Friday, March 10, 2017

Bring on the Chumpcare

In response to the article found here: 

    I'm not going to lie, the title alone got me a little steamed without even reading the first sentence. I really should've seen this coming, but I honestly wasn't thinking about any of the abstract ways taxes can be cut. With nearly half of Trumpcare's $600 billion in tax cuts solely benefiting the wealthy elite, the bottom 90% of Americans will see a whopping $0 in annual cuts. (see chart below)

    Adam Smith revealed his book The Wealth of Nations to the general public in 1776 & in it he absolutely nailed it when he said,

"What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconvenience to the whole. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable."

Smith was a stark opponent of wealth inequality & felt as if the wealthiest citizens should pay a larger portion of taxes. Not only that, but he also said they should honestly feel compelled to give even more than what they're obligated to. There's at least one group in the United States who call themselves The Responsible Wealth Project who apparently subscribe to the same ideology. I've always thought it was silly for people to act like lower corporate taxes create more jobs. It's not like they pay a single dime of that tax they aren't willing to pay anyway. Individual tax payers always somehow end up paying for just about all corporate taxes no matter what. It's pretty easy for businesses to either raise the price of goods or lower the average wage of their employees in order to compensate for the loss. A corporation's main concern lies solely in generating profit for their shareholders so if a higher corporate tax rate suddenly starts cutting into their bottom-line, they'll immediately pass it off to both the unwitting consumers & their employees.


    The provisions found within the AHCA are essentially extensions of the already more than generous income tax cuts. They will supplement President Trump's current proposed tax plan, in which we will see the wealthiest 20% of Americans receiving a $16,660 tax cut & the top 1% walking away with an extra $214,000 (Forbes). Cuts for the wealthy completely dismantles the whole Obamacare platform. I realize this was essentially the main goal of the GOP since the very second the Affordable Care Act went live, but this will almost undoubtedly result in the collapse the entire United States healthcare system altogether. That especially applies if congress doesn't somehow come up with a stunningly brilliant plan to offset the number of negative impacts these cuts will have on the system. The wealthiest people were taxed at a higher percentage in order to make rates more affordable for lower income individuals. In the same fashion, the individual mandate was put in place so that the number of younger, healthier people in the system would offset the number of sick & elderly. Repealing just the individual mandate alone would likely seem to manage, however, Trump is in favor of continuing to cover pre-existing conditions while also striving to keep health care affordable. With that being the case, repealing either the tax cuts or the mandate is potentially disastrous. So naturally, congress decides they'd like to axe both at the same time.

    Standard & Poor's Global just released their assessment of exactly how the American Health Care Act is expected to affect the many different facets of the healthcare system & I regret to inform you that the darkest days appear to be squarely ahead of us. According to S & P, roughly 6 million to 10 million Americans are expected to lose their health insurance as soon as the AHCA goes into effect. The Commonwealth Fund just recently released a study predicting closer to 20.2 million Americans. Around 4 million to 6 million of that total number stand to lose their Medicaid coverage. Ironically enough, a lot of those white males who voted for Trump are about to receive a not-so-much thank you gift for their allegiance once they no longer have any form of health care to depend on.

    Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, has insisted that implementing the AHCA means more choices for consumers & a more competitive overall market that will allow people to buy the type of plan they need & can afford. This assertion has been met with some pretty staunch opposition, with many analysts suggesting that those who stand to benefit the most in this situation are the private insurance companies. Here's a link to the break down of Trump's proposed plan so you can be the judge yourself. One of the glaring bright spots I found tucked inside the plan involves removing barriers within the pharmaceutical industry. More specifically, this would make it legal for consumers to import drugs from other countries as long as they're deemed safe & reliable. If he is indeed successful at removing any of the drug industry's barriers, then you can bet your sweet ass I'll be one of the very first people to applaud that accomplishment.

