Category Archives: COMMENT

COMMENT: Toner, Mike (MC1972) agrees on “federal flood insurance

2017-Jul-02

For once – (mostly) a point a agreement!

Even though I vacation, happily, on the Outer Banks of NC, I couldn’t agree with you more about the futility of underpriced flood insurance. And government involvement only makes this worse, because rates and conditions are more subject to political than strictly actuarial forces. Instead of caving to the entreaties of the frequently wealthy owners, the spineless pols should be saying, “You should not have built (or bought) there in the first place.”

I think that there should be stricter building and development regulations which would not allow a lot of this building to happen at all. I suspect our opinions would diverge on this score…

Also, since Social Security payments are solely funded from employee and employer contributions, I’m not sure how this is a “wealth transfer” program.

Thanks, as always, for your kind efforts as CIC!

mike toner
BEE ’72
Buffalo, NY

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JR: Nice to be in (mostly) agreement.

I’m not in favor of Gooferment “diktats” like “building and development regulations”. If you own the land, you should be able to build what you want. The Gooferment shouldn’t be in the “insurance business” or “mistake prevention”. I’m sure that the unavailability of insurance, or say-high cost if it is, will “solve” the problem.

As far as “Social Security” as a “wealth transfer”:

  • “Social Security payments” are not from “contributions”. Contributions are voluntary; theft is not.
     
  • AND, this is not an actuarily based insurance contract. Since poor minority men have a much lower life expectancy than rich white women, they get the short end of the stick. In effect, they are subsidizing rich white women.
     
  • In addition, it’s a inter-generational wealth transfer. Past generations got more than they put in, and future generations will get a lot less, if anything.
     
  • Finally, the analysis of “Social Security” seems to indicate that the ROI is a negative 7%; if you figure in the time value of money, it’s close to 100%. (Not hard when inflation over 30 years is 95%.) All in all it’s worse than a Ponzi scheme. One has to voluntarily participate in a Ponzi scheme; with Social Security, there’s no choice.

I have to credit Tom Woods and Bob Murphy for my understanding of “Social Security”

# – # – # – # – #  2017-Jul-02 @ 14:44  

COMMENT: Tighe, Don (MC1954) asks about the Greenleaf

2017-Jun-05

RE: 2013 Greenleaf pic

Is the Greenleaf gone ??
 
I was one if the early customers.
 
Don Tighe, ‘54B

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[JR: I was a Customer too, but not early. Usually after class. Trying to douse the “flames of ignorance”. I think it’s been gone for a long time. So have many of the other watering holes. Alma Mater didn’t like them; nor the “near occasion of sin” that they presented. And drunken Jaspers generated a lot of flack for the PR folks. From what I seen over the years, it’s not a problem going away anytime soon. Maybe when all “drugs” including alcohol are “unregulated”, then the allure of all of them will be wiped away. And, parent can teach there children “responsibility”. Probably not in my lifetime, but I can hope. Besides what will an out of work drug dealer do?]  

# – # – # – # – #  2017-Jun-05 @ 11:50  

COMMENT: Toner, Mike (MC1972) think Kennedy was 1972

2017-Jun-05

RE: Joe Kennedy obit

There was a Joe Kennedy in my class – 1972. I remember that he had a job at the NY Times and was an early admirer of Aretha Franklin and soul music. Birth date is about right for class of ’72.

Toner, Mike (MC1972)

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[JR:  Mike thinks it’s 1970.]  

