Fire and Ice

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yogi
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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by yogi » 25 Mar 2019, 14:48

Obviously people don't play games to be productive. Then, too, I don't use my computers for productive projects very often either. It's all a way to escape reality and in some cases just to pass the time and dissipate feelings of boredom. I miss my chainsaw. I'd use that to hack at a few trees in my forest when I had a forest. Not only did that pass the time it gave me some exercise too. :mrgreen:

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Kellemora
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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by Kellemora » 26 Mar 2019, 12:15

You would not believe all things I use my computer for in a days time.
Then again, maybe you would, hi hi.
Honestly though, I'm so busy doing things, most of them necessary things, I don't have time to get everything I need to get done in a day finished.
Besides playing a game to break the monotony of the work.
So far this morning I downloaded an updated picture of one of my wife's cousins who passed, and her obit.
I've added the photo to the master photo file, made two copies of it, one to pull only a face shot from, and filed those.
Went to the text files and made a copy of her obit there.
Went to the genealogy program, added her death date, location, and some additional family info from the obit.
Then uploaded the image file of her face to her genealogy page.
While there, updated a few other folks who had new source info available.
Went to my accounting program to add some inventory items I bought yesterday for two different businesses.
Related to one of the businesses, I updated a box label to show another line of information requested by the buyer.
Spent another hour working on a small book for a family member.
Then I hit the personal websites, this being the last one before I start me e-mails and do what I need to do from there.
After I finish the e-mails, I will take care of some promotion items I do daily for my published books.
As soon as I finish that task, I will then start on my writing, which is mostly editing and rewriting right now.
I may have to stop long enough to research something, or to verify a line I placed a question mark behind to make sure it is correct. I will be doing something that has to do with writing up until dinnertime.
Then after dinner, I will play my game for a short time, then go back to working on the small book I mentioned previously.
On days when I have a product order, I have a lot of things I have to do on the computer. Enter the purchase order, print a copy of the Dealer manual for each case, print a copy of the Informational Flyer that goes into each carton. Print the labels for the inner cartons, print the labels for the outer carton, print the shipping labels, and when the order is ready to go, print the UPS shipping labels. E-mail the buyer to give them the UPS tracking numbers. Generate an Invoice, and do all the accounting for the order, which includes handing inventory reductions and ordering more supplies.
In other words, my day is usually busy busy busy, mostly at something productive, except for the short game breaks to keep from going crazy, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by yogi » 26 Mar 2019, 14:28

The difference between you and I is that I retired (early) about twenty years ago and you are still working. There is nothing I absolutely must do on my computer, but like many other folks there are things I like to do routinely. When the whim strikes me I'll attempt to do something technical that I have not done before, such as delve into the intricacies of Linux or learn about Virtual Machines. Building my own computer was a long time goal I hesitated to pursue. It consumed some time to research all the components, but the actual assembly and migration of Windows from the Silver Yogi to the ASUS Yogi took no more than a Saturday afternoon. After that I really got enthusiastic about multi-boot configuration and how to make Grub stay where it belongs when I want Windows' MBR to take charge. Thank you Glenn wherever you are. He inspired me quite a bit in that regard. Eventually I got around to documenting it all. That's an ongoing chore given new devices I add or upgrade on my LAN. I got side tracked a couple years to prepare my old house for sale and looking for this new house. Now that I'm here in Missouri, there is nothing left for me to do. My entire LAN came up and running the day we moved in; thanks to some propitious scheduling on the part of Charter Cable Company. I was surfing the web that first night. DIdn't have a place to sit yet, but still. :mrgreen:

So now all I do is keep abreast of world conditions. Thank the gods of the Internet for reaching all the way down here to O'Fallon. The last project, so to speak, was taking the plunge into the world of serious gaming. When I bought the video card for this ASUS Yogi they gave me a copy of a high end game (Witcher 3) which I didn't feel qualified enough to play until I got seriously bored one day. I'm certain you never played a game like this one although there are a zillion similar first person role players out there. I have well over 250 hours of play time logged into this game, and that was only after I discovered the advantages of putting it on a game server up in the cloud. Played through it three times now and may take it up again later this year given that some new scenarios have been added as a separate game. I don't play anything that elaborate anymore and most of my computer time is spent monitoring current events. I feel that I know enough about the world now that I can solve all it's problems. Unfortunately, nobody cares.

