#443 Why Are US Gas Prices Linked to Spot Prices?

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

ENTRY #443 BEGINS: With the rise in gasoline prices, many politicians and their supporters are blaming the Biden administration for the price increases and also demanding that the Biden administration expand the number of leases on Federal land, including allowing drilling in the Artic National Wildlife preserve.  The rhetoric makes for good campaign soundbites, but who or what really determines the price of gasoline in the US? And, is there a more effective way to manage gas prices?

Crude oil is a commodity.  Like virtually every commodity, there is an exchange where contracts are negotiated and traded.  The price for a barrel of oil on the exchanges, aka “spot price, can fluctuate wildly based on how oil traders view the potential impact of world events on crude-oil supply and/or demand. The benchmark quality for these contracts is based on oil produced in West Texas (West Texas Intermediate) or the North Sea area (Brent crude).

In the US, pump prices for gasoline generally track changes in the spot price.  The spot price, however, bears almost no relation to the cost of production.

As the US has produced a larger share of domestic consumption, the rationale for linking the price of crude-oil as feeder stock to pump prices has been minimized, if not eliminated.  According to data from the US Energy Information Administration, for CY2021 the US exported more petroleum (crude oil and related products) than it imported – exports of 8.63 mmb/d vs. imports of 8.47 mmb/d. 

in CY2021 more than 50% of the imports were from Canada.  Some of the exports may be linked to trade agreements with other countries and/or to ensure that certain countries friendly to the US have a constant supply of oil and/or refined petroleum-based products.

Given the widespread concern within the US about fluctuating gasoline prices, why does the US continue to link gasoline prices at the pump to spot prices? Aside from the link benefiting the oil companies, either no one in Congress understands the issue or the oil lobby is in the pockets of many members of Congress, or possibly both.

Even if the US imported say 50% of daily consumption, one needs to ask whether it is necessary to link pump prices to spot prices. If the cost of 50% of gasoline is stable, then why does the pump price fluctuate solely based on the other 50%?

A solution to more stable pump prices would be to set a national price for gasoline (and diesel).  For discussion set the price without any taxes at $3.00/gallon.  Over time, the $3.00 price would be adjusted for inflation.  As is done now, the state and the Federal governments could add a tax to the $3.00/gallon price.

Would a fixed national price reduce supply of crude and gasoline? Businesses do not like uncertainty. The greater the uncertainty, the higher the required profit margin to compensate for the risk. The premium for uncertainty applies at each stage of the supply chain. The more stable or known the raw material cost for a product, the lower the premium for the finished product.

In the oil-and-gas business, most of the cost is incurred up front – exploration, leasing the land, drilling and installing equipment to operate the well. Improvements in processes and technology have reduced significantly the likelihood of a dry hole. Further, 3D imaging has increased the accuracy of the estimated size of the reservoir and the expected production rate.  Once in operation, the cost of extracting oil is minimal in most fields.

The Biden administration might be well served to conduct a comprehensive analysis of anticipated crude-oil supply based on different fixed prices.  Given the effectiveness of applying technology in exploration and drilling techniques, a safe bet would be US production could be maintained for many years extracting oil from existing fields and reopening abandoned fields. Further, with a known, or certain price for gasoline and possibly other refined oil products, US production likely would increase, not decrease.

With such a large domestic supply and production base, why does the US continue to allow the world spot price to have such an enormous impact on the pump price?  A fixed national price for gasoline and diesel (before tax) might be an example how the political parties can work together to solve real problems. The solution to managing gasoline pump prices might also eliminate some of the political divisions that seem to be making a 5th US Revolution more likely. ENTRY #443 ENDS

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#442. “Hail Caesar! Our Beloved Julius Is Dead.”

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

BEGIN ENTRY #442: This entry has nothing to do with a likely 5th US revolution. The entry was prompted by the date – March 15th, aka the Ides of March.

