Archive for July 1, 2010

at least on lottery tickets.

Hit the market today before supper and I noticed that there was yet another new $10 ticket offered at the local store.

Even when I was working I would rarely buy a lottery ticket. One in a great while I’d spring for a $1 ticket for the wife saying: “Hey it’s a gift to my brothers if I lose” (both work for the state). A $5 ticket was out of the question and a $10 ticket represented just too much work. I couldn’t imagine people paying that kind of money in tough time.

As I was checking out I asked the kid who had been working there for a few years if people’s lottery habits had changed, he answered: “It varies” and the conversation went like this:

“Varies?”

“Yeah it depends on the customer, the ones who are working or just lost jobs have cut down or stopped buying tickets all together, but the customers on food stamps, the ones who aren’t supporting themselves are buying more, a lot more.”

“Why do you suppose that is?”

“Well the state is taking care of them so they figure why not?”

Where have I heard this before?

Glenn Reynolds links to this post at Cato concerning Specter’s questioning of Kagan and dissatisfaction with her answers.

The most memorable part of today’s first session of questioning (9am till after 1pm) was undoubtedly Arlen Specter pressing the nominee to answer questions about various lawsuits of special concern to him … Specter was extremely dissatisfied, to the point where his vote is legitimately in doubt.

Why is this so interesting? Well Specter’s time in the senate will be over in January. He has been rejected by democratic primary voters and no longer needs to please him and can’t and won’t get anything from Republicans. Thus for the first time in decades has absolutely no political skin in the game.

This vote will likely be one of the few times where he will be voting solely on what he actually thinks. I don’t know if anyone really cares but it will be interesting to see.

…at the Tea Party Forum, now what did the people who attended have to say?

We started with Charlie:

I’ve actually talked to Charlie before at the conservative forum of the commonwealth.

I then talked to Elaine and Ann but we were interrupted by the start of the forum.

When the candidates were done we went back to see what they had to say.

Elaine’s thought that both parties are the same might be echoed by Eric Erickson these days.

And a quick round up from me:

Bottom line is was a good event, the Twin City Tea Party it forces local media to at least notice Tea Party events without putting a set of horns on us, local reps were put in the position to answer voters directly and we got to see their prospective replacements function when challenged. Kudos for the Border Grille & Bar for hosting.

More please.

He is between a rock and a hard place. His expected work output has risen by a large percentage since we last worked together while his pay has dropped, yet he is in a spot where if he decides that it is too much for him there are 20 guys waiting to take that job from him.

It is not only the unemployed who have it tough during tough times. Those who have jobs are working harder for less with the fear of unemployment and all it entails hanging over them, plus they are paying the taxes to support the help that we who are unemployed get.

I noted yesterday the complaints online about the delay in unemployment extension. When we forget who is paying for all of this we become a society unrecognizable to our ancestors who came here with nothing.

In Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new book Nomad she writes about how she was granted 1200 Dutch Guilders (this was before the Dutch switched to the Euro) a month AND a loan of 4000, guilders more that was paid back by withholding 100 guilders a month from the 1200. Thus as a refugee she got 5200 guilders up front and a further 1100 a month (plus housing). She talks about how many people who were granted the same loan ended up sending it back to Africa or the middle east to pay smugglers to bring in more of the family to start the cycle again. All paid for by the Dutch taxpayer. As she puts it on page 177:

Practically everyone I knew had built up overwhelming debts. They applied for credit cards, magical pieces of plastic that meant you could just sign a tiny piece of paper and walk out of any shop with whatever you wanted. They received endless stipends from the social services–for unemployment, for child support, for various medical benefits–and yet in almost every conversation they would lament the miserly amount of money they had to live on , wholly oblivious to the sacrifice of the society that was paying for it all.

They had no idea, in other words, of the obligations of a citizen, let alone the complexities of the welfare state.

Many of the people who she is describing had be raised in tribal cultures. They neither knew of nor understood the basic financial concepts they were dealing with. She herself didn’t know what a savings account or a loan was. We however were born here and have not only education but access to a greater source of knowledge on demand than the kings and presidents of old did. We have no excuse.