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Kellemora
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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by Kellemora » 27 Mar 2019, 10:57

Technically I retired when I was 55 years old. After 9/11 bankers destroyed my main business by not fulfilling their agreements with buyers.
I only had this one small tabletop business I've kept going all of these years to help with a little income to pay for medicines and doctors bills, and keep up with the rising taxes. Unfortunately, modern technology is wiping out that business now too.

I'm a writer which consumes a lot of time, and as you know, there is no income involved with writing, unless you are more than just lucky and it would be like you hit the lottery 5 times in a row, hi hi.

All the rest of my work is for family things, like genealogy and photo library maintenance, etc.

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yogi
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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by yogi » 27 Mar 2019, 13:45

Motorola was a great company to work for. Originally I planned on retiring at age 70 at which point my profit sharing fund would have made me a millionaire, possibly a multi-millionaire. Being on the bleeding edge of technology, Motorola wasn't exactly stable. In fact nobody in the technical end of the business plans on staying with the company for more than a few years. My aspiration for 45 years service was ambitious and realistically unattainable. My technical skills could not be updated quickly enough to keep up with the pace of progress, but that's not what closed the doors for me. So I retired nearly 15 years before my ideal age and had to use all I had in profit sharing to make it to age 65 and be eligible for SS benefits. You might think it's funny but I never considered myself retired until I got my first SS check. I was "between jobs" as I would say to anyone who asked. The thing about it is most people didn't understand that I was serious about my claim. :bleh:

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Kellemora
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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by Kellemora » 28 Mar 2019, 13:56

I hope you get more in SS than I do. During the years my late wife was wheelchair bound and I had to take care of her. It was cheaper for me to only work part-time and stay with her, than it was to hire a day nurse to stay with her. We still had to hire one for when I couldn't be there, but it really put a damper on how much of my earnings went into SS. I had to pay the normal amount, but since I didn't have an employer who had to pay in, a lot less went into my account.

When I first went to collect my SS they told me I had zero coming, based on the way they calculated how much I would get.
I know that couldn't be right and argued with them and they finally looked up something else that gave me about 250 bucks a month. That still didn't sound right to me. I studied how much I should get, some of that based on the little annual letter you get showing your lifetime earnings, which also showed how much I would receive at 62, and at 65.
They kept coming up with one excuse after another, so I contacted an attorney who looked into it, and he got them to take my total lifetime earnings to determine the amount I should get. What they were trying to do was limit me to my last 5 years of earnings, which was zero. Then they went back to my last 10 years of earnings, which was a small amount compared to all my previous years before that when I worked full-time as a draftsman and as an engineer, plus the years I drove OTR. The attorney finally got them to pay me 700 bucks a month. It has gone up a pittance every year after that, but the amount they take out for medicare also went up, so the check they cut me only went up about 2 to 5 bucks a year since I started collecting SS.
As of this year, I now get 775 bucks a month is all.
There was a bill in congress in 2016 to make the minimum normal SS check 1200 bucks, but it never got off the ground.
I'm sure they used the money instead to give illegal aliens who never put into the system a large monthly SS check.

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yogi
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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by yogi » 28 Mar 2019, 16:05

Before I retired I would get an annual statement from SSA telling me how much was in my account. I don't recall for certain, but it seems as if they also projected my monthly income based on what I had contributed up to that point. In any case I knew well before I retired what I was in for.

