On a hemp and L-Tryptophane law correcting opportunity

There is an ongoing opportunity to discover some major flaws in our legal system and its enforcement, yet it is highly unlikely that this opportunity will be utilized in an unbiased way, if at all. Why is that? Reference the article

The particular subject this time is in some ways similar to the laws against the sale and use of the amino acid L-Tryptophane some years back. L-Tryptophane is a nutritional substance critical to mental functioning and sleep quality, among other essential life functions. It is a component of many foods, such as turkey meat; but it is hard to get enough of it for it to function as, say, a sleep aid, without concurrent intake of lots of unwanted stuff like fats along with it from regular food sources. Thus, making L-Tryptophane into a pill for use as a way to enable sleep much better, was in use for a couple of decades serving as a natural and far better way to sleep than were some of the knockout-type drugs sold by the pharmaceutical industry, who railed against the authorities to ban the sale of L-Tryptophane since it was out-competing the highly profitable pharmaceutical knockout sleep drugs. But the authorities had no way to ban L-Tryptophane to comply with the business pressures, until a batch of L-Tryptophane was conveniently made with deadly toxic contamination of a broad-spectrum such that in any one toxic component was just below the detectable levels by standard instrumentation of the time. So when people began to suffer and die obviously from this batch of pills, the authorities did not ban that batch of pills, but instead leapt on the opportunity to ban the sale and use of L-Tryptophane itself, saying it was a toxic substance. Of course, it was the newly introduced contaminant that was the only toxic substance, and the authorities could hardly not realize that, of course. But the pharmaceutical industry is enormously powerful and sleep aids are big business. And although L-Tryptophane has since then been vindicated by exposing the contaminated batch's poisons added by the manufacturer (presumably by accident) and its sale as a supplement has been available again for many years (often with a different name), as far as I know, the law banning the sale and use of L-tryptophane is still on the books. The obviousness of the whole problem could be a bit snidely shown by pointing out that the authorities's laws banning L-Tryptophane, did not also ban the sale and consumption of the Thanksgiving Dinner turkey, which indeed also contains L-Tryptophane. The point is, that the "authorities" don't seem to see the irrationality of some of their rules and resulting justified actions that cause deprivation and other harm to the American people.

So, the current topic is a similar situation about "hemp." The authorities just don't seem to comprehend that hemp is not a viable source of the THC substance that is used to provide some kind of joy or healing to consumers of a similar-looking family-related hemp plant. Hemp, as is well known to those who are not merely knee-jerk repeaters of propaganda of questionable sourcing, is a hardy plant that has a wide range of extraordinary properties useful to mankind, and has been in use in America from long before people from Europe arrived in this land. Hemp was an essential material for native Americans from way back. It was not utilized to enable them to "have a good time" recreationally, since it did not have enough THC to enable that to happen; instead, hemp was used for its outstanding strength, durability and everywhere availability, for making things such as baskets for carrying and storing food. In many ways, hemp is an absolutely wonder agricultural plant, due to its hardy easy cultivation, and its wide range of uses including an outstanding nutritional protein profile and high digestibility of its shelled seeds, even by people whose digestion system has been severely damaged by unwitting consumption of wheat gluten, as happened to lots of other Americans besides me. Hemp is a plant that could be easily grown out in one's backyard, yet its fiber is of extraordinary strength, and when I was a boy, it was the strongest material for its density known, stronger than the finest of steels for its weight. The petrochemical-industry-produced ropes in common use today, are no match to the strength and durability of hemp rope, so the banning of hemp enabled the profitable sale of those oil-product ropes we now have to use, instead of low cost hemp rope that is stronger and more secure from slipping in knots. The petrochemical-product ropes do have one advantage, as they are not so scratchy on the hands when handled; but that scratchiness did not prevent the hemp rope from being constantly used by the fabled American cowboy of frontier days. And that scratchiness did not prevent hemp rope from being a strategic material during WWII such as for tying up battleships to docks when in port. Historically hemp cultivation was considered a strategic resource in America, supplying material for making paper during the Revolutionary War that freed America, making sails for sailing ships for both commerce and warships, and during the Civil War was made into round bales to function as rolling fortresses that was so strong it would absorb bullets and cannon balls, protecting the soldiers behind the hemp bales.

All that was and still is common knowledge, yet "somehow" the hemp plant's cultivation became not just illegal, but imprisonably illegal, and is still on the books, causing incredible grief to the millions thereby in prison, ruining their lives, and even being a heavy burden on the American taxpayer. And so that phenomenon is what provides the opportunity for evaluating "what went wrong" in America's legal system, as well as evaluating why our legal system has been unable to free itself from the burden of enforcing this obviously very bad law.

