Friday, May 28, 2010


"Obama Only Dem Candidate To Pledge 'Google Government'" (First Posted to the Huffington Post, 08-26-07 11:34 AM)

While the obviously anti-business Obama Administration launches investigations, inquiries and lawsuits against virtually every big business that breathes, its friends can roll.

The Obama Federal Trade Commission allowed Google to purchase AdMob, a major player in mobile display ad technology, for $750 million. Its decision was completely unexpected, to say the least. Even The Wall Street Journal had written that both Google and AdMob expected the OFTC to block the deal over antitrust concerns. Google completed the takeover before you could say "crony".  I guess there are no "concerns" when you're in bed with the government.

It's nice to know that with Obama it's not what you do, it's clearly who you know, who you back and to whom you donate.

Can it be termed "Corrupt Capitalism"?   "Crony" seems too benign.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


ACTION ALERT! The civil rights of African-American and Hispanics children are being violated. The Constitution clearly mandates that all people in the United States of America must know how to swim. The outrage is that 5 – 14-year-old African-Americans drown at 3.1 times that of whites. And five times as likely to drown in pools. The reason is that 70% of African-American and 58% of Hispanic children cannot swim. Their civil rights are being violated. Trial lawyers must sue for the rights of black and Hispanic kids. Pools must be built and lessons given in every jurisdiction lacking them (and not only will there be less drowning but the lawyers can make a few hundred million dollars). This outrage must be stopped. Thank you, The Wall Street Journal (Thursday, May 27, 2010, page D3 "Report Finds a Gap Persists in Swimming) and USA Swimming for bringing this crisis to our attention.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Rule of Obama...oops I mean Law

The Rule of Obama/Law

One of the basic tenets of American society has been the predictable laws passed by Congress and in many cases upheld or not by the Supreme Court ideally based upon the specific words of the U. S. Constitution. The liberal left, Obama and the Democrats including Elena Kagan eschew the Constitution as being outdated and written by rich, successful white men and thus irrelevant to the United States of today. They fervently believe that the law ought to be gusting in the wind of liberal whim. Obama/Law.  The past doesn't matter, it's what they want TODAY. Immediate gratification guides Obama's Supremes. Nothing is predictable. Look at taxes, laws, regulations, all subject to change depending on whim and winning elections. How can anyone, especially a business, plan and budget for something that not only is unknown, but unpredictable? Blowing in the wind. Then businesses can only compete by buying politicians to get them to lean the way the businesses want or need. Yes, America, immediate gratification ala the purposeful Obama. Spend now for reelection. Spend now to gratify labor unions, trial lawyers, minorities, the gay affinity group, spend, spend, spend. Gratification. Get. Take. Expect. Depend. Everything but responsibility, earning, hard work, giving back. Deficits as far ahead as the eye can see. Until China won't loan us money. Then the rule of law matters not. Anarchy. Then where will the the peace-loving, anti-gun Democrats going to be?

"Ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country."

Think about it.

But here's something new from the man charged with upholding the Rule of Law in the United States of America:  "But Mr. Holder acknowledged to the committee that he hasn't read the law [Arizona's new "immigration" law], and his criticisms were based on what he's seen on television or read in the newspapers about the law.

"I've just expressed concerns on the basis of what I've heard about the law. But I'm not in a position to say at this point, not having read the law, not having had the chance to interact with people who are doing the review, exactly what my position is," Mr. Holder said.

Last weekend, Mr. Holder told NBC's "Meet the Press" program that the Arizona law "has the possibility of leading to racial profiling." He had earlier called the law's passage "unfortunate," and questioned whether the law was unconstitutional because it tried to assume powers that may be reserved for the federal government.


If this isn't grounds for firing the man, I do not know what is.  It further reinforces my contention that the Obama administration does not care for nor follow the Constitution of the United States of America, but that the "law" is whatever 1) gets votes, 2) is his whim of the day or 3) isn't from a Republican.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ned Ludd Returns II

But an EXTRA! update.  May 12, 2010, embarrassing President Obama who is trying every trick in the book to hobble bitter competitor and largest car company in the World, Toyota Motor Corp., announced profitability for its fourth fiscal quarter.  Growing nearly 50% year-to-year, profits reached $3,320,000,000. 

Speaking of GM, its CEO is still thrashing around, changing the guard once again, bringing in a guy from Hyundai.  Hyundai?  49 year-old Joel Ewanick did a clever campaign allowing customers to return Hyundai cars if they lost their jobs.  In a brilliant strategic move GM CEO Whitacre named the guy U. S. marketing VP.  Hyundai?  The prior VP, a woman named Susan Docherty, didn't perform fast enough, being in the position since December  (Ewanick is #4 marketing chief in a year at GM).   Mr. Ewanick must be known for his loyalty, coming to GM from Nissan Motor Co., where he jumped in promotion to chief marketing officer in March, yes, that's a couple months ago.  Mr. Whitacre is desperate. and seems as clueless and inexperienced as his boss, President Barack Obama.