The calculations you describe are not the same as those I recall being told to me. To be eligible at all I had to be working and contributing for so many quarters. If I contributed the maximum amount every year, then I would end up with 80% of my annual earnings. If I did not contribute the max then they took the highest ten years (again I'm relying on a vague memory for the exact number) of my earnings and come up with an annual income that was adjusted to correspond with the amount that I contributed to the system. I am reasonably certain that they used the highest earnings for my benefit calculation and not simply a certain time span. I contributed the max in the first half of my career, but after that I wasn't earning enough to max out the SS contributions. Thus, my final benefit was about 50% of my annual income on the year I retired. I did not work for nearly ten years before I started collecting benefits so that I don't quite understand why they gave you a hard time for not working. I can't question the amount you were entitled to receive, but not having an employer match your contributions probably would reduced your maximum benefit to something like 25% of your highest earning years. In any case, I assume your lawyer was familiar with all the applicable laws and got you the best he could.

You have a right to be bitter about your SSA payouts, but I'd have to question the assumption illegals are collecting SS benefits. First of all illegals are not entitled to SSA benefits. Also, ss you must know, any proposal in congress to increase funding does not happen just because a proposal was made. A law must be enacted and corresponding funds must be allocated to pay for any outlays of cash. At least that was the generally accepted economic formula used prior to 2016.

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Kellemora
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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by Kellemora » 29 Mar 2019, 13:11

Many millennia ago, I did my thesis on the SS System. It was amazing the things I discovered during my research. I know I mentioned this a while back. So will only say, SS was more than solvent and would have been impossible to fall short, before the government stole their money.

Like you just pointed out, that was one of their gimmicks to not pay you what you are supposed to be getting.
It was not calculated on your total earning, but in your case, on your top ten earning years.
They automatically assume your highest earnings were made in the most recent ten years.
But you had to have shown gainful employment during the last five years to qualify for SS is what they told me.
After an argument with them, they changed it to the last ten years, and came up with the low figure they offered.

Had I not remarried, I could have drawn something like 1600 to 1800 a month, not exactly sure how they came up with that figure, because it was higher than what the late wife would have received based on her old SS annual statements.
I started paying into SS when I was 14 years old, when I got my first part-time weekend job at the Concession Stand of our local Drive-In Theater. I never made a lot of money working for our family business, but after I graduated HS and went to work at MAC, and then got a job downtown for a large engineering firm, I made a pretty good wage, a little more after I moved out to the county for another large company. I had over 25 years of full-time employment, and also drove OTR in between, and then after I quit working for other companies and drove at first for the family business, with only hot shot runs during that time for outside companies. In all cases, my FICA was added to by the companies I worked for. And during my self-employed years, I paid a higher FICA rate since there were no additional funds from an employer. It was only after the frau was wheelchair bound that I quit working outside the home. My little tabletop businesses all paid quarterly taxes and monthly FICA deposits made through a bank. But then as the frau's illness got worse, I had to be with and handle her needs full-time, no time to do anything else.

Even if they did get the minimum 1200 dollar SS through, I would still get less than that because I began collecting at 62 instead of 65. At the time I made that decision, there was only something like an 18 to 22 dollar a month difference. Less than 1 thousand bucks over four years time, so I didn't see holding out for four more years.
Ironically, if I did hold out for four more years for that extra 20 bucks, I then would have had to wait until 67 to retire, hi hi. So it was a good move!

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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by yogi » 29 Mar 2019, 18:57

I don't know what to tell you because I was totally unemployed for at least nine of the ten years prior to my application for SS benefits. It was well known that 40,000 people lost their jobs in a single year at Motorola, the year I had to retire, but it doesn't make sense that our misfortune would change how things are calculated. Plus, you are correct regarding the assumption that the most recent 10 years are the highest earnings years. My only earnings prior to age 65 were withdrawals from my profit sharing fund, and I wasn't paying FICA on that. I'm guessing you could have qualified as a caregiver for your sick wife and that might have played favorably with the SSA. Maybe not. I never had a problem so that I never looked into whether I was getting what I deserved or not. My SS benefits were very close to what they were predicted to be ten years before I got them. Maybe I was just lucky, but it seems as if the calculations for your benefits were not done the same as mine. Doesn't seem right for a federal entitlement.

