Beyond the Cusp

October 27, 2017

Politics in America Laid Bare

 

Politics in America has become a naked beast beating its chest and snarling at the election of one of the people, and not one from the political class, to the highest post in the land. The entireties of the Democrat Party in both the House of Representatives and Senate along with the majority of the leftists who support them have been completely unified in their opposition to everything having to do with President Donald Trump. They are opposed to the legality of his being elected. They see conspiracies in everything which caused his winning the election. They believe that there was interference against Hillary Clinton caused and financed by the Russian government and Vladimir Putin resulting in the Trump election. They despise the fact that the Electoral Congress can be permitted to allow the person not receiving the majority of the popular vote to still win the election, let alone by a commanding amount. Equally laid bare is the opposition by many in the heart of the Republican Party other than simply the most liberal, this core of the Republicans led by Senator John McCain, former President George W. Bush, Mitt Romney and seemingly far too many more. What has become apparent to us is that those who believe that the political class is made up of people whom, by their very nature, education, breeding and innate abilities, are better than those over whom they rule. Yes, they believe they have been placed in the government to rule over the remainder of the population and not to represent those who voted for them.

 

There are reasons as to why they believe they are superior to the general population. Far too many politicians are the children of people who were in politics, worked in the party and whose children are being groomed to follow in their parents privileged footprints. Many politicians were educated in elite private schools and brought up with privilege and from this came away with a feeling of superiority. Others actually came into politics from other areas and occupations but when one gets to Washington D.C. the majority have spent their entire life in the political arena. Spending their entire lives in private schools and then politics never having any interaction with what most would refer to as normal people often referred to as “Joe Six Pack” and have led very sheltered and protected lives. This has led to some politicians believing that they were destined to lead and their positions are a result of their breeding, privileged lives and higher intelligence. Their lives of general comfort and once in Washington ability to be above many laws simply adds to their self-fed-worth. Once in Washington D.C. they are granted freedom from parking tickets and as long as they can claim they were heading to a vote in Congress or some meeting, they are free from traffic violations including speeding. Finally, the largest invulnerability, they cannot be arrested for insider trading which when combined with their inside knowledge of what companies will soon receive huge government contracts signaling them to buy stock or the opposite of a company about to lose a contract which they can sell that stock, the members of Congress often become multi-millionaires within a few short years in Washington D.C.

 

These not so small differences between the American political class and everyone else are also part of another divide, a social and financial divide. The very wealthy who make the majority of their earnings through investments are almost entirely free from paying income taxes as they earn no income, they receive dividends. These people rub elbows with the political class making the political class feel even further removed from the average Americans. These people share the power over the remainder through campaign contributions, insider trading information, inside information on coming legislations and excessive influence over that legislation shared between each other, and enjoying entertaining evenings with drinks and access, these two classes form seamlessly into the power structure which decide much of the laws and interventions into personal lives which both conspire as they run the government. There is an unspoken agreement between the political class and the elite mega-business with wealth classes in which in exchange for preferential legislation these people of wealth and influence promise not to interfere with politics beyond campaign contributions. These guarantees especially extend not to take the office of any politician by running against them plus leaving the top positions to the political class as they are the only who are trained for these spots in exchange for legislative input. This is the agreement which Donald Trump broke when he ran and won the Presidency.

 

Now we need to be careful and clear. Nowhere near all politicians have these moral deficiencies whereby they sell out to those with the influence and money to cause legislation to at the least seldom harm their interests. These politicians are often easily recognized as they receive little if any assistance in their reelection efforts by the central party operations. The ones who are completely honest and solely working for their constituents back home as they will very often be opposed in the primary races every reelection effort with the party supporting their challenger. Eventually these politicians will lose their office and everything can return to what the party would refer to as normal. The political class work so closely together that they hold their fellow politicians as cohorts who join them as the ruling elite as more important along with the financial elite who pay for their campaigns, will provide them nice well-paying positions after retirement and with whom they often socialize as the community whom they serve and the voters are simply the rabble they must deal with all too regularly just to retain their pampered positions and their gravy-train lifestyles.

