Sometimes, it can be fun to line up a bunch of news reports on varied subjects, just to see what falls out. For example, we learned this recently from folks who worry about pets: Dognapping Up 70%. We conclude from this that, if you’re a pure-bred dog, more people want you, though that may not be totally reassuring in Chinese neighborhoods. It also suggests that dogs cost more and that people who buy them therefore tend to have more wealth than heretofore. Meaning, more people are now unable to afford such dogs, because they are poor. I call this analysis: ‘dogonomics’
Another story concerns the typical middle class retirement tax trap and what’s happening with it: 401k Users goes on to explain the roughly 25% of folks who are withdrawing money from their retirement accounts while too young to retire because they’re suffering financial emergencies. Tax law lets a taxpayer do that, in certain circumstances, but only temporarily. and/or for listed reasons. Falling outside the time limits or guidelines becomes costly. The news report goes on to worry about how a lot of such people will fund retirement. The baseline is, of course, they’re all people suffering financially and there are a lot more of them now. Hmnn…
In third place in our little collection is a story from just before the recent presidential election: Better Off Than Four Years Ago. This one reported a claim advanced by the Democrats just before the vote, namely, that voters were better off in 2012 than they were four years earlier. The election result suggests that numbers of voters believed this. Hmnn, again. Do you suppose that perhaps, owners of pure bred dogs and/or 401k retirement plans refrained from voting? Or maybe such folk are greatly outnumbered by welfare clients and cat lovers? Dunno, myself, I wasn’t in at the vote counting, though I’m assured that the local Black Panther contingent poll watchers kept all on the up-and-up wherever they appeared.
All this confuses me some; I’m not really sure now whether times are tough or booming for most of us. My own bills seem to be outrunning my remaining income pretty fast and there are a bunch of foreclosures for sale in the neighborhood, but that’s too small a sample for credibility, right? I mean, the voters validated the Dem’s ‘Better Off Than Four Years Ago.’
Nothing is equivocal about the last report, though. It’s from the Federal Government, so it must be ok, right? Obama Assets tells us that our Prez, regardless of anyone else’s situation, is all right. In fact, he’s a millionaire, though not a big one, with assets worth somewhere between maybe three and eight million dollars. Government reports leave wide margins. We know his Congressional and Presidential salaries, so his law teaching and community activisim must have paid well, wouldn’t you say? Anyway, he’s not dipping into his 401k or having to ransom his dog.
Assembling these varied reports to make a picture: Large numbers of folk think they’re in financial trouble enough to risk their retirement; more folk are chasing money by stealing dogs, the Dems claim everybody’s better off and the voters agree while we know for sure the Prez isn’t suffering. That seems to be about it.
I will leave you to interpret all this; as stated earlier, I’m confused. Somehow, I fail to fit in; I’m not better off than four years ago, the value of my retirement seems to diminish without any help from me and I don’t own a dog, I think it’s nice for the Prez that he’s a millionaire.
What I’d like to find out, is when is the Congress (both parties) going to stop appropriating and the President going to stop spending more than we have? I’d like to see my retirement dollars stop shrinking… If we get to that point, I might buy a dog.