For those fortunate, or maybe unfortunate enough to have taken Latin, the Ides of March is a big deal.  The saying, “Beware of the Ides of March,” is associated with the assassination of Julius Caesar. Another saying associated with the Ides of March is “Et tu, Brute?” which Caesar uttered as his friend Brutus joined other senators in the assassination. Whether Caesar uttered these words is problematic.  However, the phrase has been popularized by a scene in Shakespeare’s play, “Julius Caesar.”   

After school during most of my high-school days. I worked in a flower shop. As the Ides of March approached, I thought some type of recognition should be made for the death of Caesar.  What could be more appropriate than to honor Caesar than a flower arrangement?

So, during Latin class on the 15th of March, one of the fulltime employees delivered 3 carnations dyed black in a black bud vase. Attached to the stem of one of the carnations was a sympathy card that read, “Hail, Caesar! Our beloved Julius is dead.”

Members of the class got the joke. The Latin teacher, a bit of a sour puss, didn’t.  Rather she thought the class had gone out if its way to honor Caesar.  And she loved every minute of it.

While the Latin teacher might have gotten the last laugh, as it were, the effort of having the arrangement delivered was well worth it. Every March 15th I smile thinking about those black carnations with the sympathy card being delivered to class. “Hail Caesar!”

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#441 What Does One Pray for?

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

BEGIN ENTRY #441: At the beginning of services last Friday night, the rabbi asked congregants to do something.  Doubtless, a similar request was made at services of all faiths throughout the weekend and, unfortunately, likely will be repeated for weeks or months to come.

The rabbi asked congregants to pray for the people of Ukraine. I listened and thought the request was quite appropriate. Then I thought, just what am I going to pray for? The Ukrainians have done nothing wrong. The Ukrainians are completely innocent. So, rather than praying for the Ukrainian people, shouldn’t I be praying for Vladamir Putin to quit being so stupid and arrogant? Shouldn’t I be praying for Putin to become incapacitated or even die so then the Russians can withdraw from Ukraine?

I must not be good at praying because praying for something negative to happen doesn’t seem right. And praying for innocent people not to get killed or injured doesn’t seem right either. Maybe I should just be praying for the situation to end peacefully and quietly.  Doing so might be a good start.

#440: Adding a Question When Discussing Black Suppression

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

ENTRY #440 BEGINS: We are near the end of February, which some years ago, was designated as Black History Month. A major event during this month was the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court and, if confirmed, would be the first black woman to serve on SCOTUS.

Judge Jackson has stellar educational and work credentials. Two other possible nominees, also black women, are also highly educated and qualified.

During February, while the speculation about the SCOTUS nominee received considerable media attention, there was also frequent mention from various high-profile blacks that we, societal we, need to have an honest conversation about the history of how blacks have been suppressed over time.

I agree that historical suppression of blacks is a fair topic. I also think the conversation about the effects of suppression needs to include a simple question. “Why has every other ethnic group in the US been able to move up the economic ladder within two to three generations?”

Before claiming these other ethnic groups weren’t discriminated against or suppressed like blacks, one needs to read the history books. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were signs reading, “No Irish or dogs allowed.”  Similar signs were put up about Italians and various other groups, some far more recently.

Targeting non-black groups continues today.  The march in Charlottesville, VA during the early days of the Trump administration, in addition to targeting blacks, targeted Jews.  In the past couple of years, several synagogues have been attacked and a number of people killed.

So back to the question that needs to be discussed, “why have blacks continued at the bottom rung of the economic ladder for so long?”  Yes, I understand the question is politically incorrect and may even be offensive to some people.  However, without addressing such difficult questions, progress becomes impossible.

Over time education has proved to be a key for upward mobility.  Education does not mean everyone should or needs to go to college.  Technical training is an ideal route for many. 

The discussion also needs to ask whether society is providing the right kind of support for blacks.  While modern school buildings and access to an iPad are nice, education only works when the individual has the desire to learn and is willing to commit time and effort to learning.

Without that desire and commitment at the individual level, educational efforts are as effective as pushing on a string.   No matter how much energy is expended pushing on the string, not much happens at the other end.

