atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#2323: The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again

WSJ: McDonald's may drop health plan.

Actually, there's some question about whether or not this kind of development is actually an "unintended" consequence of ObamaCare. The Democrats will scream bloody murder whenever a large corporation has to make this kind of adjustment, but in fact all it does is lay the groundwork for a complete government takeover of the medical system.

Michelle Malkin: "...[T]he shifting from private to government insurance is the ultimate, intended consequence — and has been all along."

* * *

Chances are the kid won't learn anything from being shot.

* * *

I would really like for Dick Morris to be right about this but I know how the GOP operates. I'm not optimistic.

* * *

Second quarter GDP growth: 1.7%.

The first quarter GDP growth was 3.7%, but a lot of that was driven by inventory replacement after the Christmas shopping season.

Let me tell you about something I've seen this week, twice.

Running through town, here, we have a major North/South corridor used by Union Pacific. UP also leases trackage rights to other railroads like CSX, so we get a lot of trains through town. It's not unusual for me to see an intermodal train; on average about half the trains I see entirely by happenstance are intermodal trains. (That is to say, I don't live near the tracks and only see trains when I happen to drive past the tracks.) That's one reason UP is putting an intermodal facility here in Crete.

I have, in the past week, seen two trains composed entirely of empty well cars. That is not something I have seen before.

A well car is the type of railroad car used for transporting shipping containers. Generally railroads prefer to make unit trains of well cars since intermodal cars can only be loaded and unloaded at a place with the right equipment. ("Unit train": a train made up of one type of car. Coal is usually shipped this way, for example.)

Empties have to go somewhere; it's not unusual to see a unit train of well cars with some empties in it--but not an entire train of them. That is, as I said, something I have never seen before; and it bothers me even more than I've seen two of them in less than a week's time.

Where are all the shipping containers? Where are the loads for those well cars? Here's what worries me: if the shipping containers aren't moving, then the stuff which is normally shipped in them isn't moving.

Hint: that is bad.

A few weeks ago--when I went to the boneyard for a fan shroud for the Jeep--I ended up waiting some fifteen minutes for a near-endless parade of auto racks to roll past. Empty auto racks.

I was sitting at a grade crossing in South Chicago Heights waiting at one of the big curved tracks which comprise the interchange between the UP tracks and the EJ&E track. These auto racks were going eastbound.

...I've never seen such a long line of empty auto racks, either.

As I said, empty railroad cars have to be moved from wherever they were emptied to a place where they can be loaded again. It's not unusual for a train to be a mixture of loads and empties; that happens all the time.

But what does it mean when there are whole trains of empties moving around? I don't think it means anything good.

If the railroads aren't moving loads, they're not making money. But if the railroads aren't moving loads, it's because there are no loads to be moved...and that means that a whole bunch of other entities (both people and businesses) aren't making money.

* * *

Indianapolis: "You don't have a choice about with whom you do business."

A bakery refuses to accept an order from a gay student group; the Indianapolis city government is going to make them do so.

City official: "Whatever this gentleman's personal views are, it cannot interfere with the providing of a service or allowing someone to buy their goods." In other words, you have to sell your goods to anyone who wants to buy them regardless of any other consideration.

Count on this, though: if the offended group was the KKK or some other politically incorrect group, the city's attitude would be, "Tough shit, you racist cockmonglers!"

* * *

I have really, really got to do more--MUCH MORE--shopping at Wal-Mart.

Look at this fatuous extrusion:
Profit-driven corporations including Wal-Mart are sending jobs overseas to take advantage of low wages paid in less-developed countries.

Many corporations are firing American workers to cut production costs. They then charge American consumers more money than what it took to produce their products.

Corporations flood the U.S. market with relatively inexpensive products, and have destroyed the local retail business structure in many towns across America.

Why should we let such distant and cold corporate monsters set the styles for things such as the clothing we wear, movies we watch and music we listen to?
"Profit-driven corporations"? What does this idiot think corporations are for? Most of the time, corporations exist to earn a profit! That's the entire reason our civilization invented them in the first place.

She's aghast at this and says, "They then charge American consumers more money than what it took to produce their products." WHY, THOSE BASTARDS! HOW DARE THEY DO THAT?? Earth to moron: if you want to earn a profit, you have to charge more for a product than what it cost you to produce it.

"Crystal Villarreal is a senior from Lawrenceville majoring in magazines and women’s studies." Gee, what a fucking surprise that is!

