"Layla" (instrumental only; opens in separate window)

why governments are unique – and dangerous

friday, july 27th, 2018

when the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!”. I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8 NIV)

In the flow of this 3.8 billion-year-old river of life it is death, not life, that drives evolution. Death is that which sculpts the flow of life. In the marketplace of business it is failure, not success, that shapes, sculpts and hones that which survives.

Whether it is an inability to survive in ever-changing physical conditions or an inability to convince enough people to purchase your goods or services at the price you require, demise of the entity controls and shapes what remains.

Death and failure are the invisible hands that ensure these systems remain somewhat in balance. They put a brake on a natural tendency for expansion since growth is only allowed via success. There is simply no other way. They also put a brake on poor management by sooner or later severely punishing unproductive behavior.

Death and failure also create a dynamism that infuses the entire system and thus guarantees a flow of experimentation, change, improvement, adaptation. This occurs regardless of any individual entity’s desires. As the great business guru W. Edwards Deming noted, “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” This is true whether life or business.

There is one exception to this, and it puts the entire planet at risk. These entities are the nonprofit organizations we call government. Unlike the for-profit world, these entities seldom have the mighty chisel of market failure to shape and sculpt them.

In addition, governments do not have to create at least one dollar of value for every dollar consumed, a feat they seldom if ever achieve. Thus the more government takes, the poorer the rest becomes. And unlike the living world, demise of the entity only rarely occurs.

Thus the naturally controlling forces that bring both dynamism and environment-driven adaptation are absent in these entities we call government. If they are not contained by some outside force, they will have the strong tendency to accept and even propagate poor management and decision-making while also being guaranteed to grow until catastrophic failure.

This is not driven by the people employed. It is not driven by those in control. It is simply the nature of these organizations. They are artificial in a way of no other organization. There is no moral aspect to this; it is not good or bad, it simply is.

A 2000 report from The Tax Foundation notes, “Government expenditures as a percentage of GDP have growth exponentially since the beginning of the century. In 1900, total government expenditures equaled 5.5 percent of GDP. By 1992 this figure had increased more than six fold to 33.1 percent. This year government expenditures will have dipped to 28.9 percent of GDP.” In 2018, it is estimated to be up to 35.6%.

Although government does not have death or the marketplace to confine it and drive it to improvement, it does learn and expand. For the first 141 years of this country’s existence, until 1917, the federal government raised most of its money from customs duties and excise taxes. With the creation of the federal income tax this all changed.

“Adjusting for inflation, in the 81 years between the enactment of the income tax in 1913 to 1994, government spending increased 13,592 percent!” And that march hasn’t slowed, regardless of which political party is in power.

Also from this same 2000 report, “The composition of government expenditures has also changed dramatically over time. At the turn of the [20th] century most government spending was used to pay for education and training, national defense, and interest payments. Today much government activity involves transferring income from one group to another. This year transfer programs are expected to account for 41.6 percent of government expenditures, a figure that was just 3 percent in 1900.” In 2014 transfer payments made up 70 percent of all government spending!

This too shows the entity of government learning for ways to survive and prosper. Placing the entity as both the enforcer and middleman of these transfers guarantees itself even more permanence and power, as does effectively capturing a major political party.

So we are left with a reality of these entities constantly striving to expand, and showing significant success over the past hundred years, while at the same time lacking an effective outside source that will contain and carve them toward constant improvement and excellence.

This isn’t a moral or even political issue; it is a physical reality and one we ignore at our own peril.


A Day In The Life.

Another bad night's "sleep". Finally got to sleep at 4a, and got-up at 8:45a. I'm already beat for the day and it's only 12:15p. So I decided to sauteé red, yellow and orange bell peppers, mushrooms and garlic, make 5-lbs of Angel Hair Pasta (Cappellini #9) and add-in 2-lbs of thawed fresh lobster claw meat. I had a few tastes along the way, but drove the entire batch over to Dad & Becky. While there, the Office Max truck delivered my new office furniture and filing cabinet, 3 days early. I got my Rx Ambien® 12.5 CR™ (Zolpidem) back, and will start to get some decent sleep, once again. After a pile of errands, I watched a few CATV shows and listened to some Talk Radio, until 8:30p, pulled the plug and went upstairs for sleep. Good night, good prince.

