Yes, things are unfair

One of the toughest things that I deal with a day to day basis is that I keep hearing that things are unfair and need to be straightened out by the government. This starts with providing health care, retirement and even now a living wage. Having lived for a couple of years now, I am going to tell you that life is unfair. How many people here are born as good looking as Brad Pitt or as talented as Kobe Bryant? How many people were born with wealthy parents? How many have the intellect of Albert Einstein? I could go on and on about things not being fair. This is reality, the more we complain or think that someone should change the more we put the responsibility back on someone else and not take it ourselves.

 When we are all in the rice patties picking rice and we are all really equal, some of us will pick more rice then others. A radio host said this and it stuck with me to this day. How do you deal with inequality? There are many ways that counteract inequality, the first one is working hard. If you are the first guy in and the last guy out at a job, guess what you will get raises. Next, be frugal and stay on top of your finances. Lastly be involved with other organizations, such as church and or civic groups. This is how traditionally the US helped each other out. (Civic groups, what are those? Elk lodge, stamp club, Masons, Church bible study, Orange Order, VFW and the list goes on and on.)

 Many of these organizations have been around for a long time and were built to help each other out. A good example being; Masons, much like sharing an Alma Mater you can be member of this group and have an automatic in with them. This is the case with others. Many of these groups are mutual assistance groups that can help you find a job, they can help with scholarships and can guide you in your life. While I know that many people want a quick and easy way to get some money these organizations can help you. However it requires dedication and having to interact with people to get where you want to go. Which to me is the way that it has been for the history of mankind.

Read more:

Coming of age rituals: http://libertariandad.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/coming-of-age-rituals/

On minimum wage: http://libertariandad.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/why-minimum-wage-hikes-are-too-goo-to-be-true/

A country without civic organizations: http://libertariandad.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/a-country-without-civic-organizations/

 

 

A bag of Doritos a day keeps the doctor away Part 2

In the previous article I talked about how to prevent kids from eating junk food and instead eating regular food. Much of the reason for this was because I was raised eating at a regular time and for the most part non processed foods. I didn’t know how blessed I was for this at that time and now I want to pass it on to my kids. However my wife and I didn’t just come to this conclusion because we grew up this way but because we saw what effect junk food and sodas had on our kids. My oldest son who rarely ever had sodas would go to his grandmas house and then would drink sodas. We would come and pick up my son and he would going wild in the car and not wanting to go to sleep. While initially we didn’t realize this was the case but as it happened a couple of times we realized that junk food was having this effect.

So to resolve this issue we instead allowed our kids to have a little bit of junk food to essentially build up a tolerance too it. This is maybe not the most optimal solution but it seems to be the best of both worlds. This is because it exposes them too junk food on a small scale so they don’t see it as some forbidden fruit. It also help with them knowing what it tastes like so they know the effects this stuff has upon the body. 

Has this worked is the question? Yes and no is the answer. Because my kids are growing and have huge appetites they can eat a lot of food. They will get it one way or another and if it is junk food then it is an added bonus. Especially around Christmas, that is when there is a lot of candy, chocolates, cookies and other goodies in the house and they destroy these. Once Christmas is over though they come of the sugar high and they keep wanting more. This is something that needs to be overcome in the future. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this situation?

 

So you want to date my daughter? well show me your W2, degree and 3 references

Since my kids are way below the age of kids dating this isn’t a real issue but it is something that my wife and I have discussed with one another. My parents didn’t really talk about it with me growing; I guess they wanted me to kind of figure it out on my own. Oh wait, never mind they had me read the book called, “I kissed dating good bye.” I am fairly sure that quite a few people have read this book and had to throw up. It made me realize that whatever you call it, dating or courtship it is generally the same thing. This is that a relationship with someone regardless what the name is that it means spending one on one time with that person. So how old should kids be to be able to date or at least have some kind of exclusive relationship with one person?

