Sunday, October 07, 2012

Four More Years of This?

Listened to the Presidential debate the other night and did a ho hum. I went to the gas pump the next day and said what the hell—FIVE DOLLAR gas????

Then I started to review the last 4 years from my perspective. The price of gas has more than doubled. My wages have been frozen for the last three years and they are still laying off people at Camp Pendleton. The price of steak and hamburger has doubled. Can goods on the shelf, are smaller 14 oz vs. 16 oz. Laundry soap is now $8 dollars a box, shampoo is $8 a bottle. The price of coffee is out of sight, and they are messing with the container size. We used to get $10,000 in interest on our saving and I think we’ll get about $700 this year (great interest rates).

Then if you want to add up cable, phone, heat, lights, water and sewage, they are all up 30 percent. Our water and sewer bill is 100 dollars a month. We buy drinking water for about another $40 a month only because the tap water isn’t fit to drink.

The Democrats want to make sure everyone has health insurance because many people can’t afford it. This phrase comes to mind; “In order for government to give money to someone who has none, they have to take it from someone who has some.” The food stamp program is another great vote getter, and remember if you want more food stamps, think carefully before you vote. With food stamps, you get the option to keep the cell phone and cable TV.

When we take our evening walk now, my wife and I marvel over the number of cars parked in front of each house. We are talking three car garages with 3 cars in the driveway and 3 on the roadside for many homes (the garages are now used for storage). Four years ago the street sweeper might have had to dodge one or two cars on our street. Now, people kill for a parking spot at night. Listen to the pundits and you hear that real estate is coming back and I don’t see it. The kids are coming back for sure, to live with mom and dad. Our next door neighbor rents out two rooms of his 4 bedroom home. The lack of privacy would drive me insane.

My Sister and her husband in Colorado gave up looking for jobs and both retired at age 62. Kind of makes you wonder about the unemployment stats they just published. There must be an election coming up. They both voted for Obama last time, and I don’t want to raise my blood pressure by asking them who they are going to vote for this year.

Bernanke using his car salesman rhetoric is trying to keep us “from having a double dip recession.” We never got out of the first one (if you ask me), so if you buy his line, things must be getting better. However, this recession is now labeled the “Greatest Recession since the Great Depression.”

Ben is printing too many dollars, and he will print more. It looks like this will stop when these wantobe million dollar homes out here are finally worth a million dollars. When that happens, bread should be $10 a loaf. Of course if you are in a retirement home, a million dollars might only last a year. Kind of a cruel joke for someone who saved all of their life. But if you spent every dime you had, you’re going to fit right in, to this new economy.

30 days until the election. Four more years of what we just had, kind of sucks. The difference I see, is that Romney will pragmatically work with Democrats. Obama left the Republicans out of the legislative process when he passed Obamacare with an “I don’t need you“ attitude. He burned a bridge that has “payback” written all over it.

During his term in office, Obama has vacationed the world, been on TV every day lecturing us like children, and been campaigning incessantly for re election. His executive powers to enforce the laws have entered the realm of legislative powers when he chooses which laws to enforce. If you are leaning on a shovel, talking to me, you aren't working as far as I'm concerned. A new face with different ideas could be the fresh start this country needs.

Copyright 2012 by Jim Brubaker


Anonymous said...

Great rant! Sadly, all too true!

dearieme said...

If I were an American I'd vote for the less bad candidate, so Romney over O, O over McCain and so forth.

With one proviso: if a President has made a really dreadful decision with continuing consequences, there's a case for re-electing him so that nobody could deny his responsibility - blame could not be shuffled off onto his successor. That was one argument for preferring the appalling W over Kerry. The other argument was that Kerry was an even worse candidate than W.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Dearieme

I think that Presidents get too much of the credit and blame for what happens on their watch. There is a lag time of about 3 to 8 years on most programs implemented. Congress is ultimately responsible for the laws passed. Because of the lag time, the wrong President gets the credit or the blame.

The only qualifications for President are to be 35 years old and USA born. Not very high standards for the Chief CEO.

I think the real issue is the quality of the voter. I'd love to see it where, people who pay no Federal taxes can't vote. The more taxes you pay, the more votes you get to cast, say 5:1 ratio.

