Government fails while business succeeds because of immutable human nature. At root, it is exactly the same reason socialism fails while capitalism succeeds.
By: George Noga – August 14, 2016
Business succeeds because its risks, rewards and incentives are properly aligned with human nature. The need to make a profit focuses attention and demands great effort because success confers wealth and status while failure has immediate and unpleasant consequences. Thus, business attracts motivated, talented and hard working people. Why would anyone be a bureaucrat if he/she could succeed in business?
All that is well understood; however, there are more compelling explanations for spectacular corporate successes like Apple, Walmart, Disney, Berkshire Hathaway, FedEx and Coca-Cola. Juxtapose these against abject government failures such as public schools, terrorism, Madoff, economic growth, jobs, disaster relief, health care, IRS, USPS and most major cities (Newark, Detroit, Chicago), states and nations.
It all comes down to human nature which is unchanged since man walked on two feet. Humans are hard wired to further their self interest and to respond to incentives. This explains why socialism has never worked outside a small group like a family, clan or tribe. Socialist or Utopian schemes never have worked for more than 50 people – probably it is more like 25. We need look no further than Jamestown and Plymouth to see how socialism resulted in starvation and every form of privation; it was only when the settlers instituted private property that hunger and suffering were alleviated.
The same principle that dooms socialism also casts its pall on government – even in capitalist countries. Both are contrary to the most basic laws of human nature – self interest and incentives. Public sector economics explains the inner workings of government; it proves,inter alia, why government prefers debt over taxes, why taxes are opaque and why failed public programs continue to exist and even to expand.
In business, all it takes is one driven entrepreneur such as a Jobs, Gates, Buffet, Fred Smith, Sam Walton or Walt Disney to change the world. By its very nature government must appeal to the lowest common denominator (“LCD”) of the populace to win elections. Politicians behave rationally when they do whatever is necessary to win elections. That explains why they divide people by race, gender, age and income and pursue policies they know to be detrimental to those they represent.
A great paradox lies at the heart of government and human nature. Some limited government is necessary but there is no practical way to make it respond to the people’s long term best interests. The only possible solution is to reduce the size and scope of government to the absolute minimum, i.e. more liberty and less government.
Business structures its incentives to appeal to the best and brightest among us and, as a consequence, one talented and motivated business person can change the world and make life better for everyone. In contrast, government always descends to the LCD or to the level of the least of us. Socialism and government always fail because they are, at the most elemental level, diametrically opposed to abiding human nature.
Next: The timeless struggle between personal freedom and government power.
By: George Noga – August 9, 2016
This post is on the anniversary of the Nagasaki bomb. It is a post I never should have to write and one in which I take absolutely no satisfaction. But it must be written and presented to a candid world. A former German president (Richard von Weizsacker) speaking of German war crimes said, “The secret of redemption lies in remembrance“. By that standard, Japan has failed utterly and abjectly and deserves no redemption.
It was only a few months ago (75 years after the fact) and following several decades of legal effort that Japan apologized for and settled its WWII slave labor claims. Only in late 2015 did Japan come to grips with its sexual slavery of young Korean girls; they had to be dragged kicking and screaming and settled only under duress. Japan has yet to accept responsibility for the Rape of Nanjing in which its troops, in a frenzy of racial hatred, slaughtered 300,000 Chinese civilians in a gruesome depraved manner.
Nanjing was but one episode in a long train of Japanese atrocities. Other Japanese holocausts include the Bataan Death March, subhuman POW treatment, massacres in Shanghai and Hong Kong and the Yellow River flood when Japan destroyed dikes and murdered 1 million civilians. During Japan’s occupation of the Philippines, there were 72 documented massacres leaving over 120,000 dead. The list goes on and on; it includes Laha Airfield, Bangka Island, Parit, Sulong, Tol Plantation, Balikapan, Chekiang, Sandakan Death March, Truk, Manchuria, Pingfan and 40 more wretched massacres, holocausts, ethnic cleansings and atrocities by the Empire of Japan.
