Thursday, July 12, 2012

Good Thursday, everyone.  I don't have anything planned for the garden.  I pulled something in my hip over the last couple of days and it hurts.  Less today than yesterday but some rest seems in order.  Thankfully, all the gardens require is a little water.  The herbs I need to harvest will wait till tomorrow.

This story from NPR sparked a bit of a conversation and a few chuckles here.  Many of the major stores have a problem because, according to this account, Millennials have much less brand and store loyalty than Baby Boomers and earlier generations.  I have news for them: this Boomer has NO brand or store loyalty.  I have moved too many times to have much store loyalty--the store I patronized in one area may not have outlets in the new location.  Or the stores may not carry the same brands.  Our shopping habits today are not the habits we follow today.  We buy our meat from a small local meat market where the price is comparable to the local supermarket and the quality is better.  We buy few packaged foods having found that most have too much sugar or salt or preservatives.  We cook pretty much from scratch.  Once upon a time the one-stop model worked.  It doesn't any more because no one outlet has everything we want at the quality and price we want.  I wonder how many Boomers are doing the same.

I have often thought as I listened to various economic pundits talk about what they thought would get our economy moving again that they were living in some fairy tale land that had no connection to the real world--the one we actually live in.  Yves Smith has this cross-posted article that says much what I have thought.  For every real world small businessman/woman they interview who tells them that the problem is demand and that they would gladly hire new people if the demand were there regardless of taxes and regulation they interview four others from the rarefied world of gigantic/global business who rail about taxes and regulation.  Or they cherry pick the data for the most optimistic of the massaged figures to tell us that the economy is on the mend.  Or they spin negative data to pretend that everything is really find in spite of the dismal news.  The Confidence Fairy lives.

Then there are the small businessmen who are also affiliated or lobbyists for trade organizations and whose affiliations are not disclosed by the interviewers.  As shown in this piece--they testify against consumer protections, labor laws, or for trade agreements but their their positions are those of their organization.  How much does their livelihood depend on their lobbying position and how much on their business?  But to not disclose the ties implies that they are truly independent small businessmen and that their opinions can be trusted.  Which may not be the case.

I saw this on a couple of newscasts yesterday--surprised only that it was on financial sites not general news.  No real commentary on it from the talking heads.  As I said--I was surprised only at where the story was not its content.  Given the prominence of social media, texting, and cell phones in the Arab Spring and other events, including flash mobs and the mobbing thefts only infrequently mention on the news, I would have guessed that the government would take action to control the technology as much as possible.  I also expressed the thought that the Executive Order simply gave the government the cover of legality for operations they are already engaged in.

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