Saturday, August 20, 2011
No representation without taxation: only those who pay something in taxes may vote. It has been proposed before. Indeed, for all of the early days of the republic, a forty schilling freehold was a pretty standard requirement for being a voter. http://jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/?p=1344
We have already in place regulation exceptions for small businesses. Some are for businesses with ten or fewer employees. Others apply if your business has fifty or fewer. There may be exceptions for those with 100 or fewer, although I am not sure of that.
My proposal is simple: double the exception numbers. Regulations that apply only to businesses with more than ten employees now apply only to those with more than twenty. Those that apply to more than fifty now apply only to those with more than a hundred. Etc. The effect would be to let successful small businesses expand easily. Those that have been making do by using part time employees can now let them become full time. Regulations would remain in place, but now they apply to fewer businesses. This would take effect immediately and be in place for ten years.
I suspect that the effect would be dramatic. Possibly it would not, but it isn’t going to hurt the economy
you can improve most schools by a factor of two by firing the 10% least competent teachers. This shouldn’t be surprising: it’s the case with most organizations ................................is a bit surprising that parents never catch on, and the best teachers, who are thoroughly aware of all this, almost never speak out. Of course they don’t dare. Teachers unions may claim to be professional associations, but many of them are more than willing to employ tactics that might shock even a mob-controlled garbage collector union.
I don't like Gaddafi, but I didn't like Saddam either. I suspect that putting out a contract on Saddam Hussein would have cost a lot less than a $Trillion $Dollars. I would guess that a billion dollars and a US passport -- bring me his head or proof that you killed him, no questions asked -- would do it. Indeed, I suspect that offering a billion dollars to the first winner of a fair election might be a good old college try at nation building...
Welcome to the brave new world. England is used to that sort of thing. Americans are not. Yet.
Discussion invited. But the astonishing thing is that for a billion or less (with room for profit and operations) we can actually demonstrate reusable, savable orbiters.
Transparency and subsidiarity -- i.e. local fiduciary responsibility: those are the keys to good government. See Jane Jacobs Dark Age Ahead for some details and more arguments on how to avoid the Dark Age Ahead -- assuming we can avoid it.
The second purpose of the system is to insure full employment for professors of education, many of whom have never done any actual teaching, but whose imprimatur is needed to get the "merit pay" advances you can get from "workshops" and various courses in education. Some education colleges actually prepare teachers to teach, but many simply punch tickets; a lot of bad teachers who ought to be fired get "merit" pay for having accumulated credits from education professors. My suspicion is that firing about half the professors of education would greatly improve the efficiency of the system but I don't have any studies or numbers to prove that; but I would bet money that firing the worst 10% would instantly improve the colleges of education just as firing the worst 10% of classroom teachers would instantly improve the schools.
The purpose of the schools is to extract money from taxpayers and pay it in ways that insure that professors of education and bad teachers get paid. It is not to create citizens, or to teach anything; it is not to train future Legionnaires. If we are to have Legions, the first thing we need to do is cut all ties between the Armed Forces school systems for service dependents from the rest of the education system and run it in a rational manner as it has been done in the past. Alas the trend is in the other direction, with more and more of the poison that ruined the US public school system spreading everywhere else.
If you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less, tax it. If you want more risky investment, lay off taxing the returns from successful investments. If you want more highly conservative investment, tax hell out of anything risky, And so forth. If the purpose of taxation is to raise revenue it requires a different strategy from taxation to "spread the wealth." If you believe that the purpose of government is to protect private property, but you don't like great disparity in wealth, you need to have an open discussion about what you are trying to do. If your goal is to set up enduring bureaus -- well, we know how to do that.
Nuclear fuel recovery/recycling
Nuclear Fission (breeder)
Bio-mass waste product combustion (a booster for coal and natural gas, not stand alone)
In about that order. ....If we are forbidden to use nuclear energy to get out of the energy shortage, perhaps the best course would be a large x-project power plant (x-project: build the best we can build with technology existing a year after the contract is awarded; don't rely on something yet to be developed).....OTEC is a good idea, but it's not likely to save the world since the places you can use it tend to be places where it's hard to get the energy from there to somewhere that it's useful.
"corollary to your iron law- The half life of a new governmental program is 2 years. Every two years, half of your effective people leave. Half of the replacements are "typical government workers" who never leave. Within 10 years, the government program is useless since 3% of staff will be effective workers. ".
If we are to take back our government there must be people willing to take it back -- and to be part of a new government. One of the benefits of self government is that not many think of it as a full time job. They have other lives. Yes, there will always be professional politicians; what must not happen is that the professional politicians also control the party structures. Self government means that the people governed take part in the whole governing structure; some hold political office, some become major party officials, some become minor party officials, some simply work a few hours a month on party matters; and those who do none of this pay attention to what is going on. ,,,,
Friday, August 19, 2011
Oil Spill - Daily Record Letter
Shell are getting a lot of political stick because they didn't immediately alert the politicians, RSPB and anti-technology propagandists about the oil leak. Instead they closed it.
