Category Archives: Government

Why I Don’t Write About AIG Anymore

So someone asked as to why I am not writing updates about AIG anymore.  The simple answer is, my work is done.  The whole point was to draw attention to AIG, before the financial crisis.  I knew it was rotten and now, so does everyone else.  So I don’t have to write about AIG anymore, the word is out, my work is done and I am pleased to see people are paying more attention to the likes of AIG.

You should not trust this company, be cautious and be careful when dealing with them.  They work for you, not the otherway around.

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Filed under Business, Consumer Activism, Consumerism, Economics, Globalization, Government

What Happened to Global Warming?

I think Canada and the US are probably the only industrialized countries doing something for the environment these days. In case you haven’t hear, Brazil is doing off shore oil exploration, Russia is giving tax breaks to company’s that do more artic oil exploration there, The EU announced recently they are building 50 new coal burning plants in the next 5 years and China is building one a week. Aren’t all these people concerned about the environment?

This is one of those fun facts of life. Europe for years has bashed the US for all our pollution, yet Europe is doing its very best to out do the US and pollute more, 50 new coal plants will do the trick. What happened to alternative sources of energy Europe? Where is that Euro Metrosexualism showing off in how green you are? I guess they realized that it was not a good idea to be energy dependent on the Russians who have a nasty habit of turning the faucet off whenever they get a bug up their butt. So, the environment takes a back seat to energy independence.

Of course Russia and Brazil are energy exporters and like a good dealer, don’t want to run out of supply so they continue to find more sources to ensure the world keeps on polluting.

Then you have China, who is exempt from the Kyoto treaty. So China goes around telling everyone we should go along with the Kyoto treaty, of course, they don’t have to change a thing! At one point last year they were producing 2 plants a week.

So, what’s going on, I thought everyone was all into the environment, stopping global warming and so on? It seems for Europe, global warming has its limits; energy independence trumps global warming concerns. For China, I don’t think they care about global warming or the environment, ever see the smog there or the “yellow sand” that falls on Korea and Japan from China; it is so toxic they have close down entire areas.

From what I can tell, pretty much Canada is doing its part and that’s about it. We in the US have not made any new oil refineries or pumped more gas so I guess you can say we are doing our part too. It is just funny that the biggest complainers about global warming (that would be Europe) would rather create more coal burning plants than say, geo thermo heating, or how about develop solar or wind or some other alternative fuel source. I guess I should not feel so guilty about driving a big car, after all, what I pollute is nothing compared to those 50 new coal plants.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not someone who says the environment is the only thing to worry about, we need to take care of people too. But I am just really surprised that Europe would go to coal, so much for innovation. If it were me, I would be going for geo thermo on all new construction sites, wind and solar, zero point energy systems etc… There are so many ideas out there, why not use them?

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Filed under Alternative Fuel, China, Energy, Europe, Gas, Government, Renewable

American Bitter

So it has been a while since I posted.  I know, I’ve been sick with this nasty cold and before that working for the man 10 plus hour days.  One of the things that caught my attention was Obama’s comment about American’s being bitter.  Well hell ya!  Bitter is just getting warmed up, he and everyone in Washington should be thanking God that’s all we are is bitter otherwise we would have a repeat of the revolution and lets face it, the guns do more damage these days and the tea would be from China.

 

I think this picture does a great job of showing why Americans are feeling bitter.  This is not a country of the people for the people.  It is a country for the corporate and Wall Street elite.  While homeowners go under, Wall Street gets bail outs.  We are told that home owners were not responsible when purchasing new homes at high prices.  Yeah, I will agree with that.  But so were the banks who gave out the loans that are now getting bail outs.  Why are they allowed to benefit from their stupidity while the home owner is made to suffer? 

 

Banks get lower rates but that doesn’t get passed down to consumers.  Our dollar is falling to make good cheaper to export, yet of course that means oil goes up, gold goes up and other basics go up.  So a few companies benefit while we all suffer. 

 

We are consuming less oil as a nation, in fact we haven’t increased our oil consumption in the past 5 years yet oil prices have doubled.  We are told to use less, we are!  We are told to use more fuel efficient cars, hey, why don’t you make more than 1!  If it isn’t 50 miles a gallon then it doesn’t pass the fuel efficient test in my book. 

 

Food prices are up, not because we are eating more but because we allow speculators to run rampant on the commodities market but no one wants to stop it because how else will the hedge fund managers make any money, so the rest of us get to pay $5 a gallon for milk.

 

Bitter, yeah, most people have a right to be, our leadership (which by the way I put Obama on that list since he is in the Senate) have failed we the people and we the people have a right to bitter and cling to anything we want that actually is working.  Got a problem with that Obama, then you should not be president.

 

 

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Filed under Consumer Activism, Consumerism, Energy, Government, Life, Politics

IMF says $100 Oil is OK

The IMF once again shows how out of touch with everyday people they really are.  $100 oil is not ok for the global economy; we saw it at $80 and even $60.  If you go to some developing nations, you will find many cars that run on non oil based fuels.  Why?  They can’t afford to buy oil.  And this is before oil hit $100, this was back when oil was at $80.  So already a large portion of the world is priced out of the market.  The US consumer can’t last another 5 years of such prices.  When gas eats up $70 a week that adds up!  That means less goes into the real economy the true engine that drives the global economy.

 

Too many analysts have forgotten what really makes the world go around.  Oil doesn’t, oil is a piece of it, but when oil prices are out of alignment as it is now, the real engine starts to shut down.  Consumers can’t consume because they don’t have money.  And things that rely on oil get priced higher and higher.  And unlike the developing nations, for some reason, the will to create real viable alternatives just doesn’t seem to be present in the US or Western Europe.  Why?  I really don’t know, how can small island nations transition to biofuel and natural gas to power cars and we can’t with all our technology, already have real working solutions on the road being used by everyday people; just like those developing nations have now?  It’s shocking and shameful we as the technology leaders do not have working solutions and better engines on the road.  We have the technology, I guess we just lack the will.

