Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Guaranteed 100% Correct Super Bowl Predictions

I predict a bunch of relatively rich to very rich people will get richer; club owners, ballplayers, league officials, television network executives, concession operators, bookies, Indianapolis bar, lodging, restaurant, strip club and outcall services operators, crooked cops, tow-truck operators and lucky gamblers, among others.

Friday, February 3, 2012

George Carlin - Wrong About Politicians

In general, I'm a big fan of George Carlin, but one of his most famous routines has always bothered me, nagging like a loose tooth. It's particularly aggravating because he names his error, but doesn't recognize it. So even though George isn't around any more, this Tireless Agorist will attempt to explain what George missed, and why it matters, and pull that annoying loose tooth once and for all. First, the pertinent portion of his rant, with the problematic sentence bolded.
"Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens."
For extra fun, here's George's complete diatribe in video. Go ahead, take a minute to watch it. It's classic George Carlin. I'll still be here when you get back.

George is right that politicians don't fall out of the sky. He's also right that "they come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens." But his error was in not recognizing that they actually do pass through a membrane; the selective process of political gamesmanship. There are numerous hurdles to be cleared in the political game, and their height increases as power concentrates. The hurdles are much lower for city councilman than they are for U.S. Senator or President.

The Political Hurdles

We all learned that anyone can grow up to be President, and perhaps, in the most idealistic terms, that's true. Anyone who decided at a very early age that the office of the President was their life's goal and worked diligently to reach that goal could possibly, one day, convince a majority of the voters in that particular election that he should inhabit the Oval Office. But the path to the oval office, indeed any political office, requires clearing multiple significant hurdles that George left out of the equation.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

American Pie, Revisited

With apologies, and heartfelt thanks, to Don McLean

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How my country used to make me smile.
And I knew if we had our chance
That freedom would let life advance
And, maybe we’d be happy for a while.

But politicians made me shiver
With every new bill they’d deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.

I don't remember if I cried
When 9/11 crushed our pride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day our freedom died.

So bye-bye, miss american pie,
More important than our freedom,
Is the need to comply.
Them good old boys are lynchin' freedom on high
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that you die.
"this’ll be the day that you die."

Uncle Sam Seeks Harder, Deeper Penetrator

Uncle Sam went looking for professional help last month when he decided his penetrator needed to be harder and go deeper to get the job done.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to drag the sordid tale out of the closet.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Unseen in Economics - Part I

The underlying, and fatal, problem of political economics was explained in exquisite detail in 1848 by Frederic Bastiat, French economist, statesman and author, in his essay "What is seen and what is not seen in political economy." Politicians and their lap-dog economists have been pretending otherwise ever since. In this first of several posts about this seminal essay, we'll unearth the foundation of ever-shifting sand that underlies the entire concept of political economics.

Monday, January 30, 2012

EconStories.TV - Economic Edutainment

One nice thing about having a blog is the opportunity to pass on to my readers particularly worthwhile works by others. This Tireless Agorist would like to take the opportunity to promote EconStories.TV as a great resource for those interested in the basic differences between the Keynesian and Hayekian/Austrian schools of economic thought. Let me stress, right up front, that no matter what your impression based on this post, the two videos that are the focus of this column are must-see video entertainment experiences, even if you're not interested in learning economics. They're just plain fun to watch.

Russ Roberts, Professor of Economics at George Mason University (his blog) has teamed up with director and producer John Papola (his blog) to create a series of videos exploring those differences in an entertaining yet educational way.

Even if you have no real interest in economic theory, the short time you'll spend watching these two videos will serve you well whenever you're confronted by political or economic issues.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Libertarians - The True Pragmatists

Libertarians have long been regarded as impractical dreamers, slaves to a political philosophy of no real-world value. The practical, or pragmatic view, they are told, is that government serves crucial purposes in today's complex world, and that compromising our ideals is a necessity for the survival of our society. Careful observation, however, demonstrates that libertarians (and other small-government groups) are the pragmatists, while those who believe in the benefits of big government are the impractical dreamers. There is a cornucopia of evidence to support this simple observation.

The Lesson of Athens, Tennessee

An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any government.” -- Ron Paul

On January 28th, the Tennessee Republican Assembly Presidential straw poll was won overwhelmingly by Ron Paul, who garnered 63% of the votes cast. Rick Santorum finished second, with 20% of the vote. Later that day, the Tennessee Republican Assembly leadership announced their endorsement of Rick Santorum for the Republican Presidential nomination. No mention was made that Rick Santorum has no delegates on the Tennessee primary ballot, his ground game an utter failure in the state.

Author's Note: I generally endeavor to use only commonly-recognized mainstream media outlets as news sources in my articles. However, research shows that those sources have been silent concerning the Tennessee Republican Assembly straw poll, their endorsement, and the controversy surrounding it.

The Tennessee Republican Assembly leadership is apparently unfamiliar with their own state history, at least as it pertains to Athens, Tennessee and 1947.