Archive for January, 2014

The “Invisible Hand”: Why America Won And Is Now Failing

January 31, 2014

The “Invisible Hand”: Why America Won And Is Now Failing

In his 2007 book, Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, Economist Thomas Sowell illustrates Adam Smith’s so-called “Invisible Hand” of the free market.

“How an incredibly complex, high-tech economy can operate without any central direction is baffling to many. The last President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, is said to have asked British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: How do you see to it that people get food? The answer was that she didn’t. Prices did that” (p. 11).

“While markets coordinated by price movements—‘Capitalism’ as it is called—may seem like a simple thing, markets are misunderstood more often than some other things that are considered more complex. Although a free market economic system is sometimes called a profit system, it is in reality a profit-and-loss system—and the loses are equally important for the efficiency of the economy, because losses tell producers what to stop producing. Without knowing why consumers like one set of features rather than another,  producers automatically produce more of what earns a profit and less of what is losing money. That amounts to producing what the consumers want and stopping the production of what they don’t want. Although the producers are only looking out for themselves and their companies’ bottom line, nevertheless from the standpoint of the economy as a whole the society is using its scarce resources more efficiently because decisions are guided by prices” (p. 15).

“Near the end of the Soviet Union, two of these , Shmelev and Popov, whom we have already quoted, said: ‘Everything is interconnected in the world of prices, so that the smallest change in one element is passed along the chain to millions of others.’  Adam Smith, the most famous of all free market economists, could not have said it better. The Soviet economists were especially aware of the role of prices from having seen what happened when prices were not allowed to perform that role. But economists were not in charge of the Soviet economy. Under Stalin, a number of economists were shot for saying things that he did not want to hear” (p. 29).

No socialist or communist government on earth has ever been able to create the high levels of productivity, wealth and population standards of living, and a quality of life that the combination of political freedom and capitalism have. For example, while there are relatively poor people in America, they enjoy standards of living and conveniences that are envied around the world. Why else would quest to immigrate to America be so strong?

America’s great 1976 Nobel Prize winner in Economics was Milton Friedman. In his powerful book, Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition (2009), he carefully documents that Capitalism,  Freedom and relative prosperity have been  closely associated in throughout history.

“I know of no example in time or place of a society that has been marked by a large measure of political freedom, and that has not also used something comparable to a free market to organize the bulk of economic activity.

Because we live in a largely free society, we tend to forget how limited is the span of time and the part of the globe for which there has ever been anything like political freedom; the typical state of mankind is tyranny, servitude, and misery. The nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the Western world stand out as striking exceptions to the general trend of historical development. Political freedom in this instance clearly came along with the free market and the development of capitalist institutions. So also did political freedom in the golden age of Greece and in the early days of the Roman era” (Kindle loc. 336).

History would indicate that large sociocultures based upon Marxism/Socialist or Welfare-State designs, by any measure, cannot provide a greater standard of living or quality of life for its citizens than politically free Capitalist societies.

From a psychological perspective, the contingencies of positive reinforcement (rewards), punishment (painful consequences) and extinction (no rewards) that are governmentally imposed by these cultural designs are “bassackwards”. As a result, these systems tend to produce citizens who are dependent upon their governments for their care and general well-fare.

Marxist and socialist societies often heavily resort to using punishment, even executions,  to control  the behaviors of their citizens. They badly mismanage the application of the  Law of Effect. You will recall that this psychological Law states that very important behaviors are controlled by consequences. Furthermore, behavioral science has clearly demonstrated that it is much more effective to use rewards to motivate behavior than to use coercion in the form of threats, fines, fear of imprisonment, or death.

Another important idea is that of the Law of Least Effort. The Law of least effort states that animals and humans tend to learn to obtain their rewards, or escape and avoid pain, in the least effortful ways available. For example, if  welfare entitlements, housing allotments, or disability awards, etc., are easily obtained by those who are capable of working very bad things will happen. In a welfare State, increasing numbers, so raised and acculturated, will settle for dramatically unproductive lives and lower standards of living. These segments of a population may commonly be called “lazy and irresponsible”. But their relatively useless culture-damaging and draining behavior patterns are technically “not their fault”. Their behavior is actually a result of the way their societies have arranged the contingencies of reinforcement for them.

The facts are clear, when creativity, inventiveness, diligent hard work, and lawful pro-social behavior patterns are no longer differentially reinforced within a population the rates of these behavior patterns will diminish. Instead, population rates of dependent, unproductive and damaging classes of behavior will increase.

Can you not see this in America today?

Wake-Up America!

VTM, 1/31/14

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Our Electorate, Our Future Leaders? God Help Us!

