Tag Archives: Life insurance

Income Inequality Is Off The Charts

My Comments: The greatest economic threats to the health and welfare of the world I will leave to my grandchildren will arise from the disparity between the haves and the have-nots.

One side of this argument arises from the contempt that was pervasive across the planet toward a political movement driven by what came to be known as communism. This arose in Russia and the Soviet Union as a philosophy and embraced the notion of ‘to each according to his needs’. It was a rejection of free enterprise and the notion that every individual member of society have the ability to rise above the others and receive ‘more than what he needs’.

We’ve long established that any system that denies individuals the opportunity to win or lose the economic game of life is going to fail. Without the ability to dream of success, people simply fail if there is no motivation to excel.

The other side of this argument hinges on the unfettered ability to succeed with total disregard to the aspirations and dreams of others playing the same economic game. Any barrier imposed by society is deemed contemptible and must be removed. And yet we live with barriers and have done for millenia and survived. And survived well. How many of us argue against the notion that you should drive your car on just one side of the street, and not whichever side you choose on any given day?

These and similar rules are imposed by society on it’s members and we’ve long since become comfortable with them and don’t see them as a barrier to be railed against. But suggest that bankers and stock-brokers be required to act in the best interest of their clients, with rules and regulations and penalties if you don’t and before you know it, the wailing starts.

It’s known as the DOL Fiduciary Standard rule. It goes into effect on April 1, 2017. I believe there are valid and rational reasons why society should impose this rule on those of us who act in a professional capacity to help others grow their money. Right now the rule is coming from the Department of Labor and is directed toward anyone who acts in an advisory capacity with respect to money being accumulated for retirement. Naturally, there are exceptions which no one is talking about.

I think this rule should be expanded. Yes, it will be disruptive and will no doubt have unintended consequences. But I see income inequality as the canary in the coal mine. If we don’t take steps to correct it, the coal mine will fill with noxious gas and everyone who enters will die.

With Trump in the White House, there’s going to be shouting all up and down Wall Street to get rid of this rule. NO. Amend it here and there, phase in the penalties if you will, but it’s a very necessary step, among many, that are necessary to diminish the growing economic disparity between members of our society. It’s not about denying some the opportunity to succeed any more than it’s about making sure none of us ‘has more than we need’. It’s about doing the right thing without resorting to stealing to make sure I succeed and you don’t. We all have the right to be successful, and society has an obligation to keep us playing on a level playground.

Theo Anderson | December 29, 2016

The income gap between the classes is growing at a startling rate in the United States. In 1980, the top 1 percent earned on average 27 times more than workers in the bottom 50 percent. Today, they earn 81 times more.

The widening gap is “due to a boom in capital income,” according to research by French economist Thomas Piketty. That means the rich are living off of their wealth rather than investing it in businesses that create jobs, as Republican, supply-side economics predicts they would do.

Piketty played a pivotal role in pushing income inequality to the center of public discussions in 2013 with his book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” In a new working paper, he and his co-authors report that the average national income per adult grew by 61 percent in the United States between 1980 and 2014. But only the highest earners benefited from that growth.

For those in the top 1 percent, income rose 205 percent. Meanwhile, the average pre-tax income of the bottom 50 percent of workers was basically unchanged, stagnating “at about $16,000 per adult after adjusting for inflation,” the paper reads.

It notes that this trend has important political consequences: “An economy that fails to deliver growth for half of its people for an entire generation is bound to generate discontent with the status quo and a rejection of establishment politics.”

But the authors also note that the trend is not inevitable or irreversible. In France, for example, the bottom 50 percent of pre-tax income grew by about the same rate — 32 percent — as the overall national income per adult from 1980 to 2014.

The difference? In the United States, “the stagnation of bottom 50 percent of incomes and the upsurge in the top 1 percent coincided with drastically reduced progressive taxation, widespread deregulation of industries and services, particularly the financial services industry, weakened unions and an eroding minimum wage,” the paper reads.

Piketty and Portland

President-elect Donald Trump’s administration promises at least four years of policies that will expand the gap in earnings. But a few glimmers of hope are emerging at the local level.

