coerced offering of your tax monies-your gold earrings. Bernie Sanders and those like him have decided that you and your husband are not smart enough to manage your own money and affairs. You get the booby prize instead!

The Booby Prize!

The Booby Prize!

How about we cut out the middle-men altogether and spend our time and own money on our own family instead of sending our money through a labyrinth of government money laundering sieves which only shower havoc on families and small businesses, to name two prominent victims. Such a process leaves “we the people” with pennies on the taxed dollar. This “policy” makes no sense in any way, shape or form. But, people buy into the nonsense because its sounds socially and paternally idealistic.

~~~

Resident Evil m-Virus ("m" for Marx)

Resident Evil m-Virus (“m” for Marx)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Resident Evil Virus (the one that kills the host; the one created by Umbrella Collective) as mutated…

According to Karl Marx, “Rousseau correctly described the abstract idea of political man as follows:

“Whoever dares undertake to establish a people’s institutions must feel himself capable of changing, as it were, human nature, of transforming each individual, who by himself is a complete and solitary whole, into a part of a larger whole, from which, in a sense, the individual receives his life and his being, of substituting a limited and mental existence for the physical and independent existence. He has to take from man his own powers, and give him in exchange alien powers which he cannot employ without the help of other men.”

All emancipation is a reduction of the human world and relationships to man himself.” (emphasis mine)

Works of Karl Marx 1844, “On The Jewish Question”

Golden Calf created from gold earrings melted down.

Golden Calf created from gold earrings melted down.

Here we see the recreation of man as materialism’s Golden Calf and the ideological assumption of Communism or what I call “Resident Evil: Redistribution.”

Karl Marx wanted to abolish all personal property and all religion to establish an anthropocentric materialist utopia. Now consider that redistributive taxation is removing your personal property and giving it to the Collective. And, I don’t have to tell you that Theism is being abolished, with Marx’s beyond-the-grave-blessing, under the guise of separation of church and state. Theism is being replaced by scientism, “the metaphysical belief that science tells us all that can be known or is worth knowing.” (-John Polkinghorne, Science and Religion in the Quest of Truth)

Both acts are Karl Marx inspired dialectical materialism.

~~~

“The richness of human life only begins to make sense if mental experience is more than epiphenomenal froth on the surface of a purely materialist reality. If we were simply machines, human discourse could be no more than automatic mouthing, with no true exchange of rational argument taking place.”

-John Polkinghorne, Science and Religion in the Quest of Truth

~~~

Our exponentially growing government does not want competition from you or from your business or from your religion. Those in power want utter social control. Do you realize this?

We can see this in the Social Democrat’s penchant to control your money, your words and your guns. We are moments away from unmitigated tyranny. There are people rallying the flag for tyranny in its most beguiling form: “Social Democracy.”

And while Europe has decided to accept paycheck tyranny in the form of Social Democracy they have done so in order to have government be the treasury that supplies their material needs. By believing that their greed is justified because it is socialized they have signed on to the government broker’s whole life enslavement policy – “a greed with which we have agreed.”

Contrast that statement against the following:

“Watch out,” he said to them, “and beware of all greed! Your life doesn’t consist of the sum total of your possessions…Don’t be anxious about your life – what you should eat; or about your body — what you should wear. Life is more than food! The body is more than clothing!…Which of you by being anxious can add a day to your lifetime?…Yes: where your treasure is, there your heart will be too.”

-Jesus, from Dr. Luke’s Gospel account.

~~~

Consider the following statements:

“Of course many supporters of European integration have an ideological dislike of competition…For many Euro integrationists, much of the appeal of the project lies in the fact that it is an alternative to the “jungle capitalism” that supposedly defines the United States.” (emphasis mine)

-Daniel Hannan, British MEP, “The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America.”

“All too many confuse a market economy with consumerism, seeing a buy-buy-buy mentality as the outcome and goal of economic liberty. But consumerism is the muddled idea that only in having more can we be more. Rather than the Cartesian formulation, “cogito ergo sum” (“I think therefore I am”), some have come to believe that shopping is the proof of existence: “Consumo ergo sum.” Consumerism is wrong not because material things are wrong. Consumerism is wrong because it worships what is beneath us.”

And,

“The problem isn’t just a numbers game, and it can’t be solved by simply tweaking this or that budget line, or wringing a little waste out of the system here or there. What threatens to bring freedom to an end is that we have forgotten the end of freedom, in the other sense – its aim and purpose.

The confusion is all around us. Liberty is confused with license, cronyism with capitalism, mere schooling with education, Social security with genuine intergenerational solidarity, and real social responsibility with taking money from one group and giving it to another – and never mind the cultural devastation wrought upon the recipients by this Orwellian form of “welfare.” We have come to believe that the government is a Good Samaritan.” (emphasis mine)

-the Rev. Robert Scirico, “Defending the Free Market: the Moral Case for a Free Economy

~~~

Unions, Socialism and RoadKill?

Just the other day I was verbally assaulted with socialism.

Per my usual workday I was taking the morning commuter into downtown Chicago. As I stand in the train’s vestibule I visit with my fellow travelers. Our conversations run the gamut of silly to bordering on the unspoken: politics, religion and money.

Well, just as I mentioned, I was slimed by socialism.

As I was talking with my friends a guy comes into the vestibule to wait out the rest of the ride. He was apparently eager to get off the train and light up a smoke.

Victory cigarettes

Victory cigarettes

Wearing a chartreuse tee-shirt of a union pipefitter (seen around Chicago) and with a pack of smokes in his one breast pocket, this guy proceeded to let us know that he arrived.

One of our group asked him where he worked and what he did. (We usually try to engage everyone who ‘visits” the vestibule.)

The guy mentioned that he was working in a building downtown “putting in 24” pipe.” He spoke with the raspy demonic-sounding voice of a heavy smoker.

Then, without prompting and like striking flint, he said, “I hate corporate America. I hate the rich, highly paid CEOs. Who needs gold toilet seats?!” “You think union workers get paid a lot. You should see what they take out of my paycheck!”

“OK?” I said to myself. Well, here we go again: typical union griping, now on a Thursday morning.

I have heard the same sort of discontent (putting it nicely) from union postal workers, train conductors, teachers, electricians, plumbers, service workers-from all of them. And, whether the gripe is about pay grade, work time, pecking order, vacation time, labor management (a partial list of complaints, to be sure) I have heard it all. Union people have left their destiny in the hands of others in hopes of being insured against unhappiness. Guess again. Socialism takes regular drawdowns on your account of happiness.

I have heard the same sort of morbid discontent as campaign vote pandering. It slips off the politician’s tongues (here paraphrased) as “zero sum anthropogenic poverty caused by the rich and CO2”, “…limited pie…”, “…we need unlimited government…”, and (verbatim) “Fair share”; “The 1%”.

Victory Gin

Victory Gin

All such materialism driven policies enacted to “unionize” society, in my estimation, reduce life to a boring unromantic dystopia. In other words these politicians want you to, “go drink your 1984 Victory Gin and be happy. We will take care of you. Do what you were told with what we gave you. There is no romance in Socialism so don’t even think of love, only of sex.” (Hah, imagine Hollywood under socialist financial constraints! Morally, Hollywood is already dependent on the lowest common cultural denominator.)

I decided not to talk to the union guy unless others broached a response and decided to go there. I could tell by his demeanor that this guys’ mind was probably as darkened as his lungs must be.

He went on to speak about his working on and off again depending on … when work is made available to him…through the union. Months would go by until he got a call.

Then he spoke of his heart’s desire: “My precious!”-The long awaited-for pension. With wide-eyed craving he spoke of his retirement: “Only six more years of this stuff left.”

Unions have a unique way of making people ache for the ring of retirement. I’ve seen it firsthand. It comes, I believe, from the on and off nature of union work along with boredom and plenty of worrisome smokes in between, a situation this guy and others let others control. Socialism is losing control of your life while waiting for the day you can retire and live off your meager pension and then, likely, smoke and drink yourself to death within a short time. Union-socialism roadkill.  I’ve seen it over and over.

At this point I wanted to ask him who runs his pension and ask if it was invested in something more than a saving account making 0.01% interest or a CD making 0.09 % interest. Or, was his pension invested in equities and bonds, more appreciable (and risky) financial vehicles.

One could easily figure that the “highly paid” union lords control his pension (and get their cut) and that the union pension fund itself is managed by outside financial managers who manage stock and bond purchases of the union’s pension fund.

The “highly paid” overseers of his pension as fiduciaries must look at the composite financials of companies with stock and bond offerings to determine the best option to apply to a conservative pension, to have it grow while minimizing risk.

Obviously this union guy knew pipefitting and welding. But he did not know finances let alone how to find work on his own. He, instead, left others in charge of providing him work and with overseeing his “precious” pension.

Right then and there I wanted to say to this guy that when you leave your life in the hands of others they will charge you for their effort, including “highly paid” labor leaders (e.g., Richard Trumka).

Union treasuries—filled by dues paid by union members—not only fund programs benefiting union members and their families. The money also 

Richard Trumka "highly paid" Union boss

Richard Trumka
“highly paid” Union CEO

pays six-figure salaries and benefits for labor leaders and their top staffs, and provides tens of millions of dollars for Democratic causes and candidates.

-“Scores of union leaders earn six-figure salaries”

Here’s the arrogant and petty AFL-CIO union thug Richard Trumka tweeting his call for “two minutes hate” directed at Gov. Scott Walker who is dropping out of the 2016 presidential race:

 

 

“Highly paid” CEOs are charged with managing a company so as to make its value grow and to make its stockholders happy with the company’s prospects for future earnings. The company’s worth must appreciate in value. And when a company’s stock appreciates in value many people benefit. This includes employees who receive stock as a bonus. Pension funds invested in such a company’s stock also grow in value. Somehow I think any such statement to him would not meld with his union-socialist-collectivist way of life. He would go into Elizabeth Warren override.

I left out this: companies run by “highly paid” CEOs hire people and pay them to function within the company. Together CEOs and the people make the company profitable or otherwise. The people are free to stay or move on depending on their satisfaction with any number of things including pay, management, location, etc. “Highly paid” CEOs increase value. Collectivist governments, socialist governments and unions depreciate value-especially, your value, via coercive egalitarianism.

Those of us in the Kingdom of God must not take the wide way that is offered to us either by a self-described socialist such as Bernie Sanders or by a self-described “Christian” magazine called Sojourners which uses the banner of “social justice.”

Government is not altruistic. Government could never hit the moving “socially just” target without being totally controlling. Government can never offer a hurting person what a Good Samaritan can-one on one help. Government is impersonal, indifferent, insouciant.

And, as we have seen, redistribution of our wealth, filtered through the labyrinth of government funnels, distributes only fractional amounts of money to people government cannot even begin to keep track of and large amounts just to make bureaucracy function. Socialism burgeons while you diminish.

The unions, the Collective, Progressives, liberal “Christians” and even Pope Francis want “Social Justice”. What is this carrot on a stick dangled in front of us?

