Gee... I say your references are not good and I am a troll. All I asked for was proper citations.
I have an old LG Cosmo 3. Everything you asked for is all I do with it. I need to replace it though as the screen is now getting too scratched up. I think they still make them. Though I might upgrade to a Kramer.
The site you link to has no peer reviewed papers, charts with out proper methodology cited, and links to essentially nowhere. Not acceptable.
Looking it up I see a dip due to the recession (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...). The question is if this trend will continue. The next question is if it is enough or too little.
Fail. Link points to a report which contains numerous links to actual reports and paper providing what was asked.
Because people don't spend a few hours to research their politicians before voting for them. Ignorance is not an excuse nor is laziness.
Then who keeps electing them? In a democracy you don't always get the government you want but you always get the government you deserve.
With a few exceptions such as assembly if your code is not readable you are doing it wrong. Code needs to be maintainable. The maintenance costs and lifespan of code often far exceed development cost and time span. If you are not writing clear code you are writing crappy code.
I was once complimented on the clarity or my Perl code. I posted some and got several stero-typical responses fo 'well it could be written better as....'. Then someone piped in and said something like, "screw it, It's clean and easy to read. There's nothing wrong with it". And that is what my experience as a maitnence programmer taught me. If no one can read it to maintain it, it is crappy code.
Don't use your retirement for this! Too risky. Only money you can afford to lose.
White. Now what sort of penguin is standing next to you?
That looks good on paper but rarely works out in real life. In order for it to work everyone must be honest and a monopoly does not exist. We are a very far way from the idealized small shopkeeper model of Adam Smith. Here are some reasons for government regulation of taxis:
1) So customers do not get ripped off. Prices are set or at least clearly advertised.
2) So customers are not raped or murdered. If you hire a ride from Joe Random taxi driver without licensing and a background check you have no assurance about the driver. In fact the lack of assurance could kill the industry as people look for other options.
3) Insurance. If there is an accident are passengers, occupants of other vehicles, or pedestrian need to be covered if the taxi driver is at fault.
4) Mechanical safety of the vehicle. Has the Uber and Lyft cars been checked over for dangerous faults or wear and tear? Are the tires good? Etc.
5) ENSURING competition. If one company gets too big you restrict their licenses while issuing more for their competitors. Sometimes the best way to approach the ideal of a free market is through careful regulation. Free market != unregulated market.
Those are the ones on of the top of my head. The world is much more complex that Economics 101 or a fictional account of how one writer thinks the world should work. It is even more complex and dynamic that even people with Phds in economics can imagine, IMO. Instead of simplistic solutions we need to look for solutions that actually work.
1) Start a business. If you are an engineer with a PE stamp you can do it.
2) Invent something. Preferably something that helps people.
3) Buy into a start up and help it grow. One that you can desconstruct and see if the people are just BSing you. Risky.
4) Like 3, microfinance. Also risky.
Besides you engineering training you should learn a little accounting and finance. This is required if you want to understand the basics of investing.
Land you can farm. Silver is worthless.
Do a little reading on Iran-Contra and the role drug money played. See also how the same approach was used to fund an illegal war in Laos by the CIA, Panama, Mexico and a host of others.
Here's a starting point: