Category — Economics
Dang, that’s a lot of gold coins to collect!
Mario maker banks $2.83 billion in net income, $6 billion operating profit; 26 million Wiis, 31 million DSs, 16 million Wii Fits sold during last fiscal year.
What’s even more amazing is that given the worldwide shortage of Wii’s, they probably could have sold twice what they did. Amazing that an array of such underpowered gaming platforms have been so successful. Just goes to show you that the casual gamer is here to stay!
May 7, 2009 4 Comments
Some of the measures for this Special Election sound sort of smart, until you look a bit deeper and realize that it is simply politics as usual.
I oppose all of the measures for this special election. I’ve outlined a basic reason for each one below. If you want more info, simply leave a comment, and I’d be glad to elaborate if appropriate. In general, across most of the measures, these are simply a way for the legislature to get our approval on the smoke and mirrors approach they have taken to balance the CA budget. In a series of Obamaesque style masterpieces, many of these measures simply put off the day of reckoning that is due us based on our State’s horrible penchant for spending too much money.
Measure 1A: The worst of the bunch, this measure actually approves extending the HUGE state tax increases and new taxes just approved by our legislature for up to an additional two years. We are already the highest taxed state in America, yet they want us trick us into to ratifying their decision by getting us to vote for these taxes ourselves. The fact that they cloak it in wording like “Rainy Day Fund” and “Stabilization Fund” – things that certainly sound fiscally responsible to the lay person – is in my opinion nothing short of reprehensible. Shame on you people.
Measure 1B: As much as I believe in education and want a good experience for my own children (my oldest is just about to enter kindergarten at a public school), I do not think that forcing tax payers to repay funding that was denied in this past session makes any sense at all. The situation is horrible and everyone has had to make concessions – our schools are no exception. There are few things that people care about as much as they care about their children – if our state spending has gotten so out of hand that we have to start sabotaging the future of our kids, maybe it is time that we take a long hard look at what we are doing with the REST of the money. My feeling is that our children’s future is jeopardized much more by a “borrow and spend” legislature than it is by having a larger class sizes and older text books. This is a knee-jerk response that is designed to pull at your emotions. We SHOULD fund our schools – but it should be done in a fiscally responsible way – that is, prioritizing education OVER other things that we already spend money on. It shouldn’t be done by simply raising taxes. The “funny” thing is that most teachers would agree that the ultimate success of a student is due largely to parental involvement at home – yet, the net effect of what the Teacher’s Association is asking for here, is for parents to spend more time at work to pay for higher taxes.
Measure 1C: The tag line to this should be: “Because we all know increased gambling is the key to every financial crisis”. This is just more smoke and more mirrors. The measure makes wild assumptions of future revenues and has real potential negative side effects of making this form of gambling more widely available. Maybe the lottery system needs modernizing and maybe it doesn’t – but doing it as a band aid to State Budget reform is NOT a smart move. If indeed the Lottery needs to be modernized, do it first in a socially responsible way and see how it turns out. If any revenue increases appear, THEN use the money to pay off any existing debt. This measure simply puts the cart before the horse and again is intended to deceive the public at large with something that “sounds good” but distracts us from the real problem: we spend too damn much money.
Measure 1D: This is a tough one – these politician bastards force us to choose between two classes of children. Really? This is the ONLY place you can find the money? The stuff they warn us will happen if we don’t support Measure 1B is exactly what they are DOING to us here. Even worse, it takes money out of working programs and places it back in the hands of politicians to dole out to other programs as they see fit. That’s never a good idea. Don’t let them justify their overspending by forcing us to choose between two sets of equally deserving children. Find the money somewhere else! Yes, some of the programs currently have a surplus – lets not do what Sacramento typically does and plunder the war chest so that next time there is nothing to fall back on. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that my daughter received a First 5 scholarship. I loved the way that it worked – she received it for a time, and once that time was over, she no longer received funding. It helped us put her into early schooling, but yet had a limit on what it would handle as well. This makes sound public policy sense in my mind, and is likely the exact reason that this program actually has a surplus – it doesn’t create a chronic dependency on state aid but rather helps people make sound choices for their child’s early development. If you would like a thoughtful dissension, read The Policy Report commentary on the measure.
Measure 1E: Another tough one, and one that I freely admit I’m not necessarily qualified to determine the value of. Maybe we should redirect funds from the Mental Health Services Act to the state’s Early and Periodic, Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program, which would provide mental health services to children for the next two years. I don’t really know. What I do know however is that this type of decision shouldn’t be made in the shadow of an unbalanced budget. Also, while the supporters of 1E say that this is a one time event and that is should never happen again, I think they are being grossly naive about that aspect. Once a precedent is set, it is all to easy to do again. And again. And again, etc. Spending on mental health services has proven effective in lowering burdens on jails, hospitals, schools and municipalities through lower homelessness. This seems like a good investment to me. Yet, voting for this measure will reportedly will stop further tax increases. This I’m all in favor of – but I’d propose cuts in other areas first, like modernizing welfare. I’d rather lower funding for people who are of sound mind and body and can do more for themselves than lower help to this group of afflicted individuals. Again, thoughtful dissension can be found at The Policy Report.
