Saturday, March 08, 2008

Today's national news in brief...

The US lost 63,000 jobs in February.

Rising sales in the land of falling prices. Walmart posted a 2.6% rise in February as shoppers felt growing pressure to watch their spending. Dillards and other upscale shopping venues posted declines in total sales.

Yesterday on the NBC's Today, well known personal financial consultant Suze Orman told viewers what to do with their tax rebate coming in May. "Don't spend it." Use it to reduce debt, or put it in the bank and let it sit. Don't use it wantonly to stimulate the economy as the Bush administration suggests. In other words follow the advice of the airlines: "If in the event of sudden loss of cabin pressure, and you are traveling with a small child, fit the oxygen mask to your own face first."

The IRS spent 42 million dollars on a letter to announce to American taxpayers that checks are coming. This announcement could have been handled as a press release at no cost to the American government. Go figure.

Local news (very brief)

Today in the Doug Stowe woodshop, I'm competing with the Chinese again, making small boxes from American hardwoods. My product is unique, but labor is not. People all over the world make things.


American politicians and economists have long regarded work of the hands to be inconsequential to the American economy... The idea was that we could be the head, while the hands might be located in other nations. Those at the top and in control would benefit from the labor of all. It is a fundamentally Socratic notion, rooted in the ideas of slavery and imperialism.

It might be time to throw the bums out. Raise your hands and call question to the status quo, then by putting your hands to work, reshape our nation toward higher purpose than our squandered and devalued American dollar.

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