Leftist “Christian” logic: If people give less, it is OK to take it from them by force

From the “I am not making this up category,” a Leftist false teacher insists that if people give less than before then the Christian thing to do is to take it from them at a point of a gun.  Via The Richest Cut Giving:

During the Great Recession the poorest Americans increased their charitable giving 17%.  Much of that money went to relgious group providing faith based social services.  The wealthiest Americans?  They cut their giving by 4.6%.  Unlike their wealthy fellow citizens, middle income Americans joined those with lower incomes in giving away more.

He forgot to mention that the top 17 states who gave more voted for Romney.

. . . Many wealthy Americans clearly understand that great economic disparity is not good morally or economically.

Keep in mind that the guy preaching about morality is a pro-abortion extremist.

Yet the majority of the wealthiest Americans are forgetting that it is better to give then to receive.

Jesus said it was better to give than receive, and of course He was right.  But did Jesus say it counted as giving your part if you beg Caesar to confiscate the wealth of others?

Billionaires like the Koch brothers give hundreds of millions to candidates who promise to further cut taxes on the rich.

Like other wolves in sheep’s clothing, he has the Democrat talking points down.  That’s a good little tool!  No mention of George Soros et al.

For people of faith, called to create just systems, it is imperative that we continue the work of building up the common good of this nation and the world.

Again, this is a pro-abortion extremist talking about the “just systems” and “the common good.”

That work must include raising taxes on the weathiest 1% so that we can create living wage jobs, improve public education, further improve health care, and do everything possible to make sure that every child born today has opportunities to thrive well into the future.

That is, for those who aren’t crushed and dismembered in the womb with this wolf’s blessing.  Those children would thrive farther into the future if you didn’t do this.

And on what planet does raising taxes create any jobs, let alone “living wage” jobs?  Capitalism would do that if you would reverse 99% of what the Left has done.

And what does “improve public education” mean?  Spending tax dollars on things like this won’t help — Educrats Attempt to Impose Polysexual Androgyny on Innocent Schoolchildren.

As usual, Leftists fail at basic economics. And Leftist false teachers fail the worst of all.

My dog did better on Economics tests than those on the Left

Note: The message here is more important than the title indicates.

I am not making this up: My dog once submitted a college test in Economics and passed.

OK, there is a little more to the story.

When my youngest daughter home-schooled her last two years of high school, the dogs would hang out with her all day.  Once when she was in the middle of an online Economics test he jumped on the bed, landed on the keyboard and submitted the partially completed test.  And he passed!  Fortunately, the folks at the school were good sports about the high-tech version of “the dog really ate my homework” story and re-opened the system so the that real student could complete the test (she got her usual 99 or so, as I recall).

But I offer that as a segue to remind people of an extremely important fact about basic economic principles, namely that those on the Left literally fail at them.  They aren’t just a little worse than Conservatives, they fail horribly and it drives their ideology.  The details are here, but note the results of a simple eight question Economics test given to those across the political spectrum:

Letter grade
Very Conservative 84% B
Libertarian 83% B
Conservative 79% C+
My dog 72% C
Moderate 54% F
Liberal 41% F
Progressive/very Liberal 34% F

Got that?  Progressives / very Liberal people only get a third of the questions right.  They could double their scores and still only get a D.  But the more conservative people are the better they do, with very Conservative people achieving a solid B.

Here’s an example of one of the questions:

Consider one of the economic propositions in the December 2008 poll: “Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable.” People were asked if they: 1) strongly agree; 2) somewhat agree; 3) somewhat disagree; 4) strongly disagree; 5) are not sure.

Basic economics acknowledges that whatever redeeming features a restriction may have, it increases the cost of production and exchange, making goods and services less affordable. There may be exceptions to the general case, but they would be atypical.

In this case, percentage of conservatives answering incorrectly was 22.3%, very conservatives 17.6% and libertarians 15.7%. But the percentage of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly was 67.6% and liberals 60.1%. The pattern was not an anomaly.

