Thoughts on early computing history

When you look back at the major milestones in computing history, we moved quickly. We went from abstract models of computing to stored-program computers in a
decade or less. It was truly amazing.

1903 – Alonzo Church was born in Washington, D.C. (USA)
1928 – The Entscheidungsproblem decision problem was proposed by David Hilbert
1936 – Church publishes “An Unsolvable Problem of Elementary Number Theory”, Church’s Thesis [1]. It is a paper on untyped lambda calculus. American Journal of Mathematics, Volume 58, No. 2. (Apr., 1936)
1936 – Alan Turning publishes a paper on an abstract machine , On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem’ Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society, Series 2, 42 (1936-37). He proposed the concept of the stored-program.
1936 – 1938 – Alan Turing studies under Alonzo Church
1937 – John von Neumann recommends Alan Turing for Fellowship at Princeton.
1938 – Alan Turing receives Ph.D from Princeton
1946 – Alan Turing presents a paper on the stored-program computer (Automatic Computing Engine).
1937+ – John von Neumann gains knowledge from Alan Turing’s papers but Turing was not directly related to the development of ENIAC.
1943 – 1946 – Creation of ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer). Note: ENIAC was not a stored-program computer.
1944 – John von Neumann became involved with ENIAC
1945 – John von Neumann publishes paper on Electronic Discreet Variable Computer (EDVAC)
1948 – Manchester Mark I developed at Manchester University, first stored-program computer
1949-1960 – Early stored computers were created, some of the based on von Neumann architecture.
1938 – Donald Knuth was born
1957 – Donald Knuth had access to a computer. “I saw my first computer in 1957, which is pretty late in the history game as far as computers are concerned. There were about 2000 programmers in the entire world”
1963 – Donald Knuth began work on the Art of Computer Programming.
1973 – C programming language appeared.

Note: I presented milestones but some of these events were not directly related.

Image of Alan Turing: “It is believed that the use of this image may qualify as fair use under United States copyright law. Other use of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, may be copyright infringement”

[1] “INTRODUCTION Alonzo Church: Life and Work”

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General Programming: Learning and using a programming language

This is an expert from a slashdot post on programming languages:

“We only make programming difficult because we suck at writing. The vast majority of programmers aren’t fluent, and don’t even have a desire to be fluent. They don’t read other people’s code. They don’t recognise or use idioms. They don’t think *in the programming language*. Most code sucks because we have the fluency equivalent of 3 year olds trying to write a novel.”

“In language acquisition there is a hypothesis called the “Input Hypothesis”. It states that *all* language acquisition comes from “comprehensible input”. That is, if you hear or read language that you can understand based on what you already know and from context, you will acquire it. Explanation does not help you acquire language. I believe the same is true of programming. We should be immersing students in good code. We should be burying them in idiom after idiom after idiom, allowing them to acquire the ability to program without explanation.”

http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2198700&cid=36293622

Thoughts on ALife

The problem with modeling the brain or the brain’s neural network is that you are just looking at the end result of millions of years of evolution. We should understand how the human brain got there and then we will find that other animals also have brains. Simple animals have smaller brains but we can look how those systems evolved over time. You could go that route, completely model and understand the brain but you will still end up with issues. You will have a broken, less than accurate copy of the brain but then you still are missing other components of the human body. The heart, the nervous system, the lungs, millions of years of evolution. Scientists look at the brain and say, “Hey, that is pretty cool, let’s model that”. I say, “Hey the earth’s biosphere is pretty cool. How did I and the rest of the other intelligent animals get there, let’s model that”. They are looking at intelligence. But what is intelligence? Why are humans more intelligent than monkeys? Or Crows? Or Dolphins? In reality, they aren’t THAT much more intelligent. And even if humans are a lot more intelligent, a lot of other animals have the same hardware. So if we understand the system that created…animals and their hardware, I think that would be more interesting than look at just one animal “brain” and trying to copy that. What parts do you model/copy? No matter how accurate you model the brain, scientists will always play catch up trying to understand the interesting parts of the human brain. And then after 20 years of copying the brain’s functionality, we still may have to copy other aspects of the human body that give the brain life.