The city council of Portland, Oregon, for example, recently approved a tax on public companies that pay executives more than 100 times the median pay of workers. The surtax will increase corporate income tax by 10 percent if executive pay is less than 250 times the median pay for workers, and by 25 percent if it’s 250 and over. The tax could potentially affect more than 500 companies and raise between $2.5 million and $3.5 million per year.

The council cited Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” in the ordinance creating the tax. Steve Novick, the city commissioner behind it, recently wrote that “the dramatic growth of inequality has been fueled by very high compensation of a few managers at big corporations, as illustrated by the fact that 60 to 70 percent of people in the top 0.1 percent of income in the United States are highly paid executives at large firms.”

Novick said that he liked the idea when he first heard about it because it’s “the closest thing I’d seen to a tax on inequality itself.” He also said that “extreme economic inequality is — next to global warming — the biggest problem we have in our society.”

Investing in children

There is also hopeful news in the educational realm. James Heckman, a Nobel Laureate in economics at the University of Chicago who has spent much of his career studying inequality and early childhood education, recently published a paper that lays out the results of a long-term study.

In “The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program,” Heckman and others report that high-quality programs for children from birth to age 5 have long-term positive effects across a range of metrics, including health, IQ, participation in crime, quality of life and labor income.

Predictably, perhaps, the effects of the programs weren’t limited to children. High-quality early childhood education also allowed mothers “to enter the workforce and increase earnings while their children gained the foundational skills to make them more productive in the future workforce,” a summary of the paper reads.

“While the costs of comprehensive early childhood education are high, the rate of return of [high-quality programs] imply that these costs are good investments. Every dollar spent on high quality, birth-to-five programs for disadvantaged children delivers a 13 percent per annum return on investment.”

The research is important because early childhood education has bipartisan support. Over the summer, the Learning Policy Institute released a report that highlighted best practices from four states that have successful early childhood education programs. Two of them — Michigan and North Carolina — are swing states in national politics. The others are Washington and a solidly red state, West Virginia.

Although it isn’t a substitute for other policy tools to address inequality, like progressive taxes, early childhood education has strong bipartisan support because it produces measurable payoffs for both children and the economy. One study found, for example, that the economic benefit of closing the educational achievement gaps between children of different classes would be $70 billion each year.

Early childhood education fosters an “increasingly productive workforce that will boost economic growth, provide budgetary savings at the state and federal levels, and lead to reductions in future generations’ involvement with the criminal justice system,” the Economic Policy Institute recently noted. “These benefits will, of course, materialize only in coming decades when today’s children have grown up. But the research is clear that they will materialize — and when they do, they are permanent.”

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Solar Power Capacity Tops Coal for the First Time Ever

My Comments: Yes, this is only in China. But I grew up when coal was virtually 100% (in England). While China is newly industrialized compared to our status in the world, this headline has huge implications.

Also, keep in mind as a Florida voter, to vote NO on Amendment 1. This was promoted by the oil and gas industry to limit flexibility with respect to solar energy. And while you’re at it, don’t automatically re-elect the three judges on the Florida Supreme Court that allowed Amendment 1 to appear on the ballot. They are Charles Canady, Jorge LaBarga and Ricky Polston.

by Geoffrey Smith | October 25, 2016

China alone installed two wind turbines per hour and 500,000 solar panels a day last year.

Solar power now accounts for more installed capacity than any other form of electricity generation, according to new data out Tuesday.

“About half a million solar panels were installed every day around the world last year,” the Paris-based International Energy Agency said in a new report on the renewables sector, as emerging markets in particular bet heavily on green power. China also installed the equivalent of two wind turbines every hour last year.

In total, over half the new power capacity installed last year—153,000 megawatts, or 153 gigawatts—was renewable-sourced. That’s a 15% increase from the previous year, and three-quarters of it came in the shape of wind (66 GW) or solar photo-voltaic (49 GW).

Capacity is what a plant can theoretically produce. Actual generation remains much lower, due to the basic unpredictability of resources such as sunlight and wind. But even on levels of actual generation, the IEA said renewables would close the gap rapidly going forward.

“We are witnessing a transformation of global power markets led by renewables and, as is the case with other fields, the center of gravity for renewable growth is moving to emerging markets,” said Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.

