Business General Music Politics School/Work

Global trends, Equality and Financial Situations

I’ve just watched the Obama Deception, you can view it here:

[tubepress video=”eAaQNACwaLw”]

The premise of the Obama Deception is a conspiracy theory related to the New World Order. Now I know America has been the home to countless conspiracy theorists regarding everything from the Federal Reserve to JFK to 9/11, but this video I thought was done pretty convincingly. It’s a subject that I’ve thought about before, that the world is becoming more global and as it becomes more global, more organizations are built to communicate with other organizations. This creates the atmosphere for the ‘world government’ view that a globalist agenda is ultimately bad for society because of the same reason that big federal government is a bad thing: it has too much power and jeopardizes the freedom and liberty of citizens. I’m gonna go further with this with a rant about equality because I think it’s related:

Society and equality

Alot of people want to contribute to society, they set up foundations, they volunteer and donate to help the poor and disadvantaged.
I have several observations on society in general, and they are that:
1) Population continues to increase and life expectancy increases
2) Because of this contributing, equality also increases
3) Competition increases as a result of the population and equality increases.

Equality may seem fair but I think that it actually does some harm as well. In this recession, where the unemployment rate hovers around 10%,
the last thing we need is more competition. Because of population, life expectancy and equality, more people are getting educated.
Have you noticed the admissions rate for top US universities are getting lower each year? That’s because there’s more admissions each year,
as international students from China and India which are becoming more competitive keep applying. More admissions + Same student space at top universities = greater more competitive admission pool = less admissions.

At the same time, more people are getting bachelor’s degrees. I don’t even need to cite a statistic I think this is quite obvious.
The more bachelor’s degrees, the more employers are going to have to look for extra credentials. In this day and age, just a
bachelor’s degree is hardly impressive. In order to compete, you need some high GPA/ lots of work exp/research exp/leadership exp/etc
Those days when parents thought their kids can get a good job with just a university degree is over.
Therefore I believe the problem is that there’s too much competition, especially in the Western world.

The solution is that there needs to be population control and a maintaining of social order. Americans have priviledges that many countries don’t.
This can only exist when there’s a social order. I recognize the need to help starving families in Africa and India but if everyone were equal, then
no one could have priviledge and capitalism cannot exist. This is the same argument Democrats and Republicans are making. Democrats are for
equality and ‘socialism’ to an extent. Republicans champion freedom, choice and the free market.

The world needs to be more about freedom and social order. The problem is the world is getting more competitive and at this rate, we will see
the population of the United States double in 20 years and people from Africa applying to US universities creating even more competition in ADDITION
to people from Asia. This amount of demand needs to be balanced with supply, and I don’t foresee any way the US and Canada can meet this supply at the very top levels. Sure more people=>more companies=>more jobs but it seems the job creation lags far below that of job demand right now and that issue needs to be fixed.

That is my complaint with the amount of contributing that goes on in the world. Population needs to be controlled. Third world countries exist for a reason and that is to be at the bottom of the social hieararchy. How can the United States and Canada be at the top if there weren’t any developing countries? War/disease also exists to control the population and thus lower the amount of competition. The employment rate after WWII was very low,
during the 50s and 60s unemployment topped at around 7% and is as low as 3.x% during the Truman/Eisenhower administration. Why? because soldiers who
died in WWII can no longer compete for jobs. This is part of the reason why the economy booms the decade after the war. In short, I think war/disease can actually be healthy for the economy in the long term if it occurs in line with population growth.

Personal situation
So now that I got that rant out of the way: my finances have been suffering quite a bit recently. Stock market has not been good to me this year (lost all my profits from last year + $2000 in principal), I had to sell my car to pay for my tuition at a $1600 loss, I got scammed $2200 from a shady website contractor, and overall I’m in the red. Midterms have been stressful, and I’ve also joined some extracurricular activities like AIESEC and developing Magic cards in my spare time with CardForge. All in all though, I think my weaknesses here are evident. I am too impulsive with my money; despite my preaching of fiscal conservatism, I should actually work on practicing it sometime. I lack attention to detail in my projects, something that my PEY supervisor docked me for. What drives me is the thought that if I can do well in my courses, then I will have a shot at going where I want to go, and achieving what I want to achieve. Take a look at my spending distribution below and you can pretty much see that besides my tuition, my car was my biggest expense and perhaps the freedom of driving wasn’t worth the ~$10k that I spent on it.

