Seventy-Five Years and Counting

None of the promises government has made to you will be honored, including, healthcare, Social Security, defense and a stable currency.
Seventy-Five Years and Counting
By: George Noga – March 18, 2018

        Today, on my 75th birthday, I take the liberty to share what I have learned in three-quarters of a century about human nature and the relationship of man and the state. This comes hard on the heels of jeremiads wherein I asserted capitalism is self-destructing and that America has crossed the point of no return in the debt crisis.

     Government is evil. Some government is needed to avoid an even greater evil: anarchy. Because government is evil, it stands to reason we want as little of it as possible. Our founders understood the key is to limit its power; but the trend always is for government to gain and for liberty to yield. Government has ballooned from 5% of GDP in the early years of the republic to nearly 40% today – and rising rapidly.

       Government can’t be reformed because its evil is inherent. Waste, fraud, abuse and corruption are endemic; any attempts at control or reform are futile. The evil spawned by government is directly proportional to its funding; hence, the only way to reduce the evil is to reduce the funding; nothing else works. Power corrupts; even neighborhood homeowners’ associations quickly transmogrify into power-hungry wannabe dictators.

Politicians respond to personal incentives. Public choice economics explains why elected officials don’t care what you want – except to get elected. Government (and socialism) fails because there is an unbridgeable chasm between self-interest (human nature) and the public interest. This is unlike business, which does a good job aligning personal and corporate risks, rewards and incentives. Everything politicians say and do is to further their own interests which, most of the time, are contrary to your interests.

       People are incapable of sacrifice absent serious and present danger. We refuse to act even to stave off a clear and inevitable disaster unless it is manifest in our daily lives. A good example is the present debt crisis which, as demonstrated in these posts, will inflict unspeakable horrors on America; however, the crisis likely is still years away and there is not yet any discernible impact on our daily lives.

       We have lost the connection between capitalism and our liberty and prosperity.  America has become so rich and the wealth is spread so broadly, we are disconnected from what created the wealth in the first place. That is why polls show us so enamored with socialism. I recently read John Steinbeck’s book, “In Search of America”, wherein he prophetically observed: “We (Americans) can stand anything God and Nature throw at us save only plenty. If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much.”


        Americans are losing touch with reality. We spend more and more time transfixed by our devices in the virtual world rather than connecting in the real world. We confuse junk science with actual science, fake news with real news and political fantasy with reality. We are suffering mass delusions about, inter alia, anthropogenic climate change, GMOs, organic food and fascism. Our lassitude conflates identity politics with existential threats – we glom on to the ephemeral while ignoring the consequential. Our politics appeals to people’s prejudices, passions, jealousies and apprehensions.

     In the end, I always harken back to the eternal lesson of Kipling’s Gods of the Copybook Headings; i.e. we ignore the hard-learned wisdom (copybook headings) of the ages at our great peril. Human nature is unchanged since we were living in trees; and just as water surely will wet us and fire will burn, the gods of the copybook headings, with terror and slaughter, will return!

       Above all, I learned what America needs is more liberty and less government!

Our next post takes on business ethics and political correctness.

Destroying the Link between Capitalism and Wealth

If  capitalism and liberty lose the culture war, it will be because Americans have lost the link that brought us our unprecedented cornucopia of  wealth.
Destroying the Link between Capitalism and Wealth
By: George Noga – March 11, 2018

      This is the second and final post seeking to answer the question: Does capitalism sow the seeds of its own destruction? The first part is on our website: This question first was posed 100 years ago by economist Joseph Schumpeter. We will conclude by comparing Schumpeter’s predictions with where America stands today.

       We are engaged in a great culture war for the preservation of capitalism along with wealth and liberty, which are symbiotically linked to capitalism. If we have capitalism, we ipso facto have liberty and wealth. Without capitalism we become poorer and less free, while under socialism we are impoverished and tyrannized; think Venezuela.

