Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Consumer Good News and Bad News

The good news is that gasoline prices are (pardon the pun) tanking. Every day I see the prices at the gas stations going down by a few cents. The reason for this is that when prices rose to well over $4.00 per gallon, we finally changed our driving habits. Going for a long drive became a luxury instead of merely normal. The American public collectively drove many billions of miles less than previously every single month. This, plus a shrinking economy, left too much gasoline waiting to be sold and too few buyers willing to consume it. If we keep up our new habits prices will stay low. Drive less, and don't think that as prices go down it again becomes OK to drive a gas guzzler. Continue to economize and look at better efficiency cars when it becomes time to replace yours.

The bad news is that with the economy and the stock market in a downturn, retailers are finding fewer people going through their checkout lanes. Many stores and restaurants are facing the prospect of going out of business. In this kind of economy, the best thing we can do is to keep buying, but only buy things that are good values. You will find many bargains out there as sellers become desperate. Take advantage of these to get good values for yourself and also to help support the merchants. We want them to stay in business if they are viable. Keeping stores in business preserves jobs and maintains a high level of competition between the sellers for your business. When sellers compete you get good value for your money. When some sellers go out of business, there is less competition for your business, and prices go up because you have fewer places to shop.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Post-Election Limerick P

Alaska Governor Palin
Thought that she'd have easy sailin'.
But some bad interviews
And too many bought shoes
Left her after the vote, sadly trailin'.

Post-Election Limerick M

That distinguished hero, McCain
Started out speaking words that were plain.
When he changed them to rancor,
It hurt like a canker,
And caused many voters to refrain.

Post-Election Limerick B

Well-versed Senator Joe Biden
Spoke some words that he should have been hidin'.
Though he traveled the south
With his foot in his mouth,
To the VP's big office he's ridin'.

Post-Election Limerick O

There was a young man named Obama
Who always debated much calmer.
He pulled out the race
With a smile on his face,
and a loving goodbye to Grandmama.