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Posted By BrotherBart,
Jun 9, 2014 at 7:55 PM
Just launched the boat and the boat dealer told me things are looking up.....just like the stock market! I guess when the monthly statements start looking better, those 8K camps and 1K suitcase packings look cheap......
In NYC you will find examples of lots of stuff like that. The same folks sign their kids up for private school before they are born (the kids) and pay $35K+ per year or more for the privilege.
$1,000 to pack a suitcase? Well, it's all relative. I just paid more than that for a new white sheet (a new jib for the boat).....
Speaking of undies with your name and label in them......I remember that's what got some kids in trouble in military school. Seems a certain set of underpants were found somewhere off limits...and this was well before "don't ask don't tell", etc....
Moral of the story - never have your name permanently marked in anything you may want to disavow.
Speaking of the market, pulled two envelopes out of the mailbox today. Felt good to open the envelope with the Exxon dividend check. Lost the buzz with the next envelope. The half year real property tax bill that ate the dividend check, plus three hundred more.
Fortunately I don't need a jib.
Our little town is looking for a 1 million dollar overide - which means over and above the cap increase.
It will add about another $600 to our yearly tax bill.
Worse yet, they don't even try to explain either why they need it - or even what they are going to do with all of it! The only reason they need it is theft and bad management.
The formula for getting these things through is time tested. Tell all the school moms and teachers you are going to cut their budgets and layoff teachers big time. Instantly, they rise up and start clamoring for that tax increase.....
I don't know, though. This is New England. I guarantee if we all actually voted it would go down. BUT, they get to word the ballot question (tricky) and set the special dates for the election - meaning a date when they can get the YES vote out. They will not, of course, spend a dime to inform voters of what is happening.
Said it many times before, we have a national religion. Education. You can't say anything against it and you can't deny it money.
Largest industry in the whole country, by a long shot. Look up the numbers.
Whatever happened to summer camp being... oh I dont know... a camp? When I went to summer scout camp as a kid I took a backpack and a sleeping bag. The great luxury was that our green canvas tents where up on wooden platforms off the ground.
I just sent mine off to camp. We borrowed sheets from a neighbor, and the were quite silky. I hope they elevate my scholarship kid to high status ($4200/3 weeks!!)
Was that an April Fools article?
The difference between Main Street and Wall Street:
I agree with pretty much everything in the article(great, by the way), except this statement:
Individuals involved in fraud and corruption on Wall Street don't get prosecuted
Not so sure that is true. I'm thinking Martha Stewart, and a few others. Still, I bet there are some Bigger Hands that never get slapped...
Lots of wall streeters have been prosecuted. It's in the news regularly. It took a couple years (as these things do), but quite a few convictions of some big time names....
As far as Main Street, a decent stock market and stable home prices do mean a lot to those in the upper 40% or so. We do have a problem with the poor and lower middle class (that's the min. wage thing - as well as the lack of jobs, which is a whole 'nother story)....
The favorite time I had in my childhood was when my parents sent me to a very rustic (no bathrooms in the tents, etc.) camp in MD. It's still there - called Echo Hill. Here's a pic.
I was six (7) years old and loved every minute of it. We fired rifles, made pottery, watched the bats, watched the ship ply the bay from the cliffs (no fences even with 60 foot cliffs down to the beach), etc.
After that they sent me to the "luxury" camp....which at least had wooden bunkhouses and bathrooms attached.
Fun stuff, still. We were always told that "the hicks" were going to come out of the woods and get us. Looking at the location of the camp today, that would mean suburbanites.
Here is some of Main Street:
"Small-business owners have recovered all of the optimism lost during the Great Recession, according to a report released Tuesday. The higher level of confidence is feeding into price increases.
The National Federation of Independent Business's small-business optimism index increased again to 96.6. last month, from 95.2 in April. The May reading is the highest since September, 2007, before the last recession."
I think we have to redefine the term "Main Street" - according to the above, Main Street (small biz) is very happy.
If the economy has recovered, and people can afford to send kids to camp, let alone blow $1000 to pack luxuries (might be cheaper to send a servant along with the little darlings), and "Main Street" is so deliriously freakin' happy--
Then how come interest rates are so damm low?
All I want to do is get a lousy 4% return on my savings.
I feel like I was cheated as a kid Waaaay back in the late 90's and turn of the century when I was at Boy Scout camp, we had to fling the wolf spiders off the walls of our old army tents before turning in. We had to do our business sitting on a piece of wood with a hole cut in it above a hole in the ground. We had to stay up at night and fend off the raccoons that ravaged camp at night (they'd come in our tents and pull our gear out while we were sleeping). We had to sit outside on picnic tables in the blistering heat learning about finances, or knot tying, or first aid. Once we had to build a shelter out of whatever we found in the woods and sleep in it in just the clothes we wore in. That was the worst! I had bugs crawling over me all night and probably only slept for an hour!!
