Money For Nothing: Stop me if you've heard this one. Obama proposes that employees have $5 or $10 a week taken out of their paychecks and invested in US Treasury bonds. And he wants to let the worker take the account with them when they change jobs. And have it set up so there are very low fees to maintain the account. Sound familiar? Can you say Social Security? But the new and improved part is that once the account gets to $15,000 you have to turn it over to Wall Street so they can enjoy charging the hapless saver fees that will eat up the retirement funds, while finally killing company-sponsored pensions. Win-win?
Economics Lesson: In Salt Lake City, Utah, 40 children were given a lesson in individual responsibility when the school nutritionist took their lunch away from them and threw them in the garbage because their parents hadn't paid for the food. If you can't pay the band, you don't get to dance, it's the American way.
Summertime: Last week 348,000 people filed for unemployment, the highest number since last summer.
Drip, Drip, Drip: The main reason the US was able to emasculate international efforts to do something about global warming at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in 2009 was that the NSA was eavesdropping on the other delegations and passing the info to the US negotiators. Makes y'proud to be an American.
Reality Check: After adjusting for inflation, most Americans' wages have not increased during their entire working lives.
You've Been Googled: Next time you plan a protest march, tell your followers to leave their cell phones at home. Not only can the cops track you via the GPS data, but if they start uploading videos of the cops being cops, Google will infer “that an event of interest has occurred” and will rat you out to the authorities.
Gross, Really Gross: According to the gummint, the nation's GDP grew at an annual rate of 3.2% in the fourth quarter (over the third), and at an annual rate of only 1.9% for the entire year. Let's hear it for the recovery!
Priorities: Illustrating the national preference for greed and gambling over knowledge, the conservatives are once more praising the bankers and financial types and blaming our growing inequality on those overpaid government employees, who are mostly teachers. But the average high school teacher makes only $55,050 a year while the top 40 hedge fund guys and their traders made 300,000 times that – $16.7 trillion. Don't let your children grow up to be teachers.
A Bridge Too Far: Pennsylvania has decided to privatize their bridges. Well, they call it a public-private partnership but what it means is tolls on bridges that were built with taxpayer money. Did anybody check with people who park their cars in Chicago on how this is likely to turn out?
Monster Cookies: Do not, under any circumstances, buy cookies from those cute little girls – it leads them down the road to feminism, independence and – inevitably – ACLU membership and abortions. So say a bunch of right wing kooks. I say they're fattening and I'm only going to buy six boxes this year.
The Parting Shot: