In Fairness: The Puny Intellects of Mere Liberals

John Ransom
Posted: Jul 22, 2012 12:01 AM

CHP7747 wrote: Mr Ransom; You just painted a wide spectrum of honest, dedicated Public Employees with a tab brush. I was a California Highway Patrol Officer (OFFICER--out on the road, taking my chances) for 31 years. Every month, they took 10% for my retirement - Public Pensions are Another Form of Theft

Dear Officer Comrade,

No, actually I didn’t.

What I did do was point out that pretending, for example, that your CALPERS pension fund will get 7.5 percent return on investment when interest rates for a 30-year U.S. Treasury bond is 2.69 percent means that the pension will end up with a shortfall- a shortfall you want the taxpayers to cover, for all of the reasons you mentioned.

I thank you for your service, but there are other people you should be venting at rather than me.

Vent at the public officials who allow pension managers to make false assumptions about rates of returns; vent at union officials who are more worried about bragging about benefits than actually delivering benefits.

As our own Mike Shedlock wrote earlier this week: 

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) manages pension and health benefits for more than 1.6 million California public employees, retirees, and their families. Its pension plan assumes 7.5% annual growth.

For fiscal year ending 2012 CalPERS reported a preliminary performance of 1 percent.

The reference source in his article estimates that CALPERS is 55-75 percent under-funded.

Shedlock concludes:

If you are not familiar with exponential functions such as 7.5% annualized growth assumed perpetually by CalPERS, please [see this video]. Perhaps you should play it even if you are.

Those in CalPERS counting on 7.5% annual growth are going to instead see clawbacks, reduced rates, or outright default.

The people you elect to represent you? They did this to you.

Not taxpayers.

Matthew5 wrote: I respect what Mr. Ransom is saying but don't lump us all in the same boat. I work in a "right to work state". I have been a police officer for 24 years. The retirement plan in our state is solvent and will be. We pay full price for our insurance when we retire. We get our retirement only after 28 years. - Public Pensions are Another Form of Theft

Dear Matthew,

And that would make your state exceptional, not the rule.

Whoever is running your pension plan is doing a great job. They are to be emulated, if what you say is true.

Fairnessman wrote: Never forget that the public school teacher is the sworn, mortal enemy of your children and of your wallet. Also remember, If we had more robbers and fewer cops, the taxpayers would way ahead financially and when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away! - Public Pensions are Another Form of Theft

Dear Comrade Fairness,

Public school teachers probably feel about children the same way the rest of us do, neither more or less.

The people who really care about children are parents, not teachers.

I don’t know why we automatically assume that teachers have some sort of special regard for children. I certainly remember having some teachers that I was sure didn’t like children. And my son has had some teachers that I thought were miscast as teachers.

But on average, I have found teachers to be about as dedicated to their profession as anyone else. No more or less.

But I will say that public school unions- while not the sworn mortal enemy of children- don’t care much about children one way or another.

For them it’s about power and money.

Here’s Bob Chanin from the NEA:

S230 wrote: It only took Obama until April 27, 2011 to produce his birth certificate. Maybe Mitt can use the same company that produced the birth certificate to produce some tax records. - Another Obama Bundler Boondoggle Goes Broke

Dear Comrade 230,

What part of Mitt’s tax return meets a constitutional requirement to serve in the office of President of the United States?

Ericynot wrote: Too often when I read a Ransom article, I feel like the guy who walks along with a shovel behind the elephants in the circus parade meandering down Main Street. Cleaning up cr@p is not a fun job, but someone has to do it, I guess. Amonix received a federal tax credit under provisions of the 2010 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. They also received $15.6 million from the federal Department of Energy. Presumably, these are the numbers used by Ranson to declare Amonix left "taxpayers in the red by $20 million." - Another Obama Bundler Boondoggle Goes Broke

Dear Comrade Eric,

You must love crap, because you’re full of it.

Taxpayers will lose more like $22 million in the deal. $6 million in tax credits and $16 million in DOE grants. And for those claiming- like the company has- that they have no income to use against the tax credit, not so fast.

The 48C Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit “may be carried back one year and carried forward 20 years under IRC § 39,” according to an IRS FAQ. And you’ll notice that Amonix is not going out of business, but rather closing the facility.

The company very carefully said that they haven’t used the tax credit. But they might have used the word “yet” to more fully reflect that they have twenty years to use it.

Any corporation carrying a six million dollar tax credit will probably figure out a use for it.

In one way or another, taxpayers will pay.

But the Amonix boondoggle was just a larger story about an Obama donor who has ties to companies that received $500 million in federal money since Obama was elected.   

Ericynot (again) wrote: Over past 2 or 3 years, the Chinese have pumped $35 billion into their solar industries (they obviously want to rule the solar world). The effect of that investment has been to drop solar panel prices by 50% over the past 18 months. That is a very difficult margin compression for ANY industry to withstand. Our problem is not with the viability of PV -- it's with the heavy competitive hand of China. - Another Obama Bundler Boondoggle Goes Broke

Dear Comrade Eric,

The problem isn’t the Chinese. The problem is that solar still can’t compete with other forms of electrical generation in terms of cost.

In fact, you should be cheering for the Chinese for driving the cost of solar down.   

The Chinese can invest a trillion dollars in solar for all I care.

The singular issue for people who buy electricity is at what cost do we pay for it?

The lifetime cost per kilowatt hour from Solar Central

Energy Plant Type

Lifetime Cost  ¢ per Kwh

 Natural Gas


 Wind Turbine


 Conventional Coal


 Advanced Nuclear


 Solar PV


 Solar Thermal


When solar can compete economically, then what the Chinese spend on solar will make no difference.

You don’t have to be first to market. You just have to be the best.

