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On Rick Jensen today, some figures gave us pause.  One in five Delawareans live in poverty. Three out of every five children, live in poverty. The numbers of people going hungry has gotten worse since 2012…. not better.

This happened because of the Republican’s cuts to SNAP, the food stamp program. Originally a family of four in 2012 could spend $750 a month in food stamps. Now it is down to a little over $400 dollars thanks to both Tea Party Republicans and Democrats like John Carney who cowardly don’t stand up to them.

Which means a family of 4 making less than $1500 a month working however many jobs, ate off $25 dollars a day in 2012, but now, thanks to bastards in the Republican Party, is down to 13 dollars a day!

Most go that 4th week in the cycle goes with very little or no food.  They would have to stop by charities to pick up a 50 pound box which would get them through that last week…

We all know that the recession was brutal.. But I did not know that by 2011 very few people were needing boxes and most of the charities cut back on handing them out and would only do them to order, at special requests.  In 2011 and 2012, there simply was no need….

Then came the budget cuts.. Those brutal 60% cuts which not only put hunger back into the working people’s daily ritual, but laid off large numbers of grocery and retail store employees are causing tremendous hardship.

So whereas private sector jobs are growing, and unemployment is down, the need for food is not.  One needs $50,000 in family income to stay self-efficient today. Anything less is hurting the economy and is draining some other resource from somewhere… Most often SNAP and Medicaid.

We need to realize that despite as much as we like their entertainment, we cannot afford Republicans.. But until we root out the prime cause, stingy people in power, we desperately need charities to fill the void.  Please make some of your holiday money go to a cause that is probably the most important and most politically correct of a choice you could possibly make in this life…

Big thank you to the Riley family… ❤

Go  here, click on the banner. and donate…

 

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Delaware’s finest performing Full of Bees… The great…. Todd Chappelle

Coupled with Rick Jensen’s comment on 9 million new immigrants, we are in the middle of a beesy weekend of puns… I predict…..

Mine? The new state logo above in my Title… (You’re very welcome….. 🙂 )

Ok…. one more then….

=========

You get up every morning
From the sound of your alarm clock’s warning
Then leave at 8:15 to go into the city…

You see sinage smilin’ down
Warnin’ bees swarmin” all around…
And marshmellow-like foam gumming up all the highways….

And if your lane’s lucky and on time
You can get to work by nine….
And start your slaving job to carry your own load…

But if you ever get annoyed
Just think of being self-employed
Cause us apiarist just dip up honey all day

(Till ‘they’ call…(ringtone) saying…. Hey! Do you know anything about…. bees?)

Then I’ll be
Takin’ care of beesness, every day
Takin’ care of beesness, in every way
I’ll been takin’ care of beesness, it’s all mine
Takin’ care of beesness while working overtime

(Work it out)

If it were easy being an apiary-ist
And your face could contort like a Drew Carey-ist
And you would squeal when stung, like a newborn colt

But if your windows are rolled down,
Warning. You’ll never make into town,
Unless you can sprint super fast like a Hussein Bolt.

But chances are that you’ll go far
With windows rolled tight up in your car….
But with traffic you might not make it into town…..

So if you’re stuck in traffic,
Don’t do anything that is graphic…
Just sit calmly and look at things from afar….

Tell your boss it’s not your fault….
95 is one big, huge car lot
If that if he fires you, Governor Markell with him will be annoyed…..

Cause you’ll been sittin’
Takin’ care of beesness, every day
Takin’ care of beesness, every way
You’ve been takin’ care of beesness, it’s all mine
Takin’ care of beesness, and working overtime
Take good care of beesness
When I’m away, every day whoo

Remember you get up every morning
From the sound of your alarm clock’s warning
Then leave at 8:15 to go into the city…

You see the sinage smilin’ down
With bees still swarmin’ ’round…
And marshmellow-like foam gumming up all the highways….

Frightened people pushin’, people shovin’
Performing their last rites and their last lovin’
Just praying they make it alive into the city…..

