New “element” discovered

Too good not to give a bit more audience. The things you learn through blogging.

bluebird of bitterness

A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named governmentium.

Governmentium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 11 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every action with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of governmentium causes a reaction to take four days to complete, when it would normally take less than a second.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of four years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, governmentium’s mass will actually…

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It’s all so cent$less

(WARNING. MINOR RANT.) Pennies made the news again. Last night they were talking about them on Nightline: If Laws Change, ‘Penny Hoarders’ Could Cash in on Thousands of Dollars

There are two important points to learn:

  1. The old saying “a penny saved is penny earned” is absolutely correct for you can make a lot of money collecting pennies!
  2. Apparently our increasingly corrupt and inefficient government is actually, seriously looking at yet another way to sneakily pick our pockets, all the while claiming it will “save money.” They must think we are sheep who are too “dumbed down” to think it through and challenge them. Are they correct?

Well, for those who are new to my blog, or who may not have read it before, I did the easy math and wrote a short article with a simple chart showing what would really happen. Hold on to your wallet and click here for that post: Eliminating pennies makes no cents and no $en$e.

Eliminating pennies makes no cents and no $en$e

My thoughts for your pennies.

Have you heard the idea that eliminating pennies would save the government money and the people a little hassle? Every few years some person or group (currently it is Canadians) starts declaring that the penny should be “done away with” because of manufacturing costs and the petty annoyance factor. This is very “knee jerk” and reveals to me that those who agree with it have NOT given it any real thought or they wouldn’t have suggested/agreed with the idea. The other possibility is that (based on what I am about to show you) there are some people who EXACTLY understand the financial implications, in which case those people think you are stupid enough to mindlessly accept it (sounds evil to me), which is a BIG MI$TAKE!

Superficially, it seems simple: the cost of all items would now end in either 5 or 0, but running some simple calculations quickly reveals that it not only solves NO problems but, in fact, creates bigger ones (i.e. will $eriou$ly co$t you!). Look at these two hypothetical examples:

Cost: 20.20 Cost: 20.75
 Sales Tax Sales Total Sales Tax Sales Total
1% 20.40 1% 20.96
2% 20.60 2% 21.17
3% 20.81 3% 21.37
4% 21.01 4% 21.58
5% 21.21 5% 21.79
6% 21.41 6% 22.00
7% 21.61 7% 22.20
8% 21.82 8% 22.41
9% 22.02 9% 22.62
10% 22.22 10% 22.83

It quickly becomes obvious that unless taxes (and even S/H) are eliminated (like THAT would ever happen!) you still get numbers ending in something other than 5 or 0. The answer? “Rounding,” obviously. But don’t be naïve, given the nature of taxes that would ALWAYS be up (in spite of mathematical rules) for NO government would ever round down and relinquish those extra cents (those are TAXES, remember?).

However, government uses projections to estimate revenue and this would add substantial uncertainty and complexity. How could it accurately track this (and avoid “appropriation” by merchants?) since actual sales figures and taxes still follow true mathematical rules? I know! Hire more people, creating bigger government, thus requiring more taxes!

(Wait a minute, I thought the supposed point of eliminating pennies was to SAVE money!)

Depending on how many individual purchases one makes, each individual could spend up to a dollar a day in “rounding” charges. Figured annually, just this portion of the problem this really adds up, hurting those who can least afford it. This would, in essence, become an even more devious form of (hidden) taxation without representation.

Using reasonable, real world prices there is no tax rate that consistently gives a result ending in a 5 or 0. So what about making prices in whole numbers? (Oh sure, we ALL want the cost of goods and services to go up…NOT!) Well, going with that idea for the moment, there are still  problems:

Cost: $21.00 (nope…) Cost: $25.00
Sales Tax Sales Total Sales Tax Sales Total
1% 21.21 1% 25.25
2% 21.42 2% 25.50
3% 21.63 3% 25.75
4% 21.84 4% 26.00
5% 22.05 5% 26.25
6% 22.26 6% 26.50
7% 22.47 7% 26.75
8% 22.68 8% 27.00
9% 22.89 9% 27.25
10% 23.10 10% 27.50

Even an “innumerate” (a “numerically illiterate” person) can now see that the only “simple” solution would be to make every purchase be a multiple of 5 or 10 dollars. Now there’s inflation for you! Just imagine how that would work with buying groceries (milk, bread, eggs, gum, snacks, candy, beverages)…it staggers the mind and horrifies the soul (and wallet)! Look out middle class, working poor, and others!

But wait, there’s more…what about the financial markets? How can you eliminate pennies but still permit financial calculations that create answers that require their existence? Think of interest: on savings accounts, other investments, mortgages and loans. How much more are you willing to give up or pay? For consistency, we’d need to eliminate cents even on paper, otherwise when people close accounts or cash out bonds or stocks and want it in cash, what happens to the extra cents? People get testy when they don’t get all their money, especially when this is a consistent practice. They feel (rightfully) cheated.

I hope you’ve begun to grasp the ripple effect and the resulting complexities that would boggle people’s minds and cost the government untold millions in public forums, lawsuits, developing financial strategies, new regulations, and more (unnecessary) government employees. More people would be angry more often at being forced to pay more or, if rounded down, business and government would clamor about “lost revenue.”

The cost of eliminating “inconvenient” pennies would generate more expense and trouble than their manufacture and “inconvenience.”

A better solution? Let people give them away – charities (and others more frugal) gladly take them.

So, in honor of pennies, here is Ol’ Blue Eyes with his song about them. (Oh, and tell your Canadian friends about this article!)

Recent hard times like the Great Depression? Hardly!

As hard as it has been for some, it is exasperating to hear people compare recent economic problems in America with the Great Depression. Such abysmal knowledge of American history… look at these images and see what it was like back then and share your thoughts on what you see.

At that time folks would take ANY job, but there were NONE to be had. NOW people won’t take jobs because “it doesn’t pay as much as unemployment.” That attitude, plus the extended benefits, seriously damages people’s chances to find any job, because being out of the work force in any capacity for up to 2 years makes prospective employers suspicious of their work ethic and less likely to hire them.

Oh, and in case you didn’t know, unemployment rules overtly discourage people from volunteering or helping out for free in hopes of being noticed and maybe getting hired because, for every hour that you help out for nothing, they dock your benefits. This forces people to choose between either lying or not volunteering/helping out AT ALL. Such a policy is EVIL and DESTRUCTIVE.

It is a well-known fact that people who are already employed in ANY capacity have a better chance of being hired for another job, as long as they keep looking.

People back then (and some still now) were right to be suspicious of accepting government help/benefits because the “strings” attached are really chains.

“We’re from the government; we’re here to help.”


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