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The Observance of the Law

“The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.” – Calvin Coolidge

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Rationalized Intelligence


It gets to be a frustrating cycle when criticism of bad thinking is deemed to be anti thinking, when criticism of bad statistics is deemed to be anti-fact, when criticism of bad science is deemed to be anti science and when criticism of misguided faith is deemed to be anti-religious.

Addressing economics specifically I believe what has been accepted orthodoxy for nearly a century in our national economic policy, with a few respites, has been terribly misguided and rationalized by some of our most respected intellectual institutions.  Much of the damage is not faced until years after the legislators are out of office and the professors have retired.  This is not being anti- intellectual, it is being critical of what D. Greenfield calls a manufactured intelligence- designed to make you feel smarter rather than actually becoming smarter.

PhD quants moved from universities to Wall Street and created risk models that were misused by financial masters of the universe to makes disastrous decisions.  The heavily credentialed moved to K Street to write regulations that only compounded the problem.  Financial instrument were rationalized that should have been banned.  We replaced a philosophical understanding of risk with a delusional mathematical certainty. It was readily accepted because we all wanted risk free prosperity.

James Grant proposed am IQ test for anyone working in the financial field.  A score over 115 would bar you from the field.

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Zero Hour

interesting how the modern Comedy Airplane was inspired by the long forgotten movie Zero Hour

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New Year’s Observations 2015


While I tend to avoid new year’s resolutions, I do like to think what I have learned in the last year and how it will affect the next 365 and ¼ days.

We are more than our politics. Far more. While I opine, read and argue- and I do care about decisions that affect us all- we have watched the stock market hit a new high and gas prices hit a new low.  Often this is in spite of government policies, not as a result of them.  Those who are out there changing the world for the better do not change their plans because some bunch of fools managed to get elected.  It is a sideshow,

John Keynes was concerned with what he thought was an obsession with a commercial orientation that ignored high culture today for an obsession with the future.  He may have been partially right.  Those who sacrifice for the future (capitalists) must remain optimistic, but that does not require ignoring the things that make life great today.

 Pursue policies that make life better for all, but live like politics are less relevant.

 When rationality conflicts with common sense, go with the common sense.  In business and in politics I have seen intelligent people rationalize (which is distinctly and often the opposite from rationality) some foolish ideas and policies. More often than not time is on the side of common sense, and what appeared to be rationality was merely rationalization of foolish ideas.  If you are torn between these feeling, move slowly, time will be very clarifying.

 Arbitrary deadlines and false senses of urgency can cause very foolish decisions.

 Some problems solve themselves and some don’t.  Good leadership is often knowing the difference.  Seemingly complex problems do not always require complex or systemic solutions.  If your company is losing money, take the time to find simple things that can be changed for improvement, and do that regularly.  While there may be major shift that require drastic change, most companies live and die in inches.  In fact the inches may be more destructive because they accumulate before the damage is clearly visible.  Whether the change requires inches or miles, it does require action, feedback and accountability.

Fragile egos and excuses are impediments to effective teams and effective changes.  I question if such egos can be changed or if it would be easier to replace; it is hard for people who are part of the problem to be part of the solution. This may as true in politics as it is in business.

 Don’t delay decisions that must be made.  It is easier to make a lot of small changes than big changes, but rarely do needed changes happen on their own.




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Rebel Yid Best of 2014 Part V

At the heart of modern progressivism is an “ends justify the means” mentality.  Lies are merely myths to serve a greater purpose. HKO

 The progressive shift aiming to empower the average man also sought to empower  the elites and technocrats who felt the common man could not properly understand the needs of a modern society. The power required to run the progressive state was not insulated from the human seduction of power in the private sector, but it was insulated from the accountability. HKO

We are foolish to believe that human and moral shortcomings in the free market are somehow absent in the political sphere.  We are also foolish not to recognize that these failures are held to greater accountability when they are not protected by political favoritism. HKO

The problem with modern regulation is that it can never keep up with a changing market, and the rate of technical development moves far too fast to regulate.  We are shortsighted to focus on the competence of government, such as the miserable failures of the ACA website.  The critical flaw in central control of the economy and regulations is not the lack of competence, but the lack of imagination.  

Such modern businesses scale up remarkably fast, creating huge commercial communities, quickly threatening the regulatory agencies, and empowering a new generation of Uber Libertarians.  These new commercial communities give a face to the principles of a free market, bringing life to ideas that have long remained buried in books and think-tanks or held in contempt by thick progressive elites self-imbued with moral supremacy. HKO in American Thinker, Uber Libertarians

The problem with liberalism may be that no one knows how to get the government to do the benevolent things liberals want it to do. Or it may be, at least in some cases, that it just isn’t possible for the government to bring about what liberals want it to accomplish. As the leading writers in The Public Interest began demonstrating almost 50 years ago, the intended, beneficial consequences of social policies are routinely overwhelmed by the unintended, harmful consequences they trigger. It may also be, as conservatives have long argued, that achieving liberal goals, no matter how humane they sound, requires kinds and degrees of government coercion fundamentally incompatible with a government created to secure citizens’ inalienable rights, and deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed.  From the October 2014 issue of Hillsdale’s Imprimis, William Voegeli , The Case Against Liberal Compassion

The inequality fanatics are a solution looking for a problem.  We are likely better to have wealth determining power than to have power determine wealth. HKO

The more that we depend on the government for solutions for every social problem (fairness) the less effective they become at their core strengths- protecting individual rights, basic infrastructure, equal protection under the law and security. HKO

When you adapt policies that rely on the reality you want rather than the reality you have,  the natural course is a tyrannical force to bend reality to your will.  This is why Utopian ideals end up becoming so oppressive.  A growing economy is a free economy.  The price of raising the price of exit is to also raise the price of entry. HKO