life is like the tide…it comes and goes on its own time

big oil, big finance, big bust

war, hurricanes, economic inefficiencies – nothing new in the headlines, today. as the price of gas creeps upward at the pump and the big oil CEOs get richer on their profit sharing plans, we consumers have to find ways to trim our already squeezed budgets. it has taken the better part of 30 years for the capitol city of the large state where i live to even begin planning a metro transit system that would reach the outlying areas where the greater population of skilled professionals choose to live in newer housing near better-equipped schools. there has been more empasis, and actual work, on building tollroads. the expectation there is that we’ll be forced to continue to commute an average of 20 miles on inefficient roadways and support one of this state’s biggest businesses, oil, of course. public transit remains the subject of public mockery.

not only is our national debt on the rise, our personal consumer debt continues to rise. i do find it hard to believe a recent report (somewhere, forgot where i read it), however, that in the face of so much solicitation online, by email, in media and wherever else for so-called debt counseling services, that a majority of credit card holders actually do pay off their balances each month. i think credit card companies are at the root of this problem, and they are the very companies that gouge the consumer with ridiculously high fees, hidden fees, and their new practice of one company slapping the consumer with a higher fee or rate on the basis of his history with a completely different creditor. what’s up with that?

did you know:

  • the Internal Revenue Service found that 41 of 63 credit-counseling companies it examined were preying on debtors
  • a DEMOS (think tank) 2004 report states that 18- to 24-year-olds spend almost 24% of their monthly income repaying debt, double what they spent in 1992
  • the Center for American Progress says:

    * The number of American families carrying card balances is growing;

    * Credit-card debt is growing fastest among middle- and low-income families.

    * Low-income families have the greatest debts, proportionate to their incomes.

    * Families with higher credit-card debt — not overall debt — are more likely to become delinquent on card bills.

the highest credit card interest rate i’ve seen reported is above 30%. yeh, like i’d like to earn that much on MY money in the bank, too! i think we should be fighting back for consumer rights. ok, so punish the people who deliberately don’t pay their debt; don’t punish those who do.

and i’ll bet you thought this was going to continue my economic opinionating, eh? wrong! this is about the partially exposed boob nursing a baby on the cover of magazine that has sparked more reader response than any other issue, mostly from angry moms. even though many of the publication’s readers support breast feeding, they do not endorse nursing in public and were offended by the photo of what they feel should be kept a private act. i have to agree with how uncomfortable it feels to see a woman nursing in public, or a baby attached to a boob in my face at about 8 1/2 x 11 from a magazine cover. while i, in no way, equate it to pornography, there is still a certain amount of public decorum that i personally believe should be followed. sadly, our society seems to be following the degenerative path of ancient rome before us.


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