#economy #jobs #GoodEconomy #BadEconomy #EconomicNumbers
The U.S. economy is good, according to the numbers.
Unemployment is low, salaries and wages are rising. Yes, inflation is higher than most would like, but seems to be coming down. Also, most experts say pay increases are outpacing inflation.
Yet, people still believe the economy is not so good, according to media reports.
Certainly, in any economy, there will be some people left in the lurch. Some of them are left behind by their own choosing (they don’t want to work). Many are left behind because juggling child care, a job and other responsibilities is difficult.
At least one day-care center, rather than raising pay for their teachers, is instead providing housing for them. That way, struggling parents won’t have to pay higher rates.
There are specific hardships as well. Tyson Foods is closing several chicken plants in small towns – where it is likely the primary employer — because chicken sales are down.
The post-COVID work world has changed. More people are working from home. Some companies are raising pay rather substantially to get and keep people in their jobs. (That might be one trigger for the inflation numbers.)
People’s feelings about the economy may also be affected by the messaging they receive. Some media outlets don’t want certain people elected to office, so they will keep telling their viewers and listeners that they SHOULD feel that the economy is bad.
Even though numbers may not be what they seem in some cases, except for inflation, the numbers tell a pretty good economic story.
It might make one wonder: why do I not think the economy is good?
Certainly, every person has the power to better their own situations. There are oodles of options out there now that might not be there if the economy really does take a downturn. This economy present golden, if, perhaps, fleeting, opportunities.
Perhaps you don’t like your job. Perhaps your job doesn’t pay enough. In this economy, you can change both of those things by looking elsewhere for employment.
If day care and other life necessities are keeping you from working, perhaps finding something that would allow you to work from home might be an option.
If your skills or job situation doesn’t allow you to work from home, many employers will work with you on your family situation. Most of them need workers. They will do almost anything to keep you, if you are reliable and good at what you do.
Certainly, life and work are complicated. The pandemic exposed many of the vulnerabilities workers can face.
This may be the perfect time for anyone to better his or her situation by checking out options that, perhaps, one may never have thought of doing.
This is the best time in decades for workers. If you work hard, are willing to learn new skills, visit convenient employers to see what they might have available. Most of them are looking for help.
If you like your job, and it works for you, excellent. If not, it’s incumbent upon you to find something else.
Do you still think the economy is bad? Very likely, YOU can do something about it. If you don’t know why you think the economy is bad, perhaps you should re-evaluate where you get your information about it.
Some people in power, when the economy was suffering, would say that if you were not prospering in that economy, it was your own fault. For many, it was not their fault.
Now is the time to take matters into your own hands and find work that you can feel good about. Very likely, it’s out there.


#string #strung #ties #disarray #TheWorldOnAString #AllStrungOut #DontStringMeAlong
“I’ve got the world on a string.”
“All strung out over you.”
Don’t string me along.
These lyrics or themes from various songs and stories discuss string in its many different and diverse uses.
We think of string as a bonder – something that puts many things together into one.
We think of string as a securer – something that can hold things together.
We also think of it as a dangler, from which an object(s) can hang securely.
In the first lyric, having the world on a string means one is dangling the world securely from his or her hands. Who wouldn’t want to have the world as his or her yo-yo.
In the second lyric, one is in a state of disarray. His or her “string” has unraveled.
In the third theme, one has succumbed to someone else’s string which that person has attached to him or her.
Life can often be characterized by metaphorical string, and how we use it. Do we want to attach others to us? Do we want to dangle the world under the security of our hands? Do we want to unravel and be in disarray?
However we decide to use our “string,” we most often can control it.
We make choices, usually after considerable thought. We accept the consequences of those choices, good and bad.
Regardless, they are OUR choices. Certainly, there are limits to our choices. Generally, if our choices adversely affect someone else, the consequences could be dire.
If they affect others positively, the consequences are usually celebratory.
What we choose and how we choose it (them) are the art and science of living. Unlike other animals, who must do certain things to survive, we empower ourselves to survive by our intelligence rather than our instincts. As humans, we certainly have instincts, some of which are quite powerful and positive.
Other times, we have instincts that produce negative results for ourselves and others. Therefore, we use our intelligence to overcome those negative instincts.
What position would you like your “string” to be in? Taut is usually more preferable than unraveled.
String that is taut can give the holder power. It’s up to the holder to use that power for his or her own good, and the good of others.
Unraveled string creates disarray, and can leave one adrift.
In summary, have your world on a string. Don’t get strung out. And, try not to string others along. Let them follow you because they want to.
Tie up any loose ends. Wrap your world in success, for you and others.


