Saturday, January 20, 2018

MAGA.

Tide pods and government shutdowns . . . need I say more? Ciao.

Friday, January 19, 2018

More Fanciful Lies.

The Administration in DC has released their tentative plans for infrastructure renewal here in the land of the free and, as usual, it is incomplete and relies upon faulty assumptions. The great projects that this nation has accomplished were done with the full support of the government using tax revenue that mainly came from the wealthy. Dams, bridges, the highway system and other massive undertakings did not simply materialize or get done using a hoc mechanisms. Since 45 and the GOP have decided to starve the system of cash by giving breaks to the wealthy it makes it impossible to make make good on their infrastructure renewal promises. The plan they have put together is a joke. Here's the thumbnail: $200 billion over ten years pooled into four funds with the rest being generated by local taxes and private investors. In the grand scheme of things the amount of Federal funding is laughable. Then you have the fact that local tax revenue usually has to be approved by a popular vote and despite what the powers that be would have you think, local economies are still struggling and getting people to pony up for roads and bridges is far from certain. And when you bring private investors in the corruption and cost cutting takes over, resulting in poorly or never completed projects that end up costing citizens in the end as private firms pocket as much as they can. Privatization of infrastructure projects has never worked and it won't this time around either. This is a non-plan and America's moribund infrastructure will keep rusting and crumbling away.

During Obama's time in office there was an opportunity early on to reboot the public works projects that made FDR so amazing. That was squandered and this Trump plan is not going to do a thing. If we want to fix shit we have to spend money to do it and it should be Federal Tax revenue with everyone putting in their fair share. Nothing else works . . . Ciao.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Satisfied.

 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is enjoying great poll numbers these days, despite the fact that his regime has a highly questionable human rights record. He has the full support of 79% of Filipinos questioned in a recent survey, the highest percentage ever garnered in modern times. Political analysts say that his record numbers are due to the fact that he has made good on his promises and that most people are not concerned by his methods. From my perspective that sounds horrific - the old "ends justifies the means" argument should not be an international standard excellence. However, it seems to be the way things are going in the world at this moment. China looks positively functional/progressive compared to the US right now and Putin has made totalitarianism chic and popular in Mother Russia. Human beings are bizarre creatures and as I have said many times before, if you give the masses bread and circuses they will be happy enough to go along with whatever leadership is in place. Just look at America right now. Despite all of the controversies, the awful realities and the obvious insanity of our president the fact remains that it has been normalized, accepted and business is booming. There is enough money trickling from Wall Street to the great unwashed to keep them happy enough and the powers that be know it. What we are witnessing right now is a reboot of the 1920s. Questionable international leadership, a hyper-inflated economic boom and an infinite amount of social unrest boiling right below the surface. But for now it appears that most people are satisfied enough as long as the world is still humming along each morning when they wake up.

Duterte is symbolic of our times. A few years or a couple decades ago he would be just another infamous butcher in a failed state. Instead he is making it work and has sold it to his people and to much of the international community. I wish I was shocked . . . Ciao.