The Fair Tax

This idea has gone out of style and I haven’t read much about it lately, but it could save our economy.  Very broadly you would eliminate all Federal taxes, including personal income tax, corporate tax, and payroll taxes, and replace them with a national sales tax on retail goods and services.  Import duties, road tax, and mineral extraction taxes would remain.  What differentiates the Fair Tax from a generic sales tax is you also pay a rebate.  This is to protect the poor people.

Here’s a quick example.  You would have a national sales tax of 20%.  Let’s assume a poor family pays $10,000 a year in expenses.  Therefore you would pay out a rebate of $2,000 to everyone over 18 years old.

This tax has many interesting features.  A very important one is that if utopians were in power and wanted to hand out loot, they’d have to raise the tax on EVERYONE, so everyone would feel the pain.  This is a big advantage.

US companies would be the big winners.  They would not pay a penny in tax and would not need anymore tax accountants and tax lawyers.  They would just run their business to produce a profit, and that is all you would worry about.

Imagine the advantage to US businesses over European businesses.  The Euro’s would have to pay all sorts of taxes, and then whatever import duty we have.  This would be a huge advantage for US based businesses, and in fact your would be insane to build a manufacturing plant anywhere but the US.

Foreigners would also pour their money in the US.  The gains on investments would be tax free.  So not only would their be a huge incentive to expand US production, jobs, and wages, there would be plenty of funds looking to invest.

And on a personal level, you would not fill out any tax forms ever again.  You would pretty much break even (the middle class would actually come out ahead), as you would get a 14.7% raise from your payroll taxes, plus any income tax you now pay would go in your pockets.  Of course this would be offset by the new sales tax, but it would be much easier to deal with.

Another big winner will be small businesses.  If you run a small business your mouth is already watering.  Imagine an environment where you no longer have monthly and quarterly IRS forms to fill out, and you don’t have to live in dread of the IRS coming to pick your pocket.

This tax change makes so much sense it doesn’t have a prayer of passing.  Especially because the biggest loser of all would be lobbyists.  Since there would be no income taxes, there would no longer be a need to hire lobbyists to create loopholes for big businesses to cut their taxes.

Still, check it out.  Just google the FAIR tax and maybe talk to your congressman about it.

Across Eternity

Capturing most perfectly what Pieper wrote about:

Firstly: There are some obligations which, by their very nature, cannot be acquitted in full, much as the one who is thus indebted may be willing to do so.  …. And it is naturally the just man, that is, the man who has a firm and constant will to give each man what is his, who will experience that incontrovertible disparity with special acuteness. …. Before any subsequent claim is made by men, indeed even before the mere possibility of such a human claim arises, comes the fact that man has been made a gift by God (of his being) such that his nature cannot ever “make it good”, discharge it, “deserve” it, or return it again.  Man can never say to God: We are even.

If you, a just man, are truly participating at the Mass, especially the Traditional Latin Mass, then at the point of consecration some part of you, your soul, must want to cry out, “This is not right. This man should not die for my sins.”  We can never repay.

How can you, the just man, ever wrap your brain around this?  It was mercy.  It was a gift.  As someone else once asked: “What was the first Christmas present?  It was a Child.”  All we can do is say thank you and do our best.

Delusional Leftists will Freeze

I love the leftists in their lollipop world.

Owners of other kinds of plants keep shutting them down due to economic pressure: Massachusetts’ last coal-fired power plant just switched off, and one of three coal plants left in New England, in Connecticut, is slated to change to natural gas. The Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts is also scheduled to close.

But gas pipelines have proved challenging to build in the region, and capacity hasn’t expanded much. The grid operator has a new plan, starting next year, to offer financial rewards to generators that perform well when the system is taxed, though it acknowledged this may not be enough on the coldest days.

Peter Shattuck, who directs the Massachusetts office at the Acadia Center, which supports clean energy, said New England should rely on backup oil to run power plants until an expected surge in renewables comes in the next decade. He doesn’t favor gas pipelines.

“The big boost in renewables is coming,” he said. “We need to start using less gas.”

