2010: The Arizona legislature passed a law mandating arrest and incarceration of suspected illegal aliens. The law was actually drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative business group that drafts “model” legislation on behalf of its corporate sponsors. The draft legislation in question was written for the private prison lobby, which sensed a growth opportunity in imprisoning more people.
Hooray for democracy. Prisons, the new American growth industry. I suspect soon people will be clamoring to get into prisons since they will be the only social safety net available for the previously middle class.
TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:
Dog days: In Indonesia, seven dogs starved of food and water for two weeks killed and ate their owner after he returned home from vacation.
Welcome home boss. Does this signal a paradigm shift from a, “Dog eat dog world” to a “Dog eat man” one?
Skytrain or cattle train: It seems that the ex-pat community in Bangkok is up in arms over the increased ridership and resulting overcrowding of their favorite transit choice for avoiding Bangkok traffic, the elevated light rail system that bisects the city. Some have even threatened to go back to riding in Taxis.
Oh, the hardship.
Fusion steak: A Thai company has introduced its first flagship fusion steak restaurant in Bangkok and plans to open 30 more.
What’s a “fusion steak?” Should I be pleased with this culinary event?
Red Curse: The Red Shirts plan to perform a rite that they believe will reverse the effects of a curse they made during the prior administration against the previous government and its leader Abhsit the Unready because it was not intended ” to curse this (current) government and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra” (Princess LuckyGirl).
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:
It is early evening here in Bangkok as I write this while listening to the nightly monsoon storm raging over the city.
Preparing to leave to return to the US for a few months has affected me with a bad case of approach avoidance. I do not know if it is because I am beginning to find travel in general burdensome or because I am anxious about the unsettled nature of my plans when I arrive,
On a more positive note, next week both Bill and “The Bad David,” arrive in Bangkok for a few days. I look forward to visiting with them.
PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:
JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:
(chapter whatever continued)
“I doubt whether the firm is of great interest to the Feds. Oh, they may want some of the involved partners to testify, but I think they are after different game. Our attorney affectionately referred to as “The First” agrees. Oh, there may be some PR fallout but our PR firm, Cantor Associates should be able to handle it. My bigger problem is the impact of the cost of all this on the firm’s finances…that and the fact that I have been informed that I am in some sort of physical danger.”
“What sort of physical danger,” said Arabella leaning closer across the table?
“Oh, are you concerned about my personal welfare?”
“We can discuss my personal interests later, right now I want to know everything you can tell me.”
The following morning Vince awoke with Arabella standing by the bed fully dressed and gripping the handle of her roll-abroad suitcase.
“I have to run to catch my flight,” she said. “You can sleep in until check out time. The room is paid for.”
Rising on one elbow he said, “ah, I enjoyed last night and did…”
“Yes, I enjoyed it too. And if you are wondering how you were,” she said with a smile. “Well, not as good as our pool boy in Nice, but relative to some of your partners, their ego’s are bigger than their penises.”
“Well, thanks. I guess you were pretty good yourself.”
“Yes,” she said with a wink. “Your ego is much smaller than theirs” she added as she strode out the door followed by the pillow Vince flung after her.
a. I didn’t know that:
In the 1500s in Europe, most people got married in June, because they took their yearly bath in May and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were just beginning to stink, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
b. What Adam Smith really said:
“All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.”
[Adam Smith. The wealth of Nations, Book III, Chapter IV, p. 444]
c. Profiles of Presidential Courage:
“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
President Eisenhower, 1954.
I am sorry Ike, but their numbers are no longer negligible. They have taken over your Party.
d. Welfare reform:
2 trillion dollars in Federal Government debt can be eliminated by throwing many of today’s welfare queens off the public dole. Here’s how:
By cutting the following welfare benefits the Federal Government can reduce its debt burden by two trillion dollars by 2015 and get those welfare queens out of the public trough. (I bet you did not know that you were paying for these.)
1. End Oil and Big Gas Tax Breaks.
2011-2015 savings: $80 billion (Taxpayers for Common Sense).
Large Oil Companies have made almost $855 billion in profits in the past decade. There is no need to give such a profitable industry a tax break. The tax breaks do not increase energy supply.
2. End Deferral of Taxes on Income of U.S.-Controlled Corporations Abroad
2011-2015 savings: $199 billion (Citizen for Tax Justice estimate).
Encourages off-shoring of work and capital.
3. End Accelerated Depreciation on Equipment
2011-2015 savings: $141 billion (CTJ estimate).
Accelerated depreciation can result in a very low, or even negative, tax rate on profits from a particular investment.
4. End Deduction for Domestic Manufacturing
2011-2015 savings: $76.7 billion (CTJ estimate).
Provides virtually no benefit to the economy and is blatant corporate welfare.
5. End Last-In, First-Out Accounting (LIFO)
2011-2015 savings: $24.2 billion (CTJ estimate).
Corporations use LIFO to hide their true profits.
6. Cut Subsidies to Agribusiness
2011-2020 savings: $52 billion (Taxpayers for Common Sense).
Small farms are disappearing while agri-business racks up huge profits—with corporate welfare support.
7. Permit Government to Negotiate Drug Prices for Medicare.
Savings 2012-2021: $157.9 billion. (Congressional Progressive Caucus).
Barring government involvement is an indirect corporate subsidy.
8. End Tax Breaks For Drug Companies.
2011-2020 savings: $50 billion (estimated based on figures from Rep. Jerrold Nadler).
Stops a $5 billion-a year annual tax break for direct-to-consumer advertising. We should pay for drug companies to market to us?
9. Enact A Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee.
2012-2021 Savings: $70.9 billion (Congressional Progressive Caucus).
Imposed on largest banks as a repayment of corporate welfare extended via bank bailouts for financial crisis precipitated by banks.
10. Enact a Derivatives and Speculation Tax.
2012-2022 savings: $650 billion (Congressional Progressive Caucus).
Wall Street receives indirect corporate welfare/subsidies via a regulatory system and infrastructure investment for which it pays virtually nothing. A very tiny transactions tax will end the corporate welfare.
11. Cut Military Budget
2011-2020 Savings: $550 billion (Sustainable Defense Task Force).
According to the Task Force, weapons research, development, and procurement activities…“now routinely cost taxpayers over $200 billion a year. Procurement costs are up 110% in real terms since 2000. Setting aside war-related expenditures, DoD “peacetime” spending on research, development, and procurement has increased 75% in real terms.” These cuts focus only on the Task Force’s suggested cuts that reasonably have a “corporate welfare” component, primarily weapons systems that don’t work and/or aren’t needed to fight an enemy that does not exist.
“Do we believe the whole elite of science is in a conspiracy? At some point in the development of a scientific truth, contrarians risk becoming flat earthers.”
(Hmm, the blue line on the chart alas, can probably double as Obama’s job approval ratings.)