July 28th, 2012


Congressional Approval

Sorry foreigners, this is about America. Feel free to kibitz!

Hello, to all of you overweight, lazy, uniformed fellow Americans!

We all know that Congress has an abysmal approval rating. I hear it's around 8%. Others say it might be as high as 12%. Either way, we all know that it's terrible. And the standard retort is:

"my congressman is great, the rest of them are idiots!"

But that got me thinking, do YOU actually like your congressman? This won't of course mean anything, statistically, but I'm curious. And just to keep it simple I'm going to stick to the house of representatives--the one that is supposed to represent the people's interest (as opposed to the senate, which was intended to represent the states interests)

I grew up in Anthony Weiner's district. I wasn't politically aware at that age, but I certainly would have approved of him, had I been paying attention.
Now of course, his seat is taken by a Mr. Bob Turner. Who I could not disagree with more. I mean, c'mon, his big claim to fame before being a congressman was working on the Jerry Springer show! Awful!

My current congressman is on his way out and the man who will replace him (he got the Dem nod and lives in a district that I bet repubs don't even bother contending) so I'm not too sure how I'll like the new guy, but the I do disapprove of my current Representative, even though he is a democrat. He's a long-time incumbent and is nothing more than a machine politician.

So that's my take on my reps.
What about you?
The Captain's Prop

Finding the Upside

At the tail end of my last money-ish post, I quoted L. Frank Baum's opening to his topical money allegory The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:

Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles.

This was, of course, printed first in 1900. People carried most things by wagon, especially in rural farm lands, simply because the gadgets we take for granted, the automobile in all its cargo and people hauling variants, were not common. Worse, the vast vehicle support apparatus such as rural roads in 1900 would not support any but the most rudimentary (ie. slow) transport. Wagons pulled by beasts and men were the norm.

How times have changed.

Today, I happened to catch John Michael Greer's Archdruid Report entry titled The Upside of Default, where he coins a new word, just for fun, and pokes a bit more fun at this "investmentariat":

The investmentariat has been told for decades that their money ought to make them money, but nobody told them that this only works in an economy that experiences sustained real growth over the long term, and nobody would dream of mentioning in their hearing that we don’t have an economy like that any more.

All the investmentariat knows for sure is that the kind of safe investment that used to bring in five per cent a year is now yielding a small fraction of one per cent, and the risks you need to take to get five per cent a year are those once associated with the the kind of "securities" that make a mockery of that title.

He goes on to calculate very, very roughly that our Western economies have morphed into something of an impossibility. Collapse )