Al Capone gave generously to Catholic charities in Chicago. Perhaps he wanted to take care a few of the widows and orphans he prodigiously created. St. Valentine was probably pissed over the whole massacre thing and Capone perhaps thought he could tithe his way out of that particular faux pas. No, I’m sure that wasn’t it.
Capone was a smart enough guy to read the fine print. The typical guy who dies from The Syph in The Can isn’t doing very well at not coveting his neighbors’ wives. At least the neighbors’ animals were fairly safe — probably. Then, there’s the whole thou shall not kill clause. It doesn’t ever make it taking The Lord’s name in vain before the whole deal just has to be called off. So why drop a check into the collection plate?
You drop the check in there to make them used to it. It makes them beholden. It’s a tactic called Civic Dispersal which involves buying the means by which they survive as a tactic to protect yourself against societal censure. As long as Capone fed more orphans than he created every week, he could wage The Sophist’s argument that he was a philanthropist and a net benefit to society. Just don’t cheat on your taxes. The IRS could give a flying kangaroo fluck less about orphans. They rarely reach a high enough tax bracket to be interesting. So Capone went down like The Bismarck, but the G-Men who bagged him obviously took notes.
There are a lot of details to parse through in the budget blueprint Donald Trump released this morning, but you can get the gist of it from one sentence: Donald Trump is cutting Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers meals to senior citizens in need, to pay for his border wall.
Apparently, this charity has been heavily subsidized and can be somewhat effectively held up as a hostage against any reduction to spending in the Department of HHS.
The nationwide Meals on Wheels network, comprised of 5,000, local, community-based programs, receives 35% of its total funding for the provision of congregate and home-delivered meals from the federal government through the Older Americans Act, administered by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living.
And of course, DHHS can’t retire a couple of SES-level lifers. The money specifically has to come from Grandma. Cut their funding and Chuckles the Cat isn’t getting that can of 9-Lives. And Bernie Sanders, paying barely over 1/2 the effective tax rate of President Donald Trump, just can’t quite see to selling off one of his three mansions to help poor Gra-ma-ma. Socialists, you see, favor sharing other people’s wealth. Obviously he is a #FakeAmerican with only a potemkin concern for those less fortunate than himself.
And clearly, those voicing concern for the poor elderly fed by Meals on Wheels are no different than The Lord Humongous from the movie “The Road Warrior.” They attempt to use your good will and social concern as a way to control your appetite for government spending. This, of course, must always increase — forever. They are willing to help you out with your dear Grandparents. Provided, of course, that you behave.
As Western Society continues to increasingly turn into the wasteland depicted in the old Mel Gibson flick, there are fewer resources, greater needs and an increasingly harder fight for fewer sheckels of public largesse. Expect the threats to become more and more explicit. And they have to be. They certainly can’t build what’s necessary to live without expropriation.
Your government, is not that different from the infamous Italian-American gangster. They live off the cowardice, laziness, immorality and fear of others. Their power grows in tandem with personal and social dysfunction. When President Trump threatens the racket, the hostages are put on display. Just like the hostages on the hoods of The Lord Humongous’ vehicles. Stand up to these people like Keyser Soze, and the entire crap show crashes down around their ears.
It’s hard to talk about the evils of overgovernance without factual evidence. In theory, we all want freedom. In practice, we all want security. The two frequently exist in tension. This is particularly true of people who will not avail themselves of their freedom to produce their own financial security.
Fans of significantly engaged and empowered government will then loudly offer government mandated security while diligently burying the costs amidst a flotsam of minutiae. “If you like your doctor, you can keep him.” They tell you.
To counteract this snow-job sales pitch, actual evidence of the cost has to be made readily available. This I call Consequential Formalism. The consequences (costs) of goverment largesse need to be formalized (made obvious and logically undeniable). The Burning Platform Blog shows us how this is properly done.
The merchant itemizes the Philadelphia Beverage Tax and clearly demonstrates that this tax constitutes about 30% of the entire transaction. The *Void Transaction* line at the bottom is the clearly demonstrated consequence. The revenue of a 30% tax on a cancelled transaction equals $0.00.
More like this please. Find the liberalism. Document the failure of the liberalism. Attack the liberalism by exposing its exorbitant costs. When these costs can’t just be buried in the dirt of bushwa and mumbo-jumbo, they will be come apparent. It will also become apparent why the person who trades liberty for security winds up with what that person deserves: neither.
