Thoughts of 2013

January/31/2013 5:37AM
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To me it was a tough year. I have hoped for six years to see reasons for me to stop feeling the need to write this blog. I write it for my grandkids. They are the ones I believe will suffer for our actions today.

A new year and another birthday makes one reflective.

Yes, the financial markets did well in 2013. Those of us with investments in the markets created increased paper asset values. Paper is the operative word. Lot’s of us had nice paper asset values when the recession hit and watched how fast they can dissolve along with the equity in our houses and other means of financial security.

Very few of us in America seem to feel very good about how things are going for the country. It’s reflected in polls. How we feel about Congress and our President.

When we realize the financial markets are propped up by a Federal Reserve that prints billions of dollars to buy our own Treasury Bills, we know something isn’t right. When we borrow from the Chinese to pay extended unemployment benefits, it makes us nervous. When 17 trillion in debt isn’t enough for most politicians in Washington, we worry.

We don’t like the idea of our government spying on us. And, it makes it worse when one Federal Judge says that’s OK.

We don’t care for the idea that the IRS was used to help one party do well in an election by refusing to let grass-roots organizations that support the other party get a tax status.

A president who lies to us with no compunctions is not reassuring.

A government that can’t run anything regardless of which party is in the majority now wants to run everything.

Every day some new regulation limits our freedoms.

The Federal Reserve does what is described above to keep inflation down. Yet, large numbers of politicians, including the president, want to raise the minimum wage. A city in Washington state has raised it to $15 an hour. There is no faster way to jump-start inflation than doing that. Any of us who have ever worked for the minimum wage and run a company that was manned by minimum wage employees know how that works. Those people who have those minimum wage jobs in that city with the $15 wage will all be out of work, replaced by college grads. The prices of everything will go up and people will shop in adjoining cities. The businesses will close and the economy in that city will go south. It’s a simple act with complex consequences. I was in Poland when capitalism was getting it’s start there after years of Communism. Every cab driver had a graduate degree in something.

What happened to Detroit is not going to stop with Detroit. Cities and states across the country have made pension commitments that can’t possibly be met. Most are putting band aids on the problem. Only in places like Wisconsin are real corrections being made. Remember how that went down with the unions and the media.

ObamaCare is a disaster. But, it will get worse until Americans get so upset that anyone who supports it will be looking for a new job. We did have prohibition in this country once, remember. Now we have legal marijuana.

Those of us who lived through Jimmy Carter can sense that when it gets really bad, we Americans get it fixed. When I sense that is starting, when it’s “morning again in America”, as Ronald Reagan said as he began to repair what Carter had broken, I’ll be able to stop this project and relax. Until that happens, I will type on hoping to change a few minds and energize a few more fellow countrymen. In 2013 a half-million read this drivel. Maybe in 2014 that will be a million.

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