In another strategic move for GM, U. S. regulators hit Toyota again, this time looking deeply and publically into whether Toyota was too slow in reporting steering issues in 2004 and 2005.  That must be getting to the bottom of the barrell, and comes from 21 complaints of 978,000 cars (.002%). Oh, yes, the complaints predictably came from Democratic Party financiers, trial lawyers who are piling on for some $500,000,000 in potential legal fees from class action lawsuits against Toyota

And speaking of Democratic Party financiers, the United Auto Union bosses who loudly and publically gave "wage concessions" to GM have in fact not suffered any such concessions.  Seems the new workers who were to be hired at cut-rate wages of $25.65 an hour haven't been hired because some 5,000 old workers are sitting around making 70% $60 an hour waiting to be hired first -- no not working but sucking our taxpayers' money.  Let's see, either union bosses are smarter than our U. S. government or our U. S. government knew and lied to us to get its disgusting $65,000,000,000 snatch of U. S. money to give GM to directly benefit the aforesaid unions.

The left-leaning Consumer Reports Magazine (April 14, 2010) issued a "don't buy" recommendation, its first for ten years, on the Lexus GX 460, because its rear slides out at excessive speed and aggressive maneuvering and that just might cause a rollover.  Why not just don't drive at excessive speed?  Unanswered question because of course the driver would never be at fault, only the for-profit, anti-union manufacturer. 

Extra! Extra!  Obama-managed General Motors Co. loses only $4,300,000,000 since bankruptcy.  (One article mentions that GM is paying union workers not to work. SO, wht's new?  And said union is suing said GM for another $450,000,000 for healthcare.  That's gratitude for you.)

But more importantly to the Lefdt-wing, GM added a professor of psychology to its board.  Oh, yes she was also a Los Angeles City Commissioner (a Democrat I presume).  GM proudly stated that the good prof is a Hispanic and would bring diversity to its board, so much more important than things like experience and knowledge to a company that doesn't have to perform, only keep its union workers at any cost to the taxpayers.

This post has nothing to do with the Luddites of Congress, as an earlier post did, but is about the continuing unfair advantage General Motors has over Toyota Motor Corp.  Remember, General Motors is owned by the most powerful country in the world, the United States of America.  Toyota became the largest automobile in the world by offering consumers products they wanted.  Quality was prominant in Toyota's strategy.  GM, not so much and it entered bankruptcy in 2009.  After being attacked in the Left-wing media (cheered on by corrupt tort lawyers) and the Obama Administration (manager of GM), Toyota sales stumbled.  But quick and effective marketing picked them right up.  Interesting although judged "GUILTY!" by Obama and the liberal media, nothing has been discovered to indicate Toyota was at fault or that the issue of "sudden acceleration" is anything more than driver error.  The liberal media counted consumer complaints as evidence, as usual. Nevertheless, Toyota recalled over eight million autos worldwide.  (Interesting, yesterday at a supermarket parking lot in Seattle a Lexus, made by Toyota, was pulling into a parking space when its engine revved way up, its tires squealed and it roared up the curb, over the sidewalk and into the Bargreen Drug Store wall. The driver was a shaken old man. Sudden acceleration? Law suit? Don't know.)

All seemed getting back to normal with GM's major competitor, Totota, while GM continued to struggle, even behind non-U.S.owned, non-bankrupt Ford Motor Co.

So Obama Administration Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (also a public Toyota basher) yelled to the media his plans to hit Totota with the largest fine in U. S. transportation history $16.4 million (the last largest was only $1 million) over a gas pedal that was "slow" to return to idle after a driver's foot was picked up.  "Investigators" said it took Toyota four months to notify regulators...there were no serious accidents from this "defect".  I don't know but the largest fine in history for "failing to notify" seems unfairly high. 

And it will be levied by the owner of its major competitor.  Hmmm.  Where are the anti-competitive watchdogs?  Oh, yes, they are Democrats, too, going madly after the private sector, not nationalized auto companies.

(One newspaper article said a cheer could be heard throughout the aisles of private jets owned by tort lawyers.  Such an action by the U. S. Government gives tort lawyers -- major contributors to the Democratic Party -- a huge advantage in the myriad lawsuits seeking class action status against Toyota.)

Our CORRUPT   It is sad.

Obama supporter Google given green light

Who says this administration isn't its friends and supporters.  In the midst of suits, investigations and the like, not to mention anti-business rantings by President Obama, from the FTC, SEC, DOJ, DOE, DOT, FDA, Obama supporter Google is given permission to purchase mobile advertising company AdMob Inc.  It won't harm competition.  Of course not.  The FTC said it was a difficult decision, but in the end did politics win? 

(IS it another coincidence that General Electric, owner of Obama media arm NBC, should escape the crushing burdens other financial institutions face from Obama's financial services industry takeover bill.  In a "compromise" passed May 6 GE Capital Serivces will stay in GE without subjecting it (GE) to regulation by the Federal Reserve.  The compromise was engineered specifically for GE after the FDIC bent its rules last year to allow GE to issue government-backed debt.  No official word from the transparent Obama Administration how much in campaign contributions this cost GE this time.

