Thank you Sam

Here is something to think about! How true!
The American dream in 2022
Both parents wake up in the morning at 4 a.m in a house where they never truly own the property but more or less rent the property off the government by paying property taxes. They say good morning to each other and try to put together a lunch for themselves with food that’s price has increased on average 7% in the last year. They don’t get to see their kids off to school in the morning or welcome them home bc both parents have to work a job where they are making less this year than they were last year bc inflation has gone up 7% in the market but their paycheck only went up 3% bc that’s the national average. Then they proceed down the street in a vehicle where they are forced to pay to register, inspect, and preform maintenance on it yearly, on roads that haven’t been redone in years to a gas station that charges them between a .56 cents and .74 cents per gallon tax to “repair” said roads. Once they get to their place of work they work on average 10 hours per day for 5-6 days a week to then be taxed on that money, all while their government tells them what they must do health wise to come to work to pay those taxes that funds them. After all those taxes are taken out of their paycheck they then must still pay taxes on practically every other transaction of money they do, along with a price increase on every good. They get home in the evening worn out, where they hopefully get to see their children who are being raised by the government due to the fact both parents must work, where the government is grooming them to be the next generation of cattle to milk dry in taxes so the cycle can continue. They turn on the tv while they cook dinner to hear from their government officials that they worked all day to fund tell them how “they are the problem” and cause division across the country and when they are up for re-election convince you why you need them to fix your issues. They turn the tv off and walk upstairs and lay next to their spouse hoping and dreaming that one day in 50+ years if they are lucky to make it that long that they might get to enjoy each other’s company for 5 years together in retirement.
The system is so broken and it’s disgusting. I hope people are waking up to the fact that more government regardless of party isn’t the answer. We don’t need politicians they need us, but somehow that narrative has been lost over time. Something needs to change in this country and it needs to happen quick bc the Nation is a dried out tinder box ready to be lit. I know I can’t be the only person tired of being stepped on in literally every aspect of life. It’s almost like we left a place once in our history bc of over taxation. This isn’t the American dream it’s the American nightmare where you aren’t a free American, you’re a free American to do what you are told. Copied and pasted.

Building a House Inside a House

Back in 2005 when the last housing market hit its peak I bought the house I currently live in. Naturally, I over paid because the market was so hot that houses moved quickly. When we moved in, the entire basement was unfinished, and I saw it as a blank canvas. As perfect as the house seemed, we found some things lacking. The first shortcoming was a lack of closet space, the second a lack of a pantry.

Phase one of a project to correct those problems became my first priority. I loved the idea of transforming the lower level into a useful functioning space, and not just a home for spiders. I finished three rooms at my pace, and gave Peg a closet that many women would dream to have. She filled it with her existing wardrobe. The next thing was to add a pantry to store all the many cooking pots and appliances that both of us collected during our first marriages. During that process I learned that my prostate was in trouble and I kept running up the stairs to find a bathroom. Before I went any further, I did the best thing I could have, I built a bathroom downstairs. The only mistake I made on that project was not doing it first.

2008 -Pantry
2008-Bathroom

In 2008 the housing market collapsed and the value of everyone’s home dropped by twenty-two percent. The mortgage I proudly owned was now at a point near under water. That means I nearly owed more than the house was worth on the market. All of my dreams to transform the lower level came to a halt. Why spend another nickel on the house if I will never get it back?

Fourteen years, and a pandemic later, the housing market is again booming, and the value of the house has again reached the point where I bought it. I have spent the past three years preparing for this moment so I could sell, get my money back, and downsize to an apartment. If you are like me, you realize that times change and so do plans. Instead of downsizing I am going in the opposite direction. My family is growing again, and I need space for a new resident. That brings me back to the partially completed canvas begun so many years ago. The difference is that I am fourteen years more worn out and progress is much slooower. Nevertheless, progress is being made and I will complete the work this time provided I don’t do something stupid like die.

