Trivia 1G

Belying the fairytale that the economy is doing so well due to the mythical wonders of the heavily worshipped "Global Economy", some facts from to the Bureau of Labor Statistics sheds a bit of light on the issue. Showing that the growth in the economy is not due to an increase in production but rather from a growth in the number of hours worked by America's employees. In fact, between 1947 and 1973, the annual growth rate of nonfarm business output was a respectable 4.2% with only 36% of that due to longer working hours. Between 1996 and 1998, though, the 4.9% increase was attributable to a 56% increase in hours worked. Again, some information that the conservative media would rather that you weren't aware of. (1)

A truly precise and to the point quote to ponder; "The Clinton sex scandal is a dream come true for the corporate news media. It is easy to cover, extremely inexpensive to as far as news stories go, requires little research, and pisses off no powerful corporate institutional forces." (2)

Oh, my! I had no idea at all! In an advertisement for the book "God Is My Broker", this sad commentary on this world appeared, "Jesus Saves. God Invests...Wall Street legend Brother Ty tells how God helped him boost his monastery's coffers - and how he can help your bank account, too. 'It's time to let go let God be your broker! Remember: Money is God's way of saying thanks.'" Let's see, I seem to remember words like "Money is the root of all evil" and "Render unto Caesar..." and something about the rich man and the eye of the needle. I guess the bible needed a bit of editing before it applies to Corporate America?!? (3)

From The Economist comes word that the news from the quickly disintegrating Asian markets has a silver lining. "In Thailand, television viewing is up 20%...That has propped up advertising revenues,...The bankers have finally grasped the psychology of the newly poor. ING Barings, an investment bank, now has Amway Malaysia as one of its top ten growth picks for the country. The rest of the list includes two gaming companies, the local arms of Carlsberg, R.J. Reynolds...and KFC. When times get tough, it seems, the things you can count on in Asia are betting, beer, television, smokes and fried food." (4)

A wonderful Zen moment was found in the FBI's report on their investigation of the so-called "Cigar Episode" between Clinton and Monica Lewinski. After a long and very detailed description of the entire episode from start to finish, the report ends with "The president did not smoke the cigar because smoking is forbidden in the White House." Just another moment of insanity from that insane couple of years. (5)

Another little fact that exposes the lie of some wonderful American economy that is so good for our workers: In 1997 dollars, average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers increased from $11.85 in 1967 to $13.40 in 1973. From 1973 to 1997, earnings fell to $12.26 per hour. A drop of 8.5% in actual wages. Add this to the previous report about longer working hours and you can see that the average American's wallet isn't getting any bigger but their share of the mushroom food is. (6)

The best information that proves just how low the media went in the entire Lewinski silliness is that the readership of the National Enquirer, the Star, and the Globe all fell an average of 17.7% after the "scandal" broke last January. (7)

A recent study be the Brookings Institute showed that, since 1940, the U.S. has spent $5.8 TRILLION on its nuclear weapons, far more than it spent on any other program except social security. The study also pointed out that the clean up of these weapons will probably cost even more than the weapons cost in the first place. (8)

Finally, want to know one of the major danger signs that your kid may be smoking that horrible marijuana stuff, courtesy of "How Parents Can Help Children Live Marijuana Free, written by Utah criminologist Gerald Smith - with a preface by that pinnacle of rational thought Sen. Orrin Hatch (R, - Utah)? Get ready, folks, cause it's a stunner..."excessive preoccupation with social causes, race relations, environmental issues, etc." I think all of you who read my stuff had best put away that nasty old wacky weed and get back to what is truly important, beer and TV. (9)

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