We need a true bottom up approach that looks at biologically inspired entities. Go down to the microbiology level and move up. A truly bottom-up approach that looks at the biology of basic organisms and models basic organisms, starting from bacteria to cells is the way to go. And of top of the biology, I would look at inorganic matter and how that relates to organic matter. And then I would look at the evolution of these biologically inspired systems. You could play experiments, where did organic matter come from on earth? We should understand DNA, RNA, mRNA, cells, single celled organisms, water, on and on. Even those basic components are kind of interesting. Combine DNA, cells and other matter together and you have a complex entity. Understanding the reasons for those components and how they interact is the way to go. Evolve systems that generate those interactions. I would model simple creatures, evolve those creatures and then create an environment for those creatures to exist, have them interact and then evolve a system that has some form of brain..or multiple brains.

Even the term “artificial intelligence” leads people in the wrong direction and needs a reboot. I like “autonomous artificial adaptability”. We want creatures that adapt to the world around them and do so at their own direction. The concept of intelligence implies “human brain intelligence”. Humans are more intelligent than pigs. But pigs are WAY more intelligent than trees. That leap in adaptability is interesting and worth looking at. Think about it this way, the unintelligent parts of the human body are fascinating. And who is to say that there are creatures in the universe that are infinitely more intelligent than humans? We have one brain, is it possible that a creature could have a million brains that all operate independently of one another. We only use a small capacity of our brains. Is it possible a creature could use 100% of their brain capacity. Bacteria and plant life are not normally considered intelligent but they do adapt to the earth’s changes conditions. Human beings are far more interesting than bacteria but that doesn’t necessarily mean that replicating human brain intelligence doesn’t have to be the ultimate goal for strong AI.

At the heart of strong AI will be computational biology, whether the artificially evolved creature has something similar to a brain or neuron cells is irrelevant to the problem, you can still create adaptable, seemingly intelligent creatures with artificial biology through a controlled artificial environment. That is why I think the AI field is missing, the focus has always been the brain. Even if you create an artificial brain that is similar to the human brain, you have the problem of replicating the signal processing mechanisms of the eyes and ears. You have an issue with creating pain receptors and other bits of information that are fed into the brain. Even if you can feed the right bits to the brain, you will hit the next philosophical question, what is this autonomous creature supposed to do? Everything that a person does is ultimately tied to their evolutionary inspired purpose. You eat because you are hungry, the human is hungry. You create societies to make it easier to survive for other humans. All of the adaptability of the human brain and the human are kind of tied to its evolutionary purpose. What will be the goal of this artificial brain? You still have the same problem with a biologically inspired, evolutionary inspired artificial systems but you can control the evolutionary constraints. Maybe the creature doesn’t need a brain? But that is OK, it still may have interesting properties that encourage its survival. The computer science AI research community has tunnel vision as it relates to AI, “the human brain, the brain, the brain”. If you stop and think, “what is the brain? what is a human?”. We are really a collection of cells and bacteria, all wrapped in a nice protective package. Most of the individual cells in the human body are interesting on their own, the brain cells are not that much more interesting than the skin cells or blood cells or anything else.

With most software engineering and even most AI research, the developer has to program the behavior into the system. The developer is careful to program a response to all known inputs. Even if you model the brain and create a close enough model of the brain, you still have a problem of programming and training inputs that only this particular brain can respond to. You have reached the zenith of AI but now you have hit a wall trying to train and feed information to the brain. You are essentially programming the brain with known inputs. With a good biologically inspired model that evolves behavior and operates autonomously and completely independent of the “creator”, you don’t program any behavior (as much as you can). If you run the system 20, 100 years, we may not know what type of behavior emerges. These systems should have a start button but no kill switch. Killing the system means you start all over and completely new behavior emerges. In theory, The brain model and the bottom-up biological model are similar, you expect emergent behavior. Evolutionary design creates more emergent behavior than starting at the brain and watching what happens next.

Distributed Application Development Still Sucks

The distributed application model that we have for most applications is still flawed.  HTML+CSS+JavaScript+WebServer+ApplicationServer+BackendLanguage+Browser is a broken model just listing what is needed to develop a complex distributed application.

Developers can target the HTML web model for web applications because bandwidth is so cheap, CPU power is cheap, hardware is cheap so no one is concerned about improving the model.  But, the distributed application experience is a horrible for the user and the developer.

On Immigration

We here at berlinbrowndev like to cover all topics. I am posting some comments that have I have posted on various sites on various topics.

