Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bed Bug News ~ Use Malathion!

From the AP:

US grapples with bedbugs, misuse of pesticides

The problem has gotten so bad that the Environmental Protection Agency warned this month against the indoor use of chemicals meant for the outside. The agency also warned of an increase in pest control companies and others making "unrealistic promises of effectiveness or low cost."

The Agency may be warning against it, but if you have bedbugs that is exactly what you should be doing. Buy some Malathion. They still sell it. It was used for years against bed bugs indooors. It is still recommended by the World Health Organization. See this.

Ohio authorities, struggling against widespread infestations in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and other cities, are pleading with EPA to approve the indoor use of the pesticide propoxur, which the agency considers a probable carcinogen and banned for in-home use in 2007. About 25 other states are supporting Ohio's request for an emergency exemption.

The Federal Government is to blame for Bed Bugs coming back, and they won't let you do anything about it. A majority of states support teh repeal of the EPA ban of propoxur, but it doesn't matter to the EPA. So buy some Malathion instead. Get some at Lowes or the Home Depot.

Here is an article from Jonathan Strong at the Daily Caller:

Is the EPA to blame for the bed bug ‘epidemic’?
By Jonathan Strong - The Daily Caller

Eradication can take months and cost thousands of dollars. There’s also the stigma — many high-end New York residences, for instance, keep their bed bug infestations secret to avoid embarrassment.

But why are bed bugs back? Though they’ve been sucking humans’ blood since at least ancient Greece, bed bugs became virtually extinct in America following the invention of pesticide DDT.

There were almost no bed bugs in the United States between World War II and the mid-1990s.

Around when bed bugs started their resurgence, Congress passed a major pesticides law in 1996 and the Clinton EPA banned several classes of chemicals that had been effective bed bug killers.

The debate isn’t over long-banned DDT, since modern bed bugs have developed a tolerance for that chemical. But in the pre-1996 regime, experts say, bed bugs were “collateral damage” from broader and more aggressive use of now-banned pesticides like Malathion and Propoxur.

And now that we have banned our most effective course of action, Bed Bugs are becoming more resistant to the remaining available pesticides:

the economic impact to victims can be severe. In many cases, victims discard most or all of their furniture and other belongings in a desperate push to rid themselves of the problem. There are extermination costs and expensive preventative measures like mattress encasements as well.

Compounding the spread of bed bugs are several factors other than EPA regulations, including the increased levels of travel and growing resistance in wild bed bug populations to the pesticides that are still allowed by the government.

According to research at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, academic headquarters for studying the six-legged beast, some strains of bed bugs can survive, zombie-like, for up to 16 days after being directly sprayed with currently used pesticides.

Do yourself a favor and break out the Malathion! Don't listen to the government!

If you consider that in most instances insects are intended to die shortly after coming into brief contact with pesticide residue, that’s pretty dramatic.

Meanwhile, tests at the University of Kentucky show the EPA-banned pesticides are still deadly effective at bed bug mass murder.

Notably, pest controllers can still rid your house or apartment building of bed bugs. It’s just way more expensive and time consuming since they’re using nerf guns instead of nukes.

Malathion is still deadly effective at bed bug mass murder! You can buy it at the hardware store for outside use. It is better than anything your exterminator is allowed to use. Call an exterminator and expect to pay hundreds or dollars for multiple treatments with a nerf gun, or just pay $8 for some Malathion at Lowes and kill them all in one application. It really is that simple.

Previously on the Cesspool:

Malathion Will Kill Your Bed Bugs!

Cincinnati ~ Bedbug Capital of the World! ~ Blame the EPA!

. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Spank Your Kids and they could be much better off.

American "Islamophobia" -- the MSM/left-liberal contribution - Sometime Powerline hits it just right. It was the first blog I ever read and I still read it today.

If the mainstream media promoted moderate Muslims, Americans would be thinking Muslims are moderate. When they trot out people who say that America was to blame for 9/11 and treat them as moderate, then Americans could skew their opinion.

One Liberal Voice Dares to Say, Cut the Budget

This shocked me coming from the New York Times:

The coalition bases its case on the idea that Social Security is actually in fine fiscal shape, since it has amassed a pile of Treasury Bills — often referred to as i.o.u.’s — in a dedicated trust fund. This is true enough, except that the only way for the government to actually make good on these i.o.u.’s is to issue mountains of new debt or to take the money from elsewhere in the federal budget, or perhaps impose significant tax increases — none of which seem like especially practical options for the long term. So this is sort of like saying that you’re rich because your friend has promised to give you 10 million bucks just as soon as he wins the lottery.

Amen to Matt Bai on that. Sphere: Related Content

Health Insurance is a Human Right!

From Cato:

Making a Joke of Human Rights
Posted by Michael F. Cannon

Earlier this year, Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama signed legislation that threatens U.S. residents with prison if they fail to purchase health insurance.

