Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Statist Indoctrination Centers

Last night a friend told me that his son came home from school and announced that the swine flu outbreak is caused by our lack of government-run health care. He knows because his 10th grade social studies teacher says so.

So let's get this straight:

Here is what you know if you go to a government-run school:
  • Flu outbreaks are caused by not having government health care
And here is what you don't know if you go to a government-run school:
  • The Constitution and Bill of Rights
  • How to locate the United States on a map
  • What we can learn from history
  • How to think critically
  • Why the Federalist Papers are important
  • How to express an idea in a grammatically correct sentence
  • The significance of America's Christian heritage
  • Math
So what makes anyone believe that government would do better with health care than they do with education?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Best cities for jobs

Forbes Magazine recently published their 2009 ratings for job markets in different cities. The results were rather remarkable.

Texas cities held all 5 top spots on the ranking of large cities. Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin were the five best cities in the nation to find a good job.

On the list of mid-sized cities, Texas held two of the top ten spots.

Texas towns held half of the top ten slots for small cities.

The overall list which included cities of all sizes was not much different. Texas held seven of the top ten slots. With 8% of the nation's population, Texas grabbed 70% of the space in the ranking of the best job markets. It's just not fair.

To find any sign of the big liberal Meccas of New York or California, you have to search down to location fifty, where Bakersfield California makes the state's only showing in the top 100. New York doesn't make the list until position 90, where tiny Ithaca pops its head up. New York City is at at location 95 and Los Angeles is ranked an abysmal 279th.

Texas must be doing something right.

If high taxes and intrusive government was a winning proposition, California and New York ought to be dominating Texas.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A bit of perspective

How to save the housing market

The collapse of the housing bubble triggered the snowballing events which landed us into the current economic situation. Politicians have been trying all of the standard methods to prop up the market: tax incentives, artificially lowering mortgage rates, and throwing billions of tax dollars at the problem. These approaches have proven to be insufficient to put a floor under housing prices.

Current projections suggest that home values may fall another 10% before the end of 2010, so the pain is not over yet.

Economist Gary Shilling has an outside-the-box idea which might be far more effective, at no cost to the taxpayer.

Instead of stop-gap approaches, focus on the root of the problem: the current oversupply of houses. The housing bubble of 1996-2006 produced a surplus of 6.7 million homes. Shilling estimates that 3.9 million of those were making up for underbuilding during the S&L collapse in 1987-1991. Reduced building over the past two years has compensated for another half-million extra homes. That leaves a surplus of 2.4 million homes today.

In other situations when a glut of certain kinds of farm produce was driving prices down, the government has paid farmers to not produce certain crops. The analogous action for the current situation would be for the government to buy houses and demolish them. This would certainly alleviate the surplus of houses, but it would not be productive use of tax dollars.

Shilling has a much more sensible idea. If we open up our borders to legal immigrants who can buy homes, the housing surplus can be absorbed, resulting in the stabilization of housing prices. A million immigrants in 2009 and a million more in 2010 should go a long way to rebuilding the foundation of our housing market.

Buy a home. Save America. Become a citizen.

Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

But do you pay yours?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Some tax facts

The Declaration of Independence contains 1,337 words.

The Gettysburg Address was 269 words.

The King James translation of the Bible contains roughly 773,000 words.

Compare that to the Federal Tax Code, which last year exceeded 8 million words in length.

Every year the IRS sends out 8 billion pages of forms and instructions, killing more than 100,000 trees.

There are now more than 600 different tax forms.

Even the 1040 EZ "simple" form comes with 33 pages of instructions.

It is estimated that taxpayers spend $200 billion and 5.4 billion hours each year complying with Federal tax laws and completing their tax returns.

The IRS employees 114,000 people, four times as many as the FBI.

The average two-income family pays 39% of their earnings to the government in Federal, State, and local taxes.

The annual tax burden consumes every dime Americans earn from January 1 until April 13.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Gangbanger wannabe

Here is me as a gangbanger wannabe. You can find these guys all over myspace. They got the hat turned backwards and the stoopud gang signs. And they try to look all bad with their gun turned sideways like they saw it in some brainless action movie. And of course there is the dumb expression on the face that just begs you to go smack the little twit upside the head. So what I want to know is why someone would wanna be a gangbanger? What is the least bit appealing about any of that? Yo, wazzup wit dat, cuz?