Chaos Manor View, Wednesday, March 16, 2016
“This is the most transparent administration in history.”
Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.
Under Capitalism, the rich become powerful. Under Socialism, the powerful become rich.
Under Socialism, government employees become powerful.
The saga of my Windows 10 hijacking continues. Alien Artifact, an Intel Core i7 2600K CPU running at 3.4 GHz with 16 GB of memory – a sweet spot computer when he was built – has run Windows 7 until Sunday morning – see Sunday’s View – when I found that during the night he had been hijacked by Windows 10, and there didn’t seem to be much I could do about it.
Before you start writing me about that. Some notes. First, I know that I could have done something about it; it’s simple and easy or nightmarishly complicated depending on your computer sophistication, mental awareness, patience, and time available. For various reasons I decided to accept the fait accompli and live with Windows 10. I had an awful experience with Windows 8, and better but still dismaying experiences with early versions of Windows 10, but I have also got Windows 10 on my Session Pro 3 (not much choice there) and on two desktops, both built later than Alien Artifact, so I have been learning to use 10; but my main system was Windows 7 until it was hijacked.
Second note: if you want to know what your CPU is, you have to remember it’s Control Panel > System. Cortana doesn’t know. And when you do find it, don’t expect to copy it to paste into what you are writing. For reasons known only to the Microsoft Genius Club whose members think of ways to annoy users, you can’t copy any of the data in Control Panel > System.
Today I was trying to catch up on Luanne, a comic strip that’s in my wife’s newspaper but not in mine, and discovered that Windows 10 allows terrible things to happen with Firefox. Firefox looks the same on Windows 7 and 10, but on 7 I never had this problem, and now I’ve got it: I’m getting hijacked by popup ads, and if that wasn’t bad enough, popup new tabs taking me to all kinds of places I don’t want to go. It has been happening all week, but generally when I ;look at places I’m not familiar with: but this was the same Luanne tab I have been using for years, only now I get new tabs advertising odd things I don’t want, as well as popup ads that cover the cartoon and can’t be closed.
I didn’t have all that with Windows 7; I’ve had it ever since 10 was forced on me. And my recovery from my cold is taking a while; I’m not undertaking any tasks that require cerebration.
For all the irritations – mostly incredibly silly user interface and help files – Windows 10 really is more productive – at least for me – than Windows 7. And once I recover from this cold – I just know I will – I’ll get back to doing other silly things so you don’t have to.
‘The benefits from trade to the American economy may not always justify its costs.’
‘What seems most striking is that the angry working class — dismissed so often as myopic, unable to understand the economic trade-offs presented by trade — appears to have understood what the experts are only belatedly finding to be true: The benefits from trade to the American economy may not always justify its costs.’
I’ve always intended to write a rigorous analysis of free trade, in particular looking at the assumptions, both explicit and hidden, in David Ricardo’s theory of free trade and the various extensions since then. It is a standard belief of libertarians and most conservatives that free trade is a nor very mitigated good, and that free trade nations are nearly always better off than their counterparts.
The alternative to free trade is protective tariff; a tax on imported goods because they are imported, collected at the customs houses; tariff for a long time was the principal source of revenue for the United States. When I was a lad, we learned in school that the Democrats wanted “Tariff for revenue only” (don’t raise tariff, but keep it reasonable so you get more money) while Republicans were for “protective tariff” (keep tariff high so that industry can develop here; they only sell you cheap goods so that you won’t develop industries).
In the “solid South” I grew up in, there were few Republicans; it was almost a joke. One reason for that was that the Union States, where most of the manufacturing and weaving and general factory goods production was centered, imposed very high tariff on industrial equipment. This kept the prices of manufactured goods high by preventing the South from competing; the South had not many factories, and had to pay the high prices charged by the North, since we couldn’t buy the equipment to build our own factories.
I won’t argue the truth or falsity of this proposition: I merely state that it was taught in public school classrooms and was universally believed.
Lincoln did not believe in free trade (which was a good reason for Southerners to relish it). His famous analysis on tariff was: “All I know is that if I buy a shirt from England, I have the shirt and the money goes to England. If I buy it from Massachusetts, I have the shirt and the money stays in the United States. The arguments then centered on whether we had a favorable balance of trade: did exports exceed in dollars brought in the money that imports cost in dollars paid out? That argument is made to this day. Except for China, the US generally exports more dollars’ worth of goods (airplanes, for example) that it imports. With China it is not that way, and the US economy was once described as opening containers of consumer goods and borrowing the money to pay for them.
The usual arguments against free trade generally come down to “don’t export jobs.” American workers can’t compete with people who work for what is to us starvation wages; imports bring good at lower costs, but you don’t save THAT much on consumer goods – the savings don’t have that much effect on your life – while the worker whose job is lost has been ruined. Look at the hell hole Detroit and its environs have become! In 1940 to 1045 Detroit was the symbol of American know how, and produced tens of thousands of tanks, artillery weapons, airplanes, trucks: we won the war with that, and we would not have had we been buying our cars from Japan and China!
A compelling argument in its way, and not easily refuted, especially when talking to a once middle class family now living in an old house requiring a great deal of maintenance and eating surplus cheese and whatever is available for food stamps; possibly with a little subsidiary income from under the table hiring out for handyman work. You are unlikely to convince that family that Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage proves they are better off than they would be if we put tariffs on imported cars.
I will add that that family’s friends, who still have middle class jobs, are paying the taxes for those food stamps, and Obamacare for our worker family and are terrified that their jobs may be exported; or to the more skilled worker who discovers that his work as a house painter is being automated on new construction houses, and meanwhile he can’t save money because he must pay the taxes to pay for Earned Income Tax Credits, otherwise known as negative income taxes. From his point of view, if they were all working, he wouldn’t have to pay taxes to support his out-of-work neighbor and kids with Entitlements; and perhaps he workers who will pay for his entitlements when his job is gone.
And I’m out of energy, it’s time for a dinner I don’t feel like eating, and we can return to this theme when I’m feeling better. I know that economists say there is no question about it, you just have to read Ricardo and you’ll know that free trade is better that high protective tariff; but I’ve read Ricardo and I didn’t see anything about the externality of Negative Income Tax and Entitlements; and I’ve yet to see an economic model that does take account of them. I do know that we have a median personal national debt of over $50,000 for every man, woman, and child (illegal immigrants excluded I sup[pose) and while I just might be able to come up with my wife’s share, and my share, I don’t think all of us together could pay off the debt owed by my wife and I and our children and grandchildren, or what we’d have left to live on if we did; and I know I’m nowhere near the worst off of my friends and acquaintances.
So I really think the economists need to do a better job of explaining free trade rather than just saying Smoot-Hawley over and over.
Salient points made here. Our government/military mix has always been that the military is commanded by the President – a civilian. The JCS was created to provide that military advice to the President and coordinate military actions/budget across the services – in effect liaison to the Congress and President. Even without being in the chain-of-command, the CJCS still wields considerable power and influence – but cannot direct troops anywhere.
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired.;
Former Governor of Wasit Province, Iraq;
Righter of Wrongs; Wrong most of the time;
Distinguished Expert, TV remote control;
Chef de Hot Dog Excellence; Avoider of Yard Work
‘Instead, the design of the QWERTY keyboard was designed for Morse code, with significant regard given to putting the most frequently used letters on the home row.’
Amusing; I must admit I always believed in the standard theory, but on reflection I don’t know why. Neither will you after you read this.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.