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10/09/2004 Archived Entry: ""
A warning. According to an article in the Washington Times, "A new law designed to speed up the time it takes banks to process checks will take effect Oct. 28, making it harder for consumers to avoid bouncing them. People who write a check from a depleted account a few days before payday -- a custom known as floating a check -- should break this habit, consumer advocates say, because the money probably will be withdrawn much sooner than usual. In other words: Don't write a check and submit it to your landlord on Wednesday if you know the money to cover your rent won't show up in your account until Friday. Otherwise, you may end up paying a hefty bounced-check fee. 'A lot of people who have never bounced a check before now are going to bounce their first one after Oct. 28,' said Gail Hillebrand, a senior lawyer with the Consumers Union, a nonprofit advocacy group that has criticized the law."
And while we are discussing economic matters....
The Canadian dollar is rising steadily against the Greenback -- which is no longer green and I really should come to terms with that -- but I digress... The Canadian dollar is rising and currently stands at about .80 cents to the US $. To give perspective, about a year and a half ago, it stood at about .63 cents to the US $. That is a too fast, too high climb for my tastes. Moreover, I just heard that the Canadian economy has added 43,200 jobs in September whereas the US, which is ten times the size, added only 96,000. Canada is doing well for a number of reasons including: some provinces have no only paid off their deficit but are running at a surplus -- most notably, Alberta. There is no run-away military spending. No run-away Home Security programs. The cost to America of pouring billions of dollars into Iraq and futile bureaucracies for domestic security is starting to come home. Not to mention the cost of the incredible inflation that is a direct result of running the printing presses at white-hot speed since 9/11. Canada has been inflating as well -- as much as anything the government has been trying to keep the two dollars in line with each other for the sake of trade. But we just can't print money as quickly as Americans do.
And, as the US dollar depreciates, American Jobs continue to disappear. Two headlines from yesterday: Bank of America to Slash 4,500 More Jobs" and AT&T to Cut About 7,400 Jobs." I find another business headline to be revealing: Costco Net Up 24 Percent, Lifted by Sales." In other words, people are seeking discount goods, bargains; they are trying to make their dollars go farther. And good for them! The economic insanity that has been American policy for the past three years is going to impact not only the personal wealth and spending patterns of every American but also the worldwide economy. I can't repeat often enough: get out of debt, practice frugality, save, invest, and make sure you don't keep your wealth in US $...at least, not entirely. You don't have to be rich to be safe but you do need to be prudent.
Best to all,