“An estimated 50,000 Thousands of people walked five miles through the streets and heat of Phoenix on Saturday in protest of Arizona’s new immigration law, which is slated to take effect July 29.”

I respond to the immigration marches and took a controversial position…

From what I have heard from the other side, including Arizona cops.

The law was created to curb illegal alien activity which the federal government won’t do. Basically, the law was targeting the federal government in their unwillingness to curb an increase in illegal immigration crime. That includes the “rape trees”, where coyotes and illegals rape people along the border. Also, coyote’s that do illegal human trafficking and sex trading. Also, many Arizona kids have their social security and identity information stolen.

Also, the language in the bill is similar to the federal laws on illegal immigration. The states just want to give misdemeanor crimes maybe to curb the increase in illegals in their states. According to state officials, it doesn’t look like the federal government is doing enough. That is the main legal issue I have. Normally state governments can’t enforce federal law. E.g. Arizona can’t wiretap people under the Patriot act.

“First, the person ultimately responsible for signing the bill into law, state governor Jan Brewer, can’t come close to verbalizing what, precisely, an alleged illegal immigrant might look like, admitting to reporters during a recent news conference, ”

It is not so much looks but in the finding of illegal activity, the Arizona cops should be allowed ask about status and apply misdemeanor charges. Even federal laws requires that you have your papers if you are on a temporary visa or in the process of legal immigration.

“It’s one thing for a lawmaker to have a vague notion of the problems they want proposed policy to solve. ”

I mentioned those above.

“The driver is white-looking but can only produce his license to drive, which isn’t proof of citizenship. Will the officer detain the suspect? Of course not.”

I don’t think the goal is to arrest people just because they might be illegal. But, in the process of a crime, like human trafficking, the cops may detain a person for being an illegal.

So, if the person is doing something illegal, why can’t they just arrest them for that?

Apparently cops can’t because trafficking and other similar laws fall under federal laws. But if an illegal is doing something suspicious, cops can use the SB1070 to stop them.

From a legal standpoint (I am not a lawyer), it seems sound. But like others have said, it may be abused.

Illegal/undocumented people are abusing the law by being here illegally. They are side-stepping how others have taken years to gain their citizenship.

http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seekinfo/manilla_cabrera_e.htm

Like this guy, he is human smuggling…

I guess it isn’t as much a problem if we cherry-pick the scenario where a family comes here to work. But that isn’t what the cops want to use the power for. They are trying to go after human traffickers and drug smugglers, adding the illegal immigration charge onto other charges. I can get the youtube video of the Phoenix and other Arizona police chiefs.

“Fifteen percent of state prisoners are illegal immigrants. Phoenix has become a hub of human trafficking, and it has kidnapping numbers that rival cities in Mexico because of smugglers who hold illegal immigrants hostage in drop houses.”

Say, if a undocumented drug runner shoots someone, you want hold them on the gun charge but also the illegal immigration charge… I am thinking for legal purposes.

Why couldn’t the police just charge them with the crime that they were originally stopped for? I am guessing that they want to do additional legal book-keeping. It looks like a lot of human trafficking, drug laws, blah, blah fall under federal law. Maybe Arizona wants to ADD this additional charge to keep track of the document violators without red-tape from the federal government

I think the Arizona immigration was created for two reasons. And the actual people who have created the law have basically said this:

1. Send a message to the federal government. Enact some kind of illegal immigration.
2. Some kind of legal scenarios where you want to keep track of illegals that break the law.

The law and local government operates almost like a business. The state and city governments have state and local funding. They collect tax revenue. They pay cops. They pay fireman. Part of the cop budget goes to keeping the peace, making sure the rule of law is followed, blah, blah. They could have harsh laws and enforce them. If you are going 1 mile over the speed limit in a car, you are ticketed If you are jay walking, ticketed. They can arrest and check people that might have an ounce of weed on them.

This “business” still has to manage resources properly. They may task Arizona cops with dealing with drug cartels at the border or arresting DUI offenders. Solving murders. For whatever reason, they believed that dealing with the 500k illegals in Arizona was a problem for them. So, they created a possible law to add an arrest charge to being here undocumented.

The state business does factor “racism” into. What race is hateful towards whatever race? Do you really believe that a state government went through hearings and state sessions to come up with a racist law? Arizona State Legislature: “How can we be more racist?”

