February 2013

I was in a patient’s home the other day when Dr. Oz was playing. They were discussing the length of doctor’s coats and how to interpret their length. The medical students would wear coats that just covered the rear, the residents had coats about mid thigh, the attending would have a coat down to the calves. If I had one, it would be a cropped cardigan.

I work for a home health company. I work a lot for a home health company. My hours are in triple digits for the last two weeks. You don’t get there using an average day. I am paid for the time spent and the normal impression is that I work for this home health company – after all that is the name on the paycheck. Actually, though, I work for Medicare. That is the agency of the government controlling all of our actions and dictating what is done for visits and paperwork required to continue service. If Medicare quit paying for our visits, I would not have a paycheck. The people seen get their care as a result of having certain criteria specified as allowing care to be charged to the taxpayer. Therefore, my company does not produce value of its own, no matter how many hours I spend there. This was the fallacy I heard on the radio which was not noted or refuted – that those who work for the government are really taxpayers. I note how much the government takes out of my paycheck, but at the same time realize that the same check comes from the government. This level of production was touted about a year ago as being able to produce a dollar sixty for each dollar “spent.” That came from the concept that providing money in an economy is the producer of wealth, not the result of people trading their time and efforts to produce a marketable item.

Let’s play with the idea of trading money through government. The bureaucracy takes tax money from people at the point of a gun, then provides it to an office which starts by taking all of their expenses plus salaries to look at the regulations, make up new regulations, and distribute the remaining money to some entity. That entity takes the money and gives a smaller amount of it to another company for the materials to produce the item desired. Let the materials come from an entity associated with the government requiring more tax money to operate their office and trade to the original contractor of the bureaucracy. The money changed hands and items were moved from one individual to another, but where did the money originate? From someone who was not working for the government and producing something desirable in the market. The only way for production to occur at the governmental level, is to take money from those producing in the private market. Just as the pacifist can only be so if someone else is willing to wield a sword (or gun) on their behalf, the government entity can only exist in that it takes from the production of those actually producing. The end marker of this government is the willingness to remove forcibly the labor of its citizens and turn them into slaves.
From here.

Sec. 502. Consultants. The head of each agency otherwise delegated functions under this order is delegated the authority of the President under sections 710(b) and (c) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2160(b), (c), to employ persons of outstanding experience and ability without compensation and to employ experts, consultants, or organizations. The authority delegated by this section may not be redelegated.

From here:

(2) upon request by the Director of Selective Service, and in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, assist the Director of Selective Service in development of policies regulating the induction and deferment of persons for duty in the armed services;

(a) procure and install additional equipment, facilities, processes, or improvements to plants, factories, and other industrial facilities owned by the Federal Government and to procure and install Government owned equipment in plants, factories, or other industrial facilities owned by private persons;

I found several similar references to this article declaring the administration of forced labor. I could not find the terms related to forced labor, but did find it interesting that the references listed in the bill go back to Clinton and then across to another bill that had the reference that Zero used (701a; found here). When the last reference is read, I note that compensation is not mentioned.

Apparently, those who believe in redistribution of wealth (especially to themselves) don’t mind slave labor, as long as they are the slave masters. In the end, the need for forced labor shows the fallacy that wealth is a result of trade. Someone out of the “loop” must provide the energy (money for the socialist or protection for the pacifist) for continuation of their lifestyle.

I have known for some time that the advertisement of an item was not like the real thing. Just look at the pictures of the burgers on a billboard and compare them to the wrapped bun in the bag. I have occasionally wanted to take a picture of one of them and go to the establishment and ask for the burger that “looks like this…”
Well, I went into a showroom last week to view their wares and found an item that presented itself very well. The appearance was pleasing, the application into environment seemed reasonable, and of course, spouseinbox would be pleased as this item was something desired for some time. Well, the item in question was actually a feline and the coat – sort of yellow tiger stripe. The presentation was a cat who was very affectionate – enough so that utilizing the phone was a problem. Yes: lick, lick, rub, rub, and not a sound. The eyes did not appear to have any Siamese, and so I thought the volume lack was a feature. Now that Jake is home, he has found his voice. Alarm goes off in the morning – buzz, buzz, (from the bathroom door) meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow… The affection is still there and I am typing this as he is in the bathroom as this activity is severely limited by paws on the keyboard or furry face in mine, but have to note that he is a very chatty fellow. Try to get on the toilet and be prepared to have company or at least a conversation. Turn off the water in the shower and be prepared to have company sampling the water in the drain – it must have a better flavor than the same water in the dish. Any string is fair game – a belt is a string…
He will also tell you about his observations. I guess. I don’t know cat yet.

Rocking it

Look at the joy.

