"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010


Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Aux armes citoyens!"

We carefully watch America deal with itself. Massachusetts fills its vacant senate seat with a Republican. Interesting, perhaps. Barney Frank gets in a snit over a $1.00 ferry discount on his way to a gay festival. This is the mind that oversees financial regulation. Blagojevich decides not to speak his mind on the record. Who knows? Signs of growing up? A kid, a 22 year old PFC snitches a bunch of military files and has the “audacity” to release them to the taxpayers and the rest of the world. And Obama says it’s illegal? Huh? Mon Dieu? What next? Open government? And then. From across the pond comes the news that the French have declared WAR on al-Qaida. And this is just days after telling girls to drop the face masks. Qu’est que c’est que ca? (What’s going on?) Do you need a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing?

America seemingly cannot lead. Our motto has become "avoid sacrifice and frugality."  Avoid risk.  Avoid toughing it out.  Just keep doing the same thing over and over again only add more borrowed dollars to it.  We, at TheFundamentals, have no idea what happened to our cojones to use the new language of this republic. It may just be too much multi culturalism at work. Too much pot; not enough melting. But, alas, we think it is a bit more diabolical. It may be others are way ahead of us. Perhaps it is time to stop talking and start listening. Maybe we could learn from others.

TheFundamentals has visited la France. We admit, we like France and we like the French. We like them for many reasons. Not the least of which is that without their support, their money, their troops, their navy, there well may not be a US of A. We like the national anthem of le France. Below are excerpts from La Marseillaise. It is recognizable around the world. It is a wonderful and powerful statement of a people. We would invite you to read a few of the stanzas, first in the native language because there is no substitute for the power of these verses in le francais. Then, for you disinclined Francophiles, an English translation. Do not discount the power of the French. Do not discount the power of others to lead. America take note. There are many powerful voices in the world. Let’s recognize them; let’s stand back and listen to them. Let’s respect the discipline of others and let’s follow others when others move to lead.

“Allons enfants de la patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrivé! Contre nous de la tyrannie, L’étendard sanglant est levé! L’étendard sanglant est levé! Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes Mugir ces féroces soldats? Qui viennent jusque dans nos bras Egorger nos fils et nos compagnes!

Arise children of the motherland, Our day of glory has arrived! Over us, the bloodstained banner Of tyranny holds sway! Oh, do you hear there in our fields The roar of these ferocious soldiers? Who came right here in our midst To slaughter our sons and wives.

Aux armes citoyens! Formez vos bataillons! Marchons, marchons, Qu’un sang impur Abreuve nos sillons!

To arms, oh citizens! Form up in serried ranks! March on, march on, May their impure blood Flow in our fields!

Amour sacré de la patrie, Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs! Liberté, Liberté chérie, Combats avec tes défenseurs! Combats avec tes défenseurs! Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire Accoure à tes mâles accents! Que tes ennemis expirants Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire! (chorus)

Supreme devotion to our Motherland, Guides and sustains avenging hands! Liberty, oh dearest Liberty, Come fight with your shielding bands! Beneath our banner come, oh victory, Answer your soul-stirring cry! Oh come, come see your foes now die, Witness your pride and our glory! (chorus)

Nous entrerons dans la carrière Quand nos ainés n’y serons plus; Nous y trouverons leur poussière Et la trace de leurs vertus. Et la trace de leurs vertus. Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre Que de partager leur cercueil, Nous aurons le sublime orgueil De les venger ou de les suivre! (chorus)

Into the fight we too shall enter, When our fathers are dead and gone; We shall find their bones laid down to rest, With the fame of their glories won, Oh, to survive them care we not, Glad are we to share their grave, Great honor is to be our lot To follow or to venge our brave. (chorus)”

Excerpts from La Marseillaise by Rouget de Lisle

Vive la France!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

America's Competitiveness

The question being raised today is, “Is America becoming non competitive or has it already attained non competitiveness with its major trading partners?” This question is rather bold but it has to be on the minds of many even though it is not exactly receiving the attention that is being given to such temporal matters as the Gulf oil leak; the floor mat problem that caused Toyota cars to enter states of uncontrolled surges; a basketball players intentions and state provided housing being forced on a spoiled California brat.

