Hey, Snowflake! Wide Airline Seats to Accommodate Your Extra-Large Arse are NOT a Human Right!


I hate air travel. I really do. I realize it’s sometimes necessary to cram myself into a gigantic metal tube with hundreds of my closest friends and feast on stale pretzels and flat soda, while it flies at a high rate of speed somewhere other than where I started, but I hate it. I hate the crowds, and the sometimes less than clean other passengers. I hate the TSA gropage (although, I do have TSA Pre, so that part of it is mostly painless nowadays). I hate the stale, recycled air and the fact that nearly every time I fly, I wind up with someone’s respiratory crud, and if not that, I usually get some kind of skin rash from the seat, which is always an unmitigated joy.

Flying is not fun.

That said, it appears someone with Special Snowflake Syndrome (SSS) has decided to invent another human right – the basic right to room on a plane. Christopher Elliott is a travel journalist and co-founder of something called Travelers United, whose mission is to “advocate in Washington, DC for all travelers. We educate travelers on their travel rights and we educate lawmakers and regulators on consumer issues.”

I will say this: anytime someone invents a group to “advocate in Washington, DC” about a right they just invented, I begin to worry, because that generally means that they want legisleeches to do something about said invented right that has allegedly been violated by a private company – a company no one compels you to use at the point of a gun – and with whom you deal willingly by paying money for their service. As soon as someone claims an invented right has been violated, politicians eager to be seen as doing something for their constituents spring into action to remedy said alleged violation. It’s the “doing something” that worries me, because generally, in their frothing zeal to look responsive, they fail to rationally think through the legislation they cram through the legislature, and wind up violating ACTUAL rights – not the right invented by the Special Snowflake, who desperately needs an education on the nature of a right. In this case, the Special Snowflake and crew want the government to regulate the minimum legroom the airline can give passengers in economy class.

Elliott notes that the average economy-class seat amount of passenger legroom, has declined over the years, from about 35 inches in the 1970s to about 31 inches today. Seat width has declined too, from around a high of 20 inches back in the 1980s to about 17-18 inches, according to USA Today.

OK, I get it. It’s uncomfortable. It sucks. Half the time, I spend my flight trying to jam myself into the corner of my seat to avoid the oversized bulk of adipose tissue that overflows into my seat from my uber large neighbor. But you know what I do if I really feel that a service doesn’t live up to my expectations? I certainly don’t try to get Congress involved! I either choose not to fly, and choose another mode of transportation, purchase an upgrade to a more comfortable seat, or I SUCK IT UP! I certainly don’t invent a right and then try to force Congress to impose an obligation on another private entity to help me exercise it!

Look up the difference between positive and negative rights, Snowflake, and then shut your yap.

You pay for a seat on a mode of transportation. It does not have to be comfortable. It just has to be a seat. If you don’t like it, don’t fly.

You know what happens when someone invents a right and then gets Congress involved? Well, let me smartsplain it to your dumb ass.

  1. You invent the right to more legroom on a plane.
  2. You take said invention to Congress, and Congress passes a law that obligates airline companies to give you said room.
  3. Airplane manufacturers start making wider seats with more legroom, thereby allowing fewer passengers aboard.
  4. Airline loses profits due to fewer passengers, charges your entitled ass more money to sit in a crappy economy seat.
  5. You start complaining about higher airline prices, invent right to lower prices.
  6. You take said invented right to Congress, and Congress passes a law to cap prices.
  7. Lower profits force airlines to cut jobs.
  8. And so on…

Get it yet? You have the right to travel. You have no right to force someone else to make that travel pleasant or comfortable.

You have the right to purchase a ticket on a specific airline. If said airline doesn’t meet your expectations, you have the right to take your business elsewhere. You don’t have the right to force another entity to conform to your subjective expectations at the point of a government gun.

You have the right to bitch and moan about your experience. Hell, I do so quite a bit when I experience crappy customer service. And miraculously, you know what happens? The provider of said crappy service normally does everything in its power to fix it, because the last thing it needs is to lose business to bad publicity.

And that works a whole lot better than running crying to the nanny state, because someone didn’t give you the warm fuzzy you think you deserve.

