Friday, November 11, 2011

New energy pipeline and the thousands of jobs private sector jobs it would create has been shelved for environmental reasons. Look at this map and tell me if this action is justified...

Below is a map of existing oil,natural gas, and gasoline pipelines that criss-cross the US. The building of a new pipeline, called the KeystoneXL, has been shelved by the Administration on evironmental grounds.  This pipeline would provide 1,000's (10's of thougsands??) private sector jobs relatively quickly and meet some/alot of your domestic energy needs more efficiently...Not going to happen, though. I did not realize we already had such an extensive network of pipelines already. 

This from Carpe Diem: ""In a temporary victory for environmentalists, the Obama administration has delayed its decision on whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline until after the 2012 election. Environmentalists claim that the Keystone XL pipeline's route across the Midwest "would endanger sensitive lands and drinking water supplies."

With all of the environmentalism alarmism about the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, it might be a good time to point out that: a) the United States already has a huge network of existing pipelines for oil, natural gas and gasoline illustrated in the map above, b) pipelines have been used successfully and safely in the U.S. for more than 100 years, and c) pipelines are an integral part of our domestic energy system. In other words, we live safely with energy pipelines every day and the Keystone XL pipeline would simply become one new part of an existing and extensive pipeline network that makes a significant contribution to America's dependable and affordable energy. ""

Source: HERE via Carpe Diem

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Be prepared to pay a new Federal Tax on Christmas trees. The money will be used to promote the Christmas Tree Industry. This is NOT an Onion story...

Obama Couldn’t Wait: His New Christmas Tree Tax

""President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees—the Christmas Tree Tax—to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.

In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David R. Shipman announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board. The purpose of the Board is to run a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry” (7 CFR 1214.46(n)). And the program of “information” is to include efforts to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States” (7 CFR 1214.10).""

Teachers: Something to reinforce what you tell students EVERYDAY. Students: PLEASE read this and don't take it for granted. You WILL hurt yourself if you don't!

Teachers: Something to share with your students.

Students: BEING ON TIME IS IMPORTANT!  However, this is something you will have to learn on your own.  I have seen people who make $50,000 per year lose their jobs because they cannot get to work on time...Sad...

""Much has been made of the failure of the U.S. educational system to produce highly skilled science and engineering professionals. But it isn’t only technical expertise in demand. Finding people who get to work on time seems to be difficult.

In August, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York asked regional manufacturers about finding good workers. The second biggest challenge — after computer skills — was hiring workers who were punctual and reliable.""

Monday, November 7, 2011

Follow up to my College major/earning power posting--See these visuals on Unemployment Rates and Salary potential for a wide variety of majors...Good stuff...

As a follow up to my previous post on college majors, here are some screen shots from the Wall Street Journal that show a pretty comprehensive list of majors, there approx unemployment rates and rough estimates of earning power in the market place.  This might encourage or discourage you. I just provide the info...

From College Major to Career

Choosing the right college major can make a big difference in students' career prospects, in terms of employment and pay. Here’s a look at how various college majors fare in the job market, based on 2010 Census data.

My short commentary on a graph that all students in college (or going to go) should see and think about...

Below is a selective grouping of college majors to illustrate the point that since 1985 there has been a rapid increase in the number of students getting degrees in majors, that, well, for the lack of a better term---don't have much earning power in the marketplace.  (Go HERE for the original source for this and a more extensive discussion)

The number of students that get degrees in majors that DO have earning power in todays marketplace has not changed much at all (Note that this number does NOT included foreign students receiving a degree from a US college--that number is relatively large!).

Students that spend/borrow LOTS of money to get a degree with limited earning power  need to understand this from the get go.  I am not saying this because I dont think these majors are important. That would not be true.  You need to do what is best for you. However, to not consider your earning potential, especially when you have to pay for it yourself, is not being responsible to your "future self" that has to live with a loan debt to pay back..
Source: Marginal Revolution

Sunday, November 6, 2011

And The Survey Says: Chili's is going to do me wrong!

I completed an online survey after visiting my local Chilis. It says I am eligible to win a cash prize. Notice the amounts under "Eligible Prize(s)".   It quotes the prize in US Dollars, Canadian Dollars, British Pounds and Euros. I wonder if I have a choice of currency to receive my prize?
Here are the currency conversions at the latest exchange rates:

$1,000US = $1,000US
$1,000 Canadian Dollars = $982.28
1,000 British Pounds = $1,601.91
1,000 Euros = $1,377.82

Long Live The Queen!!  British Pounds, please...

New and improved US Debt charts with China---always stunning to see how it has changed in just 10 years...

Don't know why I like debt graphs/charts as they relate to China.  I suppose it is because of the shocking rise of it such a short period of time. 

The first one (smaller one with yellow bars) shows the dollar amount of US Treasury's owned by China ( I assume by the Govt and/or its citizens). The second part of the graph shows the total US PUBLIC debt of $10 Trillion. This excludes the portion of the total National Debt (approx $5 Trillion) that is called PRIVATE debt. This is the debt incurred by the Federal Govt as it borrows from various Trust Funds, such as Social Security, that the Federal Govt administers. In other words, money the Federal Govt borrows from itself (that is another story for another day).
Source: Christian Science Monitor
The next chart shows in the same time period, China's change in direct investment outside of its borders (the US and elsewhere). This could include other financial investments stocks, commodities, bonds (how much of YOUR house or student loans or car is owed to them??) or investments in physical properties (businesses, land, natural resources, etc).
Source: Christian Science Monitor

You might be asking yourself: "Where do they get all this money since 2001 to loan us or to invest?"

This chart shows the difference between what we EXPORT (BLUE line) and what we IMPORT (RED line) from China.  You can easily see US Net Exports ($$$ Exports minus $$$ Imports) is negative. We import much more from China than we export to them.

The net flow of dollars on merchandise and services between our two countries is we send many more dollars to China than they return back to the US to buy our merchandise and services.  What do they do with all those surplus dollars? Go back to the beginning of this posting and start again---it is a continous loop. Those dollars we send them don't just disappear. A good number of them come back to the US to buy our debt instead of our merchandise. Crazy system, ain't it??? :)

FRED Graph
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