Thursday, July 31, 2008
So, can you do them with a router? Yes. First you need a router table, something all true router fans have or make sooner or later. Mine has a 3/4" plywood top and the router cutter pokes up thru the top. With a fence to guide the work it's a poor man's shaper. The work is 5/16" thick, a straight 3/8" cutter sticking up 3/8" makes nice 3/8" by 3/8" fingers.
For the fingerlap joints we take the top off the router table and put a 3/4" dado across the top to accept a miter gauge. Used the miter off the band saw. Needed a couple of passes and a shim before the miter gauge slide freely. Then we put a finger in the miter gauge to space the fingers and go for it. Works. Good fit. Knock off for happy hour feeling very organized and wood crafty.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The tradition of America is to press on, and fix the problem. We have been doing this since the Revolution. Got a problem with British men '0 war blockading New York? Invent an submarine with 18th century technology and go out to sink them. Got a rebel ironclad out sinking the Union fleet? Get plans for an even more advanced ironclad from the greatest naval architect of the age and rush a vessel into action in 90 days from keel laying to combat on the Chesapeake. Want to keep California in the Union? Lay a steam railroad clear across the continent. And then dig a canal across Panama. Want to stop German subs from sinking allied ships? Lay a minefield clean across the North Sea from Scotland to Norway. Got implacable Nazi and Facist enemies? Invent a superweapon so advanced that it wasn't even in science fiction. Need to convince the world that democratic capitalism is the way to fly? Build a moon rocket and send men to the moon.
In America, when we have a problem, we fix it. We have a very simple problem now, not enough oil. So lets get cracking and fix it. We need to drill off shore, drill in Alaska, develop oil shale and get on with it.
All the "alternate energy" in the world won't fuel my car or heat my house.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The pundits take on this? "Now that McCain is talking about bringing troops home there is no difference between him and Obama." They didn't mention the little matter of who was right on the surge, which even the NY Times now admits, won the war. McCain pushed for the surge while Obama spoke against it.
Take your pick for commander in chief.
Particularly as you can get most necessities of life, save food, at yard sales and thrift stores for pennies on the dollar. If everyone started doing this, (or just postponing the purchase of new stuff) we could see a big drop in consumer spending. Me, I have acquired a band saw, a VCR, a stereo receiver, a chandelier, wall sconces, tableware, clothes, a Minolta 35mm camera, lots of books and videos, lumber, skis, and hand tools in just the last two years. Satisfying that urge to buy stuff for very little money.
Can the economy withstand the shock if everyone did it?
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
This is the long time TV newsie, bane of Republican presidents, talking. Talking through his hat. Only because Fanny and Freddie and some brain dead brokerage houses buy toxic waste mortgages do the low life salesmen bother to sell them.
When a borrower defaults on his mortgage the lender takes a big loss. Repossessing the house doesn't help the lender. They won't be able to sell it either. Borrowers with more than two brain cells firing will attempt to sell the house before giving it to the bank. The banks only foreclose on the houses that won't sell. But, if the lender has sold the mortgage to Fanny or Freddie or a brokerage house, he doesn't care, he doesn't own it anymore. The low life salesmen only exist because there are bigger suckers (Fanny, Freddie and the brokerages) out there. Turn them off and mortgage lending (and house prices) will return to reality.
When Sam blames lowlife salesmen instead of the real villains, it shows how ignorant the newsies are.
Remember Sarbanes-Oxley? It tightened up corporate governance and finance and added a terrible load of paperwork. Since Sarbox, new public offerings of stock and merger/acquisition activity left Wall St and settled down in London.
Can you say "shoot yourself in the foot"?
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Nowadays, to get decent interest, investors have to go thru Wall St whiz kids, who take their money and buy weird bonds that put money into banks to make mortgages with. And sometimes the weird bonds don't pay off. In olden times investors simply deposited their money in a reliable bank. We could go back to that. It would put a lot of Wall St whiz kids out of work, but they could get real jobs in sales, manufacturing and new product design. Finance isn't a real job, it's parasitic.
For 6% mortgages the banks could pay depositors 5% interest. For the depositors it's good money, as good as they get on "mortgage backed securities", and with FDIC protection to boot. Unlike subprime mortgage backed securities.