As demonstrated repeatedly by other ethnic groups, even with a desire for and a commitment to education, significant economic mobility will take several generations.  For blacks specifically, the Emancipation Proclamation was about 160 years ago, or 6-7 generations. There have been three generations since the SCOTUS decision of Brown v. Board of Education, which overturned the separate but equal clause from Plessy v. Ferguson.

A controversial idea.  Maybe it is time to revisit the ideas of Plessy, but this time with fair implementation.  For many black families, there has been limited exposure to post-secondary education.  The transition from high school to college is difficult for most every student.  And with fewer family experiences to draw on, the transition for black students might be even more difficult.

Is it time that we, back to societal we, consider beefing up resources provided to various historically black colleges and universities?  HBCU’s could be an ideal environment for many black students to achieve the transition between high school and college.   HCBU’s have produced a plethora of highly successful graduates, including VP of the US, Kamala Harris. 

The scope of education at HCBU’s could be expanded to include more courses in the skilled trades.  As the economy becomes more reliant on digital-based equipment, the education for skilled trades needs to increase the amount of technical knowledge in addition to teaching the skills of the particular trade. 

To begin to grasp how much more sophisticated the equipment is than 10-years ago and certainly 20-years ago, one only needs to look at a recent episode of “This Old House.”  Even more striking is the difference in the use of digital-driven equipment in manufacturing.    

The technical training at HBCU’s could be complemented with business training.  Not everyone needs to earn an MBA, but many students would be well served by classes in the fundamentals of operating a business — accounting, budgeting, cash flow management, etc. 

The combination of some traditional education and technical training could help HCBU’s become a major source of highly skilled graduates for many industries.  Some HCBU’s could add a co-op program that would allow students with limited resources to earn enough money for tuition and living expense while also getting an education and real-world experience. 

These ideas do not eliminate the reality of the effects of suppression of blacks.  The ideas do help change the focus toward the future.  Rather than driving while only looking in the rearview mirror, blacks can start driving while looking through the windshield and occasionally glancing in the rearview mirror.  Doing so will speed up the trip away from the bottom rung of the economic ladder.   

Other Topics. Interested in more info about climate change, what’s required to electrify a fleet of cars/trucks, what it was like to work day-to-day with Lee Iacocca and an array of other topics? Visit another page of this website, https://usrevolution5.com/jrd-thought-comments/  

#439 Whose Right and Who’s Wrong?

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

ENTRY #439 BEGINS: The pandemic seems to have spurred many people to begin claiming their individual rights have been violated. But when it comes to decisions affecting others, who has the right?

Many of the claims of individual rights center on wearing masks and/or requiring vaccinations. So let’s assess, “whose right and who’s wrong?

Many anti-maskers claim no one can force them to wear a mask. Well, the mandate does not force anyone to wear a mask. The mandate only forces a mask if you are involved in certain behavior. Want to avoid the mandate? Then stay at home.

But if you want to go shopping, say at a grocery store, then who has the right to decide whether a mask is required? If the store requires all shoppers and staff to wear a mask, then the store is not discriminating against anyone. Everyone who shops there must wear a mask.

Anti-maskers claim their rights are being violated by the mask requirement. How are rights being violated? Everyone who shops at the grocery store must wear a mask. If you don’t want to shop for groceries at the store, buy groceries elsewhere or buy them online and have the groceries delivered. No one is being singled out. Everyone who shops at the grocery store must follow the same rules.

If a restaurant requires a coat and tie to eat dinner there and welcomes all who comply, then how are individual rights being violated? Don’t want to wear a coat and tie? Then eat elsewhere.

What about an employer requiring vaccinations? Everyone who works for the employer is a subject to the same requirement. Whose rights are being violated. The employer has a right, and in most cases is required legally, to protect the safety of employees. Don’t like the rules of the company? Get another job.

Another high profile, but more complicated and controversial story about individual rights, is an alleged claim of discrimination by the New York Giants, and implicitly the NFL, in considering candidates for a new head coach. One of the candidates, who was not hired, claims in a class-action suit that the New York Giants and all 32 NFL teams discriminate against prospective him, in part because he’s black.

