No Rocking Chair

Since the Rocky closed down, I’m a lot closer to living off investments than I expected to be at this stage of my life. When Bette Davis said that old age isn’t for sissies, I don’t think she had her 401(k) in mind. Riding the gyrations of the stock market isn’t how I expected to spend my sunset years. Oh, well, maybe the exertion will keep me young–if it doesn’t kill me.

6 thoughts on “No Rocking Chair”

  1. often I wonder why the 30 stocks of the Dow Jones gets so much press when so many other companies, large and small, are represented on the NYSE, and NASDAQ & S&P & other stock exchanges around the globe. I wonder why 1 goes nuts for a day or so when something else happens somewhere else around the globe. It is treated with a life of its own, like Frankenstein. I wonder why the expert analysts do not talk about so many other options for investment, such as commodities, properties, funds, etc ad nauseum. I wonder why we get bent out of shape over saving stockholders bottom lines dividends and not employees and customers, to the point even of bailing out the bozos thieving robber barons. Since when did investments come with a guarantee? It is a gamble, a crap shoot, a game of chance with an analysis, or handicapping, prior to placing those bets in a way not possible in an actual casino or OTB. A person should not have to live on the whims of someone unknown with power over their life and future. We are our brother’s keeper.

  2. Over the years I have observed many economic manifestations born of the financial concept known as profit maximization.

    These manifestations have suggested to me that profit maximization can be compared to a competition vehicle, e.g., such as NASCAR sanctioned race car, with the momentum supplied by the corporate culture, i.e., power-plant internals ( the corporate engine ) revolves within the engineered tolerance of its designed RPM red-line limit.

    Most of us have all seen the power-plant explosions in these NASCAR vehicles, we have seen the effect of such an explosion, the flames, the billowing blue and black smoke spewing out of these vehicles, that is the effect.

    The cause for such an explosion can likely be attributed to a specific technique or method of vehicle operation with a very high probability of accuracy.

    The result of the explosion of these NASCAR power-plants is usually due to a premature failure of the power-plants internal rotating components, CAUSED by fatigue, as a side-effect of a driver-management decision to pursue a strategy of operating all the revolving parts of the power-plant continually at its RPM red-line.


    Sometimes it works, most of the time it does not.

    That’s why the race teams have truckloads of spare parts and people at the ready to deal with these component failures, i.e., this contingency exists because these failures are known to have a high probability of occurring in such a competitive arena.

    However, with profit maximization, this is where the analogy ends, mainly because business does not usually have contingency plans in place for the collateral damage caused by profit maximization’s red-line fatigue.

    One thing right after another.

    The era of Enron produced the era of the Bailout, i.e., the recent Wall Street debacle which created a bailout response from a government already engaged in two wars and trying to correct a failing national transportation infrastructure among a host of other items; then BP.

    What is the common thread?

    Shady management practices seeking to squeeze every molecule out of whatever it is that begets cash.

    If the corporation does not, there are way too many people who have retirement portfolios that will complain and sell off their shares in protest?

    I don’t think so.

    Major stockholders pressure a corporation, always pressing for more added value on their shares, and this pressure, I believe, creates an action-condition within the corporate culture that supercedes common sense.

    The deepest oil well drilled to date and BP management wanted the crew to pick up the pace?

    Obviously Mother Earth does not like it hard, deep and fast.

    I think she needed a more gentle touch?

    Common sense, yes?

    Is there anyone else out there who sees that the collateral damage from unethical / unwise corporate business decisions have been exponentially increasing as time goes on ?

    Ideally, one’s retirement income is very close to an average of their last five years of employment income. Economically, this provides a continuum of the consumer base and provides employment for the upcoming generation.

    Of course, as we all know, to achieve the ideal in anything is a rare occurrence.

    So when we have a retirement population income that is less than ideal in the first place, then, collateral damage to this group has far more devastating consequences to the economic health of the Nation.

    I think we, as a Nation, have lost the ability to cope.

    We want to work to close the loopholes we allowed to be created by the lobbyists, however, every time we make a move toward investigation and correction, or so it seems, another disaster vies for our attention.

    We don’t have the time to deal with the current catastrophes we allowed to happen before another one comes at us.

    This time, due to a management decision upon the part of BP, the collateral damage caused by a lack of common sense may very well extend to the origin of our food chain, the phytoplankton.

    Oil spill? Clean-up? True, terms like these seem to soften the edge of the catastrophe, however, I think our news media treats the public as children when the media likens this disaster as a job for Bounty the quicker-picker-upper.

    It’s more like a man-made crack in the Earth.

    Using a nuclear device to stop the leak as the Russians suggested, not a good idea. I would think a nuclear device would act more like a spark plug in a combustion chamber than a sealer.

    The oil that is leaking is not just a National problem, the Gulf Stream will eventually verify the validity of that, and common sense says that the problem of this oil blowhole should be a planetary concern.

    This leak is an industry problem and not just BP’s alone, so where are the ships and rigs of the other oil companies with their collection devices?

    Too expensive to lend a hand?

    For other oil companies in the industry to lend a hand in this crisis would go against what is good for profit maximization I suppose.

    This is the kind of culture in control and their actions significantly contribute to the loss and instability of hundreds of thousands of individual 401Ks.

    Ed, I think the current corporate culture that exists today would encourage you to look at the bright side.

    I think this culture would offer you solace in this manner:

    Even if you were able to get your rocker, considering the way we run things, you would eventually have to break it up and use it for firewood ; so you are saving yourself the despair of not having to demolish a chair that you worked 30 plus years to save up for, by no longer having the money in your retirement fund to complete the metaphor in the first place, and that’s a good thing Ed ! You should be happy that you won’t be depressed later ! A Sterno , a can-opener and beans, Ed, what else does one need?

    Common sense?

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