#debt #1Trillion #FinancialInstruments #FinancialBurdens #GoodDebt #BadDebt
Outstanding consumer debt in the U.S. has reached $1 trillion, according to recent reports.
Economists on news shows don’t seem terribly alarmed by that number, since much of it may have been racked up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But there are lessons to consider here.
First, there is good debt and bad debt. Good debt can actually be a worthwhile financial instrument. Bad debt is likely to be just that: bad debt.
If you borrow money to buy a durable, life-necessary item, say, a house or a car, that’s an example of good debt. You need the item, you’ll have it for a long time, and you’ll eventually pay off that debt, even if it takes years, while you still have the item.
Such debt becomes a good financial instrument, presuming reasonable interest rates, because it can free up your cash to invest in other things that may pay a dividend that would well exceed the interest you are paying on your good debt.
It allows you to use other people’s money for the things you need now, while investing your own money to meet your future needs.
Another example of good debt is a credit card that gives you something back, i.e. cash, gift cards etc.
The trick in making this good debt is that you religiously pay off your balances monthly.
This way, you are not paying exorbitant interest rates the credit card companies charge, and you are getting something from the companies just for spending money.
Don’t worry if the credit card companies cry foul that people are not carrying balances. They get paid a fee per transaction by the places at which you spend money.
If you carry balances, the interest rate will likely well exceed whatever benefit you get back from the card company.
Bad debt is borrowing for frivolous expenses. If you borrow money to take a vacation you could not otherwise afford, you’ll likely be paying that debt back long after you’ve returned from your trip.
In short, you will have nothing to show for your debt other than memories of a trip.
During the pandemic, many people lost jobs, and had to use credit cards to pay for necessities, Many of those people are back to work now, so they can begin catching up on their debt. That’s why economists may not be alarmed at the big debt number.
The lesson here is, in general, go into debt out of necessity, rather than out of pleasure. And, make sure your debt rewards you.
We all indeed want to engage in pleasure activities, but if you go into debt to pay for those pleasures, make sure you know that you can pay that debt back in a relatively short time, thereby accruing as little interest as possible.
You’ll pay interest on a car, furniture etc. for a few years, and on a house for many years. But you will, in theory, have your cash to help grow your wealth as you pay your debt.
Debt can be a financial instrument, rather than a burden. Learn how to manage your debt, and your cash, wisely.


#BookBans #education #students #teachers #parents
Parents are clamoring for certain books to be banned in schools.
Do students want the same thing?
It appears no one cares what the kids think.
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, tackled this subject in her October 11, 2022, column.
“(Parents) often roll their eyes or guffaw when students themselves defend the books, suggesting that while they want to protect kids, they don’t want to hear their views,” Downey writes.
Downey asked students who have attended school board meetings and hearings what they would like to tell adults advocating book bans.
“I would ask them not even to change their viewpoint, but to keep and open mind. Even though I didn’t agree with what the parents were saying, I still listened. They refused to listen. Whenever someone would speak against book bans, they would start yelling. I also wish they were more informed. They were taking so many things out of context.”
That quote comes from Anvita Sachdeva, a senior at Forsyth County High School, outside Atlanta.
The whole debate about banning books and “protecting” kids centers on open minds vs. closed minds.
So many fear that schools will indoctrinate children into believing things that oppose what they are taught at home by parents, at church or in other non-school locales.
Past generations were easily able to reconcile what they were taught in church, at home and in school, even if there were seemingly contradictory narratives.
Why do some parents fear that no longer is the case?
Perhaps these parents so desperately want their children to think exactly as they do. They don’t want them exposed to ideas, religions etc., that differ from theirs.
Parental restrictions may be the purest form of indoctrination.
The other problem is that parents objecting to certain texts take certain passages out of context, thereby condemning the entire work without reading it in its entirety.
Something that may have a good, even wholesome, overall message may have passages that are less so.
That seems like the old forest vs. trees syndrome.
In short, children should be taught to have open minds, for it is a closed mind that prevents innovation. In that quest, they may come across words, attitudes and behaviors they find objectionable. But that’s not nearly as important as raising a child to think for himself or herself.
Parents certainly want to teach children right from wrong. There are certainly words, attitudes and behaviors that are universally right or wrong. But, children are unlikely to become gay, or trans, based on what they are taught in school. Those are not learned behaviors, but are natural feelings.
Exposing children to people, cultures and beliefs that may not sync up with what their parents believe can not only open their minds, but teach them to accept others for who they are.
By doing that, the world will be better. The children themselves will be better people. And, unexpected friendships could result.
That should be the goal of every parent.