 

There are two forces opposing President Trump, one Democrat and one Republican. Let us talk about the Republicans first as most of what we say about them also applies to the Democrats. There are a fair number of Republicans who are actually leftists, not simply left-leaning or liberal, but true leftists. They believe in government solutions to every problem they encounter and believe that the closer to the top, to Washington D.C., the more efficient and better planned any solution can be made. Despite theoretical and experimental proof that the best solutions are those devised as locally as possible are the most efficient and the higher any solution is imposed from, the less likely it is that their solutions will be easily or properly applied across the board. Leftists may have conservative or liberal views and still be a leftist as leftists support larger government independent of their political bend. These two separate varieties of leftists will often work together in an I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine trading support for one another’s legislative efforts. With either one, the people lose as neither cares about political limitations legally placed on the Federal Government by the Constitution. They believe that more government means better governing and governing is good for the people. There is another name for these people other than leftist, it is called fascists. Donald Trump is attempting to reduce government by undoing regulations which he can do without Congress and then working with Congress to reduce government and lower taxes. The Republican leftists who believe that more regulations and more government is better governance are fighting for everything they believe to be holy by fighting against President Trump.

 

Then there are a number of Republicans who believe that Trump is an interloper, an impostor, somebody completely unfit to be President. Many Democrats and almost all leftists also believe these to be truths. But there is a special group who are particularly put out by the election of President Trump. These are the many people who believe they should have won the Presidency or should have been the candidate to run against Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump. Heading this list is Senator John McCain followed closely by Jeb Bush and family, Mitt Romney and a number of the other Republicans who lost in the primaries to Trump as well as other Republicans who simply believe they are far more qualified to hold the office and take President Trump to be a personal insult. Then there are the core Republican power structure who feel they have lost control of their party as President Trump is out of and beyond control. They feel they no longer make the policies and this threatens their lifestyles. Should they no longer be capable of delivering the goods legislatively, then they may find themselves no longer invited to all the right social events. President Trump has done something which we believe is almost fun to watch, he has erased all the rules as to how power and money influence legislation and the distribution of power in politics. For libertarians that just might result in their dreams realized, though somewhat limited extent and for some it will appear a waste as their pet ideas may not be improved by the Trump Presidency.

 

For the Democrats who have unfortunately sold out to the leftist interest, President Trump in a nightmare. When your party has based its future on government power empowering those who are willing to support their election, then a President devoted to deregulation and limited government is the worst nightmare imaginable. Make that President an in-your-face fool willing to be braggadocios and who makes his responses to your challenges farcical, then his entire existence becomes an offense. This is the source of an echo chamber which has reverberated throughout the terrain of our social media. This has led to people defriending one another and even to break-ups of relationships and even marriages. Remarkably, nobody from BTC has been defriended that we are aware of, but please don’t take that as a challenge, we like all our friends no matter their political bend. So, the Democrats have any of a number of reasons to unite against President Trump from his smaller government plans, his Tweets being particularly unrestrained, and he is not a Democrat. For many Democrats, when it comes to President Trump, there is absolutely nothing to like. As far as many are concerned, Donald Trump is so full of hot air he could be a hot air balloon, or was that hot air buffoon.

 

Trumps Vehicle to the White House was a Hot Air Balloon Filled With Hot Angry Rhetoric

Trumps Vehicle to the White House was a Hot Air Balloon Filled With Hot Angry Rhetoric

 

President Trump has revealed the truth; in the United States, there are simply two actual teams, those who are part of the political system and the rest of the American people. Those who wield the political power are in their own little world where they control the lives of the rest of the population and the rest of the population is supposed to simply say thank you for caring for us. The rest of the population, the political class hope, are so busy working and getting through their busy lives that they will hopefully never wake and see that they have been played. Well, thanks to President Trump, many in the American Public now realize what has been happening. The collusion between many in the media, the entertainment and sports enterprises, academia and the political class have worked with other elitists to misrepresent much of what has been the reality coming from their inglorious alliance and how the people have been played for fools much to the amusement of these members of the preferred classes. The worst fear is close to coming to fruition, the people might be awakening and when they do, they might remain alert and use the one thing they have at their disposal, their votes. But there is a salvation for the elites, they control the levers of power and how those who run for office are chosen. Unless people who are honest and desire to take the responsibility for change into their own hands are willing to run for office, then the only candidates will be those who the political parties choose which mean more of the same. Nothing will really change until perhaps the parties themselves are replaced. President Washington warned against political parties believing they would be the end of the republic. How correct he may have been.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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August 14, 2017