And now I find out that I didn't need to pack my own bags!! Some kids just don't know what fun is anymore
A lagging indicator....I think rates will go up in a year or two.
In the meantime, I'd suggest
JNK - ETF of Junk bonds paying 5.8% or so
(in reality, baskets of junk bonds are quite safe).
AMLP - ETF of Energy stuff (pipelines, etc.) - paying 6%
(safe unless you think oil and gas companies are gonna go bye-bye)
T - AT&T, paying about 5.5% dividend
Any of these can also increase in stock price - which adds to the gains over time.
I may be crazy, but I consider this stuff to be quite safe....especially when all taken together in bulk.
I don't think we are going to see those 10% CD's (1980) like we saw before! It's the price we savers had to pay to bail out the rest of the country and world. All in all (IMHO) a fair trade because if the entire ship had gone down we'd probably be screwed even more.
I find that the dirtier I get, the more fun (still) I seem to be having.
A few years ago my middle daughter remarked "Dad, you seem really happy" when I was knee deep in some dirty remodeling project. She was right....even when I had the stores, my "happy place" was on the forklift over in the warehouse.
Yes, the mythology that one must attend and graduate from a 4 year college or university in order to be successful and therefor happy has proven to be very profitable.
$607 billion a year for K-12.
$472 billion for post secondary.
Labor force participation rate and long term unemployment are an issue, but this should be tempered a bit. Note the scale on that graph- it's a drop of 4% real (not 50%) over 14 years.
Some of this is explained by an aging workforce, early retirement taken or offered by companies ailing during the recession. Some other fraction is long term unemployed, which will have a lagging participation as, unfortunately, after 6 months or so, the average chance of finding employment goes down for a number of reasons.
I see reason to be hopeful that we are in the swing of a turnaround.
Call it 1.1 trillion.
What do we get for all that?
Nothing even remotely close to resembling something of 1.1 trillion in value imo.
Your typical early 20 something college graduate is nothing but a debt slave these days.
You interested in a bridge I have for sale in Brooklyn?
To anyone who's paying attention it's quite obvious that there is nowhere for us to go but deeper into that dark abyss.
The only legitimate debate is regarding our rate of descent.
LOL- seriously? What indicators are you looking at? Gut feeling?
I keep hearing about student loan debt. 7/10 students graduate from college with an average of $30k. The price of a decent car. It stinks to start with debt, but it should be put into perspective.
Now look at the wage and employment rate difference for going to college vs. not. Seems like it makes a lot of sense.
I'm not looking solely at economic indicators but I'd start with 17.5 trillion and growing at an exponential rate of nation debt. That's a good starting point I think.
From there we can look to the corrupt incestuous relationship between our corporate owned government and the international megacorps whose bidding they do. The military industrial complex that they abide by.....
Then there's the whole moral decay, intelligence of the average American being equal to that of a bowl of stale oatmeal thing.
Oh and 30K may not sound like a lot but it actually is when you have a fancy college degree and nothing to show for it but a job as a barista at Starbucks making 8.00/hr, you're looking at compounded interest on that 30K and haven't had a job interview for a decent paying job in the last 9 months.
Quick quiz- the deficit is a)increasing or b)decreasing... (hint- decreasing)
Read the link I posted. Average salary out of college is $20k higher before taxes. Live like a high school grad for a few years and it could be paid off. Americans like to increase spending when the pig is fat. I lived on very little as a grad student, and grad students still do.
Our "moral decay" gives us a lower murder and crime rate, lower teen pregnancy rate, and many other positive indicators over the past decades.
Stop listening to the idiots on the news that want viewership- the world is measurably better, whether you stick your fingers in your ears or not.
The deficit has seen very minimal decreases as of late. Big deal. When our debt reaches 30-40 trillion and the creditors have finally seen enough and call us on it are you going to point out that the previous year's deficit decreased by some minute % so we're good for it? That would be like nearing the credit limit on my credit card but telling myself "oh well even though I'm much closer to my limit this month it's a good thing because I only actually spent 10% less this month than I did last month." This is bizarre and dangerous logic. If you're the US government you don't care about logic though, you just up your own rate, again, and again. Sooner or later someone will step in and call us on this craziness. Rates to borrow money for the US govt will start to increase. This will be the beginning of the end.
If we have such low crime rates then why are all the liberals pissing in their pants about taking everyone's guns away?
I suggest you stop listening to the a-holes that wave the flags, run their mouths with that American exceptionalism verbal diarrhea and then stick their heads in the sand or rob you as you stick your's in the sand.