Who: Kimball Corson. Text and Photos not disclaimed or that are obviously not mine are copyright (c) Kimball Corson 2004-2016
Port: Lake Pleasant, AZ
09 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
09 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa

On Elitism

09 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
Elitism is a superiority complex that permits one to look down on others less well endowed with the supposed virtue affording it, whether that virtue be wealth, education, family heritage, intelligence, spirituality, moral righteous or whatever. There are many such virtues and it would take pages to catalog them.. The rub of course is that no one can look down on everyone in regard to all of these virtues. Everyone is subordinate in many virtues and dimensions. Intelligence; there is always many smarter; education, always some better educated; wealth, always someone richer; bluebloodiness; always some of bluer blood; artistic, always some more artistic; etc. ad nausium. Worse, elitism in one dimension can create serious baggage along others.

It is all any of us can do to get our own lives well together, sort of, along more than a few of these dimensions or so called virtues. So how can we look down on all the rest and think our views should govern everyone? Only by a sad but faulty rationalization that our virtues are best and all others should be like we are, Denial and ignorance have to control for that view to prevail, yet it does for many. The Koch brothers think their superior wealth and intelligence gives them those rights over other people.

All people in life are on a journey through what they can see are life's virtues. All do what they can. Some do better than others, but all have to sort it out for themselves. Those ahead in that game are always behind yet others on their and others virtues and in no real position to lecture others on what to do or how to proceed. Yet they do. All the time. And they shouldn't The will to mind others' business seem overpowering, but those who want control do insufficiently better over all these virtues than most others and have no right to, except what they assume like the Koches or any other form of preacher.

No one get God rights. No one is adequately virtuously along all dimensions to even get close. Elitism fails in the large and we are all struggling with enough aspects of ourselves to have no right to control or dictate to others.

We just need to be smart enough to realize that.

The Libertarian Strategy of the Koch Brothers

09 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
Richard Fink (not Rat Fink) is often introduced as the "grand strategist" of the Koch brothers. He spoke at a large periodic Koch brothers donor retreat on June 13, 2013. Fink is also on the board of director of Koch Industries and several of the Koch brother's think tanks/ political action arms. His talk that day was "The Long Term Strategy: Engaging the Middle Third." Little did all but one know that the secret, confidential meeting was being taped by that one, also secretively.

The thrust of Fink's talk was one third was already for them and their agenda, one third was irretrievably against both, and the problem was how to win over the middle third. But that is not as interesting as what Fink said along the way, after he explained, in the 2012 elections, they had lost the middle third. He said the "government slashing agenda" did not appeal to the middle third. "We want to decrease regulations. Why? It's because we can make more profit, okay? Yeah, and cut government spending so we don't have to pay so much taxes. There's truth in that." But he said the middle third was uncomfortable with positions that seemed "motivated by greed" he said.

What they needed to do was use the Koch network to persuade the middle third that "we're good people" by whatever means possible. He proposed, based on extensive research, that what the Koch network need to do was persuade the missing one third that the "intent" of economic libertarians was virtuous. "We've got to convince these people we mean well and that we are good people." If we can do that, he said, we "will drive this country. How? He should have been asked. Lie about it should have been his answer.

The answer he volunteered was the Koch network needed to reframe the way it stated its political goal, What was needed, he said was to "launch a movement for well-being." The improved pitch he explained was to argue free markets were the path to happiness and big government led to tyranny and fascism.
Free markets were simply the best path for human "well being."

The leaked tape appeared four days later on a blog and led to denials and an uproar.

SAT score rankings

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
Which Universities have the smartest students.

Reagan's Taxes and Deficit Spending

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
On matters economic, where everyone is now an expert, conservatives are the dumbest and most dishonest of the lot.They fly their claims most ingloriously over Reaganomics and what they contend caused the boom during his tenure.

They claim straight facedly that Reagan tax cuts caused that boom, but they are simply and provably wrong. I have heard it so many times -- and I heard but again today -- that I need to set the record straight. What I heard today was this:

"Thoughtful, pragmatic people will tend to value real world outcomes over the theories of various persons in the field of social sciences such as economics. They'll note, for instance, that the sizable JFK and RR tax cuts were followed by solid economic growth figures. . ."

That is a lie by clear implication, but less onerous that what is sometimes heard on the matter from conservatives. The truth is different, especially among economists who tend to be the thoughtful and pragmatic people here, and those who know how to analyze such things. Here is the truth of the matter.