But, if you ever get annoyed
Consider me, I’m self-employed
Then respect what I have to do all day

*While you’re slavin’ ) I’ll be….
Takin’ care of beesness …every day
Takin’ care of beesness ….every way
I’ll bee taking care of beesness, …they’s all mine
Takin’ care of beesness and working overtime ….

Takin’ care of beesness
Takin’ care of beesness
Takin’ care of beesness
Takin’ care of beesness
Takin’ care of beesness

(Not as good as Todd’s but it is a try… nevertheless…. )

Hey, anybody got a buzz?

BigYellowJacket
Image Courtesy of Newark High School.

Saw this headline across quite a few feeds this morning…. Can’t say it enough… I told you so….

Do you know the real reason?  It’s 3/4th of the way down.  In case you didn’t know, if you are short on time and just need to skim.  always go to the 3/4ths mark, and you can get the gist of almost anything, in seconds….

“Regarding U.S. same-store sales for the company’s fourth quarter, ending Friday, Wal*mart said it expects sales, excluding fuel, to be “slightly negative” to its earlier guidance of flat sales at Wal*mart stores “

Why are those sales negative?

Chief financial officer Charles Holley said Wal*mart saw a greater-than-expected negative impact from reductions in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. The cuts went into effect on Nov. 1.

Then it provides some right wing political cover by also blaming storms… But as anyone will tell you, the excessive buying before a storm overcompensates for the loss of business from the storm, and that storm days are the primary money makers for those selling groceries… (No other food company is blaming storms, it should be noted.)

The economic impact of the Republican decision, and all their attempts to rebuff Democrat’s attempts to keep that SNAP option at a higher rate, is very real. If you owned 10,000 shares of Wal*mart stock, this morning in hours you lost $5,500… All because of Republicans… If your town has a million shares owned by all its citizens who invest in the stock market, your town just lost $550,000 dollars collectively, thanks to Republicans…

Republicans only called out those eating with government money; called them lazy.. and unAmerican. Those seeing the whole picture, were more concerned with how the economy would react… We predicted that some businesses would experience a 10% decline in food sales, matching the 10% decline in food stamps….

Now the recent cut agreed by the House just this week, will cut into that further…

So why is Wal*mart the most affected? The answer is because it is cheaper. If one is receiving SNAP (or Food Stamps) one is already poor and on a tight budget. It makes good sense if one has only $700 to spend a month, to try and get as many calories as possible for that amount of money. The best place to do that is Wal*mart.

Wal*mart did this to themselves. As one of the biggest funders to the Tea Party, Wal*mart is one of the few corporations responsible for putting the Tea Party Republicans in office. Ironic that the Tea Party chose to cost a few Wal*mart executives their jobs, by cutting SNAP… Wal*mart should have lobbyied their friends harder to shelve or vote against it. They and all other grocery chains now, should both advertise to the public and lobby the Senate, NOT to pass the Farm Bill with 8 billion of further cuts to that program….

The damage caused to all of society by not fully funding SNAP is severe compared to the consequences that would occur, if that money was saved by raising taxes on the wealthy….

Retail Food is a huge engine of our economy. Putting water into the gasoline that feeds that sector, will have dire consequences,of which we are beginning to now see. Wal*mart and other grocers need to get on the Hill now, lobby against any SNAP cuts in the Farm Bill, threaten to withdraw funding for all rural conservative candidates,.. or face a rather dismal, ten year slump…..

As the weeks sneak past, the cry of the unemployed becomes fainter and fainter.  It’s official. The Republicans won. They were right; we were wrong. For them, indeed, it was a good political move. They were right. Everyone cares about money saved; no one cares about people anymore, even those suddenly destitute, hit almost without warning.

I guess since there are no stories out there now of what it is like to have no money, the Republican got it right about our concern over the long term unemployed. Those unemployment checks were going to freeloaders and as soon as the money quit, they all got jobs.  At least that is what one would certainly think, from the silence, from the complete lack of stories, lack of diaries, or even lack of pleas to get something moving again on the assisting the unemployed.  It’s like the Republicans said “no”, and that was it… no more long term unemployment… Gravy train—> over… Back to work you scum….

