Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh! These most important first few primaries!

Oh my! Oh my! I hear the pundits talk about the political landscape. And most explicitly, the up coming primary season; they talk about the important momentum following the early contests... Please indulge me as I laugh so hard that milk come out of my nose.
We are supposed to consider the results of the Iowa Caucus [Caustic?] Where less than 0.3 % of the voters in the United States of America "voted" (the definition of "voting" being attending a tent carnival where your are given free food and entertainment) for Michelle Bachmann, and it was almost 200 votes more than those folks who "chose" Ron Paul? And then, the media declaim that Rick Perry was the "winner" because he garnered almost 02 % of the "votes" that Bachmann and Paul got combined??? Ah, but I digress.
Next we're supposed to pay attention to Nevada (a beautiful state, I love to visit it). But please! At the risk of being considered to be an "*IST " of some kind of other... I'll say that Nevada is the state of miners, ranchers, casinos, gamblers, and whores. Most definitely the exact demographic of the American dream (all you folks from Nevada, feel free to flame me early and often. Ah! but what is a primary campaign if it's not an opportunity to spout unfounded generalizations about folks you don't agree with?)
Then there's New Hampshire, another beautiful state; one that has a total population equal to about half that of the City of Saint Louis (you know where that is right)? And their opinions are really, really relevant to the future leadership of the federal government and appointments to the Supreme Court and all the wars we're fighting around the globe? Right? Yes, they are, but how much? How much?
Then there's South Carolina... I won't waste my time or yours repeating my opinion of the relevance of the opinions of the people of South Carolina about anything; see:

So here we are, trying to choose an opponent to run against Barack Obama (and please give me credit for wanting an opponent to Barack Obama in the next election). I've heard some folks talk about a "permanent republican majority" but I really do believe in a two party system.
But the system of choosing that opponent seems to be just a little nuts. If a better mix of the American demographic was represented, if a larger portion of the population got into the process a little earlier; it might be OK. As it is, it's crazy. If we allow a few zealots from the Bible Belt, organizers from Sin City, a tiny group of folks from one tiny state, and then, the really, really, out of touch fundamentalists from South Carolina (please don't miss my explanation of THEIR relevance) to define the all important "momentum" of that all important leg up of that process... Well, then we've really got a stupid system.

Garbage in, garbage out. A Priori Errors are impossible to correct later on....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

An Economic Recovery Plan

Several times in the last three years a large percentage of the "money" in the stock market has disappeared pretty much overnight. When I say "money" I mean that definition of money that comes from the 2000 year old adage: "Everything is worth what it's purchaser will pay for it." Publilius Syrus, first century BC. Every cent (every one of which is a number written on a piece of paper or some 001110001011's stored in a computer file) invested in the stock market is that kind of money. It has no intrinsic value of it's own; it's only as valuable as you can convince someone it is... IF and when they buy it. The money that the brokers "earn" comes from moving these numbers around and keeping a little (or sometimes a lot) of the numbers for themselves (then they sell it, quick). The numbers go up and down, up and down.
A bubble pops, some mega crook gets exposed, the 100 year old Emperor of Japan dies of natural causes, a mega speculator gets out of the market suddenly; there can be many causes. Recently, we had the idiots in the Tea Party trying to get the U.S. Government to default on it's debt... But I've always said that if someone on the floor of the NYSE just yelled, "The president's been shot!" loudly enough, you could watch the big board spiral down. Is this a great system or what?
A few years ago I got lucky. I bought something with real money a week before the 2008 crash. I might have bought some stock with that money but instead I bought solar panels for my roof. Guess what? They're still up there, 100% as good as they were the day I bought them. The market lost 40% of it's "value" over the next few weeks.
Take your money out of the market now and buy something durable that the bastards can't turn into a valueless piece of paper tomorrow. If everyone with $25K in the market bought an American car tomorrow, the economy would boom and half of the overpaid, under regulated, and under taxed money moving stock brokers would have to get a real job. Maybe even making cars.