How did this obviously bad law get on the books? That could be a starting point in the exploration of this phenomenon. Who benefits by it being a forbidden substance in America? (It is not an illegal substance in any other industrialized country, note.) Who is gaining wealth and power from that law, most likely are ones responsible for the law being there, and similarly partly responsible for it not being cleaned off the books, and done instantly, including adequate apologies made to all who have suffered as a result of the goofy bad law prohibiting the cultivation of the hemp plant in America.

Is it simply a matter of the incompetence of the marijuana law enforcers, who apparently cannot take the time to measure if a plant is hemp or its cousin marijuana? Incompetence is of course not a descriptive term acceptable to Ultimate Authority mentality type people. But they can quietly fix their errors and go on their way with minimally ruffled feathers over it all; yet, obviously they have not done so. As the referenced article points out, ""... Special Agent Paul Roach of the Drug Enforcement Agency says federal law does not distinguish between hemp and marijuana. 

"It really doesn't matter whether it looks different or it looks the same," he says. "If it's the cannabis plant, it's in the Controlled Substances Act and, therefore, enforceable under federal drug law....""

Seems like another tough-guys mugging game, much like in the case of L-Tryptophane. Why do they do that? Why can't they quit it?

In my sometimes naive way of attempting to comprehend why people do what they do, it seems possible that part of it all is the need for drama, seeking excuse to engage in the tough-guy stuff to strut one's stuff for all to see, especially the girls to see who are the strong men to be wooed as mates. That is a powerful motivation, of course. (My being the smallest boy in class, the schoolyard bullies come to my thoughts now; even back many decades ago, the girls adored the bullies, and would join in on the ridiculing of the bully's victims, I too well remember, an old schoolyard injury still causing a bit of physical pain to me, as another reminder.)

Tragically, the archetypal pattern most likely to be expressed in response to a post like this one, in the big People Game is "The pip-squeak saying the Big Boys need to clean up their act, will not get the Big Boys to evaluate and correct their goofs, but instead will result in the pip-squeak getting mugged in a way not obviously traceable to the Big Boys." And thus the opportunity to clean up our ways a bit, will again be lost.

Probably this blog post would be tossed off in derision by sneering the label "roper" to it, and intimate the reading of it would put the reader under suspicion. It is all too complicated for me to understand. But in composing this essay, I have attempted to enable a bit more order to the chaos drama of it all. As taught even in math classes, to actually solve a problem, the problem must first be correctly described.


Nullifying all victimless crimes and retroactively

I contemplate what would happen if a federal law were passed that nullified all victimless crimes, and do it retroactively. After all, if there were no injury to person or thing, why is it a real criminal thing? Law enforcement moneys ought to be much better spent dealing with things that cause injuries to people and property.

Now, in contemplating this thought, I realize I am treading into territory I know little about. And am dimly aware that the whole subject is like a can of worms, tangled and interconnected, including with lots of egos, reputations, and fortunes involved. And actually the only "victimless" crimes I have read about, at first thought, are the pot smokers and the prostitutes, who had hurt nobody or anything. But I have read there are millions of such people in prison right now, costing the taxpayer many millions of dollars each year, along with ruining the lives of those victimless-crime doers. Even imprisoning someone who did no harm to a victim, would seem to me to be an injustice itself; but obviously, since that is the way the system is now, there is lots more to it all, and the legal system is the high authority that created the system as-is. And powerful entities rarely take lightly someone examining them with a critical eye, ever.

But looking back, I see where I have several other times naively mistook the real motivation of major entities.

For examples, in 1972 I attempted to get NASA and JPL to give my Mooncable concept a careful look, and have me be part of that since I had created the concept of an anchored tether on the Moon extending up through the L-1 balance point and the structure supported in place by the near-equal weights on either side of L-1, and being used for very efficient lifting of resources from the moon and enabling their easy deliver to Earth orbit and surface markets, such as foamed nickel-iron steel cast in zero gee at L-1, then to be used for fireproof wood-density structures. This would use the two Saturn 5 launch vehicles already built but not used, and would initiate profitable business in space in a big way using existing materials. I had thought that NASA and JPL had the goal of opening up space resources for use fully by civilization as soon as possible. Nope; that was not NASA's charter, nor was JPL's, theirs were different purposes.