The way I feel about it now is that my boys have to wait till 25 and my daughter 35.  But I understand that the law states that at 18 they are adults. So this means that I cannot dictate to them what they can and cannot do. It is more reasonable for me to say that they cannot date till 18 at which time they are adults. However when talking with other people, it seems that people date at a lot younger age then that. This is where parental involvement comes in. But that is the case so many times.

Parental oversight seems to be a primary tenet of just about anything when it comes to raising children. School, sports, dating, friends, careers and the list goes on. I have never read studies on how parental involvement affects children’s future careers but I am sure that it is significant in making a difference. One of the biggest differences that I read about poor and rich kids is that rich kids hear over 2000 words a day where as poor kids hear less then 800 a day. I am sure that that plays a significant role in the development of children.

While there probably isn’t an exact age that works best for all kids to date it is clear that there needs to be a level of parental involvement. What do you think?

Read more:

The inmates run the asylum: http://libertariandad.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/the-inmates-run-the-asylum/

How to raise your kids on the cheap: http://libertariandad.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/raising-kids-on-the-cheap/

Your kids wont turn out the way you think they will: http://libertariandad.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/your-kids-wont-turn-out-the-way-you-think-they-will-guest-post/

How to deal with you kids: http://libertariandad.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/breaking-the-cycle-how-to-deal-with-your-children/

A bag of Doritos a day, keeps the doctor away Part 1

Growing up, my mother cooked home made meals everyday and our intake of sodas and junk food was rather limited. I thought in some ways we were weird for this. Most other people I knew ate chips, microwaved meals and ate at restaurants. It wasn’t really until later that I realized that what I had was not normal, however not out of the ordinary. So when we had kids,  my wife and I decided that she would stay home and she would also cook home made foods. We also decided that our kids would have limited amount of junk foods and sodas. This is actually a much tougher gig to follow then you would imagine.

The main reason why this is tough is because candy, chocolate, chips and sodas are everywhere. Kids win in a game they get candy, they go to the bank and get a lollipop, they go to relatives or friends soda and chips it is. (I am not saying this is bad) It’s as though parents are setup for failure. You can control their intake to a certain degree but it’s tough. I want my kids to enjoy candy and I don’t want to deprive them, but that is where moderation comes in.

What my wife and I did was to not deprive them when they go out. However we have a limited amount of junk food at home. This keeps temptation down for both us and the kids. We do have fruit and regular food at the house. On top of that I also give my kids Kombucha. This is a healthy alternative to sodas and juices. We also attempt to eat at regular times this ends up curbing their appetites through out the day. Staying consistent with food and not giving junk food lead my kids to eating a big variety of foods such as broccoli and other vegetables.

Read more:

15 tips on getting your kids to eat: http://www.parents.com/kids/nutrition/healthy-eating/get-your-kids-to-eat-better/

additional tips: http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/eating_tips.html

Kombucha made easy: http://foodriotradio.com/2013/06/kombucha-made-easy/

What do raw milk and transfat have in common? http://grassfedanarchist.com/2014/01/02/what-do-what-do-raw-milk-and-trans-fats-have-in-common/

Start up the printers

Why is deflation bad and inflation good? Have you ever asked yourself this? When ever the economy comes up there is always talk of inflation and that it is low or that it is too high. But honestly what does this mean. Most people would say that you would want the value of your money to stay the same, right? What you can buy right now should be the same as what you can buy tomorrow. Hence we have a minimum wage? The 7.50 should be able to buy the same amount today as tomorrow. However in reading what Paul Krugman says and Yahoo answers that is not the case. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/why-is-deflation-bad/?_r=0

His argument boils down to loans become more costly, prices would go down and there for profits would go down and then unemployment would go up. The arguments he states do make some sense, especially when you would want to keep people spending because if they don’t the value of their money goes down. However, what this also means is that they have to either spend it or put into the stock market and try to keep up with inflation. This seems like a very normal event, most people put their money into the stock market and overtime it accrues value. The really big down side to all of this is that it doesn’t always accrue value and then there is the possibility of a crash. Imagine you are getting ready to retire and the stock market crashes. All of a sudden you cannot retire or even consider using the money you have invested.

