Thursday, April 23, 2009
With the house on fire, Democrats are worried about whether or not to remodel the den.
Oregon has the 2nd Highest Unemployment Rate In The Nation.
And still, the Left persists. Green technology. Light-rail. Stuff that increases costs, throws money down the toilet, and still they insist that they are being Progressive. More drunk sailor than idiot. And all that money in their pockets isn't theirs.
But the Left has a lock on the Oregon Legislature. Democrats have 36 votes to 24 Republican votes in the House. In the Senate the vote is Lefty 18, Republican 12. Throw in a Lefty Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer and Attorney General, and we're pretty much screwed.
Earlier this week, Democrats killed several bills that would have created jobs. Of course, these jobs would have been in the private sector. Democrats are working hard for Change!™ They are creating public sector jobs. Health care sector jobs. Private business around the back.
The bills they killed were SB704, HB3095, SJR24 and HB3469.
The Democrats (Change!™) wouldn't even allow the bills to advance in committee. That is, they never saw the light of day.
What to do? In the House Republicans decided to take HB2469 to the Floor. It's time Republican Leader Bruce Hanna gets a little pissed. While Democrats are busy building toy trains and toy energy systems, Republicans are getting serious about doing something about the job crisis. It's real, folks. It's real. And take a look at the last line of this press release. What Democrats did work on:
"SALEM—House Republicans today brought legislation to the House Floor that would provide tax relief to low-income Oregonians and working families, create new jobs, and put more money back into Oregon’s economy. Despite an nonpartisan estimate suggesting the bill would create 20,000 new jobs, Democrats voted to keep HB 3469 locked in a committee that never granted it a hearing.
“'With Oregon having the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, the Legislature must immediately act to create jobs and reverse this economic recession,' said House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg). 'HB 3469 would increase Oregonians’ purchasing power, restore confidence in Oregon’s economy and provide tax relief to those who need it the most.'
"HB 3469 would provide tax relief to low-income Oregonians by doubling income levels connected to Oregon’s 5 percent, 7 percent and 9 percent tax brackets. According to the Legislative Revenue Office (LRO), changing the brackets would give taxpayers earning less than $30,000 immediate tax relief of 22 percent. With more dollars flowing into Oregon’s economy, LRO estimates this provision alone could create over 19,900 new jobs.
"In addition, HB 3346 also includes a provision to increase the child tax credit to help working families cope with the costs of maintaining a home and securing a better future for their children. Specifically, the bill establishes a personal income tax credit of $500 per dependent child.
“'These pro-family tax reforms would enable more working Oregonians to meet their basic needs during this economic recession,' said Rep. Vicki Berger (R-Salem) a HB 3469 co-sponsor. 'HB 3469 would save families hundreds of dollars every year, and pump millions of dollars into our stagnating economy.'
"HB 3469 remains in the House Revenue Committee, which today considered a bill to limit the medical expense deduction for Oregon’s senior citizens."
UPDATE: Had to add this video. The Left wants to protect government jobs. Public jobs. The very idea of reducing the size of government is anathema to the Left. Just watch the vid. Found on NWRepublican.
"Smart Grid technology includes everything from interactive appliances in homes to substation automation and sensors on transmission lines. It is a system that uses various technologies to enhance power delivery and use through intelligent two-way communication. Power generators, suppliers and users are all part of the equation. With increased communication and information, Smart Grid can monitor activities in real time, exchange data about supply and demand and adjust power use to changing load requirements. "
What I do with my power and when is my job. I don't want my energy use monitored, thank you just the same. I write you a check, you provide the juice. That's my relationship with you.
Governments want to increase its monitoring of you, how much you drive, where, how much energy you use, when, how.
Why do they need to know this? To help manage the grid. Why do they need to micro-manage the grid? Because there hasn't been enough increase in base load generation to keep up with demand. And Oregon's Green Governor has blocked efforts at increasing base load production within the State of Oregon. Coal, nuclear, even LNG is hated by the Left. Monitoring and regulating your use is perfectly acceptable, though. It's what Big Government (Brother?) loves to do.
BPA is a regional gem. It is a brilliant power producing company. It has done laudable work on mitigating concerns about salmon production. It has given Northwest residents an incredible renewable energy source that makes sense. And cents.
Why the push for Smart Grid? It's a part of the Stimulus Package. You know, the trillions that are sending us off a cliff? They have the money, and they are going to spend it.
But I hope my private provider says, "Thanks, but no thanks."
We are aware of problems with the Grid. We are aware of the unique problems of the Smart Grid. Let's fix the Grid. And leave the Smart Grid alone. Please.
