Monday, March 19, 2012

Catch-up Thoughts

  • I agree with Kevin Drum about the Greg Smith op-ed. It's hard to believe Goldman Sachs ever had a soul to lose, much less lost it in the last 10 years or so. But then again, Smith is likely a by-product of this gradual descent into cultural depravity. When he started at GS, he was young and quickly adapted over time to what is now the modern-day version of the "Vampire Squid." It went from bad to worse in that time and that's what Smith noticed: relative degradation, not absolute. It's like crying foul that Caligula became more profane in his later years.

  • Paul Krugman's "What Greece Means" is a lesson for the Tea Party (to the extent it still exists). Austerity doesn't work, better to grow out of the deficit via Keynesian stimulus, esp. with interest rates at record lows. Roads, bridges, infrastructure are in desperate need of repair and it's not something that can continuously be put off into the future. And at some point, people are going to die from this lack of up-keep. I've read that the cost of such projects doubles every five years, so why not invest in making upgrades now, when real interest rates are actually negative! Business schools teach that one should take on debt when the rate of return on the project surpasses the interest on the debt. Here we have real interest rates at below zero and the rate of return to be gained on these projects is absolutely greater than zero -- if not for anything else than for the cost savings alone (as I said, costs double every five years). It's a no-brainer, but unfortunately too many citizens on the right have been brainwashed, and of course Republicans do not want to do anything that is sensible and could actually help this country, believing it simply helps the Kenyan.

  • Bill Maher had Alexandra Pelosi show both of her brief films, the first showing Mississippi in all it's wonderful glory, and the other film showing what appeared to be welfare abuse occurring in NYC. Pelosi tries to make the point that these two films are opposite sides of a coin, one angering the right, the other pissing off the left.

    I don't agree. The film showing welfare recipients abusing the system in NYC is something that is wrong and could be fixed. It's repairable. Also, despite what the right believes, welfare abuse -- like voter fraud -- is nowhere near as big a problem as their propaganda makes it out to be. All too often, they take some isolated examples of fraud and suggest (citing no facts) that this relatively small problem is wrecking the country.

    However, the film on Mississippi shows a much larger problem, one that is indeed wrecking this country. It shows citizens who are ignorant, possessing beliefs based on prejudice and hate as opposed to anything rooted in fact or knowledge. It also shows people who are hypocrites. One guy hates big government but is on food stamps, when told of this dichotomy he quickly says he feels he "deserves" the food stamps, i.e. the free hand-out, the welfare. Much of what is shown in the video is seemingly irreparable and is destroying this country. Do these people have any clue that for every $1 in taxes paid, Mississippians receive $2 back from the government? Hedge funds would love that 100% return on investment. They are completely ignorant to their welfare-queen ways and if you watch the video I think you'll agree: there's not much hope in changing these people. They believe what they believe, they is what they is, period.

  • Randi Rhodes aired another example of why Fox News is clown central. She has footage of Fox defending GW Bush when gasoline prices were rising, with the clamoring talking heads saying back-off, ease up, it's not his fault, the President can't be blamed, he has little control or influence over the price at the pump -- AND what citizens should be doing is conserving energy. It's incredible. Then cut to present day, with gas prices rising and Obama in office. Suddenly Fox personalities believe it's all the President's fault, Obama is to blame. Outrageous, but not shocking. Fox viewers are once again taken for complete fools.

  • Maybe vanity will finally make global warming deniers believe....

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