If you think about the prior paragraph you may not really need any more information to both answer the question posed as well as understand the reasons for America’s apparent non competitiveness. But that is a bit cynical. And the question is worthy of serious examination and analysis.

America produced generations of growing populations; growing economic activity; growing employment opportunities and growing self satisfaction with its performance and continued expectation for same. But now, we are asking, “Is it over?” Are we on the route Japan has taken with an aging, demanding population and all substantive economic activity going to emerging growth countries with access to resources; ready, willing and able lower cost labor and undeveloped governmental and legal burdens on the business community and their commercial, wealth producing activities? What is the answer? Is there an answer or are we just being impatient? Should we believe the politicians in power (PIP) who tell us that this problem is temporal and that their policies will provide the cure for the mess that was solely done to us by the poor management and policies of the party out of power (POOP)?

Is America just in the midst of a correction and, when completed, growth will return, employment will grow and the American technological, innovative, productive economy will again rule the seas around us and continue to make us the greatest opportunity land of all?

We have concluded that there are now significant reasons to believe that America has embedded fundamental anti competitive forces in its economy that will burden its ability to grow and produce necessary employment for an expanding population and not even sustain the standard of living the previous generation experienced. We offer as evidence the poor position of America’s export per capita performance – we trail all of the following countries, several by very substantial amounts: Netherlands, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Great Britain, South Korea, Australia and Spain.

The source of this data is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_exports_per_capita

Why is America’s performance so poor?

We offer these areas for examination:

• High ratio of non wealth producing labor activities to wealth producing labor activities (i.e. too many people either not working or not working in basic (manufacturing, agriculture, extraction, innovation) jobs)

• High consumption of public resources by military spending, wars and related activities

• High ratio of lawyer involvement in commerce activities in the form of protected classes, special interests, litigation and bureaucratic rules and enforcement

• Too many laws and government agencies that don’t expire; don’t evolve; don’t make sense

• Drastically higher costs for public services than available in the private sector; too many taxes

• Drastically higher health care costs than any other competitive, economically active country

• Higher education costs and poorer education results that any other competitive, economically active country

• Thirty years of bad political, fiscal and economic leadership offset previously by technological and process innovation and improvements that now are common in emerging countries

TheFundamentals sees no opportunity to address these issues in an election year because the two American political power communication machines will devastate any one with the knowledge, the facts, the analysis and the courage to even raise them in a public forum. Of course, they are commonly and actively discussed and debated behind the scenes; but don’t expect a politician to embrace any aspect of an intelligent review of these issues lest they be discarded into the “nut case” category currently occupied by Ron Paul, Sarah Palin and others. Better to be a proven failure but in the good stead of the PR machines. We include in this category current politicians such as the governors of Michigan, Illinois, New York and California. But, we are not running for office and as sure as night follows day, remedies for the issues defined above will either be embraced by policy decisions, forced on America by creditors or will be written about by historians analyzing the decline of America.

Only you, the American voter, can force this discussion.  Those who have been chosen to lead will not.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Budgets and Moonbeams

We’re not sure if the president would accept this premise but TheFundamentals will offer it anyway. Here goes: The national budget for fiscal year 2011 (FY2011), which covers the twelve months between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011, or months 21 to 32 or his guaranteed 48 month regime, can reasonably be attributed to the Obama administration! Wow, we sure do hope that that premise is not too upsetting to too many of the president’s growing legions of “open minded, well satisfied with the successful implementation of his stimulus to get everything going again” fans.

Let’s now look at the major ingredients of the budget proffered by the fellow most famous for saying, “I inherited it.” “Don’t be blaming me for all the problems created by the last guy and the bad policies of his regime.” “I’m just here to fix things.”