Huh? Maybe the New York Giants didn’t want to hire the guy because his record as a coach was mediocre and was fired from his last job.

Part of the plaintiff’s claim notes about 70% of the NFL players are black. OK, so they’re black. From all indications those players were selected for the teams based on their ability to play football, not because they were black.

If race were key criteria in selecting players, then less than 20% of the players in the NFL, and the NBA, would be black. If merit is a key criteria for playing, why isn’t merit a key criteria for hiring coaches?

No one is forcing black athletes to play in the NFL or NBA. If the players or prospective players believe their rights are being violated, don’t join the NFL. Find something else to do.

Individuals do have many rights and those rights are sometimes infringed upon. For example, a question for those claiming the mask requirement violates their individual rights. What’s your position on the rights of women to seek an abortion?

Whose rights are superior, the rights of the individual woman or the rights of a bunch of elected officials, most of whom that promote abortion restrictions are male?

Does the argument that companies and organizations have rights that sometimes supersede an individual’s rights mean there is no discrimination? Not at all.

But the idea that an individual‘s rights always supersede everyone else’s is simplistic, selfish and non-workable. FYI anti-maskers, a democracy is created when a group of people decide to relinquish certain individual rights in favor of an organization to oversee the collective rights of the citizens. That organization is called government. By the way, the way to make changes in a democracy is called voting.

Other Topics. Interested in more info about climate change, what’s required to electrify a fleet of cars/trucks, what it was like to work day-to-day with Lee Iacocca and an array of other topics? Visit another page of this website, https://usrevolution5.com/jrd-thought-comments/

#438. Lincoln’s Assassination — “Legitimate Political Discourse”

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

START ENTRY #438. During a meeting in Salt Lake City the week of January 31, 2022, the Republican National Committee passed two major resolutions. One was to declare the assault on the US Capitol January 6, 2021 as “legitimate political discourse.” Such claims are nothing out of the ordinary for today’s RNC. The RNC followed the 01/06-motion with another, less publicized motion. The second motion was intended to clarify the events at Ford’s Theater April 14, 1865.

As a prelude to Presidents’ Day and as a special honor to John Wilkes Booth, the RNC declared Booth’s assassination of Lincoln also to be “legitimate political discourse.“

The motion for Booth had been pushed by hard-right Republicans from southern states. A spokesperson for the group said “It was about time that the blame for the skirmishes of 1861-1865 was recognized for what it was. “

The spokesperson went on to claim that in those skirmishes, the southern states were merely trying to defend themselves from northern aggression. Furthermore, according to the spokesperson, “Booth went to Ford’s Theater merely to chat and conduct legitimate political discourse with Lincoln. But that nasty Mary Todd Lincoln got upset and Booth had no choice but to stand his ground and defend himself.”

Prior to the vote, the chairman of the RNC asked, “Why did people get so upset with Booth? Lincoln was the aggressor. Booth just wanted to engage in legitimate political discourse.”

Following a near unanimous passage of the legitimate-political-discourse resolutions, the RNC passed a motion to censure long-time Republican conservative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) and her conservative colleague Adam Kinzinger (R-Michigan). The censure was for Cheney and Kinzinger upholding their oath to the Constitution.

The RNC chairman indignantly noted, “What temerity from Cheney and Kinzinger. Don’t they understand that Trump has replaced the US Constitution? Everyone in the Republican Party, in fact everyone in the country, should bow down to the Orange Man and follow his wishes!”

Well, there you have another week of actions by the Republican Party. OK, so the Booth motion was fabricated. The other two motions were not. And you wonder why I think we’re going to have a 5th US revolution in the next few years? Seems to have started already. END#438

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#437.  Congress Is Killing Your Kids and Grandkids.

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

START ENTRY #437: For the past two years I’ve been involved with a group of fellow MIT alumni trying to develop practical, non-partisan solutions to climate change. The group, which includes a broad base of educational backgrounds and work experiences, has developed a roadmap of solutions.

