Thursday, February 8, 2018

Trickle Down vs. Rising Tide Economics

Also called Supply vs. Demand side economics, here is a really brief outline.

Trickle Down Economics

  • Basic idea is give more money to the rich and they will hire more workers, raise wages, etc.
  • Corporations have some control here because they can simply raise prices. This is however limited by competition and consumer demand. The exceptions are industries with monopolies or services such as utilities.
  • The GOP method is to apply corporate tax cuts, deregulation and tax loopholes such as putting money overseas.

Rising Tide Economics

  • Basic idea is give more money to the working class and they will buy more stuff which enables companies to hire more people to sell more stuff.
  • Workers have limited options in getting a raise, as long as someone else will take the job at a lower wage.
  • Increasing effective Take Home pay is the key and this can be done through Unions, income tax cuts, raising the minimum wage, lowering medical expenses and insurance premiums and child care assistance or tax deductions. Also lowering the cost of education plays a role.

Which is better?

Both work under the right circumstances and to a limited degree.
The weakness of Trickle Down is most of the money is not spent towards growing the economy and hiring more workers is only useful if you have enough consumers wanting your goods to justify the extra expense.
The weakness of Rising Tide is business expenses go up, so prices may rise as well. Enough volume can keep that from being needed.
Rising Tide is more effiecent as the same amount of money spread between more people means more people are buying things.  As demand goes up companies need to hire more people to meet it which means more people have more money to spend, etc. The cycle does a better job of feeding itself.

Also some Progressive strategies actually help both economic models.
Medicare for All lowers employees and employers medical costs at the same time.  So business expenses go down and their profits go up and employees have more money in their pocket.  The ones who suffer here are Insurance companies and  possibly drug companies, if the government allows itself to negotiate prices the way private industry does now. Most of America wins here and it works well for all the other industrial powers.
Another factor is too many people have to work two or even three part time jobs because employers prefer part time to avoid having to pay for medical benefits. This eliminates that problem.

Tuition Free College or tax credits for education. Educated people are less likely to be involved in crime and more likely to get better paying jobs and imp[rove the country with new ideas and inventions. The cost in taxes needs to be seriously considered, but hey if we can afford to repeal the Estate Tax for the rich or Pass Through loopholes or Hedge fund tax discounts we can certainly afford it and the effect will be better for the economy.

Lowering Childcare costs is another tough nut to crack. However it would lower crime rates and promote better developed kids if they are not left unsupervised.  I have known many single parents who have to turn down some good jobs because it wont work with child care. Typically they have to pick the kids up early and often the higher pay is not enough to offset the higher costs.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Oklahoma 2018 US House Races

Oklahoma 2018

Deadline to file is in April, we need more people to take on the incumbents if were to avoid massive layoffs starting in 2019

District 1

Incumbent: Not Running
Candidates in order of Financing: Kevin Hern, Tim Harris, Andy Coleman. Nathan Dahm, Danny Stockstill

District 2

Incumbent: Markwayne Mullin
Democrats: Jason Nichols
Republicans: Markwayne Mullin, Brian Jackson, Jarrin Jackson, John McCarthy, David Smith

District 3

Incumbent:  Frank Lucas
Candidates in order of Financing:

District 4

Incumbent: Tom Cole
Candidates: Tom Cole, Mary Brannon, John McKenna

District 5

Incumbent: Steve Russell
Democrats: Elizabeth Britt, Kendra Horn, Tom Guild, Eddie Porter

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Add Paul Ryan to the Obstruction list

I havent been happy with most of the GOP over how far they are going to protect Trump.
With the Nunes memo we now learn that Paul Ryan was cooperating in the conspiracy against the United States with Carter Page. Thanks to the GOP everyone now knows how long Carter Page has been under survelence, including those potentially working with him.  The GOP did not succeed in discrediting the Meuller investigation but they did send out a warning to others possibly involved so thy can run or destroy evidence.
Go back and listen to Carter Pages interview last October. He said he expected Speaker Ryan to release publicly info on the FISA warrent on him and the Dossier.
Lock Him up!