When the Legislature--the people who babysit you even when you wished they'd just leave you alone--passed a law requiring cigarette manufacturers to put chemicals in your smokes so that "unattended" cigarettes would self-extinguish, the flavour of your smokes changed. Me, I acquired a hacking cough. Forty years of smoking and now I develop a hack.
Well, thanks to increases in federal and state taxes, finding an affordable alternative to branded cigarettes led me to a solution that both beats the price of branded cigarettes, and has opened up an old world of flavour. Cigarettes that taste good again. Amazing.
The pic above is the tobacco. The pic below is the rolling machine. When you buy the bag above, you get a box of tubes for your tobacco. The cost of the bag? $16.00. Two-hundred cigs for a dollar sixty a pack.
This is the machine. There is an "automatic" machine, but talking to a guy that had bought one, both he and I bought the one in the pic. The automatic machine requires you to continually monitor the settings, since the tobacco on the bottom of the bag has a different consistency from the tobacco on the top. The manual machine allows your fingers to do the monitoring for you. It rolls the tobacco and injects it into the tube. Amazing.
Plus, I've found that the amount of tobacco you put in changes the burn rate. I can actually increase the flavour by lightening the amount of tobacco I put into my smokes. The only tip I can give you is make sure you put tobacco on either end of the tobacco shute. You don't want voids next to the filter or at the tip.
So, head off to your local tobacconist and get this stuff. Enjoy cheap smokes before the legislature strikes again.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Myth: Creating green jobs will boost productive employment.
Reality: Green jobs estimates include huge numbers of clerical, bureaucratic, and
administrative positions that do not produce goods and services for consumption.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
This current economic downturn is the result of federal policies that encouraged home ownership for folks who couldn't make good assessments on the amount of risk to which they were exposing themselves.
The policies of our governments--federal, state and local--are important. And typically bad. Government doesn't create a lick of wealth. Not a lick. But it can make dumb affordable.
Tax policies that drive over-investment into housing will inflate the cost of housing. But does it actually increase the value of that housing stock? And this rush to Green Tech. I guy I've known for 35 years told me back in March that he was getting into a "green" project after the government agreed to pay for 70 percent of the investment cost. It's the only thing that greenlined the project. Seventy percent. There are lots of things that will pencil out with that kind of subsidy. When the bubble bursts on Green, my bud will still be able to walk away whole. Because the projects value is only 30 percent of the total cost of the project. The problem is, the state is out there pushing green projects with our cash. Somebody was going to take the cash. My bud did.
Years ago, while working my way through school, I landed a job with huge sales commissions. I was making as much in a month as my dad made in a year. It was a machine job. By that I mean that if one took mechanical steps toward closing the deal, the deal was closed. It took a while for me to figure out that long after I had made my commissions, that the customers were still going to be dealing with the payments on those deals. But it was so easy.
What one sales manager said--who I credit to this day for explaining the way to close a deal--was that if I didn't close the deal, the next guy would. This is, in the parlance of sales, the dilemma of "leaving money on the table." The car guys I've talked with over the years view this as their primary task; getting as much money out of the pocket of the guy they're dealing with as they possibly can. How do you do it? How can you lay somebody away?
By giving them what they want.
Whether you view it as a sales job, or as a con job, the key is to get people what they want. And the more emotionally attached they are to whatever it is your hawking, the more cash you can get out of their pockets. Realtors in the past few years have been swimming in gelt. There was no such thing as a dog. "Simply hold onto it for two years, flip it, and move on up!" Who wouldn't want such a thing? The federal government made buying and flipping one of the most lucrative past-times in America. Can you afford the payments? Who cares! You're only going to have to make those payments for two years, then you flip! And, voila! you're a millionaire!
Speculation driven pricing is cool, if you know you're engaged in speculation. Meaning, when it's time to take a trim, you know you're going to get a trimming. Not so in the current bubble deflation. Government is working to re-incentivise home purchases. They're pouring more incentive cash into the market to re-ignite the housing market. But like any Ponzi scheme, it's going to crash again. Because value is often different than price.
We're getting creamed by Leftists currently. The product? Global Warming, carbon dioxide and green technology. The green tech doesn't pencil, so what to do? Get emotional. Carbon dioxide and Global Warming. Who wants these things? Who actually knows that we each create carbon dioxide with every breath we exhale? Better to point to power plants than people. The important thing to remember is, after you've got them hooked, there's no sense in leaving any money on the table. Sales job or con job?
Imagine, getting cash from folks for the air they breathe. Amazing, innit?