I’d find the comedy show at the US EPA more amusing if they
A) Genuinely cared about the environment
B) Were actually just kidding
Instead, they care more about enforcing sets of rules based upon increasingly spurious findings of human endangerment. They have recently noted that wood smoke can be detrimental to air quality. Perhaps so. Carbon particulates resulting from combustion have that impact. Having made this determination, they are now charged with the task of preventing this from occurring – anywhere in the states or territories of the Good Old US of A. Including the interior of Alaska in January and February.
The USEPA has chosen to ban most of the currently marketed wood stoves.
The EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to mankind and mainstay of rural homes and many of our nation’s poorest residents. The agency’s stringent one-size-fits-all rules apply equally to heavily air-polluted cities and far cleaner plus typically colder off-grid wilderness areas such as large regions of Alaska and the American West.
So how does the EPA come up with these brilliant ideas like banning woodstoves from Alaska? Teamwork. It requires both the evil and the stupid to make this sort of a messed up baby.
Specifically, Sue and Settle Rulemaking occurs when an organization sues a federal agency to initiate a rulemaking, only to have the agency settle the lawsuit behind closed doors, with no notice to, or input from, the parties affected by the ensuing rulemaking. The only recourse for those affected is to participate in the agency’s public comment period after the settlement has been agreed to by the agency—in essence, after the damage has been done. Then, after the rule is final, impacted parties can challenge it. This is of little value, though, since the court typically gives great deference to the agency’s decision and upholds it unless the party challenging can establish that the agency’s action was arbitrary and capricious, a very difficult standard to meet. When questioned about the scope or rationale for the rulemaking by Congress, the agency simply explains that it is bound by a court order to move forward with the regulation. What is missing from the story is the fact that the agency voluntarily agreed to the court order.
So once the EPA colludes with the “Plaintiff” to give said “Plaintiff” money and the USEPA a mandate to take over more aspects of our daily life, people far from the corridors of power are adversely effected. One of the non-attainment zones that will have wood burning stoves banned is Fairbanks, Alaska. Here is why Captain Obvious will issue the USEPA a brazen stupidity medal.
The average low temperature in Fairbanks in December is 13 degrees below zero. In January, it’s 17 below. During the coldest days of winter, the high temperature averages -2 degrees, and it can get as cold as -60. This is not a place where you play games with the cold. If you don’t keep the fire lit, you die. For people of modest means, and especially for the poor, that means you burn wood in a stove—and you keep that fire lit around the clock.
There are certain governments that have put forward very positive initiatives to protect their environments. Arkansas and Maine come immediately to mind. You see these two states are cutting down on the most pernicious source of pollution known to man. That would be excess population that is serving no useful purpose. These states and others are ceasing to feed excess parasites through their welfare systems.
People are growing tired of the government attempting to solve problems the government creates. People are tired of being punished for the afflictions brought on by others. The spergs and dictators-in-training at the USEPA sit around banning woodstoves in Alaska because of the size of the ash particles that go up the chimney. They wonder how anyone could vote for a Neanderthal like #PresidentTrump. Well, Sparky, us cavemen out in flyover land are rather partial to our cooking fires.
Governance in a democracy is supposed to reflect and carry forward the will of the people. The safeguard against corruption that is supposed to prevent waste, fraud or abuse is the fear of the next election. This works for the politicians. It fails for tenured, unelected, professional bureaucrats. They, like the cockroaches, will survive WW III. The more of your governmental apparatus that is on unelected autopilot; the more corrupt that government will become under democracy. It will eventually become a self-licking dog feces ice cream cone with malice shone towards all who strive athwart its self-indulgent corruption and venal vice.
So just how does an ice cream cone lick itself? It’s a linguistic idiom. Baskin and Robbins doesn’t have another new flavor. The self-licking ice cream cone is an organization that primarily serves to satisfy itself rather than serve a valid public mission. So just how does the figurativeice cream cone self-lick? It happens in three basic steps. We will use the IRS as an example as we walk through each step.
The organization monopolizes a necessary public mission. The US Internal Revenue Service is charged to collect the monetary amounts needed to supply ready cash to the US Government. It does not actually still fund the government; we now perpetually borrow those funds. However, the IRS has awesome regulatory harassment and enforcement powers that are useful to politicians that win its allegiance. The IRS remains and gets greater empowerment.