     How bad is the anti-capitalist mentality? One poll showed 4 out of 10 US adults preferred socialism to capitalism. A YouGov poll asked if respondents had a favorable view of capitalism or socialism. With Democrats, it was tied at 42%; millennials chose socialism 43% to 32%. In a Gallup poll, 47% of respondents reported they would vote for a qualified socialist for president; 69% of those ages 18-29 said they would. Of  millennials, 58% would rather live under socialism than capitalism. In a Politico poll, Democrat voters in every age group, gender and race said they liked socialism.

     Unsurprisingly, few people, especially millennials, understand what capitalism, socialism or communism really is. Large majorities conflate European social welfare states with socialism. They particularly believe Sweden is the model of a successful socialist country. Read our October 15, 2017 post “Socialism and Sweden” on our website; it shows Sweden as a free-market capitalist country. Liberals and millennials it seems are not only brainwashed but ignorant. Perhaps they can spend their next vacation in Venezuela, Cuba or North Korea to see real socialism at work.

Let’s revisit Schumpeter’s prediction, which contained five sequential points.

  1.  Capitalism will create great wealth. This has come true to an extent few dreamed.
  2.  More people will be educated. Again true, in America education is universal.
  3.  Professors and teachers will promote anti-capitalist ideas. BINGO!
  4.  People will vote for social welfare states. Already true  as shown by polling.
  5.  Capitalism’s success brings about its own destruction. This hangs in the balance.
     Schumpeter feared the demise of capitalism, along with wealth and liberty, would usher in a new dark age and we may have to wait centuries for the reemergence of capitalism and liberty. If Schumpeter’s final prediction comes true, we will drag the entire planet into a lengthy and unspeakable Orwellian torpor where men lead lives of quiet desperation, where war is peace, bad is good, immoral is moral and big brother always is watching. Nowhere is it written that liberty will survive.

My March 18th post is mega special; hint: it is my 75th birthday!

Why Intellectuals Hate Capitalism

Does capitalism really sow the seeds of its own destruction? 
Why Intellectuals Hate Capitalism
By: George Noga – March 4, 2018

       This is the first of two posts seeking to answer the above question about capitalism and self destruction. This question has a nexus to our three February posts (available at about the debt crisis. Both stem from the consequences of the stunning success of capitalism in creating enormous wealth for all. This first post explains why intellectuals and progressives loathe capitalism and love socialism.

       A century ago economist Joseph Schumpeter wrote that capitalism would self destruct: “I do not think capitalism can survive. Its demise will not be due to economic failure; instead, its very success undermines the institutions which protect it and creates conditions in which it can’t survive.” He theorized: (1) capitalism would enable more people to become educated; (2) they would be taught anti-capitalist dogma by professors now free to promote their ideas rather than to work; (3) people thusly (mis)educated would vote for liberal welfare states leading to the end of capitalism.

       Vituperation from socialist professors has infected college students and wafted into the general population. There are six main reasons liberals hate capitalism.

1. Capitalism evolved organically. No intellectual wrote a capitalist manifesto; Adam Smith merely explained what happened naturally. Capitalism just happens; it doesn’t require professors to theorize. No one is capable of controlling capitalism, whereas socialism requires controllers, i.e. intellectuals who know what is best for everyone.

2. Capitalism is egalitarian. An uneducated, uncouth bloke can make a fortune by say recognizing the market for used auto parts and buying and stripping junk cars. He gets rich because he provided a valuable service to consumers. In contrast, the intellectual is unrecognized and unrewarded. Successful capitalists repulse elites.

3. Professors are rewarded by bureaucrats, not markets. They succeed by pleasing their statist employers, not by pleasing students (customers) or by attracting new students. Capitalism does not reward them based on their exalted education and good intentions. They prefer regulation to the chaos of the marketplace. They believe their pet theories should override the free decisions of individuals, if necessary by using the police power of the state. Their peers all are anti-market and they must go along to succeed.

“Capitalism is: To each according to his accomplishments.” 

4. Consumers are sovereign; intellectuals have no special status. The common man holds all the power; his decisions to buy (or not to buy) determine what is produced and makes suppliers rich (or poor). Wealth is achieved only by serving consumers.

