Monthly Archives: February 2012

This should please the Occupiers and Democrats

Except for that tiny portion of Democrats who suck up cash tributes from these guys, but how many could that be? Wall Street bonus pool declines 14%. Of course, there is this:

Before the financial crisis, business and personal tax income collections from Wall Street-related activities accounted for up to 20% of state tax revenue, but that figure fell to 14% last year. The industry’s contribution to the city’s tax collections has dropped to less than 7% from 13%.

A small price to pay for such a large step toward equality. Besides, the city and state will just trim their expenditures and never notice the absence of this money, right?

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I’d been looking for this article for a couple of years now

But, after reading it back then, couldn’t find it again. Instapundit knew how though, so here’s “No Country for Burly Men” describing how the feminist movement hijacked the original stimulus bill and eschewed infrastructure rebuilding in favor of  “girl jobs” like teaching, nursing and social work”. Result? No rebuilding, no jobs for construction workers and a bunch of broads kept on government payrolls for one more year, only to be fired anyway when the stimulus ended.

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Cheesy ethics

First the Dutch introduced euthanasia for the elderly. Next up, defective infants. Now, unwanted babies. We know the next step but I find it curious that here in America we’re working toward the same goal but from the other end of the spectrum: birth control to first-trimester abortion to partial – birth abortion to …

The best term of the day, coined by these people and coming our way soon is “After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?” Those who dismiss the Catholic church and Rick Santorum (that would include me) might want to reflect that perhaps they aren’t wrong, they may just see more clearly than us what the abortionists’ goal really is.

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Months ago I said Occupy Wall Street was dead – who was that reader who insisted it wasn’t?

Why CAN'T I have a seven-figure job? I WANT one, I DESERVE one!

OCW announced a Shut Down Corporate America for today and less than 100 of the jerks crawled out of their holes to attend. When you movement is outnumbered by the press, you’re dead. Unless, of course, you’re one of those  illiterate Muslim dudes holding a sign made for you by someone else and intended for an English-speaking audience. Then, even if you number ten and the press is swarming in the hundreds, you’re good to go – these guys are here to help you.

The press invented OCW and nurtured it during the fall, but OCW is old news now and as so many have learned to their heartbreak, old news is no news.

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I just knew my college chemistry would come in handy some day

Are you, like everyone else these days, having difficulty with obtaining Sudafed for your cold? Can’t stand producing photo ID, a passport and a semen sample to your pharmacist and local TSA agent, just to get a package restricted to twelve tablets? Well then Bucky, help is on the way, thanks to “The Journal of Apocryphal Chemistry”: how to make pseudoephedrine out of cheap, readily available methamphetamine. Sounds easy and fun to do.

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Why we’re in the mess we’re in

Stupid borrowers, stupid lenders. I was poking around the records of a certain property just now to see what I could learn about its debt which is being foreclosed on. Here’s the deal: The owners paid $4 million for it in 2007 and took out a mortgage for $2.9. Two months later they borrowed another $400,000 and two months after that they added another $950,000. Early in 2008 they tacked on another million in debt so they’ve now encumbered a house they paid $4 million for with $5.2 million +. Some of that money was used for renovations, but there’s no way it added up to even a million, let alone $2.4 (I’m fudging the numbers a little bit – these people have troubles enough).

So who’s to blame here? The homeowner/borrower first and foremost. If he’s financially sophisticated enough to accumulate the wherewithal to purchase a $4 million house, he should know better than to saddle it with debt exceeding his equity. This isn’t hapless Bessie succumbing to the wiles of a snaky mortgage broker while sitting on her plastic-covered couch.

But what about the banks that made these loans? Not the first lender – $2.9 on a $4 million house is well within reasonable lending guidelines and even a bt conservative. Each loan after that becomes increasingly absurd. What frosts me about this situation is that, so far as I can understand it, these lenders went under, someone – Soros or warren Buffet, probably – bought the debt for pennies on the dollar and is now in line to be paid full face value on that debt by middle class taxpayers. Doesn’t seem right.

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Sympathy for the devil

The Old Mick

A number of readers have commented on today’s Bloomberg article detailing the woes of the once-rich, now-poor Wall Street types. For another view, read this article by one of my favorites, Meagan MCardle. She’s no richer than the rest of us poor slobs but can empathize. And I’m with her. Before you jump all over this post, please read her article to see what she’s saying. You might even agree, at least in part.

I could understand the laughter if the people in the article had been moaning about how terrible and unjust it is to be forced to suffer along on $350,000 a year.  But in fact, none of the affluent people he speaks to hold out their experience as somehow equivalent to that of a famine-stricken child in Somalia–“they aren’t asking for sympathy”, says one source; “I wouldn’t want to whine”, says another.  The closest we get to a “poor little me” is M. Todd Henderson: “Yes, terminal diseases are worse than getting the flu,” he said. “But you suffer when you get the flu.”
The fact is that no matter how much you make, seeing your income fall below the expenses you’ve committed to is difficult.  Obviously, people whose expenses are closer to the minimum deserve more of our sympathy, and our help.  But I’m not sure that this means we’re supposed to be happy when it happens to someone richer than we are.  It’s not very attractive when conservatives rejoice to see union members thrown out of work.  I’m not sure this is much better.

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