No, I’m not rich – An Open Letter to My Tenants


I’m beginning to think that there’s a common misconception about people who choose to rent out the property they own is that they are rich slum lords getting rich off the backs of the common folk who pay them rent. I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s certainly not the case with me. I tried to sell my house in 2011, but couldn’t even get enough money for it to break even, let alone pay the realtor and the closing costs.

I was forced to rent out my house – first to a psycho who ran out on his lease and caused a ton of damage to my property, then to a very nice couple who were terrific, always paid on time, but unfortunately only stayed one year, and now my current tenants. Their rent payments don’t even cover my entire mortgage, and when you throw in the insurance I pay to ensure everything runs and the appliances work, I’m nearly $400 in the red each month. Each. Month.

Some slum lord, eh?

When I tried to refinance, the mortgage company tried to charge me something close to $10,000 in closing costs, because they said my house is an “investment property,” which certainly sounds like they think I’m rich enough to have “investment property,” so they can shake me down for higher closing costs. It’s not an investment property, shitbags. It’s an albatross I can’t shake, because home prices have bottomed out, and I’m forced to rent it to deadbeats who think paying just a little rent is OK, because I’m apparently rich.

Well, it’s not. So…

Dear Tenants – 

I realize it’s right after the holiday season, and times may be hard, but given the fact that you’ve been late or short on paying rent on the house I own and in which you’re living for a few months now, and given the fact that you’ve been completely nonchalant about it, thinking it’s no big deal, because it’s only a “few hundred dollars,” and I’m apparently rich enough to suck it up, let me disabuse you of a few erroneous notions.

I pay a monthly mortgage on the house in which I allow you to live. Said mortgage is actually several hundred more dollars than your rent. That’s right. I’m in the red every month due to circumstances beyond my control. When you add in the monthly insurance I’m paying to ensure that your appliances, plumbing, electrical, etc. are functioning correctly, I’m very much in the red. And yet, I’ve raised your rent only nominally and only once.

When you don’t pay your rent, I cannot pay my mortgage. Know why? Because my rent, combined with the mortgage I have to pay comes to nearly 80 percent of my takehome pay each month. That’s right – 80 percent. So when you don’t pay, or when you short me, I have to decide whether to pay the mortgage, pay my own rent, pay my utilities, make my car payments, or feed my kid! So that “few hundred dollars” you think is no big deal actually means quite a bit to me.

If I don’t pay my mortgage, my credit score is affected, and unlike some people, who would be very kind and would rent to you despite the bankruptcy you declared, most landlords aren’t so nice. Security sections at certain jobs aren’t so nice either. I don’t blame them. Their job is to ensure that people with security clearances aren’t having so much financial trouble, that they’re susceptible to bribery and would perhaps give away classified information. So if I don’t pay my mortgage, and my credit score goes down, my career could be jeopardized…

…all thanks to that “few hundred dollars” you don’t seem to think is a big deal. And by the way – those utility bills you’re also failing to pay are billed to me as well. So when you don’t pay them, guess who is held accountable!

You seem to think that everyone who owns a home and is renting it out is “rich,” so if you short them on rent or just not pay on time, they can wait or suck it up. Hate to tell you this (I’m trying really hard not to call you parasitic deadbeats), but some of us don’t have investment properties by choice. Some of us had to rent out our house to make ends meet. Some of us tried, but couldn’t sell our house, because it was underwater thanks to this awesome economy, and because the house lost over a third of its value since it was purchased. Some of us are facing increasing property taxes. Some of us are simply getting by.

I am not your slumlord. I am someone who relies on that rent check every month to keep afloat. That house is beautiful and spacious. It was home to us for seven years before you moved your asses into it. If you were living where I live, you would be paying $4,000+ per month for a five-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house with a finished basement on a corner lot, on a third of an acre of land and a fenced-in yard, and not the measly $1650 you are paying and defaulting on now. You’re getting a damn good deal, so have the common courtesy to pay in full and on time. And if you can no longer afford to live there, then get a smaller, cheaper place in a less desirable area. But don’t, for a moment, think that because I happen to own the property on which you live, that I’m independently wealthy, and that “few hundred dollars” doesn’t mean a whole lot or that you’re entitled to screw me. 

