I hate jury duty. “Duty?” I pay over half of my income in taxes of one kind or another: 30 percent income tax rate, then there are payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare) and taxes on every fucking thing the government can find to tax, from booze to gasoline to food and telephone and internet connections, hell, everything up to and including the air I breathe, here in California.
Isn’t that enough? I also have to sit in a courtroom for hours and listen to some swine in a long black dress lecture me about my civic duty (all I could think during the entire lecture was that I pay your fucking salary, you goddamn useless snout in the public trough)? Godammit! Then I’m expected to help these goblins to enforce a system of laws I find immoral at best and oppressive in practice. Fuck jury duty.
I could understand the idea of jury duty, not to mention some expectation that citizens would participate in governing themselves, but not when they’re bleeding me dry with taxation, for which I can find no discernible advantage in my life. Adding this insult to injury every year is in very poor taste, and having to take all that guff from a bunch of swine who are dependent on my wealth is appalling. So far, I’ve never served on a jury and if I’m ever forced to sit in one I plan to do everything I can to disrupt the proceedings and will vote the opposite of whatever the rest of the jury votes, just to hang it up and blow the trial. Consider yourselves warned, legal lackeys!
Fuck them. I pay their salaries, I don’t need to jump through their hoops as well.
And now, in other news, today for the umpteenth time in this City That Reality Forgot (San Francisco), some idiot told me that Trump will soon destroy the economy and we’ll all be thrown into a horrible depression worse than the 1930s.
At the time, I simply grunted and went back to my Kindle, like I usually do when homeless lunatics talk to me on the bus. What a load of drivel.
If President Trump is attempting to destroy the economy, he’s doing it all wrong.
Let’s look at some numbers, shall we:
- Wall Street is heading straight towards outer space like a Saturn rocket. Seriously. The Dow closed today at 21,182.53. This connotes a gain of at least $3 trillion dollars since the election. Good GOD!! How much wealth will we gain before someone notices we’re in a boom??!!
- Unemployment is the lowest its been in decades. Just this morning, I got an email from LinkedIn telling me of over 146,000 job openings in the Bay Area today. Also, since the beginning of the year I’ve personally received three job offers: me, a 61-year-old washed up has-been on his way to retirement as quickly as he can get there. If I’m getting offers, I assume others are as well.
- My law firm is having its busiest year ever. I can personally vouch that my own production rate has doubled over last year at this time. Everyone around me complains of how much work they have these days.
Does any of that sound like the economy is being destroyed? It sounds more like the biggest boom I’ve seen in years, and hot damn! Combined with the coming tax reduction I so richly deserve, it shows all indications of being a phenomenal year.
I can’t understand the paranoia about the economy: every indication is that it’s doing great and will just do better over the foreseeable future. Yet I’ve overheard Democrats telling each other that the economy is bound to collapse soon because Trump will cut taxes. Seriously, they believe that cutting taxes will hurt the economy. Madness.
And here’s the thing: I have Quicken, right? It tracks all of my family’s savings accounts, retirement accounts and mutual funds. Every month, at the end of the month, it gives me a report of our net worth.
Now, for the past eight years since my wife and I have been married, we have been saving and putting away in our retirement accounts about $3500 a month. When I look at the chart I’ve created showing our net wealth, month by month, I see that from the beginning of our marriage until October 2016, our wealth increased by about $3000 a month, on average (yes, I’ve checked it on Excel). I can only conclude that putting money into the stock market as we’ve been doing has only profited us as much as we put into that market — no appreciable gain except for the money we put into it. Zero profit margin.
In other words, throughout the entire Obama presidency, we barely managed to break even.
Now, if you look at that same net wealth chart starting in November 2016, the average gain in our net worth each month has been $10,000. This in spite of the fact that we are still putting away about $3500 a month. It’s a startling chart to see — slow, gradual growth for years, then a sudden upward leap starting at the end of November 2016. Gee, what a coincidence!
As I tell my Democrat acquaintances, so far I have about 70,000 good reasons to have voted for Trump, and counting.
Trump is the wind beneath my financial wings, and yes he has become my hero. Yowsah!
You know, I got to thinking, and it suddenly occurred to me that all these youngsters worried about a looming financial disaster are simply people who have never seen an economic boom first hand, and therefore don’t know one when it slaps them in the face.
Oh, they think they remember boom times during the Clinton presidency, but that wasn’t a boom, it was a bubble. I’ll explain:
I’m old enough to remember the 1980s — it’s when my present career first started. I arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1981, when I was 25, just when Ronald Reagan’s presidency got off the ground. Because I was at loose ends, I attended an office training program, which promised to teach me to become that brand new thing, a word processing operator.
At the time, when you looked at the Sunday paper (what we had before Craigslist), you found several pages of word processing operator ads, every Sunday going on into the late 1980s. Within three weeks of my finishing that training school, I was employed at a nationwide insurance company as a word processing operator, making $14,000 a year. After about a year, I found another job making $18,000 a year. By the end of the 1980s, I was making $40,000 a year. My income grew like an olive tree, and birds made their nests in the branches therein (almost literally, since I raised two kids during that period).
This is called wage inflation — it happens when there are so many job openings that employers are desperate and offer higher and higher salaries. That hasn’t happened this time (yet), but I won’t be surprised when it does.
The other thing I recall is that the stock market didn’t just rise, it broke records on an almost daily basis. I’ll never forget the astonishment everyone had when the Dow reached 1000 points for the very first time. It turned out to be only the beginning.
All during the 1980s, by the way, I was BUSY at work, and so was everyone else. Seriously. I remember bringing a book to work every day, but only having time to read it on my lunch break. There were no breaks during work hours, because there was so much damn work. We had large word processing departments in those days, because there was too much work for one or two operators to keep up with it.
On the other hand, all during the alleged Clinton boom, people had time to watch drunken baby videos and email each other pictures of kittens. Suddenly we had lots of free time at work. That’s not the sign of a boom, but its opposite. I recall being stuck in a really awful job all during the Clinton years, because there were no other jobs to be had. Finding new jobs was a problem that didn’t go away when Bush was in office, either, in spite of all the economic growth posted during his presidency. It was nice, but it wasn’t a boom, and in fact it was just the bubble that followed the dot.com “boom” under Clinton, this time involving mainly real estate.
This has been the way it’s been up until the Trump election, when suddenly I don’t have time to watch movies on my Kindle at work anymore but instead spend all my time working on documents. Suddenly I start getting job offers in my email inbox and on LinkedIn. Suddenly my retirement accounts start going through the ceiling (as I pointed out earlier, we’re seeing almost $7000 a month growth in our accounts over and above our contributions).
Now THAT’S a boom. Watch and learn, kids.