Do not let the handsome canine below cause you to miss the key takeaways:

  • Understanding these basic economics concepts is crucial to leading properly. Therefore, Leftists should not be in charge of government.  Or economics.  Or much of anything else.  If you can’t get the basic building blocks of society right then all you will do is create more problems.
  • As the good folks at Freaknomics will tell you, Economics isn’t just about seemingly arcane financial metrics.  It is about behavior and incentives.  If you don’t understand how the basics of human nature work then your worldview is doomed to poor decision making.
  • The Law of Unintended Consequences will bite you far worse than my dog ever would (Italian Greyhounds are amazingly friendly) but the truth is that most consequences of Leftist policies are easy to anticipate.  The “War on Poverty” is a perfect example.  It wasn’t just a colossal flop, it was a completely predictable colossal flop.  It has deeply harmed tens of millions of people. We need to undo it as quickly as possible.
  • This issue carries over to religion as well.  It is no surprise that Leftist Christian groups do much more harm than good.  False teachers don’t understand economics any better than they do the Bible.
  • All schools should host Junior Achievement classes.  These are proven to increase graduation rates and they teach critical life skills about budgeting, economics and more.  I taught them for 12 years and was continually impressed with their program.  You don’t need a PhD in Economics to understand the most important concepts.  Give me 30 minutes with a bunch of 7th graders and I will have them more fluent in basic economic principles like supply and demand than Congressional Democrats are.  And that isn’t an exaggeration.

The way people understand basic economic principles has an enormous influence on how well they will govern.  You should vote accordingly.  And if you love God and neighbor you won’t ignore how He wired the world.

——–

Economist Dog (TM), the hero of this story, could not be reached for comment.  He was on a conference call discussing how the demand for dog food is inelastic.   Also, he died last year.  We miss this special little guy!  He and his mate (pictured below) brought us countless blessings and good times and we thank God for that.

bluetooth dog

He also understood intellectual property rights and helped us earn a few $$ when this picture was used on a t-shirt sold by a large retailer.  But mostly he just chased squirrels and then sat on my lap and slept.  Backup Dog (TM) was equally loved but not quite as active.dogs

She was as cerebral as she looks here.

Back Camera

A great send-up of crony capitalism

This is a big part of what is wrong with politics.  The sad part is that those on the Left will think it only applies to those on the right.  But crony capitalists gladly pay off both sides to get what they want. The politicians and crony capitalists take our money and share it.  That’s it.

Fact: More government = more crony capitalism.  If you look to the government for all your solutions and want to give it more power, you are part of the problem.

pearls

 

 

We cut the cable! Woo-hoo!

We finally did it:  We dropped cable TV and our land line phone, saving lots of money and not really giving anything up.  The only people who ever called the land line were solicitors and our parents, so we switched to mobile only.

We added HD antennas, so we still get the channels we want (we watch very, very little TV).  And we got a pleasant surprise: Our TIVO will record off the antenna.

We also bought Rokus.  Mrs. Eternity Matters found a few things she likes on the Roku, such as a Pilates channel, music channels, access to the Sirius account, and more.  And Netflix and Amazon streaming are way faster on the Roku than on TIVO.

I must say it was a lot of fun to return the TV hardware to Comcast.  We are keeping our Internet service with them.  I got a good deal for this year at least — a little less than U-verse for theoretically higher speeds, plus we don’t have to change email addresses.

Unlike Rat, I don’t care if I don’t have ESPN.
pearls cable

 

 

 

Timeless retirement investing advice: Use index funds and don’t get greedy

This is so simple but so important.  Trying to out-guess the stock market experts is for suckers.  I learned early in my career that even with loads of internal information that you still can’t predict what the market will do.  I never traded on it, of course, but there times when Compaq would release record earnings but the stock would go down because of some comments about future performance.

