Various Items

I know a few weeks back I did say that I was going to blog more often. I just realised yesterday that I completed just three of these quick ones before my hugely busy life got the better of me once more. It’s been nearly two weeks since my last blog….

What can happen in a few weeks? Not much, as it happens.

GM are pinning all their hopes on a car called the “Volt” – it can run for up to 40 miles on battery power and plugs into the power sockets in your garage. Good for those of us who have garages, not so good if you have ‘off street parking’ – which in real estate advertising speak is a car port, or the lawn next to your veggie garden.  Anyway, with the recession biting everyone in the arse oil prices have fallen to about a third of what they were this time last year. People can afford to drive those 40 miles using regular gasohol rather than some hippy brand of power derived by aiming things at the sun or wind.

GM are saying because of their forward thinking they should get a number of billions to stave off the total collapse of their firm. I mean this has worked very well for Goldman Sachs who this week posted a nearly $US2 billion profit just a few short months after receiving $US10 billion in free cash. Who’d’ve thought… I see no reason why this fiscal prudence shouldn’t work for the US motoring giant as well as it has for the aforementioned bank. While researching the above sentence I did find this article. It suggests that Old Goldy is planning to give back the payoff, I mean kickback, I mean bailout money shortly. It’s main reason: the conditions of openness, transparency and public scrutiny that come with the taxpayer money. Dirty money-grubbing arseholes can go to hell.

I am currently in love with the Daily Show. Yes, that’s right – we get it down here in New Zealand. And thankfully for everyone concerned, we aren’t 5 years behind as we were with some overseas programming during the 70s and 80s. No no, the Daily Show airs here just a few hours after playing in the US so it’s hot off the press. Last night the show featured Fox News’s fight against tax – the so-called teabag protests across America named, in part, after the 18th century protests in Massachusetts, among other places. Of course the show had many, many clips of the various US news organisations referring to the “tea-baggers” and their “tea-bagging“, much to the delight of everyone else in the world who actually know what those terms mean (click on the highlighted link and the gold old Urban Dictionary will tell you).

What I don’t understand about various citizenry around the world, and mostly they are from the so-called right wing and/or business sector, is how little they enjoy paying tax. According to usgovernmentspending.com, whose authority I have no reason to doubt because they were first on my Google search list and didn’t sound the least bit politicised, so therefore were the truest and most factual, thusly I didn’t have to cross-check their facts against any other websites, tell us a number of things…

  1. One fifth of the federal budget goes on defence.
  2. Health and pensions make up over a third of their spending.
  3. ‘other’ makes up a quarter.

Now I’m no economist, but people who read my mind wanderings from time to time will know that I am unafraid, like many modern day journalists, to make vast generalisations and leaps in logic with just the minutest trace of unsubstantiated rumour. I can see what the tea-baggers are so concerned about.

Old people – the over 65s make up just 13% of the population. That’s not even one seventh of the population! I mean it’s not like they’ve not saved all their lives is it. I know if my grandmother was alive and been born, lived, worked and retired in the United States, she would currently have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars ferreted away in her retirement fund –  a fund that had been growing thanks to the wise and risk-free investment strategies of those financial gurus mentioned previously.

The sick – nearly a fifth of US federal spending goes on this group of individuals who aren’t able to contribute their share to the federal budget by working at full productivity. This isn’t fair on all those healthy workers who have to carry the can for those too sick to ante up.

If you take pensions, health care and this group of spendings called ‘other’ out of the US federal budget, you’ll save nearly $US2.5 trillion and have a shitload more to spend on those wonderful federal inventions of recent times: Guantanamo Bay, pirate capture and Cheney’s various bypasses. What’s he doing now anyway since he stopped running the country? I hope he’s being looked after in his retirement…

Boon x

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