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Vic Biorseth, http://www.CatholicAmericanThinker.com
That's the gist of the argument periodically put forth not only by utopian idealists, but by all compassionate people. Of course there should be no homeless people. But history shows that dealing with any problem by instituting some grand social plan is destined to produce something nearly the opposite of the intention of the plan.
There have always been derelicts and vagrants, and not only in America. In some countries they hide better, and in some they outnumber everybody else. Here, it used to be against the law to be a vagrant, variously defined as someone in the neighborhood who didn't live there and didn't work there and who had less than five dollars in his pocket. Local cops would keep an eye on them, keep them moving, or escort them to the county line. Then, those laws were dis-established because it was felt by the compassionate that these people were being mistreated, and perhaps they were. At any rate, they suddenly became a whole lot more visible, and became open panhandlers, and some even became belligerent and aggressive about it.
A long time ago, an old Op-Ed writer named Mike Royko (R.I.P.) wrote about such things, and about how the "bleeding hearts" who, in seriously trying to make things better, made things worse. While I didn't always agree with Mike, I always followed his columns, and they always provided serious food for thought. Much of the following is paraphrasing some of his more thought provoking pieces.
One thing he wrote, that I call Royko's Rule lays out a beautifully illustrative analogy story. It is the story of the needed winter overcoat. The principle at play here is a very old one.
In a free market, if you need an overcoat, you have a lot of choices. You can go to an exclusive store and pay $500 for a very nice one; if you shop carefully among the fancy stores, you might even find a better one for $400. Either will keep you nice and warm on a cold day. But if you can’t afford those prices, you can still get a pretty good one for around a hundred bucks at Sears or J. C. Penney’s. And if that’s still too high, you can go to K-Mart or Wal-Mart and still get a very decent, warm coat for less than fifty bucks; maybe even less than thirty. Quite a difference in price, but still a pretty good coat. But if you can’t even handle that, you still have options available; there are flea markets and second-hand stores, where you might find one for less than ten bucks. There are Salvation Army and Good Will and St. Vincent DePaul stores where you might get one for fifty cents; there are Churches and charities where, if your timing is right, you might get one for free.
Such overcoats might leave a lot to be desired; they may be torn, or patched, or have a missing button, or they might just be pretty ugly, but they are still overcoats, and will satisfy that need. But if a well intentioned powerful liberal thinks that such an unsightly overcoat is unworthy of adorning a human being, and therefore institutes government unsightly overcoat controls, all the cheap or free coats disappear out of the legal market. If your income hasn’t changed, that means that your tacky overcoat is replaced with - no overcoat. And it’s still cold outside. The powerful liberal thought, quite typically, that a better grade of equally cheap overcoat would just go, poof, and magically appear in the marketplace, but it didn’t. Now we have people who have no overcoats or prospects for getting any. Of course, this is hypothetical, we don’t yet have overcoat controls, and it’s just a Royko illustration of a point. It's an analogy.
Now, apply Royko's Rule to housing, and you see what happened to what we used to call “flop houses” years ago. You don’t see them anymore; mostly you just see homeless people. It was the bottom end of the housing market, sort of like our 50 cent overcoat; you could get a room for a quarter a night. Nothing much there; maybe a urine-stained mattress on the floor, pretty bad place, largely populated by drunks. Vermin, and stuff you don’t really want to think about; certainly not up to code, and an outright fire trap. But it was a place; it was shelter.
After Urban Renewal, and liberal rules against any such dwelling places, they were replaced with - well, with the great outdoors. Flop houses were terrible places, but the streets are worse, especially in the winter. The market niche for this type of housing, the old time skid-row neighborhoods, have been or are being systematically eliminated from urban areas, but the clientele still exist, and they still can’t afford anything better, despite the horrified sensibilities of the outraged liberals who can’t stand the sight of sub-par, sub-code, unhealthy, unclean, unsafe housing. Another well intentioned plan to uplift the poor ultimately kicked them in the teeth.
