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Old 10-18-2011, 04:35 AM
20,976 posts, read 16,324,991 times
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Originally Posted by DRob4JC View Post
Before Steve Jobs employed thousands of people, there was a product, and a sale, which led to more products, and more sales, which leads to employment based on the increased demand.

We are on the wrong path with this focus on employment being linked to the economy. It's about production. One of our main economic indicators is the GDP, not the GDE (Gross Domestic Employment).

Democrats rarely try to encourage production. The promote bridge repair, education, police & fire services, health care, science & research. When they do try to encourage production, like green energy, it fails.

It is the producers who pay the salaries of the policemen and firemen and teachers.

Third world countries can have full employment - but without technology, what can they produce? And how fast can they produce it?

The goal we should be aiming for is to produce enough goods to allow for as much employment as possible. Regulations should be structured to allow for max production.

You cannot create jobs without a need for products.

What most on the left fail to see, is the fact that you cannot just force production to happen.
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:44 AM
20,976 posts, read 16,324,991 times
Reputation: 10270
Originally Posted by Redshadowz View Post
Well, you are absolutely right on your basic premise, even if you are going the wrong way about explaining it. We can talk about jobs and how badly we need them until we are blue in the face, but where do jobs come from? Who creates jobs? Sure, government can create government jobs, but that is all. Real jobs have to come from the private sector. Duh! Everyone knows that. What people don't seem to really understand is what is the private sector really, and how does the private sector create jobs?

When we look at jobs in general, people don't really know who creates them. They often assume it is large corporations that create jobs. But in reality, large corporations very seldom really create jobs, they more just suck them up. Take Wal-mart, Wal-mart is the largest employer in overall numbers in this country, but from what I understand, Wal-mart doesn't really produce any new jobs whatsoever. It just comes in and kills off local business and displaces workers, and the total number of jobs available in a given community actually go down(as well as their average pay).

In absolute numbers, about 2/3rds of all new jobs are created through small business. And as I mentioned before, the 1/3rd of new jobs that are created through large business are largely from job displacement, not from absolute growth. The reality is, almost all new jobs come from small business startups. So then the question is, how do we promote more small business/entrepreneur types to get out and start creating real jobs?

To answer that question, you have to pretend that you want to start up a new business. What needs to be done for you to start a new business? Well, obviously you have to have money, and it's difficult to get loans right now. But money is just the beginning of the problem. The most difficult part of the situation is usually in getting all the permits and licenses, then possibly finding a location for your business that is zoned commercial. And that is only after you know that the product you want to produce will basically be legal to make. Because of a billion regulations from the EPA to the FCC to the consumer safety board to the endangered species act, and to thousands of other regulations and ordinances, a great many times it feels nearly impossible to actually be able to bring a product to market.

There are really only four things that are important in this world. Food, housing, energy, and transportation. The rest is just fluff.

I've had several ideas regarding those four things, but in most cases, regulations prevent me from really being able to follow through with any of my ideas.

Take housing for instance. Housing in heavily regulated by governments(mostly state and local). In most cases, to build a home you need to have a permit. You will also need licensed plumbers, electricians, HVAC, and sometimes even contractors/framers. And that is only after your home plan meets the building codes. Which is fine for a conventional stick-built home, but they can be very vague in alternative home-building methods, some outright ban any alternative home-building altogether.

Well, I had been dreaming about building a cob/adobe house, but in many areas, there really are no building codes for cob/adobe. On top of that, local government generally won't let you build a home that doesn't closely match the surrounding homes in materials used. So to build any sort of sustainable home, you have to build in distant rural areas(which then can become quite unsustainable because of transportation costs). I also thought about building "dome houses". Which are basically polystyrene shells with concrete over the outside. They are incredibly well-insulated and decently cheap to build. But again, trying to get permission to build such a home is near impossible in many locations.

Transportation is something that has been irritating me for quite some time in several different areas. The first is cars in general. In 1995 they made a honda civic that got over 50 MPG(the VX model). In 2011 the Civic is only getting 36 MPG. Even the highest mileage conventional fuel vehicle produced in this country only gets about 40 MPG. What happened? Do people not want cars that get more than 40 MPG? Could Honda not sell something like the VX model anymore? That isn't the problem at all. You can blame the drop in MPG's on the increased weight of automobiles now, who have to pack in more air bags and other safety equipment. Basically, Honda couldn't produce the 1995 Honda Civic even if everyone in this country was begging for one, because of the laws/regulations we have in place now.

So lets move on to alternative fuels. Part of the "Pickens" plan was to have natural gas cars(CNG = compressed natural gas). In Oklahoma(where I live) a gallon of gas equivalent of natural gas(gge) costs 78 cents. Which means the fuel cost of a natural gas car is instantly cut by a 1/4th(gas is about $3.20 a gallon right now). Sounds great doesn't it? Everyone should be driving natural gas right? So why aren't we?

Well, there is a lot of blame to go around for this. But almost all of the blame can be placed on the EPA. The EPA is worried that natural gas(methane) could leak out of CNG tanks, and since methane is a potent greenhouse gas, it has setup strict regulations on CNG in vehicles. In order to get CNG for your car, someone has to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get a kit EPA certified. Which is why a CNG conversion on a vehicle runs about $8,000 to about $15,000.

In Argentina about 15% of all vehicles run on natural gas. In fact, there are about 17 times(1.8 million) more CNG vehicles in Argentina than we have in America(110k). So are Argentina's CNG vehicles causing global warming? Should something be done about it? Or is the EPA just a worthless pile of **** that is killing any alternatives to gasoline?