It means a lot. It’s not OK. Not even remotely.

And further, you have a rental agreement – a contract according to which you’re obligated to pay a certain amount by a certain date. I could charge you penalties, but I haven’t so far. At least be grateful for that, and don’t act like you’re doing me a favor by not being even more behind on rent than you already are!

I write this on behalf of every homeowner who’s been in my situation, and who has struggled to make ends meet, because they were forced to allow strangers to live in their house for a price and become dependent on that income to pay the mortgage.

It’s not OK to abuse them. Trust me.

Here’s your “living wage,” douchenuggets!

Comments Off on Here’s your “living wage,” douchenuggets!

It had all the makings of a heartwarming victory for the little guy.

A horde of minimum wage workers campaigning for what they claimed they were entitled to: a wage high enough to live in pricey London, because they deserve… because a concession stand cashier selling overpriced sodas and popcorn is entitled to the Pound Sterling equivalent of $14/hour… because RICH CORPORATION IS MAKING LOTS OF MONEY AND SHOULD GIVE, GIVE, GIVE ME WHAT I WANT – EARNED OR NOT.

A famous film maker supported the workers in demanding the cinema owners fork over the outlandishly high salaries, and sniveling mediots called for support of the oppressed workers.

When the company finally gave in, the ecstatic staff celebrated until the job cuts were announced.

Picturehouse Cinemas said that the cost of increasing basic wages at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton to £8.80 an hour would be absorbed by reducing the number of staff by at least 20, with a redundancy programme starting next month.

Two management posts will be axed along with eight supervisors, three technical staff and other front-of-house workers from its workforce of 93.

And now the workers union is crying that it’s retribution, that the company makes enough money and should not only pay workers more than their labor is worth, but also keep all of them in their jobs, whether they’re needed or not.

Apparently, these unskilled, barely educated, pierced, tattooed freaks feel themselves entitled to dictate to the executives of a company, who are ostensibly better educated and more experienced at running their business, how much profit is sufficient. So they’re demanding that their worthless asses keep their jobs at a higher wage, because their employer has enough profits.

Campaigners claim the Ritzy is the most successful art-house cinema in the UK and is owned by Picturehouse Cinemas, part of Cineworld, which is the largest cinema chain in Europe and has revenues of more than £400m.

Workers posted on Facebook: “This is nothing short of pure vindictive retaliation because we the workers showed that with determination and collectively, we could effect change to make our lives that tiny bit more comfortable.”

You know what makes lives more comfortable? Getting an education. Starting at the bottom and working your way up.

Forcing your employer to pay you more than what your labor is worth will get you only one thing: downsized.

I’m back, and here’s an update


Those of you who were hoping I’ve died off or got sick of blogging, too bad! I’ve just been working hard at three jobs – you know… Millions of liberals rely on my taxes!

No, I’ve just been tired and busy, and having thyroid issues with no response from my doctor. So I’m off to find a new doctor who will actually call me back with blood test results.

I’ve written several essays for Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and there’s a lot of cool stuff going on there.

I wrote a reply to the sniveling, drooling, perpetually outraged and ignorant Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, who claimed an NRA lobbyist should be fired for linking the disarmament of Jews in Nazi Germany to their subsequent mass slaughter and berating Jews who demand disarmament in the US for forgetting that inconvenient fact.

Jews should be the last people to advocate for government control of their means of self-defense and resistance. They should remember the disarmed Jews who were deprived not just of the right to defend themselves, but also their very lives in Nazi Germany. They should remember the abuses they suffered at the hands of the Soviets.

And they should oppose efforts to give the government control of their means of self-defense in the United States, instead of disparaging and belittling those who remind them of what they’ve chosen to ignore and trying to get them fired for stating an inconvenient truth that doesn’t jive with their political agenda.

Brian Judy should not apologize. He should stand strong on his convictions and remind Dvorchik and those like him that those who cannot or will not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

We, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership will never forget.

I wrote a profile of young shooting champ Shyanne Roberts after having a fun conversation with her and her dad Dan for nearly an hour. I consider this sweet, unassuming, determined child the future of gun rights in America, and I’m proud to know her and her family.

