Friday, June 23, 2006

A Big Oops!

That picture is a metaphor for a lot of things..

- The state of our nation with you-know-who at the helm.

- Our Iraq Policy. While the press was as usual on their knees in front of dear leader following his Iraq trip. The mayhem in Iraq continued, including an emergency in Baghdad. The President of the US cannot even go in to Baghdad openly, he has to go under cover. Oh things must be mighty safe eh that he stuck to the fortified Green Zone, for the few hours that he was there, he did not get out of the zone. Guess what even the Iraqi PM could not be told that dear leader was on his way to look in to this eyes and proclaim all is well.

- Cut and Run. The real cut and run people are the republicans, they cut taxes on the super rich and run up huge deficits. Credit for this definition is due to a caller who called in to C-SPAN.
The only policy the republicans have on Iraq is rally behind dear leader, and pray the American people who are unhappy with the war don't notice how bad things are. The whole idea that we will step down when the Iraqi's step up has one little problem. What is the incentive for Iraqi's to stand up knowing we continue to be there? The democrats actually came up with 3 different plans. The press calls it divided on Iraq, but I disagree it is called a debate you morons. This is how things are supposed to work in a political party not like the republicans.

- The administration is now going through our financial records. Guess who has oversight on this program? You would think it is Congress right? Wrong, they hired a private firm Booze Allen for oversight. So now consitutional oversight is being outsourced.

-The GOP did sort of repeal the estate tax, which means we will have to borrow about 600 billion to make up for the revenue shortfall. And to do that the few super-rich may benefit, we will also be paying interest on that borrowing. To make matters worse they rejected attempts to increase the federal minimum wage which had not changed in 10 years. You know how much that $5.15 an hour comes to? Around 10K a year well below the poverty level of 16K a year. Good luck trying to live on that!

But dear leader isn't all that bad, in a move that I applaud he did set aside a huge chunk around North Western Hawaiin Islands as a national monument. The reserve will span some 140,000 square miles -- an area nearly the size of Montana -- in the Pacific Ocean northwest of Hawaii. This fragile region supports more than 7,000 marine species, including the endangered Hawaiian monk seal and the threatened green sea turtle.

That being said his overall environmental record sucks.

Enjoy the weekend folks!


Aditi said...

Yep I read about the Hawaii monument status too. Its fabulous and a gigantic step in preserving marine life there.
But, what about alaska is what i still ask?

surajsharma said...

wow...and i thought only michael moore was sensational. ;)

Jordan's Dad said...

Thanks for the dosa recipe Jay. I cant wait to try it out. Probably wont happen 'til my one-month paternity leave (which is coming up fighteningly soon).

As for this post, I'm doing all I can to keep my eyes from rolling permanently to the back of my head. I just hope one day you'll see the light, as I did. Until then, keep enjoying life in this great country, as we both seem to be doing each day.



P.S. What does "super rich" mean? Is that more than "mega rich" but less than "super duper rich"? Just askin' :)

P.P.S. What should the minimum wage be? $20/hour? $50/hour? Just wondering if you have an answer and if your answer solves any problems.

Sorry - couldnt resist! :)

karmic_jay said...

@Aditi..Alaska is a diff story. It's got oil ;) Anyways the permafrost is melting. So it maybe more hospitable should you decie to relocate there.

@Suraj.. Michael Moore sometimes makes good points but I do notagree with everything he says.

@JD. Good luck with the new arrival. I liked the name you folks came up with.
Let me know if you need help with the detailed instructions. But you may be fine. Nandyala's site with the pics should help too.
Ye, we both obviously enjoy the good that this country has to offer. The thing is I do see the light, it's just a different source. :)
By super rich I meant the 5 thousand or so who will be benefitted to the tune of something like 300 billion in tax relief over time.
You know that the last few increases in minimum wage were signed in by Reagan and Bush Sr? There has been no increase for 10 yrs during which time, inflation has gone up and esp with gas/energy prices up now. Don't you think it should go up?
I am not talking about 20$/hr or 50$/hr. The bill proposed an increase of about $2.15/hr, which is not a lot. They had 52 votes in the senate and it was defeated on a procedural issue.
So if the comfortable deserve relief, don't the one's making minimum wage deserve a little help?
How hard is it to live on a minimum wage? If you want to know do read
nickel and dimed On (not) getting by in America by Babrbara Ehrenreich. She took up a bunch of low end jobs. Here is a description.
Determined to find out how anyone could make ends meet on $7 an hour, she left behind her middle class life as a journalist except for $1000 in start-up funds, a car and her laptop computer to try to sustain herself as a low-skilled worker for a month at a time. In 1999 and 2000, Ehrenreich worked as a waitress in Key West, Fla., as a cleaning woman and a nursing home aide in Portland, Maine, and in a Wal-Mart in Minneapolis, Minn. During the application process, she faced routine drug tests and spurious "personality tests"; once on the job, she endured constant surveillance and numbing harangues over infractions like serving a second roll and butter. Beset by transportation costs and high rents, she learned the tricks of the trade from her co-workers, some of whom sleep in their cars, and many of whom work when they're vexed by arthritis, back pain or worse, yet still manage small gestures of kindness. Despite the advantages of her race, education, good health and lack of children, Ehrenreich's income barely covered her month's expenses in only one instance, when she worked seven days a week at two jobs (one of which provided free meals) during the off-season in a vacation town. Delivering a fast read that's both sobering and sassy, she gives readers pause about those caught in the economy's undertow, even in good times.

