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Laws Lead to Tyranny, Not to Nirvana

In a recently-published video, a popular YouTuber strikes the ironic claim that there ought to be additional laws to protect his interests while he is admittedly speeding. He understandably denounces the use of retreads after his caravan of exotic cars is impacted by one as they roar down the highway. 

For those readers who are unfamiliar with tire retreads, also known as recaps or remolds, they are a relatively-inexpensive re-manufacturing process for replacing treads on worn tires. They are commonly used on transport vehicles around the world for their enormous cost savings, a function of considerable material savings and even significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the total of which incidentally results in the minimization of environmental impact and the physical waste that ends up in landfills. 

Notwithstanding this thread of logic, some impassioned drivers follow their emotions to the untested and wholly-unexamined conclusion that the world would be vastly improved by …

Power to the Parasites: SF Bay Area Ballot Measures Will Penalize Property Owners for Undeveloped Land

The residents of Oakland, California, and other nearby Bay Area cities, are considering a ballot proposal which centers around the assignment of a $6,000 penalty per parcel to property owners whose property fails to satisfy the City’s arbitrary use standards for a period of no less than 50 days each year: the proposal applies to both developed and undeveloped properties, which equates to penalizing people for failing to build, when it is precisely the existing regulations, compliance costs and zoning laws which make it so prohibitively expensive and challenging to build in the first place. 

I know this firsthand, as I have worked closely with property owners on such developments in the housing space; the permitting and engineering fees are exorbitant for even basic projects, let alone something as considerable as homebuilding or the development of multi-unit complexes. 

As it turns out, the terms of the proposal may also prove too ambiguous to secure the desired ends or to be actionable…

Stimulus Spending and the Keynesian Multiplier: The Thirteenth Stroke of the Clock

A new television commercial proposes a new way to add time to our day. 

In the commercial, the woman presents a generic clock which shows the addition of a thirteenth hour between the twelve and the one. 

Humorously, the space between the twelve and the thirteen, and likewise between the thirteen and the one, is precisely half of the distance between every other hour interval, and unless the gearing has been modified to accommodate this change, this implies exclusively that the twelfth and thirteenth hours will merely split that same hour, allotting only 30 minutes to each before the one o’clock hour. 

What’s more, this achieves nothing in the way of actually extending the day, serving only to unimaginatively obfuscate the reliable measuring apparatus which humbly reflects the average amount of time for the earth to complete a single rotation around its axis. 

While we could surely re-engineer the clock to accommodate a thirteenth hour, this change will only alter the significance of time…

Down the Rabbit Hole of Gender Pronouns

Another subject has entered the social scene in a more meaningful capacity than ever imagined for the most basic of questions about personal identity. 

The subject has entered casual conversation, the workplace and even schools, where teachers and professors have been encouraged or even required to gently inquire into the gender identities of their students, so as to avoid mistakenly referring to them by the traditional pronouns which have gotten the job done for so many centuries. 



Well, according to the fresh crop of Cal-Berkeley enrollees, there’s apparently nothing the average person can say or do that won’t offend a member of the protected class. 

And gender is yet another form of unrestrained abuse running rampant in our community, where some individuals have expressed that these two words fail to adequately represent them. 

Well, here’s the cold, hard truth: they were never really designed to represent anyone; they were designed to represent chromosomal composition and reproductive…

Institutional Racism: The Sasquatch of Political Folklore

A great confusion has arisen out of the clamor of political debate, one which presupposes that any dismissal of the merits of “institutional racism” somehow equates to one’s rejection of personal struggle. 

Whereas the struggle of any individual remains always and everywhere unique and wholly personal, his common bond of complexion with others who have struggled serves inadequately as the basis for any argument which regards this commonality as the cause, or as the reason, for that veritable struggle. 

To condemn the unidentifiable and nebulous abstraction, then, by castigating an unnamed institution which persists beyond our specific capacity to recognize its power, serves only to absolve individuals of their personal responsibility, to shift blame and culpability to a specter which exists only by the creative designs of our imaginations, which exists as the scapegoat for all outcomes popularly maligned as undesirable. 

