Carpooling is not part of a solution because it serves no ones’ “special interests”

I wrote my congressperson, naïvely thinking that a “Washington outsider” Democratic representative would be open to any options which led to a greater fuel economy (higher passenger miles per gallon) and  less energy usage.  My proposal: expand creation of HOV lanes, basically mandating 1 HOV anywhere that at least 3 lanes of limited-access highway existed.  The response:

Thank you for contacting me with your support for carpooling and high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

As you may know, states have jurisdiction over the highways within their borders.  They also have the authority to determine the placement and availability of HOV lanes.  As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, I do not have the authority to require Kentucky to establish HOV lanes in the state.  I encourage you, however, to contact the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet at 502-564-4890 or

…the “not my department” excuse.  Of course, this was never a problem for the Federal government when the speed limit was reduced to 55 MPH, making the limit a condition for receiving Federal highway funds.  When the Federal government needs to pressure a state to adhere to a national standard, it can vote with its checkbook.

So why isn’t carpooling part of the solution?

  • It reduces overall wear and tear on all vehicles.  (Less consumption of vehicles?)
  • It reduces overall fuel consumption (Hence there would be no “oil interest” support.)
  • It reduces the urgency to completely dump fossil fuels (Hence no “green interest” or “alternative energy interest” support.)  We know the “oil interest” voter roll and their investments; dare we look at who is making poor decisions for the country based on their own investments in green energy?  Look what happened with ethanol.
  • The average person would have to work out the logistics, which might cost a couple of swing votes.

Tax and labor policies gone awry

EDF strikers cut power to French homes

California Taxation Leads to Mass Migration

California is 49th (New York 50th) in the Economic Freedom Index:

Nevada is 12th

Other notables:

Kentucky is 39th, Michigan 34th

Indiana is 14th, Texas is 17th

Populism’s income water marks

If votes went strictly by household/household income, the barrier for

  • A simple majority: $44,389
  • A super majority (60%):  ~$57,000
  • 2/3 majority:  ~$67,000
  • 3/4 majority:  ~$82,000

Household income in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Failure to communicate

I don’t dread income tax filing because of the complexity. I dread it because I pay 2x the SSI contribution + at my highest marginal tax rate on all of my music gigs, and I dread the day that I don’t withhold enough throughout the year to offset the robbery that I experience.

Obama: Get the dread out of tax deadline day – Yahoo! Finance.

1000 Times

The truth about Wall Street and bank bonuses

xkcd – A Webcomic – 1000 Times.

What does one TRILLION dollars look like?

What does one TRILLION dollars look like?.  An interesting look at the figures being thrown around, in terms of what it would look like in the form of $100 bills.

All this talk about “stimulus packages” and “bailouts”…

A billion dollars…

A hundred billion dollars…

Eight hundred billion dollars…

One TRILLION dollars…

What does that look like?

A statement on the mortgage bailouts.

Credit:  Michelle Malkin » “HONK if you’re paying my mortgage”.  If you’re tired of the bailouts going on forever, there is now a public way to make a statement:


You can buy the bumper sticker here.

Inside every chief exec, there’s a Soviet planner | Business | The Observer

Inside every chief exec, there’s a Soviet planner | Business | The Observer.  Macroeconomic central planning failed in the Soviet Union, but every company is a management planning factory.

If work is fragmented so that people have no direct line of sight to the customer, people have to be driven by signals from above rather than below.

An example from GE that illustrates the point:

Consider that the world’s most efficient large conventionally managed corporation, GE, spends 40% – that is, $60bn – of its revenues on administration and overheads. For every direct worker there’s an indirect one to check or “manage” the work.

Will the stimulus actually stimulate? Economists say no

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 02/12/2009 | Will the stimulus actually stimulate? Economists say no:

“I think (doing) nothing would have been better,” said Ed Yardeni, an investment analyst who’s usually an optimist, in an interview with McClatchy. He argued that the plan fails to provide the right incentives to spur spending.

A lot of my worry is either about the action being unfocused and/or indecisive (are they not two sides to the same coin?)

It’s unfocused. That is my problem. It is a lot of money for a lot of nickel-and- dime programs. I would have rather had a lot of money for (promoting purchase of) housing and autos . . . .

Another complaint I have (beyond the money being spent) is that there are alternative goals which serve to distract:

Another reason that some analysts frown on the stimulus is the social spending it includes on things such as the Head Start program for disadvantaged children and aid to NASA for climate-change research. Both may be worthy efforts, but they aren’t aimed at delivering short-term boosts to economic activity.

To put it another way, Ecclesiastes 3:1-7:

There is a time for everything,  and a season for every activity under heaven…

The next political and financial catastrophe

The Next Catastrophe: Think Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were a politicized financial disaster? Just wait until pension funds implode. – Reason Magazine