Sunday, October 26, 2008

Money

"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." -George Bernard Shaw

With all the economic problems our country is facing, I'm amazed that most people still don't GET it! People believe that their presidential candidate will magically turn everything around, when they're elected, by implementing the programs they have promised in their campaigns. Umm...where will the new regime get the MONEY to make good on their campaign promises? We need to pull ourselves out of the hole we're in before we take on any new programs!

Our local elections are no different. The candidates for school board promise to push for a referendum for new schools if they're elected. HELLO!! Declining enrollment has forced us to close, and sell, two of our school buildings in the last 5 years. We need to worry about getting jobs here to keep young people, and their school-aged children, in our area. Our school system can't afford necessary items like special ed and textbooks. Do our candidates honestly believe that the majority of voters, who are senior citizens and working poor, will vote to have their taxes raised for buildings which will soon be empty?

Our current school board recently voted to fund a study on a "Safe Route to School". This study came about as a result of our school system deciding to eliminate many in-town school bus routes to save money. Students, who live a mile or less from school, will now have to walk to school. Oh no, not THAT! Whatever will our school board do with all the money they're saving? Pay a firm to study where the students will walk on their way to school, of course! WTF?! Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but shouldn't the PARENTS be responsible for teaching their kids the safest route to school?

Another MN election issue is the amendment we'll be voting on. This amendment will raise our sales tax by 3/8% to fund nature projects and the arts. I'm all for funding both of those projects, but...what happened to all the lottery money that was earmarked to preserve our "natural heritage"? Our politicians appropriated(stole) the lottery money to finance their own pet projects, like professional sports stadiums. I don't trust our politicians to keep their sticky fingers off the money this amendment will create, so I will be voting NO on this amendment.

On a personal level, I've often heard the teens that work in the restaurant discussing their finances. Many times the phrase, "It's only $100.", has come up in their conversations. ONLY?! $100 will feed my family for 2 weeks! I'm afraid these kids have a rude awakening coming their way.

I don't know about you, but I discovered that the price of turkey burger rose $.20, and cheese rose $.50 in just one week. A 5# bag of whole wheat flour is almost $5 now. Yet I still see most people's shopping carts full of pre-fab meals and snacks. Individual servings of pudding and jello, for pity's sake!! Who can't add 2C of boiling water to a package of jello, AND throw in some fruit for some nutritional value? There are a LOT of spoiled, clueless people who have no idea how to feed their family for less than $200/week. It will be interesting to see how buying habits change in the coming years. Will the majority of our citizens ever get a clue?

BTW, does anybody believe that oil prices won't rise following the election? I'm grateful that I'm not heating a 4000 sq ft house, how about you?

28 Comments:

At 10/26/2008 11:16 AM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Wow - great rant. I of course agree with you 100%.

I went grocery shopping the other day and was stunned at how the price of my basics, like flour and sugar and other stuff, have gone up! I know I keep whining about my piddly food budget, but it's in peril!

I also saw people filling their carts up with CRAP - junk food, frozen dinners, etc. I just don't get it. IT'S NOT HARD TO COOK DECENTLY!

 
At 10/26/2008 1:47 PM, Blogger Jeannie said...

I don't notice the price of flour so much because I try to avoid white flour (because of my tummy) but I do notice fruit and veggies, milk and bread going up. I have never understood the crap people put in their shopping carts. I remember years ago a frozen food company phoning to sell me their crap, asking me what I spent for my family of 5 - he was shocked when I said maybe $50.
I do wonder where the miraculous trillions of dollars are going to come from. I think people will lower their salary expectations when reality hits - and it will spread through everything except perhaps company directors who will feel entitled to continue receiving large salaries because their company is still in business.

 
At 10/26/2008 4:29 PM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

You need to run for local office and begin making the changes no one else has the balls to do. As for rising prices, we're having butter nut and sweet potato bisque tonight from ingredients we got from the Farmer's Market 2 weeks ago, garlic from my sister, Pat's, garden and other stuff we had around the house. The smell is divine! My son even came down and said it smelled good and he wanted to eat. That's rare praise for a vegetable dish, let me tell you.

 
At 10/26/2008 5:47 PM, Blogger Shawn said...

It's not so surprising that gas prices have been dropping...I don't remember an election year when gas prices haven't dropped. Of course, there will be a mysterious rise in demand shortly after the elections. The markets will be "apprehensive" about this or that and prices will go back up again.

We're looking at the result of eight years of fudged economic growth deflating in front of our eyes. Our "growth" was all smoke and mirrors and now the smoke machines are broken from overuse. It's not a surprise to anyone who actually works for a living and has seen their actual standard of living drop.

And, you're right, it won't magically get better no matter who is elected. The real choice is who do we trust to repair the major problems in the long term. We need to think long term now instead of looking at next week or next month. We should be thinking in years and decades.

 
At 10/26/2008 9:26 PM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

Shawn is right. It is about future direction and future vision. Will we continue to rank 72nd in life expectancy and 68th in health care outcomes? Will we keep shifting wealth to the top 1% at the expense of the bottom 70%? Will we continue to squander a billion dollars a month in the middle east? Not to mention how many more lives?
Will we continue to be beholden to people who hate us, or will we seriously take on the challenge of energy independence?