This week, his administration told the United Nations that this legislation shows the United States is making progress on human rights.

Now that is progress. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Malathion Will Kill Your Bed Bugs!

I would like to preface this post with a disclaimer: Using Malathion indoors is not allowed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. I don't want to advocate breaking US Law in a way that could get me into trouble. So this post is for all of my readers who live outside of the United States. For those readers, I would advocate that thy buy some Malathion and use it to kill their bed bugs.


I bought some today that looks like this:

Ortho makes some that looks like this:

Malathion is BETTER THAN DDT!

Here is a Scientific Study of Malathion & Bedbugs. It compares Malathion to DDT.
The conclusion? Malathion will kill all of your Bedbugs!

The World Health Organization advocates using Malathion against Bedbugs.

Table 4.1
Residual insecticides for use against bedbugs
Insecticide Concentration in spray (%)
malathion 2.0
fenitrothion 0.5–1.0
propoxur 2.0
carbaryl 1.0
diazinon 0.5
bendiocarb 0.2–0.3
fenchlorvos 1.0
pirimiphos methyl 1.0
propetamphos 0.5–1.0
permethrin 0.5
cyfluthrin 0.01
deltamethrin 0.005
lambdacyhalothrin 0.005

On May 12th, of 2000, The New York Times reported that the E.P.A. Finds Malathion Poses Low Risk

Here is a letter to the Editor to the New York Times from Gilbert L. Ross,ROSS, M.D.

It is dated May 16, 2000 and it notes that Gilbert Ross is "medical director of the American Council on Science and Health".

As a public health scientist, I applaud you for pointing out that malathion poses ''no health threat to people'' (news article, May 12).

In its new report, the Environmental Protection Agency, generally no friend to pesticides, agrees with the overwhelming body of scientific evidence. While malathion is possibly a threat to mice at very high doses, the trace levels to which New Yorkers would be exposed via spraying should cause no alarm.

Why then do we still hesitate to use our most potent weapon to prevent the recurrence of a potentially lethal mosquito-borne epidemic? Could it be because of pressure from activist groups, whose agendas are based on unfounded fear, not science?


New York, May 12, 2000

The writer is medical director of the American Council on Science and Health.

More Times Articles:

Pesticide Spray Is Said to Pose Almost No Risk To Humans (1999)

Malathion, a pesticide commonly used in mosquito control programs, is the compound that the city Department of Health is using in aerial spraying to stop the spread of encephalitis. First registered in the United States in 1956, malathion is one of the most widely used home and garden pesticides and is also used to control pests in agriculture, according to reports from the Internet site of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Dr. Neal L. Cohen, the city's Health Commissioner, released a prepared statement yesterday that said that the spraying ''poses virtually no health risk to humans or pets.''

THE BIG CITY; Public Beliefs, Global Politics And Pesticides

How about this one from 1986?

Q&A (1986)

Q. Is the jingle ''Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!'' just a silly rhyme, or do bed bugs really exist?

A. Dr. Stanley G. Green, an entomologist with the Pennsylvania State University Extension Service, said there is an entire family of insects called bed bugs that feed on the blood of birds and animals. These insects are oval, chestnut brown in color, flattened from top to bottom, and about one-fourth of an inch in length. The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius L., attacks man. Bed bugs are active only at night, usually just before dawn, Dr. Green said. When only a few bed bugs are present, they live close to human sleeping areas, he said, but when numerous they can be found in many rooms of the house. Their bite produces irritating itching and burning sensations. The insects feed rapidly, becoming engorged in less than 10 minutes. The act of biting is not usually felt, but later there is an allergic reaction to the protein found in the bed bug's saliva. A colorless lump develops at the bite location. Discomfort from bed bug bites may last a week or more. To get rid of them, Dr. Green suggests using malathion or pyrethrin insecticide in upholstered furniture, cracks and crevices in floors, walls, baseboards, in the seams of mattresses and bed coils, and behind wall pictures and loose wallpaper.

Not only does Dr. Green suggest using Malathion, he suggests spraying it all over the place...cracks and crevices, on your furniture, on the floors and walls, on your mattress! Dr. Green wants you to spray the holy hell out of your place with Malathion and you will be just fine.

Malathion was banned in 1996 for INDOOR use. It is still used outdoors and it is still available for purchase at Lowes, The Home Depot, other department stores, and even on the internet. I do not sell Malathion, nor do I own stock in any company that makes or sells Malathion.

To recap:

Malathion was developed in the 1950s and used for decades.

Malathion is more effective than DDT against Bed Bugs. It is probably the most effective chemical pesticide against Bed Bugs that we have.

The Who Health Organization recommends Malathion against Bed Bugs.



. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cincinnati ~ Bedbug Capital of the World! ~ Blame the EPA!

I don't know if it is Bed Bug or Bedbug, but I do know that our fair city has some new citizens in the last few years.

Time Magazine:

For reasons still unknown, bedbugs really seem to like the state of Ohio. The problem is so dire in Cincinnati that some people with infested apartments have resorted to sleeping on the streets.

Cincinnati created a Bedbug Remediation Commission in 2007 and, like other local and national governments around the world, the city is trying to mobilize strategies to control infestations of the resilient insects, which can hide in almost any crack or crevice and can go a year or more without eating. On Aug. 10, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a consumer alert about off-label bedbug treatments, warning in particular of the dangers of using outdoor pesticides in homes. The Ohio Department of Agriculture has mounted a more unusual response to the crisis: it petitioned the EPA for an exemption to allow in-home use of propoxur, a pesticide and neurotoxin banned in the 1990s out of concern for its effects on children.

The EPA doesn't want people using off label products, or products that the EPA has already banned. The fact that the EPA has banned our most effective pesticides is something at the heart of the problem. The Ohio Department of Agriculture realizes this, so they petitioned the EPA to remove the ban. The EPA refused.

This is how the article finishes:

For home infestations, the EPA recommends reducing clutter, sealing cracks and crevices, vacuuming often, drying infested clothes at high heat and using a special mattress cover so you can sleep tight without letting the bedbugs bite. Travelers should inspect hotel mattresses, box springs and headboards for the pests and the inklike streaks of their droppings.

In other words, a dose of vigilance — if not outright paranoia — is the best preventive.

"We are looking at what we did a hundred years ago," says entomologist Miller. "We need to develop an individual consciousness, like we had then. You should think twice about leaving your purse on a seat in the movie theater and storing your kids' college furniture in the basement when they come home. We need to be conscious that anybody from a group-living situation may come back with bedbugs."

What a great forward-thinking solution. We need to look at we did 100 years ago! That is quite telling. Also, don't trust other people or other families! That is just great. Bedbugs hit the black population harder than the white population, so make sure if you are white not to let you kids play with black kids, let alone a sleep over. I can see this is going to go over real well. Why not just give the mostly poor people with bed bug infestations the proper chemicals and advice on how to use them?

Some more articles:

Bed Bug Battle Escalates
Crisis Meeting Held In Cincinnati

Many experts said the U.S. EPA has the ultimate weapon by bringing back insecticides, like DDT, that got rid of the problem decades ago, but were banned due to environmental concerns.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati created a bedbug remediation commission three years ago that's overseeing all crisis meetings with federal officials as they hope to come up with a solution.

That article talks about infested hotels in Cincinnati. The headline should be "DON'T TRAVEL TO CINCINNATI!!!!" Meanwhile, Cincinnati created a commission on bedbugs three years ago and nothing has been accomplished. That doesn't surprise me. If you have bedbugs you have to get rid of them yourself. I will teach you how later.

Interesting that the article brought up the EPA's banning of pesticides, which is the real reason that bedbugs are back.

Bedbugs becoming major U.S. nuisance

A plague of bedbugs spreading across the United States prompted a federal conference and calls for vigilance by the hotel industry.

The nation's worst cities for bedbugs are Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago; Denver and Detroit, according to data from Orkin Pest Control reported by the Detroit Free Press.

It is great to be a leader in something. I hate being on any list that involves Detroit.

From ABC News: Eeek! Are Bedbugs Becoming National Security Issue?

At least five states have called on the Department of Defense pleading for money to get rid of the pesky bloodsuckers.

Cincinnati is the latest city forced to deal with the tiny reddish-brown insects that are mostly found near one's bed in cracks and crevices. These scratch-inducing pests can even live without feeding for 18 months.

"Hopefully, we're going to see more resources devoted to things such as educational things, resources to perhaps to help pay for treatment," said Camille Jones, assistant health commissioner for the Cincinnati Health Department.

The state of Ohio was so desperate that it petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to allow in-home use of a pesticide called propoxur, which was banned out of concern for its effect on children. That request was denied.

On Wednesday, the EPA, decided the problem was serious enough to warrant hosting a meeting in Columbus, Ohio, today to conjure up a solution. And while bedbugs are not yet a national security issue, the meeting did include representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Defense.

The bugs were eradicated from the U.S. around the end of World War II, but in the last decade have been making a comeback.

Why and how were the bugs eradicated from the US? I know why. Pesticides! Then the EPA banned the pesticides and now we have the bugs back. If you want to get rid of the bugs, give us back the pesticides!

Do we really need the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, The Center for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency? Do we really need a increase in Federal Funding? Is that always the answer? Think about the salaries of all these people on the taxpayer dole sitting around on their commissions. I bet they don't have bedbugs. What a waste of time and our tax dollars. Just give us back the ammo for the gun. For the love of God, release the Lions!