Pays to support Obama.  And you Americans haven't seen anything yet.  Just wait.

Goldman discusses settlement with SEC

Another conspiracy theory: Obama sues Goldman, Sachs to provide the far-left media with fodder to push "public opinion" against banks, bankers and Wall Street, no matter any reasonableness of evidence.  To add substance the government is "investigating" Morgan Stanley for something or another.  The story is the end game.  Obama desires to grease the skids of his financial industry takeover and the governmnet actions pave the way.  And the slurping, pandering media is nothing but a willing propaganda arm for him.  And, gee whiz, the Senate passes his bill with four Republicans supporting it.  But wait, it's not law yet.  The Senate must reconcile its passed bill with that of the U. S. House of Representatives.  It'll be another month, month-and-a-half to gather in all the campaign contributions for the November elections, then the 1,500-page bill will most certainly pass, with settlement of the Goldman suit following soon thereafter.  And the "investigations" of Morgan and other banks will slip unnoticed from Justice.

Justice.  The Rule of Law.  GONE!

Friday, May 21, 2010


In an article in today's Wall Street Journal ("Tea Parties vs. Unions in November", May 21, 2010 Page A13 ) John Fund describes a few events: "Last August in St. Louis, tea party supporter Kenneth Gladney was set upon by SEIU [Service Employees International Union with 2,200,000 members, primarily of government- and government-related workers] members during a town-hall meeting on health care. They were apparently angry that an African-American was supporting the tea party and hurled the 'n' word at him while beating him to the point where he required hospitalization. St. Louis County officials waited until November to press assault charges against two SEIU members. Four others were charged with interfering with police during the incident. All six have pleaded not guilty." And, "This week, Nina Easton of Fortune magazine reported on an incident in her Washington, D.C., neighborhood in which 500 screaming, placard-waving SEIU members and allies surrounded the home of Greg Baer, deputy general counsel at Bank of America, to protest bank foreclosures. 'Intimidation was the whole point of this exercise, and it worked—even on the police,' reported Ms. Easton, a neighbor of Mr. Baer. The protestors finally left, only to descend on the nearby home of Peter Scher, a J.P. Morgan Chase executive. 'It appears we've crossed into a new era: the politics of personal intimidation,' Ms. Easton concludes."  But of course we have the law on our side.  Or do we?  It took four months for the authorities to file charges.

And to that add: 

"Black Panther intimidation at the polls?; NBPP [New Black Panther Party]: “We will be at the polls in the cities and counties in many states to ensure that the enemy does not sabotage the black vote, which was won through the blood of the martyrs of our people.”  (The enemy, indeed!)
By Michelle Malkin • November 4, 2008 12:25 PM

"Reader Steve e-mails: 'Just after 12:00 noon, Fox News reported that two black panthers were at one location in Philadelphia “guarding” the doorway to a polling station. One carried a nightstick and confronted a citizen who had gone in to the polling place. That citizen called police (he was interviewed by the Philly correspondent for Fox). The citizen reported that police removed the black panther with the night stick, but the other, who lives in the area, remains near the door.'

The New Black Panther Party said yesterday it would send its members out to the polls to ensure its interests on Election Day"

The result of that voter intimidation? ( Posted: May 18, 2010, 9:07 pm Eastern, By Chelsea Schilling © 2010 WorldNetDaily:

"As WND reported, two men, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson, wearing paramilitary uniforms and armed with nightsticks, blocked a doorway to a polling location to intimidate voters. Shabazz is leader of the Philadelphia chapter of the New Black Panther Party. After a poll watcher saw one of the men brandishing a nightstick to threaten voters, he called police. 'As I walked up, they closed ranks, next to each other,' he told Fox News. 'So I walked directly in between them, went inside and found the poll watchers. They said they'd been here for about an hour. And they told us not to come outside because a black man is going to win this election no matter what.' He said the man with a night stick told him, 'We're tired of white supremacy' and he starts tapping the nightstick in his hand. At which point I said, 'OK, we're not going to get in a fist fight right here,' and I called the police. 'A poll watcher with the University of Pennsylvania asked the men who they were with. The man with the nightstick responded, 'Uh, security,' and asked why he was taking pictures. He told them, 'I think it might be a little intimidating that you have a stick in your hand.' He continued, 'I am a concerned citizen, and I'm just worried that …' Uhuru Shakur, chairman of the Atlanta chapter, said, 'We love Barack Obama – he gives our people great hope and light for advancement. Every president America has had has been a white man. Now the black man must be given his time to rule. Obama is a man of justice and a leader who wants to do right.'  Shakur had warned, 'We will be at the polls in the cities and counties in many states to ensure that the enemy does not sabotage the black vote, which was won through the blood of the martyrs of our people."'  But we have the law on our side...