Reagan gave us unprecedented amount of government debt. Reagan tripled the gross federal debt, from $900 billion to $2.7 trillion. The deficit was nearly as large, approaching $3 trillion. It was the largest Keynesian stimulus in US history. Not even the Obama stimulus for the Great Recession was so great, a mere $0.8 trillion. The result was the economy took off coming out of the '81 recession and boomed for a decade.

Reagan's tax cuts had nothing to do with it. Here is why.

If we look at government revenues as a percentage of "national income," we find little change during Reagan's tenure from the Carter days, despite heralded "tax cuts." In 1980, revenues were 25.1% of "national income." In the first quarter of 1988 they were 24.7%.

Reagan came into office spouting supply side economics and the conservative agenda, including a proposed big cut in personal income and business taxes. The Economic Recovery Act was supposed to reduce revenues by $749 billion over five years. But this was quickly reversed with the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. TEFRA—the largest tax increase in American history—was designed to raise $214.1 billion over five years, and took back many of the business tax savings enacted the year before.

But this was just the beginning. In 1982 Reagan supported a five-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax and higher taxes on the trucking industry. Total increase: $27.5 billion over five years. In 1983, on the recommendation of his Social Security Commission— chaired by the man he later made Fed chairman, Alan Greenspan—Reagan called for, and received, Social Security tax increases of $165 billion over seven years. A year later came Reagan's Deficit Reduction Act to raise $50 billion.

Even the heralded Tax Reform Act of 1986 is more deception than substance. It shifted $120 billion over five years from visible personal income taxes to hidden business taxes. It lowered the rates, but it also repealed or reduced many deductions.

According to the Treasury Department, the Reagan big 1981 tax cut reduced revenues by $1.48 trillion by the end of fiscal 1989. But Reagan's tax increases since that cut and soon after it increased revenues by $1.5 trillion by 1989. Virtually a wash and involving many of the very same taxes, too.

Taxes cuts had next to nothing to do with the boom during the Reagan years and after. It was the huge and continuing Keynesian stimulus of approaching a $3 trillion dollar deficit over Reagan's tenure that did it and several economic studies agree. Reagan talked conservative principles and supply side economics to the public but acted like a Keynesian through and through. Trump has no lies to match these by Reagan.

What Is Profit?

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
This question has befuddled many for a long time. Here are some of the answers people have come up with:

--an accounting category
--the return on capital
--a compensation for business risk
--extra compensation to attract resources into that industry
--a catch all category to hide perloinings
--what's left over after all variable and fixed costs

All have an element of truth, but three. It is not a return on capital because that is a factor cost that has its own separate compensation, usually as interest, regardless of how badly the books are kept. It is not a compensation for business risk, because the higher it is, the less risk there is. It is not simply an accounting category because that tells us nothing about how it is arrived it.

To be sure it is a theft category to hide what is 1) stolen from labor by fiat, by monopsony returns and by other means; 2) by monopoly returns extracted from buyers by various means, 3) as rents extracted from finite resources, principally land, and 4) as gains extracted from the public by externalities which socialize some costs while privatizing all gains; and by other such perloinings.

The economic function of profit is to flag industries doing well and needing additional resources to be brought into them until that profit is driven to zero and disappears. But that is a function of profit, not what it is.

A better read should be it is what is left over after all variable and fix costs are properly accounted for and paid. As an industry flag for entry, it should drop to zero in the perfectly competitive model as the optimal quantum of resources come into the industry. That is the economic analysis.

The reality, much more these days, is profit is significantly a theft category to hide what is improperly taken from others that does not drop to zero by natural means but remains and can grow as more is improperly taken from others.

The Kalecki Profit Equation

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
Kalecki was an economic and mathematical genius, who was too poor and had no opportunity to get a college degree in anything. He was all self taught in economics and he anticipated Keynes' General Theory on most of its analysis by a few years before Keynes wrote and published that treatise. As the famous economist, Joan Robinson at Cambridge, wrote --

"Michal Kalecki's claim to priority of publication over Keynes is indisputable. With proper scholarly dignity. . . he never mentioned this fact. . . The interesting thing is that two thinkers, from completely different political and intellectual starting points, [Lord Keynes and Michal Kalecki] should come to the same conclusions [on how the economy and business cycle operated]. For us in Cambridge, it was a great comfort [because it was all so new and revolutionary]."

