Howdy, Folks, Buster back after a week of relaxing in the fabulous Boise sunshine. Don’t look now, but our mid-term exams (err, elections) are coming up next week, and it is entirely likely that our enlightened electorate, by now mostly rendered comatose by their tellys, will flunk again. Of course, we can’t be held totally accountable because, unlike our fantastic supermarkets where choices are severely limited, we voters have the voluminous selection of either Republicrat or Demoblican candidates, a distinguished assortment of the most money-grubbing, honesty challenged rascals imaginable.
So, Please, do your civic duty, and get out there and vote, early and often!
A bit of a caveat here:
Unlike the vast majority of the world’s people, we in the good old U.S.ofA. have a mechanism for changing the people who make the laws by which we live. You see, our constitution (ratified by Rhode Island, the last of the states existing at the time on May 29,1790) granted about half our citizens the right to vote. Then, over the next couple of hundred years, the vote, sometimes called “suffrage” was extended to more and more people, sort of culminating with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which prohibited racial discrimination at the voting booth.
Unfortunately, in 2013, the Supreme Court decided to allow states to effect some changes to their voting eligibility rules, and of course several ultra-progressive, somewhat less united, states have taken full advantage of the Court’s ruling to restrict the voting rights of some of their citizens under the guise of preventing voter fraud. Could this issue possibly denote a discernible difference between our two political parties?
A couple of further notes on the fabulously altruistic Forbes 400:
Noting that there are four Waltons (beneficiaries of that civic-minded Walmart outfit) and a bunch of other retailers included in the magic 400, pappy and I feel it is a bit of a shame that so many of these poor souls need to rely on us beleaguered taxpayers to subsidize their employee compensation in order that their workers can afford to eat and get medical care when needed. These business people need to be encouraged with some strict wage rules, such as ending “wage cheating” and the “part-time” gambits to avoid existing laws. Decent legislators would have passed a reasonable minimum wage law a long time ago. This will crack you up; The Wall Street Journal, that bastion of middle class support, opines, “Wages have utterly stagnated under Obama’s watch.” Could they really believe that the stagnation is the fault of our Prez?
Oh, did we mention one of the other ways our honest taxpayers pick up the tab for these privileged kids, adding to their fortunes? Venture Capitalists generally pay their taxes at the much lower capital gains rates even though they are often not “venturing” a dime of their own money!
If you really need to feel some empathy for the sometimes misunderstood billionaires, consider that the Forbes’ exclusive Cost of Living Extremely Well Index (CLEWI) – betcha ya didn’t know that such an important statistic even existed – has outpaced inflation by an average of 2.5 percentage points a year since 1982. No wonder a simple little sailing yacht can cost almost 3 and a half million bucks nowadays. Even a Lionel train set (not quite like the one you may have played with as a child) can now run you $500.
Did I hear anyone scream, “Gimme a break?”
BTW, if you like Forbes Magazine, you will love its companion rag (err, mag), Forbes Life touting $3,700 jackets, $5,300 coats, several thousand dollar wristwatches, and even a $1,200 two-bottle wine tote. Celebration of Conspicuous Consumption never had it so good.
Re: Other areas of “trending” developments:
o Ben Bernanke was having trouble refinancing his mortgage recently.
o The fabled Waldorf-Astoria is being sold to a Chinese insurance company.
o Baby Boomers aren’t retiring; sorry ‘bout that Millennials.
o Trick question: Are regulators too cozy with banks? Wadaya think, Carmen?
o Ireland to close “Double Irish” tax loophole. We could have thought of that!
o “Baby Doc” Duvalier, shortly before going to his reward, was asked what mistakes he had made during his rule of Haiti. Mirroring the mindset of many of the “400,” he answered, “Perhaps I was too tolerant.”
“We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace – business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Your vote will help! Thanks, Bus.