Archive for the Economy Category

Latest global warming scare: internet & power disruptions

Posted in BIG Government, Climategate, Economy, FAIL, Goin' Green, Government Folly on May 10, 2011 by DaMook

Not satisfied with scaring you about oceans rising, glaciers melting, more powerful hurricanes, droughts, floods, famine, cats & dogs living together, the global warming cultists have more doom & gloom in store because of “climate change” – internet and power disruptions. Oh, the humanity! With all of the above soundly debunked (well, maybe not the dogs & cats living together thing), they needed something, anything, to really invoke fear. And what could be more fearsome than disruption of your internet connection? Crap – there goes my Facebook and Netflix! (story here from The Telegraph)

Already the transport sector is preparing for temperatures above 104F (40C) this summer, which could lead to breakdowns on the railways.

Speaking at Blackfriars Station in London, which Network Rail is currently fitting with solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems in order to be more resilient against power cuts, Ms Spelman said the UK is already investing £200 billion (US$287B) over the next five years.

But that will not be enough to stop economic impacts of climate change if it is invested in the wrong areas.

She warned of intense rainfall, droughts and heatwaves in the next 50 to 100 years because of man-made global warming. The signal from wi-fi cannot travel as far when temperatures increase. Heavy downfalls of rain also affect the ability of the device to capture a signal.

For a country like Britain, with a GDP of roughly $2T (compared to the US GDP of $14T), $287B is a big chunk of change to waste on global warming scares. In other words, we need to savage the economy so you don’t lose your WiFi connection. Algore approves, of course.

How long before this idiocy becomes the subject of a congressional investigation…

The Sticky Note campaign

Posted in Cool Stuff, Culture, Economy, Heros, Take back America, The Regime, Thumbs Up! on May 4, 2011 by DaMook

Sticky Note Been to a gas station or grocery store lately? How’s that hopeNchange thing working out for ya? If you’re frustrated with high prices on just about everything, here’s a way to vent that frustration and get a message out (story here).

This time around, the Tea Party is taking action to draw attention to the fact that Barack Obama is gouging Americans by making sure gas prices are high by causing war in Libya, not opening Alaska to drilling and saving our national energy reserves to power Chinese tanks after China’s inevitable invasion of the U.S. We spoke with Chris Lotto, Arizona activist and co-creator of the “The ‘Hope and Change’ Sticky Note Campaign,” a movement that places anti-Obama sticky notes on gas pumps.

Last Saturday afternoon, Lotto, who lives in Phoenix, launched the Facebook call to “Purchase a pad of large sticky notes. Write on each one, “How’s that Hope & Change working out for you?” Every time you stop to fill your vehicle with gas, place your sticky note somewhere on the pump before you drive away. DO NOT be destructive in ANY way! Place your sticky note somewhere, so as not to impede the next customer’s ability to read the pump’s digital readout.”

By the end of this week, the page had over 8,000 fans who had sent out over 50,000 invites to join and dozens of pictures were rolling in of notes placed on gas pumps from Ohio to Wisconsin to Texas.

Hmmm. Sounds like fun. Here’s a related site for “Liberty Guerillas.”

Part of the charade employed by the existing Regime is to continue to make people believe that they are alone in their dissent and/or dissatisfaction with the ruling class. They need to isolate you and make you feel YOU are the outlier. A recent example is the derision lobbed at those who questioned Obama’s background and credentials.

This has been written about extensively in various professional military training manuals. It has also been the subject of many papers, dissecting the evolution of an underground movement that overthrew an entrenched Regime, where to outsiders, the “sudden collapse” of an oppressive regime catches them by surprise, when in fact, it was predictable all along.

The reason for the “sudden collapse” is that the group knowledge finally reached a tipping point, where the “dissenters” realize that they are the MAJORITY, not the minority as the Regime would have them believe.

Sticky notes, as advocated at gas pumps and on stores shelves, represent what is known as “Counter propaganda”.

It will be interesting to see if this gathers momentum and has any legs.