January 30, 2014

Our Electorate, Our Future Leaders? God Help Us!!

The Founding Fathers knew that our Constitutional Republic could not stand without an educated, informed and moral citizenry.

I wonder what they would think of the following video.

Perhaps it is not a random sample. But they can still vote!!

Watch this and be informed.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/29/people-react-to-obamas-speechbefore-it-happened-jimmy-kimmel-does-it-again/

VTM, 1/30/14

Benefits of America’s Bill of Rights–(Erratum!)

January 30, 2014

Benefits of America’s Bill of Rights–(Erratum!)

I apologize for accidental omissions at the beginning of my first attempt to post this blog.

The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights was designed to protect freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. It also protects the freedom to assemble, to protest and to petition the government.

The Founding Fathers were also keenly aware of human’s moral and ethical fallibility. They knew that access to  power and wealth was a corrupting temptation that very few could resist. They knew, as B. F. Skinner and other behavioral psychologists have learned, that to establish healthy social relationships between people, as well as the those who govern and those who are governed, that control (influence by rule and consequences) must be reciprocal.

Because the Framers believed that self-protection was a God-given right, the Second Amendment was given the second highest position in the hierarchy of rights. They intended that the government was to be a government of the people and by the people and if the government were to devolve into tyranny, the people also had a God-given right to rise-up (under arms if necessary) and fashion a new government.

This ominous fact must be stated. But, do not think that I am advocating an armed over-throw of our government. I am certainly not. Not yet, anyway.

I still retain hope, though it is a fragile hope, that the recent tyrannical evolutions of America’s government can be reversed by an informed and motivated electorate. The Second Amendment protects the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms. “ A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Yes, at the time of America’s Founding, people had a right to hunt and to protect themselves from criminals. But the overarching reason for the second amendment was to allow citizens to protect themselves from the government!

I have heard progressives argue that this reason for the 2nd amendment is outmoded because the State’s modern military weaponry can easily trump citizens armed with pistols and rifles. I would ask them to tell that to the North Vietnamese and the radical Islamic terrorists. Simply put, a large militia with small arms is able to wreak havoc on a superior force, and they can “repatriate” more effective arms from a superior force in many clever and devastating ways.

America’s Bill of rights, with its eight other Amendments are all dedicated to protecting citizens from aversive treatment by the government. In the 3rd Amendment, our military cannot commandeer your home unless prescribed by law; the 4th protects the right to privacy and security in our homes prohibiting search without warrant; the 5th establishes fair rules for indictment, eminent domain, due process, self-incrimination and double jeopardy; the 6th grantees the right to a speedy public trial by jury, representation, and more; the 7th, grantees the right to trial by jury in civil cases according to common low; the 8th prohibits excessive fines, excessive bail, or cruel and unusual punishment; the 9th protects the rights of States that are not enumerated in constitution; and 10th  limits powers of Federal Government over he States to only those delegated to it by constitution.

The complete list of 27 Amendments are too lengthy to examine here, but suffice it to say, with exception of the 21st , which was prohibition,  most our constitutional Amendments  were designed to protect citizens from unfair and abusive treatment by the government.

Again, a great deal of psychological research underscores the wisdom of greatly limiting the unfair, abusive i.e., aversive treatment of others (in this case citizens by their government). Research and history clearly show that such aversive treatment of people tends to elicit or occasion aggression within the population, efforts to escape the socioculture, and often citizen uprisings and revolutionary attacks upon the tyrannical government.

America also adopted Capitalism which is a free market economic system, along with property rights, copy rights, patents and a legal system to protect and preserve these essential features of its socioculture. In capitalism, hard work, ingenuity, inventiveness, reasonable knowledge-based risk taking, business ventures, hiring others, making money, saving, and investing in market enterprises are all encouraged.

In all of this, success is positively reinforced (rewarded) with material consequences. Social rewards normally also follow economic success, such as notoriety and probable upward social mobility. Because of these rules and rewarding consequences for success in America’s economic system, citizens have been highly motivated to work, improve themselves, create, invent and manufacture goods and services at a higher rate of occurrence than among sociocultures who do not arrange free market rewards to follow such behaviors. Economically, capitalism outperforms socialistic and  communistic economies because the rules and contingencies of positive reinforcement for productivity are far superior.

The free market automatically produces goods and services in the quantities needed and distributes them to the areas and people who need them, without central governmental planning. This is where the free market whips  governmentally managed markets every time.

Bureaucracies, and especially very large bureaucracies, are universally inefficient and they are profoundly incapable of making the millions of decisions about production, marketing, distribution and pricing that are made with amazing speed and efficiency by the free market. There is no contest between government-run national markets and free markets run by the self-interest of millions of entrepreneurs and buyers in accordance with reasonable governmentally maintained, commerce-friendly rules for ethical conduct. 

