Contrary to rumor I am still awake although mentally I do go into “sleep mode” more often these days.
Iowa is a good example of the Good, The Bad and the Ugly of government actions. First we have the ethanol mandate pushed by both parties that does nothing but drive up the cost of gasoline and food by requiring a set number of gallons to be used each year regardless of demand or cost. Corn growers love it and the Iowa caucuses come first. Then there is the EPA going after the pig farmers for pollution because of the pig waste. You’ve heard of a pig in a poke, well this is the problem of the pig and the poopery or so the EPA assures us. Boy I can sure sleep better at night knowing those pointy headed bureaucrats are protecting my safety. Hmm, left out the Good didn’t we. Well, we’ll have to come back next week with an expert to figure out what the good is in any of the above.
You can believe all the official economic numbers you like out of China to make your IRA investment decisions if you want. Those numbers have all be approved by the Commies before they are released. I don’t trust our bureaucrats and sure as hell don’t trust a Commie bureaucrat. They say they are growing at a 7.5% rate and based on their numbers many investment advisers remain bullish on China as they are alleging still building out their huge demand for infrastructure. Well, some numbers that indicate the activity in China are reliable because they don’t come from China. Look at the Baltic Dry Index. It documents the tonnage of raw material shipments around the world. Those numbers come from Australia, Singapore and other Western countries. Fact is that the amount of iron ore being shipped to China is way down as is the price of iron ore. Those bridges, roads, industrial plants, commercial buildings, apartments, cars, dams and consumer staples all require steel, lots of it. If China is growing so fast why aren’t their imports as high as they were a few years ago? Riddle me that Batman.
Have you heard enough about the “Charm Offensive” by the guy in the White House? I assume it is the type of charm that is in the nature of a hex or spell. That guy can’t pass himself off as a leprechaun but maybe some might buy the notion of a shaman or witch doctor. Rather than constantly being the showman it would be nice if we had a President who actually worked. You know, report to the office early each day and meet with key folks and look at real numbers every day and come up with weekly ideas to reduce and eliminate the plethora of useless and redundant expenditures in addition to those that are outright ridiculous. Do this till dinner time. Then repeat day after day. Treat the position like it is supposed to be, a job, not a platform for self promotion.
My idea of tax reform is quite simple and understandable. First you take a match to the existing Tax Code and the thousands of pages of regulations. Out, everything out. Then the next step would be to legislate that the new Code could not be more than 50 pages long. Go with a flat tax or a consumption tax, tax only income. No capital gains tax or estate tax. Encourage people to invest and build, sell then start over again. One minimum limit for those who don’t have to pay any tax at all to make it progressive enough to satisfy the Left. No deductions or exemptions or tax credits. That is it. Our economy would love it. The tax lawyers, CPA’s and special interest groups would be apoplectic but that would be a sign you got it right.
North Korea announced to the world that the Truce is at an end. We noticed that many in the media seemed to blow that off referencing the many blustery remarks that have come from the North over the decades since the cease-fire. It was even reported in several outlets that North Korea couldn’t renounce the Truce on its own. Well, folks that can and have. Recall your history please. The Korean War was not concluded with a peace treaty between the belligerents. It merely ground to a halt with both sides agreeing to a cease first and exchange of prisoners and a line of demarcation between the opposing armies. It was not any different from many countless cease fires in numberless wars over the ages where both sides for whatever their reasons decided to quit fighting for a while. It happened many times during the War Between The States for example. There were many local cease fires during both World Wars to allow treatment and collection of the wounded and dead. All North Korea agreed to was to stop firing for a while. It didn’t promise to never fight another day. Why the devil do you think we have maintained tens of thousands of US troops in Korea and Japan for all these decades? Lastly it is usually wise to take someone at their word when in a dangerous encounter. If that nut job says the cease-fire is over, then you best assume it is over. Hopefully, some rational heads still exist in North Korea but their actions against even their own people makes that a marginal proposition.
The CERN guys say they have found the Higgs-Boson element, force or mass, whatever it is. Some like to call it the God Particle. It is an amazing feat if true and the quantum physics behind it all makes one’s head swim. Love the science and cheer own further research but I prefer my God to have a purpose and offer me hope.
“They do abuse the king that flatter him: For flattery is the bellows blows up sin; The thing the which is flatter’d, but a spark, To which that blast gives heat and stronger glowing; Whereas reproof , obedient, and in order, Fits kings, as they are men, for they may err.” Pericles, Prince of Tyre, by Shakespeare, Act One, Scene Two. www. olcranky.wordpress.com