In FY 2011, Obama projects revenues of $2.567 trillion with the major sources as follow:

• Personal Income Tax      $ 1.121

• Corporate Income Tax        .297

• Social Security Tax             .674 

• Medicare Tax                     .192

• All Other                            .283

• Total                                2.567

In FY 2011, Obama projects outlays of $3.834 trillion. They like to categorize these outlays in order to communicate that large portions are not controllable. The not controllable group of outlays is called “mandatory.” The other group, which of course is the smaller portion, is designated as “discretionary.” The “mandatory” group includes the following outlays:

• Social Security    $ .730

• Medicare               .491

• Medicaid               .297

• Interest                 .251

• Other                    .650

• Sub total             2.419

The discretionary group includes the following:

• Security (used to be defense)   $ .895

• All other (this is a big one)          .520

• Sub total                                  1.415

For a grand total of outlays of $3.834 trillion which is about 25% of projected GDP and about the same percent as the last two fiscal years. If you subtract the outlays from the revenue the deficit is a cool $1.267 trillion. Not quite at the record levels of the past two years but it does garner a solid third place for record deficits in the 234 years history of the nation.   Our readers who like to dig into the details can see lots of backup data at:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2011/assets/tables.pdf

Now, if you remember, the president’s own deficit/debt reduction commission has said that the deficits/debts are a cancer suggesting that they must be eliminated or else we are either chronically ill or we die. So how do we deal with a problem like the third consecutive year of record deficits and record debt levels following GWBush's eight years of massive deficits and debts? At this point the song from The Sound of Music starts running through our head – How do you solve a problem like Maria, how do you hold a moonbeam in your hand….

Well, unfortunately the song does not give us any really good steps to a solution.

We, at TheFundamentals, proposed a 5% reduction in entitlements, a 10% reduction in federal employment and a 15% reduction in all other spending which, if our math is correct when applied to the above budget outlay numbers, would produce a reduction of about $300 billion which is quite a lot of dough but not enough when the deficits are running between $1.3 and $1.5 trillion. So, to paraphrase and slightly modify the words of Mr. Bowles, head of the presidents deficit/debt commission, “We’re not going to grow out of it and were not going to tax out of it and we’re not going to reduce out of it, so it must mean we’re just going to…hold moonbeams in our hands.”

You just gotta love this leadership group in Washington DC.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Competition and Government Privatization

One of the most troubling and long lasting effects of politically dominated service organizations which most of us call “GOVERNMENT” is the embedded manner in which bad processes and procedures become accepted and maintained. Without the constant discipline of competition there is just no motivation to change; to improve; to disband the antiquated methods of the past and move to the more efficient methods of the present.

What is competition? Without looking at the dictionary, TheFundamentals would describe it as the force by which the combination of innovation and human learning join to replace the old with the new. In practice, competition is why we can travel anywhere on the planet in a matter of hours; walk into a grocery store and have more choices in one aisle than our great grandparents had in the entire city and live to be 80 or 90 years old and burden the society with our failing knees, backs, shoulders and coronary arteries.

Where do you find competition? Look around. Usually it is everywhere. Do you want Heinz ketchup or Del Monte? Or Hunts? Or Red Gold? Or the house brand? Want a new pair of jeans? OK. Levi’s? Ralph Lauren? Wrangler? Which kind? The ones that make your butt look rounder, flatter, smaller, bigger, higher, lower, etc?

Why do we like competition? Well, not everyone does but we will get to that in a few sentences. Most of us like competition because we benefit from competition. It means more choices; better products and services; cheaper prices or better value, meaning more for your money, and the ability to get things for ourselves and our children that our ancestors were not able to get. We call this process an improved standard of living. It simply means that we are able to move higher up the human accomplishment ladder (we snitched this concept from Abe Maslow) from survival to enlightenment, and then pester people with our essays on the not so improved human condition.

Now back to reality. Who doesn’t like competition? Well, there are quite a few who have done their best to keep it at bay and, it appears, that their numbers are growing in our land while their numbers are declining in other lands. Clearly, the growing economies of China, India and Brazil and others have started a process of wealth creation and competition that is changing their societies and improving the standard of living of their citizens.

Closer to home, we, who pioneered many of these competitive activities and who exported the very products, services and processes by which they benefitted our own population, now find ourselves trailing in the broad area of competition. And we find that one common area where the products and services are most inefficiently provided; most poorly performed; most disregarded by the consumer who is used to many choices; are coming from the politically dominated service organizations that we call “GOVERNMENT.”

