Why Are The Bureaucrats Destroying What Made America Great?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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Since the government and bureaucrats in the United States abandoned the business-friendly environment that made the country the greatest and wealthiest nation on earth, and replaced that with a legislative and wealth redistributing strategy that is anything but business-friendly, there has been a growing trend for successful companies to leave the US.

It should have been obvious – and indeed it was – to everyone but the morons in Washington. 

 

obama cartoon big government

The latest to try to make a move out of the United States is the pharmaceutical giant AbbVie, currently based outside Chicago, Illinois, but not for much longer if they get their way.

Using a $53 billion acquisition of the Jersey-registered, Irish-headquartered global specialty biopharmaceutical company “Shire”, a deal that will allow Abbvie to reincorporate elsewhere, it plans to leave the high tax US for a more advantageous business environment.

By making this move and escaping United States tax rates, Abbvie will pay lower taxes on its international earnings, get access to overseas cash more cheaply, and be able to acquire other companies without making their earnings subject to United States taxes.

Abbvie

And Abbvie is not alone.

There has been a rush of companies wanting to get out of the United States. Health care companies in particular, such as Medtronic, Mylan, Actavis, Perrigo, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Endo, have pursued these “inversion deals”, as they are called, with particular zeal.

The moral of the story is simply this.

When a country forgets what has made it great and instead turns into something quite the opposite, all the reasons for its greatness disappear. And the United States is doing this at a time when it is heavily in debt – the most indebted nation in the world by a long way.

The short-termism of trying to grab as much money as possible from companies and individuals will end in failure and disaster for all. People like Obama try to put a fancy misleading name on it and call it “wealth redistribution”. What it really is, is a major disincentive for anyone to want to set up and do business in the United States.

redistribution-of-wealth

And as you would expect, the idiots in Washington aren’t scratching their heads and wondering why more and more companies are opting to leave the US. Instead the bureaucrats are trying to think of ways to make it illegal for companies like Abbvie to adopt this strategy. 

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew has already sent letters to senior members of Congress, encouraging them to pass legislation halting inversions. The legislation being considered by some lawmakers would be retroactive, and if passed, could impede AbbVie’s ability to reincorporate overseas.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew

And proving that stupidity is a cross party phenomenon, on Thursday, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, the Utah Republican who is the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, responded to calls from the Obama administration to crack down on inversions by saying he supported a short-term fix, although he suggested that the administration’s initial proposal went too far.

Senator Orrin G. Hatch

It seems fairly logical in my mind that the way to stop this growing exodus, which in the longer term will leave the US a lot poorer and a lot more of its citizens out of work, is to legislate to reduce tax bills, not increase them; to give businesses an incentive to invest and expand in the United States, not to drive them away; and to encourage entrepreneurs to relocate TO the US rather than scramble to get out.

Of course, that’s just in my head. All that is in the heads of the idiot bureaucrats in Washington is self-defeating rubbish like increase minimum wages, increase healthcare contributions, increase taxation, introduce capital controls, increase government bureaucracy so more debt is piled up and the USD$ weakens further, and of course start a few more wars to distract the people from the mess that is being made at home.

So, to pose the question in the title of this post again, why are the bureaucrats destroying what made America great?

Your guess is as good as mine, although while some obviously have malicious intent, I wouldn’t entirely rule out plain old stupidity!

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Iowa? IOWA? Oh, no, NOT IOWA!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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I read a strange thing on the internet the other day.

Not much unusual there, you could do that every day.

This was a study that found that Americans’ attitudes about whether the US should intervene in Ukraine is correlated with their ability to find the country on the map.

And even more strangely  –  perhaps  –  it was the Americans who COULDN’T find the Ukraine on a map who were more in favor of intervention!

Apparently  –  and I kid you not  –  some of the respondents thought that the Ukraine was in Iowa.

maps Ukraine Iowa
Europe with Ukraine highlighted USA with Iowa highlighted

Unfortunately the guys that think out American foreign policy are these sorts of people. The kind who just don’t know what they are talking about. The kind of bureaucrats who rub Preparation H on their elbows  –  if you see what I mean!

