…or are people just stupid. To wit…and all these were news just from the past couple of days. Before I start though…let me tell ya about the new category of post I’m starting…it’s called RBB for Reality Based Blogging. I’ll use it when necessary and include a note at the beginning of the post so if’n ya don’ wanna read about obliviots ya don’ have to.
Anyways…back in December Amazon announced that they would build a second HQ in New York City…specifically in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens. This would have employed 25,000…yes, 25,000…folks in NYC…and while some of them would have been transferred from other areas most of them would be new jobs for New Yorkers. Amazon was going to build a campus there…which would have generated construction jobs on top of the 25,000 permanent staff once it was built.
To get Amazon to make this commitment…the city and state offered Amazon tax subsidies…just like every other city and state does to get large corporate campuses built.
However…those construction and permanent jobs are now gone. Activists in NYC…there’s another word for them that starts with the same letter…and for which buttheads is a decent synonym…complained about the tax subsidies. Not satisfied with that…said activists complained that it would increase congestion and lead to gentrification. Now I dunno know ‘bout you…but I been to NYC and it’s already pretty darned congested…but with a population of 8 million people already it’s hard to believe that 25,000 well paying jobs that would pay the outrageous NY state and NYC income taxes would really increase congestion. Gentrification…I guess that the folks living there now would rather have their ghetto and a high tech corporate campus and all the benefits that go along with that.
The mayor blasted Amazon for not “working with the community to solve the problems”…which I assume means turn down the tax incentives involved.
Never mind that citizens of NYC support this deal 56% to 36%…the activists have torpedoed the deal for them.
To top it off…their newly elected congresswoman…she of the degree in economics…she thinks that “it shows that everyday Americans have have the power to fight for their communities and have more power than the richest man in the world.” She says that the $3 billion in tax breaks that Amazon would have gotten can now be used to hire more teachers and fix the subway. Never mind that NYC didn’t write Amazon a check…and doesn’t have that $3 billion…the city and state just agreed to discount the taxes that Amazon would have paid. Never mind that Amazon said the 25,000 jobs would average over $115,000 a year in salary…and pay some $20 billion of taxes in NY over the years that the tax breaks covered. Never mind that NYC has lost 25,000 tax paying jobs at Amazon plus who knows how many others at businesses that moved into or expanded in the area to provide services to those 25,000 workers.
Then there’s this whole Green New Deal thing…championed by that same newly elected to Congress 29 year bartender from NYC…ya know, the one named Ocrazyio…who wants to “eliminate climate change in the next 10 years. To do this she’s built a plan…well she calls it a plan but it’s actually just a progressive wish list with no thought given to technical feasibility of accomplishing any of it’s goals and no plan at all to pay for it except for the government to ‘just print more money’. To achieve this goal…she wants to convert the entire electric grid to renewable energy sources, outlaw coal and gas, eliminate all fossil fueled vehicles including planes, eliminate emissions from livestock (presumably by banning cows and pigs and making us all vegetarians by fiat), and institute high speed transportation country wide. But she goes further than that…in addition to some goals that arguable would affect the US carbon emissions…she then piles on every progressive wish list item she can think of…Medicare for all…a guaranteed job for “every person that wants one”…a guaranteed income for those persons that don’t want a job…free college tuition, and upgrade every building in the US to maximum energy efficiency.
She’s going to accomplish all of this in 10 years…and do it all on the government’s dime. A lot of this is technically unachievable at any cost…but quickly reviewing a few cost estimates for some of the ideas from other folks (not her though…her plan is to just print money remember)…reveal that Medicare for All would cost on the order of $300 billion a year and completely replacing every power plant in the US would be something over $2 trillion over 10 years or $200 billion a year, and upgrading all the buildings in the US would be another $300 billion a year. That’s $800 billion a year…and the current US budget is only about $4000 billion a year now. Add in the other ideas…and she’s going to increase the total budget by a minimum of 30%…without paying for any of it.
To be fair…she’s said that she wants to increase the tax rate on incomes more than 10 million to 70%…without any of the tax deductions that currently exist. To be fair also…her wacko buddy Elizabeth Warren wants to institute a wealth tax…not an income tax mind you but an annual wealth tax of 2% or 3% a year on NET WORTH…in other words she’s not going to tax their income (that’s handled by Ocrazyio’s idea) but she’s just going to confiscate the wealth that has already been earned and taxed.