The GOP  has decided to go all in on attacking the FBI, DOJ and the FISA judges (Which last month both Nunes and Ryan voted to continue as is and said it was vital to our national security for them to be able to spy on Americans) and for what?
Another publicity stunt!
That is all the memo is. its the opinion of some of the GOP on the House committee. They hid a lot from us and are afraid to let the Democrats on the committee have their say.
The bias in the memo is clear and we know from media reports that a lot of flags had been thrown up on this, including by the Australian government.
Honestly, just listen to this guy talk and you can understand wht the FBI was watching him.
Maybe Trump was not working with Russia for help with the 2016 election.
However there is so much here that bears investigation it would be criminal not to.
Carter Page, Stephen Popadapolis, Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, Jeff Sessions, Betsy Devos, Blackwater, Jarad Kushner, money laundering, refusal to sanction Russia, The meeting with the Russian Lawyer, and more.
If Trump was actually innocent he would not have gone this far and made all these pathetic cover up attempts.

Carter Page
Listen to some of the other interviews this guy gave.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Why Medicare for all is a win for America

Watch this if you care about Medical Costs.

It was a good Town Hall, far more then any other sitting Senator or Congressional Rep would care to do.
Medicare for all would..

  • Reduce business costs as employers would no longer have to spend so much time, money and staffing to handle company based insurance,
  • Reduce lost productivity since their employees would be healthier.
  • Save workers money paid towards premiums.
  • Raise employee and likely business taxes but STILL mean each pays less annually, and get rid of copays and time lost while waiting to see if they will cover a procedure.
Who wants it or something like it?

  • The Left wants Medicare for all because its the moral and christian thing to do.
  • Medical Providers (Other than Insurance and Drug companies) want Medicare for all because it saves them money and hassle.
  • Businesses want Medicare for all because it saves them LOTS of money.
  • Workers should want Medicare for all since employers can more easily higher full time people.
  • Workers should want it since wages could go up.  Ok, they may not but its the same logic as giving tax cuts and hoping they use that money to increase wages.
  • Older workers who are often let go and discriminated because of their age. Insurance companies try to discourage companies from hiring older workers.
  • Women who are discriminated against.
  • Vets who are also discriminated against by insurance companies.
  • Taxpayers who will save by reducing all these bailouts and cut back on related expenses.

Who does not want Medicare for all?
  • Banks who profit from foreclosures from medical bankruptcy.  This is the number 1 reason for bankruptcy in the USA.
  • Drug companies who make billions off scams with insurance companies.
  • Insurance companies who profit off your pain and suffering. They take your money for premiums then try everything they can to avoid paying the bills they promised you they would take care of.
  • Some Conservatives who feel the old way is always the best way and fear change.
  • Politicians who rake in billions from Banks, Drug and Insurance companies

Chain Migration

So President Trump talks a lot about Immigration and one of his pet scarecrows is so called "Chain Migration".
He is claiming it needs to end as it lets immigrants bring in relatives then those bring in more and son the whole country is overwhelmed with races he hates.
Is this true, or just another one of his lies?

Look for yourself

  • The Cotton/Purdue Plan
As you can see, it takes a long time and passing strict requirements, including proof of financial capability to sponsor a family member.
Think about this and the other ideas the GOP are floating around.
  • They want to end or reduce the ability for American CITIZENS to bring in foreign relatives. This means they want to take away YOUR rights as citizens. This affects soldiers and business people deployed overseas who marry and want to bring their family home.
  • The GOP want to limit immigrants who have family here and instead bring in workers to compete for your jobs. As usual its all about the money. The GOP wants to provide cheap labor to the corporations that pay for their campaigns and other perks.
So tell me why Trump supporters think this is a good idea?  Your letting them take away YOUR rights as an American and your jobs!