The organization uses its powers in a remarkably corrupt fashion. It favors individuals it likes and uses the regulatory powers of state to bedevil those it sees through a less auspicious lens. The IRS would probably suffer a severe loss of power from a repeal of the 16th Amendment. This how they would “hypothetically” respond…
“I am a lowly clerk at the IRS, looking at your application for tax-free status,” said the caller, Bill, from Elizabeth, New Jersey. “I go to your web page to see the goals of your group and one of the goals of your group is to abolish the IRS. You can bet every dollar you got I’m going to go after you and target you and try and end your group and that’s just the way it is,” the caller said.
But wouldn’t all that chicanery and thuggish abuse of power leave a paper trail. Nope. The GSA sells shredders. The IRS just takes a few key papers and preserves some organizational security. How do you stop them and make them actually keep records. You have to spend years in court to enforce the mandate that they actually do their job in this regards. Otherwise, the documentation goes straight down Winston Smith’s memory hole.
At the end of multiple repetitions of this three step process by multiple agencies of our unelected government, the citizen discovers something insidious. The citizen votes in the elections that would signify a democracy. Instead, the power and the authority increasingly resides with a number of unelected, unresponsive, uncheckable regulatory hegemons.
Thus, the citizen no longer lives in a representative democracy. There is a new form of government that he experiences in day-to-day life. This would be oligarchical collectivism. That would be exactly the experience of anyone unfortunate enough to have been pulled by their dick through the knothole by the IRS.
Nature provides for us examples — “metaphors,” even — of informationally-similar events and their outcomes, which enables us to see how our own actions will turn out.
Economics, or the study of the flow of resources, provides the most fertile ground for comparison. Take for example an analysis of large government, which conservatives oppose.
Large government creates opportunities that do not exist in reality. It does this through regulation, which creates needs that did not previously exist (like car inspections) and through hiring people to serve in its ranks, which can create a new class of workers.
But it has consequences. When we fertilize our fields, and rain carries the fertilizer into streams, it creates a rush of nutrients that results in a bloom of algae. This in turn absorbs oxygen that fish need, suffocating many of them. In addition, our big nuclear and manufacturing plants can generate huge outflows of warm water, which support species that normally do not exist in the area, and cause them to reproduce rapidly, choking out native species. The result in both cases is a fishkill, or the death of thousands or millions of local fish at once.
When conservatives criticize large government, they are attacking it on several levels. First of course is its tendency to be ineffective at high cost; that’s the primary problem. The secondary problem is that big government creates the equivalent of a fishkill in our economy and society.
The Federal Government is our nation’s largest employer, hiring over 2 million people at an average salary of $74,403 per year each 1. One analysis found that state and federal workers earned 35 percent higher wages and 65 percent higher benefits than private-sector employees 2. Another survey found that federal workers earned double what their private-sector counterparts did 3. Another report showed that the number of government workers earning $150,000 or more has surged tenfold in the past five years, doubling under Obama 4.
We should also look at opportunities government creates with regulation. 59.2% of tax forms were filed by paid preparers in 20075. The government estimates we spend 2-5% of our GDP on tax preparation expenses, including paid preparers 6. Every government-required regulation or statute generates some form of cost, and many of them are quite high. The mention of car inspection is a mild one — about $50 per year — but think of every area which government regulates. Each regulation means more bureaucrats, more rules, and more paid preparers and experts on the outside, from immigration lawyers to diversity consultants and disability-compliant web design. All of that cost is ultimately passed on to you.
This is not to say that we as a society should not address these issues. We should in many cases. However, government is perhaps the least efficient tool. Its employees have no incentive to perform and are virtually un-fireable, so results are poor.
Even worse is that it creates these weird pockets of sudden wealth. The normal middle class is squeezed out and replaced with opportunists, professional bureaucrats, carpetbaggers and parasites. This is the economic equivalent of fishkill, and like the real thing it is miserable and leaves a massive stench.
Many of us are hoping right now that humanity recognizes its vast and ongoing destruction of its environment and decides to do something about it. Most expect government to be the method.
However, the record of governments helping the environment has been a spotty one — with one exception, which we’ll cover later. Generally, government makes a big noise but little impact.