Ask yourself this, would the city governments spend their resources to arrest legal citizens, put them in jail, send through the courts and then possibly facial charges for detaining people? Or would they try to use the law to curb problems associated with illegal immigration. Like I said, it comes down to a resource issue. Most police forces are strapped for cash. I can’t imagine that the Arizona cops are going to get into just arresting random people.

Especially in the name of racism. At some point, people need to realize that we live in a diverse culture. When I say that, there a lot of people in political positions that AREN’T white. So, it is hard to claim racism on this law, when it is possible that immigrants helped design the law. California has an immigrant governor. There are a lot of people in Arizona that are Hispanic that serve at the state level.

Is it possible, heaven forbid, that the illegals that are here illegally … are the problem? And amnesty and relaxed federal laws that contribute to so many illegals being here are also a problem.

I have heard that illegals don’t commit as many crimes. Or that they are just hard working people. That is really non-issue. A lot of people arrested are hard working. Drunk drivers, habitual speeders, the guy stealing a loaf a bread, marijuana users. But (for whatever reason), these laws are on the books and sometimes they are enforced.

On the illegal immigration issue, there could be a host of reasons to detain people that remain undocumented. There are laws for legal citizens (say operating a vehicle) to get “documented”. We have to have driver’s license, motor vehicle registration, proof of insurance. Aren’t you pissed if someone gets into an accident and they don’t have a license or insurance. Or worse yet, what if they don’t have any documentation as a legal citizen at all?

It is a law. It is up the police to decide when to use the law. The police can arrest you for any suspicious behavior. Why are people suddenly complaining about this particular law?

It is possible that the police don’t have infinite resources to arrest all brown people and then go through the court process only to find out that the people won’t do anything. What a waste of time. It is possible that the cops want to deal with people committing crimes and they also want to keep track of legal status by adding an additional charge.

OK, that is two.

But if you wanted people to be racist, they will be racist. How does a cop asking for immigration status in the process of some other violation and misdemeanor charge and a $1000 fine contribute to racism.

For example, it will not make sense for Rhode-Island to have harsher immigration laws, but I could see where Arizona might add additional charges to immigration violators.

Rand Paul and Rachel Maddow Square Off

Rand Paul made some controversial statements on Civil Rights… I am responding to the interview.

He doesn’t have to answer the question directly on Civil Rights. He isn’t setting up businesses that doesn’t allow African-Americans or gays. He is attempting to serve his district as a legislator. I just don’t see the question on private business discrimination as a major topic. Of course, no one goes into business to discriminate. At the same time, it is hard to stop businesses from very explicit, out right discrimination. But, hopefully the people will stand up against that business. In a political debate, under the civil rights act, a business can’t discriminate based on race, religion. But in theory, a business can discriminate based on what kind of clothes you wear or how you smell, whatever. I don’t think the topic Maddow brought up was very interesting or relevant.

People want to attack Paul? I say attack Maddow. What a silly series of questions. It smells of a cheap Bill O’Reilly. Most Americans won’t setup a private business and then discriminate against people. It isn’t good for business. But in theory, a business can covertly discriminate. What is the issue here? Is the government really going to spend time going after businesses that might discriminate against people (MSNBC included, do they even have any black hosts?) or should the federal government deal with more pressing issue.

Plus, it isn’t the 1950s. Times have changed. There are some aspects of the Civil Rights Acts that might not be as relevant today. For example, they mention hotels, movie theaters. What about discrimination on online sites? Can I setup jdate for jewish people and not allow the amish to join my site. Some people might not complain about that. Would the government have a case against jdate or 100kplus jobs.

Civil rights laws are tough. So Maddow’s incendiary questions are difficult to answer.

On Anime

What is Anime?  Anime is Japanese animation. Animation that is not necessarily targeted for kids. In fact, some Animation can be pretty rough and make a 40 year old squirm. Basically, Anime has characters and culture, stories, plots. If you like interesting stories, then you will like most of the popular Anime.

What is the difference between Manga and Anime? I am American and usually just refer to anything that moves and is from Japan as “Anime” or Japanimation. But that isn’t entirely accurate. There are some Anime TV series/movies that were Manga comic books in Japan and then made into movies. Manga to Anime. Manga is Comic Book in Japanese. If someone says, “Fullmetal Alchemist is a great Manga”. I guess they could refer to the comic book version of Fullmetal or the TV adaptation. But normally they are referring to the comic book. Anime can be an animated series derived from a Manga.