On Jan. 7, 2009, the Justice Department filed a complaint seeking injunctive and declaratory relief under Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 against four defendants: the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and its leader, Malik Zulu Shabazz, and the two men who appeared at the Philadelphia polling place on Nov. 4, 2008, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson. The complaint accused them of attempting to engage in, and engaging in, both voter intimidation and intimidation of individuals aiding voters. After reviewing the evidence, the Department concluded that there was insufficient evidence to establish that the Party or Malik Zulu Shabazz violated Section 11(b). Thomas Perez assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, said in his testimony, May 14, [2010. that] 'the facts did not constitute a prosecutable violation of the federal criminal civil rights statutes.'"  We have the law on our side.  Except when the "law" is President Barack Obama and U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder. 

And from the, May 21st, 2010, at 4:00 a.m.: "We now have the second casualty of the Obama Administration from the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. Christian Adams, one of the career trial lawyers who worked on the case, submitted a letter of resignation on Friday, May 14 (effective June 4) apparently in disgust over “the events surrounding the dismissal” of the lawsuit, including testimony earlier that day by the Assistant Attorney General of Civil Rights, political appointee Thomas Perez, before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The first casualty was Chris Coates, the long-time career lawyer who led the trial team when he was the Chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Coates was transferred to South Carolina and relieved of his position as Chief despite his award-winning job performance and his decades-long enforcement of the Voting Rights Act on behalf on racial and ethnic minorities throughout the country." (

Add to this mess,  from the Website of discredited "ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities. Since 1970, ACORN has grown to more than 350,000 member families, organized in 850 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the U.S. and in cities in Argentina, Peru, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Canada. Since 2004, ACORN has helped more than 1.7 million low- and moderate-income and minority citizens apply to register to vote."

 Los Angeles Marches Against Racist Arizona Law by Manuel Alderete Saturday, May. 01, 2010 at 6:29 PM "Over 100,000 march to protest racist Arizona 'immigration' law; diverse crowd shows broad support against law...The air was electrified by a presence not felt since the Gran Marcha of 2006. At least 100,000 people marched through Downtown in solidarity with Arizona's victims of a new law that legalizes racial profiling. It is a law that has been denounced by President Obama, DHS Head Janet Nopalitano, the Mayor of Phoenix, the Sheriff of Pima County (Arizona), and even some Republicans who see it as draconian legislation."

And in Seattle: ( "5/18/10: Speak Out against Arizona’s racist immigration laws! Come join the Student Worker Coalition and the International Socialist Organization for a Speak Out against Arizona’s racist immigration laws!Tuesday May 18th, on the HUB lawn, University of Washington 11:00am-1:00pm" and ( outlined the protests around the country. Seattle, Washington  The Seattle part: As many as twenty thousand immigrants and their supporters streamed through the streets of Seattle for the tenth annual May Day march for immigrants rights. As the march progressed, many joined in from the sidewalks. The march wound through Seattle’s International District and then through the downtown area to Memorial Stadium in the Seattle Center.  The marchers were primarily Latino workers and their families. Unions were well represented, with large contingents from SEIU local 6, Teamsters 177 and other unions. Casa Latina and Comite Pro-Amnistia also had a strong presence.  The Seattle ANSWER Coalition participated, attracting many to its contingent with militant chanting. One of the most popular chants was “Obama, escucha, Estamos en la lucha!” (Obama, Listen, we are in the struggle.) Many marchers held signs denouncing Arizona’s racist SB 1070. One contingent of marchers wore matching t-shirts reading “Do I look illegal?”  Does it matter if they vote for Democrats?  (Yes, Mexican citizens voting.  Weirder things have been passed into law over the Constitution.)

Now perhaps this is a conspiracy theory.  The president of the United States is a man who got his start with community organizing for ACORN.  He at best is a fervent Progressive who believes strongly that the free-enterprise/Capitallist system is unfair and that social justice is the political system we should adopt.  Or something like that.  Would he support -- or continue to support -- this activism/intimidatioin/voter "Democratic voter assistance" in the mode of Adolf Hitler's Brown Shirts?  2.2 million SEIU workers (and a substantial number of non-SEIU government-connected employees) 350,000 ACORN "member families" with, say two or three members is another million activists, how many Hispanic activists willing to demonstrate?  Think about it.  Three or four million demonstrators, some not afraid of using violence, around the polls, with perhaps less than supportive government agents, and union police and firefighters.


Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

The People's Republic of China holds about $2,500,000,000,000 (trillion) in foreign-exchange reserves.  Analysts believe that the majority is in dollars.   China is hugely successful in selling products to the U. S. while at the same time restricting access to its markets in a variety of ways.  But next week U. S. "Commerce" Secretary (commerce being a somewhat forbidden word by the Obama administration) and former Washington State governor Gary Locke, will go to Beijing to tell them they're not playing nice with us and that we are feeling increasingly unwanted.  What?  China wants to own all the technology developed in the world and encourages "indigenous innovation"?  That's not fair, but Secretary Locke isn't going to be specific about how he'll talk China into being nice and by the way move up the value of the former Yen, now Yuen.  Of course, and one can hear the roars of laughter across China.