Crisis Time in America Again

 

It was so nice during the Obama administration. The nation was right all over and there was hardly any disturbance of America is normal, wonderful and happy, with no real problems. There was no homelessness, no opioid epidemic, no crime waves, no epidemic of murders even in Chicago, everything was white picket fences with gardens of sunflowers and roses down the sides of the walk and all days were sunny and not too hot and not too cold, everything was just right. Then somehow, everything went south as one of those nasty Republicans got elected, a horrible man, mean-spirited and just awful. His name was Donald Trump. Now we hear the news and there are crimes, illegals, opioids, homelessness, drug use, protests, and the sun no longer shines and the fences and flowers have been trampled. What has happened to our wonderful nation, which was so perfect with President Obama, and now the news is full of such awfulness all because of the election of President Trump.

 

Okay, so that was not exactly accurate but the tone and messaging by the newscasts has changed and this is not the first time such has been the case. The same thing occurred when Ronald Reagan was elected and also when George W. Bush was elected. When President Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were in office, the news avoided these problems but as soon as a Republican hit the White House, these problems became front-page news day in and day out. As far as the newsrooms are concerned, when the White House is held by the Democrats, there are few consistent problems which require immediate attention and all the so-called epidemics disappear, but when a Republican is elected, the nation is instantly in crisis with every problem and crisis peaking and coming to a point where they are unbearable and the main news is about how the President is overwhelmed and unable to address all the problems and the White House news teams at briefings demand answers to these problems with every reporter asking why the President appears stunned into inaction in the face of these crises threatening the nation. Everywhere the President turns he sees nothing but crisis after crisis and reporters with the media, all reminding him that he needs to put out these fires or he will look inept.

 

For the unwashed, also known as the younger generations who have not lived through these transitions before, this can come as a shock to their system and it is difficult to hold them completely responsible for their recoiling and initially believing that the new President is clueless. The image painted in the reports is that while these problems were being addressed by the previous administration and were being held in check, they are now running untreated because, as it has been claimed loudly in the news and social media, the Republicans have cut spending in every social program leaving all the problems out of control and untreated. Let us first dispel the claims that the Republican Congress and President have eliminated or cut spending to all the social programs. There is a funny thing about definitions and how things can be stated to imply one thing but because of definitions, they are nothing but lies. Cutting spending is probably the biggest lie the Democrats ever tell. When ever you hear that there have been spending cuts, go look at the real figures from the Treasury Department and you will get a surprise, the actual spending increased. Spending cuts means that the increase was less than the Democrats proposed. Example, the democrats proposed an increase of twelve percent but the actual result in the spending allowance was for seven percent. That is a five percent cut in spending because it did not meet the twelve percent and a seven percent increase must be made to appear as if the entire program has been denied of funds by the mean, spending-cutting Republicans. I bet if you went to your boss and requested a twelve percent raise and, after a lengthy discussion, you left his office with a seven percent raise, would you be claiming that he cut your pay by five percent? Of course not, but that is what the media and the Democrats use as their measure, if they do not get what they want, whatever they get must be a cut in spending, period. It is all part of the image painting where the Republican must be made to appear as if their main joy in life is going to the zoo and stealing candy from children.

