Category Archives: The Economy

Merry Christmas, Building and Loan!

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season.  I sure am.  First of all, it’s Christmas Day and we are wearing shorts.  Snow looks pretty in pictures, and the kids lament the lack of sledding, but dang.  Snow is cold.

Second, we’ve had our first Christmas sans Santa, and I’m so glad to be rid of that fat man.  The following opinion offends a lot of people, but here it is anyway:  I hate Santa Claus.

There.  I said it.

I’ve never understood why parents are so protective of the Santa fantasy.  You stay up half the night, wrapping and assembling and crafting a Santa scene.  You do all the work, and he gets all the credit.

Santa also encourages the idea that a child can have whatever he wants, if he is on the “good list.”  Nevermind the cost, child.  Santa’s little elves will construct it for free in their little workshop.  Also, nevermind the “made in China” label.

So, I broke it to the younger son sooner than necessary.  Some folks were disappointed, but lemme be honest.  The fact that I maintained the pretense for seven years is just short of a miracle.  I found myself apologizing for spoiling the fun too early, but being told the truth isn’t what upsets my younger son.

“That’s okay Mommy,” he says.  “But I don’t get why everyone lies to their kids about Santa.  That violates the Ten Commandments.”

What do you say to this logic?  Feel free to berate my lack of Christmas cheer in the comments.  Don’t even get me started on the newest deception crowding the Facebook feed, however:  Elf on the Shelf.  Seems like maybe he’s just Big Brother’s easy-going little brother.

School is going well, and we’ve found a church to attend.  Who knows what is in store for all of us in the next few years, but nevermind.  At least it’s bound to be interesting.

We’ve had family visiting all week.  Tomorrow we travel to visit more family.  Just having some time off is reason to celebrate.  Yeah, the fiscal cliff, sequestration and all that still looms ahead.  Beyond personal preparation, there’s nothing much to be done, really.  Our fellow citizens want to play chicken with the Gods of the Copybook Headings, and in the short term we can’t stop them.

Here’s this year’s tree, looking suspiciously like last year’s tree:

IMG_4485

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy New Year to you all.  Hold on to your butts, because 2013 is sure to be a bumpy ride . . .

“Idiots . . . It’s For You.”

This sweet vid was made well before Clint Eastwood spoke at the RNC.  It’s all the more relevant now, of course, and all the more humorous.

Oh, but his speech was bizarre, according to the powers-that-be.  Uh-huh.

A Stream of Consciousness

Has anybody noticed that all the lefty talk about Buffet’s secretary’s tax rate actually sounds like they are arguing for a flat tax?  Am I the only one amused by this?

Speaking of buffets, I’m so not cooking tonight.  One of the boys is sick enough to disrupt homeschooling.  The solution: a midday School House Rock! video marathon for all, to be followed later by copious amounts of wonton soup.

A lot of these School House Rock songs are unfamiliar.  Lovely lady liberty, with her book of recipes?  Doesn’t ring a bell, but I sure do feel transported back to the 1970’s . . .

Say that reminds me.  Plenty of folks think that Obama has a good shot at winning reelection.  Here’s my question.  Won’t Obama just pull a Jimmy Carter and get voted out, no matter who gets the GOP nod?  It seems unlikely that our economic outlook will improve much in the next year, and well, don’t we always blame the sitting president and throw him out when that happens?

This leads me to a new idea, and it’s not a good one.  Who is to say that a GOP win in 2012 is a good thing?  What if . . . a Republican becomes President #45.  He and the GOP majority in DC do a little here and there to curtail the federal behemoth, but not enough.  The economy is too hampered by debt, inflation, general over-regulation and an unrepealed health care law, and it won’t bounce back soon enough.

I’m not predicting an apocalyptic economic collapse.  Just stagnation, which is problematic in a culture as impatient as ours.  Then, in 2016, America could vote out both the Republican President and the Congressional GOP majority.

And we’ll end up with . . . Something Worse Than Obama.

I dunno.  I think that attempting to predict the future is not good for my mental health.

Moving on to things that are good for my mental health, you probably already know this, but I’m still going to announce the good news because it feels good to do so . . . Fleecy is back!

Yay!

Fleecy, Dude.  You are a sight for sore eyes.  Warn us before you go dark next time, pretty please?

I’ve got a new addition in my blogroll, ifn you are interested in homeschooling stuff:  Redefining Stay At Home Mom.  She’s pretty much a crafty ball of fire.

Speaking of the blogroll, I sure wonder how Jim Gourdie is doing.  He hasn’t posted any updates lately.

Okay.  I think that my stream of consciousness is all tapped out now.  Later gators.

News from the Rabbit Hole

Because we are in it, folks.

