Skip to main content

Family & Farms

This weekend my wife and I and our two little ones made our annual pilgrimage to upstate New York on what we call our “farm experience.”  We stay in rustic farm settings and mostly hang out with animals and each other.  It’s a time to forget about things in the grown-up world - no Vladimir Putin, no President Obama, no worries about ISIS, Iraq, or Iran, no central bank monetary policy, and no financial markets.  During this time all of that stuff loses its relevance, giving way to hugs and kisses, some whining, games, silly laughter, singing songs together, petting animals and other similar things.

The experience this year triggered memories of my father preoccupied with grown up things.  At that time the issues were different but seemed to be just as grave to him as the ones today are to me.  I remember thinking to myself back then, “What’s the big deal?  Why does my dad worry about that stuff so much when issues like the Mets or Knicks, or my friends or little league games matter so much more?  I suppose that, like my little kids today, I figured that all that stuff that my dad was so preoccupied with would resolve itself somehow as all of the similarly grave issues of generations past had.  Sure they often are messy with lives lost, but my dad’s worrying never saved a life or changed things in any way.

Today the world surely appears to be in a precarious spot.  An Islamic Caliphate is forming in Iraq, Iran will get nuclear weaponry, Russia is making serious moves to reconstruct the former USSR, China’s economy is sputtering, and Europe’s economy is stuck in the lowest of gears.  America’s economy seems to be a bit better off but there are many who are being left behind permanently which will surely lead to societal problems.  And fiscal imbalances are far from being resolved in the developed world, creating a fundamental instability.

In the end these issues will all be resolved, just as past seemingly critical ones have been.  New and very challenging issues will most certainly replace today’s issues for our kids’ generation to deal with.  Maybe in the end the kids of each generation have it about right.  Sports and animals, hugs and kisses are what matter.  My 5 year-old Everest would call the rest “so boring.”

Popular posts from this blog

"No, Not You. You Are Fake News."

"No, not you. You are fake news."  These were the words chosen by our president-elect to shut down a CNN reporter seeking to question him at his recent press conference. Many hearing those words surely recoiled, interpreting them as an affront to freedom and a form of censuring. I reacted quite differently, instead celebrating the moment that a strong leader decided to hold people accountable in a public manner for their actions.

Taxes and Hyperbole

There is a new tax code in the U.S., and this is indeed a “Yuuuge” deal. As far as I can tell, it is as close to an unmitigated home run for America as can be. Is it perfect? Of course, it’s not. The code retains its unwieldy size and complexity, largely as a result of compromises made in order to bribe congressmen and senators for their votes. Until we get term limits, it seems we’re stuck with a tax code that is big and complex. However, it does hit the mark on a few key issues: most every taxpayer will now pay less to the federal government (except those in states with ridiculously mismanaged economies who now will be forced to hold their state politicians more accountable); and our businesses, large and small alike, will remit less of their profits to the federal government and will be liberated to invest that savings into growth – which will surely create job and wage growth in the productive private sector.

James Harden - A Classic Case of Misunderstood Value

The last time I wrote on hoops was December 2013 when I presciently trashed Carmelo Anthony. The time has come to take out my poison pen once again to decry James Harden as a fraud. I know that Harden has amazing stats - third in scoring, first in assists, and that his team the Rockets have far exceeded expectations as they are currently the 3rd seed out west. But, I still maintain that he is an awful player.