Then many years later, starting in 1989 I attempted to get the aerospace industry interested in my hoop-self-centrifugally-energy-supported structure enabling direct electrically powered access to the geostationary earth orbit, all space access transportation without rockets and potentially very energy efficient and low cost lift up to there - a couple dollars per kilogram, say - enabling the solar power satellites to be built and maintained in GEO so as to deliver all the electrical energy needed by the world civilization on into the future, electrical energy 24/7 that needed no storage facilities and produces no carbon pollution in our air. The dreams of all the space enthusiasts could be realized in my lifetime, and enable a clean earth environment to be restored, enabling the saving of lots of species from going extinct. But again, no, aerospace was only interested in space as a means to support their rocketry-based businesses, and had no other interest in space, or even of helping civilization. And the space enthusiasts were more interested in the exciting orgasmic fiery roar of huge rockets being launched, than a placid rail structure that would undramatically get the job done without star wars or such; no fun in that.

So I have lots of examples that I ought to not mess with trying to improve huge industries - and the prison system is a huge industry, along with all that contributes to it - when those huge entities like things to stay just they way they are, nice life it gives to those on top.

But back to the conjecture that seems to me to be helpful to lots of people, millions of them, all those whose lives have been ruined by imprisonment for having been accused of doing victimless crimes. I had more casually previously suggested freeing all those non-violent peaceable prisoners - who themselves somewhat seem to be the real victims of the whole thing - so as to save the government millions of dollars a year, and use the resulting abandoned prisons to be modified to be homeless shelters. OK that would enable those millions of former prisoners to be free to start to rebuild their lives, many from scratch; so given the retroactive pardoning, they would need compensation for the wrong done to them by the penal system, which would provide a monetary supply to help them get started again in life, get settled and seek jobs, which lead them to becoming supportive of the American economy again.

OK, nice on that side of the equation; but what about the other side of the equation, all those who are currently deriving jobs, group esteem, and investment income from the system as-is? That might include, um, say, the owners and investors in the prison system, its prison physical structures and human personnel like guards; the law enforcement personnel whose esteemed jobs were to stalk&assault those who had done those victimless crimes, would be out of a job, not a nice thing to happen to most anyone. The legal system itself with its books of precedent laws that somehow created those victimless activities as crimes, those folks are the big bosses of the slow crawl of changes to laws, and the suggestion that I am contemplating here would be an enormous transient in that system.

Well, I might as well post this in my blog that few if any can find; what is one more big entity added to those who already ruthlessly vilify any who might point out potentially better ways of doing things. And with enough coverage by calculated vilification, eventually physical manifestation will strike down the offender, and all will just say that's great, the vile monster won't bother us anymore... something that also could be some longstanding "secret" militants who think I had seen too much and am too smart for my own good, would even more thankfully breathe into relaxation.

And here all along I was thinking I was helping those big entities that control civilization's opportunities, silly me; most likely the only response will be for the powers that be to make sure that everybody fully realizes it is they who are boss here ... and for any others with ideas about thinking for themselves, watch and see what happens.

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On nature's wheels and recycling lessons

Apparently the lowly dung beetle not only invented celestial navigation before humans did, they also invented the wheel before people did, too.


Notice that the article's photo of a dung beetle that is rolling along its prize rounded hunk of food, an object made into a round shape and rolled along to some hiding place to eat it in peace.

The dung beetle is rolling the object it made into a round shape so that it could be moved by rolling it, instead of carrying it like ants do to their food being moved.

Humans learned to move heavy objects that were flat on the bottom, by rolling the object on top of round logs, and each time moving the just-passed log back up to the front to again become a roller, kind of like a tank's treads move.

Maybe the round ball the dung beetle made was more correctly named a "ball bearing" instead of a "wheel," and the logs being a "roller bearing" similarly, instead of being called a wheel.

Maybe I ought to look up the definition of a wheel in the dictionary, but am having more fun pondering the question myself first. To be a wheel, must it have an axel that supports load, and an outer round perimeter that is larger than the axel? Maybe even also requiring a specially made sliding surface between the axel and the load it bears, thus enabling the load to be moved by sliding on a special slick surface while the larger reality is the movement along an outer rugged and non-slippery surface? Or even rotating on much smaller ball bearings that interface the axel with its load, and the outer perimeter of the wheel? It seems to me that the roller-bearing and the roller log are just such wheels with an outer perimeter the same as the axel's perimeter.

And similarly the ball bearing being such a roller bearing that is round in all directions. And thus the dung beetle's creation to move food easily, is the invention of the wheel before people did it.

