Letters From North America
by Peary Perry
So as I sit here watching the gas prices go up and up and my money go down and
down, it leads me to wonder if the government has a clue about what is going on?
Take for example, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, not an elected position,
an appointed one. Yet, this man is so powerful, when his eyebrows go certain directions
the stock markets react as if Moses spoke from the mountain. People chase after
him wanting to know what he ate for breakfast in hopes it will tell them what
kind of a mood he might be in this morning. Granola and prunes…might be bad….bacon
and eggs…might be good.
Now, I'm sure Mr. Greenspan is probably a very
nice person, but do we really want to know if he's regular or not? Do his personal
habits influence us this much in our daily lives? Apparently they do.
If he buys a new car does that signal a return to prosperity? What happens, pray
tell, if he decides to sell a car? I haven't tracked anything along this line,
but I wouldn't be surprised to see the market take a drop based on his getting
rid of his 1993 Oldsmobile or whatever.
Last week, Mr. Greenspan was
discussing the possibility of changing the rules when it comes to social security.
I don't know about you, but it seems very suspicious to me that about the time
I start to get close to the year I can start to draw out of the plan, they move
the age up another couple of years. If I recall, it seems to me that you used
to be able to start collecting social security about age 60. Now it seems, its
62, almost 63 and then you can wait until 65 or so to collect more and then if
you're really feeling lucky, big boy, you can wait until you're 70 and get the
Seems to me that they are watching me and me alone to
come up with the policy changes. About the time I get to the magic point where
I might want to consider slowing down and collecting some of those bucks I've
paid in for nearly fifty years, they come around and change the rules to the point
where I have no choice but to keep on going. I hardly think anything I could actually
collect is enough to warrant the attention of the mighty Federal Reserve, but
I'm not so sure.
In fact I'm not so sure about anything anymore. I can't
collect Medicare since I'm not old enough nor am I in bad enough health. I make
too much money to qualify for any kind of assistance programs, but not enough
to pay all of my bills each month. I know I should save more, but by the time
I pay my taxes, there doesn't seem to be that much left over. It seems as if the
only option left to me is to just keep on plugging away at what I do and keep
on doing it until I either fall over or win the lottery.
I'm not eligible
for any governmental grants or programs that might help me get from here to there.
It's as if I'm stuck in a sort of semi-retired-must-keep-working-to-live limbo.
Somewhere I read a sign that said…"The faster I go, the behinder I get…"
I can identify with that one for sure.
I'd consider taking bankruptcy,
but I owe too much for that to happen. It seems you have to plan on taking bankruptcy,
if you want it to come out right. I guess I haven't planned well enough.
I wish they had taught us stuff in school about what to look forward to when you
get old instead of dumb things like…"In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.."
Was I absent for those classes on how to invest? Did they even have any in the
The trouble with being a middle class American is simply
this, you're too well off to get any help from the government and you're not well
enough off to get any help from the government. We don't qualify for big tax breaks,
since we don't make enough to get a break on anything. We make too much to get
paid for not working since we work. I don't have any farms to collect subsidies
for not planting crops and if I planted anything it wouldn't qualify anyway. I
don't have a trust fund stashed somewhere in the Caribbean islands since no one
trusted me to establish the fund in the first place.
I'd like to sue
someone over all this, but can't find an attorney who'll talk to me without wanting
a lot of money I don't have.
It's kind of like the bank charging you
an overdraft fee for a bounced check. You didn't have enough money in the account
and that's why the check bounced, so they charge you more money that you don't
Can you explain this to me Mr. Greenspan?
No, better yet…eat
your Wheaties…you'll need them.
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