Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Dominos King Tut style
I thought from first look that Algeria was going to be the next target of unrest in the middle east. I didn't do quite enough research on that. Seems their leader was smart enough to head off another revolt with his actions.
Protesters complained about food prices but also about a lack of housing and jobs as well as corrupt local officials.
The government responded by cutting the cost of some foodstuffs by half and by making huge purchases of wheat on the international market in what appeared to be an attempt to avoid bread shortages that could rekindle unrest.
Belkhadem said oil and gas revenues -- energy exports earned nearly $60 billion in 2010 -- are being shared out among the population, partly through a plan to spend $286 billion over five years on infrastructure, hospitals, schools and housing.
"It is unfair to say that Algeria is rich and its people poor", he said. "Health and education are free in Algeria."
"We created 550,000 jobs in 2010. I know that we should do more, but I must say that few countries in the world could create half a million jobs per year," he said.
Again I repeat from a previous post. What is our government doing about our own economic situation? Are they worried about the welfare of the average person here? In his STOU speech Obama is going right along with the opposition party in freezing wages and calling for cuts in domestic programs. All the while when prices for things like gas and food are going up. But I forgot those things aren't counted in the gross domestic product balance sheets. Exactly why is a puzzle. All is going well if you don't count that 800lb. gorilla in your living room trashing the place and eating you out of house and home.
I always thought Jordan was a bit more stable. It seemed like the country where everyone fled when things got tough at home. I guess I was wrong. Maybe the influx of refugees has finally taken its' toll. And now we'll see the closing of borders because we can't have those pesky furriners coming in to pillage the place taking our jobs and eating all our food. Interesting to note that King Abdulla is trying to head off an uprising by sacking his PM. We'll see how this action is accepted in the next few days as the protests in Egypt continue.
And now I'm hearing Syria is gearing up for protests.
Tax cuts work well in a thriving economy. They're like hitting the nitro button in a dragster. Not so much when the economy is doing poorly. They must be made up for somewhere on the balance sheet and that usually falls on the poor. So what are these fools in government going to do? They're going to cut taxes which they've already done if you're lucky enough to have a pay check these days. But they chopped a couple of precent from social security withholding. That will truly keep the system going. One of the main reasons retirement programs fail in this country is because they're underfunded. Companies that were supposed to be making contributions to their plans as promised are instead using the money to bolster their balance sheets. The can is kicked down the road until the road ends. Retirees are left with nothing. Anymore having a company retirement plan is much like playing the lottery. Maybe it will be there and maybe it won't. There is time to fix this problem (about 26 years) but not if our government isn't willing to actually fund it.