Real Money

How many zeros in a billion? This is too true to be funny. The next time you hear a politician use the word ‘billion’ in a casual manner, think about whether you want the ‘politicians’ spending YOUR tax money. A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.  This came to me this week and I will share it with you.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let’s take a look at New Orleans it’s amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu, is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting number, what does it mean?

A.
Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you each get $516,528.
B. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, your home gets $1,329,787.
C. Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.

So let us sum up Boys & Girls, this is where we stand today, as of this minute … Step back and take a good hard look at it.

Accounts Receivable Tax Building Permit Tax CDL License Tax Cigarette Tax Corporate Income Tax Dog License Tax Federal Income Tax Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) Fishing License Tax Food License Tax Fuel Perm it Tax Gasoline Tax Hunting License Tax Inheritance Tax Inventory Tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax), IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax), Liquor Tax, Luxury Tax, Marriage License Tax, Medicare Tax, Property Tax, Real Estate Tax, Service charge taxes, Social Security Tax, Road Usage Tax (Truckers), motorfuel tax (motorists)Sales Taxes, Recreational Vehicle Tax, School Tax, State Income Tax, State Unemployment Tax (SUTA), Telephone Federal Excise Tax, Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax, Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax, Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax, Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax, Telephone State and Local Tax, Telephone Usage Charge Tax, Utility Tax, Vehicle License Registration Tax, Vehicle Sales Tax, Watercraft Registration Tax, Well Permit Tax, Workers Compensation Tax.

And I still have to ‘press 1’ for English.

Still believe this is funny? I could go on to “Fee’s” the latest wrinkle in the fabric of America.  Unfortunately, there is a fee for just about everything in the country these days. But I have two lawns to mow today and in the end …… What is the use? You all get the picture, don’tcha? It doesn’t get any better in the end. So here it is, the bottom line, where the rubber meets the road as they say down in Crawford, Americkuh ……

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class on the planet, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’

It is from the Greek, Poli (poly) meaning “many” and Tic, from the English, a blood sucking parasite.

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Bread Basket

Found myself looking for a statistic this day, but I could not find it.  It was on the American Farmer, I am doing this from memory, it went something like this, “The American Farmer feeds himself and _________ so many other people.”  But I could not remember if it was his family and 46 others or his family and 125. 

Anyone know which one of the two it might be?

Just north of Okie City up on Seventy-Four highway there is a little town in Logan County by the name of Crescent, Oklahoma.  Small, rural farming community on the plains, nothing all that special about it, except that some of my family lives there.  Wheat farmers and cattle ranchers. 

My mother grew up there with her brothers; they used to walk to school on sandy roads, looking over their shoulders at the fresh footprints in the sand, and marveling at how they looked.  Poor kids, depression raised Okies.  Living in an America when shoes were worn for church, visits to town, school, most of the time they went barefooted.  Not a whole lot of money, grew what they needed, and lived off the land.

This week I was thinking about the CO-OP in Crescent, what a big deal it was when it first was established.  A CO-OP is a co-operative for all those who are not farmers or perhaps not familar with the term.  I was thinking this morning how forming a CO-OP benefited these folks.  How it helped the farmers in the area, and brought new prosperity to their little town.  All the farmers in that town (actually in that surrounding area, other towns too) got together and formed a CO-OP and things gradually got better for them. 

The point being that “pooling their resources paid off for the majority” and it improved the quality of their lives.

One of my apparent drawbacks in life is that I have a fertile mind and over active imagination, if you haven’t noticed by now.  So I am thinking.  “Why do we put up with this S*** from all these two-bit countries around the world that happen to be sitting on vast pools of oil. When we are sitting on this breadbasket of wheat, corn, barely and other agricultural products.” 

Why aren’t we making these American products “a valuable commodity in this so-called world market.”  Especially when the government of the United States gives out ample farm subsidies each year to the American Farmer and U.S. AG Business. 

LET ‘EM EAT THEIR OIL.

If they want to eat beef, if they want a bushel of wheat, corn, maize or soybeans, then let us trade for it.  You give us the oil, and we will help you with the groceries.  We are the world’s largest producer of these products, why aren’t we taking full advantage of it.  Other grain exporting countries such as Argentina, the Soviet Union, Australia, Canada, France and certain areas of the U.K. could join in … We could form a Global CO-OP and trade for what we need.

Which would be a lot better than rushing over and “begging for it” as been the case here lately. This, in my opinion, would certainly beat this form of Texas Chainsaw Economics we have now, which is feed and protect these foreign nationals, while “they bank huge sums of money” and we go farther in the hole.

Before we had a money system in this world, before some banker or politician invented paper money (backed by nothing) we “traded for what it was we needed.” (Barter Systems)  Perhaps it is now time to go back to that, this world banking situation doesn’t seem to be working in our favor.

Last year, Syria imported 890,000 metric tons of corn and maize, 147,000 metric tons of wheat, 483,000 million tons of soybeans.  Our good buddies over there in Iran, they came shopping for 1.8 million metric tons of soybeans, 1.8 million tons of corn/maize, and 231,000 million tons of wheat.  This is just two of the many countries that visited our breadbasket, you can add to that:  Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Nigeria and Russia even came knocking on our doors, all of them calling for enormous quantities of grains from the United States to feed their people.

Clearly I do not advocate starving people for oil, but why not, trade for what we need?  Here is the rainbow in the entire idea.  Doing this would not sufficiently increase the cost of products to the American consumer at all.  As much as I hate this expression … It is a Win/Win kind of thing.

A global CO-OP makes good sense.  Especially when it is apparent that we have so much of it with which to trade.  Why aren’t we taking full advantage of this obvious tilt on the scale in our favor?  Taking it one step further, I guess the next question would be:  “Why aren’t we doing it right now?”

In case you missed it … Here it is again …. Let ‘em eat their oil, get a taste of what it is like to be on the “receiving end of some of this” like the rest of us. 

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