Voter Fraud

re: voter qualifications (dead or alive).

The solution is to insure that anything that can be decided by less than 50M+1 voters overriding the desires of 50M-1, is. We should disestablish the central (which is now so different it appears to many as a foreign) government for all-things-domestic. And insist that local jurisdictions on the order of 300,000 souls decide and take responsibility for these decisions. Connecting action with consequence will deal with most of this silliness, enabled by the freedom of the electorate to vote not only with their ballot, but with their feet. Then these communities (larger than most of the original states, and as productive as all but a few of the world’s largest companies, will compete with each other for the favor of the citizen and their enterprise. For needs larger than a community, they will form their own voluntary associations (like today’s interstate compacts). No different than big corporations downsizing headquarters’ staff in the 70s and 80s to compete with their smaller competitors who used information technology and networks to expose the frailties of the Carnegie and Sloan industrial-age command-and-control organizations.

It’s time for the conservatives to tell D.C. they expect the domestic agencies to go to these communities of 300,000 and ask, hat in hand, for support of their existing products and processes, and if/when they can’t raise the funding, go out of business. Those that survive will have turned from masters to employees and all these ills will be behind us. Ditto the federal entitlements. “I’m sorry, we failed, there’s nothing in the cash-box but transfer payments and IOUs against future generations. We’re bankrupt. Here’s all the federal property we own, we’re transferring title to you, the municipalities that contain them or reside nearby.”

The communities will then decide who votes, and voters-and-not can decide where they want to live.

Granted, this assumes we actually are willing to trust our citizens to do the right thing, and for competition between communities to correct all major ills.

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Can We Borrow Our Way To Recovery?

re: (borrowing and) spending as stimulus..

Fallows (and Krugman, etc.) miss the elephant in the room. China is spending from its rainy-day-fund. Japan essentially did the same (since it required its citizens to bank their savings with the government post-office).

The U.S. has done none of this. There’s no savings, no trust fund, nothing but IOUs payable by future generation. We’re bankrupt, they are not. QE2 (printing money) will punitively dilute all citizens, rather than those that chose poorly.

And by using government force to avoid (the painful) restructuring of society, and alter the expectations of the citizen and their enterprise, we are storing all that energy in a spring that when it breaks (again) will have even worse consequences than if we let the market rule, let prices adjust and the people respond to the changes in demand.

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Can These Parties Be Saved?

re: Denninger. See:

His point is ruling from the center is hopeless since spending 10B$ a day and directing others (us) how to spend another 10B$ a day (limiting the market and our free-choice by regulation and litigation) is absolutely corrupting for any and all parties. And no one has suggested, demanded, run-their-election-on-a-platform of the disestablishment of the center (wrt all things domestic) and returning power-to-local-communities (and voluntary associations of communities for larger activities) where the politicians can be closely supervised and disciplined (and reminded daily who works for whom).

I will support any party with a platform which repeats the recipe that the Fortune 500 used in the 70s and 80s as information technology made the center of big corporations largely redundant. CEOs challenged those bureaucracies to justify their existence by becoming suppliers to the edges – the divisions of the company. And "if they don’t have a use for you and are willing to pay your bills, neither do I." This enabled a few of the largest companies to survive in the presence of nimble, smaller, more focused competitors (by emulating their attributes). Much less top-down command-and-control. Elimination of much of the penalty that the "cost of agency" levies on large, process-bound, organizations. This was widely studied in the late 80s, and written about in MIT Sloan Business School studies. It’s simple to do, but painful in its dislocations. Just tell every domestic government agency to go to the 300K citizen councils, present them a menu of the services they provide for what price, and see who signs up. Give them two years for the first tally, two years to do better and get more customers, and 2 years to shut down if few takers. Those that survive will have turned from masters to employees, and will be (of necessity) largely insensitive to special interests.

Britain is returning 20% of its government workforce to the productive sector – i.e. moving from a below the line "cost-of-goods" to (potentially) above-the-line producers. If we did the same we’d gain almost 3M more productive members of society. And since wealth is essentially denominated in applied creative intellects that are directed by price signals (not as most often wasted by dictat), we’d be that much richer – and competitive.

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Intel Fab (was China Rising)

re: recent Intel announcement (for 22nm).

Correct, Intel current 22nm work will stay in the U.S. What’s frightening is it was even a close call and in the end was an executive override of a consensus analysis of what arguably was a better economic outcome for the company and shareholders (at least on paper, setting aside politics). Similar words have been heard from John Chambers, the Cisco CEO, as well as Oracle. On the current slope (declining U.S. technical ability, rising Asian), we can kiss it goodbye in 5 or so years. This isn’t Japan in the 80s where they thought they could compete with cartelized industry (and research). Disregarding the dictatorship (which can certainly screw things up – even faster than the U.S. Congress.. but most of the CCP leadership are soviet-style-ruthless but well educated engineers – so they are numerate – and appreciate the difference between science and faith-based non-science, unlike 99% of U.S. politicians) the mostly-independent provinces in China are like the U.S. in the late 1800s, early 1900s. We were pirating IPR from the Brits, growing like crazy, driving for quantity over quality, local fiefdoms distributing power and justice, etc.

Patriotism and love-of-country can have little place in the market (if a society wants to thrive and maximize the wealth and welfare of its citizens). About all that can/should change this is a declaration of war, embargo, or sanctions. We’re attempting to tighten “dual-use” export of high-tech goods to China – which is having the perverse effect of driving decisions for offshore work. Intel could well be criticized for exporting technology to China if they leave any (next-generation) work here. Even though all the process equipment is built offshore. One way to avoid the “deemed export” argument and misery is just not do the work in the U.S.