Yesterday the United States Senate passed the Obama Administration's requested takeover of the financial services in the U. S.  Its bill must be reconcilied with a less burdensome one passed by the House of Representatives.  Signing is expected perhaps by July.  Stay tuned for another plank in the destruction of freedom in the world!

Meanwhile back at the ranch, while President Obama is attempting to takeover the United States financial services industry by suing Goldman Sach to prove "Wall Street" is corrupt and dangerous to the economy, as are all large banking organizations, Obama's erstwhile fellow dictator-wannabeeVenezuelan President Hugo Chavez is undermining the reputation, strength and ultimately the solvency of his enemy, none other than President Barack Obama of the United States of America.  Citizen Hugo is grabbing $20,000,000,000 from The People's Republic of China in exchange for oil in the future and thanking Chinese president Hu Jintao and China.  This was bye-the-bye one of the largest loans ever made by China.  The money will "save" Chavez from his progressive foolishness (which is being copied by Mr. Obama) and energy shortages, broken infrastructure, 25% inflation and shrinking eonomy.

The hapless president of the United States doesn't seem to have a clue.  He simply wants to get reelected and have a legacy up there with George Washington.

As earlier posts noted, China is eating our lunch, or eating us for lunch.  And our president is going after one of the most successful United States corporations. 

Of course.

Letter to the Editor (as published in the Wall Street Journal)

My published response (The Wall Street Journal, Friday, May 21, 2010, page A14):

Mr. Gordon's contention that changing incentives would lower the amount of government waste is faulty. The real answer is simple: privatize. Take the government out of operating, managing and controlling things. Bureaucrats will figure out a way to game any system. Incentives cannot be encompassed in 2,000-page laws filled with complex regulations and prolix language. Incentives must be simple. Simplicity is anathema to politicians who use complexity to derive campaign contributions and support from those who benefit.

It is very difficult to devise correct incentives and to anticipate unintended consequences. Let millions of concerned humans each make informed decisions and, voilá, correct incentives. As for the uncovering of Bernie Madoff's vast fraud, giving bureaucrats a share of the loot would set them on every possible source of money throughout the land. This is exactly what the Democrats have encouraged with their friends, the trial lawyers. That's not the answer. Perhaps the answer is making individuals responsible for their decisions, as was the case with Madoff's investors: They lost their investments. That is the market working.

Theodore M. Wight


The article (The Wall Street Journal)

OPINION MAY 14, 2010 Incentives vs. Government Waste

What if bureaucrats could benefit financially from finding cost savings?Article Comments (80) more in Opinion »Email Print Save This ↓ More


Why are profit-seeking corporations so much more efficient and innovative than bureaucracies? A significant part of the answer to that question lies in the fact that bureaucracies are often hamstrung by legislation, and amending legislation is always a cumbersome and politics-ridden process. But another significant part of the answer lies in the phrase "profit-seeking."

Corporations exist only to create wealth. The more they create, the more their stockholders and employees prosper. Thus it's a corporate manager's job to look for ways to increase profits. More, their personal success depends on doing so. For the employees who come up with the really bright ideas prosper even more than their fellow workers, being rewarded with raises, bonuses and promotions.

But there are only three basic ways to increase profits: raise prices, cut costs or innovate. Raising prices is easy. Just cross out $19.95 and write in $22.95. Unfortunately, in a competitive economy, raising prices is going to cost you market share and is thus self-defeating. So corporate employees have no choice but to pursue the far more difficult second and third options, searching for ways to make the same product cheaper or to create a better product at the same cost. They do this hard work because they are highly incentivized by self-interest to do so.

Bureaucrats, alas, are not. In fact, they are highly disincentivized to increase efficiency and to innovate. In business a penny saved is a penny earned, the savings flowing directly to the all-important bottom line. But in a bureaucracy, a penny saved is a penny likely to be cut from next year's budget. And prestige in a bureaucracy comes not from profit but from the size of one's budget. So even accidental savings are likely to be suppressed with make-work.

How can this unfortunate human reality be changed? How can we make the Department of Motor Vehicles as efficient and innovative as, say, Google or Goldman Sachs?

Well, good luck with that.

But it is possible to incentivize public (and nonprofit) employees to find ways to save money rather than waste it, to find new and better ways of doing business. There is no better example of how to go about that than the British Royal Navy in the age of Admiral Lord Nelson (1758-1805).

The navy's job in the endless wars of the 18th century was to capture enemy warships and to sweep enemy commerce from the seas. As the novels of Patrick O'Brian and C. S. Forrester so vividly bring to life, the Royal Navy was exceedingly good at doing exactly that. No small reason was that the navy gave its officers and men an enormous incentive to capture enemy warships and merchantmen: the whole value of the ships and cargoes they captured.

The Cruisers and Convoys Act of 1708 established a prize court to condemn captured ships and, if they were merchantmen, sell them and their cargoes. If they were warships, the Royal Navy would buy them, which is why so many British warships in the 18th century had French names.