In willful and flagrant disregard of the unambiguous historical record of the past 75 years, the Japanese people remain in denial. They refuse to teach in their schools about the Rape of Nanjing and exclude it from their history books. They persist in ignoring, downplaying and obfuscating their atrocious record of racism and terror. Japanese children are not told the ugly truth about their fathers’ and grandfathers’ actions.
To anyone who now wants to give Japan a pass on its WWII atrocities, my response is straightforward: Remember Pearl Harbor! Remember the Bataan Death March! Remember Nanjing! Remember the POW camps! Remember all the other horrors Japan promulgated and about which it has national amnesia! Above all, never grant the Japanese people redemption until their collective memory improves and all their children learn the truth about their ancestors. Finally, on this 71st anniversary of Nagasaki, let’s pledge to remember the 3 million lives saved by the atomic bombs.
The next post August 14 addresses Obama’s overtime and payday loan rules.
By: George Noga – August 6, 2016
Today marks the 71st anniversary of the US attack on Hiroshima. We reexamine the wisdom of using atomic weapons on Japan and include recently declassified top secret US war plans for the invasion of Japan. The next post on August 9th, the anniversary of the Nagasaki attack, is titled Without Remembrance There Can Be No Redemption; it catalogues Japanese WWII atrocities and the Japanese people’s ongoing refusal to face up to their past horrors like the Rape of Nanjing, slave labor and comfort women.
There were many casualties in Hiroshima (65,000) and Nagasaki (45,000); the exact number is disputed (some believe they were much higher) and may never be known. For perspective, the conventional US bombing of Tokyo killed 100,000; the allied bombing of Hamburg, Germany 50,000; and the battle of Stalingrad saw 1.5 million killed. In all of WWII, 80 million people perished. Finally, in Nanjing the Japanese Rape brutally slaughtered 300,000 civilians – nearly triple the atomic deaths in Japan.
Americans’ attitudes have changed. In a nationwide 1945 Roper poll, 53% agreed with the atomic bombings; 14% believed we should have dropped them on an unpopulated area; 4% believed they should not have been used; and 23% favored using even more atomic weapons. The Roper poll was replicated in 2016; this time 28% agreed with the bombings; 32% favored a demonstration; 15% would not have used the bombs at all; and only 3% would have used even more bombs.
Today, progressive revisionists claim the bombs were unnecessary because: (1) The Japanese already had decided to surrender and had so communicated that to the US via Sweden; (2) the bombs were dropped to intimidate the USSR; (3) it was a racist act and we would not have used such weapons against Germany; and (4) it was a genocidal war crime similar to what the US did in Vietnam. All of these assertions have been thoroughly disproved before; however, they are once again shredded by the recent release of top secret US war plans for the invasion of Japan.
Only recently have the war plans for Operation Downfall been declassified. They provide compelling evidence that without the atom bombs, Japan would not have surrendered and there would have been 3-4 million additional casualties – 2 million Japanese, 1 million American and up to 1 million Chinese as the war in China was still ongoing and the Japanese were continuing to slaughter Chinese at an alarming rate. Following are but a few snippets of data from the Operation Downfall war plans.
Use of atomic bombs saved at least 3 million lives – mostly Japanese. The casualties that resulted from these attacks represented .0014 of all WWII deaths and, to repeat, only about 37% of the Chinese civilians that were massacred by Japan in Nanjing – which really was pure racism. As shown by the 2016 Roper poll, many Americans cannot remember the past; let’s hope we are not condemned to repeat it.
By: George Noga – August 1, 2016
A transgender went to the store where xe bought apples for xemself; xe ate xyrs apples for xem lunch. A pangender went to the store where they bought apples for themselves; they ate their apples for their lunch. A gender fluid went to the store where ve bought apples for perself; sie ate ver aples for vis lunch. The preceding illustrates approved uses of PGPs, or personal gender pronouns, of which there are at least 45, or 30 more than I used in this paragraph. This is serious business. The NYC Commission on Human Rights decreed anyone failing to use correct PGPs can be fined $125,000.
