Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Corrupt.org blog post - Power Centralization

This week, I wrote about the centralization of worldwide power. It's a fascinating subject, and any attempt to manage the economy at a worldwide level should be viewed with extreme skepticism.

Follow link here; excerpt below.

One could come to the conclusion that most of what is going on recently is deliberate. In a society where people are simply willing to give up their cultures, neighborhoods, even their very lives, to the idea that the government should simply take care of us, it’s hard to understand why worldwide governments wouldn’t want to take advantage.

The recent global economic summit is yet another reminder that our government, and those of other nations, are too busy making power plays to worry about its constituents. Clearly, this system is broken.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A modern day depression: what would it look like?

Globe writer tackles what a depression would look like in modern times. He's frighteningly close to today's reality without an official depression, which makes what he's saying both laughable fear-mongering as well as ironic.

With the diminishing price of televisions and the proliferation of channels, it's getting easier and easier to kill time alone, and free time is one thing a 21st-century depression would create in abundance. Instead of dusty farm families, the icon of a modern-day depression might be something as subtle as the flickering glow of millions of televisions glimpsed through living room windows, as the nation's unemployed sit at home filling their days with the cheapest form of distraction available. [How is this different from today?]

In general, novelty would lose some of its luster. It's not simply that we'd buy less, we'd look for different qualities in what we buy. New technology would grow less seductive, basic reliability more important. We'd see more products like Nextel phones and the Panasonic Toughbook laptop, which trade on their sturdiness, and fewer like the iPhone - beautiful, cleverly designed, but not known for durability. The neighborhood appliance shop could reappear in a new form - unlicensed, with hacked cellphones and rebuilt computers. [You mean, consumerism might start to fade in favor of practicality? Good!]

Health insurance premiums have risen to onerous levels in recent years, and in a long period of unemployment - or underemployment - they would quickly become unmanageable for many people. Dropping health insurance would be an immediate way for families to save hundreds of dollars per month. People without health insurance tend to skip routine dental and medical checkups, and instead deal with health problems only when they become acute - meaning they get their healthcare through hospital emergency rooms. That means even longer waits at ERs, which are even now overtaxed in many places, and a growing financial drain on hospitals that already struggle to pay for the care they give uninsured people. And if, as is likely, this coincided with cuts in money for hospitals coming from cash-strapped state and local governments, there's a very real possibility that many hospitals would have to close, only further increasing the burden on those that remain open. [This already happens and may induce a favorable result - getting the government out of health care again.]

Higher education, another big expense, would probably take a hit as well. Students unable to afford private universities would opt for public universities, students unable to afford four-year colleges would opt for community colleges, and students unable to afford community college wouldn't go at all. With fewer applicants, admissions standards would drop, with spots that once would have been filled by more qualified, poorer students going instead to wealthier applicants who before would not have made the cut. Some universities would simply shrink. [Good - less people overall going to college and crowding the system with idiocy would result in the ones who belong in college being able to flourish.]


More on the above points:

TV: People spend too much time in front of the TV already; time better suited for being outside and spending time with family (real time, not TV time). Who cares if some morons would decide to spend even more time in front of the TV than before? Are these people really all that productive when not in front of the TV as it is?

Health care: Health insurance used to be only for catastrophic instances. People didn't need health insurance for everyday visits before HMOs; they paid cash for routine medical visits because they were CHEAP, and even privately-funded hospitals (funded with donations or through other private means) would never turn away anyone at the ER. HMOs and the gov't becoming involved in health care is what's pushing costs up. if we're really that blind that we wouldn't pull gov't out of medicine during a depression, I suppose more people would go to the ER, but hopefully we'd change our health care system around to be like it was before HMOs, which was much better - and abandon any idea of socialized medicine, which our gov't wouldn't be able to afford (they actually can't anyway, but people are under the illusion they can). Look at our VA hospitals for the future of socialized medicine, or just go to Italy and wait in line with everyone else like a few people I know have done.

College admissions: Wealthy people already get in over qualified candidates because private universities play the politics/legacy game. Student loan programs have pushed tuition way too high, which already keeps out some qualified applicants as they don't want to go into insane amounts of debt. Less people in college would mean that the ones who are supposed to go would go, with the people who are just going because it's trendy might finally start figuring out other things to do. This might actually help revive the manufacturing sector. A depression would likely involve tariffs to ensure the remaining manufacturing jobs don't get sent away, to protect American industry and our GDP. We'd need people (hopefully legal citizens) to run the machines again, so maybe we'd start producing something in this country instead of borrowing and spending to feed a service-based economy that leads us nowhere.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Article on climate change focusing on methane levels - now on Corrupt

Follow this link to see my latest post on Corrupt.org.


There are horrific consequences of methane escaping into the atmosphere in larger amounts than normal. Of course, there are natural swings in nature which at times release different levels of different gases into the atmosphere, but we need to keep in mind that humanity has evolved during the most peaceful era the world has ever known – and yet we seem intent on ruining that with overpopulation, heavy industry, and a disregard for the real problem while we buy green light bulbs, blissfully unaware of how close we are to disaster.

Natural swings or not, methane is about 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, and so the climate change deniers are seemingly unready to cope with the dreadful reality that would be vast amount of methane release – which we may be able to avoid.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Proposition 8 article now online

Prop 8 article I wrote for Corrupt.org has now been published; click here to view.


The government recognizing gay marriage – or any marriage, for that matter - is more of an entitlement than an 'equal right'. Whether one believes in gay marriage or not, forced equality is not the same as equal rights under the law. Equality here would mean, for all parties, that the government stay out of the game of marriage completely, not limiting it in legal terms but also not propping up the "traditional" marriages of morons who happen to be men and women but can't get their lives together. This only fuels the fire of people who may live within the bounds of traditional marriage, but are otherwise foolish about the reasons they would want to protect that tradition.

What we see is a confused, neurotic group of people, some of whom are crying foul because the people they live with do not approve of their lifestyle. Whether you're for or against the measure, the problem here is that California is a large state with millions of people, and not everyone is going to agree on what to allow and what not to allow.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Barack Obama

Open letter from Ralph Nader to Barack Obama (click).

Corrupt.org article by Felipe Serra: Obama: Change or Hype?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Current banking crisis no mystery to ancient civilizations

See my most recent Corrupt.org post at the link below. This touches on the banking crisis and how ancient civilizations valued sound currency.

Click here.