5. Capitalism brooks no excuses for shortcomings. Capitalist success is based strictly on one’s ability to provide value to his fellow man. Capitalism is to each according to his accomplishments; those who fail are found wanting by their fellow men.

6. Intellectuals desire control over others. They fail to understand why the unwashed, poor ignorant rubes in flyover land believe they know what is best for them and for their families. Intellectuals see themselves as heroic emancipators, crushing greedy capitalists, saving helpless victims and reaping the just approbation of all mankind.

      America’s immense, broadly shared wealth comes with pernicious consequences.  Any society rich enough to have millions of pet insurance policies with acupuncture, chiropractic and mental health benefits is a society that arguably has lost its critical connection between wealth and capitalism. More on this next week along with our conclusion about Schumpeter’s prediction of capitalism’s self destruction.

Our March 11th post is the second and final part dealing with Schumpeter.

Preventing Future Parklands

The response to the Parkland attack is different from the other school shootings. Most Americans (except progressives) seem prepared to support realistic actions.
Preventing Future Parklands
By: George Noga – February 28, 2018

        Is it different this time? After Parkland, most Americans, for the first time, seem ready to eschew ideology and to embrace realistic preventive measures. The skunks at this garden party are progressives and the media, who are determined to regurgitate the same ineffectual and symbolic canards that are non-starters with the public and the Supreme Court. We owe the Parkland victims more than empty political posturing.

        In that spirit, we outline a practical plan to prevent school shootings; it involves gun control, mental illness, school security, media, law enforcement and progressives. The plan excludes banning AR type guns; this was tried and failed. It also excludes banning large magazines; that would make no practical difference. Groups pushing for banning ARs and magazines are simply posturing and are not serious about solutions.

Gun Control
  • Institute mandatory universal background checks
  • Impose a 3-day waiting period that sunsets in 5 years to permit NICS compliance
  • Loss of gun rights including confiscation for those subject to a court injunction
  • Ban on bump stocks and similar devices
Mental Illness
  • Increase hospital/institutional beds for mental illness patients
  • Force treatment/institutionalization for the untreated violently mentally ill
  • Take away gun rights including confiscation during period of illness
  • Criminalize knowingly or carelessly making guns available to the mentally ill
School Security
  • Train and arm school personnel including bonus pay for those armed
  • Make clear that schools no longer are gun free zones
  • Increase readiness via realistic planning and drills
  • Adopt relevant parts of the successful run-hide-fight business paradigm
  • Enhance school choice to permit parents to choose more secure schools
Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice
  • Change the culture at the FBI; hold accountable those who fail to respond
  • Enable courts to suspend gun rights, including confiscation, for cause
  • Enact penalties for failure to timely post to the NICS system
  • Fire and charge officers who fail to confront an active shooter situation
  • Penalize making guns available to anyone not permitted to own them legally
  • Charge chronic troublemakers with crimes that suspend their gun rights
Media  (Due to the first amendment, these must be voluntary)
  • Substantially limit coverage of all mass casualty attacks
  • Rarely, if ever, show pictures or use names of perpetrators
  • Do not use body counts, comparisons, talk about records or use superlatives
  • Honestly report instances where legally armed citizens prevent crime
  • Do its part to change the toxic political culture in America
  • Cease politicizing school tragedies and promoting fake, feel-good measures
  • Allow treatment and institutionalization of the violently mentally ill
  • Do their part to change the toxic culture permeating America

      Nothing will prevent all school attacks, but implementing the above outline will go far. It is a non ideological, practical and effective compromise. There are virtually no attacks on businesses, theme parks, airports and sporting venues because they are highly prepared, have guns and are adept at understanding personality and risk. We owe our school children nothing less. Is it different this time? Only time will tell.

On March 4th post explains why intellectuals hate capitalism.