How the everloving fuck do you major in "magazines"?

"Women's studies" is just code for "Marxist brainwashing masquerading as scholarship" and the only surprise there is that it's not spelled "womyn's".

The fact that an infantile blob majoring in "magazines and women's studies" thinks that profit is bad--and identifies Wal-Mart as the focus of evil--is really not surprising, because the left hates Wal-Mart for its anti-union stance and its perennial profitability.

Let's go back to that first line: "Profit-driven corporations including Wal-Mart are sending jobs overseas to take advantage of low wages paid in less-developed countries." Yeah, it's horrible, how large corporations actually pay people in less-developed countries to make stuff for them, thus bringing money into these economies. If you live in a country where the annual per-capita income is $300, and someone offers to pay you $10 per week to make shoes, you'll jump at the chance, because then you'll make $5,200 a year before taxes; you'll be rich.

This, according to liberals, is evil. That evil corporation is taking unfair advantage of those peoples' poverty and they want it stopped! It's not fair that a corporation can pay those people only a few dollars an hour to make things that they sell for a profit! How dare they? (The people who eagerly line up to apply for those jobs are, of course, helpless pawns of the capitalists. The fact that the offered wages are usually exorbitant by local standards is, of course, a sham.)

It's much better for that shoe manufacturer to be forced to pay someone $18.50 per hour plus retirement plus health insurance plus plus plus, thus making sure that the shoe manufacturer keeps its production in the US and uses as many machines as possible and as few workers as possible. Not only is this somehow better than employing people in dirt poor countries with a wage that is quite good for their region, but it's vastly preferable to letting those evil corporations do something as heinous as making a profit.

By the way:
I grew up in California, in a neighborhood without a Wal-Mart. My mother and I walked to the neighborhood toy store, the candy store, the local grocery. Store owners knew our names, our stories.

They cared about what was going on in our community.

But one day our neighbors started worrying that our way of life could change, and there they stood shouting in unison that Wal-Mart destroys communities.

They shouted that a Wal-Mart moving in literally would destroy a way of life.

The toy store, candy store and grocery would shut down, crushed under the customer lure of Wal-Mart’s unbeatably low prices.
Does this anus think that the "neighborhood stores" she talks about were doing business out of the goodness of their hearts? Does she think those stores didn't care about making a profit? Does she think that they were not "profit-driven"?

Of course they were! That's why they couldn't remain in business after they were out-competed. It's not enough just to break even every year; you have to make a profit, else you have nothing to use for investment capital and your business never grows. If your business never grows, if it stagnates, it dies.

But somehow these little stores--despite their desire for profit--are more noble? Just because they know your name? Give me a break.

This incredibly foolish little girl sees "concentrated evil" when she walks into Wal-Mart. What she doesn't see is that her own attitudes--steeped in Marxism and the paternalist thinking of socialism--are the ones which are "concentrated evil".

* * *

Solar cells get more efficient, but still only work when the sun is shining on them.

Here's the headline, with its comma splice intact: "Solar cells get two electrons for the price of one, efficiency bonus".

Somehow this "two-for-one" efficiency bonus only translates into a theoretical efficiency increase of 16%.

So a square meter of this new panel will--theoretically--give you 470 watts of power rather than 310 watts when exposed to noonday sun. Whee! We can shut off our coal-fired plants now, right?

Uh...no.

* * *

So last night I went to bed at a reasonable hour, and I slept. I woke up around 4 AM, had half a Xanax and a can of Slim-Fast, and then went back to bed.

Woke up at 10:30 and felt embalmed. Continued to feel embalmed the entire time I was out of the house; we didn't get home until after 4 PM.

After some tacos and a jug of Pepsi I felt better, but still went to bed and slept like a stack of 2x4s until 9:30 PM.

Shit.

What the hell is the point of going to bed at a reasonable time if you wake up feeling like you've been hit by a train? It pisses me off that my body is like that. It's not the Xanax; not when I took half a pill and slept on it for six hours. It's just my entire existence conspiring to make me utterly fucking miserable.

And people wonder why I'm paranoid? Everyone is out to get me, including myself!

* * *

Needless to say, I didn't do a goddamned thing since the last post other than eat and take Mom to her doctor appointments.

The worst part about the whole thing is how freakin' gorgeous the weather has been the past few days. Sunny, cool, breezy--just the kind of weather I like for working outside, on cars or what-have-you...and I've been too goddamned tired to do anything!

Argh.
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