    The first couple of months under this administration have been quite the shit show. Just a quick rundown for those out of the loop, it has included...
  1. Hasty as well as occasionally pointless executive orders.
  2. Globally embarrassing Twitter rants.
  3. At least one failed attempt at circumventing the religious freedom clause of The Constitution - despite conflicting intelligence reports directly from Homeland Security regarding the supposed risk of allowing in immigrants from 7 Muslim-majority countries,
  4. The bastardization of almost every available cabinet position.
  5. Mountains of blatant lies about trivial nonsense. 
  6. The repealing of financial regulations imposed on Wall Street after the 2008 housing market crash, which led to the subsequent collapse of over a couple dozen major banks & more than 170,000 small businesses.
  7. A general dismantling of regulatory agencies across the board.
  8. The deportation of honorably discharged immigrant veterans. (Obama is also guilty) 

    I guess whenever you appoint the wealthiest cabinet ever in United States history with 2 former top bank executives as the double slap-in-the-face cherries on top of a giant "fuck you" sundae, you're going to at least try to deregulate the exact same industry that's already proven it can't be trusted to make responsible choices when restrictions are lifted. Numerous appointees have openly campaigned to deregulate and/or abolish the very same government agency they've just been given control over, which is only great if you happen to be the type of person who doesn't enjoy things like clean drinking water, breathable air, a better public education system or a stable economy.

Who's got 2 tiny thumbs & 3rd grade vocabulary?

    Everything Trump has done up until this point has been textbook supply-side economics. Luckily, we're fortunate enough to be able to analyze a number of real world examples relating to how that particular economic strategy plays out. Supply-side economics is the theory that claims tax cuts increase economic growth. Former CIO of Goldman-Sachs & current Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, enthusiastically endorses this sentiment. While tax cuts almost certainly lead to an fairly immediate economic growth, the national debt will continue to steadily rise unless there's also a reduction in government spending. And no, doesn't count as a spending reduction when you totally gut future Medicaid funding or any other social safety net program that adds monetary value to a citizen's income. You're basically just taxing the citizens who benefit from them the most & also paving the way for future government expenditures. I'm sure most Americans will be way too elated with the fact that they now pay lower income taxes to even notice any of the extra money they're having to spend throughout the year.

Lower Taxes + Increased Spending (in billions)
Tax Plan After 1 Year After 2 YEARS After 3 YEARS After 4 YEARS
Economic Recovery Tax Act 1981 (Raegan) -$54.9 $123.7 -$178.9 -$217.2
Tax Reform Act 1986 (Raegan) $22.4 $1.0 -$13.1 -$9.8
Tax Relief Act 1997 (Clinton) -$54.9 -$3.3 -$15.6 -$17.1
EGTRRA 2001 (G.W. Bush) -$28.3 -$69.1 -$82.6 -$80.8

 ______Too Much of A Good Thing______
    Economic growth due to tax cuts does increase consumer spending & raise the country's GDP. While this may initially seem like the best possible outcome to hope for, it can actually end up stimulating the economy far too much far too quickly. The economic boom will result in The Federal Reserve dumping more money into circulation in order to fuel the newly increased purchasing power harnessed by the consumer. If the market supply can't keep up with the consumer demand, then the price of goods will increase in order to lower the overall demand. This is what causes inflation & even though product demand & interest rates always eventually sink back down to lower levels, the price of goods never seems to decrease with them. This is reason why we consistently see tiny, incremental drops in consumer purchasing power over the long haul. There's so much going on in such a relatively short span of time & most people are so fixated on how well the economy is doing that hardly anyone ever notices. Shortly after inflation kicks in, The Fed will then decide to raise loan interest rates in an effort to keep the number at a minimum & also curb demand.

    The United States is currently projected to be $20.1 trillion in debt by the end of 2017. Our GDP is also predicted to bring in approximately $19,284.99 billion during the same fiscal year. Generally, whenever the debt-to-GDP ratio is 90% or above, it's considered to be a tax increase on future generations since they're the ones who are ultimately going to be stuck paying the bill. We've just continued piling it on them for nearly a decade. I know that Obama pretty much cut the deficit in half from that absurd amount G.W. left him with, but half of $1 trillion is still way too much money. Even if Trump actually does double our long-term GDP growth like he claims he will, so what? It still ends up having a pretty insignificant effect on the $441 billion budget deficit & it certainly doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the national debt. All of this increased spending & lower taxes is doing nothing but pissing directly into the wind. Tax cuts for lower income families translate into increased spending & cuts to higher income families, which there's more of, boosts the stock market/banks, but never retail. In any case, our government's record of reckless spending coupled with many successive years of tax breaks under Clinton & G.W. Bush along with an economic recession have forced us into a epicly giant hole that we'll still likely be trying to climb out of well into the 2030s.

Prediction: Trump's charisma & cocky attitude are going to continue giving consumers the confidence to increase spending & the DJIA will continue rising to all-time record highs. I don't know how long it will last, but eventually the prolonged period of progress will grind to a screeching halt due to an asset bubble that's more than likely going to be created by a mixture of over-inflated stock prices & low Fed rates. If there's one thing I know a quickly soaring economy is normally good for it's spazzing out into a good ole boom-bust cycle.

