My Picks for Top Tweets: 28 August 2017

The big news today of course is the storm and flooding in Texas. I find it really hard to get my head around the amount of rain that’s fallen in the area. There are place in NZ that flood quite often, and I’ve been in some biggies in my life, but nothing like this. Tweets cannot do it justice, but I’ll try.

I’m also going to indulge myself by using some of my own tweets today. They may not be “top” tweets, but they say some things about the US that I think need saying.

I feel like I’ve been focusing too much on the US lately. There are things happening in other places that need to be written about too. One is what is being done in GB. PM Teresa May needs a metaphorical butt kicking, for example, because of the way those in need of help the most are being made to suffer. In wealthy countries like ours, there’s no need for there to be such misery. The problem is Donald Trump is just so much worse than anyone else.

Whenever I write about helping the poor, there are too many with the idea that the middle class will have to suffer to fix the problem. That’s because most people don’t realize just how wealthy the top 5% of any country is. They have more money than they could ever possibly need, and could easily help all those living below the poverty line without it having any effect on their life-style.

More income equality actually creates more money in an economy, not less, so long term all people are better off. Not enough people know the basics of economics. It’s actually not that hard, and I’d really like to see it as a core subject in high school. There are a lot of people who vote against their own interests in elections, but often it’s not their fault. They believe what they’re told by people they should be able to trust.

One of the biggest problems is that trickle-down economics does seem to make sense. “A rising tide lifts all boats” and other sayings are accepted as truisms. In fact, it’s not true. The data show it’s false over and over again. It makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, and that’s why the wealthy keep on promoting it. The Trump tax cuts that they all want will make those who are already wealthy more so. It will NOT help those who need help the most.

There aren’t many things I agree with the pope on, but he’s got it right here. Maybe that’s why Catholics on the far right of politics are dismissing what he says.

Pope Francis on trickle-down economics.


Cat Tweets

You never know!


I didn’t know cats ate these!


Ha ha …


I love this pic.


Daily double …

Too true …


And it doesn’t get cuter than this!!!

Dog Tweets

Is this a real dog? 😀


Other Animals Tweets

White pigs can’t jump …


Could be true!
(Via Ann German.)

Bird Tweets

Keeping the kids warm …


Who’s spotted whom?

Marine Tweets

I’m glad I’m not a parent in this species …


Insect Tweets

Common Darter dragonfly.


Dragonflies getting it on …

Political Tweets

Wow! And you thought the story of Arpaio’s pardon couldn’t get any crazier!


Trump being Trump when he speaks is never good …


Good on him for his honesty.
(Via Ann German.)


More on Trump’s values …


On Trump’s supporters …


On Afghanistan …


On US National Parks …

Scenic Tweets

I didn’t know it looked like this! It’s so cool!!! Perhaps I should have put it in the Art Tweets section? Does anyone know if it’s possible to see the Eiffel Tower like this when visiting Paris?


Italy just keeps on giving …




It took me a while to work this photo out. Now I have I can’t get enough of it.


Weather Tweets

An aerial view of some of the damage in Texas.


I don’t know enough to know what to say about this, but I’m assuming this has happened because they’ve been rained out.


“I’m going to save some lives.”


The poor animals don’t know what’s going on.


The Coast Guard is saving people and animals.


If I find the time, I’m writing a post on this and related topics over the next few days …



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29 Responses to “My Picks for Top Tweets: 28 August 2017”

  1. Ken says:

    Heather, you keep choosing places that are on our itinerary next month. I don’t know if you can view the Eiffel Tower from directly underneath, but I’ll certainly be checking for you now! And we’re planning to visit all five Cinque Terre towns, includig Manarola.

  2. Ann German says:

    I”m reminded of the joke about the guy in the flood stranded on his roof, asking God to save him. A neighbor came with a ladder, but he said God would save him. A boat came for him, but he said God would save him. A helicopter came for him, but he said God would save him. He drowned and went to (H)eaven. He remonstrated with God, “Why didn’t you save me?” God said, “What are you talking about? I sent you a ladder, a boat and a helicopter.”

  3. j.a.m. says:

    The basket of gullibles would be those who believe that we’d be better off somehow with another very left-wing administration.

    • Trevor says:

      Yes you can see the Eiffel tower from there but you’d need the right camera lens to see that particular effect.

    • Linda Calhoun says:

      What, precisely, is the horror you envision?

      And what, precisely, is your definition of “very left-wing”?