I’m still running a fundraiser for the Homeless Animals Rescue Team (HART) in Northern Virginia. I’ve given them $250 so far to help them work to save homeless, abused, sick and neglected pets. I did it in Mac’s name, and the fundraiser is still up. If any of you can, please do donate and spread the word about the link, because LOVE. For those of you who have already donated, I cannot thank you enough or properly convey my gratitude without literally bursting into tears! Thank you!

Been actively engaging with gun grabbing lunatics on Twitter. And I do mean LUNATICS! If you don’t already, follow @JPFO_Liberty on Twitter. You will see unhinged crazy like you’ve never seen before. It’s hilarious. Trust me.

I can't count or read or put a coherent sentence together, but GUNZ BAD!!!

I can’t count or read or put a coherent sentence together, but GUNZ BAD!!!



I dislike the Second Amendment almost as much as I dislike the First



This is how I debate. No logic. No reasoning. Just spew.



Because telling people who are politely asking you a question about an opinion requires telling them to fuck off. Stayin’ classy!



I’m unhinged, and there’s nothing you can do about it. GUN NUT!

Yeah… I love my job.

Oh, almost forgot. JPFO is running a lot of incredibly cool auctions. Until Tuesday, August 12, you have a shot at winning a unique, gorgeous piece of JPFO history: a Mossberg “Battle of Athens” shotgun once owned by the legendary Aaron Zelman, engraved and ready for you to bid on. As a bonus, the winner of the auction will receive Aaron’s own personal copy of the now out-of-print hardbound book on the Battle of Athens, autographed by author C. Stephen Byrum and dated 9/26/1994. Pretty cool, right?

There’s also a chance to win some autographed novels by passionate gun rights supporters and friends Michael Z. Williamson and Larry Correia, who generously donated their signed books for you to bid on.  I’ve often told Mike that I would kill him off in a few years and make a fortune selling his signed novels on Ebay. He doesn’t take me seriously… I don’t know why!

In other news, the EU finally got off its ass and sanctioned some major Russian banks and individuals who provide weapons and money to the Ukrainian separatist scumbags. In the aftermath of the Malaysian Airlines destruction and the impassioned speech by the Dutch Foreign Minister to the UN Security Council, it’s impossible to imagine that they would do nothing.

The president of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, and the head of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, issued a joint statement describing the EU measures as a strong warning that “Illegal annexation of territory and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country could not be accepted in 21st-century Europe.

“When the violence created spirals out of control and leads to the killing of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” they said. “The European Union will fulfil its obligations to protect and ensure the security of its citizens. And the European Union will stand by its neighbours and partners.”

Following a meeting of the emergency Cobra council of ministers on Tuesday, Downing Street said the UK will push for even harsher sanctions against Russia than the ones agreed by the EU if the country does not change course.

Balls. They found them. Good.

As a result, the IMF has cut Russia’s economic growth forecast in 2014 from 1.3 percent to 0.2 percent. Putin doesn’t seem to have been swayed yet. What I’m wondering is how long will the Russians citizens tolerate Putin’s ego getting in the way of economic development before they start revolting full on. They’re certainly used to misery, but when their government promises them to focus on economic development and growth and winds up annexing part of a neighboring country and spending money to destabilize the eastern portion of said neighbor, you have to wonder just how long the nationalism will carry them.

Still love work, although I sometimes feel like a mom rather than a boss. From a conversation with one of my guys, whom I’ll call Pigpen:

Me: dude, I’m not a neat freak but seriously… wrappers, empty Starbucks cups, snot rags, socks…. can we clean up the pigpen?

Pigpen: Uh… OK… I didn’t think it was that bad, but I’ll clean it up.


Pigpen: Look! I cleaned my desk up! (Opens overhead bin) Everything put away!

Bin stuffed full of napkins, random medications, cans of food…

Pigpen: The napkins are clean


My Putin Paranoia (FYI – some sources cited are in Russian)


This is my blog, and I’m allowed to don the tinfoil hat every once in a while. Now… if you’re looking for inane conspiritardery about U.S. involvement in Ukraine, us funding protests, chemtrails, using supersonic, nuclear generated EMP weapons to foment unrest in Ukraine in order to capture the considerable assets of Oleksandr Yanukovych, you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m paranoid, not insane.