The 99.994% of us who are cisgender, i.e. our self identity conforms to our biological gender, have much to learn. Transgender is merely the proverbial camel’s nose under the gender identity tent. Following are some other forms of gender identity.
Gender fluid: Since gender identity is entirely subjective and self determined, it stands to reason that a person is whatever gender he/she/they/zie/sie/ey/ve/tey/exe/per decide(s) to be at any given day, hour or moment. Young people in particular are gender nonconformists and gender defiant and resist fixed gender identities.
Pangender: Those who believe they are all genders rolled into one are pangenders and must be addressed with plural pronouns. An Oregon pangender teacher claimed harassment when others failed to use correct pronouns; she (they) settled for $60,000.
Otherkin: Some people identify as nonhuman – dogs, lions, etc. Some identify as creatures that do not even exist such as dragons and unicorns. Some otherkins have modified their bodies to be more like their otherkin identity.
Once the Pandora’s box of self identity has been opened, it will not be limited to gender issues. There is nothing to stop anyone from self identifying as being (1) disabled; (2) of a different race, ethnicity, minority group or nationality; (3) of a different age; and/or (4) of a different income cohort. A young healthy rich white person could self identify as being a person of color, poor, old and disabled to qualify for disability, social security and other government benefits. Where does it all end?
Just as there is much more to transgender than you thought, there also is much more to the issue than just restrooms. How about locker rooms, showers, dorms, fraternities, sororities, sports teams and who knows what else? Actions that once were crimes, such as exposure, flashing and voyeurism, now would be perfectly legal. Dirty old men no longer need to lurk in the shadows; they can walk into any restroom or locker room with teenage girls; indeed, it already has happened at public swimming pools.
Solutions are elusive. One Oklahoma school district opted for single stall restrooms which anyone could use for any reason. The Obama Administration would not approve this sensible solution and threatened loss of all Title IX funding. Not to worry – MLLG has a solution. Anyone who feels threatened can simply claim to be a unigender, a new (made up) gender that believes it must be accorded privacy. Since gender identity is entirely subjective and self determined, unigender must be as valid as any other gender.
The Obama Administration asserts teenage girls simply need to get over their discomfort at seeing naked men next to them or showering with them. They fail to grasp the pure paradox of their position. On the one hand, they assert gender and genitalia are wholly irrelevant and demand young girls accept anything in a public facility. On the other hand, they assert that for transgenders, gender and genitalia are not only relevant but supremely important and that they shouldn’t have to get over their possible discomfiture in using restrooms that conform to their birth gender.
The next post is August 6th – the 71st anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb.
By: George Noga – July 25, 2016
During summer I lighten up my blog with anecdotes about my summer home in Whitefish, Montana. Whitefish is sited in the Flathead Valley of NW Montana only 50 miles south of Canada and 100 miles east of the upper panhandle of Idaho. I belong to the Whitefish Lake Golf Club that has a half-century tradition called Derby, which is open to anyone; I have been playing Derby for the past seven or eight summers.
Each Thursday at high noon, anywhere from 15 to 27 golfers are divided into three man scramble teams made as equal as possible by the commissioner, the member in charge of Derby. The commissioner is chosen to maintain the Derby tradition and serves for life. The teams compete with only modest stakes of one dollar per person per hole. This could happen at almost any golf club in the USA, you may be thinking.
Your thinking would be wrong; Derby is unique. For starters, all 15 to 27 golfers play as one group and manage to play 18 holes in about 4.5 hours – an average time for the course. Usually three people hit simultaneously; it is a miracle no one has been injured. Imagine the scene with 27 golfers and 15 golf carts barrelling down a fairway toward an unsuspecting foursome of visiting Canadians. Note: I spent several summers playing in Derby before I learned that drunken Canadian was two words.
