By Russell D. Longcore
The Nation I: This week, Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway are hosting their annual meeting in Omaha. Thousands will attend. You gotta give the old boy his snaps. He has become one of the world’s wealthiest men in the stock market and owning companies. But a big part of his amassed wealth came from doing business with the Federal Government. So is it any wonder that in his doting years, he says stupid things like “the wealthy should pay more income taxes?” His “Buffet Rule” legislation went down in flames last week in Congress. But think about this. No one is preventing any wealthy individual from writing an extra check to the US Treasury. So this is not about the wealthy paying more voluntarily. This is all about being forced to pay more at the threat of death or imprisonment. This is all so extraordinarily disingenuous. The Congress carries the water for business. The tax code for business owners is laden with tax benefits and tax credits that employees don’t get. Employees don’t have their capital at risk, and they don’t deserve business tax breaks. But we all deserve less taxation. So instead of stealing more from the wealthy, let’s see someone slash EVERYBODY’S tax rates. Even better would be a ten percent national sales tax and no income tax.
The Nation II: President Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan this week to keep the fictional account of the murder of Osama bin Laden alive, now one year old. This was a campaign speech wrapped in an even bigger lie. Obama didn’t cap Osama. Bin Laden died of kidney failure back in 2002. Too bad presidential lies are not felonies.
International I: In the wake of the nuclear meltdown in Japan, the Japanese government has closed all of its nuclear plants for the first time in 40 years. Now they expect brownouts and rolling blackouts. Out of the frying pan into the fire. Hey Japan!!! Ever heard of the Molten Salt Reactor, using thorium as fuel? Totally safe, no radioactive waste, 60-year-old technology? China has…
Business: At a Sotheby’s auction Wednesday, one of the original four versions of Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream (you know, white face, mouth gaping open, eyes wide…kind of looks like that mask from the horror films) sold for $119,922,500…a new record. The winning bidder had way more money than common sense.
In tonight’s commercial message. Here are the most important questions I could ask you: Are you living the dream? Do you spend as much time with the people you love as you want to? Are you living in the home of your dreams? Are you living in the spot in the world that you dream of? Do you drive the car of your dreams? Do you have a dream of helping others in some charity that remains unfulfilled? And let’s talk about where we spend a huge chunk of our time…at work. Are you working at the job of your dreams? Are you making the kind of money you always dreamed of earning? Were you able to answer “YES” to any of those questions? Most people I know are not living the dream…whatever that phrase means to THEM. I can’t tell you what YOUR dream is. But if you could not answer “YES”, how are you planning to make your dreams come true? There is a racing analogy that works well here: You must have the right vehicle but you must be the right driver. Think about it. If you have a NASCAR or Formula One car, and you’re the driver, you’ll probably get yourself killed in a race. And if you take the best NASCAR or Formula One driver and put him in a Volkswagen Beetle, he has no chance of winning. To win and make your dreams come true, you must be the right driver in the right vehicle. Here is another important question: How important ARE your dreams to you? Do you have a burning desire to make them come true…or do you just enjoy fantasizing about what it would be like to live the dream? Most of the people I spend time with are in the first category. They are working hard to make their dreams come true. Even if you have the right vehicle and you don’t think you’re the right driver, cheer up!! You can Learn to be a great driver…the driver of your dreams! If you’d like to learn more about making your dreams come true, and whether or not my energy business could be the right vehicle for you, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can talk about it possibly designing a plan to make your dreams come true!
Economy I: The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 330,475 in the week ending April 28, a decrease of 40,158 from the previous week. Yet, the Labor Department reported 365,000 new jobless claims last week. And here is a new piece of information I have never seen before, Today, the St. Louis Federal Reserve released a Bureau of Labor Statistics chart and report about Americans in the category “Not In The Labor Force.” Their report showed 88,419,000 Americans that have functionally dropped out of the labor force altogether. The chart only records up to 88 million people. Now…do you wonder how the government-released unemployment rate can be between 8-9% when 88 million adults are not employed in America? Folks, there are only about 315 million living people in America, and 25% of them are below age 18. Do the math. That means the REAL unemployment rate is about 25%. This statistic makes the Great Depression of the 1930 look pale by comparison.
Here is the chart.
Sports: Former NFL All-pro linebacker Junior Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound this week. Seau is the eighth player from the 1994 Chargers championship team to die. We will all learn more about Seau’s life as the story unfolds, but there is something real bad about the head trauma that is happening in the league all the time. A lot of old players are ending up with dementia and other ailments from old football injuries. But this is the most violent sport in America. There weren’t too many Roman Gladiators that enjoyed a soft retirement either.
Entertainment: The movie The Avengers opens this weekend, and many are predicting that it will have the biggest box office first weekend in history, even bigger than the biggest Harry Potter opening weekend. Go see Nick Fury and his team of The Hulk, Ironman, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye whip some bad guy butt. Written and directed by Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly.At a theatre near you!
Dump DC: Six Letters That Can Change History.
Copyright 2012: Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.