**FACT** extending unemployment benefits is statistically the best known method to stimulate the economy.
- I seriously never would've even guessed that. Just happened to stumble across the article.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kik Scammers

This is how a recent conversation of mine went on Kik...

Already starting off strangely. I type a jumbled assortment of letters just to see if I'm talking to a bot or an actual person.

It's pretty clear to me what I'm dealing with here. I just run with it.

Hmmmm...that's odd.

Advertisement: Engaged

She apparently doesn't shy away from the notion of eating penis. At all.

I'm just trying different words now.

Aaaaaannnnd then I bring it to a close...

Great job, Kik user. You just made my day.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Dear Mr. Creationist

I came across this video while browsing around on Facebook today & it really rubbed me the wrong way. It pissed me off so much that I felt the need to drop some knowledge on that ass. This one goes out to you, Mr. Feuerstein. You seriously need to read a fucking book besides the one that tells you slavery & rape are both okay.

Look, I'm not here to call anyone stupid, idiotic or moronic for believing in God; I used to be a believer myself. Actually, the more intelligent someone is, the easier it is for them to come up with clever & creative ways to justify their irrational beliefs. The main thing that makes me scratch my head about this is the same types of arguments and/or excuses would never be used in favor of anything else in life. I never hear a fundamentalist Christian or YEC (Young Earth Creationist) who obsesses over the whole "you didn't observe it happen" argument also try to claim that people can never be convicted of a crime unless the act of committing that crime is actually observed. I'm sure everyone would agree that it's certainly possible to determine the guilt or innocence of a person based on empirical evidence alone. I don't need to actually see a person walking down the beach to know that someone was there before me; that's what all the footprints tell me. I don't need to physically see an animal ransacking my garbage before I'm able to reasonably conclude that's what happened. We all use a scientific approach in every other facet of life except for when it comes to anything involving religion.

It's just a theory

Whenever someone uses the argument "It's just a theory!" all I really hear is, "I fail to comprehend the basic tenants of science & I also don't know shit about its respective terminology". Allow me to explain in detail the difference between scientific theory & the common, everyday use of the of the term "theory"...

Scientific Theory Theory
A comprehensive explanation regarding some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of observable, testable and/or quantifiable empirical evidence. An idea or notion.

Scientific theories are what every hypothesis hopes to one day become. There is simply nothing higher in terms of systematic, scientific explanations.

Well, then how come theories never graduate to become laws?

Theories & laws are two completely separate things. While theories describe why something occurs, laws simply explain what is happening based on observation. For example, gravity is both a law & a theory. It's a physical phenomenon that's blatantly obvious to anyone with a fully functional brain (this pen will fall if I let go of it). Isaac Newton could easily use the Law of Gravity to predict the behavior of a dropped object, yet, he still couldn't explain exactly why this type of thing actually happened. Loosely worded, his hypothesis (which later became known as the Newtonian Theory of Gravitation) stated, "Two things always attract in direct proportion of their masses and in inverse proportion of the square of the distance between them."
. If you still choose to use the argument, "it's just a theory" then I cordially invite you to climb to the top of the nearest building & swan dive into a lake of asphalt. That'll definitely show all of those smarty-pants scientists who the real fool is.

Physical laws cannot be disproved; they just are what they are - descriptions. Theories can certainly be proven wrong, however, they remain valid until refuted. A hypothesis is merely an idea that attempts to explain why something happens or has happened & is has lowest form of credibility (if any at all). Just think of a theory as a reputable accepted hypothesis. While the terms "hypothesis", "theory" & "law" are applicably dependent on one another, they represent very distinct ideas that aren't interchangeable. If everyone would take the time to memorize what these terms actually mean then I'll finally be able to stop face-palming every time some neanderthal decides to chime in on a conversation he/she has no business being a part of in the first place. 

Extra Material:
Evolution Is A Theory & A Fact
National Academy of Sciences
HowStuffWorks: Evolution
UC Berkeley - Understanding Evolution


Thermodynamics Fail

I don't know what science textbook this guy was reading or what gypsy he's been listening to, but his understanding concerning the laws of thermodynamics is far too presumptuous & way off base. These are laws (note the plural form) that define fundamental physical quantities (temperature, energy & entropy) & characterize all thermodynamic systems in physics. There are 4 main laws - zeroeth, first, second & third - not just one.