The whole election seems to be way out of whack as if it were some sort of super bowl event.

Political elections are like the seduction of an innocent girl, after the event, you want to strangle him for what he promised not to do.

Maybe with your luck and my vote, Romney will win.

Take care

Joseph Oppenheim said...

Gee, still the same ranting. Meanwhile, many people like me have been doing fine financially.

All despite those anti-Americans in Congress who try to block everything needed more.

BTW, Obamacare is a great thing, both financially and morally, though single-payer would have been better. Any negatives can be improved over time. Massachusetts is doing fine with pretty much the same healthcare plan.

Sure, there may eventually be a Depression in the US as there are some determined to make it happen and/or it really is always a possibility - booms and busts happen - so best to always be prepared for either.

IMO, it does look like the Great Recession in the US ended, for the most part, a few months ago, being led by housing which pretty much bottomed then. As for unemployment, it is a lagging indicator, but is trending down, slowly, but trending down (recoveries from financial collapses generally take longer).

In San Diego, I might re-enter the home-buying market since exiting it in 2005. Even though renting remains a bargain, timing is right for other reasons for me. The problem, though, has been that nice homes go fast, with multiple bids, so are scarce - 92127 is the zip where I am focused. I still don't like what the banks are doing, sitting on foreclosures and slow with short sales because they don't want to mark-to-market their assets. But, things are improving, meanwhile cash talks.

Anonymous said...

Said well Joseph Oppenheimer.

Jim admits that the financial system is "rigged but then tries to apply economics he learned from his college textbook.

The economy is getting stronger and instead of admitting these facts, Jim tries too hard to stay tied to his failed thesis, "depression of 2006". But if you pay close attention, he does admit that things are stabilizing bc he said housing is starting to look like a deal in SD.

If Jim wasn't anchored down by his blog title and depression fever, he would see things a bit more clearly.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 1:16

Kind of hard to believe that the economy is getting stronger.

I guess my "failed thesis" of a housing crash, never occurred.

Housing in San Diego has dropped in price,but not by much. If you want a starter home, they're only 300k, but why not buy a million dollar home "reduced" to 300K. Now those are selling.

Reality is trying to sell a starter home with 8 people living in it with 6 cars parked outside.

My thesis hasn't failed, The Great Depression of our time is here and now. The funny thing is, once everyone realizes it, you won't be posting comments anymore to this blog, you'll be too busy looking for a job.

Anonymous said...

First, dozens of bloggers foretasted the housing bust way before you. second, your blog is called depression of 2006, not the HOUSING depression of 2006. so don't try to change the goal markers as time passes.

"My thesis hasn't failed, The Great Depression of our time is here and now. The funny thing is, once everyone realizes it, you won't be posting comments anymore to this blog, you'll be too busy looking for a job."

That can happen and everyone does their best to prepare for that rainy day, just like buying insurance. But as you prepare for that 1 out of 100 event, it doesn't mean you can't take advantage of opportunities out there right now and IF the economy does come back as it has done in the past numerous times, you'll be rewarded. The fact is that hundreds of boom and bust cycles have taken place in history, for thousands pf years, but a minority have resulted in depressions.

ROME did fall, but those guys who bet against it in 50
A.D. had to wait a few lifetimes for their predication to come true.
The U.S. is still the best place in the world to live and greatest opportunities for the new generation. And yes their have been mistakes but that's part of life.

The beauty of all this is the following, TIME WILL TELL ALL... now if the depression happens 20 years from now and i'm dead, does it matter?

Positive Pete

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Positive Pete

In 2006 very few people were out in print calling for a depression or even suggesting that there was a housing bubble.

I make no money writing this blog. My purpose is to connect the dots.

I studied the Great Depression of the 1930's for many years, and saw how we were approaching a similar event. There was a nothing down housing boom in the 1920's that ruined the banks. Most people I talk to have no idea that this happened before 80 years ago.

From all of my reading, I realized one thing that wasn't evident. We all know from history that the Great Depression started in 1929 with the stock crash. In reality, it started in 1926 with a hurricane in Florida. Things got progressively worse. The thing that is not evident from all of this history, is the fact that people of the time did not accept that they were in a depression until 1932. So if you add 6 years to "The Great Depression of 2006" you get 2012. People were in denial back then, and listening to government release info of prosperity is just around the corner.