We have long known that we can learn lots by observing nature, thus saving ourselves lots of trouble in figuring out how to do something new.

The dung beetle is also a wonderful recycler. I recall reading years ago about a farmer that had fed his cattle a strong insecticide to rid them of some infestation, but the insecticide stayed in the cattle's output dung, and the farmer's field was littered with cow patties that just stayed intact, since the insecticide killed the dung beetles that normally recycle the cow patties down into the ground; thus the cow patties did not get recycled and just stayed put littering the field.

It is much easier to let the dung beetle do the recycling, instead of the farmer having to pick up the field's litter after the cattle made their deposits.

Some food for thought, including regarding the industrial wastes our civilization produces: does it go away by itself, or even do so after being hidden by burying it in a landfill?

More basically, what generally happens to critters that foul their nest? Cows have dung beetles and the rest of the diverse biosystem to clean up their "nest", but what do human often-toxic industries have?

Perhaps we can invent a robot dung beetle that goes around collecting industrial discards like old TVs and mine tailings, and hauls it away somewhere to placidly take its time munching the trash and powering itself and making copies of itself out of civilization's industrial dung.

Defined by its similarity to or effect on something

Describing wind direction has long been a puzzle to me. Such as mentioning clouds moving NNE. Is that the direction they are going or the direction they are coming from. I would think that means the direction they are going to.

It took me many months to decide that the official wind direction on Intellicast weather describes the direction the wind is coming from. That is, facing the described direction, like North or 360º, would be facing into the wind.

Yet my earlier thought was that the direction named was the direction the wind - and thus the clouds motion too - was going to. It would be the direction something would tend to be pushed by the wind. But apparently that is not the official meaning of wind direction.

Thus a North wind would tend to bring colder temperatures, and a South wind would tend to bring warmer temperatures. It is the description of the direction the wind is coming from, thus the opposite of the direction that the wind pushes stuff.

The question is important for accurate communication.

A similar confusion is one I had for a long time about a magnet's pole's polarity. Eventually I found that my confusion between opposites, was well founded, since the scientific definition of the poles on a magnet, is the opposite direction from the magnetic pole definition among the alternative health people, who make the more intuitive definition that the north-pole on a magnet is the same polarity as the Earth's north-pole's polarity is. Thus it is always easy to measure the polarity of a magnet on hand, by loosely dangling it so it can rotate freely, and it will line up to match the magnetic field that is being provided by the planet at that place.

But that polarity is the opposite to the definition of magnetic polarity as used in scientific measurements, which says the North pole of a dangled magnet faces North in the Earth's magnetic field. 

It seems to me that it is a function of perspective. Is something defined by its similarity to something else, or by the effect it has on other things, is the question.

When there is such confusion regarding such basic and measurable things like wind direction and magnetic polarity, no wonder people don't always communicate to each other accurately about other kinds of things too.


Pondering causes of the war on drugs

I just signed (another) online petition, this one urging an end to the "war on drugs." "... This expensive war has completely failed to curb the plague of drug addiction, while costing countless lives, devastating communities, and funneling trillions of dollars into violent organized crime networks. Experts all agree that the most sensible policy is to regulate, but politicians are afraid to touch the issue...."

Attempting to understand the "war on drugs" thing, in my Asperger's way, I have come up with some thoughts that don't seem to be in these articles on the subject; thus, this blog post.

(Sure, I know about "a voice crying in the wilderness" and "if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound." Nevermind, blog posting anyway.)

One of these thoughts is the result of a simple protocol that makes sense to me regarding real causes of things; the other is exploring my fantasy about the folks involved in the game.

The first one is applying the principle that "the effects that result from some event, point to the "real" big-picture cause of the event." This principle produces lots of provocative insights, and no doubt would make lots of officials hopping mad. In this case, it comes up with the suggestion that the real big-picture cause of the "war on drugs" is its actual effects that nicely reward some folks: the trillions of dollars funneled into violent crime organizations on the one side, and the prison industries wealth and the exciting jobs of the law-enforcers on the other side. In other words, the real proponents of the "war on drugs" are the benefiters of the jobs and wealth gotten by the "law enforcers" and the trillions of dollars thusly gotten by violent crime organizations. They both would then be behind the scenes, influencing the keeping of the "war on drugs" to continue, not wanting a good thing for them to go away.