The IEA said the share of renewables in the generation mix would rise to 28% within six years, from 23% at the end of last year. It raised its forecast for green power output in that timeframe by 13% “due mostly to stronger policy backing in the U.S., China, India and Mexico.”

Another factor expected to help is a continued fall in costs: the IEA reckons the cost of solar PV will fall by a quarter, and the cost of onshore wind will fall by 15%. Lower capital costs mean that an installation can break even with lower load rates.

While climate change policy plays a large role in countries’ policy choices, especially in the wake of the Paris summit last year, the IEA pointed out that cutting air pollution and diversifying energy supplies are just as important some some countries. In China, in particular, renewables are helped by the fact that overall energy demand is growing rapidly, and renewables are the only option for meeting demand in places where pollution is already a hard constraint.

In China and India, where the fastest growth in green power is expected, it will still cover less than half of the overall increase in electricity demand. By contrast, in developed economies, renewables will grow faster than overall generation.

Reclaim Republicanism for the Conservatives

bumper stickerMy Thoughts: I vowed recently to stop posting anything political. All it does is encourage trolls who eviscerate those who dare to think differently.

But from time to time I’m reminded that a viable two party system is probably critical for the long term survival of our democracy. There is a crisis bubbling up that demands a solution. This article comes from Europe which has it’s own cross to bear.

December 2, 2015 by Peter Wehner – (The writer, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, served in the last three Republican administrations.)

The Republican party has traditionally been the predictable party when it comes to nominating a presidential nominee. But for 2016 everything has been tossed on its head. Donald Trump has a double-digit lead over his closest rival, according to a poll published Wednesday, leaving establishment figures trailing. The former reality television star in whom many are investing so much hope is also setting the terms of debate. The understandable frustration of many has transmogrified into a mindless attachment to a political harlequin. Something has gone awry in the party.

To understand how, one needs to understand the peculiar political currents in today’s US. Anti-political anger has descended on many Republican voters. The party’s leading candidates — Mr Trump and the neurosurgeon Ben Carson, neither of whom has governing experience — are benefiting.

This anger is, in some respects, justified. Political institutions have long been unresponsive to the challenges many Americans face, including stagnant wages, rising tuition and health costs, a byzantine tax code, high debt levels and mediocre education. Trust in politicians has fallen to the lowest level in 50 years, according to the Pew Research Center. Hence the appeal of an outsider such as Mr Trump, especially among male blue-collar workers, many of whom have borne the brunt of globalisation.

Mr Trump has also tapped into something that resonates with many of these Republicans: illegal immigration. This has undermined the rule of law and depressed the economic prospects of some low-skilled workers. But he has addressed the issue in a typically Trumpian way. He opts for extreme positions and incendiary language. He has implied that large numbers of those coming from Mexico are rapists and drug dealers, and advocated ending birthright citizenship and forcibly deporting millions of undocumented immigrants. The immigration issue, in turn, may be a proxy for those Americans, many of them older and working class, who feel they have “lost” their country and are fearful of the future.

But Mr Trump is ill informed on crucial issues. Answering a question about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, he railed against China, which is not part of the deal. He confused Iran’s Quds force with the Kurds. In the wake of the Isis attacks in Paris, he says, he “absolutely” wants a database of Muslims in America. He is also perpetuating the libel that “thousands and thousands” of Arab-Americans in New Jersey cheered as the Twin Towers crumbled on 9/11.

He has a tendency to inhabit a fairytale world. Mr Trump claims he will force Mexico to pay for the wall he wants built along its border. He claims that a President Trump would defeat Isis “very quickly”. Meanwhile, he purveys conspiratorial-sounding theories on subjects ranging from President Barack Obama’s birth certificate to the risks of childhood vaccination.

And then there is Mr Trump’s boorish manner. He has implied that a news anchor’s tough questions of him could be attributed to menstruation. He has ridiculed Senator John McCain’s ordeal as a prisoner of war. He has likened Mr Carson to a child molester with pathological tendencies. And last week he mocked a reporter with a disability.

It would be nice to chalk up his success to temporary insanity — an episode of Trumpmania that will end on its own. But a figure like Mr Trump does not appear ex nihilo. He is the product of certain intellectual and political habits that have taken hold over the years: a lazy anti-government ideology, prizing emotivism over empiricism, and conflict in pursuit of lost causes. This is not conservatism; it is splenetic, embittered populism. These habits of thought are discrediting the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. Now would be a good time to begin to break them.