Yet another domestic agency (Department Of Commerce) that should be asking local communities if they (1) value their product and processes, (2) are willing to pay their bill.

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China Rising Video

As in “The U.S. Now Works For Us” (because we lost our faith in the free market while China was encouraging theirs).

Yowsa. That youtube video is going to leave a mark.

China already is more capitalistic in many ways than the U.S. I’ve found copies of Friedman and Ayn Rand on various ministers shelves there (more than I find in the U.S.). And they are actually apologetic when they put the arm on foreign companies for unequal tax and regulatory treatment (v. native firms, and v. our own city and counties who are shameless when it comes to making arguably extra-legal demands on local companies in return for their next building permit). It’s possible to have a free-market without politically free citizens (just look at HK w/ the Brits in charge). And a heavily regulated market like the U.S. has is far from free (where governments and regulators pick winners, often corruptly with the largest of existing businesses.. given Sarbanes Oxley, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see another Google, or an Apple to knock off an Apple or Microsoft).

The slope of infrastructure improvements in China (esp. along the coasts) are all positive in areas where the U.S. is negative. Student quality entering universities. Students earning technical degrees. They sneer at our new-age / Club-of-Rome ill-numeracy and attitudes that have made a faith out of global warming and nonsensical alternative energy schemes that have no hope of competing with fossil fuels at their marginal costs of well less than a penny a kwh (some are plainspoken – they view it as a measure of our societal decay). They have more than twenty universities of the (past) rigor of a Stanford being built, class by class. They are no longer the weak technical partner, and rapidly improving – roughly equivalent today (in the U.S.-sized coastal cities), and if the current slope stands, better in no more than five years. And we tax (regulate and litigate) our high-tech companies to death. They do not (and given that we tax what we want less of, be it cigarettes or (high-paying) jobs, it’ll be no surprise when we do have less of everything related to leading companies).

Guess where Intel will (be forced to – by government tax policy and inadequate U.S. technical graduates limited by immigration policy) locate their next generation (after 22nm) fabs? If they don’t, China Inc (some 1st tier tech company in China, like Huawei) will seize the opportunity and create one itself and put Intel out of business with the strength of the resources they have, that we’ve denied ourselves. To say nothing of the $$ incentives China will provide U.S. corporations to relocate.

I fear for our children. We need to disestablish the central government in terms of all-things-domestic and return these powers and responsibilities to communities of no more than several hundred thousand people and insure they too must compete for the affection of the citizen and their enterprise. Only free-enterprise by a free-people can outperform free-enterprise by a less-than-free people.

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Defunding NPR

Re: publicly funded means more accountability (or not) wrt Juan Williams (?)

Should we defund NPR? Turns out this is not what’s needed.

I can’t find the cite on the big business that non-profit radio (and TV) have become as well as the personalities that have lived very high on the hog given their near monopoly status and grants of airwaves / spectrum. Congress exempted them from competition (and fees), which certainly isn’t warranted given the “income inequality” their big-name employees have increased to new highs (for a so-called non-profit).

To restore balance, don’t (just) defund NPR, but force it and the other fat-cat non-profits to compete for the airwaves they currently get gratis. And establish a web-licensing mechanism that automatically grants low-power stations a right-to-operate upon application and agreement to a non-interference provision (and use of suitable technology to insure same), as well as on-line posting of interference complaints.

The amount of diverse media and opinion on the airwaves will increase by factors of 10, and the corrupt legacy “non-profits” will either clean up their act or go out of business or find themselves carried by low-power stations at much lower cost (and much lower aggregate and abusive-of-non-profit-treatment “star” salaries).

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Our Bankrupt (Federal, State, Local) Governments

Re: should we punish the profligate communities?

Reflect on WW2 when the last enemy was vanquished. We didn’t crush the citizens there under our boots, rather we lent them a helping hand. I think the same will be needed for the communities (still) in the thrall of the Left. What we can’t afford is a centralized government where 50M+1 dictate to 50M-1 (which forced Reagan to compromise far too much), and it need not be so (national elections need to become much less important in terms of all things domestic). Let the Left rule in areas where they have a large majority (and let them benefit from or suffer the consequences, after all it’s their community, and people can vote with their feet). Ditto for the various flavors of the conservative and libertarian right.

I’m very much in favor of returning all domestic power to communities (and their voluntary associations – both internal and external) of about 300,000 citizens – a typical infrastructure slice that would include a powerplant, 5,000 school rooms, a (small) airport, a courthouse, a few jails and hospitals, etc. It also represents economic power larger than all but a few in the Fortune 50, so there’s little in a civil society they can’t dominate in their own sphere – if they so choose.

And it’s very much a vote of faith in the people, similar to George Washington returning the crown, so unlike the institutions that soil his name today in the what must seem to many like a foreign capital, "D.C."

The ‘pubs must be blind since none of the current leadership has made the simple statement that we are committed to returning power (money) to the people by a few date certains, coinciding with elections so their pledges can be measured. Start by directing all domestic agencies to go to the local communities and ask if they’d voluntarily participate (at various cost levels), and adjust size appropriate to income. Just turning them from masters to employees will fix many ills. Most won’t survive. Which is ok.

And this is not new territory – businesses went thru this phase in the 70s and 80s as information technology made large headquarters’ staff redundant, and boards of directors bought off the exec suite by splitting with them the savings in going from order thousands to hundreds of HQ staff (and exec compensation went from under 7 figures to over 7) and the large companies that remained were basically driven by decisions made at their edges, in their customer facing divisions, so they could match their smaller, fleeter of foot, competitors).

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