Measure 1F: This one gave me the most pause. On the surface it seems quite smart – freeze pay raises for the politicians if they can’t balance the budget. Sounds smart indeed – in fact, it sounds like points that I have made before. So, why do I oppose this? First off, I’ll say that I don’t STRONGLY oppose it. I think that it would do some good, but I am not certain that it wouldn’t do some harm as well. There are a few reasons why I don’t support this measure – 1) it won’t really “stick it to the politicians” as it has been billed, 2) it will impact other people who are not responsible for actually passing the budget and 3) it doesn’t save much money. This measure won’t impact the single most important thing that the actual politicians think about: re-election. Also, it will make the non-law passing jobs harder to fill. I had to think long and hard about this, but in the end, it was the minuscule amount that it would actually save that finally tipped my hand to vote against it. Lets have REAL reform, not something that just “feels” like we got the better of Sacramento. Of course, if it passes, I won’t loose more than 5 minutes of sleep either…
April 27, 2009 1 Comment
Yay! The State budget has been approved!
Disclaimer. I’m going to swear a few times in this article, so if you don’t want to hear that, ya’ll can SHOO.
Go read this article at the LA Times. Yes, I’m serious.
Ok. Did you notice how now that we have the budget passed, everyone is talking about how we can stop this from happening again? There are a lot of ideas out there: Maybe we can dock lawmaker’s pay, maybe we can change it so that only 55% of lawmakers have to approve a budget, maybe we can lower the amount of votes required for new taxes, etc. just to name a few.
But, what’s the ONE thing they AREN’T talking about doing?
[Read more →]
February 20, 2009 4 Comments
Your Second Amendment Rights: Under Fire?
While Lou Dobbs is not your average CNN Libtard, when the network allows a story like this to run, its time to take notice.
February 4, 2009 1 Comment
Day 3 of his Presidency and Mr. Change is already playing party lines.
As his prior predicessors did, President Obama has now meddled with the policy on US Government funding being given to groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad.
Reagan pioneered the restriction on funds in 1984. Clinton rescinded the rule in January of 1993 and Bush reinstated it January of 2001. This is like party-based policy ping-pong.
While it follows party lines, I’m particularly amazed that Obama would do something so quickly that will actually HURT our economy. There is a dire need for more dollars to be spent here in America rather than abroad. The LAST thing we should be doing in a time of economic downturn is send more dollars overseas – especially for something as divisive as abortion services. Our recession won’t be fixed by taking money from everyone’s pocket and sending it overseas. And, if the pockets are already picked clean, do we really care about this so much that we are willing to go into debt for it? Apparently Mr. Obama does. To me, that’s messed up. Lets saddle OUR children with debt far into the future so that other people can kill their children!
Now, I’m sure some yahoo out there is going to bring up the war in Iraq as the ultimate “sending dollars overseas” example and blame it on the last administration. While I could debate back and forth the percentages of dollars spent on the war that come back to the US, I’ll shortcut the process and just say “Well, thank you Captain Obvious.” Remember Obama’s campaign though? CHANGE. Change from partisanship, change from politics, etc.
Apparently, he didn’t mean now.
Honestly though, while I can’t really fault Obama for acting in line with his party (I mean, did you really think he was going to be any different!??), I’m quite appalled at how each President has made this an issue their very first month in office. That’s sad.
January 23, 2009 No Comments
Just saw this and thought it was not only funny, but largely true…
Start with a cage containing five apes.
In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, an ape will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the apes with cold water.
After a while, another ape makes an attempt with the same result – all the apes are sprayed with cold water. This continues through several more attempts. Pretty soon, when another ape tries to climb the stairs, the other apes all try to prevent it.
Now, turn off the cold water. Remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other apes attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four apes that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest ape.
After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes, which have been sprayed with cold water, have been replaced.
Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs. Why not?
“Because that’s the way they’ve always done it, and that’s the way it’s always been around here.”
And that’s how corporate policies begin.
December 14, 2008 No Comments
Despite initially vowing to take public funds if McCain did, Obama is the first presidential candidate since the campaign finance reforms of the 1970s to accept private donations during the general election.
His tactic turned this election into the single most expensive presidential race ever, with over a billion dollars being spent. That’s a first for our country.
The AP reports that Mr. Obama spent nearly $720 million dollars of the $750 million he raised for his campaign. While McCain was limited to spending only $84 million from September on (because he accepted public funds), Obama spent $315 million during the same period. By the end of the race, he was outspending McCain at a rate of 4 to 1.
Lets put this into perspective a bit: the combined total of George W. Bush AND John Kerry’s bill for both the primary and general election back in 2004 was only $653 million, including federal public financing money.
Yes, that’s right, Obama spent more on this election than the combined total of the candidates for the last presidential election. And, of equal significance, his total spend was well over twice that of McCain’s reported $293 million.
I wonder what would have happened if Obama had done as he had vowed and taken the public funds? Never before in history has a presidential candidate outspent his opponent by such an overwhelming margin.
Amazing that most people continue to say that its “Fatcat Republicans” who have all the money. Overspending doesn’t stop at just the presidential election either. Over the last decade, the most expensive senate campaigns of each cycle, save one (Elizabeth Dole in 2002), have been waged by Democrats.
I think it is officially time the term Fatcat was changed to something more appropriate: FatCRAT.
Congratulations MTV Generation – you’ve got your man as President. One question though – don’t you think he should have kept his word and spent half as much money campaigning and used the other $325 million supporting some of those causes ya’ll care so much about? He STILL would have outspent McCain by nearly 10%.
Honestly though, I really would have thought that much cash would have bought more than an 8.5% margin in the results.
Oh well, at least France likes us again.
December 4, 2008 2 Comments