Breaking It Down

Maybe more like letting it out.  Forgive the seemingly randomness of the following rant, but its easier (and quicker) to just jot this stuff down as I think about it, than to try and put together a more coherent post:

I believe the the “issues” of the day have begun to stamp their feet and scream ‘Pay attention to me!”  Perhaps, in this age of stenographic “news” reporting, this must occur.  Hard to care much about pregnant teens and pigs sporting Maybelline when you can’t buy gas, huh?

I believe we got a little preview of what the future holds with respect to both fuel availability and price this week.  The bottom line:  Drill, don’t drill, it won’t matter either way.  The fact is, the rest of the world is and has been paying more to move about, and heat, cool, and light their homes than we have for a very long time.  That is over.  Even if there was a military-based solution to this “problem”, we no longer have the military to make it happen.  You can’t bomb your way to lower prices, and invading and occupying takes money and manpower that we just don’t have.  All of us must recalculate our budgets to adjust for at least a 20% increase in fuel costs, factoring in the increases in food prices due to higher shipping costs.

I worry that more and more family pets will be abandoned as the cost to keep them becomes prohibitive.

With all the talk of mortgage securities and sub-prime markets, it seems no one is talking about the other elephant in the room:  Consumer debt.  How many Americans re-financed their homes to pay off credit card debt?  They have moved their creditors from holding unsecured debt to holding secured debt, and there will be a day of reckoning that will make the mortgage crisis look like a bump in the road.  People with cash will be in a position to feast at the fire-sale, which is essentially what happened in the 30s.  Some people think this is by design…I’m not quite ready to don that foil hat, but i could be convinced.

While we are bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, spending our children’s money, Pakistan, Yemen, and North Korea and Iran are poised to explode.  All we can do is watch.

Health care reform is dead for awhile.  Ditto any kind of meaningful infrastructure and education overhauls.  There is no money left. And that, my friends, WAS by design.  A word of advice…next time someone talking to you tries to make the case to privatize Social Security, just punch them in the mouth.

The war on drugs should be stopped.  Today.  Its incredibly expensive, and incredibly ineffective.  All it is doing is feeding one of the fastest growing industries in the country:  Incarceration.  Its morally reprehensible to deprive someone of their personal liberty due to drug use.

Naomi Klein rocked last night on Bill Maher.  Pending the approval of The Primary Wife, i intend to make her an honorary Coyote Creek Wife.  (Boy, Canada is a gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it?  Seems all my favorite people come from there)

I think the events of this week tell us that financial literacy should be incorporated into our educational system, immediately.  You know, it used to be so…at least i remember a High School class that taught us how to balance a checkbook.

I have been doing this for awhile, but it might serve us all well to acknowledge and indeed elevate those around us that really work for their living.  They should feel like they are valued and that the work they perform is appreciated both by the wage they make, and maybe more importantly, by how they are viewed by the rest of us.  Do you know your garbage man’s name?  How about your letter-carrier?  Sometimes, its the little gestures that can have huge pay-offs….many people wear name-tags at their job, so, use them.  Call your cashier or stock-boy by name.  I can’t tell you how many smiles I have received by saying ‘Thank-you, ______.”

I’ll end this here, and thanks for stopping by!

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Breaking It Down

  1. Those nice folks who’ve brought us broken g0vernment will look at abandoned pets as an opportunity for the disadvantaged to help themselves.

  2. OOOOOOOOOOH! Noodles and poodles! My favorite.

  3. Health care reform is dead for awhile.

    Wait … you mean the American people bought a gigantic insurance company this week and we don’t even get HEALTH INSURANCE out of the deal?

  4. Southern Beale:

    No, but Sarah Palin will say a prayer that we all live long enough to pay for the bailout.

  5. Mack:

    OT, but check out the video, “One Semester Of Spanish Love Song” over at

    http://theunapologeticmexican.org/elmachete/

  6. Hell, Beale, we didn’t even get a discount on car insurance for $85 billion.

  7. ugh, ya know Mack… it’s hard to remain positive from where I sit. And I echo most of the sentiments you’re expressing here.

    I was watching the news the other day (right, my first mistake) and Brian Williams asked Chuck Todd “who is responsible for this” and CT said “well, Brian, the fact is we all are…” — I literally screamed at the television “OH NO IT’S NOT!” I’m sure I could have gotten a “no money down” loan or whatever, but I knew that wasn’t something that was a good idea at the time for me. I’m glad I didn’t jump on that bandwagon. Unfortunately, I now get to enjoy my taxes being used to clean up the mess.

    Some of us do our best to live responsibly. I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate a meal at a restaurant. I cook at the beginning of the week and eat leftovers until it’s gone. I rarely turn on lights, and the ones I do turn on are the cost efficient ones, can’t think of the proper name.

    I also rarely go out to socialize anymore. I invite people over, and they BYOB. It’s cheaper, we have better conversations and I avoid the risk of a DUI.

    As I work from home, I don’t have to leave the house often, luckily. But when I do, I consolidate my errands into one trip, and plan accordingly. And I started this trend about three years ago, not when gas prices spiked.

    And for the record, I’m not part of the problem with the issue of the gas issue that’s currently going on. I haven’t put gas in my car in at least three weeks. And I refuse to pay $4.50 for a gallon. I can walk to the grocery store and I will in protest. I’ve done it before.

    I hold out no hope for any end to the healthcare nonsense. Those are just empty campaign promises — like a lot of the other rhetoric that’s spewed as a soundbite.

    I usually gage the market on what other graphic designers are saying/doing. Everyone in town is freaking out. We’re usually the first ones to take a hit in a bad economy as we don’t offer services that are imperative. I just got an email from a fellow designer saying “I’m freaking the f**k out!” – I told her “yeah, me too”

    Sorry to hijack the comment space here, but what you said spoke to me. I just find it very disconcerting that those of us out here who aren’t trying to lead an instant gratification lifestyle are the ones getting screwed.

    I’m 33 years old. . . and I don’t see much hope ahead right now. Isn’t that sad?

  8. Beth, actually, its refreshing to see someone take the time to place a long, thoughtful comment.

    I’m actually positive about what the future CAN hold, provided we do what is necessary right now. I’ve thought long and hard about it, and I am against this bail-out. Maybe a purge is necessary for Americans to wake up, and learn a little about cooperative living again.

  9. Mack, I’m no economist, so I’ll have to reserve judgement on what position I take on the bailout.

    I would be positive about the future IF so many were not adhering to the “instant gratification” lifestyle and insisting on keeping up with the Jones’. And using credit to finance these whims.

    Seems to me the chickens are coming home to roost.

    I come from a small town in MS. And it’s amazing to me how that mentality is so prevalent even there. One person gets a gigantic SUV, and everyone else has to get one too. One person buys a $200 purse, and there is a rush at Belk for the same one.

    Not everything is disposable, and people fail to realize that they will not spontaneously combust if their selfish consumer desires are not met. I am living proof.

    Maybe this is what it takes for Americans to wake up. If this isn’t, well, I don’t know what will.

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