There is a cafe close to school that we visit on our way home sometimes. Usually it's when Iona's had a bad day, so we can get her a chocolate chip cookie. Han gets something, too, and sometimes I even get a scone or biscotti. They are nice. It's an old house with an aura of friendliness and neighborhoodiness. The people smile and recognize us. All these are good when you weren't asked to play soccer at lunch recess and even if you hate soccer, it would have been nice to be asked, and you would have even played, had you been asked. So when we found ourselves standing outside the glass front yesterday, I realized that my wallet was sitting uselessly at home and all I had was my checkbook. We went in anyway. I hate asking for favors which is a weakness of mine but I am able to overcome it in a lunch-recess-no-soccer-invitation emergency, which is a strength. So I asked if they'd take a check. The woman said, "How about if you just bring the money in tomorrow and take the cookies now. Would that be okay?" It was okay. So today maybe we'll go back, take money, and buy more cookies.
Criticizing Sarah Palin is truly shooting fish in a barrel. But given the huge attention she is getting, you can’t just ignore what she has to say. And there was one thing she said in the debate with Joe Biden that really sticks in my craw. It was when she turned to Biden and declared: “You said recently that higher taxes or asking for higher taxes or paying higher taxes is patriotic. In the middle class of America, which is where Todd and I have been all of our lives, that’s not patriotic.”
What an awful statement. Palin defended the government’s $700 billion rescue plan. She defended the surge in Iraq, where her own son is now serving. She defended sending more troops to Afghanistan. And yet, at the same time, she declared that Americans who pay their fair share of taxes to support all those government-led endeavors should not be considered patriotic.
I only wish she had been asked: “Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.
I feel like crying; in fact, I am crying. Over money. How stupid is that? We're lucky. We'll be okay. But still, to watch my life's savings spiral down, it's sickening. However, like the folks at Motley Fool write:
Your Health Is Much More Important Than Your Wealth I always like to conclude on a positive note. Despite the stock market losses, if you have good health, that’s much more important than good wealth.
Money can’t buy happiness. It can’t buy health. This period of complete and utter pessimism will pass. Over time, many people will be able to rebuild their wealth.
In the meantime, hang in there.
In the meantime, I am not looking at my portfolio. I'm going back outside to do more yard work. Doing it myself saves money, makes me tired, alleviates frustration and touching all those real, growing things helps me remember what matters.
I'm tempted to join other blamers, but to me it seems we're all complicit. People bought houses they couldn't afford (along with a lot of other things, likely). Bankers put those stinky loans into boxes called Boxes of Shit. Insurance companies backed the Boxes, calling them 'AAA.' Then bankers leveraged the Boxes and got $30 for every $1 stinky dollar. Pretty soon the methane gas caused an explosion and everyone stood around pointing fingers. Next: we will burn and drown the witches.
Enough of my hack analysis. Ewan turned me on to this, which helped me understand what will happen now, as a result of the thing that the House Senate passed tonight.
Ewan's summary of what just happened is that the 'financial stability plan' or whatever they're calling it now made the government (and us) middle-men (middle-people, please) in the acquisition of bad debt. This might have worked better, but who has time for both sides to read it and fight about it?
Addendum: a summary of why Blodget thinks it won't work, the morning after, here.