 

There is another item the media is not telling the public. The budget the Republicans are working to put together, it will not take effect until the next fiscal year. The budget that is running the government currently was voted upon and put into effect before President Trump was even elected, let alone sworn into office. The government is currently running on the last budget from President Obama’s administration and the Congress that was replaced by the ineffective one currently bungling their way into oblivion. The Congress and President Trump have not cut spending to a single program this year and there is no budget yet formulated for next year or any year in the future. Everything that has been stated about spending is simply conjecture. Nothing has been cut, nothing has been increased, nothing has been changed one iota and if the Congress does not manage to agree on a budget, then one alternative could be a government shutdown. There is one nice thing about any government shutdown; it will most definitely be blamed on the Republicans whether the Congress or the President is credited with the responsibility. But it simply does not matter that the budget which the government is using is an Obama signed budget which presumably gave the President and the Congress everything that both could accept and seal a deal. That is the budget which the government is running under right now and yet we hear about how Meals with Wheels or Medicaid or Obamacare or any of a thousand other programs are being starved of funding and that places such as Planned Parenthood are being forced to close their doors because they have had their funding cut by the horrible budget in place presumably because President Trump refused to sign any budget with the correct funding. President Trump had not yet signed any budget and, as things appear now, he may never sign anything but continuing resolutions which simply continue the spending, more often than not, at near to the same level.

 

Oh, and when that day comes, if the Republican Congress continues to be as dysfunctional as a television sitcom family, the media, the Democrats, the leftists and social media (especially Twitter so please forgive the pun) will be all a twitter with how this is unprecedented and shows exactly what a dismal failure the Trump Administration has become. For the record as a prediction, if this should become the case and the Senate cannot agree to a budget, we will tell you right now why and who should get all the blame, and it will not be just the Democrats though if they continue to act a single block and never break ranks standing against Trump, theirs is the main reason as they will have simply become rejectionists and there are a few Republican, “Never Trumpist,” rejectionists who should be held for special mention in the blame department. The following Republicans will vote against every budget; Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and John McCain of Arizona, who will claim that a budget is too important to be passed on a strict party line vote and until the Democrats, at least five to ten of them, vote for a budget, he will side with the Democrats. The reason for his choosing a number is because should that number of Democrats support a budget it would pass so he will have to be on the winning side and perhaps, if things work out perfectly, he and a leading Democrat will waltz into the Senate chamber at the final moments and cast their vote together proving bipartisanship. One likely Democrat would be Chuck Schumer of New York. There are a few other probable Republicans who will also reject budgets for the reason that social spending requires more funding and they include potentially Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Rob Portman of Ohio, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Dean Heller of Nevada, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

 

The Encourageables Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Rob Portman of Ohio, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Dean Heller of Nevada, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Rand Paul of Kentucky

The Encourageables

 

Most of these names will not surprise the politically attuned as they realize that these are party loyalists; except for Rand Paul who, along with his father Ron Paul, reject all normative politics and hold everything to their strict Constitutional views and interpretations; who reject Trump as an outsider who does not belong to their little club, their righteous fraternity of the inner circle. These are people who have been in Washington D.C. far too long and consider themselves the protectors of the faith and of the true spirit of the government and its responsibilities to the people and they will decide the rightness of all things and when they are out of balance, they, along with some from amongst the democrats, will set everything to rights without regard to party loyalty. What we have observed over the years is that more often than not the things which need to be set right are more conservative leaning than left leaning proposals. That fits with a theory that the longer anyone spends in Washington D.C. the further left they will drift until there is no difference between a longtime Democrat and a longtime Republican as both will have drifted to the same warm home in the flaming far left.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 28, 2017

What Political Message Have Elections Taught?

 

What we need do is to seek out what politics or which politicians invigorated their electorate and the means and methods they used which proved more effective than the others did. To do this we need to look at elections of the Twenty-First Century starting with George W. Bush and ignoring third party candidates, as that has been the way of things. In the 2000 election, we saw George W. Bush running against Albert Gore. Both of these candidates are so exciting that we can refer to one as watching grass grow and the other as watching paint dry. When it all was over it came down to divining the desire of voters and hanging chads and a Supreme Court decision calling the circus to a close with the winner according to the final count before the bell rang being grass growing, George W. Bush. So, this was politics as it had been in the Twentieth Century, a form of politics which died in this century as it no longer plays in the climate of reality TV such as naked survival, alone in the worst climates on earth and we are waiting for the how long can you stay in a viper pit without being bit, losers are buried. How far is television from the Roman Colosseum?