The Republican field boasts accomplished candidates — senators and governors — with serious reform agendas for the 21st century. The first primary is not until February, so it is not too late for Republicans to rally to one of them. They better had, because if they nominate Mr Trump, America’s avatar of irrationality, it will do grave harm to the party.

Edwin Hubble’s Birthday

I’m not sure how many more I will have, but their celebration as a recurring milestone in life is a good thing. Among my daily pleasures is checking a website with an image of cosmic interest. An image like this one, for example. Virtually every speck of light, including the swirls and blue, smudgy spots, are stars like our Sun. If you believe in God, then all this comes under his purview, even if it’s many billions of light years away.

When people hear the name “Hubble,” they likely think of the Hubble Space Telescope, which has brought the wonders of the universe to all of us. It showed us that we are just a drop in a system of 100 billion galaxies. Yet the scientist behind the telescope’s name, Edwin Hubble, was just as important (if not more) in opening the eyes of the world to the wonders of space.

Today (11/20/2015) marks Edwin Hubble’s 126th birthday. He was a record holding athlete in high school, University of Chicago graduate, World War I veteran, University of Oxford graduate, holder of a Ph.D. in astronomy and, at one point, knocked out the German heavyweight champion in a boxing match. He also proved that the universe has an uncountable number of galaxies other than our own, and discovered the rate at which all of the galaxies in the universe were expanding.

That last discovery is what made Hubble especially famous. The expansion rate is known as the Hubble constant, and measuring that constant is the goal of the famous Hubble Space Telescope. Eventually, his theories were built upon by future generations, leading to the development of the Big Bang theory in the 1960s. Today, the telescope that bears his name still tests his ideas and lets humans on Earth see our awe-inspiring universe.

Cameron’s Cunning Plan for Bombing ISIS in Syria

My Thoughts: Now that Thanksgiving Day has passed, and Black Friday is upon us, it’s time to come back to earth. BTW, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends; let’s do it again next year.

The subtitle of this article, which comes from The Financial Times, reads as follows: The questions over extending air raids answered in 43 key points. I’ve added a couple of edits since most of them apply to the US as well as Great Britain.

November 26, 2015 by Robert Shrimsley

David Cameron has announced his intention to seek parliamentary approval for Britain to join the international forces bombing Isis strongholds in Syria. Assuming the prime minister wins that vote, raids will start in the next few weeks.

He has wanted to do this for some time and feels the Paris attacks have turned public opinion and parliamentary arithmetic in his favour.
Here, then, are the key things you need to know about UK intervention in Syria.

1. British contributions to the air campaign against the Islamist militants will make absolutely no difference at all.
2. No, really, none.
3. You know all those bombs already being dropped on Isis? Well, now there will be a few more.
4. But not that many more.
5. And many of those that will be dropped on Isis in Syria would have been dropped on Isis in Iraq instead.
6. What do you think we are — made of bombs?
7. But even though it will make no difference, we are going to do this anyway because Britain ( also the US ) is not a country that stands on the sidelines.
8. It is important to stress that, before the decision to bomb Syria, there was absolutely no plan on how to defeat Isis.
9. And there still isn’t.
10. But something must be done.
11. And this is that something.
12. These people are really evil.
13. I mean super-evil. Horrible.
14. So we are all going to feel a lot better about ourselves because now we are going to be in there socking it to them as well.
15. I cannot say this will beat them but I can say it will degrade them, which sounds like something.
16. We are doing this to make Britain ( also the US ) safer from the threat of Isis.
17. Even though we cannot offer a single reason whatsoever to believe it will achieve that goal.
18. Some will say that Britain ( also the US ) may make itself more of a target for Isis terror attacks.
19. But we are a target already so whatever is going to happen was going to happen anyway and doesn’t it feel better to know we’ve landed a few punches in advance?
20. We do realize that air strikes alone cannot defeat Isis.
21. But that’s all we’ve got at the moment.

