Blog #11: Random Miscellany

Howdy, once again Campers, Ol Buster here after a rather unproductive interlude. In addition to my old pappy’s infamous deeflickulties, it seems my trusted correspondents have been uncharacteristically absent of late. Nevertheless, I’ve scribbled out a few notes for y’all for today, and promise to get to discussing beer in the next week or so.

The Sherpa’s strike at Mount Everest seems to be having a somewhat dampening effect on the enthusiasm of the erstwhile intrepid climbers. One fellow, after waiting two weeks, claimed, “without the Sherpas, we can’t climb” and packed up to go home.

Well, the latest National Climate Assessment, out May 7, seems to indicate some rather stark troubles in store for the millennials, but of course, for any right-thinking persons, this is just another example of big government crying “wolf.”

There’s a new book out called “Capital in the 21st Century” by Thomas Piketty, who is described as a “ridiculously far left French economist,” in the New York Post. In the book, Piketty sort of explains why the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” However, you can save yourself the somewhat daunting chore of examining the whole 685-page “tome” by checking out my blogs on the “Financial Sector” and the “Economy,” and watching my future musings on our modern economic systems.

Obviously, income inequality isn’t restricted to our good old U.S. of A. Matter of fact, it was recently reported that the wife of a wealthy Chinese businessman rented a mountain to teach their nine year old daughter about nature. Right there in the bastion of Communism!

Recent AP Poll – Our enlightened citizens DOUBT:

Climate Change…………………………….37%

Evolution………………………………………42%

Safety of Vaccines (or need for)………15%

Ever wonder why the representatives sent to Washington, D.C. are so inept?

Remember back in Blog #8 on the “Financial Sector” where we opined that a sizable chunk of the old Baby Boomers will be completely dependent on government assistance? Well, here’s an idea whose time has certainly come (albeit a little late): Mandatory Retirement Savings, possibly similar to Australia’s “superannuation” program, which requires that 9 percent of workers’ pay be diverted to retirement accounts. Yes, if one of our illustrious political parties wants to lose a bunch of seats in the mid-term elections coming up, this is definitely an idea to latch on to!!

Apparently, our suggestion back in Blog #3 that folks ignore the TV ads telling them to “Ask Your Doctor” about drugs hasn’t had much effect. Turn on the morning news and what you get is drug advertisements. So, how about the good old FDA just ban the bloody ads. Nobody would notice because there is more than enough other advertising (for cars, beauty creams, weight loss, and such) to fill the long interlude between “news” stories. Plus, by the time Big Pharma begin complaining to their congressional benefactors, people might realize that their drug habits are bankrupting Medicare. This last thought of course is just wishful thinking, but certainly Medicare itself isn’t helping. When a doctor administers a drug in his or her office, Medicare pays 106 percent of the drug’s average selling price. This practice presents the Doc an incentive to prescribe the most expensive drug available for that purpose. Banning those ubiquitous ads would also save our fearless legislators from the horrifying thought of having to install price controls on the out-of-control drug costs.

Another Big Pharma note: Pfizer offered up to $100 Billion to buy British rival Astra Zeneca. A comment my old pappy saw on this subject went like: “If a deal goes through, Pfizer would gain control of a lucrative stable of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular drugs. It would also provide a European beachhead that would help the New York-based company avoid hundreds of millions of US taxes.” Seems as though we really need to get a grip on these esoteric tax loopholes!

Finally, a glimmer of good news: Our good old state of Idyhoe was saved some grief by having over 20% of its 2012 cigarette sales smuggled out of state due to our very low state sales tax per pack of $0.57.

Here in the ‘tator state we’re doing well on Federal govamint funds as well – raking in about $9.9 billion versus sending taxes east of around $8.7 billion, leaving us a net bonus of $1.2 billion (2013 figures). Pappy kind of wonders why we have so many anti-big govamint folk living here in Idyhoe.

PS. Y’all gotta stop watching all that Grand Sensationalism on the Telly – read my blog for the unclear facts!

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