In summary, New England is shutting down coal and nuke plants, and plans on building more gas power plants.  The only problem is that the eco-freaks won’t let anyone build new natural gas pipelines to supply the power plants.  So the delusional Shattuck recommends running on backup oil.  And how are you going to get the oil to the power plants idiot?  If you can’t build a gas pipeline, how are you going to build an oil pipeline?  You’ll also need huge tanks to store the oil.  Then you can pay much higher rates for the oil fired electricity while you wait for the magical “renewables” to show up delivered by the flying unicorn that sh*ts rainbow skittles.

This reminds me of two quotes from Rand.  In one, a producer was interogating a parasite trying to find out how he could be so delusional:

Producer: If you do these policies, you’ll starve.  You are making it impossible to stay in business.  How can you do this?  What are you counting on?

Parasite:  We don’t think about those things.  That’s your business.  You’ll figure it out.

Here Rand was showing that the problem is with the Producers agreeing to work in conditions where excellence is punished.  Her solution is to let the parasites finally face the consequences of Leftism.  This is known as Moral Hazard.

Next is her famous quote:

You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

So New England is heading full steam towards brown outs and black outs.  Sit back and laugh.  Take the advice of everyone’s favorite godless heathen (pray for his conversion) Aaron Clarey: Enjoy the Decline.  (This is the title of his book, which will keep you sane.  Pick up a copy.)

Fixing Banking

At some point (hopefully) we’ll have to fix the banking system and prevent the boom-bust cycles.  Here’s a short list of requirements:

  1. End fractional reserve lending.  All loans must come from deposits plus paid in capital.
  2. Eliminate Federal Reserve Notes and replace with the dollar.
  3. Preferably the dollar will be backed by gold, but there’s a chance all of our gold is gone.
  4. If we don’t have gold, switch to the green back.  These are dollars issued by the treasury.  The monetary base would grow 1% per year, i.e. the Treasury would issue 1% of monetary base each year and deposit the new money in the government account (reducing taxes).
  5. If GDP growth averaged 3%, we would have a mild deflation year in year out.  So you would see a 2% real raise each year in falling prices.  This is how economic productivity gains would be naturally spread out to the population.
  6. The FDIC would be eliminated.
  7. The Federal Reserve would become an insurance arm of the government, getting back to its original mission.  It would buy long term instruments (e.g. mortgages) at a discount, and pay out the cash to troubled banks.  So if your bank had a bank run, the bank would “repo” mortgages to the Fed, which would pay 90 cents on the dollar to the bank.  Once the emergency is over, the bank would repay the money and get their mortgages back.
  8. End government usury, i.e. no government debt.
  9. Reinstate Glass Steagall.  I don’t want my savings account dollars being invested in rehypothecated swaps on Albanian bond interest rate options.

Now I do have a problem with the greenback.  The problem is the 1% limit.  Given the history of our country where 90% of our government is unconstitutional (read the 9th and 10th amendment), you know they’d find a way around the 1% growth and start printing.  This is why I prefer gold.  However the greenback is superior to the Fed which quadrupled its balance sheet and is praying that the excess reserves don’t start draining into the economy (hyper inflation).  I think the economy is so dead from Obama that they are safe, but it is a big risk to take.

Sustainable Farming

First some background. In the past I have done the following:

  • Bought a grass fed cow and had it butchered.
  • Belonged to a food coop.
  • Belonged to a CSA.
  • Bought organic foods.
  • Shopped at a local farmers market (will continue to do so).
  • Bought farm eggs (will continue to do so).

So I could be mistaken for a “sustainable farming” aficionado.  However this would be wrong.  I did these things for taste and quality.  I don’t make any claims besides my personal taste preference (and scrambled farm eggs are nice and meaty tasting) about these types/styles of food, nor would I ever require the government to force people to do these things.  You pay a lot more (except butchering a cow).

With that in mind I’d like to write about the “sustainable farming” fraud.  Check out this picture:

Note the dark green patch. That is wheat that has been fertilized with ammonia during planting.  The tan on the hills and the yellow road side grass should be considered “sustainable”.  These grasses are clearly nitrogen limited.  Can you imagine the loss in yield if the wheat looked like that?

Now some say you can add nitrogen with legumes.  You can, assuming you plow the crop back into the field.  So you would have to plant clover, then plow it in at the end of the season.  This will add nitrogen, but you cut productivity in half.