Gotterdammerung for America

Recent developments have sealed America’s fate; it is only a matter of time until some event (perhaps minor) triggers a crisis – forever changing the United States.
Gotterdammerung for America
By: George Noga – February 25, 2018
      Gotterdammerung is the final opera in Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle. It means twilight of the gods and is marked by a catastrophic and violent societal collapse. It was the final performance of the Berlin Philharmonic on April 12, 1945. It is an apt choice for the above headline because, for the first time ever, I believe America has crossed the point of no return on its way to gotterdammerung. The climax of the crisis  is years away but we have crossed the Rubicon and jacta alea est – the die is cast.
       I was not this apocalyptic when I wrote the February 11 and 18 posts. The February 11 post identified the three root causes of the fiscal crisis as health care, Social Security (pensions) and interest on the debt. Because of recent developments, these root causes plus defense now will suck up the entire federal budget (and then some) by 2020 – much earlier than I believed scant weeks ago.
       The February 18 post showed the public debt/GDP ratio surpassing 90% within 5 years. No nation has escaped from a ratio that high without societal upheaval and a lost generation. Subsequent to that post, things have gotten worse. Congress’ budget deal increased spending $150 billion/year and permanently raised the baseline for all future spending. Add another $200 billion for infrastructure plus billions more for higher interest on the debt and there are trillion dollar (and bigger) deficits forever. The US now will reach the critical 90% ratio much earlier than I believed on February 11th.
       We were lucky until recently. The 2013 budget sequester restrained spending; we are in the ninth year of an economic expansion; and interest rates have been at historic lows. These factors delayed our fiscal death march to Gomorrah. Meanwhile, the demographic time bomb keeps ticking as health care and pensions spiral out of control. Now, the sequester is busted, interest rates are exploding and a recession is due soon.
       There is no way out of this fiscal rathole. Slashing spending requires cuts of 25% and must include health care and pensions – sowing the clouds of civil unrest. Raising taxes also requires a 25% increase and kills economic growth leading to stagnation and lives of quiet desperation. Other possibilities such as runaway inflation and repudiation of the debt also would rent the country’s fabric. All possible solutions are nihilistic.
       Most politicians, however venal, are not stupid. They fully understand everything in this post. They do not attempt to halt America’s entropy because they know voters will not support drastic action unless there is an existential crisis. Speaker Ryan wanted to tackle entitlements but he would be demagogued to death merely for trying. Nothing will happen until it is far too late and then it will be only quarter-measures.
     Charles Murray, one of the titans of our time, recently said: “the American experiment in self-government is essentially over“. Hamilton said it well: “The only path to a subversion of our country is by flattering the prejudices of the people and exciting their passions, jealousies and apprehensions, to throw affairs into confusion  and bring about civil discord.” That describes America today, dithering over identity politics and playing to peoples’ fears and prejudices, while ignoring existential threats.
       With profound regret, I now must concur with Charles Murray. I fear our beloved republic of 230 years has passed the point of no return; I hope and pray I’m wrong.

Next in 3 days: Special Posting on the Parkland school shooting

Point of No Return: 90% Debt/GDP

When a nation’s debt reaches 90% of its GDP, it crosses a bright red line after which recovery is nigh impossible. We explain why that is true.
Point of No Return: 90% Debt/GDP
By: George Noga – February 18, 2018

       Our last post (Fiscal Gorillas) was a lead-in; if you missed it, try to read it first here. It is accepted economic wisdom that once a nation’s debt exceeds 90% of its GDP, there is no recovery. Is 90% an arbitrary ratio plucked from the ether? No. Governments have been borrowing money for 600 years and not one has recovered from a 90% ratio without experiencing social and economic upheaval and a lost generation. Why is this so and why is 90% the magic threshold?

       We begin with some numbers. The US public debt is now $14.8 trillion (total debt is $20.5 trillion) and GDP is $19.7 trillion. This makes the public Debt/GDP ratio 75%. The total Debt/GDP ratio is 104%, but that is not the relevant metric, as the $5.7 trillion difference between public and total debt consists mainly of non-interest bearing intra-government debt. If GDP grows at 2% (it is growing faster, but we must factor in recessions) and if debt grows at 5% (its current rate), the ratio will reach 90% in 2023 and 100% in 2027. Even if my assumptions are off, it is clear the US is on a trajectory to breech 90% and then 100%  in about 5 and 10 years respectively.