Charles Hughes Smith says: “The critical error made by the “inflation is good” camp is their assumption that wages will rise along with everything else in inflation. Alas, wages for the bottom 90% have stagnated for decades in real terms (i.e. purchasing power), and so “mild” inflation has dramatically decreased their earnings.” What he is saying is that wages don’t go up but the actual value of the dollar earned goes down. So while people are not making more money the price of everything else rises, even the new push for a higher minimum wage is showing that this is the case. Thirty years ago most people spent 30 percent of their income on rent, today it is 50 percent.

The main concern is that if deflation hits too hard then there is a chance that people will lose their jobs or get paid less. This would lead to a revolt or cause civil unrest. Charles Hughes Smith says”The “frog in the pot” syndrome applies. If deflation is modest, on the order of 1%-2% annually, that won’t spark insurrection. If the water in the pot is heated slowly, the frog doesn’t notice much except a gradual reduction in earnings and government benefits as more government revenue is funneled to debt service.” This could be overcome if Federal Reserve would reduce printing money and allow the dollars out there to gain value and it would allow people to retain their dollars which would be their investment. It would also allow people to retire on the money they have earned over time and not rely on Social Security and other government programs to survive. 

Read More:

Paul Krugman: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/why-is-deflation-bad/?_r=0

Businesses Insider (good discussion): http://www.businessinsider.com/why-deflation-is-a-bad-thing-2013-11

Yahoo answers: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081119195419AAE0d73

Charles Hughes Smith: http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjuly12/deflation7-12.html

Successful retirement: http://libertariandad.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/successful-retirement/

50 Things Kids Don’t Learn in School (Guest post) – Grass Fed Anarchist

Why is it so generally accepted that school is necessary to prepare you for the work force? This notion assumes that someone other than the individual knows exactly what line of work he will want to go into. In fact, I’d argue that school does more to deter an independent, creative, entrepreneur’s mind than it does to prepare a child for the real world. It creates a mind that is reliant on the system, and couldn’t survive without it.

Take a look at this list that I put together with help from my lovely Facebook friends and supporters. Can you honestly tell me that learning to memorize and regurgitate facts sounds like a better use of anyone’s time than learning the following the skills?

1 – How to change a tire
2 – How to buy a house
3 – How to give good customer service
4 – How to manage money without relying on debt
5 – How to maintain a healthy relationship
6 – How to break off an unhealthy relationship
7 – How to talk to someone who is depressed or suicidal
8 – How to give advice and know when advice is solicited
9 – How to know when simply listening and validating is more appropriate
10 – How to grow your own food
11 – How to prepare and preserve that food
12 – How to change your oil
13 – How to use jumper cables
14 – How to do CPR
15 – How to learn independently
16 – How to teach independence
17 – How to raise fish/animals for food
18 – How to make change
19 –  How to spot “spin” and bias
20 – How to detect logical fallacies
21 – How to question authority
22 – How to identify and forage for wild edibles
23 – How to set up a simple trap
24 – How to interpret statistics
25 – How to assist someone giving birth
26 – How to know whom to trust, and whom not to trust
27 – How to balance a check book
28 – How to tie a knot
29 – How to manage finances
30 – How to defend yourself with force if necessary
31 – How to question everything
32 – How a bank account works
33 – How to write a will
34 – How to plan a funeral
35 – How to start a business
36 – How to do your taxes
37 – How to decide which charities are legitimate
38 – How to patent an invention
39 – How the stock market works
40 – How to correctly interpret scientific data
41 – How to kill a chicken
42 – How to dis/assemble and clean a rifle, pistol, and revolver
43 – How to start a fire
44 – How to utilize charting to know when a woman is ovulating
45 – How to put family before the institution
46 – How to market a brand
47 – How to sell something and recognize when something is being sold to you
48 – How to communicate with people from different generations
49 – How to tip and split a bill
50 – How to be free

So if by “unjob”, “unpaycheck”, and “ungroceries” you mean “self-employed”, “self-reliant”, and “home-grown”, then yes. I guess so.