Popular Adult Stuff

There are many genres of Anime. I like the adult themed stuff. Horror, Cyberpunk, Sci/Fi etc. With the adult themed Anime, you get similar story lines, violence and action that you would get from a Hollywood blockbuster. The difference is that the Anime is animated. When you think Cyberpunk, think Blade Runner. Cyberpunk focuses on technology, cybernetics, robotics but culture is at a lowpoint. Popular cyberpunk Anime focuses on wealth by big corporations but poverty is rampant among the lower classes. You see this with series like Ghost in the Shell, Akira and Ergo Proxy. Why cyberpunk? It is for those that like technology, sci-fi and a bit of nihilism.

What is some popular Anime?

Ghost in the Shell (theme Cyberpunk, rating = 11/10) – Ghost in the Shell is the iconic Cyberpunk series. It is cyberpunk, alongside Blade Runner. I can’t even review Ghost in the Shell. It is the best of the best and you should get as many of the TV series and movies as you can. I encourage you to watch every episode. That is my review. Ghost in the Shell is a story about cyborgs and robotics fighting crime. That is the core of the series. But my short synopsis doesn’t do justice to the intricate story lines. Just watch it.

Ergo Proxy (theme Cyberpunk, 10/10) – Ergo Proxy is popular but not as familiar as Ghost in the Shell. It is Cyberpunk with a mix of fantasy, horror and sci/fi. It is a long series and has a solid, dark theme. Ghost in the Shell is a detective cyberpunk series. Ergo Proxy is more fantasy and dystopia. Most of the series involves the main character running from the oppressive society.

Monster (theme Detective, rating 8/10) – Monster is pretty basic detective/conspiracy story. A doctor is falsely accused of murder and other crimes. He goes on the lamb and tries to find the sadistic conspirator. I gave Monster a score of 8 because the stories are pretty basic and plain. But it still is an enjoyable series.

The Last Exile (theme Steampunk/Military/Flight?, rating 9/10) – What is steampunk. Somehow in Japanese Anime world, steam and diesel? can be used to fly planes and control machines. Generally these steam punk series target a fictional time period around the early 1900s. Ironically, you have steam powered robots and other machines that seem quite advanced. Anyway, The Last Exile is a steam punk/flight series that focuses on two friends that are caught up in a war. A lot of the series focuses on their relationship and how the war tears them apart. It is solid Anime. Good story, animation. At times, there is too much a focus on the drama of their lives as opposed to the war going on.

Pumpkin Scissors (theme Military/Detective?, rating 7/10)

Heroic Age (theme Science Fiction)

Other Notable Shows:

Black Lagoon (8/10, part fan service, lots of bad language)

On Health Insurance

Title Corrected

Oops. I meant to say, many Americans still don’t have health insurance. The Kaiser Family Foundation released a report that states, 50 million Americans don’t have health insurance. This group released a new report and now the print, digital, and TV news media have to run with this story. That is the headline, “50 million Americans don’t have health insurance”. If you said, “90% of iPhone users don’t have iPhone protection insurance”, you will probably think, who cares? But with 50 million without health care, we are supposed to get mad at our government. Get those people health insurance. 

Wait a minute, shouldn’t we at least ask the question, does everyone need health insurance? Do the 50 million without health insurance need health insurance? For Americans to experience a higher quality of life, I hope that most Americans have access to some kind of medical services. I just don’t know if health care insurance is the silver bullet to a existence free of worry. And it is really interesting how the media presents the report, they will only focus on that one liner. Health insurance, health insurance. You won’t hear, “five hundred thousand people died of heart disease” or “220,000 cases of lung cancer are expected in 2010”. The focus in the media on the health care debate is not on health care but health care insurance. It is never, heart disease, cancer, advances in medical technology, or anything actually related to the cost of medical procedures. In most cases the anger from the people is in the form of, “There are too many uninsured”, it is never, “There is too much cancer out there. Do something about the cancer and the heart disease”. I would even suggest a debate on the procedures that are being offered, are they needed? So now, we expect our elected leaders to further exacerbate the problem by somehow getting more involved. Like I said before, people will expect the federal government to do something about getting those uninsured more insurance. From the standpoint of the health insurance companies, they can’t possibly lose. With the current bad economy, small and medium sized businesses are dropping their employees from their insurance plans because they can’t afford to cover them. So the insurance companies may lose those customers in the short term. But that is OK for the insurers, the media will just send out a press release detailing the ever growing lack of insurance problem. And the government will respond in kind by making sure that the uninsured get insurance from the health insurance companies. It is a textbook case of a boondoggle. 