Besides, just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Right? RIGHT???

In all seriousness, I’ve been quite a bit perplexed by the actions of Vladimir Putin these past few weeks.

I explained the background on the Ukraine situation already, so I’m not going to get into it here. You can certainly read what I’ve written on the topic here and here. But what I haven’t done is write down my theories on the Russian reaction to the unrest in Ukraine and the ultimate fall of Ukraine’s ever-so-corrupt government.

I will admit I was a bit surprised.

President Vladimir Putin spent a lot of time and resources integrating Russia into the global economy, positioning Russia as a legitimate member of the international community, entering the World Trade Organization, developing economic ties with the European Union, freeing political opponents, including Mikhail Khodorkovsky, had been imprisoned for more than a decade, and brokering a deal with Syria. Putin has endorsed some free market principles, such as privatization and improving Russia’s business climate.

But on the other hand, I also understood that Putin wanted to return Russia to its former world power status, and that was the ultimate goal all along.

But on the third hand, I figured economic development and GDP growth were critical to Putin’s ultimate goal. After all, returning  the country to its superpower status also involves not only the modernization of the Russian economy, but also the Russian military – a goal toward which Russia claimed it would commit between $650-$700 billion in procurement dollars.  That’s a lofty goal for a nation whose armaments programs had a tendency to fail due to inefficiencies, corruption and inflation. Russia needed the money after its little incursion into Georgia in 2008 showed just how ill-equipped its military was. Russia expert Dmitry Gorenburg says the military received no funding for new equipment between 1993-2008, and post-2008 programs were a big fail in executing the Russians’ lofty rearmament goals.

As a result, the vast majority of its armaments are both physically old and based on outdated designs. To deal with this problem, the Russian government has begun to implement a 10-year and $650 billion State Armament Program. The program’s goal is to ensure that 70 percent of the Russian military’s equipment is modern by 2020. The program’s top priorities are to re-equip the Strategic Rocket Forces, the air force, the air defense and space forces, and to provide more advanced command and control equipment for the military.

The problem is there’s just not enough money. Russia’s crumbling economic infrastructure needs urgent updates, and Russia’s economic growth is unable to support the planned levels of military spending. Hell, former Minister of Finance Alexey Kudrin resigned over the issue! And Putin himself admitted that GDP needs to grow before Russia can afford to fund all its ambitious military plans.

“We are setting the goal of accelerating economic growth to 6 percent, better to 6-7 percent, and join the list of the world’s top five economies in five years but not only because advanced economies will be falling but also because we’ll be growing,” Putin said at a congress of Business Russia public association, which unites the country’s medium-sized businesses.

Russia has set the ambitious task of expanding its per capita gross domestic product by 50 percent in the next decade “to achieve the level of more than $35,000 per person from the current $20,700,” Putin said.

In 2011, Russia’s GDP will grow by 4.2-4.5 percent, the premier said.

It did. According to the Economist, Russia’s GDP grew by 4.4 percent in 2011. You know how much it grew in 2012? 3.5 percent. You know how much it grew in 2013? 1.4 percent. Hardly close to Putin’s economic goals. And between the rising inflation and the possibility of sanctions that could impact the Russian economy, and the continuing capital flight, Russia’s economic modernization and its military rearmament goals aren’t likely to happen.

But on the fourth hand, if Putin did, indeed, want to return Russia to some semblance of a “держава” or world power status, he wanted a customs union to counteract the EU, and he needed Ukraine to join, since the latter is a significant Eurasian economy. This is why Russia put so much political and economic pressure on Ukraine to not sign the Association Agreement with the EU, which ultimately caused Yanukovych to turn away from the West and pursue closer ties to Russia, and precipitated the demonstrations which later turned violent.

And that’s why I was a bit perplexed. Turning around into an aggressive invader shortly after hosting a Winter Olympics and after joining the WTO, and claiming to embrace economic development is incongruous. But it happened, didn’t it?

But what if…?

What if Putin’s plan all along has been to contribute to the destabilization of Ukraine and ultimately annex the Crimea?

