Friday, June 28, 2013

Burying Supply Side Economics?

After skimming the article, this one is all yours...  Why should we believe this individual?  Her resume indicates she is about as biased a source as one could find.  Thoughts?

Democracy: Burying Supply Side Economics
Wiki Neera Tanden
Center of American Progress Neera Tanden

More on Supply Side Economics
Wiki Supply Side Economics
About: SSE
Forbes: SSE
VDare: SSE

In Mr Holt's words, it seems she is cherry picking...  Especially when she is trying to draw "causation" in the middle of a rapidly changing world where global competition is changing everything.

I think it may be easy to find some interesting "correlations".  However to prove "causation" seems pretty difficult...

G2A Causation vs Correlation

Monday, June 24, 2013

Edward Snowden: Hero or Villain?

I know you will find this surprising, but Grace and I have opposing views regarding a topic...  MPP Star Tribune Biased Again  Go figure...  (see comments for our dialogue)

Grace seems to see Edward Snowden as a whistle blowing hero who has stood up for our personal freedom and privacy against "Big Brother".  Whereas I see him as villain who leaked very sensitive information, while he resides in countries that are not necessarily friendly to the US or her citizens, that may cost the lives of American citizens.  If he had used the "whistle blower protocols" and stayed in the USA, I may have peceived him differently, but he didn't...

I am kind of thinking this is one of the topics where the extreme Right and extreme Left actually share a common view. That being that privacy is more important than national security and the safety of us citizens.  Am I correct?

If the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented via the NSA monitoring, would the trade of be worth it?  Why or why not?

A side topic that also came up is that Grace seems to fear "big government" monitoring, whereas she supports "big government" wealth transfer, regulations, healthcare, etc...  And of course I see the monitoring as not a big deal, and am against all the government fingers acting in our personal lives.  Thoughts?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I Am So Impressed !!!

Well I spent the last 2+ days preparing my home and yard to host a graduation party for my oldest daughter.  And the weather certainly was NOT cooperative!!!  2 nights in a row storms knocked down trees and branches that had to be cut, picked up and disposed of.  Thankfully our only casualty was my chain link fence where the neighbor's tree landed on it...  On the upside, I was planning to put a gate on that side, the tree just helped me decide where...  Well enough about the trials, I want to focus on the tribulations.

Sometimes my lovely daughter questions how proud I am of her.  I mean since I question some of her choices, express concerns about her housekeeping, and wonder about some of her financial priorities...  You know the typical things that good parents do.

For the record, I want to say that I believe my daughter is smart, beautiful, capable and simply incredible.  She pursued challenging curriculum and graduated with high honors while active in 2 sports.  Now she is headed to Iowa State in Ames to pursue a Chemical Engineering degree.  I am SO IMPRESSED with my daughter and I love her very much !!!

By the way, the party went GREAT and it did not get rained out.  Thank heavens for that, and my lovely daughter !!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Farm Bill Defeated

I have to give Dan at MPP credit for drawing my attention to this. MPP Farm Bill Defeated  Unfortunately I apparently CAPS locked myself into getting locked out of their system.  (oops)  Hopefully it clears sometime, until then I figured I'd post my thoughts here.

CNN Farm Bill
FOX News Farm Bill
WP Farm Bill

I found Dan's summary most amusing:
"Though the proposed slashing of aid to those that need it most got the bulk of the attention, and rightly so, this bill was on the whole primarily a shameless gift to corporate ag and therefore replete with disastrous policy. Its underpinning, massive reliance on taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance programs, meant the continued plowing up of conservation lands and farmland price bubble-mongering, just for starters." (Dan Burns)

I mean $743,900,000 or 79.2% goes to food stamps and nutrition. (see WP link)  This huge gift / wealth transfer belongs in the Health and Human Services budget, since it is truly welfare.  And here he is chastising folks for having actual agriculture expenditures in the Farm Bill, go figure...

Now what do you think people would say if we actually moved all of the "welfare" money into the same bucket?  I am thinking that people would be shocked to see how many of their tax dollars go there...

And CNN said "House Democrats who opposed both the cuts to those food stamp programs and a GOP-backed amendment that added new work requirements for those applying for assistance."  Now I can understand their not wanting the cuts, but to fight ensuring that the people really deserve this free money.  C'mon now...

I think it is time for that Pelosi video again...


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

GM Tops In Quality

Being a big buy American proponent, I was happy to see this...  So much for those rice burners being better !!!  And maybe some of our fellow American deserters may become more patriotic and support our American companies, workers and taxes...