(P.s., if you’re thinking: “those things are all important to know, but they’re NOT things I want a government funded school system teaching my kids”, GOOD FOR YOU. I like the way you think. But aren’t these things that could and SHOULD be taught if only kids weren’t in school busy having their precious time wasted on stuff like “how to fill in a standardized test bubble”? You’re too smart not to homeschool, my friend.)

Read More:

Grass Fed Anarachist: http://www.grassfedanarchist.com

Homeschooling is not for you: https://libertariandad.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/homeschooling-is-not-for-you/

 

 

Homeschooling is not for you

In general homeschooling is better for children due to the attention the children get and the focused curriculum. However there are a number of reason why people wouldn’t homeschool, here are some of the reasons that I have gathered.

  1. Financial, you have to have two people working to pay for expenses.
  2. Military, a lot of military people homeschool their kids because they want to keep their kids education steady and not interrupt it every 2-4 years.
  3. Some parents are not up to it, they can parent or teach not both. Sending your kids to school gives one time to do stuff around the house and pay more attention them when they come home.
  4. Socialization, people don’t their children to grow up unable to interact with other humans.
  5. Maybe some parents can’t be around their kids all day.
  6. Some kids may not be that into homeschooling same with parents.
  7. Single mom, I think this one is pretty self explanatory.
  8. This list could go on and on…..

 Regardless of what you do as a parent, the reality is that the best way to educate your child is to be involved with them.

 Read more:

 Home school stats: hslda.com

 

Why things are so expensive Part 2

This is the continuation to last weeks article of why things are so expensive:

Pharmaceuticals

 This article is not meant to make any one depressed, however in case you are there are medicines for that. O wait, that is another monopoly that is protected by the government. I cannot go out and make my own aspirin or other narcotic. I would be charged with a crime if I did that. A lot of these drugs are made out of things that are illegal in the US however they can be given by a medical professional This whole system essentially locks prices into place and doesn’t allow for any kind of competition which might drive down prices. I am not advocating this stuff be able to be freely bought at Wal Mart however there should be some kind of market pressure on the prices of these products.

 Drugs are also very expensive to produce. For you to get a drug approved onto the markets takes millions of dollars and that isn’t even a guarantee that it wont be pulled very quickly. The FDA has to be shown that the drug is safe, which adds massive costs on to the market. However the catch is that many drugs still are not safe as you have seen in the case of 10, 000 dead each year by drugs approved by the FDA and lets not forget all the drugs that have caused physical damage. Just look at all the commercials for lawsuits against companies that produced faulty metal hip implants, bad birth control pills and the list goes on.

 I am not saying that the FDA is not effective, however no one there loses their job if a drug makes it onto the market and it ends up hurting or killing some one. Also for many drugs and vaccines there is a special fund set up that pays out if they are harmful. So a person cannot sue the company directly. Wait…what?? But that is a whole other discussion.

 Insurance (car and health)

 How do most people pay for these drugs and medical treatments? They use insurance; this is another field that is truly riddled with crony capitalism. When you use your insurance you get a statement. Have you ever looked at it? It shows how much your insurance company settled to pay the hospital. Unfortunately, you don’t really feel the full impact of how much this would have cost without insurance. But if you go and buy medical treatments your self you do get hit with a bill and you cannot negotiate.  This means that there are two tiers of payments and because most people have insurance they will only see the statement. How can there be any kind of market pressure or competition in a medical system if you don’t know how much you have to pay for the services.

 Then there is mandated car insurance. I mean, it’s not that I don’t want people to get insurance but this creates an automatic monopoly. Have you ever noticed how everyone’s insurance is more or less the same? It is generally some where between 80 to 150 a month, unless you are young. There doesn’t even need to be competition because it is mandated and if you don’t get it, you can get thrown into prison for it. Maybe if there was competition then the price would go down and everyone would buy insurance anyway. Side note: You should have it because you are a responsible adult and in case someone hits you that doesn’t have it).