For example, Kalecki came up with the famous Profit Equation as follows:

The assumptions are: divide the whole economy into two groups: workers, who earn only wages, and capitalists, who earn only profits.

Workers do not save.

The economy is closed (there is no international trade) and there is no government sector.

With these assumptions Kalecki derives the following accounting identity:

P+W=Cw+Cp+I which looks like Y = C + I

where P is the volume of gross profits (profits plus depreciation), W is the total of all wages, Cp is capitalists' consumption, Cw is workers' consumption and I is the gross investment. That is, the total of all profits and wages or income is equal to everyone's consumption and total investment.

Since we have supposed workers who do not save, then W = Cw in the preceding equation), we can substitute and simplify to get

P=Cp+I, the famous Kalecki Profit Equation

that is, profits are equal to capitalist's consumption plus their investment (remember workers don't save, so they can't invest). That is not a bad first order approximation to reality at all.

Good economist that he was, he also figured out which way causation ran. Workers couldn't decide squat. Also, profits did not determine Cp or I, but capitalist could decide how much to consume and invest so that is how causation ran. Capitalists control the economy.

Kalecki's profit equation. Anyone can understand it.

What Is Economics?

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
There is much confusion about what economics is. Above all, it is a theory of choice, properly understood. Choice among quantifiable alternatives, even if shadow prices have to be imputed to make that choice. That is the macro view of what economics is. Beyond that, it is something else.

First, it is a set of first order approximations not to be relied on about how various parts of the economy work or interact. The assessment is objective, not subjective. Second, it is a set of tentative assumptions about how humans respond to economic incentives in large and small groups in different economic contexts.

Third, it is a set of analytical techniques -- both economic, econometric and statistical -- that economists use to develop and analyze economic phenomena and data. Fourth, it includes the various means and methods of accurately presenting that data to others, once the analytical framework decided upon has been stabilized. How it is used is also presented. Common themes and motifs reoccur. The wheel is not re-invented at every turn.

How those approximations, assumptions and techniques are used depends on the context, the problem being studied and the purpose of the effort. Economics is very much a studied way of looking at economic phenomena. Economists think like economists, that is, they sort through economic approximations, assumptions and analytical techniques in similar fashion, in similar contexts and for similar purposes. There is much more uniformity of thinking among economists than people suppose, especially when they have not been bought off and are free to think about and approach specific problems freely.

Economics is not so much a body of hard and fast knowledge about how specific parts of the economy work, independently of context, circumstances and viewpoint. Most people think it is and they very much misunderstand. Regrettably some economists themselves present such a face to the world, even though they know better. They are often bought off and have ulterior motives. But thinking freely without a preloaded agenda, they know better and think like economists and more uniformly, as I have described.

For example, in the neo-classical model, a cut in income taxes would normally result in increased investment and growth. But if the model is modified in Keynesian fashion to recognized huge income inequality and much hoarding by the the rich investment class due to extremely high liquidity preferences, the neo-classical model fails and the normal result is NOT increased investment and growth but simply increased hoarding with no increase in consumption or invetment. Even some economists get lost here.

Thinking of economics more like a carpenter's tool belt is closer to the mark than a raw global declaration of how the economy works at all times. The tools can be used in specific contexts to address specific problems in much the same way a carpenter uses them in giving shape to a home he is building according to a model set out in his mind and plans. Economics is about solving specific economic problems and addressing particular questions for specific purposes. That is doing economics, instead of talking about it.

Philosophically, this is the most pragmatic approach to economics. It does not buy into one or another school of thought, but picks and chooses whatever, methods, tools, approaches or set of techniques from whatever school is deemed most useful in the circumstances, modified as thought best for optimal results.

This is thinking like an economist. This thought process is the distinctive feature and salient characteristic of an economist. Others don't think like economists and most don't really understand very well how good economists think about economic phenomena and problems.

It makes for much confusion, which too few economists try much to dispel.

Hypocrisy Is Not Limited to Christians: Trump Excels

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
This is "Made in America" week. It got a big launch from Trump. He told us "Made in America" is a key part of his "Make America Great Again" program. But the man is vacuous. A wind bag. A person of no substance.

Consider the facts as pointed out by Kay Wall. Almost all the stuff he sells with his name on it, including hotel occupancy abroad, plus all the hotel supply stuff such as shampoo, towels, slippers etc, as well as all of Ivanka's lines for women from clothing (China, Indonesia, Vietnam) to Jewelry (all over) are made outside of this country. NOT "Made in America."

