07:28 – Only eight days left until the end of the world, and Barbara and I haven’t even started to make preparations. Oh, well. Another year, another apocalypse. When the world ended last year, we didn’t even notice. I did move Army Wives to the top of our Netflix streaming queue. Series six releases on the 18th. Barbara enjoys that series, so we’ll have to get it watched before the world ends on the 21st.
We continue to build and ship science kits.
14:08 – Fareed Zakaria actually gets it: Should America try to be like Scandinavia?
I’ve mentioned this “free ride” problem many times before. For the last six decades or more, Americans have carried the rest of the world. For sixty years, for example, we’ve paid the vast bulk of the defense budget for all of Europe, not to mention the Pacific Rim. America out-innovates the rest of the world put together, and the rest of the world uses those innovations, most of which were paid for by US taxpayers, while paying little or nothing for them. Americans pay the overwhelming majority of costs to develop new drugs, including those developed by big pharma companies in other countries. In addition to American taxpayers heavily subsidizing research, directly and indirectly, Americans also pay much higher prices for the drugs that result from that research. Even our friends and allies, including the UK and Canada, pay little or nothing more than the production costs of those drugs, with their national health services threatening to ignore patents and produce the drugs themselves if drug companies don’t sell to them at cost. The US has contributed trillions of dollars in foreign aid, direct and indirect, with no return. There is no balance here. That’s why I’ve suggested, only half in jest, that the IRS should begin collecting income taxes from every country on earth. One percent of GDP is reasonable, and at that they’d still be getting a hell of a deal.