I doubt the SSA today is anything like it was when you did your research. You are correct to say they were self-sufficient until their funds were used as collateral against the federal debt. That was a bad move but a quick and easy way to solve a problem. This year's federal budget proposal is attempting to solve the current debt problem by grossly reducing medicare, medicaid, and Social Security payouts. If you find it difficult to remain solvent on $700/mo, just imagine what it will be like when that gets cut drastically.

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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by Kellemora » 30 Mar 2019, 10:09

In my case, if they do cut my SS, I will then be eligible to have my Real Estate Tax frozen at the current rate, will be able to get food stamps, the frau will be able to get assistance on her medicines, and heck, we might even qualify for welfare.
We have always been only 1 to 3 thousand too much to get any help at all from anything.
I don't really think they are going to cut social security, not unless they want a civil war to deal with.
Everyone is angry enough they stole from SS, and claimed no cost of living increases a few times, when the cost of everything has gone up, in some cases exponentially.
There are enough of us over 70 years old who are willing to lock n load to protect our rights from the socialist traitors.
What's the worst that could happen? We could get killed, or put in jail and provided meals.
We are at the end of our lives anyhow, so why not take a few poly-tick-ians with us on the way out, if it comes to that.

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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by yogi » 30 Mar 2019, 12:05

The latest budget proposals isn't coming from socialists unless you consider the present administration in Washington to be in that category. All those tax cuts we were given last year means the government income from us taxpayers has been greatly reduced but the bills have not. Thus the national debt is at record levels and there is much discussion about using SSA benefits cuts to stem the tide. You are correct about threats of insurrection which is the alternative to bankruptcy of the US government. I doubt that you personally have felt the cuts already made to Medicaid, but the same people who did that are now targeting SS benefits and Medicare, especially the Senate leadership. The House of Representatives isn't likely to go along with it, but then that leaves the bankruptcy option as the only choice. It will be interesting to see how it plays out because in spite of the millions of potential protestors who would not want a cut in their benefits the money simply isn't there to pay them.

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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by Kellemora » 31 Mar 2019, 09:42

It WAS there before they STOLE it from SS. They need to man up and pay it back and with the interest they promised of which they cut down to nothing on two separate occasions.
Obama ran up the debt up to the highest it has ever been in the history of our country.
It's coming back down now, so the money is there somewhere.
The poly-TICK-ians keep voting themselves raises, so they know the money is there too!

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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by yogi » 31 Mar 2019, 12:55

President Barak Obama led us out of the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression., During the first quarter of 2019 (which isn't over as I type this), under the leadership of Donald Trump, the national debt surpassed anything during the Obama administration by 1 trillion dollars ... yes, trillion. Thank you Mr President for tax cuts and trade wars. That alone is bad, but there also aren't enough countries in today's world that like us enough to buy our bonds to pay that debt's interest, let alone the principle. Take note here of China and Russia who are currently cashing in dollars and replacing them with gold.

The notion that Barak Obama was a bad guy, in my humble opinion, is irrelevant. The problems we are dealing with in today's economy are owned by Republicans who controlled congress since 2016. Pointing out the failures of Obama, such as they were, isn't going to fix what is wrong in today's economy. Be that all as it may, I am hoping Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid remain in tact. There are going to be a lot more sick and dying people if those programs collapse. Then again, that's about as likely to happen ans the federal government paying back what it owes to the SSA. :mrgreen:

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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by Kellemora » 01 Apr 2019, 11:12

The national debt has always gone up a little each year like nearly forever, so nothing new there.
However, the national deficit nearly tripled under Obama.
The deficit is a much more important calculation of how the country is doing as a whole.

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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by yogi » 01 Apr 2019, 12:24

I know what the national debt is, but I'm not sure what you mean by "deficit.'' In fact I've never seen a reference to that term without a specific modifier, such as in "trade deficit."