The sticking-political-messages-on-other-people’s-commodities tactic shows no sign of abating. It’s a long way to 2012, and the GOP proper has completely lost control of its constituency, so everyone should prepare for what’s probably going to be the most ugly election in recent history, and, with every free surface in the nation plastered with neon squares, I mean literally ugly.

We live in interesting times, folks…

After SC Tax vote, Amazon says UP YOURS!

Posted in Economy, FAIL, Government Folly, UGH! on April 29, 2011 by DaMook

Amazon logoAmazon.com is the largest and most successful on line marketplace with 33,700 employees and over $34B in revenue. One of the biggest reasons most people shop on the internet is the lack of sales tax on purchases – in most instances. Of course, state governments lament this “loss of revenue” and they have been looking hard at legislating this advantage away from internet merchants (more here). Amazon has been the obvious #1 target of the taxers and they have vowed to fight efforts to tax on-line purchases (more here).

One of the ways states can currently collect sales taxes from internet purchases is if the seller has a presence in the buyer’s state. For example, if you purchase an item from Amazon that comes from one of their affiliates and that affiliate has an outlet in your state, you pay the sales tax. One of the ways Amazon has fought this is to simply close their affiliate program in the states that enact on-line taxing legislation. According to this story Amazon has upped the ante with the state of South Carolina. After the legislature approved an internet tax, Amazon cancelled a project for a distribution center in Midlands. The plant is under construction and was anticipated to provide over 1200 jobs.

South Carolina lawmakers’ decision to deny a sales tax break for online retailer Amazon.com will cost Lexington County more than 1,200 jobs, but the effects could ripple across the state.

Some say the incentives were unfair to established brick-and-mortar retailers while others maintain the reneged deal will cause other industries to pause before bringing their business to South Carolina.

Amazon.com decided after the vote to cancel $52 million in procurement contracts and remove all job postings from its website for the Midlands plant, effectively saying goodbye to South Carolina.

Newly-elected republican governor Nikki Haley applauded the decision, saying that South Carolina wants to “level the playing field” for business. Ugh!

That did little to change Gov. Nikki Haley’s stance, and she applauded the House’s 71-47 decision in a visit to Charleston on Thursday.

‘When you come to South Carolina, we’re going to give you a fair competitive marketplace to do business, and we’re always going to take care of businesses that are in town,’ she said. ‘By allowing Amazon to get a tax break that we’re not giving to any other business in our state destroys what I am saying.’

Haley said retail is different from manufacturing because its jobs are subject to higher turnover and lower pay. ‘It is not a Boeing. It is not a BMW,’ she said during the Free Enterprise Foundation’s awards luncheon at The Citadel.

Amazon is not a Boeing or BMW so we don’t need their business? Those 1200 jobs are low-paying with high turnover – you know, the kind that Americans won’t do but Mexicans will. Great job, governor!

Spending cuts – how about this approach?

Posted in Culture, Economy, Heros, Thumbs Up! on April 14, 2011 by DaMook

Thomas Sowell is a brilliant economist and social commentator. His commentary rarely contains invective and he generally presents a common sense, libertarian point of view. With all the talk (and no action) about spending cuts and getting the federal budget under control, Sowell presents a more rational approach. While his suggestions won’t eliminate the deficit, they present a path of least resistance to beginning the process that is so desperately needed. (more here)

My plan would start by cutting off all government transfer payments to billionaires. Many, if not most, people are probably unaware that the government is handing out the taxpayers’ money to billionaires. But agricultural subsidies go to a number of billionaires. Very little goes to the ordinary farmer.

Big corporations also get big bucks from the government, not only in agricultural subsidies but also in the name of “green” policies, in the name of “alternative energy” policies, and in the name of whatever else will rationalize shoveling the taxpayers’ money out the door to whomever the administration designates, for its own political reasons.

The usual political counter-attacks against spending cuts will not work against this new kind of spending cut approach. How many heart-rending stories can the media run about billionaires who have lost their handouts from the taxpayers? How many tears will be shed if General Motors gets dumped off the gravy train?

