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Some Closing Year-End Thoughts

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted December 31, 2012

I'm going to let you in on a little secret...

On Election Day, several of your editors actually voted.

But one in particular voted for a pint (okay, three pints) of dry-hopped IPA from the local brewery — just what the doctor ordered!

Unfortunately, now it's time for the hangover...

Since ObamaCare is now a certainty, dozens of companies have taken steps to minimize the cost of compliance. In most cases, that means either layoffs or a reduction in hours for hourly workers.

Someone once said to us "a trend in motion will stay in motion until it stops." True enough.

And one of the longest trends in motion is government as a growth industry.

This growth happens incrementally, so it's hardly noticed. And even though the numbers are beyond comprehension for almost everyone (one trillion looks like this numerically: 1,000,000,000,000), the incremental nature also means most folks become inured to the scope of it all.

It's true, I'm exposing just how out of touch I am with my fellow Americans here, because as evidenced by the outcome of the election, the massive growth of government, and the persistence of socialist, collective ideology, my way of thinking is essentially just a footnote in the fossil record of human thought.

Self reliance, self determination, freedom, the golden rule — these quaint anachronisms are so colonial, so selfish. So last century.

Bums, Beggars and Deadbeats

No matter where you are in the U.S., you get drifters and panhandlers. My Dad would've called them bums and beggars (of course, he was from a time when you could speak the truth).

This morning I watched as a driver in a minivan (almost certainly on her way to work) handed off some cash to a young, drunk Indian girl holding a sign that read "anything heps" [sic].

About ten minutes later — on my return trip from the drugstore — I came across the same Indian woman coming out of the store with a 12-pack of Schmidt beer.

While I can't fault her eye for a bargain (a 6-pack of a good micro brew costs about the same as a twelver of Schmidt), I have to admit the whole episode is reminiscent of the presidential election we just had...

Essentially it boils down to this: A responsible individual with a job works so her money can then be given to an indigent, indolent, irresponsible bum so that shiftless soul can drink beer all day instead of being productive.

Meanwhile, taxes on the worker are going up, yet the deadbeat will have health coverage, so the poor decisions she's making now — which will certainly cause health problems down the road — are not only not her responsibility, but someone else will pay for her care when those decisions take their toll.

Is America great or what?! It's a life without consequence.

I realize this transaction was voluntary. Looking at the bright side, it's nice to see that charity still exists. Really, it's touching.

But let's not kid ourselves; when the transaction becomes involuntary, it's no longer charity... in that case, it's called theft.

I wonder who our Schmidt drinker voted for...

More Guns

A close friend called this week for advice on purchasing a new gun. He told me he wanted to buy something based on the AR-15 platform.

This particular friend already has several sporting arms, so he's no novice... but his renewed interest springs directly from the outcome of the election. And anecdotally, he told me of a gun show near his house over the weekend where a dealer sold 22 Colt ARs in a single day.

You've probably heard that the FBI's NICS system almost crashed the day after Thanksgiving due to an overwhelming volume of gun purchases on that day. That's on top of a few years of record increases in gun sales. So my friend isn't alone in wanting to pad out his collection.

But what to buy?

I told him point-blank that I like the piston guns as opposed to the old-school gas impingement system...

The gas system on the standard AR platform operates by pushing a burst of spent gas from the combustion cycle right onto the bolt carrier, pushing the bolt rearward. This leaves dirt, residue, and unburned powder all over the internals, and can also result in gassing out the operator, and eventually cause cycling problems.

There are thousands of hard-core AR fans out there. And there's no question the platform has performed admirably in its 60+ year history.

But like most things, there was room for improvement.

The piston system operates in a similar manner, but the gas powers a piston which moves an op rod against the bolt, with spent gas exiting the piston tube and never making it into the action. The result is a cleaner, more reliable weapon.

Now, the downside is that you're going to spend at least twice as much on a top-line piston gun... but trust me, it's worth it. Patriot Ordinance and LWRC are two of the best.

Now, to erase any doubt, I have a very strict gun control policy: First, if there's a gun around, I'm the guy in control of it. Second, I'm all in favor of waiting periods. I wait for a period... until I have a clear shot.

That's pretty much it. Carry on...

To your wealth, health and happiness,

Brian Hicks
Publisher, Wealth Daily

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