 

The next election in 2004 we saw George W. Bush running for reelection against John F. Kerry. The most interesting item in this election also kind of explains who won and why. John Kerry’s middle name does not really start with an F, or it starts with an F, ends with an F, and is one letter long which is an F. John Kerry was running for the Senate in Massachusetts and decided that having the initials JFK would really help him sound more like John Fitzgerald Kennedy and gain some of the shine and famous recognition using the same initials as the most popular figure in Massachusetts politics. So, in his normal fashion of faking it, he faked three serious injuries for which he required Band-Aids to get three Purple Hearts within four months which he wrote up the recommendations himself and that got him sent home early, so adding the F to the middle of his name was child’s play for this faker. So, this was an election between grass growing and a liar and a fake who nobody believed or really trusted so grass growing won again, only bigger. Again, this election was old school and boring and nothing to see there either.

 

On we go to the 2008 elections and finally the start with the new age of American politics. Here we have a contest between Barack Hussein Obama and John Sidney McCain. John McCain was extremely competent in carrying on the Republican Party technique of being grass growing, and he did it extremely well, much to his detriment. The Democrat candidate, Barack Obama, was fireworks and all about the politics of you. This is where you are defined by policies which excite the younger voters as if they are excited with your policy positions, they will volunteer and climb the Himalayas if that is required to win. And unlike former generations where the young were not interested in politics, the latest couple of generations are all about policy and politics. They are idea driven and can be caught up in a good campaign if it makes them believe. Barack Obama had the idea of the first Black President which got the left wing all a titter and ready to make history, and for the older voters, it was the making history and proving they were not racist. But the youth, though exited by the mantra of first Black President, required much more. The youth needed to know what it was that Barack Obama was going to stand for and what drove him and were to be his policies. This was where he hit it out of the park. For the most part candidate Obama was whatever you wanted to believe, that was his love too. President Obama was the master manipulator of the thoughts of others. His eloquent and smooth delivery and the wording left everyone painting their own picture onto a blank canvas. Barack Obama masterfully would talk both sides of every issue he talked about leaving the listener to decide what they believed and then it appeared that so did Barack Obama. He was noncommittal talking in double circular ovals and squiggly lines leaving everyone assured that yes was maybe while no was why not and all of it was but wisps of smoke which when one finally emerged dizzied and befuddled they would soon decide that what they heard had to be what they wanted to hear and thus Barack Obama was all things to all people. There were those who realized that he was not standing for anything and they tried to call attention to the con-game being played by Barack Obama and you will never guess what they were called by the mainstream media. You might think they were called, “Racist,” but that would be exactly correct. Any discontent or criticism of Barack Obama was labeled as racist and bigoted thus being able to simply deflect any criticism and parry truthful accusations not allowing anything negative to be applied thus we witnessed the initial settling of the whole of the media with the smallest of exceptions aligned as the supportive propaganda arm for the Democrat Party. So, in the end we had a contrast between watching grass grow against a three-ring circus advertised as the greatest show on Earth. Guess which won. Nope, no watching grass grow, this time that lost and lost big. But do not let that shake the Republican Party because in 2012, they gave us watching grass grow once again in the form of Mitt Romney and got a repeat performance of 2008, they lost. So we had Barack Obama two in a row using excitement and selling political positions or the appearance thereof.

 

So, here we come to 2016 and all kinds of insanity. The Republicans came out with seventeen candidates. One was Jeb Bush who had more campaign funds than all the rest of the candidates combined. He was such a great example of watching grass grow that he never got past the first couple of primaries. The remaining candidates were various types of grass growing, some latex paint drying along with enamel paint and some good old oil paint drying, one serious former CEO, one world famous neurosurgeon and a circus barker. The nice thing was all of these candidates talked their best on policies and were pretty much all the same; well, except the circus barker who had policies mixed with ridiculous statements and tone of controversies. Guess who won? You got it, the circus barker won.