To be completely fair though…both of the above plans put together would bring in about $300 billion a year…or just a third of the costs identified above. I saw one estimate that the total cost of the whole Green New Deal would be on the order of $20 trillion over 10 years or a mere $2 trillion a year…or about 50% of the current federal budget. And they’re going to do all of this on the backs of the American taxpayer. Now they call it “having the rich pay their fair share”…but seeing that the to 5% of income earners pay something like 60% of the total income tax paid by the entire country…well it’s hard to see how they’re not already paying their share as well as the share for the downtrodden. No mistake about it…enactment of this idea would…besides being technically impossible to achieve at all, much less in 10 years…would result in massive tax increases on people in the $50,000 a year income and up brackets…there’s just no other way to make the math work.
So…the Senate Majority Leader says that he’ll call a vote on the Green New Deal…and now the progressives are all up in arms saying he’s trying to torpedo the idea “before we flesh it out via a national debate”. Seems to me he’s just giving them a chance to go on record as tax and spend liberals or betray the…media’s words not mine…commitment of the new star of the left…said 29 year old freshman congresswoman with previous job experience as a bartender. Now how this woman who graduated with an finance degree from Boston University fails to understand that governments cannot just print money is beyond me…the last two countries that tried that were Zimbabwe and Venezuela…and they have massive inflation rates and economies that are in the toilet…so just printing money obviously isn’t the answer.
Then there’s another admitted socialist…again a newly elected congressman named Ilhan Omar from Minnesota…who wants to defund the Homeland Security Department. This is on top of her earlier on-video declaration that the President is a mother-f*** (I’l leave it to you to figure out the rest of that) and then last week she accused congressman and senators of supporting Israel solely because of “Jewish money”. Even her own party condemned her ant-semitic remarks and she subsequently apologized. No apology so far for the President though.
California announced today that they’re abandoning their high speed rail project between LA and San Francisco…yes, the same high rail that the aforementioned Green New Deal wants to expand nationwide. California started this project in 2013 and it was supposed to cost $6 billion and be paid for “completely by private investors”. Unfortunately…private investors have declined to take part…and they’ve spent well into double digits of billions in state money with a before it was cancelled estimated price tag of $77 billion…and so far with exactly zero miles of track being laid the cost would only go up from there.
Speaking of Elizabeth Warren…while we’re no fans of her ‘round these parts…she recently had some DNA research done and according to it she has a Native American ancestor somewhere between 6 and 10 generations back. While this Native American gene is not solely found in that population and is also found in other populations around the world but it’s more common in Native Americans. She did this DNA test to counteract the President’s description of her as “Pocahontas” because she’s said in the past that she has some Native American ancestry based on “tales from her grandmother”. Based on the DNA analysis…she likely has some Native American genes in her ancestry…but then probably 50% of the US population has some of those genes.
That’s not the stupid thing though…what’s stupid is the reaction from various Native American tribes around the country. They say that bloodlines, genes, and who you ancestors were has nothing to do with Native American ancestry…that only tribal allegiance and customs provide Native American ancestry. Unfortunately for them…that’s wrong. While “tribal membership” can be and is regulated by the tribe and restricted to those with significant ancestry…growing up as an Indian isn’t generally required for tribal membership as I understand it, merely a greater percentage of Indian ancestry in your genealogical tree. She…however…doesn’t claim tribal membership but Native American ancestry. In this case…even though we think her politics are cuckoo…she’s more likely right than wrong. Nonetheless…she’s apologized and now says that she misspoke when claiming to be descended from Native Americans.
Then there’s the guy in Arizona that raped the disabled comatose nurse in a nursing facility. Nobody knew she was pregnant until she went into labor and out popped the infant. DNA testing has confirmed the paternity of the child…and he was arrested…and obviously a comatose woman can’t consent…but this moron…well, he pleaded innocent and his lawyer says he “deserves the constitutional protections he’s guaranteed”. True…but DNA is DNA so there’s really no question as to guilt I’m guessing. However…instead of copping a plea for a reduced sentence…maybe this moron thinks he’ll get off.
Walmart recently announced that all employees would get 48 hours of sick pay per year…I don’t know if this is an increase from nothing or from smaller number…but good old Bernie Sanders…instead of congratulating Walmart on improving employee benefits…nope…he is condemning them because it’s “not nearly enough”. He and his fellow progressive Senator Schumer are introducing a bill to ban a company from buying back stock unless they increase minimum wages to $15 an hour and provide 60 hours of sick leave per year. Somehow…I don’t think making it illegal for a company to buy back stock is constitutional…but apparently…at least to progressives…the constitution means what they want it to mean instead of what it actually says.
Back in the 1500s…there was this period of cold climate called the Little Ice Age…according to the people that know these things the temperature of the earth cooled by an entire degree…this causing dramatic alterations in climate, widespread crop failure, famine…and probably the heartbreak of psoriasis for all we know. Now I’m not sure that just one degree of temperature change would cause the widespread famine an crop failure it’s alleged to…but then I’m not a climate change expert like progressives claim to be…and think that just maybe there were some other contributing factors.