~~~

I have written elsewhere about this subject before. When I have I’ve turned to the parable of the Good Samaritan to make the point that we need to be involved in one another’s lives personally (like our Savior) and NOT via the million degrees of separation known as bureaucratic “Social Justice.”

The Rev. Robert Sirico, “American Roman Catholic priest and the founder of the Acton Institute”, provides us with clear-cut insight into the bureaucratization of “good intentions” versus the personification of good (good becoming man):

“The Marxist political analysis that remains popular (if now usually disguised) in many universities and even seminaries, tends to pit the poor against the rich—it’s all about class warfare and alienation. The alternative vision that I have been trying to paint in these pages is beautifully distilled in the parable of the Good Samaritan, a story that has held a persistent fascination for the religious and non-religious readers alike. Of course, like all parables, its primary meaning is Christological and moral, rather than political. But it’s also possible to discern other messages in this story.

In Luke’s Gospel, a Samaritan man (someone on the margins of Jewish society in this period) stops to help a man who was beaten and left for dead on the side of the road. When the Samaritan comes upon him, he helps the beaten man from his own resources. Even when the Samaritan has to delegate the care to the man for a time to an innkeeper, he promises to pay the innkeeper back. The Samaritan was on the scene to see and understand the fallen man’s specific needs—he was the man’s “neighbor”—and he went about meeting those needs. From this standpoint, the Samaritan might be justly described as the principle subsidiary in action. Notice, too, that he would have been hard-pressed to meet the needs of the injured man if he hadn’t first possessed enough personal wealth to hire services of the innkeeper. Lady Thatcher’s memorable insight about this text is to the point: “No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.”” (emphasis added)

Passage from “Why Smart Charity Works—and Welfare Doesn’t”, “Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for the Economy” by Rev. Robert Sirico