Worse,Trump has cast companies that make goods in China and other foreign countries as economic pariahs, siphoning off jobs better left at home. Yet here is where just some of the Trump family goods come from--

- A crystal and china collection in the Trump Home by Rogaska collection was made in Slovenia.

- The now defunct Trump Vodka was distilled in the Netherlands.

- A "Trump National Golf Club" blue cotton cap sold at Trump Tower was manufactured in Bangladesh.

- The ties in his apparel collection have been made in Indonesia, Vietnam, and China.

- Some of the suits in his Donald J. Trump Signature Collection are made in Mexico.

- A trademark registration shows products in the Trump Home collection such as bookcases, picture frames, and wardrobes were made in India.

- Pens, towels, and bathrobes at Trump hotels are made in China.

- The Trump Home's mirrors and chandeliers are manufactured in China.

- Components for furniture piece such as beds and dining tables in the Trump by Dorya line were made in Germany and Turkey.

An August 2016 report by The Washington Post shows that the list of Trump products manufactured overseas goes well past the 15 products outlined above.

And it doesn't seem the family will change its practices: When asked whether "Made in America" week would be used to bring the production of Ivanka Trump's clothing line back to the United States, a White House spokesperson declined to provide an answer.

That's not a lot to ask of someone who paved his way to the White House by preaching "America first."

As Kay Wall explains, It's very "nervy" to stand up and tout the importance of "Made in America" with that record. It would be for anyone, much less the PRESIDENT. And talk about a conflict of interest!

The Problem with Democrats

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
Non-college-educated white voters have swung heavily toward Republicans. Democrats should also be worried about their disconnect with non-college-educated nonwhite voters, whose turnout declined precipitously in 2016.

On the other hand, when you look at the polling on specific "cultural issues," Democrats clearly have the edge. Why the gap?

One incredibly stupid answer is what its author calls "the hamburger problem." Democrats' are too ready to bother too many ordinary people about too many of their personal choices, all the way down to the hamburgers they eat. I disagree.

The true answer lies I think in the glaring contrast between Hillary and Bernie Sanders. I will list them--

a) Sanders genuinely cared about economic reform and people. Hillary did not. Hillary cared about herself, money and the Clinton Foundation.

b) Hillary was not above using dirty tricks (including how she disposed of Sanders). Sanders was.

c) Sanders wanted to tackle economic reform in too big and an ill-considered a way. Hillary could care less and just wanted to be the first woman president and preside.

d) Sanders was too old.

e) Both did well enough on the social issues.

From this comparison, it is clear that what the Democratic party needs are economically well educated, attractive, younger candidates who are reform minded but will not overreach, who genuinely care about people in the bottom 50%, who have a good platform and who are together on the social issues. That is enough to win and win big.

The big traumatic catharsis the Democrats are having overlooks that, even as a very undesirable candidate, Hillary won the popular vote even with her email problems and the Russians interfering. Democrats are hugely over reacting. And her opponent, Trump, did promise to drain the swamp, get rid of waste, and make America great again, in a vulgar enough way to hit home with Americans, even if he can't deliver. Americans understood his heart was in the right place.

Democrats need to get rid of the Republican redistricting problem, plan ahead much, much better than they are doing, and think seriously how best to take advantage of the mess Trump and the Republicans are making. And no one talks about how congress is bought off by rich special interests . . . except Trump on how he isn't. That needs to stop, too.

With these changes, Democrats could do much, much better. They need to work and think harder about what they are doing and planning to do, with less hand-wringing about whether Americans love them enough. They are not thoughtful enough, in my view, as Mr. Hamberger exemplifies.

Understanding Sectoral Analysis

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
We all know that GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is the value of all goods and services sold within a country during one year. GDP is a flow variable. Flows come from from the national income accounting relationship:

1) Y = C + I + G + (X – M)
where Y is GDP (expenditure), G is government spending, X is exports and M is imports (so X – M = net exports), C, consumption and I investment.

But national income accounting shows households can use their total income for consumption, savings and to pay taxes:
2) Y = C + S + T

The assumption then becomes everything feeds through to households so corporations are just transparent.

