William Thien

Archive for September 2013

I hope you don’t feel I’m out of line, but listen to this.

I just popped into a sporting goods store to pick up some socks and upon entering the door I was asked to donate to a popular outdoors organization for children. They asked for $10.00. “Ten bucks, huh?” I asked.

After that I stopped at a coffee house and the barrister asked me to donate $5.28 to buy a scoop of coffee for a charity. $5.28?

In a matter of ten minutes I was asked to donate $15.28, $10 at the sporting goods store and $5.28 at the coffee house. Wow, I thought. That’s gotta be a new record for just entering into consecutive retail establishments.

I had already donated a meager sum this morning to an organization that helps to maintain the grave sites of fallen soldiers.

I told the barrister that I already donate to a number of charities regularly and would have to forgo a donation at this time. I felt kind of like I was being bum rushed, I must admit, and I made the off-hand remark, “Gawd, does everybody have their hands out these days?” It was probably in poor taste.

But coming from a single male with no property and no write-offs, I feel I’m already contributing my share to the great American welfare state, paying for unwed pregnancies, corporate welfare, too. I’m an indentured servant, a taxpayer surrogate of the American tax code and nobody is donating to my cause, you can be sure. It’s quite the opposite.

Copyright © William Thien 2013

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The contemporary methods they will try to use on you in their psychological marginalization involve numerology, innuendo loading, attempts at slander, physical and social isolation, and with the various forms of technology, they can of course enhance their techniques. The mainstream media acts as a facilitator for much of this behavior which leads to the symbiotic relationship I discuss previously between the media and big government.

Ignore and carry on.

During the last thirty days service workers at a number of fast food restaurant franchises and several big box retailers have gained some traction in their effort for better wages by striking and leaving work.

As a conservative I would have to say that it is my opinion the strikers would be better off picketing in front of the federal and state buildings in their locality to protest their income taxes. Income taxes for a family of four in 1952 were approximately two percent of their income, federal income taxes that is. Today, service workers which are generally lower-income or lower middle-income wage earners are likely seeing fifteen to twenty-five percent federal income taxes taken from their checks. That is substantial. That’s two dollars and fifty cents out of every ten dollars, a gallon of milk for the baby. And that does not include the additional subtractions from pay of increases in state income taxes, medicare and social security payments either.

I would agree that pay for many service workers is not enough to survive on. And the argument that you hear by many talk radio hosts that those service workers “aren’t worth fifteen dollars an hour” is really irrelevant. Minimum wage is not a living wage. Twice that, or fifteen dollars an hour, what the service workers are seeking, isn’t that much really either after taxes, especially when you factor in the substantial inflation we’ve had here in The United States over the last decade. The price of gasoline has doubled in the last six years (100 percent inflation in six years! That is 17 percent annual inflation on just that one necessity. Seventeen percent!). Increases in the price of food stuffs have seen similar inflation, and so has the cost of the other basic necessities. And though it is not like the type of inflation the world saw during The Weimar Republic in Germany before WWII, it is seriously substantial nevertheless, especially when you include tax increases, fee and licensing increases, and a generally downward trend in wages, which for the wage earner amplifies any inflation. If the numbers are correct, American families make an average of 9 and a quarter percent less than a decade ago with the average family income being $55,000 then and $51,000 now, a loss in income approaching ten percent.

They say you can judge the character of a country by how it treats its prisoners. How about how a country treats its working classes?

Just a reminder before I proceed with the next part of this observation…I want to reiterate that I am a conservative. But there is nothing in conservatism that says conservatives must be blind to the plight of their fellow countrymen. Conservatives are not what I call “Big Business Robot Frontmen.” You must read my other essays delineating conservatism from capitalism. Though they work well together as ideologies, the two are not the same. One often hijacks the other in the service of its purpose.

To continue, another problem that has arisen from the service oriented economy The United States is in right now is that you need a lot of unskilled people to effectively keep such an economy going, more so if you want the economy to grow. Regardless of whatever reason is given, both political parties have their proponents of open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens for that very reason. Policy like that will just drive hourly wages down even further as there will be more people competing for a declining number of jobs: good for business, bad for the working classes. For those unionists that keep shouting for amnesty for illegal aliens from whatever country, you might want to keep that in mind as you attempt to undermine your own union membership with such policy.

I only bring up that last point because the net effect will be more people being displaced from their jobs or suffering pay cuts due to more applicants and fewer jobs, and therefore they will be forced to go on government assistance because they have mouths to feed. More people going on government assistance means larger government by default. Conservatives don’t like larger, more expensive government.

See. I told you I was a conservative.

Copyright © William Thien 2013

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This is just an observation on the changing character of business in America.

Calvin Coolidge, the Vice President who took over upon the death of President Warren Harding in 1923, was not known for making bold statements. Though President Coolidge did make one particularly memorable comment, that “The Business of America is Business.”

That is a bit of a bastardization of the actual statement made by Coolidge, which was something to the effect that the “chief business of The American people is business.”

Today, I would think Coolidge would have a different sentiment. That sentiment would be that “The chief business of The American people is war.” If America were a tribe, America would be a warring tribe.

Copyright © William Thien 2013

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Just five months ago you would have thought with all of the war mongering going on in the media that we’d be at war with North Korea. It was as if some secret machine located in an undisclosed location was firing up and driving the country to the brink of war with the recalcitrant North Korean Kim Jong Un. Now famous sports personalities are defending the character of North Korean Leadership after visiting Pyong Yang and we are now at the brink of another war, that of Syria.