1.  Congress needs to worry about government jobs more than private-sector jobs.  This is why Senate Democrats are pushing a bill aimed at shoring up teachers and first-responders.  Hey, don’t look at me like that.  Vice-President Biden says so.

2.  Perhaps someone should tell Biden that government spending is already 41% of our entire Gross Domestic Product.  Forty-one percent!

3.  A mayor in the grip of the Obama administration’s regulatory stranglehold cries, “uncle!”  Oh, and she’s a Democrat.

4.  Organizing for America is running an art contest.  Submit your Agitprop for Obama Government, and you may be a winner!  Really, it’s not just satire.  It’s a real contest.

5.  Some writer over at the Business Insider thinks it’s hard to tell the difference between her selection of Tea Party v. Occupy Wall Street signs.  (Psst.  Each sign is dead easy to judge, if one is actually familiar with the Tea Party Movement.  Here’s a couple hints for the uninitiated:  American flags in the background=Tea Party!  Sign makes little or no sense=OWS!)

Have a great rest of the week.  If you find a way out of this rabbit hole, do let me know.

The YouTubz Are Not Down With EBT

So my boys think the EBT song is funny, and asked to hear it again today.  Remember I posted about it, but made folks click over to Disrupt the Narrative to view it?

Lo and behold, YouTube has disabled it.

What the what?

A Google search provides this info:

“YouTube has found itself at the center of a heated debate concerning free speech, a dysfunctional welfare system and the power of the conservative blogosphere.”

An interview of Mr. EBT is here.  He says that he intended the video to be a parody of  EBT abuse.  This explanation sounds plausible enough, and so I laud his effective spotlighting of a very important issue.

He played a convincing role in this parody, so much that most of us didn’t pick up on the fact that he was in on the joke.

Anyway, what do you reckon is the real reason that YouTube removed this viral video?

PS:  You can still watch it here.

Mathematic Proof That We Are Screwed

I’m finally at the halfway point of Demosclerosis by Jonathan Rauch.  This 1994 book is proving most prescient.  What was true 17 years ago is even truer today.

Here.

Imagine a political action group called C-MOR:

“C-MOR . . . represents a ten-thousandths of the population.  Now suppose the evidence mounts that C=MOR’s small but hard-won tax breaks makes the society as a whole just a bit poorer.  You might suppose that C=MOR would see that its actions were impoverishing the larger society, and would mend its ways.  But it probably won’t.  The reason is that the small group gets all the benefit from its loophole, but it bears only a fraction of the social cost.  In fact, if you work out the arithmetic you discover that it pays for C=MOR to keep seeking perks until the social costs of its goody-hunting are ten thousand times larger than the benefits to the narrow group. 

Yep.  Bolding mine.  You do realize, that this is mathematical proof that we are screwed?

Mr. Rauch continues:

“The arithmetic dictates that groups can hope to reap large gains from their pie-reslicing activity even as that very activity dramatically shrinks the size of the pie.  In fact, if a society begins to grow poorer, interest groups may struggle all the more fiercely to expand their own share.  The calculus of distributional struggle implies that interest-group activity can, in principle, drive a society to complete destitution, and then keep right on going.  At some point, some countervailing force might kick in, but whether that would happen is not at all clear.  The Olsonian forces may, in fact, effectively face no natural limit–no point, that is, where interest groups stop being drawn into the benefits chasing game by visions of profit.  Quite possibly, there is no bottom.

Italics are not mine.  Obviously, this is a pre-Tea Party Movement publication.  Also obvious is the notion that the Tea Party Movement is the “countervailing force” Mr. Rauch imagines.  The only question that remains:  whether this countervailing force is powerful enough to counteract the Gramscian March.  (P.S.  Rule 5 photo with the last link.)

Is this countervailing force going to be enough?

On The Outside Looking In

Via The Conservative Pup, I’d like to introduce you to Ms. Homeless and Conservative, the blogger On The Outside Looking In.  She is employed and seeking better employment, so she is understandably anonymous.

We all know, of course, that a blogger may not be what he or she seems.  Shoot, if my posts have given the impression that I’m a pleasant person, well there’s some serious misrepresentation right there.  I’m a major pain in the you-know-what, and I can be more disagreeable than a plague of locusts riding in on a half-mile-wide tornado.

So, you know, a grain of salt and all that, since I’ve never actually met this person.

Just A Conservative Girl has met her, though, and that’s where the story gets interesting.  You see, Ms. Homeless and Conservative only posted six times in April and May, and her experiences were becoming too depressing to keep blogging about them.  Then, in late June, Just A Conservative Girl just happened to see Ms. HAC outside the Lincoln Memorial, holding a “homeless please help” sign.

