As I went through my usual blog visits I wondered if any of them would pick up on the recent remarks of former Senator and Republican economic guru Phil Gramm. Finally, the shakers at Shakesville got their nice sharp teeth into the matter. I guess I have needed an attitude adjustment for all of the last 8 years. I can't count all of the morning round-the-coffee discussions that noted the news stories of job losses/lay offs juxtaposed with never changing unemployment numbers (unless they were going down) and asked where the hell the newly unemployed were going. Or asked what new jobs were being created at what compensation with what (if any benefits). I guess that was really just in my head because all of the pundits, experts and other oh-so-smart people all said the economy was just peachy keen. I wonder what was in the heads of the airplane pilots who lost their jobs or barely kept them by accepting 30+% pay cuts thought. Was their pain simply in their heads. Or the Enron employees who were lied to by their company executives until their pensions disappeared. That, of course, was simply all in their heads. But then take note of the links Shakesville notes between Gramm, his wife, and Enron. They have made theirs, everything is fine. It's is the rest of us that get f**ked. After you visit Shakesville pay a call on the guys at AMERICAblog. they have a few appropriate words for this idiocy.
Other discussions around here often center on frugality and simplicity. Leslie Valeska at Journey to Simplicity makes some points that parallel some of our thinking. Saving money and simplicity can often conflict. A couple of days ago our local news featured a woman who uses coupons to reduce her grocery bill. And like Leslie we have found that coupon clipping doesn't really do us any good. Often we would have to buy much larger quantities than we can easily store or use before the product goes bad. We live in a small two-bedroom town house and don't have a lot of storage space. Even buying large quantities of non-perishables is out of the question because of the limited storage available to us. The reporter showed the woman's pantry with dozens of boxes of cereal. However, I noticed that many of the brands were those that included high amounts of sugar, artificial flavorings and colors marketed mostly to children. I stopped buying these kinds of cereal 20 years ago. We used to stop buying cold cereal late in the fall when the weather turned cold and we turned to hot cereals instead. This year we consciously decided not to buy cold cereal again. The price was simply too high, the cereals we liked were seldom on sale and almost never featured in coupons, and we found we could do without. We are often caught between the dilemma of trying to get the cheaper price but being unable to figure out where we can put the amount of product we would have to buy.
I hope I didn't give anyone whiplash with that change of topic. Sorry about the expletives today. Unfortunately, softening the expressions would have been tantamount to a lie. There are times when manners simply get in the way of expressing just how pissed off I am.