What if Putin very carefully worked on crafting Russia’s image for the past decade, integrating his country into the international community and global economy, and lulling the west into a false sense of security?

What if Putin was playing the long game, working to ensure that the economy of Russia was so connected to the economies of the West and the United States that any significant economic decline in Russia would mean severe economic consequences for the United States and the European Union?

Because the result seems to be the following:

Any sanctions imposed on Russia or its assets will affect the EU and the United States. Andrey Klishas, chairman of the Federation Council committee for constitutional legislation has introduced a bill in the Duma that would seize the assets and accounts of American and European companies should sanctions be imposed on Russia.  Europe’s sanctions on Russia could cut the oligarchs and members of the Russian government off from the European cities where many have properties and European banks, where many have cash. Meanwhile, Russia is threatening retaliation if sanctions are imposed. A Kremlin aide publicly warned a few days ago of the repercussions. Sergey Glazyev said if America were to impose sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, Moscow might drop the dollar as a reserve currency and refuse to pay off any loans to U.S. banks.

Frankly, Russians are used to economic hardship. Us spoiled first-worlders in the West are not so much.

Could Putin’s calculus include the fact that the West would be just as impacted by Russia’s economic downturn as Russia itself?

Could he understand that despite the current economic slowdown and Russia’s obvious intent to annex the Crimea after the latter holds a vote on independence this weekend, his approval ratings are still fairly high?

Could Putin’s intent all along have been to play long-term chess? To integrate Russia into the global economy and make it a vital source of energy for the West, and then to foment instability in Ukraine and move in with practical impunity, because he knows that the West would be loath to tank Russia’s economy for fear of taking themselves down as well?

It’s a pretty convoluted case, but it’s not unlikely.

Consider the fact that the European Union gets 37 percent of its oil and 39 percent of its natural gas from Russia.

Consider also that Russia is one of the largest economies in the world.

Consider also that economic growth in the EU and in Russia generally mirror one another, although Russia’s swings are a bit more extreme.


What if Putin has decided that the West won’t do much if he decides to annex Crimea after Sunday’s vote, and has ensured this by working to ensure that any sanctions would bite all parties involved?

After all, Russia has already been conducting “exercises” on the Ukrainian border.

After all, the Duma has already passed legislation outlining how Russia will annex new members of the Federation.

And according to at least one report, pre-marked ballots have already been delivered to Crimea in time for Sunday’s referendum. Yes, I said “pre-marked.”

So what if this was Putin’s plan all along?

Here’s how NOT to do business


Remember when Maryland decided to implement gun control laws that were even tougher than the draconian regs already on the books in that pit of petty tyranny? Remember when I said that Beretta USA should leave and go elsewhere?

Well, Beretta has decided to open a manufacturing plant in Tennessee. They apparently had enough of Maryland.

Beretta USA officials along with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty  announced today the company will expand its U.S. operations by building a new firearms manufacturing plant in the Gallatin Industrial Park. Beretta, a global manufacturer of high-quality sporting and military firearms, will invest $45 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D facility. Beretta will create 300 new Tennessee jobs. The company is expected to complete construction on the facility this year.

And yes, respect for Second Amendment rights was definitely part of the decision about the location of the new plant, according to Beretta.

You know where Beretta did not choose to locate?

Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. And why not Virginia, you ask? Terry McAuliffe. Emily Miller reports:

“The anti-gun ads that McAuliffe ran in northern Virginia were particularly offensive,” Jeff Reh, general counsel of Beretta USA, told me in an interview. “And the fact that he could gain a voting advantage by doing so caused us additional concern.”

What happened to that “jobs first” for Virginia think Terry was touting during the campaign? Guess Terry forgot that you actually have to have a business-friendly environment to attract… you know… business.

Income inequality


With the budget debacle seemingly behind us, spending still outrageously high and ObamaCare still a shit show, albeit one that will no longer be challenged by the Pusillanimous GOP, which should really be called the Gimpy Old Party, because it’s filled with intellectually challenged halfwits, the progtards have turned their attention to “income inequality.”

See, the progtards have chafed vaginas because the rich people are apparently getting richer, while the poor are apparently getting poorer, and everyone from Pope Francis to Barack Obama is losing bowel control because of this. So the progtards are planning to do something about it. They are planning to make “income inequality” the cornerstone of their collective campaigns this year, promising to take away money from those money hoarding rich people and give it to the poor.