CNN Money GM Tops in Quality
G2A Toyota Prius vs Chevy Volt

Monday, June 17, 2013

Immunization Taxes / Risk and Tort Mgmt

To keep things seperate, here is another from Mac.

"BTW, another bill scheduled to be voted on is H.R. 475, do you support or oppose it ?

H.R. 475, which would add a new excise tax on flu vaccines … a meager 75 cents a shot but with the potential of 135 million doses of flu shots distributed in a year, the revenue generated would be $100 million. The monies go into the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund … which was created by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. The law was passed at the specific request of pharmaceutical companies who threatened to stop making vaccines without product liability protection, as well as organizations representing pediatricians who were reluctant to give childhood vaccines without liability protection.

It is a matter of public record that the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice were strongly opposed to the legislation. Currently, a $.75 excise tax is imposed on each dose of specific vaccines based on the number of diseases that is prevented by the vaccine. Trivalent influenza vaccine for example, is taxed $0.75 because it prevents one disease; measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, which prevents three diseases, is taxed $2.25.

Now, Representative Jim Gerlach wants a Flu Tax to go to the VITF. While it may be well-intended, the fund currently is over-funded … as its current balance is higher than what it has paid out in over 25 years. Congress has known about this situation for years but has ignored it … Because the trust fund has spent less than what it has collected, the remaining $1 billion was loaned to the Treasury and used for other federal programs and activities. In exchange, the trust fund received Treasury securities to be redeemed if needed to pay future claims.

Why the claims are so low is the nature of the system … To file a claim, the vaccine must have caused an injury that lasted for more than six months after vaccination, OR resulted in a hospital stay and surgery (both), OR resulted in death. Not all vaccines are covered, although most vaccines recommended for children are covered, including MMR, polio, tetanus, pertussis and others. It may take two to three years to work through the claim process. And the success rate is low … the most recent report (April 1, 2013) indicates that 3,217 claims were compensated while 9,454 were dismissed.

Now, Congressman Gerlach wants to add the flu vaccine to the vaccines that an excise tax is collected … no outrage about the cost to consumers nor the concern to make health care more affordable."  Mac Hall (aka Minnesota Central)


National Guard Advertisement Spending

Mac's lost comment was found

"I support “smart spending and fair taxation”. “Smart spending” means less spending on unnecessary items and more spending that is necessary.

For example, a recent House vote involved $53,948,949 in spending that could have been stopped.  That’s $29,962,425 for advertising with NASCAR, $14,496,424 for Indy Car racing, $3,960,100 for American Motorcycle Racing, $5,150,000 for World Wrestling Entertainment, and $380,000 for Motocross. The advertising is to promote the National Guard… at a time when recruitment goals are being met/exceeded and the plan is to reduce the size of the military.

Is it smart to advertise now ? Is that advertising the “key” to recruitment ?
IMO, that is money that should be saved … but the House rejected the spending reduction."  Mac Hall (aka Minnesota Central)

Thoughts for Mac?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

 You may find Mac and my discussion very interesting.  They share a very interesting story that makes a good case for late term abortions.  See the comments on this post.

MPP Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act


(Originally I thought Mac was writing a story from personal experience, it turns out they were posting Christy Zink's story.  Sorry for the ensuing confusion...)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

MN Economy Growing Fast

The Big E on MPP seems to be complimenting the excellent job the Republicans did while they were running the state. 

I mean of course the Big E states that it was Dayton's hard work that resulted in the good growth news, however we do know that he was unable to get anything done during his first 2 years as Governor.  Or that is what the Liberals kept saying whenever the GOP blocked his agenda.

So by my logic, if things are going well it must be due to the GOP's low cost low tax policies. Of course now that the DFL and Dayton have changed policy to raise spending and taxes, we should be ables to see the result in a year or two...  But not yet.


MPP MN has one of the Fastest Growing Economies

Friday, June 7, 2013

Toyota Prius vs Chevy Volt

A few days back a commenter of the more liberal and green persuasion mentioned that they owned a Toyota Prius.  It was appropriate since we were discussing global warming and what we can do to lessen our contribution to it.  Of course I had to seize the opportunity to point out that a true liberal supporter of American Workers, Unions, Government Taxes / Spending, etc should be driving a Chevy Volt.
G2A:Made in America: Really
G2A: Made in America: The Myth

I have written about the importance of buying from American firms that have most of their marketing, design, test, IT, accounting, corporate, executive and other functions in the USA.  Of course, liberals who buy American assembled product from a foreign based firm seem to be able to rationalize their actions.  They seem to believe that those decisions and actions are in some way aligned with the political beliefs they promote.  They seem to believe they are less greedy than those evil rich folks and businesses they villify for moving the jobs overseas.

