Monday, January 28, 2008

January 28, 2008 It is just the news

Consider This for January 28, 2008-It is just the news folks.

Before my critics decide to sharpen their quill pens and write something nasty about this, I want you to know that it is supposed to be funny. It is about the funny things that were in the news last week. It is all the truth and it was not made up by the liberal media or the conservative media either. It is a small snapshot of our culture that someday someone will dig up out of the past and scratch their head and comment that they can’t believe that this was really happening the week of January 21, 2008.

Dave Barry always said, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

George Bush announced that he was supporting the economic stimulus package for what he termed, “our very strong and robust economy.” It is common knowledge that he never reads any newspapers so apparently he missed the part about the market losing over 1000 points since the first of the year and that the market has a 600 point swing last Wednesday.

Paul Danish from Boulder wrote two weeks ago that mail in ballots were a terrible idea. His fear was that people would be influenced on how to vote by their friends, relatives and their church. He must think that is better to be influenced by big money than being influenced by people we might trust.

Homeland security is a growth industry and this was evident in the closing of the Dillon Dam road. I will personally promise that the terrorists would never waste their bombs on the Dillon Dam. They would not get enough publicity. Think of the World Trade Center, the London Transportation System and the Madrid Transportation System and then think about the Dillon Dam Road. Just calm down and ignore the people who are screaming that the sky is falling.

When John Edwards was asked by David Letterman about why he was at the debate where Hillary and Barack attacked each other he responded, “I was there to represent the grownups.” What a great response. I personally think that both Barack and Hillary should drop out of the race due to severe embarrassment.

The press had a hay day with the fact that Bill Clinton fell asleep during the Martin Luther King remembrance. Then the same media folks put together a montage of Bill Clinton sleeping through all kinds of meetings. Then Dick Cheney sleeping at Cabinet Meetings. And then Hillary and Bill both sleeping during Ronald Reagan’s funeral. And people still wonder if they still sleep together?

After the sleeping expose’ Fred Thompson dropped out of the race. I am sure that he thought about how he would never be able to stay awake. He probably realized that he was putting himself to sleep.

Both Barack and Hillary have tried to resurrect a couple of dead guys on their way to the white house. Ronald Reagan and Martin Luther King reappeared last week in the campaign. There was a question about who was more important in the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King or Lyndon Johnson. I personally think that neither could have accomplished much without the other person. Apparently is not politically correct to say something nice about President Reagan if you are Democratic candidate.

I heard last week that some people think you are sexist if you don’t vote for Hillary and a racist if you don’t vote for Barack. Another indication of the shallow depths of this campaign.

Bill Clinton has stirred things up so much that Obama’s folks have started following him around as a “Truth Squad.” A 21st Century Mod Squad?

A couple of months ago I wrote that the two nominees for president would be Clinton and Gulianni. I was terribly wrong. Right now I would guess that it will be Obama and McCain.

I have said all along that we need a dark horse candidate to appear and overshadow all of this silly stuff we have had to watch and listen to for the past couple of months. Where is Daffy Duck when you need him?.

Monday, January 21, 2008

January 21, 2008 It is the Economy but are we stupid?

Consider This for January 21, 2008—It is the economy but are we stupid?

Most of the political hacks are wondering why the candidates for president are not talking about how our economy has gone down the toilet recently. Romney and McCain did bring it up in Michigan but only as it relates to Michigan and not the nation.

National Public Radio ran an item last week about how a lot of this recession or the near recession has occurred is because oil prices have increase 35% in the past couple of months and our personal energy costs, gasoline, natural gas and electricity, have increased over 17%. When your money runs out you are more likely to do crazy things like pay your mortgage, buy gasoline and get food before you go out and pump up the economy by getting a $5000 high definition television or a new $50,000 car.

Therein is the problem. There are too many days in the month and not enough days in the paycheck.

The subprime housing market has not helped but that hit one sector with a lot of spillover into other parts of the economy. It was not the poor schmuck who got greedy and bought a house for very low interest rate. It was the mortgage brokers who got greedy and sold those loans to people who could not afford them after the rates increased.

The other interesting thing that is happening is that foreign investors are buying up American companies as if there is a fire sale. One part of Citicorp was purchased by a Saudi Prince for a couple of billions of dollars. Guess where he got his money. Oil.

One explanation of the inflated price of oil is in the commodity market. When oil finally reached $100 a barrel the market boys and girls were saying that it was an inflated price and that the commodity traders were willing to pay that price betting that gas prices would reach a level to support their investment. It was and is speculation.

I asked my students to guess how high a gallon of gas would go with oil at $100 a barrel. I thought that they would say between $4 and $5 a gallon. They came back with a price of around $3.50 a gallon. They could not imagine it going higher than that. I just hope they were right.

The next crazy thing is that China is no longer the cheapest labor market making it no longer the place where American companies will go for manufacturing. The economy in China is supported by an inflated price for their currency. The United States has asked them to drop the value to something that is closer to reality. If that happens China’s economy will decrease dramatically and companies will begin to move their production elsewhere in Asia.

So why aren’t the candidates talking about the economy? Do they remember Bill Clinton’s statement to King George the First? “It is the economy stupid.” Are they afraid that a solution might just be to raise taxes to bring things back into an even kilter?
Could it be that they don’t know what to do?

Colorado economist Tucker Hart Adams spoke to the Northern Colorado Businessmen last week and said that she sees positive things twelve to eighteen months down the road. This time last year she was telling everyone to grab their wallet because hard times were coming.

She was right last year and we can only hope that she will be right this year.

I have heard some lesser politicians say that we should not put plans in place to help the economy a year or two down the road. They think that we should do something immediately to put dollars into our pockets using a tax rebate or something like that.

I have had tax rebates in the past when they were used to stimulate the economy and I don’t remember buying any big ticket items. If I remember correctly I used to money to buy silly things like gasoline and food and to pay my mortgage. I guess they are big ticket items to me.