Bedbugs have forced people out of their apartments in Lexington, Ky.

In Fort Worth, Texas, the city housing authority spent half a million dollars in an unsuccessful attempt to rid an apartment building of the pests.

Also, in Seattle, calls to exterminators are up 70 percent in the last two years.

But it seems as though the Big Apple has seen the brunt of the bedbug attack, with the city receiving nearly 11,000 complaints last year.

Just this week, one of the largest movie theatres in New York City, AMC Empire 25 in Times Square, announced that it was closing its doors to deal with an infestation problem. It since has reopened.

Look at all the taxpayer money they are spending with no credible results. Pesticides are cheap. Give us the pesticides and then go away and bother somebody else on the public dole.

Homeowners also can choose extermination, but it's a process that easily could cost anywhere from $800 to $1,200.

No it won't, not if you have cheap and effective pesticides. What happened to Dursban? What happened to Diazinon? Those two products were banned in the last decade. DDT was banned by the EPA in 1972. The EPA came into existence and opened its doors on December 2nd, 1970. The first thing they did was go after pesticides and they have been doing it ever since. Now that the evidence is in I am sure we have gone way too far. It is time for them to back off. People are suffering because of the EPA. I am not even going to go into the millions in Africa that die of Malaria (more than AIDS). This is about common sense policy for suffering Americans.

Here is local News 5 on the story as well:

Time Dubs Cincinnati 'Bedbug Capital Of U.S.'
DOD Experts Called To Ohio To Help Combat Problem

I am going to put together a post on how to deal with Bedbugs. You can kill them and it is easier than you think.

.. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Forbes 535 v. the US Congress

This post is a blast from the past. I remember reading it and thinking about it and from time to time it crosses my mind. So I thought I would just put it out there.

This post is stolen from Robert Lawson, Bengals Fan, and Econ professor at Auburn. WHO DEY! It was posted at the Division of Labor blog on October 1st, 2008.

Forbes 535 v. the US Congress

Comparing the concentration of financial power in the hands of the 535 members of the United States Congress with the concentration of financial power of the 535 richest people in the United States.

According to Forbes, the 400 richest people had a combined net worth of $1.57 trillion. Let's simply assume the next 135 richest people had the same net worth, though they surely didn't, as the 400th person--$1.3 billion each. That brings our estimate of the combined net wealth of the richest 535 Americans to $1.75 trillion.

But wait, this is net worth, which is a stock, not income, which is a flow. So let's figure the annual income flow from the ownership of $1.75 trillion to be 10% of that amount. (I don't know if this number is high or low. On the one hand really rich folks probably are good at making high rates of return. On the other hand much of that $1.75 in net worth is likely to be speculative, consumptive, and/or illiquid assets like real estate, yachts, artwork, etc where the return is difficult to determine without selling the item. It turns out, you could double or triple this estimated return and still make the point I'm going to make.) Our estimate therefore is that the richest 535 Americans have about $175 billion (10% of $1.75 trillion) to spend on an annual basis.

Ok, let's compare this group with the 535 members of the US Congress. According to the latest Economic Report of the President, the annual outlays of the federal government amounted to $2.73 trillion in fiscal year 2007.

So I estimate that the 535 members of the US Congress enjoy over 15 times the financial power of the 535 richest Americans.

But do note how charitable I am being here. Unlike the 535 richest Americans, the US Congress also reserves the right to regulate the hell out of practically ever aspect of our lives. Furthermore, unlilke the 535 richest Americans, who hardly know each other and who certainly never hold meetings to coordinate their decisions, the US Congress does in fact meet regularly to decide exactly how this vast financial power is to be spent. Furthermore, I have failed to say anything about the various state legislatures in the land who annually spend an additional $1.9 trillion.

Why do we worry so much about the supposed concentration of economic power in the hands of "the rich", a group of strangers who don't coordinate their actions in any way, but care so little about the vastly greater concentration of economic power in the hands of Congress?

Brilliant. I extend a thank you and a WHO DEY! to Robert Lawson, who provided today's blast from the past... Sphere: Related Content

Retirement Risk by Arnold Kling

King Kling!

Retirement Risk

Money Shot:

For any given level of output, more consumption by one group (say, people over 65) is going to reduce what can be consumed by everyone else. As the ratio of people over 65 to everyone else goes up, this increases the ratio of state-confiscated income to total income required to keep Social Security and Medicare going. Perhaps to Cohn, this higher confiscation rate represents a kinder and gentler society. But it may not feel kind and gentle to those who earn incomes and have them confiscated.

Don't know how you get around it. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Hope?