Recent history proves this beyond all reasonable doubt.

To add insult to injury so to speak, these know nothings who advise the President on foreign matters try to spin every situation by telling everyone that, even though it has massive debt already and is effectively bankrupt, the US must still be the world’s policeman and uphold democracy.

The world according to America

Why?

What business is it of ours?

And if we are so hell bent on ensuring democracy exists throughout the world why aren’t we intervening in one of the biggest dictatorships of them all, Saudi Arabia which was also the home of most of the 9/11 terrorists and of course Bin Laden’s mother country? But no, lets attack Iraq and Afghanistan instead!

For more than half a century American foreign policy has been dictated by a mindless mantra that “if the Russians are for it, then we’re against it”.

The rights and wrongs of any particular situation are not analyzed or discussed. The facts are never examined. The truth is not even looked for.

That is why US foreign policy has been such a shambles throughout the world and will continue to be so until basically the people directing it wise up.

As for the Ukraine?

First of all it is NOT in Iowa.

Second, the US has spent (wasted) $5 billion and more during the past twenty years on “democratization” programs in Ukraine, including efforts from the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Third, yes there were elements within the Ukraine who did not like being subservient to Russia, but what happened in the Ukraine was that a democratically elected president, Yanukovych, was overthrown in February in what amounted to a coup d’etat.

Students of history will remember what a funk America was in when the Russians started to “assist” Cuba way back in the early 1960s, yet they can’t understand why Russian leader Putin doesn’t want a fully nuclear armed Ukraine as anything other than an ally on his doorstep.

Why can they not see that the strategy of absorbing Ukraine into NATO and stationing missile defense systems there, is bound to piss the Russians off in exactly the same way as events in Cuba did for the Americans?

The fact is, of course, that they probably do see that. And they don’t care. The name of the game here is not upholding democracy at all. Such a laudable goal is only a smokescreen. The name of the game is to try to curtail Russia by having Ukrainian missiles pointed towards Moscow instead of Washington, or Washington’s allies.

It’s a game plan that Putin sees quite clearly. To think that he will sit back and not respond is just a fantasy. Let’s hope that the idiots in Washington don’t land us with yet another catastrophe.

With their past record I wouldn’t count on it though!

US-Foreign-Policy cartoon

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I Don’t Believe It! – The Bureaucrats Have Done Something Sensible!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It had to happen eventually.

Admittedly we’ve been waiting for a long, long, long time, but finally the bureaucrats seem to have done something sensible.

Sort of.

But hold on!

US citizens, fear not, your bureaucrats are standing firm. They are not included in this minor breakthrough.

It’s all about the snoopers.

In this case Google, who thinks it has the right to collect any and all information it can from people who use its search engine to find things on the internet.

But as a result of a recent European Union Court of Justice ruling, EU citizens have been given the ‘right to be forgotten’. Certain users can now ask search engines to remove results for queries that include their name, where those results are “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.”

Google is complying, but reluctantly, making the whole process anything but straightforward and easy. It is launching a service that lets European users ask for personal information to be deleted from the search engine, but on its ‘right to forget’ form users will be asked to provide links to the material they want removed, their country of origin, a reason for their request, AND also attach a valid photo identity.

And keeping its options as open as it can, Google has also said, “In implementing this decision, we will assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information. When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information — for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.”

Who defines “the public’s right to know” has not yet been clarified, but I bet you if it is left up to Google what is in the public interest will be remarkably similar to what is in Google’s interest too.

It’s not much, but it’s a start.

Come on all you American bureaucrats, America used to lead the world, what are you waiting for?

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A Taxing Problem And A Simple Solution.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

sermon

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Taxation is a perfect example of how the politicians and the bureaucrats have made things go haywire.

