Regulated Republic

We like to think that we live in a democracy and that we have freedoms and liberties that few other nations enjoy. This idea is American propaganda and mythology in the making. The United States of America is not a federal constitutional republic, its a federal regulated republic. The United States is full of regulatory agencies such as the FDA, EPA, SEC, and FAA amongst others. There are government buildings full of agencies and government regulators that want to regulate our fundamental freedoms. I’m all for regulating large industries and known polluters. No one wants to board a plane that has missed scheduled maintenance, or consume food full of chemicals and other known toxins, and of course no one wants their kids to play with toys laden with lead. That said, regulatory agencies have begun to encroach on a persons freedom to eat whatever they want. New York has moved to ban large sugary soft drinks and transfat from area restaurants. California has moved to make the sale and consumption of Foie Gras. The is the level of idiocracy in California, to make food illegal while at the same time making control substances like marijuana legal. This is the beginning of our shared regulated future.

Outsourcing American Farms

If you want to go catch the illegal aliens, I’m sorry undocumented workers, on harvest season go swoop in to pick them up. … If the labor force is undocumented, I think there are a lot of people who would want to go and work there. There are a lot of people unemployed in California.
– Adam Curry, No Agenda Show, Episode 403

Adam Curry, who moved out of California and asks for donations online, instead of working farm jobs complains of others who do. Lets be clear, these jobs are migrant temporary jobs that usually paid in such a structure that the hourly rate comes out to sub-minimum wage. Adam Curry is not going to pick strawberries in California fields, and few other Californians are going to do so. Most Californians are all developing the next $1 billion startup or big television production deal. So if Adam Curry and other Californians are not going to harvest the crops then let others do so. If we can’t get migrant farm workers to come work on American farms, American farms will just shut down and that production will move out of the country.

Farm owners don’t necessary care who picks the fruits and vegetables off their land, they just care that they have a good harvest. American farmers care if they can afford to stay in business, if they can find the necessary workers, if they have access to water, and if they are going to be priced out or regulated out of business by the EPA.

American farms are under threat of extinction, just as American manufacturing has been mostly outsourced, so will American farms. We’ve lost so much ground on American manufacturing that the San Francisco Bay Bridge, a multi-billion dollar project, is largely constructed in China, transported on site in pieces, and assembled in place. If the Golden Gate was to be rebuilt today, it would be like any Apple product, designed in California, made in China. A project like the Bay Bridge generates more wealth and more jobs in China than it does in California.

American farms will go the way of American manufacturing. Go to your local grocery story, walk the produce aisle, and you will see that half the fruits and vegetables come from outside the country. You’ll see all sorts of produce from Mexico, Central America, South American, and even Southeast Asia. In the years to come, you’ll see more of this trend because American farms are being squeezed out by regulation, access to water, farm labor, and other costs to that point that most farms will simply be outsourced.

Blogmouth Year in Review 2010

The end of the year is a good time to reflect over the last year. 2010 was a water shed year, California held a election for governor, the TSA tightened security at airports, a massive health care bill was signed into law by President Obama, the war on terror continued and started to change focus from Osama to American travelers. All said and done, it was a good year. To help celebrate here are some of my favorite posts from 2010.

Retweet 2010




Corporate Leaders Make Bad Political Leaders

The failed gubernatorial attempt by Meg Whitman and the failed senate attempt by Carly Fiorina made me question if corporate leaders would make good political leaders. I think that a political needs to develop different skills than those required by a C-level executive. Can you imagine if the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, was a state governor? As CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt has stated in the past that if web users want online privacy they should change their name. If he thinks that privacy is not a right, imagine what other rights he would want to googlefy. Google’s mission is to make all human knowledge accessible, searchable, and monetizable online as long as it’s not their executives personal information. Your personal information is fair game to be index by their web crawlers and large data centers but Google has a double standard when it comes to their information. For example, try googling for Google Customer Service. Back in 2005, a CNET was blacklisted when one of its reporters posted Google founders private information online. So, I would correct Eric Schmidt, if you want privacy online and you are an Google executive just censor news outlet, otherwise change your name.

Now imagine, for a second, if Mark Zuckerborg of Facebook was president. If Mark Zuckerberg was president, he would nationalize Facebook and make it the de facto National ID system. He would place Naked Body Scanners not only at airports but at malls and movie theaters. TSA agents and other government officials would be able to force check you into locations, to tag you in police lineups, to force you into associations and groups without your permission. As President, Mark Zuckerberg would balance the budget by sharing private customer data with corporations and other agencies.

The candidate I can see myself behind would be a Jobs Ive 2012 ticket. Steve Jobs would redesign the White House to look like a steel and glass iPod nano with a single body aspect to it. He would force all senators to sign NDAs before they vote on any bill. He would simply ban all journalist that write any bad press on his foreign policy as he has to those that written negatively about his products. Steve Jobs’ Press Secretary would be David Pogue.

After seeing Meg Whitman campaign go down in flames I realized that most corporate leaders can’t connect with the every day people they manage. Just think about it, they live on corporate expense accounts and you struggle to keep a budget, they fly on private corporate jets and you practically get strip searched by the TSA, they have a second home and you mostly likely would have a second job (if you can find one).