Tuesday Toes

I was originally going to call this post “Tuesday Toes” because I was going to apologize, sort of, for writing something that would step on many people’s toes. Welcome to life over 60; I have forgotten what I was supposed to write. Anyway, I like the title.

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This article by Jake Novak is about a year old, but still relevant, IMO. He makes a strong case against Universal Basic Income (UBI). Here are some excerpts:

 

“As the fog starts to clear from the first months of the COVID-19 crisis, at least one of America’s leading policy debates no longer needs to be debated at all. That’s because it should be clear to everyone now that the Universal Basic Income (UBI) idea is still a very bad, no good, terrible idea.

For millions of Americans still shut in at home and shut out of work, this is painfully obvious. The coronavirus lockdown has proven once and for all that cash payments can’t hold a candle to a purpose-driven life…

Of course, this also leads us back to the paramount need for more job opportunities to fill an economic and emotional void even in the worst of times. If cash handouts of X amount don’t to spur the economy and create enough jobs in times of crisis, than handouts in the amount of X + X won’t either. Something else is required.

Jobs have a funny way of bringing both cash into a person’s pocket and a feeling of self-worth into a person’s soul. FDR understood this well, and that was why his administration’s jobs programs didn’t worry too much about whether the jobs it was handing out were really essential at the time. That doesn’t mean Roosevelt’s macroeconomic response to the Great Depression was sound, because it generally wasn’t. But even scholars like Amity Shlaes, who have expertly critiqued the New Deal, can’t deny the priceless emotional boost FDR gave the country by putting people to some kind of work and giving them that daily purpose…”

 

Giving people incentive not to work will create a country where millions, and I mean literally millions, of people will decide not to work. Very few people always do the “right” thing and very few always do the “wrong” thing; most people respond to incentives and to disincentives. By the way, I agree and have written that for many/most people a job is not just about the income, but about having a purpose and some structure.

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I suspect views of Where Is Cristy Lee? will increase once Season 8 of Garage Squad begins airing on Motor Trend. Why? Apparently, after just two seasons on the show, the lovely Ms. Lee has left Garage Squad. She will be replaced by “Bogi” Lateiner. That choice makes me think that All Girls Garage will cease to be produced. Anyway, the “obligatory” picture of Cristy Lee:

 

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Someone whom my wonderful wife’s mother has known since her real estate days decided to visit her and her husband (my wife’s father) this past weekend. Again, I do not like the term “in-law.”

He is a good-hearted person with a yen for traveling, which partially explains his desire to visit someone that, frankly, he didn’t know all that well. Why am I mentioning this? Take a look at his car:

 

 

This is a 2007 Pontiac Solstice in GXP spec, meaning it has the turbocharged 2-liter/122 cubic-inch inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 260 HP/260 LB-FT of torque. I don’t know if this is still true, but at the time of its release the Solstice GXP/Sky Red Line engine had the highest specific output, power per unit of displacement, of any motor in General Motors history. A dealer upgrade was also available to increase power to 290 HP/290 LB-FT, but I don’t think too many buyers opted for that boost, pun intended.

As every regular reader knows, I am a big fan of the Solstice/Sky. While I prefer the looks of the Sky I am quite fond of the Solstice, as well.

 

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6 thoughts on “Tuesday Toes

  1. Already some state’s governors are ending the extra $300 per week unemployment payments to incentivize people to go back to work. Many industries, especially the food service industry is hiring and paying good wages, yet they cannot get anyone to apply.

    My daughter’s husband would enjoy seeing the screaming yellow Solstice. As I have related in the past, he too owns a Solstice. His is currently in the process of receiving a “make over” as he has improved the braking with bigger discs and rotors, a new bright red roll bar and when he can locate a suitable engine for it, a LS3 V-8.

    Yes, where will Cristy Lee land is the real question. Why Bogi (real name Sarah) would go to the Midwest area where Garage Squad is situated is also a question. She has a shop in Phoenix where All Girls Garage is situated. Ah, the mysteries of cable television. One account says she is the “previous” owner of 180* Automotive in Phoenix and another says she owns six shops in the Phoenix area. Always a mystery.

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    1. Thanks, Philip. The damn virus has thrown a giant bowling ball into world labor markets. I don’t think all of the pins will ever be reset.

      All Girls Garage was/is actually filmed on a set in Tampa, Florida. It is a bit odd that Bogi would agree to do Garage Squad when her business(es) is(are) in Arizona. That’s why I think All Girls Garage is about to end or has already ended production permanently.

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  2. You are spot on with FDR’s take on rebuilding the economy. Put people to work, many on infrastructure projects. Some of those projects are still in use today and could use some money to bringing back their functionality if not bring them to current building codes.

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    1. Thanks, JS. The New Deal did not really end the Great Depression; World War II did that. I do think that people are much better off working than not working, but that the private sector should be the dominant employer.

      Governments don’t need to foot the entire bill for infrastructure improvements. The private sector is more than willing to fund such projects. I will also add my very politically incorrect opinion that millions of able-bodied adults in the US don’t think they should have to work. That is why I am very critical of UBI schemes.

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      1. No argument on your first paragraph, but our infrastructure is crumbling and unless we are willing to put up toll bridges and toll roads, I don’t see private industry being a financier for these projects.
        We also have a burgeoning problem with the primary way this country funds highway maintenance. Electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles on our highways are not paying their fair share of maintenance.
        There needs to be a new model of funding highway construction and maintenance in the near future, one that brings electric and hybrid vehicles to equal status with gas and diesel powered vehicles when it comes to maintenance of our highways.
        I recently heard that North Dakota is considering adding a fixed fee to license tabs on hybrids and a higher fee on electrics to help support our highway maintenance budget in the state.
        I write this as a hybrid owner who knows I am not paying my fair share. I don’t like the concept of a fixed fee and would prefer a method that reflects the amount of driving being done as well as the weight and class of vehicle, but I don’t know how that would or could be implemented.

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      2. Thanks, JS. I don’t have a problem with toll roads because I think that the people who use the roads should pay for the roads.

        The fact that the federal gas tax has not been raised in almost 30 years has not helped road maintenance and soon a gas tax will be irrelevant. By “soon” I mean 15-25 years, not tomorrow.

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