JAGC didn’t just see her and glance away awkwardly.  She saw her.  She noticed the girl was reading Atlas Shrugged.  She noticed the girl looked familiar.  She recognized her from Tea Party functions, even though they had never previously spoken.  So, she walked right up to meet her.

Both women blogged about this meeting, and reading each side’s separate account is nothing short of amazing.

JACG:  “When she saw someone coming with children . . . she moved her sign.  I went and asked her why she did that and she told me that she realized that children don’t always understand the very real reasons why adults are hesitant to give money to strangers. . . .  I asked if drugs were the reason she was here.  She explained it was simply a recession issue for her.  She lost her job three years ago . . .”

Ms. HAC:  “I have been gone a while now.  I was feeling very depressed and basically useless. . . . the last thing I wanted to do was write about it.  But, I got myself out of the funk . . . . I do have a job interview later this week. . . . I am trying to prepare myself for that and stay positive.

Also I met this lady yesterday.  She said that she has seen me before from some of the meetings I have been going to lately.  I didn’t really know who she was . . . . Apparently she is really politically active.  She doesn’t seem to be afraid of much either.  She came right up to me and introduced herself.  She had a kid with her and it totally freaked me out.  I try to stay away from people with kids . . . parents feel bad about being weary.”

JAGC:  “I asked her what her most immediate need was . . . she told me she needed to do laundry. . . . I went with her and picked up her laundry.  I brought it back clean a few hours later . . . . I also stopped and got her a hot meal from Whole Foods.”

Ms. HAC:  “She helped find me a temp job, gave me some food, washed my clothes, and brought me a hot meal. . . . I have not had a meal like that in a really long time.  She found me again today and brought her pastor . . . . They told me that I could work at their church for three weeks . . . . I will have to take time off from my other job, but . . . I will still be able to work on the weekends which is when most of the sales happen anyway.

This has gone a long way to help keep me positive.  There are moments I feel like I am drowning and can no longer see land.”

Both of these women leave me humbled.  Ms. HAC is struggling from day-to-day, yet strength shines through her impassioned words:

“But, tell me how I am not supposed to be discouraged when only 18,000 jobs were created across the entire country?

. . . Does this stupid man not think that the people who notice [me] asleep in my car don’t ask themselves if this could happen to them if they lost their job tomorrow? It isn’t just about the 9.1% of the unemployed (and we all know that number is higher) . . .

People can’t afford to go on vacation. When the vacation spots are not filled up the people who depend on the income become closer to being me. When people don’t go out to eat as often, the waitstaff become closer to being me. When people don’t go to the movie theatre, fewer people have a part time job opportunity to help them put something in the bank for a rainy day.

If this president and his staff don’t think that this number matters, then they certainly don’t deserve to be re-elected.”

Clearly, she absorbed the lessons of Atlas Shrugged. 

If you want to learn more about Ms. HAC’s circumstances, this post provides background.  Amazingly, this homeless gal owns a small condo.  If you’ve been out of work for three years, how can you keep up the mortgage payments?  By renting it out, and living out of your car.

Sheesh.  This fact says a whole lot about Ms. HAC’s character, in my humble opinion.  She’s planning to climb out of this hole.  She’s willing to suffer homelessness in the short-term, rather than lose her only valuable asset by selling upside-down in a terrible market.  Lady, you are hardcore.

JAGC has follow-up posts worth reading, too.

Here:  “One of my neighbors read about her on my blog (who knew she read it, she is one of those dreaded democrats).  She had yard work . . . . She hired her to get it accomplished.  She showed up on time and did the work, and did a fine job I may add.  I believe my instincts about this young woman are correct. She is down and out, not some lazy person looking for someone else to pick up the tab.”

And this post is infuriating:  “One of my neighbors . . . really didn’t want to talk so much as to lecture me. I was told what a great disservice I am doing this ‘poor little waif’ by not encouraging her to get help from the people who can really help her; the government.”

Read the whole thing, and leave a comment because apparently that neighbor reads JAGC’s blog.  The most infuriating part is how the neighbor appears willing to lecture when she does not have all the facts.  I have a better understanding of the situation, and I’ve met none of them.  (Ah, but I read all their posts.  Reading is educational!)

JAGC boldly inserts herself into a stranger’s life in order to help, and the neighbor lectures?  Unbelievable. 

As usual, I am not the first to stumble onto this story.  Zilla, Quite Rightly, Pundette, and The Conservative Pup are already followers.  I sure hope the best for Ms. HAC, and will add her to my prayers.

She has the same Paypal Donate button that most bloggers do, if you are able and inclined . . .

http://homelessandconservative.blogspot.com/

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