It’s their usual mantra. It doesn’t matter whether those “greedy rich” got their money through hard work or political connections. They have, and others have not, and therefore what they have must be taken away by government force.

The great Walter Williams penned an essay about income today. Income, he says is the result of productivity and the value placed on it.

Except in many instances when government rigs the game with crony capitalism, income is mostly a result of one’s productivity and the value that people place on that productivity. Far more important than income inequality is productivity inequality. That suggests that if there’s anything to be done about income inequality, we should focus on how to give people greater capacity to serve their fellow man, namely raise their productivity.

What does this mean? There’s been  a story circulating on the web about a college professor who showed his class exactly what this means in practice. Unfortunately, the story is false, according to Snopes, but the idea of the story is solid.

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an “A”…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a “B”. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a “D”! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the new average was an “F”.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Human nature will always cause socialism’s style of government to fail because the world has producers and non-producers (makers and takers).

It could not be any simpler than that.

So what happens when money is substituted for grades and the professor becomes the boss?
The owner of an engineering firm that designed and manufactured widgets told his workers who had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer, “OK, we will have an experiment at this firm on Obama’s plan.” All pay will be averaged and everyone will receive the same pay, divided equally after all profits were calculated.
After the first payday, the pay was averaged, and everyone – from the lowliest, illiterate janitor to the most brilliant engineer got exactly the same salary. The engineers did what they did best, and the company made a profit, which was divided equally among all employees.. The engineers didn’t get as much as they usually got, so they were not happy, and the janitors and secretaries got way more than they normally did. They were happy. As the second pay period rolled around, the lower paid, less educated workers did even less, because they knew they were guaranteed the same salary as the engineers and managers, who got their education and produced the widgets for the company’s profit. But the engineers and managers didn’t want to put forth the effort they normally had for less money, so fewer widgets were produced that pay period, and the company didn’t make as much of a profit as usual. Everyone got less money but it was still divided equally. No one was happy, but no one got more than anyone else, no matter their work ethic, education or knowledge.

When the 3rd pay period rolled around, the new average was barely enough to feed everyone’s family.  The producers in the company knew they weren’t going to make as much as they did before, so they stopped producing. Why should they put for the effort when their pay was being cut? The company’s profit margin decreased further, and the paychecks shrank. As time went on, the pay never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would work for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, the company closed down and their former boss told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Look, I know the above example is a bit cheesy and out there, but it does serve to illustrate a point. Income (when unfettered by crony capitalism), is a measure of one’s effort and productivity. The harder the work, the greater the reward. You take away the reward, and you take away the incentive to achieve and produce. You take away from the productive and you give that money to the indolent, and you take away the incentive to work.
You know why a doctor makes more money than a McDonald’s fry cook? Because the doctor went to school, worked his ass off and developed an in-demand skill. Not everyone can be a doctor, but fry cooks are a dime a dozen.
Supply and demand, boys and girls. Those whose skills are in demand will cost more to hire. That’s just basic economics.
But the moment a government tells a doctor that his labor is worth no more than a fry cook’s and prevents the doctor and his customers from setting their own values on the exchange, that doctor will likely put forth the effort that’s only worth $8 per hour. Why bother? His labor isn’t worth any more than a fry cooks, despite the schooling and hard work.
What will happen to the producers once the government starts taking away their profits and redistributing them to “the poor” who haven’t produced anything? Think back to the examples above.
Equality sounds like this awesome idea, but not at the point of a gun.
And equality of outcome (that’s what income is – the outcome of your work) is not the same as equality of opportunity. One allows everyone an equal chance to earn as long as they work hard, and the other simply appropriates and redistributes the work of those who worked hard to those who do not. Is that what we call justice?
There should be no such thing as “income equality,” because there’s no such thing as labor equality. There will always be people who are smarter, more innovative, harder working or more determined. Give those people the incentive to put their considerable skills to work, and you will see the economy thrive. Take away those incentives and tell them their hard work is worth no more than the work of a janitor, and you’ll be living in the dark ages before long.

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