Such a monstrous collection of tax regulations has been accumulated over the years that even qualified accountants cannot properly decipher them.

There are allowances for this…. but not that…. except you can have it for that too…. but only if you do this first……

There are ‘eliminated items’ which may not be the same as ‘excluded items’, which is different from ‘excluded income’, not to be confused with ‘exempt income’, all of which you can have as deductions as long as everything has been ‘apportioned’ and/or ‘allocated’ according to the precise rules………  and on and on and on and on it goes.  

US Tax Code size

Just to give you an idea of the scale of the problem and to prove that I am not exaggerating in the slightest, the current US Tax Code is now well over 70,000 pages long. That’s about 185 times longer than it was in 1913, when the code was 400 pages and still far too long and complicated at that!

If you are an Apple or a Google or an Exxon and have a multi-billion dollar war chest you can buy the best professional experts and end up paying little or no tax at all. On the other hand if you are Joe Average you’ve got no chance!

irs-taxes-cartoon

Is there a better way?

I think so. For sure there isn’t a worse way!

It’s not a new idea, but as the system gets more and more complicated, it makes more and more sense to change it.

So why don’t we have a certain tax free allowance of $30,000 or $50,000 or whatever for annual exempt income, and pay 10 cents on every dollar we earn above that (or 10p a pound or 10 cents per euro) and leave it at that?

If that was the rule, and the only rule, everyone could do their tax returns easily, everything would be transparent, there wouldn’t be any complicated loopholes and no one would feel aggrieved because we are all being treated equally. And I think the governments would actually net a lot more revenue at a much reduced collection cost.

Too easy? Can’t be done like that?

That’s what the bureaucrats say, but as usual they are lying. They just don’t want their little empires reduced.

Of course it can be done the simple way. If fact although we don’t notice it, we see it done every day like that with sales tax. You buy something for a dollar and you pay your percentage of sales tax. (VAT they call it in Europe).

Easy. Simple. Everyone knows what they have to pay and why they have to pay it.

Sales-tax-calculator

It will never happen of course. Not while the bureaucrats remain in charge and the politicians are bought and paid for.

Not until the revolution – if there ever is another one.

American Revolution

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The Stupider People Are, The More They Complicate Things!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Time for a mid-week rant I think.

danger bureaucrats at work

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You may have noticed from the tag line of this blog that its major theme is to expose stupidity and bureaucracy and hopefully to encourage people to fight against it, rather than meekly fall in line with every idiotic rule and regulation that the bureaucratic morons introduce to make our lives a misery.

It is one of those curious contradictions in life that the stupider people are, the more they complicate things and the more they try to regulate things that require no regulation.

They just don’t understand that simplicity can sometimes be the most effective solution to problems – if indeed the problems they perceive even exist in the first place.

On the other hand, things that do need regulating, like the banksters for example, are left largely without interference.

how many bureaucrats does it take to screw in light bulb

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The big question is, why do these idiot bureaucrats needlessly complicate our lives? 

Many years ago I figured it out.

They do it to try to enhance their own importance. It’s as easy as that.

Let’s face it, most bureaucratic jobs don’t take a rocket scientist’s brain to cope with them. They are easy and repetitive but if done correctly can be completed quickly and without upsetting anyone.

But the bureaucrats won’t have it that way. Complicate the task is their solution. If they do that they need more staff to help them. If they have more staff they get to be in charge of more people, which makes them more important. If they complicate it even more they might need a whole department. And on and on it goes.

In the business world there are empire builders in all large companies. People of mediocre ability, but with enough survival instinct to create a belief that what they do is useful to the company. 

As time goes on they are able to hide within their little empires inside a company and no one questions if what they are doing is really needed and certainly few realize how dumb they are. It is only once they leave this safe environment that the truth becomes clearer.