 

Meanwhile, over at the Democrat Party there were only two candidates, one was a traditional candidate and the other a wild eyed, far left, older politician who often screamed out policy positions and really wound up the young supporters and he was excited right along with his youthful supporters. This was an interesting primary where the wild, screaming policy-wonk started off really slow but caught fire about one-third the way into the primaries and with plenty of time to close. The standard and favored candidate started fine but bogged down in malaise and lack of feelings and absolutely little to no policy positions. Actually, this candidate spent much of the time fighting accusations of mishandling e-mails or misconduct of different varieties which questioned their character and trustworthiness. The wild leftist was closing and the supporters were getting wildly excited thinking they just might have a chance to win it all when the word came down, there were even more super delegates which consists of Senators and Representatives from Congress, members of the Democratic National Committee and notable Democrats, including such as former presidents and vice presidents and Democrats of note. This came to contain sufficient, apparently, numbers to assure that the conventional candidate wins because the Democrats already had their rallying cry, elect the first woman President.

 

The Democrats had zeroed in on one of the things which had won for President Obama, the theme of being the first Black President, thus Hillary would win as the first Woman President. They ignored the excitement the youth had for what they believed was a candidate who understood their concerns and knew the policies they desired. The Republican candidate who was cast as a clown and a carnival barker by the media, virtually all media uniformly could but laugh at candidate Donald Trump. So the scene is set, the stage lights on and the show begins. The campaign was one which was more incongruous, bizarre and incoherent as any we have ever witnessed, including the one in which we were participants as third party candidate for the District Eight in Maryland’s Seat in the United States Congress.

 

In this one, we had Hillary doing her best possible job of character assassination against Trump while he left the candidate assassination to the media and the realities of her history. Trump also relied on the media to carry his talking points as he mixed them with outrageous statements. The barker did do one thing different, and that was he talked purely message and positions on the economy, immigrations, terrorism and rebuilding the country to lead the free world again and he stuck with that message at every campaign rally which he did almost constantly. The other spent their time accusing the other of being unserious as a candidate who did not deserve to be President while she was due the office as the first Woman President plus she had done all the right things to be owed the Presidency. There was one report which nailed the reality and why Donald Trump won and this theory was, those who supported him ignored his Tweets and listened to his positions while the media ignored his positions and believed his Tweets.

 

Conclusion time for what does it take to be successful as a Presidential candidate in the Twenty First Century. The simple way to put it, you need to concentrate on message, message, message. The youth vote is the secret as they are also the volunteers which can carry a campaign. The youth in this generation realize that leadership of the nations, and possibly the world, is important and that it is your beliefs and positions on critical themes such as the economy, foreign policies and interactions which includes immigration, foreign interventions and the wisdom and what reasons it would take to cause the United States to send troops, what one would do in any situation which required an American response such as if a foreign nations crossed a “red line” or threatened an ally. These are questions they want to hear about but they also have some dangerous ideas themselves. Many youth still are in the grips of the socialist, anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, rejectionist theories they were pumped with by their professors in university.

 

Many have not experienced sufficient situations in life to understand the long-term effects of some of their favorite pet policies. The most dangerous of these is fighting income inequity which they were told is a great evil. There is an easy way to point out the destructive effect of this idea, and that is to compare a ditch digger (which will soon be a robotic position along with almost all minimum wage positions) with a surgeon, we like to use brain surgeon. These positions would never be considered to be worthy of receiving equal pay thus are two positions which contain a huge income inequality. Much of income inequality is driven by knowledge, experience and responsibilities. These students have been told of CEO’s who make millions of dollars a year for making obvious decisions, or at least that is the way it is presented and their professors love to point out how the students themselves could make these same decisions given the opportunity. That is a lie as these professors have little if any idea what decisions managers make and there is a simple and necessary policy about managers. Managers need to earn close to or preferably more than those they manage and a CEO manages people who make six and seven figure incomes, make decisions which concern billions of dollars, make decisions which effect thousands of employees and with one swipe of the pen can cause ten thousand people to be fired or two thousand to be hired, all this also decides the health of their company. Often you will hear of a CEO who comes to a company, fires one third of the employees, closes three of the seven manufacturing plants, ends all but four of the company’s products and loses one-billion dollars the first year and only makes three-hundred million the next year and was lauded as a genius. This CEO was brought back to his company and where we may have a few points slightly wrong, the losses and gains in profits are accurate and the man saved the company, his name was Steve Jobs and the company was Apple.

