Sunday, February 19, 2017

Gigapixel Trump Inauguration

One of the rather amazing things of our time is the ability to shoot a picture with a BILLION pixels! You can click the link and go look around at the various people ... kinda funny to see some of the expressions and how much you can zoom in. I don't really care about the numbers. As the picture shows there were LOTS of people there, and LOTS of red "Make America Great Again" hats.

When I think of the effort required to attend such an event, it makes me realize that a LOT of people are a whole lot more dedicated to poltics than I am -- which I see as GOOD in both senses. It's great they care enough to be there, and it is especially great that I and millions of others feel we don't have to care that much. That is what freedom looks like.

America was a land of LIMITED GOVERNMENT, which meant that the level of intrusion of government on anyone's life was intened to be LIMITED. Both in the ability of the government to give you what you want and to force others to give it to you was to be strictly limited. Since the government does not produce anything, certainly not wealth, that is really the only question that needs to be considered. Who makes and who takes.

If the government has enough power to "give" you more than it takes from you for "some charge" to you, the only way that can happen is when it TAKES what is "given" to you from somebody else.

When you go to the grocery store, you understand the transaction fairly well -- you walk around the store, pick up what you want, and then pay for it as you leave. The money you pay keeps the store operating and returns some level of profit to the company running the store after the store has paid for it being built, keeping the lights on, employees to stock and do check out, and of course a large part of what you paid goes to the whole system that moves the products from farmers, fishermen, bakers, processors, etc  through processing plants, trucking, packaging, advertising, etc, etc.

Everyone in that system makes some level of profit from what they do -- usually very low single digit percentages ... for groceries, it can be LESS than 1%, since 1% is the average. So if one guy owns the grocery store / chain, he needs to do 100 million dollars of business a year if he wants to have million dollar income.

Yes, some of what you pay in taxes goes for the government to make sure everyone "plays fair" and "plays safe" ... the folks that built the store, provided the power, grew the food, processed the food, etc, etc all live under some level of "regulation". Regulation is pure overhead, if everyone was honest, dedicated, competent, etc, there would be no need for regulation. Some of the money for regulation comes out of everyone's taxes, some of it you paid at the checkout because it was a "cost of doing business"  for the myriad of "farmers, processors, truckers, etc" that it took to get those products on the shelf.

When Obama was elected, the vast majority of the people in the crowd were hoping that he would tip the scales so that they were going to GET more from the government than they had gotten in the past. I'm quite certain that the vast majority of people standing in red hats assumed that Trump was going to shift the balance so that the govenment TOOK less from them and the rest of the country on the assumption that lowering the overhead of govenment would allow them to keep more in their pockets, and hopefully GROW the overall economy at a higher rate than it has in the last 8 years so that the entire pool of wealth to be spent, re-distributed, wasted, invested, etc was greater.

That isn't a very high bar. Obama was the first US president in history to never have a year of 3% growth or better, and even that pitiful level was highly suspect given the amount of changes he made in how the calculations are done. My guess is that there was very close to ZERO actual growth if the lowered value of money (inflation from "stimulus", "quantitative easing", deficit spending, etc) was accurately figured in.

So did less people show up to support the opportunity to MAKE more than showed up in '08 to TAKE more? All the people that told us that Trump would certainly lose tell us that is that case. In many ways, I hope they are right -- if there is more opportunity now, it is better to be out creating wealth than standing and watching the new guy be installed to try to make that happen!

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