# – # – # – # – #  2017-Jun-05 @ 11:44  

COMMENT: Mohen, Joseph Conrad [MC1956 RIP] had several alumni children

2017-May-25

RE: JOBIT: Mohen, Joseph Conrad [MC1956 RIP] on 2017-05May-13

https://jasperjottings-daily.com/2017/05/18/jobit-mohen-joseph-conrad-mc-rip-on-2017-05may-13

Joe has several children that are MC alumni. His sons: Joseph Thomas Mohen, Timothy Gerard Mohen, James Michael Mohen, Daniel Gerard Mohen, and his daughter Kerry Cashin (new Mohen). Kerry was also the first recipient of a softball athletic scholarship and a member of the Athleic Hall of Fame with the Women’s 1993 Softball Team. — Kerry Cashin

# – # – # – # – #  2017-May-25 @ 12:51  

 

COMMENT: Breen, Jerry (MC1971) remembers Cashman, Jerry [MC1953 RIP]

2017-Apr-19

Author: Jerry Breen ’71
In Response To JOBIT: Cashman, Jerry [MC1953 RIP] on 2017-04Apr-09
Submitted on 2017/04/18 at 3:59 pm

I’m so sad to hear of the passing of Dr. Jerry Cashman. When I was at Manhattan in the late 60’s, the Jasper Journal office on the top floor of Thomas Hall was my “clubhouse”. I was there every day between classes, just a couple of doors away from the Dean of Men’s office. So I saw Dr. Cashman and his assistant Mrs. Williamson just about every day, and they were two of the nicest people you could ever meet. They were never too busy to help you out or just chat. He was a good man. I’ll miss him.

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Breen, Jerry (MC1971)

# – # – # – # – #  2017-Apr-19 @ 14:28  

COMMENT: Kuhn, Rob (MC1973) takes issue with my “c of a” stuff

2017-Apr-04

[JR: A response from Kuhn, Rob (MC1973)]

Hi John …

My replies interspersed with yours:

JR: In a truly free market, cooperation yields “certificates of appreciation”.
RK: I don’t understand that. Frankly, it sounds like obfuscation.

[JR: No most people don’t see that the ONLY way to get money in truly free market is to serve the needs of our fellow human. Greed forces us to cooperate. Only the Crony Capitalists use Gooferment to get rich without serving anyone but themselves.]  

JR: If all those “certificates” end up in a few hands, then won’t it induce more cooperation? For example, Bill Gates doesn’t sit on a pile of “certificates” but uses them as he sees fit to express his appreciation to others. Laugh!
RK: Gates, together with his wife, is very magnanimous with his wealth. Still, because you’re right that he distributes it as he sees fit, not a lot “trickles down” to folks in the American middle class who could benefit.

[JR: Eventually, Gates “rewards” people who he appreciates with “his” certificates. Eventually “certificates” make the world go round.]  

JR: I believe it’s only when the Gooferment get involved does the “wealth distribution” suddenly become a big issue. That and many of “We, The Sheeple” are induced to be jealous and envious of those “lucky few”.
RK: I think a lot of Trump supporters would dispute that with you. They were out of work, out of money and felt “forgotten,” not unlucky. Government just tends to focus people’s views – not create them.

[JR: I don’t care WHAT the Trump supporters think. Looking to the President — any President — to solve YOUR problems merely perpetuates the myth that folks can only get ahead if the Gooferment helps. Gooferment does more than “focus”; it causes the problem and them “solves” them and creates more problems. That people look to the Gooferment to “fix”. Argh! It’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a perpetual motion machine. And, politicians and bureaucrats get rich off this illusion.]  

<<< interrupting for a quote >>>

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. — Morpheus in the Matrix (1999)

<<< now back to the dialogue >>>

JR: We have “raised” generations of “welfare farmers” and “Crony Capitalists” who live off the Gooferment dole. That’s our current problem, imho.
RK: Are you counting the corporations that receive enormous subsidies, tax breaks, and other benefits they often get to write into legislation themselves through the auspices of lobbyists?

[JR: Of course, they are a big part of our current problem.]  

JR: The Pope’s message is socialism which emasculates the human desire to improve.
RK: Because if you count the corporations, this charge against the Pope must be softened. And the “emasculation” (maybe “diminishment” would have been a better gender-neutral word) of desire to improve can just as easily be reached simply by being deprived of the opportunity to work (or to earn a living income). In fact, more than a diminished desire to improve might result — the complete loss of will to live can take hold.

