Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Syria

When President Obama first spoke of the red line for Syria, he was hoping to appear tough, but I don't think he was trying to do something courageous. It seems this would have been a no brainier. Any country using chemical weapons against another country or their own people would cause nation after nation to rise up in opposition. And now President Obama who is not crazy enough to do a military action alone without some kind of support of the United Nations, sizable number of countries, or at minimum the United States Congress. (Well actually, it seems he would like more support than just the support of the United States Congress. )
To some extent it seems like he is trying to save face. It is as if he has made a lot of big talk about standing up to the school yard bully. When time to confront the bully, he finds himself to be the only one there, everyone else is on the side of playground watching him, expecting him to do what he had said.
So now he is looking for a way out. With congress less likely to vote for action, he will have a way out, but I hope he does not take the stand of, “Hey I wanted to take action but nobody let me.”

Being a leader does not mean people must follow that just makes you a dictator. But being a leader one must be able to say we are going to go in an indicated direction and convince others to go in the same direction.

Why the lack of support?
War weariness?
The size of an attack would become larger than planned as retaliation has to be dealt with.
Attack on Syria could lead to Syria attacking Israel and now we would have to be with Israel in fighting Syria. This could lead to war with Iran and Russia. Well at least this is what is being suggested as a possible consequences.
Some are concerned that it would not have much effect.
Eliminating Assad may not help since it would not be clear who would take over and who their allies would be.
Some seem to be concerned we are being manipulated into action.

It seems like in countries with dictators, removing them leads to chaos. It's better to have the dictator we know, running a secular government, allowing religious freedom and other freedoms for the people, then have a religious zealous government which will want to attack Israel and restricts much of the freedoms many of the people in that country already experience. This is why the woman talking with John McCain asked we do not do this.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Minimum wage $15/hour

If Fast Food places started to pay workers $15/hr
Prices would go up and quality of the food will go down, It won't be one or the other it would be BOTH.
The number of jobs available will be reduced. This would be done by reducing the number of stores in an area. The store or stores that remain will have more workers to try to handle a higher flow of traffic. They would only keep the best workers. Those who are hired in the future, would need better qualifications than they do now. The high school drop out with no work experience will very likely not get hired. Working at a Taco Bell would only be a dream.
If Minimum wage is increased to $15/hr
This would be raised over a period of years.
A lot more people would be working at minimum wage. A person paid above minimum wage but below $15/hr would slowly find themselves back working at minimum wage. A person making 1.5 times minimum wage, would then make someplace between minimum wage and 1.5 times. Prices will increase.
Changes in Taxes may not occur. If no increase in standard deduction, or a lowering of tax rates occurs, the person who was making minimum wage will pay a higher effective tax rate.
Union wages would go up. In most contracts the union wage is based on minimum wage e.g. 3.2 times minimum wage. As long as prices do not increase too much you will be making more money.

It comes down to this.
 It is not how much money per hour you are making, but how many hours must you work to pay for things.
How many hours will you need to work to pay your Taxes?
How many hours will you need to work to pay for a gallon of milk?
How many hours will you need to work to pay for a pound of hamburger?
How many hours will you need to work to pay for a package of hamburger helper?
How many hours will you need to work to pay for Rent?
How many hours will you need to work to pay for a gallon of gas?
How many hours will you need to work to pay just to see a movie in the theater?
How many hours will you need to work to pay for your electricity?
How many hours will you need to work to pay your cable bill?

IF you work more hours to get these things, then you are getting paid less. The check may look bigger but you are getting paid less.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Syria

So what does President Obama do against Syria?
First it needs to make the case for action. The administration needs to prove chemical weapons were used and that whatever action taken will stop further use of chemical weapons. Of ALL the past Presidents, President Obama is least likely to use military action against anyone. For them to even be talking this is way could only occur if the evidence is strong against Syria. We would need to be able be certain no one used a chemical attack in order to manipulate the United States into taking action agaist the Syrian government.

Will the action stop further use of any weapons of Mass Destruction? Either the weapon would be used against the Syrian people or it will be used against Israel or against a country (or countries) of who lead the military strike against Syria.

Are we willing and able to handle some of the possible reaction of Russia and China? Part of this means being able to cut spending in order to eliminate a deficit. Since China tends to supply us with funds when have a deficit, being able to economically survive with out China's funds will be the only way to handle economic retaliation performed by China.
If No reply occurs we are simply allowing mass murder to continue. When does the United States take action? Sure the libertarian would say no action ever, but so we have moral obligation to help those who could not defend themselves? Even if those who we help may desire themselves to harm us.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It would be interesting

...if the election goes in one of these ways.
Obama wins the electoral college but loses the popular vote. So Obama's last term is like Bush's first term.

or
This is not Obama's last election.
Imagine he loses by a close margin. Say Romney gets 50.1% and Obama gets 49.9% or it would be Romney 49.9% to Obama 49.8% with the remaining 0.3% going to third parties.