This unactionable practice, then, swiftly and categorically excuses…

The Kaepernick Craze: Exposing the Nation's Fools One Conversation at a Time

The Kaeparnick craze and other viral movements haven't merely pressured people into becoming simpler caricatures of their prior selves, but they have manifestly exposed people for how foolish and uninformed they've been all along. 



In his final year in the NFL, Kaepernick ranked 17th in passer rating and 34th the year before that. 

He played through an entire season in only two of his six years in the league, and his best full-season performance ranks far outside of the NFL's top-250 single-season passing performances in the league's history. 

For reference, the oft-criticized Tony Romo posted a career passer rating of 97.1, as compared to Kaepernick's 88.9. 

Romo's passer rating dipped below 90 for only one season of the eleven seasons he played, whereas Kaepernick failed to eclipse the 90 mark on three of his six seasons, a full 50 percent of his time in the NFL. 

In fact, Kaepernick accomplished this feat only once if we are to discard those other two seasons in …

Fake It Till You Make It: The Method of Half-Wits with Likeminded Followers

The information technology era has combined with a generation armed with fancy words and concepts they don’t completely understand to equip a great many with smart-sounding statements, which ultimately fail the more rigorous test of logic, and a wide audience to receive and celebrate their every utterance. 
So while increasing numbers enjoy the wide-reaching channels of media once employed exclusively by professionals, they exist no differently than the trick-or-treaters on Halloween who do their best to look the part.
One key distinction here is that the former may make a more compelling case by glossing over complex concepts with smart-sounding words or pseudo-scientific explanation, without anyone in the audience noticing the difference. 
And while the trick-or-treaters eventually return to their regular attire and reveal their true colors, the con artist continues his charade until he returns home for the night, where he’s either miraculously convinced himself that he actually knows …

Spending: The Economy’s Knight in Shining Armor

One of the great economic fallacies of the day has been the calculus which intends to track the amount of money spent as some grand testament to the wellbeing of an economy, or which intends to ennoble it as some grand savior, as if that solitary figure bears any relevance at all to the desired outcomes of the economy. 

This myth operates hand in hand with the belief that civilizations can spend and print their way to prosperity

Both myths fail to remain true to the modifying characteristics of free economies and money. 

If the purpose of an economy is to enable the realization of wants through the facilitation of trade between mutually-interested producers, and to — as a byproduct — incrementally improve the population’s standard of living, then the metrics must center around the appreciation of the population’s standard of living and the mutual satisfaction of wants, not around the nebulous volumes of spending. 

Taken in bare form, spending is completely meaningless, as it denotes no …

PolitiFact? More like "PolitiFraud!"

In an article posted on the Politifact webpage, one decisive claim exposes the website as a complete fraud.



The reader can find this dubious claim in the organization's article regarding California's taxes, in which the editorial nitpicks Travis Allen, a Republican member of the California State Assembly, for his unequivocal remarks characterizing California's taxes as ranking "among the highest in the nation."

Despite the apparent concession that Allen's statement is mostly true, the writer of the piece then misleadingly concludes: "Notably, [California] does not have one of the nation’s highest property tax rates, at 36th highest."

The only type of academic who could posit this claim is one who intends to focus the conversation on meaninglessratesand doesn't understand how common $10,000-per-year property taxes are in the most populous parts of the state: the San Francisco Bay Area and the Southland. First, the artificially-high costs of livin…

The Uncovered Tragedy of the Welfare State

The welfare state in the United States has accounted for an unfathomable measure of destruction across both the observable map of this country and the psychological profile of its inhabitants. 
The intersection between those two phenomena can be most aptly evaluated through an examination of the welfare state's influence in the composition of the household unit, a contemporary relic of a time gone by.
While the average child in the United States today is 18 percent less likely to grow up in a two-parent household, as compared to 1960, the case for the average black child is even more discouraging: in 1960, roughly 22 percent of black children were raised in single-parent households; today, nearly sixty years later, more than 70 percent of black children were raised in single-parent households.
The emergence of this trend is due not to the increased viability of single-parent households by means of self-sufficiency and the development of female independence.
No, the stark reality is a …

Logic of the Left: F#@& You For Disagreeing

Leftist “logic” tends to operate from the premise of fallacy and from an undying enthusiasm for character assassination. 

