Friday, January 20, 2006

East vs West

East coast: "Back East"
West coast: "Out West"

Does anyone else have any other terms for the east or west of the US? The vernacular of the US seems to lend itself to the idea that the East is old fashioned and the west is out there somewhere.

Bailing out airlines

The federal government has spent some money lately bailing out airlines. The industry is not doing so hot.

Here's a new idea: how about we cut back taxes & fees on airfare? My tickets for Carnival cost $295.81. The taxes & fees cost $42.59. That's about 14% in taxes and fees. I know some of these fees are needed for the airports to exist, etc. But I'm sure a lot just goes to the federal government.

Until the airline industry is back on its feet, let's cut the taxes on air travel to induce more people to fly and give the airlines a little more wiggle room on prices. The end consumer will get cheaper flights and therefore fly more. The airlines can also charge a little more without the consumer really noticing - the prices are already way down!

My logic is that the government is using tax money to bail out the airlines; what if cutting out some of the taxes on the airfare would prevent needing to help the airlines federally? The government would probably be losing as much in potential tax income as they're spending right now to help out the industry - so it's just a different accounting method.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Criticisms? This is all based on high school economics and I have no figures to compare the tax income of flights vs the amount of federal money spent to bail out the airlines, or how many more people would fly with lower rates.

Getting carded

In Pittsburgh, I get carded at bars when they card everyone on the way in, and sometimes at the liquor store, but never at the beer stores.

In Maine, I get carded at bars when they card everyone, grocery stores, but not at the beer store, and not at restaurants.

In Nevada & California, I get carded at the beer store, at restaurants, everywhere. Even with my parents!

Never did I figure California would be more likely to card.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The best article I've ever read about Saudi Arabia

The New Yorker has an excellent article about life in Saudi Arabia.

I've heard from a Qatari friend that Saudi is really that surreal.

(Now on to a global perspective)

It's amazing, living on such a small earth, that we still have people who don't get real news, people who are censored, tribal people who have never seen TV, people who still can't get medical help. What will it take to really flatten the globe, to really have people get equal opportunity everywhere? Ubiquitous internet? Cheap travel? I'm serious, what will it take to have people in China not be censored? What will it take for food to not be wasted in the US, but reallocated months ahead to people who really need it? What will it take for people in rural Africa to get good medical care?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I got lost and ended up in California

Through a thoroughly boring but only minorly noteworthy sequence of events, I am now living on the West Coast. I am in temporary housing until February first, where I hope to have a 'hella' sweet pad.

I graduated, although I'm not sure the school acknowledges it yet - they haven't yet reimbursed me for the spring! I've never met someone who likes their schools enrollment/payment people. If you like yours, please let me know. Carnegie Mellon's HUB suffers from having no competitors.

As a side note, my classmates need to stop getting engaged. Harriet, Trey, and Greg: I'm looking at you. (I really mean: congratulations all! I just feel old now.)

California has a great beverage supplier: Beverages & More, purveyors of great Belgian and American brews. They have almost every beer I'd want to buy. Plus, they carry the official glass ware for custom brews - some men get fine wine glasses, but my beer glass collection will be awesome. Once I have money.

Which brings me to the most fun thing about relocation: I'm shipping my car out to California. The A4 is still in the works, but not for about 6-12 months.

Alright, keep sending me your comments, and I'll keep making fun of your grammar and punctuation. I mean, answer them.