economy

All posts tagged economy

You Be The Judge – Who Is More Effective?

Published September 23, 2011 by glaumland

Happy US Energy’s Solar Decathalon Day! Too bad nobody remembered to order sunshine. The people who visited the competition at the National Mall had to walk around in the rain with umbrellas. I’m sure there is a joke in there somewhere about climate karma, but honestly, with a price tag at $100,000 per team (19 this year) I don’t know what there is to laugh about.

The first thing I noticed http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/solar-decathlons-rainy-start_594112.html was that the price tag of the model shown came in at about $450-500,000. The goal is to create an energy efficient home, but at this rate nobody could afford one. That’s a great example of government INefficiency.

Now here are some examples of homes that entrepreneurs are developing to help create affordable housing: http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/openhouse/  &  http://www.thetinylife.com/what-is-the-tiny-house-movement/ . Cute, affordable, and energy efficient.

OK, so we’ve paid nearly $200K for 19 government-sponsored homes, when we could have gotten 100 tiny homes from private industry. Remind me again, why the government isn’t good at this game?

Until next time…

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The REAL Medi-scare You Should Be Worried About

Published May 30, 2011 by glaumland

This is something I’ve been watching and worrying about for a while and I’m glad to see that this topic is finally getting some press. No, it’s not the Mediscare that the Democrats are talking about, but it is something to be concerned about. Very concerned.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MED_HEALTHBEAT_DRUG_SHORTAGES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-05-30-07-41-58

There are a myriad of reasons that this would occur, some will blame the economy, red-tape, legislation. In fact, I think that those reasons have added to the medicine shortage. But from my point of view, the biggest problem is that larger drug companies are buying out the smaller companies. The supply of cheaper American-made generics is losing out to the production of brand-name heavily promoted drugs.

Two examples…

First example? Plain old eye lubrication ointment. Nothing special about this stuff – it’s petrolatum that is ophthalmic grade. But in the last six months the price of a little tube had quadrupled. But you can still get it, if it isn’t on backorder. And that’s just the stuff without any medication in it.

The next example – injectable medication for treatment of heartworm positive dogs. The old stuff was economical and effective (an injectable arsenical compound), although treatment could always be dangerous and deadly (you know, the Old Lace kind of poison). But I can say I never lost a patient, thanks to zealous attention to changes in patients’ medical conditions and some luck. Unfortunately, this drug was made by a small company that got bought out by a big drug company (one of those Pharma’s) that had produced a new (and only FDA approved) heartworm treatment. Here’s their MO: buy up the little company, have the EPA declare the factory a hazardous waste site due to the presence of arsenic, and start selling the heck out of your new drug. The problem? There isn’t enough of the new drug manufactured to treat all of the heartworm positive dogs, and you can only get their drug if you can pass their compassionate care guidelines.

Less available and more expensive, and sounds like a giant conflict of interest. I do think that drug companies do need to have a profitable business plan and reap the benefits of years and $$$ put into research (and we only see the successful drugs). But new business plan of getting rid of the small competition is going to bite us all in the rear.

All of those $4 drugs from Walmart are available because Walmart purchases on such a large scale and because they are willing to take a loss to get you inside the store. Good for them, good for you as an individual, but not so good for the drug industry. No Profits + No Protection = No Products.

Many of the generics now are being purchased from overseas suppliers, especially in India and Asia. Although this is good for their economies and global trade, consumer beware! Many of these medications are not what they seem – they can have different quantities of medicine or look different from how they are normally distributed – possibly not being as effective as usual. But worst of all, they can be adulterated, meaning they can have toxins or other compounds present in them that may actually be detrimental to the patient taking the medicine.

With my fibromyalgia I’m on a lot of meds, and I’ve noticed that certain meds seem to act different from bottle to bottle. Is is me? Or is it the meds? I’m starting to wonder…

Don’t be afraid to question your doctor and your pharmacist to make sure you are getting good quality medicines, preferably made in the USA. Your health may depend upon it.

Don’t be afraid to bring this issue up to your representatives…your future health may depend on it. Don’t take my word for it, do your own research.

Until next time…

 

Hamburgers Don’t Grow On Trees

Published February 20, 2011 by glaumland

Little Boy was enjoying a hamburger the other day. Looking at the seeds on top of the bun, he suggested that we plant them so we could have a tree with all of the hamburgers we want. My two thoughts…how cute, and I wish.

