Getting Over It

A day later and I am remembering that Amazon helped me find Niagara Cycle Works.  I’ve ordered the variously sized seatposts from NCW, through Amazon, over the last couple of weeks.  Google Maps thinks this is NCW’s shop.

Not what I imagined.  Maybe they’ll spruce it up after the economy rebounds.  They may have to wait a bit.  As I am modifying this post (Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 6:00 a.m. Eastern time), my radio broadcasts the announcement that the credit rating of the United States has been downgraded from “AAA” (the highest possible rating) to “AA+” by Standard & Poor’s.  The majority of the bonds I help sell are secured by entities whose rating is tied to that of the United States.  We use Standard & Poor’s to rate our bonds.  Since I started doing this work almost twenty years ago, most of the bonds I have helped sell have carried the “AAA” rating (and most are still “on the road” today).   Now all the bonds I have helped sell and those I help sell in the future will be considered a little less safe.  For the existing bonds with adjustable interest rates and the yet to be sold bonds, the interest rate will almost certainly go up.  For existing bonds the interest rates of which are not adjustable, their value (price in the secondary market) will go down.  While I am certain the U.S. will honor its obligations with respect to the bonds (“AA+” is still a good rating), I have to admit I am disappointed in our federal government.  I work hard to preserve my credit rating.  I work hard to generate money to pay my bills on time and to make sure my bills are manageable. I maintain a rigorous budget so that I know I will have the money to pay for things I need.  Only when I am sure that my needs are addressed and will be addressed long into the future do I consider buying things I don’t need.   All that with no experts to help me manage my finances.  I don’t have a business degree.  I didn’t even take home ec.  What gives?

I understand that I cannot alone take credit for my financial stability.  I am very well positioned in history, location, race, sex, partner, parents, education, career, clients and colleagues.  Few on the planet have as much luck filling their sails (I use luck broadly to include not only events that happen by chance but also the assistance we receive from those around us, in ways both small and large, each and every moment–kansha, man–look it up).  I also understand that my luck can very easily dry up.  Folks who pedal bicycles on the streets have to work hard not to notice the major role luck plays in our lives.  Even so, luck alone doesn’t build a financial house.  I make decisions.

It is time for the folks who work for us in Washington to make decisions.  While it is almost unimaginable that our federal debt could be reduced to zero and maintained there, at times like this it is hard not to ask why, if I am careful with my finances, my federal government is not.  What are the experts we as a country hire doing for us?  I suppose that without them things could be worse.  Always a possibility.  Even so, I hope they try a little harder going forward.  If they are very careful with the money they get and still need more, please consider taxing me more.  I don’t want my dollars buying bombs, but if we need more money to help people whose luck has run out (I think a social safety net is about the bestest thing our federal government provides), raise my taxes.  Other people are asking for this, too.  Too often they ask the feds to tax the rich and then define rich to mean something more than they have/make, but not all.  Not me.  Tax me!  The debt has been incurred.  Can’t unring that bell.  The sooner we pay off our debts the better.  I don’t want my money paying interest any longer than necessary.  It isn’t efficient.  I don’t want our fiscal policy to be structured in a way that Standard & Poor’s concludes we are anything less than completely reliable.  That isn’t efficient.  Tax me!

I turned the paper Amazon graciously included with the bicycle tire into a couple of note pads.  The paper was perforated width wise every 8-1/2″.  Each strip became 11″ twice, with a bit left over for a small pad.  Seems like they meant for the paper to be reused before recycling.

Thanks Amazon.  I need to remember that a breast is still a breast.  In the end, they’ll do whatever it takes to be a better archer.

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