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It turns out that, contrary to my recollection, poi is a Hawaiian pudding-like dish. I was confusing it with koi, the Japanese fish. Nevermind; I'm going to continue drinking my milk and fruit juice.
Here's the recipe for the fruit drink Brian Dean keeps teasing me about on the air:
- One 12- or 16-ounce package frozen fruit (strawberries, mixed berries, or raspberries)
- About 32 ounces of fruit juice (enough to fill the blender almost to the top)
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- Sugar to taste
The TV and movie writers' strike still hasn't ended, and just as predicted, it's turning out to be a good deal for alternative sources of entertainment -- like scriptwriters in other countries. Canadian production companies, for instance, are starting to benefit from the dearth of American-made programming. The writers and producers really need to realize that their strike is hurting other people (like actors and production crewmembers) as well as exposing them to replacement by foreign writers and producers and by other forms of entertainment. The war of attrition they're engaging in just can't go on without doing lots more damage.
The economic-stimulus package that looks likely to make its way through Congress and the White House is pretty scary, for a number of reasons:
- First, it's huge. $150 billion is hardly chump change, and we're already a nation that's $9.2 trillion in the hock. Supposing a 5% rate of interest on the new borrowing, we'll be paying $7.5 billion a year just on the interest to pay for this "stimulus package" -- or basically enough to buy the entire Chrysler Corporation over and over and over again.
- Second, it's a fallback to the old days of Keynesian economics -- based on the assumption that the government can smooth out every business cycle by spending more when times get tougher. But the problem is that the big issues facing our economy right now are much bigger than just the US economic cycle -- they're huge international issues like the rising cost of energy and the growth in food prices. Unless you can come up with a way to solve those fundamental changes (and that's not likely, especially as food prices become more closely linked to energy prices), or unless you can go back in a time machine and find a way to reverse the irresponsible lending and borrowing practices that led to today's mortgage shakeups, then you can't really change the big factors affecting today's economy.
- Third, it's not durable. The outright hope is that you will go straight out and spend the money immediately on things like TV sets and dinners out. What we really need in this country is real and substantial investment in the things that will save us money in the long run -- like energy research, better education, infrastructure replacement, and medical cures. Imagine we as a nation had somehow won some kind of interstellar lottery -- suddenly, $150 billion appeared on the White House lawn -- but we knew we'd have to pay it back, with interest. Wouldn't you want the President to invest that money in something that would produce a return -- like repairing the nation's bridges -- rather than asking all of us to go out and buy more DVDs and potato chips?
What is with Russia and its attempts to scare our friends in Britain, France, and Spain? This nonsense really needs to stop.
You don't have to like the iPhone (I don't) to respect the way it's changing the mobile-phone industry. It's capitalism and technology coming together to make our lives better.
This week's news from the Gaza Strip is a reminder of just how far people will go to satisfy their economic needs.
Keywords in this show: banking • Britain • business cycle • Canada • Chrysler • durability • economics • economic stimulus package • energy • entitlement spending • finance • fraud • food prices • fruit drinks • Gaza Strip • infrastructure • iPhone • Keynesian economics • koi • labor strikes • medicine • poi • recipes • Russia • savings • stock options • television • Twitter • writers' strike (2007-2008)