I didn't mean to be gone this long. sometimes, life gets in the way of blogging. There ought to be a lot of things that aren't but who's counting. Which brings up a few questions, naturally.
If we have a bunch of Senators running for the Presidency as soon as the mid-term elections finished, who is taking their place representing their constituents in the Senate? The other Senator?
If they take the whole two years to run right up to the next election, that's a third of their term. Should they get paid to be a Senator during that time frame? Weren't they a candidate instead?
It is clear that we have an on-going process that we'll call the dumbing down of America. No one fails, and we don't ask kids to do much. We don't even ask them to show up all the time. Yet business has plans to expand. Everyone is going National, and then Global. Where are the people coming from? Wait, they're going to do it all with computers? I see how well that works now. That massive computer system shipped me insulin for a syringe and needles for a cartridge system. That same computer system had a history of doing it right. It had records stored with the correct 'stuff' stored in it. But no, it had to blindly follow an error. The error? The clerk filling out the prescription in the doctor's office forgot the notation for the cartridge system, and the default in the computer was the syringe, or straight needle.
"Not our fault", argued the voice on the telephone from the pharmacy somewhere on the planet. So I have a three month supply of insulin that I can't use because the needles work on a different system. Can *I* solve this? Yup, I just go to the doctor and get a prescription for regular needles (syringes) and go to a local pharmacy and buy them. And I avoid the hassle of arguing with my insurance company who had just sent me the $40 worth of cartridge needles and therefore would not be entitled to any more needles for three months. You know how us insulin addicts are.
The point is that we still need human beings that can think. Any pharmacist would have seen the problem instantly. Most people working a pharmacy counter after a period of time would have seen the problem. Insurance companys that force their clients to use mail-order pharmacys where there are insufficient computer editting, and it takes over two weeks to get a prescription take a problem like this and dump it on the client, seemingly with no recourse. Think this is a small example?
The stock market is hemorrhaging today. The housing market is still crashing. Part of the problem is called the sub-prime market. This is the market for people with less than stellar credit. Mortgage products with names like Interest Only and Option Arms were brought out and are very lucrative loans for the people that sell mortgages. Don't kid yourself for a minute, the people that sell mortgages make great money when interest rates are coming down.
I spent some time in a Mortgage Company. The ONLY mortgage they sold was the Option Arms Mortgage. They sold no 30 year mortgages, no 15 year mortgages, if you weren't an option arms customer, you were a bad credit customer, and you were going to be paying 2 points over the going rate to get a mortgage. That was because those were the two mortgages that paid the most money to the firm and the salesperson.
What was the big deal with the Option Arm? The Interest Rate adjusted, seemingly slowly. And, you didn't have to pay the entire payment. You could pay as little as 10% and that made the interest rate look as low as 1.25%. The balance of the payment was added to the principal of the loan. Two years out, you refinance, and the appreciation on your home paid for what you borrowed, plus, when you refinanced, you took out more money!
These are the defaults you are hearing about now. The prices of houses have dropped. Some salespeople were taking home, after taxes, $8K, 10K, 12K. I was gone in two months. I didn't fit in. Must be the economics. Some of you may want to think about running for your School Boards. Or overthrowing a local government. I don't know anymore. I'm not that bright, look who I have been hanging out with, the lady on the phone from the pharmacy. My cat is smarter.