The second one, exploring my fantasy about the folks involved in the game, results in first bringing up my memories of playing exciting games with the neighbor kids, games such as "cops and robbers" and "cowboys and indians" (Those were late 1940's times; but probably kids still play similar games in later times.) And so that the game can be played, oneself had to be on one side or the other; did not really matter which. The thing that counted was the running around and chasing after each other, yelling and using imaginary weapons at the kids that took up the other side of the game. I can easily imagine that folks of both side of the game of "war on drugs" derive similar reward for participation in the exciting game that involves real weapons and the stakes are much higher. But, still the same kind of game. And although I can dimly remember playing "cops and robbers; cowboys and indians" I no longer can get enthused about such things; but I have seen lots of people "out there" who apparently really got into the game and have stayed in that mentality, where stalking & assaulting somehow makes their lives better. The support organizations are different, (probably) but the mentality is very similar, badge or not.

Notice that none of this has anything to do with the "drugs" themselves. I recently read that something like a quarter of the American population is on prescription psychotropic drugs, zonking them out as they go about their daily lives. If I had to be a low-paid cashier at a cheap store somewhere, I too probably would ask to be on such a drug to be able to endure the too-often irascible public. And just how different are the prescription drugs from the "illegal" drugs may not be as great as is implied; the main difference possibly is that the illegal drugs are not regulated with moderating instructions to the user, and that they force the person to be somewhat involved with crime organizations as they are likely the only way to get those substances that provide moments of escape from the overwhelming discomforts of parts of their lives. And it is possible that some of the "illegal" drugs sometimes provide more interesting effects beyond simply getting zonked out to some degree; from what I conclude, some of them give the user some incredible mental prowess, enabled to do things - or be aware of things such as extreme remote-viewing capability - that ordinary people did not realize was possible, and thus give them a competitive advantage. Read Castenada, for example. Scientifically exploring the beneficial effects of such psychoactive substances in moderated ways, might provide some very useful benefits to mankind; the many health benefits of marijuana as one example, discovered despite the risk of getting thrown into the jug if caught doing such research. But that would be depriving the stalk&assault types of people of a lawful (or unlawful, in the case of those on the other side of the game) means to exercise their stalk-&-assault cravings.

In other circumstances, I would think that responsible responses to something that very obviously "costs countless lives, devastating communities, and funneling trillions of dollars into violent organized crime networks" would be to stop doing it and stop it right now, this instant, before anyone else dies, another community ruined, one more penny given to violent organizations. And prevent any more taxpayer dollars spent on such clearly causative activity. Done before close of business this very day. And the second thing done would be to shift some of those thusly-freed taxpayer dollars spent on supporting that violence (on both sides,) over to do unbiased research on why people seek to utilize those drugs; obviously people familiar with their use, find them very desirable somehow. Some are not even addictive.

Not that many decades ago, there was a similar cops-and-robbers big game going on with adults playing it with real guns and big money involved, called "Prohibition". How many lives were lost, careers made, misery experienced far and wide, as a result of Prohibition, I wonder. Nowadays, unbiased research has shown several things, such as an ounce or two of ethanol (that formerly prohibited substance) a day, both enables longer lives as well as more pleasant lives; and historical research shows that alcoholic beverages have urged people to get together in peaceable ways from the beginning of civilization; even at times the ethanol was what purified the watery substances from pathogens so that the water could be safely consumed, too. Some research indicates that the need for cultivation and single location for producing beer, was what got people to start leaving the hunter-gatherer way of life and settle down doing agriculture instead. Yet "Prohibition" somehow got started anyway, and the vast ruination that resulted went on for a long time. Seems a very close parallel to the current "war on drugs."

What makes some people do such things as "Prohibition" and "War on drugs", I wonder.

As so often, the bottom line to me is that "people-stuff is very complicated."


Jobs, employers, and medieval trajectory

Once again Robert Reich's articles make lots of sense to me. And the overall subject continues to point toward what looks like deliberate steering of America toward a medieval type carving up of the nation. Reich's article is "Why Jobs Must Be Our Goal Now, Not Deficit Reduction" and once again brought up the question to me, why would anyone want to cut back on American employment, since greater employment provides greater productivity and greater flow of money inside the nation, thus more taxes to cover the cost of the programs that provide the national infrastructure that enables the country to function as a whole instead of a bunch of bickering feudal business entities that ignore the transportation system, water quality and the other very important shared resources. And more to the subject, more employment thus provides the taxes that pays off the national debt.