Who would have expected it could have worked out this well?  Certainly no one I know.  We are all shell-shocked that any concern for these fellow citizens has just gone, evaporated. It appears that people are indeed, despite their lip-service, privately tired ot those lazy, cheapskates, mooching off the public dole, and that, though they say “tisk, tisk, you shouldn’t cut them”, there simply is no heart in them anymore to treat people more humanely than say, corporations….

Just out of curiosity over how this could be so, how we could have been so wrong, I wanted to crunch numbers for myself to see if it was true.

It is estimated that there are 4 million workers who are over 26 weeks unemployed. As of December 28th, there were 1.3 million who would lose benefits.   That would be week zero of the crises.  From December 29th through January 4th.  70,000 more were Immediately dropped high and dry. Then the following week, January 5th through the 11th,  another 70,000 tumbled off the roles.. The week following, January 12th through the 18th, 70,000 more…. Last Saturday, saw the grand total rise by another 70,000 people…. We have now gone a full month, at four times 70,000 and have added 280,000 more destitute families to our national roster….  1.58 million families are facing their own personal Grapes of Wrath… In the silence of public outcry, Republicans just laugh and laugh while they swim in the Congressional pool and wipe their clean butts now with clean towels, (now that the sequester and shutdowns are over)….

What’s the effect of all this?  I do Federal Budgets so these numbers are small to me… What’s a million?.  Chump change…  or  1 X 10^-12  or 0.000000000001 of my problems….It is so small it is very hard to visualize the human cost.  It is far easier to visualize the dollars saved.. The initial cut saved approximately . $ 397 million  ($306 listed as the average unemployment check amount)… Each subsequent week that total climbs as 70,000 X $306 or $21,420,000 gets added to the amount the Republicans are saving America….So as of last week, January 25th the chart of weekly savings looks like this….

  • $397 million  as of January 4th
  • $418 million as of January 11th
  • $440 million as of January 18th
  • $461 million as of January 25th.

Total saved America courtesy of the Republicans of the United States of America is… $1.76 billion dollars! Roughly one thousandth of our budget….

The total number of people claiming unemployment benefits in all programs for the week ending January 4 was 3,706,087, a decrease of 1,003,734 from the previous week. There were 5,659,482 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2013.

Hats off to them.  They saved money by taking care of a problem Democrats were too squeamish to handle.  Why have extended unemployment at all?  There was no where else that money could be saved, and it was time those lazy, useless freeloaders went back to work anyways.   There is no where else to make up that money.

For last month they already let tax breaks expire for college tuitions.  That’s been done; $4 billion saved.. Last month they let teachers writing-off their classroom expenses, expire.  That saved almost a billion.  No mortgage insurance premiums can be now be deducted. That saved over $5 billion dollars.  If you lived in a state with no sales tax, where you used to be able to deduct state and local sales taxes, .. you can’t now. Savings of $16 billion. The mortgage-modification tax break expired… meaning if your home was under water,  and you got relief from a bank, you get taxed on the amount of relief, thousands more than you can afford….  Got to love those Republicans, saving America money..

And of course no one can make changes to these tax breaks... The Cato Institute estimates that direct  federal subsidies to corporations costs taxpayers almost $100 billion every year. Furthermore, the tax code gives corporations special tax-breaks which reduced what is supposed to be a 35 percent tax rate to an actual tax rate of 13 percent, saving these corporations an additional $200 billion annually,,, Likewise, special tax breaks for hedge fund managers allowing them to pay only 15% rate?  (This is the break where the multimillionaire manager pays less of a percentage in taxes than her secretary). Estimates are that this costs taxpayers $83 billion annually and 68% of those who receive this special tax break earn far more than $462,500 per year (the top one percent of earners).

So Republicans are laughing all the way to the bank.  None of their money was touched, and $1.6 billion was saved on the backs of people who apparently live inside the cone of silence… I don’t hear outrage anymore, do you?

After all, what they did all those freeloaders, was apparently a favor. They finally got them off their ass and made them get a job. No lazy asses in a Republican-run world.. Bring on 2014…

They did all get a job, right? No one is saying anything to the contrary, so surely, they all got a job, right? All you have to do is walk up to a business and say, “I need a job” and they give it to you on the spot, right? Of course, right? Isn’t that how it’s done on TV sitcoms? If you need a job, you just go out and get one. Like Drake and Josh? So, everybody is now working, right, except those lazy butts whose long term still has not run out!

