novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

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“THAT SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM IS NOT ONLY FOR WHEN YOU ARE OLD, IF YOU HAVE KIDS IN COLLEGE, HOW DO THEY LIVE? THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM WILL PROVIDE THEM A DEATH BENEFIT.”

(No, he’s not shouting. That’s a direct copy of the live closed captioning.)

No, Social Security does NOT provide a “death benefit” to college student’s whose parents die: “Your unmarried children who are under 18 (up to age 19 if attending elementary or secondary school full time) can be eligible to receive Social Security benefits when you die.” https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/onyourown4.html

Priorities

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A young lady of my acquaintance recently earned her doctorate and has gotten engaged.  She expressed annoyance that her family gave her more congratulations for her engagement than for her doctorate.

So I told her of my in-laws.  Both had doctorate degrees.  My mother-in-law, in fact, was one of the leading researchers in her  field, and my father-in-law was a well-respected priest.

Then he had a stroke.

It was a bad stroke.  He was unconscious in the ICU for many days.  He has never spoken since — twenty-three months now.  He does not have much motor control at all — but can pull away a little if you’re trying to cut his nails, and he can look at you sometimes.  He is on a respirator and cannot speak.

My mother-in-law immediately quit her job so that she could spend hours sitting with him in the hospital.  When she went to another hospital with a minor heart problem and could not visit, a tear ran down his cheek when we told him she could not visit that day.

All of his education and all of his achievements are gone.  What is left is his love for her.  And she abandoned her career — in the middle of experiments — to be with him.

You will spend eight hours a day, 250 days a year, for 40 years or so, in your career.  You will spend almost all of the rest of your time, and the rest of your life, with your spouse.

If your betrothed is not more important to you than your education and career, you are both marrying the wrong person.

Well, folks, I pray that today we elect Donald Trump to be our next President.  He can, for a while, slow our descent into a banana republic.  But only for a while.

We must reform our immigration laws to stop allowing people to come here just because a family member came here — the “chain migration.”  So many people come to this country, become citizens, and then vote for the party that promises the same things that caused the countries they left to become socialist shit-holes.  At least we won’t have to have border guards to keep people in — there will be nowhere left to go.

But even stemming that tide, we are dying out.  Liberalism and feminism have bred stupidity and selfishness such that people who get “liberal arts” degrees now know less than people fifty years ago who did not go to college and in their selfishness they have fewer children, if any, so they can buy more shit they don’t need.

Western civilization, and our republican, federal system of government, are the best things ever devised by Man.  But they are no match for the stupidity and selfishness of liberalism and feminism.

French Economist Thomas Picketty has published a new tome touted by the left entitled Capital in the Twenty-First Century.  I picked up this book (downloaded the Kindle version, actually) because I simply could not believe what the progs were saying about it, which is that Picketty claims that, if the average return on capital (r) exceeds the rate of growth of the economy (g), then wealth inequality increases.

I read this and said to myself, “Self, these fool progs obviously cannot understand what this man is talking about.  It is obvious that he must mean the growth in the valuation of the economy; that is, of all the capital goods in the economy.”  This is, of course, quite obvious.  If the average annual return on capital investments is 5%, but the total valuation of the capital of the economy increases 6% per year, then someone besides the original investors must own that newly created 1%.  And if the total valuation of all the goods in the economy only goes up 4%, then the investors must be getting their extra 1% from someone else, and wealth inequality will increase.

Alas, the progs were right, and Picketty’s hypothesis, which they swallowed hook, line, and sinker, is a total dud.  He really is using the wrong growth rate for comparison.

A simple example can illustrate the problem.  Let us assume that economic output (GDP) does not grow from one year to the next.  But the economy does still have output.  It is still producing durable goods — cars, televisions, houses, etc.  If the production of those goods is greater than the depreciation of existing goods (cars, televisions, and houses eventually wear out and are replaced), then the total valuation of the goods in the country increases.  If that valuation increases more than the return on the capital invested to create them, then wealth inequality must decrease, even with no growth in output.

Still, Picketty’s tome is valuable for the data it presents.  It will also be used as a tool for the progs to argue for a wealth tax (as Picketty recommends).  Thus, the work is important because one must understand its premise, the data it presents, and the flaw in Picketty’s logic, so that one can successfully counter the arguments the progs will make based on this work.  Thus, I will endeavor to write several posts on this book, one section at a time.

A government “fix” is like “fixing” a cat — it’s never quite right afterwards.

Well, the bean-counters at the Social Security Administration decided it was time for a Cost-of-Living adjustment (COLA) for beneficiaries.  There wasn’t one last year.  No inflation, they said.  So the great adjustment for this year is 0.3% — about $4 per month for the average recipient.  That’s one extra Big Mac per month.

Meanwhile, the Social Security Wage Base will go up 7.34%, from $118,500 to $127,200.  How does that work?

Simple — they just use different calculations.  The benefits are increased by the inflation rate, and the wage base (when there is a COLA) is increased based on the Average Wage Index.  Isn’t that cute?

Well, it turns out that the Wage Base has increased 35% over the last twelve years, but the Cost-of-Living Adjustment has only given beneficiaries a 22% increase.

Does the word BOHICA mean anything to you?

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton

  • Tacitly supported the illegal coup in Ukraine which ousted the pro-Russian president, giving Russia the excuse it needed to reclaim the Crimea and parts of ethnically-Russian eastern Ukraine.  (I guess that’s the “Reset with Russia” she talked about.  Well done.)
  • Sat on her hands while our people were murdered in Benghazi.
  • Watched and cheered the Arab Spring, which tore apart the Middle East.
  • Failed to negotiate the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq, resulting in a power vacuum which was then filled by ISIS.
  • Funneled arms to ISIS, with the intent that they would be used against Assad.  ISIS is using those arms against us, and Assad is still in power.  (Thanks in large part to our “Reset with Russia,” of course.

Clinton was given executive power, and failed every time it mattered.