And then we had the de-institutionalizing movement several years back. You remember, the compassionate cry was that there were so very many people in mental institutions who were deemed to be not dangerous and yet who were not voluntarily institutionalized. "Someone" had then committed for their own good; but now, with new legislation in effect, they needed to be asked if they chose to remain in the mental institution. For the most part, their symptoms were controlled by specific medications in the institutions. Untold thousands were released, and told to keep taking their medication, and to come back regularly for outpatient treatment.
Guess where they went? Many of them went out on the street. Many of them did not take their medicine as they should, and did not keep their outpatient appointments, and their illness symptoms returned with a vengeance. But, their illness was legally deemed as medicinally controllable, they didn't want to be in an institution, and therefore no one could put them into one any more. So, the numbers on the streets multiplied, as they joined the ranks of the counter-culture underclass, previously populated mostly by drunks, addicts and minor criminals. Of course, it was all done with the best of intentions.
We can apply Royko’s Rule to food, too. I hesitate to write about it for fear that a liberal or the FDA or some stupid bureaucrat might self righteously pursue the subject to its death. But, right now, we can still buy day-old baked goods, and food at volume prices at any of the so-called warehouse-clubs; we can buy “generic” food on an as-available basis from discount stores and even flea markets at terrific savings; dented, damaged looking cans are a special buy. Even perishable food with slightly expired dates are available at further discounts; expired labels and dented cans still sometimes equate to food, as opposed to hunger, regardless of any outraged liberal sensibilities.
Low paying sub minimum wage jobs are pretty much the same. What are they better than? Well, how about increased poverty combined with Idleness. Royko’s Rule applies; from the employee’s viewpoint, a lousy job is always better than no job at all, regardless of the well intentioned liberal viewpoint. And minimum wage laws inevitably increase lowest wage unemployment, and misery.The liberal, pro-labor, pro minimum wage SLIMC1 , of course, likes to periodically stir up controversy, sensationalism, ratings and profits by “exposing” some clothing vendor or other who claims to be selling American stuff, but in actuality is selling stuff made in Asian countries under sub-par working conditions by people making sub-par wages, or even in China, by socio-economic slaves.
But they also periodically increase their ratings and profits by sensationally exposing illegal American sweat shops, often involved with both illegal and legal aliens being “victimized” by unscrupulous employers. Which periodically proves that a very large sub minimum wage marketplace exists right here in America, and is not allowed by law to compete legally with the Asian and other foreign labor forces for the same work. God forbid we should ever see the natural prices of anything actually ever go down. Or actually have businesses encouraged to openly and publicly seek to competitively employ as many of the poorest among us as they can possibly attract at a legal, competitive, but sub minimum wage.
Better, in the liberal view, to somehow force the competing nations to impose similar minimum wages, and send violators on both sides of the ocean to prison, and put them out of business for good. They really, actually do not realize that this would contribute mightily to increased misery and starvation.
Free market controls on either wages or prices of anything are naturally and automatically destined to fail miserably. Such controls can succeed only with such increased numbers and complexities and inclusiveness of new controls as to preclude the continued existence of the free market. Let’s just take one small part of such controls, a government imposed minimum wage law, as an example.
At first glance we all sympathetically feel that no one should be made to work for a paltry wage, and in truth no one should. Therefore we pass a minimum wage law, and everybody at the lower end of the national labor force gets a raise. Very nice. However, the businesses that are mandated, required by the new law, to pay these raises thereby suffer, at the very least, less profits. In some cases, profit is reduced, in some, profits disappear and the business goes into a “break even” mode, and in some, the bottom line goes negative - a loss. So business has to change. Either the prices for the product or service will go up to accommodate the increased labor expense, or some other expenses will have to be cut, or some minimum wage workers will have to become unemployed, meaning fewer workers will need to do more work.
So, at least in some cases minimum wages went up, but so did unemployment, solely among those who can least afford to be unemployed for any period of time. A small price to pay for an economic improvement for the majority who remained employed, we might think. But once established, it is inevitable that such controls: 1. never disappear, and 2. grow. Minimum wages, and other government regulation, are today nearly the sole cause of teen unemployment in America today.