Let’s look. Here is the unemployment table for December 2013….

  • A)  According to the BLS 37.7% or over one third of all our unemployed are over 27 weeks…
  • B)  24.4% or one fourth land a job in 4 weeks and start in 5…
  • C)  Another quarter or 24.4% get a job their second month… that’s up to 8 weeks between jobs.
  • D)  The remaining 16% or one seventh of the unemployed, get their replacement job somewhere between the 3rd and 6th month….
  • It is the first third, or 37.7%,  who will lose benefits…. They are the losers….

“These had better get off their sasses, get over to Burger King, and start flipping (cooking) burgers.” (actual statement by Congressman on Budget Committee). So are they?

The advanced number for seasonally-adjusted insured-unemployment during the week ending January 11, was 3,056,000, an increase of 34,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,022,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,939,000, an increase of 31,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 2,908,000.

What? Unemployment claims are rising? That can’t be. People should be going back to work, not more people getting laid off! How will those long-term people now with no income, courtesy of the laughing House Republicans, get all those jobs they were supposed to walk in, demand, and get? You say there are now even more unemployed?

December’s unemployment for the month, was at a 6.7 %… The last monthly rate below 6.7% occurred in October 2008... the month after Lehman collapsed. (Amazing this Obama)  Unemployment is almost at pre-recession levels. But wait! Something must be wrong… 1 million unemployment claims just disappeared overnight on December 28th… What jobs did they all get? Burger King?

January’s jobs data is embargoed until February 7th…. But based off of December’s estimates, here is what HAS to happen for Republican wet dreams to come true. Over the course of last year, across all of 2013, the ranks of the long-term unemployment declined by 897,000. For Republican dreams to materialize, this month of, January 2014, total employment must rise by 1.58 million workers or by a total equal to all those left unpaid by long term employment…. For the record, that would be a 60% increase in one single month, over the entire past year’s hirings decreasing the totals of the long-term unemployed….

It probably won’t happen.

Since the unemployed usually spend all their check each week, the economy for January just toof a hit of $1.67 billion dollars from the lack of money these unemployed would have spent.. Most of that was felt immediately in retail. Retail just hired 55,000 new hires in December. I hope most still have jobs.

One further factor which sort of smudges up the calculations, making things not so clear cut, … is the the huge number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) which has remained essentially unchanged at 7.8 million through December. These individuals who are working part time because their hours have been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work.

I expect this to probably be where most of the absorption of the ex-communicated long termed unemployed will be found…..

Now so far, all I’ve talked about is money. But being unemployed is much more. It is about people…Human beings less fortunate than you or I, but, at a moment’s notice, at the whim of a boss and having no protections, we know we could be there too.(let’s hope the swirling rumors over HSBC’s imminent Lehman-sized collapse, aren’t true.)

How does one possibly show the human cost that this Republican obstinance is doing to the optimism, and the pride of this nation, the United States of America? Many of you are too young to remember this image ingrained in us,  but try to imagine a map of the United States of America and that it is under attack by nuclear weapons… When a strike hits, a white circle flashes on the map showing each lost city….

December 28th 2013….. San Diego…… Gone…… 1.3 million people.
January 4th 2014….. Wilmington Delaware…. gone… 70,000 people
January 11th 2014….. Canton, Ohio…… gone…. 70,000 people.
January 18th 2014….. Rapid City SD … gone…. 70,000 people.
January 25th 2014….. Scranton PA…… gone…. 70,000 people.

If these were real nukes dropping on our fellow citizens, launched by a sub-class of our fellow citizens, would we still be as silent, afraid to step out of line and express concern over fear of how we’d look to our corporate bosses and the snitches we work beside, and just shrug off the laughing Boehner and Cantor as they dry off with clean white cotton towels in the U.S House of Representatives members-only pool? I’m worried the answer is yes.

Well, guess what? There is something you can do. Act. Stop waiting. Do something. Act. Phone. Email. Text… Just act and tell your friends to act too.