You than then make the two equations Y is equal to, equal each other
3) C + S + T = Y = C + I + G + (X – M)

Subtracting C from both sides and you get:
4) S + T = I + G + (X – M)

Rearranging, this becomes the sector balance accounting equation

5) (S – I) = (G – T) + (X – M)

The sectoral balances equation says that total private savings (S) minus private investment (I) has to equal the public deficit plus net exports. Net exports represent the net savings of non-residents.

This is alway true. It is an accounting identity.

For example, if Savings increase and Investment and net exports remain unchanged, then the deficit (G - T) has to increase. Who'da thought? Now the next question is economically why.

The Greatest Error of Republicans and Conservatives

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
The austerity of libertarianism = neoliberalism is what kills economic growth and prosperity. Time and time again, and conservatives/republicans are too economically ignorant to see and understand the huge quantity of data showing that. Thrift is fine for the individual, but murder for an economy. It is the paradox of thrift at work and the biggest economic misunderstanding and hang up that republicans and conservatives can have.

The true mantra is not lower taxes, smaller government and no government interference in markets and the economy, but instead, proportionally bigger and better government, higher taxes and more and better government intervention in the economy. That is what the evidence and data show, but it flies in the face of all the conservative propaganda that has been used to indoctrinate the nation that is NOT at all supported by the evidence -- at the city, state nor the national level.

Government waste is not the big problem claimed by republicans and conservatives except in defence expenditures where it runs about 5 percent because of bad and sloppy contracting practices and crony capitalism. That s why republicans.conservatives love high defense expenditures so.

It is all just criminal ignorance because it is denying so much to so many and killing the growth and prosperity of the nation. We are regressives; not progressives.

Throwing the Glove Down on American Music

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
American music largely sucks. Where it does better is often by swiping classical themes and popularize them to a public that largely doesn't know better. On its own, America doesn't do well. About all of merit that is indigenous is classical jazz which I contend is or was largely the music of depressed blacks.

As a classical music lover, I am affirmatively revolted by hip hop and its belligerent tone, lack of anything musical much beyond rhythm and lack of modulation. Its musical poverty is astounding. Or country western with its intonation of a bawling calf recounting lost women, pickups and dogs. Other American types fare no better.

There really is good music and bad music.

Intelligence is powerfully drawn to quality and complexity in the musical elements of good music:

Melody: (pitch, range, theme).

Harmony: (chord, progression, key)

Rhythm (timing),

Tone (notes and frequency balance),

Timbre (characteristic sounds of instruments, especially when blended) and

Texture (musical and instrumental voices in music)

Mozart, Bach and many others understood and developed these musical elements in ways that those doing what passes for music these days simply don't understand but then they are working for a public audience that wouldn't understand or appreciate more. With Bach, music really became interesting, because he understood the elements of music so well and creatively. Others did well, too. Now, few try because American audiences are so bad.

Simple isn't very flexible and it just isn't very compelling.

This lack of interest in good music is very much a part of America's largely dead art scene.

Progressive and Regressive Taxes

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
There is something of an American consensus that taxes should be progressive. How much so is debated. It is a matter of social policy to be considered in light of growing income inequality.

A tax is progressive if, as a percentage, the amount of the tax increases more than the basis of the tax does. This means for an income tax, the amount of the tax goes up by more than income does as income rises. If the tax goes up by the same percentage as income, it is neutral. If it goes up by a lesser percentage than income it is regressive. Regressive taxes are thought to be unfair to poorer people because rich people pay proportionally less of their income on the tax.

VAT taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, excise taxes, flat rate taxes and payroll taxes are all regressive. Payroll taxes become increasingly regressive as the income cap is exceeded because those with ever higher incomes pay ever proportionally less tax as a percentage of their income. That is the test. That is why VAT, sales, gas and flat rate taxes, etc., are all regressive. Degree of progressivity can increase or decrease, as can regressivity, depending on the tax rates.

With growing income inequality and the rich getting proportionally richer faster, preferred social policy is to have increasingly progressive taxes on the rich. Inheritance taxes should also be high and progressive to make for more equal opportunity among younger citizens.

Again, the assessment issue is what percentage of income is being taken as taxes from the poor and then from the rich, assuming both are taxed.

The Problems of Government

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
Government does what the private sector cannot or won't do on its own that people and the government decides needs doing. The private sector won't do anything that is not profitable to it. That includes much that needs doing. Our defense, for an example.