Is this some kind of natural phenomenon produced by the interaction of human mentality on the world, or is it some few individuals' perverse craving for enormous power over others? To cut back on the employment that pays off the national debt, and yet demand paying off the national debt, seems only an armlock to force something else to happen. Hmm, what could that be.

Yes, am aware that those folks who crave power over others is caused by their own fear of themselves being controlled. Yet, how to keep them from excessively being "bulls in the china closet" of the society in which the rest of us also live?

Now, it is not like I am not part of all this problem; my mother was into family tree stuff and would point out to me that I "have the blood of seventeen kings" in me; so my ancestry surely had a generous helping of the urge to control other people. Maybe that is what gets me to comment about the whole phenomenon such as in this blog.

The craving by some folks to control lots of other people, gets warped into being among the system of creating goods and services that is our business system. Employers need to have skill at employing, controlling, employees, so that control-others skill is not the problem, is a necessity in places. The problem comes in perhaps when the employer loses all empathic contact with the employees, considers them like the rocks in the field, to be bulldozed around to landscape the place. More is better, better is stronger, the more employees way down there on the org chart means bigger goodies for those high in the org chart. And when the disconnection at the top gets to the point of only shuffling around investment money, based on the advise of underlings who only look at profit trends, the "idle-rich" class is formed, and increasing disconnection from the principle of producing the best products for the money gets forgotten, replaced by a system of virtual control of business territory.

I wonder if the lifestyle of the idle-rich is much different from that of the idle-retired, such as is the class I could be said to be in. Definitely the idle-rich would have more sumptuous surroundings and would not have to live without a good woman as mate, like is my unfortunate existence. But the basic quality of life might not otherwise be much different.

One of the processes that tends to be involved at all levels of the economy, is the principle of "charging what the market will bear." In other words, the principle that if one has a product that sells well, it is not enough to set the price such that one and one's employees have a nice income, and the investors have a comparable reward; it means to overcharge to the maximum amount that people will pay for the product. And that overcharging is what leads to the vast fortunes of the few ultra-wealthy folks. This overcharging squirrels away money that is not created in direct proportion to value-added processes, producing an economic factor that involves money that is not directly tied into value-added economic functions. And that money is thus lost to the people needing to have jobs to input value-added for the nation's GDP. An increasing number of people out of work, along with extreme separation of the financial state between the average American vs the ultra-wealthy: the situation we have been seeing increasing for the past dozen years.

Workers who have been without income get increasingly desperate to take jobs at lower pay. Such as when the big drop in the disk drive industry in Silicon valley happened in 1984, I was one of the many who were in resulting RIFs; and I, as a non-degreed second level design-development electronic engineer at that point, had my resumes easily tossed out by the personnel folks at companies looking for engineers to hire. As a result I was out of work for over a year, with only a few weeks of temp jobs at minimum wage. I was told by potential employers that since I had worked my way up from engineering technician level to design engineer level, I would not be happy with a technician job, and that they had plenty of degreed engineers to pick from. (I sensed a bit of hostility from degreed folks even in the personnel offices, toward anyone who dared intrude in the degreed people's world without having gotten a degree, something they had struggled hard to get themselves while being led by the carrot of promise to be considered better-than those who did not have a college degree.) So when I finally got interviewed by a small car alarm manufacturing company who hired electronic technicians based on their actual testing of applicant's skills - I was told I got the highest score of any applicant, so show up for work Monday - without asking for a resume, I was very happy to take a job that paid less than a third of my former job; and my new employer got all my extra skills without paying for them. I was so happy to have a steady job that I stayed with them for the 9.5 years before they closed their doors, laying everybody off - an experience I was familiar with by then. This is an example of how the business system gets employees to work for much less pay; and the resulting lower business expenses of the lower salaries paid, goes into the profit pile of money.

So is this part of the plan of a significant number of the mega-corporations, to reduce the overall cost of doing business by paying employees less money, and thus raking up more profit for the luxury of those on top? The over 1,200,000 Americans currently still needing good jobs here in America, might seem to fit this pattern. If they were all being productive working good jobs and paying income taxes the national debt could be getting paid off quite rapidly - and that is supposedly what is claimed to be the goal of "reducing the national deficit" so the blockage of having the government stimulate the new jobs, appears to not be consistent. Seems more reasonable that some folks want to be the sole sources of jobs for Americans.

This could be put into the rather snide description of the robber-barrons conniving to force the lazy grunts to work for less pay, and gloat over being better-than the poor slobs out there who are starving as a result, begging for even a dirty-work job to be offered to them by the robber-barrons.

