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Monthly Archives: June 2010

There is an old story about Milton Friedman.

It goes roughly like this:

Milton Friedman was being escorted past a large construction project by a government finance minister. Friedman observed that all the workers were using shovels and he asked the finance minister why there were no bulldozers or excavators. The minister said “Because, Mr. Friedman, our goal is JOBS.” to which Friedman responded, “If your goal is jobs, give them spoons.”

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Earlier I mentioned that I found it funny that somehow having the government take money from some people and give it to other people is seen as a good thing.

Step away for a second about where the money comes from, from whom it comes and other such details, I am interested in the science that states, in essence,

“Money in the hands of someone unemployed is spent better than that same money in the hands of someone NOT unemployed.”

Can you answer that question?

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In this morning’s News and Observer, Opinion writer Alexandra Forter Sirota from the N.C. Budget & Tax Center had this to say:

Late last week the U.S. Senate failed to move a bill that would extend essential fiscal relief to states, as well as fund temporary unemployment insurance provisions passed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

As a result, the Employment Security Commission estimates that 20,000 North Carolinians will lose unemployment benefits that they would spend quickly and close to home, boosting the local economy and helping local businesses avoid layoffs.

In addition, North Carolina won’t receive more than $340 million in federal assistance, forcing even deeper spending cuts than we’ve already endured in the face of an unprecedented drop in revenues brought on by the recession.

Basically what she’s saying is that it’s good economic policy to continue to remove money from the hands of people with jobs and continue to shovel into the hands of people who’ve been out of work for more than 99 weeks.  Now, I’m not saying that these aren’t good folks.  That they don’t deserve the money or wouldn’t appreciate the help.  All I’m saying is that Ms. Forter Sirota thinks it continues to make sense to shift money from “A” to “B”.

Further, she mentions in the 3rd paragraph, that she feels it’s wise to continue to tax people in States other than North Carolina to help the state of North Carolina pay our bills.  I, for one, resent having my tax money sent to California for them to continue to spend foolishly.  I imagine that somewhere, someone feels the same about their money and our State.

If we don’t have the money, then we need to cut our spending.

Period.

When, Ms. Forter Sirota, will enough spending be enough for you?

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I resonate with getting and keeping things safe; I do.

But I wonder if everyone does.

RALEIGH — About 85 people held hands on a footbridge over Lake Johnson on Saturday afternoon to lament the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and to urge the transition to cleaner forms of energy.

What does that even mean?  This “transition to cleaner forms of energy.”

Who decides what “cleaner” means, and how do you measure it?

And then, who measures the damage done by transitioning OFF of oil?  Who’s gonna be in charge of that?

The spill in the gulf is a catastrophe; it’s horrible.

But it doesn’t mean oil is over.

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