Economics, 101

I have but one semester of community college but I have been around a while. I have eyes in my head and I can observe. I don’t know what they teach about economics in those big colleges, but one thing I learned by first hand observation is that economies are not static. Things change. Generally they change relatively slowly, but, occasionally, things really take a turn.

I noticed in the early 70s when gas went up, so did everything else. It wasn’t long that the price of meat went up. Then, even the price of soft drinks went up. I was just a sergeant in the Marines at the time and we started making changes in our household economy too. Instead of buying Cokes, we bought Shasta soft drinks (10 cents each, those were the days). Before, we did buy New York steaks every now and then. After, nothing but ground beef. Instead of going only to name brand gas stations, I started going anywhere where I didn’t have to wait an hour in line.

I’m kind of smart. That is to say, I don’t think I was the only one scrimping on things. It was likely that way all over the country, that is except for those who didn’t need to concern themselves with the cost of gas, or milk. There are some folks who bought what they wanted and paid no attention to the price.

Then there were the businesses. I imagine they were cutting corners. Do you know that at one time they had what they called box boys at supermarkets. They sacked your groceries, took them to your car and put them in your trunk. Then, with a smile, they said, “Have a good day.” Nowadays, we all cut corners. Not only do I do all what the box boy did do, but I also scan my groceries too.

It’s actually not that bad. I am getting older and it is getting to be more of a chore, but I manage. It is all so we can save a penny here and nickle there. I save a little. The store saves a little. The one who really suffers is the box boy. They are no longer around. They do pay kids to round up the carts now and then but even they are getting rare. Moreover, they are using those electric things that allow them to do the work of three. They have to pay for the electric things but they only pay the one boy. That not only saves salaries but many other expenses too. Only someone who has run a business can really tell you about all those little expenses that add up to real money.

Corporations, large and small, have expenses too. I have often said, if a person decides to go into business, the first thing he needs to do is hire a lawyer and an accountant. The lawyer might keep you out of jail and that accountant might keep you square with the IRS. You notice I said might. The big corporations pay fortunes on lawyers and sometimes still pay fines. Sears was sued by a guy using a lawnmower as a hedge trimmer. Guess what, Sears lost the suit.

Nowadays, when you buy something, you can’t find the instructions for the cautions and warnings. They are there for the lawyers and the people who like to sue “Deep Pockets.” The legality and the tax laws add millions of dollars to the cost of living every year. It has become part of the economy. The drug manufacturers would have taken years to come up with the vaccines because of all the laws and red tape, but President Trump cut through it all. He kept it safe but he ran a bull dozier though all that was not necessary. Hence, we started giving shots 8 or nine months after he made the decision. Government too, is part of the economy. The bigger it is, the more it costs us all. My question is, if the red tape was not needed, why was it there to begin with, likely for a bunch of bureaucrats — people who are not elected and answer to no one.

Now, Biden wants to raise taxes. It is a common misconception of dems. They think that if they increase taxes ten percent, revenues will go up ten percent. It doesn’t happen that way. Oh, it will for a while. Then people start finding ways around paying the taxes. They hire lawyers to find loopholes and they find have accountants to take advantage of them.

The little guy, the one running the little neighborhood market gets hit with the same taxes and laws, but he has no way to deal with them. So, the little guy pays the taxes and the big guy still avoids them. Hence, the lawyers love increases in taxes. For them, it is job security.

But that is not the end of it. Indeed, it is hardly the beginning. Biden wants billions for the big three auto-makers to start building electric cars. At the same time, he wants to raise corporate taxes. So, the big auto builders will build the electric cars… in Mexico. That way, they get the benefits of the billions from Uncle Sam while avoiding the taxes on their profits.

By the way, did I mention there are many big companies ready to move out of country to avoid the taxes. They likely started packing their bags as soon as they heard the results of the election. If they pay more taxes, it will likely be to some other country, like China. Where did Biden learn his economics?

The sad part is that he will likely never know his tax increase failed to draw the revenues he expected. He likely does not have the cognizance to find out unless someone tells him. And I don’t think anyone will tell him.

Rules, Rules, Rules

One thing I’ve got to say about those dems. They do love to play by the rules, as long as they get to make them up as we go along. They were the first to alter the rules on the filibuster. Last election, they altered the rules in mass, even though that was against the rules. They claimed it was UN-American for people to challenge the presidential election, though they did it many times before. By the way, they are now challenging the election of a representative. It would seem the rule they made concerning the challenging of elections is that they can, we can’t. Now they want to pack the Supreme Court. I wonder, just what rules will they want to change next?

