Saturday, May 4, 2013

Welcome to Saturday, All.  We had a good downpour yesterday afternoon and the patio is still wet. The temperature so far is ten degrees above what we had yesterday at this time and we expect the mid to high 60s with 70s for most of the week coming.  I did get six of my tomato seedlings in the containers before the rain came.  I put caps on them and am glad I did because that rain would have pounded them into pulp.  I won't do anything more outside till things dry out.

This intrigues me because I am amazed that somehow 'big data' is revealing to consumer product companies that a lot of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.  Evidently they are finding that even middle class consumers are buying things they need when their paychecks come in and not buying between.  I am amazed because the 'paycheck cycle' has always dominated my adult life and the lives of most of the people know.  But it s only now becoming a major concern for consumer oriented businesses???  Looking at the response of the executive I have to wonder how it is so many consumers escaped the 'paycheck cycle' that companies like his didn't see the volatility of a market made up of hand-to-mouth consumers.  I notice the writer to assume that such volatility is a recent phenomenon.  And I am not so convinced that we have had a century of extending horizons with respect to our economic decisions.  Most of us have had a much shorter horizon than the pre-industrial herders and subsistence farmers had.  Our horizons were next week, or the next two weeks, or the next month, or what ever interval we had between one paycheck and another.  Those of us who tried to expand our horizons by saving for some distant event (i.e., retirement) often enough found ourselves brought back to the immediate by some unforeseen and random event that threw a monkey wrench into our planning.  That is why I am amused by the economic talking heads who are touting the new highs on the stock market because those who were iron-gutted enough to stick it out after the crash five years ago have got everything and a bit more back again.  Yeah, they got it all back--until the next crash.  And only if they cash out before.

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