So, how do we bring competition to government? There are many paths to accomplish this goal. Privatization is the path we at TheFundamentals would choose. But sometimes it is best to just learn from someone who is doing it. The new governor of New Jersey, this is the fellow who has said that he is in his job to get things done, not to be reelected, is moving toward privatization. Read all about it at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/politics/070910_Christie_looks_to_privatize_motor_vehicle_inspections.html

This Fall, when you have a chance to ask one of the many politicians who want your vote a question, ask them this, “Which government services will you move to privatize? Be specific, please. Name the services and the time schedule.” Their answer may well tell you if they like competition. If they don’t consider finding another candidate, one with the perspective of the new, New Jersey governor. Someone who embraces competition. Come to think of it, ask yourself this, "Which politician do I know who has embraced competition and has promoted privatization?"  Competition is a fundamental!  One of the paths to competition is privatization.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Commissions, Dime Store Mirrors and Politicians

The Washington Post has been pretty supportive of the current administration. They ran a great article with a wonderful graphical illustration of the current administration's budget for fiscal year 2011 (FY 2011) – October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011. It is must reading for all Americans who seek to understand facts about the ultimate consequences of America’s 30 year binge of fiscal promiscuity. Make sure to click on the link in the article (see below) entitled “(Graphic: President Obama’s proposed 2011 budget explained.)

The article is sober reading because it is not partisan; not political. TheFundamentals see nothing partisan or political (as in Democrat v. Republican) in the mess we have created for ourselves. Politicians may point fingers at each other but their finger pointing is misdirected. All they need are dime store mirrors held about 6 or 8 inches away from their well photographed visages to see whose fingers and fingerprints are all over the mess. By the way, dime stores were places where many of us, as kids, could go with our pennies, nickels and dimes and buy small treats that brought great joy to a youngsters being. The very thought of a dime store, even today, is a source of joy and pleasure. Dime stores had names like Kresge’s and Woolworth’s.

Back to our reality.

Here are some of the facts about Mr. Obama’s budget. By the way, this is not an inherited budget. Neither were the others but this one is all his and all the party in power (PIP.)

The revenues are projected to total about $2.567 trillion up from $2.165 trillion in FY2010. Let’s hope that it is so. Expenses (for some reason they call them “outlays”) are going to be $3.834 trillion, up from $3.721 trillion in FY2010. You know that will be so.  The resulting deficit is going to be $1.267 trillion, down from $1.556 trillion in FY2010.

You can look at the government’s detail of this budget by clicking on the following link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2011/assets/tables.pdf   We suggest you turn the document 90 degrees in order to view it.

Back to the Washington Post and their article about fiscal promiscuity (TheFundamentals terminology), the “debt commission” designated to examine the consequences or Americas fiscal promiscuity and solutions thereto.  Some excerpts: “…the coming fiscal calamity is staring the country in the face.”This one is as clear as a bell," he said. "This debt is like a cancer." The "he" in this quote is Erskine Bowles, one of the guys heading up the commission.

"We can't grow our way out of this," Bowles said. "We could have decades of double-digit growth and not grow our way out of this enormous debt problem. We can't tax our way out.”

Let’s see now. We can’t grow our way out and we can’t tax our way out and we’ve been diagnosed with cancer which usually means drastic treatments required. So what can we do?  Well, for one thing we probably don't need to budget for a $1.267 trillion deficit in the coming year, huh?  D'oh.

But we've got this commission. TheFundamentals has two comments about the commission. One, if you have to set up a committee to deal with a problem you are not the right person(s) to deal with the problem. Two, we have an election coming up in several months. Wouldn’t it be appropriate to have the commission’s recommendations, given that there is no other leadership available (and they must involve some spending cuts given that growth and taxes cannot solve the problem alone) before the election? That way the debate leading up to the election could involve those politicians with their new dime store mirrors maybe having to take a position on something not too desirable? Makes sense to TheFundamentals. So what is their plan you ask? Deliver the recommendations after the election.  Makes you want to giggle, doesn't it?  Or cry.

This group, Party in Power (PIP) and Party out of Power (POOP) need some mirrors. Cheap, made in China mirrors.  Better yet. They need some time in the unemployment line. A lot of time.