How many of those critics have failed to conceal how insignificant it is. How no measurable damage whatsoever has been found.
So lets see exactly how large this leak was. 1300 barrels with a barrel being 0.158987294928m3 exactly. is 207 cubic metres or a cube 6 metres on a side. II2 miles from Aberdeen (ie 177,000 metres away. So 30,000 times more water (ignoring the fact that the ocean is 3 dimensional rather than 1 dimensional. Doesn't look that catastrophic when the figures are actually given does it?
Perhaps some of the "environmentalists", politicians and journalists complaining that Shell "concealed"' the problem rather than than shouting "Don't panic, don't panic" and giving them ammunition should consider their position.
Perhaps another comparison they should have made is with the fact that oil naturally seeps from oil fields into the world's oceans. 500,000 tons of it every year according to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
That equates to at least 1,000 tons in the North Sea. Puts Man's pollution record in perspective doesn't it?
But then perspective is precisely what the anti-technology "environmentalists", and politicians don't want
I have since found that the letter was also published by the Morning Star. Edited slightly differently. All credit to the Star for this since the letter is distinctly supportive of the bloated plutocrats of "big oil" and critical of the ecofascist movement so widely acepted as part of the "left". Reminds me that on a previous occasion the Morning Star, alone of all British newspapers, was willing to publish a letter calling for X-Prizes to promote a British space effort - a far more capitalist solution than anybody else has.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
An initial leak was brought "under control" last week but work is continuing on a smaller leak from the same source in an area surrounded by marine growth.
About 216 tonnes of oil - equal to 1300 barrels - were estimated to have spilled from the Gannet Alpha platform, 112 miles east of Aberdeen, by yesterday.
Environmental groups have heavily criticised the operator for the way it has handled the leak, which was first detected on Wednesday.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Europe's two most-powerful politicians, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, met in Paris to try to ease the euro's slide...
Worryingly for Ireland, they also put the issue of corporation tax back on the table.They said their two countries were preparing proposals to introduce a common tax on companies from the beginning of 2013.
And while for now it looks like this common tax rate will only apply to France and Germany, the danger is that it could mark the start of a fresh initiative to harmonise the rate that applies to companies in every European economy.
This would be disastrous for the Irish economy, which uses a low rate of corporation tax as a key attraction for multinationals to open new businesses here. ctd
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Punters and performers are being asked to submit ideas for improving the Edinburgh festivals.
The body Festivals Edinburgh is offering prizes each worth £500 for the five top suggestions on ways to make the experience of the world’s biggest art festival even better. ...
The website, at ideas.edinburghfestivals.co.uk is designed by a New York company which has worked on similar innovation sites for the US Government
Monday, August 15, 2011
Some Recent Comments
I would also suggest hypothecating most welfare and NHS away from direct government control and giving it a set proportion of income tax and all NI. That alone would take about 20% of the economy out of Whitehall's hands & prevent them hiding behind the frail and sick when cuts are needed.
Such prizes do allow market mechanisms to function because profits still exist if it comes in under budget.
They do not fit the "official libertarian" line because they are still money raised by forced taxes, (albeit as i said relatively popular ones). However I believe that technological breakthroughs do not and probably cannot receive the same returns compared to value added that normal inputs of land labour and capital do* and that it is thus both moral and practical for society to provide an incentive to cover the difference.
Had our schools over the last 60 years included the holocausts of Serbs, Gypsies, Poles & Soviets as well as Jews in their teaching of "History of the Holocaust" I do not think we would have ever allowed our government to support Germany in its determination to "recognise" the Croatian and B & H Moslem regimes, both led by former Nazis.
Without that either Yugoslavia would have survived or would have been peacefully divided on clear ethnic lines, rather than giving the Nazi statelets territory with clear Serb majorities.
In the 13 years of Labour the economy would thus have grown between 2 and 4 times making Brown's doubling possible, though still not desirable. It would now make ending the deficit possible in just over 2 years and even paying off the entire National Debt in 5.
So why is government pushing what they know to be a complete fraud. - HL Mencken said it nearly a century ago.
""The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
Almost all of government is parasitism but they need such fraudulent scare stories to get away with it.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
12. Intelligent life will be found on Mars.
There are such researchers. I don't know if it would be called a major objective. Like cold fusion you won't get government grants for that and government funding has been proven to retard research overall.
15. We will not achieve a "World State" in the predictable future. Nevertheless, Communism will vanish from this planet.
Here are things we won't get soon, if ever:
Travel through time
Travel faster than the speed of light
"Radio" transmission of matter.
Manlike robots with manlike reactions
Laboratory creation of life
Real understanding of what "thought" is and how it is related to matter.
Scientific proof of personal survival after death.
Nor a permanent end to war.
In most cases where he was wrong it was not he but reality that got it wrong - they are technically entirely feasible but our parasitic governments prevent it.