Just invest in broad index funds (mutual funds that mimic the overall market).  There is no need to chase stock tips or highly managed mutual funds.  The only exception would be if your employer sold you stock at a discount, which would mitigate the risk.  Just don’t be foolish like a lot of Enron employees were and put most or all of your retirement money in one company.  I knew way too many people at Compaq and HP who tried to time peaks and missed out.

As noted below, keep in mind the simple math: Index funds with minimal fees will yield 7%.  Managed funds will be more like 5%.  So you are 2 points behind, right?  No, it is much worse.  If inflation is 3%, then your net gain with index funds is 4%.  That’s double what you’d get with managed funds.

Via AAII: The American Association of Individual Investors.

Charles Rotblut CR: Since you founded Vanguard, would you explain why you think investors should use index funds?

John Bogle JB: Let’s start off with the obvious. Imagine a circle representing 100% of the U.S. stock market, with each stock in there by its market weight. Then take out 30% of that circle. Those stocks are owned by people who index directly through index funds. The remaining 70% are owned by people who index collectively. By definition, they own the exact same portfolio as the indexers do in aggregate, so they will capture the same gross return as the direct indexers. But by trading back and forth, trying to beat one another, they will inevitably lose by the amount of their transaction costs, the amount of the advisory fees they pay, and the amount of all those mutual fund management costs they incur: marketing costs, processing, technology investments, everything. When we look at the big picture of the costs of investing, including sales loads as well as expense ratios and cash drag, it is a foregone conclusion that active investors, in aggregate, will underperform index investors. It’s the mathematics.Borrowing a phrase from Louis Brandeis: It’s the relentless rules of humble arithmetic. The 30% of investors who own index funds capture almost all of the market’s return. In a 7% return market, indexing should deliver approximately 6.95% to investors. A typical Vanguard all-market index fund charges 0.05%. The remainder—those who are trading back and forth, hiring managers, and all that kind of thing—will incur costs, in round numbers, of about 2% per year. So, the indexers are going to capture pretty close to a 7% return in a 7% market, while the active investors, who also collectively own the index, are getting the same 7% gross return minus about 2% for all those fees and costs, a net return of 5%. It is definitional tautology that the indexers win and the traders lose.

I highly recommend Vanguard for their mutual funds.  They are very easy to do business with and have extremely low fees.

The law of unintended consequences, minimum-wage style

Via Will the last person leaving Seattle please turn off the lights?

Asian Weekly, a Seattle-area weekly, spoke with several workers who had recently had their hourly wage raised to $15 and experienced the negative consequences of the mandate.“Are you happy with the $15 wage?” I asked the full-time cleaning lady.“It sounds good, but it’s not good,” the woman said.“Why?” I asked.“I lost my 401k, health insurance, paid holiday, and vacation,” she responded. “No more free food,” she added.The hotel used to feed her. Now, she has to bring her own food. Also, no overtime, she said. She used to work extra hours and received overtime pay.What else? I asked.“I have to pay for parking,” she said. [Emphasis added.]Asian Weekly also spoke with a part-time waitress who said her tips were much less than she used to get.While the results of minimum wage hike at the SeaTac has been mixed at best, Seattle’s minimum wage increase is a socio-economic experiment that has much larger ramifications. In fact, it may ultimately cost more to the workers that the hike is intended to help as well as to the city at-large than its backers realize.

That’s just one example of many.  This is simple: When the cost of wages rises too much then automated processes that used to be unfeasible become cost-effective.  Then jobs are eliminated completely.  Or sent overseas.  But hey, the do-gooders can release endorphins and tell themselves how compassionate they are.

Leftists don’t do a good job at thinking into the future, and they literally fail at basic economics.

A great overview on Social Security

This isn’t about how Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme.  It is about how to optimize your benefits and recover as much of what you put in over the last few decades as you can.  The HP Alumni Association sent this link that has lots of useful information — Social Security – Hewlett-Packard Alumni.

This PowerPoint presentation is easy to follow and tells you all sorts of important things.

Enjoy!