(Sigh!)

One of the obviously genetic parts of being a liberal, is faith in static economic analysis – the belief that if you impose higher taxes/fees you will generate a straight line increase in your return.

Of course history shows that it is simply not so if there are alternatives available to the sheep – and there are almost ALWAYS alternatives available. (Witness the demise of a constitutionally-protected Post Office.)

But, liberals never learn because static analysis is a tenet of their religion, or part of the DNA, if you believe (as I do) that liberalism is a genetic defect.

(Headline) Revenue, ridership on Metro fall short

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

“The across-the-board fare increase imposed by Metro this summer has led to a drop in bus ridership and less-than-expected rail revenue as a result of changing travel patterns, an initial analysis by Metro shows.

…The lower-than-expected passenger revenue is the main factor in Metro’s overall revenue shortfall of 4 percent so far this year.“

The article continues this tale of woe by concluding the Washington system demonstrates “a pattern of dwindling bus ridership” – which should be a clue to those mass transit liberals.

But it isn’t. That is why I believe liberalism is a genetic defect.

(Sigh)

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The Housing Market

Economy
(Headline) Double-Dip In Housing Almost Here, According To Case-Shiller Index
Dec. 28 2010 – 11:20 am |

“Housing markets have taken a turn for the worse, with the widely followed S&P/Case-Shiller index declining more than analysts had forecast in October, lending credence to the housing bears who have predicted a double dip.”

http://blogs.forbes.com/afontevecchia/2010/12/28/double-dip-in-housing-almost-here-according-to-case-shiller-index/?boxes=financechannelforbes

Comment: While I am not so pessimistic as is Case-Shiller (considered the “Bible” in journalistic reporting on the real estate industry), , things are not looking good – particularly in the high-end real estate business. (In California, almost everything is in the high-end…although we generally consider a million dollar listing to still be the high-end.)

The real losers are those who MUST sell – people transferred for jobs, and the elderly who must remain in their homes instead of using their equity to move to retirement homes.

The most obvious and visible element in Southern California is the current vacancies in retirement homes. In just the past few years, I have witnessed the situation in a Hyatt-Regency level retirement home in Rancho Bernardo go from several years waiting list to scores of vacancies, because those who wish to move in cannot afford to do so until their home sells. Most of their homes are not even on the market because there is so little market.

There was a time when older people literally bought into the specific retirement home I know well, and left their unit vacant for several years, so that it would be available when they were ready.

This real estate market is a long way from health, but I doubt the “double-dip.” (It still snows in the north and east.)

History Has No Impact on Liberals

My degrees are engineering and management, not psychiatry, but I am observant of liberal tendencies. Since experience and history have no impact on them, I concede that their problem is genetic and they have no control.)

The most obvious example, since repeated many times was the Luxury Tax of 1990, which introduced me to the liberal syndrome.

You may recall that the premise was either to raise tax money or to punish the rich (or both) – your choice. The tax was a special 10% tax on “yachts” over $100,000 in cost, and airplanes over $250,000.

Let’s permit the NY Times to describe the results:

“Since the tax took effect in January 1990, hundreds of builders of large and small boats have spoken of it as a stake driven into the heart of an industry already suffering from the recession, tighter bank rules on financing and fallout from the gulf war.

In the last two years, about 100 builders of luxury boats — recreational craft costing more than $100,000 — cut their operations severely and laid off thousands of workers. Some builders filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code.”

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/02/07/business/falling-tax-would-lift-all-yachts.html

The rich simply had their yachts built in Taiwan, or in Europe, and avoided the tax altogether. (Please see John Kerry about methodologies of the rich in avoiding yacht taxes.)

But “thousands” of middle-class and lower-class workers lost their jobs.

Ah, the Law of Unintended Consequences. (But it initially made the liberals feel good – until they discovered that they had not hurt the rich, but their own constituents.)

The liberals never learn. Never.

Genetic proclivity: They are more interested in hurting the successful, than assisting the poor.

 

 

 

Liberalism is a Genetic Defect

One of the obviously genetic parts of being a liberal, is faith in static economic analysis – the belief that if you impose higher taxes/fees you will generate a straight line increase in your return.

Of course history shows that it is simply not so if there are alternatives available to the sheep – and there are almost ALWAYS alternatives available. (Witness the demise of a constitutionally-protected Post Office.)