2022 Joe’s New Workshop
2022-Workshop Disorganization
2022-Extra Space
2022-Recreation Room
2022-Finishing a Wall to the Crawl Space

My current priority is to wall off my workshop-studio to keep dust from the rest of the house. What I have learned is that the price of materials has tripled. A simple two by four, eight feet long cost $1.80 back in 2008, now that same piece of wood costs $6.50. The challenge is to make this addition at a low enough cost that I won’t need to remortgage; wish me luck. Adding to the cost is the double digit inflation similar to what we experienced in the 1980’s. I didn’t like it then, and I like it less now, but that is a topic of another post.

Another thing I have learned is that there are some really great products on the market to ease the pain of over-used muscles and worn out joints. Many of these miracle salves contain an ingredient labeled CBD. This ingredient is extracted from a naturally grown plant which I should be sowing in between my wife’s pickle plants.

My project to build a house within a house is going well, and I should be able to complete it by the year’s end. Hopefully, I will occasionally sit down to rest my muscles, and post reports in between pounding nails, and screwing wood together.

Bureaucracy 101

      In my last post I made some comments about the Federal Bureaucracy. Afterwards I decided to educate myself on what I meant. A search was in order to learn just how many bureaucracies we have. We all know about a few that I list here:

Plus a few more like:

  • The internal Revenue Service
  • Justice Department
  • Supreme Court
  • Social Security Administration
  • Bureau of Veteran Affairs
  • Treasury Department.

       All of the above agencies are mentioned frequently in the news, and I thought they were the only ones. Then, I made the mistake of searching the government websites for information on how many there are. I was amazed. The first page of the website

https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/

was a table by alphabet. Clicking on a letter yields a list of agencies with names beginning with the letter selected. I can create a table showing you just how many agencies there are listed under each letter of twenty-two alphabet, but it will be easier to click on the link and go there yourself. The letters Q, X, Y, & Z were not on the list. I counted the agencies and got a sum of 629. No wonder no one wants to tackle the problem of reducing government spending. At first glance the problem seems to be insurmountable.

      How do bureaucracies begin? It is simple. When Congress passes a law to spend money on something like Civil Rights they need a way to implement the law. They hire people to put the law in place and to enforce it. That act becomes a new bureaucracy. I have never seen a Bureaucracy disbanded or a law repealed in my lifetime. The only law I know that was repealed was Prohibition.

      In my job as an engineer, I was introduced to the Pareto-Principle by one Joe Duran a American Quality Control guru who converted the Japanese car industry to the QC system that would reverse their shitty cars into the most sought-after vehicles in the world. The Pareto Principle was invented by an Italian engineer in the 1800’s. Basically it states that 80% of the benefit comes from 20% of the effort. My first step in analyzing this problem of bureaucracy is to use the 80/20 rule on the whole problem.

      The total budget for the federal government is $4.829 trillion. Applying the Pareto Principle to the budget means that we spend .9658 trillion to get 80 percent of the services, and flush 3.8632 trillion dollars down the drain for twenty percent of service. How smart is that? Why our simple-minded politicians can’t wrap their brains around that is astounding. All I can figure with my feeble old brain is that it is too hard for Congress to undo what they have already approved.  

      After a few seconds of research on the web I found some suggestions for how Congress can restrain executive agencies.

 By:

  • revising statutes that established the agency’s mission.
  • exercising control over an agency’s budget.
  • conducting audits or holding hearings.
  • influencing the selection of agency directors (Senate)

      Would it be a wet dream to believe that 469 Congressmen and 100 Senators could take on 503 Government agencies to reduce spending? In my book that is 503/569 = 0.884 agencies per Congressional seat. If a single Congressman can’t reduce costs of an assigned agency by eighty percent by the end of his first term he should pack up his bags and let someone in who knows how to do the job. That objective should be written in the job description.

      I know, I know, a single Congressman cannot cut costs by himself. We are a country of laws and a Congressman’s responsibility is to draft laws to get things done. Well, with that in mind, a Congress-person can write a law to cut the costs and present it to the legislature for approval. Of course, if the law does not pass those that voted against the law will have to come up against you to pass theirs. Since your jobs depend on cutting costs. It won’t take long for Congress to get the idea, and begin to cooperate with each other.

      My whole plan depends on people who run for office wanting to save the country, and stop inflation by reducing government spending. It also depends on us (We, the People) to pick the right individuals at election time. If we don’t like who is running, maybe we should throw our own hat into the ring.