What’s in a Name?

I was discharged in Memphis so, for a short time afterword, that is where my wife and I lived. We just had one car between us and neither of us had a job. Then I got on at a fast food place. This put my wife in a predicament. She had an appointment at Baptist Memorial and was not at all familiar with the area. Not only that, she had been driving for a little over a year.

If I could have, I would have taken her, but, given as I just got my job, I figured I’d better show up for work. So, the day before the appointment, I drove the route with her and it was pretty simple. All she really needed to do was drive straight west on North parkway to Pauline and turn left(south). The parking lot for the hospital was on Pauline.

Well she got lost. She went all over downtown and midtown Memphis and, a couple of times caught herself on the newer bridge on the way to Arkansas. She did eventually find her way after stopping a couple of times for directions.

Afterword, she told me about it. She said if she got on that bridge one more time, she would just go on to to Fort Smith, where she grew up. It confused me enormously. As I said, I drove the route the day before and was certain of the instructions.

So, when I had a chance, I drove the route again, with her in the car. When i got to Pauline, I made the turn, and right there was the hospital. She was very animate about it. She said that she looked very closely and Pauline was not there the day before.

I went back to the intersection and looked more closely. It was true. On the south side of North Parkway, it was Pauline. On the North side it was some other name, I can’t ever remember what. Had she looked at the street sign on the south side, she would have made the turn and it would have been fine. Since she looked at the one on the north side, she continued west and toward the bridge.

Sometimes these people try to confuse us drivers with tricks like this. I don’t have the foggiest idea why. One day in Yuma I looked for a theater that had an address on Second Street. I looked for hours for it. I gave up and started walking toward the downtown, figuring there would be something there. There was. I soon found myself on the corner of Second Street and 2nd Street. There was also a First Street and 1st Street.

That’s right. If you ever go to Yuma, you might remember that. The ordinals are used one direction. The other way they spell them out. I don’t remember which. At any rate, I got to see most of Yuma that day…while on foot. The one good part, it was winter and the temperature was mild.

My name is Benjamin Franklin Rhodes. I was named after my grandfather, not the founding father of of the Keystone State. I don’t know, but I would guess that, somewhere in my ancestry, someone was likely name named for old Ben. None the less, I have had my share of nicknames. Most of my youth I was called Benny. One or two have called me Benji. A few have called me Dusty and once or twice I was even called Frankie. None of it bothered me much, but I decided in my late youth to that I preferred Ben. While I went by Benny, there were frequently people that spelled it Bennie, not my favorite.

We humans put quite a lot in names. Some people get really upset if you call them by the wrong name. I never have and never will. To me it isn’t that big a deal. It did confuse me some when one guy called me Barney, mostly because I didn’t know he was talking to me.

None the less, we give names to many things, roads, cities, counties states and countries. We give names to people, places, and things. We give names to streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. It is, I suppose so that we can tell one from another. No one would think to create a civilization where we identify people by numbers instead of names. Well, I guess we do have Social Security Numbers, but can you imagine calling each other by number that is nine digits long. Even then we would still have names. Each of us would have a unique number that we would be known by. Of note: the number method would make things easier on computer. Not so much for us humans.

Nonetheless, we have chosen to use names. There are over 7 billion people in this world and each of us has a name. When you add in those that are no longer living, that is a bunch of names. It is sort of odd in a way. The street that my wife looked for that day was likely named after a woman.

We do a lot of that. Some streets have women’s names and some men’s. In Fort Smith, there are several streets that are named for WWII heroes. In some cases, there are streets named for battles. We used to name battleships for states. Subs were named mostly for cities, and so forth. Nowadays, you don’t get an aircraft named after you unless you lived in The White House for a while. Yet the first nuclear carrier was named for a WWII carrier, Enterprise. I have no idea what prompted the original carrier’s name.

Maybe to keep the confusion down, we ought not change names too much. Can you imagine if the navy kept changing the names of ships. Also, in order to understand each other, maybe we shouldn’t keep changing the meanings of words just to fit our purpose. I mean, when a person says infrastructure, he really ought to mean infrastructure. There is already enough confusion in this world.

A Message to the CEOs

Pepsi is a good alternative to Coke. Sam’s Cola tastes as good and is far less expensive. When I go out to eat, I just might start drinking Ice tea or water. It is likely better for me anyway.

I used to fly quite a bunch, especially when I repaired computers. I preferred American Airlines. I don’t have the need or desire to fly as much but if I did, it would not be American or Delta. They likely won’t miss me but there are others who feel as I do when I say I’d rather take the bus than give them a dollar.