However…I’m told according to Popular Mechanics…which quotes a study from University College in London…anyway they say that the Little Ice Age was caused by a decrease of atmospheric carbon dioxide of 8 parts per million starting in 1492. Again…I’m not sure that we really know precisely what atmospheric carbon dioxide was in the 1400s…or how they calculated that this precipitous drop started in 1492…but again I’m not a climate change expert so work with me here. Anyways…the experts in London have concluded that it’s all Christopher Columbus’s fault. His discovery of North America…I guess the people already here don’t count…triggered a massive population decline (their words, not mine) because of the tens of millions of Native American deaths (supposedly 90% of the population) that were killed off by European white people who came to North America. This population crash in turn resulted in 200,000 acres (that’s about the size of Texas) of former crop land being taken over by forests…which then sucked the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere…which then caused one entire degree of cooling…which caused the dramatic alteration of climate in Europe and all the subsequent famine, death, and psoriasis.
Me…I think there’s probably a lot more to it than that. While it’s clear that over the past 50 or years or so temperature has risen…and it’s likely that cars, cows, power plants and the like have some contribution to it…it’s not entirely clear to me that there aren’t other factors that might be also contributing…ya know things like volcanic eruptions and variations in solar flux. I seem to remember seeing graphs of the actual solar flux over time that hit the planet…and amazingly enough the variations in it seem to pretty much parallel the graph that the climate change experts keep showing us showing the planet’s temperature over the past 50 million years. I’m still now sure what an “average planetary temperature” is…it seems like an oversimplification to me. I’m also not sure how we know what the temperature was 45 million years ago since thermometers were only invented 220 years ago. I know what the climate experts claim…they…well, the Soviet Union actually…dug up some ice samples in Antarctica back in the 1950s or so and these were analyzed for carbon dioxide content and dated in layers that supposedly conform to years and supposedly conform to average temperature. Again…that seems like an oversimplification to me…but as I said I’m not a climate change expert…just a simple minded bear.
There’s been this whole wall/shutdown/political brinksmanship thing going on over the past couple of months in particular…and today the President declared a National Emergency which will allow him to build the wall by reprogramming funds already appropriated. Naturally…progressives are all up in arms about this…threatening lawsuits and such…and I’m not really trying to argue for or against a wall or that Mexico should pay for it. There are places along the border where a wall is a good idea…and there are places along the border where it’s not really practical and more sophisticated technical measures might better be employed. However…I have noticed a few hypocritical statements…shocking news I know…from various politicians and pundits.
Just a couple of examples. If walls are bad and do nothing to keep bad people out…why do wealthy progressives and wealthy conservatives both live in gated communities and put locks on their doors? If all immigrants are bad…how does one explain the huge majority of them that other than being illegally in the country are law abiding people…while I feel for their desire to better their families…there are legal ways to enter the country and calling them “undocumented” is just a progressive smokescreen…if you aren’t a legal immigrant or visa holding visitor and you’re in the US then you’re an illegal immigrant. If declaring a national emergency is bad…then why is the President being almost universally condemned by the media for declaring his first one while the past 3 administrations have had 13, 12, and 11 declared national emergencies respectively with most of those still in effect aren’t being condemned. If walls are by definition bad…then why have the past 3 administrations installed over 600 miles of border wall/fence/barrier between them. If walls are bad…why did the progressives support a bill last year that would have provided over $26 billion of wall/fence/barrier funding. If walls are bad…why were progressives for them before they were against them. I’ll tell you why…it’s because progressives must oppose anything the President does…we call it TDS for Trump Derangement Syndrome at my cave. And it’s not just progressives…the far right during the previous administration kept up all the crap about birth certificates and natural born citizenship of the previous President…and they were just as ignorant, wrong, and stupid as the current crop of presidential opponents.
Then there’s the whole Brexit thing…it’s not my country so I don’t really have much of an opinion either way…although I do think the EU is doomed to failure eventually as there’s no strong central government and no member gave up any of their sovereignty. However…the UK voted to leave…and their Prime Minister is trying to do what the people voted to…but it’s like the losing side over there keeps trying to change the outcome of the referendum because they don’t like the fact they lost. Parliament over in the UK voted down the divorce settlement that both sides agreed on…now the British want to renegotiate or else they will just leave as scheduled in late March. Both sides have what they describe as “non negotiable requirements”…unfortunately each side’s non negotiable requirements are 100% in conflict with the other side’s non negotiable requirements. I dunno what’s gonna happen…although I’m personally betting on the no deal exit option as that’s what’s currently in law…but it’s interesting to watch from afar.
OK…on to interesting things found on the net.
Always read the small print.