Forty Days

It is the 40th day of 2016. Mardi Gras, in fact.

Forty days.

We’ve already lost musicians Glenn Frey (of The Eagles), Maurice White (of Earth, Wind, and Fire), and David Bowie (The Sovereign — is anybody else concerned that Dean is now in charge of the Guild of Calamitous Intent? Or is he?). Over and above that, we’ve lost impressario René Angélil, conductor Pierre Boulez, and producer Robert Stigwood.

In addition, we’ve lost actors Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Dan Haggerty (Grizzly Adams), and Abe Vigoda (Fish) — this time for real. Oh, and voice actor Joe Alaskey.

And truth be told, that’s just a few of the people who have already left us in the last 40 days.

So hey, all you great actors and musicians out there: Be careful.

A Whole Weeks Worth of Economy in One Post!

So USA Today has helpful hints for people of my generation towards saving for retirement. Unfortunately they forgot Step 0: have a job with a retirement plan and that pays well enough that you can actually save money.

So then, about jobs. Earlier this week, the jobs report came out. The good news is that there are more jobs. They’re even paying a bit more — by a whole $0.05 per hour (don’t spend it all in one place, kids). Yet still, unemployment claims are up and Very Serious People are speculating about plateaued progress and  The Next Recession.

Just maybe that’s why consumer spending and factory orders are down.

Even so, I am NOT among those calling for the Fed to avoid raising interest rates. For one thing, the Fed doesn’t have as much control as many people think. Second, the last several years should have proven that the interest rates banks charge one another really doesn’t have much to do with whether or not your boss gives you a raise. Third, I’ve been saying for a decade now that super low interest rates don’t actually stimulate the economy. Yeah, we’ve had super low interest rates for a decade now. Maybe if interest rates went up, corporations would spend some of their cash.

Of course, if you are very wealthy, the economy looks just great. Remember that when you listen to the 2-ring circus we’re calling “2016 presidential candidates.”

In Closing: Warren Buffet has single handedly prevented many unwanted pregnancies (and probably a few cases of cancer); The TPP is on life support, but still out there and it still is a no good very bad thing for average people; ain’t nobody but spies like us; more studies tell us the same damn thing; I am still not sure why anybody ever thought this was a good idea; to hell with the H-1B program.