Friday, May 24, 2013

Short Comments – Because There Are Just Too Many Things to Be Irate About to Have Long Comments

Spreading the Outrage to Maximize It

It is hard to view current events in economics and politics (the theme of this Forum) without wondering if the world has been struck by a stupid bomb.  Don’t dismiss that without considering the following.

  1. Everyone is excited that a Senate committee has passed an immigration bill.  The bill is terribly onerous, and is a political excuse for Democrats and some Republicans to say they support Hispanics.  A bill that has citizenship will likely die in the House, because Republican members are gerrymandered into districts where they do not have to worry about re-election.  For some reason the national media doesn’t understand any of this, and regards Senate actin as progress.

  1. Hedge funds are bullish on Greek debt, not because they think the country isn’t a basket case, but because they think the European Central Bank will not let the bonds go into default.    In many circles, but in Greece where the horror of economic deprivation is real,  this is mistaken for progress in Greece.

  1. The Boy Scouts look like they are going to admit openly gay scouts, but deny letting adult gay men participate as leaders.  It is hard to keep from disliking the Scouts for their prejudice against the gay community since they covered up various abuses by heterosexual leaders for decades.

  1. A new survey finds that while 42% of Americans find the IRS to be a poor job, 27% rate the agency as excellent and 29% say it is doing a fair job.  The American public apparently understands that the agency is doing the best it can, the Cincinnati debacle notwithstanding.  Conservatives have vowed to redouble their efforts to demonize all government employees, and will soon debut a campaign that alleges IRS workers are blood sucking zombies. [Was famous Democrat Dracula a Zombie?  We report  you decide?]

  1. Sears is losing even more money this year than it lost last year from its operations.  The business model of offering the same things as everyone else, but at higher prices does not seem to attract new customers.

  1. Forecasters say this year’s hurricane season will have more and stronger hurricanes than last year.  This is the CYA method of predictions, because if it is bad then they forecasters will say “I told you so” and if it is mild no one will be upset or mad that the forecasters were wrong.  The truth, no one knows or can predict the severity of the hurricane season.  There, we said it.

  1. How much does a person have to give the University of Virginia in order to address students and say stupid, ignorant and prejudicial remarks?  Apparently $100 million will do it, as  billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones has given that amount and then recently told students that women will never be successful securities’ traders because they have children.  We are not sure if Mr. Jones gained his stupidity after he amassed a billion dollar fortune or if he was born with it.  The difficulty in making that determination here is that gross stupidity and lack of even basic decency is not an impediment to making a billion or two in finance.

  1. Golfer Sergio Garcia, in his open feud with golfer Tiger Woods has done what many people thought was impossible, he has made Mr. Woods the more likeable of the two.  Mr. Garcia made openly vicious racist comments about Mr. Woods, and as everyone knows, those types of comments come out because they are deeply felt and have been held a long time.  Mr. Woods is one of the most unpleasant athletes in any sport, but he looks like a gentleman compared to Mr. Garcia.

  1. It has been revealed that a Republican Congressman from Tennessee who supports a massive cut to the food stamp program has received millions from government programs that subsidize agriculture.  Stephen Fincher would not comment on the report, but probably feels that if the government has to choose between himself and hungry children, well then      hungry children just need to realize that government can’t help everybody.

  1. No one seems to notice or care that the practices that allowed Apple Computer to escape up to $40 billion in taxes are the practices that the Republicans would make permanent in their plans to make corporate income taxes territorial.  Under their plan corporations would pay taxes where the money was earned.  Apple and other tech companies have easy methods to shift the locus of income to low tax jurisdictions.  So Republicans apparently support what Apple has done, and want others to do it also.

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