Archive for November, 2011


Uncovering the Full Cost of
Means-Tested Welfare
or Aid to the Poor

 

Since the beginning of the War on Poverty, government has spent vast sums on welfare or aid to the poor; however, the aggregate cost of this assistance is largely unknown because the spending is fragmented into myriad programs.

As this report shows, means-tested welfare or aid to poor and low-income persons is now the third most expen­sive government function. Its cost ranks below support for the elderly through Social Security and Medicare and below government expenditures on education, but above spending on national defense. Prior to the current reces­sion, one dollar in seven in total federal, state, and local government spending went to means-tested welfare.  read more

Border Shootout in Starr County between Roma, TX and Rio Grande City, TX.

There are not many details available yet, but we know that this afternoon there was a shootout in Starr County Texas that involved Law Enforcement officers and at least 15 armed Mexican Nationals who crossed the border. This is possible spillover Drug Cartel violence. read more

With the list of lifesaving drugs in dangerously short supply growing ever longer, Tampa Bay’s hospitals are  getting inundated with unorthodox sales pitches from companies promising speedy delivery of medications unavailable anywhere else.

“Answer this riddle correctly … you will receive free ground shipping on your order,” was the recent e-mailed offer from a Miami-based company that listed medicines on the federal government’s shortage list it claimed it could assist with.

It didn’t quote prices, but pharmacy buyers say they know to expect markups averaging as much as 650 percent over the costs they’re accustomed to paying. That’s the price of doing business with the pharmaceutical industry’s so-called gray market.  read more


Going back to the annals of brokeback Europe, we learn that gold after all is money, after the G-20 demanded  that EFSF (of €1 trillion “stability fund” yet can’t raise €3 billion fame) be backstopped by none other than German gold. Per Reuters, “The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) reported that Bundesbank reserves — including foreign currency and gold — would be used to increase Germany’s contribution to the crisis fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) by more than 15 billion euros ($20 billion).” And who would be the recipient of said transfer? Why none other than the most insolvent of global hedge funds, the European Central Bank.  read more

 

I should declare an interest and say that I have always admired Time Magazine. It has great journalists. It has even commissioned your humble correspondent and allowed him to join its exalted company of writers – and more to the point paid your humble correspondent ready money for the privilege. In normal circumstances I would deplore the notion that its offices should be firebombed and editors, reporters, critics, subs, secretaries and IT support staff reduced to piles of smouldering ashes, so charred and diminished their next kin would not be able to identify them.

But what possible argument can those of us who shudder at the thought of arsonists torching Time, and immolating all who work there, now make in its defence? The latest issue contains a piece saying that the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo deserved to have someone – maybe an Islamist, maybe not – firebomb its offices in Paris. It is worth studying because its author seems to be trying to provide a defence for anyone who attacks his own company’s premises.  read more

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