My 2 Cents Worth–Euro zone debt, US debt, politics and cars.

These are the crown jewels of a week’s worth of cogitation.  All worth are guaranteed to be worth the price of admission.

Where did this stuff about the Hungarian debt come from?  I thought we only had to worry about the PIIGS.  Everyone should go back and read the wisdom of Proverbs about debt and given surety for the debts of others.  Even Ben Franklin thought avoiding debt was the best way to make a capital increase.  Sooner or later the banks and individual and commercial entities are simply not going to buy the sovereign debt of some nations.   We will all run out of other people’s money at the same time.  Where will the money come from then for those pensions and early retirements around the world?

The international debt crisis is in a game of musical chairs already whether we like it or not and ready or not.  The only question is when the music will stop and who will be left without a chair.  The world will then say to the hapless one without the chair “Sorry, we can’t help you anymore.  You are on your own”  What a concept, having to accept responsibility for your own decisions.

What is it with Microsoft these days?  It is obviously in good shape financially for the moment and has very talented people there.  But think back a few years and it was always on the cutting edge in innovation with software and the internet.  When is the last time it produced a true breakthrough device or application?  It has been moribund new for years.  It is Google and Apple that keep pushing the envelop.  Will Microsoft become like IBM and calcify and enter a long slow period of decline?  Time will tell but the current trend is not encouraging.

All the projections from the CBO and others indicate that the interest payments on our national debt will be well over 900 billion by the end of this decade.  Who is going to pay that debt?  That is only the interest not the principle due on the debt.  This year’s budget is about 3.8 trillion.  That payment would be about a fourth of that budget.  Of course the budget will only grow.  Will our ability to service our debt keep pace with the size of the debt?  Of course the federal employees could take a 10% cut in pay and no increases for 5 years and knock a big hole in that number.  I have a feeling the vast majority of them would stay on their jobs after the cut.  After all, they have a cushy position and great pay already.

At least someone is working hard these days.  Whoever it is at Goldman Sachs that has to actually put hands on the documents being requested by the various government agencies is a busy bee.  There is the lawsuit with the SEC, the financial crisis committee, the House and Senate committee requests, and Lord only knows how many lawsuits that are already pending.  Every time one of those request comes in it has to be met.  That means someone has to go through the emails, file records for clients, internal documents, phone logs, etc.  It must be hundreds of thousands of pages if not millions for each request.  Boy, I wish I had the local Kinko franchise near their offices.

Am I the only one that thinks the clean up effort for the tar balls on the beaches in Fla and Ala are a joke?  You see guys out there with shovels picking up tar balls that are smaller than a golf ball.  Wouldn’t it be more effective to simply ask the local residents to take a sack to the beach when they go and pick up as many as they can?  Certainly would be more cost-effective and would probably remove just as much tar balls.  The clips I have seen don’t really show that much so far.  You see the beach and it looks pretty normal and then they move in for a close up and you can see a few of them but there are people on the beach enjoying themselves while these guys try to look busy.  It is like passing one of those construction jobs where you see about 5 or 6 guys standing around and one fellow actually doing some work. 

Where are the great singers these days?  Seems like the new ones all merely scream or yell as loud as they can into a mike and carry a tune a bit.  Mostly you can’t even understand their words because their enunciation is so poor.  Give me Doris Day, Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and even Dean Martin any day.

I sure hope the government’s push for the “black boxes” on cars goes no where.  First, the estimates are that they will add $5000.00 per car.  That is one heck of a lot of money for something you in all likelihood will never use or need during the life of the car.  Once in a Blue Moon it might come in handy for special circumstances but do you want to pay for that Blue Moon experience?  And the biggest headache of all is the lack of privacy.  I guess it is that independent streak in me but I don’t like the idea at all that Big Brother can be tracking me 24 hours a day.  Why do they need to know that I drove to New Mexico or New Orleans or just to my local bar?   I am paying to have myself tailed the way I see it and I don’t like that.  Hell, they would be able to even listen in on your conversations in the car although they all say that is only used in “emergencies” well who decides it is an emergency?  If I want help I will be glad to call for it.  I would rather have my freedom and privacy than Big Brother looking over my shoulder at every turn to “help” me.  Of course the trial lawyers will probably love the things.

Remember the story of the good Samaritan.  You never know when you might be the one in need.   http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Filed under business, Culture, Economics, Foreign Affairs, government, Politics

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