Addendum: I saw this afterwards… it’s so ironic. After snuggly bashing the Soviets for years (and I was good at it) as being softly inferior to us tough, old capitalists, I with pure admiration today see their progeny in the squares of Ukraine, who won’t accept injustice lying down, who won’t see their dreams arbitrarily squelched, who won’t let something just get taken away from them because that entity is so powerful and distant, it seems senseless to contest it… I see them, and I say… wow, we really suck as human beings.. What is wrong with us?

And then I again see by the pool, Boehner and Cantor, just gaffawing away at us timid Democrats… Oh well. I guess that is how it goes. Sigh.

.

This….

A catfish inspection program will continue in place, despite Vietnam’s and China’s objections.

California can continue banning eggs hatched from hens in tiny battery cages…

Language aimed at curtailing a meat country-of-origin labeling (MCOOL) requirement, and one aimed at restricting activities by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) was left out. These two were opposed by foreign processors.

The bill ties Commodity subsidies to historical production but allows famers to update their “base acres” once in the life of the farm bill.

It changes restrictions on the so-called “actively engaged” provision. The criteria for management has been strengthened compared to current law, a source said, but the provision appears be scaled back from the labor requirement in the earlier versions of the bills…

The altered payment limits are now capped at $125,000 per individual or $250,000 per couple, but caps within that total for PLC, ARC or marketing loan deficiency payments have been removed.

On farm subsidies, the bill offers producers a choice between a shallow loss revenue insurance long favored by Northern crop growers and price-based supports supported by those in the South. ..

The compromise discourages milk overproduction by limiting how much milk can be insured in the future and also has a provision allowing the Agriculture Department to buy up some excess production.

The bill is expected to save $23 billion over 10 years compared to existing funding.

The House bill had initially made a $39 billion cut to the food stamp programs. The cut will now stand at $8 billion across 10 years. or $800,000,000 per year…The food stamps cuts are achieved by making it more difficult to qualify for nutrition assistance by virtue of receiving home heating aid…..

The bill contains funding for a new pilot program aimed at encouraging able-bodied recipients to find work and more than $200 million more for food banks.

Pushing the data of the Moody’s Analytics regarding Delaware being the only bad risk in the country, some other illuminating factors emerge.  The revenue data taken from our tax receipts over the past two years, portends to ever decreasing departmental budgets state wide in 2013 and 2014.

This problem will be compounded further, by this fourth quarter competing with the largess of last fourth quarter.  If you remember, incomes were very high in December 2012, as a lot of capital gains were cashed in to beat the tax increase beginning in 2013.  There was a huge flood of tax revenue that pushed up estimates, both in personal and corporate income taxes.  The December revenue was 23.3% higher than December 2011.

That largess won’t be coming in this year and we will have to deal with the difference.

Second, due to impingements to our economy, our tax revenue will be under last year.

Delaware employment is growing slowly.  Yet there are only 18 states with a total unemployment (U6) higher.  As a result, personal income tax revenue is down.  This was compounded by a tax decrease recently given to the top 1% of earners. Passage of this tax rate decrease, means those who were the only people actually gaining income, will now, not be paying any of their increases into the treasury, as is being required of everyone else.

Across the nation, total state tax revenues first quarter 2013 rose 6.8%.  Across the nation state income taxes grew 18.4%, state corporate taxes grew 9.4%, and state sales taxes grew 5.5%  ….  Delaware does not have a sales tax.

Only 6 states had declines in personal income tax that same quarter.  Delaware led the pack as having the largest decline at 15.8%. States less shy about raising taxes, California and New York had the highest gains.  $6.3 billion and $1 billion respectively.  Incidentally as correctly predicted by the kavips economic model, both economies are thriving.

Based on withholding data, Delaware’s amount withheld dropped from a 9.3% increase in last quarter 2012, to a 2.0 increase in first quarter 2013, both over the previous year.  At the outset, the potential exists for a loss of that 7.3% difference in fourth quarter 2013.