It is a dangerous and foolish game we play if we pretend it makes no difference who gets elected. How much different do you think this countries direction would have been if the supreme court had selected Al Gore instead of the idiot king?

 
At 10/27/2008 8:11 AM, Blogger Squirl said...

I don't understand things like new schools when enrollment is dropping in current schools. Just crazy.

I've been watching CNBC in the morning, yes we can still afford cable, and the price of a barrel of oil has been dropping. I'm not sure that OPEC is that friendly to our politicians. Guess I just like to keep my skepticism open on all sides.

 
At 10/27/2008 10:59 AM, Blogger zydeco fish said...

I am amazed at what people buy at the supermarket. I can't believe people drink that much coke, for one thing.

 
At 10/27/2008 3:00 PM, Blogger Pam said...

No matter how much money the schools get, it's never enough. Ever. They always want more.

Being unemployed again here, we have gotten very creative with the food budget! Both of our kids are out of the house and yet the food budget hasn't changed all that much.

 
At 10/27/2008 6:04 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

WC, the only bright spot to my shopping trip was the 3 packages of bone-in chicken breasts I got for $.97/lb. Z isn't real fond of chicken, but he's gonna have to suck it up and eat what we can afford.

Jeannie, that's my hope too. I think we'll have to hit bottom before people wake up and realize that they're earning way more than they're worth. I hope we achieve a balance out of this mess.

VV, my husband and son-in-law are always saying I should run for office too. The problem is that we live in a small town and I'd be stepping on some toes. This would negatively impact the business we work at. We can't afford to lose ANY customers. :(

Shawn, AGREED! We need to be more like the Asian cultures and work to make our country a better place for future generations.

I personally think that this mess started with "Reaganomics" and his ridiculous "trickle-down economy". It's been almost 30 yrs and the only thing I see trickling down is shit!

GWB, SOCIALIST!! ;)
I'm so sick of Reps saying that redistributing the tax burden off the shoulders of the middle class is socialism!! But it's not socialism when we bail out the big corporations with OUR tax dollars...WTF?!

I'll add a statistic to your list: 25% of our young people don't graduate from high school.

Squirl, that's the problem with our society today, everybody wants everything to be shiny and new, without worrying about the basics.

ZF, I KNOW! Carts are loaded with expensive stuff with empty calories, and don't get me started on the preservatives!

Pam, NO, not another job search for you guys! I guess the employment situation isn't any better down there, is it? :(

I don't know how the gov't expects us to support them with our taxes if they can't get us any JOBS!

 
At 10/27/2008 6:39 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Jesus H Chr*st! (sorry) BUT - I have the flyer from my local overpriced grocery store here in front of me and BONE IN CHICKEN BREASTS ARE ON SALE FOR $3.49/LB!!!

WTF???????????

 
At 10/27/2008 7:08 PM, Blogger Gardenia said...

You are right.

It is amazing how prices continue to soar. I don't know - I think I had better get better at gardening. Still - I can't imagine what the majority of America is doing to feed their families. It's just me here - an occasional meal with "H" - I think he eats at the store - if I didn't know better I would think he didn't eat......

 
At 10/27/2008 8:02 PM, Blogger Shawn said...

On a positive note...I just saw on the news that lobster prices are way down. On the east coast, it was cheaper to buy lobster than hamburger. How messed up is that?

 
At 10/27/2008 8:09 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Agree with WC and you of course. Have you noticed that the price of gas, originally blamed for the high prices, has FALLEN and the grocery prices continue to rise?

 
At 10/27/2008 8:10 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

p.s. I agree with VV--Tshsmom for prez!!! It's about time to get government with brains.

 
At 10/28/2008 1:09 PM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

Its nice seeing the gas prices here are only 2.54 for the time being but have been told they are going to go back up to over 3.00 after the election or there after.... Lets just hope not much over 3.00...

 
At 10/28/2008 1:28 PM, Blogger Helene said...

I think you're making the right point here, but in a more simplified point - having lived in two countries where I pay taxes but cannot vote, I always found that it does not matter which party wins any election, I will always end up paying more taxes and - whatever it is politicians promise, I never rip the benefits. But I don't mind.. i keep a low profile, pay my taxes and not let politics affect my life.

 
At 10/28/2008 5:23 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

WC, you should really start a chicken ranch in BC. You'd make a FORTUNE!

Gardenia, try feeding my bottomless pit of a son!
Gardening MAY help, provided the price of seeds doesn't go through the roof. What I worry about are the things we can't produce like meat, cheese, milk, flour, toilet paper, heating costs, electricity...

Shawn, I saw that too. I feel so sorry for all the lobstermen! They have boat payments to make, high gas prices, bait, traps and many other expenses. Then they get to spend at least 12 hours out on the roiling N Atlantic, and for WHAT? Their catch probably won't pay the price of their gas! My heart goes out to those brave souls. :(

Bridg, I read an article about that the other day. It said that certain items have "sticky" prices. Once the price goes up, it never comes down, even if conditions change for the better.

