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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Economics and the Election

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We’ve all heard that the economy has gone to hell in handbasket, that real estate is in the toilet, and that stocks are being slammed…. Hey, but gas is good for the moment! Makes you want to take a ride in a car that you can’t afford, to a house that is probably under foreclosure.

These are dark days for America, only a few days away from national elections. It’s heartening to hear the candidates state how long it may take to turn around the economy—we can all wait another ten years or so!

I personally was not planning on doing much financially in the next decade, were you? Buying bread, milk, eggs—just hold that thought. With over 2,000 car dealerships set to close their doors any day, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to buy a gas guzzler or highly-touted hybrid, anyway. That’s maybe $25-$35K extra in your pocket. Your kids should probably get some solid experience in the work force rather than strap you with more debt by attending college. There’s $100K for four years as long as they were planning to live at home and eat beans. And that will immediately save you a hefty sum in SAT tests and college application fees right now. With health care out of reach, I certainly hope you weren’t planning on becoming sick anytime soon. What an incentive to stay healthy! Simply reviewing these possibilites encourages me that we are well on the road to recovery.

Time to head out to Cartier or Tiffany’s for a little cheer-me-up. Baubles always make me feel better.

In case I didn’t mention it, forget about retiring from work, or renovating the house. These are extra luxuries that one shouldn’t consider during an economic downturn. Forget heating the house, too. I’m talking to you, New Englanders! That’s tantamount to sweeping suitcases full of money off the penthouse’s rooftop patio. Sleep by the wood-burning stove, put on an extra blanket, and be done with it.

Any candidate, Democrat or Republican, who wins the election is going to have a long row to hoe. These problems were not caused overnight. A lot of folks wanted to hop on the government gravy train and didn’t realize, ummm… make that care, that credit cholesterol was coming straight down the pike. This did not happen in recent days, but you would need to be a student of history to figure that one out and I hear that people don’t read any more.

Much talk is being made about socialized medicine. Trust me, you don’t want that. I have lived in countries where the “state” pays for your healthcare. No one ever mentions that the state’s beneficence results from your higher taxes—up to 70% in many of these charitable domains. The result of you plunking your hardearned money into their tiller is “free” healthcare… that the average person would never use if they had the wherewithal. They go to private clinics.

The free healthcare is for the really poor, for those who don’t mind giving birth in a room with ten other women, and where one’s husband is not allowed to visit. Or, check out the cancer ward where friends and relatives need to bring in food for the patient on a daily basis. Or any other ward where there are long waits for surgery or services. They could pencil you in for four or five months from now…. We already have HMOs denying legitimate health care and we want to go further in this direction? I don’t think so.

Let’s slap more taxes on the “rich”, whomever they may be these days. Have you seen the book, “The Millionaire Next Door”? Apparently, there are many of you out there, masquerading as middle class, but socking away every spare dime. You rinse and reuse plastic bags, drive old cars, add water to your shampoo, and never take a vacation. That’s something that I aspire to. I sit around at night wondering how I can make more money in order to live more poorly. At least they have something stashed away for a rainy day. Hopefully, the modest millionaires didn’t hold all their funds in stocks.

What about tax breaks? After all, if we want to spur the economy, we need to tax the big guys on the top, who can afford it, right? We need to penalize the very people who are in a position to start new businesses. In real terms, the top 10% are paying more in income taxes than the bottom 90%. The rich pay much more than the average Joe thinks. But hatred of the “haves” by the “have nots” is nothing new.

We all look for a scapegoat. Next thing I’ll be reading in the news that Alexandra has caused this downward spiral by her excessive investments in shoes, and all the while I thought I was spurring the economy.

Do your part today. When Americans cut down on gas consumption, prices plummeted—now that’s power! (Until they start cutting production.) Plan to vote. Go shopping. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Buy some stocks. Be kind to those around you. Let’s all hope for the best.

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