Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Christchurch, NZ, The Town The World Forgot; Compromise is Not Always Good; Brits Fine Pres. Obama; Guess Where Investors Are Going?; Yes, It Is War Down There; How Big is Murdoch's Empire?

The United States' soccer team lost to Japan, which means we're now losing to Japan in math, science and penalty kicks.--Kimmel 
  • Most people probably never heard of Christchurch, New Zealand. What's so unique about this second-largest town in New Zealand? In the last ten months, its experienced over 7,500 earthquakes, resulting in almost 200 deaths. In other words, this town averages more than 20 earthquakes EVERY DAY. The cost of the damage to the town is estimated at $12 billion or 8% of its economic output. More than 1,000 buildings will need to be demolished (Philadelphia Inquirer).
  • Finally--some good news: New home construction increased by 15%.
  • There's a lot of debate right now about "compromise." Compromise is good--but not all the time. For example, should anyone or any institution compromise their core values? Many parents know that compromise is out of the question on many occasions when it comes to raising their children. There are times when a line has to be drawn in the sand. You know what compromise has gotten us in Washington, D.C.?---over $14 trillion in debt.
  • So how bad is this debt problem? ---  We're borrowing about $2 million every minute. Just 30 years ago, the debt was 14 times SMALLER. During the first two years of the Obama administration, the U.S. added more to the national debt  than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined. Almost 60% of Americans get some kind of federal money. In 1965, one out of 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today it's 1 in 6. Some analysts report that the national debt is closer to $60-100 trillion if unfunded mandates like Social Security and Medicare were counted.  By 2019, interest on the national debt and government spending will absorb 92 cents of every dollar of federal revenue. If this trend continues, the interest on the federal debt will be $1.1 trillion a year by 2021. If Bill Gates tried to help the government and gave it every penny he has, it would cover government operations for about 2 weeks (Sources: Dept. of Treasury; International Monetary Fund; GAO; U.S. Debt Clock and a bunch of other economic and financial web and blog sites).
  • Michael Goodwin, NY Post, was correct when he recently wrote, "Debt kills empires--look at Greece and Italy. And debt is killing America today. From families to towns to states to the feds." He also wrote, "It is a fact that reduced income for families, lost jobs and falling revenues are not acts of God. They are the results of the policy choices Washington has made."
  • "Recession is Over News"--Compton California's City Council announced it will be laying off 30% of its workforce.
  • Headline in USA Today: "Business Interest Signals Confidence in Country's Stability." The U.S.?--no-------------Iraq. USA Today reports foreign investment is on track to double in Iraq. Last year, Iraq attracted almost $46 billion in foreign investment.
  • From the "What Goes Around, Comes Around" file, the London Evening Standard is reporting London's mayor is fining Pres. Obama for not paying the 'congestion charge" for driving his motorcade into London.
  • In the last 5 years, almost 35,000 people have been killed in Mexico due largely to the drug cartel violence. In Juarez alone, over 8,000 have been killed in just the last 3 years. If this trend continues, Mexico will surpass the number of casualties we suffered in Vietnam by over 20,000. Who says it's not a war going on down there?
  • Rupert Murdoch appears to be in a lot of do-do. But just how large is his empire? He has 51,000 employees. Revenue last year was $33 billion. He owns the Wall Street Journal, N.Y. Post, 4 newspapers in the United Kingdom, and 146 in Australia. In addition, he own Fox Broadcasting and 20th Century Fox films, 27 TV stations and its 203 affiliates and much, much more. If does not face any serious criminal charges, I have a feeling he'll do fine.

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