So I think a small increase is very reasonable. And are these our hard working citizens too?
This isn't about rhetorc it's about doing the right, humane and the moral thing. If we spend billions to try to give Iraqis a better life (freedom/liberty) something you support. I am sure you find nothing wrong with $2.15 increase in the minimum wage?

Enjoy your weekend.

chandni said...

Ya, the hawaii statue step was good...will go a long way in preserving life there.

but there are others where its just way off mark!

Jordan's Dad said...

Thanks for the well wishes - I'm sure Sadaf will keep everyone updated on her blog.

Anyway, why shouldnt everyone have to pay the estate tax? 300 billion in tax revenue coming from only 5000 taxpayers doesnt sound very fair. Shouldnt people have to pay their "fair share"? Isnt that what the left says?

The estate tax should be abolished altogether. It is simply taxing money that has already been taxed. So its stealing twice.

As for the minumum wage, I love the old liberal "trick" - tell a sob story about one person (whose purpose is to write a sob story article) suggesting it represents the "norm," which it inevitably doesnt. I'm not so fooled.

How about this - I think the minumum wage should be $20 an hour. I mean, if you really cared about those hard working people, you'd want them to get more, right? What the heck are they supposed to do with a measly 2 bucks extra an hour? I guess I just care more about those workers than you do since i want to increase their pay 5 times more than you. (sarcasm)

You should read everything Thomas Sowell writes. He's a conservative commentator but also a PhD in economics from the U. of Chicago (also Harvard and Columbia educated, since I know the left loves the Ivy League). Are there any economists that support the idea that artificial wage increases help job creation and the economy?


"Give credit where credit is due. The political left is great with words. Conservatives have never been able to come up with such seductive phrases as the left mass produces.

While conservatives may talk about a need for "judicial restraint," liberals cry out for "social justice." If someone asks you why they should be in favor of judicial restraint, you have got to sit them down and go into a long explanation about constitutional government and its implications and prerequisites.

But "social justice"? No explanation needed. No definition. No facts. Everybody is for it. Do you want social injustice?

The latest verbal coup of the left is the phrase "a living wage." Who is so hard-hearted or mean-spirited that they do not want people to be able to make enough money to live on?

Unfortunately, the effort and talent that the left puts into coining great phrases is seldom put into facts or analysis. The living wage campaign shows that as well.

Just what is a living wage? It usually means enough income to support a family of four on one paycheck. This idea has swept through various communities, churches and academic institutions.

Facts have never yet caught up with this idea and analysis is lagging even farther behind.

First of all, do most low-wage workers actually have a family of four to support on one paycheck? According to a recent study by the Cato Institute, fewer than one out of five minimum wage workers has a family to support. These are usually young people just starting out.

So the premise is false from the beginning. But it is still a great phrase, and that is apparently what matters, considering all the politicians, academics and church groups who are stampeding all and sundry toward the living wage concept.

What the so-called living wage really amounts to is simply a local minimum wage policy requiring much higher pay rates than the federal minimum wage law. It's a new minimum wage.

Since there have been minimum wage laws for generations, not only in the United States, but in other countries around the world, you might think that we would want to look at what actually happens when such laws are enacted, as distinguished from what was hoped would happen.

Neither the advocates of this new minimum wage policy nor the media -- much less politicians -- show any interest whatsoever in facts about the consequences of minimum wage laws.

Most studies of minimum wage laws in countries around the world show that fewer people are employed at artificially higher wage rates. Moreover, unemployment falls disproportionately on lower skilled workers, younger and inexperienced workers, and workers from minority groups.

The new Cato Institute study cites data showing job losses in places where living wage laws have been imposed. This should not be the least bit surprising. Making anything more expensive almost invariably leads to fewer purchases. That includes labor.

While trying to solve a non-problem -- supporting families that don't exist, in most cases -- the living wage crusade creates a very real problem of low-skilled workers having trouble finding a job at all.

People in minimum wage jobs do not stay at the minimum wage permanently. Their pay increases as they accumulate experience and develop skills. It increases an average of 30 percent in just their first year of employment, according to the Cato Institute study. Other studies show that low-income people become average-income people in a few years and high-income people later in life.

All of this depends on their having a job in the first place, however. But the living wage kills jobs.

As imposed wage rates rise, so do job qualifications, so that less skilled or less experienced workers become "unemployable." Think about it. Every one of us would be "unemployable" if our pay rates were raised high enough.

I would love to believe that the Hoover Institution would continue to hire me if I demanded double my current salary. But you notice that I don't make any such demand. Third parties need to stop making such demands for other people. It is more important for people to have jobs than for busybodies to feel noble."

Eli said...

So, jay... still think Peter King isn't so bad?

karmic_jay said...

LOL.. Eli :)There are no moderate republicans left or they are disappearing very fast.
Like you said about Arlen Specter, he makes a lot of noise but no action.

BTW..Did he say something?

karmic_jay said...

Eli, I mean Peter King.

Eli said...

Peter King said the NYT should be prosecuted for reporting on the bank transaction spying.