Zeroeth Law:
When two systems are sitting in equilibrium with a third system, they are also in thermal equilibrium with each other.

First Law:
Also know as the Law of Conservation of Energy, it states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It may change from one form to another, but the energy in a closed system remains constant.

Second Law:
When energy is transferred, there will be less energy available at the end of the transfer process than at the beginning (no reaction is 100% efficient). Due to entropy, which is the measure of disorder in a closed system, all of the available energy will not be useful to the organism because some amount of energy in a reaction is always lost to heat. A system can never convert all of its energy to working energy & entropy almost always increases as energy is transferred. *This makes both perpetual motion machines & time traveling impossible. 

Third Law:
The entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches zero.

[ Order Out of Chaos ]
We live in a universe where the balance of random mutations is almost perfectly tuned for life on Earth. Randomness, when given time, is able to lead to that which is nearly certain. Randomness also seems to imply a lack of intentionality or purposefulness. After all, you might hope for an ace when drawing from a deck of cards, but it's impossible to actually choose one on purpose. If that was at all possible then there would undoubtedly be a handful of gifted card professionals around the world currently being suffocated by the vast amount of money they've earned. The outcome is indeterminate, but not necessarily purposeless. Indeterminacy simply means the result cannot be predicted from the outset. Human beings are genetically predisposed to find meaning & purpose in all facets of life so I'm fairly confident that some type of arbitrary purpose would be claimed if one felt an intense desire to do so.

- Draw some random points on a piece of paper and join them up to make a random polygon. Find all the midpoints and connect them up to give a new shape. Rrepeat. Order out of chaos.

- Viruses are simply molecules that randomly self-assemble after bouncing around on the inside of a cell. Proteins randomly align & self replicate at different rates in the body because the process itself has no order. It simply takes time for it to happen. In less than 30 seconds, you can watch a jumbled mess of proteins become a beautifully ordered structure...all out of chaos

“Chaos is what we've lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existence is defined in terms of control.” - Terrence McKenna

Call me stupid, but I have absolutely no idea how anyone in their right mind could infer that "chaos cannot produce order" based on the descriptions found in these laws. If anything, these laws point to the fact that sometimes chaos is a necessity in order to achieve balance. The problem with people who aren't very good at understanding scientific principles is that they unintentionally spread misinformation to people who haven't taken the time to learn things for themselves. In turn, the wrong information is readily accepted as truth by those who lack a solid education & thus the lie is perpetuated. One of my professors once said to the class, "Don't take my word for it. Study it for yourself & draw your own conclusions. If your mother tells you that she loves you - even if you genuinely believe it to be true - you should probably still check it out.".

Fallacies Galore

It's true that random parts in a junkyard being hit by a tornado will more than likely never be able to assemble into a Lamborghini. However, this type of example is comparing apples to oranges. You can't reasonably expect inanimate objects to behave in the same way as biological life or elementary particles. Despite how overly clever of an analogy you might think it is, the universe just doesn't work that way. Sorry, pal. Try again.

I'm sorry that Mr. Feuerstein can't possibly fathom a universe in which biological life is created due to a series of "accidents", but I certainly can & it's intellectually dishonest to completely rule out the possibility altogether. He may be right. Maybe there is some all-powerful entity who created everything. Perhaps it's even a purple giraffe who shits pure gold & pisses moonshine. How the hell should I know? Black holes could just be God's cosmic version of a self-guided vacuum cleaner & providing Earth with a source of light that also causes cancer could just be a funny joke. Must have been a boring Thursday (Biblical scholar humor). It's perfectly fine if you decide to adopt these types of ideas as truth, but don't think you're going to persuade me into believing it too if all you're going to throw at me is garbage like, "I've experienced him" or "I've seen his miracles in action.". An easier & more profound way to experience the "feeling" of God is to drop a few hits of acid & stare into the night sky for 6 hours. You may not unlock any secrets about the origin of life, but least you'll have an awesome time trying.

The word "universe" means "one single spoken statement"?!?!? Thanks so much for taking the time to completely redefine a word that was intended to mean no such thing. I'm not entirely sure whether Joshua is pulling arbitrary definitions out of his ass because he assumes everyone who listens to him speak is retarded or he's just cognitively inclined to latch onto the patently absurd. First of all, a simple Google search for the etymology of the word universe crushes this argument in less than 5 seconds. The Latin form of the word is universum or universus, NOT universe.

uni = one
versum = something rotated, rolled, changed -or- turned in the direction towards.
versus = combined into one; whole

 (This obviously means that the band One Direction is the culmination of universal excellence)

That was fun. Now let me try your last name:

feuer = Fire (German)
stein = stone (German)
firestone = stone that can withstand fire and great heat, used especially for lining furnaces and ovens.