What if I DON’T want health insurance?

Ideally health insurers should offer health care plans based on the number of customers in a particular group or on a particular plan. Let the insurance models dictate the market rates in an unencumbered system. If federal government forces are involved in determining which customers can be dropped from insurance plans and ensuring that all Americans are covered by some health insurance, then the health insurance companies are guaranteed a large number of potential customers. In some cases, government is telling insurers who to cover and even taxing particular procedures. With the recent health care bill, some stipulations include a 10% tax on ultra violet tanning bed services and dependents must be covered up to age 26.

The actual health care service providers are guaranteed a check from the federal government or the large health care insurance companies. At the very least, the insurance plans won’t offer competitive rates because there is no real competition. They are not competing for your money. Ideally, the health care debate should be about health care and not the insurance. Not only do people not pay for most health care out of their own pockets. They don’t even pay for health insurance. You get a job, hopefully you will get a job with a large number of employees like Boeing or GE and you opt into their group plans. 

Plastic surgery, laser eye surgery, cosmetic dental care (braces) prices have remained steady while other medical procedures have increased dramatically. Why? Most people will pay for these types of services out of pocket and not through an insurer. The market forces influence the rates for these services. You don’t have as much fraud, waste, and abuse where the plastic surgery professionals have to compete for your money because the consumer is cautious about the type of services they are paying for directly.

My Opinion

I would really like to see a health care system that is driven by the market, like most of the non-health related services we pay for. The government shouldn’t tax money given to us by our employees that may be used for health services. We shouldn’t give employers tax incentives to keep large number of employees on our health insurance plans. The federal government just shouldn’t be involved in the business of providing health care insurance plans.

Healthcare Reform in America is about public safety not about taking access

What is wrong with the debate?

One issue I have with the entire health care reform debate is not with any particular bill or any particular person that is for or against reform. I take issue with how they frame the debate. They never look at the crisis with our health care system as a safety issue. People will get sick and people will die prematurely if they don’t have the proper insurance or access to health care. The alarms should go off at this startlingly revelation. People will die and could potentially spread disease to others if they are hesitant about seeking medical care. According to the Department of Medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance, 46 million people will die because of lack of insurance.

“The Harvard report, finding 45,000 excess deaths linked to uninsurance, made news partly because it was so much larger than past estimates. Why the big difference between the Urban Institute/IOM numbers and the latest report? Dr. Woolhandler explains that the Harvard researchers aimed to replicate what IOM had done back in 2002 but with more recent data” —factcheck.org

Why should the federal government be concerned with our safety with these indirect dangers but don’t jump at the oppurtunity to remedy some of the issues that we know are directly causing the death of many Americans right now. Why spend billions for wars in Iraq in Afghanistan? Terrorists might potentially attack us at home from the foreign land. Why go there when we know tens of thousands will die to heart disease and cancer and other ailments, some prematurely because they don’t have adequate health care insurance. Or their health insurer will deny their claims. These problems that exist in the health care industry aren’t a fuzzy satellite photo where a potential threat might exist. These are people in the US that have diseases and have to wait out for their cancer or diabetes or other chronic illness because the companies that can protect them are out to make a profit.

Taxes, Democrats and more

I want to reiterate this again. I am in essence “trolling” my site. Also, when I troll, I don’t normally provide facts or figures. I am just bloviating. I am diverging from my main focus of software development and entering into other realms. To me, technology is easy. Politics is infinitely “complex”. In the back of my mind, I think everything is related. For example, with the legislative talk of tax cuts and stimulus and jobs, no one talks about the reinvigorating our work force. We could do that with a focus on technology and education. We could encourage math, physics and engineering programs at the high school level and push incentives to enter into technology program as opposed to “the Arts”. But that is another issue that I won’t address in this post.

I really want to address the tax cuts and all of that. I guess I will have to profess, I lean more Ron Paul Libertarian. The stuff makes sense. The recent tax cut issue is one of those Libertarian classic topics. And I will make two points.