The money gained was then distributed by eighths according to a formula. One-eighth went to the admiral who signed the orders under which the ship or ships sailed. (All ships in sight at the moment of capture shared in the prize money.) Two-eighths went to the captain, one-eighth to the commissioned officers, one-eighth to the senior warrant officers, one-eighth to the petty officers and midshipmen, and two-eighths to the crew.

This could amount to a very great deal of money. When HMS Active and HMS Favourite captured the treasure-laden Spanish frigate Hermione on May 31, 1762, the two captains each received £65,000 in prize money, enough to make them quite rich by the standards of the mid-18th century. The crew received £482 each, many times a year's pay for an able seaman.

Now, to be sure, bureaucracies can't sally forth, capture an enemy bureaucracy, and sell it to the highest bidder. But they can certainly find new ways of doing their jobs that are cheaper and better than the old ways, especially if they are handsomely rewarded for doing so.

Let's say the federal widget inspection office in Seattle comes up with a way to save a million dollars a year by changing the method it uses to inspect widgets. Why not give personnel in that office the first year's savings, distributing it according to a set formula akin to that of the Royal Navy's? A million dollars in "prize money" would certainly be an incentive to motivate even the most slothful government office to find new ways to do things.

It wouldn't cost the government anything (it's found money after all, just like the Spanish treasure in the Hermione's hold). And it would pay big dividends to the government year after year, as the innovation was adopted in other widget inspection offices across the country. Further, it would powerfully influence other offices and other government departments to be the first to come up with their own innovations and efficiencies in order to get on the gravy train.

Had the personnel of the Securities and Exchange Commission been as richly and personally incentivized to uncover securities fraud as the sailors of the Royal Navy were to capture enemy ships, Bernard Madoff would have been in jail years ago.

Self-interest is an immensely powerful force in human affairs—the very engine behind capitalism's success. Harnessing it to save money and increase innovation in a bureaucracy, just as the Royal Navy harnessed it to capture enemy ships, would be the biggest innovation of all and save the government billions.

Mr. Gordon is the author of "Hamilton's Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National Debt," out in a recently revised edition from Walker & Company.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A17

Monday, May 17, 2010


If you haven't gotten to Greece, worry not, Greece is coming to us.  While we don't have the Parthenon or really old stuff like democracy and statues or rational thought like Plato or Aristotle, we do have debt as the following article describes.

Breaking from (May 17, 2010, Monday afternoon.)

IMF Warns U.S. Debt Nears 100 Percent of GDP, Greece In Better Shape

By Frank McGuire

The United States’ national debt will soon reach 100 percent of gross domestic product, the International Monetary Fund predicts in a new report.

The sharp rise in U.S. debt started in 2006 and by 2015, the IMF suggests, debt could reach more than 100 percent of GDP.

At the end of first quarter of 2010, the gross debt was 87.3 percent of GDP, of which about 56 percent was held by the public, and about 44 percent was intragovernmental, U.S. officials have said.

Special: If the Euro and the Dollar Collapse, What Happens to Your Wealth?

The IMF predicts that the U.S. would need to reduce its structural deficit by the equivalent of 12 percent of GDP, a much larger portion than any other country analyzed except Japan.

Greece, in the midst of a financial crisis, needs to reduce its structural deficit by just 9 percent of GDP, according to the IMF's analysis.

The IMF also encouraged rich countries including the U.K. to eliminate value- added-tax loopholes to help cut their budget deficits, the Financial Times reported.

The IMF said the United Kingdom could raise an amount equivalent to 3.3 percent of GDP, or a third of its estimated deficit, by removing exemptions and improving collection of the sales tax, according to Bloomberg. As the global economy recovers, governments’ fiscal balances are on average continuing to deteriorate, the IMF said.

Meanwhile, the IMF also waded into the debate over healthcare reform, questioning the CBO's analysis that healthcare reform would reduce the U.S. deficit, according to

"There are some risks to the CBO estimates, however, including that the substantial decrease in Medicare payment rates to healthcare providers may prove difficult to implement," the report reads.

President Barack Obama has established a fiscal commission to make recommendations on addressing the nation's fiscal woes. [blogger's note: Ha, ha, ha. A fiscal commission is a cop-out from a pathetically weak leader.]

Friday, May 14, 2010



New British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said (May 13, 2010) that his new government will be based on "[free] enterprise, markets and fiscal responsibility...and curbing the power of the state."  A breath of fresh air in a large geographis area of "social justice" that has seen slack growth -- persistently lower by1.3 percentage points than the U. S. from 1996 to 2005, with a disrupting 11% unemployment --  because of it.  Economic stagnation.  Read this Mr. Obama.  If a country doesn't grow, it cannot produce new jobs, it cannot produce the wealth necessary to finance government and the high costs of "social equity".  This economy purgatory continues as long as others are willing to loan a country money to live.

While the new guy in Great Britain is at least now paying lip service to the necessity of growth in the private sector, the year-old president of the United States of America is busily and effectively diminishing the growth of its private sector three ways.  1) By stepping up oppressive regulation of private businesses; 2) by strong anti-business rhetoric; 3) by uncertain future and complicated president taxes, which punish the successful; 4) by throwing borrowed dollars from the rooftops to economically-infeasible, but left-wing politically-popular subsidies to favored buisinesses and industries.  5) and finally by turning a blind -- or ignorant -- eye toward the competition: China and India, for example.