 This article could go on and on. There are so many more fields out there that drive up the costs that shouldn’t be happening. Student loans, Social Security and Unions. However the biggest one that drives up prices is the Federal Reserve and its ability to make money out of thin air. This results in the devaluing of the currency and purchasing power otherwise known as inflation. However it doesn’t look as though the Federal Reserve will not be ending anytime soon.

 

In the past there were banks that issued currency too, however they had to base their interest rates on real market pressures. This meant that money could be less or more valuable depending on which bank issued it. The Federal Reserve doesn’t need to worry about that since there is no bank that competes with them.

 Read more:

 Pharma

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2013/08/11/how-the-staggering-cost-of-inventing-new-drugs-is-shaping-the-future-of-medicine/

http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/PharmaceuticalsEconomicsandRegulation.html

Insurance:

 About mandatory insurance: http://www.ehow.com/info_8092221_auto-insurance-mandatory.html

 Inflation:

http://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/economy_14419.htm

http://www.businessinsider.com/arthur-laffer-interview-2014-1

 

Why things are so expensive? part 1

I have tried to stick to writing about parenting and sound finances, however once in a while I feel driven to write about economics. In order to explain why things are the way they are. This is because people all around me have questions about why things are as expensive as they are and why the economy is stagnant. Here are a number of things that contribute to it:

Licensing:

You might ask, why hair dressers are licensed? Does the license protect you from getting your ear cut? Does a licensed florist prevent crime or make nicer floral arrangements? Does licensing marriage some how make you more faithful or a better spouse? Does a licensed undertaker stop the flow of drugs? Yes the list can go on for hundreds and hundreds of different kind of things, because these are all mandated. Do they improve quality and is the quality followed up on? For many of these things, no.

 Okay, many of you would say that licensing is a good thing. “John, you are against licensing? Shame on you. Don’t you want the best quality and high standards?” Yes, yes I do. However the licensing should not be mandated and should be private. There can be private accrediting agencies that one could go to get certified. This would b ea seal of approval. However you should not be mandated to do it. It should be up to the individual to choose whether they want to buy a product that is certified or not certified.

 Furthermore not mandating licensing, would help bring about competition with new licensing and better quality being brought about.

 AMA and lawyers:

 This licensing leads us into the next part. The AMA and the lawyer boards. Doctors have firmly entrenched themselves by establishing the AMA. The AMA is backed by the Federal Government as the only doctor licensing agency out there. So for you to practice medicine you have to go through their boards and education. This means that you cannot practice medicine if you don’t go through their schools. It also means that they only produce a limited amount of doctors each year, this essentially creates a whole monopoly on doctors and does not allow the market to react to how many are needed.

 Right now the US is starting to age so there need to be even more doctors to help with this. Also the Affordable Care Act adds millions of new people into the insurance world and will need to have a doctor. With no market forces pressing on the AMA to make new doctors there will be fewer doctors to go around. The upside is that doctors can charge more money for their services, which is what we are seeing with raised insurance premiums and copays.

 Lawyers are somewhat in the same position, while their services are maybe not as greatly needed as medical doctors they still have a board and a quota system. This system is also backed by the government, meaning that if I want to be a lawyer I have to abide by the board and their system. I cannot establish my own lawyer board to provide some kind of quality control but have to go through theirs. Doctors and Lawyers have essentially created their own monopoly on their services with little to no competition.

 (Monday there will be part 2)

 Read more:

 AMA:

Reasons to shrink doctors pay: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2011/11/28/why-the-american-medical-association-had-72-million-reasons-to-help-shrink-doctors-pay/

On the AMA monopoly: http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2007/09/a_spoonful_of_monopoly_helps_t

Breaking the AMA monopoly: http://reason.org/blog/show/breaking-the-ama-monopoly

Discussion on AMA: http://mises.org/daily/5066

Licensing:

WIKIs entry on licensing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_licensure_in_the_United_States

Googles list of state licensing: https://www.google.com/#q=List+of+state+licensing

 NY times on how many licenses are out there: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/02/business/yourmoney/02scene.html?_r=0