Race, Wrongs, and Remedies: Group Justice in the 21st Century
by Amy Wax

What Hope?
A book review by John McWhorter

What this means, Wax points out, is that scrupulous recountings of the historical reasons for black problems are of no significant use in finding solutions. She notes:

The black family was far more stable 50 years ago, when conditions for blacks were far worse than they are today. Black out-of-wedlock births started to climb and marriage rates to fall around 1960, long after slavery was abolished and just as the civil rights movement gained momentum. Perhaps a more nuanced explanation for the recent deterioration is that the legacy of slavery made the black family more vulnerable to the cultural subversions of the 1960s. But what does this tell us that is useful today? The answer is: nothing.

One of the most sobering observations made by Wax comes in the form of a disarmingly simple calculus presented first by Isabel Sawhill and Christopher Jencks. If you finish high school and keep a job without having children before marriage, you will almost certainly not be poor. Period. I have repeatedly felt the air go out of the room upon putting this to black audiences. No one of any political stripe can deny it. It is human truth on view. In 2004, the poverty rate among blacks who followed that formula was less than 6 percent, as opposed to the overall rate of 24.7 percent. Even after hearing the earnest musings about employers who are less interested in people with names like Tomika, no one can gainsay the simple truth of that advice. Crucially, neither bigotry nor even structural racism can explain why an individual does not live up to it.

This data should be taught in every public school. Everyone can choose not be poor, you simply have to follow life's little guidelines. Graduate high school. Everyone can do that if they apply themselves. Don't have kids before you get married. Get a job and keep it. These are not impossible things for any American to do. It isn't that hard when you play by the rules. Sphere: Related Content

Bankrupt Nation

U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don't Even Know: Laurence Kotlikoff

How can the fiscal gap be so enormous?

Simple. We have 78 million baby boomers who, when fully retired, will collect benefits from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that, on average, exceed per-capita GDP. The annual costs of these entitlements will total about $4 trillion in today’s dollars. Yes, our economy will be bigger in 20 years, but not big enough to handle this size load year after year.

This is what happens when you run a massive Ponzi scheme for six decades straight, taking ever larger resources from the young and giving them to the old while promising the young their eventual turn at passing the generational buck.

Herb Stein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under U.S. President Richard Nixon, coined an oft-repeated phrase: “Something that can’t go on, will stop.” True enough. Uncle Sam’s Ponzi scheme will stop. But it will stop too late.

And it will stop in a very nasty manner. The first possibility is massive benefit cuts visited on the baby boomers in retirement. The second is astronomical tax increases that leave the young with little incentive to work and save. And the third is the government simply printing vast quantities of money to cover its bills.

Worse Than Greece

Most likely we will see a combination of all three responses with dramatic increases in poverty, tax, interest rates and consumer prices. This is an awful, downhill road to follow, but it’s the one we are on. And bond traders will kick us miles down our road once they wake up and realize the U.S. is in worse fiscal shape than Greece.

and this

Not In 25 Years, Social Security Is Bankrupt Now

For the first time in its history the Social Security program will pay out more money than it takes in. This watershed event will occur this year, to the tune of $41 Billion dollars. Under any rational accounting standards this makes the Social Security program bankrupt. And that's right now, not in 25 years when the so-called Trust Fund becomes insolvent.

You see, most pension programs hold income producing assets in their Trust Funds. Stocks, bonds, real estate, oil and gas partnerships, that sort of thing. A fully funded pension program owns enough of those assets to pay its liabilities even if the company closes its doors and not a penny more of new money comes in from current employees.

Social Security plays by a different set of rules enshrined under the New Deal and Great Society programs. These are the same rules that landed Bernie Madoff in jail. Although the Social Security system has been regularly taking in billions for decades and socking it into its Trust Fund just like a normal pension plan, Congress has just as regularly been draining the money out for current spending. All of the money collected from every American's paycheck throughout all of our careers is now gone. In its place are not stocks, bonds, real estate, and oil and gas partnership. In its place are IOUs from Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel, and Barney Frank. $2.5 Trillion dollars worth of IOUs.

Speaking of Bankrupt, lets look at the Chicago Way (thanks to Gordon Gekko):

Illinois owes nearly 2,000 organizations $100,000 or more.

I think I read somewhere that Illinois is paying bills at around 255 days. They don't have the money so they keep pushing paying bills on time. At some point the whole system is going to bust.

Illinois’ total bill backlog was $4.2 billion as of Friday. The state also must repay $2.25 billion, plus interest, in short-term loans it took out in May and August, Knowles said.

The loans are due starting in March and must be fully repaid by early June, putting the state’s total backlog at more than $6 billion.

“We (the comptroller’s office) have tried to work closely with those who are owed money across the state to address payment emergencies, but when a bill backlog exists that is as large as the state of Illinois’, it makes it very difficult to address even emergency situations,” Knowles said.