As for the major leagues, I gave them up long ago… all of them. I’ve started watching college games. I even go to little league games in the area. I found them far more interesting and they don’t toss in a bunch of left wing propaganda. Those ten, eleven and twelve-year-olds know the purpose of the game. The old pros seem to have forgotten it.

I am not even a drop in the water. The above folks will likely never miss me. I will not even show up on their stats. However, I am sure I am not alone and those stats just might show that they made a bad decision.

Far more important they might all remember this. We need farmers. We need truck drivers. We need storekeepers and we need homes. Coca-cola… not so much. Without pro basketball, baseball or football, some might go into sports withdrawal, but we CAN do without them. It is a convenience to be able to visit relatives who are far away, but we don’t have to. And, as I mentioned before, there is always the bus. Maybe those of you who sit in your ivory towers and have taken bailout dollars should remember where that money came from. The government might have signed the checks, but part of it came from me and people like me. There are over 70 million people in the country who will remember what you have done. For that matter, there might be a few dems who will remember it too, such as the people in Georgia. There just might be a few who own restaurants, cafes and hotels near the ball bark. There were also a few people who worked there. But then, why should you care. You managed to survive for another day or two. That is the attitude of business today. Never mind the decades. Just, let’s just survive today.

One For All

While I was going through Marine boot camp, they had an interesting way of punishing us. When one of us messed up, we all got punished. On the other hand, when someone did well, we all reaped the reward, though the the rewards were few.

It sounds unfair, but it did help to build teamwork. I quickly found, that as a team, we could accomplish far more than we could as a bunch of individuals. Though I never saw combat, it was easy to see the benefit of everyone watching out for each other. I also realized the importance to be able to trust each other. I mean, you just know the other marine is going to do his part of the job because that was how we were trained.

Still if I mess up, why should eighty other guys suffer for it? It just doesn’t seem right. Mostly, I would expect that most people, especially those who have had no military training, agree.

Yet, in our country, that is the way we live. We have a couple of million people in the military and we all benefit from the security. Maybe one out of a thousand, maybe less, volunteers to risk his life in law enforcement and we all benefit by living in relative safety. A small minority of folks agree to work their fingers to the bone and we all eat well. If we don’t buy the food in a store, we go to the wide variety of restaurants. There too, we benefit from the hardworking souls. I know. I worked in one and it is hard work.

Personally, I have lived a blessed life, even during my time in the Marines. Okay, I walked a few guard post and I spent my time on mess duty. However, other than a year in Nam, I had it pretty good. Even while I was in Nam, I had three squares a day. Though I had to walk a ways outdoors, the shower wasn’t that far. I even lived in an 8 by 8 foot area set aside for me. Never once did I have to go running through a rice paddy and I never dodged bullets. On the other hand, I did have a few mortars fell uncomfortably too close.

I never finished college but I benefited from the doctors who did. I don’t know how to build or maintain cars but I have two reliable ones sitting out in our driveway.

Is it really so horrible to expect me or any citizen in this country to present an ID to vote. I mean, most of us gained that right by accident. Is it so awful to expect others to respect and obey the law. I mean most of us have the privileges of freedom bestowed upon us at birth. Those who have legally immigrated did not have to risk life and limb, though some did.

And it is true, every time someone does something wrong, we all suffer. Invariably, many of the laws that cause us grief were made for the 10% who have no respect for others or their country.

I would like a law requiring that Congressmen from both houses to live by all the laws they create for the rest of us. However, you and I know that will not happen. Because of their position they get the best of everything. They made Obamacare, yet we pay for their healthcare. There is no way on this earth that they would live under the health plan that they forced on the rest of us.

But then, that is the way it is in a land that has royalty. It is one for all, but then again, it is all for them. They will not build a wall to keep out those who don’t belong, but they build walls all over DC to protect themselves, to the inconvenience of others.

When the China virus went on the rampage, not one of them went without a paycheck, while others by the millions went into unemployment. And now, our new king, he had destroyed what good was done.

It has been said many times, the democrats and republicans need to get together and solve the border problems. They are getting together…to keep us from closing the border President Trump tried to maintain the border, but at each turn of events, someone stood in the way, and they weren’t all democrat.

We have a certain number of people that immigrate each year legally. If we were to totally shut the borders tomorrow, it would be twenty or more years before we caught up with the legal quotas. But the rich want cheap labor and the dems want to turn the whole country blue. Therefore the rich cooperate with the dems and, of course, as in my basic training, we all suffer for it. We all suffer for what the ten percent does. After all, the ten percent is really for themselves. Ultimately, it is all about control.

