A friend of a friend and long time reader of the blog is out in the less than cozy world of Denver, Colorado where besides doing all the normal mom stuff, she works in the office of her husband’s trucking, landscaping and snow removal company.
One of the larger jobs the company is involved with is for the Denver International Airport (DIA.) As the airport expands and grows, the new construction allowed the company to bid upon and be awarded a contract to move dirt around the construction site. While the company was not the only company to win the contract, they are on site moving loads of dirt 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
On a technical side, the tracking of the dirt loads is pretty interesting. Each truck is given a GPS tracking device which shows the drivers actually moving loads and where they went. At the end of the day, each driver is given a ticket to turn into the company to show how many loads of dirt they moved during their shift. This means that the agency administering the contract and the trucking company both have a record of the number of loads, what the trucks were doing, and where the trucks went during the driver’s work day.
The contract stipulates how much each driver must be paid. This is not something where the company says “we can do the job for ‘X’ amount of dollars.” The government tells the companies how much they must pay the drivers. The pay itself is out of whack with the the going rate in the area.
For truck drivers who are not “over the road” drivers, the normal rate in the Denver area is $15 – $18 per hour. The government demands the drivers be paid $22.40 per hour. Of course, the difference in money comes out of your pocket and mine through tax dollars that are going into the project. (more…)
Oct 28, 2012
Posted by AAfterwit on Oct 28, 2012 | Comments Off
We have said our postings are generally light on the weekends. There are a few reasons for this. First, if we were serious all the time on this blog we’d go nuts. Secondly, readership is understandably lower on weekends. Therefore our post on “The Picture – In Living Color” seen below is somewhat of an anomaly.
However, after writing that post, we wanted to balance it with something different – something to cast a little bit of perspective on some of the issues upon which we have been writing.
The video below should resonate with all Americans. It should re-enforce what is truly important in this wonderful land of ours.
The entire video runs a little over 11 minutes but the actual “body” of the video is about 8 minutes. Grab a cup of coffee and watch.
Feb 29, 2012
Posted by AAfterwit on Feb 29, 2012 | Comments Off
As usual, Teach is on top of his game with the 411 on the subject. at the bottom of the post, however, he makes what can be almost described as a “throw away point” on a company called A123 Systems who manufactures batteries. The company is in financial trouble after taking over $250 million in Federal funds plus another $100 million from the taxpayers of the state of Michigan. Teach’s point, and it is a good one, is that while Obama is out there lying talking about all he has done for oil and gas exploration, the energy sources he favors and the companies to which the administration has given money continue to fail.
The company’s name rang a bell with us and when we went back and looked at it, what we saw was a rip off of the American people again.
In May of 2008, the “green” section of the website Autoblog said of A123 Systems:
A123 Systems is pretty hot right now. How hot? It’s got more sizzle than the A123-powered Killacycle (pictured above). It’s been on the receiving end of $100 million investment dollars in a little over a year. That’s definitely hot. And it’s not all about “what ifs” and “could bes”, these guys are making all kinds of batteries for companies like Black & Decker and Hymotion. They are testing with GM’s Volt and stand a good chance of becoming the main supplier (or at least one of the main suppliers) for that model. So it seems A123, as they say, will strike while the iron is hot and issue an IPO.
According to Scott Kirsner over at Innovation Economy, the deal could put the company’s worth up around $1 billion. If you want to get in on the action you should have the whole summer to save up. Kirsner predicts September will be the magic month.
Autoblog was wrong about the projected date of the IPO. Instead of being in September of 2008, the IPO happened in September of 2009. In terms of investments, the IPO was solid.
When A123 went public in September 2009, it inspired visions of easy profits and growth. On its first day of trading, the stock jumped from its IPO price of $13.50 to close at $20.29. Within two weeks the stock had more than doubled, hitting a high of $28.20.
And why not?
The month prior to the IPO, A123 Systems received a grant of $249 million dollars from the Federal Government to develop batteries. One of the batteries A123 Systems was developing was for the Chevy Volt. As stated above in the Autoblog article, A123 Systems was a leading contender to make the battery packs for the Volt.
Yet in 2009, GM chose another company – LG Chem of Korea – to build the battery packs for the Volt. Without the contract, one would think the government would step back and pause a moment on investing more into the company.
We are generally what would be considered “law and order” type of people here at Raised on Hoecakes. We are of the belief that your rights end at our noses, and intersection of rights and noses is governed by laws.
That being said, an article in the FloridaToday newspaper reports there are 40,000 new laws across the country set to go into effect on January 1, 2012.
That’s an average of 800 laws per state being implemented.
It also means that for the past year, a new law was being passed every 13 minutes and 10 seconds.
Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year, a new law every 13 minutes.
That is in addition to the millions of laws already on the books.
The number of laws tells you all you need to know about the level of control the government wants to assert on our lives.