Tag Archives: money

Does the United States still exist when the government shuts down?

communication

What is the United States, anyway?  It’s a government that exists by virtue of an agreement between the various ‘states’.    It’s the only thing keeping Hawaii, Guam and Samoa from going off on their own and bombing the bejesus out of Japan.

The US Government is the only thing keeping Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands from attacking Spain and taking away all its possessions.

And the US Government is the only thing keeping the secular state of Israel afloat year after year with its foreign aid.

I’m only pointing this out so you understand the gravity of the situation.   When the US Government shuts down people all over the world will have to tend their own affairs, learn to get along with their neighbors or end up in endless wars the US isn’t even involved in.

So why, exactly, did the government shut down?   We have to ask ourselves this.    And the answer is obvious.    The government shut down because not everyone was standing up for the National Anthem.    Not everyone put their hands over their hearts to say the Pledge of Allegiance.    And not everyone gazed at the US flag and gulped in veneration and awe.

So here we are living in the geography once occupied by the United States.   What the hell should we do next?

I’m thinking if we’re going to start it all again, we need to begin with a new flag:

jolly roger

And a new National Anthem:

Never mind the Pledge of Allegiance.   If you’ve got the money you can buy loyalty, votes, and every elected official.

Old Jules

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Making money the old fashioned way

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I saw a bumper sticker in town yesterday in the parking lot of the last Gibson’s store in existence. 20 year old beat-to-hell pickup with the sticker, “I make money the old fashioned way – I work for it“.

Judging by the truck, I’m guessing he’s probably telling the truth.

Inside the store when I went to pay for my purchase the cashier held the bill up to the light, then used a black felt tip pen on it and squinted at it again. When she decided it was okay I asked whether they get any phonies.

Lots of them.” She shrugged and counted out my change, which I didn’t examine closely. That’s trust.

The fact is there are lots of old fashioned ways to make money. Working has always been the least efficient method, but it’s widely praised by people who have a lot of it by inheritance, politics, graft, bailouts, handouts, subsidies, and prostitution. Someone has to do the grunt work or the whole system of economics falls apart.

Fact is, someone has to ring the cash registers, clean out the sewer lines, change the oil on cars, sit behind desks doing meaningless, boring, dead-end chores all day or it would become downright inconvenient for people who made their money the various other old fashioned ways.

And those hamburger flippers and sewer plant operaters need to be able to find something about it they can construe as a virtue, rather than just being fools and useful zombies drawing lousy pay for essential work to keep things running.

In God We Trust

first man in space

I’m not sure what I think about this proposal to take Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Andrew Jackson and so on off the currency and put Bill Gates, Donald Trump and the Koch brothers on there instead.  Certainly there’s merit to the idea.

Old Ben Franklin would probably find the knowledge people are rolling up his picture snorting coke and meth through him unsettling.  Building him a karmic load he didn’t pay for.

There are certainly more currently recognizable people guilty of all Andrew Jackson did, one-upped him in a hundred different ways.  But Jackson might be said to have set the pace and nailed down the precedents, earned his place on those bills.  Even though the people handing them over to supermarket clerks to pay for dog food mostly don’t who he was, nor what he did.

A series of bills reflecting their actual value in the world marketplace after the national debt is subtracted might be a good idea. $1 bills with a minus $1 Million across the bottom.  A picture of the last couple of presidents on each side.

All in all I think I’d prefer the government to issue a piece of currency molded in the shape of a straw for people to snort their coke and meth through.  If it’s got to have a picture on it, use the first chimpanzee to get launched into space. Or Ronald Reagan for starting the War on Drugs.  Building the need for a lot more of those bills to be printed.

Or any of the legion of celebrities who’ve overdosed on the stuff and become immortal.

The Legal Money Raffle Consortia

Previously posted in 2005:

I used to know a guy named Mike, down in Socorro.  A man with a lot of ideas.

During the mid-‘90s, about the time the Internet was cranking up big-time, Mike had the idea it would be cool to start an online raffle.

Mike had some money lying around.  Just about enough to buy a full-sized Harley, and a large RV.  But he thought he could increase the amount of money he had by taking a risk.  He’d sell raffle tickets online for a Harley and a large RV without buying them until someone won the raffle.  If he didn’t sell enough tickets, he’d make up the difference with his savings.  But if he did sell enough tickets, he’d give away the Harley and RV, and pocket whatever extra came in.

It turns out raffles are illegal at almost any level, though the cops and prosecutors look the other way if they feel the cause is a good one, or if it’s just small potatoes.  But item one for Mike turned out to be that if he went online he’d be almost certain to be prosecuted.

Item 2, was the fact he was, in effect, proposing to raffle a motorcycle and an RV that didn’t exist.  The fact he didn’t own them yet compounded the felony he would be committing.

Now what Mike was proposing to do was precisely what lotteries do.  Raffling off something that doesn’t exist…. Money that they plan on earning as interest.

But, of course, when a government-sanctioned, or government-owned administrative entity commits an act that rhymes with something that would be a felony if an individual behaved identically, all’s well with the world.

Unless they happen to have a lot of attention focused on their behavior, which sometimes happens.

Similarly, I used to know a guy named Dan, who had a lot of cash lying around doing nothing.  He dreamed up an online something he called a ‘money club’, or ‘money pool’.  Members, Dan dreamed, would pay $5 per month into the pool.  Every month the total proceeds, minus 10 percent (to Dan as operational and administrative fees) would be handed out to some lucky member by a process known as Random Number Generator…. Something nearly identical to what’s being done by lotteries.  Except it would be private enterprise….. private sector.

Dan figured the payout percentages would be so much better, the odds so much better than any lottery that it would cause players to flock to him.  He might have been right.

But there was naturally a catch.  What he was proposing was and is a herd of felonies at almost every level of jurisdiction.  Even though what he proposed was a lot better for the players involved, than the competition (the government and the various legally recognized mob) could (read ‘would’) offer.

So neither of these ideas ever came to fruition, though each represented the cleaned up versions of corrupted first-cousins we all accept as normal in the lottery systems.

It’s surprising sometimes to see people who claim to believe in free enterprise so blindly support any government monopoly.

Old Jules