Government also engages in collective activity the private sector usually can't do as efficiently or as well. An example here is health insurance for the elderly or Medicare. Although it is paid for by a special payroll tax on all, it and much such collective activity the government does is mistakenly called Socialism by ignorant conservatives/republicans/libertarians who don't know what the word means.

Collective activity requires sub group participation, oversight and coordination that the private sector, as geared to profit, is not very good or efficient at. It cares more about its profit than doing the collective activity and management well. Regional water supply management is an example. Fire department services, another.

This is not to say government cannot contract out to the private sector some parts of the work required by collective activity, but the function still remains governmental. Contracting out nationally, as in defense or healthcare, for examples, are large problems. Here is why.

Whenever private sector firms, motivated by profit, can deal with a large government for contract services, in the US they strongly tend to charge much more than they should. Greed and dishonesty, hallmarks of Americans, take over.

Governmental policing of that dishonest overcharging becomes a major national problem. Competitive bidding helps but often it is not done or done poorly or collusively. Worse, by under-the-table bribes or other inducements, which are often impossible to detect or discover, governmental employees become corrupted by private sector businesses and act against the public interest by aiding members of the the private sector in over-charging the government, thereby injuring the taxpayers.

This is the core and biggest problem of US government. And it traces straight back to the basic dishonesty of the for-profit businesses dealing with our federal government. Northern European governments are not so afflicted with this problem. Banana republic governments are.

The problem now is worse than ever because dishonesty is having its heyday with Trump and his cronies in leadership positions. They set the standard for maximum dishonesty and the nation follows, especially the US business community. Dishonesty is the government's and nation's biggest problem, I submit.

We are a nation of liars racked with greed.

Here is the review I posted on Amazon to Nancy MacLean's new book, Democracy in Chains

08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kimball Corson
Don't be put off reading this book by the 31 percent of bad reviews. Many are by Koch toadies and others who think libertarianism is God's revealed word. They quibble mercilessly and sometimes properly with the author's scholarship on details, but nowhere do any of them come close to dealing with the author's central thesis which is there has been a sixty-year campaign 1) to make libertarianism mainstream by Koch & Friends and 2) to eventually take over the government itself, with a relentless campaign planned to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, and, more closely at hand, change the Constitution to suit them and destroy much of government and in particular the federal safety net.

This is libertarianism on the warpath. Almost 30 states have already resolved to call for a constitutional convention. Most such legislatures are already bought off and controlled by ALEC and conservatives.supporting Koch and Friends. Worse, the states are planning to ratify constitutional amendments by state legislative vote, without public referendums or constitutional conventions of citizens. If you are not alarmed, you should be.

The core tenets of libertarianism are 1) lower taxes are better and needed for growth (False); 2) smaller government is better for freedom and liberty (also False) and 3) goverment should not interfere in markets or the economy (False) All are wrong as an evidentiary and empirical matter.

Countries with high taxes and better and proportionally bigger governments (as a percentage of GDP), which are more involved in markets and the economy, a) have higher growth rates, b) are more prosperous overall, c) have greater personal and economic freedom d) have lower income inequality, e) have more stable and fairer markets and d) have milder recessions. Libertarianism has no evidence to support its positions and it is nothing more than a program for billionaires to do what they want, unfettered by government, and to have them run roughshod over the American countryside and over the American people. Wait and see.
Vessel Name: Altaira
Vessel Make/Model: A Fair Weather Mariner 39 is a fast (PHRF 132), heavily ballasted (43%), high-aspect (6:1), stiff, comfortable, offshore performance cruiser by Bob Perry that goes to wind well (30 deg w/ good headway) and is also good up and down the Beaufort scale.
Hailing Port: Lake Pleasant, AZ
Crew: Kimball Corson. Text and Photos not disclaimed or that are obviously not mine are copyright (c) Kimball Corson 2004-2016
Kimball Corson: I am a 75 year old solo sailor, by choice. However, I did take on a personable, but high maintenance female kitten, now a full grown cat, named KiKiPoo when she is sweet, or KatKatPo after she has just killed something like a bird or bat. [...]
Although I was a lawyer and practiced law with good success for thirty years, creating significant new law, I never really believed in the law, the politics of law or in the over reaching self-interest of most lawyers I met. Too much exposure to Nietzsche and other good and seriously thoughtful [...]
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Who: Kimball Corson. Text and Photos not disclaimed or that are obviously not mine are copyright (c) Kimball Corson 2004-2016
Port: Lake Pleasant, AZ