 

The IMF is just way out touch on this one, it’s going to spell trouble if they and Wall Street don’t put down the sparkling water and realize it is Main Street USA, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Kenya, Japan, etc… that is the driver of this world.  It’s time we move away from oil, there are plenty of ideas out there to do this; we should be putting our money into those ideas.  From a practical point of view, it only makes sense; the current system makes less and less sense everyday.

Article Link Here

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Filed under Alternative Fuel, Business, Consumerism, Energy, Europe, Globalization, Government, International Trade, Renewable, The World

Censorship Rising in Europe

Just when you thought the fascist had left Europe, along comes the Internet and filters and the “just trust us” censorship police.  In a very good cause, the police decided to filter out harmful content such as child porn.  Great, no problems with that.  However, there were no filters on the filters, essentially it was a “just trust us that we are doing the best job.”  But it was found out that the system was being abused and far from going after child porn, the police were going after people they didn’t like who had nothing to do with child porn.

 

This is really sad and the ones that lose out are the victims of child porn.  Instead of using the filters for what they were intended, to stop a very horrible crime against innocent kids, the police instead use it against people they just don’t like.  On the list were found NGO’s, journalist and non porn sites that for whatever reason, the police just didn’t like.  This is abuse of power and the real victims are the kids who the police should have been protecting but failed to do so.

 

My European friends keep telling that Europeans are so much more enlightened than Americans, one more example of how that is just a myth.  I sure hope we don’t have to bail them out again when they let another crazy dictator run amuck over there.

Article Link HERE

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Filed under Censorship, Europe, Globalization, Government, Life

No Retirement for Baby Boomers

This USA Today article really makes me shake my head.  So now after spending the last 20 plus years laying off boomers for being too old, now people want them for the “experience.”  At least that’s how the article writes it.  The reality is, businesses want the best labor for the lowest cost.  What is a great way to do this, keep the boomers in the market, now you have Boomers, X and Y all competing for the same jobs, throw in a few hundred thousand H1B’s, green cards and millions of illegals and you have a great recipe for stagnant wages.

 

I feel sorry for the boomers, they knew this train wreck was coming and did nothing, and as is common in America, we react to a crisis when it is sitting on top of us, not when we saw it coming a mile away.  Eventually this is going to cost us a lot more money than it should have in the long run because we failed to do anything about it when we had the chance.

 

And business or government is just doing what they do, it’s the workers that need to wise up and realize what’s going on.  Businesses are socialist by nature, yes I know, we all think they are conservative but that’s not actually true when you take the time to look.  Businesses love regulation as long as it is regulating someone else.  It cuts down on competitive pressures.  Businesses also loves it when the government does their work for them, in this case, keeping costs down by keeping boomers in the market longer.  So don’t expect these groups to make any changes, it’s just not in there basic interests.

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Filed under Business, Consumerism, Government, Life

Don’t Ask China to Change

We have seen a lot of recalls of products made in China this year, a lot!  The latest million plus product recall from Mattel just being the latest in a long line of and certainly not the last of recalls of China made products.  At this point we have reached a critical mass in terms of awareness and demand for changes in the system.  Many people around the world are now realizing just how little inspection is done on products being shipped.  Living in the US, I’m more concerned with the US market.  I expected the US government to do something to ensure confidence is resorted in imports yet they took the path of least resistance and of least impact. 

 

The US government decided the best course of action was to ask China to clean up the growing problems it has with bad imports.  And that’s it.  Now I do think it was the right thing to do to tell China they should clean up their mess, environment, air quality, etc…  But I think it was very wrong and reckless to stop at that.  The job of product safety is the job of the companies that import and the government that allows those imports into the country.  Instead it is now currently up to foreign companies and foreign governments to maybe play nice and follow our rules, a hand full of over worked inspectors and the consumers.  Essentially, buyer be beware is our import policy in the US now, a major step backwards.

 

I don’t have my figures in front of me but I worked out the number of daily and hourly shipments each US inspector would have to inspect at the current levels of inspectors which is decreasing.  It was in the thousands of shipments daily in order to inspect them all, which clearly is impossible to do.  So we have a government that isn’t doing its job of looking out for the citizens.  Understaffing our inspectors is bad for business as confidence erodes.

 

Companies claim to check for quality, but most do not tell you how they do it or make that information available to consumers so you just have to take their word for it and that’s just not good enough anymore.

 

The system and confidence in the system will not fix itself.  The response by government and corporations who choose to import is far lacking.  Consumer confidence is going to suffer and with it so will the economy and government and importing corporations will be the real root of the problem, NOT the consumers and not China.  Why not China?  Why are they going to change if we don’t change the rewards and consequences?

 

China is not going to change because we ask.  It is not in their interest to change if nothing else changes.  Consumers should act in their own interest and not buy from any company that is not open about where their products come from and how those products get to the consumer and the quality of the product and ingredients in them.  That’s how consumers impact change.  Corporations understand that mobilized consumers do take action and do impact profits.  Never sit back, always be mobilized, that’s your job as a consumer!

 

The government needs to get to work on restoring consumer confidence.  The best way to do this is hire more inspectors and ensure all imports are inspected and do meet the standards of this country.  That way, consumers can be sure they are buying something of quality and of authentic origins.  You can’t expect another government to do this.  If China or anyone else ends up with a lot of rejected products as a result, that’s their problem to fix, not ours.  Just as it is not their problem to fix our import issues.

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Filed under Business, China, Consumerism, Food, Globalization, Government, Health, International Trade, Life, Politics, Trade