In recent years, socialist/communist/Statist operatives have sought to change our Constitution, or devise ways to circumvent its rules for governmental conduct.

These individuals must be stopped by an informed and highly motivated voting citizenry. To fail in this will lead to America’s continuing decline and almost certain citzen’s insurrection.

VTM, 1/28/14

A Wisdom-Laden Warning From The Past

January 27, 2014

A Wisdom-Laden Warning From The Past

This quote is often attributed to the Roman Statesman, Cicero (103BC – 43BC). It is actually a paraphrase from a 1965 essay by Justice Millard Caldwell. The paraphrase appears to be from the Second Catiline Oration, but drastically changes the rhetoric.

I will ask you: Can you see the specter of our now so-afflicted America in this wisdom-laden warning from the past?

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared. The traitor is the carrier of the plague. You have unbarred the gates of Rome to him.”

The correction for this quote was found on Wikiquotes     http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Cicero     This erratum is located near the bottom of the page of mistaken Cicero quotes.

VTM, 1/27/14

P. S., Thanks to John Plume for sending me this prescient quote of Justice Millard Caldwell.

Wrongful Divorces and Just Desserts

January 25, 2014

Wrongful Divorces and Just Desserts

As a practicing psychologist, I can tell you that there are a few very good reasons to get a divorce.  Simply becoming bored with an “old hat” partner and then finding someone new and exciting is not one of them. This is exponentially more true if children are involved.

I have blogged more seriously on the topic of divorce in he past and I invite you to go to the search box, on the right side of this page (near the top)  where is reads: “Search This Site“. Then type-in the word “divorce “and press enter on you key board.

The following is a “mildly sadistic”, but greatly entertaining exercise in fantasy that I hope you will read and get a few chuckles about.

Enjoy this funny fantasy, but don’t encourage anyone to ever try it! I expect, in reality, that it is a fraudulent act and punishable under the law.

Still, just for fun, we can enjoy this funny story knowing full-well that many things that are really fun to think about are either illegal or unethical.

On the other-hand, be careful not think about such fun things too much. They can become all too tempting…..like the one below!   ; – )

The following was sent to me by a dear friend and  as mutual friend of ours would say, “This one is a hoot!”

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“On the first day, he sadly packed his  belongings into boxes, crates  and suitcases.   

 On the  second day, he had the movers come and collect his  things.  On the third day, he sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining room table, by candlelight; he put on some soft background music, and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar, and a bottle of spring water.    When he’d finished, he went into each and every room and deposited a few half eaten shrimps dipped in caviar into the hollow center of the curtain rods. He then cleaned up the kitchen and left.    On the fourth day, the wife came back with her new boyfriend, and at first all was bliss.  Then, slowly, the house began to smell.  They tried everything; cleaning, mopping, and airing out the place. Vents were checked for dead rodents, and carpets were steam cleaned. Air fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which time the two had to move out for a few days, and in the end they even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting. . . Nothing worked!    People stopped coming over to visit. Repairmen refused to work in the house. The maid quit.

Finally, they couldn’t take the stench any longer, and decided they had to move, but a month later – even though they’d cut their price in half – they couldn’t find a buyer for such a stinky house.   Word got out, and eventually even the local realtors refused to return their calls.

Finally, unable to wait any longer for a purchaser, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place.

Then the ex called the woman and asked how things were going. She told him the saga of the rotting house. He listened politely and said that he missed his old home terribly and would be willing to reduce his divorce settlement in exchange for having the house.

Knowing he could have no idea how bad the smell really was, she agreed on a price that was only 1/10th of what the house had been worth … but only if he would sign the papers that very day. He agreed, and within two hours her lawyers delivered the completed paperwork.

A week later the woman and her boyfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home …… and to spite the ex-husband, they even took the curtain rods!”

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VTM, 1/25/2014

 Thanks to Cindy Kanning for sending this entertaining story to me.

“Don’t Feed The Animals: It Will Make Them Dependent”

January 23, 2014

“Don’t Feed The Animals: It Will Make Them Dependent”

We have seen these signs in parks and wild-life areas around America.

However, it has become politically incorrect, and therefore socially punished in various ways, to oppose our rapidly growing welfare State.

The perfectly predictable results of this non-contingent largess is stunningly represented in the radio interview below. Do not miss it!

This radio interview will illustrate the obvious: humans behave like all other animals when they are given sustenance and material wealth free from any work requirements.