Before outlandish minimum wage laws school kids pumped gas and flipped burgers in their spare time rather than getting into trouble. They even mowed grass and shoveled snow before the idiotic government requirement for their customers to pay into their Social Security if they made over $250 in a year, for doing anything at all. You may safely bet your sweet butt that the government jerk who dreamed that one up is either rich or doesn’t get hay fever. So now most American teenagers mostly just hang out, practice hand-shakes and gang-signs, or watch TV. McJobs have become very competitive, because at those “minimum” rates the employers will only select from the very best applicants. The naive belief that all the employer has to do is raise prices is so clearly and obviously flawed that it is truly remarkable that it can’t even be recognized by an ex-President - Rhodes scholar with a supposedly intellectual wife.
Liberals think that the problem is self-solving because all employers are in the same boat, and all will be forced to raise their prices to pay for the increased wages, and so competition between them remains the same. But it just doesn't work that way, because at some point in the spiraling prices the customers will seek alternatives, the businessmen know that, and they will automate or otherwise cut employment to prevent it from happening. Those who don’t’ will go out of business, or out of the one they’re in and into another one.
I already mow my own grass, thanks to the government jerks. When the price of burgers gets too high at the fast food chain, I can start flipping my own burgers at home a whole lot cheaper, so long as we don’t yet have government imposed frying pan or spatula or hamburger controls. When the cost of a car wash gets too high, I can wash my own car a whole lot cheaper, so long as we don’t yet have government imposed garden hose, or bucket, or sponge controls. I’m not going to pay a big price for a glass of wine with my dinner. Period. First, imports are available. Second, if imports are taxed out of the market, I can buy a wine press and make my own wine, until the government controls grapes and wine presses. Even then, I can grow my own grapes in my own back yard, and use a more ancient method: the family feet in the family bathtub.
If the government gets ridiculous about it (No!), I can give up on wine with dinner altogether. I’m still not going to pay a big price for a glass of wine with my dinner. I am the sovereign consumer. The point at which we each would either do-it-ourselves or do without it varies considerably, but most of us will sooner or later hit a point where we will say “I am not going to pay $X for a car wash” or “ I am not going to pay $Y for a burger and fries.” It would be very nice if everyone in the world made at least 20 or 30 or 40 thousand bucks a year, but that ain’t gonna happen. Face it. Look around at the fully automated car washes, and at the numbers of idle kids who could use an honest few bucks, and at the unemployed recent immigrants and other poor who would willingly work at anything, and tell yourself that they are somehow better off because of an eternally increasing minimum wage.
Royko's Rule applies here, too. Paltry wages are always, always preferable to no wages at all. There is, always has been and always will be a huge market for low paying work. No one has to work for paltry wages, but lots of people are quite willing to, but are not allowed to, legally. Illegal sweat shops and illegal migrant worker practices prove it every single day.
When you talk to many segments of the idle American young, like California’s Crips and Bloods, you’ll hear them say that they “don’t work for no chump change” and they “don’t want no McJobs.” Fine; no problem. But lots of other people do, and they should not be prevented from working nor should they be economically forced into illegal labor markets just to survive. That’s not what America is supposed to be about. The Crips and the Bloods can hold out for the next available chief executive officer openings. But lots of Americans would prefer to have their cars hand-washed than machine washed, and it is possible, in the absence of a minimum wage, for a hand-wash shop to out-cheap the automatics. A potential new market at the bottom, where most new immigrants begin, and potential first jobs for teens. But so long as government mandated minimum wages exist, our teenagers will be largely unemployed, and the poor will continue to work and be paid “under the table” when the government and the IRS isn’t looking.
Real life practical economics always out-maneuver government regulations, but Liberal government is bound and determined to out-regulate the maneuver-ers, and they always wind up further injuring the free market, and ultimately, the people.
But with the best of intentions, of course.
Smart-Assed Acronym Hover-Link Footnotes: For the convenience of those readers using devises that lack a mouse, these footnotes are provided for all webpages, in case any webpage contains any hover-links. (If you don't have a mouse, you can't "hover" it over a link without clicking to see the simple acronym interpretation.)SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
Culture=Religion+Politics; Who Are We? Vic Biorseth
The Brilliantly Conceived Organization of the USA; Vic Biorseth
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013
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Date: Sun Nov 30 2014
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Vic has Iron Weights for sale; Mama says they have to go. Lots of iron weights for sale; all have to go at once, in one sale.
