Friday, December 21, 2012

Don’t touch my junk!

I am trying very hard to make the arguments about cutting, or not, spending on two Government benefits. Social Security and Medicare are being tossed around like a rag doll, and all the stuffing is coming out. Our elected officials and the News Media refer to these programs as “entitlements”, as if they are a form of welfare and something to be looked down upon.

I am not going to rant and rave about a Congress that can’t even show up for work on a daily basis. I will not rant and rave about the hundreds of billions of dollars we pay for these “no show” jobs through our tax donations. I will not rant and rave about a Citizenry that refuses to hold their elected Official’s feet to the fire when it comes to honoring contracts.

I will, instead, rant and rave about the fact that our Federal Government will be in serious breach of contract, if anything small, or large, is cut from these two programs. Beside the fact that there will shortly be a slew of additional folks on the Social Security and Medicare “rolls”, there is the flip side of that equation. There will be vastly more potential job opportunities opening up as hundreds of thousands of “baby boomers” come to the end of their careers, and slide into retirement.

The mechanisms designed to aid our Senior Citizens through their remaining years are Social Security and Medicare. These two Programs are run by the Federal Government, but they are in no way paid for by the Federal Government. How can this be, you may ask? This can be solely for the reason that these two Programs are legal contracts between the working Public and the Federal Government. These Contracts are identical to the Contract you might encounter when signing up for Life Insurance. The deal is that you pay a certain amount of money over a certain amount of time into a fund that in turn promises to pay you a certain amount of money at a certain, predetermined time. This is assistance in connection with your expendable income, once you have hit that predetermined point in time (retirement age).

How does all this relate to our Nation’s Treasury and our current financial situation? In a nut shell, it doesn’t relate to our fiscal crisis one bit. Are there some much needed reforms for each of these two Programs? Yes, most definitely there are reforms that can and should be implemented, and very soon. I don’t think too many people can effectively argue against either of these questions. The question that is arguable is that of how the Federal Government treats these two Funds. Are they going to honor their Contract with the American People, or will they continue to be in breach of said Contracts? That’s correct. They are currently in breach of both contracts. Social Security has been “borrowed” against in past years to shore up other, not so well funded, Programs, and Medicare has been grossly mismanaged and defrauded.

Where does leave the U.S. Citizen transitioning from the working days into their retirement days? It leaves that sector of our Society in a very precarious position. Luckily the money is still there in sufficient amount to fulfill the Contracts. However, if any looting occurs to either one of the Programs, the American Public has every right to file a Civil Law suit against the Federal Government on a myriad of grounds.

Two of those “grounds”, as mentioned, would be “BREACH OF CONTRACT” and “MISMANAGEMENT OF FUNDS” (fraud) (embezzlement), etc. The scary part of this situation is that we are upon it right now, and no one seems to be going to bat for the common, working folk of this Country. And, in a sense, why should anyone stick his/her neck out for us? We don’t seem to be able to do that for ourselves, now, do we? If this Problem goes unaddressed too much longer, there are going to be some Senior Citizens with very short fuses. That, my friends, could get ugly.

Hutch Dubosque is a retired Manufacturing Engineer who has taken up writing Socio-Political commentary using social media. He has a B.A. in Journalism and an AAS in Energy Technology, and is a current member of the Academy of Political Science, among other pertinent organizations. Mr. Dubosque is also the Vice President of the PTSD Alumni Association of Northport, NY, Inc.( a non-profit organization assisting Veterans).

Monday, December 17, 2012

Guns& us

I decided to take a look at the weapons manufacturing statistics for the U.S. A couple of stats jumped off the pages as I checked:” (D&B), the “”, “”, and “”. This seemed to give the most centrist and accurate report of our Nation’s production of firearms. With only a few exceptions, all the weapons made here are available to the General Public through distributors, or on-line. And, the last set of numbers I looked at were the prices of some of the more popular items (see below). Looks like just about anyone can afford ownership. These are just the numbers. Draw your own conclusions about their meaning and what might be the appropriate course of action.

Gun & Ammunition Manufacturing Industry Overview

Excerpt from Gun & Ammunition Manufacturing Report

The US gun and ammunition manufacturing industry includes about 300 companies with combined annual revenue of about $6 billion. Major gun and ammunition manufacturers include Browning Arms; Freedom Group (which includes Remington Arms, Marlin Firearms, and Bushmaster Firearms); Olin; Alliant Techsystems; Sturm, Ruger & Company; and Smith & Wesson. The industry is highly concentrated.

Competitive Landscape

Demand is driven partly by hunters, gun enthusiasts, and weapon upgrades by police departments. The profitability of individual companies is closely linked to marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by producing premium-priced high-quality or decorative guns. Although automation has increased, the industry is still labor-intensive: average annual revenue per worker is about $140,000.

Products, Operations & Technology

Major product categories include firearms and ammunition, each of which accounts for about half of industry revenues. The industry produces more than 4 million guns per year: about 30 percent are pistols and revolvers; about 40 percent are rifles, and about 30 percent are shotguns and other firearms. Within a category, a company may make guns of different caliber and style. The most popular pistol calibers are 9 millimeter, .45, and .22. The most popular revolver calibers are .357, .45, and .38.

Major Manufacturers and distributors

General Online Sales:                                                             8 companies

Firearms manufacturers and sole U.S. distributors:       111 manufacturers

Firearms Distributors/Sellers:                                                6 companies

Barrels:                                                                                     2 manufacturers

Silencers:                                                                                  1 manufacturer

Ammunition Suppliers:                                                            3 manufacturers

Firearms Training:                                                                  17 companies

Body Armor:                                                                           14 manufacturers  

United States — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law:
Federal firearm legislation is limited US states and municipalities regulate firearm use with their own gun laws

Stockpiles/Gun Numbers

Number of Privately Owned Firearms:

The estimated total number of guns held by civilians in the United States is 270,000,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population:

The rate of private gun ownership in the United States is 88.82 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms – World Ranking:

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, the United States ranked at No. 11

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population – World Ranking:

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 179 countries, the United States ranked at No. 12

Government Guns:

Number of Military Firearms:

The defense forces of the United States are reported to have 3,054,5533 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in the United States are reported to have 897,4004 firearms
Defence & law Enforcement =     3,951,953
                                 Civilians = 270,000,000

Firearm Manufacture

In the United States, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence22

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, the United States is ranked \'major\'23 24
Last Updated on 23 July 2012

Short References

1.Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q4)

2.Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q5)

23.Small Arms Survey.2001.‘Ranking of World's Small Arms Producers (By Sales).’ Small Arms Survey 2001: Profiling the Problem.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q103)Full Citation

24.Cook, Philip J, Wendy Cukier and Keith Krause.2009.‘Firearms and Firearm Regulation in North America: United States.’ The Illicit Firearms Trade in North America.London:Criminology & Criminal Justice,1 August. (Q1980)

And, these were the middle of the road in price:


Seller: AA GUNS & AMMO—BKLYNBOY  Area Code: 770                       $ 979.99


Seller: AA GUNS & AMMO—BKLYNBOY Area Code: 770                        $ 789.99