My take on the matter is that if one of our primary motivations in attacking North Korea was that it was a communist nation, why bother? We have our own communism right here in The United States and we can’t control it. Then it occurred to me that South Korea has benefited handily from the precarious relationship between itself and North Korea while The United States mans The DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) at huge expense to The US taxpayer. South Korea has been able to install its products into the US market with certainty. Had South Korea had to man its own border between the north and south, it would have never been able to revitalize its industry, create new industry, and totally revitalize its infrastructure. Military activity is expensive and South Korea has only been able to establish itself in The US and world markets because The United States has picked up the cost of defending South Korea.

Here is my original post on the matter from five months ago, since most have forgotten that something was driving the country to the brink of war over what now would appear to be nothing, unjustified, and over what is really a rather obvious reflection of political behavior right here in our own country.

Last night just after midnight I was woken up by sirens, which is unusual for where I live and I have to admit for some reason one of the first thoughts that occurred to me was, “Damn, the North Koreans have launched the nukes.” It’s been in the news so much lately, it is one of the first things that came to mind. I immediately checked the news on my smart phone. Nothing. Whew, that was lucky.

Then, as I lay in bed trying to return to sleep the subject of North Korea rattled around in my head. I began to ask why Korea was such a strategic place for US Military forces to be? We have a large military contingent on what is called The Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. We have been told for decades that The United States Military is on what is called The Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea to prevent the spread of communism, that North Korea is an aggressor and would attack South Korea, the remnants of a failed attempt sixty years ago. As recently as two or three years ago we were told North Korea shelled with artillery an island belonging to South Korea in fact. There were reports of it on the news.

So, we were told then as we have always been told that North Korea is a brutal communist dictatorship and that we must do everything in our power, at huge expense to the American public mind you, to prevent the North Korean military from spilling over into South Korea, not only to protect South Korea, but in particular to prevent the spread of communism.

Then, while still trying to fall asleep, the thought occurred to me that South Korean manufacturers have flooded our markets with massive amounts of electronics and automobiles, so much so that it has displaced huge numbers of our own American made products. When first introduced, South Korean autos touted 100,000 mile warranties. That of course attracted huge attention amongst the auto buying public who were sick of the planned obsolescence coming out of Detroit. Two or three decades ago American auto manufacturers started selling cars branded with American brands that were manufactured in South Korea.
Now, you might ask, what does the manufacturing prowess of South Korea have to do with preventing the spread of the brutal communist dictatorship of North Korea? Please, continue.

But not only has South Korea been able to displace huge amounts of American productivity and industry with its own, South Korea has also seen a massive modernization of its cities and countryside. The whole of South Korea offers free WiFi. You don’t have to pay to access the internet in South Korea. They’ve wired the entire country. They have new roads, modern cities with modern (I mean the last twenty years all new) infrastructure, new schools with low teacher-student ratios, you name it. South Korea is booming, I mean booming.

Then the questions occurred to me, Why are we working so hard and at huge tax payer expense to prevent the spread of communism from North Korea to South Korea when right here in America we have massive socialist/communist programs of our own which we can’t afford, and also why are we spending so much money trying to save the South Koreans from the spread of communism from North Korea when South Korea has been able to entirely revitalize its national infrastructure while we can’t even afford to revitalize our own?

South Korea could never have positioned itself in our economy with such force had it had to address the problem of North Korea on its own. It could not have afforded it.

Right here in America we are having trouble trying to find out where to come up with money to resurface our roads and staff our schools. Where are our priorities, people? It is one thing to help your neighbor. It’s another entirely to pay for his dinner every night when you hardly ever sit at the same table.

South Korean manufacturers are directly competing with our manufacturers but could never afford to do so if they had to cover the entire cost of the containment of communism from The North Koreans. South Korea would have to tax South Korean manufacturers at a dramatically higher level as well as the citizenry in order to contain communism from the north.
Do you see what I’m getting at? Not only are we spending massive amounts of money to prevent the spread of communism from North Korea to South Korea, we are enabling South Korean industry to entirely undermine our own, and we are using our own money to do that. It’s almost insane if it is not. Yet, I know men right here in America who can’t locate decent employment with good benefits to support their families anymore.

On top of all that, we have massive communism right here in America. Single women in America earn $46,000 per year in benefits for having children out-of-wedlock! That’s just for their first child! No wonder forty-one percent of the babies born in 2011 were born to single mothers. It’s one of the best paying jobs out there! It’s sex for money! Don’t be fooled. That’s exactly what it is. Illegal immigrants receive an average tax refund of $1,826, substantially more than my own! Where I reside if you have children, you get free health care if you want it, not just for the children, but for yourself as well. That’s the number one way many get themselves free health care! They screw themselves right into receiving the benefits! Because I’m single I myself have no health care benefits. None. I just pay for everyone else’s. I have devised a term for such government, I call it “Selective Communism” and it is worse than plain old communism because it is exclusive, discriminatory, and dishonest. Have you had a problem with addictive substances? Chances are you are eligible for Social Security Benefits. Don’t like to work? Maybe you can get Social Security Benefits for that as well.

We have communism right here in the United States that we can’t contain and can’t afford, ladies and gentlemen. It’s everywhere. Why are we trying to contain it in Korea and at the same time enabling their industry to undermine our own industry? The South Korean leadership has used these circumstances much to the benefit of their own country and very little to our own. They must know this arrangement is to their benefit. And sadly, by the same token it is not unlikely that our leadership has yet to figure it out.

Whether it is to contain North Korean communism or not, sooner or later you have to ask yourselves if the arrangement is healthy for your own country, its industry (No, it’s not healthy for our industry), or its people, anymore? I think we know the answer to those questions already.

Copyright © William Thien 2013

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September 2013
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