From false attributions to false dilemmas or pure ad hominem attacks, the common leftist will stop at nothing to place a threatening idea and its presenter into a coffin, sometimes literally. 



In the case of a threatening presenter, the insecure leftist always reserves a full arsenal capable of swiftly eliminating the threat with a quick and simple knee-jerk quip about the credibility (or personality) of said threat. 

For instance, if you’re poor or middle-class, the common leftist will contend that you’re clearly not good enough to make more money, and therefore your ideas must be just as worthless. 

If you’re wealthy, your ideas are innately clouded by avarice and an inherent inability to relate to poorer people and the subject matter under consideration. 

If you don’t have a degree or a title next to your name, you lack the credentials to merit any real consideration…

Rear-View Mirror Economics: Casting Contrived Relationships As Rules of the Road

Many economists model economic growth as if they were evaluating their own conversations with the person across from them, fully unaware that they are staring into a mirror and admiring the manipulated projection of what they had hoped to see.

In still further cases, they appear to broadly model economic, fiscal and monetary policies as if they are learning to drive by strictly studying the movements of everything in the rear-view mirror.



Of course, this method would largely serve to distract from the guiding principles of driving and the useful rules for effective navigation, yet if left exclusively to this perspective it would hardly be surprising for the surveyor to desperately formulate a contrived theory about the relationships between the behaviors of everything behind the driver and how he or she in turn maneuvers the vehicle.

Of course, this theory would be aptly described as utterly incomplete, if not patently worthless, by anyone who’s ever personally driven a car, tagged along…

The Modern American Economy: An Illusion of Growth

The transformation of the American economy is largely due to the debasement of common currency or legal tender, the disincentives which have followed to discourage savings, and the dramatic changes to the composition and complexion of investment, the largest of which can be aptly characterized as (direct or indirect) government spending at the real yet unseen expense of business investment. 

Whereas direct government spending once constituted a mere 3 percent of American economic activity at the turn of the twentieth century, it has ballooned to greater than 40 percent of that pie today. 

Notwithstanding the rear view mirror economists who attribute growth to spending, purchasing power and meaningful enhancements to the average standard of living follow from changes to marginal (and utile) productivity, not just to the vivacious velocity of money. 

Of course, the identifiable factors which have been popularly lauded for driving nominal economic growth in the new American economy have lev…

YouTube Commenters Don’t Understand Economics: Car Talk

Today, I witnessed a conversation between YouTube commenters which inspired me to shed some light on myopic deduction practices and failures of economics. 



The original commenter posted the following remarks: “I’m a fan of the GT350R. I can’t wait to buy one. I’ll wait until California adds one more dollar per gallon to gas. Hopefully that would bring down the price.” 

This individual commits the common fallacy of focusing on one feature of the picture while neglecting to appreciate the whole thing. 

In an environment of rising fuel prices, the transportation and production costs will scale upward, leaving new production to clear markets at increasingly higher prices or otherwise clear at lower prices with inferior quality. 

If the original poster intends to purchase a used GT350R, as opposed to the implied new purchase, then he needn't exclusively wait for higher fuel prices to mitigate demand, as the average (non-collectible) vehicle will invariably depreciate (in real terms) over t…

Ersatz America: Delusions and Dilutions of the Lives We Live

We increasingly witness a society which is being governed by emotional and political qualms despite their stark contradictions with reality. 

In many senses, we are today dealing in a world of protests against organic phenomena or sheer human preference, as if we encountered a collapsing tree or a runaway train and dared to stand in front of it and pronounce it wrong or incorrect. 

Despite our opinions on those two scenarios, the tree will likely only continue to fall until it reaches the ground, just as the train is likely to proceed right through the impassioned shouts of of caffeinated protestors. 

Standing in front of the train or in the path of the falling tree is just as foolish as condemning the properties of this world and attempting to redefine them to better resemble the world of one’s dreams. 

In this sense, we bear witness to a host of excitable chatterboxes who deal in an ill-defined world wholly separate from reality, where fashionable suppositions and emotional appeals popu…