Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tax cuts for corporations creates jobs for machines

A good sound byte could be made from that piece of wisdom I heard in the sauna.

Tax breaks for corporations creates jobs for machines.

That kind of blows the philosophy of more employment from tax breaks.

As the future unfolds, employers often prefer automation. For instance, machines don't take health insurance.

Has Obama's health care plans brought an elephant? Republican logo by coincidence.

They say the animal designed by committee is an elephant. Health care reform has gone through many a committee mill of Washington DC lobbyists and the like. It may have come out an elephant in the form of the Republican mascot, the elephant. Republicans may take many seats in November.

Sad, because Obama's heart is in the right place.

Many folks deride Obama's plans calling it "Obama care." Even blaming Obama Care for another large hike in insurance premiums this year. Well, how can we blame Obama care? Seems like insurance premiums have been rising every year.

Yes, there may be some problems with health care reform's attempts to prevent insurance companies from knocking more costly sicker people off the insurance roles; thus passing higher costs of their care onto other policy holders. This may account for some of the rate hikes, but huge rate hikes happened in previous years anyway.

If Republicans succeed in repealing Obama Care, rates will continue to rise most likely. More will go without insurance. Maybe, by year 2014 (the year Obama's main plans would have gone into effect) less than half American workers will have health insurance. Private plans will be dropping people like flies.

This is partially because the post war baby boom is getting older.

The problem could get so bad that there will be more political capital to do something about it. Political favors may swing strongly in favor of Democrats again, in time for 2012.

As more and more folks go without, we will need something that Obama Care was planing toward 2014. Subsidized premiums for those who can't afford health insurance.

Sliding scale. Yes, tax the wealthy. Also we might even get single payer.

Maybe the subsidized premiums should have been loaded in on the front end of Obama Care, 2010 and 2011, rather than toward 2014. Then more people could be under the tent thus keeping healthier folks in the insurance pool. As premiums rise, many folks just drop insurance, usually leaving the insurance pool less healthy on average.

Rather than try to straight jacket insurance providers into not dropping sicker than average patients, the early years should have provided some of the subsidies to keep people in the insurance pools. Yes, tax the wealthy.

Those who are very sick among us often end up not being able to work anyway, so disability becomes the insurance provider.

Also, since the cost of health care is swamping us, we should all try to be more healthy. Watch what you eat, get moderate exercise. Folks in the industry, from corporate execs to the local providers must be more reasonable in expectation of their salaries and profits.

Elephants conjure up images of obesity.

If I could draw, here would be my cartoon idea

Health care reform package, strapped together with duct tape and things likely to fall off. The body of a horse drawn carriage.

Potholes ahead in the road; like Republican Congresses.

Destination for most of the goods, 2014.

As carriage passes sign saying "2014, 4 years away." Driver remarks, "I hope this holds together till then."

I still support the idea of health care reform, but see a lot of potential potholes. Glad they're trying to do something, as daunting a task as it may seem.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scared to ride the bus?

Is this why it's hard to get so many people out of their cars? Folks are scared to ride the bus. Scared of the drivers, scared of being stranded, scared of the experience.

Really, it's not that bad.

This WTA bus was set up as a haunted bus near the transit terminal for Halloween.

Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lazy days

Riding my bike around town. Fall colors in Laural Park. Riding up to Lake Padden, around Western, along the waterfront. Shouldn't I be home accomplishing something on my computer? Responding to someone's though provoking "thread" on Facebook?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I vote yes on Washington State I-1098 since life can't be perfect

I'm for Washington State's I-1098; a tax on the wealthy. Some fear it might hurt business investment, but it's a trade off. If state government has to cut back, that hurts business also as state government and it's employees are a lot of the customers of business. We can't have it all.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Wow, Google cars that can drive themselves

As much as I advocate alternative transportation and bicycling, driving might not be so bad in the future. Technology to the rescue. Here comes Google cars that can drive themselves.

Much safer than the horrible carnage of over 37,000 US highway deaths per year from today's vehicles. Most people take this death toll for granted. It's an appalling truth about today's cars, but maybe not tomorrow.

I've heard it said that one can "tighten every nut in a car, but if nothing is done about the nut behind the wheel the car is still not safe." Well, automated driving can do just that; eliminate nuts behind the wheel.

This could reduce traffic congestion as well since computers are likely to be better drivers than humans. Better at spacing cars on the freeway.

Technology might even solve our fossil fuel problems with clean energy. Might I say something like solar or nuclear power to charge the batteries in electric cars?

I know, some folks cringe when I say nuclear power.

American culture has trouble slowing down so it looks like this is our fate.

Bicycling still has it's advantages for those of us who like slower paced things. Traveling through landscapes at the pace of a bicycle is great for really seeing things; not to mention getting exercise.

It seems like most people don't want to slow down that often though. It's not something this culture does with ease.

For that reason, most Americans are in trouble unless technology can come to the rescue. Google cars may arrive just in time since the cars of today are crap.

For some trips, I'd even consider using a Google car if it was available. That's saying something for me.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Flowers on Cornwall. Sad days in Bellingham

In memory of the little girl who was run down in the crosswalk when a speeding car rear ended another car that was stopped causing that car to slide forward and hit her.

Several tragedies have happpened in Bellingham recently including the Western Student who was missing for over a week. His body was found under a dock yesterday.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

No carrot left for reducing federal deficit

Carrot and stick is used to motivate. Carrot is positive, stick is negative. Must be lingo from horse and buggy days.

Today, the carrot has been removed as an incentive for curbing our federal debt. Carrot being low interest rates.

Back in the 1980s, we heard if we lowered the debt, there would be more money available for private borrowing, thus lowering interest rates. Well now, interest rates are about as low as they can get in spite of the high deficit. How can they get any lower? The carrot is removed.

The stick remains. The stick is financial panic if the government starts to default on its debt. The stick is theoretical, however. It's only a future scenario that is possible. Something theoretical is less apt to work as a motivator. No wonder we keep adding to the debt.

Closer at hand are the carrots created by spending. Military spending, veterans benefits, education, roads, health care, government spending in our economy and so forth. Also closer at hand is the stick if these things are cut back.

The theoretical stick of government defaulting on debt is farther into the future and not as evident. It's less of a motivator. It's like avoiding global warming as a motivator.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

No taxes? How about running the government all on deficit spending?

How about no federal taxes? Just run all the government from deficit spending. Let the government go bankrupt or let the Federal Reserve just print the money that the government spends thus sending the value of our dollar down the tubes.

Use your imagination. How would this scenario play itself out?