Monday, September 19, 2011

today in the CSS woodshop

 This morning my 4th, 5th and 6th grade students made more of their tree frog rhythm instruments to sell at the Eureka Palooza Music Festival this coming Saturday. They have 18 to sell in addition to the ones they made  to keep for themselves and the proceeds will go toward the cost of a class trip in the spring. The class has been studying economics. Last week students worked individually on their own, and this week they worked on a piecework basis with each performing certain functions rather than making the whole thing.

A recent survey tells us that the average American eats restaurant food 4.8 meals a week or a total of 249 restaurant meals per year. This includes carryout, but does not include school meals which would add significantly to the total.

I had heard recently that nearly 50% of meals are eaten away from home. 45 percent of respondents in the survey described themselves as “meat lovers,” 22 percent as a “sweet tooth,” and 19 percent as “fast food junkies.

For comparison, just 18 percent described themselves as “health nuts” and 5 percent as “vegetarians or vegans.”

With restaurants offering so many unhealthy choices, the prudent investor would put his or her money in health-care, treatment for the obese and invest in new treatments for diabetes.

Make things, make healthy dinner, fix and create...

As I've mentioned before... when I was a kid, I wanted to become an inventor. But I realized that in order to be one, I had to be deeply engaged in something as the driving force in idea creation, and I had to know how to actually make things in order to be able to test and present my ideas as credible and useful. To think that just because someone has money that person also has imagination and where-with-all to put our nation to work is blindness.  As a woodworker I became an inventor of processes that enable me to do better woodworking. Rather than inventing objects, I invent processes and share them with others. For me, what I do is a dream come true.

No doubt a few of my readers will be interested in the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Back when Ronald Reagan conceived "trickle down economics" most people in the US had been engaged enough in real enterprises to have some ideas about ways to invest money and put people to work.  Even making movies,  the industry that Reagan knew so well, would qualify as something real, in that it required skills of all kinds. Still, "trickle down" was a grand notion that failed at the starting gate. These days many of the rich seem to know little more than how to read a balance sheet. Most did not see the financial crisis coming and those did who lifted no fingers to help avoid the crisis. Banks wer bailed out and set right by the Federal Government and the American taxpayers, but those same taxpayers have been allowed to fail. Would it be "class warfare" for me to suggest that those who make so much and feel so entitled should be asked to pay higher taxes?


  1. Anonymous4:30 AM

    As a user of some of your invented processes, I'm glad you really did turn out to be an inventor.


  2. US taxes are such a complicated issue, even professionals get it wrong. That needs to change if only to bring some sense of transparency to the system.

    The fact is virtually no one really knows what their real overall tax burden is and how taxes affect them.

    That really muddles the whole tax debate.

    And that was an interesting point about trickle down in the days of Reagan.