Mathematics of a 100% Debt /GDP Ratio

      I discovered a simple but gripping way to look at the Debt/GDP ratio. When the ratio is at 100%, i.e. debt and GDP are equal, it is easier to grasp the crisis. In 2027 both GDP and public debt are projected to be $24 trillion. When these metrics are equal, the economy must grow at an identical rate as the debt to prevent a death spiral.

     If GDP increased only 2%, we would have to limit the debt increase to the same 2% merely to maintain the ratio at 100%. However, if debt continues to grow 5%, there would be added debt of $720 billion per year (compounded) and the ratio would skyrocket. Given our aging demographic, out of control Social Security and pensions along with exploding health care costs, we will be lucky if debt grows only 5%.

     GDP historically has grown about 3% – but much less in recent years. The debt is growing at 5% and that is under highly sanguine economic conditions. When we have the inevitable recession (we are now in the 9th year of an expansion), GDP growth will turn negative and debt will balloon to 8% of GDP or even higher. It doesn’t take advanced econometrics to quickly see this is a recipe for disaster.

      Then there is the matter of interest rates on the national debt. As the US slouches toward a 100% Debt/GDP ratio, buyers of Treasury bonds will require ever higher interest rates to compensate for the greater peril. The historic average composite rate (across all maturities) on Treasury debt is 6%; if that went to just 7.5%, it would mean interest on the debt would constitute $1.75 trillion per year, or over 30% of the budget. Long before that happened, the Minsky Moment (point of no return) would have passed and the United states would begin to resemble Greece, Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

      The only possible ways to avert default are: (1) massive spending cuts on the order of 30% which would shatter the social contract; (2) draconian tax increases which would halt economic growth; (3) runaway inflation, the cruelest tax of all; and (4) repudiation of the debt. The ensuing crisis would not be limited to the economy. We will be lucky to maintain the rule of law and America as we know it will disappear.

    The World Bank asserts that the Debt/GDP tipping point is reached at 77%. No nation has ever escaped a 90% ratio. The United States of America today stands at 75% and will reach 90% circa 2023. The clock is ticking but the band plays on.

Our next post February 25th revisits Antifa and fascism.

The 900-Pound Fiscal Gorillas in Our Midst

America’s crisis of spending, debt and deficits is a slow motion train wreck; we are sleepwalking into a fiscal death spiral and are near the point of no return.
The 900-Pound Fiscal Gorillas in Our Midst
By: George Noga – February 11, 2018

       During this year I will write more about the crisis of spending, debt and deficits; this primer identifies the 3 root causes of the impending train wreck. The trigger will be a fiscal crisis when the debt bomb explodes, rendering the US insolvent; however, the crisis will rapidly transmogrify into civil chaos and jeopardize the rule of law.

Health Care – Root Cause #1

       It is impossible for any society to pay for all health care demanded if it is free or heavily subsidized. It must be rationed in one form or another. Private insurance rations it by cost, while government rations it by denying care, lengthy waitlists and death panels. The problem is exacerbated by third party payments; when government pays, costs skyrocket. If we eliminated or reduced third party payments, as is the case with dentistry, laser eye surgery and cosmetic surgery, costs would be stable. The only hope for controlling health care costs lies in free markets; all else is doomed.

       Medical progress is astounding. In 1900, infectious diseases caused 37% of deaths; today it is 2%. People over 65 were only 18% of deaths; now it is 75%. We have gone from conquering disease to managing chronic conditions; half of Medicare patients have multiple chronic diseases – any one of which once would have killed them. Of all medical spending, 80% is on four chronic ailments: cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. One-third of all Medicare spending is in the final six months of life. Federal health care spending has ballooned from 3% 50 years ago to 30% today.

Social Security and Pensions – Root Cause #2

     Social Security faces myriad problems. (1) It is caught up in a demographic time bomb; as the population ages, there are ever fewer workers to support ever more retirees. (2) Life expectancy keeps rising, from 60 when SS began to nearly 80 today. (3) Chronically low bond yields have savaged SS. (4) Congress is gridlocked and refuses to act. SS is now 25% of the budget and heading for the stratosphere.

