Monthly Archives: September 2010

More Minimum Wage

The intentions of those that preach the minimum wage are noble.  Who isn’t interested in helping those folks who are the poorest among us?  What person that we would care to associate with could not help but have feelings of sympathy for people who struggle to make enough money to eat, to cloth themselves or pay rent?


No one.  Not one single person I know would brush those feelings away.

However, with that said, the singing of the platitudes of the minimum wage has to end when the effectiveness of those laws are considered.

And the result?  The verdict?

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Senate Race 2010: XI

Time for some status.  All the big primaries are over and we know who is running against who.

First, the Retiring Democrats:

State Status Democrat Republican Incumbent Front Runner Spread
CT Ret. Dem Blumenthal McMahon Democrat Democrat 7.5
DE Ret. Dem Coons O’Donnell Democrat Democrat 15
IL Ret. Dem Giannoulias Kirk Democrat Republican 1
IN Ret. Dem Ellsworth Coats Democrat Republican 16
ND Ret. Dem Heitkamp Hoeven Democrat Republican 27

I think we lost Delaware.  And that’s okay.  We weren’t going to take the Senate and this sent a message to the Republican establishment; Come big or Stay Home.

From my count, we moved from taking 4 to only taking 3.

The next group is the retiring Republicans.  The only news of note is that Florida is steadily moving away from I-Crist to R-Rubio.  One for the good guys:

State Status Democrat Republican Incumbent Front Runner Spread
FL Ret. Rep Crist Rubio Republican Republican 10
KS Ret. Rep Republican Republican
KY Ret. Rep Conway Paul Republican Republican 7
MO Ret. Rep Carnahan Blunt Republican Republican 5.5
NH Ret. Rep Hodes Ayotte Republican Republican 6.4
OH Ret. Rep Fisher Portman Republican Republican 13.3

We lose 0.

The biggie.  This is the one that counts; Term Limited Democrats.  In my mind, we move from taking 4 to taking 5.  Ohio went our way.

State Status Democrat Republican Incumbent Front Runner Spread
AR Term Dem Lincoln Boozman Democrat Republican 25
CA Term Dem Boxer Fiorina Democrat Democrat 5.5
CO Term Dem Bennet Buck Democrat Republican 2.4
HI Term Dem Democrat Democrat
MD Term Dem Democrat Democrat
NV Term Dem Reid Angle Democrat Democrat 0.5
NY Term Dem Gillibrand Blakeman Democrat Democrat 6
NY Term Dem Democrat Democrat
OR Term Dem Wyden Huffman Democrat Democrat 16
PA Term Dem Sestak Toomey Democrat Republican 6.8
VE Term Dem Democrat Democrat
WA Term Dem Murray Rossi Democrat Democrat 6.2
WI Term Dem Feingold Johnson Democrat Republican 8

Now, I admit, I AM ASSUMING that we win one of the three:  New York, California or Nevada.  BIG assumption.  But that’s 5 to the good.

And the Term Limited Republicans?  The news is so good I’m not even going to post it!  We lose 0.  Not even close.

That means I have the Republicans picking up 8 in the Senate.  That moves us from 59-41 to 51-49.

You Can’t Do It

I’m listening to the Brad and Britt show this morning.  The topic of the hour is taxes and health care.  Both are timely and appropriate topics.  Health care reform is being implemented soon, or at least portions of it.  And taxes, well, taxes have been the hot topic because of the expiration of the “Bush Tax Cuts” as well as the new Republican “Pledge to America” that’s being released this afternoon.

Both topics are fascinating.  And, to a degree, related.

Any way, while discussing the reforms that are kicking in soon, Brad takes the stand that if you object to Health Care Reform, you can’t take advantage of it.  “You Can’t Do It” he yells, “You Can’t Do It”.

This, of course, is asinine.

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Why Government Spending Your Money is Bad

The main objection by folks who want the government to remain small is that money in the hands of individual people gets spent faster and better than money taken from those people to be spent at government discretion.   Every single dollar the government spends is a dollar that has been taken from someone and handed to some government agency.  For every $20 an hour job created by government there is one less $20 job in the private sector.  It can’t be any other way.  The government produces nothing.

But the argument is that when folks get scared and hoard their money, the government has to intervene, take their money and forcefully interject that money into the economy.

And fast.

But does it work that way?

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Great News for Third Party Candidates

For ever we’ve had to pick our leaders from one of the two main political parties.  And the problem with that is we tend, especially lately, is that the primaries seems to give us only the most extreme candidates that each party has to offer.

If you want moderation, or if you want something other than the party line down the line, you’re kinda oughta luck.

Want a fiscal conservative but a social moderate?  Good luck.

Want a social liberal but a fiscal moderate?  Again, good luck.

So it seems that we’re stuck in the middle.  Sending our “Knights” out to do battle that look like every knight before him.

Rather depressing.

But there may be a way out.

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That Whole Life Expectancy Thing?

Yeah…not so much.

It turns out that there are a number of problems in determining life expectancy numbers.  As I mentioned the other day, in some cases, nations aren’t reporting their “deaths” correctly.

And THAT could make a huge difference.

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the previous 3 months it’s taken an average of just shy of 2 months to get a 1000 hits.  Today marks a new best:

19 days.

Again, trivial nonsense, but not bad for a little kid from a small farm town.

What Did They THINK Was Going to Happen?

We are seeing–living–the impact of government intervention in markets.  Most notably, the housing market.

Not only has the housing market largely been responsible for the current economic  conditions we’re seeing, but it’s also responsible, in large part, for the slow and anemic recovery.

The sad part?

It didn’t have to be this way.  And THAT, gentle reader, is a text book lesson in markets and external impacts.

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Wanna Know Why New Jersey Teachers are Getting Laid Off


Why is the state of New Jersey laying of so many teachers?



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I was reading through the Star Tribune today, The Minneapolis newspaper, when I came across this nifty and exciting headline:

Mpls. school board tries bonus as a carrot for accountability

Excellent.  A start!  Not the end, but a start.

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