Here are a few more goals to think about using the 80/20 rule:

  • Eighty percent of the benefit comes from 126 Agencies. Eliminate the remaining 503. Which ones would you save?
  • Cut the Federal Budget by twenty-five percent to save 1.2 trillion dollars.
  • Use the savings to pay off the National Debt over thirty years.
  • Cut the federal budget another 25% to save 905 billion dollars, and return it to the tax payers.

Think of all the money that would put in your pocket. A total of $905,000,000,000/350,000,000 = $2585.71 would go to each member of the population.

Instead of setting goals such as I have listed we will get nonsense like printing more dollars to pay bills. Since President Nixon finally ended the Gold standard in 1971 the US dollar has lost 70% of its value meaning one dollar can only buy thirty cents worth of goods today as it could in 1971.

      Our current inflation rate exceeds 11% and is climbing. If it rises higher the USA will go bankrupt, and I don’t want to live to see that happen.

Preaching to the Choir

I know, I know, this will be old news to my readers because you are affected by the same phenomenon, but it will make me feel better to get this off my mind. But really?? Eight dollars a pound for strawberries? Okay, so they are out of season at the moment, and it is a holiday week so the vendor can charge an arm and a leg for something I want, but I think this is pushing the window too far. During the season, that same container of strawberries will cost $1.79 and I will avoid buying because it is too expensive. Imagine what I will do when they are $7.99. Yep, I’ll avoid them and my love for sweetness will have to find something else to satisfy my appetite, like left over Halloween candy. As I write and the stress of seeing that high price begins to flow from my body I am happily gorging on 3 Musketeers and Snickers bites. That is definitely not KETO.

What is the underlying cause of this rising price phenomenon? It is th evil word spelled “i-n-f-l-a-t-i-o-n. “What is inflation in regard to money? Webster defines it as “a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money.” Do we understand how the purchasing value of money changes? It’s simply the government printing money to pay its bills. So, if our national budget is a trillion dollars, and Uncle spends a trillion dollars more than he has, and prints a trillion to cover, the dollar just lost half of its value. The seller who once paid $4.00 a pound for strawberries now has to pay eight, for the exact same pound of berries, they didn’t get bigger, they didn’t get sweeter, there are still the same number of berries in the container and you didn’t get a single damned thing more for those extra four dollars because the value of the dollar just shrunk by a hundred percent. The simple problem for you and me is that our pay did not grow accordingly. In the case of a senior citizen like me who lives on a fixed income which means I can’t, or won’t get a raise in pay, inflation is as deadly a as COVID-19.

And, that my friends is why I believe I am preaching to the choir, because the people who can do something about it are not sitting in the same church as you and I. They are sitting in Congress and are deaf to everything but campaign contributions. What is our option? We have to vote the bastards out of office, and that means we have another one to three years to survive, and sadly, some of us won’t make it. In the meantime, we have to vote when we can, and pray that our country doesn’t go bankrupt.

It’s Not Funny

The Tree of Life

All you need to know about life, the universe, everything

Nutsrok

The humor and humanity of storytelling.

Tracey J Boothe Publishing Blog

Nature, books, exploring, publishing, photography, video, short films, lifestyle

Jim Campbell's

"Inside Every Progressive Is A Totalitarian Screaming To Get Out"

Wavy and Anchored

The waves may come crashing down, but they will not break me.

Journeyman's Journal

This is a journal of the art of woodworking by hand

KetoJENic Vibe

🥓🥑🍳 Health and Wellness based, Easy Recipes, and Keto Product Reviews

The Lockdown Chef

A cooking survival guide for those who don't know how

My Serene Words

Seeking Solace in the horizon of life & beyond

MRS. T’S CORNER

https://www.tangietwoods

ESL Ventures

Teach ESL and Travel the World

Heart Felt

This platform is for the people who likes to talk straight from the heart🤩

Suzette B's Blog

Inspiration and Spirituality **Award Free**

Bhutadarma

Nothing is impossible (at least that does not violate the laws of physics). When you can..violate the laws of physics!

I Know I Made You Smile

cartoons/humor/fiction/nonfiction

galesmind

Come take a journey through my mind