Although I doubt it is the whole problem, this too often looks like a significant part of the problem.


Re the idle rich and the idle retired adding to the GDP

"The ongoing war: after the battle over the cliff, the battle over the debt ceiling" by Robert Reich. As that article points out, this "war" was never about the federal budget deficit, since the deficit has been steadily dropping as a percent of the total economy, down to 7 percent from the 10.1 percent it was in 2009. Reich points out that the real war is about shrinking the size of the American government, which is getting scapegoated for the woes of the middle class, to divert attention from record high corporate profits while reducing the wages of the working class.

So I wonder, what is going on? Seems that only accentuates the easy wealth increase of the idle-rich while making life harder for those who actually work to enable this country to function. This is not to say that "the idle rich" do not perform essential functions for America; the working-class expects somebody to figure out a job that a worker can then "get" and thus work to pay the bills and have a family, enjoy life a bit too. So among some of those "idle rich" folks, trickle down the jobs. Problem is, in the past couple decades, the idle-rich have not been doing that adequately for America. They have been piling up their fortunes in ways to not pay their fair share of taxes, the taxes America needs to function as a whole through our government, jingling their riches like a scrooge spending time counting the stacks of money hoarded up instead of the money being out in the economy enabling work to be done.

A number of years ago, I read that it looked like America was being deliberately manipulated to carve the country up into medieval-type kingdoms with their hordes of serfs and knights. This model continues to seem to fit uncomfortably close to what looks like the end goal of the strange "wars" in congress and scattered all over the country. Looking back, I realize now that was much of the stimulus of the scenarios focused upon in the first two of my science fiction novels "Building Up" and "The Ark of 1984's Future" where first all the functions of government, including the military branches, were doled out to mega-corporations, who then battled out to leave just one megacorporation's idle-rich living off a captive horde of serfs by the start of "The Ark of 1984's Future" scenario, in a world that had mostly died due to rampant corporate predation on the world's resources of the environment, turning it all into refuse; and little could live generally on the land anymore. But he idle-rich had fortified themselves into their ever plush areas, and in this scenario, genetically-selected members.

Well, that is science fiction about a possible future. Future, by definition, hasn't happened yet, and most likely has options for choice among multiple paths. Paths that lead from right here and right now.

Back to the "wars" going on in upper federal government, Congress and the Presidency, one beneficial effect is that it seems to be significantly filling the public's craving for drama, and getting lots of average people aware of government and the inner workings of the nation. Instead of merely focussing on the usual of getting born, getting an education that is employable, getting a job, getting married, having kids who then keep the cycle going. But the "getting a job" part is the link between those folks and the "idle-rich" management class. If the "idle-rich class" is not doing its "job" (job in the national picture) of creating and managing those jobs, those jobs are not waiting there for the working class to obtain. Now, the more workers there are and being productive, the more profit for the idle-rich, correct? So, there is still some other very major factors ongoing; what could they be?

Probably it is the growing horde of retirees. Those older folk who had been the workers that had built the wealth of the idle-rich; now they are no longer providing profit for the idle-rich. Those older folks had been required to contribute to their social security safety net, during their working years; and their employers were also required to contribute an equal amount into that social security trust fund.

(Now, are the corporations striving to get their money back? The money they had been "forced" to contribute by government, to help cover the cost of life after employment for the hordes of retirees. Just like in the early years of the so-called Bush-II administration, taxes on the wealthy were cut just exactly so as to remove the federal surplus left over from the previous Clinton administration's years.)

All this Monopoly-game-board kind of activity is a bit beyond my skill or interest. This post is about suggesting solutions. Now that a big part of the problem has been described, what can be done (other than just more game-board stuff.)

The American health system currently takes some 18% of the economy, and 25% of the federal budget, much of that goes to service the growing horde of the now "idle-retiree" class. If the idle-rich are weaseling out on their fair share of taxes to keep the country running well, then the health system looks like a place to cut back to make up the lack of income to the system.

There is a factor not generally recognized re the healthcare system in America: the money spent on doctors, hospitals and pharmaceuticals, is largely spent here in America, in contrast to much of other purchases of products that come from other countries which have not been doing a balance of trade with us. Thus money spent on the health care system stirs up the money flow in America and thus generates tax revenues that help keep the country running (we have not yet become carved up into feudal warlord corporate estates.) So that suggests the uncomfortable conclusion that being unhealthy is good for the economy, keeps the money going around inside America significantly more than does, say, our electronics purchases. So, what I am going to suggest, is not supportive of that factor. And thus will most likely get ignored, like my other suggestions of the past. Well, horse to water and all that. I will do my suggestions here anyway. Keeps the old fingers more exercised on the keyboard, if nothing else; stirs up some synaptic exercise in the brain, too, I suppose.