What makes Derby special is the eclectic combination of participants. Players range in age from 18 to over 80. Some earn minimum wage; others are multi millionaires. Some are scratch golfers; others are high handicappers. Some lack higher education; others are professionals with doctorate degrees. There are Americans, Canadians and Native Americans. Many are Montanans; others like me hail from throughout the USA.
Some players openly smoke dope while other participants are deputy sheriffs who pretend not to notice. Other players imbibe liberally from adult beverages in ubiquitous coolers in many golf carts. Some do both. There is a cohort of Mormon participants that conveniently ignores strictures against drinking and gambling. Some players have Derby nicknames too ribald to include herein. The repartee is incessant and priceless.
Everyone clearly revels in the camaraderie despite what, on the surface, appear to be wide chasms among the various cohorts: young and old, rich and poor, accomplished golfers and duffers, dishwashers and attorneys, dropouts and PhDs, potheads and law enforcement officers and Mormons coexisting with gambling, drugs and alcohol.
Two factors combine to make Derby an enduring tradition: (1) shared love of golf; and (2) Montana. Derby probably wouldn’t work outside Montana as there clearly is something very special in the air up here. If you golf and visit NW Montana, consider playing in Derby; you will understand why there is nothing quite like it anywhere.
But if you should visit the Treasure State, please don’t stay too long; Montanans are fond of their bumper stickers reading: Welcome to Montana – Now Go Home. Recently, the population of Montana surpassed one million for the first time and the news was greeted universally throughout the state with great sorrow, gloom and melancholy.
The next MLLG post from Montana will be distributed in about a week.
By: George Noga – July14, 2016
A nanny state is being imposed by progressives who believe they know better what is good for us; they began by infantilizing children but are bent on infantilizing all Americans. Age 16 has become the new age 10. Following is a small sample of nanny state regulations promulgated by the federal government and by certain blue states.
These strictures do not constitute mere advice or suggestions on the part of government nor are they attempts to reason or to persuade. They bear the full force of law. Miscreants and scofflaws are subject to the government’s monopoly on the legalized use of force. SWAT teams can and do take children from parents and subject them to the full panoply of horrors common to state agencies.
Amidst all this infantilizing, it is comforting to know parts of the real America still exist. One such place is our summer home of Montana. During summers there is a weekly rodeo near the small town where we stay and a regular event is youth bull riding. Kids as young as 8 ride bulls; to be sure, the bulls are young with their horns cut back and the kids wear helmets. Still, the 500 pound bulls are undomesticated.
At the same rodeo it is common to see teenagers with serious hunting knives (think: Crocodile Dundee) strapped openly to their waists. Imagine the same sight at a blue state junior high school football game. Within an instant panic would set in; heavily armed SWAT teams would fast rope in; and the stadium would be evacuated.
In Montana a youth can get a hunting license at age 11 – and the first one is free. Youth deer hunting season is the Thursday and Friday preceding the opening of regular hunting season in October. So many youths go hunting that all schools in Montana have been forced to close during the two days of youth hunting season.
Infantilization of children is child abuse. Emotional development of victims is hobbled; they are at increased risk of self harm; and they have academic problems and poor social skills. They are averse to responsibility and often fail as adults. Children are but the first victims; it is the aim of progressives to infantilize all Americans and to turn America into a nanny state with government as the nanny and all of us as children. As with all liberal doctrines promising benefits, the end result always is grave harm.
I’m not sure I would want my eight year old to ride a bull or my eleven year old to go deer hunting. I am absolutely certain however that I prefer to live in a place like Montana that leaves such decisions up to parents rather than to the state.
The next post in about 10 days describes a zany Montana golf tradition – Derby!
Special Independence Day Posting
By: George Noga – July 4, 2016
The Declaration of Independence catalogues a long train of abuses by King George III that Americans considered oppressive enough to revolt against and to fight a long, bloody war for independence. Now, 240 years later, an American president has committed many of those same abuses; the similarities are striking as itemized below.
1. “He (George III) has suspended laws in their operation” (from the Declaration). Obama suspended and changed several parts of the ACA (ObamaCare) law. He granted his political supporters exemptions and illegally gutted the welfare reform law.
