Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Good Morning, Everyone.  I know.  I haven't been here for a couple of days.  Actually, I have been here but I haven't had much to say.  The weather has been doing what it normally does this time of the year--up and down temps, mixes of precipitation.  In other words--nothing worth commenting on.  The political scene is much of what it has been except that the focus has now shifted from the defects or virtues of the stimulus package (predictably breaking by party lines) to whether it will work or not.  My gut feeling--some of it will work, some won't.  But I don't think it will do the job the Administration and the Democrats hope it will do.  We are in the middle of a world wide recession and that is a phenomenon that has a lot of momentum behind it.  Pro-stimulus economists hope that the package will at least prevent a deflation but that may be a pipe dream.  What else are you going to get when so many people are losing jobs and those who still have jobs are seeing about 50% of their earning power evaporate either through direct wage cuts or through cuts in hours.

On this morning's news, the economic reporter warned viewers that they will probably see some of their favorite products disappear from the supermarket shelves as companies phase out some of their products to focus on the best sellers.  Well, I got news for that reporter--ain't nothing new.  Mom and I have watched as many of our favorite products have disappeared over the years.  For that exact same reason.  I have written about that frustration before.

Yesterday was our regular shopping day and we decided, since we didn't need much in the way of groceries, to get the seeds we would have been buying next week anyway.  As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, we got our Burpee's catalog and I made a list of what we needed.  You would think we would have no trouble--what with a Home Depot (where we found several large display gondolas with Burpee's seeds) and a Menards near by.  How many packets of seeds did we find on our list of a dozen?  TWO.  Damn!!!  Neither of the tomatoes.  None of the peppers.  We'll go on line and place an order with Burpee's later today.  Got news for their purchasing agents--not everyone wants long season beefsteak tomatoes.  (Update on this.  Just placed the order.  I had an e-mail from Burpee's and decided to go ahead since I was already on site.  We will be set for at least the next three years.)

I have been reading John Mauldin's 'Outside the Box' post which I get via e-mail.  He writes about sales tax revenues and how they reflect the current state of the economy.  Basically--it is pretty dismal.  Revenues are way down as consumers retrench.  He comments that the U.S. consumers are no longer the "world consumer of last resort, and that's an enormous change for both this country and the rest of the world to get used to."  He also doesn't expect consumer spending to recover until well after the economy generally recovers.  Just last night and this morning the local news (Chicago for us) noted the difficulties that the public transit agencies face.  Just this time last year the Illinois legislature bolstered the revenues devoted to Chicago's transit authorities with increased sales taxes.  At the time, they thought it was a long term fix.  That was before the economy tanked.

I think I will leave this for the day.  The table cloth is about half done.  I want to cut more plastic bags into plarn and stitch together some more of my scrap strips.  Little things but it clears the clutter and gets material ready to make into larger projects.  See ya later.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

Glad you got things taken care of.

I'm considering taking a break because I'm tired of being tired and cranky and venting.

I did a couple things that may have some interesting outcomes. Worst case scenario: I'll be out of work but that was coming anyway. This way will bring attention to what's going on with a couple federal programs. They need to know that no one is paying attention.