Read the article and take a look at the graph at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/11/AR2010071101956.html

It’s good stuff.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dupes

The definition of a dupe is “someone who accepts another’s deception without question, inquiry or skepticism.” A person has been duped when they permit another to deceive them in a situation or situations where a reasonable person would question or object to the deception. A person who dupes another is known as a “dupester.” The other night, on the Public Broadcasting Systems shining hour of news and information, which we have renamed, “the duping hour,” a perfect example of one person duping another person occurred. This example, as we shall see, illustrates two simple fundamentals – one, why there should never be any government funding of any media, broadcast or public information activities and; two, why every American, regardless of political affiliation or leaning should always be skeptical of any words flowing from the mouth on any individual who treats their audience with disdain.

Let us digress momentarily. Has anyone noticed that during any interview involving any person working for the current administration or seeking to work for the administration or the white house or any higher up or apparatchik in the party in power (PIP), that all focus; all answers; all commentaries must be directed to praise PIP’s great leader's accomplishments? The great leader is responsible for successfully dealing with, solving, addressing or otherwise leading in any and all area(s) where the previous leader’s failed policies and administration left the mess that the great leader is now solving. Where else have we seen this form of focus? Where can we go in the world to find such good fortune all wrapped up in one individual; one great leader? What other lands have designated great leaders?

Duping has probably been going on since one humanoid discovered the gullibility of another humanoid. We recently observed one of the great all time dupes in history. This dupe involved the cooperation of many people from many different areas but, as with many dupes, it did end up focusing on one area of interest. In this dupe, the object was to convince the masses that a series of events were occurring that were in the best interest of the very masses who were being duped. Financial interests were at stake. The duping activists not only spoke a common language but they were able to direct the very activities of key elements of power and money to act in a manner consistent with their duping scheme so that for an extended time period they were able to bring an appearance of reality to their efforts. The masses were duped. The media were duped. And, many of the very benefitting participants in the scheme were duped. That dupe is now known as the “housing bubble.” The same group that brought you this bubble is now, today, this very moment, bringing you bubbles in government spending; health care services; public education activities and so-called legal services. Many of the same tactics utilized to promote, support and prolong the "housing bubble" are now supporting bubbles in these other areas of the economy. But, for now, our focus today is to simply ask that you, the reader, observe over the next several weeks the form of duping that is occurring whenever a spokesperson from the current administration opens their mouth and addresses any activity associated with their great leader. Also, we make this one simple suggestion. Each time they refer to the great leader, just think, “great dupester.”

Duping was not invented in Chicago or the state of Illinois. But it is practiced there with the one constant of any committed dupester – total disdain for their audience. Duping goes on in those territories at every level of political activity and it is done with such a heavy hand that the duped – the voters; just keep reelecting the dupesters. Think of that. Think what the dupesters in Chicago and Illinois must say about those they dupe behind their backs when they treat them with such disdain to their faces. The state of the public finances of Chicago and the larger teat it suckles – the state of Illinois, is a dupe of pretty good proportions. What is amazing is that the dupe worked adequately to take a gang of relatively low level and low real life experience  minions from this financial disaster and, using the duping skills of the new “great dupester” coupled with a good “duping” assist from a compliant and complacent media, managed to propel the great dupester into his current status as the great handyman; the great solver; the great “I inherited it” fixer; the great “its best for America” dupester. Stephen King couldn’t imagine stuff like this.

America, you’ve been duped. Let’s start calling and naming things and activities accurate. PBS - it’s the “duping hour.” NYTimes – it’s “all the duping that’s fit to print.” All others, “we report; you’re duped.”

Let us close on an optimistic note. This may just be TheFundamentals hopelessly optimistic outlook speaking without any real evidence or tangible act occurring; but, for a brief moment the other night, we thought we detected a faint suggestion of possible recognition on the part of the “duping hours” long standing correspondent and reader that he was being jacked by this silly minion from Chicago. This boy who keeps saying that all good flows from the new great leader, er, we mean “dupester.” Who tells these minions what to say? Are we paying for dupesters to write these lines so that we can be duped 24/7? Well, the answer, simply, is YES. Go here and you can read a list of dupesters and you can see how much YOU, the Duped, are paying to be duped by them: http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/July1Report-Draft12.pdf

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You Be the Judge

Here is the section references and wording of the USConstitution that are pertinent to the issue of “immigration”:

Article I, Section 8, Powers of Congress:

“The Congress shall have Power To…To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.”