2. “He has dissolved representative houses” (Declaration). Obama recess appointments while the Senate clearly was not in recess are tantamount to dissolving a representative house. Courts ruled his actions unconstitutional but his appointees remain in office.
3. “He has erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and to eat out their substance” (Declaration). Obama appointed a multitude of unaccountable czars, covered up IRS abuse of political opponents and unleashed his EPA, NLRB, et al. to wreak havoc with innumerable illegal regulations.
4. “He has combined with others to subject us to jurisdictions unacknowledged by our laws” (Declaration). Obama wants US courts to be subject to rulings of international and foreign courts. He supports treaties (UN Law of the Sea) that subjugate Americans to the UN, international organizations and foreign courts. He refused to submit the Iran Nuclear Treaty for Senate ratification – dishonestly calling it an executive agreement.
5. “He has forbidden his Governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance” (Declaration). Obama, through his Attorney General, prevented Arizona and other states from enforcing laws to protect their citizens from imminent harm.
6. “He has refused his assent to laws necessary for the public good” (Declaration). Obama refuses to agree to critically needed laws without quid pro quo or poison pills; a good example is failing to reduce corporate tax rates to end job-killing inversions.
7. “He has obstructed laws for the naturalization of foreigners” (Declaration). Obama refuses to enforce immigration laws and takes actions directly contrary to such laws. The only difference between Obama and George III is the direction of the immigration.
8. “He has excited domestic insurrections against us” (Declaration). Obama has given succor and cover to violent groups and criminals; he fanned the flames for the current war against police and the violent crime wave sweeping our inner cities.
There are far more homologies between Obama and George III, but you get the idea.
King George III was a non compos mentis hereditary sovereign monarch of a despotic foreign occupying power bent on the utter destruction of our liberty and the subjugation of the American people. President Obama is an elected representative of the American people sworn to uphold the Constitution and faithfully enforce the laws of the United States. It shouldn’t be hard to distinguish Obama’s actions from those of George III; however, Obama has proven to be one heck of a caricature of George III.
The next post scheduled for mid July begins our summer series, Montana Moments.
By: George Noga – June 28, 2016
The Brexit vote truly was a seminal event of our time; as such, it compels timely comment from MLLG. The media, as usual caught up in argle-bargle and short-term fallout, missed the main story. Pure and simple – the Brexit vote was one for more liberty and less government! The people of the UK just eliminated an entire layer of government – and an oppressive and excrescent one at that. Only good things result whenever any people embrace the tree of liberty and prune back government.
Brexit was seminal because the Brits decisively took back their country from unelected and unresponsive Brussels bureaucrats. It was seminal because it demarks the beginning of the end of the European Union. It was seminal because it validates and energizes a powerful force sweeping the planet to end failed grand political experiments. It has direct repercussions for our own election in November.
The EU is a failed experiment. It failed to deliver prosperity or even economic stability. Social and economic mobility are moribund. Economic growth is absent. Innovation is non-existent in electronics, software, drugs or even pop culture. Unemployment among the young is endemic; half in southern Europe are unemployed. They have created a generation without work skills or habits. Successful young people abandon continental Europe in droves for America and the UK.
Many governments are effectively insolvent, kept afloat only by ECB financial repression, massive borrowing, quantitative easing, negative interest rates and a war on cash. Sales of safes are soaring throughout Europe. Europe is in entropy and Europeans are in a deep torpor from which they refuse to defend themselves; they think so little of their future, they even refuse to reproduce. They live lives of quiet desperation.
Many events are falsely hailed as seminal; Brexit truly was such an event. The political landscape of Europe was transformed, likely forever. There will be uncertainty and some tumult in the time ahead as the political and economic disintegration of Europe proceeds apace. Nevertheless, the Brexit vote was an unalloyed blessing resulting in more liberty and less government. Hurray for Brexit!
The next post July 4th, Independence Day, compares Obama to King George III