So, why not rein in Fanny & Freddie? Prohibit them from buying anything but real mortgages, no mortgage backed securities. Set a limit on their liabilities, about equal to their current ones. Demand they raise capital equal to 5% of outstanding liabilities before they can take on any more debt. Insist upon the borrowers putting up 5% of property value. Insist that the borrowers live on the property. Each borrower gets only ONE mortgage on ONE property. Don't do mortgages on McMansions. Lower the mortgage limit to $500,000, any house costing more is a luxury house and fat cat buyers will have to get a private bank mortgage. Appraise each property with in-house appraisers who have to personally sign the appraisal. Fire them when they inflate the value of any property. Never do a mortgage for more than the appraised value. Prohibit them from making campaign contributions (aka bribes) to elected officials. Limit salary and bonus to less than $1 million a year for senior management/every employee. Prohibit payment to consultants for anything.
Friday, July 25, 2008
New York State continues it's distinguished career of illiterate, missing, and worthless road signage. Not sign one for the Whitestone Bridge off I95. I got pushed over Throgs Neck bridge while looking for signs to Whitestone. Not the end of the world, but not a real confidence builder either. Arrived around noon after driving thru rain showers. Took three hours to schlep all the stuff down from the fifth floor and tie a tarp over the top. Trip back was long. Didn't get in til after midnight. It rained and a lot of wet got under the tarp. Truck used 44 gallons of gas for $180. Round trip on Amtrak is a lot less than that. Truck only gets 16.4 mpg even with a very tall gear and a V6. My Caddy DeVille does a lot better at 27 mpg. I guess the truck has more frontal area, a worse drag coefficient and more weight to push up hills. Today the yard is full of drying stuff.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Weight is 3750-3860 pounds for the various models. Wasn't clear about the weight of the V8. If the heaviest 3860 pound car has the V8, then Chevy has done a nice job keeping the weight down. It may be,since the V8 is optional at extra cost, the weight figures shown are for the 300 hp V6. That makes power to weight 12 pounds/horsepower with the V6, which is very hot indeed. My 99 Caddy Deville is about 18 pounds/hp and offers sparkling acceleration. The Camaro at 12 pounds/hp will be a hellova lot hotter. The V8 at 422 horse is overkill for anything but racing.
Gas mileage (26 mpg) is disappointing. The Deville gets 27 mpg highway. You would think a lighter car with a smaller engine would do better than a 10 year old Caddy. Not that anyone buying a hot rod like this really cares about a few mpg, but still.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
But Al is opposed to oil drilling because only running out of oil will drive Americans to the enlightenment of true greenness. Freezing to death in the dark is very enlightening.
Brokaw asked Al about his lavish energy hog of house, and Al said "I buy electricity from "green" producers and that makes it alright." He also claimed his house uses "geothermal" power which is a stretch, there are no volcanic hotspots in Tennessee. He probably means he has a heat pump working off a heat exchanger buried in the lawn. That's nothing new, I had one in a cheap garden apartment in Mississippi back in the 1960's.
Al again claimed that science is on his side, even though the American Physical Society declared that man made global warming is not scientifically accepted just last week. That means a small majority of physicists think man made global warming is balony, but a sizable minority still believes in it. If the majority were larger, they would have used stronger language to condemn man made global warming. Opinions of physicists counts, global warming is a heat transfer problem, which is squarely in the domain of physics.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Of the $5 billion, some $50 million will come to NH. Divide $50 million by $2400 (my estimated oil bill for this winter) and that is enough to help 20,000 families. That's a start. Drop the restrictions on oil drilling and watch the price of heating oil come down. Then it will help even more families. Where are Hodes and Shea Porter on dropping oil drilling restrictions?
FDA hasn't said just why they pointed the finger at tomatoes, but I can guess. They asked victims what they ate before contracting salmonella, and surprise, every one mentioned tomatoes. They are America's favorite veggie after all. I'm sure every one also reported drinking water too.
We ought to demand actual detection of a pathogen in real food before the government is allowed to declare crops to be infected and ruin farmers. Real food means food actually offered for sale, not weeds or plant cuttings or farm wastes. Actual detection means a real laboratory , running a standard test from a standard handbook, files a written lab report, on company letterhead, signed and dated by the person conducting the test.
As it is, the tomato farmers ought to sue the FDA. Go for damages, punitive damages, gross negligence.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Far as this taxpayer and veteran is concerned, VIP kits are a waste of taxpayer's money. VIP's ought to travel commercial, in coach, just like us citizens.