One thing that has allowed the can to be kicked down the road this time, is the FDIC bank insurance. The money supply didn't collapse like it did in 1930's. No one lost a dime.

This unique approach of printing money alters the time line for the end effects. It delays them somewhat.

I don't think that we have much longer to wait, maybe 6 months at the most, we can't print our way out of debt.

We can't print cars or food, only money. At some point Americans will have to accept reality rather than ignore it. WE ARE BROKE!

Anonymous said...

Romney made the misleading claim that “gasoline prices have gone up $2,000.” But the $2,000 figure is greatly inflated because gasoline prices were much higher during most of 2008 than they were at the moment Obama was sworn in. They were temporarily depressed by the world recession, and the yearly cost per family was much higher for all of 2008 than the figure Romney uses as his base. During 2008 prices hit over $4.10 per gallon, and have never been that high since. The most recent monthly average was $3.91. Always a good idea to keep things in context.

Anonymous said...

As long as we’re fact checking;
In 2008 oil production on Federal land decreased by 14%. That was due to the BP oil spill. Between 2008 and 2012 oil production on Federal land actually increased by 10.9%.

Binders full of women…Quincy Patriot Ledger reported it on Nov. 20, 2002, under the headline, “Project seeks high-level state jobs for women.” This was just after Romney won the election but before he was sworn in. He tries to take credit.
The effort to hire more women in Mass was spearheaded by a nonpartisan coalition of women’s groups, not Romney. Second, the number of women in high-level appointed positions declined 27.6 % during his tenure as governor
As far as Shifty Mitt's bi=partisanship...He issued over 800 vetoes and the legislature overrode nearly all of them, sometimes unanimously

Romneycare...It's a huge achievement for Massachusetts…but it's dangerous for America. Which one is it, Romney?

Mitt Romney is wrong about the wage gap When the economy improves, the gulf between men's and women's pay actually widens. Wrong again.

Then there was the routine flip-flop on equal pay and contraception.

Romney said repeatedly he won’t cut taxes for the wealthy; a switch from his position during the GOP primaries, when he said the top 1 percent would be among those to benefit. Which is it Romney?

Romney claimed 580,000 women have lost jobs under Obama. The true figure is closer to 93,000. Appears they’ve done much better than men in that regard. Meanwhile… For the record, the number of women’s jobs lost in the last four months of the Bush administration was 833,000, according to the BLS.

Romney said he would keep Pell Grants for low-income college students “growing.” That’s a change. Both Romney and his running mate, Ryan, have previously said they’d limit eligibility. I’m confused…which is it?

Romney was wrong when he said “the middle class will see $4,000 per year in higher taxes” as a result of Obama’s fiscal policies. The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative group that did the study cited by Romney, calculated the potential impact on different income groups if the U.S. raised taxes to service the national debt. Obama is not planning to raise taxes on the middle class to service the debt. There are other ways.

Romney made the misleading claim that “gasoline prices have gone up $2,000.” But the $2,000 figure is greatly inflated because gasoline prices were much higher during most of 2008 than they were at the moment Obama was sworn in. They were temporarily depressed by the world recession, and the yearly cost per family was much higher for all of 2008 than the figure Romney uses as his base. During 2008 prices hit over $4.10 per gallon, and have never been that high since. The most recent monthly average was $3.91.

He said Obama “doubled” the deficit. Romney is wrong. Obama inherited a projected $1.2 trillion deficit when he took office.

Romney accused Obama of saying “no” to an oil pipeline from Canada, which isn’t entirely accurate. In fact, no final decision has been made on the cross-border Keystone XL pipeline.

Romney said health insurance premiums had gone up by $2,500. Not true.

Sorry bout all the facts...ready to buy that used car yet?

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 10:27

Let's get one thing straight, we are not voting for a dictator, just a chief cop.

There is a piece of legislation Obamacare, that the president takes credit for, passed by Congress--notice he can't write the laws only sign or reject ones passed with less than a 2/3's vote of both houses.