      • Trevor says:

        J.A.M. labours under the misconception that the Obama administration was very left wing. He (or she) is wilfully ignorant of the fact that in any democracy other than the USA the Obama administration would be considered moderately right wing.
        I suspect his/her *actual* definition of “very left wing” is “not Republican”, although he/she probably isn’t brave enough to state that unequivocally.

    • HaggisForBrains says:

      When has the US ever had a “very left wing administration” in recent memory?

  4. Kim says:

    Especially the last one!

  5. Linda Calhoun says:

    The problem with the “trickle-down” economic model is that the assumption is that people at the top who receive large tax breaks will use the money to start new businesses and then hire more workers.

    In a suffering economy, the first thing one does if one is wanting to start a new business is a market analysis. If the market analysis shows that consumers do not have money to spend, the potential business will not be started at all.

    Experience shows us that the extra money is hardly ever used to employ more people. I think that proponents of this model should have to supply many examples of where it has worked well. The more likely outcome is what is happening in Kansas, where the economy is tanking because of large tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of education, healthcare, and other public services.

    You’re right, Heather, about basic economics being taught at the secondary level. Most people don’t have a clue about how to analyze what they’re being told.


    • nicky says:

      The only reason not to tax the super-wealthy and big companies too heavily is that it would give more incentive to illegal tax evasion. And they do have the financial means to do so, of course. I think that this has been calculated/estimated (no, regrettably I don’t remember the source) to be when taxation starts to exceed 50 to 60% of the profits.
      The US is very, very far from there.
      And Linda, you are perfectly right. One may not like Henry Ford, but he was no idiot. He used an analogue argument to give more reasonable wages to his workers: if I don’t pay them a reasonable wage, how are they going to buy my cars? 🙂

    • nicky says:

      I would like to expand a bit on this, how many more expensive yachts need to be bought to offset the small increase in buying power of say 100 million? Say a 10 dollar increase in daily wage translates to an annual increase of 3600 dollars. For 100 million people that would mean a 360 billion extra to be spent. How many yachts say 100, or even a 1000, superrich would have to buy? And in case 3,6 billion or 360 million dollar on yachts (and/or on airplanes or houses). ‘Trickle down’ does not make any sense from a consumer pov. And for investment, I think you already answered that. An investment only makes sense if one has a reasonable expected ROI (return of investment). And for that you need masses that can afford your products. It is not rocket science, methinks.
      In other (or the same) words, Heather and Linda you are indeed perfectly right, even for the superrich, a more equitable society would make more sense in the long run. Something, eg. Mr Ford realised, but Mr Trump and the US Republicans apparently do not. Sad. 🙂

      • Linda Calhoun says:

        I think the fear is that if we raise wages and reinforce the safety net, that people will become lazy.

        My observation is that the right-wing believes that fear is the best, or maybe even the only, motivator of good behavior. This is amply demonstrated in research to be false. The best teaching strategy is modeling – setting an example – one that doesn’t even make the radar in most cases.

        I was blown away by the Consumer Reports statistic that personal bankruptcies dropped by 51% after the implementation of the ACA. You would think that Republicans would see that as a positive outcome. Instead of creating “deadbeats” who can’t pay their bills, it was diminishing that problem.

        Another relevant piece of information is that in France, 37% of their workforce is self-employed, most of them in small mom-and-pop businesses like what my husband and I have. They are able to do this because they don’t have to worry about the cost of healthcare if they get sick. That, too, disabuses the notion that people are basically lazy and have to be terrorized into working.


        • nicky says:

          – I very much like the ‘Other Basket’ and the ‘Two Sides’ as well as the “National Confederate Monument’. Top quality, immo, you are too modest Heather.
          – The cat outside the bathroom (or any room you do not want it in) is somehow very familiar. I guess all of us who have or had cats recognise the routine: when you get out of your shower, exasperated by all the moaning, whining and scratching (and all wet), to open the door, M(r)s cat will, of course, decide to stay outside after all.
          – That cute little ball of fluff has cute sharp little teeth, I noted.

        • nicky says:

          Well, there is some case for laziness to be made. It occurs when the ‘Dole’ (unemployment benefits) equals or approaches the minimum wage. Or when cumulative child grants make a comfortable income. This never happened in the US, of course, but did happen in some Western European social democracies, and only in some cases, I hasten to add. And it was mostly discontinued, if I’m not mistaken. (I do not want to go into some Muslim’s idea that the Dole is a gift from Allah here, and it is not really what I’m referring to. That is a wholly different chapter).
          I agree that most people want to work, have a business or be otherwise engaged, despite being lazy (we all are a bit, aren’t we?) .
          I think it is more than the fear of just laziness, there is also the ‘repugnant’ idea of possibly giving to some of the ‘undeserving’ . Laziness makes one ‘undeserving’, of course, but it is not the only reason….