There is plenty of spectrum on AM and FM for new stations up here if anyone wanted to try it. Think about hearing local weather (not the Boston weather) , a summary of legislation going thru the mill in Concord, North country news. Skiing stories. Maybe some up to date tunes, especially from real bands as opposed to the boy bands/girl bands. There are a lot of drivers on the road up here, surely enough listeners to attract some paying advertisers.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I served too. I was on the flight line, a junior avionics officer, supervising my men every morning. I saw the pilots man their planes, strap in and take off every morning. Same pilots, day after day.
Flying combat into North Viet Nam was incredibly dangerous. My wing lost a plane a day, for the first 90 days I was on base. As each pilot strapped in and lowered the canopy he knew that someone wasn't going the make it back that day. And it might well be him. The pilots of those lost aircraft either died in their aircraft from the impact of SAM's and ground fire, or died during ejection, or were taken captive by the North Vietnamese. Captivity was brutal, and long lasting. A very few, very lucky, fliers were plucked from the jungle by rescue helicopters before the North Vietnamese got to them.
Knowing the odds of death or captivity were high, the air crew kept on flying. So, call McCain what you like, but remember that he was brave. Brave to fly the missions in the first place, and brave under enemy captivity.
Once the world sees the Americans committing to a large scale oil project, it will come to believe that more oil is out there, and oil will be available. America has a rep for pulling technological rabbits out of hats that is unmatched. America is the land that invented telegraph, telephone, oil wells, electric light bulbs, aircraft, nuclear energy, moon landings, polio vaccines, integrated circuits, microprocessors and more. An Exxon-Mobil announcement of an oil project that will come on line in 2009 and produce a couple of million barrels a day would have instant credibility. In part because the Americans are experts in this kind of thing and in part because American companies must be honest, 'cause the SEC will crucify them for flim flamming investors if they are dishonest.
Just one good oil strike will go far to convince the world's nervous oil consumers that more oil will be available in the future.
And, despite T. Boone Pickens TV ads, we can drill out way out of the shortage. US consumption is 20 million barrels per day. The undrilled resources are estimated in the billions of barrels. Twenty billion barrels is three years of supply. Two hundred billion barrels is thirty years of supply.
Kilowatts measures the rate of using electricity. A 100 watt (0.1 KW) light bulb uses electricity faster than a 60 watt (0.06 KW) light bulb. But you pay for electricity by the kilowatt hour. An ordinary two slice toaster draws a kilowatt. but it has the toast nice and brown in a minute so it doesn't draw all that much electricity overall. You'd have to toast 60 batches of toast in order to consume a kilowatt hour.
If you are thinking of buying a solar electric rig, you want to know both numbers. Kilowatt hours per day tells you how much money you save using your solar power as opposed to buying juice from the electric company. Kilowatts tells you the heaviest load the rig can power. For example if your air conditioner needs 3 kilowatts to work, it would be nice if your solar electric rig could produce 3 KW to power the AC.
The kilowatt-hour rating of a rig can be estimated from the kilowatt rating. The sun stays up 12 hours (on average) so each day it will produce 12 times the kilowatt rating. So a 1 kilowatt solar collector will furnish 12 kilowatt-hours in the course of a day. Up here the electric company will furnish 12 kilowatt-hours for $2.40. If the solar electric rig costs $7000 (as quoted in the NPR piece) it will take 8 years for the electricity produced to pay for the rig.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Apparently ordinary short selling (selling a stock you don't own, waiting for the price to fall, and buying it at the lower price to deliver to the previous buyer) is now "naked" short selling. It isn't illegal per se, at least not in the US, but the SEC frowns on the practice. They prefer "covered" short selling, where in the seller "borrows" the stock, sells it, and then buys it back later to repay the lender of the stock. Naked short selling for the purpose of effecting a stock's market price is forbidden. Another one of those highly effective laws. "No your honor, I never intended for my short sale of two million shares to lower the price of ..." More welfare for lawyers.
Even in this day and age of gigahertz computers, sellers have three business days to deliver the stock to the seller. That's three days to allow the stock price to fall and make the short sale profitable. If the SEC really wanted to make short selling go away, they could shorten up the delivery time to something reasonable like three hours after the market closes for the day. And prohibit paying over the money before delivery of the stock.
There is a small number of "failure to deliver" events in the ordinary course of business. You could clamp down on that with stiffer penalties. Taking money and not delivering stock is straight out fraud.