I have encountered several of these beasts out in the open and it is not a pretty sight. They are so dumb that they have forgotten how dumb they really are. Inflated with their artificially induced and undeserved stature within their former companies they imagine that out in the real world they are, not just ‘as good’ as everyone else, but ‘better’ than everyone else! Invariably they make a mess of things, but unfortunately they cause a lot of damage, sometimes irreparable, before they are caught on and fired. 

Obviously the same type of people are in public life too. In fact this is where they excel, because here it is much harder to pin down their accountability and fire them. In many cases the people who have the power to fire them are exactly the same types and the last thing they want to do is diminish the size of their own empires.

baseball cap bureaucrats suck

Have you ever noticed that an average town or city can function quite well and efficiently with a mayor and a handful of administrators.

Yet if you take the same town or city ten years later, while it probably hasn’t changed much as regards size, (only in exceptional circumstances would it have doubled or trebled its population or area), it’s local bureaucracy has more than doubled and trebled in size, probably a lot more. It probably also has an increasing number of by-laws and regulations and to pay for it all more and more property and other taxes are being demanded from the community. Clearly all this additional bureaucracy is not needed. But it is there and will continue to grow.

Why do we allow this? Why do we keep electing people whose only idea seems to be the provision of the same basic services at an ever increasing cost?

Big government, federal government, is even worse.

The European Parliament, for example, churns out regulation after regulation after regulation, about ridiculous things like how straight a cucumber should be or how bent a banana can be and still be called a banana! 

Washington has adopted the same strategy, sticking its nose in things that are none of its business and that only serve to hinder rather than help the people who elected them.

banana wars

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It’s about time we tried to stop this spiral into disaster.

It’s time big brother and all his little administrators had their noses put out of joint. 

Remember, “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”,  wherever and whenever you can!

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The Uninformed Elect The Uninformed

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another rant cunningly disguised as a Sunday Sermon.

Some people say we should be grateful we get told anything at all nowadays. We certainly can’t rely on our governments being honest with their people. In fact, as we have discovered recently, they would rather spy on us and gather secret dossiers on our activities. Much more reminiscent of Stalinist Russia than the Land Of The Free.

government hypocrisy and lies

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A big part of the problem is that in what passes for ‘democracy’ in Western nations, the people are told they have the power to elect whoever they think will be the best rulers, but they are not allowed the tools to do so effectively.

People are encouraged to vote party lines, rather than think about which candidate has the greatest ability.

ACME political poll - choose a party

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The Western media compounds the problem by drip feeding information to us on a “what THEY think WE need to know basis”. In doing so they censor and simplify, and more often than not sensationalize that information to the point of it being almost useless.

choice of candidates

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Naturally the politicians love it that way. An uninformed population makes uninformed decisions at election times, casting their votes for the candidate who has the nicest shirt or some other reason unrelated to political policy and philosophy.

That’s one of the reasons you got the government that is in power – so if you voted them in you did so without knowing all the facts – or maybe any of them! 

obama-agenda-in-one-cartoon1

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Not that there was much of an alternative. And it doesn’t matter what country you happen to live in either. Politicians worldwide, like bureaucrats, seem to be cut from the same cloth.

But that’s only part of the problem.

Bad enough that uninformed people make uninformed decisions and elect the wrong people. But worse is the fact that the people they elect are equally badly informed, their lack of knowledge becoming very clear quite quickly after they are elected.

Take America for example. Not the only culprit by any means, but the biggest one because of its size and the power and influence it wields throughout the world.

We all know that the economy is in a horrendous mess, with the administration seemingly clueless as to how to get us out of it. We’ve talked about that before and no doubt will do so again.

Obama economic advisors

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But if we were giving out grade marks for America, the ‘F’ minus with at least two exclamation marks would have to go to its understanding of foreign affairs. It’s not a case of ‘could do much better’ but more of a case of ‘couldn’t do much worse’.

Recent history is littered with foreign debacles. Vietnam, Somalia, Lebanon, Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now North Korea, Syria, and Iran are just some of the places where America, and sometimes its allies such as Britain, have tried to interfere only to make things far worse.

To the insult of causing the needless deaths and horrific injuries to the brave souls who put themselves in harm’s way because of these political idiots, they add the bigger insult of trying to excuse their foreign ‘crusades’ by lying to their own people.

Saddam Hussein used to be a ‘friend’, even being granted the Keys to the City of Detroit because of his charitable gifts. Then a few months later they made up blatant lies about his having developed weapons of mass destruction and he became the arch demon of the Middle East. Saddam was no saint that’s for sure, he was an evil man, but he had no weapons of mass destruction and he had nothing to do with Al Quaeda or the  9/11 attack, yet the US Administration went gung-ho to invade Iraq and take him out. Result – a bigger potential threat for the future.

cartoon-Iraq_10th_Anniversary

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All the years Col. Gadaffi was supporting terrorist attacks in Israel and Britain and Ireland he wasn’t touched, apart from the odd cruise missile sent his way more for publicity than any lasting affect it had on him or his country. Then when he became an ‘ally’ in the war against terror he was killed, leaving behind a country in a complete mess and opening the way for radical groups to take over. Result – a bigger potential threat for the future.

obamas-libya-mess

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You could say exactly the same thing for Egypt or Syria or almost anywhere else where noses have been stuck in where they aren’t wanted.

Far from winning friends and influencing people, it’s almost as if America’s leaders want to create enemies and store up trouble for the future. Either this is a deliberate covert policy or it is the result of chronic stupidity.

Whatever the reason, it is costing the country far too much, both in terms of lives and money. Our politicians need to be told to get a grip on things in their own country before interfering in foreign lands where they clearly do not understand the damaging consequences of their ill-advised actions.  

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I Told You They Were Coming!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Time for another Sunday Sermon, otherwise known as a rant!

 Foreclosure Notice Yellow Photo

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First it was Cyprus where the bankrupt government tried to steal money right out of people’s bank accounts. If you want to read that again click here and here.)

Then it was the turn of the greedy bureaucrats in Australia who decided to tax pensions TWICE, once when you put the money in and again when you tried to take it out! (For the original post click here.) 

Now in bankrupt Spain the politicians are at it, however, this time they aren’t proposing to steal some of the money in your bank account  –  oh no, this time they want to steal your entire home!

Yes, you read it right, the Spanish government has announced this past week that they want to seize homes that have been foreclosed on by banks and developers.

Not that I have any sympathy with the banksters, not by a long chalk! But theft is theft, and theft by governments is perhaps the most evil of all simply because the victims have little or no remedies available – other than pack up and go somewhere else.

se vende

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As usual the politicians and bureaucrats are trying to dress this theft up as something helpful. They say they will rent the confiscated foreclosed homes to Spanish families who will be allowed to live there rent-free for up to three years.

Sounds great, but as usual what these political morons have failed to do is think their policy through.

If they go ahead with this plan to steal homes the consequences will not be what they think.

First of all it will destroy what is left of the mortgage market in Spain because no one will want to make home loans on Spanish real estate if there is no viable foreclosure mechanism should things go wrong for the mortgagee.

Second, it will go a long way to killing off the buy-to-let sector, which is the thing that has been keeping the real estate market afloat in these financially strained times. Home sales, not just in Spain, but in many countries have been boosted considerably by cash rich investors picking up what they consider to be ‘bargain’ properties at a level that yields a decent return on their capital. Where will they get that return if the government kills the rental sector by renting out homes for free?

And third, it will also kill off the recent Spanish drive to attract foreign investors by offering residency to anyone who spends around $200,000 buying up the glut of Spanish property currently on its real estate market.   

If these things were happening in Zimbabwe or even Venezuela everyone would be calling it a disgrace. But it is happening in Europe and Australia and America. And it will get worse the more desperate the politicians and the bureaucrats become as they make the mess they created worse, not better.

Who on earth put idiots like these in charge?

It wasn’t you was it?

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