Point-1. If you are rich or poor, really really rich or poor, you should be entitled to keep your own stuff. It is your stuff. Yours yours yours. The income you receive, however you got it, is yours. Yours.

If you are given a toy or a Christmas card or a car. It is your car, your toy, whatever. We shouldn’t have an third party entity (the federal government) make an

Point-2. The American government is one of the richest, most powerful organizations to have ever existed. Not only can we invade another nation (in two weeks), and not even declare war, we can occupy that nation for decades. We have set up hundreds of proxy governments all over the world. The massive amount of American influence is mind boggling. So, why why why are so many Americans excited to fund more federal government. If you let tax cuts expire, raise taxes, then you hand over more money to an organization with a trillion dollar budget. You are taking a small percentage of income from millions of rich American and handing it over to a couple hundred rich politicians so that they hand it over to poor Americans. Now that I said it, it seems that directly asking rich people (like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg) to distribute their wealth to poor is a lot better way to distribute wealth than relying of the federal government to do it. Bill Gates can give a poor person hundred thousand dollars without any restrictions (and he has done this). It takes the federal government so long to do anything. Some poor aren’t even poor by the time they receive their benefits (bureaucracy). Worse yet, the poor weren’t poor to begin with (fraud). But But!! Reaganomics doesn’t work. Supply-side, trickle-down economics does not work. It is funny to hear pundits use this language. I guess it doesn’t work if you don’t actually define what particular aspect of the strategy works or doesn’t. I could say, “computers don’t work”. That doesn’t make much sense but it is a valid declaration. “Computers and speech recognition software doesn’t work well at understanding garbled speech”. OK, that is better. I wish pundits would identify what aspect of lower taxes doesn’t work. Right now, they are saying that lower taxes and supply-side economics doesn’t create jobs. I don’t know if any government policy outside of hiring federal workers (see the recent Census), can actually create jobs. I hope that good economic policy can encourage growth and then companies will hire new workers. It seems a little bit too simplistic to directly attribute Congress and the White House to jobs created or not created in the private sector. I would trust the GDP growth figures during one time period or another. I would trust federal revenue figures. Government policy has an impact on those numbers. Pundits are suggesting that the Bush policies, supply-side economics didn’t create jobs. I looked at the GDP growth figures and the job numbers, they number are lower over time during the Bush years. At least the growth rates are lower. And during the Clinton years, there was more economic stability. But, were the economics of those times the result of White House policy or just the events of those time periods. The average GDP growth rate went down over time during the Bush years. But there was a lot of stuff happening. There was 9/11, Katrina, the Iraq/Afghan wars. I would suggest that long wars and major unplanned catastrophes contributed to a loss GDP. We can’t tell if it was the cause, but it certainly was a factor. I can’t say that tax cuts contributed to GDP growth loss.

I will be honest, I don’t care as much as some should, what our government does or does not do. I don’t receive unemployment. I don’t have kids in the public education system. I don’t have close family in the military. I am more a silent observer. To me (I am sitting here up high), I don’t understand the premise behind the peons (the poor and middle-class) wanting to take money from the rich peons (the 250k+ households) and giving it to…the federal government (the trillion dollar organization).

I know, I know. If you take money from the greedy rich, then the government will give that money directly to the poor. And the poor will then be rich too. Not only has that never happened. It couldn’t possibly happen. The entire premise of wealth distribution is impossible with how the system works. This is not the 1700s. We are not under the rule of some oligarchy. It is 2010. There are 300+ million Americans, some of them have fixed incomes. They work at hourly rates and in salaried positions. If you really wanted to fix a problem. I would start with Wal-mart and McDonald’s. They employ 2 million Americans. You could look at retail and fast food chains as well. A lot of Americans work in low-paying jobs. The problem are these corporations that use American slave labor to fund their operations. But they are operating within the law.

