Saturday, March 21, 2009

Economics

There is so much discussion about what the government can and can't do for corporations and Wall St. companies. The amount already spent buoying up these companies is quite staggering. I'm not sure what it's up to - but doing a quick internet search, I see that in October 08, the estimate was already at 5 trillion. Now, that's 12 zeros. I pulled out the calculator and divided it by 300 million (US population). $16,666 each. So, it's probably higher now. Why not just give EVERYONE a million dollars? Forget bailing out the companies. Just put a million in everyone's account. What would happen? You can bet that a lot of people would buy a new house, or a car. Detroit - saved. Let's say they also made a rule that prices could not be raised for a year from their current rate. People would be spending in no time if they were millionaires.

What would you do if you suddenly had a million, tax free? Would it still seem like a lot of money? Would you travel, or save, or go on a wild spree? Lump sums have a funny way of quickly disappearing. But in this case, wouldn't that be a win for the country's economy?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Marching

Here we are in the month of March. The ides of March. March hares. March of Time - remember that series? In grade school, they showed it to us as a history lesson. Most of it was like watching newsreel footage. The narrator had a very stentorian presentation voice. It was a good time to put your head down and take a snooze.

Marching bands - our high school band marched at football games, and also competed in Washington, D.C. We took one band trip up to Canada, too. Our director, Quayle Andrews, was a dictator (or so it seemed to us students), and was very strict about everything involved in the band. I remember several people quitting band because of him, but I think that his passion was what made our school music program a good one. He invited artists to come to the school for special classes and to take part in our concerts. I remember Urbie Green and Chuck Mangione coming to Brockport.

March: in like a lion and out like a lamb; or in like a lamb, out like a lion. This refers to the changible March weather. This year, it was in like a lion, so we'll look forward to better weather at the end of the month.

Friday, March 06, 2009

On top of the world

When I was 16, I travelled to Switzerland as part of an exchange program. After staying with a host family for a number of weeks, the students in our group and their host siblings took an expedition to the mountains, where we stayed in a beautiful valley called Fafleralp, and took day hikes, learning to rapel and cross glaciers. One hike was an overnight one, very high up in the mountains, where we could get views like this one. I remember the experience of hiking along a trail and looking down to see the tops of clouds.

On the back of this snapshot, I had written "View from the top of the world". I was a very lucky teenager.