Other than a few fleet vehicles(like large vans/trucks), there are no conversion kits that are EPA certified in this country. If you wanted to convert a Chevy Malibu to CNG, there are no American companies that can sell you a kit. You actually have to order the kits from places like Argentina, Italy, Iran, China, etc. It is ridiculous.

But really car regulations themselves are stupid anyway. They require ridiculous safety standards in cars and make you wear a seat belt, but at the same time motorcycles are perfectly legal. There is a car that is manufactured in India called the Tata Nano. Brand new it costs $3,000. It also gets more than 60 MPG. But they cannot sell it here because of the EPA and safety requirements(and to get it to pass our regulations, it would more than double the cost and drastically lower the MPG's).

I'm not saying I want to start importing foreign cars, I'm just trying to explain how annoying some of these regulations are. Wouldn't it be nice if you and I could just walk into our garages with some sheet metal, some tubing, and a welder and just make our own street car? I'm not calling for anarchy on the road. Obviously we need headlights, tail lights, and turn signals. But most of the personal safety requirements are downright stupid, considering the fact that there are motorcycles on the road. Seatbelt laws themselves are also ridiculous(as well as helmet laws). I mean, there is no reason why an ATV with lights and signals shouldn't be allowed to drive on city streets. And even shop-made vehicles with working lights/signals should be able to be driven on public roads as well. And if that was the case, you would see a surge of new businesses popping up making inexpensive vehicles for the masses(sorry GM, you suck).

Lets keep talking about transportation and look at mass transit. Let me just say, I love trains and I used to work for BNSF railroad. And it irritates me that mass transit has to be the crap system it is in most places. And it also irritates me that it has to be so heavily subsidized just to stay afloat.

Why does mass transit cost so much today? Is it really because the track for light rail is so expensive? No. Is it because the trains are expensive? No.

Most of the expense of implementing mass transit is from the massive amounts of regulations on railroads. Secondly, it is trying to acquire the "right of ways" and other expenses to traverse city streets with the lines. Even once the system is in place, it invariably becomes taken over by the governments and their unions. And let me just say, a railroad engineer for BNSF or AMTRAC makes about $100-125k a year, in just salary. That doesn't include their health coverage and their pensions. The railroad retirement is probably the most cushy retirement plan in the entire country. On the other hand, here in Oklahoma, a company called "Railcrew Express" is contracted out by BNSF to drive their crews to the trains, and those "drivers" are generally paid around minimum wage with no benefits.

So what is so special about a railroad engineer that he should make the equivalent of 10 to 15 times more an hour(if you factor in benefits) to drive a train, than the guy driving a van? Not much. That's just the power of the unions. And those unions have practically created a railroad monopoly in place by only a few carriers, who are all part of the same union. Because of the regulations, it is effectively impossible to really start up a new rail company. So we are forced to pay basically extortion money to the few railroads that do exist.

The reality is, if it wasn't for such strict regulations making it so difficult to start up new rail lines, I would love to start up my own rail line, a really cheap one. There's no reason to believe that I couldn't hire drivers for $10 an hour, and provide fares as low as like 50 cents each way. Because at that price, I would most certainly have tons of passengers, and trains are incredibly fuel efficient.

My point is, the problem with this country is that, a great many entrepreneurial options are effectively off the table. The system creates some arbitrary standard that makes it extremely difficult for new companies to provide cheap alternatives(the only way they can break into the market), which effectively holds the current corporations in a sort of monopoly. This is mostly an effect of the unions having such an inordinate sway in politics and getting protections from the government for their industries. But it is also an effect of government itself taking over and steering the economy. If you look at the country today, almost all new growth is centered around where there are large amounts of government. Because with the government taking so much of our money through taxation, communities will shrivel up and die without government spending. Basically, these small towns aren't just dying because of their lack of amenities. They are dying because generally the only money brought into them is from retirees and their social security checks, while anyone trying to run a business gets his money pilfered until all of it is sucked away and out of the community.

Our government is a blockade against real prosperity. All it does is hold in place the heirarchy in our society. Ask yourself, who is hurt the most by all these regulations like the EPA, the rich or the poor? Who is hurt the most by unions and their stranglehold on commerce, the rich or the poor?

Despite people bickering about food stamps and obamacare. The vast majority of what the government does in this country actually ****s over the poor more than anything else. Every regulation in place raises the cost of a product. That is just reality. The people most harmed by even subtle price increases are the poor. The rich control prices, and the middle-class just extort more money through their unions. It is the working-poor that always get ****ed in this country.
Too long.

But the rich don't control prices, the market does. No sense reading the rest.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:03 AM
Location: Tampa Florida
22,241 posts, read 15,361,949 times
Reputation: 4583
Originally Posted by Electron View Post
That is just about the clearest explanation I have ever read. Great post!
My attention span is not long enough to read all that, but I think I basically agree. But, in case I don't ... The problem -- When 1% holds over 40% of the wealth. this si9tuation is not new, it is a problem again. A good balance would be nearer 20%. That 20% needs to be moved away from the 1%, put into the development of new industry for new markets. That will allow for private sector jobs. Until the new industries are established, Govt needs to provide jobs, ie. Infrastructure. Also, stop Bank Foreclosures and settle them via a Delaware style Court Foreclosure. How do you get that 20% of wealth from the 1%? I can think of ways, but it would have to be a system that is thought thru and agreeable. Hmmm, maybe the above post IS thought thru and I am just too lazy to think that much.

Last edited by florida.bob; 10-18-2011 at 05:53 AM..
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