Rev. Sirico recommends reading “Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass” by Theodore Dalrymple. I have read it and recommend it as well.

~~~

Added 9-20-2015:

It’s “1984” all over again…

“Within the book [George Orwells’1984], the purpose of the Two Minutes Hate is said to satisfy the citizens’ subdued feelings of angst and hatred from leading such a wretched, controlled existence. By re-directing these subconscious feelings away from the Oceanian government and toward external enemies (which probably do not even exist), the Party minimizes subversive thought and behavior.” (emphasis added)

“Ostensibly, [Emmanuel] Goldstein serves as a convenient scapegoat for the totalitarian regime in Nineteen Eighty-Four, and justifies its surveillance and elimination of civil liberties.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Minutes_Hate

Union members, as with so many others of the media-collectivist-“It takes a village…” persuasion make use of the “Goldstein Effect”, a term coined by legal scholar Cass Sunstein.

As mentioned above the effect is a means of scapegoating but it is also a means of psychological distraction and redirection.

The subverted thinking of the union member as revealed in my anecdote above is directed with anger at the “highly paid CEOs” and therefore away from the ”highly paid’ labor leaders and away from the “highly paid” Big Brother candidates those “highly paid” labor leaders support. The “enemies” generalized and amorphous existence is a product of the media’s PC Ministry of Truth, the collective’s means to larger-than–life vilification.

[The] “Goldstein Effect”, [is] described as “the ability to intensify public concern by giving a definite face to the adversary, specifying a human source of the underlying threat.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Goldstein

A License to…Look Out For Number One

Living in a Material World, Part Two

Atlas Shrugged and Went About his Own Business

Atlas Shrugged and Went About his Own Business

Not long ago, while riding the commuter train home, I sat down on an upper row seat not far from a young Indian woman. Her head was covered so I believed her to be a devoutly religious person. On her lap was Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. I wondered what interested her in Rand’s lengthy novel.

***

As you know there has been much in the media-the politically biased-media-about corporate greed, fairness and income inequality. The “social justice “rhetoric is ubiquitous, whether here in the U.S. or in re-salvaged unrepentant Greece.

In op-eds and news commentaries we are lectured to with the by-products of the liberal elites (e.g., Paul Krugman (see my previous post about economist Krugman’s $225K payday in return for his thoughts on Income Inequality!), by Progressive politicians (e.g., Hillary Clinton and Liz Warren) and by their media puppets (e.g., MSNBC), all of whom feign a disdain for money, that “filthy lucre”, while quietly reaping enormous capital gains of their own (See also Vanity Fair’s glossy wealth-guilt sympathy card dated August 2015, the article “The Charlie War”, regarding the French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo coming into mega-Euros.) Looking out for number one has never been so savoir faire.

Then not long ago we were accosted by the “commoners” – the OWS protesters. Though largely unfocused and self-trivializing we were told by our ‘betters’ that these poor folk just wanted to generate a discussion about what is ethically the “right thing to do” in the world of money and specifically money as a power or a force to use for “good” and not for selfish materialistic pleasure (ahem, Vanity Fair). The Wall Street bulls and bears became the effigies they wanted to burn or, rather, smoke to get their solvency high.

The OWS’ trashy 60’s bohemian style protest became a mixed message diatribe against a ‘rigged” system, a system that didn’t appear (in their cloud computing at least) to offer them a break into the big leagues of the adult material world. Apparently, the OWS protestors ‘just’ wanted to “survive” materially, debt-free, well-off and on their own terms-no pain, all gain, Greek style.

OWS! May Day!

OWS! May Day!

It was noted though by those standing head and shoulders (a stock chart term) above the “Leaning Forward” genuflectors that the protestors was certainly compromised in their messaging. Their signage/texting revealed the protesters demands.

Their demands included gaining “justly” (a word replacement for “freely”) the same materialistic “well-being” that someone else had achieved under the rubrics “income equality” and “free tuition” and “social justice”. Their socialist mantras were remarkably self-centered, covetous and Marxist.

Is the OWS’ ‘just’ quest for materialism-looking out for number one-any different from the Wall Street gang “running with the bulls” down Wall Street in hopes of not being gored by unleashed regulators? And, rigged or not rigged, Materialism, in the light of day, wears the same “envy green” scrubs.

***

Unions are all about looking out for Number One.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) a federal union, is fighting against reforms of the badly run VA administration. You won’t see AFGE publicly decrying a measure that would mean that their union members may be held responsible and they may be fired or their bonus withheld. AFGE is currently working in Congress to stop VA reform. From a Daily Caller Article:

A union representing government employees on Tuesday condemned a bill meant to reform how bonuses are awarded at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“It’s time to turn the page on morale-busting measures like Rep. Miller’s proposal and focus on the mission of delivering top-quality care to America’s veterans,” AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. declared in a statement.