As for Fannie and Freddie, whose stock is in the tank. Both companies have lost a lot of money this year and everyone expects them to loose a lot more in the future. Stocks are only worth owning if they are expected to go up in price. If the company is loosing money, its stock isn't going up, everyone knows this. So stockholders sell while the stock is still worth something.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Obama claims he is turning Iraq over to the Iraqi government. I think he's turning Iraq over to Al Quada.
Just to show he is tough, Obama promised to reenforce Afghanistan.
So, I used Add/Remove Programs to zap Zone Alarm for good. Turned on the less effective built in Windows firewall. In actual fact the Netgear router is a very good firewall, and hackers/crackers/spyware and such get stopped by the router. I checked the Zone Alarm logfile and it hadn't seen an attack since it had been installed. So, for now, bye bye Zone Alarm. Been running Zone Alarm for years and years, without trouble, but looks like it's broke now.
A regulator was going to save Fannie & Freddie? A clueless back seat driver overseeing company management is going to raise their stock value, sell their bonds and prevent a wave of foreclosures? Maybe in Barney's universe. Barney is very smart, very liberal, Jewish, and from Brookline Masschusetts, a town that makes the People's Republic of Cambridge look conservative.
As it is, looks like Fannie and Freddie's $5 TRILLION dollars of debt is going to be added to the existing $9 TRILLION dollars of the existing federal debt. Scary. That's an unbalanced budget that will never quit.
The other option would be to tell the Fannie and Freddie bond holders that they won't get paid, they are out $5 TRILLION bucks. That will make a load of unhappy investors, pension funds, banks, builders, real estate brokers and every one in the housing business. Law suits will go on for 50 years. Without Fannie and Freddie, banks will have to relearn how to do mortgages and attract depositors, and mortgage money will be very hard to get. It will damage the credit of the United States, making it harder to sell US treasury bonds to the Chinese. All in all, the "let 'em crash" option is even scarier than absorbing $5 trillion of debt.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I decide to keep blogging on Word. Bloggable ideas are getting scarce, and if I don't write 'em down when they occur to me, I forget them.
Monday morning arrives. I decide to double check. I pull my daughter's discarded laptop out from under the bed and plug it directly into the router. Bingo, beatup laptop logs on immediately and I can catch up on Instapundit. Wow. maybe it isn't the cable modem stuff.
Trusty Desktop is connected via a wireless card. I had a cable built into the house, but I never used it, 'cause the electrician didn't crimp a connector on the end and I found I could buy the wireless card for less than the proper crimping tool for the RJ-45 connector used on LAN cables. I snip the connector off a spare LAN cable and splice it onto the cable to the desktop. Strip, twist together, solder, and insulate with heatshrink tubing. There is an industry standard for the color codes of the 8 wires inside LAN cables, you just have to match up the colors.
Plug the newly spliced cable in, go upstairs, and try the desktop again. The task bar icon shows "connected" on the wired LAN, and I can ping the router box. But, still can't get on the net. So I have one computer that gets on the net and a second one that won't. Arrgh.
About this time the Time Warner service guy pulls up in a van. He pulls a brand new cable modem out of his truck and installs it. The new modem is about half the size of the old one, and presumably has spiffier semiconductors inside it. It powers up and bingo, BOTH computers now can get on the net. Dunno how that happened, but it did.
Logic says that if one computer can get on the net, the cable modem is OK. So, either that ain't so, or the desktop just decided to stop being cranky, or something. Let's see how long things last.
So I posted the last few days of blog ideas a few minutes ago, and how it's time to catch up on the email.
I watched a long TV discussion between Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the house, and E.J. Dionne, Washington Post columnist. Dionne would review various political ideas and classify them as “liberal” or “neo conservative”. He didn’t discuss the goodness or badness of the ideas, he just attempted to label the ideas he liked “liberal” and the ideas he didn’t like as “neo-conservative”. Newt did somewhat better, he did try to bring the debate around to real things, such as the decision to disband the Iraqi army, but Dionne wasn’t having any. He didn’t want to talk about the merits of ideas; he just wanted the viewers to agree with his ideas about good and bad. In short, Dionne was not willing to reach out to voters and citizens and appeal to their heads. He appeals to their partisanship.
