Category Archives: News

Why can’t a tax break be considered an “economic stimulus”?

I’m not trying to constantly make political arguments here, but I am curious with the fight that is coming up regarding the Bush tax cuts.

I continue to hear over and over (mostly from the liberal or democrat side), that “NOT” letting the tax cuts expire, at least on the top most wealthy percent, will “cost” over $700 Million dollars.

his is un the theory around the amount of taxes that would be collected from the wealthy when their taxes go up.
Well, for starters I’m always confused by what is considered “weatlthy”?

In the world of Obama, that is over $2oo,000 for an individual, and only $250, 000 for a couple.

Now I say only, as I’m now living in California mostly full time.  I know that $250,000 may go far in an area like Arkansas, or even my home town of Kansas City.  But in Los Angeles?

I wonder how some people survive on that.
However, I digress.  Back to the point.

At the same time there is a discussion about letting the tax cuts expire, there is a concurrent discussion about creating another “stimulus” package.
This “stimulus” would be where the government creates an $800 Billion loan under the premise that the money would be used to “perhaps” create jobs.

More likely, to really pay for teachers, firefighters, orphans and children- which always seems to be the argument.

Ok, I digress again.
On point- Is the country, business, and YOU as an individual- better served with $800 Million in debt being dolled out by the government?  Would YOU personally feel any benefit from that?  Would it add money in your pocket, savings, or child’s education fund?

What about the tax side?  See, if the $700 Billion was “not” collected by the government, that is money that WOULD be left for the individual.

I for one would rather- given the choice of $800 Billion in the hands of the Government, or $700 Billion in the hands of the people- would choose the latter!!
It seems the argument always goes to class warfare- the have’s and the have not’s- the “wealthy” against the poor.

Me?  I think it is the people against the Goverment.

Power to the People

The Singularity is Near

I was privileged to see Ray Kurzweil speak the other day on the “Singularity”.

It is close to the time when man and machine become one.  If you think of the movie the Terminator, you’re on the right track.

Well, here is an interesting article that just came out.

This is showing just how close we really are getting.

What is the highest paid government position?

Not that I’m overly political here, as I really try to add real world value, however I found the following article interesting.

It spoke about the federal pay for jobs versus a comparable private sector job.  Not only are many of the federal jobs higher paying, when you count in the pension and benefit plans, it’s not even close.
However, what I found most interesting, was the highest paid position below.  Want to guess what is was?

Pilot?  Nope.

Attorney?  Try again.

IT/Computer Professional?  No way.

It is…..Public relations.  What does THAT tell us about the state of our government and where their priorities are?

Job comparison

Average federal salaries exceed average private-sector pay in 83% of comparable occupations. A sampling of average annnual salaries in 2008, the most recent data:

Job Federal Private Difference
Airline pilot, copilot, flight engineer $93,690 $120,012 -$26,322
Broadcast technician $90,310 $49,265 $41,045
Budget analyst $73,140 $65,532 $7,608
Chemist $98,060 $72,120 $25,940
Civil engineer $85,970 $76,184 $9,786
Clergy $70,460 $39,247 $31,213
Computer, information systems manager $122,020 $115,705 $6,315
Computer support specialist $45,830 $54,875 -$9,045
Cook $38,400 $23,279 $15,121
Crane, tower operator $54,900 $44,044 $10,856
Dental assistant $36,170 $32,069 $4,101
Economist $101,020 $91,065 $9,955
Editors $42,210 $54,803 -$12,593
Electrical engineer $86,400 $84,653 $1,747
Financial analysts $87,400 $81,232 $6,168
Graphic designer $70,820 $46,565 $24,255
Highway maintenance worker $42,720 $31,376 $11,344
Janitor $30,110 $24,188 $5,922
Landscape architects $80,830 $58,380 $22,450
Laundry, dry-cleaning worker $33,100 $19,945 $13,155
Lawyer $123,660 $126,763 -$3,103
Librarian $76,110 $63,284 $12,826
Locomotive engineer $48,440 $63,125 -$14,685
Machinist $51,530 $44,315 $7,215
Mechanical engineer $88,690 $77,554 $11,136
Office clerk $34,260 $29,863 $4,397
Optometrist $61,530 $106,665 -$45,135
Paralegals $60,340 $48,890 $11,450
Pest control worker $48,670 $33,675 $14,995
Physicians, surgeons $176,050 $177,102 -$1,052
Physician assistant $77,770 $87,783 -$10,013
Procurement clerk $40,640 $34,082 $6,558
Public relations manager $132,410 $88,241 $44,169
Recreation worker $43,630 $21,671 $21,959
Registered nurse $74,460 $63,780 $10,680
Respiratory therapist $46,740 $50,443 -$3,703
Secretary $44,500 $33,829 $10,671
Sheet metal worker $49,700 $43,725 $5,975
Statistician $88,520 $78,065 $10,455
Surveyor $78,710 $67,336 $11,374

Environmental Research- New Pet Project

So, I’m about to start an new Pet Project.  It’s going to be in the environmental space.

It should completely rock, but we’ll see.

However, in the course of research, I ran across something I found interesting.  I searched of the “top 10 green companies”.  One company appears on several of the lists, and to me it doesn’t make any sense.

That company is- Starbucks.

Why do I find that odd?  Because I tend to see the most simple solution to a complex problem.

For Starbucks?  It always amazed me that they didn’t have a recycle bin for their trash?  To see glass bottles, plastic cups, etc. simply thrown away with normal trash…..well.

Perhaps there is a good reason?

But, I would think Starbucks could set a good example- and a SIMPLE one- if they just encouraged the millions of people a day who frequent their locations- to recycle.


Political Battle at hand

Ok, nothing like jumping straight in with controversy.  If you’re not aware, there is a special election coming up for the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy.

Interesting if you are tracking such items.  If  Scott Brown the Republican wins, it will dramatically change the balance of power in the Senate, and perhaps the course of history for the United States.

My friend Dennis Hayes (created the Modem- “Hayes Compatible”- if you’ve heard of that).  He sent a note out imploring people to follow and get out to vote.

I’ve copied his note below.  Regardless of your political affiliation, this is something indeed worth tracking.

From Dennis Hayes-

“Dear Friends,

Please forward this message to all of your friends that live in Massachusetts.

I don’t care whether you are a Democrat, Independent or Republican, I hope you will go and take everyone you know to vote next week for Scott Brown so there is a chance to stop the Train Wreck in Congress with the socialists in control of the government and reset the health care reform so we can solve the problems and get something that will actually work. I can only hope that you and the people in Massachusetts are as angry and frustrated with the crap being rushed through Congress, without transparency or bipartisan input, that is not solving any of the problems that it is supposed to and spending trillions more that the government cannot afford. I believe we need Health insurance reform but everything about the current bill in Congress is a travesty and wrong for all of us. Brown is refreshing as a person from Massachusetts; on health care, trials of terrorists and independent thinking I have to give him an A+. Good luck, we are counting on all of you to bring some real change and sanity back to Congress.

The rest of the country needs you to take action and be real Patriots.”