Thursday, July 19, 2018

Are diamonds really forever?

Right now, the “recommended” amount you should spend on an engagement ring is two months’ salary.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of RobinSo You Want to Blog.


Reposted from April 2018

It is that time of the year when relationships bloom, heart's flutter and bride to be eyes light up with vision's things, that sparkle.

In the print media, electronic media, the Internet and just about everywhere else you look, there are ads promising the best deal on that much needed and desired engagement ring.

Before you plunk down a significant portion of your annual salary for an engagement ring here are a few things to check out.

First take a look at the number of engagement rings for sale on line.

I am not suggesting you buy one on line, although what she does not know probably won’t hurt her, but the real question is. Where did all those rings come from? The answer is they were bought by idiots who got caught up in the "Diamonds are forever" marketing ploy, and things did not go well. They are now for sale and usually NOT by the original buyer.

As one who has had a number of engagement and wedding rings end up in a pawn shop case, the return on your investment is really poor. Example: a lovely blonde who pawned her(our) engagement rings (worth several thousand dollars) to make a $200 car payment. I know she was upset the wedding was off, but if she had called I would have probably made the car payment for her.

The whole engagement ring thing started in the late 1930’s as a marketing effort to kick start diamond sales. Since nothing says "I love you like a diamond" and "diamonds are forever" resonate, guys have been on the hook for ever larger upfront investments in their matrimonial future.

That is kind of interesting given that fact that according to the American Psychological Association 50% of marriages end up in divorce, and subsequent marriages are more likely to fail even if the engagement ring is bigger.

So, if she is sending you all those signals about getting married and suggesting an engagement (read that I want a ring) set down and have a long serious talk.

Right now, the “recommended” amount you should spend on an engagement ring is two months’ salary.

If you make $60,000 dollars per year that’s $5,000/per month or about $10,000 for a ring.

If you make $100,000 per year that is about $8333/month or about $16,700 for the ring.

These days you can finance that amount for up to eight years, and that number is interesting because the average marriage in the United states lasts about 8.2 years.

Think about your student loan. If that upsets you, think about how you will feel five or six years into a marriage that is slipping away, and you still have few years to go pay off what got you into all of this.

So, remember all this engagement and to some degree wedding ring stuff is a marketing creation of people who dig crap up out of the ground, polish it up, claim it is their own, establish outlandish prices in a closed market and take advantage of your situation.

The bottom line on all of this engagement ring hoopla, is it gives your beloved a symbol to wave about in the faces of her less fortunate friends who are still looking forward to reeling in a “ring” of their own.

See From BRIDES by Elizabeth Mitchel, 18 Things to Do as Soon as You Get Engaged

If a ring costing 20% or more of your annual salary is a required pre-commitment of endearing love do a little research, have a serious conversation with your partner and remember this: diamonds are not forever: they're just expensive.

E-mail Doc at 
mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
See Doc's Photo Gallery at 
Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures:
Contributor to: Rick Scott for Senate
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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Rebutting Rhetoric to Reign in Recklessness

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

The transportation issue in Tampa Bay today consists of lots of kabuki dancing, lots of posturing, some street theater, some insider ball game scheming and even an attempted power grab. As taxpayers keep enriching the same consultants over and over for transit study after transit study, the rhetoric soars with dishonesty, deception and misleading information.

And all of this is done at what cost and at what success?

The attempt to extract millions and billions more from taxpayers for transit services that costs too much, does too little and benefits too few continues. Insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome - especially as transportation and traditional transit are being disrupted by innovation and new technology.


Reading local media or attending the too numerous transportation meetings in Tampa Bay, one would think transit is the biggest transportation issue in Tampa Bay. These transportation meetings are mostly attended by special interests and have become an echo chamber of group think. The group think mentality forces their focus to be on costly transit and empowers tone deafness to the reality that the vast majority in Tampa Bay want their roads, highways and interstates fixed and improved.

As a side note, the Orlando area is vastly improving and expanding their roads and interstates all over Central Florida while Tampa Bay has dithered with malfunction junction for decades and a Howard Frankland bridge northbound bottleneck that we bet has caused numerous folks to miss or almost miss their flights.

