I’m getting ready to make a business trip up to Canada. And, wouldn’t you know it, the Canadian Dollar is at 52-week highs against the greenback. Each Canadian dollar is going to cost me US$1.05. If was going to Europe, it would be the same story. Despite the massive Euro-zone problems, people are still willing to pay more for the Euro than they are for the dollar – 40 cents more. There was a time when the Euro cost less than the dollar. There was a time, in the past decade, when you could buy a Canadian dollar for about 56 cents. Even the Brazilian Real and the Chinese Yuan are trading at or near all time highs. And, the Japanese Yen? Even after an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown, it still fetches near record levels against the dollar.
The American Dream is Burning
The American Dream. A place to call our own. Our sacred castle, in which resides the great American family (including the dog!). It’s a right we should have… Though we’re letting it slip away.
Anyone who watches the news can quite literally see the American Dream burn; people are unemployed, unable to pay bills, and losing their homes. What happened to the American Dream?
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The only place a dollar goes far anymore is…you guessed it, in the United States. A dollar today will buy you more house than it did five years ago…but that’s about it. The only benefits of a weak dollar, and the dollar is very weak, is that it prevents people like me, who travel overseas on business, to spend more money. It’s downright expensive! It’s a little embarrassing too, when you and your fellow US residents are the ones looking like they stepped off the bus and eating at the “cheap” places while your fellow world citizens are whooping it up. It also makes people want to stay at home and “buy American” – kinda forced to do that now. So, you maybe thinking “what’s wrong with that”, why shouldn’t we stay at home? It’s patriotic, somehow.
My friends, being patriotic should be a choice that you want to make. It’s not something that should be forced upon you. Staying at home and visiting Yellowstone is a choice that you should want to make. Not having the cash to visit the Coliseum in Rome should not be something to be proud of. Culture cannot be purchased at the App Store.
There used to be a time when I was perturbed when I traveled to Europe because the loudest noise I heard was that of American tourists being themselves – we’re a loud bunch when we travel and we stand out like a sore thumb in places like France. Now, I miss those days…we have become a nation of forced staycationers and we will be worse off for it.
Could It Get Worse
Just when we, as a country, are emerging from the dark days of 2008 it appears that we are once again headed down a path that has an unhappy ending. Could we be in a cycle of what seems like permanent bad news? Jobless claims are up, the unemployment rate is up, home prices are stagnant at best and there is a general feeling that we are going to head into another recession. Personally, I don’t think we will head into another recession. There is enough economic growth to prevent that from happening, but it sure isn’t going to feel like a robust recovery.
And, while the general public, you and me, are feeling this almost depressive malaise; it’s party time on Wall Street and the US Government offices. Wall Street is setting new highs. The IPO madness is back with daily doubles in companies that are hardly worth the paper their prospectuses are printed on. And, the government…well those inept nitwits are finding new ways to plunge us back into the dark ages. But, that is apparently what they do best and they’re sure making the most of it this time. A debt crisis? What debt crisis? It’s been a debt crisis since the Vietnam War. This is nothing new. Well, it’s time to take a stand this time. A stand? Is that what is happening in Washington today? It looks more like a schoolyard shout-down. There will be a deal, probably at the last minute…and maybe even in overtime. It’s time to set the country on the right track by developing the framework for reducing debt. There’s no need to eliminate the debt overnight. It’s not possible anyway. But, there is so much acrimony
and ill will in Washington today that doing the right thing has given way to doing stupid things, multiple times.
This once proud country is now nothing more than a debt ridden laughing stock. It’s been a long climb down, but we are determined to make that climb dammit! These next few months and the upcoming election cycle will determine the course of this country. There is a lot at stake and many finally see the problems associated with spending binges on wars, stimuli, pork barrel projects and the like. The excrement is finally hitting the fan, and how we react will determine whether we will be on a permanent staycation, or free once again spread our wings.
Retirement Without Savings
Retirement becomes an afterthought for many people when they think about all the bills they have. There’s the mortgage, car payment, insurance, and all the other day to day expenses.
Though what if you could enjoy a luxury retirement without sacrificing one bit… Even if you’ve ignored saving for years. Click here now!
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