Tuesday, May 19, 2009

EZ Reads 5/19/09: The Elixir of Life (and Government)

If you know me, you know "elixir of life" is reserved for... Coca-Cola, where the sun will always shine. I figure that might offset the blow brought by mentioning government.

It's interesting that while Pepsi seems to have switched exclusively to sugar from corn syrup, Coca-Cola seems to be selling both in stores. While for most people there's no difference between the two types of Coke, many people (like my brother) prefer the "Pesach" Coke [yellow cap], which has sugar, while many (like me) prefer the regular one [red cap], which has corn syrup.
  • A cool story (audio) about how Coke became Kosher - a tricky proposition, considering how secret the formula is.
  • The Hamodia piece Little Sheep mentioned yesterday is online here (thanks Stam), though the link will probably die soon. It also seems to be a short version of a longer piece.
  • Now, here's one example of where your stimulus money (formerly known as your money, until you paid it to the government in taxes) is going: An airport that serves 20 people a day. Nice.
  • Or, if that isn't enough for you, how about billions to punt on distressed loans to foreign borrowers?
    What the heck is Merrill Lynch doing giving $500 million to some guy, no doubt with a 10% deal, to punt on distressed loans? And not merely distressed loans, distressed loans to foreign borrowers! How does this fit with the goals of the TARP? Wasn't the idea to stabilize the banking system, thereby protecting depositors and other creditors, and making sure credit would continue to be available for US households and corporates. How does it possibly serve a public purpose to have taxpayer money gambled on foreign loans by a guy on a deal?
  • See, taxes used to be bad enough because of this:Now it's (Your Paycheck/(Roads + Wars + Schools + Stupid, Idiotic Investments))^Bureaucracy.
  • One difference between a tax cutting approach and a tax raising approach is that the former is a short-term hit for long-term gains. The latter makes things better for a short time... and then horribly worse in the long run. Note that the estimates below are from the White House and the CBO (non-partisan).
  • Even those might be generous, considering the real cost of health care, especially as the Obama administration pushes to switch everyone over to a system like Medicare - Medicare, the failed attempt of government to help in the health care industry that is projected to be bankrupt within 5 years, or about 10 times as fast as Social Security. It's expected to explode from 5% of GDP to 20%, according to the Obama administration.
At least there's still Coke.