The wealthy pay in the form of estimated payments.  They don’t use withholding.  The average estimated payment’s percentage increase over 2012, was 12.2%.  However the 4th quarter payment was a jump of 23.3% over the fourth quarter of the previous year.  Meaning the average of the previous 3 quarters was a negative or -3.7% from the year 2011.  Only that windfall of the fourth quarter, driven primarily by federal tax changes, gave Delaware its positive increase in estimated payments for 2012. Bottom line.  We were lucky. First quarter 2013, they are up 7.9% in comparison.

Corporate tax.  Overall across the nation, corporate tax increased by 9,4% this first quarter of 2013 over the same quarter last year. 30 out of the 46 states that have corporate income taxes showed increases. 16 of them were double digit increases.  Virginia suffered the largest decline: $87 million.  New York showed the biggest gain:  $239 million.

Tax Revenue is directly related to economic growth.  Growing economies increase personal income taxes and sales taxes as income gets spent. Delaware’s economy is estimated by the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia for the three months prior to June 2013, to lie between the growth rates of 0.1% and 0.5%.

Take the first quarter of 2013.  It is a harbinger of things to come….  In Delaware, the amounts collected Jan-March.

  • Personal income tax:  2012 = $411 million   2013 = $346 million …. drop of $65 million or -15.8%
  • Corporate income tax: 2012 = $65 million    2013 = $73 million …. increase of $8 million or 12.3%
  • Total with other (fees) included:  2012 = $956 million  2013= $883 million…. drop of $73 million or -7.6%….

Our current state budget is running $73 million in the red based on actual versus revenue projections.  And this does not even include the fourth quarter drop off. Delaware was one of only 5 states capturing less personal income taxes in 2013’s first quarter than in 2012. Rhode Island, Indiana, Utah, West Virginia were its team mates. Delaware lost $65 million (-15.8%); West Virginia was second losing a comparative paltry $21 million. or -5.4%.  The others:  Rhode Island -$13 million (-6.4%); Indiana -$5 million (0.5%); Utah -3 million (0.6%)

It was estimated that over the year Delaware’s tax decrease would cost the state $70-80 million.  if averaged per quarter, that would be $17 to $20 million lost to the state every 65 working days.

One would conclude that a big part of Delaware’s state revenue problem is a direct result of that tax break we handed over to the top percent of Delawareans…. There are 15 states with higher top marginal tax rates than Delaware.  All but one of them (Idaho) are showing better growth than Delaware.  The belief that lower taxes creates jobs and better state economies does not agree with reality experienced by other states on a daily basis.

Again, the national economy as a whole is looking better.  Delaware is looking like the exception.  After the Great Recession the national total of state revenues dropped for 5 consecutive quarters. The national total of all state’s revenues has since grown 13 consecutive quarters…

The same criticism that applied to Obama after the Obamacare vote, applies now to Markell after the SB 165 vote.  Instead of trying to fix something that was working fine, one’s attention should have been spent on all that which isn’t (working fine)….

Recommendations for 2014:

Go to multiple tiered tax rates:

  • 10% on $1 million or more
  • 9% on $500,000 or more
  • 8% on $250,000 or more
  • 7% on $125,000 or more
  • 6.75% on $60,000 or more
  • Spend most of our money on Delaware’s people.  Hire empty positions. Keep the money here in state as much as possible.
  • Cut out from budget most consulting fees for out-of-state entities.
  • No hiring of outside specialists or corporate buddies.
  • Add more teachers, firemen, policemen where needed.
  • Push for building an offshore wind farm; override all Pepco’s objections.

Cassandra's Watchful Eye

Without Cassandra’s keeping tabs I totally would have missed this one… Both our Delaware senators voted not to require genetic labeling on food we eat. Thereby forcing even those who could medically be harmed from having a choice to avoid it.

The reason stated was its cost… So simply typing “this product may contain genetic altered ingredients” into a computer, then emailing the labeling software to the printer, makes it too costly to give Americans the right to know whether they could die from eating this or that can of beans?…

But yet a company executive can go to jail if his company fails to mark it’s product has yellow dye number five ..