The idea of a roadmap is not unique to the group. Others have developed a roadmap as well, suggesting solutions similar to ours.  However, I think we’re providing more specificity about how to implement the recommendations.

While I can’t speak for the other groups, I can state we believe that the biggest barrier to addressing climate change is not the technology. Existing technology can be used to make huge strides toward reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

The biggest barrier is “political will.”   Just to be clear, my definition of political will assumes “moral, ethical behavior,” “counting country before self” and “courage to do the right thing, even if you don’t benefit personally.”

The adjective “political” applies to more than office holders. The term “political” applies to people who vote for perspective office holders.

We, societal we, elect the people to represent us and to make decisions for us. Voting for a candidate of a particular party, especially one with a track record of no political will on key issues is being irresponsible as a citizen.

I would liken it to handing over the keys of your car to someone whom you know is grossly inebriated. Then, you jumping in the passenger seat and not buckling your seatbelt. How much more irresponsible do you want to be?  Yet, putting your life in the hands of a drunk driver is what we, again societal we, are doing with respect to addressing climate change.

In Congress all Republican and a couple of Democrats refuse to support legislation to address climate change. Why?  Are money and power so important they are willing to create economic and social calamity for your children or grandchildren?

Apparently so because some Senators gets their panties in a wad over a few social programs rather than addressing causes of climate change and putting the population at great risk.

The idea that climate change programs are “too expensive” is pure, unadulterated BS. In case Republican senators didn’t know, the Federal Reserve controls the money supply.  And, despite claims by Republicans to the contrary, the US government has considerable assets backing up the issuance of money.  Assets as in land, buildings, highways, etc.

Hard assets are not the case for all currencies in the US.  Maybe the senators don’t realize that companies issuing stock is the same as creating currency and many of these companies have virtually no assets.  Even worse is cryptocurrency, which is based on a computer program and has zero assets supporting it.

If you don’t think climate change is a threat, then you need to wake up.  What is happening to weather now and labeled by Fox as a “1-in-a-100 years” event is going to intensify for the next 75+ years.  Today, there is an ice sheet in Antarctica that’s roughly the same size as Florida.  (Numerous articles.) 

The sheet has split from the base and climatologist estimate the sheet could separate completely in the next five years or so.  There’s enough ice that when it melts, the ocean levels are expected to rise by 2 feet.

If you don’t think 2 feet is a lot of water, then go to Florida, the North Carolina barrier islands, New Jersey, New York, any place on the coast and measure how much farther inland 2 feet of water will carry at high tide with a full moon. Then add 2 feet of water to any surge associated with a hurricane or major storm.  Now start counting the number of cities that will have serious floods flooding problems and may become uninhabitable.

So why then do we keep supporting members of Congress who put self before country and money before the welfare of your kids or grandkids? If you’ve got an answer, please let me know. END: #437

Other Topics. Interested in more info about climate change, what’s required to electrify a fleet of cars/trucks, what it was like to work day-to-day with Lee Iacocca and an array of other topics? Visit another page of this website, https://usrevolution5.com/jrd-thought-comments/

#436.  Is Supporting Unethical Behavior the New Norm?

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

START ENTRY #436: Time to sit back and ask yourself a few questions. 

  • If a friend or family member repeatedly exhibited unethical behavior, would you still associate with that person?  
  • If someone repeatedly promised in public to do something and then did just the opposite, would you want to associate with that person? 
  • If that person used one logic stream to justify behavior for one event and then, for a second, almost identical event, used a different logic stream to justify completely opposite behavior, would you want to associate with that person? 
     

My guess is, if a friend or family member consistently exhibited one or more of these type behaviors, you wouldn’t want to maintain a relationship.  You’d likely walk away and sever the relationship. 

Then why, when politicians exhibit the same behaviors, do members of the political party and voters for that party reward them?  Why does unethical behavior in a politician get rewarded and the same behavior from one of your personal friends get punished? 