I am now one of those seniors, those retirees, and one that has to largely survive on the social security safety net for financial survival. So I can speak from that perspective, as well as from my over four decades of serving as an employee for a variety of employers. And I speak (write) from a fairly unique perspective in some ways, described to some extent in my prior years of posting here.

So I suggest that upon becoming classed as a retiree taking in from the social security safety net, as I and huge numbers of other American former workers do, we take on less of an "idle-retiree-class" status, and more of a new education and application status. This means we all become lifetime students, for one thing. This becomes part of becoming part of lifetime producers, too, as will be suggested in a bit. And the first of the new education subjects would be that of learning how to do self-health maintenance, and practicing doing it for oneself.

I have been doing this as a hobby during my retirement, and had even started learning and doing it in the last half-dozen years of gainful employment, some of which had no health insurance. As a result, since retiring and being on the medicare system, I have paid into the medicare "Part B" system over $6,000 yet medicare has paid back only about $200; this seems a good deal for the medicare system, if all retirees were similarly doing it. (Hopefully this is not seen as opportunity for some new feudal-lord wannabe, however.) sure, I spend significant amounts of money on the various "complementary health" nutritional supplements and electronic stuff with which I experiment on self-health assisted by electroherbalism-type gadgetry, which is a field that uniquely fits into my lifelong interest in science and my career in electronics mostly in engineering. But I would assume most other people would have other aspects of self-health better explored in their life. The human body-mind is enormously complex yet extraordinarily well organized, thus providing a huge amount one can learn and apply to themselves. And the more one learns and uses, the more there is seen to be available for more learning. In my case, this money mostly comes from the social security retirement income, eked out such as by riding a bicycle to get groceries when possible, instead of using gas to drive to and from the stores. Learning several other self-health modes costs a little money too, yet pays off with better well-being quite abundantly, as compared to the cost. And is a much more comfortable life than in and out of the doctors' offices.

For my personality, such knowledge as of "Emotional Freedom Technique"(one of several similar fields of knowledge called "Energy Psychology") and "Laughter Yoga" knowledge, yields great health benefits as compared to money spent. But both require that I learn lots, do lots of self-educating and then putting these new knowledge tools into practice on myself. This definitely makes a "idle-retiree" lifestyle not very idle, and pays off to the country by not being much of a load on the nation, despite not actively working as a paid employee somewhere at this point. (I do continue to do fairly skilled data processing work as a volunteer, however.) A significant part of this self-education gets put on learning about the human physiological and neurological systems, leaning toward ways to increase functionality and well-being while doing so.

That brings up the second part, the part about not only being a lifetime student, but also a lifetime producer contributing to the Gross Domestic Product. As such, a retiree might only produce for the country a relatively smaller part of each day producing, but doing at least a little each day. If each of ten million retires produced only ten percent of the typical work done before retirement, that would effectively add a million worker's product to the GDP. And retirees tend to come pre-equipped with lots of skills and knowledge about doing gainful work.

Part of the usefulness of such a partial-employment of the idle-retired folks, is to minimize the overall costs to the nation in doing so. That means, involving very little added to the commute system, for one thing. And that mostly means working from the comfort of home. And that means doing work via the internet so as to not require the enormous costs of commuting to and from a place of employment a commute system which already is overloaded in many places. Some added flow of material goods involved in many of these tasks would be handled by an increase in shipper services, such as the US Postal System, UPS and Fedex, among others; but this would be largely fitted into an already existing shipping system's routes.

For details, read my prior posts and documents about my proposal to create a "Home education-manufacturing workstation" productivity system, to provide new skill acquisition, general knowledge expansion, and small-scale productivity contribution to the nation. Much of those are in the preceding blog posts in this blog, but also can be found on my Scribd document set. So I won't go into that again here other than to suggest that it is an internet and home computer manufacturing-education workstation system, vaguely like the Japanese "just in time" work system of each worker having multiple sets of individual workstation setups available and works from canisters of components to which various work functions are applied by the worker; and time is set aside for learning new skills each day, too. Only in this new home-workstation concept,the workstations would be in retirees' homes, and the shipping companies would take care of the transporting of the canisters between homes and eventually to destination warehouses or conventional business work sites.

Jim Cline