How could it be any different. Humans are either vegetables, minerals or animals. There are no other categories.

I consider America’s rapidly growing welfare state to be the traitorous work of crypto Marxists and socialists who tax the working class to provide sustenance and material wealth to a growing population of undereducated, unproductive, and useless citizens. A growing percent of this socially entropic population are barbarians: they kill, rape, and pillage helpless working and/or law-abiding citizens.

We all understand and respect the need to help those who cannot work for various mental, physical or age-related reasons. But these are vastly different conditions than the ones addressed above.

As our treasonous politicians cultivate their own highly dependent and largely ignorant constituency, they are destroying America in order to achieve their own personal aggrandizement and influence.

They must be removed from power or all is lost.

http://safeshare.tv/w/csrqsTAmSx

VTM, 1/23/14

Thanks to Steven Breunling for sending this radio interview to me.

Sometimes I Just Get Too “Heavy”: So, Enjoy A Hoot!

January 21, 2014

 

Sometimes I Just Get Too “Heavy”: Enjoy A Hoot!

Do your selves a favor and watch this comedy sketch to the end.  Perhaps you will see why I have always had a special appreciation of British humor. Or, maybe you will discover just how juvenile I can still be at the age of 71 yrs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjJc8xLYhak&feature=em-subs_digest
VTM, 1/21/14
Thanks to Lee Hornack for sending this very funny video my way.

America’s Mandated Worship of Humankind

January 20, 2014

America’s Mandated Worship of Humankind

In previous blogs, I have detailed many of the reasons that Marxist/Socialist sociocultural designs fail, and there are many. In general, these reasons for failure have implied that Marxist/socialist ideologies run counter to human nature and that they sap the morality, magnitude, perseverance, creativity and productivity from the behavioral potential of the populations living under these maladaptive rules (i.e., metacontingencies).

These arguments are as true and they are based upon the repeated observations of world history, and now, modern American history.

From a science of psychology perspective, it could not be different. If we ask why Marxism and socialism will always fail, the answer might be that all political systems eventually fail, i.e., they all carry the seeds of their own destruction within their designs.

While this could be true, it is too early for humankind to accept this as “Revealed Truth”. After all, humankind has never used the principles of the science of psychology to aid them in the design a culture, or perhaps the fine-tuning of a successful cultural design. In my view, the closest than any socioculture has ever come to a science of human psychology-based cultural design was the miraculously prescient design of America’s Constitution and the national experiment that exploded into world dominance within 200 years of its creation.

It is a fact that our Founding Fathers were almost all men of Faith. They knew that for their Constitutional Design to work, its governance had to be predicated upon a firm base of compatible moral codes among the governed. These population faith-based moral codes were superficially different, but profoundly similar, in that they were cut from Judeo/Christian Protestant cloth. In the past, I have written about the superiority of a Faith-Based moral code over a purely humanistic one and I judge that history, as well as important principles of psychology, have proved the case.

The Founding Fathers understood that governmental aversive suppression (fines, exclusion, imprisonment, torture, or execution) for citizen’s Faith-based beliefs and their thinking, writing, reading and saying what they wished would eventually lead to insurrections, escape, or the overthrow of the government. A psychological principle is that severe aversive control of human behavior creates a variety of diagnosable human psychopathologies, as well as displaced aggression and counter aggression.

Contrary to the propaganda of revisionists, (i.e., separation of Church and State), forbidding prayers or religious symbols in public schools and on other public properties, such choices were originally to be left to the States and their local communities. Such choices, activities and symbols were never to be forbidden by the Federal Government.

Sadly, from a psychological perspective, without the important effects of associational learning as well as reinforcing,  modeling and imitation influences of local community religious traditions and rituals, both within and also outside of churches, America’s moral and ethical behavior has eroded over-time. Can you not see this happening?

The Framers intended the American Constitution to protect the citizens from a Federally adopted and imposed or mandated religion, not to protect them from the public display of their own religiosity and attendant codes of ethics.

The effect of this “progressive”  bastardization of the meaning and intent of America’s Constitution was not to place religion in its proper place, i.e., the churches and the confines our homes. It was predictably, to supplant America’s traditional religions with a new one. This new religion is and atheistic secular humanism.

Secular humanism is the preferred religion of socialists and communists because it focuses a population’s faith in human intelligence and the power of a government of humans to achieve utopian levels of goodness and equality for all. It is the ultimate deceit, and also the ultimate conceit , that America’s Federal Government would outlaw the public practice of its traditional religions and mandate the public practice of humankind’s worship of itself.

VTM, 1/20/14

Tyrannical, Despotic, Oligarchical Supreme Court Destroying America!