We all know the real reason we can’t know and that is campaign donations coming from a contributor starting with an “m”……

North Korea's Feared Air Command
Courtesy of lolsnaps.com

When attacking an enemy it is best to hit them at their most vulnerable part….

With North Korea, that would be to sever the support their leader and the military gets from it’s people. The entire extravaganza is being perpetuated for domestic consumption.. There are some serious cracks appearing in the North’s support for the “kid”.  And why wouldn’t there be?  What legitimacy does he bring as the head of state?

In the past year, things have gotten worse for the citizens of North Korea.  This saber rattling is the “kid’s” last chance to lead… Rumors abound of multiple  future plots being devised against him….

It is in the US and the rest of the world’s best interest to make this dissolution happen. Someone less irrational, smarter, and a lot more stable would make everything in that region settled and stable.

 

 

Aggressive Military action has the opposite effect.  When the state is threatened people flock to the leader. Just look how democrats flocked to George W. Bush.  Engaging the “kid” in military fashion will solidify the people behind him….

Our goal is to have the people solidify behind someone else.  At the same time, keep our military prowess at top proficiency to prevent others from taking  us on simply thinking we are weak….

Here is how.

If provoked, we take out North Korea’s air defenses.   Then we airdrop food by having it parachuted into starving neighborhoods with the words,  from your friends the United States of America….

We do and the point gets made.;. Gee North Korea, if you’d just take care of the “kid”, your lives will quickly get a lot better.

The only recourse the kid would have, would be… see I made them drop food for you….

North Korean’s aren’t dumb.  Just knowing that the world is pulling for them to rid the “kid” might be enough to make one of those current rumors swirling around the impoverished countryside, turn into reality…..

We knew this but it  is now being published… and so it is in the news.

The world is getting warmer… and we can now predict our climate by looking at map at 300 miles south and guessing what our weather will be from that…

Just as plate tectonics and  Darwin’s origin of the species were able to lay the groundwork of reason  for explaining puzzling observations, this simplifies what to expect from global warming rather startlingly.

Texas is now  what we alway thought of when we considered the weather of Mexico; Oklahoma is now West Texas; Kansas is now Oklahoma; Nebraska is now Kansas; South Dakota is now Nebraska, North Dakota is now South Dakota: Southern Manitoba is now North Dakota…..

If  West Texas had 3 days of rain, now Oklahoma is getting 3 days of rain;  If it snowed 12  times in South Dakota, it is now doing the same in North Dakota… and so on.

So, to predict our heat, rain, winters, etc, our guide would be North Carolina.  Longer growing seasons,  some winters with no snow, hot summers…

However due to Global warming, the East Coast has a caveat.  An anomaly so to speak  and actually some relief from the North Carolina summer heat we would normally expect….

With the unprecedented melting of the Arctic and Greenland icecaps dumping its excess into the Labrador Current, that cold water drops South hugging the East Coast shoreline all the way down to North Carolina’s Outer Banks where it finally becomes neutralized…   Therefore even though we have hotter air masses, the colder ocean temperatures creates a buffer against Global warming off the entire northeastern US.

Europe, Japan, and Alaska all experience  the same mitigating effect, although with both Greenland and the Arctic Icecaps melting into the Labrador, the US East Coast gets a stronger volume of cold water.  Call it our icy shower effect….

Once melting stops and the currents dry up, we return to the North Carolina scenario of the twentieth century….

Cold Water in Summer Hugs Delaware's Shore  xoxoxo
Chart Courtesy of NOAA

So, we in Delaware really get the best climate on the East Coast.    Warm winters, little or no snow, and cool breezy summers….. as well as a longer growing period, and… less dependence on fossil fuels for winter heating.

Gee, global warming isn’t so bad for Delaware after all….  Oh, the rising seas?  There you go again… Why did you have to spoil the rosy picture I was painting?

 

Delaware's Port From Final Approach to NCC Airport
Courtesy of WDDE

Total employment — job counts have two major limitations: (1) they don’t necessarily reflect the quality of employment opportunities, and (2) they cannot be easily compared to the public costs of attracting those jobs (through subsidies, tax breaks or public investments).