France has been courting US and Russian support for a war on Isis in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. But while Russia and Turkey, a Nato member, claim to be fighting the same foe, they themselves saw armed combat this week when Turkey shot down a Russian jet on its border with Syria. Mark Vandevelde asks Gideon Rachman and Geoff Dyer whether world powers are capable of making common cause against Isis.

22. We know that these attacks have to be part of a clear and coherent strategy for isolating and defeating Isis. But we do not have the luxury of waiting for one to emerge.
23. So any ideas on a postcard please.
24. Our military strategists make clear that there can be no ultimate victory over those foul butchers in Isis without “boots on the ground”.
25. But none of those boots are going to be ours.
26. We think that stuff is best left to the military forces in Iraq and Syria that have been doing such a bang-up job fighting Isis up till now.
27. We do recognize that ultimately only a negotiated political settlement can create the conditions in which Isis can be permanently defeated.
28. That’s why we are negotiating with other countries to try to work out what that settlement should be.
29. We’re not quite there yet.
30. In the meantime, bombs away.
31. We are absolutely clear that the long-term political settlement for Syria does not include Bashar al-Assad.
32. Which is a bit of a pity because Russia and Iran are clear that it does.
33. Syria’s future must lie with the moderate anti-Assad opposition.
34. The ones that Russia has been bombing.
35. We are doing this because Britain ( also the US ) is not a country that stands on the sidelines in the face of evil.
36. We step up to the plate and play our part.
37. Like we did in Libya.
38. Which worked out well.
39. We recognize that there are people in this country with doubts about the wisdom of this action.
40. But, since those doubts are going to be articulated by Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, ( Bernie Sanders? ) we are not too worried about that.
41. We further recognize that stepping up bombing raids could increase the number of refugees fleeing Syria.
42. But they’re not coming here.
43. Because this regional problem requires a regional solution.

Rifleman Victor Gregg remembers WW2

My Thoughts About This: Veterans Day is when we honor and remember those who served their country, both those who lived and those who didn’t. When I took my draft physical in college, VietNam was only an existential threat but I was not unhappy to get a 1Y classification. As a result I didn’t serve in the armed services. My draft card is still among my effects.

As “boots on the ground” becomes once again a real possibility in the middle east, and with today being Veterans Day, I have very mixed feelings about us going to war yet again. Nothing much good ever comes of it yet nothing much good ever comes from ignoring the threat.

While it’s very difficult to ignore the humanitarian crisis that inevitably results from armed conflict, I’m inclined to think that until those folks in the middle east overcome their tribal instincts, our efforts and the inevitable death of American servicemen and women is not going to make much of a difference. It took centuries and World War I to get the European tribes to stop pissing on each other.

My father was in the British Army from 1939 to 1946. He was with the British Expeditionary Force which just escaped destruction at Dunkirk, then went to Burma with the 14th Army, and then landed in France on DDay plus 3. He survived without injury, but NEVER talked about it.

7 November 2015  by Victor Gregg

This was taken in 1937, about three weeks after I’d arrived at Winchester [the Rifle Depot and training barracks]. I’d been kitted out and the photographer came along and there I am, looking like God’s gift to all women. I don’t know how he captured that angelic appearance because I wasn’t angelic.

Neither was my friend Frankie [Batt], who joined up with me. He was on the train when I got on at Waterloo to come to Winchester. The hat I’m wearing here has got a bit of wire around the brim inside to keep it smart. The first thing Frankie did was take the wire out. Even at 18, he was thumbing his nose at authority.

Frankie and I served together. We went down to Tidworth together, we went to India together, we came out of India and went to Palestine together, and that’s when war was declared. One day Frankie was bringing us some mortars because we’d run out of ammo. As usual we were right out at the front and the Germans were about 200 yards away.

Just as he was level with the battalion, the truck he was driving blew straight up into the air. When I rushed over he was still sitting in the cab, or what was left of him. The truck wasn’t even burning because there was nothing to burn. I tried to drag him out and the bottom half of him went all over my trousers. We don’t know what happened but it was probably a mine.

Out of the 18 blokes who went down on the train from London to Winchester on October 19, 1937, there’s only two of us left.

Emotionally, it was Dresden that did the most damage to me. It was the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen in my life: the realisation that women and children and old people were involved changed me. When I was in a front-line unit, it was always men against men.