It would also be eye-opening to many people to discover how much government money is going into subsidizing all sorts of things that have nothing to do with helping “the poor” or protecting the public. This would include government-subsidized insurance for posh and pricey coastal resorts, located too dangerously close to the ocean for a private insurance company to risk insuring them.

This approach would not only circumvent the sob stories, it would also circumvent the ideological battles over whether to cut off money to Planned Parenthood or National Public Radio.

The money to be saved by cutting off agricultural subsidies to the wealthy and the big corporations is vastly greater than the money to be saved by cutting off Planned Parenthood or National Public Radio, much as they both deserve to be cut off.

And what about the 3rd rail programs like Social Security and Medicare? Most politicians have declared these “off the table” as far as discussions of budget cutting. But they can be modified as well.

Social Security and Medicare are supposed to be among the most difficult programs to cut without ruinous political consequences. However, it is not necessary to attack all the spending on these programs in order to make big savings.

Instead of attacking these programs as a whole, what is far more vulnerable is the compulsory aspect of these programs. If Medicare is so great, why is it necessary for the government to force people to be covered by Medicare as a precondition for receiving the money they paid into Social Security?

Many people with private health insurance would rather continue to rely on that, instead of being trapped in Medicare red tape. It is not a question of taking away Medicare but allowing people to opt out, saving the taxpayer from having to subsidize something that many people don’t want.

It is not a question of forcing people off Social Security either. But private retirement accounts can offer a better deal.

Even someone who retires when the stock market is down is almost certain to get a bigger pension from a decent mutual fund than from Social Security.

By giving young people the option, while continuing to honor commitments to retirees and those nearing retirement age, the sob story defense of runaway spending can be nipped in the bud.

Sounds simple. You have to wonder why no one is thinking in these terms.

Politician: Detroit “deserves” bailout or something

Posted in BIG Government, Culture, Economy, FAIL, Government Folly, Government Waste/Fraud/Abuse, Huh? WTF?, UGH! on April 13, 2011 by DaMook

Detroit Packard PlantDetroit, home of the “Big 3” US auto manufacturers (2 of which are on government life support), is the epitome of failed government social policies. Mired in political corruption (more here and here), with an abysmal school system (more here) and fleeing population, the city has become an economic and industrial wasteland (more here and here). While mayor Dave Bing deserves some credit for at least trying to turn things around, others in the city government believe that Detroit deserves a taxpayer bailout (story here from the Detroit News). Huh? WTF?

Councilwoman JoAnn Watson is reiterating her call for a government bailout of Detroit, saying the city that built the middle class deserves as much help as Wall Street or General Motors.Addressing the City Council today during Mayor Dave Bing’s budget presentation, Watson gave a spirited pitch for federal funds to help the city whose population declined 25 percent since 2000 to 713,777.

“We are worth it. We are worth at least as much as General Motors or Chrysler or the Wall Street bankers,” Watson said. “It was this city that built military vehicles for World War II. It was this city that (invented) the middle class and the five-day work week.

“We should not be in a position to be victims. We are victors. And we should demand respect.”

General Motors received $52 billion in government aid, while Chrysler received $12.5 billion, according to published reports. Mayor Dave Bing has traveled to Washington, D.C., repeatedly seeking more federal funds for Detroit.

Watson has floated the idea for years. The liberal magazine the Nation named Watson one of its 14 MVPs in 2009 for promoting a “multifacted Detroit Marshall Plan to revitalize her economically battered city.”

In the past, Watson has said the city deserves at least $1 billion.

Declared a “Model City” by the LBJ administration in the 1960’s, Detroit has received hundreds of millions in taxpayer funding. And now Detroit demands “respect.” How sad…

For a pictorial view of this disaster see these photo essays:

Last minute deal averts government “shutdown” – FAIL

Posted in BIG Government, Congress, Economy, FAIL, UGH! on April 10, 2011 by DaMook

Congressional leaders and the regime cut a last minute deal to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year and avoid a government shutdown. With the democrats whining about “extreme” cuts, seniors being starved, and women being denied health care, the spineless republicans scaled back their budget cut proposals. Everyone involved has been patting themselves on the back claiming some sort of victory. BFD.

