Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Snowflakes in Marital Trouble

                                                                       

Just read an article about marriages breaking up over student loan debt. Seems some spouses are entering matrimony without telling their significant other that they owe Uncle Sam somewhere between $34,000, upwards to $200,000 in student loans.

I'm not surprised. Since, through hook and crook, the mortgage crisis of 2008 has been settled, student loan debt is America's next crisis. How much total student loan debt is disputed. The NEA says total student loan debt totals $1.5 trillion. Other government agencies argue that it exceeds $2 trillion.

Would any of you be surprised to know that, as recently as ten years ago, the average student loan debt was $17,000 dollars. It is now $34,000, a doubling in one decade.

Why should you worry? Well, economists say that if major defaults occur it could shove us into another recession. In fact those same economists say that the current student loan debt is a constant 1% drag on the economy as kids leave college with non-marketable degrees and can't earn enough to live on their own (another statistic; some 33 percent of recent college graduates live with their parents) and still make student loan payments. This student loan burden affects every facet of the economy...from home buying, automobile purchases, etc.

Can we blame Barack Obama for this massive student loan debt increase? Well, it occurred pretty much on his watch, and he did encourage those generations of students to pursue degrees that any sane person knew was unmarketable. And he did give lots of folks the idea that "nanny government" would somehow make all this go away.

Our snowflake generation can only hope that, this time, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren win the Presidency in 2020. Both have pledged that, if elected, they'll forgive that $2 trillion in student loan debt (yes, you get the bill) and begin a costly program where college will be free.

In the meantime the snowflakes are divorcing....and moving back into Mom and Dad's basement.

Sigh.

Note: That graph is now out of date. We crashed through the $1.5 trillion mark in 2015.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dear Liberal Media

                                                                     

Dear Liberal Media,

Last week three of your networks trotted out President Reagan's liberal bastard son in order to insult Republicans. His (Ron Reagan's) exact words were: "Republican voters would vote in Vladimir Putin over a Democrat".

I must admit, that got me to thinking. Putin is a despot and a murderer. He is repugnant. His actions go against everything I believe in.

Alas, sadly I guess I got to go with Putin over Elizabeth "Pochahantas" Warren, or Bernie Sanders, or, god forbid, Hillary Clinton, or a dozen other Democratic Presidential hopefuls. Democrats want to spend us into bankruptcy, they want open borders and the destruction of ICE and to give amnesty to 30 million illegals. Democrats attack religion, embrace immigration for radical Muslims, kiss Black urban ass as never before, wish to close our prisons and open abortion clinics on every street corner.

So, yeah, I guess I gotta go for Putin if that's my only "non-Democrat" choice.

Ain't that sad?
Hey, liberal media! Lots of us don't particularly care for Trump. Lots of us wish we had President Reagan, or Dwight Eisenhower, or old Abe Lincoln back, but we don't. So Trump's our best choice for now. And, while we don't like his porn star affairs, and we're not crazy about his business dealings, and we know he's inarticulate. But, guess what? He's still a better choice than any Democrat out there!

Oh, by the way, we Republicans like you media people even less. And don't make us choose between a Democrat and Putin....you might not like the results.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Baking A Bigger Pie

                                                                       



Liberals are small-minded in every respect, none more than in their continually trying to advance the idea that one must take a slice of someone else's pie if one is to be fair.

Conservatives have always championed baking a bigger pie...one that feeds more people through the simple means of doing things more efficiently.

Those two opposing theories were formulated centuries ago. It was the liberal economist John Maynard Keynes who advocated for government masters who would control the distribution of wealth. (It was also the economic theories of Keynes who Lyndon Johnson followed in drafting his massive fail in his War on Poverty programs...programs that created whole generations of lazy folks addicted to a government check.) Conservative economist Adam Smith in his "Wealth of Nations" disagreed with Keynes. Smith said, in effect, "just grow the pie larger".

And we have. That truth played out just yesterday as I was reading through some 1976 Fresno Bees that my friends Carrol and Jerry so generously shared with me.

In looking through the grocery ads I began comparing the minimum wage in 1976 and now, then gauging whether prices were cheaper then than they are now. To do so I had to use percent of hours worked". Given the eternal erosion of the dollar, that's the only way one can accurately compare price points.

So, in 1976 the hourly minimum wage was $2.30 per hour. Today, because we've experienced a new birth of freedom across the years, the average minimum wage varies wildly, by state. However the U.S. Department of Labor helped me out a bit. Using statistical metrics for all 50 states the Labor Department says the average hourly worker is paid $10.50 an hour.

So, okay, let's get back to that grocery list from 1976. In 1976 a six pack of Pepsi ran you $1.30. To buy that Pepsi six pack in 1976 you had to work over a half hour. Today, thanks to greater manufacturing efficiencies, and the competition from free markets, you need work only about ten minutes to earn enough for that six pack....which means you're wealthier today because of free market capitalism....all because America baked a bigger pie.

But let's not restrict our comparison to soft drinks. That same 1976 ad showed a sale on chicken breasts at $1.00 a pound. So, again, you would have had to work just a bit short of 30 minutes to earn a pound of yardbird. Well, ironically, off to the right of my desk sits a current food circular for a local supermarket. They are hawking chicken breasts for .89 cents per pound. So, were I earning the average minimum wage today I could buy eleven pounds of chicken breasts for less than an hour's labor....or five pounds or so more than I could in 1976.

Oh sure, I know most of you just love reading what a gallon of gas cost in 1976. But even with gasoline, one has to compare each era's hourly wage to accurately measure price points. For example (I looked it up) the average 1976 price for a gallon of gas was .62 cents per gallon....and it is just as "cheap" today at the current national average of $2.90.

To my liberal "Keyenesian friends", who always bemoan that someone else has a bigger slice of the pie than you, I will only say that free market capitalism has grown that pie far larger, and given folks in poverty far more opportunity to have a slice than anything you and your government masters ever dreamed up.

On Friday we learned that our Gross National Product (the sum of all our nation's goods and services) grew at 4.1 percent. That compares to Obama's average over eight years of less than 2 percent GDP growth. Were you to listen to CNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, or CNN over the last year and a half you would have heard that a 4.1 percent growth rate was impossible.

It really isn't. When the restrains of oppressive government are torn away our nation has proven again and again that we can grow a bigger pie. President Reagan threw Jimmy Carter out of the kitchen in 1980...and grew a monstrous pie.......a pie that nourished such startups as Apple Computer, Home Depot, Walmart, Intel Corporation and hundreds of other companies that made our lives better.

Grow the pie, people. Quit bitching about the size of the other guy's slice and grow the damned pie.

That's your economics lesson for today and............

you're welcome.