Archive for March, 2010

The “Contract with America”; The Congressional Reform Act of 2010 (March 29, 2010)

Posted in Conflicts of Interest, Congress, Health Care, Pensions, Term Limits on March 29, 2010 by e-commentary.org

. . .

“They need to be treated like us; we need to be treated like them.  It’s that simple and that difficult.  The only mechanism to deal with the conflict of interest between elected officials and ordinary citizens is to put them in the same bed and on the same boat.  That is the real ‘Contract with America.’”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

1.         Term Limits.  12 years total pursuant to one of the three options below:

A.              Two six-year Senate terms.

B.              Six two-year House terms.

C.              One six-year Senate term and three two-year House terms.

2.         No Tenure / No Pension.  A Congressperson collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when he or she is out of office.

3.         Congresspersons, past, present and future, participate in Social Security.  All funds in the Congressional retirement fund transfer to and all future funds are deposited with the Social Security system immediately.  Congress participates with the American people.

4.         Congresspersons can fund their own retirement plan just as all Americans do.

5.         Congresspersons will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.  Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6.         Congresspersons lose their current health care system and participate in the same health care system as the American people.

7.         Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people without exception.

8.         All contracts with past and present Congresspersons are void effective 1/1/11 absent some compelling reason.  The American people did not make these contracts with Congresspersons.  Congresspersons concocted these contracts for themselves.

(For some variations on these big bumper ideas, see the “e-ssays” dated March 5, 2007 titled “Congress Should Increase Congressional and Judicial Pay; Shareholders Should Reduce CEO/CFO/COO Pay,” dated May 14, 2007 titled “Term Limits,” and dated February 25, 2008 titled “’American Medicine’ Not ‘Socialized Medicine.’”)

On The Digital Revolution (March 22, 2010)

Posted in Cyberactivities, Economics, Entitlements, Estate Tax, Kleptocracy, Society, Water on March 22, 2010 by e-commentary.org

. . .

“Most, if not just about all, of the fortunes amassed in the last ten to twenty years were stolen.  Nothing was created.  Much was destroyed.”

“Jobs created jobs.”

“And to his credit he is still creating them.  There are a few others who are producing and contributing, yet they are the rare exceptions.  Scrutinize the “Forbes 400” list.  Some have family money.  Some made some contribution.  Few of them have done much to produce a product or provide a service.  The companies they overleveraged will soon overwhelm the economy.  At best they structure affairs to shift risk to others or to the taxpayers.  Successful businesses are dismembered and destroyed not created.  That is the fundamental difference between the robber barons of olde and the robber barons of new.”

“No dispute here.”

“Taxing some of the stolen money is impossible when the government can be and has been taken over and overtaken by the small cabal that owns and runs the kleptocracy.”

“No dispute here.”

“Today we hold electrons not dollars.  For a few seconds one afternoon, my computer indicated that there was nothing in my retirement account.  All 000s.  All goose eggs.  That caught my attention.  Seemed like a true harbinger of what will happen in the future.  The system refreshed in a few seconds and reported familiar figures.  What about a Digital Revolution that simply eliminates from all records ownership of any assets over five million dollars by any one person?

“Cyberactivities are the real weapons of mass destruction.  They are also the weapons of mass creation.  Sort of like nuclear technology that is creative when harnessed for positive ends and destructive when deployed for harmful ends.  A five million dollar threshold will not impact me.”

“After the Digital Revolution, when you log onto your computer, you discover that you have no more than five million per person and ten million per couple including a personal residence, a vehicle, savings, golf clubs, polo saddles, etc.  As a rough gauge of worth or value to the individual, the algorithm will treat assets within a class such as a residence, cabin, car or boat that has been owned the longest as the most valuable and will remain with the individual.  The other assets will be randomly assigned to others.”

“No impact here, yet imagine the surprise one morning when someone wakes up to discover that he owns a fractional interest in a fractionally-rigged 76 foot sloop with rod rigging and a full complement of complimentary sails.”