I agree that we need a whole shitload of politicians with common sense. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much common sense floating around out there. :(

Tweets, it will be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of months. Hang on to your money. I have a feeling we're gonna need it!

Helene, wise move! That's about the only way we can all keep our sanity. ;)

 
At 10/28/2008 5:48 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Shawn, I can't make a comment on your remodeled blog. Is it just me or is something not set right?

 
At 10/29/2008 8:55 AM, Blogger Shawn said...

No...I think it was one of those mysterious changes to settings that happen when you change a template.

 
At 10/29/2008 2:25 PM, Blogger Grizzly Mama said...

I, for one, opposed the bailout - and I was almost heartened for a moment when the republicans refused to allow it at first. *sigh* Alas, their moment with a spine lasted just that - a moment.

Anytime we citizens turn over the task of handling money to politicians, it's going to end up bad. We need to limit that as much as possible.

About getting to school - I rode my bike 1 1/2 miles to school every day. 1 1/2 miles one way. I went home for lunch almost every day, too. Those were the days when I was in shape...

I agree with all that you have said, Tshsmom. I wish you luck - maybe it's time to pull a Sarah Palin on your local government? Get on that school board and kick some ass!

 
At 10/29/2008 6:45 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Shawn, thanks, I can comment now. I'm sure you're thrilled. ;)

Grizz, you know, I haven't met ONE person, either online or in person, who agrees with the bailout. I've only seen a couple of economists that were for it. So WHY did those idiots vote for it?

When I was in kindergarten and 1st grade, I lived over a mile from school. There was no such thing as in-town buses. My Mom walked me to school, and would shorten her walk by a block every day. By the end of the month, I knew the safest route to school, and was walking it by myself(until I met my best friend and walked with her).

 
At 10/29/2008 11:24 PM, Blogger SME said...

You need to watch Fox News more often, until you understand that McPalin is the Second Coming of Christ and that everything will be just hunky-dory-peachy with them in office.

;P

 
At 10/30/2008 7:52 AM, Blogger Grizzly Mama said...

Yes, FoxNews is definitely biased these last few weeks. It's sort of refreshing, though, with Obama being the Messiah and The One everywhere you look!

I'm really sick to death of this election and I can hardly wait until it's over.

 
At 11/01/2008 8:18 AM, Blogger Cherie said...

Another standing ovation for another relevant, well-expressed post, Tshs!

You reading my mind again?

Like WC and you I see people in the grocery store buying all that expensive processed garbage and wonder not only how do they afford it, but how's their health? Then, often, I see them using their Oregon Trail card - food stamps, in essence. Oh, I see. They don't pay for it - WE DO. I don't mind helping out those who hit a rough spot - been there - but at least buy what nourishes. Jeez!

And schools - don't even get me started! Pam's right, there's never enough money, or so they say. I, too, used to walk to school, rain or shine, or ride my bike. Loved it! Buses are no fun - and they smell. Yeah, it's the parents problem how the kids get to school, which route they take. Good grief. Talk about micro-managing.

Grizzly Mama speaks for most of us, I think. Sick and tired of this election!

Calgon, take me away!

 
At 11/01/2008 3:30 PM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

I dont know what gas prices are up there but here they are 2.29 or so... They have dropped like a rock compared to a week ago or so when it was over 3.00 dollars a gallon...

 
At 11/03/2008 8:03 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

SME, don't worry, Grandma and Grandpa will keep me informed. :(

Grizz, I'm afraid the post-election drivel will be just as bad as the campaign!

Cherie, THANKS!
Why doesn't it surprise me that we're in agreement? ;)

Today is the last day before the election. We are off from work and I refuse to turn the TV on and have campaign ads ruin my sense of well-being! Heaven help the unsuspecting campaign worker who calls my house today!

Tweets, enjoy it. I suspect the prices will start to rise after the election. :(

 
At 11/09/2008 1:10 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

You should see Arnie Schwartzwasher here. The poor guy. He's trying to cut spending and only managing making enemies everywhere.

CA has serious budget problems. I think it's along the lines of $11 billion over budget.

Now we have to raise taxes. There's no choice. it's because the people before Arnie spent and spent and spent.

Obama will be forced to raise taxes. We won't have socialized medicine or whatever he wants to call it. There's simply no money. People don't get that.

The best thing he can do is tax outsourcing to the point it's rarely used. We need middle class jobs to stay in America or else no one will pay taxes.

He's also got to cut spending, whether he likes it or not.

Actually, I take that back - the best thing he can do is pull us out of Iraq immediately. That's costing way too many lives as well as money.

 
At 11/09/2008 5:57 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

ZS, I totally agree!
The first 3 things Obama needs to do is heavily tax outsourcing(which he promised to do), get the illegal workers out of here(he's weak on this point), and get us the hell out of Iraq. Win, lose, or draw, we can't afford Iraq's problems right now! We won't be any help to anybody if our economy fails.

I've always said that corporate America is stupid. Who's gonna buy their outsource produced products if we don't have jobs?

 

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