Up at 5:30a on Saturday, I felt a little better after 9hrs of sleep, but with the new stomach-to-cyst stents draining water from the cyst, and depositing it in my stomach, I was up every 2-3hrs going to the bathroom. With next Saturday's (28th) CommieCast-xfinity CATV service app't looming, I wanted to get rid of my loft's 17" 1985 Sony Trinitron TV, and get a new unit. I will get one for the living room's wall, maybe 65-80" or so, after it's re-painted and re-floored, and my kitchen's computer, printer, sound system, router, external HDs, and Comcast modem are set-up on my new sunroom office furniture, which just arrived yesterday, and is stored at Becky's condo.

40" Samsung HD-TV.

I took my old 80s Sony Beta Max 600 and Sony VHS to Staples for recycling, bought a new 40" Samsung TV at Best Buy, to replace the loft's old 17" Trinitron, and have their Geek Squad coming Sunday 12-4 (tomorrow), to set it up.

Rain, rain, glorious rain. After months of drought, we've been getting rain since late morning, and my gauge reads just over 3¾" so far, as of 11:30p. I stayed-up until 1:15a, watching gun, ammo, suppressor and Gordon Ramsay cooking videos on YouTube. Still raining and coming down hard on my skylights. I bagged it around 2a, since The German Grand Prix is on at 9a, and Best Buy's Geek Squad is scheduled to arrive between 12-4p I'll dispose of the old Sony CRT (cathode ray tube) box, by taking it to Staples, after the Geek Squad helps me get it out of the house, into my Jeep and over to Staples, where we three can lift it into a shopping cart and I take it inside the store for drop-off and recycling.

Up at 7:30a on Sunday morning, I made coffee, started a load of laundry, cleared my head and backed the Jeep Grand Cherokee into the driveway, right up to the garage. I cleaned out 7-8 bags of VHS and Beta Tapes, plus cassettes, to go to Staples, with the Trinitron TV. While taking my morning shower (tankless water heater), the on switch in the basement unit tripped off due to an electrical problem from last night's storms, so I had to stop my shower, wrap with a towel and go to the basement and reset the on/off switch to get my hot water back. I had oatmeal for breakfast, delicious with butter, Truvia® sweetener and Half & Half®. The F-1 German Grand Prix from Hockenheim was on from 9-11a, and it was a good race. Zach and Justin, from Geek Squad, arrived at my condo around 2pm, installed the new 40" TV, removed the old 17" Trinitron, but weren't able to get it dialed-in on Comcast. That's the xfinity/Comcast tech's job; he'll be here Sat 28th, to set-up and dial-in my new TV to the Comcast channels.

The rain started again, around 6p and continued thru the night. As the cells moved thru, some were torrential downpours, and woke me up, with the noise of the 4 skylights. It's a Nor'easter, coming up the east coast, and sucking-in a lot of moisture from the sea as it travels northward. I bagged it for the night at 10:30p.

Up at 8:15a on Monday, I was drenched with sweat, as were my pillow and bed linens. I checked my temp: 100.1°F fever, and I was not feeling well. After opening the bed to let it and the pillow dry and air-out, had coffee and some aspirin, I started to feel better, but could only keep down some Ensure® Protein drinks. But after 3 shakes, they were beginning to taste too sweet and made me a little nauseous, so I switched to ice water. With chicken salad, egg & olive salad, seafood salad, cold cuts etc and shrimp scampi in my 'fridge, I had no appetite for any of it. I had 3 letters to get off, with monthly payments in each, and drove to the massive USPS complex, just 2½ miles south of me.

After getting back and flopping down in my giant leather comfy chair, while listening to Rush live, and the podcast of the morning's Chris Plante Show, on DC's WMAL-630AM. The doorbell rang, and it was the postal delivery carrier, with a registered/certified letter from my township's chief of police, telling me that I owe $25 to "register my alarm system in the condo", after 28yrs. On July 18th, it emitted 2 false "panic alarms" to police, just a mile away, and the responding officer asked me to reset the unit. I rebooted the keypad, with my passcode numbers, and it's been fine ever since. The police chief admonished me that I could be prosecuted by the district judge for not registering the unit's alarm within 14 days, and I did so immediately, by mail. Weird. Well, at least we don't have a "flush tax" or a "rain tax"... YET, like MD does.

After Rush ended at 3pm, I switched over to the morning's "The Chris Plante Show" podcast, for another 3hrs, while doing computer work. An "alarm tax" is just f•cking unbelievable! Why hasn't Choice Security Co, my personal and business alarm company for over 25yrs, notified me and others who live in this twp, and other twps, who have instituted such BS taxes?