When I started to write this blog entry, I thought politicians were the problem. I’ve changed my mind. No, politicians are not the problem. The problem is the public. We the public, are acting like idiots. We are rewarding behavior that we despise in others. 

Let’s take voting rights as an example. If elections do not represent the will of the people, then there is no democracy. What are politicians doing to ensure democracy continues?  Republicans are on a rampage to restrict voting rights, primarily the rights of Democrats and mostly members of the black and brown communities. Republican tactics range from extreme gerrymandering to restricting physical voting locations to applying arbitrary limits on the number of absentee ballots. 
 
While Republican supporters might take glee in such actions, what do these Republicans supporters think will result? Yes, the House and Senate will become controlled by Republicans and then the president and can appoint more hard-right justices to SCOTUS. 
 
With such a majority, what is likely to happen? Past behavior is a great predictor of future behavior.  And past behavior of Republicans has been remarkably consistent.  There is no reason to expect a change.  

With such a Republican majority what will come out of Washington is a range of legislation, including:  

  1. Another tax cut justified as “trickle-down” economics to help the middle class.  Trickle-down economics is BS and no empirical evidence exists to support the theory.  The tax cut will be a wealth transfer to the already rich and super rich. 
  1. Likely cuts to “entitlements,” you know the “entitlements” titled Social Security, Medicare and some other benefits that you paid for.  
  1. Cut in funding or elimination of programs to address global warming.  The impact of these cutbacks won’t be evident for a few years so the politicians will have retired and won’t get blamed.  Now, think about who’s going to suffer from the cutbacks?  Your children and especially your grandchildren. 
  1. Cuts in funding for public education because all good Republicans know “public education is inefficient.”  The funds will be transferred to private schools, which most people can’t afford even with subsidies.   And, FYI, public education is efficient.  

So Republican voters and self-proclaimed patriots, what will these Republican legislators do for you? Nothing but make your life worse. 
 
I know you don’t believe me. So, why not decide for yourself.  A good first step would be to take a real hard look at how Republican legislation since Ronald Reagan has benefitted the vast majority of Americans.  Look at middle-class incomes adjusted for inflation and middle-class wealth as a percent of the total wealth.  Then compare the percentage of middle-class wealth to the wealth of the top 2-3% of US households.  

If the discrepancies are not obvious, take another look.  My friend you have been hoodwinked by the Republican Party. 
 
You have been fed buffalo chips for 40+ years. If you want a bigger pile of buffalo chips, then continue to cheer for the unethical behavior of Republicans, especially those in the Senate.  Those who refuse to support the right to vote for all Americans.  Those who claim to help the middle class when in fact they are hurting the middle-class economically.  Those who claim to be concerned about the well-being of Americans and take actions that do just the opposite. 
 
I agree that Republicans are not the only members who qualify for unethical behavior. Senators Manchin and Sinema qualify as well.  50 Republicans in the Senate along with Manchin and Sinema do not want a democracy.  By voting for the current slate of Republicans, you are enabling them to destroy the democracy.  And you are getting nothing in return. 
 
Seems like a good deal – give up a lot and get nothing in return. Hope you’re happy with the outcome when your Social Security and Medicare benefits get cut when Republicans claim “the deficit is too large and we can’t afford all those entitlements.”  The Republicans will forget to mention the reason the deficit is so high is because the wealthy are not remotely paying their fair share of taxes.  

I’ll state once again, maybe it is time to step back and ask yourself, “Are these the kind of people I want to associate with and to have such control over my life?” END #436

Other Topics. Interested in more info about climate change, what’s required to electrify a fleet of cars/trucks, what it was like to work day-to-day with Lee Iacocca and an array of other topics? Visit another page of this website, https://usrevolution5.com/jrd-thought-comments/

#435. What Are Republican Seantors Getting in Return?

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

START ENTRY #435: The past few weeks seemed to have included more than the usual number of “pull-your-hair-out” days.  I know many people have asked the same question, but “what has happened to our country?“

Yes, Trump was a bad actor, who intentionally or not, tried to destroy our democracy. But the guy is gone, holed up in a few rooms at his joint in Palm Beach.