So do all the TV talking heads who use the phrase “flip flop”. They are not attacking the ideas on the merits; they are accusing the speaker of going back on his sworn word. So does Obama when he rails against “Bush’s third term”. If he doesn’t like ideas, why not explain why he doesn’t like them?
I’m watching a short clip on “Speed” the car lover’s cable channel. The camera pans back and forth over a Ferrari 3300. The hood is raised, we see the fine Italian power plant, the manual transmission, the suspension parts, in short the nuts and bolts of this hot car. Then we get some shots on the road. For a point of difference, this particular Ferrari is painted grey, rather than the proper red, but the nondescript color lets the good lines of the styling show to advantage. Bottom line, after watching a 5 minute TV show/infomercial I am ready to own and drive a Ferrari.The show cuts to commercial. A camera looks down on a blue car pulled into the gas pumps. We watch the fuel hose slip out of the fill pipe and slink down to let the air out of the rear tire. “Gas pumps hate us” “Chevrolet Cobalt” and “36 MPG” float across the screen. Cute, but it doesn’t sell the car to me, not the way the Ferrari piece sold that Ferrari. The top camera angle shows little of the vehicle. I’m left wondering “is that car
Ethan Penner, “a pioneer in real estate finance” shared his thinking with us on yesterday’s Wall St Journal op-ed page. He laments the fall of “securitization” and the business model for large sections of
Then Mr. Penner explains the difficulties doing thirty year mortgages with depositor’s funds with can be withdrawn at will. He blames the 1980’s savings and loan (S&L) disaster on depositors withdrawing their money from the S&L’s. In actual fact, the S&L’s went broke after Congress repealed the laws that restricted S&L’s to doing home mortgages. They used this new freedom to play the stock and commodities markets. Being unsophisticated newbies, the S&L’s got taken to the cleaners by sharp/dishonest salesmen. In the real world, a bank, even a junior bank like an S&L, can increase deposits by paying depositors higher interest.
Mr. Penner’s suggests a new system where the bank keeps owner ship of the mortgage, and issues some sort of trick bond to raise cash to do more mortgages. He doesn’t understand that, with or without trickery, such a bond works just like the ordinary bonds issued by ordinary companies every day. Investors buy ordinary corporate bonds based on the reputation of the issuer and the interest rate promised. The “securitized mortgage bonds” that fueled the sub prime lending spree, and of which Mr. Penner is so fond, were “backed” by the mortgages. Starting last summer, investors learned that the “backing” was worth no more than the underlying mortgages were worth, and surprise surprise, those mortgages turned out to be worthless.
A basic fact of mortgage lending, the lender has to borrow the funds for LESS interest than that charged for the mortgage. Today my local band is offering 30 year fixed rate mortgages for 6 and a fraction %. That means no way can an investor in mortgages make more than 6 and a fraction %. Mr. Penner states that investors could earn mid to high teens and that wasn’t very appetizing. This is the sort of thing a mortgage backed security salesman might say.
Taxpayer funded National Public Radio (NPR) is calling the FARC “rebels” rather than terrorists. Doesn’t matter that FARC has been kidnapping for ransom, holding hostages chained to jungle trees for years, drug dealing, and murdering anyone who gets in their way. Doesn’t matter that the government of
Let’s hope the Columbian armed forces are able to defeat the FARC in short order.
The clock radio came on as usual this morning, tuned to NPR. I let it play for a while before facing up to the awfulness of getting out of bed. The commentator was waxing lyrical about the French health care system. He talked and talked, and he made
Except he failed to mention a single number. Such as the life expectancy and infant mortality rates in
The Europeans only spend 8% of GNP on health care, half what we spend. But NPR didn’t mention this fact, and said nothing about any possible restrictions upon expensive treatments this might cause. This reporter was convinced the French have it right and the Americans have it wrong without bothering to explain to us listeners why he felt this way.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
They mention the recent Boeing-EADS tanker procurement fiasco, the not-so-recent Boeing tanker lease problem, the two protests over the award of the combat search and rescue copter, the loose nuclear weapons blunder, serious cost overruns on satellite programs. Then there is crony linked contract to promote the Thunderbirds, and charges of religious proselytizing at the Air Force Academy. And footdragging in supplying unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) support to the ground forces in Iraq. The iceing on the cake was lobbying Congress to fund more F22 fighters after the Administration had decided to put the money into things of real use in the real war we are fighting.