    Social Security is but one part of the pension bomb. State and local pensions are vastly underfunded. Mushrooming pension costs (due to public sector unions) threaten future retirees. The goosed up spending on pensions (and health care) has crowded out infrastructure spending; our roads, bridges and airports are a disaster. Health care and pensions suck all the oxygen out of the budget, leaving behind only chump change.

Interest on the National Debt – Root Cause #3

    The ratio of US debt to GDP is 104% for total debt and 75% for public debt. No country, in 600 years of government borrowing, has survived a public debt/GDP ratio above 90%. We will exceed 90% in a few years. Interest currently consumes 9% of the budget but is headed for 15% by 2020. When (not if) we experience another recession or higher interest rates, that number easily could snowball to 20% or even more.

The Fiscal Train Wreck in Our Future

     By 2020, Social Security will suck up 36% of the budget, health care 34% and interest 15%. That adds to a gobsmacking 85% and they will continue to burgeon after 2020. Defense is 12%, leaving only 3% for the rest of the government. During the 2020s, the three root causes will gobble up the entire budget and then some. It won’t stop until the train goes over the cliff. If something cannot go on forever, it won’t!

     America is sleepwalking into an existential crisis and a fiscal death spiral that is totally predictable. The train that is America is barreling toward a fiscal cliff. Almost everyone sees the train about to go over the cliff, but is inured to the terrible tragedy unfolding before their eyes – and there is no deus ex machina anywhere in sight.

Our February 18 post presents a unique perspective on debt and GDP.

My Alar Epiphany Thanks to Meryl Streep

Junk science flourishes because progressive dogma is antithetical to objective reality.
My Alar Epiphany Thanks to Meryl Streep
By: George Noga – February 4, 2018
       The zeitgeist of 21st century America (and the world) is the increasing inability to distinguish fantasy from reality, junk science from genuine science, witch doctors from authentic doctors and fake news from real news. Like most Americans, I once trusted science and the media; however, I had an epiphany during the 1989 Alar hysteria. I will share my personal journey with you; but first, bear with me as I remind you about some of the more notable examples of junk science during my lifetime.
       Laetrile, pesticides, fluoridation, overpopulation, BPA, organic food, EMFs, global cooling, acid rain, ozone hole, Alar, silicon breast implants, falling sperm counts, killer bees, GMOs, vaccines and autism, global warming, swordfish overfishing, mad cow, SARS, landfill shortage, avian flu, thiomersal, swine flu, dioxin, satanic day care child abuse, PCBs, pink slime, campus rape crisis and artificial sweeteners.
      The list goes on: paper consumption, cell phones and brain cancer, gender wage gap, Superbowl spousal abuse, anti-packaging paranoia, fracking, plastics, acrylamide, ethanol, bio energy, infant mortality worse than Cuba, Keystone XL Pipeline, Arctic sea ice, antibiotics in animals, caffeine, Dakota Access Pipeline, baby powder and cancer, E-cigarettes, electric blankets, X-ray scanners, sodium and ad infinitum.
      I still trusted science and the media in the mid-1980s when a neighbor, whose children attended the same day care as ours, contacted me about EMF (electromagnetic field) risks from high voltage transmission lines – then being hyped by the media as the panic du jour. Our children’s day care facility was located directly under such lines. I researched the issue and concluded there was nothing to worry about; nevertheless, we both withdrew our children. The EMF scare turned out to be 100% junk science.
       Although chastened by my EMF experience, I continued to drink the kool-aid until 1989 when mass hysteria erupted over Alar, a chemical sprayed on apples to prevent rotting. I was in agriculture and knew people who used Alar. After much research, I concluded Alar was harmless; my conclusion soon was ratified by, inter alia, the UN, AMA, Surgeon General, FDA, WHO and the National Academy of Sciences.
      The Alar panic began when 60 Minutes ran a segment claiming 6,000 preschoolers may get cancer caused by Alar-treated apples. CBS showed an image of an apple with a skull and crossbones. Phil Donahue said, “We’re poisoning our kids“. Meryl Streep, a NRDC stooge, testified in Congress and raised the panic to a new crescendo. People worldwide quit buying apples and apple juice; both disappeared from grocery stores. The industry lost $2 billion. Hysterical parents called state troopers, who dutifully stopped school buses to confiscate apples from students’ lunch boxes.
      The Alar episode was a media-fueled hoax based on junk science perpetrated by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an extremist environmental group backed by Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. Alar never posed any risk whatsoever to health. Despite the Alar panic being a total fraud, extreme environmental groups today regard it as a success story. Neither 60 Minutes, Redford nor Streep has ever recanted.
     Since my Alar epiphany, I am uber-cynical about science and media. All the science scares listed supra proved to be either totally or mostly junk science. We are in a new age of unreason because progressivism is antithetical to objective reality; it much prefers dogma, mythology and political correctness. Progressives have transmogrified into 21st century witch doctors, corrupting science, the media and now sports. I learned to distrust science and the media in 1989 – thanks to Alar and Meryl Streep.