I’ll take the American workforce over China in high tech areas.  

Bulldog74 wrote: BTW, this is the thing I like about sports -- it's the last true meritocracy on earth, and the Fairness Fairy has no standing. Any coach or manager who tries to build a team based on "fairness" is not likely to be around very long. - Obama’s Fake Fairness Fairy

Dear Bull Dog,

I agree.

If we went with fairness the left tackle on a football team would make the same as the quarterback even though we know that it’s easier to find a left tackle than it is a quarterback.

Why did Obama make $10 million selling his book, while the poor copy editor only made $50,000 per year? Is that fair?

Yeah, because there are more copy editors out there than there are people who can sell a lot of books.

It’s kind supply and demand.

More supply of copy editors and less demand for them. Less supply of best-selling writers and more demand for them.

There is no better way of reckoning fair than letting economics take care of it. 

Arpiem wrote: Great article, but there was no Second Amendment in 1775. There was not even a Declaration of Independence, but I get the point. - Obama’s Fake Fairness Fairy

Dear Arpiem,

Yes, but there has always been a God-given right to self-defense and self-governance. The 2nd Amendment just codifies it.

Doctor Roy wrote: Well I think the attitude of "fairness" has gotten a bad rap lately. All humans have an innate sense of fairness. The technical term for it is reciprocal altruism and a civilized society is virtually impossible without it. Since it has evolved in humans it must have conferred some sort of advantage to early man. Some folks seem to be devolving into the "I got mine get yours attitude" lately though. I equate it to the late Molly Ivins description of George W. Bush .Born on third base and thinks he hit a triple. There is no sense of noblesse oblige anymore, either. No man is an island. No one can do it completely on their own. So I don't see a problem with acknowledging that people that came before you had a small part paving the way to success.  - Obama’s Fake Fairness Fairy

Dear Comrade Doctor,

Which folks exactly are devolving into a "I got mine get yours attitude," besides the Occupy Idiots idiots?

Rather than throw out every trite phrase in defense of Obama, let’s acknowledge the obvious: Some people are born on third base. So what? Why is jealousy and envy a basis for your political system?

For example, I’m a gifted with a massively huge intellect. Is that fair to your puny intellect?

Yes, it is, because you’re a liberal. ;-)

But it also allows me to instruct you weekly on where your thinking has gone wrong. You should be thanking me every week rather than moaning that I’m smarter than you.

I believe in the aristocracy of talent, character and ethics. You believe in the aristocracy of government. To which aristocracy would you trust with noblesse oblige?

Governments aren’t moral or noble, you just pretend they are.

They’re big power machines that serve only themselves in a quest for more power…kind of like the NEA.  

James207 wrote: John, I love the professor title. - Obama’s Fake Fairness Fairy

Henceforth your Delta Tau Chi name shall be Pinto, er, Professor.

Gosh Darn Liberal wrote: Once again John, you are being a little deceitful with your language. "Deep ties to the Obama administration" can be had for the unbelievable amount of 121,000 dollars? In the world of Republican influence peddling, that will barely get you in the door, let alone deep ties. If this is the limit or a prime example of your ammo against the Prez, my prayer for chaos and confusion to my enemies has been answered. - -Should-Have-Known File: Big-Time Obama Fundraiser in Mortgage Seizure Scheme

Dear Comrade Liberal,

The guy was founding chairman of the Democracy Alliance. As I pointed out, the Alliance has given out more than $150 million in contributions since 2005.

Who’s the one being deceptive comrade? Could you pretend to be outraged be graft in your own party?

Because the bigger point is that where do YOU draw the line at graft?

I write articles critical of the GOP when they engage in the same type of behavior.

Take a look at the article I wrote about Dick Lugar’s activities.

I think gaming the system is wrong for both sides. But the difference between us is that I understand that when you make big piles of money available to the government, that money will always be gamed for.

That’s one reason why I agree with the principles of small government.

In fairness to you, however, you can now explain the principles of hypocrisy that you embrace by your attitude on graft.

Because the only thing you have offered me is “Your side does it too.”

We’ll wait right here- all day.            

Topeka wrote: John, I don't know - didn't Kelo decide it is constitutional to steal from the politically impotent and incorrect and give to the politically correct. While Pfizer is not in the same league - essentially it's the same idea - and- if they promise to pay the mortgage companies for the seized mortgages a profit; I guarantee they'll get serious pursuing this. -Should-Have-Known File: Big-Time Obama Fundraiser in Mortgage Seizure Scheme

Dear Topeka,

They are not offering to pay the mortgage companies. They’ll pay out at “market value,” rather than mortgage value.

It other words, it will be a bailout provided 100 percent by investors who were good enough to loan people money in the first place. 

Ericynot wrote: Immediately following ["If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen," the president said:]

"The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires."- Lies, Damn Lies and

Dear Comrade Eric,

Fighting fires isn’t relevant to what he said. If anything it makes his comments seem more ridiculous.

What does a fire department have to do with building a business?

Yes. We all pay taxes to support fire departments. But presumably the business owner pays his own share of taxes – and usually then some- to support fire fighting.

And yes, the business owner often needs employees to make his business successful.

Abraham Lincoln explains it thusly: "The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land, for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This, say its advocates, is free labor---the just and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way for all---gives hope to all, and energy, and progress, and improvement of condition to all."

Here’s even a better quote:

"Property is the fruit of is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."  

Old Carpenter wrote: Yes, the amount I paid in taxes went down. My income dropped so much, there was little to pay taxes on. - Lies, Damn Lies and

Dear Mr. Carpenter,

Raise GDP not tax rates. Raise our income, not our taxes. 

BTW- I really loved your song We've Only Just Begun

That’s it for this week.



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