Joining the United Kingdom is beleagured socialist Spain which will cut public-sector wages by 5% then freeze them for a year, pensions will also be frozen and the social justice "baby check" of about $3,170 given every family for a newborn child, will be stopped.  Spain is suffering from 20% enemployment along with its huge deficits..  It aims at cutting its 2010 budget deficit to 9.3% of gross domestic product then, in 2011, to 5.6% and 3% by 2013 from 11.2% in 2009.  The leader of Spain's largest union threatens massive demonstrations and President Barack Obama, (the pot") calling the kettle black, called the Spanish socialist prime minister to tell him "the importance of Spain taking resolute action as part of Europe's effort to strengthen its economy and build market confidence".  AS IF!


While president Obama is busily bashing business, stopping oil drilling and crippling coal miners, China is buying up energy assets all over the world.  Chinese state-owned China Investment Corp. (CIC) will joint venture with Canada's Penn West Energy Trust to develop oil-sands in Alberta.  []  This on top of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopac) purchasing from ConocoPhilips its Syncrude oil-sands project also in Alberta and PetroChina Co.'s  purchase of 60% in MacKay River and Dover oil-sands projects.  Canada's oil sands contain reserves of oil second only to Saudi Arabia, but it's much more difficult and expensive to process.

Mahindra & Mahindra one of the largest tractor makers in the world will sell its Indian-made compact diesel pickup truck in the U. S. []  While India is entering competition against U. S.-based companies, the Obama Administration is attempting to hurt number one world-wide automaker, Toyota, by an anti-Toyota media extravaganza in investigating and fining it and paving the way for billions of dollars of class-action lawsuits to enrich a major Democratic source of funding, trial lawyers who are poised to reap upwards of $500,000,000,000 in fees, of which $50,000,000 could be tithed to the Democratic Party.  This boosts automobile trade union bosses by hurting predominantly-nonunion Toyota and undermines competition to government- and union-owned General Motors.

China has become an important investor, creditor and donor for many African nations with trade exceeding $100 billion.  While Western countries seem to give money away in part to brutal African dictators, China is also investing vast sums in infrastructure and buying up resource and energy assets.

The free markets, Prime Minister Cameron praised are no where in President Obama's vocabulary.  Having never been involved in free-enterprise and capitalism he distrusts it.  By having been in academia and government all his life it is all he understands.  He sees government as being able to lead this country into a promised utopian nirvana of social justice for all equally.  (Except, of course for the exceptional governmental leaders, they are unequally rewarded with favors, financial and otherwise.)

Federal regulators (the United States Securities and Exchange Commission -- SEC --) and state officials are examining Wall Street's role in trading securities that insured against failure of municipal bonds, or, as defined by the left-wing media: "bets" that they (munis) would go broke. (This on May 12.)

"Wall Street Probe Widens" [] Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2010, Front Page, A1.


Goldman [Sachs] Drives to Save Chicago Bank.

"Goldman initially declined to invest in ShoreBank" a politically-connected Chicago-based bank (Chicago is the home of President Barack Obama) "whose efforts to expand lending in poor communities have high-profile supporters in Washington [D.C.] and Chicago". Wrote the Wall Street Journal in "Goldman Drives to Save Chicago Bank" Friday, May 14, 2010, page C1.  After such declination, the Goldman Chief Executive Officer, politically-battered Lloyd Blankein, whose bank has been indicted by President Obama's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)*, has somehow changed his mind and, seeing the wisdom of saving ShoreBank, "discussed...[with] Federal Deposit Insurance Corp." Chairman, Obama-appointee, Shiela Bair, about Goldman Sachs investing in ShoreBank. 

One of the most important so-called regulators of the U. S. banking industry discussed an investment with indicted and Congressionally-hated investment bank to save a politically-correct, Washington, D.C.-favored failing ban?.  Further "investors" included a gaggle of Wall Street names such as Bank of America, Citigroup Inc. and J. P. Morgan (the latter two under investigation by Obama's federal prosecutors -- Manhattan U. S. Attorney's office and the SEC.)

"I'm told that Mr. Blankfein...has used his good (sic) offices to try and further this deal" said Bill Brandt, chairman of the Illinois Finance Authority, who later described Goldman as a "marvelous organization".  Brandt being childhood friends of ShoreBank's CEO George Surgeon.

President -- then Senator -- Barack Obama heaped praise on ShoreBank during a "fact-finding" trip to Nairobi.

ShoreBank was an early supporter of the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act which mandated that banks wanting to expand needed to loan money to people who could not afford to pay it back.  Some have blamed the Act and subsequent Democrat Congressional moves to force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into sup-prime and similar Alt-A lending with directly leading to the "sub-prime meltdown" and this present deep Recession.

Not that this is relevant, but Goldman and its employees donated $1,000,000 to President Obama's election; ShoreBank could only afford to cough up $12,500.