Looks like I've found your true calling...keeping my food warm.

Secondly, it was thought that the universe consisted of only the Milky Way at the time the term was coined. Human knowledge of the cosmos at that point & time was primitive, to say the very least. For all we know, it may not even be the correct paradigm (see: Multiverse Theory). Seriously, dude...your homemade definition is utter nonsense. I like red meat. Go toss that word salad at someone else.

I'm having a hard time understanding how anyone considers scientific theories such as speciation by natural selection or The Big Bang Theory to be false ideas straight from the pits of Hell, yet, they can turn right around & claim that God willed everything into existence by using magic. Am I missing something here? Does this actually make sense to anyone else? You can believe in your fairy tales all you want, but don't campaign to have it taught as part of school science curriculum, stop redefining words just to match your worldview & quit publicly bastardizing explanations of the natural world around us on social media sites simply because you don't have the mental capacity to comprehend the material you're looking at. I don't even know you & I already despise you with a passion after watching only 4 minutes & 48 seconds of your existence. Your mother may love you, but I'll be damned if she doesn't have to put a lot of effort into it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Feminist Delusion

I am a white male who lives in central Alabama. Since there are no specific calendar days set aside to celebrate being either white or male this apparently means that roughly 336 days out of the year are dedicated solely to my ethnicity and/or gender by default. What a load of horse shit.

The feminist movement is chock-full of self-righteous characters who think that burning their bras in public or walking around naked as the day they were born is somehow empowering to their gender. I'm actually bare ass at this very moment, burning a pair of my boxers just to see what all the fuss is about. It does feel quite liberating so perhaps these clever women are onto something special after all. If a person has good social skills & makes it a pleasure to be in their company then there's absolutely no desire for them to play victim all the time. This whole "it's not fair" attitude is just pathetic. The objectification of women by men is more often than not the result of interactions with vain, self-indulgent bitches who think that the world owes them something simply because they have a nice rack & the lining of their uterus sheds once every thirty days. Any misogynistic attitude falls by the wayside whenever people view others as a valuable asset to their life. Try learning a skill that makes you a quintessential member of society instead of complaining about how nobody treats you fairly. There are plenty of successful women in the world who have risen through societal ranks strictly because of their intelligence & prowess.

Religions around the world have always played an integral role in the oppression of the the female gender, yet, I see so many devout women incessantly yammering about equality. A person can't honestly be a feminist & a Christian or Muslim at the same time. Pick a side & stay there. I don't need someone else - especially a scientifically illiterate person from a different era & culture - to explain to me what gender roles entail. If your particular religion labels women as submissive property rather than actual people then your god is doing it wrong. Period.

The terms feminism & menimism are beyond unnecessary. There's already a better, non-exclusionary word that describes an all-encompassing notion of equality. It's called humanism. Unlike feminists, humanists fight for the equal rights of all people regardless of their gender. It's inarguably a much more selfless act to be outspoken about the fairness & civility toward all people rather than just one specific group. Feminism is more about a singular need to feel special than anything else. Find another way to be special & stop ranting about how everyone with a penis is somehow conspiring against you. It's human nature to feel as if you're being oppressed at one time or another, regardless if you actually are or not. People who seize every opportunity to become better & kick oppression in the mouth are the ones who will ultimately come out on top in the end. Start changing the way others view you as a human being & stop jumping on all the trending social media hashtag bandwagons at the first sign of adversity. You know why I never worry about being discriminated against for things like my age, lack of formal education & living in the redneck capital of America? Because I laugh at & welcome the challenge. I kick it in the mouth.

I don't automatically respect a person based on the color of their skin nor how anatomically equipt they are to squeeze a baby out; I respect people on merit alone. I'm proud of being many things in life, but my skin pigment & the fact that I have a penis are nowhere to be found on that list. It should be downright depressing to have more pride in uncontrollable genetic traits rather than life accomplishments. Should I also be overly proud to possess an opposable thumb & devise a campaign to rub it in the face of every other animal who doesn't? We get it have a vagina. Good for you. Now get back in the kitchen & cook me a fucking steak.