Despite the fact that the government routinely refers to “deregulation” — the reduction of its control over businesses — as a guaranteed hazard to the economy, the government’s own impact on the environment is both large and disturbing:
Civil liability caps for oil spills and other industrial disasters, which reduce the willingness of large oil corporations to protect against such incidents.
The subsidization of oil, coal, refining, “bad nuclear,” even wasteful “green” energy encourages the disruption of ecosystems and increases the net rate of harmful pollution.
The displacement of consumer responsibility through the introduction of a ‘regulatory framework’ – where citizens assume that the government is responsible for the environment, and that they play no role in safeguarding it – ensures that nobody ever truly takes accountability for their environmental impact.
The subsidization of farming organizations that use wasteful methods – the use of phosphorous-based fertilizer instead of organic agriculture, and the use of irrigation instead of environment-based agriculture – growing crops that occur naturally in a region – leads to nutrient depletion, increased deforestation, decreased crop yields, increased monopolization of farming, increased desertification, depletion of water aquifers, and malnutrition for affected populations. It is fundamentally a sign of social maladaptation, when humans attempt to irrigate an infertile area, and has a dramatically negative environmental impact.
The military uses more oil than any organization on the planet. I don’t believe in human-caused global warming, but if you’re still buying the government’s line on that one, that likely also makes them the organization responsible for emitting more CO2 than any other, largely due to the government’s addiction to endless war. In terms of actual environmental impact, back in reality, their large consumption of oil results in an increased rate of oil spills, negatively affecting local ecosystems and possibly entire species-wide extinctions. Also, the use of chemical warfare agents, radioactive munitions, and even traditional munitions tend to produce negative effects on wildlife, including multigenerational birth defects and the rendering of large segments of land as uninhabitable, such as in the Chernobyl disaster.
Displacement of consumer responsibility in terms of ‘maintaining harmony with the nature’ by the issuance of hunting and fishing licenses, allows unscientific hunting yields to be instituted, and results more often than not in overfishing/overhunting and the associated extinction of animal populations.
The government is known to sponsor and protect “hydrofracking” companies, including a now well-publicized relationship between Dick Cheney and the “hydrofracking” industry, designed to use hydraulic techniques to release natural gas from the earth. This results in a high degree of pollution, and the court system has paid little attention to lawsuits regarding it.
The employment of millions of bureaucrats imposes a large requirement for oil at present, in terms of transportation alone, and the associated power resources for their offices. Many of these organizations have no positive impact on society at all, others have less positive impact than the money that’s used to fund them would be used towards in the private market.
Agricultural subsidization also encourages meat consumption, which reduces nutrient efficiency by imposing such a large toll on plant populations by overgrazing, with all the associated effects, including desertification. All high surpluses of high calorie foods in general also produce obesity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other associated diseases, in a population unable to restrain itself from food consumption, although this is not an “environmental” effect.
The construction of dams leads to aquifer depletion and the disruption of local ecosystems, and the government loves building dams.
Non-market based road construction leads to miscalculation resulting in an increased rate of ecosystem/migration disruption, roadkill, animal population depletion, etc.
The employment of an air force, police helicopters, highways, and also imposes stress on animals via noise alone, which is related to decreased health and lower reproduction rates for wildlife.
Any subsidization of a chemical company with an environmental impact, that would otherwise have not received funding, is the government’s fault (think Dow Chemical, DuPont, etc.).
The government’s response to the “Deepwater Horizon” oil spill also involved the widespread deployment of highly toxic “Corexit” dispersant, which:
Is known to cause mutation, birth defects, etc.
Has over 200 chemicals, most of which are treated as “proprietary” and not described to the public. Many of these chemicals are non-polar hydrocarbon solvents, which have the ability to actually dissolve cell membranes.
Wildlife in the region has been devastated by this response, and most workers in the area have reported serious health issues, while several described it publicly have died under mysterious circumstances.
The use and deployment of nuclear weapons is the single largest threat to the environment in existence, a threat that is made entirely by governments.
Far from being a savior of the environment, government represents a difficult proposition: creating a monster in order to wage war against the abuses of others.
Even more troubling is the idea that since government constitutes a single response that occurs across the board, if it fails, it fails in huge and destructive ways.
I mentioned earlier that there is one thing government can do and do well. That is conservation, or setting aside land for natural use only. That requires no additional bureaucrats or toxic chemicals.
But in the meantime, we should be wary of assuming that government is any kind of solution to our environmental woes.