Maybe Joe Should Have Checked With Kamala

The other day, it seems to me that I heard Joe say that he was handing over the whole border disaster to Kamala. For those that are unaware, I even wrote a post about it — how much better I felt about it. For those that did not figure it out, it was tongue-in-cheek. In no way did it make me feel better. The fact is, neither of them knows what they are doing on the matter, but it did look to me that Joe was trying to hand off the ball in the option play, hoping that he would not get tackled.

Now we find out that she is not in charge of it. There is no way that I know exactly what happened but I do have an imagination. My guess is, Kamala said something to the affect of “YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?!!!” Apparently she didn’t want the ball. Instead of taking it, she fumbled it. She sort of looked at it like a piece of dynamite attached to a lit fuse.

Now I ask you, just why would anyone want a hand-off like that?

Maybe a better way of putting it is, he handed her a grenade without the pin and she handed it back, saying “No way. You made this mess. You live with it. You’re not ruining my career!”

Meanwhile, the problem, whatever you want to call it, keeps getting worse. The shelters getting more crowded and the cartels keep benefiting.

DeRoy Murdock Said Something Worth Repeating

The Dems like to say they want to compromise. Well DeRoy Murdock came up with an excellent idea, though he might not have meant it as a compromise.

The Dems claim that the people who live in Washington DC get taxed but they get no meaningful representation. Well, what Mr. Murdock suggest is that we don’t tax the people who legitimately live within the limits of district.

I would suggest that the Federal government would not miss the revenues and it would be good for the city. People might even move there in an effort to make money instead of bribing congressmen. To be sure, those who want to live outside city and lobby would not be eligible. They would actually have to move in and become residents year-round.

Now let’s see. It would drive the value of the land up. It would somewhat extract all the liberals out of Virginia and Maryland. Moreover, it might actually result in some industry the city besides politics and tourism. It would also free monies to go for city infrastructure.

The thing is, who knows what all would happen after a few capitalist decide to move in and replace the liberals. They might actually have a city befitting of our great nation.

Thing is, it will never happen. Like all good ideas, the dems won’t let it happen. Besides, what they really want has nothing to do with the representation of the citizens of the district. It is all about power. If the district were to be added as a state, the dems would pick up another representative and two senators. To them, that is power. So, never mind the great idea. Their idea of the important thing is to keep control of both chambers and the presidency. Then of course, they will want the Supreme Court as well. That way, their kingdom will be complete and no one will be able to stand against them, other than China.

Oh. Did I mention they already control the media. What little conservative media remains will have to transmit from a ship off shore. It will become Radio Free America. Invariably, it will need to put up with harassment from the Union of Socialist America

Problem Solving 101

I have heard from a number of different sources that the first step in solving a problem is realizing you have one. By extension, I would suggest that it is also the first step in solving a crisis. It would appear that Biden is unaware that he has a problem on the border, let alone a crises. As such, why should we ever expect any solutions from his direction. He will never realize we have a problem. He and those around him are doing all they can to make sure that doesn’t happen. Indeed, they are doing all they can to convince us.

You ask him about the crisis and he responds, “What crisis? I don’t see a crisis. Do you see a crisis? Well, maybe we have a little challenge.”

Let’s hope this is not the way he solves all very bad problems.

Floaters vs Controllers

In one group of books that I have written, I pit “floaters” against “controllers.” The floaters are the good guys who have some fantasy abilities. The controllers are the bad guys and are passionately and ruthlessly seeking power. They let nothing get in the way, including each other.

In truth, there are no floaters. They are from my imagination. I dreamed them up all by myself. I got the idea from all the detective shows where the bodies are discovered floating in some body of water.

On the other hand, in a sense the controllers do exist. If I were asked to point one out, I’d have to say that Cuomo is close to the perfect example of what I had in mind, about ten years ago when I started the series. Unfortunately, I could not use him as as my typecast. At that time, I hardly heard of the man, let alone all the horrible things he has done.

I must say that he does have quite a few competitors for prime example. The democrat party is full of them. Control is far more important to them than the good of The United States of America and its citizens. For that matter, their plans for the world at large are awfully bad too. I guess I should add a number of rinos to the list as well. It is easy to spot them. They are the ones without a spine. They are the ones with their fingers in the air to see which way the wind blows. They want all the glory without paying any of the price for sticking their neck out a little.