Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Simply Observations

VP Joe Biden came out today and said that most things that needed to be done for gun control....could just be executive orders by the President...end of the story. It is an amusing way to fix the problem.  Executive orders can only be carried out by federal personnel, not state or local folks.  So you would have a number of regulations which no local cops or state police would take to enforce.  Extra federal personnel to enforce the additional regulations?  Only if Congress approved them....and that's not likely to happen.  A gun registration database?  Who pays for it?  Yeah, this is a comical sort of discussion at this point, and I would imagine at least thirty states having major problems in allowing for such orders to be carried out in their states.  Federal judges?  They would invite all kinds of violations and cases to head up to the Supreme Court within weeks after implementation.

Sodas linked to depression?  Well...some smart guys say there's are statistics to prove this.  Anything that had ample amounts of sugar added, from flavor drinks to sodas to sweet ice tea.  The best suggestion?  Well....from a guy from Bama....stick with coffee, beer, buttermilk, ice tea plain, and pure spring water.

There's talk around NCAA football circles about a growing acceptance with the governor-board, to pay college players to play.  The deal?  Nothing is said over this and it might be five to eight years before anyone really stamps this final.  My humble opinion is that you'd line up a max limit that any team in the top twenty-five teams could pay across the board.  If your team was alloted $500k, and you elected to offer up $10k a year to some high school quarterback candidate...it'd be your choice, and each year...maybe bump him up another $10k.  Course, this invites a huge discussion over how you'd collect the money and pay it out.  If you think the NCAA has a mess to watch over presently....it's bound to only grow.

Finally, today, the mayor of DC has called for the Washington Redskins to change their name.  He believes it's an insult to various native American folks.  I tend to agree.  I think it ought to be renamed the Las Vegas Redskins.  That ought to settle the mayor's problem.  

My Local Neighborhood

We had an odd deal suggested this week in DC, for tax reform.  Marion Barry.....our local favorite guy on the DC city council....came out and suggested a $25k tax credit if you donated a kidney or part of your body to someone.  Course, this would be to off-set time-off or medical costs.

Some folks have gotten a bit hyper over this suggestion.  There is this federal law which says you just can't be paid for your organs, and they think this really steps over the line.  Course, others will point out there is a real cost factor here.

The deal mostly revolves around you coming up and collecting bills or showing losses during this period of "body-loss"....so it's not a automatic $25k deal.  You actually have to document all these things.  Also, this only gets you through local DC taxes, and does nothing for federal taxes.  Some federal folks might be watching this and eventually get the idea that it's not a bad idea.

As for Marion?  Well....he actually got himself a new kidney four years ago, and is kinda appreciative over that fact.  In his mind....he probably does owe something extra to someone.

For the average DC resident?  Most folks don't pay much in taxes to start with, so I have doubts that it really benefits sixty percent of the DC residents.  However, if you are clearing $500k a year in salary and living in DC....this $25k tax credit might be worth the deal.  So in the end, Marion might be hoping that a bunch of rich folks give up body-parts, for everyone else.

I would make a comment about "fair-share" here, but it's probably not worth mentioning.

This Degree Thing

Some smart folks did a survey on worthless college degrees.  This is a favorite topic that I like to study over and ponder.

So, sociology made the list.  Basically, with such a four-year degree....you end up as a social worker or corrections officer in most cases.  Depending on what state you live in....you probably won't see much a great income for at least fifteen years.  In both cases....I would imagine that half the folks that drifted into this career path....were burned-out or losing interest after fifteen years.

Fine arts made the list.  You either had to work at a museum, illustrate for a magazine, or do some kind of art work.  Unless you got buddy-buddy with someone of great influence....you aren't going to have any career that you'd be bragging about at age 45.  The phrase..."it's a job" would likely be a common phrase that you'd use by your senior years.

Education made the list.  Your career path is kinda set.....teaching is it.  You have no secondary path to ever seek, and you'd best be happy with the punks that you teach.  Pay starts to be great in your mid-forties....thanks to the union folks.  Hopefully, you can keep passing that stupid test that they hand you to prove you actually are intelligent enough to teach.

Religious studies made the list.  In this case....you aren't doing it for the money or benefits.  Hopefully, you don't reach a burn-out state by age forty-five....because there just isn't another field to step over into.

Hospitality made the list.  This wasn't even a degree until the 1980s.  Now, you get this degree and end up as a assistant manager for a upscale hotel operation in Tulsa or Macon.  You work hard, and maybe in four years....you get to be an actual manager in Reno, Mobile, or Knoxville.  If you get into event planning, then your whole career is based on not screwing up on some gal's wedding or some guy's birthday party.

Nutrition made the list.  You learn ten thousand things while running through a four-year college program in this field.  But at the end of the day....if you can't connect to your customers....then your whole knowledge base is worthless.  If people don't want to hear about the terrible things wrong with a 700 calorie donut....then your nutritional advice is just a joke.

Then finally, you come to communications.  Basically, you need to get a job with a news channel, local channel, or some newspaper.  And then you need to hope for some moments in your life, to help advance your career....and hope you don't screw up and get fired for bad moments.

The sad thing here is university folks don't care what you take or how successful you are in life.  They are selling you a degree.  They'd like for you to pay as much as possible, and if you want to stay around and toss more money into their money-pit....go for it.  The bars around campus are happy to see you.  And the credit guys just love you because you really get into serious debt after four years.

Added to this mess....that joker in your high school class who went off to the Army for four years and got himself an associates degree along the way (free via the Army programs).....probably is an operations manager now at age 25...making $60k a year, and just might be clearing $100k a year by age 35.

My Gun Control Suggestion

To make things kinda interesting and twist the media a bit.....lets have some gun control.  But there's only one piece to it.  You want a gun....you go down to the gun shop....pick the gun....and then do a drug test ($50 fee attached).

You get tested for meth, crack, PCP, pain-killers, mind-altering drugs, etc.  The crowd with blood-pressure meds and common everyday stuff....you waiver away.  Taking anything else?  You don't get the gun at the end.

Now, that's real gun control.  Within three months....at least a third of all current gun sales would just plain dry up.  None of these nuts on meds would ever get their gun from any legit gun shop.  All the PCP guys?  Same story.

Course, the liberal guys would get all upset because you are denying an opportunity to people who ought to be able to do drugs and buy guns.  The gun shops would be upset.  And the lawyers would be upset because drug tests are just terrible things to force upon people.

But after six months....you'd start to notice a trend.  And after two years....most everyone would agree that use of handguns in crimes was on the decrease.

The odds of this happening?  Zero.