Our February 11th post takes on the cosmic issues facing government.

Why I Write This Blog

Are societies of men capable of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or are they forever destined to depend on accident and force?  (Hamilton)
Why I Write This Blog
By: George Noga – January 28, 2018

      This personal narrative is the first of several intermittent posts on the relationship of man and the state. Periodically, I must remind myself and my readers why I have spent thousands of hours over 10 years writing 400 posts filling 1,000 pages. This post answers that question. The Hamilton quote (above) from the Federalist poses an eternal question – the answer to which, my friends, still is blowin’ in the wind.

       Whether any society of men gets its politics right or wrong affects every aspect of life, and even life itself. If we get politics right, we live our lives in freedom, prosperity and pursuit of our dreams. If we get politics wrong, liberty, happiness and property are forfeit and life is brutish and brief. Since man first walked upright, there have been 110 billion homo sapiens of whom less than 1% lived their lives in liberty. Even today, only about 10% of the 8 billion humans extant live in relative freedom.

       I promised a personal narrative and here it is. Following are but some of the ways my life has been directly impacted by failure to get our politics right.

* Both world wars and Korea resulted from political ineptitude, appeasement and failure to heed existential threats. I was fatherless during WWII and Korea.

* I was the victim of an execrable education in government schools for 12 years.

* I was subject to a mind-numbing array of taxes including income taxes of 94%.

* Throughout my lifetime and continuing to the present, the Federal Reserve unleashed numerous cycles, bubbles, panics, meltdowns and economic disasters.

* The politically micromanaged Vietnam War totally discombobulated my life for many years including 6 years I served in the military. I could have been killed.

* Government-spawned inflation reached 14% and interest rates exceeded 20%. That and the ensuing correction massively disrupted my personal and financial life.

* It requires $20,000 today to buy what cost $1,000 when I was born due to intentional currency debasement by the government.

* Unnecessary hyper regulation made owning my regulated business for 35 years a living hell. Instead of protecting the public, regulation caused them great harm.

* A lifetime of hard work and thrift has been diminished by chronic negative real interest rates to protect a feckless government from its ongoing debt and deficit binge.

There is more – much more – but you get the drift. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end with me. My children are doomed to a poorer and more dangerous future; they will be a lost generation leading lives of quiet desperation. They will pay for our debt binge and intergenerational theft with vastly reduced opportunity. They will inhabit a Clockwork Orange world where nuclear arms proliferate in places committed to our destruction. The gods of the copybook headings, with terror and slaughter, will return.

The horrors listed herein occurred during my lifetime. They were promulgated by a government most consider to be among the best in the world and one of the best in history. Although government has wrought great harm to me throughout my life, the root cause is not a failure of government; it is simply government being government. History teaches it is foolish to believe we can control government; we can only limit it.

The solution therefore lies not in more government or even in better government. The solution lies in more liberty and less government. And that is why I write.

The next post traces my epiphany resulting from the Alar mass hysteria.