But now Goldman is investing a reported $20,000,000 and leading the investment group to save ShoreBank and perhaps purchase some slack from the Democratic Congress and President Obama.

The future of an America led by Barack Obama is his idea of a managed economic society.  It's who you know, it's who you buy, that will win the "competition" (but a better, more clear term might be "corruption".)

*[According to World Socialist Web Site, "The Goldman Sachs indictment. 19 April 2010.The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil case Friday against giant investment bank Goldman Sachs charging 'fraudulent misconduct' in relation to $1 billion of worthless sub-prime mortgage securities Goldman palmed off to its clients in 2007.  The SEC’s submission to New York’s Southern District Court provides a devastating glimpse into the criminal activities of a financial oligarchy that was not only indifferent to the destructive social consequences of its operations, but eager to profit from a crisis precipitated by its own speculative activities...]

Interesting, on Monday, May 14, chief cheerleader for ShoreBank, Illinois Democrat Representative Jan Schakowsky said the the bank has "demonstrated beyond question that banks can be profitable at the same time they invest in low-income neighborhoods".  Certainly that's why, Ms. Rep. Schakowsky, that's why the Democrat power brokers need to extort $125,000,000 from the politically-unpopular banks and another $75,000,000 from taxpayers and China through the U. S. Government's Troubled Asset Relief Program to bail out "profitable" ShoreBank.  Typical of Democrats, Rep. Schakowsky is stupid.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jane Smith, Vallejo, California, Greece, the United States, the World

The United States, through its "investment" in the International Monetary Fund and Chairman Bernanke's spreading of U. S. dollars all over the European Union like flies on shrimp, and the Union itself has helped "save" the little economically-meaningless socialist-high-spending republic of Greece.  A trillion dollars has been committed to backstop the failure of Greece to pay its bills, which many believed could have led to Portugal and Spain's sinking like rocks.  Not unlike the U. S. government's purported saving of the U. S. financial world through TARP.  But no matter what the world and Obama might believe, the fault is that a person, a city, a county, a business, a state, a country or ultimately the world cannot forever spend more than it makes.  A person can only as long as someone will loan him or her money to pay his or her bills.  Ditto, a city, a county and so on.  But if the person doesn't have a job that brings in more than is spent, ultimately lenders will decide not to loan any more.  Or the lender might run out of money to lend.  Then what?  The world is in process of discovering "then what". 

Take it up a notch.  The United States of America, like many homeowners, like many banks, like General Motors, like California, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey and New York, like Greece, is spending way more than it takes in.  The U. S. government is "saving" its Jane Simth homeowners by lending borrowed money to them.  Cities and states are in more of a pickle than Jane or the U.S. because most cannot run deficits.  Accounting chicanery has saved many of them to date.  GM was saved by $50-some-odd billions of taxpayer dollars and borrowings from the U. S.  Greece this weekend was granted a trillion of bailout dollars from the EU, IMF and the like.

The United States has been saved by its citizens' loans and a variety of countries lending it money, especially the People's Republic of China.

But none of the above have committed to getting a job, reducing spending and increasing revenues.  What if, what if, they never do?  Politicians clearly want reelection to their cushy jobs instead of not being reelected to their cushy jobs.  President Barack Obama will NEVER cut spending he gives to his various voting and financing constituencies, for example.  And he seems to be ideologically unable to support the health and growth of business, the only ultimate source of recurring revenues to the country.

What if, in a decade or less, the leaders of the People's Republic of China, socialist to begin with, decide they need votes to retain their power?  What if they, too, start spending more than they make?  What then?  What if there is more spending all over the world than is taken in?  What if there simply isn't enough money?  Is it too ridiculous to imagine?

Is it?

We are on our way.

Elena, My Elena.

Elena Kagan, President Obama's recent outrage is another in a long-line of Obama administration personalities hailing from liberal academia with no understanding of real people.  Books, maybe.  People?  No.  They have had a sheltered life away from the dirty streets of America.  But they will save all those downtrodden not-white, not-straight, not-successful citizens, no doubt.  The United States Constitution is so 1780s.  It was never meant to be anything but a anachronistic guidepost (except maybe to the Founders but only for a century or two).  Since there are no absolutes, how can something written by old, religious, white military men tell us how to live in the 2010s?  It's what President feels at the moment that's important.  The Rule of Law?  It's what President Obama feels.  (And, of course, what might get him reelected.)  The Supreme Court is supposed to support non-whites; the millions of the less-than-prosperous; labor union bosses; trial lawyers; workers, not managers; and government power.  Business?  Crush'em, unless they bow down, contribute and support the president's arbitrary agenda of meglomaniac power.

I assume she's as smart as he is.  Not very.  She may be a lesbian, but hey, they are all of 8% of the population and vote 100% Democratic, so they certainly need help from our government.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, eat your heart out.

But certainly the Republicans want to be liked by the New York Times, so she'll be the next Supreme Court Justice.  An arrow in the quiver of arbitrary, crony "law".