One way you could do it would be to graze cattle on a clover and alfalfa pasture.  This would allow you to “harvest” nitrogen annually.  On the downside you’d have to be very careful about bloat, so you could probably use a grass/legume mix.

Unfortunately besides meat production, you are screwed with grains and vegetables.  And then we get into potassium, phosphorous, and trace minerals.  You simple have to add those chemical some way to your field or you will deplete the soil.

Another trick I’ve seen is to run chickens on the pasture.  I’ve noticed that those chickens are given feed, and that is how you are adding minerals to your field (via chicken droppings).

Another trick I see is the “sustainable” farmer capturing a niche market.  Usually they will slaughter free range chickens (with cheap Mexican labor), and possibly pigs.  For a small niche market it is definitely a business idea that works, but it won’t feed a country.

Bottom line if you harvest you will deplete the soil.  The only exception would be nitrogen harvesting using a legume/grass mix and cattle, however you still lose the other constituents and have to add it back some way.

Again I like the products and buy them from time-to-time, but there is no way you can feed 350 million people doing these things.

 

Frac Hoax

I want to say up front this is probably 10% true, but it is strange.

I wrote a full post on fracking, so if you are interested check out the May archive (May 10). To recap, I pointed out a major blunder on the frac hoax side. In short if you read any fracking article they always want to state the evil trinity of the frac fluid recipe: sand, water, and CHEMICALS. The obvious reason is to scare the public with the word chemicals. I pointed out they screwed up by including “sand”. The reason is because this shows the size of the fractures created, the width of a grain of sand. This is because the sand props open the fractures.

I wrote the same article on a forum about a year ago, and not soon after I read some fracking articles that stated “water and chemicals”, but left out the sand. Again, 90% chance it was a coincidence. So here it is a few weeks after my last article and what do I find in an AP story?

The energy industry uses hydraulic fracturing , or fracking , to extract oil and gas from rock by injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals.

So probably a coincidence, but there’s a 10% chance someone who follows me posted the information on social media that has a larger audience and the fake news media felt a need to change their story. Don’t know. Anyhow gravel is never used for fracking. There’s no way to create a slurry with gravel, and the gravel would never pass through the perforations in your casing. The hoax media wants to spread the impression of larger cracks in the formation.

If you are on social media, start spreading this story. If you are on twitter (I’m not), how about starting #frackhoax.

We the Living

What does it mean to be a creator and a producer; to worship Life?  If you are reading this blog, then you are one of us.  I’ll give some examples:

I have been working in Industrial Construction in the process industries (refining, midstream, oil production) for quite some time.  Due to my position on most jobs I’m one of the last to leave after the project is started up by the Operations department.  It is a sharp contrast.  One week it is like a kicked over ant pile with men scrambling around working to meet the deadline, and a week later you are by yourself on the site, walking around looking at what you created and hearing it come to life.  During times like that you get an unusual feeling which I could not explain nor even describe.  It’s akin to sadness, but it is not sad.

So one day I was talking to my buddy who has forgotten more about projects than I’ll ever know, and still knows more than me, and he started smiling.  And he said, “James, when you build something, you leave a little of yourself with it, and that’s what you’ve been feeling.”.  And he nailed it.

Another example, my son worked in the oil fields for summer work.  We were going to head back home after summer, and he wanted to show me one of the projects he had help build (you can see the other one on the cover of my book.)  So we drove to the site, and no one was there, and he took me on a tour.  I could tell he had the feeling, so I told him about it.  He then took me in an equipment shack and showed me were he had written his initials either on a pipe or I-beam.

What I am talking about is the Virtue of Magnanimity, a CATHOLIC virtue.  You, especially men, should pray to be given graces to grow in the habit of this forgotten virtue.  It is the belief in doing great things, and doing them.  Yes this is a virtue of the Catholic Church.  Research it sometime.  I recommend that you read Josef Pieper, especially On Hope.

I’ll leave you with some Pieper:

The original desire for the good takes its energy from the ever-pulsating momentum of that Origin in which man, answering the creative call of God, flew across the abyss which parts nothingness from existence.  It is the moment with which the possible bursts with a roar into the radiant dawn of its first bright realization: the swift current of a stream that originating in the  darkness of mere Nature and steadily fed by its source, crosses by the dictates of innate conscience into the realm of freedom.