The Trump Presidency at One Year

Despite Russia-collusion paranoia, tumult, drama, decorum lapses and inveterate tweeting, Trump racked up many impressive achievements. You may be surprised.
The Trump Presidency at One Year
By: George Noga – January 21, 2018
      Even I was surprised when I compiled the list of Trump’s achievements for this posting. It is easy to get so caught up in all the media sturm und drang that one fails to notice. For a counterpoint, reread my posting of January 20, 2017 about the Obama presidency, available on our website here. Following is a list (in no particular order) of the main accomplishments of Trump’s first year; sic loquitur pro se.
1. ISIS has been defeated; the Caliphate has no remaining territory it controls.
2. Energy policy is transformed. The Keystone and Dakota pipelines are proceeding; ANWAR is open to drilling as are parts of the Gulf of Mexico and more federal lands.
3. Net neutrality has been reversed; the internet is once again free of regulation.
4. MS-13 gang members have been deported; 5,000 (about half) have been arrested.
5. The Veterans Administration has been improved via numerous measures initiated by the Trump Administration including its budget being increased to $186 billion.
6. NATO defense budgets were increased to 2% of GDP due to Trump jawboning.
7. Job creation is at a 20-year high, including jobs for blacks and Hispanics.
8. Obamacare’s individual mandate is ended. Men with guns no longer will come to force you to pay a $1,000 penalty for failing to buy a product you don’t want.
9. Stock markets/confidence are at all-time highs due to Trump’s pro growth agenda.
10. Tax reduction/reform is arguably the biggest achievement. This historic legislation will lead to sustained economic growth, job creation, investment and productivity.
11. The Syrian missile strike redeemed Obama’s ignored red line about poison gas and sent a message to our adversaries – current and potential – that Trump is not Obama.
12. Judicial appointments have been both numerous and inspired. In addition to Gorsuch, Trump has made 11 circuit court appointments and nominated 73 judges.
13. Decertification of Iran’s compliance with the Agreed Framework was bold.
14. The North Korea nuclear threat is being dealt with seriously and directly; Trump is not kicking the can down the road as his predecessors have done for decades.
15. The EPA is once again under control; it is reviewing the clean power plan rule and has killed the renegade (WOTUS) Waters of the United States regulation.
16. Cuba policy has been reversed; another one-sided Obama deal bites the dust.
17. Ukraine will be sold lethal defensive (anti-tank) weapons – another reversal of a weak kneed Obama diktat and a significant counter to Russian aggression.
18. Withdrawal from the Paris climate accord was a coup de maitre. Trump made a tough call despite fierce opposition by Tillerson, Kushner and even Ivanka.
19. Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem redeemed a pledge and was another bold stroke in the face of opposition by virtually the entire world. Bravo!
20. Economic growth over 3% has been achieved despite Obama remarking that the US would never again see such a rate of growth. The outlook for 2018 is 3% to 4%.
21. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is back under control via Trump’s interim appointment of Mike Mulvaney. It no longer can operate outside the law.
22. Obama, Clinton, DOJ and FBI illegality and impropriety are being uncovered. If Hillary had been elected, these would have remained buried – likely forever.
23. Hostages/prisoners have been freed in numerous countries by Trump intervention and all without plane loads of cash or dangerous terrorists being released.
24. Political correctness no longer reigns in America. Merry Christmas reverberated throughout the land once again and it is okay to say other formerly verboten words.
25. Illegal immigration is greatly reduced. Many are staying away voluntarily due to the increased enforcement. Chain migration and lottery visas are being ended.
26. Defense spending is being ramped up – after languishing under Obama.
27. States rights are being respected as in the roll backs of federal land grabs in Utah.
28. School choice and education policy under DeVos has reversed the horrors imposed by Obama such as his draconian and unconstitutional Title IX rules.
29. The travel ban and extreme vetting have made America safer while also exposing the fecklessness of Obama-appointed federal judges making clearly political rulings.
30. Donald Trump is not Hillary Clinton!
Whew! There you have it – not too shabby for only one year. Progressives and their media puppeteers are too busy with their fake news, collusion theories and Trump vitriol and paranoia to realize that meanwhile Trump is cleaning their clock.

Our next post January 28th explains why I write this blog – don’t miss it.