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Taxes, Texans and Tea

Conservatives from shore to shore rail against the evils of taxation. Tea baggers stand on street corners hoisting their signs skyward bemoaning the taxes they view as unnecessary to pay for the programs that will ultimately care for them such as social security and medicare. “We’re mortgaging our children’s future,” they shout.

For the most part, their time would be better spent singing the lyrics of the scarecrow’s song from the Wizard of Oz.

Oh, I could tell you why the ocean’s near the shore.

I could think of things I never thunk before.

And then I’d sit, and think some more.

I would not be just a nothin’ my head all full of stuffin’

My heart all full of pain.

I would dance and be merry, life would be a ding-a-derry,

If I only had a brain.

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Econ 101 – He Never Saw it Coming

Sometimes people just don’t look both ways. That’s how wrecks happen. In this country, the level of economic expertise is pathetically low. We don’t mandate even basic economics classes in most high schools. The average American doesn’t have a clue how the economy works or what the Federal Reserve does. If the paycheck clears the bank, the economy must be good. If our collective ignorance didn’t have such a monumental influence on our future, it would be funny. But when some people listen to the likes of Glenn Beck for their economic knowledge, our future is bleak indeed. Tea baggers sit in judgment of President Obama, Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, Barney Frank and myriad others who provide direction to our economic policies, yet few could tell the difference between their economic philosophies and Shinola. It truly portends of a dismal future.

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How Quickly We Forget

Recent polls suggest some Americans are unhappy with the progress being made on the economy by President Obama. With the same level of oblivion that got us into this economic mess in the first place, many “conservative” Americans seem to have forgotten their very recent history. They live with the delusion that the Obama administration was supposed to have moved into the White House, kissed the boo-boo, and suddenly made everything the way it had been when Champaign flowed like rain water in a bamboo forest.

If you can believe the results of a recent poll conducted by the New York Times/CBS News, more than half of Americans say President Obama’s policies have had “either no effect yet on improving the economy or have made it worse.” In my opinion, the poll is more of an indictment of the American educational system, a system that allows high school and college graduates to walk the streets without so much as a fundamental understanding of macro-economics.

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There Goes the Neighborhood

Have you looked outside your window? You have a new neighbor. In fact, you have a few new neighbors. Sounds like a block party may be in order so everyone can get to know one another. If you’re one of those hung up on everyone speaking English, you may not want to go. You’re going to be hearing Chinese, Italian and a host of other languages. Those are the languages of your new neighbors and ultimately your landlords.

General Motors, the icon of the dominance of the invincible American auto industry has reached an agreement to sell the Hummer brand to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company headquartered in Chengdu, China. Another unassailable American auto giant, Chrysler Corporation, appears to be destined to be owned by Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, a.k.a. FIAT, the Italian auto giant.

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The Tyranny of Words – “Wealth Redistribution”

Humor tickles the soul by poking at those spots we can’t normally reach by ourselves. Often it’s the fact that something doesn’t seem to make sense that makes it so funny. That’s why it’s difficult to remember more than a few lines after seeing a good comedian perform; the humor’s perverted logic is difficult to file using the mind’s normal organizational structure. If you can’t file it, you can’t retrieve it. It’s what makes Babs so funny from time to time. She rarely makes sense.

The American public is a great wellspring of humor. For an English speaking people, how is it Americans can be so completely befuddled and confused by any of a number of words and phrases that they’ve been programmed to instantly define as either good or evil? It’s like their brains are put in a state of suspended animation and some mindless robot takes control of their thoughts. Blowhards like Rush Limbaugh utter one of the magic phrases and the minds of 10 million otherwise intelligent people are instantly anesthetized and all rational thinking stops. The zombies chant in unison, “It’s socialism (or communism or the welfare state or liberals or blah blah blah)” and they actually believe what they’re saying.

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AIG – Get a Rope!

It’s impossible to talk about AIG (American International Group) without being accused of piling on.  But sometimes temptation is just too much to resist.  Here’s my penny’s worth; given the state of the economy, I’ll resist the urge to put in two cent’s worth.  Who can afford it?  (Except maybe the guys getting the $165,000,000 in bonuses.)

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