In a previous post I said that no one was serious about cutting the deficit. In case you were starting to believe the democrat’s “extreme” blather or the republican’s boasts of meaningful spending cuts, here are a couple of stories to bring this political kabuki theater of the absurd into perspective. While our political “leaders” were scrambling to avoid a federal shutdown, the federal government was spending outlandish and obscene amounts of your money (more here from CNSNews).

The federal government spent $142.3 billion on Thursday alone, according to the Daily Treasury Statement released at 4:00 pm on Friday afternoon.This $142.3 billion in spending took place on a day when the White House and congressional leaders were deadlocked over whether to cut between $33 billion and $40 billion in federal spending for the rest of the year.

To fund the $142.3 billion it spent on Thursday, the U.S. Treasury borrowed $132.8 billion during the day by selling new debt instruments—and almost all of these ($129.9 billion) were short-term Treasury bills that mature in one year or less.

By far, the federal government’s top expense on Thursday was paying off old debts that came due and that the government had a legal obligation to meet. During the day, Treasury reports, it paid off $130.75 billion in Treasury securities that had matured.

So in one day the government spent more than 3 times the paltry amount of “extreme” and “meaningful” cuts negotiated by the politicians. And the vast majority of that spending was servicing the debt. Yeah, that will get us out of trouble. This is like someone who makes $50K/yr, spends $90K/yr, and has $350K in debt saying, “Jeez, I need to save some money; I think I’ll skip lunch at McDonalds one day this week.”

And here’s another helpful little factoid (story here from CNSNews).

The federal debt increased $54.1 billion in the eight days preceding the deal made by President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) to cut $38.5 billion in federal spending for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, which runs through September.The debt was $14.2101 trillion on March 30, according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and $14.2642 on April 7.

Since the beginning of the fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2010, the national debt has increase by $653.4 billion.

The next political battle will be when congress takes on raising the debt ceiling, which will be reached sometime in the middle of May. Two things you can bet on – the wailing & gnashing of teeth by the democrats and the spineless republicans caving in. They will raise it and the destructive spending will continue.

BOHICA!!

Moron of the Day: Alec Baldwin

Posted in Culture, Economy, Huh? WTF?, The Regime on April 7, 2011 by DaMook

Alec Baldwin was in Washington for Arts Advocacy Day to lobby congress against cutting funding for the arts – you know, things like this and this. In an interview with CNS News, he said that the financial crisis has prevented our dear comrade leader from “doing any new spending.” Huh? WTF? Apparently Baldwin is not familiar with this:

obama-deficit-2011

No new spending?

 

Emmy award-winning actor Alec Baldwin told CNSNews.com on Capitol Hill that he believes the financial crisis has “crippled” President Barack Obama, preventing him from doing any “new spending.” Baldwin also said Obama has been doing “a lot” of “back-peddling” because he’s had to spend his whole first term “trying” to correct America’s course financially.

Following his appearance on Capitol Hill at a press conference with Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) about campaign finance reform, CNSNews.com asked Baldwin if President Obama has lived up to his expectations.

“Well, I mean, I think so because I think that when you come into office and you want to put your mark on things — this is just my opinion, when you want to put your mark on things, you want to be able to spend. And what’s crippled Obama’s administration, as far as I’m concerned, is the financial crisis and it’s prevented him from doing any new spending,” said Baldwin, who publicly supported Obama in the 2008 Presidential election.

“He’s not able – if the country was as flush as it was under Bill Clinton and he had money — these things cost money — he could have made more of a mark,” said Baldwin. “I think right now he’s had to do a lot of counter-punching; a lot of back peddling. He inherited this crisis from Bush and Paulson. He had to extend the TARP. I think it’s been very difficult for him to spend his whole first term trying to, you know, correct our course financially. I think a second term of Obama, we’ll see a lot more of what we want to see from him.”

As you can see from the graph, Alec, our dear comrade leader has spent mountains of money – most of it borrowed. Yeah, he’s been correcting our course financially all right – dope…