A COMPARISON

From 1962 to 2002, each party controlled the White House for 20 years. It’s unpacked here, but the bottom lines (adjusted for inflation):

  • The average yearly deficit under Republican budgets was $190 billion.  The average yearly deficit under Democratic budgets was $36 billion.
  • Of the 369,000 non-defense employees added to the federal payroll between 1962 and 2001, 84% were added under Republican administrations, 16% under Democrats.
  • GDP growth was 2.94% under Republicans, 3.92% under Democrats.
  • Unemployment averaged 6.75% under Republicans, 5.1% under Democrats.
  • Inflation averaged 4.96% under Republicans, 4.26% under Democrats.

THE BOREALIS WATCH

Borealis remains unchanged at its $40 million market cap.  (“Market cap” is short for “the whole thing” – all 5 million Borealis shares, at eight bucks each.)

Yesterday I compared this with the $45 million that an acquaintance of mine recently paid for an unfurnished Manhattan condo.  But the obvious comparison would have been to the more than $45 million that the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently paid for a painting – the size of a sheet of typing paper – by an artist no one ever heard of.

[The New York Times, in a rare lapse of judgment, defended this purchase Saturday.  My own view – and let us be clear that no one who cares about art could possibly care what I think about this, nor should – is that New York needs a refurbished school more than it needs one more treasure in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Crazy expensive things like this Duccio di Buoninsegna should come to the Museum, when they come, as gifts.  Or “on loan from the collection of.”]

Meanwhile, if we are to believe the Pink Sheets, someone paid $20 a share for 700 shares of Chorus Motors yesterday.  This – at least fleetingly – values Chorus, which is divided into 6.5 million shares, at $130 million.  (Twenty bucks times 6.5 million shares.)

You might wonder how Borealis, which owns 5.2 million of those 6.5 million Chorus shares, could be trading at $40 million. At $20 a share, its holding in Chorus alone is worth $104 million.  Either Chorus shares are overpriced at $20 (although if it actually has what it claims, Chorus stock could be cheap) or Borealis is underpriced at $8 (and all the more so if Chorus does turn out to have something).  There are very few things one can know for certain in this world, but here is one of them: The fellow who bought 700 shares of Chorus Motors at $20 yesterday would have been wiser to spend the same $14,000 buying 1,750 shares of Borealis.

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK

As you know, you (as an American citizen) are leaning hard on the U.N. for a global ban on embryonic stem cell research.  Per yesterday’s New York Times:

The Bush administration is once again trying to stampede the United Nations into approving a ban on cloning embryos for research or therapeutic purposes. There is deep irony in this ill-advised campaign. The administration has thus far been unable to force a ban on therapeutic cloning through a divided Congress, where even some prominent Republicans favor the research, so now it is pinning its hopes on the U.N., an organization it routinely reviles in other contexts.

Last time, we lost by only one vote – 79-80.  Let’s hope this time we lose by more.

Or how about a deal where only Bush supporters would be denied the benefits of stem cell research?  If that seems harsh, bear in mind that this is no worse than what the Bush crowd are trying to do to us – deny us the benefits of embryonic stem cell research.

It’s the sort of thing that – until you realize you are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or your partner is in the early stages or Parkinson’s or your daughter is in the early stages of juvenile diabetes or your son becomes paralyzed in a body-surfing accident – it’s easy to pass over as so much more blah-blah-blah.  But ask Nancy Reagan what she thinks about this, or Ron Reagan, or Michael J. Fox, or (if only you could) Christopher Reeve.

 

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