 

What sounds like a failure may be an intelligent realignment as the slimming of a company to make it more competitive. Another person may have added employees and appeared to grow a company by making twice as many numbers of the same products but as sales collapsed that year he was a disaster. Another myth is that companies are in business to employ people. Wrong, the company is in business to make profits for their stockholders and that might require automation and reduction in workforce as McDonalds is in the process of trying to do. This idea of a $15.00/hr. minimum wage sounds wonderful unless you are seeking a starting position job because compared to current jobs, almost half of minimum wage jobs might disappear should the minimum wage be jumped by so much. Raising the minimum wage simply prices any number of jobs right out of the job market. How does that happen, don’t the companies have to keep somebody doing that job. Well, yes, and let me give you a great example. We will assume we own a shoe store which has a decent business and we have four full time sales people and five part time sales people and a stock person who also sweeps the stock room, vacuums after the store closes and keeps the stock room straight. Now some goody-goody decides to up the minimum wage by fifty percent. Well, now one of the full time sales people, the one closing the store which will often be the owner who will run the vacuum and clean the bathroom and runs the stock and there is no longer a stock person. We would also let at least one part time sales person go, the one with the lowest sales average and possibly one full time sales person and the owner would work opening to closing and might have their wife or one of their children work some hours when business peaked around Christmas. Now how did the raising of the minimum wage help the stock person? Are they making more money or are they making less.

 

What will almost doubling minimum wage do? Things have consequences and many of these consequences are not taught in university, they are learned in life and life is a very demanding instructor. Those of us who are fortunate never have life teaching them many lessons; those are truly blessed people who need to be thankful for their life. Automation and robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are going to alter the job market drastically and the higher the minimum wage is placed the faster many jobs will disappear. For a good example one need look no further than auto manufacturing. There used to be near to if not over one hundred people on an assembly line which made maybe twenty cars a day way back when. Now there are less than twenty people on an entire assembly line including sub-assemblies which we did not count in the above description and these lines can put out twenty cars an hour and within the next twenty years the number will drop to under ten and even five while even more cars will be produced. This is reality and as we know the ATM machines led to less tellers at the bank and the ones there are usually bored stiff and many banks have management level people who are also assigned to do teller position work when volume required such. Also, ditch diggers have been replaced by a backhoe, twenty diggers, gone. This will become true for every job even to lawyers and auditors as AI takes ever-greater powers.

 

ATM vs. Bank Teller

ATM vs. Bank Teller

 

Some jobs have been altered drastically by modern technology. Auto mechanics now must be trained on diagnostic equipment and specialized tools and how to handle electronic ignitions and make adjustments through programming the modules in the engine and elsewhere. Wrenches, well they are still required as are screw drivers but hammers are a thing of the past, well, not completely, just do not get caught adjusting anything with a hammer if you like your job. Trains no longer need anyone to drive them as they are becoming automated, even the subways as they modernize. There will soon be automated trucks driving the roads and there will be automated cab drivers and in our lifetimes, we should live the necessary twenty to thirty years, all cars will be automated and selecting human driver will have your car emit a signal and do not be surprised if you get additional scrutiny by police just waiting for you to make a human mistake. Eventually driving a car will be illegal which will make life interesting. Your windows will be computer screens which can show you anything except where your car is going, as they do not wish to scare you to death. Fully automated roads will have no traffic signals and the cars will speak to one another and miss each other by millimeters and it will presumably be safer than it is now. Things are going to start becoming unrecognizable and for many our age it already has. When the AI gets to the point that it can design the next generation AI and can design the manufacture of the next generation AI we had best practice our best puppy dog begging eyes and being really cute as our place will be as the robot’s pet. Hopefully somewhere they will place in the robotic basic program along with the twenty (the original were three) Isaac Asimov Laws (but I-robot showed the problem with his laws so we are guessing it will take a few more) includes one which requires every robot to have at least one human pet it cares for and that the number of human pets is a status symbol. The changes are coming and humans are soon to be as obsolete as dogs presumably are to the running of any city, we may require a few but those will be replaced with robot dogs real soon.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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