Sunday, September 30, 2012

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

A ‘like’ on Facebook places a tracking cookie on your hard drive and every site you visit is captured by Facebook. The tracking takes place even after you sign off from Face Book and is sent to FB the next time you sign-on to FB.  Your personal information and the sites you visit are sold to advertisers and anyone willing to pay the price.

Facebook has the right to copyright any photo or video you post. (When you signed up for FB you clicked “I agree” and like 99.9% of us you did not read your agreement. So what? If you post a photo of a news event that you witness, for example, you can’t sell it to the media. FB owns the copyright.

Not to beat up on FB, but the same applies to much of Twitter and most social media sites. You agreed. Your personal information is tracked and you agreed to the copyright by these social media sites.

Alternate e-mail addresses, like those used on dating sites and by some FB users, can be easily traced back to you. Your name, address, telephone, etc. is easily available. Those ‘safe dates’ where you meet someone at a restaurant and he does not have your real name, address, etc. – well they are not really all that safe.

Wal-Mart, Target and a lot of businesses receive government tax subsidies. For example, a state or city might wave all property taxes for Wal-Mart so that ‘new jobs’ are created. Small businesses, that pay property taxes’ cannot compete and close their doors.  (read on – it gets worse).

Some states allow businesses to keep the state income tax it collects. You read that correctly. Instead of mailing the taxes to the state, some businesses get to keep those payroll taxes and simply inform the state that the employee paid x amount in state income tax. Small businesses send the taxes they collect to the state and cannot compete and close their doors. (read on – it gets worse).

Studies show that the ‘Wal-Mart’ effect creates very few new jobs because so many people are put out of work when the small businesses that cannot compete go under.

Why do politicians cut these deals? Because we are lazy and uninformed. The politicians know they are killing local businesses, but they can fool a disinterested public by claiming hundreds of new jobs.

What to do?

Create an email group that lists every political representative that needs your vote and email the hell out of them.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Of Course You are Right!

Here are some important facts.

1.       The average American’s reading comprehension level is between the 8th the 9th grade.

2.       People want quick solutions that confirm their beliefs.

3.       Millions of others support your belief. You have innate knowledge and do not need to read and understand facts. The voices tell you and you are right!

Bumper sticker solutions, 30-second sound bites, and a group to blame fits our needs. Low reading comprehension and little effort is required for us to ‘understand everything’. “Obama did it.” “Its Bush’s fault.” “The liberals caused it to happen.” “The Tea Party is to blame.” “The Conservatives did it.” “The illegal immigrants caused it.” Google any of these statements and you will find up to 14 million hits. Think about it: 14 million people support your opinion. (No matter what it is!)

Don’t like Google? ("I hate Google" shows 190 million results). Find ‘your’ station on the radio or television to verify that your opinion is right.

We vote and argue over bumper-sticker wisdom.

·         The answer to high gas prices: drill baby, drill.

·         The cause of high taxes, overcrowded emergency rooms and class-rooms, crime and unemployment: illegal immigrants.

·         Obamacare

We seldom demand results beyond our petty prejudices.

Look at the price of gasoline. Until the early 70’s, we paid about 32 cents per gallon at the pump. After the oil embargo was lifted, gas prices were suddenly a dollar more, then two-dollars more, than three dollars more. Nobody asked why? There was a lot of talk about our need to become less dependent on foreign oil. Images of Iraq, Iran and even the Saudis were used by politicians as they demanded that the USA become free from foreign oil. The inference was that fuel prices were sky high because of those mean old people in the Middle East.

Realty: we purchase most of our foreign oil from Canada and Mexico. (Geography, anyone?)

Reality: oil is sold on the world market. If we drill the price at the pump is not going to change very much[1]. Prices are controlled by the super-rich of the world.

Illegal immigrants: cause and effect. Instead of debating the issue, let’s watch Alabama and other states that enacted laws to push illegal immigrants out of their states. We should see lower taxes, uncrowded emergency rooms and uncrowded classrooms. We should see significantly lower unemployment rates as the unemployed snap up those jobs at fish and poultry processing plants, hotels and motels. Social service agencies, criminal justice agencies and schools will soon be asking for smaller budgets. Those states should soon have a tax surplus.
Illegals Cause Sky High Taxes
If our real concern is the cost we pay because of illegal immigration, then tie any laws to reduce the number of illegal immigrants to a proportionate reduction in taxes. Simple math formulas should be included in these laws. (We have 1000 illegal immigrants in our state. They cost us 100,000 in taxes for our schools, welfare, police, etc. Every less immigrant means a reduction of $100 in our tax needs).
Health Care "Check Please!"
Arguing about who pays for health-care is a national pastime.  This is like five people arguing about who pays the hundred thousand dollar check at a restaurant. (I had the salad and fish, you had lobster and John ordered soup with his meal. We must dividing this hundred thousand dollar check fairly!) The real argument should be with the cost!

Why do we pay more per person for health care than France or England? Why are they paying 50% less per person and outliving us? Just like the people in the restaurant, our first concern should be about the outrageous cost.

Our limited reading comprehension levels, our prejudices, our ‘certain’ knowledge that required no research, fact-checking or any thought about other opinions serves the super-rich. They steal trillions while we argue over the winner American Idol[2].
Will We Change? No, we can't even understand what we read.
We will not let facts get in the way. We prefer bumper-sticker solutions, bumper-sticker causes and thinking just enough to come up with a bumper-sticker.





[1] Michael Levi, a senior fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations
[2] Should have been called Americans Idle