Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Link Impound

Is it just me or is the current debate over the stimulus dominated on both sides by a return to a previous status quo, either the Bush years pre-complete collapse of the illusory house of cards, or as Kunstler put it today:
hallucinated "wealth" rushing into the cosmic worm-hole of oblivion
...or the 90s Clinton-era as some sort of perceived Valhalla. Neither of which is possible and any attempts at returning to such a place (which as it seems to me, the infusion of cash seems intent on maintaining that status quo) will only exacerbate the problems. In poor times, you need to be smarter than ever about where spending goes.

On to today's links:

A most excellent pictorial case study from Vancouver showing the disastrous effects of a clover leaf/highway and the positive efforts to return it towards a more context-sensitive solution:
One Last Loop

Starting to get scared that I'm agreeing with David Brooks more and more or maybe it is a good thing that there is a growing voice for sanity:
The committee staff took the kernel of President Obama’s vision — infrastructure programs to create jobs — and surrounded it with an undisciplined sprawl of health, education, entitlement and other spending. There’s money for nurse training, Medicare, Head Start, boatyard support, home weatherization and so on. Eleven of the programs in the bill account for the vast majority of the actual job creation. The rest may be worthy or not, but they have little to do with stimulus. The total package is so diffuse, it costs $223,000 to create a single job.
I admire Obama's willingness to bring everyone under his umbrella, but this is what happens when they're nothing but dinosaurs, relics with their mind on the past system that "worked"...for a while.

TreeHugger on the holocaust occuring every year on the World's highways. And no, I'm not hyperbolizing:
In one year, it is estimated that 1.2 million people are killed in auto-related accidents around the globe. That equates to slightly more than 3200 traffic deaths EVERY DAY. These mostly preventable deaths, in casualties alone, exponentially surpasses the number of casualties from higher profile, more newsworthy, less common tragedies. Yet, the horrific daily toll receives little attention by political leaders and the media .

["The driver must've been huge. Notice the seared fat that burned into the seat. Very modern art." ~ movie quote.]

And now for the email FWD that I received today, didn't laugh at it, but simply knowingly nodded:

Subject: Important info on the Stimulus Payment

"This year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format."

"Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
"A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

"Q. Where will the government get this money?
"A. From taxpayers.

"Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
"A. No, they are borrowing it from China. You children are expected to repay the Chinese.

"Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
"A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

"Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of China?
"A. Shut up."

Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the US economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:

If you spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China.

If you spend it on gasoline it will go to Hugo Chavez, the Arabs and Al Queda

If you purchase a computer it will go to Taiwan.

If you purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala (unless you buy organic).

If you buy a car it will go to Japan and Korea.

If you purchase prescription drugs it will go to India.

If you purchase heroin it will go to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

If you give it to a charitable cause, it will go to Nigeria.

And none of it will help the American economy.

We need to keep that money here in America. You can keep the money in America by spending it at yard sales, going to athletic events, or spend it on prostitutes, beer (domestic ONLY, note: Budweiser is foreign owned) or tattoos, since those are the only businesses still in the US.