Friday, April 8, 2011

Good morning to you all on this Friday of the first full week of April. Can you believe that? This year is already one-quarter over and only three weeks away from being one-third gone. It is chilly and wet this morning. I won't complain--not when I read of large areas suffering from heat waves, floods or continuing drought. Temperatures are projected to be 75 and 80 over the weekend and in the high 50s to low 60s over next week. I plan to put my seedlings outside under the plastic for some time. They should like that.

I thought it was interesting that one of the 'how to' pieces on my Google start page tells how to relax during a week off work at the same time the headline sections trumpet no deal on the Federal budget that threatens to provide large numbers of Federal employees with an unplanned vacation.

If this were Illinois, everyone would be terribly suspicious. Given the history of this Wisconsin County Clerk, I think suspicion is warranted. Evidently you don't need to follow the old Chicago maxim ('vote early and vote often') if you have a 'fat-fingered' county clerk. Evidently I am not the only skeptic on this matter. Crooks and Liars has this from Susie Madrak and this by karoli.

Charles Hugh Smith has an interesting continuation of posts on 'The Devolution of the Consumer.' For some years I have asked what would happen to a 'consumer' economy when the consumer couldn't consume at the accustomed level. Well, the economy over the last 30 years provided a bandaid for the problem: easy credit. While wages (adjusted for inflation) have stagnated and consumption has been sustained and expanded by home equity loans, credit card offers left, right and center, and the shift to 'liar' loans in real estate. Added to that has been the decoupling of consumption from payment. The medical industry (including pharma) provided the goods, the individual customer consumed the goods, and some form of insurance paid the bill. A university or college or trade school provided some form of education, an individual customer consumed the education, and some other entity (the Federal government directly or private banks guaranteed by the Federal government). In both cases the a large number end consumers isn't responsible for evaluating the service and determining whether they are worth the cost. And in both cases, it is very difficult for the individual consumer to judge accurately whether the benefits are worth the costs. Now the easy credit is gone, employers are pushing more of the costs of health insurance off onto the employee (if they provide it at all) and more individuals find they cant afford the cost on their own, and the role of the Federal government (or any government) as a guarantor of benefits is increasingly under attack. The question I asked in the beginning may finally be answered when the three-legged stool (provider, consumer, payer) topples.

1 comment:

Looking to the Stars said...

Its hard to believe that a week can fly that fast but here we are.

I like the 3 legged stool comment. All I can say is 'yikes, we are in big trouble'

What is it with county clerks, we just got done voting for city council & mayor. The people running for city council said they didn't trust the city clerk sooo a big wig from the state came in but it didn't help. The city clerk sent the people counting the votes home instead of staying. All the votes sat overnite. You can't tell me that isn't shady & the state was in on it (what else is new). The mafia is still in control in this state. People never think of Colorado as mob controlled, they think NY or Chicago. But the mob has been here for over a 100 years. It sucks :(

So, I'll get off my soap box :)
take care