We were driving for a while on the road to go see family, so we went thru a drive-thru restaurant. We don’t usually indulge, but Little Boy is going thru a growth spurt and is constantly hungry these days. And when you’re a little boy and hungry, there isn’t time to wait.

Luckily, there are lots of items on the dollar menu to choose from. Good thing, because that’s about all we can afford these days. It seems between the gasoline, the groceries and the electric bill, my checking account is running low earlier in the month than usual. We’re watching for sales a lot more closely, as well as stocking up on generic food and lots of potatoes and rice to stretch meals out.

The government may say the economy is doing better, but I disagree. I still know too many people without jobs. The price of everything is going up. Even the feed for the critters is going up, which means it is costing us more to feed ourselves. And as long as there is no extra money to spend, there is no recovery. Economics for Dummies, legislators need not apply.

I wish hamburgers grew on trees. I know how to grow trees.

Until next time…

Democrat Leadership – Smart-Asses or Dumb-Asses, or Both?

Published March 26, 2009 by glaumland

 Women and Wine, Wealth and Deceit, make the Wealth small, and the Wants great.

I continue to watch the Democratic leadership with a mixture of horror and fascination, caught somewhere between believing it’s all just a bad dream (nobody could be that bad on purpose) and believing in conspiracy theories (nobody could be that bad without trying). On the one hand, I want to believe that all Americans (and especially our elected leaders) have America’s best interests at heart. But on the other hand, I think that many politicians become politicians because they want the power that their office brings. So, part of me wants to be hopeful, without being naive, while another part of me wants to be on my guard, without becoming cynical.

Haste makes waste.

I’m not sure if this is Aesop or Poor Richard, but this seems to have been the rule, rather than the exception, for the Democrat-lead Congress and the Obama administration. They’ve spent TRILLIONS to save financial organizations and passed a 2009 budget spending many more TRILLIONS. I can’t even keep the numbers straight any more, there have been so many (between bank bail-outs, auto bail-outs, pork bills, etc). It’s pretty sad though, when the American public doesn’t blink its eyes when talking about BILLIONS, and only seems slightly dazed now that we’re constantly hearing TRILLIONS. I did check my calculator at home, and it only goes up to the 10-MILLIONs place, so I guess I’ll have to watch my budget a little more carefully – ha ha. (OK, I looked it up and Poor Richard said “Necessity never made a good bargain.”)

Money doesn’t grow on trees.

To paraphrase a Sonic commercial, “maybe it does because money is made of paper and paper is made of trees…” OK, not quite accurate these days (DH tells me that money is more fabric than anything) but funny nonetheless. Where does the government think they will get all of this money that they are spending? I read a report today that the administration is thinking up new ways to get money. Obviously, their idea to make America’s veterans carry private insurance wasn’t well thought out and it certainly didn’t go over well (my opinion was that this was one step that Obama & Co. had in mind to get their national health-care legislation passed, but they didn’t realize how much it would be opposed). The cap-and-trade policy to have power companies buy and sell polution credits already failed in Europe, so why would we try something that’s already been proven a loser (not to mention costing every American family more dollars). And we’ve also been told that we are not being patriotic if we don’t want to pay more taxes – so that would make several of Obama’s appointments to be some of the most un-American people in America (it doesn’t matter if they are unethical or just stupid – either way they are not fit to govern). So the dollar and the 401-Ks continue to roll downhill.

Promises may get thee friends, but non-performance will turn them into enemies.

Not only have we seen  some terrible economic blunders by the current administration, we’ve also seen some real doozies in our foreign relations. There is the cheap plastic button given to a Russian diplomat that say “overcharge” and not “reset” – I guess Hillary doesn’t have any friends or co-workers that are fluent in Russian. There was her statement that she doesn’t understand multi-party democracies (ummm…how many polical parties are there in the US?). Hillary told Bejing that our relationship with the Chinese is more important than their policies on human right issues (which is actually a GOOD thing if you’re selling second-hand Chinese ultrasound machines). And my final example here – and this is truly the best of all – giving the British Prime Minister a thoughtful gift of 25 DVDs of American movies in the US viewing format as opposed to the priceless & historic gifts America (not just Obama) received. Perhaps Obama should’ve made Martha Stewart his Secretary of State or maybe just gift-giving czar; I don’t think she would make such stupid and class-less moves.

