Gallimaufry

“…a confused jumble or medley of things…”

From this CNBC article comes this chart:

United States 79,595
Japan 17,915
China 16,875
Germany 15,080
Canada 10,840
France 10,120
Hong Kong* 10,010
United Kingdom 9,370
Switzerland 6,400
Italy 5,960

OK, what is it? According to data firm Wealth-X this is the number of Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals in the ten countries with the most such people. Wealth-X defines UHNW as having a net worth of $30 million or more. By the way, the asterisk next to Hong Kong denotes that it is a “semi-autonomous, special administrative region of China.”

Seven percent of all American households have a net worth of $1 million or more and the number of US households with a net worth of $25 million or more has increased 73 percent since 2008. I have written this data before because I didn’t understand why a wealthy country with so many empty-nester and single-person households seemingly buys nothing but SUVs and pickup trucks. Thanks to my friend Robert I have come to the realization that it is America’s obesity that plays a major role in what vehicles the country’s citizens buy.

I have no problem with wealth as long as it is acquired legally. As I have also written before I believe that money I have legally earned, legally saved and legally invested belongs to me. Government does not have “dibs” on the entirety of a country’s wealth so that it can “fix” wealth distribution. Government exists to protect property rights, not to usurp them.

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Speaking of property:

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From cargurus.com a picture of a 1995 Corvette, the next to last year of the C4 generation. Five years ago I did not care for these cars. The looks seemed bland to me and until the introduction of the “new” LT-1 engine in 1992 these cars were less than spirited performers. As I have often written, however, as I grow older my tastes have changed and I appreciate cleaner lines more. Not that I am going to buy a C4 Corvette, but if I were I would still buy something 1992 model year or newer, preferably 1995 or 1996 because the fuel injectors were improved in 1995 to deal with the effects of the corn farmers subsidy program…I mean ethanol content in gasoline.

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I titled this photo “WTF Buick.” I wish I could remember the source, but it is a picture or rendering of the Buick Avista concept car. Of course, the first concept car was the Buick Y-Job from 1938:

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The photo is from cartype.com. From time to time American automobile manufacturers tease the public with stunning concept cars, but most of them never come close to production. Conceptus Interruptus

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The next Barrett-Jackson auction begins soon so I thought it was about time for another Cristy Lee photo:

 

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From cristylee.tv…

 

 

Monday Musings

On this day in 1809, Charles Darwin AND Abraham Lincoln were born. Americans would disagree, but Darwin had a larger impact on the world. It is surprisingly difficult to ascertain what percentage of Americans believe in evolution. The Huffington Post, which I will admit is not one of my favorite organizations, published a poll in 2013 that about a third of Americans don’t believe in evolution. Other published polls have shown an even larger percentage. Not surprisingly, older and more religious Americans have a greater level of disbelief. I believe in evolution and think the evidence is overwhelming. Of course, as Satchel Paige is supposed to have said, “There are some people that if they don’t know, you can’t tell them.”

February 12 has seen some very bad days in the automotive industry. In 1957, a fire destroyed much of the Jaguar Browns Lane factory in Coventry including some vehicles that were being transitioned from D-type race cars to street-legal XKSS autos.

On February 12, 2008, in a prelude of what was to come, General Motors offered a buyout to its entire US hourly workforce: 74,000 workers. Today, GM is actually doing quite well although its future is uncertain as the automotive industry transitions to electric and/or autonomous vehicles. In the Basque language: “Ez niretzat.”

As a Corvette fan, this day also has a bad connotation as it was on February 12, 2014 that a large sinkhole swallowed eight historic Corvettes at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Three of the eight—the ZR1 Blue Devil prototype, the 1,000,000th Corvette, and a 1962 model—have been restored, but the others are on display as they were recovered.

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From cargurus.com a picture of the last C4 Corvette, a 1996 model. Five years ago the C4 did not appeal to me, but its clean lines and the introduction of the modern LT1 engine in 1992 have made it a favorite of mine, now.

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