          • USians often think people are poor because they are lazy, or they otherwise deserve to be on the lowest rungs of society. I see it as a result of too much religion which promotes the idea that we’re in the position that God put us in.

            The same people don’t think poor people in Africa, for example, are poor because they deserve it. They can’t see that laziness is not the reason most people are poor, it’s the lack of return for their labour, unavailability of healthcare, inequitable education, and other such factors.

    • What you say is exactly right. There’s no point in a business hiring more people and producing more if the majority don’t have the money to spend. Increasing the income of the poor and middle class is the way to increase demand. That’s why increasing the minimum wage at a rate that can be sustained by the economy almost always results in greater employment. However, demands in the US for an immediate increase to $15/hour would be too much of a shock. It would be best done in steps. E.g. .50/hour every six months.

      • nicky says:

        It is clear we see eye to eye here. And I ‘m sure most economists and business(wo)men would agree too.
        I appreciate the ‘steps’ approach, I think that a six monthly raise of 50 cents an hour raise (about 4 dollars a day) is not a bad approach if the minimum wage is like 15 USD a day, not if it is in the order of 10-15 USD/hour per hour. In the latter case it would really be too little.
        I may be a bit confused about the details, since the official minimum wage for unschooled workers here in SA is about 11 dollars a day (many get less).
        10 USD/hour (about 2000 USD/month, or about 25000 rand/month) would be considered a handsome income here. Will put you at least in the top 40%. If I’m not mistaken the modal income here is about 6000 rand (about 400 USD)/month. even in SA that is not comfortable by any stretch.

        • (Note: The links are there now.)

          I’ve written several posts on this topic, but they might be from before you were a reader. There’s one on the minimum wage you might be interested in.

          I’m not on a device where I can provide proper links (I’ll do it later), but one’s called ‘Why Increasing the Minimum Wage is Good for the Economy‘ and another is ‘ The Case Against Trickle-Down Economics in Reducing Unemployment‘.

          Also ‘America’s Healthcare Problem‘ makes the case for universal health care.

          • nicky says:

            Just read your “Why Increasing the Minimum Wage is Good for the Economy” . I can only but compliment you on that post.
            There is only one point I’d like to take issue with:
            “Therefore, when they receive any increase that money makes its way into the hands of businesses immediately, stimulating demand and therefore increasing employment opportunities. Because of the way this process works, the extra money in the economy more than offsets the higher wage costs. (This is complicated to explain, and will take a post on its own.)”
            I do not think it really is complicated at all, it is as self-evident as it gets, I’d say

          • The basics are self-evident. The complicated bit is putting $10 in the bank. $9 gets loaned out and spent, earning more income, which us deposited in the bank and most gets loaned out etc. There interest earned etc too. Thus the $10 adds a lot more than that to the economy. This is why religious strictures against earning interest are problematic, and why some banks really are too big to fail.

  6. Lee Knuth says:

    Unless wage earners have a good income they will not increase their spending and that could lead to a trickle down effect that is mot good for companies. Too many of our legislators are in the pocket of big money. Unless that changes nothing good will occur for most of us.

  7. nicky says:

    I do not want to appear flippant or heartless, but I will just be so.
    Houston had it coming. Building on a flat , like flat, surface, sprawling city, many square km’s (or miles in the US) of concrete, unregulated growth, without any proper planning for flow-off is madness (to an ex-Dutchman at least). Of course, predicting is easy with hindsight, but there apparently is no water regulating agency in Texas. They had it coming.
    For a ‘no hindsight’ prediction: with the gutting of the EPA, the US is bound for some serious environmental disasters in the near as well as not so near future, Duh!

    • It’s perhaps not the time to say it, but I agree.

      The excuse will be that this is a once in a million year event. However, the design of the infrastructure couldn’t have coped with a much smaller event either.

      • nicky says:

        Good point.
        However, a category 4 (not even 5) storm with accompanying excessive precipitation is NOT a once in a million year event (that would be a ‘category 7 or 8’ event 🙂 ). That excuse is -if made- of course a ludicrous excuse (I gather you think so too), one would, off hand, estimate it closer to once every 50 years (even without referring to any sort of climate change) or less.

        • This is Texas. Therefore climate change doesn’t exist. All problems will be solved by prayer, anti – abortion laws, and improvements in moral behaviour.

          I even heard a reporter on CNN yesterday saying, “This isn’t anybody’s fault. It’s Mother Nature” etc., the implication being that some were saying there was some human cause for the weather. (And I don’t mean climate change.)

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