The national debt to which I refer is the difference between what the federal government takes in as revenue verses what it spends. Governments are one of the few entities in the economic world that can spend money they don't have. They can print more money, but that would devalue the worth of the dollar. Countries who are holding US Dollars instead of gold would suddenly lose confidence in us should the value of the dollar drop very much. Thus in order to pay the bills, the US Government sells bonds. Bonds, as you know, have a defined lifetime over which interest is paid at a set rate. At the end of the bond's life the holder cashes it in to get the face value of the bond. Federal Reserve bonds have had the highest rating possible by Standard and Poors and when they slipped down a notch US Federal bonds still were rated AA+.

You are correct. It has been perfectly normal for the US Government to spend more than they took in, although president Bill Clinton did happen to reverse that while he served in the White House. Thus the sale of bonds in order to pay our debts, including the interest on outstanding bonds, has been the main source of our solvency as a nation. When the income decreases, such as was the case when President Trump and the Republican Party enacted the last rounds of tax cuts, the deficit increased. In order to pay the bills more bonds must be sold. The deficit in this case is synonymous with the term National Debt and it is an indicator of our government's ability to remain solvent. The increases in the National Debt is historically high under the current administration, i.e., the National Debt has never increased to such heights so quickly under any previous president.

The Trade Deficit has received a lot of attention from Donald Trump and from congress in general. We Americans are buying more things from other countries than they are buying from us. This is particularly true when it comes to China, but countries such as Germany who sell their high end automobiles here have also come into the cross hairs of those people looking at the Trade Deficit. There are many reasons for the Trade Deficit to be unbalanced and many of those reasons are due to healthy economic conditions. Be that as it may this Trade Deficit is being dubbed as a bad thing and thus treaties involving prior trade agreements are being terminated and import tariffs are being assessed. This strategy has had minimal effect on the trade deficit, plus the targeted countries are countering with tariffs of their own. The end result is less trade between countries but not a balance. More is still being imported than exported, but the quantities are now less. The balance of trade has an impact on our domestic economy but is not a consideration when calculating the National Debt.

We can and have survived several downturns in our economy. Thus the Trade Wars currently in operation will hurt many people on both sides of the oceans until the war ends. On the other hand, we have never as a country defaulted on our National Debt payments. If we did, that would cause a worldwide crisis of a magnitude never seen before in all of history. It's not just this country's credit rating at stake. Half the world economies depend on the dollar in order to survive economically themselves. Clearly our National Debt is much more of a threat to economic stability than any Trade Deficit because it has worldwide repurcussions.

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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by Kellemora » 02 Apr 2019, 12:08

National Debt increases at a fairly steady pace, with only minor fluctuations in percentage of increase.
There is also private debt, which also increases year after year after year.
But none of that has anything to do with the Federal Deficit or the Trade Deficit.

Here is the Federal Deficit in Billions
2008 458
2009 1,413 (the largest jump in US history by Obama)
2010 1,294
2011 1,295
2012 1,087 (after the house curbed more of Obama whims)
2013 679
2014 485
2015 438
2016 585 (normal small increase under new Trump presidency)
2017 665
2018 779

Source: https://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/federal_deficit


Since you brought up Trade Deficit
Trade Deficit is like a bouncing rubber ball, it changes every single week, sometimes by massive amounts.
In Feb 2018 the deficit was -55719, dropped in Mar to -47448, dropped in Apr to -46454, dropped again in May to -43511
Since May 2018 it has continued to climb, and in Oct rose to -56534, dropped again in Nov to -50529, then rose sharply in Dec to -59900 the highest in a long time, however, in January it dropped all the way down to -51149, much lower than it was in Feb of 2018.
Like I said, it is a bouncing ball, and really hasn't changed much between last year and this year, or any prior years.
It's only the Media who Twist things to suit their agenda. Sure it was the highest in Dec 2018 and the new media ran with it. Claiming Armageddon, but never said a word after it dropped down to being lower than a year previous.

Trump is doing a fantastic job in trying to clean up the messes Obama made, and being fought every step of the way by the Traitors, Socialists, and Amorals who want to destroy this country.