But, liberals never learn because static analysis is a tenet of their religion, or part of the DNA, if you believe (as I do) that liberalism is a genetic defect.

Revenue, ridership on Metro fall short

   

By Ann Scott Tyson

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

“The across-the-board fare increase imposed by Metro this summer has led to a drop in bus ridership and less-than-expected rail revenue as a result of changing travel patterns, an initial analysis by Metro shows.

…The lower-than-expected passenger revenue is the main factor in Metro’s overall revenue shortfall of 4 percent so far this year. “

The article continues this tale of woe by concluding the Washington system demonstrates “a pattern of dwindling bus ridership” – which should be a clue to those mass transit liberals.

But it isn’t. That is why I believe liberalism is a genetic defect.

(Sigh)

 

 

Filed Under: Little known and Completely Useless Information

Did anyone know that the comedian, Steve Martin, won his SECOND Grammy this past year as a banjo player? (His first was in 2002.)

He has also been Billboard Magazine Music Bluegrass Artist of the Year, and previously won Billboard’s Bluegrass Album of the Year.

 

Technology in the Classroom

While many decry the use of electronics for minor math (a fully justifiable position), and almost everyone agrees that help is needed for higher-degree equations (I gratefully used a slide-rule – K&E Log Log Duplex Decitrig — in undergraduate engineering), the future – and hope for education reform is –  electronic technology.

With 50 million students, and several million teachers, the process is simply too labor insensitive NOT to convert to technology. California alone has 335,000 teachers – 33,000+ in L.A. County alone.

Florida has passed a law requiring on-line education to be available to all children, and school districts have a legal obligation to meet the demand as expressed by parents.

The ‘education reform” movement actually began back in 1990 with a book (Politics, Markets, and Public Schools) by a couple of liberals, Terry Moe (Professor of Political Science at Stanford, and John Chubb) and published by a liberal think-tank – the Brookings Institution.

Their latest book, Liberating Learning, is on the use of technology in the classroom as a substitute for labor and as a continuation of the reform movement – and like the previous reform attempts Moe and Chubb admit that unions will again be the major obstacle to reform.

That union opposition has already formed. In Wisconsin there were two school districts that designed virtual Charter Schools, but the unions went to court and had them declared illegal because they law required “seat time,” accredited teachers, etc.

But laws can be changed. In California, unions had prevailed on the legislature to deny school districts a link between student testing and teacher performance – but the Obama Administration (Cheers!), through Race to the Top, got the legislature to change that law. (Such a rule still exists in New York State, but even the New York Times has editorialized against it.)

There are wins and losses in the education reform movement – Washington D.C. ended the successful voucher program under union pressure, and forced out their reform-minded Superintendent Michelle Rhee, but the L.A. Times published the rankings of 6,000 teachers, and Florida leads in technology institution. NBC dedicated a week of their news program recently to examining the failure of public education, and the movie Waiting for Superman took the nation by storm.

The reform movement is inexorable, but glacially slow. Professor Moe thinks 30 years.

I think he is an optimist.

But this is a unique subject because it cuts across liberal and conservative lines, Democrats and Republicans. We all have children and grandchildren, and we all read the newspapers. While there may be minor departures on exactly how to “fix” the system, almost everyone agrees that the system must be fixed.

The Education Trust reports that overall about 23% of the recent applicants for the Armed Forces cannot meet the LOWEST level (31 correct out of 99 questions) required for the ARMY! The other services have even higher standards. The numbers are even worse for certain ethnicities…Blacks fail at a 39% rate, Latinos at a 29% rate, and Caucasians fail at only a 15% rate.

Awful!

Money Tree People

The best public policy would be to have the 50% who pay nothing (in fact get a check through a mis-named “Earned” Income Tax payment) or nearly nothing, pay their “fair share.”

There can bee no moral justification for people who share the benefits and bounty of this nation not to pay their “fair share.”

Riding in the wagon atrophies the legs, diminishes the desire to help, and increases shouts of “Pull Harder” directed to those already pulling the wagon.

Still, wagon riders have their vocal constituency of liberals, who show sympathy for the wagon riders and disdain for the wagon pullers.

These liberals are called Money Tree People, and they live in a Rabbit Hole. Their religion is Compulsory Christianity, and the religion’s motto is “You WILL be your Brother’s Keeper!”