The Electric Vehicle Revolution

The Electric Vehicle Revolution

The Electric Vehicle Revolution is here

Electric vehicles are the future, be ready. . . 

The Electric Vehicle Revolution

“Adoption of a new technology, like EV’s (electric vehicles) may seem slow or look like it’s never going to happen, until it passes a threshold. . . .and then it just takes off.” *Reda Cherif  

By D. S. Mitchell

Horse and Buggy Days

There is a growing understanding that gas and diesel-powered vehicles will soon join the horse and buggy and dial telephone. New studies support a rapid acceleration process and a gathering momentum of the coming EV tsunami. Surprising as it may seem, soothsayers predict that more than 90% of all passenger vehicles in the U.S., Canada, Europe and other wealthy industrialized countries will be EV by 2040. Some studies are even more bullish, predicting that by 2030, ninety percent of all U.S. vehicles will be EV. That is less than 9 years away.

A Big Culprit

One of the major sources of deadly air pollution, and a major factor in climate change, is transportation. In order to protect the climate and the health of our citizens it is imperative we modify the vehicles on our roads. A few years ago, transportation edged out power plants as the leading source of carbon emissions. We can end this catastrophe. Sources tell us a rapid shift to electric vehicles can cut more than 800 million tons of CO2 emissions every year by 2040, and cumulative reductions will reach 16.2 billion tons by 2050.

New Technology

The transition is going to happen fast because EV’s are better than gas vehicles. There is less maintenance, lower operating costs, and more power. A big factor in boosting sales of EV’s is that production costs are also coming down. The cost of an EV battery has dropped 86% in the last 10 years. In spite of chip shortages and COVID-19 challenges, Ford Motor Co. has been showing profits throughout 2021. Ford announced that its F-150 Lightening electric pickup has generated over 120,000 pre-orders since it was unveiled to great fanfare in May.

Continue reading

Class Warfare, GOP Style

Class Warfare, GOP Style

D. S. Mitchell

The NY Times on 11/16/17 published a great opinion piece written by Paul Krugman. If you didn’t see it, I will try to summarize the article as best I can, because the core of the message is worth repeating.

Mitch McConnell & Paul Ryan have been lying when they said the GOP tax plan would not raise taxes on any middle class families.The Congressional score keeper, the Joint Committee on Taxation, reported that approximately 38 million middle-class families would see higher taxes under the Senate Republican proposal.

Both Senate and House bill will offer huge tax giveaways to international corporations and the billionaire class. The Republicans have tried to limit the impacts of these tax cuts on the budget deficit by eliminating tax credits and exemptions that mainly benefit the middle class. As such many in the lower and middle class will see their taxes go up.

“But focusing on how many would face tax increases gets at only a small part of what’s going on here,” Krugman said. Continuing, he pointed out, “It is top-down class warfare, coupled with the false claims that they are  cutting taxes on the middle class, which has been standard GOP operating procedure for a long time.”

Krugman points out that the tactics of the current GOP leaders is not just a replay of the Bush playbook from 2001 and 2003, although there are similarities. Similarities between then and now are: 1.) Tax breaks that phase in and out. 2.) Misleading examples and calculations to give the false impression of a tax cut for the middle class 3.) Asserting that the tax cuts come free, blurring the fact that the cuts will be offset by cuts to popular programs such as Medicaid and Medicare 4.) Continuing to pretend eliminating the “death” tax is about helping the small family farm, or business.

Krugman asserts that there is an ugly twist to the latest GOP robbery scam. In the 2017 money grab, the goal seems to be to favor wealth, especially inherited wealth, over labor. In the new tax bill he notes multiple measures that make it harder for the children of the middle class to work up the golden ladder.

The prime example is the GOP plan to eliminate, or sharply reduce taxes on inherited wealth, which currently apply to only a tiny number of huge estates. The inheritance tax has been morphed by the GOP into a multitude of family farms being sold off to pay estate taxes. Definitely not true. Best estimates indicate only about 80–eighty, businesses or farms pay any estate tax each year. “The GOP tax bill is about making wealthy heirs even wealthier,” Krugman asserts.

A new proposed tax loophole would benefit large business owners–but only as long as they don’t have hands control. So that definitely lets out the little guy. The House bill, according to Krugman, “doesn’t just raise taxes on many middle-class families: It selectively raises taxes on families with children. In fact, half–half!–of families with children will see a tax hike once the bill is fully phased in.”

Krugman offered several examples in his piece, including this one: Suppose a child from a working class family decides, despite financial hardship to attend college. To attend university the student will need a loan to help pay tuition, books and housing. Under the proposed tax House bill, the interest on that student loan would no longer be deductible.  In effect, such action would raise the cost of college. It would obviously narrow future opportunity for young people of limited financial means. In some instances an employer will contribute toward an employee’s educational expenses. The House plan would consider that employer contribution taxable income.

Additionally, when a parent works for a university their children are given reduced tuition. That tuition break will become taxable income. Also, tuition breaks for grad students who work as teaching or research assistants will become taxable.

The pattern becomes obvious, this is a means to “close off opportunities for children who weren’t clever enough to choose wealthy parents,” Krugman snaps.