Spending distribution (May '09 - Sept '10)
Spending distribution (May '09 - Sept '10)

I will end off this lengthy post with some videos I recorded recently: while my singing is still not great, I think I’ve improved with that from before (and yes I’m obsessed with the Beatles):

[tubepress video=”M-1BcImc0Io”]
[tubepress video=”gPnmo1coW9Y”]
[tubepress video=”92EkF2PM41E”]
[tubepress video=”F_PJEs1BYpU”]
[tubepress video=”ftuPiUsJaac”]
[tubepress video=”e-BdhQ-wyCE”]

Politics School/Work

Thoughts today after lecture (big vs small government)

For the first time in college, I disagreed not with the professor, but with what he was teaching. The class I was in is called Public Economics, and it was about what role the government should have in the free market. Naturally, this topic is subject to political bias and the part I disagreed with was what was referred to as the ‘Second fundamental welfare theorem’ which essentially stated that the government should redistribute wealth in lump sum payments between individuals in order to make the market more efficient.

I disagree with this on several levels. Firstly, that the professor mentioned Pareto efficiency had several problems, one of which was that it introduced inequality. I argued that one of the consequences of capitalism was that it produced inequality, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, and here they are treating it as something which must be fixed. I also argued that redistribution of wealth was socialism; the government should not tax one group (ie. the wealthy) to benefit another group (the poor) for the sake of equality. I argued that the principles of capitalism is that there exists a social hierarchy where one group could be better off than the other. This makes the economy more competitive. The power of the free market will hold true, mostly. The Panics of 1873, 1893, 1907, the Great Depression, and the current recession being examples of where government intervention was needed to prevent total economic collapse, so I believe a minimal amount of regulation is needed (the Fed Reserve was created after the 1907 panic). Some regulation is needed, but not too much so that it doesn’t interfere with private enterprise.

The professor’s response was that socialism wasn’t necessarily bad, but I think that this is a point of ideological contention. Liberals would agree, but me as a conservative would disagree with government taking such a big role in society. Health care is another issue, that I think should be left to private enterprise. One reason is that businesses are able to use money more effectively than government. If the goal of every business is to make profit, then the quality of private services should always equal or exceed that of the government, which doesn’t make profit, therefore has no incentive to provide good quality. Second, it gives individuals choice. If I want health care then I will pay for it, even if the premiums are higher, so what I am getting better quality. And if someone who is poor can’t afford health care then so be it, that’s the nature of survival of the fittest. If I don’t want health care, then I don’t pay for it, and I’m not taxed to provide health care to others (which is what the single payer system does). To me, health care is a privilege, not a right.

Here is the fundamental difference between the US and Canada; the US promotes little intervention by the government in the free market, they have a food stamp system for low income earners; Canada has the welfare system. The US’s ideology is to cut taxes for people, but especially the high income earners, in the belief that they will use that tax money saved to invest more and hire more workers, which is trickle down economics. Canada’s ideology is to tax the rich and middle class more such that public goods such as healthcare and subsidies could be provided to the lower class.

I do not agree that society should somehow be more equal; that is on the path to communism, and eliminates the competitiveness of the economy. When everybody is equal, no one has incentive to move up, and therefore productiveness and competitiveness fall. This is why I believe Canadian workers and the Canadian economy is both less productive and less competitive than the American economy. In Canada, because of this huge social safety net, one has less incentive to do better, whereas in America, people have the desire to achieve and aim higher because everyone is out for themselves.

In short, though I disagree with the professor and the material he teaches, I can’t drop this course, so I will have to do my best to push aside any political commentary I may have. I do question the ‘fundamental’ theorem though, because being a theorem, it assumes that it’s always right, and there are lots of economists in the US, along with me, that would disagree with that assumption.