“To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

Article VI, Supremacy

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

Amendment 10, Powers of the States and People

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Here is the “Intent” section of the Arizona law (S. B. 1070):

Section 1. Intent

The legislature finds that there is a compelling interest in the
cooperative enforcement of federal immigration laws throughout all of
Arizona. The legislature declares that the intent of this act is to make
attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local
government agencies in Arizona. The provisions of this act are intended to
work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of
aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United
States.

You can access the entire, amended AZ law at http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf

Here is the opening wording of the national government’s claim filed yesterday against AZ and S.B. 1070

“In this action, the United States seeks to declare invalid and preliminarily and permanently enjoin the enforcement of S.B. 1070, as amended and enacted by the State of Arizona, because S.B. 1070 is preempted by federal law and therefore violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. “

You can read the entire lawsuit at http://www.justice.gov/opa/documents/az-complaint.pdf

TheFundamentals does not wish to taint your evaluation of the facts and issues in this action. We would point out, however, that the key factor in the AZ law has to do with the requirement that a person display ID in the event of a police request as the result of a “stop” for a reason(s) other than “immigration” matters.

You be the judge.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Truisms

A truism is defined as a belief or value that is accepted as self evident; it’s obvious. Pretty simple. It is a truism that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. It is a truism that boys and girls are different. It is a truism that the first job of a politician upon election is to work for reelection.

Truisms are fundamentals. They have to be. They are widely accepts truths and you dare not ignore them except at great peril to your credibility.

So, here we go. Let’s examine the truisms that are now dominating our national situation.

Truism #1. We can spend our way to prosperity. That’s what the economists and politicians are saying. Or, if you want to look at the glass half full – if you don’t keep spending, baby spending, it’s gonna get a lot worse. That is the current truism of the party in power (PIP) and the party out of power (POOP) is afraid to challenge it because if they do, PIP will descend upon them with the biblical strength of an excremental atmospheric event. So, what to do? Well POOP could be courageous, be bold, and propose cutbacks in spending, balance the budget, raise some taxes, and introduce the concept of debt repayment or some combination of the foregoing? But, that approach could backfire on them which lead us to:

Truism #2. Don’t interrupt your enemy while they are engaging in self destruction. There is little doubt but that PIP is doing its best to follow POOP on the route POOP took when they were PIP to get tossed out on their butts. So, POOP is saying to themselves, let’s just lie back in the weeds, avoid saying or doing something that PIP can pick up on and redirect the focus to us and, come November, PIP becomes POOP. Is this a good idea? Well, it does lead to:

Truism #3. Them’s that can, do; the rest teach and the few left over become politicians. Really they first become lawyers or economists and then they become politicians. Now this truism is not challengeable. There is no evidence that any lawyer or economist could have been a brain surgeon, an astronaut, a carpenter or an inventor. Instead they choose law and economics. They are lawyers and economists because they could not be surgeons, astronauts, etc. Which leads us to:

Truism #4. What’s the difference between lawyers and economists? Well, it is best to answer this question with a little story that we heard as young ‘uns at out grandfather’s knee. Grandpa, you see was an explorer and he was with one of the earliest expeditions that ventured into the Borneo jungle to see just what the heck was living/surviving/hanging out in that rather sultry climate. Lo and behold the expedition came upon a tribe of people eaters and they were cooking up their meals – legs sticking out of big pots of boiling water with arms flaying every which way but, the heads were missing. Off to the side was a table set up with big bowls and stick ‘em notes saying something in a strange language. Gramps asked the head people eater what’s going on? The top guy said that the bowls contained the brains of the dinner guests. He explained that bowl #1 had explorer brains and they were priced very low. The next bowl had soldier brains and they were priced slightly higher. There were several others and then came lawyer brains and they cost a lot more and finally, economist brains which were double the price of lawyer brains. Gramps was astounded. He could not believe this situation because it seemed to defy Truism #3 (see above) about both lawyers and economists. So, he asked, “Why do the lawyer brains and the economist brains cost so much more? “ Chief guy said, “Do you know how many lawyers and economists we have to kill to get an ounce of brains?”

Which leads us back to Truism #1. “We can spend our way to prosperity.”

Consider the source.