Wednesday, August 17, 2011


In today's NYTimes, "Field of Dashed Dreams" describes President Obama's speaking tour of the midwest. Here's part of what he said:

“Everybody cannot get 100 percent of what they want. Now, for those of you who are married, there is an analogy here. I basically let Michelle have 90 percent of what she wants. But, at a certain point, I have to draw the line and say, ‘Give me my little 10 percent.’ ”

Oh, isn't that cute (barf.) What is wrong with this guy?

Actually, he negotiates with Michelle more effectively than he does with the Republicans.

And this doesn't help:

“In my house,” Obama noted, “if I said, ‘You know, Michelle, honey, we got to cut back, so we’re going to have you stop shopping completely. You can’t buy shoes; you can’t buy dresses; but I’m keeping my golf clubs.’ You know, that wouldn’t go over so well.”

What a slap in the face to the millions of women out there who are facing much bigger problems than how many shoes to buy. How about the many women who are the sole breadwinner for their families?


  1. PsychMom is back....

    In the world of childrearing, they say.."Pick your battles".

    If I had a chance to say anything to Mr. Obama, I'd say, "Pick a battle...please..just pick one thing that you'll not cave on, so we know what it is you stand for...c'mon, please?"

    I liked the example of telling Michelle to hold off on the "shopping" even less. So cliche.

    The part of our lives right now that I really dislike is that regular folks keep getting told to get their household debt under control. I guess there are families and people out there who go willy nilly with spending but I think there are an awful lot of people who have just been trying to live the same lives their parents lived (a house, a job, food on the table,a vacation once a year) who have found that it costs way more than it did for their parents, relatively speaking. Cars cost 5 times what they did in the 70's, but I do not make 5 times what my father made in earnings, for example.

    I kind of went off topic, but I'd love to be able to start shopping so that I could hold off on that when times are tough.

  2. PsychMom, I added the "shopping" quote to my post. What a stinker. And what a completely unnecessary insult to women. What is this, 1958?

    To learn more about what happened to the middle class, I highly recommend The Two-Income Trap, by Elizabeth Warren.

  3. From PsychMom:

    Thanks for the book suggestion.
    After it took me almost 9 years to pay off my school debt, I began to realize that owning a house was going to be only a maybe. And now that I'm 50, it's virtually assured that I will never own my own home. But I did some way more meaningful things with my money, as far as I'm concerned.

  4. PsychMom, Elizabeth Warren takes on the issues we've been discussing. She showed that middle-class families were not going bankrupt because of consumer spending; they were going bankrupt because of medical bills, house payments, and student loans. They weren't frivolous, they got caught in an impossible bind.

    Home ownership ain't all it's cracked up to be, that's for sure.

  5. PsychMom adds:

    Yeah from my perspective, sinking all one's "wealth" into a house that sinks in value but requires constant upkeep (that I would have to pay someone to do), doesn't make a lot of sense. Are you any further ahead in 30 years if you then sell that house to live on the returns, or have instead 30 years worth of investing. The amount of money you have in the end is probably the same.

  6. Actually, he negotiates with Michelle more effectively than he does with the Republicans.


    I liked the part where he answered his detractors on the Left and said Dems had to be more " flexible" ....any more flexible and they will be even more like a Slinky spring than they are already

    But Mr. Obama always wags a finger at his own party , while has bear hugs for the GOP.

    and oh sadly ...real estate will stink for awhile. And for those who say they can't afford gold, at least keep your gold jewelry for a time if you have some

    Another funny thing: The bus tour only went to places where the unemployment rate is well below the national average. Clever, I mean where else would you go to talk about jobs...but were they already have them?

  7. I doubt it was even that clever. I think it was the usual bus tour of states that hold their primaries early. It's the only reason national politicians visit the midwest.

    What did Obama say about jobs? I didn't catch that part.

  8. You didn't miss much. He says he has some plan he will reveal in details of course. Meanwhile he's practicing his golf swing on the cape for the next ten days.

    Since Mr. Obama is actually a Republican, I expect his job plan will include even more tax cuts with the understanding business will then hire people,...but of course they won't .

  9. Elizabeth Warren is now running for the Senate from Massachusetts. (Er, technically, she's "exploring" a run.) She'd be good. If you have any disposable income left, you can contribute to her campaign here.

  10. Bear in mind that Elizabeth Warren's conclusions are a little misleading. There is one value that she reports differently than the others -- taxes! Taxes increase from 24% of income to 33% of income, but if those values are put in the same terms that were used for mortgages (which increased 76% in dollar value, but would increase less as percentage of income), then in the same period, taxes increased 140%, or twice as much as the mortgage or health insurance (up 74%). Since her solutions all involve further increasing taxes, she didn't want to call attention to that. It is an interesting book, none the less.

    Put her mortgage values in terms of percent of income, and the percentage of income going to the mortgage goes from 12.7% to 12.8% of income, so this isn't a minor oversight.

    See the following for more detail on the numbers:

  11. Anonymous said...

    ...And now that I'm 50, it's virtually assured that I will never own my own home....

    count your don't want that debt for an asset on its way down and for some time to come in the future.

    Houses these days are like soon as you drive it off the lot, it's worth less.

  12. Anonymous -- If all of her solutions involve raising taxes, she's well on her way to getting my vote.

  13. I'm not sure I understand Anonymous' point re: taxes, but I can say that I believe in progressive taxation. That is, rich people should be taxed much more heavily than the poor. That puts me in the same league as famous socialists like Richard Nixon, whose administration taxed the rich at a much higher rate than the current administration.

    The past 30 years have been all about the rich getting astronomically richer on the backs of the poor and the middle class. Our economy is being hollowed out. We're becoming a country of a few fantastically wealthy people and a great many poor, and nothing in between.

  14. I would love to see Elizabeth Warren as a senator.

  15. To Anne From PsychMom:

    Yeah, that's the way I see it. I look at what sells for a quarter of a million dollars (CDN)here in Halifax right now, and I think to 20 years this will be worth more than that???? I don't think so. It isn't worth it now.
    And it isn't like buying a 200 dollar pair of shoes, that they're better quality, and will last. No, these are duplexes that are new but are shoddily built and will not ever be in upscale neighbourhoods. It's not like the houses migrate to better neighbourhoods over time. These neighbourhoods, if anything, in 50 years will be bulldozed to build bigger houses.

    It really is like Monopoly...when you build those hotels you cash in 4 houses.

  16. "I would love to see Elizabeth Warren as a senator." Nah. Too sane. And we just can't have that on Capitol Hill now, can we?

    Seriously, I'm ready to send her money. Whatever I've got left...