That last got the Defense Secretary to fire both the Chief of Staff, and the Secretary of the Air Force. Aviation Week is calling for more blood, namely firing the officers responsible for the other screwups.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The Wall St Journal opined that only the development of desirable bread and butter sedans would save them. There's something to that, if you are going to be a car company, you have to have cars that people like. But better is to invent a new car type. Lee Iacocca did this repeatedly in his career. He fathered the Mustang, the K cars, the the minivan. GM needs someone like Iacocca who has a feel for the market and creates things that sell. Rick Waggoner ain't that guy, he barely knows where the ignition key goes, let alone what makes a hot selling car.
GM ought to try making a two seat micro Corvette. Do a very small, low cost, two seat sports car. Figure out some way to get surfboards, snowboards or skis into it, or onto it. A roof rack, a fold down rear window , a pass through from the trunk to the cockpit, something. Make it light, offer a 5 speed manual, a 4 cylinder engine, get the gas milege up over 30, get the front rear weight distribution 50-50, give it the pizazz of the 'Vette at a third the price point.
Second new car, the micro hauler. A car in the Cobalt class that somehow allows the owner to get 4*8 sheet goods back from the lumber yard or furniture back from the auction. Doesn't have to seat more than two, but must handle the cargo, and be cheaper and less thirsty than a minivan.
Here in New Hampshire, I have enough solar gain through the windows that my furnace stays off during the winter day. With the solar gain, my furnace gets through the winter on about the same amount of fuel as my car uses all year. Without the solar gain, my furnace oil costs might double.
Home buyers ought to check the sunshade/eaves/awnings situation on the windows before falling in love with the house. In heating country, a good house faces south to get more sun. In air conditioning country, the house ought to face north for more shade. If buyers cared about these things then builders would furnish them.
The technology of building to take advantage of the sun has been well understood since the days of the Roman Empire. Where as solar electric technology still lacks decent batteries to give you electric lights after the sun goes down.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
It's pretty clear the talking heads. even democratic talking heads, are calling for Obama to change his policy, and keep enough troops in Iraq to win the war. So far, I haven't heard Obama himself say this, but it's clear the pundits want him to.
This shows ignorance, and partisan bias on the reporters part. Few reporters actually understand policy issues. Or any other issues for that matter. Most reporters are political partisans who view their job as supporting their politicians and badmouthing the other side's politicians. So, when at a loss for anything real to say (the usual case) reporters simply brand the policy statement a "flip flop".
Question: would you like a political leader so narrow minded that he never changed his mind on anything?
Barack Obama called for "service" from high school and college students. Quoted in the Rocky Mountain News.
"Just as we teach math and writing, arts and athletics, we need to teach young Americans to take citizenship seriously. Study after study shows that students who serve do better in school, are more likely to go to college, and more likely to maintain that service as adults. So when I'm President, I will set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year. This means that by the time you graduate college, you'll have done 17 weeks of service."Service? Such as providing food, fuel, transportation, communication, manufactured goods, raw materials and entertainment to society? People who perform these real services hold "jobs" and they even get paid to do so. Is Mr. Obama suggesting students hold part time jobs? Or join the Armed Services part time?
In my youth I participated in American Friends Service Committee work projects in Philadelphia. At the time it seemed like a worthy cause, but looking back on it, I doubt that anything we did on work weekends was as helpful as real paying jobs for those people would have been.
Real service is a paying job.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
A great cry went up from all the waterfront property owners. Congress critters heard the cry and Uncle Sam began offering flood insurance to all comers. Despite hefty premiums, federal flood insurance racks up heavy losses to the taxpayer. The program is really a taxpayer subsidy to waterfront home owners. Availability of flood insurance has subsidized a lot of construction in flood prone areas that should not have been built in, and paid for the inevitable rebuilding after the predictable flood.
As a taxpayer I see no reason for my tax dollars to pay people who build houses in flood prone locations. Every one would be better off building on higher ground, of which there is an enormous amount. No body needs to build on the river bank. If people want to build there, fine, but I don't want to be taxed for it.
A new flood insurance bill is floating thru the Congress at this very minute. If it is impossible to vote it down, how about limiting the payout to ONE flood. The flood victim gets paid off, but his flood insurance is canceled, and the site goes on a list of "too flood prone to insure" properties. If the owner rebuilds on the same site, it is at his risk, not mine. It's a free country, and people are free to build where ever they want. But I shouldn't have to pay for other peoples risky decisions.