Yet, Republicans in the House and Senate continue to act as if he’s got a gun to their head. “Why?“ is what I’d like to know.

 Many House and Senate members are reasonably affluent, so a few dollars from Trump wouldn’t make a difference. Besides, he’s never shared money with anybody.

Whether Republican or Democrat, why would one discard all semblance of ethical behavior and bow down to some fat-ass serial liar who never cared about anyone other than himself?

I might be the one who’s naïve, but why would you throw away your reputation, or life’s work, for somebody like Trump?

Take Mitt Romney as an example. A Mormon supposedly in good standing, credible investment banker who made a lot of money, former presidential nominee of the Republican party, and currently senator from Utah. Yet Romney supports actions by Trump and the far-right Republicans.  Mitt in case you haven’t heard, “When you lie down with pigs, you come up smelling like a pig.”

Romney’s obit in the NY Times and in history books may well read, “Once a credible presidential candidate with a favorable reputation among most voters, who for some unknown reason, gave away his reputation for nothing in return.“

Change a few words in the description and a number of senators qualify. The key phrase, however, is “…gave away his/her reputation for nothing in return.“

Why?  Give away your reputation for a nice office in DC and a bunch of perks? There are lots of jobs with nice offices and a bunch of perks where you can help society and maintain your reputation.

Give away your reputation for money? If you’re going to sell your soul for cash, at least make sure you get lots of money for it. Selling it for a few million dollars is not worth it.

So, once again, I’ll ask, “Why are Republicans willing to lie down with the pigs and destroy democracy? What do they get in return?”  If you have some ideas, please let me know. Thanks. END ENTRY #435.

Other Topics. Interested in more info about climate change, what’s required to electrify a fleet of cars/trucks, what it was like to work day-to-day with Lee Iacocca and an array of other topics? Visit another page of this website, https://usrevolution5.com/jrd-thought-comments/

#434. SCOTUS Justice Alito Challenged by 8th Grader

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

BEGIN ENTRY #344: At a restaurant in Washington, DC the night the case about the right of Federal government to issue vaccine mandates was argued before the Supreme Court, Justice Alito was challenged by an 8th grader about his line of questions.

The 8th grader went to the table where Justice Alito was eating and asked, ”Are you Justice Alito?” Following an affirmative response the 8th grader stated, “We listened to the Supreme Court arguments during our civics class today. You know the case about the right of government to issue a vaccine mandate.”

Alito, ”That’s very good. What did you learn?”

8th Grader, “Well, for one thing, we learned some of the justices aren’t very smart.”

Alito, “Why do you think that?”

8th Grader, “They don’t seem to understand what’s going on.”

Alito, “Not sure what you mean? Tell me more.”

8th Grader, “Do you have any idea how many kids and teachers in our school have COVID?”

Alito, “A lot I suppose.”

8th Grader, ”So many that in-person classes are going to be canceled, again.”

Alito, “Who’s getting sick?”

8th Grader, “People who aren’t vaccinated.”

Alito, “Are you vaccinated?”

8th Grader, “Yes. And you should be too. Tell me, Justice Alito, why are you so against people getting vaccinated?”

Alito, “I’m not opposed to vaccination. Just concerned about the risk of getting vaccinated.”

8th Grader, “Risk of what? People who were vaccinated don’t get sick. People who aren’t vaccinated get sick and some end up in the hospital, and some die.”

Alito, “My arguments today were about risk.”

8th Grader, “So, you want everyone in my school to get sick and some to go to the hospital because one person might have a reaction?”

Alito, “Like I said, the vaccine has a risk.”

8th Grader, “Like I said, some justices are stupid.” END ENTRY #344

Other Topics. Interested in more info about climate change, what’s required to electrify a fleet of cars/trucks, what it was like to work day-to-day with Lee Iacocca and an array of other topics? Visit another page of this website, https://usrevolution5.com/jrd-thought-comments/