Aggregate personal income measures the monetary  increases as pay levels rise and/or additional workers are hired. This works as long as nearly all of the affected workers live in the study area.  This guide is  a reasonable measure of the personal income benefit of a project or program.

Value Added Corresponds to the GDP.  It reflects the total sum of wage income and corporate profit generated within the study area. However, in today’s increasingly global economy, value added can be an over-estimate of the true income impact on a local area, insofar as it includes all business profit generated there — all of which gets paid out as dividends to owners of the business who do not reside in the study area, and that which is reinvested into corporate facilities that lie outside of the study area.

Business Output (also referred to as revenue or sales volume) is the broadest measure of economic activity, as it generates the largest numbers. It includes the full (gross) level of business revenue, which pays for costs of materials and costs of labor, as well as generating net business income (profits).  Much of that money bypasses the local economic area.

Property Values  can rise in a community as a result of a new business increasing the demand for property, which may be a direct consequence of increasing aggregate personal income or the re- investment of business profits. It is also important to note that when property values go up in one neighborhood but down in another neighborhood, there may be a sufficient redistribution of wealth but no net change in the overall level of local wealth or incomes.

The point of this illustration is to educate you for when Alan Levin says, this will bring $100 million into the port of Wilmington, you can ask,… how much of that goes into the community?  The answer, if Kinder Morgan moves in, will be just the amounts paid in wages for operations and for future construction.

Currently, because the operation is under the auspices of the state of Delaware,  all of the revenue impacts the state and local economy.  With the moving in of Kinder Morgan, property values will decline, thereby adding a negative economic drag to the possible boost the sale is predicted to provide.

A very similar comparison would be to compare Alan Levin’s Happy Harry’s to the current Walgreen’s today.

Walgreen’s put money into each unit.  Construction dollars flowed to those hard hit in construction trades.  Those working at higher wages with Happy Harry’s are no longer there.  They were replaced with cheaper labor.  The quality of product that abounded at Happy Harry’s has now been streamlined.  The cost of everything but pharmaceuticals has risen.  The pharmaceuticals because of Walgreen’s size, have themselves become cheaper.   The profits originally went to Alan Levin who lives here in Delaware.   Today,  profits are transferred out of state to the headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois.

So was the transfer of assets good for Delaware?   You can see the problem with trying to assess the change of the Port of Wilmington’s ownership.  It could be Alan’s enthusiasm is driven by the success of his former negotiation…

The prime issue is jobs versus wage rates.

Here is a quick illustration.

$300,000 =  10 jobs at $30,000.

$300,000 =  15 jobs at $20,000

$300,000 = 30 jobs at $10,000

$300.000=  40 jobs at minimum wage and 20 hours per week.

So when you have massive unemployment, being able to say you will create 40 new jobs creates a big political boost in your favor.  One can see why corporations hire as cheap as possible.  Isn’t it better to have a pool of 40 people who can work, and are hungry for work, than 10 who are less productive?

But the downside, is those 40 people can’t buy anything.  There is no money for anything but subsistence living.   The state and town’s resources get strained covering the additional costs such cheap labor requires, like medical care, like food stamps, like EIC, all which are a drain of resources being taken away from other sources….

Keep in mind, it is the same $300,000 by the corporation that is being paid out.  So from a town’s point of view, having 10 people fixing their houses, paying their taxes, hiring yard work and carpenters, buying cars, buying higher priced food, affording their own insurance,  donating money to charities, is better than 40 people costing it food stamps, sucking up Medicaid, bleeding out supplemental unemployment, SIS benefits,  forcing extra police coverage, necessitating  anti drug efforts, causing  higher crime patrols, etc.

By far, it is better for the city to have workers who contribute, instead of cost.

Which is why, the privatization of Wilmington’s Port, is not in the best interest of Wilmington and New Castle County,  unless the union can negotiate a prevailing wage floor, unless local workers get to do the construction and re-investment, and unless no decrease in neighboring property values is ever allowed to occur……

And … as we learned from Fisker, unless a special clause is inserted guaranteeing the State gets first in line to receive assets if Kinder Morgan goes bankrupt or walks away from Delaware and Wilmington should it ever decide the rate of return is not what they expected…..