Just 10 short years ago, the now defunct Tribune published 'Malfunction' Moniker From Past Still Describes Revamped Junction (emphasis mine)

A state priority should be to move traffic faster through the intersection as welcomed improvements to I-275 and I-4 funnel more cars and trucks into the mix. 
Surely if the state can spare hundreds of millions of dollars to help private, profitable railroads improve their freight tracks through the boondocks, it can find enough money to add a few lanes to an urban junction used by tens of millions of cars and trucks a year. 
The constant shortfall of construction money suggests the local legislative delegation needs to do a better job advocating for local transportation improvements. And it suggests that Florida's congressional delegation needs to make more noise about the unfair return on federal gas taxes collected in Florida. For decades Florida drivers have helped pay for highway earmarks in states with much less traffic and growth. But most important, every political and civic leader in Tampa should agree that packing four lanes of high-speed traffic into three lanes is an intolerable way to treat ourselves and to welcome our guests. If, instead of playing petty political games, our state and local leaders would agree on top priorities such as fixing the junction, it wouldn't now face another decade of malfunction.
What happened since 2008? Tampa Bay keeps growing and even more cars and vehicles are using I-275 and I-4.

But then the media, special interests (especially those who would benefit) and some electeds figured out that if local taxes can be raised and a new long term pot of local money provided, they can gain access to another trough of federal dollars - federal transit grant monies. Those federal dollars come from the general fund aka debt. And that's how the tax hikes for rail boondoggles began.

While Hillsborough County overwhelmingly defeated the rail tax in 2010 58-42% and Pinellas County defeated Greenlight Pinellas rail tax by an even greater margin 62-38% in 2014, the media, the same power brokers and some electeds prefer to ignore the consent of the governed. And as we posted here, Hillsborough County's MPO has totally gone over the cliff of reality as they consider tearing down 10 miles of I-275 from downtown to Bearss, they try to use unsubstantiated data to create false narratives and ignore their own data.

As we reported here, the taxpayer funded TMA (which is the MPO's of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco) invited a transit lobbyist to speak on how to pursue a transit referendum, how to deceive by whitewashing use of the word "rail" and how to confront critics. This nonsense alone should have shut the TMA down two years ago.


Remember what Commissioner Hagan said about the tax hike proposed by the Go Hillsborough debacle in 2016 that he supported? 
Hagan said that by design, the ballot question does not mention light rail — a mode of transportation that opponents focused on and that was highly unpopular among suburban voters.
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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Making the Trade War local


All of this money these foreign countries make selling goods in the United states come from one source – YOU.

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.
You hear about it. You read about it. You hear all the gloom and doom; car prices will go up; canned beer prices will increase everything will get more expensive, and the economy will crash.
And it is all Trumps’ fault. China, Canada, Germany, Mexico and others threaten to retaliate, and some already have.
Why, because we have a terrible trade imbalance with these countries, they sell billions of dollars’ worth of goods here while our businesses and industries are highly restricted by tariffs and other considerations from selling in their domestic market.
As Trump has said time and time again all, we are looking for is a fair deal.
You may find all of this interesting but think it is out of my real control. There is nothing you as an individual can do, the powers from the top have to fix international trade.
Not necessarily true.
All of this money these foreign countries make selling goods in the United states come from one source – YOU.
We all buy their cars appliances, clothes, electronics, pots, pans, in fact most of our consumer goods are imported.
International trade is flow process; goods are made in a foreign country quickly shipped through a distribution channel to the United States moved to market and sold. The pace at which all of this happens is quite uprising.
Let’s start with China.
Next time you go to the store to buy something look at the label to see where it was made. If it was made in China, put it back on the shelf and look for a similar product with a different origin.
It seems like a simple thing, but if enough of us were to do this and Chinese products from clothes to electronics start backing up in the pipeline something will have to give.
If Americans as a group were to boycott Chinese, Mexican, German products the negative flow of foreign trade revenue would slow dramatically if not stop. That is much worse than any tariff could ever be.
So, whether you like Trump or not, you can be a player in the trade war conflict. It is not about winners and losers as much as it is about a level playing field for all our businesses who have exportable products.
Next time you’re in a store checkout that pot, pan, shirt, pair of jeans, and if they're made in a country that’s stiffing us like China or Mexico, put em’ back and look for a substitute.
Now would also be a very good time to start shopping local.
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
See Doc's Photo Gallery at 
Bay Post Photos.  
Disclosures:
Contributor to: 
Rick Scott for Senate 

Please comment below

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