Tuesday, January 31, 2006

National Savings Rate

So NBC News reported last night that the national savings rate last year was -0.5%, that's negative 0.5 percent. That means that people spent their entire income and went into their savings or borrowed to spend more. This is the first negative savings rate since 1933, the bottom of the Great Depression.

Now tonight we know President Bush will talk about Iraq, terrorism, and nuclear weapons because the only way he stays somewhat popular (though NBC has his approval at 39%) is by scaring people. However, he also will probably talk about making sure the economy is secure for the future. What he should do is talk about a national savings plan. For years now the savings rate has been declining because the cost of everything: housing, food, health care, and gas among others has been increasing while wages have stayed steady or decreased. Bush should propose a national savings plan for Americans and provide incentives for saving.

Without a dramatic increase in the savings rate, more Americans will continue to borrow and too many will be unable to pay those loans back. Without savings fewer families will be able to help pay for college which will thus negatively affect the student's savings rates. Without savings fewer Americans will make big purchases thus damaging other sectors of the economy.

Instead of talking solely about fear tonight, President Bush should take the lead and help Americans to save more money for comfortable retirement and grow and support our economy.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Thank God for Google

So some jackasses in the Justice Department decided that they wanted Google, Yahoo, AOL, and MSN to turn over millions of search queries in an effort to track child pornographer and the people that look at that sick shit. Now no one is in favor of child pornography, but does anyone really believe that this is all the government would use the search query information for. Of course not. The government would take the search queries and use it for any number of things. Maybe to track terrorist activity, maybe to track membership is certain groups that aren't quite in line with the Administration's views. Who knows where it would end.

Unfortunately, Yahoo, AOL, and MSN happily turned over the information. Thankfully, Google is holding out and headed to court in what could be a major battle. The fact is that anyone who believes in a right to privacy, including Chief Justice Roberts and soon to be Justice Alito, can in no way condone or rule in favor of the government. In this case, the trust cannot be put in the government because the government has never earned that necessary trust.

The government has caught, prosecuted, and convicted thousands of child pornographers in the past without the help of these companies. Why, all of a sudden do they need this help. Thank you to Google for realizing that people's privacy is one of the most important rights in the United States.