“That only creates another travesty.  Individuals who did not create an idea, work late at night or take a risk should not be rewarded gratuitously.  The scheme would only contribute to the entitlement mentality that is such a defining part of the problem in contemporary America.  No one seems to be producing good goods or undertaking productive activities; no one deserves any reward.  However, the Digital Revolution would make a great novel.  ‘Coming to a theater near you.’”

“Don’t worry, the Chinese will trigger the Digital Revolution, although the outcome will be far less equitable than your proposal.  Perhaps you should worry.”

(World Water Day)

(Stewart Udall 1920 – 2010)

Bumper stickers of the week:

Golden Rule:  He who has the gold makes the rules.

Carnegie made steel; today’s barons steal.

On Revolution (March 15, 2010)

Posted in Economics, Society on March 15, 2010 by e-commentary.org

. . .

“Our economy and society have moved from ‘creative destruction’ to ‘destructive destruction.’  We need more ‘creative destruction.’  Is it time to fire up the guillotines.  What do you have when you have a room full of headless aristocrats?”

“A good start.”

“The populace is restive and restless.  When there is unrest, the revolution will be televised.  Everyone can decide, probably on the basis of emotion not reason, whether he or she is better off under some unknown regime rather than what the Republicans and Democrats have spawned.”

“It’s not like there are any great leaders in the offing.”

“The Constitution and Amendments are a sound blueprint, but there are no blue bloods like Thomas Jefferson and no printers like Benjamin Franklin to implement the experiment.”

“They don’t make them like they used to.”

“They just do not seem to be out there.  There is a notion that the revolution is a revolving back, a returning, a yearning to go back to where we were.  My sense of where we were may be another delusion.  Things like personal responsibility, fiscal integrity, personal integrity, selflessness, discipline and self-discipline, the rule of law and all that.  Did it ever exist?”

“Polio and discrimination?”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Let them eat processed swill

“Revolution”  J. Lennon/P. McCartney

“Every generation needs a new revolution.”  Thomas Jefferson

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”  Attributed, probably incorrectly, to Benjamin Franklin

Commodities Futures / Future Commodities (March 8, 2010)

Posted in Congress, Economics, Society, Water on March 8, 2010 by e-commentary.org

“. . .  In developments at the bourse, the ongoing drought in Europe is blamed for the price of water rising $2.13 to close at $84.29 a barrel for glacial blocks for delivery in May.  . . .  At the close of trading today, the average price of a share of a United States Senator rose seven percent, matching analysts’ expectations.  . . .  On rumors that the United States may impose export restrictions on kidneys harvested from minors without their consent, a kidney climbed $7000 (delivery FOB).  . . .  And the price of oil again was crude.  . . .”

Bumper sticker of the week:

Futures Sticker Shock

Only If They Bleed Red (March 1, 2010)

Posted in Gay Politics, Military on March 1, 2010 by e-commentary.org

. . .

“White and blue.  Those in the military who do not have problems with their own sexuality do not care about gays in the military.  So many of those now in the military overcame hurdles and discrimination themselves.  One approach is to admit that a small cohort of individuals have sexual anxieties that render them psychologically unfit to be in the same fox hole with other Americans.  Those are the misfits who jeopardize readiness.  The military may be excluding the wrong group.”

“We need the A Team.  America is being threatened like it has never been threatened before.  I’m more concerned that the US cannot disregard valuable personnel.  If we need a gay interpreter to win, get the gay interpreter and win.  But win.  Just win.”

“Blood testing is part of the induction process.  Those who enlist in the military or, in later years, are drafted should be tested and inducted only if they bleed red.”

. . .

(O’Bama, the only adult in the room, presided last week as babysitter-in-chief over a group of spoiled children who do not ‘play well with others’ and should be allowed to retire.)

Bumper sticker of the week:

Only if they bleed red.