“We would love to pay every bill as soon as it arrives at the office, but unfortunately the revenues do not exist to be able to do that. We are doing our best to pay bills with the limited resources we have.”

The collapse is going to be spectacular.

The American way of life is about to change. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Proud Racist History of Labor Unions

David Henderson at EconLog quotes Morgan Reynolds today:

I do have an answer to this positive question: what is the origin of national origin labels? In the United States, it's labor union racism. Here's what Morgan Reynolds wrote in his Concise Encyclopedia of Economics article, "Labor Unions":

Economist Ray Marshall, although a prounion secretary of labor under President Jimmy Carter, made his academic reputation by documenting how unions excluded blacks from membership in the 1930s and 1940s. Marshall also wrote of incidents in which union members assaulted black workers hired to replace them during strikes. During the 1911 strike against the Illinois Central, noted Marshall, whites killed two black strikebreakers and wounded three others at McComb, Mississippi. He also noted that white strikers killed ten black firemen in 1911 because the New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railroad had granted them equal seniority. Not surprisingly, therefore, black leader Booker T. Washington opposed unions all his life, and W. E. B. DuBois called unions the greatest enemy of the black working class. Another interesting fact: the "union label" was started in the 1880s to proclaim that a product was made by white rather than yellow (Chinese) hands.

As Jonah Goldberg has noted, people on the left have a short memory. They are also usually the first ones to claim racism. Sphere: Related Content

Around the horn

Across Texas, 60,000 babies of noncitizens get U.S. birthright

Between 2001 and 2009, births to illegal immigrant women totaled 542,152 in Texas alone.

Illegal aliens account for 13 percent of DUI arrests in Prince William County, Va.

That is just Virginia

How public worker pensions are too rich for New York's - and America's - blood

That is a story that bears repeating, and repeating, and repeating....

Minorities will be New American Majority by 2050

"More of the country is going to be like California," said William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution. Minorities make up 57% of the population in California.

"In California, minorities make up 72% of those under age 15."

I wonder if much of the country will also be bankrupt like California...

Compare that to the 1960 Census Numbers:

California 1960 Census Totals

White Population: 14,455,280 (92.0%)

Black Population: 883,861 (5.6%)

Other Races: 378,133 (2.4%)

Demographics is destiny. How will this country change during your life when the rest of the country starts looking like California?

I was born in the 1960s. A state that was 92% white now has 72% minorities in the under 15 demographic. During one persons lifetime is not a gradual change, that is more like a radical change. We talk about immigrants assimilating over generations, but so much happens so fast. If you come from Mexico to California today you can live in a hispanic community and speak Spannish your whole life. The odds are you won't feel out of place or out of your culture at all, but the white people would. Sphere: Related Content

Michael P. Fleischer is not hiring.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Why I'm Not Hiring
When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally's pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits.

Meet Sally (not her real name; details changed to preserve privacy). Sally is a terrific employee, and she happens to be the median person in terms of base pay among the 83 people at my little company in New Jersey, where we provide audio systems for use in educational, commercial and industrial settings. She's been with us for over 15 years. She's a high school graduate with some specialized training. She makes $59,000 a year—on paper. In reality, she makes only $44,000 a year because $15,000 is taken from her thanks to various deductions and taxes, all of which form the steep, sad slope between gross and net pay.

Before that money hits her bank, it is reduced by the $2,376 she pays as her share of the medical and dental insurance that my company provides. And then the government takes its due. She pays $126 for state unemployment insurance, $149 for disability insurance and $856 for Medicare. That's the small stuff. New Jersey takes $1,893 in income taxes. The federal government gets $3,661 for Social Security and another $6,250 for income tax withholding. The roughly $13,000 taken from her by various government entities means that some 22% of her gross pay goes to Washington or Trenton. She's lucky she doesn't live in New York City, where the toll would be even higher.

Employing Sally costs plenty too. My company has to write checks for $74,000 so Sally can receive her nominal $59,000 in base pay. Health insurance is a big, added cost: While Sally pays nearly $2,400 for coverage, my company pays the rest—$9,561 for employee/spouse medical and dental. We also provide company-paid life and other insurance premiums amounting to $153. Altogether, company-paid benefits add $9,714 to the cost of employing Sally.

Then the federal and state governments want a little something extra. They take $56 for federal unemployment coverage, $149 for disability insurance, $300 for workers' comp and $505 for state unemployment insurance. Finally, the feds make me pay $856 for Sally's Medicare and $3,661 for her Social Security.

When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally's pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits. Bottom line: Governments impose a 33% surtax on Sally's job each year.

Because my company has been conscripted by the government and forced to serve as a tax collector, we have lost control of a big chunk of our cost structure. Tax increases, whether cloaked as changes in unemployment or disability insurance, Medicare increases or in any other form can dramatically alter our financial situation. With government spending and deficits growing as fast as they have been, you know that more tax increases are coming—for my company, and even for Sally too.