January 19, 2014

Tyrannical, Despotic, Oligarchical Supreme Court Destroying America!

Mark Levin is an attorney and syndicated talk-radio host. He also  served as an advisor to members of President Regan’s cabinet. He is president of the Landmark Legal Foundation which is the oldest, non-profit conservative public interest law firm, dating back to 1976.

The goal of this foundation is to “restore and preserve the legacy the Founders of our Republic bequeathed to all of us more than 237 years ago” (quoted from the LLF’s Home Page). Mr. Levin is widely regarded as a top expert in constitutional law and the ways in which progressive/socialist/liberals in both parties have fought, using our legal system and governmental power-grabs, to increase Federal control over States’and individual Constitutional rights.

In Levin’s book entitled: Men In Black: How The Supreme Court Is Destroying America (2005), he documents the many ways in which the power of the Supreme court has corrupted the clear intentions of the Framers of our American Constitution.

Levin cites the 1803 Marbury v. Madison decision in which the Supreme court declared that it had the power to judge cases involving the constitutionality of congressional or executive actions. Furthermore, if the Supreme court found that Constitutional violations had occurred, the high court could overturn them. Levin states: “The shorthand label given to this Court-made authority is ‘judicial review’. And this, quite literally, is the foundation for the runaway power exercised by the federal courts to this day” (p. 30).

But such concerns predated those of Levin’s and he documented them quoting a letter written from Monticello by the author of the Declaration of Independence, in 1820. Thomas Jefferson wrote the following;

“To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps…and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves”(p. 33).

Levin stated the “ruling in Marbury was nothing short of a counter-revolution. For 200 year, the elected branches have largely acquiesced to the judiciary’s tyranny” (p. 33).

This book’s chapter title nicely summarize, with specific judicial rulings, how America’s judiciary has increasingly robbed states and individuals of their liberty: Death by Privacy, Justices in the Bedroom, Endorsing Racism, Citizenship Up for Grabs, Al Qaeda Gets a Lawyer, Socialism from the Bench, Silencing Political Debate, The Court Counts the Ballots, and Liberals Stack the Bench, all tell the story of  judicial rulings’s powerful role in progressively transforming  America’s political and  social culture into something never intended by our Founding Fathers.

Given the combined unholy cultural incursions of  Marxist/Socialist ideology (and now Islamic Sharia Law) into our institutions,  we should not be surprised to see Americas historical essence dissipating, in real-time, right before our eyes.

VTM, 1/19/14

Chandler’s “Shadow World” 4

January 18, 2014

Chandler’s “Shadow World” 4

Chandlers book, Shadow Land, correctly identifies Islam’s continuing ancient goal of transforming the world’s civilizations into a Califate under the rule of Islam’s Sharia Law. These religious-military initiatives were first recorded in the centuries leading up to the Crusades, occurring roughly between the 11th and 13th centuries.

With the resurgence of a series of murderous attacks upon the West and elsewhere by Islamic terrorists, between 1968 and 1979, it could be said that the Crusades are now continuing into the 21st Century.

The documentation of these attacks, continuing to the present, is presented in a PBS article by fully qualified author named John Moore. To see this article, enter the following URL in you computer search engine. 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/target/etc/modern.html

For further documentation of Islam’s Holy war (Jihad) against all infidels (non believers), I will recommend that you read Robert Spencer’s books Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About The World’s Fastest-Growing Faith (2002); and Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam Is Subverting America Without Guns or Bombs (2008). He was ahead of the curve in recognizing these Islamic Crusades enveloping the world in the 21st century. For a stunning revelation of Islam’s recent progress in establishing Sharia Law,  the Laws of the Koran superseding civil and criminal law in free countries, simply engage you computer’s search engine using the titles: “Sharia law in Great Britain”; France; Holland; Germany; Canada, and other presently free countries.

America is asleep in the wheel house. Islam’s Muslim theocracy, based upon the primacy of Sharia Law is irreparably incompatible with Western-style liberal democracies. It is a pernicious anathema to America’s fading Constitution-based representative form of government.

As discussed earlier, Antonio Gramsci cracked the code for Marxising America. He correctly recognized that skilled, incremental, surreptitious and generally peaceful evolutionary incursions into the American ethos; cloaked in terms of freedom, democracy, and fairness, social justice would be successful.

Gramsci knew that the seeds of our destruction lay in what has traditionally been our strong points: Our acceptance of diversity, comparatively open borders, universities, media, religious, political, judicial, social systems.

We have seen a cabal of loosely coordinated forces, both peaceful and violent, dedicated to destroying liberal democracy around the world and making great gains in the recent history.

VTM, 1/18/14


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