I have an old lady that has been hanging around for many years and needs to be evicted. Her first name is Sallie. She became part of our lives about 20 years ago when I started college and has been requesting attention ever since. We are trying to get Sallie out of our lives. Our first refund of overpayment of taxes is going exclusively to assist in this task. With God’s help, we will be rid of Ms. Mae by our anniversary later in this year. I am so looking forward to that event.

I have been considering the implications of philosophy in the realm of monetary policy recently with emphasis on the difference between distribution and “making money”. I occurred to me the other day that the importance of changing concepts between these two has a broader implication in the culture.
Let’s start with the Biblical principle of work: let him that stole, steal no more, but rather let him labor working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs. (Eph 4:28) This second one alludes to the philosophy of wealth, that being something that is made by one’s labor. That is possible by the “working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have…” The two are tied together in the thought: working, that he may have. This is not wealth by trading or taking, but rather wealth by one’s efforts. Wealth comes by each individual and accordingly, the amount of wealth is relative to the type and amount of work the individual applies. Hence, there will always be disparity in wealth. No amount of politics will eliminate it. “For you have the poor always with you..” (Matt 26:11). We have transferred trillions of dollars from the workers to the “poor” and the numbers are still there.
When the stimulus was proposed, it was advertised that for each dollar of stimulus money given, there would be about a dollar sixty in economic activity. This hypothesis was under the theory that money exchanged is the basis of wealth. Associated with this idea is the one that there is a definite amount of money and those receiving it have to take it from others. For this concept I have one question – “If money is simply a matter of exchange, how then is there any economic growth?” The same amount of money would trade hands and if there were no mechanism to increase the wealth, the amount of money would stay the same. Running in this concept is the federal government. They propose projects that have nothing to do with their mandate from the Constitution and provide money taken at gun-point from we workers to provide to campaign contributors – see Salyndra. The philosophical operating mechanism is: money is a form of exchange and to get it, it must be removed from someone else. That concept brings us the corruption that is presently DC. Politicians are looking for campaign donations and corporations desiring a market break in their niche provide that donation in exchange for legislation affecting the rest of us: seat belts, air bags, gas formulation – ethanol, plus a plethora of others. Each grows as a symbiotic relationship between business and politics.

What struck my dendrites this past week was the difference in the culture from my parent’s day. It used to be a shame to have to accept welfare and in some cases, their parents would make the kids repay the welfare received. It was done so under the concept that 1.) wealth was created by the worker, and 2.) each person was to be responsible for themselves, and then provide the excess to the needy, 3.) nothing is free. On the last item, I have seen a bumper sticker stating, “just because you didn’t pay for it doesn’t make it free.” Someone paid for it. Someone spent time and effort to create whatever that item was. Someone utilized their resources to exchange for the materials required to produce that item. As I noted in a previous post, if they are doing that much effort to give something to you, what are they receiving in return?
Advertising has used the idea of “free” to get customers to a particular store with the hopes of making up that expense with the purchase of another item. The item was free to the recipient as long as they purchased no further merchandise. Or rather, the cost of the item was born of the retailer as long as the recipient bought nothing else. The idea that it was “free” was still presented and as such, I believe, people are conditioned to think whatever they don’t pay for is good. Whatever someone else pays for and gives to them is desirable. If wealth is created by exchange an not one’s efforts, this makes sense. Why work hard at a chosen occupation when income can be obtained from someone else’s efforts? When all work is of the same value, the results of one’s labors is diminished – the fruit of minimum wage. Why should someone be forced to pay a certain amount for labor that is less valuable than the commodity produced? There is a reason that low wage individuals lose their jobs every time the minimum wage is pushed higher – The value produced must cover that higher expense. The business owner must make their production costs lower than the sales income to stay in business. Government forcing redistribution of money from the business owner to the worker doesn’t magically make the numbers fit. The owner must still make their costs lower than the income and as such will remove cost in the form of a worker. That is the reason minimum wage increases always result in lost jobs. Forcing money exchange does not increase the economy.

This last election cycle highlighted violation of the 10th commandment in a fashion I had not considered possible. Envy was alive and well. Romney was considered the “rich guy” as I overheard from a family member of a patient. The presentation of “rich guy” was not something that was to be emulated, but rather to be maligned. No, “rich guy” was an epithet in the level of “how dare he”. Envy. It makes sense if wealth is something that is traded and only available to one if someone else doesn’t have it. I noted the agencies produced by Zerocare and one of the exchanges was made to evaluate other insurance companies and they themselves an insurance company – clear conflict of interest. It makes sense, however, for those who believe that money must be obtained by taking it from others. That was the idea I had starting this little essay and then realized the cultural implications derived from that concept. There is a little bit of chicken and egg looking the present regime behavior, but considering the wider cultural presentation, this is the result of retraining our citizens away from the Biblical concepts of work and responsibility and towards the concepts of taking from fellows and holding envy.


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