Wednesday, September 8, 2010

SAR #10251

Mayberry was make-believe, so is '24'.

Paper or Plastic?   "U.S. retailers may require a minimum purchase amount on credit card transactions.  The minimum purchase amount must not exceed $10 and does not apply to transactions made with a debit card." So put that Visa card away or buy something you didn't want.  Thank finance reform for the inconvenience.

Camel/Nose/Tent:  Fannie Mae – in conjunction with some states and the Affordable Advantage Program – is once again smiling on no-down mortgages.  This time it'll be different. Trust 'em.

Price of Admission:  “Tickets, please.”  Along with passports, visas, strip searches and other barriers, visitors to the US are now required to pay $14 to help cover the cost of the tourism advertising that prompted them to visit the US in the first place.  The fee is the brainchild of the US Travel association, which thinks that making it more expensive to visit the US will reverse the steep decline in overseas visitors since the rise in US xenophobia and the institution of various police-state measures following 9/11.

Something Fishy:  Male fish are so stubborn that they refuse to ask for directions, especially when they are ready to reproduce.  It's the pressure.

Lost Innocence:  Paul Robert Craig, a former Reagan Assistant Treasury Secretary and Wall Street Journal assistant editor, has discovered that globalization's core was the shipping of US jobs overseas, and that the invasion of Iraq was based on lies

Respect: Using the Green Party to peel votes away from the Democrats worked so well in Florida in 2004 that Republicans in Arizona are recruiting homeless jugglers to run on the Green ticket in hopes of repeating the trick.  Ye shall know them by their actions.

Drip, Drip, Drip:  The Fourth Amendment doesn't always mean what it says, says a Federal court in permitting the police state to use your mobile phone to track you without probable cause – just on the off chance you might be planning to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances..

Crime Pays:  Steve Goldfield made $14 million trading with insider information, got caught by the SEC, had to pay $600,000 in restitution and promise not to do it again for at least 72 hours.

On the Rebound:  A new study suggests that glacial ice in southern Greenland and the West Antarctic Ice Shelf may be melting only half as fast as previously thought.  The earth in these areas is still rebounding from the weight of Ice Age glaciers that melted 20,000 years ago.  While the amount of current melt is hard to establish, it appears that glacial melt accounts for about 30%,  not half,  of the observed rise in worldwide sea levels. This would indicate that more of the sea level rise was due to the thermal expansion of the oceans.  Either way, we're in hot water.

Shy and Retiring:  The Sarkozy government – under the rubric of austerity and deficit reduction - wants to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67.  A million French workers walked out in protest – tying up planes and trains and closing schools.  At least they didn't set fire to cars and smash stuff like their Greek cousins.  Not yet.

Porn O'Graph:  Idle hands are the devils playthings.


Anonymous said...


Allowing merchants to require a minimum credit card purchase IS a reform.

Credit card fees are a in the range of $0.30 + a 1.5% to 3% fee.
The fixed part (~ $0.30) is just that, fixed.
This makes credit card sales of small purchases a terrible deal for the merchant, unless of course, you are a large merchant and negotiate a special deal.

So, this IS a reform.

CKMichaelson said...

Anoy 10.59 - I guess 'reform' is in the eye of the beholder. It certainly is a change - and one that I will find particularly annoying because I'm one of those who lives a cashless life - any purchase over about $2 I make using a card.

So while having to carry around a bunch of cash is a change, I will not view it as a reform. It may help the "little guy" but it is a setback to customers like me and to the merchant, for I'll be tempted not to purchase spur of the moment stuff.

I say it will lead to inconvenience, and while that may be change, it's not my definition of reform - which should be to stop an abuse (that was the sales point) or an improvement (which it is not immediately apparent).


John Hanger said...

The increase is from 60 to 62. C'mon, facts right please.

Or do you have an agenda...

CKMichaelson said...

John - Piffle. Agenda magenda as the Turks say. Facts is facts: The Sarkozy plan is to raise the retirement age for full-pension retirement from 65 to 67. (Did you get that far into the article, or only read the first three lines and then pounce?) Like the US, you can retire earlier, at 60 if you have worked for 40.5 years. The proposal would raise the early retirement from 60 to 62 and raise the required years of social security contribution to 41.5 years.

If you want the whole damned article copied and pasted onto the website you can start your own blog - but even that wouldn't guarantee you'd read the entire article. Here we tend to cut the meal down to bite size and leave room for a little comment.

And after a careful examination in the mirror, I can find no hidden agenda regarding the matter of French retirement ages, or the requirements and conditions thereof.


JohnH said...

Touchy, touchy.

Yes I did read the entire article and your header says 65 to 67 and the article says Sarkozy wants to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. Apples to apples here. Did you read the article?

The matter of receiving, or not, full pension is an offshoot.

Boy, do you like to encourage feedback or is the plan to only issue diatribes.

Look in that mirror again.

HJ James said...

John: Your second barrage of ad hominem attacks, in light of the facts, underscores both poor comprehension skills and belligerency.