[JR: Us fat old white guy injineers don’t parse words. NO, no, no. By saying “deprived of the opportunity to work” you’re letting the victims off the hook of their own making. The “opportunity to work” is always all around them. They just don’t see it or let the Gooferment seduce them into thinking it’s not there. Look at the immigrants, who come here dirt poor and not knowing the language, and the next thing you know they are doing well. If not wealthy! Argh!]  

JR: Like “don’t feed the bears” in the national parks, “don’t feed the hungry”. Not to starve them, but to incentivize them. Give them opportunity. Don’t kill them with the “kindness” of the Gooferment dole. IMHO!
RK: I agree people need opportunity, as I just said. It seems to me, though, that concentration of wealth acts to remove opportunity. The free market does as well — for instance taking advantage of every available opportunity to increase bottom-line profit for investors, even at the expense of the workforce. Before long, automation will increasingly deny people who are perfectly willing to work the opportunity to do so. But, I don’t think the Pope has approached that topic, specifically, yet.

[JR: I misspoke. Don’t “give” them opportunity. Show them where it is and let them “take” it. Argh! (I’m frustrated.) The free market LETS every worker earn as much wealth as the value he provides to the marketplace. I’ve yet to see an employer cut at the expense of the workforce where that workforce was earning that employer more than it cost. It’d be stupid. And, the free market, allows workers to take their labor elsewhere if they feel abused. I’ve seen Burger King and McD’s “bid” for workers against each other. But the soiled rotten kids in my neighborhood don’t have to to work because Mommy and Daddy paradigms and memesper them. Yet I see minorities walking a mile from the bus stop to get to those jobs in all sorts of weather. I often give them a lift. And, they can’t speak English. The opportunities are there if people want them.]  

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[JR: Hope this was entertaining. I’m just a fat old white guy injineer who sees the world differently. Argh! You should really listen to Tom Woods or Jason Stapleton or read Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell who are more skillful at explaining it.]  

# – # – # – # – #  2017-Apr-04 @ 21:25  

 

COMMENT: Kuhn, Rob (MC1973) sees “ownership concentration” as a problem

2017-Mar-28

Hi John … I’m not sure I was expressing a theory about how “wealth is distributed.” I think you are interpreting that as being an activity, whereas I was stating that it is a necessary result. Whatever wealth exists at any given time exists somewhere; it has somehow been “distributed” into those places. I think you are more concerned with how it gets there — and you object to the term “distributed” as a descriptor of that action. But even if we start from your preferred premise of two-way satisfaction of a commercial transaction, the predominant method of exchange involves currency. And when “too much” (my subjective choice of words) currency resides in too few places, it seems to me that viable opportunities for mutually satisfactory commerce become fewer. And since it is a numbers game, if you imagine “wealth” moving toward mathematical limits of ownership concentration, then it seems to me that stagnation of commerce — and possibly the death of economies and the people who survive in them — goes hand in hand with that. So, is the Pope’s message not pro-life then? Rob 

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Kuhn, Rob (MC1973)

[JR: In a truly free market, cooperation yields “certificates of appreciation”. If all those “certificates” end up in a few hands, then won’t it induce more cooperation? For example, Bill Gates doesn’t sit on a pile of “certificates” but uses them as he sees fit to express his appreciation to others. Laugh! I believe it’s only when the Gooferment get involved does the “wealth distribution” suddenly become a big issue. That and many of “We, The Sheeple” are induced to be jealous and envious of those “lucky few”. We have “raised” generations of “welfare farmers” and “Crony Capitalists” who live off the Gooferment dole. That’s our current problem, imho. The Pope’s message is socialism which emasculates the human desire to improve. Like “don’t feed the bears” in the national parks, “don’t feed the hungry”. Not to starve them, but to incentivize them. Give them opportunity. Don’t kill them with the “kindness” of the Gooferment dole. IMHO!]  

# – # – # – # – #  2017-Mar-28 @ 13:29