Funding for CHIPS (Children’s Health Insurance Program) which covers more than 8 million children, expired nearly sixty days ago and the Republicans have made no attempt to restore it. Krugman sees it as “the shape of things to come;”  if tax cuts pass, and the deficit explodes which it is expected to do, the GOP will suddenly decide that deficits must be slashed and at that time the GOP will attack the social safety net and will demand cuts in social programs, many of which benefit lower-income children, disabled vets, and nursing home residents.

This attack isn’t just ordinary class warfare. This legislation appears to be aimed at perpetuating inequality into multiple future generations. Taken together, the House and the Senate bills amount to a more or less systematic attempt to provide benefits to the children of extreme wealth, while making it more difficult for less fortunate young people to achieve upward social/economic mobility.

The tax legislation the GOP is forcing through Congress with unimaginable speed, without hearings or time for any kind of serious study, is not just an attempt to reinforce plutocracy, “but to entrench a hereditary plutocracy.”

Trump and the Trump family, and nearly every one in his cabinet members will see big benefits from this fast moving legislation. Please call, email or tweet Republican senators. We must stop this bill. In addition to Krugman’s comments I suggest the near $2 trillion up front cuts to Medicaid and Medicare will devastate programs for disabled vets, critically ill children and vulnerable seniors. This is wrong.

Giving trillions of dollars to international companies is unconscionable. Make these creeps accountable. They are not invulnerable. The 2018 elections are fast approaching. We must create a Blue Tsunami to take back the halls of government for the 99%, #NotOnePenny for the 1%. Vote Democratic. Stop the GOP tax bill.

Calamity Politics is an on-line political news magazine. Calamity Politics supports a Progressive agenda and offers comment and opinion on the events of the Washington political scene. Join the Resistance.

Dar

**Thanks again to the Paul Krugman for his insight**

10 Tips On Dealing With Collection Agencies

10  Tips On Dealing With Collection Agencies

D. S. Mitchell

Economic times have improved around most parts of the country, and the future is now optimistic. However, many people over the last several years experienced some very hard financial times. Many of those delinquencies remain unpaid and there are collection agencies who are still pursuing payment on those accounts. If you are in such circumstances the collection calls continue. It is important to remember, every citizen has legal rights when dealing with collection agencies. After a conversation with my long time friend Ed McKee, owner and senior broker of EME Funding services, Portland, OR he offered the following tips to pass on to my readers. Here are Ed’s 10 tips to help keep you from getting ripped off.

RULES FOR HANDLING COLLECTION AGENCIES:

1.) Realize that collection agents usually work on commission. So, obviously, the more money they get you to pay, the larger their paycheck.
2.) Please do not argue with the agent. Such behavior will not help. Stay calm and state your case clearly and succinctly. 3.) Don’t ask to speak to the agent’s supervisor. The supervisor got his or her job because they were good at collecting the most money. 4.) Never give information over the telephone. If it is an authentic collection agency they already have all the information they need. 5.) Use Money Orders or Certified funds to make all agreed payments. 6.) Keep records of everything. Make sure that anything you send through the mail has a return receipt. 7.) Make sure that you get written confirmation of any negotiated pay offs. 8.) Never accept the collection agent’s first offer. They will always call back with a better offer. Remember, nobody at the collection agency gets paid until you send in the money. 9.) Use strong sentences, “This is all I can afford to pay.” “This is all I will pay.” 10.) You will eventually want to repair your credit, during that process keep all correspondence between your credit repair service, and keep all copies of credit reports.

If you are currently experiencing tough times, or you have in the past, and are still dealing with collection calls, hopefully this short list will give you the basic information you need to keep as much money in your pocket as possible.

Calamity Politics is an on-line news magazine focusing on a progressive agenda. Join us regularly for hot headlines from the major news services, caustic comment and opinion.

Join the Resistance.

Dar

14.5 BILLION LEAVES U.S. IN ONE WEEK

14.5 Billion Leaves U. S. In One Week

D. S. Mitchell

Hair Pulling

I’ve taken a couple of days off from adding to The Calamity Politics blog because there has been an avalanche of news, coming literally hourly, and there is only me, and Jane, sometimes. I haven’t been sure which of the events I should be pulling my hair out over. As if, I had any hair left, to pull out. Hundreds of deaths, American air strikes, White House intrigue, and North Korean saber-rattling has been mind bending. For those of us interested in what’s happening with our financial portfolios it has been an unsettling week.

Hammered

U.S. stock funds were hammered by the largest weekly withdrawal and transfer of wealth since 2015. In the 2015 case, money ran briefly to Europe over fears of a downturn in economic growth in both the U.S. and China. During the week of April 5th, 2017, investors sucked 14.5 Billion dollars from U.S. stock portfolios, as investors rotated into European equities. Experts explain that investor’s realization that Trump’s promises will take a bit of time to materialize, if at all, sent many investors to look for alternatives to U.S. equities.

Doubts Over Trump Foreign Policy

The growing shift toward Europe accelerated amid doubts over Trump’s policy agenda. The increased pressure accelerated after some big failures from the White House, including, ongoing Russian investigations, the failed Health Care Reform, and a perception of an administration in chaos and scandal.

Join the Resistance