Now I know I should also be frustrated with the fiscal conservatives that do not support our American companies and workers.  However it is hard to fault someone who is so open and honest about their capitalistic beliefs.  I mean they are typically anti-union, pro-competition, pay for quality / effectiveness / value / etc, each out for their own, etc, etc, etc. So it makes sense that they will buy what they consider the best value no matter the consequences.

However to see a self proclaimed liberal who preaches sharing with the poor, supporting the American worker, raising taxes, higher government spending, supporting public workers, etc driving their sporty little Hyundai, Toyota, Kia, Honda, Subaru, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, etc seems very ironic if not even hypocritical.  And not only do they often drive them, but they have become highly brand loyal and insist on only buying them. 

Note: I do own a couple foreign vehicles, however I typically only own buy them when that vehicle type is not offered by an American company. (ie sport touring motorcycle Yamaha FJR1300)

So back to the Prius and the Volt, the reality is that Toyota spent 1+ billion dollars developing the initial Prius.  "The total cost of development was an estimated $1 billion -- after all the anguish, about average for a new car."  And I am sure some of that work was done in the USA, however the vast majority was done in other countries. (primarily Japan)  And in this case every Prius has been built in Japan so far, so one can not even claim that they are supporting the less beneficial American based assembly jobs.

Whereas GM incurred similar large development costs and is building the car in the USA.  And even better, Obama and crew are big supporters of GM and Michigan built vehicles.  I mean Michigan and GM have long been very good to the UAW and American employees, and Obama and crew gave over most of the company to the Union and its employees.  Many ex-employees say that GM actually stands for Generous Motors...

To me it is pretty simple, people just aren't putting their money where their mouth is.  If you want to support American workers, generate more tax revenues, enable more government spending, etc, then buy the product from a company where most of your money goes to American workers / taxes.  Be they in development, production, support functions or the corner office, and remember that production is an ever shrinking part of the pie in our very high tech "Research and Development" world.

Now this product may be very slightly less reliable, may not be quite as fashionable, may cost you a little more, may have slightly lower mpg, etc.  But by God you are a Liberal who believes in redistributing wealth through the American Government and Unions, so start spending more of your wealth here.  And reduce how much you are spending to support the governments, workers and poor in Japan, Germany, South Korea, China, etc.  Stop spending selfishly like you believe the greedy rich do.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Health Insurance Question?

Well J left an interesting comment recently at an old post.  I thought it deserved some further clarification, and that more discussion may be warranted.  G2A Village of Deficits and Surplus
"Well, I've already lost my health insurance because Obamacare is coming. Millions of others have lost their insurance or had their hours cut back to avoid Obamacare. Insurance premiums have risen drastically, and more doctors are refusing to take Medicaid or Medicare patients, because of the Obamacare requirements. "Fully implemented" isn't a necessary condition for saying that there has been too much damage caused already."  J. Ewing
J,What did you mean by  "I've already lost my health insurance because Obamacare is coming."  Ready to share?

Teachers to Work 12 Months per Year?

Grace Kelly wrote this interesting post over at MPP. Apparently she feels for the folks in Public Education and their financial issues, so she recommends some ideas that I don't think will be very popular with many groups. MPP Being the Best Representative of Labor

Here were my thoughts have garnered no response at MPP so far:
"With regard to Public Schools, wouldn’t it make more sense to title this ???

Being the Best Representative of Students

Though I appreciate those that work for the schools, the schools are not there for the benefit of the employees. The tax payers fund the school system to help our children become educated and responsible adult tax paying citizens.

I think many of the workers that choose the Public Education field would very unhappy if you took away their Summers off. And I am not sure our society is ready to have kids in school 12 mths a year. It is an interesting idea though.

Personally I think all students that are not meeting the academic achievement thresholds should be in school 12 months per year until they get up to speed. Unfortunately that is not very popular with many groups. First we have to pay for it, second some may call it racist, third we have to find good Teachers who are willing to give up their Summer off, fourth some will think the poor kids will be too stigmatized, etc…

I agree that the 360 degree feedback sounds like an excellent idea.

However what would you do regarding a tenured Teacher who consistently gets worse feedback than their peers? Remember that this employee is high cost and job secure… Thoughts?"
G2A Teacher Evals (pt 2)
G2A Public Employee Comp
G2A Teacher Comp