The rain continued into the evening, extremely hard at some times, but steady until I pulled the plug, shut everything down, and went upstairs for some sleep, around 12:30a.

Up at 6:30a on Tuesday, it was still raining, and after turning on the local news on WBSA-910AM, all anyone could talk about was the widespread "Areal Flood Warning"posted everywhere. I had some errands to run, shrimp scampi to remake, and calls to painters and wood floor refinishers, and one floor refinisher coming by at 11a, for an estimate. Needless to say, the Nor'easter was in full rain mode, and it was truly pouring, flooding roads, fields and city streets, and the powerful Codorus Creek was 15-20ft higher than normal, and moving very fast, as I drove over the 120ft long bridge.

I stayed inside, while it continued to rain all day and night, since many roads and intersections were blocked off, and PENNDot road crews and police were everywhere. I installed an old, but new edition browser – Google Chrome – and played around with customizing it. By 11p, I was tired, the cleaning ladies were coming in tomorrow instead of Thursday, and I needed some quality sleep. Since my last operation, July 18th, I've had no pain and the pseudo-cyst continues to drain on its own, just fine, back into my stomach, and pass out thru the small intestine into the bladder, as whiz. No Rx painkillers are needed. THE PAIN IS GONE! Nice. Thus ends the day.

Tuesday night/Wednesday morning was another of sweats and chills, yet when I take my temp with an old-fashioned mercury thermometer, it normal at 98.6°F. So I threw the digital forehead thermometer away. I was up at 6:30a, made coffee and oatmeal, had my morning shower (breaker again tripped at end of shower, going to cold water), and the cleaning ladies showed-up at 10a. It stopped raining during the afternoon, but resumed around 6p. Total so far is 10½ (1/2)" of rain. Damn! And the Flash Flood Warnings continue, even on my cellphone.

I'd bought a $69.99 download copy of MS-Office 365, back on April 23rd, tried it out but found that it was quickly taking over my entire desktop and computer's every function, with an unfamiliar program, meant for Win-8 and Win-10, not the Win-7 Pro 64-bit that I've used to run MS-Office 2007, since 2007. I quickly uninstalled it, though pieces remain, such as OneDrive Cloud Storage (1-TB) and a few others which I avoid. I was thinking it was time to retry using it, so I gathered all my MS-sent emails with MS-account info, order numbers, pricing, all-important 25 character key codes, and purchase receipt. After a huge plate of Shrimp Scampi over Angel Hair pasta, I watched The Velocity Channel's "Chasing Classic Cars" (and vintage motorcycles), and Fantom Works until 11:30p, and bagged it for the night, as it continued to rain more. Good shows, anyway.

My alarm went off at 4:30a, all by itself, on Thursday morning, and all I was greeted with was silence. Instead of the all-too familiar pounding rain of the past 5 days – we got 11", according to my garden's water gauge – it was quiet; but I'll gladly take that over a drought, any day. The next few days will be spent draining fields, homes etc into streams, creeks (Codorus) and rivers (Susquehanna), as intermittent t-storm cells pass thru the area. Advertising for the York Fair, 252 yrs old and the oldest in the US, is going up, and it's still July. Heh.

After breakfast and lunch, I had a small pile of errands to run, things to pick-up at Home Depot, which I'd ordered and paid for, over the Net. I kept gettomh calls from Rite Aid Pharmacy, about new Rxs which were ready for [pick-up, so back out to get them. Becky stopped-by with a large piece she'd made for Dad and herself, and I gladly took it. I had food shopping to do at Weis Market, and my 'fridge is filled to overflowing. Lee stopped-by for a short visit, and offered help in prepping the condo for the painters and carpet/hardwood flooring people, in September. I also gladly accepted his help, as I tire out quickly and some of this stuff will get heavy after 15-20 trips to the basement, wherde I'll be storing it until the rehab work is completed, hopefully by the end of October.

By 7p. I had things back under my control, made one of my "patented meatloaf sandwiches", watched CATV until 11p, and called it a week. It was a sunny, warm day, highs in the mid-80s and water levels were still rising, as the land drained-off into streams, creeks and rivers. Lots of damage in the flood-prone areas, so I'm glad I live on high ground. No one in our condo complex suffered any damage from the 11" of raqinfall, over the past 5 days. Thankfully.

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