I love it when an employer breaks down the actual costs of doing business and explains it to the masses. Sometimes just a simply explanation of the facts can tell you a lot.

I am a big supporter of the Fair Tax, which is a proposed plan to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, scrap the income tax and fund this country with a progressive consumption tax.

I haven't argued here much about the Fair Tax because I think our main problem is spending anyway, not taxes. Any political party can raise or lower taxes, neither political party has had the balls to cut the size and scope of government. I would like to free Michael P. Fleicher from having to worry about all those government regulations and tax laws and free him to just concentrate on running his business.

He also makes a great point about employer provided health insurance:

Companies have also been pressed into serving as providers of health insurance. In a saner world, health insurance would be something that individuals buy for themselves and their families, just as they do with auto insurance. Now, adding to the insanity, there is ObamaCare.

Every year, we negotiate a renewal to our health coverage. This year, our provider demanded a 28% increase in premiums—for a lesser plan. This is in part a tax increase that the federal government has co-opted insurance providers to collect. We had never faced an increase anywhere near this large; in each of the last two years, the increase was under 10%.

We really do need to create a more free markter for insurance by doing away with employer provided health care. It shouldn't be a burden on every business to do this and it takes them away from their core competancy. If 300,000,000 Americans had to find their own insurance the insurance market would be a lot more competative. That doesn't even address the level of service. When you have a loved one in the hospital it is hard to get good service or answers to your questions. The doctors like to make rounds at 5:00 in the morning when patients are asleep and nobody is there to ask questions. Hospitals are big bureaucracies and they don't really have to answer to you. Do you know one reason why? You aren't paying the bill. Every see a doctor talk down to someone who asks a question? That probably wouldn't happen if he was on your dime.

Things I would like:

1) Cut the size and scope of government.
2) Sever the tie between employment and health care.
3) Abolish the IRS, income taxes, and all taxes on business
4) Institute the Fair Tax, a progressive consumption tax that encourages conservation and saving.

Free the People. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, August 7, 2010

No More Bailouts!

From The Nation:

The AIG Bailout Scandal

The government’s $182 billion bailout of insurance giant AIG should be seen as the Rosetta Stone for understanding the financial crisis and its costly aftermath. The story of American International Group explains the larger catastrophe not because this was the biggest corporate bailout in history but because AIG’s collapse and subsequent rescue involved nearly all the critical elements, including delusion and deception. These financial dealings are monstrously complicated, but this account focuses on something mere mortals can understand—moral confusion in high places, and the failure of governing institutions to fulfill their obligations to the public.

Three governmental investigative bodies have now pored through the AIG wreckage and turned up disturbing facts—the House Committee on Oversight and Reform; the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which will make its report at year’s end; and the Congressional Oversight Panel (COP), which issued its report on AIG in June.

The five-member COP, chaired by Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, has produced the most devastating and comprehensive account so far. Unanimously adopted by its bipartisan members, it provides alarming insights that should be fodder for the larger debate many citizens long to hear—why Washington rushed to forgive the very interests that produced this mess, while innocent others were made to suffer the consequences. The Congressional panel’s critique helps explain why bankers and their Washington allies do not want Elizabeth Warren to chair the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The report concludes that the Federal Reserve Board’s intimate relations with the leading powers of Wall Street—the same banks that benefited most from the government’s massive bailout—influenced its strategic decisions on AIG. The panel accuses the Fed and the Treasury Department of brushing aside alternative approaches that would have saved tens of billions in public funds by making these same banks “share the pain.”

Bailing out AIG effectively meant rescuing Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch (as well as a dozens of European banks) from huge losses. Those financial institutions played the derivatives game with AIG, the esoteric practice of placing financial bets on future events. AIG lost its bets, which led to its collapse. But other gamblers—the counterparties in AIG’s derivative deals—were made whole on their bets, paid off 100 cents on the dollar. Taxpayers got stuck with the bill.

“The AIG rescue demonstrated that Treasury and the Federal Reserve would commit taxpayers to pay any price and bear any burden to prevent the collapse of America’s largest financial institutions,” the COP report said. This could have been avoided, the report argues, if the Fed had listened to disinterested advisers with a less parochial understanding of the public interest.

I would have passed a one sentence bill to regulate Wall Street. As opposed to the 2300+ pages that Congress just passed, I would have given just this: "No More Bailouts!"

the AIG story raises real doubts and suspicions about how the government will respond next time. Or whether the new financial reform legislation actually corrects government’s deference to the pinnacles of private financial power.

We bailout the financial industry once a decade. They have come to expect it. We need to tell them in advance: "No More Bailouts!"