The challenge describes Capitalism as illusory and Marxism as solid. The mixture of religion just adds to the confusion of all good realists.
Indifferentism and Moral Relativism eats away at Catholic Culture. Catholicism stands against Indifferentism. Where do you stand?
My poor old truck is again starting to look like a poor old truck. After half-a-million miles, we're now approaching another decision time; another paint job, or a new truck.
Battle Line: Where the advancing secular army meets Judaeo-Christian moral norms. The Secular Position (or Agenda) involves Proactive, Aggressive Anti-Theism, and not merely "neutral" Atheism.
A return to the American Ideal means a severe reduction in Government. To return to positive growth and progress means, necessarily, purging our nation from all Marxist-Socialist philosophical influence and a return to the American Ideal.
Why this hatred of Palin? What galls modern women of the Left about Sarah Palin? The blind hatred of Palin we’re seeing expressed is not merely because of hatred and intolerance of the pro-life religious moral standard.
A Palin Parker Ticket? My Dream Candidates for 2012. Why a Palin Parker ticket is better than any professional politician Republican ticket you can come up with for 2012.
Elitism Vs Palinism: Why the Left and the Elites Loath and Fear Sarah Palin. It isn’t just Marxism Vs Palinism; it’s also established intellectual elitism vs Palinism. The elite need someone to look down upon.
How is it that opposing amnesty for millions of illegal aliens is "arrogant"? If my pro-Catholic, pro-American, anti-alternative-ethos position is "arrogant," then, exactly what is the position of those who claim superiority or even equality with it?
Here we see Bush family class captured in a simple private citizen’s photo. George W. (and Mrs.) Bush quietly demonstrate Bush family class without hoopla or fanfare.
Marxists love crisis, and they love an oil spill crisis most of all. Marxists even create and drive crisis. Their favorite crisis of all must be the Oil Spill Crisis, which is even better than a Banking Crisis.
American Military Assault Weapons originally intended in the 2nd Amendment. To miss the point of the 2nd Amendment is to miss the point of the whole Constitution.
For God and Country – More Thoughts on America, and on National Existence. For God and Country: Comparisons of martyrdom and heroism, Sovereign Nationhood Vs. Internationalism, distinct people-hood Vs. the Global Village, and Godliness Vs. godlessness.
The Godless Left leads the young and naive to their utopian Hell. For an honest comparison of the effects on youth, we need to look to the history of the Godless Left versus the Religious Right.
The Rabbi Meir Kahane Open Letter to the World is a must read. No decent world history course is complete without the Rabbi Meir Kahane Open Letter to the World.
Aleksandr I.Solzhenitsyn warns the American Worker and American organized labor. Solzhenitsyn speaks to us as a worker from the “Worker’s Paradise” of Communism; words of warning for all who understand the meaning of the word Liberty.
World Revolution returns with a vengeance: the rebirth of Marxism. Marxist world revolution returns, and faces far less opposition than in 1848 or the period between the Great Wars.
Our argument against public despair, hopelessness and pessimism re the future. Despair is a mortal sin, the opposite of the virtue of hope; it is a sin unto the death of the soul, a repudiation and rejection of God’s grace.
On Threats to America's National Existence. A look at the nature of our national existence, what makes us America, physical threats to that, and the possibility of just going out of existence.
On the ethics of language: English dictionary Vs. Political-Correctness taboos. Language evolves, yet morals are (or should be) fixed. This poses questions re the ethics of language.
Thinking Catholic direction: threats to America, Church, Ethos, even History. The Thinking Catholic Direction is multi-faceted, facing threats to American National Existence, Catholic Liturgy, our common Guiding Ethos - emphasis changes to meet the threat of the moment.
Catholics learn and practice Glossalalia, in the Life In The Spirit seminars. Life in the Spirit seminars, fueling the Catholic Charismatic renewal, bring tongue-speaking "Glossalalia" and being "Slain in the Spirit", into Catholicism.
The website is going on hold for at least the next five weeks. Business calls, and I must respond. Will be traveling, and not taking the laptop this time.
