March 22, 2009

The Problem is us

I can predict headlines. In fact, I do not read the front page of the newspaper anymore. I know what the headlines are. They have been the same for the past eight months. So now I make bets to myself about what the daily headline will be.

Will it be record layoffs? Another major corporation will announce they are millions of dollars in the red, or maybe Detroit’s
automakers are asking for a few billion dollars more to play with? Any of these could be likely.

Yet these stories are all true, happening right now, and affecting us all. While the media has saturated us with news about the latest financial mishap occurring in our country, some have cried foul – too much doom and gloom they say.

Those crying doom and gloom say media coverage is only making the economy worse. I say the media is doing its job, and, unfortunately for some, it is making them uncomfortable. They are uncomfortable because the media is causing them to look long and hard at themselves, causing them to realize they might have to change their ways. They are realizing their ride on cloud nine might be over.

The media is doing what they have been doing since their creation, providing information – good or bad. They are not fabricating stories about record layoffs, bankruptcies or, elaborate as they sound, Ponzi schemes. The media is reporting these stories because they are happening right now and affecting thousands people, with the hopes these stories will affect the decision making process of their readers.

Dirk DeYoung, editor of the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, told Minneapolis’ WCCO, “[the media] presents a steady drumbeat of bad news because there IS a steady drumbeat of bad news.”

So, yes, doom and gloom reports have prevailed in the media recently, but only because doom and gloom occurs so frequently. As DeYoung bluntly put it, “times are tough, and it's not the media's job to put lipstick on a pig.”

Now the media is causing us really to examine how we got into this mess. Economists have told us debt is good and the only way to keep the economy growing. According to Reuters, American households are $14 trillion in debt, an amount equal to the country’s entire economic output. This is a ratio the country has not seen since the infamous year of 1929.

As we hungered for more, we stuffed ourselves with debt. People accumulated more wealth by drawing on the value of their home, and were told their homes would increase in value base on projections of past performance. We were wrong.

We raised the standard of living in the US, most of it done on borrowed money. David Beim, professor at Columbia Business School, explained it National Public Radio’s “This American Life.”

“The problem is us. The problem is not the banks, greedy though they may be, overpaid though they may be. The problem is us. We have over borrowed. We've been living very high on the hog,” he said.

We’ve all been a little reckless with our finances and the media is revealing the consequences by bombarding us with reports of the economy that we cannot ignore and should not ignore. Because without the media we would not know what the economy has in store for us.

The wise consumer is taking this information and is making better decisions. They are saving more, investing wisely, and maybe deciding to keep their car another year. The media is telling consumers what to expect and making it easier to handle.

Yet there is still hope for recovery. We are not in the next Great Depression. Job losses during the Great Depression were at triple the rate of 2008-09. Unemployment rates were at 25 percent. Currently the country is at 7.6 percent. Auto production during the Great Depression was down 90 percent. Currently auto production is down 25 percent.

Maybe this is a wake up call for all of us. Maybe we should all live within our means a little more. When you think about it, people lived without banks, mortgages, cars, and credit for thousands of years. They did not have all the luxuries we have now. Nevertheless, they still survived. They did have one thing thousands of years ago that we still have today– family, friends, and laughter. Maybe that is all we need.

February 28, 2009

The Return...

I'll make this quick. Anyone that has eaten at the hundreds of "taco trucks" scattered across L.A. will understand the novelty of a Korean taco truck.

Korean BBQ and Mexican tacos, yes, the best of both worlds combined. And this one likes to post up close by!

Visit page on mun2

November 20, 2008

The Lazy Blog

OMG! I just noticed I have not updated this since they let me out!... You would not believe how heavy that rock really is. I hope they bring chocolate!.

I am flat out like a lizard drinking with responding to fanmail, rock crushing, just generally being a coach to the local soccer team, my day lasts forever from sun up to I run out of alcohol. I am avoiding recapture. but this damned rock is heavy.

I won't promise anything to you but I will update you with my nefarious activities as soon as I get a chance. Peace! This is for my ever faithful, devoted public..

Courtesy of The Lazy Bloggers Post Generator.

Sad thing is, there are some blogs that sound like this.

October 19, 2008


It has been a long time. I kind of miss writing on this thing, but time has been a a premium and this blog has taken a hit. But, I'm not worried about the Dodgers anymore--till next year anyway.


June 25, 2008


The laptop is still undergoing surgery (new motherboard). And this computer is sometimes difficult to access, hence the infrequent updates.

What's on my mind?

The Dodgers.

I'm starting to get worried.

June 3, 2008

Beyond My Knowledge.

I've owned a few computers in my life. Yet, I had yet to have on crash and be rendered inoperable -- until recently.

I tried to all the trick I knew to bring my laptop back to life: reseating the memory chips, etc.

But, no dice.

Oh well, this one is beyond my knowledge.

So I wait for a call from the computer doctor to see if he can bring my laptop back to life. I'm lucky enough to have another computer available, so until then I will use the desktop computer.


But, it's just not the same.

May 22, 2008


I haven’t been to many planning commission meetings, but I still think I saw something I won't see very often. While listening to a resident speaking during public comment, I heard a very distinctive noise over the PA system--the distractive wheezing of someone snoring.

No? Could it be?

Yes it was! The city attorney had fallen asleep! Though, he did only get about 3 or 4 good snores in before he woke himself up.

I had to try hard not to laugh aloud.

*The photo above is not the city attorney. But doesn't this cat look dead?