The AIG rescue was done in ways that had “poisonous effects” on the financial marketplace and public opinion, the report concluded. Cynical expectations were confirmed, both for citizens and financial players. Some financial firms are simply “too big to fail,” it seems; Washington will not let them collapse, no matter what the president claims.

The most troubling revelation in this story is the astonishing weakness of the Federal Reserve and its incompetence as a faithful defender of the public interest. In the lore of central banking, the Fed is awesomely powerful and intimidating. As regulator of the banking system, it has life-and-death influence over banks. As manager of the economy, it has open-ended authority to intervene in the financial system to restore stability, as the central bank did massively during the crisis.

Yet the Fed was strangely passive and compliant when it came to demanding cooperation and sacrifice from the largest financial institutions. Timothy Geithner was then president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the lead regulator of Wall Street’s largest banks. He briefly insisted they must accept the burden of rescuing AIG. But the bankers called his bluff and blew him off—and Geithner deferred to their wishes. The taxpayer bailout followed. The episode is relevant to the future, because Geithner is now Obama’s Treasury Secretary and in charge of preventing the next taxpayer bailout.

Makes me think of how this all relates to the "Country Class" vs "The Ruling Class". We bailout out the fatcats on Wall Street. We have welfare for the rich anc connected as well as welfare for the poor. The rest of us just have to turn around and bend over.

No More Bailouts! Sphere: Related Content

New York Times on Pensions

Battle Looms Over Huge Costs of Public Pensions

There’s a class war coming to the world of government pensions.

The haves are retirees who were once state or municipal workers. Their seemingly guaranteed and ever-escalating monthly pension benefits are breaking budgets nationwide.

The have-nots are taxpayers who don’t have generous pensions. Their 401(k)s or individual retirement accounts have taken a real beating in recent years and are not guaranteed. And soon, many of those people will be paying higher taxes or getting fewer state services as their states put more money aside to cover those pension checks.

At stake is at least $1 trillion. That’s trillion, with a “t,” as in titanic and terrifying.

The figure comes from a study by the Pew Center on the States that came out in February. Pew estimated a $1 trillion gap as of fiscal 2008 between what states had promised workers in the way of retiree pension, health care and other benefits and the money they currently had to pay for it all. And some economists say that Pew is too conservative and the problem is two or three times as large.

So a question of extraordinary financial, political, legal and moral complexity emerges, something that every one of us will be taking into town meetings and voting booths for years to come: Given how wrong past pension projections were, who should pay to fill the 13-figure financing gap?

This is a war that has been brewing for a very long time.

I still don't like government employee unions. Labor negotiations used to be with the Union and Management. The Union knew that if it asked for too much it would kill the goose that laid the golden egg. Managment knew that it had to keep it's workers happy and on the line working but still make a profit. When Government Unions sit down at the table with Government Management, they often both sit at the same side of the table. No profit exists to pay the workers, only higher and higher taxes. Administrators have long wanted to give Unions higher and higher future benefits instead of other compensation because the costs can be masked in the short term and they won't have to raise taxes. In this process taxpayers get sold down the river with future obligations they never wanted.

Another valuable lesson here is to not trust your government. This state workers worked their whole careers and were promised a deal. Now that they have retired the government is going to come along and change the terms of it. The same thing is going to happen with Social Security. You can't trust the Government, and people should be clueing into that by now. Sphere: Related Content

Free The People - State Marriage Edition

From the talented David Harsanyi of the Denver Post: Time for a divorce

In the 1500s, a pestering theologian instituted something called the Marriage Ordinance in Geneva, which made "state registration and church consecration" a dual requirement of matrimony.

We have yet to get over this mistake. But isn't it about time we freed marriage from the state?

Imagine if government had no interest in the definition of marriage. Individuals could commit to each other, head to the local priest or rabbi or shaman — or no one at all — and enter into contractual agreements, call their blissful union whatever they felt it should be called and go about the business of their lives.

I certainly don't believe that gay marriage will trigger societal instability or undermine traditional marriage — we already have that covered — but mostly I believe your private relationships are none of my business. And without any government role in the institution, it wouldn't be the business of the 9th Circuit Court, either.

As the debate stands now, we have two activist groups trying to force their own ethical construction of marriage on the rest of us. And to enforce it, they have been using the power of the state — one via majority rule and the other using the judiciary (subject to change with the vagaries of public opinion).

I think the state should get out of the marriage business. What an easy solution to erase that battlefield from the culture war.

The great thing is that everyone could finally STFU. I don't need once side grandstanding on the sanctity of marriage while another talks about civil rights. Enough of the preaching and get to the governing and making this country competative. When I got married I made a vow both to my wife and to God, to death do us part. I didn't kneel at the alter of the State. I don't need the State in my bedroom or yours. Free the People. Sphere: Related Content