Current Website Status. Still too busy for individual responses to questions, comments & criticisms.
Our 2006 Ohio Voter Guide. The choices are quite clear, and the 2006 Ohio Voter Guide was easy to produce
On carrying my Lord, Jesus Christ, in my pocket. As a Eucharistic Minister, I am on occasion carrying the Lord Jesus in my pocket. It's a wondrous thing.
A 2006 Christmas and Hanukkah wish. May the Holy Days we celebrate remind us all of who we are, and how we are different from other peoples.
Current Democratic Party platform reveals anti-Semitic streak among Liberals. In their voting, their speechifying, and in the slant of their controlled mainstream media reporting, the current Democratic Party Platform is made clear to all observers.
The "Left", and The DaVinci Code, The Passion, and Cartoons of Mohammed. You can tell a lot about a movement by its public words. The Passion? "Unreservedly Bad." The DaVinci Code? "Unreservedly Good." Anything to do with Islam? "No Comment."
Who's driving the Health Care bus? Health insurance companies grading doctors? Health insurance companies grading doctors: a legitimized conflict of interest. A preparatory step toward the nationalization of the health insurance industry?
On the forced use of medical boiler plate language rather than simple notes. The "little dictators" from insurance companies and government bureaucracies force MDs to use stilted, verbose, medical boiler plate language in their own documentation.
Home For Christmas 2008. Website Getting Active Again.
Hydrogen power could be, and should be, the wave of our automotive future.Any move toward hydrogen power is a move toward a cleaner and more efficient fuel, and away from our dangerous dependency on oil.
Thoughts in remembrance of 09/11/2001, five years later. The changing shape of the war, the changing shape of the enemy.
The Jewish Shabbat. Description of Jewish Shabbat (Sabbath) from my Holy Land item supplier.
Kerry lies again, and then lies about his lies, in concert with the SLIMC.There he goes again! Kerry lies again and again about American servicemen and veterans; he just can't help himself.
Kerry's Lies: The Old, Vietnam-Era Anti-War Chickens are Comming Home to Roost. POW Lawsuit Could Force Kerry To Come Clean - by George "Bud" Day, Chairman, Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation.
What's going on with Mel Gibson? Is he really an anti-Semite?I am surprised that Mel Gibson is an alcolholic. But I am never surprised at any words that come out of the mouth of any drunk.
Still Worrying Over NuVo Consequences. The Holidays have gone by, several days have passed, and the SANE NuVo Initiative still stands pat.
The Dem's October Surprise involves another flip-flop of their public "standard" The clearly pro-sodomy Party that openly seeks the "Gay" vote goes Victorian for another pre-election October Surprise ploy.
Some Problems with NuVo: the so-called Null-Vote Initiative. A "philosophical" movement aimed at keeping religious conservatives from voting? Seriously? Let me state my problems with NuVo.
Come, let us sit and reason together. Jews and Christians of various stripe and spot can say to each other, 'Come, let us sit and reason together.' But we can't do that with the Moslems.
Regarding SANE works dropping NuVo: Nul Vote Initiative dies with a whimper. If you can't really present a good argument, sit down. On SANE Works dropping the NuVo Initiative: a program that works hard to SOUND pro-American while ACTING to oppose American National Existence.
Even experts grossly underestimate the Marxist zeal of the American Left. The sharp Left turn happened in the Hoover-FDR era, and the Marxism of the American Left has been deepening ever since.
Thinking American, in a nutshell: When one has lots to say, but time is limited. The older I get, the busier I get. Answering multiple questions as a thinking American, but in a hurry.
"We are an Easter People, and Hallelujah is our Song." (John Paul the Great). Our absolutely unique and singular Easter story, and the incredible force with which it struck human history.
Witnessing, grieving and weeping for our dieing culture. What might it take to call a whole people back from the brink of cultural death?
If we have an inherent right to something, then, who must supply it? Rights and Responsibilities exist in paired sets; a right does not exist in the absence of a related responsibility. If indeed we have a right to our job, then, someone must provide it. Who?
So how come we have all these homeless people if our system is so great? The strong "Utopian Idealist" firmly believes that absolute worldly perfection is actually possible. Therefore, there should never be any such thing as a hungry or homeless person.