We need to tell people NOT to take these low paying jobs. It is such a cost ineffective decision. Once you work at these places, that is less time that you could spend to further your education and building your real value. Your brain is a valuable, valuable commodity. You are not leveraging your resources by doing jobs that machines can do. And what have they done, Wal-mart and the retail companies have introduced machines to do the work that normally people would do. The self check-out is a good example. As opposed to paying someone five or six dollars to manage a register, they added a camera system, an easy to use bar-code scanner and there you go, jobs are replaced. And like most major corporations, they don’t slim down their work force with the added productivity from the robots. No, the corporations normally just put humans on jobs that a machine can’t do. The Wal-mart greeter that says “hello” when you enter the store is a good example. Seriously, Wal-mart uses productivity gains to make more money not to become a smaller organization. If you notice, the people that work at Target and Wal-mart are all equipped with radios and scanner guns. Wal-mart didn’t get rid the people because of technology advances, they just shifted resources. And once again, Walmart is well within the bounds of the law to do so. With the might of 1.8 million employees (and McDonald’s has 500,000), they seem to be growing and not shrinking. And human slavery is cheap, the average salary at Wal-mart is $11 a hour. Wal-mart employees are not paid a lot and Wal-mart has a lot of employees. So if you distribute that $11 salary across the 1.8 million works, you could employ all of those workers for 20 million dollars. That is nothing for the type of business that Wal-mart does. My theory is highly, highly suspect. But I hope you get my point. It is very cost effective for Wal-mart to hire people for those menial jobs and cost ineffective for the person that works there.

I want to go back to my point, there are a lot of people that work for these mega-corporations. They don’t get paid a lot. And a lot of Americans are fighting to work for these places. You see the same human rights issues and social engineering in China and India. I guess it is different in America because these corporations are huge. Plus, we tend to have better marketing. How can you be mad at McDonald’s, the corporation’s mascot is a big clown in a yellow jump suit? Who cares that it takes half a work day for their employees to buy food from the restaurant that they work at? Not a well-seared rib-eye steak and champagne from a top New York restaurant. No, two big mac combos at McDonald’s can still be a bit pricey. In America, it isn’t just one broken down factory. We are looking at a hundreds of thousands, a million jobs. And all of their employees aren’t making 250k a year. No amount of federal government intervention will substantially push up the hourly wage of a Wal-mart employee.

I am still swinging around back to my point. So we have this slave labor thing that is happening in America. It is bad and probably a lack of government is at fault, but it doesn’t mean that we increase taxes on the higher income earners. The taxes probably won’t be distributed to the really poor. The increase government revenue will get spent on earmarks and defense. I don’t know what the legal procedures are with taxes and the deficit, but the reason we even have a deficit out of control spending. Tax cuts or lack of tax cuts still don’t change the government’s trillion dollar budget. If you want to address the deficit problem, I would cut non-vital government functions. I don’t know have fifty thousand troops in Japan is a vital government function, when Japanese people don’t want us there. I found it funny that the Congressional Budget Office included speculative revenue that they would have received from tax revenue if the Bush tax cuts expired in their figures for why the deficit is so large. It would be like suing an employer that never hired you, suing for funds that you should have received if you worked for them. The federal government includes tax revenue that “they should have” received. And guess what, I am excited to tell you, that there is a US debt ceiling. So, once the federal government has too much debt, then the government will shutdown. But it isn’t like the ceiling in your house, where the height of the ceiling is mostly at a fixed position. No, the Congress can raise the ceiling. Is the power to raise the debt ceiling some hidden aspect of our law. No, they raise it every couple of years. The debt ceiling is set around 14 trillion dollars and they plan on raising the value in a couple of months. Also, if we reach the debt ceiling and Congress does not raise it, I am still a little suspect that government will actually shutdown. They will just create another law to subvert the government shutdown (probably).

I know, the Democratic position is to fight for tax increases on the upper income earners. It is Democratic dogma. It is Republican dogma to fight against those tax increases. To the Republicans, if the Democrats don’t budge and you won’t budge, I am surprised you don’t look at other ways to decrease taxes (see Obama’s recent tax framework). I wouldn’t mind increases in other areas. We could start with increases for mega corporations. We should create a tax just for BP and their negligence in the oil spill. So, we can get more tax revenue, fix the deficit and make everyone happy. People just have to be more creative. But my position does still stand, I still feel those greedy, greedy rich people should be able to keep as much of their money as the law allows. And yes, rich people have the power to avoid taxes. And sometimes, we have tax limits in the tax code that make it unfair for the regular people. For example, there are limits on the payroll taxes that you pay. With the FICA tax (Federal Insurance Contributions), you are not taxed on income earned from capital gains/sale of a stock trade. So the tax code hasn’t caught up to trends in our economy. If that is unfair, then change the code so that the really rich pay their fare share. Remove the tax limits or address capital gains. Now everyone is happy.