Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Shutdown Political Game: Inflict Maximum Pain to Score Cheap Points

Voting for incumbents is like not voting at all: either way, you're throwing away your vote.

Here is the politicos' government shutdown game in a nutshell: inflict maximum pain on the rest of us to score cheap points with partisans.

The amount of money needed to keep the National Parks open is such a tiny slice of the Federal budget that it doesn't even register. Planned a trip of a lifetime to a National Park? Sorry, buddy--the whole game is making life as miserable as possible so we will be driven to partisan cheering for one side or the other.

Need a passport or a work permit? Tough luck, bucko. The sums of money needed to keep essential offices open is trivial, but that's the game plan for both parties: make the cuts that hurt the most with the least political exposure to blowback.

Please recall that every politico in Washington D.C. has known when the budget and debt ceiling would reach criticality. Yet they did nothing. We all know the two-party system of governance is broken, and that both parties are equally responsible. Yet what do we do? We continue to elect the incumbents who failed to change the political culture.

Please remember this absurd political theater in 2014 and 2016 and vote for third party and independent candidates. I have to laugh when people object, "But voting for third parties is throwing away your vote."

No, voting for Demopublican/Republicrat incumbents is throwing away your vote, because you're voting to guarantee more gridlock, corruption, can-kicking and dysfunction. You know who really throws away their vote? People who don't vote at all. They are essential to the dominance of dysfunction, as the political parasites know that when half the voters don't even bother to cast a ballot, they only need to inspire 25% of the voting-age populace to vote for their brand of dysfunction to stay in power.

The only vote that isn't thrown away is a vote for a third-party or independent candidate. Voting for an incumbent or other Demopublican/Republicrat is the same as not voting at all: you're simply rubber-stamping a continuation of corruption and dysfunction.

It's systemic. Candidate J.E. Blow might be a fine fellow/gal as an individual, but by playing by the existing rules of raising millions of dollars in campaign contributions and voting along partisan lines, they are enabling and supporting the entire corrupt and dysfunctional system.

The Pareto Distribution suggests that if 4% of voters broke away from dysfunction and voted for independents, that "vital few" would influence 64% of all voters.Next election, join the 4% who will eventually influence the 64%.

Voting for incumbents is like not voting at all: either way, you're throwing away your vote. 



The Nearly Free University and The Emerging Economy:
The Revolution in Higher Education

Reconnecting higher education, livelihoods and the economy


With the soaring cost of higher education, has the value a college degree been turned upside down? College tuition and fees are up 1000% since 1980. Half of all recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed, revealing a deep disconnect between higher education and the job market.

It is no surprise everyone is asking: Where is the return on investment? Is the assumption that higher education returns greater prosperity no longer true? And if this is the case, how does this impact you, your children and grandchildren?

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We must thoroughly understand the twin revolutions now fundamentally changing our world: The true cost of higher education and an economy that seems to re-shape itself minute to minute.

The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy clearly describes the underlying dynamics at work - and, more importantly, lays out a new low-cost model for higher education: how digital technology is enabling a revolution in higher education that dramatically lowers costs while expanding the opportunities for students of all ages.

The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy provides clarity and optimism in a period of the greatest change our educational systems and society have seen, and offers everyone the tools needed to prosper in the Emerging Economy.

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Things are falling apart--that is obvious. But why are they falling apart? The reasons are complex and global. Our economy and society have structural problems that cannot be solved by adding debt to debt. We are becoming poorer, not just from financial over-reach, but from fundamental forces that are not easy to identify. We will cover the five core reasons why things are falling apart:

go to print edition1. Debt and financialization
2. Crony capitalism
3. Diminishing returns
4. Centralization
5. Technological, financial and demographic changes in our economy

Complex systems weakened by diminishing returns collapse under their own weight and are replaced by systems that are simpler, faster and affordable. If we cling to the old ways, our system will disintegrate. If we want sustainable prosperity rather than collapse, we must embrace a new model that is Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable (DATA).

We are not powerless. Once we accept responsibility, we become powerful.

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