All of a sudden, I see women and children being drawn up into the sky. I remember one woman clasping her baby, she’s all alight, her clothes are alight, her hair’s alight and she’s got a little baby. I watched her get dragged along the street and then all of a sudden she goes up in the air, as the suction of the windstorm tries to feed the bonfire that is the centre of Dresden.

After the war ended, I came out of Paddington station and looked around me. I didn’t know what to do. I was torn into bits mentally: there was no room for any joy. Every year [on November 11] I join in the singing out of respect for the lads that didn’t make it. But by the 12th most people have forgotten it. People need to understand the evil that war brings about.

 

Our Place in the Cosmos

My Comments: This has nothing to do with economics or finance or asparagus. Whatever it is that allows me to think about and observe our presence on this relatively miniscule lump of rock in the cosmos we call earth is beyond my ability to understand.

This is an image of a tiny piece of sky, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. Almost every point of light in this image represents a galaxy with about a hundred billion stars like the Sun. Credit: NASA, ESA, H.Teplitz and M. Rafelski (IPAC/Caltech), A. Koekemoer (STScI), R. Windhorst (ASU), Z. Levay (STScI). ( I didn’t record where I found this article so cannot attribute it properly – just know that it was written by someone else.)

During the past few decades we have discovered that at least from a physical perspective, humans are but a speck of dust in the grand scheme of the universe.

We live on a small planet which revolves around a very ordinary star. The Kepler space observatory has shown us that our Milky Way galaxy is teeming with about a billion Earth-size planets orbiting their parent stars in the Habitable Zone (that not-so-cold-not-so-hot region that allows for liquid water to exist on the planet’s surface). The Hubble Space Telescope has revealed that there are a few hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe (Figure 1 shows the Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2014). That is not all.

Even the stuff we are made of — ordinary (baryonic) matter — constitutes less than 5% of the cosmic energy budget. About 25% is in the form of dark matter — matter that neither emits nor absorbs any light, and about 70% is in the form of dark energy — a mysterious, smooth energy that may represent the energy of empty space.

And if that is not enough, some recent speculations suggest that even our entire universe may be just one member of a huge ensemble of universes — a “multiverse” — consisting of some 10*500 (that is, 1 followed by 500 zeros) universes.

Taken at face value, these facts may seem depressing for our sense of importance. I would like to suggest, however, that in many ways humans still occupy a central role on the cosmic scene.

First, almost all the atoms in our bodies were forged in the nuclear furnaces at the centers of stars. The early universe was composed only of hydrogen, helium, and tiny amounts of a few other light atoms. All the atoms of carbon, oxygen, iron, and so on, that are necessary for life, were fused either in stellar cores or in massive stellar explosions. In this sense, not only are we in the universe, the universe is inside us.

Second, to date, the Earth is the only place in the universe where we have discovered life, and intelligent life in particular.

So at least for now, this makes us very special. But it’s more than that. The famous physicist Enrico Fermi wondered once “where are they?” In other words, if our Galaxy truly contains many intelligent civilizations, some of which may be ahead of us by a billion years, how is it possible that we have not seen any sign of them yet?

Nobody knows the answer to this so-called “Fermi Paradox,” but one of the speculations is that there exists some bottleneck to the emergence of intelligent civilizations, and that this bottleneck could have either been in our past, or we will hit upon it in the future. That is, either to reach our stage is extremely hard, or there is something that prevents intelligent civilizations from being long-lived. If either of these two speculations is correct, it puts a heavy burden of responsibility on humanity’s shoulders. In the first case, we may be one of very few (or the very first!) to have made it to the “intelligent” phase.

In the second case, we will have to prove that maybe we can survive what others have not.

The third reason that makes humanity special, in spite of its insignificance from a purely physical perspective, is the human curiosity and knowledge. When Copernicus demoted the Earth from its central place in the solar system, it was a human who discovered that.

When astronomer Harlow Shapley showed at the beginning of the last century that the solar system was not at the center of the Milky Way (it is about two thirds of the way out), that again represented a human discovery. The same was true for the discoveries of billions of other galaxies, of dark matter and of dark energy — all human discoveries!

Put differently, our cosmos has expanded JUST AS FAST AS THE HORIZONS OF OUR KNOWLEDGE. This is why we are truly important.