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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by yogi » 02 Apr 2019, 14:06

Perhaps you do not recall that Barak Obama was president during the worst recession since the 1930's. I won't get into the reasons why the economy tanked but an increase in deficit spending was the cure that worked. There is no recession, depression, or even a bear stock market to explain why the deficit has been increasing each year since 2016 and is headed toward record levels in 2019.

As long as we are looking at web site authorities, maybe you would be interested in this one: http://www.usdebtclock.org/
The total deficit they quote is 22 trillion. That's the figure upon which my statements regarding federal bankruptcy are based. The mere 1 trillion dollar deficit increase this year isn't helping the situation, believe it or not.

I guess they don't do much soy bean farming down in Tennessee so that you may not be aware of the fact that the Chinese stopped buying soy beans from us in response to the current round of trade tariffs. When the farmers in Iowa had nobody to sell their crops to, a disaster was in the making. President Trump came to the rescue with a farm bailout package to fight a disaster he created in the first place. That man's doing a fantastic job, indeed.

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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by Kellemora » 03 Apr 2019, 11:20

I've read numerous books on our economy and how the government is building up to a disaster.
It started with the Federal Reserve, got bad when they dropped the gold standard, and really turned for the worst when they dropped the silver standard.
My family lived through hyperinflation in Germany, and I've seen near hyperinflation here and it is getting worse.
It won't be long before our Fiat currency has the same value as Venezuelan currency, worthless.

As far as Trade Deficit goes, technically there is no such thing. It's a government created ruse to make the banks richer is all, and revolves around the Fiat Currency problem. It's all a game of trading our Fiat dollars for theirs.
We buy goods from Japan or China, it is done so using fake money controlled by the banks.
And who buys the most from whom is what creates what they call a Trade Deficit.
Americans buy one hell of a lot of shit from all over the world. And most countries cannot possibly buy back as much shit as we buy from them, especially when you consider the cost difference based on each countries economy. Regardless of where we buy our stuff from, it is still all on this same planet. We buy a pencil from China at 10 for a penny, but sell an equivalent item back to them for a dollar each. They can make things cheaper than we can due to our high level of inflation.

Supply and demand is what drives the economy, and since you brought up farmers, if they grow more than they can sell, they are shooting themselves in the foot, by growing a product the market is going to tank from oversupply. If they want to risk playing the political game and raising crops for political purposes, that is a risk they chose to make.

I was raised on a farm, and in the perishable plant and flower business. It is always a guessing game of what whim's the market may have each year. What colors are the wedding planners going to push two years from now? We have to know in order to cultivate flowers of those color schemes. Risky business for sure. You must keep your finger on the pulse of the buying public, the trends, and those who promote the fads.
We could get flooded out, we could have our greenhouses destroyed by hail, or a tornado, our boilers could quit in the middle of winter and our indoor crops freeze out. My point is, any business dealing with perishables is a risky business to start with, and if you start playing the political game and growing for the political market, the winds can change overnight.

Nobody but nobody is making 4-track cassettes and players anymore. Heck, you can barely find 8-tracks anymore either. Or 5-1/4 floppies, or 3-1/2 inch floppies. WHY did we quit importing them from Japan and China? Trade Embargo to push the sale of CDs? How did China feel about us suddenly stop buying 8-track cassettes from them? Or Japan when we quit buying 8-track players? So they stopped buying Soybeans from us, big deal, maybe they found them cheaper someplace else. That's the risk you have to take when producing perishables for a political market!

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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by yogi » 03 Apr 2019, 14:25

I've been reading about the looming economic disaster and the ominous machinations of the Federal Reserve board for roughly fifty years now. We still exist at the highest standard of living and the Federal Reserve is still doing what it was designed to do. I do see a disaster forming on the horizon, but it's not the same one you see. My guess is that neither one of us will be around long enough to feel it's effects.
Last edited by yogi on 04 Apr 2019, 16:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fire and Ice

Post by Kellemora » 04 Apr 2019, 10:47

I've only got a couple of years left on this planet, if I have that long.
But I worry about what my kids and grandkids will have to deal with when the country becomes a Muslim nation in 5 years.

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