Young people between the ages of 18 and 40 usually don't even buy health insurance. Now they will have to. Figure about $4,000 up to $12,000 per year. Now they will be driving without car insurance. Of course the program only conviently kicks in after 2014, so the effects won't be realized for a while yet.

I have seen working single moms refuse our company health insurance because of the $150 a month employee deduction (the co pays $700).

Right now gasoline is $4.49, its dropped 20 cents in the last week. It was less than two dollars when Obama took office. This is what happens when you print too much money and spend it.

I buy 40 gallons of gallons of gas each month, my wife buys 75 gallons. Thats $230 per month at $2 a gallon and right now its $4.50. Do the math that $517 a month or $3,450 extra a year.

Oil got to $141 a barrel and gasoline never got this high before. Its called inflation. In fact the inflation is so bad that the oil companies can make more shipping refined product abroad now than they can get here. The US exports gasoline--does that sound like a shortage, or "I can make more money selling it somewhere else?"

This Presidential election is over socialism and your paycheck. If you have nothing, you have nothing to lose, Obama is your man. If you have a million dollars saved up in the bank for your retirement, it will only buy half the gasoline it did 4 years ago and that is about to get worse. There is no free lunch, except at election time.

IMHO Obama is a stubborn egotistical blockhead who says "My way or the highway." That isn't going to work with Congress. He tried it with health care and divided the country. Four years from now the insurance companies "that have been jerking you around," will all have quit selling health insurance. Then your health care will be directly deducted from your paycheck, and the government doesn't have to go to Congress to raise your rates.

Obama care wouldn't bother me if the money collected was spend on health care, but it isn't going to be, its a tax that Congress will find a way to spend. This could kick the can down the road for maybe two more years.

Anonymous said...

Wrong about the gas prices. They were temporarily depressed by the world recession in 2008/9, and the yearly cost per family was much higher for all of 2008. During 2008 prices hit over $4.10 per gallon, and have never been that high since. The most recent monthly average was $3.91. Prices were higher before Obama took office.

Our savings are taxed by inflation. I wouldn't expect the Republicans to print any less money.

Unfortunately the Affordable Care Act only props up insurance companies. Eliminate the middle man (insurance companies) and the costs are reduced significantly. Single payer is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

There are a number of things I dislike about Obama. He’s been a tool of Wall Street, a man who’s decriminalized torture and is still complicit in it, a drone assassin, someone who’s launched an unconstitutional war, supports kidnapping and indefinite detention without trial, and has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous presidents put together. In those respects he’s been a good Republican.

A Romney/Ryan administration would be no better -- no different -- on any of those serious offenses and it would be much worse, even catastrophically worse, on a number of other important issues: attacking Iran, Supreme Court appointments, the economy, women’s reproductive rights, health coverage, safety net, climate change, green energy, the environment.
Obama becomes the lesser of two evils by default. The important races are for Congress. 4 more years of obstructionism will make a bad situation much worse. The Teabaggers need to go.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 3:31

When Obama took office on January 20th 2009 the price of gas was $1.91 Today at the pump I paid 4.55.

Spot crude hit $141 a barrel a few years ago, and the price of gasoline never went above $4. West Texas Crude is now selling at $90 a barrel and gasoline prices are at $4.50 and we are exporting gasoline.

I wasn't making a political statement, I was giving you an inflation example. I got pay raises in 2008 and 2009 and nothing since then.

My paycheck is still the same and gasoline prices aren't the only thing that have increased in price.

As for running the insurance companies out of business, can you imagine getting your life, car and home insurance from the government? The wait in line to file a claim could be a long one. Name one thing the government can do better than private enterprise? I won't accept food stamps as an answer.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 4:24

I agree the real issues will be in Congress.

I do think that the way Obama got his health bill passed, was one of the dumbest things every done by a President. If he gets re elected, we will go over the cliff a little earlier than anticipated.

If Romney were to win, I don't think that there is enough time left to alter the current course. The economy is deteriorating faster now, contrary to government reports.

Anonymous said...

This whole the result of distribution of wealth...from the middle class to the 1%. This greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world happened on Gilligan's watch. I'm not inclined to vote for more of that. Anyone who thinks the economy is recoverable is delusional. Americans demonstrated their political ignorance when they re-elected Gilligan. We're going to get exactly what we deserve.