Canning, Books and A Government Takeover

***Attention: Potential rant alert below. First there is some nice general things, and then I get a little nasty.***

I’ve been so busy canning apples and pears (and tomatoes) that it’s been hard to get anything else done. Rachael has been helping a lot which really makes it go quickly. And Ethan (4) likes to turn the crank on the sauce machine to make tomato sauce and apple and pear sauce. Tonight I took a turn using a peeler/slicer/corer gadget to slice up apples to can and also to make pie filling for yummy pies this winter. This is the first canning season that I’ve gotten beyond the standard canning of items in their natural state. I’ve made tomato sauce and pizza sauce, pie filling is in the works and I’ve done pickles, which is new for me. I’m growing and expanding my horizons!

Since the garden is slowing down I’ve started to get more time for reading. I recently finished a David Balducci book. I mentioned this because even as an untrained writing person I noticed a huge difference in his writing skill and someone like Stephen King, and even further up the writing skill chain are some of the Literature books I’ve been reading. I hadn’t noticed the huge difference in writing before, but for some reason did this time. It’s a telling example of the different qualities of writers and why some are considered masterpieces and some aren’t. I still enjoyed the book, but I could tell it wasn’t up to the same level as the Stephen King book I had finished just a few days before.

Fun times with financial markets isn’t it? Uncle Sam is busy giving away $1.8 Trillion of our children’s future to try to save some economic pain today. Not to pick on your boomers, but it seems a fitting tribute to the way things have been run while you’ve been in charge to have our country’s worst Depression happen at the tail end of your time running our country. Granted, Uncle Sam says we aren’t in a Depression, but if I could manipulate the measurement of statistics I could make them say all kinds of great things about me too. 6% unemployment my ass.

There are liars, damn liars, and statistics.

One thing to remember about the financial markets is that the stock market tanking isn’t the cause of economic troubles, it’s the visible sign. Stocks tank when the underlying companies tank. Not the other way around. Granted, this time things are a little different because the sudden contraction of credit can lead to difficulties with companies who may need financing (although if you rely on financing to that great of an extent to fund your business how much of a success are you anyway??), but AIG and Lehman, et al are not going out of business because their stocks tank. They are going out of business because they made bad business decisions, and then when they needed to raise capital the market was shut down for them because they made bad business decisions. This is a combination of poor decisions on the business side, and the decision to play it too tight with their leverage. Just like the homeowner who borrows the maximum eligible amount to buy a house and then falters when something unexpected happens. These “experts” have done the same thing.

Good thing the Dems won the battle to privatize Social Security huh? I can’t imagine the mess we’d be in right now with that. I’m sure that would have to be bailed out too.

My opinion, but I don’t think it will be too much longer before some serious tax increases are put in place. Our foreign friends are going to shut off the spigot soon, unless we show we are willing to get serious about these deficits. Since Jimmy Carter left office, adjusted for inflation, the national debt has risen from just over $2 Trillion to about $10.5 Trillion. So it went up 5x in 28 years. Amazing. That figure doesn’t include any of the cash that’s been handed out with this crisis, or any money that will soon be lavished on the automobile companies (to support a car based future that doesn’t exist thanks to Peak Oil) or airlines (same Peak Oil problem) or any other companies that may slap on some lipstick and come to the trough. The wheels are coming off economies all over the world, and soon enough they will keep their money in their country to pay for their needs. Then what will we do?

Imagine if all the sudden the yearly deficit couldn’t be funded? I read recently that is was expected to be around $460 billion in 2008. What would be cut if that suddenly had to be made up here in America because no foreign government would buy our bonds? Or where would taxes go? Maybe we would start taxing companies more?

The part of this whole thing that pisses me off the most is how badly they are raping the future of my children and grandchildren.

Want more to read? Follow the links below. If you want to get good analysis you have to turn off the CNN or Fox news and turn on the blogs. If we had some of the bloggers I read running things we’d be in much better shape. Well, unless we were part of the elite that wants things like they are now.

Mish talks about the Housing Bailout
The Debt Rattle
MEOW gives some opinions on the situation


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