As a result there would be a call for Obama to run again in 2016

Monday, August 27, 2012

Election predictions



When did this model get created? All the stories suggest that this was created and used in the past. Now if the model existed prior to the 1980 election and had been used prior to the election of 1980 and each subsequent president election since 1980 then I might give it some credence. If it used past elections to develop the model, then I would expect if it did not give accurate results of the past election it would have been worthless.

If the model was developed recently, then we are begging the question. Since the model would have been developed by analyzing past election results, economic factors and any other factors used. So when you say it is accurate, because of predicting the past elections, which were used to create it in the first place, you are begging the question.

I want more info on this, I would like to know when it was truly first used.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

As We Know It

...as we know it.

I hear this once in awhile. Someone will say “Its the end of …as we know it.” What its the end of will vary, but I find my self annoyed by this statement. When used on talk shows, I would like the moderator to ask “So they are going to end 'it'? 'It' won't be there any more?” Because when it's used I don't believe they mean it is going to be eliminated. But I suspect they would like people to believe it is being eliminated. Instead it suggests that 'it' is being changed. But you never have to address the changes if everyone panics at the news of 'it' ending.
If you want to use it, lets talk about the changes being made.

Infrastructure

When I watch the Rachel Maddow, I hit pause as I go to the computer and check if the information presented is true. Some things just are odd. For example on June 13th 2012, we are listening to Ezra Klein. Here is the transcript of his opening statement:
>> Biggest oddities in all professional sports. You ready? The great state of New York has three, count them, three different professional football teams. There’s the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets and the New York Giants. One state, three football teams. Now, there are 22 states that don't even have one NFL team. I come from an hour south of L.A., which is not in itself a state but it also does not have a football team, quite to our annoyance but the great state of New York is blessed with three of them. The odd part, of the three New York NFL teams, only one of them plays in New York. The buffalo bills play in orchard park New York, right outside of buffalo. The jets and giants play not in New York but rather in New Jersey. That’s right. The New York Jets and the New York Giants are both based out of New Jersey.
I hit pause after he said “Now, there are 22 states that don't even have one NFL team.” I had to pause it because It seems like I recall hearing Chris Christie saying how one of the recent teams should be called the New Jersey Giants or Jets. So I looked it up to see that as a matter of fact, New York only has one football team. Despite keeping the New York in their name, the Jets and the Giants do not play or even have a their headquarters in New York, so it seems strange to complain about how New York is blessed with three, when as a matter of fact they have only one. Then he discusses how they do play in New Jersey, and does say they are ‘based’ in New Jersey.
This beginning was a bit misleading. I wondered what his point was. Why this complaint? Well this monologue was to lead mentioning of a water mane break out in front of MetLife stadium home of the Giants and Jets then to a discussion on focusing on infrastructure.
Here are his reasons.
We have construction workers who aren't productively employed. the unemployment rate in that sector is about 14%, it's a depression. The global slowdown has meant a slowdown in construction costs because raw materials are cheap because countries like china and India aren't using as many of them. We have factories lying dormant that could be making those materials and employing people to make those materials and we have money that is on the table to borrow for essentially less than nothing. let's be clear -- putting this stuff off is not fiscally responsible. it's like a dollar of borrowing, a dollar to pay later. when you delay the maintenance, that dollar today can become 50 tomorrow as a bridge you were going to fix has now collapsed. so we need to do it, it cheap to do it and it gives people jobs. it is an unbelievable deal. in any world we should be doing it and yet we're not. there be are some things in American politics and policy we should be having real armies about.
What I don't see here is any mention of the unemployment rate for civil engineers. It takes more than just the construction workers. Tear up a road and you will need adequate detours. It may require pre-construction in order to have detours ready. It is also pointless to tear up the road, if you will go back a few years later, in order to have more construction to deal with traffic issues. So you would first examine what changes could be made with traffic flow. Does the road need to be widen? Or does it need to be narrowed? You would need to prioritize projects, you won't be able to do all the projects at once. So you would need to study what roads need changing, then design it, get some government approval, and public feedback on the projects, besides getting financing, so it may be years before a project is shovel ready.
Oh and remember New York only has ONE football team.