Immigration Reform does need to happen, but building a wall and trying to bring n cheap labor is not the right way. We should improve border security, but in a manner that is less wasteful of taxpayer money and does a better job.  We also need to focus more on those who overstay Visas which is really where most illegal immigration comes from.
We also need to stop with the idiotic rhetoric against Sanctuary cities. Trump wants to force local police to act as ICE.  Local officials say that States Rights should be protected and why should they have to pay for federal programs. Not only does this unfairly penalize and take away the local rights it increases the risks to local citizens.
When local immigrants are afraid to talk to the police crimes go unreported and gangs grow in power.
Sanctuary cities merely tel ICE to do their own job and the local police will do theirs.  It is a system that works as these cities have lower crime rates and are more prosperous.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Pyramid #3/111 Combat II Review and author notes

So this months Pyramid #/111 Combat II is out and I decoded to review it here.
More talk about the issue can be found on the Steve Jackson Games Forums.


The Witched Gun

I liked this article, well researched and good flavor stuff with decent crunch.
There was a lot of background flavor and cultural references which I liked. The crunch felt a little lacking but covered several magic systems and options. The reason it feels lacking was it felt like a mall part of the word count and by covering so many systems it was almost like a bunch of footnotes.
Overall I did like it, and the crunch includes new options as well as pre-built abilities to save the GM and players time.

The Wrestler

This adds a new profession to the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game. The Wrestler adds a new option to your game and includes a full template. Its a great well written article by the DFRPG author and GURPS line editor Sean Punch that lets players have a nonlethal combat specialist. Sometimes you want to capture instead of kill your foe and these guys are great at it.


Car Wars in space?!
This is a great setting and should be given its own book and possibly series, or a kickstarter box treatment. Seriously this is a great Space Opera setting and I think the best one in that genre GURPS has produced.
The key feature that makes it work is the setting feature that FTL travel only works through Stargates and these stargates have a harder time with larger ships. This means that starship travel is based around smaller starships which are more affordable on PC budgets. It then goes over some history which took the setting from an established and stable interstellar government to more of a Wild West or Pirate and Privateer setting that supports Car Wars style dueling and fighting.
The article includes several worked spaceship designs and is really suitable for some forms of Space Opera.  Space Opera is a large and popular genre that includes Star Trek, Star Wars, Starship Troopers, Lensmen, Fifth Element and many other books and media.
This variant is more towards the square jawed heroes, dashing rogues, western/frontier, and party focused space combat.
                 Settings are hard to do, GURPS has so much breadth and appeals to such varied interests that no setting can appeal to a majority of GURPS players. However David Pulver created one that can I think appeal to a lot of them.

Animal Combat Styles

This was my article so I wont speak to its quality, however I can speak to the reason I wrote it.
GURPS Martial Arts was designed primarily for humanoid combat. While certain nods were given to animals in that and other books I felt we needed more. This article covers the most common ones such as hunting cats, diving attacks of hawks and falcons, and even pack tactics. The article is great for beastmasters, druids, shaman, and any shapeshifter or animal (trained or PC) and includes styles ans new techniques for most animal types.

Creepy Charly

The Author J. Edward Tremlett specializes in creative and often odd character and setting ideas, He did not disappoint with this one with Creepy Charley. A mysterious Arms dealer that comes with varied backgrounds and possible plot hooks.This is a good one, aimed at modern day but could be converted to other settings.

Random Thought Table

A good solid look at Strategy and ideas for just making combat more interesting. Solid reading, especially for newer GMs.

Overall great reading but the crown jewel of the issue IMHO is Astroduel!  which I feel obligated to say again is a GREAT SETTING.
I like complex and rich settings, I really do. But this one is a simple beer and pretzel setting that can get more complex if you want it to.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Holding your Representative Accountable to YOU

Have you noticed how so many politicians pivot and avoid answering questions?
How when held to task they the excuse of a five year old "But look at so and so!"

The trouble is most politicians say one thing on the election trail and do another once elected.
Conservatives pretend to be patriotic and christian to get votes, yet once in office sell the country off to their donors and foreign investors and behave in unchristian like ways.
Liberals ignore pragmatism.

Regardless of what your issue is you need to be willing and able to voice your concerns and preferences.
So here is some contact and general info for the people who are supposed to represent YOU.
Who Represents me
Government contact info
By zip code

Open Secrets The go to site for checking on campaign finance.  See who bought your politician.
Personally I prefer politicians who get most, if not all their money from individual contributors. That means they got paid by voters, not companies or political organizations.