Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Problem with Money

Some smart guys sat down and did a study.....the topic is how much money makes you happy.  One of these smart folks....was a Nobel prize winner....so you have to expect the numbers to crunched a thousand times over.

They went out to 450k individuals, and in the end.....your emotional well-being and satisfaction level....fell to around the $75k per level.

If you make $75k or more a year......you typically are happy.  The guys crunched the numbers in various ways....small towns..... metropolitan areas....big cities....resort towns....etc.  Typically....$75k was always the right number.

I pondered upon this.  It's hard to sit down and say what makes you happy.  I've known folks in Bama who never made more than $25k a year, and were just plain happy all the time.  I've worked with folks who were pulling in $100k a year, and were running between miserable and happy every other week.  I've know people who made $70k a year, and had nothing to show for it (I figured they were either gambling it away or paying some ex-spouse).

For me personally....I probably could be happy living with $20k a year.....if I didn't have a house payment or car interest.  Course, I could bit more happy with $100k a year.....and traveling to exotic places every month.

The value of this study?  Well....that's the problem.  It really doesn't say or mean much of anything.  I doubt that it changes the perception that folks have or the general vision of life much.  It won't make folks toss or turn at night.  It won't force folks to change jobs and move to Miami.  It won't make Ford dream up a new maximum version of the F-150 pick-up.  It won't even do much for political folks because being happy with $75k....also means you need to pay tax revenue to someone for the money.

Shooting Yourself in the Foot

Alabama has this ability to shoot itself in the foot, and just stand there grinning....mostly because they've done something stupid but can't really fess up to it.

Yesterday....the cops around Tuscaloosa got impressive, and used the immigration law to arrest this foreign dude driving without ID and American-license.  It happened to be a major German manager associated with Mercedes....who arrived to discuss things with the Mercedes plant in Bama.

Based on the press reports.....the cop stopped the rental car for not having a tag (which is rather odd, I admit).....then asked the guy for a license.  The guy pulls out his German ID card, which just isn't going to be accepted.  So they arrest the guy.  Charge?  Violation of the state immigration law.  The buddy of the German then ran back to the hotel....got his passport and German license....and was then turned loose.

The comical side of this....if an American had shown up in Germany.....in the same situation....the German cops would typically escort him to his hotel and give him one shot of producing the passport and license.  In fact, if a German was driving around Germany and couldn't produce the ID when asked by the cops.....they'd drive him back home and give him the same one-shot deal.

What happens now?  Well....prepare for the headline in the German Sunday paper......"Bama Gestapo at Work".  The Mercedes executive will be pretty embarrassed by this mess.  He'll stick around and complete his project, but when he returns home....he'll cuss up a storm and let just about everyone know how furious he really is.

Expansion on the Bama Mercedes plant?  I wouldn't really count much on that.  In fact....it wouldn't surprise me if some management folks make a decision to downsize a bit and let the state know that they might consider an alternate location to manufacture their vehicles.  They will bring up the word "Gestapo" a couple of times to ensure the Bama political figures are getting the message.  Other countries interested in bringing business to the state?  Forget it.  This incident will drive home the unfriendly nature of the state.

I'd tell the governor to stop making runs to Asia and Europe to recruit more jobs for Bama folks.  There's trouble brewing here.

You may have designed the law for the evil Latinos.....but it seems that you really didn't calculate the real impact of the law in the end.....it goes way beyond Juan and Jose.