Taking a look at Illegal Immigration and Tax Problem solutions. In our view, the minimum wage and income tax have outlived their usefulness, and only contribute to the illegal alien problem.
First journal / blog entries when the thinking catolic blog first opened up. Notes to readers about what I was doing.
On-going WebSite work and planned WebPages as of 09/07/2006 Adding items to book store.
Vic's busted finger status - life goes on. Another busted finger status report, since the original one rolled off of the 50-entry BLOG update records.
Website Status as of 02/05/2009. No more Bookstore; no more Contact Me; no more complexity.
Website Status 03-09-2009. Just a note to bring you up to date on website status 03-09-2009.
Website Status 04/06/2009. Busy driving daily now; most website work will be weekend and as available.
The Plastic Bags and Eco Doom theory: will plastic bags end life as we know it? Plastic Bag and Eco Doom predictions tell us that plastic grocery and garbage bags will still be buried in the land fills and dumps a thousand years from now. Well … so what?
Farewell Smokey Biorseth; Rest In Peace. Hello Coal Biorseth; Welcome Home. As we were laying our beloved Smokey Biorseth to rest in his grave beside the lilies, a carbon-copy of Smokey, in younger form, emerged from the lilies.
Honky Biorseth really runs this house. If you want to know what's in any cabinet in the house, just ask Honky Biorseth.
Kill the illegal alien marketplace, and illegal aliens will leave on their own. Why should we "imagine" life with no Mexico? Shouldn't the Mexicans be trying to imagine life without the USA?
More Marxist infiltration of higher education. Public school and the media are not the only places dominated by Marxist thought; even Catholic institutions are infected.
Of Families and Fortunes, and Inheritance Vs. Redistribution. Families and Fortunes are despised by Marxists, because Marxism demonizes the family, demonizes fortunes, and even demonizes profit.
Website Status Update 11/09/10 Just a Website status update; where we are and where we’re going.
Regarding the 2010 Tax Deal Pledge Breaker: Pledge? What Pledge? How can Republican deal makers even face us? We need to hang a Tea Party target on all professional politicians for 2012.
Pray for peace in Jerusalem, and for deliverance of Israel from harm. To pray for peace in Jerusalem is to pray for deliverance from Obama.
A tale of Promised Financial Melt-Down Debt Ceiling Nonsense and Happy Marxists. Everyone, on both sides, believes the Debt Ceiling Nonsense. Why?
God and Nature: on the Nature of Things, established by the Creator of Things. God and Nature: on man’s Perversion of the Nature of Things, even with the best of intentions.
Our Ohio voter Guide for the 2012 Election. The 2l012 Ohio Voter Guide – The Choices Have Never Been Clearer, or more critical.
Evangelization enters the animal kingdom with the first bear prayer. It is fitting that the first bear prayer would be a prayer of thanksgiving.
Is the Internet down in Lithuania? Sudden loss of Lithuanian traffic suggests the internet is down in Lithuania.
The rise of the Femi Nazi Green Beret, and the decline of military victory. The first Femi Nazi Green Beret will be awarded out of fairness, not excellence.
Food Insurance: Is this stuff really any good? All of us conspiracy-theorizing, global-calamity doomsday-preppers need their Food Insurance.
We just had to try to do Robert Irvine's Plastic Wrapped Baby Back Ribs. Put plastic wrapped baby back ribs in the oven? What? Are you nuts?
Thoughts on the first Eucharist, established by the Last Supper. The first Eucharist was recognized by the Apostles for what it was on that holiest Holy Thursday.
Get behind these Tea Party Candidates. The Constitution is not going to be restored to legal preeminence unless we replace leadership incumbents of BOTH PARTIES.
Ecce homo; Behold the man. Ecce Homo. Behold the Innocent Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world.
When your system slows down or hangs, it's time for a Total System Reboot. America, the World, and even the Catholic Church may need a Total System Reboot.
"We belong to the Church militant; and She is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass Her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights.”--Pope Pius XII
"It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor. It is a sin worthy of punishment, not an act deserving a reward, to give away what belongs to others."--St. Francis of Assisi
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