Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Gini Coefficient and More

We've been enjoying the new Coldplay CD that came out a couple weeks ago; Mylo Xyloto. The one song on the disc that I can't seem to get enough of is Major Minus. I can't wait to hear when it comes around on my iPod Nano while on my bike. I have an extra gear for songs such as this!

We were in the studio for four hours Friday morning. When we got there we went straight to the cold shop as we always do to check out our work from the previous week. I was especially pleased with two vases Tammy did, here and the vase to the left. She's beginning to expand more in the shapes she's doing and it's fun to watch. I had one piece I was happy with.

Tammy spent her studio time Friday working on Christmas tree ornaments; something she's been wanting to do for a while. Out of a half dozen she did I think there will maybe be at least a couple keepers. She suffered her first nasty burn from the annealer door. Those things are bound to occasionally happen. I spent my time trying to perfect some smaller, purple tea-light candle holders for our friend, Marielle. Out of six I did I'm hoping to have two of a similar shape and size; that was my goal.

We kicked around Mall of America Friday night. I love that place, especially when the weather turns cool and we're just looking for an excuse to get out of the house. It appears they've got most but not all of their Christmas decorations hung. Yeah, it's early.

We were open to ideas for where to eat when we stumbled onto Johnny Rockets. My grilled chicken club was perfect but the fries were just so-so. Tammy had a burger and we both agreed that one meal split between us would've been the way to go.

I think my war-on-leaves may be over for the season. There's still more to fall but I'm willing to call a truce. My mowers have never been dirtier and I couldn't wait any longer to clean them up and put them away for the season. Dirty mowers...clean (and happy) mowers.

I know...I'm a bit geeky.

I've been avoiding politics on my blog for a while because I find it more depressing than I care to think about and I'm sure people get more than enough of it in their daily lives, they don't need it here too. But I do need to make mention from time to time of where my head is at for my own recollection years from now. Indulge me for just a bit.

I'd like to think I'm an independent voter but lately, I'm much more inclined to vote for Democrat candidates. I believe they understand best that a vital component to the economic recovery we seek as a nation is a strong middle-class; something that's been taking a beating in recent years. Corporate greed has reached truly sickening levels and I've had enough. Right-wing pundits are quick to point out that the top 5% of income earners pay nearly 58% of the taxes. What they fail to point out is that those top 5% also earn the vast majority of income. What conservatives also won't mention is the fact that 43% of our country's wealth is in the hands of the top 1%. That's a number that should disturb you. And I have to add...these frustrations of mine aren't born out of envy...I'm blessed to be in the upper few percent of income earners.

The Gini coefficient is a measure of income/wealth inequality as measured among a population. The lower the score the more equality there is. The values range from a low score of 0.23 for Sweden (the best) to a high of 0.70 for Namibia (the worst). Look at the rankings in the link and see where the U.S. falls. It's not good. Keep in mind when reading the rankings that those ranked first are the worst. Out of 140 countries listed, 100 of them show a better distribution of wealth among the people than the U.S.

In case you haven't noticed...Sweden is a remarkable country with a strong economy which leaves many of our thriving metropolises here in the United States wanting. I'll take whatever brand of socialism they're embracing any day over our capitalistic greed. Hearing how we're the best country on the face of the earth or that the world has ever known is getting very tiring because we're not. We're not even close.

How do we improve on those numbers? We certainly don't do it by refusing to even consider tax increases on the wealthy. But that's the hard-line position Republicans have been taking. They claim that raising taxes on the wealthy will only stifle job creation. Really? The Bush tax cuts (for the wealthy) have been in place for nearly ten years but there's been no resulting job creation from them. Where's the proof? That's all I'm asking.

Okay...I'm done talking politics or whatever that was.

I didn't put out any Halloween decorations this year, not even our cute Dracula display from last year and I'm giving serious consideration to taking a pass on our typical Christmas light display. It takes me the better part of a day to string them all and last year they got buried under our first snowfall and barely made an appearance the rest of the holiday season. I've heard it mentioned a couple times that we're supposed to have an even snowier winter than last year. Hmm. I know that Rachel will want them up and it always gives me a lot of satisfaction knowing she appreciates them as she does but I'm not sure what to do.

A friend from work fell off his roof Saturday breaking his wrist and shattering an ankle while hanging Christmas lights. There's all the excuse I need I suppose.

But I'm a sucker for Christmas lights...


Rachel said...

YOU ARE A GRINCH IF YOU DONT PUT UP CHRISTMAS LIGHTS! You are healthy and able and have never fallen off the roof before! Pleeeeeeeease put the lights up!

Kevin said...

I'd love to! ;-)