Yeah, it’s about time to focus on others…

Here is why AFGE’s is against VA reform:

A Koch Brothers-funded front group called the Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) has been making waves on Capitol Hill lately, promoting a long list of anti-VA, anti-worker proposals that would break this sacred promise and leave veterans out to dry. Led by former Wall Street bank employee and failed Senate candidate Pete Hegseth, CVA has been the driving force behind efforts to dismantle the VA health care system and trim service members’ hard-earned disability and other benefits.

Yeah, those evil Koch Brothers trying to help veterans by removing bad employees-not Number One on AFGE’s list.

Why make the VA better for our wounded veterans when union members are more G_d-Damn important?

Looking out for Number One leaves the robbed and wounded man left for dead alongside the road…until the Good Samaritan comes along to care for him.

 

***

Going Number One Onto Others:

The recent abominable SCOTUS decision made it possible for homosexual couples to look out for their Number One mission-use their new-found legal licentiousness to bash Christians and to seek material gain via law suits against Christian wedding cake bakers who refuse their demands. All done under the guise of ‘true love’ and “equality” (actually, unabated unnatural desires).

Looking out for number one has never been so “User friendly” for lawyers and bullies.

***

A well-known looking out for Number One persona:

Objectivism is my Game.

Objectivism is my Game.

Ayn Rand’s (1905-1982) novels portray the philosophy of Objectivism. The (paper) weighty “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead” clearly identify the key tenets of Objectivism: objective reality, reason, individualism over group-think, self-interest and ego-ism.

Ayn Rand’s Objectivism:

There are four pillars to Rand’s objectivism: objective reality, reason, self-interest and capitalism.

Reason: direct stimuli from nature; there is no God, no soul, no intuition, nothing beyond what we determine though reason.

For Rand Man is all there is. There is no spiritual reality of angels, demons and God. The heroism of man was to be worshipped, as did the Greek stoic philosophers and the food-and-wine-friendly Epicureans who avoided God and enjoyed the ‘heroics’ of pleasure.

Early Greek philosophers taught that man was mortal, corporal, and that sensory inputs were the only reality available to mankind. God was described as elsewhere and angry so therefore the true God was not of any material benefit to mankind. Avoid pain, seek pleasure. Be your own hero. Be Number One.

Rand’s Self-interest: your own self-interest and happiness is what life is all about. You take care of Number One.

Capitalism for the Objectivist is all about individual rights and private property; self-reliance, free trade, entrepreneurship and initiative all operate freely and without coercion within capitalism and the free market system. I have no issues with Rand’s objective definition of capitalism. As a Christian in the Kingdom of God I do have a problem with Rand’s use of capitalism as a means to flee from God and from responsibility towards others and to use it as self-promotion, as a prosperity gospel.

Ayn Rand’s described herself as a romantic-realist. Her Objectivism is atheistic, rejecting faith and religion. It believes only in reason and what the self can determine. For her it was every man for himself, the survival of the fittest. This viewpoint is born out of a godless Darwinian materialist view of life, the Enlightenment era and philosophical naturalism. Objectivism is blind faith in Number One-Yourself.

Rugged individualism, for Rand, was a force like other forces of nature and something to be reckoned with. As you might imagine this type of thinking would certainly feed the ego and especially if the person who embraces Objectivism is successful in life. For these people pride of place means you’ve made it to the top of the heap. Your self-esteem is rewarded. You are recognized by your peers as having objectively “made it.”

Ayn Rand’s extreme philosophy is most likely a reaction to her early life in Russia during the Communist Revolution. As a child she learned to despise coercion, government intrusion and totalitarianism. She came to oppose statism and collectivism while she promoted social systems which protected individual rights and personal initiatives. As a romantic realist she hated the dystopian effects created by those seeking to create a man-made utopia. Though a polemic, Rand never insisted that others be made to accept her philosophy. She was “laissez faire” with respect to others.

A Christian Perspective:

The Kingdom of God’s answer to Looking Out for Number One: kenosis- a ‘self-emptying’ of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God’s divine will.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” The Apostle Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, II Corinthians 8:9

A Christian’s response to Ayn Rand

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The call of "Number One"

The call of “Number One”

Before Ayn Rand another voice of philosophical naturalism had chosen the similar atheistic force with which to respond to “the law of life”: Jack London (1876 – 1916).

Remember Buck and the rugged ‘individual’s’ response to “The Call of the Wild”? It’s a tale of primitive and bestial survival, of self-interest, of the strong seeking to overcome nature. It’s a tale of reversion to innate instincts and characteristics of our evolutionary heritage-a looking out for Number One and a dog eat dog meal ticket.