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Posts Tagged ‘Economy’

Our Thanksgiving dinner spread the length of a couple of tables near a stand of moss covered oaks and cypress. The thought of not sitting at a table with china and silverware at first seemed odd, but then I thought back to the first Thanksgiving. Our setting was much more in tune with the Pilgrims and Indians. This arrangement had an unexpected bonus, too, the chance to meet new people.

The camper in the next site saw the bald eagle as I was moving closer to get a photo. When it flew back into the trees he thought he saw where it landed, so we moved farther into the grove as he told me he had never seen a bald eagle in Florida. He was in his thirties, olive skinned, and his dark eyes lit up at such a sighting. Unfortunately we didn’t see the eagle again. The only birds above us were a flock of buzzards. They didn’t mind having their picture taken.

Do you have any idea how much you can learn about a person in a few minutes while you walk back to camp?

“See that small tent?” he said, pointing to a dark green, small pup tent by the larger one. I’m working on a design for a bear proof tent. That one is much stronger than our large, commercial one, but not strong enough.

“My next one will be made from high tensile strength airplane cloth.” This is where he got really excited. “With that cloth you can make a hole only if you really hammer something into it, and then to rip it takes 600 pounds of tensile strength.”

I took it word for it that that was really strong.

I asked what he did when not designing bear-proof tents. He had been a pilot for a cargo company before the economy went down. Now he buys and sells cars. That led to a discussion of the economy and presidents’ effect on it. We were on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but discussed the influence of Obama, the Bushes, Clinton and Reagan, agreeing on some points while remaining a chasm apart on others.

As we neared our camps I wondered about his wife, still sitting in her camp chair. Did she have these conversations with him—or with strange men she wandered into the woods with? And was she hot sitting there wrapped from head to foot in a long garment with a scarf around her head? So yes, you can learn a lot in a short walk in a campground, but you can also end up with a lot more questions than answers.

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My lucky charm, the resident black racer, showed up at exactly 2 p.m. yesterday. As you can see from these charts the market immediately started upward. Too bad he crawled away after a while, taking the market along. Yesterday’s dip wasn’t as bad as previous days, though. What will today bring? Where is my lucky charm?

 

Note: I had to remove the chart because I posted a live one, which is totally not relevant. Trust me, it went up at 2 p.m.

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MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics writer says Social Security checks are going up $63 a month for the typical retiree — the largest increase in more than a quarter century but likely to seem puny to the millions who have been watching in horror as Wall Street lays waste to their retirement nest eggs.

 

He goes on to say the Senior Citizens League said (doesn’t he believe them?) it did a study that indicated people 65 and over have lost 51 percent of their buying power since 2000, with the price of home heating oil and gasoline more than doubling since the beginning of the decade and such food staples as eggs and potatoes showing big increases as well.

 

Well, I guess seniors were the only consumers to face these increases for eggs and potatoes, heating oil and gasoline. How does that work? You’re under 65, you get a discount? Oh, I forgot. You get a discount all over the place if you are AARP age. Don’t forget 10% off Mondays at TJ Maxx, Tuesdays at Marshalls (or vice versa).

 

If Crutsinger has really taken the pulse of seniors, what a bunch of whiny, ungrateful, wrinkled old buzzards there are out there. We are talking 5.8% increase. How many younger workers do you know who got that kind of raise this year? (Excluding CEO’s of failed, bankrupt and bankrupting companies)

 

Yes, those felonious Wall Street crooks laid waste to retirement eggs, including ours, but who are we to expect hard working, young wage-earners to make up the difference? Their 401-K’s got battered, too.

 

So if you are a senior, stop your sissy, pathetic whining and enjoy your 5.8% raise by spending it where young workers who are contributing to the Social Security fund every working day will get a little benefit back. Maybe with the new money circulating around next year a few of their tedious, grinding jobs will be saved. It’s the least you can do.

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All last week as the markets tanked I crowded onto the website of Wall Street Journal like a moth to flame. And today the Dow ends up over 900 points. Is this for real or a euphoric blip? Should I have been selling today when the market didn’t tank after 3 p.m.? Only time will tell.

 

To my credit, I didn’t bite on any of those commercials flashing just below the market report all last week. The Jack Daniels bottle all but danced out of there and poured me a drink. Now that I understood the targeted marketing concept, I watched for someone to sell spots on the ledge of the 14th floor of an office building. A news story  running below was about San Francisco’s plans to install a chain net under its bridge, though its not there yet.  Wink Wink

 

For today, I will settle for pinning the tail back on the financial donkey. Besides I’m out of Jack Daniels.

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Ask yourself one question. Do you want McCain or Obama tinkering under the hood of our economic engine as it is sputtering and choking? All I can say is, either of them better have a darn good set of wrenches. Somebody needs to demand names of prospective staff and cabinet posts — and don’t allow them to get coy. McCain admitted he knows little of economics. I frankly don’t see anything in Obama’s background that gives me hope.  Marry off our country to a rich one or get cash from a nefarious friend don’t seem to be viable answers for the situation we are in. One of those light weights will be keeping your country’s checkbook. I can’t think of anything more important than knowing who will be sitting beside him licking the pencil lead.

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