I’m So Old …


… I remember when people (including my wife and me) moved to California because it was a place full of opportunities for growth. I also remember watching those opportunities slip away as the state became more tightly regulated. Eventually, Mrs. Hoge and I slipped away as well.

Of course, there’s nothing particularly special about California’s politicians and bureaucrats other than the size of the bureaucracy. They function with a typical level of incompetence. It’s no surprise to me that a state with significant energy resources is facing power blackouts because it has mismanaged its forests and energy production and distribution systems.

If you live in a well-managed state and you’d like a preview of a tightly regulated economy looks like, look at California. If you’re a one-percenter or the right kind of bureaucratic professional, you may like it. Otherwise, …

Afterthought— I used the term one-percenter in the paragraph above. That can refer to either an outlaw motorcycle gang member or a member of the wealthy elite. Either meaning works in that sentence.

Math is Hard


Stephen Kruiser has a post over at PJ Media about Bernie Sanders’ careless attitude concerning the job losses that would result from his version of the Green Nude Eel. BTW, his version is larger and more voracious than She Guevara’s.

Bernie has admitted that “free” health care will cost more in taxes. And he wants to impose “free” college and other “free” stuff as well. What he and the other socialists running for President can’t seem to explain is where they’ll get all that other-peoples’s-money necessary to pay for the “free” goodies.

The people who call themselves the believers in science aren’t big believers in math. That lack of belief in math is where the socialist train always ends up going off the rails.

Eggs. Omelet. Some disassembly required.

You Can’t Buy Back What You Never Sold


Only two of the firearms in my collection were ever sold by the federal government, a Model 1903 Springfield rifle I inherited from my father-in-law and an M1 carbine that I’ve owed for decades. Even though there were at least two intervening owners between the government and me for both rifles, I suppose it would be technically possible for the government to say it wanted to buy them back, but they’re not for sale.

Now, about my AR15 … Mine is a Colt Sporter in 7.62x39mm. That’s an odd chambering for an AR15, but the cartridge is legal for deer in Maryland—the more common .223 Rem/5.56 NATO round isn’t—and it’s my preferred deer rifle for hunting in the woods. I didn’t buy it from the the government, and even if Colt were to make an offer, it’s not for sale.

BTW, the Springfield is an interesting collector’s item. It was produced just after World War One, so it was one of the first made using the improved heat treating process for the receiver. It also has the cutout for a Pedersen Device.

Standards of Living


Bookworm has a post up about a couple of topics. The first part deals with the similarities between 21st-century China and the 16th-century Aztec Empire. It’s well worth reading, but second part about the difference between blue state and red state economies hit home with me.

I was born and raised in Tennessee. During the early part of my career, I lived and worked all over the world, but I returned home to settle down. Then, a career opportunity took me to California. I spent most of a decade there until another opportunity took me to Maryland. I’ve been in Maryland for almost 30 years. I’m in my 70s, and as I plan for retirement over the next few years, going back home to Tennessee seems to make more sense than staying here.

Bookworm writes—

If I’m on a fixed income (which you should assume I am, so donations to the blog are always welcome), I’m a much wealthier person in Tennessee than I am in California. Here in Tennessee, my apartment costs 1/5 of what it would in California, my gasoline costs 1/2 of what it would in California, and my utility bills are 1/3 what they are in California. Produce is more expensive here, but I can only eat so many apples. In addition, the roads throughout Tennessee are better maintained than those in California, the people are delightful, and Nature’s fecundity is glorious. I’m no longer living in an elite Blue community, but I feel I’m getting a lot of bang for my buck.

Just so.

I have a few more interesting things to do before I retire, but the call to go home keeps getting stronger.

The Real Minimum Wage is Zero


Reason has a post up about how the $15/hour minimum wage in New York City is having an adverse effect on restaurants and restaurant employees who are seeing their hours cut or are being laid off. That’s the Real World result of trying to legislate the economic value of any person’s labor. OTOH, some folks believe a “living” minimum wage is like the rest of socialism; we just haven’t done it right yet.

Anthony Advincula, a spokesman for the ROC [Restaurant Opportunities Center], has argued that such negative effects need not happen in tandem with the city-mandated wage hikes. “Increasing to $15 would reduce income inequality, and the number of individuals living in poverty now is ridiculously high,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “This is not just a business issue, this is a race, gender, pay-equality issue.” But if New York City is any example, the measures pushed by Advincula will only serve to make those issues worse.

Let them eat … um … home cooking.