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Question of the Day

The Freedom Tower will eventually be the third tallest in world. Should America have the tallest buildings and longest bridges anymore or is it not a big deal?

Click here to post your answer and let Charles know what you think. He will air some on the Payne Nation radio show.

Don't you love farce?
My fault, I fear
I thought that you'd want what I want
Sorry, my dear.
Send in the clowns
Don't bother they're here
Steven Sondheim

I must admit, my favorite version of Steven Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" is from Frank Sinatra, also known as Chairman of the Board. So I thought the song and his rendition would be perfect for this morning as many Americans are going out today to protest the notion of a chairman of the board, at least in the context of a capitalistic system with corporations in business to enrich themselves and their shareholders. This morning, unions with the blessing of the White House will send in the clowns of Occupy Wall Street. The group, which is being re-energized by leftists, will hold a "general strike" which is weird since they don't work in the first place.

Go figure?

A few years ago Mexican groups held a strike to protest immigration reform and that made more sense but was also weird to pick a Socialist holiday to demand to cut to the front of the line in a capitalistic society. At least they were arguing to work more. The Occupy movement (if I can call it such) may have begun with demands for jobs but is purely an organization to promote the notion of shared sacrifice, shared wealth and shared mediocrity. Yesterday President Obama was at it again, this time telling union workers this nation can only make it as a collective because we work better together than individually. He promoted massive infrastructure spending, ignoring the fact he got his massive shovel-ready spending plan passed a while ago.

What a Farce

Don't you love farce?
My fault, I fear
I thought that you'd want what I want
Sorry, my dear.

The whole thing is a farce. I would love to do a documentary about 48th street in Manhattan. I have been driving down that road for years and it never gets better. There has been a never-ending construction effort that only makes traffic tougher and the roads worse. Huge metal plates that protrude from the road and ripped the tires on my brand new car last year are only part of the menacing mess. Giant holes left empty for weeks, potholes, barricades and rock-like tar balls that dribble between the undercarriage of your car and the road make it a very unpleasant journey.

Of course I want roads fixed, but there seems to be some kind of scam going on, at least in New York where the same roads are fixed each year. I'm sure a better job could be done. In the private sector, there is no way a product could break every year and find a buyer over and over again. I even wish we had the world's tallest building and longest bridges and tunnels.

Right now we are just doing a bunch of patchwork on bridges and tunnels that in some cases don't even need the work. In my town, it's taken over a year to patch up a rarely used bridge that is the length of two first downs in a football game. This is not economic progress, temp jobs yes, but not a solution.

If there are crumbling bridges and tunnels, then let's fix them, but taking a page from Spain's playbook of mindless spending to create a temporary job is stupid. The key is to unlock demand. The administration must find a way to tap into this nation's potential but that creates a conflict since the administration doesn't want capitalism to work to its full potential.

Their plan is almost child-like. Just go out and repave some roads, duplicate bridges, build airports and then "wham" our economy is firing on all cylinders. I suspect we would feel better about paying higher taxes if we had shinny new bridges that led to real life jobs. The interstate commerce project of Eisenhower was great because it connected the country.

It was more expensive than advertised, but worth it. We aren't disconnected. Yes, my 48th street commute is a nightmare on tires and my nerves and wallet. Let's fix roads that need fixing, but it's not going to fix our economy. Embracing capitalism would do the trick.

In 1885 the Home Insurance Building was completed in Chicago, the first to use steel in its structure and considered the world's first skyscraper. It ushered in a period of amazing growth and prosperity in America.

OWS and the Birds

I interviewed a 29 year old OWS guy on Payne Nation last night and just came away with the idea these guys are lost in a world that is detached from real life. You know, the other day my son and I were stopped in the car and watched a bird focused with a clump of earth in its mouth, more than likely a worm stuck in the middle. The bird appeared to be contemplating something then flew into a bush for a moment then came back out without the clump of earth. It's clear the bird enhanced its nest and probably fed baby birds. Maybe it's not fair to the worm, but it is life. We need children prepared to leave the nest rather than those willing to stay put and waiting to be fed.

This is the reality of nature, the law of numbers and the psychology of mankind. Take away accountability and people become less accountable. Take away the ability to become wealthy and people don't become wealthy. Punish success and people will not be successful. Make $250,000, the threshold for households to be punished, and households will earn less money, meaning less work and less output. Saturday morning was tranquil and beautiful on the surface, but there was life and death and survival all around us. We can't put it in park and think we're going to rule the world- not anymore, not ever again.

Perhaps some people don't think it's a big deal, but in the human world you can go from being, to the bird, to the worm in a couple of generations. It's magnanimous to say we should help people, but the "public good" is competition that leads to innovation that leads to true wealth that does permeate the economy, creating jobs and enthusiasm.