Love your neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.

Wait, I forgot, we’ve got Smart Diplomacy now! The first call Obama made was to a terrorist-supporting Palastinian leader, not to someone who has been closely allied to the US for many years. And if you don’t believe it from reading the above examples, just consider the following: Obama’s administration has declared that we’re no longer in a ‘Global War On Terror’, now we’re calling it ‘Overseas Contingency Operation’ (that sounds to me like taking Kaopectate and Charmin with you when you travel abroad). So now we can be friends with the countries that Bush labeled as “evil”. When North Korea fires a missile, it really is just a satellite so we can get better cell-phone coverage when we visit their country (just like the 2 reporters who weren’t ‘abducted’, they just received an all-expenses paid vacation at the Pyongyang Hilton). And the poor Iranians need to build nuclear energy power plants because they just don’t have any oil to burn! Boy, I’m feeling so much safer that I’ve just got that tingly feeling all over! (Sorry, I didn’t mean to get so obviously sarcastic.)

Here comes the orator, with his flood of words and his drop of reason.

I do have to confess that I enjoy watching clips of Obama answering questions without his trusty sidekick, the Teleprompter. I don’t get to see as many as I would like since I have dial-up and since MSM tends to ask fluffy questions. But I think the comparisons of Obama with Teleprompter and Obama sans Teleprompter show something more important: that our current president is actually an intellectual light-weight. His reasoning is circular,  and his responses are rambling and really don’t contain any pertinent information. His ideals aren’t in question, but his background is. It just proves that ACORN training and campaigning are no substitute for executive experience. What people have confused for intelligence is his ability to give speeches that were written for him and read off of a teleprompter. Now we have even more proof of his failings in his inability to fill the presidential cabinet and other political positions, as well as his allowing the Democratic co-horts of Reid and Pelosi to take leadership on stimulus and budget legislation. So just who is in charge, anyway?

Well done is better than well said.

One of the things that has really struck me though about the Obama administration is the number of foul-mouthed and smart-assed people Obama has surrounded himself with. We have ‘gotta love him’ Joe Biden who can’t keep his foot out of his mouth. He can’t seem to remember the names of people he admires (Is is Justice Stevens or Stewart?) or the “website number” for how the TARP money is being spent. But Joe also responded with the F-bomb when one of his friends addressed him by his new title of “Mr. VP” – yeah, that’s certainly a good reason to curse at your friends. Classless Jerk#1. Rahm Emanuel, the current chief of staff, enjoys throwing the F-bomb around, in public, in his office, right there in the White House. He even has a souvenir name plate on his desk saying, “Undersecretary for Go (F-Bomb) Yourself.” Classless Jerk #2. Finally, we come to the Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. I don’t get to watch the daily press conferences very often (no cable, remember), but I can say that my favorite PS was Tony Snow (RIP). He always managed to deliver the briefings with respect towards the administration and the reporters, while remaining quick-witted and personable. And Ari Fleischer continues to be thoughtful and deliberate when delivering his comments. Not so the current Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. This longtime Obama spokesman seems to take special delight in making sarcastic remarks and delivering wisecracks, as if he is trying to do stand up comedy and get the press corps rolling on the floor laughing. His crass schtick seemed to work at first, but even lately the press appears to be getting weary of the act. Although he can’t seem to answer the serious questions that are now being put to him, Gibbs does have the one-liners to bash Cheney and Limbaugh, or complain that he is “all Russia’d out”, or giggling while he tries to convince a reporter that he is serious (jusk ask Obama cheerleader April Ryan). Classless Jerk #3. Is it me, or does there seem to be an awful lot of giggling from this administration.

What you would seem to be, be really. 

Bad policies and decision-making don’t mean that there is a conspiracy to undermine the America that our founding fathers created. But it is hard to believe that this much stupidity and lack of ethics, coupled with arrogance and elegance, could come together without someone pulling the strings. Just another argument for intelligent design over evolution.

The excellency of hogs is fatness, of men virtue.

I just had to throw this one in because of porkulus and just because I thought it was funny. (Hat tip to Benjamin Franklin for all of the nuggets of wisdom.)

Until next time…