A full day at work and there was no pee on the floor when I got home this afternoon. I know it’s impossible to identify a trend with only one data point, but God, I hope this is the beginning of one. It’s amazing the things you get excited about when you’ve got a puppy in the house. The small victories feel like major milestones.
Congratulations to Westernport Mayor-Elect Amel Morris in his 70 to 30% landslide victory announced just a few minutes ago. Godspeed in your endeavors, Mr. Mayor.
Let’s just say that my desire to climb in the truck at 6:00 tomorrow morning and drive 13 hours back to West Tennessee is less than total. The last day is always the worst part of a vacation and particularly so when you’re leaving so many good friends and family on this end of the run. All-in-all, it’s been a great and much needed week. I wish it could have been three or four. For those I managed to see, it was awesome. For those I didn’t, I’m sorry the timing didn’t work out. And for everyone, remember that the interstate system runs in both directions. See ya in Memphis.
In the 1850’s people crossed the country in covered wagons. They died of dysentery and cholera. The trip took half a year and if they didn’t make it before winter, they could get stuck in the mountains and have to eat their friends and family just to try making it through to spring. I’ve always been amazed at people’s capacity to make this trip, but recently another thought occurred to me… How the hell did they manage to tolerate the trip without satellite radio or an integrated GPS? I can’t get halfway across town without either one of them.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t seeing the Mustang sitting on the dealer’s lot that bothered me. True enough, it was a great car, but we never bonded the way the Jeep and I did. It sounds totally asinine, but I would actually drive out of my way in the mornings just to avoid seeing the Jeep on my way to work. I guess it’s sort of the same feeling as seeing the ex out with someone new. Theoretically, you know it’s going to happen, but that doesn’t mean you want to see it. It’s funny the attachment you form with your vehicle, especially one that’s been around for a while. It must be a little bit like what the cavalry felt like when they handed over the reins to their horses in exchange for the levers of the early tanks. You know it’s a far superior bit of equipment in every way, but you can’t quite shake the nostalgia.
ABC News ran a feature tonight about the “greedy” power companies who were turning off the utilities of people who were not paying their bills. Of course they trotted out the usual suspects… The family of 6, the old woman raising her grandchild, etc. All they said of the companies was that they were stopping service because delinquencies drive up the price for paying customers. Yes, Mr and Mrs Dontpaymybills and all the ships at sea, that’s how it works in this country. We trade goods and services for money or the promise of money at some predetermined point in the future. That’s what allows us to not all raise corn and cows to feed ourselves.
I know I rant on this a lot, but I just have a hard time getting past the idea that our countrymen are surprised that they’re expected to pay for the goods and services they consume. I was raised believing that this country was about the right to pursue happiness… Not necessarily the right to have it. In economics, there’s a principle that everyone learns in their 101 class that says “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” The consequences of basing an economic system on the premise that everyone should have a free lunch if they want one died off with the Soviet Union. Cuba stays afloat because of the tourist dollars generated from capitalist Europe. China’s Communist party stays in power because they have adopted measured amounts of capitalism and that trend is increasing over time.
But, you say the top 1% of earners are running away with the pie. It’s true that their part of the pie has grown, but the entire pie has gotten larger too. There are more millionaires per capita today than at any time in the history of the Republic. That doesn’t mean that these individuals have jobs making $700,000 a year, just that they were smart with what they did with their money. Get out of school making $35k a year, max out your contribution to your IRA and 401k, live under your means, and in 35 years when you’re eligible to retire, guess what… You’re a millionaire too. Work another 5 or 6 years past eligibility, guess what… That’s right, another million. Compound interest and long-term market growth are beautiful things, friends.
So next time you’re watching the nightly news and tempted to sign onto the bandwagon that all our problems are caused by the big, bad corporations, take a look around at the decisions individuals have made that contribute to where they find themselves. The Invisible hand doesn’t just guide the market up, it guides it down too. Get in tune with that and you’ll really feel the power.
So, between the new pup and the new truck, my free time has been cut back to almost non-existent… Just the way I like it. Winston is doing well and packing on the pounds. We’re back to the vet Monday for his 4th round of puppy shots and hopefully a continued clean bill of health.
I’m tapping away here at the Toyota dealership where they’re somewhere in the back installing my Sirus receiver since they didn’t have one in stock last week. The balance of the weekend will be installing step rails, having the windows tinted on Saturday, and making a run to BestBuy to get my iPod adapter installed. Once I get it to that point, I’ll be ready for a roadtrip… Which is coming up soon… More on that a little later.