Archive for February, 2009

How Much is a Million Dollars?

February 24, 2009

I have been battling with an odd tangent of the economic news. I find it hard to believe that money just ‘dried up’ the way it has.
I mean, I remember when for a short period of time, pennies were worth more than pennies if one sold it for copper weight.
The government went ballistic! My Lord, you’de have thought that the few copper entrepeneurs (all big money stakes kind’a guys, no doubt) were going to make all currency to disappear from American culture OVERNIGHT!
…and here were several businesses clamoring for taxpayer money to survive because their own money ‘dried up’ somehow.
And there’s the problem I had, you see.
They were talking in terms of a billion dollars here and a billion dollars there, and my brain couldn’t fathom whole BILLIONS disappearing when the government was so PENNY-WISE, before.

Now, I used to be a laborer. Construction, specifically insulation.
In and out of a lot of companies and on my own for a quarter century (abouts) and always did a fine job. Learned the craft at Momper’s in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and that’s a big deal in our state! It’s a fine company and they will do an outstanding job for you.

But, as hard as I, or any of us worked, $50,000 a year didn’t really describe our wages. Even with the year-end bonus and Health… None the less, if a person had a $50,000 dollar a year job for twenty years, that would be a million dollars! And that doesn’t sound like bad pay, either.
Suddenly I could see the connections.
For example, last year, Bill Gates’ worth was … 57 BILLION dollars.
That would equal 57,000 men working/earning $50,000 a year for twenty years.
57,000 men. Twenty years.
$57 BIL = 57,000 positions at $50,000 Yearly for 20 Years.
57,000 P @ $50K/20Y
(a terrible sidebar to the news, today, is that women aren’t as threatened by the lay-offs because they supposedly make less than men? That’s terrible!) (…and that would maybe round it off to 60,ooo should it describe women)
(NO! I don’t go for ANY disparity in the workplace)

Warren Buffet only clocked in @$50 billion last year (50,000 P @ $50K/20 Y) but somehow, despite him giving so much away (none to me, that’s for sure) he made a new benchmark of being worth $60 billion this year.
(60,000 P @ $50K/20 Y)

When GMC cracked into a $1.04 billion dollar profit way back in 1997, did anybody care about the 1000 positions lost for the next twenty years? Or did the execs from GMC (and Chrysler and Ford) squander it on buying bigger gas guzzlers and become way more arrogant? (Bill Ford and his ‘Throaty V-8’…..geez! )
Gas? You mean like exxon mobil’s record breaking $14.83 BILLION dollar PROFIT last QUARTER … (14,830 P @ $50K/20 Y)(and that’s just the one quarter….)
The $14.83 billion is up from the $9.46 billion dollar profit the year before, or, 9,460 P @ $50K/20Y.
Second quarter it was $11.68 billion, or
11,680 jobs @ $50K/20Y.

Add the over four hundred billionaires (Forbes Magazine, a wonderful publication) in this country, none any lower than 1.3 billion,( 1,300 jobs @ $50K/20Y) and quite a few ranging the tens and twenty billions (10,000-20,000 jobs @$50K/20Y)
(I’m not sure, yet, but it could be that all these totals would be real close to the unemployment rate, lately. Tell you what, let’s do the math and find out)
And Chrysler, Ford, Shell, Toyota, Volkswagon, Whatever….
The insurance companies with billion dollar profits, money institutions…. And, for crying out loud, they’re spread all over this planet! China, for crying out loud, has billionaires. Asia, Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom, Africa, Canada, Mexico, South America…
So many billionaires all over the world, each one representing a thousand people at work for twenty years earning a decent wage.

Win the lottery? (Lord help me, I do buy a number, sometimes)
Probably the only way I’ll ever get into that club, but then, I would turn around and SPEND IT!

What is it all you billionaires want so that we can have our jobs back? Maybe you could give yourself and your family a $50K do-nothing-job for twenty years and give 950 other people their jobs, ( rated at $1 billion parcels )
Heck, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet alone could put 100,000 people to work for twenty years @ $50K a year and still have enough to live like royalty! (‘Course folks won’t be coming to your mosquitoe party, then, eh?)

Well, moxnix.
I just wanted to better understand a few things. I guess I already knew part of it.
Some folks are wanting to build the new future and some folks are too greedy to believe. So, according to comparative thinking here, my guess is, if the rich guys are crying wolf, maybe we should just leave them be. We’ll get on with the work without them, eh?

(I’m not being too harsh, am I?
I wouldn’t want folks to think I’m just an old crumudgeon, when what I really want is a bright new future, just like everybody else.)



February 4, 2009

I’m thinking that right about now, the best non-partisanship that could be followed would be to listen to neither side at all.
Whining pox upon us all, the Republicants want to give money hand over fist to big business, and so do the Dumbocrats!
Only difference being that one side wants to give the money to people and let them buy from big business while the other side wants to pay big business to keep on doing the same thing.

How about this….don’t bail-out the horse and buggy companies that have known for decades that this day would arrive yet did nothing to improve anything. Only now, after the threats from the government are two of the manufacturers actually presenting electric vehicles, and one of them already had a successful prototype on the market but took it away from customers some years back.
How about giving money to folks who want to improve our position worldwide by providing transportation WORTH buying instead of sucking hind teat behind Europe and Asia.
Or here’s a quickie…put in some extra lanes for non-internal combustion traffic. Of course I realize that occassionally, the non-interanal combustion machines may go faster than the dinosaurs, and without gas yet, but, that’s the idea, isn’t it?
SOMEBODY has to build the new stuff!
How about less oppressive federal laws stopping new industries? Carbon fiber exteriors are far stronger than most metal exteriors, and about a fraction of the weight.
This means that a truck that gets 18-23 MPG if the exterior was replaced with the carbon fiber could be getting closer to 50-55 MPG.

With other modifications, this could be stretched up to 70 MPG.
Or the idea that seatbelt laws saving any lives is a ludicris account. Fact is, several folks have died not only while wearing seatbelts, but also because of wearing seatbelts. Still, it is a federal mandate.
Marijuana laws also have no basis in logic. 95 million adults partake in some form of marijuana use every month. Not so oddly enough, most would be glad to pay a small tax, without a single word of dissent, to be able to partake in it.
Say $50 every three months. Growers would have to pay their own tax, to grow and/or  sell the product and, of course, the normal sales tax all businesses are required to pay. I’m also suggesting to NOT import the product. It isn’t needed, and all the extra police equipment and dogs could be concentrated into importing zones.
This would create thousands of jobs right away. Following that would be hemp cloth industries start up, canvas that is both strong and soft. Whole new industries, new farms, a flood of new taxes for the venture into the future instead of borrowing from our children’s children.

Yes, there is a long way to go, and with the government trying its best to do business as usual, it’s not getting any shorter.