Sunday, 23 May 2010

An Odd Explanation?

This past week....Representative Mark Souder (Republican)....resigned from his office....saying he'd committed adultery and it was best for him to just leave. I admired the guy in some ways...admitting this. If he'd been a Democrat...he might have just said he was under the influence of pain relievers, Preparation H, or paint thinner....and just stayed on.

Then he said something kinda unusual. He kinda admitted that he had intellectual feelings for the lady in question. He didn't say alot after that.

Guys don't say stuff like this usually. Certainly, they can't see intellectual relationships until they've been hit and usually laying there on ground...with visions of Socrates, Plato, and philosophy running through their mind.

The potential for some married guy to meet up with lady who matches his sarcastic, witty or philosophical strengths?

Thirty years ago....it was pretty much a one percent chance in life. Today...either via the internet or via our complex nature of knowing people....such things probably happen more often than we think.

This runs back to a blog I wrote last year where a shift in time has occurred and there are growing relationships of guys and gals....that are of the intellectual variety and never cross other personal or lusty lines. It is a odd situation...and it isn't going to reverse itself.

Triangular Trade

Amongst all the chatting and upset feelings this week over the Texas school book commission and its final "cut"....was the topic of "triangular trade".

It's an expression that ninety-nine percent of folks have never heard of and are simply briefed by newspapers and the media of a concept that doesn't clearly explain slavery in America at all.

In most school text books....and even college history text books....slavery is announced as 'started' in the mid 1600s. From that point on, it's discussed as a evil part of American history (even though the nation-building step doesn't occur for another 120 years).

When you drag out triangular trade....you start to discuss economics....which is the trigger for slavery in the first place....and it pretty much puts everything in another light. It's still evil or such....but you begin to grasp what drives this situation to occur and spread out. It also explains the limits in the end.

The new worlds (note, I did say plural)....in the early 1600s....are the Americas and Africa.

The Europeans have 'discovered' both, and they are part of an expansion. You can toss in the hunt for gold and the prospects for business....but folks are set on a path to get rich by entrepreneur type methods. The key to this? Boats.

You come up as a senior partner and have two junior partners in a boat venture. You own half and they split the remaining half. The key to the boat and your venture? 365 days of product movement per year. You plan to gain all your money back and to make a bold profit.

You learn in the beginning that just moving something....will earn a profit. Then you learn that if you are the middle man....say....buying tobacco and putting it on your own vessel.....then you can get more profit for your venture.

Then you come to learn that certain products make more money than others. But these involve man-hours and manpower.....of which most new world folks in the Americas don't have adequate men to make the business work. Sugarcane is an example of this.....so is indigo and rice.

Then because you have this triangular business operation.....you chat with a guy in Africa who knows this tribe who just captured five hundred prisoners in a war. A deal is made. Something is bartered for the prisoners.....and they get loaded onto the vessel. Slave trade is created because of manpower requirements and the willingness of tribes in Africa to continue warfare and the capture of prisoners.

So vessels crisscross the Atlantic....between three continents....and doing business. Europeans make a profit, and business opportunities expand.

This all continues on through 1776....and up through the 1860s. The south has built this grand empire and business district.....on cotton, which is another manpower intensive crop. If you can tax cotton enough....then the whole model collapses. If you pay enough attention to the house and senate of the 1850s time period.....you kinda figure out that taxes were being rigged to eventually collapse the cotton empire. If it collapses....then slavery is virtually ended. There's nothing of value in the deal anymore.

A simple history lesson? It takes alot of things out of the old traditional history lesson and suddenly introduces you to evil economics. History teachers hate economics. It shakes out all of the legendary stories that everyone is used to.

So the text book commission in Texas....voted to have this included in school teachings now. Will it be taught? That's a curious question. I'm guessing that the media will pump this up and maybe draw this into a court case by some folks. If you can keep this business under wraps and unknown.....we can continue with the legendary trail of slavery. My guess is that it may be too late.

Money Lesson

If you need a minute of economic education worth $1 million...this is your training seminar. Don't worry...they will make you laugh as you get smart.

The Commission Fever

Today....we, the United States government...grew just a little bit bigger. The President unveiled another Presidential commission today.

Their job? Probing. They are supposed to engage the massive amount of data on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and it's advancement toward Louisiana....and tell the President what what he ought to do.

After you've seen a dozen or so commissions...you tend to under-inflate the predicted outcome. These commissions usually take a minimum of six months to form real analysis and then come out with forty recommendation. The 9-11 Commission had hundreds of recommendations. The key factor here is that the President doesn't have to accomplish any of them, or merely half....just to look good.

In the old days...we'd see four guys enter the President's office...give him four ideas...and he'd engage congress within ten days to work on those four areas. Start small....stay small....and accomplish small. It was a neat feat for folks like Eisenhower, Kennedy, Regan, Carter, both Bush's, and Clinton.

After a while....you begin to realize that if there's going to be a giant forest fire in Montana...we’ll create a fire commission?

If there’s a rat infestation in Georgia....we create a rat commission?

If there’s a wild dogs running around Arkansas and tormenting folks...we create a wild dog commission?

Things are a bit difficult these days. It's either a big-bang accomplishment, or just chit-chat...nothing in-between. That's not real leadership, if you think about it.